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Title: Graham's Magazine, Vol. XXX, No. 2, February 1847
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. XXX.      January, 1847.      No. 1.


                           Table of Contents

                    Fiction, Literature and Articles

          Tribulation Trepid. A Man Without Hope
          Glimpses of a Soul
          The Oath of Marion. A Story of the Revolution
          The Executioner
          The Young Painter
          Game-Birds of America.—No. IV.
          The Islets of the Gulf
          Starting Wrong
          The Present Romantic School of French Literature.
            Alexandre Dumas’ Hamlet
          Review of New Books


                       Poetry, Music and Fashion

          The Maid of Linden Lane
          Ægeus
          Lady Jane Grey
          Sonnets. On Receiving a Crown of Ivy From John
            Keats—by Leigh Hunt
          “Oh! That a Little Cot Were Mine!”
          Midnight Masses. No. I.
          I’ve Been Upon the Briny Deep
          The Gleaner

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

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration: Ch. Bodmer pinx. ad. Nat.       Eng^d by Rawdon, Wright &
  Hatch
Herds of Bisons and Elks
 ON THE UPPER MISSOURI.]

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration:
LE FOLLET

Boulevart S^{t.} Martin, 61.
_Robes et blousons de M^{me}._ Thiery, _boul. Montmartre, 65—Chapeaux de
  M^{me}._ Baudry, _r. Richlieu 87;_
_Bonnet et lingeries de M^{lle}._ Malteste, _r. de la Paix, 20—Mouchoirs
  de_ L. Chapron & Dubois, _r. de la Paix, 7;_
_Essences et parfums de_ Guerlain, _r. de la Paix, 11—Chaussures de_
  Bobin, _r. Richlieu, 29_.
Graham’s Magazine.]

                 *        *        *        *        *

                           GRAHAM’S MAGAZINE.

         VOL. XXX.     PHILADELPHIA, FEBRUARY, 1847.     NO. 2.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                          TRIBULATION TREPID.


                         A MAN WITHOUT A HOPE.


                    (A PHRENOLOGICAL ILLUSTRATION.)


                           BY JOSEPH C. NEAL.


It is inconvenient to have to bear with personal
deficiencies—troublesome and disheartening not to possess all the
senses and the faculties which are demanded to enable man to compete
with his fellows upon equal terms; and it requires philosophy that we do
not repine when we find ourselves in any respect, either physical or
mental, compelled to stand aside in the unpleasant attitude of being an
exception to the general rule. It is true that the march of science is
able, to a considerable extent, to obviate corporeal default. Eyes are
constructed so well as to deceive the eye, although the constructed eye
is not yet so perfect that we shall hope to see with it far into the
opacity of mill-stones. Legs are manufactured more symmetrically
beautiful than the majority of real legs; and the skillful artist will,
if you are only tall enough, modulate you into a figure which might put
an Apollo to the blush. But the steam leg, in its swiftness of
locomotion, is as yet no more than a dream of the visionary; and we may
pad ourselves into muscularity as much as we please, without gaining a
particle of power.

We are aware that by the aid of spectacles he who would otherwise be
always stumbling over the dog, and tripping in contact with other
people’s feet, periling his precious countenance by rude collisions with
every species of obstacle, may contrive to see his way through the world
in comparative clearness. But science has not perhaps succeeded to the
same extent in the work of metaphysical regeneration; nor do we know
that any man’s geese have as yet been fully converted into swans, though
he may think them progressive creatures in the scale of ornithology, and
likely to reach a higher position than has been attained by former
members of the race. It is theoretical, we learn, with the
phrenologists, and probably practical also, to a greater extent than the
world is willing to admit, that there are processes whereby the neglects
of dame nature may at least be partially counteracted and repaired, so
that “bumps” shall be raised, where depressions exist, and some degree
of potency be secured in those “organs” which were originally faint and
feeble; just as the muscular fibre is strengthened by exercise, and as
our agile capabilities are increased by a judicious practice of the
thews and sinews on which activity depends.

Now, while we hope for the sake of humanity in general, that these
assumptions will fully bear the test of experiment, it must yet be
conceded that education fails somewhat in this regard; and that in
thinking, as in dancing, much depends upon the configuration of mind and
of body with which we were endowed from the outset. The phrenologists
are right in the belief that training has its advantages; but there must
be a basis on which that training is to proceed, or the result will be
such as cannot fail to lead to serious disappointment.

For example, and in the way of parenthesis, it would be a parlous
difficulty to teach the innate craven to plunge valiantly onward at the
desperate head of a forlorn hope, or to hurl himself recklessly upon the
sharp and bristling array of a forest of hostile bayonets. You may
debate the question if you are so inclined, insisting on it vehemently
that, in honor’s view, there is no essential difference in a case like
this, between a glorious death and the triumph of a victory, and that
the most disastrous of the two is infinitely preferable to an age
without a name, yet, our life on it, it will prove that your friend of
the weak nerve, and of the nonchivalrous temperament, is not to be
talked, by the most persuasive, into any relish for cold steel, or into
any decided fancy for the reception into himself of certain intrusive
pellets of hot lead. Nay, Ciceronian eloquence would be wasted in the
endeavor to induce him to come to the conclusion that it is much better
for him to be extended face upward on the ensanguined plain, after the
fashion of the “grinning honor” of Sir Walter Blount, than to find
himself sound in body, but without a single sprig of laurel to his name,
snugly enfolded in the blankets awaiting a call to breakfast. Nature,
you will observe, has denied to him the perception of the romantic and
the poetical. He has no desire to be posthumous to his own reputation.
To such a one, the hard knock is simply a hard knock, unmitigated by
transcendental embellishment; and renown has no part in the plain
arithmetic of his calculations. He values life by its
admeasurements—according to the number and length of its days. So give
it up at once—there is no sun—of Austerlitz or of any other
place—that can ripen this man into a warrior, or tempt him to enter
into fierce competition for the wreath of glory.

And thus—musically—we find that people “without an ear,” do not often
take the lead in operatic performances; or, if they do participate, that
the operatic performances are not particularly benefitted by their
interference. The querulous and fretful—do they acquire the resources
of patient fortitude? Not often, so far as our experience extends; and
we do not know that the simpleton, school him ever so much, is likely to
obtain distinction for himself as a philosopher—nay, he is often
furthest from it at the very moment when he imagines himself a great
deal wiser than his neighbors.

Such as these, as well as others who might be mentioned, have no
foundation on which the deficient “bump” is to be elevated; and, as a
general rule, it is just as well to abandon as a “bad job” all effort to
render them distinguished in the display of those faculties which form
no part of their primary constitution. The superstructure that may be
raised on an insecure soil, must of necessity be weak and “shackling;”
and all the military education that can be bestowed on the poltroon,
will not avail to prevent an ill-timed manifestation of that species of
plumage which obtains ignoble renown under the epithet of the “white
feather.” It has been in him probably from his birth, that he must
locomote in a direction contrary to that in which “the nettle danger”
uprears its ugly front; and, under these circumstances, the impulse to
retrograde travel will burst all the artificial and conventional bonds
which have been devised to drive it into the teeth of the battery. It
was the design of nature that our friend should run; and who will
venture to stand antagonistical to nature?

It is a mere flight of fancy, no doubt, into the illimitable regions of
hypothesis, but we should very much like to see the day when a
Bumpological art shall be matured, and a practical science of Organology
be brought into operation. Then there will be some use in the knocks
about the sconce, which are now so wofully wasted; and when we shall be
driven into frenzies, the manifestations of our wrath will become really
beneficial to those on whom they may chance to be bestowed. Then we
should find the rationale of corporal punishment—a thing not to be
whirled about in random kicks and cuffings; but to be so applied as to
develop that very bump, a deficiency of which, in the offending party,
has so raised our vengeful ire. Such, perchance, is the latent reason
why we are so anxious to maltreat those who are not disposed to obey our
behests, as well as the true motive why it is an impulse of our nature
to chastise the enemy. Education would thus be revolutionized, and the
Art of War would be brought within the range of the directly useful
sciences.

But to descend at once to the facts that are before us, it is a blessed
thought to believe that by a wise system of tuition, the small uncertain
spark of a virtue may be breathed into a steady flame; and if, infirm of
purpose as so many are, they could be strengthened into a surer aim by
due attention to the feebler parts of character, none, we are sure,
could be found to regret it; and so we are, and we intend to be, full of
respect to this phrenological idea, which might, we think, be somewhat
more carefully engrafted upon systems of educational improvement, so
that the mere appeal to the memory might leave room for the analysis and
development of the moral being.

We should go to school upon a different principle then; and probably it
may not be a useless waste of imagination to reflect a little upon the
novel scenes that would then be presented in the halls of the academy.

“My son Bob, Mr. Professor—this is Bob, sir, trying to hide himself
behind the door—stand up, Bob, and behave like a man—Bob, Mr.
Professor, hasn’t got any pride, and has the smallest quantity of
dignity. He’s always letting himself down, and never tries to hyst
himself up—likes the raggedest boys the best, Mr. Professor, and
prefers the company of the sweeps to going to the nicest of tea-parties.
Bob always feels flat in genteel society, does Bob.”

“Ah—I comprehend—a very common case, indeed; but curable—take Bob,
Mr. Simpkins, and touch him up in the region of self-esteem. Don’t be
afraid—we’ll make Bob—you’ll have to call him Master Robert then—as
proud as Lucifer, in a week or two. When we send him home, he will
hardly speak to his own father, and he wont own any of his relations.”

“And here is Peter, sir, and Sam—nice boys as ever was, only they don’t
care nothing for nobody, and will have it all their own way, which is
apt to be the wrong way, if not a bad way.”

“Ho! ho! knock up a bump in the region of approbativeness, so that they
may quit thinking for themselves, and always want somebody to think for
them.”

“Please, Mr. Professor, our Tom appropriates and conveys—sugar, sir, or
pennies convertible to sugar—he bones, sir, and he filches, sir,
whatever he can lay his blessed little hands upon, the darling; every
thing is fish that comes to Tom’s net.”

“Just so—Tom has not yet got beyond the first principle of human
nature, which impels us to help ourselves to whatever we want—the
application must be made to Tom, sharply, just where his conscience
ought to be. Bump up a conscience for Tommy.”

The disrespectful, who, in some way or other, are disposed to make faces
at their superiors, would require to be rapped rather soundly in and
about “veneration;” and we are not now to be told that a smart blow on
the eye is sure to awaken vociferous displays of the faculty of
“language.” For him who comes too late, which is bad—or stays too late,
which is worse—what could be better than a forcible appeal to “time?”
And if a boy—your boy, or any other body’s boy—cannot be easily made
to see the essential difference between his own selfish will and your
authoritative behest, you have only to perform for him a tune upon his
slumbering organ of “comparison,” and you shall have music, you may
depend upon it. If the same rebellious individual is slow to discern why
he should obey, lend him a smart fillip upon his “casualty,” educive of
the why, and provocative of the wherefore; and if you yourself cannot
discover the point of a joke, taking the fact for granted that it is a
joke which comes to a point—some jokes, like some people, come to
nothings—depend upon it that your “wit” is beginning to lose its edge,
and is getting to be somewhat rusty in the method of its operation.

No one, we presume, will venture to deny that “cautiousness,” well
rubbed and roused, has a tendency to keep our fingers out of the fire;
or that an inflammation of our “combativeness” will give us joy in the
facing of our foe. But what, let us ask, what is to be done, if, like
the peculiar one who now comes under our special notice—what is to be
done, if in all the qualities which go to make up our mentality, we have
not one scintilla of self reliance and expectation, and are like

                          TRIBULATION TREPID,

                         A MAN WITHOUT A HOPE!

You see, the case is in every way a hopeless one—for Tribulation Trepid
never had a hope. He has no more idea of what you mean by a hope than a
blind man can understand what you are talking about when you speak of
colors. Hope!—how do you go about it—how do you begin when you want to
hope? The first principle of hopefulness is not resident within the
confines of the craniology of Tribulation Trepid; and, therefore, from
the very moment of his birth, up and down—but more down than up—poor
Tribulation Trepid has been lost in despond and in despair. Who ever
called him “Young Hopeful?” It would have been the very heartlessness of
cold derision.

If in the adventurousness of youth—for the earlier stages of existence
form a perpetual exploring expedition, and an unceasing voyage of
discovery into all sorts of holes and corners, to the constant annoyance
of those who do not appreciate the march of mind in its primary
manifestations—if then, at this interesting period, Tribulation Trepid
undertook to exercise his limbs, and to gratify his curiosity by
climbing up the chair, or ascending the table, that in this way his
knowledge of the laws of gravitation might be increased, and his power
of self-reliance extended, and if, thwartingly, at such perilous moment,
as too often happens to be the case, the usual maternal caution fell
upon his ear,

“Tribby, Tribby, what are you at? That child will fall and break its
good-for-nothing neck!”

Tribby, of course, did fall—he was sure to do it—only suggest the
worst of the alternatives to his mind, and, lacking hope to sustain his
trembling limbs, he dropped at once into the fell catastrophe. He took
it for granted that it must be so; and so it was. The great secret of
successful adventure is confidence—a fixed faith in the potency of your
star; and he who is deficient in this belief, will find it much better
to remain at home, or to “go ashore,” than to tempt the chances of the
storm. He, in truth, seeketh a shipwreck, who is not assured of his own
buoyancy; and that man marches to an overthrow, whose mind is always
dwelling on the probabilities of being beaten. He alone triumphs, who
disdains to entertain a doubt of his own invincibility, and thus compels
fortune to perch, whether she will or no, upon his daring banner. But
such was not our Tribulation.

“Here, Tribby, take this pitcher down to Susan, and be sure you don’t
fall, or I’ll box your ears, you Tribby.”

Under the doctrine of pains and penalties, which until lately formed the
basis of all education—sound whipping and sound teaching having
heretofore been identical—one would have thought that, with such a
threatening over his head, Tribulation Trepid would not have dared to
treat himself to a luxury so expensive as the species of tumble now
referred to. To slip down stairs by himself is wicked enough in any
child, when we reflect upon the uproar which every child is apt to
create under these circumstances. But to slip down stairs, including a
best pitcher in the gymnastic operation, to the exceeding detriment of
the crockery, is an offence not to be excused at the judgment-seat of
the good housekeeper. It is a sin which cannot be pardoned or
overlooked.

“Now mind—don’t you fall and break that pitcher, Tribby, as you always
do,” was the pursuing admonition to our child of wo, as he entered upon
the labyrinthine convolutions of the dark stairway—but just then—did
you not expect it?—cr-a-a-sh!—bimble—bumble—rub-dub!—Tribby has
achieved his descent by a short hand process, and lies vociferously
prone upon his back at the landing-place, environed by the fragments of
the ware. We are not satisfied that it mended the matter at all, and we
are quite sure it did not mend the pitcher; but we presume it was a
satisfaction, if not to both, at least to one of the parties involved;
and a satisfaction is something in this unsatisfactory state of
existence; and so Tribulation Trepid received his promised reward—“I’ll
teach you,” and so forth—causing his auricular appendages to
reverberate for an hour or two, and likewise to be comfortably warm for
at least the same space of time, affording him both his music and his
caloric at the lowest possible rate; though it can scarcely be said that
his hope underwent any considerable degree of augmentation by the
process.

                 *        *        *        *        *

“Tribby Trepid doesn’t know his lesson, I am tolerably well assured of
that,” said the teacher, glancing significantly at his rattan—for
Tribulation Trepid underwent his share of schooling when rattan was lord
paramount in the academic groves, and served, as it made the schoolboy
“smart” in more senses than one, to counteract, on the part of
preceptors, the baneful influences of sedentary life, by affording
wholesome exercise in the “dusting of jackets.”

Now Tribby’s hope not being strong in the faith that he would prove
thoroughly conversant with his lesson, when brought up to the test of
actual experiment, though he was acquainted with it passing well when he
left home, the announcement of this foregone conclusion in the teacher’s
mind, coupled with certain tingling remembrances connected with rattan,
drove all other lessons from his desponding brain; and he was executed
accordingly, to the infinite relief of Mr. Switchem’s dyspeptic
symptoms, and to the marvelous increase of the aforesaid Switchem’s
appetite for dinner. And so, reproof, condemnation and rattan being
inevitable, why should Tribulation Trepid annoy himself by the previous
pain of toilsome study? He did so no more.

“I shan’t know ’em if I do; and I shall be whipped whether I do or not,”
said Tribby, and he forthwith bowed himself down to that which appeared
to be the inevitable, allowing hope to be crushed beneath the lumbering
wheels of a Juggernaut of fear.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Hope on—hope ever. There is nothing in this world so valuable as hope.
The thing hoped for, precious though it be, is perhaps less of a
blessing in itself than the state of mind which convinces us that by the
proper effort we are able to obtain it. Better is it to be full of hope
than to have triumphed in the pursuit of all that man regards as most
desirable. Hope is richer than a diadem. Hopefulness is a perpetual
banquet—a feast that never cloys; and he who has around him the glowing
atmosphere which hope alone can bring, has no need to envy the successes
that others have achieved. His dreams surpass reality.

But Tribulation Trepid has no hope. If there were a germ of it at the
outset of his career, it was, as it were, trampled down and buried by a
conviction steadfastly impressed, that, if others could succeed he was
sure to fail; and therefore, he did fail.

Did he mount a horse—oh! Tribulation Trepid will be thrown from the
saddle, as a matter of course—and he was thrown. Did he undertake to
leap the brook—the discouraging idea seemed to arrest him midway that
he could not do it; and Trepid emerged dripping from the wave. And so it
was, and so it has been, throughout the life of Tribulation—such, it
may be, is the secret why the lives of so many of our kind present an
unbroken series of disastrous failure. They lack the inspiring voice of
hope. They knew it would be so; and so it is.

                 *        *        *        *        *

It is a melancholy thing, moreover, to have to do with the family of the
Trepids. In the endeavor to encourage them, your own hopefulness seems
to fade away; and the more you labor to elevate them and to push them
forward, the more heavily, and inertly, and listlessly do they fall back
upon your hands. They are convinced that it is of “no use doing
nothing,” and they tamely suffer every competitor to pass them in the
race.

Just so it is with the lugubrious individual now before us, who
invariably puts the worst possible face upon every matter, for the
simple reason that, as in the reflection of a mirror, every matter wears
the worst possible face to him; and as he looks at matters sadly,
despondingly, just so do matters return the glance. He sighs over
matters, and groans over matters. He walks through the streets with a
longitude of visage and a mournful down-drawing of the corners of the
mouth that would be neat and appropriate at the funeral of his best
friend, but which are sadly out of time and place at every other moment;
and he feels assured always that it is going to rain—if not to-day,
certainly to-morrow—that is, in case a shower is not wanted. Otherwise,
it will never rain again—it has forgotten how.

Beware, then, how your sympathizing nature induces you to accost
Tribulation Trepid in the highway, unless you are proof against the
contagious influences of sorrow, and are firmly fixed in the confidence
of your own hope; for it seems to afford a mournful satisfaction to all
the Trepids to bring others down to their own melancholy level.

“You may try,” say they—“no objection to any body’s trying—but it’s
not often that trying comes to any thing. Whatever it may be, it will
never answer—we never knew things to answer. Things never answer
nowadays,” with various other assurances of a like enlivening nature.
Beware, then, of the effect of contact with the Trepids, unless your
nature is of that sanguine sort which bids defiance to the chill, and
has hardihood to sport itself safely in December’s snow.

“How are you Trepid? How do you feel to-day, Mr. Trepid?”

[Illustration]

“A great deal worse than I was, thank’ee—’most dead, I am obliged to
you—I’m always worse than I was, and I don’t think I was ever any
better. I’m very sure, any how, that I’m not going to be any better;
and, for the future, you may always know I’m worse without asking any
questions; for the questions make me worse, if nothing else does.”

“Why, Trepid, what’s the matter with you?”

“Nothing, I tell you, in particular; but a great deal is the matter with
me in general; and that’s the danger, because we don’t know what it is.
That’s what kills people—when they can’t tell what it is—that’s what’s
killing me. My great grandfather died of it, he did, and so will I. The
doctor’s don’t know—they can’t tell—they say I’m well enough, when I’m
bad enough; and so there’s no help. I’m going off some of these days,
right after my great grandfather, dying of nothing in particular, but of
every thing in general. That’s what finishes our folks.”

But as Tribulation Trepid has now got under way in reference to his
bodily health, it may be as well to suffer him to explain himself in the
matter of his pecuniary relations, which are in quite as bad a
condition.

“Well, but, Trepid, how do you come on otherwise? Why don’t you go into
some sort of business and keep a shop.”

“Keep a shop!—what’s the use of my keeping a shop? If I keep a shop,
nobody would ever come into it; and if they did come in, they wouldn’t
buy any thing. Didn’t I try once, and nobody came, because they said I
hadn’t enough of an assortment? Ketch me! Why did they not buy what I
had, instead of trying to coax me to get things, which they would not
have bought after all? Me keep a shop! Yes, to be sold out by the
sheriff—I’m always sold out—don’t I know it beforehand?”

“Apply for a situation did you say? Nonsense! Aint they always very
sorry—if I had only come sooner, or if they had only know’d of it
before—isn’t that always the answer? Could I ever get anywhere soon
enough, or before somebody else had been there, and had gathered up all
the good things that were agoing? Don’t talk to me about applying for a
situation. It’s almost as bad as trotting about to get an office. ‘Bring
your recommendations,’ say they; and by the time you’ve got your
recommendations, oh, how sorry they are, for such a nice man as you,
only the place is filled already.

“I’ve a great mind never to try to go anywhere any more, after
situations—somebody must sleep there all night; for, however bright and
early I get up of a morning, there he is; and I might have had the place
if I had been in time, as if that was any comfort.

“And as for trying to borry money of people, which is a nice easy way of
getting a living as a gentleman could desire, if you’ve a pretty good
run of business in that line, I never could do much at it, somehow or
other. I never could take the moneyed people by surprise. They seemed to
know what I wanted as soon as I looked at them, and they were always
very sorry, too—everybody is very sorry to me—but they had no cash to
spare just now, and just now is all the time when people don’t want to
lend. No—nothing is to be done in that line unless you can take them by
surprise, like a steel trap; and I’m not quick enough for that
operation. There’s never any money when I’m coming.

“I’ll give up—yes, if nobody will leave me a fortune, and no rich widow
will marry me, I’ve a great mind to give up, and see what will become of
me then. I suppose something must become of me: though I hardly believe
it will, for nothing ever become of me yet. But of this I’m sure,
there’s no use of my trying to get along by myself; and I’ll just sit
down by the side of life’s turnpike and wait till something goes
traveling by to get me along. But I guess I’ll have to wait a good
while; for the place will be occupied—they’ll be very sorry, to be
sure, and they’ll wish they had know’d it in time; but there’s no room
left.”

                 *        *        *        *        *

It will thus be seen that Tribulation Trepid adopts the expectant method
of treatment, as the course of practice best adapted to the
peculiarities of his case. He waits for something to “turn up” in his
favor, because he lacks force, faith and hope to urge him onward to
energetic effort—for, in the collapsed recesses of his trembling heart,
he does not really believe that any thing favorable will “turn up” for
him. Such turnings up never have occurred for his special benefit. All
his turnings have been turnings down; as the turnings of this world
generally prove to be, unless our own shoulder is so applied to the
turning as to induce it to turn in the proper direction. And this brings
us to the great query of all queries—the unsolved problem in our social
theory—what is to be done to help him who, by nature or by education,
proves to be unable to help himself—what measure of relief is to be
passed for the benefit of the sinking family of the Trepids, as they
stumble down the depths of disaster?—Gentle reader, and most sagacious
friend, if you should think of any, pray announce it betimes; and in
return receive a position among the most distinguished of the
benefactors of the human race. Cheer, if thou canst,

                        THE MAN WITHOUT A HOPE.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                          GLIMPSES OF A SOUL.


                         BY FRANCES S. OSGOOD.


                        KATE CAROL TO MARY H——.

“I miss you, Mary mine, more than I can tell, with this cold pen and
sluggish ink. I own I love Right Angledom. After the bustle and
_randomness_ of life in New York—its straight ways, its quiet and its
monotony, are refreshing. I love the Quakers too, with their delicious
repose of manner—their low, lulling, musical voices, and their simple
truthfulness of character and conversation. Their ‘ways are ways of
pleasantness, and all their paths are peace.’ But I must confess to, now
and then, a feeling, I cannot say of home-sickness—for I, wanderer that
I am, have no home, unless it be in your heart, and in some few others,
a _precious_ few, indeed—but a feeling of regret, a pining for the
past; for the few true and pure spirits to whom I have dared reveal
myself, who _know_ me thoroughly, faults and all, and who love me the
more for those faults; because love and pity come _together_ on their
divine mission from the gate of heaven, and walk hand-in-hand, twin
children of God, ever tender, and beautiful, and sad, through this
clouded vale of tears.

“‘Thee knows,’ Mary, as a lovely Quaker maiden said to me in a low
lute-tone the other night, ‘Thee knows the gravel and the gold run
together in _all_ characters.’ Sweet Lizzie L——, thee does _not_ know
how much that simple Orphic saying consoled me. Well, there is _some_
gold in _my_ character, but it requires the sunbeams of love and
sympathy to light it up, and so reveal it; and _they_ might change even
the gravel to gold in a heart so docile as mine, if they only knew it,
and would only take the trouble.

“Thee knows, Mary dear, my invincible aversion to strangers. Gay,
careless, confiding, frank, indeed to a fault, among those who seem to
love me, I am shy, cold, dull—nay, worse, I am _wretched_, where I am
not sure of pleasing. This is a most unfortunate weakness of mine, and
has been the cause of many troubles to me. I recollect once in New York
going to a party, which I afterwards heard was made _for me_—made
expressly to introduce me to some distinguished authors—and just see,
Mary, how badly I behaved; see what a wayward, naughty lion I was. Had I
only _known_ then, as I afterward did, the kind interest that my host
took in me, I should have been so happy, so social, so delightful; but
as it was, with my usual want of self-confidence, finding myself among
strangers, I felt my heart, like the pimpernel on the approach of rain,
coldly shrinking and shutting up, leaf by leaf, until I became a statue
of _lead_; and on my introduction to those writers, whom I had all my
life been eager to see, and whom, if I had only been sure that they
would let me, I could have loved at once. I replied in monosyllables, so
coldly, so drily, that they left me, surprised and repelled; and my
dear, kind, disappointed host, afterward said, in reply to some
encomiums by a friend—‘Yes, I suppose she is all that, but you must
allow that she is very eccentric.’ _Am_ I eccentric, Mary? Am I any
thing but foolish and timid, and sensitive to a ridiculous degree?

“Now it was this shrinking of the heart that I felt, when I first took
possession of a large, and at first, somewhat dreary room in a
Philadelphia boarding-house. The sister of a dear friend, then in
Washington, called upon me, and with a single magical sentence, like a
gleam from the lamp of Aladdin, warmed, and furnished, and lighted up
the chamber, till it seemed a home even to my lonely and sorrowing
heart. She simply said, ‘Oh! this is the room that Sophy had!’ The
following impromptu will show you how fervently I felt the change.

            THE ROOM THAT SOPHY HAD.

        Though strange and chill at first the room,
          How soon it seemed with comfort clad,
        When some one said—and blessed the gloom—
          “It is the chamber Sophy had.”

        With that sweet word the sunshine stole,
          Around a spirit lone and sad,
        A lingering ray from her true soul,
          Still warmed “the room that Sophy had.”

        And here has beat her happy heart;
          And here have rung her accents glad;
        And here the darling mused apart,—
          Oh, precious “room that Sophy had.”

        And here, perhaps, my image stole,
          When care unwonted made her sad,
        And whispered love through all her soul,
          And cheered “the room that Sophy had.”

        No palace-hall a queen may pace,
          With splendor lit—with beauty clad,
        Would seem so filled with light and grace,
          As this dear “room that Sophy had.”

“You bid me send you all the verses I write. You little dream of the
shower that would overwhelm you, were I to comply literally with your
request ‘_Nulla die sine linea_,’ is my motto as well as that of the
painter of old, and while I sew, or walk, or ride, or lounge, I am
forever singing to myself impromptu love-songs, from imaginary damsels
to imaginary youths, set to music by a score written in the air, and
invisible to all eyes but mine, while a band of aerial musicians play
the accompaniment, with my heart, for the leader, beating time. You
shall have one of them, dear, and that, I think, will content you for
the present—

        Should all who throng, with gift and song,
          And for my favor bend the knee,
        Forsake the shrine, they deem divine,
          I would not stoop my soul to _thee_!

        The lips, that breathe the burning vow,
          By falsehood base unstained must be;
        The heart, to which mine own shall bow,
          Must worship Honor more than me!

        The monarch of a world wert thou,
          And I a slave on bended knee,
        Though tyrant chains my form might bow,
          My _soul_ should never stoop to thee!

        Until its _hour shall come_, my heart
          I will possess, serene and free;
        Though snared to ruin by thine art,
          ’Twould sooner _break_ than bend to thee!

“Ah, Mary! if only my dream-opera could play on through life,
uninterrupted by the coarser or commoner cares of every-day
existence—if the charm of that music, inaudible to others, to which,
when I am let alone, my spirit moves, gliding or dancing as the measure
chances to be swift or slow, might not be broken by the discord of
reality, how light would float the fairy hours, led by that weird and
wondrous melody, from ‘night to morn, from morn till dewy eve.’ But
often, just in the midst of my heroine’s most impassioned reply to my
hero—the bell rings for dinner—or our little Lily-belle wants her robe
arranged—or rosy, roguish Mary insists upon playing that she is my
mamma and that I am her youngest and naughtiest responsibility; and,
after all, the glee that our three loving hearts play and sing together,
with now and then a coo from the cradle from our little dove, our
precious ‘Picciola,’ as an accompaniment—if less ethereal—less
artistic—is quite as sweet and more spirited than the dream-music that
Fancy plays in the air for me. To be sure, I have to be punished and put
in the corner by my little tyrant, rather oftener than is convenient or
agreeable, and to spell hard words, that I eschewed in my vagrant
school-days some—forty years ago!—if we count time by ‘heart-throbs,’
as Festus bids us, I have lived longer than that—

“I broke that chain of thought, attracted by the peculiar grace of a
compliment paid by a gentleman to a very lovely woman, who is sitting
near me, bending a pair of superb Spanish eyes and a graceful
Psyche-head over a suspender, on which, beneath her fairy hands a wreath
of exquisitely delicate flowers is growing and glowing; all too daintily
for the heart it is meant to chain—since that heart is man’s—

        For still the fairest, frailest flowers
          He soonest casts aside!

But the compliment. Some one remarked, that her head would be perfect,
were it not that the organ of reverence was entirely wanting in it. ‘It
has never been brought into play,’ was the reply, ‘for she has found _no
superior_ on earth.’

“Last night, as I watched her pensive look, I found myself chanting to
myself a song to her lost child—the most divinely beautiful being that
I ever beheld. I loved her as my own, and the tears still spring to my
eyes whenever I think of her. Will you hear the song, Mary?

             TO LITTLE ANNIE C——.

        Thy dark eyes danced in light,
          And on thy cheek the while,
        Life’s morning, rosy bright, Annie,
          Did softly glow and smile.

        A rare and radiant grace,
          A beauty not of earth,
        Had ‘o’erinformed’ thy face, Annie!
          God’s darling! from thy birth.

        When last I pressed thy brow,
          There dawned thy soul divine;
        But Heaven has won thee now, Annie!
          A lovelier morn is thine!

        While paled life’s early rose,
          Thy spirit plumed her wings,
        And now—how soft they close, Annie!
          While God’s new angel sings!

“Some time before her death, the dear little child had frequently looked
up in her mother’s face, and exclaimed, without any apparent or
immediate cause—‘Happy Annie!’ and ‘Happy Annie!’ was the only epitaph
they traced upon the simple slab of white marble that marked her little
grave.

“But I shall sing you to sleep, my own Marie, if I give you any more of
my verses: so take a spirit-kiss, and believe me still

                                             “Your fondly attached,

                                                         “KATE CAROL.”

                 *        *        *        *        *



                          THE OATH OF MARION.


                       A STORY OF THE REVOLUTION.


                        BY CHARLES J. PETERSON.


                       (_Continued from page 8._)


                              CHAPTER IV.

                Here’s a good world!
                ——Knew ye of this fair work?—KING LEAR.


The news of so important an event as the capture of Mr. Mowbray was not
long in traveling to Mrs. Blakeley’s. One morning, as she and her niece
sat at work together, the butler rushed into the room, betraying
considerable agitation. We have already alluded to his pomposity and
affectation of high-sounding phrases; another foible, the desire to play
an important part, sometimes got the better of his discretion, as in the
present instance.

“I’ve just heard such news, Missus Blakeley,” he exclaimed,
breathlessly, wiping the perspiration from his face. “It’s completely
admonished me. I’se run all de way from de head of de abenue, where I
heard it from Jim Benson, who listed wid de British, and is now going
home on a furbelow; a berry respectable person he is for a Tory and a
common white man. In his new uniform he looks almost like an officer, I
insure you!”

Here the old man paused, overcome by the rapidity of his utterance. Both
Mrs. Blakeley and her niece understood his peculiarities too well to
interrupt him, but they looked up smiling.

“Such news!” he began again. “I hope young missus won’t faint. Be sure,
such things must recur; but to think it should happen to Mr.
Mowbray—Lor’ save us.”

Kate, at the mention of her father’s name, turned pale, and could no
longer endure the speaker’s prolixity.

“What is the matter with my father?” she gasped, “Is he dead?”

“Oh, no, missus—only taken by de Tories. But dey say he is to be hung.”

The sight of Kate’s ghastly face stopped the officious announcement—but
it was too late; with a shriek she fell to the floor. At this spectacle,
the old slave, struck with sudden remorse, cried, wringing his hands,

“I have killed her. Oh, Lor’!—oh, Lor’!—will she ever survive again?”

“You have only made her swoon by your hasty announcement of this
terrible news,” said Mrs. Blakeley, sternly. “Run and send her maid.”

