The Project Gutenberg eBook of Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII. No. 5. May 1848

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Title: Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII. No. 5. May 1848

Author: Various

Editor: Robert Taylor Conrad

George R. Graham

Release date: June 28, 2009 [eBook #29262]
Most recently updated: January 5, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Produced by David T. Jones, Juliet Sutherland and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Canada Team at


Clara Harland
J. Addison


Engraved Expressly for Graham's Magazine


Vol. XXXII.          PHILADELPHIA,  MAY,  1848.         No. 5.








I am no visionary—no dreamer; and yet my life has been a ceaseless struggle between the realities of everyday care, and a myriad of shadowy phantoms which ever haunt me. In the crowded and thronged city; in the green walks and sunny forests of my native hills; on the broad and boundless prairie, carpeted with velvet flowers; on the blue and dreamy sea—it is the same. I look around, and perceive men and women moving mechanically about me; I even take part in their proceedings, and seem to float along the tardy current upon which they swim, and become a part—an insignificant portion—of the dull and stagnant scene; and yet, often and often, in the busiest moment, when commonplace has its strongest hold upon me, and I feel actually interested in the ordinary pursuits of my fellow-beings, of a sudden, a great curtain seems to fall around, and enclose me on every side; and, instead of the staid and sober visages of the throng, vague and shadowy faces gleam around me, and magnificent eyes, bright and dreamy, glance and flash before me like the figures on a phantasmagoria. In such moments, there comes over me a happy consciousness that this is the reality and all else a dull and painful dream, from which I have escaped as by a great effort. The dreamy faces are familiar to me, and their large, spiritual eyes encounter mine with glances of pleasant recognition. My heart is glad within me that it has found again its friends and old companions, and the mental outline of the common world, faintly drawn by memory, becomes more and more dim and indistinct, like the surface of the earth to one who soars upward in a balloon, and is at length blended with the gray shadows of forgotten thought, which disturb me no more. But anon some rude and jarring discord, from the world below, pierces upward to my ear, and the air becomes suddenly dark and dreary, and dusty, and I fall heavily to earth again.

As years steal by, these fits of delightful abstraction become rarer and rarer. My visions seem to have lost their substantiality; and even when they do revisit me, they are thin and transparent, and no longer hide the real world from my sight—yet they hold strange power over me; and when they come upon my soul, although they do not all conceal the real, yet they concentrate upon some casual object there, and impart to it a spirituality of aspect and quality which straightway embalms it in my heart. Thus do I invest the faces of friends with a holiness and fervor of devotion which belongs not to them; and when I have wreaked the treasures of my soul upon objects thus elevated above their real quality, I find what a false vision I have been worshiping—its higher qualities mingle again with my own thoughts, whence they emanated, and the real object stands before me, low, dull, and insipid as the thousands of similar ones by which it is surrounded. Thus do I, enamored of qualities and perfections which exist only in my own thought, continually cheat and delude myself into the belief that a congenial spirit has been found, when some trivial incident breaks the spell—the charms I loved glide back to my own soul, and the charmer, unconscious of change in himself, wonders what has wrought so sudden an alteration in me. Then come heart-burnings and self-reproaches against those I have foolishly loved, of treachery, hypocrisy, and ingratitude, which they cannot understand, and over which I mourn and weep.

I had a friend once—not long ago, for the turf is still fresh over his gentle breast—whose soul was fashioned like my own, save that he was all softness, and wanted the hardness and commonplace which events and years have given to me. For a long and delightful season we held sweet converse together; and, although he was much younger than I, yet was there no restraint or concealment between us. Every throb of his heart, almost every evolution of his brain, found an echo in me. I was his[242] mirror—a fountain in which he contemplated himself. From him I never dreamed of treachery, or selfishness, or ingratitude—and he alone did not deceive me. He never gave me pain but once—and who shall tell the agony of that hour, when his hand ceased to return the pressure of my eager fingers, and the dark curtain of death shut out the light of his dear eyes from my soul! Yet, after the anguish was over, and I had laid him in the fragrant earth, amongst the roots of happy flowers, where the limpid brook murmurs its soft and never-ending requiem, and the birds come every night to dream and sleep amid the overhanging branches, although my mortal sense was all too dull to realize his presence, yet in my soul I felt that he was still with me. No midnight breeze came sighing through the dewy moonlight, or brought the exhalations of the stars upon its wings, that did not speak to me of him; and ever when I prayed, I knew that he was near me, mingling, as of old, his soul with mine.

Poets may sing of love, and romantic youths may dream they realize the soft delusion; strong hearts may swear they break and wither away with unrequited passion, and keen brains may be turned by the maddening glances of woman's eyes; but all these to me seem weak and common emotions when compared with the intenseness of man's friendship—that pure, devoted identification with each other which two congenial souls experience when the alloy of no sexual or animal passion mingles with the devotion of the spirit. I could go through fiery ordeals, or submit with patience to the keenest tortures, both of mind or body, so that I felt the sustaining presence of one real friend; while, if alone, my heart shrinks from the contest, and retires dismayed upon itself.

But my poor friend was in love, and his love was as pervading and absorbing as the fragrance of a flower, or the light of a star. The woman he had chosen for his idol—the shrine at which his pure devotions of heart and soul were offered—was a gay and beautiful Creole from New Orleans, who, with her mother, and a young gentleman who appeared in the capacity of friend, spent the summer months in the North. They stopped at the Carlton, where my friend was boarding, and the acquaintance had been formed quite accidentally. The lady was beautiful, bewitching, and very tender; and, without stopping to inquire as to the consequences, or to assure himself that he had the least chance of success, Medwin fell desperately and hopelessly in love in a few days. I was soon made aware of the state of the case, for he had no secrets from me; and, foreseeing that he might very easily have deceived himself entirely in taking for granted that the young lady's affections were not pre-engaged, I begged him to be cautious, and not throw away his regards upon an object, perhaps, unattainable—perhaps even unworthy of them. I represented to him that ladies in the South were usually not very long in falling in love; and it was altogether probable that Clara Harland was already engaged to the gentleman who had accompanied her and her mother, and who was evidently a favored acquaintance. Charles, however, infatuated with his passion, was deaf to my remonstrances, and the very next day sought and obtained an interview, in which he declared his passion, and was made happy by the beautiful Creole. She, however, cautioned him to be on his guard, as her companion had for some time been a suitor for her hand, and was a great favorite with her mother, who had frequently and earnestly urged her to accept his attentions. The fair girl avowed, with flashing eyes, that she loved him not, and had never loved before she met with Medwin. "How," she exclaimed with unwonted energy, "can dear mamma suppose that I shall ever become enamored of that coarse, ferocious, unintellectual man? He has not a generous or delicate sympathy in his nature, and is as rude in heart and feeling as in manner. Beware, however, my dear Charles," continued she, with earnestness, "of Mr. Allington. He is a bold, bad man, whom habits and associations have made haughty, imperious, cold-blooded, and cruel; and I tremble for you when he shall learn what has this day passed between us. Beware of him, for my sake; and, oh! promise me, dearest Charles, that, whatever may be the consequence of what we now have done, you will never fight with him."

Charles smiled, and pressed her hand. "Do not alarm yourself, dearest," said he, "I love you too well to rashly expose myself to danger. I have ever entertained a just horror of the inhuman and barbarous practice at which you hint; and beside," continued he, earnestly, fixing his eyes upon her face with such tenderness that the blood rushed unconsciously to her temples beneath that dear gaze, "since your words of hope and love to me to-day, existence possesses new value in my eyes. Be assured I shall not rashly peril it."

They parted with kind looks and a timid pressure of the hands. Medwin firmly resolved, let what would happen, to keep his promise to his beautiful Creole; and Clara, convinced that, although she had been bred and educated in the midst of a community where not to fight was of itself dishonorable, she should be entirely satisfied with what the world, or even her own mother should say, about his cowardice and want of honor. Poor girl! she had sadly miscalculated both the effects of the act she had advised, and the strength of her own resolution.

In a few days Mrs. Harland suddenly announced her determination of returning to New Orleans, and Clara sadly and tremblingly prepared herself to take leave of her lover. He came—was told by her of her mother's resolution to depart, which she was at no loss in tracing to the advice of Allington—and was made alive and happy again by Charles assuring her that he himself should start for New Orleans, although by another route, on the very day she departed.

"Oh, now I know that you do love me, indeed!" said the beautiful girl, while she pressed her lover's head to her dainty bosom, and, kissing his forehead, ran out of the room.



"Well, these d——d Yankees are all a pack of cowards, after all, and I will never defend them again," said a young Creole, as he met Mr. Allington one morning, at the Merchants' Exchange in New Orleans. "Not fight, and after being challenged on account of as lovely a woman as Clara Harland! Why, what the devil did he take the trouble of following you all the way from New York for, if he didn't mean to fight you?"

"Oh, nonsense! my dear St. Maur," replied Allington, "you don't understand the laws of honor, as they are construed at the North. There, my dear fellow, every thing is regulated by law; and if a fellow treads on your corns, slanders you behind your back, or steals your mistress, the only remedy is 'an action for damages,' and, perhaps, a paragraph in a newspaper."

"But what says she herself to the cowardly fellow's refusal to fight you? I suppose that now, of course, she will think no more of the puppy, and return to Allington and first love."

"I know not—for I have not seen her these four days. But if this beggarly attorney's clerk document is to be believed," continued Allington, pulling a letter from his pocket, "she herself expressly commanded him not to fight."

"Oh, do let us hear it!" cried St. Maur, and half a dozen young bloods without vests, and with shirt-bosoms falling over their waistbands nearly to the knee. "Do let us hear, by all means, what the white-livered fellow has to say for himself."

"No," replied Allington, hesitatingly; "that I think would be dishonorable; although—I—don't know—the d——d fellow wouldn't fight, and so I am not certain that I am not released—there, St. Maur, what the devil are you at?"

But St. Maur had snatched the missile from Allington's half-extended hand, and mounting one of the little marble julep-tables, and supporting himself against a massive granite pillar that ran from the ground-floor to the base of the dome, he began reading, while the company, now increased to half a hundred morning loungers, pressed eagerly round to hear. As my poor friend is dead, and there are none whose feelings can now be wounded by its publication, here is the letter.

"Sir,—Hours of an agonized struggle, in comparison with which mere death would have been an infinite relief, have nerved me for the task of telling you, calmly and deliberately, that I take back my acceptance of your challenge. When I received it, I was forgetful of my sacred promise, and acted only from the impulse of the moment. Had your friend staid an instant, the matter should then have been explained. As it is, I am positively compelled, much as my heart revolts at it, to drag a lady into my explanation. She, (I need not write her name,) bound me by a solemn and most sacred promise—to violate which would be dishonor—that I would not fight you. I must and will keep my word, although I have seen enough of public opinion, during the few days of my sojourn here, to know that by doing so I am covering myself with a load of infamy which I may find it impossible to bear.

"But enough; my course is taken, and I must abide the consequences, whatever they may be. I, therefore, sir, have to beg pardon, both of yourself and your friend, for the trouble this affair has already occasioned you.

"This letter is directed to you without the knowledge or consent of the gentleman who was to have acted as my friend on the occasion; and he must, therefore, be held responsible for nothing.

"Yours respectfully."

"A very pretty piece of argument and logic, eloquently urged, withal!" said St. Maur, as he coolly folded the letter, and leaping upon the floor, restored it to its owner.

"Hush!" said Allington, as he hastily deposited the letter in his pocket, "there he is. Can he have been a witness to St. Maur's folly, in reading the letter?"

All eyes turned instinctively to the further pillar in the large room, against which was leaning my poor friend, his face perfectly livid, and in an attitude as if he had fallen against the granite column for support. Several of the young Creoles approached the place where he stood; but there was something terrible in his aspect which made them start back, and quietly turn into the great passage leading to the street.

Medwin had recovered, if he had fainted, (which seemed probable,) and his eye now glared like fire.

St. Maur, however, approached him.

"So, my good Yankee friend," said he, bowing in affected politeness, "you did not like to risk Allington here with a pistol at twelve paces from your body, eh? You are very right, Mr. Wooden Nutmeg; it would not be safe!"

"Beware!" uttered Medwin, in such a deep and thrilling voice, that the Creole nearly jumped off the floor; but, before he could make a step backward, Medwin's open hand struck him a smart blow on the cheek.

"Ten thousand hell-fires," exclaimed the astonished Frenchman, leaping back and almost tumbling over Allington, in his amazement. "What does he mean? I will have your heart's blood, sir, for this."

Medwin said nothing, but quietly handed the discomfited bully his card, which, however, Allington snatched away.

"What, St. Maur," cried he, would you fight a coward—a published poltroon? You know you dare not do it."

"Let me alone," cried the infuriated Frenchman. "He has struck me, and I will have his heart's blood. Sacre nomme de Dieu!" screamed he, forgetting his usual polished manner along with his English, and leaping about like a madman. "Donnez moi son gage!"

"Not now, I tell you, not now. Come along and I will satisfy you in ten minutes that you cannot fight that coward," emphasizing the last word, so that Medwin could not fail to hear.

"Mr. Allington," said Medwin, coming forward[244] into the middle of the group, now reduced to some dozen persons—for an altercation is not of such rarity as to create any particular excitement there—"after the base and dishonorable use you have this day permitted to be made of a private letter, I am sincerely glad that circumstances rendered it impossible for me to treat you as a gentleman; but as to this person, (pointing to St. Maur,) I can easily satisfy him that he will run no risk of losing his reputation by honoring me with his notice. I have the honor to refer Monsieur St. Maur to Mr. ——, now at the St. Charles, whose character for honor is too well known throughout the country to be disputed." And, bowing low, Medwin left the room.

"Well, now this is a pretty scrape," said St. Maur, subsiding at once; "and I don't see how I can avoid fighting him. He is not such a cockroach!" and the Frenchman turned a little pale, despite his yellow skin.

"Nonsense," replied Allington, "you shall do no such thing. In the first place, I can't spare you; and in the next, if we can irretrievably disgrace Medwin, so that he may be shunned by everybody, I do not think the weak head of my Clara can withstand the storm; and she will gradually learn to despise him, too. So take no further notice of this matter; for a blow from a published coward carries no more disgrace with it than a bite from a dog, or a kick from an ass. You must help me out with my plans, too, in behalf of my charming heiress, and I'll be sure to remember you in my will. Let's take a julep."

For three days Medwin waited in an agony of impatience to hear from St. Maur, but not a word came—and he began to despair. Everywhere he went he was regarded with significant glances, and pointed at, while a disdainful whisper ran round the room, in which he could always distinguish the words, "white-livered Yankee," "coward," or some equally obnoxious epithet. He saw the cruel game that was playing against him. He had forgotten that, in refusing to fight with Allington, he had rendered it perfectly safe for every whipster in the community to insult him; and he now became suddenly aware that he had involved himself in a dilemma from which it was impossible for him to escape.

In the midst of these reflections—while life had become intolerable, and infamy and disgrace dogged his steps like a shadow—he never entertained a doubt of Clara's love and constancy, and looked forward to the time when he might claim her as his bride, and, amid the milder and manlier associations of his youth, regain that calmness and self-respect which he had here so strangely lost. His position was, in truth, a most wretched one. Opposed to the barbarous practice of dueling, circumstances and his own loss of self-control had forced him to accept a challenge, and then recall that acceptance, and to offer an insult to a stranger, for the express purpose of drawing out another.

Upon the day after his refusal to fight with Allington, he had called at Mr. Harland's, but was told that Clara had been taken suddenly ill, and could not be seen. This was a new and deeper anxiety, added to his already overburdened spirit; and he really had begun to be deserted of hope, and to contemplate a speedy relief from the pains of existence. Nothing but the confidence which he reposed upon Clara's love, rendered the bright sunshine an endurable blessing to the sadly distempered youth. But he could not see her. Day after day he called, and always the same cold, formal reply—"Miss Harland was yet very ill, but in no danger, and could not be spoken with." Could he but see her for an instant—could he touch her hand, or meet her smile, or drink in the sweet music of her voice, he would feel his heart nerved against every disaster, and would wait in patience; but all, all alone, amid lowering brows, or sneering faces, which ever glowered like phantoms about him—whether in reality, as he walked the streets, or in dreams, as he tossed upon his pillow—it was too much. His heart seemed to be on fire.

It was in this frame of mind, with reason tortured to her utmost power of endurance, and insanity peeping into that soul which might so soon become her own, that Medwin, while walking up the Shell-Road, and looking wistfully at the muddy canal, which swam away sluggishly on one hand, while the green and stagnant swamp stretched interminably upon the other, that he was startled by the rapid approach of a carriage, and the sound of gay and noisy mirth. He looked up. The brilliant equipage of Mrs. Harland was hurrying by, and he had barely time to distinguish Clara, looking as fresh and blooming as a newly flowered rose, and laughing and chatting in a lively and even boisterous manner with—Mr. Allington!

She leaned over the carriage-side as they whirled along, and, for an instant, her eyes met those of her bewildered lover.


Alas! poor, silly Clara! How dared you thus rudely tamper with a soul of such exquisite and refined fire, that it constantly trembled and fluttered around its earthly shrine, like the flame of burning essence, as if doubtful whether to blaze or go out forever! Oh! shallow-hearted woman! what a wide and glorious world of bright hopes and angel aspirations—of beautiful thoughts and unutterable dreamings—in all of which thou wert a part—hast thou crushed even as the foolish child grinds the gay butterfly to powder between his fingers. And art thou, indeed, so heartless a coward, that, because men's tongues have dared to wag against the beloved of thy soul, thou durst not own him thenceforth, and hast cast him off forever! Murmur not, oh, woman! that thou art made the sport and plaything for rakes and libertines to beguile a weary hour withal. Search thine own heart; and, in that deep and dark recess, where lurk the demons of thy destiny—pride, vanity, frowardness—behold reflected the blackness and the justice of thy fate! Who setteth his whole soul upon a flower, and findeth its fragrance at last[245] to be a deadly poison, if he escape from its contact, placeth no more flowers in his bosom. In vain they woo him with their beauteous eyes and breath of perfume. He heeds them not, or, at best, plucks them disdainfully, to gaze upon in listless indifference for a moment, and then cast them behind him, to be crushed beneath the stranger's heel.

Clara's heart smote her to the quick as she caught that wild glance of her lover, and saw the haggard ghost that looked out from those hollow eyes. She screamed slightly, and sunk back in the carriage as pale as marble. Allington and her mother exchanged glances, and were silent, while the young man made a motion, as if he would support her in his arms, and the carriage was turned homeward, and the horses urged to their utmost speed. Clara made no resistance to the attentions of Allington, and it was doubtful whether she was conscious—so pale, and cold, and pulseless were her beautiful cheeks and temples; but a tremulous quivering of the upper lip told of a storm that raged within.

By the time she arrived at home Clara had recovered herself completely, and, pushing aside the arm of Allington, almost rudely, she sprang upon the banquette and into the house; and, turning upon him a look of lively indignation, darted up stairs to her chamber. Here she was quickly rejoined by her mother, whose obtuse apprehension had at length discovered that something was wrong, and who now came to offer her maternal consolations.

"Mother!" exclaimed Clara, the moment she entered the room, "I am a wretch. It was I who compelled Medwin to promise me, upon his honor as a man, that he would not fight Allington; and now that all the world has frowned upon him, I, too, have turned recreant, and cast him off. Mother, speak to me no word of command or remonstrance. I will never see Mr. Allington again; and I will this very hour go to Medwin, and throw myself on my knees before him. Yes, we shall be happy!"

"My child, you are excited just now, and I beg you to wait until morning. We will then talk the matter over calmly; and if you cannot really be happy without Mr. Medwin, why, my child, I will not urge you further. Come, dear girl, go to bed now, and to-morrow you will be yourself again."

With gentle and soothing care—for the mother was now all aroused in the callous heart of this worldly woman, and bent every accent and every motion into grace and kindness—Mrs. Harland at length succeeded in calming the excitement of her child, and inducing her to consent to wait until the next morning, when, if she wished, her mother said, Medwin should be sent for. "I am sure, my child," she said, as she kissed her and bid her good-night, "I have acted for the best, and have nothing but your happiness in view."

And now she was alone; and leaving her bed, she leaned against the window, while the shadowy curtain of evening, which falls in that climate suddenly down from the sky, shut out the day, and seemed, at the same moment, to shut the light from her heart. Then, with rapid steps, her little feet paced the luxurious carpet of her apartment, while her heart beat loudly and still more rapidly in her bosom. Again she tried to rest, but the taper which she had lighted threw such ghastly shadows upon the walls, which seemed to wave and beckon her, that she leaped from the bed in agony, and almost screamed outright. Hours passed slowly and sadly, and the short, sharp ringing of the watchman's club upon the pavement beneath her window, mingled with the chimes of the old cathedral clock as it struck midnight—and still the poor frightened girl could neither sleep nor compose herself. Once, indeed, she had fallen into a kind of slumber, curtained with such horrid dreams as made it torture instead of rest. She saw her lover with his bright eye turned sweetly upon her, as of old, and his beautiful locks resting upon her shoulder, while she held his hand upon her throbbing heart, and he whispered dear words and precious sighs into her willing ear. But anon the paleness of death stole over that manly brow—the lips fell apart, white and ghastly, and the noble form fell down at her feet, a stiffened corse. She shrieked aloud in her agony, and awoke. The moon had risen, and was throwing a broad and brilliant stream of light into the apartment, and the busy breeze, fresh from the fragrant sea, whispered its musical noises through the waving curtains of her couch.

At length the white blaze of the moon went out, and the misty morn looked dim and sad over the sleeping city. Throwing a cloak about her, Clara hurried down the stairs, and, opening the door softly, found herself in the street, at an hour she had never before been there. What a strange and dreary aspect every thing seemed to wear! The windows of the houses, as she passed, were all closed, and no one could be seen but dozens of loitering negroes returning from market, or here and there some industrious landlady with a small basket of vegetables on her arm, and closely veiled, hurrying along as if to escape observation, followed by a servant with the day's provisions in a large basket, which she carried steadily upon her head. Every one who met her turned and stared curiously; and as she hurried over the long crossing of Canal street, and threaded her way between the hacks that had already taken their station, she felt that rude eyes, and ruder sneers were upon her. She paused not for an instant, however, but redoubled her speed until she reached the private entrance to the St. Charles, where, leaning for a moment against a column, she beckoned a woman from the saloon of the baths into the vestibule, and, putting a piece of money into her hand, whispered, "Find out the chamber of Mr. Medwin. He is very sick, and a dear friend of mine—I must see him immediately."

The woman disappeared up the stairs leading to the "office" of the hotel, and, returning in a moment, made a sign for Clara to follow.

As they approached, a noise and bustle were apparent at the further end of the corridor, and several servants were hurrying in and out, as if some sudden accident had occurred. Clara's guide pointed out[246] Medwin's room, and she rushed in—feeling certain in her heart that her lover was dying.

He lay stiff and stark upon the sofa, with a few white froth bubbles gathered upon his lips, and a letter clasped tightly in his hand. It seemed that he was not yet dead, for a physician, who had been hastily summoned, was attempting to force open his mouth, as if to administer a restorative to the dying man. As Clara approached, he stared in astonishment, but she heeded him not, and exclaiming, "Oh, Charles, what frightful dream is this!" threw herself on her knees before him.

Life rallied for an instant, and he opened those wild, fearful eyes. Oh! what a world of wretchedness and despair was in that glance! He knew her; and conquering, with a convulsive effort, the agony which was withering up the last drops of life, caught her to his heart, exclaiming,

"Clara, thou art forgiven! I am not a coward; for I can even die and leave thee thus. Farewell! be happy!"

All was over. My poor friend had fought his last battle, and his antagonist and conqueror was Death. That pure and noble spirit, with all its wild and restless fever-dreams, "sleeps well" amid the beautiful solitudes of Cypress Grove Cemetery—the home of the stranger—where so many proud and buoyant hearts crumble beneath the golden air, new filled with odorous dew. And I wait patiently, yet sadly, for the hour which is to restore me to the friend of my bosom.



The Muse, in times more ancient, made
The grove's thick gloom her dwelling-place,
And, queen-like, her proud sceptre swayed
O'er a submiss and trembling race.
When stirred her breath the sleeping trees,
Awe-struck, with fearful feet they trod,
And when her voice swelled on the breeze,
Adoring bowed, as to a God!
Her wildly murmured strains they caught,
As echoes from the spirit-world,
Till reeled the brain, to frenzy wrought,
With mixt amaze and rapture whirled!
Thus stern, retired, she swayed the earth,
Till, as new dawned an age of gold,
A happier era led her forth
To dwell with men, like gods of old.
To dwell with us—to roam no more!
Ours is this golden age of bliss!
She comes with blessings rich in store;
And, like a sister, whispers peace.
Not now with awe-inspiring air,
But gentle as the meek-eyed dove,
And clad in smiles that angels wear,
And with an aspect full of love.
She greets us at our fire-sides, when
Sweet looks to accents sweet respond,
And breathing soft her tender strain,
More closely knits the silken bond.
Unmingled joy her smiles afford,
Where meet the mirthful, social throng,
As, gathered round the festive board,
Our healths she pledges in a song.
She meets us in our private walks,
'Mid groves that fairy glens embower,
When Morning gems her purple locks,
Or Vesper rules the silent hour.
Her hand, upon the beech's rind,
Marks well, for fair Belinda's eyes,
(Else vainly murmured to the wind,)
Thy flame, young Damon, and thy sighs.
Stern Toil, beneath her gentle sway,
Well pleased, unbends his rugged brow—
With Bloomfield chants the rustic lay,
Or guides with Burns the daisied plough.
Her form appears the bow of peace,
Upon the clouds that darken life,
Now bidding Sorrow's tears to cease,
And staying now the hand of Strife.
She smiles on me, no bard inspired,
But wand'rer o'er life's arid waste,
Who, fainting, halting, parched and tired,
One cordial, nectared drop would taste.
Companion of the pure in heart,
She tunes the lyre to David's flame,
And rapt, as mortal scenes depart,
She hymns the heaven from whence she came!






What sad experience may be thine to bear
Through coming years;
For womanhood hath weariness and care,
And anxious tears;
And they may all be thine, to brand the brow
That in its childish beauty sleepeth now.

Theresa Germaine was a child some six years of age when I saw her first, nearly twenty-five years ago. It is a long time to look back on; but I well remember the bright, winning face, and cordial manners of the little lady, when she would come to the parsonage and enliven our tranquil hearts by her gay, spontaneous glee. She was full of life and buoyancy; there was even then a sort of sparkling rapture about her existence, a keen susceptibility of enjoyment, and an intense sympathy with those she loved, which bespoke her, from the first, no ordinary being. Ah, me! I have lived to see all that fade away, and to feel grateful when the dust was laid on the brow I had kissed so often in an old man's fondness—but let that pass. I must write calmly, or tears will blind me; and I have undertaken the task of recording Theresa's experience, not to tell how well we loved her, but to strive, however feebly and imperfectly, to lay bare some of the peculiarities of genius, when found in sad combination with a woman's lot.

There was little marked or unusual in Theresa's outward life; her visible griefs were such as come to all, but the history of her inner being—the true and unseen life—was one of extremes. It was her fate to feel every thing vividly; and her joys and troubles were fully realized by the impassioned depth of her nature; and if, in my loving remembrances, I dwell somewhat bitterly on the portion society gave one who richly deserved its homage, and singularly needed its indulgences; if I portray too warmly the censure and neglect that made her path so full of trial, let me not be misunderstood. I would give no sanction to the hasty disregard of appearances which is the besetting sin of exalted and independent intellect. Under all circumstances it is an unwise experiment to transgress established rules; and in a woman, however rarely she may be gifted, it is a rash and hazardous thing to defy public opinion. Wearying and frivolous as many of society's conventionalities are, there is much wisdom in them; they are indispensible links in the chain binding together "all sorts of people," and she who breaks them knowingly, sins against one of her greatest safeguards.

Theresa's father, a man of good birth and great acquirements, but ruined fortunes, had come to reside in our village about five years before the commencement of this story. She was then his only child, his elder treasures having been laid, one after another, in distant graves. Her mother was a tranquil, quiet woman, and still retained the traces of a beauty which must once have been remarkable. She was a person of placid temper and mediocre mind, but wavering in judgment, and not in the least calculated to control the impetuosity, or guide the enthusiasm of her ardent and reckless child. This Mr. Germaine seemed acutely to feel; and I could read his fears in the fixed gaze of prophetic anxiety which he would often rivet on the varying countenance of his happy and unconscious daughter. His health was already gradually declining, and he evidently dreaded the future, when his favorite should be left in many respects guardianless amid the world's temptations. In my capacity as pastor, I was a frequent visiter at the little cottage, where, in subdued resignation he was patiently wearing out his life; and we at length acquired that mental intimacy which men are apt to feel when they have spoken together of life's highest aims and holiest hopes. I was many years his senior—for it is with the tremulous hand of old age that I write these lines, and I felt sincere and admiring sympathy for one who, through various perplexities and misfortunes, still retained serenity and peace.

We were sitting together one starlight evening, in the small vine-draperied porch of his simple dwelling. Mrs. Germaine was occupied with household duties, and Theresa, after having asked us both a thousand unanswerable questions, had reluctantly obeyed her mother's summons to retire to rest.

"I cannot describe to you," said my companion, "the fear with which I anticipate the hereafter for that child; she is one whose blended characteristics are rare, and her fate can have no medium. Were she a boy, and possessed of those traits, I should have no dread, for with such energies as are even now visible in her temperament, circumstances can be almost controlled, but it is a dangerous thing for her own happiness, for a woman to be thus endowed."

"I think you are too desponding," was my reply; "it appears to me that talent is necessarily in a great degree its own reward; and though it is the fashion to talk and write much of the griefs of intellect, I believe human sorrow is more equally divided than we acknowledge, and that the joys resulting from high gifts far overbalance their trials."

"It may be so generally," Mr. Germaine answered, "but my experience and observation have impressed me differently. I never knew, personally, but one woman of genius, and she was a mournful instance of the truth of my convictions, and of the fatal folly[248] of striving to pass beyond the brazen walls with which prejudice has encompassed womanhood. She was young, fair, and flattered, and fascinating above any comparison I can think of. Of course, she was aware of her capabilities—for ignorance in such cases is not possible, and naturally self-confident, she grew impatient for praise and power. Her affections, unfortunately, were warm and enduring; but she sacrificed them, to promote her desire for distinction, and unable, though so superior, to escape the heart-thraldom, which is the destiny of her sex, she died at last, more of disappointment than disease, with her boundless aspirations all unfulfilled. I fancy I can trace in Theresa many points of resemblance to her I have mentioned—for I knew her in early childhood. Solicitude on this subject is the only anxiety I cannot patiently conquer, and which makes the prospect of parting painful." He paused for a moment, and then, as if to turn his reflections from their depressing course, he said, "I have been reading to-day some extracts from Mrs. Hemans' works. As I grow older and more thoughtful, such things touch me deeply, and I experience a constantly increasing interest in the products of female talent. There is an intensity of sentiment, a pure tenderness of heart about such writings generally, which, in my present tranquil state of mind, are in harmony with my heavenward reflections, and the ideal spirit pervading them, soothes my imagination. In my restless and hopeful years I sought literary recreation from far different sources, but now that I feel myself a pilgrim, and stand surrounded by shadows on the verge of an unknown hereafter, I prize inexpressibly these glimpses of paradise which are God's precious gift to every true and intellectual woman."

It was thus my friend often spoke, for it was a theme on which he always delighted to dwell. I have never seen any one whose reverence for woman's gifts was so strong, and who appreciated with such sincerity the moral loveliness of her perfected nature. It was about this time that the birth of a second daughter added a new tie to Mr. Germaine's life; and the event saddened him more than I believed any earthly event could have done. The feeling was probably a natural one, but it grieved me to see how he strove to crush every impulse of tenderness toward the little one he must leave so soon.

It would have been well for Theresa had her father lived to view the ripening of the faculties whose blossoming he already traced with the prophetic gaze of parental affection; but she was destined to tread her path alone, and to know in their wide extent both the triumphs and the penalties of superiority. She was seven years of age when her father died, leaving herself and her sister to their mother's care. I need not relate here the many interesting interviews between Mr. Germaine and myself, which were more and more touching as his departure drew near. With an earnestness unutterably impressive, he implored my watchful solicitude for his eldest daughter, entreating me to afford her that guidance from experience, which she must inevitably need.

"Be gentle with her," he said, "but not too indulgent; she will require strictness of management, for with such impetuosity of nature her judgment must often err. She is too young as yet for me to be able to foresee the particular bent her character will assume, but I entreat you to be her candid friend and firm adviser when she will assuredly want both."

