The Project Gutenberg eBook of Graham's Magazine, Vol XXXIII, No. 6, December 1848

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Title: Graham's Magazine, Vol XXXIII, No. 6, December 1848

Author: Various

Editor: Robert Taylor Conrad

George R. Graham

Release date: May 14, 2010 [eBook #32369]

Language: English

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



A. B. Ross
Engraved Expressly for Graham's Magazine


Vol. XXXII.          PHILADELPHIA,  DECEMBER,  1848.         No. 6.


A LAY. 310
LINES. 360







Archibald Dundass was a rich Jamaica planter, whose estates were situated in one of the most delightful regions in that garden of the West India isles. His wife, an English lady, of great personal attractions and highly connected, died when Helen, their only child, had just entered her thirteenth year, an age when, perhaps, a mother's counsel and tender guidance is most required. When the news of Mrs. Dundass's death reached her friends, they immediately wrote, beseeching the bereaved husband to come at once to England with his child, or if not expedient for himself to leave Jamaica, that he would at least suffer the little Helen to come to them; and especially did they urge the plea that thereby he would enable her to receive a more finished education than could possibly be acquired upon the island.

This plea, to be sure, offered a strong inducement to Mr. Dundass; but how could he school his heart to this second bereavement. Helen possessed all her mother's traits—her dark blue eyes—her golden hair and skin of dazzling purity—the smile that played around her dimpled mouth—her light airy step, were all her mother's. Looking upon her thus in her budding loveliness the Helen of his youth once more moved before him. To yield her up he could not—and therefore Mr. Dundass rejected the oft-repeated entreaties of his English friends. Helen remained in Jamaica. A governess was provided, and whatever money could secure in the way of learning was most freely expended.

Mr. Dundass possessed many noble traits of character, yet pride was a very strong ingredient in his composition leading him not unfrequently into errors which his sober judgment condemned. Still he was generally beloved, especially by his slaves, to whom he was a kind, indulgent master. Knowing himself to be one of the richest, if not the richest proprietor upon the island, it was natural he should mark out an alliance for his daughter commensurate with the fortune her hand would bestow. When, therefore, Helen, beaming and beautiful as the star of evening, burst from the confinement of the school-room to dazzle all eyes and move all hearts, what wonder that pride and ambition swelled the heart of Mr. Dundass. But

"Love will venture in where it daur nae weel be seen;"

and, unfortunately for the realization of those ambitious dreams, a mutual love had already sprung up between Helen and a young man without friends or fortune, whom her father had received into favor, and employed for some years in his counting-room.

To appeal to Mr. Dundass for his sanction to their union Ward knew would be vain, and he therefore prevailed upon the imprudent Helen to elope with him, assuring her that her father's anger would be but momentary, and that his great affection triumphing over resentment, would compel him to forgive her error, and open his arms to welcome her return. But, unhappily, it was not so. There was no moving the heart of Mr. Dundass to forgiveness. His anger and resentment were as boundless as had been his love. He refused to see his child, spurned her from his door, and to all the numerous and penitent letters she addressed him, gave no reply. The blow was, indeed, a heavy one, coming from one so idolized; his affections, as well as his long-cherished pride, were crushed, and his resentment rose in proportion.

In the meantime Ward had removed to a distant part of the island with his young and beautiful bride, where he had obtained a situation which promised to be lucrative. That he loved his young wife who for his sake had renounced wealth, station, and a father's love, cannot be doubted; but that he also held a corner of his heart for the possessions she might inherit, is also certain. His disappointment, therefore, at the inflexibility of Mr. Dundass was[302] extreme, and mingled with it a bitterness which, in a short time, displayed itself toward his unoffending wife, and in an irritability which, ere the end of a twelvemonth, caused his employer to dismiss him from his service. From that time the life of poor Helen was most wretched, bitterly reaping in tears and poverty the fruits of disobedience. From place to place she followed her husband wherever he could obtain employ, but of which his idle, dissolute habits soon deprived him. A constitution naturally feeble sunk under the inroads of dissipation. Ere three years a wife Helen became a widow. Her situation was now truly deplorable. Without money, without friends, and thrown upon the cold charity of the world ere yet she had reached her twentieth year. For the sake of her innocent babe she resolved to make one more appeal to the mercy of her father.

Over mountain ridges, through deep valleys—crossing dense forests and treacherous rivulets—sometimes on foot, sometimes indebted to the kindness of some chance traveler for a few miles ride, Helen at length drew near the home of her childhood, and stole, unannounced, into the presence of her father. The moment was propitious. Mr. Dundass had already learned the death of his son-in-law, and the probable destitution of his daughter. In those three years alienation from his only child he had suffered much, and untimely old age had silvered his temples and worn deep furrows o'er his brow. Not all his wealth, not all the goadings of disappointed ambition, nor even the sting her ingratitude had left, could drive her image from his heart, or check the still small voice of conscience, which whispered that not even her errors could excuse the harshness with which she had been repulsed. The death of Ward seemed to unite Helen once more to him. Over her misfortunes he shed bitter tears; and although pride still rebelled against the yearnings of his heart, and made him resolve he would never more admit her to his presence, yet even at the moment when she fell fainting and exhausted at his feet, he was meditating some measures by which he could place her and her little one above want. Ah! pride, anger, enduring obstinacy, where are ye now? There was a well of love in that old man's heart whose depths ye had not yet probed. One look at the sad, care-worn face of Helen; one glance at the innocent babe pillowed upon her breast, and that fount of love was unsealed. The father took them to his breast and blessed them.


A few years and Helen, more beautiful than ever, again made her appearance in society, and again Mr. Dundass cherished his darling dream of her forming some high connection. Little Mildred, in the meanwhile, having been sent to England under the charge of a faithful nurse, to receive her education.

A second time, however, was Mr. Dundass doomed to disappointment. The charming and attractive young widow gave her hand to Mr. Donaldson, a Scotch gentleman, whose only recommendation in the eyes of Mr. Dundass was a showy exterior and a superb set of teeth. He had known him for many years, and had always regarded him as more shrewd than honest, and one who, where his own interests were concerned, would let no scruples of conscience stand in the way of his advancement. He thought him rich, but he had much rather he had been poor, if able to boast a titled descent. The idea, therefore, of this second marriage of his daughter gave him in reality as little satisfaction as the first. His reluctant consent was, however, at length obtained, and Helen borne off a second time a bride from her father's house.

The plantation of Mr. Donaldson was delightfully located in a most lovely region of hill and dale, sparkling with delicious rivulets, and sprinkled with charming groves of the deep-tinted pimento, the graceful palm, and magnificent cotton-trees, and the air rife with the fragrance of the orange and citron blossoms, through which, like winged jewels, glanced birds of the most brilliant plumage. Whatever may have been the errors which Mr. Dundass detected in the moral character of Mr. Donaldson, he was a most tender and devoted husband; and in this paradise to which he had brought her, the happiness of Helen seemed perfect. The Cascade, as Mr. Donaldson had named his station, from the numerous little rills and waterfalls in the neighborhood, was distant fifty miles from Mount Dundass, yet the intercourse between father and daughter continued uninterrupted until the infirmities of age pressing upon Mr. Dundass, rendered his visits to the Cascade less frequent, and the cares of a growing family confining Mrs. Donaldson more closely at home.

Helen was now the mother of several children, charming, bright little girls, yet it was strange that Mr. Dundass never seemed to regard them in the same tender light he did Mildred Ward. Mr. Donaldson had never seen Mildred, but already in his heart he hated her. The partiality of the grandfather rankled his inmost soul, for he saw plainly it would interfere with the prospects of his own children. Indeed, Mr. Dundass had already settled fifty thousand dollars upon his granddaughter Mildred, asserting also that at his death that sum should be doubled. Mr. Donaldson possessed great influence over his wife—his words to her were oracles—his wishes laws. By degrees, therefore, he instilled into her mind a jealousy against her absent child, mingled with feelings of resentment toward her father, that, to the exclusion of her little Grace and Anna, he should have made her the object of his love and munificence. This feeling once engendered Mr. Donaldson took good care to keep alive. The poison worked slowly but so secretly, that no doubt Helen herself would have been shocked could she have read her own heart and found that, instigated by jealousy, a mother's tenderness for her first-born was fast turning to bitterness.

In the meantime seventeen rosy summers had flitted as some fairy dream over the head of Mildred, when her grandfather, no longer able to resist his desire of seeing her, urged her return to Jamaica.[303]


To merry England our story now takes us, that we may trace a brief sketch of those scenes wherein the days of Mildred had glided so happily away.

Norcross Hall, the ancestral domain of the late Mrs. Dundass was situated in one of England's most charming nooks, about forty miles from the great metropolis. It was an ancient building, the main part of which was said to have been erected in the time of Elizabeth—but of this little of the original structure remained. Its present occupant, Sir Hugh Norcross, was the son of Mrs. Dundass's eldest brother, and to his guardianship the little Mildred had been consigned. In this charming family she was treated with the utmost tenderness, receiving the same education and sharing the same pursuits as her little cousins, between whom and herself a lively affection sprung up. Lady Norcross was a superior woman, both of mind and heart; and under her guidance and gentle teachings, which her every-day life so beautifully exemplified, what wonder that the little family growing up around her should prove all that was good and lovely. Helen Norcross was near the same age as Mildred, Rupert three years her senior. It was not until the latter had reached his fourteenth year that the three cousins were ever separated, even for a single day; but now, Rupert was sent to Eton, and the two girls were left to weep and mourn his absence, or to study a thousand delightful projects to welcome his return at the holydays.

What happy seasons those were when, released for a time from the thraldom of college pursuits, Rupert once more sprung in freedom through the haunts of his childhood; the old walls rung with cheerful voices, and every dell and dingle echoed to the merry music of their happy hearts. And then, as each holyday came round, what changes marked their progress. The two little girls had become graceful, lovely women, while Rupert from a school-boy had as suddenly shot up into a tall, elegant young man.

Sir Hugh and his lady saw with pleasure the attachment of the cousins; they already loved Mildred as their daughter, and it was the nearest wish of their hearts that in time the affection which now united them might assume a more enduring form. As the education of Mildred might now be considered completed, and the object for which she had been sent to them attained, they grew every day more and more fearful that Mrs. Donaldson would claim her long absent child. Mildred was too young when she left Jamaica to have other than a faint recollection of her mother; she could only remember the beautiful blue eyes which used to meet hers so fondly, and the long golden ringlets through which, as she nestled in mamma's lap, she had played bo-peep with an old gentleman in a high-backed elbow-chair. Then she was so happy at Norcross Hall that when her heart whispered to her, as it often did, of her other dear mother in a far-off land, she could not but reproach herself for not being more impatient for the moment to arrive when she might again embrace her. But now the time drew near when she must bid farewell to this cherished spot.

April had smiled farewell in tears, and May with her beauteous buds and blossoms danced over the green earth. The streams welcomed her presence with songs of glee, and the forests dressed in fresh beauty opened their arms to greet her presence. It was yet early morning, and to the uplifting of the rosy curtain draping the couch of the day-god the birds were singing a merry prelude, as two young men stole softly around an angle of the old building, and crept silently under the shadow of the wall, until they stood beneath the windows of an apartment whose inmates were probably buried in sleep, as through the half-closed shutter the curtains appeared still closely drawn.

"You see I have proved a true prophet, for the girls still sleep," cried the taller of the two, laughing. "Now fie upon their laziness this bright May morning—why we should have been off to the dell an hour since, to gather the flowers ere the sun kissed away their freshness."

"Now I will warrant you, Rupert," replied the other, "that while we stand here with 'dewy feet,' maybe catching our deaths from this early exposure of our delicate frames, the little jades are quietly dreaming over the last new romance, or their first ball—come, let us arouse them with a song!" and dropping on one knee, the young man placed his hand upon his heart, and lifting his eyes to the window in the most languishing manner began:

"Come, come to me, love,
Come, love, arise—
And shame the bright stars
With the light of thine eyes,
Look out from thy lattice,
O lady—"

"Very well sung, most tender swain—what a pity Mildred and myself by our too early rising lost the melting expression of those upturned orbs!" cried Helen, issuing with her cousin from a thicket of rose-bushes. "So you thought us still sleeping, slanderers, when we have already brushed the dew from the lawn, and look here," (showering down a quantity of early violets,) "see what we stole from Flora while you two were sleeping."

A few moments were spent in playful badinage, and then the happy party strolled off in the direction of the dell. But, alas! like many of our brightest hopes this morn which dawned so blissfully was destined to end in sorrow! Upon the return of the party to the Hall, Sir Hugh with a sorrowful countenance placed in the hands of Mildred a package of letters. She grew pale as she read, and ere she had finished burst into tears, and handing the package to Sir Hugh fled to her chamber. Those letters contained the mandate for her return to Jamaica. That very week she must leave Norcross Hall, its beloved inmates, and all the delightful scenes of her childhood, and hasten to London, to join a family who were about returning to the island, and to whose charge her grandfather had consigned her.

The grief which filled all hearts at this dreaded separation may easily be imagined. Rupert was nearly crazy at the thought. He now felt how dear[304] Mildred was to him, and that to part with her was like rending soul and body. But certain that his love would meet the sanction of his parents, knowing how tenderly they regarded her, he hastened to make known his feelings to them, and to entreat that he might accompany Mildred to Jamaica, and demand the consent of her friends to their union.

"No, my dear son," said Sir Hugh, "Mildred is yet very young—of the world she knows little, and it would be cruel to shackle her with ties which she may in time be brought to abhor, nor would it be doing justice to her friends to bind down her affections to us alone. Leave her free, Rupert; if she loves you, that love will not diminish by absence, and I promise you that in due time you shall be allowed to prosecute your suit in the presence of her mother, and should you be so fortunate as to win a bride so lovely, your parents' hearts will welcome her with joy."

How coldly his father reasoned thought the ardent young lover, but accustomed to yield all deference to his wishes, he consented that Mildred should depart without knowing how necessary her love was to his happiness.

Both Sir Hugh and Rupert accompanied her to London, and saw her safely on board her majesty's ship the Essex, bound for Jamaica.


Leaving Mildred to pursue her voyage we will see what preparations were already making for her return by Mr. Donaldson.

This gentleman was by no means as rich as many supposed him to be. His plantations were valuable, and located advantageously, but whether from mismanagement, or from circumstances beyond his control, for several years his affairs had become greatly involved, and he had only been saved from absolute ruin through the scheming friendship of a Spaniard named Perozzi—a man whose cunning was as deep as his own, and who by advancing large sums from time to time, only sought to entangle his victim in such a snare as should secure him in the end his valuable possessions. Pride prevented Mr. Donaldson from applying to Mr. Dundass—every year matters grew worse, until finally he felt himself to be completely in the power of Perozzi, who had even begun to threaten loudly, and talk of distraining. It was at this critical juncture that Mr. Dundass declared his intention of sending for Mildred Ward. A project now suddenly suggested itself to Mr. Donaldson which promised to relieve him from his difficulties, and which he seized upon in his selfishness with as little conscience as the highwayman who robs you of life in order to obtain your purse.

Mounting his mule he one morning rode over to the "Pen" of Perozzi, some few miles farther down the valley. He was received rather coolly.

"Your timely visit has saved me a ride this morning, Donaldson," said the Spaniard. "I have an imperative necessity for my money, or at least for a part of it."

"My dear fellow, the very thing I have come to talk about!" said Donaldson.

"Corambre—to talk about! It must be something more than talk—words will not answer my purpose," replied Perozzi, his sharp black eye glittering with hate. "I tell you money I must have—money I will have, or—"

"Good God, Perozzi, don't drive me to desperation. You know I cannot pay you a single piastre! Only wait until I receive my return sales from England, and I swear to you you shall receive your last farthing!"

"Holy Mother Mary! your return sales from England!" exclaimed the other, in a tone of cutting sarcasm. "In what manner of vessel must those same returns be coming, for, if my memory serves me, Columbus discovered a new world in less time than this same richly-freighted caravela has been crossing the Atlantic—this has been your answer for twice a twelvemonth. And now," he continued, suddenly altering his tone, and striding to the side of his victim, "there must be an end of this—either pay me what you owe me, or give me a quit claim to the Cascade, for which you have already received from me more than its value."

"By heavens, Perozzi!" cried Mr. Donaldson, turning pale with anger and mortification, "this is more than I can bear even from you; but come," he added, suddenly forcing a laugh, "it was to see you upon a more pleasing errand I came here."

"Corambre!" whistled through the teeth of the Spaniard.

"Hark ye, Perozzi; what would you say if I could this moment promise to place you in possession of one hundred thousand dollars and—a wife?"

"Say! why that the Devil helped you to cajole, and then deserted you at the pinch, as he always does!" replied Perozzi.

"No cajolery about it, as you shall find," answered Mr. Donaldson. "But come, let us sit—by your leave I'll taste your wine; your health, signor, and" (turning out a second glass) "here is another to Madame Perozzi—ha-ha-ha! There—now," said he, setting down his glass with a force which nearly shivered it, "listen to me. You know that Mrs. Donaldson, by her first husband, had one daughter, Mildred Ward, who is at this moment on her return from England, whither she was sent at an early age for her education. She is now, by the bye, seventeen, and, as report informs us, extremely beautiful and accomplished. Now what think you, Perozzi, of the charming Mildred for a wife?"

"I want money—no wife!" moodily replied Perozzi, draining a third glass.

"Precisely—money," answered the other; "and that is what the fair hand of Mildred tenders you."

"One hundred thousand dollars, did you say, Donaldson?" said the Spaniard, with a searching gaze.

"I did. Fifty thousand with the wedding-ring, and the balance when the old man, her grandfather, dies."

Excellent, by the Virgin!—ha-ha-ha! No one can[305] dispute your skill in diplomacy; but methinks it would be well to know by what method you propose to bring about a "consummation so devoutly to be wished," said Perozzi, with a sneer.

"Leave that to me; only act with me, and Mildred Ward becomes your wife just so certain as I now drink to you—your health, signor."

"And, pray, allow me to ask," said Perozzi, "what benefit you expect to reap from such unparalleled generosity—it cannot surely be out of pure love to me that you thus

"Buckle fortune on my back
To bear her burthen whether I will or no!"

"You are right," answered Mr. Donaldson, dropping the servile tone in which he had before spoken, "you are right—it is from no love to you; my object is this. You know as well as I do the utter impracticability of my refunding any part of the money I owe you at present. True, you may seize my estates, but this I think you will hardly do in preference to the plan I propose; it would be at best but a vexatious affair, while by accepting my proposition you secure not only an equivalent for your debt, but also the hand of a charming young girl."

"Well, well, to the point," interrupted the Spaniard, impatiently.

"It is simply this; give me your written promise to release me from all obligation, return me whatever notes you hold against me, and I on my part pledge to you the hand and fortune of my step-daughter."

Perozzi remained for some moments in deep revery, as if studying the feasibility of the proposed plan. "I have half a mind to try it," he mused; "it may do—the connection will be a good one. Old Dundass is as rich as a Jew, and a man of great influence; while on the other hand, should the project fail, I shall be no worse off than now, unless an earthquake should swallow up the estates from my grasp."

"There is one contingency which seems to have entirely escaped your forecast," he exclaimed aloud, turning to Mr. Donaldson, "the lady may not be of your way of thinking—she may prove refractory."

"Leave that to me," was the reply.

"I may not fancy her."

"Nor the money?" added Mr. Donaldson, with a meaning smile.

"Ah, there, I grant, you have me. Well, well, I am willing to talk the matter over with you a little more freely. Miss Ward is handsome, you say?"

"As a Houri."

"And young?"

"Scarce seventeen."

"Very well—now to business."

But we have already entered into sufficient detail of the conversation of these two men to show the reader in what peril poor Mildred stood from their machinations. It is enough to say that ere they parted, Perozzi pledged his word that, should their plot succeed, he would, on his marriage-day, place in the hands of Mr. Donaldson a quit claim to every demand he held against him.


How beautiful was Mildred as she sprung to meet the embrace of her old grandfather; and how fondly did the old man gaze upon his recovered treasure, almost incredulous that this lovely girl could be the same little pet, whose infantine gambols and artless caresses time had not been able to efface from his mind.

The style of Mildred's beauty was, indeed, most captivating and piquant. To a form of perfect symmetry and airy grace was added a countenance beaming with intellect and vivacity. Her complexion was of the same dazzling fairness as her mother's, but her eyes were of a deep-gray, sparkling beneath the most delicately penciled brows, and her hair of that dark, glossy chestnut, flecked as it were with sunbeams, whose peculiar tint painters so much love to catch. A small, rosy mouth, and white, regular teeth, which in her innocent vivacity were often displayed, completes the picture of Mildred's charms.

After spending a few days at Mount Dundass she took leave of her grandfather, and under the escort of Mr. Donaldson, who had hastened thither for the purpose, departed for the Cascade, impatient to behold her mother, in whose love she trusted to find a recompense for the pain which parting with her dear friends at Norcross Hall had caused. And for a few weeks all went happily. The sight of her innocent, beautiful child banished for a time from the heart of Mrs. Donaldson that unnatural jealousy her husband had awakened. Mr. Donaldson, for his own selfish purposes, strove by every attention and kindness to win her esteem and confidence, while Mildred on her part delighted with and reciprocating her mother's affection, gratified by the interest her step-father expressed for her, and perfectly enchanted with the novel and beautiful scenery, threw off all her sadness—linking the past with the present, not regretful or sorrowful, but as one continued scene of love and happiness, for which her heart rose in gratitude to her Maker that he had conferred upon her so many rich blessings.

How often did she wish that Rupert and Helen could share with her this West India paradise. The climate so bland and delicious—soft, balmy airs by day, and nights of unclouded loveliness; the beautiful undulating scenery of hill and valley stretching far away into the dim haze of ocean—hills from whose summits towered the magnificent cabbage-palm, its immense plume-like leaves waving like the crest of some gigantic warrior above the band of palms crowding around, bending their graceful heads to this their chief; valleys of luxuriant beauty, studded with groves of the aromatic pimento, whose pure white blossoms seem like snow-flakes just fallen amid their dark, glossy foliage, while at intervals clumps of magnolia, resting on a carpet of bright verdure sprinkled with flowers, and their trunks garlanded with the gay passa-flora, arrested the eye. From those beautiful hill-sides silvery cascades came leaping and dancing down into the rich valleys, then twining their lovely arms through this charming[306] landscape, as if they would fain bear off its beauties to the broad ocean, whither they are gliding.

