The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Southern Literary Messenger, Vol. I., No. 2, October, 1834

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Title: The Southern Literary Messenger, Vol. I., No. 2, October, 1834

Author: Various

Editor: James E. Heath

Release date: June 25, 2016 [eBook #52411]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Ron Swanson








Au gré de nos desirs bien plus qu'au gré des vents.    
Crebillon's Electre.
As we will, and not as the winds will.













    TO —— —— OF THE U. S. NAVY: by E. A. S.
    MUSINGS II: by the Author of Vyvyan

    AMIR KHAN, AND OTHER POEMS: by Samuel F. B. Morse, A. M.
    THE PILGRIMS OF THE RHINE: by the author of Pelham, Eugene Aram, &c.
        Selection: THE MAID OF MALINES

    SONG: by the Author of Vyvyan
    THE CEMETERY: from the Russian



VOL. I.]                    RICHMOND, OCTOBER 15, 1834.                    [NO. 2.




The favorable reception of the first number of the Messenger has been a source of no small gratification. Letters have been received by the publisher from various quarters, approving the plan of the publication, and strongly commendatory of the work. The appeal to the citizens of the south for support of a substantial kind, was not in vain. Already enough have come forward as subscribers, to defray the necessary expense of publication; and contributions to the columns of the paper have been liberally offered from different quarters. The publisher doubts not that with his present support, he will be enabled to furnish a periodical replete with matter of an acceptable kind. The useful and agreeable—the grave and gay—will be mingled in each number, so as to give it a pleasing variety, and enable every reader to find something to his taste. Thus will the paper become a source of innocent amusement, and at the same time a vehicle of valuable information.

That such a paper is to be desired in the southern states no one will controvert, and all must be sensible that an increase of public patronage will furnish the most effectual means of having what is wanted. An enlarged subscription list would put it in the power of the publisher to cater in the literary world on a more liberal scale; and the extended circulation of the paper, which would be a consequence of that subscription, would furnish a yet stronger inducement to many to make valuable contributions.

The publisher also makes his grateful acknowledgements for the friendly and liberal support received from various gentlemen residing in the states north of the Potomac. Many in that quarter, of literary and professional distinction, have kindly extended their patronage.

Already the number of contributions received, has greatly exceeded the most sanguine expectations of the publisher. Still he would earnestly invite the gifted pens of the country to repeat their favors, and unite in extending the INFLUENCE OF LITERATURE.


The countrymen of WILLIAM WIRT hold his memory in respect, not more for his mental powers than for his pure morality. Every thing which comes to light in regard to him, tends to show that his character has not been too highly appreciated. The letter which occupies a portion of this number, and which is now for the first time published, exhibits him in a way strongly calculated to arrest attention. A young gentleman who is about to leave the walls of a university, and looks to the law as his profession, who is not related to or connected with Mr. Wirt, nor even acquainted with him, and knows him only as an ornament to his profession and his country, is induced by the high estimate which he has formed of his character, and the great confidence that might be reposed in any advice that he would give, to ask at his hands some instruction as to the course of study best to be pursued. Mr. Wirt, with constant occupation even at ordinary times, is, at the period when this letter is received, busily employed in preparing for the supreme court of the confederacy, then shortly to commence its session. Yet notwithstanding the extent of his engagements, he hastily prepares a long letter replete with advice, and of a nature to excite the student to reach, if possible, the very pinnacle of his profession. What can be better calculated to increase our esteem for those who have attained the highest distinction themselves, than to see them submit to personal trouble and inconvenience, for the purpose of encouraging the young to come forward and cope with them? It would seem as if there were something in the profession of the law which tends to produce such liberality of feeling. We find strong evidence of this, if we look to the course of the two men who are generally regarded as at the head of the Virginia bar. How utterly destitute are they of that close and narrow feeling which, in other pursuits of life, not unfrequently leads the successful man to depress others that his own advantages may with greater certainty be retained.

A few remarks will now be made upon the contents of the letter. The student, says Mr. Wirt, must cultivate most assiduously the habits of reading, observing, above all of thinking: must make himself a master in every branch of the science that belongs to the profession; acquire a mastery of his own language, and when he comes to the bar speak to the purpose and to the point. He is not merely to make himself a great lawyer. General science must not be overlooked. History and politics, statistics and political economy, are all to receive a share of attention.

Much of this advice may well be followed by minds of every description, but some portion of it seems better fitted for an intellect of the highest order than for the great mass of those who come to the bar. Lord Mansfield could be a statesman and a jurist, an orator of persuasive eloquence and acute reasoning, and a judge "whose opinions may be studied as models." And Sir William Jones has shown that it was possible for the same individual to be a most extensive linguist, an historian of great research, a person of information upon matters the most varied, an author in poetry as well as prose, and a writer of equal elegance upon legal and miscellaneous subjects.

But these were men whose extraordinary endowments have caused the world to admire their strength of understanding and their great attainments. Mr. Wirt seems to think it best to open a field the whole extent of which could only be reached by such minds as these, and excite others to occupy as large a portion of it as practicable, by inculcating the belief that "to unceasing diligence there is scarcely any thing impossible."

That much may be effected by labor and perseverance, no one will controvert. Mr. Butler is an example. He states, in his reminiscences, that he was enabled to accomplish what he did, by never allowing himself to be unemployed for a moment; rising early; dividing his time systematically; and abstaining in a great degree from company and other amusements. Yet while the student is exhorted thus to persevere, some caution may be requisite lest his time be lost amid the variety of subjects that are laid before him in the extensive course which Mr. Wirt has prescribed.

Generally speaking, the student of law will fail to attain the highest point in his profession, unless the principal portion of his time be given to that profession. While travelling the road to professional distinction, he may, without greatly impeding his course, for the sake of variety, occasionally wander to the right or to the left, provided he will speedily return to his proper track. But if he open to himself a variety of paths, walking alternately in them, and spending in one as much time as in another, he will find that he can never travel far in any. In England the lawyer commonly devotes himself with great constancy to his profession, and suffers his attention to be diverted from it by nothing else. In our country, and especially in the southern states, more politicians than lawyers are to be found at the bar.—Hence the English lawyers are generally, as lawyers, more able and more learned than those of our country. There, as well as here, the lawyer who devotes a large portion of his life to politics, will become less fit for his peculiar vocation.

Lord Brougham is mentioned by Mr. Wirt, but he constitutes no exception to this remark. He was, it is true, at the same time an extensive practitioner at the bar, and a leading member of the House of Commons. He kept pace with the literature of the day, and contributed largely to the periodical press. The wonder was how he could do all this and go into society so much as he did; how he could do it, when so many able men found the profession of the law as much as they could master. But his fellow practitioners could, to some extent, solve the problem. The truth was, that Lord Brougham was more remarkable as an ingenious advocate than as an able lawyer, and made a much better leader of the opposition than he has since made a Lord Chancellor. There are many abler lawyers now presiding at his bar, and the decrees of his master of the rolls are more respected than his own.

In our country every one must, to some extent, be informed on the subject of politics, that he may be enabled to discharge his duty as a citizen; and history and general literature should certainly receive from all a due share of attention. But if the student of law remember what has oft been said of his profession, that the studies of even twenty years will leave much behind that is yet to be grappled with and mastered, he will perceive the necessity, if he desire to become a profound jurist, of making all general studies ancillary and subordinate to that which is his especial object. If he would know to what extent his attention may be divided, he may take Mr. Wirt himself as an example. In him extensive legal attainments were happily blended with general knowledge; powers of argument and eloquence were well combined; and in the forcible speaker was seen the accomplished gentleman. His good taste and sense of propriety would never allow him to descend to that low personality which has now become so common a fault among the debaters of the day.

A word to the gentleman who forwarded the letter. His reasons for transmitting it are not inserted, because it is believed that no relative or friend of Mr. Wirt can possibly object to the publication of such a letter.


BALTIMORE, DECEMBER 20, 1833.            
My dear sir:
Your letter, dated "University of ——, December 12," was received on yesterday morning—and although it finds me extremely busy in preparing for the Supreme Court of the United States, I am so much pleased with its spirit, that I cannot reconcile it to myself to let it pass unanswered. If I were ever so well qualified to advise you, to which I do not pretend, but little good could be done by a single letter, and I have not time for more. Knowing nothing of the peculiarities of your mental character, I can give no advice adapted to your peculiar case. I am persuaded that education may be so directed by a sagacious and skilful teacher, as to prune and repress those faculties of the pupil which are too prone to luxuriance, and to train and invigorate those which are disproportionately weak or slow; so as to create a just balance among the powers, and enable the mind to act with the highest effect of which it is capable. But it requires a previous acquaintance with the student, to ascertain the natural condition of his various powers, in order to know which requires the spur and which the rein. In some minds, imagination overpowers and smothers all the other faculties: in others, reason, like a sturdy oak, throws all the rest into a sickly shade. Some men have a morbid passion for the study of poetry—others, of mathematics, &c. &c. All this may be corrected by discipline, so far as it may be judicious to correct it. But the physician must understand the disease, and become acquainted with all the idiosyncracies of the patient, before he can prescribe. I have no advantage of this kind with regard to you; and to prescribe by conjecture, would require me to conjecture every possible case that may be yours, and to prescribe for each, which would call for a ponderous volume, instead of a letter. I believe that in all sound minds, the germ of all the faculties exists, and may, by skilful management, be wooed into expansion: but they exist, naturally, in different degrees of health and strength, and as this matter is generally left to the impulses of nature in each individual, the healthiest and strongest germs get the start—give impulse and direction to the efforts of each mind—stamp its character and shape its destiny. As education, therefore, now stands among us, each man must be his own preceptor in this respect, and by turning in his eyes upon himself, and descrying the comparative action of his own powers, discover which of them requires more tone—which, if any, less. We must take care, however, not to make an erroneous estimate of the relative value of the faculties, and thus commit the sad mistake of cultivating the showy at the expense of the solid. With these preliminary remarks, by way of explaining why I cannot be more particular in regard to your case, permit me, instead of chalking out a course of study by furnishing you with lists of books and the order in which they should be read, (and no list of books and course of study would be equally proper for all minds,) to close this letter with a few general remarks.
If your spirit be as stout and pure as your letter indicates, you require little advice beyond that which you will find within the walls of your University. A brave and pure spirit is more than "half the battle," not only in preparing for life, but in all its conflicts. Take it for granted, that there is no excellence without great labor. No mere aspirations for eminence, however ardent, will do the business. Wishing, and sighing, and imagining, and dreaming of greatness, will never make you great. If you would get to the mountain's top on which the temple of fame stands, it will not do to stand still, looking, admiring, and wishing you were there. You must gird up your loins, and go to work with all the indomitable energy of Hannibal scaling the Alps. Laborious study, and diligent observation of the world, are both indispensable to the attainment of eminence. By the former, you must make yourself master of all that is known of science and letters; by the latter, you must know man, at large, and particularly the character and genius of your own countrymen. You must cultivate assiduously the habits of reading, thinking, and observing. Understand your own language grammatically, critically, thoroughly: learn its origin, or rather its various origins, which you may learn from Johnson's and Webster's prefaces to their large dictionaries. Learn all that is delicate and beautiful, as well as strong, in the language, and master all its stores of opulence. You will find a rich mine of instruction in the splendid language of Burke. His diction is frequently magnificent; sometimes too gorgeous, I think, for a chaste and correct taste; but he will show you all the wealth of your language. You must, by ardent study and practice, acquire for yourself a mastery of the language, and be able both to speak and to write it, promptly, easily, elegantly, and with that variety of style which different subjects, different hearers, and different readers are continually requiring. You must have such a command of it as to be able to adapt yourself, with intuitive quickness and ease, to every situation in which you may chance to be placed—and you will find no great difficulty in this, if you have the copia verborum and a correct taste. With this study of the language you must take care to unite the habits already mentioned—the diligent observation of all that is passing around you; and active, close and useful thinking. If you have access to Franklin's works, read them carefully, particularly his third volume, and you will know what I mean by the habits of observing and thinking. We cannot all be Franklins, it is true; but, by imitating his mental habits and unwearied industry, we may reach an eminence we should never otherwise attain. Nor would he have been the Franklin he was, if he had permitted himself to be discouraged by the reflection that we cannot all be Newtons. It is our business to make the most of our own talents and opportunities, and instead of discouraging ourselves by comparisons and imaginary impossibilities, to believe all things possible—as indeed almost all things are, to a spirit bravely and firmly resolved. Franklin was a fine model of a practical man as contradistinguished from a visionary theorist, as men of genius are very apt to be. He was great in that greatest of all good qualities, sound, strong, common sense. A mere book-worm is a miserable driveller; and a mere genius, a thing of gossamer fit only for the winds to sport with. Direct your intellectual efforts, principally, to the cultivation of the strong, masculine qualities of the mind. Learn (I repeat it) to thinkto think deeply, comprehensibly, powerfully—and learn the simple, nervous language which is appropriate to that kind of thinking. Read the legal and political arguments of Chief Justice Marshall, and those of Alexander Hamilton, which are coming out. Read them, study them; and observe with what an omnipotent sweep of thought they range over the whole field of every subject they take in hand—and that with a scythe so ample, and so keen, that not a straw is left standing behind them. Brace yourself up to these great efforts. Strike for this giant character of mind, and leave prettiness and frivolity for triflers. There is nothing in your letter that suggests the necessity of this admonition; I make it merely with reference to that tendency to efflorescence which I have occasionally heard charged to southern genius. It is perfectly consistent with these herculean habits of thinking, to be a laborious student, and to know all that books can teach. This extensive acquisition is necessary, not only to teach you how far science has advanced in every direction, and where the terra incognita begins, into which genius is to direct its future discoveries, but to teach you also the strength and the weakness of the human intellect—how far it is permitted us to go, and where the penetration of man is forced, by its own impotence and the nature of the subject, to give up the pursuit;—and when you have mastered all the past conquests of science, you will understand what Socrates meant by saying, that he knew only enough to be sure that he knew nothing—nothing, compared with that illimitable tract that lies beyond the reach of our faculties. You must never be satisfied with the surface of things: probe them to the bottom, and let nothing go 'till you understand it as thoroughly as your powers will enable you. Seize the moment of excited curiosity on any subject to solve your doubts; for if you let it pass, the desire may never return, and you may remain in ignorance. The habits which I have been recommending are not merely for college, but for life. Franklin's habits of constant and deep excogitation clung to him to his latest hour. Form these habits now: learn all that may be learned at your University, and bring all your acquisitions and your habits to the study of the law, which you say is to be your profession;—and when you come to this study, come resolved to master it—not to play in its shallows, but to sound all its depths. There is no knowing what a mind greatly and firmly resolved, may achieve in this department of science, as well as every other. Resolve to be the first lawyer of your age, in the depth, extent, variety and accuracy of your legal learning. Master the science of pleading—master Coke upon Littleton—and Coke's and Plowden's Reports—master Fearne on Contingent Remainders and Executory Devises, 'till you can sport and play familiarly with its most subtle distinctions. Lay your foundation deep, and broad, and strong, and you will find the superstructure comparatively light work. It is not by shrinking from the difficult parts of the science, but by courting them, grappling with them, and overcoming them, that a man rises to professional greatness. There is a great deal of law learning that is dry, dark, cold, revolting—but it is an old feudal castle, in perfect preservation, which the legal architect, who aspires to the first honors of his profession, will delight to explore, and learn all the uses to which its various parts used to be put: and he will the better understand, enjoy and relish the progressive improvements of the science in modern times. You must be a master in every branch of the science that belongs to your profession—the law of nature and of nations, the civil law, the law merchant, the maritime law, &c. the chart and outline of all which you will see in Blackstone's Commentaries. Thus covered with the panoply of professional learning, a master of the pleadings, practice and cases, and at the same time a great constitutional and philosophic lawyer, you must keep way, also, with the march of general science. Do you think this requiring too much? Look at Brougham, and see what man can do if well armed and well resolved. With a load of professional duties that would, of themselves, have been appalling to the most of our countrymen, he stood, nevertheless, at the head of his party in the House of Commons, and, at the same time, set in motion and superintended various primary schools and various periodical works, the most instructive and useful that ever issued from the British press, to which he furnished, with his own pen, some of the most masterly contributions, and yet found time not only to keep pace with the progress of the arts and sciences, but to keep at the head of those whose peculiar and exclusive occupations these arts and sciences were. There is a model of industry and usefulness worthy of all your emulation. You must, indeed, be a great lawyer; but it will not do to be a mere lawyer—more especially as you are very properly turning your mind, also, to the political service of your country, and to the study and practice of eloquence. You must, therefore, be a political lawyer and historian; thoroughly versed in the constitution and laws of your country, and fully acquainted with all its statistics, and the history of all the leading measures which have distinguished the several administrations. You must study the debates in congress, and observe what have been the actual effects upon the country of the various measures that have been most strenuously contested in their origin. You must be a master of the science of political economy, and especially of financiering, of which so few of our young countrymen know any thing. The habit of observing all that is passing, and thinking closely and deeply upon them, demands pre-eminently an attention to the political course of your country. But it is time to close this letter. You ask for instructions adapted to improvement in eloquence. This is a subject for a treatise, not for a letter. Cicero, however, has summed up the whole art in a few words: it is—"apte—distincte—ornate dicere"—to speak to the purpose—to speak clearly and distinctly—to speak gracefully:—to be able to speak to the purpose, you must understand your subject and all that belongs to it:—and then your thoughts and method must be clear in themselves and clearly and distinctly enunciated:—and lastly, your voice, style, delivery and gesture, must be graceful and delightfully impressive. In relation to this subject, I would strenuously advise you to two things: Compose much, and often, and carefully, with reference to this same rule of apte, distincte, ornate; and let your conversation have reference to the same objects. I do not mean that you should be elaborate and formal in your ordinary conversation. Let it be perfectly simple and natural, but always, in good time, (to speak as the musician) and well enunciated.
With regard to the style of eloquence that you shall adopt, that must depend very much on your own taste and genius. You are not disposed, I presume, to be an humble imitator of any man? If you are, you may bid farewell to the hope of eminence in this walk. None are mere imitators to whom nature has given original powers. The ape alone is content with mere imitation. If nature has bestowed such a portion of the spirit of oratory as can advance you to a high rank in this walk, your manner will be your own. In what style of eloquence you are best fitted to excel, you, yourself, if destined to excellence, are the best judge. I can only tell you that the florid and Asiatic style is not the taste of the age. The strong, and even the rugged and abrupt, are far more successful. Bold propositions, boldly and briefly expressed—pithy sentences—nervous common sense—strong phrases—the felicitè audax both in language and conception—well compacted periods—sudden and strong masses of light—an apt adage in English or Latin—a keen sarcasm—a merciless personality—a mortal thrust—these are the beauties and deformities that now make a speaker the most interesting. A gentleman and a christian will conform to the reigning taste so far only as his principles and habits of decorum will permit. The florid and Asiatic was never a good style either for a European or an American taste. We require that a man should speak to the purpose and come to the point—that he should instruct and convince. To do this, his mind must move with great strength and power: reason should be manifestly his master faculty—argument should predominate throughout; but these great points secured, wit and fancy may cast their lights around his path, provided the wit be courteous as well as brilliant, and the fancy chaste and modest. But they must be kept well in the back ground, for they are dangerous allies; and a man had better be without them, than to show them in front, or to show them too often.
But I am wearying you, my dear sir, as well as myself. If these few imperfect hints, on subjects so extended and diversified, can be of any service to you, I shall be gratified. They may, at least, convince you that your letter has interested me in your behalf, and that I shall be happy to hear of your future fame and prosperity. I offer you my respects, and tender the compliments of the season.
WM. WIRT.            

For the Southern Literary Messenger.    



                                      "You have seen
Sunshine and rain at once: her smiles and tears
Were like a better day: Those happy smiles
That play'd on her ripe lip, seem'd not to know
What guests were in her eyes; which parted thence
As pearls from diamonds dropp'd."—King Lear.

In a late excursion through the western districts of Virginia, having been detained at the picturesque village of F——, I took a seat in the stage coach, intending to visit some of the neighboring springs. The usually delightful temperature and clear sky of the mountain summer, had been suddenly changed into a cold misty atmosphere; and as I stept into the coach, the curtains of which had been let down for greater comfort, I found a solitary female passenger sitting in one corner of the carriage, and apparently absorbed in deep contemplation. She was plainly but genteely dressed, in a suit of mourning; and there was something in her whole appearance, which would have immediately struck the eye of the most careless observer. Her face, and such parts of her head as were unconcealed by her bonnet, seemed to me, at a single glance, to present a fine study for the disciples of Lavater and Spurzheim—or at least to furnish a model which a painter would have loved to transfer to his canvass. Her features were not what are usually termed beautiful; that is, there was not that exquisite symmetry in them, nor that brilliant contrast between the delicate white skin and raven hair, or between the coral lip and the lustrous dark eye, which with some constitute the perfection of female beauty; but there was something beyond and superior to all these:—There was a fine intellectual expression which could not be mistaken. I do not even recollect the color of her eyes: I only remember that those "windows of the soul" revealed a whole volume of thought and feeling—and that there was cast over her countenance an inexpressible veil of sadness, which instantly seized upon my sympathies. As the stage drove off, the crack of the coachman's whip, and the lumbering of the wheels, seemed to rouse her from her reverie, and I remarked a deeper tinge of melancholy pass over her features. It was to her like the sound of a funeral knell! She was about to bid adieu, perhaps forever, to the scenes of her infancy—to scenes which were endeared by the remembrance of departed joys, and even consecrated by bitter inconsolable sorrows!

