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Title: Graham's Magazine, Vol. XL, No. 1, January 1852
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                           GRAHAM’S MAGAZINE.
                Vol. XL.      January, 1852.      No. 1.


                                Contents

                   Fiction, Literature and Articles

          A Life of Vicissitudes
          A Good Investment
          The Lost Deed
          Emma la Vellette
          Imagination and Fact
          The Artist’s Love
          A Rich Man’s Whims
          True Romancing
          Claire Neville
          How Charley Bell Became Senator
          A Leaf from the Journal of Florence Walton
          A Story for Christmas
          Review of New Books

                      Poetry, Music, and Fashion

          The Kiss
          The Closing Scene
          Lines
          Lucy’s Dirge
          Sonnet.—Lake Superior
          Logan’s Vow
          Winter
          Impromptu to the Author of “The Ocean-Born.”
          The Triumph of Genius
          The Sabbath of the Soul
          Te Laudamus
          The Poet’s Choice
          Translation. Odes of Horace. Book I. Ode XXIII
          Appearances
          Funeral of Allston
          The Prisoner’s Death-Bell
          Sonnet.—Light
          Unspoken
          To a Dandelion
          Why Do I Weep for Thee?
          Graham’s Paris Fashions

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

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration: GRAHAM’S MAGAZINE.]



                                CONTENTS

                                 OF THE

                            FORTIETH VOLUME.

                     JANUARY, 1852, TO JUNE, 1852.

A Life of Vicissitudes. By G. P. R. James,                  1, 129, 269,
                                                           378, 484, 601
A Good Investment. By T. S. Arthur,                                   13
A Rich Man’s Whims. By the Author of “Fanny and                       52
  Francis,”
A Leaf from the Journal of Florence Walton. By Miss                   89
  Susan A. Stuart,
A Story for Christmas. From the German,                               97
Anna Temple. By Jane Gay,                                            161
A Reply to Dwight,                                                   404
A True Irish Story. By Redwood Fisher,                               408
A Literary Gossip with Miss Mitford,                                 433
A Canter to California,                                              512
Arab and Camanchee Horsemen,                                         550
Beauty’s Retreat. By Henry W. Herbert,                               310
Benjamin H. Brewster. By G. R. G.                                    422
Claire Neville. By H. L. Jones,                                       74
Charlotte Corday. By Julia Kavanagh,                                 206
Campaigning Stories. By the Author of “Talbot and                    241
  Vernon,”
Emma Lavallette. By P.                                                30
Edith Morton. By Miss S. A. Stuart,                                  577
First Ambition. By Ik Marvel,                                        203
Ferdinand de Candolles,                                              586
“Graham” to Jeremy Short. By G. R. G.                                128
Graham’s Small-Talk,                                                 220
Granny’s Fairy Story,                                                227
Graham’s Small-Talk,                                                 332
Graham’s Small-Talk,                                                 446
Graham’s Small-Talk,                                                 559
Graham’s Small-Talk,                                                 670
How Charley Bell became Senator,                                      85
Hoe’s Machine Works,                                                 565
Imagination and Fact. By A New Contributor,                           39
Impressions of England. By Miss F. Bremer,                           361
Letty Rawdon. By Thos. R. Newbold,                                   196
Law and Lawyers. By John Neal,                                       254
Literary Gossip,                                                     666
Mozart’s Don Giovani. By John S. Dwight,                             150
Milton. By B. H. Brewster,                                           280
Nature and Art. By Samuel Martin,                                    180
Nelly Nowlan to Her Aunt. By S. C. Hall,                             540
Nelly Nowlan’s Experience. By S. C. Hall,                            655
Optical Phenomena. By T. Milner, M. A.                               344
Oliver Goldsmith. By A New Contributor,                              369
Optical Phenomena. By T. Milner, M. A.                               461
Philadelphia Navy-Yard,                                              117
Père La Chaise,                                                      202
Spectral Illusions. By Thos. Milner, A. M.                           234
Stratford-on-Avon. By Frederika Bremer,                              450
S. A. Godman. By C. H. Wells, M. D                                   464
The Lost Deed. By E. D. Eliot,                              17, 185, 290
The Artist’s Love. By the Authoress of “The                           45
  Conspirator,”
True Romancing,                                                       67
The Physiology of Dandyism. By Thompson Westcott,                    120
The Death of the Stag. By H. W. Herbert,                             124
The Miser and His Daughter. By H. Didimus,                           288
The Philadelphia Art Union,                                          325
The First Age. By H. Didimus,                              355, 543, 640
The Bower of Castle Mount. By Aeldric,                               385
The Condor Hunt. By Wm. F. Lynch,                                    412
The Cariboo. By Henry W. Herbert,                                    426
The Two Isabels. By Mrs. S. C. Hall,                                 438
The Game of the Month. By H. W. Herbert,                             455
The Physiology of Dandyism. By Thompson Westcott,                    468
The Crystal Palace. By H. Greeley,                                   473
The Legend of the White Nun. By J. Popham,                           506
The Pampas Fired by the Indians,                                     519
The Master’s Mate’s Yarn. By H. Milnor Klapp,                   525, 624
The Arabs at Amboise,                                                547
The Ghost-Raiser,                                                    591
Tom Moore. By Bon Gaultier,                                          593
Two Ways to Manage. By the Author of “Clovernook,”                   619
Titus Quinctius Flamininus. By Henry W. Herbert,                     643
What Glory Costs the Nation,                                         415
Was the World Made Out of Nothing?                                   432


                                POETRY.

Autumn Rain. By Mrs. E. C. Kinney,                                   160
A Charm. By A. J. Requier,                                           279
April. By Mrs. E. L. Cushing,                                        353
Away. By B. B.                                                       354
A Thought of the Future. By Cora,                                    431
A Mother’s Prayer. By M. G. Horsford,                                542
At the Water’s Edge. By Phœbe Carey,                                 549
A Farewell. By Wm. H. C. Hosmer,                                     576
Bless the Homestead Law. By L. V. Smith,                             287
Beautie. By Mrs. E. J. Eames,                                        414
Carrie. By Lilian May,                                               539
Dei Gratia, Rex. By W. E. Gilmore,                                   252
Death. By S. Henry Dickson, M. D.                                    316
Ernestina. By Ernestine Fitzgerald,                                  176
Elpholen. By A New Contributor,                                      267
Funeral of Allston. By Elihu Spencer,                                 88
Flowers and Life. By Mary Howitt,                                    119
Fragment from an Unpublished Poem. By J. M’Carrol,                   178
Faded and Gone. By S. J. C. Whittlesey,                              384
Fanny. By A New Contributor,                                         467
Granny and I. By Eliza Sproat,                                       118
Homer. By Trueman S. Perry,                                          518
Impromptu to the Author of “The Ocean-Born.” By A                     44
  Reader,
I’ll Blame Thee Not. By J. A. Tinnon,                                253
If I Were a Smile. By Richard Coe,                                   407
I Think of Thee. By V. B. L.                                         546
I Woo Thee, Spring. By W. A. Sutliffe,                               618
Joy and Sorrow. By Richard Coe,                                      195
Lines. By James M’Carrol,                                             12
Lucy’s Dirge. By Wm. H. C. Hosmer,                                    29
Lake Superior. By Wm. Alexander,                                      29
Logan’s Vow. By Edward J. Porter,                                     38
Lines Written on St. Valentine’s Day. By G. D. Prentice,             232
Leora. By A New Contributor,                                         233
Life’s Voyage. By Th. Gregg,                                         279
Lines on a Vase of Flowers. By E. A. Lewis,                          315
Love. By A. J. Requier,                                              342
Lines on some Violets. By E. Anna Lewis,                             420
Lines. By T. Buchanan Read,                                          585
Magdalene. By Mrs. Mary G. Horsford,                                 147
Moorish Memories. By W. H. C. Hosmer,                                149
Memory. By Lydia L. A. Very,                                         342
Mona Lisa. By Mrs. Mary G. Horsford,                                 377
May Morning,                                                         453
My Mother’s Spirit. By K. Thornton,                                  494
Magdalen. By L. L. M.                                                494
Ode on Idleness. By T. Yardley,                                      177
Our Childhood. By Jane Gay,                                          253
Our Minnie’s Dream. By A Reverist,                                   654
Rain and Sunlight in October. By S. Martin,                          178
Rail-Road Song. By T. H. Chivers, M. D.                              205
Rosalie. By Mrs. E. L. Cushing,                                      495
Religion. By J. Hunt, Jr.                                            642
Sonnet. Light. By Wm. Alexander,                                     104
Snow. By J. P. Addison,                                              184
Stanzas. By R. Penn Smith,                                           195
Song. By M.                                                          354
Song. By Wm. H. C. Hosmer,                                           360
Song of the Spirit of the North. By William Albert                   403
  Sutliffe,
Sonnet.—Art. By Wm. Alexander,                                       403
Sorrento. By C. P. Cranch,                                           425
Stanzas. By Sarah Helen Whitman,                                     472
Sonnet.—Amor. By Wm. Alexander,                                      505
Song. By L. L. M.                                                    618
Shakspeare. By Erastus W. Ellsworth,                                 623
Sonnet.—Pleasure. By Wm. Alexander,                                  654
The Kiss. By E. Anna Lewis,                                           11
The Closing Scene. By T. Buchanan Read,                               12
The Triumph of Genius. By E. C. Kinney,                               51
The Sabbath of the Soul. By C. H. Stewart,                            51
Te Laudamus. By Mrs. E. Oakes Smith,                                  66
The Poet’s Choice. By Richard Coe,                                    73
Translation. Hor. Ode XXIII. By D. R. K.                              73
The Prisoner’s Death-Bell. By H. H. Weld,                             96
To a Dandelion. By Erastus W. Ellsworth,                             105
To Mary on Earth. By A. J. Requier,                                  160
To Adhemar. By E. Anna Lewis,                                        160
The Spirit of Beauty. By A. M. Faris,                                202
The Star of Destiny. By Anne G. Hale,                                204
The Dying Rose. By Mrs. E. J. Eames,                                 211
The Page,                                                            232
The Deserted. By Miss Mattie Griffith,                               298
The Babes of Exile. By Effie Fitzgerald,                             309
To a Friend in the Spirit Land. By L.                                324
The Forest Fountain. By Ig. L. Donnelly,                             341
The Last Song. From the German,                                      343
To a Canary Bird. By Wm. Gibson,                                     377
The Autograph of God. By G. W. Bungay,                               407
To Miss Light Underwood. By J. R. Barrick,                           411
The Destruction of Sodom. By M. Judkins,                             421
The Urn of the Heart. By Mattie Griffith,                            458
The Sigh. By E. Oakes Smith,                                         472
The Stars. By Rev. S. Dryden Phelps,                                 472
The Mother’s Answer. By J. C. R. Dorr,                               483
The New Garden. By Emily Herrmann,                                   505
The Isle and Star. By Geo. D. Prentice,                              511
To One Afar. By E. Anna Lewis,                                       524
The Phantom Field. By O. I. Victor,                                  623
The Pledge. By John Neal,                                            639
To a Beautiful Girl. By J. R. Barrick,                               639
The Orphan’s Hymn. By E. Anna Lewis,                                 642
To Adhemar. By E. Anna Lewis,                                        662
Unspoken. By A. J. Requier,                                          105
Winter. By Alice Carey,                                               43
What do the Birds Say?                                               233
Write Thou upon Life’s Page. By G. Grey,                             315
What Dost Thou Work For? By C. F. Orne,                              592


                                REVIEWS.

Aylmere. By R. T. Conrad,                                            108
Poems. By Richard Henry Stoddard,                                    109
The Golden Legend. By H. W. Longfellow,                              214
Miscellanies. By Rev. James Martineau,                               216
Lectures on the History of France,                                   327
The Podesta’s Daughter. By G. H. Boker,                              328
The Works of Shakspeare. By H. N. Hudson,                            441
Utterance. By Caroline A. Briggs,                                    442
The Book of Ballads. By Bon Gaultier,                                555
Pynnshurst,                                                          556
Course of the History of Modern Philosophy,                          663
The Works of Daniel Webster,                                         664


                                 MUSIC.

Why Do I Weep for Thee? Words by George Linley. Music by             106
  W. V. Wallace,
Love’s Messenger. Music by Matthias Keller. Words from               212
  the German,
Oh Share My Cottage. Composed by R. C. Shrival,                      225
Stars of the Summer Night. Words by Longfellow. Music by             227
  H. Kleber,
Sweet Sunny Isle. Composed by John H. Taylor,                        337
The Shepherd’s Song. Composed by John Roland,                        451
Hour of Fond Delight. Composed by Alexander Lee,                     562

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration: THE PET FAWN.
Engraved Expressly for Graham’s Magazine by F. Halpin]

                 *        *        *        *        *

                           GRAHAM’S MAGAZINE.

          Vol. XL.     PHILADELPHIA, JANUARY, 1852.     No. 1.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                        A LIFE OF VICISSITUDES.


                        BY G. P. R. JAMES, ESQ.


                         HOW I CAME TO HAVE IT.

I was one time traveling in France. I was a young man without
object—without occupation. Literature was the last thing in my
thoughts—indeed I believe it never would have entered into them, but
for a word or two of encouragement from an American gentleman, most dear
to me after a lapse of five-and-twenty years, most high in my esteem as
a man, and in my admiration as an author. He gave the first impulse to
my mind in a certain direction. His opinion was confirmed by another,
equally dear, and equally admired by us both, and I became in
consequence of an accidental meeting in a remote city of France, what I
am, and what I am proud to be—a literary man.

It was some time after this accidental meeting that I was traveling in
another Department, as they call it now-a-days, or Province as they
called it long ago, when I stopped at an inn or hotel, God bless the
mark!—in the famous city of Rennes, the capital of Brittany. The town
is a fine old quiet town, which looks as if a good deal of sleep had
been the portion of the inhabitants since the revolution; but
nevertheless, it has a great number of pleasant people in it, a great
number of agreeable social parties, much elegance and grace in its
higher circles, and a numerous collection of beautiful faces and
forms—for all of which I am devoutly thankful, as in duty bound.

One’s first advent to such a town, however, can never be particularly
gay. The circumstances which brought me there, and detained me there for
a long time, could not be matters of interest for the general public,
but I will own that the first day-light view of the city, though
striking and in some degree beautiful—and there are few towns for which
I have such a lingering love; perhaps on the same motives which made De
Coucy love Fontenoy—was in some degree dull and monotonous; and before
I delivered the few letters of introduction which I brought with me, I
took a stroll through the streets, with no very pleasant feeling or
anticipation.

I had previously passed through that deeply interesting part of France,
the Bocage, where deeds of heroism enough were enacted to have made
ancient Rome really great—where heroes fought and died, with a
constancy and a quiet fortitude which would have shamed warriors of old,
and have put the stoic to the blush.

It is a bright and beautiful land, notwithstanding the desolation which
the fierce wrath of the multi-form tyranny of republicanism inflicted
upon it—notwithstanding the decimation of its inhabitants, and the
spilling of the noblest blood that France had ever produced. The dim
embowering lanes, deep cut between the fields; the arching boughs over
head, the vineyards, and the orchards, the quiet little villages, nooked
in bosky shade; the frequent farm-houses, and the châteaux great and
small, which thickly dot the whole of that peculiar region, had produced
an effect—strange to say—gay—cheerful—and pleasant, rather than sad,
notwithstanding all the gloomy memories of glorious deeds unfruitful,
and heroic courage rewarded by death, with which the whole air is
loaded. France may boast of her conquests—of the successes which were
obtained by the fierce irruption of the barbarous hordes into dismayed
and unconnected lands—of the talent of her generals—of the courage of
her plundering troops—of triumph, bitterly atoned by forgotten
humiliation; but her real glory lies in La Vendee.

I had gone through this beautiful country—this country dear to the
heart of every one who loves honor more than success, and I had come to
the extreme point of the frontier, where a great city had possessed the
means, and never used them, of rendering gallant devotion triumphant.

The feeling with which I viewed it was, perhaps, not that of
disappointment; but a sort of gloom pervaded my mind, a sensation of
solitariness—of isolation, not common in French cities, where every one
usually seems ready to take upon himself the character of acquaintance,
if not of friend.

On entering my inn, which was one where dinner was served _à la carte_.
I chose from the bill of fare, such viands as I thought proper, and sat
down to read the newspaper in the public room till the meal was served.

While thus occupied, two or three people came in and went out again; but
one person remained, spoke a few words to the waiter, seated himself in
a chair on one side of the long wooden board which served as a very
unornamental dinner-table, and taking up one of the public papers, began
to read.

After a time I gave a glance at him, and I thought I recognized the
features. A second look showed me that I had seen him more than once
before in various towns of France. I had even a faint recollection of
having met him in good society in England. So it proved; for a short
time after, the stranger’s eye turned upon me, and he immediately
remembered me. Our acquaintance, previously, had been confined to a few
words, and an occasional bow when we met; but here we were seated
together in a dull inn, in a dull town in Brittany—cast as it were upon
each other for society; and it may be easily supposed that we soon
became more intimate, although I did not altogether like or understand
my acquaintance. He was certainly a good-looking man, but his appearance
was somewhat singular. He was tall, very powerful in frame, though
rather meagre than otherwise, full-chested, broad-shouldered, thin in
the flank, long and sinewy in limb. His nose was strongly aquiline, his
eye over-arched by a very prominent eye-brow, was dark, bright and
quick. He wore neither whisker nor mustache, and I remarked that his
teeth were beautifully white and perfect, although at this time he must
have been considerably above fifty. His dress never varied at any time I
saw him, consisting of a black coat, waistcoat and handkerchief, drab
breeches, and English top-boots. His hat always shone like a
looking-glass, and his gloves always fitted beautifully, and seemed to
be fresh that day. I found that he spoke English and French with equal
facility, and I never could get any one to tell me what was his country.
Frenchmen, who heard him speak, declared at once that he was French, and
that no foreigner could ever acquire the accent so perfectly.
Englishmen, and myself amongst the number felt sure that he was English,
judging by the same test; and I am rather inclined to believe now, that
he was in reality a Russian spy. He never, by any chance, alluded to his
country, to his profession, or to his habits—except indeed, one day,
when he called himself a wandering spirit, rarely remaining more than
three days in the same place. He must have been well acquainted with
Rennes, however; for he knew every nook and corner in the city, and had
evidently some knowledge of a great many people in it, for he bowed to
many, spoke to several; but although I afterward asked several persons
whom I had seen him thus recognize, who he was, none of them could tell
me, and most of them seemed not much to like the subject.

The first night, we dined together, and shared a bottle of very good
wine, which he, either by prescience or memory, recommended as the best
which the house could afford. We talked of the town, and of that part of
France, and of La Vendee, and in the end, finding I was curious about
relics of the ancient times, he offered to take me to some curious
places in the vicinity of the town. On the following morning we set out
in a carriage from the inn—and here let me notice his scrupulous
exactness in paying his precise share of every expense incurred. He
never sought to pay more, but would never consent to pay less. On our
return, our conversation naturally fell upon all we had seen. We talked
of the Chouans, and the Vendean war, and all the gallant deeds that were
done in those days, and from that we turned to the Revolutionary history
in general, and especially to the campaigns of Massena, and the
Arch-Duke Charles, and Suwarow in Lombardy and Switzerland. He gave me a
number of curious anecdotes of those personages, and especially of
Suwarow, whom he told me he had himself seen leading on a charge, with a
jockey-cap upon his head, a switch in his hand, a boot upon one leg, and
a silk stocking on the other.

“Those were strange times,” he said, “and many of the greatest, and most
striking events in history which occurred about that time, are already
hardly remembered, from the fact that so many marvelous actions were
crowded into so short a space of time, as hardly to leave room to see or
to collect them. I was about thirty at the time of that terrible
struggle in Switzerland,” he added, “and my memory is quite perfect upon
the subject; but when I talk with other people upon those things, and
especially with historians, they know little or nothing about them.”

“You must have gone through some strange adventures, I should think,” I
answered.

“Oh dear no,” he replied, “my life has been an exceedingly quiet and
tranquil one; but if you are curious about that period of history, I
have got a manuscript which fell into my hands accidentally, giving some
interesting particulars of a young man’s life in those days. There is a
good deal of nonsensical sentimentality in it, but it may amuse you, and
if you like to take the trouble to read it, I will lend it to you.”

I accepted his offer right willingly, but the conversation turned soon
to other things, and he and I both forgot the manuscript that night.

On the following day, at breakfast, he announced to me that he was going
to start by the Diligence at noon, for Nantes, Bordeaux, and Madrid. I
laughingly asked what would become of my reading the manuscript then.

“Oh, you shall have it! You shall have it,” he answered. “We shall meet
again I dare say, and then you can give it back to me.”

Before he went, he brought it down—a large roll of somewhat yellow
paper. Conceiving it might be valuable, and without the slightest idea
of prying into his affairs, I asked where I could send it to him, if we
did not meet soon.

He replied, with a very peculiar smile, “it does not matter. It does not
matter. If I do not see you before thirteen years are over, I shall then
be seventy years of age or dead, and you may do with it what you
please.”

More than twenty years have now passed, and we have not met, and I give
the manuscript to the world with very little alteration, trusting that
if the writer of the autobiography which follows should ever see these
pages, he will claim his own and forgive their publication. I will only
add, that when I received the manuscript, I certainly thought that my
good friend of the inn was the writer of it himself. In reading it over,
however, and especially in correcting it for the press, I perceived that
could not be, as the age of the parties must have differed by fifteen or
sixteen years.


                            THE FIRST FISH.

Most men have a faint and distant notion from whom to look for
parentage—that inestimable boon for which the most miserable often feel
the most grateful—inestimable, not only because it confers upon us, if
we will, an immortal hereafter of unrevealed joy and glory, but because
nobody ever has, ever will, or probably ever can, estimate it rightly.
Parents consider their children as under an undischargeable debt of
gratitude to them for bringing them into the world at all, without
sometimes fully considering a parent’s duties as well as his rights.
Children are too apt to make light of the obligation, as well as many
another obligation which succeeded it—the care of infancy, the guidance
of youth, the love, unextinguishable in all but very cold and stony
hearts, which attends our offspring from their birth to our own
death-bed. It may be argued that all these acts and feelings on the part
of parents, are but in obedience to a law of nature: that the man or
woman is like the eagle or the dove, is impelled to nurture, protect,
defend his offspring. But if so, the law of love and obedience of the
offspring to the parent, is equally binding; and he who neglects the
one, is equally a rebel to nature, and to God, as he who neglects the
other.

Most men, I repeat, have a faint and distant notion from whom to look
for parentage. This is not without exception. Good, as a general rule,
the exceptions are quite sufficient to prove it. I myself am one. That I
had a father, I take for granted: that I had a mother is perfectly
certain. But as to who my father and my mother were, was for many years
a question much more doubtful.

However, I will tell you all about it, and you shall judge for yourself.

My first recollections of the world are surrounded by somewhat strange
scenery. Figure to yourself, reader, a town situated on the top of a
high hill, like an eagle’s eyrie, but far more solid and substantial.
The streets are paved with large round stones, and a gutter in the
centre, tracking out like rays at every cross-road: the houses,
stone-built, and somewhat ponderous, are tall and short, wide and
narrow, as in most other towns, but there are some very fine churches in
a somewhat severe style in the place, and it seems to possess two
peculiar characteristics. Whether, because so far elevated that nothing
could obstruct the drainage on every side, or because at that high point
it caught the clouds as they whirled by, and attracted the wrath of
every storm by its menacing front, it was the cleanest town in the
universe. In vain did cooks and old women throw out cock’s-heads
divested of their combs, and the gizzards of ducks and fowls—in vain on
the Saturday night was every gutter in the place made the receptacle of
all the dust of all the houses—in vain were a number of other untidy
tricks practiced to defile the highways, and offend the olfactories of
the passing stranger—before the Monday morning all was clear
again—except in very rainy seasons, when I have known a dust-heap lie
for a fortnight. This was one of its peculiar characteristics:
cleanliness.

I cannot help thinking there is something very merry in dirt. The very
merriest people I have ever seen in my life have been the dirtiest; but
perhaps, after all, the impression to this effect which I have received,
may be attributed to my residence in that old town, where the exceeding
cleanliness I have mentioned, was closely associated with that of
dullness. The very cheerful summer sun, as he looked down into the open
streets, held up as upon a pedestal to his view, looked dull and even
sad. The clear light of the summer day had a cool, calm, gentlemanly
melancholy about it, which did not serve to rouse or to enliven. One
looked up the street and saw a man, a single solitary man, so lost in
the yellow sunshine at the end, that you could not tell whether he had
pike, pitch-fork, or crosier in his hand—three-cornered hat, or round,
or cap of liberty on his head. One looked down the street toward the
valley below, and could hardly make out whether the lonely carriage
drawn by four beasts of some kind, had really four horses, or four
mules, or four rats without a tail—amongst them. Not another being did
you see. No heads were put out of windows—no idle figures presented
themselves before the doorways. Curiosity seemed dead in the place, as
well as every thing else; and although the sound of a carriage
wheels—especially coming from below, where there was a post-house—was
very rare, it seemed not to awaken any interest in the inhabitants
whatsoever, at least not more than was displayed in just raising the
eyes from the calves’ feet, or the sheep’s trotters which were preparing
for dinner, to look for one instant at the vehicle, as it passed. If an
earthquake had rumbled up and down the street, it could not have
produced less excitment—and probably would not have produced more. The
carriage went in peace and sunshine upon its way, and the cook or the
good house-wife bent her attention to her dishes again.

But let me say a little more of the town before I proceed farther; for
it is an object of great interest to me, even in memory. From the hill
on which it stood, and the old walls which surrounded it on every side,
rising up from the verge of the descent, and looking like the
battlements of a raised pie, might be seen a very rich and beautiful
country, with a river running round the base of the large rock on which
one stood. The situation was a very commanding one; for though rising
ground, deserving the name of high hills, was to be seen in the
distance, and many a sweep and undulation lay between, yet the elevation
of the town was sufficient to domineer over the whole country around
within any thing like cannon-shot. The walls, however, were destitute of
guns; and the various gates, with their old stone arches, seemed formed
for no other purpose than to let the morning and evening sun shine
through, and the country-people to bring in eatables and drinkables for
the supply of the place. They afforded, too, a place of refuge for
certain old gentlemen who engaged themselves in examining all itinerant
merchants, making good women open their baskets, and running long iron
things, like spits, into loads of hay and straw, in order to make sure
that there was no wine or brandy concealed within. For all these
services they exacted a trifling toll, or excise duty, upon a great
number of articles of provision brought into the town. They were very
unobtrusive people, however, seldom, if ever seen, except in the early
part of market-days, and ever ready to retreat into their little dens by
the side of the gate, as soon as their functions were performed. The
great church stood at one side of a little square, free and open
enough—always very clean, like the rest of the town, but always looking
exceedingly cool also—for the very summer sun looked cool there, as I
have observed, and one hardly felt the difference between June and
December, if the day was clear. I don’t know why all that square never
looked gay or cheerful—for it seemed to have every thing to make it so;
and I have seen it, on days of festivity, tricked out in all that could
assist. On the Sunday, a great multitude of the good people of the town,
dressed out in their brightest attire, were continually flocking in and
out of the church. On festival days you would see garlands of flowers,
and banners, and rich vestments, and beautifully dressed altars under
arbors of green leaves, and a little body of soldiers, with gay
uniforms, glittering muskets, and cocked-hats, would appear to keep the
ground as a procession passed. But still it never looked cheerful. All
these objects were seen in that clear, cool light in such a way as to
make them look frosty.

Perhaps one cause of the general sombreness of the town, and the
impression of uninhabitedness which it gave, might have been that there
were no shops in the place. This may seem an extraordinary fact—but so
it was. There were no real, proper, _bona fide_ shops, with good, wide,
open fronts showing their wares. As one walked along the principal
street, indeed, which led through a large, heavy, white stone arch, down
the easiest slope of the hill into the open country, here and there, in
the window of what seemed a private dwelling-place, and which could only
be reached by ascending a flight of steps from the street, one might see
a ham hanging up, or a string of sausages, or some other edible thing.
Again, farther on, you would see a small brass basin nailed to a
door-post, and again, in another window, a lady’s cap, or a string or
two of ribbons. When in want of any article, you climbed the steps, you
had to open a door, and then another door, before you arrived at the
person whom you expected to furnish them. When you got in you would find
a tolerable store of different kinds of articles, gathered together in a
neat little room, somewhat dull and shady, and not the least like a shop
in the world. It would have puzzled any one in such a cell to judge
accurately of the color or quality of what he was purchasing; but I must
do the good people the justice to say that they did not at all take
advantage of this obscurity to cheat their friends and customers, but
that all they sold was generally good and what it pretended to be—more,
indeed, than can be said of most goods and chattels at the present time.
The irregularity of the streets, too, might have had some part in
creating the sombreness—for they turned and wound in an inconceivable
manner, and the houses, built according to the taste and will of the
owner, without any regard to regularity—some sticking out six or seven
yards beyond its neighbor—some turning at one angle and some at
another—some towering up, and others crouching down—had an exceedingly
awkward habit of casting long, blue shadows, whichever way the sun
shone, in hard, straight lines, unbroken by even a cloud of dust.

I have never seen any other town like it but one, and that is the town
of Angouleme. Perhaps it was Angouleme—though I cannot be quite sure;
for it is long, long ago since I was there, and events and circumstances
of a very mingled character have drawn line after line across the tablet
of memory, till even the deep strokes graven upon it in early years are
only faintly traceable here and there.

In looking back as far as my mind will carry roe into the past, there
comes first a cloud—a pleasant, summer-like cloud, not altogether
shapeless, yet very faint and soft in the outlines, and varying
strangely as I look at it. Now it takes the form of a beautiful lady,
with two or three lovely children playing around her. I am among them;
but whether I am one of them or not I cannot tell. Then it changes to a
tall, somewhat youthful-looking man, with a sword at his side, and a
great broad belt over his right shoulder. Heavy buckskin gloves he must
have worn; for I remember quite well the hard touch of them between my
little fingers. I see his jack-boots, too, even now. They are the very
plainest part of the cloud. But the masses roll over—and what is seen
next? A French château, with as many little towers as a cruet-stand,
some square, some round, some with conical roofs, some with long gables,
and at the end there is a small building, which, in the nonsensical
slang of London house-agents, would be called semi-detached. It has a
little spire, like that of a church, and a bell in it. Probably it was
the chapel of the château; and there is a fountain playing before the
house in the morning sun, surrounded by gay beds of flowers, formed into
strange shapes, as if cut out by those ingenious instruments with which
cooks produce variety in the patterns of fancy pie-crust. But it is all
a cloud, never fixed, and never very clearly defined.

The first distinct and definite recollection that I have, is that of
finding myself in the town I have mentioned, and in the house of one of
the clergy of the place—an excellent good man, if one ever lived. But
that is a general recollection, and the most clear as well as the
earliest of my more particular recollections is that of having sat by
the side of a large pond, or little lake, formed by the stream which
flowed round the hill, and with a good stout rod of very plain
construction, and a tremendously thick line and large hook, throwing in
some kind of bait, I forget what, in the desperate hope of catching a
gigantic pike, which was reported to frequent that water. My line lay in
the tank for a long while without the slightest movement of the little
cork float attached to it. I got somewhat weary, and began to think
fishing poor sport. I laid my rod down upon the bank, gathered a heap of
stones, and began throwing them as far as I could toward the centre of
the piece of water. This was not pure idleness; for I had some
indefinite notion, I believe, of driving the fish nearer to the shore.
The day had hitherto been fine. A bright, soft, sleepy light, had lain
upon the bosom of the water. But it was now about four o’clock, and the
day began to change. First there came a shadow, then a breeze tossing up
little waves, then thick, dashing drops of rain. I ran some twenty steps
back under a little ledge of the rock, which afforded some shelter; for
it would seem I had been possessed with a notion in my early youth, that
I ought not to get wet; and there, from my little den, I looked out at
the storm as it swept over the lake. It struck me then as very
beautiful, and I dare say would have struck me more now; for through the
thick drops, I could see here and there the blue sky shining like a
loving eye watching the earth, and to the westward came a gleam of gold,
telling that the storm would not last long.

What induced me to look down for my rod and line, I do not know; but
when at the end of a quarter of an hour I did so, the float had totally
disappeared, and the rod itself, though heavy enough to my notions,
seemed suddenly endowed with the power of locomotion, and was walking
away into the water. One dart forward, and I caught it, just as it was
pitching over, but it had been nearly tugged out of my hand again ere I
had got it fast. With triumph and with joy I found that there must be a
fish at the end of the line, and a large one. I had caught gudgeons
enough in my day, but I had no notion how to manage a large fish now I
had hooked him. The only art I had was to pull away, and perhaps it was
quite as lucky as not; for had the united strength of myself and the
fish been superior to that of the line, the latter must have given way.
But as it was, the fish was somewhat exhausted by his first tugs at the
rod, and he suffered me very quietly to draw him in within a few yards
of the shore. Luckily the line, though twisted round the top of the rod,
was carried down to my hand, though without any reel; but there were
some twenty or thirty yards of line wound upon a piece of stick beyond
my hands. Luckily I say, for just as I was pulling my captive on, and
could catch a sight of his glorious bulk, he seemed to me to put his
tail in his mouth, and then with a great spring darted rapidly away. The
top of the rod broke through in a moment, and the line ran through my
hands like a knife. I caught it on the winder, however, and checked my
enemy in his course. He gave a sulky tug or two, but then suffered me to
pull him in again, and a desperate struggle we had of it when he found
himself once more coming near the bank. When I found I could not manage
him, I gave him line off my hands; and then refreshed, though with a
heart I am ashamed to say beating how fast, I hauled away, and joyfully
found his resistance diminishing. It was the labor of nearly an hour,
however, before I got him close up to the bank, and then twice he got
away from me, once, nearly bringing me into the water by the sudden dart
he gave as I kneeled down to lift him on shore. At length, however, I
landed him safely, and judge of my joy when I beheld a trout weighing
five pounds at least, and magnified by my imagination to ten or fifteen.

He had got the hook quite down into his throat, which probably was the
secret of my success; for had it been in his mouth, he and I must have
pulled his jaw off between us. I did not stop even to make an attempt to
take it out, but gathering up the fragments of my rod, while he lay
panting and flapping on the grass, I lifted him up by the hook and
carried him up triumphantly toward the town. I would not go in through
the ordinary gates, however. I believe it was that a fear seized me lest
I should be charged a duty on my fish; but as the house where I lived
was close to the walls, and had a little garden in one of the old
towers, through which there was a door and a stone stair-case, I hurried
thither, found my way in by the back-door, and venturing to do what I
had never done before, hurried, uncalled, into the room of good Father
Bonneville at an hour when I knew he was always at study. Happily it was
Thursday: I knew there was no fish in the house, and that our dinner, on
the following day, was destined to be pumpkin-soup and a salad. This
might well excuse my presumption, and it did.

Never in my life did I see a man more delighted than good Father
Bonneville, though he hurried away a book which he had been reading when
I came in—I believe it was the Old Testament—as if there had been
something very shameful in it. He admired the trout immensely, looked at
it on one side and then on the other, declared it the finest trout he
had ever seen, and patting me on the head, asked me if I had really
caught that all by myself.

I assured him that I had had no help whatever, and then added, slyly,
“You know it is Friday to-morrow, Father.”

“Ah, my son, my son,” he replied, with a rueful shake of the head but a
smile upon his lips, “we must not think too much of improving our fare,
especially on meagre days; but the fish is a very fine fish
notwithstanding, and we will have it for dinner to-morrow.”

I have dwelt long upon this little incident; for it was a very important
one in my eyes at the time, and was not altogether without its influence
upon my life. But I shall only pause to state here that Father
Bonneville made more of me from that time forth than he had ever done
before. Previously he had contented himself by giving me my lessons
daily, by speaking a few kindly words to me at meal times, and turning
me over for the rest of the day to his good old housekeeper. Now,
however, I seemed to be fit for something better. Father Bonneville was
very fond of fish, as most priests are, and every Tuesday and Thursday
evening I was down at the banks of the lake or of the river; and as I
had great perseverance, and rapidly became skillful, Father Bonneville
very rarely went without fish of some kind for his dinner on Wednesdays
and Fridays, so that fasting became somewhat of a farce—except in Lent
indeed—except in Lent, when he made tremendous work with us.


                         A PRIEST’S HOUSEHOLD.

I must give my pictures of the early part of my life, detached and
phantasmagoria-like as they appear to the eye of memory. But yet I will
supply as far as possible any links of connection which are afforded by
that power which is to memory what the second rainbow, which we
sometimes see, is to the first—the reflection of a reflection—I am not
quite sure that that is philosophical—but it is a figure, and it is
pretty—so let it stand, it will do for Boston—the power I speak of is
commonly termed reminiscence—a shadow of remembrance which overtops the
mountain, and is seen indistinctly after the prototype has sunk behind
the steep—God bless me, I am getting into Boston again. Well, upon my
life I will be sober, notwithstanding the sixteen gallon act.

The catching a fish was my first great exploit in life, and I could
evidently see that Father Bonneville paused and pondered over it, as was
his character; for he was a very considerate and thoughtful man, by no
means without powers of observation, and a great habit of reasoning _a
priori_, which sometimes misled him a little. He made me tell him the
whole story of the catching of the fish, and of how I had managed it.
You may judge I dilated not a little, partly from the interest of the
subject to myself, and partly from the difficulty which every child, and
every novelist in three volumes, finds in clothing his thoughts in brief
language. I found afterward that he had deduced his own conclusions from
premises which I had afforded; and I am happy to say they were all
favorable to me. He had deduced, I learnt, from my catching the rod
before it fell into the water, that I possessed considerable quickness
and presence of mind. He had inferred from the fact of my having got the
line through my hands before I attempted to strain the rod, that there
was a great deal of cautiousness and foresight in my disposition; and by
the pains I had taken, and the labor I had undergone, without flinching,
or growing rash or angry, he was led to believe that I was of a most
persevering, undaunted, and resolute disposition. In a word, he learned
to think me a being more deserving of care and cultivation than he had
previously imagined; that I was not a mere baby to be taught his A B C
in any science, and that there was a soil, beneath the green freshness
of my youth, which might be cultivated to great advantage.

But let us give a slight sketch of the good Father, as he sat with his
little tight-fitting black cap upon his head, looking like one half of a
negro melon. The dress was insignificant—mean—out of the way, which is
worse. The plain cassock and bands, the scapulary and the cross, and the
grand three-cornered hat, had not surely much to recommend the
individual member of the profession. There was no trickery of dress.
There was no superfluous ornament. Even the assumption of manner was
repressed, and, as far as I can recollect, he always seemed to remember
sensitively, that a priest in the chair or the confessional derived
whatever authority he possessed from a higher source, which conferred
none upon him as an individual. The reverse of this feeling is the
crying sin of the priesthood of all the creeds I know, and especially of
his own. Most men would listen reverently to the expounders of God’s
will, when they are expounding his will, if they would not carry their
_cathedra_ into the drawing-room or the parlor with them. It is very
wise, indeed, to make a marked distinction between the minister and the
man, and still more wise to make a marked distinction between the
functions of the minister and the man; for where the two are blended
together—either through the stupidity of the people or the arrogance of
the priest—it will be found nine times out of ten that the weaknesses
of the man (not to notice vices or crimes) overwhelm the qualities of
the teacher. Amongst a nation, indeed, who, as a nation, acknowledge no
authority but themselves, either in matters civil, politic or
religious—where every man is at liberty to set up his own little God
Almighty in his garden, and to worship him after what fashion he
pleases—this distinction is not so necessary; for each minister being
chosen by the flock which he has to instruct, must know beforehand
tolerably well what is the sort of pabula best suited to their palates,
while the flock, on their part, having chosen their man, with their eyes
very wide open, must either stultify themselves, or cry him up as one of
the bright lights of the age. If not, why did they choose him to light
them? They become as much interested in his personal as in his public
character—for it is very disagreeable for an elder of a congregation,
unless he have some personal quarrel with his dear friend, the minister,
to lay his hand upon his heart and say, “I have been grievously
mistaken”—and many a small offense—nay, many a great one in the pastor
is smoothed over and polished with the varnish-vanity of a loving
congregation, who adore themselves in the minister they have selected,
and even in the very church are worshiping themselves, in him, instead
of the Deity. Of all sorts of idolatry in the world—and there are
many—surely the worst in the eyes of a pure Being must be self
idolatry.

I have strayed from my subject; but a bold leap, and we are back again.
See him there, sitting in his easy arm-chair, with the little black cap
upon his head, to cover the work of time rather than the ravages of the
razor, with the soft, silky locks, now almost snow-white, floating from
underneath it, and the dark garments, never laid aside except when at
rest, enveloping the whole figure. Yet what an air of calm and tranquil
dignity in the very disposition of that figure, and in that mild,
benignant face. Where are the cares and sorrows of life? What have
anxious thought, and the arduous duties, well performed, of a laborious
profession done in this case? Where are the pangs, the sicknesses, the
wasting force of disease, the corporeal pains, the uneasy weakness of
senility? They are not there. He rests in his chair as easily as a
child—ay, and as gracefully too. Oh, the balm, the blessed balm, such
as Gilead never knew, of a pure, high, and holy heart, which, preserving
and refreshing continually the spirit that dwells within it, with that
aromatic odor of the tree of life, imparts a portion of the sovereign
antidote even to the frail form of clay, and guards it against the shock
of time, or the wearying war of circumstances! Few of the impatient, the
irritable, the passionate, the children of caprice, the slaves of vice,
the hunters of excitement, ever see the age to which Father Bonneville
had already attained, and those who do, reach it enfeebled, worn out,
toil-broken, and shriveled up by the struggles, and the wanderings, and
the difficult passes, and the burning suns, which they themselves have
sought and found upon the way. Father Bonneville’s had been a quiet and
a placid life—I know nothing of his history—I never heard it—but the
part I speak of was written on his face. Father Bonneville’s had been a
quiet and a placid life—I am quite sure of it: otherwise he could have
never lived to be the calm, happy, benignant old man he was at
sixty-three. On his face you hardly saw his age; for it was as smooth as
a boy’s, but those white hairs, and the necessity of using spectacles
now and then, betrayed the fact that he was not quite so young as he
once had been. His teeth—I recollect them as they were even then, quite
well—were beautifully white and even, but the old man used to say, that
though he hoped his tongue was true, his mouth was an artful hypocrite;
for it put its best arguments forward, and kept all that were worthless
and unserviceable behind; in other words, that the front teeth might be
good enough, but that those hard-working slaves of the stomach, the
grinders, were gone—and this was, probably, the cause of his love of
fish. Heaven bless the finny fellows! they are seldom, any of them,
tough, and the worst one has to fear is a bone or an indigestion; though
it is rather hard, I think, to be pulled out of a fresh stream, and put
upon a gridiron.

Father Bonneville was a very learned man, too, as well as a good one. He
had read very much, for he had much leisure; had studied many languages
and many things, and moreover had reasoned upon what he studied. All
this I found out afterward; for at the time I speak of, though he made a
point of instructing me himself every day, the store of erudition
required for my mental food was but small. His lessons were given in a
very different way from any other lessons that I ever received or ever
heard of. He would sit down and open a book, and then begin to talk to
me upon some apparently indifferent subject; but somehow before five
minutes had passed, he had always contrived to bring the conversation
round to something which the book contained, or which it explained, or
which it elucidated. Then we would read a sentence or two, and then
pause, and comment, and converse, sometimes remarking the language, and
the niceties of style and grammar, sometimes dwelling upon the thoughts
expressed or the facts related. It is wonderful how this course
impressed every thing upon my mind. All that I read seemed to be
surrounded by a sort of artificial memory; for every word was connected
with these conversations, and the one always served to bring the other
to remembrance. It took a little longer time, it is true; I read one
page of Cæsar where another boy might read two; but I both remembered
and understood what I had read, and possibly the other might not; nor am
I at all sure that I did not make as much progress in the end.

Where I got the first rudiments of education I do not know; for I cannot
remember the period that I could not read or write, when I could not add
up a sum with tolerable exactness, or draw helmets, and swords, and
battle-axes, and very ugly faces, and men with enormous pig-tails, on
the first leaf of a spelling-book. I have a faint idea that I was very
ill when I first came to the house of Father Bonneville, and that
illness may probably be the sort of gauze curtain which hangs between
the eye of memory and the period antecedent, not altogether hiding the
figures beyond, but rendering them confused and indistinct.

Having said thus much of my kind friend and preceptor, I must take some
notice of the other tenant—the only other tenant of the house. This was
the good priest’s housekeeper, who was probably some four or five years
older than himself; but yet as busy, bustling, active a little body as
ever was seen, doing every thing and trying to do more. What were the
qualities for which Father Bonneville originally chose her to
superintend his domestic affairs, I really do not know; but it certainly
was not for her beauty—perhaps it might be for the reverse. Nature
intended evidently, at first, to cast her in what I may call the
pippin-headed mould; for her head was as round as a ball, furnished with
two eyes like sloes, and not much larger; but by some freak of nature,
the nose had been infinitely projected. It always seemed to me as if her
parents, or nurses, had been in the custom of lifting her up by it, as a
sort of handle, and it certainly had not decreased in volume in latter
life. She was a little woman too, hardly fitted to carry such a burden,
but strong, well-formed, and neither lean nor fat. Her excellent health
and spirits, she attributed to never having drunk any cider, though she
had lived in the cider provinces.

“No, no,” she said, “I always knew better than that, if cider is dear at
three sous, wine is cheap at ten. It is not much of either that I drink,
as heaven knows and Father Bonneville, but when it is not water, it
shall be wine.”

I must point out to the reader more particularly her manner of
connecting heaven and Father Bonneville together; for it was very
characteristic of her mind, and she did it on all occasions. Indeed the
two ideas seemed so intimately blended in her mind that they could never
be separated. She was a good creature as ever lived, and looked up to
all that was good, and it is probable that as, in her humility, she put
both heaven and Father Bonneville very, very far above herself indeed,
the two objects got confounded in the distance.

She was a very good creature indeed, as I have said, and oh, how I used
to teaze her! She bore it with wonderful patience and good humor,
sometimes laughing with me, sometimes laughing at me, sometimes
affecting to be very angry, but still mending my clothes, setting my
little room to rights, giving me any good thing she could lay her hands
upon, and showing me all the kindness and tenderness of a mother. I am
afraid, however, that there was a more serious storm than usual brewing
about the period I speak of; for I not only continued to teaze poor
Jeanette with my boyish fun, but I had added a great deal to her labors
and embarrassments by leaving fish-hooks, and bits of line, and broken
rods—some of the fish-hooks covered with worms too, in her kitchen, and
her pantry, and the most sacred places of her own particular domain. But
just at that time, came the catching of the trout I have mentioned, and
that immediately cured all grievances. Not that I mean to say, that the
good woman was moved by any peculiar passion for fish herself; for she
would not have deprived Father Bonneville and me of a morsel of it for
the world, but from that moment she became aware that there was some
utility in fish-hooks—that they were made for some other purpose than
running into her hands, or littering her table. I provided in short
something which could gratify the good Father’s taste, and that was
quite sufficient apology for all offenses in the eyes of his worthy
housekeeper.

With these two, such as I have depicted them, I passed several years of
my early life. I must have been about nine when I caught the trout, and
if I ever had been a weak or sickly boy, I certainly was so no longer. I
could not have been ten, I am sure, and I must have been there at this
time for some years—sufficient at least to let the memory of other
scenes fade away. My time passed sweetly and pleasantly. I had plenty of
wholesome food. I had exercise for the mind and exercise for the body.
Quiet and still, the place certainly was. Amusements, for persons of my
age, there were none in the town itself, except when there was some
great Church fete, or when some Italian led through the town a bear or a
monkey, or carried a marmot, or an instrument of music, and when once in
the year the great fair took place, which brightened up the town for
three whole days. Nevertheless, I was very contented. I loved Father
Bonneville sincerely. I loved good Jeanette, too, sincerely; but with
another sort of love—rather, I suspect, with that peculiar kind of
affection with which a child regards a doll, the head of which has been
knocked upon the door till it has neither nose nor eyes. Assuredly I had
not deprived the good housekeeper of those serviceable features, but I
had misused her tenderness, and teazed her till I loved devotedly that
which I teazed. I loved them both, then, and well I might; for two
better people never existed.

The reader, perhaps, may ask, “are we to have nothing but good people in
this book?”

Let him wait a little. We shall find their foil presently, and pray do
not let any one fall into the mistake of supposing that there is any
thing inherently monotonous in goodness. Far from it. It has as infinite
variety as evil. Its scope is as extensive, from the most sublime deed
of devotion or self-sacrifice, to the smallest act of kindness. Nay, it
is more vast than evil; for I cannot but think that goodness embraces
all things, while evil only touches a part. It is because the mind of
man is too small to comprehend the magnitude of goodness that he fancies
it limited, as a child gazing at the sky, thinks that there is a blue
wall to space. It is because his mind is too dim and feeble, too much
accustomed to struggle with impurer things, that he cannot reach its
heights or penetrate its depths, and conceive the infinite variety it
affords. The salmon can leap up the cataract, or dart against the
current of the turbid stream, but he cannot soar into the sky like the
eagle, and at one glance take in a world below. The most sublime thing
in the whole universe is goodness, and it is the sweetest too.

Happy, right happy do I believe myself to have been thus, in youth,
associated with two such good and kindly beings. At that period of life,
the plastic nature of the child receives, in a great degree, its future
shape and form. The impressions are deep, and, once hardened,
ineffaceable: the character receives its bent, the mind its tone and
coloring, and although I may have done many things in life which I
regret, and which they could not have approved, yet their goodness has
been always in my memory as a light-house to show me the way across the
dark and struggling waters of life, and to welcome me home to port,
however far I may have wandered astray.

I cannot conceive any greater blessing can be bestowed on youth than the
companionship of the really good. I speak not of the stiff and rigid. I
speak not of the harsh and the severe. I speak not even of the
self-denying, the sober, and the circumspect. The example of anchorite
or puritan, never effected much upon the heart of youth. But I speak of
the really good, and they are not good if they are not gentle; for the
reverse of gentleness is wrong. I speak of the good who learn from the
fountain of all goodness to be happy, and to make happy; and who know
that it is part of the commandment, to enjoy.


                          THE FIRST ADVENTURE.

One of the most remarkable epochs of a man’s life is when he first
begins to think. Philosophers suppose—at least many have supposed—that
what is called thinking, goes on from birth, or very nearly so; but
either this is a mistake, or they and I are talking of different things.
What I mean by thinking is not the process of putting two or three ideas
together, which commences with a child as soon as it has two or three
ideas to put, but an operation of the mind, in which all the mind’s
servants are called upon to bear a part—where imagination comes to aid
reason, and memory and observation bring the materials, and judgment
measures the work. We all must have felt, in looking back upon our past
life, that there has been a certain period at which flood-gates, as it
were, have been opened suddenly, and a torrent of thought has flowed in
upon us. The period itself will generally be somewhat indefinite to
remembrance; for we none of us mark this new thing at the time that it
occurs. We feel—we know—we enjoy; but we do not sit down to chronicle
the moment when the new world of thought burst upon our sight. All any
man can say, is, “About such and such a time, I began to think”—he
generally adds, “deeply”—to contrast that period, with the period of
_impression_ gone before, which he confounds with _thought_. In fact it
may be very difficult—for I do not wish to dogmatize—to say where
thought exactly begins, and mere reception of idea, in either a simplex
or a complex form, ends. It may be that thought is as a mighty stream,
beginning in a very minute rill; but there certainly is one place where
the river suddenly swells tremendously. I cannot say that I thought
much, if at all, on any subject till I was more than ten years old. In
conversing with Father Bonneville, who tried hard to teach me to think
without appearing to do so, my answers were more pictures of my
impressions than of my thoughts; but about twelve years old, thought
began to come upon me fast and strong. I can remember quite well many a
time, on the Tuesday and Thursday evenings, in the spring time of the
year, sitting by that little lake, or wandering by the banks of the
river, and falling into deep and even sombre reveries, in the course of
which I tried every thing that I had learned or knew, by faculties which
seemed to have sprung up suddenly within me. The world seemed full of
wonders that I had never seen before, and I began to take interest in
things which before had been to me flat and unprofitable enough. It was
not alone the aspect of nature, the lake, the stream, the wood, the
field, the rock, the mountain, the blue sky, the passing cloud, the
rising and setting sun, the wandering moon, or the bright eyes of the
twinkling stars, nor the flowers and shrubs, nor the birds of the bough
and sky, nor the beasts of the field and plain, that gave me matter for
thought, but man came in for his share, and man’s doings—and I am
afraid woman’s, too. I would listen to the political talk of the day,
which, God help me, I had cared naught about before, although there were
events passing which influenced the fate of even children. I would hear
of the strife of parties, and of the rise of new opinions, which shook
the world to its foundation, and I would marvel and wonder at all I
heard, and meditate over it in my solitary seat by the lake. If I could
not understand, it mattered not; the subject was all the more a plea for
revery.

I could not help remarking likewise, that Father Bonneville was a good
deal affected by the tidings which arrived from time to time. He became
very thoughtful, too—nay, very sad. There was a look of anxiety—of
apprehension—about him. His cheerful moments were few, and he would
often shake his head slowly in melancholy guise, and sigh profoundly.

One little circumstance, which occurred at this time, gave me cause to
think that the good Father, besides his general regret for various
violent scenes which were occurring at the time, had some cause for
personal dread. I have mentioned that he was well acquainted with
several languages, and from the earliest period I can recollect he had
read with me at least one page of English every day. It was our custom,
too, to frequently talk in English. How I first learned the language I
do not know, but it seemed to me then, as I am now well aware is the
case, that I spoke it with more ease and fluency than he did, though,
perhaps, with not so much accuracy. At the period I am speaking of,
however, he discontinued our English readings, and I could perceive that
all the English books had been put away out of sight. Moreover, he gave
me a hint that it might be better not to converse in English any more,
for a little time at least; and though I sometimes forgot myself, I
obeyed his injunctions tolerably well.

All this gave me matter for thought, and now the stream and the tank
were not sufficient for me. I must walk far away into the woods: and I
fancy that my long absence, even in my play hours, gave some uneasiness
to the good priest. He was fond of taking me with him through the
streets of the town, and thus detaining me from my solitary walks, when
at length he began to doubt whether the town or the country was the best
school for my leisure hours. I remember on one occasion, when he went to
visit a man of the parish, who was lying sick, though not mortally ill,
he made me go with him, and after keeping me some ten minutes in the
house, we took our way back again, passing across the market-square. A
number of men with bare arms were busily engaged in the middle of the
open space erecting a curious-looking instrument, consisting of a little
platform, and some raised pieces of timber, the use of which I could not
conceive. A little crowd of men, women, and boys were gathered together
round—and I would fain have stood and gazed likewise. But Father
Bonneville hurried silently on, with his eyes bent upon the ground. It
was not till I plucked him by the _soutane_, and pointing to the spot,
asked what that could mean, that he took any notice of what was going
on. I could see his face turn a shade paler, and he gave a slight
shudder as he replied, “mean, my son?—that is the guillotine.” Without
another word he pursued his way, and I accompanied him. On the following
day I heard from good Jeanette, that a man was to be executed at noon;
and I confess I had the strongest inclination in the world to go and
see. The desire arose from no cruelty of disposition—no taste for
blood—but it arose in mere curiosity. Youth very seldom attaches any
definite idea to death. It is an acquired dread that death inspires.
Others tell us about its being terrible, till we become convinced it is
so; and the sight of the dying or the dead fixes the gloomy terror
forever in our minds. No one had ever talked to me about death at this
time; and in wishing to go to the execution, it was with no desire to
see a man die, and still less suffer. I only looked upon him as a person
about to exhibit himself in new and strange circumstances, and a
rope-dancer or a conjuror would have answered my purpose quite as
well—perhaps better. However, I was not destined that day to see one or
the other. Long before noon, Father Bonneville ordered the windows to be
shut up, as if there were a death in the house. He staid at home
himself, and passed the time in prayer, in which Jeanette and I joined
him; after which he read two penitential sermons as soon as he thought
the execution was over, and then ordered the windows to be opened again,
after a new rush of feet past the house had announced to us that the
blood-loving populace were going down to the suburbs at the foot of the
hill.

If good Father Bonneville had kept up the same practice, his house would
have been shut up, before long, five days out of seven in the week, and
his domestic prayers would have occupied at least one-quarter of his
whole time. Executions became numerous, agitation of the public mind,
disquietude, tumult, violence, followed rapidly. No man felt himself
safe: every one dreaded his neighbor; each hour had its peril; the
meanest act of life became of consequence. There was no free-hearted
easiness, no social cheerfulness; all the amenities of life were
banished, till despair supplied a gayety of a chilly and a death-like
sort, to cast an unwholesome blaze upon the darkening times like the
lights that flit about the graves of the dead. The spirits and the
energies of Father Bonneville fell completely for a time. He a good deal
neglected my instruction during a couple of months—strove to give it,
but could not fix his attention. At other times when I was not sitting
with him, I was left to do much as I pleased, and my wanderings were now
prolonged. Sometimes I would extend them five or six miles beyond the
foot of the hill, especially toward the north and west, where a number
of objects of great interest, as they seemed to me, lay concealed in the
depths of a country, not fully populated and very little explored by the
traveler. There was a curious old house there, completely in
ruins—nothing in fact but the shell—with the doors gaping like dead
men’s jaws, and the windows mere eyeless sockets. The outside, however,
had once been very beautiful, richly arabesque, and ornamented with
small pillars of a dark-gray marble, in a style which, I believe,
belonged to the early part of the fifteenth century. The interior was
crowded with young trees, rooted amongst fragments of decaying joists
and roofing, while the windows were all trailed over with brambles and
self-sown climbers. The jackdaws nested in the tall towers, and the owls
slept till nightfall in the undisturbed chimney; but the social swallows
built no habitations beneath those eves.

Farther on, there was an older building still, mounted on its little
rock, with a small, but deep tank on one side, a river on the other, and
a foss once traversed by a drawbridge, running round the rest of the
base, and joining the river at the pond. I once waded through the
stream, for the drawbridge had long returned to dust, to see what was in
the house above. I was ill repaid for my pains. All was vacant and in
ruin. There was a large, tall, square building, two lesser towers and a
wall, but not a vestige of wood-work remaining. It must have been long
completely dilapidated; for in the great-court, with one of its gnarled
roots knotted round a fragment of masonry, was an oak which must have
taken more than two centuries to grow. The two buildings were strangely
contrasted in style: the gay, airy lightness of the one: the stern,
heavy simplicity of the other, were the records of two past ages; but
they, the ages which brought them forth, the people which had built
them, and the feelings which lent them their characteristics, had all
passed away. The epitaph for the grave-yard of all terrestrial things
should have been written on both their fronts—“_Fuimus_.”

It was one day in the autumn time, when the leaves were brown, and the
light mellow, and the birds had ceased their song, but the grasshopper
still prolonged his chirping, that I had wandered out in this direction
an hour or two after noon. It is a very pleasant land that
Antoumois—for I am certain that it was there, although I have no proof
of it—with its vineyards and its corn-fields, and its woods
interspersed, and here and there wild, ill-shapen rocks starting up in
one’s way, and presenting strange, unusual forms and clefts and caverns
innumerable. There had been a good deal of rioting in the town in the
morning. In fact the regular municipal government might have been
considered as almost at an end, and anarchy was advancing with rapid
strides. I no longer wanted to see executions: the turbulence of the
people did not amuse and did not frighten me, but it annoyed me. My ears
were tired of shouts and screams, and I was sick of the Marseillaise to
my very heart. I longed to see the old town in its clear, calm, sober
light again, with the streets uncrowded by victims, and unpolluted by
the disorderly rabble of the suburb. Gladly I escaped out into the
country, and I believe good Father Bonneville was glad to see me go. I
had walked on past the first house I have mentioned, and was about
mid-way between it and the second. I was wandering on along a little
foot-path, not sufficiently frequented to prevent the velvet moss from
growing quickly upon it, and had very nearly arrived at a spot where one
of those bold, rugged and fissured rocks which I have mentioned, rose up
in the midst of the wood, and forced the path to take a turn. Suddenly,
when near the angle, a woman and a child turned the corner advancing
with wild and rapid steps. The child, a beautiful little girl, of some
seven years old, dressed in a costume of the higher classes, but with
nothing but her own beautiful curly hair upon her head, was crying
bitterly. The woman—evidently a lady of some rank and station—shed no
tears; but there was a look of wild, anxious terror, almost amounting to
frenzy, on her face. The moment she beheld me she started back, dragging
the child with her, and uttering a low scream. But an instant’s thought
made her pause again; and she fixed her deep, inquiring eyes upon me
when she saw that I was but a boy and alone. She was very beautiful,
though very pale, and her face was in some way familiar to me. As I
gazed at her with some surprise, and not untouched by the fear which she
evidently felt herself, I saw that various parts of her dress were dyed
and dabbled with blood. I had stopped when she stopped, and remained
somewhat bewildered while she fixed upon me that earnest, penetrating
look. Suddenly, some thought or remembrance seemed to strike her, and
letting go the child’s hand, she darted forth and grasped my arm.

“Are not you the boy whom I saw some months ago at Father Bonneville’s?”
she asked in a low and hurried voice.

“I live with him, madam,” I replied; “but what blood is that upon your
dress?”

“My husband’s,” replied the lady, in a tone so low, so icy, so full of
deep despair that it seemed to freeze my very heart. “They have just
murdered him before my very face, because he would not give them powder
when he had none to give.”

Then she put her hand to her head for a few moments, and the little
girl, still weeping bitterly, crept up to her side, and took hold of her
gown.

“Here,” said the lady, disengaging the child’s hand and putting it in
mine, “take her to Father Bonneville—tell him what has
happened—beseech him to keep her in safety for two or three months. I
will come and claim her if I live so long. If not, let him send her to
England and think me dead. You will take care of her—you will be kind
to her—you will guide her safely?” and she fixed her large, dark eyes
full upon me, seeming to look into my soul.

She had taken little notice of the child, who was now crying more
bitterly than ever, and murmuring that she would not go. For my part, I
promised all that she desired, but she hardly listened to me,
exclaiming, almost immediately I began to speak—

“Stay! she must have some means. Here, here,” and she took from her
pocket two rolls of coin, wrapped up in paper as was much the custom in
France in those days. One of these she gave to me, enveloped and sealed
as it was. The other, she broke as one would break a stick, and I
perceived it contained louis-d’ors, by one of them falling out upon the
ground. I stooped to pick it up, but she said in the same hurried tone—

“Never mind, never mind. Speed is worth all the gold in the world. Here,
take this half and go.”

Then stooping down, she kissed the little girl a hundred times, pressed
her to her heart, laid her hand upon her head and looked up to heaven;
and now the tears fell plentifully. From time to time, however, she
whispered a few words in the child’s ear, and they seemed to have a
great effect. She wept still, and somewhat clung to her mother; but
when, at length, the lady replaced the child’s hand in mine, saying,
“Now go, go, and God Almighty be your God and Protector,” she made no
further resistance; but with bent head, and eyes dropping fast, ran on
beside me.

Suddenly I heard a voice cry, “Stop, stop!” and turning round, saw the
lady running fast after us. She caught the child’s hand and mine with a
quick, eager grasp, and looked up on high, seeming to consider something
deeply, and I could see the pulse beating in her beautiful neck with
fearful force. At length, however, she dropped our hands with a deep,
heavy sigh, and murmured, “They will never hurt two children—surely,
they will not hurt two children. Go on—go on—”

She turned sadly away, and walking on, I was there in the forest leading
the little girl by the hand, and with a walk of more than four miles
before us.

                                                  [_To be continued._

                 *        *        *        *        *



                               THE KISS.


                           BY E. ANNA LEWIS.


    Two lovely beings near me stood,
      The one a tall and blooming youth,
    The other in sweet maidenhood,
      All wreathed with smiles, and love, and truth.

    He gazed upon her beaming face,
      As if his soul lay mirrored there,
    Then drew her close to his embrace—
      But shrinking back, she said—“_Take care!_”

    “It never gave me joy,” he sighed,
      “The dew from saintly lips to sip—
    I’d rather quaff the lava tide
      That flushes Passion’s burning lip.”

    “Then go,” she said—“I spurn thy kiss—
      Go, kneel at glowing Venus’ shrine,
    And drink thy fill of wanton bliss—
      Thy lip shall never feed on mine.”

                 *        *        *        *        *



                           THE CLOSING SCENE.


                        BY THOMAS BUCHANAN READ.


    Within his sober realm of leafless trees
      The russet Year inhaled the dreamy air,
    Like some tanned reaper in his hour of ease,
      When all the fields are lying brown and bare.

    The gray barns, looking from their hazy hills
      O’er the dim waters widening in the vales,
    Sent down the air a greeting to the mills
      On the dull thunder of alternate flails.

    All sights were mellowed and all sounds subdued;
      The hills seemed farther and the streams sang low;
    As in a dream, the distant woodman hewed
      His winter log with many a muffled blow.

    The embattled forests, erewhile armed in gold,
      Their banners bright with every martial hue,
    Now stood like some sad beaten host of old
      Withdrawn afar in Time’s remotest blue.

    On slumberous wings the vulture held his flight;
      The dove scarce heard his sighing mate’s complaint;
    And, like a star slow drowning in the light,
      The village church-vane seemed to pale and faint.

    The sentinel cock upon the hill-side crew—
      Crew thrice, and all was stiller than before;
    Silent, till some replying warder blew
      His alien horn, and then was heard no more.

    Where erst the jay, within the elm’s tall crest,
      Made garrulous trouble round her unfledged young;
    And where the oriole hung her swaying nest,
      By every light wind like a censer swung:—

    Where sang the noisy masons of the eves,
      The busy swallows, circling ever near,
    Foreboding, as the rustic mind believes,
      An early harvest and a plenteous year:—

    Where every bird that charmed the vernal feast,
      Shook the sweet slumber from its wings at morn,
    And warned the reaper of the rosy east—
      All now was songless, empty and forlorn.

    Alone from out the stubble piped the quail,
      While croaked the crow through all the dreamy gloom;
    Alone the pheasant drumming in the vale
      Made echo to the distant cottage loom.

    There was no bud, no bloom upon the bowers,
      The spiders wove their thin shrouds night by night,
    The thistle-down, the only ghost of flowers,
      Sailed slowly by—passed noiseless out of sight.

    Amid all this, in this most cheerless air,
      And where the woodbine shed upon the porch
    Its crimson leaves, as if the year stood there
      Firing the floor with his inverted torch;—

    Amid all this, the centre of the scene,
      The white-haired matron, with monotonous tread
    Plied the swift wheel, and with her joyless mien,
      Sat, like a Fate, and watched the flying thread.

    She had known Sorrow: He had walked with her,
      Oft supped and broke the bitter ashen crust;
    And in the dead leaves still she heard the stir
      Of his black mantle trailing in the dust.

    While yet her cheek was bright with summer bloom
      Her country summoned, and she gave her all;
    And twice War bowed to her his sable plume—
      Re-gave the swords to rust upon her wall.

    Re-gave the swords; but not the hand that drew,
      And struck for Liberty its dying blow;
    Nor him who, to his sire and country true.
      Fell ’mid the ranks of the invading foe.

    Long, but not loud, the droning wheel went on,
      Like the low murmur of a hive at noon;
    Long, but not loud, the memory of the gone
      Breathed through her lips a sad and tremulous tune.