On the trying scenes of that period I will not longer linger; for there is something unutterably solemn in the tranquil passing away of a good man's soul, something that hallows to our thoughts even the fear-fraught moment of dissolution from which mere mortality instinctively shrinks. Yet it is a sad thing when so much worth and wisdom leaves the earth forever; and to those who realize the inestimable advantages and useful influences of a high example, it is a mournful sight to look on the closing sunset of one who evidenced the beautiful union between holiness and humanity.


Spirit-like fair forms are pressing
'Round her now,
With their angel hands caressing
Her pale brow.
Words of solace they are chanting,
Sweet and clear,
That evermore will now be haunting
Her life here.

I visited the cottage frequently, and for several months after Mr. Germaine's death, it was the scene of no ordinary grief. Mrs. Germaine bore her bereavement patiently—for it was an event she had long anticipated with womanly meekness and resignation; but she mourned most deeply—for it is a great mistake to think commonplace persons deficient in vividness of feeling. I believe their emotions are as keen, and generally more enduring, than those of more decided minds, from the very fact of their possessing few self-resources to divert the course of affliction. Be this as it may, Mrs. Germaine was soon, in all that was apparent, the quiet and anxious mother she had always been; and if she suffered still, it was in the silence of a heart that had no language for its sorrows. Far wilder and more vehement was the passionate and unresisted tide of Theresa's suffering; and for many weeks she refused all the consolation that could be offered to a child of her age. She would sit by my side and converse of her father, with an admiration for his virtues, and an appreciation of his character far beyond what I had supposed she could comprehend.

This violent emotion necessarily exhausted itself, as a heavy cloud weeps itself away; but for a long time she was painfully dejected, and her face lost its childishness of expression, and wore a look of appealing, unspeakable melancholy I never remarked on any other countenance. It was the "settled shadow of an inward strife," the outward impress of a mind suddenly aroused to a knowledge of trial, and never again to sleep in unconsciousnes; and often in after years, the same inexpressible look darkened her brow through the tumult of conflicting impulses, and amid the war of triumph and pain.[249]

I have said that Mr. Germaine's pecuniary circumstances were limited; but for some time previous to his illness, he had, at the expense of many a personal comfort, laid by a sum sufficient to procure for Theresa all the advantages of an accomplished education. His wife had frequently remonstrated against the innumerable little privations he voluntarily endured for this favorite purpose, for she attached more value to physical than mental gratifications, and could scarcely sympathize with his disinterested solicitude for his daughter's intellectual culture. It had been a great happiness to him to trace the gradual development of her intelligence, and to direct her simple studies; and it had been one of his last requests that I would in this respect occupy his place until she should be old enough to require other superintendence. His love was one of hope and trust, and he had diligently sown the seed, though he knew he never might behold its ripening.

For two months I made no attempt to alter the current of her thoughts, believing it better to allow her sensibilities to exhaust themselves without interruption. When she grew calmer, I proposed that she should come every morning to the parsonage to resume her daily studies; and, as I had hoped and anticipated, she eagerly acceded to the arrangement. And thus commenced the cultivation of a mind, whose early maturity bore a rich harvest of recompense; and thus dawned that loving anxiety for my pupil's welfare which realized many of my life's younger wishes, and lent so sunny and living an interest to my solitary and remembering years.

It was with some difficulty and after much remonstrance that I induced Theresa's application to the graver branches of acquirement, which, with my old-fashioned ideas of education, I considered indispensable even to a woman. At last, I believe, it was only through affection for me that she yielded her taste, and consented to devote her mind to such acquisitions. Her inclinations were all for what was beautiful or imaginative; she early loved whatever touched her feelings or awoke the vivid impressions of her young fancy; and I found some trouble in curbing within rational limits her natural and fascinating prepossessions. As she grew older, and passed what she deemed the drudgery of learning, and drew nearer, with rapid steps, to Thought's promised land of compensation, we constantly read and conversed together. We dwelt on the inspired pages of the poets, I, with old age's returning love for the romantic, and increasing reverence for the true, and she, with the intense, bewildered delight of a spirit that hoped all things, and a simple faith that trusted the future would brightly fulfill all the fairest prospects which poetry could portray.

Her disposition was sanguine to an extreme, with the happy faculty of believing what she hoped; and she possessed in a remarkable degree the power of expressing and defining her ideas and emotions, and rendering them visible by words. She never paused for an expression, or selected an injudicious one; and her fluency was the result of a mingled vividness and clearness of intellect, blended with artist-skill, and all the fervor of dawning and dreaming womanhood.

Her affections were spontaneous and impassioned, at once impulsive and enduring, and, like all enthusiasts, she was frequently governed by prejudice. Her little sister was a child of rare beauty and gentleness, and was Theresa's perfect idol. She was perpetually contriving pleasant surprises for her favorite; and it was her delight to wreath flowers around Amy's golden curls, and to add a thousand fantastic decorations to her delicate and seraphic loveliness. They would have made an exquisite picture, those two sisters, so different in age and character; the one so fair, with childhood's silent and fragile beauty, the other glowing with life and premature thought, already testing the "rapture of the strife," and revealing in the intense gaze of her dark, restless eyes, the world of gleaming visions within whose enchantment she lived.

It was when my pupil had reached her fourteenth year, that, in obedience to her father's written directions, she prepared to leave our tranquil home, to enter the school of the convent, near the city of ——. I know not why Mr. Germaine wished her placed there, for he was himself a Protestant, but the advantages of instruction were at that time tempting. Probably, in dwelling on them, he overlooked the risk of placing his daughter where the unnumbered graces of mind and manner veil another creed, and make it alluring, and where the imaginative and gorgeous pomp of a different faith were to be placed in their most attractive colors before her unsuspecting eyes. It was with many a misgiving, many a secret fear, that I anticipated Theresa's removal from my watchfulness; and I warned her with the most sincere affection, against the temptations of various kinds which she would probably encounter in her new abode. Early in the autumn we were to part with her, and the sweet summer, with its wealth of fruit and flowers was now around us, and our village, in its garlands of blossoms, looked its loveliest.


O! were it thus! had we, indeed, the gift,
Though human, our humanity to chain;
Could we in truth our restless spirits lift,
And never feel the weight of earth again,
Then would I leave the sorrows I bewail,
To clasp the cross, the cloister, and the veil.

Some weeks previous to the time at which my last chapter terminates, I had received a letter from an old friend, requesting me to inform him if any dwelling in our vicinity was for sale, as he was anxious to leave the city, and bring his family to a quieter home. I answered his inquiries satisfactorily, and now daily expected him to arrive, and make final arrangements for his removal.

He came at last, bringing with him his only son, a boy somewhat older than Theresa. Gerald Brandon was pale and feeble from recent illness, and I persuaded his father to leave him with me, until his new residence was prepared to receive its inmates. He gladly assented, and accordingly returned to town, while Gerald remained at the parsonage. The next[250] two months were among the happiest my memory recalls; and they were the last untroubled ones Theresa passed in her secluded home. From their threshold she glided to a new life—to that conflict of will and purpose, that tempest of impulse and disappointment which finally subdued her spirit and wearied out her existence. But as yet all was serene and full of promise; and the golden hues of her sunny dreams invested our simple pleasures with varied and poetic interest. My young guest was a gentle, reflective boy of more than ordinary capabilities, but enfeebled by ill-health, and a victim to the lassitude which frequently follows protracted bodily suffering. He was too placid and pensive for his age, and his mind, though refined and harmonious, had nothing of that restless, energetic brilliancy which sparkled through Theresa's thoughts. He, however, eagerly participated in her accustomed studies, and contributed his share to our literary recreations. I sometimes looked on the two with that involuntary wish for the power of prophecy which so often rises upon us, and which in great mercy we are denied, and would frequently strive to shadow forth the destiny of beings who were now reveling in the brief, bright interval between childhood and the world. Beautiful era! time of star and flower, when the "young moon is on the horizon's verge," and the young heart, lovelier still, seems on the brink of rapture, and hallows existence with its own unshadowed and seraphic light. We have cause to be grateful that this episode is transient, that reality contradicts its hopes, for could its illusions last, who would pause to think of heaven, with so much of enchanting fulfillment around us here.

It was with instinctive pride that I felt my favorite's mental superiority to her companion, and noticed the genuine admiration with which Gerald acknowledged it. He was astonished at her variety of acquirement, her daring originality of opinion, and her unstudied readiness of expression. He was gratified, and it may be, flattered, by the disinterested solicitude she evinced for his enjoyment, and the readiness with which she discarded any scheme of amusement in which his health prevented his participation. There is a period in youth when the affections feel as a strong necessity, the desire for sympathy, when love is yet a stranger, and friendship is as intense as passion. Dearer than any after friend, is the one who first fills this yearning vacancy; and though as time wears on, and separation follows, that tie may be broken never to be re-knit, there is a halo around it still, and it is made almost holy by the blended tints of hope and trust, and tenderness, that, with reflected light, shine back upon its memory.

It was the evening before Theresa's departure, and we were all assembled at the cottage. It was impossible to feel very sad, where the majority were so eager and fraught with hope, and yet the mother's countenance was full of anxiety for her child. Little Amy sat on her sister's knee, and Theresa, in her graphic language, was relating some romantic history of her own invention, while Mrs. Germaine and myself spoke of her. The parent's solicitude was altogether physical; she feared only that Theresa would be sick, or that she would encounter some of the thousand accidents and evils, whose spectres haunt us upon the eve of a first separation. I thought it kinder to be silent as to my own very different misgivings, and to dwell only on the encouraging part of the prospect. There might be nothing to dread, after all, and it was possibly only our unwillingness to part with Theresa, that thus assumed to itself the tormenting shape of inquietude.

During our conversation, which was carried on in an under tone, little Amy had fallen asleep, and after carefully placing her on the couch, and kissing the fair face of the slumberer, that shone like a faultless picture from its frame of golden curls, Theresa adjourned with Gerald to the porch. It was a perfect evening, and the rays of the full moon illumined the little portico, throwing on its floor, in fanciful mosaic, the fantastic shadows of the vines which draperied the pillars, and lighting up with its spiritual radiance, the earnest countenances of the youthful friends. Gerald looked more than usually pale in the blanching beams, and Theresa's gaze was sad and tearful.

"You will forget us all, Theresa," said the boy; "you will find elsewhere gayer and dearer companions; you will be praised and flattered, and it will be several years before you will be stationary here again."

"Do you remember the book we read together but a few days since?" she answered, "and which says there is no such thing as forgetting possible to the mind?"

"Well, but at least you may grow indifferent," persisted Gerald, already betraying manhood's perverseness in suspicion, "at least you may grow indifferent, and that is even worse than forgetfulness."

"Far worse," answered Theresa, "I would rather a thousand times be wholly forgotten, than know that the heart which loved me had grown cold and careless. But, Gerald, you are my first friend, the only one of my own age I have ever known, and how can I lose the recollection of all we have thought and hoped together? And then I shall be too constantly occupied to form other ties, for I intend to study incessantly, and to return here all, mentally, that my friends can wish me."

"Are you not that already; I, for one, do not desire you to change."

"You will alter your flattering opinion, mon ami, if I can by application realize the bright pictures my ambition paints. I shall be so much happier when I have tested myself; for now, all is untried, the present is restless, and the future perplexing. It is so difficult for me to curb my impatience, to remember that our progressive path must be trodden step by step, it may be, through thorns and temptations. Patience is the golden rule of talent, the indispensable companion of success; for the 'worm may patiently creep to the height where the mountain-eagle has rested.' The hardest task for genius to learn is, through toiling, to hope on, and though baffled, never to despond."

Her face flushed with her own eagerness as she[251] spoke, and Gerald looked on her with mingled admiration and want of comprehension, and something of that pity with which boyhood is prone to regard the wildness of girlish aspirations. It was with hopes and tears united, that Theresa bade me farewell; and as I turned away to seek my quiet home, the old feeling of desolation and loneliness, which interest in my favorite had long dissipated, returned upon me with its depressing weight. Our walk to the parsonage was taken in unbroken silence, for Gerald, like myself, was busy with the future—to him a smiling world of compensation and promise, to me, the silent land of fears and shadows. A whole year was to elapse before Theresa's return to us, and in the interval she engaged to write every week, either to her mother or myself.

For more than an hour that evening I sat beside my window, looking on the serene prospect around me, and endeavoring to lay something of that external stillness to the restlessness of my disturbing fancies. All around was spiritualized by the moonlight; the trees on the lawn threw long shadows on the grass, and far away, in their mysterious and majestic silence, stood the eternal mountains; like gigantic watchers, they kept their vigil over the placid scene beneath—the vigil of untold centuries. Cloudless, unsympathizing, changeless, they had no part in the busy drama of human experience their loftiness overlooked, and now they loomed with shadowy outline, through the sanctifying light, habitants alike of earth and sky.

I anticipated tidings from Theresa with that interest which slight occurrences lend a life whose stirring events are few.

To me, she engaged to record her thoughts and impressions as they came, and to be to me what, under similar circumstances she would have been, whose sweet face for a few years brightened my life, and who now sleeps, in her childish beauty, by her mother's side.


"You will have learned from my letter to my mother, my kind friend, all the little details of my journey and safe arrival at my destination. I felt as if some of my visions of romance were realized, when this beautifully adorned place, in its strange and solemn stillness, stood before me. All the grounds surrounding the convent-buildings are highly cultivated and tastefully improved, presenting a vivid contrast between the wild luxuriance of nature, and the formal, artificial life within these cold, stern walls. Several of the nuns, with downcast eyes and thoughtful steps, were taking their monotonous exercise in the paths through the shrubbery; and shall I confess that I looked with mingled doubt and envy upon those dark-robed figures—doubt, if the restlessness of humanity can thus be curbed into repose, and envy of that uninterrupted peace, if, indeed, it may be gained. Strange seem this existence of sacrifice, this voluntary abandonment of life's aims and more extended duties, this repelling, crushing routine of penance and ceremony, with which, in the very midst of activity, and in the bloom of energy, vain mortals strive to put off the inevitable fetters of mortality. Doubtless, many, from long habit, have grown familiar with this vegetative, unbroken seclusion, and accustomed to struggle with tenderness, and conquer impulse, have ceased to feel affection, and rarely recall the friends of their busier days—sad consummation of womanhood's least enviable lot.

"But I believe it is, in all sincerity, from self-delusion, not from deception, that these women, many of them in the freshness of youth, separate themselves from the wide privileges of their sex, and contract their hearts into the exclusive and narrow bounds of a convent's charities. What mental conflicts must have been theirs, before, from the alluring gloss of expectation, they could turn to embrace a career like this. Some, perhaps, believed the possibility of winning tranquillity by shutting out the temptation of the world, believed that dust might be spiritualized, and the mind, debarred from its natural tendencies, taught to dream only of heaven. Others have sought the cloister as a refuge for hearts that loved too well, and memories all too faithful. God help such!—for this is no place to forget. And it may be, that after years of painful self-control and depressing experience, some here have gradually attained the conviction that their efforts are vain, their yearnings not here to be fulfilled—what, then, must solitude be to them but an enduring sorrow? It is too late to retrieve the past—the fatal vows have been spoken—those frowning walls are impassable—and the dark folds of that solemn veil are evermore between the penitents and human sympathy. Never may their footsteps tread the free earth again, save within those still and mocking limits; never will the bright, rewarding world of social ties dawn upon their languid gaze, though, alas! its beauty will flash upon their thoughts, through the loneliness of the silent cell, perhaps even amid penance and prayer. I look with profound, inexpressible interest on these sisters, in their ungraceful, but romance-hallowed costume, and wish, as I watch them, that I could read something of what the past has been to each, and trace the various motives that led to this irrevocable fate. This monotonous life has all the glow of novelty for me; and I ponder with inexhaustible interest, and blended reverence and pity on the hidden moral conflict, continually occurring among beings who strive to taste angels' pleasures while escaping human duties, and are reminded of the folly of such attempts, by the perpetual presence of temptation, and all the self-reproach, regret, and disappointment which, Heaven be thanked! the angels never feel. I can scarcely tell, as yet, how I shall like learning here. My studies have always been such a pleasure to me, with you, that it appears strange to associate them with strangers. I am resolved to devote much time to drawing and miniature painting, for which you know I had always a penchant, and in the course of a month or two I shall commence the study of German. What a world of pleasure is before me. Will you not love me better, if I return to you an artist, brim full of German[252] legends? All that I hope and aspire to, leads to that question—will these acquisitions render me more beloved?"

"Theresa is too ambitious, too restless," said Gerald, as he finished the perusal of this letter, "she will only render herself discontented and conspicuous by this wild, idle desire for superiority."

I felt somewhat provoked at his querulous words, for in my partial eyes Theresa seldom erred, and I knew this solicitude for mental progress, though as yet vague and undirected, was inseparable from her active and energetic intellect. But Gerald's opinions were common ones with his sex, and he coldly censured when away from their attractions, the very traits of character which, when present, involuntarily fascinated his imagination. And this is an ingratitude which almost inevitably falls to the share of a gifted woman. Unfortunately, genius does not shield its possessor from defects of character; and her very superiority in raising her above the level of the many, renders her failings more evident, and those who are forced mentally to admire, are frequently the first morally to condemn. The following are extracts from Theresa's letters, written at various intervals during the first year of her residence at the convent; and they will perhaps serve to reveal something of the rapid development of her mind, with the self-forgetfulness and ambition so peculiarly blended in her nature. She is the only one I have ever seen who possessed extreme enthusiasm without selfishness, and the strong desire to excel, without envy. There was a harmony in her being as rare as it was winning; and while many instances of her childish generosity and spontaneous disinterestedness rise on my memory, I feel almost bitterness at the recollection of how unworthily her pure heart was appreciated, and how sad was the recompense of all she suffered.

"I am happy, my kind friend, happier than I believed it possible for me to be, when away from those I love. But I study incessantly, and in acquiring and hoping, I have no time left for regret. When I recall you, it is not repiningly, but with a thousand desires for your approval, and increased anxiety to become all you can wish. You will, perhaps, consider this vanity; but, indeed, that would be unjust, for it is in all humility, with a painful consciousness of my own deficiencies that I strive so eagerly to grow wiser and better. Surely it is not vanity, to yearn to merit tenderness! . . . . . You ask if I have made any new friends. No; and I can scarcely tell why. There are several here whose appearance has interested me—and you know how rapturously I admire personal attractions; but I feel a reserve I can neither conquer nor explain. Friendship seems to me too holy and enduring to be lightly bestowed, and yet I desire with inexpressible earnestness, to find some one of my own age who would love and comprehend me—some mind in whose mirror I could trace an image of my own. I have gained something like a fulfillment of this wish in Gerald; but he is naturally less enthusiastic than I am, and of course cannot enter into the fervor of my expectations. He thinks them vain an idle—and so, in truth, they may be; but only their irrevocable disappointment will ever convince me of their folly. . . . . . I have been painting a great deal, beside my regular exercises, for my own amusement; I take such delight in testing my power to reflect the visible charm of beauty, and in endeavoring, however faintly, to idealize humanity. Among other efforts, I have finished a miniature of one of the young sisters here, whose sad, placid face, seemed to sketch itself upon my memory. Of course, the likeness was drawn without her knowledge—she has put away from her thoughts all such vanities. I often look on the picture, which is scarcely more tranquil than the original; and I wish I could speak a word of welcome sympathy to one who is so young, and yet so sorrowful. I was much touched, a few days since, by accidentally witnessing an interview between this nun, whose convent name is Cecelia, and her sister. It seems that she had taken the vows in opposition to the wishes and counsel of all her friends, having forsaken a widowed mother and an only sister for spiritual solitude and the cloister. I was copying an exquisite engraving of the Madonna, which adorns the apartment allotted to visiters, when a young lady entered, and desired to see her sister. The nun came, but not beyond the grating which bounds one side of the room. Those bars—signs of the heart's prison—were between beings who from infancy had been undivided, whose pleasures and pains through life had been inseparable, and who were now severed by a barrier impassable as the grave. They contrasted strongly, these two sisters, so nearly the same age, so different in their hopes for the future. The guest wept constantly, and her words, spoken in a loud tone, were broken by bursts of grief; but the other was composed, almost to coldness—there was no evidence of distress on her marble cheek, and her large, gray eyes, were quiet in their gaze. She had evidently learned to curb emotion and regret—the past for her was a sealed book, with all its remembrances; she was a woman without her sex's loveliest impulses—a sister without tenderness, a daughter without gratitude. They parted, as they had met, each unconvinced, each grieving for the other—the visiter returned to her holy filial duties, the devotee to her loneliness. My friend, on which of these sisters do the angels in heaven look down most rejoicingly? This scene made me sorrowful, as every thing does which destroys an illusion. I had entertained such romantic ideas of life in the cloister, it seemed so tempting to me in its rest, its spirituality; and now I realize that we have no right to such rest, that it is not ours to shrink from the duties, to shun the penalties, to crush the affections of humanity—and my visions of lonely happiness have passed away pour toujours. If ever I could be induced to forsake a world that now appears to me so rich in promise; if ever I am numbered among the tried in spirit, and broken in heart, some active solace must be mine, not this fearful leisure for thought and remembrance. My lot is to be a restless one; and whatever else the future may hold for me, I know, in the spirit of prophecy, it will bestow nothing of[253] repose. . . . . You tell me my little sister grows every day more lovely. I can readily believe it. There is something very fascinating in the style of her childish beauty, something that appeals to tenderness and seeks for love—and she is always the reality that prompts my dreams of angels. Is it not unwise, my friend, to hold the gift of personal beauty of little value, when it thus involuntarily commands affection, and can win the world's charity for many faults?"

I know not if these disjointed scraps have interest for others, but I have recorded them, because to me they recall the young writer's glowing enthusiasm, and evince the confident hopefulness which is one of the most common traits of mental excellence. Without being vain, she had yet no fears for herself, no doubt of the successful exercise of the powers whose stirring presence she felt. All that seemed necessary to her was opportunity; and she possessed the faith our good God gives to youth, and whose passing away is one of the sorrows of age.

The time appointed for her return home had now arrived, and her mother's anxiety to see her was scarcely greater than my own. In the meanwhile, Mr. Brandon's new residence—the handsomest in our vicinity—had been completed, and his family was permanently located among us. His domestic circle consisted of Gerald, a daughter, about Theresa's age, and a maiden lady, the sister of his wife, who, since Mrs. Brandon's death, had done the household honors. Gerald had been, from the first, a constant visiter at the parsonage, and he now participated in our solicitude to welcome our darling back. About sunset, on the day of Theresa's return, I directed my steps toward the cottage, and I was but halfway to my destination, when I saw her coming to meet me. I could never be mistaken in her light, rapid walk, whose movements were full of grace. Not for many a long, sad year, had a reception so affectionate as hers been given me; and her greeting brought tears to my old eyes, and called up painful memories to my heart. In appearance she had greatly improved; her slight figure had rounded into more womanly proportions, and her motions were full of the wild, unstudied gracefulness that had always characterized her. There was about her a fascination I cannot explain, a something independent of externals—a witchery to be felt but not defined. Perhaps it was the visible influence of mental gifts, the reflection of that purity of heart and mind which impressed itself on all her words and actions.

Let it not, however, be imagined, that because in my fond remembrance I have lingered long upon Theresa's many virtues, I was ignorant of her faults. They were those inseparable from her temperament; an impetuosity which frequently misled her judgment, and a confidence in her own beliefs, a reliance on her own will, that nothing but an appeal to her affections could ever subdue. She was an instance of that sad truth, that our defects shape our destinies; that one failing may exert over our lot a more potent influence than many excellencies, and may mar the brilliancy of our moral picture by a single shadow, that shall darken it all. In after life, when trial and suffering pressed wearily upon her, all her griefs might have been traced back to the influence of faults, which in her childhood were not sufficiently developed to seem of consequence, or to merit rebuke. To us she was so loving and complying, that the less favorable traits of her nature were lost to our eyes in the brightness of her better endowments. Like all poetic persons, she had various fancies and caprices; but hers were all pure in purpose, and imparted a charm to her restless being. Even her tenderness had its fantasies, and lavished itself wastefully without thought or reason. Her attachment to her sister was remarkable in its tone, blending anxiety with its profound and impassioned tide. She would speak to me of Amy, of her childish loveliness, her gentle disposition, her appealing trustfulness, until tears would start to her eyes, and the future seemed painfully distant to one whose onward gaze had painted it with fulfillments. There was nothing sweet and lovable in life that she did not connect with Amy's hereafter. Alas! it was well for her she could not foresee that future happiness was to be won by the sacrifice of her own.

During Theresa's stay in our village, the young Brandons and herself were often together—and Gerald's admiration had evidently lost nothing from separation. His health had improved, though he still looked pale and delicate; but this physical languor lent refinement to his appearance, and excited Theresa's warmest sympathy. It would have been strange, were not the occurrence so common, that we should not have anticipated the probable consequences of such intercourse between Gerald and Theresa, but always accustomed to consider them in contrast with ourselves, as mere children, we forgot theirs was the very age for enduring impressions, the era in existence whose memories live longest. It was not until long afterward that I realized our error, and then, alas! it was too late to save the repose of a heart which possessed in fatal strength, woman's sad faculty of loving. The period soon came round for Theresa to return to her studies; and, to my surprise, her grief at the second separation was much more violent than at the first. I did not note, in my simplicity, the cause of this vehemence; I never suspected that a new tie, undefined, but powerful, was binding her being, that in the depths of a spirit whose earnestness I have never seen equaled, there had sprung up an affection never to pass away, and one dangerously enhanced by the imaginative tendency of her nature. That she had won over Gerald a profound and fascinating influence, was evident; she was to him a dream of intellectual beauty, and her presence idealized his life. He connected her instinctively with all his high hopes, his visionary schemes; but I feel, in recalling his admiration, that, from its very character, it was not likely to be permanent. There was too little in it of the actual world, too much of the mental; it was more the homage of mind, than the tribute of affection; rather the irrepressible appreciation of genius,[254] than the spontaneous effusion of love. His expressions of regret at separation were warm and tender; but it is probable the young friends were both ignorant of the nature of their feelings. They parted tearfully, as a brother and sister would have said farewell; and the next few months, with their throng of sweet remembrances, fostered the growth of emotions very unlike, in truth, but equally kind and hopeful. And now there came a long interval of melancholy tranquillity in my life, for it was not until two years afterward that our darling returned. Her letters during the interval were frequent, and her ambition to excel deepened daily in intensity.

"One year more," she wrote, "and this routine of application will be over, I shall come to you no longer a child, but fitted, I trust, for a congenial companion. What bright pictures my fancy draws for that time! Surely the future is a land of surpassing beauty, if but one half its radiant hopes be realized."

"I have no patience with Theresa's visionary fancies," said Gerald, petulently, as he glanced over this letter, "I really believe she prizes books and pictures, and her idle dreams, more than the hearts that love her."

I have lingered long over this recording of a childhood that lent my loneliness many pleasures; and I must trace more rapidly and briefly the sadder portion of my recollections. Over the next two years let us pass in silence; they saw the last shining of pleasure upon Theresa's experience; they were the resting-place between her young hopefulness and the perplexing cares and disappointments of her energetic and unsatisfied womanhood. Never afterward did life appear to her so rapturous a gift, and intellectual superiority so enchanting, but the hereafter grew silent with its promises, and her spirit weary with its cares.

It was not until some months afterward that the journal I am about to quote fell into my hands; but I copy some of its fragments, to portray its writer's feelings. Ah, me! such trustful hearts as hers are those experience depresses soonest.

"How happy I have been this summer! I believe those who have spent their childhood in seclusion, and formed their first associations from the lovely creations of nature, love home better than persons can do, who have been always encompassed by the excitements and artificial enjoyments of society. These lose individual consciousness amid the throng of recollections; they cannot trace the progress of their being, nor retain the self-portraying vividness of memory. I am sure that no dweller in cities can feel as I do, when I return to this tranquil village; I can almost imagine I have stepped back into my childhood. Yet, loving this place as I do, I am still anxious to leave it; home, and especially a quiet one, is no place for great successes. Too much of the childish past hangs over it, and discourages exertion, and those who have loved us best and earliest, know least of what we are capable. Every day intercourse fetters judgment, and thought lives in the domestic circle with sealed lips. My kind friends do not comprehend my wishes or emotions; my mother deems them folly, and Gerald, instead of sympathy, tenders me only doubts and fears. But I repel silently such depressing influence; surely the motto of youth should be, aide-toi, et Dieu t'aidera. . . . . I have been reading that tearful book, the Diary of an Ennuyé. What a vivid picture it presents of mental and physical suffering, too intense to be wholly conquered, yet half subdued by the strong power of a thoughtful will. Such depictings of sorrow must be exaggerated, there cannot be so much of grief in a world where hope still liveth. . . . . I have been amusing myself this morning by scribbling verses, and as I gradually became absorbed in my employment, I felt I would willingly relinquish half the future in store for me, could I win a poet's fame. I have been endeavoring to determine which is the most desirable, the celebrity of a poet or a painter. Perhaps the distinction an artist obtains satisfies the mind more wholly, and it must be a more universal thing, than that of a writer. He appeals to the senses; his work is the visible presence of what is immaterial, the palpable creation of a thought. He gazes on his production, until his being revels in the witchery of his own reality; and the ideal that had haunted his spirit so long, smiles and blesses him from that glowing canvas. But the poet, he who from the well of thought hath drawn forth such golden truths; who heareth within his heart the echo of whatever is beautiful around him; he who is the interpreter of nature, and translateth into burning words whatsoever things are pure and lovely, ah! he liveth alone with his glorious images, and from his brilliant world of dream and vision, he walks abroad uncomprehended, a solitary being. Yet he, too, has his reward, though seldom the present one of popular approval; time is requisite for the appreciation of his imaginings; he would not, if he could, profane them by the breath of popular criticism. His place is far away from common sight—a dwelling in pleasant thoughts; he is enthroned amid happy memories and early hopes; he is associated in our minds with forms of grace, and faces of beauty—with the light of stars, and the fragrance of flowers; with the pale hours of gloom his enchantments have chased away, and the green graves his heavenward words have hallowed. Which fame would I choose? Alas! for my craving nature, neither—but both!"

Two years had glided by, and Theresa had returned to us. Her studies were completed, and she seemed to our fond hearts more than we ever hoped for, or dared to anticipate. She had certainly improved to the utmost the period of her absence; she was an admirable linguist, a good musician, and her talent for painting was pronounced by connoisseurs to be extraordinary. She possessed in a rare degree perfect consciousness of her powers, without a tinge of vanity; and she spoke of her acquirements and performances simply and candidly, as she would have dwelt on those of a stranger. Gerald was evidently surprised at her mental progress, and perhaps he felt it almost painfully, for he certainly was not in her[255] presence as natural and familiar as of yore. He would gaze on her long and fixedly, as if in being forced to admire, he hesitated how to love. I do not know whether Theresa perceived this change, and allowed it to influence her manner, or whether the natural timidity of one "on the eve of womanhood," rendered her also gentler and quieter than of old, but certain it is, that while to others they were the same as ever, for each other, they felt something they knew was not friendship, yet dared not think was love.

In the meantime Amy had grown into girlhood, and was, in truth, as beautiful as a poet's dream. She was timid, gentle, and silent; no strength of mind was enshrined in that faultless casket; and her transparent, maidenly brow, was never shadowed by the conflict of thought. Her words were few and commonplace, but they were spoken by a voice exquisitely musical, and her surpassing personal loveliness disarmed mental criticism. Theresa would regard her in unutterable admiration, blending a sister's tenderness with all an artist's ecstasy. There was no repaying enthusiasm; Amy's affections were not impulsive, and she shared nothing of her sister's spontaneous, effervescing warmth. She was, however, kind and graceful, with that charm of manner common even in childhood to those on whom the gods have smiled, and who, from the consciousness of beauty, possess the certainty of pleasing. Like all visionaries, Theresa had many fancies, and strongest among them was her boundless admiration for loveliness. Living as she did in perpetual study of the beautiful, it appealed to her with that enchantment it only wears for the painter and the poet; and for her, who, in her dangerously endowed being, blended both, there was inexpressible fascination in all that reflected externally her radiant ideal. Gerald was a constant visiter at the cottage, and his undisguised admiration for Theresa's gifts deepened into lasting sentiment, what had hitherto been vague emotion. He sought her approval, solicited her opinions, and there was a tone of romantic reverence in his conduct toward her, which could not fail to interest one so young and sensitive. In many respects his character was far from equaling hers; ill-health had given peculiar fastidiousness to his tastes, and selfishness to his temper; but he was invested with the charms of pleasant memories, and that drapery which ever surrounds with grace those the heart loves first. I believe he never for an instant reflected on the effect his devoted attentions might produce, and, absorbed in the magic of his own rapturous thoughts, he had no time for calmer reasoning. Love is proverbially credulous; and although neither promise nor protestation had been spoken, Theresa never doubled what she hoped, and, perhaps, in her girlish faith, believed his feelings the deeper from their silence.