In the meantime, you may be sure, Perozzi made his appearance at the Cascade, where, under some slight pretext, he soon became almost domesticated, merely riding over to the Pen at intervals of two or three days. To Mildred there was something extremely repulsive in his appearance, and she could not but feel amazed at the influence he seemed to exercise over her parents, and the deference with which they treated him. She little dreamed of the power he would soon exert against her happiness—just as over those luxuriant valleys, whose smiling beauty I have but imperfectly sketched, the whirl-wind comes rushing in terrible might, scattering ruin and devastation around, did the tempest burst over the head of Mildred, changing all the brightness of her young life to darkness. Perozzi needed no other impetus than the sight of Mildred's beauty to render him as eager to push forward the plot in agitation as Mr. Donaldson, and in accordance his attentions to her assumed a direct and positive form. She, however, had not the most remote suspicion of his intentions. How great, then, was her surprise when one day Perozzi made her a formal offer of his hand, assuring her at the same time that he did so with the consent and approbation of her parents and her grandfather. Mildred could hardly credit her senses, that Perozzi, a man as old as her step-father, should think of a mere child like herself for a wife, seemed very strange, but that her friends should also approve of such a match, stranger still.

"My dearest Mildred, what have you done!" cried Mrs. Donaldson, meeting her daughter a few hours after. "Can it be possible you have refused Signor Perozzi?"

"Dear mamma, you surely do not think I could do otherwise than refuse him!" replied Mildred, surprised at her mother's manner.

"And why not, Mildred? Would it not be a most eligible match for you—why he is not only very rich, but will probably soon succeed to a title."

"Riches and titles can never make happiness, mamma."

"But they conduce greatly to its maintainance, Mildred."

"O, no, mamma, not if attached to such a disagreeable person as the signor."

"Disagreeable! Mildred, you surprise me—pray what can be your objections?"

"Indeed, they are so numerous, that the repetition would only be tiresome," replied Mildred, smiling. "But you are surely laughing at me; you did not really suppose, now did you, that I could love such a man?"

"I did suppose you had more sense, Mildred, than to refuse him," replied Mrs. Donaldson. "I can only say your decision has deeply grieved both Mr. Donaldson and myself; yet we regret it more for the disappointment it will cause your grandfather, for to see you the wife of Perozzi has long been his most cherished wish."

"Can it be!" cried Mildred. "Can it be that my grandfather, my kind grandfather, would have me marry Perozzi—is it so, mamma?"

"It is, Mildred."

"Now, indeed, am I most unhappy," cried Mildred, bursting into tears, "for it can never, never be!"

"My sweet child, I am sorry to see you so grieved!" said Mrs. Donaldson. "It must be painful, I know, for you to distress your excellent old grandfather, who loves you so truly, and has ever treated you with such generosity; but perhaps your decision has been too hasty—it is not too late; reconsider the subject, Mildred, and perhaps you will conclude differently."

"No, mamma, my resolution is unalterable!"

"Let me at least soften your refusal to poor Perozzi—indeed, he is quite overwhelmed with despair; let me bid him hope that in time you may be brought to listen more favorably to his suit."

"O, not for worlds, mamma—not for worlds!"

"Well, well, my dear, you are strangely agitated. There, go—retire to your chamber, and compose yourself, my love;" and affectionately kissing her daughter, Mrs. Donaldson repaired to the library, where her husband and Perozzi were awaiting the result of this interview.

Had Mrs. Donaldson forgotten her own youth?

From that day Mildred was the object of ceaseless persecution. Go where she would, there was Perozzi ever at her side, to annoy her with his odious attentions; walking or riding, he intruded himself upon her; no room in the house seemed sacred from his approach; and even when she retired to her own apartment, he either stationed himself beneath her window, or stood at her door, ready to greet her with his hateful smile as she issued forth. Constantly, too, was he urging his suit, while her repeated refusals, her cold words, and still colder looks, might as well have been spent upon a rock—for a rock could not be more impressionless to their meaning. The persecution she underwent from the odious Perozzi, had, perhaps, revealed to her the true nature of her regard for Rupert, and in so doing, brought also the pleasing consciousness that she was beloved even as she loved him. How aggravating, then, her situation. Daily her life grew more wretched, nor had she even the consolation of sympathy. With a yearning heart did she now recall the happy days at Norcross Hall, rendered by contrast still more dear. "O!" she cried, in her anguish, "could I but once more rest in their loving arms, what power could tear me thence! Dearest Helen! Dearest Rupert, come to me! O, hasten thither and rescue me from this horrible thraldom!"

But months passed in sorrow; there came no letters from England—nothing to cheer up her fainting heart, and finally, Mildred, the once gay, happy Mildred, sunk into a state of utter despondency.


"Hist—hist, Pedro!" and a tall, swarthy Creole, obeying the finger of Perozzi, glided stealthily behind a large tree, where stood the Spaniard, both screened[307] from observation by the thick drapery of ferns and parasitic plants clinging around its trunk. Eyeing the man keenly, Perozzi said, in a low tone,

"Hark-ye, Pedro! I have a job for you; here are thirty pistoles as an earnest, and when it is finished, you shall receive thirty more."

"By St. Jago, signor! I am ready—what is it? This?" touching the handle of his knife.

"Corambre, knave! No. Listen to me. Do you see yonder mansion, with the green verandas stretching itself out on the hill-side like an anaconda at play?"

"The Scotchman's—Donaldson's?"

"The same. Now look, and tell me what you see at the open jalousie on the right, that is, if you can see through the heavy screen of jessamines which droop over it."

"Ho, ho! I have eyes at any time for a pretty girl, signor; she is an angel, that fair English girl!"

"Very well—you know her, then. Now do you remember the thick pimento walk between this and the hospital?"

"Si, signor."

"Now, Pedro, hasten thither, and conceal yourself. This fair Signora will soon pass that way. Now mind me, knave, when she reaches the middle of the grove, do you rush suddenly upon her—seize her in your arms, and—"

"Ho-ho! a pleasant job, signor!"

"Peace, knave! Seize her, I tell you, and draw your knife, as if about to plunge it in her white bosom. Now, mark me, at that moment I rush upon you and rescue the lady—do you understand?"

"Si, signor; but will your honor please to remember I am but flesh and blood—don't strike more than skin deep, signor."

"Tush, knave! and remember—no violence; by the Holy Mother! if you so much as breathe upon a hair of her head, you taste my dagger!"

"Ho-ho, signor! methinks to snatch a kiss from her sweet lips would be worth more than a thousand pistoles."

"Villain, to your work!"

"Ho-ho! a pleasant job, signor—a pleasant job!" And with a hideous leer, the lesser villain parted from the greater, and concealing himself within the deep shadows of the grove, awaited the coming of Mildred.

It was not long ere, little suspecting the terrible scene which she was to encounter, Mildred set forth en route to the hospital, to visit an old faithful female slave. This was a favorite walk, and soothed by the quiet of the scene, she lingered long in its delightful depths. As her foot pressed the summit of a gentle slope, enameled with many-colored flowers, and over which frown the blood-tinged foliage of a stately mahogany-tree, pendent garlands of the passion-flower, and delicate white jasmine swung in the soft breeze, she paused for a moment, as if to prolong this happy reprieve from the presence of the Spaniard.

Suddenly, the wretch, Pedro, sprung in her path, and while with one hand he seized the trembling girl, with the other he drew his stiletto, and muttering a horrible oath, raised it as if about to strike at her innocent bosom. Mildred did not scream, she did not faint, but he eyes closed, and all power of speech and motion seemed paralized. But the threatened blow was arrested; a violent struggle ensued, during which she was clasped still more tightly to the breast of the ruffian, who seemed to be defending himself from some superior arm. Oaths and curses mingled with the clash of weapons; she was dragged, as it were, several paces through the grove, and then, after another struggle, she felt the arm of the assassin relax its grasp—she was caught to the breast of her deliverer, and then placed gently on the soft turf.

"Mildred—my angel—my life—O, speak to me!"

That voice! Mildred knew its hateful tones; and a cold shudder crept through her frame, as if some venomous reptile had touched her, as she felt the villains lips press her brow. Recoiling, she slowly opened her eyes.

"Thank God!" exclaimed Perozzi, "you are restored to me. Holy Virgin! can it be—so near death, and yet living and unhurt, I now hold you in my arms! O, blessed moment, when love guided me hither!"

"I owe you my life, signor," said Mildred, freeing herself from his embrace, "but it is a thankless boon; methinks death would have been sweeter! Leave me—I am better—I am well—leave me, signor!"

"Sweet angel! leave thee—leave thee thus exposed to new dangers! No—lean on me, my beloved—let me guide your trembling steps!" and he passed his arm around her.

"Away!" cried Mildred, springing from him. "Away! touch me not! Monster—fiend! I hate you! Begone from my sight forever, or, in mercy, kill me!"

Perozzi became livid with rage, and his eye-balls gleamed like fire in the deepening shadows, as they rested on Mildred, never more beautiful than as she now stood before him in all the majesty of outraged purity. But masking the hell in his heart with a well-feigned air of desperation, he fell on his knees before her.

"Would that the assassin's knife had reached my heart!" he exclaimed. "Better for me to die than endure your scorn. Yes, die! By heavens! why not end this miserable existence—here—yes, here, at your feet, cruel Mildred! It shall be done!" and drawing a pistol from his breast, he placed the muzzle to his temple.

"Hold—hold—for God's sake, miserable man, hold!" shrieked Mildred, springing forward.

It was too late—the pistol exploded.

"Ha—ha—ha!" shouted Perozzi, wiping his blackened brows, "that was well done!" And raising the now senseless girl in his arms he bore her to the house.

When, after a long and death-like swoon, Mildred opened her eyes they rested upon the anxious countenances of her mother and Mr. Donaldson bending over her couch.[308]

"Where am I?" she cried, starting up wildly—"how came I here—what has happened? Ah, now I remember—or was it some dreadful dream?" She pressed her hand to her forehead—"no, no, it was no dream—tell me," she added, with a convulsive shudder, closing her eyes as if to shut out some horrible vision, "is he dead—is Perozzi dead?"

"Compose yourself, my dear Mildred," replied Mrs. Donaldson, "he lives—fortunately the ball but slightly grazed his temple—yet, my child, such is his despair—to such a state of frenzy has your cruelty brought him, that we dare not trust him alone even for a moment, lest he once more attempt to end his misery by self-destruction."

A heart-rending groan was the poor girl's only answer.

"Mildred, my daughter," said Mr. Donaldson, "I had decided to say no more to you upon a subject so painful, but duty to my friend compels me to make one more appeal to your compassion. Can I stand calmly by and witness the wreck which despair has wrought in that beloved friend—can I behold him resolutely rushing upon death to end his misery and not speak! O, Mildred," falling on his knees, "save him—for you can—Mildred, behold me thus imploring your pity for Perozzi!"

Mildred burst into tears, and placed her hand within that of Mr. Donaldson.

"You will relent, my sweet child, will you not?" said her mother, throwing her arms around her—"yes, you will, and make us all happy—see," she added, drawing a letter from her bosom, "here is a letter from my beloved father—let his words plead with ours—shall I read?" Mildred assented, and breaking the seal Mrs. Donaldson continued:

"Mildred,—You have refused compliance with the fondest wish of my heart—you have obstinately cast from you the man of all others I wished to see your husband! Henceforth I renounce you. I loved you, my child, (as I now for the last time call you,) I have loved you from your infancy—to you I looked as my greatest earthly blessing—but it is all over—we never meet again! Yet, cruel, ungrateful girl, I will not doom you to a life of hardship and dependence. The fortune settled upon you is still yours. Take it, Mildred, and enjoy it if you can, knowing that you have broken the heart of your old doting grandfather,

Archibald Dundass."

As Mrs. Donaldson concluded, Mildred sobbed aloud. These reproaches, mingled with so much kindness, almost broke her heart.

"Give me the letter," said she, extending her trembling hand, and once more she tearfully perused it, while a glance of triumph was exchanged between husband and wife. The look of agony which Mildred cast upon them as she finished reading would have melted a heart of stone. Mrs. Donaldson burst into tears, and even the lip of her husband quivered with agitation.

"My God, pity me!" cried Mildred, clasping her hands and raising her eyes to heaven. Once more she turned them on her mother. "Mother, do not weep—I—O God—I—consent!" And as if with those dreadful words her pure spirit had fled, she fell back cold and rigid as marble upon the pillow.


Let the silence of despair rest upon the sufferings of the unhappy Mildred after those fatal words had passed her lips.

Among other artful devices agreed upon between Mr. Donaldson and Perozzi, previous to Mildred's return, was that of keeping her entirely secluded from society, lest some other suitor might wrest the hand of the doomed girl from him. But now that a consent to their infernal measures had been torn from her, it was resolved that a magnificent fête should mark the début of the affianced bride. The evening previous to the wedding was the time fixed upon for this important event, and accordingly invitations were immediately issued for a grand bal masqué, including the governor's family, together with all the élite of the island.

For weeks all was hurry and confusion at the Cascade—artisans of many trades were busily engaged pulling down and putting up—the drawing-rooms—the halls—verandas, all newly decorated—in fact, the whole establishment, through the purse of Perozzi and the good taste of Mrs. Donaldson, completely revolutionized. Mildred in the meanwhile remained in strict seclusion in her apartment, unless dragged thence by the importunities of the Spaniard, so sad, so perfectly overwhelmed with the wretchedness of her lot, that it seemed most probable death might claim the young bride ere the day of sacrifice came. In vain her mother strove to interest her in the gay proceedings—entreating she would at least choose a costume for her expected début.

"Do with me as you will, mother," Mildred would reply, with a faint smile.

In the sleeping-room of Mrs. Donaldson there hung a portrait of a beautiful Turkish maiden. This picture was a favorite with Mildred, and it occurred to Mrs. Donaldson that a similar costume would well become the style of her daughter's beauty. A careful examination of her own and Mildred's ward-robe convinced her the thing could be done, and she set herself diligently to prepare the dress—Mildred passively obeying her directions.

At length all was finished, and in its swift course Time brought round the appointed evening for the début of the wretched Mildred, so soon to become a more wretched wife. At an early hour those guests who resided at a distance began to arrive, and after partaking of the grateful refreshments provided for them were conducted to their dressing-rooms, to prepare for the festivities of the evening—all being expected to appear en masqué.

Mrs. Donaldson, the still handsome mistress of the fête, wore a splendid dress of the tartan, in compliment to the Scottish tastes of her husband, who himself appeared in the costume of a Highland Chief, and had already entered the drawing-room, in readiness to welcome the gay throng. The victim, too, was ready. Passive as a lamb in the hands of the[309] destroyer, she had suffered her mother and her maid to array her, and now sat like some marbled image, awaiting the coming of Perozzi to lead her forth.

How lovely she was, nor yet casting one look to the mirror wherein her exquisite form and beautiful face were reflected. The robe her mother had chosen was the same as the picture, of a pale rose color, floating like a summer cloud around her lovely person, and confined to her waist by a broad girdle of white satin, wrought with gold and clasped by a superb diamond. The sleeves of the same airy fabric as the caftan were long and loose, revealing in their transparency the fine contour of her snowy arm, and were ornamented upon the shoulders and around the graceful fold of the outer edge with rich embroidery seeded with pearls. The caftan was slightly open at the bust, displaying an under vest of thin white gauze gathered in maidenly modesty over her lovely bosom, and fastened by a magnificent cluster of diamonds and rubies. A talpec, or head-dress, of white velvet, around which were wound two rows of the finest pearls, was placed low on her pale brow, from which her beautiful hair fell in long natural ringlets, looped here and there with sprigs of the white jasmine and orange buds.

Gently the wind swayed the orange boughs, and creeping through the flowery links of the jessamine and passa-flora, kissed the pale cheek of Mildred as she sat there in her misery—twilight stole on with saddened step, and from out the cloudless heavens one by one the stars looked down upon her wretchedness. Then over the distant mountains rose up the full-orbed moon, bathing their summits with gladness and flooding the valleys with calm and holy light. On she came, majestic and serene, o'er her glorious path, and as her mild beams quivered through the thick clustering blossoms around the window they touched the heart of Mildred as the smile of angels. Throwing open the jalousie she stepped into the veranda, and leaning over the balustrade gazed upon the peaceful landscape stretching before her in all the chastened loveliness of the moonlight.

There was something in the scene which brought with it the "light of other days" to her sad heart. For a few brief moments she was happy—present sorrows lost themselves in past pleasures. Once more upon the ivy-clad battlements of Norcross Hall she was standing with Helen and Rupert, while the scene upon which the moon looked down identified itself with the woods and dells of that beloved spot. Her bright dream was brief—the voice of Perozzi in loud and angry altercation with some one awoke her too rudely to her misery.

"O, Rupert!" she exclaimed, clasping her hands in agony as she turned to re-enter her chamber—"Rupert, farewell—farewell forever!"

"Dearest Mildred!" cried a voice whose tones leaped into her heart with a strange thrill of joy—"dearest Mildred!"

Did she still dream—or was it indeed Rupert to whose breast she was now folded with a bliss too great for words!

"Thank God, Rupert, you have come!" cried Mildred.

"Mildred," said Rupert, (for it was indeed Rupert,) "what mean these tears? Are you not happy—this marriage—"

"A—h!" shrieked Mildred, clinging to him as though the basilisk hand of Perozzi were already upon her, "save me—save me, Rupert!"

"Save you! dearest, beloved Mildred—tell me—tell me quick—this marriage—is it not your own choice?"

"O no, no, no!" sobbed Mildred.

"Then no power on earth shall compel you to it! You are mine—mine, dearest Mildred!" and clasping her once more in his arms, Rupert kissed the tears from her beautiful eyes, as full of hope and love they met his beaming gaze.

"But my grandfather!" she cried, starting up.

"He is here, dear girl."

"Here! then lead me to him quickly—let me implore him to have pity upon me!"

The arrival of Mr. Dundass upon the scene was wholly unlooked for by Mr. Donaldson—need we say as wholly unwelcome. Guilt and fear paled his cheek and almost palsied his tongue as his lips feigned a welcome—nor was Perozzi less moved. To define the feelings of Mrs. Donaldson would be difficult. Her love for her daughter had been held in complete subjugation to the will of her husband, and while she grieved deeply for the sorrows heaped upon her, her love and fear of Mr. Donaldson, and her knowledge of his pecuniary distress caused her at the same time to exert all her influence to rivet the chain around poor Mildred—so strange is human nature! What then was to be the result of her father's unexpected visit—was it freedom for Mildred—was it to heap disgrace upon her husband?

In the mean time Mr. Dundass had been shown to a private room in a remote wing of the building, while Mr. Donaldson and Perozzi were already planning new schemes. They resolved that Mildred should be kept in ignorance of her grandfather's arrival as long as possible—of Rupert's they themselves knew nothing—and that on no account should she be allowed to speak with him privately. The marriage should take place at an early hour the following morning—that consummated they would defy even the devil himself!

Mr. Dundass was sitting sad and sorrowful in the apartment to which he had been conducted, for this marriage filled him with grief, wondering that Mildred did not appear to welcome him, or that Rupert did not return, when the door suddenly opened and Mildred rushed in, and falling at his feet exclaimed:

"O dearest, dearest grandfather, pity me—O sacrifice me not to Perozzi!"

"Sacrifice you, my darling child! Come to my arms—what mean you—sacrifice—I thought it was your happiness I was securing by consenting to your union."

"Happiness! O grandfather—rather my misery!"

"What does this mean?" exclaimed Mr. Dundass. "There must be treachery somewhere! God knows[310] how it has grieved my heart to think of your union with that man—I know him to be a villain, and when repeatedly urged to consent to the marriage, I as repeatedly refused, until your own letter—"

"My letter—good heavens!" exclaimed Mildred.

"Written in the most moving language, at length won my reluctant consent!"

All was now explained, and the villainy of Mr. Donaldson and his coadjutor made clear.

"Courage, courage, my darling," said Mr. Dundass, "come with me. Come, Rupert, I will 'beard the lion in his den,' and make known this infamous plot—come."

"My mother—spare her, dear grandfather—forgive them all—I am happy now—let us not mar the pleasure of the guests," interceded Mildred.

"You say right, my child—to-morrow will be soon enough. But come with me, children—let us join the gay assembly—nay, fear not, Mildred. Perozzi, the villain, he shall not dare even to look upon you!"

Now strains of delicious music filled the air—lights gleamed—jewels flashed—feathers waved, and on every side the merry laugh and gay badinage met the ear from prince and beggar—wild roving gipsy and sombre nun—knights in armor—minstrels—flower-girls—jugglers and staid Quakers, as in confused mélée they swept through the rooms—yet all stood aside in silent admiration as the lovely Mildred Ward in her graceful Turkish costume, her face beaming with happiness, entered the saloon leaning on the arm of her gray-haired sire.

Muttering curses through his closed visor, Perozzi (who was dressed as a knight of Old Castile) hastily left the scene. He had sought Mildred in her chamber—she was not there, and well did his guilty fears surmise where she might be found. One glance at her speaking countenance was enough. He saw in a moment all was over—that the fiendish plot so near consummation was betrayed! With terrible oaths he mounted his mule, and plunging his spurs rowel-deep into the sides of the poor beast rushed, armed as he was, like some terrible demon through the peaceful moon-lit vale until he reached the Pen—vowing that on the morrow he would seize at once with the grip of a harpy upon the estates of Mr. Donaldson.

But here, too, he was foiled! Mr. Donaldson, it is true, did not deserve so much mercy, but when, like a penitent, he came before Mr. Dundass and confessed his crime, the heart of the old man was moved to pity. He generously advanced the necessary funds, and wrenched the Cascade from the clutches of Perozzi. Touched by such unmerited goodness and generosity, Mr. Donaldson resolved to become a better man, and to repair by his future conduct the errors of the past.

At Mount Dundass, whither the whole family accompanied its venerable proprietor, Rupert received the hand of the happy Mildred, and after the death of Mr. Dundass, which took place only a few months later, took his beautiful young bride to England.