It was long before Kate was restored to consciousness. Meantime, Mrs.
Blakeley learned from old Jacob all he had to impart. Of her brother’s
ultimate fate she could scarcely entertain a doubt. She well knew the
character of that bitter warfare. The orders of Lord Rawdon, the then
superior officer of the royal army in South Carolina, had just been
repeated, that all who had once signed the protection, yet subsequently
been captured in arms against the king, should be summarily executed.
The sentence of Mr. Mowbray, according to old Jacob’s report, was
already issued. Mrs. Blakeley was scarcely less shocked than her niece,
but her fortitude was required to sustain Kate, and she struggled to
appear composed.

“Let us go to Col. Watson at once,” were almost the first words of Kate,
on recovering her senses. “Surely he will not refuse us. He was but
lately your guest—how can he then deny your prayer.”

“Alas! my child,” replied her aunt, with tears in her eyes, “war
converts men into fiends, and dries up all the kindlier feelings of the
soul; but especially in a civil war like this, no such thing as
friendship is acknowledged. Have you forgotten the fate of Gabriel
Marion, the neighbour of the general—youthful, beautiful, unoffending,
the pride of that old man’s heart? He was taken in a skirmish, and, as
soon as recognized, told to make ready for death. His prayers for a
respite—for paper to write to his uncle—for time to make his peace
with God, were alike denied him.” She shuddered as she continued. “They
made him kneel on the highway, and then basely murdered him.”

“But they will not, they cannot murder my father thus. The men who did
that foul deed were Tory outcasts. Col. Watson has a kind heart; he
_will_ spare my father’s life.” And Kate, clasping her hands, addressed
her aunt supplicatingly, as if on the words she might speak hung her
parent’s existence.

Mrs. Blakeley could not reply for some time for weeping. Twice she
essayed to speak: twice tears choaked her utterance. At last she shook
her head mournfully.

“Say not so—you do not mean it,” cried Kate, eagerly.

“Alas! alas! my darling,” sobbed Mrs. Blakeley, clasping Kate in her
arms, “I would as willingly hope as you; but there is no hope. Was not
solicitation, influence, promises, every thing exerted to save Col.
Hayne; but to no purpose? They are inexorable. Did not the general say,
in refusing a pardon, that if it were his own brother, he could do no
more?”

At these words the full truth of her father’s situation seemed for the
first time to break on Kate, who hitherto had hoped that aid from some
quarter, her own prayers, or other influence, might save his life.
During the time Mrs. Blakeley was speaking, the unfortunate girl gazed
with stony eyes upon her, every feature rigid, her arms motionless and
set, hanging by her side, and her head slightly advanced, with half
parted lips, listening eagerly. Even when the speaker ceased, only a
vague sense of what she said seemed to rest on Kate, and she murmured
vacantly,

“No hope!—none, did you say?”

Mrs. Blakeley shook her head, mournfully. Her own heart was swelled to
bursting; that stony look, those rigid lips, made her tremble for the
reason of her niece.

“No hope!” whispered Kate, in those thrillingly low tones that are more
eloquent than all the accents of despair. “Oh, just Heaven!” she
exclaimed, suddenly elevating her voice; and she raised her outstretched
hands on high, “wilt thou see this foul injustice done?”

But here the pitch of horror to which the unfortunate girl had been
wound up, proved too much for a frame already weakened by preceding
agitation, and she suddenly fell back, rigid and paralyzed, in another
fainting fit.

All that day, and part of the night, Mrs. Blakeley watched over her
niece. Toward midnight the sufferer sank into a slumber. On awaking in
the morning, wan and haggard, she seemed only the shadow of her former
self; but she had gained composure; though in the quivering lip, and the
eye that filled unconsciously with tears, might have been read the agony
of a breaking heart.

But though Mrs. Blakeley did not allow herself to hope, and thought it
her duty to bid her niece discard all expectation of the prisoner’s
pardon, she nevertheless resolved to do every thing that could be done
to induce Col. Watson to save Mr. Mowbray’s life, or at least to grant a
respite until head-quarters could be heard from. Accordingly, she spent
the hours of the night, after Kate, stupefied alike by exhaustion and by
narcotics, had sunk into slumber, in writing to Col. Watson. She also
penned a hasty epistle to Major Lindsay, beseeching his interposition;
for though Mrs. Blakeley was well aware of his pretensions to the hand
of her niece, she thought this no time for morbid delicacy. These
epistles being indited, and confided to the hand of a trusty servant,
with orders to spare neither whip nor spur until he reached Col.
Watson’s quarters, Mrs. Blakeley, toward morning, sought her couch,
almost as much exhausted, both physically and mentally, as her
unfortunate niece.

The morning broke in that once happy mansion as on a house of death. The
shutters were half closed, as if to exclude the light, and the servants
stole noiselessly to and fro, speaking in whispers scarcely above their
breath. The morning meal remained almost untouched. Kate could eat
nothing; and often set down her teacup, while her eyes filled with
tears. Mrs. Blakeley, spite of all her self-control, was nervous and
trembling. The old butler, who remained in the room, often turned his
back, and brushed the honest tears from his eyes; for though unwilling
to betray his emotion, he was unable to prevent it. Even Mrs. Blakeley’s
pet grey-hound seemed to know and participate in the grief; for, instead
of rushing up to his mistress boisterously, when she came down stairs,
as had been his wont, he walked slowly and sadly toward her, looking up
appealingly into her face, as if assuring her of his sympathy. The same
dull pantomime was gone through with when Kate entered, and made her lip
quiver.

Mrs. Blakeley had informed her niece of what she had done, and said that
nothing now remained but to wait an answer to her letters. Kate,
however, begged that she might be allowed to go to Col. Watson’s
head-quarters to see her father; and though Mrs. Blakeley strove to
dissuade her from this purpose, believing that the interview would only
harrow up unnecessarily the feelings of both, filial love prevailed, and
Kate extorted a lingering consent that they should set forth as soon as
the heavy, lumbering carriage could be prepared.

It was during this delay that the galloping of a horse arrested her ear,
and Major Lindsay was seen to alight on the lawn. During the moment that
elapsed before his announcement, Kate had time to indulge in a thousand
wild speculations. Hope whispered to her that Major Lindsay had procured
the pardon of her father, or else come to announce a reprieve.
Breathless and trembling, she did not wait for his entrance, but hurried
to the door of the parlor. Mrs. Blakeley was almost equally agitated.
Her first supposition was that Major Lindsay had received her note, and
hurried at once to their aid; but a moment’s reflection satisfied her
that time enough for this had not elapsed. She concluded then that he
had hastened, on his own suggestion, to comfort them; and she advanced
to meet him as eagerly as Kate.

Major Lindsay met them at the door. He started back at the sight of
Kate’s wan face, for never could he have believed it possible that human
agony could be so forcibly depicted on the countenance; but, recovering
himself he advanced eagerly, and clasping the hand of each lady in his
own, looked from one to the other with a smile, not gay yet encouraging.

“You bring us good news, I know,” said Kate, turning deadly pale, and
then flushing to the forehead.

“I hope so,” said he, with marked emphasis. “God grant it!”

“God grant it, indeed,” faltered Mrs. Blakeley, in reply, the blood
going back coldly on her heart at these equivocal words.

Kate, however, did not notice this: hope blinded her eyes, willingly;
and she eagerly answered,

“I knew you would bring us words of cheer. He is free—he is on his way
hither; he will be here soon. Is it not so?” and she looked so
beautifully earnest, as she lifted her eyes eagerly to Major Lindsay’s
face, that he vowed inwardly no obstacle should prevent him from winning
so charming a bride.

“Not exactly that,” he replied, with some hesitation. “Mr. Mowbray is
not free yet—but I hope, nay, I may promise that he is in no
danger—that is, provided,” he stopped, embarrassed.

Mrs. Blakeley looked searchingly at the speaker, yet her heart would not
allow her to entertain the suspicion that had flashed across her, and
she discarded it indignantly. Kate, hurled suddenly from her pinnacle of
hope, trembled, and clung speechlessly to her aunt’s arm.

Major Lindsay’s embarrassment continued. He looked imploringly at Mrs.
Blakeley, as if he half expected her to come to his aid. But Mrs.
Blakeley was as agitated as Kate. She struggled to subdue her emotion,
saying, eagerly,

“Do not torture us by suspense, I implore you, Major Lindsay. If any
thing is expected of us, fear not to tell us at once; we will strip
ourselves to the uttermost farthing, if a heavy fine can save my
brother’s life.”

Major Lindsay, thus thrown on his own resources, hesitated and
stammered, but found words at length to say,

“Do not be alarmed, ladies. I repeat it, there is nothing to fear. But I
come rather as an ambassador than as the herald of joy. In other words,
I have certain matters to mention, which are preliminary, I regret, to
the pardon of Mr. Mowbray. My message, too, is exclusively to Miss
Mowbray, and I fear can be delivered to her alone. But understand me,
there is no doubt of all yet going well.”

“I will leave you with this dear girl at once,” said Mrs. Blakeley,
imprinting a kiss on Kate’s brow. “I need scarcely say how deeply she
has been agitated, and beg you to spare her as much as possible.”

“I will do it,” said Major Lindsay earnestly, his eyes compassionately
bent on Kate; and Mrs. Blakeley, notwithstanding her suspicions, could
not doubt his sincerity.

Kate trembled with a strange foreboding feeling, as she saw the door
close on her aunt; and yet what was there of alarm in this approaching
interview? Were not the words and looks of Major Lindsay kind and
encouraging? Yet still Kate trembled to find herself alone with him.


                               CHAPTER V.

                 “Where the greater malady is fixed,
                 The lesser is scarce felt.”—KING LEAR.


The apartment in which Major Lindsay found himself, was one with which
he had been familiar on his preceding visit to the mansion; but, for a
minute after Mrs. Blakeley’s exit, he gazed around him as if examining
for the first time the architecture and furniture of the room. It was an
apartment, too, well worth his scrutiny. Few even of the gentry of that
proud state could boast a dwelling like that of Mrs. Blakeley. The walls
of the parlor were wainscoted to the ceiling with richly carved
cornices; and over the mantelpiece, encircled by a wreath of roses
carved in the wood, were the arms of the family. The furniture was of
mahogany, consisting of massive tables and chairs, with elaborately
carved feet. A couple of fine portraits adorned the walls—one a picture
of the deceased Mr. Blakeley, the other a likeness of Mr. Mowbray.

Major Lindsay cast his eyes from the cornice to the floor, and from the
mantelpiece to the portraits, and at length stealthily turned them in
the direction of Kate, who sat on the sofa, her color rapidly changing,
equally constrained and embarrassed. That a young and almost
inexperienced girl should want perfect self-possession was less
singular, however, than that a practiced man of the world like Major
Lindsay should be without it. But the truth was that he scarcely knew
how to introduce his errand to Kate.

When his eyes, however, met those of the fair girl, there was an
expression of surprise and inquiry at his silence, not to be
misunderstood; and he thought it best to refer at once to the purpose of
the interview.

“It pains me exceedingly—you cannot imagine how much—my dear Miss
Mowbray,” he began, “to come here without the unconditional pardon of
your father. But there are two circumstances which prevented me from
succeeding to the extent of my wishes, and thus having the honor and
pleasure of bringing you such welcome news. In the first place, Mr.
Mowbray is not, as you suppose, a prisoner to Col. Watson, that officer
being on his march to join Lord Rawdon at Camden; but, on the contrary,
is in the hands of Lieut. Col. Campbell, who now holds the post of
Georgetown, and who, besides being a gentleman of a more inexorable
nature, is personally unacquainted with your father. Now, had it been
Col. Watson to whom Mr. Mowbray had been surrendered, I indulge the hope
that, difficult as the task would have been, his intimacy with yourself
and Mrs. Blakeley, to say nothing of my own solicitations, would have
procured the release of your parent. But with Col. Campbell the case is
different. He is not only a stranger to you all, but he is nearly an
entire stranger to myself. There does not exist between us those terms
of intimacy that, in the case of Col. Watson, would have justified me in
asking for the release of your father as a personal favor.”

Here Major Lindsay stopped, as if expecting Kate to answer; but she only
bowed. It was evident also from her look of continued surprise that she
could not yet make out the speaker’s purpose.

“In the second place,” continued Major Lindsay slowly, “there is nothing
in this case to distinguish it from others—nothing, I mean, to justify
Colonel Campbell in his own eyes for pardoning your parent, when so many
others, also taken with arms in their hands, are executed. Lord Rawdon’s
orders are explicit. Every man who, having once signed the protection,
is afterward captured fighting against the king, is to be punished with
death. This command hitherto has been rigidly enforced. Nor is there in
Mr. Mowbray’s case, as I before said, any thing to take him out of the
general rule. On the contrary, as Col. Campbell assured me, there is
every reason why he should be proceeded against even more rigidly than
others. Your father is rich and has great personal influence; and his
pardon would lead the gentry generally to suppose that they could revolt
with impunity. To suffer the leaders to escape—these were the words of
my superior—yet punish their deluded followers, is neither justice nor
good policy. These considerations induced Col. Campbell, to whom I
hastened at once as an intercessor, being fortunately in Georgetown, to
refuse my suit, though he kindly condescended to explain the reasons, as
I have recapitulated to you.”

Kate clasped her hands at these words, and became pale as a corpse.

“Then he is to die!” she gasped. “It is thus you would break the news to
me.”

“Nay, not so, as I hope in heaven!” cried Major Lindsay, earnestly,
springing forward to support the fainting girl. “Your father’s life may
yet be spared—Col. Campbell himself assured me how.”

Kate’s eyes were eagerly turned to the speaker at these words, though by
a motion of her hand she waved off his assistance.

“The colonel said,” continued Major Lindsay, seeing she waited for him
to speak, “that it was only necessary to give a proper pledge to the
royal government for his future neutrality, and Mr. Mowbray might yet be
saved. He himself hinted at the character of that pledge, or else I
should have remained in doubt. ‘Go to Miss Mowbray,’ he said, ‘and tell
her that with her it rests to preserve her father’s life. I have heard
of your suit in that quarter; obtain her consent to a speedy marriage;
and then to the father-in-law of one of his majesty’s most faithful
subjects I can grant that life which I must deny to a rebel in arms.’
These were his words. And now, dear Miss Mowbray, think not I come to
take advantage of you,” said Major Lindsay, speaking rapidly and
eagerly, as he saw her avert her face, “God knows nothing is further
from my thoughts. But it is the weakness of love to be selfish, and when
the way by which I might win my suit was thus pointed out to me, I had
not the strength to resist. Besides, I knew I should never forgive
myself if I refused to come, and your father lost his life in
consequence. My very love for you, by making me anxious for his life,
would have forced me hither, even if I knew beforehand that you would
spurn me.”

Surprise and indignation chased each other through Kate’s mind at
hearing these words. The embarrassment of Major Lindsay was now
explained, for well might he hesitate to avow his baseness in making her
father’s life the price of her hand. Kate was firmly persuaded that he
might have saved her parent if he would; and her bosom heaved with
indignant feelings. But had she known all: had she known that Major
Lindsay himself had planned her father’s capture, and instigated his
superior to dictate the only terms of pardon—how would she have turned
from him with horror and loathing inexpressible!

Kate’s first impulse was to rise and leave the room. But she remembered
how completely she was in her auditor’s power, and her feelings suffered
a revulsion. She burst into tears.

“I see I pain you,” said the major, in affected sorrow. “Nay! then I
will leave your presence. Heaven bless you!” and he rose sadly and
prepared to go.

Kate was staggered by these words. Could one who thus spoke have really
acted as basely as she but now supposed? She could not believe it. Yet
she still turned with repugnance from the idea of a union with Major
Lindsay. Meantime that individual had advanced several steps toward the
door, while Kate continued sobbing violently on the sofa. Her heart was
torn with conflicting emotions. If she suffered her visiter to depart,
her father’s blood would be on her hands. The major had already turned
the lock: there was no longer room for delay. Springing wildly from her
seat, she rushed forward and laid her hand on his arm.

“Stay!” she gasped. “Do with me as you will.”

A gleam of triumph shot across Major Lindsay’s face.

“You know not how you transport me,” he said rapidly. “If the devotion
of a life can repay you for this promise, here I swear to bestow it in
requital,” and taking those fair but listless fingers in his hand, he
would have raised them to his lips.

But Kate instinctively drew them back, and with an almost haughty
gesture. The next moment, however, she again burst into tears.

“Oh!” she exclaimed, “is there no other way? Be generous, Major
Lindsay.”

She stood like an imploring Niobe, her eyes raised in supplication, her
whole face beaming.

The countenance of her auditor, on that sudden withdrawal of her hand,
had flushed with sudden anger; but he had now once more controlled his
features to a look of pity, and he replied—

“Would I could do as you wish; would there was some other way.”

“There is—there is,” said Kate, eagerly. “You yourself will go again to
Col. Campbell and intercede for us.”

“Alas! I have done that already.”

“To Lord Rawdon, then,” breathlessly interposed Kate.

“It would be useless. Nay, if he hears of this matter prematurely,
before you are mine, neither Col. Campbell nor I can save your father.”

There was a tone of decision in him as he pronounced these words, that
shut out all farther entreaty. Kate felt, moreover, that what he said
was true; from Lord Rawdon no hope could be entertained. With a groan
she buried her face against the sofa.

Major Lindsay stood at a respectful distance. During the interview he
had more than once been smote to the heart by Kate’s agony. He was not a
villain in the ordinary acceptation of the term. Impelled by his
necessities, and stung by Kate’s persevering refusal, he had planned her
father’s capture, intending to purchase her hand by his pardon, and
little doubting that, in time, she would learn to love him. He had found
little difficulty in persuading Col. Campbell to further his scheme,
representing to that officer that Kate was not indifferent to him in
secret, but was unwilling, on her father’s account, to marry a royal
officer. But Major Lindsay, though engaged in this black plot, really
loved Kate; and had he not gone too far to retreat, perhaps would have
been moved from his purpose by the sight of her suffering. His
commiseration was not, therefore, all affected; and even now, as he
stood awaiting her final decision, which he no longer doubted would be
in his favor, a pang of remorse shot through his heart on raising his
eyes and beholding Mr. Mowbray’s picture—for the mute canvas seemed to
rebuke him with its sad, earnest gaze.

Perhaps five minutes thus passed—the major leaned on his sword—Kate,
her face buried from sight, continued to sob. At length she looked up,
and holding out her hand with averted head, she said,

“My father shall be saved.” And then, as if almost choked by the words,
she added, “Leave me now.”

“Thank you for those blessed words,” said Major Lindsay; and bowing over
her hand, which he just touched with his lips, he left the room.

Kate waited till the door closed after him, then, with a cry of anguish,
she gave way to fresh tears.

“Oh, miserable, unhappy me!” she groaned, “would nothing but this save
my father!”

All at once she started up, and a wild gleam of joy irradiated her face.
She dashed the tears from her eyes; for the first time it had occurred
to her that Preston could avert her horrible destiny—in what way she
knew not; but in childhood he had always been her protection, and she
still felt the habit of looking up to him in peril.

But in an instant came the reflection of the terms on which they now
stood to each other. They had parted in anger; and he either despised or
hated her. Under such circumstances her womanly modesty revolted from
appealing to him for aid. “No,” she mentally ejaculated, “I will die
sooner.” And as she came to this resolution, she fell back again in
hopeless misery on her seat.

Major Lindsay, meanwhile, had sought out Mrs. Blakeley, to whom he
related the result of his interview with Kate. To her aunt, who knew
little of our heroine’s feelings, the sacrifice appeared an
inconsiderable one; and Mrs. Blakeley had always regarded Major Lindsay
with favor. She informed her guest that they were soon to set forth for
Georgetown, and invited him to accompany them. He declined, alledging
the necessity of his returning as speedily as possible; but offered to
leave a portion of his dragoons to escort the ladies.

“I shall be the first to meet you in Georgetown,” he said, as he bid
Mrs. Blakeley farewell on the steps of her mansion; and plunging spurs
into his steed, he was soon out of sight with his train.


                              CHAPTER VI.

            “Who thundering comes on blackest steed.”—BYRON.

While Major Lindsay was galloping from Blakeley Hall, Captain Preston,
by the same road, was advancing toward it. He had been out on a scouting
expedition, and hearing that Kate was still with her aunt, determined,
in a moment of relenting, to visit her. He had not yet heard of her
father’s capture—of course he was ignorant of her own peril; and Kate
determined that he should still remain so.

The rapidity of Major Lindsay’s pace was in unison with the tumult of
his thoughts. Now that all was settled, conscience was stilled; and he
felt only the wild exultation of success. Exposure was the only thing he
had to dread; but of that he felt no alarm, the unsettled state of the
country affording secrecy as well as impunity.

He had no doubt Kate would soon love him. With other women he had
generally been successful; he attributed his failure in her case to her
remembrance of Preston as her old playmate. But once finding herself the
husband of another, duty would soon teach her to forget the past.
Occupied with these reflections, Major Lindsay’s spirits rose.
Triumphant guilt is rarely given to remorse.

“But one thing only is wanting,” he said. “If I could meet this
Preston—this braggadocia—I would at once have my revenge, and get rid
of all possibility of future rivalry.”

As if in answer to this half expressed wish, there was at that moment
seen, on the crest of a slight elevation in front, a single horseman,
who, even at that distance, was recognized as wearing the uniform of
Marion’s brigade.

“Wheel to the right,” said Major Lindsay sharply and suddenly to his
dragoons, “into this old wood-road. Halt! We will lie in ambush here
until we know something of the strength of the enemy. They do not yet
see us.”

His orders were immediately executed. The troopers dashed into the pine
barren, where they were easily concealed behind some high brush. Major
Lindsay alighted and stealthily advanced to reconnoitre.

First he saw a trooper idly descending the hill; then another
immediately cut the clear acclivity with his figure; and soon a third,
fourth, and fifth appeared in rapid succession. The last comer was at a
gallop, and dashed by the others until he reached their head. Even at
that distance Major Lindsay thought there was something familiar in this
person. He could not believe, however, that he had seen the whole of the
enemy’s force, until the five horsemen had nearly descended the hill,
when he concluded that they were merely a scouting party of the foe. He
beckoned to him his orderly.

“Do you know those fellows?” he said.

The approaching horsemen were still at a considerable distance, so the
man, shading his eyes with one hand, while with the other he held back
the brushwood to get an opening for his face, peered long and eagerly.
Then he drew back, nodding his head.

“I know ’em,” he said, “least ways one o’ ’em, who is that Capt. Preston
that used to plague us so, up at the hall, yonder,” and he jerked his
finger over his shoulder in the direction of Mrs. Blakeley’s, which they
had left about an hour before.

“Are you sure?” said Major Lindsay, eagerly. “I would rather lose a
dozen guineas than that you should be mistaken.”

“Then you’ll keep your guineas, sir,” said the orderly, “that’s Capt.
Preston, and nobody else.”

“Is that fellow, Macdonald, with him? He is worth two men, and it would
be a lucky hit to get both.”

“No, sir, I know his cut well—but he’s not along. And that’s odd too,
for he and Capt. Preston always go together like dogs hunting in
couples.”

“Then we have him!” said Major Lindsay, exultingly. “He cannot escape
us.”

“Shall we blow trumpet and charge at once then?” said the orderly. “Our
men will go at ’em like hungry wolves. They’ve a long score to settle.”

“Not yet,” said Major Lindsay, “we will wait till those fellows come up;
then, boot and saddle, and upon them. I would not have them escape us
for my life.”

The dragoons, informed who the enemy was, chafed impatiently to begin
the attack—for they had a hundred insults to avenge on the bold
partisan before them. Meanwhile, our hero, for the orderly had been
right in saying Capt. Preston led the troop, approached on a trot,
completely unconscious of the presence of his hidden enemy. He was
engaged in a scouting expedition of some extent, and had no idea an
armed royalist was within twenty miles. Suddenly, however, he drew in
his rein, for he thought he heard a horse stamping in the forest; but it
was too late; Major Lindsay saw they were discovered, and immediately
gave the long wished for word.

“Charge!” he said, plunging his rowels into the sides of his horse, and
clearing at one bound the space between him and the road.

With a loud huzza, the dragoons shouting, “no quarter,” followed his
example, horse and man suddenly filling the road like apparitions.
Preston saw he was surrounded. Their cries told him, moreover, that it
was to be a life and death struggle. Five against fifteen was fearful
odds, yet he cried,

“Marion for ever!” and drawing his sabre, he dashed at Lindsay, whom he
recognized. “Ha! have we met!” he cried.

“Yes! and I have you,” was the reply hissed between his adversary’s
teeth.

As Major Lindsay thus spoke, he raised himself in his stirrups, and
throwing all his strength into one gigantic blow, he brought his heavy
sabre down, right on the almost unprotected head of Preston. For a
moment it seemed as if the trenchant blade would cut through cap and
skull, even to the shoulder—and had it struck fair it would; but with a
dexterous movement, our hero evaded the stroke, and in return dealt a
side cut that, if Major Lindsay’s horse had not fortunately swerved,
would have ended his life at once.

But though foiled in this first attempt, each was eager to return to the
charge, and wheeling their horses, they rushed again upon each other. It
was Preston’s turn now to deal the first blow. He rode with very short
stirrups, of which he took advantage to throw himself backward, and
then, projecting himself forward, and casting all his strength into the
blow, he brought his sabre down on the helmet of Major Lindsay with a
force that was irresistible. Cutting clean though the crest as if it had
been a smoke wreath, the well-proved blade descended with full violence
on the steel cap, through which it crashed like an egg-shell; but here
it stopped, broken into fragments by the tremendous stroke and the
resistance of the iron casque combined. Nothing but that well-tempered
steel head-piece could have saved Major Lindsay’s life. As it was,
stunned and bewildered, he reeled in his saddle.

“Hew him down!—Use the cold lead!—Have at him there, one and all!”

Such were the exclamations that met our hero’s ear, as he recovered
himself from that blow, and found only the hilt and a fragment of his
broken blade left in his hand. He looked around hastily. His four
followers had already been put _hors de combat_, and the dragoons were
now, like dogs around a wild boar, waiting a chance to rush in on him,
encouraging each other by shouts; for such was the terror of Preston’s
name, and so terrific was the blow they had just seen dealt their
leader, that each man hung back an instant, preferring that his neighbor
should go in first. Preston saw this advantage, and hastened to avail
himself of it, for, as pistols were already drawn, he knew his chance
would last scarcely a moment.

“Ho, Thunderer!” he said, addressing his steed—a powerful animal, jet
black all over—and turning his head toward that part of the circle of
his foes which seemed the thinnest, he added, “stand by me now, and we
escape them yet.”

As he spoke, he dashed his spurs into the animal’s sides till the blood
spurted beneath the sharp steel, and with a pistol in his right hand,
sprang fiercely forward. Right and left the dragoons, panic-struck, gave
way, as when a flock of sheep fly before the onset of an angry
wolf—only one man attempting to stop his progress. But, without so much
as being wounded, the trooper went down headlong, overthrown by the
shock of Preston’s powerful charger; and our hero, yielding to an
uncontrollable impulse, as he saw the way thus cleared before him, rose
in his stirrups, and waving his arm on high, looked back, and gave
utterance to a shout that long after he had vanished, like a bolt shot
from some huge catapult, echoed and re-echoed in the startled woods.

“He is off, by God,” said the orderly. “Saw you ever the like?”

For a second the dragoons stood stupidly looking at each other; then,
all at once, a dozen pistols were snapped at the fugitive, and a dozen
steeds put to the pursuit. Moreover, Major Lindsay, though his head
still swam from that tremendous blow, had recovered sufficiently to
understand what was passing, and he now lent his voice to encourage the
chase, and himself pressed forward among the first.

All this had occupied less time than it has taken us to relate it. The
attack, the fight, the escape succeeded each other like flashes of
summer lightning; and when Preston, adroitly turning his horse into the
narrow and winding road where his foes had lain in ambush, passed
momently out of sight, unharmed by the shots that whistled past, it
seemed to him almost as if he were in a dream. But the shouts of
pursuers, and the rapid tread of hoofs, speedily convinced him of the
reality, and plying voice and spur, he went onward at a slashing pace,
now and then looking behind to see if the dragoons gained on him.

There is something inexpressibly still and refreshing in an old,
deserted road, winding through a cool pine-forest. The tall trees
lapping overhead, the thick carpet of splintering leaves below, and the
delicious fragrance all around, have always had a charm for us; and
Preston felt it so, especially after the fierce excitement of that life
and death struggle; so that when he came to a little dark stream,
gliding softly across the road, he longed to stop and bathe his
throbbing temples, and take one long, sweet draught, as he had often
done upon a hot day in the forest when a boy. But the red foe was behind
him, and he shot on like an arrow.

Presently he came to an old clearing, which had been long abandoned.
Here, for about a quarter of a mile, was an open space, where ploughed
fields had once been, but the furrows of which now were overgrown with a
dry, stunted grass. He would have preferred the winding forest road, but
there was no alternative, and on he dashed. He had nearly regained the
shelter of the forest on the other side, when he heard a wild burst of
cheering, and looking back, he saw the dragoons, with Major Lindsay and
one other in advance, entering on the open space. They had caught sight
of him for the first time since he entered the old road, and their
shouts betokened renewed hope and determination on their part.

Breathlessly Preston kept on, but with less assurance than before, for
his horse was already hard worked, and he soon saw with dismay that
blood was flowing from his fore-shoulder freely from a wound. A half
mile further on the poor animal began to flag sensibly; yet, cruel as it
seemed, and much as it pained his own generous nature, Preston was
forced to urge on the dying steed. He knew that at the distance of a
mile and a half ahead was a swamp, into the recesses of which, if he
could once plunge, he would be safe. But now he heard behind him a rapid
hoof. It came nearer and nearer, though still out of sight. One, if not
more, of his pursuers was gaining upon him. Again he spurred his steed,
and encouraged him with words. The noble animal answered with a feeble
cry, and staggered on. Scarcely half a mile now remained to gain the
swamp. If he could only reach it, Preston knew all danger would be past.
But this was impossible.

That rapid gallop came nearer and nearer, like the clock that ticks the
hour of the criminal’s fate. He heard a shout behind him, and looking
over his shoulder saw the trooper, whom he had last noticed side by side
with Major Lindsay, come thundering on. He cheered his dying steed to a
last effort—but it was in vain; the dragoon made two strides to his
one. A few paces only now separated them; the swamp lay thrice the
distance before. Already the trooper had risen in his stirrups,
broadsword in hand. Preston had no such weapon. Suddenly he recollected
the pistol in his other holster, and drawing it with the velocity of
thought, he turned half around in his saddle and fired. With unerring
aim the ball entered the brain of the dragoon, who fell dead to the
earth.

It was the work of a moment to leap to the ground and catch the fallen
soldier’s horse, on which Preston sprang. Poor Thunderer was already
dead; he had sunk to the earth as his master fired the last shot.

Thus fate interposed to prevent an interview between Preston and our
heroine, at a time when it would have been of incalculable advantage to
both, and have circumvented a plot as base and cruel as it was now
certain of success. At the very hour when Preston, after having ridden
over thirty miles from the spot where he was attacked, threw himself
wearied from his horse, in one of the most secret recesses of the
forest, Kate and her aunt were setting forth for Georgetown, where they
arrived on the succeeding day.

Never was human creature in a more isolated and mournful situation than
Kate now found herself. Indulging in what she thought a hopeless
passion, every motive of delicacy forbade her revealing it to those who
alone could befriend her. She well knew that if her father became aware
how much her marriage with Major Lindsay was against her inclinations,
he would interpose even at the very altar, and ascend the scaffold to
save her. Neither would it do to let her aunt guess her abhorrence at
this union. Both her father and Mrs. Blakeley had, indeed, at one time
hoped that a matrimonial connection would be formed between her and
Preston, but the mutual coldness of the parties had long since
dissipated this expectation. It was no time now to reveal her secret
preference; such a confession would only have sealed her father’s fate
without rendering her happy. Kate was forced therefore to wear a smiling
face, when her heart was lacerated.

As Major Lindsay was compelled to be at Camden in six days, his leave of
absence closing at that period, the marriage was fixed for the evening
before his departure. This was an earlier day than Kate had looked for,
but she could not object without exposing her secret. She submitted
therefore in silence.

But who can tell the agony of her spirit, when in company with her aunt
and parent she was forced to wear a smiling aspect! yet when alone she
gave free vent to her sorrow. The image of Preston often intruded on
those bitter moments. Alas! that one so young should be so miserable.
She could have prayed for death but that it would have been impious.

Oh, the heart, the heart! what a mystery it is. There are blows worse
than those on the wheel; it is when a gay heart is broken with anguish.

                                           [_Conclusion in our next._

                 *        *        *        *        *



                        THE MAID OF LINDEN LANE.


              WHAT THE OLD WOMAN SAID TO THE SCHOOL-GIRL.


                        BY THOMAS BUCHANAN READ.


    Little maiden, you may laugh
    That you see me wear a staff!
    For your laughter’s but the chaff
        From the melancholy grain!
    Through the shadows long and cool
    You are tripping down to school,
    But your teacher’s cloudy rule
    Only dulls the shining pool
        With its loud and stormy rain!

    There’s a higher lore to learn
    Than his knowledge can discern;
    There’s a valley deep and dern
        In a desolate domain!
    But for this he has no chart!
    Shallow science—shallow art!
    Thither—oh be still my heart—
    One too many did depart
        From the halls of Linden Lane!

    I can teach you better things;
    For I know the secret springs
    Where the spirit wells and sings
        Till it overflows the brain!
    Come when eve is closing in,
    When the spiders all begin,
    Like philosophers, to spin
    Gilded tissues vain and thin
        Through the shades of Linden Lane.

    While you sit as in a trance,
    Where the moon-made shadows dance,
    From the distaff of Romance
        I will spin a silken skein!
    Down the misty years gone by
    I will turn your azure eye;
    You shall see the changeful sky
    Falling dark or hanging high
        O’er the halls of Linden Lane!

