The Project Gutenberg eBook of The International Monthly, Volume 2, No. 1, December, 1850

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Title: The International Monthly, Volume 2, No. 1, December, 1850

Author: Various

Release date: October 28, 2011 [eBook #37872]
Most recently updated: January 8, 2021

Language: English

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Of Literature, Science, and Art.






On completing the second volume of the International Magazine, the publishers appeal to its pages with confidence for confirmation of all the promises that have been made with regard to its character. They believe the verdict of the American journals has been unanimous upon the point that the International has been the best journal of literary intelligence in the world, keeping its readers constantly advised of the intellectual activity of Great Britain, Germany, France, the other European nations, and our own country. As a journal of the fine arts, it has been the aim of the editor to render it in all respects just, and as particular as the space allotted to this department would allow. And its reproductions of the best contemporary foreign literature bear the names of Walter Savage Landor, Mazzini, Bulwer, Dickens, Thackeray, Barry Cornwall, Alfred Tennyson, R.M. Milnes, Charles Mackay, Mrs. Browning, Miss Mitford, Miss Martineau, Mrs. Hall, and others; its original translations the names of several of the leading authors of the Continent, and its anonymous selections the titles of the great Reviews, Magazines, and Journals, as well as of many of the most important new books in all departments of literature. But the International is not merely a compilation; it has embraced in the two volumes already issued, original papers, by Bishop Spencer of Jamaica, Henry Austen Layard, LL.D., the most illustrious of living travellers and antiquaries, G.P.R. James, Alfred B. Street, Bayard Taylor, A.O. Hall, R.H. Stoddard, Richard B. Kimball, Parke Godwin, William C. Richards, John E. Warren, Elizabeth Oakes Smith, Mary E. Hewitt, Alice Carey, and other authors of eminence, whose compositions have entitled it to a place in the first class of original literary periodicals. Besides the writers hitherto engaged for the International, many of distinguished reputations are pledged to contribute to its pages hereafter; and the publishers have taken measures for securing at the earliest possible day the chief productions of the European press, so that to American readers the entire Magazine will be as new and fresh as if it were all composed expressly for their pleasure.

The style of illustration which has thus far been so much approved by the readers of the International, will be continued, and among the attractions of future numbers will be admirable portraits of Irving, Cooper, Bryant, Halleck, Prescott, Ticknor, Francis, Hawthorne, Willis, Kennedy, Mitchell, Mayo, Melville, Whipple, Taylor, Dewey, Stoddard, and other authors, accompanied as frequently as may be with views of their residences, and sketches of their literary and personal character.

Indeed, every means possible will be used to render the International Magazine to every description of persons the most valuable as well as the most entertaining miscellany in the English language.


Adams, John, upon Riches,426
Ambitious Brooklet, The.—By A.O. Hall,477
Accidents will Happen.—By C. Astor Bristed,81
Anima Mundi.—By R.M. Milnes,393
Astor Library, The. (Illustrated,)436
Attempts to Discover the Northwest Passage, On the,166
Audubon, John James.—By Rufus W. Griswold,469
Age, Old.—By Alfred B. Street,474
Arts, The Fine.—Munich and Schwanthaler's "Bavaria," 26.—Art in Florence, 27.—W.W. Story's Return from Italy, 27.—Les Beautes de la France, 27.—History of Art Exhibitions, 28.—Enamel Painting at Berlin, 28.—Portrait of Sir Francis Drake, 28.—The Vernets, 28.—Leutze, Powers, &c., 28.—Kaulbach, 28.—Illustrations of Homer, 28.—Old Pictures, 29.—Michael Angelo, 29.—Conversations by the Academy of Design, 29.—David's Napoleon Crossing the Alps, 29.—Gift from the Bavarian Artists to the King, 190.—Charles Eastlake, 190.—New Picture by Kaulbach, 190.—Russian Porcelain, 190.—Mr. Healey, 191.—Von Kestner on Art, 191.—Russian Music in Paris, 191.—The Goethe Inheritance, 191.—Art Unions; their True Character Considered, 191.—Waagner's "Art in the Future," 313.—Thorwaldsen, 313.—Heidel's "Illustrations of Goethe," 313.—A New Art, 313.—Albert Durer's Illustrations of the Prayer Book, 313.—Moritz Rugendus, and his Sketches of American Scenery, 314.—An Art Union in Vienna, 314.—New Picture by Kaulbach, 314.—Powers's "America," 314.—Dr. Baun's Essay on the two Chief Groups of the Friese of the Parthenon, 314.—Victor Orsel's Paintings in the Church of Notre Dame de Lorelle, 314.—Ehninger's Illustrations of Irving, 314.—Wolff's Paris, 314.—M. Leutze's "Washington Crossing the Delaware," 460.—Discovery of a Picture by Michael Angelo, 460.—The Munich Art Union, 460. Authors and Books.—A Visit to Henry Heine, 15.—Dr. Zirckel's "Sketches from and concerning the United States," 16.—Aerostation, 17.—New Works by M. Guizot, 17.—Works on the German Revolution, 18.—Dr. Zimmer's Universal History, 18.—Schlosser, 18.—MS. of Le Bel Discovered, 19.—M. Bastiat alive, and plagiarizing, 19.—Cæsarism, 19.—Songs of Carinthia, 20.—Mr. Bryant, 20.—Dr. Laing, 20.—French Reviewal of Mr. Elliot's History of Liberty, 20.—Dr. Bowring, 21.—Henry Rogers and Reviews, 21.—Rabbi Schwartz on the Holy Land, 21.—Mr. John R. Thompson, 21.—German Reviewal of "Fashion," 22.—Ruskin's New Work, 21.—Oehlenschlager's Memoirs, 22.—Planche on Lamartine, 22.—Prosper Mérimée, his Book on America, &c., 22.—Hawthorne, 22.—Matthews, the American Traveller, 23.—Professor Adler's Translation of the Iphigenia in Taurus, 23.—The Pekin Gazette, 23.—New Book by the author of "Shakespeare and his Friends," 23.—Vaulabelle's French History, 23.—Sir Edward Belcher, 23.—Guizot an Editor again, 23.—Life of Southey, 23.—Bulwer's Ears, 23.—The Count de Castelnau on South America, 23.—Diplomatic and Literary Studies of Alexis de Saint Priest, 24.—Mrs. Putnam's Review of Bowen, 24.—Herr Thaer, 24.—New Work announced in England, 24.—"Sir Roger de Coverley; by the Spectator," 25.—Memoir of Judge Story, 25.—Garland's Life of John Randolph, 25.—Sir Edgerton Brydges's edition of Milton's Poems, 25.—The Keepsake, 25.—Gray's Poems, 25.—Rev. Professor Weir, 25.—Douglas Jerrold's Complete Works, 25.—Memoirs of the Poet Wordsworth, by his Nephew, 25.—New German books on Hungary, 173.—"Polish Population in Galicia," 173.—Travels and Ethnological works of Professor Reguly, 174.—Works on Ethnology, published by the Austrian Government, 174.—Karl Gutzlow, 174.—Neandar's Library, 174.—Karl Simrock's Popular Songs, 175.—Belgian Literature, 175.—Prof. Johnston's Work on America, 175.—Literary and Scientific Works at Giessen, 175.—Beranger, 175.—The House of the "Wandering Jew," 176.—The Count de Tocqueville upon Dr. Franklin, &c., 176.—Audubon's Last Work, 176.—Book Fair at Leipsic, 176.—Baroness von Beck, 177.—Berghaus's Magazine, Albert Gallatin, &c., 177.—Auerback's Tales, 177.—Baron Sternberg, 177.—"The New Faith Taught in Art," 177.—Freiligrath, 177.—New Adventure and Discovery in Africa, 178.—French Almanacs, 178.—The Algemeine Zeitung on Literary Women, 178.—Cormenin on War, 178.—Writers of "Young France," 179.—George Sand's Last Works, 179.—New Books on the French Revolution, Mirabeau, Massena, &c., 179.—Cousin, 179.—Tomb of Godfrey of Bouillon, 179.—Maxims of Frederic the Great, 179.—New Poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 180.—Rectorship of Glasgow University, 180.—Tennyson, 180.—Mayhew, D'Israeli, Leigh Hunt, The Earl of Carlisle, &c., 180.—New Work by Joseph Balmes, 180.—The late Mrs. Bell Martin, 181.—The Athenæum on Mrs. Mowatt's Novels, 181.—New work by Mrs. Southworth, 181.—Charles Mackay, sent to India, 182.—Pensions to Literary Men, 182.—German Translation of Ticknor's History of Spanish Literature, 182.—David Copperfield, 183.—D.D. Field and the English Lawyers, 183.—Louisiana Historical Collections, 183.—Elihu Burritt's Absurdities, 184.—John Mills, 184.—Dr. Latham's "Races of Men," 184.—"Homœopathic Review, 184.—Bohn's Publications, 184.—Professor Reed's Rhetoric, 185.—Mr. Bancroft's forthcoming History, 185.—Dr. Schoolcraft, 185.—MS. of Dr. Johnson's Memoirs, 185.—Literary "Discoveries," 185.—M. Girardin, 185.—Vulgar Lying of the last English Traveller in America, 186.—The Real Peace Congress, 186.—Milton, Burke, Mazzini, Webster, 187.—Sir Francis Head, 187.—Dr. Bloomfield, 187.—New Book by Mr. Cooper, 187.—Mr. Judd's "Richard Edney," 187.—E.G. Squier, Hawthorne, &c., 187.—The Author of "Olive," on the Sphere of Woman, 188.—Flemish Poems, 188.—"Lives of the Queens of Scotland," 188.—John S. Dwight, 188.—History of the Greek Revolution, 188.—New Edition of the Works of Goethe, 188.—W.G. Simms, Dr. Holmes, &c., 188.—The Songs of Pierre Dupont, 189.—Arago and Prudhon, 189.—Charles Sumner, 189.—"The Manhattaner in New Orleans," 189.—"Reveries of a Bachelor," "Vala," &c., 189.—Of Personalities, 297.—Last Work of Oersted, 298.—New Dramas, 299.—German Novels, 300.—Hungarian Literature, 301.—New German Book on America, 301.—Ruckert's "Annals of German History," 301.—Zschokke's Private Letters, 301.—Works by Bender and Burmeister, 301.—The Countess Hahn-Hahn, 302.—"Value of Goethe as a Poet," 302.—Hagen's History of [Pg vi]Recent Times, 302.—Cotta's Illustrated Bible, 302.—Wallon's History of Slavery, 302.—Translation of the Journal of the U.S. Exploring Expedition into German, 302.—Richter's Translation of Mrs. Barbauld, 302.—Bodenstet's New Book on the East, 302.—Third Part of Humboldt's "Cosmos," &c., 303.—Dr. Espe, 303.—The Works of Neander, 303.—Works of Luther, 303.—L'Universe Pittoresque, 303.—M. Nisard, 303.—French Documentary Publications, 303.—M. Ginoux, 303.—M. Veron, 304.—Eugene Sue's New Books, 304.—George Sand in the Theatre, 304.—Alphonse Karr, 304.—Various new Publications in Paris, 304.—The Catholic Church and Pius IX., 305.—Notices of Hayti, 305.—Work on Architecture, by Gailhabaud, 305.—Italian Monthly Review, 305.—Discovery of Letters by Pope, 305.—Lord Brougham, 305.—Alice Carey, 305.—Mrs. Robinson ("Talvi"), 306.—New Life of Hannah More, 306.—Professor Hackett on the Alps, 306.—Mrs. Anita George, 307.—Life and Works of Henry Wheaton, 308.—R.R. Madden, 308.—Rev. E.H. Chapin on "Woman," 308.—Discovery of Historical Documents of Quebec, 308.—Professor Andrews's Latin Lexicon, 309.—"Salander," by Mr. Shelton, 309.—Prof. Bush on Pneumatology, 309.—Satire on the Rappers, by J.R. Lowell, 309.—Henry C. Phillips on the Scenery of the Central Regions of America, 310.—Sam. Adams no Defaulter, 310.—Mr. Willis, 310.—Life of Calvin, 310.—Notes of a Howadje, 310.—Mr. Putnam's "World's Progress," 310.—Mr. Whittier, 310.—New Volume of Hildreth's History of the United States, 311.—The Memorial of Mrs. Osgood, 311.—Fortune Telling in Paris, 311.—Writings of Hartley Coleridge, 311.—New Books forthcoming in London, 312.—Mr. Cheever's "Island World of the Pacific," 312.—Works of Bishop Onderdonk, 312.—Moreau's Imitatio Christi, 312.—New German Poems, 312.—Schröder on the Jews, 312.—Arago on Ballooning, 312.—Books prohibited at Naples, 312.—Notices of Mazzini, 313.—Charles Augustus Murray, 313.—New History of Woman, 313.—Letters on Humboldt's Cosmos, 446.—German Version of the "Vestiges of Creation," 447.—Hegel's Aesthetik, 447.—New Work in France on the Origin of the Human Race, 448.—Lelewel on the Geography of the Middle Ages, 448.—More German Novels, 448.—"Man in the Mirror of Nature," 449.—Herr Kielhau, on Geology, 449.—Proposed Prize for a Defence of Absolutism, 449.—Werner's Christian Ethics, 449.—William Meinhold, 449.—Prize History of the Jews, 449.—English Version of Mrs. Robinson's Work on America, 449.—Poems by Jeanne Marie, 449.—General Gordon's Memoirs, 449.—George Sand's New Drama, 449.—Other New French Plays, 451.—M. Cobet's History of France, 451.—Rev. G.R. Gleig, 451.—Ranke's Discovery of MSS. by Richelieu, 451.—George Sand on Bad Spelling, 451.—Lola Montes, 451.—Montalembert, 451.—Glossary of the Middle Ages, 451.—A Coptic Grammar, 451.—The Italian Revolution, 452.—Italian Archæological Society, 452.—Abaddie, the French Traveller, 452.—The Vatican Library, 452.—New Ode by Piron, 452.—Posthumous Works of Rossi, 452.—Bailey, the Author of "Festus," 453.—Clinton's Fasti, 453.—Captain Cunningham, 453.—Dixon's Life of Penn, 453.—Literary Women in England, 453.—Miss Martineau's History of the Last Half Century, 453.—The Lexington Papers, 453.—Captain Medwin, 453.—John Clare, 454.—De Quincy's Writings, 454.—Bulwer's Poems, 454.—Episodes of Insect Life, 454.—Dr. Achilli, 454.—Samuel Bailey, 454.—Major Poussin, and his Work on the United States, 454.—French Collections in Political Economy, 455.—Joseph Gales, 456.—Rev. Henry T. Cheever, 456.—Job R. Tyson on Colonial History, 456.—Henry James, 456.—Torrey and Neander, 457.—Works of John C. Calhoun, 457.—Historic Certainties respecting Early America, 457.—Mr. Schoolcraft, 457.—Dr. Robert Knox, 458.—Mr. Boker's Plays, 458.—The Literary World upon a supposed Letter of Washington, 458.—Dr. Ducachet's Dictionary of the Church, 458.—Edith May's Poems, 458.—The American Philosophical Society, 458.—Professor Hows, 458.—Mr. Redfield's Publications, 458.—Rev. William W. Lord's New Poem, 450.
Battle of the Churches in England,327
Ballad of Jessie Carol.—By Alice Carey,230
Barry Cornwall's Last Song,392
Bereaved Mother, To a.—By Hermann,476
Biographies, Memoirs, &c.,425
Black Pocket-Book, The,89
Bombay, A View of.—By Peter Leicester,130
Boswell, The Killing of Sir Alexander,329
Brontë and her Sisters, Sketches of Miss,315
Burke, Edmund, His Residences and Grave.—By Mrs. S.C. Hall. (Illustrated.)145
Bunjaras, The,377
Burlesques and Parodies,426
Byron, Scott, and Carlyle, Goethe's Opinions of,461
Camille Desmoulins,326
Carey, Henry C.—By Rufus W. Griswold,402
Castle in the Air, The.—By R.H. Stoddard,474
Chatterton, Thomas. (Illustrated.)289
Classical Novels,161
Count Monte-Leone. Book Second,45
Count Monte-Leone. Book Third,216
Count Monte-Leone. Book Third, concluded,349
Count Monte-Leone. Book Fourth,495
Cow-Tree of South America, The,128
Correspondence, Original: A Letter from Paris,170
Cyprus and the Life Led There,216
Davis on the Half Century: Etherization,317
Dacier, Madame,332
Dante.—By Walter Savage Landor,421
Death, Phenomena of,425
Deaths, Recent.—Hon. Samuel Young, 140.—Robinson, the Caricaturist, 140.—The Duke of Palmella, 142.—Carl Rottmann, 142.—The Marquis de Trans, 142.—Ch. Schorn, 142.—Hon. Richard M. Johnson, 142.—Wm. Blacker, 142.—Mrs. Martin Bell, 142.—Signor Baptistide, 142.—Gen. Chastel, 142.—Dr. Medicus, and others, 142.—Rev. Dr. Dwight, 195.—Count Brandenburgh, 196.—Lord Nugent, 196.—M. Fragonard, 196.—M. Droz, 197.—Professor Schorn, 197.—Gustave Schwab, 197.—Francis Xavier Michael Tomie, 427.—Governors Bell and Plumer, 427.—Birch, the Painter, 427.—Professor Sverdrup, W. Seguin, Mrs. Ogilvy, 427.—W. Howison, 428.—H. Royer-Collard, 428.—Col. Williams, 428.—William Sturgeon, 428.—J.B. Anthony, 428.—Mr. Osbaldiston, 428.—Professor Mau, 428.—Madame Junot, Mrs. Wallack, &c., 428.—Herman Kriege, 429.—Madame Schmalz, 429.—George Spence, 429.—General Lumley, 429.—Robert Roscoe, 429.—Richie, the Sculptor, 429.—Martin d'Auch, 429.—Rev. Walter Colton, 568.—Major d'Avezac, 569.—M. Asser, 569.—M. Lapie, 569.—Professor Link, 569.—General St. Martin, 570.—Frederick Bastiat, 570.—Benjamin W. Crowninshield, 571.—Professor Anstey, 571.—Donald McKenzie, 572.—Horace Everett, LL.D., 572.—James Harfield, 572.—Wm. Wilson, 572.—Professor James Wallace, 572.—Joshua Milne, 572.—General Bem, 573.—T.S. Davies, F.R.S., 573.—H.C. Schumacher, 573.—W.H. Maxwell, 573.—Alexander McDonald, 573.
Dickens, To Charles.—By Walter Savage Landor,75
Drive Round our Neighborhood, in 1850, A.—By Miss Milford,     270
Duty.—By Alfred B. Street,332
Duchess, A Peasant,169
Edward Layton's Reward.—By Mrs. S.C. Hall,201
Editorial Visit, An,421
Egypt under the Pharaohs.—By John Kinrick,322[Pg vii]
Encouragement of Literature by Governments,160
Exclusion of Love from the Greek Drama,123
Fountain in the Wood, The,129
French Generals of To-Day,334
Gateway of the Oceans,124
Ghetto of Rome,393
Gleanings from the Journals,285
Grief of the Weeping Willow,31
Haddock, Charles B., Charge d'Affaires to Portugal. (With a Portrait on steel.)1
Hecker, Herr, described by Madame Blaze de Bury,30
Historical Review.—The United States, 560.—Europe, 564.—Mexico, 565.—British America, 566.—The West Indies, 566.—Central America, the Isthmus, 566.—South America, 567.—Africa, 567.
Hunt, Leigh, upon G.P.R. James,30
Ireland in the Last Age: Curran,519
Journals of Louis Philippe,377
Kellogg's, Mr., Exploration of Mt. Sinai,462
Kimball, Richard B., the Author of "St. Leger." (Illustrated.)156
Layard's Recent Gifts from Nimroud. (Illustrated.)4
Layard, Austen Henry, LL.D. (With a Portrait,)433
Lafayette, Talleyrand, Metternich, and Napoleon.—Sketched by Lord Holland,465
Last Case of the Supernatural,481
Lectures, Popular,319
Life at a Watering Place.—By C. Astor Bristed,240
Lionne at a Watering Place, The,533
Lost Letter, The,522
Mazzini on Italy,265
Mackay, Charles, Last Poems by,348
Marvel, Andrew. (Illustrated.)438
Mother's Last Song, The.—By Barry Cornwall,270
Music and the Drama.—The Astor Place Opera, Parodi, 29.—Mrs. Oake Smith's New Tragedy, 30.
Mystic Vial, The, Part i.61
Mystic Vial, The, Part ii.249
Mystic Vial, The, Part iii.378
My Novel, Or Varieties in English Life.—By Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, Book II. Chapters i. to vi.109
Book II. Chapters vii. to xii.273
Book III. Chapters i. to xii.273
Book III. Chapters xiii. to xxvii.273
Murder Market, The,126
New Tales by Miss Martineau—The Old Governess,163
Novelist's Appeal for the Canadas, A,443
Old Times in New-York,320
Osgood, The late Mrs.—By Rufus W. Griswold,131
Paris Fashions for December. (Illustrated.)144
Paris Fashions for January. (Illustrated.)286
Paris Fashions for February. (Illustrated.)431
Paris Fashions for March. (Illustrated.)567
Peace Society, The First,321
Penn, (William,) and Macaulay,336
Pleasant Story of a Swallow,123
Poet's Lot, The.—By the author of "Festus,"45
Power's, Hiram, Greek Slave.—By Elizabeth Barret Browning,88
Poems by S.G. Goodrich, A Biographical Review. (Illustrated.)153
Public Libraries, Ancient and Modern,359
Recent Deaths in the Family of Orleans,122
Reminiscences of Paganini,167
Responsibility of Statesmen,127
Rossini in the Kitchen,321
Scandalous French Dances in American Parlors,333
Scientific Miscellany.—Hydraulic Experiments in Paris, 430.—French Populations, 430.—African Exploring Expedition, 430.—The Hungarian Academy, 430.—Gas from Water, &c., 430.—The French "Annuaire," 573.—Sittings of the Academy of Sciences, 573.—New Scientific Publications, 574.—Sir David Brewster, 574.
Sir Nicholas at Marston Moor.—By Winthrop M. Praed,80
Sliding Scale of Inconsolables. From the French,162
Smiths, The Two Miss.—By Mrs. Crowe,76
Song of the Season.—By Charles Mackay,128
Sounds from Home.—By Alice G. Neal,332
Spencer, Aubrey George, LL.D., Bishop of Jamaica,157
Spirit of the English Annuals for 1851,197
Stanzas.—By Alfred Tennyson,273
Statues.—By Walter Savage Landor,126
Story Without a Name, A.—By G.P.R. James,32
Chapters vi. to ix.205
Chapters x. to xiii.337
Chapters xiv. to xvii.482
Story of Calais, A.—By Richard B. Kimball,231
Story of a Poet,88
Swift, Dean, and his Amours. (Illustrated.)7
Temper of Women,437
Theatrical Criticism in the Last Age,334
To a Celebrated Singer.—By R.H. Stoddard,86
To one in Affliction.—By G.R. Thompson,541
Troost, of Tennessee, The Late Dr.332
Twickenham Ghost, The,60
Valetudinarian, The Confirmed.—By Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton,203
Vampire, The Last.—By Mrs. Crowe,107
Voltigeur.—By W.H. Thackeray,197
Voisenen, The Abbé de, and his Times,511
Wane of the Year, The,129
Webster, LL.D., Horace, and the Free Academy. (Portrait.)444
Wearing the Beard.—Dr. Marcy,130
Wiseman, Dr., Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster (Illustrated.)143
Wild Sports in Algeria.—By Jules Gerard,121
Wolf Chase, The.—By C. Whitehead,86

C.B. Haddock


of Literature, Art, and Science.

Vol. II.NEW YORK, DECEMBER 1, 1850.No. I.

[With a Portrait, Engraved by J. Andrews.]

OLD notions of diplomacy are obsolete. The plain, straightforward, and masterly manner in which Daniel Webster and Lord Ashburton managed the difficult affairs which a few years ago threatened war between this country and England have taught mankind a useful lesson on this subject. We perceive that the London Times has been engaged in a controversy whether there should be diplomatists or no diplomatists, whether, in fact, the profession should survive; arguing from this case conducted by our illustrious Secretary and Lord Ashburton, that negotiation in foreign countries is plain sailing for great men, and that common agents would do the necessary business on ordinary occasions. We are not prepared to accept the doctrine of the Times, though ready enough to admit that it is to be preferred to the employment of such persons as many whom we have sent abroad in the last twenty years—many who now in various capacities represent the United States in foreign countries. Upon this question however we do not propose now to enter. It is one which may be deferred still a long time—until the means of intercommunication shall be greater than steam and electricity have yet made them, or until the evils of unworthy representation shall have driven people to the possible dangers of an abandonment of the system without such a reason. We design in this and future numbers of the International simply to give a few brief personal sketches of the most honorably distinguished of the diplomatic servants of the United States now abroad, and we commence with the newly-appointed Charge d'Affaires to Lisbon.

Charles Brickett Haddock was born at Salisbury (now Franklin), New Hampshire, on the 20th of June, 1796. His father, William Haddock, was a native of Haverhill, Massachusetts. His paternal grandfather removed from Boston to Haverhill, and married a sister of Dr. Charles Brickett, an eminent physician of that town. The family, according to a tradition among them, are descended from Admiral Sir Richard Haddocke, one of ten sons and eleven daughters of Mr. Haddocke, of Lee, in England. Richard Haddocke was an eminent officer in the Royal Navy. He was knighted before 1678, and returned a member of Parliament the same year, and again in 1685. He died in 1713, and was buried in the family vault at Lee, where there is a gravestone, with brass plates on which are engraved portraits of his father, his father's three wives, and thirteen sons and eleven daughters.

The mother of Dr. Haddock was Abigail Webster, a favorite sister of Ezekiel and Daniel Webster, who, with Sarah, were the only children of the Hon. Ebenezer Webster by his second wife, Abigail Eastman, who survived her husband and all her daughters. Mrs. Haddock was a woman of strong character, and greatly beloved in society. She died in December, 1805, at the age of twenty-seven, leaving two sons, Charles and William, one about nine and the other seven years of age. Her last words to her husband were, "I leave you two beautiful boys: my wish is that you should educate them both." The injunction was not forgotten; both were in due time placed at a preparatory school in Salisbury, both entered Dartmouth College, and without an academic censure or reproof graduated with distinction.

The younger, having studied the profession of the law, married a daughter of Mills Olcott, of Hanover, and after a few years, rich in promise of professional eminence, died of consumption at Hanover, in 1835.

The elder, Charles B. Haddock, was born in the house in which his grandfather first lived, after he removed to the river, in Franklin; though his childhood was chiefly spent at Elms Farms, in the mansion built by his father, and now the favorite residence of his uncle, Daniel Webster,—a spot hardly equaled for picturesque and tranquil beauty in that part of New England. How much of his rural tastes and gentle feelings the professor owes to the place of his nativity it is not for us to determine. It is certain that a fitter scene to inspire the sentiments for which he is distinguished, and which he delights to refresh by[Pg 2] frequent visits to these scenes, could not well be imagined. Every hill and valley, every rock and eddy, seem to be familiar to him, and to have a legend for his heart. His earliest distinct recollections, he has often been heard to say, are the burial of a sister younger than himself, his own baptism at the bedside of his dying mother, and the death of his grandfather; and the first things that awakened a romantic emotion were the flight of the night-hawk and the note of the whippoorwill, both uncommonly numerous and noticeable there in summer evenings.

From 1807 he was in the academy during the summer months, and attended the common school in winter, until 1811, when, in his sixteenth year, he taught his own first winter school. It had been his fortune to have as instructors persons destined to unusual eminence: Mr. Richard Fletcher, now one of the justices of the Superior Court of Massachusetts; Justice Willard, of Springfield; the Rev. Edward L. Parker, of Londonderry; and Nathaniel H. Carter, the well-known poet and general writer. It was under Mr. Carter that he first felt a genuine love of learning; and he has always ascribed more of his literary tastes, to his insensible influence, as he read to him Virgil and Cicero, than to any other living teacher. His earliest Latin book was the Æneid, over the first half of which he had, summer after summer, fatigued and vexed himself, before the idea occurred to him that it was an epic poem; and that idea came to him at length not from his teachers, but from a question of his uncle, Daniel Webster, about the descent of the hero into the infernal regions. When a proper impression of its design was once formed, and some familiarity with the language was acquired, Virgil was run through with great rapidity: half a book in a day. So also with Cicero: an oration at a lesson. There was no verbal accuracy acquired or attempted; but a ready mastery of the current of discourse—a familiarity with the point and spirit of the work. In August, 1812, he was admitted a freshman in Dartmouth College. It was a small class, but remarkable from having produced a large number of eminent men, among whom we may mention George A. Simmons, a distinguished lawyer in northern New York, and one of the profoundest philosophers in this country; Dr. Absalom Peters; President Wheeler, of the University of Vermont; Governor Hubbard, of Maine; and Professor Joseph Torrey, of the University of Vermont, since so honorably known as the learned translator of Neander, and as being without a superior among American scholars in a knowledge of the profounder German literature. The late illustrious and venerated Dr. James Marsh, the editor of Coleridge, and the only pupil of that great metaphysician who was the peer of his master, was of the class below his, and was an intimate companion in study.

From the beginning of his college life it was his ambition to distinguish himself. By the general consent of his classmates, and by the appointment of the faculty, he held the first place at each public exhibition through the four years in which he was a student, and at the last commencement was complimented with having the order of the parts, according to which the Latin salutatory had hitherto been first, so changed that he might still have precedence and yet have the English valedictory. During his junior year, his mind was first decidedly turned toward religion, and with Wheeler, Torrey, Marsh, and some forty others, he made a public profession. The two years after he left college were spent at Andover, in the study of divinity. While here, with Torrey, Wheeler, Marsh, and one or two more, he joined in a critical reading of Virgil—an exercise of great value in enlarging a command of his own language, as well as his knowledge of Latin. At the close of the second year he was attacked with hemorrhage of the lungs, and advised to try a southern climate for the winter. He sailed in October, 1818, for Charleston, and spent the winter in that city and in Savannah, with occasional visits into the surrounding country. The following summer he traveled, chiefly on horseback, and in company with the Rev. Pliny Fisk, from Charleston home. To this tour he ascribes his recovery. He soon after took his master's degree, and was appointed the first Professor of Rhetoric and Belles-Lettres in Dartmouth College. From that time a change was obvious in the literary spirit of the instruction given at the institution. The department to which he was called became very soon the most attractive in the college, and some of the most distinguished orators of our country are pleased to admit that they obtained their first impressions of true eloquence and a correct style from the youthful professor. He introduced readings in the Scriptures, and in Shakspeare, Milton, and Young, with original criticisms by his pupils on particular features of the principal works of genius, as the hell of Virgil, Dante, and Milton; and the prominent characters of the best tragedies, as the Jew of Cumberland and of Shakspeare; and extemporaneous discussions of æsthetical and political questions, as upon the authenticity of Ossian, the authorship of Homer, the sincerity of Cromwell, or the expediency of the execution of Charles. He also exerted his influence in founding an association for familiar written and oral discussions in literature, in which Dr. Edward Oliver, Dr. James Marsh, Professor Fiske, Mr. Rufus Choate, Professor Chamberlain, and others, acted a prominent part.

He retained this chair until August, 1838, when he was appointed to that of Intellectual Philosophy and Political Economy, which he now holds, but, which, of course, will be occupied by another during his absence in the public service—the faculty having declined on any account to accept his resignation or to appoint a successor.

Dr. Haddock has been invited to the profes[Pg 3]sorship of rhetoric in Hamilton College, and to the presidency of that institution, the presidency and a professorship in the Auburn Theological Seminary, the presidency of Bowdoin College, and, less formally, to that of several other colleges in New England.

In public affairs, he has for four successive years been a representative in the New Hampshire Legislature, and in this period was active in introducing the present common school system of the State, and was the first commissioner of common schools, originating the course of action in that important office which has since been pursued. He was one of the fathers of the railroad system in New Hampshire, and his various speeches had the effect to change the policy of the State on this subject. He addressed the first convention called at Lebanon to consider the practicability of a road across the State, and afterward a similar convention at Montpelier. For two years he lectured every Sabbath evening to the students and to the people of the village, on the historical portions of the New Testament. For several years he held weekly meetings for the interpretation of Scripture, in which the ladies of the village met at his house. And for twenty years he has constantly preached to vacant parishes in the vicinity. He has delivered anniversary orations before the Phi Beta Kappa Societies of Dartmouth and Yale, the Rhetorical Societies of Andover and Bangor, the Religious Society of the University of Vermont, the New Hampshire Historical Society, and the New England Society of New York; numerous lyceum lectures, in Boston, Lowell, Salem, Portsmouth, Manchester, New Bedford, and other places; and of the New Hampshire Education Society he was twelve or fifteen years secretary, publishing annual reports. The principal periodicals to which he has contributed are the Biblical Repository and the Bibliotheca Sacra. A volume of his Addresses and Miscellaneous Writings was published in 1846, and he has now a work on rhetoric in preparation.

He has been twice married—the last time to a sister of Mr. Kimball, the author of "St. Leger," &c. He has three children living, and has buried seven.

In agriculture, gardening, and public improvements of all kinds, he has taken a lively interest. The rural ornaments of the town in which he lives owe much to him. He may be said to have introduced the fruit and horticulture which are now becoming so abundant as luxuries, and so remarkable as ornaments of the village.

In 1843 he received the degree of D.D. from Bowdoin College. Of Dartmouth College nearly half the graduates are his pupils. While commissioner of common schools, he published a series of letters to teachers and students which were more generally republished in the various papers of the country than anything else of the kind ever before written. Perhaps no one in this country has discussed so great a variety of subjects. His essays upon the proper standard of education for the pulpit, addresses on the utility of certain proposed lines of railway, orations on the duties of the citizen to the state, lectures before various medical societies, speeches in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, letters written while commissioner of common schools, contributions to periodicals, addresses before a great variety of literary associations, writings on agriculture and gardening, yearly reports on education, lectures on classical learning, rhetoric and belles-lettres, and sermons, delivered weekly for more than twenty years, illustrate a life of remarkable activity, and dedicated to the best interests of mankind. Unmoved by the calls of ambition, which might have tempted him to some one great and engrossing effort, his aim has been the general good of the people.

The following extract from the dedication, to his pupils, of his Addresses and Miscellaneous Writings, evinces something of his purpose:

"It is now five-and-twenty years since I adopted the resolution never to refuse to attempt anything consistent with my professional duties, in the cause of learning, or religion, which I might be invited to do. This resolution I have not at any time regretted, and perhaps I may say, I have not essentially violated it. However this may be, I have never suffered from want of something to do."

Professor Haddock's style is remarkable for purity and correctness. His sentences are all finished sentences, never subject to an injurious verbal criticism, without a mistake of any kind, or a grammatical error.

We have not written of Dr. Haddock as a politician; but he is a thoroughly informed statesman, profoundly versed in public law, and familiar with all the policy and aims of the American government. He is of course a Whig. He has been educated, politically, in the school of his illustrious uncle, and probably no man living is more thoroughly acquainted with Mr. Webster's views, or more capable of their application in affairs. It is therefore eminently suitable that he should be on the list of our representatives abroad, while the foreign department is under Mr. Webster's administration. The Whig party in New Hampshire have not been insensible of Dr. Haddock's surpassing abilities, of his sagacity, or his merits. Could they have done so, they would have made him Governor, or a senator in Congress, on any of the occasions in many years in which such officers have been chosen. Considered without reference to party, we can think of no gentleman in the country who would be likely to represent the United States more worthily at foreign courts, or who by his capacities, suavity of manner, or honorable nature, would make a more pleasing and desirable impression upon the most highly cultivated society. Those who know him well will assent to the justness of a classification which places him in the same list of intellectual diplomats which embraces Bunsen, Guizot, and our own Everett, Irving, Bancroft and Marsh.

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The researches of no antiquary or traveler in modern times have excited so profound an interest as those of Austen Henry Layard, who has summoned the kings and people of Nineveh through three thousand years to give their testimony against the skeptics of our age in support of the divine revelation. In a former number of The International we presented an original and very interesting letter from Dr. Layard himself, upon the nature and bearing of his discoveries. Since then he has sent to London, where they have arrived in safety, several of the most important sculptures described in his work republished here last year by Mr. Putnam. Among them are the massive and imposing statues of a human-headed bull and a human-headed lion, of which we have engravings in some of the London journals. The Illustrated London News describes these specimens of ancient art as follows:

"No. I. is the Human-Headed and Eagle-Winged Bull. This animal would seem to bear some analogy to the Egyptian sphynx, which represents the head of the King upon the body of the lion, and is held by some to be typical of the union of intellectual power with physical strength. The sphynx of the Egyptians, however, is invariably sitting, whereas the Nimroud figure is always represented standing. The apparent resemblance being so great, it is at least worthy of consideration whether the head on the winged animals of the Ninevites may not be that of the King, and the intention identical with that of the sphynx; though we think it more probable that there is no such connection, and that the intention of the Ninevites was to typify their god under the common emblems of intelligence, strength and swiftness, as signified by the additional attributes of the bird. The specimen immediately before us is of gypsum, and of colossal dimensions, the slab being ten feet square by two feet in thickness. It was situated at the entrance of a chamber, being built into the side of the door, so that one side and a front view only could be seen by the spectator. Accordingly, the Ninevite sculptor, in order to make both views perfect, has given the animal five legs. The four seen in the side view show the animal in the act of walking; while, to render the representation complete in the front view, he has repeated the right fore leg again, but in the act of standing motionless. The countenance is noble and benevolent in expression; the fea[Pg 5]tures are of true Persian type; he wears an egg-shaped cap, with three horns and a cord round the base of it. The hair at the back of the head has seven ranges of curls; and the beard, as in the portraits of the King, is divided into three ranges of curls, with intervals of wavy hair. In the ears, which are those of a bull, are pendent ear-rings. The whole of the dewlap is covered with tiers of curls, and four rows are continued beneath the ribs along the whole flank; on the back are six rows of curls, and upon the haunch a square bunch, ranged successively, and down the back of the thigh four rows. The hair at the end of the tail is curled like the beard, with intervals of wavy hair. The hair at the knee joints is likewise curled, terminating in the profile views of the limbs in a single curl of the kind (if we may use the term) called croche cœur. The elaborately sculptured wings extend over the back of the animal to the very verge of the slab. All the flat surface of the slab is covered with cuneiform inscription; there being twenty-two lines between the fore legs, twenty-one lines in the middle, nineteen lines between the hind legs, and forty-seven lines between the tail and the edge of the slab. The whole of this slab is unbroken, with the exception of the fore-feet, which arrived in a former importation, but which are now restored to their proper place.


"No. II. represents the Human-Headed and Winged Lion—nine feet long, and the same in height; and in purpose and position the same as the preceding, which, however, it does not quite equal in execution. In this relievo we have the same head, with the egg-shaped three-horned head-dress, exactly like that of the bull; but the ear is human, and not that of a lion. The beard and hair of the head are even yet more elaborately curled than the last; but the hair on the legs and sides of the animal represents that shaggy appendage of the animal. Round the loins is a succession of numerous cords, which are drawn into four separate knots; at the extremities are fringes, forming as many distinct tassels. At the end of the tail, the claw—on which we commented in a former article—is distinctly visible. The strength of both animals is admirably and characteristically conveyed. Upon the flat surface of this slab, as in the last, is a cuneiform inscription; twenty lines being between the fore legs, twenty-six in the middle, eighteen between the hind legs, and seventy-one at the back."

On the subject of Eastern languages, an[Pg 6] understanding of which is necessary to the just apprehension of these inscriptions, that most acute antiquary, Major Rawlinson, remarks:

"My own impression is that hundreds of the languages at one time current through Asia are now utterly lost; and it is not, therefore, to be expected that philologists or ethnologists will ever succeed in making out a genealogical table of language, and in affiliating all the various dialects. Coming to the Assyrian and Babylonian languages, we were first made acquainted with them as translations of the Persian and Parthian documents in the trilingual inscriptions of Persia; but lately we have had an enormous amount of historical matter brought to light in tablets of stone written in these languages alone. The languages in question I certainly consider to be Semitic. I doubt whether we could trace at present in any of the buildings or inscriptions of Assyria and Babylonia the original primitive civilization of man—that civilization which took place in the very earliest ages. I am of opinion that civilization first showed itself in Egypt after the immigration of the early tribes from Asia. I think that the human intellect first germinated on the Nile, and that then there was, in a later age, a reflux of civilization from the Nile back to Asia. I am quite satisfied that the system of writing in use on the Tigris and Euphrates was taken from the Nile; but I admit that it was carried to a much higher state of perfection in Assyria than it had ever reached in Egypt. The earliest Assyrian inscriptions were those lately discovered by Mr. Layard in the north-west Palace at Nimroud, being much earlier than anything found at Babylon. Now, the great question is the date of these inscriptions. Mr. Layard himself, when he published his book on Nineveh, believed them to be 2500 years before the Christian era; but others, and Dr. Hincks among the number, brought them down to a much later date, supposing the historical tablets to refer to the Assyrian kings mentioned in Scripture—(Shalmaneser, Sennacherib, &c.). I do not agree with either one of these calculations or the other. I am inclined to place the earliest inscriptions from Nimroud between 1350 and 1200 before the Christian era; because, in the first place, they had a limit to antiquity; for in the earliest inscriptions there was a notice of the seaports of Phœnicia, of Tyre and Sidon, of Byblus, Arcidus, &c.; and it was well known that these cities were not founded more than 1500 years before the Christian era. We have every prospect of a most important accession to our materials, for every letter I get from the countries now being explored announces fresh discoveries of the utmost importance. In Lower Chaldea, Mr. Loftus, the geologist to the commission appointed to fix the boundaries between Turkey and Persia, has visited many cities which no European had ever reached before, and has everywhere found the most extraordinary remains. At one place (Senkereh) he had come on a pavement, extending from half an acre to an acre, entirely covered with writing, which was engraved upon baked tiles, &c. At Wurka (or Ur of the Chaldees), whence Abraham came out, he had found innumerable inscriptions; they were of no great extent, but they were exceedingly interesting, giving many royal names previously unknown. Wurka (Ur or Orchoe) seemed to be a holy city, for the whole country, for miles upon miles, was nothing but a huge necropolis. In none of the excavations of Assyria had coffins ever been found, but in this city of Chaldea there were thousands upon thousands. The story of Abraham's birth at Wurka did not originate with the Arabs, as had sometimes been conjectured, but with the Jews; and the Orientals had numberless fables about Abraham and Nimroud. Mr. Layard in excavating beneath the great pyramid at Nimroud, had penetrated a mass of masonry, within which he had discovered the tomb and statue of Sardanapalus, accompanied by full annals of the monarch's reign engraved on the walls! He had also found tablets of all sorts, all of them being historical; but the crowning discovery he had yet to describe. The palace at Nineveh, or Koynupih, had evidently been destroyed by fire, but one portion of the building seemed to have escaped its influence; and Mr. Layard, in excavating in this part of the palace, had found a large room filled with what appeared to be the archives of the empire, ranged in successive tablets of terra cotta, the writings being as perfect as when the tablets were first stamped. They were piled in huge heaps from the floor to the ceiling. From the progress already made in reading the inscriptions, I believe we shall be able pretty well to understand the contents of these tablets; at all events, we shall ascertain their general purport, and thus gain much valuable information. A passage might be remembered in the book of Ezra where the Jews, having been disturbed in building the Temple, prayed that search might be made in the house of records for the edict of Cyrus permitting them to return to Jerusalem. The chamber recently found there might be presumed to be the house of records of the Assyrian kings, where copies of the royal edicts were duly deposited. When these tablets have been examined and deciphered, I believe that we shall have a better acquaintance with the history, the religion, the philosophy, and the jurisprudence of Assyria, 1500 years before the Christian era, than we have of Greece or Rome during any period of their respective histories."

Besides the gigantic figures of which we have copied engravings in the preceding pages, Dr. Layard has sent to the British Museum a large number of other sculptures, some of which are still more interesting for the light they reflect upon ancient Assyrian history. For these, as for the Grecian marbles and Egyptian antiquities, a special gallery is being fitted up.

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The name of Swift is one of the most familiar in English history. Of the twenty octavo volumes in which his works are printed, only a part of one volume is read; but this part of a volume is read by everybody, and admired by everybody, though singularly enough not one in a thousand ever thinks of its real import, or appreciates it for what are and what were meant to be its highest excellences. As the author of "Gulliver's Travels," Swift is a subject of general interest; and this interest is deepened, but scarcely diffused, by the chain of enigmas which has puzzled so many of his biographers.

The most popular life of Dean Swift is Mr. Roscoe's, but since that was written several works have appeared, either upon his whole history or in elucidation of particular portions of it: one of which was a careful investigation and discussion of his madness, published about two years ago. In the last number of The International we mentioned the curious novel of "Stella and Vanessa," in which a Frenchman has this year essayed his defense against the common judgment in the matter of his amours, and we copy in the following pages an article from the London Times, which was suggested by this performance.

M. De Wailly's "Stella and Vanessa" is unquestionably a very ingenious and brilliant fiction—in every sense only a fiction—for its hypotheses are all entirely erroneous. Even Mr. Roscoe, whose Memoir has been called an elaborate apology, and who, as might have been expected from a man of so amiable and charitable a character, labors to put the best construction upon all Swift's actions,—even he shrinks from the vindication of the Dean's conduct toward Miss Vanhomrigh and Mrs. Johnson. In treating of the charges which are brought against Swift while he was alive, or that have since been urged against his reputation, the elegant historian calls to his aid every palliating circumstance; and where no palliating circumstances are to be found, seeks to enlist our[Pg 8] benevolent feelings in behalf of a man deeply unfortunate, persecuted by his enemies, neglected by his friends, and haunted all his life by the presentiment of a fearful calamity, by which at length in his extreme old age he was assaulted and overwhelmed. On some points Mr. Roscoe must be said to have succeeded in this advocacy, so honorable alike to him and to its subject; but the more serious charges against Swift remain untouched, and probably will forever remain so, by whatever ability, or eloquence, or generous partiality, combated. To speak plainly, Swift was an irredeemably bad man, devoured by vanity and selfishness, and so completely dead to every elevated and manly feeling, that he was always ready to sacrifice those most devotedly attached to him for the gratification of his unworthy passion for power and notoriety.

Swift's life, though dark and turbulent, was nevertheless romantic. He concealed the repulsive odiousness of an unfeeling heart under manners peculiarly fascinating, which conciliated not only the admiration and attachment of more than one woman, but likewise the friendship of several eminent men, who were too much dazzled by the splendor of his conversation to detect the base qualities which existed in the background. But these circumstances only enhance the interest of his life. At every page there is some discussion which strongly interests our feelings: some difficulty to be removed, some mystery to keep alive curiosity. We neither know, strictly speaking, who Swift was, what were the influences which raised him to the position he occupied, by what intricate ties he was connected with Stella, or what was the nature of that singular grief, which, in addition to the sources of sorrow to which we have alluded, preyed on him continually, and at last contributed largely to the overthrow of his reason. On this account it is not possible to proceed with indifference through the circumstances of his life, though very few careful examiners will be able to interpret them in a lenient and charitable spirit.

Mr. Roscoe appears to believe that everybody who regards unfavorably Swift's genius and morals, must be actuated by envy or party spirit, but very few of the later or earlier critics are of his opinion. In the first place, most honorable men would rather remain unknown through eternity than accept the Dean's reputation. As Savage Landor says, he was "irreverential to the great and to God: an ill-tempered, sour, supercilious man, who flattered some of the worst and maligned some of the best men that ever lived." Whatever services he performed for the party from which he apostatized, there is nothing in his more permanent writings which can be of the slightest advantage to English toryism. Indeed, in politics and in morals, he appears never to have had any fixed principles. He served the party which he thought most likely to make him a bishop, and deserted it when he discovered that it was losing ground. He studied government not as a statesman but as a partisan, as a hardy, active, and unscrupulous Swiss, who could and would do much dirty work for a minister, if he saw reason to anticipate a liberal compensation. He however always extravagantly exaggerated his own powers, and so have his biographers, and so has the writer of the following article from The Times, who seems to have accepted with too little scrutiny the estimate he made of himself. The complacency with which he frequently refers to his supposed influence over the ministers is simply ludicrous. He entirely loses sight of both his own position and theirs. Shrewd as he shows himself under other circumstances, he is here as verdant as the greenest peasant from the forest. "I use the ministers like dogs," he says in a letter to Stella, but in reality the ministers made a dog of him, employing him to fetch and carry, and bark, and growl, and show his sharp teeth to their enemies; and when the noise he had made had served their purpose,—when he had frightened away many of their assailants, and by the dirt and stench he had raised had compelled even their friends to stand aloof, they cashiered him, as they would a mastiff grown toothless and incapable of barking. With no more dirty work for him to do, they sent him over to Dublin, to be rid of his presence.

When fairly settled down in a country which he had always hitherto affected at least to detest, he began to feel perhaps some genuine attachment for its people, and on many occasions he exerted himself vigorously for their advantage; though it is possible that the real impulse was a desire to vex and embarrass the administration, which had so galled his self-conceit. Whatever the motive, however, he undoubtedly worked industriously and with great effect, for the benefit of Ireland. His style was calculated to be popular: it was simple, transparent, and though copious, pointed and energetic. His pamphlets, in the midst of their reasoning, sarcasm, and solemn banter, displayed an extent, a variety and profundity of knowledge altogether unequaled in the case of any other writer of that time. But the action of his extraordinary powers was never guided by a spark of honorable principle. The giant was as unscrupulous as the puniest and basest demagogue who coined and scattered lies for our own last election. He would seem to be the model whom half a dozen of our city editors were striving with weaker wing to imitate. He never acknowledged any merit in his antagonists, he scattered his libels right and left without mercy, threw out of sight all the charities and even decencies of private life, and affirmed the most monstrous propositions with so cool, calm and solemn an air, that in nine cases out of ten they were sure to be believed.

Without further observation we proceed[Pg 9] with the interesting article of The Times, occasioned by M. Leon de Wailly's curious and very clever romance of "Stella and Vanessa."


[From the London Times.]

Greater men than Dean Swift may have lived. A more remarkable man never left his impress upon the age immortalized by his genius. To say that English history supplies no narrative more singular and original than the career of Jonathan Swift is to assert little. We doubt whether the histories of the world can furnish, for example and instruction, for wonder and pity, for admiration and scorn, for approval and condemnation, a specimen of humanity at once so illustrious and so small. Before the eyes of his contemporaries Swift stood a living enigma. To posterity he must continue forever a distressing puzzle. One hypothesis—and one alone—gathered from a close and candid perusal of all that has been transmitted to us upon this interesting subject, helps us to account for a whole life of anomaly, but not to clear up the mystery in which it is shrouded. From the beginning to the end of his days Jonathan Swift was more or less mad.

Intellectually and morally, physically and religiously, Dean Swift was a mass of contradictions. His career yields ample materials both for the biographer who would pronounce a panegyric over his tomb and for the censor whose business it is to improve one generation at the expense of another. Look at Swift with the light of intelligence shining on his brow, and you note qualities that might become an angel. Survey him under the dark cloud, and every feature is distorted into that of a fiend. If we tell the reader what he was, in the same breath we shall communicate all that he was not. His virtues were exaggerated into vices, and his vices were not without the savour of virtue. The originality of his writings is of a piece with the singularity of his character. He copied no man who preceded him. He has not been successfully imitated by any who have followed him. The compositions of Swift reveal the brilliancy of sharpened wit, yet it is recorded of the man that he was never known to laugh. His friendships were strong and his antipathies vehement and unrelenting, yet he illustrated friendship by roundly abusing his familiars and expressed hatred by bantering his foes. He was economical and saving to a fault, yet he made sacrifices to the indigent and poor sternly denied to himself. He could begrudge the food and wine consumed by a guest, yet throughout his life refuse to derive the smallest pecuniary advantage from his published works, and at his death bequeath the whole of his fortune to a charitable institution. From his youth Swift was a sufferer in body, yet his frame was vigorous, capable of great endurance, and maintained its power and vitality from the time of Charles II. until far on in the reign of the second George. No man hated Ireland more than Swift, yet he was Ireland's first and greatest patriot, bravely standing up for the rights of that kingdom when his chivalry might have cost him his head. He was eager for reward, yet he refused payment with disdain. Impatient of advancement, he preferred to the highest honors the State could confer the obscurity and ignominy of the political associates with whom he had affectionately labored until they fell disgraced. None knew better than he the stinging force of a successful lampoon, yet such missiles were hurled by hundreds at his head without in any way disturbing his bodily tranquillity. Sincerely religious, scrupulously attentive to the duties of his holy office, vigorously defending the position and privileges of his order, he positively played into the hands of infidelity by the steps he took, both in his conduct and writings, to expose the cant and hypocrisy which he detested as heartily as he admired and practiced unaffected piety. To say that Swift lacked tenderness would be to forget many passages of his unaccountable history that overflow with gentleness of spirit and mild humanity; but to deny that he exhibited inexcusable brutality where the softness of his nature ought to have been chiefly evoked—where the want of tenderness, indeed, left him a naked and irreclaimable savage—is equally impossible. If we decline to pursue the contradictory series further, it is in pity to the reader, not for want of materials at command. There is, in truth, no end to such materials.

Swift was born in the year 1667. His father, who was steward to the Society of the King's Inn, Dublin, died before his birth and left his widow penniless. The child, named Jonathan after his father, was brought up on charity. The obligation due to an uncle was one that Swift would never forget, or remember without inexcusable indignation. Because he had not been left to starve by his relatives, or because his uncle would not do more than he could, Swift conceived an eternal dislike to all who bore his name and a[Pg 10] haughty contempt for all who partook of his nature. He struggled into active life and presented himself to his fellow-men in the temper of a foe. At the age of fourteen he was admitted into Trinity College, Dublin, and four years afterward as a special grace—for his acquisitions apparently failed to earn the distinction—the degree of Bachelor of Arts was conferred upon him. In 1688, the year in which the war broke out in Ireland, Swift, in his twenty-first year, and without a sixpence in his pocket, left college. Fortunately for him, the wife of Sir William Temple was related to his mother, and upon her application to that statesman the friendless youth was provided with a home. He took up his abode with Sir William in England, and for the space of two years labored hard at his own improvement and for the amusement of his patron. How far Swift succeeded in winning the good opinion of Sir William may be learnt from the fact that when King William honored Moor Park with his presence he was permitted to take part in the interviews, and that when Sir William was unable to visit the King his protégé was commissioned to wait upon His Majesty, and to speak on the patron's authority and behalf. The lad's future promised better things than his beginning. He resolved to go into the church, since preferment stared him in the face. In 1692 he proceeded to Oxford, where he obtained his Master's degree, and in 1694, quarreling with Sir William Temple, who coldly offered him a situation worth £100 a year, he quitted his patron in disgust and went at once to Ireland to take holy orders. He was ordained, and almost immediately afterward received the living of Kilroot in the diocese of Connor, the value of the living being about equal to that of the appointment offered by Sir William Temple.

Swift, miserable in his exile, sighed for the advantages he had abandoned. Sir William Temple, lonely without his clever and keen-witted companion, pined for his return. The prebend of Kilroot was speedily resigned in favor of a poor curate for whom Swift had taken great pains to procure the presentation; and with £80 in his purse the independent clergyman proceeded once more to Moor Park. Sir William welcomed him with open arms. They resided together until 1699, when the great statesman died, leaving to Swift, in testimony of his regard, the sum of £100 and his literary remains. The remains were duly published and humbly dedicated to the King. They might have been inscribed to His Majesty's cook for any advantage that accrued to the editor. Swift was a Whig, but his politics suffered severely by the neglect of His Majesty, who derived no particular advantage from Sir William Temple's "remains."

Weary with long and vain attendance upon Court, Swift finally accepted at the hands of Lord Berkeley, one of the Lords Justices of Ireland, the rectory of Agher and the vicarages of Laracor and Rathbeggan. In the year 1700 he took possession of the living at Laracor, and his mode of entering upon his duty was thoroughly characteristic of the man. He walked down to Laracor, entered the curate's house, and announced himself "as his master." In his usual style he affected brutality, and having sufficiently alarmed his victims, gradually soothed and consoled them by evidences of undoubted friendliness and good will. "This," says Sir Walter Scott, "was the ruling trait of Swift's character to others; his praise assumed the appearance and language of complaint; his benefits were often prefaced by a prologue of a threatening nature." "The ruling trait" of Swift's character was morbid eccentricity. Much less eccentricity has saved many a murderer in our days from the gallows. We approach a period of Swift's history when we must accept this conclusion or revolt from the cold-blooded doings of a monster.

During Swift's second residence with Sir William Temple he had become acquainted with an inmate of Moor Park very different to the accomplished man to whose intellectual pleasures he so largely ministered. A young and lovely girl—half ward, half dependent in the establishment—engaged the attention and commanded the untiring services of the newly-made minister. Esther Johnson had need of education, and Swift became her tutor. He entered upon his task with avidity, condescended to the humblest instruction, and inspired his pupil with unbounded gratitude and regard. Swift was not more insensible to the simplicity and beauty of the lady than she to the kind offices of her master; but Swift would not have been Swift had he, like other men, returned everyday love with ordinary affection. Swift had felt tender impressions in his own fashion before. Once in Leicestershire he was accused by a friend of having formed an imprudent attachment, on which occasion he returned for answer, that his "cold temper and unconfined humor" would prevent all serious consequences, even if it were not true that the conduct which his friend had mistaken for gallantry had been merely the evidence "of an active and restless temper, incapable of enduring idleness, and catching at such opportunities of amusement as most readily occurred." Upon another occasion, and within four years of the Leicestershire pastime, Swift made an absolute offer of his hand to one Miss Waryng, vowing in his declaratory epistle that he would forego every prospect of interest for the sake of his "Varina," and that "the lady's love was far more fatal than her cruelty." After much and long consideration Varina consented to the suit. That was enough for Swift. He met the capitulation by charging his Varina with want of affection, by stipulating for unheard-of sacrifices, and concluding with an expression of his willingness to wed, "though she had neither fortune[Pg 11] nor beauty," provided every article of his letter was ungrudgingly agreed to. We may well tremble for Esther Johnson, with her young heart given into such wild keeping.


As soon as Swift was established at Laracor it was arranged that Esther, who possessed a small property in Ireland, should take up her abode near to her old preceptor. She came, and scandal was silenced by a stipulation insisted upon by Swift, that his lovely charge should have a matron for a constant companion, and never see him except in the presence of a third party. Esther was in her seventeenth year. The vicar of Laracor was on his road to forty. What wonder that even in Laracor the former should receive an offer of marriage, and that the latter, wayward and inconsistent from first to last, should deny another the happiness he had resolved never to enjoy himself? Esther found a lover whom Swift repulsed, to the infinite joy of the devoted girl, whose fate was already linked for good or evil to that of her teacher and friend.

Obscurity and idleness were not for Swift. Love, that gradually consumed the unoccupied girl, was not even this man's recreation. Impatient of banishment, he went to London and mixed with the wits of the age. Addison, Steele, and Arbuthnot became his friends, and he quickly proved himself worthy of their intimacy by the publication in 1704 of his Tale of a Tub. The success of the work, given to the world anonymously, was decisive. Its singular merit obtained for its author everlasting renown, and effectually prevented his rising to the highest dignity in the very church which his book labored to exalt. None but an inspired madman would have attempted to do honor to religion in a spirit which none but the infidel could heartily approve.

Politicians are not squeamish. The Whigs could see no fault in raillery and wit that might serve temporal interests with greater advantage than they had advanced interests ecclesiastical; and the friends of the Revolution welcomed so rare an adherent to their principles. With an affected ardor that subsequent events proved to be as premature as it was hollow, Swift's pen was put in harness for his allies, and worked vigorously enough until 1709, when, having assisted Steele in the establishment of the Tatler, the vicar of Laracor returned to Ireland and to the duties of a rural pastor. Not to remain, however! A change suddenly came over the spirit of the nation. Sacheverell was about to pull down by a single sermon all the popularity that Marlborough and his friends had built up by their glorious campaigns. Swift had waited in vain for promotion from the Whigs, and his suspicions were roused when the Lord-Lieutenant unexpectedly began to caress him. Escaping the damage which the marked attentions of the old Government might do him with the new, Swift started for England in 1710, in order to survey the turning of the political wheel with his own eyes, and to try his fortune in the game. The progress of events was rapid. Swift reached London on the 9th of September; on the 1st of October he had already written a lampoon upon an ancient associate; and on the 4th he was presented to Harley, the new Minister.

The career of Swift from this moment, and so long as the government of Harley lasted, was magnificent and mighty. Had he not been crotchety from his very boyhood, his head would have been turned now. Swift reigned; Swift was the Government; Swift was Queen, Lords, and Commons. There was tremendous work to do, and Swift did it all. The Tories had thrown out the Whigs and had brought in a Government in their place quite as Whiggish to do Tory work. To moderate the wishes of the people, if not to blind their eyes, was the preliminary and essential work of the Ministry. They could not perform it themselves. Swift undertook the task and accomplished it. He had intellect and courage enough for that, and more. Moreover, he had vehement passions to gratify, and they might all partake of the glory of his success; he was proud, and his pride reveled in authority; he was ambitious, and his ambition could attain no higher pitch than it found at the right hand of the Prime Minister; he was revengeful, and revenge could wish no sweeter gratification than the contortions of the great who had neglected genius and desert, when they looked to them for advancement and obtained nothing but cold neglect. Swift, single-handed, fought the Whigs. For[Pg 12] seven months he conducted a periodical paper, in which he mercilessly assailed, as none but himself could attack, all who were odious to the Government and distasteful to himself. Not an individual was spared whose sufferings could add to the tranquillity and permanence of the Government. Resistance was in vain; it was attempted, but invariably with one effect—the first wound grazed, the second killed.

The public were in ecstasies. The laughers were all on the side of the satirist, and how vast a portion of the community these are, needs not be said. But it was not in the Examiner alone that Swift offered up his victims at the shrine of universal mirth. He could write verses for the rough heart of a nation to chuckle over and delight in. Personalities to-day fly wide of the mark; then they went right home. The habits, the foibles, the moral and physical imperfections of humanity, were all fair game, provided the shaft were tipped with gall as well as venom. Short poems, longer pamphlets—whatever could help the Government and cover their foes with ridicule and scorn, Swift poured upon the town with an industry and skill that set eulogy at defiance. And because they did defy praise, Jonathan Swift never asked, and was ever too grand to accept it.

But he claimed much more. His disordered yet exquisite intellect acknowledged no superiority. He asked no thanks for his labor, he disdained pecuniary reward for his matchless and incalculable services—he did not care for fame, but he imperiously demanded to be treated by the greatest as an equal. Mr. Harley offered him money, and he quarreled with the Minister for his boldness. "If we let these great Ministers," he said, "pretend too much, there will be no governing them." The same Minister desired to make Swift his chaplain. One mistake was as great as the other. "My Lord Oxford, by a second hand, proposed my being his chaplain, which I, by a second hand, refused. I will be no man's chaplain alive." The assumption of the man was more than regal. At a later period of his life he drew up a list of his friends, ranking them respectively under the heads "Ungrateful," "Grateful," "Indifferent," and "Doubtful." Pope appears among the grateful. Queen Caroline among the ungrateful. The audacity of these distinctions is very edifying. What autocrat is here for whose mere countenance the whole world is to bow down and be "grateful!"

It is due to Swift's imperiousness, however, to state that, once acknowledged as an equal, he was prepared to make every sacrifice that could be looked for in a friend. Concede his position, and for fortune or disgrace he was equally prepared. Harley and Bolingbroke, quick to discern the weakness, called their invulnerable ally by his Christian name, but stopped short of conferring upon him any benefit whatever. The neglect made no difference to the haughty scribe, who contented himself with pulling down the barriers that had been impertinently set up to separate him from rank and worldly greatness. But, if Swift shrank from the treatment of a client, he performed no part so willingly as that of a patron. He took literature under his wing and compelled the Government to do it homage. He quarreled with Steele when he deserted the Whigs, and pursued his former friend with unflinching sarcasm and banter, but at his request Steele was maintained by the Government in an office of which he was about to be deprived. Congreve was a Whig, but Swift insisted that he should find honor at the hands of the Tories, and Harley honored him accordingly. Swift introduced Gay to Lord Bolingbroke, and secured that nobleman's weighty patronage for the poet. Rowe was recommended for office, Pope for aid. The well-to-do, by Swift's personal interest, found respect, the indigent, money for the mitigation of their pains. At Court, at Swift's instigation, the Lord Treasurer made the first advances to men of letters, and by the act made tacit confession of the power which Swift so liberally exercised, for the advantage of everybody but himself. But what worldly distinction, in truth, could add to the importance of a personage who made it a point for a Duke to pay him the first visit, and who, on one occasion, publicly sent the Prime Minister into the House of Commons to call out the First Secretary of State, whom Swift wished to inform that he would not dine with him if he meant to dine late?

A lampoon directed against the Queen's favorite, upon whose red hair Swift had been facetious, prevented the satirist's advancement in England. The see of Hereford fell vacant in 1712. Bolingbroke would now have paid the debt due from his Government to Swift, but the Duchess of Somerset, upon her knees, implored the Queen to withhold her consent from the appointment, and Swift was pronounced by Her Majesty as "too violent in party" for promotion. The most important man in the kingdom found himself in a moment the most feeble. The fountain of so much honor could not retain a drop of the precious waters for itself. Swift, it is said, laid the foundations of fortune for upward of forty families who rose to distinction by a word from his lips. What a satire upon power was the satirist's own fate! He could not advance himself in England one inch. Promotion in Ireland began and ended with his appointment to the Deanery of St. Patrick, of which he took possession, much to his disgust and vexation, in the summer of 1713.

The summer, however, was not over before Swift was in England again. The wheels of government had come to a dead lock, and of course none but he could right them. The Ministry was at sixes and sevens. Its very existence depended upon the good understanding of the chiefs, Bolingbroke and Harley, and the wily ambition of the latter, jarring against the vehement desires of the former, had pro[Pg 13]duced jealousy, suspicion, and now threatened immediate disorganization. A thousand voices called the Dean to the scene of action, and he came full of the importance of his mission. He plunged at once into the vexed sea of political controversy, and whilst straining every effort to court his friends, let no opportunity slip of galling their foes. His pen was as damaging and industrious as ever. It set the town in a fever. It caused Richard Steele to be expelled from the House of Commons, and it sent the whole body of Scotch peers, headed by the Duke of Argyle, to the Queen, with the prayer that a proclamation might be issued for the discovery of their libeller. Swift was more successful in his assaults than in its mediation. The Ministers were irreconcilable. Vexed at heart with disappointment, the Dean, after his manner, suddenly quitted London, and shut himself up in Berkshire. One attempt he made in his strict seclusion to uphold the Government and save the country, and the composition is a curiosity in its way. He published a proposition for the exclusion of all Dissenters from power of every kind, for disqualifying Whigs and Low Churchmen for every possible office, and for compelling the presumptive heir to the throne to declare his abomination of Whigs, and his perfect satisfaction with Her Majesty's present advisers. Matters must have been near a crisis when this modest pamphlet was put forth; and so they were. By his intrigues Bolingbroke had triumphed over his colleagues, and Oxford was disgraced. The latter, about to retire into obscurity, addressed a letter to Swift, entreating him, if he were not tired of his former prosperous friend, "to throw away so much time on one who loved him as to attend him upon his melancholy journey." The same post brought him word that his own victory was won. Bolingbroke triumphant besought his Jonathan, as he loved his Queen, to stand by her Minister, and to aid him in his perilous adventure. Nothing should be wanting to do justice to his loyalty. The Duchess of Somerset would be reconciled, the Queen would be gracious, the path of honor should lie broad, open, and unimpeded before him. Bolingbroke and Harley were equally the friends of Swift. What could he do in his extremity? What would a million men, taken at random from the multitude, have done, had they been so situated, so tempted? Not that upon which Swift in his chivalrous magnanimity, at once decided. He abandoned the prosperous to follow and console the unfortunate. "I meddle not with Lord Oxford's faults," is his noble language, "as he was a Minister of State, but his personal kindness to me was excessive. He distinguished and chose me above all men when he was great." Within a few days of Swift's self-denying decision Queen Anne was a corpse, Bolingbroke and Oxford both flying for their lives, and Swift himself hiding his unprotected head in Ireland amidst a people who at once feared and hated him.

During Swift's visit to London in 1710 he had regularly transmitted to Stella, by which name Esther Johnson is made known to posterity, an account of his daily doings with the new Government. The journal exhibits the view of the writer that his conduct invariably presents. It is full of tenderness and confidence, and not without coarseness that startles and shocks. It contains a detailed and minute account, not only of all that passed between Swift and the Government, but of his changeful feelings as they arose from day to day, and of his physical infirmities, that are commonly whispered into the ear of a physician. If Swift loved Stella in the ordinary acceptation of the term, he took small pains in his diary to elevate the sentiments with which she regarded her hero. The journal is not in harmony throughout. Toward the close it lacks the tenderness and warmth, the minuteness and confidential utterance, that are so visible at the beginning. We are enabled to account for the difference. Swift had enlarged the circle of his female acquaintance whilst fighting for his friends in London. He had become a constant visitor, especially, at the house of a Mrs. Vanhomrigh, who had two daughters, the eldest of whom was about twenty years of age, and had the same Christian name as Stella. Esther Vanhomrigh had great taste for reading, and Swift, who seems to have delighted in such occupation, condescended, for the second time in his life, to become a young lady's instructor. The great man's tuition had always one effect upon his pupils. Before Miss Vanhomrigh had made much progress in her studies she was over head and ears in love, and, to the astonishment of her master, she one day declared the passionate and undying character of her attachment. Swift met the confession with a weapon far more potent when opposed to a political foe than when directed against the weak heart of a doting woman. He had recourse to raillery, but, finding his banter of no avail, endeavored to appease the unhappy girl by "an offer of devoted and everlasting friendship, founded on the basis of virtuous esteem." He might with equal success have attempted to put out a conflagration with a bucket of cold water. There was no help for the miserable man. He returned to his deanery at the death of Queen Anne with two love affairs upon his hands, but with the stern resolution of encouraging neither, and overcoming both.

Before quitting England he wrote to Esther Vanhomrigh, or Vanessa, as he styles her in his correspondence, intimating his intention to forget everything in England and to write to her as seldom as possible. So far the claims of Vanessa were disposed of. As soon as he reached his deanery he secured lodgings for Stella and her companion, and reiterated his determination to pursue his intercourse with the young lady upon the prudent terms originally established. So far his mind was set at rest in respect of Stella. But Swift had scarcely time to congratulate himself upon his plans before Vanessa presented herself in[Pg 14] Dublin, and made known to the Dean her resolution to take up her abode permanently in Ireland. Her mother was dead, so were her two brothers; she and her sister were alone in the world, and they had a small property near Dublin, to which it suited them to retire. Swift, alarmed by the proceeding, remonstrated, threatened, denounced—all in vain. Vanessa met his reproaches with complaints of cruelty and neglect, and warned him of the consequences of leaving her without the solace of his friendship and presence. Perplexed and distressed, the Dean had no other resource than to leave events to their own development. He trusted that time would mitigate and show the hopelessness of Vanessa's passion, and in the meanwhile he sought, by occasional communication with her, to prevent any catastrophe that might result from actual despair. But his thoughts for Vanessa's safety were inimical to Stella's repose. She pined and gradually sunk under the alteration that had taken place in Swift's deportment toward her since his acquaintance with Vanessa. Swift, really anxious for the safety of his ward, requested a friend to ascertain the cause of her malady. It was not difficult to ascertain it. His indifference and public scandal, which spoke freely of their unaccountable connection, were alone to blame for her sufferings. It was enough for Swift. He had passed the age at which he had resolved to marry, but he was ready to wed Stella provided the marriage were kept secret and she was content to live apart. Poor Stella was more than content, but she overestimated her strength. The marriage took place, and immediately afterward the husband withdrew himself in a fit of madness, which threw him into gloom and misery for days. What the motives may have been for the inexplicable stipulations of this wayward man it is impossible to ascertain. That they were the motives of a diseased, and at times utterly irresponsible, judgment, we think cannot be questioned. Of love, as a tender passion, Swift had no conception. His writings prove it. The coarseness that pervades his compositions has nothing in common with the susceptibility that shrinks from disgusting and loathsome images in which Swift reveled. In all his prose and poetical addresses to his mistresses there is not one expression to prove the weakness of his heart. He writes as a guardian—he writes as a friend—he writes as a father, but not a syllable escapes him that can be attributed to the pangs and delights of the lover.

Married to Stella, Swift proved himself more eager than ever to give to his intercourse with Vanessa the character of mere friendship. He went so far as to endeavor to engage her affections for another man, but his attempts were rejected with indignation and scorn. In the August of the year 1717 Vanessa retired from Dublin to her house and property near Cellbridge. Swift exhorted her to leave Ireland altogether, but she was not to be persuaded. In 1720 it would appear that the Dean frequently visited the recluse in her retirement, and upon such occasions Vanessa would plant a laurel or two in honor of her guest, who passed his time with the lady reading and writing verses in a rural bower built in a sequestered part of her garden. Some of the verses composed by Vanessa have been preserved. They breathe the fond ardor of the suffering maid, and testify to the imperturbable coldness of the man. Of the innocence of their intercourse there cannot be a doubt. In 1720 Vanessa lost her last remaining relative—her sister died in her arms. Thrown back upon herself by this bereavement, the intensity of her love for the Dean became insupportable. Jealous and suspicious, and eager to put an end to a terror that possessed her, she resolved to address herself to Stella, and to ascertain from her own lips the exact nature of her relations with her so-called guardian. The momentous question was asked in a letter, to which Stella calmly replied by informing her interrogator that she was the Dean's wife. Vanessa's letter was forwarded by Stella to Swift himself, and it roused him to fury. He rode off at once to Cellbridge, he entered the apartment in which Vanessa was seated, and glared upon her like a tiger. The trembling creature asked her visitor to sit down. He answered the invitation by flinging a packet on the table, and riding instantly away. The packet was opened; it contained nothing but Vanessa's letter to Stella. Her doom was pronounced. The fond heart snapped. In a few weeks the hopeless, desolate Vanessa was in her grave.

Swift, agonized, rushed from the world. For two months subsequently to the death of Vanessa his place of abode was unknown. But at the end of that period he returned to Dublin calmer for the conflict he had undergone. He devoted himself industriously again to affairs of State. His pen had now a nobler office than to sustain unworthy men in unmerited power. We can but indicate the course of his labors. Ireland, the country not of his love, but of his birth and adoption, treated as a conquered province, owed her rescue from absolute thraldom to Swift's great and unconquerable exertions on her behalf. He resisted the English Government with his single hand, and overcame them in the fight. His popularity in Ireland was unparalleled even in that excited and generous-hearted land. Rewards were offered to betray him, but a million lives would have been sacrificed in his place before one would have profited by the patriot's downfall. He was worshiped, and every hair of his head was precious and sacred to the people who adored him.

In 1726 Swift revisited England, for the first time since the death of Queen Anne, and published, anonymously as usual, the famous satire of Gulliver's Travels. Its immediate success heralded the universal fame that masterly and singular work has since achieved. Swift mingled once more with his literary[Pg 15] friends, and lived almost entirely with Pope. Yet courted on all sides he was doomed again to bitter sorrow. News reached him that Stella was ill. Alarmed and full of self-reproaches, he hastened home to be received by the people of Ireland in triumph, and to meet—and he was grateful for the sight—the improved and welcoming looks of the woman for whose dissolution he had been prepared. In March, 1727, Stella being sufficiently recovered, the Dean ventured once more to England, but soon to be resummoned to the hapless couch of his exhausted and most miserable wife. Afflicted in body and soul, Swift suddenly quitted Pope, with whom he was residing at Twickenham, and reaching his home, was doomed to find his Stella upon the verge of the grave. Till the last moment he continued at her bedside, evincing the tenderest consideration, and performing what consolatory tasks he might in the sick chamber. Shortly before her death part of a conversation between the melancholy pair was overheard. "Well, my dear," said the Dean, "if you wish it, it shall be owned." Stella's reply was given in fewer words. "It is too late." "On the 28th of January," writes one of the biographers of Swift, "Mrs. Johnson closed her weary pilgrimage, and passed to that land where they neither marry nor are given in marriage," the second victim of one and the same hopeless and consuming passion.

Swift stood alone in the world, and for his punishment was doomed to endure the crushing solitude for the space of seventeen years. The interval was gloomy indeed. From his youth the Dean had been subject to painful fits of giddiness and deafness. From 1736 these fits became more frequent and severe. In 1740 he went raving mad, and frenzy ceased only to leave him a more pitiable idiot. During the space of three years the poor creature was unconscious of all that passed around him, and spoke but twice. Upon the 19th of October, 1745, God mercifully removed the terrible spectacle from the sight of man, and released the sufferer from his misery, degradation, and shame.

The volumes, whose title is found below,[1] and which have given occasion to these remarks, are a singular comment upon a singular history. It is the work of a Frenchman who has ventured to deduce a theory from the data we have submitted to the reader's notice. With that theory we cannot agree: it may be reconcilable to the romance which M. de Wailly has invented, but it is altogether opposed to veritable records that cannot be impugned. M. de Wailly would have it that Swift's marriage with Stella was a deliberate and rational sacrifice of love to principle, and that Swift compensated his sacrificed love by granting his principle no human indulgences; that his love for Vanessa, in fact, was sincere and ardent, and that his duty to Stella alone prevented a union with Vanessa. To prove his case M. de Wailly widely departs from history, and makes his hypothesis of no value whatever, except to the novel reader. As a romance, written by a Frenchman, Stella and Vanessa is worthy of great commendation. It indicates a familiar knowledge of English manners and character, and never betrays, except here and there in the construction of the plot, the hand of a foreigner. It is quite free from exaggeration, and inasmuch as it exhibits no glaring anachronism or absurd caricature, is a literary curiosity. We accept it as such, though bound to reject its higher claims. The mystery of Swift's amours has yet to be cleared up. We explain his otherwise unaccountable behavior by attributing his cruelty to prevailing insanity. The career of Swift was brilliant, but not less wild than dazzling. The sickly hue of a distempered brain gave a color to his acts in all the relations of life. The storm was brewing from his childhood; it burst forth terribly in his age, and only a moment before all was wreck and devastation, the half-distracted man sat down and made a will, by which he left the whole of his worldly possessions for the foundation of a lunatic asylum.

[1] Stella and Vanessa: A Romance from the French. By Lady Duff Gordon. In two vols. Bentley. 1850.


We find in the Deutsche Zeitung aus Böhmen, an account of a visit to the great German satirist and poet Henry Heine, who lives at Paris, where, as is known, he has long been confined to his bed with a lingering illness. We translate the following for the International:—

"It is indeed a painful or rather a terrible condition in which Heine now is and has been for the past year; though the paralysis has made no progress, it has at least experienced no alleviation. He has now lain near two years in bed, and during that time has not seen a tree nor a speck of the blue sky. He cannot raise himself, and scarcely moves. His left eye is blind, his right can just perceive objects, but cannot bear the light of day. His nights are disturbed by fearful torments, and only morphine can produce him the least repose. Hope of recovery has long been given up, and he himself entertains no illusions on that subject. He knows that his sufferings can end only with death. He speaks of this with the utmost composure."

The writer goes on to contradict, as calumnious, the report that Heine had become religious, saying, that he bears his tortures without "the assistance of saints of any color, and by the inward power of the free man." He does not regard himself as a sinner, and has nothing to repent of, since he has but rejoiced like a child, in everything beautiful—chasing butterflies, finding flowers by the way-side, and making a holiday of his whole life. He has, however, often called himself religious, by way of contradiction, and from antipathy[Pg 16] to a certain clique who openly proclaim themselves atheists, and under that sonorous title seek to exercise a certain terror on others.

It seems that Heine has lost a great deal of property through various speculators who have persuaded him to join in their schemes. The writer says: "Heine's friends are enraged at many of these individuals, and urge him to attack them publicly, and show them up in their true light. He owes this satisfaction to himself and to us; at the same time it would conciliate many who have not pardoned him the cavalier air with which he has turned off the most respectable notabilities of literature and patriotism, in order to amuse himself in the company of some adventurer." By this love for out-of-the-way characters, the writer thinks that Heine must have collected the materials for a humorous novel, which could equal the best productions of Mendoza, Smollett, or Dickens; his experiences in this line have cost him a great deal of money. We translate the conclusion of the article:—

"We shall be asked if Heine really continues to write? Yes; he writes, he works, he dictates poems without cessation; perhaps he was never in his whole life as active as now. Several hours a day he devotes to the composition of his memoirs which are rapidly advancing under the hand of his secretary. His mind still resembles, in its wonderful fullness and vigor, those fantastic ball-nights of Paris, which, under the open sky, unfold an endless life and variety. There rings the music, there rushes the dance, and the loveliest and grotesquest forms flit hither and thither. There are silent arbors for tears of happiness and sorrow, and places for dancing, with light, full of loud bold laughter. Rockets after rockets mount skyward, scattering millions of stars, and endless extravagance of art, fire, poesy, passion, flames up, showing the world now in green, now in purple light, till at last the clear silver stars come out, and fill us with infinite delight, and the still consciousness of life's beauty. Yes, Heine lives and writes incessantly. His body is broken, but not his mind, which, on the sick bed rises to Promethean power and courage. His arm is impotent; not so his satire, which still in its velvet covering bears the fearful knife that has flayed alive so many a Maryas. Yes, his frame is worn away, but not the grace in every movement of his youthful spirit. Along with his memoirs, a complete volume of poems has been written in these two years. They will not appear till after the death of the poet; but I can say of them that they unite in full perfection all the admirable gifts which have rendered his former poems so brilliant. So struggles this extraordinary man against a terrible destiny, with all the weapons of the soul, never despairing in this vehement suffering, never descending to tears—bidding defiance to the worst. As I stood before that sick bed, it seemed as if I saw the sufferer of the Caucasus bound in iron chains, tortured by the vulture, but still confronting fate unappalled, and there alone on the sea-shore caressed by sea-nymphs. Yes, this is the sick-bed and the death-bed of a great and free man; and to have come near him is not only a great happiness but a great instruction."

Heine has never been well known in this country. The only work by him we have seen in English is his Beitrage zur Deutschen Literatur-Geschichte, translated by Mr. G.W. Haven, and published in Boston, in 1846. It is remarkably clever, and audacious, as the productions of this German-Frenchman generally are. He is now fifty-three years of age, having been born at Dusseldorff, in 1797. As several wealthy bankers, and other persons of substance, in Paris, are related to him, and he has a pension from the French Government, he is not likely to suffer very much from the losses of property referred to in the Zeitung aus Böhmen.

Dr. Otto Zirckel has just published at Berlin a volume called "Sketches from and concerning the United States," which has some curious peculiarities to the eyes of an American. It is intended as a guide for Germans who wish either to emigrate to this country or to send their money here for investment. It begins with a description of the voyage to America and of the East, West and South of the Union; next it describes the position of the farmer, physician, clergyman, teacher, jurist, merchant, and editor, and the chance of the emigrant in each of these professions. It is written with spirit and humor, and a good deal of practical judgment and wisdom are concisely and clearly expressed. The curious part is the advice given to speculators who wish to invest their money here at a high rate of interest. The author seems to think America a perfect Eldorado for money lenders, and his book cannot fail to produce a considerable increase in the amount of German capital employed in this country. The various state and national loans are described correctly, showing that Dr. Zirckel might venture safely into the mazes of Wall Street. The history of repudiation he has studied with care, and the necessity of final resumption of payments even in Mississippi he estimates with justice. He suggests as the safest means of managing matters, that a number of wealthy families should combine their funds and send over a special agent in whom they can confide, to manage the same in shaving notes, speculating in land, lending on bond and mortgage, and making money generally. Thus they can get a high return and live comfortably in Europe on the toil of Americans, all of which will be much more grateful to the capitalists than useful to this country. Better for us to have no foreign capital at all than to have the interest thereon carried away and consumed in Europe.