    At last the thread was snapped—her head was bowed,
      Life dropped the distaff through his hands serene—
    And loving neighbors smoothed her careful shroud,
      While Death and Winter closed the Autumn scene.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                                 LINES.


                          BY JAMES M’CARROLL.


    How oft, while wandering through some desert place,
      I’ve met a poor, pale, thirsty little flower,
    Looking toward heaven, with its patient face,
      In dying expectation of a shower.

    And when the sweet compassion of the skies
      Fell, like a charm, upon its sickly bloom,
    Oh! what a grateful stream gushed from its eyes
      Toward Him who cared to snatch it from the tomb.

    And, oh! when all its leaves seemed folding up
      Into the tender bud of other days,
    What clouds of incense, from the deepening cup,
      Rolled upward with the burden of its praise.

    And then I thought, in this dry land of ours
      How few, that feel affliction’s chastening rod,
    Are like the poor, pale, thirsty little flowers,
      With their meek faces turned toward their God.

    How few, when angry clouds and storms depart,
      And all the light of heaven reappears,
    Are found with incense rising in a heart
      Dissolved, before His throne, in grateful tears.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                           A GOOD INVESTMENT.


                            BY T. S. ARTHUR.


“That’s a smart little fellow of yours,” said a gentleman named Winslow
to a laboring man, who was called in, occasionally, to do work about his
store. “Does he go to school?”

“Not now, sir,” replied the poor man.

“Why not, Davis? He looks like a bright lad.”

“He’s got good parts, sir,” returned the father, “but—”

“But what?” asked the gentleman, seeing that the man hesitated.

“Times are rather hard now, sir, and I have a large family. It’s about
as much as I can do to keep hunger and cold away. Ned reads very well,
writes a tolerable fair hand, considering all things, and can figure a
little. And that’s about all I can do for him. The other children are
coming forward, and I reckon he will have to go to a trade middling
soon.”

“How old is Ned?” inquired Mr. Winslow.

“He’s turned of eleven.”

“You wont put him to a trade before he’s thirteen or fourteen?”

“Can’t keep him home idling about all that time, Mr. Winslow. It would
be his ruination. It’s young to go out from home, I know, to rough it
and tough it among strangers”—there was a slight unsteadiness in the
poor man’s voice—“but it’s better than doing nothing.”

“Ned ought to go to school a year or two longer, Davis,” said Mr.
Winslow, with some interest in his manner. “And as you are not able to
pay the quarter-bills, I guess I will have to do it. What say you? If I
pay for Ned’s schooling can you keep him at home some two or three years
longer?”

“I didn’t expect _that_ of you, Mr. Winslow,” said the poor man, and his
voice now trembled. He uncovered his head as he spoke, almost
reverently. “You aint bound to pay for schooling my boy. Ah, sir!”

“But you havn’t answered my question, Davis. What say you?”

“Oh, sir, if you are really in earnest?”

“I am in earnest. Ned ought to go to school. If you can keep him home a
few years longer I will pay for his education during the time. Ned”—Mr.
Winslow spoke to the boy—“what say you? Would you like to go to school
again?”

“Yes, indeed, sir,” quickly answered the boy, while his bright young
face was lit up with a gleam of intelligence.

“Then you shall go, my fine fellow. There’s the right kind of stuff in
you, or I’m mistaken. We’ll give you a trial at any rate.”

Mr. Winslow was as good as his word. Ned was immediately entered at an
excellent school. The boy, young as he was, appreciated the kind act of
his benefactor, and resolved to profit by it to the full extent.

“I made an investment of ten dollars to-day,” said Mr. Winslow,
jestingly to a mercantile friend, some three months after the occurrence
just related took place, “and here’s the certificate.”

He held up a small slip of paper as he spoke.

“Ten dollars! A large operation. In what fund?”

“A charity fund.”

“Oh!” And the friend shrugged his shoulders “Don’t do much in that way
myself. No great faith in the security. What dividend do you expect to
receive?”

“Don’t know. Rather think it will be large.”

“Better take some more of the stock if you think it so good. There is
plenty in market to be bought at less than par.”

Mr. Winslow smiled, and said that, in all probability he would invest a
few more small sums in the same way and see how it would turn out. The
little piece of paper which he called a certificate of stock, was the
first quarter-bill he had paid for Ned’s schooling. For four years these
bills were regularly paid, and then Ned, who had well improved the
opportunities so generously afforded him, was taken, on the
recommendation of Mr. Winslow, into a large importing house. He was at
the time in his sixteenth year. Before the lad could enter upon this
employment, however, Mr. Winslow had to make another investment in his
charity fund. Ned’s father was too poor to give him an outfit of
clothing such as was required in the new position to which he was to be
elevated; knowing this, the generous merchant came forward again and
furnished the needful supply.

As no wages were received by Ned for the first two years, Mr. Winslow
continued to buy his clothing, while his father still gave him his
board. On reaching the age of eighteen, Ned’s employers, who were much
pleased with his industry, intelligence, and attention to business, put
him on a salary of three hundred dollars. This made him at once
independent. He could pay his own boarding and find his own clothes, and
proud did he feel on the day when advanced to so desirable a position.

“How comes on your investment?” asked Mr. Winslow’s mercantile friend
about this time. He spoke jestingly.

“It promises very well,” was the smiling reply.

“It is rising in the market, then?”

“Yes.”

“Any dividends yet?”

“Oh, certainly. Large dividends.”

“Ah! You surprise me. What kind of dividends?”

“More than a hundred per cent.”

“Indeed! Not in money?”

“Oh no. But in something better than money. The satisfaction that flows
from an act of benevolence wisely done.”

“Oh, that’s all.” The friend spoke with ill-concealed contempt.

“Don’t you call that something?” asked Mr. Winslow.

“It’s entirely too unsubstantial for me,” replied the other. “I go in
for returns of a more tangible character. Those you speak of wont pay my
notes.”

Mr. Winslow smiled, and bade his friend good-morning.

“He knows nothing,” said he to himself, as he mused on the subject, “of
the pleasure of doing good; and the loss is all on his side. If we have
the ability to secure investments of this kind, they are among the best
we can make, and all are able to put at least some money in the fund of
good works, let it be ever so small an amount. Have I suffered the
abridgment of a single comfort by what I have done? No. Have I gained in
pleasant thoughts and feelings by the act? Largely. It has been a source
of perennial enjoyment. I would not have believed that, at so small a
cost I could have secured so much pleasure. And how great the good that
may flow from what I have done! Instead of a mere day-laborer, whose
work in the world goes not beyond the handling of boxes, bales and
barrels, or the manufacture of some article in common use, Edward Davis,
advanced by education, takes a position of more extended usefulness, and
by his higher ability and more intelligent action in society, will be
able, if he rightly use the power in his hands, to advance the world’s
onward movement in a most important degree.”

Thus thought Mr. Winslow and his heart grew warm within him. Time proved
that he had not erred in affording the lad an opportunity for obtaining
a good education. His quick mind acquired, in the position in which he
was placed, accurate ideas of business, and industry and force of
character made these ideas thoroughly practical. Every year his
employers advanced his salary, and, on attaining his majority, it was
further advanced to the sum of one thousand dollars per annum. With
every increase the young man had devoted a larger and larger proportion
of his income to improving the condition of his father’s family, and
when it was raised to the sum last mentioned, he took a neat,
comfortable new house, much larger than the family had before lived in,
and paid the whole rent himself. Moreover, through his acquaintance and
influence, he was able to get a place for his father at lighter
employment than he had heretofore been engaged in, and at a higher rate
of compensation.

“Any more dividends on your charity investment?” said Mr. Winslow’s
friend, about this time. He spoke with the old manner, and from the old
feelings.

“Yes. Got a dividend to-day. The largest yet received,” replied the
merchant, smiling.

“Did you? Hope it does you a great deal of good.”

“I realize your wish, my friend. It is doing me a great deal of good,”
returned Mr. Winslow.

“No cash, I presume?”

“Something far better. Let me explain.”

“Do so, if you please.”

“You know the particulars of this investment?” said Mr. Winslow.

His friend shook his head, and replied,

“No. The fact is, I never felt interest enough in the matter to inquire
particulars.”

“Oh, well. Then I must give you a little history.”

“You know old Davis, who has been working about our stores for the last
ten or fifteen years?”

“Yes.”

“My investment was in the education of his son.”

“Indeed!”

“His father took him from school when he was only eleven years old,
because he could not afford to send him any longer, and was about
putting the little fellow out to learn a trade. Something interested me
in the child, who was a bright lad, and acting from a good impulse that
came over me at the moment, I proposed to his father to send him to
school for three or four years, if he would board and clothe him during
the time. To this he readily agreed. So I paid for Ned’s schooling until
he was in his sixteenth year, and then got him into Webb & Waldron’s
store, where he has been ever since.”

“Webb & Waldron’s!” said the friend, evincing some surprise. “I know all
their clerks very well, for we do a great deal of business with them.
Which is the son of old Mr. Davis?”

“The one they call Edward.”

“Not that tall, fine-looking young man—their leading salesman?”

“The same.”

“Is it possible! Why he is worth any two clerks in the store.”

“I know he is.”

“For his age, there is not a better salesman in the city.”

“So I believe,” said Mr. Winslow, “nor,” he added, “a better man.”

“I know little of his personal character; but, unless his face deceives
me, it cannot but be good.”

“It is good. Let me say a word about him. The moment his salary
increased beyond what was absolutely required to pay his board and find
such clothing as his position made it necessary for him to wear, he
devoted the entire surplus to rendering his father’s family more
comfortable.”

“Highly praiseworthy,” said the friend.

“I had received, already, many dividends on my investment,” continued
Mr. Winslow; “but when that fact came to my knowledge, my dividend
exceeded all the other dividends put together.”

The mercantile friend was silent. If ever in his life he had envied the
reward of a good deed, it was at that moment.

“To-day,” went on Mr. Winslow, “I have received a still larger dividend.
I was passing along Buttonwood street, when I met old Mr. Davis coming
out of a house, the rent of which, from its appearance, was not less
than two hundred and twenty-five dollars. ‘You don’t live here, of
course,’ said I, for I knew the old man’s income to be small—not over
six or seven dollars a week. ‘O, yes I do,’ he made answer, with a
smile. I turned and looked at the house again. ‘How comes this?’ I
asked. ‘You must be getting better off in the world.’ ‘So I am,’ was his
reply. ‘Has anybody left you a little fortune?’ I inquired. ‘No, but you
have helped me to one,’ said he. ‘I don’t understand you, Mr. Davis,’ I
made answer. ‘Edward rents the house for us,’ said the old man. ‘Do you
understand now?’

“I understood him perfectly. It was then that I received the largest
dividend on my investment which has yet come into my hands. If they go
on increasing at this rate, I shall soon be rich.”

“Rather unsubstantial kind of riches,” was remarked by the friend.

“That which elevates and delights the mind can hardly be called
unsubstantial,” replied Mr. Winslow. “Gold will not always do this.”

The friend sighed involuntarily. The remarks of Mr. Winslow caused
thoughts to flit over his mind that were far from being agreeable.

A year or two more went by, and then an addition was made to the firm of
Webb & Waldron. Edward Davis received the offer of an interest in the
business, which he unhesitatingly accepted. From that day he was in the
road to fortune. Three years afterward one of the partners died, when
his interest was increased.

Twenty-five years from the time Mr. Winslow, acting from a benevolent
impulse, proposed to send young Davis to school, have passed.

One day, about this period, Mr. Winslow, who had met with a number of
reverses in business, was sitting in his counting-room, with a troubled
look on his face, when the mercantile friend before-mentioned came in.
His countenance was pale and disturbed.

“We are ruined! ruined!” said he, with much agitation.

Mr. Winslow started to his feet.

“Speak!” he exclaimed. “What new disaster is about to sweep over me?”

“The house of Toledo & Co., in Rio, has suspended.”

Mr. Winslow struck his hands together, and sunk down into the chair from
which he had arisen.

“Then it is all over,” he murmured. “All over!”

“It is all over with me,” said the other. “A longer struggle would be
fruitless. But for this I might have weathered the storm. Twenty
thousand dollars of drafts drawn against my last shipment are back
protested, and will be presented to-morrow. I cannot lift them. So ends
this matter. So closes a business life of nearly forty years, in
commercial dishonor and personal ruin!”

“Are you certain that they have failed?” asked Mr. Winslow, with
something like hope in his tone of voice.

“It is too true,” was answered. “The Celeste arrived this morning, and
her letter-bag was delivered at the post-office half an hour ago. Have
you received nothing by her?”

“I was not aware of her arrival. But I will send immediately for my
letters.”

Too true was the information communicated by the friend. The large
commission-house of Toledo & Co. had failed, and protested drafts had
been returned to a very heavy amount. Mr. Winslow was among the
sufferers, and to an extent that was equivalent to ruin; because it
threw back upon him the necessity of lifting over fifteen thousand
dollars of protested paper, when his line of payments was already fully
up to his utmost ability.

For nearly five years, every thing had seemed to go against Mr. Winslow.
At the beginning of that period, a son, whom he had set up in business,
failed, involving him in a heavy loss. Then, one disaster after another
followed, until he found himself in imminent danger of failure. From
this time he turned his mind to the consideration of his affairs with
more earnestness than ever, and made every transaction with a degree of
prudence and foresight that seemed to guarantee success in whatever he
attempted. A deficient supply of flour caused him to venture a large
shipment to Rio. The sale was at a handsomely remunerative profit, but
the failure of his consignees, before the payment of his drafts for the
proceeds, entirely prostrated him.

So hopeless did the merchant consider his case, that he did not even
make an effort to get temporary aid in his extremity.

When the friend of Mr. Winslow came with the information that the house
of Toledo & Co. had failed, the latter was searching about in his mind
for the means of lifting about five thousand dollars worth of paper,
which fell due on that day. He had two thousand dollars in bank; the
balance of the sum would have to be raised by borrowing. He had partly
fixed upon the resources from which this was to come, when the news of
his ill-fortune arrived.

Yes, it was ruin. Mr. Winslow saw that in a moment, and his hands fell
powerless by his side. He made no further effort to lift his notes, but,
after his mind had a little recovered from its first shock, he left his
store and retired to his home, to seek in its quiet the calmness and
fortitude, of which he stood so greatly in need. In this home were his
wife and two daughters, who all their lives had enjoyed the many
external comforts and elegancies that wealth can procure. The heart of
the father ached as his eyes rested upon his children, and he thought of
the sad reverses that awaited them.

On entering his dwelling, Mr. Winslow sought the partner of his life,
and communicated to her without reserve, the painful intelligence of his
approaching failure.

“Is it indeed so hopeless?” she asked, tears filling her eyes.

“I am utterly prostrate!” was the reply, in a voice that was full of
anguish. And in the bitterness of the moment, the unfortunate merchant
wrung his hands.

To Mrs. Winslow, the shock, so unexpected, was very severe; and it was
some time before her mind, after her husband’s announcement, acquired
any degree of calmness.

About half an hour after Mr. Winslow’s return home, and while both his
own heart and that of his wife were quivering with pain, a servant came
and said that a gentleman had called and wished to see him.

“Who is it?” asked the merchant.

“I did not understand his name,” replied the servant.

Mr. Winslow forced as much external composure as was possible, and then
descended to the parlor.

“Mr. Davis,” he said on entering.

“Mr. Winslow,” returned the visitor, taking the merchant’s hand and
grasping it warmly.

As the two men sat down together, the one addressed as Mr. Davis, said—

“I was sorry to learn a little while ago, that you will lose by this
failure in Rio.”

“Heavily. It has ruined me!” replied Mr. Winslow.

“Not so bad as that I hope!” said Mr. Davis.

“Yes. It has removed the last prop that I leaned on, Mr. Davis. The very
last one, and now the worst must come to the worst. It is impossible for
me to take up fifteen thousand dollars worth of returned drafts.”

“Fifteen thousand is the amount?”

“Yes.”

Mr. Davis smiled encouragingly.

“If that is all,” said he, “there is no difficulty in the way. I can
easily get you the money.”

Mr. Winslow started, and a warm flush went over his face.

“Why didn’t you come to me,” asked Mr. Davis, “the moment you found
yourself in such a difficulty? Surely!” and his voice slightly trembled,
“surely you did not think it possible for me to forget the past! Do not
I owe you every thing?—and would I not be one of the basest of men, if
I forgot my obligation? If your need were twice fifteen thousand, and it
required the division of my last dollar with you, not a hair of your
head should be injured. I did not know that it was possible for you to
get into an extremity like this, until I heard it whispered a little
while ago.”

So unexpected a turn in his affairs completely unmanned Mr. Winslow. He
covered his face and wept for some time, with the uncontrollable passion
of a child.

“Ah! sir,” he said at last, in a broken voice, “I did not expect this,
Mr. Davis.”

“You had a right to expect it,” replied the young man. “Were I to do
less than sustain you in any extremity not too great for my ability, I
would be unworthy the name of a man. And now, Mr. Winslow, let your
heart be at rest. You need not fall under this blow. Your drafts will
probably come back to you to-morrow?”

“Yes. To-morrow at the latest.”

“Very well. I will see that you are provided with the means to lift
them. In the meantime, if you are in want of any sums toward your
payments of to-day, just let me know.”

“I can probably get through to-day by my own efforts,” said Mr. Winslow.

“Probably? How much do you want?” asked Mr. Davis.

“In the neighborhood of three thousand dollars.”

“I will send you round a check for that sum immediately,” promptly
returned the young man, rising as he spoke and drawing forth his watch.

“It is nearly two o’clock now,” he added, “so I will bid you good day.
In fifteen minutes you will find a check at your store.”

And with this Davis retired.

All this, which passed in a brief space of time, seemed like a dream to
Mr. Winslow. He could hardly realize its truth. But it was a reality,
and he comprehended it more fully, when on reaching his store, he found
there the promised check for three thousand dollars.

On the next day the protested drafts came in; but, thanks to the
grateful kindness of Mr. Davis, now a merchant with the command of large
money facilities, he was able to take them up. The friend, before
introduced was less fortunate. There was no one to step forward and save
him from ruin, and he sunk under the sudden pressure that came upon him.

A few days after his failure he met Mr. Winslow.

“How is this?” said he. “How did you weather the storm that drove me
under? I thought your condition as hopeless as mine!”

“So did I,” answered Mr. Winslow. “But, I had forgotten a small
investment made years ago. I have spoken of it to you before.”

The other looked slightly puzzled.

“Have you forgotten that investment in the charity fund? which you
thought money thrown away.”

“Oh!” Light broke in upon his mind. “You educated Davis. I remember
now!”

“And Davis, hearing of my extremity, stepped forward and saved me. That
was the best investment I ever made!”

The friend dropped his eyes to the pavement, stood for a moment or two
without speaking, sighed and then moved on. How many opportunities for
making similar investments had he not neglected!

                 *        *        *        *        *



                             THE LOST DEED.


                         A LEGEND OF OLD SALEM.


                            BY E. D. ELIOT.


Last summer I visited, for a few weeks, a romantic inland town, in the
northern part of New England. While there, some old papers accidentally
fell into my hands, and among them I found the following story; which
appeared to have been thrown into the form of a legend, and thus handed
down through several generations.

The family it relates to were originally among the principal families
residing in the good old town of Salem, toward the close of the old
French war. No branch of the family remained in the place at the time of
the Revolution of ’76; and their name even is now forgotten in the
vicinity, or only to be found on some old tomb-stone. This legend served
me to shorten a weary, sultry, mid-summer hour, and, courteous reader,
with the hope that it may do you the same kind service, I give it to you
without further comment.

                 *        *        *        *        *

The Fayerweather estate was purchased by the first of that family who
appeared in Salem, of a person of the name of Boynton. The estate was
situated in that part of Essex street since called “Old Paved street,”
from its having been the first, and for many years the only one, in the
town which afforded its passengers the convenience of a substantial
stone pavement.

The man Boynton, of whom Mr. Fayerweather purchased the land, was not
much respected in the town; he had but little reputation for honesty;
but Mr. Fayerweather having secured the title deeds, when he paid down
the purchase money, saw but little reason to fear his title being called
in question; therefore immediately on coming into possession, he built
on it a fine mansion. It was a large and respectable looking edifice,
built in the best style of the day; its date was the same with that of
the noted one in which the witches were tried, and which can yet be seen
standing in a green old age, at the corner of North and Essex streets,
having survived the decay and downfall of all its cotemporaries. The
solid beams and rafters of the Fayerweather mansion might have held
together equally as long, but not many years ago they were ruthlessly
torn down to make room for a more showy house of bright red brick, built
in the modern style.

Mr. Fayerweather lived in quiet possession of his land long enough to
see it nearly doubled in value, by his improvements and the increase of
dwellings in that part of the town. At his decease his only son took
possession of the homestead. Boynton’s death took place shortly after.
And now an unexpected claim was set up by his son and daughter, Jemmy
and Nanny, to an undivided moiety of the land, in right of their mother;
and a deed was produced by them, proving their title to this moiety by
purchase in her maiden name, with a date prior to her marriage. The
second Mr. Fayerweather perceived at once the knavery which had been
practiced upon his father, by the old sinner Boynton; but he not being
able to bring himself to contest the point by a recourse to law—of
which he entertained a horror—Jemmy and Nanny proceeded to establish
their claim by taking possession. They removed the little
ill-conditioned building which served for their dwelling, so near the
line which separated the garden and grounds immediately about the
mansion, from the rest of the land, that the hedge of shrubbery marking
the division might conveniently serve them equally well as an inclosure.

Their injured neighbor had no means of redress, however annoyed; and
being of a Christian spirit, still further subdued by affliction—having
lost his wife and several children in succession—he thought more of
securing possessions in another and better world, than of resisting
encroachments on those remaining to him in this. Few, however, are the
evils in this life which are found to be wholly unattended with benefit.
Even the fraud of old Boynton, the aggressions of Jemmy and Nanny, their
continual warfare with the kitchen division of his household, resulting
not seldom in a pitched battle with broomsticks—even these served a
good purpose to the sorrowing invalid. Like a perpetual blister, their
irritation sometimes aroused his spirit, in danger of sinking into
apathy or dejection; and by quickening the flow of his blood, and giving
it a more lively action, perhaps produced a favorable effect upon his
health. It is certain that his life was prolonged to a much greater age
than was prophesied when he took possession of his disputed inheritance.
At his death his estate fell to his son, also an only one, who in turn
became the occupant of the homestead, and whose family furnishes the
principal subject of the pages which follow.

Mr. Fayerweather, the third of the name in Salem, removed from Boston,
where he had married and had resided for several years. He was a man of
great worth, and of good sense, though with some eccentricities. The
handsome property which he inherited, together with that which fell into
his hands by his marriage, constituted him a wealthy man without any
addition; he, however, engaged in commerce for a few years, but not
finding it to his taste, he retired from business soon after his removal
to Salem, and led a quiet though useful life; one of the most beloved
and respected among the heads of the town. His good lady was
distinguished, principally, for kindness of heart, and an almost
laughable simplicity; though in her youth she had possessed much beauty,
and of a kind on which Time can scarce find it in his heart to lay his
withering fingers; spiteful as the old wretch usually is to lilies and
roses and lovely features. This well-matched pair had but two
children—both sons; a niece, however, left an orphan in infancy was
adopted by madam, (this title, in those days, was always borne by
matrons in the higher station,) and she became equally beloved by Mr.
Fayerweather.

Jemmy Boynton never married; despairing, probably, of finding a helpmate
equally as saving and lynx-eyed, as to the main chance as his amiable
sister. Nanny Boynton’s reasons for leading a single life were never
fully known. Perhaps she never received an offer; though being for many
years reputed the richest heiress in Salem, this does not seem probable,
even had her personal charms not been quite irresistible.

However the case may be, the brother and sister lived together in much
harmony; the fraternal tie being strengthened by bonds of principal and
interest. Still they were far from being agreeable neighbors to the
family at the larger house, whose quiet they succeeded in disturbing
almost daily. Madam kept herself as much aloof from them as she could,
consistently with her nature, which was kindly disposed to every
creature that breathed, and led her to do them all the good in her
power. Of this they availed themselves to their no small profit. They
levied contributions, under the name of loans, upon her larder, her
flour-barrel, and her meat-tub; seldom replenishing their own scanty
stock of provisions, until a supply from her store-room had served them
a week. The kitchen utensils were in constant requisition. The servants
sometimes took upon them to resist these exactions, when such a clamor
would be raised, as to throw poor madam into hysterics; in terror of
which and in mercy to his own ears, her good spouse was fain to give
orders that Jemmy and Nanny should have whatever they asked for, without
contention or debate.

This was to the unbounded indignation of Aunt Vi’let; a
sable-complexioned dame, who ruled in the kitchen with despotic sway,
and held old Scipio, her niece Flora, and Peter the footboy, in
wholesome subjection; often extending her dominion to the parlor, where
she found no difficulty in overawing madam; and even Mr. Fayerweather,
though he sometimes proved refractory, as in the above instance, yet he
generally found it his safest course to submit in silence to Aunt
Vi’let.

If there was a being in the world, toward whom Vi’let bore a decided
antipathy, that being was Nanny Boynton. This antipathy was partly
caused by the conviction that the latter was addicted to witchcraft; a
belief in which, not being yet wholly dispelled from the minds of the
ignorant and uneducated in Salem. In Vi’let it existed in as full force
as any of the articles of her religious creed; it might, indeed, be said
to be one of them—and her feelings toward Nanny were governed by it
accordingly; imputing to her agency every untoward event which occurred
in the family generally, but more particularly her own private mishaps,
her ailments and vexations. No fear, however, found a place in her
feelings toward her enemy; for had the latter attacked her, backed by
him of the cloven foot, in bodily shape, she was of a temper and spirit
to hold her ground and berate the foul fiend to his face; and if he had
not fairly turned and fled, panic-struck at the torrent of abuse
accompanying her adjurations, he had proved himself, indeed, a brave
spirit.

The brawls and disturbances occasioned by the hostility of these two
high-spirited maidens—for Vi’let too had forsworn matrimony—rendered
it the first object of Mr. Fayerweather’s wishes to remove the Boyntons;
and he endeavored to prevail upon them to relinquish their claim for a
reasonable compensation; but for many years in vain, their residence in
his neighborhood was much too profitable and convenient for them to be
easily induced to change it.

George Fayerweather, the elder of Mr. Fayerweather’s two sons, being the
hero of this legend, it may be as well to give some account of his
boyhood, especially of those events and associations that had some share
in the formation of his character. Though in strength and frame a young
giant, he had delicate, handsome features, and a complexion which seemed
to defy the effect of sun or wind, rosy cheeks, and long, curling,
golden hair. He resembled his mother very much; and madam could not
always avoid betraying her fond pride in this living image of herself,
as she smoothed his hair, and turning each golden lock over her finger,
formed it into ringlets round his blooming face and ivory throat, after
her daily operations of washing and dressing him. These offices she took
upon herself until he was eleven years old, and there is no knowing how
much longer she might have chosen to perform them, if his father had not
interfered—“Finding,” as he said, “the boy was in danger of becoming a
conceited, effeminate coxcomb—which no son of his should be.”

One morning Mr. Fayerweather was reading in a small apartment, which
opened out of the sitting-room, formerly used by him as a counting-room,
and still retaining the name, though it might have been dignified with
the title of library, being lined with book-shelves well filled. The
door was half open, and hearing some one enter the sitting-room, he
looked up and saw his son, who had just undergone the above-mentioned
dressing operations under his mother’s hands. The boy, not perceiving
his father, went up to the large looking-glass which hung over the
marble slab, where he stood apparently admiring himself, while he took a
handful of sugar-plums from his pocket, and putting them into his mouth,
ate as he gazed.

Mr. Fayerweather, with difficulty restraining his indignation, left the
room quietly by another door, which opened at the foot of the stairs, up
which he went. He descended quickly, bringing a silk gown of his wife’s
on his arm, and a lace cap in his hand, and softly approached George,
who was still absorbed in the contemplation of his own image. Seizing
the boy, who, paralyzed with shame, could make no resistance, he
stripped off his upper garment, and put the gown and cap on him; then
taking him on his knee, he began to trot and dandle him, singing, “High
diddle diddle.” George’s rage obtained the mastery; he struggled and
kicked with the strength of a half-grown Hercules, and at length freeing
himself from his father, he stripped off the gown and stamped upon
it—madam’s very blue-watered tabby! then catching a glance at himself
in the glass, and seeing the cap on his head, he tore it in two, and
flying up to the glass, with one blow of his fist, broke it into a
thousand pieces. The tempest now subsided in a torrent of tears, and the
poor boy ran off to hide his shame.

His father, when he saw the result of his experiment, almost repented
having carried it so far. He did not think of the value of the glass,
though he had sent “_home_” for it, at the cost of fifty guineas; and in
its elaborately carved and gilded frame, it was the pride of all “Paved
street”; nor madam’s blue-watered tabby, though it was her fourth
best—indeed, she rather preferred it to her Pompadour lustring, having
an idea that Mr. Fayerweather thought it becoming to her complexion—the
value of these twice-told he would have thought well-bestowed if they
cured George of his girlish vanity, and called forth in him a manly
spirit; but he regretted having outraged the feelings of his son. He,
however, courageously repressed the yearning which he felt to go and
soothe the boy and do away the effect of his severe lesson by sweetmeats
and caresses. He very sensibly left George to himself for a while.

Madam was out at this juncture. I pass over her lamentations, on her
return, at the injury done to her favorite gown and cap, and the still
louder ones which escaped her at the sight of the broken looking-glass;
suffice it to say, that Mr. Fayerweather promised her a green damask to
replace her outraged tabby, and to send home for a pair of glasses by
the next vessel. George did not make his appearance at dinner, but his
father manfully resisted his inclination to seek for him, and succeeded
in keeping down madam’s hysterics, by diverting her mind with some news
which he told her relating to the king and queen. He did not, however,
prevent her from heaping up a plate with every dainty the house
afforded, and giving it to Scipio, with a charge “not to leave till he
had found the child, and made him eat his dinner.”

Tea-time came, and no George took his accustomed seat, as near his
mother’s apron-strings as possible. On the door being opened, however,
which led into the passage between the sitting-room and kitchen, his
voice was heard in pretty loud and determined tones, and Vi’let
expostulating with him; which somewhat allayed madam’s fears that her
pet had run away and jumped into the river, or had cried himself sick.
The tea-things were cleared away, but he did not appear. Amy, who had
presided at the tea-table, went to the window and looked out, thinking
her uncle had been almost too hard upon poor George.

It was near the close of a fine day in mid-winter. The sun was just
setting, and the whole atmosphere appeared kindled into one bright red
flame, giving a rosy tint to the new-fallen snow, which lay deep upon
the ground, smooth and undrifted, and covering every roof; while the
grotesque figures of the long icicles which hung from the eaves were
glittering in the ruddy light. The moon’s broad disk was full in view in
the east, but as yet her rays of silver were lost in the brighter glow
of twilight. Amy thought how pleasant a sleigh-ride would be, if the
culprit could be taken into favor, and they could all go.

The hour passed without its accustomed cheerfulness to the family
within. Mr. Fayerweather paced the room, with his hands clasped behind
him, as usual, when his mind was not perfectly at ease. Madam had taken
her knitting, and was seated at one side of the fire-place, occasionally
giving a gentle sigh; while little John counted his marbles into her
lap, for want of a more convenient place, and missing his brother very
much, but not venturing to ask why he did not come in. The room was warm
from the fire of hickory which had blazed in the wide chimney all day,
but which was now reduced to a mass of burning coals covered with white
ashes. This was the hour in which it was customary for Scipio, preceded
by Vi’let as pioneer, to make his appearance with a log as big as he
could lug, to lay the foundation of the fire for the next day.

After some altercation having been heard in the passage, Vi’let entered
alone with a more portentous scowl than usual, and surveying Mr.
Fayerweather over her spectacles, muttered something which sounded
marvelously like “an old Turk,” and “folks being in danger of their
lives;” then making a dive into the coals with her huge kitchen-shovel,
she gave a deep sigh, which ended in a grunt, and continued her
grumbling, her last audible words being “a poor, broken-hearted family.”
All this passed unheeded by them, as “only pretty Fanny’s way.”

No Scipio followed; but in his stead, in came Peter, with his milled
cap, his striped homespun and tow apron, carrying a log larger than
usual; on seeing which, Mr. Fayerweather, whose nerves were still
vibrating, broke out in wrath, as the log fell into the hollow made to
receive it by Vi’let, throwing the coals and ashes far out over the
hearth.

“Peter, how dare you come into the parlor with the log? Do you not know
it is Scipio’s work, you blockhead? And what did you bring in such a log
as that for? Did you mean to break your back, to save me the trouble of
breaking your head?”

The boy turned his face around to Mr. Fayerweather, who stood aghast at
seeing him; for the streaked and clouded visage which met his view, did
not belong to Peter, but to his own son, who had involuntarily doffed
the milled cap from habitual reverence as his father spoke.

“Why, Mr. Fayerweather, it’s George, if I’m alive!” screamed his mother;
“and he has cut off all his beautiful curls, and his face is all
streaked with I don’t know what! It will never come white again. What
upon earth has got into the boy!”

George was silent for a moment; at length he muttered, “I don’t mean to
be dressed in girl’s clothes again.”

“You are right, my man,” said his father, speaking with some difficulty,
and shaking his son’s hand, he continued; “now you make me proud of you;
but you need not wear Peter’s clothes, and you should not have lifted a
log as big as a cider-barrel—it might have strained your back.”

The boy’s countenance brightened as his father spoke; at the last words
he held his head boldly up and said, “It did not hurt me at all, sir—I
can lift a log twice as big as that. I mean to bring in all your wood,
to pay for the looking-glass, I—” his lip quivered, and he could not
finish.

The father’s eyes twinkled; he coughed, and made one or two ineffectual
efforts to speak; but all would not do—and he was obliged to quit the
room precipitately, to hide his emotion. In a moment he was heard
calling out to Scipio, in a voice between a sob and a shout, to bring
out the sleigh; and now, his eyes dried and his throat cleared, Mr.
Fayerweather was himself again.

“Come, my dear,” he said to madam as he returned, “put on your cloaks,
you and Amy, and we’ll all have a sleigh-ride. There’s the moon just up,
and it will be as light as day; the sleighing is like glass. George, my
man, be quick, and go put on your own clothes, and wash your face—I
intend you shall drive.”

The sleigh was brought out, and they all got in; madam and her niece on
the back seat, and Mr. Fayerweather and the two boys on the front,
where, having seen them comfortably seated, well cloaked and blanketed,
their feet at the hot bricks, of which Vi’let always kept a supply at
the kitchen fire, summer and winter, the reader and I will leave them,
being somewhat in haste to finish this part of my story.

George from this moment put off childish things; his fair complexion and
rosy cheeks became a source of serious mortification to him; and he
endeavored by exposure to all kinds of weather, to bring them to a more
manly hue. He began now to mingle with other boys of his age; and the
noble and generous spirit which appeared in him, on every occasion that
could call it forth, rendered him a great favorite with his companions.
The smaller boys looked up to him as their champion; the weak and
defenseless—as he considered the whole tribe of the lower animals to
be—he took under his especial protection; and wo to the merciless boy
who infringed on their rights, by depriving them of their liberty, or by
any other act of cruelty toward them in his sight. His prodigious bodily
powers, his fearlessness and spirit of adventure, made him a leader in
every bold enterprise.

There is apt to exist, in every town, a rivalry and jealousy between the
inhabitants of different parts; this spirit was maintained to an unusual
degree between the population of the eastern and western sections of
Salem—the “Down-in-towners” and the “Up-in-towners,” as they were
respectively called. This feeling displayed itself among the boys
particularly, and on every occasion of their meeting. It was even said
that the flock of geese which led their goslings to feed in the vicinity
of “Broadfield,” and often breasted the waters of “Mill Pond,” and those
which, more adventurous, dared the waves washing the “Neck,” often took
the field against each other in hostile array, when dire would be the
hissing and great the loss of feathers. This, however, is not vouched
for; but it is certain that the biped youth without feathers, had
regularly a grand pitched battle of snow-balls every winter near the
first of January; and the victorious party usually maintained their
superiority for the remainder of the year, and held possession of the
play-ground, then the common, constituting a kind of border territory,
being situated at nearly an equal distance between the eastern and
western extremities of the town. This common has since become a fine
promenade, shaded with trees, forming Washington Square.

For several years the Down-in-towners had been victorious in the annual
fight; probably they being mostly the sons of sea-faring men, their
_bringing-up_ had rendered them stronger and more fearless than the
“land-lubbers,” as they called the boys of the west end. But as soon as
George Fayerweather took the field, the face of affairs was wholly
changed; the foe was routed in every engagement, and the play-ground was
so quietly yielded to the Up-in-towners at length, that the possession,
losing all its glory, ceased to be an object; and George prevailed on
his band to cede it back to the Down-in-towners, urging that it properly
belonged to them, and that it was a shame to keep them out of their
right. This trait of magnanimity gained him many friends among the sons
of Neptune at the east end, and finally brought about a peace between
the hostile powers.

Among George’s new acquaintances was one whom he liked particularly,
because he was almost as bold and fearless as himself; but more
especially, because he had once done him the extraordinary favor of
falling through the ice as they were skating down to “Baker’s Island,”
thereby affording George a glorious opportunity of showing his prowess
in pulling the lad out of the water at the manifest peril of his own
life. It would be difficult to say which felt the most obliged on the
occasion, George or Dick Seaward; but the foundation was then laid of a
strong and lasting friendship between the parties.

About two months after this event Captain Seaward returned from a long
voyage in the Two Pollys, and Dick lost no time in bringing about an
acquaintance between his father and his friend. The latter went by
special invitation one evening to eat cocoa-nuts, and see the
curiosities which the captain had brought home. The old salt took a
liking to George at first sight, and, in his rough way, spared no pains
to entertain him. He appeared like some hero of romance to his wondering
guest; and pleased with the lad’s admiration, he ransacked his memory,
stored by voyages of five-and-twenty years, for marvelous adventures,
unheard of perils by shipwreck, pirates, etc. His narrative, interlarded
with high-sounding and mystic terms, such as “Mawlstroom,” “Tuffoon,”
“Mousoon,” “Kamskeatshy,” and the “Chainymen,” produced much such an
effect on his hearer’s excited imagination, as Don Quixote might have
experienced at hearing the adventures of Amadis de Gaul from his own
mouth.

The captain then displayed his curiosities; these were numerous and
strange, and served in some sort as illustrations of his discourse.
There were elephant’s tusks and ostrich’s eggs, the sword of the
sword-fish, and the saw of the saw-fish; there was a nautilus’ shell,
which might have carried a boat’s crew; and there was the entire skin of
an enormous snake, which the captain intended to have stuffed and hung
as a capital ornament round the best room. There was one upon which Mrs.
Seaward set an especial value, it being the first gift the captain had
brought her home, when he was “a courting her.” This gift of true love
was an elephant’s tail, with about twenty black bristles on it, the size
of darning-needles, and looking like polished whale-bone; but the one
upon which her spouse particularly prided himself, was the gaping jaw of
a monstrous shark, with its triple row of teeth, suggesting the
pleasurable idea of one’s leg or arm, or half one’s body serving as a
_bonne bouche_ to the monster. These treasures were displayed before
George’s admiring eyes, and he looked upon the possessor of them with a
feeling almost amounting to awe.

A word or two more regarding these same curiosities: after being handed
down through several generations, they were among the first deposited in
the Salem Museum upon its being founded; and they there formed a
nucleus, around which has been gathered, from time to time the present
noble collection.

But to return to our narrative; when George rose to take leave at this
first visit, the captain, overflowing with good-will, brought out two
cocoa-nuts, a pine-apple, and a pot of foreign sweetmeats—

“Here, you may stow away these for your ma’am;” (the pockets were
capacious in those days) “and mind, don’t forget to ax your sir to let
you come down next Wednesday, and you and Dick may go over the Two
Pollys.”

The desired permission being obtained, the two lads were taken to visit
what was nearest to its proud owner’s heart—after his “old woman and
Dick”—his good vessel the Two Pollys. To describe George’s ecstasy at
the view of the new world now presented to him would be impossible. He
examined every part of the vessel—let himself down the sides, and
clambered up again—bestrided the bowsprit—ran up the shrouds—and,
before the captain could call out—“Take care, boy, do you mean to break
your neck!” he was swinging by his two hands from the top-mast. The
frightened seaman swore a tremendous oath, and threatened the
nine-tails; but by the time George had reached the deck, which he did in
a whole skin, his terror for the boy’s life was changed into admiration
at his daring.

“Your sir ought to make a sailor of you; it’s a shame that such a lad as
you should be a land-lubber.”

So thought George, and his resolution was from this moment taken.

The chief part of his time, out of school, was now spent on board the
Two Pollys; and in the course of a month he was nearly as well
acquainted with every part of the vessel—knew the name of every mast
and sail, of the ropes and the yards, and understood their management
nearly as well as an ordinary mariner of half a dozen years’ standing.
But the climax to George’s enjoyment was yet to come.

One evening his father received a call from Captain Seaward, accompanied
by his son Dick. Mr. Fayerweather, although somewhat surprised, gave his
guest a very cordial reception, and ordered out his best wine. The
captain took the glass, and after the accustomed “My sarvice to you,”
drank off the wine and smacked his lips; then clearing his throat he
opened his business.

“I come to ax a favor of you, Mr. Fayerweather; d’ye see, Captain
Brayton sets sail to-morrow, if the wind’s fair, on a v’yage to the West
Ingees, and he’ll touch at New York going out, to see a vessel of his’n,
that’s laying there, and only waiting for his orders to come home. Now,
Captain Bob Stimpson and I, and one or two more of us old fellows, think
of taking the trip with him as far as New York, and coming back in his
vessel. I’m going to take my boy here with me, and I want you to let
your son George go. I ha’n’t said nothing to him about it, bethinking
myself, as how if you wa’n’t willing he’d be disappinted, and I knew he
wouldn’t go without your leave, and I’m sure I shouldn’t think o’ taking
him. We expect to be gone three days.”

Mr. Fayerweather was pleased with the honest bearing and hearty
good-will of his weather-beaten guest, but he hesitated about letting
George go; the company not being altogether exactly such as he would
have chosen to trust his son with for so long a time; although all who
were named bore the character of worthy men. He was endeavoring to frame
a refusal that would not wound the captain’s feelings, when his son
entered the room. On hearing his old friend’s errand from Dick, George
expressed so much delight at the proposed expedition, that the fond
parent prevailed over the prudent one, and the consent was given.
Captain Seaward took his leave, with a charge to George to be ready by
two o’clock next morning, if called for.

We pass over his mother’s expostulations, and Vi’let’s evil prognostics,
who said she had seen Nanny Boynton that very day, “sowing seed in the
ground backward, and talking to herself all the while, when she went
over to scold Dinah for not bringing home the brass kettle she had
borrowed.” George was deaf to all. He was up and dressed next morning by
one o’clock; the wind, however, had no mind to be hurried, and did not
choose to set fair till day-break, when Dick appeared with his summons,
and off the two lads set in high spirits.

His mother would probably have passed a very melancholy day, it being
the first time her son had been out of her sight, with the prospect of
being absent longer than a few hours; but her husband taking occasion to
intimate that his counting-room wanted a thorough cleaning, and his
book-shelves putting in order—a task she always superintended herself,
aided by her niece—he hinting, moreover, that he should be glad of
their assistance in making out a catalogue of the books, which had long
been needed, ample employment was afforded to all three, to keep George
from their thoughts.

It was now about the middle of June. The summer had so far been dry and
dusty, and every thing appeared languishing for want of rain. At length
Dame Nature, like a notable housewife, began to feel her temper rise at
the dirt and disorder of every thing belonging to her. She rated her
house-maids soundly—“Idle hussies! that did nothing but loiter and
sleep night and day; they had not done a stroke of work to tell since
the March cleaning; they did not even earn the breath they drew! There
were her beautiful grassy carpets, not three months old, an inch thick
with dust; their flowers were all faded and their turf dried up and
withered. Her windows! not a star could shine through them; and as for
the curtains, they were of such a color, it would puzzle a philosopher
to tell what they were made of. Her crystal and once clear fountains
were unfilled, and the bright surface of their mirrors covered with
green slime. She was actually ashamed the sun should look upon such a
scene of neglect! The slothful, lazy jades had better bestir themselves,
for not one of them should get into their beds till every hole and
corner was cleaned, and put into thorough order; or she would know the
reason why!”

The elements roused from their lethargy, and chafed by their imperious
mistress, sighed and muttered—the clouds huddled together scowling, and
sending forth a low murmur of discontent, dropped a few angry tears. The
winds brandished their besoms, and with one sweep made dust, leaves and
branches, and even small trees, scuttle-doors and hen-coops all fly
before them. It was an unlucky day for ancient buildings! The roof of
one respectable old barn, whose shingles had for some time been moving
up and down like feathers on a fowl’s back, was at length seen sailing
with great dignity across the street, to the manifold terror of two old
women who kept a huckster’s shop there; but whose premises, however,
escaped uninjured, it alighting very considerately on the field behind
their house. The winds having performed these feats, rested awhile to
take breath. The lightnings now flashed and the thunders roared; the
clouds dashed from their brimming pails the torrents, which rolling over
hills and valleys and through streets and lanes, formed rivers in the
gutters, and carried all before them, which the winds had scattered in
their way, into the sea.

In the afternoon of this day, two hours before sunset but after tea,
Madam Fayerweather and her niece took their accustomed seat at a
pleasant window in a small apartment which served as a kind of ante-room
to madam’s own chamber. On one side a door opened at right angles with
the head of the front stairs, and from which a long passage led through
this story. Facing this door was the one which opened at the head of the
back stairs; while a third, opposite the window, led into madam’s
chamber. Vi’let was seated at the kitchen-door, directly beneath the
window, solacing herself with her pipe; while Tabby winked and purred at
her side.

Jemmy Boynton’s kitchen and wood-shed, at the distance of some rods,
were nearly hidden from sight by a hedge of tall lilacs and rose-bushes
bounding Mr. Fayerweather’s premises on this side, the view took in
gardens, orchards and fields extending to the North river, (a small
inlet from the sea so called,) the whole space of which is now covered
with streets and houses.

Amy was reading to her aunt, who, with a large basket of fragments of
silk of various colors at her side, was deeply engaged in an elaborate
piece of work, concerning which she affected a great mystery, keeping
its purpose and destination a profound secret. Both aunt and niece were
so much engrossed by the subject of the book—it was Clarissa Harlow,
which had lately been received from England—that the darkening sky and
rising wind had escaped their notice. A loud scream from Vi’let aroused
their attention.

“O! the massiful s’us! there’s the old witch flying away at last! Land’s
sake alive! O-h-h-h!”

They both looked out, and behold! there was Nanny Boynton in good
earnest—at least so their terrors made them believe—high in air, her
red cloak fluttering, amidst a cloud of dust, shingles, staves of old
tubs, broomsticks, etc. etc.

She directed her course south, and was soon lost to view, while the
dismay of madam and Amy deprived them of the power of utterance. At
length, on Amy’s turning her eyes to the spot whence she supposed the
whirlwind had caught up their ill-fated neighbor, what met her sight but
the object of their terrors herself, on firm ground, but despoiled of
cloak, ’kerchief and cap; her lean and bony arms bare and extended, and
each separate hair of her gray locks on end; giving her much the
appearance of one of the weird sisters in the midst of an incantation.

The aunt and niece were expressing their relief at Nanny’s escape from
being carried off bodily, when the recollection of her son, exposed on
the water to the fury of a hurricane, now darted into the mind of the
former. She shrieked out:

“Oh, George! my child, my child! what will become of you! Oh, Mr.
Fayerweather, why did you let him go!” she exclaimed to her husband, who
at this moment entered the apartment.

He was ashy pale, but no other indication of the dreadful apprehension
under which he was suffering was visible on his countenance, and not
being able to nerve himself to bear the sight of his wife’s agonies,
should she know how strong were the grounds for her fears, he endeavored
to make light of them.

“Oh, my dear, do not be in trouble about George; he’s far beyond the
reach of this little squall; he and Dick have probably been in New York
these two hours.” (Mr. Fayerweather hoped devoutly to be forgiven for
thus belying his conscience, well-knowing that implicit confidence would
be placed in his assurances.) “He and Dick, I have no doubt, are now
patroling the streets with eyes and mouths wide open at the wonders they
see.”

“Well, I am rejoiced if they are out of the reach of this hurricane; but
I hope Captain Seaward will not trust them alone in New York streets; I
have always heard it is a terrible place for children. Sometimes they
are kidnapped as I have heard tell,” replied Mrs. Fayerweather, her
fears somewhat quieted.

“Oh, you need not be afraid of that, my dear; the captain promised
faithfully that he would not suffer George to go out of his sight,” said
her husband as he left the apartment, and Amy resumed her book.

The gust, after several vain attempts to shake the solid old mansion
from its foundation, at length relaxed its efforts and fell into a calm;
the sky cleared up and the sun went down in tranquil beauty. Before its
disc had wholly disappeared, however, it was surrounded by a light haze,
which gradually spreading and deepening, at length assumed the form of a
dark thunder-cloud, reaching nearly to the zenith.

A flash of lightning was the signal for the whole household to assemble,
and before the low, deep bass of the distant thunder reached their ears,
they were all collected within madam’s chamber and its nearest
precincts. The bed was her own retreat, and she would have been glad to
have given the whole family a place on it could they have found room.
Amy, whose fears were scarcely less, seated herself on a low stool by
the bed-side, and leaning her arms on the bed buried her face in the
counterpane. Vi’let without ceremony ensconced herself in the
easy-chair, rocking to and fro and groaning out at intervals, “Oh, that
old witch!” while old Tabby, who did not choose to be left alone in the
kitchen, crowded in by her side, and took her full share of the cushion.
Not finding another low seat, Flora took the floor at the side of Miss
Amy, and leaned her arms on a chair in imitation of her young mistress;
and Peter placed himself at first on the top-most of the back stairs,
but by degrees, as the storm increased, edged further into the
apartment, and at length after a loud clap of thunder, planted himself
on one leg against the side of the door, with his woolly poll half in
his mistress’s chamber. John, who enjoyed a thunder-storm above all
things, took his station at a window where he could best see the
lightning, while his father and Mr. Wendell, a young lawyer who was an
admirer of Amy, and was now added to the family party, paced up and down
the long passage, extending their walk into the antechamber
before-mentioned, in a corner of which Scipio had placed himself.

Though the long summer twilight had but just commenced, darkness had
suddenly covered the face of all things, when a dash of lightning, more
intense than the sun, quivered for a moment through the passage and in
the chambers, accompanied by a crash of thunder.

“The massiful s’us!” groaned Vi’let. “The lawful massy!” ejaculated
Flora. Poor madam could only whisper, “O dear! dear!” Amy trembled.

“That’s royal!” cried John, starting up and clapping his hands.

“Be silent, boy,” said his father, sternly—“is this a time—”

“Mr. Fayerweather, my dear, are you sure George is safe?” madam
implored.

“Oh, yes, my dear,” replied her husband, “he’s safe as we all are—in
the hands of Divine Providence. Peter, get candles.”

A chattering of teeth was heard, but the statue did not stir from its
pedestal.

“Scipio, do you?”

“Please, master, it’s Aunt Vi’let’s business to get ’em ready,” said
Scip in a trembling voice.

The worthy gentleman, not feeling himself equal to an encounter with
Vi’let in such an extremity, said—

“Well, it will be the shortest way to get them myself,” and made
preparations to do so; at which Vi’let, safe in the easy-chair,
displayed great indignation.

“Why don’t you go, Scip? there’s master going himself, if I’m alive. I
wish I was near you, I’d see if you didn’t stir your stumps.”

A low grumble was heard from Scip in the ante-room.

“Hold your tongue, you black nigger,” returned Vi’let from the
easy-chair; “aint ye ’shamed yeself? ’sturbing madam and all the good
family with your clamor. If I was master I would soon clear the house of
you all.”

During this colloquy, or rather monologue, John, starting up, made but
two steps over the stairs and soon reappeared with lights. Mr.
Fayerweather then took up the prayer-book which, with the large bible,
lay on the table in the inner chamber, and asked his young friend if he
would read prayers, his own broken voice sufficiently showing himself
unequal to the office. Mr. Wendell, with a little hesitation took the
book, turned over a few leaves, while the household all assembled
kneeling in the chamber; when, amidst the roar of the storm without, his
voice was soon heard, in tones solemn and low, like some spirit of peace
rebuking the angry elements. He read with deep feeling a part of the
evening service, with prayers for the midst of a storm. This act of
submission and trust in Him who rules the tempest and makes the
whirlwinds to obey, calmed the spirits and elevated the thoughts of the
little assembly. Madam soon fell into a gentle slumber, and Vi’let’s
nasal organs gave tokens that she had followed her mistress’s example.
Flora and Peter ditto.

The storm at length somewhat abated, but Mr. Fayerweather resumed his
walk. After a while he stopped suddenly for a moment, and then
exclaiming,

“The Almighty be praised! there’s George’s voice,” and ran down stairs,
followed by John, Mr. Wendell and Amy.

Loud and rough voices, but in high good-humor, with shouts of laughter,
were now heard rapidly approaching the house. They all opened the
front-door together, and in crowded Captain Seaward, Captain Bob
Stimpson and the two lads. Captain Seaward said—

“Here, Mr. Fayerweather, I’ve brought George home t’ye, safe and sound.”

Captain Bob Stimpson, in order to draw the attention of the company to
himself, cleared his throat with a humph, in which were harmoniously
blended the German guttural and the French nasal, and striking his huge
cane on the floor, added—“And if there’s another two such lads in the
whole province of Massachusetts Bay, I am not Captain Robert
Stimpson!—why, they saved the vessel and the lives of us all.”

Here Captain Seaward chimed in.

“D’ye see, Mr. Fayerweather, the gale was sich a one as not many of us
had often been out in afore; and at one time when it blew so strong as
to threaten to capsize the vessel, one of the ropes got loose, and it
was needful for somebody to go aloft and make it fast without loss of
time, or the vessel would have gone to pot in less than no time. Not a
lubber of a sailor would stir, but they all stood staring at each other
like so many sculpens. Brayton’s stout-hearted enough, but he’s lame,
and Stimpson here and I are both old and clumsy”—Captain Bob Stimpson
fetched a grunt—“but we were going to try what our old carcases could
do, when them ’ere two lads pushed afore us, and were up the shrouds in
a twinkling and fastened the rope. The vessel was saved, but she was so
much strained that we were obliged to put back for repairs, and for
Brayton to get some better hands. So, now we’ll shake hands and bid ye
good-night.”

Mr. Fayerweather tried hard to prevail on the two sea-worthies to stay
and eat supper; but Captain Seaward excused himself, alleging that his
“old woman would be skeared about them;” his friend, Stimpson, adding—

“And my daughter, Judy, will cry herself to pieces, if she doesn’t see
her sir to-night.”

The noise below now aroused Madam Fayerweather, who called out between
sleeping and waking:

“What’s the matter, Amy?—Mr. Fayerweather?” Then thoroughly awake, she
exclaimed—

“Where are they all gone?” and rising from the bed, said in a louder
tone—“Vi’let, what upon earth is the matter?”

Vi’let snored out, “It’s that ’ere Scip; he’s the torment and plague of
my life—he’s always making a hullagaloo.”

Here the whole party entered the chamber. What was madam’s surprise at
seeing George! When she discovered that he had been out in all the
storm, she complained loudly of having been kept in ignorance of his
danger.

“As if I was not his mother, and had not a right to know every thing
about him; but it’s the way you always do, Mr. Fayerweather, and I do
not take it kindly of you at all. I should have had a fit had I known
that he was on the water all this time.”

And madam was near falling into one at the idea of it; but the fear that
her son might be half-starved, and not be able to get any thing to eat
if she should take up the time in having hysterics, made her think
better of it; so she desired Vi’let to get a good supper and make George
some white wine-whey. Vi’let, punching Peter down stairs before her, and
followed by her satellite Flora, made her descent, grumbling and
muttering at having _vittles_ to get at that time o’ night.

They had an excellent supper, during which George related all the
wonders which he and Dick had seen and performed on that memorable
day—and if he felt somewhat lifted up, might he not be pardoned? After
supper Mr. Wendell took his leave, and the family sought repose; though
not before offering up fervent thanks for George’s preservation.

The shrill reveille of the barn-yard trumpeter early aroused Nature from
her slumbers, and fearing she had overslept herself from the fatigues of
yesterday, she threw off her dark counterpane and donned in haste her
gray kirtle. The bull-frog had ceased tuning his eternal bass-viol, and
with the beetle, the whippowil, the owl, and other roysterers of the
night, had gone to bed. All was still, excepting that here and there
might be heard the soft twitter of some warbler who was to take part in
the grand chorus of the morning, as nestled among the branches he tuned
his little pipe. Her wearied handmaidens were yet sleeping after their
night’s toil; and their indulgent mistress left them awhile longer to
their repose, for never had they better performed her bidding. The
eastern casements were new hung in draperies of rose-color and gold, and
the morning-star was peeping in, to see that all was in order for his
monarch’s arrival; while the moon still lingered near the western
portal, to take one look at his joyous visage before her departure. The
west-wind now woke, and sweeping fragrance from the new-born flowers,
gently fanned the face of the careful matron as she cast a pleased eye
over her fair domain. Her fountains were filled to the brim and gleamed
in the early light; her fresh green turf was glittering with gems, and a
diamond hung from every leaf of her foliage. But the paling of the
morning-star now gave notice of the sun’s approach; and spying his
steeds advancing over the ocean, and her broad mirrors reflecting his
glance on their burnished surfaces, she gave the signal for the morning
concert to strike up, and all radiant with smiles welcomed her lordly
visitor. The moon meekly courtesied her adieu.

Vi’let was early astir this morning. She went down stairs, her cap on
one ear, very much out of humor at having the house to put to rights
again, “arter working like a dog all yesterday from sunrise till
midnight.” Routing up Scip and Peter, and setting Flora to put the
breakfast-room in order, she then placed the coffee and chocolate on the
fire, and the cakes into the Dutch-oven to bake—this, the reader will
recollect, was before the era of cooking-stoves and ranges—after which
she called out to Flora to know if Dinah had brought back the
frying-pan.

“No, Aunt Vi’let,” returned Flora, in a deprecating tone; “but you
mustn’t blame me, for I told her you’d want it this morning to fry the
flap-jacks.”

“That’s always the way with that old witch, Nanny; if she gets any thing
out of anybody, they’ve good luck to get it again—Pete’, what are you
gaping at me for? Why don’t you clean master’s shoes, you lazy nigger?
What’s Scip’ poking about—why don’t he bring in the stuff to make the
fire burn? Breakfast wont be ready till nine o’clock, and madam will be
down scolding so that the house wont hold her—sich a life as I lead!”

Here she went across the yard to the hedge dividing her master’s
premises from those of Jemmy Boynton, thrust her head through the lilacs
yet in full bloom—the white linen border of her cap turned back,
setting off to great advantage her ebony complexion—and called out,

“Dinah!”—then louder and sharper, “Dinah!”—no Dinah appeared.

“What the old gallows ails the gal, that I must split my throat a
screeching arter her!” then raising her voice to the utmost
pitch—“Di-i-ina-ah!”

Here Dinah’s head appeared out of a little square window in the
out-house.

“What’s wanting, Aunt Vi’let?”

“What’s wanting?—the frying-pan’s wanting—what d’ye think?”

“Laud ’a’massy, Aunt Vi’let, I forgot all about it; we had sich a rumpus
here yesterday.”

“Rumpus! yes, I ’spect you _had_ a rumpus! I only wonder the house wa’nt
blowed away. Them as lives with witches must ’spect to ride in the air
some time or ’nother.”

“Hush! Aunt Vi’let,” cried Dinah, in a voice somewhat lower. Here she
ran across the yard to the place of rendezvous, frying-pan in hand, and
added, in a whisper, “I reckon she’s got sharp ears; I wonders sometimes
how our most privatest conversations gets to her hearing.”

“Has she got her cloak back?” asked Vi’let.

“No, she han’t got it yet; but I ’spect she’ll get it to-day; the wind
blowed it over to South fields, and it got stuck in the top of a tree.
They had sich a time about it last night, I thought they’d raise the
neighbors, case Tom Duckenfield wouldn’t go and look arter it, arter
he’d rung the bell for nine. She ’clared she’d put him in jail for the
one-and-sixpence he owed her for milk; and Tom said she’d better take
care, or he’d let out about the bran, he see her steal, that old Swasey
begged for his pig, to feed her cow.”

“The bran from old Swasey’s pig!” exclaimed Vi’let in indignation; “I
guess she needn’t steal much bran! the cow gets all her living out of
our barn. She gets in when the gate is shut fast! the old witch knows
how. Pete’ says he see her lift up the latch with her horns; now, what
nat’ral cow, that’s _raly_ a cow, would have sense to do that, I want to
know! Oh, I see’d well enough what she raly was, one night last winter.”

“Why, what was it?” asked Dinah, with ears and eyes wide open for the
marvelous.

“Why it was just afore nine o’clock, and I heard old Tabby miaow
terribly at the kitchen-door. I opened it, and in she flew, looking as
if she was skeared to pieces! her tail was as big as that,” (doubling up
her fist.) “So I looks out to see what it was as frightened her so,
when, a standing inside the barn-door, I see’d—as true as you stand
there—I see’d a woman, all in white, without n’ary head! it had a
handkercher in its hand, and it kept a waving it back’ards and
for’ards—”

“I should ha’ swounded away dead,” said Dinah.

“So would anybody but me; but I kept up my courage, for my temper ris; I
thought Nanny was at the bottom of it all along, though I know’d it was
a sperit—for I’ve see’d enough on ’em,” she continued, her imagination
kindling with the subject; “and it rolled its eyes, and—and—”

“But, Aunt Vi’let,” observed Dinah, submissively, “I thought you said it
hadn’t n’ary head.”

“Hold your tongue, you fool! what do you keep ’terrupting me for? Where
was I? Well, then, it fetched a sithe—sich a sithe!—I couldn’t stand
it no longer; so I called master out. ‘There, sir,’ says I, ‘now I hope
you’ll believe your own eyes’—for he always laughs and ri-dicules at
witches and ghosts, and all them sort o’ things. So I tell’d him—and
out he goes. I see all the time he was skeared enough, only he was
’shamed to show it afore me; but when he got to the barn-door, he set up
sich a laugh—you might a hearn him into your house. I ’clare it made my
hair stand on eend to hear him. ‘Here,’ says he, ‘Vi’let, your woman
without a head is changed into a cow’s hind legs and tail!’ and sure
enough, it was the beast then, but I know’d well enough what it was
afore. Howsomenever, it wan’t no use a telling him; so I takes a skillet
of biling water, that was on the fire, to bile some eggs—for our folks
must always have some mess o’nother hot for supper, to keep me at it
slaving from morning to night; not but I likes a little bit o’ suthen
comfortable myself afore I goes to bed, and the most part on it comes
into the kitchen. So I was going to fling it on to her, to see what
she’d turn into next; but master tell’d me to let her alone, for the
barn wouldn’t miss a little hay. Did you ever hear any thing so
’diclous! I tell’d him—”

“Aunt Vi’let! Aunt Vi’let!” was now heard from the kitchen-door; “the
cakes is burning, and mistress wants to know if breakfast wont be ready
soon.”

“And why don’t Flora take the cakes out of the oven, then! Can’t nothing
be done without me?” cried Vi’let. “For the laud’s sake, give me my
frying-pan, and let me go, or I shall have the whole house arter me.”
She went into the kitchen in a hurry, took up her cakes, and fried her
flap-jacks.

After their morning devotions, the Fayerweather family, in high spirits,
gathered round the breakfast-table. This was laid in the western room,
before an open glass-door, which looked into the garden. The cool
morning breeze, after frolicking among the flowers, found its way in at
the door, and mingling its stolen perfumes with those of the coffee and
chocolate, played antics with the table-cloth.

I might here describe the breakfast; but as there was nothing
appertaining to it which greatly differed from a modern one, I will just
ask the reader to imagine his or her own family circle—which is,
doubtless, the most agreeable in the world—in the best possible humor,
and with excellent appetites, before a repast exactly suited to the
taste of each individual of said family, seasoned by all the wit and
liveliness possessed by each, in a peculiar degree, and my task will be
accomplished in the best possible manner.

From this memorable period, all George’s accustomed avocations became
tedious and disagreeable to him. Greek and Latin, in both of which he
had made an unwilling progress, under Master Goodwin, of the grammar
school, to prepare him for college, he now actually loathed; and his
father found he must give up the hope nearest his heart, of ever seeing
his eldest son distinguished in one of the learned professions.

“Well, my boy,” he said at last, “if, as you say, you are convinced you
can never make a scholar, as it is not my way to drive a nail that will
not go, I consent to your giving up Greek and Latin; though I _did_ hope
to see you in one of the professions which your grandfathers followed so
creditably. As to your going to sea, remember, it is wholly against my
inclination. I shall expect you to continue at school two years; then,
if you make such progress in general learning, and in studies connected
with navigation, as to give me reason to hope seeing you something above
the mate of a Marblehead skipper, I will then consent, though I should
much prefer your going into a counting-house in London.”

The youth, satisfied with the hope of obtaining his father’s consent to
his following the sea on any terms, promised faithfully to do all that
was required of him; and, moreover, possessing some common sense, a
quality not usually abounding in characters of his stamp, he set his
mind to applying itself with energy and perseverance to the studies
dictated by his father and Master Goodwin.

During the two years specified, two events of note occurred in the
Fayerweather family; one was Amy’s marriage. This was conducted with all
the state due to so important an occasion. The time for Amy’s “_walking
bride_,” as it was termed, for the three Sundays succeeding the wedding,
happened to be unfortunately in the early spring, the first Sunday
falling on Easter, near the beginning of April. The bridal procession,
consisting of the happy pair walking arm-in-arm, four bridemaids and as
many groomsmen, set off from Mr. Fayerweather’s and paraded the whole
length of Essex street to the end of St. Peter’s, where stood the church
of wood dedicated to the same saint, lately replaced by a handsome
gothic edifice of stone.

The bride was attired in a rich white satin; her fair neck shaded by a
tucker of costly Brussels’ lace, a ruffle of the same falling over her
dimpled elbow. Her sharp-pointed shoes, with heels three inches high,
were of white brocade, with a silver flower in the toe, and brilliant
paste buckles, nearly covering the instep. Any thing in the shape of
hat, bonnet, cloak or scarf would have been altogether _outré_ on such
an occasion. The large fan which it was customary for the bride to
carry, and to hold up gracefully to shade her face, was mounted with
white leather on which was painted, in lively colors, the wedding train
of Isaac and Rebecca; Rebecca in a sacque, with triple ruffled cuffs,
and Isaac in a full-bottomed periwig; walking side by side, through
arches festooned with flowers, followed by six pairs of young nymphs
holding the Jewish bride’s train; whilst a winged Cupid, with bow and
arrows, and a Hymen, with his torch pointing to the church in the
distance, marshaled the procession. A pair of turtle-doves, imagined to
be cooing, sat on the arch directly over the heads of the happy couple.
This fan was the wonder and admiration of the _élite_ of Salem.

Mr. Wendell was in a coat of milk-white broad-cloth, with nether
garments of white satin, and paste knee-buckles; and a white satin
waistcoat flowered with silver, in the button-hole of which was placed a
large bouquet of hyacinths, which Amy had coaxed to bloom for the
occasion. A chapeau-bras held under his arm completed his equipments.