The glorious queen of heaven who flings
Her royal radiance round me now,
As with clasped hands and upturned brow
I watch her pathway fair and free,
Is not so silvery with the light
She pours o'er darkened earth to-night,
As in the gentle thoughts she brings
Of thee, dear love, of thee!
The night-wind trembling round the rose—
The starlight floating on the river,
The fearful aspen's silvery shiver,
The dew-drop glistening on the lea,
Night's pure baptism to the flowers—
All, all bring back our dear, lost hours,
Till every heart-string thrills and glows
For thee, dear-love, for thee!
And when dawn wakes the Earth with song,
And Nature's heart, so hushed to-night,
Goes leaping in the morning light,—
While waves flash onward to the sea.
While perfumed dews to heaven arise—
While glory flashes o'er the skies—
Still through my soul shall sweet thoughts throng
Of thee, dear love, of thee!
Ah, thou beloved, whose heart hath thrilled
To blessed dreams and joys with mine,
What power shall change thy love divine,
Or shut its presence out from me!
Since all bright things, from flower to star,
Its types and sweet reminders are
To this fond heart, this soul so filled
With thee, dear love, with thee!
We part not, though we said adieu—
Since first thy thoughts chimed in with mine,
And from those glorious eyes of thine
A heaven of love looked down on me,
My very life round thine is poured—
Thy words within my soul I hoard—
Still true, in every heart-throb true
To thee, dear love, to thee!






"There's many an 'o'er true' tale, coz,
That comes to the listening ear,
That makes the cheek turn pale, coz,
And brings the glistening tear."

During the last summer, Mary mine, I was one of a party of friends, who, tired of the bustle and confusion of the busy city, resolved to lay aside business and all other engagements, for the brief space of one day, which was to be devoted to a picknick in some retired country location. The destined spot for our intended fête was, after considerable consultation, at length decided upon, and we unanimously agreed to spend the day in a pleasant woods in the neighborhood of New Brighton.

It was upon a balmy June morning, when, with light hearts, but heavier baskets, laden with provisions, sun-bonnets, books, music, and sundry et cæteras indispensable upon such an occasion, we found ourselves snugly ensconced upon the deck of one of those spacious steamboats which hourly wend their way toward the sunny shores for which we were bound; and after an exhilarating sail of half an hour's duration, we landed at Snug Harbor, and proceeded toward our place of destination, which was situated about ten minutes' walk distant.

It was to the Sailor's woods that our steps were bent on the morning of our picknick. Sauntering slowly through a shady lane we first passed the great gate leading to the Sailor's Snug Harbor, an institution which, as you doubtless know, Cousin Mary, was, through the munificence of a certain private individual, erected some years since as a place of refuge and repose to the weary, wayworn seaman. Walking a short distance beyond these stately buildings, we found ourselves within "the deep solitudes of the leafy wood."

How shall I describe to you, gentle coz, that dear old woods, as on that eventful day its beauties and wonders first greeted my gaze? We had not advanced far within its recesses, when a welcome sound fell upon our ears, and in a moment more

"The flashing ray
Of joyous waters in their play,"

came gladly upon our sight. A laughing little streamlet rose before us, its bright waters rippling and dancing, and here and there illuminated by a stray sunbeam that stole softly and faintly through the thick foliage of the sturdy old trees above. The brook was narrow, and one could have crossed it almost at a bound; but there was no necessity for the exertion, for glancing but a few yards ahead, we beheld a rustic bridge, which, on nearer approach, proved to be of cedar, and was ornamented with a sofa of the same material.

Upon this rude couch we rested awhile till our friend C——, whom we had elected master of ceremonies, went forward to take a more extended survey of the woods and its surroundings. In a few minutes we heard a loud and very expressive halloo from our absent companion, and looking about to find whence the sound proceeded, we beheld him standing upon a stone-fence at some distance, and beckoning us to hasten immediately to his side. The mandate was obeyed, and after a scramble over the stones, we succeeded in mounting the desired eminence, when a pleasant sight met our delighted visions. The waters of the brook were here so managed as to form two sylvan lakes, divided from each other by a bridge similar to the one previously mentioned. The borders of these lakes, through one of which glided two stately swans, were supplied with seats formed of cedar wood, and so arranged as to resemble lounges, tête-à-têtes, and arm-chairs, whose appearance seemed to invite repose. And here we would fain have lingered, but asserting that he had something to show us in another direction, C—— bade us follow him a few steps farther.

Descending from our elevation, and roaming through a shadowed path, we at last halted at the door of a diminutive and picturesque-looking cottage, within which, to our astonishment, was a table, round which were ranged seats more than sufficient for our number. In no measured terms did we now express our surprise and delight at thus finding in the very heart of the wilderness accommodations so necessary, wondering at the same time whether the fairies had not been there before us to provide every thing for our convenience.

Beside the door of this rustic dwelling an old man, evidently nearing the allotted "three score and ten," was seated upon a rude bench, busily engaged weaving a small and dainty-looking basket. He was dressed in a sailor's garb, but there was an indescribable something in his appearance, betraying that he did not belong to the lowest rank of seamen. There was a cloud of melancholy upon his countenance, and though the sounds of laughter and mirth were floating around him, he desisted not from his occupation, nor even once gazed into the bright faces[312] by which he was surrounded. Absorbed in his own meditations, he seemed not to heed nor care for aught else; and it was some time ere any of us presumed to address him. But after awhile C——, who was on every occasion the most venturesome of our group, approached the old man, and endeavored to lead him into conversation. He did not resist the attempt, and we now learned that the various adornments of the woods were entirely the handiwork of an aged sailor, to whose taste and ingenuity many a previous picknick party had owed the greater portion of its pleasures. He showed us a spring near by, where we regaled ourselves with a libation of the purest and coldest water, and told us of a fitting place for a dance, an even, grass-grown spot in another part of the woods. He also described to us a moss-house, which he said was located just below the opposite hill, informing us at the same time that it belonged to the estate of Mr. G——, one of New York's merchant-princes, who kindly and unselfishly left it free and open to the inspection of the curious, and wonder-loving community. And to this latter domain my friends now agreed to adjourn—but much to my regret, I was unable to accompany them. A severe headache, the usual result of excitement of any kind, was now exerting its influence over me; and I was confident, from experience, that my only way of soon getting rid of it would be by remaining where I was and keeping perfectly quiet. All of my friends expressed their sorrow at my sudden indisposition, and each one kindly offered to stay and bear me company; but unwilling to deprive them of any enjoyment, I declined their offers, alleging that I should not be altogether alone, as the old man whom we found there would doubtless continue where he was till their return. The sailor looked up as I spoke, and said that it was his intention to remain there for the rest of the morning, adding that he frequently passed the entire day in the woods. So, assured that I would not be actually solitary, they at last allowed themselves to be persuaded to go without me in search of the moss-house.

After watching their forms till they had quite receded from my view, I re-entered the arbor where the old sailor was still at work, and seated myself very comfortably in a rocking-chair. It was somewhat of an oddity, too, Mary—that rocking-chair; and though I had almost forgotten to mention the circumstance to you, the first discovery of such an article of furniture in the woods had been a source of infinite amusement to my companions and myself. It was built of cedar, to correspond with the other various decorations of the woods, and though hewn of the roughest material, for ease and grace of motion, I might confidently challenge the drawing-room of a fashionable lady to produce its equal. Again, I say, it was an oddity—that rocking-chair. But the powers of my simple pen being scarcely adequate to a description of it, this being, as I have styled it, a true reminiscence, I would advise and invite you, dear Mary, if you wish to behold the rocker, and judge of its indescribable merits, to accompany me on the first summer's day you may have to spare, to the pleasantest and most romantic spot in the immediate vicinity of New York—the Sailor's Woods at Snug Harbor.

But to go on with my record. After enjoying for a space the easy lulling motion of this inimitable chair; and after bathing my head repeatedly in water from the woodland-spring, I began to feel considerably revived, while the pure air, and the stillness that reigned around, were of especial benefit to my aching temples. The pain gradually grew less and less tormenting, till at length it was no longer felt, and again I found myself watching the old sailor, who sat at a few paces from me weaving his pretty, delicate basket. Gathering courage, I entered into conversation with him. He had stated previously that his abode was at "the Harbor," so I now made some inquiries concerning that institution, its regulations, &c., and he very readily gave me all the requisite information.

"They must be very happy, are they not?" I asked, referring to the members of the institution of which we were speaking; "very happy and very thankful, too, to have had so pleasant a home provided for them in their old age?"

"They are generally contented," was the reply, "but there are many among their number who, having no fears for their earthly future, allow their minds to dwell too earnestly upon the past—and wo be to them, if one voice from the memories of bygone days comes back with reproachful accents!" He sighed heavily—and for some moments there was a pause. At length, raising his eyes hastily to mine, he said,

"Young lady—do you think that I am happy?"

The question was altogether so abrupt and unexpected, that I scarcely knew what to answer; but, after some little hesitation, I replied, "I do not, sir. There is too much of sadness in your countenance to speak of a mind quite at ease. I should think that you had known many sorrows."

"You are right," he rejoined, in a voice of emotion, "I have, indeed, borne the burden of many griefs; but, alas! I do not mourn them so much as the errors of a heart but for whose weakness they had never oppressed me. I know not what it is, young lady, that prompts me to confide to you my history. But, perchance, it may serve you as a warning—it may impress more strongly upon your mind that divine law of forgiveness inculcated by Him who pardons our trespasses, 'as we forgive those who trespass against us.' There is a passage in the 'Book of Books' that never fails to convey to me a reproof, for I remembered not the lesson till it was too late to profit by it. 'Then came one of his disciples unto him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee until seven times; but until seventy times seven.'"

Though somewhat surprised at the turn matters were taking, yet, as the speaker had paused, and was now apparently awaiting some token on my part of interest in his proposed narration, I, of course,[313] entreated him to proceed. Nor was he long in complying with my desire.

It was truly a touching story, dear Mary. I would, indeed, that I could "tell the tale as 'twas told to me." And yet I would not, if I possessed the power, portray the mournful accents of that old man's voice, and the sorrowing expression of his countenance—for the picture would make you weep. I may not attempt to recall the sketch in the language of the aged sailor, for that it would be utterly impossible to do; but I will strive to repeat it to you after my own peculiar fashion, and to the best of my ability. Could I boast your incomparable grace of diction, Mary, I might do full justice to my subject. But I know that with your accustomed kindness you will overlook the faults which I humbly trust that time and practice may enable me to overcome. So, having thus worthily delivered my preface, let me hasten at once to my task.

Some sixty years since, there dwelt in the city of Boston, a merchant by the name of Sydney—a man justly beloved and respected for benevolence of character, integrity of purpose and of principle, and envied by the worldly for the enormous income which enabled him to surround his family with every luxury that money could procure. Early in life he had married a beautiful girl, to whom he was tenderly devoted. A son, whose name was Arthur, and who, to come at once to the point, was the original narrator of this story, was the sole offspring of this happy union, and, as may be supposed, the pride and idol of his parents. They watched over him with the most untiring affection, and endeavored to instil into his young mind those firm and honorable principles which rendered their own lives so lovely. But at the age of ten years the hand of death deprived Arthur Sydney of his gentle mother, and daily he missed her counsels and her embrace, and most bitterly did he mourn for the footstep that was to come no more.

The loss of his wife was a stunning blow to Mr. Sydney. He never married again, for he had loved the departed one too well to think for an instant of supplying her place; and so four more years elapsed, and his child continued to be the only object of his cares. But at the termination of that period this good and just man was called to a mansion beyond the skies, doubtless there to claim the crown of immortality. And then Arthur was left alone in the wide world—a young and almost broken-hearted orphan.

Upon searching into Mr. Sydney's affairs soon after his decease, to the surprise of every one, instead of leaving his son in the possession of an immense estate, there was not quite sufficient to meet the demands of creditors. When Arthur Sydney became older, he could not help suspecting that there was some mystery about this, for strictly honest as he had ever known his father to be, he could not believe that he would ever have swerved thus from the path of right. What was in reality the cause of this deficiency, whether it was owing, as his son afterward thought, to the craft and fraud of his executors, can only be answered from the curtain of futurity.

The mansion where Arthur's early years had passed so happily, was now sold, with all its effects, and the lonely orphan took up his abode beneath the roof of an uncle. But, alas! it was not like the home he had lost—the dear hearth of his sunny childhood. His relative, Mr. Lindsay, was a far different being from his deceased parent, and though, like the latter, he lived in splendor, he knew not how to enjoy it. Devoid of that generosity of spirit which Mr. Sydney had possessed, he was also of a morose, exacting, and passionate nature, and his family, instead of hailing his presence with delight, shrunk from him ever with indifference, and sometimes with trembling. Governed by the law of fear instead of that of love, it was scarcely to be wondered at that his children resorted to every petty means of covering their faults, and were often guilty of deception and falsehood. Arthur Sydney's education had been widely different, and he despised the meannesses which his cousins practiced; but when he expostulated with them, as he frequently did, his words invariably drew upon himself a torrent of invectives. They taunted him with his dependence upon their father's charity, and asked what right a beggar had to preach to them; and then the youth's proud heart would swell within him, and he would rush to his own little room, and there, unseen, give full vent to his wounded feelings.

His eldest cousin, Alfred Lindsay, who was always foremost in every plan of mischief, and the most perfect adept in concealing the part he had taken in it, was a twelvemonth Arthur's senior. From earliest childhood the two had evinced a dislike to each other's society, and as they grew up, the feeling did not diminish. At school they had been rivals, and Arthur had now far outstripped Alfred in their course of study. In various other ways he had also quite unintentionally foiled his cousin's ambition; and he was convinced that at the first opportunity Alfred would have his revenge. Too soon was the fore-boding realized.

Mr. Lindsay one afternoon entered the room where his children generally spent their leisure hours, and with threatening looks announced that he had lost a ten dollar bank note. He had missed it under such circumstances that he was sure it must have been purloined by one of the younger members of his family; and he now declared his intention of searching both their persons and their apartments, that he might, if possible, discover the guilty one. Very pale were the young faces that now gathered round him; and though Arthur's heart was free from reproach, he, too, trembled with fear for the criminal. I need not dwell upon the details of that search, but suffice it to say that the bank-note was found—found in Arthur Sydney's apartment, within a little box that always stood upon his dressing-table as the honored receptacle of his parents' miniatures. Vainly did he assert his ignorance as to how it came there—his uncle refused to listen to his words, and loaded with passionate reproaches, he was dismissed to his own room, there to remain till he received permission to leave it.[314]

It was a long while ere the boy became sufficiently calm to reflect upon what had occurred, for the thought that he was accused of theft came with such bitterness to his soul that for several hours he was almost frantic. But as he grew more composed he became confident that this was the work of Alfred, and he remembered the triumphant leer that stood upon his cousin's countenance when the hiding-place of the missing note was proclaimed.

Just at this moment his meditations were disturbed by the sound of footsteps stealthily approaching his door, and the next instant it was opened, and Alfred Lindsay stood upon the threshold, gazing exultingly upon Arthur's misery, while a malicious smile wreathed his lips as pointing his finger exultingly at him, the single word, "thief!" fell upon the ear of his victim. Oh! how that undeserved epithet stung the innocent and sensitive boy; and, almost maddened by the sense of his injuries, he rushed toward the offender, impelled by but one thought—the wish for revenge. But, coward-like, Alfred fled from his approach, and then closing the door, and locking it, Arthur threw himself upon his couch in tearless, voiceless agony. It was not until the shades of evening had closed in that he roused himself from the stupor into which he had been thrown by those overpowering emotions. And now came a determination that he would no longer remain in his uncle's house, where he knew that he must ever after be subjected to the sneers and gibes of his cousins. He resolved to quit Mr. Lindsay's dwelling, though he knew not of any other roof where he might find a shelter for his aching head.

That night, when the unbroken stillness that reigned around gave assurance that the family had all retired to rest, Arthur Sydney stole softly down the stairs, and taking with him nothing but a small bundle of clothing, and the few treasured memorials of other days that he could lawfully call his own, he left forever the mansion of his uncle. And as he looked his last upon the home of Alfred Lindsay, there rose in his heart a wild, dark resolve, that if he ever possessed the power, his cousin should one day reap the fruits of his evil deed.

For hours the youth wandered listlessly through the now deserted streets of the city, till at last overcome with fatigue, and completely unnerved as the full sense of his desolate situation burst upon him, he seated himself near the edge of one of the wharves, and wept long and bitterly. Suddenly a hand was laid upon his shoulder, and a voice whose tones though rough were yet full of sympathy, inquired the cause of his grief, and looking hastily up, he beheld a man apparently about fifty years of age, and habited in a seaman's garb. Touched with his kindness, in the first impulse of the moment, Arthur gave him a brief account of his misfortunes. When he had concluded, much to his surprise, his listener informed him that he had known his father, who had, years before, rendered him an important service, in return for which, he said that he would now willingly do all in his power to serve the child of one to whom he was so deeply indebted. He told Arthur that he was at present commander of a large vessel lying close at hand, and which was to sail the following day for South America, and asked if he would be willing to accompany him, and learn to be a sailor like himself. The idea was a novel one, and the boy seized upon it with avidity, as beside being his only available means of obtaining life's necessaries, he knew that by embracing it he should lose the chance of meeting those relatives whom he cared no more to behold. And when he at once expressed his readiness to go, his new friend patted his head in token of approval, prophesied that he would prove a brave mariner, and then taking his young companion by the hand, led him toward the ship which was henceforth to be his abiding-place. The next day Arthur bade adieu to his native city, and commenced his career as a seamen. But upon the events of that career I have not time to linger. For years Captain Carter, for such was his patron's name, continued to treat his protegé with unremitting favor, sharing with him all the nautical knowledge he had acquired, and using every endeavor for his advancement. At the age of eight-and-twenty, through this kind friend's interest, Arthur was himself raised to the post of captain, and took possession of a packet-ship sailing between the ports of New York and Southampton. He had now attained the summit of his hopes, for a way was opened before him of obtaining, what had long been his desire, a competence, which would enable him to resume that station in life which his father had occupied, and of supplying also to his parent's creditors the sum of which they had been so strangely defrauded. And at the close of five more years he had the satisfaction of knowing that this latter purpose was accomplished.

It was about this period that an incident occurred which had a material influence over the future destiny of Arthur Sydney. During one of his voyages, accident revealed to his notice the wreck of what had once apparently been a noble vessel. He immediately despatched a boat with a portion of his crew to survey the ruins, and ascertain if any of the passengers survived. They returned, bringing with them the inanimate form of a lovely girl, seemingly not more than eighteen years old. Every effort was used for her speedy restoration to consciousness, but it was nearly two hours ere she opened her eyes, and then she was so weak as to be quite unable to move or speak. Her delicate frame was evidently exhausted by long fasting, and the fearful scenes she must have witnessed; and for the whole of that day Sydney watched beside her with feelings of the strongest sympathy for her sufferings. The next morning she was much better, she could recline in an easy chair, and had acquired sufficient strength to relate her history. She was a native of Italy—the youngest daughter of an ancient and noble family, whose father having been undeservedly regarded by the government with suspicion, was threatened with imprisonment, and had barely time to escape with his household on board of a ship bound for America. That vessel was the one whose wreck Captain Sydney had espied, and of the large number of souls[315] within it, who had departed but a few weeks before from Italia's sunny shores, but one remained—that gentle and helpless maiden. For three days she had continued upon the wreck without the slightest sustenance, haunted by the memories of the terrible past, and expecting that each instant would dash the frail fabric to pieces, and precipitate her also into the deep, dark sea, till at length consciousness forsook her, and in a death-like swoon she forgot the dangers by which she was surrounded.

With tears of anguish she now spoke of the dear ones lost to her forever on earth—the loved mother, the noble father, the darling sisters, and the cherished brother, over each one of whom she had beheld the wild waves close. Then she lamented her desolation, utterly destitute, and nearing the shores of a foreign land, where no familiar voice would accord her a welcome. There was a similarity in her situation to what had once been his own, and as Sydney listened, the story inspired him with an interest in that fair being such as he had never till then experienced for a fellow-creature. He used every effort to console her—gave her an account of his own early life, and bade her trust in the kind Providence who in the hour of need had given him a friend. He assured her also that he, at least, would not forsake her, but that he would endeavor to place her in some way of gaining her own livelihood till she could write to and hear from her friends in Italy; and begged that she would look upon him as a brother. She heard him with glistening eyes, and clasping his hand in hers, with child-like earnestness expressed her thanks for his kindness.

During the rest of that voyage Captain Sydney spent every leisure moment by the side of his beautiful charge. Returning health imparted a bloom to her cheek, and a lustre to her soft, dark eyes, and as Arthur gazed upon her, he often thought that earth had never owned a fairer flower. It was not long ere he became fully conscious that she daily grew dearer to him, and great was his joy as he marked the flush that invariably rose to her pure forehead when he approached. And when at length he poured his tale of love into the ear of the sweet Leonor, the reply that he sought was given with an impassioned fervor that sent a thrill of rapture to his soul.

They were united the day that they landed at New York, and renting a small but pretty cottage in the outskirts of the city, Captain Sydney installed his Leonor as the mistress of that pleasant domain. Here, amidst flowers and birds, and enlivened by the music of two loving hearts, the time glided tranquilly away till the hour of separation arrived—and, for the first time, Sydney quitted the land with regret, and embarked once more upon the deep blue ocean.

Eight years after his marriage, Captain Sydney was destined to weep over the cold corpse of his lovely wife. She had never enjoyed uninterrupted health since her residence beneath the variable clime of her adoption, and at last she fell a victim to consumption. Vainly did the anxious husband consult the most celebrated physicians—the disease was incurable, and ere the blossoms of spring again burst forth, Leonor slumbered beneath the sod. Wild, indeed, was the grief of the bereaved one at her loss—but he recovered the first effects of his sorrow, and leaving his only child, Harry, a brave boy just six years of age, under the guardianship of a friend who had loved the departed mother, Sydney resumed his former vocation.

Years again fled. Harry Sydney attained the age of manhood—and every one that knew him loved him, for he was a fine, manly fellow, honorable and generous in every impulse, with a heart susceptible of the warmest sympathies. He inherited his mother's ardent temperament, and was of a sensitive and impassioned nature. Captain Sydney had destined him for a merchant, and as such he had just commenced life with every prospect of success. Had he been allowed to take his own inclination as a guide, Harry would fain have followed the sea. But to this his father was averse, and early, at his command, he relinquished the desire.

Upon his son all the hopes of Captain Sydney were centered. It was his earnest wish to see him happily married, and determined to express the desire to Harry, he one day sought his side for that purpose. Both to his surprise and approval, the latter informed his father that he had already met one to whom his heart's warmest affections were given. He added that the young lady, though poor and dependent upon her own exertions for her support, and that of an invalid father, was the descendant of a family said to be highly respectable. "Her grandfather," he continued, "was Robert Lindsay, a well-known merchant of Boston; and though his son, Alfred, has dissipated the patrimony left him by his parent, and now relies solely for maintenance upon the proceeds of his daughter's needle, I am sure, my dear father, this praiseworthy effort, on the part of one so young and lovely as Ida, will but elevate her in your estimation?"