Emile Silvestre has sent forth a new volume, Un Philosophe sous les Toits.

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The work on Aerostation, by Mr. Green, recently published in Philadelphia, has been much noticed in Europe, where—particularly in France—the subject has attracted large attention, in consequence of the death of Gale, (formerly a player at our Bowery Theater,) near Bordeaux, and the recent wicked and ridiculous ascents with horses, ostriches, &c. from the Hippodrome in Paris, and some experiments in ballooning at Madrid. In an interesting paper in the Revue des Deux Mondes, for the fifteenth of October, we have an account of numerous theories, experiments, and accidents, constituting an entertaining resumé of the whole matter. Few instances of intrepidity, danger, and escape, excite livelier emotion than the crossing from England to France by Blanchard, and Dr. Jeffries, an American, on the seventh of January, 1785. When, by the loss of gas, the balloon descended rapidly over the channel, and approached near the surface of the sea, after everything had been thrown out, even to their clothes, Jeffries offered to leap into the sea, and by thus lightening the balloon further, afford Blanchard a chance of safety. "We must both be lost as the case is," said he; "if you think your preservation is possible, I am ready to sacrifice my life." The French military ascents are particularly described. Companies of aeronauts were formed and trained, and Bonaparte took one of them with him to Egypt, but the British captured all the apparatus for the generation of gas. The First Consul caused ascents in picturesque balloons to be made on occasions of public rejoicing for victories, in order to strike the imaginations of the Egyptians, and an aerostatic academy was established near Paris. The writer mentions that Lieutenant Gale, like poor Sam Patch, so famous for a similar absurdity, and for a similar and not less miserable end, had drank too much brandy for self-possession in a dangerous predicament. He thinks that the problem of the direction or government of balloons cannot possibly be solved with the mechanical means which science now commands; and that, as they may be usefully employed for the study of the great physical laws of the globe, all experiments should be restricted to the object of advancing science. He dwells on what might be accomplished toward ascertaining the true laws of the decrease of temperature in the elevated regions of the air, of the decrease of density of the atmosphere, of the decrease of humidity according to atmospheric heights, and of the celerity of sound. After all the experiments, and all that has been written upon the subject, we are confident that the direction of a balloon is quite impossible, except by a process which we have never yet seen suggested; that is, by the rapid decomposition of the air in its way, so that a tube extended in the direction in which it is desired to move, shall open continually a vacuum into which the pressure of the common atmosphere shall impel the carriage.

The Journal des Debats announces for publication two works from the pen of Guizot. The hero of the first is General Monk. Its title is The Downfall of the Republic in England in 1660, and the Reestablishment of the Monarchy: A Historic Study. It may be regarded as new, though part has been published before in the form of articles in the Revue Française. These articles appeared in 1837. M. Guizot has carefully revised them, and added a great deal of new matter. The work is also to be enriched with a number of curious documents never before published, such as a letter from Richard Cromwell to General Monk, and seventy dispatches from M. de Bordeaux, then French Ambassador at London, to Cardinal Mazarin. These dispatches have been found in the archives of the Foreign Office at Paris. The work has a new preface, which the Debats says will prove to be no less important in a political than a historical point of view. The second book is that so well known in this country upon Washington. We do not understand that anything new is added to it. It was in the first place issued as the introduction of the translation into French of Sparks's Life of Washington, which the French journalist says is the most exact and complete work yet published on the war of independence and the foundation of the United States. "Monk and Washington," adds the Debats: "on the one side a republic falling and a monarchy rising again into existence, on the other a monarchy giving birth to a republic; and M. Guizot, formerly the prime minister of our monarchy, now amid the perplexities of our own republic the historian of these two great men and these two great events! Were contrasts ever seen more striking, and more likely to excite a powerful interest?"

This is very well for the Debats. But the omissions by Mr. Sparks—sometimes from carelessness, sometimes from ignorance, and sometimes from an indisposition to revive memories of old feuds, or to cover with disgrace names which should be dishonored; and his occasional verbal alterations of Washington's letters prevent that general satisfaction with which his edition of Washington would otherwise be regarded. We are soon to have histories of the Revolution, from both Sparks and Bancroft, in proper form. The best documentary history is not, as the Debats fancies, this collection of Washington's letters, but Mr. Force's "Archives,"—of which, with its usual want of sagacity or regard for duty, Congress is publishing but one tenth of the edition necessary, since every statesman in our own country, and every writer on American history at home or abroad, needs a copy of it, and from its extent and costliness it will never be reprinted.

The Rabbi Cahen has published at Paris the Book of Job, which concludes his learned version of the Hebrew Bible.

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Works on the German Revolution and German Politics.—An excellent book on the Prussian revolution is now being published at Oldenburg. It is from the pen of Adolf Stahr, a writer of remarkable force and clearness. He belongs to the party most bitterly disappointed by the turn affairs have taken in Germany. We mean the democratic monarchists, who labored under the illusion that they might see Prussia converted into a sort of republic with a hereditary chief, like Belgium. They desired a monarchy, with a parliament elected by universal suffrage, and democratic institutions of every kind. Stahr's book breathes all the bitterness of their rage at the success of absolutism in snatching from them every slightest vestige of hope. His book is published serially, four parts having already been issued. As a record of facts it deserves the praise of great industry and lucidity in collection and arrangement, while on every page there glows in suppressed eloquence the indignation of a generous and manly heart. Of course Stahr cannot be called a historian in the usual sense of the term. He is rather a political pamphleteer, maintaining at length the ideas and chastising the foes of his party.

Another and a more permanently valuable work on this subject is the Revolutions-Chronik (Revolutionary Chronicle) of Dr. Adolf Wolff, published by Hempel of Berlin. This is a collection of authentic documents, such as proclamations, placards, letters, legislative acts, &c., connected with the revolution. They are not only arranged in due order, but are combined with a clear and succinct narrative of the events and circumstances to which they relate. We know of no man more competent than Dr. Wolff to the successful execution of so important an undertaking. Without being a partisan, his sympathies are decidedly on the popular side, and the clearness of his judgment cannot be blinded by any of the feints and stratagems in which the period abounded. He is now engaged upon the revolution in Prussia, but intends to treat all the manifestations of the time throughout Germany in the same thorough and reliable manner. His work will be invaluable to future historians of this eventful period; at the same time it reads like a romance, not only from the nature of the events, but from the spirit and keenness of the style.

Two other striking contributions to the history of this stormy epoch have been made by Bruno Bauer, the well known rationalist. Bauer treats the political and religious parties of modern Germany with the same scornful satire and destructive analysis which appear in his theological writings. He delights in pitting one side against the other and making them consume each other. His first book is called the Bürgerliche Revolution in Deutschland, (the Burghers' Revolution in Germany); it was published above a year ago, and attracted a great deal of attention from the fact that it took neither side, but with a sort of Mephistophelian superiority, showed that every party had been alike weak, timid, hesitating, short-sighted, and useless. The New-Catholics of Ronge's school were especially treated with unsparing severity. Bauer has now just brought out his second book, which is particularly devoted to the Frankfort Parliament. In this also the Hegelian Logic is applied with the same result. The author proves that all that was done in that body was worth nothing and produced nothing. There is not a particle of sympathetic feeling in the whole book; but only cold and contemptuous analysis. It has not made very much of an impression in Germany. Both these works, and, indeed, the whole school of ultra-Hegelian skeptics generally, are a singular reaction upon the usual warmth and sentimentality of German character and literature. They are the very opposite extreme, and so a very natural product of the times. For our part we like them quite as well as the other side of the contrast.

Germany is the richest of all countries in historical literature. Nowhere have all the events of human experience been so variously, profoundly, or industriously investigated. Ancient history especially has been most exhaustively treated by the Germans. One of the best and most comprehensive works in this category is that of Dr. Zimmer, the seventh edition of which, revised and enlarged, has just been published at Leipzic. Dr. Zimmer does not proceed upon the hypotheses of Niebuhr and others, but conceives that the writing of history and romance ought to be essentially different. The whole work is in one volume of some 450 pages, and of course greatly condensed. It discusses the history of India, China, and Japan; the western Asiatic States, Assyria, Babylonia, Syria, Phœnicia, India, down to the fall of Jerusalem; the other parts of Asia; Egypt to the battle of Actium, with a dissertation on Egyptian culture; Carthage; Greece to the fall of Corinth; Rome under the emperors down to the year 476; and concludes with an account of the literature of classical antiquity.

As we have no manual of this sort in English, that is written up to the latest results of scholarship, we hope to see some American undertaking a version of Dr. Zimmer's book. There is considerable learning and talent in the two octavos on the same subject by Dr. Hebbe, and published last year by Dewitt & Davenport; but we strongly dislike some of the doctrines of the work, which are not derived from a thorough study.

The seventh volume of Professor Schlosser's History of the Eighteenth Century, and of the Nineteenth till the overthrow of the French Empire, appeared, in translation, in London, on the first of November. Volume eighth, completing the work, with a copious index, is preparing for early publication.

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The Discovery of a lost MS. of Jean Le Bel is mentioned in the Paris papers, as having been made by M. Polain, keeper of the Archives at Liège, among the MSS. in the Bibliothèque de Bourgogne, at Brussels. It is on the eve of publication, and will be comprised in an octavo volume, in black letter. This work was supposed to be irretrievably lost. It was found by M. Polain, transcribed and incorporated into a prose Chronicle de Liège, by Jean des Pres, dit d'Ontremeuse. It comprises a period between 1325 and 1340, which are embraced in one hundred and forty-six chapters of the first book of Froissart. It therefore contains only the first part of Le Bel's Chronicle: nevertheless it is a fragment of much importance. Froissart cannot be considered as a contemporary historian of the events recorded in his first book, but Le Bel was connected with the greater portion of them, and was acquainted with them either from personal knowledge or through those who had authentic sources of information.

Monsieur Bastiat, the political economist, (who has shown more economy in the matter of credit for the best ideas in his books, than in anything else we know of,) is not dead, as in the last International was stated. The Courier and Enquirer correspondent says:

"I am glad to say that the report which reached Paris from Italy, of the death of F. Bastiat, a noted writer on political economy, is unfounded. That gentleman is recovering his health, and it is now believed will be able, at the opening of the session, to resume his seat in the Assembly."

Since his return from Italy he has published at Paris a new edition of his latest production, the Harmonies Economiques, in which he has availed himself in so large a degree and in so discreditable a manner of the ideas of Mr. Henry C. Carey, of New Jersey, who, since he first gave to the public the essentials of M. Bastiat's performance, has himself, in a volume, entitled The Harmony of Interests, published some three or four months ago in Philadelphia, largely and forcibly illustrated his just and admirable doctrines. In the Harmonies Economiques M. Bastiat seeks to prove that the interests of classes and individuals in society, as now constituted, are harmonious, and not antagonistic as certain schools of thinkers maintain. Commercial freedom he avers, instead of urging society toward a state of general misery, tends constantly to the progressive increase of the general abundance and well being. In sustaining this proposition M. Bastiat teaches the optimism of the socialists, and holds that injustice is not a necessary thing in human relations, that monopoly and pauperism are only temporary, and that things must come right at last. The powers of nature, the soil, vegetation, gravitation, heat, electricity, chemical forces, waters, seas, in short the globe and all the endowments with which God has enriched it, are the common property of the entire race of man, and in proportion as society advances this common property is more equally distributed and enjoyed. Capital assists men in their efforts to improve this magnificent inheritance; competition is a powerful lever with which they set in movement and render useful the gratuitous gifts of God; the social instinct leads them to make a continual exchange of services; and even now, though the powers of nature enter into these services, those who receive them pay only for the labor of their fellows, not for natural products; and the accumulation of capital constantly diminishes the rate of interest and enables the laborer to derive a greater return from his toil. M. Bastiat also gives a new definition of value, which he says is the relation of two services exchanged. This is all, we believe, that he claims to offer as perfectly new,—the main part of his book appearing as a clearer exposition of the doctrine of Adam Smith. It will be seen that the theory of the book is infinitely superior to that of Ricardo or Malthus; it has borrowed truths from the advanced thinkers of the age; but he would be a bold critic who should affirm that it had not mingled far-reaching errors with them.

M. Romieu's book in defense of despotism, (lately published in France,) sounds as if it had been written for the North American Review, but it never could have been sent to its editor, or it would have been adopted and published by him. It is entitled "The Era of the Cæsars," and its argument is, that history, ancient and modern, and the situation of the contemporary world, prove that force, the sword, or Cæsarism, has ultimately decided, and will prevail, in the affairs of the nations. Representative assemblies, Monsieur Romieu considers ridiculous, and mischievous, and in the end fatal: such, at least, he contends, is the experience of France; and as for the liberty of the press, it means a form of tyranny which destroys all other liberty. At the beginning of the century, M. de Fontanes said what (he thinks) multitudes of the soundest minds would reecho, "I shall never deem myself free in a country where freedom of the press exists." He would convert all journals into mere chronicles, and have them strictly watched. Force, he says, is the only principle, even in governments styled free. He includes Switzerland and the United States. The condition and destinies of France he handles with special hardihood. Cæsarism is here already desired and inaugurated—not monarchy, which requires faith in it, nor constitutional government, which is an expedient and an illusion, but a supreme authority capable of maintaining itself, and commanding respect and submission. Mr. Walsh reviews the work in one of his letters to the Journal of Commerce; and judging from Mr. Walsh's correspondence on the recent attempts to establish free institutions in Europe, we might suspect him of a hearty sympathy with M. Romieu, whom he describes as an erudite, conscientious personage, formerly a prefect of a department, and a member of the Assembly.

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The German poet, Anastasius Grün, has just published, at Leipzic a collection of the popular songs of Carinthia, translated from the original. Carinthia, as, perhaps, all our readers are not aware, is one of the southerly provinces of the Austrian empire, on the borders of Turkey; and, during all the wars of Austria with the Moslems, had to bear the brunt of the fighting. And even after peace was concluded the Carinthians kept up a sort of minor war on their own account, being constantly exposed to incursions from the other side of the frontier. Thus for centuries their country was one extended fortification, and the whole population in constant readiness to rush to arms when the signal fires blazed upon the hills. Then every house was a fortress, and even the churches were surrounded with palisades and ditches, behind which the women and children sought refuge with their movables when the alarm came too near. From this period of constant and savage warfare the popular songs of the country date their origin. Curious to say, many of their heroes are borrowed from the traditions and history of neighboring lands. Thus the Servian champion Marko figures a good deal in this poetry, while the figure which has more importance than all the others is a foreign and almost fabulous being, called King Mathias; wherever this mystic personage can be laid hold of and historically identified, he appears to be Mathias Corvin, king of Hungary. The Carinthians attribute to him not only all the exploits of a variety of notable characters, but also the vices of some celebrated illustrations of immorality. Nor is his career accomplished; according to the tradition of the southern Slavonians, King Mathias is not yet dead, but sleeps in a grotto in the interior of Hungary, waiting for the hour of waking, like Frederick the Redbeard in the Kyffhäuser, Charlemagne in the Untersberg at Salzburg, Holger the Dane near Kronburg, and King Arthur in a mountain of his native country. There sits King Mathias with his warriors, by a table under a linden tree. Another song makes him, like Orpheus with Eurydice, go down to hell with his fiddle in his hand to bring thence his departed bride. But he has no better luck than Orpheus; on the way out she breaks the commanded silence by saying a word to her companion, and so is lost forever. These songs are still sung by the Carinthian soldiers at night, around their watch-fires. There are others of more modern origin, but they are weak and colorless compared with these relics of the old heroic time.

Mr. Bryant's delightful "Letters of a Traveler," of which we have heretofore spoken, has been issued by Mr. Putnam in a new and very beautiful edition, enriched with many exquisite engravings, under the title of "The Picturesque Souvenir." It is a work of permanent value, and in the style of its publication is hardly surpassed by any of the splendid volumes of the season.

Dr. Laing, one of those restless English travelers who have printed books about the United States, is now a prominent personage in Australia, where he has been elected a member of the newly instituted Legislature, for the city of Sidney. Upon the conclusion of the canvass he made a speech, after which he was dragged home in his carriage by some of the more energetic of his partisans, the horses having been removed by them for that purpose. He is opposed to the Government.

The History of Liberty, by Mr. Samuel Elliot, of Boston, is examined at considerable length and in a very genial spirit, in the last number of the Revue des Deux Mondes—a review, by the way, in which much more attention appears to be paid to our literature than it receives in the North American. The writer observes, in the beginning, that the two initial volumes of Mr. Elliot's great work, now published, in which the Liberty of Rome is treated, would be a superhuman performance, if Niebuhr, Muller, Heeren, Grote, and Thirlwall, had not written, and compares the work of our countryman with the poem on the same subject by Thomson, the author of "The Seasons." He says:

"Mr. Elliot's work breathes a lofty morality; a grave and masculine reserve; a deep and constant fear of not having done the best. He may be subject,—like other Americans more or less ideologists and system-mongers,—to illusions; but he has the true remedy: his ideal is well placed; he can sympathize fervently with all the pursuits and employments of human activity; he cherishes a profound respect for prudence, and moderation; for an enlarging survey and indulgence of human necessities; for that generosity and virtue which is tender above all of what has life, and seeks to conciliate a complete transformation in the ideas of men. Until now, it would have been difficult to find a thinker who, in judging the Romans, would not have celebrated their inordinate patriotism, as their chief glory. Their heroes were admired precisely for the ardor with which they sacrificed everything—even their children or their conscience—to the interests of country or party. Mr. Elliot, on the contrary, discovers in this heroism only a lamentable deficiency of true virtue and honor; of a sound moral sense and equitable liberality. To our apprehension, a great reform—an historical event—is to be recognized in this new moral repugnance—this new tendency to deem the spirit of party an evil and a danger. Formerly, nothing was conceived to be nobler than to serve your party, without stint or reservation;—nothing more disgraceful than to abandon it even when you could not entertain the same opinions. The condemnation and reversal of this doctrine would be a moral advancement more important for human futurity, than many of the occurrences or the revolutions of the last sixty years, that have made the most noise."

We believe Mr. Elliot's leisure is not to be seriously interrupted by public employments, and trust, therefore, that he will proceed, with as much rapidity as possible, with his grand survey of the advance of Liberty, down even to our own day—which it is not unlikely will conclude a very important era of his subject.

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Dr. Bowring, who is now, we believe, British Consul at Canton, was the editor of the last and only complete edition of Jeremy Bentham's works; he has been one of the most voluminous contributors to the Westminster Review, and he is eminent as a linguist, though if we may judge by some of his performances, not very justly so. He translated and edited specimens of the poetry of several northern nations, and it has often been charged as an illustration of his dishonesty, that he omitted a stanza of the sublime hymn of Derzhaven, a Russian, to the Deity, because it recognized the divinity of Christ, as it is held by Trinitarians—the Doctor being a Unitarian. He is sharply satirized, and treated frequently with extreme and probably quite undeserved contempt, in the Diaries and Correspondence of the late Hugh Swinton Legaré.

Mr. Henry Rogers, of Birmingham, has published in London two stout volumes of his contributions to the Edinburgh Review. They are not the best things that ever appeared under the old "buff and blue," though they are neat and very readable. Hitherto Professor Rogers has not been known in literature, except by an edition of the works of Burke. The reviewals or essays in this collection are divided into biographical, critical, theological, and political. The first volume consists principally of a series of sketches of great minds,—in the style, half-biographical, half-critical, of which so many admirable specimens have adorned the literature of this age. Indeed, such demonstrations in mental anatomy have been a favorite study in all ages. Among Mr. Rogers's subjects, are Pascal, Luther, Leibnitz, and Plato, and he promises sketches of Descartes, Malabranche, Hobbes, Berkeley, and Locke. The first article, on Thomas Fuller, may look rather dry at first; but the interest increases, we admire the quaintness of old Fuller, and not less the fine, accurate, and complete picture given of his life, character, and works. In this, as in the other biographical articles, Mr. Rogers tells his story fluently. If he has not the wit of Sydney Smith, nor the brilliance of Macaulay, he has not the prosiness of Alison, nor the bitterness of Gifford. He is witty with Fuller, sarcastic with Marvell, energetic with Luther, philosophical and precise with Leibnitz, quietly satirical with Pascal, and reflective and intellectual with Plato. "Dead as a last year's reviewal" is no longer among the proverbs. Books are too numerous to be read, and people make libraries of the quarterlies,—thanks to the facilities afforded by Mr. Leonard Scott! And reviews, properly written,—evincing some knowledge of the books which furnish their titles, are very delightful and useful reading, frequently more so than the productions which suggest them, of which they ought always to give an intelligible description. And this condition is fulfilled almost always by the reviews published in London and Edinburgh. Our North American sometimes gives us tolerably faithful abstracts, and its readers would be glad if its writers would confine themselves to such labors. But we read an article in it not long ago, under the title of Mr. Carey's "Past and Present," which contained no further allusion to this book, nor the slightest evidence that the "reviewer" had ever seen it. On the other hand, the last number contains a paper on the Homeric question, purporting to have been occasioned by Mr. Grote's History of Greece, but deriving its learning, we understand, altogether from Mr. Mure's History of Greek Literature, a work so extensive that it is not likely to be reprinted, or largely imported.

This custom which now obtains, of reprinting reviewals, we believe was begun in this country, where Mr. Emerson brought out a collection of Carlyle's Essays, Andrews Norton one of Macaulay's, Dr. Furness one of Professor Wilson's, Mr. Edward Carey one of Lord Jeffrey's, &c. several years before any such collections appeared in England.

Respecting the Holy Land, no work of so much absolute value has appeared since Dr. Robinson's, as the Historical and Geographical Sketch by Rabbi Joseph Schwartz, in a large and thick octavo, with numerous illustrations, lately published in Philadelphia by Mr. Hart. Rabbi Schwartz resided in Palestine sixteen years, and he is the only Jew of eminence who has written of the country from actual observation, since the time of Benjamin of Tudela. The learned author wrote his work in Hebrew, and it has been translated by Rabbi Isaac Leeser, one of the ablest divines in Philadelphia. It is addressed particularly to Jewish readers, to whom the translator remarks in his preface, "It is hoped that it may contribute to extend the knowledge of Palestine, and rouse many to study the rich treasures which our ancient literature affords, and also to enkindle sympathy and kind acts for those of our brothers who still cling to the soil of our ancestors and love the dust in which many of our saints sleep in death, awaiting a glorious resurrection and immortality."

Mr. John R. Thompson, the accomplished and much esteemed editor of the Southern Literary Messenger, whose genuine and intelligent love of literature is illustrated in every number of his excellent magazine, has just published a wise and eloquent address on the present state of education in Virginia, which was delivered before the literary societies of Washington College, at Lexington. It discloses the causes of the ignorance of reading and writing by seventy thousand adults in Virginia, and forcibly and impressively urges the necessity of a thorough literary culture to the common prosperity.

A New Play by Mr. Marston, founded on the story of Philip Augustus of France and Marie de Méranie, has been put into rehearsal at the Olympic Theater in London.

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The Leipzic Grenzboten notices Mrs. Maberly's new romance of "Fashion" (which we believe has not yet been republished in America) with great praise, as a work of striking power and artistic management. Nevertheless, says the critic, this romance has excited in England as much anger as attention, and this he attributes to the truth with which the authoress has depicted the aristocratic world. He then makes the following remarks, which are curious enough to be translated: "The meaning of the word 'fashion' cannot be rendered in a foreign language. La mode and its tyranny approach somewhat to the sense, but still it remains unintelligible to us Germans, because we have no idea of the capricious, silly, and despotic laws of fashion in England. They do not relate, as with us, to mere outward things, as clothes and furniture, but especially to position and estimation in high society. In order to play a part on that stage it is necessary to understand the mysterious conditions and requirements which the goddess Fashion prescribes. High birth and riches, wit and beauty, find no mercy with her if her whimsical laws are not obeyed. In what these laws consist no living soul can say: they are double, yes three-fold, the je ne sais quoi of the French. The exclusiveness of English society is well known, a peculiarity in which it is only excelled by its copyist the American society of New York and Boston. But it is not enough to have obtained admission into the magic circle: there, too, fashion implacably demands its victims, and to her as to Moloch earthly and heavenly goods, wealth, and peace of soul, are offered up."

John Ruskin, who has written of painting, sculpture and architecture, in a manner more attractive to mere amateurs than any other author, will soon publish his elaborate work, "The Authors of Venice." Notwithstanding his almost blind idolatry of Turner, and his other heresies, Ruskin is one of the few writers on art who open new vistas to the mind; vehement, paradoxical, and one-sided he may be, but no other writer clears the subject in the same masterly manner—no other writer suggests more even to those of opposite opinions.

The first two volumes of Oehlenschlager's Lebens Erinnerungen have appeared at Vienna, and attract more observation than anything else in the late movements in the German literature. The poet's early struggles give one kind of interest to this work, and his friendship with illustrious litterateurs another. Madame de Stael, Goethe, Schiller, the Schlegels, Steffens, Hegel, and other representatives of German thought, pass in succession through these pages, mingled with pictures of Danish life, and criticisms on the Danish drama. Like most German biographies, this deals as much with German literature as with German life.

Gustave Planche, a clever Parisian critic, has in the last number of La Revue des Deux Mondes, an article on Lamartine's novels and Confessions, issued within the year. He spares neither the prose nor poetry of the romantic statesman. He classes the History of the Girondists with the novels. On the whole he thinks there is less of fact, or more of transmutation of fact, than in Sir Walter Scott's Waverley series: as in Scott's Life of Napoleon there was less of veracity than in any even of his professed fictions founded upon history. These romancists are never to be trusted, except in their own domains.

Prosper Mérimée, known among the poets by his Theatre de Clara Gazul, and who by his Chronique du Temps de Charles IX. and Colomba, was entitled to honorable mention in literature, has written a very clever book about the United States—the fruit of a visit to this country last year—which an accomplished New-Yorker is engaged in translating. His last previous performance was a Life of Pedro the Cruel, which has been translated and published in London, and is thus spoken of in the Literary Gazette:—

"The subject hardly yields in romantic variety, strange turns of fortune, characters of strong expression, and tragedies of the deepest pathos, to anything created by the imagination. Within the period and in the land which was marked by the fortunes of Pedro of Castile, the scene is crowded with figures over which both history and song have thrown a lasting interest. The names of Planche of France, Inez de Castro of Portugal, Du Guesclin,—the Black Prince, the White Company—belong alike to romance and to reality. The very 'Don Juan' of Mozart and Byron plays his part for an hour as no fabulous gallant at the court of Seville; Moors and Christians join in the council or in the field here, as well as in the strains of the Romancero; and the desperate game played for a crown by the rival brothers whose more than Theban strife was surrounded by such various objects of pity, admiration or terror, wants no incident, from its commencement to its climax, to fill the just measure of a tragic theme. One more striking could scarcely have been desired by a poet; yet M. Mérimée, who claims that character, has handled it with the judgment and diligence of an historian."

Nathaniel Hawthorne, the greatest living American writer born in the present century, has just published, through Ticknor, Reed and Fields, a volume for juvenile readers, in the preface to which he says:

"It has not been composed without a deep sense of responsibility. The author regards children as sacred, and would not for the world cast anything into the fountain of a young heart that might embitter and pollute its waters. And even in point of the literary reputation to be aimed at, juvenile literature is as well worth cultivating as any other. The writer, if he succeed in pleasing his little readers, may hope to be remembered by them till their own old age—a far longer period of literary existence than is generally attained by those who seek immortality from the judgments of full grown men."

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An attentive correspondent of the International, at Vienna, mentions that letters have been received there from the eccentric but daring and intelligent American, Dr. Mathews, formerly of Baltimore, who, some years since, assumed the style of the Arabs, with a view to discovery in Northern and Central Africa. We hope to obtain further information of Dr. Mathews, respecting whose adventures there has not hitherto been anything in the journals for several years.

Professor G.J. Adler, of the New York University, the learned author of the German and English Dictionary, is now printing a translation which he has just completed, of the Iphigenia in Taurus, by Goethe. Of the eighteen that remain of the sixty to ninety plays of Euripides, the Iphigenia at Tauri is one of the most remarkable. When Goethe returned from Italy, his spirit was infused with the love of ancient art, and his ambition tempting him to a rivalry of its masters, he selected this subject, to which he brought, if not his finest powers, his severest labor; and the drama of Iphigenia—which is in many respects very different from that of Euripides,—is, next to Faust, perhaps the noblest of his works. We are not aware that it has hitherto appeared in English. The forthcoming translation, (which is in the press of the Appletons,) strikes us very favorably. It is exact, and is generally flowing and elegant.

The Official Paper of China has a name which means the Pekin Gazette. It is impossible to ascertain when its publication was first commenced, but it seems to be the oldest newspaper in the world. There is a tradition that it began under the Sung dynasty in the latter part of the tenth century. It is originally a sort of handbill, containing official notices, posted up on the walls of the Capital and sent in manuscript to provincial officers. At Canton it is printed for the public at large and sold. It appears every other day in the form of a pamphlet of ten or twelve pages. It consists of three parts; the first is devoted to Court news, such as the health and other doings of the Imperial family; the second gives the decrees of the Sovereign; the third contains the reports and memorials of public functionaries made to the imperial government on all subjects concerning the interests of the country. The decrees are concise in style; the reports and memorials are the perfection of verbiage. The former have the force of laws, the Emperor being both legislative and executive. As a record of materials for history the Gazette is of little value, for a little study shows that lies are abundant in it, and that its statements are designed as much to conceal as to make known the facts. Since the English war the number of documents published relating to affairs with foreign nations is very small. Something is given respecting the finances, but that too, is of very little value.

Mr. Williams, who wrote "Shakspeare and his Friends," &c., has just published a novel entitled "The Luttrells." It was very high praise of his earlier works that they were by many sagacious critics attributed to Savage Landor. His novels on the literature of the Elizabethan age evince taste and feeling, and his sketches of the Chesterfield and Walpole period in "Maids of Honor," are happily and gracefully done. "The Luttrells" has passages occasionally more powerful but hardly so pleasing as some in the books we have named. In mere style it is an improvement on his former efforts. In the early passages of the story there is nice handling of character, and frequent touches of genuine feeling.

The fifth volume of Vaulabelle's Histoire de la Restauration, a conscientious and carefully written history of France and the Bourbon family, from the restoration in 1815 down to the overthrow of Charles X., has just been published at Paris. It receives the same praise as the preceding volumes. M. Vaulabelle it may be remembered was for a brief period, in 1848, General Cavaignac's Minister of Education and Public Worship.

Captain Sir Edward Belcher, C.B., R.N., &c., whose presence in New York we noted recently, is now in Texas, superintending the settlement of a large party of first class English emigrants. A volume supplemental to his "Voyage of H.M.S. Samarang," illustrative of the zoology of the expedition, has been published in London by Arthur Adams, F.L.S.

M. Guizot, it is said, is going back to his old profession of editor. He is to participate in the conduct of the Journal des Debats, in which, of course, he will sign his articles. We do not always agree with M. Guizot, but we cannot help thinking him, upon the whole, the most respectable man who for a long time has been conspicuous in affairs in France.

The sixth and concluding volume of the life and correspondence of Robert Southey, edited by C.C. Southey—illustrated with a view of Southey's Monument in Crosthwaite Church, and a view of Crosthwaite, from Greta Hill—was published in London, early in November, and will soon be reissued by Harpers.

Somebody having said that Bulwer had lost his hearing, and was in a very desponding way in consequence, he has written to the Morning Post to say he is by no means deaf, but that if he were he should not much despond on that account, "for the quality and material of the talk that's going is not calculated to cause any great regret for the deprivation of one's ears."

The second volume of the Count de Castelnau's Expedition into the Central Regions of South America, under the auspices of the French government, has just been published in Paris.

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An eminent diplomatist of France has just published two volumes of most interesting revelations drawn from his own note-books and personal knowledge. We allude to the Etudes Diplomatiques et Litteraires of Count Alexis de Saint Priest. On the partition of Poland especially, it casts an entirely new and conclusive light. M. Saint Priest shows that apart from the internal anarchy and weakness of Poland, the catastrophe was the work not of Russia as has been commonly supposed, but of Frederic the Great of Prussia. Russia had no interest in dividing Poland; in fact she was already supreme in that country; and besides, her policy has never been that of an active initiative,—she waits for the fruit to fall, and does not take the trouble of shaking the tree herself. The great criminal then in this Polish affair was Prussia, and the cause was the historic antagonism between Germany and Poland. M. Saint Priest sketches the character of Frederic with the hand of a master. "We shall see him," he says in approaching that part of his subject, "we shall see him as he was, both adventurous and patient, ardent and calm, full of passion yet perfectly self-possessed, capable of embracing the vastest horizon and of shutting himself up for the moment in the most limited detail, his eyes reaching to the farthest distance, his hand active in the nearest vicinity, approaching his aim step by step through by-paths, but always gaining it at last by a single bound. We shall see him employing the most indefatigable, the most tenacious, the most persevering will in the service of his idea, preparing it, maturing it by long and skillful reparation, and imposing it on Europe not by sudden violence, but by the successive and cunning employment of flattery and intimidation. And finally, when all is consummated, we shall see him succeed in avoiding the responsibility and throwing it altogether upon his coadjutors, with an art all the more profound for the simplicity under which its hardihood was concealed, and the indifference which masked its avidity. To crown so audacious a maneuver, he will not hesitate to declare, that "since he has never deceived any one, he will still less deceive posterity! And in fact he has treated them with a perfect equality: he made a mock of posterity as well as of his contemporaries." With regard to the part of France in the division of Poland, M. Saint Priest attempts to prove that the French monarchy could not prevent the catastrophe; but that it was in the revolutionary elements then fermenting in France and opposed to the monarchy, that Frederic found his most powerful allies. Of course he defends the monarchy from blame in the matter, and we shall not undertake to say that he is wrong in so doing. Certainly the downfall of Poland cannot be regarded as an isolated event, but as a part of the great series of movements belonging to the age, in which causes the most antagonistic in their nature often cooperated in producing the same effect. M. Saint Priest further reasons that the providential mission of Poland was to oppose Turkey and Islamism, and when the latter ceased to rise the former necessarily declined. But our space will not permit us to follow this interesting work any farther. The careful students of history will not fail to consult it for themselves.

Mary Lowell Putnam, a daughter of the Rev. Dr. Lowell of Boston, and sister of James Russell Lowell, the poet, is the author of an annihilating reviewal, in the last Christian Examiner, of Mr. Bowen on the Hungarian Struggle for Independence. The Tribune contains a resumé of the controversy, in which it had itself been honorably distinguished, and furnishes the following sketch of Professor Bowen's antagonist:

"Without any ambition for literary distinction, leading a life of domestic duties and retirement, and pursuing the most profound and various studies from an insatiate thirst for knowledge, this admirable person has shown herself qualified to cope with the difficulties of a complicated historical question, and to vanquish a notorious Professor on his own ground. The manner in which she has executed her task (and her victim) is as remarkable for its unpretending modesty as for its singular acuteness and logical ability. She writes with the graceful facility of one who is entirely at home on the subject, conversant from long familiarity with its leading points, and possessing a large surplus of information in regard to it for which she has no present use. If she exhibits a generous sympathy with the cause of the oppressed, she does not permit the warmth of her feelings to cloud the serenity of her judgment. She conducts the argument with an almost legal precision, and compels her opponent to submit to the force of her intellect."

Harvard would certainly be a large gainer if Mrs. Putnam could succeed Mr. Bowen as professor of History, or,—as the libeller of Kossuth fills so small a portion of the chair,—if she could be made associate professor; but to this she would have objections.

In Leipsic a monument has been erected by the German agriculturists to Herr Thaer, who has done so much amongst them for agricultural science. It consists of a marble column nine feet high, on which stands the statue of Thaer, life size. It is surrounded by granite steps and an iron balustrade. The column bears the inscription, "To their respected teacher, Albert Thaer, the German Agriculturists—1850."

A New Novel by Bulwer Lytton is announced by Bentley, to appear in three volumes. Dickens, having completed his "David Copperfield," will immediately commence a new serial story. Thackeray, it is rumored, has a new work in preparation altogether different from anything he has yet published. The Lives of Shakspeare's Heroines are announced to appear in a series of volumes.

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"Sir Roger de Coverly: By the Spectator," is one of the newest and most beautiful books from the English press. It is illustrated by Thompson, from designs by Frederick Tayler, and edited with much judgment by Mr. Henry Wills. The idea of the book is an extremely happy one. It is not always easy to pick out of the eight volumes of the Spectator the papers which relate to Sir Roger de Coverley, when we happen to want them. Here we have them all, following close upon each other, forming so many chapters of the Coverley Chronicle, telling a succinct and charming story, with just so much pleasing extract from other papers as to throw light upon the doings of Sir Roger, and enough graceful talk about the London of Queen Anne's time (by way of annotation) to adapt one's mind completely to the de Coverley tone of sentiment. The Spectator—we mean the modern gazette of that name—says of it:—

"The character of Sir Roger de Coverley is a creation which, in its way, has never been surpassed; never perhaps equaled except by the Vicar of Wakefield. The de Coverley establishment and the Vicar's family have a strong general likeness. They are the same simple-minded, kind-hearted English souls, in different spheres of society. The thirty papers of the Spectator devoted to Sir Roger and his associates, now that we have them together, form a perfect little novel in themselves, from the reading of which we rise as we rise from that of Goldsmith, healthier and happier. There never was so beautiful an illustration of how far mere genuine heartiness of disposition and rectitude of purpose can impart true dignity to a character, as Sir Roger de Coverley. He is rather beloved than esteemed. He talks all the way up stairs on a visit. He is a walking epitome of as many vulgar errors as Sir Thomas Browne collected in his book. He has grave doubts as to the propriety of not having an old woman indicted for a witch. He is brimful of the prejudices of his caste. He has grown old with the simplicity of a child. Captain Sentry must keep him in talk lest he expose himself at the play. And yet about all he does there is an unassuming dignity that commands respect; and for strength and consistency in the tender passion Petrarch himself does not excel him. Sir Roger's unvarying devotion to his widow, his incessant recurrence to the memory of his affection to her, the remarks relating to her which the character of Andromache elicits from him at the play, and the little incident of her message to him on his death-bed, form as choice a record of passionate fidelity as the sonnets of the Italian. How beautiful, too, is that death-scene—how quietly sublime! Let us add that the good Sir Roger is surrounded by people worthy of him. Will. Wimble, with his good-natured, useless services; Captain Sentry, brave and stainless as his own sword, and nearly as taciturn; the servant who saved him from drowning; the good clergyman who is contented to read the sermons of others; the innkeeper who must needs have his landlord's head for a sign; the Spectator and his cronies: and then, and still, the Widow!"

Mr. William W. Story, to whose sculptures we have referred elsewhere, is engaged in the preparation of a memoir of his father, the great jurist.

The Life of John Randolph, by Hugh A. Garland, has been published by the Appletons in two octavos. It is interesting—as much so perhaps as any political biography ever written in this country—but the subject was so remarkable, and the materiel so rich and various, that it might have been made very much more attractive than it is. Mr. Garland's style is decidedly bad—ambitious, meretricious and vulgar—but it was impossible to make a dull work upon John Randolph's history and character.

The Best Edition of Milton's Poems ever published in America—a reprint of the best ever published in England—that of Sir Edgerton Brydges, has just been printed by George S. Appleton of Philadelphia, and the Appletons of New York. It is everything that can be desired in an edition of the great poet, and must take the place, we think, of all others that have been in the market. We are also indebted to the same publishers for an admirable edition of Burns, which if not as judiciously edited as the Milton of Sir Edgerton Brydges, is certainly very much better than any we have hitherto possessed.

The Keepsake: a Gift for the Holidays, is one of the most splendid—indeed is the most richly executed annual of the season. We have not had leisure to examine its literary contents, but they are for the most part by eminent writers. In unique and variously beautiful bindings, "The Keepsake" is desirable to all the lovers of fine art.

Gray's Poems, with a Life of the author by Professor Henry Reed, has been published by Mr. Henry C. Baird, of Philadelphia, in a volume the most elegant that has been issued this year from the press of that city. The engravings are specimens of genuine art, and the typography is as perfect as we have ever seen from the printers of Paris or London.

The Rev. Duncan Harkness Weir, a distinguished alumnus of the university and author of an essay "On the tenses of the Hebrew verb," which appeared in "Kitto's Journal of Sacred Literature" for October last, has been elected Professor of Oriental Languages, in the College and University of Glasgow, in room of the late Dr. Gray.

Douglass Jerrold announces a republication of all his writings for the last fifteen years, in weekly numbers, commencing on the first of January next—"a most becoming contribution to the Industry of Nations Congress of 1851."

The Rev. Christopher Wordsworth, a nephew of William Wordsworth, has nearly completed the memoirs of the poet, which will be reprinted, with a preface by Professor Henry Reed, by Ticknor, Reed and Fields, of Boston.

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The Fine Arts.

Schwanthaler's Bavaria, and the Theresienwiese at Munich.—On the western side of Munich several streets converge in a plain which is the arena of the great popular festival that takes place every October. Around this plain, which is called the Theresienwiese, as well as around the whole district in which the city is placed, the land rises some thirty or forty feet. Near the spot where the green waters of the Iser break through this ridge, King Louis founded the Hall of Fame, which is to transmit to posterity the busts of renowned natives of the country. This edifice is in Doric style, and with its two wings forms a court-yard, opening toward the city. In the center of this court is placed upon a granite pedestal, thirty feet high, a colossal statue of bronze, fifty-four feet high, representing Bavaria, to which we have several times referred in The International—our European correspondence enabling us to anticipate in regard to subjects of literature and art generally even the best-informed foreign journals.

The Hall of Fame will not be completed for some years, but the statue is finished, and was first exposed to view on the 9th of October. The execution of this statue was committed by King Louis to Schwanthaler, who began by making a model of thirteen feet in height. In order to carry out the work a wooden house was erected at the royal foundry, and a skeleton was built by masons, carpenters, and smiths, to sustain the earth used in the mould for the full-sized model. This was begun in 1838, and ere long the figure stood erect. The subsequent work on the model occupied two years. The result was greatly praised by the critics, who wondered at the skill which had been able to give beauty as well as dignity to a statue of so large dimensions. It holds up a crown of oak-leaves in the left hand, while the right, resting upon the hip, grasps an unsheathed sword twined with laurel, beneath which rests a lion. The breast is covered with a lion's skin which falls as low as the hips; under it is a simple but admirably managed robe extending to the feet. The hair is wreathed with oak-leaves, and is disposed in rich masses about the forehead and temples, giving spirit to the face and dignity to the form. Such was the model, and such is the now finished statue. But the subsequent steps in its completion are worthy of a particular description.

The model was in gypsum, and the first thing done was to take a mould from it in earth peculiarly prepared for the reception of the melted metal. The first piece, the head, was cast September 11th, 1844. It weighs one hundred and twenty hundred-weight, and is five or six feet in diameter: the remainder was cast at five separate times. When the head was brought successful out of the mould, King Louis and many of the magnates of Germany were present. The occasion was in fact a festival, which Müller, the inspector of the royal bronze foundry and probably the first living master of the art of casting in bronze, rendered still more brilliant by illuminations and garlands of flowers. Vocal music also was not wanting, as the artists of Munich were present in force, and their singing is noted throughout Germany. Since last July workmen have been constantly engaged in transporting the pieces of bronze weighing from 200 to 300 cwt. to the place where the statue was to be erected. For this purpose a wagon of peculiar construction was used, with from sixteen to twenty horses to draw it. On the 7th of August the last piece, the head, was conveyed; it was attended by a festal procession. The space within the head is so great that some twenty-eight men can stand together in it. The body, the main portions of which were made in five castings, weighs from 1300 to 1500 cwt., and has a diameter of twelve feet; the left arm, which is extended to hold the wreaths, from 125 to 130 cwt.; its diameter is five feet, and the diameter of its index finger six inches. The nail of the great toe can hardly be covered with both a man's hands. A door in the pedestal leads to a cast-iron winding stairway which ascends to the head, within which benches have been arranged for the comfort of visitors, several of whom can sit there together with ease. The light enters through openings arranged in the hair, whence also the eye can enjoy the view of the city and the surrounding country with the magical Alps in the background. The entire mass of bronze, weighing about 2600 cwt., was obtained from Turkish cannon lost in the sea at Navarino and recovered by Greek divers. The value of the bronze is about sixty thousand dollars. The sitting lion has a height of near thirty feet. It was cast in three pieces, and completes the composition in the most felicitous manner.

The statue having been completed, the final removing of the scaffolding around it and its full exposure to the public took place on the 9th of October. This was a day of great festivity at Munich and its vicinity. A platform had been erected directly in front of the statue for the accommodation of King Maximilian and his suite. The festivities began with an enormous procession of carriages, led by bands of music and bearing the representatives of the different industrial and agricultural trades, with symbols of their respective occupations. As they passed before the King's platform each carriage stopped, saluted his majesty, and received a few kindly words in reply. The procession was closed by the artists of Munich. The carriages took their station in a half circle around the platform. Soon after, accompanied by the thunder of cannon, the board walls surrounding the scaffold were gradually lowered to the ground.[Pg 27] The admiration of the statue (which by the way is exactly fifty-four feet high), was universal and enthusiastic. All beholders were delighted with the harmony of its parts and the loveliness of its expression notwithstanding its colossal size. The ceremonies of the day were closed with speeches and music; the painter Tischlein made a speech lauding King Louis as the creator of a new era for German art. A very numerous chorus sung several festive hymns composed for the occasion, after which the multitude dispersed.

The Dominican Monastery of San Marco at Florence has for centuries been regarded with special interest by the lovers of art for the share it has had in the history of their favorite pursuit. Nor has its part been of less importance in the sphere of politics. The wanderer through its halls is reminded not only of Fra Angelico da Fièsole and Fra Bartolommeo, to whose artistic genius the monastery is indebted for the treasures which adorn its halls, refectory, corridors, and cells, but of Cosimo de Medici, Lorenzo his great descendant, of Savonarola, and the long series of contests here waged against temporal and spiritual tyranny. The works of Giotto and Domenico Ghirlandajo are likewise to be found in the monastery, and there also miniature pictures of the most flourishing period of art may be seen ornamenting the books of the choir. Every historian who has written upon Florence has taken care not to omit San Marco and its inhabitants.

We are glad to announce that a society of artists at Florence has undertaken to give as wide a publicity as possible to the noblest productions of art in this monastery. A former work by the same men is a good indication of what may now be expected from them. Some years since they published copies of the most important pictures from the collection of the Florentine Academy of Art. They gave sixty prints with explanations. Among engravings from galleries this was one of the best, containing in moderate compass a history of Tuscan art from Cimabue to Andrea del Sarto. The new work, which has long been in preparation but has been delayed by unfavorable circumstances, will now be carried through the press without delay. Its title is, San Marco Convento dei Padri Predicatori in Firenze illustrato e inciso principalmente nei dipinti del B. Giovanni Angelico. Antonio Parfetti, the successor of Morghen and Garavaglia as professor of the art of engraving on copper at the Florentine Academy, has the artistic supervision of the enterprise. Father Vincenzo Marchese, to whom the public are indebted for the work well known to all students, on the artists of the Dominican order, is to furnish a history of the monastery, a biography of Fra Angelico, together with explanations of the engravings. Everything is thus in the most capable hands. The execution of the copperplates leaves nothing to be desired. The draughtsmen and engravers having had the best preparatory practice in the above-mentioned series from the Academy, have fully entered into the spirit of the originals; both outlines and shading are said by the best critics to combine the greatest delicacy with exactness, and to reproduce the expression of feeling which is the difficulty in these Florentine works, with tact and truth. As yet they have finished only the smaller frescoes which adorn almost every cell; but they will soon have ready the larger ones, which will show how this painter, whose sphere was mainly the pious emotions of the soul, was also master of the most thrilling effects. The same is proved by the powerful picture of the Crucifixion in the chapter hall, with its heads so full of expression, a selection from which has just been published by G.B. Nocchi, who some years since issued the well-known collection of drawings from the Life of Jesus in the Academy. The impression of the frescoes on Chinese paper has been done with the greatest care. Forty plates and forty printed folio sheets will complete the work, which is to be put at a moderate price. These illustrations of San Marco will be universally welcomed with delight by the admirers of the beautiful, for there the painter who most purely represented Christian art passed the greater part of his life, leaving behind him an incomparable mass of the most characteristic and charming creations.

Mr. William W. Story, who some time since abandoned a lucrative profession to devote himself to art, has recently returned from Rome, where he had been practicing sculpture during the past three years. Mr. Story, we understand, has brought home with him to Boston several models of classical subjects, the fruits of his labors abroad, which are spoken of in the highest terms by those who have had the privilege of inspecting them. Mr. Story is the only son of the late Justice Story of Massachusetts. Before going abroad he had distinguished himself by some of his attempts at sculpture, one of which was a bust of his father, which he executed in marble. A copy of this work has been purchased or ordered by some of his father's admirers in London, to be placed in one of the Inns of Court. Mr. Story also made himself known by a volume of miscellaneous poems, published in 1845. It is his intention, we learn, to return to Italy in the spring.

Les Beautes de la France is the title of a splendid new work now publishing at Paris. It consists of a collection of engravings on steel, representing the principal cities, cathedrals, public monuments, chateaux, and picturesque landscapes of France. Each engraving is accompanied by four pages of text, giving the complete history of the edifice or locality represented. What is curious about it is that the engravings are made in London, for what reason we are not informed.

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The first exhibition of paintings, such as is now given annually by our academies, was at Paris in the year 1699. In September of that year, at the suggestion of Mansart, the first was held in the Louvre. It consisted of two hundred and fifty-three paintings, twenty-four pieces of sculpture, and twenty-nine engravings. The second and last during the reign of Louis XIV. was opened in 1704. That was composed of five hundred and twenty specimens. During the reign of Louis XV., from 1737, there were held twenty-four expositions. That of 1767 was remarkable for the presence of several of the marine pieces of Claude Joseph Vernet. During the reign of Louis XVI., from 1775 to 1791 there were nine expositions. The Horatii, one of the master pieces of David, figured in that of 1785. His first pieces had appeared in that of 1782. The former Republic, too, upon stated occasions "exposed the works of the artists forming the general commune of the arts." It was in these that David acquired his celebrity as a painter which alone saved his head from the revolutionary axe. The Paris exhibition will this year commence on the fifteenth of December.

The largest specimen of Enamel Painting probably in the world, has recently been completed by Klöber and Martens at Berlin. It is four and a half feet high, and eight feet broad, and it is intended for the castle church at Wittenberg. The subject is Christ on the Cross, and at his feet, on the right, stands Luther holding an open bible and looking up to the Savior; and, on the left, Melancthon, the faithful cooperator of the great reformer. The tombs of both are in this church, and it is known that to those who, after the capture of the town, desired to destroy these tombs, the emperor, Charles V., answered, "I war against the living, not against the dead!" It was to the portal of this church that Luther affixed the famous protest against indulgences which occasioned the first movement of the Reformation. The king has caused two doors to be cast in bronze, with this protest inscribed on them, so that it will now be seen there in imperishable characters.

The original portrait of Sir Francis Drake wearing the jewel around his neck which Queen Elizabeth gave him, is now in London for the purpose of being copied for the United Service Club. Sir T.T.F.E. Drake, to whom it belongs, carried to London at the same time, for the inspection of the curious in such matters, the original jewel, which, beyond the interest of its associations with Elizabeth and Drake, is valuable as a work of art. On the outer case is a carving by Valerio Belli, called Valerio Vincentino, of a black man kneeling to a white. This is not mentioned by Walpole in his account of Vincentino. Within is a capital and well-preserved miniature of Queen Elizabeth, by Isaac Oliver, set round with diamonds and pearls.

The Family of Vernet—the "astonishing family of Vernet"—is thus referred to by a Paris correspondent of the Courier and Enquirer:

"History, probably, does not show another instance of so remarkable a descent from father to son, through four generations, of the possession, in an eminent degree, of a special and rare talent. Claude Joseph was born in 1714, and was the son of a distinguished painter of his day, Antoine Vernet. He excelled all his contemporaries in sea pieces. His son, Antoine Charles Horace Vernet, was, after David, one of the first painters of the empire, excelling especially in battle scenes. His Rivoli, Marengo, Austerlitz, Wagram, and his twenty-eight plates illustrative of the campaign of Bonaparte in Italy, have secured a very high reputation for A.C.H. Vernet. The greatest living French painter—perhaps it may be truly said, the greatest painter of the day—is Horace Vernet, son of the last named. He was born in 1789 in the Louvre. He, like his father, excels in battle scenes and is remarkable for the vivacity and boldness of his conceptions. He is now covering the walls of the historic gallery at Versailles with canvas, which will cause him to descend to posterity as the greatest of his family. None of your readers who have visited Versailles, but have stood before and admired till the picture seemed almost reality, his living representations of recent military events in Africa. His last admirable picture of Louis Napoleon on horseback will, it is stated, be one of the greatest attractions of the approaching exposition."

M. Leutze is expected home from Germany in the spring. He left Philadelphia, the last time, nearly ten years ago. He will accompany his great picture of "Washington crossing the Delaware." Powers's statue of Calhoun, with the left arm broken off by the incompetent persons who at various times were engaged in attempting to recover it, upon being removed from the sea under which it had lain nearly three months was found as fresh in tone as when it came from the chisel of the sculptor. It has been placed in the temple prepared for it in Charleston. Mr. Ranney has completed a large picture representing Marion and his Men crossing the Pedee.

Kaulbach, according to a letter from Berlin in the November Art Journal, was to leave that city about the middle of October, in order to resume for the winter his duties as Director of the Academy of Munich. The sum which he will receive for his six great frescoes and the ornamental frieze, will be 80,000 thalers (12,000l. sterling) and this is secured to him, as the contract was made before the existence of a constitutional budget.

Homer's Odyssey furnishes the subjects for a series of frescoes now being executed in one of the royal palaces at Munich. Six halls are devoted to the work; four of them are already finished, sixteen cantos of the poem being illustrated on their walls. The designs are by Schwanthaler, and executed by Hiltensperger. Between the different frescoes are small landscapes representing natural scenes from the same poem.

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If we credit all the accounts of pictures by the old masters, we must believe that they produced as many works as with ordinary energy they could have printed had they lived till 1850. The Journal de Lot et Garonne states that in the church of the Mas-d'Agenais, Count Eugène de Lonley has discovered, in the sacristy, concealed beneath dust and spiders' webs, the 'Dying Christ,' painted by Rubens in 1631. The head of Christ is said to be remarkable for the large style in which it is painted, for drawing, color, and vigorous expression.

A picture painted on wood, and purchased in 1848 at a public sale in London, where it was sold as the portrait of an Abbess by Le Brozino, has been examined by the Academy of St. Luke at Rome, to whose judgment it was submitted by the purchaser, and unanimously recognized as the work of Michael Angelo, and as representing the illustrious Marchesa de Pescara, Victoria Colonna.

The National Academy of Design has resolved, that the entire body of artists in this city should be invited to assemble for social intercourse, in the saloons of the Academy, on the first Wednesday evening of every month, commencing in December, and continuing until the season of the annual exhibition.

The French President has presented to the Museum of the Louvre David's celebrated painting of Napoleon Bonaparte crossing the Alps. This work was for many years at Bordentown, New Jersey, in possession of Joseph Bonaparte.

The Art Journal for November contains an engraving on steel of the marble bust by Mr. Dunham of Jenny Lind. This bust, we believe, was recently sold in New York, by Mr. Putnam, for four hundred dollars.

Herman's series of pictures called Illustrations of German History, which gained great praise in Southern Germany some two years since, are now being engraved on steel at Munich, and will soon be published.

Music and the Drama.


WE have watched with interest the attempts which have been made for several years to establish permanently the Italian opera in New York. Although we disapprove of some of the means which have been used to accomplish this object, yet, upon the whole, those who have been efficient in the matter, both amateurs and artists, are entitled to the hearty commendation of our musical world. To the enterprising Maretzek belongs the palm, for his energy, liberality, and discrimination, in bringing forward, in succession, so many great works, and so many artists of superior excellence. No man could have accomplished what has been accomplished by Maretzek, without a combination of very rare endowments. Let the public then see to it that one who has done so much for the cultivation and gratification of a taste for the most refining and delightful of the arts, does not remain unappreciated and unrewarded. Of the last star which has been brought forward by M. Maretzek, the musical critic of The International (who has been many years familiar with the performances of the most celebrated artists in London, Paris, St. Petersburgh and Vienna, and who, it is pertinent to mention, never saw M. Maretzek or Mlle. Parodi except in the orchestra or upon the stage) gives these opinions.

As an artist, Parodi ranks among the very best of Europe. Notwithstanding so few years have elapsed since her first appearance upon the stage, she has attained a reputation second only to that of Grisi and Persiani. We have often had the pleasure of listening to both of these last-named celebrities, in their principal rôles, and have dwelt with rapture upon their soul-stirring representations. We have also listened to the Norma and the Lucrezia Borgia of Parodi, and have been equally delighted and astonished. Her excellences may be briefly summed up as follows: With an organ of very great compass and of perfect register, she combines immense power and endurance, and a variety and perfection of intonation unsurpassed by any living artist. When she portrays the softer emotions—affection, love, or benevolence—nothing can be more sweet, pure, and melodious, than her tones; when rage, despair, hate, or jealousy, seize upon her, still is she true to nature, and her notes thrill us to the very soul, by their perfect truthfulness, power, and intensity of expression. If gayety is the theme, no bird carols more blithely than the Italian warbler. What singer can sustain a high or a low tone, or execute a prolonged and varied shake, with more power and accuracy than Parodi? What prima donna can run through the chromatic scale, or dally with difficult cadenzas, full of unique intervals, with more ease and precision than our charming Italian? Who can execute a musical tour de force with more effect than she has so recently done in Norma and Lucrezia?

Persiani has acquired her great reputation by husbanding her powers for the purpose of making frequent points, and on this account she is not uniform, but by turn electrifies and tires her audience. She passes through the minor passages, undistinguished from those around her, but in the concerted pieces, and wherever she can introduce a cadenza or a tour de force, she carries all before her. Parodi is good everywhere—in the dull recitative, and in the secondary and unimportant passages. Her magnificent acting, combined with her superb vocalization, enchain through the entire opera.

Grisi, like Parodi, is always uniform and[Pg 30] accurate in her representations, and upon the whole should be regarded as the queen of song; but with these exceptions we know of no person who deserves a higher rank as a true artist than Parodi. As yet she is not sufficiently understood. She electrifies her hearers, and secures their entire sympathies, but they have still to learn that silvery and melodious tones, and cool mechanical execution, do not alone constitute a genuine artist or a faultless prima donna. When the public understand how perfectly Parodi identifies herself with the emotions and passions she has to portray,—when they appreciate the immense variety of intonations with which she illustrates her characters, and the earnestness and intensity with which she throws her whole nature into all she does—then she will be hailed as the greatest artist ever on this continent, and one of the greatest in the world.

Mrs. E. Oakes Smith's new tragedy called "The Roman Tribute," has been produced in Philadelphia for several nights in succession, with very decided success. The leading character in this play, a noble old Roman, is quite an original creation. He is represented as a mixture of antique patriotism, heroic valor, sublime fidelity, and stern resolution, tinged with a beautiful coloring of romance which softens and relieves his more commanding virtues. Several feminine characters of singular loveliness are introduced. The play abounds in scenes of deep passion and thrilling pathos, while its chaste elegance of language equally adapts it for the closet or the stage. It was brought out with great splendor of costume, scenery, proscenium, and the other usual accessories of stage effect, and presented one of the most gorgeous spectacles of the season. We are gratified to learn that the dramatic talent of this richly-gifted lady, concerning which we have before expressed ourselves in terms of high encomium, has received such a brilliant illustration from the test of stage experiment. Mrs. Oakes Smith's admirable play of "Jacob Leisler" will probably be acted in New York during the season.


I HAIL every fresh publication of James, though I half know what he is going to do with his lady, and his gentleman, and his landscape, and his mystery, and his orthodoxy, and his criminal trial. But I am charmed with the new amusement which he brings out of old materials. I look on him as I look on a musician famous for "variations." I am grateful for his vein of cheerfulness, for his singularly varied and vivid landscapes, for his power of painting women at once lady-like and loving (a rare talent,) for making lovers to match, at once beautiful and well-bred, and for the solace which all this has afforded me, sometimes over and over again, in illness and in convalescence, when I required interest without violence, and entertainment at once animated and mild.


WE have heretofore given in the International some account of Madame Blaze de Bury, and have made some extracts from her piquant and otherwise remarkable book, "Germania."[2] Looking it over we find considerable information respecting Herr Hecker, who, since his unfortunate attempt to revolutionize Germany, has lived in the United States, being now, we believe, a farmer somewhere in the West. According to the adventurous Baroness, Hecker was the first man in Germany to declare for revolution. He was born, near Mannheim, in 1811; he took a doctor's degree in the University of Heidelberg, followed the profession of the law, and was elected a member of the Lower House in his 31st year. Thenceforth he was active in opposition. He possessed all the chief attributes of a popular leader, and his person was graceful and commanding, his temperament ardent, his eloquence impassioned. Although the Grand Duke Leopold was the "gentlest and most paternal of sovereigns," according to Madame de Bury, still there were many radical defects in the constitution of Baden. Against these defects Hecker waged war, and with some success, which instigated him to further efforts against the government. At length he was beaten on a motion to stop the supplies, and he retired into France disgusted with his countrymen. After some time he returned impregnated with the reddest republicanism. He found sympathy in Baden, and when the revolution broke out in Paris, he resolved to raise the standard of Republicism in Germany. In April, 1848, he set out for Constance, with four drummers and eight hundred Badeners. He and they, extravagantly dressed and armed, proceeded unopposed, singing "Hecker-songs," and comparing their progress to the march of the French over the Simplon! They arrived at Constance, and called the people to arms, but the people would not come. The slouched hats and huge sabers of the patriots did not produce the desired impression, and then it rained. In short, the movement failed. Finally, having beaten up all the most disaffected parts of the country for recruits, Hecker arrived at Kandern with twelve hundred men. Here Gagern met him with a few hundred regular troops. Hecker attempted to gain them over with the cry of "German brotherhood," but Gagern kept them steady until he fell, mortally wounded, on the bridge. Then there was a slight skirmish; both parties retreated, and act the first of the drama closed. Meanwhile the Vor Parlament had been summoned, and the National Assembly of Frankfort had met in the Paulskircke, to the number of four hundred deputies; their self-constituted task was simply to reform all Germany. Frankfort was stirring and joyous upon this occasion, as it had used to be in former days, when within its walls[Pg 31] was elected the Head of the Holy Roman Empire. Bells were rung, cannon fired, triumphal arches raised, green boughs and rainbow-colored banners waved, flowers strewn in the streets, tapestries hung from windows and balconies, hands stretched forth in greeting, voices strained to call down blessings; all that popular enthusiasm could invent was there, and one immense cry of rejoicing saluted what was fondly termed the "Regeneration of Germany." The tumults, the misery, the bloodshed, and the disappointment that followed, until the Rump of this "magniloquent Parliament" sought shelter at Stuttgardt, are fresh in our memory.

[2] Germania: its Courts, Camps, and People. By the Baroness Blaze de Bury. London: Colburn.

Hecker, having done his utmost to "agitate" his country, and having failed "to inspire a dastard populace with the spirit of the ancient Roman people," as Madame expresses it, he fled to America. But his name was still a tower of strength to his Red brethren and the Freicorps of the Schwartzwald and the Rhine. In Western Germany a year ago last summer his return was enthusiastically expected by the revolutionary army. "When Hecker comes," said they, "we shall be invincible." He came: his followers crowded round him and implored him at once to lead them on to victory! "Victory be d—d," was the reply of the returned exile; "go home to your plows and your vines and your wives and children, and leave me to attend to mine." Hecker had only come to Europe for his family, and he returned almost immediately to America. Meanwhile the war blazed up for a little while and then expired, leaving behind it the Deutsche Verwirrung[3] as it now presents itself in Germania.[4]

[3] Literally, the German entanglement.

[4] Hecker seems to have been a sincere enthusiast; and it is always observed by his friends that he renounced ease and comfort for the cause that he espoused. We append a single verse from one of the "Hecker songs" that were in 1849 in the mouth of every Badish republican:—

"Look at Hecker wealth-renouncing,
O'er his head the red plume waves,
Th' awakening people's will announcing,
For the tyrant's blood he craves!
Mud boots thick and solid wears he,
All round Hecker's banner come,
And march at sound of Hecker's drum."

Original Poetry.


ROUND my cottage porch are wreathing
Creeping vines, their perfume breathing
To the balmy breeze of Spring.
Near it is a streamlet flowing,
Where old shady trees are growing;
But of one alone I sing.
O'er the water sadly bending,
With the wave its leaflets blending,
Stands a lonely willow tree.
And the shadow seems e'erlasting,
That its boughs are always casting
O'er the tiny wavelets' glee.
Oft I've wondered what the sorrow,
That ne'er know a gladsome morrow,
In the mourner's heart was sealed;
But no bitter wail of sadness,
Nor low tone of chastened gladness,
Had the willow tree revealed.
When the breeze its leaves was lifting;
When the snows were round it drifting,
Seemed it still to grieve the same.
Round its trunk a vine is twining,
But its tendrils too seem pining
For a hand to tend and claim.
Type of love that bears life's testing,
They earth's rudest storms are breasting;
Harmed not—so together borne;
And like girl to lover clinging,
Passing time is only bringing
Strength for every coming morn.
Of one summer eve I ponder,
When I musing chanced to wander
By the streamlet's margin bright.
Moonbeams thro' the leaves were streaming,
And each leaping wave was gleaming
With a paly, astral light.
O'er me hung the weeping willow;
Mossy bank was balmy pillow,
And in slumber sweet I dreamed:
Dreamed of music round me gushing,
That as winds o'er harp-strings rushing,
E'er like angel's whisper seemed.
Oh, those low-breathed tones of sorrow;
Would that mortal tongue could borrow
Power to sing their sweetness o'er;
Here and there a sentence gleaming,
Soon my spirit caught the meaning
That the mournful numbers bore.
Sleeper, who beneath my shade,
Hath thy couch of dreaming made;
Listen as I breathe to thee
All my mournful history.
Childhood, youth, and womanhood,
Have beneath my branches stood;
And of each as pass thy slumbers,
Speak my melancholy numbers.
Of a fair-haired child I tell,
Who, one evening shadows fell,
Many a bright and gladsome hour
Passed mid haunt of bird and flower;
O'er the grassy meadow straying,
By the streamlet's margin playing,
Free from thoughts of care and sadness,
Full of life, and joy, and gladness.
Where my branches lowly hung
Oft her fairy form hath swung,
And methinks her laugh I hear,
Gaily ringing sweet and clear,
As with fading light of day,
Tripped her dancing feet away,
With many smiles and fewer tears,
Thus flew childhood's sunny years.
Soon she in my shadow stood,
On the verge of womanhood:
O'er her pale and thoughtful brow
Sunny tress was braided now;
Softer tones her lips were breathing,
Calmer smiles around them wreathing,
Than in childhood's gayer day,
Sported from those lips away.
Often with her came another;
But more tender than a brother
Seemed he in the care of her
Who was his perfect worshiper.
His the hand that trained the vine
Round my mossy trunk to twine;
'Twas the parting gift of one,
Whom no more I looked upon.
Memories of bygone hours
Seemed to her its fragile flowers.
And each bursting, fragrant blossom
Wore she on her gentle bosom,
'Till like them in sad decay,
Passed her maiden life away.
Once, and only once again,
To the trysting place she came:
Sad and tearful was her eye,
And I heard a mournful sigh,
Breathed from out the parted lips,
Whose smile seemed quenched by grief's eclipse.
Leaf and flower were fading fast,
'Neath the autumn's chilling blast.
And all nature seemed to be
Kindred with her misery.
Winter passed—but spring's warm sun
Brought not back the long-missed one.
And though vainly, still I yearn
For that stricken one's return.

Riverside, Nov. 10, 1850.

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[5] Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1850, by G.P.R. James, in the Clerk's office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of New York.


LET me take you into an old-fashioned country house, built by architects of the early reign of James the First. It had all the peculiarities—I might almost say the oddities—of that particular epoch in the building art. Chimneys innumerable had it. Heaven only knows what rooms they ventilated; but their name must have been legion. The windows were not fewer in number, and much more irregular: for the chimneys were gathered together in some sort of symmetrical arrangement, while the windows were scattered all over the various faces of the building, with no apparent arrangement at all. Heaven knows, also, what rooms they lighted, or were intended to light, for they very little served the purpose, being narrow, and obstructed by the stone mullions of the Elizabethan age. Each too had its label of stone superincumbent, and projecting from the brick-work, which might leave the period of construction somewhat doubtful—but the gables decided the fact.

They, too, were manifold; for although the house had been built all at once, it seemed, nevertheless, to have been erected in detached masses, and joined together as best the builder could; so that there were no less than six gables, turning north, south, east, and west, with four right angles, and flat walls between them. These gables were surmounted—topped, as it were, by a triangular wall, somewhat higher than the acute roof, and this wall was constructed with a row of steps, coped with freestone, on either side of the ascent, as if the architect had fancied that some man or statue would, one day or another, have to climb up to the top of the pyramid, and take his place upon the crowning stone.

It was a gloomy old edifice: the bricks had become discolored; the livery of age, yellow and gray lichen, was upon it; daws hovered round the chimney tops; rooks passed cawing over it, on the way to their conventicle hard by; no swallow built under the eaves; and the trees, as if repelled by its stern, cold aspect, retreated from it on three sides, leaving it alone on its own flat ground, like a moody man amidst a gay society.

On the fourth side, indeed, an avenue—that is to say, two rows of old elms—crept cautiously up to it in a winding and sinuous course, as if afraid of approaching too rapidly; and at the distance of some five or six hundred yards, clumps of old trees, beeches and evergreen oaks, and things of somber foliage, dotted the park, only enlivened by here and there a herd of deer.

Now and then, a milk-maid, a country woman going to church or market, a peasant, or a game-keeper, might be seen traversing the dry brown expanse of grass, and but rarely deviating from a beaten path, which led from one stile over the path wall to another. It was all somber and monotonous: the very spirit of dullness seemed to hang over it; and the clouds themselves—the rapid sportive clouds, free denizens of the sky, and playmates of the wind and sunbeam—appeared to grow dull and tardy, as they passed across the wide space open to the view, and to proceed with awe and gravity, like timid youth in the presence of stern old age.

Enough of the outside of the house. Let me take you into the interior, reader, and into one particular room—not the largest and the finest; but one of the highest. It was a little oblong chamber, with one window, which was ornamented—the only ornament the chamber had—with a decent curtain of red and white checked linen. On the side next the door, and between it and the western wall, was a small bed. A walnut-tree table and two or three chairs were near the window. In one corner stood a washing-stand, not very tidily arranged, in another a chest of drawers; and opposite the fire-place, hung from nails driven into the wall, two or three shelves of the same material as the table, each supporting a row of books, which by the dark black covers, brown edges, and thumbed corners, seemed to have a right to boast of some antiquity and much use.

At the table, as you perceive, there is seated a boy of some fifteen years of age, with pen and ink and paper, and an open book. If you look over his shoulder, you will perceive that the words are Latin. Yet he reads it with ease and facility, and seeks no aid from the dictionary. It is the "Cato Major" of Cicero. Heaven! what a book for a child like that to read! Boyhood studying old age!

But let us turn from the book, and examine the lad himself more closely. See that pale face, with a manlike unnatural gravity upon it. Look at that high broad brow, towering as a monument above the eyes. Remark those eyes themselves, with their deep eager thought; and then the gleam in them—something more than earnestness, and less than wildness—a thirsty sort of expression, as if they drank in that they rested on, and yet were unsated.

The brow rests upon the pale fair hand, as if requiring something to support the heavy weight of thought with which the brain is burdened. He marks nothing but the lines of that old book. His whole soul is in the eloquent words. He hears not the door open; he sees not that tall, venerable, but somewhat stiff and gaunt figure, enter and approach him. He reads on, till the old man's Geneva cloak brushes his arm, and his hand is upon his shoulder. Then he starts up—looks around—but says nothing. A faint smile, pleasant yet grave, crosses his finely cut lip; but that is the only welcome, as he raises his eyes to the face that bends over him. Can that boy in years be already aged in heart?

It is clear that the old man—the old clergyman, for so he evidently is—has no very[Pg 33] tender nature. Every line of his face forbids the supposition. The expression itself is grave, not to say stern. There is powerful thought about it, but small gentleness. He seems one of those who have been tried and hardened in some one of the many fiery furnaces which the world provides for the test of men of strong minds and strong hearts. There has been much persecution in the land; there have been changes, from the rigid and severe to the light and frivolous—from the light and frivolous to the bitter and cruel. There have been tyrants of all shapes and all characters within the last forty years, and fools, and knaves, and madmen, to cry them on in every course of evil. In all these chances and changes, what fixed and rigid mind could escape the fangs of persecution and wrong? He had known both; but they had changed him little. His was originally an unbending spirit: it grew more tough and stubborn by the habit of resistance; but its original bent was still the same.

Fortune—heaven's will—or his own inclination, had denied him wife or child; and near relation he had none. A friend he had: that boy's father, who had sheltered him in evil times, protected him as far as possible against the rage of enemies, and bestowed upon him the small living which afforded him support. He did his duty therein conscientiously, but with a firm unyielding spirit, adhering to the Calvinistic tenets which he had early received, in spite of the universal falling off of companions and neighbors. He would not have yielded an iota to have saved his head.

With all his hardness, he had one object of affection, to which all that was gentle in his nature was bent. That object was the boy by whom he now stood, and for whom he had a great—an almost parental regard. Perhaps it was that he thought the lad not very well treated; and, as such had been his own case, there was sympathy in the matter. But besides, he had been intrusted with his education from a very early period, had taken a pleasure in the task, had found his scholar apt, willing, and affectionate, with a sufficient touch of his own character in the boy to make the sympathy strong, and yet sufficient diversity to interest and to excite.

The old man was tenderer toward him than toward any other being upon earth; and he sometimes feared that his early injunctions to study and perseverance were somewhat too strictly followed—even to the detriment of health. He often looked with some anxiety at the increasing paleness of the cheek, at the too vivid gleam of the eye, at the eager nervous quivering of the lip, and said within himself, "This is overdone."

He did not like to check, after he had encouraged—to draw the rein where he had been using the spur. There is something of vanity in us all, and the sternest is not without that share which makes man shrink from the imputation of error, even when made by his own heart. He did not choose to think that the lad had needed no urging forward; and yet he would fain have had him relax a little more, and strove at times to make him do so. But the impulse had been given: it had carried the youth over the difficulties and obstacles in the way to knowledge, and now he went on to acquire it, with an eagerness, a thirst, that had something fearful in it. A bent, too, had been given to his mind—nay, to his character, partly by the stern uncompromising character of him to whom his education had been solely intrusted, partly by his own peculiar situation, and partly by the subjects on which his reading had chiefly turned.

The stern old Roman of the early republic; the deeds of heroic virtue—as virtue was understood by the Romans; the sacrifice of all tender affections, all the sensibilities of our nature to the rigid thought of what is right; the remorseless disregard of feelings implanted by God, when opposed to the notion of duties of man's creation, excited his wonder and his admiration, and would have hardened and perverted his heart, had not that heart been naturally full of kindlier affections. As it was, there often existed a struggle—a sort of hypothetical struggle—in his bosom, between the mind and the heart. He asked himself sometimes, if he could sacrifice any of those he knew and loved—his father, his mother, his brother, to the good of his country, to some grave duty; and he felt pained and roused to resistance of his own affections when he perceived what a pang it would cost him.

Yet his home was not a very happy one; the kindlier things of domestic life had not gathered green around him. His father was varying and uneven in temper, especially toward his second son; sometimes stern and gloomy, sometimes irascible almost to a degree of insanity. Generous, brave, and upright, he was; but every one said, that a wound he had received on the head in the wars, had marvelously increased the infirmities of his temper.

The mother, indeed, was full of tenderness and gentleness; and doubtless it was through her veins that the milk of human kindness had found its way into that strange boy's heart. But yet she loved her eldest son best, and unfortunately showed it.

The brother was a wild, rash, reckless young man, some three years older; fond of the other, yet often pleased to irritate—or at least to try, for he seldom succeeded. He was the favorite, however, somewhat spoiled, much indulged; and whatever was done, was done for him. He was the person most considered in the house; his were the parties of pleasure; his the advantages. Even now the family was absent, in order to let him see the capital of his native land, to open his mind to the general world, to show him life on a more extended scale than could be done in the country; and his younger brother was left at home, to pursue his studies in dull solitude.

Yet he did not complain; there was not[Pg 34] even a murmur at his heart. He thought it all quite right. His destiny was before him. He was to form his fortune for himself, by his own abilities, his own learning, his own exertions. It was needful he should study, and his greatest ambition for the time was to enter with distinction at the University; his brightest thoughts of pleasure, the comparative freedom and independence of a collegiate life.

Not that he did not find it dull; that gloomy old house, inhabited by none but himself and a few servants. Sometimes it seemed to oppress him with a sense of terrible loneliness; sometimes it drove him to think of the strange difference of human destinies, and why it should be that—because it had pleased Heaven one man should be born a little sooner or a little later than another, or in some other place—such a wide interval should be placed between the different degrees of happiness and fortune.

He felt, however, that such speculations were not good; they led him beyond his depth; he involved himself in subtilties more common in those days than in ours; he lost his way; and with passionate eagerness flew to his books, to drive the mists and shadows from his mind. Such had been the case even now; and there he sat, unconscious that a complete and total change was coming over his destiny.

Oh, the dark workshop of Fate! what strange things go on therein, affecting human misery and joy, repairing or breaking shackles for the mind, the means of carrying us forward in a glorious cause, the relentless weights which hurry us down to destruction! While you sit there and read—while I sit here and write, who can say what strange alterations, what combinations in the most discrepant things may be going on around—without our will, without our knowledge—to alter the whole course of our future existence? Doubtless, could man make his own fate, he would mar it; and the impossibility of doing so is good. The freedom of his own actions is sufficient, nay, somewhat too much; and it is well for the world, aye, and for himself—that there is an overruling Providence which so shapes circumstances around him, that he cannot go beyond his limit, flutter as he will.

There is something in that old man's face more than is common with him—a deeper gravity even than ordinary, yet mingled with a tenderness that is rare. There is something like hesitation, too—ay, hesitation even in him who during a stormy life has seldom known what it is to doubt or to deliberate: a man of strict and ready preparation, whose fixed, clear, definite mind was always prompt and competent to act.

"Come, Philip, my son," he said, laying his hand, as I have stated, on the lad's shoulder, "enough of study for to-day. You read too hard. You run before my precepts. The body must have thought as well as the mind; and if you let the whole summer day pass without exercise, you will soon find that under the weight of corporeal sickness the intellect will flag and the spirit droop. I am going for a walk. Come with me; and we will converse of high things by the way."

"Study is my task and my duty, sir," replied the boy; "my father tells me so, you have told me so often, and as for health I fear not. I seem refreshed when I get up from reading, especially such books as this. It is only when I have been out long, riding or walking, that I feel tired."

"A proof that you should ride and walk the more," replied the old man. "Come, put on your hat and cloak. You shall read no more to-day. There are other thoughts before you; you know, Philip," he continued, "that by reading we get but materials, which we must use to build up an edifice in our own minds. If all our thoughts are derived from others gone before us, we are but robbers of the dead, and live upon labors not our own."

"Elder sons," replied the boy, with a laugh, "who take an inheritance for which they toiled not."

"Something worse than that," replied the clergyman, "for we gather what we do not employ rightly—what we have every right to possess, but upon the sole condition of using well. Each man possessed of intellect is bound to make his own mind, not to have it made for him; to adapt it to the times and circumstances in which he lives, squaring it by just rules, and employing the best materials he can find."

"Well, sir, I am ready," replied the youth, after a moment of deep thought; and he and his old preceptor issued forth together down the long staircase, with the slant sunshine pouring through the windows upon the unequal steps, and illuminating the motes in the thick atmosphere we breathe, like fancy brightening the idle floating things which surround us in this world of vanity.

They walked across the park toward the stile. The youth was silent, for the old man's last words seemed to have awakened a train of thought altogether new.

His companion was silent also; for there was something working within him which embarrassed and distressed him. He had something to tell that young man, and he knew not how to tell it. For the first time in his life he perceived, from the difficulty he experienced in deciding upon his course, how little he really knew of his pupil's character. He had dealt much with his mind, and that he comprehended well—its depth, its clearness, its powers; but his heart and disposition he had not scanned so accurately. He had a surmise, indeed, that there were feelings strong and intense within; but he thought that the mind ruled them with habitual sway that nothing could shake. Yet he paused and pondered; and once he stopped, as if about to speak, but went on again and said nothing.

At length, as they approached the park wall, he laid his finger on his temple, muttering to himself, "Yes, the quicker the better. 'Tis well to mingle two passions. Surprise will share with grief—if much grief there be."[Pg 35] Then turning to the young man, he said, "Philip, I think you loved your brother Arthur?"

He spoke loudly, and in plain distinct tones; but the lad did not seem to remark the past tense he used. "Certainly, sir," he said, "I love him dearly. What of that?"

"Then you will be very happy to hear," replied the old man, "that he has been singularly fortunate—I mean that he has been removed from earth and all its allurements—the vanities, the sins, the follies of the world in which he seemed destined to move, before he could be corrupted by its evils, or his spirit receive a taint from its vices."

The young man turned and gazed on him with inquiring eyes, as if still he did not comprehend what he meant.

"He was drowned," said the clergyman, "on Saturday last, while sailing with a party of pleasure on the Thames;" and Philip fell at his feet as senseless as if he had shot him.


I must not dwell long upon the youthful scenes of the lad I have just introduced to the reader; but as it is absolutely needful that his peculiar character should be clearly understood, I must suffer it to display itself a little farther before I step from his boyhood to his maturity.

We left Philip Hastings senseless upon the ground, at the feet of his old preceptor, struck down by the sudden intelligence he had received, without warning or preparation.

The old man was immeasurably shocked at what he had done, and he reproached himself bitterly; but he had been a man of action all his life, who never suffered thought, whether pleasant or painful, to impede him. He could think while he acted, and as he was a strong man too, he had no great difficulty in taking the slight, pale youth up in his arms, and carrying him over the park stile, which was close at hand, as the reader may remember. He had made up his mind at once to bear his young charge to a small cottage belonging to a laborer on the other side of the road which ran under the park wall; but on reaching it, he found that the whole family were out walking in the fields, and both doors and windows were closed.

This was a great disappointment to him, although there was a very handsome house, in modern taste, not two hundred yards off. But there were circumstances which made him unwilling to bear the son of Sir John Hastings to the dwelling of his next neighbor. Next neighbors are not always friends; and even the clergyman of the parish may have his likings and dislikings.

