The Project Gutenberg eBook of Graham's Magazine Vol XXXIII No. 2 August 1848

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Title: Graham's Magazine Vol XXXIII No. 2 August 1848

Author: Various

Editor: Robert Taylor Conrad

George R. Graham

Release date: September 10, 2009 [eBook #29959]
Most recently updated: January 5, 2021

Language: English

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*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK GRAHAM'S MAGAZINE VOL XXXIII NO. 2 AUGUST 1848 ***

Maria Brooks.

Maria Brooks.



GRAHAM'S MAGAZINE.



Vol. XXXIII.          PHILADELPHIA,  AUGUST,  1848.         No. 2.


[Pg 61]

TABLE OF CONTENTS


THE LATE MARIA BROOKS. 61
THE CRUISE OF THE RAKER. 69
THE SOUL'S DREAM. 74
THE MAID OF BOGOTA. 75
TO THE EAGLE. 83
FIEL A LA MUERTE, OR TRUE LOVE'S DEVOTION. 84
THE BLOCKHOUSE. 92
THE DEPARTURE. 93
SUMMER. 105
DESCRIPTION OF A VISIT TO NIAGARA. 106
SONNET. 106
AUNT MABLE'S LOVE STORY. 107
TO ERATO. 110
THE LABORER'S COMPANIONS. 110
THE ENCHANTED KNIGHT. 111
KORNER'S SISTER. 111
THE MAN WHO WAS NEVER HUMBUGGED. 112
THE SISTERS. 114
BRUTUS IN HIS TENT. 115
TO VIOLET. 115
"THINK NOT THAT I LOVE THEE." 116
REVIEW OF NEW BOOKS. 118



THE LATE MARIA BROOKS.


BY RUFUS WILMOT GRISWOLD.

[WITH A PORTRAIT.]

This remarkable woman was not only one of the first writers of her country, but she deserves to be ranked with the most celebrated persons of her sex who have lived in any nation or age. Within the last century woman has done more than ever before in investigation, reflection and literary art. On the continent of Europe an Agnesi, a Dacier and a Chastelet have commanded respect by their learning, and a De Stael, a Dudevant and a Bremer have been admired for their genius; in Great Britain the names of More, Burney, Barbauld, Baillie, Somerville, Farrar, Hemans, Edgeworth, Austen, Landon, Norman and Barrett, are familiar in the histories of literature and science; and in our own country we turn with pride to Sedgwick, Child, Beecher, Kirkland, Parkes Smith, Fuller, and others, who in various departments have written so as to deserve as well as receive the general applause; but it may be doubted whether in the long catalogue of those whose works demonstrate and vindicate the intellectual character and position of the sex, there are many names that will shine with a clearer, steadier, and more enduring lustre than that of Maria del Occidente.

Maria Gowen, afterward Mrs. Brooks, upon whom this title was conferred originally I believe by the poet Southey, was descended from a Welsh family that settled in Charlestown, near Boston, sometime before the Revolution. A considerable portion of the liberal fortune of her grandfather was lost by the burning of that city in 1775, and he soon afterward removed to Medford, across the Mystic river, where Maria Gowen was born about the year 1795. Her father was a man of education, and among his intimate friends were several of the professors of Harvard College, whose occasional visits varied the pleasures of a rural life. From this society she derived at an early period a taste for letters and learning. Before the completion of her ninth year she had committed to memory many passages from the best poets; and her conversation excited special wonder by its elegance, variety and wisdom. She grew in beauty, too, as she grew in years, and when her father died, a bankrupt, before she had attained the age of fourteen, she was betrothed to a merchant of Boston, who undertook the completion of her education, and as soon as she quitted the school was married to her. Her early womanhood was passed in commercial affluence; but the loss of several vessels at sea in which her husband was interested was followed by other losses on land, and years were spent in comparitive indigence. In that remarkable book, "Idomen, or the Vale of Yumuri," she says, referring to this period: "Our table had been hospitable, our doors open to many; but to part with our well-garnished dwelling had now become inevitable. We retired, with one servant, to a remote house of meaner dimensions, and were sought no longer by those who had come in our wealth. I looked earnestly around me; the present was cheerless, the future dark and fearful. My parents were dead, my few relatives in distant countries, where they thought perhaps but little of my happiness. Burleigh I had never loved other than as a father and protector; but he had been the benefactor of my fallen family, and to him I owed comfort, education, and every ray of pleasure that had glanced before me in this world. But the sun of his energies was setting, and the faults which had balanced his virtues increased as his fortune declined. He might live through many years of misery, and to be devoted to him was my duty while a spark of his life endured. I strove to nerve my heart for the worst. Still there were moments when fortitude became faint with endurance, and visions of happiness that might have been mine came smiling to my imagination. I wept and prayed in agony."

In this period poetry was resorted to for amusement and consolation. At nineteen she wrote a[Pg 62] metrical romance, in seven cantos, but it was never published. It was followed by many shorter lyrical pieces which were printed anonymously; and in 1820, after favorable judgments of it had been expressed by some literary friends, she gave to the public a small volume entitled "Judith, Esther, and other Poems, by a Lover of the Fine Arts." It contained many fine passages, and gave promise of the powers of which the maturity is illustrated by "Zophiël," very much in the style of which is this stanza:

With even step, in mourning garb arrayed,
Fair Judith walked, and grandeur marked her air;
Though humble dust, in pious sprinklings laid.
Soiled the dark tresses of her copious hair.

And this picture of a boy:

Softly supine his rosy limbs reposed,
His locks curled high, leaving the forehead bare:
And o'er his eyes the light lids gently closed,
As they had feared to hide the brilliance there.

And this description of the preparations of Esther to appear before Ahasuerus:

"Take ye, my maids, this mournful garb away;
Bring all my glowing gems and garments fair;
A nation's fate impending hangs to-day,
But on my beauty and your duteous care."
Prompt to obey, her ivory form they lave;
Some comb and braid her hair of wavy gold;
Some softly wipe away the limpid wave
That o'er her dimply limbs in drops of fragrance rolled.
Refreshed and faultless from their hands she came,
Like form celestial clad in raiment bright;
O'er all her garb rich India's treasures flame,
In mingling beams of rainbow-colored light.
Graceful she entered the forbidden court,
Her bosom throbbing with her purpose high;
Slow were her steps, and unassured her port,
While hope just trembled in her azure eye.
Light on the marble fell her ermine tread.
And when the king, reclined in musing mood,
Lifts, at the gentle sound, his stately head,
Low at his feet the sweet intruder stood.

Among the shorter poems are several that are marked by fancy and feeling, and a graceful versification, of one of which, an elegy, these are the opening verses:

Lone in the desert, drear and deep,
Beneath the forest's whispering shade,
Where brambles twine and mosses creep,
The lovely Charlotte's grave is made.
But though no breathing marble there
Shall gleam in beauty through the gloom,
The turf that hides her golden hair
With sweetest desert flowers shall bloom.
And while the moon her tender light
Upon the hallowed scene shall fling,
The mocking-bird shall sit all night
Among the dewy leaves, and sing.

In 1823 Mr. Brooks died, and a paternal uncle soon after invited the poetess to the Island of Cuba, where, two years afterward, she completed the first canto of "Zophiël, or the Bride of Seven," which was published in Boston in 1825. The second canto was finished in Cuba in the opening of 1827; the third, fourth and fifth in 1828; and the sixth in the beginning of 1829. The relative of Mrs. Brooks was now dead, and he had left to her his coffee plantation and other property, which afforded her a liberal income. She returned again to the United States, and resided more than a year in the vicinity of Dartmouth College, where her son was pursuing his studies; and in the autumn of 1830, she went to Paris, where she passed the following winter. The curious and learned notes to "Zophiël," were written in various places, some in Cuba, some in Hanover, some in Canada, (which she visited during her residence at Hanover,) some at Paris, and the rest at Keswick, in England, the home of Robert Southey, where she passed the spring of 1831. When she quitted the hospitable home of this much honored and much attached friend, she left with him the completed work, which he subsequently saw through the press, correcting the proof sheets himself, previous to its appearance in London in 1833.

The materials of this poem are universal; that is, such as may be appropriated by every polished nation. In all the most beautiful oriental systems of religion, including our own, may be found such beings as its characters. The early fathers of Christianity not only believed in them, but wrote cumbrous folios upon their nature and attributes. It is a curious fact that they never doubted the existence and the power of the Grecian and Roman gods, but supposed them to be fallen angels, who had caused themselves to be worshiped under particular forms, and for particular characteristics. To what an extent, and to how very late a period this belief has prevailed, may be learned from a remarkable little work of Fontenelle, [1] in which that pleasing writer endeavors seriously to disprove that any preternatural power was evinced in the responses of the ancient oracles. The Christian belief in good and evil angels is too beautiful to be laid aside. Their actual and present existence can be disproved neither by analogy, philosophy, or theology, nor can it be questioned without casting a doubt also upon the whole system of our religion. This religion, by many a fanciful skeptic, has been called barren and gloomy; but setting aside all the legends of the Jews, and confining ourselves entirely to the generally received Scriptures, there will be found sufficient food for an imagination warm as that of Homer, Apelles, Phidias, or Praxiteles. It is astonishing that such rich materials for poetry should for so many centuries have been so little regarded, appropriated, or even perceived.

The story of Zophiël, though accompanied by many notes, is simple and easily followed. Reduced to prose, and a child, or a common novel reader, would peruse it with satisfaction. It is in six cantos, and is supposed to occupy the time of nine months: from the blooming of roses at Ecbatana to the coming in of spices at Babylon. Of this time the greater part is supposed to elapse between the second and third canto, where Zophiël thus speaks to Egla of Phraërion:

Yet still she bloomed—uninjured, innocent—
Though now for seven sweet moons by Zophiël watched and wooed.

The king of Medea, introduced in the second canto, is an ideal personage; but the history of that country, [Pg 63]near the time of the second captivity, is very confused, and more than one young prince resembling Sardius, might have reigned and died without a record. So much of the main story however as relates to human life is based upon sacred or profane history; and we have sufficient authority for the legend of an angel's passion for one of the fair daughters of our own world. It was a custom in the early ages to style heroes, to raise to the rank of demigods, men who were distinguished for great abilities, qualities or actions. Above such men the angels who are supposed to have visited the earth were but one grade exalted, and they were capable of participating in human pains and pleasures. Zophiël is described as one of those who fell with Lucifer, not from ambition or turbulence, but from friendship and excessive admiration of the chief disturber of the tranquillity of heaven: as he declares, when thwarted by his betrayer, in the fourth canto:

Though the first seraph formed, how could I tell
The ways of guile? What marvels I believed
When cold ambition mimicked love so well
That half the sons of heaven looked on deceived!

During the whole interview in which this stanza occurs, the deceiver of men and angels exhibits his alledged power of inflicting pain. He says to Zophiël, after arresting his course:

"Sublime Intelligence,
Once chosen for my friend and worthy me:
Not so wouldst thou have labored to be hence,
Had my emprise been crowned with victory.
When I was bright in heaven, thy seraph eyes
Sought only mine. But he who every power
Beside, while hope allured him, could despise,
Changed and forsook me, in misfortune's hour."

To which Zophiël replies:

"Changed, and forsook thee? this from thee to me?
Once noble spirit! Oh! had not too much
My o'er fond heart adored thy fallacy,
I had not, now, been here to bear thy keen reproach;
Forsook thee in misfortune? at thy side
I closer fought as peril thickened round,
Watched o'er thee fallen: the light of heaven denied,
But proved my love more fervent and profound.
Prone as thou wert, had I been mortal-born,
And owned as many lives as leaves there be,
From all Hyrcania by his tempest torn
I had lost, one by one, and given the last for thee.
Oh! had thy plighted pact of faith been kept,
Still unaccomplished were the curse of sin;
'Mid all the woes thy ruined followers wept,
Had friendship lingered, hell could not have been."

Phraërion, another fallen angel, but of a nature gentler than that of Zophiël, is thus introduced:

Harmless Phraërion, formed to dwell on high,
Retained the looks that had been his above;
And his harmonious lip, and sweet, blue eye,
Soothed the fallen seraph's heart, and changed his scorn to love;
No soul-creative in this being born,
Its restless, daring, fond aspirings hid:
Within the vortex of rebellion drawn,
He joined the shining ranks as others did.
Success but little had advanced; defeat
He thought so little, scarce to him were worse;
And, as he held in heaven inferior seat,
Less was his bliss, and lighter was his curse.
He formed no plans for happiness: content
To curl the tendril, fold the bud; his pain
So light, he scarcely felt his banishment.
Zophiël, perchance, had held him in disdain;
But, formed for friendship, from his o'erfraught soul
'Twas such relief his burning thoughts to pour
In other ears, that oft the strong control
Of pride he felt them burst, and could restrain no more.
Zophiël was soft, but yet all flame; by turns
Love, grief, remorse, shame, pity, jealousy,
Each boundless in his breast, impels or burns:
His joy was bliss, his pain was agony.

Such are the principal preter-human characters in the poem. Egla, the heroine, is a Hebress of perfect beauty, who lives with her parents not far from the city of Ecbatana, and has been saved, by stratagem, from a general massacre of captives, under a former king of Medea. Being brought before the reigning monarch to answer for the supposed murder of Meles, she exclaims,

Sad from my birth, nay, born upon that day
When perished all my race, my infant ears
Were opened first with groans; and the first ray
I saw, came dimly through my mother's tears.

Zophiël is described throughout the poem as burning with the admiration of virtue, yet frequently betrayed into crime by the pursuit of pleasure. Straying accidentally to the grove of Egla, he is struck with her beauty, and finds consolation in her presence. He appears, however, at an unfortunate moment, for the fair Judean has just yielded to the entreaties of her mother and assented to proposals offered by Meles, a noble of the country; but Zophiël causes his rival to expire suddenly on entering the bridal apartment, and his previous life at Babylon, as revealed in the fifth canto, shows that he was not undeserving of his doom. Despite her extreme sensibility, Egla is highly endowed with "conscience and caution;" and she regards the advances of Zophiël with distrust and apprehension. Meles being missed, she is brought to court to answer for his murder. Her sole fear is for her parents, who are the only Hebrews in the kingdom, and are suffered to live but through the clemency of Sardius, a young prince who has lately come to the throne, and who, like many oriental monarchs, reserves to himself the privilege of decreeing death. The king is convinced of her innocence, and, struck with her extraordinary beauty and character, resolves suddenly to make her his queen. We know of nothing in its way finer than the description which follows, of her introduction, in the simple costume of her country, to a gorgeous banqueting hall in which he sits with his assembled chiefs:

With unassured yet graceful step advancing,
The light vermilion of her cheek more warm
For doubtful modesty; while all were glancing
Over the strange attire that well became such form
To lend her space the admiring band gave way;
The sandals on her silvery feet were blue;
Of saffron tint her robe, as when young day
Spreads softly o'er the heavens, and tints the trembling dew.
Light was that robe as mist; and not a gem
Or ornament impedes its wavy fold,
Long and profuse; save that, above its hem,
'Twas broidered with pomegranate-wreath, in gold.
And, by a silken cincture, broad and blue,
In shapely guise about the waste confined,
Blent with the curls that, of a lighter hue,
Half floated, waving in their length behind;
The other half, in braided tresses twined,
Was decked with rose of pearls, and sapphires azure too,
Arranged with curious skill to imitate
The sweet acacia's blossoms; just as live
And droop those tender flowers in natural state;
And so the trembling gems seemed sensitive,
And pendent, sometimes touch her neck; and there
Seemed shrinking from its softness as alive.
And round her arms, flour-white and round and fair,
Slight bandelets were twined of colors five,[Pg 64]
Like little rainbows seemly on those arms;
None of that court had seen the like before,
Soft, fragrant, bright—so much like heaven her charms,
It scarce could seem idolatry to adore.
He who beheld her hand forgot her face;
Yet in that face was all beside forgot;
And he who, as she went, beheld her pace,
And locks profuse, had said, "nay, turn thee not."

Idaspes, the Medean vizier, or prime minister, has reflected on the maiden's story, and is alarmed for the safety of his youthful sovereign, who consents to some delay and experiment, but will not be dissuaded from his design until five inmates of his palace have fallen dead in the captive's apartment. The last of these is Altheëtor, a favorite of the king, (whose Greek name is intended to express his qualities,) and the circumstances of his death, and the consequent grief of Egla and despair of Zophiël, are painted with a beauty, power and passion scarcely surpassed.

Touching his golden harp to prelude sweet,
Entered the youth, so pensive, pale, and fair;
Advanced respectful to the virgin's feet,
And, lowly bending down, made tuneful parlance there.
Like perfume, soft his gentle accents rose,
And sweetly thrilled the gilded roof along;
His warm, devoted soul no terror knows,
And truth and love lend fervor to his song.
She hides her face upon her couch, that there
She may not see him die. No groan—she springs
Frantic between a hope-beam and despair,
And twines her long hair round him as he sings.
Then thus: "O! being, who unseen but near,
Art hovering now, behold and pity me!
For love, hope, beauty, music—all that's dear,
Look, look on me, and spare my agony!
Spirit! in mercy make not me the cause,
The hateful cause, of this kind being's death!
In pity kill me first! He lives—he draws—
Thou wilt not blast?—he draws his harmless breath!"
Still lives Altheëtor; still unguarded strays
One hand o'er his fallen lyre; but all his soul
Is lost—given up. He fain would turn to gaze,
But cannot turn, so twined. Now all that stole
Through every vein, and thrilled each separate nerve,
Himself could not have told—all wound and clasped
In her white arms and hair. Ah! can they serve
To save him? "What a sea of sweets!" he gasped,
But 'twas delight: sound, fragrance, all were breathing.
Still swelled the transport: "Let me look and thank:"
He sighed (celestial smiles his lips enwreathing,)
"I die—but ask no more," he said, and sank;
Still by her arms supported—lower—lower—
As by soft sleep oppressed; so calm, so fair,
He rested on the purple tapestried floor,
It seemed an angel lay reposing there.

And Zophiël exclaims,

"He died of love, or the o'er-perfect joy
Of being pitied—prayed for—pressed by thee.
O! for the fate of that devoted boy
I'd sell my birthright to eternity.
I'm not the cause of this thy last distress.
Nay! look upon thy spirit ere he flies!
Look on me once, and learn to hate me less!"
He said; and tears fell fast from his immortal eyes.

Beloved and admired at first, Egla becomes an object of hatred and fear; for Zophiël being invisible to others her story is discredited, and she is suspected of murdering by some baleful art all who have died in her presence. She is, however, sent safely to her home, and lives, as usual, in retirement with her parents. The visits of Zophiël are now unimpeded. He instructs the young Jewess in music and poetry; his admiration and affection grow with the hours; and he exerts his immortal energies to preserve her from the least pain or sorrow, but selfishly confines her as much as possible to solitude, and permits for her only such amusements as he himself can minister. Her confidence in him increases, and in her gentle society he almost forgets his fall and banishment.

But the difference in their natures causes him continual anxiety; knowing her mortality, he is always in fear that death or sudden blight will deprive him of her; and he consults with Phraërion on the best means of saving her from the perils of human existence. One evening,

Round Phraërion, nearer drawn,
One beauteous arm he flung: "First to my love!
We'll see her safe; then to our task till dawn."
Well pleased, Phraërion answered that embrace;
All balmy he with thousand breathing sweets,
From thousand dewy flowers. "But to what place,"
He said, "will Zophièl go? who danger greets
As if 'twere peace. The palace of the gnome,
Tahathyam, for our purpose most were meet;
But then, the wave, so cold and fierce, the gloom,
The whirlpools, rocks, that guard that deep retreat!
Yet there are fountains, which no sunny ray
E'er danced upon, and drops come there at last,
Which, for whole ages, filtering all the way,
Through all the veins of earth, in winding maze have past.
These take from mortal beauty every stain,
And smooth the unseemly lines of age and pain,
With every wondrous efficacy rife;
Nay, once a spirit whispered of a draught,
Of which a drop, by any mortal quaffed,
Would save, for terms of years, his feeble, flickering life."

Tahathyam is the son of a fallen angel, and lives concealed in the bosom of the earth, guarding in his possession a vase of the elixir of life, bequeathed to him by a father whom he is not permitted to see. The visit of Zophiël and Phraërion to this beautiful but unhappy creature will remind the reader of the splendid creations of Dante.

The soft flower-spirit shuddered, looked on high,
And from his bolder brother would have fled;
But then the anger kindling in that eye
He could not bear. So to fair Egla's bed
Followed and looked; then shuddering all with dread,
To wondrous realms, unknown to men, he led;
Continuing long in sunset course his flight,
Until for flowery Sicily he bent;
Then, where Italia smiled upon the night,
Between their nearest shores chose midway his descent.
The sea was calm, and the reflected moon
Still trembled on its surface; not a breath
Curled the broad mirror. Night had passed her noon;
How soft the air! how cold the depths beneath!
The spirits hover o'er that surface smooth,
Zophiël's white arm around Phraërion's twined,
In fond caresses, his tender cares to soothe,
While either's nearer wing the other's crossed behind.
Well pleased, Phraërion half forgot his dread,
And first, with foot as white as lotus leaf,
The sleepy surface of the waves essayed;
But then his smile of love gave place to drops of grief.
How could he for that fluid, dense and chill,
Change the sweet floods of air they floated on?
E'en at the touch his shrinking fibres thrill;
But ardent Zophiël, panting, hurries on,
And (catching his mild brother's tears, with lip
That whispered courage 'twixt each glowing kiss,)
Persuades to plunge: limbs, wings, and locks they dip;
Whate'er the other's pains, the lover felt but bliss.
Quickly he draws Phraërion on, his toil
Even lighter than he hoped: some power benign
Seems to restrain the surges, while they boil
'Mid crags and caverns, as of his design
Respectful. That black, bitter element,
As if obedient to his wish, gave way;
So, comforting Phraërion, on he went,
And a high, craggy arch they reach at dawn of day,
Upon the upper world; and forced them through
That arch, the thick, cold floods, with such a roar,
That the bold sprite receded, and would view
The cave before he ventured to explore.[Pg 65]
Then, fearful lest his frighted guide might part
And not be missed amid such strife and din,
He strained him closer to his burning heart,
And, trusting to his strength, rushed fiercely in.
On, on, for many a weary mile they fare;
Till thinner grew the floods, long, dark and dense,
From nearness to earth's core; and now, a glare
Of grateful light relieved their piercing sense;
As when, above, the sun his genial streams
Of warmth and light darts mingling with the waves,
Whole fathoms down; while, amorous of his beams,
Each scaly, monstrous thing leaps from its slimy caves.
And now, Phraërion, with a tender cry,
Far sweeter than the land-bird's note, afar
Heard through the azure arches of the sky,
By the long-baffled, storm-worn mariner:
"Hold, Zophiël! rest thee now—our task is done,
Tahathyam's realms alone can give this light!
O! though it is not the life-awakening sun,
How sweet to see it break upon such fearful night!"
Clear grew the wave, and thin; a substance white,
The wide-expanding cavern floors and flanks;
Could one have looked from high how fair the sight!
Like these, the dolphin, on Bahaman banks,
Cleaves the warm fluid, in his rainbow tints,
While even his shadow on the sands below
Is seen; as through the wave he glides, and glints,
Where lies the polished shell, and branching corals grow.
No massive gate impedes; the wave, in vain,
Might strive against the air to break or fall;
And, at the portal of that strange domain,
A clear, bright curtain seemed, or crystal wall.
The spirits pass its bounds, but would not far
Tread its slant pavement, like unbidden guest;
The while, on either side, a bower of spar
Gave invitation for a moment's rest.
And, deep in either bower, a little throne
Looked so fantastic, it were hard to know
If busy nature fashioned it alone,
Or found some curious artist here below.
Soon spoke Phraërion: "Come, Tahathyam, come,
Thou know'st me well! I saw thee once to love;
And bring a guest to view thy sparkling dome
Who comes full fraught with tidings from above."
Those gentle tones, angelically clear,
Past from his lips, in mazy depths retreating,
(As if that bower had been the cavern's ear,)
Full many a stadia far; and kept repeating,
As through the perforated rock they pass,
Echo to echo guiding them; their tone
(As just from the sweet spirit's lip) at last
Tahathyam heard: where, on a glittering throne he solitary sat.

Sending through the rock an answering strain, to give the spirits welcome, the gnome prepares to meet them at his palace-door:

He sat upon a car, (and the large pearl,
Once cradled in it, glimmered now without,)
Bound midway on two serpents' backs, that curl
In silent swiftness as he glides about.
A shell, 'twas first in liquid amber wet,
Then ere the fragrant cement hardened round,
All o'er with large and precious stones 'twas set
By skillful Tsavaven, or made or found.
The reins seemed pliant crystal (but their strength
Had matched his earthly mother's silken band)
And, flecked with rubies, flowed in ample length,
Like sparkles o'er Tahathyam's beauteous hand.
The reptiles, in their fearful beauty, drew,
As if from love, like steeds of Araby;
Like blood of lady's lip their scarlet hue;
Their scales so bright and sleek, 'twas pleasure but to see,
With open mouths, as proud to show the bit,
They raise their heads, and arch their necks—(with eye
As bright as if with meteor fire 'twere lit;)
And dart their barbed tongues, 'twixt fangs of ivory.
These, when the quick advancing sprites they saw
Furl their swift wings, and tread with angel grace
The smooth, fair pavement, checked their speed in awe,
And glided far aside as if to give them space.

The errand of the angels is made known to the sovereign of this interior and resplendent world, and upon conditions the precious elixir is promised; but first Zophiël and Phraërion are ushered through sparry portals to a banquet.

High towered the palace and its massive pile,
Made dubious if of nature or of art,
So wild and so uncouth; yet, all the while,
Shaped to strange grace in every varying part.
And groves adorned it, green in hue, and bright,
As icicles about a laurel-tree;
And danced about their twigs a wonderous light;
Whence came that light so far beneath the sea?
Zophiël looked up to know, and to his view
The vault scarce seemed less vast than that of day;
No rocky roof was seen; a tender blue
Appeared, as of the sky, and clouds about it play:
And, in the midst, an orb looked as 'twere meant
To shame the sun, it mimicked him so well.
But ah! no quickening, grateful warmth it sent;
Cold as the rock beneath, the paly radiance fell.
Within, from thousand lamps the lustre strays.
Reflected back from gems about the wall;
And from twelve dolphin shapes a fountain plays,
Just in the centre of a spacious hall;
But whether in the sunbeam formed to sport,
These shapes once lived in supleness and pride,
And then, to decorate this wonderous court,
Were stolen from the waves and petrified;
Or, moulded by some imitative gnome,
And scaled all o'er with gems, they were but stone,
Casting their showers and rainbows 'neath the dome.
To man or angel's eye might not be known.
No snowy fleece in these sad realms was found,
Nor silken ball by maiden loved so well;
But ranged in lightest garniture around,
In seemly folds, a shining tapestry fell.
And fibres of asbestos, bleached in fire,
And all with pearls and sparkling gems o'erflecked,
Of that strange court composed the rich attire,
And such the cold, fair form of sad Tahathyam decked.

Gifted with every pleasing endowment, in possession of an elixir of which a drop perpetuates life and youth, surrounded by friends of his own choice, who are all anxious to please and amuse him, the gnome feels himself inferior in happiness to the lowest of mortals. His sphere is confined, his high powers useless, for he is without the "last, best gift of God to man," and there is no object on which he can exercise his benevolence. The feast is described with the terse beauty which marks all the canto, and at its close—

The banquet-cups, of many a hue and shape,
Bossed o'er with gems, were beautiful to view;
But, for the madness of the vaunted grape,
Their only draught was a pure limpid dew,
The spirits while they sat in social guise,
Pledging each goblet with an answering kiss,
Marked many a gnome conceal his bursting sighs;
And thought death happier than a life like this.
But they had music; at one ample side
Of the vast arena of that sparkling hall,
Fringed round with gems, that all the rest outvied.
In form of canopy, was seen to fall
The stony tapestry, over what, at first,
An altar to some deity appeared;
But it had cost full many a year to adjust
The limpid crystal tubes that 'neath upreared
Their different lucid lengths; and so complete
Their wondrous 'rangement, that a tuneful gnome
Drew from them sounds more varied, clear, and sweet,
Than ever yet had rung in any earthly dome.
Loud, shrilly, liquid, soft; at that quick touch
Such modulation wooed his angel ears
That Zophiël wondered, started from his couch
And thought upon the music of the spheres.

But Zophiël lingers with ill-dissembled impatience and Tahathyam leads the way to where the elixir of life is to be surrendered.

Soon through the rock they wind; the draught divine
Was hidden by a veil the king alone might lift.
Cephroniel's son, with half-averted face
And faltering hand, that curtain drew, and showed,
Of solid diamond formed, a lucid vase;
And warm within the pure elixir glowed;[Pg 66]
Bright red, like flame and blood, (could they so meet,)
Ascending, sparkling, dancing, whirling, ever
In quick perpetual movement; and of heat
So high, the rock was warm beneath their feet,
(Yet heat in its intenseness hurtful never,)
Even to the entrance of the long arcade
Which led to that deep shrine, in the rock's breast
As far as if the half-angel were afraid
To know the secret he himself possessed.
Tahathyam filled a slip of spar, with dread,
As if stood by and frowned some power divine;
Then trembling, as he turned to Zophiël, said,
"But for one service shall thou call it thine:
Bring me a wife; as I have named the way;
(I will not risk destruction save for love!)
Fair-haired and beauteous like my mother; say—
Plight me this pact; so shalt thou bear above,
For thine own purpose, what has here been kept
Since bloomed the second age, to angels dear.
Bursting from earth's dark womb, the fierce wave swept
Off every form that lived and loved, while here,
Deep hidden here, I still lived on and wept."

Great pains have evidently been taken to have every thing throughout the work in keeping. Most of the names have been selected for their particular meaning. Tahathyam and his retinue appear to have been settled in their submarine dominion before the great deluge that changed the face of the earth, as is intimated in the lines last quoted; and as the accounts of that judgment, and of the visits and communications of angels connected with it, are chiefly in Hebrew, they have names from that language. It would have been better perhaps not to have called the persons of the third canto "gnomes," as at this word one is reminded of all the varieties of the Rosicrucian system, of which Pope has so well availed himself in the Rape of the Lock, which sprightly production has been said to be derived, though remotely, from Jewish legends of fallen angels. Tahathyam can be called gnome only on account of the retreat to which his erring father has consigned him.

The spirits leave the cavern, and Zophiël exults a moment, as if restored to perfect happiness. But there is no way of bearing his prize to the earth except through the most dangerous depths of the sea.

Zophiël, with toil severe,
But bliss in view, through the thrice murky night,
Sped swiftly on. A treasure now more dear
He had to guard, than boldest hope had dared
To breathe for years; but rougher grew the way;
And soft Phraërion, shrinking back and scared
At every whirling depth, wept for his flowers and day.
Shivered, and pained, and shrieking, as the waves
Wildly impel them 'gainst the jutting rocks;
Not all the care and strength of Zophiël saves
His tender guide from half the wildering shocks
He bore. The calm, which favored their descent,
And bade them look upon their task as o'er,
Was past; and now the inmost earth seemed rent
With such fierce storms as never raged before.
Of a long mortal life had the whole pain
Essenced in one consummate pang, been borne,
Known, and survived, its still would be in vain
To try to paint the pains felt by these sprites forlorn.
The precious drop closed in its hollow spar,
Between his lips Zophiël in triumph bore.
Now, earth and sea seem shaken! Dashed afar
He feels it part;—'tis dropt;—the waters roar,
He sees it in a sable vortex whirling,
Formed by a cavern vast, that 'neath the sea,
Sucks the fierce torrent in.

The furious storm has been raised by the power of his betrayer and persecutor, and in gloomy desperation Zophiël rises with the frail Phraërion to the upper air:

Black clouds, in mass deform,
Were frowning; yet a moment's calm was there,
As it had stopped to breathe awhile the storm.
Their white feet pressed the desert sod; they shook
From their bright locks the briny drops; nor stayed
Zophiël on ills, present or past, to look.

But his flight toward Medea is stayed by a renewal of the tempest—

Loud and more loud the blast; in mingled gyre,
Flew leaves and stones; and with a deafening crash
Fell the uprooted trees; heaven seemed on fire—
Not, as 'tis wont, with intermitting flash,
But, like an ocean all of liquid flame,
The whole broad arch gave one continuous glare,
While through the red light from their prowling came
The frighted beasts, and ran, but could not find a lair.

At length comes a shock, as if the earth crashed against some other planet, and they are thrown amazed and prostrate upon the heath. Zophiël,

Too fierce for fear, uprose; yet ere for flight in a mood
Served his torn wings, a form before him stood
In gloomy majesty. Like starless night,
A sable mantle fell in cloudy fold
From its stupendous breast; and as it trod
The pale and lurid light at distance rolled
Before its princely feet, receding on the sod.

The interview between the bland spirit and the prime cause of his guilt is full of the energy of passion, and the rhetoric of the conversation has a masculine beauty of which Mrs. Brooks alone of all the poets of her sex is capable.

Zophiël returns to Medea and the drama draws to a close, which is painted with consummate art. Egla wanders alone at twilight in the shadowy vistas of a grove, wondering and sighing at the continued absence of the enamored angel, who approaches unseen while she sings a strain that he had taught her.

His wings were folded o'er his eyes; severe
As was the pain he'd borne from wave and wind,
The dubious warning of that being drear,
Who met him in the lightning, to his mind
Was torture worse; a dark presentiment
Came o'er his soul with paralyzing chill,
As when Fate vaguely whispers her intent
To poison mortal joy with sense of coming ill.
He searched about the grove with all the care
Of trembling jealousy, as if to trace
By track or wounded flower some rival there;
And scarcely dared to look upon the face
Of her he loved, lest it some tale might tell
To make the only hope that soothed him vain:
He hears her notes in numbers die and swell,
But almost fears to listen to the strain
Himself had taught her, lest some hated name
Had been with that dear gentle air enwreathed.
While he was far; she sighed—he nearer came,
Oh, transport! Zophiël was the name she breathed.

He saw her—but

Paused, ere he would advance, for very bliss.
The joy of a whole mortal life he felt
In that one moment. Now, too long unseen,
He fain had shown his beauteous form, and knelt
But while he still delayed, a mortal rushed between.