It was a raw and disagreeable day in this least pleasant of the seasons
in New England; with an east wind—which sourest and most ill-tempered
of the children of Eolus usually blows on the seacoast from the
beginning of April until the end of May, and oftentimes encroaching far
into June. By a miracle the bride did not catch a cold. On the second
Sunday she wore her second suit, a rose-colored damask, and on the third
a straw-colored paduasoy; each week “sitting up for company” every day,
with her attendants, in the afternoon for ladies, and in the evening for
gentlemen, drest in the habiliments she wore on the Sunday beginning the
week. These indispensable ceremonies were usually performed under the
roof of the bride’s parent or guardian; after which the new-married pair
took possession of their own house. That of Mr. and Mrs. Wendell, as
will be seen presently, was situated at a very short distance from Mr.
Fayerweather’s, where Amy still spent the greater part of her time.

The other event of importance that took place during George’s two years
of probation was the obtaining of a quit-claim by Mr. Fayerweather from
Jemmy and Nanny Boynton. This he had obtained through the assistance of
his new nephew, Mr. Wendell, and without paying more than one third more
than it was worth. After securing this deed or quit-claim the kind uncle
converted Boynton’s house and his old ware-house, which stood near it,
into a pretty residence for the young married couple, in order, as he
said, to have Cousin Amy still under his own wing. As soon as the
important negotiation with the Boyntons was concluded, Mr. Fayerweather
came with all possible haste to make the joyful communication to the
family. As he laid the document in triumph on the table he said,

“There, my dear, I have got the quit-claim at last from the Boyntons.
The land is all our own now.”

On hearing these words, madam aroused herself from a deep reverie and
exclaimed,

“La! Mr. Fayerweather, you don’t say so; how thankful I am. How did you
prevail on them?”

“Oh, Wendell and I were too strong for them; though Nanny, I believe,
would still have held on if I had not offered a good deal more than I
had intended; and she was not satisfied after all; but I don’t care, I
have the deed, and now we shall be rid of them.”

The two lads, who were laying their heads together at the window, and
planning, it is to be feared, some mischief, started up in a transport—

“Then we’ll have a bonfire out in the field to-night, as high as the
house, in spite of them,” cried John, “to-night’s Gunpowder Treason.”

“Yes,” added George, “and we’ll burn Jemmy for Pope; I know a capital
way to get his old wig.”

“You’ll do no such thing, boys,” interrupted their father; “you may make
your bonfire up to the moon if you will, but let Jemmy Boynton alone—we
are quit of him now, and you shall give no occasion for any more brawls
with him or Nanny either.”

“With Nanny! no indeed!” and madam, clasping her hands, cast her eyes
upward, rolling them in a very remarkable manner.

The youths went out, and their father was following them, when a “Mr.
Fayerweather, my dear,” stopped him short, and he turned round to his
better half, who, he saw, was dying to make some very momentous
communication.

“Well, my dear, what is it? What have you to tell me?”

“Oh, my dear, I meant to have told you before, but you were so full of
business this morning that I had not a chance; but I think you ought to
know.” Madam looked awful and mysterious.

“Why, what was it? Did Nanny’s red cloak take another flight?”

“La! no, my dear—you’ll never forget that, I believe—but this is what
took place in our own kitchen, and I saw it with my own eyes.”

“Well, what was it then? I am all impatience to know?”

Madam cleared her voice—“Why, I happened to be in the kitchen
yesterday, just before tea-time, when Dinah came over to borrow half a
pint of meal to make some porridge for Nanny, so I asked Dinah what was
the matter with her? for you know that nobody takes porridge but when
they are sick, and not then, if they can afford a little posset, or even
oatmeal gruel with raisins in it. Dinah said, she was sure she did not
know what ailed her, but she was so nervous and cross there was no
living in the house with her. I reproved Dinah for talking so of her
mistress, and after she was gone I told Vi’let to make some nice
sack-posset, and carry it over to Nanny; you know, with all their money,
they scarcely afford themselves the necessaries of life. Vi’let grumbled
enough, and said ‘water porridge was good enough for witches, and too
good, too;’ however, she went to get the skillet to boil the milk in,
and when she came back with it in her hand, what should slip in between
her feet but a monstrous great black cat. Old Tabby always fights all
strange cats, but when she saw this, she slunk away, and hid herself
behind the settle. Vi’let was going to strike the strange cat over with
the skillet, but I would not let her—not bethinking myself that it was
any thing more than a common cat—though it was the biggest one I ever
saw—but it seemed to be nothing more than skin and bone, and it rubbed
up against me and mewed so pitifully, that I told Vi’let not to hurt the
creature, but to give it something to eat. Vi’let said she wasn’t going
to do no such thing; and if I wanted to give Christian folks’ vittles to
evil sperits I might get it myself. Then she tried to strike it again;
when the creature, or whatever it was, hunched up its back and spit at
her; and then it set up an awful yowl and disappeared. I thought I saw
it go out after Dinah; but Vi’let said it banished up chimney; and she
was sure Nanny sent it to bewitch us all. And this morning she says she
was pinched black-and-blue all night, so that she couldn’t sleep a wink,
and took three crooked pins out of her sleeve, which she was sure she
never put there, for she has only two, and one of them hasn’t any head.
She showed me her arm that was pinched so; it was certainly very much
swollen, though I couldn’t see any black-and-blue marks for the color of
her skin. I am pretty sure _I_ felt some twitches, too, in my right arm;
and this morning I had the strangest cramp in my foot. I wet my finger
and crossed the place, and the cramp went off; but I feel all the time
as if it was coming on again. Now what do you think of all this, Mr.
Fayerweather? Don’t you think it high time Nanny was seen to?”

Mr. F. looked comical.

“Now what are you laughing at?” said madam, in an unwonted pet; “I’ll
never tell you any thing again, if Nanny bewitches us all together,
which it’s likely enough she’ll do, now we have the land against her
will.”

“Don’t be offended, my love,” said her husband; “I was only pleased to
have my mind made easy on one score—you’ll never be hanged for a witch,
I am sure; and as to Nanny, why, I think you may safely leave her to
Vi’let—I’ll match her with any witch in the Bay Province.”

Madam was appeased, though not wholly satisfied, but, as in duty bound,
said no more, not being quite sure as to the twitches; and having,
moreover, a vague suspicion that Vi’let’s swollen arm might be
occasioned by the rheumatism, though she would have scarcely ventured
such a surmise to Vi’let herself. The matter of the strange cat she
dismissed from her mind.

George’s two years of probation passed rather slowly to him; but at last
they came to a close. He had improved his time to the entire
satisfaction of his father, having made such progress in his studies as
to reflect great credit on Master Goodwin, and also prove his own
industrious application. His predilection for a sea-faring life had
rather strengthened than abated, and his father could no longer withhold
his consent. A favorable opportunity was all George waited for, which
soon presented itself. Captain Brayton was going on a voyage up the
Mediterranean, and was to proceed to London, and touch at several
European ports in coming home. He had a good crew, and Captain Seaward
made interest with his old friend to take his son and George as light
hands, and to keep them under his especial protection, lamenting at the
same time that the Two Pollys, which was lying in the dock, undergoing
some repairs, could not be made ready for the voyage.

Before Captain Brayton sails, we beg leave to introduce to the reader
another one of young Fayerweather’s acquaintance Down-in-town.

He, also, bore the title of captain, which was accorded to all who, like
himself, had ever been a ship-master—old Captain Bob Stimpson—a short,
thick-set man, with legs like a mill-post, the upper parts encased in
leather breeches, the lower parts in blue worsted stockings, with smart
shoes fastened with huge silver buckles of great brilliancy. His wig,
which had once been black, was rendered nearly red by age, and formed a
setting to his redder face, which matched well with his huge bottle-nose
of the same fiery hue. But do not mistake, gentle reader; Captain Bob
Stimpson was a temperate man. He usually wore a brown coat and
waistcoat, out of which latter appeared ostentatiously the ruffle of his
shirt, broader than usual for the fashion of the day. He was a man of
substance, and owner of a rope-walk, at the door of which he was usually
found seated, pipe in mouth.

What could a youth of seventeen find in the society of such an old
codger of fifty-two? Can you guess, my fair reader? He had a
daughter—the Down-in-town beauty, she was called; a girl of whom any
father might have been proud.

She was his only child; her beauty was a rare specimen of the blonde,
with a high polished forehead, and exquisite features. A slight drooping
of the lid at the outer corner of her clear blue eyes, sometimes gave a
shade of sadness to her lovely countenance; but when animated, these
eyes became bright and merry, and her face was radiant with dimpled
smiles.

Captain Stimpson’s house was considered a fine one for the time in which
he lived. It was a large square building, situated in the midst of a
spacious terrace, of which the under part was improved for shops, for
the sale of ready-made seaman’s clothing; and the lawn in front of his
house was directly over their roofs. The ascent to the terrace was by a
long flight of stone-steps, situated between two shops. The lawn was
covered with fine grass, bordered with rose-bushes and lilac-trees, and
a broad gravel-walk through the centre led to the house. This was of
three stories, with a cupola on the top, which cupola the two captains
used for a look-out, when vessels were coming in or going out; it
commanded a view of the harbor; the house being situated in that part of
the town now called Neptune street, or as they used to say, “down on the
wharves.” There was nothing further remarkable about the house,
excepting the cap of the front-door, which was ornamented by a figure of
Neptune, with his trident—the wonder and admiration of all the young
mermen of the vicinity.

George first saw Judith Stimpson—conceive of a beauty with such a
name!—as he went with Dick, one summer afternoon, on some errand from
the father of the latter to Captain Stimpson. She was with a little
troop of companions who were on an afternoon’s visit to her, having
finished all the tasks of sewing and knitting which their prudent
mothers had set them. As yet pianos were scarcely invented, and there
was but one spinnet in the place, and this was viewed by some with
distrust, as having a secret connection with witchcraft. Judith and her
companions issued from the house for a game of romps on the terrace. It
was not in those days considered as infringing on decorum for girls of
thirteen to play at “blindman’s-buff,” “old Tickleder,” or
“hide-and-seek” in the open air. The little girls had just formed the
magic circle around the beautiful Judith, who, dressed in a yellow
grogram, with elbow-sleeves and ruffles of worked cat-gut over her
round, white arms, was dancing with great glee, and singing in a voice
rather loud for a young lady of her years, “Ring around the maiden in
Uncle Johnny’s garden,” her light, silken curls flying in every
direction round her glowing and innocent face, when who should appear on
the terrace but the two young men! Away scampered the girls, vainly
endeavoring to reach the house before their tormentors could catch them.

Judith was caught by Dick, who pretended to insist strongly on taking
the forfeit she had incurred, while she blushed and struggled to free
herself from his grasp. George, seeing the pain and confusion she
evidently felt at being thus surprised, insisted on Dick’s releasing her
without the forfeited kiss; and it was then he first observed her great
beauty and modesty. While his friend went into the house to do his
errand, he so improved his acquaintance with the little girls that he
soon became foremost in their plays. At “hide-and-seek” and “old
Tickleder,” he was found incomparable. They were just forming a circle
in “Ring around the maiden,” round Betty Brayton, a little black-eyed
girl, the intimate friend of Judith, the hand of the latter of whom
George had taken care to secure, when Dick came out. He, after teazing
the girls and rallying his friend a little, drew him, rather
reluctantly, away; not, however, before George had gathered a rose, and
flinging it at Judith, said slyly, in a rather low tone, “Keep that for
my sake.” From this time he seized every opportunity of improving his
acquaintance with Judith; and several keepsakes passed between them.
Those from Judith being extorted rather than given, and those from
George received with a merry laugh.

                                                  [_To be continued._

                 *        *        *        *        *



                            LUCY’S DIRGE.[1]


                        BY WILLIAM H. C. HOSMER.


                        She was not made
            Through years or moons the inner weight to bear
              Which colder hearts endure till they are laid
            By age in earth.
                                                     Byron.

    May is here with golden tresses,
      Tresses wreathed, with flowers—
    Tresses starred with dew-drops gleaming
    In the pleasant south-wind streaming,
    Giving many-colored dresses
      To the fields and bowers—
    May is here with golden tresses—
      Tresses wreathed with flowers,

    May is here, my little maiden,
      Maiden, passing fair!
    Maiden, like a seraph gifted,
    Ever high in thought uplifted
    Earth above, with sorrow laden,
      Darkness and despair—
    May is here, my little maiden,
      Maiden, passing fair!

    Hark! a voice replieth sadly—
      Sadly, like a dirge—
    Sadly, like some childless mourner,
    “To the church-yard they have borne her,
    And torn hearts are throbbing madly,
      Washed by Sorrow’s surge”—
    Hark! a voice replieth sadly—
      Sadly, like a dirge.

    “Oh! she longed for May to greet her
      With a honied kiss—
    Greet her where bright eyes were glancing,
    And the forms of sylphs were dancing
    In the sunny lawns to meet her
      With the boon of bliss—
    Oh! she longed for May to greet her
      With a honied kiss.

    “Ah! the sun of May is sailing
      Through yon azure deep—
    Sailing with a face unclouded,
    But sweet Lucy, pale and shrouded,
    Heareth not the voice of wailing
      In her dreamless sleep—
    Though the sun of May is sailing
      Through yon azure deep.”

    Like the wondrous flower she faded,
      That unfolds at night—
    Faded, but in fields Elysian
    She rejoiceth angel vision,
    While a wreath for her is braided
      That will know no blight—
    Like the wondrous flower she faded,
      That unfolds at night.

    Oh! too oft the ghastly reaper
      Moweth down the young—
    Reaper, of the scythe unsparing,
    For the stricken little caring,
    Though they bend above the sleeper
      With their hearts unstrung—
    Oh! too oft the ghastly reaper
      Moweth down the young.

    Fare thee well! bright child of Heaven,
      Heavenly dreams were thine—
    Heavenly beauty gave forewarning
    Of departure in life’s morning,
    And to thee a soul was given
      Filled with thoughts divine—
    Fare thee well! bright child of Heaven,
      Heavenly peace is thine!

-----

[1] The subject of the foregoing tribute was chosen May-Queen by her
mates. When the day of festivity arrived she lay wrapped in her little
shroud.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                         SONNET.—LAKE SUPERIOR.


                           BY WM. ALEXANDER.


    Superior! wondrous lake! compared with thee,
      What tiny lakelets doth earth’s face disclose!
      Thy bright blue waters never know repose,
    But, sea-like, fret, foam, rage continually—
    High “pictured rocks” still battlement thy shore,
      Around thee woods their sombre shadows cast,
      Where Red-man pitched his wigwam in time past,
    Or danced his war-dance to the music of thy roar—
    Now on thy surface no canoe is seen,
      For ’mid the wild-flowers which anigh thee bloom,
      Sleeps the bold Indian, death-cold in his tomb;
    Remembered as the things that once had been,
    While wild-birds o’er him do his requiem sing,
    Or flying o’er thee dip their sparkling wing.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                           EMMA LA VELLETTE.


                                 BY P.


About twenty years ago, there lived near the pretty town of Launceston,
in Cornwall, an elderly maiden lady named La Vellette. She was of French
origin, and had emigrated to England about the commencement of the first
French Revolution. She was remarkable for the simplicity of her manner,
and the amiability of her character. Exhibiting but little of that
vivacity which usually characterizes her fair countrywomen, she
nevertheless displayed a subdued cheerfulness, which, while it did not
stimulate mirth, never tended to arrest a merry laugh or an innocent
joke. In person she was small, and her features, though marked by age,
and saddened by care, still bore the lingering traces of beauty. Her
neat, retired, and snug little cottage, which, in summer, used to peep
forth beneath a forest of honeysuckle and ivy, and her prim and
Quaker-like simplicity of dress, were in happy harmony with her
disposition. Living in my youthful days within a few yards of her
residence, I was frequently invited with my playmates to visit her
garden. Gradually I became an especial favorite; and I used to feel so
much at home in her company, that I needed no invitation to pay her
frequent visits. She seemed to take a high degree of interest in my
amusements, and that of my companions; and when any conflicts arose from
the mysteries of a game at marbles, or from the strategy in
hide-and-seek, she would be the first to heal up the difficulty, and
restore amicability. Another valuable trait, which, boy as I was, I
could not help observing, was the unwavering resignation which she
always exhibited; while on the other hand, I was remarkable for my
impatience, and a somewhat irritable disposition. And when, as often I
did, I laid my complaints before her, when I grieved about the loss of a
favorite top, or the death of a favorite pigeon, I was always met with
her sympathy, and gently chid for my discontentment. Soothing me with
her mild but sorrowful smile, she would draw me to her bosom, and strive
to show me the folly of grieving for an unavoidable loss, and the duty
of submitting manfully to misfortune.

To her neighbors her early history was involved in some degree of
obscurity. They knew she was a French _emigré_, that many years ago a
favorite sister had died, and that she had been deprived of her parents
at an early age. They had heard it rumored that she had suffered from
severe misfortunes—that her connections had been people of rank, and
while they all knew she enjoyed a competence, some conjectured she was
even wealthy. Other stories of a romantic character were sometimes
circulated, but unsupported by any degree of certainty.

My esteem for her grew with my growth, and I have reason to believe that
it was reciprocated; but as I advanced in years, my visits became less
frequent, from unavoidable circumstances. At length the period arrived
when I was called upon to leave home for a situation in a foreign land,
and as I had often felt a strong desire to become acquainted with her
history, I called upon her on the day previous to my departure to take
my farewell, and to see if I could have my curiosity gratified. After I
had expressed this wish with all the delicacy my confusion enabled me,
and had excused the request by intimating the possibility that we might
never meet again, she consented to leave me a brief account after her
death. And that event, she added, is not far hence. Something tells me
that my pulse will soon cease to beat, and my heart to throb. I have
long waited for Heaven’s messenger; I have long panted for that land
“where the wicked cease from troubling, and where the weary are at
rest.” She then gave me a few words of advice, she pressed her lips upon
my cheek, placed a small parcel, containing a gold watch and ring, into
my hand, and then, in a broken voice, bade me farewell.

Her anticipation of death was speedily realized. I was told that, about
eleven months after my departure, while reading her Bible in an
arm-chair, she suddenly and silently vanished, like one of heaven’s
stars, into the other world. Among her papers was a packet directed to
me, in which was the following brief sketch of her early life.

I was born in the year 1770, at the village of St. Marc, near Lyons, in
France. I was the youngest of three children, having had a brother and
sister. My parents were connected with families of rank, and, though
well-off, were not wealthy. My mother was a woman of delicate
constitution, and of a most amiable disposition. She looked upon her
husband as the beau-ideal of perfection, and with a mother’s partiality,
she thought her children were paragons of beauty. My father was
certainly a kind, handsome, and an intellectual-looking man. In after
life I had opportunities for observing many families, and I do not
remember any father who was fonder of his home, more devoted to his
wife, or more affectionate to his children. Many years have passed, and
many strange scenes have racked my mind, since I last saw his dear face;
yet the recollection of his features are still as fresh upon my memory
as if I had seen him to-day. He loved study and his books; and, though
an aristocrat by birth, and a gentleman by fortune, he was a sincere
friend of the people, and an enemy to the profligacy and oppression of
the court. He was not, that I am aware of, a believer in the
republicanism then advocated. He thought France was then unfit for a
democratic government. He maintained that all institutions, to be
permanent, must be gradual in their growth. The strong and stately oak,
flourishing through centuries, slowly acquired its vigor and dimension;
the animalculæ springing into life, in a moment of time, becomes as
suddenly extinguished. “What my country needs,” said he, “is not a
universal suffrage, but freer institutions; not a republic, but
opportunities and experience to fit her for it.” He no less decried the
irreligious doctrines by which liberal opinions were then so frequently
accompanied. “France,” he would say, in his clear, manly voice, “will
never be really free until she is religious. The reign of virtue and
order must always accompany the reign of freedom. Without these
requisites she may conquer, but only to be defeated; she may establish a
republic, but it will be only a despotism in disguise.”

These opinions did not seem to please many of his auditors, and he would
frequently leave a political club with feelings of grief and despair. He
saw no hope for his country so long as her shackles remained—and he
mistrusted the wisdom of the reforms which the people desired to
introduce.

My sister was about two years older than myself. She was fairer and
prettier than I was, and bore a strong resemblance to my mother. She had
light hair, large, clear blue eyes, and a tall and graceful figure.

My brother was five years my senior. He was in every respect, but in
affection, unlike the rest of us. At an early age, I remember, he
exhibited marks of a powerful frame, with an active, bold, and
enthusiastic disposition. His mind, naturally good, was improved by an
excellent education; and though carefully watched over by an attentive
father, he could not prevent him from imbibing very extravagant notions
about government, and very loose opinions upon religion.

The limits to which I purpose to confine myself, precludes the
possibility of mentioning any of the incidents connected with my
childhood. I shall therefore pass them by, and in the following pages,
merely allude to those events which may be of interest, and I hope of
profit.

Suitors made their appearance as my sister and myself approached
womanhood. For some time I did not discover any one who attracted my
attention. Having every comfort I desired, and parents upon whom I
doated, I was in no hurry to divide my affection. But we are told that
every woman must, sooner or later, fall in love—and my experience
formed no exception. At a party given by a neighbor, I was introduced to
a young man, who struck my attention, and who in a short time won my
heart. His name was Alfred Pomiville. He was admitted on all hands to be
very prepossessing; and I thought he was a model of manly beauty. My
parents had formed the humane and sensible resolution of allowing their
children the disposal of their own affections, reserving, of course, the
right of approving or disapproving of their choice. When, therefore, my
father became acquainted with my partiality for Alfred, he did not
accuse me of disobedience, but endeavored to study his disposition and
to ascertain his character. Measuring his feelings by mine own, I
thought the more closely Alfred was studied the more he would be
admired. I was therefore surprised when I found my father forming a
somewhat undecided opinion of him, and entreating me to be cautious
before I gave away a woman’s dearest treasure—her heart. I promised
obedience to his advice; but with the characteristic weakness of most of
our sex, when our affections are engaged, I speedily forgot my promise,
and went on confiding and loving. In the course of a few months I
observed with much pleasure that he gradually rose in my father’s
estimation; with my mother he was from the first a favorite; and my
brother and sister both considered him agreeable. To me he was kind and
affectionate in the highest degree; he studied my smallest wish, and
seemed devoted to my happiness. Within a year after our acquaintance he
was recognized by my parents as my future husband, and then I saw naught
but smiles and sunshine before me; then I thought, in the weakness of my
heart, I had attained the summit of human happiness, and could defy
misfortune.

                 *        *        *        *        *

As time flew on, the dark clouds of the Revolution advanced. It was now
evident to every observing eye that a fearful storm was at hand. The
most hair-brained courtier, strutting through the balconies of
Versailles, heard the distant rumblings of the coming thunder and stood
aghast. Even the political agitators trembled for a moment at the
prospect they had created. My father therefore became more anxious, more
active, and less at home. At length the storm burst. The indignant voice
of fifteen millions could no longer be controled. Then followed that
unparalleled era of romance and crime, of heroism and pusillanimity.
Then commenced the first of a series, not yet completed, of modern
popular reaction against political oppression. We had, ere this, removed
to Paris, and we saw what has been called the commencement of the
Revolution. But I must pass over the dreadful scenes which subsequently
passed before our eyes. They have now long enjoyed an unenviable
notoriety, forming alike a warning to the oppressed and their
oppressors. Strange to say, after a little while, we were able to hear
the awful events around us with comparative composure, so easy does our
nature become accustomed to circumstances. No doubt this was in a great
measure owing to the confidence we entertained of the safety of our
family. My brother was one of the popular favorites, and so seemed
Alfred. My father, though conservative in his republicanism, and an
uncompromising opponent of infidelity, was admired by all who held his
opinions, and respected by those who differed with him. Our relatives,
most of whom were aristocrats in sentiments as in rank, had ere this
emigrated to Germany.

The Revolution gathered force as it rolled along, and my father’s
disappointment increased as he observed the acts which accompanied its
progress. We now felt it was unsafe for him to remain, and at our
earnest wish, he appointed an old domestic to take care of his property,
and consented to leave France with us for England. Alfred accompanied us
to Paris, and my parents agreed that we should be immediately united,
and that he should then accompany us in our exile. A priest, an old
acquaintance, who had sought for shelter under our roof from the popular
excitement, was appointed to perform the marriage ceremony. The gloom
which had lately hung heavily upon me now disappeared. I was confident
of a speedy release from further trouble and looked forward to our
future residence in England with much anxiety.

The morning of the day fixed for my bridal at length arrived. I remember
I slept very little on the preceding night. When I arose the day seemed
delightfully fine, which I looked upon as a favorable omen. Habited in a
plain white dress, I descended to our little parlor, where Alfred and
all the family, except my father, were assembled at breakfast. The
latter, I was told, was absent on business relative to our departure.
The ceremony was not to take place until one, and we highly amused
ourselves during the intermediate time, in projecting future schemes,
and building pretty castles in the air. My sister drew a very charming
picture of our English residence—Alfred gave us amusing and extravagant
descriptions of the English—and I endeavored to estimate how much I
should enjoy the English scenery, its picturesque cottages, its snug
little gardens, and the luxury of peace and safety. And then Alfred drew
me by his side, and whispered compliments in my ear, and assured me that
stores of happiness awaited us. Thus pleasantly the time flew on until
the clock struck one, when the priest reminded us that the hour for our
wedding had arrived. At that moment a knock was heard at the door, which
Annette declared was our father’s. The missal was then opened, and my
sister placed the chairs in order. Then my heart began to palpitate, and
a nervousness come over me which young ladies, I presume, are accustomed
to experience upon such occasions. As I was advancing with Alfred toward
the priest, I happened to turn my eyes to the window fronting the
street, where I saw my dear father in the executioner’s cart, on its way
to the guillotine!

To describe the feelings which I experienced when this dreadful sight
presented itself, would be impossible. Nearly forty years have passed
since then, during which I have witnessed many never-to-be-forgotten
scenes, and experienced many uncommon trials, yet that moment stands out
in greater prominence than any other event of my life, and even now my
hand trembles and my eyes become dim as the recollection of it returns
to my memory.

Upon recovering from the insensibility which the shock produced, I was
met with another catastrophe, no less appalling than its
predecessor—the death of my mother! It seems she also had observed my
father on his way to execution, and the sudden fright operating upon a
diseased heart, produced a sudden and fatal attack. Thus the hour which
I fancied was to make me happy became the commencement of a series of
misfortunes; the day which was to have rescued us from danger carried my
father to the scaffold and fitted my mother for the grave! Truly says an
old French proverb—“_L’homme propose, et Dieu dispose._”

My marriage was of course postponed. So soon as we were able we made
preparations for the burial of our deceased parents. On the day after
that duty was accomplished, tidings reached us that our estates were
confiscated, adding poverty to orphanage. Collecting our little stock of
money and jewels, we nevertheless determined to leave France for
England. It was agreed, for it was necessary, to make our escape by
different routes, so as to avoid notice and lessen the possibility of
detection. It was also agreed that we should meet at a friend’s house in
London. Accompanied by my sister, we reached Toulon, which was then in
the hands of the royalists, where we found an English ship which carried
us safely to England.

But my troubles did not end here. My sister was naturally of a weak
constitution, and the fatigues of our journey, and the excitement
consequent upon our losses, had greatly increased her debility, so that
upon our arrival in London I found it necessary to place her under
medical treatment. The family where we agreed to rendezvous were
royalists, and they had left for Germany, to join the invading army
against France. We were therefore in a strange country, with an
imperfect knowledge of its language, friendless and almost moneyless.
Oh! how different was our condition to that which we a few weeks
previous had anticipated! Some time, however, elapsed before I allowed
these circumstances to depress me. My nerves seemed to strengthen with
the increase of my difficulties—a faculty, which I think, is peculiar
to our sex, and which, alas! they are often called upon to exercise. I
also buoyed myself up with the hope of the speedy arrival of my brother
and Alfred, and I used every means by which they might become acquainted
with our address. At last my little resources were almost exhausted, my
poor sister still lingered unimproved, and I had received no news of
their arrival, nor intelligence of their whereabouts. I had tried, but
in vain, to obtain employment, and I almost began to despair of any
relief but death. The doctor told me that medicine was of no use to my
sister, and recommended nutritious diet, which I had not the means of
procuring. He, and the people with whom we boarded, also importuned me
for money, and payment of what I owed deprived me of all I possessed. We
therefore felt it necessary to remove to a small, ill-ventilated room,
in the outskirts of the city. After this my poor sister became worse.
The want of proper food, of pure air, and medical advice, aggravated her
disease. I fortunately, after very great exertion, obtained employment
in making fancy collars, which by hard labor enabled me to earn about
one shilling a day. Deducting half of that sum for rent, we had only
three shillings per week to board with. With this I used to purchase
oatmeal, and we converted it into what the Scotch call porridge. Annette
seemed at first to like it, but her partiality for it speedily changed,
and the only food she subsequently cared for, which my means enabled me
to procure, was milk and toast. Her illness was also aggravated by the
disorderly persons who boarded in the house, and when I entreated the
landlord to command silence, he roughly told me I was welcome to leave
if I felt uncomfortable. She was now so weak that removal would have
extinguished the faint spark of life which remained, and I was therefore
compelled to submit to this annoyance. One or two of our fellow-lodgers
did take compassion on our condition, and showed us a little kindness.
An old woman, named Grassett, the wife of a pensioner, sometimes visited
our room, and gave us a cup of nice tea, or would wait on my sister
while I worked at my collars, or endeavored to snatch a little sleep. We
had also occasional visits from a pious French priest, who, though he
could not alleviate our sufferings, often cheered us with his sympathy.
My sister lingered on for about ten months, sometimes worse and
sometimes better. On the evening of a day in the month of December she
seemed livelier than I had seen her for a long time before, which
afforded me a hope of her ultimate recovery. She sat up in her bed, and
with her sweet voice endeavored to convince me that there were happy
days in store for us, and of the strong probability of the speedy
arrival of Alfred and our brother. And then she would kiss my care-worn
cheeks, and smilingly assure me that I had lost none of my beauty. I
assumed an assent to all she said, because I knew it would afford her
pleasure.

While conversing in this manner, the postman arrived and handed me a
letter. Pointing to the address which was in French, and to the writing
which resembled my brother’s, she exultingly declared it was his, and
playfully demanded that I should never more doubt her predictions. For a
moment I fancied it was his, and the bearer of good news, but the first
words, “Dear Miss,” dashed away all these expectations. I however
endeavored to hide my emotion, because I was intently watched and
incessantly questioned about its contents. As I read on, the particulars
of my brother’s adventures became gradually unfolded—at last the finale
was reached, he had been arrested within a few miles of the frontier,
and then met with the fate of his father. So wrote the friend who
obtained a few hurried words from him previous to his execution, and who
promised him to communicate this intelligence to us. But strange to say,
when I reached this dreadful part of the letter, my stupefied brain felt
my sister’s arms suddenly clasped around my neck, heard her sob, as she
kissed me, “poor dear Emma,” and then remain silent. In a few minutes I
felt somewhat restored, I ventured a glance upon her face, and she
seemed to be asleep. I removed her arms, and as I gently tried to awake
her, the awful truth revealed itself that she, too, had departed.
Whether it was produced by reading my brother’s fate upon my
countenance, or by any physical infirmity, is to me a mystery.

Some hours must have elapsed before I returned to consciousness. I awoke
as from some horrible dream, but the dreadful reality quickly returned.
And as I heard the thunder roaring and the rain pouring without, and
observed the gloom within, the fatal letter on the door, and my dead
sister by my side, I became reckless with despair. Grief refused to pay
her tribute to misfortune, my heart seemed to harden, my head seemed to
burn. I fancied Heaven and earth had conspired to injure me.

A raging fever followed, accompanied with delirium, and I was told, that
as I lay under its influence I would call upon my parents, my sister and
my brother, and entreat them to send for me. At other times I upbraided
Alfred for his absence, and then expressed a confidence in his arrival,
and framed excuses for his delay. Anon I would promise to be good to
him, to wait upon and watch over him, to make him happy and deserve his
love.

At the moment the first gleam of reason returned, I observed persons
carrying my sister’s corpse from the room, in a coffin composed of a few
rough boards, which seemed to be clumsily nailed together. I recognized
their object at once, and entreated that I might be allowed to give her
one last kiss before they consigned her to the grave. With a little
grumbling they removed the lid, and as I pressed my lips upon her cheek
I truly envied her condition. I then asked for a ringlet of her hair,
but I was told that they had all been cut off and sold to a hair-dresser
to meet the expenses of her funeral. A choking sensation now seized me,
I fell back and buried my face in the bed-clothes, and my dead sister
was removed.

In a little while I felt somewhat relieved. My eyes—those safety-valves
to a sorrow-stricken heart—became suffused with tears for the first
time since my illness. I also now experienced that a some thing was
wanting; my conscience troubled me, but I could not tell why or
wherefore. I also startled myself by conjecturing that my misfortunes
were intended for some wise purpose, and that that purpose had some
reference to myself. I reviewed my past life, but I could not then
remember any act of mine which deserved punishment; indeed, I felt a
degree of complacency, because I fancied I was so much better than many
whom I remembered, and had done my duty as a daughter, a sister, and as
a friend. But the feelings which produced these inquiries wore off with
my recovery; it was reserved for a future period to make a deeper
impression.

Some of the people of the house extended a rough kind of sympathy to me,
and Mrs. Grassett continued a constant attendant. One day she mentioned
the death of the kind old French priest who used to visit us, and added
that an English clergyman, who visited the poor in the neighborhood, had
made inquiries and expressed a desire to see me. I may here mention that
my father descended from a Huguenot family, and though they felt
themselves obliged to conceal their opinions after the edict of Nantes,
yet they continued to disseminate them privately among their household.
I felt, therefore, little compunction in accepting this gentleman’s
offer, particularly at that moment, when I very much needed some one
with whom I could converse. On the day after I consented to see him he
called upon me. His name was Bonner. In appearance he was about fifty,
with a pale, expressive and benevolent face. He spoke French fluently,
and alluded to my recent loss with much delicacy and feeling. Although I
was then unable to comprehend all he said upon religion, I soon felt at
home with his manner, and desired him to visit me as often as possible.

As soon as I regained a little strength, he recommended me to seek the
situation of governess, and offered me a letter of introduction to a
family with whom he had a slight acquaintance, who, he believed, were in
want of one. I gladly accepted his offer. The name of the family was
Curtis. The father had been a soap and candle manufacturer, but had
amassed wealth by successful speculations. He was little more than forty
in age—he had a stout figure, a long, narrow face, a hooked nose,
sharp, deep-set eyes, and a broad mouth. His wife was a daughter of a
man of family, who had become poor by extravagance, and who silenced his
unmarried creditors (so Mr. Curtis once told me) by presenting them with
his daughters. This occasioned him to remark, in a moment of anger, that
he had purchased his wife for six hundred pounds. She had been educated
as a lady—that is, she could speak French slightly, dance, sing, play
on the piano, and read novels. Her daughters were three in number. The
eldest, Jemima, when I first came, was sixteen; the second, Dorothea,
was fourteen; and the third, Angelica, about twelve. I think they bore a
greater resemblance to their father than to their mother. I will not
particularize their features, because I fear I might betray ill-feeling,
which I fear has already exhibited itself. I will merely observe, that
though not prepossessing, they were not ugly. They had very great
dislike to poverty, and much reverence for wealth and rank.

These young ladies, Mr. Curtis informed me, (for Mrs. C. rarely troubled
herself about such matters,) were to be educated in music and drawing,
French and Italian, from ten to four each day, and during the remainder
I would be expected to occupy myself in writing for him, or in
needle-work for the family. For these duties, if performed in a
satisfactory manner, I should receive at the end of the year ten pounds.
I thought the salary was rather small, and I feared the labor would be
too laborious, but I dared not refuse to accept the offer, because I
doubted my ability to obtain a better situation, and I dreaded a renewal
of the privations I had undergone. I therefore consented to enter upon
these duties on the following morning.

When I arrived Mr. Curtis called me apart, and observed that he had
heard the French were generally familiar and gay in their manner, but he
would warn me that any familiarity, or the slightest appearance of
freedom toward his daughters, would be met with my immediate dismissal
and forfeiture of salary. I must confess, that when I heard this
injunction, a remembrance of my family mantled my cheeks with a blush of
pride, and it was with difficulty that I could suppress a flood of tears
which were gushing to my eyes when I conjectured the shock my poor
mother would have felt had she been a listener. I assured him, however,
that I hoped never to give them cause to complain of my rudeness or
discourtesy.

With this promise I was directed to my bed-room, which was a garret, on
the back part of the house.

It was with no little nervousness that I commenced my duties on the
following morning. On entering the class-room, I found the young ladies
at their lessons. They slightly returned my bow, and seemed to regard me
with a good deal of curiosity. At last I summoned courage to inquire the
branches they were studying, and the progress they had made, which
request they complied with after a little whispering and delay. I then
laid before them the system I purposed to pursue, to which they nodded
an approval.

As I anticipated, I found my duties were laborious and not very
agreeable. The young ladies seemed to think a governess ought not only
to teach but to do. If they found a branch of arithmetic difficult, an
explanation was insufficient, I was also expected to solve its problems.
If a picture which they were copying ceased to be attractive, I had to
complete it, and then it was exhibited to visitors as a specimen of
their ability. In their music lessons I could rarely prevail upon them
to follow my directions, when, I regret to say, I would exhibit a little
annoyance, and then they would leave the piano, and lodge a complaint
with their father.

I remember upon one occasion I was very anxious that Jemima should learn
a very pretty French ballad, which had been taught me by my mother. I
was, moreover, desirous that if she sang it at all, she should sing it
well. I took great pains in teaching, but she seemed very indifferent
about learning it. When I urged her to practice it, she became
impatient, and flung the song into the fire. As it was a copy made by my
sister, I could not help weeping when I saw it enveloped in flames. At
this moment Mr. Curtis entered the room in company with two ladies.
Jemima immediately gave him an incorrect account of the cause of my
tears, and he refused to hear my explanation, and expressed his
impatience in seeing a governess giving herself such airs about a
valueless piece of music. His companions nodded an assent to his
remarks, and sympathized with Miss Curtis for the annoyance, they were
sure, I occasioned her. Perhaps I was really a little irritable at
times, when I fancied they endeavored to displease me; but on the whole,
I am sure, I was too easy and obliging, and I thought my heart would
have broken, when I heard them speak so disparagingly of me.

I may also mention another little reminiscence of my musical experience.
Mr. Curtis frequently gave dinner-parties to gentlemen exclusively. On
one occasion, while sitting over their wine, one of the company
expressed a desire to hear Miss Curtis on the piano. This wish was
acquiesced in by the others—and they accordingly entered the
drawing-room to have it gratified. She played a pot-pourri of national
airs. After the music had ceased, a Scotch gentleman, who was somewhat
beyond the verge of sobriety, asserted that one of the airs—the Blue
Bells of Scotland—had been incorrectly played. Mr. Curtis overheard the
remark, and he replied that if that was the case, the fault was
mine—and he ordered that I should be immediately sent for. You may
suppose I was very much astonished when I entered the room, and found it
filled with strange faces, and that I was much more frightened when I
heard Mr. Curtis, addressing me in a loud voice, demanding to know if I
expected to be kept and paid for incorrectly teaching music to his
daughters? Upon receiving a somewhat indistinct explanation, I
tremblingly endeavored—holding on to a back of a chair for support—to
convince him that the alterations complained of were variations, and
that the fault, if any, was the composer’s, not mine. Some of the
gentlemen seemed to feel for my situation, and endeavored to defend me;
but this exasperated him the more, and, with a very violent expression,
he ordered me to leave the room.

I ran back to my little garret, stupefied and affrighted. I believed I
was the most unfortunate being in the world. I looked out upon the
stars, which were now peeping through the heavens, and imploringly asked
if my troubles were never to cease?

On the following morning I communicated to Mr. Curtis my desire to
leave, and he replied that I might do so whenever I paid him the money
he had advanced me to purchase some articles of clothing. Our agreement
was, he said, that I should be paid provided I gave satisfaction; but as
I had not done so, I was not entitled to any remuneration. I had no
means for repaying him, I had no one to give me advice or render me
assistance, and therefore I felt myself compelled to remain. The
clergyman, Mr. Bonner, who recommended the situation to me, had left
London for another part of England.

Upon accepting it, I agreed to do any writing which Mr. Curtis might
require, but I by no means anticipated the quantity which he daily laid
before me. In the evenings it was necessary to take the documents he
gave me to copy to my chamber, where I would work without intermission
until my task was completed, or until drowsiness and fatigue compelled
me to rest. Often during these occasions, about the hour of midnight,
the letters would swim before my eyes; the glare of my candle became
unbearable, and I would feel a knocking sensation at the back of my
head. At these moments my imagination was more active, and my
sensibility more acute. When I heard the sound of music, of mirth and
merriment in the rooms below, past scenes would present themselves in
painful distinctness; the merry days of childhood, my happy home, and my
kind companions. My dear mother would return and give me that look of
mingled love and sympathy which a mother only can bestow. My father and
brother would stand by my side, and whisper a word of encouragement, and
promise happier days. My sister would come back, in her sick dress, and
repeat her last words, “Poor, dear Emma!” And then the thought of Alfred
would renew conflicting hopes and fears. At one moment I would fancy he
was dead, and then convince myself he was alive, and conjecture a
favorable cause for his non-arrival. And so I would go on, hoping and
fearing, thinking and dreaming, until my candle had sunk into the
socket, or my aching head made further labor impossible.

It was necessary that I should get up at an early hour every morning,
because, in addition to the writing which I was unable to finish on the
previous evening, I had to dress the young ladies’ hair—a more
difficult undertaking than it is now. After this Mr. Curtis required me
to button-up his gaiters, because his stoutness prevented him from doing
it himself, and he said I did it better than any of the servants. If I
had completed my writing, he would give me a nod of approbation, and
sometimes promise the payment of my salary, for the period he had
formerly refused it. This would give me encouragement, and make me labor
cheerfully, for it held out the hope of leaving.

Heavy as my duties were, I should have felt them much lighter if my diet
had been more nutritious, and my opportunities for out-door exercise
more frequent. With the exception of my visits to church on Sundays, I
could rarely obtain more than two half-hours for walking through the
week. My stomach gradually became so weak, on account of these
disadvantages, that I was frequently unable to taste the food laid
before me. My meals were sent to my room. The butter I had for breakfast
and tea was purchased by Mr. Curtis from one of his tenants, and was
called “pot-butter.” It smelt so disagreeable, that I was forced to ask
the girl to remove it from my table. I also enjoyed the privilege of the
tea-leaves which came direct from the parlor, and after a time, I was
indulged with fresh tea on Sundays. I considered this a great favor,
because the servants had to drink milk and water. My bread was
home-made, and I used to find it dark in color, and difficult of
digestion. At dinner I enjoyed a joint, cold or hashed, which came from
the parlor on the preceding day, and what I left was then sent to the
kitchen.

The close of the first year at length arrived. I repeated to Mr. Curtis
my wish to leave, because my failing health was unequal to my duties. He
stared at me with apparent wonder, and then declared his astonishment at
my ingratitude, and his surprise at my complaint. He endeavored to
assure me that I ought to feel highly indebted to him for the shelter he
had afforded me; and that my labors, for a governess, were unusually
light. By way of closing the conversation, he again hinted, that if I
did leave, I could not expect any salary; and when I ventured to ask the
reason, he frowningly alluded to our relative position, and censured my
presumption in asking him for an explanation.

I was conscious that I was undeserving such treatment, but my
defenseless condition rendered resistance impossible, and I was obliged
to remain another year. When I communicated this intention to Mr.
Curtis, he gave me, to my surprise, half of the amount due me, and
promised the remainder when my agreement terminated.

My duties continued unaltered, my health gradually grew worse, and in a
few months, I was laid upon a bed of sickness. The family wanted to send
me to the hospital, but the doctor assured them I was unable to bear the
removal. He attributed my illness to over-exertion, and a want of
out-door exercise. I had become pale and emaciated. A look of premature
old age had spread itself over my countenance. My head seemed stupefied,
melancholy forebodings were constantly troubling me, and I was
frequently subjected to fits of crying. I had lost all appetite for
food, and all love for life. Like Natalie, I longed “for the grave and
nothing more.”

A great change had come over me since my former illness. The loneliness
of my situation, and the recollection of my losses, had frequently drawn
my attention to matters beyond the grave. I gradually felt the necessity
of studying as well as reading my Bible; and I began to look forward to
the Sabbath more as a day for religious instruction than as a day of
rest. As the subject of religion became nearer and dearer to me, I
experienced a feeling of confidence and resignation which I had never
felt before. I became less irritable when misfortune assailed me, and
looked upon it as intended for some wise purpose. During my present
sickness, I felt very much the need of a clergyman, but for some
unaccountable reason, Mr. Curtis refused to allow one to be sent for,
and threatened my removal to a hospital if I mentioned my wish to the
physician.

The doctor was kind and skillful. By his attention, and the diet he
recommended, I was declared convalescent after the lapse of nine weeks.
But when I had recovered I did not regain my former strength, and was
unable to go through with my former duties. The family speedily saw
this, and Mr. Curtis then informed me that my services were no longer
required. He presented me with an account, in which I was credited with
nine pounds for salary, on which he requested me to write a receipt.
After handing it to him he returned me another, in which I was charged
fourteen pounds for board, etc., during my illness. That, he remarked,
extinguished the amount due me, and left a balance of five pounds in his
favor, which, out of kindness, he did not intend to charge.

This disappointment very much surprised me. My physician refused to make
any charge for his attendance, and I never expected, as my illness was
produced in Mr. Curtis’s service, that he would be less liberal. I was,
therefore, once more thrust upon a strange world, weak, moneyless and
friendless.

After I left his house, I wended my way to my former residence, for I
had no where else to go to. Upon arriving I was told that my old room
was occupied, and I was sent to one adjoining it. I felt very lonely
that day. The scenes around forcibly brought back the recollection of my
dead sister, and recalled my subsequent disappointments and my cheerless
prospects. I did not know what to do, or where to go. But there was not
wanting, amid this despondence, a degree of confidence in the
superintendence of a Higher Power, which I formerly did not enjoy.

About nine in the evening Mrs. Grassett entered my room, and expressed
her delight at my return. She said she would have called before, had she
not been engaged in waiting upon a sick stranger, who occupied my former
room, and who she did not think would live much longer. When I inquired
about him, she replied that he was a foreigner, with an unpronounceable
name, and desired that I should visit him with her, as I might be able
to converse with him in his native tongue. After a moment’s
consideration I consented to do so. I found the room greatly altered.
The walls were actually black with dust, the plaster on the ceiling
seemed on the point of falling off, the window was covered with cobwebs,
and the bed-linen seemed very much in need of washing.

We found the patient asleep, his face buried in his pillow. A moment or
two afterward he awoke, and asked, first in French and then in broken
English, for a little water. I turned to observe his features, and
notwithstanding his hollow cheeks, his distended eye-balls, and his
disheveled hair, I recognized my long expected Alfred. My surprise was
so great that I sprang forward, threw my arms around his neck, and
alternately laughed and wept for joy.

He was suffering from typhus fever, and had been confined to his bed for
eleven days. I gathered from him subsequently, that the last time he saw
my brother was when we parted in Paris—that he did not hear of his
death until some months after it occurred—that he had been compelled to
remain in France some time after we left—that he had been in London for
two or three months before I saw him, but he was unable to find me—that
by some accident he had lost the money he brought with him to England,
and was driven by necessity to seek for shelter in the place where I
found him. I asked for some further information, not from mere
curiosity, but from the interest I took in every thing which concerned
him. He chided me for doing so, because it implied a want of confidence,
and the fear of exhibiting that was sufficient to stop all further
inquiries on my part.

The moment my surprise abated I commenced to wait upon him. I had three
shillings and some odd pence in my pocket, which I placed into Mrs.
Grassett’s hands, to purchase what necessaries she could with it for our
patient. I now forgot all the trials which a few minutes ago weighed so
heavily upon me; and with a lighter heart than I had felt for a long
time before, I endeavored to put the room in order, and to add to his
comfort.

Within a few days my little sum was exhausted. I then obtained fifteen
shillings from a pawnbroker for a gold case in which my mother’s
miniature had been set. This supported us for nearly ten days, and
before the expiration of that time I succeeded, after much exertion, in
obtaining collar work. I labored upon this principally during the
moments Alfred slept, and earned from five to six shillings per week.
With the exercise of economy, and the sale of the remaining trinkets
which belonged to me and my sister, I was able to succeed pretty well,
and to support Alfred somewhat comfortably.

Nearly six weeks elapsed before he recovered. His sickness made him a
little irritable, and sometimes my inexperience made me displease him.
My anxiety to please him sometimes confused me, and he would censure me
for my stupidity.

For nearly four weeks Mrs. Grassett and myself would wait upon him in
turns of twelve hours each. His sickness required unremitting attention,
but I can truly say my labor about him was indeed a labor of love. The
hope of sparing him one pang made the longest day seem short; and the
hope that his life might be spared gave an unqualified pleasure to my
exertions. Oh! how often during dark nights, when all eyes but mine were
closed in sleep, have I watched his features, to seek for traces of
returning health, as if my life depended upon his. Every expression of
pain he exhibited had a sympathetic influence upon myself; every
appearance of revival upon his looks spread a corresponding change upon
mine own. And when gentle slumber had crept over him, I would kneel by
his side, and in a subdued voice pour forth a supplication to Heaven,
that his life might be spared. I felt as if he was the last and only
link which bound me to earth.

Whenever an opportunity offered, I drew his attention to religion.
Sometimes he would listen to me with attention, and at others he begged
me to be silent on account of his debility.

Occasionally I tried to amuse him by singing some of our old French
ballads, when the evening was too far advanced for my collar work. At
other times I read interesting works, from a neighboring circulating
library.

At length he became better, and we were to be married so soon as he
could leave his room. Then hope once more drew back the curtains of
despair. The future brightened again. During his sickness he seemed
dearer to me than he ever was before. I felt as if he was now my own, to
love and cherish, to live for, and, if need, to die for.

As his strength increased he agitated himself in conjecturing how he
could obtain a livelihood; but I endeavored to convince him of my
ability to earn a very comfortable maintenance for us both.

On the second day after he left his room, and three days previous to
that fixed for our marriage, a letter reached him from Bonn, enclosing
some money, and communicating the death of his uncle, who had bequeathed
to him all his property. The receipt of this news gave us much joy. I
looked upon it as an unequivocal guaranty that my troubles were ended.
It may have been selfish in me, but I confess I felt a little
disappointment when he informed me that this communication necessitated
a further delay of our marriage until his return from Germany. I fancied
that as we had been separated so long we should not be parted again so
quickly, but he strove to convince me that his immediate absence was
necessary, and I at last cheerfully assented. He left on the day which
had been fixed for our wedding, and it was agreed he should return on
the following month.

Within a few days after his departure I again fell sick, arising,
perhaps, from my late exertions and insufficient rest. It was
accompanied with the same loss of appetite, nervous fits of crying,
lowness of spirits, and occasional attacks of delirium, which I had
formerly suffered from. My sane moments, however, were enlivened by
pleasing anticipations of Alfred’s return; and I even felt grateful he
was ignorant of my sickness, because I believed it would spare him much
pain and anxiety. I did not recover so soon as I expected. My physician
did not seem to understand my complaint so well as his predecessor.

Four weeks had now elapsed since Alfred departed, and I heard no news of
his return. Three or four days more elapsed without intelligence, and I
became alarmed. At length a letter arrived, addressed to me in his
hand—and my heart throbbed with joy. I felt so delighted, that I
committed, what some will call a piece of extravagance, that is, I
kissed the address, because I was convinced it was his writing. I then
hurriedly broke the seal and began to read the contents. The first
paragraph informed me that he had taken possession of his uncle’s
property, and that it was more valuable than he had supposed, and was, I
fancied, conveyed in cooler language than I expected. The next paragraph
had reference to matters of little importance, but as I read on, another
communication rose up, which made the blood freeze in my veins, and
seemed to suspend the beating of my heart. It told me that now our
relative conditions were greatly changed—that he feared our
dispositions were incompatible—that our marriage was impossible. As I
read on with a brain throbbing and burning, with a bosom struggling
between doubt and despair, I observed an invitation to reside with him,
and a promise to give me a settlement if I subsequently desired a
separation. I think one more paragraph concluded the letter, but I could
read no further. I alternately laughed and cried. I declared it was all
a vile forgery, and then something told me all was true. I declared it
was a dream, but anon the dread reality stared me in the face. At last
every thing seemed to disappear. For many a long day reason deserted me.

                 *        *        *        *        *

About two years after, I felt as if I had awakened from a sleep, and I
found myself in a very respectably furnished room, with an elderly lady,
who was apparently watching me. I had a somewhat confused remembrance of
both her and the room, though I could not divine her name, nor remember
how I had become acquainted with her. She also appeared as much
surprised as myself, from the earnest and dubious look she directed
toward me. She arose from her chair, and introduced herself as Mrs.
Burnett, I hardly knew what to say, or what inquiry to make. After a
moment, I ventured to ask if I was not staying in her house—to what
circumstance I was indebted for that favor, and whether I had not been
suffering from insanity?—for that dreadful truth gradually came to my
mind. Perceiving that I was restored to reason, she answered all my
inquiries, and communicated much more than I anticipated. She informed
me how that my father’s old and faithful steward had by some means
prevented the confiscation of his property from being executed—how that
he had, a few months after my departure, disposed of it, and escaped to
London with the proceeds, for the purpose of handing it to me. How that
he used great exertions, after his arrival, to find me, and in the midst
of them fell sick and died. Before his decease, he lodged the money in
the hands of her husband, who was a banker, together with every
information he could give which might lead to my discovery. That Mr.
Burnett had renewed his efforts, but after several months he abandoned
them as useless. That shortly after he was appointed to be one of the
inspectors of a metropolitan lunatic asylum, and at one of his visits
there, he found an inmate bearing my name. Upon making inquiries from
the keeper, and at the house where I had boarded, (where he examined
some books and papers which belonged to me,) he satisfied himself that I
was the person whom he and the steward had sought for; and as he heard a
favorable character of me, he removed me to his house, in the hope of
affording better treatment than I was likely to receive in the asylum.

You may suppose this explanation very much surprised me; but the
unexpected recovery of the proceeds of my father’s property did not
produce much gratification. I was not sorry I now possessed a
competence, though I did not feel glad. I felt very grateful to my
deliverers, and to Him by whom my life had been spared; but it was
accompanied with a recklessness and indifference about my future
prospects. My disposition also seemed to have changed into a settled
sadness, which has never since altogether left me.

My kind friends wished me to remain with them, but, with many thanks, I
declined their invitation. I wanted to leave London, and upon that
determination I came to Cornwall, and occupied the little cottage where
we became acquainted.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Many years have passed since these trials happened; and as the sweetest
perfumes are derived from the bitterest drugs, so these dark clouds have
produced many bright and sunny days. True, they are associated with
painful reminiscences, but they have been followed with incalculable
advantages. Amid their severest strokes I can now recognize the hand of
a just but benevolent Father. If in my subsequent career I could bear
disappointment without discontent, and misfortune without repining; if I
could feel resignation suppressing impatience, and contentment
controlling ambition, I owe it to the struggles which I have endeavored
to describe. It is in the rugged vale of tribulation that the path to
human happiness is found.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                              LOGAN’S VOW.


                          BY EDWARD J. PORTER.


    It was not by the war-fire’s light,
      With bright flames upward wreathed
    Into the cloudless sky of night,
      My battle vow was breathed;
    It was not while the warriors flew,
      With scalp-locks flung on air,
    The mazes of the war-dance through,
      My spirit poured its prayer.

    Nor while the battle’s stormy strife
      Shook the deep forests wide,
    And tomahawk and scalping-knife
      Flashed in their gleaming pride.
    Alone I stood, amidst the dead,
      When the spirit of repose,
    That long had clasped my heart, had fled
      And vengeance waked her throes.

    The dead were round me; yes, my own,
      The beautiful, the young;
    Their calm looks waked the anguished tone
      From Logan’s spirit wrung.
    Then, only then, the wild flame woke,
      And waved its scorching wings,
    That, curbless in its frenzy, broke
      My spirit’s slumberings.

    The silence of the midnight hour,
      Unbroken by a sound,
    Hung over all, with spell-fraught power
      Beneath its stillness bound;
    I stood, as stands the forest’s pride,
      When all its leaves are strown,
    Swept by the whirlwind wild and wide,
      In desolation lone.

    Changed in an hour, the white man’s friend
      Gleamed in his war array;
    The league forever at an end,
      And lighted hatred’s ray:
    Dark records traced by widow’s tears,
      And wailings sad and low,
    Have borne wild tales to other years
      Of Logan’s vengeful vow.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                         IMAGINATION AND FACT.


                         BY A NEW CONTRIBUTOR.


                      Imagination’s world of air,
                        And our own world.
                                         Halleck.

                           The world is of such stuff
               As dreams are made of, and our little life
               Is bounded by a sleep.
                                              Shakspeare.

                S’ai che lá corre il mondo ove piu versi
                Di sue dolcezze il lusinghier Parnaso
                E che ’l vero condito in molli versi,
                I piu schivi allentando ha persuaso.
                                                  Tasso.

People seem to have an idea that facts are every thing in the business
of the world—the only considerations in the philosophy of human
progress. Opposed to what is merely imaginary, facts are allowed to have
much dignity. Your practical reasoners look for facts; facts “are the
jockies for them”—such as they can see, hear, handle, or demonstrate;
while the imaginations are mostly held synonymous with the worthless,
the unsubstantial and the ridiculous. They seem to say in the spirit of
one of Congreve’s characters—we forget which—“fiddle-faddle, don’t
tell me of this and that and every thing in the world; but give me
mathematical demonstration.” Now we do not go so far as the philosopher
Bayle, who, on the other hand, affected to laugh at mathematical
demonstration; but we think, “under leave of Brutus and the rest,” that
facts do not seem, and have not seemed to be so exclusively essential to
“the cosmogony of the world,” to the history and progress of mind and
the general business of things, as some solid authorities think. Without
troubling our heads, in this gossiping paper, with the subtleties of
Berkley and others, who knock all creation into the compass of a man’s
perceptions—establish the column of the unsubstantial universe on the
pentagonal base of the senses—we have an idea that a vast amount of the
fictitious and imaginary is blended with our regular business of being,
doing and suffering. Human nature has, in all times, contrived a little
gilding, to make the bitter pill of life go down. Tasso truly says—in
his Invocation to the Virgin Mary for a muse—at the opening of his
“Gerusalemme Liberata”—

    For well thou knowest, the world more fondly turns
      To old Parnassus’ consecrated spot;
    And truths which graceful poetry adorns
      Win while they please us; and a spell is wrought
      For the most subtle and reluctant thought.
    Thus, for the sickly child, by friendly wile,
      The cup’s deceptive edge, with sweetness fraught,
    Lures to the bitter potion—he the while
      Drinks life and health from the judicious guile.

Not alone have the edges of the cup of life been touched in this way,
but the contents of it have always been dashed with large doses of the
same emollient. Reality is not such a delightful thing, after all. The
false and the phantasmal have ever been considered the necessary
complements, as it were, of our condition here.

If we take away from the amount of what the world possesses that which
belongs and is due to the imagination merely—what is not authentic, and
could not be sworn to in a court of justice—what will be left? Let us
take it away—and what then? There is a sudden solitude in the world.
The beautiful is vanished, and the hard, blank remnant of things is full
of gaps, and desert places, disastrous flaws and a strange silence.
There is nothing now, but facts in this macrocosm. But, believe us, ’tis
a very rude, cold place to live in—much worse than ever it was before;
and that—in the opinion of the pale pessimist over the way there—was
bad enough in all conscience. They who first found out this world, and
roamed about on it, had scarcely called it very good when they began to
make it better, by peopling its too extensive solitudes—creating
phantasms and imaginations for it, where there were none before. The
unclothed reality of things was too bare and blank, beautiful as it was,
for the first human beings that walked the earth. They looked to the
elements, and the infinite host of heaven, and following their
unanswerable instincts, they began to make mysteries, airy fabrics and
visions. They imagined a god for the cope and the clouds of the
firmament, and he wielded the thunderbolts from a high mountain;
another, shaped after the most perfectly formed of men, resided in the
sun,

        “The lord of life and poesy and light:”

His sister was the goddess of the earth’s satellite—

        “Astarte, queen of heaven, with crescent horns,
        To whose bright image nightly by the moon,
        Sidonian virgins paid their vows and songs.”

They heard gods in winds and in fire—and altars to these were among the
earliest raised. They saw a terrible divinity in the vastness or angry
billows of the sea, and imagined a crowd of lesser beings to haunt its
caverns and depths. The forests were sacred to the universal Pan—his
fauns, sylvans and satyrs; every oak had its hamadryad, every river its
naiad or potamid; the oreads took charge of the flowery meadows, and the
napææ wandered forever in the shady valleys. Impatient of mere reality,
men filled the universe with phantasies and theories—

        “The intelligible forms of ancient poets—
        The fair humanities of old religion,
        The power, the beauty and the majesty
        That had their haunts in dale or piny mountain,
        Or forest, by slow stream, or pebbly spring,
        Or chasms or watery depths.”

Suppose we demolish all these graceful fallacies, and the poetry, also,
in which they are embalmed. What a throng of splendid deeds, of heroic
and beautiful figures—demigods, warriors, kings—bright women and brave
men, moving in gorgeous panorama over the vast back-ground of
antiquity—is extinguished in the darkness! The creations of the ancient
poets and imaginative writers have filled up a space in the earlier ages
of the world, which without them would be a blank and lost to the human
mind, as much as the pre-Adamite chaos is. What a disinheritance it
would be to take away the Iliad and Odyssey! to obliterate Hector, the
kind-hearted and manly hero; and Priam with his mighty sorrows a
suppliant for his dead son; and the warring Achilles—

        “Impiger, iracundus, inexorabilis, acer,”

and the wandering Ulysses, seeing strange shores and cities, and the
varying manners of men! Not alone would much be wanted in the want of
these venerable works, but in the want of all that literature which they
inspired and gave rise to in after time. The succeeding poets and
dramatists of Greece and Rome drew light from Homer, as Milton’s stars
did in their golden urns from the sun. They took his historic
imaginations and characters as their models, and reproduced them in
forms which the world will not willingly let die, and which it prizes
nearly as much as the Institutes and Pandects of Justinian, or any thing
else of that authentic and substantial kind.

To come to our own familiar literature, the fictions of our insular or
continental writers are as favorably and generally remembered as the
historic facts of the English-speaking peoples. In our genial moments,
when the mind desires to be refreshed or pleased it will revert, with an
almost universal preference, to what is imaginary, or adorned with the
graces of imaginative literature; and half the world regard with as much
attention the men and women of Shakspeare and Scott as those of Hume and
Prescott. And how intimately and lovingly we give our interest to the
words and actions of these imaginary beings! What a world of thought and
life is in the dramas of Shakspeare! There is the venerable Lear, driven
out into the storm, and talking the finest philosophy to the wild
elements, that so feelingly persuade him what he is; and Hamlet, so
sententious in his antic disposition; the fair Ophelia, and the prosy
old courtier, Polonius; and the immortal bed-presser, and huge hill of
flesh—the greatest liar and the greatest favorite in the world; and
Macbeth, with his terrible hags on the heath, and his more terrible
wife; and Richard, wooing Lady Anne, or fighting desperately his last
battle. Then there are the witty and adventurous Rosalind, and

        “The gentle lady wedded to the Moor;”

and Portia, the beautiful, wise young judge; and the impassioned Juliet,
with the southern lightnings in her veins; and Miranda, the enchantress,
of an enchanted island—and all that magnificent array of womanhood
which reflects for ever the unequaled genius of Shakspeare.

We have also the creations of Scott—coming nearest of any to those of
the great dramatic poet, and enjoying even a more general popularity.
Successive generations prize them as an imperishable legacy, and the
memory has a pleasure in conjuring them up—so vivid and picturesque in
their colors and outlines: The hall of Cedric, the Saxon—the swineherd,
the templar, the gorgeous tournament at Ashby de la Zouche, Friar Tuck,
the storming of Torquilstone, the Black Knight, fighting as if ten men’s
strength were in his single arm; and the beautiful Jewess—what splendid
series of images—bringing back so vividly the old pomp and circumstance
of the feudal times! We shall never forget the feelings with which we
first read Ivanhoe, and there found all our vague feelings of romance
and dreams of knightly doings put into such spirit-stirring expression.
Then how true is the picturesque bravery of Fergus McIvor—

        “All plaided and plumed in his tartan array;”

and the marching of the Scottish clans; the fine old Baron Bradwardine,
the high-spirited Flora, and the tender Rose. We see the fierce Balfour
of Burley, slaying the guardsman at Drumclog, or raving in his cave; and
the swords of the Solemn League and Covenant waving in desperate tumult
on Bothwell Bridge. Edgar and Lucy walk to the haunted spring, Caleb
Balderstone performs laughable prodigies of cunning to save the credit
of Wolf’s Crag, and the last Lord of Ravenswood disappears awfully into
the “Kelpie’s flow,”

        “And his name is lost for ever moe.”

Norna of the Fitful-Head, speaks her wild rune of the reimkennar to the
spirits of the North wind; “bold Magnus, the son of the earl;” Minna,
Brenda, Cleveland, Claude Halcro, feast, love, fight and rhyme in the
Udaller’s charmed isle. Diana Vernon, on horseback, clears her
five-barred gate and gallops by; Rob Roy cries “claymore,” and Bailie
Nichol Jarvie fights his highlandman with a hot coulter, and goes up
perilously to the Clachan of Aberfoil; Jeannie Deans stands in the
presence of Queen Caroline, pleading for the life of her sister, while
the Duke of Argyle puts his hand to his chin whenever her Majesty or the
Duchess of Suffolk are in danger of a random hit from the lips of the
unconscious advocate; Monkbarn’s discovers the remains of a Roman
_prætorium_, and Edie Ochiltree comes up and says: “Prætorium here,
prætorium there; I mind the bigging o’t!” The Knight of the Leopard and
the disguised Soldan fight their chivalrous duel in the desert, and then
feast together at the spring, and Richard Plantagenet, leaping from his
sick-bed, in spite of the Hakim, tears down the standard of Austria from
the mound at Acre, and hurls the giant Wallenrode from the top to the
bottom of it. Dominic Sampson exclaims “prodigious!”—Dirk Hatterick
strangles Glossin and shoots Charlotte Cushman—Meg Merrilies we should
say, but it is all one—who recognizes young Bertram and dies hard. Hal
o’ the Wynd “fights for his own band” on the Inch of Perth, in the mêlée
of the clans Chattan and Quhule. Tristram l’Hermit, hangs the trees
around Plessis les Tours with Zingaris, like acorns. Louis and Charles
the Bold ride together into Liege by a breach in the walls, and the head
of the savage De Lamarck secures to the Scottish soldier the hand of
Isabel Croye. The Highland Widow mourns over her condemned son with all
the tragic truth of Æschylus or nature; the Last Minstrel sings a wild
epic of goblin gramarye—the Leaguer of Branksome—knights and
ladies—the lists and the festival. Roderick and the Knight of Snowdon
fight by the ford of Coilantogle; Constance perishes awfully in her
convent cell, and Marmion dies like a courageous knight, at Flodden

        “Charge, Chester, charge; on, Stanley, on—
        Where the last words of Marmion!”

