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Title: Graham's Magazine, Vol. XXXV, No. 5, November 1849
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                           GRAHAM’S MAGAZINE.
              VOL. XXXV.      November, 1849.      NO. 5.


                           Table of Contents

                 Fiction, Literature and Other Articles

          Jasper St. Aubyn
          Men at Home: or The Pretty Man-Hater
          A Year and A Day: or The Will
          Major Anspach
          Homewood
          The Battle of Trenton
          Mr. Merritt and His Family
          The Life Insurance
          The Balize
          Wild-Birds of America
          Editor’s Table
          Review of New Books

                       Poetry, Music, and Fashion

          The Broken Household
          Fragments of an Unfinished Story
          Parting
          The Fear of Death
          Lines
          The Seminoles’ Last Look
          To My Sister E . . . . A.
          Bunker-Hill at Midnight
          Lines
          Spiritual Presence
          Flower Fancies
          Le Follet
          Wake, Lady, Wake

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

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration: HAPPY AS A KING.
Engraved and Printed expressly for Graham’s Magazine by J. M. Butler.]



                           GRAHAM’S MAGAZINE.

        VOL. XXXV.     PHILADELPHIA, NOVEMBER, 1849.     NO. 5.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                           JASPER ST. AUBYN;


                       BY HENRY WILLIAM HERBERT.


                      (_Continued from page 213._)

Reader, the heart of man is a strange compound, a deceitful thing.

Jasper St. Aubyn _did_ love Theresa Allan, as I have said before, with
all the love which he could bestow on any thing divine or human. His
passion for the possession of her charms, both personal and mental, was,
as his passions ever were, inordinate. His belief in her excellence, her
purity, in the stability of her principles, the impregnable strength of
her virtue, could not be proved more surely than by the fact, that he
had never dared an attempt to shake them. His faith in her adoration for
himself was as firm-fixed as the sun in heaven. And, lastly, his
conviction of the constancy of his own love toward her, of the
impossibility of that love’s altering or perishing, was strong as his
conviction of his own being.

But he was one of those singularly constituted beings, who will never
take an easy path when he has the option of one more difficult; never
follow the straight road when he can see a tortuous byway leading to the
same end.

Had his father, as he pretended, desired to thwart his will, or prevent
his marriage with Theresa, for that very cause he would have toiled
indefatigably, till he had made her his own in the face of day. Partly
swayed by a romantic and half chivalrous feeling, which loved to build
up difficulties for the mere pleasure of surmounting them, partly urged
on by pure willfulness and recklessness of temper, he chose evil for his
good, he rushed into deceit where truth would in fact have served his
purpose better. A boyish love of mystery and mischief might probably
have had its share likewise in his strange conduct, and a sort of
self-pride in the skill with which he managed his plot, and worked the
minds of older men into submission to his own will. Lastly, to compel
Theresa to this sacrifice of her sense of duty and propriety, to this
abandonment of principle to passion, appeared to his perverted intellect
a mighty victory, an overwhelming proof of her devotedness to his
selfish will.

If there were any darker and deeper motive in his mind, it was
unconfessed to himself; and, in truth, I believe, that none such then
existed. If such did in after times grow up within him, it arose
probably from a perception of the fatal facility which that first fraud,
with its elaborate deceits had given him for working further evil.

Verily, it is wise to pray that we be not tempted. The perilous gift of
present opportunity has made many an one, who had else lived innocent,
die, steeped to the very lips in guilt.

Such were the actuating motives of _his_ conduct; of hers pure love, and
the woman’s dread of losing what she loved, by over-vehement resistance.

At the dead of a dark, gusty night in autumn, when the young moon was
seen but at rare intervals between the masses of dense driving wrack
which swept continuously across the leaden-colored firmament before the
wailing west winds, when the sere leaves came drifting down from the
great trees, like the ghosts of departed hopes, when the long mournful
howl of some distant bandog baying the half seen moon, and the dismal
hootings of the answered owls, were the only sounds abroad, the poor
girl stole, like a guilty creature, from her virgin chamber, and,
faltering at every ray of misty light, every dusky shadow that wavered
across her way, as she threaded the long corridors, crept stealthily
down the great oaken staircase, and joined her young lover in the stone
hall below.

Her palfrey and his hunter stood saddled at the foot of the terrace
steps, and, almost without a word exchanged between them, she found
herself mounted and riding, with her right hand clasped in his burning
fingers, through the green chase toward the village.

The clock was striking midnight—ill-omened hour for such a rite as
that—in the tower of the parish church, as Jasper St. Aubyn sprung to
the ground before the old Saxon porch, and lifting his sweet bride from
the saddle, fastened the bridles of their horses to the hooks in the
churchyard-wall, and entered the low-browed door which gave access to
the nave.

A single dim light burned on the altar, by which the old vicar, robed in
his full canonicals, awaited them, with his knavish assistant, and the
two witnesses beside him.

Dully and unimpressively, at that unhallowed hour, and by that dim
light, the sacred rite was performed, and the dread adjuration answered,
and the awful bond undertaken, which, through all changes, and despite
all chances of this mortal life makes two into one flesh, until death
shall them sever.

The gloom, the melancholy, the nocturnal horror of the scene sunk deeply
on Theresa’s spirit; and it was in the midst of tears and shuddering
that she gave her hand and her heart to one, who, alas! was too little
capable of appreciating the invaluable treasure he had that night been
blessed withal. And even when the ceremony was performed, and she was
his immutably and forever, as they rode home as they had come, alone,
through the dim avenues and noble chase, which were now in some sort her
own, there was none of that buoyancy, that high, exulting hope, that
rapture of permitted love which is wont to thrill the bosoms of young
and happy brides.

Nor, on the following day, was the melancholy gloom, which, despite all
her young husband’s earnest and fond endeavors to cheer and compose her,
still overhung her mind, in anywise removed by the tidings which reached
the manor late in the afternoon.

The aged vicar, so the tale went, had been called by some unusual
official duty to the parish church, long after it was dark, and in
returning home had fallen among the rocks, having strayed from the path,
and injured himself so severely that his life was despaired of.

So eagerly did Jasper proffer his services, and with an alacrity so
contrary to his usual sluggishness, when his own interests were not at
stake, did he order his horse and gallop down to the village to visit
his old friend, that his father smiled, well pleased and half laughingly
thanked Theresa, when the boy had gone, saying that he really believed
her gentle influence was charming some of Jasper’s willfulness away, and
that he trusted ere long to see him, through her precept and example,
converted into a milder and more humanized mood and temper.

Something swelled in the girl’s bosom, and rose to her throat, half
choking her—the _hysterica passio_ of poor Lear—as the good old man
spoke, and the big tears gushed from her eyes.

It was by the mightiest effort only that she kept down the almost
overmastering impulse which prompted her to cast herself down at the old
man’s feet, and confess to him what she had done, and so implore his
pardon and his blessing.

Had she done so, most happy it had been for her unhappy self; more happy
yet for one more miserable yet, that should be!

Had she done so, she had crowned the old man’s last days with a halo of
happiness that had lighted him down the steps to the dusky grave
rejoicing—she had secured to herself, and to him whom she had taken for
better or for worse, innocence and security and self-respect and virtue,
which _are_ happiness!

She did it not; and she repented not _then_—for when she told Jasper
how nearly she had confessed all, his brow grew as dark as night, and he
put her from him, exclaiming with an oath, that had she done so, he had
never loved her more; but did she not repent thereafter?

It was late when Jasper returned, and he was, to all outward observers,
sad and thoughtful; but Theresa could read something in his countenance,
which told _her_ that he had derived some secret satisfaction from his
visit.

In a word, the danger, apprehension of which had so prompted Jasper’s
charity, and quickened his zeal in well-doing—the danger, that the old
clergyman should divulge _in extremis_ the duty which had led him to the
church at an hour so untimely, was at an end forever. He was dead, and
had never spoken since the accident, which had proved fatal to his
decrepit frame and broken constitution.

Moreover, to make all secure, he had seen the rascal sexton, and secured
him forever, by promising him an annuity so long as the secret should be
kept; while craftier and older in iniquity than he, and
suspecting—might it not be foreseeing—deeper iniquity to follow, the
villain, who now alone, with the suborned witnesses, knew what had
passed, stole into the chancel, and cut out from the parish register the
leaf which contained the record of that unhappy marriage.

It is marvellous how at times all things appear to work prosperously for
the success of guilt, the destruction of innocence; but, of a truth, the
end of these things is not here.

It so fell out that the record of Theresa Allan’s union with Jasper St.
Aubyn was the first entry on a fresh leaf of the register. One skillful
cut of a sharp knife removed that leaf, so as to defy the closest
scrutiny; had one other name been inscribed thereon, before hers, she
had been saved.

Alas! for Theresa!

But to do Jasper justice, he knew not of this villainy; nor, had he
known, would he _then_ have sanctioned it. He only wished to secure
himself against momentary discovery.

The ill consequences of this folly, this mysterious and unmeaning craft,
had now in some degree recoiled upon himself. And delighting, as he
really did, in the closest intercourse with his sweet young bride, he
chafed and fumed at finding that the necessity of keeping up the
concealment, which he had so needlessly insisted on, precluded him from
the possibility of enjoying his new possession, as he would, entirely
and at all hours.

He would have given almost his right hand now to be able to declare
openly that she was his own. But, for once in his life, he dared not! He
could not bring himself to confess to his kind father the cruel breach
of confidence, the foul and causeless deceit of which he had been
guilty; and he began almost to look forward to the death of that
excellent and idolizing parent, as the only event that could allow him
to call his wife his own.

It was not long before his wish—if that can be called a wish, which he
dared not confess to his own guilty heart, was accomplished.

The first snows had not fallen yet, when the old cavalier fell ill, and
declined so rapidly that before the old year was dead he was gathered to
his fathers. As he had lived, so he died, a just, upright, kindly,
honorable man. At peace with all men, and in faith with his God.

His last words were entreaty to his son to take Theresa Allen to his
wife, and to live with her unambitiously, unostentatiously, as he had
lived himself, and was about to die, at Widecomb. And even then, though
he promised to obey his father’s bidding, the boy’s heart was not
softened, nor was his conscience touched by any sense of the wrong he
had done. He promised, and as the good man’s dying eye kindled with
pleasure, he smiled on him with an honest seeming smile, received his
parting kiss, and closed his eyes, and stood beside the dead,
unrelenting, unrepentant.

He was the Lord of Widecomb; and so soon as the corpse by which he stood
should be composed in the quiet grave, the world should know him, too,
as the Lord of Theresa Allan.

And so he swore to her, when he stole that night, as he had done nightly
since their marriage, to her chamber, after every light was
extinguished, and, as he believed, every eye closed in sleep; and she,
fond soul! believed him, and clasped him to her heart, and sunk into
sleep, with her head pillowed on his breast, happier than she had been
since she had once—for the first, last time—deviated from the paths of
truth.

But he who has once taken up deceit as his guide, knows not when he can
quit it. He may, indeed, say to himself “thus far will I go, and no
further,” but when he shall have once attained the proposed limit, and
shall set himself to work to recover that straight path from which he
has once deviated, fortunate will he be, indeed, if he find not a
thousand obstacles, which it shall tax his utmost energy, his utmost
ingenuity to surmount, if he have not to cry out in despair—

        Oh, what a tangled web we weave,
        When first we practice to deceive.

Jasper St. Aubyn did honestly intend to do, the next day, what he that
night promised; nor did he doubt that he _could_ do it, and so do it, as
to save her scatheless, of whom he had not yet grown weary.

But, alas! of so delicate a texture is a woman’s reputation, that the
slightest doubt, the smallest shade once cast upon it, though false as
hell itself, it shall require more than an angel’s tears to wash away
the slain. All cautiously as Jasper had contrived his visits to the
chamber of his wife, all guarded as had been his intercourse with her,
although he had never dreamed that a suspicion had been awakened in a
single mind of the existence of such an intercourse, he had not stolen
thither once, nor returned once to his own solitary couch, but keen,
curious, prying eyes had followed him.

There was not a maid-servant in the house but knew Miss Theresa’s shame,
as all believed it to be; but tittered and triumphed over it in her
sleeves, as an excuse, or at least a palliation of her own peccadilloes;
but told it, in confidence, to her own lover, Tom, the groom, or Dick,
the falconer, until it was the common gossip of the kitchen and the
butlery, how the fair and innocent Theresa was Master Jasper’s
_mistress_.

But they nothing dreamed of this; and both fell asleep that night, full
of innocent hopes on the one hand, and good determinations—alas! never
to be realized, on the other.

The morrow came, and Sir Miles St. Aubyn was consigned to the vault
where slept his fathers of so many generations. Among the loud and
sincere lamentations of his grateful tenantry and dependents, the
silent, heartfelt tears of Theresa, and the pale but constrained sorrow
of his son, he was committed earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to
dust, to his long last home, by the son of the aged vicar, who had
already been inducted to the living, which his father had held so many
years before him.

The mournful ceremonial ended, Jasper was musing alone in the old
library, considering with himself how he might best arrange the
revelation, which he proposed to make that very evening to his household
of his hitherto concealed marriage with Theresa, when suddenly a servant
entered, and informed him that Peter Verity, the sexton, would be glad
to speak six words with his honor, if it would not be too much trouble.

“By no means,” replied Jasper, eagerly, for he foresaw, as he thought,
through this man a ready mode of extricating himself from the
embarrassment of the disclosure, “admit him instantly.”

The fellow entered; a low, miserable, sneaking scoundrel, even from his
appearance; and Jasper felt as if he almost loathed himself that he had
ever had to do with so degraded a specimen of mortality. He had need of
him, however, and was compelled, therefore, much against his will, to
greet him, and speak  to him fairly.

“Ha, Verity,” he said, “I am glad you have come, I should have sent for
you in the morning, if you had not come up to-night. You have managed
that affair for me right well; and I shall not forget it, I assure you.
Here are ten guineas for you, as an earnest now, and I shall continue
your annuity, though there will be no need for concealment any longer.
Still I shall want your assistance, and will pay you for it liberally.”

“I thank your honor, kindly,” answered the fellow, pocketing the gold.
“But with regard to the annuity, seeing as how what I’ve done for your
honor is a pretty dangerous job, and one as I fancy might touch my
life.”

“Touch your life! why what the devil does the fellow mean!” Jasper
interrupted him, starting to his feet, “I never asked you—never asked
any man—to do aught that should affect his life.”

“You never did ask me, right out in words, that is a fact, your honor.
You was too deep for that, I’m a thinking! But, lord bless ye, I
understood ye, for all, as well as if you _had_ asked me. And so, be
sure, I went and did it straight. I’d ha’ done any thing to serve your
honor—that I would—and I will again, that’s more.”

“In God’s name, what have you done, then?” exclaimed Jasper, utterly
bewildered.

“Why, seeing as your honor didn’t wish to have your marriage with Miss
Theresa known, and as there wasn’t no way else of hiding it, when the
old parson was dead and gone, and a new one coming, I went and cut the
record of it out of the church-register, and I’ve got it here, safe
enough. So if your honor fancies any time to get tired like of Miss, why
you can e’en take another wife, and no one the wiser. There’s not a soul
knows aught about it but me, and black Jem Alderly; and we’ll never say
a word about it, not we. Nor it wouldn’t matter if we did, for that,
when once you’ve got this here paper. And so I was thinking, if your
honor would just give me five hundred guineas down, I’d hand it over,
and you could just put it in the fire, if you choosed, and no one the
wiser.”

Jasper cast his eyes up to heaven in despair, and wrung his hands
bitterly.

“Great God!” he said, “I would give five thousand if you could undo this
that you have done. I _will_ give you five thousand if you will replace
the leaf where it was, undiscovered.”

“It ain’t possible,” replied the man. “The new vicar he has looked over
all the register, and made a copy of it; and he keeps it locked up, too,
under his own key, so that, for my life, I could not get it, if I would.
And I’d be found out, sure as God—and it’s hanging by the law! nothing
less. But what does it signify, if I may be so bold, your honor?”

“When my poor father died, all cause of concealment was at an end; and I
wished this very day to acknowledge my marriage with Mrs. St. Aubyn.”

The man uttered a low expressive whistle, as who should say, “Here is a
change, with a vengeance!” But he dared not express what he thought, and
answered humbly,

“Well, your honor, I don’t see how this alters it. You have nothing to
do but to acknowledge madam as your wife, and there’s no one will think
of asking when you were married, nor hasn’t no right to do so neither.
And if they should, you can say the Doctor married you in his own
parlor, and I can swear to that, your honor; if you want me, any time;
and so’ll Jem Alderly; and this writing, that I’ll give you, will prove
it any time, for it’s in the Doctor’s own hand-writing, and signed by
the witnesses. So just you give me the five hundred, and I’ll give you
the register; and you can do as you will with it, your honor. But if I
was your honor, and you was Peter Verity, I’d just tell the servants, as
Madam was my wife, and interduce her as Mistress St. Aubyn like; but I’d
not say when nor where, nor nothing about it; and I’d just keep this
here paper snug; as I could perduce it, if I wanted, or make away with
it, if I wanted; it’s good to have two strings to your bow always.”

Jasper had listened to him in silence, with his eyes buried in his
hands, while he was speaking, and as he ceased he made no reply; but
remained motionless for several minutes.

Then he raised his head, and answered in an altered and broken voice.

“It cannot be helped now, but I would give very much it had been
otherwise.” He opened a drawer, as he spoke, in the escritoir which
stood before him, and took out of it a small box bound with brass and
secured by a massive lock, the key of which was attached to a chain
about his neck. It was filled with rouleux of gold, from which he
counted out the sum specified, and pushed the gold across the table to
the man, saying, “Count it, and see that it is right, and give me the
paper.”

Then satisfying himself that it was the very register in question, he
folded it carefully, and put it away in the box whence he had withdrawn
the gold; while the villain, who had tempted him stowed away the price
of his rascality in a leathern bag which he had brought with him for the
purpose, well assured that his claim would not be denied.

That done, he stood erect and unblushing, and awaited the further orders
of the young Lord of Widecomb.

“Now, Peter,” said he, collecting himself, “mark me. _You_ are now in my
power! and, if I ever hear that you have spoken a word without my
permission, or if you fail to speak when I command you—I will hang
you.”

And he spoke with a devilish energy, that showed how seriously he was in
earnest. “Do you understand that, Master Peter Verity?”

“I do, your honor,” answered the man, with a doubtful and somewhat
gloomy smile; “but there is no need of such threats with me; it is alike
my interest and my wish to serve you, as I have done already.”

“And it is my interest and my wish that you should serve me, as
differently as possible from the way in which you have served me; or
served yourself, rather, I should say, sirrah.”

“I beg your honor’s pardon, if I have done wrong. I meant to do good
service.”

“Tush, sirrah! tush! If I be young, I am neither quite a child, nor
absolutely a fool. You meant to get me into your power, and you have got
yourself into mine. Now listen to me, I know you for a very shrewd
rascal, Peter Verity, and for one who knows right well what to say, and
what not to say. Now, as I told you, I am about this very evening to
make known my marriage with the lady whom you saw me wed. You will be
asked, doubtless, a thousand questions on the subject by all sorts of
persons. Now, mark me, you will answer so as to let all who ask
understand that I _am_ married, and that _you_ have known all about it
from the first; but you will do this in such a manner that no one shall
be able to assert that _you_ have asserted any thing; and further, that,
if need should be hereafter, you may be able to deny point blank your
having said aught, or known aught on the subject. I hope you will
remember what I am desiring you to do correctly, Peter Verity; for, of a
truth, if you make the slightest blunder, I shall carry this document,
which you have stolen from the church-register, to the nearest justice
of the peace, and make my deposition against you.”

“I understand perfectly, your honor, and will do your bidding
correctly,” said the fellow, not a little embarrassed at finding how
much his position had altered, since he entered the library, as he
thought, well nigh the young heir’s master.

“So you shall do well,” replied Jasper. “Now get you gone. Let them give
you some ale in the buttery, but when I send word to have the people
collected in the great hall, make yourself scarce. It is not desirable
that you should be there when I address them;” and lighting a hand-lamp
as he ceased speaking, for it had grown dark already during the
conversation, he turned his back on the discomfited sexton, and went up
by a private staircase to what was called the ladies’ withdrawing room,
an apartment which, having been shut up since the death of his own
mother, had been reopened on Theresa’s joining the family.

“The sexton of the church has been with you, Jasper,” she said, eagerly,
as her husband entered the room; “what should have brought him hither?”

“He was here, you know, dearest, at the sad ceremonial; and I had
desired him to bring up a copy of the record of our marriage. He wished
to deliver it to me in person.”

“How good of you, dear Jasper, and how thoughtful,” she replied, casting
her fair white arms about his neck, and kissing his forehead tenderly,
“that you may show it to the people, and prove to them that I am indeed
your wife.”

“_Show_ it to the people! _Prove_ that you are my wife!” he answered
impetuously, and with indignation in his every tone. “I should like to
see the person ask me to show it, or doubt that you are my wife. No,
indeed, dear Theresa, your very thought shows how young you are, and
ignorant of the world. To do what you suggest, would but create the
doubt, not destroy it. No, when they have done supper, I shall cause the
whole household to be collected in the great stone hall; and when they
are there, I shall merely lead you in upon my arm, tell them we have
been married in private these three months past, and desire them to
respect you as my dear wife, and their honored mistress. That, and your
being introduced to all friends and visiters as Mistress St. Aubyn, is
all that can be needed; and, in cases such as ours, believe me, the less
eclat given to the circumstances, the better it will be for all parties.
And do not you, I pray you, dearest, suffer the servant girls to ask you
any questions on the subject, or answer them if they do. But inform me
of it forthwith.”

“They would not dream of doing so, Jasper,” she replied, gently. “And
you are quite right, I am certain, and I will do all that you wish. Oh!
I am so happy! so immeasurably happy, Jasper, even when I should be
mournful at your good father’s death, who was so kind to me; but I
cannot—I cannot—this joy completely overwhelms me. I am too, too
happy.”

“Wherefore, so wondrous happy all on a sudden, sweet one?” asked the
boy, with a playful smile, laying his hand, as he spoke, affectionately
on her soft, rounded shoulder.

“That I need fear no longer to let the whole world know how dearly, how
devotedly I love my husband.”

And she raised her beautiful blue eyes to his, running over with tears
of tenderness and joy; and her sweet lips half apart, so perfumed and so
rosy, and radiant with so bright a smile, as might have tempted the
sternest anchorite to bend over her as Jasper did, and press them with a
long kiss of pure affection.

“Now I will leave you, dearest,” he said, kindly, “for a little space,
while I see that things are arranged for this great ceremonial. I will
warn old Geoffry first of what I am about to say to them, that they may
not overwhelm us by their wonder at the telling; and do you, when you
hear the great bell ring to assemble them, put on your prettiest smile,
and your most courageous look, for then I shall be on my way to fetch
you.”

It was with a beating heart, and an almost sickening sense of anxiety,
that poor Theresa awaited the moment which was to install her in the
house of her husband as its lawful lady. She felt the awkwardness, the
difficulty of her situation, although she was far indeed from suspecting
all the causes which in reality existed to justify her embarrassment and
timidity.

She had not long, however, to indulge in such fancies, and perhaps it
was well that she had not; for her timidity seemed to grow on her apace,
and she began to think that courage would fail her to undergo the ordeal
of eyes to which she should be exposed.

But at this moment, when she was giving way to her bashfulness, when her
terrors were gaining complete empire over her, the great bell began to
ring. Slow and measured the first six or seven clanging strokes fell
upon her, resembling more the minute-tolling of a death-bell, than the
gay peal that gives note of festive tidings and rejoicing. But almost as
soon as this thought occurred to her, it seemed that the ringer, whoever
he was, had conceived the same idea, for the cadence of the bell-ringing
was changed suddenly, and a quick, merry chime succeeded to the first
solemn clangor.

At the same instant the door of the withdrawing-room was thrown open,
and her young husband entered hastily, and catching her in his arms,
kissed her lips affectionately. “Come, dearest girl,” he said, as he
drew her arm through his own, “come, it will be all over in five
minutes, and then every thing will go on as usual.”

And without waiting a reply, he led her down the great staircase into
the stone hall, wherein all the servants of the household, and many of
the tenantry and neighboring yeomen, who had not yet dispersed after the
funeral, were assembled in a surprised and admiring although silent
crowd.

The old steward, to whom Jasper had communicated his purpose, had
already informed them of the object of their convocation, and great was
their wonder, though as yet they had little time to comment on it, or
communicate their thoughts and suspicions of the news.

And now they were all collected, quiet, indeed, and respectful—for such
was the habit of the times—but all eagerness to hear what the young
master had to say, and, to speak truly, little impressed by the
informality of the affair, and little pleased that one whom they
regarded as little higher than themselves, should be elevated to a rank
and position so commanding.

Gathering even more than his wonted share of dignity from the solemnity
of the moment, and bearing himself even more haughtily than his wont,
from a sort of an inward consciousness that he was in some sort
descending from his proper sphere, and lowering his wife by doing that
which was yet necessary to establish her fair fame, the young man came
down the broad oaken steps, with a slow, proud, firm step, his athletic
though slender frame seeming to expand with the elevation of his excited
feelings. He carried his fine head, with the brows a little bent, and
his eyes, glancing like stars of fire, as they ran over every
countenance that met his gaze, seeking, as it seemed, to find an
expression which should challenge his will or underrate his choice.

She clung to his arm, not timidly, although it was evident that she felt
the need of his protection, and, although there was an air of
bashfulness and a slight tremor visible in her bearing, they were mixed
with a sort of gentle pride, the pride of conscious rectitude and
purity, and she did not cast down her beautiful blue eyes, nor avoid the
glances which were cast on her from all sides, by some desiring to read
her secret, by some wishing to prejudge her character, but looked around
her tranquilly with a sweet lady-like self-possession, that won many
hearts to her cause, which, before her coming, had been prepared to
think of her unkindly.

Finding no eye in the circle that met his own with an inquisitive, much
less an insolent glance, Jasper St. Aubyn paused, and addressed his
people with a subdued and almost melancholy smile, although his voice
was clear and sonorous.

“This is a sad occasion,” he said, “on which it first falls to my lot,
my people, to address you here, as the master of a few, the landlord of
many, and, as I hope to prove myself, the friend of all. To fill the
place of him, who has gone from us, and whom you all knew so well, and
had so much cause to love, I never can aspire; but it is my earnest hope
and desire to live and die among you as he did; and if I fail to gain
and hold fast your affections, as he did, it shall not be for want of
endeavoring to deserve them. But my object in calling you together, my
friends, this evening, was not merely to say this to you, or to promise
you my friendship and protection, but rather to do a duty, which must
not be deferred any longer, for my own sake, and for that of one far
dearer than myself.” Here he paused, and pressing the little white hand
which reposed on his arm so gently, smiled in the face of his young
wife, as he moved her a little forward into the centre of the circle. “I
mean, to present to you all, Mistress St. Aubyn, my beloved _wife_, and
your honored mistress! Some of you have been aware of this for some time
already; but to most of you it is doubtless a surprise. Be it so. Family
reasons required that our marriage should be kept secret for a while,
those reasons are now at an end, and I am as proud to acknowledge this
dear lady as my wife, and to claim all your homage and affection for
her, both on my account, and on account of her own virtues, as I doubt
not you will be proud and happy to have so excellent and beautiful a
lady to whom to look up as your mistress.”

He ceased, and three full rounds of cheering responded to his manly
speech. The circle broke up, and crowded around the young pair, and many
of the elder tenants, white-headed men and women, came up and craved
permission to shake hands with the beautiful young lady, and blessed her
with tears in their eyes, and wished her long life and happiness here
and hereafter.

But among the servants of the household, there was not by any means the
same feeling manifested. The old steward, indeed, who had grown up a
contemporary of Jasper’s father, and the scarcely less aged housekeeper,
did, indeed, show some feeling, and were probably sincere as they
offered their greetings, and promised their humble services. But among
the maid servants there passed many a meaning wink, and half light, half
sneering titter; and two or three of the younger men nudged one another
with their elbows, and interchanged thoughts with what they considered a
vastly knowing grin. No remarks were made, however, nor did any
intimation of doubt or distrust reach the eyes or ears of the young
couple—all appeared to be truthful mirth and honest congratulation.

Then having ordered supper to be prepared for all present, and liquor to
be served out, both ale and wine, of a better quality than usual, that
the company might drink the health of their young mistress, well pleased
that the embarrassing scene was at an end, Jasper led Theresa up to her
own room, palpitating with the excitement of the scene, and agitated
even by the excess of her own happiness.

But as the crowd was passing out of the hall into the dark passages
which led to the buttery and kitchen, one of the girls of the house, a
finely-shaped, buxom, red-lipped, hazel-eyed lass, with a very roguish
if not sensual expression, hung back behind the other maids, till she
was joined by the under falconer, a strapping fellow in a green jerkin
with buckskin belt and leggins.

“Ha! Bess, is that you?” he said, passing his arm round her waist,
“thou’rt a good lass, to tarry for me.”

And drawing her, nothing reluctant, aside from the crowd into a dark
corner, he kissed her a dozen times in succession, a proceeding which
she did not appear by any means to resent, the “ha’ done nows!” to the
contrary notwithstanding, which she seemed to consider it necessary to
deliver, and which her lover, probably correctly, understood as meaning,
“pray go on, if you please.”

This pleasant interlude completed, “Well, Bess,” said the swain, “and
what thinkst thou of the new mistress—of the young master’s wife? She’s
a rare bit now, hant she?”

“Lor, Jem!” returned the girl, laughing, “she hant no more his wife than
I be yourn, I tell you.”

“Why, what be she then, Bess?” said the fellow, gaping in stupid
wonderment, “thou didst hear what Master Jasper said.”

“Why she be his sweetheart. Just what we be, Jem,” said the unblushing
girl—“what the quality folks calls his ‘miss.’ Why, Jem, he’s slept in
her room every night since she came here. He’s only said this here,
about her being his wife, to save her character.”

“No blame to him for that, Bess, if it be so. But if you’re wise, lass,
you’ll keep this to yourself. She’s a beauty, anyways; and I don’t fault
him, if she be his wife, or his ‘miss,’ either, for that matter.”

“Lor!” replied the girl. “I shan’t go to say nothing, I’m sure. I’ve got
a good place, and I mean to keep it too. It’s naught to me how they
amuse themselves, so they don’t meddle with my sweet-hearting. But do
you think her so pretty, Jem? She’s a poor slight little slip of a
thing, seems to me.”

“She beant such an armful as thou, Bess, that’s a fact,” answered the
fellow, making a dash at her, which she avoided, and took to her heels,
looking back, however, over her shoulders, and beckoning him to follow.

Such were not the only comments of the kind which passed that evening;
and although, fortunately for Jasper’s and Theresa’s peace of mind, they
never dreamed of what was going on below, it was in fact generally
understood among the younger men and women, both of those within and
without the house, that Jasper’s declaration was a mere stratagem,
resorted to in order to procure more respect and consideration for his
concubine; and, although she was every where treated and addressed as
St. Aubyn’s wife, every succeeding day and hour she was more generally
regarded as his victim, and his mistress.

Such is the consequence of a single lapse from rectitude and truth.

Alas for Theresa! her doom, though she knew it not, was but too surely
sealed forever.

Had it not been for the exceeding gentleness and humility of the unhappy
girl, it is probable that she would have been very shortly made
acquainted, one way or other, with the opinion which was entertained
concerning her, in her own house, and in the neighborhood. But the
winning affability of her manners, the total absence of all arrogance or
self elevation in her demeanor toward her inferiors in station, her
respect every where manifested to old age and virtue, her kindness to
the poor and the sick, her considerate good-nature to her servants, and
above all her liberal and unostentatious charities, rendered it
impossible that any could be so cruel as to offer her rudeness or
indignity, on what was at most mere suspicion. Added to this, the fierce
impetuosity of Jasper, when crossed by any thing, or opposed in his
will, and the certainty that he would stop at nothing to avenge any
affront aimed at Theresa, so long as he chose to style her his wife,
deterred not only the household and village gossips, but even that more
odious class, the hypocritical, puritanic, self-constituted judges of
society, and punishers of what they choose to deem immorality, from
following out the bent of their mischievous or malicious tempers.

In the meantime, month after month had passed away. Winter had melted
into the promises of spring; and the gay flowers of summer had ripened
into the fruits of luxuriant autumn. A full year had run its magic round
since Theresa gave herself up to Jasper, for better for worse, till
death should them part.

The slender, joyous maiden had expanded into the full-blown, thoughtful,
lovely woman, who was now watching at the oriel window, alone, at sunset
for the return of her young husband.

Alone, ay, alone! For no child had been born to bless their union, and
to draw yet closer the indissoluble bonds which man may not put asunder.
Alone, ay, alone! as all her days were now spent, and some, alas! of her
nights also. For the first months of her wedded life, when the pain of
concealment had been once removed, Theresa was the happiest of the
happy. The love, the passion, the affection of her boy bridegroom seemed
to increase daily. To sit by her side, during the snowy days of winter,
to listen to her lute struck by the master hand of the untaught
improvisatrice, to sing with her the grand old ballads which she loved,
to muse with her over the tomes of romance, the natural vein of which
was not then extinguished in the English heart, to cull the gems of the
rare dramatists and mighty bards of the era, which was then but
expiring; and, when the early days of spring-time gave token of their
coming, in the swelling flower-bud and bursting leaf, to wander with her
through the park, through the chase, to ride with her over the heathery
moorland hills, and explore the wild recesses of the forest, to have her
near him in his field-sports, to show her how he struck the silvery
salmon, or roused the otter from his sedgy lair—these seemed to be the
only joys the boy coveted—her company his chiefest pleasure, the
undisturbed possession of her charms his crowning bliss.

But passion is proverbially short-lived; and the most so with those who,
like Jasper, have no solidity of character, no stability of feeling, no
fixed principles, whereon to fall back for support. One of the great
defects of Jasper’s nature was a total lack of reverence for any thing
divine or human—he had loved many things, he never had respected one.
Accustomed from his earliest boyhood to see every thing yield to his
will, to measure the value of every thing by the present pleasure it
afforded him; he expected to receive all things, yet to give nothing. He
was in fact a very pattern of pure selfishness, though no one would have
been so much amazed as he had he heard himself so named.

Time passed, and he grew weary, even of the very excess of his
happiness—even of the amiability, the sweetness, the ever-yielding
gentleness of his Theresa. That she should so long have charmed one so
rash and reckless was the real wonder, not that she should now have lost
the power of charming him.

Nevertheless so it was; the mind of Jasper was not so constituted as to
rest very long content with any thing, least of all with tranquillity—

        For quiet to hot bosoms is a hell!

and his, surely, was of the hottest. He began as of old to long for
excitement; and even the pleasures of the chase, to which he was still
devoted, began to prove insufficient to gratify his wild and eager
spirit. Day after day, Theresa saw less of him, and ere long knew not
how or where many of his days were spent. Confidence, in the true sense
of the word, there never had been between them; respect or esteem,
founded upon her real virtues and rare excellences, he had never
felt—therefore, when the heat and fierceness of passion died out, as it
were, by the consumption of its own fuel, when her personal charms
palled on him by possession, when her intellectual endowments wearied
him, because they were in truth far beyond the range of his
comprehension, and therefore out of the pale of his sympathies, he had
nothing left whereon to build affection—thus passion once dead in his
heart, all was gone at once which had bound him to Theresa.

He neglected her, he left her alone—alone, without a companion, a
friend, in the wide world. Still she complained not, wept not, above
all, upbraided not. She sought to occupy herself, to amuse her solitude
with her books, her music, her wild flights into the world of fancy. And
when he did come home from his fierce, frantic gallops across the
country with the worst and wildest of the young yeomanry, from his
disgraceful orgies with the half gentry of the nearest market-town, she
received him ever with kindness, gentleness and love.