This scene is in the sixth canto. In the fifth, which is occupied almost entirely by mortals, and bears a closer relation than the others to the chief works in narrative and dramatic poetry, are related the adventures of Zameia, which, with the story of her death, following the last extract, would make a fine tragedy. Her misfortunes are simply told by an aged attendant who had fled with her in pursuit of Meles, whom she had seen and loved in Babylon. At the feast of Venus Mylitta,

Full in the midst, and taller than the rest,
Zameia stood distinct, and not a sigh
Disturbed the gem that sparkled on her breast;
Her oval cheek was heightened to a dye[Pg 67]
That shamed the mellow vermeil of the wreath
Which in her jetty locks became her well,
And mingled fragrance with her sweeter breath,
The while her haughty lips more beautifully swell
With consciousness of every charm's excess;
While with becoming scorn she turned her face
From every eye that darted its caress,
As if some god alone might hope for her embrace.

Again she is discovered, sleeping, by the rocky margin of a river:

Pallid and worn, but beautiful and young,
Though marked her charms by wildest passion's trace;
Her long round arms, over a fragment flung,
From pillow all too rude protect a face,
Whose dark and high arched brows gave to the thought
To deem what radiance once they towered above;
But all its proudly beauteous outline taught
That anger there had shared the throne of love.

It was Zameia that rushed between Zophiël and Egla, and that now with quivering lip, disordered hair, and eye gleaming with frenzy, seized her arm, reproached her with the murder of Meles, and attempted to kill her. But as her dagger touches the white robe of the maiden her arm is arrested by some unseen power, and she falls dead at Egla's feet. Reproached by her own handmaid and by the aged attendant of the princess, Egla feels all the horrors of despair, and, beset with evil influences, she seeks to end her own life, but is prevented by the timely appearance of Raphael, in the character of a traveler's guide, leading Helon, a young man of her own nation and kindred who has been living unknown at Babylon, protected by the same angel, and destined to be her husband; and to the mere idea of whose existence, imparted to her in a mysterious and vague manner by Raphael, she has remained faithful from her childhood.

Zophiël, who by the power of Lucifer has been detained struggling in the grove, is suffered once more to enter the presence of the object of his affection. He sees her supported in the arms of Helon, whom he makes one futile effort to destroy, and then is banished forever. The emissaries of his immortal enemy pursue the baffled seraph to his place of exile, and by their derision endeavor to augment his misery,

And when they fled he hid him in a cave
Strewn with the bones of some sad wretch who there,
Apart from men, had sought a desert grave,
And yielded to the demon of despair.
There beauteous Zophiël, shrinking from the day,
Envying the wretch that so his life had ended,
Wailed his eternity;

But, at last, is visited by Raphael, who gives him hopes of restoration to his original rank in heaven.

The concluding canto is entitled "The Bridal of Helon," and in the following lines it contains much of the author's philosophy of life:

The bard has sung, God never formed a soul
Without its own peculiar mate, to meet
Its wandering half, when ripe to crown the whole
Bright plan of bliss, most heavenly, most complete!
But thousand evil things there are that hate
To look on happiness; these hurt, impede,
And, leagued with time, space, circumstance, and fate,
Keep kindred heart from heart, to pine and pant and bleed.
And as the dove to far Palmyra flying,
From where her native founts of Antioch beam,
Weary, exhausted, longing, panting, sighing,
Lights sadly at the desert's bitter stream;
So many a soul, o'er life's drear desert faring,
Love's pure, congenial spring unfound, unquaffed,
Suffers, recoils, then, thirsty and despairing
Of what it would, descends and sips the nearest draught.

On consulting "Zophiël," it will readily be seen that the passages here extracted have not been chosen for their superior poetical merit. It has simply been attempted by quotations and a running commentary to convey a just impression of the scope and character of the work. There is not perhaps in the English language a poem containing a greater variety of thought, description and incident, and though the author did not possess in an eminent degree the constructive faculty, there are few narratives that are conducted with more regard to unities, or with more simplicity and perspicuity.

Though characterized by force and even freedom of expression, it does not contain an impure or irreligious sentiment. Every page is full of passion, but passion subdued and chastened by refinement and delicacy. Several of the characters are original and splendid creations. Zophiël seems to us the finest fallen angel that has come from the hand of a poet. Milton's outcasts from heaven are utterly depraved and abraded of their glory; but Zophiël has traces of his original virtue and beauty, and a lingering hope of restoration to the presence of the Divinity. Deceived by the specious fallacies of an immortal like himself, and his superior in rank, he encounters the blackest perfidy in him for whom so much had been forfeited, and the blight of every prospect that had lured his fancy or ambition. Egla, though one of the most important characters in the poem, is much less interesting. She is represented as heroically consistent, except when given over for a moment to the malice of infernal emissaries. In her immediate reception of Helon as a husband, she is constant to a long cherished idea, and fulfills the design of her guardian spirit, or it would excite some wonder that Zophiël was worsted in such competition. It will be perceived upon a careful examination that the work is in admirable keeping, and that the entire conduct of its several persons bears a just relation to their characters and position.

Mrs. Brooks returned to the United States, and her son being now a student in the military academy, she took up her residence in the vicinity of West Point, where, with occasional intermissions in which she visited her plantation in Cuba or traveled in the United States, she remained until 1839. Her marked individuality, the variety, beauty and occasional splendor of her conversation, made her house a favorite resort of the officers of the academy, and of the most accomplished persons who frequented that romantic neighborhood, by many of whom she will long be remembered with mingled affection and admiration.

In 1834 she caused to be published in Boston an edition of "Zophiël," for the benefit of the Polish exiles who were thronging to this country after their then recent struggle for freedom. There were at that time too few readers among us of sufficiently cultivated and independent taste to appreciate a work of art which time or accident had not commended to the popular applause, and "Zophiël" scarcely anywhere excited any interest or attracted any attention. At the end of a month but about twenty copies[Pg 68] had been sold, and, in a moment of disappointment, Mrs. Brooks caused the remainder of the impression to be withdrawn from the market. The poem has therefore been little read in this country, and even the title of it would have remained unknown to the common reader of elegant literature but for occasional allusions to it by Southey and other foreign critics. [2]

In the summer of 1843, while Mrs. Brooks was residing at Fort Columbus, in the bay of New York,—a military post at which her son, Captain Horace Brooks, was stationed several years—she had printed for private circulation the remarkable little work to which allusion has already been made, entitled "Idomen, or the Vale of the Yumuri." It is in the style of a romance, but contains little that is fictitious except the names of the characters. The account which Idomen gives of her own history is literally true, except in relation to an excursion to Niagara, which occurred in a different period of the author's life. It is impossible to read these interesting "confessions" without feeling a profound interest in the character which they illustrate; a character of singular strength, dignity and delicacy, subjected to the severest tests, and exposed to the most curious and easy analysis. "To see the inmost soul of one who bore all the impulse and torture of self-murder without perishing, is what can seldom be done: very few have memories strong enough to retain a distinct impression of past suffering, and few, though possessed of such memories, have the power of so describing their sensations as to make them apparent to another." "Idomen" will possess an interest and value as a psychological study, independent of that which belongs to it as a record of the experience of so eminent a poet.

Mrs. Brooks was anxious to have published an edition of all her writings, including "Idomen," before leaving New York, and she authorized me to offer gratuitously her copyrights to an eminent publishing house for that purpose. In the existing condition of the copyright laws, which should have been entitled acts for the discouragement of a native literature, she was not surprised that the offer was declined, though indignant that the reason assigned should have been that they were "of too elevated a character to sell." Writing to me soon afterward she observed, "I do not think any thing from my humble imagination can be 'too elevated,' or elevated enough, for the public as it really is in these North American States.... In the words of poor Spurzheim, (uttered to me a short time before his death, in Boston,) I solace myself by saying, 'Stupidity! stupidity! the knowledge of that alone has saved me from misanthropy.'"

In December, 1843, Mrs. Brooks sailed the last time from her native country for the Island of Cuba. There, on her coffee estate, Hermita, she renewed for a while her literary labors. The small stone building, smoothly plastered, with a flight of steps leading to its entrance, in which she wrote some of the cantos of "Zophiël," is described by a recent traveler [3] as surrounded by alleys of "palms, cocoas, and oranges, interspersed with the tamarind, the pomegranate, the mangoe, and the rose-apple, with a back ground of coffee and plantains covering every portion of the soil with their luxuriant verdure. I have often passed it," he observes, "in the still night, when the moon was shining brightly, and the leaves of the cocoa and palm threw fringe-like shadows on the walls and the floor, and the elfin lamps of the cocullos swept through the windows and door, casting their lurid, mysterious light on every object, while the air was laden with mingled perfume from the coffee and orange, and the tube-rose and night-blooming ceres, and have thought that no fitter birth-place could be found for the images she has created."

Her habits of composition were peculiar. With an almost unconquerable aversion to the use of the pen, especially in her later years, it was her custom to finish her shorter pieces, and entire cantos of longer poems, before committing a word of them to paper. She had long meditated, and had partly composed, an epic under the title of "Beatriz, the Beloved of Columbus," and when transmitting to me the MS. of "The Departed," in August, 1844, she remarked: "When I have written out my 'Vistas del Infierno' and one other short poem, I hope to begin the penning of the epic I have so often spoken to you of; but when or whether it will ever be finished, Heaven alone can tell." I have not learned whether this poem was written, but when I heard her repeat passages of it, I thought it would be a nobler work than "Zophiël."

Mrs. Brooks died at Patricio, in Cuba, near the close of December, 1844.

I have no room for particular criticism of her minor poems. They will soon I trust be given to the public in a suitable edition, when it will be discovered that they are heart-voices, distinguished for the same fearlessness of thought and expression which is illustrated by the work which has been considered in this brief reviewal.

The accompanying portrait is from a picture by Mr. Alexander, of Boston, and though the engraver has very well preserved the details and general effect of the painting, it does little justice to the fine intellectual expression of the subject. It was a fancy of Mr. Southey's that induced her to wear in her hair the passion-flower, which that poet deemed the fittest emblem of her nature.




THE CRUISE OF THE RAKER.

[Pg 69]

A TALE OF THE WAR OF 1812-15.


BY HENRY A. CLARK.

CHAPTER I.

The Departure of the Privateer.

It was a dark and cloudy afternoon near the close of the war of 1812-15. A little vessel was scudding seaward before a strong sou'wester, which lashed the bright waters of the Delaware till its breast seemed a mimic ocean, heaving and swelling with tiny waves. As the sky and sea grew darker and darker in the gathering shades of twilight, the little bark rose upon the heavy swell of the ocean, and meeting Cape May on its lee-beam, shot out upon the broad waste of waters, alone in its daring course, seeming like the fearless bird which spreads its long wings amid the fury of the storm and the darkness of the cloud.

Upon the deck, near the helm, stood the captain, whom we introduce to our readers as George Greene, captain of the American privater, Raker. He was a weather-bronzed, red-cheeked, sturdy-built personage, with a dark-blue eye, the same in color as the great sea over which it was roving with an earnest and careful glance, rather as if in search of a strange sail, than in apprehension of the approaching storm. His countenance denoted firmness and resolution, which he truly possessed in an extraordinary degree, and his whole appearance was that of a hardy sailor accustomed to buffet with the storm and laugh at the fiercest wave.

It was evident that a bad night was before them, and there were some on board the little privateer who thought they had better have remained inside the light-house of Cape May, than ventured out upon the sea. The heavy masses of black clouds which were piled on the edge of the distant horizon seemed gradually gathering nearer and nearer, as if to surround and ingulf the gallant vessel, which sped onward fearlessly and proudly, as if conscious of its power to survive the tempest, and bide the storm.

Captain Greene's eye was at length attracted by the threatening aspect of the sky, and seizing his speaking-trumpet he gave the orders of preparation, which were the more promptly executed inasmuch as they had been anxiously awaited.

"Lay aloft there, lads, and in with the fore to'gallant-sail and royal—down with the main gaff top-sail!—bear a hand, lads, a norther on the Banks is no plaything! Clear away both cables, and see them bent to the anchors—let's have all snug—lower the flag from the gaff-peak, and send up the storm-pennant, there—now we are ready."

A thunder-storm at sea is perhaps the sublimest sight in nature, especially when attended with the darkness and mystery of night. The struggling vessel plunges onward into the deep blackness, like a blind and unbridled war-horse. All is dark—fearfully dark. Stand with me, dear reader, here in the bow of the ship! make fast to that halliard, and share with me in the glorious feelings engendered by the storm which is now rioting over the waters and rending the sky. We hear the fierce roar of the contending surges, yet we see them not. We hear the quivering sails and strained sheets, creaking and fluttering like imprisoned spirits, above and around us, but all is solemnly invisible; now, see in the distant horizon the faint premonitory flush of light, preceding the vivid lightning flash—now, for a moment, every thing—sky—water—sheet—shroud and spar are glowing with a brilliancy that exceedeth the brightness of day—the sky is a broad canopy of golden radiance, and the waves are crested with a red and fiery surge, that reminds you of your conception of the "lake of burning fire and brimstone." We feel the dread—the vast sublimity of the breathless moment, and while the mighty thoughts and tumultuous conceptions are striving for form and order of utterance within our throbbing breasts—again all is dark—sadly, solemnly dark. Is not the scene—is not the hour, truly sublime?

There was one at least on board the little Raker, who felt as we should have felt, dear reader—a sense of exultation, mingled with awe. It is upon the ocean that man learns his own weakness, and his own strength—he feels the light vessel trembling beneath him, as if it feared dissolution—he hears the strained sheets moaning in almost conscious agony—he sees the great waves dashing from stem to stern in relentless glee, and he feels that he is a sport and a plaything in the grasp of a mightier power; he learns his own insignificance. Yet the firm deck remains—the taut sheets and twisted halliards give not away; and he learns a proud reliance on his own skill and might, when he finds that with but a narrow hold between him and death, he can outride the storm, and o'ermaster the wave.

Such were the thoughts which filled the mind of Henry Morris, as he stood by the side of Captain Greene on the quarter-deck of the Raker; as he stood with his left arm resting on the main-boom, and his gracefully turned little tarpaulin thrown back from a broad, high forehead, surrounded by dark and clustering curls, and with his black, brilliant eyes lighted up with the enthusiasm of thought, he presented a splendid specimen of an American sailor. The epau[Pg 70]lette upon his shoulder denoted that he was an officer; he was indeed second in command in the privateer. He was a native of New Jersey, and his father had been in Revolutionary days one of the "Jarsey Blues," as brave and gallant men as fought in that glorious struggle.

"Well, Harry," said Captain Greene, "it's a dirty night, but I'll turn in a spell, and leave you in command."

"Ay, ay, sir."

Captain Greene threw out a huge quid of tobacco which had rested for some time in his mouth, walked the deck a few times fore and aft, gaped as if his jaws were about to separate forever, and then disappeared through the cabin-door.

Henry Morris, though an universal favorite with the crew and officers under his command, was yet a strict disciplinarian, and being left in command of the deck at once went the rounds of the watch, to see that all were on the look out. The night had far advanced before he saw any remissness; at length, however, he discovered a brawny tar stowed away in a coil of rope, snoring in melodious unison with the noise of the wind and wave; his mouth was open, developing an amazing circumference. Morris looked at him for some time, when, with a smile, he addressed a sailor near him.

"I say, Jack Marlinspike!"

"Ay, ay, sir."

"Jack, get some oakum."

Jack speedily brought a fist-full.

"Now, Jack, some slush."

Jack dipped the oakum in the slush-bucket which hung against the main-mast.

"Now, Jack, a little tar."

The mixture was immediately dropped into the tar-bucket.

"Now, Jack, stow it away in Pratt's mouth—don't wake him up—'tis a delicate undertaking, but he sleeps soundly."

"Lord! a stroke of lightning wouldn't wake him—ha! ha! ha! he'll dream he is eating his breakfast!"

With a broad grin upon his weather-beaten face, Marlinspike proceeded to obey orders. He placed the execrable compound carefully in Pratt's mouth, and plugged it down, as he called it, with the end of his jack-knife, then surveying his work with a complacent laugh, he touched his hat, and withdrew a few paces to bide the event.

Pratt breathed hard, but slept on, though the melody of his snoring was sadly impaired in the clearness of its utterance.

Morris gazed at him quietly, and then sung out,

"Pratt—Pratt—what are you lying there wheezing like a porpoise for? Get up, man, your watch is not out."

The sailor opened his eyes with a ludicrous expression of fright, as he became immediately conscious of a peculiar feeling of difficulty in breathing—thrusting his huge hand into his mouth, he hauled away upon its contents, and at length found room for utterance.

"By heaven, just tell me who did that 'ar nasty trick—that's all."

At this moment he caught sight of Marlinspike, who was looking at him with a grin extending from ear to ear. Without further remark, Pratt let the substance which he had held in his hand fly at Marlinspike's head; that individual, however, dodged very successfully, and it disappeared to leeward.

Pratt was about to follow up his first discharge with an assault from a pair of giant fists, but the voice of his commander restrained him.

"Ah, Pratt! somebody has been fooling you—you must look out for the future."

Pratt immediately knew from the peculiar tone of the voice which accompanied this remark who was the real author of the joke, and turned to his duty with the usual philosophy of a sailor, at the same time filling his mouth with nearly a whole hand of tobacco, to take the taste out, as he said. He did not soon sleep upon his watch again.

As the reader will perceive, Lieut. Morris was decidedly fond of a joke, as, indeed, is every sailor.

The storm still raged onward as day broke over the waters; the little Raker was surrounded by immense waves which heaved their foaming spray over the vessel from stem to stern.

Yet all on board were in good spirits; all had confidence in the well-tried strength of their bark, and the joke and jest went round as gayly and carelessly as if the wind were only blowing a good stiff way.

"Here, you snow-ball," cried Jack Marlinspike, to the black cook, who had just emptied his washings overboard, and was tumbling back to his galley as well as the uneasy motion of the vessel would allow; "here, snow-ball."

"Well, massa—what want?"

"Haint we all told you that you mustn't empty nothing over to windward but hot water and ashes—all else must go to leeward?"

"Yes, Massa."

"Well, recollect it now; go and empty your ash-pot, so you'll learn how."

"Yes, massa."

Cuffy soon appeared with his pot, which he capsized as directed, and got his eyes full of the dust.

"O, Lord! O, Lord! I see um now; I guess you wont catch dis child that way agin."

"Well, well, Cuffy! we must all learn by experience."

"Gorry, massa, guess I wont try de hot water!"

"Well, I wouldn't, Cuff. Now hurry up the pork—you've learnt something this morning."

Such was the spirit of the Raker's crew, as they once more stretched out upon the broad ocean. It was their third privateering trip, and they felt confident of success, as they had been unusually fortunate in their previous trips. The crew consisted of but twenty men, but all were brave and powerful fellows, and all actuated by a true love of country, as well as prompted by a desire for gain. A long thirty-two lay amidships, carefully covered with canvas, which also concealed a formidable pile of balls. Altogether, the Raker, though evidently built[Pg 71] entirely for speed, seemed also a vessel well able to enter into an engagement with any vessel of its size and complement.

As the middle day approached the clouds arose and scudded away to leeward like great flocks of wild geese, and the bright sun once more shone upon the waters, seeming to hang a string of pearls about the dark crest of each subsiding wave. All sail was set aboard the Raker, which stretched out toward mid ocean, with the stars and stripes flying at her peak, the free ocean beneath, and her band of gallant hearts upon her decks, ready for the battle or the breeze.


CHAPTER II.

The Merchant Brig.

Two weeks later than the period at which we left the Raker, a handsome merchant vessel, with all sail set, was gliding down the English channel, bound for the East Indies. The gentle breeze of a lovely autumnal morning scarcely sufficed to fill the sails, and the vessel made but little progress till outside the Lizard, when a freer wind struck it, and it swept oceanward with a gallant pace, dashing aside the waters, and careering gracefully as a swan upon the wave. Its armament was of little weight, and it seemed evident that its voyage, as far as any design of the owners was concerned, was to be a peaceful one. England at that time had become the undisputed mistress of the ocean; and even the few splendid victories obtained by the gallant little American navy, had failed as yet to inspire in the bosoms of her sailors, any feeling like that of fear or of caution; and Captain Horton, of the merchantman Betsy Allen, smoked his pipe, and drank his glass as unconcernedly as if there were no such thing as an American privateer upon the ocean.

The passengers in the vessel, which was a small brig of not more than a hundred and forty tons, were an honest merchant of London, Thomas Williams by name, and his daughter, a lovely girl of seventeen. Mr. Williams had failed in business, but through the influence of friends had obtained an appointment from the East India Company, and was now on his way to take his station. He was a blunt and somewhat unpolished man, but kind in heart as he was frank in speech.

Julia Williams was a fair specimen of English beauty; she was tall, yet so well developed, that she did not appear slight or angular, and withal so gracefully rounded was every limb, that any less degree of fullness would have detracted from her beauty. She was full of ardor and enterprise, not easily appalled by danger, and properly confident in her own resources, yet there was no unfeminine expression of boldness in her countenance, for nothing could be softer, purer, or more delicate, than the outlines of her charming features. There were times when, roused by intense emotion, she seemed queen-like in her haughty step and majestic beauty, yet in her calmer mind, her retiring and modest demeanor partook more of a womanly dependence than of the severity of command.

Julia was seated on the deck beside her father, in the grateful shade of the main-mast, gazing upon the green shores which they had just passed, now fast fading in the distance, while the chalky cliffs which circle the whole coast of England, began to stand out in bold relief upon the shore.

"Good-bye to dear England, father!" said the beautiful girl; "shall we ever see it again?"

"You may, dear Julia, probably I never shall."

"Well, let us hope that we may."

"Yes, we will hope, it will be a proud day for me, if it ever come, when I go back to London and pay my creditors every cent I owe them, when no man shall have reason to curse me for the injury I have done him, however unintentional."

"No man will do so now, dear father, no one but knows you did all you could to avert the calamity, and when it came, surrendered all your property to meet the demands of your creditors. You did all that an honest man should do, father; and you can have no reason to reproach yourself."

"True, girl, true! I do not; yet I hate to think that I, whose name was once as good as the bank, should now owe, when I cannot pay—that's all; a bad feeling, but a few years in India may make all right again."

"O, yes! but, father, it is time for you to take your morning glass. You know you wont feel well if you forget it."

"Never fear my forgetting that; my stomach always tell me, and I know by that when it is 11 o'clock, A.M., as well as by my time-piece."

"Well, John, bring Mr. Williams his morning glass."

Julia spoke to their servant, a worthy, clever fellow, who had long lived in their family, and would not leave it now. He had never been upon the ocean before, and already began to be sea-sick. He however managed to reach the cabin-door, and after a long time returned with the glass, which he got to his master's hand, spilling half its contents on the way.

"There, master, I haint been drinking none on't, but this plaguey ship is so dommed uneasy, I can't walk steady, and I feels very sick, I does; I think I be's going to die."

"You are only a little sea-sick, John."

"Not so dommed little, either."

"You are not yet used to your new situation, John; in a few days you'll be quite a sailor."

"Will I though? Well, the way I feels now, I'd just as lief die as not—oh!—ugh"—and John rushed to the gunwale.

"Heave yo!" sung out a jolly tar; "pitch your cargo overboard. You'll sail better if you lighten ship."

"Dom this ere sailing—ugh—I will die."

Thus resolving, John laid himself down by the galley, and closed his eyes with a heroic determination.

Such an event, as might be expected, was a great[Pg 72] joke to the crew—a land-lubber at sea being with sailors always a fair butt, and poor John's misery was aggravated by their, as it seemed to him, unfeeling remarks, yet he was so far gone that he could only faintly "dom them." His master, who knew that he would soon be well, made no attempt to relieve him; and John was for some time unmolested in his vigorous attempt to die.

He was aroused at length by the same tar who had first noticed his sickness,

"I say, lubber, are you sick?"

"Yes, dom sick."

"Well, I expect you've got to die, there's only one thing that'll save you—get up and follow me to the cock-pit."

John attempted to rise, but now really unwell, he was not able to stir. His kind physician calling a brother tar to his aid, they assisted John below.

"There, now, you lubber, I'm going to cure you, if you'll only foller directions."

John merely grunted.

"Here's some raw pork, and some grog, though it's a pity to waste grog on such a lubber—now, you must eat as if you'd never ate before, if you don't, you are a goner."

John very faintly uttered, that he couldn't "eat a dom bit."

"Then you'll die, and the fishes will eat YOU."

John shuddered, "Well, I'll try."

So saying, he downed one of the pieces of pork, which as speedily came up again.

"Now drink, and be quick about it, or I shall drink it for you."

With much exertion they made John eat and drink heartily, after which they left him to sleep awhile.

The following morning John appeared on deck again, exceedingly pale to be sure, but entirely recovered from his sea-sickness, and with a feeling of fervent gratitude toward the sailor, who, as he fancied, had saved his valuable life.

Nothing occurred to interrupt the peaceful monotony of life aboard the little craft for the following ten days: before a good breeze they had made much way in their voyage, and all on board were pleased with prosperous wind and calm sea and sky.

On the morning of the following day, however, the cry from the mast-head of "sail ho!" aroused all on board to a feeling of interest.

"Where away?"

"Right over the lee-bow."

"What do you make of her?"

"Square to'sails, queer rig—flag, can't see it."

"O! captain," said Julia, "can't you go near enough to speak it?"

"Of course I could, 'cause it's right on the lee, but whether I'd better or not is quite another thing."

"The captain knows best, my dear," said the merchant.

"Certainly, but I should so like to see some other faces besides those which are about us every day."

"If you are tired already, my pretty lady," said Captain Horton, "I wonder what you'll be before we get to the Indies."

"Heigh-ho," sighed the fair lady.

"Mast-head there," shouted Captain Horton.

"Ay, ay, sir."

"What do you make of her now?"

"Nothing yet, sir; we are overhauling her fast though."

In a short time the top-sails of the strange vessel became visible from the deck.

"Ah! she's hove in sight, has she?" said Captain Horton. "I'll see what I can make of her," and seizing his glass he ascended the fore-ratlins, nearly to the cross-trees, and after a long and steady survey of the approaching vessel, in which survey he also included the whole horizon, he descended with a thoughtful countenance, muttering to himself, "I was a little afraid of it."

"Well captain," inquired Julia, "is it an English vessel?"

"May be 't is—can't tell where 't was built."

"Can't you see the flag?"

"Can't make it out yet."

"Captain Horton," exclaimed the merchant, who had been watching his countenance from the moment he had descended the ratlins, "you do know something about that vessel, I am sure."

Captain Horton interrupted him by an earnest glance toward Julia, which the fair girl herself noticed.

"O! be not afraid to say any thing before me, captain. I am not easily frightened, and if you have to fight I will help you."

The bright eyes of the girl as she spoke grew brighter, and her little hand was clenched as if it held a sword.

Casting a glance of admiration toward the beautiful girl, Captain Horton leisurely filled his pipe from his waistcoat pocket, and replied as he lit it—

"Well, I'm inclined to think it's what we call a pirate, my fair lady."

"A pirate," sung out John, "a pirate, boo-hoo! oh dear! we shall all be ravaged and cooked, and eaten. O dear! why didn't I marry Susan Thompson, and go to keeping an inn—boo-hoo!"

"John," said his master, "be still, or if you must cry, go below."

The servant made a manly effort, and managed to repress his ejaculations, but could not keep back the large tears which followed each other down his cheeks in rapid succession.

"Can't you run from her, captain?" asked the merchant.

"Have you no guns aboard?" inquired Julia.

"I see you are for fighting the rascals, Miss Julia, and I own that would be the pleasantest course for me; but you see, we can't do it. The company don't allow their vessels enough fire-arms to beat off a brig half their own size—there's no way but to run for it, and these rascals always have a swift craft—generally a Baltimore clipper, which is just the fastest and prettiest vessel in the world, if those pesky Yankees do build them—but the Betsy Allen aint a slow craft, and we'll do the best we can to show 'em a clean pair of heels."[Pg 73]

"You are to windward of them, captain," said Julia.

"Yes, that's true; but these clippers sail right in the teeth of the wind; see, now, how they've neared us—ahoy!—all hands ahoy!"

"Ay, ay, sir."

"'Bout ship, my boys—let go the jibs—lively, boys; now the fore peak-halyards. There she is—that throws the strange sail right astern; and a stern chase is a long chase."

Three or four hours of painful anxiety succeeded, when it became evident even to the unpracticed eyes of Julia and her father, that the strange vessel was slowly but surely overhauling them. Yet the brave girl showed none of the usual weakness of her sex, and even encouraged her father, who, though himself a brave man, yet trembled as he thought of the probable fate of his daughter. As for poor John, that unfortunate individual was so completely beside himself, that he wandered from one part of the vessel to the other, asking each sailor successively what his opinion of the chances of escape might be, and what treatment they might expect from the pirates after they were taken. As may be imagined, he received little consolation from the hardy tars, who, although themselves well aware of their probable fate, yet had been too long schooled in danger to show fear before the peril was immediately around them, and were each pursuing the duties of their several stations, very much as if only threatened with the usual dangers of the voyage. The unmanly fears of John even induced them to play upon his anxiety, and magnify his terror.

"Why, John," said his old friend, who had so scientifically cured him of his sea-sickness, and toward whom John evinced a kind of filial reverence, placing peculiar reliance upon every thing said by the worthy tar, "why, John, they will make us all walk the plank."

"Will they—O, dear me! and what is that, does it hurt a fellow?"

"O, no! he dies easy."

"Dies! oh, lud!"

"Why, yes! you know what walking the plank is, don't yer?"

"No I don't. O, dear!"

"Well, they run a plank over the side of the ship, and ask you very politely to walk out to the end of it."

"O, lud! and don't they let a body hold on?"

"And then when you get to the end of it, why, John, it naturally follers that it tips up, and lets you into the sea."

"And don't they help you out?"

"No, no, John! I aint joking now, by my honor; that's the end of a man, and that's where we shall go to if they get hold of us."

"O, dear me! what did I come to sea for? Well, but s'posin you wont go out on the plank, wouldn't it do just to tell 'em you'd rather not, perlitely, you know—perliteness goes a great way."

"They just blow your brains out with a pistol, that's all."

"O, lud!"

"Yes, John, that's the way they use folks."

"The bloody villains! and have we all got to walk the plank? Oh! dear Miss Julia, and all?"

"No, no, John, not her; poor girl, it would be better if she had"—and the kind-hearted tar brushed away a tear with his tawny hand.

"What! don't they kill the women, then?"

"No, no, John, they lets them live."

A sudden light shone in the eyes of John; it was the first happy expression that had flitted across his countenance since the strange sail had been discovered, and the fearful word, pirate, had fallen upon his ears.

"I have it—I have it!"

"What, John?"

But John danced off, leaving the sailor to wonder at the sudden metamorphosis in the feelings of the cockney.

"Well, that's a queer son of a lubber; I wonder what he's after now."

John, in the meantime, approached Julia, and in a very mysterious manner desired a few moments private conversation with her.

"Why, John, what can you want?" She had been no woman, if, however, her curiosity to learn the motive of so strange a request from her servant had not induced her to listen to him.

"Miss Julia," commenced John, "I've discovered a way in which we can all be saved alive by these bloody pirates, after they catch us; by all, I mean you and your father, and I, and the captain, if he's a mind to."

"Well, what is it, John?"

"I'll tell you, Miss Julia. Dick Halyard says they only kill the men—they makes all them walk the plank, which is—"

"I know what it is," said Julia, with a slight shudder.

"Well, they saves all the women, out o' respect for the weaker sex. Now, Miss Julia."

"Why, John!"

"But I know it's so, 'cause Dick Halyard told me all about it; now you see if you'll only let me take one of your dresses—I wont hurt it none; and then your father can take another, and we'll get clear of the bloody villains—wont it be great?"

Julia could not repress a laugh even in the midst of the melancholy thoughts which involuntarily arose in her mind during the elucidation of John's plan of escape; she could not, however, explain the difficulties in the way of its successful issue to the self-satisfied expounder, and finding no other more convenient way of closing the conversation, she told him he should have a woman's dress, with all the necessary accompaniments.

John was delighted.

"You'll tell your father, Miss Julia, wont you? O, Lud! we'll cheat the bloody fellows yet; I'll go and curl my hair."

Julia returned to her father's side, and silently[Pg 74] watched the strange sail, which was evidently drawing nearer, as her dark hull had shown itself above the waters.

"We have but one chance of escape left," exclaimed Captain Horton; "if we can elude them during the night, all will be well; if to-morrow's sun find us in sight, we shall inevitably fall into their hands."

Night gradually settled over the deep, and when the twilight had passed, and all was dark, the lights of the pirate brig were some five miles to leeward. Her blood-red flag had been run up to the fore-peak, as if in mockery of the prey the pirates felt sure could not escape them—and the booming noise of a heavy gun had reached the ears of the fugitives, as if to signal their predestined doom. Yet the calm, round moon looked down upon the gloomy waters with the same serene countenance that had gazed into their bosom for thousands of years, and trod upward on her starry pathway with the same queenly pace; yet, perchance, in her own domains contention and strife, animosity and bloodshed were rife; perchance the sound of tumultuous war, even then, was echoing among her mountains, and staining her streams with gore.

[To be continued.




THE SOUL'S DREAM.


BY GEORGE H. BOKER.