"Robert Lindsay! Alfred Lindsay!" were the exclamations of Captain Sydney, in a voice full of passion, as those well-remembered names fell upon his ear for the first time in many years; "boy—did you say that Alfred Lindsay was her parent? Then be assured that never, while life lasts, will I give my consent to your marriage with the daughter of him who was the enemy of my unprotected youth!"

"Father—what mean you?" asked Harry, in tones of amazement, for the tale whose memory had so sudden an effect upon his companion, had never been breathed to him. And suddenly recalled to a sense of his son's ignorance upon the subject, Captain Sydney now hurriedly sketched the history of the past.

"It is very strange," said Harry, musingly; "but they never mentioned that they were related to me. It is probable that Ida's father, if aware of the fact, concealed it from her knowledge."

"Or rather that he instigated her to keep it a secret, that in the end she might reap the benefit of his injured cousin's wealth," was the rejoinder.

"Oh, no, father!" replied the young man, warmly. "I could not wrong Ida by a suspicion of that kind. She is too good and pure-hearted to countenance[316] deception, and," he added, after a moment's hesitation, "I cannot give her up and wreck both her own happiness and mine, for the sake of her parent's faults."

These words aroused Captain Sydney's indignation. He accused his son of want of spirit in refusing to resent the occurrences that clouded his youth; and when Harry responded that he felt them deeply, but could not on their account brand himself with dishonor, by breaking the troth already plighted to Ida Lindsay, his father parted from him in anger, declaring that if his son married Ida, he might never expect his blessing.

The thought of uniting his son by indissoluble ties to the child of his early foe, was, indeed, repugnant to the heart of Captain Sydney; and while he remembered his resolve uttered on the night when he went forth from his uncle's roof a desolate, friendless and dishonored being—dishonored through the machinations of his cousin Alfred—he was determined that it should be fulfilled, even though in so doing he thwarted the earnest wishes of the one dearest to him.

A few days afterward Captain Sydney departed upon one of his accustomed voyages, and was absent several months. On his return he found his son just recovering from a lingering fever, brought on, as the physician averred, by distress of mind. He looked very pale and thin, and his father could scarcely help feeling a sensation akin to reproach, as he gazed upon that colorless cheek and wasted form. He knew that this indisposition was occasioned by the manner in which he had treated his son's engagement, for, through the medium of a friend, he had learned that Ida Lindsay had nobly refused longer to encourage attentions, which, as she learned from Harry, were tendered in opposition to his father's desires. Alfred Lindsay, too, had died a few weeks before, and the object of his resentment being no more, Captain Sydney began to feel less reluctant to the match which he had at first looked upon with such violent disapprobation. Conscience told him he had acted cruelly in thus casting a blight over his child's sweetest hopes, and he was determined that he would now do all in his power to further them. And when Harry grew strong enough to bear a conversation upon the subject, he communicated the change in his feelings. Both startled and appalled was he at his son's reply.

"My father, would you mock me with this show of kindness, when it is too late to profit by it? Know you not that she is now dying of consumption? I was sure that she was too delicate to endure the steady occupation necessary for her support—and my presentiment has been verified. Yes, Ida Lindsay is dying! I would have saved her—I would have borne her to a more genial clime, where she might, perhaps, have revived; but she refused to give me a right to be her guardian, for it was against the will of my parent, without whose sanction, she said, our union would never prosper."

He bowed his face, while for an instant his frame shook with emotion. Hastily his father drew nearer to him, but he turned shudderingly from those words of penitence and self-reproach, and dashing aside the extended hand, rushed from the apartment.

It was, indeed, too true—Ida Lindsay was dying! The constant confinement called for by her continued exertions to obtain a livelihood, had proved too much for a constitution by no means strong—and it was his anxiety for her failing health which had caused the illness of Harry Sydney. Oh! what would not the erring father have given for power to recall the past; but it was too late—too late! A few hours after the interview with his son the intelligence of Ida's death was received, and during the whole of the succeeding evening Captain Sydney could plainly distinguish the sound of Harry's footsteps as he wildly paced his chamber, and each echo sent a thrill of remorse to his soul. Little did the repentant and sorrowing parent then think it was the last time that footfall would ever resound in his dwelling—for that night Harry Sydney departed from his home, leaving no trace of his destination. Days, weeks, months passed on, and the heart of his father grew dark with the anguish of despair, for he felt most surely that he should behold his son no more. Whither the latter had gone was a mystery he tried in vain to solve, though sometimes he remembered Harry's predilection for a mariner's life, and blighted as he had been in his affections, might he not now have followed the yearnings of former times, as the only means of gaining oblivion of his sorrows? So, night after night, Captain Sydney sat alone at his deserted hearth—a father, and yet childless, with a host of dark recollections pressing heavily upon his spirit. And at last he sought forgetfulness of his errors in the sparkling wine-cup, whose draught he drained with an intense eagerness, for it enabled him to mock at his misery.

And so five more years passed on, during which period his mind was seldom free from the delirium produced by the practices to which he had resorted; and having, in utter recklessness of spirit dissipated his property, deprived, through his own weakness, of his rank as captain, he was at length forced to lower himself to the grade of a common sailor, for the purpose of obtaining the means of subsistence. Then a severe illness, caused by free indulgence in intoxicating liquors, overtook him—and with sickness came reflection, and he resolved to yield no longer to the voice of the tempter. He recovered from his dangerous indisposition, but remaining fearfully weak, the physician declared that his constitution was completely shattered, and that he was no longer fit for service. At first he insisted upon resuming his wonted occupation, for he had no other way of maintaining himself. The physician seemed to comprehend his reluctance to obey his command, and he now reminded his patient of an institution in the vicinity of New York, where the indigent mariner might find a home.

It was then that Captain Sydney—for so let me still continue to call him—sought the peaceful shades of "the Harbor," where for two years he had, indeed, found all the external comforts of a home, and[317] but for the voices of the past he would have had no cause to repine.

About a twelvemonth after his arrival at "the Harbor," a new inmate was admitted there, in the person of an invalid sailor, who was said to be in a deep decline. He seldom left the apartment allotted to him, save now and then of a warm sunny day, when he would go forth, leaning upon the arm of an attendant, and seating himself upon a bench in the garden beneath the shade of a tree, remain there for hours, gazing silently upon the blue waters of the bay before him. Regarded by all as in a dying state, no one strove at these times to disturb his reverie. His situation had excited universal sympathy, and frequently the other sailors would steal to his side and softly deposit there a small basket of fruit, or some little delicacy which they knew would prove acceptable to him on whom it was bestowed.

Habitually reserved, and cultivating but little intercourse with those around him, it was scarcely a matter of surprise that for some weeks Captain Sydney took but little notice of the sailor of whom I have been speaking. But chance at length brought him more fully beneath the scope of his observation. While one day walking in the garden, buried in thought, almost unconsciously he neared the spot generally occupied by the invalid. But he heeded not the vicinity till startled by the sound of a hollow cough, and looking hastily up, he met the gaze of the feeble stranger. A half-suppressed cry burst from the latter, and springing quickly forward, Captain Sydney caught him in his arms, while the words, "Harry! my son—my son!" came in a tone of agony from his lips. But he heeded not the caresses—he answered not the words of mingled endearment and reproach which his parent murmured as he bent wildly over him; and when at length the stricken father became calm enough to summon assistance, they told him that the spirit of his child was at rest.

Such, my dear cousin, was the old man's history; and as he ceased, his head leaned droopingly upon his hand, while his whole attitude betokened the most intense mental suffering. For some moments there was silence between us, for I felt that words were insufficient to console him. But suddenly the stillness was broken by the sound of lively voices approaching, and I recognized the tones of my long-absent companions, and knew that they were close at hand. In a few seconds more, they appeared near the stone-fence, which I have once before alluded to. The old sailor evidently wished to avoid them, for their gayety was discordant to his feelings. Rising from his seat, he now drew closer to the spot where I was stationed.

"Farewell, young lady," were his parting words, as he clasped my extended hand, and for a moment that pale, sad face, looked so mournfully into mine, that tears of the deepest commiseration sprung involuntarily to my eyes, "we may never meet again, and I trust you will forgive me, if the repetition of my sorrows has cast a shadow upon your heart. Remember me in your prayers, if you will, and ask that I may soon be borne to my last repose in the little grave-yard yonder, where my son lies sleeping. Farewell."

An instant more and he was gone—and for some moments I remained seated where he had left me, patiently awaiting the approach of my friends, and meanwhile musing earnestly and sadly upon the Sailor's Life-Tale.


Where'er I wander forth I view the mournful ones of earth:
They tread no more, with buoyant feet, the radiant halls of mirth;
Around their trembling frames are drawn the weary weeds of wo;
Their sighs, like cold November rains, with saddened cadence flow;
From the dead hopes and faded joys of bright departed years,
They twine a garland for the brow, impearled with many tears;
Upon the graves of buried loves they sit awhile and sigh,
Then, mid the ruin-mantled waste of time, lie down to die.
They close their weary eyes upon God's calm and holy light;
They dwell girt round with misery as with a starless night;
They fold a thick and icy shroud their care-worn bosoms round,
And rest beneath the baleful charm like streams by winter bound;
They nurse their sorrow till of all their thoughts it grows a part,
And, like a cold and mighty snake, twines round the bleeding heart;
And then its hissing tones descend in drops of fiery rain,
And scathe, as lightning flashes blast, the weak and wandering brain.
The mourners chant, with voices low, a sweet and sighing strain,
That moans, as on a rocky shore, the solemn sounding main:
It breathes alike when summer fades and when the violets spring;
It mingles with the morning light and evening twilight dim.
This is the burden of that faint and melancholy lay:
"The cloud of wo hath hid the smiles and beauty of the day;
The glow of earth, the radiant gleam, the bliss of life is o'er;
The rose of human love may bloom for us no more—no more."
Arise, be strong, O, mournful ones! The Future is your own;
There Love may weave her rosy nest, there Joy erect a throne.
Though youth's pale buds in early Spring were blighted and laid low,
Thine yet may be the peerless bloom of life's rich summer glow.
The blissful ones, the glorified, build up their own bright state.
Let but the slumbering spirit learn "to labor and to wait,"
Then, like a bird of tireless wing, 'twill rise above the storm,
And bathe its flashing pinions in the glory of the morn!






Annus Mirabilis.

We are approaching the close of the year—a year marked by greater vicissitudes in the affairs of nations than any in which we have lived—any indeed of which we have read. History gives us accounts of the rapid march and equally rapid conquests by ambitious kings, who seemed only happy in the unhappiness of others, and only proud of destroying that which constituted the pride of others. From time to time ambitious men have exhibited themselves in the great theatre of the world, and their greatness has been measured by the extent of misery they have produced; and their claims to permanent fame have rested upon the rapidity that marked their destruction of cities, kingdoms and empires. While between the epochs which are distinguished by these promoters of extensive mischief, there have at all times been humble imitators of their crimes, whose limited power of doing confined their actions to provinces, and compelled them to be ministers of local vengeance, and the enjoyers of that petty infamy which results from numerable murders and calculable crime. It is but too evident that order has had its antagonists, at all times and in all degrees, and if history has been employed with the works of those whose extensive scale of action gives larger consequence to their movements, it cannot be doubted that society has been convulsed at its centre by the restless and the bad, who have been as efficient in their sphere of wrong doing as have been those who occupied a larger space. The latter struck the elevated, and disturbed public relations; the former sent home its weapon to the humble, and brought disturbance and misery into the more limited circle, reaching social life and stabbing even to the heart of domestic peace.

Such great events have marked epochs, or made them; and such small occurrences have been the characteristics of almost all times; so that the wars of the present century may be considered but as continuations of the belligerent movements of other times, modified indeed by the improvement of the present age, but still of the same spirit and from the same motives. But the events of the past year are of another kind. The disturbances that have distinguished the history of Europe in that time are not the result of the mad ambition of a conqueror to add to his possessions, and subjugate kings and kingdoms as a means of gratifying ambition; foreign conquest and invasion from abroad are not now the occurrences which European rulers fear or anticipate. The convulsions that distinguish every empire from the Atlantic to the Black Sea, has nothing to do with the ambition of other rulers but are referable to the rising spirit of their own people. No longer do the States of Germany combine to repel the assaults of the ruler of France. Each member of the nominal confederacy is looking to itself as possessing the active means of revolution, and each leans toward a combination that shall sustain the rights of the people and put a specific limit to the power of princes.

No longer do men startle at the grasping avarice of the upper powers demanding new possessions and the recognition of enlarged prerogative; no longer is the peace of nations disturbed by the attempts of an ambitious ruler to extend his domains and enlarge his power. The convulsions that are everywhere in Europe felt, come from the up-heaving of the lower masses; deep down in the bosom of empires is heard the voice of multitudes crying out for newly understood rights. Up from that stratum comes a convulsive heave, that is toppling down the thrones that have rested upon the hearts of the people, and not outside the national limits, not at the terminal portions, not at the "outer walls" of the capital is the movement felt—but within, at the heart of the nation, within the shadow of the palace, along the quays where business is pursued, in the narrow walks of trade, over the bench of the artisan, or in the boudoir of beauty, is planned the movement that is subverting thrones and leveling up society. For nearly a century past have there been at work the elements of such convulsion. The struggle of the antagonistic powers has been such that results were postponed—only postponed—while the injurers lost power, and the injured gathered strength. Premonitory movements were observed, and in some instances seconded, as in France, in others allayed by power or concessions, as in Austria and Great Britain. But when the whole is only a right, the acquisition of a part is only a prelude to a struggle for more, and this has been seen in every nation where concession was made to the people, or wrung by force from the rulers.

But there was reserved for the present year the great assertion of human rights. The annunciation was first made in France, where tyranny galled the sensitive portions of the people, or where a taste of temporary freedom had created an appetite for constant enjoyment. The flight of Louis Philippe seemed sudden—startling—almost without a cause; and if nothing but the émeute in Paris is regarded, certainly the effect was entirely disproportioned to the cause. But the revolution of the 22d of February was a[319] natural consequence of the pre-existing state of things. The fall of the leaf in autumn is not a more natural result of a waning season than was the fall of Louis Philippe a consequence of exhausted monarchy. The spirit of the people had come up to that point at which monarchy must either assume the form of absolutism, and rule by fear alone, or must yield to the upward pressure of the people, and its possessors seek to escape the opposing principle which they could not withstand. Louis Philippe tried the former—it was too late—the army, that last hope of tyrants, the sword and the bayonet hired to defend the throne became the people's support—failing in the effort to fix his power by blood, Louis Philippe fled to save his life; a common movement of French monarchs.

France may or may not establish republican institutions. Love of monarchy will not prevent the fulfillment of her people's hopes—difference of opinion as it regards degrees of freedom, and want of self sacrifice, we mean the sacrifice of personal views, (there will never be a want of self sacrifice of human life in France,) will do more to retard the establishment of republicanism in France than all the lingering attachments to monarchy that can be hunted up in the Faubourg de St. Germain, or in all the isolated châteux of the interior of the country. The habits, not the affections of the mass of the French people may also be regarded as one obstacle to true republicanism—a constantly diminishing obstacle, it is true, but still a formidable obstacle.

The revolution in France was the signal (not the preconcerted signal, as it should have been,) for a general insurrectionary movement, and no sooner had the press announced the departure of Louis Philippe, than forthwith Poland gave signs of life—Austria heaved with the workings of the under stratum—Hungary demanded independence—Prussia was in an insurrectionary state—a voice was heard from Russia—and Italy from the Alps to the Straights of Otranto began to try the strength of those fetters which indolence, ignorance and ease had allowed to be fastened upon her. The history of the revolutionary movements on this peninsula has yet to be written; it is full of interest, and if presented impartially, with a correct reference to causes, both of tyranny and insurrection, must prove deeply moving and instructive. We cannot do more than refer to the fact that Italy has been aroused; that tyranny has received a blow from which it can never wholly recover, and that there, as well as elsewhere, the rights of man have been proclaimed—proclaimed in part—proclaimed with doubts, with erroneous conceptions, with false views and an unchastened spirit, but still proclaimed, and what is more, openly admitted—admitted with purer views of property, more definite ideas of practicability, chastened wishes and paternal feelings. All is right in its tendencies. The false perceptions are owing to the suddenness of the light recently admitted. The inclusiveness of demands spring from a want of knowledge of the sacrifices which order requires from the friends of liberty—success will correct these views, and experience show the path which true patriotism opens.

Regarding, as we do, all movements as effects of Providential direction, we cannot forbear to consider the election of Pius IX. to the papal throne as an important part of that providence, in regard to the Peninsula of Italy in particular, and, perhaps, to the whole world. The correctness of the doctrine which makes that prelate a spiritual chief, or the propriety of uniting temporal with spiritual power, are questions to be settled elsewhere. Both exist, and both have an influence on the movements of nations; and the character of the new administrator of the Papal See, had at once an effect on his own subjects and upon all the people of Italy, and, through the people, upon the rulers. The new Pope seemed to have stepped forward a century from the line occupied by his predecessor, and to have stood in the front ranks of the reformers of the age. He was young, no old habits of yielding retarded his movements. He was young, none of the nervous tremulousness of age, that is shocked at the proposition of change, made him deaf to the demands of the time. He was young, and he had not yet been hardened into that unyieldingness of age that distinguishes the veteran church-man, who mingles the necessity of faith in divine doctrines with the necessity of non-resistance to human precepts. He knew and sympathized in the feelings which had animated the Italians: he was not ignorant that the prisons had been filled by men charged with crimes which the oppression of Austria provoked, and which the espionage of Austria detected and caused to be punished. He felt that his own temporal power was abused by the overawing influence of Austria, and he pardoned those who had offended only a foreign potentate, and were suffering under the condemnation of their own rulers. He would have led the movement to a peaceful and desirable result, but, alas! the oppression of centuries had made the many mad; and their limbs had been so galled with the manacles of political oppression that they became restive under the wholesome restraints that order and appropriate government demand; dragged forward by these eccentric bodies, and restrained by the timidity and prejudices of some of his legitimate advisers, Pius has felt that his triple crown was the means of triple sorrow; but he has also shown that he understood the maxim, that "he only is fitted to rule who knows how to sacrifice."

The arms of the Italian States and the influence of the Pope have been successful against Austria, and even though that overgrown and tumid empire should reconquer all her late possessions in Lombardy, and be as omnipotent in Venice as she is in Triest or Vienna, still the prestige of power is gone, and she can no longer extend an influence over the human mind that tends upward in its views. The taste of independence has been enjoyed—the tree of knowledge has yielded some of its fruits—and hereafter there can be no rest, no quiet, without something of liberty, much of science.

The question has been raised as to the existence of the power of the Pope deprived of his temporalities. That is, can the Pope yield up the government of the Papal States to a secular ruler, and maintain the full[320] amount of spiritual power which he now exercises, and which he and those of his creed deem a necessary portion of his official life.

We are noways concerned in the settlement of that question, beyond its bearing upon the condition of Italy, and through her upon many other portions of the earth. We do not know that there is now any probability that the Papal States will pass under another ruler than the Pope; but we entertain no doubt that the Pope could exercise all the functions of Bishop of Rome, with all the supremacy which he claims for that office over other bishoprics, as well without the appanages of temporalities as with them. There is nothing in the office, or all that is claimed for it, that renders direct temporal power necessary. Bishops of Rome existed for centuries with all the spiritual supremacy now claimed, but as destitute of temporal power as the bishops of any other city. And the custom which rendered concurrent the temporal rule—or admitted of extraordinary pomp—has never been deemed more than a concurrence—never a necessity. And it is a fact that when the invasion of a foreign power has stripped the Pope of his territories, and made even Rome the home of invaders, attention has been at once turned to the separation of spiritualities from temporalities, and means adopted to drop the machinery of secular government, and keep active and useful that of the church alone.

It is, we believe, an admitted fact, that among the papers of the Cardinal Prime Minister of Pius VII., who was carried away and kept a prisoner in France by Napoleon, were found plans for carrying on the spiritual offices of the Pope without the least connection with temporal power; and Rome was to be to its bishop no more than Philadelphia to either of the bishops who reside therein, and administer the dioceses committed to their care.

We mention these things, and dwell upon them, because speculation is, and has been, active with regard to the effect of the revolution in Italy, some movements of which evidently looked to the transfer of all temporal power to laymen; and extraordinary effects were supposed to be the necessary results of such a change. The change seems to us very probable, and not very remote; but it does not appear to us that the spiritual functions (proper) of the Pope will be essentially disturbed by any such movement.

We dwell longer on Italy than its geographical dimensions would warrant, but that peninsula is deeply interesting to the world, not only on account of the religious relations to which we have referred, but from the fact that for centuries a foreign arm has held it down; and while half of the world beside was rising into consequence, by the science and scientific men that Italy sent forth, Italy alone of all the geographical divisions of the earth seemed to be without profit from her own great men. Because she did decay, men believed that the elements of her prosperity were exhausted; because she ceased to hold the preeminence which she once possessed, it was deemed that the seal of ruin was set upon her. These suppositions are wrong; and the new movements in that peninsula show that the spirit of man is yet active, and now active to man's great good. What Italy needed was concert. What other nations practiced were constant attempts to foment jealousies among her different States, and create a demand for foreign interference and the presence of foreign troops. At present a dream of the ancient republic is the animating cause (or rather perhaps a sense of the capabilities of Italy for the new republicanism of the time) with leaders; who appeal to the recollections of the past because a sense of the present is not to be depended on in the many; and the shout for the old federative republics of past centuries awakens the pride of those whose patriotism might not be strong enough to lead them to the sacrifices which the object demands.

There seems to be necessary to the Italian mind a hope of regaining something that has been lost, and if this is rightly used there can be no doubt that the people will attain to something they need. The republics of elder Italy are no more the proper object for Italian enterprise, than would be the old colonial dependencies for the efforts of Americans. But Italy must be aroused; she must be called up to some general object; her great men must be stimulated to useful efforts, and her humbler citizens must be enticed away from insurrectionary movements to revolutionary action, and that cry which the soonest rouses and unites them is the true watchword of independence. Some proper hand, some well endowed mind must lead them in the right path—must set their faces and direct their efforts toward the proper object. The alarm cry may be the same, though the object of rising be opposite to that announced. The same bells and the same peels would call up the citizens of Florence to withstand or divert an inundation of the Arno which would be used to arouse them to check the destructive progress of a conflagration.