    Come, and sitting by the trees,
    O’er the long and level leas,
    Stretched between us and the seas,
        I can point the battle-plain:
    If the air comes from the shore
    We may hear the billows roar;
    But oh! never, nevermore
    Shall the wind come as of yore
        To the halls of Linden Lane!

    Those were weary days of wo,
    Ah! yes, many years ago,
    When a cruel foreign foe
        Sent his fleets across the main!
    Though all this is in your books,
    There are countless words and looks,
    Which, like flowers in hidden nooks,
    Or the melody of brooks,
        There’s no volume can retain!

    Come, and if the night be fair,
    And the moon be in the air,
    I can tell you when and where
        Walked a tender loving twain:
    Though it cannot be, alas!
    Yet, as in a magic glass,
    We will sit and see them pass
    Through the long and rustling grass
        At the foot of Linden Lane!

    Yonder did they turn and go,
    Through the level lawn below,
    With a stately step and slow,
        And long shadows in their train:
    Weaving dreams no thoughts could mar
    Down they wandered long and far,
    Gazing toward the horizon’s bar
    On their love’s appointed star,
        Rising in the Lion’s Mane.

    As across a summer sea,
    Love passed o’er the quiet lea,
    Light as only love may be,
        Freighted with no care or pain.
    Such the night; but with the morn
    Brayed the distant bugle horn!
    Louder! louder! still ’twas borne!
    Then were anxious faces worn
        In the halls of Linden Lane!

    With the trumpet’s nearer bray,
    Saw we arms and banners gay
    Flashing but a league away,
        Stretching far along the plain!
    Neighing answer to the call
    Burst our chargers from the stall;
    Mounted, here they leaped the wall,
    There the stream! While in the hall
        Eyes were dashed with sudden rain!

    Belted for the fiercest fight,
    And with swimming plume of white,
    Passed the lover out of sight
        With the hurrying host amain!
    Then the thunders of the gun
    On the shuddering breezes run;
    And the clouds o’erswept the sun
    Till the heavens hung dark and dun
        O’er the halls of Linden Lane!

    Few that joined the fiery fray
    Lived to tell how went the day;
    But that few could proudly say
        How the foe had fled the plain!
    Long the maiden’s eyes did yearn
    For her cavalier’s return;
    But she watched alone to learn
    That the valley deep and dern
        Was her desolate domain!

    Leave your books awhile apart;
    For they cannot teach the heart!
    Come, and I will show the chart
        Which shall make the mystery plain!
    I can tell you hidden things
    Which your knowledge never brings;
    For I know the secret springs
    Where the spirit wells and sings
        Till it overflows the brain.

    Ah, yes, lightly sing and laugh,
    Half a child and woman half;
    For your laughter’s but the chaff
        From the melancholy grain!
    And, ere many years shall fly,
    Age will dim your laughing eye,
    And like me you’ll totter by;
    For, remember, love, that I
        Was the Maid of Linden Lane!

                 *        *        *        *        *



                                 ÆGEUS.


                        BY WILLIAM H. C. HOSMER.


Theseus set sail for Athens in the same mournful ship in which he came
to Crete, but forgot to change his sails, according to the instructions
of his father; so that when his father beheld from a watch-tower the
ship returning with _black_ sails, he imagined that his son was dead,
and cast himself headlong into the sea, which was afterward called Ægean
sea, from his name and destiny.—ANDREW TOOKE.

    “A mast above the waters
      Is rising tall and fair,
    And hither bound, with glory crowned,
      Welcome my princely heir!”

    A king these glad words uttered,
      His white locks streaming free,
    Beneath a golden circlet,
      In his watch-tower by the sea.

    When nearer drew to Athens
      The bark that bore his son,
    The monarch, with an altered look,
      This loud lament begun.

    “Those sails are sails of mourning,
      They flap above the dead;
    And winds, that fill them, murmur
      Low lies the laureled head!

    “Vain, vain the hope long cherished,
      That this old hand of mine
    To Theseus, in dying hour,
      Would royal robe resign.

    “Though black the sails and rigging
      Of yon ill-omened bark,
    In my despairing bosom
      There is a night _more_ dark.”

    High, high the broken billow
      Its wreath of foam did fling,
    When, headlong from the dizzy tower
      Plunged, in his wo, the king.

    Thenceforth, august Athena!
      Thy sea, for beauty famed,
    The bards of classic story
      “Ægeum Mare” named.

    A waste of troubled waters
      Is, aye, the poet’s dower,
    And royal thought keeps vigil
      Within a lonely tower.

    Rich fancies have been trusted
      To Fortune’s varying gale,
    And eagerly the watcher marks
      Yon home-returning sail.

    Perchance on board are riches,
      To cheer the minstrel’s lot,
    And glory’s crown of amaranth,
      Whose purple fadeth not.

    Winds drive the vessel nearer,
      And well their wrath she braves—
    “Ho, watchman! swells her canvas
      A white cloud o’er the waves?

    “Thy visions, bard, are perished,
      Thy golden hopes have fled—
    Those sails are sails of mourning,
      They flap above the dead.”

                 *        *        *        *        *



                            THE EXECUTIONER.


                         BY A NEW CONTRIBUTOR.


Those who, day by day, glance carelessly over a newspaper, as they puff
a cigar, or give relish to a lazy breakfast, by running the eye over the
brief sketches of crime which appear in the morning journals, with so
much regularity, and in such equal proportions, that we are almost led
to conjecture that each day receives by lot its due share of such
matter, seldom, if ever, think of the actual romance of the events which
come to them in such a barren shape. How many broken hearts and peculiar
agonies are involved in the intimate details of that arrest, the
narrative of which appears among twenty others, and is so told, that,
perhaps, the only impression which it makes upon the mind is one of
wonder at the feats of the police. What a fearful stage in the history
of some human spirit is following the publication of that hasty but
remorseless paragraph, which may scarcely arrest the attention as we
trace the columns down for more stimulating news, and yet, first,
perhaps, publicly connects an honorable name with low vice, and removes
the last motive to reform with the last hope of concealment. It is well
for those of gentle sensibilities that fancy is not more discursive at
such moments, and that, by a kind law of our natures, the door of
sympathy seldom opens but to intrusive griefs.

In spite, however, of the callousness which the monotony of crime
induces, and which ranges, increasingly, down from those who read of it
with indifference to those who commit with composure, it is sometimes
brought so near to us in all its bleak reality of depravity and
affliction, that we cannot well avoid communion with its voices. There
are those who consider emotional culture a duty of self-education, and
who would have us, upon systematic principle, subject ourselves to
frequent contact with guilt and its results. This doctrine may be
carried to excess; and yet but few can say that experience has not
proved that the impressions of an occasional intimacy with life’s deep
tragedies around us are salutary and instructive.

I had stopped for the night, on a journey westward, at the little town
of ——. I was to leave it again in half an hour, and in this short
interval that remained before the coach would arrive which was to carry
me on my way, I was comfortably seated by a table in my own private
apartment, alternately sipping from a cup of coffee and searching for
some item of interest in the columns of a dull weekly, still damp from
the village press. My eye passed hastily over the stereotype remarks of
the country editor, the absurd extravagance of its political articles,
and the unmeaning gossip of the neighborhood, and rested, at last, with
somewhat more interest, upon a paragraph which, under conspicuous
capitals and innumerable marks of exclamation, had been thrust into the
paper at the last moment. It contained the announcement of a robbery of
the United States mail, from the confusion and empty verbiage of which I
extracted these brief facts. The mail had been attacked, just before
dawn, by two ill-looking men, who deliberately dragged the driver from
his seat, tied him to a tree, and then, without further violence to his
person, proceeded to rifle the bags. This done, they had fled, leaving
the open letters scattered in the road, and the driver still bound.
There was nothing, to be sure, very extraordinary in all this, except
that it had occurred but a few hours before, and within two or three
miles of where I sat. But when, soon after, the servant came in, and,
eager to convey such unusual news, informed me that the men had been
hotly pursued and taken, and were then in close custody in one of the
rooms of that very house, on their way to the county prison, my
curiosity, I confess, was fairly roused.

Intensity of character is always interesting, whatever may be its
tendency. Profound intellectuality and abandoned villainy are, perhaps,
equally attractive, when viewed in the light of mere food for
speculation. Our deepest feelings discover themselves in our intercourse
with the eccentric traits of those of our own species. It is seldom the
fear of the elements, or of wild beasts, with which we frighten children
and distress ourselves. It is the terror of strong men, of mad men, or
of dead men, that is, at all times, most natural and most urgent. There
is subject for deep reason and earnest philosophy in these leadings of a
wayward nature.

Some, it is true, are so conversant with such scenes that they lose the
fresh effect which this occurrence had upon me. It was a new thing to
have crime at my very door. It was no ordinary event for me to mingle my
breath with that of outlaw men; of my own shape, indeed, but of wild
passions and strange excitements, who gambled with such desperate
stakes. I dropped the paper, pushed myself back from the table, and bade
the servant go for the landlord.

He soon appeared, and I requested that he would get me a sight of the
prisoners. My curiosity was certainly not unusual, or unnatural, and I
flattered myself that my appearance gave weight to the wish. He
disappeared, but soon returned with a favorable answer. With some
caution, adopted to satisfy my host, lest I should be observed by those
who might wish to indulge a similar desire, and might lead him to regret
his effort in my behalf, I approached the room in which they were
confined, and at a signal agreed upon was admitted.

It was a small apartment. The men were standing at separate windows,
looking out upon that open world from whose highways and endless fields
they had been taken so suddenly. They were heavily manacled at wrist and
ankle. Deep suffering is not sensitive, or easily startled, or perhaps
their apathy in this instance arose from sullenness, but neither of them
turned or moved as I entered. I nodded to an officer watching at the
door, thanked him in low words for his courtesy in indulging my
curiosity, and then leaned back against the wall by his side, and
silently scrutinized the prisoners.

They stood, as I have mentioned, unmoved as statues. Though their faces
were concealed from my view as they looked out, and their backs only
were presented, I could see that in age and general appearance they were
very different. They were both dressed with tolerable decency, except
that their clothes were soiled and torn in the hurry of their flight,
and the struggle of their capture. One of them was evidently very young,
probably not more than twenty, and the long, neglected hair which fell
upon his coat was light and soft. His feet were small, his hands white
and delicate, his person slender and somewhat emaciated. They showed
gentle training.

His companion was older, and his figure shorter and more sturdy. He had
an awkward stoop, and his whole appearance was slouching and ungainly. A
profusion of coarse black hair fell straight over his shoulders, without
curl or gloss, and a thick beard seemed to cover his face. He bore marks
of great strength in his short, thick neck and heavy limbs. This was all
that I could see, and I waited patiently for a change in their
positions.

“They’re both of ’em,” whispered the officer, “strangers in the
neighborhood. I guess it’s a new trade with ’em, for they’re not very
keen. They got nothing for their risk and then didn’t know how to take
themselves off. They’re bad looking chaps though, and I wouldn’t wonder
if they’d seen the inside of a jail before to-day.”

“One of them is very young,” said I, “and looks like a gentleman’s son.
Do you see his hands and feet?”

“You wouldn’t think that of him,” said he, “if you were to see his face
once. It’s the worst face that I ever saw in a young man. They’re both
game, too, and fought like the devil before we got the irons on ’em.
That black, Spanish-looking rascal is as strong as a wild beast. He came
mighty near getting off.”

“Where did you catch them?” said I, “you seem to have been prompt.”

“We found ’em by accident, in the end,” said the officer. “And it was
their own foolishness, too, that brought it about. We had given ’em up,
and were coming home, when we came across this letter. The fellows had
dropped it two or three hundred yards from the house where we nabbed ’m.
They thought they were safe, and were just trying to get something to
eat. We wouldn’t have touched ’em, it’s likely, seeing ’em in a decent
house, but they started, like fools, and looked scared, and all that,
and we knew what to do.”

I took the letter from him as he spoke. The seal had been broken when it
was found. The address immediately arrested my attention. It was really
a very singular coincidence, and I could hardly believe my eyes when I
opened it. The letter was from my most intimate college friend to his
father. I had not seen him for full two years, but in that interval I
had corresponded with him freely, and I knew his present situation and
something of his family history. His father resided in the far west. The
son was at the east. He had remained at college when we parted, where he
was still preparing himself for the bar, and the post-mark showed that
it had been written at that place.

My first impulse, on seeing the signature, was one of honorable
delicacy, and I had half folded the letter to return it to the officer,
when it occurred to me that it had, no doubt, been already read and
re-read; that it would necessarily form part of the chain of the
testimony against the accused; that it would be exposed to inspection by
bench, bar, and jury, and might at length find its way even to the
public papers.

These thoughts decided me, and I opened it and read it. It surprised me
somewhat; and though it may be made a question whether I was right or
wrong in my mode of settling the point of delicacy, there is nothing
which should prevent me now from placing it before the reader as
accurately as my memory will allow after so long a lapse of time. It
will not interest him as it did me, but its contents bear upon other
parts of my story.

It was as follows:

    “MY DEAR FATHER,—I received your letter of the — instant in
    regular course of mail. I was sincerely glad to hear that you
    had so far recovered from an indisposition which at first
    threatened to be serious.

    “I am sorry that my reply will convey news which must distress
    you. George has returned from sea. I met him in the street a few
    days ago with an ill-looking companion. He came upon me
    suddenly. I am never very self-possessed, and I was extremely
    doubtful how to treat him. He saw me, however—knew me at
    once—seized me by the hand and drew me into a public room which
    opened upon the place where we stood. I could not break away
    from him without attracting attention. He affected a pleasure
    which I suppose was assumed, in order to overcome a
    repulsiveness of manner that he could not fail to notice, and
    which I could not help. He asked about you and Mary, and told me
    he was utterly destitute, and needed money for his necessary
    wants. I gave him a small sum to keep him from starving, and
    tried to shake him off. This, however, I could not easily do. He
    went on to say that he had determined to see you again, and
    throw himself on your charity, and was then actually on his way
    to the west. I told him that your feelings had not changed, and
    that his appearance would only make trouble and give you pain.
    His resolution, notwithstanding what I said, seemed unaltered,
    and I am afraid his presence will soon annoy you.

    “His appearance shocked me excessively. He looks bloated and
    depraved beyond description, and I fear from the expression of
    his face, and the air of his companion, that he has gone far in
    vice since he left you.

    “I wish Mary could have seen him as I saw him. She has been so
    unreasonable already, however, that it might be well to send her
    from home in anticipation of the threatened visit. Unless she is
    kept in ignorance of it in this, or some other way, she may yet
    give us much trouble and anxiety. “Give my love to her, and
    believe me

                                       “Your affectionate son,

                                             “HENRY EAGLETON, JR.”

I have said that I was somewhat surprised. My friend had occasionally
mentioned the name of George Ellis, his father’s ward, and had more than
once spoken of his own sister Mary. But though I had deemed our intimacy
sufficient for almost any confidence, he had never touched upon
circumstances bearing in the remotest degree upon those which had thus
accidentally met my eye. Indeed I recollected, or thought I recollected,
that there had always been a certain reserve in his conversation about
Ellis, which had at times excited a casual curiosity. Now the mystery
was in a measure explained. From the letter in my hand I could gather at
a glance the main features of this family trouble. I afterwards learned
that its most important events had happened after I parted with my
friend.

“What names have they given?” said I to the officer, handing back the
letter.

“None at all,” he replied. “The short one can’t or won’t talk English,
and the other is stubborn and says nothing. They’ve jabbered together a
little in some foreign gibberish, but we can’t get any thing out of ’em,
do our best. If they knew what they were about they’d just give in their
names at once as John Smith, or John Jones, and have done with it.
That’s the way the knowing ones do.”

At this instant some one tapped at the door, opened it slightly, and
informed me that the coach was waiting for me. Attracted by the sound
the younger of the prisoners turned fully round. I had been looking for
such a movement, and whispering to the servant that I would be there
presently, and that in the meantime he could take down my trunk, I stood
for a moment longer by the side of the officer, and with as little that
was offensive in my glance as possible, returned steadily the gaze of
the culprit.

The officer was right. In so young a man I had never seen so bad a face.
Marks of brutal passion and dissipation mingled with an expression of
sullen fear upon a countenance which might once have been handsome, but
was now far otherwise. His eyes were heavy and bloodshot, and his skin
red and bloated. But he could not bear my scrutiny, and cut it short by
turning again to the window. I had already delayed longer than I should
have done, and bidding the officer a hasty good-bye, I left the room.

In ten minutes more I was driving rapidly away. On my return, I again
passed through the town, and found upon inquiry the result of the
arrest. The elder of the prisoners had been convicted upon the testimony
of the younger; the former was in prison, the latter at large.

In the pressure of business, however, and of life’s pursuits, the
connected impressions of that scene soon went from me. Matters of deeper
interest occupied my mind and enlisted my attention. My correspondence
with Eagleton, in which of course I never hinted at my singular
adventure, became less and less frequent, and at last ceased entirely;
and before the time over which I now pass so hastily had gone by, I had
well nigh forgotten my early friendship.

                 *        *        *        *        *

It was some five years after the occurrence of the scene which I have
described, that on a visit to the city in whose college I had received a
part of my education, I had occasion to employ counsel to advise me in
the conduct of perplexed and unpleasant business. Seven years’ absence
from the place had nearly obliterated my slight knowledge of its
society, and I was obliged to make some inquiry in reference to the
character and comparative ability of different members of the bar. Among
other names mentioned to me with commendation was that of Henry
Eagleton, my chum and classmate.

I sought no further, but determined without loss of time to see him,
revive our acquaintance, and obtain his services. With the name, too,
came back my recollection of the scene at ——, and I felt a deep desire
to discover, if I could do so with delicacy, the sequel to the brief
narrative of that stolen letter. I obtained his address, and soon stood
at the door of his office. I knocked, and in obedience to a call from
within, entered.

By a large table on which lay open books and scattered papers, in the
confusion and disorder of hasty use, sat my friend writing. He rose as I
entered, and though time had made some change in my appearance and much
more in his, we knew each other at once.

He was thinner and paler than when I had last seen him, and all the
buoyancy of his disposition had gone. Then he was the soul of fun and
innocent mirth, now he was grave, reserved, and business-like, and his
features wore a deep tinge of melancholy. He was chatty and
companionable, however, to me; and as passing from one lively topic to
another we talked of old times and college freaks, his reserve wore
away, and his face lighted up with smiles which probably had not played
upon it for years before, and which made him look much more like my old
friend Harry Eagleton. Maturity and old age are marvelously indulgent to
the faults and follies of their youth, and while we recalled one scene
after another of high frolic or absurd amusement, we almost felt ready
for their mischief again.

As we warmed in a conversation of such a character, old sympathies
revived, and our remarks became closer and more personal. I freely went
over the general course of my life since we had parted, and with
apparently equal openness he spoke of his own career. He had partly
prepared himself for the bar in the proper department of the institution
in which he had been graduated, had completed his training in a private
office in the same city, had determined to settle there permanently in
his profession, had come to the bar under favorable auspices, and with a
delay much less than he had feared, and was now in the full tide of
successful practice, reaping the fruits of an honorable and a lucrative
business.

I asked him, after some time, after his father and sister. In a moment
all sprightliness passed from his countenance, and he answered me with
the deepest gravity.

His father had been dead for several years; his sister was living with
him, a confirmed and hopeless invalid.

I did not mention Ellis’s name, or push my inquiries further, but after
a short and awkward silence touched abruptly on my own matters, and
produced the papers which bore upon the business that had led me to his
office. It was soon arranged. His clear comprehension of facts which I
deemed complicated, and his better information as to their bearing and
effect soon simplified a case of much importance, put it in a light more
favorable to my own interest than I had anticipated, and directed my
future course toward those concerned with me in the result.

This over, our social chat re-commenced; and though I feared to intrude
upon his time, he pressed me to remain seated, with an urgency which I
could not resist. We were soon wandering away again with the memories
which had already proved so pleasant, and which seemed to freshen and
increase as we went on. After a prudent hesitation as to the propriety
of doing so, which perhaps yielded in the end rather to inclination than
to judgment, I availed myself of some accidental turn in our
conversation, and related the adventure of my journey to the west.

I began the story without hinting to him that his name was involved. As
I went on step by step, his eye became fixed on mine with increasing
interest. I mentioned the letter and its address, and was about to tell
its contents, when Eagleton rose suddenly, took me by the hand and led
me into an inner room. As I left the office I saw what I had not noticed
until then. In the shadow of a large, high case, in a remote part of the
apartment, with his hands folded listlessly before him, and his head
drooping heavily over his lap, sat a young man apparently about
twenty-five years of age. In all our lively and even noisy conversation,
not a breath or motion had apprised me of his presence. Without seeming
to observe him, however, I followed my friend. I felt satisfied that I
was now about to be gratified by some disclosure connected with a
history in regard to which all my former curiosity had returned.

He closed the door between the rooms, handed me a chair, drew another
opposite to it, and as we sat down facing each other, he begged me to
resume my narrative. He eyed me steadily as I proceeded, and at times
expressions passed over his features whose meaning, with all my skill, I
could not fathom—expressions of changing but controlled emotion.

I told the story to its end. With an accuracy of memory which surprised
me, and seemed strangely supplied for the call of the occasion, I
repeated this letter as I have given it already. When I mentioned the
arrival of the servant to hurry me away, a shade of disappointment was
evidently perceptible. When I spoke of the sudden movement of the
younger of the prisoners, the hasty opportunity I had obtained, by his
change of position, of examining his face, and then described his
forbidding and depraved appearance, all his eager interest returned, and
he bent forward as he sat, intent upon every word that passed my lips.

I paused at length, for my narrative was at an end; yet though I had
ceased, so absorbed was he in that rapid description, that he still
leaned toward me as though he hoped that I would give one touch more to
the picture. Then he fell back in his chair absorbed in deep thought,
which overlooks all apology for its silence, and peremptorily forbids
interruption—sat thus for some minutes—rose and paced the room with
rapid and unequal strides, and stood in the end abruptly before me.

“Did you pass through —— on your return?” said he with the tone and
manner of one who rather thought the question aloud than uttered it.

I replied that I had, and mentioned in a few words what I had heard in
reference to the prisoners, and the result of the proceedings against
them.

Again Eagleton paced the room. I watched him with earnest curiosity, but
did not by motion or remark interfere with his mood. It was one which
must shortly explain itself. His step became gradually calmer and more
steady, and at length he quietly sank into his chair. His countenance
was grave, but without any manifest traces of agitation or excitement,
and he looked steadily at me as he spoke.

“You saw, no doubt,” said he, “in the room we just left, a young man
seated by a case. I am about to call him in for a moment. Will you be
kind enough to observe him narrowly, and tell me when he is gone whether
you have ever seen him before?”

He rose once more, and with an appearance of composure, which was
evidently assumed, opened the door through which we had just passed,
called to the person who was sitting there, and then quietly resumed his
seat. I heard a slow, shuffling step across the floor within, and
presently the person called, whoever he was, appeared. I looked at him
eagerly.

He was an idiot. I could see that clearly and at a glance. His vacant
face gave undoubted evidence of the visitation of that peculiar judgment
under whose influence the light within goes out; yet his features were
not bad, and if one particle of intelligence had shown in his sunken
eye, he might, perhaps, have passed without notice or remark in spite of
his wan and unhealthy complexion, his unmeaning expression, and his
listless gait and carriage. It was that dull, preternatural stare that
made him so melancholy a spectacle.

I recollected well the face of the younger prisoner. It had made a fast
and painful impression on my mind. Many a time it had been present with
me; seldom as part of the scene in which it first appeared, but coming
suddenly and unattended, looking at me as I mused. In my fancies my
character had assumed it wholly or in fragments. If I slept I had fitted
it to the creatures of my dream. A face alone—nothing else; but a face
clearly chiseled, and with every point and line distinct.

If the man before me and he were the same, a fearful change had passed
over him. But Eagleton had evidently connected the idiot with my story,
and after the eagerness of his manner as I told the result of that last
accidental scrutiny of the features of the man at ——, and his
subsequent singular request, I should have been dull indeed if I had not
seen the drift of his thoughts, though I was in utter ignorance of the
precise course they had pursued, and of the remote reasons of his
conduct. The robber had an eye full of meaning and evil purpose—the
face before me wore no shade of depravity; and yet as I looked
resemblances occurred, became gradually more striking and more
convincing, fastened themselves upon me with a tenacity that I could not
shake off, and at last blended the two faces into one. I became
satisfied of their identity as fully as if the awkward figure before me,
guarded and manacled, were gazing yet from the window at which years
before it had met my eye. It was not mere fancy, or an opinion forced
upon me by the circumstances.

And yet I feared that it was, and to dispel any cloud that might rest
upon my mental vision, or any nervous delusion which interfered with the
correctness of the result at which I aimed, I rose and looked out for a
few moments upon some climbing vines and clustered roses that grew by an
open door, and then resumed my seat.

My friend, rather to aid my observation than to give a reason for his
call, had been speaking slowly to the object of my attention, until
becoming satisfied from my manner that I was prepared to answer his
question, he quietly dismissed him, and turned toward me again with the
same affected composure in his movements, but with an eye full of eager
inquiry.

“Eagleton,” said I, “if I am right, a greater change has passed over
that face in five years than death itself could have produced. But you
have made a request, and I comply with it. I believe, before God, that
the person I have just seen is the same to whose description you have
just been listening. That description does not now apply, and yet it is
a true one. I have doubted my conclusion, and distrusted memory, but I
cannot relieve myself of the conviction I have expressed.”

He was evidently prepared for the answer, and did not seem shocked or
surprised, though the shade of gloom increased upon his countenance. He
rose again, and paced the floor so long that I became impatient.

“I need not tell you,” said he, at last resuming his seat once more,
“that what you have seen, and what you are about to hear, are in the
deepest confidence. I do not ask your pledge to keep it, but I leave it
to your honor till I am dead. You have not only become acquainted, by
accident, with family troubles which I hoped until to-day would die with
those connected with them, but by that same accident have been enabled
to tell me that of which I did not know before, but which, now that I
have heard it, solves many doubts, and explains facts before
inexplicable. I am composed, but the answer to my question, for the
candor of which I thank you, has pained me excessively; and yet, when
you have listened to what I have to say, you will doubtless wonder at my
sensibility upon such a subject as much as you now wonder at my
indifference to your announcement.

“The young man you have just seen is George Ellis. My sister is his
wife. Until your visit to-day, however much I may have suspected, no
words brought to my ear had ever certainly fastened crime upon, or
tainted his name with any thing but vice and dissipation, in which I
know he has been deeply steeped. To-day you have added that stain to his
character. But why should I fret over what cannot be recalled. I have
one real consolation. My sister has never known this new degradation,
and will die in ignorance of your disclosures. As to Ellis, he is past
feeling. You have seen his situation. But I must proceed with my
narrative.”

I do not tell the tale in Eagleton’s words. In spite of all his efforts
to control his feelings, they occasionally broke out in exclamations of
deep pathos and bitter invective, and led him wandering off from the
direct thread of his story. Besides, I subsequently learned many facts
which neither of us knew at that time, but which were closely interwoven
with the scenes through which I am about to carry the reader.

The father of George Ellis and the father of my friend were once
partners in mercantile business, in a thriving town of the West. The
firm was Ellis & Eagleton. It did a large business, was widely known and
much respected. Mr. Ellis was a man of information and integrity, but a
free liver and a man of the world. He never married. He had, however,
this son, whom he seemed to love more warmly because there was a stigma
upon his birth, or, perhaps, because its history was connected with
associations that were painful. But whatever was the reason for his
father’s blind attachment, George was humored and indulged, until, even
while a child, he became the pest and terror of the neighborhood.

It is said that the offspring of illicit passion are generally marked by
insanity of character. Be that as it may, it matters not here. There was
enough to account for the worst traits of his disposition, in the
unbridled license of his early training, and the foolish devotion of a
worldly father. If ever there was an evil spirit in human shape, that
spirit was George Ellis. From the very cradle the fiend showed itself.
Boys of his own age fled from him as if he had been a wild beast.
Eagleton, though older, was afraid of him. No one could govern him,
least of all his own parent; and his reputation for mad freaks and
reckless mischief soon spread far and wide, and rapidly increased as he
became older. And yet with all this, with that dark, bad eye and bold
air, he was as handsome a fellow as ever grew to be a man.

His father died when he was about eighteen. He died utterly bankrupt.
With scrupulous honor, however, even in the excesses which had led to
such a result, he had not involved his firm. On his deathbed he sent for
Mr. Eagleton, told him that he died without a dollar to leave behind
him, and with an earnestness which, perhaps, at such a moment, could not
have been refused, committed his son to his partner’s care.

It was a terrible legacy from a ruined man. My friend’s father might
have known that Mr. Ellis’s wish could not be complied with, and that it
would be absolutely impossible for him to assume such a trust. It would
have been happy for him if he could have felt so. It would have saved
him much affliction, and have given to his life happy years that sorrow
soon cut off. But the destiny was otherwise.

I never saw Mary Eagleton. I know, however, that, at the time of which I
speak, she was the belle of her village, the pet and pride of her father
and brother. At the date of my interview with Henry in a distant city,
she was a mere shadow of what she had once been—a wreck in mind and
body—oppressed with pain and increasing infirmities. These were all
portions of that same fearful legacy.

Before the death of Mr. Ellis she had often seen his son. She was about
his age, and had been attracted by his appearance. This was all. He was
deemed a dangerous acquaintance, and a close and watchful care prevented
intimacy. Now, by the last prayer of a dying parent, the profligate was
brought to her very door, and sat at her very table and fireside. Her
father might have prevented this, and yet have fulfilled his duty to the
dead. He was blind.

They soon understood each other. But their conduct was cautious and
baffled a watchfulness that was keenly awake. I need not clog my
narrative with details. Her brother was away; her father could not be
always near her. George was depraved and heartless, she was young and
foolish. A private marriage terminated their intercourse, for the heart
broken father cast the bridegroom off, at once, sternly, and forever.
His wife never saw him again until, years after, in a distant city, he
was brought to her bedside—an idiot. The bequest was not yet exhausted.
But it might have been worse.

Ellis soon after went to sea in a merchant vessel bound for a foreign
port. He was too abandoned even for such a society. On the first arrival
of the ship at her destination he was set on shore. Without money, or
character, yet with enough shrewdness to keep him from starving, he
plunged desperately into all the temptations of a depraved city. Vice
and poverty soon led to crime. It was not many months before he
concealed himself, a fugitive from justice, on board of a vessel bound
for his own country, and with a companion in his guilt, a Spaniard,
arrived in the United States but a few days before the meeting mentioned
in my friend’s letter.

A few hours after that meeting he and his companion were on their way
westward. Ellis hoped to be received again. The Spaniard had nothing to
lose, and some adventure in a new country might turn to his advantage.
But hard want pressed them sorely. Begging was a slow and servile
support. Labor was not so much as thought of. To such minds an answer to
the fearful questionings of hunger was not doubtful, or long delayed.
Their first adventure was the crime at ——. As Ellis turned over the
letters which they had scattered in the road his eye was attracted by
the address of one of them. He opened it, read it, and quietly put it in
his pocket. It proved, as we have seen, the means of their arrest.

The Spaniard’s name was Antonio. I never heard any other. He was more
mature than Ellis in years and in depravity. But the most striking trait
of his character was one that will appear hereafter. From the moment of
their arrest the prisoners preserved a dogged silence. Antonio could not
speak a word of English. Ellis had his own reason for the course he
pursued. The driver of the mail, whose person they had treated so
unceremoniously, and who, upon their first capture, had been loud in his
confidence of their identity with those who had bound him, a few days
after declared that his first impressions were hasty, and declined
backing his assertion by an oath. The mail which they had robbed had
afforded them nothing worth having, and, at the time of their seizure,
they had about them no evidence of guilt. The only grounds of suspicion
against them were the fact that they were strangers; the letter found
near them; their seeming alarm upon seeing the officers; their dogged
and persevering silence, and their reckless and abandoned appearance.

The prisoners were confined in separate cells. The officers, who have
always motives for industry appealing to them in such cases, saw, at a
glance, which was the oldest and most hardened offender, and from which
of them they were most likely to gain their object. Ellis was wary and
knew their game, but he was without honor, and intensely selfish. His
sullenness at last relaxed. He gave them, cautiously, to understand that
he would convict Antonio to secure his own escape, and it was determined
to use him as a witness against his accomplice.

I need not give the details of the trial. Ellis appeared in the box and
gave evidence, coolly, against the accused. The Spaniard was too much a
stranger to the form of the proceeding to understand the scheme at once.
But light at last broke in upon him and revealed the treachery. From
that moment one burning dream, overcoming all fear of punishment, and
strangely composing the bitterness of solitude rested upon him. It was a
delirious prayer for revenge, in a heart as malignant as was ever shut
from human eye. The witness would have trembled if he could have looked
within it.

The evidence was effectual. Antonio was convicted, and received the
severest sentence that the law allowed—ten years imprisonment. He was
taken to his cell. Ellis went at large.

A copy of Eagleton’s letter to his father had been re-mailed, several
weeks after the arrest, by some person to whose hand it had come, more
considerate than those who had first held it. At the foot a brief
explanation was given of the circumstances which rendered it necessary
to retain the original, and an apology for the delay in communicating
its contents. When it reached its destination Mr. Eagleton was laboring
under a second and more serious attack of the same illness which the
letter mentioned. It had been brought about by mental suffering, and, so
alarming were the symptoms, that his daughter had just despatched a
letter to hasten her brother home.

It was at this juncture that the copy was received. As she had
frequently done before since her father’s sickness, Mary opened the
letter to read it aloud. It surprised her. It began as only her
brother’s letters began, and yet the handwriting was not his. As she
read she grew pale, her lips trembled, and at length bursting into
tears, she left the room. The invalid took it from the bed, on which she
had dropped it, sat up, and, much moved, read it through. The news was
such as he did not wish to believe. The whole matter was singular, and
with a flushed face and increased fever he dropped again upon his
pillow. If it were really from his son, all reserve or secrecy toward
his daughter was at an end, and all that could be done was to await her
husband’s arrival.