Like an army with its banners, onward marched the mighty sun,
To his home in triumph hastening, when the hard-fought field was won;
While the thronging clouds hung proudly o'er the victor's bright array,
Gold and red and purple pennons, welcoming the host of day.
Gazing on the glowing pageant, slowly fading from the air,
Closed my mind its heavy eyelids, nodding o'er the world of care;
And the soaring thoughts came fluttering downward to their tranquil nest,
Folded up their wearied pinions, sinking one by one to rest.
Till a deep, o'ermastering slumber seemed to wrap my very soul,
And a gracious dream from Heaven, treading lightly, to me stole:
Downward from its plumes ethereal, on my thirsting bosom flowed
Dews which to the land of spirits all their mystic virtue owed.
And when touched that potent essence, Time divided as a cloud,
From the Past, the Present, Future rolled aside oblivion's shroud;
And Life's hills and vales far-stretching full before my vision lay,
Seeming but an isle of shadow in Eternity's broad day.
On the Past I bent my glances, saw the gentle, guileless child
Face to face with God conversing, and the awful Presence smiled—
Smiled a glory on the forehead of the simple-hearted one,
And the radiance, back reflected, cast a splendor round the throne.
Saw the boy, by Heaven instructed through earth's mute, symbolic forms,
Drinking wisdom with his senses, which the higher nature warms;
Saw that purer knowledge mingled with the worldling's base alloy,
And the passions' foul impression stamped upon his face of joy.
O, I cried to God in anguish, is this boasted wisdom vain,
For which I, by night and sunshine, tax my overwearied brain;
Till, alas! grown too familiar with the thoughts that knock at Heaven,
I would further pierce the mystery than to mortal eye is given?
Is the learning of our childhood, is the pure and easy lore
Speaking in a heart unsullied, better than the vaunted store
Heaped, like ice, to chill and harden every faculty save mind,
By the hand of haughty Science, sometimes wandering, sometimes blind?
But no answer reached my senses; for my feeble voice was lost,
When the Future came in darkness, like a rushing arméd host;
Shouting cries of fear and danger, shouting words of hope and cheer,
Racking me with threat and promise, ever coming, never here.
Then my spirit stretched its vision, prying in the doubtful gloom,
Half a glimpse to me was given o'er Time's boundary-stone—the tomb.
With a shriek, like that which rises from a sinking, night-wrecked bark,
Burst my soul the bounds of slumber, and the world and I were dark!
While the dull and leaden Present on my palsied spirit pressed,
Till the soaring thoughts rose upward, bounding from their earthly rest;
Shaking down the golden dew-drops from their pinions proud and strong,
And the cares of life fell from me, fading in the realm of Song.




THE MAID OF BOGOTA.

[Pg 75]

A TALE FROM COLOMBIAN HISTORY.


BY W. GILMORE SIMMS.

Whenever the several nations of the earth which have achieved their deliverance from misrule and tyranny shall point, as they each may, to the fair women who have taken active part in the cause of liberty, and by their smiles and services have contributed in no measured degree to the great objects of national defence and deliverance, it will be with a becoming and just pride only that the Colombians shall point to their virgin martyr, commonly known among them as La Pola, the Maid of Bogota. With the history of their struggle for freedom her story will always be intimately associated; her tragical fate, due solely to the cause of her country, being linked with all the touching interest of the most romantic adventure. Her spirit seemed to be woven of the finest materials. She was gentle, exquisitively sensitive, and capable of the most true and tender attachments. Her mind was one of rarest endowments, touched to the finest issues of eloquence, and gifted with all the powers of the improvisatrice, while her courage and patriotism seem to have been cast in those heroic moulds of antiquity from which came the Cornelias and Deborahs of famous memory. Well had it been for her country had the glorious model which she bestowed upon her people been held in becoming homage by the race with which her destiny was cast—a race masculine only in exterior, and wanting wholly in that necessary strength of soul which, rising to the due appreciation of the blessings of national freedom, is equally prepared to make, for its attainment, every necessary sacrifice of self; and yet our heroine was but a child in years—a lovely, tender, feeble creature, scarcely fifteen years of age. But the soul grows rapidly to maturity in some countries, and in the case of women, it is always great in its youth, if greatness is ever destined to be its possession.

Doña Apolenaria Zalabariata—better known by the name of La Pola—was a young girl, the daughter of a good family of Bogota, who was distinguished at an early period, as well for her great gifts of beauty as of intellect. She was but a child when Bolivar first commenced his struggles with the Spanish authorities, with the ostensible object of freeing his country from their oppressive tyrannies. It is not within our province to discuss the merits of his pretensions as a deliverer, or of his courage and military skill as a hero. The judgment of the world and of time has fairly set at rest those specious and hypocritical claims, which, for a season, presumed to place him on the pedestal with our Washington. We now know that he was not only a very selfish, but a very ordinary man—not ordinary, perhaps, in the sense of intellect, for that would be impossible in the case of one who was so long able to maintain his eminent position, and to succeed in his capricious progresses, in spite of inferior means, and a singular deficiency of the heroic faculty. But his ambition was the vulgar ambition, and, if possible, something still inferior. It contemplated his personal wants alone; it lacked all the elevation of purpose which is the great essential of patriotism, and was wholly wanting in that magnanimity of soul which delights in the sacrifice of self, whenever such sacrifice promises the safety of the single great purpose which it professes to desire. But we are not now to consider Bolivar, the deliverer, as one whose place in the pantheon has already been determined by the unerring judgment of posterity. We are to behold him only with those eyes in which he was seen by the devoted followers to whom he brought, or appeared to bring, the deliverance for which they yearned. It is with the eyes of the passionate young girl, La Pola, the beautiful and gifted child, whose dream of country perpetually craved the republican condition of ancient Rome, in the days of its simplicity and virtue; it is with her fancy and admiration that we are to crown the ideal Bolivar, till we acknowledge him, as he appears to her, the Washington of the Colombians, eager only to emulate the patriotism, and to achieve like success with his great model of the northern confederacy. Her feelings and opinions, with regard to the Liberator, were those of her family. Her father was a resident of Bogota, a man of large possessions and considerable intellectual acquirements. He gradually passed from a secret admiration of Bolivar to a warm sympathy with his progress, and an active support—so far as he dared, living in a city under immediate and despotic Spanish rule—of all his objects. He followed with eager eyes the fortunes of the chief, as they fluctuated between defeat and victory in other provinces, waiting anxiously the moment when the success and policy of the struggle should bring deliverance, in turn, to the gates of Bogota. Without taking up arms himself, he contributed secretly from his own resources to supplying the coffers of Bolivar with treasure, even when his operations were remote—and his daughter was the agent through whose unsuspected ministry the money was conveyed to the several emissaries who were commissioned to receive it. The duty was equally delicate and dangerous, requiring great prudence and circumspection; and the skill, address and courage with which the child succeeded in the execution of her trusts, would furnish a frequent lesson for older heads and the sterner and the bolder sex.

La Pola was but fourteen years old when she obtained her first glimpse of the great man in whose cause she had already been employed, and of whose deeds and distinctions she had heard so much. By[Pg 76] the language of the Spanish tyranny, which swayed with iron authority over her native city, she heard him denounced and execrated as a rebel and marauder, for whom an ignominious death was already decreed by the despotic viceroy. This language, from such lips, was of itself calculated to raise its object favorably in her enthusiastic sight. By the patriots, whom she had been accustomed to love and venerate, she heard the same name breathed always in whispers of hope and affection, and fondly commended, with tearful blessings, to the watchful care of Heaven. She was now to behold with her own eyes this individual thus equally distinguished by hate and homage in her hearing. Bolivar apprised his friends in Bogota that he should visit them in secret. That province, ruled with a fearfully strong hand by Zamano, the viceroy, had not yet ventured to declare itself for the republic. It was necessary to operate with caution; and it was no small peril which Bolivar necessarily incurred in penetrating to its capital, and laying his snares, and fomenting insurrection beneath the very hearth-stones of the tyrant. It was to La Pola's hands that the messenger of the Liberator confided the missives that communicated this important intelligence to her father. She little knew the contents of the billet which she carried him in safety, nor did he confide them to the child. He himself did not dream the precocious extent of that enthusiasm which she felt almost equally in the common cause, and in the person of its great advocate and champion. Her father simply praised her care and diligence, rewarded her with his fondest caresses, and then proceeded with all quiet despatch to make his preparations for the secret reception of the deliverer. It was at midnight, and while a thunder-storm was raging, that he entered the city, making his way, agreeably to previous arrangement, and under select guidance, into the inner apartments of the house of Zalabariata. A meeting of the conspirators—for such they were—of head men among the patriots of Bogota, had been contemplated for his reception. Several of them were accordingly in attendance when he came. These were persons whose sentiments were well known to be friendly to the cause of liberty, who had suffered by the hands, or were pursued by the suspicions of Zamano, and who, it was naturally supposed, would be eagerly alive to every opportunity of shaking off the rule of the oppressor. But patriotism, as a philosophic sentiment, to be indulged after a good dinner, and discussed phlegmatically, if not classically, over sherry and cigars, is a very different sort of thing from patriotism as a principle of action, to be prosecuted as a duty, at every peril, instantly and always, to the death, if need be. Our patriots at Bogota were but too frequently of the contemplative, the philosophical order. Patriotism with them was rather a subject for eloquence than use. They could recall those Utopian histories of Greece and Rome which furnish us with ideals rather than facts, and sigh for names like those of Cato, and Brutus, and Aristides. But more than this did not seem to enter their imaginations as at all necessary to assert the character which it pleased them to profess, or maintain the reputation which they had prospectively acquired for the very commendable virtue which constituted their ordinary theme. Bolivar found them cold. Accustomed to overthrow and usurpation, they were now slow to venture property and life upon the predictions and promises of one who, however perfect in their estimation as a patriot, had yet suffered from most capricious fortunes. His past history, indeed, except for its patriotism, offered but very doubtful guarantees in favor of the enterprise to which they were invoked. Bolivar was artful and ingenious. He had considerable powers of eloquence—was specious and persuasive; had an oily and bewitching tongue, like Balial; and if not altogether capable of making the worse appear the better cause, could at least so shape the aspects of evil fortune, that, to the unsuspicious nature, they would seem to be the very results aimed at by the most deliberate arrangement and resolve. But Bolivar, on this occasion, was something more than ingenious and persuasive, he was warmly earnest, and passionately eloquent. In truth, he was excited much beyond his wont. He was stung to indignation by a sense of disappointment. He had calculated largely on this meeting, and it promised now to be a failure. He had anticipated the eager enthusiasm of a host of brave and noble spirits ready to fling out the banner of freedom to the winds, and cast the scabbard from the sword forever. Instead of this, he found but a little knot of cold, irresolute men, thinking only of the perils of life which they should incur, and the forfeiture and loss of property which might accrue from any hazardous experiments. Bolivar spoke to them in language less artificial and much more impassioned than was his wont. He was a man of impulse rather than of thought or principle, and, once aroused, the intense fire of a southern sun seemed to burn fiercely in all his words and actions. His speech was heard by other ears than those to which it was addressed. The shrewd mind of La Pola readily conjectured that the meeting at her father's house, at midnight, and under peculiar circumstances, contemplated some extraordinary object. She was aware that a tall, mysterious stranger had passed through the court, under the immediate conduct of her father himself. Her instinct divined in this stranger the person of the deliverer, and her heart would not suffer her to lose the words, or if possible to obtain, to forego the sight of the great object of its patriotic worship. Beside, she had a right to know and to see. She was of the party, and had done them service. She was yet to do them more. Concealed in an adjoining apartment—a sort of oratory, connected by a gallery with the chamber in which the conspirators were assembled—she was able to hear the earnest arguments and passionate remonstrances of the Liberator. They confirmed all her previous admiration of his genius and character. She felt with indignation the humiliating position which the men of Bogota held in his eyes. She heard their pleas and scruples, and listened with a bitter scorn to the thousand suggestions of prudence, the thousand calculations[Pg 77] of doubt and caution with which timidity seeks to avoid precipitating a crisis. She could listen and endure no longer. The spirit of the improvisatrice was upon her. Was it also that of fate and a higher Providence? She seized the guitar, of which she was the perfect mistress, and sung even as her soul counseled and the exigency of the event demanded. Our translation of her lyrical overflow is necessarily a cold and feeble one.

It was a dream of freedom—
A mocking dream, though bright—
That showed the men of Bogota
All arming for the fight;
All eager for the hour that wakes
The thunders of redeeming war,
And rushing forth with glittering steel,
To join the bands of Bolivar.
My soul, I said, it cannot be
That Bogota shall be denied
Her Arismendi, too—her chief
To pluck her honor up, and pride;
The wild Llanero boasts his braves
That, stung with patriot wrath and shame,
Rushed redly to the realm of graves,
And rose, through blood and death, to fame.
How glads mine ear with other sounds,
Of freemen worthy these, that tell!
Ribas, who felt Caraccas' wounds,
And for her hope and triumph fell;
And that young hero, well beloved,
Giraldat, still a name for song;
Piar, Marino, dying soon,
But, for the future, living long.
Oh! could we stir with other names,
The cold, deaf hearts that hear us now,
How would it bring a thousand shames,
In fire, to each Bogotian's brow!
How clap in pride Grenada's hands;
How glows Venezuela's heart;
And how, through Cartagena's lands,
A thousand chiefs and hero's start.
Paez, Sodeno, lo! they rush,
Each with his wild and Cossack rout;
A moment feels the fearful hush,
A moment hears the fearful shout!
They heed no lack of arts and arms,
But all their country's perils feel,
And sworn for freedom, bravely break,
The glitering legions of Castile.
I see the gallant Roxas grasp
The towering banner of her sway;
And Monagas, with fearful clasp,
Plucks down the chief that stops the way;
The reckless Urdaneta rides,
Where rives the earth the iron hail;
Nor long the Spanish foeman bides,
The stroke of old Zaraza's flail.
Oh, generous heroes! how ye rise!
How glow your states with equal fires!
'Tis there Valencia's banner flies,
And there Cumana's soul aspires;
There, on each hand, from east to west,
From Oronook to Panama,
Each province bares its noble breast,
Each hero—save in Bogota!

At the first sudden gush of the music from within, the father of the damsel started to his feet, and with confusion in his countenance, was about to leave the apartment. But Bolivar arrested his footsteps, and in a whisper, commanded him to be silent and remain. The conspirators, startled, if not alarmed, were compelled to listen. Bolivar did so with a pleased attention. He was passionately fond of music, and this was of a sort at once to appeal to his objects and his tastes. His eye kindled as the song proceeded. His heart rose with an exulting sentiment. The moment, indeed, embodied one of his greatest triumphs—the tribute of a pure, unsophisticated soul, inspired by Heaven with the happiest and highest endowments, and by earth with the noblest sentiments of pride and country. When the music ceased, Zalabariata was about to apologize, and to explain, but Bolivar again gently and affectionately arrested his utterance.

"Fear nothing," said he. "Indeed, why should you fear? I am in the greater danger here, if there be danger for any; and I would as soon place my life in the keeping of that noble damsel, as in the arms of my mother. Let her remain, my friend; let her hear and see all; and above all, do not attempt to apologize for her. She is my ally. Would that she could make these men of Bogota feel with herself—feel as she makes even me to feel."

The eloquence of the Liberator received a new impulse from that of the improvisatrice. He renewed his arguments and entreaties in a different spirit. He denounced, in yet bolder language than before, that wretched pusillanimity which quite as much, he asserted, as the tyranny of the Spaniard, was the cause under which the liberties of the country groaned and suffered.

"And now, I ask," he continued, passionately, "men of Bogota, if ye really purpose to deny yourselves all share in the glory and peril of the effort which is for your own emancipation? Are your brethren of the other provinces to maintain the conflict in your behalf, while, with folded hands, you submit, doing nothing for yourselves? Will you not lift the banner also? Will you not draw sword in your own honor, and the defence of your fire-sides and families. Talk not to me of secret contributions. It is your manhood, not your money, that is needful for success. And can you withhold yourselves while you profess to hunger after that liberty for which other men are free to peril all—manhood, money, life, hope, every thing but honor and the sense of freedom. But why speak of peril in this. Peril is every where. It is the inevitable child of life, natural to all conditions—to repose as well as action, to the obscurity which never goes abroad, as well as to that adventure which forever seeks the field. You incur no more peril in openly braving your tyrant, all together as one man, than you do thus tamely sitting beneath his footstool, and trembling forever lest his capricious will may slay as it enslaves. Be you but true to yourselves—openly true—and the danger disappears as the night-mists that speed from before the rising sun. There is little that deserves the name of peril in the issue which lies before us.[Pg 78] We are more than a match, united, and filled with the proper spirit, for all the forces that Spain can send against us. It is in our coldness that she warms—in our want of unity that she finds strength. But even were we not superior to her in numbers—even were the chances all wholly and decidedly against us—I still cannot see how it is that you hesitate to draw the sword in so sacred a strife—a strife which consecrates the effort, and claims Heaven's sanction for success. Are your souls so subdued by servitude; are you so accustomed to bonds and tortures, that these no longer irk and vex your daily consciousness? Are you so wedded to inaction that you cease to feel? Is it the frequency of the punishment that has made you callous to the ignominy and the pain? Certainly your viceroy gives you frequent occasion to grow reconciled to any degree of hurt and degradation. Daily you behold, and I hear, of the exactions of this tyrant—of the cruelties and the murders to which he accustoms you in Bogota. Hundreds of your friends and kinsmen, even now, lie rotting in the common prisons, denied equally your sympathies and every show of justice, perishing, daily, under the most cruel privations. Hundreds have perished by this and other modes of torture, and the gallows and garote seem never to be unoccupied. Was it not the bleaching skeleton of the venerable Hermano, whom I well knew for his wisdom and patriotism, which I beheld, even as I entered, hanging in chains over the gateway of your city? Was he not the victim of his wealth and love of country? Who among you is secure? He dared but to deliver himself as a man, and as he was suffered to stand alone, he was destroyed. Had you, when he spoke, but prepared yourselves to act, flung out the banner of resistance to the winds, and bared the sword for the last noble struggle, Hermano had not perished, nor were the glorious work only now to be begun. But which of you, involved in the same peril with Hermano, will find the friend, in the moment of his need, to take the first step for his rescue? Each of you, in turn, having wealth to tempt the spoiler, will be sure to need such friendship. It seems you do not look for it among one another—where, then, do you propose to find it? Will you seek for it among the Cartagenians—among the other provinces—to Bolivar without? Vain expectation, if you are unwilling to peril any thing for yourselves within! In a tyranny so suspicious and so reckless as is yours, you must momentarily tremble lest ye suffer at the hands of your despot. True manhood rather prefers any peril which puts an end to this state of anxiety and fear. Thus to tremble with apprehension ever, is ever to be dying. It is a life of death only which ye live—and any death or peril that comes quickly at the summons, is to be preferred before it. If, then, ye have hearts to feel, or hopes to warm ye—a pride to suffer consciousness of shame, or an ambition that longs for better things—affections for which to covet life, or the courage with which to assert and to defend your affections, ye cannot, ye will not hesitate to determine, with souls of freemen, upon what is needful to be done. Ye have but one choice as men; and the question which is left for ye to resolve, is that which determines, not your possessions, not even your lives, but simply your rank and stature in the world of humanity and man."

The Liberator paused, not so much through his own or the exhaustion of the subject, as that his hearers should in turn be heard. But with this latter object his forbearance was profitless. There were those among them, indeed, who had their answers to his exhortations, but these were not of a character to promise boldly for their patriotism or courage. Their professions, indeed, were ample, but were confined to unmeaning generalities. "Now is the time, now!" was the response of Bolivar to all that was said. But they faltered and hung back at every utterance of his spasmodically uttered "now! now!" He scanned their faces eagerly, with a hope that gradually yielded to despondency. Their features were blank and inexpressive, as their answers had been meaningless or evasive. Several of them were of that class of quiet citizens, unaccustomed to any enterprises but those of trade, who are always slow to peril wealth by a direct issue with their despotism. They felt the truth of Bolivar's assertions. They knew that their treasures were only so many baits and lures to the cupidity and exactions of the royal emissaries, but they still relied on their habitual caution and docility to keep terms with the tyranny at which they yet trembled. When, in the warmth of his enthusiasm, Bolivar depicted the bloody struggles which must precede their deliverance, they began indeed to wonder among themselves how they ever came to fall into that mischievous philosophy of patriotism which had involved them with such a restless rebel as Bolivar! Others of the company were ancient hidalgos, who had been men of spirit in their day, but who had survived the season of enterprise, which is that period only when the heart swells and overflows with full tides of warm and impetuous blood.

"Your error," said he, in a whisper to Señor Don Joachim de Zalabariata, "was in not bringing young men into your counsels."

"We shall have them hereafter," was the reply, also in a whisper.

"We shall see," muttered the Liberator, who continued, though in silence, to scan the assembly with inquisitive eyes, and an excitement of soul, which increased duly with his efforts to subdue it. He had found some allies in the circle. Some few generous spirits, who, responding to his desires, were anxious to be up and doing. But it was only too apparent that the main body of the company had been rather disquieted than warmed. In this condition of hopeless and speechless indecision, the emotions of the Liberator became scarcely controllable. His whole frame trembled with the anxiety and indignation of his spirit. He paced the room hurriedly, passing from group to group, appealing to individuals now, where hitherto he had spoken collectively, and suggesting detailed arguments in behalf of hopes and objects, which it does not need that we should incorporate with our narrative. But when he found how[Pg 79] feeble was the influence which he exercised, and how cold was the echo to his appeal, he became impatient, and no longer strove to modify the expression of that scorn and indignation which he had for some time felt. The explosion followed in no measured language.

"Men of Bogota, you are not worthy to be free. Your chains are merited. You deserve your insecurities, and may embrace, even as ye please, the fates which lie before you. Acquiesce in the tyranny which offends no longer, but be sure that acquiescence never yet has disarmed the despot when his rapacity needs a victim. Your lives and possessions—which ye dare not peril in the cause of freedom—lie equally at his mercy. He will not pause, as you do, to use them at his pleasure. To save them from him there was but one way—to employ them against him. There is no security against power but in power; and to check the insolence of foreign strength you must oppose to it your own. This ye have not soul to do, and I leave you to the destiny you have chosen. This day, this night, it was yours to resolve. I have periled all to move you to the proper resolution. You have denied me, and I leave you. To-morrow—unless indeed I am betrayed to-night"—looking with a sarcastic smile around him as he spoke—"I shall unfurl the banner of the republic even within your own province, in behalf of Bogota, and seek, even against your own desires, to bestow upon you those blessings of liberty which ye have not the soul to conquer for yourselves."

Hardly had these words been spoken, when the guitar again sounded from within. Every ear was instantly hushed as the strain ascended—a strain, more ambitious than the preceding, of melancholy and indignant apostrophe. The improvisatrice was no longer able to control the passionate inspiration which took its tone from the stern eloquence of the Liberator. She caught from him the burning sentiment of scorn which it was no longer his policy to repress, and gave it additional effect in the polished sarcasm of her song. Our translation will poorly suffice to convey a proper notion of the strain.

Then be it so, if serviles ye will be,
When manhood's soul had broken every chain,
'T were scarce a blessing now to make ye free,
For such condition tutored long in vain,
Yet may we weep the fortunes of our land,
Though woman's tears were never known to take
One link away from that oppressive band,
Ye have not soul, not soul enough to break!
Oh! there were hearts of might in other days,
Brave chiefs, whose memory still is dear to fame;
Alas for ours!—the gallant deeds we praise
But show more deeply red our cheeks of shame:
As from the midnight gloom the weary eye,
With sense that cannot the bright dawn forget,
Looks sadly hopeless, from the vacant sky,
To that where late the glorious day-star set!
Yet all's not midnight dark, if in your land
There be some gallant hearts to brave the strife;
One single generous blow from Freedom's hand
May speak again our sunniest hopes to life;
If but one blessed drop in living veins
Be worthy those who teach us from the dead,
Vengeance and weapons both are in your chains,
Hurled fearlessly upon your despot's head!
Yet, if no memory of the living past
Can wake ye now to brave the indignant strife,
'T were nothing wise, at least, that we should last
When death itself might wear a look of life!
Ay, when the oppressive arm is lifted high,
And scourge and torture still conduct to graves,
To strike, though hopeless still—to strike and die!
They live not, worthy freedom, who are slaves!

As the song proceeded, Bolivar stood forward as one wrapt in ecstasy. The exultation brightened in his eye, and his manner was that of a soul in the realization of its highest triumph. Not so the Bogotans by whom he was surrounded. They felt the terrible sarcasm which the damsel's song conveyed—a sarcasm immortalized to all the future, in the undying depths of a song to be remembered. They felt the humiliation of such a record, and hung their heads in shame. At the close of the ballad, Bolivar exclaimed to Joachim de Zalabariata, the father:

"Bring the child before us. She is worthy to be a prime minister. A prime minister? No! the hero of the forlorn hope! a spirit to raise a fallen standard from the dust, and to tear down and trample that of the enemy. Bring her forth, Joachim. Had you men of Bogota but a tithe of a heart so precious! Nay, could her heart be divided amongst them—it might serve a thousand—there were no viceroy of Spain within your city now!"

And when the father brought her forth from the little cabinet, that girl, flashing with inspiration—pale and red by turns—slightly made, but graceful—very lovely to look upon—wrapt in loose white garments, with her long hair, dark and flowing, unconfined, and so long that it was easy for her to walk upon it [4] —the admiration of the Liberator was insuppressible.

"Bless you forever," he cried, "my fair Priestess of Freedom! You, at least, have a free soul, and one that is certainly inspired by the great divinity of earth. You shall be mine ally, though I find none other in all Bogota sufficiently courageous. In you, my child, in you and yours, there is still a redeeming spirit which shall save your city utterly from shame!"

While he spoke, the emotions of the maiden were of a sort readily to show how easily she should be quickened with the inspiration of lyric song. The color came and went upon her soft white cheeks. The tears rose, big and bright, upon her eyelashes—heavy drops, incapable of suppression, that swelled one after the other, trembled and fell, while the light blazed, even more brightly from the shower, in the dark and dilating orbs which harbored such capacious fountains. She had no words at first, but, trembling like a leaf, sunk upon a cushion at the feet of her father, as Bolivar, with a kiss upon her forehead, released her from his clasp. Her courage came back to her a moment after. She was a thing of impulse, whose movements were as prompt and unexpected [Pg 80] as the inspiration by which she sung. Bolivar had scarcely turned from her, as if to relieve her tremor, when she recovered all her strength and courage. Suddenly rising from the cushion, she seized the hand of her father, and with an action equally passionate and dignified, she led him to the Liberator, to whom, speaking for the first time in that presence, she thus addressed herself:

"He is yours—he has always been ready with his life and money. Believe me, for I know it. Nay, more! doubt not that there are hundreds in Bogota—though they be not here—who, like him, will be ready whenever they hear the summons of your trumpet. Nor will the women of Bogota be wanting. There will be many of them who will take the weapons of those who use them not, and do as brave deeds for their country as did the dames of Magdalena when they slew four hundred Spaniards". [5]

"Ah! I remember! A most glorious achievement, and worthy to be writ in characters of gold. It was at Mompox where they rose upon the garrison of Morillo. Girl, you are worthy to have been the chief of those women of Magdalena. You will be chief yet of the women of Bogota. I take your assurance with regard to them; but for the men, it were better that thou peril nothing even in thy speech."

The last sarcasm of the Liberator might have been spared. That which his eloquence had failed to effect was suddenly accomplished by this child of beauty. Her inspiration and presence were electrical. The old forgot their caution and their years. The young, who needed but a leader, had suddenly found a genius. There was now no lack of the necessary enthusiasm. There were no more scruples. Hesitation yielded to resolve. The required pledges were given—given more abundantly than required; and raising the slight form of the damsel to his own height, Bolivar again pressed his lips upon her forehead, gazing at her with a respectful delight, while he bestowed upon her the name of the Guardian Angel of Bogota. With a heart bounding and beating with the most enthusiastic emotions—too full for further utterance, La Pola disappeared from that imposing presence, which her coming had filled with a new life and impulse.

It was nearly dawn when the Liberator left the city. That night the bleaching skeleton of the venerable patriot Hermano was taken down from the gibbet where it had hung so long, by hands that left the revolutionary banner waving proudly in its place. This was an event to startle the viceroy. It was followed by other events. In a few days more and the sounds of insurrection were heard throughout the province—the city still moving secretly—sending forth supplies and intelligence by stealth, but unable to raise the standard of rebellion, while Zamano, the viceroy, doubtful of its loyalty, remained in possession of its strong places with an overawing force. Bolivar himself, under these circumstances, was unwilling that the patriots should throw aside the mask. Throughout the province, however, the rising was general. They responded eagerly to the call of the Liberator, and it was easy to foresee that their cause must ultimately prevail. The people in conflict proved themselves equal to their rulers. The Spaniards had been neither moderate when strong, nor were they prudent now when the conflict found them weak. Still, the successes were various. The Spaniards had a foothold from which it was not easy to expel them, and were in possession of resources, in arms and material, derived from the mother country, with which the republicans found it no easy matter to contend. But they did contend, and this, with the right upon their side, was the great guaranty for success. What the Colombians wanted in the materials of warfare, was more than supplied by their energy and patriotism; and however slow in attaining their desired object, it was yet evident to all, except their enemies, that the issue was certainly in their own hands.

For two years that the war had been carried on, the casual observer could, perhaps, see but little change in the respective relations of the combatants. The Spaniards still continued to maintain their foothold wherever the risings of the patriots had been premature or partial. But the resources of the former were hourly undergoing diminution, and the great lessening of the productions of the country, incident to its insurrectionary condition, had subtracted largely from the temptations to the further prosecution of the war. The hopes of the patriots naturally rose with the depression of their enemies, and their increasing numbers and improving skill in the use of their weapons, not a little contributed to their endurance and activity. But for this history we must look to other volumes. The question for us is confined to an individual. How, in all this time, had La Pola redeemed her pledge to the Liberator—how had she whom he had described as the "guardian genius of Bogota," adhered to the enthusiastic faith which she had voluntarily pledged to him in behalf of herself and people?

Now, it may be supposed that a woman's promise, to participate in the business of an insurrection, is not a thing upon which much stress is to be laid. We are apt to assume for the sex a too humble capacity for high performances, and a too small sympathy with the interests and affairs of public life. In both respects we are mistaken. A proper education for the sex would result in showing their ability to share with man in all his toils, and to sympathize with him in all the legitimate concerns of manhood. But what, demands the caviler, can be expected of a child of fifteen; and should her promises be held [Pg 81] against her for rigid fulfillment and performance? It might be enough to answer that we are writing a sober history. There is the record. The fact is as we give it. But a girl of fifteen, in the warm latitudes of South America, is quite as mature as the northern maiden of twenty-five; with an ardor in her nature that seems to wing the operations of the mind, making that intuitive with her, which, in the person of a colder climate is the result only of long calculation and deliberate thought. She is sometimes a mother at twelve, and, as in the case of La Pola, a heroine at fifteen. We freely admit that Bolivar, though greatly interested in the improvisatrice, was chiefly grateful to her for the timely rebuke which she administered, through her peculiar faculty of lyric song, to the unpatriotic inactivity of her countrymen. As a matter of course, he might still expect that the same muse would take fire under similar provocation hereafter. But he certainly never calculated on other and more decided services at her hands. He misunderstood the being whom he had somewhat contributed to inspire. He did not appreciate her ambition, or comprehend her resources. From the moment of his meeting with her she became a woman. She was already a politician as she was a poet. Intrigue is natural to the genius of the sex, and the faculty is enlivened by the possession of a warm imagination. La Pola put all her faculties in requisition. Her soul was now addressed to the achievement of some plan of co-operation with the republican chief, and she succeeded where wiser persons must have failed in compassing the desirable facilities. Living in Bogota—the stronghold of the enemy—she exercised a policy and address which disarmed suspicion. Her father and his family were to be saved and shielded, while they remained under the power of the viceroy, Zamano, a military despot who had already acquired a reputation for cruelty scarcely inferior to that of the worst of the Roman emperors in the latter days of the empire. The wealth of her father, partly known, made him a desirable victim. Her beauty, her spirit, the charm of her song and conversation, were exercised, as well to secure favor for him, as to procure the needed intelligence and assistance for the Liberator. She managed the twofold object with admirable success—disarming suspicion, and under cover of the confidence which she inspired, succeeding in effecting constant communication with the patriots, by which she put into their possession all the plans of the Spaniards. Her rare talents and beauty were the chief sources of her success. She subdued her passionate and intense nature—her wild impulse and eager heart—employing them only to impart to her fancy a more impressive and spiritual existence. She clothed her genius in the brightest and gayest colors, sporting above the precipice of feeling, and making of it a background and a relief to heighten the charm of her seemingly willful fancy. Song came at her summons, and disarmed the serious questioner. In the eyes of her country's enemies she was only the improvisatrice—a rarely gifted creature, living in the clouds, and totally regardless of the things of earth. She could thus beguile from the young officers of the Spanish army, without provoking the slightest apprehension of any sinister object, the secret plan and purpose—the new supply—the contemplated enterprise—in short, a thousand things which, as an inspired idiot, might be yielded to her with indifference, which, in the case of one solicitous to know, would be guarded with the most jealous vigilance. She was the princess of the tertulia—that mode of evening entertainment so common, yet so precious, among the Spaniards. At these parties she ministered with a grace and influence which made the house of her father a place of general resort. The Spanish gallants thronged about her person, watchful of her every motion, and yielding always to the exquisite compass, and delightful spirituality of her song. At worst, they suspected her of no greater offence than of being totally heartless with all her charms, and of aiming at no treachery more dangerous than that of making conquests, only to deride them. It was the popular qualification of all her beauties and accomplishments that she was a coquette, at once so cold, and so insatiate. Perhaps, the woman politician never so thoroughly conceals her game as when she masks it with the art which men are most apt to describe as the prevailing passion of her sex.

By these arts, La Pola fulfilled most amply her pledges to the Liberator. She was, indeed, his most admirable ally in Bogota. She soon became thoroughly conversant with all the facts in the condition of the Spanish army—the strength of the several armaments, their disposition and destination—the operations in prospect, and the opinions and merits of the officers—all of whom she knew, and from whom she obtained no small knowledge of the worth and value of their absent comrades. These particulars, all regularly transmitted to Bolivar, were quite as much the secret of his success, as his own genius and the valor of his troops. The constant disappointment and defeat of the royalist arms, in the operations which were conducted in the Province of Bogota, attested the closeness and correctness of her knowledge, and its vast importance to the cause of the patriots.