Colonel Marshal and Sir John Hastings were political opponents. The latter was of the Calvinistic branch of the Church of England—not absolutely a non-juror, but suspected even of having a tendency that way. He was sturdy and stiff in his political opinions, too, and had but small consideration for the conscientious views and sincere opinions of others. To say the truth, he was but little inclined to believe that any one who differed from him had conscientious views or sincere opinions at all; and certainly the demeanor, if not the conduct, of the worthy Colonel did not betoken any fixed notion or strong principles. He was a man of the Court—gay, lively, even witty, making a jest of most things, however grave and worthy of reverence. He played high, generally won, was shrewd, complaisant, and particular in his deference to kings and prime ministers. Moreover, he was of the very highest of the High Church party—so high, indeed, that those who belonged to the Low Church party, fancied he must soon topple over into Catholicism.

In truth, I believe, had the heart of the Colonel been very strictly examined, it would have been found very empty of anything like real religion. But then the king was a Roman Catholic, and it was pleasant to be as near him as possible.

It may be asked, why then did not the Colonel go the same length as his Majesty? The answer is very simple. Colonel Marshal was a shrewd observer of the signs of the times. At the card table, after the three first cards were played, he could tell where every other card in the pack was placed. Now in politics he was nearly as discerning; and he perceived that, although King James had a great number of honors in his hand, he did not hold the trumps, and would eventually lose the game. Had it been otherwise, there is no saying what sort of religion he might have adopted. There is no reason to think that Transubstantiation would have stood in the way at all; and as for the Council of Trent, he would have swallowed it like a roll for his breakfast.

For this man, then, Sir John Hastings had both a thorough hatred and a profound contempt, and he extended the same sensations to every member of the family. In the estimation of the worthy old clergyman the Colonel did not stand much higher; but he was more liberal toward the Colonel's family. Lady Annabella Marshal, his wife, was, when in the country, a very regular attendant at his church. She had been exceedingly beautiful, was still handsome, and she had, moreover, a sweet, saint-like, placid expression, not untouched by melancholy, which was very winning, even in an old man's eyes. She was known, too, to have made a very good wife to a not very good husband; and, to say the truth, Dr. Paulding both pitied and esteemed her. He went but little to the house, indeed, for Colonel Marshal was odious to him; and the Colonel returned the compliment by never going to the church.

Such were the reasons which rendered the thought of carrying young Philip Hastings up to The Court—as Colonel Marshal's house was called—anything but agreeable to the good clergyman. But then, what could he do? He looked in the boy's face. It was like that of a corpse. Not a sign of return[Pg 36]ing animation showed itself. He had heard of persons dying under such sudden affections of the mind; and so still, so death-like, was the form and countenance before him, as he laid the lad down for a moment on the bench at the cottage door, that his heart misgave him, and a trembling feeling of dread came over his old frame. He hesitated no longer, but after a moment's pause to gain breath, caught young Hastings up in his arms again, and hurried away with him toward Colonel Marshal's house.

I have said that it was a modern mansion; that is to imply, that it was modern in that day. Heaven only knows what has become of it now; but Louis Quatorze, though he had no hand in the building of it, had many of its sins to answer for—and the rest belonged to Mansard. It was the strangest possible contrast to the old-fashioned country seat of Sir John Hastings, who had his joke at it, and at the owner too—for he, too, could jest in a bitter way—and he used to say that he wondered his neighbor had not added his own name to the building, to distinguish it from all other courts; and then it would have been Court Marshal. Many were the windows of the house; many the ornaments; pilasters running up between the casements, with sunken panels, covered over with quaint wreaths of flowers, as if each had an embroidered waistcoat on; and a large flight of steps running down from the great doorway, decorated with Cupids and cornucopias running over with this most indigestible kind of stone-fruit.

The path from the gates up to the house was well graveled, and ran in and out amongst sundry parterres, and basins of water, with the Tritons, &c., of the age, all spouting away as hard as a large reservoir on the top of the neighboring slope could make them. But for serviceable purposes these basins were vain, as the water was never suffered to rise nearly to the brim; and good Dr. Paulding gazed on them without hope, as he passed on toward the broad flight of steps.

There, however, he found something of a more comfortable aspect. The path he had been obliged to take had one convenience to the dwellers in the mansion. Every window in that side of the house commanded a view of it, and the Doctor and his burden were seen by one pair of eyes at least.

Running down the steps without any of the frightful appendages of the day upon her head, but her own bright beautiful hair curling wild like the tendrils of a vine, came a lovely girl of fourteen or fifteen, just past the ugly age, and blushing in the spring of womanhood. There was eagerness and some alarm in her face: for the air and haste of the worthy clergyman, as well as the form he carried in his arms, spoke as plainly as words could have done that some accident had happened; and she called to him, at some distance, to ask what was the matter.

"Matter, child! matter!" cried the clergyman, "I believe I have half killed this poor boy."

"Killed him!" exclaimed the girl, with a look of doubt as well as surprise.

"Ay, Mistress Rachael," replied the old man, "killed him by unkindly and rashly telling him of his brother's death, without preparation."

"You intended it for kind, I am sure," murmured the girl in a sweet low tone, coming down the steps, and gazing on his pale face, while the clergyman carried the lad up the steps.

"There, Miss Marshal, do not stay staring," said Dr. Paulding; "but pray call some of the lackeys, and bid them bring water or hartshorn, or something. Your lady-mother must have some essences to bring folks out of swoons. There is nothing but swooning at Court, I am told—except gaming, and drinking, and profanity."

The girl was already on her way, but she looked back, saying, "My father and mother are both out; but I will soon find help."

When the lad opened his eyes, there was something very near, which seemed to him exceedingly beautiful—rich, warm coloring, like that of a sunny landscape; a pair of liquid, tender eyes, deeply fringed and full of sympathy; and the while some sunny curls of bright brown hair played about his cheek, moved by the hay-field breath of the sweet lips that bent close over him.

"Where am I?" he said. "What is the matter? What has happened? Ah! now I recollect. My brother—my poor brother! Was it a dream?"

"Hush, hush!" said a musical voice. "Talk to him, sir. Talk to him, and make him still."

"It is but too true, my dear Philip," said the old clergyman; "your brother is lost to us. But recollect yourself, my son. It is weak to give way in this manner. I announced your misfortune somewhat suddenly, it is true, trusting that your philosophy was stronger than it is—your Christian fortitude. Remember, all these dispensations are from the hand of the most merciful God. He who gives the sunshine, shall he not bring the clouds? Doubt not that all is merciful; and suffer not the manifestations of His will to find you unprepared or unsubmissive."

"I have been very weak," said the young man, "but it was so sudden! Heaven! how full of health and strength he looked when he went away! He was the picture of life—almost of immortality. I was but as a reed beside him—a weak, feeble reed, beside a sapling oak."

"'One shall be taken, and the other left,'" said the sweet voice of the young girl; and the eyes both of the youth and the old clergyman turned suddenly upon her.

Philip Hastings raised himself upon his arm, and seemed to meditate for a moment or two. His thoughts were confused and indistinct. He knew not well where he was. The impression of what had happened was vague[Pg 37] and indefinite. As eyes which have been seared by the lightning, his mind, which had lost the too vivid impression, now perceived everything in mist and confusion.

"I have been very weak," he said, "too weak. It is strange. I thought myself firmer. What is the use of thought and example, if the mind remains thus feeble? But I am better now. I will never yield thus again;" and flinging himself off the sofa on which they had laid him, he stood for a moment on his feet, gazing round upon the old clergyman and that beautiful young girl, and two or three servants who had been called to minister to him.

We all know—at least, all who have dealt with the fiery things of life—all who have felt and suffered, and struggled and conquered, and yielded and grieved, and triumphed in the end—we all know how short-lived are the first conquests of mind over body, and how much strength and experience it requires to make the victory complete. To render the soul the despot, the tyranny must be habitual.

Philip Hastings rose, as I have said, and gazed around him. He struggled against the shock which his mere animal nature had received, shattered as it had been by long and intense study, and neglect of all that contributes to corporeal power. But everything grew hazy to his eyes again. He felt his limbs weak and powerless; even his mind feeble, and his thoughts confused. Before he knew what was coming, he sunk fainting on the sofa again, and when he woke from the dull sort of trance into which he had fallen, there were other faces around him; he was stretched quietly in bed in a strange room, a physician and a beautiful lady of mature years were standing by his bedside, and he felt the oppressive lassitude of fever in every nerve and in every limb.

But we must turn to good Doctor Paulding. He went back to his rectory discontented with himself, leaving the lad in the care of Lady Annabella Marshal and her family. The ordinary—as the man who carried the letters was frequently called in those days—was to depart in an hour, and he knew that Sir John Hastings expected his only remaining son in London to attend the body of his brother down to the family burying place. It was impossible that the lad could go, and the old clergyman had to sit down and write an account of what had occurred.

There was nothing upon earth, or beyond the earth, which would have induced him to tell a lie. True, his mind might be subject to such self-deceptions as the mind of all other men. He might be induced to find excuses to his own conscience for anything he did that was wrong—for any mistake or error in judgment; for, willfully, he never did what was wrong; and it was only by the results that he knew it. But yet he was eagerly, painfully upon his guard against himself. He knew the weakness of human nature—he had dealt with it often, and observed it shrewdly, and applied the lesson with bitter severity to his own heart, detecting its shrinking from candor, its hankering after self-defense, its misty prejudices, its turnings and windings to escape conviction; and he dealt with it as hardly as he would have done with a spoiled child.

Calmly and deliberately he sat down to write to Sir John Hastings a full account of what had occurred, taking more blame to himself than was really his due. I have called it a full account, though it occupied but one page of paper, for the good doctor was anything but profuse of words; and there are some men who can say much in small space. He blamed himself greatly, anticipating reproach; but the thing which he feared the most to communicate was the fact that the lad was left ill at the house of Colonel Marshal, and at the house of a man so very much disliked by Sir John Hastings.

There are some men—men of strong mind and great abilities—who go through life learning some of its lessons, and totally neglecting others—pre-occupied by one branch of the great study, and seeing nothing in the course of scholarship but that. Dr. Paulding had no conception of the change which the loss of their eldest son had wrought in the heart of Sir John and Lady Hastings. The second—the neglected one—had now become not only the eldest, but the only one. His illness, painfully as it affected them, was a blessing to them. It withdrew their thoughts from their late bereavement. It occupied their mind with a new anxiety. It withdrew it from grief and from disappointment. They thought little or nothing of whose house he was at, or whose care he was under; but leaving the body of their dead child to be brought down by slow and solemn procession to the country, they hurried on before, to watch over the one that was left.

Sir John Hastings utterly forgot his ancient feelings toward Colonel Marshal. He was at the house every day, and almost all day long, and Lady Hastings was there day and night.

Wonderful how—when barriers are broken down—we see the objects brought into proximity under a totally different point of view from that in which we beheld them at a distance. There might be some stiffness in the first meeting of Colonel Marshal and Sir John Hastings, but it wore off with exceeding rapidity. The Colonel's kindness and attention to the sick youth were marked. Lady Annabella devoted herself to him as to one of her own children. Rachael Marshal made herself a mere nurse. Hard hearts could only withstand such things. Philip was now an only child, and the parents were filled with gratitude and affection.


The stone which covered the vault of the Hastings family had been raised, and light and air let into the cold, damp interior. A ray of sunshine, streaming through the church[Pg 38] window, found its way across the mouldy velvet of the old coffins as they stood ranged along in solemn order, containing the dust of many ancestors of the present possessors of the manor. There, too, apart from the rest were the coffins of those who had died childless; the small narrow resting-place of childhood, where the guileless infant, the father's and mother's joy and hope, slept its last sleep, leaving tearful eyes and sorrowing hearts behind, with naught to comfort but the blessed thought that by calling such from earth, God peoples heaven with angels; the coffins, too, of those cut off in the early spring of manhood, whom the fell mower had struck down in the flower before the fruit was ripe. Oh, how his scythe levels the blossoming fields of hope! There, too, lay the stern old soldier, whose life had been given up to his country's service, and who would not spare one thought or moment to soften domestic joys; and many another who had lived, perhaps and loved, and passed away without receiving love's reward.

Amongst these, close at the end of the line, stood two tressels, ready for a fresh occupant of the tomb, and the church bell tolled heavily above, while the old sexton looked forth from the door of the church toward the gates of the park, and the heavy clouded sky seemed to menace rain.

"Happy the bride the sun shines upon; happy the corpse the heaven rains upon!" said the old man to himself. But the rain did not come down; and presently, from the spot where he stood, which overlooked the park-wall, he saw come on in slow and solemn procession along the great road to the gates, the funeral train of him who had been lately heir to all the fine property around. The body had been brought from London after the career of youth had been cut short in a moment of giddy pleasure, and father and mother, as was then customary, with a long line of friends, relations, and dependents, now conveyed the remains of him once so dearly loved, to the cold grave.

Only one of all the numerous connections of the family was wanting on this occasion, and that was the brother of the dead; but he lay slowly recovering from the shock he had received, and every one had been told that it was impossible for him to attend. All the rest of the family had hastened to the hall in answer to the summons they had received, for though Sir John Hastings was not much loved, he was much respected and somewhat feared—at least, the deference which was paid to him, no one well knew why, savored somewhat of dread.

It is a strange propensity in many old persons to hang about the grave to which they are rapidly tending, when it is opened for another, and to comment—sometimes even with a bitter pleasantry—upon an event which must soon overtake themselves. As soon as it was known that the funeral procession had set out from the hall door, a number of aged people, principally women, but comprising one or two shriveled men, tottered forth from the cottages, which lay scattered about the church, and made their way into the churchyard, there to hold conference upon the dead and upon the living.

"Ay, ay!" said one old woman, "he has been taken at an early time; but he was a fine lad, and better than most of those hard people."

"Ay, Peggy would praise the devil himself if he were dead," said an old man, leaning on a stick, "though she has never a good word for the living. The boy is taken away from mischief, that is the truth of it. If he had lived to come down here again, he would have broken the heart of my niece's daughter Jane, or made a public shame of her. What business had a gentleman's son like that to be always hanging about a poor cottage girl, following her into the corn-fields, and luring her out in the evenings?"

"Faith! she might have been proud enough of his notice," said an old crone; "and I dare say she was, too, in spite of all your conceit, Matthew. She is not so dainty as you pretend to be; and we may see something come of it yet."

"At all events," said another, "he was better than this white-faced, spiritless boy that is left, who is likely enough to be taken earlier than his brother, for he looks as if breath would blow him away."

"He will live to do something yet, that will make people talk of him;" said a woman older than any of the rest, but taller and straighter; "there is a spirit in him, be it angel or devil, that is not for death so soon."

"Ay! they're making a pomp of it I warrant," said another old woman, fixing her eyes on the high road under the park wall, upon which the procession now entered. "Marry, there are escutcheons enough, and coats of arms! One would think he was a lord's son, with all this to do! But there is a curse upon the race anyhow; this man was the last of eleven brothers, and I have heard say, his father died a bad death. Now his eldest son must die by drowning—saved the hangman something, perchance—we shall see what comes of the one that is left. 'Tis a curse upon them ever since Worcester fight, when the old man, who is dead and gone, advised to send the poor fellows who were taken, to work as slaves in the colonies."

As she spoke, the funeral procession advanced up the road, and approached that curious sort of gate with a penthouse over it, erected probably to shelter the clergyman of the church while receiving the corpse at the gate of the burial-ground, which was then universally to be found at the entrance to all cemeteries. She broke off abruptly, as if there was something still on her mind which she had not spoken, and ranging themselves on each side of the church-yard path, the old men and women formed a lane down which good Dr. Paulding speedily moved with book in hand. The people assembled, whose num[Pg 39]bers had been increased by the arrival of some thirty or forty young and middle-aged, said not a word as the clergymen marched on, but when the body had passed up between them, and the bereaved father followed as chief-mourner, with a fixed, stern, but tearless eye, betokening more intense affliction perhaps, in a man of his character, than if his cheeks had been covered with drops of womanly sorrow, several voices were heard saying aloud, "God bless and comfort you, Sir John."

Strange, marvelously strange it was, that these words should come from tongues, and from those alone, which had been so busily engaged in carping censure and unfeeling sneers but the moment before. It was the old men and women alone who had just been commenting bitterly upon the fate, history, and character of the family, who now uttered the unfelt expressions of sympathy in a beggar-like, whining tone. It was those who really felt compassion who said nothing.

The coffin had been carried into the church, and the solemn rites, the beautiful service of the Church of England, had proceeded some way, when another person was added to the congregation who had not at first been there. All eyes but those of the father of the dead and the lady who sat weeping by his side, turned upon the new-comer, as with a face as pale as death, and a faltering step, he took his place on one of the benches somewhat remote from the rest. There was an expression of feeble lassitude in the young man's countenance, but of strong resolution, which overcame the weakness of the frame. He looked as if each moment he would have fainted, but yet he sat out the whole service of the Church, mingled with the crowd when the body was lowered into the vault, and saw the handful of earth hurled out upon the velvet coffin, as if in mockery of the empty pride of all the pomp and circumstance which attended the burial of the rich and high.

No tear came into his eyes—no sob escaped from his bosom; a slight quivering of the lip alone betrayed that there was strong agitation within. When all was over, and the father still gazing down into the vault, the young lad crept quietly back into a pew, covered his face with his hand, and wept.

The last rite was over. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust were committed. Sir John Hastings drew his wife's arm through his own, and walked with a heavy, steadfast, and unwavering step down the aisle. Everybody drew back respectfully as he passed; for generally, even in the hardest hearts, true sorrow finds reverence. He had descended the steps from the church into the burying ground, and had passed half way along the path toward his carriage, when suddenly the tall upright old woman whom I have mentioned thrust herself into his way, and addressed him with a cold look and somewhat menacing tone—

"Now, Sir John Hastings," she said, "will you do me justice about that bit of land? By your son's grave I ask it. The hand of heaven has smitten you. It may, perhaps, have touched your heart. You know the land is mine. It was taken from my husband by the usurper because he fought for the king to whom he had pledged his faith. It was given to your father because he broke his faith to his king and brought evil days upon his country. Will you give me back the land, I say? Out man! It is but a garden of herbs, but it is mine, and in God's sight I claim it."

"Away out of my path," replied Sir John Hastings angrily. "Is this a time to talk of such things? Get you gone, I say, and choose some better hour. Do you suppose I can listen to you now?"

"You have never listened, and you never will," replied the old woman, and suffering him to pass without further opposition, she remained upon the path behind him muttering to herself what seemed curses bitter and deep, but the words of which were audible only to herself.

The little crowd gathered round her, and listened eagerly to catch the sense of what she said, but the moment after the old sexton laid his hand upon her shoulder and pushed her from the path, saying, "Get along with you, get along with you, Popish Beldam. What business have you here scandalizing the congregation, and brawling at the church door? You should be put in the stocks!"

"I pity you, old worm," replied the old woman, "you will be soon among those you feed upon," and with a hanging head and dejected air she quitted the church-yard.

In the meanwhile Dr. Paulding had remained gazing down into the vault, while the stout young men who had come to assist the sexton withdrew the broad hempen bands by which the coffin had been lowered, from beneath it, arranged it properly upon the tressels in its orderly place among the dead, and then mounted by a ladder into the body of the church, again preparing to replace the stone over the mouth of the vault. He then turned to the church door and looked out, and then quietly approached a pew in the side aisle.

"Philip, this is very wrong," he said; "your father never wished or intended you should be here."

"He did not forbid me," replied the young man. "Why should I only be absent from my brother's funeral?"

"Because you are sick. Because, by coming, you may have risked your life," replied the old clergyman.

"What is life to a duty?" replied the lad. "Have you not taught me, sir, that there is no earthly thing—no interest of this life, no pleasure, no happiness, no hope, that ought not to be sacrificed at once to that which the heart says is right?"

"True—true," replied the old clergyman, almost impatiently; "but in following precept so severely, boy, you should use some discrimination. You have a duty to a living father, which is of more weight than a mere imaginary one to a dead brother. You could do no[Pg 40] good to the latter; as the Psalmist wisely said, 'You must go to him, but he can never come back to you.' To your father, on the contrary, you have high duties to perform; to console and cheer him in his present affliction; to comfort and support his declining years. When a real duty presents itself, Philip, to yourself, to your fellow men, to your country, or to your God—I say again, as I have often said, do it in spite of every possible affection. Let it cut through everything, break through every tie, thrust aside every consideration. There, indeed, I would fain see you act the old Roman, whom you are so fond of studying, and be a Cato or a Brutus, if you will. But you must make very sure that you do not make your fancy create unreal duties, and make them of greater importance in your eyes than the true ones. But now I must get you back as speedily as possible, for your mother, ere long, will be up to see you, and your father, and they must not find you absent on this errand."

The lad made no reply, but readily walked back toward the court with Dr. Paulding, though his steps were slow and feeble. He took the old man's arm, too, and leaned heavily upon it; for, to say the truth, he felt already the consequences of the foolish act he had committed; and the first excitement past, lassitude and fever took possession once more of every limb, and his feet would hardly bear him to the gates.

The beautiful girl who had been the first to receive him at that house, met the eyes both of the young man and the old one, the moment they entered the gardens. She looked wild and anxious, and was wandering about with her head uncovered; but as soon as she beheld the youth, she ran toward him, exclaiming, "Oh, Philip, Philip, this is very wrong and cruel of you. I have been looking for you everywhere. You should not have done this. How could you let him, Dr. Paulding?"

"I did not let him, my dear child," replied the old man, "he came of his own will, and would not be let. But take him in with you; send him to bed as speedily as may be; give him a large glass of the fever-water he was taking, and say as little as possible of this rash act to any one."

The girl made the sick boy lean upon her rounded arm, led him away into the house, and tended him like a sister. She kept the secret of his rashness, too, from every one; and there were feelings sprang up in his bosom toward her during the next few hours which were never to be obliterated. She was so beautiful, so tender, so gentle, so full of all womanly graces, that he fancied, with his strong imagination, that no one perfection of body or mind could be wanting; and he continued to think so for many a long year after.


Enough of boyhood and its faults and follies. I sought but to show the reader, as in a glass, the back of a pageant that has past. Oh, how I sometimes laugh at the fools—the critics. God save the mark! who see no more in the slight sketch I choose to give, than a mere daub of paint across the canvas, when that one touch gives effect to the whole picture. Let them stand back, and view it as a whole; and if they can find aught in it to make them say "Well done," let them look at the frame. That is enough for them; their wits are only fitted to deal with "leather and prunella."

I have given you, reader—kind and judicious reader—a sketch of the boy, that you may be enabled to judge rightly of the man. Now, take the lad as I have moulded him—bake him well in the fiery furnace of strong passion, remembering still that the form is of hard iron—quench and harden him in the cold waters of opposition, and disappointment, and anxiety—and bring him forth tempered, but too highly tempered for the world he has to live in—not pliable—not elastic; no watchspring, but like a graver's tool, which must cut into everything opposed to it, or break under the pressure.

Let us start upon our new course some fifteen years after the period at which our tale began, and view Philip Hastings as that which he had now become.

Dr. Paulding had passed from this working day world to another and a better—where we hope the virtues of the heart may be weighed against vices of the head—a mode of dealing rare here below. Sir John Hastings and his wife had gone whither their eldest son had gone before them; and Philip Hastings was no longer the boy. Manhood had set its seal upon his brow only too early; but what a change had come with manhood!—a change not in the substance, but in its mode.

Oh, Time! thy province is not only to destroy! Thou worker-out of human destinies—thou new-fashioner of all things earthly—thou blender of races—thou changer of institutions—thou discoverer—thou concealer—thou builder up—thou dark destroyer; thy waters as they flow have sometimes a petrifying, sometimes a solvent power, hardening the soft, melting the strong, accumulating the sand, undermining the rock! What had been thine effect upon Philip Hastings?

All the thoughts had grown manly as well as the body. The slight youth had been developed into the hardy and powerful man; somewhat inactive—at least so it seemed to common eyes—more thoughtful than brilliant, steady in resolution, though calm in expression, giving way no more to bursts of boyish feeling, somewhat stern, men said somewhat hard, but yet extremely just, and resolute for justice. The poetry of life—I should have said the poetry of young life—the brilliancy of fancy and hope, seemed somewhat dimmed in him—mark, I say seemed, for that which seems too often is not; and he might perhaps have learnt to rule and conceal feelings which he could not altogether conquer or resist.[Pg 41]

Still there were many traces of his old self visible: the same love of study, the same choice of books and subjects of thought, the same subdued yet strong enthusiasms. The very fact of mingling with the world, which had taught him to repress those enthusiasms, seemed to have concentrated and rendered them more intense.

The course of his studies; the habits of his mind; his fondness for the school of the stoics, it might have been supposed, would rather have disgusted him with the society in which he now habitually mingled, and made him look upon mankind—for it was a very corrupt age—with contempt, if not with horror.

Such, however, was not the case. He had less of the cynic in him than his father—indeed he had nothing of the cynic in him at all. He loved mankind in his own peculiar way. He was a philanthropist of a certain sort; and would willingly have put a considerable portion of his fellow-creatures to death, in order to serve, and elevate, and improve the rest.

His was a remarkable character—not altogether fitted for the times in which he lived; but one which in its wild and rugged strength, commanded much respect and admiration even then. Weak things clung to it, as ivy to an oak or a strong wall: and its power over them was increased by a certain sort of tenderness—a protecting pity, which mingled strangely with his harder and ruder qualities. He seemed to be sorry for everything that was weak, and to seek to console and comfort it, under the curse of feebleness. It seldom offended him—he rather loved it, it rarely came in his way; and his feeling toward it might approach contempt but never rose to anger.

He was capable too of intense and strong affections, though he could not extend them to many objects. All that was vigorous and powerful in him concentrated itself in separate points here and there; and general things were viewed with much indifference.

See him as he walks up and down there before the old house, which I have elsewhere described. He has grown tall and powerful in frame; and yet his gait is somewhat slovenly and negligent, although his step is firm and strong. He is not much more than thirty-one years of age; but he looks forty at the least; and his hair is even thickly sprinkled with gray. His face is pale, with some strong marked lines and indentations in it; yet, on the whole, it is handsome, and the slight habitual frown, thoughtful rather than stern, together with the massive jaw, and the slight drawing down of the corners of the mouth, give it an expression of resolute firmness, that is only contradicted by the frequent variation of the eye, which is sometimes full of deep thought, sometimes of tenderness; and sometimes is flashing with a wild and almost unearthly fire.

But there is a lady hanging on his arm which supports her somewhat feeble steps. She seems recovering from illness; the rose in her cheek is faint and delicate; and an air of languor is in her whole face and form. Yet she is very beautiful, and seems fully ten years younger than her husband, although, in truth, she is of the same age—or perhaps a little older. It is Rachael Marshal, now become Lady Hastings.

Their union did not take place without opposition; all Sir John Hastings' prejudices against the Marshal family revived as soon as his son's attachment to the daughter of the house became apparent. Like most fathers, he saw too late; and then sought to prevent that which had become inevitable. He sent his son to travel in foreign lands; he even laid out a scheme for marrying him to another, younger, and as he thought fairer. He contrived that the young man should fall into the society of the lady he had selected, and he fancied that would be quite sufficient; for he saw in her character, young as she was, traits, much more harmonious, as he fancied, with those of his son, than could be found in the softer, gentler, weaker Rachael Marshal. There was energy, perseverance, resolution, keen and quick perceptions—perhaps a little too much keenness. More, he did not stay to inquire; but, as is usual in matters of the heart, Philip Hastings loved best the converse of himself. The progress of the scheme was interrupted by the illness of Sir John Hastings, which recalled his son from Rome. Philip returned, found his father dead, and married Rachael Marshal.

They had had several children; but only one remained; that gay, light, gossamer girl, like a gleam darting along the path from sunny rays piercing through wind-borne clouds. On she ran with a step of light and careless air, yet every now and then she paused suddenly, gazed earnestly at a flower, plucked it, pored into its very heart with her deep eyes, and, after seeming to labor under thought for a moment, sprang forward again as light as ever.

The eyes of the father followed her with a look of grave, thoughtful, intense affection. The mother's eyes looked up to him, and then glanced onward to the child.

She was between nine and ten years old—not very handsome, for it is not a handsome age. Yet there were indications of future beauty—fine and sparkling eyes, rich, waving, silky hair, long eyelashes, a fine complexion, a light and graceful figure, though deformed by the stiff fashions of the day.

There was a sparkle too in her look—that bright outpouring of the heart upon the face which is one of the most powerful charms of youth and innocence. Ah! how soon gone by! How soon checked by the thousand loads which this heavy laboring world casts upon the buoyancy of youthful spirits—the chilling conventionality—the knowledge, and the fear of wrong—the first taste of sorrow—the anxieties, cares, fears—even the hopes of mature life, are all weights to bear down the pinions of young, lark-like joy. After twenty, does the heart ever rise up from her green sod and sing at Heaven's gate as in childhood? Never[Pg 42]—ah, never! The dust of earth is upon the wing of the sky songster, and will never let her mount to her ancient pitch.

That child was a strange combination of her father and her mother. She was destined to be their only one; and it seemed as if nature had taken a pleasure in blending the characters of both in one. Not that they were intimately mingled, but that they seemed like the twins of Laconia, to rise and set by turns.

In her morning walk; in her hours of sportive play; when no subject of deep thought, no matter that affected the heart or the imagination was presented to her, she was light and gay as a butterfly; the child—the happy child was in every look, and word, and movement. But call her for a moment from this bright land of pleasantness—present something to her mind or to her fancy which rouses sympathies, or sets the energetic thoughts at work, and she was grave, meditative, studious, deep beyond her years.

She was a subject of much contemplation, some anxiety, some wonder to her father. The brightness of her perceptions, her eagerness in the pursuit of knowledge, her vigorous resolution even as a child, when convinced that she was right, showed him his own mind reflected in hers. Even her tenderness, her strong affections, he could comprehend; for the same were in his own heart, and though he believed them to be weaknesses, he could well understand their existence in a child and in a woman.

But that which he did not understand—that which made him marvel—was her lightness, her gayety, her wild vivacity—I might almost say, her trifling, when not moved by deep feeling or chained down by thought.

This was beyond him. Yet strange! the same characteristics did not surprise nor shock him in her mother—never had surprised or shocked him; indeed he had rather loved her for those qualities, so unlike his own. Perhaps it was that he thought it strange, his child should, in any mood, be so unlike himself; or perhaps it was the contrast between the two sides of the same character that moved his wonder when he saw it in his child. He might forget that her mother was her parent as well as himself; and that she had an inheritance from each.

In his thoughtful, considering, theoretical way, he determined studiously to seek a remedy for what he considered the defect in his child—to cultivate with all the zeal and perseverance of paternal affection, supported by his own force of character, those qualities which were most like his own—those, in short, which were the least womanly. But nature would not be baffled. You may divert her to a certain degree; but you cannot turn her aside from her course altogether.

He found that he could not—by any means which his heart would let him employ—conquer what he called the frivolity of the child. Frivolity! Heaven save us! There were times when she showed no frivolity, but, on the contrary, a depth and intensity far, far beyond her years. Indeed, the ordinary current of her mind was calm and thoughtful. It was but when a breeze rippled it that it sparkled on the surface. Her father, too, saw that this was so; that the wild gayety was but occasional. But still it surprised and pained him—perhaps the more because it was occasional. It seemed to his eyes an anomaly in her nature. He would have had her altogether like himself. He could not conceive any one possessing so much of his own character, having room in heart and brain for aught else. It was a subject of constant wonder to him; of speculation, of anxious thought.

He often asked himself if this was the only anomaly in his child—if there were not other traits, yet undiscovered, as discrepant as this light volatility with her general character: and he puzzled himself sorely.

Still he pursued her education upon his own principles; taught her many things which women rarely learned in those days; imbued her mind with thoughts and feelings of his own; and often thought, when a season of peculiar gravity fell upon her, that he made progress in rendering her character all that he could wish it. This impression never lasted long, however; for sooner or later the bird-like spirit within her found the cage door open, and fluttered forth upon some gay excursion, leaving all his dreams vanished and his wishes disappointed.

Nevertheless he loved her with all the strong affection of which his nature was capable; and still he persevered in the course which he thought for her benefit. At times, indeed, he would make efforts to unravel the mystery of her double nature, not perceiving that the only cause of mystery was in himself: that what seemed strange in his daughter depended more upon his own want of power to comprehend her variety than upon anything extraordinary in her. He would endeavor to go along with her in her sportive moods—to let his mind run free beside hers in its gay ramble; to find some motive for them which he could understand; to reduce them to a system; to discover the rule by which the problem was to be solved. But he made nothing of it, and wearied conjecture in vain.

Lady Hastings sometimes interposed a little; for in unimportant things she had great influence with her husband. He let her have her own way wherever he thought it not worth while to oppose her; and that was very often. She perfectly comprehended the side of her daughter's character which was all darkness to the father; and strange to say, with greater penetration than his own, she comprehended the other side likewise. She recognized easily the traits in her child which she knew and admired in her husband, but wished them heartily away in her daughter's case, thinking such strength of mind, joined with whatever grace and sweetness, somewhat unfeminine.[Pg 43]

Though she was full of prejudices, and where her quickness of perception failed her, altogether unteachable by reason, yet she was naturally too virtuous and good to attempt even to thwart the objects of the father's efforts in the education of his child. I have said that she interfered at times, but it was only to remonstrate against too close study, to obtain frequent and healthful relaxation, and to add all those womanly accomplishments on which she set great value. In this she was not opposed. Music, singing, dancing, and a knowledge of modern languages, were added to other branches of education, and Lady Hastings was so far satisfied.


The Italian singing-master was a peculiar man, and well worthy of a few words in description. He was tall and thin, but well built; and his face had probably once been very handsome, in that Italian style, which, by the exaggeration of age, grows so soon into ugliness. The nose was now large and conspicuous, the eyes bright, black, and twinkling, the mouth good in shape, but with an animal expression about it, the ear very voluminous.

He was somewhat more than fifty years of age, and his hair was speckled with gray; but age was not apparent in wrinkles and furrows, and in gait he was firm and upright.

At first Sir Philip Hastings did not like him at all. He did not like to have him there. It was against the grain he admitted him into the house. He did it, partly because he thought it right to yield in some degree to the wishes of his wife; partly from a grudging deference to the customs of society.

But the Signor was a shrewd and world-taught man, accustomed to overcome prejudices, and to make his way against disadvantages; and he soon established himself well in the opinion of both father and mother. It was done by a peculiar process, which is well worth the consideration of all those who seek les moyens de parvenir.

In his general and ordinary intercourse with his fellow-men, he had a happy middle tone,—a grave, reticent manner, which never compromised him to anything. A shrewd smile, without an elucidatory remark, served to harmonize him with the gay and vivacious; a serious tranquillity, unaccompanied by any public professions, was enough to make the sober and the decent rank him amongst themselves. Perhaps that class of men—whether pure at heart or not—have always overestimated decency of exterior.

All this was in public however. In private, in a tête-à-tête, Signor Guardini was a very different man. Nay more, in each and every tête-à-tête he was a different man from what he appeared in the other. Yet, with a marvelous art, he contrived to make both sides of his apparent character harmonize with his public and open appearance. Or rather perhaps I should say that his public demeanor was a middle tint which served to harmonize the opposite extremes of coloring displayed by his character. Nothing could exemplify this more strongly than the different impressions he produced on Sir Philip and Lady Hastings. The lady was soon won to his side. She was predisposed to favor him; and a few light gay sallies, a great deal of conventional talk about the fashionable life of London, and a cheerful bantering tone of persiflage, completely charmed her. Sir Philip was more difficult to win. Nevertheless, in a few short sentences, hardly longer than those which Sterne's mendicant whispered in the ear of the passengers, he succeeded in disarming many prejudices. With him, the Signor was a stoic; he had some tincture of letters, though a singer, and had read sufficient of the history of his own land, to have caught all the salient points of the glorious past.

Perhaps he might even feel a certain interest in the antecedents of his decrepit land—not to influence his conduct, or to plant ambitious or nourish pure and high hopes for its regeneration—but to waken a sort of touch-wood enthusiasm, which glowed brightly when fanned by the stronger powers of others. Yet before Sir Philip had had time to communicate to him one spark of his own ardor, he had as I have said made great progress in his esteem. In five minutes' conversation he had established for himself the character of one of a higher and nobler character whose lot had fallen in evil days.

"In other years," thought the English gentleman, "this might have been a great man—the defender unto death of his country's rights—the advocate of all that is ennobling, stern, and grand."

What was the secret of all this? Simply that he, a man almost without character, had keen and well-nigh intuitive perceptions of the characters of others; and that without difficulty his pliable nature and easy principles would accommodate themselves to all.

He made great progress then in the regard of Sir Philip, although their conversations seldom lasted above five minutes. He made greater progress still with the mother. But with the daughter he made none—worse than none.

What was the cause, it may be asked. What did he do or say—how did he demean himself so as to produce in her bosom a feeling of horror and disgust toward him that nothing could remove?

I cannot tell. He was a man of strong passions and no principles: that his after—perhaps his previous—life would evince. There is a touchstone for pure gold in the heart of an innocent and highminded woman that detects all baser metals: they are discovered in a moment: they cannot stand the test.

Now, whether his heart-cankering corruption, his want of faith, honesty, and truth, made themselves felt, and were pointed out by the index of that fine barometer, without any overt act at all—or whether he gave ac[Pg 44]tual cause of offense, I do not know—none has ever known.

Suddenly, however, the gay, the apparently somewhat wayward girl, now between fifteen and sixteen, assumed a new character in her father's and mother's eyes. With a strange frank abruptness she told them she would take no more singing lessons of the Italian; but she added no explanation.

Lady Hastings was angry, and expostulated warmly; but the girl was firm and resolute. She heard her mother's argument, and answered in soft and humble tones that she would not,—could not learn to sing any longer—that she was very sorry to grieve or to offend her mother; but she had learned long enough, and would learn no more.

More angry than before, with the air of indignant pride in which weakness so often takes refuge, the mother quitted the room; and the father then, in a calmer spirit, inquired the cause of her resolution.

She blushed like the early morning sky; but there was a sort of bewildered look upon her face as she replied, "I know no cause—I can give no reason, my dear father; but the man is hateful to me. I will never see him again."

Her father sought for farther explanation, but he could obtain none. Guardini had not said anything nor done anything, she admitted, to give her offense; but yet she firmly refused to be his pupil any longer.

There are instincts in fine and delicate minds, which, by signs and indications intangible to coarser natures, discover in others thoughts and feelings, wishes and designs, discordant—repugnant to themselves. They are instincts, I say, not amenable to reason, escaping analysis, incapable of explanation—the warning voice of God in the heart, bidding them beware of evil.

Sir Philip Hastings was not a man to allow aught for such impulses—to conceive or understand them in the least. He had been accustomed to delude himself with reasons, some just, others very much the reverse, but he had never done a deed or entertained a thought for which he could not give some reason of convincing power to his own mind.

He did not understand his daughter's conduct at all; but he would not press her any farther. She was in some degree a mysterious being to him. Indeed, as I have before shown, she had always been a mystery; for he had no key to her character in his own. It was written in the unknown language.

Yet, did he love or cherish her the less? Oh no! Perhaps a deeper interest gathered round his heart for her, the chief object of his affections. More strongly than ever he determined to cultivate and form her mind on his own model, in consequence of what he called a strange caprice, although he could not but sometimes hope and fancy that her resolute rejection of any farther lessons from Signor Guardini arose from her distaste to what he himself considered one of the frivolous pursuits of fashion.

Yet she showed no distaste for singing; for somehow every day she would practice eagerly, till her sweet voice, under a delicate taste, acquired a flexibility and power which charmed and captivated her father, notwithstanding his would-be cynicism. He was naturally fond of music; his nature was a vehement one, though curbed by such strong restraints; and all vehement natures are much moved by music. He would sit calmly, with his eyes fixed upon a book, but listening all the time to that sweet voice, with feelings working in him—emotions, thrilling, deep, intense, which he would have felt ashamed to expose to any human eye.

All this however made her conduct toward Guardini the more mysterious; and her father often gazed upon her beautiful face with a look of doubting inquiry, as one may look on the surface of a bright lake, and ask, What is below?

That face was now indeed becoming very beautiful. Every feature had been refined and softened by time. There was soul in the eyes, and a gleam of heaven upon the smile, besides the mere beauties of line and coloring. The form too had nearly reached perfection. It was full of symmetry and grace, and budding charms; and while the mother marked all these attractions, and thought how powerful they would prove in the world, the father felt their influence in a different manner: with a sort of abstract admiration of her loveliness, which went no further than a proud acknowledgment to his own heart that she was beautiful indeed. To him her beauty was as a gem, a picture, a beautiful possession, which he had no thought of ever parting with—something on which his eyes would rest well pleased until they closed forever. How blessed he might have been in the possession of such a child could he have comprehended her—could he have divested his mind of the idea that there was something strange and inharmonious in her character! Could he have made his heart a woman's heart for but one hour, all mystery would have been dispelled; but it was impossible, and it remained.

No tangible effect did it produce at the time; but preconceptions of another's character are very dangerous things. Everything is seen through their medium, everything is colored and often distorted. That which produced no fruit at the time, had very important results at an after period.

But I must turn now to other scenes and more stirring events, having I trust made the reader well enough acquainted with father, mother, and daughter, at least sufficiently for all the purposes of this tale. It is upon the characters of two of them that all the interest if there be any depends. Let them be marked then and remembered, if the reader would derive pleasure from what follows.


[Pg 45]

[From "The Album." Manchester, November, 1850.]

Nature in the poet's heart is limned
In little, as in landscape stones we see
The swell of land, and groves, and running streams,
Fresh from the wolds of Chaos; or perchance
The imaged hint of antemundane life,—
A photograph of preexistent light,—
Or Paradisal sun. So, in his mind
The broad conditions of the world are graven,
Thoroughly and grandly; in accord wherewith
His life is ruled to be, and eke to bear.
Wisdom he wills not only for himself,
But undergoes the sacred rites whereby
The privilege he hath earned he may promulge,
And all men make the partners of his light.
Between the priestly and the laic powers
The poet stands, a bright and living link;
Now chanting odes divine and sacred spells—
Now with fine magic, holy and austere,
Inviting angels or evoking fiends;
And now, in festive guise arrayed, his brow
With golden fillet bounden round—alone,
Earnest to charm the throng that celebrates
The games now—now the mysteries of life,
With truths ornate and Pleasure's choicest plea.
Thus he becomes the darling of mankind,
Armed with the instinct both of rule and right,
And the world's minion, privileged to speak
When all beside, the medley mass, are mute:
Distills his soul into a song—and dies.

Continued from Page 512.

[6] Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1850, by Stringer & Townsend, in the Clerk's office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of New York.


RIGHTLY enough had the young girl been called "The White Rose of Sorrento." Monte-Leone had based on her his most ardent hopes and tenderest expectations. Nothing in fact could be more angelic than the expression of her face. She seemed the virgo immaculata of Rubens, the virgo of divine love. What would first attract attention at Aminta's appearance was a marble pallor, the paleness of that beautiful marble of Carara, in which when Canova had touched it the blood seemed to rush to the surface and circulate beneath the transparent flesh of the great master.

We must however say that beneath the long lids of the young Neapolitan, the observer would have discovered an expression of firmness and decision rarely found in so young a girl. Any one who examined her quickly saw that in her frail and delicate frame there was a soul full of energy and courage, and that if it should ever be aroused, what she wished must be, God willing. Nothing in nature is more persevering and irresistible than woman's will, especially if the woman be an Italian.

Antonia Rovero, the mother of Aminta and Taddeo, was the widow of a rich banker of Naples, devoted to the cause of Murat, and had been created by the late king one of his senators and then minister of finances. In this last office M. Rovero died, and his widow, after having received every kindness from Murat, retired to Sorrento. Taddeo then felt an interest in everything which had a tendency to overturn the government of Fernando IV. The restoration of the latter had crushed his ambition and broken his fortunes. On that account he had become one of the Pulcinelli whom we have described in the last book.

While this well-beloved son of an affectionate mother, this brother so idolized by an affectionate sister, languished perhaps like Monte-Leone, Madame Rovero and her daughter in their quiet retreat fancied that Taddeo was enjoying at Naples all the pleasures of the Carnival and abandoning himself to all the follies of that day of pleasure. Sometimes, however, as the sun set on the hills of Sorrento, Aminta said to her mother, "Taddeo forgets us. It is not pleasant to enjoy this beautiful day without him. Were we three together, how delicious it would be!" Then Aminta would take a volume of Alfieri, her favorite author, and wander alone amid the fields.

The day on which the scene we are about to describe happened was one of those burning ones, which make us even in winter fancy that an eternal spring exists in that heaven-protected land. We may add that the winter of 1816 was peculiar even in Italy, and that the sun was so warm and the heat so genial that nature under their influence put on the most luxuriant vegetation. The favorite haunt of Aminta was a green hill, behind which was a pretty and simple house, the cradle of one of the most wonderful geniuses of the world. This genius was Tasso. A bust of the poet in terra cotta yet adorned the façade of the house, which though then in ruins has since been rebuilt. At that time the room of the divine yet unfortunate lover of Leonora did not exist—the sea had swept over it. Admirers of the poet yet however visited the remnants of his habitation. The tender heart of Aminta yet paid a pious worship to them, and "The White Rose of Sorrento" went toward "The House of Tasso." Aminta's mother was always offended when she indulged in such distant excursions.

She did not however go alone. A singular being accompanied her. This being was at once a man and a reptile. His features would have denoted the age of sixteen. They were the most frightful imaginable. A forehead over which spread a few reddish hairs; a mouth almost without teeth; small eyes, sad and green, which were however insupportably bright when they were lit up by anger; long and bony arms; legs horribly thin; a short and square bust,—all united to make a being so utterly ungraceful, so inhuman, that the children of the village had nicknamed him Scorpione—so like that reptile's was his air. The morale of Scorpione was worthy of his physique. The true name of this child was Tonio. Being the son of Aminta's nurse, he had never in his life been separated from her, and seemed to grow daily more ugly as she became more beautiful. He[Pg 46] became so devoted to Aminta that he never left her. This whimsical intimacy was not that of children, the attachment of brother and sister, but that of the intellectual and brute being, of the master and dog. He was the dog of Aminta. He accompanied and watched over her in all her long walks. Did a dangerous pass occur, he took her up and carried her across the pool or torrent, so that not a drop of water touched her. If any one chanced to meet her and sought to speak to her, he first growled, and then having looked at Aminta, made the bold man understand that like a mastiff he would protect her against all assailants.

During the winter evenings when Aminta read to her mother, Tonio lying at the fair reader's feet, warmed them in his bosom, where she suffered them to remain with as much carelessness as she would have let them rest on the back of a dog. She became so used to his horrid features, that she no longer thought them repulsive. No contrast was stronger than that these two presented. It was like the association of an angel and a devil.

The young girl had in vain attempted to impart some knowledge to Scorpione: his nature did not admit of it. Had he been able to comprehend anything, if the simple idea of right and wrong could have reached his heart, Aminta would have accomplished much. This Cretin,[7] however, knew but three things in the world, to love, to serve, and to defend Aminta. Nothing more.

[7] The Cretins are a miserable, feeble and almost idiotic race, found not infrequently in the south of France. They have sometimes been horribly persecuted.

Accompanied by her faithful dog one day, the fair creature had walked to the house of Tasso. She had perhaps twenty times gone through those magnificent ruins, and read over again and again the inscription every tourist fancies himself obliged to engrave with his dagger's point on the tesselated walls of the poet's home. One which seemed new attracted her attention. Thus it read:

"One must have suffered as much as the lover of Leonora, to be unhappy in the paradise of Sorrento."

These three lines were signed by the Marquis de Maulear.

Aminta read the inscription two or three times, without fancying that it related to her. The simple style touched her heart, and with no slight emotion, she left the wall.

At that moment the sun was at the height of its power, and shed its burning rays over nature. Aminta's straw hat sheltered her from the torrents of lava which seemed to fall from heaven and a few drops of perspiration stood on her marble forehead. While she was seeking in the ruined house for some shadowed nook, Scorpione amused himself behind a wall in torturing a gray lizard he had found, and which had taken refuge in a hole, from which it could not get out. The cruel child made numerous blows at the timid animal whenever it attempted to escape. He was perfectly delighted when he had beaten out the eyes of the animal, and the poor creature, rushing out, surrendered himself. One thrust completed the work, and it died in convulsions. Aminta found Scorpione thus engaged.

"Fie, fie," said she, "you deserve to suffer as much pain as you have inflicted on this poor animal."

"I am no lizard, but a scorpion, as the children of Sorrento say. I have a sting always ready for those who seek to injure me." He showed his dagger.

Aminta left, and Tonio, glancing at his mistress like a dog which has been punished, placed his back against the wall and pretended to sleep. Before long he really did sleep.

Not far from Tasso's house there was a grotto, beneath which ran a little stream, overgrown with aquatic herbs, and which beyond doubt in other days fed the fish-ponds of the house. It however had insensibly dried up, and only a feeble thread could henceforth be traced. This was the grotto which gave Aminta the refuge she sought. A mossy bench was placed by the side of a stream. She sat on it, took her book, and recited aloud the harmonious verses of her favorite bard. She gradually felt the influence of the heat. For a while she contended against the approach of sleep, which, however, ere long surrounded her with its leaden wings. The sight of Aminta became clouded, and shadowy mists passed before her eyes. Her brow bowed down, her head fell upon the rustic pillow. She was in oblivion. It was noon. All at this hour in Italy, and especially in Naples, slumber, "except," says the proverb, certainly not complimentary to my countrymen, "Frenchmen and dogs." The fact is, that Frenchmen, when they travel, pay no attention to the customs of the country. A Frenchman who travels unfortunately insists that everything should be done a la Française, in countries and climates where such a life as ours is impossible.

A profound silence covered all nature. The indistinct humming of insects in the air for a while troubled him; then all was silent. The wind even was voiceless, and the wave which beat on the rock seemed to repress every sound to avoid interrupting the repose of earth and heaven.

All at once, distant steps were heard. At first they were light, then more positive and distinct as they resounded on the calcined rock which led to Tasso's house. A young man of twenty-five approached. He was almost overcome by the sultriness. A whip and spurs showed that he had just dismounted. He had left his horse in an orange grove. Overcome, he had sought a shelter, and remembering the ruins he had seen a few days before, hoped to find freshness and repose there. The poet's mansion, the roof of which had fallen in, did not answer his expectations. He hurried toward the very place where[Pg 47] Aminta slept. His eyes, dazzled by the brilliant light, did not at first distinguish the young girl in the darkness of the grotto. After a few moments, however, his sight became stronger, and he was amazed at the white form which lay on the mossy seat. Gradually the form became more distinct, and finally the young stranger was able to distinguish a beautiful girl. Just then a brilliant sunlight passed over the top of the crumbling wall and fell on her, enwrapping her in golden light, and, as it were, framing her angelic head like a glory round one of Raphael's pictures.

Henri de Maulear, such was the young man's name, fancied that an angelic vision stood before him. Had the princess Leonora's ghost visited the scenes Tasso loved so well? Had a great sculptor, Canova, in one of his charming deliriums reproduced the features of Tasso's mistress and placed his work in the grotto where the great poet sighed? Marble alone could compete with Aminta's whiteness. Her round and waxen arms seemed to have been formed of the purest Carara marble.

Aminta uttered a sigh and dissipated the illusion of the stranger. It was not an admirable statue exhibited to him, but a work of nature. It was such a woman as a poetic and tender heart dreams of—a woman not to be loved, but adored. Love is earthly; adoration belongs to heaven.

Henri de Maulear, fascinated by increasing admiration, did not dare to advance. He held his breath and was afraid, so great was his excitement, that this wonderful beauty would faint away. Another sentiment, however, soon took possession of him. A mortal terror filled his soul—death and sleep were united. A fearful danger menaced the maiden, whence it seemed no human power could rescue her. In the folds of Aminta's dress, in her very bosom, Henri saw a strange object, whose whimsical colors contrasted strangely with the whiteness of her dress. It was one of those strange things known in Italy as pointed-headed vipers. Their bite takes effect so rapidly, their poison becomes so soon infused in the blood, that victims die within a few minutes. Aminta had lain down near a nest of these dangerous reptiles. The warmth of her body had gradually attracted them to her, and while she slept they had nestled in her very bosom. She had been motionless. They had not as yet moved. Any change of posture however would bring on a terrible catastrophe, a compulsory witness of which Henri de Maulear would from necessity be. What assistance could he render her? How could he arouse her without awaking the reptiles also? With a pale face and icy sweat on his brow, he thought in vain to contrive a means to save her. What however was his terror as he saw her make a slight movement! She reached out one of her arms, held it in the air, and then let it fall on her breast which was covered with reptiles. Her motion aroused the vipers. For a moment they became agitated, then uncoiled themselves, and hid their heads in the folds of her dress. One of them again coiled himself up, passed his thin tongue through his lips like a gourmand after a feast: the head was drawn back and the creature assumed the form of a spiral urn, exhibited all its rings of ruby and malachete, and then drawing back in a line full of grace, disappeared among its fellows, and sank to sleep as if it were exhausted with its own efforts.

During this terrible scene, Maulear could not breathe. The very pulsation of his heart was stopped, his soul having left his body to protect Aminta. For the nonce she was safe. But a terrible death yet hung over her. Maulear did not lose sight of her. Ere long he saw her bosom heave; he saw her gasp, and her face gradually become flushed. She was dreaming. Should she make any motion, she would disturb the vipers. This idea excited him so much that for a while he thought they were awakened. Their hisses sounded in his ears, and he eagerly looked aside to avoid the terrible spectacle. His glance however fell on an object which as yet he had not perceived. So great was his joy that he could with difficulty refrain from crying aloud. He saw an earthen vase full of milk, in a dark portion of the cave, left there by some shepherd anxious to preserve his evening meal from the heat of the summer sun. He remembered what naturalists say of the passion entertained by reptiles for milk. The well-known stories of cows, the dugs of whom had been sucked dry by snakes, were recalled to his mind. Rushing toward the vase, he seized it and bore it to the mossy rock. Just then Aminta awoke.


Having looked around her, Aminta saw Maulear, pale and with an excited face. He could not restrain his terror and surprise. By a motion more rapid than thought, he pointed out to her the terrible beings that nestled in her bosom, and said earnestly and eagerly: "Do not move or you will die!" He could make no choice as to the means of saving her. It became necessary for him to rescue her at once, to confront her with danger, and rely on her strength of mind to brave it, by remaining motionless. He thought possibly she might succumb beneath its aspect. This was the result. She looked toward the terrible reptiles Maulear pointed out to her. Horror took possession of her. Her heart ceased to beat, and her blood curdled. She fainted. Luckily, however, this happened without any motion, without even a nervous vibration sufficient to awake the serpents. Henri uttered a sigh of happiness and delight, for beyond doubt Heaven protected Aminta and himself. Approaching the vase of milk, he placed it near her. Dipping his fingers in it, he scattered a few drops over the reptiles.

They moved. The milk directly attracted their attention, and as soon as they had tasted it they became aware of its pres[Pg 48]ence. Lifting up their pointed heads to receive what was offered them, they directed their eyes toward the vase. When they had once seen it, they began to untwine their coils and to crawl toward it, like young girls hurrying to the bath. The mossy bench was near the rock. To remove her from the grotto Henri had to displace the vase. He had courage enough to wait until the last viper had gone into it. Seizing it then, he placed it gently on the ground. Passing his arms under the inanimate body of the girl, he sought to carry her away. Just then she recovered from her fainting. Aware that she was in the arms of a strange man, she made a violent effort to get away, and cast herself from her bed on the ground to escape from this embrace. In her disorder and agitation, and contest with Maulear, who sought to restrain her, in the half obscurity of the grotto her foot touched the coil of vipers.

She fell shrieking on his bosom. He left the grotto with his precious burden. Her cry had revealed to him the new misfortune, to which at first he paid no attention, but which now terrified him. The cry awoke Scorpione. His ear being familiarized with all the tones of his mistress, he would have recognized this amid a thousand. Quicker than the thunderbolt he rushed from the house, and stood at the door just when Maulear seized her.

Scorpione fancied the stranger bore away his foster-sister, and rushed on him as furiously as he would have done on a midnight robber. He seized Maulear in the breast with his right hand, the nails of which were trenchant as a needle, while with the left he sought to thrust the dagger in his heart. Aminta herself was however a shield to his bosom, and he clasped her closely. In the appearance of the horrid monster, Maulear almost forgot the perilous situation from which he had just extricated himself. For a time he fancied he was under the spell of some terrible vision, being unable to believe one person could unite so many deformities. With terror then he saw Scorpione seize on him and seek to snatch the body of Aminta from him. A second cry of Aminta, less distinct however than the first, changed the scene and recalled two of the actors to their true interest.

"Wretch!" said Maulear to Tonio, "if you wish gold I will give it you. Wait however till I resuscitate this girl."

"Aminta needs the care of none, when I am by!" said Scorpione. "She is my mistress, my sister: I watch over her."

"At all events you watch over her very badly," said Henri, placing Aminta on a broken stone. "I found her asleep here, with the vipers nestling in her bosom."

A groan escaped from the throat of Scorpione as he heard these words. He fell at Aminta's feet, with such an expression of grief, such cruel despair, that Maulear despite of himself was moved. "Vipers! pointed-headed! Have they stung her? tell me," said Tonio to Maulear. "I will die if she does!"

He sunk on the ground, mad with rage and terror. The eyes of Maulear glittered with somber horror. A nervous terror seized him, and, paralyzed by fright, he pointed out to Tonio the white leg of Aminta, around which a viper had coiled itself. Scorpione sprang forward and tore the reptile away, throwing it far from him. This took place in less than a second. Maulear would have done precisely what Scorpione had done, but thought was not more rapid than the movement of Aminta's foster-brother. Above the buskin of the girl a spot of blood appeared on her silk stocking. This came from the bite of the serpent. It was death. Maulear, kneeling before Aminta, reached forth his hand to touch the wound. Tonio rudely pushed him aside. "No one," said he in a sharp harsh voice, mingled with which was an accent of indignation, "may touch Aminta!" Tonio alone has that right, and Madame Rovero would drive him away if he permitted it!"

"But she will die unless I aid her!"

"And how can you?" said Scorpione, looking impudently at him. "What do you know about pointed-heads? You do not even know the only remedy. But I do, and will cure her."

There was such conviction in the words, that Maulear almost began to entertain hope. What probability however was there that this kind of brute would find means energetic and sure enough to restore the warmth of life to one over whom the coldness of death had already begun to settle, to stop the flow of poison which already permeated her frame? Maulear doubted, trembled, and entertained again the most miserable ideas. "If you would save her," said he to Scorpione, "there is but one thing to do. Hurry to the nearest physician and bring him hither to cauterize the wound and burn out the poison."

"Physicians are fools!" said Scorpione. "When my mother was thirty years of age, beautiful and full of life, they let her die. Though she was only my mother, I would have strangled them. If they were not to save Aminta, however, I would kill them as I would dogs!" Nothing can give an idea of his expression as he pronounced the words, "though she was only my mother." It betokened atrocious coldness and indifference. The glance however he threw on the maiden at the very idea of her death was full of intense affection.

"Save her then!" said Maulear, seizing the idea that this half-savage creature was perhaps aware of some secret means furnished by nature to work a true miracle in favor of the victim. The features of Aminta began to be disturbed; a livid pallor took possession of her; light contractions agitated her features; her lids became convulsive,[Pg 49] opening and shutting rapidly. Scorpione observed all these symptoms. "Well," said he, placing his hand on her heart, "it beats yet. The poison moves on: let us stop it."

Kneeling before her, he grasped the wounded limb, and took off the light silk stocking. Then taking his dagger from his bosom, he made a slight incision with the sharp point where the reptile had bitten her. She uttered a cry of pain. "What are you about?" said Maulear, offended.

"Do you not see," replied Scorpione, "that I am opening the door for the escape of the poison?"

Without speaking a word, he leaned over the wound, applied his lips, and sucked the blood which ran from it. Twice or thrice he spat out the blood and resumed the occupation of sublime courage. The ugliness of Scorpione entirely disappeared from Maulear's eyes, and the monster seemed to him a saving angel descended from heaven to rescue another angel from death. A few seconds passed by in terrible and solemn silence. Scorpione supported Aminta's head, and attempted to read in her face the effect of his heroism. Henri de Maulear also knelt, and glanced from heaven to the girl, invoking aid from one, and feeling profound anxiety for the other.

Aminta sighed, but not with pain. An internal relief was already experienced by her. Scorpione seized her hand in his, and feeling her pulse, laughed aloud. He said, "The Scorpion has overcome the viper: Aminta will live!"

"But you? you?" said Maulear, as he saw Scorpione's strength give way.

"Me? oh, I perhaps will die—that however is a different matter." Though he did not know it, Scorpione might have been right. Felix Fontana, the great Italian, one of the most distinguished physicians of the eighteenth century, in his celebrated Riserche Chemiche Sopra il Veleno della Vipera, affirms that to suck out the poison of the viper, even when it does not touch the vital organs, suffices to cause such an inflammation of the organs of the mouth that death always results from it.

Boundless admiration and profound pity appeared in the heart of Maulear when he heard the answer of Tonio. He even forgot Aminta, and hurried to her generous liberator. He took him in his arms, and sustained his head, which in nervous spasms he beat violently against the rock. This deformed creature became really a friend and brother to Maulear; he had saved one whom even Heaven abandoned. He had accomplished the most admirable sacrifice, that equal almost to Christ, who gave his life to ransom that of his fellows.

Just then steps were heard in the distance, and many persons approached the solitude where such terrible scenes were occurring. A woman of about fifty years of age, with dignified and beautiful features and distinguished tournure, advanced with an expression of intense terror. Looking all around, she seemed much terrified. She soon saw the three characters of our somber drama. Passing hurriedly and rapidly as if she had been a girl toward Aminta, who lay extended on the ground, she seized and convulsively clasped her to her heart, without however being able to utter a word. Her tearful eyes declared however that she was aware some great misfortune had befallen her child. This woman was Madame Rovero. Those who accompanied her were old servants of the family, and surrounded Aminta. They were ignorant as Madame Rovero was of the danger the young girl had undergone. Aminta however had begun to recover, and pointed to Tonio, who lay in convulsions in Maulear's arms. "What, monsieur, has happened?" said Madame de Rovero to Maulear. "Having become uneasy at my daughter's prolonged absence, I have come to her usual resort and find her dying and this lad writhing in your arms."

"Madame, excuse me," said Maulear, "if I do not now make explanation in relation to the cruel events which have taken place. Time at present is too precious. Your daughter I trust will live. But this poor fellow demands all our care. He has sacrificed himself to rescue your child, and to him you owe now all your happiness. Near this place I have two horses. Suffer me to place your daughter on one, and do you return with her to your house. I will on the other hurry with Tonio as fast as possible to Sorrento."

Henri took a silver whistle from his pocket and sounded it. A groom soon appeared with two horses. What he had proposed was soon executed, not however without difficulty, for Aminta was much enfeebled, and Scorpione contended violently with those who sought to place him in front of Maulear, who had already mounted. Madame Rovero went sadly toward Sorrento, bearing pale and bloody the young girl who had gone on that very morning from her mother's villa so joyous, happy, and beautiful. Maulear hurried to the house of the physician which had been pointed out to him. While they were bringing in Aminta's foster-brother, Henri told the doctor what had taken place. He examined the lad, and his brow became overcast. Scorpione was speechless, and but for the faint pulsations of his heart one might have thought him lifeless. No external symptom betrayed the effect of the poison except the head of the patient, which was terribly swollen. His mouth and especially the lower jaw appeared the seat of suffering, and with a sensation of horror Maulear saw between the violet lips of the patient a green and tense tongue, at the appearance of which the physician exhibited much emotion.

"What do you think of his condition?" said Maulear.

"The great Felix Fontana says, in such cases there is no safety. Lazarus Spallan[Pg 50]zini, however, another savant of the eighteenth century, published at Venice, in 1767, in the Giornole D'Italia, an admirable dissertation on wounds caused by the bite of reptiles, especially on those of the vipers. Treating of suction and its consequences, he points out a means of cure for it. It is however so terrible and dangerous that I know not if I should use it."

"Use it, sir. There is," said Maulear, "only the alternative of it and death."

"The man will live, but in all probability will never speak again." He waited for Maulear's answer.

"May I consult the family?" said the young man. "I will have returned in an hour."

"In ten minutes," said the doctor, "he will be dead."

"Act quickly, then, monsieur: all his friends would act as I do."

The physician left: in a few minutes he returned with one of his assistants, bearing a red hot iron. Maulear shuddered. The physician placed the patient in a great arm-chair, to which he fastened him with strong straps of leather. Then, when he was satisfied that no spasm or motion of the unfortunate man would interrupt the operation, he placed a speculum in his mouth. The speculum in its expansion tore apart the jaws of Tonio, and kept them distended, so that the interior orifice of the throat could be seen. Seizing the hot iron, he plunged it into the throat of the unhappy man, turned back the palate from the tongue, and moved it several times about, while the agonizing guttural cries of the patient were mingled with the sharp hissing of the iron. Torrents of tears filled his eyes. At this terrible spectacle Maulear fainted.


Henri Marquis de Maulear was scarcely twenty-six, and was what all would have called a handsome man. A fine tall person, delicate features, and a profusion of rich blond hair, curling naturally, justified the appellation which the world, and especially the female portion of it, conferred on him. To these external advantages, was united a brilliant education, rather superficial than serious, and more graceful than solid. He had dipped without examination in everything. He, however, knew it to be essential to seem to understand all the subjects of French conversation, in the saloons of Paris: nothing more.

The Prince Maulear, the only son of whom Henri was, had accompanied the Bourbons in their exile, and been one of the faithful at Mettau and Hartwell. After having undergone banishment with the Princes, his illustrious friends, he returned to France with Louis XVIII. and shared with Messieurs de Blacas, Vitrolles, d'Escars and others, the favor and confidence of the king. A widower, and the recipient of a large fortune from the restoration of the unsold portion of his estates, cold and harsh in behavior, the Prince returned from exile in 1815, with the same ideas he had borne away in 1788. The Prince de Maulear was the true type of those unchangeable prejudices which can neither learn nor forget. He was educated in France by a sister of his mother, the Countess of Grandnesnil, an ancient canoness, a noble lady, who was a second mother to the young Marquis after death had borne away his own. The Countess had not emigrated like her brother-in-law. The care demanded by the delicate health of the heir of the family could not admit of the fatigue of endless travel, made necessary by emigration. Therefore, the heir of the Maulears remained under the charge of the Countess. When he grew up, beneath the ægis of the Countess, he completed his education, and at a later day entered society. She exercised over his mind and heart that influence which affection and the usage of familiar intercourse confer. Watching over him with maternal care, seeking to ascertain his wishes that she might be able to gratify them, making him happy in every way in her power, she was beloved by the Marquis with all his heart. He could not have loved a mother more.

The consequence of this education by a woman was that the moral had somewhat stifled the intellectual. Besides, this kind of fanaticism of the Countess for her nephew, her constant attention to gratify every caprice, her readiness to excuse his faults, even when she should have blamed them severely, made his education vicious as possible, and brought out two faults with peculiar prominence. His character was very weak; and he had great self-confidence. The Prince de Maulear found the son he had left a child in the cradle, a man of twenty-six, and was literally forced to make his acquaintance.

The noble bearing and distinguished manners of the young man pleased him especially. He was also graceful, gallant and brave, and the Prince saw himself restored to youth in the person of his son. He did not make himself uneasy about his sentiments, being satisfied that his son was learned in stable lore, a good rider, skillful in the use of weapons, heroic and enterprising. He rejoiced at his fortune, as it would make Henri happy, and anticipated a brilliant and fortunate career for his son. Henri had no profession, and the Prince procured for him the appointment of secretary of legation to Naples. He had held this post six months when he appears in our history.

Henri had never loved. Much ephemeral gallantry, and many easy conquests, which soon passed away, had occupied his time without touching his heart, and this was his situation when for the first time he saw the White Rose of Sorrento. As we have said, he became sick at the terrible surgical operation. He did not revive until all was over. The unfortunate Tonio had been placed in one of the[Pg 51] rooms of the doctor's house, and the latter declared, that in consideration of the importance of the case, he would himself attend to the patient, and would not leave him until he should have been completely restored, unless, added he, death should remove the responsibility. The Marquis being satisfied that the savior of Aminta would not be neglected, hurried with the doctor to Madame Rovero's villa. Nothing could be more simple and charming, and nothing in Italy had struck him so forcibly. The very look of the house told how happy were its inhabitants. At the extremity of Sorrento, it was surrounded by large trees, and winter seemed never to inflict any severity upon it.

An old servant admitted the strangers. He recognized Maulear, for he had been with Madame when she recovered her daughter.

"Madame expects you, gentlemen," said he, when he saw the young Marquis and the Doctor. "I will accompany you to the room." He went before them to a pretty room on the ground floor, where he left them a short time.

Maulear carefully examined it. All betokened elegant tastes in its occupants. In the middle was an elegant grand piano of Vienna; on the desk the Don Giovanna of Mozart; and on a pedestal near the window an exquisite model of Tasso's house. A round table of Florentine workmanship, of immense value, stood near one side of the apartment. The valuable Mosaics were, however, hidden by a collection of albums, keepsakes, and engravings. There were also on it vases of alabaster, filled with perfumed flowers, and the whole room was lit up by the rays of the setting sun, the brilliancy of which were softened as they passed across the park. Madame Rovero entered with a servant. "Take the Doctor," said she, "to my daughter's room, whither I will come immediately. You, sir," said she, pointing Maulear to a chair, "will please to tell me for what I am your debtor. I am sure your claims are large." He gave Madame Rovero a detailed account of what had happened since he met Aminta in the grotto, until the cruel devotion of Tonio.

"Tonio has told you the truth, Monsieur," said Madame Rovero; "the terrible remedy he had the courage to employ is known in the country to be infallible, though, as yet, few examples of such heroism have occurred. The doctor alone can satisfy us of the safety of my daughter." Madame Rovero moved toward the door to satisfy herself in relation to this engrossing subject, when the doctor entered. She trembled before him like a criminal before a judge, when he seeks to divine the nature of a terrible sentence. "The young lady is in no danger. I have examined the wound carefully; no trace of poison remains. The poor lad has entirely exhausted it." The mother lifted her eyes to heaven in inexpressible gratitude.

"What hopes have you, doctor, of the poor lad?"

"He will live, but that is all science can do."

"Do not neglect one who has so absolute a right to my gratitude."

Turning then to Maulear, she said, "In a few days, Monsieur, my daughter and myself will expect you. She will soon be restored, and we will thank you for your services."

Maulear bade adieu to Mme. Rovero, not as a stranger or acquaintance of a few minutes, but as a friend who leaves a family with whom he is intimate. He left them with regret, as persons to whom he was devoted, and with whom he was willing to pass his life. Within a few hours, a strange change had been wrought in him. Struck with admiration at Aminta, the danger with which he found her surrounded, the successive agitations of the scene, the sweet influence exerted by her on his heart, the alternations of hope and fear, everything combined to disturb the placidity of his withered and somewhat blazé soul which scarcely seemed plastic enough to receive a profound and tender expression. He then experienced for Aminta what he had not amid all that terrible.... The features of the young girl he had borne in his memory, contracted as they were by pain, did not seem to him less charming, and excited a warmer interest than ever. Never before had the most beautiful in all the eclât of dress and manners appeared so attractive as the pale Aminta in her mortal agony. To sum up all, he was in love, and in love for the first time.

Henri left Sorrento with a painful sensation, and returned to Naples, where pleasure and warm receptions awaited him, from the many beauties on whom he expended the "small change" of his heart. As he said himself, he never was ruined by sensitiveness, keeping all the wealth of his heart for a good opportunity. That opportunity was come. He returned to the palace of the embassy, far different in his condition from what he was when he left. With the most perfect sang-froid therefore he read the following note which his valet had given him when he came in—

"The Duke de Palma, minister of police, requests the Marquis de Maulear to pass the evening with him."

Lower down in another hand was written—

"Do not fail. La Felina will sing, and at two o'clock we will have a supper of our intimate friends. You know whether or not you are one of the number."

The Duke of Palma, minister of police of the kingdom of Naples, was one of the friends of Fernando IV. He was not a great minister, but was young and intellectual. His principal merit was that he amused his master, by recounting secret intrigues, whimsical adventures, and delicate affairs, a knowledge of which he acquired by means of his position. Thus he found favor with Fernando, who was not served, but amused and satisfied. Sovereigns who are amused are indulgent. Maulear hesitated a long time before he accepted the invitation. His soul was occupied by new and delicious emotions. It seemed to him to[Pg 52] be profanity to transport them to such a different and dissipated scene. He however shrunk from solitude, and the idea of living apart from Aminta for whole days, made him desire the amusement and excitement promised by the invitation. The entertainment was superb. All the noble, elegant and rich of Naples were bidden. The concert began. The first pieces were scarcely listened to, in consequence of the studiously late entries of many distinguished personages, and of many pretty women, who would not on any account enter incognito either a drawing-room or a theater, and were careful never to come thither until the moment when their presence would attract attention or produce interruption. Silence however pervaded in a short time all the assemblage. The crowd which a moment before had been so agitated became at once calm and mute. A fairy spell seemed to have transfixed them. A fairy was really come—that of music.... The Queen of the theater of Italy, La Bella Felina—that strange sibyl of the ball at San Carlo. The excitement to hear her was great, and the prima donna had immense success. The young woman, by coming to his soirée, did the minister of police a great favor: The singer had during the whole year refused the most brilliant invitations and the largest sums to sing any where but at San Carlo. Thrice she had appeared on the concert gallery, and thrice descended amid immense applause.

Great is the triumph of song. Yet its success is fleeting and ephemeral, and may be annihilated by the merest accident. The glory is frail, the fortune uncertain, of all that emanates from the human throat.

The concert was over and all left. Henri and the intimate friends alone, of whom the Duke spoke, passed into an elegant and retired room into which the minister led La Felina. "Messieurs," said he, "the Signora honors me by partaking of our collation. Let us bow before the Queen of Song and thank her for the honor she confers on us." The cantatrice exhibited no embarrassment at being alone amid so many of another sex, so notorious for the volatility of their manners. Her habitual calm and dignity did not hide a kind of restraint from the observation of Maulear. She replied by a few graceful words to the gallantries of which she was the object. They then all sat down. Many witty remarks were made by the guests. Champagne increased Neapolitan volubility, and heads were beginning to grow light, when the minister seeing that La Felina was ill at ease at the conversation, said, "The supper, Signora, of a minister of police should be unique as that of a banker or senator. Where else would one learn of piquant adventures, scandal, hidden crimes, but at my house, for I am the keeper of all records and the compulsory confessor of all. I wish then to give you another fruit and to tell you of a strange adventure, the hero of which is a person all of you know. That man is Count Monte-Leone."

The name of Monte-Leone, so well known in Naples, created the greatest sensation. All were silent and listened to the Duke of Palma. La Felina became strangely pale.


"You know," said the Duke to his friends, "that the Count Monte-Leone has for a long time professed opinions entirely opposed to the government of our sovereign king Fernando. The heir of the political errors of his unfortunate father, he seems to travel fatally toward the same sad fate. The king long ago bade us close our eyes to the guilty conduct of the young Count. His Majesty was unwilling to continue on the son the rigors to which his father had been subjected. A revelation of great importance forced us to act, and we caused the offender to be arrested for an offence of which he must make a defence before the appointed tribunal. During many months the Count contrived to avoid all efforts made to arrest him. At last, however, in consequence of a youthful escapade in which he should by no means have indulged, his retreat was revealed to us. The house which concealed him and his accomplices was found out on the night of the last ball of San Carlo. The countersign of his associates had been revealed to us by a traitor, and our precautions were so skillfully taken, that the three friends of Monte-Leone were arrested one after the other, at the very door of his house, without in the least rendering the arrest of the Count doubtful. Two hours after, Monte-Leone, arrested by our agents, was borne to the Castle del Uovo, a safe and sure prison, whence as yet no prisoner ever escaped. The report of the chief of the expedition," continued the Duke, "states, that he saw a woman fainting on the floor. He adds, that he thought he had nothing to do with it, his orders relating entirely to the four of whom he obtained possession."

During this preamble La Felina more than once inhaled the perfume of her bouquet. When, however, she looked up, her face expressed no trouble or change.

"The three friends of Count Monte-Leone," said the Duke, "are a Frenchman, a German, and an Italian. The first is the Count of Harcourt, son of the Duke, one of the noblest and most powerful men of France. We cannot fancy how the heir of so noble a family has become involved in such a plot, where persons of his rank have all to lose and nothing to gain. He is a brilliant young madcap, amiable and adventurous, like almost all of his countrymen, and became a conspirator merely for recreation and to while away the time he cannot occupy with love and pleasure. The second is a graver character: the son of a Bohemian pastor, imbued with the philosophic and political opinions of his countrymen, Sand, Koerner, and the ideologists of his country, he dreams of leveling ideas which would set all Europe in a blaze. He has become a conspirator from conviction, is[Pg 53] a madman full of genius, but one of those who must be shut up, before they become furious. The fanatical friendship of this young man to Monte-Leone involved him in the party of which he is the shadow and the reflection. He is a conspirator, ex necessitate, who will never act from his own motive, and who, consequently, is a subject of no apprehension to us, as long as he has no head, no chief to nerve his arm, and urge him onward. We have without any difficulty exonerated Italy from the reproach of containing these three men, without any scandal or violence.... The German on the very night of his arrest was sent to the city of Elbogen, his native city, with recommendations to the paternal care and surveillance of the friendly governments through which he was to pass. The Count of Harcourt has already seen the shores of France. When this brilliant gentleman placed his foot on the deck of the vessel, he was informed that henceforth he was forbidden ever to return to Naples, under penalty of perpetual imprisonment. Young Rovero was confined in this identical palace, until such time as the trial of Count Monte-Leone shall be terminated. I am informed that he does nothing but sigh after a mysterious beauty, the charms and voice of whom are incomparable."

La Felina again put her bouquet to her face.

"I am now come, Messieurs, to the true hero of this romance."

Just then he was interrupted by the sudden entrance of one of his secretaries, who whispered briefly to him, and placed before him a box mysteriously sealed, with this superscription—"To His Excellency Monsignore the Duke of Palma, minister of police, and to him alone."

The countenance of the minister expressed surprise, as his secretary said, "Read, Monsignore, and verify the contents of the box."

The Duke requested his guests' pardon, and unsealed the letter, which he rapidly read. He then opened the box, examined it with curiosity, and without taking out the objects it contained, said, "It is unheard of: it is almost miraculous."

The minister's exclamations put an end to all private conversations, and every eye was turned upon him, "Messieurs," said he with emotion, "I thought I was about to tell you a strange thing, but all that I know has become complicated by so strange an accident, that I am myself amazed—used as I am to mysterious and criminal events."

At a signal, the secretary left, and the Duke continued: "The trial of Count Monte-Leone was prepared. Vaguely accused of being the chief of the secret society, the object of which was the overturning of the monarchy, he might have been acquitted from want of proof of his participation in this dark and guilty work, when three witnesses came forward to charge him with having presided in their own sight over one of the assemblages which in secret discuss of the death of kings by the enemies of law and order.

"On this formal declaration made by three well-known inhabitants of the town of Torre del Greco, devoted to king Fernando, the Count was sought for by the police, arrested as I have told you, and imprisoned in the Castle del Uovo. Every means was taken to make sure of the person of the prisoner. The garrison of the castle was increased, lest there should be some daring coup de main to deliver him. The charge of him was intrusted to the most stern and incorruptible of the jailers, who was however carefully watched by the agents of the government. This excess of precaution had nearly cost the life of the prisoner, from the fact that he was placed in a dungeon into which the sea broke. Judge of my surprise when yesterday, two of the accusers of the Count, the Salvatori, came to my hotel insisting that two days before, just as the population of Torre del Greco was leaving church, their eldest brother Stenio Salvatori had been poignarded at his door by Count Monte-Leone.

"'This evidence,' continued they, 'will be confirmed by all the inhabitants of the town, in the presence of whom the affair happened.' I refused to believe anything so improbable. I told them the Count had been a prisoner several days, and assured them I would have been informed of his escape. Overcome by their persuasions, shaken in my conviction by their oaths, I determined to satisfy myself that the Count was at the prison, and went thither."

The Duke had not deceived the auditors by his promises, for the interest had rapidly increased, and every one listened to his words with intense curiosity. A single person only seemed listless and uninterested. This was La Felina, whose eye never lost sight of the box which the secretary had given the Duke, and which he had shut, so that no one knew the nature of the contents. The Duke resumed his story:

"The new governor of the Castle, whom I had appointed after the inundation, was not informed of my visit. No one expected me, yet all was calm and in good order.

"'Signore,' said I to the governor, 'I am informed that the prisoner I have confided to your charge, the Count Monte-Leone, has escaped from the fortress. If this be so, you know the severity of military law, and must expect its utmost rigor.' As he heard this menace, the governor grew pale. I fancied his change of color came because he was aware of some error, and I awaited his answer with anxiety. 'If the Count has escaped, Monsignore,' he replied, 'it must have been within an hour, for it is not more than twice that time since I saw him.'

"I was amazed. Unwilling as I was to be face to face with the Count, the violence and exasperation of whom I was aware of, I ordered myself to be led to his cell. The jailer threw back the door on its hinges, and far from finding the room unoccupied, I saw him stretched on a bed, and reading a book, which[Pg 54] seemed very much to interest him. He appeared pale and thin. A year had passed since I had seen him, brilliantly and carefully dressed, giving tone to the saloons, the cynosure of which he was. Dignified and haughty, and always polite, even in the coarse dress he wore, the Count rose, recognized, and bowed to me. 'I did not,' said he, 'expect the honor of a visit from his excellency the minister of police, and would have wished to receive him in my palace. As the state of affairs is, however, he must be satisfied with the rude hospitality of the humble room I occupy.' He offered me his only stool. I said, 'Not I, Count, but yourself, have been the cause that you are thus situated. If you had chosen, you might have lived happy, free, and esteemed, as your rank and birth entitled you. Remember that all must be attributed to yourself, if you exchange all these advantages for the solitude of a prison and the dangers which your opinions have brought on you.' 'Shall I dare to ask, Monsignore, is the visit I receive an act of benevolence, or of official duty?' 'I am come hither, Count, from duty. The rumor of your escape is spread everywhere. A crime committed on the day before yesterday in the vicinity of Naples is attributed to you, and I am come to ascertain here if there be any foundation for the accusation.' The Count laughed. 'Monsignore,' said he, 'one never leaves this place except under the charge of keepers. As for the new crime of which I am accused, and of which I know nothing, I trust that the good sense of the judges will think me innocent as of the imaginary offenses which brought me hither.'

"The calmness and sang-froid of Monte-Leone, the improbability of the story told me, excited a trouble and confusion which did not escape the observation of the prisoner. 'Monsignore,' said he, 'we have met under happier circumstances. I expect and ask a favor from no one. I can however ask an indulgence from so old an acquaintance as yourself. Hurry on my trial! The preliminary captivity I undergo is one of the greatest outrages of the law. While a man is uncondemned he should not be punished. God does not send any one to hell untried and uncondemned. My life is sad here. This book, the only one allowed me,' said he, presenting me with it open at the page where he had been reading when I entered, 'this great book, De Consolatione Philosophiæ of Anicius Severinus Boethius, does not console but afflicts me; for in spite of myself I remember that the author, imprisoned by a tyrant at Pavia, terminated in torture a life of glory. If such be my fate, signore,—if I am guilty, the punishment is great enough: if I am not guilty, it is too great.'

"I was touched by this logical reasoning. Far more influence however was exerted on me by his noble tranquillity and the natural dignity misfortune often kindles up in the noblest souls. 'Count,' said I, 'be assured that within a few days you will be placed on trial,' and I retired satisfied with the mistake or falsehood of Monte-Leone's accusers.