Italy, however, must not be kept too long in chase of the past republics. She needs the confederation of modern democracy, and, when once aroused, must be early directed to the true object. The Italian who spends his power, his wealth and his influence in attempts to restore the ancient confederacy is like the man who starts westward at evening to overtake the departed sun. But the Italian who, roused to a proper sense of the capability of his country, determines to secure to her the best good that other nations now enjoy, is like the man who, starting at dawn, proceeds in an easterly course to meet the sun in his rising. There is a necessity laid upon both—failure is certain for the former, success inevitable to the latter.

We give more space to the changes and the condition of the Papal States than to the circumstances of other kingdoms of Europe, because the double power exercised there makes any change interesting, and the extended influence of the spiritual supremacy gives proportionate consequence to any movement or event that disturbs the dominancy of the Bishop of Rome. Indeed so deeply interesting is the whole state of Italy, taking its present movement in connection with its past history, that a whole article[321] might be profitably devoted to a consideration of its past grandeur, its present distressed condition, and its means and hopes of future restoration. We may in some future number take up the subject.

The peninsula containing the kingdoms of Portugal and Spain has been in constant agitation for the past year—but so trifling are the relations of Portugal that very little interest is felt in her convulsions, and few pause to inquire which party or faction is uppermost at the latest dates. Spain has had her semi-revolutions, but as yet they have produced little good to the people beyond the weakening of the power or influence of the rulers; so that when the people shall really rise, they will have less weight to keep them down—less power to resist—less of obstruction to overcome. But the energies of Spain seem to be on a revival, and there are hopes, founded on existing recent improvement, that this abundant providence on behalf of that country will not be much longer neglected by the people, but that from one effort to another they will rise to that rank in the scale of nations to which the kingdom is entitled, and of which the attempt to go beyond deprived her.

Poor Portugal! She will linger yet, and perhaps be absorbed. Her independent existence is not of sufficient consequence to the world to induce an effort on her behalf; and England, now that France must relinquish her claims on Spain, can afford to withdraw her patronage from Portugal—if, indeed, we may not rather say that in the present disturbed and crumbling state of European monarchies, neither England nor any other kingdom will feel that she has much superflux of power to shake to any decaying state.

Portugal was once an integral portion of Spain, and she may again be in union with her sister. The mountains that interpose need no longer make enemies of these two small states, and the common wants and common weakness of both should and will induce them "like kindred drops to mingle into one." The language of Portugal differs from that of Spain considerably, but almost every Portuguese speaks Spanish, and the literature of Spain is in a great measure that of Portugal, as that of Great Britain is shared by the United States.

Portugal and Spain are both deriving the means of true strength by the diminution of their colonial possessions, and when they have recovered from the shock which the exercise of power over distant dependent states is almost sure to bring, they may, united, have an important rank with the European powers.

Terrible has been the oppression of rulers in some parts of Germany. That oppression has not trodden out, though it may have trodden down, the spirit of men. And even in Austria the awakening power has been felt within the present year—felt to the agitation of national councils—to the terror and flight of rulers. It is perhaps a subject for joy rather than regret, that the movements of the people have been less radical than in some other countries. This is, after all, the true way. Grasping at more than they can retain, a rising people lose what might have been of service. The lesson of France in her revolution in the last century was not lost on Germany, and the people demanded of their rulers that which might be granted without the disturbance of order; and then they were content with what they received, because it was at once a proof that asking they could receive, and receiving they could learn to enjoy.

The King of Prussia, in reply to the demands of the people, yielded some points, and then drew their attention to a long-cherished idea of a confederation of the German States, by which the differences of the several powers should be settled by an accredited tribunal, and a species of federal government be established to watch over those rights conceded by the individual states to the federal power.

It is to be regretted that the King of Prussia should have found occasion in these trying times to provoke war with Denmark, upon a claim by Schleswig for protection, and that claim rests upon the poor plea that—though really a dependence of Denmark—Schleswig is not of Scandinavian origin, like Denmark, and therefore is anxious to maintain her German relations. The Scandinavian blood runs through the veins of Sweden and Russia as well as those of Denmark, and "will protect itself," if not now, at least when a better opportunity occurs.

The union of the various States of Germany proposed by the King of Prussia has been formed, and Arch-Duke John has been elected "Vicar of the German Empire." He is a man of enlarged views, of liberal political principles. He is a relation (an uncle) of the Emperor of Austria. He was the representative of the emperor in the German Diet, and his substitute during his (the emperor's) absence from his capital.

This new organization of the German powers looks to the establishment of a common army, and the creation and maintenance of a common navy; and the attempt to produce these means and evidences of power may create new disturbances, as they are costly to support, and often dangerous to their supporters.

Austria, to which we have already alluded, felt the common throe and manifested the general alarm. The vigilance of a jealous government had spread over the whole empire an appearance of tranquillity, but the first symptom of popular movement abroad roused the Austrians to an annunciation of their own wrongs, (they did not comprehend their rights,) and as they felt most directly the arm of the Prince Metternich, the tyrannical and efficient minister of the emperor, they demanded his dismissal; they assaulted his castle of Johannisburg; they destroyed it and wasted the palatable contents of its cellars—stores of many years collection of the wine that bears the name of its place of deposit.

In the mean time the people of Hungary, and those of Bohemia, which had come to be dependencies upon the crown, demanded their rights as nations. It is remarkable of the movement in Hungary, that though the people of that government had enjoyed privileges unknown to any other subjects of the Austrian[322] Emperor, yet they were the first to demand further concessions; a proof this that the great agitation in Europe is not the sudden action of an oppressed people. If it were, it would be greatest and most exigeant where the oppression was the most intolerable: but the earliest and the most thorough opposition, and the most effective insurrections have been where the hand of power was most lenient, and the civil privileges of the people were the greatest; a proof that the whole revolutionary movements in Europe have been caused by a prevailing sense of human rights, rather than a feeling of the people's wrongs; that the mind of man is rising to the assertion of its own dignity, and is hastening forward to the fulfillment of its own destiny; it is not content with toleration, it demands an acknowledgment of freedom; and whatever restrains beyond the necessity of government—of self-government—is regarded as an infringement of rights; and the more delicate the perception, the greater is the intolerance of the wrong.

Austria proper has made a strong and a long stride toward freedom. Comparatively she is yet in the dark, but her face is set toward the coming light, and year after year will show her progress toward it, and the effect of that light upon her institutions. It is now too late for tyrants to doubt that their true interests will be found in graceful, moderate concessions; to give a little, rather than to have much taken; and with all the restlessness of the people, they seem to be disposed to remain content with a moderate progress of improvement; but wo to those who would stay the motion of that to which the spirit of the age has imparted the means of progress.

The spirit of revolution has been rife along the shores of the Danube, and the numerous states, provinces, and dependencies, that lie toward the Black Sea, have formed alliances, and will assert their rights.

The city of Prague, famous in story and in song, has been laid in ashes, as a punishment for its oppugnation against the emperor; but the ashes of a favorite city may be as powerful a stimulant to the spirit of injured man as to the best portion of the vegetable world—and power may find itself injured by a conflagration as well as its dependence.

Russia, amidst all this confusion among the nations of the Continent, has been able to maintain her apparent quiet. But she has felt that the experience of Austria was soon to be understood by herself; and when light should have pierced into the almost impervious recesses of that kingdom, her subjects would be able to discover not only the chains upon their limbs, but those who placed them there. Her time is at hand. She may yield, but the empire is too large to be conciliated by concessions. Interest and feeling are opposite, and it is probable that the only point upon which the whole can agree will be that of immitigable hostility to the ruling powers. She will attempt to seize upon the revolted provinces of other powers, and jeopard her central position by the miserable attempt to keep truth and its enjoyment from the extremities.

Great Britain has had her share in the difficulties which have disturbed and convulsed her continental neighbors. She has had in her midst a party of ultras, called Chartists, that look to the subversion of the present form of government. She has dealt with them steadily, sternly, and, for a time, effectually; but while there is oppression almost necessarily in a form of government, there will be a place for opposition to stand upon, and that opposition will assume any form which can promote its object.

England, of all nations of Europe, seems to have understood the advantage of concession. She has denied, postponed, hesitated, and then granted, so that the joy caused by the concession has for a time disarmed opposition, and given new strength, or at least additional time to the government. She has yielded slowly, but still yielding from time to time what has been asked of the government in behalf of the people, when the power of the government and the peace of the realm were not involved. And she has overwhelmed with power or ridicule all attempts at subverting the monarchy. The Radicals have been shot down as at Manchester; the Chartists ridiculed into silence; but Catholic emancipation has been allowed, and the corn-laws repealed.

But let no one suppose that the results of force, of ridicule, or concession are to be the yielding of the public; the same spirit which called into action all those opposing means, is as constantly at work now as it was ten years ago, and the demands will be as regular and as imperative as ever, until the last vestige of inequality shall have disappeared. Happy will it be for Great Britain if her ministry, practicing the wisdom of the past, allows concession to prevent revolution, and permits what of monarchy and aristocracy is left, to come easily to the ground rather than to be upturned by the violence of insurrection. England, for many years, has been as much in a state of revolution as has France. She has had fewer convulsions, but she has made a steady progress in her orbit, and those who live out the century, will see the end of one grand cycle.

Ireland has been made to occupy a large portion of the public eye this year. The death of O'Connell seemed to have left the "repeal party," (nearly the whole nation,) without a leader. Certainly without a sage adviser; and the great measures which that distinguished man had so long lead, was likely to be lost by the apathy of one section, or the rash zeal of the other. That Ireland has been badly ruled by England, ever since its conquest, is an historical fact; that the efforts toward redress have usually resulted in worse than failure, is known. But the prudence of O'Connell seemed to promise as favorable results to the repeal question, (reasonably considered,) as they had wrought in favor of emancipation. He had age, talents, learning, experience, prudence, fore-sight; he knew when to withdraw and when to press his claims; he could not, of course, please all who desired the same object with him, because all could not comprehend the powerful effect of prudent restraint, or, as a southern statesman says, of "masterly inactivity." And his death allowed those of more[323] zeal but less discretion to obtain an influence which he once possessed; and Ireland is now plunged into the miseries of a civil war.

Whatever may be the power of private feelings, our intention is to refer to the insurrectionary movements in Ireland as to those of other countries, namely, as the consequence of the growing sense of human rights, and as that sense must increase, must constantly augment, it is impossible that Ireland can remain in the same situation in which she has been kept. It is known, however, that a galling sense of wrong stimulates the Irish; that it is not the ordinary effects of an oppressive government that produces rebellion, but injury that extends to the domestic hearth, injury that strikes at the rights of conscience, injury that makes even the wise man mad. The end is not yet.

All is quiet in Holland and Belgium; and all is awaiting the melioration which time and wisdom must bring.

This year has seen the close of the Mexican War, in which our army gained fame, and our nation gained territory. And now the great question is as to the uses of that territory, and the character of the institutions that are to be granted to these new acquisitions soon to become sovereignties. We do not mean to take any share in what may be considered the party politics of the country; but we may allude historically to measures as well as to events, and therefore we are at liberty to say, that the question now pressed upon the people of the United States by the acquisition of new territory, is that of the extension of the institution of slavery. Shall the new territories be allowed by Congress to authorize slavery within their borders? and on that question there is much feeling, and before it can be settled there must of necessity be more, inasmuch as it has now become one of the elements of party movements—not merely a question in the presidential canvass, but absolutely one on which a party stands, and on which it nominated a president, nominated not merely a nominal candidate, but one who, having held the office once, had acquired distinction, and having manifested interest in all public measures since, had maintained that distinction, and was a real candidate. The sooner this question is settled the better; and the better it is settled, the more for the peace and the dignity of the nation.

To this question, which has in some respect, also, assumed one of local distinction, we will not further refer; it is one that will agitate until settled, and being settled, will no more disturb.

It is not our intention to place before our readers an array of political facts, nor to make out a chronological table for the year now drawing to a close. It would be better at once to refer the reader to the easily accessible columns of the daily papers, which have really been crowded with statements of convulsed states, and revolutionized governments. It has not been a question with them as to commercial changes, the fluctuations of a market, or the variation of stocks; but they have had to record the fate of kingdoms, and the flight or concession of kings and emperors. And we write necessarily so much in advance of printing, that our quarter of the globe might change its rulers between our pen and the type of our compositor.

We have been content to notice some of the most exciting movements in Europe, without pretending to write their termination. We see in some kingdoms the freshness of new institutions, and in others the renewal of contests which had been deemed closed forever; where power has had its heels upon the neck of the people for centuries, there are tokens of turning; and from all this we learn that there is a spirit in the mind of man, and that, in spite of all attempts to crush that spirit, or to darken it, the inspiration of the Most High is giving it understanding, and it is asserting its high prerogative, doing justice to its lofty teachings.

How will all these things abroad affect us here? What will be the influence upon the United States of these revolutionary movements in Europe?

The effect is now being felt; it is only to calculate the increasing power to understand the augmentation of results. Rapidly and more rapidly will the number of inhabitants be increased; the amount of wealth will be more than proportionably great, because not only will not immigration be limited to the poor, but those of the rich who cannot come, will send hither their hoarded means, for safety; so that while the abundance of our fields shall make us "the exhaustless granary of the world," the permanence of our institutions shall make us the depository of European wealth.

It may be asked whether our own country may not be exposed to the very convulsions which make European nations so unstable. We answer, no; agitation may occur here, and momentary excitement lead to fear of local violence, but he who strikes here, strikes at himself. The very nature of our institutions are such as to make it the interest of all to sustain them, and the very causes which operate to the disturbance of society in other countries, can have no existence here, or if they exist, they have nothing to act upon, that evil effects may result.

In Europe, a majority of the people are deprived of their rights, are made to yield to the dictation of a small minority, and sustain others whom they do not like, with their own industry. They must submit to laws which they do not approve, or submit to the charge of treason for their attempts to resist, that they may change their laws. In this country, whenever a majority is satisfied that certain measures are inconsistent with their own good, they may instruct their law-makers to change the enactments, or they can change the law-makers. This is the theory and this the actual practice of our government.

The people of Europe find the means of living unequally divided. There is less of a surplus, as it regards the whole, than for a part; and while the few abound in all that is desirable, nay, with the superfluities of life, the many lack the necessaries of wholesome existence. And this is the result of their institutions—a result which no convulsion, no revolution can at once change—so many centuries[324] have passed over the abuses, that not only are they prescriptive, but there does not seem in the people any knowledge to apply the power they may attain, to any immediate remedy of the evil.

With the United States there is no system to change—no institution to be remodeled; of course, every year works some change in the operation of the system, and makes more and more beneficial the institutions of the country. The new views of man's importance and of human rights, which work out revolutions in Europe, only make our citizens cling close and closer to the institutions of their own country. While blood is poured out like water in Paris to change the rulers of the people, the rulers of this country are changed with a quiet that would denote almost indifference. Men talk of an exciting contest for the presidential chair; but analyze that contest, and it is found to be only a newspaper discussion of the merits of certain existing or proposed acts of Congress, having nothing to do with the organic laws of the land, or with the form of government; the contest or discussion was closed on the 7th day of November last, and men scarcely remember the earnestness of the newspaper paragraphs, or the stump speeches.

Broad and expanded are the views of a true Republic; there can be no narrowness in the institution—it is for all men, and for all times; and never since the first gathering of people into a political body was there such a foundation for national greatness and diffused individual happiness, as is laid in this country. Wealth, true wealth, the means of general comfort, abounds. A variety of climate ensures the produce of almost every section of the world, and the right to cultivate a portion, gives to all the means of enjoyment; there can never be in this country (without a special visitation of Providence,) real want among any considerable number.

We have over twenty millions of inhabitants, and raise more than a thousand million bushels of grain, and one hundred million bushels of potatoes. With these means to be multiplied indefinitely, and a free mind, what has America to fear?

It is not our purpose to make a eulogy upon our country, or to anticipate the great results from the full operation of our system of government with the immense natural advantages which we possess. But we may remark, that with the progress of civil freedom in this country has been the diffusion of morals and piety; and with the enjoyment of political advantage, have been the enlargement of social delights, and the augmentation of domestic happiness. Woman has found her rank in the scale of existence, and enjoys that eminence in refined estimation which the delicacy of her feelings, the purity of her sentiment, and the intensity of her affections demand. And every where her influence is felt, in the melioration of the public mind, as in the limited circle at the home fire-side. Nay, it is from the fire-side that the circle of her influence expands, and she is respected abroad as she is loved at home. This is one of the results of the free institutions of this country; and while it is seen now as a result, it will be felt hereafter as one of the powerfully operating causes of constantly increasing human freedom and human happiness.

How beautiful the thought, that she who is the light of our hearts and our homes is becoming the blessing of our country; and that not less than domestic delight is political freedom to be derived from the sanctifying influences of woman's gentleness and woman's purity.



It sometimes chances, in this world of wo,
That lovely flowers in gloomy forests grow,
Which freely lend their sweetness to impart
A sense of pleasure to the stranger's heart.
They come to cheer and bless, like showers of rain
That fall in mercy on the parched plain,
And bloom in beauty, fair as though the light
That shines from heaven had never been from sight.
These flowers are emblems of the angels fair
That oft appear, man's lot to bless and share.
He dwells within a dreary forest wild,
No cheering sun has ever on him smiled,
His way is hedged with thorns, his soul is sad—
He spies an angel in love's vestment clad;
Kind words are spoken, and his grief has flown,
His heart is cheered—for he is not alone;
An angel ministers to him and points above,
Bidding him cast his care on endless love.
He lifts his eyes to heaven, and there behold,
The azure sky, touched with a tinge of gold,
Giving him promise of a brighter day,
A life more calm, more clear his onward way.
And angels, too, appear when Death comes nigh,
To wipe the bitter tear from Sorrow's eye—
They whisper of that bright and blessed shore
Where pain and suffering will be no more.
Oh, there are angels near us all the while,
That guard our homes and sweetly on us smile!
They minister to all—sometimes unseen—
And change life's desert to a living green.





The tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. James iii. 8.

Few villages in the Union could exceed Green Valley in local beauty and advantages; embosomed in hills, embellished with trees, and watered by a willow-shaded stream that meandered through its centre. Situated, too, within twenty miles of the great emporium, and skirted by a railway leading to it, the cultivators of a soil, that ever fulfilled more abundantly the hopes of the husbandman, could ask nothing more favorable to the ready disposal of their crops. The inhabitants of Green Valley were mostly farmers, who, besides "owing no man any thing," had each a comfortable dwelling and ample outhouses of his own, nothing better than his neighbors, but equaling theirs in the well-to-do look of the fences, the garden and door-yard. That the village was originally settled by Quakers, and half peopled by this drab-coated sect at the date of our story, no stranger needed to inquire, after passing through its straight-cut roads, or breathing its air of purity and quietude. Long had its simple-minded, true-hearted people lived in the daily enjoyment of mutual kindness and love; till contentment seemed written not only on the broad brims of the farmers, but on the bridles of their docile beasts, and on their very implements of husbandry. In the course of time, other religious denominations were established in Green Valley; but as the descendants of Penn continued to "work in quietness and eat their own bread," strangers intermeddled not with them; while the savor of their peaceful spirits seemed so diffused among other sects, that all "agreed to disagree" with one another, and for years unbroken harmony was the result. But we have only to do with the Congregational church of Green Valley, and will forthwith introduce the reader to the shepherd of this little flock. Mr. Worthiman was a plain man of God—middle-aged, of respectable scholastic attainments, and one who, for his sound judgment and exemplary "walk and conversation," had ever a "good report of them that were without." The law of kindness dwelt in his heart and on his lips, and in all the offices of exemplar, teacher and comforter of his charge none was more worthy than he. The church at its earliest organization, without a dissenting voice, invited Mr. Worthiman to become its pastor—his prayer dedicated the house of worship, and each succeeding Sabbath for a series of years found him at his post, breaking the Bread of Life to a grateful, confiding people. Nor were his pastoral duties less regularly fulfilled: One afternoon of every week was devoted by himself and his wife (whose living example was "such as becometh woman possessing godliness,") to visiting in rotation the families of his congregation; and so well timed was this custom, that the farmers' wives could calculate each her honored turn to a day; so that the substantial hospitalities of a generous board were added to the warm welcomes of heart and hand.

Besides the neat parsonage reared for the minister and his increasing family, he was, through the generosity of his parishioners, the owner of an old-fashioned chaise, and a horse gentle and well-ordered as his master. These were always in requisition on visiting afternoons; and a right comfortable sight it was to see the minister and his wife jogging along over the smooth roads, blessing all they passed with the smile of true benignity, and receiving the heart's blessing of all in return; while the good dame to whose dwelling their course was directed, having all things in readiness for the pastoral visitation, stationed one of her cleanly-attired children at the window, to watch for the first appearance of the reverend chaise wending up the lane to the farm-house, at which signal, with beaming eyes, the child hastened to open the gate, dreaming in the simplicity of her rosyhood, of no greater honor than to usher in the respected pair. On these occasions the farmer usually left the field, and donned his Sunday suit, the good wife appeared in her best cap and snowy kerchief, and the maid came from the dairy, with tidy apron, to claim her seat in the snug parlor, that alike they might sit under the lips that dropped wisdom for all. Then, when they gathered around the lengthened table, the pastor's blessing was music in their ears, and supper being over, his elongated prayer, comprehending the wants of each, and all, closed the privileges of the pastor's visit. Mr. Worthiman was equally satisfactory in his visits at the bedside of the sick—in his consolations to the dying, and his sympathy in the house of mourning. The aged leaned on him for support—the middle-aged walked hand in hand with his counsels, and the young looked up to him for guidance; while no austerity on his part forbade the merriment of their sports: so far from this, it was his custom at weddings, after a salutation to the bride, and a commendation of the bride's loaf, to take early leave, lest his presence should restrain the music and dancing that usually sum up a country bridal entertainment.

Such was the pastoral position of Mr. Worthiman,[326] and such the unmolested happiness of Green Valley! But, alas! the serpent that looked with envious eyes on the paradise of our first parents, was about to creep stealthily among the vine-clad cottages of the peaceful villagers. And as in Eden his poison first insinuated itself through the mind of woman, so from woman was it to be communicated to these homes of contentment and love.