Unfortunately, however, one of her communications was intercepted, and the cowardly bearer, intimidated by the terrors of impending death, was persuaded to betray his employer. He revealed all that he knew of her practices, and one of his statements, namely, that she usually drew from her shoe the paper which she gave him, served to fix conclusively upon her the proofs of her offence. She was arrested in the midst of an admiring throng, presiding with her usual grace at the tertulia, to which her wit and music furnished the eminent attractions. Forced to submit, her shoes were taken from her feet in the presence of the crowd, and in one of them, between the sole and the lining, was a memorandum designed for Bolivar, containing the details, in anticipation, of one of the intended movements of the viceroy. She was not confounded, nor did she sink beneath this discovery. Her soul seemed to rise rather into an unusual degree of serenity and strength. She en [Pg 82]couraged her friends with smiles and the sweetest seeming indifference, though she well knew that her doom was certainly at hand. She had her consolations even under this conviction. Her father was in safety in the camp of Bolivar. With her counsel and assistance he would save much of his property from the wreck of confiscation. The plot had ripened in her hands almost to maturity, and before very long Bogota itself would speak for liberty in a formidable pronunciamento. And this was mostly her work! What more was done, by her agency and influence, may be readily conjectured from what has been already written. Enough, that she herself felt that in leaving life she left it when there was little more left for her to do.

La Pola was hurried from the tertulia before a military court—martial law then prevailing in the capital—with a rapidity corresponding with the supposed enormity of her offences. It was her chief pang that she was not hurried there alone. We have not hitherto mentioned that she had a lover, one Juan de Sylva Gomero, to whom she was affianced—a worthy and noble youth, who entertained for her the most passionate attachment. It is a somewhat curious fact, that she kept him wholly from any knowledge of her political alliances; and never was man more indignant than he when she was arrested, or more confounded when the proofs of her guilt were drawn from her person. His offence consisted in his resistance to the authorities who seized her. There was not the slightest reason to suppose that he knew or participated at all in her intimacy with the patriots and Bolivar. He was tried along with her, and both condemned—for at this time condemnation and trial were words of synonimous import—to be shot. A respite of twelve hours from execution was granted them for the purposes of confession. Zamano, the viceroy, anxious for other victims, spared no means to procure a full revelation of all the secrets of our heroine. The priest who waited upon her was the one who attended on the viceroy himself. He held out lures of pardon in both lives, here and hereafter, upon the one condition only of a full declaration of her secrets and accomplices. Well might the leading people of Bogota tremble all the while. But she was firm in her refusal. Neither promises of present mercy, nor threats of the future, could extort from her a single fact in relation to her proceedings. Her lover, naturally desirous of life, particularly in the possession of so much to make it precious, joined in the entreaties of the priest; but she answered him with a mournful severity that smote him like a sharp weapon,

"Gomero! did I love you for this? Beware, lest I hate you ere I die! Is life so dear to you that you would dishonor both of us to live? Is there no consolation in the thought that we shall die together?"

"But we shall be spared—we shall be saved," was the reply of the lover.

"Believe it not—it is false! Zamano spares none. Our lives are forfeit, and all that we could say would be unavailing to avert your fate or mine. Let us not lesson the value of this sacrifice on the altars of our country, by any unworthy fears. If you have ever loved me, be firm. I am a woman, but I am strong. Be not less ready for the death-shot than is she whom you have chosen for your wife."

Other arts were employed by the despot for the attainment of his desires. Some of the native citizens of Bogota, who had been content to become the creatures of the viceroy, were employed to work upon her fears and affections, by alarming her with regard to persons of the city whom she greatly esteemed and valued, and whom Zamano suspected. But their endeavors were met wholly with scorn. When they entreated her, among other things, "to give peace to our country," the phrase seemed to awaken all her indignation.

"Peace! peace to our country!" she exclaimed. "What peace! the peace of death, and shame, and the grave, forever!" And her soul again found relief only in its wild lyrical overflows.

What, peace for our country! when ye've made her a grave,
A den for the tyrant, a cell for the slave;
A pestilent plague-spot, accursing and curst,
As vile as the vilest, and worse than the worst.
The chain may be broken, the tyranny o'er,
But the sweet charms that blessed her ye may not restore;
Not your blood, though poured forth from life's ruddiest vein,
Shall free her from sorrows, or cleanse her from stain!
'Tis the grief that ye may not remove the disgrace,
That brands with the blackness of hell all your race;
'Tis the sorrow that nothing may cleanse ye of shame,
That has wrought us to madness, and filled us with flame.
Years may pass, but the memory deep in our souls,
Shall make the tale darker as Time onward rolls;
And the future that grows from our ruin shall know
Its own, and its country's and liberty's foe.
And still in the prayer at its altars shall rise,
Appeal for the vengeance of earth and of skies;
Men shall pray that the curse of all time may pursue,
And plead for the curse of eternity too!
Nor wantonly vengeful in spirit their prayer,
Since the weal of the whole world forbids them to spare;
What hope would there be for mankind if our race,
Through the rule of the brutal, is robbed by the base?
What hope for the future—what hope for the free?
And where would the promise of liberty be,
If Time had no terror, no doom for the slave,
Who would stab his own mother, and shout o'er her grave!

Such a response as this effectually silenced all those cunning agents of the viceroy who urged their arguments in behalf of their country. Nothing, it was seen, could be done with a spirit so inflexible; and in his fury Zamano ordered the couple forth to instant execution. Bogota was in mourning. Its people covered their heads, a few only excepted, and refused to be seen or comforted. The priests who attended the victims received no satisfaction as concerned the secrets of the patriots; and they retired in chagrin, and without granting absolution to either victim. The firing party made ready. Then it was, [Pg 83] for the first time, that the spirit of this noble maiden seemed to shrink from the approach of death.

"Butcher!" she exclaimed, to the viceroy, who stood in his balcony, overlooking the scene of execution. "Butcher! you have then the heart to kill a woman!"

These were the only words of weakness. She recovered herself instantly, and, preparing for her fate, without looking for any effect from her words, she proceeded to cover her face with the saya, or veil, which she wore. Drawing it aside for the purpose, the words "Vive la Patria!" embroidered in letters of gold, were discovered on the basquina. As the signal for execution was given, a distant hum, as of the clamors of an approaching army, was heard fitfully to rise upon the air.

"It is he! He comes! It is Bolivar! It is the Liberator!" was her cry, in a tone of hope and triumph, which found its echo in the bosom of hundreds who dared not give their hearts a voice. It was, indeed, the Liberator. Bolivar was at hand, pressing onward with all speed to the work of deliverance; but he came too late for the rescue of the beautiful and gifted damsel to whom he owed so much. The fatal bullets of the executioners penetrated her heart ere the cry of her exultation had subsided from the ear. Thus perished a woman worthy to be remembered with the purest and proudest who have done honor to nature and the sex; one who, with all the feelings and sensibilities of the woman, possessed all the pride and patriotism, the courage, the sagacity and the daring of the man.




TO THE EAGLE.


BY MRS. E. C. KINNEY.

Imperial bird! that soarest to the sky—
Cleaving through clouds and storms thine upward way—
Or, fixing steadfastly that dauntless eye,
Dost face the great, effulgent god of day!
Proud monarch of the feathery tribes of air!
My soul exulting marks thy bold career,
Up, through the azure fields, to regions fair,
Where, bathed in light, thy pinions disappear.
Thou, with the gods, upon Olympus dwelt,
The emblem, and the favorite bird of Jove—
And godlike power in thy broad wings hast felt
Since first they spread o'er land and sea to rove:
From Ida's top the Thunderer's piercing sight
Flashed on the hosts which Ilium did defy;
So from thy eyrie on the beetling height
Shoot down the lightning-glances of thine eye!
From his Olympian throne Jove stooped to earth
For ends inglorious in the god of gods!
Leaving the beauty of celestial birth,
To rob Humanity's less fair abodes:
Oh, passion more rapacious than divine,
That stole the peace of innocence away!
So, when descend those tireless wings of thine,
They stoop to make defenselessness their prey.
Lo! where thou comest from the realms afar!
Thy strong wings whir like some huge bellows' breath—
Swift falls thy fiery eyeball, like a star,
And dark thy shadow as the pall of death!
But thou hast marked a tall and reverend tree,
And now thy talons clinch yon leafless limb;
Before thee stretch the sandy shore and sea,
And sails, like ghosts, move in the distance dim.
Fair is the scene! Yet thy voracious eye
Drinks not its beauty; but with bloody glare
Watches the wild-fowl idly floating by,
Or snow-white sea-gull winnowing the air:
Oh, pitiless is thine unerring beak!
Quick, as the wings of thought, thy pinions fall—
Then bear their victim to the mountain-peak
Where clamorous eaglets flutter at thy call.
Seaward again thou turn'st to chase the storm,
Where winds and waters furiously roar!
Above the doomed ship thy boding form
Is coming Fate's dark shadow cast before!
The billows that engulf man's sturdy frame
As sport to thy careering pinions seem;
And though to silence sinks the sailor's name,
His end is told in thy relentless scream!
Where the great cataract sends up to heaven
Its sprayey incense in perpetual cloud,
Thy wings in twain the sacred bow have riven,
And onward sailed irreverently proud!
Unflinching bird! No frigid clime congeals
The fervid blood that riots in thy veins;
No torrid sun thine upborne nature feels—
The North, the South, alike are thy domains.
Emblem of all that can endure, or dare,
Art thou, bold eagle, in thy hardihood!
Emblem of Freedom, when thou cleav'st the air—
Emblem of Tyranny, when bathed in blood!
Thou wert the genius of Rome's sanguine wars—
Heroes have fought and freely bled for thee;
And here, above our glorious "stripes and stars,"
We hail thy signal wings of Liberty!
The poet sees in thee a type sublime
Of his far-reaching, high-aspiring Art!
His fancy seeks with thee each starry clime,
And thou art on the signet of his heart.
Be still the symbol of a spirit free,
Imperial bird! to unborn ages given—
And to my soul, that it may soar like thee,
Steadfastly looking in the eye of Heaven.




FIEL A LA MUERTE, OR TRUE LOVE'S DEVOTION.

[Pg 84]

A TALE OF THE TIMES OF LOUIS QUINZE.


BY HENRY WILLIAM HERBERT, AUTHOR OF "THE ROMAN TRAITOR," "MARMADUKE WYVIL," "CROMWELL," ETC.

(Continued from page 12.)

PART II.

The castle of St. Renan, like the dwellings of many of the nobles of Bretagne and Gascony, was a superb old pile of solid masonry towering above the huge cliffs which guard the whole of that iron coast with its gigantic masses of rude masonry. So close did it stand to the verge of these precipitous crags on its seaward face, that whenever the wind from the westward blew angrily and in earnest, the spray of the tremendous billows which rolled in from the wide Atlantic, and burst in thunder at the foot of those stern ramparts, was dashed so high by the collision that it would often fall in salt, bitter rain, upon the esplanade above, and dim the diamond-paned casements with its cold mists.

For leagues on either side, as the spectator stood upon the terrace above and gazed out on the expanse of the everlasting ocean, nothing was to be seen but the saliant angles or deep recesses formed by the dark, gray cliffs, unrelieved by any spot of verdure, or even by that line of silver sand at their base, which often intervenes between the rocks of an iron coast and the sea. Here, however, there was no such intermediate step visible; the black face of the rocks sunk sheer and abrupt into the water, which, by its dark green hue indicated to the practiced eye, that it was deep and scarcely fathomable to the very shore.

In places, indeed, where huge caverns opening in front to the vast ocean, which had probably hollowed them out of the earth-fast rock in the course of succeeding ages, yawned in the mimicry of Gothic arches, the entering tide would rush, as it were, into the bowels of the land, roaring and groaning in those strange subterranean dungeons like some strong prisoner, Typhon, Enceladus, or Ephialtes, in his immortal agony. One of these singular vaults opened right in the base of the rock on the summit of which stood the castle of St. Renan, and into this the billows rushed with rapidity so tumultuous and terrible that the fishers of that stormy coast avowed that a vortex was created in the bay by their influx or return seaward, which could be perceived sensibly at a league's distance; and that to be caught in it, unless the wind blew strong and steadily off land, was sure destruction. However that might be, it is certain that this great subterranean tunnel extended far beneath the rocks into the interior of the land, for at the distance of nearly two miles from the castle, directly eastward, in the bottom of a dark, wooded glen, which runs for many miles nearly parallel to the coast, there is a deep, rocky well, or natural cavity, of a form nearly circular, which, when the tide is up, is filled to over-flowing with bitter sea-water, on which the bubbles and foam-flakes show the obstacles against which it must have striven in its landward journey. At low water, on the contrary, "the Devil's Drinking Cup," for so it is named by the superstitious peasantry of the neighborhood, presents nothing to the eye but a deep, black abyss, which the country folks, of course, assert to be bottomless. But, in truth, its depth is immense, as can easily be perceived, if you cast a stone into it, by the length of time during which it may be heard thundering from side to side, until the reverberated roar of its descent appears to die away, not because it has ceased, but because the sound is too distant to be conveyed to human ears.

On this side of the castle every thing differs as much as it is possible to conceive from the view to the seaward, which is grim and desolate as any ocean scenery the world over. Few sails are ever seen on those dangerous coasts; all vessels bound to the mouth of the Garonne, or southward to the shores of Spain, giving as wide a berth as possible to its frightful reefs and inaccessible crags, which to all their other terrors add that, from the extraordinary prevalence of the west wind on that part of the ocean, of being, during at least three parts of the year, a lee shore.

Inland, however, instead of the bleak and barren surface of the ever stormy sea, indented into long rolling ridges and dark tempestuous hollows, all was varied and smiling, and gratifying to every sense given by nature for his good to man. Immediately from the brink of the cliffs the land sloped downward southwardly and to the eastward, so that it was bathed during all the day, except a few late evening hours, in the fullest radiance of the sunbeams. Over this immense sloping descent the eye could range from the castle battlements, for miles and miles, until the rich green champaign was lost in the blue haze of distance. And it was green and gay over the whole of that vast expanse, here with the dense and unpruned foliage of immemorial forests, well stocked with every species of game, from the gaunt wolf and the tusky boar, to the fleet roebuck and the timid hare; here with the trim and smiling verdure of rich orchards, in which nestled around their old, gray shrines the humble hamlets of the happy peasantry; and every where with the long intersecting curves, [Pg 85] and sinuous irregular lines of the old hawthorn hedges, thick set with pollard trees and hedgerow timber, which make the whole country, when viewed from a height, resemble a continuous tract of intermingled glades and copices, and which have procured for an adjoining district, the well known, and in after days, far celebrated name of the Bocage.

Immediately around the castle, on the edge as it were of this beautiful and almost boundless slope, there lay a large and well-kept garden in the old French style, laid out in a succession of terraces, bordered by balustrades of marble, adorned at frequent intervals by urns and statues, and rendered accessible each from the next below by flights of ornamented steps of regular and easy elevation; pleached bowery walks, and high clipped hedges of holly, yew and hornbeam, were the usual decorations of such a garden, and here they abounded to an extent that would have gladdened the heart of an admirer of the tastes and habits of the olden time. In addition to these, however, there were a profusion of flowers of the choicest kinds known or cultivated in those days—roses and lilies without number, and honeysuckles and the sweet-scented clematis, climbing in bountiful luxuriance over the numberless seats and bowers which every where tempted to repose.

Below this beautiful garden a wide expanse of smooth, green turf, dotted here and there with majestic trees, and at rarer intervals diversified with tall groves and verdant coppices, covered the whole descent of the first hill to the dim wooded dell which has been mentioned as containing the singular cavity known throughout the country as the "Devil's Drinking Cup." This dell, which was the limit of Count de St. Renan's demesnes in that direction, was divided from the park by a ragged paling many feet in height, and of considerable strength, framed of rough timber from the woods, the space within being appropriated to a singular and choice breed of deer, imported from the East by one of the former counts, who, being of an adventurous and roving disposition, had sojourned for some time in the French settlements of Hindostan. Beyond this dell again, which was defended on the outer side by a strong and lofty wall of brick, all over-run with luxuriant ivy, the ground rose in a small rounded knoll, or hillock of small extent, richly wooded, and crowned by the gray turrets and steep flagged roofs of the old château d'Argenson.

This building, however, was as much inferior in size and stateliness to the grand feudal fortalice of St. Renan, as the little round-topped hill on which it stood, so slightly elevated above the face of the surrounding country as to detract nothing, at least in appearance, from its general slope to the south-eastward, was lower than the great rock-bound ridge from which it overlooked the territories, all of which had in distant times obeyed the rule of its almost princely dwellers.

The sun of a lovely evening in the latter part of July had already sunk so far down in the west that only half of its great golden disc was visible above the well-defined, dark outline of the seaward crags, which relieved by the glowing radiance of the whole western sky, stood out massive and solid like a huge purple wall, and seemed so close at hand that the spectator could almost persuade himself that he had but to stretch out his arm, in order to touch the great barrier, which was in truth several miles distant.

Over the crest, and through the gaps of this continuous line of highland, the long level rays streamed down in the slope in one vast flood of golden glory, which was checkered only by the interminable length of shadows which were projected from every single tree, or scattered clump, from every petty elevation of the soil, down the soft glimmering declivity.

Three years had elapsed since the frightful fate of the unhappy Lord of Kerguelen, and the various incidents, which in some sort took their origin from the nature of his crime and its consequence, affecting in the highest degree the happiness of the families of St. Renan and D'Argenson.

Three years had elapsed—three years! That is a little space in the annals of the world, in the life of nations, nay, in the narrow records of humanity. Three years of careless happiness, three years of indolent and tranquil ease, unmarked by any great event, pass over our heads unnoted, and, save in the gray hairs which they scatter, leave no memorial of their transit, more than the sunshine of a happy summer day. They are, they are gone, they are forgotten.

Even three years of gloom and sorrow, of that deep anguish which at the time the sufferer believes to be indelible and everlasting, lag on their weary, desolate course, and when they too are over-passed, and he looks back upon their transit, which seemed so painfully protracted, and, lo! all is changed, and their flight also is now but as an ended minute.

And yet what strange and sudden changes altering the affairs of men, changing the hearts of mortals, yea, revolutionizing their whole intellects, and over-turning their very natures—more than the devastating earthquake or the destroying lava transforms the face of the everlasting earth—have not been wrought, and again well nigh forgotten within that little period.

Three years had passed, I say, over the head of Raoul de Douarnez—the three most marked and memorable years in the life of every young man—and from the ingenuous and promising stripling, he had now become in all respects a man, and a bold and enterprising man, moreover, who had seen much and struggled much, and suffered somewhat—without which there is no gain of his wisdom here below—in his transit, even thus far, over the billows and among the reefs and quicksands of the world.

His father had kept his promise to that loved son in all things, nor had the Sieur d'Argenson failed of his plighted faith. The autumn of that year, the spring of which saw Kerguelen die in unutterable agony, saw Raoul de Douarnez the contracted and affianced husband of the lovely and beloved Melanie.

All that was wanted now to render them actually man and wife, to create between them that bond which, alone of mortal ties, man cannot sunder, was the ministration of the church's holiest rite, and that, [Pg 86] in wise consideration of their tender years, was postponed until the termination of the third summer.

During the interval it was decided that Raoul, as was the custom of the world in those days, especially among the nobility, and most especially among the nobility of France, should bear arms in active service, and see something of the world abroad, before settling down into the easier duties of domestic life. The family of St. Renan, since the days of that ancestor who has been already mentioned as having sojourned in Pondicherry, had never ceased to maintain some relations with the East Indian possessions of France, and a relation of the house in no very remote degree was at this time military governor of the French East Indias, which were then, previous to the unexampled growth of the British empire in the East, important, flourishing, and full of future promise.

Thither, then, it was determined that Raoul should go in search of adventures, if not of fortune, in the spring following the signature of his marriage contract with the young demoiselle d'Argenson. And, consequently, after a winter passed in quiet domestic happiness on the noble estates, whereon the gentry of Britanny were wont to reside in almost patriarchal state—a winter, every day of which the young lovers spent in company, and at every eve of which they separated more in love than they were at meeting in the morning—Raoul set sail in a fine frigate, carrying several companies of the line, invested with the rank of ensign, and proud to bear the colors of his king, for the shores of the still half fabulous oriental world.

Three years had passed, and the boy had returned a man, the ensign had returned a colonel, so rapid was the promotion of the nobility of the sword in the French army, under the ancient regime; and—greatest change of all, ay, and saddest—the Viscount of Douarnez had returned Count de St. Renan. An infectious fever, ere he had been one year absent from the land of his birth, had cut off his noble father in the very pride and maturity of his intellectual manhood; nor had his mother lingered long behind him whom she had ever loved so fondly. A low, slow fever, caught from that beloved patient whom she had so affectionately nurtured, was as fatal to her, though not so suddenly, as it had proved to her good lord; and when their son returned to France full of honors achieved, and gay anticipations for the future, he found himself an orphan, the lord in lonely and unwilling state of the superb demesnes which had so long called his family their owners.

There never in the world was a kinder heart than that which beat in the breast of the young soldier, and never was a family more strictly bound together by all the kindly influences which breed love and confidence, and domestic happiness among all the members of it, than that of St. Renan. There had been nothing austere or rigid in the bringing up of the gallant boy; the father who had at one hour been the tutor and the monitor, was at the next the comrade and the playmate, and at all times the true and trusted friend, while the mother had been ever the idolized and adored protectress, and the confidante of all the innocent schemes and artless joys of boyhood.

Bitter, then, was the blow stricken to the very heart of the young soldier, when the first tidings which he received, on landing in his loved France, was the intelligence that those—all those, with but one exception—whom he most tenderly and truly loved, all those to whom he looked up with affectionate trust for advice and guidance, all those on whom he relied for support in his first trials of young manhood, were cold and silent in the all absorbing tomb.

To him there was no hot, feverish ambition prompting him to grasp joyously the absolute command of his great heritage. In his heart there was none of that fierce yet sordid avarice which finds compensation for the loss of the scarce-lamented dead in the severance of the dearest natural bonds, in the possession of wealth, or the promise of power. Nor was this all, for, in truth, so well had Raoul de Douarnez been brought up, and so completely had wisdom grown up with his growth, that when, at the age of nineteen years, he found himself endowed with the rank and revenues of one of the highest and wealthiest peers of France, and in all but mere name his own master—for the Abbé de Chastellar, his mother's brother, who had been appointed his guardian by his father's will, scarcely attempted to exercise even a nominal jurisdiction over him—he felt himself more than ever at a loss, deprived as he was, when he most needed it, of his best natural counsellor; and instead of rejoicing, was more than half inclined to lament over the almost absolute self-control with which he found himself invested.

Young hearts are naturally true themselves, and prone to put trust in others; and it is rarely, except in a few dark and morose and gloomy natures, which are exceptions to the rule and standard of human nature, that man learns to be distrustful and suspicious of his kind, even after experience of fickleness and falsehood may have in some sort justified suspicions, until his head has grown gray.

And this in an eminent degree was the case with Raoul de St. Renan, for henceforth he must be called by the title which his altered state had conferred upon him.

His natural disposition was as trustful and unsuspicious as it was artless and ingenuous; and from his early youth all the lessons which had been taught him by his parents tended to preserve in him unblemished and unbroken that bright gem, which once shattered never can be restored, confidence in the truth, the probity, the goodness of mankind.

Some ruder schooling he had met in the course of his service in the eastern world—he had already learned that men, and—harder knowledge yet to gain—women also, can feign friendship, ay, and love, where neither have the least root in the heart, for purposes the vilest, ends the most sordid. He had learned that bosom friends can be secret foes; that false loves can betray; and yet he was not disenchanted with humanity, he had not even dreamed of doubting, because he had fallen among worldly-minded flatterers and fickle-hearted coquettes, that [Pg 87] absolute friendship and unchangeable love may exist, even in this evil world, stainless and incorruptible among all the changes and chances of this mortal life.

If he had been deceived, he had attributed the failure of his hopes hitherto to the right cause—the fallacy of his own judgment, and the error of his own choice; and the more he had been disappointed, the more firmly had he relied on what he felt certain could not change, the affection of his parents, the love of his betrothed bride.

On the very instant of his landing he found himself shipwrecked in his first hope; and on his earliest interview with his uncle, in Paris, he had the agony—the utter and appalling agony to undergo—of hearing that in the only promise which he had flattered himself was yet left to him, he was destined in all probability to undergo a deeper, deadlier disappointment.

If Melanie d'Argenson had been a lovely girl, the good abbé said, when she was budding out of childhood into youth, so utterly had she outstripped all the promise of her girlhood, that no words could describe, no imagination suggest to itself the charms of the mature yet youthful woman. There was no other beauty named, when loveliness was the theme, throughout all France, than that of the young betrothed of Raoul de Douarnez. And that which was so loudly and so widely bruited abroad, could not fail to reach the ever open, ever greedy ears of the vile and sensual tyrant who sat on the throne of France at that time, heaping upon his people that load of suffering and anguish which was in after times to be avenged so bitterly and bloodily upon the innocent heads of his unhappy descendants.

Louis had, moreover, heard years before, nay, looked upon the nascent loveliness of Melanie d'Argenson, and, with that cold-blooded voluptuary, to look on beauty was to lust after it, to lust after it was to devote all the powers his despotism could command to win it.

Hence, as the Abbé de Chastellar soon made his unfortunate nephew and pupil comprehend, a settled determination had arisen on the part of the odious despot to break off the marriage of the lovely girl with the young soldier whom it was well known that she fondly loved, and to have her the wife of one who would be less tender of his honor, and less reluctant to surrender, or less difficult to be deprived of a bride, too transcendently beautiful to bless the arms of a subject, even if he were the noblest of the noble.

All this was easily arranged, the base father of Melanie was willing enough to sell his exquisite and virtuous child to the splendid infamy of becoming a king's paramour, and the yet baser Chevalier de la Rochederrien was eager to make the shameful negotiation easy, and to sanction it to the eyes of the willingly hoodwinked world, by giving his name and rank to a woman, who was to be his wife but in name, and whose charms and virtue he had precontracted to make over to another.

The infamous contract had been agreed upon by the principal actors; nay, the wages of the iniquity had been paid in advance. The Sieur d'Argenson had grown into the comte of the same, with the governorship of the town of Morlaix added, by the revenues of which to support his new dignities; while the Chevalier de la Rochederrien had become no less a personage than the Marquis de Ploermel, with a captaincy of the mousquetaires, and heaven knows what beside of honorary title and highly gilded sinecure, whereby to reconcile him to such depth of sordid infamy as the meanest galley-slave could have scarce undertaken as the price of exchange between his fetters and his oar, and the great noble's splendor.

Such were the tidings which greeted Raoul on his return from honorable service to his king—service for which he was thus repaid; and, before he had even time to reflect on the consequences, or to comprehend the anguish thus entailed upon him, his eyes were opened instantly to comprehension of two or three occurrences which previously he had been unable to explain to himself, or even to guess at their meaning by any exercise of ingenuity. The first of these was the singular ignorance in which he had been kept of the death of his parents by the government officials in the East, and the very evident suppression of the letters which, as his uncle informed him, had been dispatched to summon him with all speed homeward.

The second was the pertinacity with which he had been thrust forward, time after time, on the most desperate and deadly duty—a pertinacity so striking, that, eager as the young soldier was, and greedy of any chance of winning honor, it had not failed to strike him that he was frequently ordered on duty of a nature which, under ordinary circumstances, is performed by volunteers.

Occurrences of this kind are soon remarked in armies, and it had early become a current remark in the camp that to serve in Raoul's company was a sure passport either to promotion or to the other world. But to such an extent was this carried, that when time after time that company had been decimated, even the bravest of the brave experienced an involuntary sinking of the heart when informed that they were transferred or even promoted into those fatal ranks.

Nor was this all, for twice it had occurred, once when he was a captain in command of a company, and again when he had a whole regiment under his orders as its colonel, that his superiors, after detaching him on duty so desperate that it might almost be regarded as a forlorn hope, had entirely neglected either to support or recall him, but had left him exposed to almost inevitable destruction.

In the first instance, not a man whether officer or private of his company had escaped, with the exception of himself. And he was found, when all was supposed to be over, in the last ditch of the redoubt which he had been ordered to defend to the uttermost, after it had been retaken, with his colors wrapped around his breast, still breathing a little, although so cruelly wounded that his life was long despaired of, and was only saved at last by the vigor and purity of an unblemished and unbroken constitution. On the second occasion, he had been suffer [Pg 88]ed to contend alone for three entire days with but a single battalion against a whole oriental army; but then, that which had been intended to destroy him had won him deathless fame, for by a degree of skill in handling his little force, which had by no means been looked for in so young an officer, although his courage and his conduct were both well known, he had succeeded in giving a bloody repulse to the over-whelming masses of the enemy, and when at length he was supported—doubtless when support was deemed too late to avail him aught—by a few hundred native horse and a few guns, he had converted that check into a total and disastrous route.

So palpable was the case, that although Raoul suspected nothing of the reasons which had led to that disgraceful affair, he had demanded an inquiry into the conduct of his superior; and that unfortunate personage being clearly convicted of unmilitary conduct, and having failed in the end which would have justified the means in the eyes of the voluptuous tyrant, was ruthlessly abandoned to his fate, and actually died on the scaffold with a gag in his mouth, as did the gallant Lally a few years afterward, to prevent his revelation of the orders which he had received, and for obeying which he perished.

All this, though strange and even extraordinary, had failed up to this moment to awaken any suspicion of undue or treasonable agency in the mind of Raoul.

But now as his uncle spoke the scales fell from his eyes, and he saw all the baseness, all the villany of the monarch and his satellites in its true light.

"Is it so? Is it, indeed, so?" he said mournfully. And it really appeared that grief at detecting such a dereliction on the part of his king, had a greater share in the feelings of the noble youth than indignation or resentment. "Is it, indeed, so?" he said, "and could neither my father's long and glorious services, nor my poor conduct avail aught to turn him from such infamy! But tell me," he continued, the blood now mounting fiery red to his pale face, "tell me this, uncle, is she true to me? Is she pure and good? Forgive me, Heaven, that I doubt her, but in such a mass of infamy where may a man look for faith or virtue? Is Melanie true to me, or is she, too, consenting to this scheme of infamous and loathsome guilt?"

"She was true, my son, when I last saw her," replied the good clergyman, "and you may well believe that I spared no argument to urge her to hold fast to her loyalty and faith, and she vowed then by all that was most dear and holy that nothing should induce her ever to become the wife of Rochederrien. But they carried her off into the province, and have immured her, I have heard men say, almost in a dungeon, in her father's castle, for now above a twelvemonth. What has fallen out no one as yet knows certainly; but it is whispered now that she has yielded, and the court scandal goes that she has either wedded him already, or is to do so now within a few days. It is said that they are looked for ere the month is out in Paris."

"Then I will to horse, uncle," replied Raoul, "before this night is two hours older for St. Renan."

"Great Heaven! To what end, Raoul. For the sake of all that is good! By your father's memory! I implore you, do nothing rashly."

"To know of my own knowledge if she be true or false, uncle."

"And what matters it, Raoul? My boy, my unhappy boy! False or true she is lost to you alike, and forever. You have that against which to contend, which no human energy can conquer."

"I know not the thing which human energy cannot conquer, uncle. It is years now ago that my good father taught me this—that there is no such word as cannot! I have proved it before now, uncle abbé; I may, should I find it worth the while, prove it again, and that shortly. If so, let the guilty and the traitors look to themselves—they were best, for they shall need it!"

Such was the state of St. Renan's affections and his hopes when he left the gay capital of France, within a few hours after his arrival, and hurried down at the utmost speed of man and horse into Bretagne, whither he made his way so rapidly that the first intimation his people received of his return from the east was his presence at the gates of the castle.

Great, as may be imagined, was the real joy of the old true-hearted servitors of the house, at finding their lord thus unexpectedly restored to them, at a time when they had in fact almost abandoned every hope of seeing him again. The same infernal policy which had thrust him so often, as it were, into the very jaws of death, which had intercepted all the letters sent to him from home, and taken, in one word, every step that ingenuity could suggest to isolate him altogether in that distant world, had taken measures as deep and iniquitous at home to cause him to be regarded as one dead, and to obliterate all memory of his existence.

Three different times reports so circumstantial, and accompanied by such minute details of time and place as to render it almost impossible for men to doubt their authenticity, had been circulated with regard to the death of the young soldier, and as no tidings had been received of him from any more direct source, the last news of his fall had been generally received as true, no motive appearing why it should be discredited.

His appearance, therefore, at the castle of St. Renan, was hailed as that of one who had been lost and was now found, of one who had been dead, and lo! he was alive. The bancloche of the old feudal pile rang forth its blithest and most jovial notes of greeting, the banner with the old armorial bearings of St. Renan was displayed upon the keep, and a few light pieces of antique artillery, falcons and culverins and demi-cannon, which had kept their places on the battlements since the days of the leagues, sent forth their thunders far and wide over the astonished country.

So generally, however, had the belief of Raoul's death been circulated, and so absolute had been the credence given to the rumor, that when those unwonted sounds of rejoicing were heard to proceed [Pg 89] from the long silent walls of St. Renan, men never suspected that the lost heir had returned to enjoy his own again, but fancied that some new master had established his claim to the succession, and was thus celebrating his investiture with the rights of the Counts of St. Renan.

Nor was this wonderful, for ocular proof was scarce enough to satisfy the oldest retainers of the family of the young lord's identity; and indeed ocular proof was rendered in some sort dubious by the great alteration which had taken place in the appearance of the personage in question.

Between the handsome stripling of sixteen and the grown man of twenty summers there is a greater difference than the same lapse of time will produce at any other period of human life. And this change had been rendered even greater than usual by the burning climate to which Raoul had been exposed, by the stout endurance of fatigues which had prematurely enlarged and hardened his youthful frame, and above all by the dark experience which had spread something of the thoughtful cast of age over the smooth and gracious lineaments of boyhood.

When he left home the Viscount de Douarnez was a slight, slender, graceful stripling, with a fair, delicate complexion, a profusion of light hair waving in soft curls over his shoulders, a light elastic step, and a frame, which, though it showed the promise already of strength to be attained with maturity, was conspicuous as yet for ease and agility and pliability rather than for power or robustness.

On his return, he had lost, it is true, no jot of his gracefulness or ease of demeanor, but he had shot up and expanded into a tall, broad-shouldered, round-chested, thin-flanked man, with a complexion burned to the darkest hue of which a European skin is susceptible, and which perhaps required the aid of the full soft blue eye to prove it to be European—with a glance as quick, as penetrating, and at the same time as calm and steady as that of the eagle when he gazes undazzled at the noontide splendor.

His hair had been cut short to wear beneath the casque which was still carried by cavaliers, and had grown so much darker that this alteration alone would have gone far to defy the recognition of his friends. He wore a thick dark moustache on his upper lip, and a large royal, which we should nowadays call an imperial, on his chin.