All these, and more, come thronging at the call of the wizard. And with
them will also pass before the reader’s or muser’s eye the extravagant
hero of him who “smiled Spain’s chivalry away;” Doctor Primrose and his
delightful family, Parson Adams, Sir Roger de Coverley, Evangeline,
Ichabod Crane, and a thousand others, which every body’s memory will
distinguish for itself—just as every eye shapes its proper rainbow.
They have all the distinctness of reality, and it is by an effort that
we draw the line between them and _bona fide_ characters.

Many of these last, in fact, are little better than the fictions of
poets, dramatists and romancers. The histories of the venerable Bede,
Geoffrey of Monmouth, etc. are half imaginative. There are outlines of
truth in them—

        “The truth is there; but dashed and brewed with lies.”

The history of Scotland, for ages, from the reign of Fergus, and of
Ireland from the days of Heber, Heremon and Ith, down to the conquest of
the country by Strongbow, are just as fanciful as the metrical romances
of Scott and Moore. Then, for the annals of Greece; Herodotus, the
patriarch of history, sets down almost every thing he hears from the
lying priests of Egypt, or that he can gather from vague tradition; and
people don’t exactly know whether to call the Cyropædia of Xenophon a
romance or an authentic narration. Plutarch romances at times like the
Scuderis. An old English author, Taylor, says, of his fallacies and
blunders in the lives of the orators—_mendaxille Plutarchus qui vitas
oratorum dolis et erroribus consutas, olim conscribillavit_. Neibuhr has
got into our old history of Rome and laid about him like an iconoclast.
He destroys a crowd of our beliefs, and makes a solitude in the first
ages of Rome—so wonderful and picturesque in our school-boy days. He
makes a solitude and calls it truth. He demolishes Mars, Rhea Sylvia,
Romulus and Remus and the Wolf—Numitor, Evander, and so forth. Under
the flourishing of his pen they make themselves into thin air in which
they vanish. Then the Tarquins, their insolence and expulsion; Lars
Porsenna of Clusium, the siege of Rome, Cocles on the Bridge and Scævola
at the flaming Altar—all are inventions of Fabius Pictor, Ennius,
Nævius, and others. This portion of the history of Rome, says the
German, should be called the Lay of the Tarquins, and is just as
authentic as the Lay of the Nibelungen! “Livy’s _pictored_ page,” (if we
may be permitted to make a critical emendation of Byron’s phrase in the
spirit of Bishop Warburton’s Notes on Shakspeare,) is allowed to be just
as fallible as it is brilliant. Thus we have a vast amount of what is
called ancient history confounded with the professed creations of
fanciful minds; and there does not seem to be any very marked difference
between Agamemnon or Ajax, and Cecrops or Codrus; between Æneas or Dido,
and Numa or Clelia—they are all equally distinct or indistinct. Scott’s
King Richard, singing a roundelay and exchanging a buffet with the Clerk
of Copmanhurst, is as firm on the canvas as Alfred baking his cakes, or
Canute sitting on a chair to rebuke his flatterers on the sea-shore.

And even as regards the more modern and authentic annals of history, we
do not think they have paid much more respect to the actual truth of
things than do the fictionists. Sir Robert Walpole used to say to his
friends, “Don’t read history; that must be false.” And Sir Walter
Raleigh, looking from the window of his prison in the Tower, and
witnessing a quarrel in the court-yard or the street, and the
after-testimony of the by-standers respecting it, was tempted, it is
said, to throw his History of the World into the fire, in despair of
ever being able to gather any thing like truth from conflicting
authorities. And, certainly, the differences of historians—their doubts
concerning motives, and their disagreements concerning facts, tend to
give us very unsettled ideas of history in general. Writers have sent
Col. Kirke down to us from James the Second’s reign with a very black
and bloody renown. But he was not half so black as he was painted by the
whigs; and the story of the poor girl whose husband he hanged before her
eyes, in the morning, though she had dearly purchased his life on
Kirke’s own terms, is pronounced by Ritson to be an impudent and
bare-faced lie. The story is much older than Kirke. Richard the Third is
also one of the historical reprobates; though it is not unlikely that
the young princes were not murdered in the Tower, and that Perkin
Warbeck was really the prince after all; as truly as the surreptitious,
warming-pan prince is known to have been the true son of James the
Second, in spite of the Protestant historians. Then there are Jack Cade
and Wat Tyler; these have been receiving cruel wrong at the hands of the
annalists. They dared, in an age when the rights of the people were
imperfectly understood, and the influence of the feudal system still
strong in the nation, to take up arms and go to war with the king and
the nobles for liberty! Their sufferings and provocations were
undeniable, and their spirit was certainly heroic—kindred to that which
glowed in the bosoms of Melchthal, Furst, and Stauffacher, at the
Brunnens of Grutli. The Swiss peasants were successful, and are held in
honorable remembrance forever. But the Englishmen failed, and are set up
as scarecrows and _Indibria_, upon the field of history. Poor Tyler and
Cade were animated by the same kind of blood which boiled in the face of
a tyrant at Naseby, Marston Moor, Dunbar, and elsewhere—which warmed
the hearts of the exiles on the cold rock of Plymouth, and flowed so
freely at Lexington and Bunker Hill. We should honor these English
rebels—in spite of history, and in spite of Shakspeare. It is
remarkable to see this myriad-minded man, so full of the finer
humanities of our nature, yet incapable of sympathizing with the cause
and feelings of the mass of the lower classes. But Shakspeare was a man
of his era—to which, with an astonishing and happy wizardry, he obliged
chronology and human nature to conform; he dreamed as little of the
later evangils of democracy as he did of the Daguerreotype and the
electric telegraph. In this way Cade, Richard, and a thousand others are
in the hands of the historians, tricked out as much in the colors of
imagination as in those of fact.

No man can be sure of the lesser details of the annals, though he may
put faith in some of their great facts. We are not indisposed to allow
that there was a man named Julius Cæsar; though whether he ever said,
_Quid times? vehis Cæzarem_, in the boat, or _Et tu Brute!_ when the
republicans set upon him in the senate-house, is not quite so credible.
Most of these picturesque properties of character or fact, so to speak,
are furnished by the fancies and after-thoughts of the narrators, or
fabricated wilfully for a purpose. We need not go very far back in
history to discover the truth of this. In a late memoir (Achille de
Vaulabelle’s) of the “Two Restorations,” we are told that an old story
of the consternation of the members of the Directory, on its violent
dissolution by Bonaparte, in 1800, was a false one. There was no
hurry-skurry, nor jumping out of windows, any more than when Oliver
Cromwell put an end to the Long Parliament. Again, that glorification
made on the sinking of the _Vengeur_, in an engagement with the English
fleet, during the first French revolution, has been latterly put out of
countenance. The story in France was, that, being terribly damaged, this
ship sunk with all on board, her flag flying, and the crew shouting,
“Long live the republic!” Carlyle adopted this version in his history,
and makes quite a cartoon of it, in his own outlandish phraseology. But
on the appearance of the story in an English work, a naval officer who
witnessed the affair of the _Vengeur_, wrote a letter to the Times, in
which he stated that, instead of going down with true republican
devotion, the poor French sailors, small blame to them! jumped
overboard, and tried to save themselves, and that some hundreds of them
were rescued in the British boats. That message, said to have come from
the dying Dessaix to Bonaparte, on the field of Marengo, (“Tell the
First Consul I die regretting I can no farther serve him and France,”)
was fabricated in the bulletin by the aforesaid consul himself. The
story of the Duke of Wellington lying in the hollow square of the Guards
at Waterloo, and, on the advance of the French, crying, “Up, Guards, and
at them!” is as untenable as our own famous saying—“A little more
grape, Captain Bragg!” or the military speeches of the great generals of
antiquity, as recorded by Tacitus, Sallust, Cæsar, and the rest of the
writers. Then, as regards great facts, different nations give different
accounts. Ask who gained Waterloo? “We did,” say the Prussians. “We gave
vast assistance,” say the Belgians. Ask John Bull, or rather, don’t; his
answer would be rather brief than polite. We should like to see a
history of the campaigns in Greece of Darius, Xerxes, and Mardonius,
written by Persians. All history is more or less deserving of Sir Robert
Walpole’s designation. Hume, in one of his letters to Robertson,
alluding to the publication of Murdin’s State Papers, which threw
unexpected light upon the annals, exclaims, “We are all in the wrong!”
And, indeed, Hume himself is among those to whom we are mostly indebted
for the imaginative character of history. He had little of the industry
of Gibbon, and trusted very much to his own sagacity for his views. He
was also a tory, and became, in his scorn of whiggery, the apologist of
the Stuarts. His history is charming as a composition, but errs in its
colorings of facts and its conclusions from them.

Imagination, as we have said, seems the complement of the world of facts
and things, in all mental exercises, except the logical and
mathematical. If we contemplate nature it enhances what we behold. The
mountains, rivers, forests, and the elements that gird them round about,
would be only blank conditions of matter, if the mind did not fling its
own divinity around them. Nature was thus endowed from the
beginning—when men heard voices in the winds, and the supernatural
inhabitants of terra firma,

        “Met on the hill, the dale, forest or mead,
        By paved fountain, or by rushy brook,
        Or on the beached margent of the sea;”

or, in the train of powerful Poseidon,

        “Took in by lot, ’twixt high and nether Jove,
        Imperial rule of all the sea-girt isles.”

And the modern lovers of nature, though they no longer recognize the
mythologic people of the ancient beliefs in her picturesque
wildernesses, clothe them with the attributes of the mysterious abstract
power which is over all things. And, in the towering of her peaks, the
murmur of her forests and seas, the roar of her storms, the singing of
her nightly stars, they find revelations and prophecies of higher and
farther existences. In this respect, the modern poetry of nature has a
nobler scope and purer inspiration than the ancient. Wordsworth and
Byron speculate more sublimely than Lucretius.

In another sense, the imagination materially imposes upon facts. In
contemplating cities, works of art, ruins, or scenes of nature, we
almost always appreciate them for the associations that belong to
them—the imaginations they excite. Look at a gray bleak sort of plateau
between mountains and the sea, and you see little to admire. But let
somebody say, “that is Marathon!” while the blood thrills at the name, a
flood of glory flashes over the immortal ground; the air is thick with
phantoms—

                          To the hearer’s eye appear,
        The camp, the host, the fight, the conqueror’s career—
          The dying Mede, his shaftless, broken bow;
            The fiery Greek, his red pursuing spear;
          Mountains above, earth’s, ocean’s plain below;
            Death in the front, destruction in the rear!

It is this quality of the imagination which gives old countries their
superior attractions when compared with new soils. At the sight of
battle-fields, religious houses, cathedrals, castles, either in ruins or
otherwise, we are pleased in calling up a crowd of shadows from the
dust, and finding a sort of mysterious companionship with them during
our passing reveries.

Campbell says very well, that distance lends enchantment to the view,
and it is generally true of the human mind that it regards the past with
a feeling of tenderness—a disposition to make the best of it. There is
a certain charm in Time, whom we regard as the dominator of us all; and
the ruins or remnants of any thing speak an impressive warning of our
own evanescent fate. That belief in the good old times is an instinct
too strong for the philosophy of most of us. We have a thousand proofs
that they were rude, bad, ignorant times. But the poetry of our nature
will not be reasoned with, and we believe with the bard—

        Not rough or barren are the winding ways
        Of hoar Antiquity, but strewn with flowers.

Any thing old or historic is appreciated in proportion to the scope it
gives to the imagination—to point a moral or adorn a tale. We gaze on
the wild hill, vale, stream or forest of a new country, with none of
those feelings which fill us in beholding similar objects in an old
land. The former may be as fair or fairer to see; but, as

        “A primrose by the river’s brim,
        A yellow primrose was to him.”

of whom Wordsworth speaks, so the latter is a stream, a forest, a
hill—nothing more. The nameless savages had the place from the
beginning, and the solitude. The other is a tradition, a romance, a
memory. In the valley is the legendary well, and the fairy ring; by the
stream is the fortalice of the feudal period, or the abbey dwindled to a
few ivied walls and the oriel, on the site of a bloody battle where a
king fell fighting, a thousand years ago; and, on the slope of the hill
stand the Druid stones, in a circle, set there, certainly, in the
ancient time of the giants, who descended from Thor and

        Lived in the oldé days of King Artour.

As Webster, the old English dramatist, says:

                  We love these ancient ruins;
        We never tread upon them, but we set
        Our foot upon some reverend history.

They receive all their witchery from the imagination of him who surveys
them. This faculty is potentially mingled with all that is most real in
nature; nay, it would seem to be as much a reality as any thing else we
call such. The preacher calls the world a vain shadow, and the Berkleyan
philosopher calls it a huge accident of the five senses; and Shakspeare
is inclined to think there is nothing that is but thinking makes it so.
The practical men, therefore,—the directors of railways, the managers
of stock, and the owners of electric telegraphs cannot be considered to
have matters all to themselves. The poet and the romancist control as
much of the “thick rotundity of the world” as they; and certainly the
most enchanting portion. Schiller gives us in an admired lyric, the idea
that the imaginative being was forgotten by Jove in the distribution of
the earth; but received a general invitation to the Court of Olympus.
Our nether “maker,” or “finder,” does still, of course, avail himself of
this privilege; but not as one without alternative. He has a great share
and dominion in all sublinary things; and his castles in the air may be
found as firmly fixed, after all, and as well tenanted, as any existing
on any other element.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                                WINTER.


                            BY ALICE CAREY.


    Now sits the twilight palaced in the snow,
      Hugging away beneath a fleece of gold
    Her statue beauties, dumb and icy cold,
      And fixing her blue steadfast eyes below;
    Where in a bed of chilly waves afar,
      With dismal shadows o’er her sweet face blown,
    Tended to death by eve’s delicious star,
      Lies the lost day alone.

    Where late with red mists bound about his brows
      Went the swart Autumn, wading to the knees
    Through drifts of dead leaves shaken from the boughs
      Of the old forest trees;
    The gusts upon their baleful errands run
      O’er the bright ruin, fading from our eyes,
    And over all, like clouds about the sun,
      A shadow lies.

    For, fallen asleep upon a dreary wold,
      Slant to the light, one late October morn,
    From some rough cavern blew a tempest cold,
      And tearing off his garland of ripe corn,
    Twisted with blue grapes, sweet with luscious wine,
      And Ceres’ drowsy flowers, so dully red,
    Deep in his cavern leafy and divine,
      Buried him with his dead.

    Then, with his black beard glistening in the frost,
      Under the icy arches of the north,
    And o’er the still graves of the seasons lost,
      Blustered the winter forth.
    Spring, with your crown of roses budding new,
      Thought-nursing and most melancholy fall,
    Summer, with bloomy meadows wet with dew,
      Blighting your beauties all.

    O heart, your spring-time dream will idle prove,
      Your summer but forerun the autumn’s death,
    The flowery arches in the home of love
      Fall, crumbling, at a breath;
    And sick at last with that great sorrow’s shock,
      As some poor prisoner pressing to the bars
    His forehead, calls on mercy to unlock
      The chambers of the stars:
    You, turning off from life’s first mocking glow,
      Leaning it may be still on broken faith,
    Will down the vale of autumn gladly go
      To the chill winter, death.

    Hark! from the empty bosom of the grove
      I hear a sob, as one forlorn might pine—
      The white-limbed beauty of a god is thine,
    King of the seasons, and the night that hoods
      Thy brow majestic, brightest stars enweave—
      Thou surely canst not grieve.

    But only far away
      Mak’st stormy prophecies—well lift them higher,
    Till morning on the forehead of the day
      Presses a seal of fire.
    Dearer to me the scene
      Of nature shrinking from thy rough embrace,
    Than summer, with her rustling robe of green,
      Cool blowing in my face.

    The moon is up—how still the yellow beams
      That slantwise lie upon the stirless air,
    Sprinkled with frost, like pearl-entangled hair,
      O’er beauty’s cheek that streams.
    How the red light of Mars their pallor mocks.
      And the wild legend from the old time wins,
    Of sweet waves kissing all the drowning locks
      Of Ilia’s lovely twins.

    Come, Poesy, and with thy shadowy hands
      Cover me softly, singing all the night—
    In thy dear presence find I best delight;
      Even the saint that stands
    Tending the gate of heaven, involved in beams
      Of rarest glory, to my mortal eyes
    Pales from the blest insanity of dreams
      That round thee lies.

    Unto the dusky borders of the grove
      Where gray-haired Saturn, silent as a stone,
        Sat in his grief alone,
    Or where young Venus, searching for her love,
      Walked through the clouds, I pray,
        Bear me to-night away.

    Or wade with me through snows
      Drifted in loose fantastic curves aside,
      From humble doors where love and faith abide,
    And no rough winter blows,
      Chilling the beauty of affections fair,
        Cabined securely there.

    Where round their fingers winding the white slips
      That crown his forehead, on the grandsire’s knees,
    Sit merry children, teasing about ships
      Lost in the perilous seas;
    Or listening with a troublous joy, yet deep,
      To stories about battles, or of storms,
    Till weary grown, and drowsing into sleep,
      Slide they from out his arms.

    Where, by the log-heap fire,
      As the pane rattles and the cricket sings,
    I with the gray-haired sire
      May talk of vanished summer-times and springs,
    And harmlessly and cheerfully beguile
      The long, long hours—
    The happier for the snows that drift the while
      About the flowers.

    Winter, wilt keep the love I offer thee?
      No mesh of flowers is bound about my brow;
    From life’s fair summer I am hastening now.
      And as I sink my knee,
    Dimpling the beauty of thy bed of snow,
      Dowerless, I can but say,
      O, cast me not away!

                 *        *        *        *        *



              IMPROMPTU TO THE AUTHOR OF “THE OCEAN-BORN.”


                              BY A READER.


  Oh! once again resume thy potent pen,
    Thou pleasing stranger and heart-moving man,
  And lead our thoughts back captive once again,
    As thou alone of others only can.
  Thy “Slaver” long had lingered in our mind,
    And called forth hopes of future fame for thee,
  When came thy “Cabin-Boy,” so fair and kind,
    To set our heart’s best thoughts and feelings free—
  Say, was he real? Truth seemed written
    On every line that in the tale was shown,
  And maidens fair by the ideal were smitten,
    And sighed because the real was unknown.
  Silent and passionless our hearts had beat
    For months, and feared thou hadst resigned thy sway,
  And earth-cares closely clung around our feet,
    When sprung thy “Ocean-Born” to joyous day.
  Thy beauteous “Garcia,” pure as e’er a star,
    Called forth all pity, sympathy and love;
  We dreaded lest the ending, darkling far,
    Would all too fierce and desp’rate for her prove;
  But for the son who, born of such a pair,
    Thy wondrous pen portrayed so truly good,
  The picture thou hast drawn so passing fair,
    To us it seemed as by thee he had stood.
  Oh! cease not yet—nor deem it labor vain
    The treasures of thy mind to bring to view,
  Let the creations of thy soul again
    Their joyous power spread over us anew.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                           THE ARTIST’S LOVE.


                  BY THE AUTHORESS OF THE CONSPIRATOR.


                              THE TABLEAU.

The curtain arose and a murmur of applause greeted the beautiful scene
that appeared. An open window unclosed on a valley sleeping in the
moonlight, and the over-arching heavens glittering with its quiet stars.
Beside the window leaned the lady, her head half-turned from the page
who knelt at her feet, and clasped her hand between his tremulous
fingers: and she—oh how divinely fair was that girl! She represented
one of a royal race, and well did she look the character she had
assumed. The turn of the graceful head, the curve of the red lip
belonged to the royalty of beauty, and there was a pretty air of
condescension in the attitude she assumed toward the kneeling youth;
while he looked up to her and sent forth his soul in the deep gaze he
bent upon her face. The first fond dream of the enthusiast’s heart was
realized, and his spirit bowed in homage before the ideal of his young
imagination.

The curtain fell—the page raised her hand to his lips and passionately
kissed it. A faint flush came up to the cheek of the girl, and a
half-mocking smile flitted across her crimson lip.

“You forget, young sir, that we are only _acting_. One would suppose
from your manner that you are really in earnest.”

The tone jarred on the highly excited feelings of the youth, and he
sprang to his feet, the warm blood mantling his fine features with its
sunny glow.

“Your pardon, Miss Selwyn,—I forgot that we were acquaintances of but a
day’s standing: yet if you could read the dreamer’s heart, you would not
wear that smile which seems to mock my enthusiasm. You see before you a
boy in years, but if the age of man may be measured by the wild
aspirations—the burning hopes of a heart whose reveries are as
passionate realities, I am not a mere youth. Oh beautiful,”—he
continued, again kneeling before her, “my soul bows before the
incarnation of a lovely spirit, in a form fitted to enshrine it. I feel
that it is so, for _He_ who made you so gloriously lovely, would not
place a cold or selfish heart in so exquisite a casket. My fancy has
pictured such forms among the angels of heaven, and my unskillful hand
has essayed to sketch them, but ever without success. When we met, my
heart at once went forth to greet its predestined idol, and I felt that
my dreams had found a reality.”

The girl who listened to this wild rhapsody with a little fear and more
surprise, was one who had been reared amid the artificial refinements of
life, and it was probably the first genuine burst of feeling which had
ever met her ear. The daughter of a man of wealth, and a mother devoted
to fashion, her education had been carefully intended to model the
character of the future belle. The parents looked on her unrivaled
beauty with pride, and the vain mother anticipated the renewal of her
own triumphs in the person of her daughter. Flattered and spoiled from
childhood, it was quite wonderful that one natural trait should still
have remained in her vain little heart; but nature sometimes asserts her
power where art has done most to arrest and deface her beauties. Thus it
was with Julia Selwyn. Sincere feeling even to the world-hardened ever
finds an echo in the breast, and the mocking smile died from her lips as
she felt the deep charm of the young stranger’s singular avowal.

The two had met that morning for the first time. Arthur Mervin was the
son of one of Mr. Selwyn’s early friends, who had that day arrived in
Philadelphia, with a letter of introduction from his father, containing
a request that Mr. Selwyn would aid the youth in obtaining admittance
into the studio of a distinguished painter, as his pupil.

At the moment of his arrival, a party was rehearsing the tableau which
were to be presented in the evening at a splendid entertainment, given
in honor of Miss Selwyn’s _debut_ in the world of fashion. The most
important one;—the one in which the beauty was to burst on the
enraptured eyes of her father’s guests in all her loveliness, was the
lady and the page—and—oh, dire disappointment! The young cousin who
was to enact the page, had been seized with an inflammatory sore throat,
and his medical attendant positively prohibited his leaving his room.

What was to be done? Mrs. Selwyn glanced over the list of her young
acquaintances, and could not find one to appear in the tableau with her
fair daughter, who would not look coarse when placed in comparison with
her refined loveliness.

She wished the tableau to be perfect—to be talked of as the most
beautiful one of the season, and, in the midst of her perplexity, when
her husband ushered in the son of his friend, one glance at his graceful
person and fine features convinced her that she need look no
farther,—the page was found.

Her daughter was sent for, and after an animated conversation of
half-an-hour, the lady found means to introduce her request so naturally
and gracefully, that after a moment’s hesitation, with a glance at Julia
and a bright flush of the cheek which spoke volumes, Mervin consented to
play the part of the page.

How would that worldly mother have shrunk from allowing him admittance
within the charmed circle of her daughter’s fascination could she have
divined the effect this casual introduction was to have on that
daughter’s future life.

The son of a farmer of moderate means who was encumbered with a large
family, it appeared too absurd to guard against Mervin’s admiration.
Julia was born to be admired: she had been educated to glitter in the
sphere of fashion, and understood her own position too well to allow her
feelings to become interested in a mere flirtation with an obscure
artist.

The young painter was full of genius and enthusiasm; the walls of his
studio were ornamented with sybils, angels, and Madonnas, in each of
which might be recognized a striking resemblance to the face of his
young love, and his passionate soul poured forth his adoration in
“thoughts that breathe and words that burn.” The homage of genius gave
an eclat to her daughter which gratified the vanity of Mrs. Selwyn, who
fancied that she had sufficiently warned Julia against allowing her
heart to become interested, by speaking of the utter impossibility that
Mervin should for years be in a situation to ask her to share his
destiny.

“All this adulation is very pleasant my love,” said she, “and makes you
the envy of many a fair rival, but remember it is only as incense to
your vanity that it must be regarded. Mr. Mervin is clever, and has
talent enough to make a very agreeable addition to our _soirees_, but a
suitor to you it is quite impossible he should aspire to become.”

The rose faded from the cheek of Julia in an instant. “He is gifted with
extraordinary abilities, mother. A distinguished path is before him.”

“Yes—but think of the years of toil that must intervene. The best
portion of his life must be devoted to his exacting profession, and when
the pulse is fevered with application—the eyes dimmed, and the hair
blanched with time, he may be what is called great; but the spirit of
life, of love, and hope, will be exhausted in the struggle. From the dim
waste of the past, the voice of fame will sound but as a funeral dirge,
wailed over the courage and enthusiasm which bore him upward and onward
in his course.”

“Disappointment must come to all, mother; but in the exciting occupation
you describe there is much happiness to be found. The days of all must
fall into the ‘sere and yellow leaf,’ but the man of genius can at least
look back with pleasure to his toil, and reflect with just pride on the
rewards he has won. Ah how superior are such memories to those hoarded
by the mere butterflies of fashion, of a petty triumph over some
insignificant person whose wealth lifts them into ephemeral notoriety.”

“Child—Child! how you are running on! Your cheek is flushed, and your
eyes sparkling.—This will never do. I hope this young painter has not
made what romantic young ladies call ‘an impression’ on your heart, for
in that case my doors must be closed on him.”

Julia was calm in a moment. The pupil of the fashionable Madame Lecompte
had been assiduously taught the art of controling the outward show of
emotion, and young as she was, Julia Selwyn did not shame the lessons of
her preceptress.

“My dear mother, how can you have such a fancy! Mr. Mervin does not make
love to me without I construe his verses into declarations. Do you fear
that I shall be so unmaidenly as to give my heart unsought? He knows
that a union between us is impossible, but that does not prevent this
frail fading beauty from being his inspiration and his muse. A few
fleeting years, and some younger and fairer face will claim his homage,
while I shall pass down the stream of time only remembered as the
_ci-devant_ belle. When his fame is at its zenith, I shall be
forgotten.”

“I am glad that you have so much common sense, my dear. When we can
speak calmly of being forgotten by an admirer, it is a sure sign that
the feelings are not deeply interested in him. You were never intended
for the wife of a poor man, and there is one—but I must not betray your
father’s plans. He will never force you to accept any one who is
disagreeable to you, but there is a person in view who is so suited in
age, fortune, and in short, every thing, that we have set our hearts on
seeing you his bride. I will not name him, lest the knowledge of our
wishes should make you shy. I shall leave him to make his own way,
love—no questions—I am silent as death. Good-bye—I must see the new
case of millinery opened at Madam ——’s. I will bring you a Parisian
hat of the newest style.”

                 *        *        *        *        *

Julia buried her face in her hands and remained in deep and painful
thought. She had instinctively known all that her mother had just
expressed relative to Mervin; yet she would not reflect on it.

A year had passed since the first impassioned declaration of the young
painter. His lips had uttered no word of love in that time, but his
devotion of manner had expressed all that the most exacting mistress
could have asked. Julia fancied that she received his homage merely as
the incense due to her unrivaled charms—that her own heart was still
unscathed—yet why did she listen for his step, and turn listlessly away
from her usual occupations until shared by him? Why did the faint
crimson steal to her cheeks as he sat beside her and spoke in those low,
earnest tones, so different from the _persiflage_ of the set in which
she habitually lived? Enthusiasm ever finds in the hearts of the young a
chord which vibrates to the touch of him who possesses it, and before
she was aware of her danger, that of Julia Selwyn was devotedly attached
to Mervin.

Nature and education were at war within her. The consent of her parents
would never be given to her union with him she well knew—and too much
of worldliness still clung to her, to be willing to descend from her
high estate to link her fortunes with those of her poor, though gifted
lover. Yet her heart shrank from the sacrilege of giving herself to
another. She might for years remain the idol of the hour, until her
beauty began to wane, and in those years, perhaps Mervin might achieve a
degree of celebrity that must lead to fortune—if not—she could then
fulfill the desire of her parents in bestowing her hand on some wealthy
suitor.

The lover destined for her by her parents made his appearance, and in
spite of her mother’s determination not to reveal his name, Julia at
once detected the anxiety of her parents that Mr. Herbert should succeed
in winning her. He was young, and rather handsome, with quiet,
gentlemanly manners; but when compared with the young painter he
appeared very commonplace.

Herbert was already in possession of a handsome estate, and owned a
large interest in the firm of which her father was the principal. He was
just the sort of person Julia felt safe in trifling with. He had no
romance, and was of an extremely indolent temper—for years he would be
content to creep toward an object he had once proposed to himself to
attain. He was not jealous, and with perfect calmness saw the girl he
contemplated as his future wife, flirt with the gayest and handsomest
men of the city. He seemed to possess some assurance in his own mind
that she must eventually yield to the fate which decreed her to become
Mrs. Herbert, and until that time arrived, she might enjoy her liberty
as best suited her inclinations.

In the meantime Mervin pursued his career with astonishing success. The
enthusiasm of his soul was thrown into all he attempted, and urged on by
the overpowering passion of his heart, it was no wonder that he
accomplished well whatever he undertook. Amateurs declared his talents
to be of the highest order, and brother artists acknowledged his
success, considering his years and opportunities for cultivation, to be
unprecedented. His future greatness was confidently predicted, and a few
of the patrons of the fine arts met together, and consulted on a
proposal to send him to Europe, that so promising a genius should
possess every facility for perfecting his style by the study of the old
masters.

A liberal fund was subscribed for that purpose, and offered with such
delicacy that Mervin felt no hesitation in accepting it as a loan, to be
repaid when his exertions had won the means of so doing.

His preparations were soon completed, and a farewell visit to his family
made. Then came the first bitter trial of his life—the parting from
Julia Selwyn. The inexperienced youth, ignorant of the conventional
distinctions of society, had uttered the first promptings of his heart
to the object of his suddenly awakened passion; but a few weeks sufficed
to show one of his quick perception and nice tact, the wide gulf that
separated the daughter of a reputed millionaire from the humble child of
genius. In words his passion had never since been expressed, yet Julia
felt that to the last throb of that impetuous heart she would be the
dearest of earthly objects.

He could not leave her thus—she had ever smiled on him, and from her
own lips he must learn his fate. The years of toil which lay before him,
would, for her sake, be sweet, and his heart trembled as he contemplated
his future if no such bright hope rose over its distant horizon. If it
were denied, deprived of all motive for exertion, he must sink at once
into insignificance. The pride of genius—the consciousness of powers
which raised him above the mass of his fellows, was bowed before the
consuming passion that formed the inspiration of his day dreams, and the
theme of his sleeping visions.

With feelings alternately elevated or depressed, as hope or fear
prevailed in his mind, he repaired to the mansion of Mr. Selwyn. He
found Julia alone, apparently awaiting the arrival of her party to
attend a ball, for her dress was in the latest style of elegance. As he
entered, she arose from the examination of a book of engravings, and
advanced to meet him.

“She knows that I am about to leave my native land, and yet she could
array herself for a ball,” thought Mervin, and his cheek grew paler than
before. Julia noted the emotion, and frankly extending her hand said—

“I knew you would come, and though ready to go to Mrs. Lacy’s party, I
feigned a headache, and staid at home to receive you. I did not know—I
did not hear that you had finally decided to leave, until we were nearly
ready to enter the carriage.”

Mervin pressed the hand she extended to him to his lips and heart in
uncontrollable emotion.

“Ah, beloved Julia! in this hour I must again pour into your ear the
passion that masters my whole being. As you shall answer this night,
will my fate for good or evil be decided. How I dare venture to ask you,
the beautiful, the flattered, to wait for years until a poor artist has
achieved independence, I know not, but the hope is in my heart, Julia,
that you will not deem me presumptuous. Oh, beloved, the future with its
bright promise of fame is cheerless, without the hope is given that I
may attain the idol of my youth. Speak—let me know my doom! I go forth
sanguine in hope, and certain of success speedily won—or I carry with
me a heart so crushed—so blighted by the disappointment of its dearest
wish, that the energy to accomplish any thing worthy of myself will
never revive.”

Tears were in Julia’s eyes. All her worldliness, all her hesitation had
vanished at the sound of his words: she was only the loving and beloved
woman, ready to share his lot, whether that lot were gloomy or bright.

“The hope is yours,” she whispered. “Is it not a brighter destiny to be
the artist’s love than the bride of him whose fortune is his only claim
to the station he holds? The day will come when my parents will be proud
to give me to you. When that time arrives, take with you the assurance
that you will find me free from other ties, with a heart glorying in the
reputation you have won by your own exertions.”

“With such a reward in view, what toil will be too great, what probation
too tedious to be borne! Oh, Julia, you have given me a motive which
will enable me to triumph over every obstacle. But in the years that
must elapse before I can rationally hope to claim my bride, how will you
evade the persevering pursuit of this Herbert?”

“Do not fear him, Arthur. He is like a tortoise in pursuit of a bird on
the wing, when following me. I can suffer him to belong to my train for
years and still be no nearer marrying him than now. Besides, the
inexplicable anxiety of my parents to see me united to him, will prevent
them from giving decided encouragement to the addresses of any other
lover. So you see it is rather on advantage to have so dilatory a
suitor.”

“The influence of your parents will be entirely in his favor—you will
be firm, my beloved—you will not yield. Remember, if you do, that you
will be answerable for one human destiny. Your confession of this night
has blended your fate, irrevocably with mine. You cannot draw back
without rending the ties that bind me to reason—perhaps life.”

“I shall have no wish to draw back, Arthur. Though vain and worldly,
there is enough nature still left in my heart to appreciate and return
your affection. When the last hope of life has departed, I may yield and
become another’s; but while your love remains as my beacon-light to
happiness, I will continue true to my plighted troth.”

Much further conversation ensued, and just as they parted, Mervin
repeated her own words, “Remember, love, till the last hope of life has
departed, you are mine, and mine alone.”

Julia repeated them solemnly, happily, unconscious in how different a
sense from that understood by the lover, they would be acted on.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Two years passed by. The most favorable accounts were received of the
progress of Mervin. He had passed the greater portion of that time in
Italy, and several beautiful specimens of his rapid improvement had been
transmitted to his friends in his native land. The lovers contrived to
keep up a correspondence, though the letters were few and far between,
as the greatest caution was observed to prevent the parents of the fair
_fiancée_ from suspecting the romantic attachment of their daughter.
Julia well knew that such a discovery would be followed by a command to
trifle no longer with the pretensions of Mr. Herbert.

Already they had manifested both impatience and displeasure at her
conduct to that gentleman. He still continued the same placid and
attentive lover; never elated by the smiles of his mistress, nor
depressed by her frowns; he pursued the “even tenor of his way,”
seemingly assured of final success where a more mercurial person would
have despaired.

At length the crisis in the destiny of the belle approached. One morning
her father entered her room and requested a few moment’s uninterrupted
conversation with her. Julia sent her young sister from the apartment
and prepared to listen to a remonstrance in favor of Mr. Herbert’s
pretensions.

“My daughter,” he began, “the time has arrived when I can no longer
postpone the explanation of our position in regard to Mr. Herbert. You
have trifled with him so long, that I despair of ever seeing you
voluntarily become his wife.”

“And is there any absolute necessity that I should unite myself to a man
I can never love, father?”

“So much the worse, child. Love, at any rate, is a mere chimera—an
ignis fatuus, that misleads the young. At all events you must make up
your mind to marry Herbert, or I am a ruined man.”

“How can that result be brought about by my refusal to accept him?”
faltered poor Julia.

“It is a story, my dear, I would not care to tell you, if it could be
avoided; but I see no hope of influencing you by other means—so you
must e’en hear it. Sit down, and don’t look so alarmed. You are pale as
death, and trembling like a frightened dove.”

Julia sunk back in her seat, and prepared to listen with as much
calmness as she could command.

“The father of Herbert and myself commenced life together, and for many
years our united exertions were eminently successful. He decided to
retire from the firm, when an elegant sufficiency had been acquired. He
had but one child to provide for, and I made no objection; but as my
family was larger, I thought it incumbent on me to continue my
exertions. The half of Herbert’s gains was withdrawn from the firm, and
invested in real estate secured to his son. The other moiety continued
in my hands. At his death he bequeathed his claims on me to George, with
a bequest to you of half the funds in my possession, on the condition
that you shall become the wife of his son; if not, the whole amount is
to be paid to George Herbert on the day he attains his twenty-fifth
year. In two more weeks, if you do not accept Herbert, I shall be called
on to pay a sum amounting to more than my whole fortune. As my
son-in-law, he pledges himself to allow me to retain the use of this
money until I can advantageously settle with him, and altogether waives
his claim to the legacy left to you. My affairs are now in such a state
that it will be ruinous to me to attempt a settlement; so you must even
make the best of it, and give your hand to an honest man who will render
you as happy as the most of your sex.”

“And is this the _only_ alternative?” asked the pale girl. “Will not Mr.
Herbert grant you a longer time without demanding so great a sacrifice
on my part?”

“The truth is, Julia, you have flirted with Herbert long enough, and he
thinks you have not treated him quite well. If I make such an appeal to
him, his cold temper will be roused, and he will be off altogether,
which would be a misfortune of no common magnitude; for I must tell you
that there is not the least chance that I shall ever be able to pay a
fraction of this money; and only as the husband of my daughter can I
prevent him from taking such steps as will ruin me at once. On one hand,
it is a choice of poverty to all you love, and on the other, a good
husband with plenty of money. You are too sensible to be romantic; and
besides, as you have never yet fallen in love, you have no predilection
to plead.”

At his last words arose the appalling recollection of her clandestine
attachment—and she cast herself at the feet of her father.

“Pardon me, my father, and pity me! I have loved—I do love, with a
depth and truth that death alone can destroy. Ask me not to wed this
man, for I am plighted heart and soul to another.”

“To whom?” was the stern question. “I know of no one who receives the
encouragement of a lover, save Herbert.”

“One far away—seeking distinction in a foreign land. Oh, blight not the
promise of his young years by compelling me to falsehood and desertion.”

“What! that beggarly painter, Mervin! And is it for him you have
slighted the highest in station—the brightest in intellect! For two
years you have carried on this deception unsuspected—I have but one
atonement to demand for such duplicity. Accept Herbert, and it shall be
forgotten—refuse, and you are no longer a child of mine.”

Vain were the pleadings of the unhappy girl—vain her appeals to his
better feelings. Glad of a pretext to treat her with such harshness as
to drive her into his measures, Mr. Selwyn availed himself to the utmost
of the one which was offered. She was literally left no choice between a
marriage she detested, or expulsion from the paternal roof.

It is doubtful whether the parents would have carried their resentment
so far, had she finally refused compliance with their wishes; but there
was so much at stake, that both father and mother scrupled not to use
every endeavor to urge her into the proposed union.

The constitution of Julia had never been robust; and the conflict in her
feelings brought on a severe attack of illness, from which she very
slowly recovered; and there was a brightness in the large-pupiled eyes,
and a clear spot of rose upon her cheek, which seemed to speak of early
decay and death. She went out once more, and listened with apparent
acquiescence to the wishes of her parents in regard to her marriage.

Herbert was roused into something like interest, and his attentions were
unremitting. Julia received them passively—she felt herself a victim to
a fate she had no power to control, and yielded to the will of those
around her. Yet she could not write to Mervin; she could not tell him
who trusted her that she was about to wed another. No words could convey
to him the wearing persecutions of which she had been the victim, even
could a daughter bring herself to write such things of her parents. Her
energies were destroyed, and she felt herself borne forward on the
current of events, without the power to avert the doom they had awarded
her.

As the fall advanced, a slight cough alarmed her mother, and again the
physician was summoned. Julia earnestly desired to see him alone. He
found her in her room with a small parcel on the table before her.

“Doctor,” she said, with a faint smile, “you are called on to restore
health to the hopeless. You know that to be an impossible task. I wish
you to tell me honestly and truly, how long you think I can live.”

“Pooh! Miss Julia! you are too young to talk of dying. Many long and
happy years are, I trust, before you.”

“You would flatter me with a hope that is not dear to me. Long life I
now ask not—desire not. I ask you as a man of honor—as a Christian—if
you think it possible for me to recover? To die is now my only wish.”

“So the young always say when disappointment meets them. Your pulse is
quick—you are feverish; but I think these symptoms will pass away. A
winter in a warm climate I shall recommend to Mr. Herbert as the best
thing for you; and I hope to see you again quite restored.”

“In a warm climate? What country will you recommend?” she asked
abruptly.

“The South of France—or Italy.”

“Italy! Oh, let it be Italy! I could die contented there; but I will not
consent to go. I dare not consent to be united to Mr. Herbert unless you
will assure me that the last hope of life is past.”

The doctor looked at her as if doubting her sanity.

“You are young to lie down in the grave with resignation. There is some
mystery here, my young friend, which is wearing your life gradually
away. Can you not confide in me? I may be able to serve you.”

“Only in telling me the truth, and in writing a few lines for me to one
who is far away—not dreaming of the blow that is about to fall on him.
Poor Arthur! My grief is now more for him than for myself. You are a
friend of Mr. Mervin’s, Doctor. Write to him, and inform him of my
marriage; and tell him that my last promise was inviolate. I was his, so
long as a hope in life remained. You may tell him that there was no
escape from this loveless marriage, and the sacrifice of life itself
will test the truth of my affection for him. _Now_ will you order me to
Italy? that I may die amid the bland airs and lovely scenes which
surround him. The consciousness that I am in the same land, will gild
the remnant of my waning life.”

The physician was deeply touched. He saw that in her face which spoke to
his heart of her rapidly approaching fate, and his voice faltered as he
replied,

“You shall go to Italy—and I will fulfill your request. Mervin shall be
apprised in the gentlest manner of all you desire. Would that I could
serve or save you, but the wound lies too deep for my skill to reach.”

She smiled faintly. “It is a consolation to know that by the sacrifice
of the frail remnant of my existence, I can secure to my young
sister—to my parents, the enjoyment of a competence at least. Mr.
Herbert has promised me that the wealth bequeathed to me by his father,
on the condition that I became his bride, shall be secured to my sister,
encumbered with an annuity to my parents. You probably know that the
affairs of my father are inextricably involved, and this will be their
only dependence; but, doctor, I have made one proviso, to screen my
sweet Ellen from the misery that has been my portion. She is to enjoy
the absolute right of choosing her partner for life herself.”

“These,” she continued, taking the parcel from the table, “are _his_
letters. They are few—but very—very precious. Take them—destroy
them—I cannot do it—and I would not have them returned to him. It
would be too bitter to have the memorials of wasted affection thrown
back on the heart from which they emanated.”

                 *        *        *        *        *

A few more weeks rolled by, and the sacrifice had been completed—the
victim had been offered up at the shrine of selfishness and false pride.

The arrangements of Herbert were so liberal as to free Mr. Selwyn from
all apprehensions for the future. He was not avaricious; and in his
anxiety to please the fading bride his money had literally purchased, he
was willing to lavish his fortune with a profuse hand. He loved Julia as
much as his calm heart was capable of loving any thing; and in the sunny
clime to which they were bound, he confidently looked forward to her
recovery from the effects of what he called her slight cold. Her parents
had never for an instant allowed him to suspect that, on her part, there
was the least repugnance to the union; and she had coquetted with him so
long, that she shrank from laying before his cold gaze, the history of
her secret affection for his rival.

They embarked for Europe, and Julia bade a last farewell to the land of
her birth. As its shores faded in the distance, she felt the sad
conviction that her eyes had rested on them for the last time.

So far from renovating her exhausted frame, the sea-voyage had a
contrary effect; and when they at last entered the bay of Naples, the
young bride was carried on deck to breathe her last sigh in sight of the
land which contained the unconscious Mervin.

The letter of the kind physician had not reached its destination, and
Mervin was still pursuing his brilliant career with the fond hope of
soon being in a situation to claim his betrothed.

                 *        *        *        *        *

A solemn procession passed a group of artists collected together at a
corner of one of the principal streets. The corpse of a young female was
borne past them on a flower-strewn bier, to one of the principal hotels.
A close carriage followed, containing a single mourner. An inquiry was
made as to who the deceased was.

“A young American lady.”

An undefinable feeling of sympathy with his bereaved countryman, induced
Mervin to separate from the group, and join the procession. As it
entered the hotel, he was about to follow and offer his services, when
he met a servant belonging to the establishment to whom he was well
known. The man stopped and addressed him.

“The American signor who has just arrived wishes an artist to take the
likeness of his wife, before she is buried. As you are a
fellow-countryman, I was about to seek you, signor—for your pictures
are justly renowned, and this lady is even now very beautiful. The
gentleman is too deeply afflicted to see you himself.”

“What is his name, Guiseppe?”

“Signor Hibut, or Hobut—I cannot tell which.”

The sound of the name, in the Italian’s pronunciation, appeared so
little like the real one, that his old rival never once occurred to
Mervin—and without further hesitation he dispatched a servant to his
studio to bring the requisite materials for his task.

He was ushered into the chamber of death; and a cold thrill of emotion
almost unnerved him as he looked on the bier, with the sharp outline of
a human form clearly defined beneath the white coverlet that lay above
it. The withered flowers which were strewn over it, seemed but to mock
the stern conqueror who had laid his strong grasp on the marble form of
the dead, and he removed them, though he withheld his hand from raising
the veil which shrouded her features, until the servant who had been
sent to his studio had fulfilled his commission and departed.

It was a bright day, and the garish sun streamed into the room. With the
eye of his profession for effect, he lowered the crimson curtains before
the windows, that their reflection might throw the rosy hue of life on
the pallid features he was to delineate.

He paused as he stood beside the bier, with his hand upon the linen that
shrouded her features. Some deep emotion appeared struggling in his
mind, and he withdrew his hand. Ashamed of his hesitation, with a sudden
effort he threw back the covering, and with a cry, sunk upon the floor.

An hour passed, and with glazed eyes, and horror-struck visage, the
painter cowered beside the bier, with his immovable gaze fixed on the
still face before him.

“His wife!” he muttered at intervals; “His wife!—false—false to me—I
that loved her so madly—trusted her so fondly! His wife—his wife!”

At length he arose, and seizing his brush, commenced painting with a
rapidity and success that surprised himself. The picture speedily grew
under his hands into life and beauty; but it did not represent the dull
room with its lifeless inmate. The starry heavens, and the green vale
were faithfully delineated—a young girl, in the pride of successful
beauty, leaned against an open window—and he livingly portrayed the
peerless loveliness of the embodiment of his young ideal.

Before her knelt a youth wearing the features of the artist himself, but
so changed—so full of the anguish of a broken spirit, that one glance
revealed the history of his slighted love and maddened heart.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Mervin went forth from that apartment with faltering steps, and the cold
dew of agony upon his brow. How he reached his home he knew not. He
found a letter on the table—it was the long-delayed communication of
Dr. L——; he retained self-command enough to read and understand its
contents—but it was the last effort of his over-wrought mind.

His words to his lost love had been prophetic! The tie that bound him to
reason was rent—the bright promise of his opening years buried in the
grave of his young idol.

Some kind friend restored him to his native land; and he now wanders
about the home of his father, a melancholy and harmless wreck.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                         THE TRIUMPH OF GENIUS.


          ILLUSTRATED BY AN INCIDENT IN THE LIFE OF SCHILLER.


                         BY MRS. K. C. KINNEY.


    He paused upon the river’s brink, a friendless fugitive,
    And in despair’s wild moment asked—“Why should I longer live?
    Deep are these waters, dark and cold, but deeper is my wo,
    And peace, methinks, lies underneath the river’s tranquil flow.”

    ’Twas but a flash of sulphurous light from the great Tempter’s mind,
    On sorrow’s cloud that sudden gleamed, the poet’s soul to blind!
    It passed like lightning, and he saw again a living world—
    The teeming land, the river free, the snowy sail unfurled.

    The glowing sunset, gilding spire, and mast, and forest-tree,
    Shed light on his enshrouded mind—he felt ’twas joy to be—
    To be _himself_—fair Nature’s child—ay, Truth’s and Freedom’s own,
    Born to a boundless heritage—heir to a laurel crown!

    “I will not die, but live,” he said, “while lives the truth divine—
    For Nature and for Art I’ll live—no common life be mine;
    This deathless spirit wounded now in struggling to be free,
    Shall in its conscious strength arise and claim its destiny!

    “Not that the sovereign, who pursues a rebel with his frown,
    May see my coronet all green, when fades his ducal crown;
    Not that the sire, whose wrath condemned his reckless son to shame,
    May hail that son brought back in the triumphal car of Fame—

    “But that I feel the living soul of Poesy within,
    Urging the liberated thought its mission to begin;
    A work eternal bids me on—I cannot, will not die,
    Till the vast deep of human mind shall onto deep reply!”

    The traveler to a foreign clime now reverent stands beside
    The noble statue of a bard, a nation’s love and pride;
    Unto whose living works both worlds in admiration turn,
    Philosophy, through beauty’s form and music’s tone, to learn.

    In calm, colossal grandeur towers that statue on the spot
    Where once a youthful poet stood to mourn his hapless lot—
    From whence he fled a fugitive, stamped with the rebel’s name,
    There Schiller dead, yet living, speaks his own immortal fame.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                        THE SABBATH OF THE SOUL.


                         BY CHARLES H. STEWART.


    The vesper bells are softly peeling
              A call to prayer;
    Like angel’s songs the sounds are stealing
    Far up the azure aisles of air.

    A wish, truth’s offspring, now is winging
              To realms untold—
    Through the high heaven of thought upspringing
    To the _true_ temple of the soul.

    Hope, like a weary pilgrim, kneeling,
              Stoops at the shrine
    And worships with a holy feeling,
    Half human seeming, half divine.

    Now thoughts flit through fond mem’ry’s temple
              To times of old,
    When worship at the heart’s high altar—
    Pure as the stars—but ne’er so cold.

    And ’mid the future’s sky is gleaming
              Hope’s burning star,
    And Fancy’s eye drinks in its beaming,
    Undying brightness from afar.

    The heart is like mind; her empire—
              Wide as the sky—
    Vast in its spirit realm, it maketh
    All that we are of Deity.

    Thou lovely world of heaven, thy vision,
              Surpassing rare,
    Shall mock my mind’s ideal Elysium
    With joys that ever cycle there.

    Though oft in gloom its dawn comes stealing,
              And tear-drops stream,
    Dimming its light, the spirit healing,
    Wings its far flight pure and serene.

    The incense of the soul is stealing
              Beyond the sky,
    From censers lit with fire of feeling,
    To spirit realms of Deity.

    Those evening bells, once softly peeling,
              No longer ring;
    But thoughts, as pure as seraphs kneeling,
    Ascend to an eternal spring.

    Now eventide is hushed in rest—
              Day has departed,
    And blithe come forth the bold and blest,
    And low the sad and broken-hearted,

    But as successive years may roll
              Their waves away,
    Those bells may break upon the soul,
    Sweet to the low and sadly to the gay.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                          A RICH MAN’S WHIMS.


                 BY THE AUTHOR OF “FANNY AND FRANCIS.”


“Well, Arthur, what next!” said a grave-looking young man of
twenty-five, to his friend.

“What next; upon my word I cannot answer that question at this moment,
in fact, I am not quite released from my last undertaking. One must be
off with the old love before they are on with the new, you know.”

“It appears to me,” said Abram Snow, “that you had better remain where
you are till times improve a little. I do not make enough to pay my
board, yet it is better to remain than to do worse.”

“I suppose you are right,” said Arthur; “but I see no difference between
your career and mine as it respects money affairs, excepting that you
have a thousand dollars at interest, and I have a thousand dollars in
odds and ends. Yes, there is a difference, Snow, for when business is
brisk again you will get a good salary, for the world considers you as a
prudent, steady fellow, and an excellent book-keeper, while I shall
think myself fortunate in being sent to the West Indies as supercargo.”

Arthur Hazarelle was led on orphan when quite young, and his little
patrimony was just sufficient to educate and support him till he was
fourteen years of age. From that time until his twenty-fifth year he had
changed from one occupation to another, sometimes twice in a year, and
it could not be said that he had a particular talent for any branch of
business. He certainly was ambitious, and he exerted himself to the
utmost for every employer he was with; but though useful and exemplary
in his conduct, yet some unforeseen event set him adrift. It was
impossible almost to count up the number of places he filled during the
ten years before our little story commences, the last one was about as
promising as any in which he had been engaged, but in one week from the
time he had this conversation with Abram Snow, the auctioneer with whom
he was engaged took it into his head to die, and even the thousand
dollars worth of odds and ends died with him.

Poor Arthur! after paying his week’s board and his washerwoman he had
not more than a dollar in his pocket, and he was honest enough to tell
this to his landlady.

Women are tender-hearted, and Mrs. May was as weak as the rest of her
sex; so she pitied Arthur, and talked over her feelings before one of
her boarders, a surly, ugly old man, who never opened his lips without
finding fault, and who was always watching Arthur from the corner of his
eye.

“Good enough for him—better than he deserves, Mrs. May,” said Mr.
Crosbie, “a rolling stone gathers no moss; why, the wealth of the Indies
would not stick to such a squib—here, there and every where. To my
knowledge he has changed places twice or thrice a year ever since he was
fourteen years old.”

“That may all be true, Mr. Crosbie; but from what I know of him it was
none of his fault. I am quite unhappy about him, for I know very well
that he will not stay one moment in my house unless he can get money
enough to pay his board.”

Mr. Crosbie made no answer but—“humph”—and left the room. He was a man
apparently well advanced in years, ugly in face, and all over out of
joint, he meddled with no man’s business, and in return, prevented
others from interfering with his. But of all the eyes that were ever set
in mortal head his were the most keen and piercing—he seemed to read
the bottom of your soul at a glance.

As he left the room he met Arthur Hazerelle with a small traveling trunk
in his hand, and on Mrs. May coming out, he shook hands with her
cheerfully, and wished her a good-morning. He had often felt uneasy
before the searching expression of Mr. Crosbie’s eye, and it made him
actually shudder at this moment. He seemed to have lost the power of
will.

“Which way are you bound?” said the old gentleman, fixing his eye still
more firmly on Arthur’s face. “If you are going to Berrydale, back of
the granite hills, here is a letter for you.”

Arthur stared at him not only with astonishment but dismay, for he had
but the moment before decided on going there, and had not communicated
his intention to any one.

“If you are going, say so,” growled out the man, “for the cars start at
nine, and you have no time to lose.”

Arthur mechanically took the letter, put it in his pocket, and raising
his hat, walked out of the house, feeling certain that Mr. Crosbie was
staring at him from the street door, Mrs. May from the green blinds in
the parlor, and the servants from the basement window.

On his way he stopped to say good-bye to Abram Snow, who was hard at
work at his desk. He was not at all surprised at the flitting, but there
was one excellent trait in his character, he never intruded his advice
upon any one. He wrote down his friend’s address—Berrydale—and
thrusting a cigar in Arthur’s hand, they parted.

“The _cars_,” thought Arthur, “no cars for me, I must walk the whole
distance, for a dollar will not pay the fare even.” So he stepped
lightly along, no way discouraged, for he never yet had left a place—or
rather, a place had never left him without his having the prospect of
another. He had not gone more than two miles before he was overtaken by
a singular looking man, dressed in a brown linen frock-coat and
pantaloons, with a brown cap, a brown umbrella and a brown carpet-bag.
He wore spectacles, had a remarkably long nose and chin, and when he
came up with Arthur begged him not to walk so fast.

Arthur turned hastily to see who had accosted him so unceremoniously,
and the man smiled. It was a pleasant smile certainly, but it did not
accord with the peculiar style of his face, at any rate Arthur took no
notice of him, and walked on.

“Why did not you put your trunk in the cars?” said the man, “you would
walk much more to your satisfaction if you were not so weighed
down—here, give me one end of it, and let us trudge on together; my
carpet-bag is not heavy enough to incommode me.”

So saying, he caught up one end of Arthur’s trunk and on they went
together; the stranger whistling carelessly, and the young man very much
surprised, and somewhat amused at the oddness of the stranger’s manner
and appearance.

“It is very kind in you,” said Arthur, laughing out loud, “but my little
trunk is not heavy, as you perceive; I dare say your carpet-bag is of
twice the weight.”

“Four times,” said the man, “but I am more used to carry heavy parcels
than you are. How far are you going?”

Arthur told him, and then they fell into the common chat of strangers,
and thus they proceeded till two o’clock, when both, weary enough,
entered a small tavern to rest and take a luncheon. They had exchanged
names on the road, and Arthur found that his new acquaintance was called
Galton Springle, and that he was a schoolmaster on his way to a small
school now vacant near Drizzletown. As this place lay in Arthur’s route,
and the man was not offensive in his manners, our young friend was quite
willing that they should proceed together.

Ham and eggs and an apple-pie made up their dinner, and as this was soon
provided and soon dispatched, they still lingered on the sofa, or wooden
settle rather, when Galton Springle proposed smoking. He had about a
dozen cigars, in a box at the bottom of his bag, and offered one to
Arthur, who refused, recollecting that his friend, Abram Snow, had given
him one at parting—he took it from his pocket, but what was his
surprise on opening the little roll of stiff brown paper, to find
instead of a cigar, a roleau of ten cent pieces!

Galton Springle looked at the opening of this little paper from the
corner of his eye and smiled to himself, for he saw that the contents
were unknown to the young man. He made no observation, however, but
calling for a candle, lighted his cigar and began to smoke. As he made
no further offer of one to Arthur, the latter pocketed his roleau and
leaned back against the wall, thinking over the past and hoping brightly
for the future. There could not be more than three dollars, he thought,
in the roll, but even this sum was a great deal for Snow to give, and it
was so delicately given that Arthur felt truly grateful and promised
thousands in return. When the cigar was finished and the reckoning paid,
they proceeded on their journey till evening, when they rested again,
but this time it was on a bench near the tavern door.

“If we rest awhile,” said Springle, “we shall be fresh enough to reach
Drizzletown by ten o’clock, and you can then share my room, or have one
to yourself if you like. There is a very decent tavern there and the
charges are very moderate, so let us remain together for the night, at
least.”

In half an hour they took up their baggage and went on, though poor
Arthur began to flag, for he was unaccustomed to such severe exercise,
whereas Springle seemed as light of foot as when they first met. By ten,
however, they reached Drizzletown, and as the moon was at the full,
Arthur saw a few scattered houses, without any attempt at regularity as
it respected their position, and no appearance of a street at all.

Arthur saw that Springle was as much a stranger to the host of the
little inn as he was himself, so he presumed that this was his first
visit to the place, and yet the man knew the road so well, and spoke of
the people residing there in so particular a manner, that he could not
suppose this was his first visit. A bowl of bread and milk constituted
their supper, and as Arthur preferred a room to himself, they were shown
to separate chambers and retired for the night.

The young man slept soundly till eight o’clock, and when called to
breakfast saw that he was alone. He was told that his companion had left
the house at daylight, leaving his carpet-bag and a letter. The
tavern-keeper said that in lounging about the door he had seen an
acquaintance and had gone off with him. After breakfast the letter was
brought, and to his surprise it was directed to himself, it ran thus—

    “An unforeseen circumstance has occurred which obliges me to
    return to the city whence I came, and as I have plenty of
    clothing there, I make you a present of the carpet-bag and its
    contents. Do not part with the bag, however, let your
    necessities be ever so great, as I value it very highly, though
    I part with it to you. When you are settled to your liking leave
    your address in this house, and the man, Mr. Somers, will
    forward it to me.

                                                       Yours,
                                                   Galton Springle.”

“Do you know this man, this Galton Springle?” said Arthur to the
landlord. “He is a stranger to me, and yet he makes me a present of this
bag and all that it contains.”

The landlord did not know him, had never seen him before, and thought
him the ugliest hound that ever lived—evidently envious of Arthur’s
good luck, and tormenting himself with the probability of his possessing
the bag himself had he known that the owner was not to return.

There was still ten miles to walk before Arthur could reach Berrydale,
and what was worse, the road wound round a mountain, so that there was
an ascent of three miles before he could reach the railroad that ran
through the village to which he was going. Being now encumbered with
more baggage, and having money enough to indulge himself, he hired a
wagon to take him to Berrydale, where he arrived just as the dinner was
smoking on the table of a small inn.

Mr. Green, the landlord, knew Arthur, and of course gave him a
landlord’s welcome. In a few minutes, after washing the dust from his
face and hands, he was seated at the table with his host and family, and
two strangers.

“And what brought you here Mr. Hazerelle?” said the landlord,
good-humoredly, “I hope whatever it is, you are to stay some time with
us—I presume you are on a shooting frolic.”

“My stay depends upon yourself and your neighbors, Mr. Green. I see by
the papers that you are in want of a teacher, and feeling myself
competent, I intend to offer myself as a candidate.”

The landlord looked at him with astonishment.—“What! you, you a country
schoolmaster! why times have fallen heavily upon you I fear!—But
really, if you are disposed to teach, I will answer for it you shall
have the preference.”

As he said this, his eye lighted on one of his guests, and there was
such an expression of malignity in the man’s face, that he started. This
man had only arrived a few minutes before Arthur. He came, with two
heavy, uncouth looking trunks, and two ugly looking dogs; ordered a
bed-room for himself, a kennel for his dogs, and then took his seat at
the table.

“I intend to offer myself as candidate too,” said this man to Arthur,
“so we start fair, young man; I will set my acquirements and
recommendations against yours, and then wait the issue.”

“If it depend upon letters of recommendation,” said Arthur, “you will
surely succeed, for I did not bring one, and I am but slightly known to
my good friend here.”

The landlord turned round and winked slyly at his wife, for the idea of
such a gnarled, old hickory knot, as this man, with his spiteful eye and
face, pretending to compete with Arthur was too ridiculous. Mr. Green
was a landholder, and a justice of the peace, he was in high request as
a politician, had money at interest, and had four children to educate.

When dinner was over, the stranger whose name was Godfried Darg, drew
near to Arthur, and in a sort of snuffling voice, breathing hard through
the nose between his sentences, he “begged to box the compass with him.”
Arthur smiled, and said “he had no objection; he might be questioned on
any subject which came within the reach of the advertisement, and
perhaps something further.” So the rough man began to spout Latin.
Arthur acquitted himself very well, and to the satisfaction of the other
stranger, who had taken dinner with them, and who now drew near also, to
listen.

There are very few persons who would have indulged this queer-looking
old fellow in this whim, but as we observed, Arthur was good-natured,
and being indifferent about the issue, he let the man draw out the
little learning he possessed. Mr. Conway, the other stranger had been in
France, and understood the language well, and in a short time he found
that Arthur left his antagonist far behind in that language. Darg said
nothing at the end of the French trial, but proceeded at once to the
German, he was foiled here too, and so they went on from one branch to
another, Mr. Conway deciding in his own mind that the young man was an
excellent scholar, and would suit his own purpose exactly.

Godfried Darg having ‘boxed the compass’ without tripping up his rival,
now descended to the minor points.—“Can you mend pens as quickly as I
can?” said he, cutting up and making half-a-dozen pens in a shorter time
than ever pens were made before.

“There you beat me over and over,” said Arthur, “for I never made a
decent pen in my life, I use steel pens, or rather a gold pen
altogether.”

“Can you teach the children to dance?” said Darg:—“Here,” said he,
getting up, and cutting two or three of the old fashioned pigeon
wings,—“can you do this?”

Arthur and all present laughed heartily, and the young man acknowledged
that he had the advantage there too, “for he did not teach dancing.”

“Let him take the situation,” said Conway, as the old man left the room
to feed his dogs, “I am looking out for a teacher, and you are just the
one to suit me. Here you will only get one hundred and fifty dollars a
year, and very plain board; whereas, with me you shall have three
hundred, and live upon the fat of the land.”

Of course, this offer was better than the one Arthur came to seek; and
he told Mr. Conway that he should talk the matter over with Mr. Green,
and then give him an answer. But Mr. Green shook his head; he had no
great opinion of Conway, who was the principal of the grammar-school in
Drizzletown, and had about forty boys under his care. They knew little
of him, and for his part, he said, he did not care to know more. He
advised Arthur to rough it with them until something better offered, and
promised to give him board for a very moderate sum.

This decided Arthur—for he longed for rest and ease of mind; and if he
remained here, he should be with a man who felt a friendly interest in
his welfare. The next morning at ten o’clock the trustees of the school
were to meet—and there were already nine candidates even for so humble
a situation. The good-hearted landlord told Arthur not to be cast down,
for, according to his judgment, the trustees would decide in his favor
unanimously. His only wonder was, that such an ill-looking fellow as
Darg, though he might have a pocket-full of letters, should presume to
expect an acceptance.

One by one the candidates were examined, and one by one they departed.
Godfried Darg requested to be questioned last—and Arthur’s turn now
came. He could not help smiling as he saw the solemn pomposity of the
committee, not one of whom were judges of the real merits of a
candidate—and he felt that before them he had no chance. All at once he
recollected the letter given to him by Mr. Crosbie; and stepping up to
the gentleman at the head of the table, whose name he learned was
Barnes, asked if that letter were for him.

Mr. Barnes took the letter, nodded his head gravely, and opened it—he
read it—passed it to his neighbor, who in his turn read it—and so it
went around the table. When they had all finished it, Mr. Barnes said,
“I believe, gentlemen, I can anticipate your sentiments—and so, with
your leave, I shall beg Mr. Hazerelle to retire.”

“What is there in that letter,” said Arthur, to Mr. Barnes, “which
refuses me a hearing? I came here by the invitation of your
advertisement; and as to the letter which has given you, as I perceive,
an unfavorable opinion of me, the writer of it has no more knowledge of
me than I have of any gentleman here present—not so much, in fact.”

“We are not bound to answer questions, young gentleman,” said Mr.
Barnes; “we are sorry if you are disappointed, but you must leave us
just now, as there is another person to examine, and our time is short.”

Arthur could not help laughing, in spite of his chagrin; and yet his
fingers tingled with a desire to box the speaker’s ears. He made his
bow, however, and told his kind friend, Mr. Green, how cavalierly he had
been used. Mr. Green was too much surprised to make a remark; and his
wife observed, with much anger, that old Crosbie ought to be tarred and
feathered, for taking away the character of an innocent man. Arthur told
them that he must get sight of the letter, for until he knew what had
been alledged against him, he could not defend himself. And while they
were yet speaking, Godfried Darg entered with his dogs, to say that he
had been found worthy, and should enter on his duties the beginning of
the week. He nodded impudently to Arthur, and observed as he went to the
kennels, that it was a pity the young gentleman had not been accepted,
as he had too much learning to be allowed to starve for the want of
employment.

Martha Green, the landlord’s daughter, whispered something in her
father’s ear, and he shook his head. She spoke to her mother, who
listened with more complacency, for she beckoned her husband out of the
room.

“I shall just say a few words to you, Mr. Hazerelle,” said the landlord,
as he returned, “and they are this: there is your room, and here is your
table; and in my house you remain until you can get some employment. I
did hope that what I said to those ninnies yonder would have been
sufficient to satisfy them; as it is, however, they can employ this
rough old fellow if they choose, but they shall have no child of
mine—and that will worry them a little. After dinner, I shall propose
something to you which I hope will suit you better than to torment
yourself with young children.”