Thus the days wended on, and I had woven in my lonely simplicity many a bright tissue for future years to wear, when already the "cloud no bigger than a man's hand" had gathered on my favorite's horizon. Gerald and herself had walked one evening to the parsonage, and were seated on one of the shaded seats in the old-fashioned garden attached to my home.

"Theresa, you have always been to me a sympathizing listener, and I have something to tell you now of more than ordinary interest—will you hear me patiently?" and as Gerald spoke, he looked up smilingly into his companion's face.

Why did Theresa's cheek flush at these simple words? I know not; I only know that it grew pale and ashy as Gerald proceeded to relate the story whose hearing he had solicited, and in the impassioned words of love to paint his devotion—not to her who sat beside him, but to the sister whose outward beauty had won more than all her gifts. He spoke of time to come, of being to her as a brother, of a home in common, and then he dwelt with a lover's rapture on the attractions of his promised bride, those charms she had often extolled to him with a poet's appreciation, and now heard praised in breathless agony. The bitterness, not of jealousy, but of despair, was in her soul—a pang for which there was no expression and no relief. Never more might she return to the hope his words had shattered, the trust she had indulged too long. All that had scattered her path with flowers, and thrown around her life's sweetest illusions was lost to her now; the confessions she had heard, raised a barrier not to be passed between herself and those she held dearest, and the sister for whom she would have laid down her life, claimed a sadder sacrifice, and glided a rival between her heart and its reliance. But to all his confidings she listened silently, and when he ceased to speak, she answered him kindly and gently. Love is selfish, and in the egotism of his own feelings, Gerald heeded not that his companion's voice faltered; and they parted without a suspicion in his mind of the suffering he had occasioned. Alas! such brief tragedies are acting every day in our household circles, and we note them not; bright eyes become tranquil, glowing cheeks look pale, and young hearts, once high with hope and energy, grow weary and listless; and we talk of illness, and call in science to name the disease, which is nothing but sorrow. There are, without doubt, solitary hours in human experience which do the work of years, forcing suspicion to dawn, and tempting despondency to deepen. Life should be measured by such hours, and they who feel most keenly are the ones who, in truth, live longest.

Certain it is that Theresa passed in those few moments to a new existence—to a being wholly different from her former self. The rainbow tints had faded from her sky, and the stars in her futurity had ceased to shine. What to her were all her mental gifts, when they had failed to win the love she valued? And now the nature so impulsive and ingenuous was impelled by the instinct of woman's pride to assume the mantle of concealment, to learn its task of suffering and silence. She could not, without betraying her true feelings, seem depressed, when all about her was happier than ever, and not a shadow rested on the hearts around her. Her mother was[256] constitutionally tranquil; and Amy, in the relying gladness of her early youth, saw nothing to fear, and all things to hope. It was a trying effort for Theresa to bury the conflict of her impetuous emotions in the stillness of her own bosom—the more trying because she had never before known cause for reserve; but the power of endurance in womanhood is mighty, and she did conceal even from my watchful eyes, the triumph of certainty over hope. I knew not then that the silver chord was already severed, and the veil lifted from the pale face of grief, never again in mercy to lend its secrecy.

The extreme youth of Amy alone delayed her marriage, and the following year was appointed as the time of its celebration. In the meanwhile the lovers would meet almost daily, and there seemed nothing but happiness before them. And she, the highly endowed, the richly gifted, what was to be her lot? Even now the mists were gathering around her; her faith in the hereafter was lessened; disappointment haunted her onward steps, and memory darkened to regret. Poor Theresa! there was many a pang in her experience then proudly hidden from all human gaze; and her suffering was not the less because she felt that it arose in part from self-deception, and from its very character was beyond the solace of sympathy.

A few evenings afterward, I was sitting alone, when, with her light and eager step, Theresa entered my little study at the parsonage. Her cheek was flushed by her rapid walk, and her eyes sparkled as she laid before me a letter she had just received. I did not then comprehend the eagerness with which she grasped the refuge of excitement and change, but my heart sunk within me as I read the lines before me, for too well I foresaw the endless links of perplexity and misconstruction which would drag themselves, a dreary chain through the years to come. The letter was from the painter with whom she had studied his art, and was written with the kind feeling of one who, from the memory of his own aspirations, could sympathize with hers. He reminded her of a wish she had often expressed to practice her powers as a painter, and he said if that desire still continued, he could offer her a home in his household, and promise her success. His own professional attainments were great and popular, but his health was failing; and he declared it would be a pleasure and pride to him to direct her talents if she still wished to brave the perplexities of an artist's life. He dwelt on the subject with the fervor of a mind whose best faculties had been spent in the service of his art; but while he extolled its attractions and rewards, he concealed nothing of its cares and penalties. He concluded thus: "For me, the exercise of my glorious profession has been in all respects singularly fortunate; and in addition to the inexpressible gratifications attending its pursuit, it has won for me both popularity and wealth. But I would not mislead you, Theresa, nor conceal the difficulties which must inevitably, in such an attempt, harass a young and an enthusiastic woman. It is an unusual thing for womanhood to worship art; you will have ignorance and prejudice against you, and I need not remind you that these are the most perplexing of obstacles. But still there are rewards they cannot touch, pleasures beyond their influence—and these I proffer you. The artist bears within his own soul the recompense for many sorrows; and if you can summon the moral fortitude to wait in patience, and toil in hope, I candidly believe that, with your endowments, success will be a certainty. You will be to us as a daughter; and our childless old age will be gladdened by the presence in our home of your bright young face." Theresa had scanned my countenance eagerly while I perused this letter, as if to gather my impressions of the scheme; and she looked not a little disappointed when I gravely and silently refolded and returned the paper.

"I can divine your opinion," she said at last; "you disapprove of my plan."

"I do," was my reply. "I can discern no reason for your forsaking a tranquil home to brave so many certain annoyances."

"But, my friend," she answered, "you forget now the lesson you have often taught me, that we have no right to bury our talents, nor to shrink from the exercise of powers which were doubtless bestowed to be improved and employed. You will, perhaps, deem that my duty to my mother demands my presence here; but she has grown accustomed to my absence, and depends on me for none of her social comforts. Amy is far better fitted to be her companion, and I am sure that if I were to remain here, with the desponding conviction that my resources were useless, my acquirements thrown away; that knowledge would render me unhappy and throw a shadow over my home. Let me try this experiment for one year; if I fail, I will return satisfied that I have done my utmost; if I succeed, I can win for myself fame, and it may be peace."

She had spoken rapidly and earnestly, though I now know that her most powerful reasons for wishing to leave us, were left unuttered, and as she concluded her voice was tremulous. She impatiently awaited my answer; and I, with the folly of a fond old man, could not bear to dash away the cup that foamed so temptingly to her lips. Though fearful and unconvinced, I ceased to remonstrate. Many times since have I marveled at my own weakness, and lamented that I did not more decidedly condemn the young enthusiast's views; and yet what could I do? Had I more strenuously and successfully opposed the scheme, could I have borne to see my darling pine in the weariness of powers buried, and endowments wasted? Could I have recklessly sullied in their purple light the day-dreams of her yearning youth, have watched her, dispirited and dejected, ever turning from the gloom of the present to ponder on the radiant, haunting mystery of what she might have been?

To my surprise, Mrs. Germaine evinced none of the repugnance to the removal which I had anticipated; and, won over by Theresa's eagerness, and accustomed to be separated from her, she exerted no parental authority in the case. Her acquiescence, of[257] course, silenced my objections, and I could only grieve where I would have counseled. Gerald alone violently opposed her departure; but she replied to him with a firmness I did not expect, and which surprised me not a little. But the decision was made, and even while tenderly and anxiously beloved, the wayward and gifted one went forth alone into the world.


Pale Disappointment! on whose anxious brow
Expectancy has deepened into pain;
Thou who hast pressed upon so many hearts
The burning anguish of those words—in vain;
Thy gloom is here; thy shadowy presence lies
Within the glory-light of those sad eyes!

Two years more had gone by since we glanced at Theresa last—years fraught to her with the fulfillment of ambition, and golden with the gifts of praise. Her name had become a familiar one to the lovers of art, and her society was eagerly sought for by the most intellectual men in one of our most refined cities. In the home of her artist friend she had been as a daughter, and cordially welcomed into the circles of talent and acquirement. It would have been well with her had that measure of success satisfied her, could she have returned then, without one hope turned into bitterness, to her early and tranquil home—but it was not so to be; and on the death of her friend, a year previous to this time, Theresa decided still to remain in the city, and follow alone the exciting glories of her art. In the meantime Amy's marriage had taken place; the cottage was deserted, and Mrs. Germaine found a home with her younger daughter. It was Gerald's wish that Theresa also should reside with them; but she had declined, affectionately, though positively; and she was now an exile from those who loved her best. Her engagements had proved profitable, she had acquired much more than was necessary for her simple wants; and all her surplus gainings were scrupulously sent to her mother. I, too, was frequently remembered in her generous deeds, and many a valuable book, far beyond my power to purchase, came with sweet words from the cheerer of my old age.

But this state of things was too prosperous to last always—the crowd does not permit without a struggle the continuance of such prosperity. Gradually the tide of public approval changed; rivals spoke slightingly of one who surpassed them; her impetuous words—and she was frank almost to a fault—were misrepresented, and envying lips whispered of the impropriety of her independent mode of life. Flatterers grew more cautious, professing friends looked coldly, and, one by one, her female acquaintances found various pretexts for withdrawing their attentions. Theresa was not suspicious; it was long before these changes were apparent to her, and even then she attributed them to accident. Confident in her own purity of motive, and occupied with her own engrossing pursuits, she had neither time nor inclination for disagreeable speculations. She felt her refuge was incessant employment; she dared not even yet allow herself leisure for contemplation and memory. A volume of her poems had just been published—its destiny filled her thoughts—for who cannot imagine the trembling, fearing solicitude with which the young poet would send forth her visions to the world? Her engagements in her profession, too, were ceaseless, and her health began to fail under the effects of a mode of life so constant in its labors, and so apart from the refreshing influences usually surrounding girlhood. And was she happy? Alas! she had often asked herself that question, and answered it with tears; ambition has no recompense for tenderness, womanhood may not lay aside its yearnings. Her letters to us contained no word of despondency; she spoke more of what she thought than of what she felt. Her heart had learned to veil itself; and yet, as I read her notes to me, the suspicion would sometimes involuntarily come over me that she was not tranquil, that her future looked to her more shadowy; and I longed to clasp her once more to the bosom that had pillowed her head in childhood, and bid her bring there her hoard of trial and care. She was, by her own peculiar feelings banished from our midst; how could she return, to dwell in Gerald's home, she who for years had striven in solitude and silence to still memories of which he made the grief? But she was no pining, love-sick girl; the high and rare tone of her nature gave her many resources, and imparted strength to battle with gentler impulses. But it was a painful and unnatural conflict between an ingenuous character and a taunting pride—a war between thought and tenderness. Wo to the heart that dares such a struggle! Aspiration may bring a temporary solace, excitement a momentary balm; but never yet, in all the tear-chronicled records of genius, has woman found peace in praise, or compensation in applause. It is enough for her to obtain, in the dangerous arena of competition, a brief refuge, a transient forgetfulness; love once branded with those words—in vain, may win nothing more enduring this side of heaven.

It was the twilight of a whiter evening; the lamps were just beginning to brighten the city streets, and the fire burned cheerfully in Theresa's apartment. Various paintings, sketches, and books, were scattered around, and on the table lay a miniature of Amy, painted from memory. It depicted her, not in the flush of her early womanhood, not in the gladness of her hope-tinted love, but as she was, years ago, in her idolized infancy. The lamp-light shone full upon that young, faultless face, brightening almost like life those smiling lips, and the white brow gleaming beneath childhood's coronet of golden hair.

The young artist was seated now in silent and profound abstraction—for twilight is the time the past claims from the present, and memory is summoned by silence. Theresa's feet rested on a low footstool, her hands were clasped lightly together on her lap, and she leaned back in the cushioned chair, in an attitude of perfect and unstudied grace she would have delightedly sketched in another. Have ever I described my favorite's appearance? I believe not; and yet there was much in her face and figure to arrest and enchant younger eyes than mine. I could[258] not, if I would, delineate her features, for I only recall their charm of emotion, their attractive variety of sentiment. Her eyes were gray, with dark lashes, and their expression was at once brilliant and melancholy, and the most spiritual I have ever seen. Her hair was long and fair, with a tinge of gold glancing through its pale-brown masses, as if sunbeams were woven in its tresses. She was not above the average height, but the proportions of her figure were peculiarly beautiful, and her movements and attitudes had the indescribable gracefulness whose harmony was a portion of her being. She looked even younger than she really was, and her dress, though simple, was always tasteful and attractive, for her reverence for the beautiful extended even to common trifles, and all about her bespoke the elevating presence of intellectual ascendency. The glance that once dwelt on her returned to her face instinctively—so much of thought and feeling, of womanhood in its faculty to love and hope, of affection in its power to endure and triumph, so much of genius in the glory of its untested youth, lay written in lines of light on that pale, maidenly brow. Ah, me! that I should remember her thus! As Theresa sat there, she idly took a newspaper from the table to refold it, and as she did so, her own name attracted her attention. It headed a brief notice of her poems, which was doubtless written by some one her success had offended—there are minds that cannot forgive a fortunate rival. It was a cold, sarcastic, sneering review of her book, penned in that tone of contemptuous irony, the most profaning to talent, the most desecrating to beauty. There was neither justice nor gentleness in the paragraph, but it briefly condemned the work, and promised at some future period, a more detailed notice of its defects. It was the first time that Theresa had felt the fickleness of popular favor; and who does not know the morbid sensitiveness with which the poet shrinks from censure? To have her fair imaginings thus degraded, her glowing theories prostrated, the golden pinions of her fancy dragged to the dust—were these things the compensation for thought, and toil, and sacrifice? It was a dark wisdom to learn, one that would cast a shade over all future effort—and disappointed and mortified, Theresa threw down the paper, and wept those bitter tears which failure teaches youth to shed.

An hour of painful reverie had passed, when the door of the apartment was noiselessly opened, and with silent steps, the dark-robed figure of a woman entered and approached Theresa.

"I have intruded on you most unceremoniously," said the stranger, in a voice singularly soft and melodious, "and I have no apology to plead but the interest I feel in youth and genius, and this privileged garb;" and as Theresa glanced at her dress, she saw it was that of a Sister of Charity. It was an attire she had grown familiar with, during her abode at the convent, and the winning kindness usually distinguishing its wearers, had invested it in her mind with pleasant associations.

"You are welcome, nevertheless," replied Theresa, "for I know that in admitting your sisterhood we often entertain angels unawares."

The new comer seated herself, and the young artist strove in vain to recall her features; they were those of a stranger.

"You are personally unknown to me, Theresa," said the lady, after a brief silence, "but your father was one of my earliest friends. Nay—it matters not to ask my name; the one I then bore, is parted with now, and I would not willingly speak it again; under a different appellation I have been lowlier and happier."

"You knew my father, then," rejoined Theresa, eagerly, "in his younger and more prosperous days. His loss I feel more keenly as my experience increases; for I was too young at his death to appreciate in reality, as I now do in memory, all his character's high, and generous, and spiritual beauty."

"We met often in the gay world," replied the guest—and her words were uttered less to Theresa than to herself—"and our acquaintance was formed under circumstances which ripened into intimacy what might otherwise have proved only one of those commonplace associations that lightly link society together; but it is of yourself I would speak. I have opportunities in the fulfillment of my duties of hearing and seeing much that passes in the busy world about me; and I have been prompted by the old memories still clinging around me, to proffer you the counsel of a friend. Will you forgive me, if I address you candidly and unreservedly?"

And then, as Theresa wonderingly granted the desired permission, she proceeded gently to detail some of the efforts of malice, and to utter words of kind warning to one who, enfolded within her own illusions, saw nothing of the shadows gathering about her path.

"You are not happy, Theresa!" continued the sister; "I know too much of woman's life to believe you are. I am aware of the motives from which you act; and while I reverence your purity of heart, and the pride which has tempted you to work out your own destiny, I easily trace the weariness your spirit feels. I, too, have had my visions; they are God's gift to youth, but I have lived sadly and patiently to watch dream after dream fade away. I see you have forgotten me, although I saw you frequently at the convent of ——; but I am not surprised at your forgetfulness, for the nun's sombre veil shuts her out alike from hearts and memories."

"Are you, too, then unhappy?" asked Theresa, as the low and musical voice beside her trembled in its tone; "you, whose footsteps are followed by blessings, whose life is hallowed by doing good? I have long ago learned to doubt the peace of the cloister, but I have ever loved to believe there was recompense in your more active career, and that if happiness exists on earth, the Sisters of Charity deserve and win it."

"In part, you are right," answered the nun, "but you have yet to realize that the penalties of humanity are beyond mortal control; that we cannot, by any mode of life, pass beyond their influence. All we[259] can do, is prayerfully to acquire patient forbearance and upward hope; many a heavy heart beats beneath a veil like this, and carries its own woes silently within, while it whispers to others of promise and rest." The visiter paused, and Theresa interrupted a silence that began to be painful to both.

"I feel," she said, "that I have acted injudiciously in braving remark, and in proudly dreaming I could shape out my own course. But you, who seem to have divined my thoughts so truly, doubtless read also the one reason which renders my return home most depressing."

"I know it well," was the reply; and the speaker pressed Theresa's trembling hand within her own, "but your prolonged stay here will be fraught with continually increasing evils; and if you expect repose, it cannot be here, where envy and detraction are rising against you. We cannot sway the prejudices of society, Theresa; and in some respects even the most gifted must submit to their decrees. And now," she said, as she rose to take leave, "I must bid you farewell. I have followed an impulse of kindness in undertaking the dangerous task to warn and counsel. If you will listen to one fatally versed in the world's ways, you will cease to defy public opinion, and amid the more tranquil scenes of your home, you will acquire a truer repose than ever fame bestowed. In all probability we shall meet no more, yet I would fain carry with me the consolation of having rescued from confirmed bitterness of spirit, the child of a faithful friend, and pointed a yearning heart to its only rest." And before Theresa could reply, the door had closed, and the visiter was gone.


"My friend! the credulity is ended, the illusion is over, and I shall return to you again. There are reasons I need not mention now, which would render a residence with my sister painful, and with my old waywardness I would come to you, the kind sharer of my young impulses, and to your home, the quiet scene of my happiest days. I am listless and sick at heart; and the hopes that once made my future radiant, appear false and idle to my gaze. Success has bestowed but momentary satisfaction, while failure has produced permanent pain; and I would fain cease my restless strivings, and be tranquil once more. This is no hasty resolve; several weeks have elapsed since I was prompted to it first; and I believe it is wiser to submit than to struggle—to learn endurance, than to strive for reward. In a few days more I shall be with you, saddened and disheartened, and changed in all things but in love and gratitude."

She had, indeed, changed since I saw her last, nearly three years before. The world had wrought its work, hope had been crushed by reality. Her health was evidently fatally affected, and her voice, once so gay and joyous, was low and subdued. It was mournful to my loving eyes to mark the contrast between the sisters now; Amy, in the noiseless routine of domestic duties, found all her wishes satisfied; she was rendered happy by trifles, and her nature demanded nothing they could not offer. Without one rare mental endowment, or a single lofty trait, she had followed her appointed path, a serene and contented woman. A glance at the household circles around us, will prove this contrast a common one; the most gifted are not the most blessed—and the earth has no fulfillment for the aspirations that rise above it.

And what of Theresa, the richly and fatally endowed, she who, with all the faculties for feeling and bestowing gladness, yet wasted her youth away; she who sadly tested the beautiful combination of genius with womanhood, yet lavished her powers in vain—why need I trace the passing away of one beloved so well? My task is finished; and I willingly lay aside a record, written through tears. Wouldst thou know more? There is a grave in yonder church-yard that can tell thee all!




I mark, as April days serenely smile,
Clouds heaped on clouds in mountain-like array,
While radiant sunbeams with their summits play,
Gilding with gorgeous tints the mighty pile;
And earth partakes of every hue the while!
Oft have I felt on such a day as this,
The sudden shower down-pouring on my head,
Though in the distance all is loveliness.
Thither, in vain, with rapid step I've sped.
I liken this to Hope: although with sorrow
The heart is overcast, and dim the eye;
Delusive Hope—not present, ever nigh,
Presages gladness on a coming morrow,
And lures us onward, till our latest sigh.


The day approaches, when a mystic power,
Shall summon mute Antiquity, to tell
The buried glories of the long lost hour;
And she will answer the enchanter's spell—
Then shall we hear what wondrous things befell
When the young world existed in its prime.
The truths revealed will turn the wisest pale,
That ignorance so long abused their time.
Vainly may Error blessed Truth assail
With specious argument, and looking wise
Exult, as millions worship at her shrine;
Yet, in the time ordained, shall Truth arise
And walk in beauty over earth and skies,
While man in reverence bows before her power divine!



I don't believe in night-caps. That is, I don't believe in stopping the ears, in shutting the eyes, in sealing up the senses, nor in going to sleep in the midst of God's everyday wonders. We are put here to look about us. We are apprentices to Him whose workshop is the universe. And if we mean to be useful, or happy, or to make others happy, which, after all, is the only way of being happy ourselves, we must do nothing blindfold. Our eyes and our ears must be always open. We must be always up and doing, or, in the language of the day, wide awake. We must have our wits about us. We must learn to use, not our eyes and our ears only, but our understandings—our thinkers.

There is a diviner alchemy wanted, and there is room for a bolder and a more patient spirit of investigation, amid the drudgery and bustle of common life, than was ever yet employed, or ever needed, in ransacking the earth for gems and gold, or the deep sea for pearls. Would you shovel diamonds and rubies, or turn up "as it were fire," you have but to dig into and sift the rubbish that lies heaped up in your very streets—or to drive the ploughshare through the busiest places ever trodden by the multitude. You need not blast the mountains, nor turn up the foundations of the sea, nor smelt the constellations. You have but to open your eyes, and to look about you with a thankful heart; and you will find no such thing as worthless ore—no baseness unallied with something precious; with hidden virtue, or with unchangeable splendor.

The golden air you breathe toward evening, after a bright, rattling summer-shower—the golden motes you may see playing in the sunshine with clouds of common dust, if you but take the trouble to lift your eyes, when you are lying half asleep in your easy-chair, just after dinner—are part and parcel of the atmosphere and the earth; and yet have they fellowship with the stars, and with the light that trembleth forever upon the wing of the cherubim. Be ye of the towering and the steadfast upon earth, and these will be to you in the darkness of midnight as revelations from the sky; as unforetold glimpses of the Imperishable and the Pure that inhabit the Empyrean.

But, being one of those who go about the world for three score years and ten, with their night-caps pulled over their eyes—and ears—you don't believe a word of this. And when you are told with all seriousness that there is room for more wonderful and comforting transmutations, of the baser earth just under your window, or just round the corner, than was ever dreamed of by the wisest of those who have grown old among furnaces and crucibles and retorts; wearing their lives away in a search after perpetual youth, and their substance in that which sooner and more surely than "riotous living" impoverisheth a man—the transmutation of the baser metals into gold—you fall a whistling maybe—or beg leave to suggest the word fudge. If so, take my word for it, like a pretty woman with the small-pox, the probability is, you are very much to be pitted.

All stuff and nonsense! you say—downright rigmarole—can't for the life of you understand what the fellow's driving at.


As sure as you are sitting there.

Well, then, we must try to convince you. One of the pleasantest things for a man who does believe in night-caps, you will grant me, though, at the best, he may be nothing more than a bachelor, is to lie out in the open air, on a smooth sloping hill-side, when the earth is fragrant, and the wind south, on a long drowsy summer afternoon—with his great-coat under him if the earth is damp—and with the long rich grass bending over him, and the blossoming clover swinging between him and a clear blue sky, starred all over with golden dandelions, buttercups and white-weed—


One moment if you please—with golden dandelions, buttercups and white-weed—

Poh!—pish!—Why don't you say with the dent-de-lion, the ranunculus and the crysanthimum?

Simply because I prefer bumble-bees to humble-bees, and even to honey-bees, notwithstanding the dictionaries, and never lie down in the long rich grass, with a great-coat under me; and am not afraid of catching cold though I may sit upon damp roses, or tread upon the sweet-scented earth, or tumble about in the newly-mown hay——with my children about me.

Children!—--oh!—--ah!—might have known you were not one of us—only half a man therefore.

How so?

That you had a better-half somewhere, to which you belong when you are at home.

In other words you might have known that I was no bachelor.


Sir! you are very obliging. And now, perhaps, I may be allowed to finish the demonstration. I undertook to convince you, if you remember, that every human being, with his eyes about him, has, under all circumstances, and at all times, within his reach, and subject to his order, a heap of amusement, a whole treasury of unappropriated wisdom. And all I have asked of you thus far is to admit, that if a man will but go forth into the solitary place and lie down, and stretch himself out, and look up into the sky, and watch the flowers and leaves pictured and[261] playing there—provided he be not more than half asleep, and has a duffel great-coat under him, water-proof shoes and a snug umbrella within reach, and no fear of the rheumatism; he may find it one of the pleasantest things in the world; though it may happen that he has no idea of poetry, and cares for nothing on earth beyond a pair of embroidered slippers, a warm, padded, comfortable dressing-gown, or a snuff-colored cigar if at home; or a fishing-rod, a doubtful sky, and a bit of a brook, all to himself, when he is out in the open air. And in short, for I love to come to the point, (in these matters,) all I ask of you, being a bachelor, is to admit—

I'll admit any thing, if you'll stop there.

Agreed. You admit, then, that an old bachelor, wedded to trout-fishing and tobacco-smoke; familiar with nothing but whist, yarn stockings, flannels and shooting-jackets; without the least possible relish for landscape or color, for the twittering of birds, or the swarming of bumble-bees and forest-leaves; with no sense of poetry, and a mortal hatred of rigmarole, may nevertheless and notwithstanding—

Better take breath, sir.

May notwithstanding and nevertheless, I say, find something worth looking at, on a warm summer afternoon, though he be lying half asleep on his back, with the clover-blossoms and buttercups nodding over him; to say nothing of thistle-tops, dandelions or white-weed—

I do—I do!—I'll admit any thing, as I told you before.

Well, then—in that case—I do not see what difficulty there would be in supposing that any man might find something to be good-natured with anywhere.

Not so fast, if you please. Would you have it inferred, because an old bachelor, whose comforts are few—and far between!—and whose habits—and opinions—are fixed forever, could put up with Nature for a short summer afternoon, under the circumstances you mention—with a great-coat under him, and a reasonable share of other comforts within reach, that, therefore, anybody on earth, a married man, for example, should find it a very easy thing to be happy any where, under any circumstances?—even at home now, for instance, with his wife and children about him?

Precisely. And now, sir, to convince you. If you will but place yourself at an open window in the "leafy month of June," and watch the play of her green leaves upon the busy countenances of men, as you may in some of our eastern cities, and in most of our villages all over the country, where the trees and the houses, and the boys and the girls have grown up together, playfellows from the beginning—playfellows with every thing that lives and breathes in the neighborhood; or if you will but stand where you are, and look up into the blue sky, and watch the clouds that are now drifting, as before a strong wind, over the driest and busiest thoroughfares of your crowded city; changing from shadow to sunshine, and from sunshine to shadow, every uplifted countenance over which they pass, you will find yourself at the very next breath a wiser, a better, and a happier man. You will undergo a transfiguration upon the spot? You will see a mighty angel sitting in the sun. You will hear the rush of wings overshadowing the whole firmament. And, take my word for it, you will be so much better satisfied with yourself! But mind though—never do this in company.

Beware lest you are caught in the fact. They will set you down for a lunatic, a contributor to the magazines, or a star-gazer—if you permit them to believe that you can see a single hairsbreadth beyond your nose, or a single inch further by lifting your eyes to Heaven than by fixing them steadfastly upon the earth. One might as well be overheard talking to himself; or be caught peeping into a letter just handed him by a sweet girl he has been dying to flirt with; but, for reasons best known to himself—and his wife—durst not, although perfectly satisfied in his own mind, from her way of looking at him, when she handed him the letter, that she would give the world to have him see it without her knowledge; and that either she did not know he was a married man—or was willing to overlook that objection.

Tut, tut! my boy—you will never coax me into the trap, though I admit your cleverness, by contriving to let me understand, as it were by chance, what are regarded everywhere as the privileges of the married.

Permit me to finish, will you?

With all my heart!

But pleasant as all these things are—the green fields and the blue sky, the ripple of bright water, and the changeable glories of a landscape in mid-summer; or the upturned countenances of men, looking for signs in the heavens, when they have ships at sea—or wives and children getting ready for a drive—or new hats and no umbrellas—or houses afire, which may not happen to be over-insured—a pleasanter thing by far it is to sit by the same window, when the summer is over, and the clouds have lost their transparency, and go wandering heavily athwart the sky, and the green leaves are no more, and the songs of the water are changed, and the very birds have departed, and watch by the hour together whatever may happen to be overlooked by all the rest of the world; the bushels of dry leaves that eddy and whirl about your large empty squares, or huddle together in heaps at every sheltered corner, as if to get away from the wind; the changed livery of the shops—the golden tissues of summer, the delicately-tinted shawls, and gossamer ribbons, and flaunting muslins, woven of nobody knows what—whether of "mist and moonlight mingling fitfully," or of sunset shadows overshot with gold, giving way to gorgeous velvet, and fur, and sumptuous drapery glowing and burning with the tints of autumn, and, like distant fires seen through a fall of snow in mid-winter, full of comfort and warmth; and all the other preparations of double-windows and heavy curtains, and newly invented stoves, that find their own fuel for the season and leave something for next year; and porticoes that come and go with the cold weather,[262] blocking up your path and besetting your eyes at every turn, with signs and hints of "dreadful preparation."

Go to the window, if you are troubled in spirit; if the wind is the wrong way; if you have been jilted or hen-pecked—no matter which—or if you find yourself growing poorer every hour, and all your wisest plans, and best-considered projects for getting rich in a hurry turned topsy-turvy by a change in the market-value of bubbles warranted never to burst; or if you have a note to pay for a man you never saw but once in your life, and hope never to see again—to the window with you! and lean back in your chair with a disposition to be pleased, and watch the different systems of progression—or, in plain English, the walk of the people going by. A single quarter of an hour so spent will put you in spirits for the day, and furnish you with materials for thought, which, well-husbanded, may last you for a twelvemonth; yea, abide with you for life, like that wisdom which is better than fine gold, and more precious than rubies.

Well, you have taken my advice; you are at the window. Now catch up your pen and describe what you see, as you see it; or take your pencil if you are good for any thing in that way, and let us see what you can do. A free, bold, happy and faithful sketch of that which in itself would be worthless, or even loathsome, shall make your fortune. Morland's pigs and pig-styes, on paper or canvas, were always worth half a hundred of the originals. One of Tenier's inside-out pictures of a village feast, with drunken boors—not worth a groat apiece when alive—would now fetch its weight in gold three times over.

Look you now. There goes a man with a large bundle under his arm, tied up in a yellow bandanna handkerchief, faded and weather-worn, and looking as if ready to burst—the bundle I mean. What would you give to know the history of that bundle and what there is in it? Observe the man's eye, the swing of his right arm—the carriage of his body—the dip of his hat. You would swear, or might if your conscience, or your habits as a gentleman, would let you, that he was a proud and a happy fellow, though you never saw his face before in all your life. The tread of his foot is enough—the very swing of his coat-tail as he clears the corner. It is Saturday night, and he is carrying the bundle home to his own house—of that you may be sure. And you may be equally sure that whatever else there may be in it, there is nothing for him to be ashamed of, and therefore nothing for the man himself. My notion is, that he has bought a ready-made cloak for his wife, without her knowledge, or got a friend to choose the cloth and be measured for it, who will be found at his fire-side when he gets home, holding forth upon the comfort of such an outside garment in our dreadful winters, with a perseverance which leads the good woman of the house to suspect her neighbor of being better off than herself, in one particular at least, for the coming Sabbath. But just now the door opens—the gossiping neighbor springs up with a laugh—the bundle is untied—the children scream, and the wife jumps about her husband's neck as if he had been absent a twelvemonth.


Can't you see them for yourself! Can't you see the fire-light flash over the newly-papered walls! can't you hear the children laugh as mother swings round with her new cloak—scattering the ashes, and almost puffing out their only lamp, which she has set upon the floor to see how the garment hangs! and now she drops into a chair. Take my word for it, sir, that is a very worthy woman—and the man himself is a Washingtonian.