The whole aspect and expression of face, moreover, was altered, even in a greater degree than his complexion, or his person. All the quick, sparkling play and mobility of feature, the sharp flash of rapidly succeeding sentiments, and strong emotions, expressed on the ingenuous face, as soon as they were conceived within the brain—all these had disappeared completely—disappeared, never to return.

The grave composure of the thoughtful, self-possessed, experienced soldier, sufficient in himself to meet every emergency, every alternation of fortune, had succeeded the imaginative, impulsive ardor of the impetuous, gallant boy.

There was a shadow, too, a heavy shadow of something more than thought—for it was, in truth, deep, real, heartfelt melancholy, which lent an added gloom to the cold fixity of eye and lip, which had obliterated all the gay and gleeful flashes which used, from moment to moment, to light up the countenance so speaking and so frank in its disclosures.

Yet it would have been difficult to say whether Raoul de St. Renan, grave, dark and sorrowful as he now showed, was not both a handsomer and more attractive person than he had been in his earlier days, as the gay and thoughtless Viscount de Douarnez.

There was a depth of feeling, as well as of thought, now perceptible in the pensive brow and calm eye; and if the ordinary expression of those fine and placid lineaments was fixed and cold, that coldness and rigidity vanished when his face was lighted up by a smile, as quickly as the thin ice of an April morning melts away before the first glitter of the joyous sunbeams.

Nor were the smiles rare or forced, though not now as habitual as in those days of youth unalloyed by calamity, and unsunned by passion, which, once departed, never can return in this world.

The morning of the young lord's arrival passed gloomily enough; it was the very height of summer, it is true, and the sun was shining his brightest over field and tree and tower, and every thing appeared to partake of the delicious influence of the charming weather, and to put on its blithest and most radiant apparel.

Never perhaps had the fine grounds, with their soft mossy sloping lawns, and tranquil brimful waters and shadowy groves of oak and elm, great immemorial trees, looked lovelier than they did that day to greet their long absent master.

But, inasmuch as nothing in this world is more delightful, nothing more unmixed in its means of conveying pleasure, than the return, after long wanderings in foreign climes, among vicissitudes and cares, and sorrows, to an unchanged and happy home, where the same faces are assembled to smile on your late return which wept at your departure, so nothing can be imagined sadder or more depressing to the spirit than so returning to find all things inanimate unchanged, or if changed, more beautiful and brighter for the alteration, but all the living, breathing, sentient creatures—the creatures whose memory has cheered our darkest days of sorrow, whose love we desire most to find unaltered—gone, never to return, swallowed by the cold grave, deaf, silent, unresponsive to our fond affection.

Such was St. Renan's return to the house of his fathers. Until a few short days before he had pictured to himself his father's moderate and manly pleasure, his mother's holy kiss and chastened rapture at beholding once again, at clasping to her happy bosom, the son, whom she sent forth a boy, returned a man worthy the pride of the most ambitious parent.

All this Raoul de St. Renan had anticipated, and bitter, bitter was the pang when he perceived all this gay and glad anticipation thrown to the winds irreparably.

There was not a room in the old house, not a view from a single window, not a tree in the noble park, [Pg 90] not a winding curve of a trout-stream glimmering through the coppices, but was in some way connected with his tenderest and most sacred recollections, but had a memory of pleasant hours attached to it, but recalled the sound of the kindliest and dearest words couched in the sweetest tones, the sight of persons but to think of whom made his heart thrill and quiver to its inmost core.

And for hours he had wandered through the long echoing corridors, the stately and superb saloons, feeling their solitude as if it had been actual presence weighing upon his soul, and peopling every apartment with the phantoms of the loved and lost.

Thus had the day lagged onward, and as the sun stooped toward the west darker and sadder had become the young man's fancies; and he felt as if his last hope were about to fade out with the fading light of the declining day-god. So gloomy, indeed, were his thoughts, so sadly had he become inured to wo during the last few days, so certainly had the reply to every question he had asked been the very bitterest and most painful he could have met, that he had, in truth, lacked the courage to assure himself of that on which he could not deny to himself that his last hope of happiness depended. He had not ventured yet even to ask of his own most faithful servants, whether Melanie d'Argenson, who was, he well knew, living scarcely three bow-shots distant from the spot where he stood, was true to him, was a maiden or a wedded wife.

And the old servitors, well aware of the earnest love which had existed between the young people, and of the contract which had been entered into with the consent of all parties, knew not how their young master now stood affected toward the lady, and consequently feared to speak on the subject.

At length when he had dined some hours, while he was sitting with the old bailiff, who had been endeavoring to seduce him into an examination of I know not what of rents and leases, dues and droits, seignorial and manorial, while the bottles of ruby-colored Bordeaux wine stood almost untouched before them, the young man made an effort, and raising his head suddenly after a long and thoughtful silence, asked his companion whether the Comte d'Argenson was at that time resident at the château.

"Oh, yes, monseigneur," the old man returned immediately, "he has been here all the summer, and the château has been full of gay company from Paris. Never such times have been known in my days. Hawking parties one day, and hunting matches the next, and music and balls every night, and cavalcades of bright ladies, and cavaliers all ostrich-plumes and cloth of gold and tissue, that you would think our old woods here were converted into fairy land. The young lady Melanie was wedded only three days since to the Marquis de Ploermel; but you will not know him by that name, I trow. He was the chevalier only—the Chevalier de la Rochederrien, when you were here before."

"Ah, they are wedded, then," replied the youth, mastering his passions by a terrible exertion, and speaking of what rent his very heart-strings asunder as if it had been a matter which concerned him not so much even as a thought. "I heard it was about to be so shortly, but knew not that it had yet taken place."

"Yes, monsiegneur, three days since, and it is very strangely thought of in the country, and very strange things are said on all sides concerning it."

"As what, Matthieu?"

"Why the marquis is old enough to be her father, or some say her grandfather for that matter, and little Rosalie, her fille-de-chambre, has been telling all the neighborhood that Mademoiselle Melanie hated him with all her heart and soul, and would far rather die than go to the altar as his bride."

"Pshaw! is that all, good Matthieu?" answered the youth, very bitterly—"is that all? Why there is nothing strange in that. That is an every day event. A pretty lady changes her mind, breaks her faith, and weds a man she hates and despises. Well! that is perfectly in rule; that is precisely what is done every day at court. If you could tell just the converse of the tale, that a beautiful woman had kept her inclinations unchanged, her faith unbroken, her honor pure and bright; that she had rejected a rich man, or a powerful man, because he was base or bad, and wedded a poor and honorable one because she loved him, then, indeed, my good Matthieu, you would be telling something that would make men open their eyes wide enough, and marvel what should follow. Is this all that you call strange?"

"You are jesting at me, monseigneur, for that I am country bred," replied the steward, staring at his youthful master with big eyes of astonishment; "you cannot mean that which you say."

"I do mean precisely what I say, my good friend; and I never felt less like jesting in the whole course of my life. I know that you good folk down here in the quiet country judge of these things as you have spoken; but that is entirely on account of your ignorance of court life, and what is now termed nobility. What I tell you is strictly true, that falsehood and intrigue, and lying, that daily sales of honor, that adultery and infamy of all kinds are every day occurrences in Paris, and that the wonders of the time are truth and sincerity, and keeping faith and honor! This, I doubt not, seems strange to you, but it is true for all that."

"At least it is not our custom down here in Bretagne," returned the old man, "and that, I suppose, is the reason why it appears to be so extraordinary to us here. But you will not say, I think, monsieur le comte, that what else I shall tell you is nothing strange or new."

"What else will you tell me, Matthieu? Let us hear it, and then I shall be better able to decide."

"Why they say, monsiegneur, that she is no more the Marquis de Ploermel's wife than she is yours or mine, except in name alone; and that he does not dare to kiss her hand, much less her lips; and that they have separate apartments, and are, as it were, strangers altogether. And that the reason of all this is that Ma'mselle Melanie is never to be his wife at all, but that she is to go to Paris in a few days, and to become the king's mistress. Will you tell me [Pg 91] that this is not strange, and more than strange, infamous, and dishonoring to the very name of man and woman?"

"Even in this, were it true, there would be nothing, I am grieved to say, very wondrous nowadays—for there have been several base and terrible examples of such things, I am told, of late; for the rest, I must sympathize with you in your disgust and horror of such doings, even if I prove myself thereby a mere country hobereau, and no man of the world, or of fashion. But you must not believe all these things to be true which you hear from the country gossips," he added, desirous still of shielding Melanie, so long as her guilt should be in the slightest possible degree doubtful, from the reproach which seemed already to attach to her. "I hardly can believe such things possible of so fair and modest a demoiselle as the young lady of d'Argenson; nor is it easy to me to believe that the count would consent to any arrangement so disgraceful, or that the Chevalier de la Rocheder—I beg his pardon, the Marquis de Ploermel, would marry a lady for such an infamous object. I think, therefore, good Matthieu, that, although there would not even in this be any thing very wonderful, it is yet neither probable nor true."

"Oh, yes, it is true! I am well assured that it is true, monseigneur," replied the old man, shaking his head obstinately; "I do not believe that there is much truth or honor in this lady either, or she would not so easily have broken one contract, or forgotten one lover!"

"Hush, hush, Matthieu!" cried Raoul, "you forget that we were mere children at that time; such early troth plightings are foolish ceremonials at the best; beside, do you not see that you are condemning me also as well as the lady?"

"Oh, that is different—that is quite different!" replied the old steward, "gentlemen may be permitted to take some little liberties which with ladies are not allowable. But that a young demoiselle should break her contract in such wise is disgraceful."

"Well, well, we will not argue it to-night, Matthieu," said the young soldier, rising and looking out of the great oriel window over the sunshiny park; "I believe I will go and walk out for an hour or two and refresh my recollections of old times. It is a lovely afternoon as I ever beheld in France or elsewhere."

And with the word he took up his rapier which lay on a slab near the table at which he had been sitting, and hung it to his belt, and then throwing on his plumed hat carelessly, without putting on his cloak, strolled leisurely out into the glorious summer evening.

For a little while he loitered on the esplanade, gazing out toward the sea, the ridgy waves of which were sparkling like emeralds tipped with diamonds in the grand glow of the setting sun. But ere long he turned thence with a sigh, called up perhaps by some fancied similitude between that bright and boundless ocean, desolate and unadorned even by a single passing sail, and his own course of life so desert, friendless and uncompanioned.

Thence he strolled listlessly through the fine garden, inhaling the rare odors of the roses, hundreds of which bloomed on every side of him, there in low bushes, there in trim standards, and not a few climbing over tall trellices and bowery alcoves in one mass of living bloom. He saw the happy swallow darting and wheeling to and fro through the pellucid azure, in pursuit of their insect prey. He heard the rich mellow notes of the blackbirds and thrushes, thousands and thousands of which were warbling incessantly in the cool shadow of the yew and holly hedges. But his diseased and unhappy spirit took no delight in the animated sounds, or summer-teeming sights of rejoicing nature. No, the very joy and merriment, which seemed to pervade all nature, animate or inanimate around him, while he himself had no present joys to elevate, no future promises to cheer him, rendered him, if that were possible, darker and gloomier, and more mournful.

The spirits of the departed seemed to hover about him, forbidding him ever again to admit hope or joy as an inmate to his desolate heart; and, wrapt in these dark phantasies, with his brow bent, and his eyes downcast, he wandered from terrace to terrace through the garden, until he reached its farthest boundary, and then passed out into the park, through which he strolled, almost unconscious whither, until he came to the great deer-fence of the utmost glen, through a wicket of which, just as the sun was setting, he entered into the shadowy woodland.

Then a whole flood of wild and whirling thoughts rushed over his brain at once. He had strolled without a thought into the very scene of his happy rambles with the beloved, the faithless, the lost Melanie. Carried away by a rush of inexplicable feelings, he walked swiftly onward through the dim wild-wood path toward the Devil's Drinking Cup. He came in sight of it—a woman sat by its brink, who started to her feet at the sound of his approaching footsteps.

It was Melanie—alone—and if his eyes deceived him not, weeping bitterly.

She gazed at him, at the first, with an earnest, half-alarmed, half-inquiring glance, as if she did not recognize his face, and, perhaps, apprehended rudeness, if not danger, from the approach of a stranger.

Gradually, however, she seemed in part to recognize him. The look of inquiry and alarm gave place to a fixed, glaring, icy stare of unmixed dread and horror; and when he had now come to within six or eight paces of her, still without speaking, she cried, in a wild, low voice,

"Great God! great God! has he come up from the grave to reproach me! I am true, Raoul; true to the last, my beloved!"

And with a long, shivering, low shriek, she staggered, and would have fallen to the earth had he not caught her in his arms.

But she had fainted in the excess of superstitious awe, and perceived not that it was no phantom's hand, but a most stalwort arm of human mould that clasped her to the heart of the living Raoul de St. Renan.

[Conclusion in our next.




THE BLOCKHOUSE.

[Pg 92]


BY ALFRED B. STREET.

Upon yon hillock in this valley's midst,
Where the low crimson sun lies sweetly now
On corn-fields—clustered trees—and meadows wide
Scattered with rustic homesteads, once there stood
A blockhouse, with its loop-holes, pointed roof,
Wide jutting stories, and high base of stone.
A hamlet of rough log-built cabins stood
Beside it; here a band of settlers dwelt.
One of the number, a gray stalwort man,
Still lingers on the crumbling shores of Time.
Old age has made him garrulous, and oft
I've listened to his talk of other days
In which his youth bore part. His eye would then
Flash lightning, and his trembling hand would clench
His staff, as if it were a rifle grasped
In readiness for the foe.
"One summer's day,"
Thus he commenced beside a crackling hearth
Whilst the storm roared without, "a fresh bright noon,
Us men were wending homeward from the fields,
Where all the breezy morning we had toiled.
I paused a moment on a grassy knoll
And glanced around. Our scythes had been at work,
And here and there a meadow had been shorn
And looked like velvet; still the grain stood rich;
The brilliant sunshine sparkled on the curves
Of the long drooping corn-leaves, till a veil
Of light seemed quivering o'er the furrowed green.
The herds were grouped within the pasture-fields,
And smokes curled lazily from the cabin-roofs.
'T was a glad scene, and as I looked my heart
Swelled up to Heaven in fervent gratitude.
Ha! from the circling woods what form steals out
Strait in my line of vision, then shrinks back!
'The savage! haste, men, haste! away, away!
The bloody savage!' 'T was that perilous time
When our young country stood in arms for right
And freedom, and, within the forests, each
Worked with his loaded rifle at his back.
We all unslung our weapons, and with hearts
Nerving for trial, flew toward our homes.
We reached them as wild whoopings filled the air,
And dusky forms came bounding from the woods.
We pressed toward the blockhouse, with our wives
And children madly shrieking in our midst.
But ere we reached it, like a torrent dashed
Our tawny foes amongst us. Oh that scene
Of dread and horror! Knives and tomahawks
Darted and flashed. In vain we poured our shots
From our long rifles; breast to breast, in vain,
And eye to eye, we fought. My comrades dropped
Around me, and their scalps were wrenched away
As they lay writhing. From our midst our wives
Were torn and brained; our shrieking infants dashed
Upon the bloody earth, until our steps
Were clogged with their remains. Still on we pressed
With our clubbed rifles, sweeping blow on blow;
But, one by one, my bleeding comrades fell,
Until my brother and myself alone
Remained of all our band. My wife had clung
Close to my side throughout the horrid strife,
I, warding off each blow, and struggling on.
And now we three were near the blockhouse-door,
Closed by a secret spring. My brother first
Its succor reached; it opened at his touch.
Just then an Indian darted to my side
And grasped my trembling wife"—the old man paused
And veiled his eyes, whilst shudderings shook his frame
As the wind shakes the leaf. "I saw her, youth,
Sink with one bitter shriek beneath the edge
Of his red, swooping hatchet. Turned to stone
I stood an instant, but my brother's hand
Dragged me within the blockhouse. As the door
Closed to the spring, and quick my brother thrust
The heavy bars athwart, for I was sick
With horror, piercing whoops of baffled rage
Echoed without. Recovering from my deep,
O'erwhelming stupor, as I heard those sounds
My veins ran liquid flame; with iron grasp
I clenched my rifle. From the loops we poured
Quick shots upon the foe, who, shrinking back,
To the low cabin-roofs applied the brand—
Up with fierce fury flashed the greedy flames.
Just then my brother thrust his head from out
A loop—quick cracked a rifle, and he fell
Dead on the planks. With yells that froze my blood,
A score of warriors at the blockhouse-door
Heaped a great pile of boughs. A streak of fire
Ran like a serpent through it, and then leaped
Broad up the sides. Through every loop-hole poured
Deep smoke, with now and then a fiery flash.
The air grew thick and hot, until I seemed
To breathe but flame. I staggered to a loop.
Dancing around with flourished tomahawks
I saw my horrid foes. But ha! that glimpse!
Again! oh can it be my wavering sight!
No, no, forms break from out the forest depths,
And hurry onward; gleaming arms I see.
Joy, joy, 't is coming succor! Swift they come,
Swift as the wind. The swarthy warriors gaze
Like startled deer. Crash, crash, now peal the shots
Amongst them, and with looks of fierce despair
They group together, aim a scattered fire,
Then seek to break with tomahawk and knife
Through the advancing circle, but in vain,
They fall beneath the stalwort blows of men
Who long had suffered under savage hate.
Hunters and settlers of the valley roused
At length to vengeance. With a rapid hand
The blockhouse-door I opened and rushed out,
Wielding my rifle. Youth, this arm is old
And withered now, but every blow I struck
Then made the blood-drops spatter to my brow,
Until I bathed in crimson. With deep joy
I felt the iron sink within the brain
And clatter on the bone, until the stock
Snapped from the barrel. But the fight soon passed,
And as the last red foe beneath my arm
Dropped dead, I sunk exhausted at the feet
Of my preservers. A wild, murky gloom,
Filled with fierce eyes, fell round me, but kind Heaven
Lifted at length the blackness; on my soul
The keen glare fell no more, and I arose
With the blue sky above me, and the earth
Laughing around in all its glorious beauty.



The Departure

The Departure

From H. C. Corbould. Drawn with alterations & engraved by Geo. B. Ellis
Engraved expressly for Graham's Magazine

THE DEPARTURE.

[Pg 93]


BY MRS. ANN S. STEPHENS.

[Entered According to Act of Congress in the year 1848, by
Edward Stephens, in the Clerk's office of the
District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York.]
[SEE ENGRAVING.]

CHAPTER I.

Oh do not look so bright and blest,
For still there comes a fear,
When hours like thine look happiest,
That grief is then most near.
There lurks a dread in all delight,
A shadow near each ray,
That warns us thus to fear their flight,
When most we wish their stay. Moore.


Far down upon the Long Island shore, where the ocean heaves in wave after wave from the "outer deep," forming coves of inimitable beauty, promontories wooded to the brink, and broken precipices against which the surf lashes continually, there stood, some thirty years ago, an old mansion-house, with irregular and pointed roofs, low stoops, gable-windows, in short, exhibiting all those architectural eccentricities which our modern artists strive for so earnestly in their studies of the picturesque. The dwelling stood upon the bend of a cove; a forest of oaks spread away some distance behind the dwelling, and feathered a point of land that formed the eastern circle down to the water's edge.

In an opposite direction, and curving in a green sweep with the shore, was a fine apple-orchard, and that end of the old house was completely embowered by plum, pear and peach trees, that sheltered minor thickets of lilac, cerenga, snow-ball and other blossoming shrubs. In their season, the ground under this double screen of foliage was crimson with patches of the dwarf rose, and the old-fashioned windows were half covered with the tall graceful trees of that snow-white species of the same queenly flower, which is only to be found in very ancient gardens, and seldom even there at the present time. In front of the old house was a flower-garden of considerable extent, lifted terrace after terrace from the water, which it circled like a crescent. The profusion of blossoms and verdure flung a sort of spring-like glory around the old building until the autumn storms came up from the ocean and swept the rich vesture from the trees, leaving the mansion-house bold, unsheltered and desolate-looking enough.

The cove upon which this old house stood looked far out upon the ocean; no other house was in sight, and it was completely sheltered not only by a forest of trees but by the banks that, high and broken, curved in at the mouth of the cove, narrowing the inlet, and forming altogether a sea and land view scarcely to be surpassed.

The mansion-house was an irregular and ancient affair enough, everyway unlike the half Grecian, half Gothic, or wholly Swiss specimens of architecture with which Long Island is now scattered. Still, there was a substantial appearance of comfort and wealth about it. Though wild and of ancient growth all its trees were in good order, and judiciously planted; well kept outhouses were sheltered by their luxurious foliage, and to these were joined all those appliances to a rich man's dwelling necessary to distinguish the old mansion as the country residence of some wealthy merchant, who could afford to inhabit it only in the pleasantest portion of the year.

It was the pleasantest portion of the year—May, bright, beautiful May, with her world of blossoms and her dew-showers in the night. The apple-orchard, the tall old pear-trees and the plum thickets were one sheet of rosy or snow-white blossoms. The old oaks rose against the sky, piled upon each other branch over branch, their rich foliage yet blushing with a dusky red as it unfolded leaf by leaf to the air. The flower-garden was azure and golden with violets, tulips, crocuses and amaranths. In short, the old building, moss-covered though its roof had become, and old-fashioned as it certainly was in all its angles, might have been mistaken for one of the most lovely nooks in Paradise, and the delusion never regretted.

I have said that it was spring-time—the air fragrance itself—the birds brimful of music, soft and sweet as if they had fed only upon the apple-blossoms that hung over them for months. Yet there was no indication that the old house was inhabited. The windows were all closed, the doors locked, and the greensward with the high box borders, covered with a shower of snowy leaves that had been shaken from the fruit-trees. Still, upon a strip of earth kept moist by the shadows from a gable, was one or two slender footprints slightly impressed, that seemed to have been very recently left. Again they appeared upon a narrow-pointed stoop that ran beneath the windows of a small room in an angle of the building, and from which there was a door slightly ajar, with the same dewy footprint broken on the threshold. Within this room there was a sound as of some one moving softly, yet with impatience, to and fro—once a white hand clasped itself on the door, and a beautiful face, flushed and agitated, glanced through the opening and disappeared. Then followed an interval of silence, save that the birds were making the woods ring with music, and an old honeysuckle that climbed over the stoop shook again with the humming-birds that dashed hither and thither among its crimson bells.

Again the door was pushed open, and now not [Pg 94] only the face but the tall and beautifully proportioned figure of a young girl appeared on the threshold. She paused a moment, hesitated, as if afraid to brave the open air, and then stepped out upon the stoop, and bending over the railing looked eagerly toward the grove of oaks, through which a carriage-road wound up to the broad gravel-walk that led from the back of the dwelling.

Nothing met her eye but the soft green of the woods, and after gazing earnestly forth during a minute or two she turned, with an air of disappointment, and slowly passed through the door again.

The room which she entered was richly furnished, but the upright damask chairs, the small tables of dark mahogany, and two or three cushions that filled the window recesses, were lightly clouded with dust, such as accumulates even in a closed room when long unoccupied. There was also a grand piano in the apartment, with other musical instruments, all richly inlaid, but with their polish dimmed from a like cause.

The lady seemed perfectly careless of all this disarray; she flung herself on a high-backed damask sofa, and one instant buried her flushed features in the pillows—the next, she would lift her head, hold her breath and listen if among the gush of bird-songs and the hum of insects she could hear the one sound that her heart was panting for. Then she would start up, and taking a tiny watch from her bosom snatch an impatient glance at the hands and thrust it back to its tremulous resting-place again. Alas for thee, Florence Hurst! All this emotion, this tremor of soul and body, this quick leaping of the blood in thy young heart and thrilling of thy delicate nerves, in answer to a thought, what does it all betoken? Love, love such as few women ever experienced, such as no woman ever felt without keen misery, and happiness oh how supreme! Happiness that crowds a heaven of love into one exquisite moment, whose memory never departs, but like the perfume that hangs around a broken rose, lingers with existence forever and ever.

Florence loved passionately, wildly. Else why was she there in the solitude of that lone dwelling? Her father's household was in the city—no human being was in the old mansion to greet her coming, and yet Florence was there—alone and waiting!

It was beyond the time! You could see that by the hot flush upon her cheek, by the sparkle of her eyes—those eyes so full of pride, passion and tenderness, over which the quick tears came flashing as she wove her fingers together, while broken murmurs dropped from her lips.

"Does he trifle with me—has he dared—"

How suddenly her attitude of haughty grief was changed! what a burst of tender joy broke over those lovely features! How eagerly she dashed aside the proud tears and sat down quivering like a leaf, and yet striving—oh how beautiful was the strife!—to appear less impatient than she was.

Yes, it was a footstep light and rapid, coming along the gravel-walk. It was on the stoop—in the room—and before her stood a young man, elegant, nay almost superb in his type of manliness, and endowed with that indescribable air of fashion which is more pleasing than beauty, and yet as difficult to describe as the perfume of a flower or the misty descent of dews in the night.

The young girl up to this moment had been in a tumult of expectation, but now the color faded from her cheek, and the breath as it rose trembling from her bosom seemed to oppress her. It was but for a moment. Scarcely had his hand closed upon hers when her heart was free from the shadow that had fallen upon it, and a sweet joy possessed her wholly. She allowed his arm to circle her waist unresisted, and when he laid a hand caressingly on one cheek and drew the other to his bosom, that cheek was glowing like a rose in the sunshine.

For some moments they sat together in profound silence, she trembling with excess of happiness, he gazing upon her with a sort of sidelong and singular expression of the eye, that had something calculating and subtle in it, but which changed entirely when she drew back her head and lifted the snowy lids that had closed softly over her eyes the moment she felt the beating of his heart.

"And so you have come at last?" she said very softly, and drawing back with a blush, as if the fond attitude she had fallen into were something to which she had hitherto been unused. "Are you alone? I thought—"

"I know, sweet one, I know that you will hardly forgive me," said the young man, and his voice was of that low, rich tone that possesses more than the power of eloquence. "But I could not persuade the clergyman to come down hither in my company. Your father's power terrifies him!"

"And he would not come? He refuses to unite us then—and we are here—alone and thus!" cried Florence Hurst, withdrawing herself from his arm.

"Not so, sweet one, your delicacy need not be startled thus. He is coming with a friend, and will stop at the village till I send over to say that all is quiet here. He is terribly afraid that the old gentleman may suspect something and follow us."

"Alas, my proud old father!" cried Florence, for a moment giving way to the thoughts of regretful tenderness that would find entrance to her heart amid all its tumultuous feelings.

"And do you regret that you have risked his displeasure, which, loving you as he does, must be only momentary, for one who adores you, Florence?" replied the young man, in a tone of tender reproach that thrilled over her heart-strings like music.

"No, no, I do not regret, I never can! but oh, how much of heaven would be in this hour if he but approved of what we are about to do!"

"But he will approve in time, beloved, believe me he will," said the young man, clasping both her hands in his and kissing them.

"Yes, yes, when he knows you better," cried Florence, making an effort to cast off the shadow that lay upon her heart, "when he knows all your goodness, all the noble qualities that have won the heart of your Florence."

[Pg 95]

As Jameson bent his lips to the young girl's forehead they were curled by a faint sneering smile. That smile was blended with the kiss he imprinted there. It left no sting—the poison touched no one of the delicate nerves that awoke and thrilled to the fanning of his breath, and yet it would have been perceptible to an observer as the glitter of a rattle-snake.

"I am sure you love me, Florence."

"Love you!" her breath swelled and fluttered as the words left her lips. "Love! I fear—I know that all this is idolatry!"

"Else why are you here."

"Truly, most truly!"

"Risking all things, even reputation, for me, and I so unworthy."

"Reputation!" cried Florence, her pride suddenly stung with the venom that lay within those honied words. "Not reputation, Jameson; I do not risk that; I could not—it would be death!"

"And yet you are here, alone with me, beloved, in this old house."

"But I am here to become your wife—only to become your wife. I risk my father's displeasure—I know that—I am disobedient, wicked, cruel to him, but his good name—my own good name—no, no, nothing that I have done should endanger that."

The proud girl was much agitated, and the dove-like fondness that had brooded in her eyes a moment before began to kindle up to an expression that the lover became earnest to change.

"You take me up too seriously," he said, attempting to draw her toward him, but she resisted proudly. "I only spoke of possible not probable risk, and that because the clergyman would be persuaded to come down here only on a promise that the marriage should be kept a secret till some means could be found of reconciling the old gentleman, or at any rate for a week or two."

"And you gave the promise," said Florence, while her beautiful features settled into a grieved and dissatisfied expression. "You gave this promise?"

"Why, Florence, what ails you? I had no choice. You had already left home, and he would listen to no other terms."

"A week or two—our marriage kept secret so long," said Florence in a tone of dissatisfaction. "You did well to say I was risking much for you. My life had been little—but this—"

"And is this too much? Do you begin to regret, Florence?"

Nothing could have been more gentle, more replete with tenderness, ardent but full of reproach, than the tone in which these words were uttered. Florence lifted her eyes to his, tears came into them, and then she smiled brightly once more.

"Oh! let us have done with this; I am nervous, agitated, unreasonable I suppose; of course you have done right," she said, "but at first the thoughts of this concealment terrified me."

"Hark! I hear wheels. It must be the clergyman and Byrne," said Jameson, listening.

"And is a stranger coming," inquired Florence, "any one but the clergyman? I was not prepared for that!"

"But we must have a witness. He is my friend, and one that can be trusted. You need have no fear of Byrne."

"They are here!" said Florence, who had been listening with checked breath, while her face waxed very pale. "It is the step of two persons on the gravel. Let me go—let me go for an instant, this is no dress for a bride," and she glanced hurriedly at her black silk dress, relieved only by a frill of lace and a knot or two of rose-colored ribbon.

"What matters it, beautiful as you always are."

"No, no, I cannot be married in black—I will not be married in black," she cried hurriedly, and with a forced effort to be gay; "wait ten minutes, I will but step to the chamber above and be with you again directly."

Florence disappeared through a door leading into the main portion of the building, while Jameson arose and went out to meet the two men, who were now close by the stoop, and looking about as if undecided what door to try at for admission.

"Let us take a stroll in the garden," he said, descending the steps, "the lady is not quite ready yet; how beautiful the morning is," and passing his arm through that of a man who seemed some years older than himself, and who had accompanied the clergyman, he turned an angle of the building. The clergyman followed them a pace or two, then returning sat down upon the steps that led to the stoop and took off his hat.

"This is a singular affair," he muttered, putting back the locks from his forehead and bending his elbows upon his knees, with the deep sigh of a man who finds the air deliciously refreshing, "I have half a mind to pluck a handful of flowers, step into my chaise and go back to the city again; but for the sweet young lady I would. There is something about the young man that troubles me—what if my good-nature has been imposed upon—what if old Mr. Hurst has deeper reasons than his pride—that I would not bend to a minute—and he gives no other reason if they tell me truly. This young man is his book-keeper, and so his love is presumptuous. Probably old Hurst has imported a cargo of aristocratic arrogance from Europe, and the young people tell the truth. If so, why I will even marry them, and let the stately gentleman make the best of it. Still, I half wish the thing had not fallen upon me."

Meantime the bridegroom and his friend walked slowly toward the water.

"And so you have snared the bird at last," said Byrne.

"I did not think you could manage to get her down here. When did she come?"

"Yesterday," said Jameson.

"Alone?"

"Quite alone; her father thinks her visiting a friend."

"But you left the city yesterday."

"Yes."[Pg 96]

"And not with her?"

"She came down alone—so did I."

"But directly after—ha!"

Jameson smiled, that same crafty smile that had curled his lips even when they rested upon the forehead of Florence Hurst.

"And did she sanction this. By heavens! I would not have believed it—so proud, so sensitive!"

"No, no, Byrne, to do Florence justice, she supposes that I came down this morning; but the old house is large, and it was easy enough for me to find a nook to sleep in, without her knowledge."

"But what object have you in this?"

"Why, as to my object, it is scarcely settled yet; but it struck me that by this movement I might obtain a hold upon her father's family pride, should his affection for Florence fail. The haughty old don would hardly like it to be known in the city that his lovely daughter—his only child—had spent the night alone, in an old country-house, with her father's book-keeper."

"But how would he know this; surely you would not become the informant?"

"Why, no!" replied Jameson, with a smile; "but I took a little pains to inquire about the localities of this old nest up at the village. The good people had seen Miss Hurst leave the stage an hour before and walk over this way. It seems very natural that he may hear it from that quarter."

Byrne looked at his companion a moment almost sternly, then dropping his eyes to the ground, he began to dash aside the rich blossoms from a tuft of pansies with his cane.

"You do not approve of this?" said Jameson, studying his companion's countenance.

"No."

"Why, it can do no harm. What would the girl be to me without her expectations. I tell you her father will pay any sum rather than allow a shadow of disgrace to fall upon her. I will marry her at all hazards; but it must be kept secret, and in a little time some hint of this romantic excursion will be certain to reach head-quarters; and I shall have the old man as eager for the marriage as any of us, and ready to come down handsomely, too. I tell you it makes every thing doubly sure."

"It may be so," said the other, in a dissatisfied manner.

"Well, like it or not, I can see no other way by which you will be certain of the three thousand dollars that you won of me," replied Jameson, coolly.

Byrne dashed his cane across the pansies, sending the broken blossoms in a shower over the gravel-walks.

"Well, manage as you like, the affair is nothing to me, but it smacks strongly of the scoundrel, Herbert, I can tell you that."

"Pah! this little plot of mine will probably amount to nothing. The old gentleman may give in at once to the tears and caresses of my sweet bride up yonder. Faith, I doubt if any man could resist her."

"More than probable—more than probable!" rejoined the other; "but I should not like to be within the sight of that girl's eye if she ever finds out the game you have been playing."

"Yes, it would be very likely to strike fire," replied Jameson, carelessly; "but she loves me, and there is no slave like a woman that loves. You will see that before the year is over, every spark that flashes from her eyes I shall force back upon her heart till it burns in, I can tell you. But there she is, all in bridal white, and fluttering like a bird around the old stoop. Come, we must not keep her waiting!"