She never let him know that she wept in silence; never allowed him to
see that she noticed his altered manner; but smiled on him, and sang to
him, and fondled him, as if he had been to her—and was he not so?—all
that she had on earth. And he, such is the spirit of the selfish and the
reckless of our sex, almost began to hate her, for the very meekness and
affection with which she submitted to his unkindness.

He felt that her unchanged, unreproaching love was the keenest reproach
to his altered manner, to his neglectful coldness. He felt that he could
better have endured the bitterest blame, the most agonized remonstrance,
the tears of the veriest Niobe, than meet the ever welcoming smile of
those rosy lips, the ever loving glance of those soft blue eyes.

Perhaps had she possessed more of what such men as he call spirit, had
the vein of her genius led to outbursts of vehement, unfeminine, Italian
passion, the flashing eye, the curling lip, the face pallid with rage,
the tongue fluent with the torrent eloquence of indignation, he might
have found in them something to rouse his dormant passions from the
lethargy which had overcome them, something to stimulate and excite him
into renewed desire.

But as well might you expect from the lily of the valley the blushes and
the thorns of the rose, from the turtle-dove the fury and the flight of
the jer-falcon, as aught from Theresa St. Aubyn, but the patience, the
purity, the quiet, and the love of a white-minded, virtuous woman.

But she was wretched—most wretched—because hopeless. She had prayed
for a child, with all the yearning eagerness of disappointed craving
womanhood—a child that should smile in her face, and love her for
herself, being of herself, and her own—a child that should perhaps win
back to her the lost affections of her lord. But in vain.

And still she loved him, nay, adored him, as of old. Never did she see
his stately form, sitting his horse with habitual grace, approaching
listlessly and slowly the home which no longer had a single attraction
to his jaded and exhausted heart, but her whole frame was shaken by a
sharp nervous tremor, but a mist overspread her swimming eyes, but dull
ringing filled her ears, her heart throbbed and palpitated, until she
thought it would burst forth from her bosom.

She ever hoped that the cold spell might pass from him, ever believed,
ever trusted, that the time would come when he would again love her as
of old, again seek her society, and take pleasure in her conversation;
again let her nestle in his bosom, and look up into his answering eyes,
by the quiet fireside in winter evenings. Alas! she still dreamed of
these things—even although her reason told her that they were
hopeless—even after he had again changed his mood from sullen coldness
to harsh, irritable anger, to vehement, impetuous, fiery wrath,
causeless as the wolf’s against the lamb, and _therefore_ the more
deadly and unsparing.

Politics had run high in the land of late, and every where parties were
forming. Since the battle of Sedgemoor, and the merciless cruelty with
which the royal judges had crushed out the life of that abortive
insurrection, and drowned its ashes in floods of innocent gore, the rage
of factions had waxed wilder in the country than they had done since the
reign of the first Charles, the second English king of that unhappy
race, the last of whom now filled the painful seat of royalty.

Yet all was hushed as yet and quiet, as the calm which precedes the
bursting of a thunder-cloud. Secluded as Widecomb Manor was, and far
divided from the seats of the other gentry of Devonshire by tracts of
moor and forest, and little intercourse as Jasper had held hitherto with
his equals in rank and birth—limited as that intercourse had been to a
few visits of form, and a few annual banquets—the stir of the political
world reached even the remote House in the Woods.

The mad whirl of politics was precisely the thing to captivate a mind
such as Jasper’s; and the instant the subject was broached to him, by
some of the more leading youths of the county, he plunged headlong into
its deepest vortices, and was soon steeped to the lips in conspiracy.

Events rendered it necessary that he should visit the metropolis, and
twice during the autumn he had already visited it—alone. And twice he
had returned to his beautiful young wife, who hailed his coming as a
heathen priestess would have greeted the advent of her god, more
alienated, colder, and more causeless than before.

Since he had last returned, the coldness was converted into cruelty,
active, malicious, fiendish cruelty. Hard words, incessant taunts,
curses—nay, blows! Yet still, faithful to the end and fond, she still
loved him. Still would have laid down the dregs of the life which had
been so happy till she knew him, and which he had made so wretched, to
win one of his old fond smiles, one of his once caressing tones, one of
his heartfelt kisses.

Alas! alas! Theresa! Too late, it was all too late!

He had learned, for the first time, in London, the value of his rank,
his wealth, his position. He had been flattered by men of lordly birth,
_fêted_ and fondled by the fairest and noblest ladies of the land. He
had learned to be ambitious—he had begun to thirst for social eminence,
for political ascendency, for place, power, dominion. His talents had
created a favorable impression in high quarters—his enthusiasm and
daring rashness had made an effect—he was already a marked man among
the conspirators, who were aiming to pull down the sovereignty of the
Stuarts. Hints had been even thrown out to him, of the possibility of
allying himself to interests the most important, through the beautiful
and gorgeous daughter of one of the oldest of the peers of England. The
hint had been thrown out, moreover, by a young gentleman of his own
county—by one who had seen Theresa. And when he started and expressed
his wonder, and alluded tremulously to his _wife_, he had been answered
by a smile of intelligence, coupled with an assurance that every one
understood all about Theresa Allan; and that surely he would not be such
a fool as to sacrifice such prospects for a little village paramour.
“The story of the concealed wedding took in nobody, my lad,” the speaker
added, “except those, like myself, who chose to believe any thing you
chose to assert. Think of it, _mon cher_; and, believe me, that
_liaison_ will be no hindrance.”

And Jasper had thought of it. The thought had never been, for one
moment, absent from his mind, sleeping or waking, since it first found
admission to the busy chambers of his brain. From that unfortunate day,
his life had been but one series of plots and schemes, all base,
atrocious, horrible—some even murderous.

Since that day his cruelty had not been casual; it had a meaning, and a
method, both worthy of the arch fiend’s devising.

He sought first deliberately to break her heart, to kill her without
violence, by the action of her own outraged affections—and then, when
that failed, or rather when he saw that the process must needs be too
slow to meet his accursed views, he aimed at driving her to commit
suicide—thus slaying, should he succeed in his hellish scheme, body and
soul together of the woman whom he had sworn before God’s holy altar,
with the most solemn adjuration, to love, comfort, honor, and keep in
sickness and in health—the woman whose whole heart and soul were his
absolute possession; who had never formed a wish, or entertained a
thought, but to love him and to make him happy. And this—this was her
reward. Could she, indeed, have fully conceived the extent of the
feelings which he now entertained toward her, could she have believed
that he really was desirous of her death, was actually plotting how he
might bring it about, without dipping his hand in her blood, or calling
down the guilt of downright murder on his soul, I believe he would have
been spared all further wickedness.

To have known that he felt toward her not merely casual irritation, that
his conduct was not the effect of a bad disposition, or of an evil
temper only, but that determined hatred had supplanted the last spark of
love in his soul, and that he was possessed by a resolution to rid
himself of the restraint which his marriage had brought upon him, by one
means or another—to have known this, I say, would have so frozen her
young blood, would have so stricken her to the heart, that, if it had
not slain her outright, it would have left her surely—perhaps happier
even to be such—a maniac for the poor remnant of her life.

That morning, at an early hour, he had ridden forth, with two or three
dogs at his heel, and the game-keeper, James Alderly, better known in
that neighborhood as Black Jem, who had of late been his constant
companion, following him.

Dinner-time had passed—supper-time—yet he came not; and the deserted
creature was yet watching wistfully, hopefully for his return.

Suddenly, far off among the stems of the distant trees, she caught a
glimpse of a moving object; it approached; it grew more distinct—it was
he, returning at a gallop, as he seldom now returned to his distasteful
home, with his dogs careering merrily along by his side, and the
grim-visaged keeper spurring in vain to keep up with the furious speed
at which he rode, far in the rear of his master.

She pressed her hand upon her heart, and drew a long, deep breath. “Once
more,” she murmured to herself, “he hath come back to me once more!”

And then the hope flashed upon her mind that the changed pace at which
he rode, and something which even at that distance she could descry in
his air and mien, might indicate an alteration in his feelings. “Yes,
yes! Great God! can it be? He sees me, he waves his hand to me. He
loves—he loves me once again!”

And with a mighty effort she choked down the paroxysm of joy, which had
almost burst out in a flood of tears, and hurried from the room, and out
upon the terrace, to meet him, to receive once more a smile of greeting.
His dogs came bounding up to her, as she stood at the top of the stone
steps, and fawned upon her, for they loved her—every thing loved her,
save he only who had most cause to do so.

Yet now, it was true, he did smile upon her, as he dismounted from his
horse, and called her once more “Dear Theresa.” And he passed his arm
about her slender waist, and led her back into the house, chiding her
good-humoredly for exposing herself to the chilly night-wind.

“I feel it not,” she said, joyously, with her own sunny smile lighting
up her face, “I feel it not—nor should feel it, were it charged with
all the snow storms of the north; my heart is so warm, so full. Oh!
Jasper, that dear name, in your own voice, has made me but too happy.”

“Silly child!” he replied, “silly child,” patting her affectionately on
the shoulder, as he had used to do in times long past—at least it
seemed long, very long to her, though they were in truth but a few
months distant. “And do you love me, Theresa?”

“Love you?” she said, gazing up into his eyes with more of wonder that
he should ask such a question, than of any other feeling. “Love you, oh,
God! can you doubt it, Jasper?”

“No,” he said, hesitating slightly, “no, dearest. And yet I have given
you but little cause of late to love me.”

“Do you know _that_—do you feel _that_, Jasper?” she cried, eagerly,
joyously, “then I am, indeed, happy; then you really do love me?”

“And can you forgive me, Theresa?”

“Forgive you—for what?”

“For the pain I have caused you of late.”

“It is all gone—it is all forgotten! You have been vexed, grieved about
something that has wrung you in secret. But you should have told me of
it, dearest Jasper, and I would have consoled you. But it is all, all
over now; nay, but I am now glad of it, since this great joy is all the
sweeter for the past sorrow.”

“And do you love me well enough, Theresa, to make a sacrifice, a great
sacrifice for me?”

“To sacrifice my heart’s blood—ay, my life, if to do so would make you
happy.”

“Your life, silly wench! how should your little life profit me? But that
is the way ever with you women. If one ask you the smallest trifle, you
ever proffer your lives, as if they could be of any use, or as if one
would not be hanged for taking them. I have known girls refuse one kiss,
and then make a tender of their lives.”

He spoke with something of his late habitual bitterness, it is true; but
there was a smile on his face, as he uttered the words, and she laughed
merrily, as she answered,

“Oh! I will not refuse you fifty of those; I will be only too glad if
you think them worth the taking. But I did speak foolishly, dearest; and
you must not blame me for it, for my heart is so overflowing with joy,
that, of a truths I scarcely know what I say. I only wished to express
that there is nothing in the wide world which you can ask of me, that I
will not do, willingly, gladly. Will that satisfy you, Jasper?”

“Why, ay! if you hold to it, Theresa,” he answered, eagerly; “but, mind
you, it is really a sacrifice which I ask—a great sacrifice.”

“No sacrifice is great,” she replied, pressing his arm, on which she was
hanging with both her white hands linked together over it, “no sacrifice
which I can make, so long as _you_ love me.”

“I _do_ love you, dearly, girl,” he answered; “and if you do this that I
would have you do, I will love you ten times better than I do, ten times
better than I ever did.”

“That were a bribe indeed,” she replied, laughing with her own silvery,
girlish laugh. “But I don’t believe you could love me ten times better
than you once did, Jasper. But if you will promise me to love me ever as
you did then, you may ask me any thing under heaven.”

“Well, I will promise—I will promise, wench. See that you be as ready
to perform.”

And, as he spoke, he stooped down, for the keeper had now retired with
the horses, and they were entirely alone, and embraced her closely, and
kissed her as he had not done for many a month before.

“I will—I will, indeed, dear, dearest Jasper. Tell me, what is it I
must do?”

“Go to your room, dearest, and I will join you there and tell you. I
must get me a crust of bread and a goblet of wine, and give some
directions to the men, and then I will join you.”

“Do not be very long, dearest. I am dying to know what I can do to
please you.” And she stood upon tiptoes, and kissed his brow playfully,
and then ran up stairs with a lighter step than had borne her for many a
day.

Her husband gazed after her with a grim smile, and nodded his head in
self-approbation. “This is the better way, after all. But will she, will
she stand to it? I should not be surprised. ’S death! one can never
learn these women! What d—d fools they are, when all is told! Flattery,
flattery and falsehood, lay it on thick enough, will win the best of
them from heaven to—Hades!”

Oh, man, man! and all that was but acting.

                                           [_Conclusion in our next._

                 *        *        *        *        *



                         THE BROKEN HOUSEHOLD.


                          BY MISS ALICE CAREY.


    Vainly, vainly, memory seeks
      Round our father’s knee,
    Laughing eyes and rosy cheeks
      Where they used to be:
    Of the circle once so wide,
    Three are wanderers, three have died.

    Golden-haired and dewy-eyed,
      Prattling all the day,
    Was the baby, first that died;
      O ’twas hard to lay
    Dimpled hand and cheek of snow
    In the grave so dark and low!

    Smiling back on all who smiled,
      Ne’er by sorrow thralled,
    Half a woman, half a child,
      Was the next God called:
    Then a grave more deep and wide
    Made they by the baby’s side.

    When or where the other died
      Only heaven can tell;
    Treading manhood’s path of pride
      Was he when he fell:
    Haply thistles, blue and red,
    Bloom about his lonesome bed.

    I am for the living three
      Only left to pray;
    Two are on the stormy sea.
      Farther still than they,
    Wanders one, his young heart dim,
    Oftenest, most, I pray for him.

    Whatsoe’er they do or dare,
      Wheresoe’er they roam,
    Have them, Father, in thy care,
      Guide them safely home;
    Home, O Father, in the sky,
    Where none wander and none die.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                   FRAGMENTS OF AN UNFINISHED STORY.


                         BY FRANCES S. OSGOOD.


    “A friend!” Are you a friend? No, by my soul!
    Since you dare breathe the shadow of a doubt
    That I am true as Truth: since you give not
    Unto my briefest look—my gayest word—
    My faintest change of cheek—my softest touch—
    Most sportive, careless smile, or low-breathed sigh—
    Nay, to my voice’s lightest modulation,
    Though imperceptible to all but you,—
    If you give not to these, unquestioning,
    A limitless faith—the faith you give to Heaven—
    I will not call you “friend.” I would disdain
    A seraph’s heart, as yours I now renounce,
    If such the terms on which ’twere proffered me.
      Deny me Faith—that poor, yet priceless boon—
    And you deny the very soul of love.
    As well withhold the lamp, whose light reveals
    The sculptured beauty latent in its urn,
    As proffer Friendship’s diamond _in the dark_.
      What though a thousand seeming proofs condemn me?
    If my calm image smile not clear through all,
    Serene, and without shadow on your heart—
    Nay, if the very vapors that would veil it,
    Part not, illumined by its presence pure,
    As round Night’s tranquil queen the clouds divide,
    Then rend it from that heart! I ask no place,
    Though ’twere a throne, without the state becomes me—
    Without the homage due to royal Truth.
      And should a world betide pronounce me false,
    You are to choose between the world and me.
    If _I_ be not more than _all_ worlds to you,
    I will not stoop to _less_! I will have _all_—
    Your proudest, purest, noblest, loftiest love—
    Your perfect trust—your soul of soul—or nothing!
      Shall I _not_ have them? Speak! on poorer spirits—
    Who are content with less, because, forsooth,
    The whole would blind or blight them, or because
    They have but less to give—will you _divide_
    The glory of your own? or concentrate
    On mine its radiant life?—on mine! that holds
    As yet, in calm reserve, the boundless wealth
    Of tenderness its Maker taught to it.
    Speak! shall we part, and go our separate ways,
    Each with a half life in a burning soul,
    Like two wild clouds, whose meeting would evoke
    The electric flame pent up within their bosoms,
    That, parted, weep their fiery hearts away,
    Or waste afar—and darken into death?
    Speak! do we part? or are we _one_ forever?
                      ——
      Since I must love thee—since a weird wild fate
    Impels me to thy heart against my will—
    Do thou this justice to the heart I yield:
    _Be its ideal_. Let it not blush to love.
    Bid it not trail its light and glorious wings
    Through the dull dust of earth, with downcast eyes
    And drooping brow, where Shame and Grief usurp
    Calm Honor’s throne!—be noble, truthful, brave;
    Love Honor more than Love, and more than me;
    Be all thou wert ere the world came between
    Thee and thy God.
                      Hear’st thou my spirit pleading
    With suppliant, claspéd hands to thine, dear love?
    Degrade her not, but let thy stronger soul
    Soar with her to the seraph’s realm of light.
    She yields to thee; do with her as thou wilt.
    She shuts her wings in utter weariness,
    For she has wandered all night long astray,
    And found no rest—no fountain of sweet love,
    Save such as mocked her with a maddening thirst.
    She asks of thine repose, protection, peace;
    Implores thee with wild tears and passionate prayers
    To give her shelter through the night of Time,
    And lead her home at morn; for long ago
    She lost her way.
                      Ah! thou may’st give, instead
    Of that sweet boon she asks, if so thou wilt,
    Wild suffering, madness, shame, self-scorn, despair!
    But thou wilt not! thine eyes—thy glorious eyes—
    Are eloquent with generous love and faith,
    And through thy voice a mighty heart intones
    Its rich vibrations, while thou murmurest low
    All lovely promises, and precious dreams
    For the sweet Future. So, I trust thee, love,
    And place my hand in thine, for good or ill.
                      ——
      Do not my soul that wrong! translate not thus
    The spirit-words my eyes are saying to thee:
    I would not fetter that rich heart of thine,
    Save by the perfect liberty I give it,
    For all God’s worlds of glory. Go thou forth—
    Be free as air! Love all the good and pure;
    Cherish all love that can ennoble thee;
    Unfold thy soul to all sweet ministries,
    That it may grow toward heaven, as a flower
    Drinks dew and light, and pays them back in beauty.
    And if—ah heaven! these tears are love’s, not grief’s—
    And if some higher ministry than mine,
    Or some more genial nature, bless thee more,
    Wrong not thyself, or me, or love, or truth,
    By shrinking weakly from thy destiny.
    I would not owe to pitying tenderness
    The joy with which thy presence lights my life.
    Thou shalt still love all that is thine, dear friend,
    In my true soul—all that is right and great;
    And that I still love thee, so proudly, purely—
    That shall be joy enough! Go calmly forth.
                      ——
      Would I were any thing that thou dost love—
    A flower, a shell, a wavelet, or a cloud—
    Aught that might win a moment’s soul-look from thee.
    To be “a joy forever” in thy heart,
    That were in truth divinest joy to mine:
    A low, sweet, haunting Tune, that will not let
    Thy memory go, but fondly twines around it,
    Pleading and beautiful—for unto thee
    Music is life—such life as I would be;
    A Statue, wrought in marble, without stain,
    Where one immortal truth embodied lives
    Instinct with grace and loveliness; a Fane,
    A fair Ionic temple, growing up,
    Light as a lily into the blue air,
    To the glad melody of a tuneful thought
    In its creator’s spirit, where thy gaze
    Might never weary—dedicate to thee,
    Thy image shrined within it, lone and loved;
    _Make_ me the Flower thou lovest; let me drink
    Thy rays, and give them back in bloom and beauty;
    Mould me to grace, to glory, like the Statue;
    Wake for my mind the Music of thine own,
    And it shall grow, to that majestic tune,
    A temple meet to shrine mine idol in;
    Hold the frail shell, tinted by love’s pure blush,
    Unto thy _soul_, and thou shalt hear within
    Tones from its spirit-home; smile on the wave,
    And it shall flow, free, limpid, glad, forever;
    Shed on the cloud the splendor of thy being,
    And it shall float—a radiant wonder—by thee!
      To love—_thy_ love—so docile I would be,
    So pliant, yet inspired, that it should make
    A marvel of me, for thy sake, and show
    Its proud _chef d’œuvre_ in my harmonious life.
                      ——
      I would be judged by that great heart of thine,
    Wherein a voice more genuine, more divine
    Than world-taught Reason, fondly speaks for me,
    And bids thee love and trust, through cloud and shine,
    The frail and fragile creature who would be
    Naught here—hereafter—if not _all_ to thee!
    Thou call’st me changeful as the summer cloud,
    And wayward as a wave, and light as air.
    And I am all thou sayest—all, and worse;
    But the wild cloud can weep, as well as lighten,
    And the wave mirrors heaven, as my soul thee;
    And the light air, that frolicks without thought
    O’er yonder harp, makes music as it goes.
    Let _me_ play on the soul-harp I love best,
    And teach it all its dreaming melody;
    That is my mission; I have nothing else,
    In all the world, to do. And I shall go
    Musicless, aimless, idle, through all life,
    Unless I play my part there—only there.
      In the full anthem which the universe
    Intones to heaven, my heart will have no share,
    Unless I have that soul-harp to myself,
    And wake it to what melody I please.
                      ——
      So wrote the Lady Imogen—the child
    Of Poetry and Passion—all her frame
    So lightly, exquisitely shaped, we dreamed
    ’Twas fashioned to the echo of some song—
    The fairest, airiest creature ever made—
    Flower-like in her fragility and grace,
    Childlike in sweet impetuous tenderness,
    Yet with a nature proud, profound, and pure,
    As a rapt sybil’s. O’er her soul had passed
    The wild simoom of wo, but to awake
    From that Eolian lyre the loveliest tones
    Of mournful music, passionately sad.
      Not thus her love the haughty Ida breathed:
    In her ideal beauty calm and high,
    O’er the patrician paleness of her cheek,
    Came, seldom, and how softly! the faint blush
    Of irrepressible tenderness.
                      ——
      Your course has been a conqueror’s through life;
    You have been followed, flattered and caressed;
    Soul after soul has laid upon your shrine
    Its first, fresh, dewy bloom of love for incense:
    The minstrel-girl has tuned for you her lute,
    And set her life to music for your sake;
    The opera-belle, with blush unwonted, starts
    At your name’s casual mention, and forgets,
    For one strange moment, fashion’s cold repose;
    The village maiden’s conscious heart beats time
    To your entrancing melody of verse,
    And, from that hour, of your belovéd image
    Makes a life-idol. And you know it all,
    And smile, half-pleased, and half in scorn, to know.
      But you have never known, nor shall you now,
    Who, ’mid the throng you sometimes meet, receives
    Your careless recognition with a thrill,
    At her adoring heart, worth all that homage!
      You see not, ’neath her half-disdainful smile,
    The passionate tears it is put on to hide;
    You dream not what a wild sigh dies away
    In her laugh’s joyous trill; you cannot guess—
    You, who see only with your outer sense,—
    A warped, chilled sense, that wrongs you every hour—
    You cannot guess, when her cold hand you take,
    That _a soul_ trembles in that light, calm clasp!
      You speak to her, with your world tone; ah, not
    With the home cadence of confiding love!
    And she replies: a few, low, formal words
    Are all she dares, nay deigns, return; and so
    You part, for months, again. Yet in that brief,
    Oasis hour of her desert life,
    She has quaffed eagerly the enchanted spring,
    The sun-lit wave of thought in your rich mind;
    And passes on her weary pilgrimage
    Refreshed, and with a renovated strength.
      And this has been for years. She was a child—
    A school-girl—when the echo of your lyre
    First came to her, with music on its wings,
    And her soul drank from it the life of life.
      Then, in a festive scene, you claimed her hand
    For the gay dance, and, in its intervals,
    Spoke soothingly and gently, for you saw
    Her timid blush, but did not dream its cause.
    Even then her young heart worshiped you, and shrunk,
    With a vague sense of fear and shame, away.
      She who, with others, was, and is, even now,
    Light, fearless, joyous, buoyant as a bird,
    That lets the air-swung spray beneath it bend,
    Nor cares, so it may carol, what shall chance,
    With _you_, forgets her song, foregoes her mirth,
    And hushes all her music in her heart.
    It is because your soul, that should know hers
    With an intuitive tenderness, is blind!
      But once again you met; then, years went by,
    And in a thronged, luxurious saloon,
    You drew her fluttering hand within your arm;
    A few blest moments next your heart it lay;
    And still the lady mutely veiled, from yours,
    Eyes where her glorious secret wildly shone;
    And you, a-weary of her seeming dullness,
    Grew colder day by day. But _once_ you paused
    Beside her seat, and murmured words of praise.
    Praise from _your_ lips! My God! the ecstasy
    Of that dear moment! Each bright word, embalmed
    In Memory’s tears of amber, gleams there yet—
    The costliest beads in her rich rosary.
      But you were blind! And after that a cloud,
    Colder and darker, hung between her heart
    And yours. There were malicious, lovely lips,
    That knew too well the poison of a hint,
    And it worked deep and sure. And years, again,
    Stole by, and now once more we meet. _We meet?_ ah, no;
    We ne’er have met! Hand may touch hand, perchance,
    And eye glance back to eye its idle smile;
    But our _souls_ meet not: for, from boyhood, you
    Have been a mad idolater of beauty.
    And _I_! ah, Heaven! had you returned my love,
    _I_ had been beautiful in your dear eyes;
    For love and joy and hope within the spirit
    Make luminous the face. But let that pass:
    I murmur not. In _my_ soul Pride is crowned
    And throned—a queen; and at her feet lies Love,
    Her _slave_—in chains—_that you shall ne’er unclasp_.
      Yet, oh! if aspirations, ever rising,
    With an intense idolatry of love,
    Toward all of grace and parity and truth
    That we may dream, can shape the soul to beauty,
    (As I believe,) then, in that better world,
    You will not ask if I were fair on earth.
      You have loved often—passionately, perchance—
    _Never_ with that wild, rapturous, poet-love
    Which _I_ might win—and _will_. Not here on earth:
    I would not have the ignoble, trivial cares
    Of common life come o’er our glorious union,
    To mar its spirit-beauty. In His home
    We shall meet calmly, gracefully, without
    Alloy of petty ills. . . . . .
      Meantime, I read you, as no other reads;
    I read your soul—its burning, baffled hopes;
    Its proud, pure aims, whose wings are melted off
    In the warm sunshine of the world’s applause;
    Its yearning for an _angel’s_ tenderness:
    I read it all, and grieve, and sometimes blush,
    That you can desecrate so grand a shrine
    By the false gods you place there! _you_, who know
    The lore of love so perfectly, who trace
    The delicate labyrinth of a woman’s heart,
    With a sure clew, so true, so fine, so rare,
    Some angel Ariadne gave it you!
      If I knew how to stoop, I’d tell you more:
    I’d win your love, even now, by a slight word;
    But that I’ll say in heaven. Till we meet there,
    Unto God’s love I leave you. . . . .
    You will glance round among the crowd hereafter,
    And dream my woman’s heart must sure betray me.
    Not so: I have not schooled, for weary years,
    Eye, lip, and cheek, and voice, to be shamed now
    By your bold gaze. Ah! were I _not_ secure
    In my pride’s sanctuary, this revelation
    Were an act, Heaven, nor you, could ever pardon;
    And still less _I_. Nor would I now forego,
    Even for your love, the deep, divine delight
    Of this most pure and unsuspected passion,
    That none have guessed, or will, while I have life.
    You smile, perchance. Beware! I shall shame _you_,
    If with suspicion’s plummet you dare sound
    The unfathomed deeps of feeling in this heart.
    It shall bring up, ’stead of that love it seeks,
    A scorn you look not for. Ay, I would die
    A martyr’s death, sir, rather than betray
    To you by faintest flatter of a pulse—
    By lightest change of cheek or eyelid’s fall—
    That _I_ am she who loves, adores, and flies you!
          .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .
      Ask why the holy starlight, or the blush
    Of summer blossoms, or the balm that floats
    From yonder lily like an angel’s breath,
    Is lavished on such men! God gives them all
    For some high end; and thus, the seeming waste
    Of her rich soul—its starlight purity,
    Its every feeling delicate as a flower,
    Its tender trust, its generous confidence,
    Its wondering disdain of littleness—
    These, by the coarser sense of those around her
    Uncomprehended, may not all be vain,
    But win them—they unwitting of the spell—
    By ties unfelt, to nobler, loftier life.
      And they dare blame her! they whose every thought,
    Look, utterance, act, has more of evil in ’t,
    Than e’er she dreamed of, or could understand!
    And she must blush before them, with a heart
    Whose lightest throb is worth their all of life!—
    They boast their charity: oh, idle boast!
    They give the poor, forsooth, food, fuel, shelter!
    Faint, chilled and worn, her soul implored a pittance—
    Her _soul asked alms_ of theirs—and was denied!
      It was not much it came a-begging for:
    A simple boon, only a gentle thought,
    A kindly judgment of such deeds of hers
    As passed their understanding, but to her
    Seemed natural as the blooming of a flower:
    For God taught her—but they had learned of men
    The meagre doling of their measured love,
    A selfish, sensual love, most unlike hers.
    God taught the tendril where to cling, and she
    Learned the same lovely lesson, with the same
    Unquestioning and pliant trust in Him.
      And yet that He should let a lyre of heaven
    Be played on by such hands, with touch so rude,
    Might wake a doubt in less than perfect faith,
    Perfect as mine, in his beneficence.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                                PARTING.


                          BY MISS PHŒBE CAREY.


    Till the last mortal pang is o’er,
      Aid me, my human friend,
    Let thy sweet ministries of love
      Support me to the end!

    In such a fearful hour my soul
      Unaided cannot stand,
    Leave me not till my Saviour comes
      To take my trembling hand.

    My heart is weak, is earthly still,
      And though such love be crime,
    I cannot yield thee till my feet
      Have passed the shores of time.

    Gently, O, gently lead me on,
      Soothe me with love’s fond tone—
    Thou hast been near through all the past
      How shall I go alone?

    The last my lips shall ever drink
      Is life’s most bitter cup—
    Nearer the wave of death hath rolled,
      How can I give thee up?

    Closer, O, closer! let me feel
      Thy heart still fondly beat,
    While the cold billows of the grave
      Are closing round my feet!

                 *        *        *        *        *



                              MEN AT HOME:


                        OR THE PRETTY MAN-HATER.


                         BY MRS. C. B. MARSTON.


                               CHAPTER I.

What droll scenes hobgoblins and sprites catch a peep at, in their
perambulations through this ludicrous world of ours!

Now we, poor mortals, rarely stumble upon any thing funny, because,
forsooth, we must ring the bell, or knock at the door, and then people
throw themselves into proper positions and put on their company faces,
and the farce is at an end. No human being, for instance, could have
walked, unannounced, into Miss Ariana Huntingdon’s boudoir, on that
morning when Mr. Atherton Burney was kneeling at her feet, but the merry
sprites gathered around, and it is a wonder that he did not hear them
shout:


                       “Ha! ha! the wooing o’t.”


Mr. Burney’s courtship was by no means a premeditated affair. Who ever
thinks exactly _how_ he shall tell pleasant news? Such, that gentleman
thought, would be the intelligence of his most honorable preference. And
now that Miss Ariana looked coldly on his suit, he was lost in wonder at
the blindness to her own interest which she exhibited. Like most men, he
never dreamed that a refusal could arise from personal dislike, and
while wounded pride turned his attempt at a pathetic face into a wry
one, he desired to know the motives which had induced so uncomplimentary
a decision.

Miss Ariana’s face wore the expression of Sir Joshua Reynold’s
“Mucipula,” excepting that it said, “I have caught a man!” instead of “a
mouse;” but she remembered that a respectable offer must be respectfully
treated, and covering the smile lurking around her mouth with one of her
plump little hands, she looked as gravely as she could from out her
mischievous hazel eyes. It might have been nervousness which kept her
tiny foot in motion, but it seemed very like a desire to make a football
of her kneeling suitor.

“I have two reasons, sir,” she said, “for declining the honor you
intended me. The first is, I have determined not to marry at all, and
the second, that you are by no means the person likely to make me change
this resolution.”

Had Mr. Burney been practicing that exercise in gymnastics, by which one
rises at a single jerk from a horizontal to an upright position, he
could not more suddenly have changed his suppliant attitude to the most
rigid of perpendiculars.

“Madam,” he replied, in that husky voice which men in a passion assume
when trying to appear cool. “Madam, the first reason is so singular for
a person in your situation, that the second excites no surprise.”

Ariana was an orphan and dependent upon her brothers-in-law. Her
_piquante_ face exhibited no irritation at this insulting remark;
although the motion of her pugnacious little foot was somewhat
quickened, a merry laugh was the only rejoinder.

Mr. Atherton Burney was prepared for a burst of indignant scorn, but he
found no words to express his surprise and indignation at this ill-timed
mirth; he wheeled round as if on drill, “right about face,” and made a
“forward march,” which did not terminate till he found himself, hat in
hand, upon the pavement of Washington Square. His head and his temper
being by this time a little cooled, his few scattering brains were again
packed in their narrow-brimmed receptacle, and none who met Mr. Atherton
Burney that day on the pavé, suspected that behind his elegant moustache
a refusal was sticking in his throat.


                              CHAPTER II.

No two persons are more dissimilar than a gentleman dining-out, and the
same individual quietly taking a family dinner at home. The smiling
guest has a keen relish for every article placed before him, and should
the rules of etiquette not allow him to express his gratification in
words, he manifests in every possible way his entire approbation of the
cuisine of his host.

Mr. Andrew Dormer was a favorite guest at the tables of his wealthy
fellow-citizens. His perfect suavity of manner, his keen appreciation of
gastronomic art, and his skillful carving, won greater favor than would
the possession of the richest treasures of learning or the highest
intellectual endowments. “A clever fellow,” was Andrew Dormer when
dining out. But, whereas the rules of society require that a guest
should be pleased with every thing, the modern social economy demands
that the master of a family should, at home, be pleased with nothing.
The forementioned sprites of the air who attended at the family dinners
of the Dormers, were beginning to look a little glum; the only bright
things to be seen on these occasions were the polished knives and Miss
Ariana’s eyes.

The door had scarcely closed after the exit of Mr. Atherton Burney, when
the shuffling and stamping were heard by which the lord of the mansion
was wont to announce his arrival. Before the meek Mrs. Dormer obtained a
view of that redoubtable personage, a scolding soliloquy fell upon her
trembling ear.

“Nothing ever in order in this house! A mat I bought only a month ago,
all torn to rags! Smell of dinner coming all the way to the front door!
Over-done! Knew it by the first snuff! Bad servants! All this comes of a
careless mistress. Harriet! Harriet, I say!”

“What is it, Andrew?” inquired the soft voice of Mrs. Dormer, as she put
her head timidly out of the dining-room door.

“Nothing in this house but rack and ruin,” exclaimed Mr. Dormer, dashing
more vinegar into his tone and manner than either the occasion or his
own feelings required. “What’s the use of buying any thing, I say, if
this is the way it is to be treated?” And he pointed at the mat, which
his own outrageous stamping had torn to tatters.

Ariana had the same instinctive knowledge of a family feud as the
war-horse has of a battle, and rushed to the charge in her sister’s
defense.

“What!” she exclaimed, “all that hemp left of the mat you have tried so
faithfully to annihilate! When I heard your last furious attack, I did
not think there would be a single shred remaining in the shape of a
mat.”

Such a beseeching look as Mrs. Dormer gave Ariana as she herself stood
trembling in her shoes!

What was the reason, that instead of becoming indignant at the
impertinence of his sister-in-law, Mr. Dormer tried to look amiable? It
might have been that he read that mischievous glance, which said,
“Ignoble ambition to be a triton among ‘minnows.’”

If Ariana had not been dependent she would have been less saucy, but so
fearful was she of becoming cringing from interested motives, that she
went to the other extreme, and dared

        “To beard the lion in his den.”