What man?

What man! Why the man that just turned the corner, with a great yellow bundle under his arm.

Indeed! you know him then?

Never saw his face in all my life. But stay—what have we here? Get your paper ready! Here comes a thick-set fellow, in a blue round-about, with his hat pulled over his eyes, and one hand in his trowsers' pocket—poor fellow! There he goes! But why one hand? He had his reasons for it, I'll warrant ye, if the truth were known. He walked by with bent knees, you observed, and with a most unpromising stoop. He was feeling for his last four-pence; and found a hole in his pocket. Can't you read the whole story in the man's gait?—in the slow, sullen footfall—in the clutch of his fingers—in the stiffened elbow, and the bent knees?

Another Washingtonian, perhaps?

No indeed! nothing of the sort. Had he been a Washingtonian, he would have found something more than a hole in his pocket when he had got through his week's work, and was beginning to find his way back to his little ones.

Well, well, have it so, if you like; but what say you to the couple you see there?

Stop!—that large woman, leading a child with a green veil—and the other passing her in a hurry without lifting her eyes, and the moment she has got by turning and looking after her, as if there were something monstrous in the cast of that bonnet—a very proper bonnet of itself—or in the color of that shawl—of gold and purple and scarlet and green—both were but just entering upon the field of vision as you spoke, and now both have vanished forever! And lo! a tall man of a majestic presence, with a little black dog at his heels—the veriest cur you ever saw! What must be the nature of such companionship? Look! look! there goes another—a fashionably dressed young man—followed by two or three more—intermixed with women and children—and now they go trooping past by dozens! leaving you as little time to note their peculiarities as you would have before the table of a camera obscura, set up in the middle of Broadway at the busiest season of the year. Let us breathe a little. And now the current changes—the groups are smaller—the intervals longer—and if we can do nothing else, we may watch their step and carriage, the play of colors, and the whimsical motion of their arms and legs while they go hurrying by, these phantoms of the hour. And then, what a world of enjoyment just for the mere[263] trouble of looking out of a window! Can it be a matter of surprise that, in countries where it is not permitted to women to look at the show in this way, or even to appear at the window, a substitute should be found by so arranging mirrors as to represent within their very bed-chambers whatever happens in the street below?

But the business of the day is nearly over. The chief thoroughfare is well nigh deserted and we may now begin to dwell upon the peculiarities of here and there one, as the laggards go loitering by, some nearer and some further off, but all with a look of independence and leisure not to be mistaken. And why? They have money in their purses—the happy dogs—or what is better than money, character and credit, or experience, or health and strength, and a willingness to oblige.

Not so fast, if you please. What say you to that man with the pale face and coal-black hair?

Let me see. What do I say of that man? Do you observe that slouched hat, and old coat buttoned up to the chin?—the dangling of that old beaver glove, and the huge twisted club—the slow and stately pace, and the close fitting trowsers carefully strapped down over a pair of well blacked shoes without heels, and therefore incapable of being mistaken for boots.

There is no mistaking that man. He has seen better days; the world has gone hard with him of late, and he is a—Ah! that lifting of the head as he turns the corner! that gleam of sunshine, as he recovers and touches his hat, after bowing to that fine woman who just brushed him in passing, shows that he is still a gentleman; and, of course, can have nothing to fear, whatever may happen to the rest of the world. Fifty to one, if you dare, that he has just bethought himself of the bankrupt law, of a bad debt which he begins to have some hope of, or of the possibility of making up by his knowledge of the world for what he wants in youth, should he think it worth his while to follow up the acquaintance. Ah!—gone! He disappeared, adjusting his neckcloth, and smiling and looking after the handsome widow, as if debating within himself whether the advantage he had obtained by that one look were really worth pursuing.

What ho! another! A vulgar phantom this—a fellow that has nothing to do. After hurrying past a couple of women, hideously wrapped up, and beyond all doubt, therefore, uglier than the witches of Macbeth, he stops and leers after them—not stopping altogether, but just enough to keep his head turned over his right shoulder—and then walks away, muttering to himself so as to be heard by that ragged boy there, who stands staring after him with both hands grasping his knees, and with such a look!

Another yet—and yet another shape! and both walking with their legs bent; both taking long strides, and both finding their way, with the instinct of a blood-hound, never looking up, nor turning to the right or left in their course. Are they partners in trade, or rivals? Do they follow the same business, or were they school-fellows together, some fifty years ago; and are they still running against each other for a purse they will never find till they have reached the grave together. See! they have cleared that corner, side by side; and now they are stretching away at the same killing pace, neck and neck, toward the Exchange. Of course, they live in the same neighborhood; they are fellow-craftsmen, they have reputations at stake, and are determined never to yield an inch—whatever may happen. But why wouldn't they look up? Was there nothing above worth minding—nothing on the right hand nor on the left of their course, worthy a passing thought? Whither are they going? And what will they have learnt or enjoyed, and what will they have to say for themselves when they reach the end of their course?

And that other man, with arms akimbo, a dollar's worth of flour in a bag, flung over his shoulder—why need he strut so—and why doesn't he walk faster? Has he no sympathy for the rest of the world, not he; or does he only mean to say, in so many words, that for such weather! and that for every fellow I see, who isn't able to carry home a dollar's worth of flour to his family every Saturday night! Does he believe that nobody else understands the worth and sweetness of a home-baked loaf?

And that strange looking woman there, with her muff and parasol, her claret-colored cloak, with a huge cape, and that everlasting green veil! What business, now, has such a woman above ground—at this season of the year? Would she set your teeth chattering before the winter sets in? And what on earth does she carry that sun-shade for, toward nightfall, about the last of October—is the woman beside herself?

But she is gone; and in her stead appear three boys, who, but for the season of the year, might be suspected of birdnesting. They are all of a size—all of an age, or thereabouts—and all dressed alike, save that one wears a cloth cap, and the others fur. Yet, like as they are in age and size, and general appearance, anybody may see at a glance that one is a well-educated boy, and a bit of a gentleman—perhaps with spending money for the holydays, while the other two are clumsy scapegraces. Watch them. Observe how the two always keep together, and how, as they go by the windows of that confectionary-shop, first one lags a little in the rear, and then the other, till they have stopped and wheedled their companion into a brief display of his pocket-money. The rogues!—how well they understand his character! See! he has determined to have it his own way, in spite of their well-managed remonstrances and suggestions; and now they all enter the shop together—he foremost, of course, with a swagger not to be misunderstood for a moment. And now they have sprung the trap! and the poor boy is a beggar!

But who are they? Judge for yourself? Do they not belong, of course, to the same neighborhood? Have they not an air of good-fellowship, which cannot be counterfeited—a something which explains why they are always together, and why they are all dressed alike? How they loiter along, now that they[264] have squeezed him as dry as an orange, as if they were just returning from a long summer-day's tramp in the wilderness after flowers and birds-nests—the flowers to tear to pieces, and the birds-nests to set up in the school for other boys to have a shy at. By to-morrow, they will be asunder for months—he at school afar off, and they at leap-frog or marbles. And after a few years, they will be forgotten by him, and he remembered by them—such being the difference in their early education—as the boy they were allowed to associate with, and to fleece at pleasure when he was nobody but Tom, Dick, or Harry, and thought himself no better than other folks.

But enough—let us leave the window. It is growing dark; and if you are not already satisfied, nothing ever will satisfy you, that the great mass of mankind have ears, but they hear not; and eyes, but they see not—and go through the world with their night-caps pulled over both. Poor simpletons!—what would they think of a man who should run for a wager with both feet in one shoe. Are you satisfied?

I am—of one thing.

And what is that?

Why, that a magazine-writer may coin gold out of any thing—out of the golden atmosphere of a summer-evening—or the golden motes he sees playing in the sunshine, on the best possible terms, with the common dust of the trampled highway—or the golden blossoms that fill the hedges—in a word, that with him it should be mere child's play to "extract sunshine from cucumbers."




Beautiful oak-tree! near my father's dwelling,
Alone thou standest on the sloping green;
In size, in strength, all other trees excelling—
The noblest feature of the rural scene.
Whether with foliage crowned in Summer's glory,
Or stripped of leaves in winter's icy reign,
Grandly thou speakest an unchanging story
Of power and beauty, not bestowed in vain.
I looked upon thee with deep veneration,
When first my soul acknowledged the sublime,
And felt the might and grandeur of creation,
In all that longest braves the shock of Time.
Centuries ago, an acorn, chance-directed,
Fell on the spot, and then a sapling sprung,
From driving winds and beating storms protected
By that kind Heaven which guards the frail and young.
And prouder height with greater age acquiring,
Fair as when suns on thy first verdure smiled,
Thou standest now, a forest lord, aspiring
O'er all thy peers from whom thou art exiled.
Beautiful oak-tree! my most pleasant gambols
Were, with my dear companions, always played
Beneath thy branches, and from farthest rambles
Wearied, we came and rested in thy shade.
Morning and evening, Falls, and Springs, and Summers,
Here was our Freedom, here we romped and sported;
And here by moonlight, happiest of all comers,
In thy dark shadow lovers sat and courted.
And here, when snow in frozen billows bound thee,
Like a white ocean deluging the land,
And smaller trunks, or near or far, were round thee
Like masts of vessels sunken on the strand,
We climbed high up thy naked boughs, enchanted,
Shaking whole sheets of spotless canvas down,
And, by keen frosts and breezes nothing daunted,
Hailed the slow sledges from the neighboring town.
Ah! flown delights! ah! happiness departed!
What have I known like you, since, light and free,
And undefiled, and bold and merry-hearted,
I used to frolic by the old oak-tree!


Long years ago I left my father's mansion,
Through many realms, in various climates roamed,
Speeding away o'er all Earth's wide expansion,
Where icebergs glittered, and where torrents foamed.
From pole to pole, across the hot Equator,
Restless as sea-gulls whirling o'er the deep;
From Snowden's crown to Ætna's fiery crater,
From Indian valley to Caucasian steep;
From Chimborazo, loftiest of all mountains
Trod by man's foot, to Nova Zembla's shore;
From Iceland Hecla's ever-boiling fountains,
To where Cape Horn's incessant surges roar;
From France's vineyards to Antarctic regions,
From England's pastures to Arabia's sands,
From the rude North, with her unnumbered legions,
To the sweet South's depopulated lands;
O'er all those scenes, or beautiful or splendid,
Which man risks wealth, and peace, and life to see,
I roved at will—but all my journeys ended,
Returned to gaze upon the old oak-tree.
But, ah! beneath those broad, outreaching branches,
What other forms, what different feet had strayed,
Since I, a youth, went forth to dare the chances
Which adverse Fortune in my path had laid.
Past my meridian, sinking toward the season
When Hope's horizon is with clouds o'ercast,
When sportive Fancy yields to sober Reason,
I came and questioned the remembered Past.
I came and stood by that oak-tree so hoary,
Forgetting all the intervening years,
Stood on that turf, so blent with childhood's story,
And poured my heart out in one gush of tears.
I had returned to claim my father's dwelling,
Borne like a waif on Time's returning tide—
Summoned I came, by one brief missive telling
That all I left behind and loved had died.
Wiser and sadder than in life's bright morning,
As softly fall the sun's last rays on me,
As when I saw their early glow adorning
The emerald foliage of this old oak-tree.





(Concluded from page 233.)

The result of Mr. Grey's investigations was decidedly unfavorable. He had much difficulty, in the first place, in obtaining any distinct information at all, most people hating to commit themselves in such a matter. He was generally answered evasively, and one or two merely said, "they knew no good of him."

A friend, however, undertook to make the inquiries, and with much better success than Mr. Grey could do; and he learnt "that young Wentworth was wild, very wild—much in debt, with no business habits; and, in short, that there was not a father in town who would be willing to give his daughter to him."

Mr. Grey, of course, considered this information as decisive, and communicated it to his wife. She received it with mingled feelings of relief and apprehension. There was no danger now of Pauline's having him, but she dreaded telling her so; not that she for a moment doubted Pauline's acquiescence in the decision, about which she herself supposed there could be no two opinions, but only the burst of grief with which she would receive it.

But never was Mrs. Grey more mistaken. Pauline saw nothing in the information that her father had received to change her opinions or feelings at all; "that he was wild—she knew that—he had told her so himself. He had been very wild before he knew her—and in debt—yes, he had told her that too. He had never had any motive to apply himself to business before," and Pauline seemed to think his not having done so as a matter of choice or taste, only showed his superior refinement. In short, she adhered as resolutely to her determination as ever.

What ideas did she, poor girl, attach to the word "wild;" something very vague, and not disgraceful at all. Perhaps a few supper parties, and a little more champagne than was quite proper. She did not know, could not know, the bearing of the term; and as to being in debt, that conveyed little more to her mind. If he owed money it could easily be paid. She knew no more of the petty meanness of small sums borrowed, and little debts contracted every where, than she knew of the low tastes involved in the word "wild."

Mrs. Grey was in despair. But here Mr. Grey interposed. He had never exerted his authority before, but never doubted he had the power when he had the will. He forbade Pauline to think of him.

He might as well have forbade the winds to blow. Pauline vehemently declared she would marry him, and wept passionately; and finally exhausted by the violence of her emotions, went to bed sick.

She kept her room for the next week, wept incessantly, refused to eat, except when absolutely forced to, and gave way to such uncontrolled passion, as soon told upon her slight frame, always delicate.

Mrs. Grey was alarmed; but Mr. Grey, not having seen Pauline since his decision had been communicated to her, was very firm.

"After the first burst was over, Pauline," he said, "would return to her senses."

"Well, my dear," said Mrs. Grey, "go up stairs and see her yourself; perhaps you can induce her to listen to reason."

And Mr. Grey went to Pauline. He had been prepared to see her looking pale and sad, but he was not prepared for the change that a week's strong excitement had wrought in Pauline's appearance. Her large, black eyes looked larger, and her face smaller from the deadly paleness of her fair skin. Mr. Grey was, indeed, shocked; and either a slight cold, or the nervousness induced by weakness, had brought on the little hacking cough they always so dreaded to hear.

He was much moved. He could not see his child die before his eyes; and it ended in Pauline's tears prevailing, and bringing him to listen to her views, instead of his inducing her to listen to reason. He promised he would do what he could—and once having been brought to hesitate, the natural impatience and decision of his character led him to the very point Pauline desired, of settling the matter as fast as possible; for "if it was to be, let it be done at once," he said.

Mr. Wentworth was recalled. He was all protestations and promises; and Mr. Grey, with a heavy heart, "hoped it might turn out better than they anticipated."

Pauline, at any rate, was restored to present happiness, and her doating parents had the immediate satisfaction of seeing her once again her radiant self, full of joy and gratitude, and confident of the future as secure of the present.

The gay world in which they lived were very much surprised at the announcement of the engagement; at Mr. and Mrs. Grey's consenting to it; and even confounded at hearing that a day—and an early day, too—was actually named for the marriage.

"Is not that extraordinary?" said Mrs. Livingston. "One would really think they were afraid the young man would slip through their fingers. How anxious some people are to marry their daughters!"

"How absurd!" said another; "for I am told they don't like it, as, of course, they cannot. And she is[266] so young, that if they delayed it a little while, another season, with the admirers she is sure to have, would put it out of her head."

Lookers on are very wise; and it's a pity actors cannot be equally so. No doubt this would have been the right, and probably the successful course. But Mrs. Grey had no longer any spirit to oppose Pauline, and Mr. Grey, in his impatient agony, seemed to think the sooner it was over the better.

Foolish, unhappy father. He was only riveting his own misery.

But Pauline was radiant. Deep in the excitement of wedding preparations and invitations—for her parents listlessly acquiesced in every thing she asked; and she meant to be married "in pomp, in triumph, and in revelry."

The mornings were spent in shopping, and one could scarcely go into a store where they did not meet Mrs. Grey and Pauline looking over delicate laces, exquisite embroidery, and expensive silks, Pauline's bright face looking brighter than ever, and her youthful voice musical in its gay happiness; and Mrs. Grey looking so dejected, and speaking in the lifeless tones of one who has a heavy sorrow settled on her heart.

Two short months were rapidly consumed in all the arrangements usually made on such occasions—and the wedding day arrived.

Never had Pauline looked so beautiful. The emotions called up by the occasion softened without dimming the brilliancy of her usual beauty. The veil of finest lace, the wreath of fresh and rare exotics, the jeweled arms, all lent their aid to render her surpassingly lovely.

"Pray God it turn out better than we can hope!" was all Mr. Grey could say, to which his wife replied by a sigh, which seemed the fitting response to a prayer uttered with so little hope.


Mr. and Mrs. Grey had made it a condition with Mr. Wentworth that they were not to lose Pauline, and consequently it was arranged that the young couple were to live at home.

Scarcely were the wedding festivities over before Mrs. Grey remarked that Pauline was nervous when her husband was alone with her father and herself; and that when he entered into conversation, she always joined in hastily, and contrived to engross the greater part of it herself. She evidently did not want him to talk more than could be helped. But much as she shielded him, the truth could not be concealed. Little as Mr. and Mrs. Grey had expected from Wentworth, he fell painfully below their expectations. He was both weak and ignorant—ignorant to a remarkable degree, for one occupying his position in society. It only showed how he had turned from every advantage offered him by education. His sentiments, too, were common; every thing stamped him as a low-minded, coarse-feeling young man—at least they feared so. He might improve. Pauline's influence might do something.

But was Pauline beginning to be at all alive to the truth as it was?

Mrs. Grey feared so; but she could not ascertain. Pauline was affectionate and tender, but not frank with her mother. Mrs. Grey, like most mothers, who, to tell the truth, are not very judicious on this point, would have led Pauline to talk of her husband; but here, she knew not how, Pauline baffled her. She always spoke, and spoke cheerfully and respectfully, of Mr. Wentworth, but in such a general manner, that Mrs. Grey could come to no satisfactory conclusion either way.

The truth was that though Pauline was very young, her character was developing fast. Her heart and her mind were now speaking to her trumpet-tongued—and their voice was appalling.

Her husband was daily revealing himself in his true character to her; and the idol of her imagination was fast coming forth as an idol of clay. But though Pauline was willful, she had other and great and noble qualities. An instinct told her at once that no complaint of her husband must pass her lips. Pride whispered that she had chosen her own lot, and must bear it, and love still murmured, "Hope on—all is not yet lost." But she grew pale and thin, and though she was animated, and talked, perhaps, more than ever, Mrs. Grey imagined, for she could not tell to a certainty, that her animation was forced, and her conversation nervous.

Mr. Wentworth seemed soon to weary of the calm quiet of the domestic circle, for of an evening he was beginning to take his hat and go to the club, staying at first but for an hour or so, and gradually later and later.

"I am not going up stairs yet, mamma," said Pauline, "I will sit up for Mr. Wentworth."

"Robert will let him in, Pauline," replied Mrs. Grey, anxiously. "You are looking pale, my child—you had better go up."

"Very well," answered Pauline, quietly; and her mother satisfied, retired to her own room, supposing Pauline had done the same. But Pauline had let the man sit up for her husband the night before; and she had heard her mother, as she happened to be passing in the hall when Mrs. Grey did not see her, finding fault with him for being late in the morning; to which the servant answered, in extenuation, that he had been up so late for Mr. Wentworth that he had over-slept himself.

"How late was it, Robert?" asked Mrs. Grey, in a low voice.

"Near two, ma'am," replied the man.

"Near two!" repeated Mrs. Grey, as if to herself—and a heavy sigh told Pauline better than any comments could have done what was passing in her mother's mind. She determined that henceforth no servant should have her husband in his power again. So when she had heard her mother's door close for the night, she rang for the man and said,

"Robert, you can go to bed now, I will sit up for Mr. Wentworth."

"My child, how thin and pale you grow," Mrs. Grey would say, anxiously; "and that little cough[267] of yours, too, Pauline—how it distresses me. What is the matter with you?"

"Nothing, mother," Pauline would reply, cheerfully; "I always cough a little, you know, if I am not well. And if I am looking paler and thinner than usual, that is to be expected—is it not?"

"I suppose so," Mrs. Grey would reply, half satisfied for the present that perhaps Pauline had truly accounted for her wan looks.

Ah! little did she know of the late hours of harassing watching that, night after night, Pauline spent waiting the coming in of her truant husband; and less did she know of the agonized feelings of the young wife, as she read in the glassy eye and flushed brow of her husband, the meaning of that once insignificant word "wild," which now she was beginning to apprehend in all its disgusting reality.

Pauline's spirit sometimes rose, and she remonstrated with Wentworth; but his loud tones subdued her at once. Not that she yet feared him, but dreaded lest those tones should reach her mother's ear. The one absorbing feeling, next to bitter disappointment, was concealment.

"Mother," she said, one day, "I want you to listen to what I have to say—and do not reject my proposition until you have fully considered it. Mr. Wentworth wants to go to housekeeping."

"To housekeeping, Pauline!" exclaimed Mrs. Grey. "Why, Pauline, Mr. Wentworth promised to remain with us—"

"Yes, mother," interrupted Pauline, "and will keep his promise if you say so. But what I wish is, that you should not oppose it."

"What is there, my child," said Mrs. Grey, "that he has not, or that you have not here, that you can have in your own house. Only say it, Pauline, and any thing, every thing either you or he wish, shall be done."

Pauline was affected to tears by her mother's tone and manner, and she said,

"Dearest mother, there is nothing that love and tenderness can do, that you and my father have not done. Do not think that I am insensible or ungrateful. Oh, no! never was your love so important to me as now—" she here checked herself. "But, mother, what I would say—what I think, is, that Mr. Wentworth, that no man can feel perfectly at ease in another's house; and that a young man, perhaps, hardly feels his responsibility as the head of a family, while living at home; that his respectability before the world—in short, I think, I feel, that it would be better for Mr. Wentworth if he were in his own house."

And beyond this last intimation Pauline could not be drawn, although Mrs. Grey did her best to pursue the theme and draw her out. She only said, "Well, mother, think it over, and talk to father about it."

And Mrs. Grey did talk to her husband, and found, to her surprise, that he agreed with Pauline.

"I believe she is right," he said. "Wentworth and ourselves cannot live much longer together. I believe it will be for our mutual happiness that we be partially separated."

"If I were only satisfied that she is satisfied," urged Mrs. Grey. "But Pauline is so reserved about her husband."

"And Pauline is right, my dear," replied Mr. Grey, with deep emotion. "I honor her for it. My poor child has drawn a sad lot, and nobly is she bearing it. We must aid her and comfort her as we can, Alice; and if she wills that we be deaf and blind, deaf and blind we must be. God bless her!" he added, fervently. "My angel daughter."

And so arrangements on the most liberal scale were made for Pauline's separate establishment; for, to tell the truth, it was rather Pauline's wish than her husband's. She thought that if they were alone, she could exert some influence over him, which now she was afraid of attempting lest it might bring exposure with it. Pauline had borne much, but not from fear. She had a brave, high spirit. She did not tremble before Wentworth; but both pride and love—yes, love even for him, and deep, surpassing love for her parents, led her to adopt her present course.

Poor child! she did not know she was only withdrawing herself from their protection.

Pauline had not been long at housekeeping before she found it involved with it a source of domestic unhappiness she had not anticipated; and that was in the character and manners of the associates who her husband now brought home with him, and who at her father's house she had been protected from seeing.

Wentworth had the outward appearance and manner of a gentleman, whatever he might be in point of fact; but there were those among his friends, and one in particular, a Mr. Strickland, from whom Pauline instinctively shrank, as being neither a gentleman nor a man of principle. She looked upon him, too, as leading Wentworth astray; and at any rate felt he was a person her husband had no right to bring into her presence. She remonstrated with him more than once on the subject, and he warmly defended his friend, and said her suspicions were as unfounded as unwarrantable, and finally got in a passion, and declared he would bring whom he chose to his own house. Pauline firmly declared that he might do that, but that she was equally mistress of her own actions, and would not receive Mr. Strickland as an acquaintance. If he chose to ask him there, she would retire as he entered.

Wentworth was very angry—quite violent in fact; but Pauline remained unshaken—and he left the house in great displeasure.

He did not return until late. Pauline had given him up, and just ordered dinner when he entered. As he came in he said loudly, "Walk in, Strickland;" and there was something in the eye of both, as they entered, that told Pauline that their quarrel had been communicated by her husband to his friend, for Strickland's expression was both foolish and insolent; and Wentworth evidently had been put up to brave it out.

Pauline colored deeply, and rose to leave the[268] room just as the folding-doors of the dining-room were thrown open. Wentworth hastily stepped forward, and taking her arm with a grasp, the firmness of which he himself was unaware at the time, said,

"Take your place at the table."

The print of his fingers was left on her delicate wrist as he withdrew his hand; but Pauline was too proud to subject herself to further indignity in the presence of a stranger; and though she read triumph in his insolent eye, she took her place silently at the head of the table.

Wentworth drank freely of wine, for he was evidently laboring under both embarrassment and excitement. The conversation was such as to cause the blood to mount to Pauline's temples more than once, but she firmly kept her seat until the cloth was removed and the servants withdrew, and then she rose.

Wentworth said, "You are not going yet!" but there was a look in her eye, as she turned it on him, that silenced all further remonstrance on his part. A coarse laugh she heard as she closed the door, whether of derision or triumph she could not tell; but she went to her own room, and double-locked the doors, and paced the floor in great excitement until she heard the offending stranger leave.

Then she descended to the parlor, looking pale, but her bright eye clear, and resolve in every lineament. Wentworth was alone, standing on the rug, with his back to the fire as she entered.

He evidently quailed as he encountered her full glance, but instantly made an effort, and attempted to bluster it out.

She approached close up to him before she spoke, and then said in a clear, low voice.

"I am not come to reproach or to listen to recriminations, but to tell you I never will submit to such insult again." And baring her delicate wrist where the mark of his fingers was now turning black, said, "Should my father see that, you well know the consequence. I have nothing more to say, but remember it," and passing through the room, she left him speechless with contending feelings, shame predominating perhaps over the others, and retired once more to her room.

Mr. and Mrs. Grey dined with Pauline the next day, and Wentworth did his best to behave himself well. He was attentive and respectful to them, affectionate to Pauline.

She looked very pale, however, though she made an effort to be cheerful and animated. At dinner the loose sleeve of her dress falling back as she raised her hand, her mother exclaimed, "Oh, Pauline, what is the matter with your wrist?"

Glancing slightly at her husband, who obviously changed color and looked uneasy, she said quietly, as she drew her bracelet over the dark stains, "I struck it and bruised it." Wentworth's brow cleared, and there was a look of grateful affection in his eye which Pauline had not seen for many a day.

Mr. and Mrs. Grey returned home better satisfied with their son-in-law than they had been almost since his marriage. So little often do the nearest friends know of what is going on in the hearts of those dearest to them.

We will not trace Mr. Wentworth's career more closely. It is a common one—that of a "wild" young man settling into a dissipated one. Mr. Grey heard occasionally who his associates were; and he knew them to be men without character, a kind of gentlemen "blacklegs." He heard intimations, too, of his habits, and intemperance was leaving its traces in his once rather handsome countenance.

But from Pauline came no murmur. And soon the birth of a daughter seemed to absorb all her feelings, and opened, they trusted, an independent source of happiness for their unhappy child.

Pauline had hoped that the birth of her infant might effect some favorable change in her husband's conduct. But here again she was open to a new disappointment. "He hated girls," he said. "If it had been a fine boy, it would not have been so bad."

Pauline sighed, and as she pressed her darling to her heart, thanked God in silence that it was not a son, who might by a possibility resemble his father.

The child was a delicate infant from its birth; and whether it was the constant sound of its little wailing cries, or that Wentworth was jealous of the mother's passionate devotion to the little creature, or perhaps something of both, but he fairly seemed to hate it as the months went on. But rude and even brutal though he might be, he could not rob Pauline of the happiness of her deep love. She turned resolutely from her husband to her child. What comfort earth had left for her, she would take there.

The long summer months and the infant pined away, and the beautiful mother seemed wasting with it. Mr. and Mrs. Grey were out of town for a few weeks, during which the child became alarmingly low. The physician gave Pauline little hope. It was too weak to be removed for change of air. Nature might rally, but nothing more could be done for it. Pauline attempted to detain her husband by her side, but he shook her rudely off, saying, "Nonsense, you are always fancying the brat ill!" and the young mother was left desolate by the little bed of her dying baby.

We will pass over those hours of agony, for there are no words that can describe them; but by midnight its young spirit had winged its flight to Heaven, and the heart-broken mother wept over it in an anguish few even of parents ever knew.

"That's Mr. Wentworth's step," said the nurse in a low voice to her, as he passed the nursery door. "Shall I go to him, ma'am?"

"No," said Pauline, "I will go. Do you stay here." And rising firmly, she went to her husband's room.

He was lying dressed on the bed as she approached. She laid her hand on his shoulder. He opened his eyes and looked stupidly at her. She told him their child was dead—and he laughed a stupid, brutal laugh—the laugh of intoxication.

Pauline shuddered from head to foot, and returned to the bed of her dead child; and when Mr. and Mrs. Grey, who had been sent for, arrived in the morning;[269] they found her as she had lain all night, her arms clasped round the infant, and moaning wildly, as one who has no hope on earth.

"Take me—take me home!" she said, as she threw herself into her mother's arms.

"Never, my child, to be parted from us again," said her father, as he pressed her passionately to his heart.

They understood each other, and when the funeral was over, without one word to "Wentworth—for Pauline could bear nothing more—Mr. Grey took Pauline home.

That night she was in a high fever, and for two or three days she continued alarmingly ill—but at the end of that time she was enabled to sit up.

Mr. Grey had, meanwhile, seen Wentworth; but the nature of their conversation he did not repeat to his daughter.

One afternoon, however, he came into her sick room, and said,

"Pauline, are you strong enough to see your husband. He entreats to see you, if but for a few minutes." Pauline murmured an acquiescence.

"My dear," said Mr. Grey, "you must leave them—I have promised it; but Mrs. Granger (the nurse) will remain."

Wentworth presently entered. He seemed calm, for the nurse's eye was upon him; asked her how she was, and talked for a few minutes, and then getting up, as if to take Pauline's hand for farewell, he approached his lips close to her ear, said some low muttered words, and left the room.

Pauline did not speak for some time after he had withdrawn, and the nurse receiving no answer to some question she had asked her, went up to her, and found she had fainted.

Shivering succeeded to fainting fits—faintings to shivering; they thought that night that she was dying.

A few days after she said, in a quick, low, frightened voice to her mother,

"Lock the doors mother, quick!"

Much startled, Mrs. Grey did instantly as Pauline requested, and then her ear, less fine than the sensitive organ of her unhappy daughter, caught the sound of Wentworth's voice in the hall below.

"Fear not, my Pauline," she said, as she took her in her arms, "your father will protect you;" but no sound escaped Pauline's lips. She was evidently intently listening. Soon loud voices were heard, doors shutting—and then the street door with a bang. Presently Mr. Grey's measured tread was heard coming up stairs, and next his hand was on the lock.

"Is he alone?" were the first words Pauline had uttered since she had heard her husband's voice.

"He is, my child."

"Pauline, fear not, you shall never see him again," were the words of her father, uttered in a calm but deep voice.

That night Pauline slept tranquilly, for the first time almost since she had known Wentworth.

She seemed revived in the morning, and Mrs. Grey's hopes rose again, but only to be dashed once more forever.

The iron had eaten too deeply in her soul. Pauline's slight frame had no power of renovation. The spirit seemed to grow brighter and brighter as she wasted away. Unutterable love and gratitude looked out from her eyes, as she turned them from her father and mother, alternately; but she was too weak to say much, and gently thus she faded away to fall asleep upon earth, awakening a purified and regenerated spirit in heaven.

Her's was "a broken and a contrite heart," and of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Could mortal agony such as Mr. Grey's be added to, as he followed his idolized child to the grave?

Yes—even there something was to be added—for Wentworth, as chief mourner, stepped forward and offered his arm to the unhappy father, which, even at that moment, and in that presence, Mr. Grey could not help shaking off.

And what have this childless, broken-hearted couple left of their beautiful daughter?

A picture—delicate and lovely in its lineaments, but

"To those who see thee not, my words are weak,
To those who gaze on thee, what language could they speak."

The canvas must fail in the life-speaking eye; and exquisite though the pictured image be, oh! how cold to those who knew and idolized the beautiful original.

Heaven help you, unhappy parents! Your all was wrecked in that one frail bark. Though friends may sympathize at first, yet they will grow weary of your grief—for such is human nature. God comfort you! for there is no earthly hope for those who have lost their only child.