After the customary salutation, I determined to engage my interesting fellow-traveller in conversation; and I at once perceived by the modest blush which suffused her cheek, and by the timid responses she made to my inquiries, that she was conscious of appearing in the somewhat embarrassing situation of an unattended and unprotected female. I studied therefore to put her mind at ease, by a delicate pledge of my protection as far as my journey extended. Words of kindness and respect seemed to fall upon her ear, as if she had been unused to them. Her countenance, which had sunk in gloom, was lighted up by a mild expression of tranquillity. I saw that I had somewhat won upon her confidence, and I determined to improve the advantage, by affording her an opportunity of narrating her story—a story which I was curious to know, and which I had already half learned in her care-worn visage, her garments of woe, and her apparently forlorn and unbefriended condition.

Such are the mysterious sympathies of our nature, that whilst the sorrowing heart experiences a transient relief in pouring its griefs into another's ear, there is a no less melancholy pleasure in listening to the tale of misfortune, and participating in the misery of its victim. My companion did not hesitate, in her own peculiar and artless manner, to relate her story. It was brief, simple and affecting.

Maria (for that was her name,) was now in her sixteenth year, and was one of several children, born not to affluence, but to comparative independence. A doating grandmother adopted her, when not two years old, with the free consent of her parents. They had other offspring to provide for; and their residence was not so remote, but that occasional visits might preserve unbroken the ties of filial and parental love. The venerable grandmother devoted her humble means to the maintenance and education of her charge. Her aged bosom rejoiced in beholding herself, as it were, perpetuated in this blooming scion from her own stock. She spared neither pains nor expense, consistent with her limited fortune, in preparing her young descendant for a life of usefulness, piety and virtue. In truth, her dutiful grandchild was so "garnered up in her heart," that she became the only worldly hope of her declining years. Maria was her earthly solace—the tie which bound her to life when all its charms had faded—the being who made it desirable to linger yet a little longer on the confines of the grave. But how fleeting and unsubstantial is human hope! Scarcely a fortnight had elapsed since this venerated lady had been called to realize another state of being. When Maria touched upon this part of her narrative, I could perceive the agony of her soul. I could see the tearful and uplifted eye as she exclaimed, "Yes, sir! it has pleased Providence to deprive me of my only earthly benefactress!"

I was troubled at the misery I had occasioned, and I hastened, if possible, to administer such consolation as seemed to me proper. "But you have parents," I replied, "who will take you to their home, and gladly receive you in their arms?" Little did I think that the wound which I thus attempted to heal, would bleed afresh at my remark. The afflicted girl appeared to be deprived, for a moment, of utterance. Her heart seemed to swell almost to bursting, with the strength and intensity of her feelings. "My friend," she at length replied, in a tone of comparative calmness, "for by that name permit me to call you, even on so short an acquaintance,—you have touched a theme upon which I would gladly have avoided explanation. The interest you have already shown, however, in my unhappy story, entitles you to still more of my confidence. You shall know the whole of my cruel fortune. Though my father and mother are both still living, they are no longer parents to me. My father might have been all which a friendless and unprotected daughter could desire; but alas! for years and years past, he has lost the 'moral image' which God originally stamped upon his nature. The DEMON OF INTEMPERANCE has long—long possessed him. His feelings and affections are no longer those of an intelligent and rational creature. He scarcely knows me as his offspring; but turns from me with sullen indifference, if not disgust. My mother!"——

At the mention of that hallowed name, the fair narrator seemed to be almost choked by the violence of her emotions. She stopped an instant as if to respire more freely.

"My mother," she continued, "cannot extend to me her arm. She is herself broken-hearted and friendless; she is wasting away under the chastening rod of Providence!"——

"Heavens!" I inwardly exclaimed, "what havoc—what torture have I not inflicted upon this innocent bosom! Why did I officiously intermeddle in things which did not concern me—things too, which I could only know by tearing open the yet unhealed wounds of an anguished heart." I was at the point of offering some atonement for the mischief I had done. I saw the whole picture of wretchedness as it was presented to Maria's mind. I even shared, or thought that I shared, in the sorrows which overwhelmed her. My imagination conjured up before me the churlish and miserable wretch who was then wallowing in the stye of brutal sensuality—and in whose bosom all holy and natural affection had been drowned by the fatal Circean cup. I beheld his pale and neglected partner, writhing under that immedicable sickness of the heart—not of hope deferred, but of dark, absolute despair. I turned to the object before me. I saw how those affections which clung around her beloved protectress, as the tendrils of the vine cling around the aged tree, were in one evil hour withered forever. She, an unprotected destitute orphan—worse than an orphan—thrown upon the wide, cold and unfeeling world—perhaps seeking an asylum in the house of some half welcoming and distant relative. What a throng of perplexing—might I not say, distracting reflections, at that moment rushed upon me! I endeavored to change the subject, but at first without success. I experienced some relief, however, by being assured, that the relative to whose house she was now hastening, had offered his aid and protection, in the spirit of kindness and sincerity.

The most wonderful part of my story is yet to be told. When Maria was sufficiently composed, I resolved to divert the conversation into more agreeable channels. I was struck with the delicacy and propriety of her speech—with the simple, correct, and even elegant language which she used. Another and a quite unexpected source of admiration was yet in reserve for me. I touched upon the topic of her education—upon the books she had learned—the seminaries she had attended—and the teachers by whom she was instructed. Even here methought I might be officious and imprudent. What could be expected from a girl of sixteen—from one who had been born to humble fortune—from one who had had no one at home except an unlettered grandmother, to stir up within her the noble spirit of emulation, and to fan the divine sparks of genius and knowledge. Might she not suppose that I intended to deride the ignorance of youth, and expose the deficiency of her acquirements! Not so! At the bare mention of her books and instructers, I saw for the first time, the clouds which had gathered around her brow begin to disperse. There was evidently something like a smile which played upon her features. It looked like the rainbow of peace, which denoted that the storm of passion was passing away. Oh, how eloquently did she discourse upon the beauties and delights of learning! Next to the star of Bethlehem, which gilded her sorrowing path, and which for two years had attracted her devotional spirit,—knowledge was the luminary which she worshipped with more than Persian idolatry. The reader shall judge of my surprise and admiration, when he is informed, that this artless girl of sixteen—this youthful prodigy—had already amassed a richer intellectual treasure, than often falls to the lot of men of superior minds, even at the age of maturity. The great masters of Roman and classical antiquity she had read in their original tongue—the Georgics and Æneid of Virgil—the Commentaries of Cæsar—Selections from Horace—and the matchless orations of Tully, were as familiar to her, as household words. She was also conversant with the French, and thoroughly grounded in her own vernacular. Besides the usual elements of mathematics, she had even encountered the forbidding subtleties of algebra; and although mistress of the pleasing study of geography, there was nothing which had so filled her mind with delight as the sublime researches of astronomy. She loved to contemplate the harmony and beauty of the planetary system,—and to soar still further on the wings of thought, into that vast and illimitable firmament where each twinkling luminary is itself the centre of a similar system. She had watched too the fiery and eccentric track of the comet, "brandishing its crystal tresses in the sky;" and from all the wonderful movements and harmonious action of the heavenly bodies, she had realized the impressive sentiment of Young, that

"An undevout astronomer is mad."

From the marvellous works of creation as revealed in that most sublime of all human sciences, her soul had been transported to the Creator himself, whom she worshipped in adoring humility.

But why enumerate—why speak of her varied and almost numberless acquirements? There was scarcely a branch of learning with which she did not manifest at least some acquaintance. Even the popular and somewhat pleasing science of phrenology had not escaped her attention. In the theories and conclusions of its ardent disciples however, she was reluctant to concur. The moral and intellectual character did not, in her opinion, depend on the position of the brain, or the conformation of the skull. It squinted at the hateful doctrine of materialism; at least she thought so, and until better satisfied, she would not believe. Though closely engaged for years in her regular scholastic studies, this extraordinary female had found leisure to stray occasionally into the paths of polite and elegant literature. She had culled from the most illustrious of the British bards, some of their choicest and sweetest flowers; and the beautiful fictions of Scott were faithfully stored in her memory.

Deeply interested as I felt in this young and highly gifted girl, the hour of separation was at hand. The journey before her was comparatively long and tedious; mine would speedily terminate. When about to bid her adieu, I fancied that I saw regret painted in her countenance. Her solitude would bring back some of those gloomy reflections, which society and conversation had in some measure dissipated. I handed her a literary work which I had with me, to beguile the loneliness and misery of her journey. She accepted it with eagerness and gratitude. A new current of joy sprung up in her bosom. Commending her to the protection of heaven, I pressed her hand, and left my seat in the coach.

My sensations, when the vehicle swiftly departed, were of a mixed character. There was a strange combination of pleasure and pain. Poor Maria, I thought, we may never again meet in this world of sorrow; but if ever a pure aspiration was breathed for thy happiness, it is that which I now offer. I know that there is something within me which borders on romance; and perhaps many will suppose that my imagination has thrown over this adventure an illusive coloring. It may be so; but even after an interval of composed reflection, I have not been able to discover any thing in the foregoing sketch which does not substantially conform to truth. I have often moralized on Maria's story, and in my blind distrust of the dealings of an all wise Providence, have wished that human blessings could be sometimes more equally distributed. I have thought of the hundreds and thousands of the gay, simple, fluttering insects, dignified with the name of fashionable belles,—born and reared in the lap of luxury,—reposing in moral and intellectual sloth, and quaffing the delicious but fatal poison of adulation,—how inferior, how immeasurably inferior, most, if not all of them were, to this poor, neglected, deserted orphan. I have thought how hard was that decree, by which the light, trifling and glittering things of creation should be buoyed up to the surface by their own levity—whilst modest merit and suffering virtue were doomed to sink into obscurity, and perhaps into wretchedness. On the other hand, I have loved to look at the sunny smiles which Hope, in spite of us, will sprinkle over the chequered landscape of life. It is impossible! I have exclaimed, that one so young, yet so unfortunate—so highly improved by moral and mental culture—so worthy of admiration and esteem, should live and die unknown and unregretted. She surely was not

————"born to blush unseen,
And waste her sweetness in the desert air"—

at least such is my hope, and such is doubtless the prayer of every generous reader.


For the Southern Literary Messenger.    


I never read Jeremy Bentham's 'Book of Fallacies:' it is known to me only through the Edinburgh Review. I am uncertain whether it gibbets the above saying, or not; but no fallacy of them all better deserves to be hung up on high, for the admonition of mankind. There is none more mischievous, in the best filled pack of the largest wholesale proverb-pedler.

"Example is better than precept!"—is the constant plea, the invariable subterfuge, of those who do not want to follow good counsel. Be the counsel ever so sage—be the propriety and expediency of following it ever so manifest—if it perchance do not square to a T with the adviser's own practice, he is twitted with this sapient apothegm; and the advised party wends his way of folly as completely self-satisfied, as if he had demonstrated it to be the way of wisdom by an argument clearly pertinent, and mathematically unanswerable. Yet how is his argument more to the purpose—how is he more rational—than if he should refuse to take a road pointed out by a sign-board, because the board itself did not run along before him? May I not correctly show to others a way, which it is not convenient or agreeable for me to travel myself?

I could fill a book with the instances I have known, of people who have deluded themselves to their own hurt, by relying upon this same proverb.

For years, I have been a little given to drinking: not to excess, 'tis true—but more than is good for me. A sprightly younker, whose thirst appeared likely to become inordinate, being counselled by me to abstain altogether from strong waters, as the only sure resource of those afflicted with that propensity—told me, "example was better than precept," and refused to heed the one, because he could not have the other also. He has since died a sot. The last three years of his existence were, to his wife, years of shame, terror, and misery, from which widowhood and the poor-house were a welcome refuge. His children are schooled and maintained by the parish.

My appetite is better than ordinary. It is, in truth, too much indulged, and not a few head-aches and nightmares have been the consequence. Venturing once, on the score of my woful experience, to admonish a young friend whom I saw entering the habit in which I was confirmed, he confuted me with the accustomed logical reply—"example," and so forth. Seven years afterwards saw him tottering on the grave's brink, with an incurable dyspepsia, the fruit of gluttony, and of gluttony's usual attendant, indolence.

When a boy, I was a famous climber. Perched in a cherry tree one day, I saw a lad, clumsier than I was, going far out upon a slender branch. I cautioned him that it would break. "Didn't I see you on it just now?" said he: "and there you are now, further out on a smaller limb! Example's better"—but before he could end the saying, his bough snapped, and he fell twenty feet, breaking a leg and dislocating a shoulder by the fall.

Another time, as I and a smaller boy were hunting, he walked over a creek upon a log, which he saw was just able to bear his weight, through rottenness. "You had better not venture," said he to me. But I said, I had always heard, example was better than precept, and following him, was soused by the breaking of the log, in six feet water. Being a good swimmer, I escaped with a ducking, (it was near Christmas,) and with wetting my gun, lock, priming, and all: so that it cost me a full hour to refit for sport.

It is not, however, commonly, either immediate or bodily harm that we incur by means of this Jack-o'lantern proverb. Our faith in it is not sufficient to lead us into instant and obvious danger: it is in general the opiate with which we lull ourselves, only when the evil we are warned against is of the moral kind, or likely to occur at a remote period.

In my youth, I read novels to a pernicious excess. They enfeebled my memory; unfixed my power of attention and my habits of thought; blunted my zest for history; dimmed my perception of reasoning; gave me the most illusory ideas of human life and character; and filled my brain with fantastic visions. A passion for learning, and the timely counsels of a sensible friend, subsequently won me so far from this career of dissipation, that I surmounted in some degree its evil effects, and acquired a moderate stock of solid knowledge: but to my dying day I shall feel its cloying, unhinging, debilitating influence upon my mental constitution. Still, even latterly, I have continued to indulge myself with the best novels, as they appeared. My weakness in this respect unluckily became known to a young girl, who seemed to be exactly treading in my footsteps; and whom I earnestly warned of the dangers besetting that path. "Now, cousin L., how can you talk so, when I have seen you devouring the Antiquary, and Guy Mannering, and Patronage, and I don't know how many besides! You need not preach to me: example is better than precept." Therefore—for the reasoning seemed to her as conclusive as Euclids—therefore she went on, with undistinguishing voracity, through all the spawn of the novel press: and there is not now a sadder instance of the effects of novel-reading. After rejecting with disdain three suitors every way her equals, (and in real merit her superiors,) because they were so unlike her favorite novel heroes—did not woo on their knees or in blank verse—and had 'such shocking, vulgar names'—she, at three and twenty, married a coxcomb, formed precisely after the model upon which her 'mind's eye' had so long dwelt. He was gaudy, flippant, and specious; knew a dozen of Moore's Melodies by rote; could softly discourse of the heart and its affections, as if he really possessed the one, and had actually felt the other; and, most irresistible of all, his name was EDWIN MORTIMER FITZGERALD. The result may be imagined. The society of such a being could not long please. Their conversation was a routine of insipid frivolity and angry disputes. With no definite principles of economy or of morals, he wasted his fortune and wrecked his health over the bottle and at cards—excitements, the usual resource of a weak, ill-cultivated understanding. She is now a widow, scantily endowed, at the age of twenty-seven. Her mind, too much engrossed by her darling pursuit to have learned, even in the impressive school of adversity, is nearly a blank as to all useful knowledge: imagination, paramount there over every other faculty, is prolific of innumerable fooleries; she can do no work beyond crimping a ruff or making a frill: and her nerves, shattered by tea, late hours, and sentimental emotion at fictitious scenes, threaten a disordered intellect and a premature grave.

To this impertinent adage, about example and precept, is it chiefly owing that I am at this moment a bachelor, aged fifty. I used it to parry the repeated instances made me by a friendly senior bachelor, to be "up and a doing," in the journey towards matrimony. As the proverb commonly silenced him, it appeared to me at last, as it does to most people, a satisfactory answer; it was the lullaby, with which I hushed into repose every transient qualm that his expostulations excited. My friend at length, in reasonable time, took me at my word, and added example to precept: he married, well and happily. But one obstacle or other, real or imaginary, had by this time confirmed me in my inactivity. Business occupied my time: chimerical visions of female excellence, in spite of my better reason, haunted me from the regions of romance, and made me hard to be pleased, even by merits which I was obliged to confess were superior to my own: courtship, by being long in view yet long deferred, came at length to appear clothed in embarrassment and terror: a failure, resulting (as vanity whispered,) purely from the awkwardness produced by embarrassment and terror, finally crushed all matrimonial aspirations: and, as it is now absurd to hope for a love-match, (a genuine novel-reader can brook no other) I am e'en trying to resign myself to the doom of perpetual celibacy.

'Twere needless to multiply examples. These suffice to shew, not only how absurd in reasoning, but how hurtful often in practice it is, to consider advice as at all the less good, for not being enforced by the giver's example. That proverb has done as much harm in the world as the doctrine of the Pope's infallibility, or of the divine right of kings; or as the silly saying, "stuff a cold, and starve a fever;" or, as (by its perversion) that unfortunate one, "spare the rod, and spoil the child."

Yet, after all, the maxim I have been exposing is not untrue. Example IS better than precept: DOES more effectually shew the right way. But it is fallacious, and mischievous, by being misapplied. Instead of being regarded merely as a rebuke to the adviser, it is absurdly taken by the advised as a justication to himself in persisting in error. In most cases it is not even a just rebuke to the adviser: because ten to one there is some dissimilarity of situation or of circumstances, which makes it not expedient or proper for him to do what he nevertheless properly recommends to another. While I shew you your road—and shew it with perfect correctness—my own duty or pleasure may call me another way, or may bid me remain where I am. But the adage is never an apology for the advised party's neglect of advice: and whensoever he attempts to use it as such, his plea, though abstractly true, is impertinent—is nothing to the purpose.


For the Southern Literary Messenger.    


"Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the
"days of Herod the King, behold there came wise men from the
"east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born king of the
"Jews? for we have seen his star in the east and have come to
"worship him."

Pleasure! thou cheat of a world's dim night,
What shadows pass over thy disk of light!
To follow thy flitting and quivering flame,
Is to die in the depths of despair and shame;
'Tis to perish afar on a lone wild moor,
Or the wreck of a ship on a hopeless shore.
Come listen, ye gay! I will tell of a star
Whose beaming is brighter and steadier far;
It rose in the East, and the wise men came
To see if its light were indeed the same
Which their old books said would be seen to rest
On Bethlehem's plains, in its silver vest,
To point to the spot where a Saviour lay,
Who would gather his flock, all gone astray;
Would frighten the wolf from his helpless fold,
And loosen the grasp of his demon hold;
And lead them away to his pastures green,
Where all is so verdant and fadeless seen,
Where the river of life is a ceaseless stream,
And the light of his love is the sweetest beam
That ever shone out on benighted eyes,
And brighter the face of those lovely skies,
Than ever was seen in the softest sleep
When the senses are hushed in calmness deep;
And spirits are thought, with their gentle breath,
To breathe on the lids of a seeming death,
And whisper such things in the ear of wo,
As the waking sinner must never know.
Oh, what doth he ask in return for this,
The light of his love, and such draughts of bliss?
What doth he ask for the boon thus given?—
Faith in the blood of the Son of Heaven.

A cry was heard in Rama!—and so wild—
'Twas Rachel weeping for her murder'd child:—
She would not be consoled—her youngest pride
Was torn in terror from her sheltering side;
At one dread blow her infant joy was gone
To glut the rage of Herod's heart of stone;
What drave the tyrant in his wrathful mood,
To bathe her lovely innocents in blood?
Why stoop'd the savage from his kingly throne,
To fill Judea with a mother's moan?—
Weak wretch! he idly sought in his alarm,
To stay the purpose of Jehovah's arm;
The creature, crawling on his kindred dust,
Would stay the bolt, descending on his lust;
The crafty counsel of his finite mind
Would thwart the God, who rides upon the wind;
Yea, "rides upon a Cherub," and doth fly,
Scatt'ring his lightnings through the lurid sky.
Vain hope! the purpose of his heart, foreknown,
Ere yet the falcon swoops, the prey is flown;
On Egypt's all unconscious breast is laid
Another babe, like him whom erst the maid
Daughter of Pharaoh on the wave espied
In bark of bulrush, floating o'er the tide
Where 'twas her wont her virgin limbs to lave,
And snatched in pity from a watery grave;
True to the chord that wakes in woman's heart,
True to the pulse which bids her promptly start
To shield defenceless childhood in her arms,
And hush the plaining of its young alarms.

Infant adored! I dare not here essay
To paint the lustre of thy glorious way:—
Let earth attend, while holy tongue recount
Thy hallow'd lessons from the Olive Mount,
While Heaven proclaims its messenger of love
On Jordan's banks descending as a dove,
While grateful multitudes in plaudits vie,
And Zion shouts hosannah to the High!
O'er famed Gethsemane, I must not tread.
Sad o'er its memory let tears be shed;
From bloody Calvary, the soul recoils
From impious murderers, sharing in thy spoils;
From thy dread agony, and bosom wrung,
A world in awful darkness, sably hung,
When earth was shook, the vail was rent in twain
And yawning graves gave forth their dead again.

From theme too great, too sad, I turn away,
From strain too lofty for a feeble lay—
They sought to quench in blood thy hallow'd light,
To stay, the foolish ones! thy stayless flight;
They did indeed thy breast of meekness wring,
Which would have gathered them beneath its wing;
Infuriate Jacob trampled on thy cross,
Thy loved ones mourned in bitterness, thy loss,
When suddenly is heard the earthquake shock,
The sepulchre repels its closing rock,
The grave is tenantless!—the body gone,
The trembling guards in speechless terror thrown;
Th' attending angel comes with lightning brow
And raiment whiter than the dazzling snow,
Comes to attest with his eternal breath,
Our God triumphant over sin and death.