The brother-in-law could no more dispense with her racy society, than
with pungent sauces for his piscatory favorites. Instead of becoming
angry when Ariana declared that she had seen too much of men at home
ever to marry, he was heartily glad of a determination which insured the
continuance under his roof of his merry antagonist.

Never was married woman so wretched herself that she discouraged
matrimony among her young relatives and friends. Scarcely were the
Dormers seated at dinner, and the first outbreak of invectives against
cook, waiter and market-woman at an end, than the meek Harriet remarked,
with an attempt at the playfulness for which she was distinguished
before broken to the hymenial yoke: “Ariana, you had better have the ham
placed before you, that you may learn to carve, as I suspect from the
visit which you received this morning that you will soon be at the head
of your own table.”

Mr. Dormer checked the grimace by which he was expressing disgust at the
over-done mutton before him, and stared, but ventured not a question.

“Never more mistaken in your life, sister. Mr. Dormer cannot spare me,”
was Ariana’s laughing reply; “he would burst a blood-vessel in one of
his fury-fits, if I were not here to soothe him.”

“Am I such a tyrant then?” asked Mr. Dormer, in nearly as humble a tone
as his wife would have used.

“A very despot; but not worse at heart than most men. There is scarcely
one who does not revenge himself for the rude world’s buffetings, by
inflicting all sorts of petty annoyances upon those at home,” was the
calm reply.

“You will certainly be an old maid, Ariana,” remarked Mrs. Dormer, as
she cast a furtive glance at the engrossing object of all her thoughts.

“A consummation devoutly to be wished,” said Ariana, smiling at the
fearful tone in which the remark was made. “I had rather be caged in a
menagerie, than obliged from morning to night to listen to the growling
of a human tiger.”

“Mr. Atherton Burney is very mild, and only needs a gentle shepherdess
to make him perfectly lamb-like,” said Mr. Dormer, with an attempt at
sportiveness which reminded his sister of the fabled donkey emulating
the lap-dog’s playfulness.

“I never liked pastorals,” she began, but the time for joking was at an
end.

The servant, in handing Mr. Dormer a glass of water, spilled part of the
contents upon his plate, and stood trembling at the angry rebuke which
his carelessness had called forth.

“Misnamed lords of creation,” thought Ariana for the hundredth time, as
she saw what a trifle had disturbed her brother’s equanimity.

There was a dead silence for a few moments, only broken by the clatter
of knives and forks, and then Mr. Dormer, casting very much such a
glance at his sister-in-law as a naughty boy would at his offended
mamma, muttered—“the steamer is in to-day and the banks are breaking
faster than ever.”

Mrs. Dormer looked sympathetic at this intelligence, and Ariana remarked
kindly—“Business troubles you then! It must be very tormenting,” and a
suspicion flashed across her mind that men, after all, might sometimes
have an excuse for their ill-humor.

“Well, if we are to lose our money, let us keep our temper,” she added,
as she rose to leave the table. Then turning to her sister she
said—“Don’t sit up for me, Harriet. If I am not at home before nine, I
shall stay all night at sister Jane’s—she sent for me to spend the
evening with her, and—and you know it is always quite uncertain whether
Mr. Daley will be in a humor to escort me home.”


                              CHAPTER III.

“If I were only sure that fishes did not feel, I should not mind hooking
them,” said a lad of tender heart.

Miss Ariana Huntingdon was convinced that men did not feel, and
therefore had not the slightest scruple in taking captive as many as
came within range of her fascinations.

Had the misanthropical little coquette been old, or ugly, the stronger
sex would have risen in a body to expel her from the city, but being
very young and very pretty, they seemed to love her all the better for
her alledged heresy as to man’s supremacy.

“That is one of the most beautiful apparitions that I ever met,” said a
young gentleman who caught a glimpse of our heroine upon a fashionable
promenade, crowded with insipid faces, whose fair unmeaningness was made
more conspicuous from being contrasted with the gayest of colors.

“Ashes of roses” would have been the only appropriate hue for some of
these _passé_ damsels, of whose bloom certainly but the cinders were
remaining, on which the marks of their former beauty were faintly traced
in flittering characters.

There was a peculiar freshness and individuality in Ariana’s appearance,
arising from her clear, original intellect, which made her always
noticed, even by those who did not admire the piquant style of her
beauty. Then her dress, without trespassing upon the mode of the season,
bore some tasteful addition, so unique, that it was at once surmised
that she must be very _distingué_ to be allowed such independence.

“Madame Bonheurie has not a hat trimmed in that manner,” said a
characterless parvenu, who could not have afforded even a ribbon without
a pedigree.

The article of dress, thus criticised, was a hat of delicate rose-color,
but, alas! instead of wearing the stiff top-knots of ribbon which were
then in vogue, Ariana had arranged the trimming so as to drop upon one
side, without hiding the swan-like throat of its _petite_ wearer. Her
mantle, too, though unexceptionable in the richness and color of the
velvet, was but slightly trimmed, and its graceful sleeves were quite
unlike the stiff armlets through which some fair ladies’ hands were
peeping in unnatural constraint.

Ariana, while smiling sweetly on her acquaintances, so moderated her
tokens of favor upon this particular day, that no one stepped to her
side to offer their escort, for she was deep in meditation,

“Am I really anxious to be an old maid?” was the question she was
revolving in her own mind, and every antiquated maiden whom she met
seemed to weigh against the affirmative that an hour since she would
have been ready to pronounce.

“Yes,” however, sprung to her lips as she entered the parlor of
Professor Daley, or rather study, as it might more appropriately be
named. All signs of feminine refinement were neutralised in this
uncomfortable apartment by huge piles of books, placed where most
convenient for that gentleman.

If Mrs. Daley flew into a passion on the subject, and declared that she
had seldom a place where a guest could be seated, he took up another
volume, and perhaps, laid the one he had been reading upon the only
vacant chair.

“You are the rudest man in the world, Madison,” was Ariana’s involuntary
exclamation, as her learned connection gave her a kind of _chin bow_
when she entered the apartment, without appearing to favor her with a
single glance.

“That is what I always tell him,” rejoined Jane, who seemed, as is the
case with some one in most families, to have absorbed all the spirit
intended amply to endow the whole; “read, read, from morning till night.
I might as well have no husband.”

Like the boy under stoical tuition, if Mr. Daley had learned nothing
else from philosophy, it had enabled him to meet reproach with perfect
calmness. It is questionable, however, if that mode of meeting reproach
is a virtue, which instead of turning away wrath, infuriates it beyond
all bounds. Mr. Daley’s perfect indifference to the happiness of every
living thing, was the alkali to the acid of Mrs. Daley’s character, and
produced violent fermentation. How cold those blue eyes of his looked
through the green spectacles worn to repair the effect of constant study
by lamp-light! It would have been well if the carpet could have been
defended from the effects of these nocturnal vigils, as many a spot was
visible in spite of the constant wear which had reduced the once elastic
Brussels to a floor-cloth consistency.

Home, to the man of science, was only a place where the torch of mind
was to be re-lighted; his wife, a being who fed it with oil, and her
house the mere laboratory used for those supplies of a physical nature
which made the ethereal flame burn purer and brighter.

What a pity it is that all who are destined to play the part of cyphers
have not a taste for nonentity! Mrs. Daley, as she often told her
husband, who, however, had not once seemed to hear the remark, “never
dreamed before her marriage that it would come to this.” To be sure he
had been a different man as a lover, but it is one of the standing
wonders of the world how the wise and great ever condescended to the
foolishness of courting; yet philosophers in love are always lamentably
absent, and being quite out of their element, flounder away more
boisterously than any other kind of fish, but marriage puts them again
at ease, and then their cold blood creeps on uninterrupted in its
sluggish course.

“Old maid or not old maid,” again passed through Ariana’s mind as her
eyes rested on Mr. Daley’s boots, which, in their turn, rested upon the
marble mantelpiece.

“Literary men are I presume all just such bears, and men of business
like Andrew.” Single-blessedness would have carried the day had not the
most finical of her maiden acquaintance arisen to efface the images of
the brothers-in-law.

“Do these old books make you happy, Madison Daley?” she asked, when her
sister was quite exhausted with the relation of her grievances. The
Professor had been caught looking up at the cessation of the sound of
his wife’s tongue, which he seemed to have imagined was to be perpetual.

One cannot pretend to deafness as easily when they meet the eye of a
questioner, and a cold “Yes,” fell from the thin lips of the
philosopher. He instantly resumed reading a “Treatise upon the promotion
of individual happiness, as the only certain way of enhancing national
prosperity.”

It was a lucky thing for Ariana, that with her quick perception of
character she had so strong a love for the ludicrous, for what otherwise
might have aroused her indignation now only excited her mirth. The
incongruity between Professor Daley’s philanthropic studies and his
habitual selfishness, struck her as so droll that she burst into a merry
peal of laughter. The astonished glance of the Professor at this sudden
merriment said quite plainly, “Is the girl demented?” and Jane’s
querulous voice, still more audibly,

“It is easy enough to laugh at other people’s misfortunes! I only wish
that I may live to see you married, and yet as much alone and as
dependent on your own exertions, as if you had no natural protector.”

Ariana knew by long experience that her sister considered Mr. Daley’s
faults as her exclusive property, and wished others to speak of him
always as if he were a model of a man. When she spoke in society herself
of her learned husband, no one would have dreamed that she had
discovered the feet of her idol to be of clay, but in _tête-à-têtes_ she
even insinuated to him that they were slightly cloven.

Ariana had a good share of mother wit, and knew very well the wisdom of
exciting a counteracting passion when she had subjected herself to
reproof by her open disrespect toward her learned brother-in-law.

“You told me, sister,” she said soothingly, “that you expected company,
and my aid would be needed in preparing for their reception.”

All Mrs. Daley’s motions were sudden, and at this remark she started up,
exclaiming, “There! I have not given half my orders in the kitchen, and
I dare say that the children have put the dining-room all out of order
while I have been talking here. Do go and see to them, while I tell
Betty what linen to put on the bed in the spare room.”

One would have thought that the dining-room might have been sacred to
eating and drinking, but the Professor had insisted on piling the
surplus of his library in one corner of this cold, parlor-looking
apartment. People have various ideas of comfort, but to Ariana’s eyes
the disorder which her pretty little niece and nephew had caused was
rather an improvement.

Archie had built a very respectable house out of the Encyclopedias, and
a large stone inkstand, which luckily was corked, served very well, when
turned upside down, for a parlor centre-table. A smaller one and an
accompanying sand-box, from his mother’s escritoir, answered for
ottomans, and upon them two table-napkins, with strings round their
waists, to improve their figures, were sitting up, quite like ladies and
gentlemen.

The bright faces of Archie and Etta wore a troubled expression, at the
opening of the door, but it turned to one of unfeigned delight as they
both scampered toward Ariana, exclaiming—“Oh, aunty, come and see our
pretty baby-house. We have found out such a nice way of using pa’s
tiresome old books.”

Like the cat transformed to a lady, who always showed her feline origin
at the sight of a mouse, Ariana seemed always to return to childhood
when in company with Archie and Etta. Mrs. Daley might as well have set
a monkey to keep them out of mischief, for down dropped the moderator on
the floor beside the baby-house, and commenced twisting the napkins into
most ludicrous imitations of humanity. Etta finding that while her aunty
was thus employed, she could get a nice chance at playing with her hair,
slily drew out the comb and fell to “turling it” over her little
fingers, while Archie clapped his hands and danced about in wild delight
at the beauty of the napkin ladies and gentlemen—Hark! there was a
footstep in the hall—no! two. The door opened and the Professor, with
scarcely a glance at the occupants of the room, thrust into it a tall,
fine-looking stranger, and merely saying, “My sister-in-law, Cousin
Arthur,” retreated.

Ariana was so much amused at this strange introduction of the visiter,
that she scarcely thought of her own disordered appearance.

“So, brother Madison has ejected you, sir, from his study at once,” she
said smiling. “His way of making people completely at home is by turning
them out of his own door. Do take a seat with us children, and my sister
will be here presently.”

Arthur Grayson had a great respect for his cousin, the Professor, having
never seen him in domestic life, and only knowing his high reputation
among the scientific men of the day. He was ignorant of the reason why
Ariana spoke in so disrespectful a tone of so near a connection, and it
seemed a want of politeness.

“No beauty can atone for such rudeness,” he thought to himself, but
replied courteously, “My cousin probably knew what society I should find
most entertaining, and I am glad that he did not allow me to trespass
upon his time.”

Before Ariana could answer this remark, Jane emerged from a staircase
leading to the kitchen, with a bowl in her hand, exclaiming, “Do,
Ariana, stir up this cake.”

In her surprise at the sight of the stranger, the bowl slipped from her
hand and fell on the floor, scattering its yet fluid contents in every
direction. Our pretty man-hater turned mischievously toward Arthur
Grayson, to observe how he bore the bespattering of the very elegant
suit of broadcloth in which his unexceptionable form was enveloped, but
instead of betraying any marks of irritation, he said with perfect
self-command and good-humor, “I presume that the dispenser of such good
things can only be that Lady Bountiful, my Cousin Jane, of whose
open-handed hospitality I have often heard.”

It could never have been said of Mrs. Daly that she was

        “Mistress of herself though china fall.”

And to have lost china and cake both together was quite too severe a
trial of her patience.

Ariana immediately came to her relief, by saying to the guest very
politely, “Will you walk into the study with me, sir? I assure you that
Madison does not care how many people are there, so he is saved from the
task of entertaining them.”

“It is all the fault of that selfish animal,” she added mentally. “What
is the use of all the learning in the world if unmixed with a particle
of common sense?”


                              CHAPTER IV.

A week after Arthur Grayson’s arrival in the city, the following letter
was received at his father’s delightful residence on the banks of the
Susquehanna:

    “MY DEAREST MOTHER,—Were it not for the domestic happiness I
    have witnessed at home, I should begin to believe that no
    literary man ought ever to marry. When I remember your anecdotes
    of the mischievous pranks of little Madison Daley, and then look
    at his immovable face, I can scarcely believe that he is the
    same individual. His soul, during the last seven years, must
    have as completely changed as the elements of that stiff-knit
    frame, which day and night is bent over some ponderous volume,
    for not an atom of playfulness or bonhommie now enters into his
    composition. Perhaps a ‘silent loving woman’ might have retarded
    this metamorphosis, but Cousin Jane is of quite a different
    class. Out of respect to you, dear mother, I try always to think
    that women are free from blame, and sincerely commiserate the
    philosopher’s wife, who makes me thoroughly uncomfortable, by
    trying to make me comfortable, and her children wretched, in
    endeavoring to bring them up properly. Her promised visit to
    Castleton, will, I am sure, be a green spot in her existence,
    and the mummy husband makes no opposition to the excursion. Will
    you have the kindness to include in your invitation, Miss Ariana
    Huntingdon, a sister of Madison’s wife, whom I should like you
    to know as a peculiar specimen of womanhood? She has wit and
    beauty enough to fascinate any man, were it not for her having
    conceived so thorough and unfeminine a contempt for mankind,
    that she is often guilty of such rudeness that my heart resists
    all her attractions. Andrew Dormer and Madison Daley are not, it
    is true, such men as would give any person of discernment a high
    respect for our sex, yet it is a mark of a little mind to
    condemn whole classes for the faults of individuals. Then Miss
    Ariana is an arrant little coquette, insisting that it is of
    service to a man to break his heart, as it will have a little
    softness ever afterward, whereas it otherwise would continue all
    stone. We have many pleasant tilts on these subjects, and when
    pushed for a reason, she always maintains her cause by such
    cunning sarcasms, that I am obliged to own myself defeated. ‘Men
    at home!’ is her frequent exclamation, in a tone of perfect
    contempt, at any new proof of the selfishness of her
    brothers-in-law. I wonder if she would dare to utter this sneer
    at the lords of creation, after seeing my honored father under
    his own hospitable roof. Please say to him that I have almost
    completed the business entrusted to my care, and shall return
    home in two weeks from to-morrow. Till then, I remain as ever,

                                            “Your devoted son,
                                                 “ARTHUR GRAYSON.”

“This old study is not such a disagreeable room after all,” said Ariana,
as she was ensconced in the low window-seat, with Arthur Grayson beside
her. They were hidden from the view of her brother-in-law by his long
overcoat, which no remonstrances could induce him to have hung
elsewhere. “Madison has probably discovered that the parlors of
Herculaneum were thus ornamented,” she continued, pointing to a pair of
boots which were standing in the midst of the apartment.

“It is a very pleasant room to me,” he replied, “and I shall long
remember the hours spent here.”

A glance of joy shot from Ariana’s eyes, but it passed away as she
thought, “I dare say both of my brothers-in-law used to say just such
agreeable things before they were married.”

“If I ever meet with a man who tries to be disagreeable, I shall believe
that he is sincere,” she replied, somewhat pettishly.

“Why do you suspect me of hypocrisy?” said Arthur, coldly. “I remarked
that our pleasant chats had cheated me of many weary hours; you cannot
doubt that this is the case. I neither said nor intended more.”

Ariana had always applauded sincerity, but this frank avowal did not
meet her approbation. The _tête-à-tête_ was becoming awkward, and was
luckily interrupted at this juncture by the ring of the postman. A
letter was handed to Mr. Grayson; it contained a note which he gave to
Miss Huntingdon. She blushed at seeing that it bore the signature of
Isabella Grayson, and was penned in a feminine hand, of remarkable
delicacy and beauty. The flush on her cheek grew absolutely crimson, as
she read the polite invitation to accompany her sister on a visit to
Castleton the ensuing month. At that moment Arthur Grayson was wishing
that he had not induced his mother to extend her hospitality, as Ariana
had of late openly announced her predilections for single blessedness,
and had at the same time been so bewitchingly agreeable, that he began
to feel that her society was dangerous to his peace.

“I fear I must decline this invitation,” said she, after a pause of some
minutes.

“For what reason?” he asked, while his dark eyes were fixed in close
scrutiny upon her varying countenance.

Ariana blushed still deeper, and then attempted to smile, but a tear
stole to her eye as she replied with great frankness, “We have spent so
many delightful hours together that your memory will be very pleasant,
but I am afraid that the charm would be broken if I were to see you at
home.”

This confession almost drew from Arthur one of still deeper import, but
a remembrance flashed upon him of all he had heard of Ariana’s coquetry,
and he merely replied, “If that is all, I will remain away from
Castleton, rather than deprive my mother and Mrs. Daley of the pleasure
of your society.”

This proposition, however, was by no means agreeable.

“Oh, no!” she exclaimed, “I have no idea of exiling you on my account,
only promise to try and not be very disagreeable.”

This pledge was easily given. Soon after a messenger arrived to say that
Mr. Dormer was quite unwell, and begged that Mrs. Daley would spare
Ariana.

If there be any where in the world a striking instance of the fallen
pride of humanity, a sick man affords the example.

When Ariana returned, Mr. Dormer was lying on the sofa, in the parlor,
in his gay dressing-gown, having absolutely refused to go to his chamber
and be regularly treated as a patient. Harriet stood by him with a
wine-glass of medicine in one hand, and a saucer of sweetmeats in the
other, trying to coax the invalid to swallow the dose she had so
carefully prepared for him. The naughtiest of boys never made up such
rueful faces, or protested more willfully against the disagreeable
injunction.

“There’s no use,” he said at last, angrily; “I’d rather die than swallow
such stuff.”

“But, dear Andrew, what could I do without you?” said the affectionate
Mrs. Dormer, now almost in tears.

A sudden and violent pain made her husband inclined to change his
resolution, and snatching the glass, he said, “There, give me the
sweetmeats, quick.” With much writhing and choking, he swallowed a dose
which one of his children would have taken without a murmur.

“What is the matter, Andrew?” asked Ariana, kindly, as she stepped to
his side.

“Matter enough,” he replied, “my stomach is entirely ruined by the
horrid messes on which I have been fed for the last month. A horse could
not have stood the cooking to which I have been forced to submit.”

Mr. Dormer, after smoking his digestive organs out of order, in spite of
the remonstrances of his friends, now actually believed that he was an
injured man, victimised by a bad cook and a careless wife.

Such a miserable week as followed this scene had rarely fallen to
Ariana’s lot, but she was really grateful to Mr. Dormer for his
disinterested kindness to her, and relieved her sister of much trouble
and care. Every day that detained the peevish patient from his business
made him still more unreasonable and exacting. He would have been well
much sooner if any one could have induced him to obey the orders of the
physician. After a dose of calomel, he would insist on a hearty dinner
of beef-steak, and when purposely kept in a low state to prevent the
danger of fever, called loudly for wine or brandy, declaring that his
wife would like nothing better than to see his strength so reduced that
there could be no hope of his recovery.

The servants were so exhausted with his caprices that the chambermaid
took French leave, and then Mrs. Dormer, who had double duty to perform,
was taxed with inattention to his wants.

“I wonder if Arthur Grayson has a strong constitution?” was the question
which passed through Ariana’s mind, as she witnessed the daily martyrdom
of her meek sister. Now the dressing was all torn from the blisters of
the impatient invalid, then the covering thrown off, and a moment after
a complaint made that some outer door had been left open on purpose to
freeze him to death. Every dose of medicine was taken with a struggle,
every word of advice regarded as an infringement on his rights.

Where was that clever fellow, Andrew Dormer? What would the merchants on
’change have said to the transformation? Nothing, we presume, for like
himself, they were few of them clever fellows to their own wives and
servants.


                               CHAPTER V.

It is quite an objection to rail-roads and steamboats that they present
so few inconveniences as to give one but little opportunity of
discovering the temper and good-breeding of their fellow passengers.
Nobody is crowded within, nobody has to sit without, no one is sick on
the back seat, or lacks support on the middle one, as used to be the
case in those dear old stage-coaches, where persons were shaken out of
all ceremony, and jostled into a pleasant acquaintance.

A private carriage, however, if well filled, has still its points of
trial; and the Grayson equipage, when packed with the Daley family,
promises to exercise the patience of its inmates.

Of course, the ladies were too modern to be troubled with bandboxes; but
Mrs. Daley’s beautiful traveling-bag, which had been worked by her
sister, needed as much tending as a baby; and the bouquet of flowers,
which Ariana was carrying from a city green-house to Mrs. Grayson, in a
tin case, wanted great care, being sprinkled every time that the horses
were watered.

Arthur Grayson had been early schooled to consider annoyance at petty
evils as totally unworthy of a man of sense, and there was no
affectation in his indifference to his own ease while making the ladies
as comfortable as lay within his power. He even succeeded in beguiling
Etty from Ariana’s arm to his own, and Jane’s brow grew smoother at
every mile, from finding the children so easily amused. Archie Daley had
a quick inquiring mind, and drank in eagerly all the information which
his friend gave with regard to the objects that they passed on the road.
At length, wearied with pleasure, he fell asleep, leaning his whole
weight on Arthur’s, while Etta slumbered on his breast, as much at home
as if in her nurse’s arms.

Ariana had been unusually silent during the journey. The peculiar
gentleness of her companion, his delicate attentions to Jane and
herself, with his sweet consideration for the children, and carelessness
of his own comfort, made her wish that the journey might be long, and
suggested the thought how happy any one would be, who should enjoy such
protection through life.

These reflections gave an unusual softness to her generally vivacious
manners, which was peculiarly attractive; and Arthur, as he glanced at
the little sleeper on his bosom, and then at the sweet smile on Ariana’s
face, had his own dreams also of domestic bliss.

These gentle thoughts had not faded from the hearts of our travelers,
nor the light of the setting sun from the evening sky, when they entered
the open gates of Castleton. An elderly gentleman, of noble appearance,
stood on the porch of his fine mansion, to welcome the strangers. His
dignified yet kindly manners impressed Ariana with instant respect, but
she felt a still deeper emotion in receiving the cordial greetings of
Mrs. Grayson. Arthur’s mother was still a beautiful woman, though her
hair was slightly silvered with age, for her dark eye was intellectually
bright, while a smile of uncommon sweetness played around her pleasant
mouth. The heart of the orphan was touched by the motherly kindness of
tone with which she was welcomed; and as she heard the joyful greeting
which Arthur received from both his parents, and the tender respect with
which it was returned, she felt that there was a happiness in domestic
life of which she had scarcely dreamed.

“We must not forget your health, Mary, in our pleasure at seeing our
friends,” said Judge Grayson, to his wife, as he gently placed her arm
in his, and led the way to the cheerful parlor.

How much expression there is in the interior of any dwelling! That
tastefully ornamented room, provided with every comfort for the elder
members of the family, and filled with materials of amusements for all
persons of cultivated minds, breathed nothing but peace and joy.

Arthur placed a footstool at his mother’s feet, and then rang for a
servant, to show the ladies to their apartment, while Judge Grayson was
helping them to disencumber themselves from some of their numerous
wrappings. Archie had loitered to take a ride on the porch, where he had
spied a rocking-horse, which had been brought down from the garret with
a view to his amusement, while Etty had caught up a kitten which seemed
used to nothing but kindness.

“What an excellent housekeeper Mrs. Grayson appears to be!” was Jane’s
exclamation, the moment that they reached their apartment. “They say
that the judge is a learned man, but I do not see any thing that looks
like it.”

A disorderly dwelling, and a cold, disagreeable man at its head, were to
Mrs. Daley, alas! the usual indications of the abode of literature. She
had not noticed that one little cabinet of books in the parlor,
contained some very profound works, and that the large room opposite,
was a well furnished library.

The beautiful art of making others happy had been so completely studied
by Mrs. Grayson, that before the evening passed away, Mrs. Daley and her
sister scarcely remembered that they were guests. As Ariana began to
feel perfectly at home, her natural vivacity arose, and the judge smiled
pleasantly at her lively rejoinders to the playful remarks of his son.

Now and then Mrs. Grayson looked up a little seriously, from her
conversation on family affairs with Jane, as if afraid that Arthur might
be tempted to some slight rudeness, in replying to the gay sallies of
his companion.


                              CHAPTER VI.

When Ariana awoke the next morning, she feared that her last night’s
enjoyment had been all a dream; but a glance around her chamber
convinced her that at least she was not in the habitation of either of
her sisters.

The sound of a loud, manly voice below, fully restored her to
consciousness, and with it came the tormenting thought that it must be
Judge Grayson. I am afraid that after all he is like other men at Home,
was her mental ejaculation.

The voice came nearer, but its tones were not harsh, and Ariana now
distinctly heard the words, “Up, up, Arthur! Your mother wishes a letter
sent to the village, and we ride there on horseback before breakfast.
Hurry, my boy!”

“Here I am, sir, booted and spurred,” was distinctly audible, in a gay,
yet respectful tone. And then the cheerful voices of father and son, as
they mounted their horses and rode away.

“Take another muffin, Miss Ariana,” said the judge, as they sat at
breakfast. “It may be vanity, but I think my wife always manages to have
nicer muffins than are found any where else in the whole country. I know
Arthur is of the same opinion, for he gives us the best possible proof
of it.”

The son gave a smiling assent, and Ariana thought of Andrew Dormer and
his habit of finding fault with every thing that was placed before him.

It is not much the fashion at the present day for young men to consult
their parents with regard to their love affairs, but Arthur Grayson
walked closely in the footsteps of his father, and he was a gentleman of
the old school. Were this mode more prevalent, there would not be so
many unhappy mothers-in-law and such miserable wives.

The visiters from the city had spent two days at Castleton before Arthur
could ask his mother’s advice about the subject which lay nearest his
heart. The moment, however, that he found an opportunity of speaking to
her alone, he said, eagerly, “What do you think of Ariana?”

“A question that I am not yet qualified to answer, my son,” was her
reply, while she looked earnestly into his troubled face, as if seeking
to discover how deeply he was interested in the inquiry, which he had
just made.

“You do not like her, I see plainly,” he hastily remarked, in a tone of
bitter disappointment.

“You are much mistaken in that supposition, my dear Arthur. On the
contrary, her frankness and talents interest me exceedingly, and even
her faults make me anxious for a more intimate acquaintance, for I think
that I might be of service in aiding her to overcome them. I am not
sure, however, that she would be a suitable companion for life for my
darling son, if that is what you wish to know.”

“Then I must not stay here any longer,” he exclaimed, impetuously. “I
have too much confidence in your judgment to believe that I could ever
be happy with any one, of whose character you disapproved. I feared that
it would be so.”

“You are too hasty, Arthur. Why does the opinion I have expressed make
it necessary for you to leave home?”

“Because I have discovered that I love her too well to trust myself
longer in her society,” he answered, with agitation.

“Then you are right in your resolution. Why do you not make your long
promised visit to Carysford Lee? If I find on further acquaintance that
Ariana is worthy of your affection, you shall not long remain in
ignorance of the conclusion.”

“Thank you,” Arthur replied, and then sorrow of heart prevented him from
adding more, but kissing affectionately his mother’s pale cheek, he
hastily left the apartment.

Ariana’s face was radiant with smiles when she descended to the
dining-room. Her gayety, however, quickly disappeared when Arthur, who
sat next to her at the table, asked abruptly, “Have you any commands for
my friend, Lee? I am going this afternoon to Allendale, to remain with
him for a few weeks.”

Luckily for Ariana, Jane immediately exclaimed, “What, going to run away
from us so soon. How will the children get along without you?”

“Please don’t go, sir!” said Archie, mournfully. “I cannot finish my new
bow without your help.”

“I will show you about it,” said the judge, kindly, “and take you to
ride on horseback behind me, just as Arthur has done.”

By this time Ariana had recovered her composure, and said, with an
attempt at gayety, “What a delightful time we ladies shall have with
none to molest or make us afraid. The only fear will be, that I shall
quite forget my saucy ways if I have no one to practice them upon.”

“Suppose you should make me a target for your wit,” said the judge,
playfully.

“My weapons would only rebound upon myself, with so invulnerable a
mark,” she replied, in a respectful tone.

A conversation, in which evident constraint was visible, followed, and
every one glad when the meal was at last over. An hour afterward
Arthur’s horse was brought round to the door, and with an air of extreme
embarrassment, he bade Mrs. Daley and Ariana a hasty farewell. The
assumed indifference of the latter was so well counterfeited, that her
lover rode away with the full conviction that his absence was considered
as a relief.


                              CHAPTER VII.

The next morning, Judge Grayson was obliged to leave Castleton to attend
a court at a neighboring village, and the ladies were left in sole
possession of the mansion.

“How dull it is here to-day,” said Ariana, to her sister, as they were
_tête-à-tête_, while Mrs. Grayson was occupied with domestic affairs. “I
just saw a pair of boots at the door of the opposite chamber, and it was
actually a delightful sight. I really think that everlasting overcoat of
Madison’s would be a pleasant addition to our prospect in this dearth of
mankind.”

Jane was delighted at a chance to revenge herself for all Ariana’s
attacks upon the odd ways of the professor. “What ails you,” she said,
“to make such strange remarks? They come very unexpectedly from such a
professed man-hater. Why I have heard you say, that Eden could not be a
Paradise to you, if men were allowed to enter it.”

“Let by-gones be by-gones, Jenny. We grow wiser every day,” said Ariana,
playfully. “Do you need me here this morning?”

“No, I shall be busy in copying these receipts for cake, but if you will
have an eye to the children who are down stairs, I shall be obliged to
you.”

Ariana took up her basket containing a pair of slippers, which she was
working for Andrew Dormer, and went into the parlor, where she hoped to
find Mrs. Grayson.

That lady was, however, not there, but soon came in, and setting down
her work, commenced one of those easy, confidential chats, which make
two people better acquainted than years of intercourse in general
society.

“I am going to ask a question, which you will think very strange,” said
Ariana, at length, “but it would make me so much happier if I was
certain about it.”

“What is it, dear?” asked the kind lady, with a benevolent smile, which
encouraged curiosity.

“Will you then tell me,” said Ariana, hesitatingly, “if Judge Grayson is
always as kind and agreeable at home as he appears to us?”

The tears rose to Mrs. Grayson’s eyes as she answered, “He has never
been otherwise. I could not with propriety have replied to your question
if I had not testimony to bear to his never failing love and kindness.”

“Oh! how glad I am!” exclaimed Ariana, with a fervency that startled her
companion. “All the men I know are so disagreeable in their own homes,
and so neglectful of the comfort of their wives, that I thought the rest
of the world were like them.”

“It is too true, my child,” said Mrs. Grayson, kindly, “that there are
those who sacrifice their private peace to their public duties, or
exhibit at home the vexation consequent upon lives of constant toil and
anxiety. Even where this is the case, however, it is a woman’s duty to
give her home all the cheerfulness in her power; and if her husband is
not in private life what she could wish, the secret should be confined
to her own bosom.”

Mrs. Grayson was one of the few persons who can give advice so
discreetly as not to wound the feelings of the person whom they are
trying to benefit. Her last remark made Ariana feel the impropriety of
having allowed the faults of her brothers-in-law, who were generous,
indeed, though their manners were often so disagreeable. Her confession
in this respect was so frankly made, that it won upon Mrs. Grayson’s
affection, and their conversation continued in a still more confidential
tone.

Day after day Ariana would glide down into the parlor, to enjoy a
_tête-à-tête_ with her new friend, while Jane was occupied with her
receipts, and the children busy at play. Her laughing philosophy was
only the armor of pride, and her warm, generous feelings gushed forth
unrestrained, in conversing with Mrs. Grayson. The sportive bursts of
humor, which were so perfectly natural to her lively disposition, awoke
in the elder lady some of the vivacity of her early years, and Jane
would be startled from her monotonous employment, by the sound of their
merry laughter. Insensibly the bright, impulsive girl was winding around
the heart of her friend, in trying to win whose approbation her own
character was rapidly improving.

There was only one subject on which there was not perfect confidence
between Mrs. Grayson and Ariana. Arthur’s name was never mentioned by
either of them. Ariana could not with delicacy, tell his mother how
bitterly she was grieved at his departure, but her languid eyes, and
frequently wandering thoughts, revealed the truth.

Sometimes, when at evening Judge Grayson returned from court, she saw
the affectionate meeting with his dear wife, she would sigh deeply, as
if looking on happiness that could never be her own.

The six weeks which Mrs. Daley intended to spend at Castleton, had
passed rapidly away. On the morrow the family were to return to the
city, and all regretted the necessity for their separation.

As Ariana sat listening to the regrets of Mrs. Grayson and her sister
that their intercourse was so soon to be terminated, she was unable to
command her spirits, and under pretence of breathing the fresh air,
walked out upon the piazza. She stood looking toward the stars in
melancholy abstraction, when a gentleman came suddenly around the corner
of the house, and stood at her side. “Mr. Grayson!” she exclaimed, with
such unaffected joy, that a smile of delight beamed on his face as he
eagerly seized her proffered hand.

“Did you not then know that I was to return this evening?” he asked.
“Could you think that I would allow you to depart without saying
farewell?”

“You left us so abruptly, that I did not know what to expect,” she
replied, blushing deeply.

“Did you not object to coming here lest my presence should mar your
enjoyment?” he inquired, mischievously.

“But you know,” she replied, with warmth, “what was the reason for that
silly remark.”

“Why silly? If seeing me at home might destroy your respect, it was
quite wise to send me into banishment,” he remarked, playfully.

“But I could not have done so, I am sure, now,” she replied, earnestly.

“Have you really sufficient faith in any man to believe him free from
the faults which I have so often heard you impute to the whole sex?”

The question was put in a jesting tone, but Arthur listened eagerly for
her reply.

“Your father’s constant politeness has overcome all those foolish
prejudices. I do believe that his son may resemble him.”

“Would you dare to trust your happiness to the keeping of that son?” he
asked, with tender earnestness.

“I should,” she replied with characteristic promptness, while a tear
glistened in her eye.

“Then why may not this place henceforth be your home. My mother already
loves you dearly, and my father’s approbation sanctions my suit.”

Ariana’s consent was easily won to this proposition, and then Arthur
went to announce his own arrival to the family circle, while she stole
to her apartment to compose her agitated heart.