"I found the Salvatori at my palace. I told them that they played a terrible game. I said, 'If you had brought a false charge against a young man at liberty, and on the head of whom there lay no accusation, your crime would be capital, and you would be vulgar calumniators, such as are too often made infamous by our criminal records. This matter is however so complicated by revenge that it will excite general horror, and draw on you all the severity of the law. Count Monte-Leone, whom you accused of having poignarded your brother, is now in the Castle del Uovo, which I left a few minutes ago, and where I saw him.'

"Nothing can describe the singular expression of the faces of the two men as they listened. But they still persisted that they had spoken the truth, and were sternly dismissed by me, affirming that they would prove all they had said. They have kept their word, and here is the evidence," said the Duke, opening the box and exhibiting a glittering ring, on which was engraved the escutcheon of Monte-Leone.

"This ring," said he, "is acknowledged to be one of the chef d'œuvres of Benvenuto Cellini. It has an historical fame, and is considered one of the most admirable works of that great artist. Twenty times the government has sought to buy it, but the Monte-Leoni have uniformly refused to part with it. This letter accompanied the precious jewel:

"Monsignore: Heaven has come to our aid. Since our evidence, corroborated by that of all Torre del Greco, could not convince you of the truth of our accusation—since you refuse to believe that Count Monte-Leone, to avenge himself, wounded our brother, we send you this ring, engraved with his arms, which he lost in his contest with Stenio Salvatori, and which God has placed in our hands to confound and to punish him.

"Raphael and Paolo Salvatori."

"All is lost!" said La Felina.

"What now shall we believe?" said the Duke to his guests.


The story of the Duke of Palma was concluded by the last question. All seemed wrapped in doubt in relation to this singular incident. The night was far advanced, and the company separated.

The Duke escorted La Felina to her carriage. Just however as the door was about to close on him, he said: "Would you not like, beautiful Felina, to know the name of the woman at Count Monte-Leone's on the night of the ball?"

"Why ask that question?" said she.

"Because," he said, "I know no one more beautiful or more attractive."

"Her name?" said the singer, with emotion.

"Is La Felina!" said the Duke. "What surprises you?" he added; "a minister of po[Pg 55]lice, from his very office, knows everything." La Felina said to herself, "But he does not!"

The spirited horses bore the carriage rapidly away.

In the story of Monte-Leone the name of Taddeo Rovero had especially arrested the attention of Maulear. Was Taddeo a relation or connection of Aminta? During the few minutes he had passed at Sorrento he had learned nothing of the Roveri, and had asked no questions of Aminta. Allied however by the heart to this family already, he naturally enough took interest in the dangers its members incurred. He therefore determined to return at once and ascertain this fact from the minister, when a note handed to him drove the matter completely from his mind. Thus ran the note:

"Monsieur: My daughter now knows how much she is indebted to you, and the efforts you made to rescue her from the fearful danger which menaced her. The heroic remedy employed by Tonio has luckily succeeded. Aminta is entirely recovered and is unwilling to delay any longer the tribute of gratitude. Let me also, Monsieur, again offer you mine. If you will deign to receive them in our poor villa, we will be delighted to see you there to-day.

Your grateful,

Antonia Rovero."

The heart of Maulear quivered with joy at these words. He would in the course of a few hours see Aminta, the impression of whose beauty had so deeply impressed his heart, and from whom he had fancied he would yet be separated for days. He mounted his best horse and rapidly crossed the distance which separated him from Sorrento. Two hours after the receipt of the letter he knocked at the door of Signora Rovero. The old servant again admitted him.

"The Signorina is in no danger," said he to Maulear, as soon as he saw him. Nothing is more graceful than this familiarity of old servants, who as it were are become from devotion a portion of the family of their masters. "We know," added the good man taking and kissing Maulear's hand respectfully, "that we owe all to your Excellency, who drove away the vipers which otherwise had stung her on the heart, and allowed Tonio no time to rescue her."

There was such an expression of gratitude in the features of the old man, that Maulear was deeply moved.

"The Signora and the Signorina expect you, Count, to thank you." The old man let tears drop on the hand of the Marquis.

"What noble hearts must the mistresses of such servants have," thought Maulear as he stood in waiting.

Signora Rovero hurried to meet him, but not with a cold ceremony. The stranger who had contributed to the salvation of her daughter henceforth was a friend to her. "Come, come," said Signora Rovero, "she expects you."

The door was opened, and they were in the presence of Aminta. The White Rose of Sorrento never vindicated more distinctly her right to the name.

Half reclining on a sofa of pearl velvet, Aminta was wrapped in a large dressing-gown, the vaporous folds of which hung around her. Her face, become yet more pale from suffering, was, as it were, enframed in light clouds of gauze. One might have fancied her a beautiful alabaster statue, but for the two beautiful bandeaus of black and lustrous hair which were drawn around her charming face.

"My child," said Signora Rovero, as she led Henri forward, "the Marquis of Maulear proves that he is not insensible of the value of our thanks, since he has come so promptly to receive them."

"Alas! Signora," said Henri to the mother of Aminta, "the true savior of your daughter is not myself, but the generous lad who risked his own life for hers. God, however, is my witness, that had I been aware I could have thus saved her, I would not have hesitated to employ the means."

The chivalric and impassioned tone with which these words were pronounced, made both mother and daughter look at Henri. The latter, however, immediately cast down her eyes, confused by the passionate expression of his.

"Monsieur," said Aminta, with emotion, "I might doubt such devotion from you, to a person who was a stranger, were I not aware of the nobility and generosity of the French character."

For the first time Maulear heard Aminta speak. She had one of those fresh and sweet voices, so full of melody and persuasion, that every word she spoke had the air of a caress—one of those delicious voices with which a few chosen natures alone are endowed, which are never heard without emotion, and are always remembered with pleasure. If the head and imagination of the Marquis were excited by her charms, his heart submitted to the influence of her angelic voice, for it emanated from her soul; and Maulear, as he heard her delicious notes, thought there was in this young girl something to love besides beauty.

The physician had ordered the patient to repose. He feared the wound made by Tonio's dagger would re-open if she walked. By the side of her sofa, therefore, the hours of Maulear rolled by like seconds.

The father, an educated and dignified man, had superintended, in person, the education of his two children. Wishing neither to separate nor to leave them, for he loved them both alike, his cares were equally divided between them, so that Aminta, profiting by the lessons given to her brother, shared in his masculine and profound education, and acquired information far surpassing that ordinarily received by her sex. The seeds of science had fallen on fertile ground. A studious mind had developed them in meditation[Pg 56] and solitude, and this beautiful child concealed serious merit under a frail and delicate form. These treasures, vailed by modesty, revealed themselves by rare flashes, which soon disappeared, leaving those lucky enough to witness them, dazzled and amazed.

A few brilliant remarks escaped the young girl during Maulear's visit. He could not restrain the expression of his admiration, and Signora Rovero, when she saw her daughter confused, told Maulear, who had been her teacher. In spite of this attractive conversation, one thought was ever present to the mind of Maulear, who was the Taddeo Rovero of whom the minister had spoken? The tranquillity the ladies seemed to enjoy, might be little consonant with the situation of the accomplice of Monte-Leone. Perhaps they did not know his fate. He resolved to satisfy himself.

"Signora," said he to the mother, "there is in Naples a young man named Taddeo Rovero."

"My son—the brother of my daughter; one of the pleasantest men of Naples, whom I regret that I cannot introduce to you. Though he loves us tenderly, our seclusion has little to attract him. City festivities and pleasures often take him from us. Naples is now very brilliant."

The heart of Maulear beat when he heard the poor mother speak of her son's pleasures.

"My brother is the soul of honor and courage," said Aminta, "but his head is easily turned. I fear he is too much under the influence of his best friends."

"My daughter means his best friends," said Signora Rovero, gaily, "the brilliant Count Monte-Leone, one of the proudest nobles of Naples. Taddeo loves him as a brother. But my Aminta has no sympathy with him."

The Marquis was glad to hear Signora Rovero speak thus—and he admired the quick perception of the young girl, who thus, almost by intuition, foresaw the danger into which Monte-Leone had tempted Taddeo.

The dislike of Aminta to Monte-Leone, thus referred to by the Signora Rovero, brought the blood to her cheeks. She blushed to see one of her sentiments thus displayed before a stranger. In the impenetrable sanctuary of her soul, she wished to reserve for herself alone her impressions of pain and sorrow, her antipathies and affections. Besides, by means of one of those inspirations, the effect, but not the reason, of which is perceived by us, Aminta was aware that Maulear was the last man in the world before whom her internal thoughts should be referred to. Maulear comprehended the cause of her embarrassment. He again spoke of Taddeo. Once launched on this theme, Signora Rovero spoke of nothing else but her adored son, of his youth, prospects, and of the hopes she had formed of him. While she thus dreamed of glory and success for Taddeo, the latter was a captive in a secret prison.

"I am astonished," said the Signora, "that my son is so long absent without suffering his sister and myself to hear from him. For fifteen days we have not heard, and I beg you, Marquis, on your return to Naples, to see him, and inform him of the accident which has befallen Aminta. Tell him to come hither as soon as possible."

"I will see him, Signora, and if possible will return him to you."

As he made this reply, Henri promised to use every effort and all his credit to restore the son and brother of these ladies. Just then a sigh was heard in the saloon, and Maulear looked around, surprised, and almost terrified at the agony expressed. Aminta arose, hurried toward the portico, and lifting up the curtain in front of it, cried out, "It is he—it is he! Mother, he calls me! I must go!"

As soon, however, as her foot touched the floor, she uttered a cry of agony. "It is nothing," said she, immediately. "I thought myself strong enough, yet I suffer much; do not mind me, but attend to poor Tonio." Signora Rovero passed into the next room.

"It is he," said Aminta to Maulear, with the greatest emotion. "It is my savior, my foster-brother, whom we have sent for hither, contrary even to the advice of the Doctor. We were, however, unwilling to confide the duty of attending on him to any one. Besides, he would die of despair did he think we forgot him."

Signora Rovero returned. "The sufferings of the poor lad are terrible," said she; "his fever, however, is lessened, his delirium has passed away, and the physician assures me that he will live. Thanks for it are due to God, for if he died Aminta and I would die."

The day was advancing, and Maulear would not leave without seeing Tonio. His eyes were bloodshot, his lips livid and pendent, his cheeks swollen by the cauterization he had undergone. All horror at his appearance, however, disappeared when Maulear remembered what he had done. He looked at him as the early Christians did at martyrs. His eyes were yet humid when he returned to Aminta. The latter perceived his trouble, and gave him her pretty hand with an expression of deep gratitude.

"Thank you, Monsieur," said she, "for your compassion for Tonio. A heart like yours exhibits itself in tears, and I shall not forget those you have shed." These words, at once simple and affecting, touched the heart of Maulear. A great effort was necessary to keep him from falling at the feet of Aminta. Placing his lips respectfully on the hand offered to him, he bade adieu to Signora Rovero, and set out for Naples, bearing with him a precious treasury of memories, hope, anticipation, and wishes—of everything, in fine, which composes the first and most adorable pages of the history of our loves: the charming preface to the yet unread book.

On the next day Maulear visited the Duke[Pg 57] of Palma. "Monsignore," said he to the minister, "I am about to ask you a favor to which I attach immense value. The pardon of young Rovero, who has been, your Excellency tells me, rather imprudent than guilty." The Duke laughed. "His liberty! On my word, Marquis, I would be much obliged if he would accept it."

"What does this mean, Monsignore?" said Maulear.

"That Rovero refuses liberty. The king, fancying that mildness would cure his folly, ordered me to dismiss the novice to his family. I told Rovero. He replied, 'I refuse a pardon—I ask for justice: I am innocent or guilty; if guilty, I deserve punishment; if innocent, let them acquit me. I will not leave this prison except by force, as I entered it.' Thus I have a prisoner in spite of my wish to release him."

"I will see him," said the Marquis, "and will speak to him of his mother."


The Hotel of the Minister of Police at Naples had been constructed on the site and on the foundation of the old palace of the Dukes of Palma, ancestors of the present Duke. Amid the vestiges of the old palace, which still existed, was an ancient chapel, connected with the new edifice. This chapel, abandoned long before, had been changed into a prison, for the reception of persons arrested secretly by the Minister of Police, into the offences of whom he wished to inquire personally, before he turned them over to justice. Of this kind was young Rovero. King Fernando wearied of foolish and ephemeral conspiracies which disturbed, without endangering his monarchy, combated with all his power the disposition of his ministers to be rigorous, and the Duke of Palma to please his master suppressed the various plots which arose everywhere. This indulgent and pacific system did not all comport with the revolutionary ideas of Count Monte-Leone, and the deposition of the brothers Salvatori, united to public rumor, made the arrest of the Count unavoidably necessary beyond all doubt, much to the annoyance of Fernando IV. and his minister. An example was needed. One criminal must be severely punished to terrify all the apostles of dark sedition. The more exalted the rank of the culprit, the greater the effect of the example would be. Young Rovero, by refusing his pardon, subjected the Duke of Palma to a new annoyance. His refusal made a trial necessary, or he would be forced to release him, contrary to his own protestations, and therefore subject the government to the odium of arbitrary injustice and a criminal attack on the liberties of the people. This would be a new theme of declamation for malcontents. The motives assigned by Taddeo for insisting on a trial were specious and dignified. We will however, soon see that they had no reality, and only masked the plans of the prisoner. A strange event had taken place in the old chapel we have mentioned, and in which Rovero was shut up.

Before we relate what follows, we must acquaint the reader with the secret sentiments of young Rovero. All had done justice to the seductive grace, which attracted so many adorers to the feet of the singer. Rovero, the youngest of the band of four, felt far more than admiration for the prima donna. His soul, hitherto untouched by passion, became aware of an emotion of which it had not been cognisant, at the sight of the great artist, the fire and energetic bursts of whom gave so powerful expression to her glances. Rovero had hitherto thought of women only under ordinary conditions, adorned with that timid modesty and grace which seem to call on the ruder sex for protection,—as charming creatures whom God has formed to command in obeying, to triumph by weakness. The young and chaste girl, the seraphic reverie of lovers of twenty, was effaced by the radiant beauty presented him by chance. The native nobility of Felina, her elegant habits, the ardent imagination which had expanded the love of her art, the very practice of her profession which ceaselessly familiarized her with the works of the great masters, with the royal sovereigns she represented, had enhanced her natural dignity, with an almost theatrical majesty, which so perfectly harmonized with her person, so entirely consorted with her habits, form and queenly bearing, that she might have been fancied a Juno or a Semiramis disguised as a noble Neapolitan lady, rather than the reverse, which really was the case. Glittering with these attractions to which Taddeo had hitherto been insensible, she appeared to him: like an enchantress and the modern Circe, dragging an enthusiastic people in her train, and ruling in the morning in her boudoir, which glittered with velvet and gold, and in the evening making three thousand people fanatical with her voice and magic talent, it was not unnatural that she subdued him. The impression produced on Taddeo by La Felina on the evening they were at the Etruscan house, was so keen, so new, so full of surprise and passion, that the young man left the room, less to ascertain what had become of the two friends who had preceded him, than to avoid the fascination exerted on him by the eyes of La Felina. He had not seen her since.

Like Von Apsberg and d'Harcourt, taken in the snare which had been set for him by the police of Naples, Taddeo was captured after a brief but violent contest. It seemed to him that his soul was torn from his body when he was separated from La Felina. He had however previously heard her at San Carlo. Though charmed by her talent and wonderful beauty, the illusion was so perfect that he fancied he saw the Juliet of Zingarelli or the Donna Anna of Mozart, but not a woman to be herself adored,—in one word, the magnificent Felina. The fancy of the Neapolitan was enkindled by the eyes of the[Pg 58] Neapolitan. He did not love, but was consumed. In the cold and solitary cell he had occupied for some days, he forgot danger, his friends, and almost his mother and sister. Rovero thought only of his love. Concentrating all power in his devotion, he evoked La Felina, and in his mind contemplated her. Wild words wrested from him by delirium declared to the phantom all his hopes and fears. In his fancy he ran over all the perfections of this beautiful being. It seemed to him that his idol hovered around the prison, shedding its rays on him, and filling his heart and senses with an ardor the impotence of which he cursed. Religious exaltation, like the enthusiasm of love, assumes in solitude gigantic proportions unknown to the most pious man and most devoted lover living in the world. Long days and endless nights occupied with one idea, fixed and immutable, rising before us like the ghost of Banquo in our dreams, and when we wake, are a sufficient explanation of the martyrs of love, of the cloister, or of the Thebais.

Many days had passed since the Duke of Palma had imprisoned young Rovero. We have already spoken of the ideas which occupied his mind. Ever under the influence of one thought, the life of the young prisoner was but one dream of love, which so excited his imagination that he could scarcely distinguish fiction from reality, and after a troubled sleep he asked if he had addressed his burning declarations to the phantom of the singer or to La Felina herself.

Taddeo in his cell was not subjected to the malicious barbarities with which Monte-Leone had been annoyed. The Duke of Palma wished the inmates of his palace, though they might be prisoners, not to complain of their fare. Taddeo had a bed and not a pallet. He could read and write, it is true only by means of a doubtful light which reached him through the stained windows of the antique chapel. This light however was mottled by the blue cloak of St. Joseph and the purple robe of St. John. Sometimes it fell on the pavement in golden checkers, after having passed through the glory of the Virgin. Still it was the light of day, which is half the sustenance of a prisoner.

On the fourth night after Rovero's arrest, he reposed rather than rested on the only chair in his cell, soothed by the wind which beat on the windows. The rays of the moon passed through the high windows of the old chapel, and the long tresses of moss which overhung them assumed fantastic forms as they swung to and fro at the caprice of the wind. A faint murmur was heard. A white shadow which seemed to rush from the wall passed over the marble pavement toward the prisoner, looked at him carefully, and said, with an accent of joy, "It is either he, or I am mistaken."

The shadow moved on.

After the lapse of a few seconds it was about to disappear, when it was seized by a nervous arm which restrained it. A cry was heard. Rovero, who had at first seen it but vaguely as it approached him, and who had convulsively grasped it, was now thoroughly awakened, and seeing the visitant about to disappear, seized it forcibly. A dense cloud just at that moment vailed the moon, and the cell became as dark as night.

"It is a woman!" said Taddeo, and his heart beat violently. A soft and delicate hand was placed on his lips.

"If you are heard, I am lost!" said his visitor, in a trembling voice.

"Who are you? and what do you want?" said Taddeo, suffering his voice to escape through the delicate fingers which sought to close his lips.

"I am looking for you: what I wish you will know in four days: who I am is a secret, and I rely on your honor not to seek to penetrate it." Then by a rapid movement, the visitor pulled the vail again over her face.

Just then the clouds passed away, and the moon shone brilliantly, lighting up the old chapel, and exhibiting to Taddeo the tall and lithe form of her who held him captive.

One need not like Taddeo have retained the minutest peculiarities of La Felina to render it possible to distinguish her lithe stature and magnificent contour. But his reason could not be convinced, and had not the singer's hand been pressed on his lips he would have fancied that a new dream had evoked the phantom of one of whom he had never ceased to think. "Lift up your vail, Felina," said he. But at the evidence of terror which she exhibited, he resumed. "Do not attempt to deceive me. In your presence my heart could not be mistaken, for it meditates by day and dreams by night of you alone. I know not what good angel has guided you hither, in pity of the torment I have endured since I left you. An hour, Felina, in your presence, has sufficed to enslave my soul forever. Through you have I learned that I have a soul, and by you has the void in my heart been completely filled."

"He loves me!" murmured Felina, with an accent of surprise and deep pity. This however was uttered in so low a tone that the prisoner did not hear her.

"Hear me," said Rovero. "You told us at Monte-Leone's that you loved one of the four."

"True," said the singer, in a feeble voice.

"You said that for him you would sacrifice your life."


"That like an invisible providence you would watch over his life and fate: that this would be the sacred object of your life."

"I also said," Felina answered, "that my love would ever be unknown, and that the secret would die with me."

"Well," said Rovero, "I know him. This man, the ardent passion of whom you divined, to whom you are come as a minister of hope, is before you, is at your feet."[Pg 59]

"How know you that I would not have done as much for each of your friends?"

Taddeo felt a hot iron pass through his soul.

"Hear me," said she; "time is precious. Watched, and the object everywhere of espionage, from motives of which you must ever be ignorant I have penetrated hither, by means of a bold will and efforts which were seconded by chance. I wished to satisfy myself that you were really the person I sought for, and, hidden beneath this vail, and by a yet greater concealment, that of your honor, to remain unknown, and accomplish my purpose, with your cooperation, which otherwise must fail. I was ignorant then of what I know now. I knew not your sentiments, or I would have kept my secret."

"Why fear my love?" said Rovero; "think you I sell my devotion? A love which hesitates is not love. Mine will obey for the pleasure of obeying you. But let your requests be great and difficult to be fulfilled, that you may estimate me by my deeds."

"You have a noble heart, Rovero, and in it I have confidence. God grant your capacity fall not below your courage. In four days you will know what I expect from you."

"And will you," said he, in a voice stifled with emotion, "tell me which of the four you love?"

"You will then know. To you alone will I reveal the secret."

"How can I live until then!" said Rovero, with a sigh.

The sound of footsteps was heard. The sentinels were being relieved. It was growing late, and while Rovero, at a motion from La Felina, went to the door to listen to what was passing, she disappeared like a shadow behind a column. Rovero looked around, and was alone. He examined the walls, attempting to discover the secret issue. No fissure was visible, there was no sign of the smallest opening, and a dumb sound only replied to the blows of Rovero on the wall. He sunk on his chair, and covered his face with his hands, that his thoughts might be distracted by no external object. A few hours afterward the Duke of Palma caused him to be informed of his pardon.

The presence of La Felina had changed everything. The dark walls of the chapel appeared more splendid than those of the palaces of the Doria, Cavalcante, Carafa, or of the Pignatelli. He would not have exchanged the humid walls of his cell for the rich mosaics of the Museo Borbonico, the rival of that of the Vatican. The pavement had been pressed by the feet of La Felina, and Rovero yet fancied that he saw the prints of her footsteps.

Two days after the nocturnal scene we have described, a stranger appeared in the cell of the son of Signora Rovero. "Excuse me, sir," said he to the prisoner, "that I have thus intruded without an introduction. The motive, however, which conducts me hither will admit of no delay, and I am sure you will excuse me when you shall have learned it."

Rovero bowed coldly, fancying that he had to do with some new police agent.

"I am come to appeal to you in behalf of two ladies who worship you, and are inconsolable in your absence."

"Two ladies!" said Rovero, with surprise. Yet, under the empire of passion, he added—"Signor, I love but one." He paused and was much confused by the avowal he had made.

"At least," said the stranger, "you love three; for in a heart like yours family affections and a deeper passion exist together. The ladies of whom I speak, Signor, are your mother and sister."

The prisoner blushed. His adored mother, his beautiful sister, were exiled from his memory! In the presence of a stranger, too, this filial crime was revealed; a despotic passion had made him thus guilty. "Signor," said he, "you have thought correctly. Notwithstanding the forgetfulness of my mind, with which though I protest my heart has nothing to do, their names are dear to me, and I pray you tell me what they expect from me."

"They expect you to return," said the stranger. "A service I rendered them has made me almost a friend, and my interest in them has induced me to come without their consent to speak to you in their behalf."

"Signor," said Rovero, "tell me to whom I have the honor to speak; not that a knowledge of your name will enhance my gratitude, but that I may know to whom I must utter it."

"Signor, I am the Marquis de Maulear. Chance has revealed to me your strange rejection of the liberty which other prisoners would so eagerly grasp at. The minister has informed me of your motives, and, though honorable, permit me to suggest that you do not forget your duty. Did your mother know your condition, her life would be the sacrifice."

Taddeo forgot all when he heard these words, admitting neither of discussion nor of reply.

"Signor," continued Maulear, "what principle, what opinions can combat your desire to see your mother, and to rescue her from despair? Bid the logic of passion and political hatred be still, and hearken only to duty. Follow me, and by the side of your noble mother you will forget every scruple which now retains you."

Rovero for some moments was silent. He then fixed his large black eyes on those of Maulear, and seemed to seek to read his thoughts.

"Marquis," said he, "I scarcely know you, but there is such sincerity in your expression that I have confidence in you, and am about to prove it. Swear on your honor not to betray me, and I will tell you all."

"I swear."

"Well," said Taddeo, hurrying him as far as possible from the door that he might be sure he was not overheard; "I accept the[Pg 60] liberty offered me; but for a reason which I can reveal to no one, I must remain a few days in this cell. Suffer the minister and all to think that I persist in this refusal. In two days I will have changed my plans, and before sunset on the third, I will have returned with you to Sorrento."

Henri, surprised, could not help looking at Rovero.

"Do not question me, Signor, for I cannot reply. I have told you all I can, and not one other word shall leave my mouth."

"I may then tell Signora Rovero, that you will return."

"Announce to her that in me you have found another friend, and that in three days, you will place me in her arms."

Taking Maulear's hand he clasped it firmly.

"Thanks, Signor," said Maulear, "I accept your friendship. With people like you, this fruit ripens quickly. Perhaps, however, you will discover that it has not on that account less flavor and value."

Maulear tapped thrice at the door of the cell; the turnkey appeared, and Henri left, as he went out casting one last look of affection on Taddeo.

Never did time appear so long to Aminta's brother as that which intervened between Maulear's departure and the night he was so anxious for. That night came at last. The keeper brought his evening meal. He did not wish to be asleep as he was on the first occasion, when La Felina visited him. He was unwilling to lose a single moment of her precious visit. Remembering that his preceding nights had been agitated and almost sleepless, apprehensive that he would be overcome by weariness, he resolved to stimulate himself. Like most of the Neapolitans, he was very temperate, and rarely drank wine; he preferred that icy water, flavored with the juice of the orange or lime, of which the people of that country are so fond. He now, however, needed something to keep him awake, and asked for wine.

He approached the table on which his evening meal was placed, he took a flask of Massa wine, one of the best of Naples; he poured out a goblet and drank it, and felt immediately new strength course through his veins.

He sat on his bed and listened anxiously for the slightest sound, to the low accents of the night, to those indescribable sounds which are drowned by the tumults of the day, and of whose existence, silence and night alone make us aware. The hours rolled on, and at every stroke of the clock his heart kept time with every blow of the iron hammer on the bell of bronze. At last the clock struck twelve. Midnight, the time for specters and crimes, was come. A few minutes before the clock sounded, he perceived that the sleep of which he had been so much afraid gradually made his eyelids grow heavy—and that though he sought to overcome the feeling, his drowsiness increased to such a degree that he was forced to sit down.

I spoke in one of my preceding chapters of the tyrannical power exercised by sleep over all organizations, and especially in those situations when man is least disposed to yield to it. Never had this absolute master exercised a more despotic power; this pitiless god seemed to place his iron thumb on the eyes of the prisoner, and to close them by force. A strange oppression of his limbs, an increasing disturbance of his memory and thought, a kind of invincible torpor, rapidly took possession of the young man. Then commenced a painful contest between mind and body,—the latter succumbed. He felt his body powerless, his reason grow dim, and his strength pass away. In vain he sought to see, to hear, to watch, to live, to contend with an enemy which sought to make him senseless, inert and powerless. His head fell upon his bosom and he sank to sleep.

Just then, he heard a light noise, the rustling of a silk dress, and a timid step. With a convulsive effort he opened his eyes, and saw La Felina within a few feet of his bed. Tears rolled down his cheeks, and fell upon the white hand of the singer. She touched Rovero's face to assure herself that he was in reality asleep.


[From the Gem.]

COME to the casement to-night,
And look out at the bright lady-moon;
Come to the casement to-night,
And I'll sing you your favorite tune!
Where the stream glides beside the old tower,
My boat shall be under the wall,—
Oh, dear one! be there in your bower,
With Byron, a lamp, and your shawl.
Oh! come where no troublesome eye
Can look on the vigil love keeps;
When there is not a cloud in the sky,
What maid, but an old maiden, sleeps?
And you know not how sweet is the tone
Of a song from a lip we have press'd,
When it breathes it "by moonlight alone,"
To the ear of the one it loves best.
Oh! daylight love's music but mars,
(As it breaks up the dance of the elves!)
The moon and the stream and the stars,
Should hear it alone with ourselves:
And who'd be content with "I may,"
If they only would think of "I might?"
Or who'd listen to music by day,
That had listened to music by night?
The Opera's over by one,
Lady Jersey's grows stupid at two;
I'll dance just one waltz, and have done,
Then be off, on the pony, for Kew!
My boat holds a cloak—a guitar,
And it waits by that dark bridge for me:
And I'll row, by the light of one star,
Love's own, to the old tower, by three!
I'll bring you that sweet canzonette,
That we practiced together last year;
And my own little miniature set
Round with emeralds—tis such a dear!
You promised you'd love me as long
As your heart felt me close to it, there;
And, dear one! for that and the song,
Won't you give me the locket of hair?
Farewell, sweet! be not in a fright,
Should your grandmamma bid you beware
Of a youth, who was murdered one night,
And whose ghost haunts the dark waters there:
For you know, ever since his decease,
Of a harmless young ghost that's allow'd
To go, by the River Police,
Serenading about in his shroud!

[Pg 61]

[From the Dublin University Magazine.]


MORE than a century ago—we know not whether the revolution has left a vestige of it—there stood an old chateau, backed by an ancient and funereal forest, and approached through an interminable straight avenue of frowning timber, somewhere about fifteen leagues from Paris, and visible from the great high road to Rouen.

The appliances of comfort had once been collected around it upon a princely scale; extensive vineyards, a perfect wood of fruit-trees, fish-ponds, mills, still remained, and a vast park, abounding with cover for all manner of game, stretched away almost as far as the eye could reach.

But the whole of this palatial residence was now in a state of decay and melancholy neglect. A dilapidated and half-tenanted village, the feudal dependency of the seignorial domain, seemed to have sunk with the fortunes of its haughty protector. The steep roofs of the Chateau de Charrebourg and its flanking towers, with their tall conical caps, were mournfully visible in the sun among the rich foliage that filled the blue hazy distance, and seemed to overlook with a sullen melancholy the village of Charrebourg that was decaying beneath it.

The Visconte de Charrebourg, the last of a long line of ancient seigneurs, was still living, and though not under the ancestral roof of his chateau, within sight of its progressive ruin, and what was harder still to bear, of its profanation; for his creditors used it as a storehouse for the produce of the estate, which he thus saw collected and eventually carted away by strangers, without the power of so much as tasting a glass of its wine or arresting a single grain of its wheat himself. And to say the truth, he often wanted a pint of the one and a measure or two of the other badly enough.

Let us now see for ourselves something of his circumstances a little more exactly. The Visconte was now about seventy, in the enjoyment of tolerable health, and of a pension of nine hundred francs (£36) per annum, paid by the Crown. His creditors permitted him to occupy, besides, a queer little domicile, little better than a cottage, which stood just under a wooded hillock in the vast wild park. To this were attached two or three Lilliputian paddocks, scarcely exceeding an English acre altogether. Part of it, before the door, a scanty bit we allow, was laid a little parterre of flowers, and behind the dwelling was a small bowling-green surrounded by cherry-trees. The rest was cultivated chiefly for the necessities of the family. In addition to these concessions his creditors permitted him to shoot rabbits and catch perch for the use of his household, and that household consisted of three individuals—the Visconte himself, his daughter Lucille (scarcely seventeen years of age), and Dame Marguerite, in better times her nurse—now cook, housemaid, and all the rest.

Contrast with all this what he had once been, the wealthy Lord of Charrebourg, the husband of a rich and noble wife, one of the most splendid among the satellites of a splendid court. He had married rather late, and as his reverses had followed that event in point of time, it was his wont to attribute his misfortunes to the extravagance of his dear and sainted helpmate, "who never could resist play and jewelry." The worthy Visconte chose to forget how much of his fortune he had himself poured into the laps of mistresses, and squandered among the harpies of the gaming-table. The result however was indisputable, by whatever means it had been arrived at, the Visconte was absolutely beggared.

Neither had he been very fortunate in his family. Two sons, who, together with Lucille, had been the fruit of his marriage, had both fallen, one in a duel, the other in a madcap adventure in Naples.

And thus of course ended any hope of seeing his fortunes even moderately reconstructed.

We must come now to the lonely dwelling which serves all that is left of the family of Charrebourg for a palace. It is about the hour of five o'clock in the afternoon of a summer's day. Dame Marguerite has already her preparations for supper in the kitchen. The Visconte has gone to the warren to shoot rabbits for to-morrow's dinner. Two village lads, who take a pleasure in obliging poor old Marguerite—of course neither ever thinks of Lucille—have just arrived at the kitchen door. Gabriel has brought fresh spring water, which, from love of the old cook, he carries to the cottage regularly every morning and evening. Jacque has brought mulberries for "the family," from a like motive. The old woman has pronounced Jacque's mulberries admirable; and with a smile tapped Gabriel on the smooth brown cheek, and called him her pretty little water carrier. They loiter there as long as they can; neither much likes the other; each understands what his rival is about perfectly well; neither chooses to go while the other remains.

Jacque, sooth to say, is not very well favored, sallow, flat-faced, with lank black hair, small, black, cunning eyes, and a wide mouth; he has a broad square figure, and a saucy swagger. Gabriel is a slender lad, with brown curls about his shoulders, ruddy brown face, and altogether good-looking. These two rivals, you would say, were very unequally matched.

Poor Gabriel! he has made knots to his knees of salmon-color and blue, the hues of the Charrebourg livery. It is by the mute eloquence of such traits of devotion that his passion humbly pleads. He wishes to belong to her. When first he appears before her in[Pg 62] these tell-tale ribbons, the guilty knees that wear them tremble beneath him. He thinks that now she must indeed understand him—that the murder will out at last. But, alas! she, and all the stupid world beside, see nothing in them but some draggled ribbons. He might as well have worn buckles—nay, better; for he suspects that cursed Jacque understands them. But in this, indeed, he wrongs him; the mystery of the ribbons is comprehended by himself alone.

He and Jacque passed round the corner of the quaint little cottage; they were crossing the bowling-green.

"And so," sighed poor Gabriel, "I shall not see her to-day."

"Hey! Gabriel! Jacque! has good Marguerite done with you?—then play a game of bowls together to amuse me."

The silvery voice that spoke these words came from the coral lips of Lucille. Through the open casement, clustered round with wreaths of vine in the transparent shade, she was looking out like a portrait of Flora in a bowering frame of foliage. Could anything be prettier?

Gabriel's heart beat so fast that he could hardly stammer forth a dutiful answer; he could scarcely see the bowls. The beautiful face among the vine-leaves seemed everywhere.

It would have been worth one's while to look at that game of bowls. There was something in the scene at once comical and melancholy. Jacque was cool, but very clumsy. Gabriel, a better player, but all bewildered, agitated, trembling. While the little daughter of nobility, in drugget petticoat, her arms resting on the window-sill, looked out upon the combatants with such an air of unaffected and immense superiority as the queen of beauty in the gallery of a tilting-yard might wear while she watched the feats of humble yeomen and villein archers. Sometimes leaning forward with a grave and haughty interest; sometimes again showing her teeth, like little coronels of pearl, in ringing laughter, in its very unrestrainedness as haughty as her gravity. The spirit of the noblesse, along with its blood, was undoubtedly under that slender drugget bodice. Small suspicion had that commanding little damsel that the bipeds who were amusing her with their blunders were playing for love of her. Audacity like that was not indeed to be contemplated.

"Well, Gabriel has won, and I am glad of it, for I think he is the better lad of the two," she said, with the prettiest dogmatism conceivable. "What shall we give you, Gabriel, now that you have won the game? let me see."

"Nothing, Mademoiselle—nothing, I entreat," faltered poor Gabriel, trembling in a delightful panic.

"Well, but you are hot and tired, and have won the game beside. Marguerite shall give you some pears and a piece of bread."

"I wish nothing, Mademoiselle," said poor Gabriel, with a melancholy gush of courage, "but to die in your service."

"Say you so?" she replied, with one of those provokingly unembarrassed smiles of good-nature which your true lovers find far more killing than the cruelest frown; "it is the speech of a good villager of Charrebourg. Well, then, you shall have them another time."

"But, as your excellence is so good as to observe, I have won the game," said Gabriel, reassured by the sound of his own voice, "and to say I should have something as—as a token of victory, I would ask, if Mademoiselle will permit, for my poor old aunt at home, who is so very fond of those flowers, just one of the white roses which Mademoiselle has in her hand; it will give her so much pleasure."

"The poor old woman! Surely you may pluck some fresh from the bush; but tell Marguerite, or she will be vexed."

"But, Mademoiselle, pardon me, I have not time: one is enough, and I think there are none so fine upon the tree as that; besides, I know she would like it better for having been in Mademoiselle's hand."

"Then let her have it by all means," said Lucille; and so saying, she placed the flower in Gabriel's trembling fingers. Had he yielded to his impulse, he would have received it kneeling. He was intoxicated with adoration and pride; he felt as if at that moment he was the sultan of the universe, but her slave.

The unconscious author of all this tumult meanwhile had left the window. The rivals were tête-à-tête upon the stage of their recent contest. Jacque stood with his hand in his breast, eyeing Gabriel with a sullen sneer. He held the precious rose in his hand, and still gazed at the vacant window.

"And so your aunt loves a white rose better than a slice of bread?" ejaculated Jacque. "Heaven! what a lie—ha, ha, ha!"

"Well, I won the game and I won the rose," said Gabriel, tranquilly. "I can't wonder you are a little vexed."

"Vexed?—bah! I thought she would have offered you a piece of money," retorted Jacque; "and if she had, I venture to say we should have heard very little about that nice old aunt with the penchant for white roses."

"I'm not sordid, Jacque," retorted his rival; "and I did not want to put Mademoiselle to any trouble."

"How she laughed at you, Gabriel, your clumsiness and your ridiculous grimaces; but then you do make—ha, ha, ha!—such very comical faces while the bowls are rolling, I could not blame her."

"She laughed more at you than at me," retorted Gabriel, evidently nettled. "You talk of clumsiness and grimaces—upon my faith, a pretty notion."

"Tut, man, you must have been deaf. You amused her so with your writhing, and[Pg 63] ogling, and grinning, and sticking your tongue first in this cheek and then in that, according as the bowl rolled to one side or the other, that she laughed till the very tears came; and after all that, forsooth, she wanted to feed you like a pig on rotten pears; and then—ha, ha, ha!—the airs, the command, the magnificence. Ah, la! it was enough to make a cow laugh."

"You are spited and jealous; but don't dare to speak disrespectfully of Mademoiselle in my presence, sirrah," said Gabriel, fiercely.

"Sirrah me no sirrahs," cried Jacque giving way at last to an irrepressible explosion of rage and jealousy. "I'll say what I think, and call things by their names. You're an ass, I tell you—an ass; and as for her, she's a saucy, impertinent little minx, and you and she, and your precious white rose, may go in a bunch to the devil together."

And so saying, he dealt a blow with his hat at the precious relic. A quick movement of Gabriel's, however, arrested the unspeakable sacrilege. In an instant Jacque was half frightened at his own audacity; for he knew of old that in some matters Gabriel was not to be trifled with, and more than made up in spirit for his disparity in strength. Snatching up a piece of fire-wood in one hand, and with the other holding the sacred flower behind him, Gabriel rushed at the miscreant Jacque, who, making a hideous grimace and a gesture of ridicule, did not choose to await the assault, but jumped over the low fence, and ran like a Paynim coward before a crusader of old. The stick flew whizzing by his ear. Gabriel, it was plain, was in earnest; so down the woody slope toward the stream the chase swept headlong; Jacque exerting his utmost speed, and Gabriel hurling stones, clods, and curses after him. When, however, he had reached the brook, it was plain the fugitive had distanced him. Pursuing his retreat with shouts of defiance, he here halted, hot, dusty, and breathless, inflamed with holy rage and chivalric love, like a Paladin after a victory.

Jacque meanwhile pursued his retreat at a slackened pace, and now and then throwing a glance behind him.

"The fiend catch him!" he prayed. "I'll break his bird-traps and smash his nets, and I'll get my big cousin, the blacksmith, to drub him to a jelly."

But Gabriel was happy: he was sitting under a bush, lulled by the trickling of the stream, and alone with his visions and his rose.

The noble demoiselle in the mean time took her little basket, intending to go into the wood and gather some wild strawberries, which the old Visconte liked; and as she never took a walk without first saluting her dear old Marguerite—

"Adieu, ma bonne petite maman," she said, running up to that lean and mahogany-complexioned dame, and kissing her heartily on both cheeks; "I am going to pick strawberries."

"Ah, ma chere mignonne, I wish I could again see the time when the lackeys in the Charrebourg blue and salmon, and covered all over with silver lace, would have marched behind Mademoiselle whenever she walked into the park. Parbleu, that was magnificence!"

"Eh bien, nurse," said the little lady, decisively and gravely, "we shall have all that again."

"I hope so, my little pet—why not?" she replied, with a dreary shrug, as she prepared to skewer one of the eternal rabbits.

"Ay, why not?" repeated the demoiselle, serenely. "You tell me, nurse, that I am beautiful, and I think I am."

"Beautiful—indeed you are, my little princess," she replied, turning from the rabbit, and smiling upon the pretty questioner until her five thin fangs were all revealed. "They said your mother was the greatest beauty at court; but, ma foi! she was never like you."

"Well, then, if that be true, some great man will surely fall in love with me, you know, and I will marry none that is not richer than ever my father, the Visconte, was—rely upon that, good Marguerite."

"Well, my little pet, bear that in mind, and don't allow any one to steal your heart away, unless you know him to be worthy."

At these words Lucille blushed—and what a brilliant vermilion—averted her eyes for a moment, and then looked full in her old nurse's face.

"Why do you say that, Marguerite?"

"Because I feel it, my pretty little child," she replied.

"No, no, no, no," cried Lucille, still with a heightened color, and looking with her fine eyes full into the dim optics of the old woman; "you had some reason for saying that—you know you had!"

"By my word of honor, no," retorted the old woman, in her turn surprised—"no, my dear; but what is the matter—why do you blush so?"

"Well, I shall return in about an hour," said Lucille, abstractedly, and not heeding the question; and then with a gay air she tripped singing from the door, and so went gaily down the bosky slope to the edge of the wood.


Lucille had no sooner got among the mossy roots of the trees, than her sylvan task commenced, and the fragrant crimson berries began to fill her basket. Her little head was very busy with all manner of marvelous projects; but this phantasmagoria was not gloomy; on the contrary, it was gorgeous and pleasant; for the transparent green shadow of the branches and the mellow singing of the birds toned her daydreams with their influence.[Pg 64]

In the midst of those airy pageants she was interrupted by a substantial and by no means unprepossessing reality. A gentleman of graceful form and mien, dressed in a suit of sky-blue and silver, with a fowling-piece in his hand, and followed closely by a bare-legged rustic, carrying a rude staff and a well-stored game-bag, suddenly emerged from behind a mass of underwood close by. It was plain that he and Lucille were acquainted, for he instantly stopped, signing to his attendant to pursue his way, and raising his three-cornered hat, bowed as the last century only could bow, with an inclination that was at once the expression of chivalry and ease. His features were singularly handsome, but almost too delicate for his sex, pale, and with a certain dash of melancholy in their noble intelligence.

"You here, Monsieur Dubois!" exclaimed Lucille, in a tone that a little faltered, and with a blush that made her doubly beautiful. "What strange chance has conducted you to this spot?"

"My kind star—my genius—my good angel, who thus procures me the honor of beholding Mademoiselle de Charrebourg—an honor than which fortune has none dearer to me—no—none half so prized."

"These are phrases, sir."

"Yes; phrases that expound my heart. I beseech you bring them to the test."

"Well, then," she said, gravely, "let us see. Kneel down and pick the strawberries that grow upon this bank; they are for the Visconte de Charrebourg."

"I am too grateful to be employed."

"You are much older, Monsieur, than I."

"No doubt."

"And have seen more of the world, too."

"True, Mademoiselle," and he could not forbear smiling.

"Well, then, you ought not to have tried to meet me in the park so often as you did—or indeed at all—you know very well you ought not."

"But, Mademoiselle, what harm can the most ill-natured of human critics discover——"

"Oh, but listen to me. I begin to fear I have been wrong in talking to you as I have done; and if so, you ought not to have presented yourself to me as you did. I have reflected on it since. In fact, I don't know who you are, Monsieur Dubois. The Charrebourgs do not use to make companions of everybody; and you may be a roturier, for anything I can tell."

Monsieur Dubois smiled again.

"I see you laugh because we are poor," she said, with a heightened color and a flashing glance.

"Mademoiselle misunderstands me. I am incapable of that. There is no point at which ridicule can approach the family of Charrebourg."

"That is true, sir," she said, haughtily; and she added, "and on that account I need not inquire wherefore people smile. But this seems plain to me—that I have done very wrong in conversing alone with a gentleman of whom I know nothing beyond his name. You must think so yourself, though you will not say it; and as you profess your willingness to oblige me, I have only to ask that all these foolish conversations may be quite forgotten between us. And now the petit pannier is filled, and it is time that I should return. Good evening, Monsieur Dubois—farewell."

"This is scarcely a kind farewell, considering that we have been good friends, Mademoiselle de Charrebourg, for so long."

"Good friends—yes—for a long time; but you know," she continued, with a sad, wise shake of her pretty head, "I ought not to allow gentlemen whom I chance to meet here to be my friends—is it not so? This has only struck me recently, Monsieur Dubois; and I am sure you used to think me very strange. But I have no one to advise me; I have no mother—she is dead; and the Visconte seldom speaks to me; and so I fear I often do strange things without intending; and—and I have told you all this, because I should be sorry you thought ill of me, Monsieur Dubois."

She dropped her eyes for a moment to the ground, with an expression at once very serious and regretful.

"Then am I condemned to be henceforward a stranger to dear Mademoiselle de Charrebourg?"

"I have told you all my thoughts, Monsieur Dubois," she answered, in a tone whose melancholy made it nearly as tender as his own. But, perhaps, some idea crossed her mind that piqued her pride; for suddenly recollecting herself, she added, in a tone it may be a little more abrupt and haughty than her usual manner—

"And so, Monsieur Dubois, once for all, good evening. You will need to make haste to overtake your peasant attendant; and as for me, I must run home now—adieu."

Dubois followed her hesitatingly a step or two, but stopped short. A slight flush of excitement—it might be of mortification—hovered on his usually pale cheek. It subsided, however, and a sudden and more tender character inspired his gaze, as he watched her receding figure, and followed its disappearance with a deep sigh.

But Monsieur Dubois had not done with surprises.

"Holloa! sir—a word with you," shouted an imperious voice, rendered more harsh by the peculiar huskiness of age.

Dubois turned, and beheld a figure, which penetrated him with no small astonishment, advancing toward him with furious strides. We shall endeavor to describe it.

It was that of a very tall, old man, lank and upright, with snow-white mustaches, beard, and eyebrows, all in a shaggy and neglected state. He wore an old coat of[Pg 65] dark-gray serge, gathered at the waist by a belt of undressed leather, and a pair of gaiters, of the same material, reached fully to his knees. From his left hand dangled three rabbits, tied together by the feet, and in his right he grasped the butt of his antiquated fowling-piece, which rested upon his shoulder. This latter equipment, along with a tall cap of rabbit skins, which crowned his head, gave him a singular resemblance to the old prints of Robinson Crusoe; and as if the tout ensemble was not grotesque enough without such an appendage, a singularly tall hound, apparently as old and feeble, as lank and as gray as his master, very much incommoded by the rapidity of his pace, hobbled behind him. A string scarce two yards long, knotted to his master's belt, was tied to the old collar, once plated with silver, that encircled his neck, and upon which a close scrutiny might have still deciphered the armorial bearings of the Charrebourgs.

There was a certain ludicrous sympathy between the superannuated hound and his master. While the old man confronted the stranger, erect as Don Quixote, and glaring upon him in silent fury, as though his eyeballs would leap from their sockets, the decrepit dog raised his bloodshot, cowering eyes upon the self-same object, and showing the stumps of his few remaining fangs, approached him with a long, low growl, like distant thunder. The man and his dog understood one another perfectly. Conscious, however, that there might possibly be some vein of ridicule in this manifest harmony of sentiment, he bestowed a curse and a kick upon the brute, which sent it screeching behind him.

"It seems, sir, that you have made the acquaintance of Mademoiselle de Charrebourg?" he demanded, in a tone scarcely less discordant than those of his canine attendant.

"Sir, I don't mean to consult you upon the subject."

Robinson Crusoe hitched his gun, as though he was about to "let fly" at the invader of his solitudes.

"I demand your name, sir."

"And I don't mean to give it."

"But give it you shall, sir, by ——."

"It is plain you understand catching rabbits and dressing their skins better than conversing with gentlemen," said the stranger, as with a supercilious smile he turned away.

"Stay, sir," cried the old gentleman, peremptorily, "or I shall slip my dog upon you."

"If you do, I'll shoot him."

"You have insulted me, sir. You wear a couteau de chasse—so do I. Destiny condemns the Visconte de Charrebourg to calamity, but not to insult. Draw your sword."

"The Visconte de Charrebourg!" echoed Dubois, in amazement.

"Yes, sir—the Visconte de Charrebourg, who will not pocket an affront because he happens to have lost his revenues."

Who would have thought that any process could possibly have metamorphosed the gay and magnificent courtier, of whose splendid extravagance Dubois had heard so many traditions, into this grotesque old savage.

"There are some houses, and foremost among the number that of Charrebourg," said the young man, with marked deference, raising his hat, "which no loss of revenue can possibly degrade, and which, associated with the early glories of France, gain but a profounder title to our respect, when their annals and descent are consecrated by the nobility of suffering."

Nebuchadnezzar smiled.

"I entreat that Monsieur le Visconte will pardon what has passed under a total ignorance of his presence."

The Visconte bowed, and resumed, gravely but more placidly—

"I must then return to my question, and ask your name."

"I am called Dubois, sir."

"Dubois! hum! I don't recollect, Monsieur Dubois, that I ever had the honor of being acquainted with your family."

"Possibly not, sir."

"However, Monsieur Dubois, you appear to be a gentleman, and I ask you, as the father of the noble young lady who has just left you, whether you have established with her any understanding such as I ought not to approve—in short, any understanding whatsoever?"

"None whatever, on the honor of a gentleman. I introduced myself to Mademoiselle de Charrebourg, but she has desired that our acquaintance shall cease, and her resolution upon the subject is, of course, decisive. On the faith of a gentleman, you have there the entire truth frankly stated."

"Well, Monsieur Dubois, I believe you," said the Visconte, after a steady gaze of a few seconds; "and I have to add a request, which is this—that, unless through me, the acquaintance may never be sought to be renewed. Farewell, sir. Come along, Jonquil!" he added, with an admonition of his foot, addressed to the ugly old brute who had laid himself down. And so, with a mutual obeisance, stiff and profound, Monsieur Dubois and the Visconte de Charrebourg departed upon their several ways.

When the old Visconte entered his castle, he threw the three rabbits on the table before Marguerite, hung his fusil uncleaned upon the wall, released his limping dog, and stalked past Lucille, who was in the passage, with a stony aspect, and in total silence. This, however, was his habit, and he pursued his awful way into his little room of state, where seated upon his high-backed, clumsy throne of deal, with his rabbit-skin tiara on his head, he espied a letter, with a huge seal, addressed to him, lying on his homely table.

"Ha! hum. From M. Le Prun. The ostentation of the Fermier-General! the vulgarity of the bourgeois, even in a letter!"

Alone as he was, the Visconte affected a sneer of tranquil superiority; but his hand[Pg 66] trembled as he took the packet and broke the seal. Its contents were evidently satisfactory: the old man elevated his eyebrows as he read, sniffed twice or thrice, and then yielded to a smile of irrepressible self-complacency.

"So it will give him inexpressible pleasure, will it, to consult my wishes. Should he become the purchaser of the Charrebourg estate, he entreats—ay, that is the word—that I will not do him the injustice to suppose him capable of disturbing me in the possession of my present residence." The Visconte measured the distance between the tiled floor and the ceiling, with a bitter glance, and said, "So our bourgeois-gentilhomme will permit the Visconte de Charrebourg—ha, ha—to live in this stinking hovel for the few years that remain to him; but, par bleu, that is fortune's doing, not his. I ought not to blame this poor bourgeois—he is only doing what I asked him. He will also allow me whatever 'privileges' I have hitherto enjoyed—that of killing roach in the old moat and rabbits in the warren; scarce worth the powder and shot I spend on them. Eh, bien! after all what more have I asked for? He is also most desirous to mark, in every way in his power, the profound respect he entertains for the Visconte de Charrebourg. How these fellows grimace and caricature when they attempt to make a compliment! but he can't help that, and he is trying to be civil. And, see, here is a postscript I omitted to read."

He readjusted his spectacles. It was thus conceived:—

"P.S.—I trust the Visconte de Charrebourg will permit me the honor of waiting upon him, to express in person my esteem and respect; and that he will also allow me to present my little niece to Mademoiselle de Charrebourg, as they are pretty nearly of the same age, and likely, moreover, to become neighbors."

"Yes," he said, pursuing a train of self-gratulation, suggested by this postscript; "it was a coup of diplomacy worthy of Richelieu himself, the sending Lucille in person with my letter. The girl has beauty; its magic has drawn all these flowers and figures from the pen of that dry old schemer. Ay, who knows, she may have fortune before her; were the king to see her——"

But here he paused, and, with a slight shake of the head, muttered, "Apage sathanas!"


The Visconte ate his supper in solemn silence, which Lucille dared not interrupt, so that the meal was far from cheerful. Shortly after its conclusion, however, the old man announced in a few brief sentences, as much of the letter he had just received as in any wise concerned her to know.

"See you and Marguerite to the preparations; let everything, at least, be neat. He knows, as all the world does, that I am miserably poor; and we can't make this place look less beggarly than it is; but we must make the best of it. What can one do with a pension of eight hundred francs—bah!"

The latter part of this speech was muttered in bitter abstraction.

"The pension is too small, sir."

He looked at her with something like a sneer.

"It is too small, sir, and ought to be increased."

"Who says so?"

"Marguerite has often said so, sir, and I believe it. If you will petition the king, he will give you something worthy of your rank."

"You are a pair of wiseheads, truly. It cost the exertions of powerful friends, while I still had some, to get that pittance; were I to move in the matter now, it is more like to lead to its curtailment than extension."

"Yes, but the king admires beauty, and I am beautiful," she said, with a blush that was at once the prettiest, the boldest, and yet the purest thing imaginable; "and I will present your petition myself."

Her father looked at her for a moment with a gaze of inquiring wonder, which changed into a faint, abstracted smile; but he rose abruptly from his seat with a sort of shrug, as if it were chill, and, muttering his favorite exorcism, "Apage sathanas!" walked with a flurried step up and down the room. His face was flushed, and there was something in its expression which forbade her hazarding another word.

It was not until nearly half an hour had elapsed that the Visconte suddenly exclaimed, as if not a second had interposed—

"Well, Lucille, it is not quite impossible; but you need not mention it to Marguerite."

He then signed to her to leave him, intending, according to his wont, to find occupation for his solitary hours in the resources of his library. This library was contained in an old chest; consisted of some score of shabby volumes of all sizes, and was, in truth, a queer mixture. It comprised, among other tomes, a Latin Bible and a missal, in intimate proximity with two or three other volumes of that gay kind which even the Visconte de Charrebourg would have blushed and trembled to have seen in the hands of his child. It resembled thus the heterogeneous furniture of his own mind, with an incongruous ingredient of superinduced religion; but, on the whole, unpresentable and unclean. He took up the well-thumbed Vulgate, in which, of late years, he had read a good deal, but somehow, it did not interest him at that moment. He threw it back again, and suffered his fancy to run riot among schemes more exciting and, alas! less guiltless. His daughter's words had touched an evil chord in his heart—she had unwittingly uncaged the devil that lurked within him; and this guardian angel from the pit was playing, in truth, very ugly pranks with his ambitious imagination.

Lucille called old Marguerite to her bed[Pg 67]room, and there made the astonishing disclosure of the promised visit; but the old woman, though herself very fussy in consequence, perceived no corresponding excitement in her young mistress; on the contrary, she was sad and abstracted.

"Do you remember," said Lucille, after a long pause, "the story of the fair demoiselle of Alsace you used to tell me long ago? How true her lover was, and how bravely he fought through all the dangers of witchcraft and war to find her out again and wed her, although he was a noble knight, and she, as he believed, but a peasant's daughter. Marguerite, it is a pretty story. I wonder if gentlemen are as true of heart now?"

"Ay, my dear, why not? love is love always; just the same as it was of old is it now, and will be while the world wags."

And with this comforting assurance their conference ended.

The very next day came the visit of Monsieur Le Prun and his niece. The Fermier-General was old and ugly, there is no denying it; he had a shrewd, penetrating eye, moreover, and in the lines of his mouth were certain unmistakable indications of habitual command. When his face was in repose, indeed, its character was on the whole forbidding. But in repose it seldom was, for he smiled and grimaced with an industry that was amazing.

His niece was a pretty little fair-haired girl of sixteen, with something sad and even funeste in her countenance. The fragile timidity of the little blonde contrasted well with the fire and energy that animated the handsome features of her new acquaintance. Julie St. Pierre, for that was her name, seemed just as unconscious of Lucille's deficient toilet as she was herself, and the two girls became, in the space of an hour's ramble among the brakes and bushes of the park, as intimate as if they had spent all their days together. Monsieur Le Prun, meanwhile, conversed affably with the Visconte, whom he seemed to take a pleasure in treating with a deference which secretly flattered alike his pride and his vanity. He told him, moreover, that the contract for the purchase of the Charrebourg estate was already completed, and pleased himself with projecting certain alterations in the Visconte's humble residence, which would certainly have made it a far more imposing piece of architecture than it ever had been. All his plans, however, were accompanied with so many submissions to the Visconte's superior taste, and so many solicitations of "permission," and so many delicate admissions of an ownership, which both parties knew to be imaginary, that the visitor appeared in the attitude rather of one suing for than conferring a favor. Add to all this that the Fermier-General had the good taste to leave his equipage at the park gate, and trudged on foot beside his little niece, who, in rustic fashion, was mounted on a donkey, to make his visit. No wonder, then, that when the Crœsus and his little niece took their departure, they left upon the mind of the old Visconte an impression which (although, for the sake of consistency, he was still obliged to affect his airs of hauteur) was in the highest degree favorable.

The acquaintance thus commenced was not suffered to languish. Scarce a day passed without either a visit or a billet, and thus some five or six weeks passed.

Lucille and her new companion became more and more intimate; but there was one secret recorded in the innermost tablet of her heart which she was too proud to disclose even to her gentle friend. For a day—days—a week—a fortnight after her interview with Dubois, she lived in hope that every hour might present his handsome form at the cottage door to declare himself, and, with the Visconte's sanction, press his suit. Every morning broke with hope, every night brought disappointment with its chill and darkness, till hope expired, and feelings of bitterness, wounded pride, and passionate resentment succeeded. What galled her proud heart most was the fear that she had betrayed her fondness to him. To be forsaken was hard enough to bear, but to the desolation of such a loss the sting of humiliation superadded was terrible.

One day the rumble of coach-wheels was heard upon the narrow, broken road which wound by the Visconte's cottage. A magnificent equipage, glittering with gold and gorgeous colors, drawn by four noble horses worthy of Cinderella's state-coach, came rolling and rocking along the track. The heart of Lucille beat fast under her little bodice as she beheld its approach. The powdered servants were of course to open the carriage-door, and Dubois himself, attired in the robes of a prince, was to spring from within and throw himself passionately at her feet. In short, she felt that the denouement of the fairy tale was at hand.

The coach stopped—the door opened, and Monsieur Le Prun descended, and handed his little niece to the ground; Lucille wished him and Dubois both in the galleys.

He was more richly dressed than usual, more ceremonious, and if possible more gracious. He saluted Lucille, and after a word or two of commonplace courtesy, joined the old Visconte, and they shortly entered the old gentleman's chamber of audience together, and there remained for more than an hour. At the end of that time they emerged together, both a little excited as it seemed. The Fermier-General was flushed like a scarlet withered apple, and his black eyes glowed and flashed with an unusual agitation. The Visconte too was also flushed, and he carried his head a little back, with an unwonted air of reserve and importance.

The adieux were made with some little flurry, and the equipage swept away, leaving the spot where its magnificence had just been displayed as bleak and blank as the[Pg 68] space on which the pageant of a phantasmagoria has been for a moment reflected.

The old servant of all work was charmed with this souvenir of better days. Monsieur Le Prun had risen immensely in her regard in consequence of the display she had just gloated upon. In the estimation of the devoted Marguerite he was more than a Midas. His very eye seemed to gild everything it fell upon as naturally as the sun radiates his yellow splendor. The blue velvet liveries, the gold-studded harness, the embossed and emblazoned coach, the stately beasts with their tails tied up in great bows of broad blue ribbons, with silver fringe, like an Arcadian beauty's chevelure, the reverential solemnity of the gorgeous lacqueys, the tout ensemble in short, was overpowering and delightful.

"Well, child," said the Visconte, after he and Lucille had stood for a while in silence watching the retiring equipage, taking her hand in his at the same time, and leading her with a stately gravity along the narrow walk which environed the cottage, "Monsieur Le Prun, it must be admitted, has excellent taste; par bleu, his team would do honor to the royal stables. What a superb equipage! Happy the woman whom fortune will elect to share the splendor of which all that we have just seen is but as a sparkle from the furnace—fortunate she whom Monsieur Le Prun will make his wife."

He spoke with so much emotion, directed a look of such triumphant significance upon his daughter, and pressed her hand so hard, that on a sudden a stupendous conviction, at once horrible and dazzling, burst upon her.

"Monsieur!—for the love of God do you mean—do you mean——?" she said, and broke off abruptly.

"Yes, my dear Lucille," he returned with elation, "I do mean to tell you that you—you are that fortunate person. It is true that you can bring him no wealth, but he already possesses more of that than he knows how to apply. You can, however, bring him what few other women possess, an ancient lineage, an exquisite beauty, and the simplicity of an education in which the seeds of finesse and dissipation have not been sown, in short, the very attributes and qualifications which he most esteems—which he has long sought, and which in conversation he has found irresistible in you. Monsieur Le Prun has entreated me to lay his proposals at your feet, and you of course convey through me the gratitude with which you accept them."

Lucille was silent and pale; within her a war and chaos of emotions were struggling, like the tumult of the ocean.

"I felicitate you, my child," said the Visconte, kissing her throbbing forehead; "in you the fortunes of your family will be restored—come with me."

She accompanied him into the cottage; she was walking, as it were, in a wonderful dream; but amidst the confusion of her senses, her perplexity and irresolution, there was a dull sense of pain at her heart, there was a shadowy figure constantly before her; its presence agitated and reproached her, but she had little leisure to listen to the pleadings of a returning tenderness, even had they been likely to prevail with her ambitious heart. Her father rapidly sketched such a letter of complimentary acceptance as he conceived suitable to the occasion and the parties.

"Read that," he said, placing it before Lucille. "Well, that I think will answer. What say you, child?"

"Yes, sir," she replied with an effort; "it is true; he does me indeed great honor; and—and I accept him; and now, sir, I would wish to go and be for a while alone."

"Do so," said her father, again kissing her, for he felt a sort of gratitude toward her as the prime cause of all those comforts and luxuries, whose long despaired-of return he now beheld in immediate and certain prospect. Not heeding this unwonted exuberance of tenderness, she hurried to her little bed-room, and sat down upon the side of her bed.

At first she wept passionately, but her girlish volatility soon dried these tears. The magnificent equipage of Monsieur Le Prun swept before her imagination. Her curious and dazzled fancy then took flight in speculations as to the details of all the, as yet, undescribed splendors in reserve. Then she thought of herself married, and mistress of all this great fortune, and her heart beat thick, and she laughed aloud, and clapped her hands in an ecstasy of almost childish exultation.

Next day she received a long visit from Monsieur Le Prun, as her accepted lover. Spite of all his splendor, he had never looked in her eyes half so old, and ugly and sinister, as now. The marriage, which was sometimes so delightfully full of promise to her vanity and ambition, in his presence most perversely lost all its enchantment, and terrified her, like some great but unascertained danger. It was however too late now to recede; and even were she free to do so, it is more than probable that she could not have endured the sacrifice involved in retracting her consent.

The Visconte's little household kept early hours. He himself went to bed almost with the sun; and on the night after this decisive visit—for such Monsieur Le Prun's first appearance and acceptation in the character of an affianced bridegroom undoubtedly was—Lucille was lying awake, the prey of a thousand agitating thoughts, when, on a sudden, rising on the still night air came a little melody—alas! too well known—a gay and tender song, chanted sweetly. Had the voice of Fate called her, she could not have started more suddenly upright in her bed, with eyes straining, and parted lips—one hand pushing back the rich clusters of hair, and collecting the sound at her ear, and the other extended[Pg 69] toward the distant songster, and softly marking the time of the air. She listened till the song died away, and covering her face with her hands, she threw herself down upon the pillow, and sobbing desolately, murmured—"too late!—too late!"


The visits of the happy Fermier-General occurred, of course, daily, and increased in duration. Meanwhile preparations went forward. The Visconte, supplied from some mysterious source, appeared to have an untold amount of cash. He made repeated excursions to the capital, which for twenty years he had not so much as seen; and handsome dresses, ornaments, &c., for Lucille, were accompanied by no less important improvements upon his own wardrobe, as well as various accessions to the comforts of their little dwelling—so numerous, indeed, as speedily to effect an almost complete transformation in its character and pretensions.

Thus the time wore on, in a state of excitement, which, though checkered with many fears, was on the whole pleasurable.

About ten days had passed since the peculiar and delicate relation we have described was established between Lucille and Monsieur Le Prun. Urgent business had called him away to the city, and kept him closely confined there, so that, for the first time since his declaration, his daily visit was omitted upon this occasion. Had the good Fermier-General but known all, he need not have offered so many apologies, nor labored so hard to console his lady-love for his involuntary absence. The truth, then, is, as the reader no doubt suspects, Lucille was charmed at finding herself, even for a day, once more her own absolute mistress.

A gay party from Paris, with orders of admission from the creditors, that day visited the park. In a remote and bosky hollow they had seated themselves upon the turf, and, amid songs and laughter, were enjoying a cold repast. Far away these sounds of mirth were borne on the clear air to Lucille. Alas! when should she laugh as gaily as those ladies, who, with their young companions, were making merry?—when again should music speak as of old with her heart, and bear in its chords no tone of reproach and despair? This gay party broke up into groups, and began merrily to ramble toward the great gate, where, of course, their carriages were awaiting them.

Attracted mournfully by their mirth, Lucille rambled onward as they retreated. It was evening, and the sunbeams slanted pleasantly among the trees and bushes, throwing long, soft shadows over the sward, and converting into gold every little turf, and weed, and knob, that broke the irregular sweep of the ground.

She had reached a part of the park with which she was not so familiar. Here several gentle hollows were converging toward the stream, and trees and wild brushwood in fresh abundance clothed their sides, and spread upward along the plain in rich and shaggy exuberance.

From among them, with a stick in his hand, and running lightly in the direction of her father's cottage, Gabriel suddenly emerged.

On seeing her at the end of the irregular vista, which he had just entered, however, he slackened his pace, and doffing his hat he approached her.

"A message, Gabriel?" she inquired.

"Yes, if Mademoiselle pleases," said he, blushing all over, like the setting sun. "I was running to the Visconte's house to tell Mademoiselle."

"Well, Gabriel, and what is it?"

"Why, Mademoiselle, a strange lady in the glen desires me to tell Mademoiselle de Charrebourg that she wishes to see her."

"But did she say why she desired it, and what she wished to speak to me about?"

"No, Mademoiselle."

"Then tell her that Mademoiselle de Charrebourg, knowing neither her name nor her business, declines obeying her summons," said she, haughtily. Gabriel bowed low, and was about to retire on his errand, when she added—

"It was very dull of you, Gabriel, not to ask her what she wanted of me."

"Madame, without your permission, I dare not," he replied, with a deeper blush, and a tone at once so ardent and so humble, that Lucille could not forbear a smile of the prettiest good nature.

"In truth, Gabriel, you are a dutiful boy. But how did you happen to meet her?"

"I was returning, Mademoiselle, from the other side of the stream, and just when I got into the glen, on turning round the corner of the gray stone, I saw her standing close to me behind the bushes."

"And I suppose you were frightened?" she said, archly.

"No, Mademoiselle, indeed; though she was strangely dressed and very pale, but she spoke to me kindly. She asked me my name, and then she looked in my face very hard, as a fortune-teller does, and she told me many strange things, Mademoiselle, about myself; some of them I knew, and some of them I never heard before."

"I suppose she is a fortune-teller; and how did she come to ask for me?"

"She inquired if the Visconte de Charrebourg still lived on the estate, and then she said, 'Has he not a beautiful daughter called Lucille?' and I, Mademoiselle, made bold to answer, 'O yes, madame, yes, in truth.'"

Poor Gabriel blushed and faltered more than ever at this passage.

"'Tell Mademoiselle,' she said, 'I have something that concerns her nearly to tell her. Let her know that I am waiting here; but I cannot stay long.' And so she beckoned me away impatiently, and I, expecting to find[Pg 70] you near the house was running, when Mademoiselle saw me."

"It is very strange; stay, Gabriel, I will go and speak to her, it is only a step."

The fact was that Lucille's curiosity (as might have been the case with a great many of her sex in a similar situation) was too strong for her, and her pride was forced to bend to its importunity.

"Go you before," she said to Gabriel, who long remembered that evening walk in attendance upon Lucille, as a scene so enchanting and delightful as to be rather a mythic episode than an incident in his life; "and Gabriel," she added, as they entered the cold shadow of the thick evergreens, and felt she knew not why, a superstitious dread creep over her, "do you wait within call, but so as not to overhear our conversation; you understand me."

They had now emerged from the dark cover into the glen, and looking downward toward the little stream, at a short distance from them, the figure of the mysterious lady was plainly discernible. She was sitting with her back toward them upon a fragment of rock, under the bough of an old gnarled oak. Her dress was a sort of loose white robe, it might be of flannel, such as invalids in hospitals wear, and a red cloak had slipped from her shoulders, and covered the ground at her feet. Thus, solitary and mysterious, she suggested the image of a priestess cowering over the blood of a victim in search of omens.

Lucille approached her with some trepidation, and to avoid coming upon her wholly by surprise she made a little detour, and thus had an opportunity of seeing the features of the stranger, as well as of permitting her to become aware of her approach.

Her appearance, upon a nearer approach, was not such as to reassure Lucille. She was tall, deadly pale, and marked with the smallpox. She had particularly black eyebrows, and awaited the young lady's approach with that ominous smile which ascends no higher than the lips, and leaves the eyes and forehead dark, threatening, and uncertain. Altogether, there was a character, it might be of insanity, it might be of guilt, in the face, which was formidable.

Lucille wished herself at home, but there was that in the blood of the Charrebourgs which never turned away from danger, real or imaginary, when once confronted.

"So you are Lucille de Charrebourg?" said the figure, looking at her with that expression of malice, which is all the more fearful that it appears causeless.

"Yea, Madame, that is my name; will you be so good as to tell me, beside, the name of the lady who has been kind enough to desire an interview with me?"

"For a name; my dear, suit yourself; call me Sycorax, Jezebel, or what you please, and I will answer to it."

"But what are you?"

"There again I give you a carte blanche; say I am a benevolent fairy; you don't seem to like that? or your guardian-angel? nor that neither! Well, a witch if you please, or a ghost, or a fortune-teller—ay, that will do, a fortune-teller—so that is settled."

"Well, Madame, if I may not know either your name or occupation, will you be good enough at least to let me hear your business."

"Surely, my charming demoiselle; you should have heard it immediately had you not pestered me with so many childish questions. Well, then, about this Monsieur Le Prun?"

"Well, Madame?" said Lucille, not a little surprised.

"Well, my dear, I'm not going to tell you whether this Monsieur Le Prun is an angel, for angels they say have married women; or whether he is a Bluebeard—you have heard the story of Bluebeard, my little dear—but this I say, be he which he may, you must not marry him."

"And pray, who constrains my will?" exclaimed the girl, scornfully, but at the same time inwardly frightened.

"I do, my pretty pigeon; if you marry him, you do so forewarned, and if he don't punish you I will."

"How dare you speak in that tone to me?" said Lucille, to whose cheek the insolent threat of the stranger called a momentary flush of red; "you punish me, indeed, if he does not! I'll not permit you to address me so; besides I have help close by, if I please to call for it."

All this time the woman was laughing inwardly, and fumbling under her white robe, as if in search of something.

"I say he may be an angel, or he may be a bluebeard, I don't pretend to say which," she continued, with a perfectly genuine contempt of Lucille's vaunting, "but I have here an amulet that never fails in cases like this; it will detect and expel the devil better than blessed water, vera crux, or body of our Lord, for these things have sometimes failed, but this can never. With the aid of this you cannot be deceived. If he be a good man its influence will be ineffectual against him; but if, on the other hand, he be possessed of evil spirits, then test him with it, and you will behold him for a moment as he is."

"Let me see it, then."

"Here it is."

She drew from under the white folds of her dress a small spiral bottle, enameled with some Chinese characters, and set in a base and capital of chased gold, with four little spiral pillars at the corners connecting the top and bottom, and leaving the porcelain visible between. It had, moreover, a stopper that closed with a spring, and altogether did not exceed two inches in length, and in thickness was about the size of a swan's quill. It looked like nothing earthly, but what she had described it. For a scent-bottle, indeed, it might possibly have been used; but there was[Pg 71] something odd and knowing about this little curiosity, something mysterious, and which seemed as though it had a tale to tell. In short, Lucille looked on it with all the interest, and if the truth must be spoken, a good deal of the awe, which its pretensions demanded.

"And what am I to do with this little bauble?" she asked, after she had examined it for some moments curiously.

"When you want to make trial of its efficacy, take it forth, look steadily in his face, and say, 'I expect to receive the counterpart of this,' that is all. If he be a good man, as who can say, the talisman will leave him as it finds him. But if he be, as some men are, the slave of Satan, you will see, were it but for a second, the sufferings and passions of hell in his face. Fear not to make trial of it, for no harm can ensue; you will but know the character you have to deal with."

"But this is a valuable bauble, its price must be considerable, and I have no money."

"Well, suppose I make it a present to you."

"I should like to have it—but—but——."

"But I am too poor to part with it on such terms, and you too proud to take it—is that your meaning? Never mind, I can afford to give it, and, proud as you are, you can afford to take it. Hide it until the time to try him comes, and then speak as I told you."

"Well, I will accept it," said Lucille, coldly, but her voice trembled and her face was pale; "and this I know, if there be any virtue of any sort in the toy, it can only prove Monsieur Le Prun's goodness. Yes, he is a very kind man, and all the world, I am told, speaks of his excellence."

"Very probably," said the stranger, "but mark my words, don't marry him; if you do, you shall see me again."

"Halloa, devil! are you deaf?" thundered a sneering voice from a crag at the opposite side. "Come, come, it's time we were moving."

The summons came from a broad, short, swarthy fellow, with black mustaches and beard, arrayed in a suit of dusky red. He had one hand raised high above his head beckoning to her, and with the other he furiously shook the spreading branch of a tree beside him; the prominent whites of his eyes, and his grinning teeth, were, even at that distance, seen conspicuous; and so shaggy, furious, and unearthly did he seem, that he might well have represented some wild huntsman or demon of the wood. It seemed, indeed, as though a sort of witches' dance were to be held that night in the old park of Charrebourg, and that some of the preternatural company had reached the trysting-place before their time.

The ill-omened woman in white hastily gathered up her mantle, without any gesture or word of farewell. With hurried strides her tall figure glided off toward the apparition in red, and both speedily disappeared among the hazy cover at the other side.

The little hollow was now deserted, except for Lucille. It was not till they had quite vanished, and that she was left there alone, that she felt something akin to terror steal over her, and hurried from the scene of her strange interview as from a haunted spot. A little way up the rising bank Gabriel was awaiting her return, sorely disappointed that fortune had in no wise made her debtor to his valor.

Long before she reached home the sun had gone down, and the long dusky shadows had given place to the thin, cold haze of approaching night. Often as she glided onward among rocks and bushes she felt an instinctive impulse, something between terror and aversion, prompting her to hurl the little spiral vial far from her among the wild weeds and misty brakes, where, till doomsday, it might never be found again. But other feelings, stranger in their kind, determined her at least to defer the sacrifice, and so she reached her chamber with the mysterious gift fast in her tiny grasp.

Here she again examined it, more minutely than before; it contained neither fluid nor powder of any sort, and was free from any perfume or odor whatsoever; and excepting that the more closely she inspected it, the more she discovered in its workmanship to excite her admiration, her careful and curious investigation was without result. As she carefully folded up the curious souvenir, and secreted it in the safest corner of the safest drawer, she thought over the interview again and again, and always with the same result as respected the female who had bestowed it, namely, that if not actually a lady, she had at least the education and the manners of a person above the working classes.

That night Lucille was haunted with ugly dreams. Voices were speaking to her in threats and blasphemies from the little vial. The mysterious lady in white would sit huddled up at the foot of her bed, and the more she smiled the more terrible became her scowl, until at last her countenance began to dilate, and she slowly advanced her face closer and closer, until, just as her smiling lips reached Lucille, she uttered a yell, whether of imprecation or terror she could not hear, but which scared her from her sleep like a peal of thunder. Then a great coffin was standing against the wall with Monsieur Le Prun in it dead and shrouded, and a troop of choristers began singing a requiem, when on a sudden the furious voice she had heard that evening screamed aloud, "To what purpose all this hymning, seeing the corpse is possessed by evil spirits;" and then such looks of rage and hatred flitted over the livid face in the coffin, as nothing but hell could have inspired. Then again she would see Monsieur Le Prun struggling, his face all bloody and distorted, with the man in red and the strange lady of the talisman, who screamed, laughing with a detestable glee, "Come bride, come, the bridegroom waits." Such horrid dreams as these haunted her all night, so much so that one might almost have fancied[Pg 72] that an evil influence had entered her chamber with the little vial. But the songs of gay birds pruning their wings, and the rustle of the green leaves glittering in the early sun round her window, quickly dispelled the horrors which had possessed her little room in the hours of silence and darkness. It was, notwithstanding, with a sense of fear and dislike that she opened the drawer where the little vial lay, and unrolling all the paper envelopes in which it was carefully folded, beheld it once more in the clear light of day.

"Nothing, nothing, but a grotesque little scent-bottle—why should I be afraid of it?—a poor little pretty toy."

So she said, as she folded it up again, and deposited it once more where it had lain all night. But for all that she felt a mysterious sense of relief when she ran lightly from her chamber into the open air, conscious that the harmless little toy was no longer present.


The next day Monsieur Le Prun returned. His vanity ascribed the manifest agitation of Lucille's manner to feelings very unlike the distrust, alarm, and aversion which, since her last night's adventure, had filled her mind. He came, however, armed with votive evidences of his passion, alike more substantial and more welcome than the gallant speeches in which he dealt. He brought her, among other jewels, a suit of brilliants which must have cost alone some fifteen or twenty thousand francs. He seemed to take a delight in overpowering her with the costly exuberance of his presents. Was there in this a latent distrust of his own personal resources, and an anxiety to astound and enslave by means of his magnificence—to overwhelm his proud but dowerless bride with the almost fabulous profusion and splendor of his wealth? Perhaps there was, and the very magnificence which dazzled her was prompted more by meanness than generosity.

This time he came accompanied by a gentleman, the Sieur de Blassemare, who appeared pretty much what he actually was—a sort of general agent, adviser, companion, and hanger-on of the rich Fermier-General.

The Sieur de Blassemare had his titres de noblesse, and started in life with a fair fortune. This, however, he had seriously damaged by play, and was now obliged to have recourse to that species of dexterity, to support his luxuries, which, employed by others, had been the main agent in his own ruin. The millionaire and the parvenu found him invaluable. He was always gay, always in good humor; a man of birth and breeding, well accepted, in spite of his suspected rogueries, in the world of fashion—an adept in all its ways, as well as in the mysteries of human nature; active, inquisitive, profligate; the very man to pick up intelligence when it was needed—to execute a delicate commission, or to advise and assist in any project of taste. In addition to all these gifts and perfections, his fund of good spirits and scandalous anecdote was inexhaustible, and so Monsieur Le Prun conceived him very cheaply retained at the expense of allowing him to cheat him quietly of a few score of crowns at an occasional game of picquet.

This fashionable sharper and voluptuary was now somewhere about five-and-forty; but with the assistance of his dress, which was exquisite, and the mysteries of his toilet, which was artistic in a high degree, and above all, his gayety, which never failed him, he might easily have passed for at least six years younger.

It was the wish of the benevolent Monsieur Le Prun to set the Viscount quite straight in money matters; and as there still remained, like the electric residuum in a Leyden vial after the main shock has been discharged, some few little affairs not quite dissipated in the explosion of his fortunes, and which, before his reappearance even in the background of society, must be arranged, he employed his agile aid-de-camp, the Sieur de Blassemare, to fish out these claims and settle them.

It was not to be imagined that a young girl, perfectly conscious of her beauty, with a great deal of vanity and an immensity of ambition, could fail to be delighted at the magnificent presents with which her rich old lover had that day loaded her.

She spread them upon the counterpane of her bed, and when she was tired of admiring them, she covered herself with her treasures, hung the flashing necklace about her neck, and clasped her little wrists in the massive bracelets, stuck a pin here and a brooch there, and covered her fingers with sparkling jewels; and though she had no looking-glass larger than a playing-card in which to reflect her splendor, she yet could judge in her own mind very satisfactorily of the effect. Then, after she had floated about her room, and courtesied, and waved her hands to her heart's content, she again strewed the bed with these delightful, intoxicating jewels, which flashed actual fascination upon her gaze.

At that moment her gratitude effervesced, and she almost felt that, provided she were never to behold his face again, she could—not love, but like Monsieur Le Prun very well; she half relented, she almost forgave him; she would have received with good-will, with thanks, and praises, anything and everything he pleased to give her, except his company.

Meanwhile the old Visconte, somewhat civilized and modernized by recent restorations, was walking slowly to and fro in the little bowling-green, side by side with Blassemare.

"Yes," he said, "with confidence I give my child into his hands. It is a great trust, Blassemare; but he is gifted with those qualities, which, more than wealth, conduce to married happiness. I confide in him a great trust, but I feel I risk no sacrifice."[Pg 73]

A comic smile, which he could not suppress, illuminated the dark features of Blassemare, and he looked away as if studying the landscape until it subsided.

"He is the most disinterested and generous of men," resumed the old gentleman.

"Ma foi, so he is," rejoined his companion; "but Mademoiselle de Charrebourg happened to be precisely the person he needed; birth, beauty, simplicity—a rare alliance. You underrate the merits of Mademoiselle de Charrebourg. He makes no such presents to the Sisters of Charity."

"Pardon me, sir, I know her merits well; she is indeed a dutiful and dear child."

And the Visconte's eyes filled with moisture, for his heart was softened by her prosperity, involving, as it did, his own.

"And will make one of the handsomest as she will, no doubt, one of the most loving wives in France," said Blassemare, gravely.

"And he will make, or I am no prophet, an admirable husband," resumed the Visconte; "he has so much good feeling and so much——"

"So much money," suggested Blassemare, who was charmed at the Visconte's little hypocrisy; "ay, by my faith, that he has; and as to that little bit of scandal, those mysterious reports, you know," he added, with a malicious simplicity.