Here let me pause and fix my ardent gaze—
Faith is my star, whose ever-during rays
Can guide my steps through life's surrounding gloom
And cheer the paths which lie beyond the tomb;
How was I lost in earth's bewildering vale
When first I turned and saw that silver sail
Above my dim horizon, breaking slow,
When all of peace for me seem'd gone below;
My world was sad and comfortless and drear
Or cross'd by lights that glance and disappear;
Look back, my soul, on scenes which long have passed,
Think on the thousand phantoms I have chased;
Count o'er the bubbles whose delusive dyes
Have danced in emptiness before mine eyes;
How were they followed,—won—and heedless clasp'd
How fled their hues! evanished as I grasp'd!—
That last and loveliest one, whose rainbow light
Will break at times on memory so bright,
How did it fleet with all its fairy fires,
Fanned by the breath of young and soft desires!
Caught by its tinsel shine, deceptive shed,
I flew, with throbbing heart and dizzied head,
A giddy round, where all beneath were flowers,
Where sped, with "flying feet," the laughing hours:
Dissolved the charm—dispelled the brilliant dream—
Why changed to baleful shadow did it seem?
What roused the madman from his trance, and left
His heart a waste—of love—of joy bereft?
What woke the foolish one?—unmanned his heart?
Death, mid the treach'rous scene, did sudden start,
And o'er my light of love his breath expires,
It pales—it fades—extinguish'd are its fires!

But now, how blest the change! there is a power
Can foil e'en death—can rob his only hour
Of half its sting—can even deck with charms
The cold embrace of his sepulchral arms:
'Tis but the transient sinful passport this,
To "joys unspeakable and full of bliss;"
'Tis but a short,—convulsive,—fitful thrill,—
A momentary pang,—a sudden chill;—
When free, the disembodied spirit flies
Where, incorruptible, it never dies;
To scenes the Patmos prophet, glowing paints,
Where near the jasper seat adore the saints,
Where bow of emerald circles round a throne
In glory brighter than the sardine stone!
Yet hold!—nor thus as if in scorn my soul
Still break from earth and spurn its dull control;
Why wilt thou bound away through paths of ether,
Swift as "young roes upon thy mountains, Bether?"
Turn—turn to earth, the blinded vision fails,—
We must not look beyond those sapphire veils,
Which mercy spreads in beauty o'er the skies,
To spare the weakness of unhallow'd eyes;
Oh, check the thought which soars, presumptuous man!
Nor dare the heights that thou must never scan.

But though shut out from that all radiant goal
While "this corruptible" enchains the soul,
He whom a gracious God hath given to see
Yon light which burst on darkened Galilee,
Will find a charm in that clear steady ray
Which sweetens life and sanctifies decay;
All changed the face of this dark prison, earth,
It seems to spring as from a second birth;
Chaos is gone,—as first it fled the sight
Of Him who spake, and sudden there was light!
Sweet flowers now spring upon the pris'ners path,
Where once but thorns beset the child of wrath;
A balm for wounds that once could rack the frame,
Such monitory thoughts the fondest wish to tame.
Such hope to cheer and stay the sinking breast,
A prize so noble,—and so calm a rest!
Such alter'd views!—new heavens!—and other skies!
Some veil before was bound upon his eyes,
Thus sudden loosed, as if angelic hands,
Invisible, unbound his fettering bands.
Where now the cold and soul revolting gloom
That hung its shadows o'er the yawning tomb?
Where gone the grief that with o'erwhelming load
Press'd down the heart and crush'd it on its road?
Lost in the hope of those prospective joys
Where sorrow enters not, nor death annoys.


For the Southern Literary Messenger.    



Mr. Jefferson has said, and we admit it, that a sight of the Natural Bridge is worth a trip across the Atlantic. But as this does not preclude the possibility of greater curiosities existing, we are allowed the privilege of expressing the belief, that the Sweet Springs, inclusive of the entire valley which contains them, present to a philosophical mind, a scene of incalculably greater interest. The bridge, by one mental effort, is comprehended, and speculation put at rest. Not so with this valley; but like the bridge, the first impressions produced by it create amazement, but as soon as this state of feeling is displaced by further observation, a train of thought succeeds, of unceasing interest, upon the character and variety of the causes which could have produced such a pleasing variety of effects.

In the first place, the several springs, bubbling forth immense volumes of water, highly charged with lime, carbonic acid gas, free caloric, and in some instances iron, are objects of peculiar interest to the philosopher, and so they will remain, more especially, until more facts in relation to them are discovered, and the laws of chemical affinity are better understood.

In the second place, the great fertility of the valley, even to a common observer, will be remarked as a matter of very uncommon occurrence.

In the third place, those elevations which cross the Valley, five in number, popularly known as the Beaver Dams, are marvellous matters, transcending even the Natural Bridge; and that they were constructed by beavers, cannot admit of a doubt. But then the mind is lost in amazement at the probable number of the animals that inhabited the valley, and the immensity of their labor.

The valley is bounded by high hills, perhaps mountains, and the one that terminates its lower extremity consists of slate, and is separated from the lateral ones by a stream of small magnitude above its junction with the valley branch, which is made up measurably of the mineral waters. The lateral mountains, at their lower extremity are slate; at the other, sandstone; and in the middle, limestone.

From the upper spring, or the one now in use, to the junction of its branch with the mountain stream above treated of, is three miles, and the fall in that distance was originally about one hundred and fifty feet. Then there was between these lateral hills no valley or flat land—this has been produced by the Beaver Dams which divided the original declination into five perpendicular falls, measuring each from twenty to thirty-eight feet—thus producing out of one mountain gutter, five beautiful tables of the richest soil in the world. And this too, simply by retaining the debris from the surrounding hills, as it was annually washed in, and also the lime from the mineral waters, which, since the production of the fountains has been constantly depositing. It is furthermore evident that no one of these dams was the work of one season, but of many, just as the necessity for elevation was produced by the filling up of the artificial basin.

As a description of one of those dams will serve for all, we will take the largest, and the one which bounds the lower extremity of the valley.

This dam constitutes one bank of the stream which receives the valley waters, and is about thirty-eight feet high, and half a mile in length; the elevation, however, gradually diminishes from the centre to the extremities. The mineral waters of the valley contain, as we have intimated, an immense quantity of lime, which is deposited with astonishing rapidity in the state of a simple carbonate, (especially in those places where the water has much motion,) producing those mineral forms called stalactites and stalagmites. With this knowledge it is easy to comprehend how these imperishable monuments of beaver labor and economy were produced.—For instance, these animals, according to their manner of building, felled trees across the mouth of the branch, and filled smaller interstices with brush, which would cause motion in the water and serve as nuclei for its mineral depositions. Consequently, in this dam may be seen immense incrustations of logs, brush, roots and moss. In many instances, the ligneous matter, not being able to resist the decomposing effects of time and moisture, is entirely removed, leaving petrous tubes, resembling, in the larger specimens, cannon barrels. These calcareous deposites not only cemented the timber together, but secured the entire work against the smallest percolation, prevented the escape of mountain debris, and rendered permanent a labor, which under other circumstances, would little more than have survived the duration of the timber, or the life of the industrious artificer.

The outside of the dam is stalactical in its whole length, which resulted from the beaver's keeping its summit level, and thus causing the water to flow over every point of it. This circumstance, in connexion with the stream that washes its outer base, has caused large and over hanging projections of the stalactical deposites, and cavernous excavations; attached to the roofs of which is to be seen a great variety of small and beautiful spars. At the point over which the water at present is precipitated, the dam, is a bold and interesting spectacle. Add to this a large descending column of white spray, into which the water is converted by obstacles opposing its march over the dam, and the scene is rendered truly sublime.

The soil of the several basins seems to rest on stalagmite, and the channel of the branch is worn out of it.

In many places, far above the present level of the basins or dams, may be seen large rocks of this stalagmite: thus proving incontestibly, that this water occupied a position, two hundred feet at least above what it did at the time the beavers commenced their labor, and before the deep excavation was effected between the mountains.

Finally, we deem it proper to make a few more remarks upon the first topic we introduced,—namely, the waters themselves. As to the agents concerned, and the play of affinities between them, it is useless for us to hazard an opinion, more especially as we have not made ourselves analytically acquainted with them. Let it suffice to point out the several springs, and those sensible properties and qualities which will necessarily be observed by every visiter; and first of the spring now in use.

As soon as this beautiful fountain is brought within the compass of vision, attention will be arrested by the constant and copious escape of fixed air, and the boldness of the stream. As soon as it is introduced to the mouth, its sweetish taste and warmth are discovered—and then its stimulating effect upon the system will be perceived; and finally, if the visiter will walk below the spring, five or six rods, he will discover the stalagmitic rocks of limestone which have been formed by successive depositions from this water.

The next spring below, is popularly called the Red Spring. It is characterized by a red deposite, which we regard as the carbonate of iron, by a strong sweetish calybiate taste, by its warmth, by the boldness of the stream, and by the absence of any fixed air escaping.

The two springs below this, resemble the first in every respect, so far as the unaided senses can discover. We feel called upon to add, that no one should venture a free use, as a drink, of the Red Spring water, unadvised by an intelligent physician. It is a powerful water, and can never prove an indifferent agent in any constitution.

And finally, we beg leave to advise every visiter, whose soul is warmed by a scientific love of natural phenomena, not to leave the ground till he shall have seen the major part, at least, of what we have feebly attempted to describe.

For the Southern Literary Messenger.    


Olim meminisse juvabit.—VIRGIL.

Blessed, yea thrice blessed, be the hills and flats, the "forests" and swamps of Old Chotank! Prosperous, yea doubly prosperous be their generous cultivators—worthy descendants of worthy sires—VIRGINIANS all over, in heart and feeling, soul and body. From the Paspatansy swells to the Neck levels, may they have peace and happiness in "all their borders."

How often do I turn over memory's volume and linger upon the page which tells of my first visits to "Chotank"—so full of almost unalloyed pleasure. The recollection steals upon the mind like soft strains of music over the senses, giving the same chastened satisfaction.

Can I ever forget the happy days and nights there spent: The ardent fox hunt with whoop and hallo and winding horn: And would even TEMPERANCE blush to look, after the fatigues of the chase, at the old family bowl of mint julep, with its tuft of green peering above the inspiring liquid—an emerald isle in a sea of amber—the dewy drops, cool and sparkling, standing out upon its sides—all, all balmy and inviting? And then, the morning over and the noon passed, the business of the day accomplished, the social board is spread, loaded with flesh and fowl and the products of the garden and the orchard! Come let us regale the now lively senses and satisfy the excited appetite! What care we for ragouts and fricassee's, and olla podrida's, and all the foreign flummery that fashion and folly have brought into use? The juicy ham, the rich surloin, the fat saddle, make the substantials of a VIRGINIA dinner, and "lily-livered" he, who would want a better. But when friends and strangers come—and welcome are they always! nature's watery store house is at hand, and windy must be the day indeed, when the Potomac cannot furnish a dish of chowder or crabs, to be added to the feast. How I have luxuriated at a Chotank dinner! Nor let pleasures of the table in this intellectual age be despised? Goddess of Hospitality forbid it! And well may I address thee in the feminine gender, thou dispenser of heartfelt mirth! 'Tis WOMAN'S smile enlivens the feast—'tis WOMAN'S handy care that has so well provided it—'tis WOMAN'S kind encouragement that adds a charm to all you see around you.

And now let us loll in the cool portico, shaded with the Lombardy poplar—the proper tree, let them say what they will, to surround a gentleman's mansion—so tall and stately, and therefore so appropriate. How delightful is the breeze on this height! See the white sails of the vessels, through the trees on the bank of the river, spread out to catch it, and how gracefully and even majestically they glide along. You can trace them up and down as far as the eye can reach, following their quiet courses. The beautiful slopes of the fields in Maryland, cultivated to the water's edge, fill up a picture surpassingly beautiful—not grand, but beautiful; for what can please more than the calm sunshine shed upon upland and lowland, with the glad waters glistening in its rays, and just enough of man's works on both "flood and field" to give life and motion to the scene! Surrounded with such a prospect as this, let the old folks discuss their crops, talk of their wheat and corn, and prognosticate the changes of the weather—or, as times now go, settle first the affairs of the county, then of the state, and lastly of the nation, while we steal away to the parlor.

DAUGHTERS OF VIRGINIA! always fair, always lovely, how much fairer and lovelier than ever, do you appear in your own homes, surrounded by your fathers, your brothers and your kinsmen. How it has delighted me to watch the overflowings of your innocent hearts, to enjoy your winning smiles—to listen to the music of your voices! I see in you no hypocrisy and deceit, the moral contagious diseases caught by intercourse with corrupt society—I find no "town-bred" arts, mocking the modesty of nature—I discover no cunning devices to attract that attention which merit alone ought to command. May this be written of you always! May the land which produces noble, generous sons, ever have for its boast and pride, THE MOST VIRTUOUS DAUGHTERS.

And now having seen the young men fairly "paired," if not matched, let us leave them with a blessing, and look after our more aged friends.

Politics have run high since we left them, but the "cool of the evening" is cooling the blood, and "a drink" settles the controversy. Friends and neighbors cannot afford to quarrel even about what concerns themselves, much less about things so far off as at Washington. With Virginia gentlemen there is always a courtesy and kindness even in heated argument which precludes the possibility of offence.

Ah! did I not see a sly wink? And is there not a touch of the elbow, and then a low whisper, and by and by a buzz—and then an open proposal for a sociable game at CARDS. Presently, presently, good friends, we will have our tea and biscuit, and then for loo or whist!

Let not starched propriety look prim, nor prudery shake her head, nor jealous caution hold up her finger. Our fathers did the same before us, and "be we wiser or better than they?" Call in the "womankind," as Oldbuck of Monkbarns ungallantly styled the better part of creation, and let us have fair friends and foes to join us round the table. Trim the lights, roll from your purses just enough of silver to give an interest to our play. Avaunt! spirits of gaming and avarice from this circle—and here's at you till weariness or inclination calls us to seek

"Tired nature's sweet restorer, balmy sleep."

And thus ends a day in Chotank: A day!—yes many, many days. In these "our latter times," and this "our age of improvement," all this may be thought wrong! Perhaps it is so. I will not dispute with stern morality and strict philosophy. Their counsels are doubtless more worthy to be followed than the maxim which

"Holds it one of the wisest things
  To drive dull care away."

But for "my single self" I can say that after a day spent in Chotank I never had reason to exclaim, following the fashion of the Roman Emperor, "Diem Perdidi!"

But Chotank, like many other parts of the Old Dominion, is not now in its "high and palmy state." Some fifteen or twenty years ago it obtained that celebrity which makes it famous now. The ancient seats of generous hospitality are still there, but their former possessors, so free of heart, so liberal, and blessed withal with the means of being free and liberal, where are they? "And echo alone answers, where are they." Their sons can only hope to keep alive the old spirit by the exercise of more prudence and economy than their fathers possessed. Otherwise here too, as alas! in some cases is too true, the families that once and now own the soil, are destined to be rudely pushed from their places by grasping money lenders! Altered as the times are however, and changed as is the condition of many of the inhabitants, the life that I have attempted faintly to sketch, is the life yet led by the merry Chotankers. With the remembrance of the "olden time" strongly impressed on their minds, and tradition to strengthen the ideas formed by their own recollections, they will have their fun and their frolics—their barbecues and their fish frys. There are fewer "roystering blades" than there used to be, and much less drinking than formerly—but the court house now and then brings up a round dozen of "good men and true," who will not disgrace their ancestors: men who will make the "welkin ring" again with uprorarious mirth, and part as they met in all that high flow of spirits which results from good eating and drinking, and freedom, at least for the present, from care.

Let us, however, close. There is that in the place and the people of whom I am writing to induce me to continue: but enough for this "Recollection." If the eye of a Chotanker should meet this page and read what is written, he will know without looking at the signature that he has met with a FRIEND to him and 'all his neighborhood.'

Alexandria, D. C., Sept. 13, 1834.
E. S.    

For the Southern Literary Messenger.    


[Communicated by P. A. Browne, Esq. of Philadelphia.]

On the Easterly side of the beautiful river Schuylkill, about seven miles north of the city of Philadelphia, stands the flourishing town of MANYUNK. Only a few years ago there was not a house to be seen there, and nothing disturbed the stillness of nature but the singing of the birds, the lowing of the herds, and the gentle ripling of the river as its waters glided towards the ocean; but now it has become the habitation of thousands of human beings, the seat of numerous manufactories, and a striking example of the rapid improvements in American industry and the arts. The whole of this change has been wrought by improving the navigation of the Schuylkill: by raising the Fairmount and other dams, sufficient water has been provided, not only for all the purposes of canaling and watering the city of Philadelphia, but the company, incorporated by law for that purpose, have found at their disposal an immense water power, which they sell and rent to the best advantage.

Among the number of enterprising citizens who availed themselves of these advantages was Mr. Mark Richards, a gentleman advantageously known and esteemed in the mercantile as well as the manufacturing world.

On the 1st of February, 1830, the Schuylkill navigation company made a deed to John Moore, in which it was recited that on the 3d day of November, 1827, Mark Richards had agreed with the company for the purchase of a lot of ground at Manyunk therein described; that on the 25th of January, 1828, he, the said Mark, had agreed to purchase of the company 100 inches of water power at flat-rock canal, at the annual rent of $6 per inch; and on the 13th of March, 1828, 200 inches of water power at the same rate, which water power was to be granted on the usual conditions, and subject to the former grants by the company of water power. That on the 4th of June, 1830, Richards and wife had granted the said lot and "the aforesaid water power of 300 inches of water" to Moore. It further recited that Richards had requested the grant of the company to be made to Moore, he Richards having paid the whole rent, amounting to $1840 per annum up to that time. Then follows the grant of the lot, together with the privilege of drawing from the canal through the forebay, at all times thereafter forever, "SO MUCH WATER AS CAN PASS through two metalic apertures, one of 50, and the other of 250 square inches, under a head of three feet." To have and to hold "the quantity of 300 SQUARE INCHES OF WATER," in manner aforesaid. Moore covenanted at his expense to erect and support the two metalic apertures, one of 50, and the other of 250 square inches, through which the said 300 inches of water, under a three feet head, "is to pass." The company reserving to themselves the right to enter upon the premises for the purpose of examining "the size of the apertures."

Mr. Moore having ascertained that by applying two plain simple metalic apertures of the given sizes, he was not able to draw the same quantity in square inches of water, but only 65 and 2/3d per cent. of the amount, he therefore applied the adjutages described by Professor Venturi; and for these applications, which were alleged to be a breach of the contract, an action was instituted in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

It will be perceived that this case involved not only important principles of law, but interesting inquiries in hydrodynamics, to aid in the discussion of which, large draughts were made upon the scientific attainments of the accomplished bar of Philadelphia. For the plaintiff were engaged John Sergeant and Horace Binney, Esquires; but the absence of the latter gentleman at Congress, occasioned the retaining of C. Chauncey, Esquire; for the defendants were Joseph R. Ingersol and Peter A. Browne, Esquires.

The cause occupied several days, during which time the court house was continually crowded with an intelligent audience.

The questions were, first, whether the granter was confined to the use of simple apertures of the dimensions mentioned in the deed, when it was apparent from the opinions of men of science, and from the experiments made before the jury, that through such openings it was not possible for him to draw more than 65 and 2/3d per cent. of the water contracted for, (it being a law of nature that when a fluid is drawn from a simple aperture or opening, the stream or vein is contracted so as to form the figure of a cone;) or whether the grantee was entitled, at all events, to his 300 inches of water, and had a right to affix adjutages to overcome this law of nature, and restore things to the state they were supposed to be in by the parties, if, when they contracted, they were ignorant of this principle. Second. The defendant having contracted for as much water as "can pass" through metalic apertures of given sizes, whether he was entitled, provided he did not increase the size of the openings, nor increase the head, so to adjust the adjutages as to draw more water than 300 square inches; for it was proved by another set of experiments that, by reason of the adjutages at the defendant's mill, he had contrived, not only to overcome the vena contracta or contracted vein, but to draw off more water than would have passed through a plain opening if the vena contracta did not exist.