Mrs. Daley insisted that Ariana should remain with her a month previous
to her marriage, and then Mrs. Dormer pleaded for a visit of equal
length. Andrew would have been quite out of humor at her loss, were it
not for the pleasure of hearing that she had given up her rebellious
thoughts as to man’s supremacy. The professor was so much ameliorated by
Jane’s more prudent conduct, that he presented the bride elect with a
set of very dry books, in token of regard for her choice. Mr. Dormer
made her many valuable gifts, though his manner of bestowing favors
almost neutralized the pleasure which he otherwise would have conferred.

Ariana Huntingdon has been for many years a happy wife. Arthur Grayson
has found that well regulated wit and cheerful independence, heighten
domestic life; and Ariana asserts that men deserve the title of Lords of
Creation, and that her Arthur, to be fully appreciated, must be seen “at
Home.”

                 *        *        *        *        *



                           THE FEAR OF DEATH.


                           BY MARY L. LAWSON.


    It is not that I shrink to yield
      My soul to God, whose claim is just;
    I know my spirit is his own,
      And that this human frame is dust;
    To Him my higher powers I owe,
      The light of mind, the faith of love;
    Too mean the service of a life
      My ceaseless gratitude to prove;
    But still I pause in mortal fear,
    For life is sweet—and death is drear.

    The ties that bound me close to earth
      With deep affection’s tender chain,
    Were severed by his sovereign will,
      And tears and agony were vain;
    And blighted hope and withering care
      Their shadows o’er my soul have cast;
    And sunny dreams, that fancy wove
      Of rainbow hues, too soon have past;
    But still I pause in mortal fear,
    And life is sweet—and death is drear.

    For memory brings to me again
      The dear ones that are laid to rest,
    And scenes ’mid which they bore a part
      In lovely visions haunt my breast;
    Their looks, their words, their beaming smiles,
      Soft tears from out my eyelids press;
    They’re with me through the waking day,
      My nightly slumbers gently bless;
    And still I pause in mortal fear,
      For life is sweet—and death is drear.

    My faithful friends whose gentle deeds
      Of kindness words were poor to tell;
    My daily walks, my favorite flowers,
      The page where genius throws its spell,
    And Nature with its varied hues,
      Where spring and summer brightly glows,
    By many a fine and subtle link
      Of custom round my being grows;
    And still I pause in mortal fear,
      For life is sweet—and death is drear.

    Kind Lord! subdue this trembling dread,
      My spirit nerve with firmer zeal,
    Death is the portal of our life,
      Its promised good Thou wilt reveal;
    And in thy word I read with joy
      The blessings that believers share,
    And peace within my bosom steals,
      The heavenly peace that springs from prayer;
    No more I pause in mortal fear,
    The grave is sweet when Thou art near.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                           A YEAR AND A DAY:


                              OR THE WILL.


                      BY MRS. CAROLINE H. BUTLER.


                      (_Concluded from page 199._)


                              CHAPTER IV.

We will take a brief retrospect of the last two years in the life of
Crayford.

Upon a pleasant summer evening, two gentlemen, mounted on fine, spirited
steeds, came gayly cantering down the gentle slope of a hill, and across
the rustic bridge which formed the entrance to a small village in the
interior of Pennsylvania, just as a party of merry milk-maids were
returning the same way from the green pastures beyond. The road, or
rather lane, was here quite narrow, and observing the rapid approach of
the equestrians, the girls hastily stepping aside into the deep grass,
stood still for them to pass by. Instead of doing so, however, they
slackened their pace, and one of them reining in his steed, gazed
impertinently into the blushing faces of the village girls.

“By heavens!” he exclaimed, in a low voice to his companion, “what a
pair of eyes that little witch has in the blue petticoat—and what a
shape! look at her, Hastings.”

The damsel thus pointed out could not have been more than sixteen. In
face and form a perfect Hebe, with a most superb pair of laughing black
eyes, shaded by long curling lashes. Her little sun-bonnet was thrown
off, but rested loosely upon her shoulders; her hair, which was as black
and brilliant as her eyes, was cut short to her beautiful neck, and
clustered in tight ringlets over her finely formed head, upon the top of
which sat her pail of foaming milk. With one hand she held it lightly
poised, while the other rested upon her hip, in an attitude most
graceful and picturesque. Her petticoat was of dark-blue bombazet, set
off by a white muslin short-gown reaching half way to the knees, where
it was finished with a narrow frilling—a dress still in vogue among the
farmers’ daughters both in Pennsylvania and New England—and a very
pretty dress it is, too. Her little feet were bare, hiding themselves
modestly in the tall grass.

“The girl is an angel—a perfect divinity!” replied Hastings, after a
rude stare at the young maid, “What a sensation she would make—eh,
Crayford!”

“I say, Hastings,” added the other, with a devilish leer, “it will be
worth our while to stay here a day or two—what say you?”

To this Hastings returned a significant wink, which was responded to by
the other in the same way.

During these remarks they had rode slowly on, but now suddenly wheeling
his horse, Crayford once more approached the little group, and lifting
his hat, bowed most gracefully as he said,

“Can you tell me, fair maidens, where my friend and myself may be so
fortunate as to find a night’s lodging? We are somewhat fatigued with a
long day’s ride, and would fain rest our weary limbs, as also our jaded
steeds. Can you direct us, then, to some public house in your village?”

A sprightly blue-eyed girl, delighted to be of service to the polite
stranger, stepped quickly forward, and said, while her cheeks grew
redder and redder, and her eyes rounded with every word:

“O, yes, sir, there is a good tavern at the other end of the village,
and here is Effie Day, she lives there, you know, for it is her
grandfather who keeps the house; here, Effie, you will show the
gentleman the way, wont you Effie?”

“By all the saints, how lucky!” whispered Crayford, to his friend—Effie
proving to be no other than the identical maiden who had so charmed him.

Springing from his horse, and throwing the reins to Hastings with a
meaning glance, Crayford lifted the pail from the head of the blushing
girl, and begged the privilege of assisting her with her burden, while
she acted as his guide to the inn. The girls all laughed merrily at
this, but Effie, blushing still deeper, drew her sun-bonnet closely over
her face, and tripped lightly on before him, so fleetly, too, whether
from bashfulness or mischief, that her gallant could scarcely keep pace
with her twinkling feet. On reaching the inn, his fair guide suddenly
disappeared, leaving Crayford to dispose of the milk-pail as he could,
to the no small delight of Hastings, who highly enjoyed the evident
discomfiture of his friend.

The old landlord welcomed the strangers heartily, and gave them the best
rooms his house could boast, and soon placed before them an excellent
supper. But what gave it its true zest was the attendance of the pretty
milk-maid—and a more lovely cup-bearer never served the gods.

Poor Effie Day was but an infant when both her parents were taken from
her by death, and no other home had she ever known than the roof of her
kind old grandfather. With a tenderness far exceeding that which they
had felt for their own children did her grandparents regard her, and in
pity for her orphan state, indulged her in every wish which it was in
their power to grant. As she grew up her beauty and vivacity was their
pride, and no theme could sooner reach their hearts than the praises of
their darling Effie. She was brought up in all the simplicity of country
life; a circuit of ten miles the boundary of her little world, and from
books her knowledge was scarcely more. Yet the birds which sang at her
window, or the lambs with whom she skipped in the meadows, were not more
gay or happy than was the old inn-keeper’s bright darling child, when
like the serpent in Paradise, Crayford came. He found the honest old
couple and the artless Effie of the very sort whom his cunning could
most easily dupe, and with skill which would not have disgraced a demon,
set about his fiendish work—for most cogent reasons of his own
disguising his name under that of Belmont, while his worthy coadjutor
assumed that of Jervis.

Feigning to be charmed with the locality of this little town, they made
known their intention of passing several weeks in its vicinity. But why
enter into the details of a plot such as should call down the avenging
bolt of heaven. Suffice it, alas! to say, that sin and villainy
triumphed, and as pure a child as ever the finger of God rested upon,
was enticed from her home, from her poor old doting grandparents.

Under a solemn promise of marriage the unfortunate Effie eloped with her
base betrayer.

Upon reaching Philadelphia, the form of marriage was gone through with
by a convenient priest, and the sacrifice of innocence completed. For
some months, but for the memory of the aged couple, in the silent shades
of her native valley, she was as happy as a young confiding wife could
be in the love, nay, adoration of her husband. The lodgings Crayford
rented were in an obscure part of the city, and furnished most meagerly
for the taste of one accustomed to fashionable display, yet Effie, who
had never seen any thing more grand than the parson’s parlor at home,
thought even a queen could not be more sumptuously lodged, and she was
very sure could not be more happy.

Poor, poor Effie!

This devotion on the part of Crayford continued while his humor
lasted—no longer; nor did one gleam of pity for the unfortunate girl
lead him to wear the mask only as long as suited his own pleasure. The
heart sickens to dwell upon the anguish of poor Effie, thus abandoned by
one for whom she had sacrificed all—one so friendless, so forlorn, so
young and so beautiful.

The woman with whom she lodged allowed her to remain under her roof
until she had stripped her of the little she possessed—of her clothing,
and the few ornaments Crayford had given her; then, when no more was to
be gained, she thrust her forth into the streets to die, or live by a
fate worse than death!

Alas! that in a world so fair as this, such things really are, needing
no aid from fancy to portray their atrociousness.

All day did the poor girl wander through the busy crowd, gazing
piteously into the faces of the multitude, and if by chance one more
kindly than others bent an eye upon her, she would ask them for Belmont.
But no one could tell her aught. And then night came—dark, desolate
night. On, from street to street passed the unfortunate, shrinking from
the rude stare, and still ruder speech of brutes calling themselves men;
no one offering a shelter to the houseless wanderer, and even her own
sex meeting her appeals with coarse, unfeeling laughter.

Blame her not, that suddenly yielding to the despair of her young heart,
she sought in death relief.

It was near the hour of midnight when she found herself upon one of the
wharves. Dark and cold stretched the river before her; dark and cold was
to her the world she was leaving. For a moment she paused, and gazed
despairingly around her; tears trickled down her pallid cheeks, for she
felt she was young to die; and she wept still more when she thought upon
her aged grandparents, who would never know her sad fate. Then arose
before her, floating as it were upon the heaving mass of waters, on
which her eyes were fixed, that peaceful valley, with the green hills
sweeping around it, and the rustic dwellings of her playmates and
friends looking out upon her beseechingly from their pleasant shades as
she stood there in her loneliness; and as a far-off symphony of sweet
sounds came floating by, the glad voices which Nature had sang to her in
childhood. Poor Effie Day! what pleasant memories were crowded into
those few brief moments.

“Belmont!” she shrieked, suddenly starting from that far-off dream,
“Belmont, may God forgive you the deed I am about to do!”

Then falling on her knees, she clasped her trembling hands, murmuring a
prayer for pardon and mercy. Now casting one long, shuddering look upon
the cold, dark river, she was about to plunge therein, when a strong arm
was thrown around her, and she was forcibly drawn back several feet from
the verge on which she had stood poised.

“Wretched girl, what would you do!” said a voice in her ear.

She heard no more, for a faintness came over her, and but for the arm
still around her, she would have fallen insensible to the ground. When
she recovered, she found herself upon a bed in a small, neat apartment.
A woman of mild countenance was leaning over her, chafing her hands and
temples, and at the foot of the bed stood a gentleman dressed in deep
mourning, with his full, dark eyes fixed upon her with pity and
kindness.

“Poor child!” she heard the woman say, just as she opened her eyes;
“I’ll warrant some of those gay gallants have broken her heart! Bless
her, she is coming to—there, there darling, how does thee feel now?”

But ere poor Effie could reply, the gentleman placed his finger on his
lips, as if to caution her from speaking, then preparing some soothing
anodyne, he bade the woman administer it as quickly as possible, and
promising to be back at an early hour in the morning, took leave.

When the morning came, however, the unfortunate girl was raving in all
the delirium of fever, which for weeks baffled medical skill. Youth at
length triumphed over disease, and she was once more able to leave her
bed. During this time she had made known at intervals, her sad history
to the good woman of the house, and the benevolent stranger who had
snatched her from a watery grave.

Every where the latter sought to discover the perfidious Belmont, and on
pursuing his inquiries for the grandparents of the wretched girl, he
learned that grief at the desertion of their child, had broken the old
people’s hearts; first the father, then the mother, had been borne to
their long homes. A distant relative had seized upon the little
homestead, and already a flaunting sign usurped the head of good old
Penn, which for more than half a century had smiled benignly down upon
travelers.

Effie begged to remain with Mrs. Wing, who kept a small thread and
needle store in —— Lane, near the river; and the kind woman felt so
much pity for her lonely, unprotected situation, that she readily
granted her request. She was soon able to assist in the labors of the
shop, and to make herself in many ways useful. Of the kind stranger she
saw but little, but from Mrs. Wing she learned that he had generously
defrayed all the expenses of her illness. He came but seldom, but when
he did, he spoke to her so kindly, encouraged her with so much
gentleness, soothing her sorrows, and leading her mind to that Higher
source where alone she might look for comfort, that Effie regarded him
in the light of a superior being.

Thus months rolled on, and no tidings of Belmont reached Effie. One
morning, as she stood arranging a few fancy articles upon the broad
window-seat in a manner which might display their beauty to the best
advantage, she threw up the sash for a moment to inhale the fine breeze
which came sweeping up from the river. The day was lovely. The gentle
undulating surface of the Delaware, cleft by a hundred flashing oars,
with the keels of many noble vessels buried in her sparkling tide, their
white sails swelling to the breeze, stretched before her in beauty,
while above, cloudless and serene was the blue vault of heaven.

A pleasure yacht had just neared the wharf, and from it a party of
gentlemen sprung to land, and with rather boisterous mirth, crossed the
street directly opposite where Effie still stood at the window. Suddenly
her eyes rested upon one of that gay group, and for a moment it seemed
as if breath and motion were suspended in the intensity of her gaze. She
could not be mistaken—she knew she was not—it was Belmont, her
husband; and scarcely knowing what she did, she rushed to the door, and
with a wild scream of joy, threw herself upon the breast of Crayford.

“Ho, ho, Crayford, you are in luck, my boy!” shouted one of the party;
“by Jove she’s an angel!”

Overwhelmed with confusion, and taken by surprise at the sudden
appearance of one whom he had hoped never to see more, Crayford for half
a minute stood irresolute, then struggling to disengage himself from her
embrace, he exclaimed angrily,

“Off, woman—none of your tricks with me; off, I say!”

Casting roughly aside those tender arms which clung to him so
despairingly, poor Effie would have fallen to the ground but for another
of the party, who, seizing her just as she was sinking, cried with mock
pathos,

“Here, pretty one, the fellow is a monster; here, I will take care of
you—come, kiss me!”

But Effie sprung from his arms, and clasping the knees of Crayford as
she saw the heartless wretch moving on,

“Belmont, my husband!” she cried, in tones of piercing anguish, “do not,
O, do not leave me again; no, you will not be so cruel—take me with
you!”

“That’s cool, by heavens!—ha! ha! ha!” shouted Crayford, with infernal
daring, “you are crazy, child! I am not your Belmont; perhaps this is
he—or this,” pointing from one to the other of his companions.

The look of wo with which the poor girl received this cruel speech, did
not escape their notice, and, hardened as they were, they were moved to
pity, and the rude jests died on their lips.

Effie rose from her knees, and tottering a step forward, placed her
trembling hand upon the outstretched arm of Crayford. With an oath he
spurned her from him, when in his path there suddenly arose one whose
cold, searching glance, struck terror to his guilty soul.

“Crayford, I know you!” exclaimed the stranger. “This, then, is your
infernal work; ay, tremble, thou base destroyer of innocence. Away, I
say, ere I am tempted to do a deed shall shame my manhood!”

Livid with rage, Crayford drew a dirk from his bosom, and rushed
suddenly upon the stranger; but in an instant it was wrenched from his
hand, then seizing the wretch by the collar, as he would a dog, he
hurled him off the curb-stone, and with such force, as sent him half
across the street, and then lifting tenderly the form of the fainting
girl in his arms, bore her into the house.

The reader will, of course, infer that Crayford and the stranger had met
before. They had; nor was this the first dark deed to which the latter
knew Crayford might lay claim.

To draw our long digression to a close, suffice it to say, that it was
the unfortunate Effie Day whom Florence had met while walking with
Crayford, and that the gentleman whom she had pointed out to him in the
picture gallery, was no other than the stranger of whom we have just
spoken, and whose appearance had so perceptibly agitated her companion.


                               CHAPTER V.

We will now return to Florence, whom we left in a state of such cruel
suspense, and it would be difficult to say, perhaps, which of the two at
the moment she hoped to find the most sincere—Crayford or the unknown.

She felt she had gone too far to recede, and that it had now become her
duty to probe this enigma thoroughly. Her confidence in Crayford was too
much impaired for her to receive him again into her presence so long as
such doubts hung around his character. “I will obey the instructions of
this unknown Mentor,” said she, “it cannot be that he is false; no, to
this Mrs. Belmont, then, will I go, and go alone.”

Ordering a carriage, therefore, and directing the driver to No. 7 ——
Lane, she set forth upon an errand which, for a young, unprotected
female, was certainly rather hazardous. Of its locality she had no
knowledge; and when she found herself gradually approaching the opposite
side of the city from her own residence, passing through narrow streets,
and at every turning drawing nearer to the river, she would have felt
more apprehension but for the words of the unknown: “Fear not,” urged
the note, “one will be near you who will protect you with his life.”
These words reassured her, for she had so long accustomed herself to
regard him in the light of her protector and friend, that even now, when
her doubts almost distracted her, she still gave herself up to the
pleasing thought that he was near, and no danger could befall her.

“This is No. 7 —— Lane,” said the coachman, reining in his horses
before the thread and needle store of Mrs. Wing, “whom shall I ask for?”

“Never mind, I will go in myself,” answered Florence.

Mrs. Wing was sitting in a little back room, but seeing a lady enter the
shop, arose and came forward to the counter.

“Is there a Mrs. Belmont lodges here?” inquired Florence.

“There is a young woman of that name in my employ, friend—would thee
like to see her? If thee does, thee can go to her room—she has been
very ill.”

Florence bowing assent, the good woman led the way up a narrow
staircase, and opened the door of a neat little chamber, saying, as she
motioned Florence to go in,

“Here is a young woman to see thee, Effie,” then immediately withdrew.

Near the bed, in a large easy-chair, propped up by pillows, sat poor
Effie Day. Not a tinge of the rose, once blooming so freshly there,
could be traced on that pale cheek, and of the same marble hue were her
lips and brow. These, contrasted by her jet-black hair, and eyes so
large and brilliant, imparted a strange ghastliness to her appearance.
At the first glance Florence recognized her as the young woman whom
Crayford had pointed out to her as a fortune-teller.

This at once opened a new channel for thought, and supposing, therefore,
that she had been directed thither for the purpose of consulting her
art, she said, half timidly approaching her,

“Can you tell my fortune for me?”

Poor Effie, too, had recognized the lovely girl whom she had seen
walking with him she still believed to be her husband, and looking up
with a sad earnestness of expression, made answer,

“Your fortune! O, my beautiful young lady, may it never be so wretched
as mine!” Then noticing the evident perturbation of Florence’s manner,
she continued, “Can I serve you in any way?”

“I was sent to you for the purpose, as I suppose, of having my fortune
told,” answered Florence.

“There is some mistake,” replied Effie, a half smile flitting over her
pale face, “I am not a fortune-teller.”

“But I thought—I understood—that is—Mr. Crayford told me you were.
Did I not meet you one day in Chestnut street?” asked Florence.

A faint color tinged the cheek of Effie, and her beautiful eyes drooped
low as she answered,

“You did—too well do I remember it—you looking so happy, and I so sad!
Yes, I saw you point me out to Belmont.”

“_Belmont!_ I know no such person,” said Florence, “it was Mr. Crayford
who was with me—it was Mr. Crayford who told me you were a
fortune-teller.”

“Did he—did he tell you so?” said Effie, bursting into tears, “for,
alas! young lady, it was Belmont—it was my husband you were walking
with!”

“_Your husband!_” cried Florence, aghast.

“Yes, my husband. Dear young lady, think not I am mistaken—would that I
were! I saw those eyes, so full of love, fixed on your blushing
face—heard the soft tones of his voice as he bent low to address you.
Yes, I saw all—heard all; and then, ah then!” cried Effie, with a
shudder, and raising her tearful eyes to heaven, “what a look he cast
upon _me_! But did he—did Belmont send you to me?” she eagerly
demanded.

“No, he did not—it was another who directed me here. And now, my poor
girl,” said Florence, drawing her chair close to Effie, and kindly
taking her hand, “I see that you have been cruelly treated—will you
then tell me your history—will you tell me of Crayford, or Belmont, for
I now see they are one and the same.”

“Do you love him?” asked Effie, sadly.

“No, I do not love him, nor is it probable we shall ever meet again,”
replied Florence.

“But he has sought your love—and yet you love him not—how strange! _I
love him!_ O, would to God I did not!” and here the poor girl sobbed
aloud, while Florence, overcome by emotion, threw her arms around the
unfortunate, and resting her head on her bosom, mingled tears with hers.

When both were a little more calm, Florence again urged her to reveal
her sorrows, which Effie did in language so simple and earnest as
carried conviction to the mind of her listener, who shuddered as the
fearful abyss in which she had been so nearly lost, thus opened before
her.

“And do you know the name of the person who has been so kind to you?”
asked Florence, referring to the preserver of Effie.

“I know not,” answered Effie, “neither does Mrs. Wing, but to me, dear
young lady, he has been an angel of goodness!”

“Strange!” thought Florence, “this benevolent stranger can surely be no
other than my unknown friend. He is, then, all I first imagined
him—kind, noble, disinterested—and yet I have doubted him; how am I
reproved! but for him, my own fate might, perhaps, have resembled that
of the unfortunate girl before me!”

While lost in these reflections, she was suddenly startled by a slight
scream from Effie, who, grasping her arm tightly, said, while her pale
face crimsoned, and her bosom heaved tumultuously,

“Hark! _his_ voice—it _is_ his voice!”

“Whose voice—what is the matter?” demanded Florence.

“Do you not know,” continued Effie, as half rising she bent her little
head, and raised her finger in an attitude of deep attention, “Do you
not know Belmont’s voice? Ah, I see now very well you do not love him.”

“Belmont! good heavens, what shall I do!” exclaimed Florence, starting
up, “is there no way for me to escape—not for worlds would I have him
find me here!”

“Go in there,” said Effie, pointing to a small door; “but you will be
obliged to remain there—there is no other way.”

“Then I must, of course, hear all you say,” said Florence, shrinking
instinctively from thus intruding upon the young girl’s privacy. Effie
looked up confidently and answered,

“It is well; if this meeting is to restore me my happiness, you will
rejoice with me; if it plunge me in still greater wo, then, dear lady,
it is better for you to know it!”

Florence had no time to reply, for now a man’s step was heard quickly
ascending the stairs. Springing into the little room adjoining, she
closed the door, and panting with agitation, awaited the result. Again
the words of the unknown recurred to her, “Fear not! one will be near
you, who will protect you with his life.”

Scarcely had Florence withdrawn, when the other door was opened, and a
man wearing a cloak, with his hat drawn far down over his face, entered,
then closing it, and carefully turning the key, he advanced toward
Effie, who had risen, and stood clinging to the easy-chair to support
her trembling limbs.

“You are surprised to see me, I suppose, child,” said he, throwing off
his cloak and hat, and revealing the form and features of Crayford.

“My dear husband, do we then meet again!” cried Effie, feebly extending
her arms, as she sunk back into the chair.

Crayford folded his arms across his breast, and throwing himself
carelessly upon a seat, said,

“I have come to settle matters with you, that’s all. What the d——l are
you doing here!”

“Don’t speak so cruelly to me—don’t, Belmont!” cried poor Effie,
bursting into tears. “O, if you knew the anguish I have endured since
you left me; if you knew, that, driven to despair, I even sought to take
my own life, you would pity me! If you knew how I have watched for
you—sought for you—how I have waited for you, you would at least have
compassion on me!”

“You’re a fool!” exclaimed Crayford, brutally. “Why I thought you would
have learned better by this time; but since you have not, why you must
not be in my way, that’s all. Now listen to me; you must go out of the
city—and look you, on condition that you will never come back again, I
will give you a thousand dollars; come, that’s generous, now—most men
would let you go to the —— before they would do as much for you. The
fact is, child, I am going to be married, and to a beautiful, rich
lady.”

“_Married!_” shrieked Effie, starting to her feet, and catching his arm,
“married—am I not your wife?”

“Ha! ha! ha!—come, that’s a good one; not exactly, child, you are only
my wife, _pour passer le temps_, as the French say. No, that was all a
hoax—you are free, and with a thousand dollars to buy you a husband!
Now is not that better?” said Crayford, chucking her under the chin.

Effie did not reply. It needed not—those eyes, more eloquent than
words, fastened upon his guilty countenance, told plainly a villain’s
work of wo wrought in her young, trusting heart. Crayford, hardened as
he was, quailed under their reproach.

At length she spoke, but there was an unnatural calmness in her voice,

“Who is the lady you will marry?” she said.

“Well, I will tell you—and, by the way, you came near ruining my
prospects there. She saw you in Chestnut street one day, as we were
walking, and you looked so —— queer at me, that, faith, I were put to
my trumps, and mumbled over something about your being a crazy
fortune-teller—was not that well done?”

“It _was_ well done,” answered Effie, in the same tone; “but her
name—tell me her name.”

“Her name is May—a young, pretty widow; though, on my soul, Effie—why
I declare, now I look at you, you are almost as handsome as ever; if it
was not for her money, she might look further for a husband. But come, I
am in a hurry; I want you to sign this paper, pledging yourself to leave
the city never to return, upon which condition I also pledge myself to
give you a thousand dollars—will you sign it?”

“I will,” answered Effie; “but I require a witness.”

“A witness—nonsense! well, bring up the old woman, then.”

“It is not necessary—here is one,” said Effie, advancing with a firm
step to the inner door, and throwing it wide.

“Severe in youthful beauty,” Florence came forth.

Had a thunderbolt suddenly fallen from heaven, Crayford could not have
been more paralyzed. Florence paused upon the threshold.

“Go!” said she, waving her hand, “go, Mr. Crayford, this innocent girl
is under my protection. I have heard all—I know all—begone, sir!”

And, incapable of uttering one word, the guilty wretch, awed by the
majesty of virtue, stole away as a fiend from the presence of an angel.

The over-tasked firmness of poor Effie now gave way; and piteous it was
to witness the agony of her grief and shame.

“Poor, unhappy child!” cried Florence, taking her to her bosom, and
tenderly soothing her, “you have been basely, cruelly dealt with!
Heavens! I shudder when I think what my fate might have been but for
this discovery!”

She remained some hours with the wretched girl, nor left her until she
had become more tranquil, when, with the assurance that she would see
her again in a very few days, she took an affectionate leave of poor
Effie Day, and returned home.

I will state here that the mysterious friend of Florence May knew
nothing of Crayford’s visit to the victim of his wiles. He merely
intended that from the lips of Effie, she might learn his baseness. Her
meeting with Crayford, therefore, was one of those singular coincidences
which often startle even the most skeptical.

Florence returned home with feelings difficult to analyze. The interest
with which the unknown had from the first inspired her, now suddenly
acquired new strength. She had proved him to be the friend he professed,
while his kindness to the unfortunate Effie (for she doubted not his
individuality) was another proof of his excellence, showing that his
goodness of heart did not confine itself alone to her welfare, which
might be attributable, perhaps, to his avowed attachment, but could find
its way to succor where’er distress or wretchedness dwelt. She felt this
love and kindness merited return—and her heart timidly awarded it.

Selecting a beautiful emerald ring from her jewels, she enclosed it with
the following note:

“Generous, noble friend, I have proved your assertions true. O, pardon
my doubts! You have said you love me; will you then deem it bold in me
if I acknowledge the interest with which you have inspired me. Yet you
say we may never meet; why is this? Accept the enclosed, and with it the
gratitude of Florence.”

“You then acknowledge an interest in me,” wrote the unknown, in reply.
“Thanks, a thousand thanks. The time approaches when the barrier now
existing may be removed, and then I may hope to win your love! Where,
now, are those despairing thoughts which crushed me with their weight of
wo; one kind word from you, and as the soft moonbeams dispel the
blackness of night, they have fled, and around me is the light of
joy—hope—happiness.”


                              CHAPTER VI.

Ten months a widow—was there ever such folly!

To be sure, much might be done in two more, if one earnestly set about
it—for Florence had a pair of eyes, and a tongue might “call an angel
down.”

Yet to those about her, she seemed more reckless of her fate than
ever—going out but seldom, and scarcely allowing any gentleman to
approach her presence.

The old housekeeper, who was strongly attached to her young mistress,
had fretted and scolded to herself for weeks and months. The only time
when she managed to preserve her equanimity, was when Crayford visited
the house, for then she saw plainly an offer of marriage, and a
wedding-party in the bottom of her tea-cup, while love-letters and
kisses sparkled in the candle! But when, like all others, he was also
dismissed, the poor soul could contain herself no longer, but breaking
in abruptly upon Florence one morning, she thus began:

“Does thee know what month it is?”

“Yes, dear Mrs. Hicks,” answered Florence, raising her eyes from her
painting.

“And does thee know that in two more thee has been a widow one year?”

“Alas, yes! but why—why, Mrs. Hicks, do you remind me of it?”

“Truly, child—has thee forgotten thee must marry!”

“_Must_ marry! O no, my good friend, not unless I please—and it is not
my will to marry,” said Florence, smiling.

“Not thy will to marry!” exclaimed Mrs. Hicks, lifting up both hands;
“and so thy will is to be poor!”

“Yes,” answered Florence, “if you call it being poor to be possessed of
health and strength, added to three hundred dollars a year. _Poor!_ why
my dear Mrs. Hicks, I shall be rich—really rich!”

“Rich! Ah, thee talks like a simple child! What will thee do with thy
health and strength and three hundred dollars!”

“O, much,” replied Florence. “With two hundred I can hire a neat little
house—with the other I can furnish it comfortably, and with my health
and strength I can teach music and painting; and, if you please, dear
Mrs. Hicks, you shall live with me, and so shall poor Effie Day.”

“Child, thee knows nothing of life,” cried the good woman, wiping her
eyes. “Verily, it makes my heart sad to see thee blindly throwing from
thee the fortune that good old Abel May did give thee! Child, thee does
not act in accordance with the wishes of that good man; for, truly, he
did beseech thee to marry, that thee might retain the good gifts of the
world!”

Florence threw her arms around the neck of the old lady.

“I thank you, dear Mrs. Hicks, for I know you mean all you have said for
my good; but not to possess millions could I be tempted to barter my
affections; and even if I loved, I would not marry within the prescribed
year, when by remaining a widow, I can give to the relations of that
excellent man, the fortune to which I have no claim, save in his
kindness for one unfortunate. Could I have done so, I would long since
have yielded up my rights.”

“Thee is a noble, good girl; and so long as these hands can work, they
shall work for thee; but I am sorry, nevertheless, to see thee giving up
to the lovers of Mammon what they have so long coveted. Verily it
grieves me, too, that young Abel May does not return! Ah, child, child,
I hope thee may never be sorry!” and affectionately kissing her young
lady, Mrs. Hicks went back to her work, half pleased, half angry with
the determination of Florence.

In the meantime, slowly, slowly, slowly, to the kindred of old Abel May,
circled the twelve months, dating from the day of his death;
suspiciously, anxiously, uneasily watching every movement of the young
widow.

But joy, joy! The long looked-for morning at length dawned. To their
eager gaze the sun seemed like a huge golden guinea, as he smiled from
the eastern sky upon their hopes, and soft and silky as bank-note paper
appeared the thin, vapory clouds floating o’er his path.

Again from marble-columned squares and by-lanes, from suburban cottages
and distant villages they came, flocking in like vultures, all ready to
pounce down upon the innocent little lamb whom old Abel May had
sheltered in his bosom.

Nor were their torments ended here; even then a new fear seized upon
them. Who knows what desperation might effect; the widow that very day
might take it into her head to marry—they had no doubt she would.

Alas! each hour marking the twelve of that day of doom, was but a type
of the preceding twelve month, which had finally brought around the
_joyful_ anniversary.

Midnight sounded. Hurra! hurra! The widow unmarried; and bright,
sparkling dollars, like shooting stars, falling around them.

At twelve, M. precisely, the lawyers bowed themselves into the spacious
parlor of the deceased, for it could no longer be called the widow’s, in
order to read again the last will and testament.

Triumph sat again upon the countenances of those whom the occasion had
called together, although some made most woful faces in trying to
squeeze out a few tears, thinking it would be judicious to consider the
old man as just dead. But Florence was as provokingly cheerful and
handsome as ever—why one would have thought she was about to receive a
fortune instead of losing one; and it even seemed as if she could hardly
suppress her laughter as she glanced around at the expectant heirs.

The man of law at length drew forth the will with an emphatic “_Hem_,”
premonitory.

Then on all sides there was a general stir; the gentlemen pulled up
their shirt-collars and elongated their faces; the ladies smoothed down
their mourning robes and held their handkerchiefs ready to receive a
tear when occasion should call it forth.

The reading commenced, and all eyes turned exultingly upon Florence as
these words sounded audibly:

“To my beloved wife, Florence, I do bequeath all my property, both
personal and real, consisting of,” etc., etc., “provided that within one
year from the day of my death she marries. But if, at the expiration of
that time she still remain a widow, then I do annul my will in her
favor, and do bequeath the same to my nephew, Abel May, provided he
returns within the said year. If not, then unto those who can bring good
proofs of their consanguinity to me, do I direct my property to be
equally distributed. Always excepting an annuity of three hundred
dollars, to be paid to my beloved wife, so long as she lives, etc.”

“Nonsense!”

“Three hundred dollars!”

“An old fool!” echoed softly from lip to lip—the paltry sum already
dashing their cup of joy.

“You have heard the will, ladies and gentlemen,” said the lawyer,
addressing the company, “I believe Mrs. May acknowledges herself still a
widow—will you signify the same, madam?”

Florence bowed.

“You observe, ladies and gentlemen, the lady admits herself a widow;
then, of course, it only remains for me to announce young Abel May as
sole heir to all the property, both personal and real, of which the
testator died possessed.”

“But Abel May has not returned!” was the general exclamation.

“Abel May has returned—Abel May is here to claim his rights!” said the
lawyer, screech owl that he was to their ears.

The folding doors were thrown open, and a gentleman slowly advanced
within the circle.

Did Florence dream—was it no vision of her imagination! for as she
looked upon the stranger, the same eyes she had seen so mournfully
gazing upon her in the picture gallery, but which now, beaming with
happiness, met hers, while upon his finger—a star of hope—glittered
the emerald ring she had sent the unknown.

Slightly bowing to the astonished assembly, Abel May eagerly approached
her. The happy girl looked up with a sweet smile as he drew near; what
need of words, her beautiful eyes were far more eloquent, and with
thrilling joy the young heir caught her to his bosom.

At first the discomfited relatives disputed the identity of the tall,
elegant stranger, with the lad who so many years before went roving; but
his proofs were indisputable. So out of the room, and out of the house,
and back again to their homes, with unreplenished purses, they quickly
dispersed.