Among the few merchants of all-wares that had come in to supply the growing population of Green Valley, was a young man of more amiability than vigor of mind, who, having lived a single but quiet and peaceable life some years in the village, brought unexpectedly, from a town near-by, a wife to divide or double his blessedness. Kate Tiptop was cousin to the young man, and did not change her name in marrying him. She was the only daughter of parents who lived just long enough to spoil by indulgence a child whose native faculties of mind were more than ordinarily vigorous and acute; such as, under a disciplinary course of education, united with healthful moral training, would have ripened her into the noblest development of woman; but her first idea took the form of self, instead of truth, and growing perception brought only increasing self-consciousness. In short, she had early imbibed the belief that the world in which she moved was made for her accommodation; and her inherent passion—love of power—became more and more apparent as she increased in years. Had she been beautiful in person, this might have shown itself in more vain, but less injurious forms; as it was, she desired to sway hearts, not to receive their flattering unction in return, but to strengthen and confirm her own sense of ability to do it. Love of action alone induced her to engage in the practical duties of domestic life, and she married more for the sake of being the head of a family, than from any motives of affection. To accomplish this desire, she well knew that her husband must be her inferior in mental strength; while the additional inducement that fixed her choice on her cousin was, that in uniting herself with him, she would not even have to yield her name. Mrs. Tiptop soon became a pattern-card to all housewives—always having her work done, and well done; and never lacking time nor tongue to entertain visiters, nor health, leisure, or purpose to visit among the neighbors herself. She was one of those women whose husbands are super-numeraries at home, while their wives are mouth-pieces for them abroad.

Her go-aheaditiveness was a new revelation to the plodding villagers; it not only made her household cares a mere song, but enabled her to preside over her husband's business affairs with a dexterity of calculation that soon rendered his own position but a sinecure. In short, Mrs. Tiptop was a trump-card at home, and every where, always winning the game of domestic differences, and turning the chances of all neighborly or church variances, which began to spring up simultaneously with her introduction there.

In person Mrs. Tiptop was tall, of slender frame, and thin, almost to emaciation, giving no indications of physical or mental strength, save that it was "all in the eye"—black, penetrating, "wise as the serpent," and possessing the optical versatility of seeing all sides in a twinkling; yet when its latent forces were single-eyed to a purpose, that end was achieved as unquestionably as when acknowledged by many witnesses.

No sooner did that eye peer through the bridal veil at Mr. Worthiman, on Mrs. Tiptop's introduction to the village church, than her purpose was formed and executed as truly as when carried out through all the intricate passages leading to its accomplishment.

She had determined to be felt in the village, and Mr. Worthiman's godly power over his unsophisticated people was then and there destined to totter from its long settled foundations. Before the next communion season Mrs. Tiptop had sent in her certificate, and was placed on the list of church-members. Here was a footing on which she could stand to use the instruments that would be needed in the premeditated revolution. The initiation of a communicant into a country church is generally succeeded by a call from its officers on the new member. Nothing could be more gracious than Mrs. Tiptop's reception of this church police, who paid her the complimentary visit during the week subsequent to her admission; but in this instance, on Deacon Heedful alone fell the charm of her serpentine eye. Quick as thought in discernment, she penetrated at once through the deacon's tractable physiognomy to his more flexible mind; and while the good man was inwardly congratulating his church on the acquisition of so worthy a member, she was fastening around him the toils in which he was hereafter to do her bidding, as willingly as the dray-horse works in the harness. Deacon Heedful belonged to that small minority of human beings who know nothing of double-meanings or double-dealings; pure in himself, he was the embodiment of that "charity that thinketh no evil" of others; but, unfortunately, of stronger heart than head. Perhaps an innate sense of this crowning weakness made him lend a more ready ear to the suggestions of other minds; at any rate, Mrs. Tiptop soon had him under her easy control, through that psychological law by which superior intellect ever governs its inferior. This accomplished, it were unnecessary to carry the reader through the winding ways which led her, with the deacon, to that point where she could spread out before him the spiritual position of Mr. Worthiman and his church, and convince him that they were "far behind the times." Now this was "a secret" that she had not even communicated to her husband, but in which she could not be mistaken, having come from a town where all was "stirring" in the cause of religion—where the preachers were "wide awake," and dead-level homilies, like Mr. Worthiman's, were not tolerated; for her part, she should soon languish under such enervating sermons as his; and here her fears being profusely watered by tears, began to take root in the heart of Deacon Heedful, who gave her a sympathetic squeeze of the hand on parting with her[327] one evening, and turned, poor man! to the sleepless pillow where she had planted a thorn. He, however, determined to deliberate some days before communicating his fears, even to his brother officers in the church, and never to do it, unless reflection sanctioned Mrs. Tiptop's hints.

But seeds of discontent sown in one mind, are by some Mesmeric sympathy conveyed into another, and another, till a rapid, wide-spread growth is the unlooked for consequence; yet Mrs. Tiptop waited for another visit from the deacon, before breaking the subject to any one else, even to "dear Mr. Tiptop;" so she was not to blame for the disaffection that was springing up around her. Deacon Heedful arrived even sooner than she had anticipated—and most unexpected to her was his account of the spreading influence that had so mysteriously come to light. The deacon's doubts were now matured into a strong sense of duty, and, to the complete satisfaction of Mrs. Tiptop, he had decided to take a stand in the matter.

The only proposition she made was that the leading clergyman of her native town should be invited to exchange one Sabbath with Mr. Worthiman. This he promised should be effected, and took his leave for the purpose. As the parsonage was in his way home, he called to pay his respects to his minister, whom he found confined to the house by an indisposition that would prevent his preaching the following Sabbath; so he requested the deacon to read a sermon, as usual under such circumstances. This was opportune for proposing to call in the aid of a neighboring minister, which Mr. Worthiman acceding to, the matter was soon arranged, and word given out through the village that Mr. Newlight would fill the pulpit the coming Sabbath.

Providence, or some invisible agent, seemed on the side of Mrs. Tiptop, under the inspiration of which she went from house to house, promising the parishioners a treat new to them from Mr. Worthiman's pulpit.

The Sabbath was an anxious one to her, and an eventful one in the Congregational church of Green Valley; the spirit-stirring tones of Mr. Newlight's voice—his forceful manner, and novel forms of presenting old truths, had such an electric effect upon his audience that Mrs. Tiptop's eyes drank their fill of satisfaction, and gratified ambition began to revel in her brain. Nothing was talked of the succeeding day but Mr. Newlight's great sermon; and wishes were openly expressed, mostly by the younger members of the congregation, that Mr. Worthiman was more like him. Dissatisfaction spread like an infectious disease, and before the year expired, a meeting had been called to confer on the subject—the church was divided against itself, and the iron had entered the soul of poor Mr. Worthiman. But the oldest and best of his people, those who had been the pillars of the church, were not to be so easily moved out of place, and the result was, that the disaffected members—including at least one half—immigrated in a body, under the lead of Deacon Heedful and Mrs. Tiptop; were formed into another church, built a modern house of worship, and called a new-school minister to fill its pulpit.

Mr. Lion was a man of strong sense, strong principle, and strong will. His wife was an English lady of family and attainments, who, under the influence of a fervid attachment, had left a high-born circle of friends in her native land, to share the lot of an humble American clergyman, when too young to have attained that maturity of good-breeding which accommodates itself, without apparent effort, to the accidents and diversities of society. Having few attributes of mind, and no tastes in common with the secluded inhabitants of Green Valley, but possessing a kind heart and an amiable temper, she endeavored to conform, so far as native refinement would permit, to the habits and wishes of her husband's pastoral charge.

For the first six months succeeding Mr. Lion's installation the triumph of the immigrants seemed complete. Deacon Heedful was reappointed to the office he held under Mr. Worthiman's ministration, and Mrs. Tiptop assumed her undisputed place of honor next to the minister's wife—introduced a maternal association, and a female prayer-meeting among the women of the congregation, in the exercises of which she invariably took the lead, and made herself so prominently useful, that Deacon Heedful often prayed that she might live to be "a mother in Israel." Even the spirit of discord for a time appeared to be exorcised from their midst, while admiration of the new minister and his lovely wife was the absorbing passion of the day.

But the evil spirit that had built the church was not long to be denied his right to a place in it, and before many months began to show himself in various forms and guises. First, there arose an indistinct murmur that Mr. Lion did not visit his people familiarly and often enough; nor did he make pastoral tea-visits with his wife, as was Mr. Worthiman's custom. Then a whisper was heard that Mrs. Lion seemed to consider herself of "better flesh and blood" than others; that even Mrs. Tiptop wasn't a confidential friend of hers; but they guessed her piety was no better than theirs, by the fashionable way in which she dressed. Then, the new minister and his wife cared more for each other than they did for their parishioners, as they frequently walked out together without stopping to call on any of them. Thus, in various quarters, discontent began to show itself, and somehow or other could always be traced back to Mrs. Tiptop, who evidently felt chagrined at not being invited to share the secrets of Mrs. Lion's household.

But now an unlooked for arrival at the new minister's gave fresh impulse and direction to the evil genius of Green Valley. The new-comer was a sister of Mrs. Lion's, just from England, who, it was understood, would be a future inmate of the family. Miss May proved to have the disadvantages, in the eyes of the village belles, of beauty, accomplishments, and independence of mind and purse. Brought up, and having just completed her education in the city of London, she was now a bird[328] let loose in the free air of the country, whither she had been drawn by affection for her sister, and a desire, not unmingled with romance, to see the land of liberty, and exult in the freedom of its rural scenes. And exult she did—now in the woods and fields gathering wild-flowers, and now, mounted on her English pony, galloping over the hills and away—the villagers said, "none knew where"—the stared-at of all starers, if not "the admired of all admirers." Though Miss May was sweet enough to savor all the village with amiability, and musical enough to harmonize the whole, the venom of the serpent made her sweetness gall to the senses of her brother's envious flock, and her music was discord in their ears.

One morning, as Miss May was riding rapidly over a bridge, her pony stumbled on a loose plank and threw her over his head so violently, that she was taken up senseless by a miller who lived on the stream, and conveyed into his humble abode, where the good man committed her to the care of his wife, while he went for the doctor. Now the village physician, who was a middle-aged, married man, had a bachelor brother connected with him, who was the envy of the village beaux for his gentlemanly air and good looks, he it was who, in this instance, hastened to answer the urgent call of the miller. Dr. Mannerly, on his arrival, found Miss May recovering from her unconsciousness, and quite alarmed at seeing herself in such strange circumstances; but his gentleness, joined with the homely manifestations of kindness and concern on the part of the miller and his wife, soon composed her mind, and after the doctor had taken some blood from her beautiful arm, she was enabled to rise and receive his assurance that she had sustained no very serious injury by the fall. Being, however, too much bruised to mount her pony again, she accepted the doctor's polite offer to take her home in his buggy.

Before night Miss May's adventure was the gossip of the village; especially her ride homeward with the doctor, who was observed to look uncommonly interested, and to be engaged in earnest conversation with his fair companion; nor did it escape the vigilant eye of Mrs. Tiptop that the doctor's buggy stood at the minister's gate every day for a week thereafter, and longer each successive time than she thought necessary for a professional call. And then, when Miss May appeared again on her pony, Dr. Mannerly was by her side, on his own high-mettled horse, (the doctor never rode a tame animal, nor perpetrated a tame remark;) this happened, too, again and again, so that it was soon a settled matter that Miss May and the doctor would be a match.

In the course of a few months, an unusual stir was apparent at the new minister's; the blinds were thrown open in the east parlor, and people were seen bustling through the hall as if in preparation for some important event. As Mr. Lion never received "donation visits," as the custom is with village-ministers, the bustle meant nothing less than Miss May's wedding—and for once, the gossip had some foundation in truth.

Late in the afternoon a handsome carriage drove up to the house, from which alighted a foreign-looking gentleman, of some twenty-five years, who was pronounced to be an English acquaintance of Mrs. Lion's who had been invited to the wedding. And a wedding, true enough, it was, for Dr. Mannerly came hurrying along toward the minister's about dark, equipped from top to toe, and wearing the white vest that decided him to be the happy man. And now the uninvited multitude envied the very lights that made brilliant "the east room," and no language could express their mortification, when the honest chaise of Mr. Worthiman dropped himself and wife at the new minister's door.

But a greater surprise awaited them the following morning, when the carriage that brought the Englishman to the village, was seen rolling rapidly away, and in it, seated by the stranger, was the heroine of all their surmises.

The doctor visited his patients as usual on that day, and the village newspaper announced the marriage, at Green Valley, of Sir Edward Sterling, of London, England, to Miss Rosina May, of the same metropolis.

Mrs. Tiptop and her followers were dumb-founded! But the evil genius, paralyzed for the time, revived ere long again with fresh vigor, and became so vexatious to Mr. and Mrs. Lion, that a dismissal was asked for and obtained from the Second Congregational Church of Green Valley, which, at the last accounts, was about calling a NEW MINISTER.



From dewy day-dawn to its dewy close,
Between the lark's song and the whippo-wil's,
With life as fresh and musical as fills
Their varied round, in quiet joyance goes
The faithful gardener, spying out the foes
Of queenly Beauty, whom, for all the ills
They wrought her reign, his hand in pity kills.
That pure-eyed Peace may in her realm repose.
He bears cool water to the drooping flowers,
And gently crops o'erflushed exuberance;
Trains the young vines to crown imperial bowers,
And guardeth well fair buds from foul mischance;
Let others find what prize befits their powers,
His deeds put smiles on Nature's countenance.




A realm of forest, hill and lake I sing,
Nestling in wild and unknown loveliness
Beneath the "Empire State's" protecting wing;
But be not too inquisitive and press
Its name—my motto must be, reader! "Stat
Nominis umbra"—I'll not tell that's flat.
But this much I will say; it bears the name
Of a brave warrior, who, in times of old,
Burst through the forests like a flood of flame,
And on the savage foe deep vengeance told.
And well that warrior kept unstained the wreath
Reaped by his sword in fields of blood and death.
And to be more explicit—on the west
The Chihohocki [1] laves its mountain sides;
East the grim Shawangunk uprears its crest,
And monarch-like this forest-land divides
From that whose name superfluous 't were to utter
If mention's made of golden "Goshen butter."
Within this realm Dame Nature's mantle wide
Has scarcely yet been rent by human toil;
Here tower the hill-tops in their forest pride,
There smile the sylvan valleys, though the soil
Is such, in truth, no wonder people chose
To leave Dame Nature to her wild repose.
Yet pleasant are the sights and sounds when Summer
Wakens the forest depths to light and life;
The woodpecker, a red-plumed, noisy drummer,
Times to the thrasher's clearly flourished fife;
The partridge strikes its bass upon its log,
And with his deep bassoon chimes in the frog.
The stream reflects the leaf, the trunk, the root,
The sunlight drops its gold upon the moss,
Whose delicate fringes sink beneath the foot
Of the quick squirrel as it glides across;
And, glancing like a vision to the eye,
Through the tall trees the deer shoots, dream-like, by.
Fancy your wearied foot has clambered now
The Delaware's steep hill, and then glance back.
The splendid sight will put you in a glow!
There winds the river in its snake-like track,
Whilst rural beauty laughs upon your view—
Meadows of green, and fields of golden hue,
And then White Lake, expanding far away!
Oh, its pure waters gleam before me now!
It sheds upon my world-worn heart a ray
Bright as the crystal beauty of its brow.
Loveliest of lakes! this pulse must cease to beat
Ere I forget thee, beautiful and sweet!
M., too, (the village,) is a lovely place,
Clustered midst grain-fields rich and orchards green,
With the grand woods around—in blended grace
Nature and Art at every point are seen.
Brimmed is it with good fellows, and those pearls
Of man's prosaic being—witching girls.
Yet there are places in this rising county
Where Nature seems determined not to grow;
Where travelers merit an especial bounty
For perseverance, where the starving crow
Would pass, disdaining to arrest his flight;
(But these things in strict confidence I write.)
The earth is sprinkled with a scanty growth
Of ragged, scrubby pine, and here and there
A lofty hemlock, looking as if loath
To show its surly head—while grim and bare
The ghosts of former trees their mossy locks
Shake, but all else is one great bed of rocks.
Yet there is beauty even there when green
And sunbright—there the ground-pine twines its fringe,
And the low whortleberries give the scene
(So thick their downy gems) a purple tinge,
And mossy paths are branching all about,
But if you meet a rattlesnake, look out!
Hour after hour, the stranger passing through
This member of the "southern tier" will see
Naught but the stretching forests, grand, 't is true,
But then life's naught without variety,
Though if he seeks with care to find that charm,
He 'chance may stumble on some stumpy farm,
And then the road called "Turnpike," "verbum sap!"
Now climbing o'er some mountain's rugged brow,
Now plunging headlong in some hollow's lap,
Still, "vice versa," laboring on you go,
How high soe'er the hill, it has its brother,
You're scarce down one before you go up t'other.
The people, too, who live—I mean, who stay
In their green Alpine homes, (I like a touch
Of the sublime,) presents a queer array
Of three most interesting species—Dutch,
Yankee and mongrel—and this triple mixture
Form when they meet a very curious picture.
They call one "smart" who's keen at overreaching,
"Tonguey" the babbler of the loudest din,
They'll travel miles on Sunday to a "preaching,"
And seek next day to "take their neighbor in,"
And the word "deacon," in this charming region,
Covers, like charity, of sins a legion.
And there's another race, "half flesh, half fish,"
That live where rolls the Delaware its flood,
Ready to fight or drink as others wish,
Not as they care; whose speech is loud and rude,
Half oath half boast, and think that all things slumber
When "Philadelfy" markets fall in "lumber."
Their toil is pastime when the river leaps
On, like a war-horse foaming in his wrath,
With thundering hoof and flashing mane, and sweeps
The forest fragments on its roaring path,
What time the Spring-rains its mild current thresh,
And make what vulgarly is called a "fresh."
Then from deep eddy and from winding creek
His mammoth platform the bold raftsman steers,
And, as his giant oar he pushes quick,
With song and jest his wearying labor cheers,
Whilst confident in skill he fearless drifts
By swamping islands and o'er staving rifts.
From rafts we glance to saw-mills—oft you meet
Their pine-slab roofs and board-piles by some brook,
And, with the splashing wheel and watery sheet
Flinging its curtain o'er the dam, they look,
(When tired of gazing at the endless woods,)
Though saw-mills, pleasant in their solitudes.

[1] The Indian (Delaware) name for the Delaware River.




What shall I write about? A sensible question enough for me to address to you, good reader, were I a worn-out school-girl, with a mind quite like an "exhausted receiver" on the one subject, frightful, dismal, and hated at all times to her. But, thanks be to Time, I am no school-girl—and it is rather a foolish question, this same one I have proposed, considering that for sixty long seconds my mind has been fully determined as to what I will write about this morning.

I have been looking over a file of old magazines, which are now scattered about me in most beautiful confusion, for the sole purpose of discovering in the steps of how many "illustrious predecessors" I am to follow, when I expatiate on that, which, by the last tale in the last new magazine, seems to be still a marvelous object in creation, namely, "The Coquette."

And oh the poems, and tales, and essays, by the Mrs.'s and Misses—the Mr.'s and Esqr.'s, let alone the Dr.'s and Rev.'s, who have not disdained to pour forth their thoughts like water on this exhausted (?) topic! I will spare you, through mere Christian charity, dear reader, from listening to their enumeration.

By this time, if you are any thing of a magazine or newspaper reader, you must necessarily have arrived at some conclusion as to this tribe of humans. Well, what do you think of coquettes in general, my friend—what do you think of those with whom you have had to do with in particular? According to Johnson, a coquette is "a gay, airy girl, who by various arts endeavors to gain admirers." Natural enough, all that, I should say.

When women are blessed (?) by a kind Providence with beauty, does it not follow rapidly on the heels of the truth, that they are meant and made to be admired, and loved, and wooed by the gender masculine? And when the admiration and homage of men's hearts are offered at the shrine of beauty—and the favored fair one tastes the cup of adulation man forces to her lips, say, ye wise ones! is there any thing so very unnatural in the fact that her human heart cries "more?" Why, even that poor, miserable daughter of the horse-leech was not content with saying "give!" once, it must needs be "give—give!"

Now, in all fairness, I put the question to you—what warrior, after a brilliant achievement in one battle—after one glorious conquest over his foes, was content ever after to dwell in a quiet obscurity, and suffer his name to be at last almost forgotten by men, because of his very inaction? Tell me, was that shining light so often lit and re-lit on the Mountain of Warning for the benefit of the sojourners in the vallies of the world—I mean Napoleon Bonaparte? Was Cortes? Was Alexander?

What author, after writing one book that took the reading world by storm, ever after that blessed day laid down his pen and said, "I have done." Did any of those glorious beings who, with their death-stiffened fingers can write for us no more? Are the writers of our day satisfied with one brilliant and successful effort in the field of literary labor? Bear witness, oh, Bulwer, and Dickens, and Cooper, and James, to the absurdity of such an idea! Wait—I would be truthful—even as I write there comes before me a bright remembrance of one glorious bard, living, voiceless now—our own well-beloved Halleck; but even he may awake, and speak yet—and so make way with the exception to my rule.

And what does the warrior battle for? Tell it not in this wise, wide-awake century it is all for country and the good of man! We are a wise people, WE! Such humbugging is too ancient. Say out plainly it is for glory, for distinction, for place in the higher room, and we will honor you for your honest words! And what does the author labor and strive for, through dreary days and sleepless nights? Is it for the enlightenment of mankind—the improvement of his fellows? Who will say that this is not oftenest, when indeed it is thought of at all, the secondary consideration? Ay, yes! there are such things as poor misguided scribblers dipping their pens in their life-blood, wherewith to leave a mark on the pages of time, "to be seen of men!" There is such a thing as a "lord of creation," pining for distinction, and braving every distress, and even death, for—Fame! Yes, we have records of sons of Genius who have died because men recognized not the light they set before them. I mind me, and I "weep for Adonais! he is dead."

I tell you, among men it is rare to find one who, after he has tasted the honey of applause and world-admiration, but will taste, and continue to taste, until he has cloyed himself, and almost (I do not say quite) sickened the patient bystanders.