When a vessel is filled with a homogeneous fluid, and it is in equilibrium, all the particles of the fluid are pressed equally in all directions. This law was known to Archimedes, and its knowledge enabled him to detect the fraud committed by the gold smith upon Hiero, King of Syracuse. The first regular work upon Hisdrodynamics was written by Sextus Julius Frentinus, inspector of the public fountains at Rome under the Emperors Nerva and Trajan. He laid down the law, that water which flows in a given time, from a given orifice, does not depend merely upon the magnitude of the orifice, but upon the head or height of the fluid in the vessel. From that period until the 17th century none of the principles upon which this cause depends, were much studied, nor the doctrine of fluids much known. At length Gallileo the astronomer, by his discovery of the uniform acceleration of gravity, paved the way for a rapid improvement in hydrodynamics. Gallileo was acquainted with the fact that water could not be made to rise more than a certain height in a common pump; but he was entirely unacquainted with the reason. His pupil, Torricelli, and his friend, Viviani, discovered that it was owing to the pressure of the external air, and thus the problem was solved. Mariotte, who introduced experimental philosophy into France, was the first who announced that fluids suffer a retardation from the friction of their particles against the sides of tubes; and he shewed that this was the case even though the tubes were made of the smoothest glass. From his works, which were published after his death, in 1684, it appears that though he was thus acquainted with the principle upon which it is explained, he was unacquainted with the vena contracta. About that time this subject began to be much more studied in Italy. Dominic Guglielmini, a celebrated engineer, in 1697, published a very learned work upon the friction and resistance of fluids; and from that period to this the learned of all nations have admitted, that this resistance and retardation of fluids, owing to their friction, did take place in a moving fluid. This work, as connected with the motion of rivers and water in open canals, is one of deep interest in natural philosophy; and it is one, which in this age of improvements, should not be neglected in this country. Sir Isaac Newton, whose capacious mind grasped at every kind of knowledge, struggled hard to detect the reason of this resistance. In his 2nd book of his "Principia," propositions 51, 52 and 53, he lays down certain hypotheses, from which it results, that the filaments (as he calls them,) of a fluid, in a pipe, will be kept back by their adhesion to the sides of the tube, and that the next filaments will be kept back, though in a less degree, by their adhesion to the first filaments, and so on, until the velocity of the fluid will be greatest at the centre. Now if we apply this principle to the discharge of a fluid through a plain aperture, we will perceive that the parts of the water next to the sides of the opening, being liable to the greatest friction, will be the most retarded; and that those in the centre, being liable to the least friction, will be most in advance; and that the friction decreasing gradually from the extremities to the centre, the water will be always flowing in the form of a cone, with the smallest end in advance. This is the exact form of the vena contracta or contracted vein!

When the pipes are very small, this attraction of the sides of the pipes to the fluid operates so as to suspend the whole mass, when it is called capillary attraction. This appears to be the extent to which Newton was acquainted with the laws that govern the vena contracta, at the time he published the first edition of his Principia; but in his second edition, published in 1714, he discloses the doctrine of the contracted vein with his usual intelligence.

Every body is acquainted with the splendid experiments of the Abbe Bossut, which were published successively in 1771, 1786 and 1796, and any one desirous of examining this interesting subject will consult them at large.

Poleni first discovered, that by applying an additional cylindrical pipe to the orifice, of the same diameter, the expenditure of the fluid was increased. This discovery was followed up, first, by Mr. Vince; secondly, by Doctor Matthew Young; and lastly, by Venturi. This last named gentleman published his work on hydraulics in 1798; it was immediately translated and published in Nicholson's Journal of Natural Philosophy, where all the different adjutages, including the one used by the defendant in this action, are accurately drawn and described. They are also noticed, though not in as ample a manner, in Gregory's Mechanics, pages 438, 445 and 447.

From all which it was contended, that every one making a contract, must be presumed to be acquainted with the principles of the vena contracta, and of the methods used to overcome it, and that this party had a right to use these adjutages without incurring the risk of a suit.

[We understand that the suit, the foregoing interesting sketch of which has been obligingly furnished by one of the counsel, is still, in the language of the lawyers, sub judice; the jury having found a verdict subject to the opinion of the court. We are promised a full report of the trial and decision, for a subsequent number.]—ED.

For the Southern Literary Messenger.    
MR. WHITE,—The following sketch was given me by one of those mail stage story-tellers, who abound on our roads, and enliven the drowsy passengers by their narratives. It is founded on fact, and may not be unacceptable to such of your readers as are fond of the delineation of human character in all its variety of phases.


Who thundering comes on blackest steed,
With slacken'd bit and hoof of speed?—Byron.

A horseman passed us at full speed, whose wild and haggard look arrested the attention of my friend. In the name of all that is singular, said he, who can that be, and whither is he posting with such rapidity? His garb seems of the last century, and his grizzled locks stream on the wind like those of some ancient bard.

That man, replied I, is a lover, and is hurrying away to pay his devoirs to his mistress, who married another, and has been dead for many years.

Indeed! you surprize me, he rejoined. He has, it is true, the "lean look" of Shakspeare's lover; the "blue eye and sunken;" the "unquestionable spirit," and "every thing about him demonstrates a careless desolation"—yet I should have imagined, that the snows of so many winters had extinguished all the fires of that frosty carcase; but tell me who he is, and what is his story.

His name is Wilson; and that of the lady whom he loved, was Sally Singleton. I would that I had the graphic power of Scott to sketch a tale of so much interest. If Sir Walter has immortalized an old man, mounted on his white pony, and going in quest of the tombstomes, how much is it to be regretted that the same master hand cannot be employed to perpetuate the memory of yonder eccentric being, whose love lives on, after the lapse of twenty years, in spite of the marriage and death of his mistress—in spite of the evidence of his own senses, and notwithstanding every human effort to dispel his delusion. Regularly every morning, for the last twenty years, no matter what the state of the weather, (alike to him the hail, the rain, and the sunshine,) has he mounted his horse, and travelled a distance of ten miles, to see his beloved Sally Singleton. His custom is, to ride directly up to the window of her former apartment, and in a courteous manner, to bow to his mistress in token of his continued attachment. Having performed this act of gallantry, he waves with his hand a fond adieu, and immediately gallops back with a triumphant air, as if perfectly satisfied with having set his enemies at defiance. "The course of true love never did run smooth," and in this case, whether "misgrafted in respect of years," or "different in blood," or "standing on the choice of friends," is not exactly known; but the lady was wedded to another, and died soon after. Her lover would never believe in her marriage or her death. His mind unhinged by the severity of his disappointment, seems to have retained nothing but the single image of her he loved, shut up in that apartment; and he resolved to brave every difficulty, to testify his unchanging devotion. Obstacles were purposely built across his path—the bridges were broken down—the idle boys would gather around him, and assail him in their cruel folly—guns even, were fired at him,—all in vain! The elements could not quench the fervor of his love—obstacles were overleaped—he swam the rivers—the boys were disregarded—balls could not harm him. He held a charmed life; like young Lochinvar,

"He staid not for brake,
  And he stop'd not for stone;"

but dashed onward to his beloved window, and then, contented with this public attestation of his unalterable love, returned with a look of triumphant satisfaction, to his joyless home. As a last effort to remove the veil from his eyes, a suit was instituted, in which he was made a party, and proof of the lady's marriage and death was purposely introduced to undeceive him. He listened with cold incredulity to the witnesses; smiled derisively at that part of their testimony which regarded her marriage and death; and the next morning was seen mounted as usual, and bowing beneath the window of his adored Sally Singleton.

From the Petersburg Intelligencer.    



We had all assembled round the cheerful fire, that cracked and blazed in the wide old-fashioned hearth. The labor of the day was over. My father, snugly placed in his great easy chair, with his spectacles on his nose, had been for some time studying the last long winded and very patriotic speech of our representative in Congress, until his senses, gradually yielding to its soothing eloquence, had sunk into a calm slumber.—My mother sat in the corner knitting with all her might, and every now and then expressing her wonder (for she always wondered) how Patsy Woods could marry such a lazy, poor, good-for-nothing fellow as Henry Pate. Sister was leaning with both elbows on the table, devouring, as she termed it, the last most exquisite romance. Puss was squatted on Mother's cricket, licking her paws with indefatigable industry; and old Carlo, the pointer, lay grunting on the hearth rug, sadly incommoded by the heat of the fire, but much too lazy to remove from before it. And where was I? Oh! there was another corner to the fire place. In its extremest nook sat cousin Caroline, and next to her,—always next to her when I could get there, was I. Now this was what I call a right comfortable family party; and not the least comfortable of that party was myself. Cousin Caroline; dear, dear cousin! Many a year has rolled over me since the scene I describe; many a cold blast of the world's breath has blown on my heart and chilled, one by one, the spring flowers of hope that grew there; but the blossoms of love thy image nurtured, were gathered into a garland to hang on thy tomb, and the tears of memory have preserved its freshness. Cousin Caroline!—she was the loveliest creature on whom beauty ever set its seal. Reader, my feeling towards her was not what is called love; at least, not what I have since felt for another. My judgment of her excellence was not biassed by passion. She was most beautiful. I cannot describe her.

"Who has not proved how feebly words essay,
  To fix one spark of beauty's heavenly ray."

It were vain to talk of her "hyacinthine curls," her "ruby lips," her "pearly teeth," her "gazelle eye." These, and all the etceteras of description, define not beauty. It belongs to the pencil and not to the pen, to give us a faint idea of its living richness. But had your eyes glanced round a crowded room, crowded with beauty too, they would have rested in amazement there; amazement, that one so lovely should be on earth, and breathe among the creatures of common clay. Alas! it could not be so long. No, I did not love her in manhood's sense of love; for, at the time I speak of, I was but fourteen, and Caroline was in her eighteenth year; but I loved her as all created things that could love, loved her; from the highest to the lowest, she was the darling of the household. The servants, indoor and outdoor, young and old, and the crossest of the old, loved her. None so crabbed her smile would not soften; none so stern her mildness would not subdue. Oh, what a creature she was. I never saw Caroline angry, though I have seen her repel, with dignity, intrusion or impertinence. I never saw her cross. But this theme will lead me too far; and, perhaps the reader thinks I might sum up my estimate of her qualities in one word—perfection. Not so; but as near to it as the Creator ever suffered his creature to attain. Well, we were sitting round the fire in the manner I have described. Caroline was amusing me with a description of the pleasures of the town, for she had just returned from a visit to a relation residing in the city of ——, when the sound was heard of a carriage coming up the avenue. What a bustle! Father bounced up, dropping the paper and his spectacles; Mother stopped wondering about Patsy Woods, to wonder still more who this could be. Pussy remained quiet, but Carlo prevailed upon himself to stretch and yawn, and totter to the door, to satisfy his curiosity. Sister looked up. Caroline looked down; and then sister looked at her very archly, though I could not tell why, and said, "go brother Harry, ask the gentleman in."

"Why do you know who it is, my dear, that is coming to see us at this late hour?" said my father. It was but eight o'clock; but remember we were in the country. I went out of the room, and did not hear the answer. I was met at the hall door by a gentleman, whom I ushered in. My father accosted him, and was very proud and very happy to see Col. H——d. He was then introduced to the members of the family; "and this lady I think you are already acquainted with," continued my father, as he presented cousin Caroline, who had hung back. The Colonel smiled,—Caroline blushed, but she smiled too. What is all this about, thought I. "Come, sir, be seated," quoth my father. The Colonel bowed, thanked him, and placed himself forthwith in my chair, right beside Caroline. Now it is true Caroline had two sides, and her left side was as dear to me as her right; but then that side was next to the wall, and she sat so near to it that there was no edging a chair in without incommoding her. So I was fain to look out for other quarters, and found them next to my mother, whence I looked the colonel right in the face. He was not a handsome man, but a very noble looking one. He was rather above the common height, somewhat thin, but his carriage very erect. His complexion was dark, but ruddy dark, the hue of health and manliness; his forehead broad; so much so as to make the lower part of his visage appear contracted, and rather long. The expression of his features when at rest, was stern, and even haughty; perhaps from the habit of command, for his had been a soldier's life, and his title was won on the battle field; but when in conversation, there was an air of great good nature over his whole countenance, and his smile was very winning. Cousin Caroline thought it so.

"The road to your farm is rather intricate, my good sir," said the colonel, as he took his seat, "and though I had a pretty good chart of the country, (here he looked at Caroline and smiled one of those winning smiles, but Caroline did not, or would not see him,) I was so stupid as to miss the way, for when I reached the cross roads, instead of taking the right I directed the servant to the left, and moved on some time in the wrong direction without meeting a human being of whom to make inquiry. At length I had the good fortune to encounter a gentleman on horseback, who corrected my error, adding the satisfactory assurance, that I had gone at least four miles in the opposite direction to that which I desired to go; so that, though I set out betimes, it was thus late before I reached here."

"Well, I wonder!" cried my mother.

"Then colonel you must be sadly in want of refreshment," said my father. "My dear"—

"Not at all so, my dear sir. I beg you will give yourselves no trouble on my account. I assure you"—

"Sit still, colonel, I beg of you," interrupted my father, as the former rose to urge his remonstrance.—"Sit still, sir; trouble indeed; we'll have supper directly, and I don't care if I nibble a little myself."

So the colonel gave up the contest, but when he reseated himself, he perceived Caroline was gone; she had slipped out of the room with my mother. The colonel had a very nice supper that night, and he did it justice. Who prepared it, think you? my mother? No, for she returned to the room in two minutes after she left it. I knew who prepared it, and so did the colonel, or he made a shrewd guess; for, when Caroline returned, he gave her a look that spoke volumes of thankfulness, and of such exquisite fondness that it made the blood mount to her very forehead.

A week passed away, and colonel H——d remained a constant guest at my father's; and though I could not but like and admire him, his conduct was a source of great annoyance to me, for no sooner did Caroline make her appearance in the breakfast room in the morning than he posted himself next to her; and then they took such long walks together, and would spend so many hours in riding about the country, and they never asked me to accompany them, so that Caroline had as well have been in town again, for the opportunity I had of conversing with her. The result of all this is, of course, plain to the reader; and it was soon formally announced that on the third day of the succeeding month Caroline was to become the bride of the wealthy and gallant Colonel H——d, and accompany him forthwith to his distant home, for his residence was in the state of Georgia. I wept bitter tears, and sobbed as if my heart would break as I laid all lonely in my bed that night on which this latter piece of intelligence had been communicated by my father, until sleep, the comforter of the wretched, extended to me the bliss of oblivion. "Blessings on the man who invented sleep," says friend Sancho—blessings, aye blessings indeed, on all bountiful nature who, while she gives rest to the wearied body bestows consolation on the grieving heart, lulls into gentle calm the storm of the passions, plucks from power its ability and even its wish to oppress, and hushes in poverty the sense of its weakness and its degradation. My fate has not been more adverse than that of the generality of men, but "take it all in all," the happiest portion of my existence has been spent in sleep. Why did I weep? The being whom I loved best on earth was about to be wedded to the worthy object of her choice,—a choice that affection sanctioned and reason might well approve; and even to my young observation it was apparent that while she gave, she was enjoying happiness. There was pleasure in the beaming of her sparkling eyes, there was joy in the dimples of her rosy smile. The very earth on which she trod seemed springing to her step, and the air she breathed to be pure and balmy. Could she be happy and I feel miserable? and that misery growing too, out of the very source of her happiness. Yes; even so unmixed, so absorbing was my selfishness. My selfishness! the selfishness of humanity; for even as the rest of my fellow men so was, and so am I. I thought of the many hours of delight I had enjoyed in her presence, of the thousand daily kindnesses I had experienced at her hand. She alone was wont to partake of my youthful joys, to sympathize with my boyish griefs; it was her praise that urged me to exertion, the fear of her censure that restrained me from mischief. And all this was to pass away, and to pass with her presence too. Never more was my heart to drink in the sweet light of her eyes; never more would her soft voice breathe its music in my ear. I felt that I dwelt no longer in her thoughts; I believed my very image would soon perish from her memory. Such were the bitter thoughts that weighed down my mind.

I go on spinning out this portion of my tale, no doubt very tediously, and my readers will perhaps despair of my ever arriving at the end; but patience, I shall get there by and by. "Bear with me yet a little while." It is that I shrink from what I have undertaken to narrate, that I wander into digression; for whatever effect it may have on others, whose only interest in it will arise from momentary excitement, on me the fearful casualty I shall describe, has imposed "the grief of years." Many a pang has my heart experienced in my pilgrimage through this weary world, and some grievous enough to sustain; time and occupation, however, have afforded their accustomed remedy, and scars only are left to mark where the wounds have been. But this, though inflicted in boyhood's springy days, is festering now; aye now, when the very autumn of manhood is passed, and the winter of age is congealing the sources of feeling and of life.

The wedding day was drawing nigh. One little week remained of the appointed time; and a joyous man, no doubt, was colonel H——d, as hour after hour winged its flight, and each diminished the space that lay betwixt him and his assured felicity. Poor weak creatures that we are, whose brief history is but a record of hope and disappointment, ever deceived by the mirage of happiness that glitters afar in the desert of life, and recedes from before us as we pursue, till outworn, we sink into death with our thirst unslaked, our desires ungratified. One little week remained. What matters the brevity of time when a moment is fraught with power to destroy. Behold the gallant ship with tightened cordage and outspread sails, dashing from her prow the glittering spray as she dances on the leaping wave to the music of the breeze; cheerful faces crowd her deck, for she is homeward bound from a distant land; and now her port is almost reached, a hidden rock has pierced her side, the eternal sea rolls over the sunken wreck. The warrior has charged and broken the foe; the shout of victory rings in his ears, and fancy twines the laurel round his brow; but treachery lurks in his armed array, and the clarion of conquest sounds the note of defeat. The mighty city with its thousand domes, its marble palaces, and its crowded marts, over which ages have urged their onward flight, and still it grew in wealth and strength, has felt the earthquake's shock. Black mouldering ruins and a sullen sulphurous lake are left to mark the spot where once its "splendors shone." And the heart, the human heart, with its high aspirations, and its treacherous whisperings of unmixed joys, its blindness of trust in coming events, its strange forgetfulness of the hours gone by, its sunny morning of boundless hope, its stormy night of dark despair.

My father's house was situated on an elevated spot, commanding an extensive view of the broad Potomac; from its front to the bank of the river, a distance of some hundred yards, the ground descended in a gentle slope terminating in a sheer precipice, and down, down "a fearful depth below," rolled on the rapid waters. The bank was composed of vast masses of rock, between the crevices of which pushed forth gnarled and jagged trees of various kinds, shooting their moss-covered branches in every direction, and hugged in strict and stifling embrace by huge vines, that looked like the monster boas, of a preadamate world. The summit was lined with a dense growth of underwood, that hid from the passer by the awful chasm upon whose very margin he might be unconciously standing. As the main road (which ran parallel to the course of the river) laid upwards of a mile from the rear of the dwelling house, and was, besides being generally in very bad order, very uninteresting in its character, we were in the habit of using for the purpose of visiting some of our neighbors, a path that ran along and was dangerously near to the verge of the precipice, but which had been travelled so long and so often without accident, that we had ceased to think of even the possibility of any occurring. It was a bright sunshiny morning, the blue sky studded with those massy rolling clouds whose purple shades give such strong relief to the fleecy white, and cheat the fancy into portraying a thousand resemblances; ancient castles with frowning battlements, mighty ships resting beneath their crowded canvass, bright fairy isles, where a poet's soul would delight to wander, dark yawning caverns, in whose undreamt of depths the pent up spirits of the damned might be "imagined howling." Pardon, pardon! but sea and sky have always set me raving. It was at the breakfast table that I informed my father I would ride over to aunt Diana's and see if they were all well.—"The weather is so fine, and I have not seen our good aunt for some time. I will ride with you; that is, if you'll let me, cousin Harry," said Caroline, as if it were not a delight to me to have her company. The colonel, too, proposed to join us, and we went to get ourselves in readiness. We were soon on the road, and away we cantered, full of health and youth and spirits. The breeze came fresh and soft from the surface of the waters, and played among Caroline's curls and revelled on her cheek, as if to gather the odors of the rose, where its beauteous hue was so richly spread. We paid our visit, partook of aunt Diana's good things, and set off on our return, amid her protestations against our hurry. Caroline was riding on a nice little mare that had been bred on the farm, and had always been the pet of the family; as gentle and as playful as a lamb, but at the same time full of spirit. We had arrived at a part of the road where the precipice (now on our right hand) was highest. I was in front, Caroline next to and behind me; a hare crossed my path: "take care my boy," cried Colonel H——d, "that, you know, is said to be a bad omen." Scarcely had he spoken when my horse started, and wheeled short round; the mare partook of his fright, swerved half to the left, and reared bolt upright. "Slack your rein and seize the mane, Caroline," I screamed in agony. It was too late; the mare struggled, and fell backwards. Oh, God! A shriek, a rushing sound

*               *               *               *              *

I entered the chamber where innocence and beauty had been wont to repose; around me were the trappings of the grave; the cold white curtains with their black crape knots, the shrouded mirror, the scattered herbs—and stretched upon the bed motionless, lay a form—the form of her whose living excellence was unsurpassed. My father came in; he took my hand, led me to the bed, and gently removed the sheet from the marble face. Oh, death, thou art indeed a conqueror!

For the Southern Literary Messenger.    



Gigantic sov'reign of this mountain-chain,
Proud Otter Peak! as gazing on thee now
I mark the sun its parting splendor throw
Athwart thy summit hoar—I sigh with pain
To think thus soon I needs must turn again
And seek man's bustling haunts! What if my brow
No longer wear the signs of sorrow's plough,
Doth not my heart its traces still retain,
And I still hate the crowd?—Yes! it is so,
And scenes alone such as surround me here—
These deep'ning shades—thy torrents loud and clear—
Yon half-hid cot—the cattle's plaintive low—
The raven's cry, and the soft whispering breeze,
Have now the pow'r this aching breast to please.
* * *            

For the Southern Literary Messenger.    



With spirits like the slacken'd strings
Of some neglected instrument—
Or rather like the wearied wings
Of a lone bird by travel spent;
Ah! how should I expect to find
Midst scenes of constant revelry,
A solace for a troubled mind,
A cure for my despondency?—

There was a time when mirth's glad tone
And pleasure's smile had charms for me—
But disappointment had not strown
My pathway then with misery:
Health then was mine—and friends sincere—
Requited love—and prospects bright—
Nor dreamt I that a day so clear
Could ever set in such a night!
* * *            

For the Southern Literary Messenger.    