At dinner Godfried Darg conducted himself quietly and respectfully—the
very reverse of his conduct before he was chosen schoolmaster, at which
the little party were surprised—for they expected he would be a perfect
nuisance. He ate in silence, and as soon as he finished, got up, took
the bones from his own, and, in fact, from all the plates at table, and
went to the kennel to feed his dogs—Howler and Barker, as he called
them.

“Now, come here, Mr. Hazerelle,” said the landlord; “let us sit on this
bench, and enjoy our cigar, while I tell you of a plan suggested by my
daughter, Martha. Over yonder,” pointing to a forest about a mile
distant, “hidden from our sight though, is a fine old stone building,
and in that old stone building—a perfect castle it is—lives a fine old
woman, proud as Lucifer though, who has a fine young girl under her
care. This lady has a son, as proud as herself, who has continued single
to this day—being well-nigh to fifty years of age—because he could not
find any one good and high enough for him. There the family has lived
for thirty years. We cannot make Mr. Herman out exactly, for he never
comes frankly and cheerily amongst us; so we have to guess a great
deal—and perhaps we sometimes guess wrong. At any rate, some people say
that he wants to marry his mother’s beautiful ward; and some say she is
his daughter—and so we go on and know nothing certain, but that there
they are, and there they will remain till they die. Sometimes we see Mr.
Herman”—Arthur started—“every day for weeks together, and then he is
absent for one, two, and three months at a time. Madam Herman, as the
folks call her, has never been seen on this side of that forest; but
that pretty creature, Grace Gordon, comes to our village-church, and
sometimes rides about the country on horseback with Mr. Herman, or an
old groom.”

“What sort of a looking man is this Mr. Herman?” said Arthur. “I once
knew a gentleman of that name, and he interested me exceedingly.”

“Oh! he could not have been our Mr. Herman, for he is not an interesting
man at all. His personal appearance is well enough, but the expression
of his face is unpleasing; and he is so wrapt up in his own conceit,
that he scorns to talk. I don’t think he ever asked me a question in his
life, not even such questions as people ask out of pure
good-fellowship—as what do you think of the weather, or how will the
crops turn out?”

“It cannot be the one I know,” said Arthur, “for he was quite a talker,
and interested himself in every thing that was going on—but let me not
interrupt you.”

“Well, this young lady, Miss Grace, wants to learn the German language;
and they have advertised far and near for a teacher, one who would give
two lessons a day, an hour each time, for six months. Now my daughter
hinted, that as you were disappointed about the school, you might be
more fortunate if you applied to Madam Herman.”

“I certainly should have no objection,” said Arthur; “but I fear that
they would require better references than I could give. You see that
even my superiority over Mr. Darg was of no use.”

“Oh, you forget the letter; it was _that_ which decided your fate—we
must get hold of it somehow. But what I was going to observe is this,
you can write a note to Mr. Herman, and offer yourself as a teacher of
the German. You can but try—faint heart, the proverb says, never won
fair lady; and Grace Gordon is worth the winning. You see, my young
friend, that we have sprung over the fence to get sight of a wedding
before you have seen the bride.”

So the kind-hearted innkeeper and his family talked the little plot
over, and dropped a few words of assurance now and then to Arthur, and
when bedtime came he had made up his mind that he would make the
attempt, giving such references as were in his power. He had been twice
to Berrydale on shooting excursions, and quite won the hearts of Mr.
Green’s family, the boys in particular, two of whom accompanied him each
time—they were his sworn friends, and were loud in their praises of his
good-nature in breaking off his sport to teach them some of the
mysteries of the art. Mrs. Green knew Mrs. May, the lady with whom
Arthur had boarded for several years, and of course she was well
acquainted with every particular of the young man’s life.

“If he has chopped and changed about in out-door business,” said Mrs.
May, “he has been constant to me, and when he is not to be found at my
house it is because there is not money enough in his purse to pay his
board. How he lives till I see him again, I cannot tell, but I ask no
questions, and he asks no favors.”

Arthur looked around his peaceful, quiet little room, and at the gentle,
harmonious prospect spread before his window, and thought how pleasant
it would be to live there forever. He was weary of change—no fault of
his, poor fellow—and thought that no office would be beneath him, if
there was a possibility of securing a humble retreat like this. And yet
Arthur was ambitious in the true sense of the word.

When they sat down to breakfast Mr. Darg was not there, the hostler said
he whistled to his dogs at break of day, and walked off with them toward
the brook. The horn was sounded and search made, but he came not, and
they finished their breakfast without him. Mrs. Green told the girl to
keep the coffee hot as he would no doubt soon come in from his ramble,
and she went up stairs to attend to her duties. In a few minutes she
returned, with a letter directed to Arthur, it had been found under the
old man’s pillow, and she stood by while Arthur read it.

“Well,” said he, “this is as singular an adventure as the one at
Drizzletown,” and he read out as follows:

    “Sir,—I am heartily tired of keeping school already, though I
    have not yet begun, and so vacate in your favor. If any of your
    pupils turn out clever fellows, tell them how much cleverer they
    would have been if I had been their master. I consulted my dogs
    this morning at break of day, and I am pretty sure they thought
    the confinement of a kennel quite as irksome and unwholesome as
    I should teaching thick-headed boys in a forlorn, comfortless
    school-house. When you go to the city during vacation, you can
    hear of my whereabouts of Mrs. May, for an old fellow living
    there, by the name of Crosbie, knows all my concerns. Meantime I
    ask your acceptance of my shaving-apparatus, it is rather too
    good for you, but as I heard you ask the innkeeper for a razor,
    I concluded the present would be acceptable. If you ever get a
    chance I wish you would spit in the face of that solemn ass
    Barnes, and call Mr. Herman a fool, for me, will you?

                                                Yours till death,
                                                     Godfried Darg.”

They laughed very heartily at this strange epistle, and one of the boys
rushed up stairs for the shaving-box. It was indeed a beautiful affair,
and all the articles were of the very finest quality; but what created
great surprise was the contents of a note found on the top of a little
steel-box which fitted nicely in one of the divisions. The note ran
thus:

    “Within the little steel-box is the miniature of the lady you
    are destined to marry, this box you are not to open till you see
    my two dogs, Howler and Barker, and then by consulting them you
    will find out the way to open the box, for it has a curious
    fastening, and cannot be opened but by their connivance unless
    it is broken, and if broken, the miniature will be destroyed. I
    think you can depend on yourself in this particular, but be sure
    to spit in Barnes’ face, and if you could add a tweak of the
    nose and a kick, you would greatly oblige me.

                                                            G. D.”

Of course it was agreed on all sides that the little box should remain
quietly untouched just where it now lay, but they made themselves very
merry over the letter and note. As to applying again for the school not
one of the family would listen to it, not even if Mr. Barnes came in
person to make the offer.

“No!” said Davie, the youngest boy; “not if he were to fall down on his
knees and beg you to go.”

This created a laugh again, and this good-heartedness was very soothing
to poor Arthur.

Not one of the children would take the letter to Herman Hall, and the
hostler was too shabby a looking fellow to be sent on such an errand to
so grand a place, so Martha’s lover, Garry Lovel, a young man who worked
Mr. Green’s farm _on shares_, undertook to deliver it himself. There
need not have been such confabulations on the subject, for Garry did not
get farther than the porter’s lodge, an awful gloomy looking place,
Garry said, and the porter was as awful-looking and gloomy as the lodge.
He was told that an answer would be sent in the course of the day, and
he therefore need not wait, and the young man said he put wings to his
feet and a quarter of a mile between him and the porter before he got to
an ordinary walk.

“If I were you, Mister Arthur,” said Garry, “I never would set foot in
yon hall, for there is something wrong there. I can’t believe that
honest people would shut themselves up in that dull, musty sort of way,
unless they had something to conceal. You had far better turn farmer,
here is a fine chance, for neighbor Fielding wants to go West, and he
would rent his farm for a trifle.”

“Do take it,” said Mrs. Green.

“No,” said Martha, blushing; “let him take father’s farm on shares, that
will be easier, for I want Garry to take the next farm.”

Then there was a merry shout of laughter, and the boys declared she was
right, and that Arthur should stay with them, and they would plough and
reap for him while he tinkered about, shot birds, and caught fish.

Toward evening the answer to his letter came, he was requested to call
at Herman Hall at ten o’clock the next day, and then he might decide
whether the terms would suit him.

At ten o’clock he was at the porter’s lodge, where the solemn-looking
personage who had so awed Garry stood ready to receive him. A low,
garden-chaise, with a pair of handsome ponies, was waiting for him, into
which he seated himself. The ride was enchantment. No fairy dream could
have conjured up the beautiful scenery which opened to his view at every
turn of the road. Arthur was lost in rapture, he forgot his humble
circumstances and his slender fortunes, for his whole soul was filled
with lofty thoughts, he seemed elevated to the companionship of angels,
and he gloried that he was a man after God’s own image. “Angels,”
thought he, as the carriage moved slowly along, “could not feel happier,
nor have purer emotions than I enjoy this moment. I have had the fear of
God before me and have reverenced Him always, but here I love
Him—_these_ are His glorious works. Cities are made by men.”

Arthur had lived in cities always, and his little excursions, hastily
made, and very limited in duration, were for the purpose of fishing or
shooting, and always with a dull companion, like Snow, who fished and
shot in the same way that he kept books—pursuing the one act, the one
thought which he proposed doing.

Herman Hall had been in the possession of the family for more than a
century; it was originally selected on account of its beauty and fine
prospects, and art had assisted nature in embellishing it. Arthur
entered the mansion-house a far different man than he was an hour
before. A new sense—a new feeling had been given to him.

His name was announced by the footman, and the man who received it
passed it to another, who opened a parlor door, and then came forward to
request him to walk in. With his mind filled with such a blaze of glory
as that through which he had passed, the petty formalities of a common
man, better in external gifts than himself, seemed as nothing, so that
when Mr. Herman waved his hand to a chair, Arthur seated himself with as
much ease as if he had been worth a million.

“This is your letter I presume,” said Mr. Herman. Arthur bowed. “You are
competent to teach the German language”—another bow,—“and what are
your terms?”

Arthur smiled, for the truth is he never thought of terms, he concluded
there was a set price, and that there would be no difficulty on that
score.

“You shall name your own terms, sir,” said he, “I have never taught, but
I understand the method of teaching, and therefore leave the minor
consideration to you.”

“We shall say a dollar an hour, if that sum suits you,” said Mr. Herman,
and Arthur was quite satisfied. He was to begin in the course of an
hour, and until the young lady was ready, he was requested to walk in
the library.

A library! A private library! Arthur had seen several of them, and had
been in the city, and in circulating libraries, but he never, even in
works of history and fiction had read of any to equal the extent and
magnificence of this one. This library occupied the whole ground floor
of a wing of what might be called a castle, and no book was beyond the
reach of the hand. The roof or ceiling was supported by forty columns,
the base of each being ten feet square, five feet high, and filled with
books. There was just space enough between each column for a person to
pass with ease, and there were lounges and chairs scattered about in
every direction. This curious library contained all that was valuable
and rare, and not an author of note was omitted. One column was devoted
to Shakspeare alone, with every commentator from the earlier to the
present time, and here, as if by instinct, Arthur seated himself. He was
soon buried in the charms of the author’s fancy, and when the servant
announced that the ladies requested to see him, he had some difficulty
to bring his thoughts down to a level with a dollar an hour.

After walking through an interminable suite of apartments—all to
impress him with the wealth and consequence of the owners, he was
ushered into a small room, such as ladies are fond of calling a
_boudoir_, here sat two ladies, the younger of whom rose as he entered.

“Pray be seated,” said Madam Herman, waving her hand in the same
gracious manner as her son,—“Sit here, and let me request you to listen
to certain preliminaries before you begin your duties.—If you dislike
them, we can part at once?”

“Oh, let the preliminaries suit yourself!” said Arthur, “and I shall
make no objection, provided I may spend one hour a day, or even less, in
that glorious library, why, madam, I shall never dream of remuneration,
there is food and raiment, and every thing that can delight the soul, at
the foot of one column alone—the one devoted to Shakspeare!”

Mrs. Herman stared at him with perfect amazement. He heard a clear
ringing laugh as if in the next room, and on glancing his eye toward the
window, there sat the young lady, brimful of smiles and blushes, with
her head bending over a piece of embroidery.

The young man came down from his stilts at once. Shakspeare—the
library—the glorious scenery—all vanished, and there he sat a humble
teacher of the German language, for one dollar an hour.

“The preliminaries, young man,” said the old lady, stiffly, not
regarding his rhapsody, or subsequent embarrassment—“are few, but must
be complied with strictly.—Hear them out without interruption, and then
decide for yourself.”

“At ten o’clock precisely you are to be in this room, there is your
seat, and there is the lady who is to receive instruction.” Arthur rose,
and bowed to this lady, who half rose and blushed exceedingly. “I shall
remain in the room, and give notice when the hour expires. There is to
be no conversation excepting what relates to the language you are
teaching, and when the hour is expired you can go to the library, or
ride out, or amuse yourself on the grounds, till the servant announces
to you that it is time to dress for dinner. You are to dine with us.”
Arthur did not like this part of the arrangement, and sat uneasily in
his chair.—“Go to your room as soon as the dessert is removed, and be
your own master till five o’clock, when another hour of your time will
be required; I shall be in the room as before, and give you notice when
the hour is up, and the family then sees you no more till ten the next
day, excepting that this lady will preside at the breakfast and tea
table. You are to remain with us until the lady is sufficiently grounded
in the language to proceed in it by herself, and you are neither to
leave the place, nor see any one till that time arrives.”

The same clear laugh was heard in the next room, and with a glance of
his eye, he saw that the young lady held a handkerchief to her
face.—Arthur rose;—

“I had no idea madam that I was to be the happy inmate of this paradise,
but as it is your pleasure, I agree to the terms excepting, that once a
week I must have the privilege of seeing one or two of my humble
Berrydale friends. The porter’s lodge can be our place of rendezvous,
and all that they shall ever hear from my lips is, that I am happy
beyond my hopes. I think it is the desire to remain unknown to the
people in the neighbourhood, which gives rise to your request that I
hold no communication with them.”

Mrs. Herman made no reply—she pointed to the table where books, paper,
and pens lay, and began to knit with dignified solemnity.

He took his seat opposite to the young lady, (whose name had not been
mentioned by Mrs. Herman,) but drew his chair so that his face was
partly hidden, for he wanted to catch glimpses of his pupil’s face,
unseen by Mrs. Herman. He took up the books, examined them, and
selecting one, began to read.

“The language must appear harsh to you,” said he, “but as soon as you
have acquired the pronunciation, you will like it exceedingly.—I was
acquainted with a gentleman who had a great desire”—

“No anecdotes, if you please, Mr. Hazerelle,” said Mrs. Herman,—“Please
to recollect.” Arthur really was “struck all in a heap,” particularly as
he again heard the laugh in the next room. The young lady pitied his
confusion, but the laugh was irresistible, and she joined in it. What
could Arthur do better than to laugh also? Instead of ordering him to
leave the house as he expected, the old lady begged them to proceed, as
“minutes made up hours.”

He got through the first lesson without further remark, though the young
lady could scarcely keep her countenance, and when the hour had expired,
Mrs. Herman rang a little table bell, and the servant who came in was
requested to show Mr. Hazarelle his chamber.

As soon as Arthur had shut his room door, he threw himself on the sofa
and laughed heartily, but what was his amazement when he heard the same
clear ringing laugh as before.

“Upon my word,” thought he, “this is a queer place. All solemn nonsense
on one side—all puerile formality on the other—and harlequinism in the
centre.—Truly, I am curiously hemmed in, and can scarcely hope to steer
clear among such an odd set.—Who can that merry laugher be?—I
certainly have heard that clear bell voice before!—Where can I have
heard it?”—

“But the more he thought,” as the children say, “the more he could not
tell;” so he looked round his chamber, and there, to his surprise, was
his trunk, his carpet-bag, and his dressing-case. Really this is taking
things for granted, thought he; why these articles must have been sent
for the moment I entered the house; they thought I should be a fool to
refuse compliance with their terms, which, in fact, they might safely
infer had I hesitated.

Now our readers must not suppose that Arthur was a sorry fellow, and
willing to put up with insult. On the contrary, he was high-minded and
brave, and from an equal would receive no provocation. But he was
forbearing to the weak and nervous; and in the present case, it would be
absurd to resent either the folly of Mrs. Herman, or the impertinence of
the laugher, even could he find him out. Besides, there was an air of
mystery and enchantment around the people and place, which was very
captivating to a young man.

The hours slipt away at the column of Shakspeare, and a servant informed
him that it was time to dress for dinner, which business did not take
him many minutes to accomplish, as he was one of those rare persons
whose dress is never out of order. “Dust never sticks to him,” as homely
Mrs. May used to tell her friends—a saying which Mrs. Green was fond of
repeating to _her_ friends whenever his name was mentioned.

Now for an extraordinary scene, thought Arthur, as the servant bowed him
down to the dining-room. I shall see a magnificent service of plate and
a royal dinner. But he was disappointed in one respect—for though the
dinner-service was splendid, yet the dinner itself was simple beyond all
imagination. The table was set for four persons, Mrs. Herman was at the
head, her son at the foot, and Arthur and Grace Gordon opposite to each
other. Fricasseed chickens and boiled ham constituted the meat part of
the dinner; but there was a number of dishes of delicate vegetables,
delicately cooked, and a variety of fine fruit for dessert.

There was neither wine nor ale, but pitchers of ice-water in
abundance—and all seemed to eat with an appetite. Madam Herman helped
liberally, but talked sparingly. Mr. Herman uttered not a syllable,
Grace Gordon was in high spirits, and laughingly asked a few questions
in German, such as she had learned in the morning, Arthur answered her
gravely, according to contract—and thus the first dinner passed.

As the library was a great novelty, Arthur betook himself to the
Shakspeare column again, and there he remained until five o’clock, when
he was summoned to the study. He found Madam Herman seated in her
rocking-chair, and Grace Gordon at the table, with a smile on her face
of dubious meaning, and her handkerchief more than once raised to hide
it.

If the lesson was a dry matter-of-fact business, he was fully rewarded
by the quickness of the young lady’s apprehension; she perfectly
comprehended what Arthur had taught her in the morning, and he feared
her progress would be so rapid, that he should not remain in this
enchanted castle very long. He turned round to Madam Herman, when she
rung the little bell for the servant to bow him out, and observed that
Miss Gordon had made great progress already. The old lady made no reply,
but drew up with quiet dignity, and there was scorn on her features.
Miss Gordon blushed and held down her head, pitying the young man’s
embarrassment, and again, from the half-open door the same clear laugh
was heard.

Arthur stood for a moment irresolute, he had half a mind to quit the
house at once; for the disagreeable manners of the old lady, the cold
formality of her son, and the laugh, which seemed as if in mockery, were
more than a counterpoise to the great benefits and pleasures of his
situation. But the young lady was unexceptionable in her manners; she
was not, to be sure, familiar, or even social, as is always the case
between teacher and scholar; but there was nothing offensive—and it was
a pleasure to look at her beautiful face. He stood irresolute, however,
and probably would have made his parting bow, had not his eye glanced at
the following words, evidently written that moment—_never take offense
where none is meant_.

A grateful bow and a deep blush convinced the young lady that she should
not lose her teacher. Arthur was bowed out of the room as before, and
jumping in the chaise which the servant said was waiting for him, he
rode down to the lodge to see his friends, who were to meet him there at
six o’clock. The four boys, Mr. Green, and Garry, were all clustering in
the room waiting for him, and his heart warmed with joy on receiving
their honest, hearty greeting. Garry asked if he might tell Mrs. Green
and Martha to come the next day—and the boys declared that they would
be there also. There was a delicacy about these unsophisticated people
which prevented them from asking questions, as soon as they heard the
terms of his contract at Herman Hall. Arthur told them, however, that he
was quite happy, and that his pupil would not want his assistance more
than a month, as she learned very quickly.

The servant presented himself at the door, and Arthur found it was time
to bid his honest friends adieu, promising to see them once a week at
that hour—and so they reluctantly parted. On his return to the house,
he was shown to a small room adjoining the library, and on the table was
the tea equipage. The man asked if he would like to go to his chamber
before taking tea; and Arthur, supposing this part of the etiquette,
followed him up stairs, where, as usual, the door was opened for him,
and, with a low bow, the servant retired. After arranging his hair and
dress, he sat at the casement enjoying the beautiful prospect, and
regretting that it would, like a dream, so soon fade away—for he was
quite certain that the lady would master the most difficult part of the
language in less than six weeks.

How strangely are we constituted, and how little do we know of what the
mind is capable. In a few hours Arthur was a changed man. The petty
anxieties of a business life, all originating in the necessity of
providing for daily wants, were cast aside, never to be resumed
again—for new feelings, new hopes filled his whole soul. He never
before understood the greatness, the goodness of God; he never
comprehended His power over creation, and that all things, all that was
beautiful, was the work of His hand. It was in this magnificent solitude
that his heart opened to all this glory; and it seemed as if a film had
fallen from his sight. Men _cannot know God in cities_!

New faculties have been given to me, thought he, on descending to the
tea-room. I am in communion with a holy and chaste spirit, which will, I
know, sustain me; and the future, so dreaded, I now look forward to with
a certainty of success. My heart is made up of love and charity—and
every human being shall have a claim upon my tenderness. Even the weak
and infirm of purpose I shall endeavor to comfort and advise; and as to
this beautiful girl, so far, so infinitely my superior—why may I not
love her as a dear sister, love her in secret and—

He was by this time in the room, and there, at the head of the table,
sat the beautiful girl, who had just passed through his mind in such
near relationship. Wholly unprepared for her presence—for he had
forgotten that she was to preside at the breakfast and tea-table—he
started back in the fear that the servant had made a mistake.

Grace Gordon half rose, smiled, and bid him take a seat. Instead of the
silence and reserve of the dinner-table, Arthur found himself in
animated conversation, and he was pouring out his feelings, when he
heard the same clear, loud laugh as before.

Relieved from restraint, for the absence of Madam Herman left him at
liberty, he arose as if to see who it was that had thrown an air of
ridicule on his conversation. Grace Gordon put her finger to her lip and
pointed to his chair, and this, at once, subdued the anger which was
fast rising, and determined him to wait for a more suitable opportunity
to gratify his curiosity.

“You are good-tempered I hear, Mr. Hazerelle, and good-temper is a gift
which few possess. Perhaps, however, you have not been severely tested.
Many people pass for good-tempered who are irritable and irascible when
thwarted.”

“It depends altogether upon the person who provokes me,” said Arthur. “A
woman, for instance, is always sure of forbearance, be she ever so
disposed to find fault, and a man walks untouched, though he might
insult me, if I consider him as an inferior. So, you perceive, I am
good-tempered with a qualification, and it depends upon the character of
our friend in ambush whether I am to take offense at that clear, ringing
laugh. If he is in any way connected with you, he may indulge his
risible propensities to the utmost, for I am certain that I can submit
to such gaucheries for the very short time I am to be honored by your
kindness.”

“Short time, Mr. Hazerelle! Well, if you call a twelvemonth short, be it
so,” said she. “Why, did you suppose I could thoroughly understand the
German language in less time than that?”

“In less than a twelvemonth! Yes, in less than three months you will be
able to speak and read fluently; there is no fear of your being a dull
scholar. It would be my interest to find you obtuse of intellect, for to
live and breathe in this atmosphere is a happiness I never expected to
enjoy—the library itself is full compensation for more of my time than
I so freely give to you.”

Here followed another laugh, and as there was now a perfect
understanding between the young lady and himself, he resolved to take no
notice of it. He arose, however, and shut the door, but he might have
spared himself the trouble for it was opened in an instant.

Arthur smiled good-humoredly, and observed that the merry gentleman was
no doubt a privileged person, one who had a control over the destinies
of the house, or such an eccentric way of amusing himself would not be
allowed.

Miss Gordon colored, and was about to make reply, when the laugh
commenced again and continued so long that there was an end of further
conversation; the lady rose with much embarrassment, said she hoped to
meet him there at breakfast, and then departed through the door whence
the laugh came.

Arthur found it amounted to this—he must do one of three things—to ask
no questions, enter into no conversation with Miss Gordon or any of the
family—request to take his meals by himself—or quit the house. It was
very irksome, certainly, to sit in perfect silence when there was one
person, at least, who had conversational powers; it was likewise irksome
to see people moving about him all day, to know that they all had
communion with one another, and that he alone should stalk about the
house and grounds in utter silence, save the two hours when he was
engaged in teaching. He walked out to consider of it in the open air,
and after an hour’s ramble through groves and walks, breathing delicious
perfumes, he returned with the determination to bear with the eccentric
humor of the family and remain with them until the winter set in.

It certainly was very disheartening to meet no pleasant voice on his
entering the house, and to go to his solitary chamber without a kind
_good-night_ from a living soul, yet Arthur did not murmur. If he were
always thankful for “small benefits,” he had reason to be grateful now,
for here all the comforts and luxuries of life were in abundance, and
there were two great pleasures added to all this—the library and the
beautiful face and pleasing manners of his pupil.

He took a long walk, and returned more elevated, more grateful and
humble than ever, it was a perfect fairy-land all around, and why should
the foolish manners of the inmates of the house disturb his
tranquillity. He strove to keep the thought uppermost that it was to
these very eccentric people he owed his happiness, so he was shown to
the breakfast-room with feelings disposed to submit to what, under other
circumstances, would be so difficult to bear.

Miss Gordon was already there, and to Arthur’s surprise and confusion,
she held out her hand with a kind good-morning and a pleasant smile. The
conversation was trifling, he kept a rein over his thoughts and let none
but such as were mere commonplace go forth to excite the merriment of
the person in the next room, for Arthur presumed he was there, as the
door was still half open. Just at parting he made the unlucky
observation, that as he had taken sufficient exercise for the morning he
should go again to the library, for there he should find
friends—friends who had always cheered and consoled him.

He might, to be sure, have omitted the speech, simple as it was, yet how
could one so entirely alone avoid feeling this loneliness—it was no
cause of mirth to others, certainly, and yet the man in the next room
laughed merrily.

“What a magnificent mind it was that planned this library,” said Arthur,
pointing to it, as the lady and he left the room.

She smiled faintly, however, and as they separated, replied that “it was
planned—as well as the house and grounds—by the laugher in the next
room.”

“Alas!” thought Arthur, when alone in the library, “he is undoubtedly
insane; he is, perhaps, Miss Gordon’s father, or some near relative, and
being harmless, is allowed to amuse himself in any way he likes. I see
it all now, and his laughter shall annoy me no longer; but where have I
heard it before?”

All at once the truth flashed upon him, in Mr. Graham’s office, where he
studied law for a year, he often saw a gentleman by the name of Herman,
who certainly resembled the one who was the owner of this estate. He was
a great talker, and a great laugher—the very clear, bell-like, musical
laugh he had heard so frequently.

The present Mr. Herman was grave, taciturn, frivolous and formal, with
gray hair and broken teeth; whereas the one he formerly knew was much
younger looking, with dark hair and perfect teeth. Mr. Graham took great
pleasure in his society, for he was full of anecdote and had been a
traveler; Arthur, also, was much amused with his gay and easy manners,
and it was quite a regret to them all when Mr. Herman left the city.
Arthur had often inquired after him, but Mr. Graham heard nothing from
or of him, and so he faded away from their memory. It seemed, therefore,
almost a certainty that he was in some way connected with the family of
the Hermans where Arthur now was.

Day after day Arthur went through the same routine, the young lady
making great progress in German, and he making great progress in love,
for could it be expected that he was to sit in earnest conversation for
two hours every day, and be at the same table with her at all times,
without losing his heart. Whether Grace Gordon loved him in return, was
another matter; no one could judge if she did, for her attentions were
only those of a lady to a gentleman, and even the haughty old lady,
Madam Herman, could find no fault.

What puzzled Arthur more than any thing else was this, Mr. Herman was
never seen excepting at dinner, where he went or what he did was a
mystery; he certainly never was in the library, for there Arthur went at
irregular times, so that he would of course have been seen. He never was
about the grounds, and Arthur had no stated times of walking or riding
there; he might, however, take an airing with Madam Herman, for she went
out regularly, and he sometimes met the carriage. He never questioned
the servants, for his honor and pride prevented that, and Grace Gordon
never alluded to her family at all. Yet it must be presumed that the
young man had curiosity, and if he had not, there were his friends at
the inn, they were dying to know what was going on within that wide
extent of high stone wall. The old schoolmaster of Berrydale, who had
read something of China in a geography book, called it the _Celestial
City_, and ardently longed to enter the gates to take a peep there, he
did make one attempt, but the porter at the lodge knew better what his
place was worth than to let a stranger enter.

Arthur had now been there two months, and had never left the place, his
friends paid their evening visits about once a week, for there had been
a wedding to occupy them, and Martha and Garry were now man and wife.
The winter was at hand, and not a word was said of the period when his
instructions were to cease. Grace Gordon and he were on the most
friendly footing imaginable, and could now converse very well in German,
but though her progress was astonishing, yet Madam Herman never opened
her lips to wonder or praise.

Deep, deeper in love did poor Arthur get every day—a hopeless love he
knew it to be, and yet he would not have given up the tormenting
pleasure for the world; he wished, and dreamed his wishes over and over
again, that Grace Gordon was as poor as himself, for he thought there
was a possibility then of winning her affections. For any thing he knew
to the contrary, she _might_ be poor, but how was he to find it out,
unless the embargo on words was taken off. At every turn he met a
domestic, but he knew them not even by name, all his wants were supplied
in the most exact and liberal manner, but he asked no questions, and
their respect for him prevented any approach toward familiarity.

He had walked and ridden over every part of the estate with the
exception of an inclosure, which he was given to understand, in the very
beginning, was appropriated to the use of the domestics, and into which
visitors never entered. A road from the next market-town reached this
inclosure, and every thing wanted for the family was brought here in
carts and wagons. A dense hedge of cedar, eight feet in height, which
extended to the right and left, prevented any one from seeing what was
passing on the other side, and Arthur thought that this was all in good
taste and good keeping with the general plan. It was impossible to guess
at the extent of this inclosure, for the hedge, or fence made a number
of circuitous bends, and thus rendered it deceptive to the eye.

One morning he strolled out as usual, and took the path that led to the
cedar-hedge, for the ground there was well-beaten and very pleasant to
the feet. He walked leisurely, his mind occupied with the one object of
the deepest interest to him—Grace Gordon. Starting from his day-dream
he looked at his watch, and found it time to return, that he might
prepare for breakfast. He quickened his pace, therefore, and endeavored
to retrace his steps, but he made a mistake in one of the turnings and
went backward instead of forward. The error was not discovered until he
reached an immense iron-bound gate, which at that moment was slowly
opened by some one on the other side. He waited until the man who was
opening the gate, and whose voice he heard, should make his appearance,
for he really was at a loss to know which way to proceed. What was his
surprise to find that the gate-opener was Mr. Herman himself, and that
following him closely was a troop of young people, all in high spirits,
and apparently on the most familiar terms with him. A second glance
assured him that it was not the Mr. Herman of yesterday, gray-headed and
formal, but the Mr. Herman he formerly knew, with the same merry, clear,
ringing laugh which he recollected so well.

The gentleman started on seeing Arthur, but appeared not to know him, he
raised his hat however, and then turned to his young companions, who
were as much amazed as himself at the rencontre. He could see at a
glance that Grace Gordon was not among them, but they evidently must be
her friends. They all walked briskly away, and as he turned to look at
them, saw that Mr. Herman was running at full speed, and the whole party
after him. He stood at the open gate and for the first time saw the
inside of the hedge, and to his astonishment found that he was in the
rear of the mansion, for there, about a quarter of a mile off, was the
back-court, and several of the domestics whom he recognized, passing to
and fro.

One of the men who stood near the gate, came forward as Arthur was about
entering, and said that Miss Gordon was waiting breakfast for him, and
“that the chaise should be brought round in an instant.”

“This is very curious,” thought Arthur, “why not enter the house this
way? Here I shall not have to walk more than two or three hundred yards,
whereas it will be half an hour’s ride to reach the front.”

However, the chaise was brought to the gate, and after riding fast for
twenty or thirty minutes, Arthur was brought to the front of the house,
and as quickly as possible he made his toilet, and was ushered to the
breakfast table.

“You are welcome back,” said Miss Gordon, blushing deeply, “I thought
you had left us never to return. We sent scouts after you in every
direction, fearing at first you had lost your way, but Madam Herman
thought that would be impossible.”

“But it was possible,” said Arthur, “for I did lose my way, and I hope
you will pardon my having kept breakfast waiting so long, I do not
deserve such kindness.”

“Oh, as to that,” said Grace Gordon, “there is no one injured but
yourself, for I breakfasted an hour ago!”

Arthur was on the point of speaking of the troop of young people that he
met coming out of the gate, but he stopped, for this was infringing on
the rules—rules which he never forgot one instant. Miss Gordon seeing
him about to speak, waited for a moment, and then proceeded to pour out
his tea.

“And you really lost your way, Mr. Hazarelle, it is no wonder when you
recollect how many windings and turnings there are. If I were to follow
the cedar-hedge, I should undoubtedly be puzzled, for that doubles and
winds about in every direction. Did you not meet any one in your walk?”

“Yes, several; I blundered along till I reached a gate,—”

“Indeed!” said Miss Gordon, “and was the gate open?”

“No, the gate was opened when I reached it, I saw one of the domestics,
or rather he saw me, and it was from him I learned that the breakfast
was waiting. Miss Gordon,—I never was placed in so awkward a position
in my life. I have submitted to conditions, which, to one of my nature,
are very painful and mortifying,—for you must yourself despise me for
submitting to them.”

“You have acted honorably, Mr. Hazarelle,” said she, with much feeling,
“and an honorable man must always be respected. You may be assured that
I deeply feel for the mortification and privations you endure, and would
lessen them if I could. One day or other—very soon perhaps—you will
learn why you have been thus bound down to rules which must at least
appear strange, if not ridiculous. You will find us grateful for the
service you have rendered me, and I hope to be under obligations to you
for several months to come.”

“Grateful!—Miss Gordon,—it is for me to speak of gratitude, for there
has been as much happiness crowded in the few months of my residence
here as would spread over the whole of an ordinary life. I shall leave
my heart, and all that life is worth in this beautiful retreat, and that
I may not be utterly miserable by incurring your hate, it is better for
me to go as soon as possible.”

“Oh! you must not talk of leaving us yet,” said she, pretending not to
understand him, “for how shall I get on with the German? I am not so
well grounded in the language, as that I can study by myself.”

“You can improve without assistance, I assure you, and you will have
opportunities this winter of meeting with many who speak the language.
As to me, though I shall be near you when you are in the city, yet the
difference in our prospects will prevent our meeting,—I shall be
nothing there but a humble clerk; or perhaps, a humble teacher.”

Tears came in the young lady’s eyes, but she did not dare to trust her
voice, and Arthur proceeded.

“There is not a more solitary being in the world than myself, for I do
not know that I have a relation, and yet there is no one that so
ardently desires the love and sympathy of kindred. With a heart thus
alive to tender emotions, judge, therefore, dear Miss Gordon, how
impossible it is not to admire the beauty, talent, and excellence of the
lovely being who honors me with her confidence. I have awakened from
this bright dream, and must go while I have the power.”

Miss Gordon rose, but trembled so much that she was compelled to sit
again. Arthur approached to bid her farewell, for he now found that it
was impossible to remain near her after making this confession, but
seeing her distress he drew back, and said in a low voice, he would
write a few lines of thanks before he left the house. Just as he was
leaving the room, he had the glimpse of a gentleman, who appeared to
come from the library, and it occurred to him that it must be Mr.
Herman. He was too much agitated, however, to dwell on so trifling a
circumstance, yet he could not help wondering which of the two gentlemen
it was. When in his chamber, he wrote to Mr. Herman, thanking him for
all his kindness and attention to his pleasures and comforts, and
regretting that it was not in his power to remain longer. He gave his
respectful compliments to Madam Herman and Miss Gordon, and said that he
should send for his effects in the course of the afternoon.

The servant took the letter to Mr. Herman, who by note requested Arthur
to meet him in the library before he departed. After writing a few lines
to Miss Gordon, our hero left his pleasant chamber,—and no one can
imagine with what regret,—and entered the library. Mr. Herman as usual,
waved his hand to a chair.

“You are leaving us, Mr. Hazerelle,” said he, “I presume you think Miss
Gordon is sufficiently advanced in her studies to get on without a
teacher.—Is that your reason for going at this time?”

“Miss Gordon has made great progress,” said Arthur, “and if she could
meet with a few clever Germans now and then, she would soon be master of
the language.”

“Do you leave us because you think she has no further need of your
assistance, or have you other reasons; we have no wish to part with you
for a month or two, if convenient for you to remain?”

“Mr. Herman,” said Arthur, rising, his face crimsoned all over, “have
you never been young—do you forget that I am but twenty-four, and that
my heart is as susceptible as if I were heir to all this estate? Do you
think it possible to be in the society of so lovely a woman as Miss
Gordon without becoming attached to her? I assure you, sir, that this
was unforeseen by me. Had I been aware of her excellencies, I should not
have placed myself in a situation which I know is to render me unhappy
for life. You ask for my reasons, I tell them to you
frankly—good-morning.”

In the midst of all the agitation which this avowal called forth, Arthur
could not avoid observing the effect it had upon Mr. Herman. He rose
slowly, his eyes were opened to the utmost, and his hands were
outspread, but he spoke not; in fact, the boldness and honesty of the
speech took him completely by surprise—and Arthur had walked out of the
house before he recovered his recollection.

As Arthur had not made known his intention to the servants, for the
whole was the impulse of the moment, no carriage was in waiting; but
before he had proceeded a mile, the chaise and ponies overtook him, and
on entering it, he saw his carpet-bag, trunk, and dressing-case in the
bottom of the carriage. As he was now released from all obligations, he
asked the coachman whether Mr. Herman had a brother. The man said he had
not. He then inquired whether the gentleman who came through the gate
where he stood, in the morning, was any relation of the family? The
answer was, he did not know. As it was evident that the fellow had
instructions not to be communicative, Arthur forbore further
question—and they rode on at a rapid pace.

Our hero had at that moment vague thoughts of rising in the world,
penniless though he was, having an indistinct hope, too, that Miss
Gordon would listen to his suit, if he had an independence to offer her.
As to the old lady or her formal son, he did not trouble himself about
their approbation; in fact, he knew that, as far as their approval went,
the thing was entirely out of the question. He had, however, given Mr.
Herman a good fright about it, and this amused poor Arthur in the midst
of his painful feelings—and he wondered what Madam Herman would say
when told of it.

But they did not reach the porter’s lodge, and yet they drove fast, and
nearly half an hour had elapsed. On looking round—for he had been so
absorbed in thought as not to observe the road they were going—he saw
that they were riding in an easterly direction, and presently they
entered a thick woods. He told the coachman that he was taking him the
wrong road, and that he must turn back; but the man said they would come
out right in a few minutes; that he thought it would be a pleasant ride
this way, as Mr. Hazerelle had never been there before.

After leaving the woods they got on a common wagon road, and then making
a circuit of half a mile, they reached the lodge; and the porter stood
there ready to assist in taking out the luggage. As soon as it was
placed on the floor of the room, the coachman jumped on the seat, and
was out of sight in a moment.

“Step this way,” said the porter; “please to go down these steps, and
then walk to the end of that long passage, and you will see a white
door, through which you are to pass; you will there meet with a friend,
who will conduct you safely to Berrydale.”

“Why not go out at this door, my friend? This is the one leading to the
stage-road—I prefer going this way.”

“So should I, too,” said the porter, “if I thought there was any harm in
going a pleasanter road. You will not repent going to the end of the
long passage. You have only to descend six steps.”

“Often as I have been here,” said Arthur, “I never saw that dark passage
before.”

“For a very good reason,” said the porter; “the door was always locked,
and Mr. Herman had the key. He came here this morning and opened it
himself. You perceive that this door is locked, and that the windows are
grated—so that, in truth, there is no way of getting out but down
through that narrow passage.”

“Well, if that is the case,” said Arthur, good-humoredly, “I must go
that way. This is, however, the oddest of all odd things; but it is of a
piece with the rest,” continued he to himself—respect for Grace Gordon
preventing him from speaking lightly of the family. He descended and
walked through the long passage which was only lighted at the end by a
small window, or loop-hole, giving just light enough to see the white
door, a flight of seven or eight steps leading to it. On opening it, he
entered a handsomely-furnished parlor, with a table in the centre, on
which was some fine fruit. He did not stop, however to taste it, but
went to a folding-door opposite, and to his surprise, found himself in a
lady’s boudoir—for there, on the table, were books, needle-work, and
embroidery. What can all this mean, thought Arthur; surely the Herman
family are a little deranged. Pride and wealth have caused them to act
thus strangely. Heaven grant that Grace Gordon has none of their blood
in her veins.

As this thought passed through his mind, he heard the clear, gay laugh
of his old acquaintance. For he now was convinced that it was the Mr.
Herman he formerly knew, and whom he had seen that morning. He sprang to
a door, which stood partly open, and there, to his surprise, he saw, not
Mr. Herman, but Godfried Darg, and his two dogs, Barker and Growler.

“Ah! are you here, my good friend,” said Arthur, shaking hands with him.
“You gave us the slip in an odd way; and I have to thank you for a very
valuable present.”

“Did you spit in old Barnes’ face, and give him a kick, as I requested?”

“No,” said Arthur, laughing, “I had no chance; for instead of becoming
teacher to a score or two of village children, I had the honor of—”

“Yes, yes, I know it; Herman told me all, and told me of your fine
speech this morning.”

“Why who are you, that can be so familiar with so reserved a gentleman
as Mr. Herman?”

“Who am I? Why plain Godfried Darg. But are you not a pretty fellow, to
fall in love with a lady so entirely out of your reach. Did I not give
you a dressing-case, in which lay the miniature of the pretty little
girl that is to be your wife? Did not my note tell you that you were not
to open the box till Barker and Growler gave you leave?”

“And have I not obeyed your directions?” said Arthur, smiling; “if you
take the trouble to go to the porter’s lodge, you will see the case, and
find that the box is untouched. Confound all this mystery—what does it
mean? Why am I singled out for such necromancy; and why am I here in
this singular place, when my wish is to be with my quiet, honest friends
of Berrydale?”

“And so you took me at my word, and never opened the little box?”

“I had two very good reasons for not doing it—the first was that you
requested me not to do it until I had consulted your dogs, if you
remember; and the second reason was, that the picture which you said the
box contained, would be broken if I attempted it—at least so you said
in your note.”

“Did you ever read the letter which old Crosbie told you to hand to
Barnes?”

“No—it was destroyed, I heard; but I shall insist on hearing the
contents the moment I see Mr. Crosbie.”

“You need not ask him; here is the letter—I persuaded the old ass,
Barnes, to give it to me—there, read it.”

“Upon my word,” said Arthur, laughing; “I do not wonder at my dismissal;
I am only surprised that I was not complimented with the kick which you
requested me to bestow upon Barnes.”

    “To Mr. Barnes,—Sir, The bearer of this letter is a pert
    jackanapes, and is full of conceit. He boasts that he will rule
    you, and all the gentlemen in the neighborhood, with a rod of
    iron. He is going to make you pull down the old school-house,
    and oblige you to dress the boys in uniform. In short, he
    promises himself that he will turn every thing upside down, and
    leave you and your four respectable colleagues out when it is
    time to elect new trustees. He is so daring, that you must be
    cautious how you act; and above all things, do not let him know
    the contents of this letter—just dismiss him coolly when he
    presents himself.

                                                          Yours,
                                                         P. Herman.”

Arthur read this curious epistle aloud, and started when he saw the
signature. “Surely,” said he, “Mr. Herman, the solemn, grave, upright
owner of Herman Hall, never could have written this letter—if he did,
he is crazy!”

“He did write it, and he is not crazy; but why do we sit talking
nonsense here when so much is to be done.”

“I do not know what _your_ business may be, Mr. Darg, but mine is to get
away from Herman Hall as quickly as possible; will you accompany me to
Berrydale?”

“Not I; why there is a great deal going on here; for instance, there are
a number of pretty girls in the house, and there is to be a wedding. Ah,
you start, yet I tell you the truth, there is to be a wedding here this
very evening; instead of going to Berrydale you had better remain here
and get a peep at the bride.”

“If it is Miss Gordon—but that is impossible.”

“And why is it impossible? she is very beautiful and very accomplished;
so that it is the most likely thing in the world. Why, I would take her
without a cent to her portion, if she would have me.”

Arthur now determined to find his way out of this mysterious place, and
he was the more anxious as it was barely possible that what Darg said
respecting Miss Gordon might be true, so he walked to the door opposite
and opened it, and there lay his carpet-bag, his trunk and
dressing-case—he turned to express his surprise, but Darg had
disappeared.

“I will open the case now,” said Arthur, “and trust to luck not to break
the miniature. I am the sport of some one, and I will put an end to it.”

So saying, he opened the dressing-case, and was just in the act of
breaking open the little steel-box, when Galton Springle stood before
him.

“I have found you at last,” said the man, “why how closely you have kept
yourself. Did I not tell you to leave your address at the inn?”

Arthur was stooping over the case when Springle entered, and on raising
up suddenly, he struck the man in the face and crushed the spectacles;
instead of letting Arthur assist him, he rushed into the adjoining room
and shut the door.

“I do believe the fellow had a mask on his face,” thought Arthur, “for I
heard something crackle and crush as my head struck him. What brings
such a man in a house of this kind; and if he has a mask, why may not
Darg be disguised also?—and old Crosbie, it always struck me that his
eyes were too deeply set. If I come in contact with them again I will
soon find out.”

He had scarcely touched the dressing-case to recommence his attempt,
when in came the identical Mr. Crosbie.

“Oh, you are there, my friend, are you!” said Arthur, seizing him; “you
gave me a letter to Mr. Barnes, did you; I shall take the liberty of
tweaking your nose for the compliment.”

Off came the nose, and off went Mr. Crosbie, and after him rushed
Arthur; but being unacquainted with the intricacies of the place he lost
sight of him, and on opening a door what was his surprise to find
himself in a large parlor, surrounded by a number of persons, and Mr.
Herman in the midst of them, laughing merrily.

“Walk in, walk in, Mr. Hazerelle,” said Mr. Herman; “what, you found out
that old Crosbie had a paper nose, were you not ashamed to expose the
poor fellow?”

But Arthur had no ear nor eye for him—in the centre of the group stood
Grace Gordon, holding in her hand the little steel-box, which a servant
had that moment put there. By her side was Abram Snow, looking just as
quiet and grave as when in the counting-house.

After shaking hands, Arthur turned again to Grace Gordon, for she seemed
to be the most sane among them.

“Where are Barker and Growler?” said she, laughing. “Godfried Darg, call
your dogs.”

Mr. Herman whistled, and both dogs came racing into the room.

“Now, Arthur,” said Mr. Herman, “here are Barker and Growler, set down
the steel-box and let them open the case.”

“I have no desire to see the face of any other lady than this one,” said
Arthur, approaching Miss Gordon and taking her hand. “There is some
mystery here which I cannot fathom, but with her I am safe; whatever may
be the plans and manœuvres of others, here there is no guile.”

“There,” said Mr. Herman, “the dogs have opened the box with one bite.”

“Or rather, you pressed a spring and opened it,” said Grace, laughing,
“for I saw you. Now let Mr. Hazerelle see the miniature.”

“Come here, Arthur,” said Mr. Herman, “stand behind Miss Gordon while
she opens the box; now look over her shoulder and see the lady you are
to marry.”

Arthur looked over the shoulder of Grace, and he saw her lovely face
reflected from the little mirror in her hand—it was the most natural
thing in the world to kiss the cheek which was so near his lips, and
there was a laugh from every one in the room, the clear, musical laugh
of his old tormentor being heard above the rest.

“Well,” said Mr. Herman, “we did not intend to have the ceremony
performed till evening, but as Arthur has pulled off old Crosbie’s nose,
and crushed Springle’s face, the plot cannot go on, so we will ask the
clergyman to walk in—he is in the library—and put poor Arthur out of
suspense. Welcome Mr. Green, and you, too, good lady—ah, there comes
Garry Lovel and his wife, and all the boys. Yes, Arthur, I know how to
appreciate the kindness of your friends, and see—there is good Mrs.
May, too—am I not a good manager?”

Every thing was ready, and before Arthur could ask for an explanation of
what had occurred, he stood up and became the happy husband of Grace
Gordon.

“Now step in this room,” said Mr. Herman, after the ceremony was over,
“and let me tell you how this has happened.”

“Oh, never mind,” said Arthur; “I care not how it has been brought
about, for the sole wish of my heart has been gratified.”

“But Grace Gordon has no fortune, and as you have none, what are you
going to do?”

“Arthur,” said Grace, “bear with him just now, he is jesting. Mr.
Herman, did you not promise me that all mystery should cease the moment
we were married?”

“Well, well, I submit. And now be as happy as you both deserve—after
this I must act like other folks, I presume, but I shall never enjoy
myself thoroughly again.”

                 *        *        *        *        *

Mr. Herman became his own master and heir to a large estate at
twenty-one. He began to build immediately, and the plan of the house and
grounds was a type of his character. He was full of plots and
contrivances, and there were, therefore, long passages under ground and
labyrinths at every turn. Arthur Hazerelle was his intimate friend, and
prevented him from ruining himself by taking the management of his
pecuniary affairs, so that at the end of five years the house and
grounds were finished to suit the whimsical fancy of the owner, and his
income was not diminished.

Unfortunately, Mr. Hazerelle loved the same lady on whom his friend had
placed his affections—but this did not disturb the friendship of the
young men. Mr. Hazerelle was accepted by the young lady, and his friend
withdrew from the world, determined never to marry. In the course of a
few years, Mr. Hazerelle and his wife both died, leaving one son to the
guardianship of Mr. Herman. Aware of his own faults, faults which he
considered as having arisen from an early knowledge of the great wealth
to which he was heir, he determined upon bringing up his friend’s child
in ignorance of what he intended to do for him.

He was one of the most active men in the world, and luckily his means
were excellent, so that he could execute all the romantic schemes that
he planned. He took no one into his confidence, but through the means of
his great wealth he had the power of accomplishing whatever he wished.
Every thing which happened to Arthur was in consequence of his agency.
He had him educated in the most eccentric manner, giving him an insight
into law, medicine and commerce. Every change in the young man’s
prospects which appeared the result of accident, was owing to him, and
that he might learn something of Arthur’s real character, he frequently
lived in the same house with him.

When he found that Arthur was humble and good-tempered, and that he
struggled hard against his fate, he thought it was high time to make him
amends. He was sure that prosperity would not undo the work of years,
and that he had acted his part as a guardian well.

One of his gardeners lost his wife, leaving a child a few weeks old—it
was a girl, and her father did not live long after the death of his
wife. Mr. Herman took the child, and determined, if she had a good
intellect, to educate her for Arthur. She was both intelligent and
beautiful, so that he waited with impatience for the time when Arthur
should be twenty-four, as that, according to his notion, was the age of
discretion.

Grace Gordon had been in his confidence from the time she could
comprehend it, and from dwelling upon the plan so long had learned to
like it. Many and many a time had she seen Arthur when in the city with
Mr. Herman, but she could not persuade him to bring Arthur to what might
be considered his own home.

Mr. Herman never left off his love of mystery and plotting, and when
little children hung round him he would turn himself into a gypsy and
tell their fortunes, which made them laugh; or he would be a shipwrecked
sailor, and tell a melancholy story, and make them weep; but he seldom
told them a sad tale, for he loved to hear them laugh, and he was the
greatest laugher of them all.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                              TE LAUDAMUS.


                        BY MRS. E. OAKES SMITH.


   “The darkness and the light are both alike to thee.”
  Oh, Christ! thou very Christ! not as a God,
  One and eternal, treading with thy feet
  The rounded worlds, which, with a ruby glow,
  Give back the touch in music breathing roll,
  Till all the azure dome bows to the light,
  Flushed with exultant joy, and sings aloud
  To harps of sapphire, amethyst and pearl.
  Not as the leader of embannered hosts
  That wait thy bidding; the glowing seraph,
  Bright cherub, or the archangelic throng,
  Grave in the virtue of eternal years—
  Fair in the beauty of eternal truth—
  Sublime and joyful in eternal youth—
  Not all thy goings forth with level eyes,
  And even tread, harmonious, self-involved—
  Thyself Love, Beauty, Truth, and seeing these
  In all, through all, from angel’s anthem tone
  To feeblest pulsing in poor human heart:—
  Not all thy earth-love mission, thy deep prayers
  On Olivet, and all thy weary grief
  Until Gethsemane beheld thee bleed
  At every pore, o’er faith betrayed, and love
  That wearied, though its watch was but an hour—
  Thy breaking bread to hungry lips—thine eye
  That pitied every shape of wo—thy tears
  For Lazarus—thy more than love for her,
  The loving Mary, unrebuked, though frail—
  Thy scornings of hypocrisy and wrong—
  Thy goings up and down for good to earth,
  And writing on its forehead a new name,[2]
  Even as incarnate Evil walked the earth,
  And branded on its face the mark of Cain,[3]
  So did thy loving hand efface the mark,
  Thy footsteps leave a blessing for the curse—
  For this I bless thee, and all this would take
  Into my soul of souls, and walk with Thee;
  Yet not for these do I so much adore;
  . . . . . . . But thou didst go.
  Down to the very grave—like unto ours
  Thy death-pang—thy effulgent limbs did lie
  “In cold obstruction.” Oh! pitying soul of Man!
  For this I praise thee—worship and bow down,
  Sing with the evening stars and morning light.
  When the great glory of the sun walks forth,
  I shout the resurrection and new life;
  For thou with light didst penetrate the dark,
  Thy footsteps waked “old chaos and dim night.”
  Legions of melancholy shapes that wailed
  Their being, mourning they should be a blot
  Upon the garments of enrobed light,
  Their voice a discord when the swelling hymn
  In God’s majestic dome rolled through all space,
  In silence saw thy foot the barrier press
  Of their uncheered vault, with a strong tread,
  Itself a light, till downward more and more
  The inverted arch recoiled, and thou didst stand,
  Amid their ghostly and distorted shapes
  Serene and fair, thrice beautiful and calm.
  Death and Hell—Darkness and Pain! Oh, my God!
  We see their marks, we know not what they are,
  But Thou, oh Christ! didst walk the dread abysm,
  And from thyself a permeating light
  Made darkness day. The adamantine bond
  Broke from its clasp, and knew itself no more;
  The jangling chord, that its own discord wailed,
  Slid into music with a heavenly song,
  Chaotic shapes, that slunk from light, behold
  Thy beauty and upsprung to perfect grace;
  The shadow was no more a shadow left—
  Deformity no more could find a place—
  Evil had turned itself unto the Good,
  For Light and Love had breathed themselves again
  Upon our earth, unto the very depths
  Where Death and Darkness reigned; and God had said,
  As when Creation woke, “Let there be light”—
  Oh Christ! dear Christ! for this I worship Thee.
  Thou didst tread through all man’s fearful pathway,
  And we go down unto the grave in trust,
  For we behold thy footstep there, a light,
  And catch the trailing of thy robe, as on
  We go in our dim way through death to Thee;
  And not without a hope, thus shadowed forth,
  That in God’s universe shall cease to be
  The Blackness and the Sorrow and the Wrong!

-----

[2] “Jesus stooped down and wrote upon the ground.”

[3] “And the Lord said unto Satan, ‘Whence comest thou?’ Then Satan
answered the Lord and said, ‘from going to and fro in the earth, and
from walking up and down in it.’”

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration: A bouquet of pink roses, also containing small yellow and
blue flowers with a bird perched on the topmost rose.]

                 *        *        *        *        *



                            TRUE ROMANCING.


In a large, pleasant garden, laid out in the old fashioned style, two
young friends were walking together one summer evening. Sometimes they
would sit down on a grassy slope, looking at the bright clouds in the
western sky; then rising together in the most friendly manner, they
would walk beneath the arching trees, stopping often to pluck flowers,
and many-patterned leaves, from the low hanging boughs, but ever and
anon they talked busily together, and their conversation soon turned
upon their early recollections.

“I remember well the first time I ever saw you, Magdalene,” commenced
the younger one. “It was a still summer day, soon after we first moved
here. Every thing at home was in confusion. Our scanty load of furniture
had been tossed into our neglected old house, apparently to arrange
itself. Our one girl, with noisy undirected zeal, went stumbling about,
falling over chairs, and breaking crockery; while my poor father, sick
and irritable, lay upon a bed, fuming at every thing. Unnoticed and
wondering, I sat in a corner, amused for a time by the chaos by which I
was surrounded. But at length I grew very weary at the voices of
displeasure and vexation, that grated so harshly upon my ears. Looking
up at the window, I saw how brightly the sun was shining upon the green
waving trees in the avenue beyond; and with a sudden longing for quiet I
slipped out at the door. Our own garden, a square of bare ground was by
no means inviting; but beyond grew a row of tall, beautiful trees, that
seemed to bound a large flower-garden, and farther still, a little wood
with a low stile, enchanted my fancy, and promised me an easy entrance.
Oh! I cannot tell you how beautiful it looked, to a child brought up in
the close dismal streets of a large city. I felt as if I stood in
Fairy-land. Every thing seemed to have a marvelous light,—a mysterious
shading cast over it, which gave me a sensation, as if something strange
and wonderful were hidden behind every bush, or at every corner around
which I passed. As I went on, my childish attention was attracted by the
pretty iron railings which bounded the garden, and looking between them,
I saw a well-kept lawn, and smooth walks, winding around mounds of green
turf. On one of these mounds, you were sitting, reading with a calm air,
perfectly in keeping with the scene around. I thought you much older
than you really were, for you were tall for your age. You seemed to me
so striking in your dark blue dress, with your beautiful features, that
I immediately ran over in my mind all the heroines I had ever read of,
but as I could not find one that exactly resembled you, I thought of a
name for you, and had commenced to connect a long story with it, when a
voice from the house called you, and to my great disappointment, you
went in. I continued for awhile to look in upon the wide garden, but I
felt as if the life of the scene, and the heroine of my story had
departed with you.”

“Ah! yes, Franzchen,” answered her companion, “from the first, you were
romantic and fanciful. But I remember well, with what childish
superiority I at first looked down upon you. When Aunt Katrine told me
one day, that she was going to bring little Franzchen Deshalbens to see
me,—I cried contemptuously—What, Aunt!—That girl, with such a little
unwashed face, and such great black eyes to see me!—I don’t like babies
for play-fellows! But before you had been with me long, I learned to
like you well enough, and think I might possibly find pleasure in the
companionship of one younger than myself. You remember, we went into the
garden, and as we sat upon the mound, you told me the story of ‘the fair
lady and the genii.’ I soon forgot my disdain, and besought you to
continue, until the moon rose upon your endless and enchanting
recitals.”

“Yes, indeed! Magda. I too remember with what dignity you received me.
But that only pleased me, because it corresponded with the character I
had drawn out for you, of a great princess. But I think I should have
been a little overawed, if Aunt Katrine had not spoken so kindly to me.
Then when I commenced to speak of my favorite stories, you seemed to
think such things so far beneath you, that I did not expect the interest
with which you afterward listened.”

“And then, Franzchen, I used to come to the fence at the foot of the
garden, to see you sitting on the ground, building a castle with small
sticks, and you, little muddy thing, would look up with your great dark
eyes, to tell me of some new tale you had been reading, and you would
fix upon a character in it for each of us. Sometimes you were the hero
or heroine of the piece, and would tell the whole in the first person.
What a changeful, chameleon-like creature you made yourself out to be.
Now you were the brave knight, Sir George, and rode fighting for
Christendom; and now as the sorrowful Griselda, you told me of your
cruel, task-exacting aunt, until the tears came into my eyes; or you
spoke of yourself as ‘the fair one with the locks of gold,’ while all
the time your curling black hair fell over your face. Do you know,
Franzchen, I often envy you those curling dark locks? Stay now, while I
arrange these white jasmins in your hair. Flowers never look so well in
mine.”

“Dear Magda, how can you envy me, with your beautiful, light, braided
hair? Do you know, last night, I thought you looked like an old Grecian
statue, with your fine features, and tall, fine figure; and you spoke to
every one with so much ease and self-possession.”

“There, now! Franzchen. You are running away again from all common
sense, into the crazy region of your imagination. Do not try to make a
heroine of me, I beseech you, or expect me to take all your fancies for
realities. But it is growing late. I hope you are not too romantic to
eat any supper.”

As they returned to the house, they were met by Aunt Katrine. “Here,
girls! come quickly,” she cried. “I have a letter for Magdalene, from
her father’s sister, the high and mighty Baroness of Radgardin.”

Now this aunt of Magda’s,—a pretty, foolish, ambitious woman, had
married a nobleman of high birth, and great wealth, whose sister was a
margravine. Great indeed, was the dignity of the noble Baron of
Radgardin, and great was the elation and self-consequence of his
baroness. Had not Magda grown up uncommonly beautiful and striking in
appearance, it may well be doubted whether she would have taken so much
interest in her, as she now seemed to. But as it was, she liked to have
her handsome niece with her, and had already many ambitious designs
connected with her. Her darling scheme at present, was to marry her to
the young Count Hugo, the son of an old friend of the baron’s, and she
constantly remarked that Magda, a beauty, and somewhat of an heiress,
should hold up her head, and remember, that she was the niece of the
Baroness of Radgardin, and the grand-daughter of the Baron of Roderkamp.
She had now written to invite her to pay her a visit, as she expected to
have much noble company at her house, to whom she was anxious to
introduce her.

Among the rest, she was to be honored by the presence of Count Hugo, and
she went so far as to hint that her family were always remarkable for
beauty, and as some of them had already done so well in the world, Magda
also, under her guidance, might do equally so. At the close, she added,
“My dear child, you must come. I have seen your father, and he said that
the only obstacle that would prevent your coming was, that you had a
friend staying with you, whom you had promised to accompany on a visit.
You must prevail upon your friend to delay this visit, and come with
you. My carriage shall be at your door next Tuesday—so be sure and be
ready.”

Magda laughed heartily as she read the letter. “But we will go,
Franzchen,” she said, “for we shall have a fine time no doubt, and
besides that, I have seen this Count Hugo, and like him very much. So
does my father. I have often heard him speak very highly of him.”

But Franzchen looked upon the matter very seriously, and never doubting
but that Magda had only to appear to conquer the whole world, she
cried,—“But Carl Engleford, Magda, what is to become of poor Carl
Engleford?”

“Oh, never mind Carl Engleford! I tell you, Franzchen, I’m very
ambitious, and I want to see Count Hugo again. But we must write to your
cousin and delay our visit there.”

This cousin of Franzchen’s whom they spoke of visiting, was a
good-natured, but high-tempered woman, who had never been able to bear
with Monsieur Deshalbens’ perverse and irritable temper; but at his
death she would gladly have taken charge of her little cousin; Magda
however would never consent that she should be separated from her, and
they compromised the matter by going often to pay her a long visit, but
this might easily be delayed on so important an occasion as the present.

“We shall want a good many things,” said Magda, with a prudent and
business like air, after a few minutes consideration; “I shall go at
once to my father and get a draft for each of us. Shall I manage every
thing myself?”

“Pray do,” said Franzchen, who was still thinking of Carl Engleford.

Magda found plenty to occupy her, and busied herself with preparing and
packing; but at length the eventful day arrived, and with it the
baroness’s carriage.

“Is Lisette to go with us?” asked Franzchen, as she saw the girl
descending the stairs, bonnet on and band-box and parcel in hand.

“Certainly. We must have a waiting-maid at Radgardin castle,” answered
her companion.

They set off in high spirits. After a long and somewhat wearisome ride
they approached the castle.

It was a magnificent building, situated upon a winding river, which
swelled out into a little lake before it. The commencement of the water
was hidden from view by deep, dark woods, terminated by a distant range
of blue mountains. Franzchen was fairly enchanted, as the coachman,
exciting the spirited horses, whirled them at full speed along the
smooth, level road entering the extensive pleasure-grounds.

“Oh, Magda, look, look!” she cried, “what beautiful glimpses we catch of
the water as we pass among the trees, and how finely the road winds down
to the river!”

Magda had been there before, but she now joined heartily in her friend’s
admiration. Soon they drew up at the gate of the castle, were ushered up
stairs, and received in the vestibule by the baroness.

“Oh, my dear Magda, how delighted I am to see you—I knew you would
come. Although I am rusticating here in the country just now, we shall
not be very dismal, I can assure you. I have a delightful party coming
to see me. The Margrave and Margravine of Baralt, the Landgrave of
Durathor, the Dowager Countess of Hinkle, Baron Logrum, and better than
all—”

Here she was interrupted by her niece, who drew Franzchen forward to
introduce her to her aunt, who immediately drew herself up—“was much
gratified at the honor Mademoiselle Deshalbens had done her in
accompanying her niece to her little country-house”—“hoped she was not
fatigued by the journey,” and so on.

After the usual inquiries and compliments had been gone through with,
they were conducted to a handsome room, opening on a balcony overlooking
a modern flower-garden behind the castle. The baroness left them to rest
and refresh themselves. She was soon followed by a servant bearing
fruits and refreshments on a gilded waiter.

But Franzchen thought not of eating as she stood at the window looking
out upon the terrace. So looking doubtfully at her companion, who was
busily engaged directing Lisette to unpack the trunks, she began:

“Oh, Magda, how pleasant it would be to run down and look at the river.
We could so easily descend these steps and pass through that gate.”

“No, indeed, Franzchen. You must lie down immediately and go to sleep.”

“What! I go to sleep! It isn’t night yet!”

“But we have been traveling all day, and to-night we are to be
introduced to a great party. If we do not rest now we shall be horribly
weary when evening comes, and look frightful and stupid.”

“But, Magda, I’m not sleepy at all. It will be of no use to lie down.”

“But you must, Franzchen; you must eat and sleep, or you will look thin
and pale, and I don’t want you to look like a scarecrow.”

“I don’t want to look like a scarecrow, either. Do you think I shall?”

“Of course you will if you don’t lie down. Now do, dear Franzchen.”

“Well, then, if I must,” said Franzchen, sighing as she turned away from
the window.

Magda smiled as she saw her lie down and in a few minutes fall fast
asleep, but without thinking of following her example, she was turning
again to Lisette, when the baroness looked in.

“Do you not want to rest, my dear?”

“No, aunt; I never sleep in the day time.”

“Well, then, leave Lisette and come with me a moment, I want to have a
talk with you.” So saying, she led the way to the balcony, and after a
few compliments on her manners and appearance, she began. “Now, my dear
child, who is this friend of yours, this Mademoiselle Deshalbens?”

“She is an orphan,” answered Magda. “Her father came to our neighborhood
when she was very young, and purchased a house near to ours. When he
died he left her, with a moderate fortune, to the guardianship of my
father, who had taken a great deal of interest in her.”

“Who was her father? Were you acquainted with him before?”

“No, they were perfect strangers, but we liked Franzchen so much, that
we would gladly have had her with us always. Monsieur Deshalbens was
French. His health was very poor from the time we first became
acquainted with him; his wife, who was a German, had died some time
before.”

“A Frenchman! and nobody I suppose. My dear Magda, you must be careful
what acquaintances you form. At your time of life it is very important.
Now, don’t look so indignant, my dear, I’m not finding fault with your
friend in the least, you know, for she seems to be a harmless little
creature, and her manners are very pretty, only wanting in style of
course. But how much better it would be if all your acquaintances were
selected from high-life, and your intimate friend should be a baroness,
or a lady something, at least.”