"Yes, I know," said the Visconte, shortly.

"All sheer fiction, my dear Visconte," continued Blassemare, with a shrug and a smile of disclaimer.

"Of course, of course," said the Visconte, peremptorily.

"It was talked about, you know," persisted his malicious companion, "about twenty years ago, but it is quite discredited now—scouted. You can't think how excellently our good friend the Fermier-General is established in society. But I need not tell you, for of course you satisfied yourself; the alliance on which I felicitate Le Prun proves it."

The Visconte made a sort of wincing smile and a bow. He saw that Blassemare was making a little scene out of his insincerities for his own private entertainment. But there is a sort of conventional hypocrisy which had become habitual to them both. It was like a pair of blacklegs cheating one another for practice with their eyes open. So Blassemare presented his snuff-box, and the Visconte, with equal bonhomie, took a pinch, and the game was kept up pleasantly between them.

Meanwhile Lucille, in her chamber, the window of which opened upon the bowling-green, caught a word or two of the conversation we have just sketched. What she heard was just sufficient to awaken the undefined but anxious train of ideas which had become connected with the image of Monsieur Le Prun. Something seemed all at once to sadden and quench the fire that blazed in her diamonds; they were disenchanted; her heart no longer danced in their light. With a heavy sigh she turned to the drawer where the charmed vial lay; she took it out; she weighed it in her hand.

"After all," she said, "it is but a toy. Why should it trouble me? What harm can be in it?"

She placed it among the golden store that lay spread upon her coverlet. But it would not assimilate with those ornaments; on the contrary, it looked only more quaint and queer, like a suspicious stranger among them. She hurriedly took it away, more dissatisfied, somehow, than ever. She inwardly felt that there was danger in it, but what could it be? what its purpose, significance, or power? Conjecture failed her. There it lay, harmless and pretty for the present, but pregnant with unknown mischief, like a painted egg, stolen from a serpent's nest, which time and temperature are sure to hatch at last.

The strangest circumstance about it was, that she could not make up her mind to part with or destroy it. It exercised over her the fascination of a guilty companionship. She hated but could not give it up. And yet, after all, what a trifle to fret the spirits even of a girl!

It is wonderful how rapidly impressions of pain or fear, if they be not renewed, lose their influence upon the conduct and even upon the spirits. The scene in the glen, the image of the unprepossessing and mysterious pythoness, and the substance and manner of the sinister warning she communicated, were indeed fixed in her memory ineffaceably. But every day that saw her marriage approach in security and peace, and her preparations proceed without molestation, served to dissipate her fears and to obliterate the force of that hated scene.

It was, therefore, only now and then that the odd and menacing occurrence recurred to her memory with a depressing and startling effect. At such moments, it might be of weakness, the boding words, "Don't marry him; if you do you shall see me again," smote upon her heart like the voice of a specter, and she felt that chill, succeeded by vague and gloomy anxiety, which superstition ascribes to the passing presence of a spirit from the grave.

"I don't think you are happy, dear Lucille, or may be you are offended with me," said Julie St. Pierre, turning her soft blue eyes full upon her handsome companion, and taking her hand timidly between her own.

They were sitting together on a wild bank, shaded by a screen of brushwood, in the park. Lucille had been silent, abstracted, and, as it seemed, almost sullen during their walk, and poor little timid Julie, who cherished for her girlish friend that sort of devotion with which gentler and perhaps better natures are so often inspired by firmer wills, and more fiery tempers, was grieved and perplexed.

"Tell me, Lucille, are you angry with me?"

"I angry! no, indeed; and angry with you, my dear, dear little friend! I could not be, dear Julie, even were I to try."[Pg 74]

And so they kissed heartily again and again.

"Then," said Julie, sitting down by her, and taking her hand more firmly in hers, and looking with such a loving interest as nothing could resist in her face, "you are unhappy. Why don't you tell me what it is that grieves you? I dare say I could give you very wise counsel, and, at all events, console you. At the convent the pensioners used all to come to me when they were in trouble, and, I assure you, I always gave them good advice."

"But I am not unhappy."


"No, indeed."

"Well, shall I tell you? I thought you were unhappy because you are going to be married to my uncle."

"Folly, folly, my dear little prude. Your uncle is a very good man, and a very grand match. I ought to be delighted at a prospect so brilliant."

Even while Lucille spoke, she felt a powerful impulse to tell her little companion all—her fondness for Dubois, her aversion for Monsieur Le Prun, the scene with the strange woman, and her own forebodings; but such a confession would have been difficult to reconcile with her fixed resolution to let the affair take its course, and at all hazards marry the man whom, it was vain to disguise it from herself, she disliked, distrusted, and feared.

"I was going to give you comfort by my own story. I never told you before that I, too, am affianced."

"Affianced! and to whom?"

"To the Marquis de Secqville."

"Hey! Why that is the very gentleman of whom Monsieur de Blassemare told us such wicked stories the other day."

"Did he?" she said, with a sigh. "Well, I often feared he was a prodigal; but heaven, I trust, will reclaim him."

"But you do not love him?"

"No. I never saw him but once."

"And are you happy?"

"Yes, quite happy now; but, dear Lucille, I was very miserable once. You must know that shortly after we were betrothed, when I was placed in the convent at Rouen, there was a nice girl there, of whom I soon grew very fond. Her brother, Henri, used to come almost every day to see her. He was about three years older than I, and so brave and beautiful. I did not know that I loved him until his sister went away, and his visits, of course, ceased; and when I could not see him any more, I thought my heart would break."

"Poor little Julie!"

"I was afraid of being observed when I wept, but I used to cry to myself all night long, and wish to die, as my mother used to fear long ago I would do before I came to be as old as I am now; and I could not even hear of him, for my friend, his sister, had married, and was living near Caen, and so we were quite separated."

"You were, indeed, very miserable, my poor little friend."

"Yes; but at last, after a whole year, she was passing through Rouen, and so she came to the convent to see me. Oh, when I saw her my heart fluttered so that I thought I should have choked. I don't know why it was, but I was afraid to ask for him; but at last, finding she would not speak of him at all, which I thought was ill-natured, though indeed it was not, I did succeed, and asked her how he was; then all at once she began to cry, for he was dead; and knowing that, I forgot everything—I lost sight of everything—they said I fainted. And when I awoke again there was a good many of the sisters and some of the pensioners round me, and my friend still weeping; and the superioress was there, too, but I did not heed them, but only said I would not believe he was dead. Then I was very ill for more than a month, and my uncle came to see me; but I don't think he knew what had made me so; and as soon as I grew better the superioress was very angry with me, and told me it was very wicked, which it may have been, but indeed I could not help it; and she gave me in charge to sister Eugenie to bring me to a sense of my sinfulness, seeing that I ought not to have loved any one but him to whom I was betrothed."

"Alas! poor Julie, I suppose she was a harsh preceptress also."

"No, indeed; on the contrary, she was very kind and gentle. She was so young—only twenty-three—dear sister Eugenie!—and so pretty, though she was very pale, and oh, so thin; and when we were both alone in her room she used to let me tell her all my story, and she used to draw her hand over her pretty face, and cry so bitterly in return, and kiss me, and shake me by the hands, that I often thought she must once have loved some one also herself, and was weeping because she could never see him again; so I grew to love her very much; but I did not know all that time that sister Eugenie was dying. The day I took leave of her she seemed as if she was going to tell me something about herself, and I think now if I had pressed her she would. I am very sorry I did not, for it would have been pleasant to me as long as I live to have given the dear sister any comfort, and shown how truly I loved her. But it was not so, and only four months after we parted she died; but I hope we may meet, where I am sure she is gone, in heaven, and then she will know how much I loved her, and how good, and gentle, and kind, I always thought her."

Poor little Julie shed tears at these words.

"Now I do not love the Marquis," she continued, "nor I am sure does he love me. It will be but a match of convenience. I suppose he will continue to follow his amusements and I will live quietly at home; so after all it will make but little change to me, and I will still be as I am now, the widow of poor Henri."

"You are so tranquil, dear Julie, because he is dead. Happy is it for you that he is in his grave. Come, let us return."

They began to walk toward the cottage.[Pg 75]

"And how would you spend your days, Julie, had you the choice of your own way of life?"

"I would take the vail. I would like to be a nun, and to die early, like sister Eugenie."

Lucille looked at her with undisguised astonishment.

"Take the vail!" she exclaimed, "so young, so pretty. Parbleu, I would rather work in the fields or beg my bread on the high-roads. Take the vail—no, no, no. Marguerite told me I had a great-aunt who took the vail, and three years after died mad in a convent in Paris. Ah, it is a sad life, Julie, it is a sad life!"

It was the wish of the Fermier-General that his nuptials should be celebrated with as much privacy as possible. The reader, therefore, will lose nothing by our dismissing the ceremony as rapidly as may be. Let it suffice to say, that it did take place, and to describe the arrangements with which it was immediately succeeded.

Though Monsieur Le Prun had become the purchaser of the Charrebourg estate, he did not choose to live upon it. About eight leagues from Paris he possessed a residence better suited to his tastes and plans. It was said to have once belonged to a scion of royalty, who had contrived it with a view to realizing upon earth a sort of Mahomedan paradise. Nothing indeed could have been better devised for luxury as well as seclusion. From some Romish legend attaching to its site, it had acquired the name of the Chateau des Anges, a title which unhappily did not harmonize with the traditions more directly connected with the building itself.

It was a very spacious structure, some of its apartments were even magnificent, and the entire fabric bore overpowering evidences, alike in its costly materials and finish, and in the details of its design, of the prodigal and voluptuous magnificence to which it owed its existence.

It was environed by lordly forests, circle within circle, which were pierced by long straight walks diverging from common centers, and almost losing themselves in the shadowy distance. Studded, too, with a series of interminable fishponds, encompassed by hedges of beech, yew, and evergreens of enormous height and impenetrable density, under whose emerald shadows water-fowl of all sorts, from the princely swan down to the humble water-hen, were sailing and gliding this way and that, like rival argosies upon the seas.

The view of the chateau itself, when at last, through those dense and extensive cinctures of sylvan scenery, you had penetrated to its site, was, from almost every point, picturesque and even beautiful.

Successive terraces of almost regal extent, from above whose marble balustrades and rows of urns the tufted green of rare and rich plants, in a long, gorgeous wreath of foliage, was peeping, ran, tier above tier, conducting the eye, among statues and graceful shrubs, to the gables and chimneys of the quaint but vast chateau itself. The forecourt upon which the great avenue debouched was large enough for the stately muster of a royal levee; and at intervals, upon the balustrade which surrounded it, were planted a long file of stone statues, each originally holding a lamp, which, however, the altered habits of the place had long since dismounted.

If the place had been specially contrived, as it was said to have been, for privacy, it could not have been better planned. It was literally buried in an umbrageous labyrinth of tufted forest. Even the great avenue commanded no view of the chateau, but abutted upon a fountain, backed by a towering screen of foliage, where the approach divided, and led by a double road to the court we have described. In fact, except from the domain itself, the very chimneys of the chateau were invisible for a circuit of miles around, the nearest point from which a glance of its roof could be caught being the heights situated a full league away.

If the truth must be told, then, Monsieur Le Prun was conscious of some disparity in point of years between himself and his beautiful wife; and although he affected the most joyous confidence upon the subject, he was nevertheless as ill at ease as most old fellows under similar circumstances. It soon became, therefore, perfectly plain, that the palace to which the wealthy bridegroom had transported his beautiful wife was, in truth, but one of those enchanted castles in which enamored genii in fairy legends are described as guarding their captive princesses—a gorgeous and luxurious prison, to which there was no access, from which no escape, and where amidst all the treasures and delights of a sensuous paradise, the captive beauty languished and saddened.


[From the Examiner.]

CALL we for harp or song?
Accordant numbers, measured out, belong
Alone, we hear, to bard.
Let him this badge, for ages worn, discard;
Richer and nobler now
Than when the close-trimm'd laurel mark'd his brow,
And from one fount his thirst
Was slaked, and from none other proudly burst
Neighing, the winged steed.
Gloriously fresh were those young days indeed!
Clear, if confined, the view:
The feet of giants swept that early dew;
More graceful came behind,
And golden tresses waved upon the wind.
Pity and Love were seen
In earnest converse on the humble green;
Grief too was there, but Grief
Sat down with them, nor struggled from relief.
Strong Pity was, strong he,
But little love was bravest of the three.
At what the sad one said
Often he smiled, though Pity shook her head.
Descending from their clouds,
The Muses mingled with admiring crowds:
Each had her ear inclined,
Each caught and spoke the language of mankind
From choral thraldom free...
Dickens! didst thou teach them, or they teach thee?

September, 1850.

[Pg 76]

[From "Light and Darkness," by Catharine Crowe, Author of "The Night Side of Nature," &c. &c.]

In a certain town in the West of England, which shall be nameless, there dwelt two maiden ladies of the name of Smith; each possessing a small independence, each residing, with a single maid-servant, in a small house, the drawing-room floor of which was let, whenever lodgers could be found; each hovering somewhere about the age of fifty, and each hating the other with a restless and implacable enmity. The origin of this aversion was the similarity of their names; each was Miss C. Smith, the one being called Cecilia, the other Charlotte—a circumstance which gave rise to such innumerable mistakes and misunderstandings, as were sufficient to maintain these ladies in a constant state of irritability and warfare. Letters, messages, invitations, parcels, bills, were daily missent, and opened by the wrong person; thus exposing the private affairs of one to the other; and as their aversion had long ago extinguished everything like delicacy on either side, any information so acquired was used without scruple to their mutual annoyance. Presents, too, of fruit, vegetables, or other delicacies from the neighboring gentry, not unfrequently found their way to the wrong house; and if unaccompanied by a letter, which took away all excuse for mistake, they were appropriated without remorse, even when the appropriating party felt confident in her heart that the article was not intended for her; and this not from greediness or rapacity, but from the absolute delight they took in vexing each other.

It must be admitted, also, that this well-known enmity was occasionally played upon by the frolic-loving part of the community, both high and low; so that over and above the genuine mistakes, which were of themselves quite enough to keep the poor ladies in hot water, every now and then some little hoax was got up and practiced upon them, such as fictitious love-letters, anonymous communications, and so forth. It might have been imagined, as they were not answerable for their names, and as they were mutual sufferers by the similarity—one having as much right to complain of this freak of fortune as the other, that they might have entered into a compact of forbearance, which would have been equally advantageous to either party; but their naturally acrimonious dispositions prevented this, and each continued as angry with the other as she could have been if she had a sole and indefeasible right to the appellation of C. Smith, and her rival had usurped it in a pure spirit of annoyance and opposition. To be quite just, however, we must observe that Miss Cecilia was much the worse of the two; by judicious management Miss Charlotte might have been tamed, but the malice of Miss Cecilia was altogether inexorable.

By the passing of the Reform Bill, the little town wherein dwelt these belligerent powers received a very considerable accession of importance; it was elevated into a borough, and had a whole live member to itself, which, with infinite pride and gratification, it sent to parliament, after having extracted from him all manner of pledges, and loaded him with all manner of instructions as to how he should conduct himself under every conceivable circumstance; not to mention a variety of bills for the improvement of the roads and markets, the erection of a town-hall, and the reform of the systems of watching, paving, lighting, &c., the important and consequential little town of B——.

A short time previous to the first election—an event which was anticipated by the inhabitants with the most vivid interest—one of the candidates, a country gentleman who resided some twenty miles off, took a lodging in the town, and came there with his wife and family, in order, by a little courtesy and a few entertainments, to win the hearts of the electors and their friends; and his first move was to send out invitations for a tea and card party, which, in due time, when the preparations were completed, was to be followed by a ball. There was but one milliner and dressmaker of any consideration in the town of B——, and it may be imagined that on so splendid an occasion her services were in great request—so much so, that in the matter of head-dresses, she not only found that it would be impossible, in so short a period, to fulfill the commands of her customers, but also that she had neither the material nor the skill to give them satisfaction. It was, therefore, settled that she should send off an order to a house in Exeter, which was the county town, for a cargo of caps, toquets, turbans, &c., fit for all ages and faces—"such as were not disposed of to be returned;" and the ladies consented to wait, with the best patience they could, for this interesting consignment, which was to arrive, without fail, on the Wednesday, Thursday being the day fixed for the party. But the last coach arrived on Wednesday night without the expected boxes; however, the coachman brought a message for Miss Gibbs, the milliner, assuring her that they would be there the next morning without fail.

Accordingly, when the first Exeter coach rattled through the little street of B——, which was about half-past eleven, every head that was interested in the freight was to be seen looking anxiously out for the deal boxes; and, sure enough, there they were—three of them—large enough to contain caps for the whole town. Then there was a rush up stairs for their bonnets and shawls; and in a few minutes troops of ladies, young and old, were seen hurrying toward the market-place, where dwelt Miss Gibbs—the young in pursuit of artificial flowers, gold bands, and such like adornments—the elderly in search of a more mature order of decoration.

Amongst the candidates for finery, nobody was more eager than the two Miss Smiths; and they had reason to be so, not only because they had neither of them anything at[Pg 77] all fit to be worn at Mrs. Hanaway's party, which was in a style much above the entertainments they were usually invited to, but also because they both invariably wore turbans, and each was afraid that the other might carry off the identical turban that might be most desirable for herself. Urged by this feeling, so alert were they, that they were each standing at their several windows when the coach passed, with their bonnets and cloaks actually on—ready to start for the plate!—determined to reach Miss Gibbs's in time to witness the opening of the boxes. But "who shall control his fate?" Just as Miss Cecilia was stepping off her threshold, she was accosted by a very gentlemanly looking person, who, taking off his hat, with an air really irresistible, begged to know if he had "the honor of seeing Miss Smith"—a question which was of course answered in the affirmative.

"I was not quite sure," said he, "whether I was right, for I had forgotten the number; but I thought it was sixty," and he looked at the figures on the door.

"This is sixty, sir," said Miss Cecilia; adding to herself, "I wonder if it was sixteen he was sent to?" for at number sixteen lived Miss Charlotte.

"I was informed, madam," pursued the gentleman, "that I could be accommodated with apartments here—that you had a first floor to let."

"That is quite true, sir," replied Miss Cecilia, delighted to let her rooms, which had been some time vacant, and doubly gratified when the stranger added, "I come from Bath, and was recommended by a friend of yours, indeed probably a relation, as she bears the same name—Miss Joanna Smith."

"I know Miss Joanna very well, sir," replied Miss Cecilia; "pray, walk up stairs, and I'll show you the apartments directly. (For," thought she, "I must not let him go out of the house till he has taken them, for fear he should find out his mistake.) Very nice rooms, sir, you see—everything clean and comfortable—a pretty view of the canal in front—just between the baker's and the shoemaker's; you'll get a peep, sir, if you step to this window. Then it's uncommonly lively; the Exeter and Plymouth coaches, up and down, rattling through all day long, and indeed all night too, for the matter of that. A beautiful little bedroom, back, too, sir—Yes, as you observe, it certainly does look over a brick-kiln; but there's no dust—not the least in the world—for I never allow the windows to be opened: altogether, there can't be a pleasanter situation than it is."

The stranger, it must be owned, seemed less sensible of all these advantages than he ought to have been; however he engaged the apartments: it was but for a short time, as he had come there about some business connected with the election; and as Miss Joanna had so particularly recommended him to the lodging, he did not like to disoblige her. So the bargain was struck: the maid received orders to provision the garrison with bread, butter, tea, sugar, &c., whilst the gentleman returned to the inn to dispatch Boots with his portmanteau and carpet-bag.

"You were only just in time, sir," observed Miss Cecilia, as they descended the stairs, "for I expected a gentleman to call at twelve o'clock to-day, who, I am sure, would have taken the lodgings."

"I should be sorry to stand in the way," responded the stranger, who would not have been at all sorry for an opportunity of backing out of the bargain. "Perhaps you had better let him have them—I can easily get accommodated elsewhere."

"Oh dear, no, sir; dear me! I wouldn't do such a thing for the world!" exclaimed Miss Cecilia, who had only thrown out this little inuendo by way of binding her lodger to his bargain, lest, on discovering his mistake, he should think himself at liberty to annul the agreement. For well she knew that it was a mistake: Miss Joanna of Bath was Miss Charlotte's first cousin, and, hating Miss Cecilia, as she was in duty bound to do, would rather have sent her a dose of arsenic than a lodger, any day. She had used every precaution to avoid the accident that had happened, by writing on a card, "Miss Charlotte Smith, No. 16, High street, B——, opposite the linendrapers shop," but the thoughtless traveler, never dreaming of the danger in which he stood, lost the card, and, trusting to his memory, fell into the snare.

Miss Cecilia had been so engrossed by her anxiety to hook this fish before her rival could have a chance of throwing out a bait for him, that, for a time, she actually forgot Miss Gibbs and the turban; but now that point was gained, and she felt sure of her man, her former care revived with all its force, and she hurried along the street toward the market-place, in a fever of apprehension lest she should be too late. The matter certainly looked ill; for, as she arrived breathless at the door, she saw groups of self-satisfied faces issuing from it, and, amongst the rest, the obnoxious Miss Charlotte's physiognomy appeared, looking more pleased than anybody.

"Odious creature!" thought Miss Cecilia; "as if she supposed that any turban in the world could make her look tolerable!" But Miss Charlotte did suppose it; and moreover she had just secured the very identical turban that of all the turbans that ever were made was most likely to accomplish this desideratum—at least so she opined.

Poor Miss Cecilia! Up stairs she rushed, bouncing into Miss Gibbs's little room, now strewed with finery. "Well, Miss Gibbs, I hope you have something that will suit me?"

"Dear me, mem," responded Miss Gibbs, "what a pity you did not come a little sooner. The only two turbans we had are just gone—Mrs. Gosling took one, and Miss Char[Pg 78]lotte Smith the other—two of the beautifulest—here they are, indeed—you shall see them;" and she opened the boxes in which they were deposited, and presented them to the grieved eye of Miss Cecilia.

She stood aghast! The turbans were very respectable turbans indeed; but to her disappointed and eager desires they appeared worthy of Mahomet the Prophet, or the grand Sultana, or any other body, mortal or immortal, that has ever been reputed to wear turbans. And this consummation of perfection she had lost! lost just by a neck! missed it by an accident, that, however gratifying she had thought it at the time, she now felt was but an inadequate compensation for her present disappointment. But there was no remedy. Miss Gibbs had nothing fit to make a turban of; besides, Miss Cecilia would have scorned to appear in any turban that Miss Gibbs could have compiled, when her rival was to be adorned with a construction of such superhuman excellence. No! the only consolation she had was to scold Miss Gibbs for not having kept the turbans till she had seen them, and for not having sent for a greater number of turbans. To which objurgations Miss Gibbs could only answer: "That she had been extremely sorry indeed, when she saw the ladies were bent upon having the turbans, as she had ordered two entirely with a view to Miss Cecilia's accommodation; and moreover that she was never more surprised in her life than when Mrs. Gosling desired one of them might be sent to her, because Mrs. Gosling never wore turbans; and if Miss Gibbs had only foreseen that she would have pounced upon it in that way, she, Miss Gibbs, would have taken care she should never have seen it at all," &c., &c., &c.,—all of which the reader may believe, if he or she choose.

As for Miss Cecilia, she was implacable, and she flounced out of the house, and through the streets, to her own door, in a temper of mind that rendered it fortunate, as far as the peace of the town of B—— was concerned, that no accident brought her in contact with Miss Charlotte on the way.

As soon as she got into her parlor she threw off her bonnet and shawl, and plunging into her arm-chair, she tried to compose her mind sufficiently to take a calm view of the dilemma, and determine on what line of conduct to pursue—whether to send an excuse to Mrs. Hanaway, or whether to go to the party in one of her old head-dresses. Either alternative was insupportable. To lose the party, the game at loo, the distinction of being seen in such good society—it was too provoking; besides, very likely people would suppose she had not been invited; Miss Charlotte, she had no doubt, would try to make them believe so. But then, on the other hand, to wear one of her old turbans was so mortifying—they were so very shabby, so unfashionable—on an occasion, too, when everybody would be so well-dressed! Oh, it was aggravating—vexatious in the extreme! She passed the day in reflection—chewing the cud of sweet and bitter fancies; recalling to herself how well she looked in the turban—for she had tried it on; figuring what would have been Miss Charlotte's mortification if she had been the disappointed person—how triumphantly she, Miss Cecilia, would have marched into the room with the turban on her head—how crestfallen the other would have looked; and then she varied her occupation by resuscitating all her old turbans, buried in antique band-boxes deep in dust, and trying whether it were possible, out of their united materials, to concoct one of the present fashionable shape and dimensions. But the thing was impracticable: the new turban was composed of crimson satin and gold lace, hers of pieces of muslin and gauze.

When the mind is very much engrossed, whether the subject of contemplation be pleasant or unpleasant, time flies with inconceivable rapidity; and Miss Cecilia was roused from her meditations by hearing the clock in the passage strike four, warning her that it was necessary to come to some decision, as the hour fixed for the party, according to the primitive customs of B——, was half-past seven, when the knell of the clock was followed by a single knock at the door, and the next moment her maid walked into the room with—what do you think?—the identical crimson and gold turban in her hand!

"What a beauty!" cried Susan, turning it round, that she might get a complete view of it in all its phases.

"Was there any message, Sue?" inquired Miss Cecilia, gasping with agitation, for her heart was in her throat.

"No, ma'am," replied Sue; "Miss Gibbs's girl just left it; she said it should have come earlier, but she had so many places to go to."

"And she's gone, is she, Susan?"

"Yes, ma'am, she went directly—she said she hadn't got half through yet."

"Very well, Susan, you may go; and remember, I'm not at home if anybody calls; and if any message comes here from Miss Gibbs, you'll say I'm gone out, and you don't expect me home till very late."

"Very well, ma'am."

"And I say, Susan, if they send here to make any inquiries about that turban, you'll say you know nothing about it, and send them away."

"Very well, ma'am," said Susan, and down she dived to the regions below.

Instead of four o'clock, how ardently did Miss Cecilia wish it was seven; for the danger of the next three hours was imminent. Well she understood how the turban had got there—it was a mistake of the girl—but the chance was great that, before seven o'clock arrived, Miss Charlotte would take fright at not receiving her head-dress, and would send to Miss Gibbs to demand it, when the whole[Pg 79] thing would be found out. However no message came: at five o'clock, when the milk-boy rang, Miss Cecilia thought she should have fainted: but that was the only alarm. At six she began to dress, and at seven she stood before her glass in full array, with the turban on her head. She thought she had never looked so well; indeed, she was sure she had not. The magnitude of the thing gave her an air, and indeed a feeling of dignity and importance that she had never been sensible of before. The gold lace looked brilliant even by the light of her single tallow candle; what would it do in a well-illumined drawing-room! Then the color was strikingly becoming, and suited her hair exactly—Miss Cecilia, we must here observe, was quite gray; but she wore a frontlet of dark curls, and a little black silk skull-cap, fitted close to her head, which kept all neat and tight under the turban.

She had not far to go; nevertheless, she thought it would be as well to set off at once, for fear of accidents, even though she lingered on the way to fill up the time, for every moment the danger augmented; so she called to Susan to bring her cloak, and her calash, and her overalls, and being well packed up by the admiring Sue, who declared the turban was "without exception the beautifulest thing she ever saw," she started; determined, however, not to take the direct way, but to make a little circuit by a back street, lest, by ill luck, she should fall foul of the enemy.

"Susan," said she, pausing as she was stepping off the threshold, "if anybody calls you'll say I have been gone to Mrs. Hanaway's some time; and, Susan, just put a pin in this calash to keep it back, it falls over my eyes so that I can't see." And Susan pinned a fold in the calash, and away went the triumphant Miss Cecilia. She did not wish to be guilty of the vulgarity of arriving first at the party; so she lingered about till it wanted a quarter to eight, and then she knocked at Mrs. Hanaway's door, which a smart footman immediately opened, and, with the alertness for which many of his order are remarkable, proceeded to disengage the lady from her external coverings—the cloak, the overalls, the calash; and then, without giving her time to breathe, he rushed up the stairs, calling out "Miss Cecilia Smith;" whilst the butler, who stood at the drawing-room door, threw it open, reiterating, "Miss Cecilia Smith;" and in she went. But, O reader, little do you think, and little did she think, where the turban was that she imagined to be upon her head, and under the supposed shadow of which she walked into the room with so much dignity and complacence. It was below in the hall, lying on the floor, fast in the calash, to which Susan, ill-starred wench! had pinned it; and the footman, in his cruel haste, had dragged them both off together.

With only some under-trappings on her cranium, and altogether unconscious of her calamity, smiling and bowing, Miss Cecilia advanced toward her host and hostess, who received her in the most gracious manner, thinking, certainly, that her taste in a head-dress was peculiar, and that she was about the most extraordinary figure they had ever beheld, but supposing that such was the fashion she chose to adopt—the less astonished or inclined to suspect the truth, from having heard a good deal of the eccentricities of the two spinsters of B——. But to the rest of the company, the appearance she made was inexplicable; they had been accustomed to see her ill dressed, and oddly dressed, but such a flight as this they were not prepared for. Some whispered that she had gone mad; others suspected that it must be accident—that somehow or other she had forgotten to put on her head-dress; but even if it were so, the joke was an excellent one, and nobody cared enough for her to sacrifice their amusement by setting her right. So Miss Cecilia, blessed in her delusion, triumphant and happy, took her place at the whist table, anxiously selecting a position which gave her a full view of the door, in order that she might have the indescribable satisfaction of seeing the expression of Miss Charlotte's countenance when she entered the room—that is, if she came; the probability was, that mortification would keep her away.

But no such thing—Miss Charlotte had too much spirit to be beaten out of the field in that manner. She had waited with patience for her turban, because Miss Gibbs had told her, that, having many things to send out, it might be late before she got it; but when half-past six arrived, she became impatient, and dispatched her maid to fetch it. The maid returned, with "Miss Gibbs's respects, and the girl was still out with the things; she would be sure to call at Miss Charlotte's before she came back." At half-past seven there was another message, to say that the turban had not arrived; by this time the girl had done her errands, and Miss Gibbs, on questioning her, discovered the truth. But it was too late—the mischief was irreparable—Susan averring, with truth, that her mistress had gone to Mrs. Hanaway's party some time, with the turban on her head.

We will not attempt to paint Miss Charlotte's feelings—that would be a vain endeavor. Rage took possession of her soul; her attire was already complete, all but the head-dress, for which she was waiting. She selected the best turban she had, threw on her cloak and calash, and in a condition of mind bordering upon frenzy, she rushed forth, determined, be the consequences what they might, to claim her turban, and expose Miss Cecilia's dishonorable conduct before the whole company.

By the time she arrived at Mrs. Hanaway's door, owing to the delays that had intervened, it was nearly half-past eight; the company had all arrived; and whilst the butler and footmen were carrying up the refreshments,[Pg 80] one of the female servants of the establishment had come into the hall, and was endeavoring to introduce some sort of order and classification amongst the mass of external coverings that had been hastily thrown off by the ladies; so, when Miss Charlotte knocked, she opened the door and let her in, and proceeded to relieve her of her wraps.

"I suppose I'm very late," said Miss Charlotte, dropping into a chair to seize a moment's rest, whilst the woman drew off her boots; for she was out of breath with haste, and heated with fury.

"I believe everybody's come, ma'am," said the woman.

"I should have been here some time since," proceeded Miss Charlotte, "but the most shameful trick has been played me about my—my—Why—I declare—I really believe—" and she bent forward and picked up the turban—the identical turban, which, disturbed by the maid-servant's maneuvers, was lying upon the floor, still attached to the calash by Sukey's unlucky pin.

Was there ever such a triumph? Quick as lightning, the old turban was off and the new one on, the maid with bursting sides assisting in the operation; and then, with a light step and a proud heart, up walked Miss Charlotte, and was ushered into the drawing-room.

As the door opened, the eyes of the rivals met. Miss Cecilia's feelings were those of disappointment and surprise. "Then she has got a turban too! How could she have got it?"—and she was vexed that her triumph was not so complete as she had expected. But Miss Charlotte was in ecstasies. It may be supposed she was not slow to tell the story; it soon flew round the room, and the whole party were thrown into convulsions of laughter. Miss Cecilia alone was not in the secret; and as she was successful at cards, and therefore in good humor, she added to their mirth, by saying that she was glad to see everybody so merry, and by assuring Mrs. Hanaway, when she took her leave, that she had spent a delightful evening, and that her party was the gayest she had ever seen in B——.

"I am really ashamed," said Mrs. Hanaway, "at allowing the poor woman to be the jest of my company; but I was afraid to tell her the cause of our laughter, from the apprehension of what might have followed her discovery of the truth."

"And it must be admitted," said her husband, "that she well deserves the mortification that awaits her when she discovers the truth."

Poor Miss Cecilia did discover the truth, and never was herself again. She parted with her house, and went to live with a relation at Bristol; but her spirit was broken; and, after going through all the stages of a discontented old age, ill-temper, peevishness, and fatuity—she closed her existence, as usual with persons of her class, unloved and unlamented.


TO HORSE, to horse, Sir Nicholas; the clarion's note is high;
To horse, to horse, Sir Nicholas; the huge drum makes reply:
Ere this hath Lucas marchéd with his gallant cavaliers,
And the bray of Rupert's trumpets grows fainter on our ears;
To horse, to horse, Sir Nicholas; white Guy is at the door;
And the vulture whets his beak o'er the field of Marston Moor.
Up rose the lady Alice from her brief and broken prayer;
And she brought a silken standard down the narrow turret-stair:
Oh, many were the tears those radiant eyes had shed,
As she worked the bright word "Glory" in the gay and glancing thread;
And mournful was the smile that o'er those beauteous features ran,
As she said: "It is your lady's gift, unfurl it in the van."
"It shall flutter, noble wench, where the best and boldest ride;
Through the steel-clad files of Skippon, and the black dragoons of Pride;
The recreant soul of Fairfax will feel a sicklier qualm,
And the rebel lips of Oliver give out a louder psalm,
When they see my lady's gew-gaw flaunt bravely on their wing,
And hear her loyal soldier's shout, For God and for the king!"

Tis noon; the ranks are broken along the royal line;
They fly, the braggarts of the court, the bullies of the Rhine:
Stout Langley's cheer is heard no more, and Astley's helm is down;
And Rupert sheathes his rapier with a curse and with a frown:
And cold Newcastle mutters, as he follows in the flight,
"The German boar had better far have supped in York to-night."
The knight is all alone, his steel cap cleft in twain,
His good buff jerkin crimsoned o'er with many a gory stain;
But still he waves the standard, and cries amid the rout,
"For church and king, fair gentlemen, spur on, and fight it out!"—
And now he wards a roundhead's pike, and now he hums a stave,
And here he quotes a stage-play, and there he fells a knave.
Good speed to thee, Sir Nicholas! thou hast no thought of fear,
Good speed to thee, Sir Nicholas! but fearful odds are here.
The traitors ring thee round, and with every blow and thrust,
"Down, down," they cry, "with Belial, down with him to the dust!"
"I would," quoth grim old Oliver, "that Belial's trusty sword
This day were doing battle for the saints and for the Lord!"

The lady Alice sits with her maidens in her bower;
The gray-haired warden watches on the castle's highest tower.—
"What news, what news, old Anthony?"—"The field is lost and won;
The ranks of war are melting as the mists beneath the sun;
And a wounded man speeds hither,—I am old and cannot see,
Or sure I am that sturdy step my master's step should be."
"I bring thee back the standard from as rude and red a fray
As e'er was proof of soldier's thews, or theme for minstrel's lay:
Bid Hubert fetch the silver bowl, and liquor quantum suff.;
I'll make a shift to drain it, ere I part with boot and buff;
Though Guy through many a gaping wound is breathing out his life,
And I come to thee a landless man, my fond and faithful wife.[Pg 81]
Sweet, we will fill our money-bags, and freight a ship for France,
And mourn in merry Paris for this poor realm's mischance:
Or, if the worst betide me, why better ax or rope,
Than life with Lenthal for a King, and Peters for a Pope!
Alas, alas, my gallant Guy!—out on the crop-eared boor,
That sent me with my standard on foot from Marston Moor."

[From Fraser's Magazine.]

"HURRAH, old fellow!" shouted Ashburner's host, on the seventh morning of his visit; "here's a letter from Carl. I have been expecting it, and he has been expecting us, some time. So prepare yourself to start to-morrow."

"He can't have been expecting me, you know," suggested the guest, who, though remarkably domesticated for so short a time, hardly felt himself yet entitled to be considered one of the family.

"Oh, us means Clara, and myself, and baby, and any friends we choose to bring,—or, I should say, who will do us the honor to accompany us. We are hospitable people and the more the merrier. I know how much house-room Carl has; there is always a prophet's chamber, as the parsons call it, for such occasions. You must come; there's no two ways about that. You will see two very fine women there,—nice persons, as you would say: my sisters-in-law, Miss Vanderlyn, and Mrs. Carl Benson."

"But at any rate, would it not be better to write first, and apprise him of the additional visitor?"

"We should be there a week before our letter. Ecoutez! There is no post-office near us here, and my note would have to go to the city by a special messenger. Then the offices along the Hudson are perfectly antediluvian and barbarous, and mere mockery and delusion. Observe, I speak of the small local posts; on the main routes letters travel fast enough. You may send to Albany in nine hours; to Carl's place, which is about two-thirds of the distance to Albany, it would take more than half as many days,—if, indeed, it arrived at all. I remember once propounding this problem in the Blunder and Bluster:—'If a letter sent from New York to Hastings, distance 22 miles, never gets there, how long will it take one to go from New York to Red Hook, distance 110 miles?' We are shockingly behind you in our postal arrangements; there I give up the country. 'No, you musn't write, but come yourself,' as Penelope said to Ulysses."

Ashburner made no further opposition, and they were off the next morning accordingly. Before four a cart had started with the baggage, and directions to take up Ashburner's trunks and man-servant on the way. Soon after the coachman and groom departed with the saddle-horses, trotters, and wagon; for Benson, meditating some months' absence, took with him the whole of his stud, except the black colt, who was strongly principled against going on the water, and had nearly succeeded in breaking his master's neck on one occasion, when Harry insisted on his embarking. The long-tailed bays were left harnessed to the Rockaway,—a sort of light omnibus open at the sides, very like a char-à-banc, except that the seats run crosswise, and capable of accommodating from six to nine persons: that morning it held six, including the maid and nurse. Benson took the reins at a quarter-past five, and as the steamboat dock was situated at the very southern extremity of the city, and they had three miles of terrible pavement to traverse, besides nearly twelve of road, he arrived there just seven minutes before seven; at which hour, to the second, the good boat Swallow was to take wing. In a twinkling the horses were unharnessed and embarked; the carriage instantly followed them; and Harry, after assuring himself that all his property, animate and inanimate, was safely shipped, had still time to purchase, for his own and his friend's edification, the Jacobin, the Blunder and Bluster, the Inexpressible, and other popular papers, which an infinity of dirty boys were crying at the top of their not very harmonious voices.

"Our people do business pretty fast," said he, in a somewhat triumphant tone. "How this would astonish them on the Continent! See there!" as a family, still later than his own, arrived with a small mountain of trunks, all of which made their way on board as if they had wings. "When I traveled in Germany two years ago with Mrs. B. and her sister, we had eleven packages, and it used to take half-an-hour at every place to weigh and ticket them beforehand, not withstanding which one or two would get lost every now and then. In my own country I have traveled in all directions with large parties, never have been detained five minutes for baggage, and never lost anything except once—an umbrella. Now we are going."

The mate cried, "All ashore!" the newsboys and apple-venders disappeared; the planks were drawn in; the long, spidery walking-beam began to play; and the Swallow had started with her five hundred passengers.

"Let us stroll around the boat: I want to show you how we get up these things here."

The ladies' cabin on deck and the two general cabins below were magnificently furnished with the most expensive material, and in the last Parisian style, and this display and luxury were the more remarkable as the fare was but twelve shillings for a hundred and sixty miles. Ashburner admitted that the furniture was very elegant, but thought it out of place, and altogether too fine for the purpose.

"So you would say, probably, that the profuse and varied dinner we shall have is thrown away on the majority of the passengers, who bolt it in half-an-hour. But there are some who habitually appreciate the dinner and the furniture: it does them good, and it does the others no harm,—nay, it does them good, too.[Pg 82] The wild man from the West, who has but recently learned to walk on his hind legs, is dazzled with these sofas and mirrors, and respects them more than he would more ordinary furniture. At any rate, it's a fault on right side. The furniture of an English hotel is enough to give a traveler a fit of the blues, such an extreme state of fustiness it is sure to be in. Did it ever strike you, by the way, how behindhand your countrymen are in the matter of hotels? When a traveller passes from England into Belgium (putting France out of the question), it is like going from Purgatory into Paradise."

"I don't think I ever stayed at a London hotel."

"Of course not; when your governor was out of town, and you not with him, you had your club. This is exactly what all travelers in England complain of. Everything for the exclusive use of the natives is good—except the water, and of that you don't use much in the way of a beverage; everything particularly tending to the comfort of strangers and sojourners—as the hotels, for instance, is bad, dear, and uncomfortable. I don't think you like to have foreigners among you, for your arrangements are calculated to drive them out of the country as fast as possible!"

"Perhaps we don't, as a general principle," said Ashburner, smiling.

"Well, I won't say that it is not the wisest policy. We have suffered much by being too liberal to foreigners. But then you must not be surprised at what they say about you. However, it is not worth while to lose the view for our discussion. Come up-stairs and take a good look at the river of rivers."

Ashburner felt no disposition to deny the beauty and grandeur of the Hudson. At first, the shore was lined with beetling ramparts of trap-rock. After many miles of this, the clear water spread out into a great lake, with apparently no egress. But on turning a promontory, the river stretched away nearly as wide as before, under wooded cliffs not dissimilar to those of the Rhine. Then came the picturesque Catskill mountains; and near these Harry was to stop, but Ashburner did not stop with him. At West Point the boat had taken up, among other passengers, two young officers of his acquaintance, then quartered in Canada. They were going to take the tour of the lakes, including, of course, Niagara, and offered Ashburner, if he would accompany them on this excursion first, to show him the lions of Canada afterward. On consulting with Benson, he found that the trip would not occupy more than a month or five weeks, and that after that time the watering-place season would be at its height.

"And it will be an excuse for my staying with Carl till August," Harry continued. "The women are half crazy to be at Oldport already. I would rather stay at Ravenswood. We shall expect you there at the end of July. But," and here, for the first time since their acquaintance, Ashburner perceived a slight embarrassment in his manner, "don't bring your friends."

"Oh, dear, no!" said Ashburner, not comprehending what could have put such a thing into the other's head, or what was coming next.

"I don't mean to Ravenswood, but to Oldport; that is, if you can help their coming. To tell you the truth, your university men, and literary men generally, are popular enough here, but your army is in very bad odor. The young fellows who come down among us from Canada behave shockingly. They don't act like gentlemen or Christians."

Ashburner hastened to assure him that Captain Blank and Lieutenant Dash were both gentlemen and Christians, in the ordinary acceptation of the terms, and had never been known to misconduct themselves in any way.

"Doubtless, inasmuch as they are your friends, but the general principle remains the same. So many of your young officers have misconducted themselves that the primâ facie evidence is always against one of them, and he stands a chance of being coolly treated."

Ashburner wanted to know what the young officers had done.

"Everything they could do to go counter to the habits and prejudices of the people among whom they were, and to show their contempt of American society; to act, in short, as if they were among uncivilized people. For instance, it is a custom at these watering-place hotels to dress for the table-d'hôte. Now, I do not think it altogether reasonable that a man should be expected to make his evening toilet by three in the afternoon, and, indeed, I do not strictly conform to the rule myself. But these men came in with flannel shirts and dirty shoes, and altogether in a state unfit for ladies' company. Perhaps, however, we were too fastidious in this. But what do you say to a youngster's seating himself upon a piano in the public parlor, while a lady is playing on it?"

Ashburner allowed that it was rather unceremonious.

"By various similar acts, trivial, perhaps, individually, but forming a very disagreeable aggregate, these young men made themselves so unpopular that one season the ladies, by common consent, refused to dance with any of them. But there is worse behind. These gentlemen, so stupid in a drawing-room, are sharp enough in borrowing money, and altogether oblivious of repaying it."

Ashburner remembered the affair of Ensign Lawless, and made up his mind to undergo another repetition of it.

"I don't speak of my individual case, the thing has happened fifty times. I could tell of a dozen friends who have been victimized in this way during the last three years. In fact, I believe that your jeunes militaires have formed a league to avenge the Mississippi bondholders, and recover their lost money under the form of these nominal loans. You[Pg 83] may think it poetic justice, but we New Yorkers have no fancy to pay the Mississippians' debts in this way."

It would be foreign to our present purpose to accompany Ashburner in his Northwestern and Canadian tour. Suffice it to say, that he returned by the first of August, very much pleased, having seen many things well worth seeing, and experienced no particular annoyance, except the one predicted by Benson, that he sometimes had to take care of his servant. Neither shall we say much of his visit to Ravenswood, where, indeed, he only spent a few hours, arriving there in the morning and leaving it in the afternoon of the same day, and had merely time to partake of a capital lunch, and to remark that his entertainer had a beautiful place and a handsome wife, and was something like his younger brother, but more resembling an Englishman than any American he had yet seen.

The party to Oldport was increased by the addition of Miss Vanderlyn, a tall, stylish girl, more striking than her sister, but less delicately beautiful. Though past twenty, she had been out only one season, having been kept back three years by various accidents. But though new to society, she had nothing of the book-muslin timidity about her; nor was she at all abashed by the presence of the titled foreigner. On the contrary, she addressed him with perfect ease of manner, in French, professing, as an apology for conversing in that language, a fear that he might not be able to understand her English,—"Parceque chez vous, on dit que nous autres Americaines, ne parlons pas l'Anglais comme il faut."

As we are not writing a handbook or geographical account of the Northern States, it will not be necessary to mention where the fashionable watering-place of Oldport Springs is situated—not even what State it is in—suffice it to say, that from Carl Benson's place thither was a day's journey, performed partly by steamboat, partly by rail, and the last forty miles by stage-coach, or, as the Americans say, "for shortness," by stage. The water portion of their journey was soon over, nor did Ashburner much regret it, for he had been over this part of the route before on his way to Canada, and the river is not remarkably beautiful above the Catskill range.

On taking the cars, Benson seized the opportunity to enlighten his friend with a quantity of railroad statistics and gossip, such as, that the American trains averaged eighteen miles an hour, including stoppages,—about two miles short of the steamboat average; that they cost about one-fifth of an English road, or a dollar for a pound, which accounted for their deficiency in some respects; that there were more than three thousand miles of rail in the country; that there was no division of first, second, and third class, but that some lines had ladies cars—that is to say, cars for the gentlemen with ladies and the ladies without gentlemen—and some had separate cars for the ladies and gentlemen of color; that there had been some attempts to get up smoking-cars after the German fashion, but the public mind was not yet fully prepared for it; that one of the southern lines had tried the experiment of introducing a restaurant and other conveniences, with tolerable success; and other facts of more or less interest. Ashburner for his part, on examining his ticket, found upon the back of it a list of all the stations on the route, with their times and distances—a very convenient arrangement; and he was also much amused at the odd names of some of the stations—Nineveh, Pompey, Africa, Cologne, and others equally incongruous.

"Don't be afraid of laughing," said Benson, who guessed what he was smiling at. "Whenever I am detained at a country tavern, if there duly happens to be a good-sized map of the United States there, I have enough to amuse me in studying the different styles of names in the different sections of the Union—different in style, but alike in impropriety. In our State, as you know, the fashion is for classical and oriental names. In New England there is a goodly amount of old English appellations, but often sadly misapplied; for instance, an inland town will be called Falmouth, or Oldport, like the place we are going to. The aboriginal names, often very harmonious, had been generally displaced, except in Maine, where they are particularly long, and jaw-breaking, such as Winnipiscoggir and Chargogagog. Still we have some very pretty Indian names left in New York; Ontario, for instance, and Oneida, and Niagara, which you who have been there know is

Pronounced Niágara,
To rhyme with staggerer,
And not Niagára,
To rhyme with starer."

"What does Niagara mean?"

"Broken water, I believe; but one gets so many different meanings for these names, from those who profess to know more or less about the native dialects, that you can never be certain. For instance, a great many will tell you, on Chateaubriand's authority, that Mississippi means Father of the waters. Some years ago one of our Indian scholars stated that this was an error; that the literal meaning of Mississippi was old-big-strong—not quite so poetic an appellation. I asked Albert Gallatin about it at the time—he was considered our best man on such subjects—and he told me that the word, or words, for the name is made up of two, signified the entire river. This is a fair specimen of the answers you get. I never had the same explanation of an Indian name given me by two men who pretended to understand the Indian languages."

"What rule does a gentleman adopt in naming his country-seat when he acquires a new one, or is there any rule?"

"There are two natural and proper expedients, one to take the nearest aboriginal name that is pretty and practicable, the other to adopt the name from some natural[Pg 84] feature. Of this latter we have two very neat examples in the residences of our two greatest statesmen, Clay and Webster, which are called Ashland and Marshfield—appellations exactly descriptive of the places. But very often mere fancy names are adopted, and frequently in the worst possible taste, by people too who have great taste in other respects. I wanted my brother to call his place Carlsruhe—that would have been literally appropriate, though sounding oddly at first. But as it belonged originally to his father-in-law, it seemed but fair that his wife should have the naming of it, and she was so fond of the Bride of Lammermoor! Well, I hope Carl will set up a few crows some day, just to give a little color to the name. But, after all, what's in a name? We are to stop at Constantinople; if they give us a good supper and bed there (and they will unless the hotel is much altered for the worse within two years), they may call the town Beelzebub for me."

But Benson reckoned without his host. They were fated to pass the night, not at Constantinople, but at the rising village of Hardscrabble, consisting of a large hotel and a small blacksmith's shop.

The contretemps happened in this wise. The weather was very hot—it always is from the middle of June to the middle of September—but this day had been particularly sultry, and toward evening oppressed nature found relief in a thunder-storm, and such a storm! Ashburner, though anything but a nervous man, was not without some anxiety, and the ladies were in a sad fright; particularly Mrs. Benson, who threatened hysterics, and required a large expenditure of Cologne and caresses to bring her round. At last the train came to a full stop at Hardscrabble, about thirty-six miles on the wrong side of Constantinople. Even before the usual three minutes' halt was over our travelers suspected some accident; their suspicions were confirmed when the three minutes extended to ten, and ultimately the conductor announced that just beyond this station half a mile of the road had been literally washed away, so that further progress was impossible. Fortunately by this time the rain had so far abated that the passengers were able to pass from the shelter of the cars (there was no covered way at the station) to that of the spacious hotel stoop without being very much wetted. Benson recollected that there was a canal at no great distance, which, though comparatively disused since the establishment of the railroad, still had some boats on it, and he thought it probable that they might finish their journey in this way—not a very comfortable or expeditious one, but better than standing still. It appeared however on inquiry that the canal was also put hors de combat by the weather, and nothing was to be done that way. Only two courses remained, either to go back to Clinton, or to remain for the night where they were.

"This hotel ought to be able to accommodate us all," remarked a fellow-passenger near them.

He might well say so. The portico under which they stood (built of the purest white pine, and modeled after that of a Grecian temple with eight columns) fronted at least eighty feet. The house was several stories high, and if the front were anything more than a mere shell, must contain rooms for two hundred persons. How the building came into its present situation was a mystery to Ashburner; it looked as if it had been transported bodily from some large town, and set down alone in the wilderness. The probability is, that some speculators, judging from certain signs that a town was likely to arise there soon, had built the hotel so as to be all ready for it.

There was no need to question the landlord: he had already been diligently assuring every one that he could accommodate all the passengers, who indeed did not exceed a hundred in number.

Logicians tell us, that a great deal of the trouble and misunderstanding which exists in this naughty world, arises from men not defining their terms in the outset. The landlord of Hardscrabble had evidently some peculiar ideas of his own as to the meaning of the term accommodate. The real state of the case was, that he had any quantity of rooms, and a tolerably liberal supply of bedsteads, but his stock of bedding was by no means in proportion; and he was, therefore, compelled to multiply it by process of division, giving the hair mattress to one, the feather bed to another, the straw bed to a third; and so with the pillows and bolsters as far as they would go. This was rather a long process, even with American activity, especially as some of the hands employed were temporarily called off to attend to the supper table.

The meal, which was prepared and eaten with great promptitude, was a mixture of tea and supper. Very good milk, pretty good tea, and pretty bad coffee, represented the drinkables; and for solids, there was a plentiful provision of excellent bread and butter, new cheese, dried beef in very thin slices, or rather chips, gingerbread, dough-nuts, and other varieties of home-made cake, sundry preserves, and some pickles. The waiters were young women—some of them very pretty and lady-like. The Bensons kept up a conversation with each other and Ashburner in French, which he suspected to be a customary practice of "our set" when in public, as indeed it was, and one which tended not a little to make them unpopular. A well-dressed man opposite looked so fiercely at them that the Englishman thought he might have partially comprehended their discourse and taken offense at it, till he was in a measure reassured by seeing him eat poundcake and cheese together,—a singularity of taste about which he could not help making a remark to Benson.

[Pg 85]

"Oh, that's nothing," said Harry. "Did you never, when you were on the lakes, see them eat ham and molasses? It is said to be a western practice: I never was there; but I'll tell you what I have seen. A man with cake, cheese, smoked-beef, and preserves, all on his plate together, and paying attention to them all indiscriminately. He was not an American either, but a Creole Frenchman of New Orleans, who had traveled enough to know better."

Soon after supper most of the company seemed inclined bedward; but there were no signs of beds for some time. Benson's party, who were more amused than fatigued by their evening's experience, spread the carpet of resignation, and lit the cigar of philosophy. All the passengers did not take it so quietly. One tall, melancholy-faced man, who looked as if he required twice the ordinary amount of sleep, was especially anxious to know "where they were going to put him."

"Don't be afraid, sir," said the landlord, as he shot across the room on some errand; "we'll tell you before you go to bed." With which safe prediction the discontented one was fain to content himself.

At length, about ten or half-past, the rooms began to be in readiness, and their occupants to be marched off to them in squads of six or eight at a time,—the long corridors and tall staircases of the hotel requiring considerable pioneering and guidance. Benson's party came among the last. Having examined the room assigned to the ladies, Harry reported it to contain one bed and half a washstand; from which he and Ashburner had some misgivings as to their own accommodation, but were not exactly prepared for what followed, when a small boy with a tallow candle and face escorted them up three flights of stairs into a room containing two small beds and a large spittoon, and not another single article of furniture.

"I say, boy!" quoth Benson, in much dudgeon, turning to their chamberlain, "suppose we should want to wash in the morning, what are we to do?"

"I don't know, sir," answered the boy; and depositing the candle on the floor, disappeared in the darkness.

"By Jove!" ejaculated the fastidious youth, "there isn't as much as a hook in the wall to hang one's coat on. It's lucky we brought up our carpet-bags with us, else we should have to look out a clean spot on the floor for our clothes."

Ashburner was not very much disconcerted. He had traveled in so many countries, notwithstanding his youth, that he could pass his nights anyhow. In fact, he had never been at a loss for sleep in his life, except on one occasion, when, in Galway, a sofa was assigned to him at one side of a small parlor, on the other side of which three Irish gentlemen were making a night of it.

So they said their prayers, and went to bed, like good boys. But their slumbers were not unbroken. Ashburner dreamed that he was again in Venice, and that the musquitoes of that delightful city, of whose venomousness and assiduity he retained shuddering recollections, were making an onslaught upon him in great numbers; while Benson awoke toward morning with a great outcry; in apology for which he solemnly assured his friend, that two seconds before he was in South Africa, where a lion of remarkable size and ferocity had caught him by the leg. And on rising they discovered some spots of blood on the bed-clothes, showing that their visions had not been altogether without foundation in reality.

The Hardscrabble hotel, grand in its general outlines, had overlooked the trifling details of wash-stands and chamber crockery. Such of these articles as it did possess, were very properly devoted to the use of the ladies; and accordingly Ashburner and Benson, and forty-five more, performed their matutinal ablutions over a tin basin in the bar-room, where Harry astonished the natives by the production of his own particular towel and pocket comb. The weather had cleared up beautifully, the railroad was repaired, and the train ready to start as soon as breakfast was over. After this meal, as miscellaneous as their last night's supper, while the passengers were discharging their reckoning, Ashburner noticed that his friend was unusually fussy and consequential, asked several questions, and made several remarks in a loud tone, and altogether seemed desirous of attracting attention. When it came to his turn to pay, he told out the amount, not in the ordinary dirty bills, but in hard, ringing half-dollars, which had the effect of drawing still further notice upon him.

"Five dollars and a quarter," said Benson, in a measured and audible tone; "and, Landlord, here's a quarter extra."

The landlord looked up in surprise; so did the two or three men standing nearest Harry.

"It's to buy beef with, to feed 'em. Feed 'em well now, don't forget!"

"Feed 'em! feed who?" and the host looked as if he thought his customer crazy.

"Feed who? Why look here!" and bending over the counter, Harry uttered a portentous monosyllable, in a pretended whisper, but really as audible to the bystanders as a stage aside. Three or four of those nearest exploded.

"Yes, feed 'em well before you put anybody into your beds again, or you'll have to answer for the death of a fellow-Christian some day, that's all. Good morning!" And taking his wife under his arm, Benson stalked off to the cars with a patronizing farewell nod, amid a sympathetic roar, leaving the host irresolute whether to throw a decanter after him, or to join in the general laugh.

Hook and one of his friends happened to come to a bridge. "Do you know who built this bridge?" said he to Hook. "No, but if you go over you'll be tolled."

[Pg 86]

[From the December number of Graham's Magazine.]

OFT have I dreamed of music rare and fine,
The wedded melody of lute and voice,
Divinest strains that made my soul rejoice,
And woke its inner harmonies divine.
And where Sicilia smooths the ruffled seas,
And Tempe hallows all its purple vales,
Thrice have I heard the noble nightingales,
All night entranced beneath the gloomy trees;
But music, nightingales, and all that Thought
Conceives of song is naught
To thy rich voice, which echoes in my brain,
And fills my longing heart with a melodious pain!
A thousand lamps were lit—I saw them not—
Nor all the thousands round me like a sea,
Life, Death and Time, and all things were forgot;
I only thought of thee!
Meanwhile the music rose sublime and strong,
But sunk beneath thy voice which rose alone,
Above its crumbled fragments to thy throne,
Above the clouds of Song.
Henceforth let Music seal her lips, and be
The silent Ministrant of Poesy;
For not the delicate reed that Pan did play
To partial Midas at the match of old,
Nor yet Apollo's lyre, with chords of gold,
That more than won the crown he lost that day;
Nor even the Orphean lute, that half set free—
Oh why not all?—the lost Eurydice—
Were fit to join with thee;
Much less our instruments of meaner sound,
That track thee slowly o'er enchanted ground,
Unfit to lift the train thy music leaves,
Or glean around its sheaves!
I strive to disentangle in my mind
Thy many-knotted threads of softest song,
Whose memory haunts me like a voiceless wind,
Whose silence does it wrong.
No single tone thereof, no perfect sound
Lingers, but dim remembrance of the whole;
A sound which was a Soul.
The Soul of sound diffused an atmosphere around
So soft, so sweet, so mellow, rich and deep!
So like a heavenly soul's ambrosial breath,
It would not wake but only deepen Sleep
Into diviner Death!
Softer and sweeter than the jealous flute,
Whose soft, sweet voice grew harsh before its own,
It stole in mockery its every tone,
And left it lone and mute;
It flowed like liquid pearl through golden cells,
It jangled like a string of golden bells,
It trembled like a wind in golden strings,
It dropped and rolled away in golden rings;
Then it divided and became a shout,
That Echo chased about,
However wild and fleet,
Until it trod upon its heels with flying feet!
At last it sunk and sunk from deep to deep,
Below the thinnest word,
And sunk till naught was heard,
But charméd Silence sighing in its sleep!
Powerless and mute beneath thy mighty spell,
My heart was lost within itself and thee,
As when a pearl is melted in its shell,
And sunken in the sea!
I sunk, and sunk beneath thy song, but still
I thirsted after more, the more I sank;
A flower that drooped with all the dew it drank,
But still upheld its cup for Heaven to fill;
My inmost soul was drunk with melody,
Which thou didst pour around,
To crown the feast of sound,
And lift to every lip, but chief to me,
Whose spirit uncontrolled,
Drained all the fiery wine and clutched its cup of gold!
Would I could only hear thee once again,
But once again, and pine into the air,
And fade away with all this hopeless pain,
This hope divine, and this divine despair!
If we were only Voices, if our minds
Were only voices, what a life were ours!
My soul would woo thee in the vernal winds,
And thine would answer me in summer showers,
At morn and even, when the east and west
Were bathed in floods of purple poured from Heaven,
We would delay the Morn upon its nest,
And fold the wings of Even!
All day we'd fly with azure wings unfurled,
And gird a belt of Song about the world;
All night we'd teach the winds of night a tune,
While charméd oceans slept beneath a yellow moon!
And when aweary grown of earthly sport,
We'd wind our devious flight from star to star,
Till we beheld the palaces afar,
Where Music holds her court.
Entered and beckoned up the aisles of sound,
Where starry melodies are marshaled round,
We'd kneel before her throne with eager dread,
And when she kissed us melt in trances deep,
While angels bore us to her bridal bed,
And sung our souls asleep!
O Queen of Song! as peerless as thou art,
As worthy as thou art to wear thy crown,
Thou hast a deeper claim to thy renown,
And a diviner music in thy heart;
Simplicity and goodness walk with thee,
Beneath the wings of watchful Seraphim:
And Love is wed to whitest Chastity,
And Pity sings its hymn.
Nor is thy goodness passive in its end,
But ever active as the sun and rain—
Unselfish, lavish of its golden gain—
Not want alone, but a whole nation's—Friend!
This is thy glory, this thy noblest fame;
And when thy glory fades, and fame departs,
This will perpetuate a deathless name,
Where names are deathless—deep in loving hearts!

[From Miss McIntosh's "Christmas Gift."]

DURING the winter of 1844, being engaged in the northern part of Maine, I had much leisure to devote to the wild sports of a new country. To none of these was I more passionately addicted than to skating. The deep and sequestered lakes of this State, frozen by the intense cold of a northern winter, present a wide field to the lovers of this pastime. Often would I bind on my skates, and glide away up the glittering river, and wind each mazy streamlet that flowed beneath its fetters on toward the parent ocean, forgetting all the while time and distance in the luxurious sense of the gliding motion—thinking of nothing in the easy flight, but rather dreaming, as I looked through the transparent ice at the long weeds and cresses that nodded in the current beneath, and seemed wrestling with the waves to let them go; or I would follow on the track of some fox or otter, and run my skate along the mark he had left with his dragging tail until the trail would enter the woods. Sometimes these excursions were made by moonlight, and it was on one of these occasions that I had a rencounter, which even now, with kind faces around me, I cannot recall without a nervous looking-over-my-shoulder feeling.

I had left my friend's house one evening just before dusk, with the intention of skating a short distance up the noble Kennebec, which glided directly before the door. The night was beautifully clear. A peerless moon rode through an occasional fleecy cloud, and stars twinkled from the sky and from every frost-covered tree in millions. Your mind would wonder at the light that came glinting from ice, and snow-wreath, and incrusted branches, as the eye followed for miles the broad gleam of the Kennebec, that like a jeweled zone swept between the mighty forests on its banks. And yet all was still. The cold seemed to have frozen tree, and air, and water, and every living thing that[Pg 87] moved. Even the ringing of my skates on the ice echoed back from the Moccasin Hill with a startling clearness, and the crackle of the ice as I passed over it in my course seemed to follow the tide of the river with lightning speed.

I had gone up the river nearly two miles when, coming to a little stream which empties into the larger, I turned in to explore its course. Fir and hemlock of a century's growth met overhead, and formed an archway radiant with frost-work. All was dark within, but I was young and fearless, and as I peered into an unbroken forest that reared itself on the borders of the stream, I laughed with very joyousness: my wild hurra rang through the silent woods, and I stood listening to the echo that reverberated again and again, until all was hushed. I thought how often the Indian hunter had concealed himself behind these very trees—how often his arrow had pierced the deer by this very stream, and his wild halloo had here rung for his victory. And then, turning from fancy to reality, I watched a couple of white owls, that sat in their hooded state, with ruffled pantalets and long ear-tabs, debating in silent conclave the affairs of their frozen realm, and wondering if they, "for all their feathers, were a-cold," when suddenly a sound arose—it seemed to me to come from beneath the ice; it sounded low and tremulous at first, until it ended in one wild yell. I was appalled. Never before had such a noise met my ears. I thought it more than mortal—so fierce, and amid such an unbroken solitude, it seemed as if a fiend had blown a blast from an infernal trumpet. Presently I heard the twigs on shore snap, as if from the tread of some animal, and the blood rushed back to my forehead with a bound that made my skin burn, and I felt relieved that I had to contend with things earthly, and not of spiritual nature—my energies returned, and I looked around me for some means of escape. The moon shone through the opening at the mouth of the creek by which I had entered the forest, and considering this the best means of escape, I darted toward it like an arrow. 'Twas hardly a hundred yards distant, and the swallow could scarcely excel my desperate flight; yet, as I turned my head to the shore, I could see two dark objects dashing through the underbrush at a pace nearly double in speed to my own. By this great speed, and the short yells which they occasionally gave, I knew at once that these were the much dreaded gray wolf.

I had never met with these animals, but from the description given of them I had but little pleasure in making their acquaintance. Their untamable fierceness, and the untiring strength which seems part of their nature, render them objects of dread to every benighted traveler.

"With their long gallop, which can tire
The deer-hound's hate, the hunter's fire,"

they pursue their prey—never straying from the track of their victim—and as the wearied hunter thinks he has at last outstripped them, he finds that they but waited for the evening to seize their prey, and falls a prize to the tireless animals.

The bushes that skirted the shore flew past with the velocity of lightning as I dashed on in my flight to pass the narrow opening. The outlet was nearly gained; one second more and I would be comparatively safe, when my pursuers appeared on the bank directly above me, which here rose to the height of ten feet. There was no time for thought, so I bent my head and dashed madly forward. The wolves sprang, but miscalculating my speed, sprang behind, while their intended prey glided out upon the river.

Nature turned me toward home. The light flakes of snow spun from the iron of my skates, and I was some distance from my pursuers, when their fierce howl told me I was still their fugitive. I did not look back, I did not feel afraid, or sorry, or glad; one thought of home, of the bright faces awaiting my return, of their tears if they never should see me, and then every energy of body and mind was exerted for escape. I was perfectly at home on the ice. Many were the days that I spent on my good skates, never thinking that at one time they would be my only means of safety. Every half minute an alternate yelp from my fierce attendants made me but too certain that they were in close pursuit. Nearer and nearer they came; I heard their feet pattering on the ice nearer still, until I could feel their breath and hear their snuffing scent. Every nerve and muscle in my frame was stretched to the utmost tension.

The trees along the shore seemed to dance in the uncertain light, and my brain turned with my own breathless speed, yet still they seemed to hiss forth their breath with a sound truly horrible, when an involuntary motion on my part turned me out of my course. The wolves close behind, unable to stop, and as unable to turn on the smooth ice, slipped and fell, still going on far ahead; their tongues were lolling out, their white tusks glaring from their bloody mouths, their dark, shaggy breasts were fleeced with foam, and as they passed me their eyes glared, and they howled with fury. The thought flashed on my mind, that by this means I could avoid them, viz., by turning aside whenever they came too near; for they, by the formation of their feet, are unable to run on ice except on a straight line.

I immediately acted upon this plan. The wolves, having regained their feet, sprang directly toward me. The race was renewed for twenty yards up the stream; they were already close on my back, when I glided round and dashed directly past my pursuers. A fierce yell greeted my evolution, and the wolves, slipping upon their haunches, sailed onward, presenting a perfect picture of helplessness and baffled rage. Thus I gained nearly a hundred yards at each turning.[Pg 88] This was repeated two or three times, every moment the animals getting more excited and baffled.

At one time, by delaying my turning too long, my fierce antagonists came so near, that they threw the white foam over my dress as they sprang to seize me, and their teeth clashed together like the spring of a fox-trap. Had my skates failed for one instant, had I tripped on a stick, or caught my foot in a fissure in the ice, the story I am now telling would never have been told. I thought all the chances over; I knew where they would first take hold of me if I fell; I thought how long it would be before I died, and when there would be a search for the body that would already have its tomb; for oh! how fast man's mind traces out all the dead colors of death's picture, only those who have been near the grim original can tell.

But soon I came opposite the house, and my hounds—I knew their deep voices—roused by the noise, bayed furiously from the kennels. I heard their chains rattle; how I wished they would break them, and then I would have protectors that would be peers to the fiercest denizens of the forest. The wolves, taking the hint conveyed by the dogs, stopped in their mad career, and after a moment's consideration, turned and fled. I watched them until their dusky forms disappeared over a neighboring hill. Then, taking off my skates, I wended my way to the house, with feelings which may be better imagined than described.

But even yet, I never see a broad sheet of ice in the moonshine, without thinking of that snuffling breath and those fearful things that followed me so closely down the frozen Kennebec.

[From Recollections and Anecdotes of the Bard of Glamorgan.]

DURING one of his perambulations in Cardiganshire, the Bard found himself, on a dreary winter evening, at too great a distance from the abode of any friend, for him to reach it at a reasonable hour: he was also more than commonly weary, and therefore turned into a roadside public house to take up his night's lodgings. He had been there only a short time, standing before the cheerful fire, when a poor peddler entered with a pack on his back, and evidently suffering from cold and fatigue. He addressed the landlord in humble tone, begging he might lodge there, but frankly avowing he had no money. Trade, he said, had of late been unfavorable to him—no one bought his goods, and he was making the best of his way to a more populous district. There were, however, articles of value in his pack, much more than sufficient to pay for his entertainment, and he tendered any part of them, in payment, or in pledge for the boon of shelter and refreshment. The landlord, however, was one of those sordid beings who regard money as the standard of worth in their fellow-men, and the want of it as a warrant for insult; he, therefore, sternly told the poor wayfarer there was no harbor for him under that roof, unless he had coin to pay for it. Again and again, the weary man, with pallid looks and feeble voice, entreated the heartless wretch, and was as often repulsed in a style of bulldog surliness, till at length he was roughly ordered to leave the house. The bard was not an unmoved witness of this revolting scene; and his heart had been sending forth its current, in rapid and yet more rapid pulsations to his now glowing extremities, as he listened and looked on. He had only one solitary shilling in his pocket, which he had destined to purchase his own accommodations for that wintry night; but its destination was now changed. Here was a needy man requiring it more than himself; and according to his generous views of the social compact, it became his duty to sacrifice his minor necessities to the greater ones of his fellow-creature. Snatching the shilling from its lurking place, he placed it in the hand of the peddler, telling him that would pay for his lodging, and lodging he should have, in spite of the savage who had refused it. Then darting a withering look at the publican, he exclaimed, "Villain! do you call yourself a man? You, who would turn out a poor exhausted traveler from your house on a night like this, under any circumstances! But he has offered you ample payment for his quarters and you refused him. Did you mean to follow him and rob him—perhaps murder him? You have the heart of a murderer; you are a disgrace to humanity, and I will not stay under your roof another minute; but turn out this poor traveler at your peril—you dare not refuse the money he can now offer you." Having thus vented his indignant feeling with his usual heartiness, Iolo seized his staff and walked out into the inclement night, penniless indeed, and supperless too, but with a rich perception of the truth uttered by Him who "had not where to lay his head," though omnipotent as well as universal in his beneficence—"It is more blessed to give than to receive." A walk of many miles lay between him and his friend's house, to which he now directed his steps, and by the time he entered early on the following morning his powers had nearly sunk under cold and exhaustion. A fever was the sequel, keeping him stationary for several weeks.

[From Dickens's Household Words.]

THEY say Ideal Beauty cannot enter
The house of anguish. On the threshold stands
This alien Image with the shackled hands,
Called the Greek Slave: as if the artist meant her,
(The passionless perfection which he lent her,
Shadowed, not darkened, where the sill expands,)
To, so, confront man's crimes in different lands,
With man's ideal sense. Pierce to the centre,
Art's fiery finger! and break up ere long
The serfdom of this world. Appeal, fair stone,
From God's pure heights of beauty, against man's wrong!
Catch up, in thy divine face, not alone
East griefs, but west, and strike and shame the strong,
By thunders of white silence, overthrown.

[Pg 89]

[From Papers for the People.]

"WHAT do you pay for peeping?" said a baker's boy with a tray on his shoulder to a young man in a drab-colored greatcoat, and with a cockade in his hat, who, on a cold December's night was standing with his face close to the parlor window of a mean house, in a suburb of one of our largest seaport towns in the south of England.

Tracy Walkingham, which was the name of the peeper, might have answered that he paid dear enough; for in proportion as he indulged himself with these surreptitious glances, he found his heart stealing away from him, till he literally had not a corner of it left that he could fairly call his own.

Tracy was a soldier; but being in the service of one of his officers, named D'Arcy, was relieved from wearing his uniform. At sixteen years of age he had run away from a harsh schoolmaster, and enlisted in an infantry regiment; and about three weeks previous to the period at which our story opens, being sent on an early errand to his master's laundress, his attention had been arrested by a young girl, who, coming hastily out of an apothecary's shop with a phial in her hand, was rushing across the street, unmindful of the London coach and its four horses, which were close upon her, and by which she would assuredly have been knocked down, had not Tracy seized her by the arm and snatched her from the danger.

"You'll be killed if you don't look sharper," said he carelessly; but as he spoke, she turned her face toward him. "I hope my roughness has not hurt you?" he continued in a very different tone: "I'm afraid I gripped your arm too hard?"

"I'm very much obliged to you," she said; "you did not hurt me at all. Thank you," she added, looking back to him as she opened the door of the opposite house with a key which she held in her hand.

The door closed, and she was gone ere Tracy could find words to detain her; but if ever there was a case of love at first sight, this was one. Short as had been the interview, she carried his heart with her. For some minutes he stood staring at the house, too much surprised and absorbed in his own feelings to be aware that, as is always the case if a man stops to look at anything in the street, he was beginning to collect a little knot of people about him, who all stared in the same direction too, and were asking each other what was the matter. Warned by this discovery, the young soldier proceeded on his way; but so engrossed and absent was he, that he had strode nearly a quarter of a mile beyond the laundress' cottage before he discovered his error. On his return, he contrived to walk twice past the house; but he saw nothing of the girl. He had a mind to go into the apothecary's and make some inquiry about her; but that consciousness which so often arrests such inquiries arrested his, and he went home, knowing no more than his eyes and ears had told him—namely, that this young damsel had the loveliest face and the sweetest voice that fortune had yet made him acquainted with, and, moreover, that the possessor of these charms was apparently a person in a condition of life not superior to his own. Her dress and the house in which she lived both denoted humble circumstances, if not absolute poverty, although he felt that her countenance and speech indicated a degree of refinement somewhat inconsistent with this last conjecture. She might be a reduced gentlewoman. Tracy hoped not, for if so, poor as she was, she would look down upon him; she might, on the contrary, be one of those natural aristocrats, born Graces, that nature sometimes pleases herself with sending into the world; as in her humorous moments she not unfrequently does the reverse, bestowing on a princess the figure and port of a market-woman. Whichever it was, the desire uppermost in his mind was to see her again; and accordingly, after his master was dressed, and gone to dinner, he directed his steps to the same quarter. It was now evening, and he had an opportunity of more conveniently surveying the house and its neighborhood without exciting observation himself. For this purpose he crossed over to the apothecary's door, and looked around him. It was a mean street, evidently inhabited by poor people, chiefly small retail dealers; almost every house in it being used as a shop, as appeared from the lights and the merchandise in the windows, except the one inhabited by the unknown beauty. They were all low buildings of only two stories; and that particular house was dark from top to bottom, with the exception of a faint stripe of light which gleamed from one of the lower windows, of which there were only two, apparently from a rent or seam in the shutter, which was closed within. On crossing over to take a nearer survey, Tracy perceived that just above a green curtain which guarded the lower half of the window from the intrusions of curiosity, the shutters were divided into upper and lower, and that there was a sufficient separation between them to enable a person who was tall enough to place his eye on a level with the opening, to see into the room. Few people, however, were tall enough to do this, had they thought it worth their while to try; but Tracy, who was not far from six feet high, found he could accomplish the feat quite easily. So, after looking round to make sure nobody was watching him, he ventured on a peep; and there indeed he saw the object of all this interest sitting on one side of a table, whilst a man, apparently old enough to be her father, sat on the other. He was reading, and she was working, with the rich curls of her dark-brown hair tucked carelessly behind her small ears, disclosing the whole of her young and lovely face, which was turned toward the window. The features of the man he could not see, but his[Pg 90] head was bald, and his figure lank; and Tracy fancied there was something in his attitude that indicated ill health. Sometimes she looked up and spoke to her companion, but when she did so, it was always with a serious, anxious expression of countenance, which seemed to imply that her communications were on no very cheerful subject. The room was lighted by a single tallow candle, and its whole aspect denoted poverty and privation, while the young girl's quick and eager fingers led the spectator to conclude she was working for her bread.

It must not be supposed that all these discoveries were the result of one enterprise. Tracy could only venture on a peep now and then when nobody was nigh; and many a time he had his walk for nothing. Sometimes, too, his sense of propriety revolted, and he forebore from a consciousness that it was not a delicate proceeding thus to spy into the interior of this poor family at moments when they thought no human eye was upon them: but his impulse was too powerful to be always thus resisted, and fortifying himself with the consideration that his purpose was not evil, he generally rewarded one instance of self-denial by two or three of self-indulgence. And yet the scene that met his view was so little varied, that it might have been supposed to afford but a poor compensation for so much perseverance. The actors and their occupation continued always the same; and the only novelty offered was, that Tracy sometimes caught a glimpse of the man's features, which, though they betrayed evidence of sickness and suffering, bore a strong resemblance to those of the girl.

All this, however, to make the most of it, was but scanty fare for a lover; nor was Tracy at all disposed to content himself with such cold comfort. He tried what walking through the street by day would do, but the door was always closed, and the tall green curtain presented an effectual obstacle to those casual glances on which alone he could venture by sunlight. Once only he had the good fortune again to meet this "bright particular star" out of doors, and that was one morning about eight o'clock, when he had been again sent on an early embassy to the laundress. She appeared to have been out executing her small marketings, for she was hastening home with a basket on her arm. Tracy had formed a hundred different plans for addressing her—one, in short, suited to every possible contingency—whenever the fortunate opportunity should present itself; but, as is usual in similar cases, now that it did come, she flashed upon him so suddenly, that in his surprise and agitation he missed the occasion altogether. The fact was that she stepped out of a shop just as he was passing it; and her attention being directed to some small change which she held in her hand, and which she appeared to be anxiously counting, she never even saw him, and had reentered her own door before he could make up his mind what to do. He learned, however, by this circumstance, that the best hope of success lay in his going to Thomas Street at eight o'clock; but alas! this was the very hour that his services could not be dispensed with at home; and although he made several desperate efforts, he did not succeed in hitting the lucky moment again.

Of course he did not neglect inquiry; but the result of his perquisitions afforded little encouragement to his hopes of obtaining the young girl's acquaintance. All that was known of the family was, that they had lately taken the house, that their name was Lane, that they lived quite alone, and were supposed to be very poor. Where they came from, and what their condition in life might be, nobody knew or seemed desirous to know, since they lived so quietly, that they had hitherto awakened no curiosity in the neighborhood. The Scotsman at the provision shop out of which she had been seen to come, pronounced her a wise-like girl; and the apothecary's lad said that she was uncommon comely and genteel-like, adding that her father was in very bad health. This was the whole amount of information he could obtain, but to the correctness of it, as regarded the bad health and the poverty, his own eyes bore witness.

Nearly three weeks had elapsed since Tracy's first meeting with the girl, when one evening he thought he perceived symptoms of more than ordinary trouble in this humble ménage. Just as he placed his eye to the window, he saw the daughter entering the room with an old blanket, which she wrapped round her father, whilst she threw her arms about his neck, and tenderly caressed him; at the same time he remarked that there was no fire in the grate, and that she frequently applied her apron to her eyes. As these symptoms denoted an unusual extremity of distress, Tracy felt the strongest desire to administer some relief to the sufferers; but by what stratagem to accomplish his purpose it was not easy to discover. He thought of making the apothecary or the grocer his agent, requesting them not to name who had employed them; but he shrank from the attention and curiosity such a proceeding would awaken, and the evil interpretations that might be put upon it. Then he thought of the ribald jests and jeers to which he might subject the object of his admiration, and he resolved to employ no intervention, but to find some means or other of conveying his bounty himself; and having with this view inclosed a sovereign in half a sheet of paper, he set out upon his nightly expedition.

He was rather later than usual, and the neighboring church clock struck nine just as he turned into Thomas Street; he was almost afraid that the light would be extinguished, and the father and daughter retired to their chambers, as had been the case on some previous evenings; but it was not so: the faint[Pg 91] gleam showed that they were still there, and after waiting some minutes for a clear coast, Tracy approached the window—but the scene within was strangely changed.

The father was alone—at least except himself there was no living being in the room—but there lay a corpse on the floor; at the table stood the man with a large black notebook in his hand, out of which he was taking what appeared to the spectator, so far as he could discern, to be bank notes. To see this was the work of an instant; to conclude that a crime had been committed was as sudden! and under the impulse of fear and horror that seized him, Tracy turned to fly, but in his haste and confusion, less cautious than usual, he struck the window with his elbow. The sound must have been heard within; and he could not resist the temptation of flinging an instantaneous glance into the room to observe what effect it had produced. It was exactly such as might have been expected; like one interrupted in a crime, the man stood transfixed, his pale face glaring at the window, and his hands, from which the notes had dropped suspended in the attitude in which they had been surprised; with an involuntary exclamation of grief and terror, Tracy turned again and fled. But he had scarcely gone two hundred yards when he met the girl walking calmly along the street with her basket on her arm. She did not observe him, but he recognized her; and urged by love and curiosity, he could not forbear turning back, and following her to the door. On reaching it, she, as usual, put her key into the lock; but it did not open as usual; it was evidently fastened on the inside. She lifted the knocker, and let it fall once, just loud enough to be heard within; there was a little delay, and then the door was opened—no more, however, than was sufficient to allow her to pass in—and immediately closed. Tracy felt an eager desire to pursue this strange drama further, and was standing still, hesitating whether to venture a glance into the room, when the door was again opened, and the girl rushed out, leaving it unclosed, and ran across the street into the apothecary's shop.

"She is fetching a doctor to the murdered man," thought Tracy. And so it appeared, for a minute had scarcely elapsed, when she returned, accompanied by the apothecary and his assistant; they all three entered the house; and upon the impulse of the moment, without pausing to reflect on the impropriety of the intrusion, the young soldier entered with them.

The girl, who walked first with a hasty step, preceded them into that room on the right of the door which, but a few minutes before, Tracy had been surveying through the window. The sensations with which he now entered it formed a singular contrast to his anticipations, and furnished a striking instance of what we have all occasion to remark as we pass through life—namely, that the thing we have most earnestly desired, frequently when it does come, arrives in a guise so different to our hopes, and so distasteful to the sentiments or affections which have given birth to the wish, that what we looked forward to as the summit of bliss, proves, when we reach it, no more than a barren peak strewn with dust and ashes. Fortunate, indeed, may we esteem ourselves if we find nothing worse to greet us. How often had Tracy fancied that if he could only obtain entrance into that room he should be happy! As long as he was excluded from it, it was his summit, for he could see no further, and looked no further, sought no further: it seemed to him that, once there, all that he desired must inevitably follow. Now he was there, but under what different circumstances to those he had counted on! with what different feelings to those his imagination had painted!