TO —— —— OF THE U. S. NAVY.

Tell me—for thou hast stood on classic ground,
If there the waters flow more bright and clear,
And if the trees with thicker foliage crowned,
Are lovelier far than those which blossom here?

Say is it true, in green unfading bowers,
That there the wild bird sings her sweetest lay?
And that a light, more beautiful than ours,
Lends richer glories to expiring day?

Wooed by Italian airs, does woman's cheek
With purer color glow, than in our land?
Or does her eye more eloquently speak,
Or with a softer grace her form expand?

Does music there, with power to us unknown,
Breathe o'er the heart a far diviner spell?
And with a sweeter, more entrancing tone,
The thrilling strains of love and glory swell?

Tell me if thou in thought didst dearer prize
Thy home, than all that Italy could give?
Didst thou regret that her resplendent skies
Should smile on men as slaves content to live?

Didst thou, when straying in her cities fair,
Or in her groves of bloom, regret that here
No perfumes mingle with the passing air?
And was thine own, thy native land, less dear?

Or didst thou turn where proudly in the breeze
America's star-spangled flag was flying?
The flag that o'er thee waved on the high seas;
With conscious heart exultingly replying,

"No slothful land of dreaming ease is ours,
Her soil is only trodden by the free—
Less rich in music, poetry, and flowers,
Still, still she is the land of all for me!"
E. A. S.            
Lombardy, Va.

For the Southern Literary Messenger.    

MUSINGS IIBy the Author of Vyvyan.

The sea is in the broad, the narrow streets
Ebbing and flowing.——————Rogers.

I loved her from my boyhood—she to me
Was as a fairy city of the heart,
Rising like water columns from the sea.
                 Childe Harold, Canto IV. Stanza xviii.

    There is, far in a foreign clime,
        Alas! no longer free—
    A city famed in olden time
        As queen of all the sea;
    Still fair but fallen from her prime—
        For such is destiny.

There motley masque and princely ball
Make gay the merry carnival,
And all the night some serenade
Steals sweetly from the calm Lagune,
While many a dark eyed loving maid
Is wooed in secret neath the moon.

And swiftly o'er the noiseless tide
Gondolas dark, like spectres, glide
Neath archways deep and bridges fair,
Temples and marble palaces,
Adorned with jutting balconies,
And dim arcades of beauty rare.

There's naught that meets the wondering eye,
From the wave that kisses the landing stair
To the sculptured range in the azure sky,1
But wears a wild unearthly air,
And every voice that echoes among
Those phantomlike halls, breathes the spell of song.

The rudest Barcarolli's cry,
Heard faint and far o'er Adria's waves,
Might cheat the listener of a sigh—
So sad the farewell which it leaves,
When sinking on the ear it dies
Along the borders of the skies.

Oh! Venice! Venice! couldst thou be
Still wond'rous fair and even as free!
How peerless were thy regal halls!—
How glorious were thy seagirt walls!—
But foreign banners flaunt thy tide,
And chains have tamed thy lion's pride.

Thy flag is furled upon the sea,
Thy sceptre shivered on the land,
And many a spirit mourns for thee
Beyond the Lido's barren strand:
Better thy towers were sunk below
The level of Old Ocean's flow.

Fair city of the fairest clime,
    Sad change hath come o'er thee—
The spirit voice of olden time
    Is wailing o'er thy sea;
And matin bell and vesper chime
    Seem knelling for the free
Who reared thy standard o'er the wave
And spurned the chains that now enslave.
1 The tops of many of the buildings are ornamented with a range of statues.

For the Southern Literary Messenger.    


    A parent's eye, sweet mountain maid,
Hath seen thee rise in Sylvan shade;
And patient, lent attentive ear
Thy first, wild minstrelsy to hear:
    And thou hast breathed some artless lays,
    That well deserve the meed of praise;
    For, nursed by spirits bold and free,
    Thy notes should breathe of Liberty.
Yet some who scan thy numbers wild,
Inquire if thou art Fancy's child,
Or some impostor, duly taught
To weave with skill the borrow'd thought.
Then list, my child! Experience sage
May well direct thy guileless age.

    Breathe not thy notes with spirit tame,
Nor pilfer, from an honor'd name,
The praise that crowns the sons of fame.
Be not by imitation taught,
To blend with thine, the vagrant thought,
From Britain's polish'd minstrels caught.
Full oft my mountain echoes tell,
How Byron's genius fram'd a spell,
Which reason vainly seeks to quell:
Did not his spirit cast a gloom
On all who shared his adverse doom,
E'en from the cradle to the tomb?
With intellectual treasures bless'd,
With misanthropic thoughts possess'd,
Their sway alternate fired his breast.
He pour'd the lava stream alone,
In torrents from that burning zone,
Which girt his bosom's fiery throne.
Enough! on his untimely bier
Affection shed no hallow'd tear—
He claim'd no love—he own'd no fear.

    And she,1 whose light poetic tread
Scarce sways the dewdrop newly shed
Upon the rose-bud's infant head;
Most meet to be the tender nurse
Of virtue, wounded by the curse
Of passion's fierce and lawless verse,
Whose dulcet strain, with soothing pow'r,
Can calm the soul in sorrow's hour,
And scatter many a thornless flow'r:
The thoughts that breathe in each soft line,
Seem spirits from a purer shrine
Than earth can in her realms confine.
Yet mayst thou not, in mimic lay,
Such lofty arts of verse essay?
'Twere but a vain and weak display.
Be Freedom's bold, unfetter'd child,
And roam thy native forests wild,
Where, on thy birth, all nature smil'd;
Dwell on the mountain's sylvan crest,
Where fair Hygeia roams confest,
Bright Fancy's ever honor'd guest:
Mark the proud streams that onward sweep,
And to old Ocean's bosom leap—
Majestic offspring of the deep.
Their inspiration shall be thine,
And nature, from that mighty shrine,
Shall prompt thee with a voice divine!
When thy free spirit is reveal'd,
The spells within its depths conceal'd
Will soon a golden tribute yield.
In numbers free, by nature taught,
Breathe forth the wild poetic thought,
And let thy strains be Fancy fraught.

    Enough! my child! a parent's voice
Would fain direct thy youthful choice
To themes, majestic and sublime,
The fruits of Freedom's favor'd clime.
Enough! For thee has nature thrown
O'er the wild stream a curb of stone,
Whose pendant arch in verdure dress'd,
Binds the tall mountain's cloven crest.2
For thee the volum'd waters sweep
Through riven mountains to the deep.3
For thee the mighty cataract pours
In thunder, through opposing shores;
And rushing with delirious leap,
Bursts the full fountains of the deep;
A billowy phlegethon—whose waves
Rend the strong walls of Ocean's caves.
1 Mrs. Hemans.
2 The Natural Bridge.
3 Harper's Ferry.

For the Southern Literary Messenger.    


    Death walketh in the forest. The tall Pines
Do woo the lightning-flash,—and thro' their veins
The fire-cup darting, leaves their blacken'd trunks
A tablet, where Ambition's sons may read
Their destiny. The Oak that centuries spar'd,
Grows grey at last, and like some time-scath'd man
Stretching out palsied arms, doth feebly cope
With the destroyer, while its gnarled roots
Betray their trust. The towering Elm turns pale,
And faintly strews the sere and yellow leaf,
While from its dead arms falls the wedded vine.
The Sycamore uplifts a beacon-brow,
Denuded of its honors,—while the blast
That sways the wither'd Willow, rudely asks
For its lost grace, and for its tissued leaf
Of silvery hue.

                      I knew that blight might check
The sapling, ere kind nature's hand could weave
Its first spring-coronal, and that the worm
Coiling itself amid our garden-plants
Did make their unborn buds its sepulchre.
And well I knew, how wild and wrecking winds
May take the forest-monarchs by the crown,
And lay them with the lowliest vassal-herb;
And that the axe, with its sharp ministry,
Might in one hour, such revolution work,
That all earth's boasted power could never hope
To reinstate. And I had seen the flame
Go crackling up, amid yon verdant boughs,
And with a tyrant's insolence dissolve
Their interlacing,—and I felt that man
For sordid gain, would make the forest's pomp
Its heaven-rear'd arch, and living tracery
A funeral pyre. But yet I did not deem
That pale disease amid those shades would steal
As to a sickly maiden's cheek, and waste
The plenitude of those majestic ranks,
Which in their peerage and nobility,
Unrivall'd and unchronicled, had reign'd.
And then I said, if in this world of knells,
And open graves, there lingereth one, whose dream
Is of aught permanent below the skies,
Even let him come, and muse among the trees,
For they shall be his teachers,—they shall bow
To their meek lessons his forgetful ear,
And by the whispering of their faded leaves,
Soften to his sad heart, the thought of death.
L. H. S.            
Hartford, Con. Sept. 10, 1834.


AMIR KHAN, AND OTHER POEMS: the remains of Lucretia Maria Davidson, who died at Plattsburg, N. Y. August 27, 1825, aged 16 years and 11 months. With a Biographical Sketch, by Samuel F. B. Morse, A. M. New York: G. & C. & H. Carvill—1829.

We believe that this little volume, although published several years since, has but recently found its way to this side of the Potomac. Our attention has been attracted towards it by some notice of its contents in the Richmond Enquirer, whose principal editor we will do him the justice to say, has always manifested a lively interest in the productions of American genius. Mr. Ritchie is entitled to the more praise for his efforts in behalf of domestic literature, not only on account of his active and absorbing labors as a political writer, but because, also, we are sorry to add, the subject is one in which southern taste and intelligence have, for the most part, evinced but little concern. It is but too common for our leading men, professional as well as others, to affect something like a sneer at every native attempt in the walks of polite literature. Their example, we fear, has imparted a tone to the reading circles generally, and has served to beget that inordinate appetite for every thing foreign which has either obtained a fashionable currency abroad—or occasioned some excitement in that busy, noisy, gossipping class of society, whose merit is so vastly disproportioned to its influence. We have often known the sentimental trash and profane ribaldry of some popular Englishman eagerly sought after, and as eagerly devoured, whilst the pure and genuine productions of native genius have remained neglected on the bookseller's shelf, and quietly surrendered to oblivion. That this does, in some measure, proceed from an unenlightened and uncultivated public taste, we do not doubt; but it is much more the fruit of a slavish and inglorious dependence upon accidental circumstances,—a spiritless, and we might add, a cowardly apprehension of appearing singular—that is, of not chiming in with the shallow, vain and heartless tittle-tattle of the self-styled beau monde and corps elite of society. It is not the fault of the bookseller. The undertaker, who prepares the coffin and shroud, has as little participation in the death of the person for whom they are intended. The bookseller is but the caterer of the public palate; and if that palate is diseased, he is no more answerable for it, than the milliners and mantuamakers who are busily occupied in deforming the fairest part of creation, are censurable for the false taste of their customers.

We did not intend by the foregoing observations, to bespeak any extraordinary share of public favor towards the poems of Miss Davidson. What we have said in relation to the neglect of American talent, was designed to have a general and not particular application. Notwithstanding we hear that the poems before us have been extravagantly praised beyond the Atlantic, we are not so intoxicated by a little foreign flattery as to believe that they are destined to immortality. Some may console themselves, if they please, for the whole ocean of obloquy and contempt cast upon us from the British press, by regarding with favorable eyes this little rivulet of praise bestowed upon the juvenile efforts of a lovely and interesting girl. We are not of that number; we shall endeavor to decide upon the work before us, unbiassed by trans-atlantic opinion—and we shall render precisely that judgment which we would have done if that opinion had been pronounced in the usual tone of British arrogance and contumely.

Regarding the volume before us as a literary production merely, and supposing it to have been the offspring of a matured mind, we do not think that it possesses any considerable merit. Estimating its contents, however, as the first lispings of a child of genius,—as furnishing proofs of the existence of that ethereal spark which, under favorable circumstances, might have been kindled into a brilliant flame, we do consider it as altogether extraordinary. We do not say that these poems are equal to the early productions of Chatterton, Henry Kirke White, or Dermody, those prodigies of precocious talent,—but we entertain not a shadow of doubt if Miss Davidson had lived, that she would have ranked among the highest of her own sex in poetical excellence. In forming a correct judgment upon the offspring of her muse, her youth is not alone to be considered. She had also to contend with those remorseless enemies of mental effort,—poverty, sorrow, and ill health; and it is, perhaps, a circumstance in her history not unworthy of notice, that possessing a high degree of personal beauty, and being on that account the object of much admiration and attention, she did not suffer herself to be withdrawn from the purer sources of intellectual enjoyment. Love indeed, seems to have found no permanent lodgment in her heart. It might have stolen to the threshold and infused some of its gentle influences, but she seems to have been resolved to cast off the silken cord before it was too firmly bound around her. Thus in the piece which bears the title of Cupid's Bower, written in her fifteenth year.

"Am I in fairy land?—or tell me, pray,
  To what love-lighted bower I've found my way?
  Sure luckless wight was never more beguiled
  In woodland maze, or closely-tangled wild.

  And is this Cupid's realm?—if so, good by!
  Cupid, and Cupid's votaries, I fly;
  No offering to his altar do I bring,
  No bleeding heart—or hymeneal ring."

The longest, most elaborate, and perhaps best of her poems, is that which gives the principal title to the volume. Amir Khan is a simple oriental tale, written in her sixteenth year, and is worked up with surprising power of imagery for one so young. The most fastidious and critical reader could not fail to be struck with its resemblance to the gorgeous magnificence of Lalla Rookh; a resemblance, to be sure, which no more implies equality of merit than does the brilliancy of the mock diamond establish its value with that of the real gem. We give the opening passage from the poem as a fair specimen of the rest, and from which the reader may form a correct opinion of the style and composition.

"Brightly o'er spire, and dome, and tower,
  The pale moon shone at midnight hour,
  While all beneath her smile of light
  Was resting there in calm delight;
  Evening with robe of stars appears,
  Bright as repentant Peri's tears,
  And o'er her turban's fleecy fold
  Night's crescent streamed its rays of gold,
  While every chrystal cloud of heaven,
  Bowed as it passed the queen of even.
  Beneath—calm Cashmere's lovely vale
  Breathed perfumes to the sighing gale;
  The amaranth and tuberose,
  Convolvulus in deep repose,
  Bent to each breeze which swept their bed,
  Or scarcely kissed the dew and fled;
  The bulbul, with his lay of love;
  Sang mid the stillness of the grove;
  The gulnare blushed a deeper hue,
  And trembling shed a shower of dew,
  Which perfumed e'er it kiss'd the ground,
  Each zephyr's pinion hovering round.
  The lofty plane-tree's haughty brow
  Glitter'd beneath the moon's pale glow;
  And wide the plantain's arms were spread,
  The guardian of its native bed."

We venture to assert that if Thomas Moore had written Amir Khan at the age of sixteen, there are thousands by whom it would be read and admired who would hardly condescend to open Miss Davidson's volume; and that too, without being able to assign any other or better reason than that Moore is a distinguished and popular British bard, whereas the other was an obscure country girl, who lived and died in the state of New York.

The lines to the memory of Henry Kirk White, which were composed at thirteen, are much superior to many elegiac stanzas written by poets of some reputation at twenty-five or thirty. Of all her minor pieces however, those which were written at fifteen seem to us to possess the greatest merit, if we except the Coquette, a very spirited production in imitation of the Scottish dialect, composed in her fourteenth year. The following are the two first stanzas:

"I hae nae sleep, I hae nae rest,
      My Ellen's lost for aye;
  My heart is sair and much distressed,
      I surely soon must die.

  I canna think o' wark at a',
      My eyes still wander far,
  I see her neck like driven snaw,
      I see her flaxen hair.

The image of the snowy neck and flaxen hair of the beautiful but unkind fair one, presented so strongly to the rejected lover, as to prevent his performing his daily work, strikes us as highly poetical and true to nature, as we doubt not all genuine lovers will testify. Burns wrote many, very many verses, which were much superior, but Burns wrote some also, which were not so good. Ruth's answer to Naomi, must be allowed, we think, to be a good paraphrase of that most affecting passage of scripture. We must give the whole to the reader.

"Entreat me not, I must not hear,
  Mark but this sorrow-beaming tear;
  Thy answer's written deeply now
  On this warm cheek and clouded brow;
  'Tis gleaming o'er this eye of sadness
  Which only near thee sparkles gladness.

  The hearts most dear to us are gone,
  And thou and I are left alone;
  Where'er thou wanderest, I will go,
  I'll follow thee through joy or wo;
  Shouldst thou to other countries fly,
  Where'er thou lodgest, there will I.

  Thy people shall my people be,
  And to thy God, I'll bend the knee;
  Whither thou fliest, will I fly,
  And where thou diest, I will die;
  And the same sod which pillows thee
  Shall freshly, sweetly bloom for me."1
[1 We subjoin the passage of scripture paraphrased by Miss Davidson, and also another paraphrase which has been ascribed to the Hon. R. H. Wilde of Georgia. Our readers can compare and decide between them.
"And Ruth said, entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go: and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God. Where thou diest will I die, and there will I be buried."
Nay, do not ask!—entreat not—no!
    O no! I will not leave thy side,
Whither thou goest—I will go—
    Where thou abidest—I'll abide.

Through life—in death—my soul to thine
    Shall cleave as fond, as first it clave—
Thy home—thy people—shall be mine—
    Thy God my God—thy grave my grave.]

We present an extract from a piece called "Woman's Love," as a specimen of Miss Davidson's management of blank verse, a form of poetic diction which Montgomery thinks the most unmanageable of any. The fair authoress might not herself have experienced that holy passion, but she certainly knew how deep and imperishable it is when once planted in the female bosom.

                                               "Love is
A beautiful feeling in a woman's heart,
When felt, as only woman love can feel!
Pure, as the snow-fall, when its latest shower
Sinks on spring-flowers; deep, as a cave-locked fountain;
And changeless as the cypress' green leaves;
And like them, sad!—She nourished
Fond hopes and sweet anxieties, and fed
A passion unconfessed, till he she loved
Was wedded to another. Then she grew
Moody and melancholy; one alone
Had power to soothe her in her wanderings,
Her gentle sister;—but that sister died,
And the unhappy girl was left alone,
A maniac. She would wander far, and shunned
Her own accustomed dwelling; and her haunt
Was that dead sister's grave: and that to her
Was as a home."

We have italicised such of the lines as we think breathe the air and spirit of genuine poetry. The snow flake has often been used as the emblem of purity; but the snow flake reposing on beds of vernal blossoms, is to us original as well as highly poetical. The "cave-locked fountain" too, with its lone, deep, and quiet waters, seems to us to express with force that profound and melancholy sentiment which the writer intended to illustrate.

We shall conclude our selections with the one addressed to a lady whose singing resembled that of an absent sister.

"Oh! touch the chord yet once again,
      Nor chide me, though I weep the while;
  Believe me, that deep, seraph strain
      Bore with it memory's moonlight smile.

  It murmured of an absent friend;
      The voice, the air, 'twas all her own;
  And hers those wild, sweet notes, which blend
      In one mild, murmuring, touching tone.

  And days and months have darkly passed,
      Since last I listened to her lay;
  And sorrow's cloud its shade hath cast,
      Since then, across my weary way.

  Yet still the strain comes sweet and clear,
      Like seraph-whispers, lightly breathing;
  Hush, busy memory,—sorrow's tear
      Will blight the garland thou art wreathing.

  'Tis sweet, though sad—yes, I will stay,
      I cannot tear myself away.
  I thank thee, lady, for the strain,
      The tempest of my soul is still;
  Then touch the chord yet once again,
      For thou canst calm the storm at will."

We beg the reader to bear it in mind that these are the productions of a young, inexperienced, and almost uneducated girl, and that they are not to be tried by the tests which are usually applied to more matured efforts. In conclusion, we will say in the language of Dr. Morse, her biographer, "that her defects will be perceived to be those of youth and inexperience, while in invention, and in that mysterious power of exciting deep interest, of enchaining the attention, and keeping it alive to the end of the story; in that adaptation of the measure to the sentiment, and in the sudden change of measure to suit a sudden change of sentiment, in wild and romantic description, and in the congruity of the accompaniments to her characters, all conceived with great purity and delicacy, she will be allowed to have discovered uncommon maturity of mind; and her friends to have been warranted in forming very high expectations of her future distinction."

We are pleased to learn that it is in contemplation by Miss Davidson's friends, to publish a new and improved edition of her works, with various additions from her unpublished manuscripts.

THE PILGRIMS OF THE RHINE; by the author of Pelham, Eugene Aram, &c. New York: Published by Harper & Brothers—1834.