The excitement was injurious, Mr. Eagleton became so much feebler from
day to day that Mary’s greatest fear now was that her brother might not
come until too late. It was as she had apprehended. Death came rapidly
on, and she was alone at its crisis. In a few days she sat beside the
dead body of her father, and in a few more, the only mourner, followed
him to his grave.

And yet her brother did not come. Again and again she wrote to him, with
an urgency which showed how lonely and unprotected she felt. There was a
trial which she anticipated, and which she feared to meet without his
aid. She felt assured that her first letter had not reached him, and the
journey was one of many days.

A traveler arrived at last, but it was not Henry. In the hall of the
mansion from which he had been thrust out with bitter curses, tattered
and wretched and bleached with prison gloom, stood the outcast, the
fugitive, the robber, the dishonored witness—George Ellis. His wife had
pledged her word to her dying father that she would not see him again,
and here he stood in her very house, her rightful husband. Her heart
throbbed fearfully between returning love and religious duty. But she
kept her word to the dead, refused to see him, and shutting herself in
her own room, awaited the coming of her brother.

Mr. Eagleton had left a will, but it bore date before the marriage, and
did not provide for the state of things which that event produced. Ellis
was aware that as her husband he had legal rights, and that her father’s
death had given them effect; but he was ignorant of their actual nature,
and caution taught him to refrain from violence. He did not intrude upon
his wife’s privacy, but, with all the coolness of villainy, he made
himself at home in the house from which the dead had just been borne,
and trusted to her woman’s weakness, and a love, the strength of which
he knew too well, to cure her of her solitary mood.

But my friend appeared, and the face of affairs soon changed. He met
Ellis on his arrival, and, surprised at his presence, soon gathered from
the servants a history of what had occurred. His first impulse was to
eject him forcibly, but better suggestions made him change his purpose.
Without allowing them to inform his sister of his arrival, he hastened
to the office of his father’s attorney and apprised himself of the
precise nature of the intruder’s rights. He knew his want of money, and
with a paper carefully drawn, releasing all claim to the estate of Mr.
Eagleton, he returned home. He soon had an interview with Ellis, and
offered him a certain sum, to be paid upon the spot, if he would sign
the instrument. He refused at first, peremptorily, then asked an advance
in the offer, and, at last, finding that he could do no better, put his
name to the paper, coolly pocketed the money and left the house.

The estate was soon settled. Their native place was connected with
associations so painful that they were glad to leave it, and in a few
weeks they were quietly domiciled in the city where I found them.

It was a year, at least, after the death of Mr. Eagleton, when early one
morning on the high-road leading to the village in which he had lived,
the dead body of a wealthy farmer was found by some one passing by. It
bore marks of violence which none could doubt. A murder had been
committed.

Excitement burned in the town and in the neighborhood. Within the memory
of the oldest inhabitant no similar act of violence had been committed.
Suspicion first ran riot, then settled, as if by common agreement, upon
George Ellis. It was not strange that conjecture should have taken that
course.

Ellis did not leave the town when he last turned from the door which had
twice cast him off. He remained, for the simple reason that he knew not
where else to go. He lurked about its vilest places and made low friends
by his ill-gotten money. But he soon lost both, and yet he stayed. No
one knew how he lived. He crossed the paths of citizens in strange
places and unusual hours. He went in and came out like no one else. His
worst companions had shaken him off. He was the very one upon whom any
crime would have been first cast.

He felt the suspicion and tried to live it down. His efforts gave it a
new stimulus. He braved public opinion, sought public places, became
noisy and obtrusive. Many thought this sudden change of manner justified
his arrest, and so strong became at last the feeling against him that
the suggestion was followed. He was seized without oath, examined
without effect, and committed in the end to await his trial upon
evidence that would have convicted half of the community. Public opinion
is hard law.

New facts came out. The prisoner had been seen abroad much later than
usual on the night before the murder. He had mentioned it to some one
early on the morning after it had been committed. His manner, it was
said, had been more hurried and excited for a day or two before it
occurred. What a silly thing suspicion is. How easy to feed it. And yet
these and a dozen other like stories were passed about by grave men in
eager gossip. The net was cast and brought in of every kind.

An indictment was found; who dare have said nay. The trial drew near—it
came too slowly. Yet all this while nothing serious or substantial had
come to light in any way connecting Ellis with the deed.

He protested his innocence firmly and without contradiction. His counsel
encouraged him. Public opinion was not to try him. The flimsy rumors
that had ruled the market-house and the tavern door would be winnowed
and sifted. No conviction could be had upon such testimony.

The day came, and in a court-room thronged as it had never been before,
a jury was sworn with much difficulty—for few had not formed or
expressed an opinion. This done, the trial proceeded.

The testimony began after a short opening. First in order, in grave
detail of examination and cross-examination, came that which bore upon
the finding of the body—its appearance—the wounds it showed—the
opinion of medical men that such wounds caused the death, and the nature
of the weapon used. It was in evidence that a small and peculiar pistol
had been found not far off from the place where the murdered man lay. It
had no doubt been fired close to his head, for the upper part of it was
entirely blown away. The pockets had been rifled, and all that was
valuable about his person had been removed.

Then followed the proof connecting the prisoner with the crime. It
consisted entirely of such facts as those we have given, and even these
presented with doubt and contradiction. The last witness had retired
from the box, and the counsel for the state was about to close his case,
when a bustle was heard in the crowd, and a pedlar with his pack upon
his back, forced on by the crowd, made his way toward the bar. A bailiff
stopped him, when a citizen well known in the town, and who had from the
first been earnest in his voice against the accused, stepped forward and
spoke to the officer. The pack was removed, and the pedlar was admitted
within the enclosure in which the prosecuting attorney sat. An earnest
conversation followed. Ellis and his counsel were anxious, but not more
so than their professional opponent, who was a gentleman of high
principle, and a humanity unusual in such a station. The latter now rose
and asked permission to be absent for a short time, and taking the
pistol from the table, he beckoned the new comer to follow him, and left
the court-room. They were absent some twenty minutes, and when they
returned the stranger was put at once into the witness box.

His story was simple, and no severity of cross-examination could baffle
its force or procure a contradiction. He had sold that very pistol to
the prisoner, whom he had met in the public road two days before the
murder. Ellis he could not mistake—the weapon he could swear to on his
deathbed. He was in the village now by accident, had come to the trial
from curiosity, had made an unguarded explanation when he first saw the
accused, and in spite of his unwillingness to give testimony in a case
of life and death, he had been forced up by those around. This was
simple, but direct and damning.

The witness had one of those heavy faces which are the most difficult to
decipher. Ellis scrutinized him closely. He was confident he had never
seen him before. Sick at heart, and bewildered by what he deemed a
gratuitous and wanton effort to swear away his life, yet powerless in
the grasp of villainy, he turned from him, and as he did so his eye fell
on another face, whose glance drove the blood throbbing to his heart. It
was the face of Antonio. With a fevered brow and a dry tongue he leaned
toward his counsel, and hastily whispered his fears. It was too late now
to ferret out a conspiracy, and when he turned again the Spaniard was
gone, and that impenetrable witness stood coolly in the box awaiting his
dismissal. God of compassion! he was taken in the snare.

An agony to be loose when no hand was on him; a frenzy to be free when
no bars were round him. Was he going mad? Then a film came over his mind
thicker—thicker. He buried his face in his hands, and the veins upon
his forehead were swollen and knotted. Memories went over him like the
rushing of a host.

The evidence on the part of the state now closed. None was offered on
behalf of the prisoner. The counsel summed up the evidence;—the charge
of the court followed;—the jury retired, soon returned, and their
foreman gave in a verdict. Guilty!

Ellis had undermined his constitution by excesses. But from the instant
when that word fell upon his ear a decay, far less gradual, began in
mind and body. He did not faint or weep; he did not reason, resist, or
complain. The withering blight of years came upon him in a few short
days, but no eye saw the change.

It was some weeks after the trial that as Eagleton glanced over one of
the morning papers, a paragraph met his eye which riveted his attention.
It was an announcement of the execution of George Ellis, to take place
in a month from that time.

He was deeply shocked. Feelings struggled in his breast that were never
there before. He asked himself questions until then never suggested.
Might not this result have been averted? Had his conscience no one weak
point in all the history of his course toward one over whom a parent had
thrown the sacred protection of a dying trust? Had they done the outcast
a justice that could bear the light of humanity as well as of reason?
Was there no shadow of selfishness in the motives that had twice cast
him upon the world?

One duty, however, was clear. He could not let the wretched man die
alone. He must see him if it were only to stand by him on the scaffold.
That over, a dying parent’s prayer would no longer appeal to him, except
perhaps to bury the dead out of sight.

He plead business to his sister, and started on his way. Night and day
he traveled, those solemn questions still communing with his spirit. He
was a deep-hearted man, and sorrow had made his sensibilities sore.
Night and day—night and day. If he dreamed, George Ellis was there,
straight and handsome, his dark eye softened into sympathy, and Mary on
his arm—a lovely bride; and suddenly the scene changed, and a creature
bloated and miserable stood upon a scaffold, with a sea of heads heaving
before it, and its bloodshot gaze upon him, not in anger, but in
mournful rebuke;—and again it was George Ellis.

He reached the town, and was admitted to his cell. The prisoner was pale
and emaciated, and a sluggish apathy was in his air, which seemed
indifference to life. He recognized Eagleton, but greeted him coldly,
and declined all his proffered visits. And yet there was no resentment
in his manner. The misery of life had burnt away the wished for rest and
quiet sleep. Before Henry left him, however,—abruptly, and without
question, but with an energy that appeared to wake up for the purpose,
and a call upon God to attest his truth—he swore that he was innocent
of the crime he was to expiate.

Eagleton left him in deep emotion. He busied himself at once in
collecting information as to the murder, the trial, and the ground of
conviction. He made diligent search for the strange witness, and strove
for a pardon or reprieve. It was in vain. A sentence was a sterner thing
then than now, and the verdict of twelve men more inviolable.

The day fixed for the execution arrived. It was near noon when a gloomy
procession left the prison gate and wound through the opening crowd to
the foot of the gallows. The scaffold bore at last the prisoner, the
sheriff, a deputy, found at the last moment to relieve him from the
hateful duty of taking life, a clergyman, and Eagleton. The first was
still, stupid, and indifferent. No sound escaped him as his irons were
removed, and his hands bound; no voice passed his lips as time was given
him to bid those around farewell. The man of God knelt in prayer, then
rose and fell back. The executioner approached.

My friend watched him with intense interest. He was masked. His manner
was singular, and a deep excitement pervaded his movements. A strange
and unaccountable suspicion of the man crept over Eagleton, he knew not
why.

He raised the cap which was to shut out the world forever from the
wretched being by his side. But before it rested on the head for which
it was intended, he who held it seemed to have a purpose to fulfil. He
leaned quickly forward, whispered in that passive ear, and for a single
instant raised his mask. Eyes of fire glared from under it. It was
Antonio once more. What he said no mortal knows; but if ages of burning
malignity and pent passion can be distilled into one word, that word, no
doubt, was in the prisoner’s ear. He started and looked up, and a
shudder passed over his frame. Then, in one instant, all his apathy was
gone, and he struggled like a madman to free his hands. The Spaniard saw
his error, and strove to retrieve it. But the frantic exertions of the
prisoner foiled him.

Eagleton himself could be passive no longer. He had seen it all, and
felt that the sudden change that had passed upon Ellis was not the mere
change of fear grown riotous at the last. He seized the stranger, tore
off his mask, and called for aid. Quicker than thought the executioner
drew a pistol from his breast and fired it. The prisoner fell upon the
scaffold. He then quietly surrendered himself. As the sheriff, until now
transfixed by the scene, approached and drew from the hand of his
strange deputy the weapon just used, he started at its resemblance to
the one which had been produced at the trial, the peculiar marks of
which were strongly impressed upon his memory.

The intervention of those who could act with authority was procured.
There was clearly a plot against the prisoner’s life, in which the
strange witness was the first actor, and the executioner the second.
Humanity rode down the sharp points of legal form. The scaffold was soon
cleared. The multitude retired. The gallows fell beneath axe and hammer;
and the only evidence of that stirring scene was the grass trampled by
the eager crowd.

My friend next day visited Antonio in his cell. He asked after his
victim, and being told that the wound was mortal, and that he was dying,
made a full confession. He had escaped from his prison;—_he_ had been
the murderer;—the witness was his tool;—he had gone upon the scaffold
to finish his revenge, and to glut his passion with the agonies of a
frightful death. It was singular, but for some reason best known to
himself, he left Eagleton in ignorance of the cause of his malice, and
of the crime at ——.

Ellis did not die. His wound was thought to be mortal—it was only
severe. He recovered, but his mind was dead, and Eagleton took him to
his own home, harmless and passive as a new-born child.

They are all gone now—the brother, the sister, and her idiot husband.
The green sod has grown for years over their graves, and I tell their
story in the full conviction that no heart will be wounded, and no
delicacy hurt by a recital of facts which to me are full of interest.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                            LADY JANE GREY.


                          BY MRS. E. J. EAMES.


          “So early wise?”

    Lady fair! why linger’st thou?
    Hearest not? they call thee now:—
    Thy father’s park is filled to-day
    With noble lords and ladies gay—
    A princely band, with horn and spear,
    Are out to hunt the fallow deer;
    Put on thy graceful green array
    And hie thee to the chase away,
    Lord Guilford Dudley waits below,
    Lady, close the book and go!

    What! bending still above the page?
    Doth _it_ thy woman-thoughts engage?
    Is it ancient Plato’s classic lore
    Thine eager eye is poring o’er?
    Well may old Roger Ascham smile
    To see thee sit amid that pile
    Of musty tomes, and gravely ask
    Which study next must be thy task.
    Methinks he pierced futurity
    When he bade thee scorn earth’s vanity!

    Lady fair! go forth to-night—
    The royal halls are glittering bright,
    Quick—don this gorgeous robe of state—
    Northumberland will on thee wait.
    Wreathe the crown jewels on thy brow,
    And gem with these thy neck of snow:
    Now fasten down this diamond zone—
    So—there thou’rt ready, trembling one!
    The festival is made for thee—
    Come—join the queenly pageantry!

    Oh, loveliest lady! turn not pale—
    Why should thy lofty courage fail?
    See England’s proudest chivalrie
    Wait at thy feet to bend the knee—
    To raise thee to the Tudor’s throne
    Their duty, and their hearts thine own!
    Even haughty Mary boweth low
    And offereth thee her loyal vow—
    Noble and prince thy claim have owned—
    Lo! there thou standest crowned and throned.

    The Tower!—a cell in yon gray tower
    Is the price of Edward’s fatal dower!
    A bloody doom is on thee cast—
    The sentence for thy death hath passed!
    Yea, death for one so young and fair—
    Yet wearest thou no look of care:
    Still on thy book thine eye is bent,
    Bespeaking wisdom and content—
    Wo! that on cold Ambition’s shrine
    Is sacrificed a mind like thine.

    Come, lady, come! the muffled bell
    Is tolling now thy husband’s knell!
    Another hour, and there will be
    No earthly care for him or thee!
    Go—all undimmed in thy beauty go—
    With holy truth upon thy brow:
    A lot of glittering wretchedness
    Is well exchanged for Heaven’s own bliss;
    Thou’st won the martyr’s crown and wreath—
    Joy to thee, peerless bride of Death!

                 *        *        *        *        *



                           THE YOUNG PAINTER.


                                A TALE.


                         BY MRS. JANE L. SWIFT.


Among the vast number of individuals continually visiting the regions of
the old world, how few are prepared by an enlightened education and a
cultivated taste, to appreciate its strong claims upon the admiration of
the traveler. A love of the beautiful in nature, and a veneration for
the ancient in art, may combine to give a glowing interest to each step
that is taken upon the soil of older climes; but to minds that feel how
much we owe to the early annals of those climes—how the accumulated
treasures of historic lore have pointed out the quicksands of
legislation—how experience has sounded its alarm from the rocks upon
which nation after nation has struck and gone down; to minds that feel
how time has traced upon the chart of the world’s destiny a warning
record for those that come after—the government and institutions, the
splendor and the decay, the rise and the downfall of the countries over
which they wander, cannot fail to awaken the deepest interest, and to
imbue with the holiness of truth the associations that must continually
arise. It is one thing to have read the history of a country—to have a
knowledge of its successive kings, emperors, or rulers; to know the
results of its convulsions and its battles; to be able to date the
events that have crowned with glory or branded with ignominy its
name—and it is another thing to have digested the information thus
obtained; to have acquired a succinct view of the bearing of social and
political institutions upon the genius of the people existing under
them; and to have become acquainted with the predominant influences
which conducted that country to its ascent, or hastened it to its
decline. A noble structure is left for us to gaze upon; a relic of
by-gone ages, full of rents and fissures, and bearing upon its time-worn
towers the ivy of decay. It speaks to us of the course of empire, of the
march of intellect, of the sway of mind, of the abuse of power, of the
horrors of war, of the extinction of nations. It stands as a beacon to
enlighten the world’s rulers; to teach them that what has been shall be;
and to display its warning torch for the Future in the history of the
Past.

History is to the mental what Revelation is to the spiritual vision. The
former clears away the darkness which rests upon our perceptions with
regard to the well-being and destiny of nations; the latter dispels the
cloud which hangs over the unevangelized world with regard to the
well-being and destiny of man. It does not require a moment’s thought to
be convinced, that he who visits classic ground with a mind conversant
with and delighting in the glowing pages of ancient lore, will
experience an enjoyment tenfold to that of him who finds all things new,
and who, content with the attraction of novelty, neither knows nor cares
to know of the mighty deeds that have cursed or consecrated its soil.
True, there are sunny landscapes smiling for him, and works of art
beautiful in their decay around him; but they cannot be to him as
familiar things, for he had perchance never heard of their existence
until he gazed upon them. The charm of association can beautify and
hallow the most barren spot. What may it not do, then, when its golden
hue is cast upon the monuments of former greatness—monuments crumbling
to their fall, but speaking of a people, and of a grandeur, which
centuries ago had passed away.

Thoughts like these were floating through the mind of a young traveler,
as he gazed out of the window of the post chaise that was rapidly
approaching the place of his destination. He was the eldest son of a
wealthy English commoner, who, having traced in the early years of his
child the bright promise of a noble intellect, had assiduously applied
himself to its cultivation and improvement. A man of no inconsiderable
literary attainment himself he could fully appreciate the advantages of
a highly finished education, and as the mind of his son daily developed
its natural endowments, it became his delight and pride to direct that
young mind in its pursuit of knowledge. As Arthur Melburn advanced
toward manhood, the energies of his nature seemed concentrated upon the
all-absorbing love of study; and in the classic writers of Greece and
Rome, he found a never failing source of interest and of pleasure. A
sojourn in those regions of former splendor had been from boyhood the
brightest day-dream of his young spirit; and often had that spirit taken
its airy flight among the scenes described by the matchless pens of
Grecian and Roman historians. In the noble, heart-stirring legends of
ancient Rome, he learned to feel a veneration for the clime and for the
people which had been marked out for such exalted destinies; while in
the shade of the academic grove he bent with profound admiration before
the master-minds of philosophers and sages. Upon his return from the
University of Cambridge, at the age of three-and-twenty, he set out upon
his long anticipated tour, well prepared to enjoy and to appreciate the
beautiful in nature, the wonderful in art, and the mighty in mind.

Unlike the generality of earth’s gifted ones, Arthur Melburn possessed a
well balanced, well regulated judgment, with a discretion beyond his
years. Yet, as every character must have its own tinge of imperfection,
he possessed that chilling reserve of disposition which characterizes
his nation, and was too prone to seek his enjoyment in himself, without
due regard to the claims of those around him. This feeling, so apt to
degenerate into confirmed selfishness, had frequently been the subject
of earnest expostulation between the father and son; but not until
Arthur Melburn had visited the gay _salons_ of Paris, and the still
gayer coteries of Vienna, was he aware how unpopular and repulsive such
an _abord_ must be. The conviction thus forced upon him, soon wrought a
change in the young Englishman’s address; and although the “so far shalt
thou come and no further” of old England still clung to him, yet he was
in every respect the accomplished scholar, the courteous and polished
man.

It was a bright and lovely day in October, such an one as gives
elasticity to the frame, and tinges the cheek with a ruddier glow. The
sun was declining in the heavens, and streaks of golden light fell upon
the landscape, which met the traveler’s eye as he reached the heights
near Boccano, and looked for the first time upon the domes and towers of
Rome. It is not easy to describe the varied associations that poured
their tide of hallowed memories into his mind. He was not an enthusiast.
He was one who felt deeply, although he felt calmly; yet an attentive
observer might have marked a faint flush pass over his brow, while the
veins of his temples swelled, and his eye dilated as he gazed.

A young Italian had been his companion on the route from Florence, and
our traveler had become singularly interested in his new acquaintance.
He was a native of Rome, possessing all the fire and passionate ardor of
that clime, combined with a melancholy that seemed ill-suited to his
years. He was slight, and of small stature, but with a countenance of
intellectual beauty that could not be surpassed. The rich, glossy curls
fell upon a brow as white as ivory; and the dark eye gleamed from
beneath that brow as if it would pierce into your soul. But his cheek
was very, very pale, and the chiselled lips had lost their ruby hue. He
was evidently in declining health, and Arthur Melburn felt his heart
warm toward the unknown but interesting companion of his journey.

“The air is chilly, too chilly I fear for you,” said Melburn kindly;
“let me draw up the window, or else change seats with me.”

“Thank you,” replied the young Italian, “the air does me good—it
strengthens me; and see,” he added, “we are nearly at our journey’s
end.”

“I trust,” returned Melburn with a smile, “that the acquaintance so
agreeably commenced between us may not be discontinued upon our arrival
in Rome. I anticipate making a stay of many weeks there, and it will
give me unfeigned satisfaction to renew our intercourse.”

A crimson flush passed over the pallid cheek of the Italian as he warmly
grasped Melburn’s hand and said, “Yes, yes, I have felt my spirit yearn
toward you with an unaccountable sympathy. I have loved but few, and
fewer still have cared for me. Yours is a brighter and a happier destiny
than mine. What have you to gain by knowing me? Yet I would gladly look
upon you as a friend—indeed, indeed I would.”

Melburn cordially pressed the feverish hand within his own; and giving
his address to the Italian, asked for his in return.

“My name is Giovanni Rosa, and—”

The Englishman uttered an exclamation of surprise, and said, “You are
not, then, entirely unknown to me. I have heard of you as the most
promising of the young painters of Italy.”

“Ah!” sighed the Italian, “to win immortality for the name of Giovanni
Rosa would reconcile me to life, barren and blasted as it is.”

“You are too young to speak thus despondingly of life, Signor Rosa;
believe me, all have their peculiar trials, and with an honorable career
before you, these trials should be met and overcome. We will talk of
this hereafter.”

The carriage stopped; Melburn alighted at the door of his hotel, and,
after arranging an interview for the morrow, the two newly made friends
separated.

It was a great disappointment to our young traveler to find, upon his
arrival at Rome, that his uncle’s family, which he had expected to meet
there, had left but a week or two before. He was to have joined their
party; but, owing to the miscarriage of his letters, they had proceeded
on their journey, leaving information for him that they should soon
retrace their steps, and probably pass the winter in Rome. After some
deliberation, Melburn concluded that it was as well for him to remain
and wait their return, although his heart beat more quickly as he
thought of his long anticipated meeting with his beautiful cousin, Alice
Templeton, whom he had not seen for more than a year. He had cherished a
preference for her from early boyhood; but as they had met rarely, and
then at long intervals, that preference had not yet acquired the
strength of love. Yet there were pure, sweet memories connected with
her; for in childhood he had often smoothed her golden curls as her
little head lay upon his bosom, and in later years he had seen the
mantling blush overspread her countenance, as he pressed the kiss of
meeting or of parting upon her brow. But he was in Rome—this reconciled
him to the delay; and as his mind wandered back again to its treasured
lore, he felt that he trod the courts of a temple consecrated to dead
empires, and that the very dust beneath his feet was hallowed.

Accompanied by the enthusiastic Italian, with what exquisite
satisfaction did he visit the ruined monuments of the ancient mistress
of the world, the queen of nations! How time flew by, as from spot to
spot he traced the steps of desolation and decay; and when memory
reverted to the three hundred triumphs that had been celebrated within
the walls of the seven-hilled city, he felt how hollow and frail a thing
was the pageantry of earth. The empty sepulchres, the ruined temples,
the mouldering arches, the tottering piles—these were but the scattered
fragments of Rome’s glory; the broken and tarnished jewels of her
matchless crown.

It was on a mild, beautiful afternoon, about a month after his arrival,
that Arthur Melburn sat alone in the studio of the young painter. They
had made an engagement to visit the Coliseum together by moonlight; and
Melburn, not finding him at home, concluded to wait for his return. As
he looked upon the pictures which the glowing pencil of Rosa had traced
upon the canvas, he saw how each bore the stamp of the wild beauty that
characterized the mind of the painter. In his designs there was a dreamy
mystery and gloom that seemed to cast a shadow upon the sunny tints; and
made you feel as if storm and calm, hope and despair, were struggling
for the mastery. One picture, a mere sketch, soon attracted the
attention of Melburn. There was a wild torrent rushing over dark and
pointed rocks. Upon one side of the stream was a towering oak whose
leaves were still green and luxuriant, although it had been riven to its
very centre by the thunderbolt; while its scorched and blackened trunk
stood in strong contrast with the fresh verdure that surrounded it. Upon
the stream, where all was calm, there floated a little bark, moored
safely in its glassy haven, with a female figure reclining listlessly at
its prow; while, driving on among the rocks and whirlpools, and hurrying
to destruction, was another boat, in which knelt the figure of a man.
His face was turned toward the serene and quiet haven, but he was not
aware of the perils that surrounded him; for his gaze was riveted upon
that vision of beauty, and the oar, fallen from his hand, had already
been carried over the edge of the fearful torrent. Melburn was so intent
contemplating the powerful effect produced by the lights and shades of
the painter’s pencil, that he did not notice his entrance until he stood
with folded arms beside him.

“It is thus with life, is it not, Melburn?” murmured the soft, low tones
of Giovanni. “A few sunny hours upon the glassy bosom of its stream, and
then the threatening waves and foaming surges bear us wildly on. In the
distance is some bright vision—the Egeria of our hearts—embodying all
that youth, and hope, and love can sigh for. Alas! the unattained; how
it woos and mocks, but to woo and mock again. We are but the sport of
destiny; and as that destiny grows dim and dark, fate looks on with a
smile, and we are hurried into the still waters of oblivion.”

Melburn turned his calm eye upon the excited countenance of the speaker.
“Giovanni, life is indeed a troubled stream, and man is launched in a
frail bark upon its waves; but the means to stem those waves, and to
guide that bark, are given him, and if those means be cast aside, why
call it destiny that hurries him to destruction? Your matchless picture
has called up stern and solemn thoughts. Look at it, Giovanni; the oars
are fallen overboard, the rudder is useless at the helm, the compass
vibrates, but meets not the eye it was given to guide. Is the
recklessness that suffers the vessel with its priceless freight to near
the torrent’s brink—is that recklessness destiny?”

“Are we not what we are, Melburn, by an inevitable necessity? Can I
change the course of events, which in themselves are fixed and
unalterable? As soon may you gather up the burning fluid of the
thunderbolt in your hand, as arrest or turn aside the decrees of fate.”

“Look, Giovanni; since you have entered, the heavens are darkened by an
approaching tempest. Yonder spire out-tops the surrounding buildings,
and presents a mark for the lightning’s unerring aim. But see! upon its
point there is an iron rod, and that rod can preserve the magnificent
structure from desolation. Would it be well to leave it unprotected, and
call it destiny that would at some future day make it a heap of
smouldering ruins?”

“No,” replied the Italian despondingly; “but man, man is ever fulfilling
_his_ unalterable destiny.”

“You are only a superficial disciple of the fatalists,” answered
Melburn, smiling; “for you have failed to cultivate the equanimity and
indifference to fate which they teach. Believe me, dear Giovanni, man is
not a puppet in the hands of fate. He is a rational, accountable being,
destined for immortality; dependent, I admit, upon a wise over-ruling
Providence for the allotment of good or evil in this life; but he may of
his own free will abuse the good to his destruction, or make the evil
profitable to his improvement. As the warm breeze of the south enervates
the frame it blows upon, so would a life without trial rob manhood of
the discipline that braces and nerves the soul to godlike strength. As
each difficulty or disappointment comes upon us, we should strive to
hear the voice that spoke to Constantine in his memorable vision, ‘In
this, overcome.’”

The Italian grasped the hand of Melburn; “Speak on,” he murmured, “for
your words fall in gentle tones upon my heart, and the slumbering
memories of other years, when a mother’s voice lulled me to repose, are
crowding upon my soul. Speak on, for holier thoughts come at your
bidding—thoughts of a being who was not always shrouded in blackness
and tempest—thoughts long buried in the ashes of a consuming ambition
and a hopeless love. Yet there are moments, Melburn, when a ‘still small
voice’ is heard above the storm of earthly passions, and the weary
spirit yearns to catch the blessed accents as they fall; but the blast
sweeps on, and the voice is drowned in the contending din.”

“It is your misfortune, Giovanni, to possess the keen sensibilities, and
the finely strung nerves of genius. You worship the beautiful, and you
feel the slightest discord in the harmony of your emotions with an
intensity unknown to mankind in general. You perceive quickly, you
appreciate vividly, you love passionately. But the pearls of existence
are strung upon a slender thread, and the anxious grasp that would
secure, too often scatters them in the dust. You are a child of impulse,
and the same fire that kindles the flame of ambition within your soul,
is searing your spirit with its fervid glow. If the dew of heaven water
the parched flower, it will bloom again; and the dew of a better, purer
hope will revive the blossom of happiness in your heart, Giovanni.”

“Never! never! the wilted flower may revive, but when the worm has been
busy at the root, what then?”

“The broken spirit may lean upon Omnipotence, Giovanni. He who holds in
his hands the destinies of worlds, and whose infinite mind originated
the eternal mysteries of the universe, he supports the sparrow on the
wing, and it falls not to the ground without his knowledge. Shall man,
the most glorious of his works, the image of himself, the denizen of
immortality, shall man pine under the weight of his earthly fetters, and
find no ark of refuge? Forbid it, Heaven!”

A silence of some minutes ensued, and a burning drop fell upon Melburn’s
hand, which was clasped in that of the Italian.

The rain, which had been falling in torrents, ceased, the clouds cleared
away, and the last rays of the setting sun streamed in bright effulgence
as it sank to its repose. Slowly faded the gorgeous tints that had robed
the sky in glory, and as the drapery of heaven darkened in its hue, here
and there a faint star peeped out, and then the full-orbed moon shed her
pure and mystic light upon the scene. At this moment, beneath the window
where they sat, appeared a young Italian girl, who, after gazing for an
instant upon the face of Giovanni, struck with a master-touch the guitar
which she held, and poured forth, in a voice of exquisite melody, the
following wild strain:—

        Weep, weep for the cheek that has paled ’neath the kiss
                        Given by thee;
        Weep, weep for the past, with its moments of bliss,
                        Once shared by me.

        Weep, weep for the sinless, who cast her heart’s pearl
                        On love’s purest shrine;
        Thine, thine was the altar upon which it lay—
                        The offering was mine.

        Smile, smile for the transplanted flower that blooms—
                        It blooms not for thee;
        There’s death in the poisonous incense it breathes—
                        To thee and to me.

        Weep, weep that the shroud, with its lily-white hue,
                        Must ere long be mine;
        Aye, weep for the destiny, blighting and drear,
                        That made my heart thine.

The next moment she had disappeared, and Melburn turned to look at
Giovanni. His head was bowed upon his hand, and he breathed quickly, as
if overpowered by suppressed emotion. There was a long and heavy pause.
“Melburn,” said he at last, “have you ever loved?”

A stern, cold expression passed over the countenance of the young
Englishman, which did not escape the quick eye of Rosa, and he resumed;
“A portion of the veil has been lifted which hides from you the secret
of my unhappiness. Despise me not, Melburn, when I tell you that I have
ceased to love _her_. Why, why was I born to bring blight upon others as
well as upon myself? Left an orphan at an early age, penniless and
friendless, I have struggled thus far through life, just earning the
bread that supports me. Burning with an ambition to excel in the godlike
art I worship, I have drained but one or two scanty drops of fame for
years of intense study. I have seen influence and patronage draw out of
obscurity talent less deserving than mine, while I have been left to
grovel in the dust of neglect and poverty. With bitterness of spirit I
have tasted the injustice of the world, and its bought smiles have
withered almost to the root the hopes that I dared to cherish. In the
midst of my loneliness and sorrow there beamed a vision of comfort upon
my soul; and the impassioned being, whose song just met your ear,
wreathed a charm around my heart which I mistook for love. You of a
colder clime know not the fearful fire that gives intensity to every
emotion, and makes the life-blood rush with the impetuosity of a
torrent. Conventional prejudices would make you judge harshly of the
love that overpowers reason, propriety, and prudence; but Bianca was a
child of nature, and in loving me, she cast all her heart’s treasure
into my arms. We were both poor—we could not marry; but she was to have
been my wife. Fate threw in my way another from your own cold clime. Ah,
the beautiful! how I worshiped it in her. We met at the Vatican, where
she was copying a sketch by Rubens. A celebrated painter introduced me
to her. She visited my pictures, and the meed of approval that fell from
her lips sank into my soul. She was gentle, with all the winning
gentleness of woman; but the chaste snow was not more cold. I gazed upon
her beauty as we gaze upon a pure and distant star; and as each speaking
lineament told of elevated desires, and proud aspirations, I bent in
adoration at her shrine, and laid my offering there. We had met
frequently; and although I feared that my love was hopeless, still I
could not tear myself from the fascination of her presence. She saw,
with a woman’s quick perception, that I loved her deeply; and she strove
to destroy by coldness the illusion that might be fatal to my peace. I
could not bear it; it was better to know the worst. We were left alone
one evening, and with trembling lips and incoherent words, I strove to
tell her of my love. She did not suffer me to proceed, but kindly took
my hand in hers and said, ‘Signor Rosa, from childhood my heart has been
another’s.’ Darkness came over me, and the sable pall will never be
drawn aside.”