Image of loveliness! in thee I view
The bright, the fair, the perfect counterpart,
Of that which love hath graven on my heart.
In every lineament, to nature true,
Methinks I can discern her spirit through
Each feature gleaming; soft, serene and mild,
And gentle as when on me first she smiled,
Stirring my heart with passions strange and new.
Would that my tongue could celebrate the praise
Of thy divine original, or swell
The general chorus, or in lofty lays
Of her celestial grace and beauty tell,
But fancy flutters on her unplumed wing,
None but an angel's harp, an angel's praise should sing.

C. E. T.




About the middle of August, the village was honored by repeated visits from the little ragged population of "Barlow's Settlement," on the "Barrens," with quantities of whortleberries for sale. "Want any huckleberries to-day?" was heard all over. You couldn't stir abroad without some urchin with a smirched face—a tattered coat, whose skirts swept the dust, showing, evidently, its paternal descent, and pantaloons patched in the most conspicuous places, more picturesque than decent—thrusting a basket of the rich fruit into your very face, with an impudent yell of "huckleberries, sir?" or some little girl, the edges of whose scanty frock were irregularly scalloped, making a timid courtesy, saying meekly, "Don't you want some berries to-day, sir? nice berries, sir, just picked!"

At length Bill Brattle, who is a resident of the settlement, came into the village, and said in Wilson's bar-room, "that he'd lived on the Barrens nigh on six years, and he'd never in all that 'ere time seed sich an allfired grist of huckleberries. Why there was acres on acres on 'em, and he didn't tell no lie when he said that the airth was parfectly blue with 'em."

This soon got about, and the consequence was a whortleberry party the very next day. A number of the young people, of both sexes, started in several conveyances, and about noon found themselves, after rumbling through the covered bridge on the Neversink River, climbing slowly up the steep winding hill that ascends from the east bank of the stream, and whence was a beautiful view of the valley below.

Now there are many fine views in Sullivan. It is an exceedingly picturesque county. It has all the charms of precipitous hills, winding valleys, dark wooded gorges, lovely river-flats, and meandering streams. It is sufficiently cultivated to have the beauty of rural landscape softening the forest scenery, without disturbing to any great degree its wildness and grandeur.

This Neversink valley river, although not among the finest, is nevertheless a very lovely one—

Beneath—the clear placid stream comes coursing from the north, through narrow but beautiful flats, in all the pomp of rural wealth, wrinkled with corn-fields, bearded with rye, and whitened with buckwheat, imaging old age rejoicing amongst its blessings. Opposite, rise steep hills in all the stages of cultivation—the black logging—the grain waving amidst stumps—and the smooth grassy meadow—whilst at the south, where the little river makes a bold turn, the sweet landscape is lost in the deep mantle of the aboriginal forest.

Mastering the hill, the whole cavalcade was soon turning into a stony, root-tangled, miry road, leading from the turnpike into the heart of the "Barrens," the territory of the desired fruit. After sinking and jolting for some little distance, we came to a part of the track which had been laid over with small parallel logs, close to each other, and forming what is called in country parlance "a corduroy road". We "bumped along" (as Jim Stokes, one of our party, a plain young farmer, expressed it) over this railway of the woods, until our bones seemed so loose we thought we could hear them rattle at every jolt; and at last stopped at a large log cabin which had been fitted up as a tavern.

A fierce eagle, with his head nearly all eye, one striped claw grasping a bundle of arrows, and the other the American flag, served for the sign, and was elevated upon a tall hickory sapling, with the ambitious legend of "Eagle Hotel; by A. Pritchard," flaunting in a scroll from the ferocious bird's mouth.

A smaller log structure, with one large door, and a square opening over it, through which a haymow seemed thrusting its brown head, as if to look abroad, with a warm glow of sunshine upon it, told plainly that our horses at all events would not suffer.

In a short time we scattered ourselves over the ground in the vicinity, in search of our fruit. The appearance of things around was quite characteristic of the region generally. The principal growth were a dwarf species of oak, called in the language of the country "scrub-oak"—low shaggy spruces—stunted gnarled pines, and here and there, particularly in low places, tall hemlocks. The earth was perfectly bestrewed with loose stones, between which, however, the moss showed itself, thick and green, with immense quantities of that beautiful creeping plant called the "ground pine," winding and twining its rich emerald branching fingers in every direction. Scores of cattle-paths were twisting and interlacing all around us, giving, in fact, to the scene, notwithstanding its barrenness, a picturesque appearance. There were stone-fences also intersecting each other every where, erected for no earthly purpose, as I could perceive, but to make way with some part of the vast quantities of stone scattered about; for as to cultivating the lots, that was entirely out of the question.

There was some little pasturage, however, and the bells of the browsing cows were heard tinkling in a pleasing manner, and giving somewhat of a social character to the desolate landscape.

We were all soon immersed in our search. The bushes were crouching all around us, bearing their rich clusters of misty blue berries, covered with the soft beautiful down that vanished at the touch leaving the berry dark and glittering as the eye of a squirrel. How like is the down of the fruit to the first gossamer down of the heart—and ah! how soon[271] the latter also vanishes at the rude touch of the world. The pure virgin innocence with which God robes the creature when fresh from His holy hand! why cannot it stay! why, oh why, does it so soon depart and leave the soul disrobed of its charm and loveliness. Harsh world, bad world! it destroys all it touches.

Ahem! we'll return.

Merry laughter breaks out from the girls, and playful scrambles occur amongst them as to who should secure the most fruit. The berries pour in handfuls in the baskets, which show in some cases signs of plethora. I tell you what it is, reader, there is sport in picking whortleberries. Strawberries pout their rich mouths so low that it gives a sore temptation to the blood to make an assault upon the head, causing you, when you lift it, to look darkly upon various green spots dancing about your eyes. Raspberries again, and blackberries, sting like the dev—I beg pardon, making your hands twitch up like a fit of St. Vitus' dance. But picking whortleberries is all plain sailing. Here are the berries and there are your baskets; no getting on your knees, (although it must be confessed the bushes are somewhat low,) and no pricking your fingers to the verge of swearing.

We all hunt in couples—a lover and his sweet-heart—and take different paths. My companion was a tall black-eyed girl, the sight of whom always made my heart beat quicker, in those unsophisticated days. Rare sport we had, and so, doubtless, had the rest. Pick, pick, pick went the fingers—and ruttle, ruttle, ruttle in the baskets ran the berries. Glorious sport! glorious times! We talked, too, as we picked—indeed why should we not—we had the whole English language to ourselves, and no one to disturb us in it—and I tell you what it is—if people can't talk they had better sell their tongue to the surgeons and live only through their eyes. What's the use of existing without talk—ay, and small talk too. Small talk is (as somebody I believe says, although I am not certain, but no matter) the small change of society, and who hasn't the small change, ten chances to one hasn't the large. However, we'll change the theme.

We hear in the distance the hum of male voices, and the light silvery tones of female, broken in upon by frequent laughter and the music of the cow-bells, tingle lingle, tink clink—here—there—far off and near.

All of a sudden, as I part a large thick cluster of whortleberry bushes, I hear an indescribably quick rattle, amounting to a hum as it were—fearful and thrilling in the extreme. I start back, but as I do so I see in the gloom of the bushes two keen blazing orbs, and a long scarlet tongue quivering and dancing like a curl of fire. "A rattlesnake—a rattlesnake," I cry involuntarily—my companion gives a little shriek, and in a moment several of our company, of both sexes, are hastening toward us. It is a peculiarity or want of ability in the reptile to dart only its length, and my first recoil had placed me, I knew, beyond its reach. But there stood the leafy den, studded all over with a profusion of beautiful gems, and although the rattle had ceased, there to a certainty was the enraged monster, swelling doubtless in his yellow venom; for it is another trait of the crawling, poisonous demons never to desert their post, (rather a good trait, by the way, not always possessed by those erect rattlesnakes, men,) and we must get rid of the dragon before we could come at the fruit. Well! what was to be done! We couldn't think of leaving the field—that would be too bad—to be driven off by a snake, and before the eyes of our Dulcineas too—it couldn't be thought of! So one of us cuts a pole with a crotch at the end—the rest of us arm ourselves with stones and sticks, and then the poleman commences his attack upon the bush. Ha! that was a thrust, well aimed! hear him rattle, hum-m-m—how the bush flutters! he sprang then! That was a good thrust! Jupiter, how he rattles! see, see, see, there are his eyes! ugh! there's his tongue! now he darts out his head and neck! Heavens! what malignant rage and ferocity. Keep back, girls! don't be too curious to see! Thrust him again! How he makes the bush flutter! how his eyes shoot around! how his tongue darts in and out—and whir-r-r-r-r-r—how his rattles shake. Now he comes out, head up, tongue out, eyes like coals of fire—give him the stones now—a full battery of them! Halloo! what's Sloan about there with his crotched pole. Well planted, by Jupiter! right around his neck. Ha! ha! ha! how he twists and turns and writhes about—how he would like to bite! how he would like to strike some of that tawny poison of his into our veins! Yes, yes, your snake-ship! but it wont do! "you can't come it," as Loafing Jim says, "no how you can fix it."

He's a tremendous snake though—full four feet! u-g-h! only think of his crawling around and catching hold of the calf of your leg! Not so pleasant as picking whortleberries, to say the least of it. See his gray mottled skin! though it looks beautiful, flashing in the rays of the sun—and then the ribbed white of his undershape! However, what shall we do with him! Sloan, hold him tight now, and I'll aim at his head. Good sharp stone this—whew—well aimed, although I say it—I think he must have felt it this time. Halloo! another stone—from Wescott. I fancy that made his head ache! And that one has crushed it as flat as a—griddle-cake.

We again, after this terrific battle, (a dozen against one though I must confess,) scatter among the bushes. Awful onslaughts are again made amongst the berries, and our baskets (those at all events in sight) are plumping up with the delicious, ripe, azure balls. I have forgotten to mention, though, that it is a very warm day. The sky is of a pale tint, as if the bright, pure, deep blue had been blanched out by the heat; and all around the horizon are wan thunder-caps thrusting up their peaks and summits. It looks decidedly thunderish.

What's that again! another alarm? How that girl does scream out there! What on earth is the matter! We rush around a sand-bank, looking warm and yellow in the sun, and we see the cause of the out[272]break. There is Caroline G. shrinking back as if she would like to evaporate into thin air, and executing a series of shrieks, with her open mouth, of the most thrilling character. Young Mason is a little in front, with a knotted stick, doubtless just picked up, whilst some ten or twelve rods in advance is a great shaggy black bear, very coolly helping himself to the contents of the two baskets hitherto borne by the couple, giving himself time, however, every now and then to look out of his little black eyes at the rightful owners, with rather a spiteful expression, but protruding at the same time his red tongue, like a clown at the circus, as if enjoying the joke of their picking and he eating. Afterward I learned that they had deposited their baskets on the ground under a loaded bush, for greater facility in securing the fruit, when suddenly they heard a blow and a snort, and looking where the queer sounds came from, they saw his Bruinship's white teeth and black phiz within a foot or two of them, directly over the bush. Abandoning their baskets, they retreated in double quick time, and while Mason sought and found a club for defence, Caroline made haste to clear her voice for the most piercing efforts, and succeeded in performing a succession of sustained vocal flights, that a steam whistle couldn't much more than match. The sight as we came up was in truth somewhat alarming, but Bruin didn't seem disposed to be hostile except against the whortleberries, which he certainly made disappear in the most summary manner; so we, after hushing with difficulty Caroline's steam whistle, (I beg her pardon,) stood and watched him. After he had discussed the contents of the baskets, he again looked at us, and, rearing himself upon his hind legs, with his fore paws hanging down like a dancing Shaker, made two or three awkward movements, as if dancing an extempore hornpipe, either in triumph or to thank us for his dinner; he next opened his great jaws in resemblance to a laugh, again thrust out his tongue, saying plainly by it, "hadn't you better pick some more whortleberries," then deliberately fell upon his fore feet and stalked gravely and solemnly away. As for ourselves, we went where he didn't.

It wanted now about an hour to sundown, and this was the time agreed upon by all of us to reunite at Pritchard's and start for home. The beautiful charm of light and shade cast by the slanting rays already began to rest upon the scene. The small oaks were glowing through and through—the thick spruces were kindled up in their outer edges—the patches of moss looked like carpets of gold spread by the little genii of the woods—the whortleberry bushes were drenched in rich radiance, the fruit seeming like the concentrated radiance in the act of dropping—whilst the straggling, tall, surly grenadiers of hemlocks had put on high-pointed yellow caps, with rays streaking through their branches like muskets. The cow-bells were now tinkling everywhere, striking in an odd jumble of tones—tingle ling, tingle ling ting tingle—as their owners collected together to eat their way to their respective milking places—and all told us that the day was drawing to a close. Independently of this, a dark crag of cloud was lifting itself in the southwest, with a pale glance of lightning shooting out of it occasionally, hinting very strongly of an approaching thunder-storm.

In about half an hour we were all re-assembled at Pritchard's. I believe I have not described the scenery around this little log tavern. There was a ravine at some little distance from it, densely clothed with forest. Through it a stream found its way. Directly opposite the side porch, the ravine spread widely on each side, shaping a broad basin of water, and then, contracting again, left a narrow throat across which a dam had been thrown. Over this dam the stream poured in a fall of glittering silver, of about ten feet, and then, pursuing its way through the "Barrens," fell into the Sheldrake Brook several miles below. Here, at the fall, Pritchard had erected a saw-mill.

Now people don't generally think there is any thing very picturesque about saw-mills, but I do. The weather-beaten boards of the low structure, some hanging awry, some with great knot-holes, as if they were gifted with orbs of vision, or were placed there for the mill to breathe through, some fractured, as if the saw had at times become outrageous at being always shut up and made to work there for other people, and had dashed against them, determined to gain its liberty—whilst some seem as if they had become so tantalized by the continual jar of the machinery, that they had loosened their nails, and had set up a clatter and shake themselves in opposition—these are quite picturesque. Then the broad opening in front, exposing the glittering saw bobbing up and down, and pushing its sharp teeth right through the bowels of the great peeled log fastened with iron claws to the sliding platform beneath—the gallows-like frame in which the saw works—the great strap belonging to the machinery issuing out of one corner and gliding into another—the sawyer himself, in a red shirt, now wheeling the log into its place with his handspike and fastening it—and now lifting the gate by the handle protruding near him—the axe leaning at one side and the rifle at the other—the loose floor covered with saw-dust—the stained rafters above with boards laid across for a loft—the dark sloping slab-roof—the great black wheel continually at war with the water, which, dashing bravely against it, finds itself carried off its feet into the buckets, and whirled half around, and then coolly dismissed into the stream below—the long flume through which the water rushes to the unequal fray, and—what next!

Then the pond, too, is not to be overlooked. There are generally some twenty or thirty logs floating in one corner, close to each other, and breaking out into great commotion every time the gate is hoisted—the otter is now and then seen gliding in the farther nooks—and a quick eye may catch, particularly about the dam, where he generally burrows, a glimpse of the musk-rat as he dives down. Now and then too the wild duck will push his beautiful shape with his bright feet through it—the snipe will alight and "teter," as the children say, along the[273] banks—the woodcock will show his brownish red bosom amongst the reeds as he comes to stick his long bill into the black ooze for sucking, as dock-boys stick straws into molasses hogsheads—and once in a great while, the sawyer, if he's wide awake, will see, in the Spring or Fall, the wild goose leaving his migrating wedge overhead, and diving and fluttering about in it, as a momentary bathing place, and to rest for a time his throat, hoarse with uttering his laughably wise and solemn "honk, honk." Nor must the ragged and smirched-faced boys be forgotten, eternally on the logs, or the banks, or in the leaky scow, with their twine and pin-hooks catching "spawney-cooks," and "bull-heads" as worthless as themselves, and as if that were their only business in life. And then the streak of saw-dust running along in the midst of the brook below, and forming yellow nooks to imprison bubbles and sticks and leaves and what not, every now and then making a jet outward and joining the main body—and lastly the saw-mill yard, with its boards, white, dark and golden, piled up in great masses, with narrow lanes running through—and gray glistening logs, with their bark coats off, waiting their turn to be "boarded."

The cloud had now risen higher, with its ragged pointed edges, and murky bosom—sharper lightning flashed athwart it, sometimes in trickling streaks, and sometimes in broad glances, whilst low growls of thunder were every now and then heard. The sun was already swallowed up—and a strange, unnatural, ghastly glare was upon every object. The atmosphere was motionless—not a stir in the thickets around, not a movement in the forest at the ravine. Through the solemn silence the crash of the falling water came upon the ear, and its gleam was caught against the black background of the cloud. It really seemed as if Nature held her breath in anticipating terror. Higher and higher rose the cloud—fiercer and fiercer flashed the lightning, sterner and sterner came the peals of the solemn thunder. Still Nature held her breath, still fear deep and brooding reigned. The wild tint still was spread over all things—the pines and hemlocks near at hand seeming blanched with affright beneath it. Suddenly a darkness smote the air—a mighty rush was heard—the trees seemed falling upon their faces in convulsions, and with a shock as if the atmosphere had been turned into a precipitated mountain, amidst a blinding flash and tearing, splitting roar, onward swept the blast. Another flash—another roar—then tumbled the great sheeted rain. Like blows of the hammer on the anvil beat it on the water—like the smitings of a mounted host trampled it upon the roof—like the spray flying from the cataract smoked it upon the earth. The fierce elements of fire and air and water were now at the climax of their strife—the dark blended shadow of the banners under which they fought almost blotting out the view. Occasionally glimpses of writhing branches could be seen, but only for a moment—all again was dim and obscure, with the tremendous sights and sounds of the storm dazzling the eye and stunning the ear. The lightning would flash with intolerable brilliancy, and immediately would follow the thunder with a rattling leap as if springing from its lair, and then with a deafening, awful weight, as if it had fallen and been splintered into pieces in the sky. Then would re-open the steady deep boom of the rain, and the stern rushing of the chainless wind. At length the air became clearer—the lightning glared at less frequent intervals—the thunder became more rolling and distant, and the tramp of the rain upon the roof less violent. The watery streaks in the atmosphere waxed finer—outlines of objects began to be defined—till suddenly, as a growl of thunder died away in the east, a rich thread of light ran along the landscape, that looked out smiling through its tears; and thronging out into the damp fresh, sweet air, where the delicate gauze-like rain was glittering and trembling, we saw on one hand the great sun looking from a space of glowing sky upon the scene, and dashing upon the parting clouds the most superb and gorgeous hues—whilst on the other smiled the lovely rainbow, the Ariel of the tempest, spanning the black cloud and soaring over the illuminated earth, like Hope spreading her brilliant halo over the Christian's brow, and brightening with her beautiful presence his impending death.

We all concluded to wait for the moon to rise before we started for home, and in the meanwhile another cloud arose and made demonstration. This storm, however, was neither so long nor so violent as the first, and we found attraction in viewing the lightning striking into ghastly convulsions the landscape—so that the falling rain—the bowed trees—the drenched earth—the streaked mill, and the gleaming water-fall were opened to our view for an instant, and then dropped as it were again into the blackness. But after a while the sky cleared its forehead of all its frowns—the broad moon wheeled up—and in her rich glory we again moved slowly along the rough road, until we came to the smooth turnpike, where we dashed along homeward, with the cool, scented air in our faces, and the sweet smile of the sun's gentle and lovely sister resting all about us, making the magnificent Night appear like Day with a veil of softening silver over his dazzling brow.


Be firm, and be cheerful. The creature who lightens
The natural burdens of life when he may,
Who smiles at small evils, enhances and brightens
The pleasures which Heaven has spread in his way.
Then why yield your spirits to care and to sorrow?
Rejoice in the present, and smile while you may;
Nor, by thinking of woes which may spring up to-morrow,
Lose the blessings which Heaven has granted to-day.



With heart that thrilled to every earnest line,
I had been reading o'er that antique story,
Wherein the youth half human, half divine,
Of all love-lore the Eidolon and glory,
Child of the Sun, with music's pleading spell,
In Pluto's palace swept, for love, his golden shell!
And in the wild, sweet legend, dimly traced,
My own heart's history unfolded seemed:—
Ah! lost one! by thy lover-minstrel graced
With homage pure as ever woman dreamed,
Too fondly worshiped, since such fate befell,
Was it not sweet to die—because beloved too well?
The scene is round me!—Throned amid the gloom,
As a flower smiles on Ætna's fatal breast,
Young Proserpine beside her lord doth bloom;
And near—of Orpheus' soul, oh! idol blest!—
While low for thee he tunes his lyre of light,
I see thy meek, fair form dawn through that lurid night!
I see the glorious boy—his dark locks wreathing
Wildly the wan and spiritual brow,
His sweet, curved lip the soul of music breathing;
His blue Greek eyes, that speak Love's loyal vow;
I see him bend on thee that eloquent glance,
The while those wondrous notes the realm of terror trance!
I see his face, with more than mortal beauty
Kindling, as armed with that sweet lyre alone,
Pledged to a holy and heroic duty,
He stands serene before the awful throne,
And looks on Hades' horrors with clear eyes,
Since thou, his own adored Eurydice, art nigh!
Now soft and low a prelude sweet uprings,
As if a prisoned angel—pleading there
For life and love—were fettered 'neath the strings,
And poured his passionate soul upon the air!
Anon, it clangs with wild, exultant swell,
Till the full pæan peals triumphantly through Hell!
And thou—thy pale hands meekly locked before thee—
Thy sad eyes drinking life from his dear gaze—
Thy lips apart—thy hair a halo o'er thee,
Trailing around thy throat its golden maze—
Thus—with all words in passionate silence dying—
Within thy soul I hear Love's eager voice replying—
"Play on, mine Orpheus! Lo! while these are gazing,
Charmed into statues by thy God-taught strain,
I—I alone, to thy dear face upraising
My tearful glance, the life of life regain!
For every tone that steals into my heart
Doth to its worn, weak pulse a mighty power impart.
Play on, mine Orpheus! while thy music floats
Through the dread realm, divine with truth and grace,
See, dear one! how the chain of linked notes
Has fettered every spirit in its place!
Even Death, beside me, still and helpless lies;
And strives in vain to chill my frame with his cold eyes.
Still, mine own Orpheus, sweep the golden lyre!
Ah! dost thou mark how gentle Proserpine,
With claspèd hands, and eyes whose azore fire
Gleams through quick tears, thrilled by thy lay, doth lean
Her graceful head upon her stern lord's breast,
Like an o'erwearied child, whom music lulls to rest?
Play my proud minstrel! strike the chords again!
Lo! Victory crowns at last thy heavenly skill!
For Pluto turns relenting to the strain—
He waves his hand—he speaks his awful will!
My glorious Greek! lead on; but ah! still lend
Thy soul to thy sweet lyre, lest yet thou lose thy friend!
Think not of me! Think rather of the time,
When moved by thy resistless melody,
To the strange magic of a song sublime,
Thy argo grandly glided to the sea!
And in the majesty Minerva gave,
The graceful galley swept, with joy, the sounding wave!
Or see, in Fancy's dream, thy Thracian trees,
Their proud heads bent submissive to the sound,
Swayed by a tuneful and enchanted breeze,
March to slow music o'er th' astonished ground—
Grove after grove descending from the hills,
While round thee weave their dance the glad, harmonious rills.
Think not of me! Ha! by thy mighty sire,
My lord, my king! recall the dread behest!
Turn not—ah! turn not back those eyes of fire!
Oh! lost, forever lost! undone! unblest!
I faint, I die!—the serpent's fang once more
Is here!—nay, grieve not thus! Life but not Love is o'er!



When the day-king is descending
On the blue hill's breast to lie,
And some spirit-artist blending
On the flushed and bending sky
All the rainbow's hues, I listen
To the breeze, while in my eye
Tears of bitter anguish glisten,
As I think of days gone by.
Change, relentless change is lighting
On the brow of young and fair,
And with iron hand is writing
Tales of grief and sorrow there.
On life's journey friends have faltered,
And beside its pathway lie,
But that breeze, with voice unaltered,
Sings as in the days gone by.
Sings old songs to soothe the anguish
Of a heart whose hopes are flown;
Cheering one condemned to languish
In this weary world alone;
Tells old tales of loved ones o'er me,
Dearest ones, remembered well,
That have passed away before me,
In a brighter land to dwell.




All persons naturally exhibit a great desire to become acquainted with the events of the lives of those individuals who have made themselves or their country illustrious. It is very pleasant to inquire into the nature of the studies which matured their minds, to examine the incidents of their early career, and follow them through the obscurer portions of their lives for the purpose of ascertaining if the man corresponds with the idea we have formed of him.

Gen. Worth has recently attracted so much attention, and the events of his whole life have been so stirring, that this is peculiarly the case with him. No one can think without interest of one who, while a boy almost, opposed the British veterans at Chippewa and Lundy's Lane, and in his manhood won a yet higher reputation amid the hamacs of Florida, and in front of the batteries of Molino del Rey and Monterey. It is, however, a matter of much regret that of Worth's early history and family annals but little is known. It is true, no man in the army has been the theme of so much camp-fire gossip, or the hero of so many gratuitous fabrications; but we are able to learn nothing of him previous to his entry into the service. A thousand anecdotes without any basis in truth have been told of him, altogether to no purpose; for one who has so many real claims to distinction need never appeal to factitious honors.

Gen. Worth, at the commencement of the last war with Great Britain, is said to have been a resident of Albany, N. Y., and to have been engaged in commercial pursuits. Animated by the feeling of patriotism which pervaded the whole people, he left the desk and ledger, and is said to have enlisted in the 2nd regiment of artillery, then commanded by Col. Izard, afterward a general officer of distinction. The lieut. colonel of one of the battalions of this regiment was Winfield Scott, the attention of whom Worth is said soon to have attracted. Col. Scott is said to have exerted himself to procure him a commission, and to have taken care of his advancement. This may or may not be true; it is sure, however, that Worth first appears in a prominent position in the military annals of the United States as the aid-de-camp and protegé of General Scott, at the battle of Chippewa, where Scott was a brigadier. Worth was his aid, having in the interim become a first lieutenant.

No man in America is ignorant of the events of that day, which retrieved the disgrace of Hull's surrender, and reflected the greatest honor on all the participants in its events. For his gallantry and good conduct, Mr. Madison bestowed on Lieut. Worth the brevet of captain; and he was mentioned in the highest terms in the general orders of the officers under whom he served. The brevet of Worth was announced to the army and nation in the same order which told of the promotion of McNeil, Jessup, Towson, and Leavenworth. Strangely enough, though death has been busy with the officers of the last war, all who were breveted for their services on that occasion, with one or two exceptions, are now alive. The battle of Chippewa occurred on the 5th of July, 1814, and was the dale of Worth's first brevet.

Though a brevet captain, Worth continued with Scott in the important position of aid-de-camp, and served in that capacity at Lundy's Lane, in the battle of July 25th, 1814. On that occasion he distinguished himself in the highest degree, and won the reputation his whole subsequent career has confirmed, of coolness, decision, and activity. During this engagement the whole British force was thrown on the 9th foot, commanded by the veteran Lieut. Col. Leavenworth. This officer sent for aid to Gen. Scott, who on that occasion gave Gen. Taylor the example after which that gallant general acted at Buena Vesta. He repaired to the menaced point with the strong reinforcement of his own person and aid, and had the proud satisfaction of seeing the attacking column beaten back, and the general who led it made prisoner. At the moment of success, however, both Scott and Capt. Worth fell wounded severely. The country appreciated their services, and each received from Mr. Madison the brevet of another grade, with date from the day of the battle. Major Worth soon recovered, but, attached to Gen. Scott's person, accompanied him southward, as soon as the wound of the latter enabled him to bear the fatigue of travel.

When peace came Worth was a captain in the line and a major by brevet, with which rank he was assigned to the military command of the corps of Cadets at West Point. This appointment, ever conferred on men of talent, is the highest compliment an officer of the service of the United States can receive in time of peace. To Worth it was doubly grateful, because he was not an elevé of the institution. Ten years after the battle of Niagara, Major Worth was breveted a lieutenant colonel, and when in 1832 the ordnance corps was established, he became one of its majors. In July, 1832, on the organization of the 8th infantry, Lieut. Col. Worth was appointed to its colonelcy.

Hitherto we have seen Worth in a subordinate position, where he was unable to exhibit the highest qualification of a soldier, that of command. Since his entry into the service he had been either an officer of the staff, or separated from troops. He was now called on to participate in far more stirring scenes. The war against the Seminoles in Florida had long been a subject of great anxiety to both the government and the people, and thither Worth was ordered, after a brief but effective tour of service on the northern frontier, then infested by the Canadian insurgents. At first he acted subordinately to the late Gen. Armistead, but, on the retirement of that officer, assumed command. The war was prosecuted by him with new vigor, and the Indians defeated ultimately at Pilaklakaha, near the St. John, April 17,[276] 1842. This fight was virtually the termination of the war, the enemy never again having shown himself in force. Gen. Worth was highly complimented for his services on this occasion, and received the brevet of brigadier general.

During the season of peace which followed Gen. Worth remained almost constantly with his regiment, which more than once changed its station; and when the contest with Mexico began, reported to Gen. Taylor at Corpus Christi. His situation here was peculiar, and he became involved in a dispute in relation to precedence and command with the then Col. Twiggs, of the 2nd dragoons. The latter officer was by several years Worth's senior in the line, and, according to the usual opinion in the army, entitled to command, though many of the most accomplished soldiers of the service thought the brevet of Worth, on this occasion at least, where the corps d'armée was made up of detachments, valid as a commission. This dispute became so serious that Gen. Taylor interfered, and having sustained Col. Twiggs, Gen. Worth immediately tendered his resignation to the President.

There is no doubt but that the decision in favor of Gen. Twiggs was correct, and that Worth was radically wrong in his conception of the effect of his brevet. He, however, had been brought up under the eye of Gen. Scott, who entertained the same ideas on this subject, and who, years before, under precisely similar circumstances, had resigned his commission. Gen. Worth having proceeded from the Rio Grande to Washington, the President refused to accept his resignation, and he returned at once to the army.

The resignation of Worth was a most untoward circumstance, for during his absence from the army hostilities commenced, and he lost all participation in the battles of Palo Alto and La Resaca.

When, after the capture of Matamoras, the army again advanced, Worth had resumed his post, and acquiesced cheerfully in the decision which had been given against him. The laurels he had not grasped on the Rio Grande were won in front of the batteries of La Loma de la Independencia, and in the streets of Monterey. Amid the countless feats of daring recorded by military history, none will be found to surpass his achievements in the slow, painful, but bold entry he effected through a city swarming with defenders, to the very plaza. For his gallantry on this occasion he received the brevet of major general, and, with the exception of Generals Scott and Taylor, is believed to be the only officer in the service who has received three war-brevets. Gen. Worth from this time became one of the national idols.

When Gen. Scott assumed command of the expedition against Vera Cruz and the capital, one of his first acts was to order Gen. Worth and the remnant of his division to join him. The general-in-chief remembered the events, on the northern frontier, of 1814, and anticipated much in Mexico. He was not disappointed in this expectation, for at Vera Cruz and in the valley of Mexico, his old aid did not disappoint him, and proved that service had but matured the judgment of the soldier of Chippewa and Niagara.

It was at Molino del Rey that Worth displayed his powers with most brilliancy. When it became evident that the city of Mexico must be taken by force, a prominent position was assigned to Gen. Worth, who, with his division and Cadwallader's brigade, was ordered to carry the strong position of Molino del Rey, and destroy its defences. This spot is famous in Mexican history as Casas Matas, and and is the scene of the famous plan, or revolution, of Feb. 2, 1823, by virtue of which a republican form of government may be said to exist in Mexico. It lies westward of Chapultepec, the old palace of the Aztec kings, and from the nature of its position, and the careful manner in which it was fortified, was a position of great strength. It lay at the foot of a rapid declivity, enfiladed by the fire of Chapultepec, and so situated, that not a shot could be discharged but must fall into an assailing column.

Under these great difficulties the works were carried, Worth all the while marching with the column, and directing the operations of the horse artillery and infantry of which it was composed. In respect to this part of the operations in front of Mexico Gen. Scott adopted, without comment, the report of Gen. Worth. This is a rare compliment, and proceeding from such a person as Scott should be highly estimated.

After the capture of the city of Mexico, difficulties occurred between Gen. Worth and the general-in-chief, and a friendship of thirty-five years was apparently terminated. The matter is now the subject of consideration before a competent tribunal, and non nobis tantas componerelites.

Gen. Worth is yet in Mexico. His age is about fifty-six or eight, and in his personal appearance are mingled the bearing of the soldier and of the gentleman. The excellent portrait given of him is from a Daguerreotype by Mr. Clarke, of New York.