It appears that young May returned only a few weeks subsequent to the
death of his uncle from the East Indies, where he had accumulated a
handsome fortune. By accident he saw Florence, and was deeply interested
by her appearance. Aware that a lapse of so many years must have
materially altered his person, he resolved to remain incognito. Frequent
opportunities of seeing the young widow ripened the interest she had
first inspired into affection. Yet he would not present himself to her
notice amid the throng of fortune-hunters and idle flatterers who
surrounded her. Rumor had made known to him the nature of the will, and
he resolved to abide the year, taking upon himself, meanwhile, the
pleasing office of acting as the protector and guide of the young,
inexperienced widow. If, at the end of the year, she had so far evinced
a soul above all sordid views as to remain unmarried, then, and not till
then, would he seek to gain her love. With the fortune, however, which,
in the event of her remaining single, would fall to him, he nobly
resolved to have no share, and had therefore drawn up an instrument by
which he relinquished all claim in favor of Florence, whether successful
in obtaining her affection or not. This only awaited its proper time to
be duly attested.

A year and a day brought results with which the reader is already
acquainted, and a few weeks witnessed the happy union of Florence and
young Abel May.

Under the roof of her benefactor and his lovely wife, the unfortunate
Effie Day found a home and kind friends. Of Crayford nothing more was
ever heard. It was supposed he had left the country for a field less
obnoxious to the display of his peculiar attributes.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                                 LINES.


                            BY FORLORN HOPE.


    Fairest! Nature now is smiling, serene, lovely and beguiling,
        Let us to the sea shore stray,
    Where are billows ever filing—wiling there our hours away
        Listening to the ocean’s thunder,
    Gazing on the skies with wonder, wonder as each world we number
        Poised in space above.
    Lo! Diana in her glory rising o’er yon promontory,
        Trace to earth the moon-beam’s flight,
    Beauty to our planet lending, blending while they are descending
        With the sombre shades of night.
    Tune thy lute, love, touch it idly, that the tones may echo wildly
        And sighs of softest passion move.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                             MAJOR ANSPACH.


                   FROM THE FRENCH OF MARC FOURNIER.


[Illustration]


                               CHAPTER I.

Major Anspach was an old gentleman who was as thin as he was long, nay,
even thinner than he was long.

Forty years before the epoch when occurred, oh reader, the events we
shall take the liberty to recount to you, the worthy major was the
finest looking musqueteer in the regiment of Monsieur d’Artois. He
possessed some fortune, belonged to one of the best families in
Lorraine, could fence to admiration, and had a heart at the service of
the fair sex. The ladies of the court and city, to whom a son of Mars is
always irresistible, of course were not insensible to the attractions of
a musqueteer of five feet eleven, and the major, on his part, was so
gallant in his attentions to them, that his captain gave him the title
of the Turenne of boudoirs.

But forty years leave some traces of their flight; Major Anspach in 1827
was the mere shadow of his former self, and retained of his vanished
splendors only a scanty income of 800 livres, a pair of black plush
pantaloons, a long snuff-colored overcoat, and a garret for which he
paid forty crowns a year.

Notwithstanding this serious diminution of the means of happiness, the
major, who was a widower, contrived to enjoy himself perfectly for at
least six months in the year. How few persons do we see who can boast of
being satisfied with their destiny one day out of two?

It is true that the moderate pleasures of Major Anspach did not
materially encroach on his pocket, and for this we deem the cidevant
musqueteer worthy of eulogium. He limited his enjoyments to a promenade
in the Tuileries, each time that the sun deigned to shine on its
precincts, happy alike when the Dog Star raged or under the frozen beams
of a wintry sky. As this orb however rarely deigns to show us his face
in unclouded brilliance, our old friend had made it his profound study
to discover that part of the garden in which he could enjoy the rays of
Phœbus without exposure to their intensity.

After much research and divers trials, the major at last made his
choice. At the extremity of the terrace des Feuillants is a platform,
embowered in trees and shrubs, which commands a view of the Place de la
Concorde, and the architectural entrance to that part of the garden. A
balustrade terminates this platform, and by a graceful sweep conducts
you to a pleasant enclosure between the avenues and the western gate of
the Tuileries. This turn in the balustrade forms then, as you will
perceive, an acute angle with the line of the platform, and it is of the
summit of this angle, whose sides are composed of two walls about twelve
feet high, which form a fortified corner, that we are going to speak.
Exposed to the rising sun, this spot (as the reader may ascertain for
himself if he likes) seems expressly constructed in order to concentrate
the greatest possible heat in the smallest space, which heat would
indeed be insupportable were it not surrounded with flowering shrubs and
thickets to render it agreeable to the frequenters of the place.

Major Anspach, for reasons pertaining a little to his plush
inexpressibles, avoided all contact with the passing crowd; and although
gazing with pleasure on the sports of the children who visited the
garden, nothing would have annoyed him more than too close a proximity
to the young rogues, or to the fresh and frisky damsels with laughing
eyes who had charge of the juveniles. It was essential to his comfort,
therefore, to select a position where he could see without being seen,
and also that his seat should be of such narrow limits that when he once
occupied it, no one could expect to share it with him.

This bench M. Anspach had at last discovered at the intersection of the
balustrade and platform, between two hedges of woodbine and honeysuckle,
shaded by the foliage of a noble tree, and fragrant with roses and
jasmine. He could there bask in the morning sun, enjoy a refreshing
breeze at noon, and in the evening luxuriate in the perfume exhaled from
the flowers and shrubs. The place, however, was so narrow, and so
completely buried in the surrounding foliage that, although, as we have
before insinuated, our friend was the longest and thinnest of majors, he
could not, without some trouble, ensconce himself within its limits,
but, once seated, his angular figure so completely coincided with the
geometrical accidences of the bench, that it was impossible for even a
fly to find a resting-place beside him.

Established in his daily position, the view of the dazzling façade of
the royal palace through the grove of venerable chestnut trees, would
plunge the old man in retrospection of the gay scenes in which he had
once been an actor, and it was these melancholy though pleasing
reminiscences of the past, combined with the murmur of the lively crowd
and the mingled perfume and beauty of the flowers and foliage, that
rendered this spot a terrestrial paradise to the cidevant musqueteer.

And how does it happen, you ask, that this poor Major Anspach, who was
really a gentleman and courtier at Versailles forty years ago, should
now be reduced to seek a refuge from the sun, and from the inquisitive
gaze that might have too closely peered into the mystery of his plush
inexpressibles?

It was by one of those simple, unforeseen accidents, on which sometimes
hangs the destiny of a life-time, and which, in the major’s case,
occurred in this wise: One evening a celebrated belle, Mademoiselle
Guimard, was so awkward as to drop her handkerchief; the consequence of
which was that her friend fell from one trouble into another, until Fate
landed him in his long snuff-colored overcoat and plush pantaloons on
the bench which is the true subject of this remarkable history.


                              CHAPTER II.

Mademoiselle Guimard having dropped her handkerchief, of the finest
linen cambric, edged with Malines lace, and apparently embroidered by
the hands of fairies, the Chevalier de Palissandre, an arrant fop,
clothed in velvet, and an expert swordsman, conceived the impertinent
idea of stooping to pick it up; but he did it so clumsily that he trod
on the toe of Major Anspach, who was just then offering his arm to the
lady—how inexcusable! Briefly they exchanged glances—bowed most
politely—and the next morning went out to cut each other’s throats.

At day-break M. Anspach had his hair dressed, and attiring himself in
the most elegant manner, drove in his carriage to the Porte Maillot,
which was the place of rendezvous. He put 300,000 francs in gold in his
carriage, that he might immediately leave the country for foreign lands,
until the family of the chevalier had ceased to mourn his death, for you
must know that the major had a certain trick in fencing that he
considered sure, so that according to his belief the chevalier was as
good as dead.

The thing succeeded as he had foreseen; they made some passes, and as
soon as the major perceived that the chevalier was getting excited, he
made such a furious thrust en tierce that M. Palissandre saw the flash
and fell struck by the thunder.

It was hardly daylight, and M. Anspach was in such a hurry to get in his
carriage that he made a mistake, and entering that of the chevalier, was
many leagues distant ere he discovered his error, and it was then too
late to return.

Arrived at London, he remembered that his banker could tell him what had
become of his carriage, his 300,000 francs and the Chevalier de
Palissandre. He wrote to him then, and took advantage of the opportunity
to ask him to send funds, for after turning his pockets inside out he
had only found a few Louis. He had to wait some time for an answer, and
in promenading the Park to beguile the weary moments he fell in love
with a young Creole from the Spanish West Indies. The lady was on the
point of embarking for Havana, and as our heedless hero could not become
accustomed to the climate nor the plum-pudding, he raised a thousand
crowns on some diamonds he had with him, and borrowed a thousand Louis
from a friend attached to the French embassy, whom he had fortunately
encountered in the street; the next morning he embarked on the same
vessel as the young Creole, and was on his way to the West Indies.

After arriving at the Havana he wrote again to his banker, asking anew
for his carriage and the chevalier, and demanding money. But the vessel
that carried his dispatches was apparently lost, for six months
afterward, the major had spent his last doubloon, and was still
expecting an answer from his agent; he was also terribly tired of his
love affair. In this emergency he thought the best means to obtain
information was to seek it in person, even at the risk of being arrested
as a deserter from his regiment; he resolved, however, to be prudent,
and to enter Paris incognito. He sold his wardrobe to pay for his
passage, and landed without any misfortune, assuming the first name that
occurred to him.

His friends who recognized him gave him a warm welcome, and informed him
that his banker had left for America, carrying with him 500,000 francs,
the price of an estate the major had sold the year previous. This new
accident entirely disturbed his equanimity, as the above sum, with that
lost in the carriage, comprised nearly all his fortune.

He had no resource but in the chevalier, but the chevalier he was told,
after being an invalid for two weeks, had as soon as he was able to
leave his bed started for London. The major, who inferred that the
chevalier was anxious to return him his sword cut and his money, was
touched even to tears by this generosity, and the next morning embarked
for London in pursuit of his magnanimous foe.

Arrived at the great English metropolis, he ran to the embassy, visited
all the hotels, explored Covent Garden and the Opera, searched the
gambling-houses, the fencing-rooms, the coffee-houses—no chevalier!
Finally he discovered by application to the firm of Ashburton & Co.,
bankers in the city, that the chevalier had departed three months before
to the Havana. “Oh, the devil!” cried the disappointed major, “how cruel
is Fortune. I would not return within reach of the claws of my Creole
for all the treasures of the East. I will go to America and horsewhip
that rascally banker—that will amuse me.”

This was certainly his most obvious course of proceeding, for as he had
nothing left but a small income from a farm in the environs of
Phalsbourg, it was better to run after 500,000 francs than 100,000
crowns. He therefore embarked for New Orleans, where his banker had
sought refuge, and he succeeded in finding him, already penniless from
speculating in public lands. The major felt the less remorse for
cudgeling him soundly, and then not knowing what else to do, enrolled
himself in the corps of M. Lafayette, to fight the English.

He evinced great bravery, and his career would doubtless have been
brilliant had it not been for his unfortunate rencontre with M. de
Palissandre, which, by rendering him a deserter, made him amenable at
any time to the requisition of the Provost of Paris.

The American war terminated; the major found himself tolerably indebted
to some generous friends who had divined his uncomfortable position.
This circumstance recalled the missing carriage, money, and chevalier to
his memory, and he accordingly wrote to the Havana for precise
information. But the reply was that no one could be found answering the
description of M. de Palissandre, and it was therefore probable he had
died on the voyage out. The major almost resolved to hang himself.

On the other side, the payments from his farm had not reached him for
some months, and the new aspect of affairs in 1789 did not inspire him
with the desire of going in person to receive his arrears and to learn
the cause of their non arrival, he could indeed nearly guess it.

His situation could not be more embarrassing, all things conspired to
overwhelm him. “Is there not something incredible,” said he, one evening
when seated on the Battery at New York, and in his excitement
unconsciously speaking aloud, “is there not something incredible in my
being the sport of such a destiny: that I should have been gallanting
Mademoiselle Guimard, when the coquette dropped her handkerchief, and
cost me a hundred thousand pounds, without mentioning my scrape with the
government at Paris, and my debts that I cannot pay? Oh Fate! who can
avert thy blows!”

At this moment some one tapped him on the shoulder.


                              CHAPTER III.

“Friend,” said the new comer, “you appear overwhelmed with trouble. What
can I do for you?”

“I will tell you, sir, what you can do,” said the major, haughtily
drawing himself up; “you can take off your hat when you address me.”

“You are right,” replied the unknown, with a calm smile, removing his
hat, “an honest man respects misfortune.”

“It is not my misfortunes, sir, but myself I insist on your respecting,
when you do me the honor to speak to me.”

“You are French, sir.”

“A Frenchman and a nobleman.”

“You are mistaken.”

“What do you say, sir.”

“I say you cannot be a French nobleman, since there are no more noblemen
in France.”

“I know not if there be any in France, but there is one here who will
make you food for fishes.”

“You will not do it.”

“Do you mean that for a challenge?”

“Merely as advice. You are the cidevant Baron Anspach, of Phalsbourg,
and you descend by the female line from the last Dukes of Lorraine. I
know that, and I know also that your farm near Phalsbourg has been
confiscated, because you emigrated; that you have no funds in France,
and that you are there condemned to death.”

“I am obliged to you for the information, but I see nothing in it to
prevent my pitching you into the water.”

“You may be right, sir; but even should you drown me, I do not perceive
how it will improve your affairs. You will only have one friend less,
and very certainly one misfortune more.”

“It appears, sir, that you have pretensions to wit.”

“I do not know which of us two has the most, sir; I, who would enlighten
you on your situation, or you who would throw me into the river for
offering you my assistance.”

“I am your debtor, sir, but a gentleman descended from the last Dukes of
Lorraine cannot accept the offers of a stranger.”

“And from whom can you expect them here, if not from a stranger.”

“Permit me to inform you, sir, that no gentleman is reduced to
humiliation who retains his sword.”

“Why, how would you use it?”

“To chastise the scoundrel who would insult me with his importunate
pity, and then, rather than expose myself to repeated injury, thrust it
through my own body.”

“You speak proudly; but acknowledge that you can do better than thus to
insult God by disposing of the life of your fellow being and yourself.
Are you sure there is no resource left you but suicide?”

“Yes. I have six Louis left.”

“Better than that, Major Anspach; there is a treasure in your reach.”

“Perhaps you mean wisdom?”

“No, but something that leads to it.”

“What then do you mean?”

“Labor.”

“Ah, you are a moral reformer.”

“I am but an humble creature of God, major, whose consciousness of his
fallibility has led him to pursue the useful conjoined to the good. But
I have only discovered one resource that is alike beneficial to mind and
body, to the one in this world, to the other in eternity.”

“And this thing,” said M. Anspach thoughtfully, “is labor?”

“Yes, sir, labor—man’s destiny since his creation.”

“Man—well, _you_ are right, for being no longer a baron I am but a man.
But what is your motive in this conversation? You have catechised me for
an hour, as if I recognized your right to annoy me. Remember, sir, I do
not even know your name.”

“That is not true.”

“Oh, the devil! take care; you shall not give me the lie twice.”

“Well,” said the unknown, smiling, “I am going to commit the offence for
the third time, in repeating that you cannot be ignorant of my name.”

“Faith, sir, if you think your name of any importance, I do not prevent
your telling it to me.”

“It was my intention to have done so just now, when I offered you my
hand and my services. My name is Franklin.”

“Franklin! Ah, sir, what have I done! Can you ever pardon me? I throw
myself at your feet.”

Mr. Franklin raised the major, laughing till the tears came into his
eyes, and telling him that it was not the great man he imagined, as that
luminary had ceased to enlighten the world two years before, but for
want of a better he, George Steward Zachariah Franklin, of the firm of
Franklin & Son, of New York, was at his service, and ready to give
proofs of his identity to his worthy friend M. Anspach. He further
explained, that it was on the recommendation of Lafayette himself, that
he had sought him out; the latter on leaving America having related the
major’s situation and adventures to him, and commended him to his
attention. He added that if the major would do him the honor to dine
with him, he would have the pleasure of submitting some propositions to
him worthy of consideration.

Major Anspach, Baron of Phalsbourg, extended his hand to Mr. Franklin,
and pledged himself to profit for the future by the lesson of wisdom so
opportunely received. The banker pursued his advantage so well that
three days later the major left for Canada, and three months afterward
was superintending the labors of five hundred colonists, who, under his
orders, cleared a forest of some eight square leagues.

M. Anspach lived happily in these solitudes for twenty-five years,
laboring to introduce civilization into their savage recesses. It was a
rude apprenticeship for the cidevant courtier, but it is due to truth to
declare that as his fortune increased, the major had the good sense to
forget, for the moment at least, that he was descended on the female
side from the last Dukes of Lorraine, and having married the daughter of
a rich farmer, he thanked Providence, whose inscrutable ways had led him
to true happiness at more than 1500 leagues from the Opera.
Unfortunately the major’s wife died after a brief illness, leaving no
children, and the day after her death he received letters from France,
apprising him of the return of the Bourbons. The devil then put it into
his head to remember his barony of Phalsbourg and his regiment. He
immediately sold his American property, realized his whole fortune,
which was more than a million of dollars, and embarked on board the
Neptune for Havre. The voyage was prosperous until within sight of the
coast of Brittany, when a sudden tempest arose, drove the vessel on
shore and completely wrecked her. Some passengers were saved, among whom
was the major, who landed on the shores of France as poor as he had left
them thirty years before.

The only hope left to him after this disaster was, that he should be
favorably received at court; and although his views were, in many
respects, much changed, he resolved nevertheless to present himself to
the king, in whose guards he had formerly served. But, from his first
appearance, he saw there was no room for delusive expectations. In fact
the major was not what was then termed “a nobleman broken down by
exile,” he had dared to be happy while monarchy suffered, and to enrich
himself among republicans, while other men of quality were forced to ask
credit from the butchers of Coblentz. They did not even take into
account his recent misery, since it was owing to a fortuitous accident,
and he was therefore coldly dismissed.

The major was too proud of his maternal descent to abase himself by
servility. He sturdily turned his back on the Tuileries, and
concentrated all his efforts toward reëstablishing himself in his farm
at Phalsbourg. He partly succeeded in his object, but when he had paid
the advocates, the solicitors, the bailiffs, and the court fees; when he
had discharged the debts he owed to some old friends, he found himself
the possessor of 800 francs a year and an extremely philosophical
wardrobe. He did not complain, but resigned himself to the dictates of
necessity; he reduced his desires to the compass of his means, his
ambition vanished, his contentment increased, and the man of the
American forests, the colonist, reappeared more worthy of esteem in the
midst of poverty than when he was rich and powerful in those vast
solitudes.

And this brings us back, dear reader, to the little bench so prettily
hidden in the clustering jasmine and roses, last retreat, last enjoyment
of the cidevant musqueteer, who ruined himself twice and became a sage
because Mademoiselle Guimard dropped her handkerchief.

                                           [_Conclusion in our next._

                 *        *        *        *        *



                               HOMEWOOD.


                           BY P. C. SHANNON.


Among the many beautiful country-seats which have, of late years, sprung
up around us, there is no one perhaps that in architectural design, in
compactness and elegance of finish, surpasses “Homewood,” the residence
of the Hon. William Wilkins. Throughout all its parts, and in all its
arrangements, it presents a chaste and highly tasteful appearance.

The name adopted is quite appropriate. The building stands in the centre
of a nearly circular area, the circumference of which is bounded for
acres back by the tall oaks of the primeval forest. In the summer, when
the grass waves and the flowers unfold their fragrant treasures, this
circular area presents to the eye the aspect of an island of verdure
surrounded by the dim old trees. When evening approaches and the sun
pours his slanting beams through the luxuriant foliage, bathing the
boughs in liquid gold, no place can be more delightful than the
“columned porch” at Homewood. The warbling of the birds, the fragrance
of manifold flowers, the lowing of distant herds, the gentle rustling of
the branches moved by the passing breeze, the shouts of the distant
harvestmen preparing to leave, with the sun’s decline, their daily
toil—all combine to lull the heart and to enchant the senses.

The approach is through a spacious avenue, curving as it nears the
building, and crossing a little dingle, through which murmurs a gentle
streamlet. The scenery is lovely, the soil fertile, the location airy
and healthful.

The whole country around abounds in historic associations of the “olden
time,” when the red man struggled against the advancing column of
civilization. And what history has been unable rightfully to
appropriate, legend and fiction have gathered up, and woven into dark
and solemn drapery, wherewith they have clothed every prominent locality
and invested every heroic character of those shadowy ages. Over these
fields once roamed the Shawanese, who, driven from Florida, made their
way to the head of the Ohio—a powerful, warlike, and restless tribe,
who alone of all the Indians retained a tradition that their fathers had
crossed the ocean. Not far off dwelt, for a time, a branch of the Lenni
Lenape, who, in former days, had welcomed the Shawanese to their
hunting-grounds. Tradition has it, that afterward the last mentioned
tribe, forgetful of former kindness and hospitality, left their homes on
the Ohio, crossed the Allegheny Mountains and fell by night upon the
camps of the unsuspecting Lenape on the river Juniata, where they
massacred many of them, and marched off with prisoners and plunder. Over
these grounds, and up as far as the mouth of the Youghiogany, Queen
Aliquippa, spoken of by Washington in his Journal, and visited by him in
1753, governed with rude and simple sway. Shingiss, King of the
Delawares, the lover of Aliquippa, had the seat of his regal power near
McKee’s Rocks, a little below Pittsburgh. He was young, generous and
brave, and alliances with him were eagerly sought by both the French and
the English. At the rustic court of Aliquippa, and one of her chief
advisers, was Tonnaleuka, “prophet and medicine-man”—a solemn,
mysterious personage, who sought, in caverns, to hold communion with the
invisible world, and who laid claim to great knowledge in occult arts
and mysterious rites.

At a distance of two or three miles from Homewood lies Braddock’s Field,
on the bank of the Monongahela River—the theatre of one of the most
prominent occurrences in our colonial history. The total defeat of
General Braddock, on the 9th of July, 1755, caused an electric shock
throughout the colonies, and occasioned profound grief and astonishment
in the mother country. But on this field of death and defeat it was that
Washington first gained a renown for wisdom and bravery which will be
forever associated with his name. He was often heard to say that the
most beautiful spectacle he had ever beheld, “was the display of the
British troops on this eventful morning. Every man was dressed in full
uniform; the soldiers were arrayed in columns and marched in exact
order; the sun gleamed from their burnished arms, the river flowed
tranquilly on one side, and the deep forest overshadowed them with
solemn grandeur on the other. Officers and men were equally inspirited
with cheering hopes and confident expectations.”

And yet ere the gloom of twilight had encircled the forest, more than
half that brilliant army had fallen!

Among the many beautiful traditions relative to Washington, which have
been handed down to our times, is one which rests on the authority of
Dr. Craik, who, it appears, was the intimate friend of Washington from
his boyhood to his death, and who was with him at Braddock’s defeat.

“Fifteen years after that event, they traveled together on an expedition
to the western country, with a party of woodsmen, for the purpose of
exploring wild lands. While near the junction of the Great Kenhawa and
Ohio rivers, a company of Indians came to them with an interpreter, at
the head of whom was an aged and venerable chief. This personage made
known to them by the interpreter, that hearing Col. Washington was in
that region, he had come a long way to visit him, adding that during the
battle of the Monongahela he had singled him out as a conspicuous
object; fired his rifle at him many times, and directed his young
warriors to do the same, but to his utter astonishment none of their
balls took effect. He was then persuaded that the youthful hero was
under the special guardianship of the Great Spirit, (Manitou,) and
ceased to fire at him any longer. He was now come to pay homage to the
man who was the particular favorite of heaven, and _who could never die
in battle_.”

                   HOMEWOOD.

        The sinking sun streams through the trees,
          That form a circle there;
        And fragrant is the gentle breeze
          With sweets from flow’rets rare.

        It nestles in the ancient wood
          Where loved to couch the fawn,
        Where oft the dark-browed hunter stood
          At break of early dawn.

        These time-worn oaks might tell a tale
          Of struggles fierce and bold,
        When on the hill and in the dale
          The tide of battle rolled.

        The Shawanese on foeman’s trail
          No more bound free and light,
        Nor cower to hear the moaning wail
          Of tempest-howling night.

        From southern vales where Suwanee
          Rolls turbid to the tide,
        They tracked the wand’ring Lenape
          Where northern waters glide.

        And when night’s misty mantle fell
          On hill and dusky plain,
        Dark Juniata’s shades could tell
          The number of the slain.

        That race of bronze hath passed away,
          And all the forests broad,
        That yielded to its warlike sway,
          Are now by strangers trod.

        The blue-eyed Saxon plants his maize
          In peaceful furrows now,
        And through the long, lone summer days
          He speeds the glist’ning plough.

        O’er pastures white with sleeping flocks
          The night-winds gently sigh,
        And fields arrayed in golden shocks
          In length’ning shadows lie.

        The moon is up—and silv’ry beams
          Rest on the grassy mound,
        Where Aliquippa’s spirit gleams
          Along the haunted ground.

        They say that in her mystic walks,
          When night-dews wet the flowers,
        The bright-robed Shingiss ever stalks
          With her through vernal bowers.

        And Tonnaleuka, child of storm,
          Comes forth from cavern dark,
        With magic zone bound round his form,
          And pouch with healing bark.

        And where is she, the laughing maid,
          With tress of ebon hue,
        Who tripped so blithely through the glade,
          Or sped the light canoe?

        No sound is heard—no human voice
          Breaks through the stillness deep;
        The twinkling stars, like saints, rejoice
          The ways of God to keep.

        O’er Braddock’s Field the mist hath spread,
          The same as when of yore
        It stretched its shroud above the dead
          Along the winding shore.

        On nodding plume and polished lance
          The morn its glories threw,
        But proudly waved the flag of France
          When stars looked on the dew.

        Then loudly burst the conquering yell
          Upon the rippling stream,
        While faintly rose, from distant dell,
          The wild bird’s lonely scream.

        And when the drum had ceased to roll,
          And all the living fled,
        The watching wolf from covert stole
          To feast upon the dead.

        To far off climes that wail was borne,
          O’er waves by tempests tost,
        And long did Albion’s daughters mourn
          The lovers they had lost.

        Yet erring was the red man’s aim,
          Who oft, with leveled gun,
        Had sought to rob the page of fame
          Of Freedom’s noblest son.

        When years had fled, that chieftain frail
          Went far to see the man,
        Who through the battle’s fiery hail,
          Had fought when Britons ran.

        Full long he gazed upon the brow,
          And marked the placid eye,
        Of him who, loved by Manitou,
          Could ne’er in battle die!

        The chieftain old has gone to rest
          By Great Kenawa’s side,
        Where th’ waving pine bends low its crest,
          And the shadows dimly glide.

        Close by Potomac’s gentle wave,
          On Vernon’s slope of green,
        The nation’s father found a grave.
          And there his tomb is seen.

                      ——

        ’Twas fit that here, in forest shade,
          This tasteful _home_ should rise,
        Where honored age in peace might fade,
          Like sun in western skies.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                         THE BATTLE OF TRENTON.


  BY CHARLES J. PETERSON, AUTHOR OF THE “MILITARY HEROES OF THE WAR OF
                             INDEPENDENCE.”


 [_Illustrated with a View of the Head-Quarters of Gen. Knox, where the
           Council of War was held previous to the Battle._]

The battle of Trenton was the turning point of the War of Independence.
For months before, the prospects of the Colonies had been darkening, and
but for this bold stroke, would soon have set in gloom forever. A brief
review of the condition of affairs is necessary to a just comprehension
of the battle.

When, in March, 1776, the British found themselves compelled to evacuate
Boston, they resolved to carry their arms into the Middle States, and
there strike at the very heart of the nation. Accordingly, Sir William
Howe, after recruiting his forces at Halifax, sailed for New York. On
the 28th of August, at the head of an army twenty-four thousand strong,
he defeated the Americans on Long Island; and, a few days subsequently,
compelled them to abandon the city of New York. Washington now retreated
to White Plains, where an ineffectual engagement followed. Soon Fort
Washington, at the upper end of the island of Manhattan, was stormed and
carried by the royalist troops. Finding it impossible to maintain his
hold upon the Hudson, the American general determined to retreat across
New Jersey; and accordingly, abandoning all his positions, hurried over
the North River, the British following in quick pursuit.

Thus, within two months after the battle of Long Island, the cause of
the Colonies sunk into almost hopeless ruin. The enthusiasm which
accompanied the first outbreak at Lexington, had given way before the
privations of a protracted contest; and the soldiers, who in 1775 had
flocked unsolicited to the flag of their country, in 1776 turned a deaf
ear to the bounty offered by Congress. In the army, the spirits of both
officers and men were broken by a long series of disasters. Before the
end of November the force of Washington, by loss in battle, by the
expiration of enlistment, by desertion, and by other casualties, had
dwindled down to a little over three thousand men. With this remnant of
an army he retreated across New Jersey, hotly pursued by Cornwallis, at
the head of twenty thousand well appointed troops; nor could he save
himself from utter ruin except by throwing the Delaware between himself
and his foe. On the 8th of December, he crossed that river, and, having
destroyed the bridges behind him, gained a momentary respite.

To the eyes of nearly every man but the commander-in-chief, this
momentary relief seemed only an interval of additional agony between the
sentence and execution, for ultimate escape appeared impossible. The
most sanguine believed that Philadelphia would fall before the month was
out. Congress, which had been in session there, hurried off to
Baltimore. Meantime, the British, in secure possession of New Jersey,
issued a proclamation, requiring every inhabitant to lay down his arms
and take the oath of allegiance; and hundreds, who had been among the
most enthusiastic for resistance, but who now despaired of success,
hastened to purchase mercy by a timely submission. Even gentlemen high
in rank on the side of the Colonies wavered in their patriotism. The
panic was universal. The hurricane seemed about to prostrate every thing
before it.

In the gloom of this awful tempest, Washington, almost alone, stood
unappalled. Not for one moment did his constancy forsake him. He saw the
full peril of his situation; but he brought to it the resources of his
mighty genius, and the unshaken resolution of his giant soul. Never, in
any period of his life, was he greater than in this. No hint of
submission crossed his mind. “If Philadelphia falls,” he said in public,
“we must retreat to the Susquehanna, and thence, if necessary, beyond
the Alleghenies.” From the moment he had crossed the Delaware, he had
been revolving in his mind a plan to change, by one bold act, the whole
aspect of the war. The British, instead of being concentrated in some
central point, were scattered in detachments over New Jersey, a
proceeding they had adopted for the convenience of forage, believing
their enemy utterly powerless for aggressive measures. Washington
resolved to take advantage of this error, and to strike at several of
these detachments at once. He learned that fifteen hundred men,
principally Hessians, were cantoned at Trenton, and that smaller bodies
lay at Bordentown, Burlington, Mount Holly, and neighboring villages. To
cut off one or all of these from the main army was his design.

It has been said, by more than one interested writer, that this masterly
idea did not originate with Washington, but was suggested by others; and
various officers have been named as the real authors of the plan. But
the very number of the aspirants destroys the exclusive claims of each,
and strengthens the notion that the manœuvre sprung from the
commander-in-chief alone. The letters of Washington, for a fortnight
before the battle, point to the great thought he was maturing in his
mind. He was encouraged in his plan by the alacrity with which the
Pennsylvania militia, under the command of General Cadwalader, began to
turn out; and by the reflection that, unless some bold stroke was
promptly hazarded, the spirits of the people would sink into hopeless
despondency. Accordingly, he called a council of war, before which he
laid his daring scheme. As absolute secrecy was necessary to the success
of the enterprise, only the very highest officers were admitted to this
assembly, which met at the head-quarters of Gen. Knox, in Upper
Makefield, Bucks County, Pa. The house is, we believe, still standing,
an antiquated dwelling of two stories, faithfully depicted in our
engraving.

[Illustration: HEAD QUARTERS OF GEN. KNOX.
The House in which the Council of War was held previous to the Battle of
  Trenton.]

Little did those who met at that council of war, though aware that
mighty results hung upon their decision, imagine a tithe of the truth.
They knew that the success or defeat of the Colonies might possibly be
involved, but they could not penetrate the future, and foresee that the
existence of the greatest and most enlightened republic that ever lived,
depended on their conclusion. To their eyes it was chiefly a question of
preserving their little army, or at most of protracting the contest into
another campaign, that they might have the benefit of whatever chances
should turn up. But in reality they were determining whether the great
problem of man’s capacity for self-government should be tested or
not—whether twenty millions of people, as we now are, or one hundred
millions, as we will be by the close of the century, should rise into
freemen, or sink into slaves. Under God, all the progress that liberty
has made since that hour, here or abroad, may be traced to the
resolution adopted in that council of war! That we are a free people;
that our wide-spread territories are filled with prosperity and
happiness; that the United States is looked to by the whole world as the
Mecca of the oppressed; and that every breeze that blows from Europe
brings sounds of falling thrones, and nations breaking the chains which
have galled them for centuries—we owe to the determination of that
little assembly to sustain their commander-in-chief. We can imagine when
the council rose, that the angel who watched over the youth of our
republic, and who had trembled for the result, clapped his hands for
joy, and that the exultant sound, taken up by messenger after messenger,
passed from hierarch to hierarch, until all heaven rang with the
acclaim.

The plan, as finally determined on, was that Washington, with the
continental troops, should cross the Delaware above Trenton, and move
down to the attack of that town; while Ewing, crossing the river below,
should make an assault simultaneously from the lower side. Meantime,
Cadwalader, with a strong detachment of militia, crossing at Bristol,
was, if possible, to carry the posts at Burlington and Mount Holly. The
night of the 25th of December was chosen for the surprise, as it was
supposed that the enemy, on that festive occasion, would be more or less
off his guard. The weather had been unusually warm for the season, and
there was no ice as yet in the river to impede the crossing. Every thing
looked promising until within forty-eighty hours of the appointed time.
Suddenly, at this crisis, the weather set in cold, so that the Delaware
became full of floating ice, which rendered navigation almost
impossible. Nevertheless, Washington determined to persist in his
enterprise. Boats had been collected for the transportation of his own
detachment, at McConkey’s Ferry, on the west side of the river, about
eight miles above Trenton. An express was sent to Cadwalader to inform
him the attempt would be made, and to command him to cross, if possible,
at Bristol.

As soon as evening came, the continentals, twenty-four hundred in
number, with a battery of twenty light field pieces, were put in motion,
and marched to the ferry. It was a wild and threatening night. The wind
howled ominously over the landscape; a few stars only were seen in the
dark and troubled sky; and the ice in the river, grinding and splitting
as the tide moved its huge masses one against another, filled the air
with foreboding sounds. In vain, for awhile, the boats struggled in the
current. Now locked in the arms of apparently immovable fields of ice,
and now in peril from floating blocks that threatened to crush them,
they were borne hither and thither, and with difficulty reached the
shore, where new dangers awaited them in cakes of the frozen material,
which pushed end-wise toward the bank, frequently overlapped and almost
engulfed them. At one time it was feared that the artillery would have
to be left behind. At last, however, after almost incredible exertions,
the little army was ferried over, but the task, instead of being
achieved at midnight, as had been intended, was not completed until
three hours afterward. During the suspense of this awful night,
Washington, who had crossed early, sat, it is said, on a bee-hive by the
shore, wrapped in his cloak, and watching the struggling boats by the
light of the few stars which broke here and there through the stormy
rack of heaven.

Two principal roads led from the landing-place to Trenton. One,
following the course of the river, entered the town at its lower
extremity; the other, called the Pennington road, made a circuit into
the interior, and struck Trenton at its upper end. Dividing his force,
Washington took the latter route with one detachment, while Sullivan,
with the other, pursued the river road. The instructions of the
commander-in-chief to the latter general were to push on until he had
reached Trenton, which he would probably be the first to do, as his
route was the shortest, and there wait until he heard firing at the
upper end of the town, when he was to attack at once. By thus assaulting
the British simultaneously on both sides, Washington hoped, in
conjunction with the surprise, to render them an easy prey.