He paused for a moment, and then continued; “I would not, could not see
Bianca. The romance of life was at an end. I shut myself up among the
creations of my pencil, but they failed to awaken my spirit from its
lethargy; and I find the energies of my soul withering daily, and my
frame consuming with the fire that will not be quenched.”

Tears glistened in the eyes of the sensitive Italian, and he hurried on.
“I love you, Melburn; you would save me from myself, and you have made
me feel that there is disinterested kindness in humanity. There have
been times, my friend, when a whispering demon seemed urging me to rid
myself of the load that oppressed me—‘it is but a drop of opiate—it is
but the keen point of the dark blue steel—it is but the flash of a
moment, and all will be over.’ Then there came thoughts of the dread
loneliness and degradation of the grave—perhaps the judgment! and—”

“Giovanni,” said Melburn solemnly, interrupting him, “brave not the Most
High. Life is a precious deposit, and it is not for man to interfere
with the will of Omnipotence. Suicide is the crime of a coward,
perpetrated in moral darkness; it is a crime which leaves not a moment
for repentance or for pardon, but ushers the blood-stained soul
unshriven into the presence of its God.”

A shudder passed over the frame of the Italian as he drew from his bosom
a small poignard of exquisite workmanship; “Take it—take it, Melburn,”
he exclaimed, “you have saved me.”

A lingering pressure of the hand was Melburn’s only answer.

It was now too late for them to think of visiting the Coliseum—besides,
their minds were not in a state to do so; and after making an
appointment for the morrow, they separated.

When Melburn reached his room at the hotel, he was delighted to find
letters from his relatives, who had just arrived in Naples from Sicily,
announcing their intention of remaining there for some weeks, and
begging him to join their party immediately. Nothing could have happened
more opportunely; for, for some days past, he had been thinking
seriously of setting out to overtake them wherever they might be. And
then the image of Alice—how often did it mingle in his dreams, and
haunt his waking hours.

The next day he spent with Giovanni Rosa in wandering among the ruins of
Rome; and it was with sincere regret that the enthusiastic Italian heard
of the contemplated journey to Naples. “You will forget me, Melburn,” he
said sorrowfully; “the remembrance of me will be but as a passing
shadow, while you will live within my heart. But you will return, will
you not?”

“Yes, Giovanni—perhaps soon. At all events, I shall spend some time
again in Rome before I bid adieu to beautiful Italy forever.”

“I hope so,” exclaimed Rosa, as he grasped Melburn’s hand at parting; “I
will remember your counsel—I will strive ‘in this to overcome.’”

“Ay, Rosa, for my sake, and for your future fame, struggle on, it will
not be in vain.”

The Italian gazed at the receding form of the young Englishman until it
disappeared; and then hurrying home, he rushed to his room and burst
into tears.

It was on the evening of the second day after his departure from Rome
that Arthur Melburn arrived in Naples. Travel-worn and covered with dust
as he was, he sought instantly the _salon_ where he expected to meet his
relatives. No one was there but Alice; and as she rose hastily to meet
him, he could scarcely believe that the beautiful being before him was
the gay, romping cousin of earlier days. What the countenance had lost
of ruddiness and glow, it had gained in the intellectual, I may almost
say the spiritual expression that now characterized it. Eloquent thought
had stamped a serene loveliness upon her brow, and feeling had robbed
the cheek of its roses to impart a softer lustre to her eye. Arthur
clasped her hands in his, gazed at her, hesitated, and then raised one
fair hand to his lips. “Dear Alice,” he said, and as those tones fell
upon her ear, a crimson blush passed over her face, and then left it
paler than before. And what were the feelings of Melburn? Ah, at such
moments how memories throng upon the overpowered heart, concentrating in
one glowing point the beautiful rays that have illumined life, and
fastening as with a diamond rivet the slender links of love’s frail
chain. Frail? Ay, frail; unless the hallowed influences of years have
given to it enduring strength, and then it must be a power almost
super-human that can sever it.

How much there was to hear, how much to tell; and as each member of the
family welcomed the new comer, how pleasant it was to feel almost at
home again, though in a land of strangers. In the society of Alice,
whose mind was capable of appreciating his superior attainments, Melburn
visited all the places worthy of notice in and around Naples; and each
day, as it verged to its decline, added some memorial of happiness to be
garnered in their hearts. Theirs was not a love blinded by passion,
exaggerated in its impulses, and consuming to ashes while it burned; but
it was the genial ray lent by Heaven to gladden with its pure light the
darker pathways of this world. It was love such as an angel might have
looked upon, without feeling that the spirit had been tinged by aught of
earthly stain.

Week after week rolled on with a rapidity almost incredible, for time to
the happy is winged with swifter pinions, and the winter had nearly
passed away before they returned to Rome.

Melburn’s first visit was to the studio of the young painter. His cheek
was paler, and his frame more attenuated, but the expression of his
countenance was less wild and haggard. In the endearing epithets of his
sweet language he welcomed the traveler, and gazed upon him with a
melancholy tenderness.

“Ah, Melburn,” he said, after their first congratulations had been
exchanged, “ah, Melburn, I began to fear that I should never look upon
your face again. It would have grieved me to descend into the cold, dark
grave without having once more heard the tones of sympathy and kindness.
I have struggled to smother the contending passions within my breast; I
have suffered; but I have been calm.”

“You apply yourself too closely to your art, Giovanni; why not abandon
it for a time, and seek renovated health in change of air, and change of
scene?”

“I shall carry the same heart with me, Melburn; it is too late. I feel
that I am dying—the withering blight of years has struck home. But let
us not dwell upon that now. It does me good to see you once more; and to
feel that I have one friend in the wide world.”

“Yes, Giovanni,” answered the young Englishman, “the bond of friendship
has become strong between us, although but a few months ago we met as
strangers. I know not what mysterious sympathy attracted us to each
other, but I felt from the moment I saw you, as if there was a
connecting link in our destinies. An impulse which I cannot define
induced me to offer you the seat in my traveling carriage, as I was
leaving Florence; and when we reached Rome, I could not think of parting
from you as a stranger. I see with pain that your health is failing;
dear Rosa, let me persuade you to accompany me next month to England.
Circumscribed means need be no obstacle, for I have wealth enough to
spare; nay, interrupt me not—he is not my friend who would refuse to
receive so small an obligation at my hands. The journey might restore
your waning strength, and after a residence of a few months there, you
might return to your country with a renovated frame and a happier mind.
Since I left you, Giovanni, I have become affianced to one whom I have
long loved; and she will unite with me, I am sure, in striving to make
you happy.”

“I wish you joy, Melburn,” exclaimed the Italian with much feeling; “God
grant that she may be worthy of you. But, my friend, I cannot accept
your kind offer. I would die here—here in the beautiful land that gave
me birth; surrounded by the objects I have worshiped, and on the spot
where I first met her. Here must be my grave; and perhaps at some future
day she may revisit this sunny clime, and remember the heart that beat
and broke for her.”

Melburn saw that it was useless to contend for the present against the
morbid melancholy which seemed to have settled upon the spirit of the
painter, and he began to converse upon lighter themes. All proved
powerless to win him from his gloomy abstraction; at length rousing
himself as if from a dreamy reverie, he said, “Happiness is attained by
some; you are happy, Melburn.”

“Yes, Giovanni, I am happy; but I do not look for an unchequered path in
this world. I know that cares, anxieties, and afflictions fall sooner or
later to the lot of all; and I would be prepared to lose the blessings I
enjoy by not loving them too well. A just balance in which to weigh the
objects of fluctuating desire is necessary to our forming just views of
their value; and will prevent our giving undue preponderance to those
which are secondary or trivial in themselves. We are so apt to surround
some wished for boon, while unattained, with vague anticipations of
delight, which the possession too often fails to realize.”

“That is true, Melburn; but many a heart lives on hope that never enjoys
fruition.”

Melburn smiled as he answered, “In gazing upon the forbidden garden that
crowns some lofty hill inaccessible to us, we may forget the fruits and
flowers that are lying in profusion at our feet, untasted,
unappreciated. Is it not so, Giovanni?”

“I mean the hopes that stand out in bold relief wearing the hues of
immortality; I mean the undying yearnings of the loving heart, the
glorious aspirations of the godlike mind. Nothing short of fruition in
these can satisfy a nature such as mine.”

“Then, Giovanni, your hope must cast its anchor in the ‘deep profound’
of another world—it must seek its fruition in the Eternal. You may as
well search for coral in the bowels of the earth, or for gold in the
bosom of the sea, as to seek a resting-place for the immortal spirit in
the regions of mortality. I am not a religionist—I am not the bigoted
follower of any creed; but in the exalted aspirations of our nature, I
recognize the immaterial principle that will hereafter assimilate us to
God. It instills a perception of the beautiful, a yearning for the good,
an appreciation of the true, that cannot be realized in this imperfect
state of existence. Looking abroad upon the stupendous universe, I see
every thing fulfilling its destined end. Surely, these heaven-born
aspirations will not be quenched in the forgetfulness of the grave, but,
disencumbered of their material elements, will find their completeness
and felicity in the source from which they sprung. Would to God, my
friend, that you could feel as deeply as I do, how infinitely the
interests of our future destiny transcend those of our present state of
being.”

“I have reflected, Melburn, upon our frequent conversations, and I feel,
that had my mind been trained as yours has been, I should not be the
creature of wayward impulse that I am. My temperament is an unhappy
one—a temperament that might induce insanity, should my life be spared.
But that life is fast ebbing to its close, and I am content to die. I
have prayed that God may be merciful.”

He paused, and threw back from his brow the rich, dark locks that had
fallen over it; and assuming a tone of cheerfulness, he said, “Tell me
of your bride, Melburn; you had not spoken to me of her.”

Melburn smiled as he answered, “She is not an angel, Giovanni, but I
think that there are few who can be compared to my sweet Alice.”

“Alice! did you say?”

“Yes, Alice Templeton.”

A change, a fearful change came over the face of the Italian. The
crimson blood rushed to his brow, while his eyes glared with the furious
passion of a demon. Rage, hate, despair, were all concentrated in the
wild glance which he threw upon Melburn, as he advanced toward him; then
the blood retreated to his heart, and left his cheek as white as marble.
His breath came short and heavy; and he stood rooted to the spot like a
thing of stone.

“For God’s sake, Giovanni,” exclaimed Melburn, “what is the matter? You
appal—you terrify me.”

The painter grasped his hand, and dragging him to an adjoining
apartment, tore aside the snow-white veil that hung over a picture.
Melburn looked upon the face of Alice—his Alice—the idolized love of
the Italian. But it was Alice as an angel—for her beauty was so
spiritualized, that the earthly seemed lost in the heavenly. Melburn hid
his face in his hands for a moment; then stretching out his arms, the
stricken child of destiny rushed into them, and sank insensible upon his
bosom.

Hour after hour passed on, and still consciousness did not revive in
that feeble frame. There was a glimmering of life, nothing more; and as
Melburn watched beside his couch, tears, more burning than any he had
ever shed, fell upon the inanimate form on which he gazed. “Poor Rosa,”
he murmured, “thou hast indeed been the sport of adverse circumstances.
This, then, is the link of the mysterious chain that bound me to thee;
our hearts drank at the same fountain, and became united in the same
stream. Peace, peace to thy parting spirit. God receive thy weary soul.”

The light of life never gleamed again. He lingered through another day.
As the veil of night descended upon the world, the spirit of the
unfortunate Italian took its flight to the shadowy far-off land.

It was midnight. Tapers were burning upon the coffin in which lay all
that remained of Giovanni Rosa. Melburn, with two friends of the
deceased, kept a sorrowful vigil beside the clay-cold form; and as the
tedious hours crept on, the death-like silence became almost
insupportable. At length a soft step was heard, and a female form in
white glided noiselessly to the coffin’s side. She lifted the crape that
shrouded the face beneath, and gazed fearlessly upon the lineaments so
beautiful in their repose; then kissing the cold brow, she replaced the
snowy covering, and silently departed as she came.

The next morning they heard that Bianca was dead. She had taken poison.

In the Chiesa di Santa Maria is a costly monument of marble, erected
over the remains of the young painter by his English friend. Before they
returned to England, Melburn and his betrothed visited the spot
together, fulfilling the wish of the departed, “that she might stand
beside his grave, and remember the heart that beat and broke for her.”

                 *        *        *        *        *



                                SONNETS


       ON RECEIVING A CROWN OF IVY FROM JOHN KEATS—BY LEIGH HUNT.


    The sonnets below are on a blank leaf, in an edition of the
    early poems of John Keats “printed for C. & J. Ollier, 3 Welbeck
    street, London, 1817.” The book was presented to me by my
    friend, the late George Keats, (brother of the poet,) who
    resided for many years prior to his death in this city. They are
    in the handwriting of Hunt, and are not contained in any edition
    of his poems which I have seen. You can readily ascertain
    whether they have appeared in print—if they have not, I think
    they may be acceptable to many of your readers, and therefore
    send them.

    G. R. GRAHAM, Esq.
                                      F. COSBY, Jr., Louisville, Ky.

                    I.

    A crown of ivy! I submit my head
      To the young hand that gives it—young, ’tis true,
      But with a right, for ’tis a poet’s too.
    How pleasant the leaves feel! and how they spread
    With their broad angles, like a nodding shed
      Over both eyes! and how complete and new,
      As on my hand I lean, to feel them strew
    My sense with freshness—Fancy’s rustling bed!
    Tress-tossing girls, with smell of flowers and grapes,
      Come dancing by, and piping cheeks intent,
      And thrown up cymbals, and Silvanus old
    Lumpishly borne, and many trampling shapes,
      And lastly, with his bright eyes on her bent,
      Bacchus—whose bride has of his hand fast hold.

                    II.

    It is a lofty feeling, yet a kind,
      Thus to be topped with leaves—to have a sense
      Of honor—shaded thought—an influence
    As from great Nature’s fingers—and be twined
    With her old, sacred, verdurous ivy-bind,
      As though she hallowed with that sylvan fence
      A head that bows to her benevolence,
    Midst pomp of fancied trumpets in the wind.
    ’Tis what’s within us, crowned. And kind and great
      Are all the conquering wishes it inspires,
      Love of things lasting, love of the tall woods,
    Love of love’s self, and ardor for a state
      Of natural good befitting such desires,
      Towns without gain, and haunted solitudes.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                     GAME-BIRDS OF AMERICA.—NO. IV.


[Illustration]


                THE GADWALL. (_Anas Strepera._ WILSON.)

This beautiful duck is valuable on account of the excellence of its
flesh, though its expertness as a diver renders it difficult to be shot.
Its flight is very rapid, its note like that of the Mallard, but louder;
it is fond of salines and ponds overgrown with reeds and rushes; feeds
chiefly in the morning and evening. The Gadwall is still smaller than
the Shoveller. The male bird is in length about nineteen inches, in
breadth about thirty-three; the bill two inches long, flat, and of a
black color; markings of the plumage exceedingly minute, giving it a
sort of appearance as if it were marked with delicate stripe and
enclosed in a net work. The crown is dusky brown, rest of the upper half
of the neck brownish white, both thickly speckled with black; lower part
of the neck and breast dusky black, elegantly ornamented with large,
concentric semi-circles of white scapulars, waved with lines of white on
a dusky ground; primaries ash; greater wing coverts black, and several
of the lesser coverts, immediately above, chestnut red; speculum white,
bordered below with black, forming three broad bands on the wing, of
chestnut, black and white; belly dull white; rump and tail coverts
black, glossed with green; tail tapering, pointed, of a pale brown ash,
edged with white; flanks dull white, elegantly waved; tertials long, and
of a pale brown; legs orange red.

[Illustration]


              THE LONG-TAILED DUCK. (_Harelda Glacialis._)

The sub-genus Harelda is in many respects analogous to the Pochard or
Scaup duck; it is a diving duck, and makes its appearance at the same
season, and, like the latter, it is common to the colder regions of the
whole northern hemisphere. Unlike many others of the family of ducks, it
does not entirely quit its northern haunts in winter, but resides
permanently in considerable numbers in the polar regions. Numerous
flocks, however, spread themselves southward in the winter, from
Greenland and Hudson’s Bay as far as the coast of Carolina, and from
Iceland and Spitsbergen over Lapland, the Russian dominions, Sweden,
Norway, and the northern parts of the British Isles in Europe. The bands
which visit the Orkneys appear in October, and continue there till
April. About sunset they are seen in large companies going to and
returning from the bays in which they frequently pass the night, making
a noise which, in frosty weather, may be heard at the distance of
several miles. They are rather scarce in England, to which they resort
only in very hard winters, and then in small straggling parties. They
fly swiftly, but seldom to a very great distance, making a loud and
singular cry. They are extremely expert divers, feeding almost
exclusively on shell-fish. The female places her nest among the grass
near the water, and, like the Eider duck, lines it with down from her
own body. This lining is considered by Latham equally valuable with
Eider down, but cannot be had in so great quantity. This duck is known
along the shores of the Chesapeake and the coast of the Carolinas by the
name of South-Southerly, from its singular cry somewhat resembling the
sound of those words. On the coast of New Jersey it bears the
appellation of Old Squaws or Old Wives. The northern Indians call it the
Hah-hah-way, and it has elsewhere received the name of the Caccawee. We
cannot devote the space necessary to a full description of the plumage
of both sexes of this beautiful variety of ducks, though to the
scientific sportsman it might be far from uninteresting. We will
therefore merely glance at the plumage of the male, as given by Wilson,
and pass on to notice another of the duck family, which like the one
before us prefers the dangerous but productive ocean to the less
turbulent inland waters. The mate of the long-tailed duck is
distinguished from her partner by wanting the lengthened tertials, and
the two long pointed feathers of the tail, and also by her size and the
rest of her plumage. The length of the male is twenty-two inches; extent
thirty inches; bill black, crossed near the extremity by a band of
orange; tongue downy; iris dark red; cheeks and frontlet dull
dusky-drab, passing over the eye and joining a large patch of black on
the side of the neck, which ends in dark brown; throat and rest of the
neck white; crown tufted, and of a pale cream-color; lower part of the
neck, breast, back and wings black; scapulars and tertials pale
blueish-white, long and pointed, and falling gracefully over the wings;
the white of the lower part of the neck spreads over the back an inch or
two; the white of the belly spreads over the sides, and nearly meets at
the rump; secondaries chestnut, forming a bar across the wing;
primaries, rump and tail coverts, black; the tail consists of fourteen
feathers, all remarkably pointed, the two middle ones nearly four inches
longer than the others; these with the two adjoining ones are black, the
rest white; legs and feet dusky slate.

The windpipe is very curiously formed; besides the labyrinth, which is
nearly as large as the end of the thumb, it has an expansion,
immediately above that, of double its usual diameter, which continues
for an inch and a half; this is flattened on the side next the breast,
with an oblong, window-like vacancy in it, crossed with five narrow
bars, and covered with a thin transparent skin, like the panes of a
window; another thin skin of the same kind is spread over the external
side of the labyrinth, which is partly of a circular form.

[Illustration]


             AMERICAN WIDGEON. (_Anas Americana._ WILSON.)

Like many of the human race, the bird now before us contrives to make
for himself an easy subsistence, by appropriating to himself the product
of the exertions of others. He is a constant attendant upon the
Canvas-Back, and is extremely fond of the tender roots of the
sea-cabbage on which the latter feeds. He does not dive for it himself,
however, but watches the moment of the other’s rising to seize and carry
off the favorite morsel before the Canvas Back has recovered from his
immersion. The two species of birds, therefore, live in a state of
perpetual war, in which the Widgeon usually comes off best; for though
beaten in a fair battle, he more than atones for his discomfiture by his
ingenuity and opportune approaches. The Widgeons are said to be very
plenty at St. Domingo, sometimes perch on trees, feed in company, and
have a sentinel on the look-out. They feed little during the day, but
come forth from their hiding places in the evening, when they may be
traced by their cry. They are very frequently sold in the market of
Baltimore, and their flesh is so excellent as to command a good price.

The Dusky Duck, (_Anas Obscura_, WILSON.) is generally known along the
sea coast of New Jersey and the neighboring country by the name of the
Black Duck, being the most common and numerous of those of its tribe
which inhabit the salt marshes. They are extremely shy during the day,
and rise in great numbers on the most distant report of a gun,
dispersing in every direction. In calm weather they fly so high as to be
beyond the reach of shot but they may be brought down, by a concealed
gunner in great numbers, when the wind blows hard. They are large
heavy-bodied ducks, and generally esteemed.

Another of the family of the ducks much esteemed as game, is the
Blue-Winged Teal, (_Anas Discors_, WILSON), a bird which ranges over the
greater part of the American continent, breeding in the vicinity of the
lakes of the St. Lawrence, and thence as far north as the Canadian fur
countries, and migrating for food toward Massachusetts, in September,
thence south to the muddy shores of the Delaware, and in the winter to
the inundated rice-fields of the southern states. There great numbers
are taken in traps, ingeniously contrived for the purpose. They feed
chiefly on wild rice, in the north western lakes, and other aquatic
plants. It is a shy and cautious bird. Along the shores of the Delaware,
they sit on the mud, close to the edge of the water, so crowded together
that the gunners often kill great numbers at a single discharge. When a
flock is discovered in this situation, the practiced sportsman runs his
boat ashore at some distance from them, and getting out, pushes her
before him over the slippery mud, concealing himself all the while
behind her; by this method he can sometimes approach within twenty yards
of a flock, among which he generally makes great slaughter. They fly
rapidly, and when they alight, drop down suddenly like the Snipe or
Woodcock, among the reeds or on the mud.

Nuttall describes the plumage of the Blue-Winged Teal with his usual
accuracy, as follows: The length of the Blue-Winged Teal is about
eighteen inches; the folded wing seven inches three lines; the bill
above one inch seven and a half lines; the tarsus one inch two lines. In
the male, the upper surface of the head and under tail coverts are
brownish-black; a broad white crescent from the forehead to the chin,
bordered all round with black; sides of the head and adjoining half of
the neck bright lavender-purple; base of the neck above, back,
tertiaries, and tail coverts, brownish and blackish-green. The fore
parts, including the shorter scapulars, margined and marked with
semi-ovate pale-brown bars; longer scapulars longitudinally striped with
blackish-green, Berlin-blue, and pale brown. Lesser wing coverts pure
pale blue; greater coverts white, their bases brown; speculum
dark-green; primaries, their coverts and the tail, liver-brown; sides of
the rump, longer under wing coverts, and axillary feathers pure white.
The under plumage pale reddish-orange, glossed with chestnut on the
breast, and thickly marked throughout with round blackish spots, which,
on the breast and tips of the long flank feathers, change to bars; bill
bluish-black; feet yellow.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                   “OH! THAT A LITTLE COT WERE MINE!”


                          BY ROBERT F. GREELY.


    Oh! that a little cot were mine,
      Far down some gentle vale,
    Where golden sunbeams ever shine,
      And softly blows the gale.
    No idle strife should break the spell
      About its precincts thrown—
    But peace and love should ever dwell
      Within its shades, alone!

    A streamlet should meander by
      My humble cottage door,
    Whose snow-white walls with many a vine
      And shrub should be run o’er;
    And there should be a little grot,
      Half hidden from the view
    By clust’ring leaves, and fragrant shrubs,
      And flowers of every hue!

    And, when the sun too brightly shone,
      I’d seek its quiet shade,
    To listen to the birds’ lithe song—
      The music of the glade.
    Or when, at eve, the crystal moon
      Streamed down o’er bed and bower,
    I’d take my lute, and with a song
      Beguile the passing hour.

    With one beloved and cherished form
      To share my heart’s deep bliss,
    I’d dwell contentedly, nor long
      For greater happiness;
    And when “Old Father Death” should come
      To summon us away,
    Together we would droop, and die—
      Like flowers at close of day!

                 *        *        *        *        *



                        THE ISLETS OF THE GULF;


                             OR, ROSE BUDD.


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

BY THE AUTHOR OF “PILOT,” “RED ROVER,” “TWO ADMIRALS,” “WING-AND-WING,”
                       “MILES WALLINGFORD,” &c.


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

                      (_Continued from page 81._)


                                PART IV.

              Leander dived for love. Leucadia’s cliff
              The Lesbian Sappho leaped from in a miff,
              To punish Phaon; Icarus went dead,
              Because the wax did not continue stiff;
              And, had he minded what his father said,
              He had not given a name unto his watery bed.
                                                    SANDS.

We must now advance the time several days, and change the scene to a
distant part of the ocean; within the tropics, indeed. The females had
suffered slight attacks of sea-sickness, and recovered from them, and
the brig was safe from all her pursuers. The manner of Spike’s escape
was simple enough, and without any necromancy. While the steamer, on the
one hand, was standing away to the northward and eastward, in order to
head him off, and the schooner was edging in with the island, in order
to prevent his beating up to windward of it, within its shadows, the
brig had run close round the northern margin of the land, and hauled up
to leeward of the island, passing between it and the steamer. All this
time, her movements were concealed from the schooner by the island
itself and from the steamer, by its shadow and dark back-ground, aided
by the distance. By making short tacks, this expedient answered
perfectly well, and, at the very moment when the two revenue vessels
met, at midnight, about three leagues to leeward of Blok Island, the
brigantine, Molly Swash, was just clearing its most weatherly point, on
the larboard tack, and coming out exactly at the spot where the steamer
was when first seen that afternoon. Spike stood to the westward, until
he was certain of having the island fairly between him and his pursuers,
when he went about, and filled away on his course; running out to sea
again on an easy bowline. At sunrise the next day he was fifty miles to
the southward and eastward of Montauk; the schooner was going into New
London, her officers and people quite chop-fallen, and the steamer was
paddling up Sound, her captain being fully persuaded the runaways had
returned in the direction from which they had come, and might yet be
picked up in that quarter.

The weather was light, just a week after the events related in the close
of the last chapter. By this time the brig had got within the influence
of the trades, and, it being the intention of Spike to pass to the
southward of Cuba, he had so far profited by the westerly winds, as to
get well to the eastward of the Mona Passage, the strait through which
he intended to shape his course on making the islands. Early on that
morning Mrs. Budd had taken her seat on the trunk of the cabin, with a
complacent air, and arranged her netting, some slight passages of
gallantry, on the part of the captain, having induced her to propose
netting him a purse. Biddy was going to and fro, in quest of silks and
needles, her mistress having become slightly capricious in her tastes of
late, and giving her, on all such occasions, at least a double allowance
of occupation. As for Rose, she sat reading beneath the shade of the
coach-house deck, while the handsome young mate was within three feet of
her, working up his logarithms, but within the sanctuary of his own
state-room; the open door and window of which, however, gave him every
facility he could desire to relieve his mathematics, by gazing at the
sweet countenance of his charming neighbor. Jack Tier and Josh were both
passing to and fro, as is the wont of stewards, between the camboose and
the cabin, the breakfast table being just then in the course of
preparation. In all other respects, always excepting the man at the
wheel, who stood within a fathom of Rose, Spike had the quarter-deck to
himself and did not fail to pace its weather side with an air that
denoted the master and owner. After exhibiting his sturdy, but short,
person in this manner, to the admiring eyes of all beholders, for some
time, the captain suddenly took a seat at the side of the relict, and
dropped into the following discourse.

“The weather is moderate, Madam Budd; quite moderate,” observed Spike, a
sentimental turn coming over him at the moment. “What I call moderate
and agreeable.”

“So much the better for us; the ladies are fond of moderation, sir.”

“Not in admiration, Madam Budd—ha! ha! ha! no, not in admiration.
_Immoderation_ is what they like when it comes to _that_. I’m a single
man, but I know that the ladies like admiration—mind where you’re
sheering to,” the captain said, interrupting himself a little fiercely,
considering the nature of the subject, in consequence of Jack Tier’s
having trodden on his toe in passing—“or I’ll teach you the navigation
of the quarter-deck, Mr. Burgoo!”

“Moderation—moderation, my good captain,” said the simpering relict.
“As to admiration, I confess that it is agreeable to us ladies; more
especially when it comes from gentlemen of sense, and intelligence, and
experience.”

Rose fidgetted, having heard every word that was said, and her face
flushed; for she doubted not that Harry’s ears were as good as her own.
As for the man at the wheel, he turned the tobacco over in his mouth,
hitched up his trousers, and appeared interested, though somewhat
mystified—the conversation was what he would have termed “talking
dictionary,” and he had some curiosity to learn how the captain would
work his way out of it. It is probable that Spike himself had some
similar gleamings of the difficulties of his position, for he looked a
little troubled, though still resolute. It was the first time he had
ever lain yard-arm and yard-arm with a widow, and he had long
entertained a fancy that such a situation was trying to the best of men.

“Yes, Madam Budd, yes,” he said, “exper’ence and sense carry weight with
’em, wherever they go. I’m glad to find that you entertain these just
notions of us gentlemen, and make a difference between boys and them
that’s seen and known exper’ence. For my part, I count youngsters under
forty as so much lumber about decks, as to any comfort and calculations
in keepin’ a family, as a family _ought_ to be kept.”

Mrs. Budd looked interested, but she remained silent on hearing this
remark, as became her sex.

“Every man ought to settle in life, some time or other, Madam Budd,
accordin’ to my notion, though no man ought to be in a boyish haste
about it,” continued the captain. “Now, in my own case, I’ve been so
busy all my youth—not that I’m very old now, but I’m no boy—but all my
younger days have been passed in trying to make things meet, in a way to
put any lady who might take a fancy to me—”

“Oh! captain—that is _too_ strong! The ladies do not take fancies for
gentlemen, but the gentlemen take fancies for ladies!”

“Well, well, you know what I mean, Madam Budd, and so long as the
parties understand each other, a word dropped, or a word put into a
charter-party makes it neither stronger nor weaker. There’s a time,
howsomever, in every man’s life, when he begins to think of settling
down, and of considerin’ himself as a sort of mooring-chain, for
children and the likes of them to make fast to. Such is my natur’, I
will own; and ever since I’ve got to be intimate in your family, Madam
Budd, that sentiment has grown stronger and stronger in me, till it has
got to be uppermost in all my idees. Bone of my bone, and flesh of my
flesh, as a body might say.”

Mrs. Budd now looked more than interested, for she looked a little
confused, and Rose began to tremble for her aunt. It was evident that
the parties most conspicuous in this scene were not at all conscious
that they were overheard, the intensity of their attention being too
much concentrated on what was passing to allow of any observation
without their own narrow circle. What may be thought still more
extraordinary, but what in truth was the most natural of all, each of
the parties was so intently bent on his, or her, own train of thought,
that neither in the least suspected any mistake.

“Grown with your growth, and strengthened with your strength,” rejoined
the relict, smiling kindly enough on the captain to have encouraged a
much more modest man than he happened to be.

“Yes, Madam Budd—very just that remark; grown with my strength, and
strengthened with my growth, as one might say; though I’ve not done much
at growing for a good many years. Your late husband, Capt. Budd, often
remarked how very early I got my growth, and rated me as an ‘able
bodied’ hand, when most lads think it an honor to be placed among the
‘or’naries.’”

The relict looked grave, and she wondered at any man’s being so singular
as to allude to a first husband, at the very moment he was thinking of
offering himself for a second. As for herself, she had not uttered as
many words in the last four years, as she had uttered in that very
conversation, without making some allusion to her “poor dear Mr. Budd.”
The reader is not to do injustice to the captain’s widow, however, by
supposing for a moment that she was actually so weak as to feel any
tenderness for a man like Spike, which would be doing a great wrong to
both her taste and her judgment, as Rose well knew, even while most
annoyed by the conversation she could not but overhear. All that
influenced the good relict was that besetting weakness of her sex, which
renders admiration so universally acceptable, and predisposes a female,
as it might be, to listen to a suitor with indulgence and some little
show of kindness, even when resolute to reject him. As for Rose, to own
the truth, her aunt did not give her a thought, as yet, notwithstanding
Spike was getting to be so sentimental.

“Yes, your late excellent and honorable consort, always said that I got
my growth sooner than any youngster he ever fell in with,” resumed the
captain after a short pause; exciting fresh wonder in his companion that
he _would_ persist in lugging in the “dear departed” so very
unseasonably. “I am a great admirer of all the Budd family, my good
lady, and only wish my connection with it had never tarminated; if
tarminated it can be called.”

“It need not be terminated, Capt. Spike, so long as friendship exists in
the human heart.”

“Ay, so it is always with you ladies; when a man is bent on suthin’
closer and more interestin’ like, you’re for putting it off on
friendship. Now friendship is good enough in its way, Madam Budd, but
friendship isn’t _love_.”

“_Love!_” echoed the widow, fairly starting, though she looked down at
her netting, and looked as confused as she knew how. “That is a very
decided word, Capt. Spike, and should never be mentioned to a woman’s
ear lightly.”

So the captain now appeared to think, too, for no sooner had he
delivered himself of the important monosyllable, than he left the
widow’s side and began to pace the deck, as it might be to moderate his
own ardor. As for Rose, she blushed, if her more practiced aunt did not,
while Harry Mulford laughed heartily, taking good care, however, not to
be heard. The man at the wheel turned the tobacco again, gave his
trousers another hitch, and wondered anew whither the skipper was bound.
But the drollest manifestation of surprise came from Josh, the steward,
who was passing along the lee-side of the quarter-deck, with a teapot in
his hand, when the energetic manner of the captain sent the words
“friendship isn’t _love_” to his ears. This induced him to stop for a
single instant, and to cast a wondering glance behind him; after which
he moved on toward the galley, mumbling as he went—“Lub! what _he_ want
of lub, or what lub want of _him_! Well, I do t’ink Capt. Spike bowse
his jib out pretty ’arly dis mornin’.”