“If all she wants is a little mann—”

“There, now, my dear, why should you take offense at what I have said?
It was only meant to guide your conduct in future. Do not let us speak
of it any more now. I want you to give me your opinion about a little
walk I am having made down here. Come, let us go and see it.” So saying,
she descended from the balcony with a smiling countenance, and Magda
followed, to hear that Count Hugo was expected every moment—was such a
handsome young man—so brave, so distingué, etc.

When Franzchen opened her eyes, it was quite evening. The room was
brightly lighted by a chandelier from the ceiling, and Magda was
standing beside her, waiting for her to awaken. She jumped up, wondering
that she had forgotten herself for so long a time, and asking how her
companion had slept.

“Excellently well, dear Franzchen. But it is time you dressed. The
baroness has been here. She says that every one has come, and we must
descend to the drawing-room as soon as we can. Come, I will arrange your
hair myself, for I have set Lisette to altering a little your white
gauze dress with the blue trimming.”

“But how will you get dressed, Magda?”

“Don’t you see that Lisette has already braided my hair? She can finish
dressing me in a minute. Now, pray, don’t open your eyes so wide. I did
not sleep quite as long as you, that is all.”

“But my white gauze dress with the blue trimming! Where did it come
from? I never saw it before.”

“Why, I ordered it, to be sure, and plenty more beside. Did you think,
you little ignoramus, that we were coming without any thing to wear? But
now, let me do your hair.”

“How kind you always are, Magda! I never thought of it.”

“I know that. You never paid a visit to the Baroness of Radgardin
before, and don’t know of what importance such things are in her eyes.”

“But, Magda, what are you putting those pearls in my hair for? They are
the prettiest ornaments you have. You must wear them yourself.”

“Oh, no! I’m going to wear my little tiara, my golden crescent, that we
used to call the crown. It is more suitable, you know.”

“Suitable! To what?”

“Why, to my exalted expectations, to be sure! You forget Count Hugo.”

“Has he come?” asked Franzchen, eagerly.

“Yes, some time ago; and I have seen and talked with him. There! Now,
pray, don’t give such another start, for you have disarranged all the
curls I had just finished brushing. Sit still, and I will tell you all
about it. I did not feel at all inclined to sleep, and I went down the
terrace, with the baroness, to see a new walk she is having made. We
were in full discussion concerning it, when we heard a voice behind us
and turning, saw Count Hugo, who had left his horse with a servant at
the entrance of the park, that he might, as he told us, have the
pleasure of walking slowly through it, and enjoying the fine views.”

“I like him for that!” cried Franzchen, who was growing quite excited.
“That is just what I should have liked to have done! I hate those
indifferent sort of persons, who pass every thing by without the least
admiration, and would not walk a step out of their way to see the most
beautiful scene in the world. But what next, Magda?”

“Only that we had a pleasant little conversation, and I like him better
than ever. After paying his respects to the baroness, he hastened to
claim my acquaintance, and stayed talking to me until my aunt, alarmed
for my toilette, carried him off.”

“Oh, I am so glad! I’m sure he must like you very much, Magda! It seems
like a dream. How stupid I was to sleep all the time.”

“Not at all,” said Magda, quietly, as she gave the last touch to
Franzchen’s hair. “There comes Lisette with the dress.”

The toilette was at length completed, and Magdalene announced her
intention of descending immediately.

Franzchen, who always delighted in seeing her friend handsomely dressed,
could not refrain from a little innocent admiration, but danced around
her, examining her from head to foot, and exclaiming, “You look like
some great queen, Magda, in your white satin dress, and your little
golden coronal.” Magda smiled quietly, and thought little Franzchen did
not look at all amiss in the white gauze dress, her dark curls fastened
back by the bandeau of pearls, and her eyes sparkling with delight.

As they were ushered into the brilliant saloon, the baroness came
forward and introduced them to one and another, until Franzchen was
almost bewildered. First they must curtsey to this stout lady in blue,
and the noble margravine, then smile sweetly on that good-tempered old
gentleman, and gratefully on this condescending great landgrave.

Then advanced from the crowd, a thin, elderly gentleman, with rather a
vacant countenance, and stiff manner, accompanied by a younger one, with
bright, brown eyes, and a lively, pleasant face. They welcomed Magda
with much friendliness, and were introduced to Mademoiselle Deshalbens
as Baron Radgardin and Count Hugo.

Franzchen’s eyes fairly danced. She felt as if she was in an enchanted
land, and although, after the first introduction was over she was left
almost unnoticed in the crowd, she was fully occupied in admiring the
brilliancy of the lights, the gay appearance of the lamps, and above
all, in watching Magda dancing with Count Hugo, who evidently admired
her greatly, and seized every opportunity of conversing with her.

At length a sandy-haired young man, whose countenance left the
impression of a perfect blank upon Franzchen’s mind, requested her to
dance. She arose to join the set, but was so busy thinking and admiring,
that she hardly knew what she was doing; but she danced with the
unconscious grace that was natural to her.

“Mademoiselle Deshalbens moves like a zephyr,” remarked the count, who
had been watching the new-comer with considerable satisfaction—and
Magda smiled assent.

After the dancing and supper were over, a walk was proposed upon the
terrace—and every gentleman hastened to escort some fair lady to the
promenade.

As Franzchen stood waiting, she saw the count looking for Magda, who was
already walking with Baron Logrum. As he turned away disappointed, he
noticed her standing alone, and hastened to beg the honor of conducting
her.

She desired nothing more than the opportunity of becoming acquainted
with him; and although at first she stood a little in awe of him, she
had a natural gift at making herself at home with every one, and
inducing them to talk. But the count was no difficult subject. He spoke
with the ease of an intelligent, well educated man, and the wit of a
young and lively one.

He commenced at once about Magdalene, whom he rejoiced again to have
met. Then they admired the pleasant walk, the fine view, and the bright
moonlight; and at length they wandered off into a comparison of their
favorite writers, whom they discussed with an animation that astonished
a very prim and proper couple, who walked just behind them, alternately
answering with yes and no’s, to questions asked at minute intervals.

By the time they returned to the saloon, Franzchen felt almost as if
they were old friends, and thought how much better one free and earnest
conversation was than a thousand silent meetings.

“I like the count very much,” she said, as she returned with Magda to
their room, after the company had dispersed; “and he talks so much of
you.”

“You do not wonder so much now, that I could forget Carl Engleford,
while thinking of him?”

“No.” Franzchen was obliged to confess that she was no longer surprised
at it.

It may easily be imagined that the two friends rose rather late upon the
ensuing morning; but that was the custom in that noble house—and the
midday sun was shining brightly when Lisette entered with the coffee.

Magdalene and Franzchen sat opposite each other in their loose
morning-dresses, and entered into a regular gossip, as they sipped their
coffee, on the events of the preceding day.

They talked over the kind though stiff baron, the ambitious baroness,
the condescending landgrave, and last, but not least, the agreeable
young count.

“I always had a high esteem for him,” said Magda, “from what I have
heard of him. And I think he is more truly polite and polished than any
one I have ever met with.”

“I think so, too,” said Franzchen; “he is so gentle and kind; and I like
so much to see his eyes twinkle, when he says any thing merry.”

“Yes, he really has beautiful eyes, so full of life and intelligence.”

“And then, Magda, his manners are so simple and unaffected. I was
afraid, because he was a count, and very rich, that he would be haughty
and self-conceited; but he is not so at all—is he?”

“Not in the least,” responded Magda; and so they agreed that they were
very well pleased to have met him.

“Good news! good news!” cried the baroness, when she next found Magda
alone. “The count is going to stay with us awhile, for he is quite at
leisure for some time to come. Ah! I know well enough to whom it is
owing. He was delighted with the party last night, and expressed great
pleasure at meeting you here, expressing at the same time the highest
admiration of your appearance and manners—so dignified and lady-like!”

Magda smiled, blushed, and said he was really too complimentary.

“Oh, he admires you exceedingly; and he likes your little friend, too.
He says there is something very bright and lovely in the expression of
her face, and that the contrast between you is very becoming to you
both. Was it not good-natured of him to take so much notice of her?”

“No, he only showed a due discernment, I think,” answered Magda.

“Oh, my dear, you are so fond of her! But to do her justice, she really
dressed herself with good taste last night, which is a thing I like to
see. And you did also, Magda; only I did not like your head-dress quite
so well.”

“That is because nature has not bestowed upon me such fine dark curls,
ma’am.”

“Well, she has pretty hair. But, my dear, we must make good use of the
time while the count is with us.”

“I shall certainly endeavor to,” said Magda, as she went to join
Franzchen and the count in the park.

One fine evening the two friends, accompanied by Count Hugo, who was now
their constant companion, strolled down to the river. As they looked
toward the blue distant mountains, Franzchen wished for wings that she
might fly away to their dim summits; but Magda thought it would be far
more agreeable to glide over the clear surface of the water.

The count seized upon the idea with alacrity. “Yes, that is the very
thing,” he cried. “And, see! here is a little boat all ready. Will you
not trust yourselves to my guidance? I am a good boat’s-man, I assure
you.”

“Oh, delightful!” cried Franzchen. “You shall row us in the path that
the moon has marked out for us; and we will glide down the stream like
the fairies we hear of in old stories, in their little walnut-shell
boats.”

“But what if we should tip over?” suggested the prudent Magda.

“Then we would float along like the sea-nymphs, with flowing locks
spread out upon the water. I think, to bathe in this beautiful river
would be quite pleasant.”

“And only think,” interposed the count, “what a fine opportunity I
should have of displaying my gallantry in rescuing you by those flowing
locks, and swimming with you to the land.”

“Oh, my poor head! It makes me shudder to think of it,” said Magda,
clasping her hands above her. “That might do for water-nymphs, if they
have hair of ropes, and skin like leather; but for poor human beings, me
thinks, it would be more romantic than agreeable.”

“But there is really no danger,” replied the count; “and I shall
consider it as an imputation upon my skill, if you do not try it.”

Franzchen jumped into the boat, Magda followed, and Count Hugo, placing
himself at the helm, soon showed himself skillful in the use of the oar.

The moonlight shining like silver upon the still water, the dark trees
and bushes casting deep, mysterious shadows upon the margin, the fresh
evening air, and the showers of diamonds falling from the oars, all
combined to carry Franzchen, keenly alive to every thing picturesque,
into the seventh heaven. Unable to contain herself, she broke forth with
her clear voice into a little river song, in which she was quickly
joined by her companions. Then Count Hugo begged for another, and
another—and so they floated on, making the echoes resound with sweet
sounds until they came to a little island, where the count moored the
boat to the shore, and springing out, offered them his hand.

They made the circuit of the island, and then sat down on the craggy
roots of some old trees, looking toward the dark woods on the opposite
side of the river.

“This little island reminds me of a story you were telling me the other
day, Franzchen,” said Magda.

“Oh, tell it us! tell it us again!” said the count, seating himself
opposite to them. “This is the very time and place for it; and that
alone is needed to make the evening perfect!”

Franzchen thought it quite perfect already, but she readily consented,
on condition that they also should relate something in their turn. She
then commenced a little anecdote concerning a prince, who once possessed
a large province, with a small island upon the coast, to which his
predecessors had been so greatly attached, on account of its extreme
beauty, that they had built a palace upon it, and held there their court
during the fairest months of the year. There, one by one, his ancestors
had been gathered to their rest—and tradition associated with that spot
the fate of their line. Year by year the king grew more attached to his
island heritage; and through many sorrows and misfortunes, he clung to
it as a reminiscence of the past, and a safeguard for the future. At
length a powerful and ambitious neighbor made war upon him, defeated
him, and drove him to take refuge upon this one small island, the last
of his possessions. As long as he could retain it he was not without
hope; but when this also was taken from him, the unfortunate king
wandered, exiled and broken-hearted, in a foreign land, and at length
returned in disguise, old and friendless, to die upon the ground
consecrated to his race.

Franzchen always entered with her whole heart into every thing she
related, however insignificant; and she now described with great effect
the loveliness of the island, and the despair of the exiled monarch. Her
eyes beamed, and her voice rose as she told of the conflict, and fell
again into sadness, as she spoke of the defeat, the exile, and the sad
return.

Count Hugo moved nearer as she proceeded, and looked at her with
increasing interest and pleasure; and Magda smiled, for she had often
experienced the living interest which Franzchen threw, like a magic web,
over all her recitals. Then she and Count Hugo must also relate
something; and though they could not pretend to compete with Franzchen,
yet the eager interest she took in all that was said, acted almost like
inspiration; and the tales and traditions went round, until Magda,
startled by the lateness of the hour, rose to return.

After that the count liked nothing better than to prevail upon Franzchen
to draw upon her retentive memory for the stories and anecdotes in which
she delighted; and then they would enter into airy and mystical
conversations, and such abstract philosophical questions, that Magda
declared she was fast taking leave of her seven senses, and running the
risk of colds, chills, and all kinds of disasters, by sitting upon the
grass, and walking through the park at all hours of the day.

So passed the time for days and for weeks; for Count Hugo prolonged his
stay, and, indeed, he seemed very unwilling to take his departure at
all; and the baroness, triumphant in the success of her plans, would not
hear of Magda’s leaving.

Day after day Count Hugo walked out with them, read to them, and seemed
to take increasing interest in their society.

After leaving Magda and the count alone, Franzchen often found them
engaged in earnest conversation, when they would appear evidently
embarrassed by her return. Then the count would jump up, offer her his
seat, and enter at once into an animated discussion upon the first
subject that entered his head. This Franzchen looked upon as a very
natural proceeding, and a matter of course. Sometimes it struck her,
that he talked too much to her, that he paid her more attention, and
consulted her wishes even more than Magda’s; but that was only a little
awkwardness, and Magda was not of a jealous disposition.

At length they came to the conclusion that the visit to Franzchen’s good
cousin could be postponed no longer. So they reluctantly fixed upon the
day for their departure, and the baroness could not prevail upon them to
delay it.

On the last evening they went to take a farewell walk in the park. Magda
was silent and thoughtful, Franzchen decidedly dismal, and Count Hugo
seemed uneasy and absent-minded. Franzchen at length, to break the
silence, doubled a large leaf into a cup, and pretending to be very
thirsty, dipped up water from the river, and offered it to her
companions, under the pretence that it was the choicer nectar. Count
Hugo declared the river water was detestable, begged her not to taste
it, and said he would bring her some from the spring. In vain she
protested that she would wait until she returned, that she could not
think of letting him go all the way back to the spring. He was only too
happy to be of any service—and he darted away.

“And so we really must go to-morrow,” said Franzchen, sadly, after
standing a moment looking after him. “What shall we do without Count
Hugo, Magda?”

“But we need not part with him. He only waits for permission to
accompany us to-morrow to your cousin’s.”

“Does he, indeed? Oh, Magda, surely you will grant it.”

“I have nothing to do with it, Franzchen. I shall never exert any
influence over him but that of a friend.”

“Why, Magda, I always supposed—”

“But Carl Engleford,” interrupted Magda, archly. “What would become of
poor Carl Engleford! And now,” she said, speaking more seriously, “let
me assure you, dearest Franzchen, that I have never for a moment thought
of the count for myself. It is for you I have sought his society; it is
for your sake I have prolonged our stay; and it is for your sake alone
that the count has remained with us. Forgive me a little innocent
deception. The baroness manœuvered for me, and I must needs manœuvre a
little for you. Now the count has fairly engaged me on his side. He
loves you truly; and it has long been my most earnest wish to see you
look favorably upon him.”

“Ah, yes!” cried Count Hugo, who at that moment appeared among the
trees, bearing a pitcher of water, which he let fall hastily as he
rushed forward to seize her hand. “Loveliest Franzchen! have you not
long seen how I delight in your society, and how miserable I should be
without you! It is, indeed, your permission I wait for! Will you not
grant it?”

Magda quietly descended after the pitcher, which had been rolling down
the sloping ground in a most perilous manner, while the count poured
forth such a torrent of persuasion and beseeching looks, that before the
bewildered little Franzchen well knew what she was about, she had
granted the desired permission, and allowed him to cover her hand with
kisses, in gratitude therefor. But although she had consented rather
hastily, yet, on recovering her senses, and considering the matter, she
did not feel inclined to retract; and her first thought on the following
morning was, “How glad I am Count Hugo is going with us.”

                 *        *        *        *        *

Great was the triumph of the baroness, when she heard that the count was
to accompany her guests; but immense was her astonishment and
disappointment, when she discovered that it was as the declared suitor,
not of Magdalene, but of Franzchen; and severe would have been the
upbraidings which her niece would have had to bear, for not acquainting
her sooner with the true state of things, had not Count Hugo, before
their departure, earnestly thanked her for the great kindness and
discretion with which she had discerned his feelings, and aided him in
seeking the society of her young friends. Whereupon, she thought it best
to conceal her dissatisfaction, under the pretence of great penetration.
And, after all she thought, Baron Logrum is richer than the count, and
evidently admires Magda greatly; and so—and so—

And so ended the visit to Radgardin.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                           THE POET’S CHOICE.


                            BY RICHARD COE.


    “Standing now before thee, Colin,
          Are my coz and I;
    Tell me truly, now, dear Colin,
          While we’re waiting by,
    Which the prettier of the twain,
          My sweet coz or I?

    “See my locks so bright and golden,
          Braided o’er my brow;
    See mine eyes so blue and heavenly,
          And my pretty mou’,
    And my teeth of pearly whiteness,
          Fairer none I vow?

    “See my cousin’s locks of raven,
          On her brow so white,
    And her gentle features graven
          With a calm delight!
    Do not fear mine anger, Colin,
          But decide aright.”

    Colin stood awhile uncertain,
         Then he made reply—
    “Fair to me thy locks so golden,
          Beautiful thine eye;
    Pearly teeth so white and even
          Ne’er before saw I!

    “Locks of raven like thy cousin’s
          Lovely are, I ween,
    Features all so calm and holy
          Seldom e’er are seen!
    To decide which is the prettier,
          Two such maids between,

    “Is too nice a task, sweet maiden,
          For such youth as I;
    One is like the morning sunrise,
          One the evening sky;
    Both so beautiful and lovely
          That they charm the eye!”

    Now with hands enclasped together,
          Sweetly to behold,
    Light they bounded o’er the heather
          Raven locks and gold:
    While beside me, spell-entrancéd,
          Stood young Colin bold!

    Then, afar, I heard them singing
          Colin’s sweet reply—
    “One is like the morning sunrise,
          One the evening sky,”
    Till their voices in the distance
          Sounded like a sigh!

    Came the evening shadows o’er us,
          As we lingering stood,
    Clothing landscape all before us,
          Mountain, vale and wood,
    With a darkness like the spirit’s
          Melancholy mood!

    Then unto young Colin turning,
          “Colin! sir,” said I,
    “I will take the morning sunrise,
          Thou the evening sky,
    And, within our souls, forever
          Wear them till we die!”

                 *        *        *        *        *



                              TRANSLATION.


                   ODES OF HORACE. BOOK I. ODE XXIII.


                              BY D. R. K.


    Like frightened fawn, when on the mountain air
    The crashing hunt comes sweeping near its lair,
    Trembling it stands, uncertain which to fly,
    The rustling leaves, or stag-hounds dreadful cry,
    So thou, my Chloe, when thy swain appears,
    Thy pallid checks disclose full well thy fears;
    Thy trembling steps, thy downcast eyes, attest
    The tumults that assail thy tender breast.

    Wherefore this causeless fear? this false alarm?
    Thou surely canst not think I’d do thee harm?
    When thy fond swain with eager steps draws nigh,
    With greater signs of fear, thou wouldst not fly
    Gætulia’s lion, with its dreadful roar—
    Helvetia’s wolf or Thracia’s savage boar.
    Oh! calm thy fears and yield me up thy charms—
    Forsake thy mother’s for thy lover’s arms.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                            CLAIRE NEVILLE.


                            BY H. L. JONES.


Death was in the house; in the room; in the small pallet where, side by
side, lay the mother and her newly born child.

Poverty was there, too, hard-featured and repulsive always, but now
hanging her head and hiding her face before the stern reality of the
dark angel. What mattered it how the soul took its departure? whether in
state, with many mourning eyes gazing, and white stoled priest with
lifted hands at the bedside; or desolate and wholly forsaken of man as
was Clara Neville’s on her straw-bed in her lonely hovel? It mattered
not—and yet may our last moments be cheered by the silent and tearful
love of friends—as we start on our dark voyage, may we hear the
cheering tones and be buoyed up by the affectionate throbs of the
beloved hearts around us!

Pestilence had come among the inmates of the hamlet. They were not
barbarians, else, to leave the couch of death untended. But bereavement
and selfishness and mortal fear had done its work. The few who remained
were dying alone, and of this number was Clara Neville and her young
daughter. Her husband in a distant land, her kindred estranged or dead,
she met her fast coming fate alone, but with one all-absorbing anxiety.
With that anxious will, she had kept herself, as it were, alive—that
she might not leave her little one in the world behind her. While the
death-damps hung on her own brow, her straining gaze yet rested on the
form and face of the pale infant, whose fluttering breath grew shorter
and shorter every instant. Still she clasped her baby close to her poor
heart, with the energy that death itself could not subdue, and when at
length the limbs straightened in what the mother knew was the last
convulsion, Clara cast her eyes to heaven, and closing her speechless
lips, in a glad smile passed away.

So it seemed at least. But help was nighest when it seemed farthest
away. The door of the hovel was flung open—the serene air poured in;
gentle hands ministered at the couch, and restoratives and cordials on
lip and brow brought back the life that seemed to have left its
dwelling. The disease had reached its crisis, and the eyes of both
mother and child once more opened on the world.

Clara, weak and half insensible still from the deadly illness she had
suffered, scarcely looked at the pure, white linen of her bed, the
little comforts and luxuries about her, or the gentle and watchful
Sister of Charity who bent over her, with the cool draught or the
nourishing mixture. She looked only at the sleeping cherub at her bosom,
without power to smooth, as she longed to, the brown curls on the
forehead, or to kiss the gentle eyes in their pleasant sleep. Then she,
too, sunk into such a sleep, long and refreshing, and hour after hour
the Sister sat by the bed, till the night passed and the morning, and
the sun came against the white curtain at the head of the silent bed.
Nature was kindly dealing with Clara and her young baby; they slept and
gathered strength to live. Stronger and deeper came the breath of
both—more rapidly ran the rosy current over the calm faces of both,
till Nature, drawing from her deep wells of love, moistened the thirsty
lip of one, at the moment the glad throb of the other’s heart woke them
both to happy existence. Clara nursed her child and had no words to
express her joy. The watchful Sister saw the emotion that pervaded her
frame, and placing her finger on her lip, prepared a composing draught
for the young mother.

Many days passed of the kindest care and the most rapid recovery. Both
mother and child were so well as no longer to need the constant aid of
the Sister. But she sat with Clara the evening before her departure, her
kind face lighted up with benevolence and interest in those she had
saved from death.

“Holy Mary grant it may be best for both of you!” ejaculated she, as her
fingers mechanically sought her rosary and moved rapidly over it.

“Amen!” said Clara, piously.

“You have tasted the bitterness of death once. You can never dread it so
much again. I have attended many death-beds, I never saw any thing so
nearly like it as yours was; but for a little warmth about the heart, I
should have been quite discouraged; and then when I tore open your vest
the crucifix lay there, and I was almost sure you were living. Our
Blessed Mother would be loth that the pillow on which Jesus rested
should be hard and cold; and sure enough it was not half an hour before
your eyes opened.”

“Dear Sister Martha,” said Clara; “I had dreams in that half hour which
I shall never forget to the last day of my life.”

“Tell me them if you may. The dreams of those who have passed from death
back to life, must be foreshadowings and pictures of the life beyond.
Holy St. Ignatius had many such, when exhausted with excessive fasts he
lay in death-like swoons on the floor of his cell. Tell me, then, I pray
you, in what form death came to you.”

“Like two vast dark wings, which grew darker and darker, and folded
closer and closer over me, till at last they seemed to brood over me, as
I have seen birds over their young. There was nothing strange or gloomy
about them—nothing frightful. They seemed to have a right there, and I
knew what it was; only I could not look at or attend to its approaches,
because I waited and watched first for the soul of my darling to pass. I
said it with my thought to the dark wings, and it replied—‘You shall
pass away together.’ Then it came closer to me, like a watching mother
to the bed, and I felt it come down on my eyes like a shadow, and then I
seemed to sleep a long, long while. Such a sleep as one is half
conscious of, and the refreshment of which he fully enjoys.

“When I awoke, I found or felt myself in the folds, as it were, of a
cloud. It was rose-colored, and seemed made of music—but the music was
not set harmony either, and seemed composed of all natural soothing
sounds. The whisper and rush of the wave on the sea shore, the murmur of
the brooklet, or the sighing of the wind among the trees or over the
long grass; all sounds that are associated with peace and loveliness
filled and seemed to compose this cloud, for there was a mingling of
senses, so to speak, or rather all that was most lovely in sound and
color and odor embathed and permeated my being without my perceiving,
far less analyzing, the source of my pleasure. At length, as if the
natural body were changed for a spiritual one, I began to ascend and
descend on the pillowy clouds above and about me, I moved voluntarily,
and was conscious of an independent existence. Slowly came back the
memory of life and of its relations. But though I remembered my baby
entirely, I was without that agonizing anxiety for her with which I had
died. There were many soft female faces about me as I lay there, and
presently I felt that the Blessed Mother herself was among them, for she
leaned over me and smiled; and then, I knew without her telling me, that
my own baby was the one she held in her arms and gave to me. I cannot
express to you the home-feeling that this gave me. All about me grew
more soft and lovely, the forms and features of all more and more
distinct, as if they were careful not to oppress the new-born soul with
excess of beauty.

“But when the rose-cloud floated away and the clear blue beyond of the
very heavens, sprinkled with starry light, of which our firmament in a
clear wintry night gives you but a feeble idea, I felt then the activity
of a spirit. With the celerity of thought we traversed, in bands or
alone, the infinite space, where we learned God in its beauty and
vastness, and learning Him, adored Him. It was but a beginning, a moment
of eternity that I had begun to taste, yet what years I seemed to myself
to live! Once only I saw the Holy Jesus, and then He spoke so gently the
words, ‘A little while, and where I am, you shall be also. Suffer your
little one, also, to come unto me, and forbid her not; she will remember
her first moments in heaven.’

“And then the next thing I remember was a dull, sluggish feeling, of
almost pain, and a choking sensation; and then, your face, full of
compassion, my kind Sister, beamed on me and consoled me. It had been a
grievous change from heaven’s angels, but that I found one of mercy on
earth.”

“Very little like an angel,” said Sister Martha, with a smile; “but tell
me now, how the angels look.”

“That is just what I cannot do,” said Clara, “no more than I can tell
how the soul looks that beams in your eye, but is not your eye,—how the
tears well up from your tender heart, and soften but do not suffuse. Ah!
with what body do they come? Something that without seeing, we love, and
before which, body, and feature, and form, even in this life melt away.
Even here we love what we never saw or can see, how much more in a
world, where thought meets thought with purest eloquence, unimpeded by
words or tones, where the glance of an eye speaks a clear reply to every
question you ask, and gentle affections lapse your soul in perpetual
joy. You love them, these angels, without knowing why, and without the
need of sight to feed the feeling.”

“You have seen very much, Clara,” said the pious sister, “I would I
might die, to learn thus, how to live.”

“Yes, life can never seem to me as it has done. I would that so it might
have looked to my darling child. I would that she might have the memory
of that fond embrace, and those touching words of the Divine Saviour.”

Sister Martha never forgot this incident in her monotonous and yet ever
varied existence. In the varieties of pain and suffering which she
witnessed and relieved, she constantly remembered the young Clara and
her eventful entrance into a life which promised so little to innocence
and poverty. From time to time she traced her path, and administered
such consolations and assistance as were consistent with her own duties,
and when ten years after, Mrs. Neville sunk into a sleep of death,
Sister Martha closed the eyes of the parent, and bore the weeping child
to the convent of Chaillot, where she would have at least a shelter, and
the kind care she needed.

Since her birth, Clara, or as the Sisters of the French Convent called
her, Claire Neville, had neither seen nor heard from her father, but her
mother, who had received no intelligence of his death, had constantly
looked forward, even to the day of her death, to a re-union with him
upon earth, and not an hour before she died, she had told the beloved
being, for whom alone she wished to live, that she was convinced that
she should not depart, without once more being consoled by his presence.

A few moments before her final departure, her vivid fancy, acting on the
hope that had so long filled her whole being, produced the resemblance
for which she sighed. She raised her eyes to the door, and a glad
expression of recognition, illumined them with more than mortal light;
and while those about her in vain sought for the object of her mental
sight, she was evidently in a state of happy conviction that the so
long-lost was found, and that her child had, when most she needed it,
found a friend and a father. Her lips moved, but uttered no sound—she
gazed at her child, and smiled,—and, in that smile, passed into a
world, where is no more death.

Claire remained at the convent, which was within a mile of the small
town of Chaillot, on the French coast; and, by rendering such services
as her tender age would permit—and by her unvarying sweetness and
gentleness, endeared herself to the sisters, and as they said, amply
repaid them for the slight expenses she incurred.

But, deprived of the society of children, and having no person about
her, with whom she could precisely sympathize, the young girl grew up
with an isolation of spirit, easy to foresee, and a prematurity of
character, consequent on her position, which strangely contrasted with
her childish face. Her eyes, which were of a clear blue, had a sweet
seriousness in their depths, so far removed from the glad _insouciance_
of childhood, as to startle you as you gazed, and for the moment to fill
you with awe, as if in the presence of a spirit—at least such was my
own feeling the first time I saw her.

I had been ordered to the south of France for my health, and had been
stopping for a week in the town, near which the convent of Chaillot was
situated. Its white walls could be easily seen through the trees around
it, and from its windows the far-reaching sea suggested images of lonely
and solemn grandeur, in unison with the secluded character of the pious
inmates. From this institution, of all the passive virtues, came forth
alternately bands of those heroic spirits, the Sisters of Mercy, who
relinquishing the life of quiet inaction, which the convent induced,
went with their hearty sympathy, their cheerful aid, and their
unshrinking labor, into every abode where poverty, sickness, or even
pestilence cried out for a helping hand.

Often a victim to this open-handed charity, this sublime self-sacrifice
would be brought home to the convent, to breathe her last. But never was
there a gap in these heroic ranks. As fast as one brave spirit fell, the
place was filled by another, animated by her example, and eager to take
up her cross. It was to this place, that the little Claire, taught by
the example of Sister Martha, looked forward as to the fulfillment of
her destiny. For this purpose, her education had, at the early age of
fourteen, fitted her for a nurse; and in the convent she was called on,
in all the little cases of illness which needed a soother. Nobody could
spread a plaster so smoothly as Claire—nobody could place a pillow so
nicely under the head as Claire—no one stepped so softly, spoke so
gently, bathed so coolly, as Claire—none murmured so monotonously the
rosary, or sung in a low tone the Ave Maria, so as to bring sleep on the
strained eyelids, as Claire—and her gentleness and assiduity had
entirely won the hearts of the good Sisters.

One day, it was late in the afternoon, I had gone down on the beach to
walk, as my habit was, for some hours. The character of the shore for
miles, which was exceedingly bold and rocky contrasted with the smooth
expanse and soothing murmurs of the sea; and debarred by my want of
strength, from scaling the rocks, as I longed to do, I used to wander on
the white, hard sand, with a free feeling of delight, and an animating
glow, that was second only to the sense of power with which the strong,
firm step of the mountaineer springs from one cliff to another.

On the afternoon I mention, this effervescence of the blood, which
induced a corresponding elevation and sensitiveness to the spirit, kept
me in a perpetual state of enjoyment, which I did not attempt to
analyze, but was content to feel. The sun had set, and the brilliant
hues over the water continually broke in little rainbows on the crested
waves. The air, balmy and fresh, was full of life. The birds wheeled and
circled in graceful joyousness over the lapsing, and seemingly conscious
ocean, which swelled and whispered its mysterious replies. For the first
time I felt my own spirit in harmony with nature in this aspect.
Formerly, an undefinable terror took possession of me at being left
alone with the ocean. It was the same with the sky. Many a time I have
glanced timidly at the depths of the sky, and shrunk from it, as if it
were from the presence of the Creative Power; and always when the whole
breadth of the sea stretched out his leviathan length before me, it awed
and oppressed me to such a degree that I did not like to walk alone on
the beach. Every wave, as it dashed up the smooth “untrampled floor,”
had come laden with sounds of lamentation. I had continually thought, as
I looked at it, how deceitful it was, in its beauty, and how its
magnificence and pomp covered sorrowing, and wrecks, and heart
breakings. But now, for no reason, all was different. The ocean seemed
like a great angel of God’s mercy, beautiful, vast, and conscious. It
married with the sky, and reflected all hues of beauty and glory, and
sang out songs of praise to the Power that made them both. My spirit
rose and mingled with the simple majesty of the scenery. I too felt
myself a child of God, and could understand and worship him. In my heart
were echoed the dim soundings of the sea; in my thoughts sparkled the
watching stars, and the still lingering sun-beams. The transcendant
beauty, above all form, yet which reveled in creative forms; the
vastness and vague splendor of nature, in this view, all spoke of the
Infinite in my soul. Deep called unto deep to praise Him, and I paced
hurriedly to and fro, with an excitement and elevation of soul that
rendered me insensible to the passage of time.

The water was already dark with the reflection of night, when a light
touch startled me, as if I had received an electric shock. I looked up
and saw a sweet, serious figure at my side.

“Madame is not aware that the evening is chill,” said she, gently.

“Chilly is it?” I answered. “It seems very warm.”

“You have been walking a long time—hours. Will Madame permit me to go
home with her?”

She mingled the formal politeness of a stranger with the familiar _tu_
that seemed induced by kindness and anxiety. I felt the feverish glow on
my cheek, and replied, “that I had probably walked beyond my strength.”
Already the re-action of lassitude and weakness crept over me, and I
could hardly walk, as we turned toward the village.

“It is half a mile to the village. You are very weak. Permit me to
attend you to the convent near. It wilt be no inconvenience. Lean on me,
dear Madame.”

She spoke these words calmly and slowly, but, as if she were to be
obeyed. I followed her mechanically, or rather tottered along by her
side without question. I felt too much exhausted to talk, and also the
need of immediate repose and care in my wearied condition.

A few minutes walk brought us to the convent gate. An old man, who was
also the gardener, opened it, and two of the sisters hurried to the door
to receive us. A slight gesture from my guide, produced profound
silence, and I was at once taken to a room and a bed.

I awoke from an unconscious state, produced I supposed by the sedative I
had drank immediately on my arrival, and looked languidly around me. I
remember my first feeling was one of surprise at the comfortable
appearance of every thing near and about me. I had never been in a
convent before, and had supposed, with the vague notions of
Protestantism about convents, that I should be put in a cell at least,
with probably a death’s head and cross-bones for furniture, and a
hair-cloth and thongs for entertainment. On the contrary, I felt myself
lying on a down-bed—muslin curtains gathered in delicate folds above
it—the windows shaded with the same material—waving lightly to and fro
in the summer night air. The oaken floor so highly polished, and the
neat table holding a nurse-lamp and some phials. Besides that, there was
no look of a sick-room. The lamp shone on the mild face of the Madonna
of Sassoferato, whose clasped hands and conventual garb seemed to make
her the tutelar genius of such a scene; and below, was the never-failing
crucifix of ivory on a bronze stand.

Not a sound, but the sighing of the leaves against the window,
interrupted the midnight quiet of the scene. Refreshed and composed by
the judicious treatment I had received, I lay calmly recalling the
preceding evening, and wondering what my landlady at the village would
think of my being out all night. I might have spared any anxiety on that
account, as I afterward learned, as the good Sisters had at once
dispatched a messenger to assure her of my safety. In that small place
the arrival of a stranger is an event. The seclusion of a convent is
favorable to curiosity, and my name, situation, health, and person, were
perfectly well-known to all the good Sisters, though I had not chanced
to meet one of them.

A distant strain of music broke the silence around me. I started, and
raising myself in bed undrew the curtains. A figure clothed in white
approached the bed, and I recognized at once the face of my yesterday’s
companion.

“Do not be startled. It is only the Sisters.”

She bent her sweet face over me, like an angel watcher.

“You have been sitting by me all night, my dear,” said I.

“Oh! that is nothing,” she answered, cheerfully. “I like to keep awake
in the night.”

“But what can you have to occupy yourself with? Surely, you cannot be
satisfied with telling your beads over?”

“I have my netting by me, and then there are always one’s thoughts and
memories.”

“And your memories, my dear,” said I, “what are they? What can you
remember that is not so mingled with pain and deprivations, that the
contemplation of it must be sad rather than pleasant?”

In reply, she told me in her own simple and touching manner the story of
her mother’s death, and the almost revelation that preceded it.

“And how do you feel about it yourself?” said I.

“I fully believe, madam, that such an impression would not have been
vouchsafed by the good God to my mother, unless it had been true, and
important also that I should know it.”

“Then you still look for your father, my child?”

“As I look for the sunrise to-morrow,” she answered, raising her clear
eyes to heaven. “Some day he will certainly come.”

“And meanwhile!”

“Meanwhile, I think of him continually. I imagine always how he would
like to have me conduct myself, and in all my little troubles I look
forward to the time when I shall feel no more sorrow. You will not think
me superstitious, madam, when I tell you that my mother’s heart is very
near to mine, and often I am conscious of heavenly thoughts that I am
sure are of her whispering to my spirit.”

I would not for the world have disturbed fancies so sweet and holy as
filled the breast of this lovely child with any doubts of their reality,
even if I had not been more than half inclined to agree with her in the
belief of spiritual intercourse with the departed.

“But, Claire,” said I, after a long pause, “it is a strange and terrible
thought, one at which we instinctively revolt, that close to us, by
night or by day, is a haunting spirit, even if it were our mother’s. It
seems to me I should so dread the answer, that I could never gather
courage to speak to such a spirit, if I believed it could and would
answer me.”

“I suppose it would not answer. Ah! if it could do so, would it not long
since have responded to the agonized cry of the bereaved! But, though it
is not to sense that it speaks, the impression is not the less vivid or
credible. It is not what you see with your mortal eye, dear lady, that
you believe most fully and heartily. Even if we were to see the beloved
form or hear the beloved tones, a something would whisper to us of doubt
and incredulity. It would be ‘an optical illusion,’ or ‘a derangement of
the auricular organs,’ and we should very soon come to believe ourselves
entirely mistaken in the impressions we had received. It is only the
mind itself that can take distinct cognizance of its own objects.”

“You speak like a philosopher, dear Claire. Where have you learned to
consider the subject so deeply?”

“Of Father Angelo,” replied the young girl, simply.

“And he is your confessor, I suppose,” said I.

“Yes, madam; and my best friend. For dear Sister Martha, who has told me
of my early life, could not resolve my doubts and fears, and the
thousand anxieties that I should naturally feel, and I have been both
relieved and enlightened by free conversation with Father Angelo. He
must have suffered much himself, for his heart is so tender and his
manner so soothing, and yet he always strengthens one’s spirit so much,
with his calm views of another life, in this life of ours. Till he came
to us I never knew fully what sympathy was. The Sisters but half
understood me, and when I saw the excellence of their lives, when I
watched their hardy activity and their daily devotion to duty, I used to
feel sure that theirs must be the true thought that led directly to
right action, and that my world of fancies and mysteries must be a
morbid and unhealthy one. Still I felt constantly that ‘I heard a voice
they could not hear,’ and never till last summer, when Father Angelo
came to us, did I at all understand myself.”

“And now that you do understand yourself, you are happy, my child?” I
asked.

“As happy as one with unoccupied affections can be, madam. I feel that I
have much love that has never been called into action, and I fancy that
my father when he comes will fill my heart. Meantime, I see why it is
that there are depths in my soul that no plummet can sound, and where
the voice of God alone calls forth an answer. Sometime or other, either
in this world or a future one, these deep voices will find musical
utterance, and the harmony of the affections, which alone is wanting to
the harmony of nature, will make my being what God intended it to be.”

“You are happy, my dear child, to have such a confidence; it comes
sometimes after suffering and sorrowful experiences, but seldom in the
bloom of life.”

“And I should have wandered long and unhappily but for the guidance of
Father Angelo,” said Claire, her eyes radiant with grateful affection
whenever she spoke of this father of her best thoughts.

I became curious to see Father Angelo.

“When will he come here again?” I inquired.

“To-morrow at furthest,” said Claire.

“Then I hope I shall see him.”

“Assuredly, if madam desires it,” said Claire, with a pleased look. “But
apparently, madam is a Protestant?”

“Oh, I do not want to confess to him,” said I, laughing.

“Pardon me, madam. But have you never felt that it would be a great
pleasure and privilege to confess?”

“Assuredly not, Claire,” said I, more seriously.

“Madam has had dear friends then, to whom she could express every
thought—confess every fault—and to whom she could apply in every
difficulty?” inquired she.

“No—not always,” answered I, hesitatingly; “but, Claire, we believe
that to God alone we should confess.”

“God alone can absolve,” said Claire, devoutly, “by the mouth of his
minister, the repenting heart. But there are so many things we wish to
say to an earthly friend, and to which we must receive an answer—”

“But we believe the Bible to be a sufficient guide to all our darkness
and doubts.”

“Morally I know it is, madam. And I do not say that its precepts will
not reach every variety of intellectual difficulty. But I have found
that conference with a superior mind is a great relief and pleasure, as
well as guide, in understanding the doubts that often weigh on the
mind.”

“Unquestionably it is so, Claire; but we find those superior minds in
the circle of our acquaintances, in our husbands, brothers, and the
friends to whom we attach ourselves. We have not the need of confession
that you feel, isolated as you are from any guiding mind.”

“Yes, madam, that is true. I can see that in such a case confession
would not be so necessary; but with us it is a great need.”

She drew the curtains as she spoke, and sat silently at her netting. I
lay revolving in my mind for a long time the conversation I had been
holding with this strange girl. There was something in the maturity of
her mind and the dignity of her manner, that contrasted greatly with the
extreme youthfulness of her figure and face. Her eyes had a quiet
serenity that seemed the result of having attained, at a bound, the goal
to which humanity generally reaches after long and painful experiences
and mental vicissitudes that leave their unmistakable marks on the face.
But in Claire’s face, seen by the pale light of the room, was an angelic
wisdom, pure and high. Yet she did not look satisfied; or rather, she
was satisfied only in the thought of a future different from the calm
present.

I asked myself how would this sweet flower bear transplanting? She had
no ties but those of gratitude to the place she was in, and as a sphere
of usefulness, some one more strong and hardy could fill it better than
she did. She evidently looked and longed for the arrival of her father,
more from “the necessity of loving” than from a filial feeling. I did
not myself believe that he was in existence, or that if he were, he was
worthy of her affection, or he would long ere this have sought her out.
Thoughts like these kept me wakeful, and when I undrew the curtain again
to speak to Claire, I found she had gone softly out, and her place was
supplied by a stout “Sister,” to whom I had no inclination to speak. She
told me, in answer to my query, that day was nearly breaking, and I sunk
to sleep in the hearing of the distant music of the morning-hymn.

The sun was already high in the heavens when I awoke. Claire was sitting
by the side of my bed, and at my first motion, spoke to me with a
cheerful smile that well corresponded with the serene brightness of the
day.

“Father Angelo has been here for some time, madam; I have been telling
him about you, for truly, madam, I feel as if I had known you a long
time, instead of only one night. He will be glad to see you.”

“And I shall like to see him, Claire. But as I feel myself, thanks to
your kindness, quite recovered, I will not receive him so entirely in
dishabille.”

In a few momenta I was dressed, and walking in the small garden attached
to the convent. Claire left me for a short time, and then came out
followed or rather attended by her friend.

He was dressed in the common black robe of his order, with the cowl
thrown back so as fully to display his head and throat. For the first
time, I understood that he was not a monk, but only a clergyman, as we
should say. A priest, and not a very old one either. Certainly he had
never numbered more than thirty-five years. His face was entirely pale,
and his temples covered with dark hair, while his red lips and white,
even teeth had the grace of feminine contour.

I was struck with the gravity, even to sadness, of his manner, no less
than with the beauty of his person. He uttered in a low, quiet voice the
usual benediction, and then asked me to listen to him, as he had much to
say to me. I replied with some surprise, that I was quite at his
service, and leading me to a rude garden-seat, over which honeysuckles
and roses made a natural bower, he said quietly to Claire—

“You will leave us, Claire, for half an hour; and send Sister Mary with
some of her coffee and best buns.”

This was not precisely the confessional I had anticipated; and in spite
of the little flutter of my spirits, this picture of myself, in high
colloquy with a Catholic priest, sipping hot coffee and eating nice
buns, was so laughable, that I could hardly keep my face in a state of
suitable gravity.

Sister Mary’s white buns and fragrant coffee were delicious indeed.
While I partook of them, Father Angelo leaned his head on his hand in
profound abstraction. His complete absorption continued for some minutes
after the nun had left us alone. At length he raised his head, and
looking steadily at me, said abruptly,

“I suppose it is vain to attempt any thing like a conversion of your
principles to the true church.”

“Entirely so,” I answered, “as I was born and educated I shall probably
remain.”

“So I thought.”

Again there was a long silence. What it was to end in, I could not
guess; but I determined not to break it. My companion was evidently
agitated and uncomfortable. His red lips became pale and quivering, and
his brow bent. He rose from his seat, and paced back and forward on the
graveled walk. After some time had elapsed in this inward conflict, he
seated himself once more by my side, and taking my hand, addressed me
thus:

“Pardon me for saying that I require from you a solemn promise of
secrecy in regard to what I am about to communicate.”

I was somewhat prepared for a communication, it is true; but not at all
disposed to bind myself to secrecy with a stranger. He seemed to read my
thoughts, for he fixed his bright eyes on mine, and then dropped them
with an expression of embarrassment.

“I should not have asked you, madam, for this pledge of secrecy, but
that it is of much importance—and—and I think you can receive no
inconvenience—possibly—”

He stopped entirely, but again raised his eyes with an expression so
imploring, that I said at once,

“Say on, sir. I promise you that nothing but the most imperative
necessity shall make me disclose to any one what you may tell me.”

“Thank you,” said he, eagerly; “it is not on my account that I desire
secrecy. But there are many reasons—the good of the church—evil
tongues. When I have told you all, these reasons will readily suggest
themselves to your own mind. You are surprised that I should choose to
make an entire stranger my confident in a secret. But in the first
place, you are not entirely unknown to me. I have interested myself in
you somewhat; and there have been persons enough ready to tell me of
your ‘birth, parentage, and education.’ Of your mind and heart, Claire
has told me much this morning, in a long conversation we have had; and,
in short, circumstances make it necessary that I should confide in you.”

There was something so heartfelt in the tone in which Father Angelo
spoke, something so entirely sincere, notwithstanding the mystery in
which the affair was enveloped, that I repeated what I had before said:

“Whatever you wish to say to me, sir, I am ready to hear, to keep
entirely to myself, and to assist you to the best of my power.”

He looked greatly relieved, and proceeded.

“You have divined, before this, madam, the reason of my wish to confide
in you. You are a foreigner, a Protestant, a widow, and independent in
your actions. Claire needs all these for her friend and efficient
adviser.”

“Claire! then it is of her you wish to speak? I supposed your secret
concerned yourself. She has told me of her own life.”

“She has told you what she knew,” said Father Angelo, with the same
abruptness as before. Indeed, through the whole of our interview, there
was an earnestness which dispensed with the usual forms almost of
civility.

“I have been waiting, watching for such an event as your coming, ever
since last year, when I first became fully acquainted with Claire, and
saw how unsuited she was to a conventual life. She has warm feelings and
superior intellect, and she is fretted continually by the discrepancy
between her inward and outward life. She would be a companion to you,
and—she has some means—” he stopped, and a slight flush passed over
his pale face. “I should not wish her to be a dependent on the bounty of
any person.”

“I understand, however, from Claire herself,” said I, “that her mother
died poor, and that she has been indebted to charity for her support.
This father of hers—if he be living—”

“You think he must be a wretch,” said Father Angelo, calmly, “so to
desert those who have every claim on his care. Be it so. He is a wretch.
And most wretched is he, that, seeing before him the form of his child,
and listening to the outpourings of her angelic soul, he should be
barred from acknowledging kindred with it, and forced, for the very love
he bears her, to tear her from him forever.

“If you will accede to my earnest request, take Claire with you to
America—care for her—watch over her—be to her all that, alas! her
father must not be—and I shall feel that all, and a thousand times more
than all I deserve, and all I live for, is granted, and shall at once
enter a convent of La Trappe. I long for it—I long for eternal silence;
and have only retained my present position, that I might find Claire,
read her character, and do what I could to unfold and strengthen it.
That mission is accomplished. Her native strength of wing has already
carried her mind beyond what my feeble flights can follow. She soars to
regions of purity and peace, where my soul cannot revel, unless after
long years of penance and suffering. She loves the ideal parent, who is
to her the personification of all virtue; and it is impossible, and
ought to be so, for me to sully her thoughts with the reality which to
her must always be a source of disappointment and mortification, and to
me inexpressible shame.”

This revelation was not unexpected to me, so far as regarded the
relationship of the two parties; but it filled me with much matter for
meditation. I had no curiosity to know the events of Father Angelo’s
past life. The lines of suffering, and the traces of strong passions,
were marked deeply on his marble brow, and composed even to severity as
his manner now was, I could read under the habitual restraint of his
expressive face, that no slight agony had wrought on a naturally proud
and sensitive spirit, before it could compel itself to forego its
sweetest pleasures rather than breathe on the purity of the beloved
object.

After some time passed on my side in revolving what I had heard, and
what I was expected to do, and on his, in a distressful silence that
watched painfully for my first word, I asked,

“But about Claire’s religious influences. She will have few of the kind
she has been accustomed to; and all her indirect influences, you must be
aware, will not be very favorable to her religious constancy.”

“I think she will become a Protestant. You are surprised that I should
be willing to trust her in such an atmosphere. But there are some minds
that are cast, so to speak, in a Protestant mould; and hers is one. She
has not a great deal of faith, and her mind naturally tends so much to
inquiry, perhaps I should say skepticism, that I found it difficult to
lead her. I may as well say at once, that my own reasons for adopting
the profession and character of a priest, were first to discover her,
and know her mind more intimately than I could do in any other position;
and secondly, because the Catholic faith promises more to me than any
other religion. I feel the need of what it has to give; but to Claire, I
can see its spirit and forms are not so necessary. I am not bigoted nor
intolerant, as you see. Perhaps I am not a good Catholic. But I wish you
to understand that I am not acting against my conscience.”

“These are strange words from a Catholic priest,” said I, looking at
him. A flush of impatience crossed his face again.

“I need not qualify my words to you, I am sure. What I need—a wretched,
debased sinner—stripes—fasting—silence—and digging my own grave
daily—are not the necessary aliment of Claire’s soul, fresh from the
forming hand of the All-Pure.”

“Then I understand that Claire, if I take her, is to be like my own
child; that no interference of any kind with my authority or influence
is to be allowed?”

“There is no person living authorized to interfere,” said Father Angelo,
sadly. “Her father will be dead to her. And God will reward or punish
you as you deal by this forlorn and most angelic child.”

“I accept the trust,” said I, with the same solemnity that was expressed
in the manner of the unhappy father. He took my hand in his, and holding
it up, repeated a short prayer in Latin, which I took to be an
invocation, but I said nothing; and, indeed, was so agitated and
exhausted that I could not speak.

“I shall leave this place this morning,” said he, with a more composed
voice, “and shall send to you such information as may be necessary to
her future welfare in any possible contingency.”

He rung a bell which stood on the table, and Claire came into the
garden, as if she had been in waiting. He made a sign to her to attend
to me, and as soon as I had taken the restorative she hastened to offer,
rose to go. I shall never forget the look of anguished affection that
spread over his pale face, as he murmured above Claire’s bright head the
customary benediction. His whole being seemed one thrill of pain.
Stooping over he pressed on her forehead a kiss of such love! and then
without another word hurried away.

Claire looked astonished, as well she might, for she had never seen him
agitated before, though, as she said, she conjectured he must have
suffered much.

“He feels sorrowfully at leaving you, my child,” said I, “he tells me he
is about leaving this part of the country.”

She looked at me, as if she wondered at his communicating such an
intention to me, rather than to herself, but was too delicate to inquire
further.

The same afternoon a package came to the convent, directed to me, and
contained, among other things, a letter from Father Angelo “to his
beloved daughter in Christ Jesus”—in which he recommended her to accept
the proposal I had made of taking her with me to America, and containing
besides some affectionate words of advice. It was brief, and I could
easily see that many feelings had prevented his being more prolix.

I then entered more fully into the subject with Claire, of her leaving
her native country for mine. I found, to my great joy, that she was not
only willing but desirous to go with me, and that a night’s free
converse with me had given me much of her affection.

“I have not dared to think, dear madam,” she said tearfully, “how
‘doubly lone’ I should be when you were gone.”

“And you think you shall not long for the seclusion of Chaillot, and the
hymns of the Sisters?”

“Oh, I dare say I shall long to see them. But meanwhile I do so long to
be with you, and to see something and somebody in the world!”

“And you will be my own daughter?” I asked her now more seriously—“do
you know how much that implies? If I give you all I shall require much
from you.”

“Not more than all my heart,” answered she gayly, “and that you shall
certainly have.”

“Till somebody else asks for it,” said I to myself.

The remainder of my stay at Chaillot was cheered by the occasional
visits of Claire, but the most of the time she spent at the convent, and
among the poor of the village, who loved her and mourned her departure.
When at last the vessel bore us both away from France she was deeply
affected. I was glad to see it: glad that mere curiosity and interest in
novelty had not dulled her heart to one sympathy.

Arrived at Boston, we met the kind faces of friends, how kind and how
dear, we never feel till an ocean has separated us, and soon found
ourselves quietly established at my own residence, as if not a week had
passed since I was last there. Claire gained in a northern climate all
she needed to make her perfect—strength of body, and consequent
strength of mind. She was never weary of the bold natural scenery in
which New England abounds, and wandered and climbed till I used to beg
her to take care of herself for my sake.

All this time I had a plot in my head. For what woman was ever without
one? Had I not a son, whose image was seldom absent an hour from my
memory, yet whose name I was careful not to mention to Claire? Who could
tell what might be in the future, if I did not mar its brightness by my
own interference? So I patiently waited the result of accidental
influences. I expected Herbert home by the next packet. He had been
prevented from meeting me in France, and accompanying us home, by
illness, and I had availed myself of the escort of some friends who were
coming to America, without waiting for his recovery.

We had been returned for more than two months. The autumnal tints
already brightened with consumptive red the rich verdure of summer, and
the harvest-moon shone out with a calm brilliancy that almost mocked the
daily sun. Claire was delighted with Nature under its bold American
features. As I watched the daily development of her taste, and delighted
to see its refinement and richness, I felt that I could not have desired
more in a daughter, than was thrown as it were by the bounty of
Providence into my lap.

We had been sitting in the old portico, with shawls wrapt about us, and
watching the moonlight on the clumps of trees, as it silvered and
sprinkled them with heavenly glory, and neither of us had for a long
time spoken. Claire, who connected all still, solemn beauty with the
thought of her lost mother, was, I doubted not, thinking of heaven and
her; and I was myself recalling my short and eventful acquaintance with
her father. Claire rose from her seat, and walked down the avenue a
short distance, then turned and stood by a fountain, which played by the
side of a larch tree. It was a pretty picture. The fountain, the tree,
and the moon, that embathed the girl, the fountain, and the tree in soft
splendor. Claire had removed her shawl from her shoulders, and stood
with it dropping off her arm, as motionless as a statue. Her bright,
waving hair lay over her shoulders—and like the spirit of the scene she
stood.

As I, too, followed down the walk, I was conscious of a second figure,
which, as I approached, came out from the shadow of a tree. Once in the
light, I recognized Herbert, and did _not_ scream. Neither did I beckon
to him to look at, and fall in love with, the beautiful being before us,
because I felt very certain that if it were to be done, there could not
be a better time for him to do it without my aid. And with a
self-command, which I believe is rare among match-makers, I beckoned to
him to retire to the house, while I went forward to Claire.

She was still motionless, absorbed in thoughts of a not painful
character, as was evident from the placid expression of her lifted eyes.

“You will take cold, Claire,” said I, gently.

“Thank you,” she answered, in her sweet French accent, “I am not afraid.
You know I am used to all hours and weathers.”

“But I am going in now. My son has arrived. You have never heard me
speak of him, I believe—but I have felt considerable anxiety about him.
An anxiety which is now happily relieved by his arrival.”

She looked a little surprised, but made no inquiry and followed me into
the house. I was curious to see the effect of this her first
acquaintance with an accomplished and eminently attractive man. Hitherto
she had seen no person above the common peasantry of the small town of
Chaillot, except Father Angelo.

Three weeks after this evening, Herbert came into my room, whence Claire
had just gone to take a walk, and throwing himself into a chair, wiped
the wet from his forehead and hair in a state of unquestionable
agitation.

“Come, mother! help me—help me, or I sink!”

“What, really overcome? You, the redoubtable! the renowned! the
invincible! Can I believe my eyes!” answered I, laughing heartily—for
love-sickness, like sea-sickness, gets no sympathy—and I was really
pleased to see Herbert, for once, undoubtedly in earnest.

“Now, a truce to your satire, mother mine. And a truce to your smiles
even. I wont allow that there is any occasion for grief either; but the
fact is, I cannot live, now, without Claire and her love—and she knows
it—”

“Knows it!”

“Yes!” said Herbert, impatiently; “and that’s the devil of it! While I
was endeavoring to wind myself softly, soothingly, you see, into her
tender heart, not to break it, you know, but just to set all its
faculties and springs fluttering, like pigeons, and to watch how she
should blush, and sigh, and droop—till, just at the right point, I
meant, when she least hoped and expected it, when she should
despairingly throw herself down, half senseless with excitement and
hopelessness—then, I meant to have stepped in. Now, mother, don’t
_say_, What an insufferable puppy! for I feel it enough, I assure you.
The fact is, I didn’t know myself what I did mean till half an hour
ago.”

“Is it possible! Why, Claire has been reading to me nearly or quite half
an hour, and has just gone out to carry some comfort to old Nurse
Dobbins. No appearance of maiden agitation about her, my poor son, but
as calm as a clock.”

The fact was, I had noticed that her cheek had a slight pallor, and had
recommended the walk myself; but this I did not think it necessary to
mention.

“Doubtless!” was the pettish reply. “I wonder if she is not all ice—or
rather, whether she has a heart for any thing but old women!”

“She certainly has a heart, and one well worth the winning, Herbert. But
not in the fashion you have been used to. All-conquering knight that you
are—you must lay down your tinsel and frippery, and don the helmet of
sterling gold, and break a lance for honor bright, if you would win
favor from this child of nature.”

“Isn’t she, mother?” said Herbert, enthusiastically, “isn’t she the
noblest, and loveliest, and sweetest creature that ever the earth
presumed to bear up? You love her, I know; teach me how to love her, so
that she may love me! for it is true what I tell you. I cannot live
without her pure and beautiful heart!”

I had never seen Herbert thoroughly moved before. Under an exterior of
frivolity he concealed the real fervor and enthusiasm of which I knew
him capable. But it had been long since I had seen him at all excited
about any thing. That Claire should interest him, was only allowing him
a pure natural taste; but that Claire should not have reciprocated the
sentiment she excited, puzzled me, I allow—for I was a parent.

“Tell me, mother,” he continued—or would have done so, but that Claire
just at that moment entered the room, with her basket on her arm. Her
pale cheek now flushed with a rapid walk, was brilliant with health, and
her eyes met both Herbert’s and mine with a buoyancy and serenity, as
little like a love-stricken girl as could well be imagined. I saw
Herbert’s cheek turn pale, as he suddenly rose and springing through the
window upon the lawn, whistled to his dog, and walked rapidly away.

Claire looked after him, and then meeting my inquiring eye, she stood
with hers looking clearly into my face.

“And so my poor Herbert has no chance?” said I.

She seated herself by me with a little embarrassment, which became her a
thousand times more than the serene self-possession so habitual to her.

“My beloved mother—my benefactress!” she stopped.

“Not a word of that, Claire. Hearts are to be given, and not bought. But
how comes it that you see nothing lovable or winning about Herbert? He
seems perfectly hopeless.”

“I might have seen, indeed I did see, a thousand charming qualities in
Mr. ——,” said Claire, with grave simplicity, “but that he seemed to be
only amusing himself with me, and not in earnest about any thing. Least
of all did I believe him in earnest when he professed love for me. Love!
which I have always looked on as something so holy, so sacred, so
ennobling! a trust so solemn as another’s heart, not to be taken without
awe and trembling! Believe me, dearest mother, I did not once think, nor
can I now, that Mr. —— had an earnest thought in the whole matter.
Evidently he has only been amusing himself, and trying perhaps to amuse
me with the idea of having made a conquest. He mistook me altogether.”
She drew her head up a very little, with an expression that spoke of
wounded pride; but instantly dismissed it, and resumed her usual
affectionate look.

“I hope you will not think any more about it, dear Claire. These things
are best dismissed from the thoughts. Shall we go on with our reading?”

I spoke hurriedly, for, in truth, I was severely disappointed. I did not
think how much so, until I listened to the calm, decided tone, and
looked on the quiet face of Claire. Things looked hopeless for Herbert;
and I could not help sympathizing with him in his keen disappointment.
Meantime, as I knew affection could not be reproached into existence, I
endeavored to divert both my own mind and hers from a painful subject.

Absence is said to be the death of love, I believe it is sometimes the
birth of it. Certainly, Herbert, if he had tried a thousand ways to
Claire’s heart, could not have hit on a likelier road than that which
led him away from her, under the pretence of going to Niagara Falls.

“My body will go in search of the picturesque, mother,” said he, with a
faint attempt at gayety, “but my soul remains at home. It will haunt
you—both; and I charge you listen to its whispers that shall be in your
ears night and day!”

“Farewell, Claire!” was all he said to her; and when he was gone, she
sat for some minutes, looking into the heart of a flower she was holding
in her hand, as if trying to solve a problem too difficult for her.

Days passed, and weeks. We talked, and walked, and rode, and read by
turns, as we were wont to do, before this vision of Herbert had passed
over and breathed on the mirror of her pure heart. But no longer was her
eye clear, and her brow serene. She was disturbed and restless. An enemy
had come in to her heart to steal away its peace. When we read poetry, a
consciousness in her voice, gave meaning and depth to every passionate
tone; and when we walked in the November woods, their melancholy beauty
woke sad feelings kindred to the scene. I saw that her sensitive nature
was touched to its depths. She had begun to think, not that she was
loved, for her standard of that passion was too high to leave her in
such an error; but how sweet it would be to be loved. Her heart, like a
lonely harp-string, vibrated in every breeze, and seemed asking vainly
for its completing harmony.

She did not ask me to read to her any of Herbert’s letters. I wished she
would, and once read to her what I thought a very capital description of
the cataract. But she only said composedly that my son had described the
scenery, and not his own impressions on seeing it.

“I don’t believe any reality on earth could equal the descriptions we
have had of Niagara. It would need heaven and hell almost to body forth
the ideas that travelers have called up. I can only hope to be able, if
ever I see it, to forget all that I have ever heard about it, so as to
shrink before its magnificence as I should feel bound to do.”

“Suppose we try, Claire?” said I.

“With all my heart,” answered she, evidently glad in her restless state
to be going somewhere. I had previously told her that Herbert had gone
to Quebec.

In a week’s time Claire and myself, with a man-servant, had reached
Albany, and there took the canal-boats to Buffalo. The wearisome journey
by stage-coach had admirably prepared us for the monotonous ease of the
boat. Fortunately there were very few passengers, and we lay in our
little clean white berths and rested and read as quietly as if we had
been in our own rooms.

On reaching the Falls we were too thoroughly wearied to attempt more
that night, and went to our beds.

On our way, a fellow passenger, experienced in sight-seeing, had
recommended to us to take our first view from the American side, and
from below, instead of the usual view from Table Rock. We therefore
crossed the river a little distance below the Falls, without giving way
to the temptation of gazing for a moment at the view before us, though
the roar was terrible in our ears. Then we walked on the American side,
closer, closer till we were within twenty feet of the cataract. The
spray dripped over us, the rocks were slippery to our feet, the roar of
a thousand floods seemed in our bewildered ears; and below, as it were,
the reverberating yells of damned spirits tossing, and whirling, and
dashing and howling forever. Then we looked up. The volume of water
seemed coming down from the very heavens upon us. We uttered a faint cry
of terror—turned round and fled. That is to say, we fled several yards.
No matter. We were impressed sufficiently with the physical grandeur of
the scene. It was oppressive, overwhelming. Afterward, when we roamed
over all these rocks and took views from every point, and gazed at the
cataract’s wondrous beauty as well as power, we found a moral grandeur
with which our souls sympathized, and to which they rose to enjoy and
adore. These jottings down of our impressions can give no idea to one
who has not visited the Falls, and to one who has, will scarcely enhance
his recollections. I mention them only to illustrate a trait of Claire’s
character.

A mother with her child were wandering along among the loose stones and
sharp rocks close to the terrible whirlpool from which we had just
turned. The mother had let go the child’s hand, and he, a lad of some
four or five years old, slipped from the stone on which he stood, and as
a natural consequence was in imminent danger of his life. But one rock,
and that slippery and sloping, intervened between the little fellow and
certain death. The mother screamed, but was motionless from mere horror;
Claire, who at once forgot every thing about her but what was connected
with the living drama before her, pulled at a stroke her scarf from her
neck, and giving me one end to hold, while she held the other, slid her
feet rapidly down to the very brink of the torrent, caught the boy
firmly by his foot and stood holding him. She was as pale as death, but
as firm and strong in her attitude as if she stood on the parlor floor.
She dared not move, and I had not strength, and was too distrustful of
the strength of the scarf, to dare to pull them up.

As we stood thus it seemed hours, though it could scarcely be half a
minute before relief was obtained by a rope thrown by a strong arm from
behind over the form of Claire, which fully supported her in her
perilous position. Immediately after she was clasped in the arms of a
man in a cloak, whom we had seen sitting near us in an absorbed
attitude, seemingly regardless of all about him. He had sprung from his
seat, caught up a boat-rope, which I perfectly remembered afterward to
have stepped over, thrown it around Claire, so as to support her, and
then giving the noose to my servant, who stood close but inactively
behind, steadied himself by the other end of the rope, slipped and
sprang down by Claire, caught up the boy with one hand and tossed him up
to his mother, and then bore the now fainting Claire carefully up to the
bank.

The boy screamed wildly with fright, and the mother was voluble with her
thanks and offers of assistance. Claire remained still and motionless in
the arms of the stranger, and I watched the spray dash over her marble
face. Presently her eyes opened slowly, with a deep sigh. She looked at
her preserver and a beautiful color overspread her face. Then for the
first time I also looked at him, for to this moment no one had spoken
but the woman whose carelessness had put in jeopardy three lives.

He had bent his head down to hers and had kissed her forehead, rosy with
returned consciousness. She replied by pulling her arm over his neck and
kissing, not his forehead, but his very lips. The woman and her boy had
gone, the servant discreetly retired, and there in the sound and rush of
many waters, in the turmoil of elemental war, the still, small voice of
two loving hearts, lately so near to death, was heard and registered.