"What's the matter?" inquired Mr. Adams the apothecary, as he approached the body, which still lay on the floor.

"I hope it's only a fit!" exclaimed the girl, taking the candle off the table, and holding it in such a manner as to enable the apothecary to examine the features.

"He's dead, I fancy," said the latter, applying his fingers to the wrist. "Unloose his neckcloth, Robert, and raise the head."

This was said to the assistant, who, having done as he was told, and no sign of life appearing, Mr. Adams felt for his lancet, and prepared to bleed the patient. The lancet, however, had been left in the pocket of another coat, and Robert being sent over to fetch it, Tracy stepped forward and took his place at the head of the corpse; the consequence of which was, that, when the boy returned, Mr. Adams bade him go back and mind the shop, as they could do very well without him; and thus Tracy's intrusion was, as it were, legitimized, and all awkwardness removed from it. Not, however, that he had been sensible of any: he was too much absorbed with the interest of the scene to be disturbed by such minor considerations. Neither did anybody else appear discomposed or surprised at his presence: the apothecary did not know but he had a right to be there; the boy, who remembered the inquiries Tracy had made with regard to the girl, concluded they had since formed an acquaintance; the girl herself was apparently too much absorbed in the distressing event that had occurred to have any thoughts to spare on minor interests; and as for the man, he appeared to be scarcely conscious of what was going on around him. Pale as death, and with all the symptoms of extreme sickness and debility, he sat bending somewhat forward in an old arm-chair, with his eyes fixed on the spot where the body lay; but there was "no speculation" in those eyes, and it was evident that what he seemed to be looking at he did not see. To every thoughtful mind the corporeal investiture from which an immortal spirit has lately fled must present a strange and painful interest; but Tracy[Pg 92] felt now a more absorbing interest in the mystery of the living than the dead; and as strange questionings arose in his mind with regard to the pale occupant of the old arm-chair as concerning the corpse that was stretched upon the ground. Who was this stranger, and how came he there lying dead on the floor of that poor house? And where was the pocket-book and the notes? Not on the table, not in the room, so far as he could discern. They must have been placed out of sight; and the question occurred to him, was she a party to the concealment? But both his heart and his judgment answered no. Not only her pure and innocent countenance, but her whole demeanor acquitted her of crime. It was evident that her attention was entirely engrossed by the surgeon's efforts to recall life to the inanimate body; there was no arrière pensée, no painful consciousness plucking at her sleeve; her mind was anxious, but not more so than the ostensible cause justified, and there was no expression of mystery or fear about her. How different to the father, who seemed terror-struck! No anxiety for the recovery of the stranger, no grief for his death, appeared in him; and it occurred to Tracy that he looked more like one condemned and waiting for execution than the interested spectator of another's misfortune.

No blood flowed, and the apothecary having pronounced the stranger dead, proposed, with the aid of Tracy, to remove him to a bed; and as there was none below, they had to carry him up stairs, the girl preceding them with a light, and leading the way into a room where a small tent bedstead without curtains, two straw-bottomed chairs, with a rickety table, and cracked looking-glass, formed nearly all the furniture; but some articles of female attire lying about, betrayed to whom the apartment belonged, and lent it an interest for Tracy.

Whilst making these arrangements for the dead but few words were spoken. The girl looked pale and serious, but said little; the young man would have liked to ask a hundred questions, but did not feel himself entitled to ask one; and the apothecary, who seemed a quiet, taciturn person, only observed that the stranger appeared to have died of disease of the heart, and inquired whether he was a relation of the family.

"No," replied the girl; "he's no relation of ours—his name is Aldridge."

"Not Ephraim Aldridge?" said the apothecary.

"Yes; Mr. Ephraim Aldridge," returned she: "my father was one of his clerks formerly."

"You had better send to his house immediately," said Mr. Adams. "I forget whether he has any family?"

"None but his nephew, Mr. Jonas," returned the girl. "I'll go there directly, and tell him."

"Your father seems in bad health?" observed Mr. Adams, as he quitted the room, and proceeded to descend the stairs.

"Yes; he has been ill a long time," she replied, with a sad countenance; "and nobody seems to know what's the matter with him."

"Have you had any advice for him," inquired the apothecary.

"Oh, yes, a great deal, when first he was ill; but nobody did him any good."

By this time they had reached the bottom of the stairs; and Mr. Adams, who now led the van, instead of going out of the street door, turned into the parlor again.

"Well, sir," said he, addressing Lane, "this poor gentleman is dead. I should have called in somebody else had I earlier known who he was; but it would have been useless, life must have been extinct half an hour before I was summoned. Why did you not send for me sooner?"

"I was out," replied the girl, answering the question that had been addressed to her father. "Mr. Aldridge had sent me away for something, and when I returned I found him on the floor, and my father almost fainting. It was a dreadful shock for him, being so ill."

"How did it happen?" inquired Mr. Adams, again addressing Lane.

A convulsion passed over the sick man's face, and his lip quivered as he answered in a low sepulchral tone. "He was sitting on that chair, talking about—about his nephews, when he suddenly stopped speaking, and fell forward. I started up, and placed my hands against his breast to save him, and then he fell backward upon the floor."

"Heart, no doubt. Probably a disease of long standing," said Mr. Adams. "But it has given you a shock: you had better take something, and go to bed."

"What should he take?" inquired the daughter.

"I'll send over a draught," replied the apothecary, moving toward the door; "and you won't neglect to give notice of what has happened—it must be done to-night."

"It is late for you to go out," observed Tracy, speaking almost for the first time since he entered the house. "Couldn't I carry the message for you?"

"Yes: if you will, I shall be much obliged," said she; "for I do not like to leave my father again to-night. The house is No. 4, West Street."

Death is a great leveler, and strong emotions banish formalities. The offer was as frankly accepted as made; and his inquiry whether he could be further useful being answered by "No, thank you—not to-night," the young man took his leave and proceeded on his mission to West Street in a state of mind difficult to describe—pleased and alarmed, happy and distressed. He had not only accomplished his object by making the acquaintance of Mary Lane, but the near view he had had of her, both as regarded her person and[Pg 93] behavior, confirmed his admiration and gratified his affection; but, as he might have told the boy who interrupted him, he had paid dear for peeping. He had seen what he would have given the world not to have seen; and whilst he eagerly desired to prosecute his suit to this young woman, and make her his wife, he shrank with horror from the idea of having a thief and assassin for his father-in-law.

Engrossed with these reflections he reached West Street before he was aware of being half-way there, and rang the bell of No. 4. It was now past eleven o'clock, but he had scarcely touched the wire, before he heard a foot in the passage, and the door opened. The person who presented himself had no light, neither was there any in the hall, and Tracy could not distinguish to whom he spoke when he said, "is this the house of Mr. Ephraim Aldridge?"

"It is: what do you want?" answered a man's voice, at the same time that he drew back, and made a movement toward closing the door.

"I have been requested to call here to say that Mr. Aldridge is"—And here the recollection that the intelligence he bore would probably be deeply afflicting to the nephew he had heard mentioned as the deceased man's only relation, and to whom he was now possibly speaking, arrested the words in his throat, and after a slight hesitation he added—"is taken ill."

"Ill!" said the person who held the door in his hand, which he now opened wider. "Where? What's the matter with him? Is he very ill? Is it any thing serious?"

The tone in which these questions were put relieved Tracy from any apprehension of inflicting pain, and he rejoined at once, "I'm afraid he is dead."

"Dead!" reiterated the other, throwing the door wide. "Step in if you please. Dead! how should that be? He was very well this afternoon. Where is he?" And so saying, he closed the street door, and led the young soldier into a small parlor, where a lamp with a shade over it, and several old ledgers, were lying on the table.

"He's at Mr. Lane's in Thomas Street," replied Tracy.

"But are you sure he's dead?" inquired the gentleman, who was indeed no other than Mr. Jonas Aldridge himself. "How did he die? Who says he's dead?"

"I don't know how he died. The apothecary seemed to think it was disease of the heart," replied Tracy; "but he is certainly dead."

At this crisis of the conversation a new thought seemed to strike the mind of Jonas, who, exhibiting no symptoms of affliction, had hitherto appeared only curious and surprised. "My uncle Ephraim dead!" said he. "No, no, I can't believe it. It is impossible—it cannot be! My dear uncle! My only friend! Dead! Impossible!—you must be mistaken."

"You had better go and see yourself," replied Tracy, who did not feel at all disposed to sympathize with this sudden effusion of sentiment. "I happened to be by, by mere chance, and know nothing more than I heard the apothecary say." And with these words he turned toward the door.

"You are an officer's servant, I see?" rejoined Jonas.

"I live with Captain D'Arcy of the 32d," answered Tracy; and wishing Mr. Jonas a good-evening, he walked away with a very unfavorable impression of that gentleman's character.

The door was no sooner closed on Tracy than Mr. Jonas Aldridge returned into the parlor, and lighted a candle which stood on a side-table, by the aid of which he ascended to the second floor, and entered a back-room wherein stood a heavy four-post bed, the curtains of which were closely drawn together. The apartment, which also contained an old-fashioned mahogany set of drawers, and a large arm-chair, was well carpeted, and wore an aspect of considerable comfort. The shutters were closed, and a moreen curtain was let down to keep out the draught from the window.

Mr. Jonas had mounted the stairs three at a time; but no sooner did he enter the room, and his eye fall upon the bed, then he suddenly paused, and stepping on the points of his toes toward it, he gently drew back one of the side curtains, and looked in. It was turned down, and ready for the expected master, but it was tenantless: he who should have lain there lay elsewhere that night. Mr. Jonas folded in his lips, and nodded his head with an expression that seemed to say all's right. And then having drawn the bolt across the door, he took two keys out of his waistcoat pocket; with one he opened a cupboard in the wainscot, and with the other a large tin-box which stood therein, into which he thrust his hand, and brought out a packet of papers, which not proving to be the thing he sought, he made another dive; but this second attempt turned out equally unsuccessful with the first; whereupon he fetched the candle from the table, and held it over the box, in hopes of espying what he wished. But his countenance clouded, and an oath escaped him, on discovering it was not there.

"He has taken it with him!" said he. And having replaced the papers he had disturbed, and closed the box, he hastily descended the stairs. In the hall hung his greatcoat and hat. These he put on, tying a comforter round his throat to defend him from the chill night-air; and then leaving the candle burning in the passage, he put the key of the house-door in his pocket, and went out.

Dead men wait patiently; but the haste with which Mr. Jonas Aldrich strode over the ground seemed rather like one in chase of a fugitive; and yet, fast as he went, the time seemed long to him till he reached Thomas Street.[Pg 94]

"Is my uncle here!" said he to Mary, who immediately answered to his knock.

"Yes, sir," replied she.

"And what's the matter? I hope it is nothing serious?" added he.

"He's dead, sir, the doctor says," returned she.

"Then you had a doctor?"

"Oh yes, sir; I fetched Mr. Adams over the way immediately; but he said he was dead the moment he saw him. Will you please to walk up stairs, and see him yourself?"

"Impossible! It cannot be that my uncle is dead!" exclaimed Mr. Jonas, who yet suspected some ruse. "You should have had the best advice—you should have called in Dr. Sykes. Let him be sent for immediately!" he added, speaking at the top of his voice, as he entered the little room above: "no means must be neglected to recover him. Depend on it, it is only a fit."

But the first glance satisfied him that all these ingenious precautions were quite unnecessary. There lay Mr. Ephraim Aldridge dead unmistakably; and while Mary was inquiring where the celebrated Dr. Sykes lived, in order that she might immediately go in search of him, Mr. Jonas was thinking on what pretense he might get her out of the room without sending for anybody at all.

Designing people often give themselves an enormous deal of useless trouble; and after searching his brain in vain for an expedient to get rid of the girl, Mr. Jonas suddenly recollected that the simplest was the best. There was no necessity, in short, for saying anything more than that he wished to be alone; and this he did say, at the same time drawing his handkerchief from his pocket, and applying it to his eyes, a little pantomime that was intended to aid the gentle Mary in putting a kind construction on the wish. She accordingly quitted the room, and descended to the parlor; whereupon Mr. Jonas, finding himself alone, lost no time in addressing himself to his purpose, which was to search the pockets of the deceased, wherein he found a purse containing gold and silver, various keys, and several other articles, but not the article he sought; and as he gradually convinced himself that his search was vain, his brow became overcast, angry ejaculations escaped his lips, and after taking a cursory survey of the room, he snatched up the candle, and hastily descended the stairs.

"When did my uncle come here? What did he come about?" he inquired abruptly as he entered the parlor where Mary, weary and sad, was resting her head upon the table.

"He came this evening, sir; but I don't know what he came about. He said he wanted to have some conversation with my father, and I went into the kitchen to leave them alone."

"Then you were not in the room when the accident happened?"

"What accident, sir?"

"I mean, when he died."

"No, sir; I had gone out to buy something for supper."

"What made you go out so late for that purpose?"

"My father called me in, sir, and Mr. Aldridge gave me some money."

"Then nobody was present but your father?"

"No, sir."

"And where is he now?"

"My father is very ill, sir; and it gave him such a shock, that he was obliged to go to bed."

"Had my uncle nothing with him but what I have found in his pockets?"

"Nothing that I know of, sir."

"No papers?"

"No, sir."

"Go and ask your father if he saw any papers."

"I'm sure he didn't, sir, or else they would be here."

"Well, I'll thank you to go and ask him, however."

Whereupon Mary quitted the room; and stepping up stairs, she opened, and then presently shut again, the door of her own bedroom. "It is no use disturbing my poor father," said she to herself; "I'm sure he knows nothing about any papers; and if I wake him, he will not get to sleep again all night. If he saw them, he'll say so in the morning."

"My father knows nothing of the papers, sir," said she, reentering the room; "and if they're not in the pocket, I'm sure Mr. Aldridge never brought them here."

"Perhaps he did not, after all," thought Jonas; "he has maybe removed it out of the tin-box, and put it into the bureau." A suggestion which made him desire to get home again as fast as he had left it. So, promising to send the undertakers in the morning to remove the body, Mr. Jonas took his leave, and hastened back to West Street, where he immediately set about ransacking every drawer, cupboard, and press, some of which he could only open with the keys he had just extracted from the dead man's pocket. But the morning's dawn found him unsuccessful: it appeared almost certain that the important paper was not in the house; and weary, haggard, and angry, he stretched himself on his bed till the hour admitted of further proceedings. And we will avail ourselves of this interval to explain more particularly the relative position of the parties concerned in our story.

Ephraim Aldridge, a younger member of a large and poor family, had been early in life apprenticed to a hosier; and being one of the most steady, cautious, saving boys that ever found his bread amongst gloves and stockings, had early grown into great favor with his master, who, as soon as he was out of his apprenticeship, elevated him to the post of book-keeper; and in this situation, as he had[Pg 95] a liberal salary, and was too prudent to marry, he contrived to save such a sum of money as, together with his good character, enabled him to obtain the reversion of the business when his master retired from it. The prudence which had raised him adhered to him still; his business flourished, and he grew rich; but the more money he got, the fonder he became of it; and the more he had, the less he spent; while the cautious steadiness of the boy shrank into a dry reserve as he grew older, till he became an austere, silent, inaccessible man, for whom the world in general entertained a certain degree of respect, but whom nobody liked, with the exception perhaps of one person, and that was Maurice Lane, who had formerly been his fellow-apprentice, and was now his shopman. And yet a more marked contrast of character could scarcely exist than between these two young men; but, somehow or other, everybody liked Lane; even the frigid heart of Ephraim could not defend itself from the charm of the boy's beautiful countenance and open disposition; and when he placed his former comrade in a situation of responsibility, it was not because he thought him the best or the steadiest servant he could possibly find, but because he wished to have one person about him that he liked, and that liked him. But no sooner did Lane find himself with a salary which would have maintained himself comfortably, than he fell in love with a beautiful girl whom he saw trimming caps and bonnets in an opposite shop-window, and straightway married her. Then came a family, and with it a train of calamities which kept them always steeped in distress, till the wife, worn out with hard work and anxiety, died; the children that survived were then dispersed about the world to earn their bread, and Lane found himself alone with his youngest daughter Mary. Had he retained his health, he might now have done better; but a severe rheumatic fever, after reducing him to the brink of the grave, had left him in such infirm health, that he was no longer able to maintain his situation; so he resigned it, and retired to an obscure lodging, with a few pounds in his pocket, and the affection and industry of his daughter for his only dependence.

During all this succession of calamities, Mr. Aldrich had looked on with a severe eye. Had it been anybody but Lane, he would have dismissed him as soon as he married; as it was, he allowed him to retain his place, and to take the consequences of his folly. He had carved his own destiny, and must accept it; it was not for want of knowing better, for Ephraim had warned him over and over again of the folly of poor men falling in love and marrying. Entertaining this view of the case, he justified his natural parsimony with the reflection, that by encouraging such imprudence he should be doing an injury to other young men. He made use of Lane as a beacon, and left him in his distress, lest assistance should destroy his usefulness. The old house in Thomas Street, however, which belonged to him, happening to fall vacant, he so far relented as to send word to his old clerk that he might inhabit it if he pleased.

Some few years, however, before these latter circumstances, Mr. Aldridge, who had determined against matrimony, had nevertheless been seized with that desire so prevalent in the old especially, to have an heir of his own name and blood for his property. He had but two relations that he remembered, a brother and a sister. The latter, when Ephraim was a boy, had married a handsome sergeant of a marching regiment, and gone away with it; and her family never saw her afterward, though for some years she had kept up an occasional correspondence with her parents, by which they learned that she was happy and prosperous; that her husband had been promoted to an ensigncy for his good conduct; that she had one child; and finally, that they were about to embark for the West Indies.

His brother, with whom he had always maintained some degree of intercourse, had early settled in London as a harness-maker, and was tolerably well off; on which account Ephraim respected him, and now that he wanted an heir, it was in this quarter he resolved to look for one. So he went to London, inspected the family, and finally selected young Jonas, who everybody said was a facsimile of himself in person and character. He was certainly a cautious, careful, steady boy who was guilty of no indiscretions, and looked very sharp after his halfpence. Ephraim, who thought he had hit upon the exact desideratum, carried him to the country, put him to school, and became exceedingly proud and fond of him. His character, indeed, as regarded his relations with the boy, seemed to have undergone a complete change, and the tenderness he had all through life denied to everybody else, he now in his decline lavished to an injudicious excess on this child of his adoption. When he retired from business he took Jonas home; and as the lad had some talent for portrait-painting, he believed him destined to be a great artist, and forbore to give him a profession. Thus they lived together harmoniously enough for some time, till the factitious virtues of the boy ripened into the real vices of the man; and Ephraim discovered that the cautious, economical, discreet child was, at five-and-twenty, an odious specimen of avarice, selfishness, and cunning; and what made the matter worse was, that the uncle and nephew somehow appeared to have insensibly changed places—the latter being the governor, and the former the governed; and that while Mr. Jonas professed the warmest affection for the old man, and exhibited the tenderest anxiety for his health, he contrived to make him a prisoner in his own house, and destroy all the comfort of his existence—and everybody knows how hard it is to break free from a domestic despotism of[Pg 96] this description, which, like the arms of a gigantic cuttle-fish, has wound itself inextricably around its victim.

To leave Jonas, or to make Jonas leave him, was equally difficult; but at length the declining state of his health, together with his ever-augmenting hatred of his chosen heir, rendering the case more urgent, he determined to make a vigorous effort for freedom; and now it first occurred to him that his old friend Maurice Lane might help him to attain his object. In the mean time, while waiting for an opportunity to get possession of the will by which he had appointed Jonas heir to all his fortune, he privately drew up another, in favor of his sister's eldest son or his descendants, on condition of their taking the name of Aldridge; and this he secured in a tin-box, of which he kept the key always about him, the box itself being deposited in a cupboard in his own chamber. In spite of all these precautions, however, Jonas penetrated the secret, and by means of false keys, obtained a sight of the document which was to cut him out of all he had been accustomed to consider his own; but it was at least some comfort to observe that the will was neither signed nor witnessed, and therefore at present perfectly invalid. This being the case, he thought it advisable to replace the papers, and content himself with narrowly watching his uncle's future proceedings, since stronger measures at so critical a juncture might possibly provoke the old man to more decisive ones of his own.

In a remote quarter of the town resided two young men, commonly called Jock and Joe Wantage, who had formerly served Mr. Aldridge as errand boys, but who had since managed to set up in a humble way of business for themselves; and having at length contrived one evening to elude the vigilance of his nephew, he stepped into a coach, and without entering into any explanation of his reasons, he, in the presence of those persons, produced and signed his will, which they witnessed, desiring them at the same time never to mention the circumstance to anybody, unless called upon to do so. After making them a little present of money, for adversity had now somewhat softened his heart, he proceeded to the house of his old clerk.

It was by this time getting late, and the father and daughter were sitting in their almost fireless room, anxious and sad, for, as Tracy had conjectured, they were reduced to the last extremity of distress, when they were startled at a double knock at the door. It was long since those old walls had reverberated to such a sound.

"Who can that be?" exclaimed Lane, looking suddenly up from his book, which was a tattered volume of Shakspeare, the only one he possessed. "I heard a coach stop."

"It can be nobody here," returned Mary: "it must be a mistake."

However, she rose and opened the door, at which by this time stood Mr. Aldridge, whose features it was too dark to distinguish.

"Bring a light here!" said he. "No; stay; I'll send you out the money," he added to the coachman, and with that he stepped forward to the little parlor. But the scene that there presented itself struck heavily upon his heart, and perhaps upon his conscience, for instead of advancing, he stood still in the doorway. Here was poverty indeed! He and Lane had begun life together, but what a contrast in their ultimate fortunes! The one with much more money than he knew what to do with; the other without a shilling to purchase a bushel of coals to warm his shivering limbs; and yet the rich man was probably the more miserable of the two!

"Mr. Aldridge!" exclaimed Lane, rising from his seat in amazement.

"Take this, and pay the man his fare," said the visitor to Mary, handing her some silver. "And have you no coals?"

"No, sir."

"Then buy some directly, and make up the fire. Get plenty; here's the money to pay for them;" and as the coals were to be had next door, there was soon a cheerful fire in the grate. Lane drew his chair close to the fender, and spread his thin fingers to the welcome blaze.

"I did not know you were so badly off as this," Mr. Aldridge remarked.

"We have nothing but what Mary earns, and needlework is poorly paid," returned Lane; "and often not to be had. I hope Mr. Jonas is well?"

Mr. Aldridge did not answer, but sat silently looking into the fire. The corners of his mouth were drawn down, his lip quivered, and the tears rose to his eyes as he thought of all he had lavished on that ungrateful nephew, that serpent he had nourished in his bosom, while the only friend he ever had was starving.

"Mary's an excellent girl," pursued the father, "and has more sense than years. She nursed me through all my illness night and day; and though she has had a hard life of it, she's as patient as a lamb, poor thing! I sometimes wish I was dead, and out of her way, for then she might do better for herself."

Mr. Aldridge retained his attitude and his silence, but a tear or two escaped from their channels, and flowed down the wan and hollow cheek: he did not dare to speak, lest the convulsion within his breast should burst forth into sobs and outward demonstrations, from which his close and reserved nature shrunk. Lane made two or three attempts at conversation, and then, finding them ineffectual, sank into silence himself.

If the poor clerk could have penetrated the thoughts of his visitor during that interval, he would have read there pity for the sufferings of his old friend, remorse for having treated him with harshness under the name of justice, and the best resolutions to make him amends for the future.

"Justice!" thought he; "how can man, who sees only the surface of things, ever hope to be just?"[Pg 97]

"You have no food either, I suppose?" said he abruptly breaking the silence.

"There's part of a loaf in the house, I believe," returned Lane.

"Call the girl, and bid her fetch some food! Plenty and the best! Do you hear, Mary?" he added as she appeared at the door. "Here's money."

"I have enough left from what you gave me for the coals," said Mary, withholding her hand.

"Take it!—take it!" said Mr. Aldridge, who was now for the first time in his life beginning to comprehend that the real value of money depends wholly on the way in which it is used, and that that which purchases happiness neither for its possessor nor anybody else is not wealth, but dross. "Take it, and buy whatever you want. When did he ever withhold his hand when I offered him money?" thought he as his mind recurred to his adopted nephew.

Mary accordingly departed, and having supplied the table with provisions, was sent out again to purchase a warm shawl and some other articles for herself, which it was too evident she was much in need of. It was not till after she had departed that Mr. Aldridge entered into the subject that sat heavy on his soul. He now first communicated to Lane that which the reserve of his nature had hitherto induced him to conceal from everybody—namely, the disappointment he had experienced in the character of his adopted son, the ill-treatment he had received from him, and the mixture of fear, hatred, and disgust with which the conduct of Jonas had inspired him.

"He has contrived, under the pretense of taking care of my health, to make me a prisoner in my own house. I haven't a friend nor an acquaintance; he has bought over the servants to his interest, and his confidential associate is Holland, my solicitor, who drew up the will I made in that rascal's favor, and has it in his possession. Jonas is to marry his daughter too; but I have something in my pocket that will break off that match. I should never sleep in my grave if he inherited my money! The fact is," continued he, after a pause, "I never mean to go back to the fellow. I won't trust myself in his keeping; for I see he has scarcely patience to wait till nature removes me out of the way. I'll tell you what, Lane," continued he, his hollow cheek flushing with excited feelings, "I'll come and live with you, and Mary shall be my nurse."

Lane, who sat listening to all this in a state of bewilderment, half-doubting whether his old master had not been seized with a sudden fit of insanity, here cast a glance round the miserable whitewashed walls begrimed with smoke and dirt. "Not here—not here!" added Mr. Aldridge, interpreting the look aright; we'll take a house in the country, and Mary shall manage everything for us, whilst we sit together, with our knees to the fire, and talk over old times. Thank God, my money is my own still! and with country air and good nursing I should not wonder if I recover my health; for I can safely say I have never known what it is to enjoy a happy hour these five years—never since I found out that fellow's real character—and that is enough to kill any man! Look here," said he, drawing from his pocket a large black leathern note-case. "Here is a good round sum in Bank of England notes, which I have kept concealed until I could get clear of Mr. Jonas; for though he cannot touch the principal, thank God! he got a power of attorney from me some time ago, entitling him to receive my dividends; but now I'm out of his clutches, I'll put a drag on his wheel, he may rely on it. With this we can remove into the country and take lodgings, while we look out for a place to suit us permanently. We'll have a cow in a paddock close to the house; the new milk and the smell of the hay will make us young again. Many an hour, as I have lain in my wearisome bed lately, I have thought of you and our Sunday afternoons in the country when we were boys. In the eagerness of money-getting, these things had passed away from my memory; but they return to me now as the only pleasant recollection of my life."

"And yet I never thought you enjoyed them much at the time," observed Lane, who was gradually getting more at ease with the rich man that had once been his equal, but between whom and himself all equality had ceased as the one grew richer and the other poorer.

"Perhaps I did not," returned Ephraim. "I was too eager to get on in the world to take much pleasure in anything that did not help to fill my pockets. Money—money, was all I thought of! and when I got it, what did it bring me? Jonas—and a precious bargain he has turned out! But I'll be even with him yet." Here there was a sob and a convulsion of the breast, as the wounded heart swelled with its bitter sense of injury. "I have not told you half yet," continued he; "but I'll be even with him, little as he thinks it."

As a pause now ensued, Lane felt it was his turn to say something, and he began with, "I am surprised at Mr. Jonas;" for so cleverly had the nephew managed, that the alienation of the uncle was unsuspected by everybody, and Lane could hardly bring himself to comment freely on this once-cherished nephew. "I could not have believed, after all you've done for him, that he would turn out ungrateful. Perhaps," continued he; but here the words were arrested on his lips by a sudden movement on the part of Mr. Aldridge, which caused Lane, who had been staring vacantly into the fire, to turn his eyes toward his visitor, whom, to his surprise, he saw falling gradually forward. He stretched out his hand to arrest the fall; but his feeble arm only gave another direction to the body, which sank on its face to the ground. Lane, who naturally thought Mr. Aldridge had fainted from excess of emotion, fetched water, and endeavored to raise him from the floor; but[Pg 98] he slipped heavily from his grasp; and the recollection that years ago, he had heard from the apothecary who attended Ephraim that the latter had disease of the heart, and would some day die suddenly, filled him with terror and dismay. He saw that the prophecy was fulfilled; his own weak nerves and enfeebled frame gave way under the shock, and dropping into the nearest chair, he was for some moments almost as insensible as his friend.

When he revived, and was able to recall his scattered senses, the first thing that met his eye was the open pocket-book and the notes that lay on the table. But a moment before, how full of promise was that book to him! Now, where were his hopes? Alas, like his fortunes, in the dust! Never was a man less greedy of money than Lane; but he knew what it was to want bread, to want clothes, to want fire. He felt sure Jonas would never give him a sixpence to keep him from starving; and there was his poor Mary, so overworked, fading her fair young cheeks with toil. That money was to have made three persons comfortable: he to whom it belonged was gone, and could never need it; and he had paid quite enough before he departed to satisfy Lane, that could he lift up his voice from the grave to say who would have the contents of that book, it would not be Jonas. Where, then, could be the harm of helping himself to that which had been partly intended for him? Where too, could be the danger? Assuredly Jonas, the only person who had a right to inquire into Mr. Aldridge's affairs, knew nothing of this sum; and then the pocket-book might be burned, and so annihilate all trace. There blazed the fire so invitingly. Besides, Jonas would be so rich, and could so well afford to spare it. As these arguments hastily suggested themselves, Lane, trembling with emotion, arose from his seat, seized the book, and grasped a handful of the notes, when to his horror, at that moment he heard a tap at the window. Shaking like a leaf, his wan cheeks whiter than before, and his very breath suspended, he stood waiting for what was to follow; but nothing ensued—all was silent again. It was probably an accident: some one passing had touched the glass; but still an undefined fear made him totter to the street door, and draw the bolt. Then he returned into the room: there were the notes yet tempting him. But this interruption had answered him. He longed for them as much as before, but did not dare to satisfy his desire, lest he should hear that warning tap again. Yet if left there till Mary returned, they were lost to him forever; and he and she would be starving again, all the more wretched for this transitory gleam of hope that had relieved for a moment the darkness of their despair. But time pressed: every moment he expected to hear her at the door; and as unwilling to relinquish the prize as afraid to seize it, he took refuge in an expedient that avoided either extreme—he closed the book, and flung it beneath the table, over which there was spread an old green cloth, casting a sufficiently dark shadow around to render the object invisible, unless to a person stooping to search for it. Thus, if inquired for and sought, it would be found, and the natural conclusion be drawn that it had fallen there; if not, he would have time for deliberation, and circumstances should decide him what to do.

There were but two beds in this poor house: in one slept Lane, on the other was stretched the dead guest. Mary, therefore, on this eventful night had none to go to. So she made up the fire, threw her new shawl over her head, and arranged herself to pass the hours till morning in the rickety old chair in which her father usually sat. The scenes in which she had been assisting formed a sad episode in her sad life; and although she knew too little of Mr. Aldridge to feel any particular interest in him, she had gathered enough from her father, and from the snatches of conversation she had heard, to be aware that this visit was to have been the dawn of better fortunes, and that the old man's sudden decease was probably a much heavier misfortune to themselves than to him. A girl more tenderly nurtured and accustomed to prosperity would have most likely given vent to her disappointment in tears; but tears are an idle luxury, in which the poor rarely indulge: they have no time for them. They must use their eyes for their work; and when night comes, their weary bodies constrain the mind to rest. Mary had had a fatiguing evening—it was late before she found herself alone; and tired and exhausted, unhappy as she felt, it was not long ere she was in a sound sleep.

It appeared to her that she must have slept several hours, when she awoke with the consciousness that there was somebody stirring in the room. She felt sure that a person had passed close to where she was sitting; she heard the low breathing and the cautious foot, which sounded as if the intruder was without shoes. The small grate not holding much coal, the fire was already out, and the room perfectly dark, so that Mary had only her ear to guide her: she could see nothing. A strange feeling crept over her when she remembered their guest: but no—he was forever motionless; there could be no doubt of that. It could not surely be her father. His getting out of bed and coming down stairs in the middle of the night was to the last degree improbable. What could he come for? Besides, if he had done so, he would naturally have spoken to her. Then came the sudden recollection that she had not fastened the back-door, which opened upon a yard as accessible to their neighbors as to themselves—neighbors not always of the best character either; and the cold shiver of fear crept over her. Now she felt how fortunate it was that the room was dark. How fortunate, too, that she had not spoken or stirred; for the intruder withdrew as silently as he[Pg 99] came. Mary strained her ears to listen which way he went; but the shoeless feet gave no echo. It was some time before the poor girl's beating heart was stilled; and then suddenly recollecting that this mysterious visitor, whoever he was, might have gone to fetch a light and return, she started up, and turned the key in the door. During that night Mary had no more sleep. When the morning broke, she arose and looked around to see if any traces of her midnight visitor remained, but there were none. A sudden alarm now arose in her breast for her father's safety, and she hastily ascended the stairs to his chamber; but he appeared to be asleep, and she did not disturb him. Then she opened the door of her own room, and peeped in—all was still there, and just as it had been left on the preceding evening; and now, as is usual on such occasions, when the terrors of the night had passed away, and the broad daylight looked out upon the world, she began to doubt whether the whole affair had not been a dream betwixt sleeping and waking, the result of the agitating events of the preceding evening.

After lighting the fire, and filling the kettle, Mary next set about arranging the room; and in so doing, she discovered a bit of folded paper under the table, which, on examination, proved to be a five-pound note. Of course this belonged to Mr. Aldridge, and must have fallen there by accident; so she put it aside for Jonas, and then ascended to her father's room again. He was now awake, but said he felt very unwell, and begged for some tea, a luxury they now possessed, through the liberality of their deceased guest.

"Did anything disturb you in the night, father?" inquired Mary.

"No," replied Lane, "I slept all night." He did not look as if he had, though; and Mary, seeing he was irritable and nervous, and did not wish to be questioned, made no allusion to what had disturbed herself.

"If Mr. Jonas Aldridge comes here, say I am too ill to see him," added he, as she quitted the room.

About eleven o'clock the undertakers came to remove the body; and presently afterward Tracy arrived.

"I came to say that I delivered your message last night to Mr. Jonas Aldridge," said he, when she opened the door; "and he promised to come here directly."

"He did come," returned Mary. "Will you please to walk in? I'm sorry my father is not down stairs. He's very poorly to-day."

"I do not wonder at that," answered Tracy, as his thoughts recurred to the black pocket-book.

"Mr. Jonas seemed very anxious about some papers he thought his uncle had about him; but I have found nothing but this five-pound note, which perhaps you would leave at Mr. Aldridge's for me?"

"I will, with pleasure," answered Tracy, remembering that this commission would afford him an excuse for another visit; and he took his leave a great deal more in love than ever.

"Humph!" said Mr. Jonas, taking the note that Tracy brought him; "and she has found no papers?"

"No, sir, none. Miss Lane says that unless they were in his pocket, Mr. Aldridge could not have had any papers with him."

"It's very extraordinary," said Mr. Jonas, answering his own reflections.

"Will you give me a receipt for the note, sir?" asked Tracy. My name is"——

"It's all right. I'm going there directly myself, and I'll say you delivered it," answered Jonas, hastily interrupting him, and taking his hat off a peg in the passage. "I'm in a hurry just now;" whereupon Tracy departed without insisting farther.

While poor Ephraim slept peaceably in his coffin above, Mr. Jonas, perplexed by all manner of doubts in regard to the missing will, sat below in the parlor, in a fever of restless anxiety. Every heel that resounded on the pavement made his heart sink till it had passed the door, while a ring or a knock shook his whole frame to the center; and though he longed to see Mr. Holland, his uncle's solicitor, whom he knew to be quite in his interest, he had not courage either to go to him or to send for him, for fear of hastening the catastrophe he dreaded.

Time crept on; the day of the funeral came and passed; the will was read; and Mr. Jonas took possession as sole heir and executor, and no interruption occurred. Smoothly and favorably, however, as the stream of events appeared to flow, the long-expectant heir was not the less miserable.

But when three months had elapsed he began to breathe more freely, and to hope that the alarm had been a false one. The property was indeed his own—he was a rich man, and now for the first time he felt in sufficient spirits to look into his affairs and review his possessions. A considerable share of these consisted in houses, which his uncle had seized opportunities of purchasing on advantageous terms; and as the value of some had increased, whilst that of others was diminishing for want of repair, he employed a surveyor to examine and pronounce on their condition.

"Among the rest," said he, "there is a small house in Thomas Street, No. 7. My uncle allowed an old clerk of his to inhabit it, rent free; but he must turn out. I gave them notice three months ago; but they've not taken it. Root them up, will you? and get the house cleaned down and whitewashed for some other tenant."

Having put these matters in train, Mr. Jonas resolved, while his own residence was set in order, to make a journey to London, and enjoy the gratification of presenting himself to his family in the character of a rich man; and so fascinating did he find the[Pg 100] pleasures of wealth and independence, that nearly four months had elapsed since his departure before he summoned Mr. Reynolds to give an account of his proceedings.

"So," said he, after they had run through the most important items—"so you have found a tenant for the house in Thomas Street? Had you much trouble in getting rid of the Lanes?"

"They're in it still," answered Mr. Reynolds. "The man that has taken it has married Lane's daughter."

"What is he?" inquired Jonas.

"An officer's servant—a soldier in the regiment that is quartered in the citadel."

"Oh, I've seen the man—a good-looking young fellow. But how is he to pay the rent?"

"He says he has saved money, and he has set her up in a shop. However, I have taken care to secure the first quarter; there's the receipt for it."

"That is all right," said Mr. Jonas, who was in a very complacent humor, for fortune seemed quite on his side at present. "How," said he, suddenly changing color as he glanced his eye over the slip of paper; "how! Tracy Walkingham!"

"Yes; an odd name enough for a private soldier, isn't it?"

"Tracy Walkingham!" he repeated. "Why how came he to know the Lanes? Where does he come from?"

"I know nothing of him, except that he is in the barracks. But I can inquire, and find out his history and genealogy if you wish it," replied Mr. Reynolds.

"Oh, no, no," said Jonas; "leave him alone. If I want to find out anything about him, I'll do it myself. Indeed it is nothing connected with himself, but the name struck me as being that of a person who owed my uncle some money; however, it cannot be him of course. And to return to matters of more consequence, I want to know what you've done with the tenements in Water Lane?" And having thus adroitly turned the conversation, the subject of the tenant with the odd name was referred to no more; but although it is true, that "out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaketh," it is also frequently true, that that which most occupies the mind is the farthest from the lips, and this was eminently the case on the present occasion; for during the ensuing half hour that Mr. Jonas appeared to be listening with composure to the surveyor's reports and suggestions, the name of Tracy Walkingham was burning itself into his brain in characters of fire.

"Tracy Walkingham!" exclaimed he, as soon as Mr. Reynolds was gone, and he had turned the key in the lock to exclude interruptions; "here, and married to Lane's daughter! There's something in this more than meets the eye! The Lanes have got that will as sure as my name's Jonas Aldridge, and have been waiting to produce it till they had him fast noosed. But why do they withhold it now? Waiting till they hear of my return, I suppose." And as this conviction gained strength, he paced the room in a paroxysm of anguish. And there he was, so helpless, too! What could he do but wait till the blow came? He would have liked to turn them out of his house, but they had taken it for a year; and besides, what good would that do but to give them a greater triumph, and perhaps expedite the catastrophe? Sometimes he thought of consulting his friend Holland; but his pride shrank from the avowal that his uncle had disinherited him, and that the property he and everybody else had long considered so securely his, now in all probability justly belonged to another. Then he formed all sorts of impracticable schemes for getting the paper into his possession, or Tracy out of the way. Never was there a more miserable man; the sight of those two words, Tracy Walkingham, had blasted his sight, and changed the hue of everything he looked upon. Our readers will have little difficulty in guessing the reason: the young soldier, Mary's handsome husband, was the heir named in the missing will—the son of that sister of Ephraim who had married a sergeant, and had subsequently gone to the West Indies.

Tracy Walkingham, the father, was not exactly in his right position as a private in the 9th regiment, for he was the offspring of a very respectable family; but some early extravagance and dissipation, together with a passion for a military life, which was denied gratification, had induced him to enlist. Good conduct and a tolerable education soon procured him the favorable notice of his superiors, took him out of the ranks, and finally procured him a commission. When both he and his wife died in Jamaica, their only son was sent home to the father's friends; but the boy met with but a cold reception; and after some years passed, far from happily, he, as we have said, ran away from school; and his early associations being all military, seized the first opportunity of enlisting, as his father had done before him. But of the history of his parents he knew nothing whatever, except that his father had risen from the ranks; and he had as little suspicion of his connection with Ephraim Aldridge as Mary had. Neither did the name of Tracy Walkingham suggest any reminiscences to Lane, who had either forgotten, or more probably had never heard it, Mr. Aldridge's sister having married prior to the acquaintance of the two lads. But Jonas had been enlightened by the will; and although the regiment now quartered at P—— was not the one therein mentioned, the name was too remarkable not to imply a probability, which his own terror naturally converted into a certainty.

In the mean time, while the rich and conscious usurper was nightly lying on a bed of thorns, and daily eating the broad of bitter[Pg 101]ness, the poor and unconscious heir was in the enjoyment of a larger share of happiness than usually falls to the lot of mortals. The more intimately he became acquainted with Mary's character, the more reason he found to congratulate himself on his choice; and even Lane he had learned to love; while all the painful suspicions connected with Mr. Aldridge's death and the pocket-book had been entirely dissipated by the evident poverty of the family; since, after the expenditure of the little ready money Mr. Aldridge had given them, they had relapsed into their previous state of distress, having clearly no secret resources wherewith to avert it. Mary's shop was now beginning to get custom too, and she was by slow degrees augmenting her small stock, when the first interruption to their felicity occurred. This was the impending removal of the regiment, which, under present circumstances, was an almost inevitable sentence of separation; for even could they have resolved to make the sacrifice, and quit the home on which they had expended all their little funds, it was impossible for Mary to abandon her father, ever feeble, and declining in health. The money Tracy had saved toward purchasing his discharge was not only all gone, but, though doing very well, they were not yet quite clear of the debt incurred for their furniture. There was therefore no alternative but to submit to the separation, hard as it was; and all the harder, that they could not tell how long it might take to amass the needful sum to purchase Tracy's liberty. Lane, too, was very much affected, and very unwilling to part with his son-in-law.

"What," said he, "only twenty pounds?" And when he saw his daughter's tears, he would exclaim, "Oh, Mary! and to think that twenty pounds would do it!" And more than once he said, "Tracy should not go; he was determined he should not leave them;" and bade Mary dry her tears, for he would prevent it. But nevertheless the route came; and early one morning the regiment marched through Thomas Street, the band playing the tune of "The girl I left behind me;" while poor Mary, choking with sobs, peeped through the half-open shutter, to which the young husband's eyes were directed as long as the house was in sight. That was a sad day, and very sad were many that followed. Neither was there any blessed Penny Post then, to ease the sick hearts and deferred hopes of the poor; and few and rare were the tidings that reached the loving wife—soon to become a mother. The only pleasure Mary had now was in the amassing money. How eager she was for it! How she counted over and over her daily gains! How she economized! What self-denial she practiced! Oh for twenty pounds to set her husband free, and bring him to her arms again! So passed two years, circumstances always improving, but still this object so near her heart was far from being attained, when there arrived a letter from Tracy, informing her that the regiment was ordered abroad, and that, as he could not procure a furlough, there was no possibility of their meeting unless she could go to him. What was to be done? If she went, all her little savings would be absorbed in the journey, and the hope of purchasing her husband's discharge indefinitely postponed. Besides, who was to take care of her father, and the lodger, and the shop? The former would perhaps die from neglect, she should lose her lodger, and the shop would go to destruction for want of the needful attention. But could she forbear? Her husband might never return—they might never meet again—then how she should reproach herself! Moreover, Tracy had not seen the child: that was decisive. At all risks she must go; and this being resolved, she determined to shut up her shop, and engage a girl to attend to her father and her lodger. These arrangements made, she started on her long journey with her baby in her arms.

At the period of which we are treating, a humble traveler was not only subject to great inconveniences, but besides the actual sum disbursed, he paid a heavy per-centage from delay on every mile of his journey. Howbeit, "Time and the hour run through the roughest day," and poor Mary reached her destination at last; and in the joy of meeting with her husband, forgot all her difficulties and anxieties, till the necessity for parting recalled her to the sad reality that awaited them. If she stayed too long away from her shop, she feared her customers would forsake her altogether; and then how was the next rent-day to be provided for? So, with many a sigh and many a tear, the young couple bade each other farewell, and Mary recommenced her tedious journey. If tedious before, when such a bright star of hope lighted her on her way, how much more so now! While poor Tracy felt so wretched and depressed, that many a time vague thoughts of deserting glanced through his mind, and he was only withheld from it by the certainty that if they shot him—and deserters, when taken, were shot in those days—it would break his poor little wife's heart. Soon after Mary's departure, however, it happened that his master, Major D'Arcy, met with a severe accident while hunting; and as Tracy was his favorite servant, and very much attached to him, his time and thoughts were so much occupied with attendance on the invalid, that he was necessarily in some degree diverted from his own troubles.

In the mean time Mary arrived at home, where she found her affairs in no worse condition than might be expected. Her father was in health much as she had left him, and her lodger still in the house, though both weary of her substitute; and the latter—that is, the lodger—threatening to quit if the mistress did not make haste back. All was right[Pg 102] now again—except Mary's heart—and things resumed their former train; the only event she expected being a letter to inform her of her husband's departure, which he had promised to post on the day of his embarkation.

Three months elapsed, however, before the postman stopped at her door with the dreaded letter. How her heart sank when she saw him enter the shop!

"A letter for you, Mrs. Walkingham—one-and-two-pence, if you please." Mary opened her till, and handed him the money.

"Poor thing!" thought the man, observing how her hand shook, and how pale she turned; "expects bad news, I suppose!"

Mary dropped the letter into the money-drawer, for there was a customer in the shop waiting to be served—and then came in another. When the second was gone, she took it out and looked at it, turned it about, and examined it, and kissed it, and then put it away again. She felt that she dared not open it till night, when all her business was over, and her shop closed, and she might pour out her tears without interruption. She could scarcely tell whether she most longed or feared to open it; and when at length the quiet hour came, and her father was in bed, and her baby asleep in its cradle beside her, and she sat down to read it, she looked at it, and pressed it to her bosom, and kissed it again and again, before she broke the seal; and then when she had done so, the paper shook in her hand, and her eyes were obscured with tears, and the light seemed so dim that she could not at first decipher anything but "My darling Mary!" It was easy to read that, for he always called her his darling Mary—but what came next? "Joy! joy! dry your dear tears, for I know how fast they are falling, and be happy! I am not going abroad with the regiment, and I shall soon be a free man. Major D'Arcy has met with a sad accident, and cannot go to a foreign station; and as he wishes me not to leave him, he is going to purchase my discharge," &c. &c.

Many a night had Mary lain awake from grief, but this night she could not sleep for joy. It was such a surprise, such an unlooked-for piece of good fortune. It might indeed be some time before she could see her husband, but he was free, and sooner or later they should be together. Everybody who came to the shop the next day wondered what had come over Mrs. Walkingham. She was not like the same woman.

It was about eight months after the arrival of the above welcome intelligence, on a bright winter's morning, Mary as usual up betimes, her shop all in order, her child washed and dressed, and herself as neat and clean "as a new pin," as her neighbor, Mrs. Crump the laundress, used to say of her—her heart as usual full of Tracy, and more than commonly full of anxiety about him, for the usual period for his writing was some time passed. She was beginning to be uneasy at his prolonged silence, and to fear that he was ill.

"No letter for me, Mr. Ewart?" she said, as she stood on the step with her child in her arms, watching for the postman.

"None to-day, Mrs. Walkingham; better luck next time!" answered the functionary, as he trotted past. Mary, disappointed was turning in, resolving that night to write and upbraid her husband for causing her so much uneasiness, when she heard the horn that announced the approach of the London coach, and she stopped to see it pass; for there were pleasant memories connected with that coach: it was the occasion of her first acquaintance with Tracy—so had the driver sounded his horn, which she, absorbed in her troubles, had not heard; so had he cracked his whip; so had the wheels rattled over the stones; and so had the idle children in the street run hooting and hallooing after it; but not so had it dashed up to her door and stopped. It cannot be!—yes, it is—Tracy himself, in a drab great-coat and crape round his hat, jumping down from behind! The guard throws him a large portmanteau, and a paper parcel containing a new gown for Mary and a frock for the boy; and in a moment more they are in the little back parlor in each other's arms. Major D'Arcy was dead, and Tracy had returned to his wife to part no more—so we will shut the door, and leave them to their happiness, while we take a peep at Mr. Jonas Aldridge.

We left him writhing under the painful discovery that the rightful heir of the property he was enjoying, at least so far as his uncle's intentions were concerned, was not only in existence, but was actually the husband of Lane's daughter; and although he sometimes hoped the fatal paper had been destroyed, since he could in no other way account for its non-production, still the galling apprehension that it might some day find its way to light was ever a thorn in his pillow; and the natural consequence of this irritating annoyance was, that while he hated both Tracy and his wife, he kept a vigilant eye on their proceedings, and had a restless curiosity about all that concerned them. He would have been not only glad to eject them from the house they occupied, and even to drive them out of the town altogether, but he had a vague fear of openly meddling with them; so that the departure of the regiment, and its being subsequently ordered abroad, afforded him the highest satisfaction; in proportion to which was his vexation at Tracy's release, and ultimate return as a free man, all which particulars he extracted from Mr. Reynolds as regularly as the payment of the quarter's rent.

"And what does he mean to do now?" inquired Jonas.

"To settle here, I fancy," returned Mr. Reynolds. "They seem to be doing very well in the little shop; and I believe they have some thoughts of extending their business."[Pg 103]

This was extremely unpleasant intelligence, and the more so, that it was not easy to discover any means of defeating these arrangements; for as Mr. Jonas justly observed, as he soliloquized on the subject, "In this cursed country there is no getting rid of such a fellow!"

In the town of which we speak there are along the shore several houses of public resort of a very low description, chiefly frequented by soldiers and sailors; and in war-times it was not at all an uncommon thing for the hosts of these dens to be secretly connected with the pressgangs and recruiting companies, both of whom, at a period when men were so much needed for the public service, pursued their object after a somewhat unscrupulous fashion. Among the most notorious of these houses was one called the Britannia, kept by a man of the name of Gurney, who was reported to have furnished, by fair means or foul, a good many recruits to his Majesty's army and navy. Now it occurred to Mr. Jonas Aldridge that Gurney might be useful to him in his present strait; nor did he find any unwillingness on the part of that worthy person to serve his purposes.

"A troublesome sort of fellow this Walkingham is," said Mr. Jonas; "and I wouldn't mind giving twenty pounds if you could get him to enlist again."

The twenty pounds was quite argument enough to satisfy Gurney of the propriety of so doing; but success in the undertaking proved much less easy than desirable. Tracy, who spent his evenings quietly at home with his wife, never drank, and never frequented the houses on the quay, disappointed all the schemes laid for entrapping him; and Mr. Jonas had nearly given up the expectation of accomplishing his purpose, when a circumstance occurred that awakened new hopes. The house next to that inhabited by the young couple took fire in the night when everybody was asleep; the party-walls being thin, the flames soon extended to the adjoining ones; and the following morning saw poor Tracy and his wife and child homeless, and almost destitute, their best exertions having enabled them to save little more than their own lives and that of Mary's father, who was now bedridden. But for his infirm condition they might have saved more of their property; but not only was there much time necessarily consumed in removing him, but when Tracy rushed into his room, intending to carry him away in his arms, Lane would not allow him to lift him from his bed till he had first unlocked a large trunk with a key which was attached to a string hung round the sick man's neck.

"Never mind—never mind trying to save anything but your life! You'll be burnt, sir; indeed you will; there's not a moment to lose," cried Tracy eagerly.

But Lane would listen to nothing: the box must be opened, and one precious object secured. "Thrust your hand down to the bottom—the corner next the window—and you'll find a parcel in brown paper."

"I have it, sir—I have it!" cried Tracy; and lifting the invalid from his bed with the strong arm of vigorous youth, he threw him on his back, and bore him safely into the street.

"The parcel!" said Lane; "where is it?"

Tracy flung it to him, and rushed back into the house. But too late: the flames drove him forth immediately; and finding he could do nothing there, he proceeded to seek a shelter for his houseless family.

It was with no little satisfaction that Mr. Jonas Aldridge heard of this accident. These obnoxious individuals were dislodged now without any intervention of his, and the link was broken that so unpleasantly seemed to connect them with himself. Moreover, they were to all appearance ruined, and consequently helpless and defenseless. Now was the time to root them out of the town if possible, and prevent them making another settlement in it; and now was the time that Gurney might be useful; for Tracy, being no longer a householder, was liable to be pressed, if he could not be induced to reenlist.

In the mean while, all unconscious of the irritation and anxiety they were innocently inflicting on the wealthy Mr. Jonas Aldridge, Tracy and his wife were struggling hard to keep their heads above water in this sudden wreck of all their hopes and comforts. It is so hard to rise again after such a plunge; for the destruction of the poor is their poverty; and having nothing, they could undertake nothing, begin nothing. The only thing open seemed for Tracy to seek service, and for Mary to resume her needlework; but situations and custom are not found in a day, and they were all huddled together in a room, and wanting bread. The shock of the fire and the removal had seriously affected Lane too, and it was evident that his sorrows and sufferings were fast drawing to a close. He was aware of it himself, and one day when Mary was out he called Tracy to his bedside, and asked him if Mr. Adams did not think he was dying.

"You have been very ill before, and recovered," said Tracy, unwilling to shock him with the sentence that the apothecary had pronounced against him.

"I see," said Lane; "my time is come; and I am not unwilling to go, for I am a sore burthen to you and Mary, now you're in trouble. I know you're very kind," he added, seeing Tracy about to protest; "but it's high time I was under ground. God knows—God knows I have had a sore struggle, and it's not over yet! To see you so poor, in want of everything, and to know that I could help you. I sometimes think there could be no great harm in it either. The Lord have mercy upon me! What am I saying?"

"You had better not talk any more, but try to sleep till Mary comes in," said Tracy, concluding his mind was beginning to wander.[Pg 104]

"No, no," said Lane; "that won't do: I must say it now. You remember that parcel we saved from the fire?"

"Yes I do," answered Tracy, looking about. "Where is it? I've never seen it since."

"It's here!" said Lane, drawing it from under his pillow. "Look there," he added: "not to be opened till after my death. You observe?"

"Certainly, sir."

"Not to be opened till after my death. But as soon as I am gone, take it to Mr. Jonas Aldridge: it belongs to him. There is a letter inside explaining everything; and I have asked him to be good to you and Mary for the sake of—for the sake of the hard, hard struggle I have had in poverty and sickness, when I saw her young cheek fading with want and work; and now again, when you are all suffering, and little Tracy too, with his thin pale face that used to be so round and rosy: but it will soon be over, thank God! You will be sure to deliver it into his own hands?"

"I give you my word I will, sir."

"Take it away then, and let me see it no more; but hide it from Mary, and tell her nothing about it."

"I will not, sir. And now you must try to rest."

"I feel more at peace now," said Lane; "and perhaps I may. Thank God the worst struggle is over—dying is easy."

Mr. Adams was right in his prediction. In less than a week from the period of that solemn behest poor Lane was in his grave; and his last word, with a significant glance at Tracy, was—remember!

Mary had loved her father tenderly—indeed there was a great deal in him to love; and he was doubly endeared to her by the trials they had gone through together, and the cares and anxieties she had lavished on him. But there was no bitterness in the tears she shed: she had never failed him in their hours of trial; she had been a dutiful and affectionate daughter, and he had expired peacefully in the arms of herself and her kind and beloved husband. It was on the evening of the day which had seen the remains of poor Maurice Lane deposited in the churchyard of St. Jude that Tracy, having placed the parcel in his bosom, and buttoned his coat over it, said to his wife—"Mary, I have occasion to go out on a little business; keep up your spirits till I return; I will not be away more than an hour;" and leaning over her chair he kissed her cheek, and left the room. As he stepped from his own door into the street, he observed two men leaning against the rails of the adjoining house, and he heard one say to the other, "Yes, by jingo!" "At last!" returned the other; whereupon they moved on, pursuing the same way he went himself, but keeping at some distance behind.

Tracy could not quite say that he owed no man anything, for the fire had incapacitated them from paying some small accounts which they would otherwise have been able to discharge, and he even owed a month's rent; but this, considering the circumstances of the case, he did not expect would be claimed. Indeed Mr. Reynolds, who was quite ignorant of Mr. Jonas' enmity, had hinted as much. He had therefore no apprehension of being pursued for debt, nor, till he recollected that there was a very active pressgang in the town, did it occur to him that the movements of these men could be connected with himself. It is true that, as a discharged soldier, he was not strictly liable, but he was aware that immunities of this sort were not always available at the moment of need; and that, as these persons did not adhere very strictly to the terms of their warrant, once in their clutches, it was no easy matter to get out of them: so he quickened his pace, and kept his eyes and ears on the alert.

His way lay along the shore, and shortly before he reached the Britannia, the two men suddenly advanced, and placed themselves one on each side of him. But for the suspicion we have named, Tracy would have either not observed their movements, or, if he had, would have stopped and inquired what they wanted. As it was, he thought it much wiser to escape the seizure at first, should such be their intention, than trust to the justice of his cause afterward; so, without giving them time to lay hands upon him, he took to his heels and ran, whereupon they sounded a whistle, and as he reached Joe Gurney's door, he found his flight impeded by that worthy himself, who came out of it, and tried to trip him up. But Tracy was active, and making a leap, he eluded the stratagem. The man, however, seized him, which gave time to the two others to come up; and there commenced a desperate struggle of three to one, in which, in spite of his strength and ability, Tracy would certainly have been worsted but for a very unexpected reinforcement which joined him from some of the neighboring houses, to whose inhabitants Gurney's proceedings had become to the last degree odious; more especially in the women, among whom there was scarcely one who had not the cause of a brother, a son, or a lover to avenge. Armed with pokers, brooms, or whatever they could lay their hands on, these Amazons issued from their doors, and fell foul of Gurney, whom they singled from the rest as their own peculiar prey. In the confusion Tracy contrived to make his escape; and without his hat, and his clothes almost torn off his back, he rushed in upon the astonished Mary in less than half an hour after he had left her.

His story was soon told, and there was nothing sufficiently uncommon in such an incident in those days to excite much surprise, except as regarded the circumstance of the men lying in wait for him. Tracy was not ignorant that malice and jealousy had occasionally furnished victims to the press[Pg 105] system; but they had no enemy they knew of, nor was there any one, as far as they were aware, that had an interest in getting him out of the way. It was, however, an unpleasant and alarming occurrence, and he resolved on consulting a lawyer, in order to ascertain how he might protect himself from any repetition of the annoyance.

With this determination, the discussion between the husband and wife concluded for that night; but the former had a private source of uneasiness, which on the whole distressed him much more than the seizure itself, and which he could not have the relief of communicating to Mary—this was the loss of the parcel so sacredly committed to his care by his deceased father-in-law, and which he was on his way to deliver into the hands of Mr. Jonas Aldridge when he met with the interruption. It had either fallen or been torn from his bosom in the struggle, and considering the neighborhood and the sort of people that surrounded him, he could scarcely indulge the most remote hope of ever seeing it again. To what the papers contained Lane had furnished him no clew; but whether it was anything of intrinsic worth, or merely some article to which circumstances or association lent an arbitrary value, the impossibility of complying with the last and earnest request of Mary's father formed far the most painful feature in the accident of the evening; and while the wife lay awake, conjuring up images of she knew not what dangers and perils that threatened her husband, Tracy passed an equally sleepless night in vague conjectures as to what had become of the parcel, and in forming visionary schemes for its recovery.

In the morning he even determined to face Gurney in his den; for it was only at night that he felt himself in any danger from the nefarious proceedings of himself and his associates. But his inquiries brought him no satisfaction. The people who resided in the neighborhood of Gurney's house, many of whom had engaged in the broil, declared they knew nothing of the parcel; "but," said they, "if any of Gurney's people have it, you need never hope to see it again." Tracy thought so too; however, he paid a visit to their den of iniquity, and declared his determination to have them summoned before the magistrates, to answer for his illegal seizure; but as all who were present denied any knowledge of the affair, and as he could not have sworn to the two ruffians who tracked him, he satisfied himself with this threat without proceeding further in the business.

Having been equally unsuccessful at the police-office, he determined after waiting a few days in the hope of discovering some clew by which he might recover the parcel, to communicate the circumstance to Mr. Jonas Aldridge. He therefore took an early opportunity of presenting himself in West Street.

"Here's a man wishes to see you, sir," said the servant.

"Who is it? What does he want?" inquired Mr. Jonas, who, recumbent in his arm-chair, and his glass of port beside him, was leisurely perusing his newspaper after dinner. "Where is he?"

"He's in the passage, sir."

"Take care he's not a thief come to look after the greatcoats and hats."

"He looks very respectable, sir."

"Wants me to subscribe to something, I suppose. Go and ask him what's his business."

"He says he can't tell his business except to you, sir, because it's something very partickler," said the maid, returning into the room. "He says he's been one of your tenants; his name's Walkingham."

"Walkingham!" reiterated Mr. Jonas, dropping the newspaper, and starting erect out of his recumbent attitude. "Wants me! Business! What business can he possibly have with me? Say I'm engaged, and can't see him. No, stay! Yes; say I'm engaged and can't see him."

"He wishes to know what time it will be convenient for you to see him, sir, as it's about something very partickler indeed," said the girl, again making her appearance.

Mr. Jonas reflected a minute or two; he feared this visit portended him no good. He had often wondered that Tracy had not claimed relationship with him, for he felt no doubt of his being his cousin; probably he was now come to do it; or had he somehow got hold of that fatal will? One or the other surely was the subject of his errand; and if I refuse to see him, he will go and tell his story to somebody else. "Let him come in. Stay! Take the lamp off the table, and put it at the other end of the room."

This done, Mr. Jonas having reseated himself in his arm-chair in such a position that he could conceal his features from his unwelcome visitor, bade the woman send him in.

"I beg your pardon for intruding, sir," said Tracy, "but I thought it my duty to come to you," speaking in such a modest tone of voice, that Mr. Jonas began to feel somewhat reassured, and ventured to ask with a careless air, "What was his business?"

"You have perhaps heard, sir, that Mr. Lane is dead?"

"I believe I did," said Mr. Jonas.

"Well, sir, shortly before his death he called me to his bedside and gave me a parcel, which he desired me to deliver to you as soon as he was laid in his grave."

"To me?" said Mr. Jonas, by way of filling up the pause, and concealing his agitation, for he immediately jumped to the conclusion that the will was really forthcoming now.

"Yes, sir, into your own hand; and accordingly the day he was buried I set out in the evening to bring it to you; but the pressgang got hold of me, and in the scuffle I lost it out of my bosom, where I had put it for[Pg 106] safety, and though I have made every inquiry, I can hear nothing of it."

"What was it? What did the parcel contain?" inquired Mr. Jonas, eagerly.

"I don't know, I am sure, sir," answered Tracy. "It was sealed up in thick brown paper; but, from the anxiety Mr. Lane expressed about its delivery, I am afraid it was something of value. He said he should never rest in his grave if you did not get it."

Mr. Jonas now seeing there was no immediate danger, found courage to ask a variety of questions with a view to further discoveries; but as Tracy had no clew to guide him with regard to the contents of the parcel except his own suspicions, which he did not feel himself called upon to communicate, he declared himself unable to give any information. All he could say was, that "he thought the parcel felt as if there was a book in it."

"A book!" said Mr. Jonas. "What sized book?"

"Not a large book, sir, but rather thick; it might be a pocket-book."

"Very odd!" said Mr. Jonas, who was really puzzled; for if the book contained the will, surely it was not to him that Lane would have committed it. However, as nothing more could be elicited on the subject, he dismissed Tracy, bidding him neglect nothing to recover the parcel, and inexpressibly vexed that his own stratagem to get rid of this "discomfortable cousin," had prevented his receiving the important bequest.

Whilst Tracy returned home, satisfied that he had fulfilled his duty as far as he was able, Mr. Jonas having well considered the matter, resolved on obtaining an interview with Joe Gurney himself; "for," thought he, "if the parcel contained neither money, nor anything that could be turned into money, he may possibly be able to get it for me."

"Well, sir, I remembers the night very well," said Joe. "They'd ha' been watching for that 'ere young chap, off and on, for near a fortnight, when they got him, as luck would have it, close to my door; but he raised such a noise that the neighbors came out, and he got away."

"But did you hear anything of the parcel?" inquired Mr. Jonas.

"Well, sir, I'm not sure whether I did or no," answered Gurney; "but I think it was Tom Purcell as picked it up."

"Then you saw it?" said Mr. Jonas. "What did it contain? Where is it?"

"Well, I'm sure, sir, that is more than I can say," returned Gurney, who always spared himself the pain of telling more truth than he could avoid; "but Tom went away the next day to Lunnun."

"And did he take the parcel with him? Was there no address on it?"

"No, sir, not on the outside at least—there was something wrote, but it wasn't addressed to nobody."

Although Mr. Jonas was perfectly aware that Gurney knew more than he chose to tell, not wishing to quarrel with him, he was obliged to relinquish the interrogative system, and content himself with a promise that he would endeavor to discover the whereabout of Tom Purcell, and do all he could to recover the lost article; and to a certain extent Gurney intended to fulfill the engagement. The fact of the matter was, that the parcel had been found by Tom Purcell, but not so exclusively as that he could secure the benefit of its contents to himself. They had been divided amongst those who put in their claim, the treasure consisting of a black pocket-book, containing £95 in bank-notes, and Lane's letter, sealed, and addressed to Mr. Jonas Aldridge. The profits being distributed, the pocket-book and letter were added to the share of the finder, and these, it was possible, might be recovered; and with that view Gurney dispatched a missive to their possessor. But persons who follow the profession of Tom Purcell have rarely any fixed address, and a considerable time elapsed ere an answer was received; and when it did come, it led to no result. The paper he had burnt, and the pocket-book he had thrown into a ditch. He described the spot, and it was searched, but nothing of the sort was found. Here, therefore, ended the matter to all appearance, especially as Mr. Jonas succeeded in extracting from Gurney that there was nothing in the book but that letter and some money.

In the mean while, however, the pocket-book had strangely enough found its way back to Thomas Street. A poor woman that carried fish about the town for sale, and with whom Mary not unfrequently dealt, brought it to her one day, damp, tattered, and discolored, and inquired if it did not belong to her husband.

"Not that I know of," said Mary.

"Because," said the woman, "he came to our house one morning last winter asking for a parcel. Now, I know this pocket-book—at least I think it's the same—had been picked up by some of Gurney's folks the night afore, though it wasn't for me that lives next door to him to interfere in his matters. Hows'ever, my son's a hedger and ditcher, and when he came home last night he brought it: he says he found it in a field near by the Potteries."

"I do not think it is Tracy's," said Mary; "but if you will leave it, I'll ask him." And the article being in too dilapidated a condition to have any value, the woman told her she was welcome to it, and went away.

The consequence of this little event was, that when Tracy returned, Mary became a participator in the secret which had hitherto been withheld from her.

"I see it all," said she. "No doubt Mr. Aldridge gave it to my father to take care of the night he came here; and when he died, my poor father, knowing we were to have shared with him had he lived, felt tempted to keep it; but he was too honest to do so; and in all our distresses he never touched what was not his own; but this explains many things[Pg 107] I could not understand." And as the tears rose to her eyes at the recollection of the struggle she had witnessed, without comprehending it, betwixt want and integrity, she fell into a reverie, which prevented her observing that her child, a boy of four years old, had taken possession of the pocket-book, and, seated on the floor, was pulling it to pieces.

"I tell you what, Mary," said Tracy, returning into the shop, which he had left for a few minutes, "I'll take the book as it is to Mr. Jonas Aldridge. I'm sorry the money's lost; but we are not to blame for that, and I suppose he has plenty. Put it into a bit of clean paper, will you, and I'll set off at once."

"Oh, Tracy, Tracy," cried Mary, addressing her little boy, "what are you doing with that book? Give it me, you naughty child! See, he has almost torn it in half!" Not a very difficult feat, for the leather was so rotten with damp that it scarcely held together.

"Look here, Tracy: here's a paper in it," said Mary, as she took it from the child, and from the end of a secret pocket, which was unript, she drew a folded sheet of long writing-paper.

"Dear me! look here!" said she, as she unfolded and cast her eye over it. "'In the name of God, amen! I, Ephraim Aldridge, residing at No. 4, West Street, being of sound mind, memory, and understanding'——Why, Tracy, it's a will, I declare! Only think, How odd! isn't it? 'Of sound mind, memory, and understanding, do make and publish this my last will and testament'"——

"I'll tell you what, Mary," said Tracy, attempting to take the paper from her, "I don't think we've any right to read it: give it me."

"Stay," said Mary; "stay. Oh, Tracy, do but listen to this: 'I give, devise, and bequeath all property, of what nature or kind soever, real, freehold, or personal, of which I shall die seized or possessed'——Think what a deal Mr. Jonas must have!"

"Mary, I'm surprised at you."

"'Of which I shall die seized or possessed, to my nephew'"——

"It's merely the draft of a will. Give it me, and let me go."

"'To my nephew, Tracy Walkingham, son of the late Tracy Walkingham, formerly a private, and subsequently a commissioned officer in his majesty's 96th Regiment of foot, and of my sister, Eleanor Aldridge, his wife.' Tracy, what can it mean? Can you be Mr. Ephraim Aldridge's nephew?"

"It's very strange," said Tracy. "I never heard my mother's maiden name; for both she and my father died in the West Indies when I was a child; but certainly, as I have often told you, my father was a private in the 96th Regiment, and afterward got a commission."

It would be useless to dwell on the surprise of the young couple, or to detail the measures that were taken to ascertain and prove, beyond a cavil, that Tracy was the right heir. There were relations yet alive who, when they heard that he was likely to turn out a rich man, were willing enough to identify him, and it was not till the solicitor he had employed was perfectly satisfied on this head that Mr. Jonas was waited on, with the astounding intelligence that a will had been discovered, made subsequent to the one by which he inherited. At the same time a letter was handed to him, which, sealed and addressed in Ephraim's hand, had been found in the same secret receptacle of the book as the larger paper.

The contents of that letter none ever knew but Jonas himself. It seemed to have been a voice of reproach from the grave for the ill return he had made to the perhaps injudicious but well-meant generosity and indulgence of the old man. The lawyer related that when he opened it he turned deadly pale, and placing his hands before his face, sank into a chair quite overcome: let us hope his heart was touched.

However that may be, he had no reason to complain of the treatment he received from the hands of his successors, who temperate in prosperity, as they had been patient in adversity, in consideration of the relationship and of the expectations in which he had been nurtured, made Jonas a present of a thousand pounds for the purpose of establishing him in any way of life he might select; while, carefully preserved in a leathern case, the old black pocket-book, to which they owed so much, is still extant in the family of Tracy Walkingham.

[Abridged from "Light and Darkness," just published.]

IN the fifteenth century lycanthropy prevailed extensively amongst the Vaudois, and many persons suffered death for it; but as no similar case seems to have been heard of for a long while, lycanthropy and ghoulism were set down amongst the superstitions of the East, and the follies and fables of the dark ages. A circumstance however has just come to light in France that throws a strange and unexpected light upon this curious subject. The account we are going to give is drawn from a report of the investigation before a council of war, held on the 10th of the present month (July, 1849), Colonel Manselon, president. It is remarked that the court was extremely crowded, and that many ladies were present.

The facts of this mysterious affair, as they came to light in the examinations, are as follows: For some months past the cemeteries in and around Paris have been the scenes of a frightful profanation, the authors of which had succeeded in eluding all the vigilance that was exerted to detect them. At one time the guardians or keepers of these places of burial were themselves suspected; at others the odium was thrown on the surviving relations of the dead.

The cemetery of Père la Chaise was the[Pg 108] first field of these horrible operations. It appears that for a considerable time the guardians had observed a mysterious figure flitting about by night amongst the tombs, on whom they never could lay their hands. As they approached, he disappeared like a phantom; and even the dogs that were let loose, and urged to seize him, stopped short, and ceased to bark, as if they were transfixed by a charm. When morning broke, the ravages of this strange visitant were but too visible—graves had been opened, coffins forced, and the remains of the dead, frightfully torn and mutilated, lay scattered upon the earth. Could the surgeons be the guilty parties? No. A member of the profession being brought to the spot declared that no scientific knife had been there; but certain parts of the human body might be required for anatomical studies, and the gravediggers might have violated the tombs to obtain money by the sale of them. The watch was doubled, but to no purpose. A young soldier was one night seized in a tomb, but he declared he had gone there to meet his sweetheart, and had fallen asleep; and as he evinced no trepidation they let him go.

At length these profanations ceased in Père la Chaise, but it was not long before they were renewed in another quarter. A suburban cemetery was the new theater of operations. A little girl aged seven years, and much loved by her parents, died. With their own hands they laid her in her coffin, attired in the frock she delighted to wear on fête days, and with her favorite playthings beside her; and accompanied by numerous relatives and friends they saw her laid in the earth. On the following morning it was discovered that the grave had been violated, the body torn from the coffin, frightfully mutilated, and the heart extracted. There was no robbery. The sensation in the neighborhood was tremendous; and in the general terror and perplexity suspicion fell on the broken-hearted father, whose innocence however was easily proved. Every means was taken to discover the criminal; but the only result of the increased surveillance was that the scene of profanation was removed to the cemetery of Mont Parnasse, where the exhumations were carried to such an extent that the authorities were at their wits' end.

Considering, by the way, that all these cemeteries are surrounded by walls, and have iron gates, which are kept closed, it certainly seems very strange that any ghoul or vampire of solid flesh and blood should have been able to pursue his vocation so long undiscovered. However, so it was; and it was not till they bethought themselves of laying a snare for this mysterious visitor that he was detected. Having remarked a spot where the wall, though nine feet high, appeared to have been frequently scaled, an old officer contrived a sort of infernal machine, with a wire attached to it, which he so arranged that it should explode if any one attempted to enter the cemetery at that point. This done, and a watch being set, they thought themselves now secure of their purpose. Accordingly, at midnight an explosion roused the guardians, who perceived a man already in the cemetery; but before they could seize him he had leaped the wall with an agility that confounded them; and although they fired their pieces after him, he succeeded in making his escape. But his footsteps were marked with blood that had flowed from his wounds, and several scraps of military attire were picked up on the spot. Nevertheless, they seem to have been still uncertain where to seek the offender, till one of the gravediggers of Mont Parnasse, whilst preparing the last resting-place of two criminals about to be executed, chanced to overhear some sappers of the 74th regiment remarking that one of their sergeants had returned on the preceding night cruelly wounded, nobody knew how, and had been conveyed to Val de Grace, which is a military hospital. A little inquiry now soon cleared up the mystery; and it was ascertained that Sergeant Bertrand was the author of all these profanations, and of many others of the same description previous to his arrival in Paris.

Supported on crutches, wrapped in a gray cloak, pale and feeble, Bertrand was now brought forward for examination; nor was there anything in the countenance or appearance of this young man indicative of the fearful monomania of which he is the victim; for the whole tenor of his confession proves that in no other light is his horrible propensity to be considered. In the first place, he freely acknowledged himself the author of these violations of the dead both in Paris and elsewhere.

"What object did you propose to yourself in committing these acts?"

"I cannot tell," replied Bertrand: "it was a horrible impulse. I was driven to it against my own will; nothing could stop or deter me. I cannot describe or understand myself what my sensations were in tearing and rending these bodies."

President.—"And what did you do after one of these visits to a cemetery?"

Bertrand.—"I withdrew, trembling convulsively, feeling a great desire for repose. I fell asleep, no matter where, and slept for several hours; but during this sleep I heard everything that passed around me! I have sometimes exhumed from ten to fifteen bodies in a night. I dug them up with my hands, which were often torn and bleeding with the labor I underwent; but I minded nothing, so that I could get at them. The guardians fired at me one night and wounded me, but that did not prevent my returning the next. This desire seized me generally about once a fortnight."

Strange to say, the perpetrator of all these terrors was "gentle and kind to the living, and especially beloved in his regiment for his frankness and gayety."

[Pg 109]

[From Blackwood's Magazine.]
Continued from Page 582.

"THERE can't be a doubt," said my father, "that to each of the main divisions of your work—whether you call them Books or Parts—you should prefix an Initial or Introductory Chapter."

Pisistratus.—"Can't be a doubt, sir! Why so?"

Mr. Caxton.—"Fielding lays it down as an indispensable rule, which he supports by his example; and Fielding was an artistical writer, and knew what he was about."

Pisistratus.—"Do you remember any of his reasons, sir?"

Mr. Caxton.—"Why, indeed, Fielding says very justly that he is not bound to assign any reason; but he does assign a good many, here and there—to find which, I refer you to Tom Jones. I will only observe, that one of his reasons, which is unanswerable, runs to the effect that thus, in every Part or Book, the reader has the advantage of beginning at the fourth or fifth page instead of the first—'a matter by no means of trivial consequence,' saith Fielding, 'to persons who read books with no other view than to say they have read them—a more general motive to reading than is commonly imagined; and from which not only law books and good books, but the pages of Homer and Virgil, of Swift and Cervantes, have been often turned over.' There," cried my father triumphantly, "I will lay a shilling to twopence that I have quoted the very words."

Mrs. Caxton.—"Dear me, that only means skipping: I don't see any great advantage in writing a chapter, merely for people to skip it."

Pisistratus.—"Neither do I!"

Mr. Caxton, dogmatically.—"It is the repose in the picture—Fielding calls it 'contrast'—(still more dogmatically) I say there can't be a doubt about it. Besides, (added my father after a pause,) besides, this usage gives you opportunities to explain what has gone before, or to prepare for what's coming; or, since Fielding contends with great truth, that some learning is necessary for this kind of historical composition, it allows you, naturally and easily, the introduction of light and pleasant ornaments of that nature. At each flight in the terrace, you may give the eye the relief of an urn or a statue. Moreover, when so inclined, you create proper pausing places for reflection; and complete, by a separate yet harmonious ethical department, the design of a work, which is but a mere Mother Goose's tale if it does not embrace a general view of the thoughts and actions of mankind."

Pisistratus.—"But then, in these initial chapters, the author thrusts himself forward; and just when you want to get on with the dramatis personæ, you find yourself face to face with the poet himself."

Mr. Caxton.—"Pooh! you can contrive to prevent that! Imitate the chorus of the Greek stage, who fill up the intervals between the action by saying what the author would otherwise say in his own person."

Pisistratus, slily.—"That's a good idea, sir—and I have a chorus, and a chorægus too, already in my eye."

Mr. Caxton, unsuspectingly.—"Aha! you are not so dull a fellow as you would make yourself out to be; and, even if an author did thrust himself forward, what objection is there to that?—I don't say a good poem, but a poem. It is a mere affectation to suppose that a book can come into the world without an author. Every child has a father, one father at least, as the great Condé says very well in his poem."

Pisistratus.—"The great Condé a poet!—I never heard that before."

Mr. Caxton.—"I don't say he was a poet, but he sent a poem to Madame de Montansier. Envious critics think that he must have paid somebody else to write it; but there is no reason why a great Captain should not write a poem. I wonder, Roland, if the Duke ever tried his hand at 'Stanzas to Mary,' or 'Lines to a sleeping babe.'"

Captain Roland.—"Austin, I'm ashamed of you. Of course the Duke could write poetry if he pleased—something, I dare say, in the way of the great Condé—that is something warlike and heroic, I'll be bound. Let's hear!"

Mr. Caxton, reciting—

"Telle est du Ciel la loi sévère
Qu'il faut qu'un enfant ait un père;
On dit même quelque fois
Tel enfant en a jusqu'à trois."

Captain Roland, greatly disgusted.—"Condé write such stuff!—I don't believe it."

Pisistratus.—"I do, and accept the quotation—you and Roland shall be joint fathers to my child as well as myself."

"Tel enfant en a jusqu'à trois."

Mr. Caxton, solemnly.—"I refuse the proffered paternity; but so far as administering a little wholesome castigation, now and then, have no objection to join in the discharge of a father's duty."

Pisistratus.—"Agreed; have you anything to say against the infant hitherto?"

Mr. Caxton.—"He is in long clothes at present; let us wait till he can walk."

Blanche.—"But pray whom do you mean for a hero?—and is Miss Jemima your heroine?"

Captain Roland.—"There is some mystery about the—"

Pisistratus, hastily.—"Hush, Uncle; no letting the cat out of the bag yet. Listen, all of you! I left Frank Hazeldean on his way to the Casino."


"It is a sweet pretty place," thought Frank, as he opened the gate which led across the fields to the Casino, that smiled down upon him with its plaster pilasters. "I wonder, though, that my father, who is so particular[Pg 110] in general, suffers the carriage road to be so full of holes and weeds. Mounseer does not receive many visits, I take it."

But when Frank got into the ground immediately before the house, he saw no cause of complaint as to want of order and repair. Nothing could be kept more neatly. Frank was ashamed of the dint made by the pony's hoofs in the smooth gravel; he dismounted, tied the animal to the wicket, and went on foot toward the glass door in front.

He rang the bell once, twice, but nobody came, for the old woman-servant, who was hard of hearing, was far away in the yard, searching for any eggs which the hen might have scandalously hidden from culinary purposes; and Jackeymo was fishing for the sticklebacks and minnows, which were, when caught, to assist the eggs, when found, in keeping together the bodies and souls of himself and his master. The old woman was on board wages,—lucky old woman! Frank rang a third time, and with the impetuosity of his age. A face peeped from the Belvidere on the terrace. "Diavolo!" said Dr. Riccabocca to himself. "Young cocks crow hard on their own dunghill; it must be a cock of a high race to crow so loud at another's."

Therewith he shambled out of the summer-house, and appeared suddenly before Frank, in a very wizard-like dressing-robe of black serge, a red cap on his head, and a cloud of smoke coming rapidly from his lips, as a final consolatory whiff, before he removed the pipe from them. Frank had indeed seen the Doctor before, but never in so scholastic a costume, and he was a little startled by the apparition at his elbow, as he turned round.

"Signorino—young gentleman," said the Italian, taking off his cap with his usual urbanity, "pardon the negligence of my people—I am too happy to receive your commands in person."

"Dr. Rickeybockey?" stammered Frank, much confused by this polite address, and the low yet stately bow with which it was accompanied, "I—I have a note from the Hall. Mamma—that is, my mother,—and aunt Jemima beg their best compliments, and hope you will come, sir."

The Doctor took the note with another bow, and, opening the glass door, invited Frank in.

The young gentleman, with a school-boy's usual bluntness, was about to say that he was in a hurry, and had rather not; but Dr. Riccabocca's grand manner awed him, while a glimpse of the hall excited his curiosity—so he silently obeyed the invitation.