The march had scarcely been renewed when the storm, which had been
threatening all night, burst upon the army. The snow, at first coming in
squalls, finally fell unintermittingly, accompanied occasionally with
gusts of sleet and hail. The two divisions moved in company for nearly
three miles before separating, and Sullivan, remarking that the wet
might spoil the powder, asked his chief what was to be done in that
emergency. “We must fight with the bayonet,” was Washington’s stern
reply. The tempest now rapidly deepened. The thick-falling flakes nearly
obscured the way; the cold became intense, and the wind, moaning across
the landscape, seemed to wail over the approaching ruin of America. Many
of the soldiers being scantily clothed, were soon wet through and almost
frozen. Others had no shoes, and their feet, cut by the icy road, left
at every step a mark of blood. History presents no parallel to that
eventful march. When still some distance from Trenton, two of the
Americans, exhausted and chilled, dropped from their ranks and died. Yet
still the remainder toiled on. No martial fife was there, no banner
flaunting on high, no squadrons of cavalry to guard their flanks with
triple rows of steel; but in silence, like the Spartans bound to
Thermopylæ, the little band pursued its way. The inhabitants of the
farm-houses on the route, half waking from sleep, fancied for a moment
there were strange sounds upon the breeze; but imagining that what they
heard was but the intonation of the tempest, they turned and slept
again, little thinking that the destinies of America quivered that hour
in the balance.

The anxiety of Washington, during this protracted march, rose to the
highest pitch. He was aware that if the attack failed, escape would be
impossible, with the wintry Delaware behind him. In deciding on this
bold move, he had staked not only his own life, but the existence of his
army, and with it the question of submission and independence for his
country, then and forever after. He had put every thing “at the hazard
of a die.” Yet the flight of a single deserter, the accidental discharge
of a musket, or the occurrence of any one of a dozen possible
contingencies might destroy success entirely. As the gray dawn
approached, and the vicinity of Trenton became apparent, his heart,
usually so calm, beat with terrible suspense. He rode forward to the
head of his troops. Just at this instant the outpost of the enemy loomed
up in front; a challenge was heard—a hostile answer was given, and a
musket flashed across the breaking day. Fired by the scene, and by the
mighty responsibilities of the hour, Washington rose in his stirrups,
and pointing ahead with his sword, exclaimed, in a voice husky with
emotion, but in words that will ever be immortal, “Soldiers, now or
never—this is our last chance.”

On the instant the men broke into a cheer, carried away by the
enthusiasm of the moment, and returning the volley of the retreating
guard, dashed forward in pursuit. The British kept up a desultory fire
as they fled, dodging from house to house. At their head was a young
officer, who courageously exhorted them to stand their ground, until a
ball mortally wounding him, he fell in the road, when they precipitately
retired. The Americans now saw, a little in advance, the houses of the
town; heard the alarm which was calling the British soldiery together,
and immediately after beheld the enemy endeavoring to form a battery
across King street, directly in front. Not a moment was to be lost. Six
of Knox’s pieces immediately galloped into position, and unlimbering,
opened a destructive fire down the street. When this discharge was over,
the advanced guard rushed forward, charged up to the muzzles of the
enemy’s guns, sabered some of the artillerists who were about firing,
and drove the rest away, and capturing the pieces, turned two of them on
the flying foe. This occurred near where the feeder crosses the street.
Having thus destroyed the outworks of the enemy, the successful
assailants advanced down Queen street, extending toward the left, across
the fields, so as to cut off the Hessians from retreating toward
Princeton.

Meantime, all was terror and confusion among the enemy. The night had
been one of festivity in Trenton, the soldiers being in the beer-shops
carousing, and the officers indulging in mirth. Col. Rahl had been
occupied all night in playing cards at head-quarters, a house belonging
to Mr. Stacy Potts, and still standing near the head of Greene street.
When the firing at the picket occurred, he stopped and listened. The
sleet driving against the window-pane, for a moment deceived him. But
when the rattle of the first volley came to his ears, flinging down his
cards, he rushed to the door. Here, through the misty dawn, he beheld
some Hessians running down the street toward him, with the cry that
Washington, with his entire army, was upon them. At this Rahl shouted to
arms. The drums beat. In an instant all Trenton was in a tumult. The
privates rushed from their quarters, some with, some without arms; the
officers were heard calling to the men, or seen endeavoring to form the
ranks; and the inhabitants, roused from sleep, hurried to their windows,
and looking out for an instant on the uproar, hastened to conceal
themselves in the recesses of their dwellings.

The main division of the array had scarcely unlimbered its battery in
King street, when the sound of firing from the lower extremity of the
town, announced that Sullivan had reached his position. Not three
minutes had elapsed between the time when the two divisions came into
action. The knowledge that the enemy had been surprised in front and
rear at once inspired the Americans with fresh ardor, and they charged
down the two principal streets, King and Queen, with an impetuosity that
broke through every attempt at resistance. In vain Rahl galloped to and
fro rallying his men; in vain the subordinate officers exerted
themselves; in vain the privates, ashamed to be conquered without a
blow, endeavored to make a stand;—the enthusiasm of the assailants was
irresistible, the Hessians everywhere gave way, and when Rahl soon after
fell mortally wounded, his troops broke into ignominious flight. A few
threw themselves into a stone mansion, where they were speedily forced
to surrender. The remainder fled precipitately toward the Assinpink
river, which flows along the lower end of the town. Here, some
endeavoring to swim across were drowned or frozen to death; but the
greater portion, hemmed in on one side by Washington, and on the other
by Sullivan, and finding escape hopeless, laid down their arms.

The victory was complete. The whole force of the British at Trenton fell
into the hands of Washington, except a body of 500 horse, which fled in
the direction of Bordentown early in the action. Even these, however,
would not have made good their escape, if Gen. Ewing, who was to have
crossed below, had been able to effect his purpose. The number of
prisoners actually captured was 909, of whom 23 were officers. About a
thousand stand of arms fell into the hands of the victors. This glorious
success was purchased without the loss of a man, except the two who died
on the march; and but two officers, and a few privates were wounded. The
Hessians lost 7 officers and nearly 30 men killed. As Washington rode
over the field after the conflict, he found Rahl, lying in the snow,
weltering in blood. The dying commander, supported by a file of
sergeants, tendered his sword to the victor, and in broken accents
seemed to implore clemency. The American chief, touched by the
spectacle, ordered his own physician to attend the sufferer. But medical
assistance was in vain. Rahl, on being carried back to his
head-quarters, died soon after.

The entire British army, west of Princeton, would have fallen a prey to
Washington, if Cadwalader and Ewing had been able to cross at their
respective places; but neither effecting this, the posts at Bordentown,
Burlington, and Mount Holly, escaped. Meantime, aware that the royal
generals might concentrate their forces and cut off his retreat,
Washington decided to re-cross the Delaware that very day with his
prisoners. Accordingly, before night, the captured Hessians were
transferred to Pennsylvania. The news of this great victory spread with
inconceivable swiftness; but such was the opinion of British
invincibility, that, at first, few persons could be found to believe the
tale. Aware of the general incredulity, Washington hastened to dispatch
his prisoners to Philadelphia, where, on the day succeeding the battle,
they were paraded through the streets, to the amazement, not less than
to the delight of the inhabitants. The effect of the victory on the
country was electric. The charm of British invincibility was broken
forever. Men no longer regarded the cause of the Colonies as hopeless,
but, encouraged by this decisive success, looked forward confidently to
a glorious issue. In a word, the battle of Trenton changed the wavering
into friends; made those who had been hostile, neutral; and convinced
the patriot that God was on his side, and that his country would yet be
free.

The victory struck terror to the heart of the British army. Cornwallis,
who was about to embark for Europe, abandoned his voyage in alarm, and
hurried back from New York to assume command of the troops on the
Delaware. His first step was to withdraw his forces from the exposed
points, and concentrate them at Princeton and toward New Brunswick. Nor
was this precaution idle. Washington, having recruited his troops, and
being reinforced, crossed the Delaware again on the 30th of December,
and took post at Trenton. To drive him from thence Cornwallis advanced
from Princeton, and, on the 2nd of January, 1777, assaulted the American
lines, established on the south side of the Assinpink. Three times he
endeavored to carry the bridge which separated him from his foe, and
three times he was repulsed. At last night put an end to the contest. In
the darkness, Washington abandoning his position, marched on Princeton,
intending to cut off the royal general from his communications. A battle
ensued at this place, which was scarcely decided in favor of the
Americans, when Cornwallis, hurrying up from Trenton, compelled the
victors to draw off to the high grounds in the direction of Morristown.
The British general, completely baffled, fell back to the Raritan,
abandoning all his posts on the Delaware. The result of this splendid
series of operations on the part of Washington was to deliver New Jersey
from the enemy, in the short space of ten days. Thus, when supposed to
be annihilated, the American general, like some fabled genius, had
suddenly risen up, saved Philadelphia, recovered all he had lost in the
preceding two months, and given an impetus to victory which never ceased
until the red cross of Great Britain sunk into dust on the plains of
Yorktown.

When hereafter the military genius of Washington is called in question,
let the story of Trenton be remembered. Napoleon always spoke of this
ten days’ campaign as one of the most able on record. Botta, the Italian
historian, said of it, “Achievements so astonishing gained for the
American commander a very great reputation, and were regarded with
wonder by all nations, as well as by the Americans; every one applauded
the prudence, the firmness, and the daring of Washington; all declared
him the saviour of his country; all proclaimed him _equal to the most
renowned commanders of antiquity_.”

                 *        *        *        *        *



                       THE SEMINOLES’ LAST LOOK.


                          BY FAYETTE ROBINSON.


    They left their country with great regret, and I do not think
    they will ever be satisfied elsewhere. The men seemed moody, but
    occasionally uttered sentences in their own tongue with great
    feeling. The lamentations of the women Were pitiful to hear.
    (_Extract from a Letter to the Secretary at War, in Relation to
    the Removal of the Seminoles._)

    Moonlight plays on the waters and all silently they glide,
    Though swiftly by a mighty ship that swingeth in their tide,
    And the gentle winds of summer are bearing from the land
    In whispering tones a sad farewell to an exiled band.

    The perfume of the jasmine and the magnolia flowers
    Mingles with the odors borne from distant orange bowers,
    The music of the mock-bird’s song they hear across the deep,
    Whose glassy ripples murmuring a cadence with it keep.

    They know that at the morning sun the ship will spread its wing
    And like a spirit hurry them from every cherished thing,
    And therefore gaze they earnestly upon their native shore,
    To write upon their memory scenes they will see no more.

    They gaze upon the royal palm, around whose coronet,
    Mingling with the moon-beams, the sunlight lingers yet,[1]
    On the live-oak, with gnarled limbs all hidden by the moss,
    Whose tresses in the summer wind like pennons twine and toss.

    They gaze upon the silver strand of Holy Spirit’s Bay,[2]
    They see the dolphins flinging up showers of starry spray,
    They hear the Halcyon’s[3] wailing voice far out upon the sea,
    Mournful as if it knew their grief and wailed for sympathy.

    Oh! who can tell the agony that filled the bosoms then
    Of mothers with their callow babes, the breasts of stalwort men,
    As in the deep and mellow tones of the Muscogee tongue
    A warrior o’er his nation’s fate a lament thus begun:

            Spirits of the red man’s heaven,[4]
            All my fathers e’er adored,
            Your might is gone, and other powers
            Are monarchs of our hills and lakes,
            Long ago, when yon old oaks
            Were but acorns on the ground,
            The Muscogee were mighty men,
            And by the distant Southern Sea
            Beat the island Carib back.
            Far away amid the hills
            Where wandered once the Cherokee
            They sung their song of victory.

            Streamlets born amid the hills
            Roll like old San Juan,[5] at last
            To lose them in the mighty sea.
            And thus it is with nations, too,
            Which hurry through their race and die.
            The Seminoles[6] met their fate,
            Fought as gallant men should fight
            Whom God has made the lords of lands
            As fair as were our own. ’Twas vain.

            Suwannee is desert now,
            ’Mid the murmur of its waves
            Naught but the scaly Albati[7]
            Is heard, and o’er Alachawa[8]
            Free and fearless bounds the deer;
            No fisher’s boat skims o’er the sea
            Around the island’s silver shore.
            We have lost our fathers’ home,
            Silently around their hearths,
            More lonely now than are their graves,
            Dim shadows stalk, and ask the gods
            Whither have their children fled.
            Hither will the white man come
            To herd his cattle in the glades
            Where happy villages once stood,
            And strew the ground he rests upon
            With mighty trees, which all who breathe
            Remember ever to have been
            The giant stocks which now they are.

            Warriors should brave and bear
            Grief a woman trembles at,
            But when they leave their native shore
            In fetters thus, the sternest hearts
            Will melt, and e’en a soldier’s eye
            Weep tears of bitter agony.

    He ceased, and scarcely had the winds his accents borne away,
    Than spoke out a young mother, on whose breast an infant lay;
    Her very voice was melody, and she sung her boy to sleep
    In tones whose earnest accent moved the listener to weep.

            My boy! my boy! thy father
              Is gone to the spirit-land,
            Where the pale-face cannot come,
              To dwell with the kindred band
            Of all the stout old chieftains
              Who ruled our race of yore,
            And hunted ’neath the dark pines
              We shall gaze upon no more.

            He sat within his wigwam,
              And thou wert on his knee,
            When first the rattle of the drum
              Rolled through our forests free;
            But he lies in the hammock
              With his face toward the stars,
            And wounds all red and gory
              In his breast, ’mid older scars.

            He did not die a coward,
              For oft his rifle rang,
            And twice amid the foemen
              The loud scalp-song he sang.
            And when the death-shot struck him,
              ’Twas from no ignoble hand,
            But came from e’en the bravest
              Of all the hostile band.

            I knew thou wert a chieftain,
              And amid my grief and pain
            I strove to train thee up to win
              Me vengeance for the slain.
            But now our might is broken,
              And we must leave his grave
            For a land lying far away
              Beyond the western wave.

            There thou may’st be happy—
              A wife as firm and true
            As I was to thy father
              Thy hunter’s bed may strew;
            But I will not see thee
              In thy father’s place, my son,
            Proudly wearing at thy knee
              Trophies thou hast won.

            There thou may’st be happy
              As here our people were,
            For it is a pleasant land,
              They call this scarce as fair.
            More blesséd than thy father,
              Thou may’st see thy children men,
            March with them to battle-fields
              And lead them home again.

            But I feel my heart is breaking,
              And in a little time
            I shall return where he is
              Beneath the shadowy pine;
            Yet if you wear the eagle plume
              I will see it, though unseen,
            And bless the new land in the west
              With its plains of living green.

    Her woman wail was over, and silently they stood,
    Until the deepening shadows hid the forest and the flood,
    Then sunk they sadly on the deck, their breasts bereft of hope,
    And the vessel bore them onward like an eagle in its scope.


                                 NOTES.

[1] This is not an unusual sight in Florida, where there is no twilight,
and the eastern portion of the horizon becomes dark immediately after
sunset. I remember once at Boca-Sornsota seeing the sun and moon’s light
both distinctly marked on the crest of the huge palm which all who
served at that post will recall.

[2] Tampa Bay was called by the Spanish discoverers _La Bahia del
Espiritu Santo_.

[3] Halcyons—loons (?)

[4] I may for aught I know violate in this Indian song all the
regulations of metre and rhythm. I have however adopted the octosyllabic
line with consonance, because it seemed to me not unlike the wild
_motive_ of the Indian chaunt.

[5] San Juan, the great outlet of Lake George, is pronounced _San Wan_.

[6] The Seminole were of the Muscogee race, and sometimes called
themselves by the latter name.

[7] _Albati_ is the Muscogee name of the alligator.

[8] Alachica, a great prairie north of the Suwannee, and pronounced
_Alachawa_.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                      MR. MERRITT AND HIS FAMILY;


                           OR LENDING A NAME.


                           BY FRANK SUMMERS.


                               CHAPTER I.

                          AN EVENING AT HOME.

Mr. Merritt was seated by the centre-table in the back-parlor, as was
his custom of an evening after the tea things had been cleared away, and
around it were clustered his little family. His wife and daughter Emma,
a blooming maiden of sixteen, were busy with their needles, and George,
his only son, was diligently conning a lesson for the morrow, while a
little cherub slept quietly in a willow cradle at the feet of the
mother. Mr. Merritt was a home man, and he loved the quiet happiness
which always dwelt there far better than the noisy revels of the club or
the bar-room. Ah! were there more home husbands, how many firesides that
have never known a smile would be lit up in brightness and sunshine! How
many hearts now lone and desolate, would be made glad!

It was a winter evening, and the fire burned cheerily in the back parlor
of the snug dwelling where lived Mr. Merritt. It was a New England home,
and when we have said this, as much of comfort hath been conveyed as if
a page had been devoted to the description.

Mr. Merritt was reading from the last Gazette one of those glowing
paragraphs, in which the West was painted as a land flowing with milk
and honey; _the_ El Dorado where struggling poverty might riot in
exhaustless riches; where broad acres of wealth could be purchased for a
song; and, in short, where all the romantic visions of the most ardent
adventurer would be eclipsed by the surpassing reality. Mr. Merritt had
read articles of a similar tenor before; first, with indifference, but
latterly with strong interest. He was becoming a little infected with
the epidemic, which had already carried off several of his
acquaintances, and being now suddenly involved in pecuniary
difficulties, was almost persuaded to follow. As he laid down the
newspaper he turned to his wife.

“Well, wife, what say you to going West in the spring? You know that my
payments for Warden will oblige me to sell a part of my little property
to meet them; would it not be better to dispose of the whole, and
purchase a farm in Illinois, where, if the half that is told be true, we
would be able to live comfortably and provide something handsome for our
children.”

Mrs. Merritt glanced around the little group, and a tear trembled in her
eye as it rested on the cradle. She was thinking of the tales she had
heard, how sickness and death had smitten the hopes of fond parents who
had emigrated to new countries, and how, before they had accumulated
with much toil and privation, wherewithal to satisfy their desires, the
climate had left for their children no wants, save a coffin and a grave.
But she brushed the tear secretly away.

“Are you really serious,” said Mrs. Merritt, at length, “in wishing to
give up New England forever?”

“Not exactly in wishing it, my dear,” returned Mr. Merritt, “but what is
now a matter of choice may, ere long, be necessity. True, it would cost
a severe trial to separate from the friends whom we have so long known
and loved, and to exchange the delights of their society for a
wilderness, but _we_ would be together still.”

“And we are all the world to each other,” exclaimed his wife, forgetting
her sadness for a moment, in the devotion which, twenty years after
marriage, was rather strengthened than subdued.

“You leave Emma and me out of the question altogether, mother,” said
little George, who, though apparently absorbed in his book, had been
listening all the while.

“No, my love, you are both very dear to your parents;” and she bent over
him and kissed his brow, the very image of his father’s.

“Forgive me, mother, I was only jesting,” returned George, quite
grieved, yet wondering why his mother should have taken it so seriously.

“Are we surely going to live in Illinois, mother?” continued George,
after a pause, “among the prairies and all? O how glad I shall be; I do
want to see a prairie.”

“Why, George, don’t you care about leaving your schoolmates and
playfellows?” asked his sister reproachfully.

“Oh, yes! I forgot, I shall be very sorry. I shall be sorrier though for
poor William Warden. He will be so grieved when he hears that Emma is
going away, and he will never see her any more.”

“Hush! young chatterbox,” retorted his sister, at the same time
administering him a gentle admonition with her thimbled finger, and
blushing scarlet.

The infant sleeper happened to wake up at this juncture, and made sundry
noisy intimations from the cradle; otherwise Mrs. Merritt might have
noticed the sudden expression of pain that passed over her husband’s
features, at what George had said concerning William Warden.

As for Miss Emma, she hurried to the cradle on the first demonstration,
and became completely wrapt in a lullaby, which she sung as earnestly as
though George had made no revelation, and William Warden was all a
fable.

Mr. Merritt resumed his newspaper, and George his lesson.


                              CHAPTER II.

                             RETROSPECTIVE.

Mr. Merritt was a mechanic. By industry and perseverance he had gained
step by step, until he was the possessor of a comfortable property. Mr.
Warden, the merchant, had been his neighbor for several years, and was
engaged in a flourishing business. Now Mr. Merritt being one of those
amiable dispositions that could never say “No,” when asked a favor; it
consequently happened that when Mr. Warden wanted a small discount at
bank, and requested Mr. Merritt to lend his name, merely for form’s
sake, as the laws of the institution required several signatures, (a
very troublesome law, as Mr. Warden remarked, for it obliged him to tax
the friendship of his neighbors, but he would be happy to reciprocate at
any time that Mr. Merritt might wish an accommodation,) he, Mr. Merritt,
signed it without hesitation—and not only one, but several.

The first note became due, and Mr. Warden paid it. The second matured,
and in the mean time Mr. Warden’s speculations having failed, he was not
in funds, and Mr. Merritt received a notice of protest.

It was then that Mr. Merritt began to reflect upon the possible
consequences of lending a name. He urged Mr. Warden to make some
arrangement by which he would be released from the indorsements. The
merchant apologized to Mr. Merritt for the accidental protest, which had
happened entirely through an error of the clerk’s in entering the note
on his bill-book; that functionary having made it fall due about two
weeks subsequent to its actual maturity; and therefore Mr. Warden had
not prepared to meet it. He felt extremely pained, he said, that his
valued and esteemed friend should doubt his solvency, or for an instant
imagine him so base and devoid of honor as to involve _him_ in loss,
even though he should fail to meet other obligations. The mechanic was
satisfied with this explanation, and regretted that he had spoken to Mr.
Warden on the subject. But there came another protest, and others again
in quick succession; and now Mr. Merritt felt real alarm. He saw the
merchant once more, and begged of him security to the amount of his
indorsements. Mr. Warden sincerely regretted that it was out of his
power to do so, as he had just made a conveyance of all his effects to
the bank!

The mechanic was thunderstruck. This was indeed a cruel blow. There was
but one other indorser with Mr. Merritt, and they were on Warden’s paper
for ten thousand dollars; one half of his _all_ gone at a single stroke.
Yet there are hundreds who, not knowing what they do, are every day
lending their names for no better consideration, and are reaping the
same bitter repentance as did Mr. Merritt.

This, then, was the situation of the mechanic at the opening of this
history.


                              CHAPTER III.

                           THE BANK ATTORNEY.

A month transpired, after the events narrated in the foregoing chapters,
and all of Warden’s notes had been protested. It was impossible for Mr.
Merritt to pay these heavy and unexpected demands without sacrificing
his property, should he be pressed for immediate payment, and he
resolved to call upon the bank attorney, with the faint hope of
obtaining an extension; or, at least, prevailing upon that officer to
save him the disastrous expenses of a suit.

Poor Mr. Merritt! He was entirely unacquainted with the tender mercies
of banks and bank attorneys, or he would have prepared himself for the
worst. Neither did he know that, of all bank attorneys, he could not
have fallen into more evil hands than Isaac Rock, Esq.,
Counsellor-at-Law and Notary Public.

In person Esquire Rock was broad-shouldered, and rather short and clumsy
than otherwise; his features hard and forbidding. His heart, if he had
one, was steel, and he prided himself more upon his firmness than upon
any other of his numerous high qualities. Tears, prayers and entreaties
were alike wasted upon him. Indeed, were not that old saying, “hard as a
rock,” of greater antiquity than any date to which Esquire Rock could
lay claim, it would undoubtedly have passed into a proverb from his day
henceforth.

Whilst this attorney entertained a most unmitigated contempt for the
victims of poverty and misfortune, he had a profound and exalted sense
of his own individual consequence, and delighted to witness the cringing
spirit and suppliant knee of the awe-stricken subjects of his power.
Whosoever committed a sin against the dignity of Esquire Rock was
straightway an outlaw beyond all hope of forgiveness; and wo be to him
thus sinning, who should fall into the gripe of the attorney. Besides
all these qualifications, however, Esquire Rock had a careful eye upon
his temporal interests, and could manage a case in a way to swell his
legal perquisites, to an amount at once the envy and admiration of the
whole brotherhood.

Esquire Rock was fumbling over a miscellaneous collection of manuscripts
one morning, when a rap was heard at the office door.

“Come in,” said the attorney, settling back in his chair.

The visiter opened the door at this invitation, and advanced.

“Is Esquire Rock within?” he inquired.

“I am Esquire Rock,” answered that personage haughtily. “Be seated, sir.
Business with me, sir?”

“My name is Merritt, sir. I am indorser with John Fields on Warden’s
notes, and have called—”

“Yes, I know it,” interrupted the attorney, a scarcely perceptible,
though dangerous smile playing upon his features—“and you will have
them to pay.”

“I am aware that Mr. Warden has failed, but it will be impossible for me
to pay the amount at present, and I have called to beg a little
indulgence. Five thousand dollars is a large sum to raise, especially by
a humble mechanic.”

“You have property, Mr. Merritt.”

“I have some property, Esquire Rock, but were I forced to sell
immediately, it would bring but a fraction of its real value.”

“The law must take its course, sir,” said the attorney, decidedly; and
he looked at Mr. Merritt, then at the door.

The mechanic understood the hint, and when he met the attorney’s glance,
he saw no hope there.

“I had thought,” said he, “that the manner in which I became involved in
this misfortune would entitle me to some slight favor at your hands—to
a trifling delay by which I might avoid total ruin; but I perceive I am
mistaken in looking for mercy here,” he added, bitterly.

Esquire Rock was utterly confounded at the man’s audacity. A poor
mechanic to beard _him_—Isaac Rock, Esquire, counsellor at law, and
notary public! The thing was unprecedented.

“_You_ thought!” exclaimed he, as soon as he had recovered sufficiently
to reply. “Do you understand law, sir? You have no right to think, sir.
The majesty of the law is trampled under foot when mechanics are
permitted to think—”

“Or asses to practice at the bar,” retorted Mr. Merritt, indignantly,
turning to depart.

The fiery furnace of the attorney’s rage threatened to consume him at
this new and flagrant act of daring; and he was driven to disclose a
secret, which he had intended to hold in suspension, like the sword of
Democles, over his victim. He called to Mr. Merritt.

“Come back, Mr. Merritt; let me give you a little further light upon
this case.” Esquire Rock’s manner had undergone a sudden change, which
puzzled the mechanic exceedingly, as he obeyed the summons. All traces
of wrath had vanished, and he received the mechanic with something of
the air of complacency, with which an epicure might be supposed to
contemplate the preparations for an extensive feast.

“Do you know John Fields, Mr. Merritt?” he inquired.

“I do not—but Mr. Warden told me that he was a wealthy cousin of his,
living at Salem. Do _you_ know him, sir?”

The attorney’s face lighted up with the same curious smile that had
before accompanied the mention of that indorser’s name.

“Yes, Mr. Merritt, John Fields is a distant relative of the celebrated
John Smith, an imaginary being, as I have ascertained, who lends his
name for the accommodation of such of his friends as want a discount.
The name is not worth one copper, Mr. Merritt, and therefore we shall
make the money out of you. We will have an execution out shortly for ten
thousand dollars and the costs, which will be a thousand more, or it
shall be my fault. What think you of that, Mr. Merritt?” he continued,
watching the effects of the development with intense pleasure.

Alas! it was too true. Mr. Warden had been in the habit of conforming to
the rules of the bank, by furnishing fictitious indorsers to the
requisite number; a harmless evasion, which the president readily winked
at, in consideration of a trifling token of good will, provided always,
that Warden obtained one genuine and responsible name in addition to his
own.

Mr. Merritt was so utterly stupefied at this new intelligence of
treachery, that he walked off mechanically, without answering a word.
Esquire Rock gazed after him until he was gone; when he again returned
to his papers, muttering aloud, “chew that awhile, Mr. Merritt—asses
practice at the bar, do they?”


                              CHAPTER IV.

                              AFFLICTIONS.

Mr. Merritt had nearly reached his dwelling before he recovered from the
confusion into which his faculties had been thrown by the astounding
intelligence conveyed by the attorney. As he now gazed upon his peaceful
home, it seemed more beautiful than ever. Alas! it could be his no
longer. The savings of long years—the earnings of days and nights of
hard toil, so carefully husbanded—the little luxuries that had been
done without—the self-denials that had been practiced—the privations
undergone, to gather a substance which should soothe life’s
decline—all, all gone at a single blow, swept away forever! How could
he impart the dreadful news to his wife! How could he endure to meet the
companion of his bosom and his darling family, plunged, through his own
imprudence, (he felt,) into hopeless want. “She shall be happy a little
longer,” thought he, and retraced his steps to his shop.

Mr. Merritt did not, as usual, go home to dinner on that day, but
remained in his shop, hour after hour, absorbed in deep and bitter
thought.

“Can there be no law to punish such monstrous corruption?” said he to
himself, as he closed the shop for the night. Here again Mr. Merritt
displayed his ignorance, in supposing that men in high places could be
called to account for mere trifles like this. In fact, he did not know
how very seldom _law_ means _justice_, when wealth and station are
placed at the bar for trial, or he would have spared himself the
question. He walked slowly homeward, endeavoring as much as possible to
compose his agitated spirits for the scene which he knew awaited him.

The eye of love is keen of penetration, and Mrs. Merritt discovered as
soon as the mechanic entered the cottage that all was not right. Knowing
of his intended visit to the attorney, her imagination pictured a
thousand causes of alarm, and overcome by contending emotions, she threw
herself upon his neck, bursting into a flood of tears.

“Speak, my dear husband,” she cried. “I see from your pallid face and
bloodless lips, that some new and dreadful calamity has befallen us. O
reveal it all to me, I can bear any thing save my fears.”

“Concealment would be useless,” said the mechanic, “for you must know it
sooner or later. Endeavor to compose yourself, dearest, things are not
as bad as you apprehend. To see you thus is a severer pang than I have
encountered before. Wife, we are only—beggars!”

Mr. Merritt, with astonishing calmness, proceeded to relate his
interview with Esquire Rock, and its results, nearly as we have narrated
them in the last chapter.

With what keen delight would the bank attorney have looked upon that
scene of anguish and despair.

The first paroxysms over, Mrs. Merritt became more calm, and listened
attentively to the end. That day of gloom was closed by fervent
supplication to the High Source of all hope and consolation, for
strength and support against the tempest that awaited them.


                               CHAPTER V.

                               A MEETING.

In due time Mr. Merritt’s effects were levied upon, and advertised for
sale. When it was known that he was ruined, envy and jealousy triumphed,
and the vile tongue of slander was unloosed upon his reputation. People
who had envied his prosperity heretofore, gloried in his ruin. It
descended even to the children, and a stout, malicious boy, threatened
to whip George the very next time he went to school. So certain is
misfortune to meet with taunt and insult every where.

During this period, so fruitful of evil to the Merritt family, young
Warden, though before a frequent visiter, did not cross their threshold.
Emma could not help wondering where he had gone, or why he had not said
good-bye, or whether he had really forgotten her.

Emma was returning from an afternoon visit, some half mile from her
father’s, and with a view to escape observation, she turned down a
by-path, and walked slowly homeward. Soon she heard the sound of
approaching footsteps, and she felt a strange and unaccountable
agitation, although she neither turned her head nor quickened her pace.
They came near, and a voice called, “Emma?”

It was no stranger’s voice that brought the blood rushing unbidden to
that fair girl’s cheek. William Warden was at her side.

Emma, a little piqued by his long absence, could not resist playing the
woman, and she drew herself up rather coldly, “Good evening, Mr.
Warden.”

This was the first time she had called him Mr. Warden. It had always
been William, before.

“Emma—Miss Merritt, I mean—I have no right to call you Emma, now; the
man who has involved you in ruin, and wrecked the prospects of your
dearest friends, is my father; and I feel that you hate and despise me.
I cannot endure this disgrace, and am about to leave for another
country, where the shame of my father will not be known, and where the
dishonor attached to his name will not hang like a mill-stone around my
neck, paralyzing all my efforts to rise to respectability and honor. But
I could not leave you forever without seeing you once more, and for this
opportunity I have watched long and anxiously. I dared not offend your
father with my presence under his roof.”

Emma’s resolution about the little womanly display of temper suddenly
vanished, her warm heart softened, and was throbbing in sympathy, ere
the first tones of Warden’s musical voice died away.

“O no, William, he does not blame you!” she exclaimed, with tearful
eyes, “indeed he does not. He knows you for all that is generous and
good.”

“And have not you blamed me?”

“I, William—no, never! O, William, how could you accuse me thus?”

“Bless you for these kind words, Emma, they inspire me with new hopes.
And now, Emma, as we must soon part, perhaps forever, tell me, if these
things had never happened, if my father had still continued in
prosperity, and free from the crime which makes his name odious to your
ear, could you have loved me, then, Emma—would you, Emma?”

Emma answered not loud, but the gentle whisper reached the ear of love,
and William Warden sealed it in a long, burning kiss upon her glowing
lips. They were happy.

“Farewell, dearest Emma, we meet again,” was all he said, and when she
looked up William Warden was gone.


                              CHAPTER VI.

                                RELIEF.

There _are_ hearts among the rich and powerful—and would to God they
were more numerous—whose pulses flow in kindly sympathy for the
distresses of their fellow-creatures, and whose wealth ever ministers to
the necessities of the children of sorrow. Such have their reward, more
glorious than the laurels which deck the conqueror’s brow—the
blessings, prayers, and outpourings of the grateful spirit.

To the extent of their means, Mr. Merritt and his family had always
aided the poor and needy; and they were not now deserted in their
affliction.

Every nerve had been strained to avert the threatening storm; but all in
vain. Stricken and depressed, the mechanic sunk down in despair. Not a
ray of hope pierced the blackness of the future. His all would not pay
the execution and costs of sale, and there followed, for himself, a
prison—for his family, starvation. Wise counsellors had been consulted,
and they decided that there was no proof of fraud which could invalidate
the claim. No law could set it aside. The bank attorney already saw his
victim wasting in the cold cell of a debtor’s jail and exulted in his
heart.

But as the darkest hour is that which ushers in the dawn, so, in this
hour of trial, when the clouds lowered thick and heavily—a friendly
helper came. One, who had been rescued years before, by Mr. Merritt’s
own bounty, from poverty and degradation, and by his aid had commenced a
career which secured him fortune and prosperity, heard of the troubles
of his benefactor, and hastened to his relief. With the delicacy of true
benevolence, this gentleman set about his excellent mission, in a way to
be of effectual benefit to Mr. Merritt, while it relieved him of the
oppressive sense of obligation, which is often made to accompany good
deeds, but which more surely crushes the proud spirit than would the
miseries they seek to alleviate.

From this gentleman the mechanic received the following letter by post:

                                           “_G——, March 10, 183-._

    “Mr. Merritt,—Dear Sir,—I have had it some time in view to
    purchase property in your village, whenever a favorable
    opportunity should occur. I learn by the newspapers, that your
    real estate will soon be sold on execution, and it being the
    most desirable situation with which I am acquainted, I am
    anxious to buy it. As it will be out of my power to attend the
    sale, (if you have not made other arrangements,) please write me
    by return mail, what will be the sum of execution and costs, and
    if not more than the fair value of the property, I will advance
    the amount, and close the bargain at once.

                                       “Your obedient servant,

                                                        “G—— S——.”

The early and important services which he had rendered to the writer of
this letter were dismissed from the memory of Mr. Merritt, with the
ordinary events of the time at which they were conferred. The latter
had, not long after, removed to another town, and they had not met
since.

The letter was a business-like document, as we have seen—containing no
allusions to the past—breathing no professions of gratitude—proffering
no gifts of charity; yet it exerted a happier influence in cheering the
mechanic, than though every line had been teeming with protestations of
pity and regard. It came like a messenger of life, and bade him hope.
First, he read it silently—then aloud—then to his wife—then Emma and
George participated in the joyous news; and the infant, receiving an
unusual number of kisses, no doubt understood it too.