“But you wrote me, Herbert, that you were setting off for Quebec last
week. Who could have dreamed of finding you here?”

“And so I did go to Quebec. But I used it up in two days, and then came
on here once more. In my then state of mind it was a relief to place
myself where you found me, and listen to the roar of the water from
morning till night. Now, I don’t care how soon we go away.”

We did journey, however, for some weeks; and when we returned and were
once more in our own quiet parlor at home, I asked Herbert to come with
me to my room.

“I am going to read you something, Herbert. Something about Claire.”

Then I opened the packet which Father Angelo had given me. First there
was the official announcement, or rather a copy of it, of Father
Angelo’s admission to the Convent of la Trappe, in Piedmont, and his
consequent death to the world and every body in it. Then a separate
packet contained such particulars of his life as he deemed necessary for
me to know, and to communicate to Claire, if I thought proper, or to
whomsoever she should hereafter marry. There were also papers conveying
a small amount of property to her. Enough for her subsistence should she
be deprived by misfortune of my support.

The man had been sinned against and was also a great sinner. He had
sinned against the young English girl, Clara, whom he had seduced from
her home under the false pretence of marriage, and whose fidelity to him
and trust in him had continued to her gentle death. Afterward to win for
himself the means of keeping up his dissipated habits he had recourse to
forgery, and had escaped in disguise, and narrowly, with his life. After
that he went to Rome; by a run of luck in gambling he obtained the means
of making a handsome appearance in society there, and by his
cultivation, taste and fine manners, so impressed an Italian family of
some distinction that he married one of the daughters. The marriage was
an unhappy one. His wife eloped with his friend, and the old drama of a
duel was acted over. Finally his resources were exhausted, and either
reason or conscience suggested to him the claim which a wife and child
had on his memory. At all events, he became an altered man, took holy
orders, obtained permission to travel, and did travel in search of his
long-forgotten wife and child. After a long search he found Claire. He
sought her society. He became her confessor and her friend. He learned
her pure heart, and her enthusiastic devotion to the memory of her
parents. Then the iron entered into his soul. He felt the impossibility
of presenting himself to such an innocent being as the realization of
such an ideal as hers. He now dreaded any chance by which his
relationship could become known to her, as much as he had heretofore
eagerly sought her. All he could do for her he did, but he constantly
watched an opportunity to secure to her an efficient friend, who could
take her into the world, and withdrawing her from the dull and confined
life she then had, put her into the way of forming connections for
herself which would in some degree lead her to forget or cease to look
for her father. The agony of being forced to deny himself every parental
caress, lest he should be forced to explain his relationship, and
consequently the reasons for his long and unpardonable estrangement,
made him wish a thousand times he were dead indeed, and he said he
longed every hour for the time to arrive when he should take the vow of
eternal silence, for such only harmonized with the gloom of his soul.

It would be wearisome to go through all the details of such a life, of
such talents abused, of such a mournful old age.

We talked the matter over freely and fully, and Herbert concluded with
me that it was best to burn the package, that under no possible
combination of circumstances could it fall into her hands. It should be
his happiness he said to make her forget to look for her father.

How he found out how much she could bless him—and when she discovered
that though he was full of faults, she loved him, faults and all, I
cannot tell; but every body’s experience will furnish similar instances
for themselves or others.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                              APPEARANCES.


                            BY J. HUNT, JR.


    It is not by an outward show
      To judge where sorrows first begin
    An old, thatched cot, for aught we know,
      May have a “banquet hall” within.

    How true this rule will oft apply,
      To some who fill life’s lowly part;
    Their very looks may Pain descry,
      And Joy be seated in their heart.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                    HOW CHARLEY BELL BECAME SENATOR.


The whole matter is this.

The tea-things had just been cleared away, the baby just got fast asleep
and laid in his crib, my wife just got fixed by the round-table making a
blue velvet cap for him, and I had just got comfortably settled in my
arm-chair on the other side of the table, when Tom returned from the
post-office through the rain and mud and dark bringing one letter. My
wife gave a pish! when I told her it was not from her mother, but
apologized immediately for her expression when I informed her that the
letter—broad, thick and with a vast deal of ink in the
superscription—was from Charley. Giving the wick of the lard-lamp
another turn she begged me to read it aloud.

Tearing off the envelope—drawing my chair a little nearer the fire and
clearing my throat I read—

    Rev. W.——

    “_My dear W._—Elected! Apart from all nonsense and affectation
    I am heartily glad of it! of course I received the
    congratulations of every body here quietly, as if it was all a
    matter of course that I should be elected Senator, but with you
    I have no reserve. Know then, my _very_ dear W., that I am glad
    I am elected. For three reasons. First, because I am elected
    while just barely of the requisite age: Second, because I am
    elected by an overwhelming majority—20 to 1: Third, because it
    places me out in a free and higher field of usefulness and
    energy. Why I feel as if I had just begun my life. I have not
    attained the _end_—only the beginning of my ambition. I don’t
    think that it ought to be branded as _ambition_—this feeling of
    mine either. I _don’t_ think it is ambition. It is a purer
    feeling—A wish, an eagerness, a _nature_ to be doing,
    influencing, bettering as wide a sphere as I possibly can. I was
    elected without any _art_ on my part whatever. I told the people
    exactly what I was, and what I intended to try to do if they
    elected me. I intend to be just exactly what I am! If I were to
    try to appear other than exactly _that_ I would look as well as
    feel mean—my arm would falter in every gesture, my tongue
    stammer, my knees shake—I would become weak—weak physically,
    mentally, utterly! A pure-minded, single-intentioned,
    whole-souled manner in thought, word and deed has borne me thus
    far like a straight arrow from a true bow. It is the shortest,
    best way to cleave the future, I know.

    “There is a fourth reason why I do rejoice in my election. It is
    because I know that _you_ will rejoice in it. It is _you_ my
    friend who have made me high-thoughted and far-thoughted. It is
    _you_ who during the last twenty years have been my good
    genius—in your conversation when present with me—in your
    correspondence when absent from——”

I read the rest of the letter to my wife, but it is entirely too
flattering to me to be coolly written out here. Indeed I remarked all
along, through the three more pages which followed, to my wife, that his
encomiums were only the warm expressions of a warm soul unusually
excited, and which must be taken with all allowance.

Charley’s letter flushed me through and through. That my old friend
should be elected Senator to congress from his State I hoped but hardly
expected. Intimate companionship with a friend, you know, has a tendency
to dwindle him in our eyes. Don’t misunderstand! Intimacy with such a
man as Charles Bell makes one love and prize him more and more—but does
_not_ make one think more and more that such a man is suited to be a
grave and reserved Senator. It is just as it is with the Swiss peasant
whose cabin is on a side of Mont Blanc—the hoary old mountain does not
appear a tithe so sublime to him as it does to some traveler in the
distance.

I say I felt thoroughly warmed and rejoiced. I arose, put all my wife’s
spools and scraps off the table into her lap, laid my portfolio and
ink-stand upon it, begged my wife to absorb herself in her baby’s velvet
cap, dipped my pen in the ink and now have written thus far.

All my past intercourse with Charley rushes to my lips now, as tears do
sometimes to one’s eyes. I want to tell just as briefly and distinctly
as possible how he has risen from nothing to what he now is. I know much
better than he—and if he reads this, it will do him good. Any-how, I
feel in the mood of writing, and before I go to bed, if my baby don’t
wake with the colic and my wife don’t interrupt me I will tell you
exactly how Charley Bell became a United States Senator.

The fact is, too, that I have a half-hope that some youth may read this
and may get a word which may wake _him_ to a higher and nobler life than
he has ever yet dreamed of. If the eye of any such a one rests on these
pages, just one word my fine fellow. Forget for a little while that
everlasting Julia whom you fell in love with last Tuesday a week ago,
and read with all your soul of souls.

I cannot exactly say when I did _not_ know Charley. He is some three
years older than myself—he being about eighteen, and I about fifteen
years of age when our friendship began to be a thing to be remembered.
He looked when I saw him a year ago exactly as he did when we used first
to chat cosily beside his fire-side, about Bulwer and Dora Anson. He is
of a medium size, handsome, earnest face, forehead broad rather than
high. There is a peculiar gentleman-look about him, wherever he is or
whatever he is doing. He has such an enthusiastic sympathy with every
man, woman and child he meets with that he is popular of course.

His peculiarity, however, always consisted in a hunger after personal
excellence. From our first acquaintance we made a distinct arrangement
to tell each other of our faults as plainly as words could convey
meaning. If he did not faithfully do his part toward me in this
arrangement I am very, very much mistaken. He thought _aloud_ about
me—told me exactly what I _was_, and what I was _not_. I did the same
in regard to him. We have acted thus for many years now. We have been of
vast benefit to each other—and will continue to be till we die.

I do verily believe that this arrangement had a good deal to do in
making him the man he is.

Just in this way.

When we first became intimate, and had made our arrangement as above, I
opened the war by talking to him as follows:

“Charley, my fine fellow, you are ambitious to be a good speaker.
Now—you remember our little arrangement about correcting the faults of
each other?”

“Yes.”

“Well, the plain fact is you have got a most miserable, squeaking voice.
Your chest is narrow, you stoop, you don’t have that broad, strong,
manly appearance which is almost essential to a speaker.”

I saw he winced under this. He _felt_ eloquence deeply—he _thought_
eloquently—and forgot that the thought must be _expressed_ eloquently,
or it is eloquence only to himself.

That afternoon he made a pair of dumb-bells—and I do verily believe
that he has hardly missed a day from that to this in which he has not
exercised his chest and his voice in every possible way. No one would
ever think _now_ that he was not always the broad-chested,
powerful-voiced orator he is.

It strikes me that even this little event had something to do with
Charley in his becoming a Senator. You never saw a narrow-chested man
who had any voice, energy or eloquence in your life. If _you_ have got a
stoop, my boy, you had better correct it if you ever intend being any
thing.

I received from him one day a very, very plain exposition of one of my
many faults. Never mind what it is. He pointed it out to me as you would
point out a rattlesnake in a thicket to any companion you chanced to be
walking with. I saw it—this vile fault of mine—and have been hunting
it, and striking savagely at it, whenever I detect it stealing through
my conduct with its accursed insidiousness ever since. Alas! it is “only
skotched not killed” yet. But that is another matter. I only mention it
to say that his very plain remarks gave an edge to my remarks, as I
observed—

“You are right, Charley, perfectly so—and I war against that accursed
fault forever. But it reminds me of one of _yours_.”

“Eh?”

“Charley, you have a vile, offensive, disgusting habit of chewing
tobacco. It is loathsome. If you would only keep the weed in your mouth,
why it would only poison yourself—but you will be everlastingly
spitting out its juice—and it poisons _me_—poisons me through sight,
smell, hearing and feeling. Don’t use it any more.”

True to his own true nature, he never took another quid. Whether this is
one cause of his blooming health and firm nerve I will not say. I _will_
say that it is one cause of his astonishing popularity with the
ladies—whether _they_ know that it is or not—and thus one cause of
this election of his as Senator.

These faults of ours! I said they are like snakes. So they are.
Sometimes a man catches sight of one of them lying full-length in its
loathsomeness in his own conduct or conversation. Suppose the fault is
self-conceit?—a disease of mentioning one’s self at all times, which
you have contracted. Well, you see the same fault in some fool or other,
or some Charley Bell tells you of it. The knowledge falls like a flash
of daylight on the vice—you see it! If it would only perish—crawl
_out_ of you, it would be well. But the vile thing—crawls _into
you_—like a snake into its hole. It does not show its head while you
are watching for it. A day or two passes. You forget about it—and it is
out—drawing its filthy trail through all your conduct again.

This is _not_ a digression. Because I wanted to say that Charley was a
man of too strong a desire after personal excellence not to wage eternal
war after such vermin. A shrewd observer would have known the existence
of his besetting faults only by the unusual prominence of just the
opposite virtues, just as you recognize the former drunkard in the man
who has a special horror now of all that can intoxicate.

There were several minor defects in Charley’s character, which I pointed
out to him, but which he has so completely conquered that I have
forgotten what they were.

I really must say something about that Dora Anson affair.

Dora was the brunette daughter of an established lawyer in our inland
village. I see her as distinctly before me while I write, as if she
_was_ before me. She was some sixteen years of age—had the usual amount
of education and mind—was unaffected—warm-hearted—black haired and
eyed—rosy-lipped—woman-rounded form. Charley fell in
love—astonishingly in love with her. I was amazed. He was of an
intellectual, though impulsive nature; and she had no conversational
power—nothing in the world but a lively, natural, voluptuous sort of
beauty, to recommend her to him.

Astonishingly in love. He made love to her by flowers, and was accepted
in the same way, before he went to college. He was absent a year. The
very night of his return he went to a party at her father’s, which
happened that night. He got a seat near her toward the close of the
evening—in a low voice made a passionate appeal to her, although
surrounded by company—went home—wrote her a still more passionate
letter. He was too impulsive—frightened her—had his letter returned,
and came to me, and as we sat on a log in the moonlight, told me the
whole. He was about twenty years old then, and the affection had
quickened, expanded, strengthened his heart even more than that
chest-exercise had his lungs. There was a depth, and breadth, and force
about his affection for Dora which stirred up his whole being. It rolled
through him like a sea, deepening and washing out the sands of his heart
till that heart became deep and broad. For months that love lived and
worked in him; at last it died out like the steam from the engine of a
steamship.

When I see his hearty affection for his friends—his warm sympathy for
all among whom he mingles, which gives him his wonderful popularity, I
can trace it all back to that development of his heart under the hot
summer of that love of his for Dora Anson. I do believe that the genial
smile, the cordial manner, the melting persuasiveness of his tones, all
owe their development, if not their origin, to that culture of his
heart. The sun may have set which shone on his soul, but it left that
soul all ruddy and ripe from its warm rays. If Dora had jilted him, it
would have left him a soured man. If she had married him, it would have
left him a satiated man. In either case it would have injured him. But
she did not jilt him—did not marry him; he outgrew so sensuous a love
as that, and somehow or other they drifted apart.

I believe, however—and my wife, to whom I have just mentioned it,
agrees with me—that his connection with Mr. Nelson had very much to do
in making him the man he is.

You see, when Charley had finished his law-studies, his father and
mother were dead. He never had any brothers or sisters. One or two
thousand dollars was his fortune. Being a young man—now some
twenty-five—of fine appearance, and talents, and manners, he attracted
the attention of Mr. Nelson, a keen and rich lawyer in the village, and
in a few weeks he was settled in his office as a junior partner. For
some six months Nelson seemed wonderfully attached to
Charley—continually spoke of him with the loudest praise—over-rated
him, in fact. At the close of this period, however, he suddenly took
just as violent a set against Bell as he had before for him. Nobody ever
knew the reason of this. I don’t think Nelson himself did. The truth is,
the elder partner was a singular man. He always dressed neatly in
black—was rather thin, with a stooping shoulder, a retreating forehead,
a quick way of talking, and a rapid step. He was excessively hospitable
and generous, more for the sake of being a sort of protector and
superior of the guest than any thing else. Self-will was _the_ trait of
his character.

But I am writing about Charley, and have got no time to paint this
Nelson. Enough to say that he took as vehement a dislike to Bell as he
before had a liking. He ridiculed and opposed and thwarted him with an
astonishing bitterness. Bell, at first, was staggered with
astonishment—then cut to the very soul with such unkindness from the
last man on earth from whom he expected it. But it did him great good.
It corrected his blind confidence in every man completely, and gave him
a quiet watchfulness of men in all his dealings with them, which was of
immense benefit to him. It destroyed in an instant all his false and
colored ideas of things. The faults of his character which Nelson
pointed out and ridiculed, and made the ostensible cause of his
alienation, were forever corrected—just as a wart is burnt off by
corrosive sublimate. Nelson’s extravagant depreciation of him after such
extravagant praise of him, gave him, in one word, an impulse to prove
himself unworthy that depreciation and more than worthy the former
praise, which did more for him than if his senior partner had given him
years of the most careful instruction and countenance. Besides, it threw
him suddenly on himself—made an independent man of him forever. Just
what that chest-exercise did for his lungs, that Dora affair did for his
heart, this Nelson matter did for his will—it deepened and broadened
and strengthened it to an unusual degree—it did very much toward making
him a Senator.

My wife agrees with me that the little love affair of his with Marie
McCorcle had not much if any effect on our friend. Failing a little in
love with her when he was some twenty-six years old, for a remark she
made in a speech when May Queen, he proposed in a note—was rejected in
a note. Mounting his horse, he took a ride of some eleven days on
business somewhere. On his return he was over with it, except of course
the feeling of pique. The first day of his ride he chanted, as he told
me, the words of her rejection to “Old Hundred,” all day long, over and
over and over. The next day it was to a faster tune. He trotted his
horse rapidly back, making his hoofs keep time to the swiftest jig of
his recollection, as he rode into town with the words of her rejection
still on his lips.

The rest of my task is a pleasant one. I like to think about Annie
Rennaugh—I love even to write her name. She was a cousin of Dora’s and
resided in the same town. I cannot say that she was pretty—but I can
say that she was beautiful. Just in this way. She was of a small,
modest, quiet appearance. You would hardly look at her twice if you saw
her in a promiscuous company. Only become acquainted with her, however,
and an irresistible charm is upon you. There is such a delicious ease in
all she says and does—such a deep mirth and artless confidence in her
that conquers without observation.

She was a special friend of Charley’s. He confided to her from the very
first all his affair with Dora. I saw him one evening at a party with
her. She was seated in a chair by the door, with a saucer of
strawberries and cream in her lap. He was seated at her feet in the
doorway—enjoying the summer air—conversing in a low, earnest tone with
her as they took alternate teaspoonsful of the fruit. They were talking
about Dora—Charley’s _ideal_ Dora—as earnestly as if they were talking
love on their own account.

Well, the full moon of Dora’s influence waxed into the full orb of its
influence upon her lover, and then waned, and waned. His friendship,
however, for Annie increased slowly—slowly, but most surely. When he
was whirled away for those four weeks by Marie McCorcle, he told her all
about it, and had, as usual, all her sympathy. Then he was off for
college and corresponded with her regularly. I was with him in college.
Many a time has he torn up—at my advice—the long letter he had written
her, because it was entirely too warm, even though it was directed in
the most _fraternal_ manner possible to “My dear Sister Annie,” and
signed, “Your affectionate brother, Charles.”

You can see immediately how it all ended. A friendship begun in mere
indifference had ripened through six years into deep, genuine affection.
He never dreamed that he loved Annie until he found that she was
essential to his existence. For the first time he knew what true love
was. He found that it was _not_ the sensual flush of passion, such as
warmed him under the hot beauty of Dora—that it was _not_ the fever of
the imagination which diseased him under the moonlight of Marie. He
found that love was not a passion but a feeling; was not a fit but a
condition; was not a hot flush of blood, but the quick, even,
everlasting flow of the heart’s tide, giving health and life to the
whole man.

I am writing nothing but actual fact, and so I cannot say how he told
Annie his love and how she accepted him. He has talked to me—I do
believe in all it amounts to several hundred hours—about Dora and
Marie. He has quoted to me at least one dozen dozen times every word
that ever passed between him and them, but he never told me any thing
about his love conversation with Annie. They are married. They seem
perfectly happy in the quiet possession of each other and of the
blue-eyed baby boy that laughs in their arms.

This was the making of Charles Bell. A remark of mine has led to the
development of his noble form, and the establishment of that full health
so essential to successful labor. His love for Dora has expanded his
heart and warmed and flushed him all through and through with an
affection and persuasion and love, that shows itself in his every tone
and smile and clasp of the hand and word. His affair with Marie has
cultivated his imagination perhaps. His painful experience with Mr.
Nelson has corrected all false ideas of men—has given him caution,
self-possession, self-reliance and energy. He has learned to meet things
as they come; to do his utmost, and then, not only not murmur at
whatever happens but actually to acquiesce, to rejoice in every event.
Annie is an infinite blessing to him. He is full of impulse, and she, by
a silent, irresistable influence, controls and directs it. He is full of
noble aspiration but inclined to be fickle—she is ever pouring oil on
the fire of his soul as with an unseen angel hand—is silent and
uncongenial when he wanders from his better self—and thus draws him
quietly but irresistibly back.

Of course there were many circumstances in politics and situation which
conspired to elevate him to his present position. I have only alluded to
the quiet under-current of his private life. I wrote what I have written
only because I felt like doing so. I do not think either he or Annie
will be offended at my freedom should they read this—especially as I
have not mentioned his State or his real name. I am heartily sick of all
romance and romantic ideas and descriptions of men and women, but I do
look upon the “Hon. Charles Bell and his amiable lady,” as the
Washington papers will call them, as two of the finest persons in all my
knowledge. Both are most sincere Christians, and singular as it may seem
to some, I regard their companionship and mutual influence as one which
is to last not only through this poor world, but through all eternity. I
would like exceedingly to write out my ideas on this point, but I cannot
do it now. Besides, the editor may be married to a second wife, and in
that case, would most certainly refuse admission to this little sketch
in the pages of his magazine.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                          FUNERAL OF ALLSTON.


                           BY ELIHU SPENCER.


    Speaking of Allston, I was told in Boston that his funeral was
    by torch-light, after nine in the evening, and one of the most
    impressive and befitting ceremonies ever witnessed. _New York
    Correspondent Nat. Intelligencer._

      Not in the glare of day—
        Not to the common eye:
      But lay that dreamless brow away
        When night is on the sky—
    When darkness drops her noiseless pall,
    And torches light the funeral.

      Not in the glare of day—
        Not in the pomp of wo:
      Let nature veil the sanctity
        Of tears, that none may know
    Whose hushed but earnest griefs belie
    The clamors of hypocrisy.

      Not in the glare of day—
        Not by the reeking mart:
      He loved the lone and twilight way,
        The night-fall of the heart—
    When, passion, pride and sense subdued,
    The spirit wrought in solitude.

      Not in the glare of day—
        Not to the common eye:
      And though ye lay that brow away
        When night is on the sky,
    Long years shall yet remember well
    The poet-painter’s burial.

                 *        *        *        *        *



              A LEAF FROM THE JOURNAL OF FLORENCE WALTON.


                        BY MISS SUSAN A. STUART.


              “It was not strange, for in the human breast
               Two master-passions cannot co-exist.”


“What a picture of delicious comfort, dear Aunt Mary,” said Cora Norton,
as throwing herself into the luxurious depths of a _Voltaire_ chair, and
placing her pretty little feet on the low fender, she looked around her
Aunt Mary’s _snuggery_.

A cold, misty rain was falling without; but the ample crimson curtains
were drawn closely, so that no evidence of the inclemency of the weather
was visible within to its two inmates. The cheerful, crackling fire
threw over the chamber and its occupants “fitful gleams and red,” as
drawn closely on the opposite sides of the fire-place they chatted
cosily together.

“Yes, Aunt Mary, you have so much comfort, so much repose, that I can
enter _con amore_ into your feelings, as you thus sit so tranquilly in
your well-lined, little nest, and take a bird’s-eye view of the
bustling, plotting, never-resting world. But, dearest aunty, your
darling little pony has just tired me sufficiently, so as to leave me in
a state of quiescence, in which state one of your pleasant reminiscences
of by-gone days would prove very acceptable. I hope, my dear aunty, you
know how to take a slight hint, for I am awfully modest about asking
favors.” And she crossed her little hands demurely on her lap, settled
herself still more comfortably, and with an asking smile on her roguish,
pretty face nodded her head in a very patronizing manner at her aunt,
saying, “_Commencez-donc, s’il vous plaît, ma bonne_.”

“Well! my little chatterbox, is your tongue worn out at last, and you
really wish to play the part of listener! But, what shall I tell you?
Let us see! Florence Walton,” continued the old lady musingly, as she
rubbed her spectacles with her silk apron. “Yes, yes, she is given to
ridicule herself, and might _one_ day suffer from it, as my poor
Florence has done. Here, Co, count the stitches for the heel in this
stocking for me, with your young eyes, and I will try to think over
something about her.”

“You have seen Florence Walton here,” said Mrs. Jordan, as Cora handed
her knitting back to her, “but you must forget her looks, if you wish to
have before your mind’s eye the proud, beautiful girl of my narrative. A
petted and spoiled child was Florence, when she and I were school-mates.
An only child—beautiful, talented, and winning in her affectionate
ways—with parents, who were the happy _slaves_ to her slightest
caprices, how could it be otherwise?”

“I remember, as though but yesterday, when she was ushered in among us
school-girls by Madame Gaspard. As natural, we all sat silent and
restrained before the new-comer, who, unused to school-discipline, and
in all the freedom of her, but just-quitted, home-circle, was in the
habit of giving speech to the first thoughts that presented themselves
to mind, without caring for their fitness, and too proud to show respect
for our opinions, like another school-girl among utter strangers would
have done.

“Yes! I recollect it as freshly as yesterday, and see before me now the
bright, fearless creature, as with an impatient toss of her glossy
ringlets she said half-pettishly—‘Pleasant as my home, indeed! I wish I
was there now, at any-rate, for I feel here as a cat _must_ feel in a
strange garret.’ And a smile parted her saucy lips, as we broke into
hearty laughter at this _compliment_ from the new girl.

“That quaint phrase of Florence Walton’s introduced her at once, and
frolick and fun finished the evening. Many, and many were the scrapes
that her wit and laughter-loving propensity has brought upon her, but
through all her affairs beamed forth the evidence of a noble, generous,
bold, but quick temper, impossible to daunt, but, like the generality of
impulsive temperaments, led child-like and trusting through the
affections. I have seen Florence in after-years, for we were
school-mates a long, long time, throw herself in a perfect abandonment
of tears on her bed, after answering saucily and with light laughter,
some friend whom she dearly prized—and yet, after remonstrances from me
and advice for the future would reply—‘In vain, dear Mary, all your
good advice, and so would be my promises of amendment, were I foolish
enough to make them. I know, dear friend, my besetting sin—know it, and
I assure you, I most deeply deplore my weakness, which would prevent me
from making good any promise I might make you or myself for the future.
As well ask the bird not to fly, or the fish not to swim, as to make me
promise when irritated, not to use my only weapon—ay! sharper, I will
admit, than a two-edged sword. Mary, it is my misfortune more than my
fault. I have felt—keenly, bitterly felt—how wrong I am in acting
thus. In casting from me by ridicule and foolish jests, friends whose
affection I dearly prize. Oh! you cannot tell how I have struggled—how
in my own heart-communings I have determined to be more guarded for the
future. But the future was ever as the _past_. My sin is too strong, and
I too weak.’

“Many such conversations have we held together and I, Cora, was a wicked
sinner myself, then, and knew not God, nor the efficacy of prayer,
therefore I could not tell the erring, but warm-hearted girl, to cast
her burthen at the foot of the Cross; and that from the knowledge of her
_weakness_ would come her _strength_, for that He, the Mighty One, loved
to help the weak ones, who come as suppliants to his throne. Ah! yes, we
were wicked, and only thought of such things not being _respectable_,
instead of their sinfulness!

“Time sped on, working his changes as he ever does, and our school-days
passed like our girlhood, never to return. Florence and I made every
promise of everlasting friendship when we parted; kept, too, I believe
as faithfully as if made in more mature years. The first letter I
received from her after we had both left for our homes, told me of the
death of her father, which was very sudden. The newspapers announced
shortly after this, the demise of her remaining parent, and my heart
clung still more fondly to her, poor thing, for she had no brothers or
sisters to sympathize with her in this sad bereavement. She was now
alone to struggle with the cold world, which made no allowance for her
faults of the head, but were visited upon her as crimes of a darker die.

“Years elapsed, and nothing more reached me of Florence. I married your
uncle, dear Cora, and spent many, many happy years with him _here_, in
my little nest as you term it, when death also came to tear him from me.
Then, too, with my sorrow, came the oftener thoughts of my girl-friend,
Florence Walton. Wondering had she ever married—was she a mother, a
widow—and still above all came the wish that I could see her once
again. I had written to her frequently, but my letters were never
answered, and so I began to imagine that time had blotted out _my_ name
from ‘memory’s page,’ or that she had gone forth into the world under
some other cognomen, and that my letters had failed to reach her.
Somehow, I could never think her dead, there was too much life and
liveliness in my ideal of her, to join them together.

“Other thoughts began to have influence over me, when one day among
letters and papers, came one, bearing my name in her own hand-writing!
That old, familiar penmanship brought back, like some fondly remembered
strain of music, thoughts of childhood’s happy days, and my heart leaped
forth in love welcome to the writer ere I broke the envelope. How much
more were my feelings stirred within me, when the warm, passionate
nature of Florence beamed forth in every line. She proffered a visit to
me, telling me, that she too had known sorrow, deep, lasting—and when
she thought of my happiness, she could not bear to lay open the still
tender wound; but I had suffered, as she had very recently learned, and
could therefore without additional heart-pangs give my sympathy to a
friend, my own, old, wayward, school-friend.”

“How quickly did I respond, and urge her to come speedily, and she
came.”

“Yes, dear aunty,” said Cora, “I recollect her now. I was a tiny one, it
is true, but I remember well a lady, who dressed in mourning, and was
accustomed to walk evening after evening up and down the broad portico
with you, while I, too, would endeavor to keep pace with you, till tired
out I have thrown myself across the door-step and slept, unconsciously,
until you became aware of ‘my small existence,’ and gave me to Elsie, to
put in bed.”

“Yes, dear Co, I plead guilty; for the fascination of Florence’s
conversation, tinctured, too, with sadness, was sufficient to make any
one forget their own identity. It was during that visit she narrated all
that happened to her during our separation. But, as I am but little
skilled as a _raconteuse_, I will, after Elsie has given us our tea,
lend you her journal to glance over. She said, when she gave it to me,
‘This journal, my dear Mary, will bring me and my trials sometimes
before your eyes; for I cannot bear to be utterly forgotten by the one
being who has loved me through evil as well as good report. Besides, I
think it sinful to remind myself, by looking over these blotted
pages—which, strange incongruity as it may appear, I cannot bear the
idea of destroying—as they make me unhappy and discontented, by
recalling times past, that were better forever to lie buried in
Oblivion’s stream.’

“There, Co, is the manuscript—rather formidable in its closely written
pages; but to me, so full of interest, that I should have read it were
it six times as long. So, read it to yourself, dear, after you have
given me my tea, and then I will attend to my little domestic concerns;
for though ’tis, indeed, but a ‘wee nest,’ yet the birds of the air do
not minister to me.”

“Thank you, dear aunty. Now, Elsie, my good Elsie, please hurry with the
tea-waiter; for I am so famished with _curiosity_ to read these yellow
leaves, that I will pardon any supper, if ’tis not _comme il faut_, if
you will only hurry!”

My readers will imagine the refreshment past—the wick of the lamp
raised—the shade adjusted—and the fair Cora, with her head supported
by one tiny hand, hid in a shower of curls, seated at the centre-table,
in the most comfortable of all chairs, and deeply intent upon the pages
of


                              THE JOURNAL

_Tuesday night, June._—Well, ’tis over. To-day I arrived in my new
home; and setting aside my longing after a _home_-feeling, which I have
ever felt since the death of my dear, dear mother, there is no place
that promises more domestic enjoyments than Alton; especially if Clare,
my cousin, will love me and let me love her. She is a pretty girl, not
beautiful, I admit, but sufficiently comely. My good, kind uncle, too! I
can love _him_, I know; for how careful—how very, very tender was he of
my feelings on our road hither. My room, also, is very nicely arranged;
and as I glance around, I think I may again be happy, _even_, though I
am dependent on my uncle’s bounty. I must to sleep now, for I am too
sleepy now for aught else.

_Monday._—Several days have elapsed since I last wrote; and I begin to
love my old uncle in reality. There is yet another member of our small
family circle, whom I did not see the first day of my arrival. It is an
old lady, claiming cousinship with my Uncle Alton, and carrying herself
with quite an “_air_” to myself. Very strict, too, she seems in her
religious views; and yet sadly lacking in herself that charity for
others which, in my eyes, is the light, “pure and undefiled.” Ah, me! I
must stop, or I shall be wanting in that which I am so lauding. How
lonely—how very lonely do I yet feel! no nearer my _home_ of the heart
yet, I fear me. My uncle I love; but—my Cousin Clare is so strange. Can
she love, or is she like one of those incomprehensible characters of
whom I have read, who keep all those feelings hidden deep within their
heart of hearts, until they die away of themselves, leaving them in
reality as callous as she now seems to me. I have tried to settle myself
to my usual employments. I sew, I read, and tune my guitar occasionally;
and often wander out, with my books, into those grand old woods around
Alton, and sitting there under their deep, dark shadows, find
companionship in my thoughts. My Cousin Clare I did ask once to
accompany me, but was refused, on account of household duties; and Mrs.
Dudley added, with an expression of countenance, to emphasize her
speech, “Clare, Miss Walton, thinks of others besides herself. For my
part, I never admired those tramps through the woods, of which some
young ladies are so fond.” And her mouth was settled into that
self-complacent expression, as if perfectly satisfied of the effect
produced on me—imagining that poor I must be abashed into utter
prostration before the majesty of her disapproval. Nevertheless, I still
walk, and will continue doing so, with or without approval, which I
neither value nor seek.

_Thursday night, July._—What a difference will the arrival of an
agreeable person make in a country-house. Now, yesterday and to-day are
so rapid, compared with the preceding weeks. There has been an arrival
at Alton. No less a personage than Col. Dudley, a nephew, by marriage,
to my old plague. His health, it seems, is not very good—and he passes
the summer here to re-establish it. He lives in the “sunny South,” and
gives me some glowing descriptions of it. I have some one now who is in
reality a companion; but, although this seems equally agreeable to me,
and to himself, it does not seem to be relished as well by Mrs. Dudley.

_Sunday, September._—Many weeks have elapsed since I have written in my
journal. I have been so happy, that I took no note of time. Col. Dudley
has been my constant companion; and Mrs. Dudley, his aunt, though always
making little plans and plots to draw him into her own and Clare’s
society—from which I am as much excluded by my own choice, as their
habitual reserve—has not succeeded as yet. I am sure to find him at my
side, whether in a walk or ride. And these same glorious woods—so old,
so grand—how beautiful they are becoming now, as the “melancholy days”
draw nigh. What made the poet say the autumn days were the “saddest of
the year.” I am sure he must have been indulging in a poetical license,
for to me they are infinitely joyous and gladsome. I know—I feel that
Hugh Dudley loves me; and yet why does he not ask me to be his. Perhaps
he waits for a manifestation of my feelings for _him_; but _that_ I
shall never evince, dearly as I love him. I know that he is proud—so
much so, that much as I love a proud man, it becomes almost a fault in
him. But I am also proud; and where I most love, there am I always the
most reserved. I wish him to know “I would be wooed, and not unsought be
won.”

_Wednesday night._—How happy! how immeasurably happy am I! I can hardly
realize these joyous feelings! I have just entered my chamber, too
excited for sleep; and seeing my journal lying close to the
writing-desk, have opened it to put in words, my joy. It appears
unaccountable to me, how, for one moment, I could have imagined myself
happy before, when I compare my present ecstatic feelings to what I can
remember of ever experiencing. It seems that my heart is opening in
love, to the whole world. I could even take Mrs. Dudley with the kindest
affection to it, if she would allow me; but why or wherefore she
_dislikes_ me, and _will_ manifest that feeling for me. Even my
perceptions of the beautiful have grown so much the more lively; and the
meanest thing of earth—the mossy trunk—the cloudlet—the sky—the
stream—the wild-flower—are _all_ floating in an atmosphere of light
and beauty. And why is all this? Oh! my proud heart, you are now
satisfied; and you can answer, why this ecstatic feeling. _I love_ and
_I am loved_! Hugh Dudley—_my own_ Hugh—has told me this in words—so
wondrously eloquent—and has, at last, sued me to become his wife. He
wished our marriage to take place at once; but for all sufficient
reasons, I have begged him to defer it till next summer. Then I will go
forth with him among strangers—with him who is my world. I have found
at last my _home_ of the heart. ’Tis in his love—his ardent,
disinterested love. And why did I not marry him at once, and go with him
to his own sunny home? I could not, proud heart that I am, bear to owe
the very dress in which I should be decked at the altar, to the bounty
of my uncle—how much less to Col. Dudley. Though I have a home with
them—that is, shelter and food—yet my right hand should be cut off,
ere I would take pecuniary aid from any. They all look cold upon me now,
even my uncle. I have ever conducted myself respectfully—nay, even
affectionately toward him; but, for some reason or other, he has altered
toward me, and I have drawn myself again into my reserve. I have
undoubtedly thwarted some cherished plan of his, with respect to Clare
and Dudley; but even my _dependence_ on him—_gratitude_ will not be
forced—will not allow me to regret what has happened. Oh! so
contented—so blest am I—that cold looks from the world are unregarded,
so long as I am conscious of his love. I had been sick, and sad, for two
days and more; my heart and head seemed bursting, for I could hear, in
my chamber (where sickness kept me prisoner) the sound of mirth and
enjoyment going on below. Even the unwonted laugh of Clare was echoing
merrily, as if my absence kindled a fire of joy in her bosom of ice; and
my jealous heart told me she was happy, because of the attentions of
Col. Dudley. I could not endure the thought of his wasting upon her one
smile—one word beyond those of common civility. Very, very wicked was I
on that bed of sickness; for every time I could hear the voice of Mrs.
Dudley calling upon my cousin, in a gladdened tone, I would half utter
aloud, “Yes! that vile old woman is satisfied now. She thinks he will
love that icicle—that automaton.” Yes, wicked I was, indeed; but then,
sick and suffering, I should have been treated with more sympathy by
those under whose roof I then was eating the bread of dependence, it
would have made it less bitter—not near so choking. _One_ ceremonious
visit for the day from Clare—one message of inquiry from my uncle, was
the sole interest that was bestowed upon me. How can it be wondered at,
then, if my heart grew bitter toward them; ay, even to him, for if he
inquired, it was never told me. But the bitterness I felt toward him was
different from that which I felt toward my uncle and cousin. When I
reflected on their conduct, there was a mingling of anger and revenge;
when on him, the tears would rush to my eyes, an aching feeling to my
heart, and I would say, “Could I only die now, would he shed one tear,
or be saddened by the cold, pale face of her whom he must have known
felt something for him beside mere friendship.” And then I would hide my
eyes in the pillow, and weep in pity over the sad fate of myself which I
thus pictured.

As these bitter, bitter thoughts careered through my brain—increasing
its ache—how did I sigh for the rest of the grave. “For the living know
that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they
any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their
_love_, and their hatred, and their envy is now perished; neither have
they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the
sun.” I snatched my journal—in my longing to unburthen myself of my
weight of wo—and scribbled what I here transcribe, but which from shame
I have since torn out:

“Why, oh Father! didst thou see fit to throw me here in this bitter
world, to suffer and to struggle _alone_! Alone must I suffer—alone am
I in my love—alone in my despair—and when dying solitary, and I am
bore to the rest of the grave, I shall be unwept, unthought of. Well! be
it so; only, Father, teach me to bow in submission and to drink without
murmuring of the bitter cup. I already look upon the tomb, as the
storm-tossed mariner to his haven of safety, ‘where the wicked cease
from troubling and the weary are at rest.’ Ah! how few care what the
motherless one, cut off from the world by poverty and other adverse
circumstances, must endure. My wishes and my hopes are mine, and mine
_alone_. I feel, as I imagine the deaf and dumb one does, whose heart is
full of love, and bright, warm, beautiful fancies, and who cannot give
them words. To whom can I utter them? All, all these feelings must be
forever buried in the depths of mine own sad heart, and nothing but the
froth, the foam, and the weeds, be thrown on the surface for the world’s
gaze. Oh! how I envy those who have fond parents—a dear brother—a
loving sister. How I long for a sympathy—a resting-place for my
affections, which I despair of ever finding on earth, but which I hope I
may realize with Him, the Father, who has given me this capability of
loving.”

This was written after hearing what my imagination—heated with fever
and jealousy—construed into a light laugh from Dudley, immediately
under my window. I knew it was _him_, for I heard the crashing sound of
his boot-heel on the gravel, and the mingling tones of his aunt and
Clare. They had all been walking—for I sprang from the bed to ascertain
the fact. Yes, walking! For Clare was leaning on his arm; her sun-bonnet
dangling by the string from her hand, and to my jealous eye she had
never looked so near to beautiful. Her cheeks were flushed, and a smile
_almost_ loving parted her lips as she looked up into his face. They had
stopped to admire a flower, over which Mrs. Dudley still leaned, and
he—apparently—was describing some of the same kind he possessed. How I
hated Clare, at the moment, there standing with her hand upon his arm,
when there was no necessity for the support; loving him, too, as I knew
she must—though in what manner I could not picture to myself—for I had
ever thought from her impassable nature it was the blood of _fishes_
which filled her veins. As I looked upon the group my dejection became
intensified into agony. I felt utterly _alone_, and I wished for some
kind Samaritan to pour the oil of sympathy into my bleeding wounds. It
was then I wrote, and in the despair of my soul I felt that all was
vanity and bitterness, and that I had deceived myself entirely—yes,
blindly deceived myself. _He_ cared not for _me_—whilst I was writhing
in pain, _he_ was merrily and gleefully laughing with those whom he
knew, as well as I did, loved me not.

How changed my feelings now from those penned above, wrung from me by
jealousy and despair! ’Tis as if I had been groping in some dark,
noisome cave alone—ay, alone and fearful—and had suddenly entered an
inner chamber, before unknown, where a thousand lights are dancing and
reflecting against its brilliant columns and gem-like stalactites
pendent from its illuminated sides and dome—so beautiful—so sudden has
been the change. To begin at the beginning and tell how came this
change.

For three days had I kept my room. On the afternoon of the third I stole
out unobserved, as I thought, and made my way to the old, sombre-looking
forest—my favorite haunt—where, under its dark, umbrageous trees, amid
its gloom and solitude, I sought for companionship for my own sad
thoughts. Seated on a fallen tree, turning with my foot the dry leaves
listlessly, and hearing the moaning and sighing of the breeze through
the tree tops. No other sound reached me; but I started up wildly—for
sickness had made me nervous—as a hand was laid upon my arm, and
scarcely heard his loved voice, softened into tenderness, for the loud
beating of my own poor heart.

“I hope that I have not frightened you much, dear Florence. Have you, at
last, got well?”

“Not entirely; but I am better, Colonel Dudley, though still I have some
remains of my headache.” And I closed my eyes, which were rapidly
filling with tears, and turned from him my face, that he might not
observe them.

“Your illness has been a sad, sad trial to me, Florence,” said he,
softly. “I missed you more than I can tell you. My nights have been
sleepless from anticipation and from disappointment at not seeing you,
as I hoped each day to do, when I arose. How I sighed for your
companionship. Even after I went to my chamber last night, I again left
it when the whole house seemed to be quiet, and wandered _here_ to your
favorite spot where so oft I have listened to you. I have inquired each
day concerning you till I am fearful I tired the patience of both your
cousin and uncle. They said you were only slightly unwell, but that it
was your custom to keep your room when annoyed by companionship not
pleasing to your taste, made fastidious by a long residence in the city
and by novel-reading! You see how candid I am, but I have my reasons for
being thus explicit. I thought them unkind—I began to think if I were
the one who had wearied you, and memory, faithful to your charming ways,
said at once ‘no’—for I could see that my company was more welcome than
that of my aunt and your cousin. Nay, start not from me, dear Florence,
I mean nothing to injure the most sensitive delicacy, but to show you
the meditations to which I have been led by your sickness, and let you
decide for me whether my future is to be happiness, almost too great for
reality, or entire wretchedness. I blame you not for not seeking the
society of either your cousin or my aunt, for neither are, or could be
congenial; and who, I am sure, from some cause or other, are not
friendly to you. Tell me now, why did you not send me even one word,
formal though it might have been, to my bouquet—arranged with as much
skill as I possessed, and bearing its Oriental meaning for your eye to
read?”

“Your bouquet!” And in my surprise I turned to him my face, forgetful of
my tears. “When did you send it—and by whom?”

“Tears, dearest Florence! Did you not receive it? But say that, and a
load will have been lifted from my heart. Did not Miss Clare bring you
one from me yesterday morning?”

“Never; nor even the simplest inquiry has reached me from you.” And my
eyes looked the reproach I did not utter.

“Strange, very strange! What could have been their motives for this
conduct? Yesterday, dear Florence, I sent a bouquet, hoping that it
would commence what I have so long wished but feared to tell you. I sent
you a rose-bud and other flowers, of which you yourself told me the
language when we sat by the window, one rainy afternoon, longing to be
out for this same walk. You laughingly did as I requested you,
instructed me into their meaning, and I said that when I sent a bouquet
so arranged, the lady who might receive it must think it uttered what I
feared to say. Ah! Florence, I was sure that you knew I was speaking in
serious earnestness, for your face colored brightly, and I could see the
trembling of the little fingers as you began to untie the flowers,
though you carefully kept your face averted. Will you be angry with me
when I say, that I began _then_ to hope what I so earnestly wish to ask
from you? Do you not understand me, Florence?”

I answered not, but sat with face averted, and head bowed, to hide the
emotions his words caused.

“Your answer is needless, for I know that you long ago have understood
my heart. Yes; last night in this your favorite spot I sat me down to
think upon you, and your winning, artless character. I felt that with
you I should be content to exclaim,

        ‘Oh! that the desert were my dwelling-place,
          With one fair spirit for my minister,
        That I might all forget the human race,
          And, hating no one, love but only her.’

And that fair spirit you are conscious, sweet Florence, must be
yourself. Say, will you be willing, dear one, to minister to me through
life?”

I could hardly repress the low cry of joy which sprung from my heart to
my lips, yet I did so, and sat apparently calm at his side, whilst he
continued still more passionately—

“Yes; _you_, dearest Florence, are the fair spirit whom I devotedly
love. Tell me, can you—will you be mine? And, though a desert be not
our dwelling-place, make with your love a paradise of my earthly
habitation. Say—answer me _now_, Florence, dear one—will you be my
wife?”

I did not answer—I could not; but I leaned my face against his
shoulder, and, as his arm encircled me, he bent down his head and
whispered what answer he wished me to make. We left _our_ favorite walk
engaged—with _one_ hope—_one_ love—_one_ joy. As if in charming
coincidence with our happiness, how gloriously beautiful was the aspect
worn by surrounding objects. And we asked one another, in sympathy,
could any thing in England, France, or Italy—in the way of trees—be
equal to our forests, as they then appeared? So many kinds—so many
shades—so differing in foliage: now dense and rich in living green—now
sparse, showing the satiny boughs of the elm, or the rich brown trunk of
oak, or its mossy covering—now the light, feathery foliage waving as in
spring—all so varying, yet commingling, and from their very contrasts
making the effect more striking, and forming a whole of harmony, like
unto some gorgeous picture. And then the sunset, as we stood on a rising
hill to gaze upon his setting, on this our happy evening! ’Twas as
glorious as ever Italia’s sky could boast. Little cloudlets of burnished
gold, whose upper edge wore a pale violet hue, were floating in a sea of
rose; whilst above and around was the pure azure canopy. And all these
were changing in form and tint, as lower, and still more low, sunk the
sun—like the fabled changes of the dying dolphin—till the whole
sobered down into the soft gray of twilight. Then we turned for our walk
home. How tenderly did he fold my shawl around me, and whisper lovingly
as he drew my hand under his arm, that I must be careful now of my
health for _his_ sake, if I would not for my own!

As we turned into the graveled walk leading directly to the house, we
met Clare and Mrs. Dudley. I saw them before he was aware they were
approaching, for his head was bent toward me as he uttered words of joy
which thrilled my heart, so long aching for sympathy and _his_ love,
with a happiness almost amounting to agony. How red grew my face as
their eyes looked full upon us! How surprised the stare, how cold their
passing salutation to us both! But little either of us recked now. Every
thing with me was forgotten but the certainty of his loving me, and my
promise to become his wife. When he has gone—ah! here comes the gloomy
shadow in my picture of light. I will form some plan to make sufficient
money, that I may not be dependent on any one for my simple outfit, and
then we will marry, as I said, next summer. Now, I can only think of my
happiness, which is too ecstatic for me yet to realize.

_Tuesday, Oct._—A fortnight has dragged on—ah! yes: how truly is it
described when I say _dragged_ since _his_ departure, and I wonder to
myself how was it possible that I ever should endure this place without
him—my sunlight!—my joy! In one of the literary papers which my uncle
takes is a notice of premiums, to be awarded to the successful
competitors, for tales, essays, etc. I have determined to become one. I
have often written—may I not succeed? I _will_ succeed. I have a good
plan, too, for a story, founded upon an incident in the life of my old
hero-like grandfather. So, adieu my old friend, my journal, for awhile;
for I must bend all my existent energies on my _prize_ story—as I
_will_ it to be. In doing that and answering Hugh’s letters, the time at
my disposal will be entirely taken up. The prizes will be awarded before
Christmas. I am beginning to think Mrs. Dudley and Clare suspect my
engagement to Hugh.

_November 28th._—Joy! joy! and now for the details—to confide to you,
my journal, in what that joy consists! My uncle opened the mail-bag, as
usual, this morning whilst we sat at breakfast. There were two gentlemen
present, beside our family circle, and one of them, a wealthy gentleman
from a neighboring city, and who has always shown himself peculiarly
polite and attentive, at the same time an interesting and intellectual
companion. Mrs. Dudley and Clare—I forever _couple_ them together, for
it seems to me they have only _one_ mind for their two bodies, and of
course, but a small portion for each—imagine I am “setting my cap” for
him; and according to their general custom, endeavor to set me in the
worst possible light in his eyes. Well! _revenons à nos moutons_, my
uncle placed two letters before me as my share of the precious bag,
remarking as he did so:

“One from your punctual correspondent at the South, and one from
Philadelphia. What beau in that city, Floy, do you write to?”

“Why, Miss Walton”—in a most insulting tone, said Mrs. Dudley—“is not
this foolish correspondence with my nephew dropped by _him_ yet? If it
were not for its improbability, I should begin to fear there was
something serious in it; but, then your encouragement of his attentions
was so very open, that Clare and I said it could only have been for your
amusement and his, to make the time pass to two idlers. But, once for
all, pray inform me as _his_ aunt, did you ever dream of any reality in
your game?”

How the hot blood rushed to my temples as I convulsively grasped the
letters to place in my pocket. Yet my pride came to the rescue at this
wanton insult, and at which her assistant in her schemes, Clare, sat
smiling, triumphantly rejoicing in this vulgar attack—so turning to
her, with a light laugh of scorn, I replied:

“_Your nephew!_ Humph! Yes; your supposition does credit to your _ever_
rightly judging and far-seeing mind. My flirtation with _your kinsman_
could, of course, be only for one’s amusement in the country!”

I had paid her back, certainly, for the poor, wicked old creature’s face
colored up in anger as she said:

“Oh! very well, very well, indeed, Miss Walton. That is a nice speech
for a coquette to make about an absent gentleman in the presence of
another.”

I made _her_ no further answer, but finishing my coffee, left the room
to read my letters. I could not help making this answer to her at the
time; yet, I sincerely regret it now. It seems like treason against my
love to utter such a thing about _him_, even to retaliate upon her. The
first letter I opened was from Hugh Dudley—breathing the most devoted
love—begging me to shorten his term of exile, and let him come, at
once, to claim me for his own. The other was from the editor of the
——, and contained a check for one hundred dollars! My story had
obtained the second prize. Now, I _can_ think about what Hugh has
written, I will write to him to-morrow, and tell him I will consider his
proposition. I must not grant it at once, for I am ashamed to let him
see how much I love him.

_December 18th._—How busy they are preparing for Christmas; yet I
cannot enter into their feelings of mirth. A presentiment is haunting
me—a shadow, like the gloom of the grave, is around me. I cannot answer
why this is so. Foolish that I am! I have gone forth to my favorite
walk; I have recalled the words—the vows of love—his tender looks, as
he offered them; and yet the cold, dead feeling at my heart will not be
driven forth. As I entered the parlor yesterday, in the dim twilight,
softly—for I was thinking sadly, as I am wont _now_—I heard Mrs.
Dudley say to Clare, “_Depend on it, Hugh Dudley will not marry_ HER _at
least_.” I do not think she saw me; but Clare’s cold eyes rested on me
with a most malignant glance, as I quickly drew back, ere they should be
aware of my entrance. I know, oh, heart of mine! how foolish ’tis for me
to grieve. Is this the confidence I have in his love—his vows—his
honor—to be thus shaken for _one_ moment by the assertions of an
evil-minded and plotting old woman, who manifestly hates me. I _will_
tear this feeling from me. I will not despond—I will trust in you, my
own noble-hearted Hugh.

_January._—’Tis strange! no letters from Col. Dudley. Can he be ill?
Oh! this sickening suspense—this living death! I fancy, too, that my
enemies—for so I must call Mrs. Dudley and Clare—watch me
narrowly—triumphantly. What can it mean? Oh, Father! in thy mercy,
spare me this anticipated misery! Let the bitter cup pass from me, if
thou wilt; for I feel my utter weakness and inability to bear up under
these harrowing thoughts. Impossible! I will not pen any thing against
his truth. He must be sick. Not even to this mute witness of my love
will I own, that even in _thought_ I suspect him. I will show him this
one of these days yet to come, when the happiness I then shall feel will
repay me for all my sorrows—and then he will know how much he was
loved. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” says the song—and it is
true with me, at least, I wonder, is it the case with him. I will go
down now—for everybody is away to-day, shopping in the neighboring
town—and play all his favorites, and cheat myself with the belief that
he is beside me—that I feel his warm breath play among my curls—that,
on the lifting of my eye, I shall meet his glance, so full of love and
trust, as to shame me in my inmost heart for ever _thinking_ he could
prove false.

_February._—Oh, God! how unspeakably miserable am I. And you, old
friend, that has been the record of my joy—my short dream of
happiness—be also the page upon which I chronicle my grief—my deep
despair. I am calmer now; I did think that I should have crazed under
the blow; but the Father has strengthened and borne me up. I had been
expecting an answer to my last letter from Hugh, (oh! how anxiously, for
’twas past the usual time,) when one day my Uncle Alton sent for me.

“Florence,”—as I entered—“I have a package for you, sent under cover
to myself. I am afraid that this will prove a sad trial to you; but as
you have your own self to thank for it, I am in hopes, for your sake, it
will not occasion you much heart-grief. I am playing the part of Job’s
comforters; but I cannot help saying to you, that you should remember
how you speak of the absent, for sooner or later, they always are
informed of bad speeches by some injudicious friend.”

“What does this long preface lead to, Uncle Alton,” said I, with a
smile, though my heart felt heavy as lead, and as cold. “Surely I am not
mixed up in any of the neighborhood slander, I hope. I always thought
that you did me the justice to imagine that I care little, and talk
less, of the worthies who compose the society attainable at Alton.”

My uncle, by this time, had handed me the package which he had been
separating from its envelop; and he now coldly, I may say sternly,
addressed me,

“Hugh Dudley, Florence, has written me that you and himself were
engaged—solemnly pledged to each other to wed the coming summer. From
your speech, made in public, in the presence of his friends and
relative, from whom he has received the information, he now releases you
from your chains, that he thinks must have been galling, to call forth
from you, in public, so unprovoked, so cruel a speech. What renders it
still more stinging, was the fact, that Mr. Hilton, one of the gentlemen
present, has ever been an enemy of Dudley’s, and on his return home (for
he lives not very far from him) repeated it among a certain set. After
Dudley heard of this he gave the more ready credence to his aunt’s
letter, which came whilst the subject was in agitation in his thoughts.
He wrote to me, as your nearest friend and protector, explaining his
conduct, and requesting me to hand you your letters. It has grieved me
to hear of this conduct, heartless as I must call it, from my sister’s
child.”

I felt like throwing myself at my uncle’s feet, and begging him to plead
for me with Hugh in my great misery; but, at this moment I looked up,
and saw Mrs. Dudley standing near the entrance, and peering on me with
such a smile of malicious triumph, that crushing back my real feelings
of agony with my al-conquering pride, I said lightly, though it seemed
as if my heart were weeping blood the while—

“Do not trouble yourself, uncle, about my incapacity for bearing this,
especially as you say it was brought on me by my own means. Inform Col.
Dudley when you write, that I accept my release with thanks, and never
have, nor could ever claim relationship with some of his kin, but with
the same feelings of loathing and disgust I experience when some hideous
and dangerous reptile crosses my path.”

I was nerved by my anger against Mrs. Dudley to say this, and to act the
part I assumed, of carelessness, for I took up the package with a light
laugh, thanked my uncle, and dropped a very lowly reverence to her as I
approached the door, saying, “I hope, my dear madam, that your truly
_Christian_ heart is now at rest, having seen the end of our game, begun
to relieve the tedium or worse of a country-house, blessed with such an
inmate as your venerable self.”

I have a dim recollection of seeing her eyes open wide and still wider
with perfect amaze, and the words “heartless flirt,” fell from her lips.
I reached my room, though my pride was fast ebbing, and locked myself
in. I opened the bundle—my own letters came tumbling therefrom, and
_one_ from _him_. I put it here, that with the record of my willful
error, its punishment may also be seen.

    “Miss Walton,—I return you your letters, and your vows of
    love—when the substance is not possessed, how worthless is the
    shadow. I scorn myself for having loved one who could so
    wantonly trifle with a trustful, loving heart, which has been
    taken when proffered, to throw away as a worthless object. May
    you be happy, but that I am afraid you will not be. I hope that
    you will be more careful of the next heart that you may witch to
    love you. At least, never say of him in the presence of either
    friends or enemies, “he will do well enough to amuse one’s self
    with in the country!” I again say, may you be happy, and as my
    happiness can only be in forgetting you, I shall never seek to
    hear of you; and rest easy that this will be the last letter
    with which you will ever be troubled from the hand of

                                                      Hugh Dudley.”

It was over! and I sat long silent and motionless with the letters
before me. I then determined to bear uncomplainingly my fate, and never
let _him_ know the agony which his thus breaking _our_ engagement had
caused me. “Did I die from it,” was my proud resolution, “I will die in
silence. He, to believe so quickly, so readily, an assertion made
against me, by an enemy of his, and proved by an enemy of mine. Did he
ask me, ‘Was it so—and wherefore?’ No: but acted on the information,
careless of my pain—oh! well he knew that I loved him—and exulted in
it from revenge. Had he asked me, oh! how humbly would I have
acknowledged my fault, and throwing myself more trustingly on his love,
how would I have prayed for forgiveness, till the proud man, in his
strength, would have been softened by my tears, and taken me again in
love to his bosom.” But it was over, and she who had caused this misery
should not triumph. I jumped from my seat, bathed my eyes, curled my
hair elaborately, decked myself in a most becoming dress, and on seeing
my ashy cheeks, in the glance I gave into the glass, for the first time
painted them with carmine. I then descended into the drawing-room. Mr.
Harold, the wealthy merchant from the city, whom I have spoken of, had
returned the day before, on a visit to my uncle, and for him, and to
him, I played and sung. I was in my wildest spirits. I kept up this
farce for weeks whenever the eyes of the household were upon me, till I
thought in the struggle my mind must give way. At this crisis a letter
came from a cousin of my mother, to whom I had written to ask for an
asylum, gladly welcoming me to her home—for she was aged and infirm,
and wanted companionship. I accepted at once; received a cold
acquiescence from my uncle—a still more indifferent one from my
cousin—and set out for my new home in Kentucky, determined to hide
myself forever from the eyes of those whose triumph was built on the
ruins of my happiness. Oh! Hugh, could you have known how deeply I have
repented of that speech, wrung from my wounded pride, even you would
have forgiven me and loved me still—but you never, never loved as I did
you. But it is, as I said, all, all past; my dream is ended, and I now
walk sadly my allotted time on earth, a sorrower and a sojourner in a
vale of tears.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Here ended this sketch from her journal; and Cora Norton sat at first
meditating, with her head still leaning on her arm. Turning at last to
her aunt, who was dozing across the room, she said—

“What has become of Col. Dudley, Aunt Mary?”

“Ech! what!” exclaimed the old lady; and then being thoroughly roused,
she took her knitting from the floor, where it had slipped during her
nap, received from Cora her spectacles, and upon her niece repeating her
inquiry—

“He is now,” said Aunt Mary, gaping and rubbing her eyes, “the husband
of Clare Alton, and lives in his far distant home—at least so I heard
about five years since, the only time I ever heard of him. It is said
that the match was made up for him entirely by his aunt, and that Clare
is an excellent housekeeper—raises more chickens and turkies than any
lady in the neighborhood. She, as my informant told me, is quite the
_model_ housewife of her neighbors, and has finished a hexagon
bed-quilt, of I don’t know how many thousand patches. As to herself and
the colonel, they get along very politely I believe—

        “Living together as most people do,
          Suffering each other’s foibles, by accord,
        And not exactly either one or two.”

And now, Cora love, it is bedtime. Need I ‘point a moral’ to the journal
you have read? Ah! no, you say. Well! when that little rattling tongue
of yours seems disposed to laugh and say flippant things about your
lovers, think of my girl-friend, Florence Walton, and profit by her
dear-bought experience.”

                 *        *        *        *        *



                       THE PRISONER’S DEATH-BELL.


                       BY REV. H. HASTINGS WELD.


    Blessed be His name whose messages of peace
      Not to the worldly or the proud are borne:
    Whose light bids in the dungeon darkness cease,
      Whose mercy clothes him whom the world has shorn.

    Vain are the efforts of vindictive power,
      Vain are its chains to bind a spirit down;
    For that to Heaven in prayer can calmly soar
      When earthly foes in utmost fury frown.

    Death to the youthful is untimely wo—
      Death to the happy is a fearful grief—
    But weary age is not averse to go:—
      The captive welcomes even death’s relief.

    What then to him the frowning prison-walls—
      The clanking chain, the tyrant’s vengeful spite?
    From the freed spirit every shackle falls—
      Earth’s gloom is lost in Heaven’s glorious light.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                         A STORY FOR CHRISTMAS.


                            FROM THE GERMAN.


“‘Does thy right hand offend thee, cut it off and cast it from thee.’
That is in the Bible, to be sure, but it is no remedy for this terrible
pain,” sighed the suffering Pastor Seidelman, “for if it goes from my
hands I have it in my feet, and if I were to cut off all my limbs what
would become of his reverence?”

“Ah, Conrad,” said his faithful nurse and wife, and smiled through her
tears, “you are always so cheerful in the midst of your sufferings.”

“And why not, Catharine? Am I master of this pain, or its slave? And can
I not always imagine that these limbs belong to some one else, and that
I have nothing to do with them? But the hardest to bear is, that the
miserable things keep me here in this arm-chair, whilst every thing
without there is so blooming and beautiful; the wall-flowers and
harebells are just as fine, or finer in my garden than in Herman &
Hübner’s—that I cannot on this glorious evening feast upon strawberries
with you all in the arbor, and that you, dear Catharine—this is the
worst—must be confined here to nurse me. Has the spring-time of our
life all vanished?”

“Ah, Conrad,” said his wife cheeringly, and stroked his pale cheeks, “we
have so many blessings left—our love and our children. Let us thank God
for all—for our joys, and for our sorrows too. Ah, if you could only go
to the springs at A——.”

“Yes, yes,” said the pastor, “but never mind. The springs are distant
and dear. I have given it up long ago. Sometimes, indeed, it seems as if
it would be a little thing for my lord count up on the hill to treat his
old pastor to the journey. But he must need all his money for the gay
life he leads at the capital—oh, no! he is not to be thought of, nor
the springs either.”

This had been the conclusion for the last ten years of every
conversation between the worthy people, whenever the subject was the
health of the good pastor. What availed him his duties so faithfully
performed, the love and veneration of his flock, his gay world of
flowers just outside the door, and his circle of blooming children?
There he sat in the great arm-chair, while without the birds were
singing, the lindens in full leaf, the little six-years-old Paul was
exercising a troop of wooden soldiers, the gentle Hermine dancing
merrily, and in a distant part of the garden the beautiful Theodora was
walking with her youngest brother, the little pet, Ernst. Indeed, the
worthy Seidelman might well be happy, surrounded by all these treasures.
But he was bowed down by disease, not of mind, but of body; and he was
very poor, though that was no one’s fault but his own. For how in the
world was any one with such a soft heart ever to grow rich. His house
was always open to the needy, and not rarely to the wolf even in sheep’s
clothing, and often when on his return from some wedding, his wife would
search anxiously in his pockets for the fee, he would say, with a look
of shame and contrition, “Don’t be vexed, Catharine, I have given it to
Gottlieb, he has broken his leg;” then both would smile through their
tears, and the orders to the butcher for the next week would be
countermanded.

But one other grief burdened the worthy people. Anxiety on account of
their favorite child Theodora, just eighteen years old, and so gentle,
who became every day more and more estranged from them. In his sleepless
nights of pain, she left the care of her father entirely to her mother
and her sister Hermine, and shut herself up in her room, where they saw
her candle burning until long after midnight, and to their anxious
questionings she gave only confused, unsatisfactory replies. But now,
when the roses in her cheeks had begun to fade, her father and mother
had determined that, when twilight came, when she always went to walk in
the large garden, they would penetrate into her securely-locked
apartment, and solve, if possible, the sad riddle. And they had selected
this evening for the attempt.

There she strolled through the dark linden walks on this lovely summer
evening, with her little brother. But there was even more joy in her
heart than in the glad singing of Ernst, and the setting sun mirrored
itself in her eyes, sparkling with delight. “Sink into thy golden
cradle, thou friendly light; with thy setting arises a holyday for us
all, thy Easter morning, oh, dear father.” Thus she exulted, all
unconscious of the treachery meditated against her by the anxious love
of her parents. And just at this moment, when, full of happiness, she
bent down over a hedge of roses, suddenly the fate of her future life
stood before her, a youth of most prepossessing appearance. He started
at the sight of the fair girl, and greeted her with evident
embarrassment. Theodora, too, was confused, she knew not why, and her
handkerchief dropped from her trembling hand while she turned hastily
away. He picked it up, hastened after her, and in a gentle voice, but
with a foreign accent, begged pardon if his sudden appearance had
alarmed her, and hoped that on so beautiful an evening he might not be
the cause of shortening her walk. But her walk was interrupted, and she
turned toward home much sooner than she had intended, just in time to
frustrate, for this evening at least, the design of her parents, who
were just upon the point of ascending the stairs to her room.

And now, when supper was finished, and the pastor was lighting his
evening pipe, with the children playing around him, what heavy parcel
does Theodora bring in, and what drops are those shining upon her cheek?
“My dear father,” she said, “I bring you here the money—a hundred
dollars—which I have earned for you. It is little, but it is enough to
carry you to the springs. Now you will be well once more,” and she sunk
into his arms.

Imagine the happiness of this moment. The children left their play and
gathered round their parents; the father weighed the gold incredulously
in his hand, and the whole secret was disclosed amid thanks and kisses.
Upon the altar of filial love Theodora had laid the hard earnings of her
needle. For two long years she had sewed and embroidered with
unremitting industry, while every one else was sleeping. Her cheeks
indeed were pale, and she had been for a while estranged from those who
were dearer to her than all the world beside, but she had gained the
reward that she had striven for so long.

“Present arms!” cried Paul to his soldiers; “don’t you see, you rogues,
in whose presence you are standing?”

“Yes, dear one,” said her father, “you have worked hard indeed for me,
for us all, and thy days shall be long in the land which the Lord thy
God giveth thee.”