Mr. Bulwer's novels have acquired no inconsiderable degree of popularity in the circles of fashionable literature. Whether they are destined to survive the temporary admiration bestowed on them, is at this time a subject of speculation; but in the next generation, will become matter of fact. We are among those who think that they will quietly glide into that oblivious ocean, which is destined to receive a large proportion of the ever multiplying productions of this prolific age. We do not say this either, in disparagement of many of those labors of the mind which even intrinsic excellence cannot save from perishing. Great and valuable as some of them undoubtedly are, such is the onward march of intellect, and such the endless creations which fancy and genius are continually rearing for man's gratification and improvement,—to say nothing of the almost illimitable progress of science, that posterity will find no room for the thousandth part of our present stock of literature. We do not anticipate that Mr. Bulwer's writings will be among the select few which will outlive the general wreck; because, unless we are much mistaken, he is one of those authors who write more for present than permanent fame. This is emphatically the age of great moral and mental excitability. It is a period of incessant restlessness and activity; and he who would expect to command much attention, must seek to gratify the appetite for novelty and variety, even at the expense of good sense, sound morality and correct taste. We incline to the opinion that Mr. Bulwer has forgotten, that society in the aggregate, frequently resembles the individual man; and that whilst it often experiences paroxysms of unnatural excitement, there are long lucid intervals of returning reason and sober simplicity. The volume before us is not calculated, we think, to leave any lasting impression, either of good or evil. Whilst it certainly abounds in felicitous language, and contains passages of fine sentiment, it is grossly defective both in plot and machinery; and if it were worth while to descend to minute criticism, it would be easy to point out many examples of false morality as well as false taste. Mr. Bulwer seems to have been aware, in his preface, that he was making a bold experiment upon popular favor, and accordingly he claims the reader's "indulgence for the superstitions he has incorporated with his tale—for the floridity of his style, and the redundance of his descriptions." As if somewhat apprehensive, however, that that indulgence might not possibly be granted, he assures the public that "various reasons have conspired to make this the work, above all others that he has written, which has given him the most delight (though not unmixed with melancholy,) in producing, and in which his mind, for the time, has been the most completely absorbed." A popular writer, thus bespeaking the public approbation in advance, by stamping his last production with his own decided preference, could not expect to be treated uncourteously by his readers. In the first sentence of the second chapter too, the author declares as follows: "I wish only for such readers as give themselves heart and soul up to me: if they begin to cavil, I have done with them; their fancy should put itself entirely under my management." Now whether it proceeded from a spirit of perverseness or not, we cannot tell; but we resolved when we read this passage, neither to surrender our heart, fancy or judgment to Mr. Bulwer's guidance. On the contrary, we determined to read the book and decide on its merits, in the spirit of perfect impartiality and entire independence. The story upon which the work is founded—at least that part of it which treats of mortal affairs, consists of the simplest materials. Trevylyan, a gentleman of "a wild, resolute and active nature, who had been thrown upon the world at the age of sixteen, and had passed his youth in alternate pleasure, travel and solitary study," falls in love with Gertrude Vane, a young girl, described as "the loveliest person that ever dawned upon a poet's vision." A fatal disease, "consumption in its most beautiful shape," had set its seal upon her, and yet Trevylyan loved with an irresistible passion. With the consent, rather than by the advice of the faculty and her friends, the young and interesting invalid, attended by her father and lover, goes upon a pilgrimage up the beautiful and romantic Rhine. From that pilgrimage she never returned; but in one of those wild and legendary spots which impart such interest to that celebrated stream—a spot selected by herself as her last grassy couch, she breathed out her gentle spirit, and quietly sunk to her lasting repose. Such is the simple thread upon which Mr. Bulwer has contrived to weave a variety of German legends and fairy fictions, having no necessary connection with the main story, except that the principal episodes were suggested by some remarkable scenery or some castellated ruin on the banks of the Rhine. The underplot, if it may be so called, or the adventures of Nymphalin, queen of the fairies, and her Elfin court, is altogether unworthy of Mr. Bulwer's genius. It is rather a bungling attempt to revive the exploded machinery of supernatural agency; and we moreover do not perceive any possible connection or sympathy between these imaginary beings and the principal personages of the tale. Apart from other considerations, the actions and conversations of these roving elves are destitute of all interest and attraction; and nothing in our eyes appears more preposterous than the introduction of the Lord Treasurer into Queen Nymphalin's train. We always thought that the fairies were mischievous spirits—sometimes a little wicked, and often very benevolent; but never before did we suspect that this ideal population of the world of fancy, manifested any concern in the dry subject of finance, or in the unfairy-like establishment of a regular exchequer. The story of "The Wooing of Master Fox," related for the amusement of Queen Nymphalin, making every allowance for the author's design in introducing it, is to our taste unutterably disgusting and ridiculous.

We have no objection to the occasional use of the fairy superstition in tales of fancy; no more than we have to the frequent classical allusions to heathen mythology which distinguish the best writers. They are pleasing and beautiful illustrations, when happily introduced. But we do protest against lifting the veil from the world of imagination, and investing its shadowy beings with the common place attributes, the vulgar actions and frivolous dialogue of mere mortals. It is in truth dispelling the illusion in which the spirit of poetry delights to indulge. It takes away the most powerful charm from the cool and sequestered grotto, the shady grove or moonlit bower. It vulgarises the world of romance, and reduces the region of mind to a level with brute sense, or even coarser matter.

Condemning as we do, in perfect good faith, these exceptionable portions of Mr. Bulwer's volume, we take pleasure in awarding due praise to some of the legends and stories introduced into the work, and which are for the most part related by Trevylyan for the amusement of Gertrude. Of these, we give the decided preference to "The Brothers" and "The Maid of Malines." The latter indeed, strikes us as so finished an illustration of some of the noble qualities of woman kind, that we have determined to present it entire for the benefit of our readers.


It was noonday in the town of Malines, or Mechlin, as the English usually term it: the Sabbath bell had summoned the inhabitants to divine worship; and the crowd that had loitered round the Church of St. Rembauld, had gradually emptied itself within the spacious aisles of the sacred edifice.

A young man was standing in the street, with his eyes bent on the ground, and apparently listening for some sound; for, without raising his looks from the rude pavement, he turned to every corner of it with an intent and anxious expression of countenance; he held in one hand a staff, in the other a long slender cord, the end of which trailed on the ground; every now and then he called, with a plaintive voice, "Fido, Fido, come back! Why hast thou deserted me?" Fido returned not: the dog, wearied of confinement, had slipped from the string, and was at play with his kind in a distant quarter of the town, leaving the blind man to seek his way as he might to his solitary inn.

By and by a light step passed through the street, and the young stranger's face brightened—

"Pardon me," said he, turning to the spot where his quick ear had caught the sound, "and direct me, if you are not by chance much pressed for a few moment's time, to the hotel Mortier d'or."

It was a young woman, whose dress betokened that she belonged to the middling class of life, whom he thus addressed. "It is some distance hence, sir," said she, "but if you continue your way straight on for about a hundred yards, and then take the second turn to your right hand—"

"Alas!" interrupted the stranger, with a melancholy smile, "your direction will avail me little; my dog has deserted me, and I am blind!"

There was something in these words, and in the stranger's voice, which went irresistibly to the heart of the young woman. "Pray forgive me," she said, almost with tears in her eyes, "I did not perceive your—" misfortune, she was about to say, but she checked herself with an instinctive delicacy. "Lean upon me, I will conduct you to the door; nay, sir," observing that he hesitated, "I have time enough to spare, I assure you."

The stranger placed his hand on the young woman's arm, and though Lucille was naturally so bashful that even her mother would laughingly reproach her for the excess of a maiden virtue, she felt not the least pang of shame, as she found herself thus suddenly walking through the streets of Malines, alone with a young stranger, whose dress and air betokened him of a rank superior to her own.

"Your voice is very gentle," said he, after a pause, "and that," he added, with a slight sigh, "is the criterion by which I only know the young and the beautiful." Lucille now blushed, and with a slight mixture of pain in the blush, for she knew well that to beauty she had no pretension. "Are you a native of this town?" continued he. "Yes, sir; my father holds a small office in the customs, and my mother and I eke out his salary by making lace. We are called poor, but we do not feel it, sir."

"You are fortunate: there is no wealth like the heart's wealth, content," answered the blind man mournfully.

"And Monsieur," said Lucille, feeling angry with herself that she had awakened a natural envy in the stranger's mind, and anxious to change the subject—"and Monsieur, has he been long at Malines?"

"But yesterday. I am passing through the Low Countries on a tour; perhaps you smile at the tour of a blind man—but it is wearisome even to the blind to rest always in the same place. I thought during church time, when the streets were empty, that I might, by the help of my dog, enjoy safely, at least the air, if not the sight of the town; but there are some persons, methinks, who cannot even have a dog for a friend."

The blind man spoke bitterly,—the desertion of his dog had touched him to the core. Lucille wiped her eyes. "And does Monsieur travel then alone?" said she; and looking at his face more attentively than she had yet ventured to do, she saw that he was scarcely above two-and-twenty. "His father, his mother," she added, with an emphasis on the last word, "are they not with him?"

"I am an orphan," answered the stranger; "and I have neither brother nor sister."

The desolate condition of the blind man quite melted Lucille; never had she been so strongly affected. She felt a strange flutter at the heart—a secret and earnest sympathy, that attracted her at once towards him. She wished that heaven had suffered her to be his sister.

The contrast between the youth and the form of the stranger, and the affliction which took hope from the one, and activity from the other, increased the compassion he excited. His features were remarkably regular, and had a certain nobleness in their outline; and his frame was gracefully and firmly knit, though he moved cautiously and with no cheerful step.

They had now passed into a narrow street leading towards the hotel, when they heard behind them the clatter of hoofs; and Lucille, looking hastily back, saw that a troop of the Belgian horse was passing thro' town.

She drew her charge close by the wall, and trembling with fear for him, she stationed herself by his side. The troop passed at a full trot through the street; and at the sound of their clanging arms, and the ringing hoofs of their heavy chargers, Lucille might have seen, had she looked at the blind man's face, that its sad features kindled with enthusiasm, and his head was raised proudly from its wonted and melancholy bend. "Thank heaven," she said, as the troop had nearly passed them, "the danger is over!" Not so. One of the last two soldiers who rode abreast, was unfortunately mounted on a young and unmanageable horse. The rider's oaths and digging spur only increased the fire and impatience of the charger; he plunged from side to side of the narrow street.

"Gardez vous," cried the horseman, as he was borne on to the place where Lucille and the stranger stood against the wall; "are ye mad—why do you not run?"

"For heaven's sake, for mercy sake, he is blind!" cried Lucille, clinging to the stranger's side.

"Save yourself, my kind guide!" said the stranger. But Lucille dreamt not of such desertion. The trooper wrested the horse's head from the spot where they stood; with a snort, as he felt the spur, the enraged animal lashed out with its hind legs; and Lucille, unable to save both, threw herself before the blind man, and received the shock directed against him; her slight and delicate arm fell shattered by her side—the horseman was borne onward. "Thank God, you are saved!" was poor Lucille's exclamation; and she fell, overcome with pain and terror, into the arms which the stranger mechanically opened to receive her.

"My guide, my friend!" cried he, "you are hurt, you—"

"No, sir," interrupted Lucille, faintly, "I am better, I am well. This arm, if you please—we are not far from your hotel now."

But the stranger's ear, tutored to every inflection of voice, told him at once of the pain she suffered; he drew from her by degrees the confession of the injury she had sustained; but the generous girl did not tell him it had been incurred solely in his protection. He now insisted on reversing their duties, and accompanying her to her home; and Lucille, almost fainting with pain, and hardly able to move, was forced to consent. But a few steps down the next turning stood the humble mansion of her father—they reached it—and Lucille scarcely crossed the threshold, before she sank down, and for some minutes was insensible to pain. It was left to the stranger to explain, and to beseech them immediately to send for a surgeon, "the most skilful—the most practised in town," said he. "See, I am rich, and this is the least I can do to atone to your generous daughter for not forsaking even a stranger in peril."

He held out his purse as he spoke, but the father refused the offer; and it saved the blind man some shame that he could not see the blush of honest resentment with which so poor a species of remuneration was put aside.

The young man staid till the surgeon arrived, till the arm was set; nor did he depart until he had obtained a promise from the mother, that he should learn the next morning how the sufferer had passed the night.

The next morning, indeed, he had intended to quit a town that offers but little temptation to the traveller; but he tarried day after day, until Lucille herself accompanied her mother to assure him of her recovery.

You know, or at least I do, dearest Gertrude, that there is such a thing as love at the first meeting—a secret and unaccountable affinity between persons (strangers before,) which draws them irresistibly together. If there were truth in Plato's beautiful phantasy, that our souls were a portion of the stars, it might be, that spirits thus attracted to each other, have drawn their original light from the same orb; and they thus but yearn for a renewal of their former union. Yet, without recurring to such ideal solutions of a daily mystery, it was but natural that one in the forlorn and desolate condition of Eugene St. Amand, should have felt a certain tenderness for a person who had so generously suffered for his sake.

The darkness to which he was condemned did not shut from his mind's eye the haunting images of ideal beauty; rather, on the contrary, in his perpetual and unoccupied solitude, he fed the reveries of an imagination naturally warm, and a heart eager for sympathy.

He had said rightly that his only test of beauty was in the melody of voice; and never had a softer or a more thrilling tone than that of the young maiden touched upon his ear. Her exclamation, so beautifully denying self, so devoted in its charity, "Thank God, you are saved!" uttered too, in the moment of her own suffering, rang constantly upon his soul, and he yielded, without precisely defining their nature, to vague and delicious sentiments, that his youth had never awakened to till then. And Lucille—the very accident that had happened to her on his behalf, only deepened the interest she had already conceived for one who, in the first flush of youth, was thus cut off from the glad objects of life, and led to a night of years, desolate and alone. There is, to your beautiful and kindly sex, a perpetual and gushing lovingness to protect. This makes them the angels of sickness, the comforters of age, the fosterers of childhood; and this feeling, in Lucille peculiarly developed, had already inexpressibly linked her compassionate nature to the lot of the unfortunate traveller. With ardent affections, and with thoughts beyond her station and her years, she was not without that modest vanity which made her painfully susceptible to her own deficiencies in beauty. Instinctively conscious of how deeply she herself could love, she believed it impossible that she could ever be so loved in return. This stranger, so superior in her eyes to all she had yet seen, was the first out of her own household who had ever addressed her in that voice, which by tones, not words, speaks that admiration most dear to a woman's heart. To him she was beautiful, and her lovely mind spoke out undimmed by the imperfections of her face. Not, indeed, that Lucille was wholly without personal attraction; her light step and graceful form were elastic with the freshness of youth, and her mouth and smile had so gentle and tender an expression, that there were moments when it would not have been the blind only who would have mistaken her to be beautiful. Her early childhood had indeed given the promise of attractions, which the small-pox, that then fearful malady, had inexorably marred. It had not only seared the smooth skin and the brilliant hues, but utterly changed even the character of the features. It so happened that Lucille's family were celebrated for beauty, and vain of that celebrity; and so bitterly had her parents deplored the effects of the cruel malady, that poor Lucille had been early taught to consider them far more grievous than they really were, and to exaggerate the advantages of that beauty, the loss of which was considered by her parents so heavy a misfortune. Lucille too, had a cousin named Julie, who was the wonder of all Malines for her personal perfections; and as the cousins were much together, the contrast was too striking not to occasion frequent mortification to Lucille. But every misfortune has something of a counterpoise; and the consciousness of personal inferiority, had meekened, without souring, her temper—had given gentleness to a spirit that otherwise might have been too high, and humility to a mind that was naturally strong, impassioned, and energetic.

And yet Lucille had long conquered the one disadvantage she most dreaded in the want of beauty. Lucille was never known but to be loved. Wherever came her presence, her bright and soft mind diffused a certain inexpressible charm; and where she was not, a something was missing from the scene which not even Julie's beauty could replace.

"I propose," said St. Amand to Madame le Tisseur, Lucille's mother, as he sat in her little salon,—for he had already contracted that acquaintance with the family which permitted him to be led to their house, to return the visits Madame le Tisseur had made him, and his dog, once more returned a penitent to his master, always conducted his steps to the humble abode, and stopped instinctively at the door,—"I propose," said St. Amand, after a pause, and with some embarrassment, "to stay a little while longer at Malines; the air agrees with me, and I like the quiet of the place; but you are aware, Madame, that at a hotel among strangers, I feel my situation somewhat cheerless. I have been thinking"—St. Amand paused again—"I have been thinking that if I could persuade some agreeable family to receive me as a lodger, I would fix myself here for some weeks. I am easily pleased."

"Doubtless there are many in Malines who would be too happy to receive such a lodger."

"Will you receive me?" said St. Amand, abruptly. "It was of your family I thought."

"Of us? Monsieur is too flattering, but we have scarcely a room good enough for you."

"What difference between one room and another can there be to me? That is the best apartment to my choice in which the human voice sounds most kindly."

The arrangement was made, and St. Amand came now to reside beneath the same roof as Lucille. And was she not happy that he wanted so constant an attendance? was she not happy that she was ever of use? St. Amand was passionately fond of music: he played himself with a skill that was only surpassed by the exquisite melody of his voice; and was not Lucille happy when she sat mute and listening to such sounds as at Malines were never heard before? Was she not happy in gazing on a face to whose melancholy aspect her voice instantly summoned the smile? Was she not happy when the music ceased, and St. Amand called "Lucille?" Did not her own name uttered by that voice, seem to her even sweeter than the music? Was she not happy when they walked out in the still evenings of summer, and her arm thrilled beneath the light touch of one to whom she was so necessary? Was she not proud in her happiness, and was there not something like worship in the gratitude she felt to him, for raising her humble spirit to the luxury of feeling herself loved?

St. Amand's parents were French; they had resided in the neighborhood of Amiens, where they had inherited a competent property, to which he had succeeded about two years previous to the date of my story.

He had been blind from the age of three years. "I know not," said he, as he related these particulars to Lucille one evening when they were alone; "I know not what the earth may be like, or the heaven, or the rivers whose voice at least I can hear, for I have no recollection beyond that of a confused, but delicious blending of a thousand glorious colors—a bright and quick sense of joy—A VISIBLE MUSIC. But it is only since my childhood closed that I have mourned, as I now unceasingly mourn, for the light of day. My boyhood passed in a quiet cheerfulness; the least trifle then could please and occupy the vacancies of my mind; but it was as I took delight in being read to,—as I listened to the vivid descriptions of poetry,—as I glowed at the recital of great deeds,—as I was made acquainted by books, with the energy, the action, the heat, the fervor, the pomp, the enthusiasm of life, that I gradually opened to the sense of all I was forever denied. I felt that I existed, not lived; and that, in the midst of the Universal Liberty, I was sentenced to a prison, from whose blank walls there was no escape. Still, however, while my parents lived, I had something of consolation; at least I was not alone. They died, and a sudden and dread solitude—a vast and empty dreariness settled upon my dungeon. One old servant only, who had nursed me from my childhood, who had known me in my short privilege of light, by whose recollections my mind could grope back its way through the dark and narrow passages of memory, to faint glimpses of the sun, was all that remained to me of human sympathies. It did not suffice, however, to content me with a home where my father and my mother's kind voice were not. A restless impatience, an anxiety to move, possessed me; and I set out from my home, journeying whither I cared not, so that at least I could change an air that weighed upon me like a palpable burthen. I took only this old attendant as my companion; he too died three months since at Bruxelles, worn out with years. Alas! I had forgotten that he was old, for I saw not his progress to decay; and now, save my faithless dog, I was utterly alone, till I came hither and found thee."

Lucille stooped down to caress the dog; she blest the desertion that had led to a friend who never could desert.

But however much and however gratefully St. Amand loved Lucille, her power availed not to chase the melancholy from his brow, and to reconcile him to his forlorn condition.

"Ah, would that I could see thee! Would that I could look upon a face that my heart vainly endeavors to delineate."

"If thou couldst," sighed Lucille, "thou wouldst cease to love me."

"Impossible!" cried St. Amand, passionately; "however the world may find thee, thou wouldst become my standard of beauty, and I should judge not of thee by others, but of others by thee."

He loved to hear Lucille read to him; and mostly he loved the descriptions of war, of travel, of wild adventure, and yet they occasioned him the most pain. Often she paused from the page as she heard him sigh, and felt that she would even have renounced the bliss of being loved by him, if she could have restored to him that blessing, the desire for which haunted him as a spectre.

Lucille's family were Catholic, and, like most in their station, they possessed the superstitions, as well as the devotion of the faith. Sometimes they amused themselves of an evening by the various legends and imaginary miracles of their calendar: and once, as they were thus conversing with two or three of their neighbors, "The Tomb of the Three Kings of Cologne" became the main topic of their wandering recitals. However strong was the sense of Lucille, she was, as you will readily conceive, naturally influenced by the belief of those with whom she had been brought up from her cradle, and she listened to tale after tale of the miracles wrought at the consecrated tomb, as earnestly and undoubtingly as the rest.

And the Kings of the East were no ordinary saints; to the relics of the Three Magi, who followed the Star of Bethlehem, and were the first potentates of the earth who adored its Saviour, well might the pious Catholic suppose that a peculiar power and a healing sanctity would belong. Each of the circle (St. Amand, who had been more than usually silent, and even gloomy during the day, had retired to his apartment, for there were some moments, when in the sadness of his thoughts, he sought that solitude which he so impatiently fled from at others)—each of the circle had some story to relate equally veracious and indisputable, of an infirmity cured, or a prayer accorded, or a sin atoned for at the foot of the holy tomb. One story peculiarly affected Lucille; the narrator, a venerable old man with gray locks, solemnly declared himself a witness of its truth.

A woman at Anvers had given birth to a son, the offspring of an illicit connexion, who came into the world deaf and dumb. The unfortunate mother believed the calamity a punishment for her own sin. "Ah, would," said she, "that the affliction had fallen only upon me! Wretch that I am, my innocent child is punished for my offence!" This idea haunted her night and day: she pined and could not be comforted. As the child grew up, and wound himself more and more round her heart, its caresses added new pangs to her remorse; and at length (continued the narrator) hearing perpetually of the holy fame of the Tomb of Cologne, she resolved upon a pilgrimage barefoot to the shrine. "God is merciful," said she, "and he who called Magdaline his sister, may take the mother's curse from the child." She then went to Cologne; she poured her tears, her penitence, and her prayers, at the sacred tomb. When she returned to her native town, what was her dismay as she approached her cottage to behold it a heap of ruins!—its blackened rafters and yawning casements betokened the ravages of fire. The poor woman sunk upon the ground utterly overpowered. Had her son perished? At that moment she heard the cry of a child's voice, and, lo! her child rushed to her arms, and called her "mother!"