An answer was forwarded by the ensuing mail, setting forth the
circumstances of the case—the amount required to free the estate from
incumbrance—and further, stating that this was five hundred dollars
less than the assessed valuation of the property at the annual
appraisement—that he considered it worth one thousand dollars more than
that appraisement; but, in consequence of the forced sale, he expected
to lose that much, or more; and therefore, as he was obliged to sell,
would be glad to have him take the property and redeem the execution.

After this was dispatched, their fears regained the ascendency. They had
been, perhaps, too sanguine, the price might be considered too high—and
all was anxiety, perplexity and dread, until the close of a week, when
there came the following reply:

                                            “_G——, April 2, 183-._

    “Mr. Merritt—Dear Sir,—Your favor, in answer to inquiries
    contained in my letter of 10th ult., came duly to hand. I think
    the property sufficiently reasonable at your valuation, and have
    no wish to take advantage of your pecuniary embarrassments to
    obtain a reduction of price. Therefore, if you please, you will
    consider me the purchaser. The enclosed check for eleven
    thousand dollars will release the estate from the execution, and
    the remainder I will pay as soon as the necessary titles are
    perfected. I have appointed Mr. —— my agent in the matter, who
    will attend to their arrangement.

                                       “Your obedient servant,

                                                        “G—— S——.”

When Mr. Merritt took this last letter from the post-office, he
determined to take it home and open it there. But his anxiety proved too
great, and the seal was broken. The check came first in sight, and he
panted for breath. He read on, quickening his pace more and more, until
he arrived at home, almost on a full run.

“Thank God! we are free!” he exclaimed. “Wife, read this.”

She did read it to the end. The day had dawned, and the bright sun of
hope shone once more. What a happy family was Mr. Merritt’s! Free from
debt! They did not forget, in the fullness of their joy, to assemble
around the family altar, and pour forth fervent thanksgiving to the Hand
which had supported them through tribulation, and had brought them
succor when there was none to help.

On the next morning, to the utter dismay of the bank attorney, Mr.
Merritt walked into his office, and demanded the execution, at the same
time presenting the money.

Choking with rage and surprise, the attorney gazed first at the money,
and thence at the mechanic, and proceeded to an iron closet, which he
opened, and brought out the notes. Mr. Merritt paid them every one, and
with an air of mingled triumph and scorn, bade Esquire Rock a good
morning, and left the office. That gentleman’s wrath broke out afresh
when he was again alone, and he occasionally muttered aloud, “The
scoundrel! I could have killed him!” and no doubt he spoke truly.


                              CHAPTER VII.

                             THE FAREWELL.

After many consultations and long reflection, Mr. Merritt decided to
emigrate to the West. Though repeatedly urged by the new purchaser to
remain for a time at his old home, he refused, being determined, as he
said, to try farming, and the new country.

About two months after the sale, Mr. Merritt received the last
instalment of the purchase-money; and having parted with such of his
household goods as would be unnecessary where he was going—save a few
dear old pieces of furniture, which they could not bear to give up—he
had nearly two thousand dollars to invest in lands.

With many tears they parted from one old friend and another, and
lingered affectionately around every familiar object, until no more
excuses could be framed for delay—and at length commenced their
journey. Emma would have given the world to have seen William Warden
once more; but he had left the village, and gone, no one knew whither.
Little George, notwithstanding his curiosity to see a prairie, had his
sorrows too, and wept as though his heart would break. The infant was
the only one who had no regrets for their old home.


                             CHAPTER VIII.

                           THE PRAIRIE HOME.

Illinois—as every traveler in the Great West knows—abounds in
prairies, many of them of great extent. Among them all, however, there
are none so large and varied as _La Prairie_, so called, which stretches
from the Mississippi River more than a hundred miles into the interior.
Now, it spreads to the horizon’s verge a vast level, carpeted, in the
spring-time, with luxuriant verdure, amid which are scattered myriads of
beautiful wild flowers—anon, the surface slopes in gentle undulations,
rising higher as you proceed, until they become romantic and broken,
dividing into hills and ridges, while clear and sparkling rivulets flow
down the valleys between. Here and there the eye rests upon an oasis of
timber, covering a few acres, and again the traveler scans the field of
vision in vain for a single tree or shrub to relieve the wearisome
monotony of space. Although the soil is rich, and easy of cultivation,
the extreme scarcity of timber has deterred the emigrant from its
occupation, and, save a few settlements in the neighborhood of these
timber-groves, La Prairie is to this day the same solitude as when the
buffalo fed in its green pastures, undisturbed by the ride of the
pale-faced hunter.

Having an opportunity of buying an improvement in one of these beautiful
groves, at a trifling advance from the government price, Mr. Merritt
selected it for his home. They named it Elmwood, and Selkirk, in the
South American isle, was not more isolated from his race than were the
mechanic and his little family in their new abode.

The limits of this history will not allow us to detail the many
ingenious devices that were of necessity resorted to, or the ludicrous
contrivances of Mr. Merritt in the way of carpentry, or the substitutes
adopted for the thousand conveniences they had always been used to, and
never knew the value of before; but suffice it to say, the mechanic
labored earnestly in his new vocation, and succeeded in planting acres
sufficient to insure a plentiful provision for his little flock.


                              CHAPTER IX.

                               SICKNESS.

The second summer had nearly passed away, when sickness visited Elmwood.
Mr. Merritt was prostrated by a violent fever. Early and late his wife
watched by his bed. Sleep was a stranger to her eyes. Agonizing prayers
ascended in petition for his recovery. At last they were heard. Slowly
the sick man improved, and after many weeks, was able to breathe the
fresh air, and walk abroad.

Then, the dear little prattler, the youngest child, drooped. The petted
one lay helpless in its willow cradle, and pale and anxious faces
gathered around it. Eyes, red with weeping, witnessed its struggles.
Several days it lingered after hope had fled the broken-hearted
mourners, and then the little sufferer was called in its pure, unspotted
innocence, to Heaven!


                               CHAPTER X.

                        A STORM ON THE PRAIRIE.

A short time after Mr. Merritt settled at Elmwood, a small village
sprung up about twenty miles distant, on the edge of the prairie; and,
as the country filled up beyond, it was made the county-seat; and a
store or two being established there, it became quite a market-place for
the farmers on the prairie.

On a cold morning in January of the third winter of his residence at
Elmwood, Mr. Merritt, having some business which called him to the
village, Miss Emma improved the opportunity to accompany him, for the
purpose of exercising her taste in the purchase of a few articles from
the store. The snow was too thin for sleighing, and the wagon was
therefore rigged with two chairs and a cloak, together with a buffalo
robe for the feet; and, all things being ready, they set off in high
spirits.

Emma succeeded to her utmost satisfaction in cheapening and securing the
requisite bargains, and was ready to return, long before her father had
completed his share of the business of the day. It was nearly night, and
she was quite out of patience, when Mr. Merritt drove up with the
one-horse wagon, to convey them homeward.

“I am afraid you will have a storm, sir,” said the polite shopkeeper,
bowing a farewell, and glancing at the clouds.

“I hope not before we reach Elmwood,” replied Mr. Merritt, returning the
salutation, and applying the whip. He cast an anxious eye overhead, and
applied the whip more vigorously.

Dark clouds had gradually overspread the sky, and were thickening every
moment, while an occasional gust sweeping along the prairie, gave
evident manifestation of an approaching storm. They had not gone half
the distance, when a feathery snow-flake floated slowly down, and then
another, and another. Now they came thicker and faster, and the darkness
increased so much, that Mr. Merritt could hardly discern the road.

“Emma, dearest, wrap your cloak closely, it will be very cold,” said he,
urging his horse to greater speed.

“I am very comfortable, now, father,” returned Emma; “are we not nearly
home?”

“I hope that we may be, for it will be a dreadful night.”

As the night set in, the wind increased. The snow had hitherto fallen
gently, but now it was driven into their faces by the gale, and almost
blinded them. It grew colder, too, very rapidly, and the mechanic’s
fingers could hardly grasp the lines. Still he continued to ply the
whip, and they rolled on at a gallop.

“Emma, can you see a light?—we should be near Elmwood.”

“No, father, I can see nothing.”

Again they hurried on.

“Look all around you, Emma,” said her father, anxiously; “we must
certainly be nearly home.”

She strained her eyes in every direction, but no light was visible.

A dreadful thought flashed upon him then. He stopped his horse, leaped
from the wagon, and bent his eyes close to the ground.

“O my God!” he exclaimed, in agony, “we have lost the road!”

The storm howled in fury—the track was entirely covered with snow—to
go forward was uncertainty—to return would be folly—to remain, was to
perish. What man, how stout-hearted soever he might be, would not have
quailed at such a prospect.

“What shall we do, father? I am very cold;” said Emma, faintly.

“Heaven only can preserve us, my dear Emma. Take this buffalo, I do not
need it,” said the kind father, carefully wrapping the fur robe to
shield her tender frame from the storm, while an involuntary shivering
through his system evinced the extent of his self-denial.

After an earnest invocation to Heaven, in silent petition, for their
preservation, he resolved to go forward, and leave the result with
Providence.

“Are you warm enough, Emma?” said her father, after a pause.

“I am not cold now, father, but I am _so_ sleepy.”

“My child, exert yourself—do not sleep!” said the mechanic, in
alarm—“it is death!”

As he spoke, a dull, heavy sound was borne along the gale. Mr. Merritt
listened. It was not the wind. Another report was heard.

“’Tis a gun!” he exclaimed. “Heaven be praised! it is a gun from
Elmwood!” He turned his horse’s head in the direction of the sound. A
third time the report was heard, evidently nearer. Soon a faint glare
was visible, which continued to increase as they approached. There stood
his dwelling, with every window brilliantly illuminated; and just as he
reached the house, the door was opened, and George appeared with the
gun, which he was about to fire again, when he saw them.

“Mother, they’ve come!” he shouted, “and this in honor of their return,”
he added, blazing away, and almost thrown on his back by the recoil a
moment after.

The mother was at the door ere he had finished. Mr. Merritt was so
stiffened and benumbed with cold that he descended from the wagon with
difficulty to meet the warm embrace of his wife; but Emma sat still nor
spoke. She was asleep. At this discovery, the excitement and alarm of
the mechanic seemed to endow him with superhuman strength, and lifting
her as if she had been an infant, he hurried into the house with his
lifeless burden, and laid her upon a couch. With frantic energy they
applied the restoratives at command—and they were blessed. Her eyes
opened slowly, and she attempted to speak.

“The crisis is past, and our Emma is preserved!” exclaimed Mrs. Merritt,
clasping her hands together in joyful thanksgiving.

Emma was soon entirely recovered, but the careful mother forbade
exertion, and with her own hands prepared and brought a nice cordial to
her daughter’s bed, under the soothing influence of which she ere long
sunk into pleasant and refreshing slumbers.

Mrs. Merritt, while supper progressed, was relating to the mechanic the
anxiety she had felt for their safety when night came on, and he had not
returned; and how George had suggested the thought of firing the gun,
which had led to their preservation, when a loud knock was heard at the
door. George opened it, and a stranger entered, muffled to the eyes in a
capacious cloak, which was almost concealed by a covering of snow.

“Can a traveler find shelter with you to-night?” asked the new comer,
who appeared to be a young man.

“God forbid that we should drive a human being from our roof on such a
night as this,” said Mr. Merritt. “Sir, you are quite welcome to the
best we have to offer.”

The traveler expressed his thanks, and divested of his cloak, exposed
the features of a handsome young man, of apparently not more than
two-and-twenty years.

A sudden exclamation burst simultaneously from the lips of Mr. and Mrs.
Merritt.

“William Warden!” It was he.

“You recognize me, I see,” said Warden, “although three years have
changed me somewhat;” and he continued, “will you, Mr. Merritt, for the
moment, forget that I am the son of my father, and accord to me the
welcome of a stranger?”

The mechanic evidently struggled with bitter recollections, but subduing
them, offered his hand calmly to Mr. Warden. “You are my guest, Mr.
Warden,” said he, “and as such, are not the less entitled to my
hospitality that you are the son of one who has done cruel wrong to me
and mine.”

“But not irretrievable wrong, thank Heaven!” replied young Warden. “The
son shall expiate the crimes of the father. To-morrow, Mr.
Merritt—to-morrow shall be the dawn of a happier day.”

Mr. Merritt made no reply. Warden did not resume the subject, and they
sat some time in silence. William had frequently glanced around the room
since his entrance, and his countenance now assumed a perplexed and
anxious expression. There was one missing, of whom he wished, yet feared
to know. At length he mustered sufficient courage to inquire in as
indifferent a tone as he could assume, “Where is Miss Emma?”

Mrs. Merritt then recounted the history of Emma’s trip to the village,
and her narrow escape from a dreadful death on the prairies, and how the
firing had been the means of their rescue; to all of which he listened
with intense interest. He, too, had heard the gun, and been saved by it
from a similar fate.

On the next morning Emma was quite herself again. She had not heard of
the traveler’s arrival, and when she came into the breakfast-room and
saw William Warden, she almost fainted. The tell-tale blood, which had
at first retreated, now crimsoned her cheek—and William himself seemed
to have caught the contagion, for his face was all on fire. They shook
hands as composedly as possible under the circumstances, and succeeded
in exchanging a few interrogatories without betraying the secret
agitation of their hearts to the eye of the mechanic. If William had
loved Emma at sixteen, how much more worthy of his love did she now
appear. She had grown taller, and every childish grace had matured into
beautiful womanhood. The climate had tinged her complexion with the
slightest possible brown, and her plain western dress fitted her
charming figure so well, that he would not have exchanged it for the
richest robe that ever decked a haughty ball-room belle.

William, too, how vastly he was improved. Three years had transformed
the slight stripling into the form of manly beauty; and his eyes beamed
with the intelligence of superior intellect. Emma thought him even
handsomer than ever.

After breakfast was over, Mr. Merritt and young Warden walked out
together, and when the latter returned to the house, he found Emma
alone. He approached the fair girl, and his voice trembled as he spoke.

“Emma,” said William, “have you forgotten our last parting yet. O, Emma,
the words you then whispered in my ear have sustained and encouraged me
since that day; and the hope of one day being worthy of you, and
repairing the injury done to your father, has borne me onward and upward
over difficulties of every kind, until at last I am here to remind you
of your promise. ‘I will be yours, and yours only, William,’ you said;
and now, dearest Emma, I have just explained all to your father, who
will not withhold his blessing, and it needs but your confirmation to
seal my happiness forever.”

The happy girl did not withhold it.


                              CHAPTER XI.

                     A MORNING CALL IN NEW ENGLAND.

“Have you heard the news about Mr. Merritt?” said a young lady, to an
acquaintance, whom she was honoring with a morning call.

“No, I have not; what about him?”

“Why, you know that Mr. Warden ruined him, and his property was sold to
a gentleman in ——, and the mechanic and his family moved to the West.
This was about three years ago. Well, Mr. Warden’s son was violently in
love with Mr. Merritt’s daughter, Emma; a fine looking fellow he was,
too; and he felt so terribly about his father’s failure, that he
immediately left the village; and where should he go, accidentally, but
to the very man who purchased Mr. Merritt’s property, and who employed
him as a clerk. He happened to suit his employer exactly—for, as I said
before, he is a fine looking fellow—and somehow or other he found out
lately that young Warden was so much attached to Mr. Merritt’s Emma; and
what does he do but give William a deed in full of all the property, and
resigned business in his favor, then sends him off to Illinois, to marry
the daughter, and bring back the whole family to their old home. And,
sure enough, last night they came, bag and baggage, and have commenced
housekeeping already. Young Warden and his wife, are the handsomest
couple I ever saw. I hear that they are to give a party to their old
friends as soon as they are settled.”

                 *        *        *        *        *



                       TO MY SISTER E . . . . A.


                           BY ADALIZA CUTTER.


    Sweet sister, at this twilight hour,
      While sings the bird her evening lay,
    And gentle dews refresh each flower
      That drooped beneath the noontide ray;
    While cool, soft breezes play around,
      And gently fan my burning brow,
    Falling with sweet and soothing sound
      Upon my ear like music now;
    While trembling there in yonder sky
      That little star looks down on me,
    I’ll wipe the tear-drops from my eye,
      And trill a simple song for thee.

    My heart is full, oh, sister dear,
      Of tender thoughts of one whose love
    No longer lights our pathway here,
      But purer glows in worlds above;
    And though a year has almost flown
      Since we have laid her down to rest,
    To-night her form sat by my own,
      Her lips upon my brow were pressed;
    Her low, sweet voice was in my ear,
      Entranced I listened to each word,
    So soft, so silvery, and so clear,
      As ne’er from mortal lips was heard!

    With glowing eye she talked with me
      Of our own happy childhood’s hours,
    When hand in hand we sisters three
      With chainless footsteps sought the flowers;
    Or sat beneath the forest trees,
      Upon some green and mossy bed,
    While, stirred by the low, murmuring breeze,
      The leaves made music overhead;
    While on the gentle summer air
      The birds poured forth their thrilling song,
    Till every green leaf waving there
      Seemed the sweet echoes to prolong.

    She spoke to me of girlhood’s days,
      When we had hopes unmixed with fears,
    Ere we had learned the world’s cold ways,
      And smiles were ours undimmed by tears;
    When life seemed like a long, bright dream,
      Our spirits buoyant as the air,
    And looking o’er life’s gentle stream,
      Thought not that rocks lay hidden there;
    While onward, onward lightly sped
      Our little barks adown the river,
    Trusting the sunbeams overhead
      Would keep the waters bright forever.

    She talked with me of riper years,
      When time less lightly speeded by,
    And, seen through nature’s flowing tears,
      The rainbow spanned a clouded sky;
    Some of our brightest dreams had flown,
      And that strange lyre, the human heart,
    Awoke a deeper, sadder tone,
      That things so lovely should depart;
    And while we could not stay the tear,
      To think those cloudless days were o’er,
    A sad voice whispered in our ear,
      They’ll come no more—they’ll come no more!

    They’ll come no more, oh, sister mine,
      Those sunny hours that we have known,
    But shall we murmur, or repine,
      So many blessings still our own?
    True, clouds have gathered on our way,
      Deep shadows round about us lie,
    But waiting for a brighter day,
      Upward we’ll look with steadfast eye;
    And as we linger round the tomb
      Of one whom our warm hearts held dear,
    Sweet voices will dispel the gloom—
      She is not here—she is not here!

                 *        *        *        *        *



                          THE LIFE INSURANCE.


                            BY HENRY G. LEE.


“You look sober this morning,” said I to my neighbor Lincoln one day.
“What’s the matter? Any thing wrong?”

“No; I can’t exactly say that,” he replied, with unusual gravity.

“You look as if you were under a mountain of trouble.”

“Do I?” And he made an attempt to laugh; but it was not entirely
successful.

“I’m only a little worried just now; but it will pass off,” he added. “I
get into these states sometimes—periodically, I might say.”

“Ah, I understand. Imaginary troubles.”

“Oh no,” he quickly replied. “Not just that. There is something like
real flesh and blood about the matter. The fact is, to come out plain,
Mrs. Lincoln, in her over-kindness, has presented me with another baby.”

“And you are so unreasonable as to grumble about it! You don’t deserve
to have blessings.”

“There is such a thing as being blessed to death, you know,” said Mr.
Lincoln, smiling; but the smile was still, as they say, on the wrong
side of his mouth. “Five babies were enough, in all conscience, without
adding a sixth. It was as much as I could do to get bread for what I
had.”

“He who sends the mouths will send the bread. Never fear for that.”

“I know. This general trust in Providence is all well enough. But it
takes more mental stamina than I possess to bring it down into
particular applications. My faith isn’t overly strong. If I were worth a
hundred thousand dollars, the babies might come as fast as they liked. I
wouldn’t call a baker’s dozen too many. No. I like babies; bless their
hearts! but I like them properly cared for. If I live, I suppose all
will be well enough. But life is held by the most uncertain tenure. Upon
my daily exertions depend the sustenance of my family. If I were to die
my wife and children would be in a sad way.”

“Get your life insured,” said I promptly.

Lincoln shook his head and looked grave.

“Why not?”

“Shouldn’t like to do that.” His face became still more serious.

“Any particular objection?”

“It looks like running in the face of Providence. I should feel as if I
were signing my death warrant.”

“That’s a strange notion.”

“It’s just as I feel. I’ve thought about it a number of times. But it
seems to me that life is too serious a thing to be placed on a common
level with a house or a ship. In putting a money-value upon his earthly
existence, it seems to me that the Divine Being would be outraged, and
visit the mercenary offender with death as a judgment.”

“You have a strange idea of the Divine Being,” said I, evincing surprise
in turn. “In getting your life insured, would you purpose evil to your
neighbor?”

“No; but rather good. I would seek, in doing so, not only to keep my
wife and children from becoming a burden upon others, but to secure to
them those worldly advantages so necessary to the healthy development of
mind and body.”

“And do you think a merciful God would visit you, vindictively, for
acting with such an unselfish purpose in your mind? How strange must be
your notion of Him who is represented to us as being in his very nature
love! Now, we know that love seeks to impart a blessing to all—not a
curse.”

“But there is such a thing as running in the face of Providence, and
this life insurance has always struck me as being something of the
kind.”

“What do you mean by running in the face of Providence?”

“Doing something in order to counteract the Divine purpose.”

“Do you know the Divine purpose in regard to yourself?”

“No; of course not.”

“Then, how can you, knowingly, do any thing to counteract that purpose?”

“I can’t, knowingly; but I may do so ignorantly.”

“Then you think that the Lord sometimes punishes men for acts innocently
done?”

“Such an idea has been in my mind. Man is responsible for his acts, and
should, therefore, be very guarded about what he does. His ignorance
will not always excuse him.”

“Suppose your child were to do something wrong, yet you had the clearest
evidence in your mind that his intentions were good, and not evil; would
you punish him?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“I would regard his intentions.”

“Because they made the quality of the act so far as he was concerned?”

“Yes.”

“Will you make God less reasonable, considerate, and just than yourself?
Does not He also regard the motives which influence his children?”

“Why—yes—I suppose He does. But—we ought to be very sure that our
motives are right.”

“I grant you that, with all my heart. We must take care that we are not
consenting to the death of the saints, under the mad hallucination that
we are doing God’s service. But, with reason and revelation for our
guide, we need not be in much fear of going wrong.”

“No; I suppose not. Still, I can’t get away from the idea suggested. I
feel as if to insure my life would be trifling with a solemn matter.”

“And that life might fail you in consequence?”

“Such is the impression, I must confess.”

“You must, then, think that the providence in regard to the time of a
man’s death is arbitrary and capricious?”

“I don’t understand much about the matter; and my very ignorance makes
me fearful,” replied Mr. Lincoln.

“It must be plain to you, on reflection,” said I, “that, in a matter so
important as the fixing of a man’s eternal state by death, the divine
wisdom and mercy of the Lord must be exercised in a most perfect manner,
so to speak. That, in fact, no one is called to pass from a natural into
a spiritual state of existence, except at the time when such a change
will be best for him. The mere circumstance of making an insurance upon
the life, with a view to providing for those left behind, who would,
perhaps, suffer great evils but for such a provision, could not
precipitate this time; for the act could not foreclose a man’s state and
prevent his further regeneration.”

Lincoln admitted that there was some force in this view, but said he
could not see the subject clearly, and was afraid to act in the matter.

Six months afterward, on meeting my neighbor, his serious face induced
me to ask after the cause of his trouble.

“Worried about my affairs, as usual,” said he. “The fact is, I have but
little peace of mind. Every thing is so uncertain. By this time I ought
to have had a neat little property laid up, but am not worth a copper.
My family has increased so rapidly, that it has taken every thing I
could make to feed and clothe them. If I were certain of living, I would
not feel troubled; for I can earn a comfortable support. But no man has
a lease of his life. It makes me heart-sick to think of the consequences
if I were to die. What would become of my wife and children! I have not
a cent to leave them.”

“Why don’t you get your life insured? Take out a policy of five thousand
dollars, for, say seven years. It will cost you only about ninety
dollars a year; and you can easily save that much from your income by a
little extra economy. Your mind would then be comparatively easy.”

“Five thousand dollars would be a nice little sum to leave,” said Mr.
Lincoln, “and would help a great deal.”

“You could pay the premium easily enough?”

“Oh yes.”

“Then make the insurance by all means.”

“I have thought of it several times since we conversed on the subject;
but some how or other have put it off from time to time. I must do so no
longer. My doubts as to the propriety of life insurance, which I
expressed some time ago, I do not feel as strongly as then. I thought a
good deal of what you said, and came to the conclusion that your views
were pretty nearly correct.”

“Life is uncertain. We can only call the present our own. Be wise, then,
and make this provision for your family.”

“I must do it,” said Lincoln, as he left me.

“Have you effected that insurance yet?” said I to him a few months
afterward.

“No, I have not,” he replied, “but I must do it. The fact is, when it
comes to the pinch, the amount of premium is something. A man hasn’t
always got ninety dollars to spare.”

“True. But didn’t I see a new sofa and a set of mahogany chairs going
into your house a week or two ago?”

“Yes.”

“And they cost, no doubt, a hundred dollars.”

“Just that.”

“Would it not have been wiser—”

“I know what you would say,” interrupted Lincoln. “Yes, it would have
been wiser. The possession of a policy for five thousand dollars would
give me a far greater pleasure than I have yet derived from looking at
or sitting upon my new chairs and sofa. The old ones were comfortable
enough.”

“Don’t put it off any longer. Better take out a policy for two thousand
five hundred now, if the amount of premium is an object, and another
policy for a like sum in two or three months.”

“I’ll do that,” said he, speaking earnestly.

We parted. A month or two afterward, I alluded to the matter again. The
insurance had not been made, and Lincoln seemed a little annoyed at my
reference to the subject. After that I avoided any further remark
touching the advantages of life insurance when in company with Lincoln.
But I never met his wife, a fragile looking creature, that I did not
feel an emotion of pain at the thought of her being left destitute, with
six children clinging to her for support.

Nearly a year elapsed from the time of my last reference to the subject
of life insurance, when news came to the city that, while bathing on the
sea-shore, Lincoln had been drowned. The sad event was made sadder in my
mind, as my thoughts turned, involuntarily, to his wife and children,
left without a protector and provider. What were they to do? Lincoln had
been engaged in the business of a real estate broker. At his death,
there was no estate to settle up—no store to sell out—few if any debts
to collect. The office would be closed, and the income cease.

“Poor woman! what is she to do?” said I to myself a dozen times in the
first hour that elapsed after I had heard the afflictive news. “Without
fifty dollars in the world, probably, besides furniture and clothing,
how is she to maintain, by her own unaided exertions, a family of six
children?”

So much was I afflicted by the occurrence, that I could not sleep for
some hours after retiring to bed in the evening.

On the next morning the newspapers contained a notice of the accident,
with this announcement:

“We are happy to state, that a few days before leaving for the
sea-shore, Mr. Lincoln had his life insured in the Girard Life Insurance
and Trust Company, for five thousand dollars.”

I was so much affected in reading this, that my hands trembled, and the
paper dropped from them to the floor.

Some years have elapsed since the occurrence of this sad event. Almost
daily I pass a small store in a well frequented street, behind the
counter of which is sometimes seen the widow of Mr. Lincoln, or a
daughter who has attained the age of fourteen years. The face of the
former has a sober, quiet look, but bears no evidence of distressing
care. Under the advice and assistance of friends, four thousand dollars
of the money received at the death of her husband, were safely invested
in six per cent. securities, and with the balance, a small store was
stocked with goods. The interest on four thousand dollars paid her rent,
and the profits on her little business enabled her to meet the real
wants of her family.

How different would all have been but for this life insurance.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                        BUNKER-HILL AT MIDNIGHT.


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


    I stand upon the sacred hill
      Where LIBERTY hath made her home.
    ’Tis midnight, all is hushed and still
      Where’er my footsteps roam;
    While towering through the air of night
      Yon stately pile doth rear its head,
    A granite flower, of giant height,
      Sprung from the dust of PATRIOTS dead!

    Methinks I hear the rustling sound
      Of myriad angels’ hovering wings,
    Who guard this famed, enchanted ground,
      Around which Romance clings!
    Like those that o’er gray Marathon
      Are hovering in the night’s still noon,
    Spirits descend and stand upon
      This hill when clouds obscure the moon!

    Beneath me sleeps the city dim,
      Whose dusky spires tower on high,
    And white-winged vessels slowly skim
      Yon river winding by.
    The wandering night-winds round me moan,
      And for that day of glory sigh,
    When Freedom’s star in splendor shone
      Through the torn clouds in WAR’S dark sky!

    Where now the men that nobly dealt
      A nation’s wrath upon the foe,
    And for their injured country felt
      Their cheeks indignant glow?
    Alas! they all have passed away,
      Like stars that leave the sky at morn,
    When in the east the king of day
      On couch of gilded clouds is born!

    And silence reigns where’er I tread,
      Like that which greets the passer-by
    In that lone city of the dead
      ’Neath Egypt’s brazen sky!
    Brave men are sleeping everywhere,
      Their ashes hallow every strand,
    And this lone hill-top has its share,
      On which in musing mood I stand!

                 *        *        *        *        *



                                 LINES.


                        BY SARAH HELEN WHITMAN.


                 “The undying voice of that dead time,
                  With its interminable chime,
                  Rings on my spirit like a knell.”


    Dost thou remember that September day
      When by the Seekonk’s lonely wave we stood,
    And marked the languor of repose that lay,
      Softer than sleep, on valley, wave and wood?

    A trance of solemn rapture seemed to lull
      The charméd earth and circumambient air,
    And the low murmur of the leaves seemed full
      Of a resigned and passionless despair.

    Though the warm breath of summer lingered still
      In the lone paths where late her footsteps passed,
    The pallid star-flowers on the purple hill
      Sighed dreamily “we are the last! the last!”

    I stood beside thee, and a dream of heaven
      Around me like a golden halo fell!
    Then the bright veil of phantasy was riven,
      And my lips murmured “fare thee well!—farewell!”

    I dared not listen to thy words, nor turn
      To meet the pleading language of thine eyes,
    I only _felt_ their power, and in the urn
      Of memory treasured their sweet rhapsodies.

    We parted then forever—and the hours
      Of that bright day were gathered to the past—
    But through long wintry nights I heard the flowers
      Sigh dreamily, we are the last!—the last!

                 *        *        *        *        *



                              THE BALIZE.


                            [SEE ENGRAVING.]

This is the name of one of the mouths of the Mississippi River. At the
distance of 105 miles below New Orleans by the course of the river, and
90 miles in a direct line, this majestic stream enters the Gulf of
Mexico by several mouths, the principal of which are the Belize, or
North East Pass, in latitude 29° 7' and longitude 80° 10' West, and the
South West Pass, in latitude 29° 8' North and longitude 89° 25' West.
The depth of water on the bar at each of these passes is 12 to 16 feet,
but much greater without and a little within the bar. Most vessels enter
and leave by the Belize, and hence the frequency with which we hear this
remarkable place referred to.

The tall erections in the engraved view are look-outs constructed for
observing the approach of vessels, and hoisting signals. The country
about the Balize is one continued swamp, destitute of trees, and covered
with a species of coarse reeds, from four to five feet high. Nothing can
be more dreary than a prospect from a ship’s mast while passing this
immense waste.

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration: THE BALIZE.]

                 *        *        *        *        *



                         WILD-BIRDS OF AMERICA.


                          BY PROFESSOR FROST.


[Illustration: [Alca Impennis.]]


                   THE GREAT AUK. (_Alca Impennis._)

Auk is the vernacular name for certain sea-birds of the family _Alcasæ_,
known scientifically as species of the subgenera, _Alca_, _Fratercula_,
_Mergulus_ and _Phaleris_. The true Auks, though properly oceanic birds,
scarcely ever leaving the water except for the purposes of reproduction,
can run, though awkwardly, on foot, when pursued on land. They breed in
caverns or lofty cliffs, laying but one large egg. They feed on fish and
other marine animals.

The first of the genus _Alca_ is the Great Auk, remarkable for the
imperfect development of its wings. It seldom leaves the regions
bordering on the Arctic and Antarctic Circles. The wings, perfectly
useless for flight, are very serviceable as oars. Mr. Bullock relates
that during his tour to Northern Isles, one of them, with his four oars,
left a six-oared boat of pursuers far behind. Newfoundland is one of
their breeding places, and the Esquimaux make clothing of their skins.
They are never seen beyond soundings; and seamen direct their measures
according to their appearance.

The length of the bird is less than three feet. The winter plumage,
which begins to appear in autumn, leaves the cheeks, throat, fore part
and sides of the neck white. In spring the summer change begins to take
place, and confines the white on the head to a large patch, which
extends in front and around the eyes; the rest of the head, the neck and
upper plumage is of a deep black.

[Illustration: [Alca torda.]]


                      RAZOR-BILL. (_Alca Torda._)

In the second species of _Alca_, the Black-billed Auk, Razor-bill, or
Murre, the development of the wings is carried to the usual extent
necessary for flight, though the bird uses them with great effect as
oars, when swimming under water. They are diffused over the northern
hemisphere on both continents; but they are particularly abundant in the
higher latitudes. In England their eggs are esteemed a great delicacy,
for salads especially, and on the coast of that country the “dreadful
trade” of taking their eggs is actively carried on. In Ray’s Willoughby,
the habits of the Razor-bill are thus described:

“It lays, sits and breeds up its young on the ledges of the craggy
cliffs and steep rocks by the seashore, that are broken and divided into
many, as it were, stairs or shelves, together with the _Coulternebs_ and
_Guillemots_. The Manks-men are wont to compare these rocks, with the
birds sitting upon them in breeding time, to an apothecary’s shop—the
ledges of the rocks resembling the shelves, and the birds the pots.
About the Isle of Man are very high cliffs, broken in this manner into
many ledges one above another, from top to bottom. They are wont to let
down men by ropes from the tops of the cliffs, to take away the eggs and
the young ones. They take also the birds themselves, when they are
sitting upon their eggs, with snares fastened at the top of long poles,
and so put about their necks. They build no nests, but lay their eggs
upon the bare rocks.

“On the coasts of Labrador they abound, and thousands of birds are there
killed for the sake of the breast feathers, which are very warm and
elastic, and the quantities of eggs there collected amount to almost
incredible numbers.

“The summer and winter dresses of the Razor-bill, though different, do
not vary so remarkably as the plumage of many other birds. In the summer
dress, the white streak which goes to the bill from the eyes becomes
very pure; and the cheeks, throat and upper part of the front of the
neck are of a deep black, shaded with reddish. In winter the throat and
fore part of the neck are white.”

The Razor-bill is fifteen inches long. The egg is disproportionately
large, being about the size of that of the turkey, but longer, white or
yellowish and streaked with dark brown.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                          SPIRITUAL PRESENCE.


                       BY MRS. MARY G. HORSFORD.


    When the still and solemn night
      Broodeth o’er with wing of love,
    And the stars with eyes of light
      Look like spirits from above;

    When the flowers their petals close
      Softly in the slumbering air,
    Bending meekly in repose
      As a contrite soul at prayer;

    And the waters sweep the shore
      With a low and sullen chime,
    Like Life’s current falling o’er
      Into the abyss of Time;

    Sometimes feel ye not a breath
      As of pinions rushing by,
    Viewless as the touch of Death?
      ’Tis an angel passing nigh.

    Evermore ’neath rock or tree,
      In the forest or the street,
    ’Mid the desert, on the sea,
      We a seraph form may meet.

    Human hearts! with vision clear
      Look ye to each deed and thought;
    Arm the spirit, torn in fear
      From the act in evil wrought;

    We do walk forever nigh
      Waking ghost of envied dead,
    And unmarked by mortal eye
      With angelic hosts do tread.

    While in chorus winds rejoice,
      Though we see no guiding form,
    Speaks there not a “still small voice”?
      God is riding on the storm.