More brightly than the star-spangled heaven without, shone the heaven
glittering with new hopes and joys within the little parsonage. “You
will be well again,” cried the children, “you will be able to dance just
like us.”

“Yes,” answered their father, “to dance, and ride, and—but only think,
Catharine, of my really going to the springs! I can hardly believe it.”

They all talked over the journey with the comforting conviction that it
was no longer a mere vision, and it was unalterably determined that
Theodora should accompany her father. The council sat until far into the
night, that every thing might be discussed—what they should carry with
them, and through what towns and villages they should pass on their
journey. But when the village watchman called “Twelve o’clock,” the
father knocked the ashes out of his pipe, and said, “Children, it is
late, we shall have a whole day to-morrow.” Paul shut up his soldiers in
their barracks made by some old folios on the lowest shelf of the
book-case, and certainly the god of slumber never embraced happier
people than the inhabitants of that little cottage.

Theodora alone could not sleep. Her mind was too much excited to be
quickly composed to rest. As the moon shining on drops of dew causes
them to emit sparkles in the dark night, which vanish again suddenly, so
dreams and fancies sprung up in Theodora’s mind, and she hardly
suspected that the stranger in the park was the chief cause of her
excitement. Without any distinct thoughts of him, and without the
remembrance of a word that he had said, his image was, in the confusion
of her mind, like the foundation color in a landscape, like the _thema_
in one of Beethoven’s symphonies. Only in her short morning slumber did
his image present itself, as he handed her the handkerchief. But the
dream vanished before the clear light of the morning sun, and the day
with its busy plans and thousand occupations dissipated the half-formed
visions of the night. Again, however, twilight came with its shadows,
its cool breezes, and its memories, and as she again strolled down the
garden with her little brother, her heart fluttered with feelings of
alarm and anxiety. She feared that the young stranger would suddenly
stand before her again, as he had done upon the preceding evening, and
yet she could not keep away from the dangerous spot. But no stranger
appeared; she glanced timidly down the dark walk, but nothing was to be
seen.

At last, lost in thought, she stood before the very rose-bush where she
had first seen him the day before. But her reverie was suddenly
interrupted, for Ernst sprung from behind a large lilac-bush, dragging
the stranger with him, and crying, “I have you, you rogue; you want to
play hide and seek with Dora, do you? Away with you!” With a frank smile
the young man, yielding to the child, approached the blushing girl, who
would fain have turned away. “Hold him fast,” cried Ernst, “or he will
run away, and before I can get my horsemen out to follow him he will be
beyond the mountains.”

“That will he not, my little fellow,” said the stranger, and then
turning to Theodora, he frankly confessed that only the hope of seeing
her again had prevented his continuing his journey with his father. He
told her—but who can tell with pen and ink what a youth, only twenty
years old, who has at first sight fallen head over ears in love, says to
a beautiful girl, at such a romantic hour and on such a lovely spot?

Theodora herself hardly knew what he had said, but only (when two hours
afterward she slowly walked toward her dear home) that he had poured out
the most ardent protestations of love, and that, although obliged to
leave on the morrow for, she knew not what part of the country, he had
promised to return. Whence had come that sparkling ring upon her finger,
and whither had gone the rose that she had worn all day long in her
bosom? His name she knew was Robert, but all else that he had said about
himself and his family had vanished from her mind. He was going away on
the morrow with his father, whither, she had not the remotest idea, and
to inquire about him was out of the question. The vision had vanished,
but the diamond on her finger sparkled consolingly, and she drew it off,
to keep it carefully until it should be redeemed by the donor.

The next day was consumed in preparations for the journey, and on the
following morning, after all had been refreshed by the hot coffee, and
the father had prayed, “May God bless our goings out and our comings
in,” he was warmly packed in the neat traveling-carriage, with Theodora
at his side; leave was taken of the dear ones who must stay behind, and
they drove off. As the tall tops of the trees seemed to nod a kindly
farewell in the fresh morning air, Theodora thought longingly of the
last few days, and shrunk from the unknown future. She determined to
lock up her hopes and fears in her own breast—for how could she speak
of them to her father. An accidental meeting with a young stranger was,
as she would fain persuade herself, such a commonplace occurrence; and
her father, too, was so occupied with the journey, with thoughts of the
old friends whom he should see, and, above all, with the flowers which,
whenever they passed a garden, threw him into ecstasies, that a fit
opportunity never presented itself.

As they approached A——, through a beautiful landscape, they met
glittering equipages and horsemen, and gayly-dressed parties of
pedestrians. Music sounded from the lighted saloons, and a new world
opened itself around the young girl. But anxious emotions filled her
heart, and she longed for the quiet home-circle of mother, brothers and
sisters.

Still she breathed more freely as she entered her quiet little room in
their lodging-house, where every thing was so neat and convenient; even
the piano had not been forgotten, and the window opened upon the pretty
little garden belonging to the house, where were green lindens, fragrant
lilies, and an arbor of woodbine, like the one in dear R——. “Oh
heavens!” cried her enraptured father, “there is the double lychnis
chalcedonia, blooming in greater perfection than my single one; and
there (it can be no dream) there, Theodora, is the white Georgina, which
I have never seen before, growing among those pinks and carnations.”

Every thing was delightful. Their domestic arrangements were soon made,
and, on the following morning, the spring which was to give health to
the invalid was tried, while Theodora sat at home in the garden and
worked.

Many parties of fashionable promenaders passed by, and troops of
horsemen galloped past; but Theodora heeded them not; and when her
father returned, she was ready to receive him; they partook of their
frugal meal, and then came singing and the piano. But early one morning,
as she sat at work—heavens! who was that who flew by upon his foaming
English steed? She dropped her work in her agitation, but the stranger,
no less surprised, reined in his horse, sprang off, rushed up the little
garden, and greeted her with the warmest expressions of his surprise and
pleasure.

Scarcely capable of replying, Theodora returned his greeting, but
instantly her confusion overcame her, and she asked, with a deep blush,
how he, whom she had thought so distant, came to be just here.

“O, this place,” was his reply, “is the destination of my poor father’s
journey.”

“Then you are here for the same purpose that we are?” asked she. “What
is your father’s disease?”

“Ah! let me be silent upon that point,” sighed Robert; “I am very
unhappy. But I trust in God that these clouds will clear off; and now
that I see you, all seems brighter and more hopeful. And,” continued he,
gazing searchingly into her clear, calm eyes, “I am very vain; but your
looks tells me, Theodora, that you still remember those happy meetings
in R——. You shall learn to know me; you shall not find me unworthy of
your love; and then I will place the decision of our fate in your
father’s hands, and _my_ father, too—why can I not lead you to him now,
and say, ‘See, father, the happiness of your only son.’”

“And why do you fear him?” said Theodora, “does he know me?”

“I must not say,” sighed Robert; “the hand of fate is heavy upon me now;
but here and there I can discern through the clouds the clear blue of
heaven. O, trust in me, Theodora, if I am an outcast _now_, trust my
heart, full of love, if there is in yours one spark of interest in me.”

The thorns in this declaration pressed deep into the heart of the poor
girl. Confidence, love, and doubt raised a wild warfare in her breast;
she saw the heaven of her pure first love so overclouded, and she saw
Robert depart with a heavier heart than she had ever known before. The
next day, and the next, while her father was bathing, Robert was with
her; and although her confidence in him grew continually, the riddle
grew more dark and mysterious.

“Say not a word even to your father of our love,” said Robert; “I plead
only for a little time, and I myself will open my heart to him.”

As long as he was with her, she felt consoled, but with his departure,
her peace fled.

The happy father, in the meantime, did not perceive his daughter’s
increasing melancholy. Two weeks had done wonders for him; every day he
grew stronger. The reviving air breathed new life into the worthy man.
“O, my child,” said he, joyfully, throwing open the gate one day, at the
commencement of the third week, “what do you think I have seen? You will
scarcely believe it; but it is really so—a _Banksia serrata_, in full
bloom, stands in the castle garden. O, Dora! the exquisite contrast,
such heavenly blue and gorgeous yellow! I—but you must see it; and,
only think, the gardener has promised me a shoot! God _has_ blessed our
goings out and our comings in; only see how well I can move my arm; in
another week I shall be as well—better than ever. But there is so much
misery here—if I were only rich; and there is one man so wretched, who,
dressed in a miserable old gray coat, walks about all day amongst the
gay and happy—if I only had a little money for him, he should find his
health, too, in these glorious baths.”

Thus spoke the old man out of his grateful, child-like soul, and never
noticed how little part Dora took in his joy and kind wishes, or how
pale she had grown. But the next morning, deeds followed the good
pastor’s words. On his return from the bath, he hastened to the garden,
and there stood the flower that he so dearly loved, with its magnificent
leaves and petals upon which the sun shone, making the dew-drops glitter
with a thousand rainbow tints, and on every side bloomed the rarest
plants. “Great, indeed, are the works of the Lord,” said the enthusiast,
taking off his cap reverently. Just at this moment the old man in the
gray coat, his head bent down, and his hands behind him, as usual,
passed by. “Ah! _Banksia serrata_,” murmured the pastor to himself, “no
misery should exist where you bloom in such beauty;” and half
unconsciously he put his hand into his pocket, drew out his purse,
slipped it in the old man’s hand, and then vanished in the crowd. “Now
you will have a happy day,” cried he, in his innocent joy; “perhaps it
may cure you—who knows.” But now, like the book of the Evangelist,
which was first honey and then bitterness, a serious consideration
rushed on the mind of the pastor. He had sacrificed upon the altar of
humanity far more than half the pittance which was supporting him at the
baths, and had barely enough remaining to pay for the journey back to
R——. “Theodora,” he said, as he entered their little room, “you must
pack up every thing; I have done a foolish thing—my heart ran away with
my head; I have given away the twenty dollars that were in the purse,
and the purse besides. We must go home in two days at the furthest, if
we do not wish to beg our way back.”

“Oh yes,” cried Theodora, bursting into tears, “let us go to-day—as
soon as possible!”

“What is the matter, my child?” asked her father, terrified and amazed
at her tears.

Ah! unconscious father, while you stood before your beloved flower, and
returned thanks to Heaven for its beauty, the heart of your poor child
was broken, and the rose of her pure love crushed.

Theodora had been working all the morning in the garden, as usual; but
not as usual did Robert appear at the appointed time. In her anxiety at
his non-appearance she was not even allowed the blessing of retirement
and silence—for the talkative landlady brought a friend to the garden,
whom she wished to introduce to the pretty stranger from R——. Now if
Robert came, he would have to retreat—for the departure of these
gossips was not to be thought of. But he came not; and she was listening
in despair to the last stroke of ten o’clock, when a dashing barouche
whirled by, containing upon the back seat two gaudily-dressed ladies,
between whom sat—Robert.

He boldly threw a kiss to poor Dora, and the ladies, lifting their
eye-glasses, honored her with a long stare, followed by a burst of
laughter. Theodora grew pale.

“Do you know that man?” asked the landlady; “he is the most dissipated
fellow here, and a gambler by profession.”

“And his companions,” added the friend, “are low people from the
capital.”

Poor Theodora! with difficulty she kept from falling, but the paleness
which overspread her face alarmed the good landlady, who hurried her
into the house and administered all kinds of restoratives. When she was
alone tears came to her relief—“Ah!” sobbed she, “how could such fair,
earnest words come from a heart so vile. But I will pluck this love from
my heart, and then farewell peace and hope in this life.”

“Yes, let us go from this dreadful place,” said she to her father when
she had told him all; “you are quite well again. And this ring—he gave
it to me as a pledge of his truth; take the glowing jewel from me,
father dear, it burns into my soul.”

“My poor child,” said her father, “you will indeed be happier in our
quiet home; as for this ring, it could only have been given to you by
one to whom thousands are as nothing; only by some wretched gambler. And
all this mystery that he has preserved. Oh, yes! I see it all. Thank
God, my child, that he has delivered you from a gambler, that he has
separated your lot from his, for whom there is no love, no home, who can
live only in the heated air of the saloon, amidst the despairing cries
of the losers and the greedy exclamations of the few whom chance favors!
Pack up every thing; the day after to-morrow we will set out for dear,
quiet R——, where Heaven will rain down peace upon thy heart, as it has
already poured its blessing of health upon me.”

Thus with affectionate words did the father drown, at least, the voice
of sorrow in his poor child’s heart, and for the first time, at the
approach of evening, she accompanied him into his sanctum, the garden.
But the brilliant colors of the flowers pained her with the contrast
between them and her own heart. Red is the color of happy love, and ah!
Theodora, these are not for thee—there under the weeping-willow blooms
thy flower, its leaves are the color of the blue above, and although the
faithless waves at its foot are always flowing on, its image is always
mirrored in them; so, Theodora, will thy love remain while the river of
thy life flows on, and faith will ever repeal in thy heart—“Forget me
not.”

“_Banksia serrata_,” cried her father joyfully, and led her to the
beautiful plant. She gazed enchanted. Here was no gaudy mixture of
colors, no dazzling brilliancy. Gentleness seemed to breathe in the
fragrance wafted from the flower, that heavenly blue—it was her own
forget-me-not exalted to honor. Her eyes filled with tears, the sight
had comforted her, and she loitered quietly back through the long
promenade with her father; outshining in her simple beauty the crowd of
fashionables collected there at that hour.

“There he is,” said her father, trying to elude the recipient of his
morning’s bounty.

But the old man had seen him, and stepping up to him, growled out—“Sir,
a word with you.”

“Go, wait for me there, upon that bench, Dora,” said her father. And she
went timidly.

“What,” said the stranger, “is that your daughter? I suppose she is
good-for-nothing, but she is a pretty creature, certainly.

“As concerns yourself,” he continued, in broken German, “it would, I
suppose, be impolite if I should say, ‘My friend, are you a knave or a
fool?’ so I will restrain my curiosity, and only ask how you know me?”

“Sir,” replied the pastor, “I do not know you.”

“Oh, don’t deny it,” said the other; “was it not you who slipped the
purse into my hands this morning? You think to plant your grain in
fruitful ground. Few here look as ragged as I, but how came you to know
of the gold under the rags? But this stupid speculation of yours will
never succeed.”

“Sir,” interrupted the pastor, with dignity, “what do you think of your
fellow men?”

“The worst,” said the old man; “they are all as good-for-nothing as I
am. But you have thrown your money away, which you seem to need
yourself.”

“No, I have not thrown it away,” replied the pastor; “you are sick, my
friend.”

“I am not your friend; I have no friend.”

“O, wretched indeed are you if you have no friend; then indeed you have
nothing. Yes, you are really ill in body and mind. What I could do to
cure the disease of the first I have done, and it is not worth speaking
of, but to relieve the last I can bring to my aid, though I am very
poor, the consolation of sympathy and—religion. I am the Pastor
Seidelman, from R——.”

“What! the Pastor Seidelman!” cried the old man; “and that beautiful
girl is your daughter?”

“She is,” replied the pastor; “you know nothing of us, but let me know
enough of you to afford you all the consolation in my power.”

So saying, he drew the old man to a seat under the lindens, and sat
down. His heart, overflowing with gratitude for the blessing of his
renewed health, poured itself out toward the stranger in words so full
of sympathy that they seemed half to provoke a spark of kindliness in
the stranger’s breast.

“By heaven!” he cried, “you are the most endurable man I have yet met
with in my wretched life, and ten times better than I. Is it so? Can I
find such a thing as a friend?”

“It is certain,” said Seidelman; “I am your friend.”

“But I am a wretched beggar, crazed by the ingratitude with which my
native country, England, has sent me helpless out into the world. I can
never reward your kindness—I can give you nothing but my misery. Will
you still be my friend?”

“Come with us to R——,” cried the pastor, “we are poor, too, but you
shall not want loving care, and Theodora shall nurse you.”

“Ah, call the girl here,” said the stranger; and Theodora modestly
approached.

The countenance of the old man grew more and more cheerful as he talked
with the honest pastor and his lovely daughter. But suddenly he started
up, grasped the pastor’s shoulder with trembling hands, and
stammered—“I am ill—I must go home.” Then, refusing their offers of
assistance, he promised to meet them on the same spot the next day, and
was quickly lost in the crowd.

The pastor and his daughter returned to their lodgings, thinking and
speaking of nothing but the strange old man.

“We sent him away,” cried the landlady, as she met them at the
garden-gate, “he has been here twice; quite pale with terror, but it is
good for him.”

“Who?” asked the father.

“Why the gambler, to be sure.” And poor Theodora shrunk into a dark
corner of the room.

Her father inquired his name and direction of the landlady, and
immediately inclosed the costly ring to him in a note which ran thus:

“Sir—Commissioned by my daughter, Theodora, and with her full
countenance, I return to you this ring, of which we have as little need
as the honor of your society.”

The next day they hoped again to meet the old man, but he was no where
to be found, and even their gossiping landlady knew nothing of him—so
they were obliged to give up all hope of seeing him again.

Early on the following morning they set out for their dear home, and as
the carriage drove through the avenue of trees before the house, and
Theodora in vain endeavored to conceal her fast falling tears, which
came so fast at the remembrance of the happiness now fled forever, some
one behind them panted out—

“Hold—for Heaven’s sake, stop!”

“Robert!” cried Theodora, and sunk back, almost fainting.

“Drive on,” said her father; and the driver cracked his whip, and the
light carriage flew swiftly from its pursuer, whose exclamations were
soon lost in the distance.

But just as they reached the extreme end of the village, a dashing
vehicle from the opposite direction rattled by. Heavens! there on the
back seat, between the two bold, gaudy ladies, sat—the gambler. As the
lightning illumines the dark night, did the truth flash upon Theodora’s
mind. The faithful lover who had pursued her carriage, and from whom she
had so unrelentingly fled, could not be identical with the man whom they
had just seen apparently returning from some nightly revel. The
resemblance was indeed wonderful, but it was only a resemblance.

“Oh, Robert, Robert!” sobbed the unhappy girl, “how wretched I am.”

“Trust in God, dear child,” said her father; “all is for the best. His
ways are not as our ways.”

“Ah! all hope has gone, and I—I alone am guilty!”

Three weeks ago how much happiness the little carriage had contained,
but now how dark every thing seemed. Still as they approached the dear
home, their sorrow grew milder, and when on the fifth day they were
greeted by the _patois_ of their native province, thoughts of their
return were uppermost in Theodora’s mind. Her father brought back what
he had scarcely dared to hope for in this life, health, and she had some
little token for each member of the dear circle. A warm shawl for her
mother, the embroidered kerchief for Hermine, a book for Ernst, and a
sabre for the young soldier.

And now the white tower of the castle of R—— gleamed in the twilight,
and on every side dear familiar objects greeted them. There the pine
wood, and now over the forget-me-not brook under the hanging-boughs of
the willows around the mill, and they were in the village. And what a
joyful welcome awaited them here. “It is our dear pastor,” resounded
from all sides, caps were waved, and hands thrust into the carriage
windows. The pastor bowed right and left with emotion, but as the
carriage drove by the church he uncovered his venerable head, and a
grateful prayer gushed from his overflowing heart.

As they turned the corner, and the peaceful parsonage embowered in its
magnificent trees stood before them, mother and children came hastening
to meet them with cries of joy. “Children,” cried the pastor, “it has
all gone!—you need no longer creep round so quietly, and try not to
touch me. Come here! and pinch me, I am really well again, and we must
thank the dear Lord and Theodora for it.”

“Oh dear sister! O father! mother! brother!” sounded on all sides, and
there was no end to the joyful welcome. And the noise and glee all began
anew when the trunks were unpacked, and the presents produced. And the
questions and answers! Paul wished particularly to know how many lions
and tigers his father had seen on the journey. Hermine, how the ladies
in A—— were dressed, and the mother what they had for dinner. All were
satisfied, and went happy to bed.

But the morning came, the day passed, and in the evening there wandered
in the park unhappy love. But Theodora suffered no longer in secret, her
mother’s heart and her father’s kind words offered healing to her
wounded soul, although she felt that for her there was no happiness
left. On the sixth day the post brought a letter for Theodora. She
handed it tremblingly to her father, and sank upon a seat, while her
father read aloud to her, as follows—

    “Theodora, my Theodora, I am the happiest of mortals! Wherever I
    turn I see nothing but happiness and joy. The sky is clear and
    blue above me, and you love me and will always love me. You have
    repelled me, but indeed you knew me not. You have left my ring
    in the hands of vice, but how could you know it? Did I not
    myself doubt my own identity when I first saw him? Is not that
    vile fellow, Rodel, my perfect double? But all is right again,
    and I have your ring upon my finger. Hear how it all came about.
    The day after you left, I went to the promenade overwhelmed with
    agony at your departure, and your manner toward me. There I saw
    the detestable gambler, Rodel, and a ray of light from his
    finger caught my eye. I looked at it more attentively—it was
    the very ring that I had given you. I felt that I must instantly
    know how he came by it, and perhaps it would unravel the
    mystery.

    “‘Sir,’ said I, turning to him, ‘you have a fine stone there.’

    “‘Do you like it?’ said the fellow with assumed nonchalance,
    ‘_ma foi_, it does not look amiss, and from a fair one too.’

    “‘I controlled myself, followed him to his room, and stepping up
    to him, said coldly and seriously—

    “‘Mr. Rodel, be pleased to tell me upon this spot how you came
    by that ring.’

    “‘_En vérité mon enfant_,’ laughed he, ‘you are very amusing,
    but I am not in a joking humor, what do you want of me?’

    “‘The ring,’ replied I, ‘and an open confession of how you came
    by it.’

    “‘I can easily tell you that, the more readily as I think you
    already guess the truth. I received it from my lady fair, Miss
    Theodora S——. Ah! my dear fellow, she is _un morceau de
    prince_.’

    “Your name, dear love, sounded to my heart like a thunderclap,
    but only because such lips dared to pronounce it, for I never
    for an instant supposed that he owed the ring to any thing but
    some miserable fraud. Without allowing myself to be outwardly
    disturbed by the man’s impudence, ‘no more of this,’ I said,
    ‘give me the ring this moment, or I will immediately inform Gen.
    B—— of the ingenious trick by which he lost his two thousand
    louis d’ors yesterday. You may have seen me before? I have also
    seen you, and although yesterday it was none of my business, and
    I did not feel myself called upon to act as guardian to your
    dupes, to-day the office suits me exactly. So choose—the ring,
    and an explanation, or the general’s whip, and my pistols.’ Pale
    and trembling, the wretch drew the ring from his finger and
    handed it to me with your father’s note. I hastened away with my
    heart filled with happiness. All was clear to me—only your
    grief in being so deceived troubled me. No, my Theodora, I am
    not unworthy of you. Tell every thing to your father, and
    commend me to his love. I would write to him but I cannot. Yes,
    Theodora, there is mystery still, the time for explanation is
    not yet arrived, but I can see nothing but joy in store for us.
    Trust in my fervent eternal love as I trusted in yours. It is
    impossible for you to answer this, for you do not know where I
    am; I, myself do not know where I may be to-morrow. But soon I
    shall be with you, never to leave you but to be always your own,

                                                           Robert.”

Theodora’s eyes now sparkled with love and joy, but her father silently
folded the letter again and gave it to her.

“How, father?” she asked, “you say nothing!”

“What can I say?” replied her father. “He has acted nobly, and that he
really loves you is clear to me. But, beware my child, the tempter goeth
about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

But a new life had begun for Theodora. She soon knew the dear letter by
heart, and thought only of _his_ return. Thus a week passed away, and
another, when the post again brought a letter for her father, marked
_private_.

“From my dear friend, Dr. S——, of the springs at A——, said he, as he
locked himself into his study, and seating himself in his arm-chair,
read the following—

    “Dear old Friend,—I have so little time for writing any thing
    but prescriptions in this busy place, that you will be surprised
    indeed to receive this. But your happiness is mine, and I can no
    longer keep secret what I know is in store for you. The twenty
    dollars that you in your simple benevolence slipped into the
    hands of the old gray-coat, has brought you interest indeed.
    That shabby was Sir William C——, the rich English banker, who
    diseased in body, and plunged into insane misanthrophy by the
    death of his wife, and of all save one of four children, to whom
    he was devotedly attached, spent this summer at the springs. At
    the urgent solicitation of his only son, a young man of most
    prepossessing manners and appearance, I had been for some time
    attending him, when you met him in the garden. Your kindness to
    him when you could not know him, his conversation with you, and
    your warm, humane nature made the greatest impression upon him,
    and so moved him that he was immediately afterward seized with a
    violent attack of illness, which proved a favorable crisis, and
    his health both of body and mind is completely restored. His
    gratitude to you knows no bounds. He is now, by my advice,
    traveling through Italy previous to coming to R——, where he
    intends to present himself at your door in his former shabby
    dress, and require at your hands the friendship you so
    generously proffered him. As for his son, ask your daughter,
    Theodora, she can tell you far more about him than I can. All
    this I should not have told you, but how could I help it? With
    the warmest congratulations, and repeated injunctions laid upon
    you to keep the secret from your wife and children better than I
    have been able to keep it from you, believe me, my dear old
    friend, truly yours,

                                                       Herman A——.”

It was long before the worthy pastor became convinced that all this was
no dream, but when the reality burst upon him, he folded his hands, and
his heart was filled with love and gratitude to God. “But,” said he to
himself, “how can I keep all this from my dear Catharine? Heaven grant
that that for the first time in my life I may keep my tongue between my
teeth, and not betray every thing as my old friend here has done.”

“Father,” said his wife at supper, “your face shines like Moses, when he
came down from the mount. What did the doctor write about?”

“Oh!—he—why of course about every thing that is going on at the
springs, about the flowers, and my _Banksia serrata_.”

“And nothing,” asked Theodora, “of the old man and—and—”

“Why, what should he know of them?” said her father. “Doubtless the
young fellow has forgotten our existence, dear Dora, but don’t be
troubled, we are so happy here.” And then he bit his lips, and swallowed
the secret as best he could, and as he was obliged to do fifty times a
day.

Thus the autumn passed, the winter came, and with it that joyous time,
which, for the sake of the dear child born long ago in Bethlehem, makes
children of us all. But no news of the absent ones; only the
intelligence from the capital that the count had sold his castle of
R——, and that the new lord would take possession at Christmas.

“Well, well,” said the pastor, “the new lord can hardly be worse than
the old one, and very easily better and more generous, so we may in
future have a merrier Christmas than this will be, for this time,
children, affairs look rather gloomy.”

“Ah! we know, father,” cried the joyous children. “You always say
so—you always try to frighten us with the idea of no Christmas, but it
always turns out well. Didn’t Ursula slip in yesterday evening, at the
back-door, with a splendid Christmas tree? We didn’t see it, to be sure,
but we heard it. And didn’t mother and Dora gild the apples and nuts,
and cut out the stars yesterday evening? You thought we were in bed, but
we peeped.”

“Well, well,” laughed their father; “to-morrow will be Christmas-eve,
and of course you will go to bed bright and early, that you may be up in
time the next morning.”

“No, no,” shouted the children; “to-morrow evening is just the time when
the Christ-child comes to us. Have we not just seen Ursula making our
Christmas-cake? Oh, dear, angel of a father, we will be so good.”

The next day all without was dreary and stormy; the heavy snow-flakes
fell all day long, but within it was bright and cheerful. Ursula had
swept and dusted every nook and corner of the house, and the fires all
burned brightly. In the study the father and mother were busy all the
morning; the children, meanwhile, looked wisely at one another, and
tried to keep back the smiles that would dimple out every moment.

At three o’clock, according to the custom of the house, the holyday
began. The fragrance of the fresh Christmas-cake was wafted through the
house, mother and children were all dressed in their holyday attire, and
the father, easy and happy that the morrow’s sermon was prepared, sat
and smoked in his arm-chair. At four o’clock Theodora came in from the
gardener’s, where she had been in all the storm to carry a slice of the
Christmas-cake, with the intelligence that strangers had arrived at the
village inn.

This news made the good pastor restless, and after pacing up and down
the room, he went to the window, and rubbing the moisture from the pane,
looked out. And there, just round the corner, crept the old man in the
gray coat, with his hands behind him, as formerly, and he walked up the
steps and knocked at the door. “Courage,” said the pastor to himself,
and hastened out to meet him.

“Here I am,” said the old man, in a hollow voice, his looks bent on the
ground, “I have fortunately arrived here at last, but I am weary and
ill, and I have no one to pity me. Do you remember your kind words; will
you take me in? What! No reply?”

The honest pastor could not reply. This was what he had so long looked
forward to, and now he was really grieved that the kind heart of the old
man could not enjoy the brief pleasure of his little surprise. But as he
stood silently there, the old man raised his eyes, met that look of love
and sorrow, and threw himself into his arms.

“No,” cried he, “no longer bent with age, but erect and strong—away
with dissimulation! O my benefactor, I am—”

“Stay!” interrupted the pastor, “there shall indeed be no dissembling in
this happy moment. Sir William C——, I know you. The doctor wrote me
all about you.”

“Take me, then, to your wife and children; they are mine, you are mine,
but you must take me for payment, and keep me for the rest of my life.”

“Hush!” said the pastor, “my wife and children know nothing of the
secret, now see what they will say. Come in, dear guest, come in.”

“Ah!” cried Theodora, joyfully, “our old man from A——.”

The children gathered round, the mother welcomed him cordially, and
seated him in the arm-chair by the bright fire.

Speechless he looked round upon them all, but kept Theodora’s hand in
his while his gaze rested with evident satisfaction upon her lovely
face.

“Light the colored Christmas candles, Catharine,” said the father, “and
seat yourselves all round the table.”

Then he opened his desk, took from it the doctor’s letter, stroked his
wife’s cheek, and said—

“Ah, Catharine, all this has weighed upon me like a mountain, but now
all that I know, you, dear ones, shall know, too, and our guest here
shall tell us whether it be true or no.”

And then he read the doctor’s letter. Let whoever can, imagine the
variety of emotions that overcame all the listeners; the astonishment of
the mother, the gentle emotion of the guest, the alternate red and white
that overspread Theodora’s cheek, and the delight of the little ones.

“Here I am, dear ones,” said the old man, at the end of the reading,
“and here I shall stay, in dear, cheerful Germany.”

“Where then is—is—” stammered Theodora.

But just then the door was flung open, and there stood Robert, his eyes
beaming with love and joy.

“Oh, Robert! my Robert!” she cried, and would have rushed toward him,
but overcome by her happiness, she sank into her mother’s arms. The old
man took his son’s hand, and turning to the pastor, said,

“May I woo your daughter for my noble son?”

“May I,” continued Robert, “be your son, O, dear friend?”

“And may I say,” interrupted his father, “that I have bought the castle
yonder, and that I beg your daughter’s acceptance of it as a bridal
gift?”

“My son! my daughter!” cried the weeping parents, and embraced the
lovers, while the children crowded round the old man.

“But now for supper!” cried the pastor, “if there is any one here who
can ever eat again; and, mamma, pray see that it is a real Christmas
feast.”

And then they seated themselves round the table, and the old man,
looking round upon the happy faces about him, told how he had finished
the tour of Italy, and had determined to live for the rest of his life
in beautiful Germany. Then raising his glass, he drank a heartfelt toast
to them all. “And I have ordered every thing for your comfort at the
castle at Lee & Hammersmith’s, London; and for you, dear friend,”
turning to the pastor, “the choicest collection of plants will arrive
shortly.”

“Oh, heaven!” sighed the pastor, “How have I deserved this—the _Banksia
serrata, Plumeria_, and divine _Strelitzia_.”

“How?” said his guest, holding up the purse which Seidelman had slipped
into his hand at the springs; “see your twenty dollars here—the purse
shall always remain in the family, and our posterity shall read what is
embroidered upon it—‘Charity brings interest.’ But what makes the
little ones so restless?”

“Ah!” said their father, “they want to go to bed;” and he and his wife
quietly left the room.

“No, no!” cried the children, “now the holy child is coming, wait until
we hear his little bell, and then we shall go, and you, brother Robert,
and all.”

And soon the longed-for bell sounded, the children rushed into the
study, and bore along the older ones with them.

There was the Christmas heaven before them, with its shining lights and
stars. Theodora sprang forward to take from the table her new white
dress, and forgot her castle. Hermine danced round her new work-box,
Ernst round his tool-chest, and Paul was immediately absorbed with his
terrific cannon, and new troops of soldiers.

The mother, coming behind the pastor, slipped on him his new
dressing-gown, and he uncovered the corner of the table, where were her
pretty slippers and muff.

“O, ye happy ones,” said Sir William, with tears of real feeling, “how
easy would it be for me to cover this table with gold, and say, ‘Take
it—it is all yours,’ but could it give you one moment of the happiness
that these simple gifts of love afford you. O let me be a child with
you!”

“Yes, yes, we will all be children,” cried they, and embraced each
other, while the pastor raised his eyes to heaven, and blessed them,
saying, “Of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

                 *        *        *        *        *



                             SONNET.—LIGHT.


    How beauteous art thou, sacred light! How sweet
      To view thee gushing from the golden sun,
      As he his morning race begins to run!
    Than time or thought alone, thou art less fleet—
    Where shall we seek thy primal dwelling-place?
      About His throne, who ever girt with thee,
      Lay on the bosom of eternity;
    Who lit the stars, which radiate through space—
    Lo! from the east in billowy tide thou flowest,
      Gilding the hill-tops and the heavenly spires—
      Empurpling ocean with a myriad fires—
    Great light, thou sun! o’er heaven thou proudly goest;
    Nor ever standest still, as once, of old,
    Till setting thou hast bathed all with thy molten gold.

    A.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                               UNSPOKEN.


                           BY A. J. REQUIER.


    As, sometimes, the tumultuary deep
        Sinks to serene repose,
    When sunset visions o’er its bosom creep
        As o’er a couch of rose;

    So, sometimes, the bright Caspian of the soul
        Is sudden hushed and stilled,
    As with the glow of some wild hope as goal
        Its trancéd depths are filled.

    “Maid of the twilight eyes! that musest late
        What star breaks on thy brow
    With the resplendence of a Heavenly Gate,
        Greeting its angel now?”

    The humid azure of her virgin dream,
        Spanned from the realms above
    By an all-dazzling Iris! thought—trust—theme—
        Life-consecration—Love!

    Come with me to the rustic paths and see
        A mute scene eloquent;
    That rude cot, reared where the daisied lea
        Is with the mountain blent.

    A form of lovely womanhood which bends
        O’er a much daintier thing—
    Eyes fixed with something that so far transcends
        The strength of shattered suffering.

    Armed Cæsar, with his legions, dared not break
        Their concentration wild;
    Life ventured—periled on a single stake!
        And won:—her first born child!

    Come with me where the artist-hand hath wrought
        The crown of all its toil—
    The spiritual idol madly sought
        In the hot brain’s turmoil;

    Come where the monumental dead have laid
        Their thrice-anointed dust—
    Where priest and martyr, bard and sage, have paid
        The debt all mortals must;

    Come where the spells of wizard Nature wrest
        Sublimity from sod—
    Where Lohmon gleams in paradisal rest,
        Niagara preaches God;

    Come thou and learn, the inmost glow of soul
        Hath no terrestial token;
    And that, while Polar Oceans freeze and roll,
        It never can be spoken!

                 *        *        *        *        *



                            TO A DANDELION.


                        BY ERASTUS W. ELLSWORTH.


    Thy face, my friend, is beauty-pale,
    And doth a slender sweet exhale,
    And here is but a homely vale,
          And fancy draws
    No dearness out of song or tale,
          In thine applause;

    And some there are who only prize
    The blossoms wooed from foreign skies,
    In odors drenched and dewy dyes,
          But thou shalt be
    Companion to my fonder eyes,
          And kin to me.

    When I shall praise a flower the more
    Because its gilded portals pour
    The sweetness of a foreign shore,
          I’ll jog with those
    Who drop the rhyme’s laborious oar,
          And flow in prose.

    All themes that Love and Honor use,
    All tender, soul-inspiring views,
    And all the raptures of the muse,
          Howe’er we roam,
    Like the sweet Grace that shuns abuse
          Begin at home.

    And where my steps are frequent led—
    In beaten haunts—where’er I tread,
    Are seeds of wit and wisdom spread,
          That not abound,
    Only because my heart and head
          Are stony ground.

    Thou claimant of a mutual birth
    Poor kinsman of a fickle hearth,
    Flower of the bleak New England earth,
          I cannot deem
    Your modest crown so little worth
          In my esteem.

    When spring returning, odor-sweet,
    Touches the turf with tinsel feet,
    Thy fresh rosette once more we meet,
          By sun or shade,
    Like Joy to smiles, with generous greet,
          Or just displayed.

    But soon thy little youth is gone,
    Thy ample-headed age comes on,
    And thou a standing wig dost don,
          Of seedy hair,
    Frayed by the winds, till bald as stone,
          Thy skull is bare.

    Ye sacred, sweet, sonorous Nine—
    Dear Floras of the bowers divine—
    Should Age discrown my sable twine
          Of hairy weed,
    Give me to say—This pate of mine
          Has gone to seed.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                        WHY DO I WEEP FOR THEE?


                                WORDS BY
                             GEORGE LINLEY.
                              COMPOSED BY
                             W. V. WALLACE.
                                SUNG BY
                         MISS CATHARINE HAYES.

     Published by permission of Lee & Walker, 162 Chestnut Street,
      _Publishers and Importers of Music and Musical Instruments_.

[Illustration: musical score]

    Why do I weep for thee?
      Why weep in my sad dreams?
    Parted for aye are we,
      Yes! parted like mountain streams.

[Illustration: musical score continued]

    Yet with me lingers still
      That word, that one last word,
    Thy voice, thy voice yet seems to thrill
      The heart’s fond chord.
    Why do I weep for thee?
      Why do I weep for thee?


              II.

    Once, ah! what joy to share
      With thee the noontide hour;
    Then, not a grief nor care
      Had canker’d the heart’s young flow’r
    The sun seems not to shed
      A radiance o’er me now,
    Save mem’ry all seems dead,
      Since lost, since lost art thou.
    Why do I weep for thee?
      Why do I weep for thee?

                 *        *        *        *        *



                          REVIEW OF NEW BOOKS.


    _Aylmere, or the Bondman of Kent; and Other Poems. By Robert T.
    Conrad. 1 Vol. Philadelphia; E. H. Butler & Co._

The author of this volume is one of those rare organizations,
intellectually, which have the power of transmuting whatever they touch
into gold. As an orator, he sways his audience at will; as a writer, he
storms the reader’s judgment by logic and declamation welded into one;
and as a poet, he now charms the fancy with the grace and delicacy of
his imagery, and now makes the heart throb with his fiery and
impassioned words.

“Aylmere” is a dramatic poem, originally written for Mr. Forrest, and
still played, under the name of “Jack Cade,” by that eminent tragedian.
Though parts of it may derive additional power, on the stage, from the
magnificent bursts of the great actor for whom it was composed, the true
beauty of the drama, we think, can only be enjoyed by those who peruse
it, at leisure, in the closet. Many passages, indeed, are suppressed on
the boards, in order to bring the play within accustomed limits; and the
benefit of these the spectator loses entirely.

The drama of “Aylmere” is founded on the famous insurrection of 1450, in
which the English peasantry were headed by a physician, known
indifferently as Jack Cade, Aylmere, Mendall and Mortimer. The theme is
one peculiarly fitted for a republican poet. Goaded by intolerable
wrongs, social as well as political—insults to their women, contumely
to themselves, public taxes that reaped them to the last stubble, and
private exactions on the part of the nobility, that gleaned what little
regal rapacity had left—the people, in which we comprise the yeomen and
burghers, as well as the villeins, rose in a body, marched on London,
exacted the death of the infamous lord-chamberlain, and procured a
charter from the king, guarantying to the commonalty the rights and
privileges demanded by their leader. But scarcely had these concessions
been granted, when a collision, provoked probably by the royal party,
occurred between the citizens of London and the followers of Cade: the
insurgents met with a repulse; and the late terrified aristocracy
rallying, a total defeat and dispersion of the peasantry ensued. Aylmere
himself was hunted down, like a wild beast, and mercilessly put to
death. The concessions granted were revoked. And, for centuries after,
English historians in the interest of the upper classes, blackened the
name and misrepresented the motives of the ill-fated Kentish reformer.

What nobler task could a republican poet set before himself, than to
rescue the reputation of this martyred hero from obloquy and shame?
Well, too, has Judge Conrad fulfilled his pious labor. The principal
character of the play is Aylmere, of course; indeed he may be said, in
one sense, to be the entire play. His lofty courage, his abhorrence of
wrong, his high aspirations after liberty, and the fiery enthusiasm
which he breathes into his followers, form, as it were, the deep
undertone, whose thunders roll incessantly through this grand anthem of
freedom. Other characters, however, contribute materially to the action
of the piece, and furnish the author with opportunities to display his
dramatic powers. The portrait of Marianne, the wife of Aylmere, is drawn
with great tenderness of feeling, and delicacy of touch: she is, like
her own native Italy, a vision of immortal beauty hallowed and
sanctified by wo. The cruel, vindictive and insolent Say; the gay,
careless, yet not wholly wicked Clifford; the friend of the people,
Friar Lacy; and the yeomen, Wat Worthy and Will Mowbray, all stand
prominently out from the canvas.

The drama is full of noble poetry. It would give us pleasure to quote
more largely from it, in proof of this; but the quantity of books upon
our table, requiring notice, forbids a monopoly of our limited space by
one. We cannot, however, resist making a few extracts. Here is one, in
which Aylmere, after his return from Italy, eloquently describes the
bondage which he shared in common with his fellow-Englishmen.

        Ten years of freedom have not made me free.
        I’ve throttled fortune till she yielded up
        Her brightest favors; I have wooed Ambition,
        Wooed with a fiery soul and dripping sword,
        And _would not_ be denied; I turned from her,
        And raked amid the ashes of the past,
        For the high thoughts that burn but cannot die,
        Until my spirit walked with those who now
        Are hailed, as brethren, by archangels:—_Yet,_
        _Have I come home a slave—a thing for chains_
        _And scourges—ay, a dog,_
        _Crouching, and spurned, and spit upon._

In fine contrast to this picture, is the following one of Italy, _as
Italy was four centuries ago_.

        ’Tis free; and want, fear, shame, are aliens there.
        In that blest land the tiller is a prince.
        No ruffian lord breaks spring’s fair promises;
        And summer’s toils—for freedom watches o’er them—
        Are safe and happy; summer lapses by,
        In its own music;
        And pregnant Autumn, with a matron blush,
        Comes stately in, and with her, hand in hand,
        Labor, and busy Plenty. Then old Winter,
        With his stout glee, his junkets, and a laugh
        That shakes from his hoar beard the icicles,
        Makes the year gay again. There are no poor
        Where freedom is.

The whole of the following is in the same fine strain.

        _Worthy._ Behold! He comes! he comes!

            _Enter_ Aylmere.

        _Lacy._ Thank Heaven! thou’rt free!

        _Aylmere_, (_laughs._) Ay, once more free! within my grasp a
          sword,
        And round me freemen! Free! as is the storm
        About your hills; the surge upon your shore!
        Free as the sunbeams on the chainless air;
        Or as the stream that leaps the precipice,
        And in eternal thunder, shouts to Heaven,
        That it is free, and will be free forever!

        _Straw._ Now for revenge! Full long we’ve fed on wrong:
        Give us revenge!

        _Aylmere._      For you and for myself!
        England from all her hills, cries out for vengeance!
        The serf, who tills her soil, but tastes not of
        Her fruit, the slave that in her dungeon groans,
        The yeoman plundered, and the maiden wronged,
        Echo the call in shrieks! The angry waves
        Report the sound in thunder; and the heavens,
        From their blue vaults, roll back a people’s cry
        For liberty and vengeance!

        _Lacy._                    Wrong on wrong!
        Are there no bolts in heaven?

        _Aylmere._                    _No swords on earth?_
        _He’ll ever be a slave, who does not right_
        _Himself. The heavens fight not for cravens. Let us strike,_
        _Strike for ourselves, and Heaven will strike for us._

The ensuing are nervous and striking.

                    All would o’ertop their fellows;
        And every rank—the lowest—hath its height
        To which hearts flutter, with as large a hope
        As princes feel for empire! But in each,
        Ambition struggles with a sea of hate.
        He who sweats up the ridgy grades of life.
        Finds, in each station, icy scorn above,
        Below him hooting envy.

        My lord, if you seek power in this, remember,
        The greatness which is born of anarchy,
        And thrown aloft in tumult, cannot last.
        It mounts, like rocks hurled skyward by volcanoes,
        Flushes a guilty moment, and falls back
        In the red earthquake’s bosom.

The tragedy violates, in some of its details, the facts of history. Thus
Aylmere, instead of being defeated and betrayed, as in the real story,
perishes, in the drama, at the very hour that the charter is granted.
The change enables the author to give a fine artistic scene as his
closing one. Marianne, the wife, having been separated from her husband
at the outset of the insurrection, falls into the power of Lord Say.
While thus a prisoner she is accosted with dishonorable proposals by
Lord Clifford, whom she stabs to escape indignity. For this heroic act
she is thrown into the castle dungeon, scourged, and visited with other
brutalities, till she loses her reason. Escaping eventually, she rejoins
her husband. In Aylmere’s last interview with Lord Say, when the latter,
dying, poniards the former, she rushes in, her intellect restored, as is
often the case before death, and perishes with her lord. This furnishes
the material for the closing scene, which is most dramatically
conceived. Clasping the fair corpse in his arms, the hero is himself
sinking into death, when suddenly loud huzzas in the street, call him
back to life. He starts up with a wild cry of exultation, and asks
eagerly what it means. The attendants reply, “the charter!” and, as they
speak, the parchment, duly sealed, is brought triumphantly in. Aylmere
rushes to it, kisses it, clasps it to his bosom, and exclaiming that the
bondmen are avenged and England free, totters toward Marianne, falls,
and dies.

But the drama is not the only poem in the volume, for some fifty
fugitive pieces ensue, the chance contributions of a life devoted
generally to pursuits more stern. Several of the last of these
originally appeared in the pages of this magazine: we may mention “The
Sons of the Wilderness,” and the “Sonnets on the Lord’s Prayer.”
Generally they are distinguished by great felicity of expression, a
vigorous imagination, touches of exquisite pathos, and a lofty scorn of
whatever is base, cruel, or wrong. As examples of the gentler mood of
the author’s muse, we would point out two poems, which evidently relate
to a mother and her daughter: the first, “Lines on the death of a Young
Married Lady,” and the second, “To Maggie.” The sonnet, “To My Wife,” is
also very beautiful. As specimens of Judge Conrad’s more indignant mood,
we refer to the sonnets, “On the Invasion of the Roman Republic,” and to
“Fear.”

The poem, “To My Brother,” is one that would have made the author’s
reputation, even if he had written nothing else; and “Freedom” contains
stanzas that but few other living poets could have penned. To say that
it exhibits the power of the fourth canto of “Childe Harold,” would
imply imitation, of which certainly no one can accuse Judge Conrad. But
we may remark that it has the same nervous style, the same exalted
imagination, with an original conception that is all its own. In
perusing this and other poems in this volume we instinctively regret
that Judge Conrad has not devoted himself entirely to poetry. Such
powers as his, concentrated on a pursuit so congenial to him, could not
but have produced results that would have adorned American literature,
not only temporarily, but throughout all time.

We cannot take leave of our author without going back to the dedication,
which is addressed to the poet’s father, and which, though often quoted
in print since the appearance of the book, we venture to quote again.

                  TO JOHN CONRAD, ESQ.

        How much that Young Time gave hath Old Time ta’en;
          Snatching his blessings back with churlish haste,
          And leaving life a wreck-encumbered waste!
        And yet I murmur not—for you remain!
        You and my mother, and the hoarded wealth
          Of home, and love, and high and hearted thought,
          Which Youth in Memory’s wizard woof enwrought.
        These are “laid up” where Time’s ungentle stealth
        Can reach them not. And ’tis a joy to bring
          This humble garland, woven in the wild.
          Back to the hearth and roof-tree of the child:
        The wearied heart bears home its offering.
        If it relume the approving smile of yore—
        Guerdon and glory then—father, I crave no more.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Poems. By Richard Henry Stoddard. Boston: Ticknor, Reed &
    Fields. 1 vol. 16mo._

It is impossible to open this volume at any page without feeling that
the author is a poet, and a poet whose promise is very much greater even
than his performance. Every poem is bright and warm with imagery and
feeling—poetical expressions are showered with a liberal hand—the
verse has that soft and fluent movement which indicates that the
thoughts they convey come from a teeming mind in a gush of melodious
sentiment—and the impression left on the reader’s imagination is of a
singularly rich, sensuous, fertile and poetical nature. Every poem,
almost every line, is a protest against the prose of thought and the
prose of life, and all the objects of sense are studiously idealized and
heightened into “something rich” if not into “something strange.” The
author seems to dwell in a dream of life, peopled with beauties if not
with Beauty, and sweetly abandoning himself to the soft and subtle
sensations they imaginatively excite. Pleasure, but a pleasure more than
mortal, seems to be his aim and aspiration, and infinitely provoked is
he when the hard facts of life protrude their misshapen but solid
substance into his meditations, and mock his luxurious illusion.

Now the mood out of which this profuse idealization of thoughts and
sensations proceeds is undoubtedly poetical, but it should be exhibited
in connection with higher and sterner qualities, and at best indicates
the youth of the poetic vision and faculty. But, it must be admitted,
that Mr. Stoddard has represented it in all its deliciousness, and no
person can read his volume without being filled and stimulated with its
sweetness and melody, and luxuriant fancy and opulence of sensuous forms
and images. It indicates, to some extent, a sensitive and imaginative
nature overmastered by the pleasant scenes and airy beings in which and
with whom it revels—possessed instead of possessing—and therefore
lacking that individual power which wields dominion over its own
resources, selects, discriminates, rejects, governs, and, in the highest
sense, combines and creates. Accordingly he does not inform objects, but
is rather informed by them—does not pass into them by an internal force
but is rather drawn into them by their external attraction—and thus
leaves an impression rather of fertility than power. There is a great
difference between the poet who merges himself in objects, and the poet
who allows objects to immerge him. In the one case he is a victor, in
the other a captive.

As a result of this exceeding sensitiveness to impressions, Mr. Stoddard
is open to the influence of other poets; for when a poet once ceases to
exercise a jealous guardianship over the individuality of his genius, he
is liable to be overcome by the superior power of the natures with whom
he sympathises. Now, Mr. Stoddard is no copyist or imitator, much less a
plagiarist, but he evidently has an intense love for the genius of
Shelley, Keats and Tennyson, and sympathises so deeply with them that he
catches the tone and tune of their spirits—sometimes sets his own songs
to their music—and thus gives us original thoughts and images that
_sound_ like theirs because conceived in their spirit. Thus in the
“Castle in the Air” there is an original line which still has the mark
of Shelley’s individuality upon it:

        “Like some divinest dream upon the couch of sleep.”

It would be easy to select many more illustrations of this unconscious
imitation, proving, not that Mr. Stoddard is a borrower, but that he is
not on his guard against the magnetic power of other minds, exercised as
it is through the most subtile avenues of mental influence. It should be
his ambition not to differ in degree from the poets he loves, but to
differ in _kind_. It is better to be Stoddard than to be a Tennysonian,
especially, as in the present case, when Stoddard contains within
himself the elements of a new individuality in letters, with a force and
flavor and fragrance of his own.

We have been thus prolix and minute in characterizing some of the
peculiarities of this volume, because we are convinced that the author
is a man of genius, and has a right to be tried by laws of criticism
severer than those which apply to the common run of versifiers. But we
are not insensible to the excellencies of the poems; willingly plead
guilty to the charge of having read the volume with delight, and trust
that we shall entice many of our readers into the same pleasant
employment. They evince thought, sentiment, fancy, imagination, delicacy
and depth of nature; every thing but directing will and a broad
perception of the true poetical relations of the ideal and the actual;
and these will come with the growth of his mind, and a larger and more
genial experience of life. We had marked many passages to illustrate our
idea both of his merits and his defects, but we have no space at present
to quote them. The gorgeous “Castle in the Air,” the leading poem in the
volume, would furnish many a splendid example of the fluency and
fertility of his genius. “The Witch’s Whelp” is an original conception
of a different kind. The Songs and Sonnets, toward the close of the
volume, are perhaps, the most individual and essentially original poems
of the collection, and some of them display uncommon subtilty and
sharpness of mental vision.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _A Book of Romances, Lyrics and Songs. By Bayard Taylor. Boston:
    Ticknor, Read & Fields, 1 vol. 16mo._

Bayard Taylor’s peculiarities as a poet are the same which have won him
so much popularity as a man, and refer to his character as well as his
mind. Fine, however as is the impression conveyed by his numerous prose
works, we think that no reader can carefully peruse the present volume
without feeling that the best embodiment of the man is in these poems.
They are thoroughly genuine, recording the thoughts and aspirations
nearest and dearest to the author’s heart and brain, and o’erinformed
with the life of a thoughtful, imaginative and genial nature. Some of
them are darkened by a recent affliction, and to those friends who know
how deep and acute that affliction was, they can hardly be read without
tears. But the majority of the poems express the essential happiness of
the author’s spirit, and communicate happiness to the reader. That
descriptive power, which has made him one of the most fascinating of
modern writers of travels, is of course active in the present volume in
its most exquisite form. Indeed, as a poet, he does not so much describe
as represent scenery, picturing it forth to the imagination in words and
images which seem the mental counterparts of the objects before his eye.
As a descriptive poet alone, he would rank high among contemporary
authors, but he is also a close and subtle observer of the operations of
thought and passion, as modified by individual character, and numerous
pieces in this volume indicate intensity and concentration of thought,
exercised on some of the most elusive and etherial laws and facts of the
spiritual nature. In addition to all this, his style of expression is
pure, energetic and picturesque, and varies readily with his themes. The
best poem in the volume, and one which we think has good pretensions to
be ranked with American classics, is “Man-da-Min, or the Romance of the
Maize,” an Indian legend of great beauty, and, in Taylor’s version,
exquisite in idea and masterly in execution. “Hylas,” “Taurus,” “The
Summer Camp,” “The Odalisque,” “The Pine Forest of Monterey,” and “The
Waves,” are likewise of great merit, and exhibit the variety as well as
power of the author’s mind. Cordially do we wish success to this volume,
and trust that Taylor will live to write, and we to welcome many like
it.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _The Home Book of the Picturesque, or American Scenery, Art and
    Literature; with Thirteen Engravings on Steel, from Pictures by
    Eminent Artists, Engraved expressly for this Work. New York:
    George P. Putnam. 1 vol. folio._

The American public have become so accustomed to Mr. Putnam’s
enterprise, that they may not be surprised even by this splendid example
of it—a volume essentially American, yet in engravings, letter-press,
and general execution equal to the best English annuals, and in the
merits of its literary matter far superior to them. The cost and trouble
of getting up the book may be conceived, when we mention that the
pictures from which the exquisite illustrations of the volume are
engraved, are scattered among many collectors, and that the execution of
the plates exhibits the utmost skill and finish which the art of
engraving has reached in America. The essays which accompany the
engravings are by what old Jacob Tonson called “eminent hands.” Irving
contributes a paper on the “Catskill Mountains,” which seems like an
essay accidently left out of the “Sketch Book,” and is certainly worthy
of a place among the most charming productions of his genius. Cooper’s
article on “American and European Scenery,” is a carefully meditated and
attractive disquisition on a subject which has occasioned endless
discussion, but which was never treated so thoroughly and temperately
before. Tuckerman’s “Over the Mountains” is an admirable essay. “Scenery
and Mind,” by Magoun, is the most eloquent, thoughtful, scholarly and
tasteful of his productions. Willis contributes a brilliant and sensible
paper on “The Highland Terrace,” in his most fascinating style. The
artists whose landscapes make the beauty of the volume, are Durand,
Huntington, Beekwith, Talbot, Kensett, Cropsey, Richards, Church, Weir,
Cole and Gignoux.

Altogether, the volume is the best exhibition of American art in
connection with American literature we have ever seen, and must take the
lead among the gift-books of the season.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _The Human Body and its Connection with Man, Illustrated by the
    Principal Organs. By John James Garth Wilkinson. Member of the
    Royal College of Surgeons of England. Philadelphia: Lippincott,
    Grambo & Co. 1 vol. 12mo._

The author of this curious and attractive volume is well-known as the
English editor of Swedenborg’s works, and the writer of Swedenborg’s
life, and, in the opinion of Emerson, is “a philosophic critic, with a
co-equal vigor of understanding and imagination comparable only to Lord
Bacon’s.” Without attempting to discuss the accuracy of this opinion,
which is at least the result of a study of Mr. Wilkinson’s whole works,
it is sufficient to say here that the author of this volume is one of
the most vivid, pointed and striking writers of the century; and that,
however solid or doubtful may be his pretensions to great scientific
merits, there can be no doubt of the brilliancy of his rhetoric and the
fertility of his intellect in original thoughts. A review of the present
work we do not intend to give, but simply recommend it to all readers as
a powerful, independent, suggestive and stimulating book, lifting the
study of anatomy and physiology into a fine art, and abounding with new
views both of the body and the mind. The chief peculiarity of Mr.
Wilkinson seems to us to be a singular vigor and audacity of will, in
some cases running into offensive dogmatism, but generally exercised in
freeing his intellect from the trammels both of accredited skepticisms
and authorities, and in stamping his own opinions with such force upon
the mind of the reader, as to create himself into a kind of authority.
There is muscular health and strength in every sentence of his
remarkable book, and a seeming gladness in the exercise of his faculties
which is wonderfully inspiring to the reader.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _The Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys. By Nathaniel Hawthorne.
    With Engravings by Baker from Designs by Billings. Boston:
    Ticknor, Reed & Fields. 1 vol. 16mo._

Hawthorne may have written more powerful stories than those contained in
this volume, but none so truly delightful. The spirit of the book is so
essentially sunny and happy, that it creates a jubilee in the brain as
we read. It is intended for children, but let not the intention cheat
men and women out of the pleasure they will find in its sparkling and
genial pages. The stories are told by a certain Eustice Bright to a mob
of children, whose real names the author suppresses, but whom he
re-baptizes with the fairy appellation of Primrose, Periwinkle, Sweet
Fern, Dandelion, Blue-Eye, Clover, Huckleberry, Cowslip, Squash-blossom,
Milk-weed, Plantain and Butter-cup. The individuality of these little
creatures is happily preserved, especially in the criticisms and
applications they make after each story is told; and the reader parts
with them unwillingly, and with the hope (which the author should not
disappoint) of resuming their acquaintance in another volume. The
stories, six in number, are classical myths, re-cast to suit the
author’s purpose, and told with exquisite grace, simplicity and
playfulness. The book will become the children’s classic, and, to our
taste, is fairly the best of its kind in English literature. It is a
child’s story-book informed with the finest genius.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _The Captains of the Old World, as Compared with the Great
    Modern Strategists, their Campaigns, Characters and Conduct,
    from the Persian to the Punic Wars. By Henry William Herbert.
    New York: Charles Scribner. 1 vol. 12mo._

This volume is all alive and glowing with the fiery characteristics of
Mr. Herbert’s genius, while it has at the same time the best results of
his earnest, independent thinking, and profound and accurate
scholarship. The title sufficiently declares its purpose, and its
execution is worthy of the theme. It gives a most animated account of
the Greek and Roman tactics and military organization, and of the lives
of the great ancient commanders, commencing with Miltiades and ending,
for the present, with Hannibal. Themistocles, Pausanius, Xenophon,
Epaminondas and Alexander, are learnedly and eloquently sketched, and
parallels are drawn between them and the celebrated captains of modern
times, in which the author shows a knowledge of military science as well
as his usual power of vivid painting. The work is dedicated to Professor
Felton, of Harvard University. It cannot fail to have that wide
circulation which it so eminently merits, for it happily combines
elements of interest which will recommend it equally to scholars and the
mass of readers.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _The Life of John Sterling. By Thomas Carlyle. Boston: Phillips,
    Sampson & Co. 1 vol. 12mo._

This is one of the most powerful of Carlyle’s many productions, and, as
a biography, is to be ranked among the best in English literature. It
bristles as usual with the author’s harsh scorn of every thing he is
pleased to call cant, falsehood, and moonshine; but there are glimpses
in it of deep and genuine tenderness, and, of all his works, it best
indicates the humanity of the man. The mental characteristics of
Sterling himself, are drawn with a loving and friendly yet
discriminating pencil, and the few events of his life are narrated with
singular skill. The sketches of Sterling’s friends and contemporaries,
especially the portrait of Coleridge, add much to the interest of the
volume. There are specimens also of a sort of savage humor equal to
Carlyle’s best efforts in that kind. The style, though full of vigor and
flashing with imagery, is as craggy and uneven as ever; exhibiting, in
the constant recurrence of a few slang words, how formal after all is
this inveigher against formulas, and how his hatred of affectation
becomes itself a sort of cant. But the soul of the book is sound and
manly; and no one can read it without feeling that he has been in
communion with a deep and great, if somewhat embittered nature.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Putnam’s Home Cyclopedia Hand-book of the Useful Arts. By T.
    Antisell, M. D. New York: George P. Putnam. 1 vol. 12 mo._

    _Hand-Book of Universal Biography. By Parke Godwin. New York:
    George P. Putnam. 1 vol. 12mo._

These volumes belong to a series of six, each complete in itself, under
the general title of “Putnam’s Home Cyclopedia.” They will be found very
useful and valuable to all classes of readers, containing a vast amount
of classified information in the most compact form. The Hand-Book of the
Useful Arts should be in the possession of every mechanic in the
country. The Universal Biography, by Parke Godwin, is based on Maunder’s
book on the same subject, but re-written, extended, corrected, and in
every way improved. The whole series will make an invaluable library of
reference. Each volume contains some eight or nine hundred closely
printed pages.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World, from Marathon to
    Waterloo. By E. S. Creasy, M. A. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1
    vol. 12mo._

The idea of this valuable volume is taken from a remark of Hallam on
Charles Martel’s victory over the invading Saracens, which he calls one
of “those few battles, of which a contrary event would have essentially
varied the drama of the world in all its subsequent scenes.” Mr. Creasy
is Professor of History in University College, London, and is well
fitted to do justice to his great theme. The battles described are
Marathon, Syracuse, Arbela, and Metaurus; the victory of Arminius over
the Roman legions under Varus; the battles of Chalons, Tours, and
Hastings; Joan of Arc’s victory at Orleans, the defeat of the Spanish
Armada, and the battles of Blenheim, Pultowa, Saratoga, Valmy, and
Waterloo. The execution of the work is excellent. The liberality of the
author’s mind is indicated by his lofty conception of the power and the
mission of the United States, given in the introductory remarks to his
description of the battle of Saratoga.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Legends of the Flowers. By Susan Pindar. New York: D. Appleton
    & Co. 1 vol. 16mo._

    _Memoirs of a London Doll. Boston: Ticknor, Reed & Fields. 1
    vol. 16mo._

    _Tales from Catland, for Little Kittens. By an Old Tabby.
    Boston: Ticknor & Co. 1 vol. 16mo._

These beautiful little volumes are designed for children, and are
admirably adapted for their purpose of delighting the young. The stories
display ingenuity of invention, and a talent for reaching the minds of
children of no ordinary character. The engravings are uncommonly well
executed. Those in Ticknor & Co.’s books are from designs by Billings.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _A Class Book of Chemistry. By Edward L. Youmans. New York: D.
    Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 12mo._

A capital volume, designed chiefly for academies and schools, but
containing matter more important to readers in general than even to
school-boys. It is a work in which the leading principles of chemistry
are familiarly explained, and applied to the arts, agriculture,
physiology, dietetics, ventilation, and the phenomena of nature. The
writer is well qualified for his task, for he seems perfectly to
comprehend the ignorance of the majority of readers on the subjects he
explains, and accordingly directs his explanations primarily to exactly
those principles which require illustration, before the mind is fitted
to take in their applications.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Lives of the Queens of Scotland and English Princesses
    Connected with the Royal Succession of Great Britain. By Agnes
    Strickland, Author of the Lives of the Queens of England. Vol.
    2. New York: Harper & Brothers. 12mo._

This volume contains the lives of Mary of Lorraine, the second queen of
James V., and Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lenox. These
biographies are quite able and interesting, giving vivid pictures of
Scottish feuds, life, and manners in the sixteenth century, and
exhibiting considerable research into the interior history of the time.
The next volume will, we presume, be devoted to Mary, Queen of Scots.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Sir Roger de Coverley. By the Spectator. Boston: Ticknor, Reed
    & Fields. 1 vol. 16mo._

Addison’s Sir Roger is as universally known and appreciated as any
creation of the comic genius of England; but the papers in the Spectator
which refer to him have never before been collected in a volume by
themselves. This is done in the present delightful work, and we commend
it to our readers as a gem both of typography and genius.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Sketches in Ireland. By W. M. Thackeray. Philadelphia: T. B.
    Peterson._

This work abounds with the finest touches of the author’s satirical
pencil, and for close observation of life, is worthy of the fame of the
author of “Vanity Fair.” The accompanying illustrations are from
drawings made upon the spot by the author, and are, some of them,
ludicrous enough.

                 *        *        *        *        *

_Crosby and Nichols, of Boston_, have sent us some eight or ten
delightful little story-books for children, to which we call the
attention of parents in these holyday times.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Dentistry.—Our attention has recently been called to the very superior
mechanical execution of full sets of teeth, manufactured by a young
townsman of ours—J. Sothoron Gilliams, Esq.—which in all respects
surpass any thing of the kind we have elsewhere observed. Doctor
Gilliams, however, brings to the practice of his profession, not only
the nice observation of years of the superior skill of his father, but
also a thorough medical education and assiduous attention to the
mechanical arrangement and finish of his labors. It is a mistaken
notion—but one that is common—to suppose, that a poor shoemaker or an
indifferent tailor may make a very tolerable dentist, and we are sure
that a few more examples of thorough education for the practice of the
profession, such as Dr. Gilliams has secured, will do much to send
adrift the vast army of pretenders and quacks who now torture and fleece
humanity as surgeon dentists. It is strange, that while no man would
thoughtlessly put a horse into the hands of one of these fellows, yet
people are to be found who will allow them to afflict and disfigure the
mouths of their daughters with perfect indifference. We trust, however,
that among the many thousands who read “Graham” none will hereafter
suffer themselves to be duped by ignorant pretenders, with high-sounding
titles, while gentlemen of education and superior skill—but who
modestly keep silent—are in the midst of us.

                 *        *        *        *        *

The Volume for 1852.—Our readers will see from the style in which the
January number is put forth, that we are in earnest for 1852 in our
efforts to render “Graham” superior as a work of literature and art. The
plan marked out and indicated in our prospectus of greatly increasing
the literary matter of each number, we shall resolutely adhere to, and
as we claim the merit of first suggesting and adopting the change, we
trust that those who partially follow us in January, will not grow weary
in well-doing as soon as the subscriptions have been made up for the
year.

How far our readers may have opportunities of observing the practice of
some publishers, who fill sheets with promises which are never thought
of after the January number is issued, we cannot say—but we now ask
some little attention to the matter for 1852.

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration: Graham’s Paris Fashions.]

                 *        *        *        *        *

Transcriber’s Notes:

Table of Contents has been added for reader convenience. Archaic
spellings and hyphenation have been retained. Obvious typesetting and
punctuation errors have 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 18, the Boynton’s; and he ==> the Boyntons; and he
page 89, in the which state one of ==> in which state one of
page 104, knew work-box, ==> new work-box,


[End of Graham’s Magazine, Vol. XL, No. 1, January 1852]





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