He had been saved from the fire which had broken out seven days before; but in the terror he had suffered, the string that tied his tongue had been loosened; he had uttered articulate sounds of distress; the curse was removed, and one word at least the kind neighbors had already taught him, to welcome his mother's return. What cared she now that her substance was gone, that her roof was ashes; she bowed in grateful submission to so mild a stroke; her prayer had been heard, and the sin of the mother was visited no longer on the child.

I have said, dear Gertrude, that this story made a deep impression upon Lucille. A misfortune so nearly akin to that of St. Amand, removed by the prayer of another, filled her with devoted thoughts, and a beautiful hope. "Is not the tomb still standing?" thought she; "is not God still in heaven? He who heard the guilty, may he not hear the guiltless? Is he not the God of love? Are not the affections the offerings that please him best? and what though the child's mediator was his mother, can even a mother love her child more tenderly than I love Eugene? But if, Lucille, thy prayer be granted, if he recover his sight, thy charm is gone, he will love thee no longer. No matter! be it so; I shall at least have made him happy!"

Such were the thoughts that filled the mind of Lucille; she cherished them till they settled into resolution, and she secretly vowed to perform her pilgrimage of love. She told neither St. Amand nor her parents of her intention; she knew the obstacles such an annunciation would create. Fortunately, she had an aunt settled at Bruxelles, to whom she had been accustomed, once in every year, to pay a month's visit, and at that time she generally took with her the work of a twelve-month's industry, which found a readier sale at Bruxelles than Malines. Lucille and St. Amand were already betrothed; their wedding was shortly to take place; and the custom of the country leading parents, however poor, to nourish the honorable ambition of giving some dowry with their daughters, Lucille found it easy to hide the object of her departure, under the pretence of taking the lace to Bruxelles, which had been the year's labor of her mother and herself; it would sell for sufficient at least to defray the preparations for the wedding.

"Thou art ever right, child," said Madame Le Tisseur; "the richer St. Amand is, why the less oughtest thou to go a beggar to his house."

In fact, the honest ambition of the good people was excited; their pride had been hurt by the envy of the town and the current congratulations on so advantageous a marriage; and they employed themselves in counting up the fortune they should be able to give to their only child, and flattering their pardonable vanity with the notion that there would be no such great disproportion in the connexion after all. They were right, but not in their own view of the estimate; the wealth that Lucille brought was what fate could not lessen,—reverse could not reach,—the ungracious seasons could not blight its sweet harvest,—imprudence could not dissipate,—fraud could not steal one grain from its abundant coffers! Like the purse in the fairy tale, its use was hourly, its treasure inexhaustible!

St. Amand alone was not to be won to her departure; he chafed at the notion of a dowry: he was not appeased even by Lucille's representation, that it was only to gratify and not to impoverish her parents. "And thou, too, canst leave me!" he said, in that plaintive voice which had made his first charm to Lucille's heart. "It is a second blindness."

"But for a few days; a fortnight at most, dearest Eugene!"

"A fortnight! you do not reckon time as the blind do," said St. Amand, bitterly.

"But listen, listen, dear Eugene," said Lucille, weeping. The sound of her sobs restored him to a sense of his ingratitude. Alas, he knew not how much he had to be grateful for. He held out his arms to her; "Forgive me," said he. "Those who can see nature know not how terrible it is to be alone."

"But my mother will not leave you."

"She is not you!"

"And Julie," said Lucille, hesitatingly.

"What is Julie to me?"

"Ah, you are the only one, save my parents, who could think of me in her presence."

"And why, Lucille?"

"Why! She is more beautiful than a dream."

"Say not so. Would I could see, that I might prove to the world how much more beautiful thou art. There is no music in her voice."

The evening before Lucille departed, she sat up late with St. Amand and her mother. They conversed on the future; they made plans; in the wide sterility of the world, they laid out the garden of household love, and filled it with flowers, forgetful of the wind that scatters and the frost that kills. And when, leaning on Lucille's arm, St. Amand sought his chamber, and they parted at his door, which closed upon her, she fell down on her knees at the threshold, and poured out the fulness of her heart in a prayer for his safety, and the fulfilment of her timid hope.

At daybreak she was consigned to the conveyance that performed the short journey from Malines to Bruxelles. When she entered the town, instead of seeking her aunt, she rested at an auberge in the suburbs, and confiding her little basket of lace to the care of its hostess, she set out alone, and on foot, upon the errand of her heart's lovely superstition. And erring though it was, her faith redeemed its weakness—her affection made it even sacred. And well may we believe, that the eye which reads all secrets scarce looked reprovingly on that fanaticism, whose only infirmity was love.

So fearful was she, lest, by rendering the task too easy, she might impair the effect, that she scarcely allowed herself rest or food. Sometimes, in the heat of noon, she wandered a little from the road-side, and under the spreading lime-tree surrendered her mind to its sweet and bitter thoughts; but ever the restlessness of her enterprise urged her on, and faint, weary, and with bleeding feet, she started up and continued her way. At length she reached the ancient city, where a holier age has scarce worn from the habits and aspects of men the Roman trace. She prostrated herself at the tomb of the Magi: she proffered her ardent but humble prayer to Him before whose son those fleshless heads (yet to faith at least preserved) had, nearly eighteen centuries ago, bowed in adoration. Twice every day, for a whole week, she sought the same spot, and poured forth the same prayer. The last day an old priest, who, hovering in the church, had observed her constantly at devotion, with that fatherly interest which the better ministers of the Catholic sect (that sect which has covered the earth with the mansions of charity) feel for the unhappy, approached her as she was retiring with moist and downcast eyes, and saluting her, assumed the privilege of his order, to inquire if there was aught in which his advice or aid could serve. There was something in the venerable air of the old man which encouraged Lucille; she opened her heart to him; she told him all. The good priest was much moved by her simplicity and earnestness. He questioned her minutely as to the peculiar species of blindness with which St. Amand was afflicted; and after musing a little while, he said, "Daughter, God is great and merciful, we must trust in his power, but we must not forget that he mostly works by mortal agents. As you pass through Louvain in your way home, fail not to see there a certain physician, named Le Kain. He is celebrated through Flanders for the cures he has wrought among the blind, and his advice is sought by all classes from far and near. He lives hard by the Hotel de Ville, but any one will inform you of his residence. Stay, my child, you shall take him a note from me; he is a benevolent and kindly man, and you shall tell him exactly the same story (and with the same voice) you have told to me."

So saying the priest made Lucille accompany him to his home, and forcing her to refresh herself less sparingly than she had yet done since she had left Malines, he gave her his blessing, and a letter to Le Kain, which he rightly judged would insure her a patient hearing from the physician. Well known among all men of science was the name of the priest, and a word of recommendation from him went farther, where virtue and wisdom were honored, than the longest letter from the haughtiest Sieur in Flanders.

With a patient and hopeful spirit, the young pilgrim turned her back on the Roman Cologne, and now about to rejoin St. Amand, she felt neither the heat of the sun nor the weariness of the road. It was one day at noon that she again passed through LOUVAIN, and she soon found herself by the noble edifice of the HOTEL DE VILLE. Proud rose its Gothic spires against the sky, and the sun shone bright on its rich tracery and Gothic casements; the broad open street was crowded with persons of all classes, and it was with some modest alarm that Lucille lowered her veil and mingled with the throng. It was easy, as the priest had said, to find the house of Le Kain; she bade the servant take the priest's letter to his master, and she was not long kept waiting before she was admitted to the physician's presence. He was a spare, tall man, with a bald front, and a calm and friendly countenance. He was not less touched than the priest had been by the manner in which she narrated her story, described the affliction of her betrothed, and the hope that had inspired the pilgrimage she had just made.

"Well," said he, encouragingly, "we must see our patient. You can bring him hither to me."

"Ah, sir, I had hoped—" Lucille stopped suddenly.

"What, my young friend?"

"That I might have had the triumph of bringing you to Malines. I know, sir, what you are about to say; and I know, sir, your time must be very valuable; but I am not so poor as I seem, and Eugene, that is Monsieur St. Amand, is very rich, and—and I have at Bruxelles what I am sure is a large sum; it was to have provided for the wedding, but it is most heartily at your service, sir."

Le Kain smiled; he was one of those men who love to read the human heart when its leaves are fair and undefiled; and, in the benevolence of science, he would have gone a longer journey than from Louvain to Malines to give sight to the blind, even had St. Amand been a beggar.

"Well, well," said he, "but you forget that Monsieur St. Amand is not the only one in the world who wants me. I must look at my note-book, and see if I can be spared for a day or two."

So saying he glanced at his memoranda; every thing smiled on Lucille: he had no engagements that his partner could not fulfil, for some days; he consented to accompany Lucille to Malines.

Meanwhile cheerless and dull had passed the time to St. Amand; he was perpetually asking Madame Le Tisseur what hour it was; it was almost his only question. There seemed to him no sun in the heavens, no freshness in the air, and he even forbore his favorite music; the instrument had lost its sweetness since Lucille was not by to listen.

It was natural that the gossips of Malines should feel some envy at the marriage Lucille was about to make with one whose competence report had exaggerated into prodigal wealth, whose birth had been elevated from the respectable to the noble, and whose handsome person was clothed, by the interest excited by his misfortune, with the beauty of Antinous. Even that misfortune, which ought to have levelled all distinctions, was not sufficient to check the general envy; perhaps to some of the dames of Malines blindness in a husband was indeed not the least agreeable of all qualifications! But there was one in whom this envy rankled with a peculiar sting; it was the beautiful, the all-conquering Julie. That the humble, the neglected Lucille should be preferred to her; that Lucille, whose existence was well-nigh forgot beside Julie's, should become thus suddenly of importance; that there should be one person in the world, and that person young, rich, handsome, to whom she was less than nothing, when weighed in the balance with Lucille, mortified to the quick a vanity that had never till then received a wound. "It is well," she would say, with a bitter jest, "that Lucille's lover is blind. To be the one it is necessary to be the other!"

During Lucille's absence she had been constantly in Madame Le Tisseur's house—indeed Lucille had prayed her to be so. She had sought, with an industry that astonished herself, to supply Lucille's place, and among the strange contradictions of human nature, she had learned, during her efforts to please, to love the object of those efforts,—as much at least as she was capable of loving.

She conceived a positive hatred to Lucille; she persisted in imagining that nothing but the accident of first acquaintance had deprived her of a conquest with which she persuaded herself her happiness had become connected. Had St. Amand never loved Lucille, and proposed to Julie, his misfortune would have made her reject him, despite his wealth and his youth; but to be Lucille's lover, and a conquest to be won from Lucille, raised him instantly to an importance not his own. Safe, however, in his affliction, the arts and beauty of Julie fell harmless on the fidelity of St. Amand. Nay, he liked her less than ever, for it seemed an impertinence in any one to counterfeit the anxiety and watchfulness of Lucille.

"It is time, surely it is time, Madame Le Tisseur, that Lucille should return. She might have sold all the lace in Malines by this time," said St. Amand one day, peevishly.

"Patience, my dear friend; patience, perhaps she may return to-morrow."

"To-morrow! let me see, it is only six o'clock, only six, you are sure?"

"Just five, dear Eugene shall I read to you? this is a new book from Paris, it has made a great noise," said Julie.

"You are very kind, but I will not trouble you."

"It is any thing but trouble."

"In a word, then, I would rather not."

"Oh! that he could see," thought Julie; "would I not punish him for this!"

"I hear carriage-wheels; who can be passing this way? Surely it is the voiturier from Bruxelles," said St. Amand, starting up, "it is his day, his hour, too. No, no, it is a lighter vehicle," and he sank down listlessly on his seat.

Nearer and nearer rolled the wheels; they turned the corner; they stopped at the lowly door; and—overcome,—overjoyed, Lucille was clasped to the bosom of St. Amand.

"Stay," said she, blushing, as she recovered her self-possession, and turned to Le Kain, "pray pardon me, sir. Dear Eugene, I have brought with me one who, by God's blessing, may yet restore you to sight."

"We must not be sanguine, my child," said Le Kain; "any thing is better than disappointment."

To close this part of my story, dear Gertrude, Le Kain examined St. Amand, and the result of the examination was a confident belief in the probability of a cure. St. Amand gladly consented to the experiment of an operation; it succeeded—the blind man saw! Oh! what were Lucille's feelings, what her emotion, what her joy, when she found the object of her pilgrimage—of her prayers—fulfilled! That joy was so intense, that in the eternal alterations of human life she might have foretold from its excess how bitter the sorrows fated to ensue.

As soon as by degrees the patient's new sense became reconciled to the light, his first, his only demand was for Lucille. "No, let me not see her alone, let me see her in the midst of you all, that I may convince you that the heart never is mistaken in its instincts." With a fearful, a sinking presentiment, Lucille yielded to the request to which the impetuous St. Amand would hear indeed no denial. The father, the mother, Julie, Lucille, Julie's younger sisters assembled in the little parlor; the door opened, and St. Amand stood hesitating on the threshold. One look around sufficed to him; his face brightened, he uttered a cry of joy. "Lucille! Lucille!" he exclaimed, "It is you, I know it, you only!" He sprang forward, and fell at the feet of Julie!

Flushed, elated, triumphant, Julie bent upon him her sparkling eyes; she did not undeceive him.

"You are wrong, you mistake," said Madame Le Tisseur, in confusion; "that is her cousin Julie, this is your Lucille."

St. Amand rose, turned, saw Lucille, and at that moment she wished herself in her grave. Surprise, mortification, disappointment, almost dismay, were depicted in his gaze. He had been haunting his prison-house with dreams, and, now set free, he felt how unlike they were to the truth. Too new to observation to read the wo, the despair, the lapse and shrinking of the whole frame, that his look occasioned Lucille, he yet felt, when the first shock of his surprise was over, that it was not thus he should thank her who had restored him to sight. He hastened to redeem his error; ah! how could it be redeemed?

From that hour all Lucille's happiness was at an end; her fairy palace was shattered in the dust; the magician's wand was broken up; the Ariel was given to the winds; and the bright enchantment no longer distinguished the land she lived in from the rest of the barren world. It was true that St. Amand's words were kind; it is true that he remembered with the deepest gratitude all she had done in his behalf; it is true that he forced himself again and again to say, "She is my betrothed—my benefactress!" and he cursed himself to think that the feelings he had entertained for her were fled. Where was the passion of his words? where the ardor of his tone? where that play and light of countenance which her step, her voice could formerly call forth? When they were alone he was embarrassed and constrained, and almost cold; his hand no longer sought hers; his soul no longer missed her if she was absent a moment from his side. When in their household circle, he seemed visibly more at ease; but did his eyes fasten upon her who had opened them to the day? did they not wander at every interval with a too eloquent admiration to the blushing and radiant face of the exulting Julie? This was not, you will believe, suddenly perceptible in one day or one week, but every day it was perceptible more and more. Yet still—bewitched, ensnared as St. Amand was—he never perhaps would have been guilty of an infidelity that he strove with the keenest remorse to wrestle against, had it not been for the fatal contrast, at the first moment of his gushing enthusiasm, which Julie had presented to Lucille; but for that he would have formed no previous idea of real and living beauty to aid the disappointment of his imaginings and his dreams. He would have seen Lucille young and graceful, and with eyes beaming affection, contrasted only by the wrinkled countenance and bended frame of her parents, and she would have completed her conquest over him before he had discovered that she was less beautiful than others; nay more—that infidelity never could have lasted above the first few days, if the vain and heartless object of it had not exerted every art, all the power and witchery of her beauty, to cement and continue it. The unfortunate Lucille—so susceptible to the slightest change in those she loved, so diffident of herself, so proud too in that diffidence—no longer necessary, no longer missed, no longer loved—could not bear to endure the galling comparison of the past and present. She fled uncomplainingly to her chamber to indulge her tears, and thus, unhappily, absent as her father generally was during the day, and busied as her mother was either at work or in household matters, she left Julie a thousand opportunities to complete the power she had begun to wield over—no, not the heart!—the senses of St. Amand! Yet, still not suspecting, in the open generosity of her mind, the whole extent of her affliction, poor Lucille buoyed herself at times with the hope that when once married, when once in that intimacy of friendship, the unspeakable love she felt for him could disclose itself with less restraint than at present,—she should perhaps regain a heart which had been so devotedly hers, that she could not think that without a fault it was irrevocably gone: on that hope she anchored all the little happiness that remained to her. And still St. Amand pressed their marriage, but in what different tones! In fact, he wished to preclude from himself the possibility of a deeper ingratitude than that which he had incurred already. He vainly thought that the broken reed of love might be bound up and strengthened by the ties of duty; and at least he was anxious that his hand, his fortune, his esteem, his gratitude, should give to Lucille the only recompense it was now in his power to bestow. Meanwhile, left alone so often with Julie, and Julie bent on achieving the last triumph over his heart, St. Amand was gradually preparing a far different reward, a far different return for her to whom he owed so incalculable a debt.

There was a garden behind the house, in which there was a small arbor, where often in the summer evenings Eugene and Lucille had sat together—hours never to return! One day she heard from her own chamber, where she sat mourning, the sound of St. Amand's flute swelling gently from that beloved and consecrated bower. She wept as she heard it, and the memories that the music bore softening and endearing his image, she began to reproach herself that she had yielded so often to the impulse of her wounded feelings; that, chilled by his coldness, she had left him so often to himself, and had not sufficiently dared to tell him of that affection which, in her modest self-depreciation, constituted her only pretension to his love. "Perhaps he is alone now," she thought; "the tune too is one which he knew that I loved:" and with her heart on her step, she stole from the house and sought the arbor. She had scarce turned from her chamber when the flute ceased; as she neared the arbor she heard voices—Julie's voice in grief, St. Amand's in consolation. A dread foreboding seized her; her feet clung rooted to the earth.

"Yes, marry her—forget me," said Julie; "in a few days you will be another's and I, I—forgive me, Eugene, forgive me that I have disturbed your happiness. I am punished sufficiently—my heart will break, but it will break loving you"—sobs choked Julie's voice.

"Oh, speak not thus," said St. Amand. "I, I only am to blame; I, false to both, to both ungrateful. Oh, from the hour that these eyes opened upon you I drank in a new life; the sun itself to me was less wonderful than your beauty. But—but—let me forget that hour. What do I not owe to Lucille? I shall be wretched—I shall deserve to be so; for shall I not think, Julie, that I have imbittered our life with your ill-fated love? But all that I can give—my hand—my home—my plighted faith—must be hers. Nay, Julie, nay—why that look? could I act otherwise? can I dream otherwise? Whatever the sacrifice, must I not render it? Ah, what do I owe to Lucille, were it only for the thought that but for her I might never have seen thee."

Lucille staid to hear no more; with the same soft step as that which had borne her within hearing of these fatal words, she turned back once more to her desolate chamber.

That evening, as St. Amand was sitting alone in his apartment, he heard a gentle knock at the door. "Come in," he said, and Lucille entered. He started in some confusion, and would have taken her hand, but she gently repulsed him. She took a seat opposite to him, and looking down, thus addressed him:—

"My dear Eugene, that is, Monsieur St. Amand, I have something on my mind that I think it better to speak at once; and if I do not exactly express what I would wish to say, you must not be offended at Lucille; it is not an easy matter to put into words what one feels deeply." Coloring, and suspecting something of the truth, St. Amand would have broken in upon her here; but she, with a gentle impatience, waved him to be silent, and continued:—

"You know that when you once loved me, I used to tell you, that you would cease to do so, could you see how undeserving I was of your attachment? I did not deceive myself, Eugene; I always felt assured that such would be the case, that your love for me necessarily rested on your affliction: but, for all that, I never at least had a dream, or a desire, but for your happiness; and God knows, that if again, by walking bare-footed, not to Cologne, but to Rome—to the end of the world, I could save you from a much less misfortune than that of blindness, I would cheerfully do it; yes, even though I might foretel all the while that, on my return, you would speak to me coldly, think of me lightly, and that the penalty to me would—would be—what it has been!" Here Lucille wiped a few natural tears from her eyes; St. Amand, struck to the heart, covered his face with his hands, without the courage to interrupt her. Lucille continued:—

"That which I foresaw has come to pass: I am no longer to you what I once was, when you could clothe this poor form and this homely face with a beauty they did not possess; you would wed me still, it is true; but I am proud, Eugene, and cannot stoop to gratitude where I once had love. I am not so unjust as to blame you; the change was natural, was inevitable. I should have steeled myself more against it; but I am now resigned; we must part; you love Julie—that too is natural—and she loves you; ah! what also more probable in the course of events? Julie loves you, not yet, perhaps, so much as I did, but then she has not known you as I have, and she, whose whole life has been triumph, cannot feel the gratitude I felt at fancying myself loved; but this will come; God grant it! Farewell, then, for ever, dear Eugene; I leave you when you no longer want me; you are now independent of Lucille; wherever you go, a thousand hereafter can supply my place;—farewell!"

She rose, as she said this, to leave the room; but St. Amand seizing her hand, which she in vain endeavored to withdraw from his clasp, poured forth incoherently, passionately, his reproaches on himself, his eloquent persuasions against her resolution.