Is there, then, any thing wonderful in the fact that woman loves admiration? With such noble examples before her, why should she not? I know it has been hinted broadly that it is heartless, and selfish, and sinful, in a woman, merely for her personal gratification, to make wrecks of the hearts of men(!!) and that coquetting is set down among masculines in the catalogue of sins as one of the blackest dye. But, if man, in his wonderful wisdom, can suffer himself to be so fooled, pray whose fault or sin is it? If he rests his happiness on the smiles of one woman, which is a rarer thing than ye think, oh, maidens! whom shall he blame, if the smile does not always[331] await him? Whose fault is it if he does not continue to please, when the eyes of the fair one are awakened to his numberless "short comings?" And some day when a more favored one of nature draws near with his homage, why should the old lover listen in amaze to cold words and colder sentiments? Trust me, if men would only apply to this subject of our consideration one iota of the coolness and calmness of unprejudiced thought which distinguishes many of their other musings, they might some day come to a just conclusion.

But enough of this; I have given a preface—and I know a case in point—more satisfactory than all my arguments I think it will prove; and I imagine it will clear me from all suspicion, or charge, if you should prefer it against me, of entertaining wrong opinions on this important subject.

From a far longer time since than I can well remember, till within two years past, the Cleveland family were our next door neighbors. Florence, the eldest daughter, was a very dear friend of mine, and I would not make her the heroine of this story to-day, were it not for the following fact. Two years ago the whole family emigrated to Wisconsin; and now that they are gone so very far "out of the world," I think no blame should be attached to me for giving her "experience" to the good public. Sure am I, that buried as she is in the backwoods, she will never know that I have seized upon her as a "subject" whereabout to expatiate. But if you should chance to meet Florence in your wanderings, reader, do not, I pray you, wound her feelings, by touching on this topic.

Every body said Flory was a coquette—and adopting as a settled point the sentiment that "what every body says must be true," I suppose she was; that is, she was "a gay, airy girl, who was fond of admiration;" and I will not deny that she may have exerted herself the least bit in the world to obtain it. But I do repel most indignantly the idea that she was artful and designing, or that she ever regularly set a trap to ensnare any human heart.

Florence, when she parted from us, was of middle height, very fair, and her cheeks wore the bloom of early roses; her hair was of a light, glossy brown—and, oh, those beautiful ringlets! I can vouch for the truth of it, they never emerged from curl-papers—(and by the way, how refreshing and pleasant now-a-days it is to see any thing natural, even a paltry curl!) Then her eyes, "deeply, divinely blue," sometimes filled with a sober, tranquil, holy light, and again dancing, beaming, and running over with joy and happiness.

Though Flory was the admiration of all eyes, and "the beaux" seemed really to have no appreciation of the presence of we poor insignificants when she was by, yet to not many of us did the "green-eyed monster" ever whisper one bad, ungracious thought of her.

We all loved her—and a sadder set never waited in our depôt the arrival of the eastern train, than gathered there the day Mr. Cleveland and family were to leave for a home in the "far West."

There were some, indeed, who invariably honored Florence with the title of "coquette!" and pursed up their lips very sanctimoniously whenever they heard of her new conquests; particularly may this remark apply to old Widow Forbes, who rejoiced in the possession of four grown-up daughters—"fixtures" most decidedly they were in her household—for these four above-mentioned, were not in any way remarkable for their personal attractions; and two of them had well-nigh passed the third stage of woman's unmarried life! But by far the greater part of the villagers rejoiced in the presence of Florence Cleveland as they would in a sunbeam on a dull day; she was always so cheerful, so generous and obliging.

None of those sunny curls of hers were visible the day Florence set out on her journey; perhaps you think that was because ladies do not usually travel with such appendages in view, and that they were snugly packed away in the back part of her traveling hat. But had Flory's head been uncovered then, I fear me it would have borne terrible witness of the desecrating hands which had been busy about it; for the fairy-like ringlets which had so long adorned the beautiful head, full beautiful enough without them, were slumbering on the hearts of us, her miserable, weeping cronies; and I know not how many gentlemen's purses were freighted with like treasure.

What a silent, stupid company we were gathered there that day. It was a bright morning—there was not a cloud to be seen in all the sky; and Susy, the old fortune-teller, said it was a day that augured well for their future prosperity; but that did not help us any. Every body seemed to think we were to lose one of the choicest lights of our village—and so, indeed, we were.

At last the odious depôt-bell rung—soon after the "fire-demon" heaved in sight, followed by its long train of crowded cars. In ten minutes the leave-taking was all over, our friends were seated—their "worldly goods" were stowed away—another ring of the bell, that never sounded half so remorselessly before, and away they went, over the road—across the bridge—past the burial-ground—and on—on—on!

To my bosom I pressed a package Florence had given to me that morning of her departure, which she bade me not open till she was fairly gone. I need not tell you how I hastened home when I had seen her depart—how, with just one look at their old garden, which ran back of my father's house, through whose paths we had wandered so often together—how with one thought of how lonely I was and always should be, now that she was gone, I hied away to my room, that I might be alone with my sorrow. But every thing seemed determined to speak out to me of her; there, by the window, was her "old arm-chair;" she had given it to me as a keepsake; and many, many a time had the broad, leather-covered seat supported us both—so, of course, the very sight of that gave me such a blue-fit that I threw myself into its open "arms," and indulged in the most luxurious fit of weeping, the length whereof might be counted by hours, not by minutes. But[332] when I had fairly "cried it out," (you know all things must have an end,) I went to bed with the most dreadful headache conceivable, and opened with more of regret than curiosity, the last "testament" of dear Flory.

It was in the shape of a long, long letter, filling many pages of paper; but I shall not indulge you, reader, with a glance even, at all the contents—satisfy yourself with these few extracts, and oblige yours, &c.

"Writing is not my forte, Carry, you know that very well," the epistle began, "but I had for a long time determined to explain myself to you; and when father finally succeeded in convincing mother that the West is such a wonderful country, and that it is the best and only place for them to safely settle our troop of boys, then I made up my mind to write you what I had intended to speak. Don't think me vain, but I'm going to be my own heroine in these pages; I'm going to give you the key wherewith to unfold parts of my life, which you, with others, may now think quite unexplainable.

"When I am gone, and the partial regret some will feel at first, is worn away, and they begin with all earnestness to give me what they think my 'due,' and honor me once more with the flattering titles they have given me before this, then do you, my friend, take up the gauntlet in my defence. If I should happen to die of those horrible 'fevers,' into whose hands we are about to commit ourselves, 'Aunt Sally,' may say it is a just 'dispensation of Providence' that has removed me; and that old Juliet Baker might take it into her head to write my veritable history, under the title of 'The Coquette,' and so be published in one of the magazines as a warning for all who shall come after me—an immortality to which I assure you I do not aspire. Or Tom Harding might be tempted to discourse more eloquently than ever on my respective demerits—drawing some of his sage conclusions therefrom. So, dear, if such things should happen, remember to stand up valiantly for 'woman's rights,' and me! As I have mentioned Tom Harding's name, I may as well, in these 'confessions,' have done with him as speedily as possible. I know very well what all the gossips said when it was rumored that I had 'cut him dead,' after encouraging the poor fellow, who was really 'too good for me!' But, as it happened in this case, they were all wrong—as doth unfortunately sometimes happen even with gossipers. Tom, since time immemorial, (you will bear me out in the truth of this statement,) has been one of the most active beaux in our village; attaching himself, with all his canine characteristics, to every lady who was favored with the least pretensions to beauty, and making himself vastly useful in the way of getting up all sorts of 'parties of pleasure' in summer, and in the winter also. It was very needful, was it not, that we should be always on good terms with him, which, as a body, we managed very well to do. As he had been in love with, and offered himself to at least a dozen girls of our acquaintance, I don't yet know why he should have thought that I would take up with him at last. Now was it not presumption, Carry? To be sure, he came to our house night after night, and sat often with us in church on Sundays—and it was rumored we were engaged; but that, I fancy, did not make the case a clear one."

Ladies may be attentive and agreeable, even over the verge of intimacy with one another, and yet not be suspected of designs matrimonial; but boys and girls, who have from early childhood grown up with the most fraternal feelings, as soon as childhood has passed, must be expected to give up what was a very delightful kind of friendship, indeed; is that wise?

"The fact is, I never for a moment thought of marrying Tom Harding; but I did think him a great deal better youth than he proved to be. When he foolishly proposed the subject to me, I dismissed it again quietly as might be, convincing him, as I hope, that the thing was forever impossible. And I kept his secret well. No one till to-day can say that I was ever guilty of parading this offer, and its refusal, before my friends; and I scarcely think you will consider me as parading it now; or, indeed, of entering on this recital merely to gratify a foolish personal vanity. Tom, himself, by his ungentlemanly conduct, exposed all that ever was exposed; and his impudent, silly behavior toward me has had the final result of making me heartily despise him; and I sincerely hope no damsel that I love will ever accept offers, which some dozens may yet have the honor, or—which is it? be doomed to hear!

"Harry Kirkland was, indeed, a fine fellow—at least I thought so once, for I was engaged to him within a time I well remember. Talented, too—was he not? But, oh, what an unreasonable mortal he was.

"When I engaged myself to Harry, I did love him truly, or what I thought was him, but you will not wonder that my love cooled before such evidences of tyranny, incipient it could hardly be called, as he exhibited, truly in a petty manner, but giving me good, overpowering evidence of what I might expect when the chains of Hymen should be flung around us.

"He went to his Club, and the Lyceum, and became a member of the Odd Fellows Society, so soon as there was one organized in the village—indeed, on all points acted his own pleasure, even as to the number of cigars he would smoke per day. And I, like a reasonable woman, thinking all this part and parcel of his own business, never for a moment thought of interfering. But no sooner had I, in a kind of dumb way, (foolishly enough, I confess now,) answered his pathetic appeals, by acknowledging that I loved him, than he at once, without questioning his right and title, proceeded to take the reins of government into his own hands. And then it was incessantly, 'Florence, why do you allow that cox-comb to visit you?' or, 'why did you go to the party last night when I was away?' or, 'how can you endure that conceited fool?' or, 'do, dear, arrange your hair in some other style—curls are so common!' or, at another time, when I had adorned myself with special thoughts of him, and his particular taste, the[333] ungracious salutation would be, 'It is so strange you will wear flounces—I cannot endure them, and they are so unbecoming for you!'

"Well, I did give James Thompson, 'the cox-comb,' as Harry called him, leave to understand I was not 'at home' to him; and I stayed away from all places of amusement to which Harry would not, or could not go, (which former I came at last to know was most frequently the case.) And I did treat Charles Wood more coolly than my conscience approved, for nature gave to him a good, kind heart, if she did not make him a genius. And I left off flounces, which my tasty little 'dress-maker' thought 'such a pity;' and I braided my hair, which all the time cried out against the stiff bands I put on the curly locks; in short, for six months I made a fool of myself, by giving way to all my exacting lover's whims. It makes me shudder when I think of what had been my fate had I married him—I should have died a very martyr long before this day.

"I knew that on most subjects Harry's opinion was worth having—his judgment sound; so I resolved to try what might be done on this point, which certainly concerned our happiness so much. By degrees I went back to my old habits, saying never a word to him of the test I was intending to put to him. Perhaps you would have proceeded differently—you might have reasoned with him, and urged him not to distress himself about affairs far too trifling for him to interfere with—about which no woman likes the interference, even of a favored lover.

"But such a course was not the one for me—and in the end, a person pursuing a far different method of reasoning might, probably would, have arrived at the same climax that I did. Wherever among my old friends I chose to go, I went without consulting the pleasure of his highness, who had led me about as a child in leading-strings quite long enough. What books I liked, I read; concerning my judgment on this point, perhaps, (not altogether unwarrantably either,) quite as good as his own. I dressed in what fashion I pleased—and wore my hair in the style nature intended. At one determined stroke I broke the thread-like chains which, from their very fineness, had been more galling to me than links of iron. I could read by Harry's look of astonishment what his thoughts were, as he saw these changes in me—and it was with some anxiety, I do confess, that I awaited the result; for all this time I loved him well, though my attachment was not so selfish in its nature as was his love toward me.

"One day I sent Harry a note, with a purse which I had knitted for him, and requested that he would accompany me in the evening, when there was to be a horseback-party on the lake-shore. In about half an hour much was I astonished by the return of the messenger, with an answer to my note, and my rejected gift. He declined the ride also, saying that he had a severe headache—(well might his head ache when it contained a brain capable of suggesting such a note.) After some few preliminaries, Harry proceeded to tell me that my gifts were altogether unacceptable so long as my heart continued not right toward him; that I had grieved him beyond all power of expression by the heartlessness I had exhibited in my disregard of all his wishes and opinions; this strange note ended by begging that I would not join the riding-party that night; that he would visit me in the evening, and receive from me then any explanations I might be ready to make.

"In ten minutes more the messenger was on his way back to Harry Kirkland's office, with a neat package, which contained the young man's notes, miniature, gifts, &c., with an assurance, which I wrote with a most steady hand, that my evening ride would, doubtless, prove more agreeable than a tête-tête with him, and that, as I had no explanations or apologies to offer, he need not be under the inconvenience of seeking me again at home, or elsewhere. I will not speak of the manner in which I passed that afternoon, after I had returned Harry's second note, unanswered, and unopened; nor what thoughts were busy in my mind, nor what feelings were busy in my heart. But I will tell you this, at tea-time, when father came home, he did not reject his daughter's kiss, or the purse either; and now it is snugly resting in the bottom of his pocket, well-filled, as I hope it ever will be.

"That moonlight ride—you remember it; perhaps you remember, also, that there was no gayer mortal among you than a certain Florence Cleveland. She might not have slept quite soundly that night, when she was alone in her little chamber, but it was not very long that Harry Kirkland's image disturbed her dreams. Harry was proud as I; doubtless he thought himself the abused one, (and that, you know, is wonderfully efficacious in curing heart-wounds,) and I can readily believe that many times since he has blessed the day that saved him from coquetting Florence Cleveland. But—you know already how suddenly Harry moved to New York that autumn, and also how you wondered we did not correspond.

"And what of George Stephenson? Ha! ha! I always laugh when I think of him—do you, dear? What did we think of him, mon ami, till we discovered one day, much to our amaze, that he was engaged to us both.

"Never shall I forget that tableau we presented—being our own spectators—when, with your head resting on my knee in the old summer-house, you, with trembling lips, told me of that delightful youth! and of your future prospects; and how, when you approached the interesting climax, I joined in with you and told my story, too; and how, instead of our becoming sworn foes from that hour, two more loving and light-hearted beings seldom took pen in hand, than we, when we wrote that joint letter, and saved George from the fate of bigamists! Well, there was never a more captivating youth than he—at least we must say so, to save ourselves from the obloquy of falling in love with such a scamp! Who'd have thought it? those very stories of his early life, and sorrows which drew such earnest tears from my eyes. I suppose you, too, have wept upon his shoulder as he told them. Ah, me!

"Then there was the poet, Earnest Ward. I[334] tolerated him because his father was a college friend of my paternal, who wished us always to show him kindness, and make the orphan feel himself not quite so friendless. But you cannot believe that I loved him. Poor fellow! he is dead now. He never seemed destined to a long life to me; the fact is, he did not possess energy enough to keep him alive. And he was eternally railing against Fate and his poverty, which no man who wishes to gain favor in my eyes must indulge in. His talents were not of that order which commands the ear of the public—and yet he seemed to think so, and in that thought centered all his hope. There was nothing practical about Ernest. He belonged to that miserable class of beings, (how many of them we see about us,) who are aptly described as having lost their way in the great roads of life, having early groped blindly past the stations they were designed to fill. Ernest had a good deal of fancy and ingenuity—more than should have been lavished on newspaper enigmas, and verses descriptive of the color of my hair and eyes; he might have made a capital manufacturer, or designer of toys. He was made, I am convinced, for some such purpose, and might have excelled in some such art; but least of all, you will acknowledge, was Ernest Ward fitted to be my husband. And well for us was it, that if he did not know it, I did.

"And, last of all of whom I will speak, there was Edward Graham; and thus I fancy I hear him described by some (whom I will say I am not sorry to have left behind me,) 'a fine fellow! but driven to desperation and to sea by that worthless flirt, Florence Cleveland!' Now I will give you an opportunity, ma chere, to laugh in your sleeve, if you will, for beyond the shadow of a doubt, I am engaged to this same Edward Graham, who departed in such desperation; and what's more, I mean to marry him, too.

"And how shall I explain conduct that will appear so strange as this to you? You know Ned Graham almost as well as I do; and as we both have known him from childhood, it would be idle in me to speak of his fine, noble, generous character, and of his sensibleness, by far a rarer component of the human character than many people seem to imagine. Our engagement was, I confess, an altogether unanticipated thing to me, though there was always a lingering thought in my mind that Ned approached a little nearer my standard of manly perfection than any suitor I ever had. You and I have often together admired the outward man, so I will not now speak of those great black eyes of his, which seem to pierce you through and through, as though they would know your secret thoughts, (which, as far as they regarded him, could be only thoughts of admiration and respect.) And that manly form, so sweet and noble, that was never yet bent by the weight of a mean or sordid thought—that could not stoop to any thing low or ignoble. Now, when I tell you that Ned has hired himself to a sea-captain, whom his father has known from boyhood, for three years, that his wages (excepting only a moiety) have been paid at Ned's request into his father's hands to aid the old man, who is now in difficulties, when I tell you this, you will concur with me in thinking my Edward Graham the most noble and generous youth in the world.

"Only a week before his departure we made our arrangements; for before that time Ned had never spoken to me of love—and I never heard of his broaching the subject to any one else, did you? In three years he is coming back again. By that time we shall have become settled, and have learned to love our new home. What farmers we shall be! Then Ned will join us in Wisconsin—and who says we shall not be a happy family there? And that Flory Cleveland will not prove herself quite tractable and human, although people have dared and presumed to call her a 'desperate flirt?'

"So, my dearest, I have given you a true history of my coquetting (?) life, with the exception of those tragedies you are acquainted with already. Frank Blake died, it is true, but never for a moment have I reproached myself with his death. He was 'found drowned,' so the verdict of the coroner's jury ran; but have none others been ever 'found drowned,' than men who were in love? I am not jesting, or speaking lightly now. Heaven knows the subject is far too fearful to jest about! Could they who have seemed to delight in calling me little better than a murderess, but know what bitter, bitter hours I have passed writhing under their 'scorpion tongues,' they would, I think, be satisfied. I tell you again, my friend, Frank never treated me more kindly, or considerately, or justly than he did that day when I told him I could not love him as he deserved to be loved, though I must ever bear toward him the utmost respect and the kindliest feelings. And when Tom Harding made that incident a theme for newspaper gossip, I wonder Heaven had not blasted the right hand that dared to write such things!

"You know how afterward I went to Frank's home—to his widowed mother. She, too, turned in horror from me when I told her who I was, and why I had come so far from my home in search of her. Go to her now, my friend, and she will tell you that she attaches to me no blame. Even the agonized, heart-broken mother believed me, when I told her all that had transpired between her son and me. She knows, as you know, and as I know, that I never won the affections of her son intentionally, for the purpose of adding one more name to my list of conquests.

"And of that other, whose name I will not write—he who died in the convict's cell—my friend, had I aught to do with that man's crimes? The brutish madness with which he heard my refusal of his suit—his dreadful downward course afterward; oh, can unreturned love be the instigator of such crimes? Had he not been a reckless youth ever; disliked of all the village boys, whose friendship, even his wealth and good family could not buy for him? If I would not wed a villain such as he, where rests the blame? Oh, surely not with me! I did not make that festering, sinful heart of his, nor did I lure him on to hope that I would ever wed him. If love is heaven, what were life with him![335]

"I cannot write more—non sum qualis eram! yet the sun shines brightly on me still as in my childhood, and the future is full of hope. If I have cleared myself of the imputation of the folly and heartlessness some have laid to my charge, it is well; I cannot think that my proceedings have been very dreadful, or sinful; they did not frighten honest-hearted, noble Ned Graham.

"And after this, when you see a woman whose conduct to you is quite unexplainable, and full of mystery, listen, dear friend, and bid those around you listen a little more earnestly, to the voice of human love and Christian charity; and trust me, the number of women who have the power to act long in direct opposition to all the better impulses of woman's nature, is surprisingly small.

"If your trust continues in me still unshaken, as in the days gone by, come ere long to Wisconsin, and I will insure you a husband of the 'free soil,' who shall bear as little resemblance to our faithless George, as my Ned does—and a home in the wilderness, this glorious wilderness.

"God bless you, love—good bye!—--."

"I have not yet obeyed the call of my friend to the far west," now her happy home. Do you think it advisable that I should place myself in the hands of such a—; but first let me ask you,

Do you think Florence Cleveland was a coquette?

And—is this once prolific topic yet exhausted?

I cannot conclude this discourse, "my hearers," without repeating to you a song, which appeared some years ago in "Graham." It is by Miss Barrett. Has it ever yet been "set to music?" if not, I would advise some composer to neglect no longer so beautiful an effusion. And when the deed is done, let every lady learn the song, and every gentleman stand by and listen to it humbly. Here it is.


"Yes!" I answered you last night—
"No'!" this morning, sir, I say;
Colors seen by candlelight,
Cannot look the same by day.
When the tabors played their best,
And the dancers were not slow,
"Love me" sounded like a jest,
Fit for "yes" or fit for "no."
Thus the sin is on us both;
Was the dance a time to woo?
Wooer light makes fickle troth—
Scorn of me recoils on you.
Learn to win a lady's faith
Nobly, as the thing is high—
Bravely, as in fronting death,
With a virtuous gravity.
Lead her from the painted boards—
Point her to the starry skies—
Guard her by your truthful words,
Pure from courtship's flatteries.
By your truth she shall be true—
Ever true, as wives of yore,
And her "yes" once said to you,
Shall be yes for evermore.