When first peeps out from earth the modest vine,
Asking but little space to live and grow,
How easily some step, without design,
May crush the being from a thing so low!
But let the hand that doth delight to show
Support to feebleness, the tendril twine
Around some lattice-work, and 'twill bestow
Its thanks in fragrance, and with blossoms shine.
And thus, when Genius first puts forth its shoot—
So timid, that it scarce dare ask to live—
The tender germ, if trodden under foot,
Shrinks back again to its undying root;
While kindly training bids it upward strive,
And to the future flowers immortal give. E. C. KINNEY.





"Report says that my queenly cousin is to lay aside her absolute sceptre, and submit to a lord and master," said George Mason, to his cousin, Emily Earl, as she took his arm for an evening walk.

"If you mean that I am to be married, that is a report which truth does not require me to contradict," said the young lady, in a tone adapted to repress the familiar manner of her companion. He had just returned from a long absence in a foreign land. His early youth had been passed in his uncle's family. He left his cousin a beautiful girl. He found her on his return a still more beautiful woman.

"I am very anxious," said he, with a slight change of manner, "to see the man who has drawn so splendid a prize. Is he like the picture you drew of the man you would marry, as we sat by the willow brook from the rising of the moon to its meridian? You remember that most beautiful night?"

"It is not desirable to remember all the follies of childhood," said Emily, coldly. Mason was silent. It was plain that they were no longer what they had been, brother and sister.

After walking for some distance in silence, Emily remarked, in a tone inviting conversation, "You must have seen a great deal of the world."

"I have had some means of observation," he replied, "but I have seen nothing to wean me from this spot, and from my friends here."

"Your friends are obliged to you for the compliment."

"I did not intend the remark as a compliment." Again there was an interval of silence. "I have been absent four years," said Mason, as though speaking to himself, "and I am not conscious of any change, so far as my feelings are concerned. The same persons and things which I then loved, I love now. The same views of life which I then cherished I cherish now."

"Experience and knowledge of the world," said Emily, "ought to give wisdom."

"I am so perverse as to regard it as wisdom to hold on to the dreams of our early days."

"Our views ought, it seems to me, to change as we grow older."

"I am not sure that we ought to grow old, so far as our feelings are concerned."

"You would engage in the vain effort to retain the dews and freshness of morning, after the sun has arisen with a burning heat."

"I believe the dew of our youth may be preserved even until old age."

"I am surprised that acquaintance with the world has not corrected your views of life. One would think that you had lived in entire seclusion."

"I am surprised that the romantic, warm-hearted Emily Earl should become the worldly-wise lecturer of her cousin."

"We had better speak upon some other subject. Had you a pleasant voyage homeward?"

"Yes. It could not be otherwise, when my face was toward 'my own, my native land,' and the friends so fresh in my remembrance."

A slight shade of displeasure flitted across Emily's features. She made no remark.

"Where is Susan Grey?" said Mason.

"She is dead."

"Indeed! She was just my own age. She was a single-hearted girl."

"She often inquired for you. You never fancied yourself in love with her?"

"No. Why that question?"

"She was under the impression that we were engaged, and seemed quite relieved when I informed her that she was mistaken."

"What has become of Mary Carver?"

"She is married, and lives in that house," pointing to a miserable hut near at hand.

"Is it possible?"

"Her husband is intemperate. It was a clandestine marriage—a love match, you know."

"Was her husband intemperate when she married him?"

"Not habitually so. He was so very romantic and devoted to her; so that, I suppose, she thought she could reform him."

"What has become of Mr. Ralston, your old friend?" admirer, he would have said, but he deemed it unwise.

"He is a lawyer here, in a small way. I believe they think of sending him to Congress."

"Is he married?"


"I thought he seemed to be attached to you; at least I hoped that he would become my cousin."

"I will answer your questions in regard to others—my own affairs do not require remark."

This rebuke, so unlike any thing he had ever received from his cousin, led him to fix his gaze upon her countenance, as if to make sure of her identity. There could be no mistake. There was the same brilliant eye, the same faultless features on which he had gazed in former years. A conciliating smile led him to resume his inquiries.

"Is Eliza Austin married?" His voice, as he asked this question, was far from natural, perhaps in consequence of the agitation which the rebuke just spoken of had occasioned.

"No; she lives somewhere in the village, I don't know exactly where."[278]

"Do you ever see her?"

"Yes; she lives with her aunt, who sometimes washes for us, so that I see her niece occasionally."

"Why does she live with her aunt?"

"Her mother died soon after you went away."

"Eliza still lives in the village, then?" To this very unnecessary question his cousin bowed in reply. Few words more passed between them during the remainder of their walk.

"You do not stay out as late as you used to do," said Mrs. Earl, as they entered the parlor.

"We are no longer children," said Emily. Mason could scarcely repress an audible sigh, as those words fell from her lips. At an early hour, he repaired to his chamber.


George Mason was left an orphan in his early youth. He then became a member of his uncle's family, and the constant companion of his cousin Emily. He desired no society but hers. Her slightly imperious temper did not interfere with the growth of his affection. She had a sister's place in his glowing heart. He was in some sense her teacher, and she caught something of his romantic nature. Of the little circle of her associates, he was the idol.

At the age of fourteen he left home to pursue his studies for two years at a public institution. At the end of that period he became a clerk in a large commercial establishment in the city. At the close of the first year he accompanied one of the principals abroad, and remained there in charge of the business for nearly four years. He was now on the high road to wealth.

Soon after George Mason had gone abroad, Emily Earl went to the city to complete her education. She was in due time initiated into the mysteries of fashionable life. Introduced to society by a relative of unquestionable rank, her face and form presented attractions sufficient to make her the object of attention and flattery. Four successive winters were passed in the city. She was the foremost object of all "who flattered, sought, and sued." Is it strange that her judgment was perverted, and her heart eaten out? Is it strange that her cousin found her a changed being?

She had engaged to marry one whose claim to her regard was the thousands he possessed, and the eagerness with which he was sought by those whose chief end was an establishment in life. She had taught herself to believe that the yearnings of the heart were to be classed with the follies of childhood.

Henry Ralston was the son of a small farmer, or rather of a man who was the possessor of a small farm, and of a large soul. Henry was modest, yet aspiring; gentle, yet intense in his affections. The patient toil and rigid self-denial of his father gave him the advantage of an excellent education. In childhood he was the frequent companion of George and Emily. Even then an attachment sprung up in his heart for his fair playmate. This was quietly cherished; and when he entered upon the practice of the law in his native village, he offered Emily his hand. It was, without hesitation or apparent pain, rejected. Thus she cast away the only true heart which was ever laid upon the altar of her beauty. He bore the disappointment with outward calmness, though the iron entered his soul. He gave all his energies to the labors of his profession. Such was the impression of his ability and worth, that he was about to be supported, apparently without opposition, for a seat in the national councils.

Eliza Austin was the daughter of a deceased minister, who had worn himself out in the cause of benevolence, and died, leaving his wife and daughter penniless. She was several years younger than George and Emily; but early trials seemed to give an early maturity to her mind. She was seldom their companion, for her young days were spent in toil, aiding her mother in her efforts to obtain a scanty subsistence. Her intelligence, her perception of the beautiful, and her devotion to her mother made a deep impression upon George, and led him to regard her as he regarded no other earthly being. Long before the idea of love was associated with her name, he felt for her a respect approaching to veneration. He had often desired to write to her during his absence, but his entire ignorance of her situation rendered it unwise.

The waters of affliction had been wrung out to her in a full cup. The long and distressing sickness of her mother was ended only by the grave. She was then invited to take up her abode with her father's sister, whose intemperate husband had broken her spirit, but had not exhausted her heart. It was sad for Eliza to exchange the quiet home, the voice of affection, of prayer, and of praise, for the harsh criminations of the drunkard's abode. She would have left that abode for service, but for the distress it would have given her aunt.

Death at length removed the tormentor, and those who had ministered to his appetite swept away all his property.

The mind of Aunt Mary, now more than half a wreck, utterly revolted at the idea of separation from her niece. Eliza could not leave her. Declining an eligible situation as a teacher in a distant village, she rendered her aunt all the assistance in her power in her lowly employment—believing that the path dictated by affection and duty, though it might meet with the neglect and the scorn of men, would not fail to secure the approbation of God.


"Well, George," said Mr. Earl, as they were seated at the breakfast-table, "how do you intend to dispose of yourself to-day?"

"I have a great many old friends to visit, sir."

"It may not be convenient for some of them to see you early in the morning."

"Some of them, I think, will not be at all particular respecting the time of my visits. There is the white rock by the falls which I must give an hour to; and I must see if the old trout who lived under it has taken as good care of himself during my absence as he did before I went away. And there[279] is the willow grove, too, which I wish very much to see."

"It has been cut down."

"Cut down!—what for?"

"Mr. Bullard thought it interfered with his prospect."

"Why did you not interfere, cousin?" turning to Emily.

"It was nothing to me what he did with his grove," said Emily.

"Oh, I had forgotten—" George did not finish the sentence. He turned the conversation to some of the ordinary topics of the day.

After breakfast, he set out for Willow Brook, and seated himself upon the white rock. The years that had passed since in childhood he sat upon that rock, were reviewed by him. Though he had met with trials and temptations, yet he was thankful that he could return to that rock with so many of the feelings of childhood; that his heart's best emotions had not been polluted by the world, but were as yet pure as the crystal stream before him.

When he rose from that rock, instead of visiting the other haunts of his early days, he found himself moving toward the village. Now and then a familiar face was seen. By those who recognized him, he was warmly greeted. It was not until he met a stranger that he inquired for the residence of the widow and her niece. He was directed to a small dwelling in a narrow lane. He knocked at the open door. The widow, who was busily employed in smoothing the white linen before her, bade him enter, but paused not from her work.

"Is Eliza at home?" said Mason.

"Who can you be that want to see Eliza?" said the poor woman, still not lifting her eyes from her work.

"I am an old friend of hers," said Mason.

"A friend! a friend!" said she, pausing and looking upward, as if striving to recall the idea belonging to the word. "Yes, she had friends once—where have they gone?"

Again she plied her task, as if unconscious of his presence. He seated himself and watched her countenance, which revealed so sad a history. Her lips kept moving, and now and then she spoke aloud. "Poor girl! a hard life has she had—it may all be right, but I can't see how; and now she might be a lady if she would leave her poor, half-crazy aunt." Her whispers were then inaudible. Soon she turned to Mason and said, as if in reply to a question, "No, I never heard her complain. When those she used to visit don't know her, and look the other way when they meet her, she never complains. What will become of her when her poor old aunt is gone? Who will take care of her?"

"I will," said Mason.

"Who may you be?" said she, scanning his countenance as if she had now seen him for the first time.

"A friend of her childhood."

"What is your name?"

"George Mason."

"George Mason! George Mason!—I have heard that name before. It was the name she had over so often when she had the fever, poor thing! I did not know what she said, though she did not say a word during the whole time that would not look well printed in a book. Did you use to live in the big white house?"

"Yes, I used to live with my Uncle Earl."

"And with that lady," laying a fierce emphasis upon the word, "who never speaks to Eliza now, though Eliza watched night after night with her when she was on the borders of the grave. Are you like her?" observing him to hesitate, she asked in a more excited manner, "are you like Emily Earl?" Fearing that her clouded mind might receive an impression difficult to remove, he promptly answered "No."

"I am glad of it," said the widow, resuming her work.

The last question and its answer was overheard by Eliza, as she was coming in from the garden where she had been attending to a few flowers. She turned deadly pale as she saw Mason, and remained standing in the door. He arose and took her hand in both of his, and was scarcely able to pronounce her name. The good aunt stood with uplifted hands, gazing with ludicrous amazement at the scene. Eliza was the first to recover her self-possession. She introduced Mason to her aunt as an old friend.

"Friend!—are you sure he is a friend?"

"He is a friend," said Mason, "who is very grateful to you for the love you have borne her, and the care you have taken of her."

"There," said she, opening a door which led to a parlor, perhaps ten feet square, motioning to them to enter. Mason, still retaining her trembling hand, led Eliza into the room, and seated her on the sofa, the chief article of furniture it contained. Her eyes met his earnest gaze. They were immediately filled with tears. His own overflowed. He threw his arm around her, and they mingled their tears in silence. It was long ere the first word was spoken. Eliza at length seemed to wake as from a dream.

"What am I doing?" said she, attempting to remove his arm, "we are almost strangers."

"Eliza," said he, solemnly, "do you say what you feel?"

"No, but I know not—" she could not finish the sentence.

"Eliza, you are dearer to me than any one upon earth." She made no efforts to resist the pressure of his arm. There were moments of eloquent silence.

"Eliza, will you become my wife?"

"Do you know how utterly destitute I am?"

"That has no connection with my question."

"If you are the same George Mason you used to be, you wish for a direct answer. I will." It was not till this word was spoken that he ventured to impress a kiss upon her cheek.

"I have not done right," said Eliza; "you can never know how much I owe to that dear aunt. I ought not to engage myself without her consent—I can never be separated from her."

"You cannot suppose that I would wish you to be separated."[280]

"You are the same—" she was about to add some epithets of praise, but checked herself. "How is it that you have remained unchanged?"

"By keeping bright an image in my heart of hearts."

With some difficulty Eliza rose, and opening the door, spoke to her aunt. She came and stood in the door.

"Well, ma'am," said Mason, "I have gained Eliza's consent to change her name, if you will give your consent." She stood as one bewildered. The cloud which rested on her countenance was painful to behold. It was necessary to repeat his remark before she could apprehend it.

"Ah, is it so? It has come at last. He doeth all things well. I hadn't faith to trust Him. He doeth all things well."

"We have your consent?"

"If she is half as loving to you as she has been to me, you will never be sorry. But what will become of me?"

"We have no idea of parting with you. She has given her consent only on condition that you go with us." The old lady fixed her gaze upon her niece. It was strange that features so plain, so wrinkled by age and sorrow, could beam with such affection. She could find no words to express her feelings. She closed the door, and was heard sobbing like a child.

Hour after hour stole away unnoted by the lovers. They were summoned to partake of the frugal meal spread by Aunt Mary's hands, and no apologies were made for its lack of store. Again they retired to the little parlor, and it was not till the sun was low in the west, that he set out on his return to the "white house."

"We conclude that you have passed a happy day," said Mrs. Earl, "at least your countenance says so. We began to feel anxious about you."

"I went to the brook first, and then to the village."

"Have you seen many of your old friends?"

"Several of them."

Mason was released from the necessity of answering further questions by the arrival of a carriage at the door. Mr. Earl rose and went to the window. "Mr. Benfield has come," said he. Emily arose and left the room to return in another dress, and with flowers in her hair.

Mr. Benfield was shown to his room, and in a few moments joined the family at the tea-table. Emily received him with a smile, which, however beautiful it may have been, was not like the smile of Eliza Austin. Mason saw that Mr. Benfield belonged to a class with which he was perfectly well acquainted. "It is well," thought he, "that she has filed down her mind, if she must spend her days with a man like him." Mason passed the evening with his uncle, though he was sadly inattentive to his uncle's remarks. Emily and Mr. Benfield took a walk, and on their return did not join the family. Benfield's object in visiting the country at this time was to fix a day for his marriage. The evening was spent by them in discussing matters pertaining to that event.

It was necessary for Mr. Benfield to return to the city on the afternoon of the following day. Mason, for various reasons, determined to accompany him. Part of the morning was spent with Eliza, and arrangements for their union were easily fixed upon. No costly preparations for a wedding were thought to be necessary.

Emily devoted herself so entirely to Mr. Benfield, that Mason had no opportunity of informing her respecting the state of his affairs.

He sought his uncle, expressed to him his gratitude for his kindness, informed him of the state of his pecuniary affairs, and of his affections, and asked his approbation of his intended marriage.

"I can't say, George," said the old gentleman, "but that you have done the wisest thing you could do. Emily may not like it. I have nothing to say against it. I didn't do very differently myself, though it would hardly do to say so aloud now. Emily is to be married in three weeks. You must be with us then."

"Suppose I wish to be married myself on the same evening?"

"Well, I don't know. I think you had better be with us, then make such arrangements as you please, and say nothing to us about it. It may make a little breeze at first, but it will soon blow over. Nobody will like you the worse for it in the end." Heartily thanking his uncle for his frankness and affection, and taking a courteous leave of Emily, he took his departure, with Mr. Benfield, for the city.


The white house was a scene of great activity as the wedding-day drew near. Aunt Mary's services were put in requisition to a much greater extent than usual. When she protested that she could do no more, Mrs. Earl suggested that her niece would help her. Aunt Mary could not help remarking that Eliza might have something else to do as well as Miss Emily.

It was understood that a large number of guests were to be invited.

Many dresses were ordered in anticipation of an invitation. The services of the village dress-maker were in great demand. Eliza ordered a plain white dress—a very unnecessary expenditure, it was thought, since it was certain that she would not receive an invitation. It was a pity that she should thus prepare disappointment for herself, poor thing!

Benfield and Mason arrived together on the appointed day. All things were in order. The preparations were complete. The guests assembled—the "big white house" was filled as it never had been filled before. Suddenly there is a hush in the crowd—the folding-doors are thrown open—the bride and bride-groom are seen, prepared for the ceremony that is to make them one—in law. The words are spoken, the ceremony is performed, the oppressive silence is removed—the noise and gayety common to such occasions take place.

After a time, it was noticed by some that the pastor, and Mason, and Esq. Ralston had disappeared.

They repaired to Aunt Mary's, where a few tried[281] friends had been invited to pass the evening. These friends were sorry that Eliza had not been invited to the wedding, but were pleased to find that she did not seem to be disappointed—she was in such fine spirits. She wore her new white dress, and a few roses in her hair.

The entrance of the pastor, Mr. Mason, and Mr. Ralston, seemed to cause no surprise to Aunt Mary, though it astonished the assembled guests. After a kind word from the pastor to each one present, for they were all members of his flock, Mason arose, and taking Eliza by the hand, said to him, "We are ready." Prayer was offered, the wedding-vows were spoken, and George Mason and Eliza Austin were pronounced husband and wife.

Joy seemed to have brushed away the clouds from Aunt Mary's mind. She conversed with the intelligence of her better days. The guests departed, and ere the lights were extinguished in the parlors of the white house, it was known throughout the village that there had been two weddings instead of one.

Early in the morning, before the news had reached them, Mr. and Mrs. Benfield set out upon their wedding tour. Emily learned her cousin's marriage from the same paper which informed the public of her own.

George Mason had no time for a wedding tour. He removed his wife and her aunt immediately to the city, and at once resumed the labors of his calling.

Emily did not become acquainted with Mrs. Mason, until Mr. Benfield had failed in business, and was enabled to commence again, with capital furnished by her cousin, who had become the leading member of his firm.



Mourner, bending o'er the tomb
Where thy heart's dear treasure lies,
Dark and dreary is thy gloom,
Deep and burdened are thy sighs:
From thy path the light, whose rays
Cheered and guided thee, is gone,
And the future's desert waste
Thou must sadly tread alone.
'Neath the drooping willow's shade,
Where the mourning cypress grows,
The beloved and lost is laid
In a quiet, calm repose.
Silent now the voice whose tones
Wakened rapture in thy breast—
Dull the ear—thy anguished groans
Break not on the sleeper's rest.
Grace and loveliness are fled,
Broken is the "golden bowl,"
Loosed the "silver chord," whose thread
Bound to earth th' immortal soul.
Closed the eyes whose glance so dear
Once love's language fond could speak,
And the worm, foul banqueter,
Riots on that matchless cheek.
And the night winds, as they sweep
In their solemn grandeur by,
With a cadence wild and deep,
Mournfully their requiem sigh.
And each plant and leaf and flower
Bows responsive to the wail,
Chanted, at the midnight hour,
By the spirits of the gale.
Truly has thy sun gone down
In the deepest, darkest gloom,
And the fondest joys thou'st known
Buried are within that tomb.
Earth no solace e'er can bring
To thy torn and bleeding heart—
Time nor art extract the sting
From the conqueror's poisoned dart.
But, amid thy load of wo,
Turn, thou stricken one, thine eyes
Upward, and behold that glow
Spreading brightly o'er the skies!
'Tis the day-star, beaming fair
In the blue expanse above;
Look on high, and know that there
Dwells the object of thy love,
Life's bright harp of thousand strings
By the spoiler's hand was riven,
But the realm seraphic rings
With the victor notes of heaven.
Over death triumphant—lo!
See thy cherished one appear!
Mourner, dry thy tears of wo,
Trust, believe, and meet her there!



Weeds grow unasked, and even some sweet flowers
Spontaneous give their fragrance to the air,
And bloom on hills, in vales and everywhere—
As shines the sun, or fall the summer showers—
But wither while our lips pronounce them fair!
Flowers of more worth repay alone the care,
The nurture, and the hopes of watchful hours;
While plants most cultured have most lasting powers.
So, flowers of Genius that will longest live
Spring not in Mind's uncultivated soil,
But are the birth of time, and mental toil,
And all the culture Learning's hand can give:
Fancies, like wild flowers, in a night may grow;
But thoughts are plants whose stately growth is slow.





Maybe without a further thought,
It only pleased you thus to please,
And thus to kindly feelings wrought
You measured not the sweet degrees;
Yet though you hardly understood
Where I was following at your call,
You might—I dare to say you should—
Have thought how far I had to fall.
And even now in calm review
Of all I lost and all I won,
I cannot deem you wholly true,
Nor wholly just what you have done. MILNES.
There is none
In all this cold and hollow world, no fount
Of deep, strong, deathless love, save that within
A mother's heart. HEMANS.

On paying a visit to my friend Agnes Mason one morning, the servant told me his mistress would be pleased to see me in her dressing-room. Thither I repaired, and found her, to my surprise, surrounded by all sorts of gay, costly articles, appertaining to the costume of a woman of the world. To my surprise, I say, for Agnes has always been one of the greatest home-bodies in the whole circle of my acquaintances. A party, or a ball she has scarcely visited since the first years of her marriage, although possessing ample means to enjoy every gayety of fashionable life.

Over the Psyche glass was thrown a spotless crêpe dress, almost trembling with its rich embroidery; and near it, as if in contrast, on a dress-stand, was a velvet robe, falling in soft, luxurious folds. Flowers, caps, coiffures of various descriptions, peeped out of sundry boxes, and on a commode table was an open écrin whose sparkling, costly contents dazzled the eyes.

"Hey-day!" I exclaimed to my friend, as she advanced to meet me, "what's the meaning of all this splendor?"

"I was just on the point of sending for you," she replied laughingly—"Madame M—— has sent home these lovely things for Lillie and I—and I want your opinion upon them."

"And you are really going to re-enter society?" I asked.

"Lillie is eighteen this winter, you know," was my gentle friend's reply. "Who would have thought time could have flown around so quickly. Mr. Mason is very anxious she should make her entrée this season. You can scarcely fancy how disagreeable it is to me, but I must not be selfish. I cannot always have her with me."

"And you, like a good mother," I said, "will throw aside your love for retirement and accompany her?"

"Certainly," replied Agnes eagerly, and she added with a slight expression of feeling which I well understood—"I will watch over her, for she will need my careful love now even more than in childhood."

"Where is the pretty cause of all this anxiety and attention?" I inquired.

"Charlie would not dress for his morning walk," answered the mother, "unless sister Lillie assisted in the robing of the young tyrant, so she is in the nursery."

We inspected the different robes and gay things spread out so temptingly before us, and grew femininely eloquent over these beautiful trifles, and were most earnestly engaged in admiring the parure of brilliant diamonds, and the spotless pearls, with which the fond, proud father and husband had presented them that morning, when a slight tap was heard at the door, and our pet Lillie entered. A bright-eyed, light-hearted creature is Lillie Mason—a sunbeam to her home. She ran up to me with affectionate greetings, and united in our raptures over the glittering bijouterie.

"How will you like this new life, Lillie?" I asked, as the lovely girl threw herself on a low marchepied at our feet, as if wearied of the pretty things.

"I can scarcely tell," she replied, and she rested her head on her mother's lap, whose hand parted the clustering ringlets on the fair, smooth brow, while Lillie's eyes looked up most lovingly to that beloved mother, as she added—"How we shall miss the quiet reading hours, mother, darling. What time shall we have during our robing and unrobing for 'the gentle Una and her milk-white lamb,' and 'those bright children of the bard, Imogen, the fair Fidele and lovely Desdemona?' What use is there in all this decking and adorning? Life is far happier spent in one's own home."

"I fear," said Agnes, as she fondly caressed her[283] daughter, "that I have made my Lillie too much of a household darling; but I have done it to avoid a greater evil. We women must love something—such a wealth of affection is stored within our hearts, that we are rendered miserable if it is poured out upon one human being, after being pent up within bounds, during childhood and girlhood up to womanhood. Should my Lillie be unfortunate in her love—I mean her wedded love—the misery will not be half so intense, for her heart belongs, at least two-thirds, to her family and mother, and no faithless lover can ever boast the possession of the whole of it."

"No, indeed," exclaimed the dear girl, drawing her mother's face down to hers—"my whole heart is yours, chère maman, and yours it shall always be."

With what rapture gleamed the mother's eyes, as she returned the daughter's fond caresses. Some day, dear reader, I may tell you what happened to Lillie Mason's heart, but now my thoughts are o'er-hung with the dark mantle of the past, and I can only think of the mother's former life.

Agnes Howell was a beautiful girl—there was so much purity in her appearance. The gentle beam of her blue eye was angelic, and her auburn ringlets hung over her clear fair brow and soft cheek as if caressing that lovely face. Then she was such a contrast to her family—an only daughter among a troop of strong, stout clever brothers—merry healthy-minded boys were they, but the gentle Madonna sister in their midst seemed an "angel unawares." Agnes' mother was an excellent woman, strong-minded, pains-taking, but a little hard and obtuse in feeling. She no more understood the gentle spirit and deep heart-yearnings of the daughter God had given her than she did the mystery of life. She loved her with all the strength of her nature, but she made no companion of the quiet girl, and thought if she kept her wardrobe in good order, watched her general health, and directed her serious reading, she did all that was required of her. Agnes grew up a dreamer, an enthusiast; quiet and self-possessed her home training had made her, and a stranger would have wondered at the tide of deep feeling that ebbed and flowed within the breast of that gentle, placid girl. She shrunk from the rude badinage of her boisterous brothers, and finding that little was required of her in the heart-way from her matter-of-fact mother and good-natured, easy father, she lavished the wealth of her love upon an ideal. A woman soon finds, or fancies she finds, the realization of her ideal. Chance threw in Agnes' path one who was superior enough in mind and person to realize any image of a romantic girl's fancy.

I remember well the time Agnes first met Mr. Preston. We were on a visit one summer to some friends together, and while there we met with this accomplished gentleman. How delighted were we both with him, and how enthusiastically did we chant to each other his praises, when in our own room we assisted each other in undressing for the night, or decking ourselves for the gay dinner or evening party. We met with many other gentlemen, and agreeable ones too, on this eventful visit, but Mr. Preston was a star of the first magnitude. I was a few years Agnes' junior, and well satisfied with the attentions I received from the other gentlemen, who deigned to notice so tiny a body as I was; but Mr. Preston soon singled out Agnes. He walked, rode and drove with her: hung over her enraptured when she sung, and listened with earnestness to every word that fell from her lips. She was "many fathom deep in love" ere she knew it—poor girl—and how exquisitely beautiful did this soul's dawning cause her lovely face to appear. The wind surely was not answerable for those burning cheeks and bright, dancing eyes, which she bore after returning from long rides, during which Mr. Preston was her constant companion—and the treasured sprigs of jessamine and verveine which she stored away in the leaves of her journal, after a moonlight ramble in the conservatory, with the same fascinating attendant—did not love cause all this? Naughty love, can the moments of rapture, exquisite though they be, which thou givest, atone for the months and years of deep heart-rending wretchedness which so often ensues?

During the six weeks of that happy visit, Agnes Howell lived out the whole of her heart's existence. Blissful and rapturous were the moments, sleeping or waking, for Hope and Love danced merrily before her. But, alas! while it was the turning point—the event of her life—"it was but an episode" in the existence of the one who entranced her—"but a piping between the scenes." I do not think Mr. Preston ever realized the mischief he did. He was pleased with her appearance. Her purity and naïveté were delightful to him. Her ready appreciation of the true and beautiful in nature and art, interested him; and he sought her as a companion, because she was the most congenial amongst those who surrounded him. He was a man of society, and never stopped to think that the glowing, enthusiastic creature, whose eyes gazed up so confidingly to him, as he conversed of literature and poesy, or whose lips overflowed with earnest, eloquent words, was an innocent, guileless child, into whose Undine nature he had summoned the soul. He had been many years engaged, heart and hand, to another; and circumstances alone had delayed the fulfillment of that engagement. This Agnes knew nothing of, and surrendered herself up, heart and soul, to him, unasked, poor girl! He regarded her as an interesting, lovely girl, but he attributed the enthusiasm and feeling which he unconsciously had called into birth, to the exquisite formation of her spirit, and thought her a most superior creature. No one marked the affaire as I did, for we were surrounded by those who knew of Mr. Preston's situation in life, and his engagement, and who, moreover, regarded Agnes as a child in comparison to him—an unformed woman, quite beneath the choice of one so distingué as was Mr. Preston.

Our visit drew near to a close; the evening before our departure I was looking over some rare and beautiful engravings in the library. A gay party were assembled in the adjoining apartments, and Mr. Preston had been Agnes' partner during the quad[284]rilles and voluptuous waltz. I had lingered in the library, partly from shyness, partly from a desire to take a farewell of my favorite haunt, and look over my pet books and pictures, while the rich waves of melody floated around my ears. At the close of a brilliant waltz, Mr. Preston and Agnes joined me, and I found myself listening with as much earnestness as Agnes to the mellow tones of his voice, while he pointed out to us beauties and defects in the pictures, and heightened the interest we already took in them by classical allusion or thrilling recital. If the subject of a picture was unknown, he would throw around it the web of some fancied story, improvised on the instant. I listened to him with delight; every thing surrounding us tended to increase the effect of the spell. Music swelled in voluptuous cadences, merry voices, and the gushing sound of heart-felt laughter greeted our ears. Opposite the table over which we were leaning was a door, which opened into a conservatory, through whose glasses streamed the cold, pure moonlight, beaming on the exotics that in silence breathed an almost over-powering odor; and my eyes dwelt upon that quiet, cool spot, while the soft, harmonious conversation of my companions, and the merry, joyous sounds of the ball-room, blended half dreamily in my ears.

"You are wishing to escape into that conservatory, Miss Duval," said Mr. Preston to me suddenly.

A warm blush mantled my face, for I fancied he thought I was weary of his conversation. I stammered out some reply, I scarce knew what, which was not listened to, however, for Agnes, catching sight of an Ethiop gypsey flower at the far end of the conservatory, expressed a wish to see it. Mr. Preston with earnestness opposed the change—the atmosphere there, he feared, was too chilling; but as she rested her hand on his, with childish confidence, to prove to him the excitement and flush of the gay waltz had passed, and looked up with such beaming joyfulness out of her dark, violet eyes, he smilingly yielded; but first wrapped around her shoulders, with affectionate solicitude, an Indian crêpe shawl, that hung near him on a chair. "Poor little me" was not thought of; I might take cold if I could, he would not have noted it; but I ejaculated to myself, "If I am too young for Mr. Preston to feel any interest in, a few years will make a vast difference, and maybe in the future I shall be an object of care to some one."

We reached the beautiful flower, over which Agnes hung; and as she inhaled its fragrance, she murmured in low words, which Mr. Preston bent his tall, graceful form to hear,

"Thou dusky flower, I stoop to inhale
Thy fragrance—thou art one
That wooeth not the vulgar eye,
Nor the broad-staring sun.
"Therefore I love thee! (selfish love
Such preference may be,)
That thou reservest all thy sweets,
Coy thing, for night and me."

"This flower must be mine, Miss Agnes," said Mr. Preston, with gallantry; "and when I look on it, it will tell me of the delicate taste and pure spirit of one who has rendered six weeks of my cheerless life bright."

The chill moonlight shone down on Agnes, and its rays nestled between the ringlets and her downy cheek, but its cold beams could not blench the rosy hue, that mounted to her blue veined temples, as Mr. Preston severed the fragrant exotic from its stem, and carefully pressed it between the leaves of his tablets. Many such words followed, and I walked unheeded beside them, as they lingered in this lovely place. Pity that such blessed hours should ever be ended—that life's lights should need dark shadows. Midnight swept over us ere good-night was said; and in a half-dreamy state of rapture, Agnes rested her head on her pillow. Nothing had been said; no love had been actually expressed, in the vulgar sense of the word, and according to the world's view of such matters, Mr. Preston was entirely guiltless of the dark, heavy cloud that hung over the pathway of that young creature from that night.