Capt. Spike soon got over the effects of his effort, and the confusion
of the relict did not last any material length of time. As the former
had gone so far, however, he thought the present an occasion as good as
another to bring matters to a crisis.

“Our sentiments sometimes get to be so strong, Madam Budd,” resumed the
lover, as he took his seat again on the trunk, “that they run away with
us. Men is liable to be run away with as well as ladies. I once had a
ship run away with me, and a pretty time we had of it. Did you ever hear
of a ship’s running away with her people, Madam Budd, just as your horse
ran away with your buggy?”

“I suppose I must have heard of such things, sir, my education having
been so maritime, though just at this moment I cannot recall an
instance. When my horse ran away, the buggy was cap-asided. Did your
vessel cap-aside on the occasion you mention?”

“No, Madam Budd, no. The ship was off the wind at the time I mean, and
vessels do not capsize when off the wind. I’ll tell you how it happened.
We was a scuddin’ under a goose-wing foresail—”

“Yes, yes,” interrupted the relict eagerly. “I’ve often heard of that
sail, which is small and used only in tempests.”

“Heavy weather, Madam Budd—only in heavy weather.”

“It is amazing to me, captain, how you seamen manage to weigh the
weather. I have often heard of light weather and heavy weather, but
never fairly understood the manner of weighing it.”

“Why we _do_ make out to ascertain the difference,” replied the captain,
a little puzzled for an answer, “and I suppose it must be by means of
the barometer, which goes up and down like a pair of scales. But the
time I mean we was a scuddin’ under a goose-wing foresail—”

“A sail made of goose’s wings, and a beautiful object it must be; like
some of the caps and cloaks that come from the islands, which are all of
feathers, and charming objects are they. I beg pardon—you had your
goose’s wings spread—”

“Yes, Madam Budd, yes; we was steering for a Mediterranean port,
intending to clear a mole-head, when a sea took us under the larboard
quarter, gave us such a sheer to-port as sent our cat-head ag’in a
spile, and raked away the chain-plates of the top-mast back-stays,
bringing down all the forrard hamper about our ears.”

This description produced such a confusion in the mind of the widow that
she was glad when it came to an end. As for the captain, fearful that
the “goose’s wings” might be touched upon again, he thought it wisest to
attempt another flight on those of Cupid.

“As I was sayin’, Madam Budd, friendship isn’t _love_; no, not a bit of
it! Friendship is a common sort of feelin’, but love, as you must know
by exper’ence, Madam Budd, is an uncommon sort of feelin’.”

“Fie, Capt. Spike, gentlemen should never allude to ladies knowing any
thing about love. Ladies _respect_, and _admire_, and _esteem_, and have
a _regard_ for gentlemen; but it is almost too strong to talk about
their love.”

“Yes, Madam Budd, yes; I dare say it _is_ so, and _ought_ to be so; and
I ask pardon for having said as much as I did. But my love for your
niece is of so animated and lastin’ a natur’, that I scarce know what I
did say.”

“Capt. Spike, you amaze me! I declare I can hardly breathe for
astonishment. My niece! Surely you do not mean Rosy!”

“Who else should I mean? My love for Miss Rose is so very decided and
animated, I tell you, Madam Budd, that I will not answer for the
consequences should you not consent to her marryin’ me.”

“I can scarce believe my ears! You, Stephen Spike, and an old friend of
her uncle’s, wishing to marry his niece.”

“Just so, Madam Budd; that’s it to a shavin’. The regard I have for the
whole family is so great, that nothin’ less than the hand of Miss Rose
in marriage can what I call mitigate my feelin’s.”

Now the relict had not one spark of tenderness herself in behalf of
Spike, while she did love Rose better than any human being, her own self
excepted. But she had viewed all the sentiment of that morning, and all
the fine speeches of the captain, very differently from what the present
state of things told her she ought to have viewed them; and she felt the
mortification natural to her situation. The captain was so much bent on
the attainment of his own object, that he saw nothing else, and was even
unconscious that his extraordinary and somewhat loud discourse had been
overheard. Least of all did he suspect that his admiration had been
mistaken, and that in what he called “courtin’” the niece, he had been
all the while “courtin’” the aunt. But little apt as she was to discover
any thing, Mrs. Budd had enough of her sex’s discernment in a matter of
this sort, to perceive that she had fallen into an awkward mistake, and
enough of her sex’s pride to resent it. Taking her work in her hand, she
left her seat and descended to the cabin with quite as much dignity in
her manner as it was in the power of one of her height and “build” to
express. What is the most extraordinary, neither she nor Spike ever
ascertained that their whole dialogue had been overheard. Spike
continued to pace the quarter-deck for several minutes, scarce knowing
what to think of the relict’s manner, when his attention was suddenly
drawn to other matters by the familiar cry of “sail-ho!”

This was positively the first vessel with which the Molly Swash had
fallen in since she lost sight of two or three craft that had passed her
in the distance, as she left the American coast. As usual, this cry
brought all hands on deck, and Mulford out of his state-room.

It has been stated already that the brig was just beginning to feel the
trades, and it might have been added, to see the mountains of San
Domingo. The winds had been variable for the last day or two, and they
still continued light, and disposed to be unsteady, ranging from
north-east to southeast, with a preponderance in favor of the first
point. At the cry of “sail-ho!” every body looked in the indicated
direction, which was west, a little northerly, but for a long time
without success. The cry had come from aloft, and Mulford went up as
high as the fore-top before he got any glimpse of the stranger at all.
He had slung a glass, and Spike was unusually anxious to know the result
of his examination.

“Well, Mr. Mulford, what do you make of her?” he called out as soon as
the mate announced that he saw the strange vessel.

“Wait a moment, sir, till I get a look—she’s a long way off, and hardly
visible.”

“Well, sir, well?”

“I can only see the heads of her topgallant-sails. She seems a ship
steering to the southward, with as many kites flying as an Indiaman in
the trades. She looks as if she were carrying royal stun’-sails, sir.”

“The devil she does! Such a chap must not only be in a hurry, but he
must be strong handed to give himself all this trouble in such light and
var’able winds. Are his yards square?—Is he man-of-war-ish?”

“There’s no telling, sir, at this distance; though I rather think its
stun’sails that I see. Go down and get your breakfast, and in half an
hour I’ll give a better account of him.”

This was done, Mrs. Budd appearing at the table with great dignity in
her manner. Although she had so naturally supposed that Spike’s
attentions had been intended for herself, she was rather mortified than
hurt on discovering her mistake. Her appetite, consequently, was not
impaired, though her stomach might have been said to be very full. The
meal passed off without any scene, notwithstanding, and Spike soon
re-appeared on deck, still masticating the last mouthful like a man in a
hurry, and a good deal _à l’Américaine_. Mulford saw his arrival, and
immediately leveled his glass again.

“Well, what news now, sir?” called out the captain. “You must have a
better chance at him by this time, for I can see the chap from off the
coach-house here.”

“Ay, ay, sir; he’s a bit nearer, certainly. I should say that craft is a
ship under stun’sails, looking to the eastward of south, and that there
are caps with gold bands on her quarter-deck.”

“How low down can you see her?” demanded Spike in a voice of thunder.

So emphatic and remarkable was the captain’s manner in putting this
question, that the mate cast a look of surprise beneath him ere he
answered it. A look with the glass succeeded, when the reply was given.

“Ay, ay, sir; there can be no mistake—it’s a cruiser you may depend on
it I can see the heads of her topsails now, and they are so square and
symmetrical, that gold bands are below beyond all doubt.”

“Perhaps he’s a Frenchman—Johnny Crapaud keeps cruisers in these seas
as well as the rest on ’em.”

“Johnny Crapaud’s craft don’t spread such arms, sir. The ship is either
English or American; and he’s heading for the Mona Passage as well as
ourselves.”

“Come down, sir, come down—there’s work to be done as soon as you have
breakfasted.”

Mulford did come down, and he was soon seated at the table with both
Josh and Jack Tier for attendants. The aunt and the niece were in their
own cabin, a few yards distant, with the door open.

“What a fuss ’e cap’in make ’bout dat sail,” grumbled Josh, who had been
in the brig so long that he sometimes took liberties with even Spike
himself. “What good he t’ink t’will do to measure him inch by inch?
Bye’m by he get alongside, and den ’e ladies even can tell all about
him.”

“He nat’rally wishes to know who gets alongside,” put in Tier, somewhat
apologetically.

“What matter dat. All sort of folk get alongside of Molly Swash; and
what good it do ’em. Yoh! yoh! yoh! I _do_ remem’er sich times vid ’e
ole hussy!”

“What old hussy do you mean?” demanded Jack Tier a little fiercely, and
in a way to draw Mulford’s eyes from the profile of Rose’s face to the
visages of his two attendants.

“Come, come, gentlemen, if you please; recollect where you are,”
interrupted the mate authoritatively. “You are not now squabbling in
your galley, but are in the cabin. What is it to you, Tier, if Josh does
call the brig an old hussy; she is old, as we all know, and years are
respectable; and as for her being a “hussy,” that is a term of
endearment sometimes. I’ve heard the captain himself call the Molly a
“hussy” fifty times, and he loves her as he does the apple of his eye.”

This interference put an end to the gathering storm as a matter of
course, and the two disputants shortly after passed on deck. No sooner
was the coast clear than Rose stood in the door of her own cabin.

“Do you think the strange vessel is an American?” she asked eagerly.

“It is impossible to say—English or American I make no doubt. But why
do you inquire?”

“Both my aunt and myself desire to quit the brig, and if the stranger
should prove to be an American vessel of war, might not the occasion be
favorable?”

“And what reason can you give for desiring to do so?”

“What signifies a reason,” answered Rose with spirit “Spike is not our
master, and we can come and go as we may see fit.”

“But a reason must be given to satisfy the commander of the vessel of
war. Craft of that character are very particular about the passengers
they receive; nor would it be altogether wise in two unprotected females
to go on board a cruiser, unless in a case of the most obvious
necessity.”

“Will not what has passed this morning be thought a sufficient reason?”
added Rose, drawing nearer to the mate, and dropping her voice so as not
to be heard by her aunt.

Mulford smiled as he gazed at the earnest but attractive countenance of
his charming companion.

“And who could tell it, or _how_ could it be told? Would the commander
of a vessel of war incur the risk of receiving such a person as yourself
on board his vessel, for the reason that the master of the craft she was
in when he fell in with her desired to marry her?”

Rose appeared vexed, but she was at once made sensible that it was not
quite as easy to change her vessel at sea, as to step into a strange
door in a town. She drew slowly back into her own cabin silent and
thoughtful; her aunt pursuing her netting the whole time with an air of
dignified industry.

“Well, Mr. Mulford, well,” called out Spike at the head of the cabin
stairs, “what news from the coffee?”

“All ready, sir,” answered the mate, exchanging significant glances with
Rose. “I shall be up in a moment.”

That moment soon came, and Mulford was ready for duty. While below,
Spike had caused certain purchases to be got aloft, and the main-hatch
was open and the men collected around it, in readiness to proceed with
the work. Harry asked no questions, for the preparations told him what
was about to be done, but passing below, he took charge of the duty
there, while the captain superintended the part that was conducted on
deck. In the course of the next hour eight twelve-pound carronades were
sent up out of the hold, and mounted in as many of the ports which lined
the bulwarks of the brigantine. The men seemed to be accustomed to the
sort of work in which they were now engaged, and soon had their light
batteries in order, and ready for service. In the meantime the two
vessels kept on their respective courses, and by the time the guns were
mounted, there was a sensible difference in their relative positions.
The stranger had drawn so near the brigantine as to be very obvious from
the latter’s deck, while the brigantine had drawn so much nearer to the
islands of San Domingo and Porto Rico, as to render the opening between
them, the well known Mona Passage, distinctly visible.

Of all this Spike appeared to be fully aware, for he quitted the work
several times before it was finished, in order to take a look at the
stranger, and at the land. When the batteries were arranged, he and
Mulford, each provided with a glass, gave a few minutes to a more
deliberate examination of the first.

“That’s the Mona ahead of us,” said the captain; “of that there can be
no question, and a very pretty land-fall you’ve made of it, Harry. I’ll
allow you to be as good a navigator as floats.”

“Nevertheless, sir, you have not seen fit to let me know whither the
brig is really bound this voyage.”

“No matter for that, young man—no matter, as yet. All in good time.
When I tell you to lay your course for the Mona, you can lay your course
for the Mona; and, as soon as we are through the passage, I’ll let you
know what is wanted next—if that bloody chap, who is nearing us, will
let me.”

“And why should any vessel wish to molest us on our passage, Capt.
Spike?”

“Why, sure enough! It’s war-times, you know, and war-times always bring
trouble to the trader—though it sometimes brings profit, too.”

As Spike concluded, he gave his mate a knowing wink, which the other
understood to mean that he expected himself some of the unusual profit
to which he alluded. Mulford did not relish this secret communication,
for the past had induced him to suspect the character of the trade in
which his commander was accustomed to engage. Without making any sort of
reply, or encouraging the confidence by even a smile, he leveled his
glass at the stranger, as did Spike, the instant he ceased to grin.

“That’s one of Uncle Sam’s fellows!” exclaimed the captain, dropping the
glass. “I’d swear to the chap in any admiralty court on ’arth.”

“’Tis a vessel of war, out of all doubt,” returned the mate, “and under
a cloud of canvas. I can make out the heads of her courses now, and see
that she is carrying hard, for a craft that is almost close-hauled.”

“Ay, ay; no merchantman keeps his light stun’-sails set, as near the
wind as that fellow’s going. He’s a big chap, too—a frigate, at least,
by his canvas.”

“I do not know, sir—they build such heavy corvettes nowadays, that I
should rather take her for one of them. They tell me ships are now sent
to sea which mount only two-and-twenty guns, but which measure quite a
thousand tons.”

“With thunderin’ batteries, of course.”

“With short thirty-twos and a few rapping sixty-eight Paixhans—or
Columbiads, as they ought in justice to be called.”

“And you think this chap likely to be a craft of that sort?”

“Nothing is more probable, sir. Government has several, and, since this
war has commenced, it has been sending off cruiser after cruiser into
the Gulf. The Mexicans dare not send a vessel of war to sea, which would
be sending them to Norfolk, or New York, at once; but no one can say
when they may begin to make a prey of our commerce.”

“They have taken nothing as yet, Mr. Mulford, and, to tell you the
truth, I’d much rather fall in with one of Don Montezuma’s craft than
one of Uncle Sam’s.”

“That is a singular taste, for an American, Capt. Spike, unless you
think, now our guns are mounted, we can handle a Mexican,” returned
Mulford coldly. “At all events, it is some answer to those who ask ‘What
is the navy about?’ that months of war have gone by, and not an American
has been captured. Take away that navy, and the insurance offices in
Wall street would tumble like a New York party-wall in a fire.”

“Nevertheless, I’d rather take my chance, just now, with Don Montezuma
than with Uncle Sam.”

Mulford did not reply, though the earnest manner in which Spike
expressed himself helped to increase his distrust touching the nature of
the voyage. With _him_ the captain had no further conference, but it was
different as respects the boatswain. That worthy was called aft, and for
half an hour he and Spike were conversing apart, keeping their eyes
fastened on the strange vessel most of the time.

It was noon before all uncertainty touching the character of the
stranger ceased. By that time, however, both vessels were entering the
Mona Passage; the brig well to windward, on the Porto Rico side; while
the ship was so far to leeward as to be compelled to keep every thing
close-hauled, in order to weather the island. The hull of the last could
now be seen, and no doubt was entertained about her being a cruiser, and
one of some size, too. Spike thought she was a frigate; but Mulford
still inclined to the opinion that she was one of the new ships; perhaps
a real corvette, or with a light spar-deck over her batteries. Two or
three of the new vessels were known to be thus fitted, and this might be
one. At length all doubt on the subject ceased, the stranger setting an
American ensign, and getting so near as to make it apparent that she had
but a single line of guns. Still she was a large ship, and the manner
that she ploughed through the brine, close-hauled as she was, extorted
admiration even from Spike.

“We had better begin to shorten sail, Mr. Mulford,” the captain at
length most reluctantly remarked. “We might give the chap the slip,
perhaps, by keeping close in under Porto Rico, but he would give us a
long chase, and might drive us away to windward, when I wish to keep off
between Cuba and Jamaica. He’s a traveler; look, how he stands up to it
under that cloud of canvas!”

Mulford was slow to commence on the studding-sails, and the cruiser was
getting nearer and nearer. At length a gun was fired, and a heavy shot
fell about two hundred yards short of the brig, and a little out of line
with her. On this hint, Spike turned the hands up, and began to shorten
sail. In ten minutes the Swash was under her topsail, mainsail and jib,
with her light sails hanging in the gear, and all the steering canvas
in. In ten minutes more the cruiser was so near as to admit of the faces
of the three or four men whose heads were above the hammock-cloths being
visible, when she too began to fold her wings. In went _her_ royals,
topgallant-sails, and various kites, as it might be by some common
muscular agency; and up went her courses. Every thing was done at once.
By this time she was crossing the brig’s wake, looking exceedingly
beautiful, with her topsails lifting, her light sails blowing out, and
even her heavy courses fluttering in the breeze. There flew the glorious
stars and stripes also; of brief existence, but full of recollections!
The moment she had room her helm went up, her bows fell off, and down
she came, on the weather quarter of the Swash, so near as to render a
trumpet nearly useless.

On board the brig everybody was on deck; even the relict having
forgotten her mortification in curiosity. On board the cruiser no one
was visible, with the exception of a few men in each top, and a group of
gold-banded caps on the poop. Among these officers stood the captain, a
red-faced, middle-aged man, with the usual signs of his rank about him;
and at his side was his lynx-eyed first lieutenant. The surgeon and
purser were also there, though they stood a little apart from the more
nautical dignitaries. The hail that followed came out of a trumpet that
was thrust through the mizzen-rigging; the officer who used it taking
his cue from the poop.

“What brig is that?” commenced the discourse.

“The Molly Swash, of New York, Stephen Spike, master.”

“Where from, and whither bound?”

“From New York, and bound to Key West and a market.”

A pause succeeded this answer, during which the officers on the poop of
the cruiser held some discourse with him of the trumpet. During the
interval the cruiser ranged fairly up abeam.

“You are well to windward of your port, sir,” observed he of the trumpet
significantly.

“I know it; but it’s war-times, and I didn’t know but there might be
piccaroons hovering about the Havanna.”

“The coast is clear, and our cruisers will keep it so. I see you have a
battery, sir!”

“Ay, ay; some old guns that I’ve had aboard these ten years; they’re
useful, sometimes, in these seas.”

“Very true. I’ll range ahead of you, and as soon as you’ve room, I’ll
thank you to heave-to. I wish to send a boat on board you.”

Spike was sullen enough on receiving this order, but there was no help
for it. He was now in the jaws of the lion, and his wisest course was to
submit to the penalties of his position with the best grace he could.
The necessary orders were consequently given, and the brig no sooner got
room than she came by the wind and backed her topsail. The cruiser went
about, and, passing to windward, backed her main-topsail just forward of
the Swash’s beam. Then the latter lowered a boat, and sent it, with a
lieutenant and a midshipman in its stern-sheets, on board the
brigantine. As the cutter approached, Spike went to the gangway to
receive the strangers.

Although there will be frequent occasion to mention this cruiser, the
circumstances are of so recent occurrence, that we do not choose to give
either her name, or that of any one belonging to her. We shall,
consequently, tell the curious, who may be disposed to turn to their
navy-lists and blue-books, that the search will be of no use, as all the
names we shall use, in reference to this cruiser, will be fictitious. As
much of the rest of our story as the reader please may be taken for
gospel; but we tell him frankly, that we have thought it most expedient
to adopt assumed names, in connection with this vessel and all her
officers. There are good reasons for so doing; and, among others, is
that of abstaining from arming a _clique_ to calumniate her commander,
(who, by the way, like another commander in the Gulf that might be
named, and who has actually been exposed to the sort of _tracasserie_ to
which there is allusion, is one of the very ablest men in the service,)
in order to put another in his place.

The officer who now came over the side of the Swash we shall call
Wallace; he was the second lieutenant of the vessel of war. He was about
thirty, and the midshipman who followed him was a well grown lad of
nineteen. Both had a decided man-of-war look, and both looked a little
curiously at the vessel that they had boarded.

“Your servant, sir,” said Wallace, touching his cap in reply to Spike’s
somewhat awkward bow. “Your brig is the Molly Swash, Stephen Spike,
bound from New York to Key West and a market.”

“You’ve got it all as straight, lieutenant, as if you was a readin’ it
from the log.”

“The next thing, sir, is to know of what your cargo is composed?”

“Flour; eight hundred barrels of flour.”

“Flour! Would you not do better to carry that to Liverpool? The
Mississippi must be almost turned into paste by the quantity of flour it
floats to market.”

“Notwithstanding that, lieutenant, I know Uncle Sam’s economy so well,
as to believe I shall part with every barrel of my flour to his
contractors, at a handsome profit.”

“You read whig newspapers principally, I rather think, Mr. Spike,”
answered Wallace, in his cool, deliberate way, smiling, however, as he
spoke.

We may just as well say here, that nature intended this gentleman for a
second lieutenant, the very place he filled. He was a capital second
lieutenant, while he would not have earned his rations as first. So well
was he assured of this peculiarity in his moral composition, that he did
not wish to be the first lieutenant of any thing in which he sailed. A
respectable seaman, a well-read and intelligent man, a capital deck
officer, or watch officer, he was too indolent to desire to be any thing
more, and was as happy as the day was long, in the easy berth he filled.
The first lieutenant had been his messmate as a midshipman, and ranked
him but two on the list, in his present commission; but he did not envy
him in the least. On the contrary, one of his greatest pleasures was to
get “Working Willy,” as he called his senior, over a glass of wine, or a
tumbler of “hot stuff,” and make him recount the labors of the day. On
such occasions, Wallace never failed to compare the situation of
“Working Willy” with his own gentlemanlike ease and independence. As
second lieutenant, his rank raised him above most of the unpleasant duty
of the ship, while it did not raise him high enough to plunge him into
the never-ending labors of his senior. He delighted to call himself the
“ship’s gentleman,” a _sobriquet_ he well deserved, on more accounts
than one.

“You read Whig newspapers principally, I rather think, Mr. Spike,”
answered the lieutenant, as has been just mentioned, “while we on board
the Poughkeepsie indulge in looking over the columns of the Union, as
well as over those of the Intelligencer, when by good luck we can lay
our hands on a stray number.”

“That ship, then, is called the Poughkeepsie, is she, sir?” inquired
Spike.

“Such is her name, thanks to a most benificent and sage provision of
Congress, which has extended its parental care over the navy so far as
to imagine that a man chosen by the people to exercise so many of the
functions of a sovereign, is not fit to name a ship. All our two and
three deckers are to be called after states; the frigates after rivers;
and the sloops after towns. Thus it is that our craft has the honor to
be called the United States ship the ”Poughkeepsie,“ instead of the
“Arrow,” or the “Wasp,” or the “Curlew,” or the “Petrel,” as might
otherwise have been the case. But the wisdom of Congress is manifest,
for the plan teaches us sailors geography.”

“Yes, sir, yes, one can pick up a bit of l’arnin’ in that way cheap. The
Poughkeepsie, Capt.—?”

“The United States’ ship Poughkeepsie, 20, Capt. Adam Mull, at your
service. But, Mr. Spike, you will allow me to look at your papers. It is
a duty I like, for it can be performed quietly, and without any fuss.”

Spike looked distrustfully at his new acquaintance, but went for his
vessel’s papers without any very apparent hesitation. Every thing was
_en règle_, and Wallace soon got through with the clearance, manifest,
&c. Indeed the cargo, on paper at least, was of the simplest and least
complicated character, being composed of nothing but eight hundred
barrels of flour.

“It all looks very well on paper, Mr. Spike,” added the boarding
officer. “With your permission, we will next see how it looks in sober
reality. I perceive your main hatch is open, and I suppose it will be no
difficult matter just to take a glance at your hold.”

“Here is a ladder, sir, that will take us at once to the half-deck, for
I have no proper ’twixt decks in this craft; she’s too small for that
sort of out-fit.”

“No matter, she has a hold, I suppose, and that can contain cargo. Take
me to it by the shortest road, Mr. Spike, for I am no great admirer of
trouble.”

Spike now led the way below, Wallace following, leaving the midshipman
on deck, who had fallen into conversation with the relict and her pretty
niece. The half deck of the brigantine contained spare sails,
provisions, and water, as usual, while quantities of old canvas lay
scattered over the cargo; more especially in the wake of the hatches, of
which there were two besides that which led from the quarter-deck.

“Flour to the number of eight hundred barrels,” said Wallace, striking
his foot against a barrel that lay within his reach. “The cargo is
somewhat singular to come from New York, going to Key West, my dear
Spike?”

“I suppose you know what sort of a place Key West is, sir; a bit of an
island in which there is scarce so much as a potatoe grows.”

“Ay, ay, sir; I know Key West very well, having been in and out a dozen
times. All eatables are imported, turtle excepted. But flour can be
brought down the Mississippi so much cheaper than it can be brought from
New York.”

“Have you any idee, lieutenant, what Uncle Sam’s men are paying for it
at _New Orleens_, just to keep soul and bodies together among the
so’gers?”

“That may be true, sir—quite true, I dare say, Mr. Spike. Haven’t you a
bit of a chair that a fellow can sit down on—this half-deck of yours is
none of the most comfortable places to stand in. Thank you, sir—thank
you with all my heart. What lots of old sails you have scattered about
the hold, especially in the wake of the hatches.”

“Why the craft being little more than in good ballast trim, I keep the
hatches off to air her; and the spray might spit down upon the flour at
odd times but for them ’ere sails.”

“Ay, a prudent caution. So you think Uncle Sam’s people will be after
this flour as soon as they learn you have got it snug in at Key West?”

“What more likely, sir? You know how it is with our government—always
wrong, whatever it does! and I can show you paragraphs in letters
written from _New Orleens_, which tell us that Uncle Sam is paying 75
and 80 per cent. more for flour than any body else.”

“He must be a flush old chap to be able to do that, Spike.”

“Flush! I rather think he is. Do you know that he is spendin’, accordin’
to approved accounts, at this blessed moment, as much as half a million
a day. I own a wish to be pickin’ up some of the coppers while they are
scattered about so plentifully.”

“Half a million a day! why that is only at the rate of $187,000,000 per
annum; a mere trifle, Spike, that is scarce worth mentioning among us
mariners.”

“It’s so in the newspapers, I can swear, lieutenant.”

“Ay, ay, and the newspapers will swear to it, too, and they that gave
the newspapers their cue. But no matter, our business is with this
flour. Will you sell us a barrel or two for our mess? I heard the
caterer say we should want flour in the course of a week or so.”

Spike seemed embarrassed, though not to a degree to awaken suspicion in
his companion.

“I never sold cargo at sea, long as I’ve sailed and owned a craft,” he
answered as if uncertain what to do. “If you’ll pay the price I expect
to get in the Gulf, and will take _ten_ barrels, I don’t know but we may
make a trade on’t. I shall only ask expected prices.”

“Which will be?”

“Ten dollars a barrel. For one hundred silver dollars I will put into
your boat ten barrels of the very best brand known in the western
country.”

“This is dealing rather more extensively than I anticipated, but we will
reflect on it.”

Wallace now indolently arose and ascended to the quarter-deck followed
by Spike, who continued to press the flour on him, as if anxious to make
money. But the lieutenant hesitated about paying a price as high as ten
dollars, or to take a quantity as large as ten barrels.

“Our mess is no great matter after all,” he said carelessly. “Four
lieutenants, the purser, two doctors, the master, and a marine officer,
and you get us all. Nine men could never eat ten barrels of flour, my
dear Spike, you will see for yourself, with the quantity of excellent
bread we carry. You forget the bread.”

“Not a bit of it, Mr. Wallace, since that is your name. But such flour
as this of mine has not been seen in the Gulf this many a day. I ought
in reason to ask twelve dollars for it, and insist on such a ship as
your’n’s taking twenty instead of the ten barrels.”

“I thank you, sir, the ten will more than suffice; unless, indeed, the
captain wants some for the cabin. How is it with your steerage messes,
Mr. Archer—do _you_ want any flour?”

“We draw a little from the ship, according to rule, sir, but we can’t go
as many puddings latterly as we could before we touched last at the
Havanna,” answered the laughing midshipman. “There isn’t a fellow among
us, sir, that could pay a shore-boat for landing him, should we go in
again before the end of another month. I never knew such a place as
Havanna. They say midshipmen’s money melts there twice as soon as
lieutenants’ money.”

“It’s clear, then, _you’ll_ not take any of the ten. I am afraid after
all, Mr. Spike, we cannot trade, unless you will consent to let me have
two barrels. I’ll venture on two at ten dollars, high as the price is.”

“I shouldn’t forgive myself in six months for making so bad a bargain,
lieutenant, so we’ll say no more about it if you please.”

“Here is a lady that wishes to say a word to you, Mr. Wallace, before we
go back to the ship, if you are at leisure to hear her, or _them_ for
there are two of them,” put in Archer.

At this moment Mrs. Budd was approaching with a dignified step, while
Rose followed timidly a little in the rear. Wallace was a good deal
surprised at this application, and Spike was quite as much provoked. As
for Mulford, he watched the interview from a distance, a great deal more
interested in its result than he cared to have known, more especially to
his commanding officer. Its object was to get a passage in the vessel of
war.

“You are an officer of that Uncle Sam vessel,” commenced Mrs. Budd, who
thought that she would so much the more command the respect and
attention of her listener, by showing him early how familiar she was
with even the slang dialect of the seas.

“I have the honor, ma’am, to belong to that Uncle Sam craft,” answered
Wallace gravely, though he bowed politely at the same time, looking
intently at the beautiful girl in the back-ground as he so did.

“So I’ve been told, sir. She’s a beautiful vessel, lieutenant, and is
full jiggered I perceive.”

For the first time in his life, or at least for the first time since his
first cruise, Wallace wore a mystified look, being absolutely at a loss
to imagine what “full jiggered” could mean. He only looked therefore,
for he did not answer.

“Mrs. Budd means that you’ve a full _rigged_ craft,” put in Spike,
anxious to have a voice in the conference, “this vessel being only a
_half_-rigged brig.”

“Oh! ay; yes, yes—the lady is quite right. We are full jiggered from
our dead-eyes to our eye-bolts.”

“I thought as much, sir, from your ground hamper and top-tackles,” added
the relict smiling. “For my part there is nothing in nature that I so
much admire as a full jiggered ship, with her canvas out of the
bolt-ropes, and her clew-lines and clew-garnets braced sharp, and her
yards all abroad.”

“Yes, ma’am, it is just as you say, a very charming spectacle. Our baby
was born full grown, and with all her hamper aloft just as you see her.
Some persons refer vessels to art, but I think you are quite right in
referring them to nature.”

“Nothing _can_ be more natural to me, lieutenant, than a fine ship
standing on her canvas. It’s an object to improve the heart and to
soften the understanding.”

“So I should think, ma’am,” returned Wallace, a little quizzically,
“judging from the effect on yourself.”

This speech, unfortunately timed as it was, wrought a complete change in
Rose’s feelings, and she no longer wished to exchange the Swash for the
Poughkeepsie. She saw that her aunt was laughed at in secret, and that
was a circumstance that never failed to grate on every nerve in her
system. She had been prepared to second and sustain the intended
application—she was now determined to oppose it.

“Yes, sir,” resumed the unconscious relict, “and to soften the
understanding. Lieutenant, did you ever cross the Capricorn?”

“No less than six times; three going and three returning, you know.”

“And did Neptune come on board you, and were you shaved?”

“Every thing was done _secundum artem_, ma’am. The razor was quite an
example of what are called in poetry ‘thoughts too deep for tears.’”

“That must have been delightful. As for me, I’m quite a devotee of
Neptune’s; but I’m losing time, for no doubt your ship is all ready to
pull away and carry on sail—”

“Aunt, may I say a word to you before you go any further,” put in Rose
in her quiet but very controlling way.

The aunt complied, and Wallace, as soon as left alone, felt like a man
who was released from a quick-sand, into which every effort to extricate
himself only plunged him so much the deeper. At this moment the ship
hailed, and the lieutenant took a hasty leave of Spike, motioned to the
midshipman to precede him, and followed the latter into his boat. Spike
saw his visiter off in person, tending the side and offering the
man-ropes with his own hands. For this civility Wallace thanked him,
calling out as his boat pulled from the brig’s side—“If we ‘_pull_
away,’” accenting the “pull” in secret derision of the relict’s mistake,
“_you_ can _pull_ away; our filling the topsail being a sign for you to
do the same.”

“There you go, and joy go with you,” muttered Spike, as he descended
from the gangway. “A pretty kettle of fish would there have been cooked
had I let him have his two barrels of flour.”

The man-of-war’s cutter was soon under the lee of the ship, where it
discharged its freight, when it was immediately run up. During the whole
time Wallace had been absent, Capt. Mull and his officers remained on
the poop, principally occupied in examining and discussing the merits of
the Swash. No sooner had their officer returned, however, than an order
was given to fill away, it being supposed that the Poughkeepsie had no
further concern with the brigantine. As for Wallace, he ascended to the
poop and made the customary report.

“It’s a queer cargo to be carrying to Key West from the Atlantic coast,”
observed the captain in a deliberating sort of manner, as if the
circumstance excited suspicion; “Yet the Mexicans can hardly be in want
of any such supplies.”

“Did you _see_ the flour, Wallace?” inquired the first lieutenant, who
was well aware of his messmate’s indolence.

“Yes, sir, and _felt it_ too. The lower hold of the brig is full of
flour, and of nothing else.”

“Ware round, sir—ware round and pass athwart the brig’s wake,”
interrupted the captain. “There’s plenty of room now, and I wish to pass
as near that craft as we can.”