Meantime, Florence Hurst had entered a little chamber, where, nineteen years before, she first opened her eyes to the light of heaven. It was at one end of the house, and across the window fell the massive boughs of an old apple-tree, heaped with masses of the richest foliage, and rosy with half-open blossoms. A curtain of delicate lace fluttered before the open sash, bathed in fragrance, and through which the rough brown of the limbs, the delicate green in which the rosy buds seemed matted, gleamed as through a wreath of mist.

The night before Florence had left a robe of pure white muslin near the window, exquisitely fine, but very simple, which was to be her wedding-dress. It was strange, but a sort of faintness crept over her heart as she saw the dress; and she sat down powerless, with both hands falling in her lap, gazing upon it. For the moment her intellect was clear, her heart yielded up to its new intuition. Her guardian spirit was busy with her passionate but noble nature. She felt, for the first time, in all its force, how wrong she was acting, how indelicate was her situation. It seemed as if she were that moment cast adrift from her father's love—from her own lofty self-appreciation. The heart that had swelled and throbbed so warmly a moment before, now lay heavy in her bosom, shrinking from the destiny prepared for it. Just then the sound of a voice penetrated the thick foliage of the fruit tree, and she started up once more full of conflicting emotions. It was Jameson's voice that reached her as he passed with his friend beneath the fruit trees. She heard no syllable of what he was saying, but the very tone, as it came softened and low through the perfume and sweetness that floated around her, was enough to fling her soul into fresh tumult. How she trembled; how warm and red came the passion-fire of that delicate cheek, as she flung the black garment from off her superb form, and hurried on the bridal array. It was very chaste, and utterly without pretension, that wedding-dress, knots of snowy ribbon fastened it at the shoulders and bosom, and the exquisite whiteness was unbroken save by the glow that warmed her neck and bosom almost to a blush, and the purplish gloss upon her tresses, that fell in raven masses down to her shoulders.

She took a glance in the old mirror, encompassed by its frame-work of ebony, carved and elaborated at the top and bottom into a dark net-work of fine filagree; she saw herself—a bride. Again the wing of her guardian angel beat against her heart. The unbroken whiteness of her array seemed to fold her [Pg 97] like a shroud, and like that thing which a shroud clings to, became the pallor which settled on her features; for behind her own figure, and moving, as it were, in the background of the mirror, she saw the image of her lover and his friend, talking earnestly together. The friend stood with his back toward her, but his face she saw distinctly, and that smile was on his lips, cold, crafty, almost contemptuous. Was it Jameson, or only something mocking her from the mirror? She went to the window, drew aside the filmy lace, and looked forth. Truly it was her lover; through an interstice of the apple boughs she saw him distinctly, and he saw her—that smile, surely the gloomy old mirror had reflected awry. How brilliant, how full of love was the whole expression of his face. Again her heart lighted up. She took a cluster of blossoms from the apple-tree bough, and waving them lightly toward him, drew back. She left the room, fastening the damp and fragrant buds in her hair as she went along, for somehow she shrunk from looking into the old mirror again.

Now the guardian angel gave way to the passion spirit. Florence entered the little boudoir, trembling with excitement, and warm with blushes. The room was solitary, and she stepped out upon the stoop—for her life she could not have composed herself to sit down and wait a single instant. The clergyman was there sitting upon the steps, thoughtful, and evidently yielding to the doubts that had arisen in his kind but just nature too late. He arose as Florence came upon the stoop, and slowly mounting the steps, took her hand and led her back into the room.

"My dear young lady," he said very gravely, "I would hear from your own lips what the impediments to this marriage really are. I scarce know how to account for it. Nothing has happened to change the aspect of affairs here; but within the last hour I have been troubled with doubts and misgivings. Has all been done that can be to obtain your father's consent?"

"I believe—I know that there has," replied Florence, instantly saddened by the gravity of the clergyman.

"And his objections arose purely from pride—aristocratic pride?"

"I never heard any other reason given for withholding his consent," replied Florence. "To me he never gave a reason. His commands were peremptory."

"And you have known this young man long?"

"I was but fifteen when he first came into my father's employ."

"And you love him with your whole heart?"

Florence lifted her eyes, and through the long black lashes flashed a reply so eloquent, so beautiful, that it made even the quiet clergyman draw a deep breath.

"Enough—I will marry them!" he said firmly. "I only wish the young man may prove worthy of all this—"

His soliloquy was cut short by the appearance of Jameson and his friend.

They were married—Florence Hurst, the only daughter and heiress of the richest merchant in New York, to Jameson, the protegée and book-keeper of her proud father.

They were married, and they were left alone in that picturesque old country-house. And now, strange to say, Florence grew very sad; and as Jameson sat by her, with one hand in his, and circling her waist with his arm, she began to weep bitterly.

"Florence, Florence—how is this! why do you weep, beloved?"

"I do not know," said the bride, gently; "but since the good clergyman has left us, my heart is heavy, and I feel alone."

"Do you not love me, Florence? Have you lost confidence in me?"

Florence lifted her eyes, shining with affection, and placed her hand in his.

"But this secrecy troubles me. Let us tell my father at once," she said, earnestly.

"But I have promised, shall I break a pledge, and that to the man of God who has just given you to me forever and ever. Florence?"

"Surely his consent may be obtained. He said nothing of concealment to me."

"And did you talk with him?" questioned Jameson, maintaining the same tone in which his other questions had been put, but with a certain sharpness in it.

"A little. He questioned me of the motives which induced my father to oppose our marriage."

"And that was all?"

"Yes; you came in just then, and the rest seems like a dream."

"A blessed, sweet dream, Florence, for it made you my wife," said Jameson.

Still Florence wept. "And now," she said, lifting her eyes timidly to his, "let us return to the city; while this secrecy lasts I must see you only in the presence of my father."

"Florence, is this distrust—is it dislike?" cried Jameson, startled out of his usual self-command.

"Neither," said Florence, "you know that. You are certain of it as I am myself. But I am your wife now, Herbert, and have both your honor and my own to care for. My father has no power to separate us now, so that fear which seemed to haunt you ever is at rest. But it is due to myself, to him, and to you, that when you claim me as your wife, he should know that I am such, though he may not approve."

Florence said all this very sweetly, but with a degree of gentle firmness that seemed the more unassailable that it was sweet and gentle. Before he could speak she withdrew herself from his arm, and glided from the room. When quite alone, Jameson fell into an unpleasant reverie, from which her return in the black silk dress, with a bonnet and shawl on, aroused him.

"Come," she said, with a smile and a blush, "let us walk through the oak woods, and across the meadows, we shall reach the village almost as soon as the good clergyman and your friend. The reverend gentleman will take care of me, I feel quite sure, and you can manage for yourself. Here we must not remain another moment."

[Pg 98]

"Florence!"

"Nay, nay—whoever heard of a lady being thwarted on her wedding-morning!" cried Florence—and she went out upon the stoop. Jameson followed, and seemed to be expostulating; but she took his arm and walked on, evidently unconvinced by all that he was saying, till they disappeared in the oak woods.


CHAPTER II.

Thy vows are all broken,
And light is thy fame;
I hear thy name spoken,
And share in the shame.
They will name thee before me,
A knell to mine ear;
A shudder comes o'er me—
Why wert thou so dear? Byron.


Florence was in her father's house near the Battery, and looking forth into a large, old-fashioned garden, which was just growing dusky with approaching twilight; near her, in a large crimson chair, sat a man of fifty perhaps, tall and slender, with handsome but stern features, rendered more imposing by thick hair, almost entirely gray, and a style of dress unusually rich, and partaking of fashions that had prevailed twenty years earlier.

Florence was pensive, and an air of painful depression hung about her. The presence of her father, who sat gazing upon her in silence, affected her much; the secret that lay upon her heart seemed to grow palpable to his sight, and though she appeared only still and pensive, the poor girl trembled from head to foot.

"Florence!" said Mr. Hurst after the lapse of half an hour, for it seemed as if he had been waiting for the twilight to deepen around them—"Florence, you are sad, child. You look unhappy. Do your father's wishes press so heavily upon your spirits—do you look upon him as harsh, unreasonable, because he will not allow his only child to throw away her friendship, her society upon the unworthy?"

Florence did not answer, her heart was too full. There was something tender and affectionate in her father's voice that made the tears start, and drowned the words that she would have spoken. Seldom had he addressed her in that tone before. How unlike was he to the reserved, stern father whose arbitrary command to part with her lover she had secretly disobeyed.

"Speak, Florence, your depression grieves me," continued Mr. Hurst, as he heard the sobs she was trying in vain to suppress.

"Oh, father—father! why will you call him unworthy because he lacks family standing and wealth? I cannot—oh I never can think with you in this!"

"And who said that I did deem him unworthy for these reasons? Who said that I objected to Herbert Jameson as a companion for my daughter because of his humble origin or his penniless condition? Who told you this, Florence Hurst?"

"He, he told me—did you not say all this to him, all this and more? Did you not drive him from your presence and employ with bitter scorn, when two weeks ago he asked for your daughter's hand?"

"He ask for my daughter's hand! he, the ingrate! the—Florence, did you believe that he really possessed the base assurance to request your hand of me?"

"Father! father! what does this mean? Did you not tell me on that very evening never to see him again—never to recognize him in the street, or even think of him! Did you not cast him forth from your home and employ because he told you of his love for me and of mine for him?"

"Of your love for him, Florence Hurst!"

There was something terrible in the voice of mingled astonishment and dismay with which this exclamation was made.

"Father!" cried the poor girl, half rising from her seat, and falling back again pale and trembling, "father, why this astonishment? You knew that I loved him!"

"Who told you that I did?"

"He told me, he, Herbert Jameson. It was for this you made him an outcast."

"It is false, Florence, I never dreamed of this degradation!" said Mr. Hurst, in a voice that seemed like sound breaking up through cold marble.

"Then why that command to myself—why was I never to see or hear from him again?" cried Florence, almost gasping for breath.

"Because he is a dishonest man, a swindler—because I solemnly believe that he has been robbing me during the last three years, and squandering his stolen spoil at the gambling-table!"

"Father—father—father!"

The sharp anguish in which these words broke forth brought the distressed merchant to his feet. Florence, too, stood upright, and even through the dusk you might have seen the wild glitter of her eyes, the fierce heave of her bosom.

"You believe, father, you only believe! should such things be said without proof—proof broad and clear as the open sunshine when it pours down brightest from heaven. I say to you, my father, Herbert Jameson is an honest, honorable man!"

"It is well, Florence—it is well!" said Mr. Hurst, with stern and bitter emphasis. "You have doubted my justice, you distrust that which I have said. You are foolishly blind enough to think that this man can love, does love you."

"I know that he does!" said Florence with a sort of wild exultation. "I know that he loves me."

"And would you, if I were to give my consent—could you become the wife of Herbert Jameson?"

"Father, I could! I would!"

"Then on this point be the issue between us," said Mr. Hurst, with calm and stern dignity. "Florence, I am about to send a note desiring this man to come once more under my roof," and he rang a bell for lights; "if within three hours I do not give you proof that he loves you only for the wealth that I can give—that he is every way despicable—I say that if within three hours I do not furnish this proof, clear, glaring, indisputable, then will I frankly and at once give my consent to your marriage."

"Father!" cried Florence, while a burst of wild [Pg 99] and startling joy broke over her face, "I will stand the issue! My life—my very soul would I pledge on his integrity."

Mr. Hurst looked at her with mournful sternness while she was speaking, and then proceeded to write a note which he instantly dispatched.

While the servant was absent Mr. Hurst and his daughter remained together, much agitated but silent and lost in thought. In the course of half an hour the man returned with a reply to the note. Mr. Hurst read it, and waiting till they were alone turned to his daughter and pointed to a glass door which led from the room into a little conservatory of plants.

"Go in yonder, from thence you can hear all that passes."

"Father, is it right—will it be honorable?" said Florence, hesitating and weak with agitation.

"It is right—it is honorable! Go in!" His voice was stern, the gesture with which he enforced it peremptory, and poor Florence obeyed.

A curtain of pale green silk fell over the sash-door, and close behind it stood a garden-chair, overhung by the blossoming tendrils of a passion-flower. Florence sat down in the chair and her head drooped fainting to one hand. There was something in the scent of the various plants blossoming around that reminded her of that wedding-morning when the air was literally burthened with like fragrance. She was about to see her husband for the first time since that agitating day, to see him thus, crouching as a spy among those delicate plants, her heart beat heavily, she loathed herself for the seeming meanness that had been forced upon her. Yet there was misgiving at her heart—a vague, sickening apprehension that chained her to the seat.

She heard the door open and some one enter the room where her father sat, with a lamp pouring its light over his stern and pale features till every iron lineament was fully revealed. Scarcely conscious of the act, Florence drew aside a fold of the curtain, and with her forehead pressed to the cold glass looked in. Mr. Hurst had not risen, but with an elbow resting on the table sat pale and stern, with his eyes bent full upon her husband, who stood a few paces nearer to the door. In one hand was his hat, in the other he held a slender walking-stick. He did not seem fully at his ease, and yet there was more of triumph than of embarrassment in his manner. Florence observed, and with a sinking heart, that he did not, except with a furtive glance, return the calm and searching look with which Mr. Hurst regarded him.

"Mr. Jameson, sit down," began the haughty merchant, pointing to a chair. "I did hope after our last interview never again to be disturbed by your presence, but it seems that, serpent-like, you will never tire of stinging the bosom that has warmed you."

"I am at a loss to understand you, Mr. Hurst," replied Jameson, taking the chair, and Florence sickened as she saw creeping over his lips the very same smile that had gleamed before her in the mirror. "When I last saw you your charges were harsh, your treatment cruel. You imputed things to me of which you have no proof, and upon the strength of an absurd suspicion of—of—I may as well speak it out—of dishonesty, you discharged me from your employ; I am at a loss to know why you have sent for me, certainly you cannot expect to wring proof of these charges from my own words."

"I have proof of them, undoubted, conclusive, and had at the time they were first made! but you had been cherished beneath my roof, had broken of my bread, and I was forbearing! Was not this reason enough why I should have sent you forth as I did?"

Jameson gave a perceptible start and turned very pale as Mr. Hurst spoke of the proofs that he possessed; but the emotion was only momentary, and it scarcely disturbed the smile that still curled about his mouth.

"At any rate the bare suspicion of these things was all the reason you deigned to give," he said.

Florence heard and saw—conviction, the loathed thing, came creeping colder and colder to her bosom.

"But since then I have other causes for pursuing your crimes with the justice they merit, other and deeper wrongs you have done me, serpent, fiend, household ingrate as you are!"

"And what may those other wrongs be?" was the cold and half sneering rejoinder to this passionate outbreak.

"My daughter!" said the merchant, sweeping a hand across his forehead. "It sickens me to mention her name here and thus, but my daughter—even there has your venom reached."

"Perhaps I understand you," said the young man with insufferable coolness; "but if your daughter chose to love where her father hates how am I to blame? I am sure it has cost me a great deal of trouble to keep the young lady's partiality a secret. If you have found it out at last so much the better."

Mr. Hurst, with all his firmness, was struck dumb by this cool and taunting reply, but after a moment's fierce struggle he mastered the passion within him and spoke.

"You love"—the words absolutely choked the proud man—"you love my daughter then—why was this never mentioned to me?"

"It was the young lady's fancy, I suppose; perhaps she shrunk from so grim a confident; at any rate it is very certain that I did!"

Mr. Hurst shaded his face with one hand and seemed to struggle fiercely with himself. Jameson sat playing with the tassel of his cane, now and then casting furtive glances at his benefactor.

"Young man," said the merchant, slowly withdrawing his hand, "I have but to denounce you to the laws, and you leave this room for a convict's cell."

"It may be that you have this power!" replied Jameson, with undisturbed self-possession, "I am sure I cannot say whether you have or not!"

"I have the power, what should withhold me!"

"Oh, many things. Your daughter, for instance!"

"My daughter!"

"You interrupt me, sir. I was about to say your [Pg 100] daughter has given me some rather unequivocal proofs of her love, and they would become unpleasantly public, you know, if her father insisted upon dragging me before the world. Your daughter, sir, must be my shield and buckler, I never desire a better or fairer."

Here a noise broke from the conservatory, and the silk curtain shook violently, but as it was spring time, and with open doors for the wind to circulate through, this did not seem extraordinary. Still, Mr. Hurst looked anxiously around, and Jameson cast a careless glance that way.

It was very painful, nay withering to his proud heart, but Mr. Hurst was determined to lay open the black nature of that man before his child; he knew that she suffered, that it was torture that he inflicted, but nevertheless she could be redeemed in no other way, and he remained firm as a rock.

"So, in order to deter me from a just act, you would use my daughter's attachment as a threat; you would drag her name before the world, that it might be blasted with your own! Is this what I am to understand?"

"Well, something very like it, I must confess."

Mr. Hurst arose. "I have done with you, Herbert Jameson," he said, with austere dignity. "Go, your presence is oppressive! So young and so deep a villain, even I did not believe you so terribly base. Go, I have done with you!"

Jameson did not move, but sat twisting the tassel of his cane between his thumb and finger. He did not look full at Mr. Hurst, for there was something in his eye that quelled even his audacity; but when he spoke, it was without any outward agitation, though his miscreant limbs shook, and the heart trembled in his bosom.

"Mr. Hurst," he said, "I do not know how far you have used past transactions to terrify me, but I assure you that any blow aimed at me will recoil on yourself. But this is not enough, you have told me to leave your roof forever—and so I will; but first let my wife be informed that I await her pleasure here. I take her with me, and that before you can have an opportunity to poison her mind against her husband."

"Your wife! Your wife!" Mr. Hurst could only master these words, and they fell from his white lips in fragments. He looked wildly around toward the door, and at the young man, who stood there smiling at his agony.

"Yes, sir, my wife. There is the certificate of our marriage three days ago, at your pleasant old country-house on the Long Island shore. You see that it is regularly witnessed—the people about there will tell you the how and when."

Mr. Hurst took up the certificate and held it before his eyes, but for the universe he could not have read a word, for it shook in his hand like a withered leaf in the wind.

Then softly and slowly the conservatory-door opened, and the tall figure of Florence Hurst glided through. There was a bright red spot upon her forehead, where it had pressed against the glass, but save that her face, neck, and hands were colorless as Parian marble, and almost as cold. She approached her father, took the certificate from his hand and tearing it slowly and deliberately into shreds, set her foot upon them.

"Father," she said, "take me away. I have sinned against heaven and in thy sight, and am no longer worthy to be called thy daughter, but, oh, punish me not with the presence of this bad man!"

Without a word, Mr. Hurst took the cold hand of his daughter and led her into another room. Jameson was left alone—alone with his own black heart and base thoughts. We would as soon dwell with a rattle-snake in its hole, and attempt to analyze its venom, as register the dark writhing of a nature like his. The sound of a voice, low, earnest and pleading, now and then reached his ear. Then there was a noise as of some one falling, followed by the tramp of several persons moving about in haste; and, after a little, Mr. Hurst entered the room again.

Young Jameson stood up, for reflection had warned him that he could no longer trust to the power of Florence with her father; there had been something in the terrible stillness of her indignation, in the pale features, the dilated eyes, and the brows arched with ineffable scorn, that convinced him how mistaken was the anchor which he had expected to hold so firmly in her love. He knew Mr. Hurst, and felt that in his lofty pride alone could rest any hope of a rescue from the penalty of his crimes.

He stood up, then, as I have said, with more of respect in his manner than had hitherto marked it.

Mr. Hurst resumed his chair and motioned that the young man should follow his example. He was very pale, and a look of keen suffering lay around his eyes, but still in his features was an expression of relief, as if the degredation that had fallen upon him was less than he had dreaded.

"How, may I ask, how is my—, how is Florence—she looked ill; I trust nothing serious?" said Jameson, sinking into his chair, and goaded to say something by the keen gaze which Mr. Hurst had turned upon him.

"Never again take that name into your lips," said the outraged father—and his stern voice shook with concentrated passion. "If you but breath it in a whisper to your own base heart alone, I will cast aside all, and punish you even to the extremity of the law."

"But, Mr. Hurst—"

"Peace, sir!"

The young ingrate drew back with a start, and looked toward the door, for the terrible passion which he had lighted in that lofty man now broke forth in voice, look and gesture; the wretch was appalled by it.

"Sit still, sir, and hear what I have to say."

"I will—I listen, Mr. Hurst, but do be more composed. I did not mean to offend you in asking after—"

"Young man, beware!" Mr. Hurst had in some degree mastered himself, but the huskiness of his voice, the vivid gleam of his eyes, gave warning [Pg 101] that the fire within him though smothered was not quenched.

"I am silent, sir," cried the wretch, completely cowed by the strong will of his antagonist.

"I know all—all, and have but few words to cast upon a thing so vile as you have become. If I submit to your presence for a moment it is because that agony must be endured in order that I may cast you from me at once, like the viper that had stung me."

"Sir, these are hard words," faltered Jameson; but Mr. Hurst lifted his hand sharply, and went on.

"You want money. How much did you expect to obtain from me?"

"I—I—this is too abrupt, Mr. Hurst, you impute motives—"

"I say, sir," cried the merchant, sternly interrupting the stammered attempt at defense, "I say you have done this for money—impunity for your crime first, and then money. You see I know you thoroughly."

The wretch shrunk from the withering smile that swept over that white face; he looked the thing he was—a worthless, miserable coward, with all the natural audacity of his character dashed aside by the strong will of the man he had wronged.

"You are too much excited, Mr. Hurst, I will call some other time," he faltered out.

"Now—now, sir, I give you impunity! I will give you money. Say, how much will release me from the infamy of your presence; I will pay well, sir, as I would the physician who drives a pestilence from my hearth?"

"Mr. Hurst, what do you wish—what am I to do?"

"You are to leave this country now and forever—leave it without speaking the name of my daughter. You are never to step your foot again upon the land which she inhabits. Do this, and I will invest fifty thousand dollars for your benefit, the income to be paid you in any country that you may choose to infest, any except this."

"And what if I refuse to sell my liberty, my—" he paused, for Mr. Hurst was keenly watching him, and he dared not mention Florence as his wife, though the word trembled on his lip.

"What then," said the merchant, firmly, "why you pass from this door to the presence of a magistrate—from thence to prison—after that to trial—not on a single indictment, but on charges urged one after another that shall keep you during half your life within the walls of a convict's cell."

"But remember—"

"I do remember everything; and I, who never yet violated my word to mortal man, most solemnly assure you that such is your destination, let the consequences fall where they will."

Jameson sat down, and with his eyes fixed on the floor, fell into a train of subtle calculation. Mr. Hurst sat watching him with stern patience. At last Jameson spoke, but without lifting his eyes, "You are a very wealthy man, Mr. Hurst, and fifty thousand dollars is not exactly the portion that—"

"The bribe—the bribe, you mean, which is to rid me of an ingrate," cried the merchant, and a look of ineffable disgust swept over his face. "The benefit is great, too great for mere gold to purchase, but I have named fifty thousand—choose between that and a prison."

"But shall I have the money down?" said Jameson, still gazing upon the floor. "Remember, sir, my affections, my—"

"Peace, once more—another word on that subject and I consign you to justice at once. This interview has lasted too long already. You have my terms, accept or reject them at once."

"I—I—of course I can but accept them, hard as it is to separate from my country and friends. But did I understand you aright, sir. Is it fifty thousand in possession, or the income that you offer?"

"The income—and that only to be paid in a foreign land, and while you remain there."

"These are hard terms, Mr. Hurst, very hard terms, indeed," said Jameson. "Before I reply to to them—excuse me, I intend no offence—but I must hear from your daughter's own lips that she desires it."

Mr. Hurst started to his feet and sat instantly down again; for a moment he shrouded his eyes, and then he arose sternly and very pale, but with iron composure.

"From her own lips—hear it, then. Go in," he said, casting open the door through which he had entered the room, "go in!"

The room was large and dimly lighted; at the opposite end there was a high, deep sofa, cushioned with purple, and so lost in the darkness that it seemed black; what appeared in the distance to be a heap of white drapery, lay upon the sofa, immovable and still, as if it had been cast over a corpse.

Jameson paused and looked back, almost hoping that Mr. Hurst would follow him into the room, for there was something in the stillness that appalled him. But the merchant had left the door, and casting himself into a chair, sat with his arms flung out upon the table, and his face buried in them. For his life he could not have forced himself to witness the meeting of that vile man with his child.

Still Florence remained immovable; Jameson closed the door, and walking quickly across the room, like one afraid to trust his own strength, bent over the sofa.

Florence was lying with her face to the wall, her eyes were closed, and the whiteness of her features was rendered more deathly by the dim light. She had evidently heard the footstep, and mistaking it for her father's, for her eyelids began to quiver, and turning her face to the pillow, she gasped out with a shudder,

"Oh, father, father, do not look on me!"

Jameson knelt and touched the cold hand in which she had grasped a portion of the pillow.

"Florence!"

Florence started up, a faint exclamation broke from her lips, and she pressed herself against the back of the sofa, in the shuddering recoil with which she attempted to evade him.

Jameson drew back, and for the instant his counte [Pg 102]nance evinced genuine emotion. His self-love was cruelly shocked by the evident loathing with which she shrunk away from the arm that, only a few days before, had brought the bright blood into her cheeks did she but rest her hand upon it by accident.

"And do you hate me so, Florence?" he said, in a voice that was full of keen feeling.

"Leave me—leave me, I am ill!" cried the poor girl, sitting up on the sofa, and holding a hand to her forehead, as if she were suffering great pain.

"I come by your father's permission, Florence; will you be more cruel than he is?"

"My father has a right to punish me, I have deserved it," she said, in a voice of painful humility. "If he sent you I will try to bear it."

"Oh, Florence, has it come to this; I am about to leave you forever, and yet you shrink from me as if I were a reptile," cried Jameson.

"A reptile! oh, no, they seldom sting unless trodden upon," said Florence, lifting her large eyes to his face for the first time, but withdrawing them instantly, and with a faint moan.

Jameson turned from her and paced the room once or twice with uneven strides. This seemed to give Florence more strength, for the closeness of his presence had absolutely oppressed her with a sense of suffocation. She sat upright, and putting the hair back from her temples, tried to collect her thoughts. Jameson broke off his walk and turned toward her; but she prevented his nearer approach with a motion of her hand, and spoke with some degree of calmness.

"You have sought me, but why? What more do you wish? Do I not seem wretched enough?"

"It is your father who has made you thus miserable!" said Jameson, in a low but bitter voice, for he feared the proud man in the next room, and dared not speak of him aloud. Florence scarcely heeded him, she sat gazing on the floor lost in thought, painful and harrowing. Still there was an apparent apathy about her that reassured the bad man who stood by suffering all the agony of a wild animal baffled in fight. He would not believe that so short a time had deprived him of a love so passionate, so self-sacrificing as had absorbed that young being not three days before.

Throwing a tone of passionate tenderness into his voice, he approached her, this time unchecked.

"Florence, dear Florence, must we part thus; will you send me from you for ever?"

Florence, was very weak and faint, she felt by the thrill that went through her heart like some sharp instrument, as the sound of his passionate entreaty fell upon it, that, spite of herself, she might be made powerless in his hands were the interview to proceed. The thought filled her with dread. She started up, and tottering a step or two from the sofa, cried out, "Father! father!"

Mr. Hurst lifted his head from where he had buried it in his folded arms, as if to shield his senses from what might be passing within the other room, and starting to his feet, was instantly by his daughter's side.

"What is this!" he said, throwing his arm around the half fainting girl, and turning sternly toward her tormentor, "have you dared—"

"No, no!" gasped Florence. "I was ill—I—oh, father, without you I have no strength. Save me from myself!"

"I will," said Mr. Hurst, gently and with great tenderness drawing the trembling young creature close to his bosom.

"I see how it is, she is influenced only by you, sir. I am promised an interview, and left to believe that the lady shall decide for herself, yet even the very first words I utter are broken in upon. I know that this woman loves me."

"No, no, I love him not! I did a little hour ago, but now I am changed—do you not see how I am changed?" cried Florence, lifting her head wildly, and turning her pale face full upon her miscreant husband. "Do you not know that your presence is killing me?"

"I will go," said Jameson, touched by the wild agony of her look and voice; "I will go now, but only with your promise, Mr. Hurst, that when she is more composed, I may see and converse with her. I will offer no opposition to your wishes; but you will give me a week or two."

"Do you wish to see this man again, my child?" said Mr. Hurst, "I can trust you, Florence, decide for yourself."

Florence parted her lips to answer, but her strength utterly failed, and with a feeble gasp she sunk powerless and fainting on her father's bosom.

Mr. Hurst gathered her in his arms and bore her from the room, simply pausing with his precious burden at the door while he told Jameson, in a calm under tone, to leave the house, and wait till a message should reach him.

But the unhappy man was in no haste to obey. For half an hour he paced to and fro in the solitude of that large apartment, now seating himself on the sofa which poor Florence had just left, and again starting up with a sort of insane desire for motion. Sometimes he would listen, with checked breath, to the footsteps moving to and fro in the chamber over-head, and then hurry forward again, racked by every fierce passion that can fill the heart of a human being.

"I will triumph yet! I will see her, and that when he is not near to crush every loving impulse as it rises. Once mine, and he will never put his threat into execution, earnest as he seemed. All my strength lies in her love—and it is enough. She suffers—that is a proof of it. She is angry—that is another proof. Yes, yes, I can trust in her, she is all romance, all feeling!"

Jameson muttered these words again and again; it seemed as if he thought by the sound of his voice to dispel the misgiving that lay at his heart. He would have given much for the security that his muttered words seemed to indicate, and as if determined not to leave the house without some further confirmation of his wishes, he lingered in the room till its only light flashed and went out in the socket [Pg 103] of its tall silver candlestick, leaving him in total darkness. Then he stole forth and left the house, softly closing the street door after him.


CHAPTER III.

Oh! wert thou still what once I fondly deemed,
All that thy mien expressed, thy spirit seemed,
My love had been devotion, till in death
Thy name had trembled on my latest breath.
* * * * * * *
Had'st thou but died ere yet dishonor's cloud
O'er that young heart had gathered as a shroud,
I then had mourned thee proudly, and my grief
In its own loftiness had found relief;
A noble sorrow cherished to the last,
When every meaner wo had long been past.
Yes, let affection weep, no common tear
She sheds when bending o'er an honored bier.
Let nature mourn the dead—a grief like this,
To pangs that rend my bosom had been bliss.

Mrs. Hemans.


Florence had been very ill, and a week after the scene in our last chapter Mr. Hurst removed her down to his old mansion-house on the Long Island shore. There the associations were less painful than at his town residence, where the sweetest years of her life had been spent in unrestrained association with the man who had so cruelly deceived her. The old mansion-house had witnessed only one fatal scene in the drama of her love; and here she consented to remain. Her father divided his time between her and the unpleasant duties that called him to town; and more than once he was forced to endure the presence of the man whose very look was poison to him, but after the distressing night when the error of his daughter was first made known, the noble old merchant had regained all his usual dignified calmness. No bursts of passion marked his interviews with the wretch who had wounded him, but firm and resolute he proceeded, step by step, in the course that his reason and will had at first deliberately marked out. In three days time Jameson was to depart for Europe, and forever. It was singular what power the merchant had obtained over his own strong passions; always grave and courteous, his demeanor had changed in nothing, save that toward his child there was more delicacy, more tender solicitude than she had ever received from him before, even in the days of her infancy. It seemed that in forgiving her fault, he had unlocked some hidden fount of tenderness which bedewed and softened his whole nature. Florence, who had always felt a little awe of her father when no act of hers existed to excite it, now that she had given him deep cause of offence, had learned to watch for his coming as the young bird waits for the parent which is to bring him food. One night, it was just before sunset, Mr. Hurst entered his daughter's chamber with a handful of heliotrope, tea-roses, and cape-jesamines, which he had just gathered. In his tender anxiety to relieve the sadness that preyed upon her, he remembered her passion for these particular flowers, and had spent half an hour in searching them out from the wilderness of plants that filled a conservatory in one wing of the building. The chamber where Florence sat was the one in which she had put on her wedding garments scarcely three weeks before. The old ebony mirror, with the fantastic and dark tracery of its frame, hung directly before her, and from its depth gleamed out a face so changed that it might well have startled one who had been proud of its bloom and radiance one little month before.

The window was open, as it had been that day, and across it fell the old apple-tree, with the fruit just setting along its thickly-leaved boughs, and a few over-ripe blossoms yielding their petals to every gush of air that came over them. These leaves, now almost snow-white, had swept, one by one, into the chamber, settling upon the chair which Florence occupied, upon her muslin wrapper, and flaking, as with snow, the glossy disorder of her hair. With a sort of mournful apathy she felt these broken blossoms falling around her, remembering, oh, how keenly, their rosy freshness, when she had selected them as a bridal ornament. She remembered, too, the single glimpse which that old mirror had given of her lover—that one prophetic glimpse which had been enough to startle, but not enough to save her.

Florence was filled with these miserable reminiscences when her father entered the chamber. She greeted him with a wan smile, that told her anxiety to appear less wretched than she really was in his presence. He came close up to her where she sat, and stooping to kiss her forehead, laid the blossoms he had brought in her lap.

Mr. Hurst little knew how powerful were the associations those delicate flowers would excite. The moment their fragrance arose around her Florence began to shudder, and turning her face away with an expression of sudden pain, swept them to the floor.

"Take them away, oh take them away!" she said. "That evening their breath was around me while I sat listening to—take them out of the room, I cannot endure their sweetness."

Mr. Hurst strove to soothe the wild excitement which his unfortunate flowers had occasioned. It was a touching sight—that proud man, so cruelly wronged by his daughter, and yet bending the natural reserve of his nature into every endearing form, in order to convince her how deep was his love, how true his forgiveness.

"My Florence, try to conquer this keen sensitiveness. Strive, dear child, to think of these things as if they had not been!"

"Oh, if I had the power!" cried Florence.

"And do you love this man yet?" said Mr. Hurst, almost sternly.

"Father," was the reply, and Florence met her father's gaze with sorrowful eyes, "I am mourning for the love that has been cast away—I pine for some action which may restore my own self-respect. The very thought of this man as I know him makes me shudder—but the remembrance of what I believed him to be makes me weep. Then the trial of this meeting!"

"But you shall not see him again unless you desire it."