We returned to our homes; I benefited by my visit, for my mind had been improved by the association with older and superior persons—and I returned with renewed zeal to my studies and reading, that I might understand that which had appeared but "darkly to my mind's eye." But Agnes found her companionless home still more cheerless. The bustling, thrifty mother, and hearty, noisy brothers, greeted her with earnest kindness; but after a few weeks had passed, her spirit flagged. She lived for awhile upon the recollection of the past, and that buoyed her up; but, as day after day went noiselessly and uneventfully by, her heart grew aweary of the dear "hope deferred," and a listlessness took possession of her. Poor girl! the rosy hue of her cheek faded, and the bright light of her eye grew dim. Her bustling, active family did not take notice of the change in her appearance and spirits; but I, thrown daily with her, noted it with anxiety. I sought to interest her in my studies, and asked her assistance in my music. With labor she would exert herself to aid me; and at times her old enthusiasm would burst forth, but only as the gleams of an expiring taper; every thing seemed wearisome to her.

One morning I heard that she had been seized with a dangerous illness, and I hastily obeyed the summons which I had received from her mother. What a commotion was that bustling family thrown into. The physicians pronounced her sickness a brain fever. When I reached her bedside, she was raving, and her beautiful eyes gazed vacantly on the nearest and dearest of her friends; even the mother that bore her hung over her unrecognized. She had retired as usual the night before, her mother said, apparently well; but at midnight the family had been awakened by her shrieks and cries. I watched beside her bed weepingly, for I never hoped to see her again in health. The dark wing of Death I felt already drooping over her; and with anguish I listened to the snatches of poetry and song that fell in fragments from her lips. As I was placing a cup on a table in her room, during the day, my eye caught sight of two cards tied with white satin ribbon, and on them I read the names of Mr. Ralph Preston and his bride, with these words hastily written in pencil in Mr.[285] Preston's handwriting on the larger of the two cards,

"You will, my lovely friend, rejoice in my happiness, I am sure. Short was our acquaintance, but with the hope that I am not forgotten, I hasten to inform you that the cheerless life-path you deigned to brighten for a few short hours by your kind smiles, is now rendered calm and joyous. I am at last married to the one I have secretly worshiped for years. We both pray you may know happiness exquisite as ours."

How quickly I divined the cause of my friend's illness; no longer was it a mystery to me as it was to her family. Those silent cards had been the messengers of evil, and had been mute witnesses of the bitter anguish that had wrung her young heart. There, in the silent night, had she struggled with her agony; and I fancied I heard her calling on Heaven for strength—that Heaven to which we only appeal when overwhelmed by the sad whirldwind caused by our errors or passions. But strength had been denied, and her spirit sank fainting.

For weeks we watched the fluttering life within her, at times giving up all hope; but youth and careful nursing aided the struggle of Nature with Death, and at last Agnes opened her languid eyes upon us, and was pronounced out of immediate danger. The sickening pallor that overspread her face an instant after her returning consciousness, I well understood; the thought of her heart's desolation came to her memory, and I fear life was any thing but a blessing to her then. Her health continued delicate; and at last it was deemed advisable to take her to a more genial climate—that change of scene and air might strengthen her constitution, and raise her spirits, depressed, the physician said, by sickness. I knew better than the wise Esculapius; but my knowledge could not restore her. Her father was a man of considerable wealth, therefore no expense was spared for her benefit. They resided some years in Europe, and the letters I received from Agnes proved that the change had, indeed, been of benefit. New associations surrounded her, and dissipated the sad foreboding thoughts, bringing her to a more healthy state of mind. I was a little surprised, however, when I heard of her approaching marriage with Mr. Mason. Had I been as old as I am now, I would not have felt that wonder; but I was still young and sentimental enough to fancy the possibility of cherishing an "unrequited, luckless love, even unto death." Agnes had never spoken openly to me of her unfortunate attachment, but there was always a tacit understanding between us. She was too delicate and refined, too sensitive to indulge in the eager confidence which a coarser mind would have luxuriated in; but in writing to, or talking with me, she many times expressed herself in earnest, feeling words, that to a stranger would have seemed only as "fine sentiments," while to me, who knew her sad history, they bore a deeper meaning; therefore, the letter I received from her, on her marriage, was well understood, and quietly appreciated by me.

"I wonder if you will be surprised, my dear Enna," she wrote, "when you hear that I am married? A few years ago it would have surprised me, and I should have thought it impossible. Moreover, I am marrying a man for whom I do not entertain that 'rapturous, soul-engrossing, enthusiastic love' which we have always deemed so necessary in marrying, and which, Heaven knows, I was once capable of bestowing on a husband. Mr. Mason, whom I am about to marry, is not a man who requires such love. The calm, quiet respect and friendship I entertain for him, suits him far better. He is matter-of-fact—think of that, Enna—not at all like the imaginary heroes of love we have talked of together. But he is high-minded, and possesses much intelligence and cultivation. We have been friends a long while, and I am confident that, if life and health are spared, happiness will result to both from our union."

She did not return to her country for many years after her marriage; and when I again saw her, she presented a strong contrast, in appearance, to the pale, heart-broken creature I had parted with ten years before. She was more beautiful even than in her youth—still delicate and spiritual in appearance; and the calm, matronly dignity that pervaded her manner rendered her very lovely. Several children she had—for our Lillie can boast a Neapolitan birth; but in her whole troop she has but this one darling girl. Calm and quiet is Agnes Mason in her general deportment; but her intercourse with her children presents a strong contrast—then it is her "old enthusiasm" bursts forth. She has been a devoted mother; and her children think her the most perfect creature on earth. The intercourse between Agnes and Lillie is, indeed, interesting. On the mother's part there is intense devotion, which is fully returned by the daughter, blended with reverential feelings. She has superintended her education, and rendered what would have been wearisome tasks, "labors of love." How often have I found them in the library with heads bent over the same page, and eyes expressive of the same enthusiasm; or at the piano, with voices and hands uniting to produce what was to my ears exquisite harmony. Agnes' love-requiring heart, "like the Deluge wanderer," has at last found a resting-place, and on her daughter, and on her noble, beautiful boys, the whole rich tide of her love has been poured.

Lillie Mason, with all her beauty and wealth, will never be a belle, as her mother says she has been made too much of "a household darling." I watched her one evening, not a long while since, at a gay ball, where her mother and I sat as spectatresses. She had been persuaded from our side by a dashing distingué youth, and was moving most gracefully with him through a quadrille. In the pauses of the dance he seemed most anxious to interest her, and I saw his fine, dark eyes bend on her very tender glances. Her bouquet seemed to him an object of especial attention, and though a graceful dancer himself, he seemed so wrapt up in his notice of these fragrant flowers as to derange the quadrille more than once. I drew Agnes' attention to this.

"But see," said Agnes, "how coolly and calmly[286] Lillie draws his attention to the forgotten figures. I'll answer for it, she spoils many of that youth's fine sentiments."

"I wonder," said Lillie, with a half-vexed air, after her partner had placed her beside her mother, while he hastened to procure some refreshments for us, "I wonder what Mr. Carlton dances for. I would not take the trouble to stand up in a quadrille, if I were in his place. He always talks so much as to quite forget the movements of the dance. He renders me more nervous than any partner I ever have, for I dislike to see my vis-a-vis so bored. Just now he went through the whole "language of flowers" in my bouquet, which would have been interesting elsewhere, for he quotes poetry right cleverly; but it was a little out of place where the bang of the instruments, and the chazzez and the balancez made me lose one half of his pretty eloquence. Quadrilles are senseless things any how;" and our pretty Lillie actually yawned as she begged to know if it was not time to go. "You know, dear mamma," she said, "that I have to arise very early to-morrow morning, to help Tom in that hard lesson he groaned so pitifully over to-night."

As we left the ball-room, and were making our adieux to the fair hostess, I overheard young Carlton say reproachfully to Lillie,

"And so you are going to leave without dancing that next quadrille with me. I know my name is on your tablets. This is too unkind, Miss Mason."

Young Carleton is very devoted; but if his devotion is only a passing caprice, our Lillie will not be injured by it. There is no danger of her "falling in love" hastily, even if the lover be as handsome and interesting as the one in question. Luckily for her happiness, her mother, profiting by her own sad experience, has cultivated the sweet blossoms of domestic love, and, as she says, "My Lillie's heart will always belong, at least two-thirds, to her mother and family."



The moon looks down on a world of snow,
And the midnight lamp is burning low,
And the fading embers mildly glow
In their bed of ashes soft and deep;
All, all is still as the hour of death—
I only hear what the old clock saith,
And the mother and infant's easy breath,
That flows from the holy land of Sleep.
Or the watchman who solemnly wakes the dark,
With a voice like a prophet's when few will hark,
And the answering hounds that bay and bark
To the red cock's clarion horn—
The world goes on—the restless world,
With its freight of sleep through darkness hurled,
Like a mighty ship, when her sails are furled,
On a rapid but noiseless river borne.
Say on old clock—I love you well,
For your silver chime, and the truths you tell—
Your every stroke is but the knell
Of Hope, or Sorrow buried deep;
Say on—but only let me hear
The sound most sweet to my listening ear,
The child and the mother breathing clear
Within the harvest-fields of Sleep.
Thou watchman, on thy lonely round,
I thank thee for that warning sound—
The clarion cock and the baying hound
Not less their dreary vigils keep;
Still hearkening, I will love you all,
While in each silent interval
I can hear those dear breasts rise and fall
Upon the airy tide of Sleep.
Old world, on Time's benighted stream
Sweep down till the stars of morning beam
From orient shores—nor break the dream
That calms my love to pleasures deep;
Roll on and give my Bud and Rose
The fullness of thy best repose,
The blessedness which only flows
Along the silent realms of Sleep.

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I saw the Past, in heaven a mighty train,
A countless multitude of solemn years,
Standing like souls of martyred saints, and tears
Ran down their pallid cheeks like summer rain;
They clasped and wrung their white hands evermore,
Wailing, demanding vengeance on the world:
And Judgment, with his garments sprinkled o'er
With guilty blood, and dusky wings unfurled,
And sword unsheathed, expectant of His nod,
Stood waiting by the burning throne, and God
Rose up in heaven in ire—but Mercy fair,
A piteous damsel clad in spotless white,
In supplication sweet and earnest prayer
Knelt at his feet and clung around his robe of light.





For naught its power to STRENGTH can teach



The family of Deacon Gordon were gathered in the large kitchen, at the commencement of the first snow-storm of the season. With what delight the children watched the driving clouds—and shouted with exultation as they tried to count the fleecy flakes floating gently to the earth—nestling upon its bleak, bare surface as if they would fain shield it with a pure and beautiful mantle. Faster and faster came the storm, even the deacon concluded that it would amount to something, after all; perhaps there might be sleighing on Thanksgiving-day; though he thought it rather uncertain. His wife did not reply, she was bidding the children be a little less noisy in their mirth.

"We can get out our sleds in the morning, can't we, Mary?" said Master Ned. "I'm so glad you finished my mittens last Saturday. I told Tom Kelly I hoped it would snow soon, for I wanted to see how warm they were. Wont I make the ice-balls fly!"

Ned had grown energetic with the thought, and seizing his mother's ball of worsted aimed it at poor puss, who was sleeping quietly before the blazing fire. Alas! for Neddy—puss but winked her great sleepy eyes as the ball whizzed past, and was buried in the pile of ashes that had gathered around the huge "back-log." His mother did not scold; she had never been known to disturb the serenity of the good deacon by an ebullition of angry words. Indeed, the neighbors often said she was too quiet, letting the children have their own way. 'Mrs. Gordon chose to rule by the law of love, a mode of government little understood by those around her. Could they have witnessed Ned's penitent look, when his mother simply said—"Do you see how much trouble you have given me, my son?" they would not have doubted its efficacy.

The deacon said nothing, but opened the almanac he had just taken down from its allotted corner, and thought, as he searched for "Nov. 25th," that he had the best wife in the world, and if his children were not good it was their own fault. The great maxim of the deacon's life had been "let well enough alone"—but not always seeing clearly what was "well enough," he was often surprised when he found matters did not turn out as he had expected. This had made him comparatively a poor man, though the fine farm he had inherited from his father should have rendered him perfectly independent of the world. Little by little had been sold, until it was not more than half its original size, and the remainder, far less fertile than of old, scarce yielded a sufficient support for his now numerous family. He had a holy horror of debt, however—and with his wife's rigid and careful economy, he managed to balance accounts at the end of the year. But this was all—there was nothing in reserve—should illness or misfortune overtake him, life's struggle would be hard indeed for his youthful family.

The deacon was satisfied—he had found the day of the month, and in a spirit of prophecy quite remarkable, the context added, "Snow to be expected about this time."

"It's late enough for snow, that's true," said he, as he carefully replaced his "farmer's library," then remarking it was near time for tea, he took up his blue homespun frock, and went out in the face of the storm to see that the cattle were properly cared for. The deacon daily exemplified the motto—"A merciful man is merciful to his beast."

"Father is right," said Mrs. Gordon, using the familiar title so commonly bestowed upon the head of the family in that section of country. "Mary, it is quite time you were busy, and you, James, had better get in the wood."

The young people to whom she spoke had been conversing apart at the furthest window of the room. Mary, a girl of fifteen, James, scarce more than a year her senior. They started at their mother's voice, as if they had quite forgotten where they were, but in an instant good-humoredly said she was right, and without delay commenced their several tasks. James was assisted by Ned, who, since he had come into possession of his first pair of boots—an era in the life of every boy—had been promoted to the office of chip-gatherer; and Sue, a rosy little girl of eight or nine, spread the table, while her sister prepared the tea, cutting the snowy loaves made by her own hand; and bringing a roll of golden butter she herself had moulded, Mrs. Gordon gave a look of general supervision, and finished the preparations for the evening meal by the addition of cheese—such as city people never see—just as Mr. Gordon and James returned, stamping the snow from their heavy boots, and sending a shower of drops from the already melting mass which clung to them.

Never was there a happier group gathered about a farmer's table, and when, with bowed head and[288] solemn voice, the father had begged the blessing of Heaven upon their simple fare, the children did ample justice to the plain but substantial viands. Mrs. Gordon wondered how they found time to eat, there was so much to be said on all sides; but talk as they would—and it is an established fact that the conversational powers of children are developed with greater brilliancy at table than elsewhere—when the repast was finished there was very little reason to complain on the score of bad appetites.

Then commenced the not unpleasant task of brightening and putting away the oft used dishes. Mary and Sue were no loiterers, and by the time their mother had swept the hearth, and arranged the displaced furniture, cups and plates were shining on the dresser, as the red fire-light gleamed upon them. The deacon sat gazing intently upon the glowing embers—apparently in deep meditation, though it is to be questioned whether he thought at all. Mrs. Gordon had resumed her knitting, while Sue and Ned, after disputing some time whose turn it was to hold the yarn, were busily employed in winding a skein of worsted into birds-nest balls.

"Seven o'clock comes very soon, don't it Eddy?" said Sue, as their heads came in contact at the unraveling of a terrible "tangle"—"I wish it would be always daylight, and then wouldn't we sit up a great many hours? I'd go to school at night instead of the daytime, and do all my errands, and go to meeting too—then we should have all day long to play in, and if we got tired we could lie down on the grass in the orchard and take a little nap, or here before the fire if it was winter. Oh, dear! I'm sure I can't see why there's any dark at all!"

"You girls don't know any thing," answered Master Ned, with the inherent air of superiority which alike animates the boy and the man, where women are concerned—"If there was no night what would become of the chickens? They can't go to sleep in the daylight, can they, I'd like to know? And if they didn't go to sleep how would they ever get fat, or large; and maybe they wouldn't have feathers; then what would we do for bolsters, and beds, and pillows? You didn't think of that, I guess, Susy."

Ned's patronizing air quite offended his sister, but she did not stop to show it, for she had, as she thought, found an admirable plan for the chickens.

"Well," said she slowly, not perceiving in her abstraction that the skein was nearly wound, "we could make a dark room in the barn for the biddies, and they could go in there when it ought to be sundown. I guess they'd know—" but here there came an end to the skein and their speculations, for seven o'clock rung clearly and loudly from the wooden time-piece in the corner, and the children obeyed the signal for bed, not without many "oh, dears," and wishes that the clock could not strike.

"James," said his elder sister, as their mother left the room with the little ones, "let us tell father and mother all about it to-night. They might as well know now as any time; and Stephen will be back in the morning."

"Don't speak so loud," whispered the boy, "father will hear you. I suppose we might as well; but I do so dread it, I'm sure it would kill me if they were to say no, and now I can hope at least."

"I know it all," said his stronger minded adviser, "but I shall feel better when they are told. I know mother wonders what we are always whispering about; and it does not seem right to hide any thing from her. Here she is, and when we've got father's cider and the apples, I shall tell them if you don't."

Poor James! it was evident that he had a cherished project at stake. Never before had he been so long in drawing the cider. Mary had heaped her basket with rosy-cheeked apples before he had finished; and when at length he came from the cellar, his hand trembled, so that the brown beverage was spilled upon the neat hearth.

"You are a little careless," said his mother; but the boy offered no excuse; he cast an imploring glance at his sister, and walked to the window, though the night was dark as Erebus, and the sleet struck sharply against the glass.

"James and I want to talk with you a little while, father and mother, if you can listen now," said Mary, boldly; and then there was a pause—for she had dropped a whole row of stitches in her knitting, and numberless were the loops which were left, as she took them up again.

Her father looked at her with a stare of astonishment, or else he was getting sleepy, and was obliged to open his eyes very widely, lest they should close without his knowledge.

"Well, my child," said Mrs. Gordon, in a gentle tone of encouragement—for she thought, from Mary's manner, that the development of the confidential communications of the brother and sister was at hand.

"We have been making a plan, mother—" but James could go no further, and left the sentence unfinished. "Mary will tell you all," he added, in a choking voice, as he turned once more to the window.

Mary did tell all, clearly, and without hesitation; while her mother's pride, and her father's astonishment increased as the narrative progressed. James, young as he was, had fixed his heart upon gaining a classical education—a thing not so rare in the New England States as with us, for there the false idea still prevails, that a man is unfit to enter upon a profession until he has served the four years' laborious apprenticeship imposed upon all "candidates for college prizes." With us, the feeling has almost entirely passed away; a man is not judged by the number of years he is supposed to have devoted to the literature of past ages—the question is, what does he know? not, how was that knowledge gained? But in the rigid and formal atmosphere by which it was the fortune of our little hero to be surrounded, the prejudice was strong as ever; and the ambitious boy, in dreaming out for himself a life of fame and honor, saw before him, as an obstacle hardly possible of being surmounted, a collegiate education.

For months he had kept the project a secret in his own heart, and had daily, and almost hourly, gone over and over again, every difficulty which presented itself. He saw at once that he could expect no aid[289] from his father, for he knew the constant struggle going on in the household to narrow increasing expenses to their humble means. His elder brother, Stephen, would even oppose the plan—for, he being very like their father, was plodding and industrious, content with the present hour, and heartily despised books and schools, as being entirely beneath his notice. His mother would, he hoped, aid him by her approval and encouragement—this was all she could bestow; and Mary, however willing, had not more to offer. At length he resolved to tell his sister, who had ever been his counsellor, the project which he had so long cherished.

"I am not selfish about it," said he, as he dilated upon the success which he felt sure would be his, could this first stumbling-block but be removed. "Think how much I could do for you all. Father would be relieved from the burden of supporting me, for he does not need my assistance now, the farm is so small, and Ed is growing old enough to do all my work. Then you should have a capital education, for you ought to have it; and you could teach a school that would be more to the purpose than the district school. After I had helped you all, then I could work for myself; and mother would be so proud of her son. But, oh! Mary," and the boy's heart sank within him, "I know it can never be."

The two, brother and sister, as they sat there together, were a fair illustration of the "dreamer and the worker." Mary was scarce fifteen, but she was thoughtful beyond her years, yet as hopeful as the child. "Yes, I could keep school," thought she, as she looked into her brother's earnest eyes. "What can hinder my keeping school now; and the money I can earn, with James having his vacations to work in, might support him."

But with this thought came another. She knew that the pay given to district schoolteachers—women especially—was at best a bare pittance, scarce more than sufficient for herself—for she could not think of burdening her parents with her maintenance when her time and labor was not theirs; and she knew that her education was too limited to seek a larger sphere of action. So she covered her bright young face with her hands, and it was clouded for a time with deep thought; then looking suddenly up, the boy wondered at the change which had passed over it, there was so much joy, even exultation in every feature.

"I have it," said she, throwing her arms fondly about his neck. "I know how I can earn a deal of money, more than I want. If mother will let me, I can go to Lowell and work in a factory. Susan Hunt paid the mortgage on her father's farm in three years; and I'm sure it would not take any more for you than she earned."

At first the boy's heart beat wildly; for the moment it seemed as if his dearest wishes were about to be accomplished. Then came a feeling of reproach at his own selfishness, in gaining independence by dooming his fair young sister to a life of constant labor and self-denial; wasting, or at least passing the bright hours of her girlhood in the midst of noise and heat, with rude associations for her refined and gentle nature.

"Oh! no, Mary," said he, passionately—"never, never! You are too good, too generous!" yet the wish of his life was too strong to be checked at once; and when Mary pleaded, and urged him to consent to it, and gave a thousand "woman's reasons" why it was best, and how easy the task would be to her, when lightened by the consciousness that she was aiding him to take a lofty place among his fellow-men, he gave a reluctant consent to the plan, ashamed of himself the while, and dreading lest his parents should oppose what would seem to their calmer judgment an almost impossible scheme.

Day after day he had begged Mary to delay asking their consent, though the suspense was an agony to the enthusiastic boy. Mary knew the disappointment would be terrible; yet she thought if it was to come, it had best be over with at once; and, beside, she was more hopeful than her brother, for she had not so much at stake. Was it any wonder, then, that James could scarce breathe while his sister calmly told their plans, and that he dared not look into his mother's face when the recital was ended.

There was no word spoken for some moments—the deacon looked into his wife's face, as if he did not fully understand what he had been listening to, and sought the explanation from her; but she gazed intently at the fire, revealing nothing by the expression of her features until she said, "Your father and I will talk the matter over, children, and to-morrow you shall hear what we think of it." Without the least idea of the decision which would be made, James was obliged to subdue his impatience; and the evening passed wearily enough in listening to his father's plans for repairing the barn, and making a new ox-sled. Little did the boy hear, though he seemed to give undivided attention.

"Have you well considered all this, my child," said Mrs. Gordon, as she put her hand tenderly upon her daughter's forehead, and looked earnestly into her sweet blue eyes. "James is in his own room, so do not fear to speak openly. Are you not misled by your love for him, and your wish that he should succeed."

"No, mother, I have thought again and again, and I know I could work from morning till night without complaining, if I thought he was happy. Then it will be but three or four years at the farthest, and I shall be hardly nineteen then. I can study, too, in the evenings and mornings, and sometimes I can get away for whole weeks, and come up here to see you all; Lowell is not very far, you know."

"But there is another thing, Mary. Do you not know that there are many people who consider it as a disgrace to toil thus—who would ridicule you for publicly acknowledging labor was necessary for you; they would perhaps shun your society, and you would be wounded by seeing them neglect, and perhaps openly avoid you."

"I should not care at ail for that, mother. Why is it any worse to work at Lowell than at home; and you tell me very often that I support myself now.[290] People that love me would go on loving me just as well as ever; and those who don't love me, I'm sure I'm willing they should act as they like."

"I think myself," replied her mother, pleased at the true spirit of independence that she saw filled her daughter's heart, "that the opinion of those who despise honest labor, is not worth caring for. But you are young, and sneers will have their effect. You must remember this—it is but natural. There is one thing else—we may both be mistaken about James' ability; he may be himself—and you could not bear to see him fail, after all. Think, it may be so; and then all your time and your earnings will be lost."

"Not lost, mother," said the young girl, her eyes sparkling with love and hope, "I should have done all I could to help James, you know."

Mrs. Gordon kissed her good-night with a full heart. She was proud of her children; and few mothers have more reason for the natural feeling. "I cannot bear to disappoint her," thought she, yet the scheme seemed every moment more childish and impracticable.

James rose, not with the sun, but long before it; and when his father came down, he was already busily employed in clearing a path to the well and the barn—for the snow had fallen so heavily, that the drifts gathered by the night wind, in its rude sport, were piled to the very windows, obscuring the misty light of the winter's morn. How beautiful were those snow-wreaths in their perfect purity! The brown and knotted fences, the dingy out-buildings, were all covered with dazzling drapery; and the leafless trees were bowed beneath the weight of a fantastic foliage that glittered in the clear beams of the rising sun with a splendor that was almost painful to behold.

"It wont last long with this sun," said the deacon, as he tied a 'comforter' about his throat; "but perhaps you'll have time to give Mary and the children a ride before the roads are bare again. Mary must do all her sleighing this winter, for she won't have much time if she goes to the factory, poor child!"

The deacon passed on with heavy strides to the barn-yard, and left James to hope that their petition was not rejected. It was not many minutes after that Mary came bounding down the stone-steps, heedless of the snow in which she trod; and the instant he looked upon her face he was no longer in doubt.

"Isn't mother good, James! She just called me into her room, and told me that father and she have concluded we can try it at least; and Stephen is not to know any thing about it until next April, when I am to go. We must both of us study very hard this winter, and I shall have such a deal of sewing to do."

Mary spoke with delighted eagerness. One would have thought, beholding her joy, that it was a pleasant journey which she anticipated, or that a fortune had unexpectedly been left to her; and yet the spring so longed for, would find her among strangers, working in a close and crowded room through the bright days. But a contented spirit hath its own sunshine; and the dearest pleasure that mankind may know, is contributing to the happiness of those we love. The less selfish our devotion to friends, the more sacrificing our self-denial in their behalf, the greater is the reward; so Mary's step was more elastic than ever, and her bright eyes shone with a steady, cheerful light, as she went about her daily tasks.

As she said, it was necessary that they should both be very busy through the winter, for James hoped to be able to enter college in August; and Mary, who had heretofore kept pace with him in most of his studies, though she did stumble at "tupto, tupso, tetupha," and vow that Greek was not intended for girls, did not wish to give up her Latin and Geometry. They had such a kind instructor in Mr. Lane, the village lawyer, that an ambition to please him made them at first forget the difficulties of the dry rudiments; and then it was that James first began to dream of one day being able to plead causes himself—of studying a profession. Mr. Lane, unconsciously, had encouraged this, by telling his little pupils, to whom he was much attached, the difficulties that had beset his youthful career, and how he had gained an honest independence, when he had at first been without friends or means. Then he would look up at his pretty young wife, or put out his arms to their little one, as if he thought, and is not this a sufficient reward for those years of toil and despondence. James remembered, when he was a student, teaching in vacations to aid in supporting himself through term time. He had boarded at Mr. Gordon's, and when he came to settle in the village, years after, he had offered to teach James and Mary, as a slight recompense for Mrs. Gordon's early kindness to the poor student. Two hours each afternoon were passed in Mr. Lane's pleasant little study; and though Stephen thought it was time wasted, he did not complain much, for James was doubly active in the morning. Mary, too, accomplished twice as much as ever before; and after the day's routine of household labor and study were over, her needle flew quickly, as she prepared her little wardrobe for leaving home. March was nearly through before they felt that spring had come; and though Mary's eyes were sometimes filled with tears at the thought of the coming separation, they were quickly dried, and the first of April found her unshaken in her resolution.



"To-morrow will be the last day at home," thought Mary, as she bade her mother good-night, and turned quickly to her own room to conceal the tears that would start; and, though they fringed the lashes of the drooping lid when at last she slept, the repose was gentle and undisturbed—and she awoke at early dawn content, almost happy. The morning air came freshly to her face as she leaned out of the window to gaze once more on the extended landscape. Far away upon the swelling hill-side, patches of snow yet lingered, while near them the fresh grass was[291] springing; and the old wood, at the back of the house, was clothed anew in emerald verdure. The sombre pines were lighted by the glittering sunlight, as it lingered lovingly among their dim branches ere bursting away to illumine the very depths of the solitude with smiles. A pleasant perfume was wafted from the Arbutus, just putting forth its delicate blossoms from their sheltering covert of dark-green leaves, mingled with the breath of the snowy-petaled dogwood, and the blue violets that were bedded in the rich moss on the banks of the little stream. The brook itself went singing on its way as it wound through the darksome forest, and fell with a plash, and a murmur, over the huge stones that would have turned it aside from its course.

It was the first bright day of spring; and it seemed as if nature had assumed its loveliest dress to tempt the young girl to forego her resolve. "Home never looked so beautiful," thought she, turning from the window; and her step was not light as usual when she joined the family. Mrs. Gordon was serene as ever; no one could have told from her manner that she was about to part with her daughter for the first time; but the children were sobbing bitterly—for they had just been told that the day had come when their sister was to leave them. They clung to her dress as she entered, and begged her not to go.

"What shall we do without you, Mary?" said they; "the house will be so lonesome."

Even Stephen, although when the plan was first revealed to him had opposed it obstinately, was melted to something like forgiveness when he saw that nothing could change her firm determination.

"I suppose we must learn to live without you, Molly," said he; "take good care of yourself, child—but let's have breakfast now."

The odd combination, spite of her sadness, brought the old smile to Mary's lip; and when breakfast was over, and the deacon took the large family Bible from its appointed resting-place, and gathered his little flock about him, they listened quietly and earnestly to the truths of holy writ. That family Bible! It was almost the first thing that Mary could recollect. She remembered sitting on her father's knee, in the long, bright Sabbath afternoons, and looking with profound awe and astonishment into the baize-covered volume, at the quaint unartistic prints that were scattered through it. She recalled the shiver of horror with which she looked on "Daniel in the den of lions," the curiosity which the picture of the Garden of Eden called forth, and the undefined, yet calm and placid feeling which stole over her as she dwelt longest upon the "Baptism of our Savior." Then there was the family record—her own birth, and that of her brothers and sisters, were chronicled underneath that of generations now sleeping in the shadow of the village church. But this train of thought was broken, as they reverentially knelt when the volume was closed, and listened to their father's humble and fervent petition, that God would watch and guard them all, especially commending to the protection of Heaven, "the lamb now going out from their midst."

There were tears even upon Mrs. Gordon's face when the prayer was ended, but there was no time to indulge in a long and sorrowful parting. The trunks were standing already corded in the hall; the little traveling-basket was filled with home-baked luxuries for the way-side lunch; and Mary was soon arrayed in her plain merino dress and little straw bonnet. There are some persons who receive whatever air of fashion and refinement they may have from their dress; others who impart to the coarsest material a grace that the most recherché costume fails to give. Our heroine was one of the last—and never was Chestnut street belle more beautiful than our simple country lassie, as she stood with her mother's arm twined about her waist, receiving her parting counsel.

The last words were said—James, in an agony of grief, had kissed her again and again, reproaching himself constantly for his selfishness in consenting that she should go. The children, forgetting their tears in the excitement of the moment, ran with haste to announce that the stage was just coming over the hill. Yes, it was standing before the garden-gate—the trunks were lifted from the door-stone—the clattering steps fell at her feet—a moment more and Mary was whirled away from her quiet home, with her father's counsel, and her mother's earnest "God bless you, and keep you, my child!" ringing in her ears.

It was quite dark ere the second day's weary journey was at an end. Mary could scarce believe it possible that she had, indeed, arrived in the great city, until the confused tumult that rose everywhere around—the endless lines of glittering lamps that stretched far away in the darkness, and the rough jolting of the coach over the hard pavements, told too plainly that she was in a new world, surrounded by a new order of things. As they drove rapidly through the crowded streets, she caught a glance at the brilliantly lighted stores, and the many gayly-dressed people that thronged them. Again the scene changed, and she looked upon the dark-brick walls that loomed up before her, and knew that in one of those buildings she was destined to pass many sad and solitary days. How prison-like they seemed! Her heart sunk within her as she gazed; the lights—the confusion bewildered her already wearied brain; and as she sunk back into the corner of the coach, and buried her face in her hands, she would have given worlds to have been once more in her still, pleasant home. The feeling of utter desolation and loneliness overcame completely, for the time, her firm and buoyant spirit.