This manœuvre was executed. The sloop-of-war no sooner filled her
maintop-sail than she drew ahead, leaving plenty of room for the
brigantine to make sail on her course. Spike did not profit by this
opening, however, but he sent several men aloft forward, where they
appeared to be getting ready to send down the upper yards and the
topgallant-mast. No sooner was the sloop-of-war’s helm put up than that
vessel passed close along the brigantine’s weather side, and kept off
across her stern on her course. As she did this the canvas was
fluttering aboard her, in the process of making sail, and Mull held a
short discourse with Spike.

“Is any thing the matter aloft?” demanded the man-of-war’s man.

“Ay, ay; I’ve sprung my topgallant-mast, and think this a good occasion
to get another up in its place.”

“Shall I lend you a carpenter or two, Mr. Spike.”

“Thank’ee, sir, thank’ee with all my heart; but we can do without them.
It’s an old stick, and it’s high time a better stood where it does. Who
knows but I may be chased and feel the want of reliable spars.”

Captain Mull smiled and raised his cap in the way of an adieu, when the
conversation ended, the Poughkeepsie sliding off rapidly with a free
wind, leaving the Swash nearly stationary. In ten minutes the two
vessels were more than a mile apart; in twenty beyond the reach of shot.

Notwithstanding the natural and common-place manner in which this
separation took place, there was much distrust on board each vessel, and
a good deal of consummate management on the part of Spike. The latter
knew that every foot the sloop-of-war went on her course, carried her
just so far to leeward, placing his own brig, in-so-much, dead to
windward of her. As the Swash’s best point of sailing, relatively
considered, was close hauled, this was giving to Spike a great security
against any change of purpose on the part of the vessel of war. Although
his people were aloft and actually sent down the topgallant-mast, it was
only to send it up again, the spar being of admirable toughness, and as
sound as the day it was cut.

“I don’t think, Mr. Mulford,” said the captain sarcastically, “that
Uncle Sam’s glasses are good enough to tell the difference in wood at
two league’s distance, so we’ll trust to the old stick a little longer.
Ay, ay, let ’em run off before it, we’ll find another road by which to
reach our port.”

“The sloop-of-war is going round the south side of Cuba, Capt. Spike,”
answered the mate, “and I have understood you to say that you intended
to go by the same passage.”

“A body may change his mind, and no murder. Only consider, Harry, how
common it is for folks to change their minds. I _did_ intend to pass
between Cuba and Jamaica, but I intend it no longer. Our run from
Montauk has been oncommon short, and I’ve time enough to spare to go to
the southward of Jamaica too, if the notion takes me.”

“That would greatly prolong the passage, Capt. Spike—a week at least.”

“What if it does—I’ve a week to spare; we’re nine days afore our time.”

“Our time for what, sir? Is there any particular time set for a vessel’s
going into Key West?”

“Don’t be womanish and over cur’ous, Mulford. I sail with sealed orders,
and when we get well to windward of Jamaica, ’twill be time enough to
open them.”

Spike was as good as his word. As soon as he thought the sloop-of war
was far enough to leeward, or when she was hull down, he filled away and
made sail on the wind to get nearer to Porto Rico. Long ere it was dark
he had lost sight of the sloop-of-war, when he altered his course to
south, westerly, which was carrying him in the direction he named, or to
windward of Jamaica.

While this artifice was being practiced on board the Molly Swash, the
officers of the Poughkeepsie were not quite satisfied with their own
mode of proceeding with the brigantine. The more they reasoned on the
matter the more unlikely it seemed to them that Spike could be really
carrying a cargo of flour from New York to Key West, in the expectation
of disposing of it to the United States’ contractors, and the more out
of the way did he seem to be in running through the Mona Passage.

“His true course should have been by the Hole in the Wall, and so down
along the north side of Cuba, before the wind,” observed the first
lieutenant. “I wonder that never struck you, Wallace; you who so little
like trouble.”

“Certainly I knew it, but we lazy people like running off before the
wind, and I did not know but such were Mr. Spike’s tastes,” answered the
“ship’s gentleman.” “In my judgment, the reluctance he showed to letting
us have any of his flour, is much the most suspicious circumstance in
the whole affair.”

These two speeches were made on the poop, in the presence of the
captain, but in a sort of an aside that admitted of some of the wardroom
familiarity exhibited. Capt. Mull was not supposed to hear what passed,
though hear it he in fact did, as was seen by his own remarks, which
immediately succeeded.

“I understood you to say, Mr. Wallace,” observed the captain, a little
drily, “that you _saw_ the flour yourself?”

“I saw the flour-_barrels_, sir; and as regularly built were they as any
barrels that ever were branded. But a flour-barrel _may_ have contained
something beside _flour_.”

“Flour usually makes itself visible in the handling; were these barrels
quite clean?”

“Far from it, sir. They showed flour on their staves, like any other
cargo. After all, the man may have more sense than we give him credit
for, and find a high market for his cargo.”

Capt. Mull seemed to muse, which was a hint for his juniors not to
continue the conversation, but rather to seem to muse, too. After a
short pause, the captain quietly remarked—“Well, gentlemen, he will be
coming down after us, I suppose, as soon as he gets his new
topgallant-mast on-end, and then we can keep a bright look out for him.
We shall cruise off Cape St. Antonio, for a day or two, and no doubt
shall get another look at him. I should like to have one baking from his
flour.”

But Spike had no intention to give the Poughkeepsie the desired
opportunity. As has been stated, he stood off to the southward on a
wind, and completely doubled the eastern end of Jamaica, when he put his
helm up, and went, with favoring wind and current, toward the northward
and westward. The consequence was, that he did not fall in with the
Poughkeepsie at all, which vessel was keeping a sharp look out for him
in the neighborhood of Cape St. Antonio and the Isle of Pines, at the
very moment he was running down the coast of Yucatan. Of all the large
maritime countries of the world, Mexico, on the Atlantic, is that which
is the most easily blockaded, by a superior naval power. By maintaining
a proper force between Key West and the Havanna, and another squadron
between Cape St. Antonio and Loggerhead Key, the whole country, the Bay
of Honduras excepted, is shut up, as it might be in a band-box. It is
true the Gulf would be left open to the Mexicans, were not squadrons
kept nearer in; but, as for any thing getting out into the broad
Atlantic, it would be next to hopeless. The distance to be watched
between the Havanna and Key West is only about sixty miles, while that
in the other direction is not much greater.

While the Swash was making the circuit of Jamaica, as described, her
captain had little communication with his passengers. The
misunderstanding with the relict embarrassed him as much as it
embarrassed her; and he was quite willing to let time mitigate her
resentment. Rose would be just as much in his power a fortnight hence as
she was to-day. This cessation in the captain’s attentions gave the
females greater liberty, and they improved it, singularly enough as it
seemed to Mulford, by cultivating a strange sort of intimacy with Jack
Tier. The very day that succeeded the delicate conversation with Mrs.
Budd, to a part of which Jack had been an auditor, the uncouth-looking
steward’s assistant was seen in close conference with the pretty Rose;
the subject of their conversation being, apparently, of a most
engrossing nature. From that hour, Jack got to be not only a confidant,
but a favorite, to Mulford’s great surprise. A less inviting subject for
_tête-à-tête_ and confidential dialogues, thought the young man, could
not well exist; but so it was; woman’s caprices are inexplicable; and
not only Rose and her aunt, but even the captious and somewhat
distrustful Biddy, manifested on all occasions not only friendship, but
kindness and consideration, for Jack.

“You quite put my nose out o’ joint, you Jack Tier, with ’e lady,”
grumbled Josh, the steward _de jure_, if not now _de facto_, of the
craft, “and I never see nuttin’ like it! I s’pose you expect ten dollar,
at least, from dem passenger, when we gets in. But I’d have you to know,
Misser Jack, if you please, dat a steward be a steward, and he don’t
like to hab trick played wid him, afore he own face.”

“Poh! poh! Joshua,” answered Jack good naturedly, “don’t distress
yourself on a consait. In the first place, you’ve got no nose to be put
out of joint; or, if you have really a nose, it has no joint. It’s
nat’ral for folks to like their own color, and the ladies prefer me,
because I’m white.”

“No so werry white as all dat, nudder,” grumbled Josh. “I see great many
whiter dan you. But, if dem lady like you so much as to gib you ten
dollar, as I expects, when we gets in, I presumes you’ll hand over half,
or six dollar, of dat money to your superior officer, as is law in de
case.”

“Do you call six the half of ten, Joshua, my scholar, eh?”

“Well, den, seven, if you like dat better. I wants just half and just
half I means to get.”

“And half you shall have, maty. I only wish you would just tell me where
we shall be, when we gets in.”

“How I know, white man? Dat belong to skipper, and better ask him. If he
don’t gib you lick in de chop, p’rhaps he tell you.”

As Jack Tier had no taste for “licks in the chops,” he did not follow
Josh’s advice. But his agreeing to give half of the ten dollars to the
steward kept peace in the cabins. He was even so scrupulous of his word,
as to hand to Josh a half eagle that very day; money he had received
from Rose; saying he would trust to Providence for his own half of the
expected _douceur_. This concession placed Jack Tier on high grounds
with his “superior officer,” and from that time the former was left to
do the whole of the customary service of the ladies’ cabin.

As respects the vessel, nothing worthy of notice occurred until she had
passed Loggerhead Key, and was fairly launched in the Gulf of Mexico.
Then, indeed, Spike took a step that greatly surprised his mate. The
latter was directed to bring all his instruments, charts, &c., and place
them in the captain’s state-room, where it was understood they were to
remain until the brig got into port. Spike was but an indifferent
navigator, while Mulford was one of a higher order than common. So much
had the former been accustomed to rely on the latter, indeed, as they
approached a strange coast, that he could not possibly have taken any
step, that was not positively criminal, which would have given his mate
more uneasiness than this.

At first, Mulford naturally enough suspected that Spike intended to push
for some Mexican port, by thus blinding his eyes as to the position of
the vessel. The direction steered, however, soon relieved the mate from
this apprehension. From the eastern extremity of Yucatan, the Mexican
coast trends to the westward, and even to the south of west, for a long
distance, whereas the course steered by Spike was north, easterly. This
was diverging from the enemy’s coast instead of approaching it, and the
circumstance greatly relieved the apprehensions of Mulford.

Nor was the sequestration of the mate’s instruments the only suspicious
act of Spike. He caused the brig’s paint to be entirely altered, and
even went so far toward disguising her, as to make some changes aloft.
All this was done as the vessel passed swiftly on her course, and every
thing had been effected, apparently to the captain’s satisfaction, when
the cry of “land-ho!” was once more heard. The land proved to be a
cluster of low, small islands, part coral, part sand, that might have
been eight or ten in number, and the largest of which did not possess a
surface of more than a very few acres. Many were the merest islets
imaginable, and on one of the largest of the cluster rose a tall, gaunt
light-house, having the customary dwelling of its keeper at its base.
Nothing else was visible; the broad expanse of the blue waters of the
Gulf excepted. All the land in sight would not probably have made one
field of twenty acres in extent, and that seemed cut off from the rest
of the world, by a broad barrier of water. It was a spot of such
singular situation and accessories, that Mulford gazed at it with a
burning desire to know where he was, as the brig steered through a
channel between two of the islets, into a capacious and perfectly safe
basin, formed by the group, and dropped her anchor in its centre.

                                                  [_To be continued._

                 *        *        *        *        *



                        MIDNIGHT MASSES. NO. I.


    Ho, watchman on the housetop!
      Ho, minister of night!
    From thine enclouded turret
      Canst tell us of the light?
    O! heavy is the darkness—
      In heaven there is no star;
    Canst see the wings of morning
      Rise fluttering afar?

    “I see four winged angels
      Far in the Orient;
    They bear a golden curtain
      Across the firmament;
    A blue and golden curtain,
      Of richest tapestry;
    And the world grows bright beneath it—
      Morn cometh from the sea.”

    “I see four other angels
      Rise softly after them;
    They bear a sable curtain,
      Enwrought with many a gem;
    With gems of gold and silver,
      Of azure and of white;
    And among them burneth Hesper—
      Morn cometh and the night.”

    Ho, poet, from thy tower!
      How goes the tide of life;
    The battle is it ended,
      Has ceased the olden strife?
    Thick mists are in the valley;
      They cloud my narrow sight;
    Canst tell us of the gloaming,
      The making up of night?

    The battle rages fiercely,
      More fiercely it shall rage;
    The world is clouded darkly,
      Then comes a darker age;
    I see four angels rising,
      A sable shroud they bear;
    Which rolling gathers darkness—
      Night cometh from his lair.

    But I see a knight advancing
      With bright mail on his breast;
    His lance is long and shining,
      And he bows each sable crest;
    And in the hands of angels
      White flags of peace are borne;
    I see the glad Aurora—
      Night cometh and the morn.
                             ARTHUR ALLYN.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                            STARTING WRONG.


        By F. E. F., AUTHOR OF “A MARRIAGE OF CONVENIENCE,” ETC.


                               CHAPTER I.

“Oh, Lucy, is that you? I was just wishing for you,” exclaimed Emily
Sutherland to her sister, Mrs. Coolidge. “We are busy discussing our
dresses for the Fancy Ball. What character do you mean to take? Have you
decided on your dress?”

“No, I have not, Emily.”

“Well, it’s high time to begin to think about it. Every milliner and
mantua-maker in town will be full of work soon. I told Madame Dudevant
yesterday she must consider herself engaged to make my dress by the 22d.
You had better bespeak her, too, or you will find yourself too late if
you put it off.”

“I shall wear something so simple it’s not worth while having it made by
her,” replied Mrs. Coolidge. “I shall go as the ‘White Lady,’ or—”

“Not the ‘White Lady;’ for Heaven’s sake,” interrupted Emily, “that’s so
hackneyed. Every body who can muster an old book-muslin, and a few yards
of tulle, goes as the ‘White Lady.’”

“Well, a novice, or a Druid priestess,” continued Mrs. Coolidge.

“That’s just as bad,” pursued her sister impatiently. “No, no, you and
Tom must go in character together; you as Titania, and he as Bully
Bottom. You are so light, and slight, and fair, you will look Titania
very well; and Tom will make a grand Bully—so full of fun and humor.
You would contrast beautifully. You must hang upon his arm, and ‘stick
musk roses in his sleek smooth head, and _pinch_ his large, fair ears,’
for it’ll hardly do to ‘kiss’ them, and call him ‘your gentle joy.’ I am
sure you could do that to the life.”

Mrs. Coolidge smiled, for the idea caught her fancy; but then she looked
graver as she said,

“But those would be expensive dresses, Emily. I merely meant to wear
something that would entitle me to an entrance. If the invitations did
not say ‘_costume de rigueur_,’ I should not think of a fancy dress at
all.”

“Oh, what nonsense,” said Emily. “The expense is not much; I am sure Tom
would not mind it. I’ll speak to him about it,” she continued; for she
had been so accustomed to hear her father scold at expense, that she
concluded, of course, her sister’s objections must now have reference to
her husband, and that consequently if she spoke first to him, she was
doing Lucy a great service.

“No, pray don’t put it in his head,” said the young wife eagerly, “for I
fear he would be so taken by the idea, he would not stop to count the
cost.”

“Well, then,” said Emily, opening her eyes very wide, “why need you?”

“Because, Emily, as we are young people just beginning, I think we ought
to—”

“To be patterns,” said Emily. “Well and good, my dear, only don’t begin
until after this ball, if you please.”

“I don’t want to set up as a pattern,” said Lucy, “but still I would not
wish to do any thing extravagant.”

“There’s no great extravagance in these dresses, I am sure,” replied
Emily. “That’s one reason I selected them for you and Tom; and then I
thought you would like to go in character together. I really flattered
myself I had hit sentiment and economy with one stone beautifully. But
you make as long a face about it as if I had proposed King Solomon and
the Queen of Sheba to you.”

“What should Titania’s dress be?” inquired Mrs. Coolidge thoughtfully.

“Oh, something very light. Tulle, trimmed with a little silver—nothing
is cheaper than that, you know,” answered Emily.

“As it is only for one night,” pursued Lucy, “I would not feel
authorized to go to much expense. If it were a dress that could ever be
worn again—”

“You never can, or never ought at least, wear any tulle dress over
twice; and therefore it does not make much difference about its being
made in costume,” said Emily carelessly. “Tom’s dress, you know, is the
simplest thing in the world. It’s only a weaver’s apron, &c. The ass’s
head he can easily have made; he’ll get it for a trifle at any
toy-store, I should think. Ah, there’s Tom,” cried Emily, as she saw her
brother-in-law entering the hall. “Here, Mr. Coolidge, come here,” she
called. “Come in and persuade this perverse wife of yours into being
reasonable. Here I’ve been ransacking my head for suitable characters
for her and you for the Fancy Ball; and just as I had hit upon the very
thing for both of you, and expecting your joint vote of thanks, and
compliments for the brilliancy of my idea, she puts on a grave face, and
makes all sorts of objections. Don’t you think she would make a pretty
Titania, and you a beautiful, broad-shouldered Bully Bottom? I’ll tell
you what, you shall not be lost to the world as Bully; if _she_ wont be
your Titania, _I_ will, though I don’t think I will look the character
very well, and beside—”

“Why Lucy,” said her husband, “I don’t think you could possibly find any
thing prettier; and really, Emily, I will give you my vote of thanks at
once for my share of it. Bully always was a favorite of mine. You see I
am more grateful than Lucy. However,” continued he, turning to his wife,
“If you don’t like it, ‘I am agreeable,’ as country people say, to any
thing you prefer.”

“There’s nothing else that I prefer,” she replied, “only I thought the
_Dame Blanche_ would be more economical.”

“I veto the _Dame Blanche_,” cried Emily before Coolidge had time to
speak. “It’s just one of those things that are very pretty the first
time; but it’s as old and common now as possible. Besides, as you are a
bride, Lucy, people will expect something from you; you always have
dressed well as Lucy Sutherland—”

“I should be sorry if Lucy Coolidge appeared to less advantage now,”
said Coolidge, taking Emily’s hint, and a little piqued by the
insinuation. “I think, my dear, that would not be paying me much of a
compliment,” he added good-naturedly, for he was the best tempered
person in the world. “Come, if you like the dress, make up your mind at
once. And, Emily, as you are it seems grand costumer-general on the
occasion, perhaps you will be so kind as to lend me your aid afterward.
Will you go with me when I look for some _artiste_ capable of executing
Bully’s head and ears?”

“With pleasure, as soon as I finish with your lady wife here. Now for
Titania, Lucy.”

“I have a white satin dress, Emily, that I think would do for the under
petticoat,” said Lucy.

“White satin,” said Emily musingly. “No, that wont do—it should be
silk. Besides you’ve worn your satin, and the first thing in these
dresses, and indeed in every other, is that they should be fresh and
clean.”

“Certainly,” said Mr. Coolidge. “I don’t understand much of lady’s
dress, but that much I do. Nothing I hate so much as to see a woman in
dirty finery; and pure fresh white is the prettiest thing she can wear.
If you ladies dressed to please us gentlemen, you would never appear in
any thing else. However, I don’t mean to interfere in what you’ll say,
Emily, I don’t understand; only, Lucy, whatever you do decide on, let it
be fresh and clean.”

“There Lucy, now I have your husband on my side, you have nothing to
say,” cried Emily. “And to be fresh and clean, things must be new. You
men understand effect,” she continued, turning to her brother-in-law,
“though you are not much at details. And now let us be off to Madame
Dudevant’s; I want to see some costumes she was to have in this
morning—and you can speak to her about your dress at the same time.”

“And you think I must have Madame Dudevant,” said Lucy inquiringly. “She
is such an extortionate creature; I could get Henrietta in the house for
a couple of days—”

“For pity’s sake don’t think of Henrietta, Lucy,” said Emily; “there’s
no use in getting new materials if she is to spoil them. And what
signifies a few dollars more or less in the making; for after all it’s
the fit and air of a dress that gives it all its effect. Dudevant asks
rather more, perhaps, than others—but really she is worth it. She is
the only person in town who knows how to do any thing.”

“That’s true,” said Lucy plaintively.

“What makes you sigh so, Lucy,” said her husband smiling, “over Madame
Dudevant’s superiority?”

“Oh, that’s just Lucy,” said Emily laughing. “She always was so. She
thinks any thing will do for her until it comes to the point, and then
nothing but the best satisfies her. With all her scruples, she always
ends where I begin. But then she has such a plaintive way of going to
work, that she always thinks, and what is worse, you all agree with her,
that she is so much more economical than I—”

“Now Emily,” said Lucy expostulatingly, “I am sure I would be glad to go
as the ‘White Lady,’ if you and Tom would let me.”

“So you think, my dear—but I know how it would be; you would keep
Henrietta for a week in the house botching up a dress, which, of course,
would be a fright; and then, just at the last minute, you would come to
the conclusion it would never do, and go off in a hurry to Dudevant’s to
order something decent—and so, besides your dress, you would have your
failure to pay for.”

Coolidge laughed outright at this picture of his wife’s economy, and
said,

“Well, Lucy, as we can’t afford double expenses, I think you’ll have to
give up what Emily calls your ‘failure.’”

“These ‘failures’ are mighty expensive things, let me tell you,” said
Emily seriously; “and I’ll just give you this warning, Tom, your wife is
very fond of them.”

“Now, Emily, say no more,” said Lucy entreatingly, “and I’ll do any
thing you want.”

“Well, the carriage has been waiting this half hour,” said her sister.
“Do you come back to dinner,” said she to her brother-in-law, “for I
mean to keep Lucy to-day, and then we will settle this evening about
Bully’s head and ears, &c.”

So they drove to Madame Dudevant’s. Emily gave a rapid sketch of the
character her sister was to take, which the Frenchwoman caught with a
tact and quickness that would have been enough to make a slow, sober
Englishwoman think she had been a reader of Shakspeare from her youth.

“Ah, I understand—something very light and pretty; two, tree tunics—a
light broderie on each.”

“Would not a little silver lace,” said Mrs. Coolidge, looking anxious,
“do, madame?”

“Silver lace?” said the Frenchwoman interrogatively. “What you call
silver lace, madame? You like tinsel?” with a shrug of such ineffable
contempt, that Lucy colored spite of herself.

“A light embroidery would be much handsomer, Lucy,” said Emily. “I don’t
like silver lace myself, it has a sort of livery look.”

“Just so,” said the queen of mantua-makers, now directing her remarks to
Emily, “what you call vulgar. If madame will have tree tunics with a
delicat broderie, de sleeve de same, I have a young woman who work
beautiful—”

Lucy looked distressed, and said, “I don’t want to go to much expense,
madame.”

“Expense! oh no, madame, it so light it cost noting at all.”

“You had better leave it to madame, Lucy,” said Emily; “I see she
understands what you want. She will make it pretty, and not too
expensive. Madame,” turning to the Frenchwoman, “Mrs. Coolidge is
married, you know,” she added smiling, “and has a husband to consult.”

“Oh,” said the graceful _artiste_ smiling, “when you husband see you
look pretty, he tink noting of the cost.”

“I don’t know that, madame,” said Lucy laughing, unconsciously pleased
at the flattery. “But you’ll make it as reasonable as possible.”

“Certain, madame; I make it as cheap as I can afford. You shall like
your dress. And you, mademoiselle, will come to-morrow; I have some new
costume.”

The Fancy Ball, which had been the talk of the town for a month, went
off brilliantly. Emily’s dress was Madame Dudevant’s _chef d’œuvre_, and
the delicate Titania looked the creation of a poet. But Tom, as Bully
Bottom, was glorious. The young husband and wife were conspicuous amid
even that distinguished throng; and Lucy, proud of her husband’s wit,
entered with delight into the spirit of the whole; and he, as Madame
Dudevant truly prophecied, when “he saw her look so pretty, thought
nothing of the cost.”


                              CHAPTER II.

“Tom, dear,” said has wife one morning at breakfast, about the close of
the first year of their marriage, “What do you mean to do about this
house? I find that the rents on all this row have risen fifty dollars. I
suppose our landlord will raise on us.”

“Yes,” replied her husband, knitting his brow with an anxious
expression, “he told me so yesterday.”

“The rent is already high enough,” rejoined his wife, “for a house of
this size, with none of the new improvements, too. Had we not better
give it up?”

Coolidge looked annoyed, and said, “The moving would make up the
difference of the rent.”

“Yes, but then we might get a better house for the same money up town;
and by taking a lease—”

“You can’t take a house on lease,” answered her husband quickly, “these
landlords have one so in their power.”

“But they will lease I know,” pursued Lucy, “for Mrs. Saville told me
yesterday that they had taken their house for three years. The one next
door is to rent on the same terms, with baths on every story, and some
new contrivance by which all the coal is taken up stairs by turning some
crank, or something or other,” continued Mrs. Coolidge with all the
enthusiasm of a young housekeeper.

“Well, well,” interrupted Tom with some impatience, “we could not take
it if the whole work of the house was performed by machinery instead of
servants; for, to tell you the truth, Lucy,” he added gravely, “I am
behind hand in the rent.”

“Behind hand in the rent!” exclaimed Lucy aghast.

“Yes, but you need not look so horror struck, Lucy, it’s only the last
quarter. I should not like to leave, however, without having paid up
every thing; so we must stay where we are for this year. Cranstoun is
anxious we should, and so don’t trouble me about what is due; and upon
the whole it is more convenient to pay fifty dollars more in the course
of the year, than to move now.”

Lucy looked very serious, and then said,

“I am perfectly willing to stay here, Tom, but I really think we pay
Cranstoun enough now; it’s unconscionable to ask more. Did you tell him
about the new houses, and remind him that this has no baths?”

“No, my dear,” replied Tom, “you can’t expostulate with a man you owe.
Next year we can do better, but for the present we must put up with it
as it is.”

“But to pay fifty dollars,” pursued Lucy, in a dissatisfied tone, for
she was thinking of fifty things on which she would prefer laying out
fifty dollars.

“I must do the best I can, Lucy,” replied her husband. “And now, I am
sorry to say it, Lucy, but we must retrench in something—we don’t make
the two ends meet this year.”

“Don’t we?” said Lucy sadly, “that’s very bad.”

“Yes, so it is. But don’t look so doleful about it, Lucy, for Heaven’s
sake,” said her husband; “it is not so bad after all—for though we are
behind hand, it is not a great deal. We have only to cut off something
else next year, and then all will come right again.”

“Well,” she said, trying to speak cheerfully, “where shall we begin. We
can’t do very well with a servant less. The cook, of course, we must
have. The chambermaid does the washing. The man—we can get a
waiter-girl instead of a man, if you are willing.”

Coolidge hesitated, and said,

“That is only exchanging one servant for another; and I hate girl
waiters. I never can order a woman; and then I must hire some one to
clean my boots—and there’s the putting in coal. The difference of wages
soon makes itself up, you see, in these trifles that you want all the
time. These sort of economies only make one uncomfortable, and save in
the end little or nothing.”

“That’s true,” she replied mournfully.

“We can give up the curtains for the back parlour,” rejoined he.

“But they are ordered,” replied Lucy.

“I know that,” he continued, “but I dare say Lambert would take them off
our hands.”

“Yes, I suppose so,” said Lucy; “but then he will make you pay something
if he does. They are cut for our windows—and you always lose upon any
thing they take back after it is cut.”

“I presume so; but that is not much.”

“Yes it is, considerable,” said Lucy, who, woman-like, clung to her
curtains. “And it does seem a pity to pay for what one has not;
particularly, too, when money is not over plenty.”

“True enough,” said Tom. “Well, we’ll see about it. I’ll see what
Lambert says about it. If he is in no hurry to be paid, why, in the
course of six months, I can settle it all.”

“Of course,” said Lucy, “he gives six months’ credit—that is what they
all do. No one expects to be paid before six months.”

“Oh, if that’s so,” answered Tom, “the thing may as well rest as it is.”

“If that room were not so cold,” pursued Lucy, “I should not care so
much about the curtains; but we really suffered for the want of them
last winter.”

“At any rate, they are ordered,” said her husband, “and as you think
Lambert wont take them off our hands without making me pay something
down—so there let it rest. I don’t feel inclined to pay for what we
don’t have, which is, as you say, provoking enough. In fact, I find it
pretty tough to pay for what we do have, let alone what we don’t.”

In truth, Coolidge found it more convenient to have some hundreds
_charged_, than to pay a bonus down, small though it might be. So Lucy
secured her curtains.

“But we must economize in something, you say,” continued Lucy. “I wish I
knew where to begin,” she added, anxiously. “I don’t know what we can
cut off.”

“We have not many superfluities, certainly,” rejoined her husband.
“However, we must retrench as much as we can. I don’t know exactly in
what—but as a general thing, Lucy. You must have an eye to saving all
you can this winter; and next year I hope it wont be necessary. So good
morning, love—it is time I was off.” And Tom took his hat and left his
wife, who sat ruminating with a very doleful face, just where he left
her, until the cook came for her orders for dinner.

The Coolidges kept a good table, usually—for Tom was fond of bringing
in a friend or two occasionally to dinner; but, full of her new
economies, Lucy, instead of ordering as usual, asked the cook “if there
was not cold lamb enough left of yesterday to make a stew;” and that,
with some mashed potatoes, was all she ordered.

“And wont I cook the pheasants that have just come in?” inquired the
woman.

“No,” replied Lucy, who felt too poor to eat pheasants, “put them in the
larder—it is so cold they will keep.”

“Will I fricassee or roast the chickens?” pursued the cook; “there are
two pair in the larder.”

“No, the stew will be enough,” answered Mrs. Coolidge, and the cook left
the room with a toss, wondering “what was in the wind now,” quite
puzzled by her mistress’ sad manner of ordering dinner, and sudden
notion “of having nothing worth the cooking.” “I guess Mr. Coolidge wont
like stew,” thought the offended _chef de cuisine_, as she set to work
chopping meat and vegetables.

She was right this time, at any rate—for Coolidge came home to dinner,
bringing a friend with him.

As he took his seat at table, his consternation could not be concealed
at the sight of the stew alone.

“Why Lucy, what’s the meaning of this?” said he, looking at his wife.
“Did not the man bring home the marketing? I’ll speak to him to-morrow.
It’s too bad.”

Lucy colored very much, and said,

“Yes, he came at the usual hour.”

“Well,” he said, looking as if he expected her to say something more.

She colored still more painfully as she said,

“I did not think you would be home to dinner—and—”

“Oh, I understand,” said her husband laughing, though embarrassed, “you
did not happen to feel hungry when the cook came for orders, and so
thought you did not want any dinner, and that I should stay down town.
Well, Hastings,” turning to his friend, “as Mrs. Coolidge wont give us
any thing to eat, I’ll see we have something fit to drink. Here Joe,”
turning to the man, “take this key and go into the wine cellar, and
bring me one of those bottles with a card label—and see that you don’t
shake it coming up stairs. There,” he said, “Hastings, try that.”

“It’s exquisite,” returned his friend, “wine for an emperor.”

And so, what with the wine and the stew, Mr. Hastings seemed to make a
very good dinner, though Lucy felt as if she would be glad to get under
the table, and Tom did not feel much better.

“Now, Lucy, dearest,” said he, as the door closed upon their guest,
“what did you mean by ordering such a dinner?”

Tears started in her eyes as she said,

“Oh, Tom, I did not know you meant to bring home any one with you; and
as we were talking of economizing this morning, and as there was plenty
of cold lamb left of yesterday—”

“I never was so mortified in my life,” rejoined her husband. “There’s no
use, Lucy, in going to extremes. We may economize without going to such
pitiful lengths as that. However, there’s no use in talking about it
now. It’s over, and I gave Hastings wine that more than compensated for
your dinner. It was some of my father’s best old Madeira. I’ve only a
couple of dozen of it, but I felt I must give the poor devil something
to make it up, or he would feel as if I had insulted him in bringing him
home to a stew and potatoes! So, Lucy, even on the score of economy,
your dinner did not answer its end. There’s no use in saving a pair of
chickens, if one must give a bottle of five dollar wine to make up for
their absence. This, I think,” he added laughing, “is what Emily would
call one of your ‘economical failures.’”

Coolidge was certainly as good-tempered a man as ever lived; but a bad
dinner, when one has a friend, will try the best of husbands—and he was
vexed, in spite of himself. However, he said no more; and Lucy resolved
she never would put him to the test again, in that way at least.

“Feast or famine! hey Lucy?” he said the next day, as he took his place
at table. “Roast chickens, stewed chickens, pheasants! Any removes,” he
continued, laughing as he looked at his wife.

“I did not mean to have all this cooked to day,” said Lucy,
apologizingly, “but a thaw has come on, and cook said the poultry would
not keep any longer, as it had already been two days in the larder.”

“Oh, I understand,” replied her husband, “we must eat yesterday’s dinner
and today’s too. That’s it, is it? I wish Hastings dined with us to-day
instead of yesterday, and then I might have kept my old wine that I
grudge him.”

“Ah Tom,” said Lucy beseechingly.

He laughed, and said,

“Why, Lucy, we need not economise in the matter of mirth, need we?”

“Yes, when it is at my expense, Tom,” she replied.

“Then you think me extravagant in that respect,” he said. “Well, no
matter, Lucy; if you are a young housekeeper, you are the dearest,
sweetest-tempered little wife a man ever had. Only, love, when you order
dinner, particularly a stew, just think of Mr. Hastings, will you? Let
us economise in any thing but hospitality. There, now, I’ll say no more
about it, I promise. Moreover, I wont tell Emily—now am I not good?”


                              CHAPTER III.

“Lucy,” said Emily, “we have taken our season tickets for the Opera near
the centre of the house, Nos. 22, 24. Mr. Coolidge had better take yours
joining ours, so that if he happens to be engaged, or don’t want to go,
or any thing, you can go with us. At any rate, it will be pleasanter to
be together.”

“We are not going to take a season ticket,” said Lucy,

“Why not?” inquired Emily. “It’s cheaper, you know, than paying by the
single ticket.”

“There’s no cheap way of going to the Opera,” said Coolidge, rather
rudely, as Emily thought.