"True, true—but I will see him if he wishes it. He shall not think that I am coerced or influenced. [Pg 104] It is due to myself, to you, my father, that he leaves this country knowing how thorough is my self-reproach for the past, and my wish that his absence may be eternal. I believe that I do really wish it, but see how my poor frame is shaken! I must have more strength or my heart will be unstable like-wise." Florence held up her clasped hands that were trembling like leaves in the autumn wind as she spoke.

"Florence," said Mr. Hurst gently, "it is not by shrinking from painful associations that we conquer them."

"But see how weak I am! and all from the breath of those poor flowers!"

"There is a source from which strength may be obtained."

"My pride, oh, father, that may do to shield me from the world's scorn, but it avails nothing with my own heart."

"But prayer, Florence, prayer to Almighty God the Infinite. I remember how sweet it was when you were a little child kneeling by your mother's lap with your tiny hands uplifted to Heaven. Surely you have not forgotten to pray, my child?"

"Alas! in this wild passion I have forgotten every thing—my duty to you—the very heaven where my mother is an angel!" cried Florence, and for the first time in many days she began to weep.

Mr. Hurst took her hands in his, tears stood in his proud eyes, and his firm lips trembled with tender emotions. "My child," he said, pointing to a velvet easy-chair that stood in the chamber, "kneel down by your mother's empty chair and pray even as when you were a little child!"

Florence watched her father as he went out through her blinding tears. The door closed after him, a mist swam through the room, she moved toward the empty chair, and through the dim cloud which her tears created its crimson cushions glowed brightly, as if tinged with gold. A gleam of sunshine had struck them through a half open shutter, but it seemed to her that the sudden light came directly from the throne of Heaven.

The next moment Florence fell upon her knees before the chair, her face was buried in the cushions, broken words and swelling sobs filled the room; over her fell that golden sunbeam, like a flaming arrow sent from the Throne of Mercy to pierce her heart and warm it at the same moment.

The sun went down. Slowly and quietly that wandering beam mingled with the thousand rays that streamed from the west, spreading around the young suppliant like a luminous veil; there was blended with the gold hues of rich crimson and purple, that flashed over the ebony mirror, wove themselves in a gorgeous haze among the snow-white curtains of the bed, and fell in drops of dusky yellow over the floor and among the waving apple-boughs.

But Florence felt nothing of this, her heart was dark, her frame shook with sobs, and the agony of her voice was smothered in the cushions where her face lay buried.

It came at last, that still small voice that follows the whirlwind and the storm. In the hush of night it came as snow-flakes fall from the heavens. And now Florence lay upon the cushions of her mother's chair motionless, and calm peace was in her heart, and a smile of ineffable sweetness lay upon her lips. It might have been minutes, it might have been hours for any thing that the young suppliant knew of the lapse of time since she had crept to her mother's chair. When she arose the moonlight was streaming over her through an open window. Never did those pale beams fall upon features so changed. A spirituelle loveliness beamed over them, soft and holy as the moonlight that revealed it.

Some time after midnight Mr. Hurst went into his daughter's chamber, for anxiety had kept him up, and the entire stillness terrified him. She was lying upon the bed, half veiled by the muslin curtains, breathing tranquilly as an infant in its mother's bosom. During many nights she had not slept, but sweet was her slumber now; the flowers inhaling the dew beneath the window did not seem more delicate and placid.

It was daylight when Florence awoke. A few rosy streaks were in the sky, and lay reflected upon the water like threads of crimson broken by the tide. Out to sea, a little beyond the opening of the cove, was a large vessel with her sails furled, and evidently lying-to. Near a curve of the shore she saw a boat with half a dozen men lolling sleepily in the bow. Her heart beat quick with a presentiment of some approaching event. She felt certain that the boat and the distant ship were in some way connected with herself. But the thought hardly had time to flash through her brain when a commotion in the old apple-tree—a shaking of the limbs and tumultuous rustling of the leaves—made her start and turn that way. The largest bough was that instant spurned aside, and Jameson sprung through the open window. He was out of breath and seemed greatly excited.

"Florence, my wife, come with me!" he said, casting his arms around her shrinking form. "I will not go without you. See the vessel is yonder—a boat is on the shore. In half an hour we can be away from your father, alone, without hindrance to our love. Come, Florence, come with your husband!"

Ah, but for the strength which Florence had sought from above, where would she have been then. For a moment her heart did turn traitor; for one single instant there came upon her cheek a crimson flush, and in her eyes something that made Jameson's heart leap with exultation; but it passed away, Florence broke from the arms that were cast around her, and drew back toward the door.

"Leave me!" she said, mildly, but with firmness, "I am not your wife—will never be!"

"You hate me, then!" exclaimed Jameson, goaded by her manner. "You still believe what my enemies say against me."

"No, I hate no one—I could not hate you!"

"But you love me no longer."

Florence turned very pale, but still she was firm. "It matters nothing if I love or hate now," she said, [Pg 105] "henceforth, forever and forever, you and I are strangers. If you have come here in hopes of taking me from my father, go before he learns any thing of your visit; a longer stay can only bring evil."

Again Jameson cast himself at her feet; again his masterly eloquence was put forth to melt, to subdue, even to over-awe that fair girl; but all that he could wring from her was bitter tears—all that he accomplished was a renewal of anguish that prayer had hardly conquered.

"And you will not go! You cast me off forever!" he exclaimed, starting up with a fierce gesture and an expression of the eye that made her shrink back.

"I cannot go—I will not go!" she said, in a low voice. "You have already taught me how terrible a thing is remorse. Leave me in peace, if you would not see me die!"

"And this is your final answer!" cried Jameson, and his eyes flashed with fury.

"I can give no other!"

"Then farewell, and the curse of my ruin rest with you," he cried in desperation, and wringing her hands fiercely in his, he cleared the window with a bound, and letting himself down by the apple-tree, disappeared.

The tempter was gone; Florence was left alone, her head reeling with pain, her heart aching within her bosom. Jameson's last words had fallen upon her heart like fire; what if this refusal to share his fate had confirmed him in evil? What if she, by partaking of his fortunes, might have won him to an honorable and just life. These thoughts were agony to her, and left no room for calm reflection, or she would have known that no human influence can reclaim a base nature; one fault may be redeemed, nay, many faults that spring from the heat of passion or the recklessness of youth, but habitual hypocrisy, craft, falsehood—what female heart ever opposed its love and truth to vices like these, without being crushed in the endeavor to save.

But Florence could not reason then. Her soul was affrighted by the curse that had been hurled upon it. Half frantic with these new themes of torture, she left her room, and hurried down to the cove just in time to see the boat which contained Jameson half way to the vessel. Actuated only by a wild desire to see him depart, she threaded her way through the oak grove, unmindful of the dew, of her thin raiment, or of the morning wind that tossed her curls about as she hurried on. And now she stood upon the outer point of the shore, where it jutted inward at the mouth of the cove and commanded a broad view of the ocean. High trees were around her as she stood upon the shelving bank, her white garments streaming in the breeze, her wild eyes gazing upon the vessel as it wheeled slowly round and made for the open ocean. Florence remained motionless where she stood so long as a shadow of the vessel fluttered in sight. When it was lost in the horizon she turned slowly and walked toward the house, weary as one who returns from a toilsome pilgrimage. It was days and weeks before she came forth again.

Years went by—many, many years, and yet that outward bound vessel was never heard of again. How she perished, or when, no man can tell. The last ever seen of her to mortal knowledge was when Florence Hurst stood alone upon the sea-shore, conscious that she was right, yet filled with bitter anguish as she watched its departure to that far-off shore from which no traveler returns.

And Florence came forth in the world again more attractive than ever; a spiritual loveliness, softened without diminishing the brilliancy of her beauty, and with every feminine grace she had added that of a meek and contrite spirit. Did she wed again? We answer, No. Many a lofty intellect and noble heart bent in homage to hers; but Florence lived only for her father—the great and good man, who was just as well as proud, and nobly won his child from her error by delicate tenderness, such as he had never lavished upon her faultless youth, when many a man, to shield his weaker pride, would have driven her by anger and upbraiding from his heart, and thus have kindled her warm impulses into defiance and ruin.




SUMMER.


BY E. CURTISS HINE, U. S. N.

She comes with soft and scented breath,
From fragrant southern lands,
And wakens from their trance of death
The flowers, and breaks the hands
Of fettered streams, that burst away
With joyous laugh and song,
And shout and leap like boys at play
As home from school they throng.
From sunny climes the breeze set free
Comes with an angel strain
Athwart the blue and sparkling sea
To visit us again.
The low of herds is on the gale,
The leaf is on the tree,
And cloud-winged barks in silence sail
With stately majesty
Along the blue and bending sky,
Like joyous living things,
And rainbow-tinted birds flit by
With swiftly glancing wings:
O summer, summer! joyful time!
Singing a gentle strain,
Thou comest from a warmer clime
To visit us again!




DESCRIPTION OF A VISIT TO NIAGARA.

[Pg 106]


BY PROFESSOR JAMES MOFFAT.

Through the dark night urging our rapid way
We listen to a low, continued sound,
As of a distant drum calling to arms.
It grows with our approach; lulls with the breeze,
And swells again into a bolder note,
Like an Æolian harp of giant string.
Again, the tone is changed, and a fierce roar
Of tumult rises from the trembling earth,
As if the imprisoned spirits of the deep
Had found a vent for that rebellious shout,
Which from ten thousand lips ascends to Heaven.
Voice not to be mistaken—even he
Upon whose ear it comes for the first time
Claims it as known, and bringing to his heart
The boldest fancies of his early days—
Thy thunders, dread Niagara, day and night,
Which vary not their ever-during peal.
Burning impatience, not to be controlled,
Has hurried on my steps until I stand
Within the breath of thy descending wave.
The night conceals thy wonders, but enrobes
Thee with a grandeur, wild, mysterious,
As with thy spray around me, and the wind
Which rushes upward from thy dark abyss,
And thy deep organ pealing in my ear,
Thy mass is all unseen, and I behold
Only the ghost-like whiteness of thy foam.
The morning comes. The clouds have disappeared,
And the clear silver of the eastern sky
Gives promise of a glowing summer sun.
In the fresh dawn, I hasten to the rock
Which overhangs the ever-boiling deep,
And all the wonders of Niagara
Are spread before me—not the simple dash
Of falling waters, which the fancy drew,
But myriad forms of beautiful and grand
Press on the senses and o'erwhelm the mind.
Yon bright, broad waters on their channel sleep
As if they dreamed of the most peaceful flow
To the far-distant sea. But now their course
Accelerates on their inclining path,
Though still 'tis with the appearance of a calm
And dignified reluctance, and the wave
Remains unbroken, till the inward force
Increasingly silently, like that which breaks
The short laborious quiet of the insane,
Bursts all restraint, and the wild waters, tossed
In fiercest tumult, uncontrollable,
Menace all life within their giant grasp;
Leaping and raging in their frantic glee,
Dashing their spray aloft, as on they rush
In wild confusion to the dreadful steep.
An instant on the verge they seem to pause,
As if, even in their frenzy, such a gulf
Were horrible, then slowly bending down,
Plunge headlong where the never-ceasing roar
Ascends, and the revolving clouds of spray,
Forever during yet forever new.
The sun appears. And, straightway, on the cloud
Which veils the struggles of the fallen wave
In everlasting secrecy, and wafts
Away, like smoke of incense, up to Heaven,
Beams forth the radiant diadem of light,
Brilliant and fixed amid the moving mass;
And beauty comes to deck the glorious scene.
For as the horizontal sunbeams rest
Upon the deep blue summit, or unfold
The varying hues of green, that pass away
Into the white of the descending foam,
So colors of the loveliest rainbow dye
Tinge the bright wave, nor lessen aught its pride,
Now joyous companies of fair and young
Come lightly forth, with voice of social glee,
But, one by one, as they approach the brink,
A change comes over them. The noisy laugh
Is hushed, the step is soft and reverent,
And the light jest is quenched in solemn thought—
Yea, dull must be his brain and cold his heart
To all the sacred influences that spring
From grandeur and from beauty, who can gaze,
For the first time, on the descending flood
Without restraint upon the flippant tongue.
If such the reverence Great Invisible,
Attendant on one of thy lesser works,
What dread must overwhelm us when the eye
Is opened to the glories of thyself,
Who sway'st the moving universe and holdst
The "waters in the hollow of thy hand."




SONNET.


BY CAROLINE F. ORNE.

There have been tones of cheer, and voices gay,
And careless laughter ringing lightly by,
And I have listened to wit's mirthful play,
And sought to smile at each light fantasy.
But ah, there was a voice more deep and clear,
That I alone might hear of all the throng,
In softest cadence falling on my ear
Like a sweet undertone amid the song.
And then I longed for this calm hour of night,
That undisturbed by any voice or sound,
My spirit from all meaner objects free
Might soar unchecked in its far upward flight,
And by no cord, no heavy fetter bound,
Scorning all space and distance, hold commune with thee.




AUNT MABLE'S LOVE STORY.

[Pg 107]


BY SUSAN PINDAR.

"How heartily sick I am of these love stories!" exclaimed Kate Lee, as she impatiently threw aside the last magazine; "they are all flat, stale, and unprofitable; every one begins with a soirée and ends with a wedding. I'm sure there is not one word of truth in any of them."

"Rather a sweeping condemnation to be given by a girl of seventeen," answered Aunt Mabel, looking up with a quiet smile; "when I was your age, Kate, no romance was too extravagant, no incident too improbable for my belief. Every young heart has its love-dream; and you too, my merry Kate, must sooner or later yield to such an influence."

"Why, Aunt Mable, who would have ever dreamed of your advocating love stories! You, so staid, so grave and kindly to all; your affections seem so universally diffused among us, that I never can imagine them to have been monopolized by one. Beside, I thought as you were never—" Kate paused, and Aunt Mabel continued the sentence.

"I never married, you would say, Kate, and thus it follows that I never loved. Well, perhaps not; I may be, as you think, an exception; at least I am not going to trouble you with antiquated love passages, that, like old faded pictures, require a good deal of varnishing to be at all attractive. But, I confess, I like not to hear so young a girl ridiculing what is, despite the sickly sentiment that so often obscures it, the purest and noblest evidence of our higher nature."

"Oh, you don't understand me, Aunt Mable! I laugh at the absurdity of the stories. Look at this, for instance, where a gentleman falls in love with a shadow. Now I see no substantial foundation for such an extravagant passion as that. Here is another, who is equally smitten with a pair of French gaiters. Now I don't pretend to be over sensible, but I do not think such things at all natural, or likely to occur; and if they did, I should look upon the parties concerned as little less than simpletons. But a real, true-hearted love story, such as "Edith Pemberton," or Mrs. Hall's "Women's Trials," those I do like, and I sympathize so strongly with the heroines that I long to be assured the incidents are true. If I could only hear one true love story—something that I knew had really occurred—then it would serve as a kind of text for all the rest. Oh! how I long to hear a real heart-story of actual life!"

Kate grew quite enthusiastic, and Aunt Mable, after pausing a few minutes, while a troubled smile crossed her face, said, "Well, Kate, I will tell you a love story of real life, the truth of which I can vouch for, since I knew the parties well. You will believe me, I know, Kate, without requiring actual name and date for every occurrence. There are no extravagant incidents in this "owre true tale," but it is a story of the heart, and such a one, I believe, you want to hear."

Kate's eyes beamed with pleasure, as kissing her aunt's brow, and gratefully ejaculating "dear, kind Aunt Mable!" she drew a low ottoman to her aunt's side, and seated herself with her head on her hand, and her blooming face upturned with an expression of anticipated enjoyment. I wish you could have seen Aunt Mable, as she sat in the soft twilight of that summer evening, smiling fondly on the young, bright girl at her side. You would have loved her, as did every one who came within the sphere of her gentle influence; and yet she did not possess the wondrous charm of lingering loveliness, that, like the fainting perfume of a withered flower, awakens mingled emotions of tenderness and regret. No, Aunt Mabel could never have been beautiful; and yet, as she sat in her quiet, silver-gray silk gown, and kerchief of the sheerest muslin pinned neatly over the bosom, there was an air of graceful, lady-like ease about her, far removed from the primness of old-maidism. Her features were high, and finely cut, you would have called her proud and stern, with a tinge of sarcasm lurking upon the lip, but for her full, dark-gray eyes, so lustrous, so ineffably sweet in their deep, soul-beaming tenderness, that they seemed scarcely to belong to a face so worn and faded; indeed, they did not seem in keeping with the silver-threaded hair so smoothly parted from the low, broad brow, and put away so carefully beneath a small cap, whose delicate lace, and rich, white satin, were the only articles of dress in which Aunt Mabel was a little fastidious. She kept her sewing in her hand as she commenced her story, and stitched away most industriously at first, but gradually as she proceeded the work fell upon her lap, and she seemed to be lost in abstracted recollections, speaking as though impelled by some uncontrollable impulse to recall the events long since passed away.

"Many years since," said Aunt Mable, in a calm, soft tone, without having at all the air of one about telling a story, "many years since, there lived in one of the smaller cities in our state, a lady named Lynn. She was a widow, and eked out a very small income by taking a few families to board. Mrs. Lynn had one only child, a daughter, who was her pride and treasure, the idol of her affections. As a child Jane Lynn was shy and timid, with little of the gayety and thoughtlessness of childhood. She disliked rude plays, and instinctively shrunk from the lively companions of her own age, to seek the society of those much older and graver than herself. Her schoolmates nicknamed her the "little old maid;" and as she grew older the title did not seem inappropriate. At school her superiority of intellect was [Pg 108] manifest, and when she entered society the timid reserve of her manner was attributed to pride, while her acquaintance thought she considered them her inferiors.

This, however, was far from the truth. Jane felt that she was not popular in society, and it grieved her, yet she strove in vain to assimilate with those around her, to feel and act as they did, and to be like them, admired and loved. But the narrow circle in which she moved was not at all calculated to appreciate or draw forth her talent or character. With a heart filled with all womanly tenderness and gentle sympathies, a mind stored with romance, and full of restless longings for the beautiful and true, possessed of fine tastes that only waited cultivation to ripen into talent, Jane found herself thrown among those who neither understood nor sympathized with her. Her mother idolized her, but Jane felt that had she been far different from what she was, her mother's love had been the same; and though she returned her parent's affection with all the warmth of her nature, there was ever within her heart a restless yearning for something beyond. Immersed in a narrow routine of daily duties, compelled to practice the most rigid economy, and to lend her every thought and moment to the assistance of her mother, Jane had little time for the gratification of those tastes that formed her sole enjoyment. "It is the perpetual recurrence of the little that crushes the romance of life," says Bulwer; and the experience of every day justifies the truth of his remark. Jane felt herself, as year after year crept by, becoming grave and silent. She knew that in her circumstances it was best that the commonplaces of every-day life should be sufficient for her, but she grieved as each day she felt the bright hues of early enthusiasm fading out and giving place to the cold gray tint of reality.

With her pure sense of the beautiful, Jane felt acutely the lack of those personal charms that seem to win a way to every heart. By those who loved her, (and the few who knew her well did love her dearly,) she was called at times beautiful, but a casual observer would never dream of bestowing upon the slight, frail creature who timidly shrunk from notice, any more flattering epithet than "rather a pretty girl," while those who admired only the rosy beauty of physical perfection pronounced her decidedly plain.

Jane Lynn had entered her twenty-second summer when her mother's household was increased by the arrival of a new inmate. Everard Morris was a man of good fortune, gentlemanly, quiet, and a bachelor. Possessed of very tender feelings and ardent temperament, he had seen his thirty-seventh birth-day, and was still free. He had known Jane slightly before his introduction to her home, and he soon evinced a deep and tender interest in her welfare. Her character was a new study for him, and he delighted in calling forth all the latent enthusiasm of her nature. He it was who awakened the slumbering fires of sentiment, and insisted on her cultivating tastes too lovely to be possessed in vain; and when she frankly told him that the refinement of taste created restless yearnings for pursuits to her unattainable, he spoke of a happier future, when her life should be spent amid the employments she loved. Ere many months had elapsed his feelings deepened into passionate tenderness, and he avowed himself a lover. Jane's emotions were mixed and tumultuous as she listened to his fervent expressions; she reproached herself with ingratitude in not returning his love. She felt toward him a grateful affection, for to him she owed all the real happiness her secluded life had known; but he did not realize her ideal, he admired and was proud of her talents, but he did not sympathize with her tastes.

Months sped away and seemed to bring to him an increase of passionate tenderness. Every word and action spoke his deep devotion. Jane could not remain insensible to such affection; the love she had sighed for was hers at last—and it is the happiness of a loving nature to know that it makes the happiness of another. Jane's esteem gradually deepened in tone and character until it became a faithful, trusting love. She felt no fear for the future, because she knew her affection had none of the romance that she had learned to mistrust, even while it enchanted her imagination. She saw failings and peculiarities in her lover, but with true womanly gentleness she forbore with and concealed them. She believed him when he said he would shield and guard her from every ill; and her grateful heart sought innumerable ways to express her appreciating tenderness.

Mrs. Lynn saw what was passing, and was happy, for Mr. Morris had been to her a friend and benefactor. And Jane was happy in the consciousness of being beloved, yet had she much to bear. Her want of beauty was, as I have said, a source of regret to her, and she was made unhappy by finding that Everard Morris was dissatisfied with her appearance. She thought, in the true spirit of romance, that the beloved were always lovely; but Mr. Morris frequently expressed his dissatisfaction that nature had not made her as beautiful as she was good. I will not pause to discuss the delicacy of this and many other observations that caused poor Jane many secret tears, and sometimes roused even her gentle spirit to indignation; but affection always conquered her pride, as her lover still continued to give evidence of devotion.

And thus years passed on, the happy future promised to Jane seemed ever to recede; and slowly the conviction forced itself on her mind that he whom she had trusted so implicitly was selfish and vacillating, generous from impulse, selfish from calculation; but he still seemed to love her, and she clung to him because having been so long accustomed to his devotedness, she shrunk from being again alone. In the mean season Mrs. Lynn's health became impaired, and Jane's duties were more arduous than ever. Morris saw her cheek grow pale, and her step languid under the pressure of mental and bodily fatigue; he knew she suffered, and yet, while he assisted them in many ways, he forbore to make the only proposition that could have secured happiness to her he pretended to love. His conduct preyed [Pg 109] upon the mind of Jane, for she saw that the novelty of his attachment was over. He had seen her daily for four years, and while she was really essential to his happiness, he imagined because the uncertainty of early passion was past, that his love was waning, and thought it would be unjust to offer her his hand without his whole heart, forgetting the protestations of former days, and regardless of her wasted feelings. This is unnatural and inconsistent you will say, but it is true.

Four years had passed since Everard Morris first became an inmate of Mrs. Lynn's, and Jane had learned to doubt his love. "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick;" and she felt that the only way to acquire peace was to crush the affection she had so carefully nourished when she was taught to believe it essential to his happiness. She could not turn to another; like the slender vine that has been tenderly trained about some sturdy plant, and whose tendrils cannot readily clasp another when its first support is removed, so her affections still longed for him who first awoke them, and to whom they had clung so long. But she never reproached him; her manner was gentle, but reserved; she neither sought nor avoided him; and he flattered himself that her affection, like his own passionate love, had nearly burnt itself out, yet he had by no means given her entirely up; he would look about awhile, and at some future day, perhaps, might make her his wife.

While affairs were in this state, business called Mr. Morris into a distant city; he corresponded with Jane occasionally, but his letters breathed none of the tenderness of former days; and Jane was glad they did not, for she felt that he had wronged her, and she shrunk from avowals that she could no longer trust.

Everard Morris was gone six months; he returned, bringing with him a very young and beautiful bride. He brought his wife to call on his old friends, Mrs. Lynn and her daughter. Jane received them with composure and gentle politeness. Mrs. Morris was delighted with her kindness and lady-like manners. She declared they should be intimate friends; but when they were gone, and Mrs. Lynn, turning in surprise to her daughter, poured forth a torrent of indignant inquiries. Jane threw herself on her mother's bosom, and with a passionate burst of weeping, besought her never again to mention the past. And it never was alluded to again between them; but both Jane and her mother had to parry the inquiries of their acquaintance, all of whom believed Mr. Morris and Jane were engaged. This was the severest trial of all, but they bore up bravely, and none who looked on the quiet Jane ever dreamed of the bitter ashes of wasted affection that laid heavy on her heart.

Mr. and Mrs. Morris settled near the Lynns, and visited very frequently; the young wife professed an ardent attachment to Jane, and sought her society constantly, while Jane instinctively shrunk more and more within herself. She saw with painful regret that Morris seemed to find his happiness at their fireside rather than his own. He had been captivated by the freshness and beauty of his young wife, who, schooled by a designing mother, had flattered him by her evident preference; he had, to use an old and coarse adage, "married in haste to repent at leisure;" and now that the first novelty of his position had worn off, his feelings returned with renewed warmth to the earlier object of his attachment. Delicacy toward her daughter prevented Mrs. Lynn from treating him with the indignation she felt; and Jane, calm and self-possessed, seemed to have overcome every feeling of the past. The consciousness of right upheld her; she had not given her affection unsought; he had plead for it passionately, earnestly, else had she never lavished the hoarded tenderness of years on one so different from her own ideal; but that tenderness once poured forth, could never more return to her; the fountain of the heart was dried, henceforth she lived but in the past.

Mr. and Mrs. Morris were an ill-assorted couple; she, gay, volatile, possessing little affection for her husband, and, what was in his eyes even worse, no respect for his opinions, which he always considered as infallible. As their family increased, their differences augmented. The badly regulated household of a careless wife and mother was intolerable to the methodical habits of the bachelor husband; and while the wife sought for Jane to condole with her—though she neglected her advice—the husband found his greatest enjoyment at his old bachelor home, and once so far forgot himself as to express to Jane his regret at the step he had taken, and declared he deserved his punishment. Jane made no reply, but ever after avoided all opportunity for such expressions.

In the meantime Mrs. Lynn's health declined, and they retired to a smaller dwelling, where Jane devoted herself to her mother, and increased their small income by the arduous duties of daily governess. Her cheek paled, and her eye grew dim beneath the complicated trials of her situation; and there were moments when visions of the bright future once promised rose up as if in mockery of the dreary present; hope is the parent of disappointment, and the vista of happiness once opened to her view made the succeeding gloom still deeper. But she did not repine; upheld by her devotedness to her mother, she guarded her tenderly until her death, which occurred five years after the marriage of Mr. Morris.

It is needless to detail the circumstances which ended at length in a separation between Mr. Morris and his wife—the latter returned to her home, and the former went abroad, having placed his children at school, and besought Jane to watch over them. Eighteen months subsequent to the death of Mrs. Lynn, a distant and unknown relative died, bequeathing a handsome property to Mrs. Lynn, or her descendants. This event relieved Jane from the necessity of toil, but it came too late to minister to her happiness in the degree that once it might have done. She was care-worn and spirit-broken; the every-day trials of her life had cooled her enthusiasm and blunted her keen enjoyment of the beautiful she [Pg 110] had bent her mind to the minor duties that formed her routine of existence, until it could no longer soar toward the elevation it once desired to reach.

Three years from his departure Everard Morris returned home to die. And now he became fully conscious of the wrong he had done to her he once professed to love. His mind seemed to have expanded beneath the influence of travel, he was no longer the mere man of business with no real taste for the beautiful save in the physical development of animal life. He had thought of all the past, and the knowledge of what was, and might have been, filled his soul with bitterness. He died, and in a long and earnest appeal for forgiveness he besought Jane to be the guardian of his children—his wife he never named. In three months after Mrs. Morris married again, and went to the West, without a word of inquiry or affection to her children.

Need I say how willingly Jane Lynn accepted the charge bequeathed to her, and how she was at last blessed in the love of those who from infancy had regarded her as a more than mother."

There was a slight tremulousness in Aunt Mabel's voice as she paused, and Kate, looking up with her eyes filled with tears, threw herself upon her aunt's bosom, exclaiming,

"Dearest, best Aunt Mabel, you are loved truly, fondly by us all! Ah, I knew you were telling your own story, and—" but Aunt Mabel gently placed her hand upon the young girl's lips, and while she pressed a kiss upon her brow, said, in her usual calm, soft tone,

"It is a true story, my love, be the actors who they may; there is no exaggerated incident in it to invest it with peculiar interest; but I want you to know that the subtle influences of affection are ever busy about us; and however tame and commonplace the routine of life may be, yet believe, Kate," added Aunt Mable, with a saddened smile, "each heart has its mystery, and who may reveal it."


,br />


TO ERATO.


BY THOMAS BUCHANAN READ.

Henceforth let Grief forget her pain,
And Melancholy cease to sigh;
And Hope no longer gaze in vain
With weary, longing eye,
Since Love, dear Love, hath made again
A summer in this winter sky—
Oh, may the flowers he brings to-day
In beauty bloom, nor pass away.
Sweet one, fond heart, thine eyes are bright,
And full of stars as is the heaven,
Pure pleiads of the soul, whose light
From deepest founts of Truth is given—
Oh let them shine upon my night,
And though my life be tempest-driven,
The leaping billows of its sea
Shall clasp a thousand forms of thee.
Thy soul in trembling tones conveyed
Melts like the morning song of birds,
Or like a mellow paèn played
By angels on celestial chords;—
And oh, thy lips were only made
For dropping love's delicious words:—
Then pour thy spirit into mine
Until my soul be drowned with thine.
The pilgrim of the desert plain
Not more desires the spring denied,
Not more the vexed and midnight main
Calls for the mistress of its tide,
Not more the burning earth for rain,
Than I for thee, my own soul's bride—
Then pour, oh pour upon my heart
The love that never shall depart!



THE LABORER'S COMPANIONS.


BY GEORGE S. BURLEIGH.

While pleasant care my yielding soil receives,
Other delights the open soul may find;
On the high bough the daring hang-bird weaves
Her cunning cradle, rocking in the wind;
The arrowy swallow builds, beneath the eves,
Her clay-walled grotto, with soft feathers lined;
The dull-red robin, under sheltering leaves,
Her bowl-like nest to sturdy limbs doth bind;
And many songsters, worth a name in song,
Plain, homely birds my boy-love sanctified,
On hedge and tree and grassy bog, prolong
Sweet loves and cares, in carols sweetly plied;
In such dear strains their simple natures gush
That through my heart at once all tear-blest memories rush.




THE ENCHANTED KNIGHT.

[Pg 111]


BY J. BAYARD TAYLOR.

In the solemn night, when the soul receives
The dreams it has sighed for long,
I mused o'er the charmed, romantic leaves
Of a book of German Song.
From stately towers, I saw the lords
Ride out to the feudal fray;
I heard the ring of meeting swords
And the Minnesinger's lay!
And, gliding ghost-like through my dream,
Went the Erl-king, with a moan,
Where the wizard willow o'erhung the stream,
And the spectral moonlight shone.
I followed the hero's path, who rode
In harness and helmet bright,
Through a wood where hostile elves abode,
In the glimmering noon of night!
Banner and bugle's call had died
Amid the shadows far,
And a misty stream, from the mountain-side,
Dropped like a silver star.
Thirsting and flushed, from the steed he leapt
And quaffed from his helm unbound;
Then a mystic trance o'er his spirit crept,
And he sank to the elfin ground.
He slept in the ceaseless midnight cold,
By the faery spell possessed,
His head sunk down, and his gray beard rolled
On the rust of his arméd breast!
When a mighty storm-wind smote the trees,
And the thunder crashing fell,
He raised the sword from its mould'ring ease
And strove to burst the spell.
And thus may the fiery soul, that rides
Like a knight, to the field of foes,
Drink of the chill world's tempting tides
And sink to a charmed repose.
The warmth of the generous heart of youth
Will die in the frozen breast—
The look of Love and the voice of Truth
Be charmed to a palsied rest!
In vain will the thunder a moment burst
The chill of that torpor's breath;
The slumbering soul shall be wakened first
By the Disenchanter, Death!


br />


KORNER'S SISTER.


BY ELIZABETH J. EAMES.

Close beside the grave of the Soldier-Poet is that of his only sister, who died of grief for his loss, only surviving him long enough to sketch his portrait and burial-place. Her last wish was to be laid near him.

Lovely and gentle girl!
In the spring morning of thy beauty dying—
Dust on each sunny curl,
And on thy brow the grave's deep shadows lying.
Thine is a lowly bed.
But the green oak, whose spreading bough hangs o'er thee,
Shelters the brother's head,
Who went unto his rest a little while before thee.
A perfect love was thine,
Sweet sister! thou hadst made no other
Idol for thy soul's shrine
Save him—thy friend and guide, and only brother.
And not for Lyre and Sword—
His proud resplendant gifts of fame and glory—
Oh! not for these adored
Was he, whose praise thou readst in song and story.
But't was his presence threw,
O'er all thy life, a deep delight and blessing;
And with thy growth it grew,
Strengthening each thought of thy young heart's possessing.
Amid each dear home-scene
That thou and he from childhood trod together,
Thou hadst his arm to lean
Upon, through every change of dark or sunny weather.
And when he passed from Earth,
The rose from thy soft cheek and bright lip faded;
Gloom was on hall and hearth—
A deep voice in thy soul, by sorrow over-shaded.
Joy had gone forth with him;
The green Earth lost its spell, and the blue Heaven
Unto thine eye grew dim;
And thou didst pray for Death, as for a rich boon given!
It came!—and joy to know,
That from his resting-place thine none would sever,
And blessing God didst go,
Where in his presence thou shouldst dwell forever.
Thou didst but stay to trace
The imaged likeness of the dear departed;
To sketch his burial-place—
Then die, O, sister! fond and faithful hearted.




THE MAN WHO WAS NEVER HUMBUGGED.

[Pg 112]


BY A. LIMNER.

It was a standing boast with Mr. Wiseacre that he had never been humbugged in his life. He took the newspapers and read them regularly, and thus got an inkling of the new and strange things that were ever transpiring, or said to be transpiring, in the world. But to all he cried "humbug!" "imposture!" "delusion!" If any one were so bold as to affirm in his presence a belief in the phenomena of Animal Magnetism, for instance, he would laugh outright; then expend upon it all sorts of ridicule, or say that the whole thing was a scandalous trick; and by way of a finale, wind off thus—

"You never humbug me with these new things. Never catch me in gull-traps. I've seen the rise and fall of too many wonders in my time—am too old a bird to be caught with this kind of chaff."