She was roused from her gloomy reverie as the stage stopped before the door of a small but very comfortable dwelling, at some distance from the principal thoroughfares. This was the residence of a sister of Mrs. Jones, to whom she had a letter, and who was expecting her arrival. She met Mary upon the step with a pleasant smile of welcome, not at all as if she had been a stranger; and her husband assisted the coachman to remove the various packages to a neat little room into which Mary was ushered by her kind hostess, Mrs. Hall. She was[292] very like her sister, but older and graver. Mary's heart yearned toward her from the moment of kindly greeting; and when they entered the cheerful parlor together, the young guest was almost happy once more. The children of the family, two noisy little rogues, who were very proud of a baby sister, came for a kiss, ere they left the room for the night; and then, with Mrs. Hall's piano, and her husband's pleasant conversation, Mary forgot her timidity and her sadness as the evening wore away.

"Mr. Hall will go with you to-morrow to the scene of your new life," said her hostess, as she bade her young charge good-night. "We have arranged every thing, and I trust you may be happy, even though away from your friends. We must try to make a new home for you."

Mary "blessed her unaware" for her kindness to a stranger; and though nearly a hundred miles from those she loved, felt contented and cheerful, and soon fell asleep to dream that she was once more by her mother's side.

Again that feeling of desolation returned, when, upon the morrow, leaning upon the arm of Mr. Hall, she passed through the crowded streets, and shrank back as the passing multitude jostled against each other. It seemed as if every one gazed curiously at her, yet, perchance, not one amid the throng heeded the timid little stranger. She was first conducted to the house they had chosen for her boarding-place, and though the lady at its head received her kindly, she felt more lonely than ever, as she passed through the long halls, and was regarded with looks of curiosity by the groups of young girls who were just leaving the house to enter upon their daily tasks. They were laughing and chatting gayly with each other; and poor Mary wondered if she should ever feel as careless and happy as they seemed to be.

Then they turned toward the "corporation," or factory, in which a place had been engaged for her. Oh, how endless seemed those long, noisy rooms; how weary she grew of new faces, and the strange din that rose up from the city. "I never shall endure this," thought the poor girl. "I shall never be able to learn my work. How can they go about so careless and unconcerned, performing their duties, as it were, mechanically, without thought or annoyance. But for poor Jamie I would return to-morrow;" and with the thought of her brother came new hope, new energy—and she resolved to enter upon her task boldly, and without regret.

Yet for many days, even weeks, much of her time was spent in sadness, struggle as she would against the feeling. The girls with whom she was called daily to associate, were, most of them, kind and good tempered: and though her instructors did laugh a little at her awkwardness at first, she had entered so resolutely upon her new tasks that they soon became comparatively easy to her; and she was so indefatigable and industrious, that her earnings, after a time, became more even than she had hoped for.

Still she was often weary, and almost tempted to despond. The confinement and the noise was so new to her, that at first her health partially gave way, and for several weeks she feared that after all she would be obliged to return to the free mountain-air of her country home. At such times she went wearily to her labors, and often might have uttered Miss Barret's "Moan of the Children," as she pressed her hands upon her throbbing temples.

"All day long the wheels are droning, turning,
Their wind comes in our faces,
Till our hearts turn, and our heads with pulses burning;
And the walls turn in their places!
Turns the sky in the high window, blank and reeling;
Turns the long light that droopeth down the wall;
Turn the black flies that crawl along the ceiling—
All are turning all the day, and we with all.
All day long the iron wheels are droning,
And sometimes we could pray,
'Oh, ye wheels,' (breaking off in a mad moaning)
Stop! be silent for to-day!'"

Then, when despondency was fast crushing her spirit, there would, perhaps, come a long hopeful letter from her brother, who was studying almost night and day, and a new ambition would rise in her heart, a fresh strength animate her, until at last, in the daily performance of her duties, in the knowledge of the happiness she was thus enabled to confer upon others, her mind became calm and contented, and her health fully restored.

Thus passed the first year of her absence from home. She had become accustomed to the habits and manners of those around her; and though some of the girls called her a little Methodist, and sneered at her plain economical dress, even declaring she was parsimonious, because they knew that she rigidly limited her expenses to a very small portion of her earnings, there were others among her associates who fully appreciated the generous self-sacrificing spirit which animated her, and loved her for the gentleness and purity, which all noticed, pervaded her every thought and act.

Then, too, Mrs. Hall was ever her steadfast friend. One evening in every week was spent in that happy family circle; and there she often met refined and agreeable society, from which she insensibly look a tone of mind and manner, that was far superior to that of her companions. Mrs. Hall directed her reading, and furnished many books Mary herself was unable to procure. Thus month after month slipped by, and our heroine had almost forgotten she was among strangers, until she began to look forward to a coming meeting with those she loved in her own dear home.

[To be concluded in our next.


"Anger is madness," said the sage of old;
And 'tis with nations as it is with man,
Their storms of passion scatter ills untold—
Thus 'tis, and has been, since the world began.
Change, to be blessed, must be calm and clear,
Thoughtful and pure, sinless, and sound of mind;
Else power unchained and change are things of fear—
Let not the struggling to this truth be blind.—ARIAN.




Old yews in the church-yard are crumbled to dust
Deep shade on her grave-mound once flinging;
But oral tradition, still true to its trust,
Her name by the hearth-stone is singing;
For never enshrined by the bard in his lay
Was a being more lovely than Margaret Gray.
Her father, a faithful old tenant, had died
On lands of Sir Thomas the Seer—
And the child who had sprung like a flower by his side,
Sole mourner, had followed his bier;
But Ereildoun's knight to the orphan was kind,
And watched like a parent the growth of her mind.
The wizard knew well that her eye was endowed
With sight mortal vision surpassing—
Now piercing the heart of Oblivion's cloud,
The Past, in its depths, clearly glassing;
Anon sending glance through that curtain of dread
Behind which the realm of the Future lies spread.
He gave her a key to decipher dim scrolls,
With characters wild, scribbled over;
And taught her dark words that would summon back souls
Of the dead round the living to hover;
Or oped, high discourse with his pupil to hold,
Old books of enchantment with clasps of bright gold.
The elf queen had met her in green, haunted dells
When stars in the zenith were twinkling,
And time kept the tramp of her palfry to bells,
At her bridle rein merrily tinkling:
By Huntley Burn oft, in the gloaming, she strolled
Weird shapes, that were not of this earth, to behold.
One eve came true Thomas to Margaret's bower,
In this wise the maiden addressing—
"No more will I visible be from this hour,
Save to those sight unearthly possessing;
But when I am seen at feast, funeral or fair
Let the mortal who makes revelation beware!"
Long years came and passed, and the Rhymer's dread seat
Was vacant the Eildon Tree under,
And oft would old friends by the ingle-side meet,
And talk of his absence in wonder:
Some thought that, afar from the dwellings of men,
He had died in some lone Highland forest or glen:
But others believed that in bright fairy land
The mighty magician was living—
That newness of life to worn heart and weak hand,
Soft winds and pure waters were giving;
That back to the region of heather and pine
Would he come unimpaired by old age or decline.
Astir was all Scotland! from mountain and moor,
With banner folds streaming in air,
Proud lord and retainer, the wealthy and poor,
Thronged forth in their plaids to the fair;
Steeds, pricked by their riders, loud clattering made,
And, cheered by his clansmen, the bag-piper played.
Gay lassies with snoods from the border and hills
In holyday garb hurried thither,
With eyes like the crystal of rock-shaded rills,
And cheeks like the bells of the heather;
But fairest of all, in that goodly array,
Was the Lily of Bemerside, Margaret Gray.
While Ayr with a gathering host overflowed,
She marked with a look of delight
A white-bearded horseman who gallantly rode
On a mettlesome steed black as night,
And cried, forcing wildly her way through the throng,
"Oh! master, thy pupil hath mourned for thee long!"
Then, checking his courser, the brow of the seer
Grew dark, through its locks long and frosted,
And making a sign with his hand to draw near,
Thus the lovely offender accosted—
"By which of thine eyes was thy master descried?"
"With my left I behold thee!" the damsel replied.
One moment he gazed on the beautiful face,
In fondness upturned to his own,
As if anger at length to relenting gave place,
Then fixed grew his visage like stone:—
On the violet lid his cold finger he laid,
And extinguished forever the sight of the maid.


I am indebted to Hugh Cameron, Esquire, of Buffalo, N. Y., for this strange and strikingly beautiful legend. Mr. C. informs me that it has long formed a part of the fire-side lore of his own clan; and, from a remote period, has lived in the memory of Scotland's peasantry.

He expressed surprise that men of antiquarian taste, in compiling border ballads, and tales of enchantment, had not given "Fair Margaret" a conspicuous place in their pages; and at his suggestion I have attempted to clothe the fanciful outlines of the original in the drapery of English verse.

The Eildon tree referred to in the poem was the favorite seat of Thomas the Rhymer, and there he gave utterance to his prophecies.


The rain-bird shakes her dusty wings
And leaves the sunny strand,
For mossy springs, and sweetly sings,
To greet her native land.
The camel in the desert heeds
Where distant waters lay,
And onward speeds, to flowery meads,
And fountains far away.
The freshest drops will Beauty choose
To keep her floweret wet,
The purest dews, to save its hues—
Her gentle violet.
So—may sweet Grace our hearts renew
With waters from above,
So—keep in view what Mercy drew
From this deep well of love.   W. H. DENNY.




Among the many legends which the traveler frequently hears, while crossing the prairies of the Far West, I remember one, which accounts in a most romantic manner for the origin of thunder. A summer-storm was sweeping over the land, and I had sought a temporary shelter in the lodge of a Sioux Indian on the banks of the St. Peters. Vividly flashed the lightning, and an occasional peal of thunder echoed through the firmament. While the storm continued my host and his family paid but little attention to my comfort, for they were all evidently stricken with terror. I endeavored to quell their fears, and for that purpose asked them a variety of questions respecting their people, but they only replied by repeating, in a dismal tone, the name of the Lone Buffalo. My curiosity was of course excited, and it may be readily imagined that I did not resume my journey without obtaining an explanation of the mystic words; and from him who first uttered them in the Sioux lodge I subsequently obtained the following legend:

There was a chief of the Sioux nation whose name was the Master Bear. He was famous as a prophet and hunter, and was a particular favorite with the Master of Life. In an evil hour he partook of the white-man's fire-water, and in a fighting broil unfortunately took the life of a brother chief. According to ancient custom blood was demanded for blood, and when next the Master Bear went forth to hunt, he was waylaid, shot through the heart with an arrow, and his body deposited in front of his widow's lodge. Bitterly did the woman bewail her misfortune, now mutilating her body in the most heroic manner, and anon narrating to her only son, a mere infant, the prominent events of her husband's life. Night came, and with her child lashed upon her back, the woman erected a scaffold on the margin of a neighboring stream, and with none to lend her a helping hand, enveloped the corpse in her more valuable robes, and fastened it upon the scaffold. She completed her task just as the day was breaking, when she returned to her lodge, and shutting herself therein, spent the three following days without tasting food.

During her retirement the widow had a dream, in which she was visited by the Master of Life. He endeavored to console her in her sorrow, and for the reason that he had loved her husband, promised to make her son a more famous warrior and medicine man than his father had been. And what was more remarkable, this prophecy was to be realized within the period of a few weeks. She told her story in the village, and was laughed at for her credulity.

On the following day, when the village boys were throwing the ball upon the plain, a noble youth suddenly made his appearance among the players, and eclipsed them all in the bounds he made and the wildness of his shouts. He was a stranger to all, but when the widow's dream was remembered, he was recognized as her son, and treated with respect. But the youth was yet without a name, for his mother had told him that he should win one for himself by his individual prowess.

Only a few days had elapsed, when it was rumored that a party of Pawnees had overtaken and destroyed a Sioux hunter, when it was immediately determined in council that a party of one hundred warriors should start upon the war-path and revenge the injury. Another council was held for the purpose of appointing a leader, when a young man suddenly entered the ring and claimed the privilege of leading the way. His authority was angrily questioned, but the stranger only replied by pointing to the brilliant eagle's feathers on his head, and by shaking from his belt a large number of fresh Pawnee scalps. They remembered the stranger boy, and acknowledged the supremacy of the stranger man.

Night settled upon the prairie world, and the Sioux warriors started upon the war-path. Morning dawned, and a Pawnee village was in ashes, and the bodies of many hundred men, women, and children were left upon the ground as food for the wolf and vulture. The Sioux warriors returned to their own encampment, when it was ascertained that the nameless leader had taken more than twice as many scalps as his brother warriors. Then it was that a feeling of jealousy arose, which was soon quieted, however, by the news that the Crow Indians had stolen a number of horses and many valuable furs from a Sioux hunter as he was returning from the mountains. Another warlike expedition was planned, and as before, the nameless warrior took the lead.

The sun was near his setting, and as the Sioux party looked down upon a Crow village, which occupied the centre of a charming valley, the Sioux chief commanded the attention of his braves and addressed them in the following language:

"I am about to die, my brothers, and must speak my mind. To be fortunate in war is your chief ambition, and because I have been successful you are unhappy. Is this right? Have you acted like men? I despise you for your meanness, and I intend to prove to you this night that I am the bravest man in the nation. The task will cost me my life, but I am anxious that my nature should be changed and I shall be satisfied. I intend to enter the Crow village alone, but before departing, I have one favor to command. If I succeed in destroying that village, and lose my life, I want you, when I am dead, to cut off my head and protect it with care. You must then[295] kill one of the largest buffaloes in the country and cut off his head. You must then bring his body and my head together, and breathe upon them, when I shall be free to roam in the Spirit-land at all times, and over our great Prairie-land wherever I please. And when your hearts are troubled with wickedness remember the Lone Buffalo."

The attack upon the Crow village was successful, but according to his prophecy the Lone Buffalo received his death wound, and his brother warriors remembered his parting request. The fate of the hero's mother is unknown, but the Indians believe that it is she who annually sends from the Spirit-land the warm winds of spring, which cover the prairies with grass for the sustenance of the Buffalo race. As to the Lone Buffalo, he is never seen even by the most cunning hunter, excepting when the moon is at its full. At such times he is invariably alone, cropping his food in some remote part of the prairies; and whenever the heavens resound with the moanings of the thunder, the red-man banishes from his breast every feeling of jealousy, for he believes it to be the warning voice of the Lone Buffalo.



"And, oh! the home whence thy bright smile hath parted,
Will it not seem as if the sunny day
Turned from its door away?
While through its chambers wandering, weary hearted,
I languish for thy voice which passed me still,
Even as a singing rill."
My gentle child—my own sweet May—
Come sit thee by my side,
Thy wonted place in by-gone years,
Whatever might betide.
Come—I would press that cloudless brow,
And gaze into those eyes,
Whose azure hue and brilliancy
Seemed borrowed from the skies.
Thou ne'er hast known a mother's love,
Save what my heart hath given;
Thy fair young mother—long years since—
Found rest in yonder Heaven.
Where waves and dashing spray ran high
We took thee from her grasp;
All vainly had the Tyrant striven
To rend that loving clasp.
We strove in vain life to recall,
And 'neath the old oak's shade
We laid her calmly down to rest,
In our own woodland glade.
Gently—the turf by stranger hands
Was o'er her bright head pressed;
And burning tears from stranger hearts
Fell o'er that place of rest.
We took thee to our hearts and home,
With blessings on thy head;
We looked on thy blue eye—and wept—
Remembered was our dead.
For parted from our lonely hearth
Was childhood's sunny smile;
And hushed the household melody
That could each care beguile.
Thy name—we knew it not—and then
For many a livelong day
We sought for one, all beautiful—
And, sweetest, called thee May.
With thee—came Spring-lime to our home,
Love's wealth of buds and flowers,
Lingering—till in its fairy train
Shone Summer's golden hours.
How will I miss thine own dear voice
In Summer's soft, bright eve;
A blight will rest on tree and flower—
The hue of things that grieve;
And when the wintry hour hath come,
And 'round the blazing hearth
Shall cluster faces we have loved—
Lost—lost thy joyous mirth.
Another hand will twine those curls
That gleam so brightly now;
Another heart will thrill to hear
From thee affection's vow;
For I have marked the rosy blush
Steal o'er thy brow and cheek,
When gentle words fell on thy ear,
Which only love can speak.
Tears—tears!—a shadow should not rest
Upon thy bridal day;
My spirit's murmurings shall cease
And joy be thine, sweet May.
They come with flowers—pure orange flowers—
To deck thy shining hair;
Young bride—go forth—and bear with thee,
My blessing and my prayer.






Not too slow.


music 1

music 2

When shall I see, when shall I see,
As I have seen before,
The gathering crowd beneath the tree,
With her that I adore?
And happy hear
Her voice so clear,
Blend with my own,
In liquid tone.
When shall I see, when shall I see,
The things I hold so dear?
Zwar glaenzt die Sonne ueberall
Dem Menschen in der Welt;
Doch we zuerst ihr goldner Strahl
Ihm in das Auge faellt?
Wo er als Kind,
Sanft und gelind,
An mütter Hand,
Sprach und empfand,
Da ist allein sein Vaterland
Koennt' ich's noch einmal seh'n?



Edith Kinnaird, By the Author of "The Maiden Aunt." Boston: E. Littell & Co.

Fiction has exercised an important influence over the public from the earliest ages of the world. Nor is the reason difficult to determine. Where one man takes delight in the subtleties of logic, ten derive pleasure from the indulgence of the fancy. The love of fiction is common to the unlettered savage as well as to the civilized European, and has marked alike the ancient and the modern world. The oldest surviving book, if we except the narrative of Moses, is, perhaps, a fiction—we mean the book of Job. To reach its date we must go back beyond the twilight of authentic history, far into the gloom of the antique past, to the very earliest periods of the earth's existence. We must ascend to the time when the Assyrian empire was yet in its youth, when the patriarchs still fed their flocks on the hills of Palestine, when the memory of the visible presence of the Almighty among men remained fresh in the traditions of the East. The beautiful story of Ruth comes next, but ages later than its predecessor. Then follows the sonorous tale of Homer, clanging with a martial spirit that will echo to all time. Descending to more modern eras, we reach the legends of Haroun El Reschid; the tales of the Provençal troubadours; the romances of chivalry; and finally the novels of this and the past century. For nearly four thousand years fiction has delighted and moulded mankind. It has survived, too, when all else has died. The Chaldean books of astrology are lost to the moderns; but the story of the Idumean has reached us unimpaired. The lawgivers of Judah are no more, and the race of Abraham wanders over the earth; but the simple tale of Ruth preserves the memory of their customs, and keeps alive the glory of the past.

It will not do to despise that which is so indestructible, and which everywhere exercises such powerful influence. Pedants may scorn fiction as beneath them, and waste their lives in composing dry treatises that will never be read; but the wise man, instead of deriding this tremendous engine, will endeavor to bend it to his purposes; and whether he seeks to shape the tale that is to be rehearsed on the dreamy banks of the Orontes, or to write the novel that will be read by thousands in England and America, will labor so to mix instruction with amusement, that his audience shall insensibly become moulded to his views. The moral teachers of both ancient and modern times have chosen the vehicle of fiction to inculcate truth; and even inspiration has not scorned to employ it in the service of religion. The most beautiful fictions ever written were the parables of the Savior. But it is also true that some of the most deleterious books we have are romances. This, however, is no reason why fiction should be abandoned to bad men, or proscribed as it is by many well-meaning moralists. Wesley said, with his strong Saxon sense, that he did not see why the devil should have all the good tunes.

Hence, in criticising a novel, it becomes important to examine the tendency of the work. We utterly repudiate the idea that a reviewer has nothing to do with the morality of a book. We reject the specious jargon to the contrary urged by the George Sand school. A novel should be something more than a mere piece of intellectual mechanism, because if not, it is injurious. There can be no medium. A fiction which does not do good does harm. There never was a romance written which had not its purpose, either open or concealed, from that of Waverley, which inculcated loyalty, to that of Oliver Twist, which teaches the brotherhood of man. Some novels are avowedly and insolently vicious; such are the Adventures of Faublas and the Memoirs of a Woman of Quality. Others, under the guise of philanthropy, sap every notion of right and duty: such are Martin the Foundling, Consuelo, et id omne genus. It is the novels of this last class which are the most deleterious; for, with much truth, they contain just enough poison to vitiate the whole mass. Chemists tell us that the smallest atom of putrid matter, if applied to the most gigantic body, will, in time, infect the whole: just so the grain of sophistry in Consuelo, admitting there is no more, in the end destroys all that the book contains of the beautiful and true. Said a lady in conversing on this subject: "I always find that people who read such books remember only what is bad in them." Her plain common sense hit the nail on the head, while transcendental folly hammered all around it in vain. We have spoken of Consuelo thus particularly because it is the best of its class: and of that enervating fiction we here record our deliberate opinion, that it will turn more than one foolish Miss into a strolling actress, under the insane and preposterous notion that it is her mission.

We do not say that art should be despised by the novelist; we only contend that it should not be polluted. We would have every novel a work of art, but the art should be employed on noble subjects, not on indifferent or disgraceful ones. If authors plead a mission to write, it must be to write that which will do good. A Raphael may boast of inspiration when he paints a Madonna, but not when his brush stoops to a Cyprian or a Satyr. The Pharisees of old prayed unctuously in the market-places: so the George Sands of our day boast of their superior insight into the beautiful and true. We doubt whether both are not impudent hypocrites.

The novel, which has proved the text to these remarks, belongs to a different, and, we hold, a better school. It originally appeared in Sharpe's London Magazine, and has just been republished by E. Littell & Co. Edith Kinnaird is a fiction which the most artistic mind will feel delight in perusing, yet one which the humblest will understand, and from which both may derive improvement. The heroine is neither a saint nor a fool, but a living woman; her sufferings spring from her errors, and are redeemed by her repentance: all is natural, beautiful, refreshing and noble. We rise from the perusal of such a fiction chastened and improved.

Instead of rendering its readers dissatisfied with themselves, with their lot in life, with society, with every thing, this novel makes them feel that life is a battle, yet that victory is sure to reward all who combat aright—that after the dust and heat of the struggle comes the repose of satisfied duty. Yet there is nothing didactic in the volume. Its[299] influence upon the heart is like that of the dew of heaven, silent, gradual, imperceptible. Is not this a proof of its intrinsic merit?

Consuelo herself, as an ideal, is not more lovely than Edith Kinnaird, while the latter, in the eyes of truth, is infinitely the nobler woman. We hope to hear from the author again. Let us have more of such novels: there cannot be too many of them. How can noble and talented souls do more good than by furnishing the right kind of novels. Just as the old religious painters used to limn saints and Madonnas, let us now write works of artistic and moral fiction.

Jane Eyre. An Autobiography. Boston: William D. Ticknor & Co. 1 vol. 12mo.

Few novels published within the last ten years have made so great a stir among readers of all classes as this. The Harpers have sold a vast number of their cheap reprint, and we have here to notice its appearance in the old duodecimo shape, with large type and white paper. That the work bears unmistakable marks of power and originality cannot be questioned, and in a limited range of characterization and description evinces sagacity and skill. The early portions of the novel are especially truthful and vivid. The description of the heroine's youthful life—the exact impression which is conveyed of the child's mind—the influences which went to modify her character—the scenes at the boarding-school—all have a distinctness of delineation which approaches reality itself. But when the authoress comes to deal with great passions, and represent morbid characters, we find that she is out of her element. The character of Rochester is the character of a mechanical monster. The authoress has no living idea of the kind of person she attempts to describe. She desires to represent a reckless man, made bad by circumstances, but retaining many marks of a noble character, and she fills his conversation with slang, makes him impudent and lustful, a rascal in every sense of the word, without the remotest idea of what true chivalric love for a woman means; and this mechanical automaton, whose every motion reveals that he moves not by vital powers but by springs and machinery, she makes her pure-minded heroine love and marry.

There has been a great deal of discussion about the morality of this part of the novel. The question resolves itself into a question of art, for we hold that truth of representation and morality of effect are identical. Immoral characters may be introduced into a book, and the effect be moral on the reader's mind, but a character which is both immoral and unnatural ever produces a pernicious effect. Now the authoress of Jane Eyre has drawn in Rochester an unnatural character, and she has done it from an ignorance of the inward condition of mind which immorality such as his either springs from or produces. The ruffian, with his fierce appetites and Satanic pride, his mistresses and his perjuries, his hard impudence and insulting sarcasms, she knows only verbally, so to speak. The words which describe such a character she interprets with her fancy, enlightened by a reminiscence of Childe Harold and the Corsair. The result is a compound of vulgar rascalities and impotent Byronics. Every person who interprets her description by a knowledge of what profligacy is, cannot fail to see that she is absurdly connecting certain virtues, of which she knows a good deal, with certain vices, of which she knows nothing. The coarseness of portions of the novel, consisting not so much in the vulgarity of Rochester's conversation as the naive description of some of his acts—his conduct for three weeks before his intended marriage, for instance, is also to be laid partly to the ignorance of the authoress of what ruffianism is, and partly to her ignorance of what love is. No woman who had ever truly loved could have mistaken so completely the Rochester type, or could have made her heroine love a man of proud, selfish, ungovernable appetites, which no sophistry can lift out of lust.

We accordingly think that if the innocent young ladies of our land lay a premium on profligacy, by marrying dissolute rakes for the honor of reforming them, à la Jane Eyre, their benevolence will be of questionable utility to the world. There is something romantic to every inexperienced female mind in the idea of pirates and debauchees, who have sentiment as well as slang, miseries as well as vices. Such gentlemen their imaginations are apt to survey under the light of the picturesque instead of under the light of conscience. Every poet and novelist who addresses them on this weak side is sure of getting a favorable hearing. Byron's popularity, as distinguished from his fame, was mainly owing to the felicity with which he supplied the current demand for romantic wickedness. The authoress of Jane Eyre is not a Byron, but a talented woman, who, in her own sphere of thought and observation, is eminently trustworthy and true, but out of it hardly rises above the conceptions of a boarding-school Miss in her teens. She appears to us a kind of strong-minded old maid, but with her strong-mindedness greatly modified by the presumption as well as the sentimentality of romantic humbug.

Novum Testamentum Domini Nostri Jesu Christi. Interpetre Theodora Beza. Philadelphia: Geo. S. Appleton.

In relation to the character of this version it is scarcely necessary for us to speak. It has for centuries received the approbation of the wisest and the best; and the copy before us seems to us, upon a brief examination, to be accurate. The work is admirably printed, and does credit to the publishers. We confess that we believe that the use of this sacred work, in our seminaries and colleges, in the Latin, is desirable in reference to every interest of religion and morality. While we hesitate to affirm that Theodore de Beza's version of the New Testament Scriptures is a study of the classic Latin, we still believe that, stamped as it has been with the approbation of centuries, it is, in relation to all the moral considerations which should control our direction of the study of youth, worthy of all acceptance. The preface informs us that several editions were published during the lifetime of Beza, to which he made such improvements as his attention was directed to, or as were prompted by his familiarity, as Greek Professor, with the original. Since 1556, when it first appeared at Geneva, this work has kept its place in the general esteem.

The propriety of the use of this sacred volume in schools has been regarded as a question by some persons; but we cannot consider it a subject of doubt. After a careful consideration of every objection, we cannot see a reason why its gentle and holy truths should not be given to the mind and heart at the earliest period. There is nothing so likely to mark out the destiny of man and woman for goodness and honor, and prosperity, as the early and earnest study of the New Testament. Its Divine Inspirer said, "Suffer little children to come unto me;" and one of the great evidences of its heavenly origin, is the fact, that while its sublimity bows the haughtiest intellect to humility and devotion, its simplicity renders its most important teachings as intelligible to the child as the man, to the unlettered as to[300] the philosopher. The work is worthy the attention of all who desire to unite education with religion.

The Princess. A Medley. By Alfred Tennyson. Boston: Wm. D. Ticknor & Co. 1 vol. 12mo.

The success of this poem is indicated not only by the discussion it has provoked, but its swift passage through three editions. Taken altogether we deem it the most promising of Tennyson's productions, evincing a growth in his fine powers, and a growth in the right direction. It has his customary intellectual intensity, and more than his usual heartiness and sweetness. As a poem it is properly called by its author a medley, the plan being to bring the manners and ideas of the chivalric period into connection with those of the present day; the hero being a knight who adores his mistress, his mistress being a lady who spurns his suit, and carries to its loftiest absurdities the chimera of woman's rights. There is no less fascination in the general conduct of the story, than truth in the result. The whole poem is bathed in beauty, and invites perusal after perusal. In Tennyson's other poems the general idea is lost sight of in the grandeur or beauty of particular passages. In the present we read the poem through as a whole, eager to follow out the development of the characters and plot, and afterward return to admire the excellence of single images and descriptions. In characterization the Princess evinces an improvement on Tennyson's manner, but still we observe the manner. He does not so much paint as engrave; the lines are so fine that they seem to melt into each other, but the result is still not a portrait on canvas, but an engraving on steel. His poetic power is not sufficiently great to fuse the elements of a character indissolubly together.

The Origin, Progress and Conclusion of the Florida War. By John T. Sprague, Brevet Captain Eighth Regiment U. S. Infantry. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 8vo.

This large volume seems to have been a labor of love with its author. It is full of interesting and valuable matter regarding a very peculiar contest in which our government was engaged; and to the future historian Captain Sprague has spared a great deal of trouble and research. The work is well got up, is illustrated with numerous engravings, and contains full accounts of the origin and progress of the war, the Indian chiefs engaged in it, and a record of all the officers and privates of the army, navy, and marine corps, who were killed in battle or died of disease. Captain Sprague says, "the causes of the difficulties in Florida must be apparent to the minds of careful and intelligent readers; causes not springing up in a day, but nourished for years, aggravated as opportunities offered to enrich adventurers, who had the temerity to hazard the scalping-knife and rifle, and were regardless of individual rights or of law. It must be remembered that Florida, at the period referred to, was an Indian border, the resort of a large number of persons, more properly temporary inhabitants of the territory than citizens, who sought the outskirts of civilization to perpetrate deeds which would have been promptly and severely punished if committed within the limits of a well regulated community. . . . They provoked the Indians to aggressions; and upon the breaking out of the war, ignominiously fled, or sought employment in the service of the general government, and clandestinely contributed to its continuance." In these few sentences we have the philosophy of almost all our Indian border wars. The criminals of a community are ever its most expensive curses.

The Poetical Works of John Milton. A New Edition. With Notes, and a Life of the Author. By John Mitford. Lowell: D. Bixby & Co. 2 vols. 8vo.

Lowell is a manufacturing city of Massachusetts, the Manchester of America, and a place where we might expect every thing in the shape of manufactures except classical books. Yet it rejoices in a publisher who has really done much for good literature. If our readers will look at their American editions of Faust, of Goethe's Correspondence with a Child, of Southey's Chronicle of the Cid, they will find Mr. Bixby on the title page, and Lowell as the city whence their treasures came. We have now to chronicle another feat of the same enterprising publisher—an edition of Milton, in two splendid octavos, printed in large type on the finest paper, after the best and most complete London edition, illustrated with foot notes of parallel passages from other poets, and constituting altogether the best American edition extant of the sublimest of poets, and having few rivals even among the finest English editions. The life of the poet by Mitford, extending to about a hundred pages, embodies in a clear style all the facts which have been gathered by previous biographers, without reproducing any of their bigotries. All the lies regarding Milton's character are disposed of with summary justice; and the man stands out in all the grandeur of his genius and his purity. We hope that Mr. Bixby will be adequately remunerated for his enterprise in getting out this splendid edition. It is an honor to the American press.

Eleventh Annual Report of the Secretary of the Board of Education of Massachusetts. Boston: Dutton & Wentworth. 1 vol.

We strongly advise our readers to procure this document, and not be frightened from its perusal by the idea of its being a legislative paper. It is written by Horace Mann, one of the ablest champions of the cause of education now living, a man as distinguished for industry, energy, and practical skill, as for eloquence and loftiness of purpose. His report, considered simply as a composition, is written with such splendid ability, glows throughout with so much genuine philanthropy, and evinces so wide a command of the resources of expression and argument, that, apart from its importance as a contribution to the cause of education, it has general merits of mind and style which will recommend it to every reader of taste and feeling. The leading characteristic of Mr. Mann's writings on education, which lifts them altogether out of the sphere of pedants and pedagogues, is soul—a true, earnest, aspiring spirit, on fire with a love of rectitude and truth. This gives inspiration even to his narrative of details, and hurries the reader's mind on with his own, through all necessary facts and figures, directly to the object. The present report cannot but shame a mean spirit out of any person with a spark of manliness in him. We wish its accomplished author all success in his great and noble work.

Aurelian, or Rome in the Third Century. By Wm. Ware, Author of Zenobia and Julian. New York: C. S. Francis & Co.

This work has been known to the public for ten years as "Probus," and has now a reputation that promises to be as enduring as it is brilliant. It manifests an intimate knowledge of the manners, customs and character of the Romans; and conveys the most sacred truths through the medium of the most elevated fiction. It is for sale at the store of the Appletons, in Philadelphia.