“It costs something, certainly,” she replied. “Every thing does. But I
think it’s quite as economical as any other amusement, and much more
delightful. It’s a great improvement, too, Lucy, to one’s own music; and
with your voice you ought to take every opportunity of hearing good
music.”

“Accomplished wives are somewhat expensive articles for a poor man,”
said Tom. “A taste for music costs no trifle in these days.”

“Is a taste for yachting cheaper?” said Emily, looking at him as if she
thought him a bear.

Tom colored at this, having just joined a yachting club, composed of
some of the most expensive young men in town, and looked very angry, but
said nothing—what could he?

However, if he was angry, so was Emily—and Lucy looked fairly
frightened between the two. She turned the conversation as quickly as
she could, and the subject dropped.

He said to her afterward,

“Lucy, if you would like to go the Opera, I’ll take a season ticket for
you with your family. When I want to go, I can buy a ticket at the door,
as I don’t care about going every night.”

“Oh, no, Tom, I don’t care about going at all; and you know I never wish
to go without you.”

He looked very much perplexed and worried.

“I can’t bear to have you give up a pleasure you are so fond of,” he
pursued. “And then it seems so selfish. I wish to heavens I had not
joined that confounded club. I’ll give it up as soon as the year is
out.”

“Oh, I am sure, Tom,” said his sweet wife, “you require relaxation and
exercise. I think you’ve been a great deal better this summer in
consequence of having joined the club.”

Still he did not seem at ease. In fact, Emily’s fling at his being able
to gratify his own tastes while he found fault with Lucy’s, nettled him.
And, moreover, he was honest and generous enough to feel its truth.
Besides, no man likes the insinuation of selfishness—if there is any
truth in the charge, so much the worse. So, though it was inconvenient,
Tom made a point of Lucy’s having a season ticket—whether he took some
money he had meant to appropriate to house expenses, I don’t know, but I
should not be surprised; at any rate they were much behind hand this
year.

They had a bill now at the grocer’s—butcher’s ditto—and “paid on
account” what they did pay.

Fifty dollars more was added next year to the house-rent—and yet they
did not move. Lucy looked embarrassed when she was asked “if they meant
to remain,” and “why they did not move up town?” and Tom was almost rude
when similar inquiries were made of him. That, indeed, was not the
unusual thing now that it had once been. Tom was growing cross. He was
harassed and fretted, and often answered hastily where he had no right
to do so; particularly to his sweet, pretty little wife, who, to do him
justice, he did love with all his heart and soul—but that was no excuse
for being cross to her, as he was sometimes, when she handed him a bill.

“Why, Lucy, what is this? Five dollars for ice! I’ve paid that bill
before.”

“No, dear, you have not.”

“I gave you the money, I am sure. Do you take receipts? for if you
don’t, they always send the bill a second time.” No one but Tom would
ever have thought of any body’s sending him a bill a _second_ time. If
they got paid once, they did very well. “And I can’t afford to be paying
bills two or three times over.”

“Indeed, dear, I always take receipts—and this I know has not been
paid. It has been sent in two or three times, but it has not been paid,
I know. Here’s the baker’s account just sent in,” continued Lucy, who
thought while she was in for a disagreeable subject, she might as well
go through with it all.

“Twenty dollars for bread!” exclaimed he, eyeing the sum total; “why it
must be a mistake.”

“No,” she said, “it is correct.”

“Then, Lucy,” said he, “there must be great waste somewhere; and,” he
added angrily, “I can’t afford it. Twenty dollars for bread! It’s
enormous.”

“It has been running a good while,” said Lucy, meekly. “See, it begins
in June.”

“Well, well, no matter when it begins,” said he, impatiently, “I can’t
pay it now, that’s all.”

The door opened just then, and Emily came in. Lucy was always glad to
see her, doubly so now, as she interrupted a _tête-à-tête_ that
threatened to be unpleasant.

“I have come, Lucy,” she said, “to ask you to go and look at bonnets.
The French importations open to-day. Mamma will join us presently.”

“It seems to me,” said Tom, somewhat rudely, “that you women spend all
your time running round after finery.”

Emily looked at him for a minute as if she had a great mind to retort,
but Lucy quickly interposed with,

“If you want the benefit of my taste to aid you in selecting for
yourself, Emily, I am ready to go. I don’t mean to get any thing for
myself. I don’t want a hat.”

“You may not mean to get one,” said Emily, “but that you want one is
certain. Yours is shabby enough in all conscience.”

“It will do well enough for the present,” said Lucy in a dejected tone.

“You can’t wear a summer bonnet all winter, Lucy; and if you are going
to get one at all, you might as well get it now, and have the comfort of
it.”

Tom looked cross, however; and though what Emily said was true, Lucy did
not feel as if she ought to indulge herself in even getting what she
must have while he was out of temper. It was wonderful how much richer
she felt when he was in a good humor.

Mrs. Sutherland now joined her daughters, and after a little while said,

“Oh, Emily, I have just come from Dudevant’s. The hats don’t open
to-day. She was going to send you word. It was a mistake of the
printer’s. To-morrow is the day.”

“Then I will call for you to-morrow, Lucy,” said Emily. “And now, as it
is late, we may as well go, mamma.”

“How cross Coolidge grows,” said Emily, as they drove off.

“Is any thing the matter, do you think,” inquired Mrs. Sutherland
anxiously.

“No,” replied Emily, “nothing that I could see.”

The next morning, as Emily called at an early hour at her sister’s, as
by appointment, Coolidge, who had not yet gone out, looked up and said
pleasantly,

“Hats the order of the day, hey, Emily?”

And as Lucy rose hastily from the breakfast table and tied on hers, he
added,

“That does look shabby enough, Lucy. Do get a white bonnet this time. I
do like to see a woman in a white hat.”

“They soil too soon,” replied his wife, “and beside are only fit for
full dress.”

“Well,” he replied, “can’t you have another for common wear?”

Tom had got some money, that was clear. The very atmosphere of the house
seemed changed since yesterday. The sunshine was to be taken advantage
of however, and Lucy went up to him and said something to him in a low
voice, to which he answered,

“I can’t this morning. Tell her to send it up.”

Emily had heard this often enough to understand what it meant. The hat
was to be charged, that was evident. However, as it was to be bought,
that was all she cared about. The rest only concerned Tom and Madame
Dudevant.

These fits of liberality and good humor, however, were becoming rare.
Coolidge was certainly growing cross. His naturally fine, generous
temper was becoming clouded by his embarrassments. When a man is
harassed he is apt to forget himself even toward those he loves best.
And he did love his little wife dearly, notwithstanding that he
frequently spoke almost harshly to her. And this again acted upon her
poor thing. She was becoming nervous and timid, and sorry are we to
add—fretful.

“Do keep quiet, Harry,” she would say to her eldest child, a fine
spirited boy, in the tone of a person who had the toothache, “You are
enough to set one distracted with your noise. Now put your blocks away
and sit down and read.”

But Harry, being in the midst of a high game of fun with his little
sister, did not want to throw down the castle he was building, would
say,

“Oh, mamma, pray let me finish. I don’t want to read. I wont do any
harm.”

“How troublesome you are, Harry. Do as I bid you. And, Fanny, do you go
up into the nursery. You make too much noise here, both of you. Go,
nurse wants you up stairs.”

And so the poor children’s pleasures were often cut short, because mamma
had a bill preying upon her mind, that made the sound of mirth
absolutely painful to her.

And yet Coolidge was doing a good business. His profits were quite equal
perhaps to his expenses, if he could only have paid as he went along.
But as it was, he was working against tide all the time. He was forever
paying back accounts, while the present ones went rolling up, inferior
articles at high prices, at a fearful rate.

“Poverty begets poverty, that’s certain. And then it brings such a train
of evils—big and little—and the smaller ones are worse to bear than
the great. A man who has his pocket always drained of change is not a
pleasant companion, at least not to his wife. Let him be ever so
affectionate he will be unreasonable.”

“Three shillings! What do you want three shillings for, Lucy?” he would
say as impatiently sometimes as if she had asked for a hundred dollars.

“For the girl who has been sewing here to-day, dear.”

“It seems to me that girl is sewing here forever. It’s three shillings
here and three shillings there all the time,” he would say pettishly.

“Shall you want me next week, Mrs. Coolidge?” asked the girl, as she was
paid.

“No,” she replied in a melancholy tone; “no, I will finish the rest of
the work myself.”

Then perhaps feeling good-humored, he would say affectionately,

“Do, Lucy, put that eternal work-basket aside. I hate to see you
stitching away so the whole time.”

“I must finish these things for the children,” she replied.

“Oh, it’s no matter for the children. You look fagged to death, dear.
Send for that girl. Indeed I’d rather give fifty dollars than see you
wear yourself out as you do.”

Now, if Coolidge would only have given the fifty, or twenty, or even ten
dollars, instead of talking about it, it would have saved his poor wife
many a side-ache, and back-ache, and heart-ache to boot, for she almost
stitched her soul out to save five dollars. But there was nothing she
would not rather do than ask for money. It was bad enough to be obliged
to hand the necessary house-bills. As to her own milliner’s and
mantua-maker’s accounts! the mental agony she went through for them
would have been almost ludicrous, so disproportioned was the amount of
suffering to the amount charged, had it not been so sincere.

“Catch me going to Lucy’s again to spend an evening,” said one of her
younger sisters to Emily, now the rich and gay Mrs. Woodberry.

“Why? How was it—what was the matter?” asked Emily.

“I am sure I do not know—nothing that I could see. But you would have
supposed there was a corpse in the house, certainly. There was but one
light, and that shaded, on the table where Lucy and the children
sat—she sewing, they studying. And if the poor little souls spoke loud,
or laughed, Lucy hushed them at once, and with such reproachful looks,
as if they had done something very naughty, and were shockingly
unfeeling. And Mr. Coolidge scarcely raised his eyes from his paper, but
to say something cross two or three times during the course of the
evening. And poor Lucy sat stitching away, looking the image of grief
and despair. If both the children had been up stairs dying of scarlet
fever, she could not have looked worse. I asked her what was the matter,
and she replied, ‘Nothing.’ But, really, if people look so about
‘nothing,’ they deserve to have ‘something’ to look miserable about.”

“I suppose it was some bill or other—the old story,” replied Mrs.
Woodberry. “Lucy is so silly to let Coolidge be so cross about things
that are no more her fault than his. If she had only fired up in the
beginning, and told him, as I should have done, when he scolded about
the butcher and baker, &c., ‘That he ate five times as much bread as I
did; and as to meat, I did not care if I did not eat a morsel from one
week’s end to another,’ and followed it up by ordering no dinner, I
think she might have taught him better manners. Men are so detestable,”
she continued, with vexation, “one would think it was not enough to be
poor, but they must add to the charm by being cross.”

“Then you think poverty a great evil,” said Susan with sorrowful
earnestness—for there was a certain young lawyer she thought very
captivating.

“An evil—to be sure it is,” replied Mrs. Woodberry, who, being very
rich and expensive, thought there was no living without money, and
plenty of it, too. “Just look at Lucy—did you ever see such a poor,
forlorn, faded, fretful looking thing as she has become. You don’t
remember her, Susan, when she married. You would scarcely believe what a
sweet, fresh, pretty young creature she was. And now look at her! She
looks as if she might have gone in the wash with those poor old faded
calicoes of hers, that have been rubbed and pounded till there’s scarce
a shade of color in them. And Coolidge, too—what a pleasant, merry,
joyous tempered fellow he was. I never shall forget them the first time
they appeared in society after their marriage. It was at a Fancy Ball.
She went as Titania, he as Bully Bottom. They were the admiration and
life of the room. One would not have thought, to have seen them then,
how they would look fifteen years later.”

“Well,” said old Mrs. Rutledge, an aunt of the Sutherlands, joining in
the conversation for the first time, “there I don’t agree with you,
Emily. It was just the beginning that might have foretold the ending.”

“How so?” said both sisters, looking up at once.

“They have lived too fast. Poverty, my dear Susan, is an evil, nay, a
curse, or not, just as people choose to make it. Be prudent, live within
your means, and small though they may be, there will always be enough
for happiness.”

Susan, whose feelings were deeply interested in this question, said,

“But, aunt, do you think it is Lucy’s fault that her husband is cross
and poor?”

“Not entirely, my dear. A man should govern himself, and his own
destiny. But still, I think a prudent, _firm_ wife, a fine
balance-wheel. Lucy did not use her influence rightly. She never seemed
to know the power she had in her hands. She rather encouraged her
husband’s extravagance; and it has been _debt_ that has been the ruin of
their happiness. Had they begun differently, it would have ended
differently. God only knows, now, poor things, where they will wind up.”

The error was, they started wrong.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                     I’VE BEEN UPON THE BRINY DEEP.


                              _A NEW SONG_

               COMPOSED AND RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED TO THE

                    WEST PHILADELPHIA MUSICAL CLUB,

                        BY CHARLES E. CATHRALL.

    Entered according to act of Congress, in the Year 1846, by J. G.
    Osbourn, in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the
    Eastern District of Penn’s.

[Illustration]

    I’ve been upon the briny deep,
      When the wind had died away,
    And like an ocean god asleep,
      Our bark majestic lay,
    But

[Illustration]

      lovelier the varied scene,
      The hill, the lake, the tree,
    When bath’d in light of midnight’s Queen,
      The land, the land for me,
    The land, the land for me,
      The land, the land for me,
    The land, the land for me.

    The glist’ning wave I’ve glided o’er,
      When so gently blew the breeze;
    But sweeter was the distant shore,
      The zephyr ’mong the trees.
    The murmur of the mountain rill,
      The blossoms waving free,
    The song of birds on ev’ry hill,
      The land, the land for me.

                 *        *        *        *        *



           THE PRESENT ROMANTIC SCHOOL OF FRENCH LITERATURE.


                        ALEXANDRE DUMAS’ HAMLET.


We have often taken occasion to express our opinion on the present
romantic school of French literature, as opposed to what may be
designated as the classical literature of that country. We think that
the French have succeeded better in their old vocation than in their new
one, and that with all their vivacity and sprightliness they are not a
very romantic people. The romantic school of France is not of national
growth; but has been transferred from England and Germany, both in prose
and poetry. There is nothing in the character of the French that is
romantic, their imagination resembling much more that of the Greeks and
Romans, and their love of glory being much more classical than that of
any modern notion. To an Englishman, an American, or a German, French
stage logic appears absolutely destitute of interest or meaning, but to
a Frenchman it is eminently full of truth and significance, though the
subjects are, with but few exceptions, taken from ancient history.
Racine’s Achilles and Agamemnon are true Frenchmen, and his Alexander
much more resembles Louis XIV., Conde, Turenne, or Napoleon, than
Shakspeare’s Brutus resembles Charles Fox, or his Julius Cæsar, Oliver
Cromwell. The English and the German poets depict men; the French only
Frenchmen, though the hero of the play be a Roman or a Greek; and hence
their old literature, as we may now call it, is eminently national.
There is no incoherence in Achilles calling Iphigenia “Madame,” nor in
her calling him “Monsieur;” for if Achilles and Iphigenia had spoken
French to each other, as they are obliged to do on the French stage,
they could not, without a gross breach of politeness, have used any
other title in addressing each other. It is sufficiently classical that
Achilles should call Iphigenia “Madame,” considering that she was but
betrothed to him. In modern language she would have been called
“_Mademoiselle_.”

Those who imagine the language of Racine and Voltaire unnatural and
forced, need but acquaint themselves with the French people, and they
will soon perceive that even the French people of the present day think,
feel and act through the Greek idiom, and in conformity with their
classic models. Not the Greeks in the Morea, or in Syria, who are
nothing but Turks and Jews and Frank rabble, without a country, and
without national associations, but the _Parisians_ are the true
representatives of the Greeks among the moderns.

Even in common life, in their harangues in the Chambers, in the
pleadings of their lawyers, the charges of their judges, and, to a
certain extent, even in their periodical writings, the French are
admirably classical, even at the expense of cogent reasoning; that is,
they are modern Greeks and Romans, and resemble them also in their
national character. We have, of course, no reference to the Spartans;
but to the Athenians the French bear a goodly resemblance, and, as far
as that goes, they are decidedly agreeable—though Heathens in more than
one sense of the word. No modern people are as much alive to wit,
sarcasm and epigrammatic conversation as the Parisians—and there is no
other mob in Europe as much capable of relishing a joke, or a witticism,
or of being inspired by a happy impromptu as the _canaille_ of the
French metropolis. With all its fierce and ungovernable passions, it is
capable of noble and generous emotions, and of practicing, at least for
a time, a degree of self-denial which is bordering on the classical. No
modern people lives as much in public as the French, or is as much
dependent on popular applause—none is so keenly alive to national
renown, none so fond of pleasure, of dramatic amusements, of the arts.
Louis Philippe thought his throne and his dynasty less in danger from
the opposition press, than from the genius of caricaturists. The spirit
of the latter the people seized in an instant, and the passions excited
by them were truly ungovernable. Hence the public sale of caricatures
was one of the first things interdicted by the September laws.

With the restoration of the Bourbons in 1815, the French romantic school
of literature was ushered into existence; the three Coriphaes of which
were De Lavigne, De Lamartine, and Chateaubriand. Schiller, Young, and
Milton, seemed to have been their models; but the modern prose writers
soon followed the lyric poets in their imitations of the romantic
schools of England and Germany; and we have since had French pupils of
Fielding, Smollet, Hoffmann, and Jean Paul Richter. Eugene Sue at first
imitated Fennimore Cooper; but he soon gave into the “tendency novels,”
on the Miss Martineau style of treating political and domestic economy.
But his great genius, and the rich resources of his imagination, soon
made him shoot by his dull originals, and he has since grappled
successfully with religion, morals, and politics; in all which combats
he may be said to have come out victorious; for he has nearly, if not
altogether, _annihilated_ his antagonists.

The Feuilleton literature which has grown in proportion to the decline
of essays and memoirs, has opened a new field to the romantic pens of
France, and has made that style of writing popular with the masses.
Since then the abuse of it has passed all bounds; half a dozen writers
have absorbed the _Feuilletons_ of all the large sheets published in the
capital—so that talents less known and appreciated must content
themselves with some feudal tenure under one of these literary lords;
for it must not be imagined that writers like Sue, Alexandre Dumas,
Soulié, &c., do their own works, or are put to the necessity of even
inventing the incidents of their stories. All this is done for them by
their literary vassals, who work for five francs a day, while their
masters, who occasionally correct the phraseology of some chapter, but
whose principal business it is, when matters come to a crisis, to
furnish the _dénouement_ and the conclusion, to which they put their
_name_, receive hundreds of thousands for their contributions.

But what the feudal writers of the romantic school of France have not
attempted till lately was to imitate Shakspeare on the stage. Hitherto
the modern dramas of Victor Hugo were more in the melo-dramatic line,
and as such admirably adapted to the taste of the frequenters of the
theatre _de la Porte St. Martin_. But Victor Hugo was a brave man, and
with the popularity acquired among the masses, soon forced his way to
the French academy, as Lucien Bonaparte, at the head of his grenadiers,
forced the legislative assembly of the republic to close its sessions.
He got in and seated himself, and has since had strength enough to draw
some of his best friends after him, notwithstanding all the opposition
of the classic Molé, who has even pronounced a discourse against Alfred
de Vigny.

Alexandre Dumas, the Créol of the Isle of Bourbon (the French use the
term _Créol_ as a sort of embellishment to a Mulatto) is the greatest
literary factotum of France now living. He imitates every
thing—history, comedy, tragedy, novels, and romance, and will with
great difficulty be kept from “the forty” _qui en savant comme
quatre_.[1] His Monte Christo is an imitation of “The Wandering Jew;”
his Age of Louis XIV. and XV., an important commentary on Voltaire; but
his _chef d’œuvre_ we have now before us;—it is nothing less than a new
version of Shakspeare’s Hamlet!

The present Feuilleton literature of France is, properly speaking, the
commercial or shop-keeper literature of the day, in which a few thoughts
abstracted from some greater works are carefully spun out and disposed
of at retail prices; or, to use a still better figure, a ragout with all
sorts of spices, but made from a piece of meat which has served to
appease the appetite of hundreds. There is a perfect dearth of ideas in
all of them, and a morbid desire for ornament. The form is everywhere
more valuable than the substance—the elegance of style superior to the
naked thought. It is the process of the gold-beater, who, with a single
grain of that precious metal, covers the backs of a whole library.

The taste for Shakspeare is, in France, of recent origin. Since the
performance of Macready on the French boards, Parisian audiences have
become acquainted with ghosts, witches, and the whole laboratory of
philosophical superstition in which the British bard surpassed all
others, ancient and modern. Still Shakspeare remained unintelligible or
unpalatable to many, notwithstanding the learned reviews of the _Revue
de deux Mondes_, and the _Revue de Paris_, both of which strove to show
that though in point of abstract genius Shakspeare may have possessed
more than Racine, Voltaire, and Corneille put together, still he lacked
that scenic arrangement, and that peculiar close connection between
cause and effect which distinguishes the dramatic works of France.
“Shakspeare’s Hamlet is a philosophical dissertation,” said a French
writer, “in a dramatic form.” “There is no _reason_ for Hamlet’s
madness”—“none in the world for Ophelia’s ravings, who ought to spurn
the taunts and insults of her coward lover,” &c.

All these criticisms have moved Alexandre Dumas to try his hand at the
work, and to correct the logic and dramatic arrangement of “the British
savage, who occasionally found a pearl on a dunghill.” The work of the
French Creole is admirable of its kind; but equally “unintelligible” in
regard to the scenic arrangements. Hamlet is as much a coward in the
French play as he is in the English, only a little less philosophical;
and instead of Laertes and the king being killed, the queen poisoned,
and what not, the ghost takes charge of eternal justice and finishes
them off himself. Why he does not do so, in the first act, immediately
after his appearance, is an enigma; but as that would have saved the
remaining four acts—which would not have answered the views of
Alexandre Dumas—it was necessary that Hamlet—the only character who
survives in the French play—should do some courting, and the queen and
king some talking and feasting, all according to the rules of the
_French_ drama. We cannot refrain, by way of a rich treat, from giving
the readers of the magazine the closing scene of _Dumas’s play_. It will
speak for itself, and save us the necessity of further comment.

-----

[1] The _Calembourg_ perpetrated by Piron, who was never admitted a
member of the Academy.

-----

    _Hamlet_, _the Ghost_, _the King_, _Laertes_, _Gertrude_,
    _Courtiers_.

Hamlet.  _L’ombre! l’ombre!_
  _Viens voir tes meurtriers mourir, fantôme sombre!_

King.  (Under Hamlet’s hand.) _A l’aide!_

Hamlet.  (To the Courtiers on a sign of the Ghost.)
  _Laissez-nous._

      (Hesitation among the Courtiers.)

  _Il n’en ferait pas deux! Le feu roi, n’est ce pas?_
  _Roi de votre existence et de votre agonie?_
  _Il sied qu’entre nous cinq la pièce soit finis._
  _Sortez—tous!_ (All intimidated slowly leave the stage.)
                  _A présent, vous trois, le voyez-vous?_

Laertes.  _Dieu puissant! Le roi mort!_

King.  _Mon père!_

Gertrude.  _Mon époux!_

Laertes.  _Grâce!_

Ghost.  _Oui ton sang, trop prompt t’entraina vers l’abîme,_
  _Laërte, et le seigneur t’a puni pour ton crime;_
  _Mais, tu le trouveras; car il sonde les cœurs,_
  _Moins sévère là-haut. Laërte prie et meurs._

      (Laertes dies.)

Gertrude.  _Pitié! Pitié!_

Ghost.               _Ta faute était ton amour même_
  _Pauvre femme! et Jésu vous aime quand on aime!_
  _Va, ton cœur a lavé ta honte avec tes pleur;_
  _Femme ici, reine au ciel, Gertrude éspère et meurs._

      (Gertrude dies.)

King.  _Pardon!_

Ghost.                _Pas de pardon! va meurtrier infâme_
  _Va; pour ton crime affreux, dans leur circle de flamme_
  _Satan et les enfers n’ont pas trop de douleur;_
  _Va, traitre incestueux, va!—désespère et meurs!_

      (King dies.)

Hamlet.  _Et moi, vais-je rester triste orphelin sur terre,_
  _Et respirer, cet air imprégné de misère?_
  _Tragédien choisi pour le courroux de Dieu,_
  _Si j’ai mal pris mon rôle, et mal saisi mon jeu,_
  _Si, tremblant de mon œuvre, et lassé sans combattre,_
  _Pour un que tu voulais j’en ai fait mourir quatre,_
  _Oh! parle, est-ce que Dieu ne pardonnera pas:_
  _Père, et quel châtiment m’attend donc?_

Ghost.  _Tu vivra!_

One can see that Dumas snatches a grace beyond the reach of the usual
drama. The ghost acts the part of the Lord’s messenger, and pronounces
sentence on each culprit. The queen is “a woman here,” and “an angel
there;” because she loved much—the king is too well served in going to
the devil, Laertes dies with some hope of salvation; but Hamlet lives to
repent of his sins; having by his cowardice killed four persons instead
of one! This is French stage logic. As to the language it is the most
trite and commonplace, that one can hear in _front_ of the theatre from
the hackmen; and the tragic muse is certainly not that one of the
hallowed nine which particularly favors the author of MONTE CHRISTO.

                                                             F. J. G.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                              THE GLEANER.


    She stands, as radiant as the morn
      When rosy splendors fill the air:
    Her white arms hold the golden corn,
      Itself less glowing than her hair.

    She stands, a simple peasant girl,
      Yet lovelier than the proudest queen;
    For wreathing smile and glossy curl
      More potent are than jeweled sheen.
                              E. M. S.

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration: Eng^d by Rawdon, Wright & Hatch

The Gleaner.
 Engraved expressly for Graham’s Magazine]

                 *        *        *        *        *



                          REVIEW OF NEW BOOKS.


    _Christine, and Other Poems. By Thomas Buchanan Read. Boston:
    Wm. D. Ticknor & Co. 1 vol. 12mo._

This is a volume to make “the cold reviewer’s rhyme-freezing face,” melt
into smiles. It is the production of a young painter, who has already
won an honorable reputation as an artist. Several of the poems have been
printed in various periodicals, and in that form attracted considerable
attention: but the majority, we believe, are now published for the first
time. They evince refinement of thought and sentiment, richness and
warmth of fancy, and singular delicacy and strength in the use of
language. Perhaps the finest characteristic of their diction is the
feeling they display of the harmony of sound and color, in the
expression of thought and emotion. The music of the verse corresponds to
the imagery which flushes through it, and thus the figures which the
poet’s prolific fancy conjures up, are all endowed with life and
motion—or rather seem to make the harmony in which they move. His
thoughts and sentiment give continual evidence of being born in music.
This is a test which few rhymes will bear, and of itself proves the
possession of the true poetic feeling. The poetry of Mr. Read is
essentially musical thought.

Among the excellent pieces contained in this volume, we would call the
attention of our readers to the dreamy beauty of Christine and the Bride
of Dottenburg—the elevated feeling which animates the dilating
imaginations of the sonnet “To the Master Bards”—the mystical charm of
The Winnower, Inez, Arise, The Twins, the Windy Night—and the pensive
beauty and sweetness of A Leaf From the Past and Sunlight on the
Threshold. Throughout the volume is manifested an imagination to discern
and express the poetical aspects of things. We hope that a collection of
poems so rich in thought and feeling, and richer still in promise, will
have the extended circulation it merits.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Dealings with the Firm of Dombey and Son, Wholesale, Retail,
    and for Exportation. By Charles Dickens. With Illustrations by
    H. K. Browne. New York: Wiley & Putnam._

From the numbers already published of this new novel by Dickens, we
think it promises to be one of the most entertaining of his works. With
some drawback on the excellence of the characterization, arising from
his desire to produce startling comic effects, the characteristics of
the work are the same as those displayed in the others, and they are as
good. Mr. Dombey is overcharged in the delineation almost to caricature,
but he still vividly suggests the character intended to be hit. The
class to which he belongs richly deserves satire, as pomposity is as
habitual a vice in a large number of Englishmen as the hypocrisy of
Pecksniff. Miss Tox promises to be as interesting as Miss Miggs, in
“Barnaby Rudge.” Mrs. Chick will give room for much satire on the
obvious hypocrisies of character. Polly Richards is a grand portrait,
overflowing with humanity, and true to the first principles of the
heart. Miss Nipper is a good specimen of the snappish domestic, proudly
vulgar and insolently low. Florence, the heroine, is an exquisite
creation, not yet fully developed, but as promising almost as Little
Nell. Walter is capital, and will go directly to the heart of all boys
of spirit. The other characters are of various degrees of merit and
originality, but all add something to the interest of the work.

The peculiar humor of Dickens, or his power of blending satire wit,
fancy and humor together, is very prominent in “Dombey and Son.” His
pathos is no less observable. The felicities of expression scattered
over the narrative, would alone reward its patient perusal. The style of
Dickens is worthy of study for its beautiful and sparkling
peculiarities. It is one of the most original in English literature, and
is the exact measure of his genius. His qualities as a novelist cannot
be disconnected from his style. A criticism of his diction involves a
statement of all his powers and peculiarities, for they interpenetrate
it, and give it all its life and character.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Nell Gwynne: or the Court of the Stuarts. An Historical
    Romance. By W. Harrison Ainsworth: Philada. Carey & Hart._

Ainsworth is well known as the most prominent of the English novelists
of intrigue, rascality, and horror. In the present work he has a fine
subject for his peculiar powers—the delineation of the court of Charles
II.—a good-natured rascal, who bartered away the interests and honor of
England for money and mistresses, and who was surrounded by companions
worthy of himself. Nell Gwynne was one of the least vixenish of his
mistresses, and she is the heroine of Mr. Ainsworth’s novel. The opening
scene of the book is appropriately laid in “The Devil’s Alley;” and
through this alley most of the characters go. Mr. Ainsworth himself has
been journeying through it ever since he commenced his career as a
romancer; and he has been the humble means of leading others in the same
path.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Lives of Donne, Wotton, Hooker, Herbert, and Sanderson. By
    Isaak Walton. New York: Wiley & Putnam. 2 Parts. 12mo._

It is singular that this should be the first American edition of so
celebrated a work. Isaak Walton has always been a favorite with readers,
and his “Lives” have held a prominent place among choice books. The most
extravagant admiration has been expressed for them by men of the finest
genius. Wordsworth says, in not the least beautiful of his sonnets, that

        —“The feather whence the pen
        Was shaped, that traced the lives of these good men,
        Dropt from an angel’s wing.”

We never knew a case where the book was read without giving delight.
Indeed it nestles close to the heart. There is a quaint, cunning, quiet
beauty to it, which wins upon the mind, and gently forces assent to its
excellence. Such a book is balm to a sensitive and irritable spirit. It
is read with some such feeling as might be excited by a benediction from
Chaucer’s good parson. Every one who desires to “possess himself in much
quietness,” whose brain has been fretted and stung by the morbid
creations of the Satanic school of letters, should devote his days and
nights to Isaak Walton, as Johnson advised the style-monger to devote
himself to Addison. The sweet serenity which breathes through the whole
book, joined to the sly quaint beauty of the expression, cannot fail to
charm every mind not wholly debauched by the “storm-and-pressure” style
now in vogue. The men to whom the book relates, are among the saints of
English literature; men who combined great learning and greater
intellect, with sweetness of disposition and repose of manner. We can
hardly conceive of a reader rising from the perusal of these “Lives”
without having some of their many amenities infused into his heart.

                 *        *        *        *        *

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 93, after Kate, stupified ==> after Kate, stupefied
page 93, be so forciby depicted ==> be so forcibly depicted
page 94, a strange forboding feeling, ==> a strange foreboding feeling,
page 96, suffering. His commisseration was ==> suffering. His
  commiseration was
page 97, that was irresistable. ==> that was irresistible.
page 97, been put _hors du combat_, ==> been put _hors de combat_,
page 101, abandoned villany are, ==> abandoned villainy are,
page 101, frighthen children and ==> frighten children and
page 103, had thus accidently met my ==> had thus accidentally met my
page 107, coolness of villany, he ==> coolness of villainy, he
page 108, that such wound caused ==> that such wounds caused
page 109, in the grasp of villany, ==> in the grasp of villainy,
page 112, me. Your’s is a ==> me. Yours is a
page 117, In the Chrisa di Santa ==> In the Chiesa di Santa
page 123, your’re for putting it ==> you’re for putting it
page 123, but it it is almost too ==> but it is almost too
page 128, Every thing was _en regle_, ==> Every thing was _en règle_,
page 128, half-deck of your’s is ==> half-deck of yours is
page 128, soften the underderstanding.” ==> soften the understanding.”
page 130, another up in it’s ==> another up in its
page 133, milliner and matua-maker in ==> milliner and mantua-maker in
page 136, gave Hasting’s wine that ==> gave Hastings wine that
page 138, while be was out of ==> while he was out of
page 139, almost stiched her ==> almost stitched her
page 139, and mantua-makers accounts! ==> and mantua-maker’s accounts!
page 139, looks, is if they ==> looks, as if they
page 139, ‘That he eat five ==> ‘That he ate five
page 139, where thy will wind ==> where they will wind
page 140, The murmer of the ==> The murmur of the
page 142, to furnish the _denouement_ ==> to furnish the _dénouement_
page 143, _qui en savent comme quatre_ ==> _qui en savant comme quatre_
page 143, _Moins sevère là-haut_ ==> _Moins sévère là-haut_
page 143, _Laërte prie and meurs_. ==> _Laërte prie et meurs_.
page 143, _Jesu vous aime quand_ ==> _Jésu vous aime quand_
page 143, _va!—desespère et meurs_ ==> _va!—désespère et meurs_
page 143, _cet air impregné de_ ==> _cet air imprégné de_
page 143, _Tragedièn choisi pour_ ==> _Tragédien choisi pour_
page 143, _j’en nai fait mourir_ ==> _j’en ai fait mourir_
page 144, Firm of Domby and Son ==> Firm of Dombey and Son
page 144, in “Domby and Son.” His ==> in “Dombey and Son.” His





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