As for Homeopathy, it was treated in a like summary manner. All was humbug and imposture from beginning to end. If you said—

"But, my dear sir, let me relate what I have myself seen—"

He would interrupt you with—

"Oh! as to seeing, you may see any thing, and yet see nothing after all. I've seen the wonders of this new medical science over and over again. There are many extraordinary cures made in imagination. Put a grain of calomel in the Delaware Bay, and salivate a man with a drop of the water! Is not it ridiculous? Doesn't it bear upon the face of it the stamp of absurdity. It's all humbug, sir! All humbug from beginning to end. I know! I've looked into it. I've measured the new wonder, and know its full dimensions—it's name is 'humbug.'"

You reply.

"Men of great force of mind, and large medical knowledge and experience, see differently. In the law, similia similiabus curanter, they perceive more than a mere figment of the imagination, and in the actual results, too well authenticated for dispute, evidence of a mathematical correctness in medical science never before attained, and scarcely hoped for by its most ardent devotees."

But he cries,

"Humbug! Humbug! All humbug! I know. I've looked at it. I understand its worth, and that is—just nothing at all. Talk to me of any thing else and I'll listen to you—but, for mercy's sake, don't expect me to swallow at a gulp any thing of this sort, for I can't do it. I'd rather believe in Animal Magnetism. Why, I saw one of these new lights in medicine, who was called in to a child in the croup, actually put two or three little white pellets upon its tongue, no larger than a pin's head, and go away with as much coolness as if he were not leaving the poor little sufferer to certain death. 'For Heaven's sake!' said I, to the parents, 'aint you going to have any thing done for that child?' 'The doctor has just given it medicine,' they replied. 'He has done all that is required.' I was so out of patience with them for being such consummate fools, that I put my hat on and walked out of the house without saying a word."

"Did the child die?" you ask.

"It happened by the merest chance to escape death. Its constitution was too strong for the grim destroyer."

"Was nothing else done?" you ask. "No medicines given but homeopathic powders?"

"No. They persevered to the last."

"The child was well in two or three days I suppose?" you remark.

"Yes," he replies, a little coldly.

"Children are not apt to recover from an attack of croup without medicine." He forgets himself and answers—

"But I don't believe it was a real case of croup. It couldn't have been!"

And so Mr. Wiseacre treats almost every thing that makes its appearance. Not because he understands all about it, but because he knows nothing about it. It is his very ignorance of a matter that makes him dogmatic. He knows nothing of the distinction between truth and the appearances of truth. So fond is he of talking and showing off his superior intelligence and acumen, that he is never a listener in any company, unless by a kind of compulsion, and then he rarely hears any thing in the eagerness he feels to get in his word. Usually he keeps sensible men silent in hopeless astonishment at the very boldness of his ignorance.

But Mr. Wiseacre was caught napping once in his life, and that completely. He was entrapped; not taken in open day, with a fair field before him. And it would be easy to entrap him at almost any time, and with almost any humbug, if the game were worth the trouble; for, in the light of his own mind, he cannot see far. His mental vision is not particularly clear; else he would not so often cry "humbug," when wiser men stopped to examine and reflect.

A quiet, thoughtful-looking man once brought to Mr. Wiseacre a letter of introduction. His name was Redding. The letter mentioned that he was the discoverer of a wonderful mechanical power, for which he was about taking out letters patent. What it was, the introductory epistle did not say, nor did Redding communicate any thing relative to the nature of the discovery, although asked to do so. There was something about this man that interested [Pg 113] Wiseacre. He bore the marks of a superior intellect, and his manners commanded respect. As Wiseacre showed him particular attention, he frequently called in to see him at his store, and sometimes spent an evening with him at his dwelling. The more Wiseacre saw of him, and the more he heard him converse, the higher did he rise in his opinion. At length Redding, in a moment of confidence, imparted his secret. He had discovered perpetual motion! This announcement was made after a long and learned disquisition on mechanical laws, in which the balancing of and the reproduction of forces, and all that, was opened to the wondering ears of Wiseacre, who, although he pretended to comprehend every thing clearly, saw it all only in a very confused light. He knew, in fact, nothing whatever of mechanical forces. All here was, to him, an untrodden field. His confidence in Redding, and his consciousness that he was a man of great intellectual power, took away all doubt as to the correctness of what he stated. For once he was sure that a great discovery had been made—that a new truth had dawned upon the world. Of this he was more than ever satisfied when he was shown the machine itself, in motion, with its wonderful combinations of mechanical forces, and heard Redding explain the principle of its action.

"Wonderful! wonderful!" was now exchanged for "Humbug! humbug!" If any body had told him that some one had discovered perpetual motion, he would have laughed at him, and cried "humbug!" You couldn't have hired him even to look at it. But his natural incredulity had been gained over by a different process. His confidence had first been won by a specious exterior, his reason captivated by statements and arguments that seemed like truth, and his senses deceived by appearances. Not that there was any design to deceive him in particular—he only happened to be the first included in a large number whose credulity was to be taxed pretty extensively."

"You will exhibit it, of course?" he said to Redding, after he had been admitted to a sight of the extraordinary machine.

"This is too insignificant an affair," replied Redding. "It will not impress the public mind strongly enough. It will not give them a truly adequate idea of the force attainable by this new motive power. No—I shall not let the public fully into my secret yet. I expect to reap from it the largest fortune ever made by any man in this country, and I shall not run any risks in the outset by a false move. The results that must follow its right presentation to the public cannot be calculated. It will entirely supercede steam and water power in mills, boats, and on railroads, because it will be cheaper by half. But I need not tell you this, for you have the sagacity to comprehend it all yourself. You have seen the machine in operation, and you fully understand the principle upon which it acts."

"How long will it take you to construct such a machine as you think is required?" asked Wiseacre.

"It could be done in six months if I had the means. But, like all other great inventors, I am poor. If I could associate with me some man of capital, I would willingly share with him the profits of my discovery, which will be, in the end, immense."

"How much money will you need?" asked Wiseacre, already beginning to burn with a desire for a part of the immense returns.

"Two or three thousand dollars. If I could find any one willing to invest that moderate sum of money now, I would guarantee to return him four fold in less than two years, and insure him a hundred thousand dollars in ten years. But men who have money generally think a bird in the hand worth ten in the bush; and with them, almost every thing not actually in possession is looked upon as in the bush."

Mr. Wiseacre sat thoughtful for some moments. Then he asked,

"How much must you have immediately?"

"About five hundred dollars, and at least five hundred dollars a month until the model is completed."

"Perhaps I might do it," said Wiseacre, after another thoughtful pause.

"I should be most happy if you could," quickly responded Redding. "There is no man with whom I had rather share the benefits of this great discovery than yourself. Whosoever goes into it with me is sure to make an immense fortune."

Wiseacre no longer hesitated. The five hundred dollars were advanced, and the new model commenced. As to its progress, and the exact amount it cost in construction, he was not accurately advised, but one thing he knew—he had to draw five hundred dollars out of his business every month; and this he found not always the most convenient operation in the world.

At length the model was completed. When shown to Wiseacre, it did not seem to be upon the grand scale he had expected; nor did it, to his eyes, look as if its construction had cost two or three thousand dollars. But Mr. Redding was such a fair man, that no serious doubts had a chance to array themselves against him.

Two or three scientific gentlemen were first admitted to a view of the machine. They examined it; heard Redding explained the principle upon which it acted, and were shown the beautiful manner in which the reproduction of forces was obtained. Some shrugged their shoulders; some said they wouldn't believe their own eyes in regard to perpetual motion—that the thing was a physical impossibility; while others half doubted and half believed. With all these skeptics and half-skeptics Wiseacre was out of all patience. Seeing, he said, was believing; and he wouldn't give a fig for a man who couldn't rely upon the evidence of his own senses.

At length Redding's great achievement in mechanics was announced to the public, and his model opened for exhibition. Free tickets were sent to editors, and liberal advertisements inserted in their papers. The gentlemen of the press examined the machine, and pretty generally pronounced it a very singular affair certainly, and, as far as they could [Pg 114] judge, all that it pretended to be. Gradually that portion of the public interested in such matters, awoke from the indifference felt on the first announcement of the discovery, and began to look at and enter into warm discussions about the machine. Some believed, but the majority either doubted or denied that it was perpetual motion. A few boldly affirmed that there was some trick, and that it would be discovered in the end.

Toward the lukewarm, the doubting, and the denying, Wiseacre was in direct antagonism. He had no sort of patience with them. At all times, and in all places, he boldly took the affirmative in regard to the discovery of perpetual motion, and showed no quarter to any one who was bold enough to doubt.

Among those who could not believe the evidence of his own senses, was an eminent natural philosopher, who visited the machine almost every day, and as often conversed with Redding about the new principle in mechanics which he had discovered and applied. The theory was specious, and yet opposed to it was the unalterable, ever-potent force of gravitation, which he saw must overcome all so called self-existant motion. The more he thought about it, and the oftener he looked at and examined Redding's machine, and talked with the inventor, the more confused did his mind become. At length, after obtaining the most accurate information in regard to the construction of the machine, he set to work and made one precisely like it; but it wouldn't go. Satisfied, now, that there was imposture, he resolved to ferret it out. There was some force beyond the machine he was convinced. Communicating his suspicions to a couple of friends, he was readily joined by them in a proposed effort to find out the true secret of the motion imparted to the machine. He had noticed that Redding had another room adjoining the one in which the model was exhibited, and that upon the door was written "No admittance." Into this he determined to penetrate—and he put this determination into practice, accompanied by two friends, on the first favorable opportunity. Fortunately, it happened that the door leading to this room was without the door of the one leading into the exhibition-room. While Redding was engaged in showing the machine to a pretty large company, including Wiseacre, who spent a good deal of time there, the explorers withdrew, and finding the key in the door, entered quietly the adjoining room, which they took care to fasten on the inside. The only suspicious object here was a large closet. This was locked; but as the intention had been to make a pretty thorough search, a short, strong, steel crow-bar was soon produced from beneath a cloak, and the door in due time made to yield. Wonderful discovery! There sat a man with a little table by his side, upon which was a dim lamp, a plate of bread and cheese, and a mug of beer. He was engaged in turning a wheel!

The machine stopped instantly and would not go on, much to the perplexity and alarm of the inventor. Wiseacre was deeply disturbed. In the midst of the murmur of surprise and disapprobation that followed, a man suddenly entered the room, and cried out in a low voice,

"It's all humbug! We've discovered the cause of the motion! Come and see!"

All rushed out after the man, and entered the room over the door of which was written so conspicuously "No admittance." No, not all—Redding passed on down stairs, and was never again heard of!

The scene that followed we need not describe. The poor laborer at the wheel, for a dollar a day, had like to have been broken on his wheel, but the crowd in mercy spared him. As for poor Wiseacre, who had never been humbugged in his life, he was so completely "used up" by this undreamed of result, that he could hardly look any body in the face for two or three months. But he got over it some time since, and is now a more thorough disbeliever in all new things than before.

"You don't humbug me!" is his stereotyped answer to all announcements of new discoveries. Even in regard to the magnetic telegraph he is still quite skeptical, and shrugs his shoulders, and elevates his eyebrows, as much as to say, "It'll blow up one of these times, mark my word for it." Nobody has yet been able to persuade him to go to the Exchange and look at the operation of the batteries there and see for himself. He doesn't really believe in the thing, and smiles inwardly, as the rough poles and naked wires stare him in the face while passing along the street. He looks confidently to see them converted into poles for scaffolding before twelve months pass away.




THE SISTERS.


BY G. G. FOSTER.

[SEE ENGRAVING.]
Nay, look not forth with those deep earnest eyes
To catch the gleaming of your lovers' plumes;
A dearer, surer, trustier passion lies
In sisters' hearts than lovers' cheeks illumes.
Man worships and forsakes; and as he flies
From flower to flower their beauty he consumes;
Then leaves the wasted heart and faded flower
To die forgotten in their sunless bower.
But sisters' love, like angels' sympathies,
Is as the breath of Heaven and cannot change
No earthly shudder taints its sinless kiss.
No sorrow can your loving hearts estrange;
No selfish pride destroy the priceless bliss
Of loving and confiding. Oh exchange
Not love like this, so heavenly and so true.
For all the vows that lovers' lips e'er knew


THE SISTERS
W. Drummond.    A.C. Thompson

THE SISTERS

Engraved Expressly for Graham's Magazine.




BRUTUS IN HIS TENT.

[Pg 115]


BY WM. H. C. HOSMER.

How ill this taper burns!—hah! who comes here? Shakspeare.
On wall-girt Sardis weary day hath shed
The golden blaze of his expiring beam;
And rings her paven walks beneath the tread
Of guards that near the hour of battle deem—
Whose brazen helmets in the starlight gleam;
From tented lines no murmur loud descends,
For martial thousands of the battle dream
On which the fate of bleeding Rome depends
When blushing dawn awakes and night's dark curtain rends.
Though hushed War's couchant tigers in their lair
The tranquil time to one brings not repose—
A voice was whispering to his soul—"Despair!
The gods will give the triumph to thy foes."
Can sleep, with leaden hand, our eyelids close
When throng distempered fancies, and depart,
And thought a shadow on the future throws?
When shapes unearthly into being start,
And, like a snake, Remorse uncoils within the heart?
At midnight deep when bards avow that tombs
Are by their cold inhabitants forsaken,
The Roman chief his wasted lamp relumes,
And calmly reads by mortal wo unshaken:
His iron frame of rest had not partaken,
And doubt—dark enemy of slumber—fills
A breast where fear no trembling chord could waken,
And on his ear an awful voice yet thrills
That rose, when Cæsar fell, from Rome's old Seven Hills.
A sound—"that earth owns not"—he hears, and starts,
And grasps the handle of his weapon tried;
Then, while the rustling tent-cloth slowly parts,
A figure enters and stands by his side:
There was an air of majesty and pride
In the bold bearing of that spectre pale—
The crimson on its robe was still undried,
And dagger wounds, that tell a bloody tale
Beyond the power of words, the opening folds unveil.
With fearful meaning towers the phantom grim,
On Brutus fixing its cold, beamless eye;
The face, though that of Julius, seems to him
Formed from the moonlight of a misty sky:
The birds of night, affrighted, flutter by,
And a wild sound upon the shuddering air
Creeps as if earth were breathing out a sigh,
And the fast-waning lamp, as if aware
Some awful shade was nigh, emits a ghostly glare.
Stern Brutus quails not, though his wo-worn cheeks
Blanch with emotion, and in tone full loud
Thus to the ghastly apparition speaks—
"Why stand before me in that gory shroud,
Unwelcome guest! thy purpose unavowed;
Art thou the shaping of my wildered brain?"
The spectre answered, with a gesture proud,
In hollow accents—"We will meet again
When the best blood of Rome smokes on Philippi's plain."




TO VIOLET.


BY JEROME A. MABY.

Years—eventful years have passed
Sweet sister! since I met thy smile;
I'm thinking now what change they've cast
Upon your form and mine the while;
Thy girlhood's days with them are flown—
A calmer light must fill thine eye;
Thy voice have now an added tone;
Thy tresses fall more dark and free.
Yet, in my dreams of thee and home,
A slight, pale girl I ever see,
Whose smiles to her mild lip do come,
Like stars in heaven—tremblingly!
For with thy young heart's lovingness
There aye seemed blent a troubled fear,
As if it knew all tenderness
Must see its worship perish here!
And oh, the prayers I poured to Heaven,
That time prove not to thee how golden links are riven!
And I—oh, sister! I am changed—
You scarce would know the dreaming boy;
For all too far his steps have ranged
Through wildering ways of Strife and Joy
Oh! falcon-eyed Ambition's schemes—
The thrill that comes on mounting wings—
Have left no love for quiet dreams,
And learned contempt for tamer things!
And Pleasure to my youthful cheek
So many a hot, wild flush has won,
That to her foils I've grown too weak—
Some nerve must still be passion-spun!
And if 'mid scenes all bravery—glow—
The night has found me proud and blest,
Stern, mournful things—that make life's wo—
Have struck sad music from my breast!
And when at times Thought leaves me calm,
And boyhood's memories float by,
Then well I know how changed I am—
And a strange weakness dims my eye!
Oh! sister, on this heart of mine
Weight—stain—have come, since last I met that smile of thine!




"THINK NOT THAT I LOVE THEE."

[Pg 116]

A BALLAD.

MUSIC COMPOSED AND ARRANGED FOR THE PIANO FORTE BY

J. L. MILNER,

AND RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED TO HIS FRIEND, J. G. OSBOURN, ESQ.


music 1


[Pg 117]

music 2


SECOND VERSE.
Think not that I love thee,
Alluring coquette,
The vows you have broken
I too can forget;
The love that I gave thee,
Thou ne'er could'st repay,
So affection for thee
Has passed away.




REVIEW OF NEW BOOKS.

[Pg 118]

The Life of Oliver Cromwell. By J. T. Headley. New York: Baker & Scribner. 1 vol. 12mo.

This volume is elegantly printed, and contains the most characteristic portrait of Cromwell we have seen. In regard to thought and composition it is Mr. Headley's best book. Without being deficient in the energy and pictorial power which have given such popularity to his other productions, it indicates an advance in respect to artistic arrangement of matter and correctness of composition. It is needless to say that the author has not elaborated it into a finished work, or done full justice to his talents in its general treatment. We do not agree with Mr. Headley in his notion of Cromwell, and think that his marked prepossession for his hero has unconsciously led him to alter the natural relations of the facts and principles with which he deals; but still we feel bound to give him credit for an extensive study of his subject, and for bringing together numerous interesting details which can be found in no other single biography of Cromwell. Among his authorities and guides we are sorry to see that he has not included Hallam. The portion of the latter's Constitutional History of England devoted to the reign of Charles I., the Commonwealth and the Protectorate, deserves, at least, the respectful attention of every writer on those subjects. Indeed we think Hallam so much an authority that a deviation from him on a question of fact or principle should be accompanied by arguments contesting his statements. Of all the historians of the period we conceive him to be almost the only one who loses the partisan in the judge. The questions mooted in the controversy between Charles and his Parliament are still hotly contested, and are so calculated to inflame the passions, that almost every historian of the time turns advocate. Mr. Headley's passionate sensibility should have been a little cooled by "fraternizing" with Mr. Hallam's judicial understanding.

The leading merit of Mr. Headley's volume is his description of Cromwell's battles; Marston Moor, Preston, Naseby, Dunbar and Worcester, are not mere names, suggesting certain mechanical military movements to the reader of the present book. The smoke and dust and blood and carnage of war—the passions it excites, and the heroism it prompts, are all brought right before the eye. Many historians have attempted to convey in general terms a notion of the kind of men that Cromwell brought into battle, but it is in Mr. Headley's volume that we really obtain a distinct conception of the renowned Ironsides. He has just enough sympathy with the soldier and the Puritan to reproduce in imagination the religious passions which animated that band of "braves." As a considerable portion of Cromwell's life relates to his military character, Mr. Headley has a wide field for the exercise of his singular power of painting battle-pieces.

As the present biography, of all the lives of Cromwell with which we are acquainted, is calculated to be the most popular, we regret that the author has not taken a Juster view of Cromwell's character and actions. It is important in a republican country, that the popular mind should have just notions of constitutional liberty, and every attempt to convert such despots as Napoleon and Cromwell into champions of freedom, will, in proportion to its success, prepare the way for a brood of such men in our own country. In regard to Mr. Headley, we think that his sympathy with Cromwell's great powers as a warrior and ruler has vitiated his view of many transactions vitally connected with the principles of freedom. Compared with Carlyle, however, he may be almost considered impartial. He is frank and fearless in presenting his opinions, and does not confuse the mind by mixing up statements of fact with any of the trancendental Scotchman's sentimentality.

The English Revolution of 1640 began in a defense of legal privileges and ended in a military despotism. It commenced in withstanding attacks on civil and religious rights and ended in the dominion of a sect. The point, therefore, where the lover of freedom should cease to sympathize with it is plain. It is useless for the republican to say that every revolution of the kind must necessarily take a similar course, for that is not an argument for Cromwell's usurpation, but an argument against the expediency of opposing attacks by a king, on the rights and privileges of the people. The truth is that the English Revolution was at first a popular movement, having a clear majority of the property, intelligence and numbers of the people on its side. The king, in breaking the fundamental laws of the kingdom, made war on the community, and was to be resisted just as much as if he were king of France or Spain, and had invaded the country. It is easy to trace the progress of this resistance, until by the action of religious bigotry and other inflaming passions, the powers of the opposition became concentrated in the hands of a body of military fanatics, commanded by an imperious soldier, and representing a small minority even of the Puritans. The king, a weak and vacillating man, made an attempt at arbitrary power, was resisted, and after years of civil war, ended his days on the scaffold; Cromwell, without any of those palliations which charity might urge in extenuation of the king, on the ground of the prejudices of his station, took advantage of the weakness of the country, after it had been torn by civil war, usurped supreme power, and became the most arbitrary monarch England had seen since William the Conqueror. No one doubts his genius, and it seems strange that any one should doubt his despotic character.

The truth is that Cromwell's natural character, even on the hypothesis of his sincerity, was arbitrary, and the very opposite of what we look for in the character of a champion of freedom. It seems to us supremely ridiculous to talk of such a man as being capable of having his conduct determined by a parliament or a council. He pretended to look to God, not to human laws or fallible men, for the direction of his actions. In the name of the Deity he charged at the head of his Ironsides. In the name of the Deity he massacred the Irish garrisons. In the name of the Deity he sent dragoons to overturn parliaments. He believed neither in the sovereignty of the people, nor the sovereignty of the laws, and it made little difference whether his opponent was Charles I. or Sir Harry Vane, provided he were an opponent. In regard to the inmost essence of tyranny, that of exalting the individual will over every thing else, and of meeting opposition and obstacles by pure force, Charles I. was a weakling in comparison with Cromwell. Now if, in respect to human governments, democracy and republicanism consist in allowing any great and strong man to assume the supreme power, on his simple assertion that he has a commission from Heaven so to do; if constitutional liberty is a government of will[Pg 119] instead of a government of laws, then the partisans of Cromwell are justified in their eulogies. It appears to us that the only ground on which the Protector's tyranny is more endurable than the king's, consists in the fact that from its nature it could not be permanent, and could not establish itself into the dignity of a precedent. It was a power depending neither on the assent of the people, nor on laws and institutions, but simply on the character of one man. As far as it went, it did no good in any way to the cause of freedom, for to Cromwell's government, and to the fanaticism which preceded it, we owe the reaction of Charles the Second's reign, when licentiousness in manners, and servility in politics succeeded in making virtue and freedom synonymous with hypocrisy and cant.

In regard to Cromwell's massacres in Ireland, which even Mr. Headley denounces as uncivilized, a great deal of nonsense has been written by Carlyle. The fact is that Cromwell, in these matters, acted as Cortez did in Mexico, and Pizarro in Peru, and deserves no more charity. If he performed them from policy, as Carlyle intimates, he must be considered a disciple of Machiavelli and the Devil; if he performed them from religious bigotry, he may rank with St. Dominic and Charles the Ninth. We are sick of hearing brutality and wickedness, either in Puritan or Catholic, extenuated on the ground of bigotry. This bigotry which prompts inhuman deeds, is not an excuse for sin, but the greatest of spiritual sins. It indicates a condition of mind in which the individual deifies his malignant passions.

We are sorry that Mr. Headley has written his biography with such a marked leaning to Cromwell. We believe that a large majority of readers will obtain their notions of the Protector from his pages, and that they will be no better republicans thereby. The very brilliancy and ability of his work will only make it more influential upon the popular mind.


A Supplement to the Plays of William Shakspeare. Comprising Seven Dramas which have been ascribed to his Pen but are not included with his Writings in Modern Editions. Edited, with Notes, and an Introduction to each Play, by William Gilmore Simms. New York: Geo. F. Cooledge & Brother. 1 vol. 8vo.

The public are under obligations to Mr. Simms, not only for reprinting a series of dramas which are objects of curiosity from their connection with the name of Shakspeare, but for the elegant and ingenious introductions he has furnished from his own pen. With regard to the question whether Shakspeare did or did not write these plays, our opinion has ever inclined to the negative, and a careful perusal of Mr. Simms's views has rather confirmed than shaken our impression. The internal evidence, with the exception of passages in the Two Noble Kinsmen, is strongly against the hypothesis of Shakspeare's authorship, and the external evidence appears to us unsatisfactory. Mr. Simms's idea is that they were the productions of Shakspeare's youth and apprenticeship, and on this supposition he accounts for their obvious inferiority to the acknowledged plays. Now it seems to us that the juvenile efforts of the world's master-mind would give some evidence of his powers, however imperfect might be the form of their expression; and especially that they would not resemble the matured products of contemporary mediocrity. Of the plays in the present volume, the only one which has the character of youthful genius is the tragedy of Lecrine, and this is the youth of Marlowe rather than of Shakspeare. The London Prodigal and the Puritan, Lord Cromwell and Sir John Oldcastle, have no trace of youthful fire or even rant. They are the offspring of sober, contented, irreclaimable, unimprovable mediocrity, with a decided tendency to the stupid rather than the sublime. They were probably the journey-work of some of the legion playwrights connected with the London theatres, and cannot be compared with the dramas of Jonson, Deckar, Middleton, Fletcher, Marston, Tourneur, Massinger and Ford. They lack the vitality, the vim, which burns and blazes even in the works of the second class dramatists of the time. The Yorkshire Tragedy bears the stamp of Middleton rather than Shakspeare. With regard to the Two Noble Kinsmen, perhaps the greatest play included in the collection of Beaumont and Fletcher, we think that the Shaksperian passages might have been imitations of Shakspeare's manner, and we have a sufficiently high opinion of Fletcher's genius to suppose that this imitation was not beyond his powers. The general character of the play shows that Shakspeare, at any rate, merely contributed to it. It is conceived and developed in the hot and hectic style of Fletcher, and abounds in his strained heroics and gratuitous obscenities. The Jailor's Daughter, a coarse caricature of Ophelia, is one of the greatest crimes against the sacredness of misery which a poet ever perpetrated.

Schlegel said of Thomas Lord Cromwell, Sir John Oldcastle, and A Yorkshire Tragedy, that they were not only Shakspeare's, but in his opinion deserved to be classed among his best and maturest works. This is the most ridiculous judgment which a great critic ever made, and coming as it does, after the author's profound view of Shakspeare's genius, is as singular as it is ridiculous.


Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. By Alphonse de Lamartine. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 2 vols. 12mo.

Lamartine is a man of fine genius and great courage, but both as an author and politician is a sentimentalist. His characteristic mental quality, that of seeing all external objects through a luminous mist exhaling from his heart and imagination, is as prominent in the present volume of travels as in his political speeches and state papers. He sees nothing in clear, white light; every thing through a personal medium. To use a distinction of an ingenious analyst, he tells you rather of the beauty and truth of his feelings than the beauty and truth he feels; and accordingly his sentimentality is closely allied to vanity. This absence of clear perception is not the result of his being a poet, but of his being a poet of the second class. Homer, Dante, Shakspeare, even Milton, would not fail in politics from a similar lack of seeing things as they are. We believe that Homer and Shakspeare might have made better statesmen than Pericles and Bacon. The great poet fails in practical life not from seeing things through a distorting medium, but from viewing them in relation to an ideal standard. This was the case with Milton. Now Lamartine is in the habit of Lamartinizing the whole world in his writings. The mirror he holds up to life and nature simply reflects himself. He cannot pass beyond his own individuality—he has no objective insight.

We will guarantee that every reader of the present volumes will rise from their perusal with a knowledge of the author rather than the subject. He will obtain no information of men, scenery, or remarkable places, such as he might receive from a common tourist, deficient equally in sentiment and imagination; neither will he carry away such clear pictures and representations as Scott or Goethe might stamp upon his memory. He will simply be informed of the thoughts, fancies, opinions, and varying moods of Lamartine, as awakened by the objects which met his eye. [Pg 120] These objects, which a great poet would consider of the first importance, are with the Frenchman only secondary to the exhibition of himself. If this mingled egotism and vanity were affected, it would disgust the reader, but as it is the natural action of the author's mind, and is accompanied with much eloquence and beauty of composition, it is more likely to fascinate than to offend. At the present moment, when the author is with the public a more important object than Athens or Jerusalem, the present volumes will probably be the more eagerly read on account of their leading defect.


The Falcon Family; or Young Ireland. By the author of the Bachelor of the Albany. Boston: T. Wiley, Jr.

We should judge the author of the present amusing work to be a young lawyer, extensively read in miscellaneous literature, and disposed to make the most of his wit, rhetoric and acquirements. His style of thinking and composition is that of a first rate magazine writer rather than novelist. He is a brilliant sketcher and caricaturist, without any hold upon character, and with little power of conceiving or telling a story. He is ever sparkling and clever, without weight or depth. But he has many elements of popularity, and unites a good share of shrewdness with an infinite amount of small wit. The object of the present work is to ridicule Young Ireland in particular, and Young Europe in general, including hits at Young England, Young Israel, (the children of Israel,) and La Jeune France. All of these, Mitchell, D'Iraeli, Moncton Milnes and the rest, are classed under the common term of boyocracy, a very good phrase to denote the ridiculous portions of the young creed. Though the author has no view of this class of sentimental or termagant politicians except on their ludicrous side, he exposes that side with a brilliant remorselessness which is refreshing in this age of universal cant. Though something of a coxcomb himself, he has no mercy on the fop turned politician and theologian. The mistake of his satire on Young Ireland consists in overlooking the reality of the wrongs under which that country groans, and the depth and intensity of the passions roused. In regard to style the author is a mannerist. The present novel reads like a continuation or reproduction of the Bachelor of the Albany.


Researches on the Chemistry of Food, and the Motion of the Juices in the Animal Body. By Liebig, M. D. Lowell: Daniel Bixby & Co. 1 vol. 12 mo.

This volume is edited by Professor Horsford, of Harvard University. It is an acute and profound work of science, worth all the common books on the subject put together. The author considers his investigation, as recorded in the present volume, the most important he ever made. His theory is this: "The surface of the body is a membrane from which evaporation goes uninterruptedly forward. In consequence of this evaporation, all the fluids of the body acquire, in obedience to atmospheric pressure, motion toward the evaporating surface. This is obviously the chief cause of the passage of the nutritious fluids from the blood-vessels, and of their diffusion through the body. We know now what important functions the skin (and lungs) fulfill through evaporation. It is a condition of nourishment, and the influence of a moist or dry air upon the health of the body, or of mechanical agitation by walking or running, which increases the perspiration, is self-evident." It will be readily seen that this discovery has an important bearing upon the preservation of health.


The Wanderings and Fortunes of Some German Emigrants By Frederick Gerstacker. Translated by David Black. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 12mo.

We have often desired to see a book of this character, giving the first views and impressions of foreigners coming to settle here, as they made their way from the Atlantic to the West. The present volume is curiously minute in detailing the course and incidents of the journey, and apart from its interest as a narrative, contains not a little matter which should attract the attention of the statesman. In respect to the merit of composition or description the book hardly rises above mediocrity.


Cæsar's Commentaries on the Gallic War. With English Notes, a Lexicon, Indexes, &c. By Rev. J. A. Spencer, A. M. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 12mo.

This is the best edition of Cæsar we have ever seen, and to the young student it is invaluable. Every assistance is given to the complete comprehension of the Commentaries; and few can rise from the diligent perusal of the volume without having understood and almost exhausted one at least of the classics.


Gramática Inglesa de Urcullu. Edited by Fayette Robinson. Grammar of the Spanish Language. By Fayette Robinson.

These two books, by an accomplished linguist scholar, fill a want which has long been felt. Most of the works previously published are too diffuse and elaborate for the purposes of schools, or too contracted to give any thing more than a skeleton of the tongue. Mr. Robinson has adopted a system eminently practical, and made two books which entitle him to the thanks of pupil and teacher. As he states, grammatical legislation is abandoned and example substituted for rules. Extensive tables of verbs, prepositions and idioms, have been prepared, which do away with almost all of the difficulties connected with the study of that tongue a monarch called the language of the gods. The paradigms of the verbs have been prepared evidently with the greatest care, and a new form given to what grammarians call the conditional and subjunctive moods, so as to adapt the Castilian to the English language. Tables of dialogues are also added, which are pure and classical in both English and Spanish.

Mr. Robinson has, in editing the English Grammar of Urcullu, made great improvements by the addition of what he modestly calls "notillas," (little notes,) but which greatly add to the perfectness of the book. The important table of the verbs of the language by Hernandez and the officers of the Spanish academy, and the chapter on terms of courtesy in the United States, are most valuable additions. This book is most valuable as a supplement to the Spanish Grammar, and the moderate price at which the two are sold, renders it most desirable and convenient to purchase them together.

Though we detect some typographical inaccuracies they are merely literal accidents, and the books reflect credit on author, publishers, and stereotyper. We most cordially recommend them.


History of the French Revolution of 1789. By Louis Blanc. Translated from the French. Phila.: Lea & Blanchard.

The popularity acquired by M. Blanc from his "History of Ten Years," as well as the fact of his having been for a time a member of the Provisional Government of the French Republic, will doubtless cause this book to be widely read. It is always interesting, but seldom impartial.



FOOTNOTES:


[1] Historie des Oracles.


[2] Maria del Occidente—otherwise, we believe, Mrs. Brooks—is styled in "The Doctor," &c. "the most impassioned and most imaginative of all poetesses." And without taking into account quædam ardentiora scattered here and there throughout her singular poem, there is undoubtedly ground for the first clause, and, with the more accurate substitution of "fanciful" for "imaginative" for the whole of the eulogy. It is altogether an extraordinary performance.—London Quarterly Review.


[3] The author of "Notes on Cuba." Boston, 1844.


[4] A frequent case among the maids of South America.


[5] This terrible slaughter took place on the night of the 16th June, 1816, under the advice, and with the participation of the women of Mompox, a beautiful city on an island in the River Magdalena. The event has enlisted the muse of many a native patriot and poet, who grew wild when they recalled the courage of

"Those dames of Magdalena,
Who, in one fearful night,
Slew full four hundred tyrants,
Nor shrunk from blood in fright."

Such women deserve the apostrophe of Macbeth to his wife:

"Bring forth men children only."



Transcriber's Note:

Certain unusual instances of spelling and grammar have been retained. Errors in punctuation and obvious typos have been corrected without remark.