    Tireless roll the worlds of light,
      God is marking out their way;
    Joyous beams the morning light,
      God is smiling in the ray.

    Soul! though gaunt and weary care
      Haunt thine upward soaring free,
    Let each pulse count out a prayer,
      _The Eternal walks with thee_.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                            FLOWER FANCIES.


                      BY MRS. H. MARION STEPHENS.


    Angel tokens—flower fancies—
      Wrought with bright imaginings—
    Evermore the vision glances
      On your rainbow-tinted wings!
    Underneath the wild-wood dreaming,
      Type of all that’s pure in heart,
    Or upon the hill-top gleaming,
      Gems of beauty still thou art!

    Angel tokens—ever filling
      Nature’s book with flowing rhyme,
    Bearing in your silent trilling
      Records quaint of olden time;
    Or in strange devices wreathing
      Wisdom in your swift decay,
    While your last faint sigh is breathing
      “Man’s the creature of a day.”

    Angel tokens—flower fancies—
      Sea and sky have gone to sleep!
    Why, when slumber all entrances,
      Do ye wake and sadly weep?
    Are ye spirits watching o’er us,
      And the tears upon your leaves,
    Do they fall for _cures_ before us—
      Is’t for _this_ your bosom grieves?

    Angel tokens—flower fancies—
      Winter’s breath is on ye now
    And your perfumed leaves are falling
      Crisped and shriveled from the bough—
    Yet when spring, with winter striving,
      O’er the earth asserts her reign,
    With her smile your buds reviving,
      Ye will blossom bright again!

    Angel tokens—springing lightly
      Through the glorious summer day,
    Oh! could we but bloom as brightly,
      And as brightly pass away—
    Could _our_ winter, death, victorious
      O’er the cold and cheerless sod
    Bear us on in bloom, thus glorious,
      To the garden of our God!

                 *        *        *        *        *



                            EDITOR’S TABLE.


                       PERILS OF THE IMAGINATION.

[Illustration]

MY DEAR JEREMY,—I place before you the perils of a passage to a Turkish
Paradise, because you have shown a passion for turbans, meerschaums and
pretty women, and I wish to warn you. The narrow path of Christian
theology is still further reduced, you see, in the Mohammedan, so that,
sinner as you are, you will find it advisable to stick to the true
faith, and to practice it with more diligence.

You should not let your imagination run riot—it will be the ruin of
you; but take the substantials, with thankfulness, which are yours by
possession, and enjoy them to the uttermost. We all—the poorest of
us—have enough and to spare of the gifts of Providence to make somebody
envious—the veriest slave of money, who boasts of his millions, I’ll
warrant me, looks with discomfort upon your superior intellect, or your
better appetite, and would part with a good slice of gold, for a taste
for a fine poem, or a relish for roast-beef—and I doubt much whether
you would bargain them off at his valuation. I would not give a good
temper and a cheerful disposition for all the gold that any crabbed old
miser may have in his bank vault; nor my troop of true friends for the
hungry faces of his poor relations. Would you? Your shilling or mine
will buy us more pleasure, with a friend, than he can impart, with a one
per cent. discount. This is true—and yet the world does not look upon
things thus philosophically. We strain our imaginations to catch at some
supposed good, something we _fancy_ would make us blessed, discarding
the real good that God has imparted to us.

“You wish to travel, do you?” said an old friend of mine. “You are very
silly! there is no pleasure in that. I once went all the way to
Saratoga, with my family, but I _saw it all_ in half an hour, and left
in the return train. The young folks _imagined_, that by staying two or
three weeks, something else might be discovered, and I left them to
experiment; but I was done with it, and was off.”

You say this never happened. By Jove, it did though! and a sensible old
codger he was _in his way_ too—though I found _that_, in the end, was
rather eccentric and uncertain. But he adhered to his opinion, and
traveled no more. “As for traveling for pleasure,” said he, “it is
absurd. I am ten times more comfortable and happy at home, where I can
call for what I want, and get it, and instead of sweating in a
stage-coach, on a hot and dusty day, with my knees squeezed into a
perfect jelly, I throw up the back window that opens on the
garden—wheel up a recumbent chair—place another for my feet—call for
a bottle of champagne and a cigar, and with ice at my elbow, take mine
own ease, at _mine own_ inn. Then, as for traveling to see fine
prospects, if I tire of the garden and the champagne, I can shut my eyes
here—_he never did in his counting-room_—and can call up more splendid
scenery than the Rhine can boast—can crown the hills with finer palaces
than ever shone in Greece—and people them with prettier women than
Mahomet will find in his Paradise, I’ll warrant him: And all this while
your sight-seeing traveler is perhaps toiling and puffing up the sides
of Vesuvius, over hardened lava, or is blowing his fingers on the sides
of Mont Blanc, which, I dare say, are flattered in the engravings, while
I can add in imagination unnumbered beauties the artists never dreamed
of.”

There is good philosophy in this, Jeremy, and as it suits my pocket just
now, if you will send over the champagne, I’ll try it. There is a home
doctrine about it that I like, for my experience is, that a man gets
into very little mischief while he stays there. How does it tally with
yours?

The farther we wander in chase of forbidden pleasures, the more
impressive is the conviction that we are in pursuit of bubbles, which go
dancing and dazzling on, and when grasped, are empty.

And yet the world is but a vast army of bubble chasers, with here and
there a sage smiling at, or rebuking, the folly. Each has his
fatuity—each his blind passion, his bubble of the imagination. Fortune,
Fame, Pleasure, how many do they beckon away from comfort, peace and
happiness? Amid the press upon each crowded avenue, how few are allowed
to turn back! How many fall and are trodden down forever! and yet the
sanguine multitude, rushing over the bodies of the slain, heed not the
fall of their companions, but press on as eagerly as before after
vanishing shadows. Why is it, that when happiness itself is basking at
our feet, imploring acceptance, that with a blind fatuity we rush at any
cost on misery? Is it because the mind is ever, in this world, after the
unattainable, that we see fortune, fame, domestic comfort, personal
ease, all shipwrecked, on all sides of us in life, to attain the
undesirable? That the merchant with his bank-roll of tens of thousands,
squanders all in one wild effort to grasp a bubble upon an unknown sea.
That the man of letters, to whom God has given an intellect but a little
lower than that of angels, and who might model and mould the mind of a
nation to good, and shine as a star in the intellectual firmament, to be
worshiped in all time by the students of genius, “who follow her
flashing torch along every path to knowledge”—knowing his high gifts
for good, and feeling their power, scorns the possession, and scatters
the bale-fires of a mighty intellect, as a volcano showers down lava and
ashes, upon mankind—blighting, as with a destroying angel’s touch, the
fair world in which he lives.

That the domestic hearth, with children merry-voiced, over which
meek-eyed Peace hovered like a dove, and around which Heaven’s own smile
seemed to linger, is treacherously invaded by the demon of jealousy,
green-eyed and furious, until Crime, with swarthy countenance and bloody
locks, broods with Death’s Angel over the silent spot.

The Perils of the Imagination, how they invest the unsatisfied! Are
these the penalties which God imposes for unthankfulness? or is it that
the devil, ever working at the heart, urges man to ingratitude, and
excites him to folly? What think you, Jeremy?

        “The earth hath bubbles, as the water hath,
         And we are of them.”

                                                             G. R. G.


                            JOTTINGS ABROAD.

                           BY J. R. CHANDLER.

It is undoubtedly pleasant in the midst of the weakening influences of
an August day, to sit, _sub tegmani fagi_, and read of the sports of the
watering places—the wonders of Niagara, or the discoveries of those
summer travelers who, turning aside from the beaten paths, or common
haunts of fashion, explore the hidden, and develop the unknown. Most
agreeable is it to mingle the mental sherbet of our summer’s retirement
with such timely ingredients. Herein our brethren of the daily press
seem to have an advantage over us of the monthly issues, as, day by day,
they prepare their ever welcome table, and are never compelled to speak
of an elevated thermometer, while

        Milk comes frozen in the pails,
        And Dick, the shepherd, blows his nails.

Waiving this advantage, or to speak more correctly, yielding to this
disadvantage, we purpose laying upon our table, and for our readers who
dine later than the common class, a single dish, composed of gleanings
from the flower-gardens and the stubble-fields, in a late visitation
among the “wise men of the East.”

We say nothing of a rest which we set up for a short time in New York,
because the continual clatter in that Babel of this land would prevent
ordinary ears (and ours are of no extraordinary length) from hearing any
thing worth presenting here, and the dust, which seemed to be moving in
solid masses from corner to corner, rendered quite necessary to comfort
and to future speculation hermetically closed eyes.

The next stage was Springfield, Mass., where we saw and conversed with
GRACE GREENWOOD—a Grace for which we were appropriately grateful. She
was cultivating ideas for future use, and gathering thoughts to sustain
her fame and secure the admiration of others. She was successful,
undoubtedly.

But Springfield has _of_ itself, as well as _in_ itself, attractions of
no ordinary character. The regular tourist will, of course, visit and
describe the Armory, in which are stored about one hundred thousand
stand of arms, all rendered nearly useless, by the introduction, since
_they_ were manufactured, of percussion caps, instead of the old flint
and steel process of igniting the charge. In these days every thing must
be done quickly. A rail-road of a hundred miles in length, and five
millions cost, was constructed between two cities, because it would
carry passengers in one hour’s time less than one already in use. And
here the ignition of the powder by the spark from the flint, which
seemed to measure the shortest imaginable _space_, we had almost said
_point_ of time, was deemed, and undoubtedly is, too slow a process for
destroying human life; and so another agent is applied, whose operation
is electric, and makes the intention and the act instantaneous. These
guns thus put into coventry, must have cost nearly twelve hundred
thousand dollars—a sum, the interest of which we wish we had to pay
contributors, literary and artistic, to Graham’s Magazine.

Because the genius of our people is connected with the fact, we will
just add, that at this place, as at other of the armories of the General
Government, all the parts of the muskets are so constructed as to suit
any one musket of the million that may be made. No single part is
particular; no screw has a special gun; no spring, clasp, or brace, is
intended to suit one, or two, or twenty, but each part of any musket
will answer for the same part of any others without alteration of any
kind. This looks like the perfection of mechanism, and the machinery
used looks as if it were made by and for such perfection.

No one who visits in Springfield will neglect the large public cemetery;
it is worth a visit of miles—and it requires the travel of miles, for
it is large. Good taste and ingenuity are manifested in all its parts;
and the buried, if they have a consciousness of their whereabout, must
be satisfied to await, in that beautiful retreat, the summons which
shall call together the separated bones, and clothe them anew with the
incorruptible, in which they are to stand and be judged.

And the living will learn in this beautiful city of the dead, to
contemplate the only certainty of their lives, and to see the slow
approach of their dissolution, without that shock which the Golgothas
and Aceldamas of other times were sure to impart to the delicate and
sensitive.

I know that the cynic loves to point to the ornamented grave-yard, or
the magnificent cemetery, as the exhibition of the pride of the
living—the vanity of the survivors. And I dare not say, that even with
the chastened, holy feelings which grief ensures, some particle of human
vanity may not mingle, and that the monument which professes to record
the virtues of the dead, may not, indeed, betoken the pride of the
living.

But suppose it does—admit the charge, and what then? The pride of the
living is shown where no future error of the lauded will belie or
disgrace the memorial, and where the self-esteem which is gratified in
the erection of the cenotaph, will never be wounded by the ingratitude
of the one that sleeps beneath. Let vanity have its hour if it uses the
time to praise the virtuous, and make death less repulsive; and pride
which beautifies where dead men’s bones and all manner of uncleanliness
once were found, commends itself to forgiveness, if it may not command
our approval.

Has any one ever thought of this? All know and applaud the movement
which develops and displays the virtues and beauties of our nature. But
who has thought it worth while to commend the undertaking that makes the
errors and deformities of our character minister to taste and
refinement! The polished marble scarcely requires genius to give it a
sightly and ornamental position; it is beautiful wherever found, but
true taste and true skill are requisite to give symmetry and collective
beauty to rough ashlars in an ornamental tenement.

When such a cemetery is established, it is natural that the private and
parishional burying-places should yield up the dead, and be devoted to
the more active business of life; and hence we see in various
departments of this ground, old moss-grown stones that have followed the
dust whose history they record, and who stand among the newly-carved
pillars and slabs now become representatives not less of the taste than
of the people of other times.

Wandering in the lower part of the town, near the railroad dépôt, I saw
on the main street, a lot newly broken up for building. It had been the
burying-ground of some church or family. One old stone was laid aside.
It recorded the name of a virtuous woman, who died more than two hundred
years ago. This is the antiquity of our country, and the existence of a
grave-stone of that date is a part of the marvel of the present time. I
was about to copy the record, but I saw some one watching me, and as I
shrunk from being gazed at, I ceased from the labor. I might have
brought away a part of the _words_, though nothing but an artist could
have caught and conveyed the form of the letters, if that could be
called _form_ which was almost formless. Surely every age has its
_literature_; and perhaps every location claims its peculiar style.
Certainly the literature of the early part of the seventeenth century in
Springfield had some striking peculiarities. I do not remember seeing
previously the word _pietously_, which, if I mistake not, was on that
stone—and that, too, without the necessity of rhythm. Yet most
beautifully did the uncouth rhyme and shapeless sculpture of that stone,
convey to the readers, the merits of a woman who lived in Springfield
when that town was a wilderness, and whose virtues made that “wilderness
blossom like the rose.”

From Springfield to Brattleboro’, Vt., is only three hours’ ride; but he
who enters the smallest inn of an interior village in a drenching storm
at night, and leaves it the next morning before the mists that night and
the storm engendered have climbed up the mountain sides, and gone to
mingle with the world of misty fogs above, can have but little to say of
persons or places, excepting, indeed, that he may acknowledge that a
clean bed and a well-supplied and well attended table exceeded the
promise of the house; and that the quiet, orderly, self-respecting
deportment of mechanics employed in the neighborhood, illustrate the
fact elsewhere derivable, that idleness, champagne, and white gloves,
are not necessary to the character of a good republican citizen.

Here is the celebrated water cure establishment of Dr.
Woeselhooffer—and it is stated that cures are really by water effected.
Some oblong wicker vessels, which were visible in the baggage car of the
train, seemed to intimate that entire dependence is not placed on
_water_ by every one in this village, though we have seldom seen a place
more liberally supplied with the pure element.

In looking along the sea-shore of Massachusetts, one is struck with the
spirit of these times as contrasted with those of other years. Jutting
out upon the bold, rocky promontories, are seen the beautiful summer
residences of the wealthy, while each stream, formerly kept open and
clear by law for the ascent and descent of migratory fish, is now dammed
and swollen, to augment water power. Whole towns, cities indeed, are
spread out upon the inclined surfaces, that only a few years back were
deemed unfit for cultivation, and consequently unworthy of
consideration, while at the entrance to each port and harbor is seen
some old fort, which, fifty years ago, would, in the midst of profound
peace, bristle with the glittering bayonet of men-at-arms; and each
morning and evening pour out the formal thunder that bespeaks the
character of the fortress and the rank of its commander. Now the façade
is trodden by the horse and cow that are seeking fresh pasture, and the
ramparts are broken by the _borrowing_ of the material for some
neighboring cottage or factory; and within, where the stately tread of
the sentinel showed order and produced propriety, the absence of all
monitions of war, and the dilapidation of all barracks and tenements
show that men have come to think of peace as the proper state of
society, and to regard war as such a remote contingency that the
expenditures necessary for defense may be postponed to the time when
defense may be suggested by aggression. We do not profess to be members
of the peace party, but we should strangely mistake the signs of the
times if we did not understand that they indicated a settled confidence
of peace at home, not unsustained by the belief that no nation of the
earth has the least desire to run their heads against the people of this
country. It is the agreement of the people of the United States as to
the value and importance of republican institutions, which gives
invincibility to our arms; and foreign powers are wise enough to inquire
not how many forts stand in front of seaboard towns, but how many hearts
in town and country beat for the land and its institutions. Forts may be
demolished by force, or betrayed by treason, but no combination of
foreign power could tread out the institutions of this country, no
considerable number of citizens be found faithless to the nation. Other
people know this and do not ask for ramparts and armaments. Our own
people know, and feel secure in the patriotic vigor of each and of all.

Massachusetts is a great country of villages, if, indeed, it would not
be more correct to say, that nearly all of New England is a suburb of
Boston. There are no _townships_ of unoccupied lands in Massachusetts,
and where, a few years prior, a stream gushed out of a swamp, turgid
with the colors of the leaves and roots steeped in its waters, new
villages take the place of the swamp, and the stream is seen busy with
the people grinding at the mill, while from each steeple another is
visible; each school-house is within sight of its like, and the
well-leaved trees scarcely conceal from the inhabitants of one village
the white and green of the cottages of the next town. Where such a
population is found one scarcely looks for large forms or extensive
homesteads; each rood of ground serves to contain and maintain its man,
and the intellect of each is kept bright by the constant collision of
mind with mind, and the constant necessity of vigilance to prevent
encroachments or to secure the advantages of a bargain.

No one goes to the south-eastern part of Massachusetts without inquiring
at least for the “farm” of Daniel Webster. It was my better lot to visit
the place, and to see much of what others have of late read of. Mr.
Webster purchased a large farm, which, having been in the same family
almost ever since the landing of the Pilgrims, had not been disturbed by
those divisions which augmented population and factory privileges effect
in other parts of the state, and as the Anglo-Saxon race is remarkable
for the desire to add land to land, Mr. W. has yielded to that
propensity of his blood, and augmented his domains, by the annexation of
two other overgrown or rather undivided farms, so that the public road
seems made to divide his land for miles, and to open up for general
admiration the beautiful improvements which his taste supports, and his
liberality exercises.

I am not going to give any account of Mr. Webster’s place for the
benefit of the agricultural society, else would I speak of his gigantic
oxen, and his conquest over fell and rocks; else would I describe his
swine, that seem, like the ox of the Bible, to know their owner, and to
feel the consequence of such domination; else would I tell of the
hundred bushels of corn which were brought forth by an acre, which ten
years ago seemed to share in the common attributes of the soil of the
state, viz., to present in summer the contest between a stratum of
paving pebbles and some stunted grass for visibility; a contest which
ceased at the approach of cold weather, when, of course, the stone
became most prominent, and continued so until the snow for five months
buried both parties out of sight.

Mr. Webster is as fond of the ocean as of the land, and he gathers the
riches of the deep for his pleasure as well as the fatness of the
earth—that is, the wild fowl and the sea fish are as successfully
pursued by Mr. W. as are his agricultural objects, so that with his
broad land around him, and the deep blue of the sea beyond, he sits,
monarch of all he surveys.

There is in the form of Mr. W. something like himself—it is the result
of industry—it is immense—it has upon it no finical decoration, no
tawdry ornaments, no pretty little hiding-places, but its wide avenues
lead to immeasurable oaks and elms, and far and wide useful habitations,
luxuriant fields, and lordly herds of cattle speak the great proprietor;
and with all Mr. Webster’s intellectual greatness he feels that even in
that nook of New England he is among men who can measure his intellect
and attainments, and whose respectful salutations and deferential
bearing are not due to any indefinable awe for some mysterious power,
attainment, or possession, but the result of a just perception of his
worth, and a correct appreciation of his mental greatness and political
sagacity. Mr. Webster has, of course, a magnificent library—the
treasures which great minds have yielded, and a great mind gathered—a
library worthy such a man—a library appropriate to such a princely
residence. But it is not the only one. Within a short distance, I saw on
many shelves, in the extreme building of a frame rope-walk, not four
miles from Mr. Webster, a collection of books in seven or eight
languages, which would make the mouth of a literary epicure water;
beautiful editions of valuable works, curious collections also, and
desirable copies, every one of which was familiar to its modest owner,
who seemed to know every vein in his rich mine, and to be able to give
the exact value of the product of each inch of its contents.

We have said that Massachusetts was the extension of Boston; it is in
more ways than in the beauty of residences and the uses of wealth; not
the least worthy of notice is the conformity of country with the city in
the delicacy of the female mind, and the extent of refined female
education, among classes which might in other parts of the country, have
escaped the meliorating influences of early discipline in manners,
morals, and graces; and the visiter to the villages of Massachusetts,
who finds his way into the parlor in _all_ seasons, will be delighted
with the enlarged influences of correct education, and the evidences of
entire compatibility of the most extensive literary attainment and
feminine polish with the discharge or direct supervision of domestic
duties.

                 *        *        *        *        *

A NEW VOLUME of this Magazine will be commenced in January, in a style
commensurate with the liberal and still increasing patronage bestowed
upon it. We know that our patrons are fully satisfied with our past
exertions to gratify their tastes, and we are equally confident that
they will take our word when we assure them that excellent as the
present volume has been, the forthcoming one will eclipse it in
splendor.

The season is now close at hand for subscribing to literary periodicals,
and the formation of new clubs. Let us urge upon those who design
patronizing this Magazine, to send in their orders for the new volume at
an early day. Although we shall print a large edition of the first
numbers, it may, and doubtless will happen—as it did last year—that
the supply will be totally exhausted, and disappointments occur in
consequence of our inability to furnish complete sets of the numbers.
This can be effectually guarded against by an early subscription for the
new volume, and we hope our friends and the public generally will bear
this suggestion in mind.

We have in course of preparation some exquisite large engravings,
suitable for framing, designed as premium gifts to new subscribers, and
from which a selection can be made. The particulars will be given in our
Prospectus for the new volume, which will shortly appear.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                          REVIEW OF NEW BOOKS.


    _Oliver Goldsmith: A Biography. By Washington Irving. New York:
    George P. Putnam. 1 vol. 12mo._

From no living person could we have expected a more delightful biography
of Goldsmith than from Washington Irving, and, accordingly, we have one,
written closer to the heart and brain of its subject, than any other in
English literature. There are two biographies of Goldsmith with which it
will naturally be compared, Prior’s and John Forster’s, both of them
works of merit, but neither equal to Irving’s in respect to felicity in
conveying to the reader a living impression of Goldsmith’s character and
life; and of depositing his image softly in the mind, as an object of
good-natured affection. Prior is invaluable for materials, not only in
regard to facts but epistolary correspondence, and displays in his style
of composition no sign of being word-forsaken; but he has little juice
in him, is hard and dry of mind, and exhibits no vision into the soul of
Goldsmith, no capacity to clutch the living lineaments of his character.
Forster’s biography is a work of more intellectual pretensions; and the
narrative of Goldsmith’s life, the criticism on his various works, and
the numerous anecdotes relating to the politics and literature of the
time, are done with an ability we could not but expect from a man of
Forster’s mental powers and accomplishments: but unfortunately the
subject was one in which his mind had little real sympathy, and,
accordingly, the whole book, as far as it refers to Goldsmith, is
pervaded by affectation and sentimentality. The style is made up of
Carlylisms and Macaulayisms, and further depraved by a sickly cant of
sympathy with the poor—which cant bears evidence of being written by a
man in extremely comfortable circumstances. But Irving is, in
intellectual constitution, sufficiently like Goldsmith to comprehend him
thoroughly, and his biography, therefore, has the truth and consistency
of dramatic delineation, without any parade of knowledge or sentiment.
With exquisite refinement of thought, and simplicity of narrative, it
exhibits the gradual growth of Goldsmith’s mind and disposition under
the tutorship of experience, and so clear is the representation, that
the dullest eye cannot miss seeing the essential features of the
character, and the dullest heart admiring them.

It is almost needless to say that the style is lucid, graceful and pure,
with that “polished want of polish” in the selection of the words, which
indicates a master in diction. The spirit breathed over the work is
genial and sympathetic, and while it throws a charm around Goldsmith,
makes the reader in love with Irving. The selections from Goldsmith’s
letters and writings, introduced as illustrations of events in his life,
and qualities of his character, do not stand apart from the biographer’s
text, but rather seem to melt into it, and form a vital portion of the
work. Irving has avoided the fault of the other biographers, in not
admitting extraneous matter, and rejecting every thing which does not
strictly relate to Goldsmith. The sketches of men, and descriptions of
English life and manners, which he introduces, are all illustrative of
the circumstances and position of his author. Among these, the remarks
on Johnson, Langton and Topham Beauclerc, and the account of the
Literary Club, are the most felicitous.

In the last chapter of the volume, Irving sums up, with great delicacy
and discrimination, the various qualities of Goldsmith, and presents,
with a loving pen, his claims upon the reader’s esteem. We cannot
refrain from quoting the concluding remarks, both for their beauty and
justice. “From the general tone of Goldsmith’s biography, it is evident
that his faults, at the worst, were but negative, while his merits were
great and decided. He was no one’s enemy but his own; his errors, in the
main, inflicted evil on none but himself, and were so blended with
humorous, and even affecting circumstances, as to disarm anger and
conciliate kindness. Where eminent talent is united to spotless virtue,
we are awed and dazzled into admiration, but our admiration is apt to be
cold and reverential; while there is something in the harmless
infirmities of a good and great, but erring individual, that pleads
touchingly to our nature; and we turn more kindly toward the object of
our idolatry, when we find that, like ourselves, he is mortal and frail.
The epithet so often heard, and in such kindly tones, of ‘poor
Goldsmith,’ speaks volumes. Few, who consider the real compound of
admirable and whimsical qualities which form his character, would wish
to prune away its eccentricities, trim its grotesque luxuriance, and
clip it down to the decent formalities of rigid virtue. ‘Let not his
frailties be remembered,’ said Johnson, ‘for he was a very great man.’
But, for our part, we rather say, ‘let them be remembered,’ since their
tendency is to endear; and we question whether he himself would not feel
gratified in hearing his reader, after dwelling with admiration on the
proofs of his greatness, close the volume with the kind-hearted phrase,
so fondly and so familiarly ejaculated, of Poor Goldsmith.”

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Bulwer and Forbes on the Water Treatment. Edited, with
    Additional Matter, by Roland S. Houghton, M. D. New York; Geo.
    P. Putnam. 1 vol. 12mo._

This volume is published especially for the benefit of literary and
professional men, to whom the editor dedicates it. As it is addressed
“to those who think,” there is a natural disposition on the part of the
reader to think with the editor. The most entertaining piece in the
volume is Bulwer’s letter, in which the author of Pelham, after
describing the melancholy condition of his health under the regular
practice, gives his experience as a Water Patient. The other articles
are more elaborate and learned disquisitions on Hydropathy, written by
physicians; and whatever may be the opinion of the reader as to the
merits of the water cure as a medical science, he cannot fail to obtain
much valuable information about bathing, and many strong inducements to
look after the health of his skin.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Story of a Genius, or Cola Monti. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1
    vol. 16mo._

This is a little story somewhat after the manner of Miss Sedgwick’s
delicious juvenile tales, evidencing not merely a laudable purpose in
the moral, but no mean powers of characterization, and a considerable
knowledge of practical life. Cola, the slight dark-eyed Italian boy, the
genius of the story, and Archibald McKaye, the youth marked out for a
mercantile profession, are both well delineated; and the idea of
bringing them together as natural friends is an anticipation of that
union between artist and merchant which we trust will soon be more
common in real life.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _The Child’s First History of Rome. By E. M. Sewell, Author of
    Amy Herbert, &c. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 16mo._

Miss Sewell has performed, in this little volume, a difficult task,
showing throughout that she understands what few authors of children’s
books seem to comprehend—a child’s mind. A series of histories,
composed on similar principles, would be a positive and permanent
addition to the literature of youth. The authoress, not being “above her
business,” but having her audience constantly in her mind, has succeeded
in avoiding every thing which would make her narrative obscure to
children, and her style mirrors events in the light they ever appear to
boys and girls. The account of the death of Cleopatra is one out of many
examples of this felicity. In the following extract the very tone of a
child’s mind is caught and expressed. “Shortly afterward an officer
arrived from Octavius. The first thing he saw when he entered the room
was Cleopatra, dressed in her royal robes, stretched lifeless upon a
golden couch. She had killed herself by means of an asp, a kind of
serpent, which was brought to her in a basket of figs, and the sting of
which was deadly. Iras was lying dead at the feet of her mistress; and
Charmian, scarcely alive, was placing a crown upon her head. ‘Was this
well done, Charmian?’ inquired the messenger of Octavius. ‘Yes,’ replied
Charmian, ‘it is well done, for such a death befits a glorious queen.’”

The volume, in addition to the simplicity of its narrative, bears
evidence of having been compiled from good authorities; and if
extensively read by the juvenile public, will be likely to make most
children more informed in regard to Roman history, at least, than the
majority of parents.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _A Lift for the Lazy. New York: Geo. P. Putnam. 1 vol. 12mo._

Few readers will have modesty enough to acknowledge publicly that this
brilliant volume is addressed to them, but doubtless a great many,
convicted by conscience, will take a sly peep into it to see if it
really meets their wants. In truth, the author has contrived to embody
in it much curious information, which the most industrious scholars have
either forgotten or never acquired. It contains about five hundred
scraps of knowledge, collected from a wide field of miscellaneous
reading, some of which are valuable, some quaint, some sparkling, and
all entertaining. We have only space to extract one specimen of the
author’s style, and that illustrative of his way of relating an
anecdote. Under the head of “Congreve Rockets,” he remarks, “These
destructive implements of war were invented in 1803, by Sir William
Congreve. On a certain occasion, when visiting Westminster Abbey, in
company with some ladies, his attention was directed by one of the party
to the inscription on the great composer, Purcell’s monument: ‘He has
gone to that place where only his music can be excelled.’ ‘There, Sir
William,’ said the young lady, ‘substitute _fire-works_ for _music_, and
that epitaph will answer for yourself.’”

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Scenes where the Tempter has Triumphed. By the Author of “The
    Jail Chaplain.” New York: Harper & Brothers. 1 vol. 16mo._

Here is a book, replete with morality and religion, in which a view of
human nature is taken as it appears to an observer posted in a jail or
on the gallows. There are nineteen chapters, each devoted to the
narrative of a different person and a different crime, and each as
interesting as one of Ainsworth’s novels, and as moral as one of
Baxter’s Sermons. A book which thus addresses two large classes of
readers can hardly fail to succeed. We should think it an admirable text
book for Sunday-Schools in Texas. It places before every criminal’s eye
a more or less distant view of the jail and gallows, and is thus really
“an awful warning to the youth of America,” and differs essentially from
the “Pirate’s Own Book,” “The Lives of Celebrated Highwaymen,” and other
piquant books of the rascal department of letters.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _The Stars and the Earth; or Thoughts upon Space, Time, and
    Eternity. Boston: Crosby & Nichols._

This is a small volume of eighty-seven pages crammed with thought. It
appears to have excited much attention abroad, and to have passed
rapidly through three editions. The speculations of the author are grand
and original, having a solid basis on undoubted facts, and conducting
the mind to results of “great pith and moment.” We have no space to make
an abstract of what is in itself an epitome, but advise all our readers,
who have thought on the subject of space and time, to obtain the work.
Its style is a transparent medium for the thought, and its meaning
stupidity itself can hardly miss. It requires neither a knowledge of
mental or physical science to be comprehended, though it is an addition
to both; and it removes some difficulties which have troubled all
reflecting minds.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Retribution; or the Vale of Shadows. A Tale of Passion. By Emma
    D. E. Nevitt Southworth. New York: Harper & Brothers._

Judged by its own pretensions as a tale of passion, this work has
considerable merit, and is worthy of a more permanent form than the
pamphlet in which it is published. The mode which the Harpers have
adopted of issuing all novels in this uncouth shape, in order to reduce
their price to twenty-five cents, is an unfortunate one for the success
of a new novelist like the accomplished authoress of the present story.
No man of taste, who has regard for his eyesight, is likely to read
pamphlet novels, unless the author be celebrated; and the circulation of
a book like the present, is therefore likely to be confined to persons
who are not in the habit of discriminating very closely between one
novelist and another, provided both be readable, and consume a certain
portion of leisure time. Whenever an American author produces a work of
fiction as meritorious in respect to literary execution as
“Retribution,” it ought to be issued in a form which will enable it to
take its appropriate place in American literature.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _History of the United States of America. By Richard Hildreth.
    New York: Harper & Brothers. Vol. 2. 8vo._

This volume ends at about the commencement of the Revolution. It is
written in the same style, and on similar principles, as the first
volume, which we noticed a short time ago. The work is, at least, worthy
the praise of condensation, there being included in the present volume,
a narrative of the events occurring in all “the Colonies during the
period of a hundred years.”

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Letters from the Allegheny Mountains. By Charles Lanman. New
    York: Geo. P. Putnam. 1 vol. 12mo._

The author of this agreeable volume is well known as an essayist and
tourist. The present work is mostly made up of letters originally
contributed to the National Intelligencer, and, as a record of first
impressions of scenery and manners, has a raciness and truth which a
more elaborate treatment of the subject might have wanted.

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration:
Anaïs Toudouze

LE FOLLET

PARIS, Boulevart S^{t.} Martin, 61.
_Robes de M^{me}._ Bara Bréjard, _r. Laffitte, 5_;
_Chapeau et bonnet de M^{me}._ Baudry, _r. Richelieu, 87—Fleurs de_ Chagot
  ainé, _r. Richelieu, 81_.

Graham’s Magazine]

                 *        *        *        *        *



                           WAKE, LADY, WAKE,


                              A SERENADE.


               MUSIC COMPOSED AND ARRANGED FOR THE PIANO

                      BY B. W. HELFENSTEIN, M. D.

  Presented to “Graham’s Magazine,” and respectfully dedicated to the
                    readers thereof, by the Author.

[Illustration]

    Wake, lady, wake, thy lover true
    On wings of love has flown to you;
    How sad each night, how dull each day,
    Since

[Illustration]

    he has been from you away;
    Wake, lady, in thy beauty bright,
    Outshine the silv’ry moon to-night.

            SECOND VERSE.

    How drear the months that I have passed
    Since in these arms I held thee last,
    Since those dear balmy lips I pressed,
    And strained thee to my throbbing breast;
    Come with thy eyes of melting blue,
    More bright than radiant orbs of dew.

            THIRD VERSE.

    Come, lady, come, this is the hour
    That Love has placed within our power;
    Renew our vows, complete my bliss,
    And seal the contract with a kiss;
    And then beneath our roseate bower,
    Thou’lt shine my fairest sweetest flower.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Transcriber’s Notes:

Table of Contents has been added for reader convenience. Archaic
spellings and hyphenation have been retained. Punctuation has been
corrected without note. Other errors have been corrected as noted below.
For illustrations, some caption text may be missing or incomplete due to
condition of the originals available for preparation of the eBook.

page 255, and speak him ==> and speak to him
page 257, that courge would fail ==> that courage would fail
page 260, and sung to him, ==> and sang to him,
page 267, not the slighest scruple ==> not the slightest scruple
page 268, femine refinement were ==> feminine refinement were
page 270, give me the sweatmeats ==> give me the sweetmeats
page 273, was actully a delightful ==> was actually a delightful
page 273, or exibit at home the ==> or exhibit at home the
page 274, hues, to soon have ==> hues, too soon have
page 276, reigning in his steed, ==> reining in his steed,
page 277, his path their suddenly ==> his path there suddenly
page 278, reigning in his horses ==> reining in his horses
page 278, thee, Effie,” immediately ==> thee, Effie,” then immediately
page 279, _pour passer le tems_, ==> _pour passer le temps_,
page 283, a terestrial paradise to ==> a terrestrial paradise to
page 283, simple, unforseen accidents, ==> simple, unforeseen accidents,
page 284, sold his warbrobe to ==> sold his wardrobe to
page 289, heaven rung with the ==> heaven rang with the
page 305, and Antartic Circles. The ==> and Antarctic Circles. The
page 309, depòt, I saw on the ==> dépôt, I saw on the
page 312, Miss Sewall has performed ==> Miss Sewell has performed
page 312, visiting Westminster Abby, ==> visiting Westminster Abbey,





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