"I confess," said he, "that I have been allured for a moment; I confess that Julie's beauty made me less sensible to your stronger, your holier, oh! far, far holier title to my love! But forgive me, dearest Lucille; already I return to you, to all I once felt for you; make me not curse the blessing of sight that I owe to you. You must not leave me; never can we two part; try me, only try me, and if ever, hereafter, my heart wander from you, then, Lucille, leave me to my remorse!"

Even at that moment Lucille did not yield; she felt that his prayer was but the enthusiasm of the hour; she felt that there was a virtue in her pride; that to leave him was a duty to herself. In vain he pleaded; in vain were his embraces, his prayers; in vain he reminded her of their plighted troth, of her aged parents, whose happiness had become wrapped in her union with him; "How, even were it as you wrongly believe, how in honor to them can I desert you, can I wed another?"

"Trust that, trust all to me," answered Lucille; "your honor shall be my care, none shall blame you; only do not let your marriage with Julie be celebrated here before their eyes; that is all I ask, all they can expect. God bless you! do not fancy I shall be unhappy, for whatever happiness the world gives you, shall I not have contributed to bestow it?—and with that thought, I am above compassion."

She glided from his arms, and left him to a solitude more bitter even than that of blindness; that very night Lucille sought her mother; to her she confided all. I pass over the reasons she urged, the arguments she overcame; she conquered rather than convinced, and leaving to Madame Le Tisseur the painful task of breaking to her father her unalterable resolution, she quitted Malines the next morning, and with a heart too honest to be utterly without comfort, paid that visit to her aunt which had been so long deferred.

The pride of Lucille's parents prevented them from reproaching St. Amand. He did not bear, however, their cold and altered looks; he left their house; and though for several days he would not even see Julie, yet her beauty and her art gradually resumed their empire over him. They were married at Courtroi, and, to the joy of the vain Julie, departed to the gay metropolis of France. But before their departure, before his marriage, St. Amand endeavored to appease his conscience, by purchasing for Monsieur Le Tisseur, a much more lucrative and honorable office than that he now held. Rightly judging that Malines could no longer be a pleasant residence for them, and much less for Lucille, the duties of the post were to be fulfilled in another town; and knowing that Monsieur Le Tisseur's delicacy would revolt at receiving such a favor from his hands, he kept the nature of his negociation a close secret, and suffered the honest citizen to believe that his own merits alone had entitled him to so unexpected a promotion.

Time went on. This quiet and simple history of humble affections took its date in a stormy epoch of the world—the dawning Revolution of France. The family of Lucille had been little more than a year settled in their new residence, when Dumouriez led his army into the Netherlands. But how meanwhile had that year passed for Lucille? I have said that her spirit was naturally high; that, though so tender, she was not weak; her very pilgrimage to Cologne alone, and at the timid age of seventeen, proved that there was a strength in her nature no less than a devotion in her love. The sacrifice she had made brought its own reward. She believed St. Amand was happy, and she would not give way to the selfishness of grief; she had still duties to perform; she could still comfort her parents, and cheer their age; she could still be all the world to them; she felt this, and was consoled. Only once during the year had she heard of Julie; she had been seen by a mutual friend at Paris, gay, brilliant, courted, and admired; of St. Amand she heard nothing.

My tale, dear Gertrude, does not lead me through the harsh scenes of war. I do not tell you of the slaughter and the siege, and the blood that inundated those fair lands, the great battle-field of Europe. The people of the Netherlands in general were with the cause of Dumouriez, but the town in which Le Tisseur dwelt offered some faint resistance to his arms. Le Tisseur himself, despite his age, girded on his sword; the town was carried, and the fierce and licentious troops of the conqueror poured, flushed with their easy victory, through its streets. Le Tisseur's house was filled with drunken and rude troopers; Lucille herself trembled in the fierce gripe of one of those dissolute soldiers, more bandit than soldier, whom the subtle Dumouriez had united to his army, and by whose blood he so often saved that of his nobler band; her shrieks, her cries were vain, when suddenly the reeking troopers gave way; "the Captain! brave Captain!" was shouted forth; the insolent soldier, felled by a powerful arm, sank senseless at the feet of Lucille; and a glorious form, towering above its fellows, even through its glittering garb, even in that dreadful hour remembered at a glance by Lucille, stood at her side; her protector, her guardian! thus once more she beheld St. Amand!

The house was cleared in an instant, the door barred. Shouts, groans, wild snatches of exulting song, the clang of arms, the tramp of horses, the hurrying footsteps, the deep music, sounded loud, and blended terribly without; Lucille heard them not; she was on that breast which never should have deserted her.

Effectually to protect his friends, St. Amand took up his quarters at their house; and for two days he was once more under the same roof as Lucille. He never recurred voluntarily to Julie; he answered Lucille's timid inquiry after her health briefly, and with coldness, but he spoke with all the enthusiasm of a long pent and ardent spirit of the new profession he had embraced. Glory seemed now to be his only mistress, and the vivid delusion of the first bright dreams of the revolution filled his mind, broke from his tongue, and lighted up those dark eyes which Lucille had redeemed to day.

She saw him depart at the head of his troop; she saw his proud crest glancing in the sun; she saw that his last glance reverted to her, where she stood at the door; and as he waved his adieu, she fancied that there was on his face that look of deep and grateful tenderness which reminded her of the one bright epoch of her life.

She was right; St. Amand had long since in bitterness repented of a transient infatuation, had long since discovered the true Florimel from the false, and felt that, in Julie, Lucille's wrongs were avenged. But in the hurry and heat of war he plunged that regret—the keenest of all—which imbodies the bitter words, "TOO LATE!"

Years passed away, and in the resumed tranquillity of Lucille's life the brilliant apparition of St. Amand appeared as something dreamt of, not seen. The star of Napoleon had risen above the horizon; the romance of his early career had commenced; and the campaign of Egypt had been the herald of those brilliant and meteoric successes which flashed forth from the gloom of the Revolution of France.

You are aware, dear Gertrude, how many in the French as well as the English troops returned home from Egypt, blinded with the ophthalmia of that arid soil. Some of the young men in Lucille's town, who had joined Napoleon's army, came back, darkened by that fearful affliction, and Lucille's alms, and Lucille's aid, and Lucille's sweet voice were ever at hand for those poor sufferers, whose common misfortune touched so thrilling a cord of her heart.

Her father was now dead, and she had only her mother to cheer amid the ills of age. As one evening they sat at work together, Madame Le Tisseur said, after a pause—

"I wish, dear Lucille, thou couldst be persuaded to marry Justin; he loves thee well, and now that thou art yet young, and hast many years before thee, thou shouldst remember that when I die thou wilt be alone."

"Ah cease, dearest mother, I never can marry now, and as for love—once taught in the bitter school in which I have learned the knowledge of myself—I cannot be deceived again."

"My Lucille, you do not know yourself; never was woman loved, if Justin does not love you; and never did lover feel with more real warmth how worthily he loved."

And this was true; and not of Justin alone, for Lucille's modest virtues, her kindly temper, and a certain undulating and feminine grace, which accompanied all her movements, had secured her as many conquests as if she had been beautiful. She had rejected all offers of marriage with a shudder; without even the throb of a flattered vanity. One memory, sadder, was also dearer to her than all things; and something sacred in its recollections made her deem it even a crime to think of effacing the past by a new affection.

"I believe," continued Madame Le Tisseur, angrily, "that thou still thinkest fondly of him from whom only in the world thou couldst have experienced ingratitude."

"Nay mother," said Lucille, with a blush and a slight sigh, "Eugene is married to another."

While thus conversing, they heard a gentle and timid knock at the door—the latch was lifted. "This" said the rough voice of a commissaire of the town—"this, monsieur, is the house of Madame Le Tisseur, and—voila mademoiselle!" A tall figure, with a shade over his eyes, and wrapped in a long military cloak, stood in the room. A thrill shot across Lucille's heart. He stretched out his arms; "Lucille," said that melancholy voice, which had made the music of her first youth—"where art thou, Lucille; alas! she does not recognize St. Amand."

Thus was it, indeed. By a singular fatality, the burning suns and the sharp dust of the plains of Egypt had smitten the young soldier, in the flush of his career, with a second—and this time, with an irremediable—blindness! He had returned to France to find his hearth lonely; Julie was no more—a sudden fever had cut her off in the midst of youth; and he had sought his way to Lucille's house, to see if one hope yet remained to him in the world!

And when, days afterward, humbly and sadly he re-urged a former suit, did Lucille shut her heart to its prayer? Did her pride remember its wound—did she revert to his desertion—did she say to the whisper of her yearning love—"thou hast been before forsaken?" That voice and those darkened eyes pleaded to her with a pathos not to be resisted; "I am once more necessary to him," was all her thought—"if I reject him, who will tend him?" In that thought was the motive of her conduct; in that thought gushed back upon her soul all the springs of checked, but unconquered, unconquerable love! In that thought she stood beside him at the altar, and pledged, with a yet holier devotion than she might have felt of yore, the vow of her imperishable truth.

And Lucille found, in the future, a reward which the common world could never comprehend. With his blindness returned all the feelings she had first awakened in St. Amand's solitary heart; again he yearned for her step—again he missed even a moment's absence from his side—again her voice chased the shadow from his brow—and in her presence was a sense of shelter and of sunshine. He no longer sighed for the blessing he had lost; he reconciled himself to fate, and entered into that serenity of mood which mostly characterizes the blind. Perhaps, after we have seen the actual world, and experienced its hollow pleasures, we can resign ourselves the better to its exclusion; and as the cloister which repels the ardor of our hope is sweet to our remembrance, so the darkness loses its terror when experience has wearied us with the glare and travail of the day. It was something, too, as they advanced in life, to feel the chains that bound him to Lucille strengthening daily, and to cherish in his overflowing heart the sweetness of increasing gratitude; it was something that he could not see years wrinkle that open brow, or dim the tenderness of that touching smile; it was something that to him she was beyond the reach of time, and preserved to the verge of a grave (which received them both within a few days of each other,) in all the bloom of her unwithering affection—in all the freshness of a heart that never could grow old!

For the Southern Literary Messenger.    

SONGBy the Author of Vyvyan.

On the brow of the mountain
    The grey mists darkle—
On the wave of the fountain
    Star images sparkle—
Wild lights o'er the meadow
    Are fitfully gleaming—
In the hill's dark shadow
    A spirit is dreaming.
The birds and the flowers
    With closed eyes are sleeping,
All hushed are the bowers
    Where glow-worms are creeping—
There's quiet in heaven,
    There's peace to the billow—
A blessing seems given
    To all—save my pillow.
Alas! do I wonder
    I too cannot sleep,
Like the calm waves yonder,
    And dream all as deep?—
There's beauty beside me,
    A love-heaving breast—
Ah! my very joys chide me,
    And rob me of rest.

For the Southern Literary Messenger.    


I gaze on this discolored sheet
Which time has tinged with many a stain,
And sigh to think his course should bring
To nought, that friendship nursed in vain.
Here in your well known hand I see
My name, with terms endearing traced,
And vows of firm fidelity,
Which other objects soon effaced.
Strange does it seem, that in these words
A dead affection I should find,
As if some early buried friend
Resumed his place among his kind.
Yes—after many a chilling year
Of coldness and of alter'd feeling,
This tatter'd messenger is here,
Worlds of forgotten thought revealing.
As once my faith was purely thine,
For thee my blood I would have pour'd
As freely as the rich red wine
We pledged around the jovial board.
It seem'd that thou wert thus to me,
Loyal and true as thou didst swear:
I knew not then, as now I know,
That oaths are but impassion'd air.
And even now, a doubt that they
Were falsehoods all, will cross my brain:
That thought alone I seek to quell,
That thought alone could give me pain.
To be forgotten has no sting—
For friendships every day grow cold;
But 'tis a wounding thought, that I
Have purchased dross, and paid in gold.
Tho' thou hast changed, as worldlings change
Amid the haunts of sordid men,
I cannot bid my feelings range—
But cling to what I deem'd thee then.

For the Southern Literary Messenger.    

THE CEMETERY.From the Russian.

        How sad, how frightful the abode,
        How dread the silence of the tomb!
        There all surrounding objects speak
        The haunt of terror and of gloom—
And nought but tempests' horrid howl we hear,
And bones together rattling on the bier!
        How peaceful, tranquil is the tomb!
        How calm, how deep is its repose!
        There flow'rets wild more sweetly bloom,
        There zephyr's breath more softly flows;
And there the nightingale and turtle-dove
Their notes pour forth of happiness and love.
        Against that dark sepulchral mound,
        Funereal crows their pinions beat;
        There dens of ravenous wolves are found,
        And there the vulture's foul retreat;
The earth around with greedy claws they tear,
Whilst serpents hiss and poison all the air.
        There, when the shades of evening fall,
        The sportive hares their gambols keep;
        Or, fearless of the huntsman's call,
        Upon the verdant herbage sleep;
While midst the foliage of the o'erhanging boughs
The feathered tribe in slumbers soft repose.
        Around that dank and humid spot
        A noisome vapor ever clings,
        Exhaled from heaps which there to rot
        Death with untiring labor brings;
Devoid of leaves the trees their branches spread,
And every plant seems withering, or dead.
        In what soft accents whispers there
        The evening breeze about the tomb,
        Diffusing through the balmy air
        Of countless flowers the rich perfume,
And speaking of a place of peace and rest,
Where e'er mid breathing fragrance dwell the blessed!
        When to this dismal vale of tears,
        The pilgrim comes with weary pace,
        O'erpowered by appalling fears,
        In vain his steps he would retrace;
Urged onwards by a hand unseen, unknown,
He's headlong in the wreck-strewed torrent thrown.
        Worn out by life's sad pilgrimage,
        Man here at length his staff lays down—
        Here feels no more the tempest's rage,
        Nor dreads the heav'ns impending frown—
Reposes from his toil in slumbers deep,
And sleeps of ages the eternal sleep!


We flatter ourselves that our patrons will not be displeased with the feast which we have set before them in the present number of the Messenger. We have not commenced with the egg and ended with the apple, (ab ovo usque ad malum,) according to the ancient custom; nor placed the substantials before the dessert, as in modern entertainments; but have rather chosen to mingle them without order or arrangement,—that our guests may partake as their respective tastes and inclinations may dictate. The scientific reader will be attracted by the communications of Dr. POWELL, and PETER A. BROWNE, Esq. of Philadelphia. By the former gentleman, who is now actively engaged in geological and antiquarian researches in the western country, we are kindly promised occasional aid; and, to the latter distinguished individual, we owe our thanks for the warm interest he has evinced in our infant enterprize.

Of Mr. WIRT'S letter, it would be superfluous to speak, more especially as it is accompanied by some excellent remarks by a highly intelligent friend,—himself destined to become an ornament to the profession of which he speaks.

The general reader cannot fail to be pleased with many, if not all the communications which are inserted. In the article headed "Example is better than Precept," he will recognize an elegant and vigorous pen;—and, in the "Recollections of Chotank," it will not be difficult to perceive that the hand employed in describing the generous customs and proverbial hospitality of that ancient portion of our state,—is one of uncommon skill in the art and beauty of composition. The article from the Petersburg Intelligencer, entitled an "Extract from a Novel that never will be published," (but which we hope will be published)—though not expressly written for the "Messenger," will be new to most of our readers. If we mistake not, the writer has furnished strong evidence of talent in a particular department of literature, which needs only to be cultivated in order to attain a high degree of success.

The poetical contributions, which are entirely original in the present number, whilst they do not need our eulogy, we cannot permit to pass without some special notice at our hands. The "Power of Faith" will not fail to attract the lover of genuine poetry, especially if his heart be warmed with christian zeal. It is written by a gentleman whose modesty is as great as his merit; and whose writings, both in prose and verse, will do honor to his native state. The sprightly effusion among the prose articles which is headed "Sally Singleton," is from the same hand. Of "Death among the Trees," it would be unnecessary to speak, as it will be readily recognized and admired, as the production of a distinguished female writer already known to fame. We take pleasure in placing in the same company two other charming effusions, by writers of the same gentle sex, whose assistance in our literary labors we shall always be proud to receive. We allude to the "Address of the Genius of Columbia to her Native Muse," and the "Lines to an Officer of the United States Navy, by E. A. S." The "Sonnet, written on the Blue Ridge," and the "Stanzas, composed at the White Sulphur Springs of Virginia," are both the productions of the same superior mind. There is not only decided power, but a most attractive pathos and bewitching melancholy in the two productions referred to. We hope that the author will continue to adorn our columns with the offspring of his gifted muse. The author of "Lines on a Billet from an Early Friend," will always be a welcome guest at our literary table. We know him as a gentleman of fine taste and varied endowments. The "Cemetery" is from the pen of a young Philadelphian of fine talents. He need not at any time apprehend exclusion from our columns.

If we have chosen to speak last of the author of "Musings," it is not because he is least in our estimation. On the contrary, we sincerely esteem him as among the favored few, to whom it is given,—-if they themselves will it,—to reach the highest honors, and the most enduring rewards, in the empire of poesy. The beautiful and graceful picture of Venice, presented in our present number,—of Venice despoiled of her ancient glory—yet still glorious in ruin,—will command, if we mistake not, general admiration. Successful as the author always is, in his light and fugitive pieces, he gives evidence of a power to grasp the highest themes, and to sport with familiar ease in the least accessible regions of fancy. Why does he not seize the lyre at once, and pour forth a song which shall add to his country's honor, and insure for himself a chaplet of renown? Why does he not at once take rank with the HALLECKS, the BRYANTS and PERCIVALS, of a colder clime? He is every way qualified to do it.

To our numerous correspondents and contributors, whose favors have not yet appeared in print,—we owe our acknowledgments, and in some instances an apology. Our space is exceedingly disproportioned to the quantity of matter which we have on hand; and, of course, we are driven to the painful, and rather invidious task of selection. We have many articles actually in type, which we are necessarily obliged to exclude from the present number. Among them may be enumerated "A Scene in Genoa, by an American Tourist," the "Grave Seekers," and other fine specimens of poetry. The "Reporter's Story, or the Importance of a Syllable," "The Cottage in the Glen,"—the poems from Louisa and Pittsylvania, and from various other quarters, shall all receive the earliest possible attention. The high claims of our correspondents in Mobile and Tuscaloosa in the state of Alabama, shall also be attended to; and, we hope that others in distant states, will not deem themselves slighted if not now particularly enumerated.

The "Eulogy on Lafayette," transmitted from France, and handed over to us by a friend, shall appear in the next number.

We have read with pleasure, the love tale composed by an accomplished young lady in one of the upper counties; and, whilst we do not hesitate to render a just tribute to the delicacy of sentiment and glowing fancy which distinguish her pages, candor compels us to urge one objection, which we fear is insurmountable. The story is wrought up with materials derived from English character and manners; and, we have too many thousands of similar fictions issuing from the British press, to authorize the belief that another of the same class will be interesting to an American reader. We should like to see our own writers confine their efforts to native subjects—to throw aside the trammels of foreign reading, and to select their themes from the copious materials which every where abound in our own magnificent country.

For a similar reason, our friend from Caroline must excuse us for declining to insert his sketches. We have no "dilapidated castles," nor any "last heirs of Ardendale," in our plain republican land.

Neither can we insert in our pages (though we should like to oblige our Essex correspondent,) any thing which bears the slightest resemblance to a fairy tale. We prefer treading upon earthly ground, and dealing with mortal personages.

To our highly respected correspondent, who addressed a letter to the publisher in June last, from Prince Edward, we take this opportunity to say, that our columns shall be freely open to discussions in behalf of the interests of education. We conceive that the cause of literature is intimately connected with it; and we have it in contemplation to present ere long, to the public, some candid views, in regard to the policy heretofore pursued in the Councils of our State, on this interesting subject. We are enemies to every system founded upon favoritism and monopoly; and we are advocates for the equal application of those pecuniary resources which the bounty of the state has dedicated to the cause of education. We have no idea that the Literary Fund, the common property of us all, ought to be so managed as to defeat the purposes of its founders; in other words, that it should be so wrested from the original design of its creation, as to benefit only two classes of society—the highest and the lowest,—the extremes of wealth and indigence,—whilst the great mass of the community are excluded from all advantages to be derived from it. This system may suit particular individuals, and may subserve particular ends; but it is at war with the best interests of the state, and ought to be exposed, so far as the honorable weapons of truth and justice shall be able to expose it.

The suggestions of our highly intelligent friend from South Carolina, who we presume is a temporary resident in one of the northern states, are entitled to much respect and consideration. We quote the following just sentiments from his letter:

"American literature, although increasing, is still at an immense distance in rear of that of England, and Germany and France. And why? It is owing entirely to the divided attention of our literary characters. However profound and capacious their minds—and however great their powers of thought, and brilliant and forcible those of expression, it is impossible for them to succeed, at the same time, in every department of knowledge. No man can distinguish himself in any one pursuit, when his mind is applied to a dozen. Let him bend his faculties upon a single object; and with industry and perseverance, he will assuredly secure its attainment. Among us, we have no professed students, whose lives are devoted to the acquisition and development of learning. All men of talents rush early into the absorbing pursuits of politics; and together with providing the means of support, continue in them for life. So long as this is the case, it cannot be expected of us to present eminent men, in any way calculated to compete with those of the Old World.
"It would be a useful and an ennobling task for some one, well qualified to examine the subject in all its bearings, to offer an expose of the various causes for the low ebb at which our national literature now stands, and the means by which they might be subverted."

We should be much gratified if some one of our many intelligent subscribers would furnish us an essay upon this interesting subject. None would be more likely to present it, in some of its strongest lights, than the writer of the letter from which we have quoted.