The hall, which was of an octagon shape, had been originally paneled off into compartments, and in these the Italian had painted landscapes, rich with the warm sunny light of his native climate. Frank was no judge of the art displayed; but he was greatly struck with the scenes depicted: they were all views of some lake, real or imaginary—in all, dark-blue shining waters reflected dark-blue placid skies. In one, a flight of steps descended to the lake, and a gay group was seen feasting on the margin; in another, sunset threw its rose-hues over a vast villa or palace, backed by Alpine hills, and flanked by long arcades of vines, while pleasure-boats skimmed over the waves below. In short, throughout all the eight compartments, the scene, though it differed in details, preserved the same general character, as if illustrating some favorite locality. The Italian did not, however, evince any desire to do the honors to his own art, but, preceding Frank across the hall, opened the door of his usual sitting-room, and requested him to enter. Frank did so, rather reluctantly, and seated himself with unwonted bashfulness on the edge of a chair. But here new specimens of the Doctor's handicraft soon riveted attention. The room had been originally papered; but Riccabocca had stretched canvas over the walls, and painted thereon sundry satirical devices, each separated from the other by scroll-works of fantastic arabesques. Here a Cupid was trundling a wheel-barrow full of hearts which he appeared to be selling to an ugly old fellow, with a money-bag in his hand—probably Plutus. There Diogenes might be seen walking through a market-place, with his lantern in his hand, in search of an honest man, whilst the children jeered at him, and the curs snapped at his heels. In another place, a lion was seen half dressed in a fox's hide, while a wolf in a sheep's mask was conversing very amicably with a young lamb. Here again might be seen the geese stretching out their necks from the Roman Capitol in full cackle, while the stout invaders were beheld in the distance, running off as hard as they could. In short, in all these quaint entablatures some pithy sarcasm was symbolically conveyed; only over the mantlepiece was the design graver and more touching. It was the figure of a man in a pilgrim's garb, chained to the earth by small but innumerable ligaments, while a phantom likeness of himself, his shadow, was seen hastening down what seemed an interminable vista; and underneath were written the pathetic words of Horace—

"Patriæ quis exul
Se quoque fugit?"

—"What exile from his country can fly himself as well?" The furniture of the room was extremely simple, and somewhat scanty; yet it was arranged so as to impart an air of taste and elegance to the room. Even a few plaster busts and statues, though bought but of some humble itinerant, had their classical effect, glistening from out stands of flowers that were grouped around them, or backed by graceful screen-works formed from twisted osiers, which, by the simple contrivance of trays at the bottom, filled with earth, served for living parasitical plants, with gay flowers contrasting thick ivy leaves, and gave to the whole room the aspect of a bower.

"May I ask your permission?" said the Italian, with his finger on the seal of the letter.

"Oh yes," said Frank with naïveté.[Pg 111]

Riccabocca broke the seal, and a slight smile stole over his countenance. Then he turned a little aside from Frank, shaded his face with his hand, and seemed to muse. "Mrs. Hazeldean," said he at last, "does me very great honor. I hardly recognize her handwriting, or I should have been more impatient to open the letter." The dark eyes were lifted over the spectacles, and went right into Frank's unprotected and undiplomatic heart. The Doctor raised the note, and pointed to the characters with his forefinger.

"Cousin Jemima's hand," said Frank, as directly as if the question had been put to him.

The Italian smiled. "Mr. Hazeldean has company staying with him?"

"No; that is, only Barney—the Captain. There's seldom much company before the shooting season," added Frank with a slight sigh; "and then you know the holidays are over. For my part, I think we ought to break up a month later."

The Doctor seemed reassured by the first sentence in Frank's reply, and seating himself at the table, wrote his answer—not hastily, as we English write, but with care and precision, like one accustomed to weigh the nature of words—in that stiff Italian hand, which allows the writer so much time to think while he forms his letters. He did not therefore reply at once to Frank's remark about the holidays, but was silent till he had concluded his note, read it three times over, sealed it by the taper he slowly lighted, and then, giving it to Frank, he said—

"For your sake, young gentleman, I regret that your holidays are so early; for mine, I must rejoice, since I accept the kind invitation you have rendered doubly gratifying by bringing it yourself."

"Deuce take the fellow and his fine speeches! One don't know which way to look," thought English Frank.

The Italian smiled again, as if this time he had read the boy's heart, without need of those piercing black eyes, and said, less ceremoniously than before, "You don't care much for compliments, young gentleman?"

"No, I don't indeed," said Frank heartily.

"So much the better for you, since your way in the world is made: it would be so much the worse if you had to make it!"

Frank looked puzzled: the thought was too deep for him—so he turned to the pictures.

"Those are very funny," said he: "they seem capitally done—who did 'em?"

"Signorino Hazeldean, you are giving me what you refused yourself."

"Eh?" said Frank inquiringly.


"Oh—I—no; but they are well done, aren't they, sir?"

"Not particularly: you speak to the artist."

"What! you painted them?"


"And the pictures in the hall?"

"Those too."

"Taken from nature—eh?"

"Nature," said the Italian sententiously, perhaps evasively, "let nothing be taken from her."

"Oh!" said Frank, puzzled again.

"Well, I must wish you good morning, sir; I am very glad you are coming."

"Without compliment?"

"Without compliment."

"A rivedersi—good-by for the present, my young signorino. This way," observing Frank make a bolt toward the wrong door.

"Can I offer you a glass of wine—it is pure, of our own making?"

"No, thank you, indeed, sir," cried Frank, suddenly recollecting his father's admonition. "Good-by—don't trouble yourself, sir; I know my way now."

But the bland Italian followed his guest to the wicket, where Frank had left the pony. The young gentleman, afraid lest so courteous a host should hold the stirrup for him, twitched off the bridle, and mounted in haste, not even staying to ask if the Italian could put him in the way to Rood Hall, of which way he was profoundly ignorant. The Italian's eye followed the boy as he rode up the ascent in the lane, and the Doctor sighed heavily. "The wiser we grow," said he to himself, "the more we regret the age of our follies: it is better to gallop with a light heart up the stony hill than sit in the summer-house and cry 'How true!' to the stony truths of Machiavelli!"

With that he turned back into the Belvidere; but he could not resume his studies. He remained some minutes gazing on the prospect, till the prospect reminded him of the fields which Jackeymo was bent on his hiring, and the fields reminded him of Lenny Fairfield. He walked back to the house, and in a few moments reemerged in his out-of-door trim, with cloak and umbrella, relighted his pipe, and strolled toward Hazeldean village.

Meanwhile Frank, after cantering on for some distance, stopped at a cottage, and there learned that there was a short cut across the fields to Rood Hall, by which he could save nearly three miles. Frank however missed the short cut, and came out into the highroad. A turnpike-keeper, after first taking his toll, put him back again into the short cut, and finally he got into some green lanes, where a dilapidated finger-post directed him to Rood. Late at noon, having ridden fifteen miles in the desire to reduce ten to seven, he came suddenly upon a wild and primitive piece of ground, that seemed half chase, half common, with slovenly tumble-down cottages of villainous aspect scattered about in odd nooks and corners; idle dirty children were making mud-pies on the road; slovenly-looking children were plaiting straw at the thresholds; a large but forlorn and decayed church, that seemed to say that the generation which saw it built was more pious than the generation which now resorted to it, stood boldly and nakedly out by the road-side.

"Is this the village of Rood?" asked[Pg 112] Frank of a stout young man breaking stones on the road—sad sign that no better labor could be found for him!

The man sullenly nodded, and continued his work.

"And where's the Hall—Mr. Leslie's?"

The man looked up in stolid surprise, and this time touched his hat.

"Be you going there?"

"Yes, if I can find out where it is."

"I'll show your honor," said the boor alertly.

Frank reined in the pony, and the man walked by his side.

Frank was much of his father's son, despite the difference of age, and that more fastidious change of manner which characterizes each succeeding race in the progress of civilization. Despite all his Eton finery, he was familiar with peasants, and had the quick eye of one country-born as to country matters.

"You don't seem very well off in this village, my man," said he knowingly.

"Noa; there be a deal of distress here in the winter time, and summer too, for that matter; and the parish ben't much help to a single man."

"But the farmers want work here as well as elsewhere, I suppose?"

"Deed, and there ben't much farming work here—most o' the parish be all wild ground loike."

"The poor have a right of common, I suppose," said Frank, surveying a large assortment of vagabond birds and quadrupeds.

"Yes; neighbor Timmins keeps his geese on the common, and some has a cow—and them be neighbor Jowlas's pigs. I don't know if there's a right, loike; but the folks at the Hall does all they can to help us, and that ben't much: they ben't as rich as some folks; but," added the peasant proudly, "they be as good blood as any in the shire."

"I'm glad to see you like them, at all events."

"Oh yes, I likes them well eno'; mayhap you are at school with the young gentleman?"

"Yes," said Frank.

"Ah! I heard the clergyman say as how Master Randal was a mighty clever lad, and would get rich some day. I'se sure I wish he would, for a poor squire makes a poor parish. There's the Hall, sir."


Frank looked right ahead, and saw a square house, that in spite of modern sash-windows was evidently of remote antiquity—a high conical roof; a stack of tall quaint chimney-pots of red baked clay (like those at Sutton Place in Surrey) dominating over isolated vulgar smoke-conductors of the ignoble fashion of present times; a dilapidated groin-work, incasing within a Tudor arch a door of the comfortable date of George III., and the peculiarly dingy and weather-stained appearance of the small finely-finished bricks, of which the habitation was built,—all showed the abode of former generations adapted with tasteless irreverence to the habits of descendants unenlightened by Pugin, or indifferent to the poetry of the past. The house had emerged suddenly upon Frank out of the gloomy waste land, for it was placed in a hollow, and sheltered from sight by a disorderly group of ragged, dismal, valetudinarian fir-trees, until an abrupt turn of the road cleared that screen, and left the desolate abode bare to the discontented eye. Frank dismounted, the man held his pony, and after smoothing his cravat, the smart Etonian sauntered up to the door, and startled the solitude of the place with a loud peal from the modern brass knocker—a knock which instantly brought forth an astonished starling who had built under the eaves of the gable roof, and called up a cloud of sparrows, tomtits, and yellow-hammers, who had been regaling themselves amongst the litter of a slovenly farmyard that lay in full sight to the right of the house, fenced off by a primitive, paintless wooden rail. In process of time a sow, accompanied by a thriving and inquisitive family, strolled up to the gate of the fence, and leaning her nose on the lower bar of the gate, contemplated the visitor with much curiosity and some suspicion.

While Frank is still without, impatiently swingeing his white trowsers with his whip, we will steal a hurried glance toward the respective members of the family within. Mr. Leslie, the pater familias, is in a little room called his "study," to which he regularly retires every morning after breakfast, rarely reappearing till one o'clock, which is his unfashionable hour for dinner. In what mysterious occupations Mr. Leslie passes those hours no one ever formed a conjecture. At the present moment he is seated before a little rickety bureau, one leg of which (being shorter than the other) is propped up by sundry old letters and scraps of newspapers; and the bureau is open, and reveals a great number of pigeon-holes and divisions, filled with various odds and ends, the collection of many years. In some of these compartments are bundles of letters, very yellow, and tied in packets with faded tape; in another, all by itself, is a fragment of plum-pudding stone, which Mr. Leslie has picked up in his walks and considered a rare mineral. It is neatly labeled, "Found in Hollow Lane, May 21st, 1824, by Maunder Slugge Leslie, Esq." The next division holds several bits of iron in the shape of nails, fragments of horse-shoes, &c., which Mr. Leslie had also met with in his rambles, and according to a harmless popular superstition, deemed it highly unlucky not to pick up, and once picked up, no less unlucky to throw away. Item, in the adjoining pigeon-hole a goodly collection of pebbles with holes in them, preserved for the same reason, in company with a crooked sixpence; item, neatly arranged in fanciful mosaics, several periwinkles, blackamoor's teeth,[Pg 113] (I mean the shell so called,) and other specimens of the conchiferous ingenuity of nature, partly inherited from some ancestral spinster, partly amassed by Mr. Leslie himself in a youthful excursion to the sea-side. There were the farm-bailiff's accounts, several files of bills, an old stirrup, three sets of knee and shoe-buckles which had belonged to Mr. Leslie's father, a few seals tied together by a shoe-string, a shagreen toothpick case, a tortoiseshell magnifying glass to read with, his eldest son's first copy-books, his second son's ditto, his daughter's ditto, and a lock of his wife's hair arranged in a true lover's knot, framed and glazed. There were also a small mousetrap, a patent corkscrew, too good to be used in common; fragments of a silver teaspoon, that had by natural decay arrived at a dissolution of its parts; a small brown Holland bag, containing half-pence of various dates, as far back as Queen Anne, accompanied by two French sous and a German silber gros; the which miscellany Mr. Leslie magniloquently called "his coins," and had left in his will as a family heirloom. There were many other curiosities of congenial nature and equal value—"quæ nunc describere longum est." Mr. Leslie was engaged at this time in what is termed "putting things to rights"—an occupation he performed with exemplary care once a week. This was his day; and he had just counted his coins, and was slowly tying them up again, when Frank's knock reached his ears.

Mr. Maunder Slugge Leslie paused, shook his head as if incredulously, and was about to resume his occupation, when he was seized with a fit of yawning which prevented the bag being tied for full two minutes.

While such the employment of the study—let us turn to the recreations in the drawing-room, or rather parlor. A drawing-room there was on the first floor, with a charming look-out, not on the dreary fir-trees, but on the romantic undulating forest-land; but the drawing-room had not been used since the death of the last Mrs. Leslie. It was deemed too good to sit in, except when there was company; there never being company, it was never sat in. Indeed, now the paper was falling off the walls with the damp, and the rats, mice, and moths—those "edaces rerum"—had eaten, between them, most of the chair-bottoms and a considerable part of the floor. Therefore the parlor was the sole general sitting-room; and being breakfasted in, dined and supped in, and, after supper, smoked in by Mr. Leslie to the accompaniment of rum and water, it is impossible to deny that it had what is called "a smell"—a comfortable wholesome family smell—speaking of numbers, meals, and miscellaneous social habitation. There were two windows; one looked full on the fir-trees; the other on the farmyard with the pigsty closing the view. Near the fir-tree window sat Mrs. Leslie; before her on a high stool, was a basket of the children's clothes that wanted mending. A work-table of rosewood inlaid with brass, which had been a wedding present, and was a costly thing originally but in that peculiar taste which is vulgarly called "Brumagem," stood at hand: the brass had started in several places, and occasionally made great havoc on the childrens' fingers and Mrs. Leslie's gown; in fact, it was the liveliest piece of furniture in the house, thanks to that petulant brass-work, and could not have been more mischievous if it had been a monkey. Upon the work-table lay a housewife and thimble, and scissors and skeins of worsted and thread, and little scraps of linen and cloth for patches. But Mrs. Leslie was not actually working—she was preparing to work; she had been preparing to work for the last hour and a half. Upon her lap she supported a novel, by a lady who wrote much for a former generation, under the name of "Mrs. Bridget Blue Mantle." She had a small needle in her left hand, and a very thick piece of thread in her right; occasionally she applied the end of the said thread to her lips, and then—her eyes fixed on the novel—made a blind vacillating attack at the eye of the needle. But a camel would have gone through it with quite as much ease. Nor did the novel alone engage Mrs. Leslie's attention, for ever and anon she interrupted herself to scold the children; to inquire "what o'clock it was;" to observe that "Sarah would never suit," and to wonder why Mr. Leslie would not see that the work-table was mended. Mrs. Leslie had been rather a pretty woman. In spite of a dress at once slatternly and economical, she has still the air of a lady—rather too much so, the hard duties of her situation considered. She is proud of the antiquity of her family on both sides; her mother was of the venerable stock of the Daudlers of Daudle Place, a race that existed before the Conquest. Indeed, one has only to read our earliest chronicles, and to glance over some of those long-winded moralizing poems which delighted the thanes and ealdermen of old, in order to see that the Daudles must have been a very influential family before William the First turned the country topsy-turvy. While the mother's race was thus indubitably Saxon, the father's had not only the name but the peculiar idiosyncracy of the Normans, and went far to establish that crotchet of the brilliant author of Sybil, or the Two Nations, as to the continued distinction between the conquering and the conquered populations. Mrs. Leslie's father boasted the name of Montfydget; doubtless of the same kith and kin as those great barons Montfichet, who once owned such broad lands and such turbulent castles. A high-nosed, thin, nervous, excitable progeny, these same Montfydgets, as the most troublesome Norman could pretend to be. This fusion of race was notable to the most ordinary physiognomist in the physique and in the morale of Mrs. Leslie. She had the speculative blue eye of the Saxon, and the passionate high nose of the Nor[Pg 114]man; she had the musing donothingness of the Daudlers, and the reckless have-at-everythingness of the Montfydgets. At Mrs. Leslie's feet, a little girl with her hair about her ears, (and beautiful hair it was too) was amusing herself with a broken-nosed doll. At the far end of the room, before a high desk, sat Frank's Eton schoolfellow, the eldest son. A minute or two before Frank's alarum had disturbed the tranquillity of the household, he had raised his eyes from the books on the desk, to glance at a very tattered copy of the Greek Testament, in which his brother Oliver had found a difficulty that he came to Randal to solve. As the young Etonian's face was turned to the light, your first impression, on seeing it, would have been melancholy but respectful interest—for the face had already lost the joyous character of youth—there was a wrinkle between the brows; and the lines that speak of fatigue were already visible under the eyes and about the mouth; the complexion was sallow, the lips were pale. Years of study had already sown, in the delicate organization, the seeds of many an infirmity and many a pain; but if your look had rested longer on that countenance, gradually your compassion might have given place to some feeling uneasy and sinister, a feeling akin to fear. There was in the whole expression so much of cold calm force, that it belied the debility of the frame. You saw there the evidence of a mind that was cultivated, and you felt that in that cultivation there was something formidable. A notable contrast to this countenance, prematurely worn and eminently intelligent, was the round healthy face of Oliver, with slow blue eyes, fixed hard on the penetrating orbs of his brother, as if trying with might and main to catch from them a gleam of that knowledge with which they shone clear and frigid as a star.

At Frank's knock, Oliver's slow blue eyes sparkled into animation, and he sprang from his brother's side. The little girl flung back the hair from her face, and stared at her mother with a look of wonder and fright.

The young student knit his brows, and then turned wearily back to his books.

"Dear me," cried Mrs. Leslie, "who can that possibly be? Oliver, come from the window, sir, this instant, you will be seen! Juliet, run—ring the bell—no, go to the stairs, and say, 'not at home.' Not at home on any account," repeated Mrs. Leslie nervously, for the Montfydget blood was now in full flow.

In another minute or so, Frank's loud boyish voice was distinctly heard at the outer door.

Randal slightly started.

"Frank Hazeldean's voice," said he; "I should like to see him, mother."

"See him," repeated Mrs. Leslie in amaze, "see him!—and the room in this state!"

Randal might have replied that the room was in no worse state than usual; but he said nothing. A slight flush came and went over his pale face; and then he leaned his cheek on his hand, and compressed his lips firmly.

The outer door closed with a sullen inhospitable jar, and a slipshod female servant entered with a card between her finger and thumb.

"Who is that for?—give it to me, Jenny," cried Mrs. Leslie.

But Jenny shook her head, laid the card on the desk beside Randal, and vanished without saying a word.

"Oh look, Randal, look up," cried Oliver, who had again rushed to the window; "such a pretty gray pony!"

Randal did look up; nay, he went deliberately to the window, and gazed a moment on the high-mettled pony, and the well-dressed, high-spirited rider. In that moment changes passed over Randal's countenance more rapidly than clouds over the sky in a gusty day. Now envy and discontent, with the curled lip and the gloomy scowl; now hope and proud self-esteem, with the clearing brow, and the lofty smile; and then all again became cold, firm, and close, as he walked back to his books, seated himself resolutely, and said half aloud,—"Well, knowledge is power!"


Mrs. Leslie came up in fidget and in fuss; she leant over Randal's shoulder and read the card. Written in pen and ink, with an attempt at imitation of printed Roman character, there appeared first, 'Mr. Frank Hazeldean;' but just over these letters, and scribbled hastily and less legibly in pencil, was—

'Dear Leslie,—sorry you are out—come and see us—Do!'

"You will go, Randal?" said Mrs. Leslie after a pause.

"I am not sure."

"Yes, you can go; you have clothes like a gentleman; you can go anywhere, not like those children;" and Mrs. Leslie glanced almost spitefully on poor Oliver's coarse threadbare jacket, and little Juliet's torn frock.

"What I have I owe at present to Mr. Egerton, and I should consult his wishes; he is not on good terms with these Hazeldeans." Then glancing toward his brother, who looked mortified, he added with a strange sort of haughty kindness, "What I may have hereafter, Oliver, I shall owe to myself; and then, if I rise, I will raise my family."

"Dear Randal," said Mrs. Leslie, fondly kissing him on the forehead, "what a good heart you have!"

"No, mother; my books don't tell me that it is a good heart that gets on in the world: it is a hard head," replied Randal with a rude and scornful candor. "But I can read no more just now; come out, Oliver."

So saying, he slid from his mother's hand and left the room.

When Oliver joined him, Randal was already on the common; and, without seeming to notice his brother, he continued to walk quickly and with long strides in profound silence. At length he paused under the shade[Pg 115] of an old oak, that, too old to be of value save for firewood, had escaped the axe. The tree stood on a knoll, and the spot commanded a view of the decayed house—the old dilapidated church—the dismal, dreary village.

"Oliver," said Randal between his teeth, so that his voice had the sound of a hiss, "it was under this tree that I first resolved to—"

He paused.

"What, Randal?"

"Read hard; knowledge is power!"

"But you are so fond of reading."

"I!" cried Randal. "Do you think, when Woolsey and Thomas-à-Becket became priests, they were fond of telling their beads and pattering Aves?—I fond of reading!"

Oliver stared; the historical allusions were beyond his comprehension.

"You know," continued Randal, "that we Leslies were not always the beggarly poor gentlemen we are now. You know that there is a man who lives in Grosvenor Square, and is very rich—very. His riches came to him from a Leslie; that man is my patron, Oliver, and he is very good to me."

Randal's smile was withering as he spoke. "Come on," he said, after a pause—"come on." Again the walk was quicker, and the brothers were silent.

They came at length to a little shallow brook, across which some large stones had been placed at short intervals, so that the boys walked over the ford dryshod. "Will you pull me down that bough, Oliver?" said Randal abruptly, pointing to a tree. Oliver obeyed mechanically; and Randal, stripping the leaves, and snapping off the twigs, left a fork at the end; with this he began to remove the stepping stones. "What are you about, Randal?" asked Oliver, wonderingly.

"We are on the other side of the brook now; and we shall not come back this way. We don't want the stepping-stones anymore!—away with them!"


The morning after this visit of Frank Hazeldean's to Rood Hall, the Right Honorable Audley Egerton, member of parliament, privy councillor, and minister of a high department in the state—just below the rank of the cabinet—was seated in his library, awaiting the delivery of the post, before he walked down to his office. In the meanwhile, he sipped his tea, and glanced over the newspapers with that quick and half disdainful eye with which your practical man in public life is wont to regard the abuse or the eulogium of the Fourth Estate.

There is very little likeness between Mr. Egerton and his half-brother; none indeed, except that they are both of tall stature, and strong, sinewy, English build. But even in this last they do not resemble each other; for the Squire's athletic shape is already beginning to expand into that portly embonpoint which seems the natural development of contented men as they approach middle life. Audley, on the contrary, is inclined to be spare; and his figure, though the muscles are as firm as iron, has enough of the slender to satisfy metropolitan ideas of elegance. His dress—his look—his tout ensemble, are those of the London man. In the first, there is more attention to fashion than is usual amongst the busy members of the House of Commons; but then Audley Egerton had always been something more than a mere busy member of the House of Commons. He had always been a person of mark in the best society, and one secret of his success in life has been his high reputation as 'a gentleman.'

As he now bends over the journals, there is an air of distinction in the turn of the well-shaped head, with the dark-brown hair—dark in spite of a reddish tinge—cut close behind, and worn away a little toward the crown, so as to give additional height to a commanding forehead. His profile is very handsome, and of that kind of beauty which imposes on men if it pleases women; and is therefore, unlike that of your mere pretty fellows, a positive advantage in public life. It is a profile with large features clearly cut, masculine, and somewhat severe. The expression of his face is not open, like the Squire's; nor has it the cold closeness which accompanies the intellectual character of young Leslie's; but it is reserved and dignified, and significant of self-control, as should be the physiognomy of a man accustomed to think before he speaks. When you look at him, you are not surprised to learn that he is not a florid orator nor a smart debater—he is a "weighty speaker." He is fairly read, but without any great range either of ornamental scholarship or constitutional lore. He has not much humor; but he has that kind of wit which is essential to grave and serious irony. He has not much imagination, nor remarkable subtilty in reasoning; but if he does not dazzle, he does not bore: he is too much the man of the world for that. He is considered to have sound sense and accurate judgment. Withal, as he now lays aside the journals, and his face relaxes its austerer lines, you will not be astonished to hear that he is a man who is said to have been greatly beloved by women, and still to exercise much influence in drawing-rooms and boudoirs. At least no one was surprised when the great heiress Clementina Leslie, kinswoman and ward to Lord Lansmere—a young lady who had refused three earls and the heir-apparent to a dukedom—was declared by her dearest friends to be dying of love for Audley Egerton.

It had been the natural wish of the Lansmeres that this lady should marry their son, Lord L'Estrange. But that young gentleman, whose opinions on matrimony partook of the eccentricity of his general character, could never be induced to propose, and had, according to the on-dits of town, been the principal party to make up the match between Clementina and his friend Audley; for the match required making-up, despite the predilections of the young heiress. Mr. Egerton had had[Pg 116] scruples of delicacy. He avowed, for the first time, that his fortune was much less than had been generally supposed, and he did not like the idea of owing all to a wife, however much he might esteem and admire her. L'Estrange was with his regiment abroad during the existence of these scruples; but by letters to his father, and to his cousin Clementina, he contrived to open and conclude negotiations, while he argued away Mr. Egerton's objections; and before the year in which Audley was returned for Lansmere had expired, he received the hand of the great heiress. The settlement of her fortune, which was chiefly in the funds, had been unusually advantageous to the husband; for though the capital was tied up so long as both survived—for the benefit of any children they might have—yet, in the event of one of the parties dying without issue by the marriage, the whole passed without limitation to the survivor. In not only assenting to, but proposing this clause, Miss Leslie, if she showed a generous trust in Mr. Egerton, inflicted no positive wrong on her relations; for she had none sufficiently near to her to warrant their claim to the succession. Her nearest kinsman, and therefore her natural heir, was Harley L'Estrange; and if he was contented, no one had a right to complain. The tie of blood between herself and the Leslies of Rood Hall was, as we shall see presently, extremely distant.

It was not till after his marriage that Mr. Egerton took an active part in the business of the House of Commons. He was then at the most advantageous starting-point for the career of ambition. His words on the state of the country took importance from his stake in it. His talents found accessories in the opulence of Grosvenor Square, the dignity of a princely establishment, the respectability of one firmly settled in life, the reputation of a fortune in reality very large, and which was magnified by popular report into the revenues of Crœsus. Audley Egerton succeeded in Parliament beyond the early expectations formed of him. He took at first that station in the House which it requires tact to establish, and great knowledge of the world to free from the charge of impracticability and crotchet, but which, once established, is peculiarly imposing from the rarity of its independence; that is to say, the station of the moderate man, who belongs sufficiently to a party to obtain its support, but is yet sufficiently disengaged from a party to make his vote and word, on certain questions, matter of anxiety and speculation.

Professing Toryism, (the word Conservative, which would have suited him better, was not then known,) he separated himself from the country party, and always avowed great respect for the opinions of the large towns. The epithet given to the views of Audley Egerton was "enlightened." Never too much in advance of the passion of the day, yet never behind its movement, he had that shrewd calculation of odds which a consummate mastery of the world sometimes bestows upon politicians—perceived the chances for and against a certain question being carried within a certain time, and nicked the question between wind and water. He was so good a barometer of that changeful weather called Public Opinion that he might have had a hand in the Times newspaper. He soon quarreled, and purposely, with his Lansmere constituents—nor had he ever revisited that borough, perhaps because it was associated with unpleasant reminiscences in the shape of the Squire's epistolary trimmer, and in that of his own effigies which his agricultural constituents had burned in the corn-market. But the speeches which produced such indignation at Lansmere, had delighted one of the greatest of our commercial towns, which at the next general election honored him with its representation. In those days, before the Reform Bill, great commercial towns chose men of high mark for their members; and a proud station it was for him who was delegated to speak the voice of the princely merchants of England.

Mrs. Egerton survived her marriage but a few years; she left no children; two had been born, but died in their first infancy. The property of the wife, therefore, passed without control or limit to the husband.

Whatever might have been the grief of the widower, he disdained to betray it to the world. Indeed, Audley Egerton was a man who had early taught himself to conceal emotion. He buried himself in the country, none knew where, for some months: when he returned, there was a deep wrinkle on his brow; but no change in his habits and avocation, except that soon afterward he accepted office, and thus became busier than ever.

Mr. Egerton had always been lavish and magnificent in money matters. A rich man in public life has many claims on his fortune, and no one yielded to those claims with an air so regal as Audley Egerton. But amongst his many liberal actions, there was none which seemed more worthy of panegyric than the generous favor he extended to the son of his wife's poor and distant kinsfolks, the Leslies of Rood Hall.

Some four generations back, there had lived a certain Squire Leslie, a man of large acres and active mind. He had cause to be displeased with his elder son, and though he did not disinherit him, he left half his property to a younger.

The younger had capacity and spirit, which justified the paternal provision. He increased his fortune; lifted himself into notice and consideration by public services and a noble alliance. His descendants followed his example, and took rank among the first commoners in England, till the last male, dying, left his sole heiress and representative in one daughter, Clementina, afterward married to Mr. Egerton.

Meanwhile the elder son of the forementioned Squire had muddled and sotted away[Pg 117] much of his share in the Leslie property; and, by low habits and mean society, lowered in repute his representation of the name.

His successors imitated him, till nothing was left to Randal's father, Mr. Maunder Slugge Leslie, but the decayed house which was what the Germans call the stamm schloss, or "stem hall" of the race, and the wretched lands immediately around it.

Still, though all intercourse between the two branches of the family had ceased, the younger had always felt a respect for the elder, as the head of the house. And it was supposed that, on her deathbed, Mrs. Egerton had recommended her impoverished namesakes and kindred to the care of her husband. For, when he returned to town after Mrs. Egerton's death, Audley had sent to Mr. Maunder Slugge Leslie the sum of £5000, which he said his wife, leaving no written will, had orally bequeathed as a legacy to that gentleman; and he requested permission to charge himself with the education of the eldest son.

Mr. Maunder Slugge Leslie might have done great things for his little property with those five thousand pounds, or even (kept in the three per cents) the interest would have afforded a material addition to his comforts. But a neighboring solicitor having caught scent of the legacy, hunted it down into his own hands, on pretense of having found a capital investment in a canal. And when the solicitor had got possession of the five thousand pounds, he went off with them to America.

Meanwhile Randal, placed by Mr. Egerton at an excellent preparatory school, at first gave no signs of industry or talent; but just before he left it, there came to the school, as classical tutor, an ambitious young Oxford man; and his zeal, for he was a capital teacher, produced a great effect generally on the pupils, and especially on Randal Leslie. He talked to them much in private on the advantages of learning, and shortly afterward he exhibited those advantages in his own person; for, having edited a Greek play with much subtil scholarship, his college, which some slight irregularities of his had displeased, recalled him to its venerable bosom by the presentation of a fellowship. After this he took orders, became a college tutor, distinguished himself yet more by a treatise on the Greek accent, got a capital living, and was considered on the highroad to a bishopric. This young man, then, communicated to Randal the thirst for knowledge; and when the boy went afterward to Eton, he applied with such earnestness and resolve that his fame soon reached the ears of Audley; and that person, who had the sympathy for talent, and yet more for purpose, which often characterizes ambitious men, went to Eton to see him. From that time Audley evinced great and almost fatherly interest in the brilliant Etonian; and Randal always spent with him some days in each vacation.

I have said that Egerton's conduct, with respect to this boy, was more praiseworthy than most of those generous actions for which he was renowned, since to this the world gave no applause. What a man does within the range of his family connections, does not carry with it that éclat which invests a munificence exhibited on public occasions. Either people care nothing about it, or tacitly suppose it to be but his duty. It was true, too, as the Squire had observed, that Randal Leslie was even less distantly related to the Hazeldeans than to Mrs. Egerton, since Randal's grandfather had actually married a Miss Hazeldean, (the highest worldly connection that branch of the family had formed since the great split I have commemorated.) But Audley Egerton never appeared aware of that fact. As he was not himself descended from the Hazeldeans, he never troubled himself about their genealogy; and he took care to impress it upon the Leslies that his generosity on their behalf was solely to be ascribed to his respect for his wife's memory and kindred. Still the Squire had felt as if his "distant brother" implied a rebuke on his own neglect of these poor Leslies, by the liberality Audley evinced toward them; and this had made him doubly sore when the name of Randal Leslie was mentioned. But the fact really was, that the Leslies of Rood had so shrunk out of all notice that the Squire had actually forgotten their existence, until Randal became thus indebted to his brother; and then he felt a pang of remorse that any one save himself, the head of the Hazeldeans, should lend a helping hand to the grandson of a Hazeldean.

But having thus, somewhat too tediously, explained the position of Audley Egerton, whether in the world or in the relation to his young protégé, I may now permit him to receive and to read his letters.


Mr. Egerton glanced over the pile of letters placed beside him, and first he tore up some, scarcely read, and threw them into the waste-basket. Public men have such odd out-of-the-way letters that their waste-baskets are never empty: letters from amateur financiers proposing new ways to pay off the National Debt; letters from America, (never free!) asking for autographs; letters from fond mothers in country villages, recommending some miracle of a son for a place in the king's service; letters from freethinkers in reproof of bigotry; letters from bigots in reproof of freethinking; letters signed Brutus Redivivus, containing the agreeable information that the writer has a dagger for tyrants, if the Danish claims are not forthwith adjusted; letters signed Matilda or Caroline, stating that Caroline or Matilda has seen the public man's portrait at the Exhibition, and that a heart sensible to its attractions may be found at No. —— Piccadilly; letters from beggars, impostors, monomaniacs, speculators, jobbers—all food for the waste-basket.

From the correspondence thus winnowed,[Pg 118] Mr. Egerton first selected those on business, which he put methodically together in one division of his pocket-book; and secondly, those of a private nature, which he as carefully put into another. Of these last there were but three—one from his steward, one from Harley L'Estrange, one from Randal Leslie. It was his custom to answer his correspondence at his office; and to his office, a few minutes afterward, he slowly took his way. Many a passenger turned back to look again at the firm figure, which, despite the hot summer day, was buttoned up to the throat; and the black frock-coat thus worn, well became the erect air, and the deep full chest of the handsome senator. When he entered Parliament Street, Audley Egerton was joined by one of his colleagues, also on his way to the cares of office.

After a few observations on the last debate, this gentleman said—

"By the way, can you dine with me next Saturday, to meet Lansmere? He comes up to town to vote for us on Monday."

"I had asked some people to dine with me," answered Egerton, "but I will put them off. I see Lord Lansmere too seldom, to miss any occasion to meet a man whom I respect so much."

"So seldom! True, he is very little in town; but why don't you go and see him in the country? Good shooting—pleasant old-fashioned house."

"My dear Westbourne, his house is 'nimium vicina Cremonæ,' close to a borough in which I have been burned in effigy."

"Ha—ha—yes—I remember you first came into Parliament for that snug little place; but Lansmere himself never found fault with your votes, did he?"

"He behaved very handsomely, and said he had not presumed to consider me his mouthpiece; and then, too, I am so intimate with L'Estrange."

"Is that queer fellow ever coming back to England?"

"He comes, generally every year, for a few days, just to see his father and mother, and then goes back to the Continent."

"I never meet him."

"He comes in September or October, when you, of course, are not in town, and it is in town that the Lansmeres meet him."

"Why does he not go to them?"

"A man in England but once a year, and for a few days, has so much to do in London, I suppose."

"Is he as amusing as ever?"

Egerton nodded.

"So distinguished as he might be!" continued Lord Westbourne.

"So distinguished as he is!" said Egerton formally; "an officer selected for praise, even in such fields as Quatre Bras and Waterloo; a scholar, too, of the finest taste; and as an accomplished gentleman, matchless!"

"I like to hear one man praise another so warmly in these ill-natured days," answered Lord Westbourne. "But still, though L'Estrange is doubtless all you say, don't you think he rather wastes his life—living abroad?"

"And trying to be happy, Westbourne? Are you sure it is not we who waste our lives? But I can't stay to hear your answer. Here we are at the door of my prison."

"On Saturday, then?"

"On Saturday. Good day."

For the next hour, or more, Mr. Egerton was engaged on the affairs of the state. He then snatched an interval of leisure, (while awaiting a report, which he had instructed a clerk to make him,) in order to reply to his letters. Those on public business were soon dispatched; and throwing his replies aside, to be sealed by a subordinate hand, he drew out the letters which he had put apart as private.

He attended first to that of his steward: the steward's letter was long, the reply was contained in three lines. Pitt himself was scarcely more negligent of his private interests and concerns than Audley Egerton—yet, withal, Audley Egerton was said by his enemies to be an egotist.

The next letter he wrote was to Randal, and that, though longer, was far from prolix: it ran thus—

"Dear Mr. Leslie,—I appreciate your delicacy in consulting me, whether you should accept Frank Hazeldean's invitation to call at the Hall. Since you are asked, I can see no objection to it. I should be sorry if you appeared to force yourself there; and for the rest, as a general rule, I think a young man who has his own way to make in life had better avoid all intimacy with those of his own age who have no kindred objects nor congenial pursuits.

"As soon as this visit is paid, I wish you to come to London. The report I receive of your progress at Eton renders it unnecessary, in my judgment, that you should return there. If your father has no objection, I propose that you should go to Oxford at the ensuing term. Meanwhile, I have engaged a gentleman who is a fellow of Baliol, to read with you; he is of opinion, judging only by your high repute at Eton, that you may at once obtain a scholarship in that college. If you do so, I shall look upon your career in life as assured.

Your affectionate friend, and sincere
well-wisher, A.E."

The reader will remark that, in this letter, there is a certain tone of formality. Mr. Egerton does not call his protegé "Dear Randal," as would seem natural, but coldly and stiffly, "Dear Mr. Leslie." He hints, also, that the boy has his own way to make in life. Is this meant to guard against too sanguine notions of inheritance, which his generosity may have excited?

The letter to Lord L'Estrange was of a very different kind from the others. It was long, and full of such little scraps of news and gossip as may interest friends in a foreign land; it was written gaily, and as with a wish to[Pg 119] cheer his friend; you could see that it was a reply to a melancholy letter; and in the whole tone and spirit there was an affection, even to tenderness, of which those who most liked Audley Egerton would have scarcely supposed him capable. Yet, notwithstanding, there was a kind of constraint in the letter, which perhaps only the fine tact of a woman would detect. It had not that abandon, that hearty self-outpouring, which you might expect would characterize the letters of two such friends, who had been boys at school together, and which did breathe indeed in all the abrupt rambling sentences of his correspondent. But where was the evidence of the constraint? Egerton is off-hand enough where his pen runs glibly through paragraphs that relate to others; it is simply that he says nothing about himself—that he avoids all reference to the inner world of sentiment and feeling. But perhaps, after all, the man has no sentiment and feeling! How can you expect that a steady personage in practical life, whose mornings are spent in Downing Street, and whose nights are consumed in watching government bills through committee, can write in the same style as an idle dreamer amidst the pines of Ravenna or on the banks of Como.

Audley had just finished this epistle, such as it was, when the attendant in waiting announced the arrival of a deputation from a provincial trading town, the members of which deputation he had appointed to meet at two o'clock. There was no office in London at which deputations were kept waiting less than at that over which Mr. Egerton presided.

The deputation entered—some score or so of middle-aged, comfortable-looking persons, who nevertheless had their grievance—and considered their own interests, and those of the country, menaced by a certain clause in a bill brought in by Mr. Egerton.

The Mayor of the town was the chief spokesman, and he spoke well—but in a style to which the dignified official was not accustomed. It was a slap-dash style—unceremonious, free, and easy—an American style. And, indeed, there was something altogether in the appearance and bearing of the Mayor which savored of residence in the Great Republic. He was a very handsome man, but with a look sharp and domineering—the look of a man who did not care a straw for president or monarch, and who enjoyed the liberty to speak his mind, and "wallop his own nigger!"

His fellow-burghers evidently regarded him with great respect; and Mr. Egerton had penetration enough to perceive that Mr. Mayor must be a rich man, as well as an eloquent one, to have overcome those impressions of soreness or jealousy which his tone was calculated to create in the self-love of his equals.

Mr. Egerton was far too wise to be easily offended by mere manner; and, though he stared somewhat haughtily when he found his observations actually pooh-poohed, he was not above being convinced. There was much sense and much justice in Mr. Mayor's arguments, and the statesman civilly promised to take them into full consideration.

He then bowed out the deputation; but scarcely had the door closed before it opened again, and Mr. Mayor presented himself alone, saying aloud to his companions in the passage, "I forgot something I had to say to Mr. Egerton; wait below for me."

"Well, Mr. Mayor," said Audley, pointing to a seat, "what else would you suggest?"

The Mayor looked round to see that the door was closed; and then, drawing his chair close to Mr. Egerton's, laid his forefinger on that gentleman's arm, and said, "I think I speak to a man of the world, sir."

Mr. Egerton bowed, and made no reply by word, but he gently removed his arm from the touch of the forefinger.

Mr. Mayor.—"You observe, sir, that I did not ask the members whom we return to Parliament to accompany us. Do better without 'em. You know they are both in Opposition—out-and-outers."

Mr. Egerton.—"It is a misfortune which the Government cannot remember, when the question is whether the trade of the town itself is to be served or injured."

Mr. Mayor.—"Well, I guess you speak handsome, sir. But you'd be glad to have two members to support Ministers after the next election."

Mr. Egerton, smilingly.—"Unquestionably, Mr. Mayor."

Mr. Mayor.—"And I can do it, Mr. Egerton. I may say I have the town in my pocket; so I ought, I spend a great deal of money in it. Now, you see, Mr. Egerton, I have passed a part of my life in a land of liberty—the United States—and I come to the point when I speak to a man of the world. I am a man of the world myself, sir. And if so be the Government will do something for me, why, I'll do something for the Government. Two votes for a free and independent town like ours—that's something, isn't it?"

Mr. Egerton, taken by surprise—"Really I—"

Mr. Mayor, advancing his chair still nearer, and interrupting the official.—"No nonsense, you see, on one side or the other. The fact is that I have taken it into my head that I should like to be knighted. You may well look surprised, Mr. Egerton—trumpery thing enough, I dare say; still every man has his weakness and I should like to be Sir Richard. Well, if you can get me made Sir Richard, you may just name your two members for the next election—that is, if they belong to your own set, enlightened men, up to the times. That's speaking fair and manful, isn't it?"

Mr. Egerton, drawing himself up.—"I am at a loss to guess why you should select me, sir, for this very extraordinary proposition."

Mr. Mayor, nodding good-humoredly.—"Why, you see, I don't go all along with the Government; you're the best of the bunch.[Pg 120] And maybe you'd like to strengthen your own party. This is quite between you and me, you understand; honor's a jewel!"

Mr. Egerton, with great gravity.—"Sir, I am obliged by your good opinion; but I agree with my colleagues in all the great questions affecting the government of the country, and—"

Mr. Mayor, interrupting him.—"Ah, of course you must say so; very right. But I guess things would go differently if you were Prime Minister. However, I have another reason for speaking to you about my little job. You see you were member for Lansmere once, and I think you came in but by two majority, eh?"

Mr. Egerton.—"I know nothing of the particulars of that election; I was not present."

Mr. Mayor.—"No; but, luckily for you, two relatives of mine were, and they voted for you. Two votes, and you came in by two! Since then, you have got into very snug quarters here, and I think we have a claim on you—"

Mr. Egerton.—"Sir, I acknowledge no such claim; I was and am a stranger in Lansmere; and, if the electors did me the honor to return me to Parliament, it was in compliment rather to—"

Mr. Mayor, again interrupting the official.—"Rather to Lord Lansmere, you were going to say; unconstitutional doctrine that, I fancy. Peer of the realm. But, never mind, I know the world; and I'd ask Lord Lansmere to do my affair for me, only I hear he is as proud as Lucifer."

Mr. Egerton, in great disgust, and settling his papers before him.—"Sir, it is not in my department to recommend to his Majesty candidates for the honor of knighthood, and it is still less in my department to make bargains for seats in Parliament."

Mr. Mayor.—"Oh, if that's the case, you'll excuse me; I don't know much of the etiquette in these matters. But I thought that, if I put two seats in your hands, for your own friends, you might contrive to take the affair into your department, whatever it was. But since you say you agree with your colleagues, perhaps it comes to the same thing. Now you must not suppose I want to sell the town, and that I can change and chop my politics for my own purpose. No such thing! I don't like the sitting members; I'm all for progressing, but they go too much ahead for me; and, since the Government is disposed to move a little, why I'd as lief support them as not. But, in common gratitude, you see, (added the Mayor, coaxingly,) I ought to be knighted! I can keep up the dignity, and do credit to his Majesty."

Mr. Egerton, without looking up from his papers.—"I can only refer you, sir, to the proper quarter."

Mr. Mayor, impatiently.—"Proper quarter! Well, since there is so much humbug in this old country of ours, that one must go through all the forms and get at the job regularly, just tell me whom I ought to go to."

Mr. Egerton, beginning to be amused as well as indignant.—"If you want a knighthood, Mr. Mayor, you must ask the Prime Minister; if you want to give the Government information relative to seats in Parliament, you must introduce yourself to Mr. ——, the Secretary of the Treasury."

Mr. Mayor.—"And if I go to the last chap, what do you think he'll say?"

Mr. Egerton, the amusement preponderating over the indignation.—"He will say, I suppose, that you must not put the thing in the light in which you have put it to me; that the Government will be very proud to have the confidence of yourself and your brother electors; and that a gentleman like you, in the proud position of Mayor, may well hope to be knighted on some fitting occasion. But that you must not talk about the knighthood just at present, and must confine yourself to converting the unfortunate political opinions of the town."

Mr. Mayor.—"Well, I guess that chap there would want to do me! Not quite so green, Mr. Egerton. Perhaps I'd better go at once to the fountain-head. How d'ye think the Premier would take it?"

Mr. Egerton, the indignation preponderating over the amusement.—"Probably just as I am about to do."

Mr. Egerton rang the bell; the attendant appeared.

"Show Mr. Mayor the way out," said the Minister.

The Mayor turned round sharply, and his face was purple. He walked straight to the door; but, suffering the attendant to precede him along the corridor, he came back with rapid stride, and clinching his hands, and with a voice thick with passion, cried, "Some day or other I will make you smart for this, as sure as my name's Dick Avenel!"

"Avenel!" repeated Egerton, recoiling, "Avenel!"

But the Mayor was gone.

Audley fell into a deep and musing reverie which seemed gloomy, and lasted till the attendant announced that the horses were at the door.

He then looked up, still abstractedly, and saw his letter to Harley L'Estrange open on the table. He drew it toward him, and wrote, "A man has just left me, who calls himself Aven—" in the middle of the name his pen stopped. "No, no," muttered the writer, "what folly to reopen the old wounds there," and he carefully erased the words.

Audley Egerton did not ride in the park that day, as was his wont, but dismissed his groom; and, turning his horse's head toward Westminster Bridge, took his solitary way into the country. He rode at first slowly, as if in thought; then fast, as if trying to escape from thought. He was later than usual at the House that evening, and he looked pale and fatigued. But he had to speak, and he spoke well.


[Pg 121]

[From the Journal des Chasseurs.]

I KNEW of a large old lion in the Smauls country and betook myself in that direction. On arriving I heard that he was in the Bonarif, near Batnah. My tent was not yet pitched at the foot of the mountain, when I learned that he was at the Fed Jong, where, on my arrival, I found he had gained the Aures. After traveling one hundred leagues in ten days in the trace of my brute without catching a glimpse of anything but his footprints, I was gratified on the night of the 22d of August with the sound of my lord's voice. I had established my tent in the valley of Ousten. As there is only one path across this thickly covered valley, I found it an easy task to discover his track and follow it to his lair. At six o'clock in the evening I alighted upon a hillock commanding a prospect of the country around. I was accompanied by a native of the country and my spahi, one carrying my carbine, the other my old gun. As I had anticipated, the lion roared under cover at dawn of day; but instead of advancing toward me, he started off in a westerly direction at such a pace that it was impossible for me to come up with him. I retraced my steps at midnight and took up my quarters at the foot of a tree upon the path which the lion had taken. The country about this spot was cleared and cultivated. The moon being favorable, the approach of anything could be descried in every direction. I installed myself and waited. Weary after a ride of several hours over a very irregular country, and not expecting any chance that night, I enjoined my spahi to keep a good watch, and lay down. I was just about to fall asleep when I felt a gentle pull at my burnous. On getting up I was able to make out two lions, sitting one beside the other, about one hundred paces off, and exactly on the path in which I had taken up my position. At first I thought we had been perceived, and prepared to make the best of this discovery. The moon shed a light upon the entire ground which the lions would have to cross in order to reach the tree, close to which all within a circumference of ten paces was completely dark, both on account of the thickness of the tree and the shadow cast by the foliage. My spahi, like me, was in range of the shadow, while the Arab lay snoring ten paces off in the full light of the moon. There was no doubting the fact—it was this man who attracted the attention of the lions. I expressly forbade the spahi to wake up the Arab, as I was persuaded that when the action was over he would be proud of having served as a bait even without knowing it. I then prepared my arms and placed them against the tree and got up, in order the better to observe the movements of the enemy. They were not less than half an hour traversing a distance of one hundred metres. Although the ground was open, I could only see them when they raised their heads to make sure that the Arab was still there. They took advantage of every stone and every tuft of grass to render themselves almost invisible; at last the boldest of them came up crouching on his belly to within ten paces of me and fifteen of the Arab. His eye was fixed on the latter, and with such an expression that I was afraid I had waited too long. The second, who had stayed a few paces behind, came and placed himself on a level with and about four or five paces from the first. I then saw for the first time that they were full-grown lionesses. I took aim at the first, and she came rolling and roaring down to the foot of the tree. The Arab was scarcely awakened when a second ball stretched the animal dead upon the spot. The first bullet went in at the muzzle and came out at the tail; the second had gone through the heart. After making sure that my men were all right, I looked out for the second lioness. She was standing up within fifteen paces, looking at what was going on around her. I took my gun and leveled it at her. She squatted down. When I fired she fell down roaring, and disappeared in a field of maize on the edge of the road. On approaching I found by her moaning that she was still alive, and did not venture at night into the thick plantation which sheltered her. As soon as it was day I went to the spot where she had fallen, and all I found were bloodmarks showing her track in the direction of the wood. After sending the dead lioness to the neighboring garrison, who celebrated its arrival by a banquet, I returned to my post of the previous night. A little after sunset the lion roared for the first time, but instead of quitting his lair he remained there all night, roaring like a madman. Convinced that the wounded lioness was there, I sent on the morning of the 24th two Arabs to explore the cover. They returned without daring to approach it. On the night of the 24th there was the same roaring and complaining of the lion on the mountain and under cover. On the 25th, at five in the evening, I had a young goat muzzled, and proceeded with it to the mountain. The lair was exceedingly difficult of access. Nevertheless I succeeded at last by crawling now on my hands and now on my belly in reaching it. Having discovered certain indications of the presence of the inhabitants of this locality, I had the goat unmuzzled and tied to a tree. Then followed the most comical panic on the part of the Arabs, who were carrying my arms. Seeing themselves in the middle of the lion's lair, whom they could distinctly smell, and hearing the horrified goat calling them with all its might, was a position perfectly intolerable to them. After consulting together as to whether it were better to climb up a tree or clamber on a rock, they asked my permission to remain near the goat. This confidence pleased me and obtained them the privilege of a place by my side. I had not been[Pg 122] there a quarter of an hour when the lioness appeared; she found herself suddenly beside the goat, and looked about her with an air of astonishment. I fired, and she fell without a struggle. The Arabs were already kissing my hands, and I myself believed her dead, when she got up again as though nothing was the matter and showed us all her teeth. One of the Arabs who had run toward her was within six paces of her. On seeing her get up he clung to the lower branches of the tree to which the goat was tied, and disappeared like a squirrel. The lioness fell dead at the foot of the tree, a second bullet piercing her heart. The first had passed out of the nape of the neck without breaking the skull bone.

[From the Spectator.]

"ONE touch of nature makes the whole world kin:" there is not one among the millions who read of the mortal sufferings endured by Queen Louise of Belgium that will not sympathize with the sorrowing relatives around her deathbed; especially with that aged lady who has seen so many changes, survived so many friends, mourned so many dear ones. To the world Queen Amélie is like a relative to whom we are endeared by report without having seen her; and as we read of her journey to pay the last sad offices to her daughter, we forget the "royal personage," in regard for that excellent lady who has been made known to us by so many sorrows.

The Orleans family, in its triumphs and in its adversities, may be taken as a living and most striking illustration of "principle,"—of principle working to ends that are certain. Louis Philippe's character shone best in his personal and family relation. He was a shifty expedientist in politics: a great national crisis came to him as a fine opportunity to the commercial man for pushing some particular kind of traffic. He adopted the cant of the day, as mere traders adopt produce, ready made; taking the correctness of the earlier stages for granted. He adopted "the Monarchy surrounded by Republican institutions," as a Member of Parliament takes the oaths, for form's sake: it was the form of accepting the crown, its power and dignity; and he did what was suggested as the proper thing to be done: but did he ever trouble himself about the "Republican institutions?" He adopted the National Guard, as a useful instrument to act by way of breastwork, under cover of which his throne could repose secure, while the royal power could shoot as it pleased over that respectable body at the people: but did he ever trouble himself with the purpose of a national guard?—No more than a beadle troubles his head with the church theology or parochial constitution. He never meddled with the stuff and vital working of politics; and when the time came that required him to maintain his post by having a hold on the nation of France, by acting with the forces then at work, wholly incompetent to the unsought task, he let go, and was drifted away by the flood of events. But still, though the most signal instance of opportunity wasted and success converted to failure before the eyes of Europe, he retained a considerable degree of respectability. First, the vitality of the man was strong, and had been tested by many vicissitudes; and the world sympathizes with that sort of leasehold immortality. Further, his family clung around him: the respectable, amiable paterfamilias, whose personal qualities had been somewhat obscured by the splendors of the throne, now again appeared unvailed, and that which was sterling in the man was once more known—again tried, again sound. Louis Philippe failed as a king, he succeeded as a father.

Queen Amélie placed her faith less on mundane prosperity than on spiritual welfare; and she was so far imbued by faith as a living principle that it actuated her in her conduct as a daily practice. With the obedience of the true Catholic, she combined the spirit of active Christianity. While some part of her family has been inspired mainly by the paternal spirit, some took their spirit from the mother; and none, it would appear, more decidedly than Queen Louise. The accounts from Belgium liken her to our own Queen Adelaide, in whom was exhibited the same spirit of piety and practical Christianity; and we see the result in the kind of personal affection that she earned. Agree with these estimable women in their doctrine or not, you cannot but respect the firmness of their own faith or the spirit of self-sacrifice which remained uncorrupted through all the trials of temptations, so rife, so devitalizing in the life of royalty.

Death visits the palace and the cottage, and we expect his approach: we understand his aspect, and know how he affects the heart of mortality. Be they crowned or not, we understand what it is that mortal creatures are enduring under the affliction; and we well know what it means when parent and children, brothers and sisters, collect around the deathbed.

King Leopold we have twice seen under the same trial, and again remember how much he has rested of his life on the personal relation. We note these things; we call to mind all that the family, illustrious not less by its vicissitudes and its adversities than by its exaltation, has endured; and while we sympathize with its sorrows, we feel how much it must be sustained by those reliances which endure more firmly than worldly fortune. But our regard does not stop with admiration; we notice with satisfaction this example to the family and personal relation—this proof that amid the splendors of royalty the firmest reliances and the sweetest consolations are those which are equally open to the humblest.

[Pg 123]

[From "Leaves from the Journal of a Naturalist," in Fraser's Magazine.]

IN September, 1800, the Rev. Walter Trevelyan wrote from Long-Wilton, Northumberland, in a letter to the editor of Bewick's "British Birds," the following narrative, which is so simply and beautifully written, and gives so clear an account of the process of taming, that it would be unjust to recite it in any words but his own for the edification of those who may wish to make the experiment:—"About nine weeks ago (writes the good clergyman), a swallow fell down one of our chimneys, nearly fledged, and was able to fly in two or three days. The children desired they might try to rear him, to which I agreed, fearing the old ones would desert him; and as he was not the least shy they succeeded without any difficulty, for he opened his mouth for flies as fast as they could supply them, and was regularly fed to a whistle. In a few days, perhaps a week, they used to take him into the fields with them, and as each child found a fly and whistled, the little bird flew for his prey from one to another; at other times he would fly round about them in the air, but always descended at the first call, in spite of the constant endeavors of the wild swallows to seduce him away; for which purpose several of them at once would fly about him in all directions, striving to drive him away when they saw him about to settle on one of the children's hands, extended with the food. He would very often alight on the children, uncalled, when they were walking several fields distant from home." What a charming sketch of innocence and benevolence, heightened by the anxiety of the pet's relations to win him away from beings whom they must have looked upon as so many young ogres! The poor flies, it is true, darken the picture a little; but to proceed with the narrative:—"Our little inmate was never made a prisoner by being put into a cage, but always ranged about the room at large wherever the children were, and they never went out of doors without taking him with them. Sometimes he would sit on their hands or heads and catch flies for himself, which he soon did with great dexterity. At length, finding it take up too much of their time to supply him with food enough to satisfy his appetite (for I have no doubt he ate from seven hundred to a thousand flies a day), they used to turn him out of the house, shutting the window to prevent his returning for two or three hours together, in hopes he would learn to cater for himself, which he soon did; but still was no less tame, always answering their call, and coming in at the window to them (of his own accord) frequently every day, and always roosting in their room, which he has regularly done from the first till within a week or ten days past. He constantly roosted on one of the children's heads till their bed-time; nor was he disturbed by the child moving about, or even walking, but would remain perfectly quiet with his head under his wing, till he was put away for the night in some warm corner, for he liked much warmth." The kind and considerate attempt to alienate the attached bird from its little friends had its effect. "It is now four days (writes worthy Mr. Trevelyan, in conclusion) since he came in to roost in the house, and though he then did not show any symptoms of shyness, yet he is evidently becoming less tame, as the whistle will not now bring him to the hand; nor does he visit us as formerly, but he always acknowledges it when within hearing by a chirp, and by flying near. Nothing could exceed his tameness for about six weeks; and I have no doubt it would have continued the same had we not left him to himself as much as we could, fearing he would be so perfectly domesticated that he would be left behind at the time of migration, and of course be starved in the winter from cold and hunger." And so ends this agreeable story: not, however, that it was "of course" that the confiding bird would be starved if it remained, for the Rev. W.F. Cornish, of Totness, kept two tame swallows, one for a year and a half, and the other for two years, as he informed Mr. Yarrell.

[From Mure's Literature of Ancient Greece.]

ONE of the most prominent forms in which the native simplicity and purity of the Hellenic bard displays itself is the entire exclusion of sentimental or romantic love from his stock of poetical materials. This is a characteristic which, while inherited in a greater or less degree by the whole more flourishing age of Greek poetical literature, possesses also the additional source of interest to the modern scholar, of forming one of the most striking points of distinction between ancient and modern literary taste. So great an apparent contempt, on the part of so sensitive a race as the Hellenes, for an element of poetical pathos which has obtained so boundless an influence on the comparatively phlegmatic races of Western Europe, is a phenomenon which, although it has not escaped the notice of modern critics, has scarcely met with the attention which its importance demands. By some it has been explained as a consequence of the low estimation in which the female sex was held in Homer's age, as contrasted with the high honors conferred on it by the courtesy of medieval chivalry; by others as a natural effect of the restrictions placed on the free intercourse of the sexes among the Greeks. Neither explanation is satisfactory. The latter of the two is set aside by Homer's own descriptions, which abundantly prove that in his time, at least, women could have been subjected to no such jealous control as to interfere with the free course of amorous intrigue. Nor even, had such been the case, would the cause have been adequate to the effect. Ex[Pg 124]perience seems rather to evince that the greater the difficulties to be surmounted the higher the poetical capabilities of such adventures. Erotic romance appears, in fact, to have been nowhere more popular than in the East, where the jealous separation of the sexes has, in all ages, been extreme. As little can it be said that Homer's poems exhibit a state of society in which females were lightly esteemed. The Trojan war itself originates in the susceptibility of an injured husband: and all Greece takes up arms to avenge his wrong. The plot of the Odyssey hinges mainly on the constant attachment of the hero to the spouse of his youth; and the whole action tends to illustrate the high degree of social and political influence consequent on the exemplary performance of the duties of wife and mother. Nor surely do the relations subsisting between Hector and Andromache, or Priam and Hecuba, convey a mean impression of the respect paid to the female sex in the heroic age. As little can the case be explained by a want of fit or popular subjects of amorous adventure. Many of the favorite Greek traditions are as well adapted to the plot of an epic poem or tragedy of the sentimental order, as any that modern history can supply. Still less can the exclusion be attributed to a want of sensibility, on the part of the Greek nation, to the power of the tender passions. The influence of those passions is at least as powerfully and brilliantly asserted in their own proper sphere of poetical treatment, in the lyric odes, for example, of Sappho or Mimnermus, as in any department of modern poetry. Nor must it be supposed that even the nobler Epic or Tragic Muse was insensible to the poetical value of the passion of love. But it was in the connection of that passion with others of a sterner nature to which it gives rise, jealousy, hatred, revenge, rather than in its own tender sensibilities, that the Greek poets sought to concentrate the higher interest of their public. Any excess of the amorous affections which tended to enslave the judgment or reason was considered as a weakness, not an honorable emotion; and hence was confined almost invariably to women. The nobler sex are represented as comparatively indifferent, often cruelly callous, to such influence; and, when subjected to it, are usually held up as objects of contempt rather than admiration. As examples may be cited the amours of Medea and Jason, of Phædra and Hippolytus, of Theseus and Ariadne, of Hercules and Omphale. The satire on the amorous weakness of the most illustrious of Greek heroes embodied in the last mentioned fable, with the glory acquired by Ulysses from his resistance to the fascinations of Circe and Calypso, may be jointly contrasted with the subjection by Tasso of Rinaldo and his comrades to the thraldom of Armida, and with the pride and pleasure which the Italian poet of chivalry appears to take in the sensual degradation of his heroes. The distinction here drawn by the ancients is the more obvious, that their warriors are least of all men described as indifferent to the pleasures of female intercourse. They are merely exempt from subjection to its unmanly seductions. Ulysses, as he sails from coast to coast, or island to island, willingly partakes of the favors which fair goddesses or enchantresses press on his acceptance. But their influence is never permitted permanently to blunt the more honorable affections of his bosom, or divert his attention from higher objects of ambition.

[From the Spectator.]

THE forcing of the barrier which for three hundred years has defied and imperiled the commerce of the world seems now an event at hand. One half of the contract for the junction of the Atlantic and Pacific, obtained from the State of Nicaragua last year by the promptitude of the Americans, is to be held at the option of English capitalists; and an understanding is at length announced, that if the contemplated ship-canal can be constructed on conditions that shall leave no uncertainty as to the profitableness of the enterprise, it is to be carried forward with the influence of our highest mercantile firms. The necessary surveys have been actually commenced; and as a temporary route is at the same time being opened, an amount of information is likely soon to be collected which will familiarize us with each point regarding the capabilities of the entire region. It is understood, moreover, that when the canal-surveys shall be completed, they are to be submitted to the rigid scrutiny of Government engineers both in England and the United States; so that before the public can be called upon to consider the expediency of embarking in the undertaking, every doubt in connection with it, as far as practical minds are concerned, will have been removed.

The immediate steps now in course of adoption may be explained in a few words. At present the transit across the Isthmus of Panama occupies four days, and its inconveniences and dangers are notorious. At Nicaragua, it is represented, the transit may possibly be effected in one day, and this by a continuous steam-route with the exception of fifteen miles by mule or omnibus. The passage would be up the San Juan, across Lake Nicaragua to the town of that name, and thence to the port of San Juan del Sur on the Pacific. On arriving at this terminus, (which is considerably south of the one contemplated for the permanent canal, namely Realejo,) the passenger would find himself some six or seven hundred miles nearer to California than if he had crossed at the Isthmus of Panama; and as the rate of speed of the American steamers on this service is upward of three hundred miles a day, his saving of three days in crossing, coupled with the saving in sea distance, would be equivalent to a total of fifteen hundred miles, measured in relation to what is accom[Pg 125]plished by these vessels. A lower charge for the transit, and a comparatively healthy climate, are also additional inducements; and under these circumstances, anticipations are entertained that the great tide of traffic will be turned in the new direction. This tide, according to the last accounts from Panama, was kept up at the rate of 70,000 persons a year; and it was expected to increase.

The navigability of the San Juan, however, in its present state, remains yet to be tested. The American company who have obtained the privilege of the route have sent down two vessels of light draught, the Nicaragua and the Director, for the purpose of forthwith placing the matter beyond doubt. At the last date, the Director had safely crossed the bar at its mouth, and was preparing to ascend; the Nicaragua had previously gone up the Colorado, a branch river, where, it is said, through the carelessness of her engineer, she had run aground upon a sand-bank, though without sustaining any damage. The next accounts will possess great interest. Whatever may be the real capabilities of the river, accidents and delays must be anticipated in the first trial of a new method of navigating it: even in our own river, the Thames, the first steamer could scarcely have been expected to make a trip from London Bridge to Richmond without some mishap. Should, therefore, the present experiment show any clear indications of success, there will be reasonable ground for congratulation; and it forms so important a chapter in the history of enterprise, that all must regard it with good wishes.

If the results of this temporary transit should realize the expectations it seems to warrant, there can be little doubt the completion of the canal will soon be commenced with ardor. Supposing the surveys should show a cost not exceeding the sum estimated in 1837 by Lieutenant Baily, the prospect of the returns would, there is reason to believe, be much larger than the public have at any time been accustomed to suppose. There is also the fact that the increase of these returns can know no limit so long as the commerce of the world shall increase; and indeed, already the idea of the gains to accrue appears to have struck some minds with such force as to lead them to question if the privileges which have been granted are not of a kind so extraordinarily favorable that they will sooner or later be repudiated by the State of Nicaragua. No such danger however exists; as the company are guaranteed in the safe possession of all their rights by the treaty of protection which has been ratified between Great Britain and the United States.

One most important sign in favor of the quick completion of the ship-canal is now furnished in the circumstance that there are no rival routes. At Panama, a cheap wooden railway is to be constructed, which will prove serviceable for much of the passenger-traffic to Peru and Chili; but the project for a canal at that point has been entirely given up. The same is the case at Tehuantepec, where the difficulties are far greater than at Panama.

It is true, the question naturally arises, whether if an exploration were made of other parts of Central America or New Grenada, some route might not be discovered which might admit of the construction of a canal even at a less cost than will be necessary at Nicaragua. But in a matter which concerns the commerce of the whole world for ages, there are other points to be considered besides mere cheapness; and those who have studied the advantages of Nicaragua maintain that enough is known of the whole country both north and south of that State, to establish the fact that she possesses intrinsic capabilities essential to the perfectness of the entire work, which are not to be found in any other quarter, and for the absence of which no saving of any immediate sum would compensate. In the first place, it is nearer to California by several hundred miles than any other route that could be pointed out except Tehuantepec, while at the same time it is so central as duly to combine the interests both of the northern and southern countries of the Pacific; in the next place, it contains two magnificent natural docks, where all the vessels in the world might refresh and refit; thirdly, it abounds in natural products of all kinds, and is besides comparatively well-peopled; fourthly, it possesses a temperature which is relatively mild, while it is also in most parts undoubtedly healthy; and finally, it has a harbor on the Pacific, which, to use the words of Dunlop in his book on Central America, is as good as any port in the known world, and decidedly superior even to Portsmouth, Rio Janeiro, Port Jackson, Talcujana, Callao, and Guayaquil. The proximity to California moreover settles the question as to American cooperation; which, it may be believed, would certainly not be afforded to any route farther south, and without which it would be idle to contemplate the undertaking.

At the same time, however, it must be admitted, that if any body of persons would adopt the example now set by the American company, and commence a survey of any new route at their own expense, they would be entitled to every consideration, and to rank as benefactors of the community, whatever might be the result of their endeavors. There are none who can help forward the enterprise, either directly or indirectly, upon whom it will not shed honor. That honor, too, will not be distant. The progress of the work will unite for the first time in a direct manner the two great nations upon whose mutual friendship the welfare of the world depends; and its completion will cause a revolution in commerce more extensive and beneficent than any that has yet occurred, and which may still be so rapid as to be witnessed by many who even now are old.

[Pg 126]

[From the Spectator.]

"THE Doddinghurst murder," "the Frimley murder," "the Regent's Park burglary," "the Birmingham burglary," "the Liverpool plate robberies,"—the plots thicken to such a degree that society turns still paler; and having last week asked for ideas on the subject of better security for life and property, asks this week, still more urgently, for more security. We must then penetrate deeper into the causes.

Yes, civilization is observable in nothing more than in the development of criminality. Whether it is that pennyalining discloses it more, or that the instances really are more numerous, may be doubtful; but why, in spite of modern improvements to illumine, order, and guard society, does crime stalk abroad so signally unchecked?—that is the question.

We believe that the causes are various; and that to effect a thorough amendment, we must deal with all the causes, radically. Let us reckon up some of them. One is, that the New Police, which at first acted as a scarecrow, has grown familiar to the ruffianly or roguish: it has been discovered that a Policeman is not ubiquitous, and if you know that he is walking toward Berkhamstead you are certain that he is not going toward Hemel Hempstead. In some counties the Policeman is the very reverse of ubiquitous, being altogether non-inventus, by reason of parsimony in the rate-payers. The disuse of arms and the general unfamiliarity with them help to embolden the audacious. The increase of wealth is a direct attraction: the more silver spoons and épergnes, the more gold-handled knives and dish-covers electro-gilt, are to be found in pantry, the more baits are there set for the wild animals of society; and if there be no trap with the bait, then the human vermin merely run off with it. But he will bite if you offer any let. With the general luxury grows the burglarious love of luxury: as peers and cits grow more curious in their appetites, so burglars and swell-mobsmen. The tasteful cruet which tempts Lady Juliana, and is gallantly purchased by her obliging husband Mr. Stubbs, has its claims also for Dick Stiles; and the champagne which is so relished by the guests round Mr. Stubbs's mahogany is pleasant tipple under a hedge. Another cause, most pregnant with inconvenience to the public, is the practice in which we persist in letting our known criminals go about at large, on constitutional scruples against shutting the door till the steed be gone. We are bound to treat a man as innocent until he be found guilty,—which means, that we must not hang him or pillory him without proof before a jury: but an innocent man may be suspected, and ought to be suspected, if appearances are against him. So much for the suspected criminal, whom we will not take into custody until he has galloped off in our own saddle. But even the convicted ruffian is to be set at large, under the system of time sentences. Yes, "the liberty of the subject" demands the license of the burglar.

A sixth cause is the mere increase of the population hereditarily given to crime,—a caste upon which we have made so little impression, either by prison discipline, ragged schools, or any other process. In education we rely upon book learning or theological scrap teaching, neither of which influences will reach certain minds; for there are many, and not the worst dispositions, that never can be brought under a very active influence of a studious or spiritual kind. But we omit the right kind of training, the physical and material, for that order of mind.

Other causes are—the wide social separation in this country, by virtue of which our servants are strangers in the house, alien if not hostile to the family; the want of our present customs to give scope for such temperaments as need excitement; the state of the Poor-law, which makes the honest man desperate and relaxes the proper control over the vagrant.

The remedies for these causes must go deeper than bells for shutters or snappish housedogs for the night: meanwhile, we must be content to read of murders, and to use the best palliatives we can—even shutter-bells and vigilant little dogs.

[From the Examiner.]

STATUES are now rising in every quarter of our metropolis, and mallet and chisel are the chief instruments in use. Whatever is conducive to the promotion of the arts ought undoubtedly to be encouraged; but love in this instance, quite as much as in any, ought neither to be precipitate nor blind. A true lover of his country should be exempted from the pain of blushes, when a foreigner inquires of him, "Whom does this statue represent? and for what merits was it raised?" The defenders of their country, not the dismemberers of it, should be first in honor; the maintainers of the laws, not the subverters of them, should follow next. I may be asked by the studious, the contemplative, the pacific, whether I would assign a higher station to any public man than to a Milton and a Newton. My answer is plainly and loudly, Yes. But the higher station should be in the streets, in squares, in houses of parliament: such are their places; our vestibules and our libraries are best adorned by poets, philosophers, and philanthropists. There is a feeling which street-walking and public-meeting men improperly call loyalty; a feeling intemperate and intolerant, smelling of dinner and wine and toasts, which raises their stomachs and their voices at the sound of certain names reverberated by the newspaper press. As little do they know about the proprietary of these names as pot-wallopers know about the candidates at a borough election, and are just as vociferous and violent. A few days ago, I received a most courteous invitation to be named on a Committee for erecting a statue to Jenner. It was impossible for me to decline[Pg 127] it; and equally was it impossible to abstain from the observations which I am now about to state. I recommended that the statue should be placed before a public hospital, expressing my sense of impropriety in confounding so great a benefactor of mankind, in any street or square or avenue, with the Dismemberer of America and his worthless sons. Nor would I willingly see him among the worn-out steam-engines of parliamentary debates. The noblest parliamentary men who had nothing to distribute, not being ministers, are without statues. The illustrious Burke, the wisest, excepting Bacon, who at any time sat within the people's House; Romilly, the sincerest patriot; Huskisson, the most intelligent in commercial affairs, has none. Peel is become popular, not by his incomparable merits, but by his untimely death. Shall we never see the day when Oliver and William mount the chargers of Charles and George; and when a royal swindler is superseded by the purest and most exalted of our heroes, Blake?

Walter Savage Landor.

[From the last Edinburgh Review.]

IT is of the last moment that all who are, or are likely to be, called to administer the affairs of a free state, should be deeply imbued with the statesmanlike virtues of modesty and caution, and should act under a profound sense of their personal responsibility. It is an awful thing to undertake the government of a great country; and no man can be any way worthy of that high calling who does not from his inmost soul feel it to be so. When we reflect upon the fearful consequences, both to the lives, the material interests, and the moral well-being of thousands, which may ensue from a hasty word, an erroneous judgment, a temporary carelessness, or a lapse of diligence; when we remember that every action of a statesman is pregnant with results which may last for generations after he is gathered to his fathers; that his decisions may, and probably must, affect for good or ill the destinies of future times; that peace or war, crime or virtue, prosperity or adversity, the honor or dishonor of his country, the right or wrong, wise or unwise solution of some of the mightiest problems in the progress of humanity, depend upon the course he may pursue at those critical moments which to ordinary men occur but rarely, but which crowd the daily life of a statesman; the marvel is that men should be forthcoming bold enough to venture on such a task. Now, among public men in England this sense of responsibility is in general adequately felt. It affords an honorable (and in most cases we believe a true) explanation of that singular discrepancy between public men when in and when out of office—that inconsistency between the promise and the performance,—between what the leader of the opposition urges the minister to do, and what the same leader, when minister himself, actually does,—which is so commonly attributed to less reputable motives. The independent member may speculate and criticise at his ease; may see, as he thinks, clearly, and with an undoubting and imperious conviction, what course on this or that question ought to be pursued; may feel so unboundedly confident in the soundness of his views, that he cannot comprehend or pardon the inability of ministers to see as he sees, and to act as he would wish; but as soon as the overwhelming responsibilities of office are his own, as soon as he finds no obstacle to the carrying out of his plans, except such as may arise from the sense that he does so at the risk of his country's welfare and his own reputation—he is seized with a strange diffidence, a new-born modesty, a mistrust of his own judgment which he never felt before; he re-examines, he hesitates, he delays; he brings to bear upon the investigation all the new light which official knowledge has revealed to him; and finds at last that he scruples to do himself what he had not scrupled to insist upon before. So deep-rooted is this sense of responsibility with our countrymen, that whatever parties a crisis of popular feeling might carry into power, we should have comparatively little dread of rash, and no dread of corrupt, conduct on their part; we scarcely know the public man who, when his country's destinies were committed to his charge, could for a moment dream of acting otherwise than with scrupulous integrity, and to the best of his utmost diligence and most cautious judgment,—at all events till the dullness of daily custom had laid his self-vigilance asleep. We are convinced that were Lord Stanhope and Mr. Disraeli to be borne into office by some grotesque freak of fortune, even they would become sobered as by magic, and would astonish all beholders, not by their vagaries, but by their steadiness and discretion. Now, of this wholesome sense of awful responsibility, we see no indications among public men in France. Dumont says, in his "Recollections of Mirabeau," "I have sometimes thought that if you were to stop a hundred men indiscriminately in the streets of Paris and London, and propose to each to undertake the government, ninety-nine of the Londoners would refuse, and ninety-nine of the Parisians would accept. In fact, we find it is only one or two of the more experienced habitués of office who in France ever seem to feel any hesitation. Ordinary deputies, military men, journalists, men of science, accept, with a naive and simple courage, posts for which, except that courage, they possess no single qualification. But this is not the worst; they never hesitate, at their country's risk and cost, to carry out their own favorite schemes to an experiment; in fact, they often seem to value office mainly for that purpose, and to regard their country chiefly as the corpus vile on which the experiment is to be made. To make way for their theories, they relentlessly sweep out of sight the whole past, and never appear to contemplate either the possibility or the parricidal guilt of failure.

[Pg 128]

[From the New Monthly Magazine.]

MR. Higson met with two species of cow tree, which he states to be abundant in the deep and humid woods of the provinces of Chocó and Popayán. In an extract from his diary, dated Ysconde, May 7, 1822, he gives an account of an excursion he made, about twelve miles up the river, in company with the alcaide and two other gentlemen, in quest of some of these milk trees, one species of which, known to the inhabitants by the name of Popa, yields, during the ascent of the sap, a redundance of a nutritive milky juice, obtained by incisions made into the thick bark which clothes the trunk, and which he describes as of an ash color externally, while the interior is of a clay red. Instinct, or some natural power closely approaching to the reasoning principle, has taught the jaguars, and other wild beasts of the forest, the value of this milk, which they obtain by lacerating the bark with their claws and catching the milk as it flows from the incisions. A similar instinct prevails amongst the hogs that have become wild in the forests of Jamaica, where a species of Rhus, the Rhus Metopium of botanists, grows, the bark of which, on being wounded, yields a resinous juice, possessing many valuable medicinal properties, and among them that of rapidly cicatrizing wounds. How this valuable property was first discovered by the hogs, or by what peculiar interchange of ideas the knowledge of it was communicated by the happy individual who made it to his fellow hogs, is a problem which, in the absence of some porcine historiographer, we have little prospect of solving. But, however this may be, the fact is sufficiently notorious in Jamaica, where the wild hogs, when wounded, seek out one of these trees, which, from the first discoverers of its sanative properties, have been named "Hog Gum Trees," and, abrading the bark with their teeth, rub the wounded part of their bodies against it, so as to coat the wound with a covering of the gummy, or rather gum-resinous fluid, that exudes from the bark. In like manner, as Mr. Higson informs us, the jaguars, instructed in the nutritious properties of the potable juice of the Popa, jump up against the stem, and lacerating the bark with their claws greedily catch the liquid nectar as it issues from the wound. By a strange perverseness of his nature, man, in the pride of his heart and the intoxication of his vanity, spurns this delicious beverage, which speedily fattens all who feed on it, and contents himself with using it, when inspissated by the sun, as a bird-lime to catch parrots; or converting it into a glue, which withstands humidity, by boiling it with the gum of the mangle-tree (Sapium aucuparium?), tempered with wood ashes. Mr. Higson states that they caught plenty of the milk, which was of the consistence of cream, of a bland and sweetish taste, and a somewhat aromatic flavor, and so white as to communicate a tolerably permanent stain wherever it fell; it mixed with spirit, as readily as cow's milk, and made, with the addition of water, a very agreeable and refreshing beverage, of which they drank several tutumos full. They cut down a tree, one of the tallest of the forest, in order to procure specimens, and found the timber white, of a fine grain, and well adapted for boards or shingles. They were about a month too late to obtain the blossoms, which were said to be very showy, but found abundance of fruit, disposed on short foot-stalks in the alæ of the leaves; these were scabrous, and about the size of a nutmeg. The leaves he describes as having very short petioles, hearted at the base, and of a coriaceous consistence, and covered with large semi-globular glands.

Besides the Popa, he speaks of another lactescent tree, called Sandé, the milk of which, though more abundant, is thinner, bluish, like skimmed milk, and not so palatable.

This, inspissated in the sun, acquires the appearance of a black gum, and is so highly valued for its medicinal properties, especially as a topical application in inflammatory affections of the spleen, pleura, and liver, that it fetches a dollar the ounce in the Valle del Cauca. The leaves are described as resembling those of the Chrysophyllum cainito, or broad-leaved star apple, springing from short petioles, ten or twelve inches long, oblong, ovate, pointed, with alternate veins, and ferruginous on the under surface. The locality of the Sandé he does not point out, but says that a third kind of milk tree, the juice of which is potable, grows in the same forests, where it is known by the name of Lyria. This he regards as identical with the cow tree of Caracas, of which Humboldt has given so graphic a description.

[From the Illustrated London News.]

I HEARD the language of the trees,
In the noons of the early summer;
As the leaves were moved like rippling seas
By the wind—a constant comer.
It came and it went at its wanton will;
And evermore loved to dally,
With branch and flower, from the cope of the hill
To the warm depths of the valley.
The sunlight glow'd; the waters flow'd;
The birds their music chanted,
And the words of the trees on my senses fell—
By a spirit of Beauty haunted:—
Said each to each, in mystic speech:—
"The skies our branches nourish;—
The world is good,—the world is fair,—
Let us enjoy and flourish!"
Again I heard the steadfast trees;
The wintry winds were blowing;
There seem'd a roar as of stormy seas,
And of ships to the depths down-going
And ever a moan through the woods were blown,
As the branches snapp'd asunder,
And the long boughs swung like the frantic arms
Of a crowd in affright and wonder.
Heavily rattled the driving hail!
And storm and flood combining,
Laid bare the roots of mighty oaks
Under the shingle twining.
Said tree to tree, "These tempests free
Our sap and strength shall nourish;
Though the world be hard, though the world be cold,
We can endure and flourish!"

[Pg 129]

[From Eliza Cook's Journal.]

BUT autumn wanes, and with it fade the golden tints, and burning hues, and the warm breezes; for winter, with chilling clasp and frosty breath, hurries like a destroyer over the fields to bury their beauties in his snow, and to blanch and wither up with his frozen breath, the remnants of the blooming year. The harvests are gathered, the seeds are sown, the meadow becomes once more green and velvet-like as in the days of spring: the weeds and flowers run to seed, and stand laden with cups, and urns, and bells, each containing the unborn germs of another summer's beauty, and only waiting for the winter winds to scatter them, and the spring sunshine to fall upon them, where they fall to break into bud and leaf and flower, and to whisper to the passing wind that the soul of beauty dies not. It is now upon the waning of the sunshine and the falling of the leaf that the bleak winds rise angrily, and the gloom of the dying year deepens in the woods and fields. We hear the plying of the constant flail mingling with the clatter of the farm-yard; we are visited by fogs and moving mists, and heavy rains that last for days together; upon the hill the horn of the hunter is heard, and in the mountain solitudes the eagle's scream; up among craggy rifts the red deer bound, and the waterfall keeps up its peals of thunder; and although the autumn, having ripened the fruits of summer, and gathered into the garnery the yellow fruitage of the field, must hie away to sunbright shores and islands in the glittering seas of fairy lands, she leaves the spirits of the flowers to hover hither and thither amid the leafless bowers to bewail in midnight dirges the loss of leaves and blossoms and the joyful tide of song. It is one of these of whom the poet speaks; for he, having been caught up by the divine ether into the regions of eternal beauty, has seen, as mortals seldom see, the shadows of created things, and has spoken with the angel spirits of the world:—

A spirit haunts the year's last hours,
Dwelling amid these yellowing bowers;
To himself he talks:
For at eventide, listening earnestly,
At his work you may hear him sob and sigh.
In the walks
Earthward he boweth the heavy stalks
Of the mouldering flowers,
Heavily hangs the broad sunflower
Over its grave i' the earth so chilly,
Heavily hangs the hollyhock,
Heavily hangs the tiger-lily.
The air is damp, and hush'd and close,
As a sick man's room when he taketh repose
An hour before death;
My very heart faints, and my whole soul grieves,
At the rich moist smell of the rotting leaves,
And the breath
Of the fading edges of box beneath,
And the year's last rose.
Heavily hangs the broad sunflower
Over its grave i' the earth so chilly,
Heavily hangs the hollyhock,
Heavily hangs the tiger-lily.—Tennyson.

The black clouds are even now gathering upon the fringes of the sky, and the mellow season of the fruitage ends. Thus all the changes of the earth pass round, each imprinting its semblance on the brow of man, and writing its lessons on his soul; that like the green earth beneath his feet, he may, through cold and heat, through storm and sun, be ever blossoming with fragrant flowers, and yielding refreshing fruit from the inexhaustible soil of a regenerated heart.

[From Slack's Ministry of the Beautiful, just published by A. Hart, Philadelphia.]

A LITTLE way apart from a great city was a fountain in a wood. The water gushed from a rock and ran in a little crystal stream to a mossy basin below; the wildflowers nodded their heads to catch its tiny spray; tall trees overarched it; and through the interspaces of their moving leaves the sunlight came and danced with rainbow feet upon its sparkling surface.

There was a young girl who managed every day to escape a little while from the turmoil of the city, and went like a pilgrim to the fountain in the wood. The water was sparkling, the moss and fern looked very lovely in the gentle moisture which the fountain cast upon them, and the trees waved their branches and rustled their green leaves in happy concert with the summer breeze. The girl loved the beauty of the scene and it grew upon her. Every day the fountain had a fresh tale to tell, and the whispering murmur of the leaves was ever new. By-and-by she came to know something of the language in which the fountain, the ferns, the mosses, and the trees held converse. She listened very patiently, full of wonder and of love. She heard them often regret that man would not learn their language, that they might tell him the beautiful things they had to say. At last the maiden ventured to tell them that she knew their tongue, and with what exquisite delight she heard them talk. The fountain flowed faster, more sunbeams danced on its waters, the leaves sang a new song, and the ferns and mosses grew greener before her eyes. They all told her what joy thrilled through them at her words. Human beings had passed them in abundance, they said, and as there was a tradition among the flowers that men once spoke, they hoped one day to hear them do so again. The maiden told them that all men spoke, at which they were astonished, but said that making articulate noises was not speaking, many such they had heard, but never till now real human speech; for that, they said, could come alone from the mind and heart. It was the voice of the body which men usually talked with, and that they did not understand, but only the voice of the soul, which was rare to hear. Then there was great joy through all the wood, and there went forth a report that at length a maiden was found whose soul could speak, and who knew the language of the flowers and the fountain. And the trees and the stream said[Pg 130] one to another, "Even so did our old prophets teach, and now hath it been fulfilled." Then the maiden tried to tell her friends in the city what she had heard at the fountain, but could explain very little, for although they knew her words, they felt not her meaning. And certain young men came and begged her to take them to the wood that they might hear the voices. So she took one after another, but nothing came of it, for to them the fountain and the trees were mute. Many thought the maiden mad, and laughed at her belief, but they could not take the sweet voices away from her. Now the maidens wished her to take them also, and she did, but with little better success. A few thought they heard something, but knew not what, and on their return to the city its bustle obliterated the small remembrance they had carried away. At length a young man begged the maiden to give him a trial, and she did so. They went hand in hand to the fountain, and he heard the language, although not so well as the maiden; but she helped him, and found that when both heard the words together they were more beautiful than ever. She let go his hand, and much of the beauty was gone; the fountain told them to join hands and lips also, and they did it. Then arose sweeter sounds than they had ever heard, and soft voices encompassed them saying, "Henceforth be united; for the spirit of truth and beauty hath made you one."

[From Dr. Marcy's Homeopathic Theory and Practice of Medicine.]

ONE great cause of the frequent occurrence of chronic bronchitis may be found in the reprehensible fashion of shaving the beard. That this ornament was given by the Creator for some useful purpose, there can be no doubt, for in fashioning the human body, he gave nothing unbecoming a perfect man, nothing useless, nothing superfluous. Hair being an imperfect conductor of caloric, is admirably calculated to retain the animal warmth of that part of the body which is so constantly and necessarily exposed to the weather, and thus to protect this important portion of the respiratory passage from the injurious effects of sudden checks of perspiration.

When one exercises for hours his vocal organs, with the unremitted activity of a public declamation, the pores of the skin in the vicinity of the throat and chest become relaxed, so that when he enters the open air, the whole force of the atmosphere bears upon these parts, and he sooner or later contracts a bronchitis; while, had he the flowing beard with which his Maker has endowed him, uncut, to protect these important parts, he would escape any degree of exposure unharmed.

The fact that Jews and other people who wear the beard long, are but rarely afflicted with bronchitis and analogous disorders, suggests a powerful argument in support of these views.

[From "Ada Greville," by Peter Leicester.]

THEY had soon reached the Apollo Bunder, where they were to land, and where Ada's attention was promptly engaged by the bustle awaiting her there; and where, from among numbers of carriages, and palanquins, and carts in waiting—many of them of such extraordinary shapes—some moved by horses, some by bullocks, and some by men, and all looking strange; from their odd commixture, Mr. McGregor's phaeton promptly drew up, and he placed the ladies in it, himself driving, and the two maids following in a palanquin carriage. This latter amused Ada exceedingly; a vis-à-vis, in fact, very long, and very low, drawn by bullocks, whose ungainly and uneven paces were very unlike any other motion to which, so far, her experience had been subjected; but they went well enough, and quickly too, and Ada soon forgot their eccentricities in her surprise at the many strange things she saw by the way. The airy appearance of the houses, full of windows and doors, and all cased round by verandahs; the native mud bazaars, so rude and uncouth in their shapes, and daubed over with all kinds of glaring colours; with the women sitting in the open verandahs, their broad brooms in hand, whisking off from their food-wares the flies, myriads of which seem to contend with them for ownership; the native women in the streets carrying water, in their graceful dress, their scanty little jackets and short garments exhibiting to advantage their beautiful limbs and elegant motion, the very poorest of them covered with jewels—the wonted mode, indeed, in which they keep what little property they have—the women, too, working with the men, and undertaking all kinds of labor; the black, naked coolies running here and there to snatch at any little employment that would bring them but an anna. Contrasting with these, and mixed up pell mell with them, the smart young officers cantering about, the carriages of every shape and grade, from the pompous hackery, with its gaudy, umbrella-like top, and no less pompous occupant, in his turban and jewels, his bullocks covered with bells making more noise than the jumbling vehicle itself, down to the meager bullock cart, at hire, for the merest trifle. Here and there, too, some other great native, on his sumptuously caparisoned horse, with arched neck and long flowing tail sweeping the ground, and feeling as important as his rider; and the popish priests, in their long, black gowns, and long beards; and the civilians, of almost every rank, in their light, white jackets; and the umbrellas; and the universal tomtoms, incessantly going; and above all, the numbers of palanquins, each with its eight bearers, running here, there, and everywhere; everything, indeed, so unlike dear old England; everything, even did not the burning sun of itself tell the fact, too sensibly to be mistaken, reminding the stranger that she was in the Indian land.

[Pg 131]

From "The Memorial:"
[The most brilliant and altogether attractive gift-book of the season, edited by Mrs. Hewitt, and published by Putnam.]

FROM the beginning of our intellectual history women have done far more than their share in both creation and construction. The worshipful Mrs. Bradstreet, who two hundred years ago held her court of wit among the classic groves of Harvard, was in her day—the day in which Spenser, Shakspeare, and Milton sung—the finest poet of her sex whose verse was in the English language; and there was little extravagance in the title bestowed by her London admirers, when they printed her works as those "of the Tenth Muse, recently sprung up in America." In the beginning of the present century we had no bard to dispute the crown with Elizabeth Townsend, whose "Ode to Liberty" commanded the applause of Southey and Wordsworth in their best days; whose "Omnipresence of the Deity" is declared by Dr. Cheever to be worthy of those great poets or of Coleridge; and who still lives, beloved and reverenced, in venerable years, the last of one of the most distinguished families of New England.

More recently, Maria Brooks, called in "The Doctor" Maria del Occidente, burst upon the world with "Zophiel," that splendid piece of imagination and passion which stands, the vindication of the subtlety, power and comprehension of the genius of woman, justifying by comparison, the skepticism of Lamb when he suggested, to the author of "The Excursion," whether the sex had "ever produced any thing so great." Of our living and more strictly contemporary female poets, we mention with unhesitating pride Mrs. Sigourney, Mrs. Oakes Smith, Mrs. Hewett, Mrs. Whitman, Mrs. Welby, Alice Carey, "Edith May," Miss Lynch, and Miss Clarke, as poets of a genuine inspiration, displaying native powers and capacities in art such as in all periods have been held sufficient to insure to their possessors lasting fame, and to the nations which they adorned, the most desirable glory.

It is Longfellow who says,

——"What we admire in a woman,
Is her affection, not her intellect."

The sentiment is unworthy a poet, the mind as well as the heart claims sympathy, and there is no sympathy but in equality; we need in woman the completion of our own natures; that her finer, clearer, and purer vision should pierce for us the mysteries that are hidden from our own senses, strengthened, but dulled, in the rude shocks of the out-door world, from which she is screened, by her pursuits, to be the minister of God to us: to win us by the beautiful to whatever in the present life or the immortal is deserving a great ambition. We care little for any of the mathematicians, metaphysicians, or politicians, who, as shamelessly as Helen, quit their sphere. Intellect in woman, so directed, we do not admire, and of affection such women are incapable. There is something divine in woman, and she whose true vocation it is to write, has some sort of inspiration, which relieves her from the processes and accidents of knowledge, to display only wisdom in all the range of gentleness, and all the forms of grace. The equality of the sexes is one of the absurd questions which have arisen from a denial of the distinctions of their faculties and duties—of the masculine energy from the feminine refinement. The ruder sort of women cannot comprehend that there is a distinction, not of dignity, but of kind; and so, casting aside their own eminence, for which they are too base, and seeking after ours, for which they are too weak, they are hermaphroditish disturbers of the peace of both. In the main our American women are free from this reproach; they have known their mission, and have carried on the threads of civility through the years, so strained that they have been melodiously vocal with every breath of passion from the common heart. We turn from the jar of senates, from politics, theologies, philosophies, and all forms of intellectual trial and conflict, to that portion of our literature which they have given us, coming like dews and flowers after glaciers and rocks, the hush of music after the tragedy, silence and rest after turmoil of action. The home where love is refined and elevated by intellect, and woman, by her separate and never-superfluous or clashing mental activity, sustains her part in the life-harmony, is the vestibule of heaven to us; and there we hear the poetesses repeat the songs to which they have listened, when wandering nearer than we may go to the world in which humanity shall be perfect again, by the union in all of all power and goodness and beauty.

The finest intelligence that woman has in our time brought to the ministry of the beautiful, is no longer with us. Frances Sargent Osgood died in New-York, at fifteen minutes before three o'clock, in the afternoon of Sunday, the twelfth of May, 1850. These words swept like a surge of sadness wherever there was grace and gentleness, and sweet affections. All that was in her life was womanly, "pure womanly," and so is all in the undying words she left us. This is her distinction.

Mrs. Osgood was of a family of poets. Mrs. Anna Maria Wells, whose abilities are illustrated in a volume of "Poems and Juvenile Sketches" published in 1830, is a daughter of her mother; Mrs. E.D. Harrington, the author of various graceful compositions in verse and prose, is her youngest sister; and Mr. A.A. Locke, a brilliant and elegant writer, for many years connected with the public journals, was her brother. She was a native of Boston, where her father, Mr. Joseph Locke, was a highly accomplished merchant. Her earlier life, however, was passed principally in Hingham, a village of peculiar beauty, well calculated to arouse the dormant poetry of the soul; and here, even in childhood, she became noted for her poetical powers. In their exercise she was rather aided than discouraged by her parents, who were proud of her genius and sympathized with all her aspirations. The unusual merit of some of her first productions attracted the notice of Mrs. Child, who was then editing a Juvenile Miscellany, and who foresaw the reputation which her young contributor afterwards acquired. Employing the nomme de plume of "Florence," she made it widely familiar by her numerous contributions in the Miscellany, as well as, subsequently, for other periodicals.

In 1834, she became acquainted with Mr. S.S. Osgood, the painter—a man of genius in his profession—whose life of various adventure is full of romantic interest; and while, soon after, she was sitting for a portrait, the artist told her his strange vicissitudes by sea and land; how as a sailor-boy he had climbed the dizzy maintop in the storm; how, in Europe he followed with his palette in the track of the flute-playing Goldsmith: and among the

Antres vast and deserts idle,
Rough quarries, rocks, and hills whose heads touch heaven,

[Pg 132]

of South America, had found in pictures of the crucifixion, and of the Liberator Bolivar—the rude productions of his untaught pencil—passports to the hearts of the peasant, the partizan, and the robber. She listened, like the fair Venetian; they were married, and soon after went to London, where Mr. Osgood had sometime before been a pupil of the Royal Academy.

During this residence in the Great Metropolis, which lasted four years, Mr. Osgood was successful in his art—painting portraits of Lord Lyndhurst, Thomas Campbell, Mrs. Norton, and many other distinguished characters, which secured for him an enviable reputation—and Mrs. Osgood made herself known by her contributions to the magazines, by a miniature volume, entitled "The Casket of Fate," and by the collection of her poems published by Edward Churton, in 1839, under the title of "A Wreath of Wild Flowers from New England." She was now about twenty-seven years of age, and this volume contained all her early compositions which then met the approval of her judgment. Among them are many pieces of grace and beauty, such as belong to joyous and hopeful girlhood, and one, of a more ambitious character, under the name of "Elfrida"—a dramatic poem, founded upon incidents in early English history—in which there are signs of more strength and tenderness, and promise of greater achievement, though it is without the unity and proportion necessary to eminent success in this kind of writing.

Among her attached friends here—a circle that included the Hon. Mrs. Norton, Mrs. Hofland, the Rev. Hobart Caunter, Archdeacon Wrangham, the late W. Cooke Taylor, LL.D., and many others known in the various departments of literature—was the most successful dramatist of the age, James Sheridan Knowles, who was so much pleased with "Elfrida," and so confident that her abilities in this line, if duly cultivated, would enable her to win distinction, that he urged upon her the composition of a comedy, promising himself to superintend its production on the stage. She accordingly wrote "The Happy Release, or The Triumphs of Love," a play in three acts, which was accepted, and was to have been brought out as soon as she could change slightly one of the scenes, to suit the views of the manager as to effect, when intelligence of the death of her father suddenly recalled her to the United States, and thoughts of writing for the stage were abandoned for new interests and new pursuits.

Mr. and Mrs. Osgood arrived in Boston early in 1840, and they soon after came to New-York, where they afterward resided; though occasionally absent, as the pursuit of his profession, or ill health, called Mr. Osgood to other parts of the country. Mrs. Osgood was engaged in various literary occupations. She edited, among other books, "The Poetry of Flowers, and Flowers of Poetry," (New-York, 1841,) and "The Floral Offering," (Philadelphia, 1847,) two richly embellished souvenirs; and she was an industrious and very popular writer for the literary magazines and other miscellanies.

She was always of a fragile constitution, easily acted upon by whatever affects health, and in her latter years, except in the more genial seasons of the spring and autumn, was frequently an invalid. In the winter of 1847-8, she suffered more than ever previously, but the next winter she was better, and her husband, who was advised by his physicians to discontinue, for a while, the practice of his profession, availed himself of the opportunity to go in pursuit of health and riches to the mines of the Pacific. He left New-York on the fifth of February, 1849, and was absent one year. Mrs. Osgood's health was variable during the summer, which she passed chiefly at Saratoga Springs, in the company of a family of intimate friends; and as the colder months came on, her strength decayed, so that before the close of November, she was confined to her apartments. She bore her sufferings with resignation, and her natural hopefulness cheered her all the while, with remembrances that she had before come out with the flowers and the embracing airs, and dreams that she would again be in the world with nature. Two or three weeks before her death, her husband carried her in his arms, like a child, to a new home, and she was happier than she had been for months, in the excitement of selecting its furniture, brought in specimens or patterns to her bedside. "We shall be so happy!" was her salutation to the few friends who were admitted to see her; but they saw, and her physicians saw, that her life was ebbing fast, and that she would never never again see the brooks and greens fields for which she pined, nor even any of the apartments but the one she occupied of her own house. I wrote the terrible truth to her, in studiously gentle words, reminding her that in heaven there is richer and more delicious beauty, that there is no discord in the sweet sounds there, no poison in the perfume of the flowers there, and that they know not any sorrow who are with Our Father. She read the brief note almost to the end silently, and then turned upon her pillow like a child, and wept the last tears that were in a fountain which had flowed for every grief but hers she ever knew. "I cannot leave my beautiful home," she said, looking about upon the souvenirs of many an affectionate recollection; "and my noble husband, and Lily and May!" These last are her children. But the sentence was confirmed by other friends, and she resigned herself to the will of God. The next evening but one, a young girl went to amuse her, by making paper flowers for her, and teaching her to make them: and she wrote to her these verses—her dying song:

You've woven roses round my way,
And gladdened all my being;
How much I thank you none can say
Save only the All-seeing....
I'm going through the Eternal gates
Ere June's sweet roses blow;
Death's lovely angel leads me there
And it is sweet to go.

May 7th, 1850.

At the end of five days, in the afternoon of Sunday, the twelfth of May, as gently as one goes to sleep, she withdrew into a better world.

On Tuesday, her remains were removed to Boston, to be interred in the cemetery of Mount Auburn. It was a beautiful day, in the fulness of the spring, mild and calm, and clouded to a solemn shadow. In the morning, as the company of the dead and living started, the birds were singing what seemed to her friends a sadder song than they were wont to sing; and, as the cars flew fast on the long way, the trees bowed their luxuriant foliage, and the flowers in the verdant fields were swung slowly on their stems, filling the air with the gentlest fragrance; and the streams, it was fancied, checked their turbulent speed to move in sympathy, as from the heart of Nature tears might flow for a dead worshipper. God was thanked that all the elements were ordered so, that sweetest in[Pg 133]cense, and such natural music, and reverent aspect of the silent world, should wait upon her, as so many hearts did, in this last journey. She slept all the while, nor waked when, in the evening, in her native city, a few familiar faces bent above her, with difficult looks through tears, and scarcely audible words, to bid farewell to her. On Wednesday she was buried, with some dear ones who had gone before her—beside her mother and her daughter—in that City of Rest, more sacred now than all before had made it, to those whose spirits are attuned to Beauty or to Sorrow—those twin sisters, so rarely parted, until the last has led the first to Heaven.

The character of Mrs. Osgood, to those who were admitted to its more minute observance, illustrated the finest and highest qualities of intelligence and virtue. In her manners, there was an almost infantile gaiety and vivacity, with the utmost simplicity and gentleness, and an unfailing and indefectable grace, that seemed an especial gift of nature, unattainable, and possessed only by her and the creatures of our imaginations whom we call the angels. The delicacy of her organization was such that she had always the quick sensibility of childhood. The magnetism of life was round about her, and her astonishingly impressible faculties were vital in every part, with a polarity toward beauty, all the various and changing rays of which entered into her consciousness, and were refracted in her conversation and action. Though, from the generosity of her nature, exquisitely sensible to applause, she had none of those immoralities of the intellect, which impair the nobleness of impulse—no unworthy pride, or vanity, or selfishness—nor was her will ever swayed from the line of truth, except as the action of the judgment may sometimes have been irregular from the feverish play of feeling. Her friendships were quickly formed, but limited by the number of genial hearts brought within the sphere of her knowledge and sympathy. Probably there was never a woman of whom it might be said more truly that to her own sex she was an object almost of worship. She was looked upon for her simplicity, purity, and childlike want of worldly tact or feeling, with involuntary affection; listened to, for her freshness, grace, and brilliancy, with admiration; and remembered, for her unselfishness, quick sympathy, devotedness, capacity of suffering, and high aspirations, with a sentiment approaching reverence. This regard which she inspired in women was not only shown by the most constant and delicate attentions in society, where she was always the most loved and honored guest, but it is recorded in the letters and other writings of many of her most eminent contemporaries, who saw in her an angel, haply in exile, the sweetness and natural wisdom of whose life elevated her far above all jealousies, and made her the pride and boast and glory of womanhood. Many pages might be filled with their tributes, which seem surely the most heartfelt that mortal ever gave to mortal, but the limits of this sketch of her will suffer only a few and very brief quotations from her correspondence. Unquestionably one of the most brilliant literary women of our time is Miss Clarke, so well known as "Grace Greenwood." She wrote of Mrs. Osgood with no more earnestness than others wrote of her, yet in a letter to the "Home Journal," in 1846, she says:

"And how are the critical Cæsars, one after another, 'giving in' to the graces, and fascinations, and soft enchantments of this Cleopatra of song. She charms lions to sleep, with her silver lute, and then throws around them the delicate net-work of her exquisite fancy, and lo! when they wake, they are well content in their silken prison.

'From the tips of her pen a melody flows,
Sweet as the nightingale sings to the rose.'

"With her beautiful Italian soul—with her impulse, and wild energy, and exuberant fancy, and glowing passionateness—and with the wonderful facility with which, like an almond-tree casting off its blossoms, she flings abroad her heart-tinted and love-perfumed lays, she has, I must believe, more of the improvisatrice than has yet been revealed by any of our gifted countrywomen now before the people. Heaven bless her, and grant her ever, as now, to have laurels on her brows, and to browse on her laurels! Were I the President of these United States, I would immortalize my brief term of office by the crowning of our Corinna, at the Capitol."

And about the same period, having been introduced to her, she referred to the event:

"It seems like a 'pleasant vision of the night' that I have indeed seen 'the idol of my early dreams,' that I have been within the charmed circle of her real presence, sat by her very side, and lovingly watched the shadow of each feeling that moved her soul, glance o'er that radiant face!'"

And writing to her:

"Dear Mrs. Osgood, let me lay this sweet weight off my heart—look down into my eyes—believe me—long, long before we met, I loved you, with a strange, almost passionate love. You were my literary idol: I repeated some of your poems so often, that their echo never had time to die away; your earlier, bird-like warblings so chimed in with the joyous beatings of my heart, that it seemed it could not throb without them; and when you raised 'your lightning glance to heaven,' and sang your loftiest song, the liquid notes fell upon my soul like baptismal waters. With an 'intense and burning,' almost unwomanly ambition, I have still joyed in your success, and gloried in your glory; and all because Love laid its reproving finger on the lip of Envy. I cannot tell you how much this romantic interest has deepened,

Now I have looked upon thy face,
Have felt thy twining arms' embrace,
Thy very bosom's swell;—
One moment leaned this brow of mine
On song's sweet source, and love's pure shrine,
And music's 'magic cell!"

Another friend of hers, Miss Hunter, whose pleasing contributions to our literature are well known, probably on account of some misapprehension, had not visited her for several months, but hearing of her illness she wrote:

"Learning this, by chance, I have summoned courage once more to address you—overcoming my fear of being intrusive, and offering as my apology the simple assertion that it is my heart prompts me. Till to-day pride has checked me: but you are 'very ill,' and I can no longer resist the impulse. With the assurance that I will never again trouble you, that now I neither ask nor expect the slightest response, suffer me thus to steal to your presence, to sit beside your bed, and for the last time to speak of a love that has followed you through months of separation, rejoicing when you have rejoiced, and mourning when you have mourned. You know how, from childhood, I have worshipped you, that since our first meeting you have been my idol, the realization of my dreams; and do not suppose that because I have failed to inspire you with a lasting interest, I shall ever feel for you a less deep or less fervent devotion. The blame or misfortune of our estrangement I have always regarded as only mine. I know I have seemed indifferent when I panted for expression. You have thought me unsympathizing when my every nerve thrilled to your words. I have lived in comparative seclusion; I have an unconquerable reserve, induced by such an experience; and when I have been with you my soul has had no voice.

"The time has been when I could not bear the thought of never regaining your friendship in this world—when I would say 'The years! oh, the years of this earth-life, that must pass so slowly!' And when I saw any new poem of yours, I experienced the most sad emotions,—every word I read was so like you, it seemed as if you had passed through the room, speaking to others near me kindly, but regarding me coldly, or not seeing me. But one day I read in a book by Miss Bremer, 'It is a sad experience, who can describe its bitterness! when we see the friend, on whom we have built for eternity, grow cold, and become lost to us. But believe it not, thou loving, sorrowing soul—believe it not! continue thyself only, and the moment will come when thy friend will return to thee.[Pg 134] Yes, there, where all delusions cease, thy friend will find thee gain, in a higher light,—will acknowledge thee and unite herself to thee forever.' And I took this assurance to my heart.... We may meet in heaven, if not here. I shall not go see you, though my heart is wrung by this intelligence of your illness. So good-bye, darling! May good angels who have power to bless you, linger around your pillow with as much love as I shall feel for you forever.

"March 6, 1850."

I have been permitted to transcribe this letter, and among Mrs. Osgood's papers that have been confided to me are very many such, evincing a devotion from women that could have been won only by the most angelic qualities of intellect and feeling.

It was the custom in the last century, when there was among authors more of the esprit du corps than now, for poets to greet each other's appearance in print with complimental verses, celebrating the qualities for which the seeker after bays was most distinguished. Thus in 1729, we find the Omnium Opera of John Duke of Buckingham prefaced by "testimonials of authors concerning His Grace and his writings;" and the names of Garth, Roscommon, Dryden, and Prior, are among his endorsers. There have been a few instances of the kind in this country, of which the most noticeable is that of Cotton Mather, in whose Magnalia there is a curious display of erudition and poetical ingenuity, in gratulatory odes. The literary journals of the last few years furnish many such tributes to Mrs. Osgood, which are interesting to her friends for their illustration of the personal regard in which she was held. I cannot quote them here; they alone would fill a volume, as others might be filled with the copies of verses privately addressed to her, all through her life, from the period when, like a lovely vision, she first beamed upon society, till that last season, in which the salutations in assemblies she had frequented were followed by saddest inquiries for the absent and dying poetess. They but repeat, with more or less felicity, the graceful praise of Mrs. Hewitt, in a poem upon her portrait:

She dwells amid the world's dark ways
Pure as in childhood's hours;
And all her thoughts are poetry,
And all her words are flowers.

Or that of another, addressed to her:

Thou wouldst be loved? then let thy heart
From its present pathway part not!
Being everything, which now thou art,
Be nothing which thou art not.
So with the world thy gentle ways,
Thy grace, thy more than beauty,
Shall be an endless theme of praise,
And love—a simple duty.

Among men, generally, such gentleness and sweetness of temper, joined to such grace and wit, could not fail of making her equally beloved and admired. She was the keeper of secrets, the counsellor in difficulties, the ever wise missionary and industrious toiler, for all her friends. She would brave any privation to alleviate another's sufferings; she never spoke ill of any one; and when others assailed, she was the most prompt of all in generous argument. An eminent statesman having casually met her in Philadelphia, afterward described her to a niece of his who was visiting that city:

"If you have opportunity do not fail to become acquainted with Mrs. Osgood. I have never known such a woman. She continually surprised me by the strength and subtlety of her understanding, in which I looked for only sportiveness and delicacy. She is entirely a child of nature and Mrs. ——, who introduced me to her, and who has known her many years I believe, very intimately, declares that she is an angel. Persuade her to Washington, and promise her everything you and all of us can do for her pleasure here."

For her natural gaiety, her want of a certain worldly tact, and other reasons, the determinations she sometimes formed that she would be a housekeeper, were regarded as fit occasions of jesting, and among the letters sent to her when once she ventured upon the ambitious office, is one by her early and always devoted friend, Governor ——, in which we have glimpses of her domestic qualities:

"It is not often that I waste fine paper in writing to people who do not think me worth answering. I generally reserve my 'ornamental hand' for those who return two letters for my one. But you are an exception to all rules,—and when I heard that you were about to commence housekeeping, I could not forbear sending a word of congratulation and encouragement. I have long thought that your eminently practical turn of mind, my dear friend, would find congenial employment in superintending an 'establishment.' What a house you will keep! nothing out of place, from garret to cellar—dinner always on the table at the regular hour—everything like clock-work—and wo to the servant who attempts to steal anything from your store-room! wo to the butcher who attempts to impose upon you a bad joint, or the grocer who attempts to cheat you in the weight of sugar! Such things never will do with you! When I first heard of your project, I thought it must be Ellen or May going to play housekeeping with their baby-things, but on a moment's reflection I was convinced that you knew more about managing for a family than either of them—certainly more than May, and I think, upon the whole, more than even Ellen! Let Mr. Osgood paint you with a bunch of keys in your belt, and do send me a daguerreotype of yourself the day after you are installed."

She was not indeed fitted for such cares, or for any routine, and ill health and the desire of freedom prevented her again making such an attempt until she finally entered "her own home" to die.

There was a very intimate relation between Mrs. Osgood's personal and her literary characteristics. She has frequently failed of justice, from critics but superficially acquainted with her works, because they have not been able to understand how a mind capable of the sparkling and graceful trifles, illustrating an exhaustless fancy and a natural melody of language, with which she amused society in moments of half capricious gaiety or tenderness, could produce a class of compositions which demand imagination and passion. In considering this subject, it should not be forgotten that these attributes are here to be regarded as in their feminine development.

Mrs. Osgood was, perhaps, as deserving as any one of whom we read in literary history, of the title of improvisatrice. Her beautiful songs, displaying so truly the most delicate lights and shadows of woman's heart, and surprising by their unity, completeness, and rhythmical perfection, were written with almost the fluency of conversation. The secret of this was in the wonderful sympathy between her emotions and faculties, both of exquisite sensibility, and subject to the influences of whatever has power upon the subtler and diviner qualities of human nature. Her facility in invention, in the use of poetical language, and in giving form to every airy dream or breath of passion, was astonishing. It is most true of men, that no one has ever attained to the highest reach of his capacities in any art—and least of all in poetry—without labor—without the application of the "second thought," after the frenzy of the divine afflatus is passed—in giving polish and shapely grace. The imagination is the servant of the reason; the creative faculties present their triumphs to the constructive—and the seal to the attainable is set, by every one, in repose and meditation. But this is scarcely a law of the feminine intelli[Pg 135]gence, which, when really endowed with genius, is apt to move spontaneously, and at once, with its greatest perfection. Certainly, Mrs. Osgood disclaimed the wrestling of thought with expression. For the most part her poems cost her as little effort or reflection, as the epigram or touching sentiment that summoned laughter or tears to the group about her in the drawing-room.

She was indifferent to fame; she sung simply in conformity to a law of her existence; and perhaps this want of interest was the cause not only of the most striking faults in her compositions, but likewise of the common ignorance of their variety and extent. Accustomed from childhood to the use of the pen—resorting to it through a life continually exposed to the excitements of gaiety and change, or the depressions of affliction and care, she strewed along her way with a prodigality almost unexampled the choicest flowers of feeling: left them unconsidered and unclaimed in the repositories of friendship, or under fanciful names, which she herself had forgotten, in newspapers and magazines,—in which they were sure to be recognised by some one, and so the purpose of their creation fulfilled. It was therefore very difficult to make any such collection of her works as justly to display her powers and their activity; and the more so, that those effusions of hers which were likely to be most characteristic, and of the rarest excellence, were least liable to exposure in printed forms, by the friends, widely scattered in Europe and America, for whom they were written. But notwithstanding these disadvantages, the works of Mrs. Osgood with which we are acquainted, are more voluminous than those of Mrs. Hemans or Mrs. Norton.[8] Besides the "Wreath of Wild Flowers from New England," which appeared during her residence in London, a collection of her poems in one volume was published in New York in 1846; and in 1849, Mr. Hart, of Philadelphia, gave to the public, in a large octavo illustrated by our best artists and equalling or surpassing in its tasteful and costly style any work before issued from the press of this country, the most complete and judiciously edited collection of them that has appeared. This edition, however, contains less than half of her printed pieces which she acknowledged; and among those which are omitted are a tragedy, a comedy, a great number of piquant and ingenious vers de societe, and several sacred pieces, which strike us as among the best writings of their kind in our literature, which in this department, we may admit, is more distinguishable for the profusion than for the quality of its fruits.

[8] Besides the books by her which have been referred to, she published The Language of Gems, (London); The Snow Drop, (Providence); Puss in Boots, (New York); Cries of New York, (New York); The Flower Alphabet, (Boston); The Rose: Sketches in Verse, (Providence); A Letter About the Lions, addressed to Mabel in the Country, (New York). The following list of her prose tales, sketches, and essays, is probably very incomplete: A Day in New England; A Crumpled Rose Leaf; Florence Howard; Ida Gray; Florence Errington; A Match for the Matchmaker; Mary Evelyn; Once More; Athenais; The Wife; The Little Lost Shoe; The Magic Lute; Feeling vs. Beauty; The Doom; The Flower and Gem; The Coquette; The Soul Awakened; Glimpses of a Soul, (in three parts); Lizzie Lincoln; Dora's Reward; Waste Paper; Newport Tableaux; Daguerreotype Pictures; Carry Carlisle; Valentine's Day; The Lady's Shadow; Truth; Virginia; The Waltz and the Wager; The Poet's Metamorphosis; Pride and Penitence; Mabel; Pictures from a Painter's Life; Georgiana Hazleton; A Sketch; Kate Melbourne; Life in New York; Leonora L'Estrange; The Magic Mirror; The Blue Belle; and Letters of Kate Carol, (a series of sketches of men, women and books;) contributed for the most part to Mr. Labree's Illustrated Magazine.

Mrs. Osgood's definition of poetry, that it is the rhythmical creation of beauty, is as old as Sydney; and though on some grounds objectionable, it is, perhaps, on the whole, as just as any that the critics have given us. An intelligent examination, in the light of this principle, of what she accomplished, will, it is believed, show that she was, in the general, of the first rank of female poets; while in her special domain, of the Poetry of the Affections, she had scarcely a rival among women or men. As Pinckney said,

Affections were as thoughts to her, the measure of her hours—
Her feelings had the fragrancy and freshness of young flowers.

Of love, she sung with tenderness and delicacy, a wonderful richness of fancy, and rhythms that echo all the cadences of feeling. From the arch mockery of the triumphant and careless conqueror, to the most passionate prayer of the despairing, every variety and height and depth of hope and fear and bliss and pain is sounded, in words that move us to a solitary lute or a full orchestra of a thousand voices; and with an abandon, as suggestive of genuineness as that which sometimes made the elder Kean seem "every inch a king." It is not to be supposed that all these caprices are illustrations of the experiences of the artist, in the case of the poet any more than in that of the actor: by an effort of the will, they pass with the liberties of genius into their selected realms, assume their guises, and discourse their language. If ever there were

—Depths of tenderness which showed when woke,
That woman there as well as angel spoke,

they are not to be looked for in the printed specimens of woman's genius. Mrs. Osgood guarded herself against such criticism, by a statement in her preface, that many of her songs and other verses were written to appear in prose sketches and stories, and were expressions of feeling suitable to the persons and incidents with which they were at first connected.

In this last edition, to which only reference will be made in these paragraphs, her works are arranged under the divisions of Miscellaneous Poems—embracing, with such as do not readily admit another classification, her most ambitious and sustained compositions; Sacred Poems—among which, "The Daughter of Herodias," the longest, is remarkable for melodious versification and distinct painting: Tales and Ballads—all distinguished for a happy play of fancy, and two or three for the fruits of such creative energy as belongs to the first order of poetical intelligences; Floral Fancies—which display a gaiety and grace, an ingenuity of allegory, and elegant refinement of language, that illustrate her fairy-like delicacy of mind and purity of feeling; and Songs—of which we shall offer some particular observations in their appropriate order. Scattered through the book we have a few poems for children, so perfect in their way as to induce regret that she gave so little attention to a kind of writing in which few are really successful, and in which she is scarcely equalled.

The volume opens with a brief voluntary, which is followed by a beautiful and touching address to The Spirit of Poetry, displaying the perfection of her powers, and her consciousness that they had been too much neglected while ministering more than all things else to her happiness. If ever from her heart she poured a passionate song, it was this, and these concluding lines of it admit us to the sacredest experiences of her life:

Leave me not yet! Leave me not cold and lonely,
Thou star of promise o'er my clouded path!
Leave not the life that borrows from thee only
All of delight and beauty that it hath![Pg 136]
Thou that, when others knew not how to love me,
Nor cared to fathom half my yearning soul,
Didst wreathe thy flowers of light around, above me,
To woo and win me from my grief's control:
By all my dreams, the passionate and holy,
When thou hast sung love's lullaby to me,
By all the childlike worship, fond and lowly,
Which I have lavish'd upon thine and thee:
By all the lays my simple lute was learning
To echo from thy voice, stay with me still!
Once flown—alas! for thee there's no returning!
The charm will die o'er valley, wood and hill.
Tell me not Time, whose wing my brow has shaded,
Has wither'd Spring's sweet bloom within my heart;
Ah, no! the rose of love is yet unfaded,
Though hope and joy, its sister flowers, depart.
Well do I know that I have wrong'd thine altar,
With the light offerings of an idler's mind,
And thus, with shame, my pleading prayer I falter,
Leave me not, spirit! deaf, and dumb, and blind!
Deaf to the mystic harmony of nature,
Blind to the beauty of her stars and flowers;
Leave me not, heavenly yet human teacher,
Lonely and lost in this cold world of ours;
Heaven knows I need thy music and thy beauty
Still to beguile me on my dreary way,
To lighten to my soul the cares of duty,
And bless with radiant dreams the darken'd day;
To charm my wild heart in the worldly revel,
Lest I, too, join the aimless, false and vain.
Let me not lower to the soulless level
Of those whom now I pity and disdain!
Leave me not yet!—Leave me not cold and pining,
Thou bird of Paradise, whose plumes of light,
Where'er they rested, left a glory shining—
Fly not to heaven, or let me share thy flight!

After this comes one of her most poetical compositions, "Ermengarde's Awakening," in which, with even more than her usual felicity of diction, she has invested with mortal passion a group from the Pantheon. It is too long to be quoted here, but as an example of her manner upon a similar subject, and in the same rhythm, we copy the poem of "Eurydice:"

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

This is a noble poem, with too many interjections, and occasional redundancies of imagery and epithet, betraying the author's customary haste: but with unquestionable signs of that genuineness which is the best attraction of the literature of sentiment. The longest and more sustained of Mrs. Osgood's compositions is one entitled "Fragments of an Unfinished Story" in which she has exhibited such a skill in blank verse—frequently regarded as the easiest, but really the most difficult of any—as induces regret that she so seldom made use of it. We have here a masterly contrast of character in the equally natural expressions of feeling by the two principal persons, both of whom are women: the haughty Ida, and the impulsive child of passion, Imogen. It displays in eminent perfection, that dramatic faculty which Sheridan Knowles and the late William Cooke Taylor recognised as the most striking in the composition of her genius. She had long meditated, and in her mind had perfectly arranged, a more extended poem than she has left to us, upon Music. It was to be in this measure, except some lyrical interludes, and she was so confident of succeeding in it, that she deemed all she had written of comparatively little worth. "These," she said to me one day, pointing to the proof-leaves of the new edition of her poems, "these are my 'Miscellaneous Verses:' let us get them out of the way, and never think of them again, as the public never will when they have my poem!" And her friends who heard the splendid scheme of her imagination, did not doubt that when it should be clothed with the rich tissues of her fancy, it would be all she dreamed of, and vindicate all that they themselves were fond of saying of her powers. It was while her life was fading; and no one else can grasp the shining threads, or weave them into song, such as she heard lips, touched with divinest fire, far along in the ages, repeating with her name. This was not vanity, or a low ambition. She lingered, with subdued and tearful joy, when all the living and the present seemed to fail her, upon the pages of the elect of genius, and was happiest when she thought some words of hers might lift a sad soul from a sea of sorrow.

It was perhaps the key-note of that unwritten poem, which she sounded in these verses upon its subject, composed while the design most occupied her attention:

The Father spake! In grand reverberations
Through space roll'd on the mighty music-tide,
While to its low, majestic modulations,
The clouds of chaos slowly swept aside.
The Father spake: a dream that had been lying
Hush'd, from eternity, in silence there,
Heard the pure melody, and low replying,
Grew to that music in the wondering air[Pg 137]
Grew to that music—slowly, grandly waking—
Till, bathed in beauty, it became a world!
Led by his voice, its spheric pathway taking,
While glorious clouds their wings around it furl'd.
Nor yet has ceased that sound, his love revealing,
Though, in response, a universe moves by;
Throughout eternity its echo pealing,
World after world awakes in glad reply.
And wheresoever, in his grand creation,
Sweet music breathes—in wave, or bird, or soul—
'Tis but the faint and far reverberation
Of that great tune to which the planets roll.

Mrs. Osgood produced something in almost every form of poetical composition, but the necessary limits of this article permit but few illustrations of the variety or perfectness of her capacities. The examples given here, even if familiar, will possess a new interest now; and no one will read them without a feeling of sadness that she who wrote them died so young, just as the fairest flowers of her genius were unfolding. One of the most exquisite pieces she had written in the last few years, is entitled "Calumny," and we know not where to turn for anything more delicately beautiful than the manner in which the subject is treated.

A whisper woke the air,
A soft, light tone, and low,
Yet barbed with shame and wo.
Ah! might it only perish there,
Nor farther go!
But no! a quick and eager ear
Caught up the little, meaning sound;
Another voice has breathed it clear;
And so it wandered round
From ear to lip, and lip to ear,
Until it reached a gentle heart
That throbbed from all the world apart,
And that—it broke!
It was the only heart it found,
The only heart 't was meant to find,
When first its accents woke.
It reached that gentle heart at last,
And that—it broke!
Low as it seemed to other ears,
It came a thunder-crash to hers
That fragile girl, so fair and gay.
'Tis said a lovely humming bird,
That dreaming in a lily lay,
Was killed but by the gun's report
Some idle boy had fired in sport—
So exquisitely frail its frame,
The very sound a death-blow came—
And thus her heart, unused to shame,
Shrined in its lily too,
(For who the maid that knew,
But owned the delicate, flower-like grace
Of her young form and face!)—
Her light and happy heart, that beat
With love and hope so fast and sweet,
When first that cruel word it heard,
It fluttered like a frightened bird—
Then shut its wings and sighed,
And, with a silent shudder, died!

In some countries this would, perhaps, be the most frequently quoted of the author's effusions; but here, the terse and forcible piece under the title of "Laborare est Orare," will be admitted to all collections of poetical specimens; and it deserves such popularity, for a combination as rare as it is successful of common sense with the form and spirit of poetry:

Pause not to dream of the future before us;
Pause not to weep the wild cares that come o'er us;
Hark, how Creation's deep musical chorus,
Unintermitting, goes up into heaven!
Never the ocean-wave falters in flowing;
Never the little seed stops in its growing;
More and more richly the rose-heart keeps glowing,
Till from its nourishing stem it is riven.
"Labor is worship!"—the robin is singing;
"Labor is worship!"—the wild bee is ringing;
Listen! that eloquent whisper upspringing
Speaks to thy soul from out nature's great heart.
From the dark cloud flows the life-giving shower;
From the rough sod blows the soft-breathing flower;
From the small insect, the rich coral bower;
Only man, in the plan, shrinks from his part.
Labor is life! 'Tis the still water faileth;
Idleness ever despaireth, bewaileth;
Keep the watch wound, for the dark rust assaileth;
Flowers droop and die in the stillness of noon.
Labor is glory!—the flying cloud lightens;
Only the waving wing changes and brightens;
Idle hearts only the dark future frightens;
Play the sweet keys, wouldst thou keep them in tune!
Labor is rest—from the sorrows that greet us;
Rest from all petty vexations that meet us,
Rest from sin-promptings that ever entreat us,
Rest from world-syrens that lure us to ill.
Work—and pure slumbers shall wait on thy pillow;
Work—thou shalt ride over Care's coming billow;
Lie not down wearied 'neath Woe's weeping willow;
Work with a stout heart and resolute will!
Labor is health! Lo! the husbandman reaping,
How through his veins goes the life current leaping!
How his strong arm, in its stalwart pride sweeping,
True as a sunbeam the swift sickle guides.
Labor is wealth—in the sea the pearl groweth;
Rich the queen's robe from the frail cocoon floweth;
From the fine acorn the strong forest bloweth;
Temple and statue the marble block hides.
Droop not, tho' shame, sin, and anguish are round thee!
Bravely fling off the cold chain that hath bound thee;
Look to yon pure heaven smiling beyond thee;
Rest not content in they darkness—a clod!
Work—for some good, be it ever so slowly;
Cherish some flower, be it ever so lowly;
Labor!—all labor is noble and holy;
Let thy great deeds be thy prayer to thy God.

In fine contrast with this is the description of a "Dancing Girl," written in a longer poem, addressed to her sister soon after her arrival in London, in the autumn of 1834. It is as graceful as the vision it brings so magically before us:

She comes—the spirit of the dance!
And but for those large, eloquent eyes,
Where passion speaks in every glance,
She'd seem a wanderer from the skies.
So light that, gazing breathless there,
Lest the celestial dream should go,
You'd think the music in the air
Waved the fair vision to and fro!
Or that the melody's sweet flow
Within the radiant creature play'd
And those soft wreathing arms of snow
And white sylph feet the music made.
Now gliding slow with dreamy grace,
Her eyes beneath their lashes lost;
Now motionless, with lifted face,
And small hands on her bosom cross'd.
And now with flashing eyes she springs,
Her whole bright figure raised in air,
As if her soul had spread its wings
And poised her one wild instant there!
She spoke not; but, so richly fraught
With language are her glance and smile,
That, when the curtain fell, I thought
She had been talking all the while.

In illustration of what we have said of Mrs. Osgood's delineations of refined sentiment, we refer to the poems from pages one hundred and eleven to one hundred and thirty-one, willing to rest upon them our praises of her genius. It may be accidental, but they seem to have an epic relation, and to constitute one continuous history, finished with uncommon elegance and glowing with a beauty which has its inspiration in a deeper profound than was ever penetrated by messengers of the brain. The third of these glimpses of heart-life—all having the same air of sad reality—exhibits, with a fidelity and a peculiar power which is never attained in such descriptions by men, the struggle of a pure and passionate nature with a hopeless affection:

Had we but met in life's delicious spring,
When young romance made Eden of the world;
When bird-like Hope was ever on the wing,
(In thy dear breast how soon had it been furled!)
Had we but met when both our hearts were beating
With the wild joy, the guileless love of youth—
Thou a proud boy, with frank and ardent greeting,
And I a timid girl, all trust and truth!—
Ere yet my pulse's light, elastic play
Had learn'd the weary weight of grief to know,
Ere from these eyes had passed the morning ray,
And from my cheek the early rose's glow;—
Had we but met in life's delicious spring,
Ere wrong and falsehood taught me doubt and fear,
Ere Hope came back with worn and wounded wing,
To die upon the heart it could not cheer;
Ere I love's precious pearl had vainly lavish'd,
Pledging an idol deaf to my despair;
Ere one by one the buds and blooms were ravish'd
From life's rich garland by the clasp of Care.
Ah! had we then but met!—I dare not listen
To the wild whispers of my fancy now!
My full heart beats—my sad, droop'd lashes glisten—
I hear the music of thy boyhood's vow![Pg 138]
I see thy dark eyes lustrous with love's meaning,
I feel thy dear hand softly clasp mine own—
Thy noble form is fondly o'er me leaning—
It is too much—but ah! the dream has flown.
How had I pour'd this passionate heart's devotion
In voiceless rapture on thy manly breast!
How had I hush'd each sorrowful emotion,
Lull'd by thy love to sweet, untroubled rest.
How had I knelt hour after hour beside thee,
When from thy lips the rare scholastic lore
Fell on the soul that all but deified thee,
While at each pause I, childlike, pray'd for more.
How had I watch'd the shadow of each feeling,
That mov'd thy soul-glance o'er that radiant face,
"Taming my wild heart" to that dear revealing,
And glorifying in thy genius and thy grace!
Then hadst thou loved me with a love abiding,
And I had now been less unworthy thee,
For I was generous, guileless, and confiding,
A frank enthusiast, buoyant, fresh, and free!
But now—my loftiest aspirations perish'd,
My holiest hopes a jest for lips profane,
The tenderest yearnings of my soul uncherish'd,
A soul-worn slave in Custom's iron chain:
Check'd by these ties that make my lightest sigh,
My faintest blush, at thought of thee, a crime—
How must I still my heart, and school my eye,
And count in vain the slow dull steps of Time!
Wilt thou come back? Ah! what avails to ask thee
Since honor, faith, forbid thee to return!
Yet to forgetfulness I dare not task thee,
Lest thou too soon that easy lesson learn!
Ah! come not back, love! even through Memory's ear
Thy tone's melodious murmur thrills my heart—
Come not with that fond smile, so frank, so dear;
While yet we may, let us for ever part!

The passages commencing, "Thank God, I glory in thy love;" "Ah, let our love be still a folded flower;" "Believe me, 'tis no pang of jealous pride;" "We part forever: silent be our parting;" are in the same measure, and in perfect keeping, but evince a still deeper emotion and greater pathos and power. We copy the closing cantatas, "To Sleep," and "A Weed"—a prayer and a prophecy—in which the profoundest sorrow is displayed with touching simplicity and unaffected earnestness. First, to Death's gentle sister:

Come to me, angel of the weary hearted;
Since they, my loved ones, breathed upon by thee,
Unto thy realms unreal have departed,
I, too, may rest—even I; ah! haste to me.
I dare not bid thy darker, colder brother
With his more welcome offering, appear,
For these sweet lips, at morn, will murmur, "Mother,"
And who shall soothe them if I be not near?
Bring me no dream, dear Sleep, though visions glowing
With hues of heaven thy wand enchanted shows;
I ask no glorious boon of thy bestowing,
Save that most true, most beautiful—repose.
I have no heart to rove in realms of Faery—
To follow Fancy at her elfin call;
I am too wretched—too soul-worn and weary;
Give me but rest, for rest to me is all.
Paint not the future to my fainting spirit,
Though it were starr'd with glory like the skies;
There is no gift that mortals may inherit
That could rekindle hope in these cold eyes.
And for the Past—the fearful Past—ah! never
Be Memory's downcast gaze unveil'd by thee;
Would thou couldst bring oblivion forever
Of all that is, that has been, and will be!

And more mournful still, the dream of the after days:

When from our northern woods pale summer flying,
Breathes her last fragrant sigh—her low farewell—
While her sad wild flowers' dewy eyes, in dying,
Plead for her stay, in every nook and dell.
A heart that loved too tenderly and truly,
Will break at last; and in some dim, sweet shade,
They'll smooth the sod o'er her you prized unduly,
And leave her to the rest for which she pray'd.
Ah! trustfully, not mournfully, they'll leave her,
Assured that deep repose is welcomed well;
The pure, glad breeze can whisper naught to grieve her;
The brook's low voice no wrongful tale can tell.
They'll hide her where no false one's footsteps, stealing,
Can mar the chasten'd meekness of her sleep;
Only to Love and Grief her grave revealing,
And they will hush their chiding then—to weep!
And some, (for though too oft she err'd, too blindly,
She was beloved—how fondly and how well!)—
Some few, with faltering feet, will linger kindly,
And plant dear flowers within that silent dell.
I know whose fragile hand will bring the bloom
Best loved by both—the violet's—to that bower;
And one will bid white lilies bless the gloom;
And one, perchance, will plant the passion flower;
Then do thou come, when all the rest have parted—
Thou, who alone dost know her soul's deep gloom!
And wreathe above the lost, the broken-hearted,
Some idle weed, that knew not how to bloom.

We pass from these painful but exquisitely beautiful displays of sensitive feeling and romantic fancy, to pieces exhibiting Mrs. Osgood's more habitual spirit of arch playfulness and graceful invention, scattered through the volume, and constituting a class of compositions in which she is scarcely approachable. The "Lover's List," is one of her shorter ballads:

"Come sit on this bank so shady,
Sweet Evelyn, sit with me!
And count me your loves, fair lady—
How many may they be?"
The maiden smiled on her lover,
And traced with her dimpled hand,
Of names a dozen and over
Down in the shining sand.
"And now," said Evelyn, rising,
"Sir Knight! your own, if you please;
And if there be no disguising,
The list will outnumber these;
"Then count me them truly, rover!"
And the noble knight obeyed;
And of names a dozen and over
He traced within the shade.
Fair Evelyn pouted proudly;
She sighed "Will he never have done?"
And at last she murmur'd loudly,
"I thought he would write but one!"
"Now read," said the gay youth, rising;
"The scroll—it is fair and free;
In truth, there is no disguising
That list is the world to me!"
She read it with joy and wonder,
For the first was her own sweet name;
And again and again written under,
It was still—it was still the same!
It began with—"My Evelyn fairest!"
It ended with—"Evelyn best!"
And epithets fondest and dearest
Were lavished between on the rest.
There were tears in the eyes of the lady
As she swept with her delicate hand,
On the river-bank cool and shady,
The list she had traced in the sand.
There were smiles on the lip of the maiden
As she turned to her knight once more,
And the heart was with joy o'erladen
That was heavy with doubt before!

And for its lively movement and buoyant feeling—equally characteristic of her genius—the following song, upon "Lady Jane," a favorite horse:

Oh! saw ye e'er creature so queenly, so fine,
As this dainty, aerial darling of mine!
With a toss of her mane, that is glossy as jet,
With a dance and a prance, and a frolic curvet,
She is off! she is stepping superbly away!
Her dark, speaking eye full of pride and of play.
Oh! she spurns the dull earth with a graceful disdain,
My fearless, my peerless, my loved Lady Jane!
Her silken ears lifted when danger is nigh,
How kindles the night in her resolute eye!
Now stately she paces, as if to the sound
Of a proud, martial melody playing around,
Now pauses at once, 'mid a light caracole,
To turn her mild glance on me beaming with soul;
Now fleet as a fairy, she speeds o'er the plain,
My darling, my treasure, my own Lady Jane!
Give her rein! let her go! Like a shaft from a bow,
Like a bird on the wing, she is speeding, I trow—
Light of heart, lithe of limb, with a spirit all fire,
Yet sway'd and subdued by my idlest desire—
Though daring, yet docile, and sportive but true,
Her nature's the noblest that ever I knew.
How she flings back her head, in her dainty disdain!
My beauty, my graceful, my gay Lady Jane!

It is among the one hundred and thirteen songs, of which this is one, and which form the last division of her poems, that we have the greatest varieties of rhythm, cadence, and expression; and it is here too that we have, perhaps, the most clear and natural exhibitions of that class of emotions which she conceives with such wonderful truth. The prevailing characteristic of these pieces is a native and delicate raillery, piquant by wit, and poetical by the freshest and gracefullest fancies; but they are frequently marked by much tenderness of sentiment, and by boldness and beauty of imagination. They are in some instances without[Pg 139] that singleness of purpose, that unity and completeness, which ought invariably to distinguish this sort of compositions, but upon the whole it must be considered that Mrs. Osgood was remarkably successful in the song. The fulness of our extracts from other parts of the volume will prevent that liberal illustration of her excellence in this which would be as gratifying to the reader as to us; and we shall transcribe but a few specimens, which, by various felicities of language, and a pleasing delicacy of sentiment, will detain the admiration:

Oh! would I were only a spirit of song,
I'd float forever around, above you:
If I were a spirit, it wouldn't be wrong,
It couldn't be wrong, to love you!
I'd hide in the light of a moonbeam bright,
I'd sing Love's lullaby softly o'er you,
I'd bring rare visions of pure delight
From the land of dreams before you.
Oh! if I were only a spirit of song,
I'd float forever around, above you,
For a musical spirit could never do wrong,
And it wouldn't be wrong to love you!

The next, an exquisitely beautiful song, suggests its own music:

She loves him yet!
I know by the blush that rises
Beneath the curls
That shadow her soul-lit cheek;
She loves him yet!
Through all Love's sweet disguises
In timid girls,
A blush will be sure to speak.
But deeper signs
Than the radiant blush of beauty,
The maiden finds,
Whenever his name is heard;
Her young heart thrills,
Forgetting herself—her duty—
Her dark eye fills,
And her pulse with hope is stirr'd.
She loves him yet!—
The flower the false one gave her,
When last he came,
Is still with her wild tears wet.
She'll ne'er forget,
Howe'er his faith may waver,
Through grief and shame,
Believe it—she loves him yet.
His favorite songs
She will sing—she heeds no other;
With all her wrongs
Her life on his love is set.
Oh! doubt no more!
She never can wed another;
Till life be o'er,
She loves—she will love him yet!

And this is not less remarkable for a happy adaptation of sentiment to the sound:

Low, my lute—breathe low!—She sleeps!—
While his watch her lover keeps,
Soft and dewy slumber steeps
Golden tress and fringed lid
With the blue heaven 'neath it hid—
Low my lute—breathe low!—She sleeps!—
Let thy music, light and low,
Through her pure dream come and go.
Lute on Love! with silver flow,
All my passion, all my wo,
Speak for me!
Ask her in her balmy rest
Whom her holy heart loves best!
Ask her if she thinks of me!—
Low, my lute!—breathe low!—She sleeps!—
Slumber while thy lover keeps
Fondest watch and ward for thee,

The following evinces a deeper feeling, and has a corresponding force and dignity in its elegance:—

Yes, "lower to the level"
Of those who laud thee now!
Go, join the joyous revel,
And pledge the heartless vow!
Go, dim the soul-born beauty
That lights that lofty brow!
Fill, fill the bowl! let burning wine
Drown in thy soul Love's dream divine!
Yet when the laugh is lightest,
When wildest goes the jest,
When gleams the goblet brightest,
And proudest heaves thy breast,
And thou art madly pledging
Each gay and jovial guest—
A ghost shall glide amid the flowers—
The shade of Love's departed hours!
And thou shalt shrink in sadness
From all the splendor there,
And curse the revel's gladness,
And hate the banquet's glare;
And pine, 'mid Passion's madness
For true love's purer air,
And feel thou'dst give their wildest glee
For one unsullied sigh from me!
Yet deem not this my prayer, love,
Ah! no, if I could keep
Thy alter'd heart from care, love,
And charm its griefs to sleep,
Mine only should despair, love,
I—I alone would weep!
I—I alone would mourn the flowers
That fade in Love's deserted bowers!

Among her poems are many which admit us to the sacredest recesses of the mother's heart: "To a Child Playing with a Watch," "To Little May Vincent," "To Ellen, Learning to Walk," and many others, show the almost wild tenderness with which she loved her two surviving daughters—one thirteen, and the other eleven years of age now;—and a "Prayer in Illness," in which she besought God to "take them first," and suffer her to lie at their feet in death, lest, deprived of her love, they should be subjected to all the sorrow she herself had known in the world, is exquisitely beautiful and touching. Her parents, her brothers, her sisters, her husband, her children, were the deities of her tranquil and spiritual worship, and she turned to them in every vicissitude of feeling, for hope and strength and repose. "Lilly" and "May," were objects of a devotion too sacred for any idols beyond the threshold, and we witness it not as something obtruded upon the outer world, but as a display of beautified and dignified humanity which is among the ministries appointed to be received for the elevation of our natures. With these holy and beautiful songs is intertwined one, which under the title of "Ashes of Roses," breathes the solemnest requiem that ever was sung for a child, and in reading it we feel that in the subject was removed into the Unknown a portion of the mother's heart and life. The poems of Mrs. Osgood are not a laborious balancing of syllables, but a spontaneous gushing of thoughts, fancies and feelings, which fall naturally into harmonious measures; and so perfectly is the sense echoed in the sound, that it seems as if many of her compositions might be intelligibly written in the characters of music. It is a pervading excellence of her works, whether in prose or verse, that they are graceful beyond those of any other author who has written in this country; and the delicacy of her taste was such that it would probably be impossible to find in all of them a fancy, a thought, or a word offensive to that fine instinct in its highest cultivation or subtlest sensibility. It is one of her great merits that she attempted nothing foreign to her own affluent but not various genius.

There is a stilted ambition, common lately to literary women, which is among the fatalest diseases to reputation. She was never betrayed into it; she was always simple and natural, singing in no falsetto key, even when she entered the temples of old mythologies. With an extraordinary susceptibility of impressions, she had not only the finest and quickest discernment of those peculiarities of character which give variety to the surface of society, but of certain kinds and conditions of life she perceived the slightest undulations and the deepest movements. She had no need to travel beyond the legitimate sphere of woman's observa[Pg 140]tion, to seize upon the upturnings and overthrows which serve best for rounding periods in the senate or in courts of criminal justice—trying everything to see if poetry could be made of it. Nor did she ever demand audience for rude or ignoble passion, or admit the moral shade beyond the degree in which it must appear in all pictures of life. She lingered with her keen insight and quick sensibilities among the associations, influences, the fine sense, brave perseverance, earnest affectionateness, and unfailing truth, which, when seen from the romantic point of view, are suggestive of all the poetry which it is within the province of woman to write.

I have not chosen to dwell upon the faults in her works; such labor is more fit for other hands, and other days; and so many who attempt criticism seem to think the whole art lies in the detection of blemishes, that one may sometimes be pardoned for lingering as fondly as I have done, upon an author's finer qualities. It must be confessed, that in her poems there is evinced a too unrestrained partiality for particular forms of expression, and that—it could scarcely be otherwise in a collection so composed—thoughts and fancies are occasionally repeated. In some instances too, her verse is diffuse, but generally, where this objection is made, it will be found that what seems most careless and redundant is only delicate shading: she but turns her diamonds to the various rays; she rings no changes till they are not music; she addresses an eye more sensitive to beauty and a finer ear than belong to her critics. The collection of her works is one of the most charming volumes that woman has contributed to literature; of all that we are acquainted with the most womanly; and destined, for that it addresses with truest sympathy and most natural eloquence the commonest and noblest affections, to be always among the most fondly cherished Books of the Heart.

Reluctantly I bring to a close these paragraphs—a hasty and imperfect tribute, from my feelings and my judgment, to one whom many will remember long as an impersonation of the rarest intellectual and moral endowments, as one of the loveliest characters in literary or social history. Hereafter, unless the office fall to some one worthier, I may attempt from the records of our friendship, and my own and others' recollections, to do such justice to her life and nature, that a larger audience and other times shall feel how much of beauty with her spirit left us.

This requiem she wrote for another, little thinking that her friends would so soon sing it with hearts saddened for her own departure.

The hand that swept the sounding lyre
With more than mortal skill,
The lightning eye, the heart of fire,
The fervent lip are still:
No more in rapture or in wo,
With melody to thrill,
Ah! nevermore!
Oh! bring the flowers she cherish'd so,
With eager child-like care:
For o'er her grave they'll love to grow,
And sigh their sorrow there;
Ah me! no more their balmy glow
May soothe her heart's despair,
No! nevermore!
But angel hands shall bring her balm
For every grief she knew,
And Heaven's soft harps her soul shall calm
With music sweet and true;
And teach to her the holy charm
Of Israfel anew.
For evermore!
Love's silver lyre she played so well,
Lies shattered on her tomb;
But still in air its music-spell
Floats on through light and gloom,
And in the hearts where soft they fell,
Her words of beauty bloom
For evermore!

Recent Deaths.


THE Hon. Samuel Young, long one of the most eminent politicians of the democratic party in the State of New-York, died of apoplexy, at his home at Ballston Spa, on the night of the third of November. Col. Young was born in Berkshire county, Massachusetts, in 1778. Soon after he completed his legal studies he emigrated to Ballston Spa, in this State. The following facts respecting his subsequent career are condensed from the Tribune.

"He was first chosen to the Legislature in 1814, and was reëlected next year on a split ticket, which for a time clouded his prospects. In 1824, he was again in the Assembly, was Speaker of the House in that memorable year, and helped remove De Witt Clinton from the office of Canal Commissioner. The Fall Election found him a candidate for Governor on the 'Caucus' interest opposed to the 'People's' demand that the choice of Presidential Electors be relinquished by the Legislature to the Voters of the State. Col. Young professed to be personally a 'Peoples' man, and in favor of Henry Clay for President; the 'Caucus' candidate being Wm. H. Crawford. De Witt Clinton was the opposing candidate for Governor, and was elected by 16,000 majority. Col. Young's political fortunes never recovered from the blow thus inflicted. He had already been chosen a Canal Commissioner by the Legislature, and he continued to hold the office till the Political revolution of 1838-9, when he was superseded by a Whig. He was afterwards twice a State Senator for four years, and for three years Secretary of State. He carried into all the stations he has filled signal ability and unquestioned rectitude. He was a man of strong prejudices, violent temper and implacable resentments, but a Patriot and a determined foe of time-serving, corruption, prodigality, and debt. He was a warm friend of Educational Improvement, and did the cause good service while Secretary of State. For the last three years he has held no office, but lived in that peaceful retirement to which his years and his services fairly entitled him. He leaves behind him many who have attained more exalted positions on a smaller capital of talent and aptitude for public service. We have passed lightly over his vehement denunciations of the Internal Improvement policy during the latter years of his public life. We attribute the earnestness of his hostility to a temper soured by disappointment, and especially to his great defeat in '24, at the hands of the illustrious champion of the Canals. But, though his vision was jaundiced, his purpose was honest. He thought he was struggling to save the State from imminent bankruptcy and ruin."

Henry T. Robinson, for many years an active maker of political and other caricatures, by which he made a fortune, here and in Washington, and of nude and other indecent prints, by the seizure of a large quantity of which, with other causes, he was impoverished, died at Newark, New-Jersey, on the third of November. He was born on Bethnal Common in England, in 1785, and about 1810 emigrated to this country, where he was one of the first to practise lithography.

[Pg 141]

Joseph Hardy died a few weeks ago at Rathmines, aged ninety-three years. When twenty years old he invented a machine for doubling and twisting cotton yarn, for which the Dublin Society awarded him a premium of twenty guineas. Four years after he invented a scribbling machine for carding wool, to be worked by horse or water power, for which the same society awarded him one hundred guineas. He next invented a machine for measuring and sealing linen, and was in consequence appointed by the linen board seals-master for all the linen markets in the county of Derry, but the slightest benefit from this he never derived, as the rebellion of '98 broke out about the time he had all his machines completed, and political opponents having represented by memorials to the board that by giving so much to one man, hundreds who then were employed would be thrown out of work, the board changed the seal from the spinning wheel to the harp and crown, thereby rendering his seals useless, merely giving him 100l. by way of remuneration for his loss. About the year 1810 he demonstrated by an apparatus attached to one of the boats of the Grand Canal Company at Portobello the practicability of propelling vessels on the water by paddle wheels; but having placed the paddles on the bow of the boat, the action of the backwater on the boat was so great as to prevent its movement at a higher speed than three miles per hour. This appearing not to answer, without further experiment he broke up the machinery, and allowed others to profit by the ideas he gave on the subject, and to complete on the open sea what he had attempted within the narrow limits of a canal. He also invented a machine for sawing timber; but the result of all his inventions during a long life was very considerable loss of time and property without the slightest recompense from Government, or the country benefited by his talents.

Major-General Slessor died at Sidmouth, Devonshire, on the 11th October, aged seventy-three. He entered the army in 1794, and served in Ireland during the rebellion, and subsequently against the French force commanded by General Humbert, on which last occasion he was wounded. In 1806 he accompanied his regiment (the 35th) to Sicily, and the next year he served in the second expedition to Egypt, and was wounded in the retreat from Rosetta to Alexandria. He then served with Sir J. Oswald against the Greek Islands, and was employed in the Mediterranean. He also served in the Austrian army, under Count Nugent, and in the Waterloo campaign.

Joseph Signay, Roman Catholic Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Quebec, died on the 3d of October. He was born at Quebec November 8, 1778, appointed Coadjutor of Quebec and Bishop of Fussala the 15th of December, 1826, and was consecrated under that title the 20th of May, 1827. He succeeded to the See of Quebec the 19th of February, 1833, and was elevated to the dignity of Archbishop by His Holiness Pope Gregory XVI., on the 12th of July, 1844, and received the "Pallium" during the ensuing month.

Dr. Fouquier, one of the most celebrated physicians of Paris, who was le medecin of the ex-king Louis Philippe, and Professor of clinique interne at the Academy, died on the 1st of October. His loss is much felt among the savants.

Lieut.-Colonel Cross, K.H., a distinguished Peninsular officer, died near London on the 27th of October. He served in the Peninsular war from 1808 until its close in 1814, and was at the battle of Waterloo, where he received a severe contusion.

Thomas Amyot, F.R.S., &c.—whose life, extended to the age of seventy-six, was passed in close intercourse with the literary and antiquarian circles of London, participating in their pursuits and aiding their exertions—died on the 28th of September. He was an active and respected member of almost every metropolitan association which had for its object the advancement of literature. He was a constant and valuable contributor to the Archæologia, the private secretary of Mr. Windham, the editor of Windham's speeches, and for many years treasurer to the Society of Antiquaries of London, and a director of the Camden Society. He was a native of Norwich, and obtained the friendship and patronage of Windham while actively engaged in canvassing in favor of an opponent of that gentleman for the representation of Norwich in the House of Commons. A Life of Windham was one of his long-promised and long-looked-for contributions to the biographies of English statesmen; but no such work has been published, and there is reason to believe that very little, if indeed any portion of it, was ever completed for publication. The journals of Mr. Windham were in the possession of Mr. Amyot; and if we may judge of the whole by the account of Johnson's conversation and last illness, printed by Croker in his edition of Boswell, we may assert that whenever they may be published they will constitute a work of real value in illustration of political events and private character,—a model in respect of fullness and yet succinctness, which future journalists may copy with advantage. Whatever Windham preserved of Johnson's conversation well merited preservation. Mr. Amyot's most valuable literary production is, his refutation of Mr. Tytler's supposition that Richard the Second was alive and in Scotland in the reign of Henry the Fourth.

Madame Branchu, so famous in the opera in the last century, is dead. The first distinct idea which many have entertained respecting the Grande Opera of Paris may have been derived from a note in Moore's Fudge Family in which the "shrill screams of Madame Branchu" were mentioned. She retired from the theater in 1826, after twenty-five years of prima donnaship—having succeeded to the scepter and crown of Mdlle. Maillard and Madame St. Huberty. She died at Passy, having almost entirely passed out of the memory of the present opera-going generation. She must have been a forcible and impassioned rather than an elegant or irreproachable vocalist—and will be best remembered perhaps as the original Julia in "La Vestale" of Spontini.

Major-General Wingrove, of the Royal Marines, died on the 7th October, aged seventy years. He entered the Royal Marines in 1793, served at the surrender of the Cape of Good Hope in 1795, the battle of Trafalgar, the taking of Genoa in 1814, was on board the Boyne when that ship singly engaged three French ships of the line and three frigates, off Toulon, in 1814, and on board the Hercules in a single action, off Cape Nichola Mole. In 1841 he was promoted to the rank of a major-general.

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The Duke of Palmella, long eminent in the affairs of Portugal, died at Lisbon on the 12th of October. He was born on the 8th of May, 1781, and had, consequently, completed his sixty ninth year. A very considerable part of his life was dedicated to the diplomatic service of Portugal, which he represented at the Congress of Vienna, in 1814; and he was one of the General Committee of the eight powers who signed the Peace of Paris. When the debate respecting the slave-trade took place in the Congress, he warmly opposed the immediate abolition by Portugal, which had been demanded by Lord Castlereagh. He was also one of the foreign ministers who signed the declaration of the 13th of March, 1815, against Napoleon; immediately after which he was nominated representative of Portugal at the British Court. In 1816, however, he was recalled to fill the office of Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in Brazil. In February, 1818, he visited Paris, for the purpose of making some arrangements relative to Monte Video, with the Spanish Ambassador, Count Fernan Nunez. After the Portuguese Revolution, he retired for a time from active life. He was next selected to attend at the coronation of Queen Victoria; and his great wealth enabled him to vie, on that occasion, with the representatives of the other courts of Europe. He was several times called to preside over the councils of his Sovereign, but only held office for a limited period. Though a member of the ancient nobility, all his titles were honorably acquired by his own exertions, and were the rewards of distinguished abilities and meritorious services. No Portuguese statesman acquired greater celebrity abroad, and no man acted a more consistent part in all the political vicissitudes of the last thirty years, throughout which he was a most prominent character. It is related of the Duke, when Count de Palmella, that during the contest in Spain and Portugal, Napoleon one day hastily addressed him with—"Well, are you Portuguese willing to become Spanish?" "No," replied the Count, in a firm tone. Far from being displeased with this frank and laconic reply, Napoleon said next day to one of his officers, "The Count de Palmella gave me yesterday a noble 'No.'"

Carl Rottmann, the distinguished Bavarian artist and painter to the King, died near the end of October. He had been sent by King Ludwig to Italy and to Greece to depict the scenery and monuments of those countries. His pictures of the Temple of Juno Lucina, Girgenti, the theater of Taormina, &c., have never been excelled, and the king had characterized them by illustrative poems. The Grecian monuments which Rottmann sketched in 1835 and 1836 are destined for the new Pinakothek; and the Battle-Field of Marathon is spoken of as a wonderful composition. The frescoes of Herr Rottmann adorn the ceiling of the upper story of the palace at Munich.

François de Villeneuve-Bargemont, Marquis de Trans, a member of the French Academy of Inscriptions of Belles-Lettres, and author, amongst other works, of the Histories of King Réné of Anjou, of St. Louis, and of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, is named in the late Paris obituaries.

The Augsburg Gazette announces the death of the celebrated Bavarian painter Ch. Schorn, Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts at Munich, on the 7th October, aged forty-seven.

Richard M. Johnson, Ex-Vice-President of the United States, died at Frankfort, Ky., on the morning of November 19, having for some time been deprived of his reason. He was about seventy years of age. In 1807 he was chosen a member of the House of Representatives, which post he held twelve years. In 1813 he raised 1,000 men, to fight the British and Indians in the North-west. In the campaign which followed he served gallantly under Gen. Harrison as Colonel of his regiment. At the battle of the Thames he distinguished himself by breaking the line of the British infantry. The fame of killing Tecumseh, in this battle, has been given to Colonel J., but the act has other claimants. In 1819 he was transferred from the House of Representatives to the Senate, to serve out an unexpired term. When that expired he was re-chosen, and thus remained in the Senate till 1829. Then, another re-election being impossible, he went back into the House, where he remained till 1839, when he became Vice-President under Mr. Van Buren. In 1829 the Sunday Mail agitation being brought before the House, he, as Chairman of the Committee on Post-Offices and Post-Roads, presented a report against the suspension of mails on Sunday. It was able, though its ability was much exaggerated; it disposed of the subject, and Col. J. received what never belonged to him, the credit of having written it. From 1837 to 1841 he presided over the Senate. From that time he did not hold any office.

William Blacker, Esq., the distinguished agricultural writer and economist, died on the 20th of October, at his residence in Armagh, in the seventy-fifth year of his age. Engaged extensively, in early life, in mercantile pursuits, he devoted himself at a maturer period to the development of the agricultural and economic resources of Ireland. By his popularly-written "Hints to Small Farmers," annual reports of experimental results, essays, &c. he managed to spread, not only a spirit of inquiry into matters of such vital importance to his country, but to point out and urge into the best and most advantageous course of action, the well-inclined and the energetic.

Mrs. Bell Martin, the author of a very clever novel, lately reprinted by the Harpers, entitled "Julia Howard" and originally published under the name of Mrs. Martin Bell, died in this city on the 7th of November. Mrs. Martin was the daughter of one of the wealthiest commoners of England. She came to this country it is said entirely for purposes connected with literature. She was the author of several other works, most of which were written in French.

The Patria, of Corfu mentions the death by cholera of Signor Niccolo Delviniotti Baptistide, a distinguished literary character, and author of several very interesting works.

General du Chastel, one of the remains of the French Imperial Army, died at Saumur, in October, in the seventy-eighth year of his age.

Among the other recent deaths in Europe, we notice that of Mr. Watkyns, the son-in-law and biographer of Ebenezer Elliot; Dr. Medicus, Professor of Botany at Munich, and a member of the Academy of Sciences in that capital; M. Ferdinand Laloue, a dramatic author of some reputation in Paris; and Dr. C.F. Becker, eminent for his philosophical works on grammar and the structure of language.

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THE topic of the month in Europe has been the public and formal resumption of jurisdiction by the Pope in England, and the appointment of the ablest and most illustrious person in the Catholic Church to be Archbishop of Westminster. Dr. Wiseman is known and respected by all Christian scholars for his abilities, and their devotion to the vindication of our common faith. His admirable work on The Connection between Science and Revealed Religion is a text-book in Protestant as well as in Roman Catholic seminaries. Cardinal Wiseman is now in his forty-ninth year, having been born at Seville, on the second of August, 1802. He is descended from an Irish family, long settled in Spain. At an early age he was carried to England, and sent for his education to St. Cuthbert's Catholic College, near Durham. Thence he was removed to the English College at Rome, where he distinguished himself by an extraordinary attachment to learning. At eighteen he published in Latin a work on the Oriental languages; and he bore off the gold medal at every competition of the colleges of Rome. His merit recommended him to his superiors; he obtained several honors, was ordained a priest, and made a Doctor of Divinity. He was several years a Professor in the Roman University, and then Rector of the English College, where he achieved his earliest success. He went to England in 1835, and immediately became a conspicuous teacher and writer on the side of the Catholics. In 1836 he vindicated in a course of lectures the doctrines of the Catholic Church, and gave so much satisfaction to his party that they presented him with a gold medal, to express their esteem and gratitude. He returned to Rome, and seems to have been instrumental in inducing Pope Gregory XVI. to increase the vicars apostolic in England. The number was doubled, and Dr. Wiseman went back as coadjutor to Bishop Walsh, of the Midland district. He was appointed President of St. Mary's College, Oscott, and contributed, by his teaching, his preaching, and his writings, very much to promote the spread of Catholicism in England. He was a contributor to the Dublin Review, and the author of some controversial pamphlets. In 1847 he again repaired to Rome on the affairs of the Catholics, and no doubt prepared the way for the present change. His second visit to Rome led to further preferment. He was made Pro-Vicar Apostolic of the London district; subsequently appointed coadjutor to Dr. Walsh, and in 1849, on the death of Dr. Walsh, Vicar Apostolic of the London district. Last August he went again to Rome, "not expecting," as he says, "to return;" but "delighted to be commissioned to come back" clothed in his new dignity. In a Consistory held September 30, Nicholas Wiseman was elected to the dignity of Cardinal, by the title of Saint Prudentiani, and appointed Archbishop of Westminster. Under the Pope, he is the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England, and a Prince of the Church of Rome.

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Ladies' Fashions

Ladies' Fashions for December.

Fig. I. Promenade Costume.—Robe of striped silk: the ground a richly shaded brown, and the stripes of the same color, but of darker hue. The skirt of the dress is quite plain, the corsage high, and the sleeves not very wide at the ends, showing white under-sleeves of very moderate size. Mantle of dark green satin. The upper part or body is shaped like a pardessus, with a small basque at the back. Attached to this body is a double skirt, both the upper and lower parts of which are set on in slight fullness, and nearly meeting in front. The body of the mantle, as well as the two skirts, is edged with quilling of satin ribbon of the color of the cloak. Loose Chinese sleeves, edged with the same trimming. Drawn bonnet of brown velvet; under trimming small red flowers; strings of brown therry velvet ribbon.

Fig. II.—Back view of dress of claret-colored broché silk; the pattern large detached sprigs. Cloak of rich black satin. The upper part is a deep cape, cut so as to fit closely to the figure, and pointed at the back. By being fastened down at each side of the arms, this cape presents the effect of sleeves. Round the back, and on that part which falls over the arms, the cape is edged with a very broad and rich fringe, composed of twisted silk chenille, and headed by passementerie. The skirt of the cloak is cut bias way and nearly circular, so that it hangs round the figure in easy fullness. The fronts are trimmed with ornaments of passementerie in the form of large flowers. The bonnet is of green therry velvet, trimmed with black lace, two rows of which are laid across the front. Under trimming of pale pink roses.

Transcriber's Notes:

Page vi: Transcribed "Bronte" as "Brontë". As originally printed: "Bronte and her Sisters".

Transcribed "in" as "on". As originally printed: "Herr Kielhau, in Geology".

Pages vi & 142: Transcribed "Charles Rottman" as "Carl Rottmann".

Page vii: Transcribed "this" as "his". As originally printed: "Swift, Dean, and this Amours."

Page 13:Supplied "from" in the following phrase (shown here in brackets): "It caused Richard Steele to be expelled [from] the House of Commons".

Transcribed "colleague's" as "colleagues". As originally printed: "triumphed over his colleague's".

Page 16: Transcribed "Smollet" as "Smollett". As originally printed: "the best productions of Mendoza, Smollet, or Dickens" (presumably, Tobias Smollett).

Page 20: Transcribed "Uniersberg" as "Untersberg". As originally printed: "Charlemagne in the Uniersberg at Salzburg".

Pages 18-22: Alternate spellings of Leipzig/Leipzic left as printed in the original publication.

Page 24: A closing quotation is missing in the original publication for material commencing: "we shall see him as he was, both adventurous and patient....

Page 27: Transcribed "Cosmo" as "Cosimo". As originally printed: "but of Cosmo de Medici, Lorenzo his great descendant".

Page 28: Transcribed "Eoratii" as "Horatii". As originally printed: "The Eoratii, one of the master pieces of David".

Page 73: Transcribed "bonhommie" as "bonhomie". As originally printed: "the Visconte, with equal bonhommie".

Page 113: Transcribed "vacilliating" as "vacillating". As originally printed: "made a blind vacilliating attack".

Page 127: A closing quotation is missing in the original publication for material commencing: "I have sometimes thought that if you were to stop a hundred men....

Transcribed "habituès" as "habitués". As originally printed: "the more experienced habituès of office".

Page 128: Transcribed "Chocò and Popayan" as "Chocó and Popayán". As originally printed: "deep and humid woods of the provinces of Chocò and Popayan".

Transcribed "Caraccas" as "Caracas". As originally printed: "as identical with the cow tree of Caraccas".

Page 129: "garnery" in "gathered into the garnery" has been left as printed in the original publication. Likely misspelling of "granary".

Page 136: Transcribed "paen" as "pæan". As originally printed: "Till the full paen".

Page 139: Transcribed "singleness that of purpose" as "that singleness of purpose". As originally printed: "They are in some instances without singleness that of purpose".

Transcribed "waiver" as "waver". As originally printed: "Howe'er his faith may waiver".

Page 142: Transcribed "Pinakotheka" as "Pinakothek". As originally printed: "destined for the new Pinakotheka".

Transcribed "François de Villenueve-Bargemont" as "François de Villeneuve-Bargemont".