Write—with the finger of the angel-born,
Upon the tablet of the human soul,
That old December, wearied and outworn,
Drags on his failing footsteps to the goal.
Write—that the Christmas bells ring on till morn
Peace and eternal pardon to the whole,
And I, before I drop my farewell tear,
Must lay December's closing record here.
Write—for I weary; Age with failing thought
Forgets the triumph of his younger days—
Forgets the changes that himself has wrought—
Forgets the lip that tuned to woman's praise—
Forgets in summer how his fingers brought
Fresh flowers in olden time for manhood's ways,
Forgets all pleasure save an old man's word,
To think of bygone sorrows and record.
Write—ere he passes—even now they come
With wailing harps and wreaths of withered flowers,
To bind his brows and bear him to his home
Amid the multitude of buried hours—
A moment's respite ere his senses numb
And the death throe seals up his mental powers;
He shall not die, e'en in his age and dearth,
Without a legacy of good to earth.
His course has been with manhood, and his name
Has changed with human years—we yet recall
How bounding onward at the first he came,
And trembled wearily unto his fall—
How in his noon of life his strength was flame,
Spurning the very hand that gave him all,
How day by day and month by month he changed,
Till Time on old December is avenged.
The air he breathes is but ingratitude
From each unto the other—from the air
Unto the Giver of Eternal Good,
And from man to the years unceasing care.
Spirit to spirit on the moving flood,
And demon unto demon in his lair,
Jarring with discord, scarcely yet set free
From the kind measure of God's harmony.
And so he gave unto the sons of men
Last winter, snow, and ice, and driving sleet,
And the cold winds, each from his northern den,
Strewed wrecks of forest branches at our feet.
Old trees all naked shivered in the glen,
And houseless wretches shivered in the street—
It was the time when poor and cold mankind
Should know the welcome of a generous mind.
Few read the lesson—there was passing by
Of squalid poverty by gilded pride,
Wealth from the needy turned away his eye,
Rich doors to richer guests were opened wide—
Pity sought out a fancy scene to sigh
And gave not burial to the poor who died—
Beside the gourmand with his food opprest,
Mothers hugged starving infants to the breast.
Oh, not for this came winter, not for this
Rolled out the storm clouds from the northern zone,
There was a hope that gay luxurious bliss
Would not be happy in itself alone:
There was a hope that wealth might stoop to kiss
Lips paler with cold sorrow than its own—
There was a hope that severed things might blend,
And man, the selfish, soften to the friend.
The old man was but young, but thankless hearts
They say are "sharper than the adder's tooth,"
And ere the Spring came, by inhuman arts
The marble forehead was no longer smooth;
Cold blasts of scorn repaid him his deserts,
Bitter forebodings grew too often sooth,
At twenty years, they say, who knew him then,
He had grown sadder than old withered men.
Spring lay upon the garden—from his hand
Showered the blossoms and the springing buds,
The songsters sang tales of a summer land,
And a new music lived upon the floods:
And o'er the scene there waved a magic wand,
And watched the spirit of the fields and woods,
Laying in golden promise on the earth
Beauties that mocked him in their very birth.
The buds of spring grew withered in his grasp,
The thorns lay hid beneath the rose's leaf,
Leaving a poison deeper than the asp,
Long as the memory of corroding grief.
Rude hands tore off the petals, to unclasp
Too soon the fullness of a lot so brief—
There was ingratitude in bud and flower,
And rude unkindness in man's thankless power.
And all the summer long the rays he gave,
To cheer the weary sons of sweat and toil,
Flashed back with blistering brightness from the wave,
And burned like molten lava from the soil.
And vainly oft the giver came to crave
A shelter from the burning heat the while,
Beneath the bending vines the welcome fled,
And yellow harvest seldom crowned his head.
They knew not, as he pressed the table seat,
That he alone had spread the groaning board,
They cared not that the master came to eat
Where one small blessing glittered from his hoard;
They knew not, cared not, how the angel's feet
Have trodden in the steps of good restored—
The furrows deepened on the old man's brow,
And sadly humankind had sped the plough.
Autumn grew brown upon the teeming zone,
Lo! here at last he should forget his pain
Amid the mellow fruits around them thrown,
With garners brimful of the golden grain,
Men should look smiling to the giver's throne,
And gentle peace sit on the loaded wain—
There was a discord when the year began,
That jarred the wider as the circle ran.
The wheat-sheaf grew into the curse of life,
And from the stalk the burning pain distilled—
The orchard mast with the dark bane was rife,
Pouring out poison as the master willed.
The purple wine-grape reddened into strife,
And in its shadow man by man was killed—
Poison, dark poison, rankled in the cup,
Pressed to his lips foredoomed to drink it up.
So should the blessing of the fields and woods
Be moulded into curses? think it not!
Cold and unfeeling man's ingratitude,
Who to the season gave back such a lot,
To drink the cup gemmed with a poison flood,
And bitter with the felon's loathsome blot;
Oh deeply on our bosoms rests the stain
That never years shall wash away again.
The wail of autumn winds was on the air,
That played with forest trunks as little things;
The demons of the storm, each from his lair,
Shot forth and hissed upon the tempest wings;
Rent from the old man's head the scanty hair,
Sung on the north wind as the cordage sings:
Little they spared him in their giant course,
The whirling winds that owed him all their force.
Again 't is winter, to the sons of men
Come forth the snow and wind and driving sleet—
Again the storm-cloud lowers o'er the glen.
Again the branches shiver at our feet.
Faint and uncovered, over moor and fen,
The weary man has come his doom to meet,
The storms of winter beat upon his head,
The record of his failing time is read.
Chill to his heart strikes in the northern blast,
Ending the season as the year began;
December hastens to his final rest,
Friendless by the dark cruelty of man.
E'en now, while to his death-couch he is prest,
A wail rings round his head so pale and wan,
And withered flowers are ready for his bier,
That mock the dying with his past career.
His course has been with manhood, and his end
Is fitting for a type of humankind,
Around whose heavy head the laggard friend
The veil of useless pity comes to bind.
The dirge of his departure shall ascend
From those who scarce recalled his life to mind,
The tide of life above his grave rolls on,
And few remember he is dead and gone.
December passes, in the opening sky
Of the new year's first morning breaks a star,
The record he has left us here shall lie
Beside us when his form is borne afar.
Bending above his last farewell, I sigh
That he has left us, ingrate as we are,
And turning to the New Year, I behold
A new-born spirit throned upon the old.







"A man overboard!"

I heard the cry distinctly as the dark waters whirled me astern.


"Heave over a coop!"

"Can you see him?"

"Clear away the quarter-boat!"

These were the cries that followed each other in rapid succession, accompanied with the hurried tread of feet, which rose even over the sounds of the whistling hurricane and of the roaring water in which I was immersed.

We had been out from Marseilles about three days, and were now well up with the Straits. A gale which had begun just after dawn had increased with such violence that before the afternoon set in we were lying-to under a storm stay-sail. Noticing that the heel of the boom was chafing loose, I had gone aloft to repair it, when a sudden lurch tore the spar from its fastenings, and flung me into the air like a ball shot from a twenty-four.

At first I sunk plumb, as if tied to a shot; but in a few seconds began to ascend. When I reached the surface, however, it was to find myself whirling from the vessel's side, with a confused noise of the howling tempest and the bubbling waters in my ears: yet over all rose the shouts of my messmates.

I was so blinded by the water that I could not immediately see. I spun around and around as in a whirlpool, for I had been caught in the eddies under the stern. I looked to windward, too, for the ship; forgetting that a heavy vessel would make more leeway than my light person. Just as I sunk in the trough of the sea, however, I caught sight of the tall spars pitching a short distance to leeward; and when I rose on the next wave I took care to have my eyes fixed in that direction. I could now behold the men in the rigging on the look-out, and hear again distinctly their eager and excited cries. They were all gazing to leeward, and consequently could not see me.

"Whereaway is he?"

"I can't see him—can you?"

"There—he has just sunk in the trough—no! it was not he."



While these cries were following each other, the skipper himself came on deck, and springing on the tafferel cast a rapid glance around the horizon. I thought his eye had lighted on me, for, unlike the rest, he turned to windward; but, after a hasty glance in the right direction, he, too, looked off to leeward. How my heart sunk within me! Was I to perish, and within hearing too, in consequence of this mistake of my messmates? I raised my voice and shouted. I could still hear the answers.


"There—that was his voice certainly—can't you see him yet?"

"Ahoy!—ahoy!—aho-o-y!" I repeated, straining my lungs to the utmost.

"Hillo!" replied the stentorian voice of the skipper, the words struggling faintly against the wind.

The ship was rapidly drifting down to leeward, and I knew that if not soon discovered I was lost, so I shouted again.


The last word was frantically prolonged, and I watched its effect for a full minute with intense anxiety. It was evident from the manner in which my comrades on board glanced anew around the horizon, as also from the shouts which they uttered in reply, that my cry had reached them. I could not indeed hear their hail, but saw their hands to their mouths as when persons shout loudly. Alas! the same fatal error of still looking in the wrong direction prevailed among them: not an eye was turned to windward. My heart died within me.

"Oh, God!" I cried, "they do not hear me, and I am lost. My mother—my poor, poor mother."

I forgot to mention that, on my falling overboard, the cook, who had been cleaning knives in the galley, had mechanically flung the board he was using into the sea. Luckily it floated near me, and catching it, I placed it, end up, under my chin, and thus supported my head above the water without difficulty. But for this, perhaps, I should have been wearied out already by the surges which would have broke over me continually, but which I now generally rode. I also had on my oilskin cap and coat: an equally fortunate circumstance.

After giving way, therefore, for a few minutes to despondency, as I saw the ship drifting off, I rallied myself, and, reflecting that hope never dies while there is life, began to consider my situation more calmly. The comparative buoyancy of my dress, added to the board I had so fortunately obtained, would enable me to keep afloat for an hour, or perhaps for even a longer period, and in that time what chances might not turn up! I knew the Gulf was crowded with vessels. I had observed a French frigate, lying-to, to windward, just before I fell overboard. The direction in which I was drifting would[338] carry me near her, when I might be more fortunate in attracting attention. I cheered my heart with this reflection, and began to look out for the man-of-war.

My first object, in this new frame of mind, was to get rid of my boots, which were by this time full of water, and began sensibly to drag me down. With great difficulty I succeeded in pulling them off; for I had to retain hold of my board with one hand while I worked at the boot with the other. At last I was rid of those dangerous encumbrances, and, floating more lightly, had a better opportunity to look around. Of course my vision of distant objects was cut off every moment by my being carried down into the trough of the sea. No one, who has not been in a similar situation, can appreciate the awfulness with which I gazed on the dark, glistening sides of the immense billows, as I saw myself sinking away from them, as if to the very bottom of the ocean. With what horrid mockery the glassy waters seemed to rise mountain high all around me. Suddenly, when I was at the lowest, I would begin to ascend, as if by magic, from that gloomy gulf, my velocity increasing every instant, until at last I would shoot upward above the crest of the wave, like an arrow propelled from the abyss. A toss of the head, to shake off the water, a long drawn breath, to recover myself, a hasty glance around, and then I was whirled downward again, half smothered in the wild abyss.

I had been overboard half an hour before I caught sight of the French frigate. When at last I beheld her, I could scarcely restrain a cry of joy. She was drifting rapidly toward me, and would pass within hail. How beautiful she looked! Her symmetrical hull, that floated buoyantly as some wild-fowl: her tall spars, unrelieved by a single bit of canvas, except the close-reefed maintop-sail under which she was lying-to: these, penciled against the horizon, formed together a picture of grace and beauty unsurpassed. Now she would pitch head-foremost into the sea; now slowly rise dripping from the deluge. Here and there a look-out was visible dotting her rigging. As she swung, pendulum-like, the wild and whirling clouds that rapidly traversed the distant sky seemed one moment to stand still, and then to speed past her with accelerated velocity. In the midst of peril as I was I still felt all the charm of this picture.

Suddenly I reflected—what if I should miss the frigate? There were other vessels in sight, but none in my track, for by this time I could calculate, with some approach to accuracy, the direction of my drift. Again the thought of my mother came up to me. I was her only son—her almost sole hope—the comfort and darling of her old age. Perhaps even now she was thinking of me. I seemed to see her silver hair, and hear her mild voice once more. Then the vision of that gray head bowed in grief arose. I beheld her in the weeds of deep mourning, bent in body and prostrated in mind. They had told her that her child had been lost overboard months ago, and was now a thousand fathom in the sea. I groaned audibly. God knows, even in that awful hour, it was less of myself than of my mother I thought!

I was now rapidly approaching the frigate.

"Hillo!—hil-lo!" I cried, waving my arm above my head, as I rose on the crest of a wave.

I had but an instant to watch the effect of my cry, before I was submerged again. But there was time enough to assure me that I had not been heard.

I noticed, with terrible misgivings, that my voice was much weaker than it had been half an hour before. Was I so soon becoming exhausted? At this rate, an hour more would probably extinguish life.

This idea filled me with alarm, and as I gained the crest of the next billow, I made a desperate exertion to shout both louder and quicker.

"Hillo!—hillo!—hillo-o-o!" I frantically cried.

I was still prolonging the sound when the comb of a wave went over me, and half blinded as well as smothered, I was tumbled headlong down into the trough of the sea, which I reached more dead than alive. I was still so exhausted when I rose on the next billow that I could not speak.

With agony inexpressible I now saw myself nearly abreast of the frigate. Another descent, another mad whirl upward, and I found her shooting from me. I was now almost delirious with despair,

"Hillo!—ahoy!" I cried. "Oh! for the love of God, hear me!"

I fancied I saw a look-out turn toward me. I knew he must have heard me. If I could have remained on the top of that surge an instant longer his eye would have fallen on me; but the insatiate gulf demanded me, and seized in the embraces of the pitiless waters, I was hurried downward to darkness and death.

When I next rose to the light of day, the man-of-war was fast receding. I was so utterly drenched, so breathless from being nearly smothered, that I could not raise my voice above that of a child, and hence failed to attract the attention of the look-out whom I still saw gazing in search of me. May Heaven grant that none who read these words may ever experience feelings similar to mine at that moment! In another instant I had recovered my voice, but the frigate was now out of hearing.

Suddenly, just as I was giving way to despair, I saw in the distance a large ship driving before the gale, under a reefed maintop-sail and storm stay-sail. She was heading directly toward me. This afforded a new gleam of hope. If I could but arrest her attention, I thought I should be rescued. I forgot that it would be first necessary to throw her into the wind, and that the risk of her broaching-to in this manœuvre would probably prevent her paying any attention to my cries.

On she came, racing like some mad courser, yet riding the gigantic billows buoyantly as a bird. Now half enveloped in the driving foam—now rolling her vast yard-arms almost to the water—now showing her keel as far back as the dripping fore-chains, she presented a spectacle of the most terrible sublimity. The scene around, too, added to the awful majesty of the picture. Just as she rose on a colossal wave, in the trough of which I was buried an immense distance beneath her, a flash of lightning blazed across her track, while, at the same instant, the clouds[339] rolled away behind her, as if lifted like a curtain, and the sun burst forth in all his glory. Never shall I forget the sight! The after part of the gallant ship was buried in the crest of the wave, which, beating over her quarter, flew into the maintop itself. Her fore part had outrun the billow, and hung for a second suspended over the abyss. Then, like a falcon stooping from its height, she swooped down into the gulf, the wild waters roaring after her, like wolves in pursuit of their prey.

She was somewhat to leeward of me, but nevertheless I shouted with all my might, again and again.

It was in vain. Her crew clinging to the rigging, were all engaged each in his own preservation, and no more noticed the half-buried figure calling to them, than they observed the sea-bird that, like an avant courier, swept the billow before them. I shouted, I shrieked, I waved my arm frantically over my head. But all to no purpose. I heard the fierce bubbling of the waters as the mighty ship tore through them close at hand; I caught a glimpse of the pale and terrified faces of her crew, gleaming out in the angry light of the setting sun: and then the vision passed, a Titanic wave upheaved between us, and I was alone.

Alone on the illimitable ocean! Alone while night was drawing on! Alone with no chance of escape remaining! Far, far to leeward, just visible occasionally over the distant surges, I saw my own vessel; but, except this, the horizon was now without a speck.

I burst into tears. The tension of my nerves had been unnatural; they now gave way: and, as I saw nothing but death before me, I wept like a child. Yet still it was the thought of my mother that affected me, not any consideration of self. My whole past life rushed in review before me. I saw myself at my mother's knee looking and wondering as she taught me to pray. I was a boy going to school, now chasing a butterfly, now watching the angler from the village bridge, but ever loitering on my way. I saw my little sister die, and after her, one by one, in that season of terrible epidemic, my four brothers. I followed my father to the grave, the last victim of that pestilence: I wept with my surviving parent: I promised always to stay by her: I was her all in all. And then, with the flight of years, came other pictures. I was older and more adventurous, but, I fear, not wiser nor better. A strange longing for the sea had seized me. I had secretly joined a ship sailing to the Mediterranean, and was now on my return. But, alas! I was never to see that happy home again. The avenging bolt of God had overtaken me. No mother would ever weep above my ashes, no kind hand would deck the sod with flowers. My doom was to be tossed to and fro, midway down the depths of ocean, until the trumpet of the arch-angel should sound.

The night began to close in. Darker and darker the shades of evening fell around the waste of waters, and the wind, as it went by, seemed moaning my requiem. Occasionally the lightning threw a ghastly radiance across the water. I was cold, weary, and half stupefied. My senses began to desert me. No longer able to buffet against fate as I had done, I took in each moment larger draughts of the briny element. In fact I was drowning. Things actual and things visionary—the present and the past—began to commingle in my brain in a wild phantasmagoria. Faces of childhood, the sweet faces of my dead brothers and sisters, looked at me from the sky above; while hideous ones, the countenances seen in fever-dreams, grinned out from the spray around. Confused noises, too, were in my ears. There was music as if from celestial spheres; then notes as if demons laughed in the gale. Gradually all things, seen or heard, became more and more indistinct; a dead blank swum before me, leaving only the sensation of blackness: and then followed utter forgetfulness, the stupor of the dead—or rather that trance between life and death, when the body is exhausted but the vital spark not yet fled—that one dread pause between this world and the next.

I have no recollection of any thing further, until I was partially roused from my insensibility by a hand being laid on me. The next instant I was dragged violently through the water, and thrown on my chest across some sharp substance, which I concluded was the gunwale of a boat. I fell with such force as to eject from me, as from a force-pump, the water I had swallowed. The excessive pain roused me to more complete consciousness. I languidly opened my eyes. I thought I recognized familiar faces: the doubt was settled immediately by a well known voice.

"Easy there, Jack—poor fellow! he is almost gone—now, my hearties!"

The words were spoken in the kind tone of the mate. I knew now that I had been picked up by our ship's boat. She was lying head-on to the waves, to prevent her being swamped while she took me up. Obeying the directions of the mate, the men with a second effort lifted me completely out of the water, and laid me in the stern-sheets of the boat.

"How do you feel?" asked the mate. "God help us, we were looking for you in the wrong direction, till, all at once, I remembered you ought to be to windward, and so at last made you out, a mere speck on the horizon. We had a hard pull to reach you too! At first I thought we should be swamped. But here you are safe. And now, lads, give way lustily."

The crew, at these words, put double strength into their oars, and away we sped toward the ship. What a sensation of comfort and security came over me as I felt the planks under me, and heard the waters, which, cheated of their prey, followed roaring in our wake.

I looked up toward the mate, who, steering with one hand, was covering me with his jacket with the other. He was doing it, too, as tenderly as a mother wraps her babe. Oh! how full my heart was. I tried to raise myself on my elbow and speak.

"Nay! shipmate," he said, placing his hand on my shoulder gently, as if to press me down, "not a word. You need rest: you were three hours in the water."

In truth, this little exertion had made me dizzy. I heard his words as in a dream, and sunk back, while[340] all things seemed to whirl around me. I closed my eyes, and presently, in a whisper, the mate said—

"He sleeps. I don't think he could have stood it five minutes longer. Who would have told his mother?"

From this time until I woke in my berth, I lay in a state of profound insensibility. They have since told me that on reaching the ship they thought me gone; but that by chafing my limbs, and employing stringent restoratives they recovered me. I soon after sunk into a refreshing sleep, and when I woke in the morning was perfectly well, though weak.

It was quite dark, it appears, when we reached the ship, so that if my discovery had come a few minutes later, it is exceedingly doubtful whether or not I could have been saved.

Years have passed since then, and I have rehearsed my deliverance a hundred times, yet I always shudder to recall those terrible hours when Overboard in the Gulf.



My native isle! my native isle!
Forever round thy sunny steep
The low waves curl with sparkling foam
And solemn murmurs deep;
While o'er the surging waters blue
The ceaseless breezes throng,
And in the grand old woods awake
An everlasting song.
The sordid strife and petty cares
That crowd the city's street,
The rush, the race, the storm of Life
Upon thee never meet;
But quiet and contented hearts
Their daily tasks fulfill,
And meet with simple hope and trust
The coming good or ill.
The spireless church stands plain and brown
The winding road beside;
The green graves rise in silence near,
With moss-grown tablets wide;
And early on the Sabbath morn,
Along the flowery sod,
Unfettered souls, with humble prayer,
Go up to worship God.
And dearer far than sculptured fane
Is that gray church to me,
For in its shade my mother sleeps,
Beneath the willow-tree;
And often when my heart is raised,
By sermon and by song,
Her friendly smile appears to me
From the seraphic throng.
The sunset glow, the moon-lit stream
Part of my being are;
The fairy flowers that bloom and die,
The skies so clear and far.
The stars that circle Night's dark brow,
The winds and waters free,
Each with a lesson all its own
Are monitors to me.
The systems in their endless march
Eternal truth proclaim;
The flowers God's love from day to day
In gentlest accents name;
The skies for burdened hearts and faint
A code of Faith prepare;
What tempest ever left the heaven
Without a blue spot there?
My native isle! my native isle!
In sunnier climes I've strayed,
But better love thy pebbled beach
And lonely forest glade,
Where low winds stir with fragrant breath
The purple violet's head,
And the star-grass in the early spring
Peeps from the sear leaf's bed.
I would no more of tears and strife
Might on thee ever meet,
But when against the tide of years
This heart has ceased to beat,
Where the green weeping willows bend
I fain would go to rest,
Where waters lave, and winds may sweep
Above my peaceful breast.




To marshal you, oh army of the Poor!
The spirits of the Past have back returned—
They who once toiled for you, though crushed and spurned;
Toiled, that while Truth and Freedom evermore
Might guard the olive of the lowliest door:
He, the Great human Type, for whom men yearned,
And longed in prophecy, for you, who mourned:
And they, the martyrs, red at every pore:
The blood-sown Truth of all these mighty dead
Ye have ingarnered, and the fruit appears
Nursed unto giant growth to the full days—
Now, Lebanon is shaken—Isles outspread
Amid the seas are stirred—they who sowed in tears
In gladness now the harvest pæan raise.






"We shall see," gentlemen, said King Charles, as he strode with a hasty step across the apartment, "whether my lord of Rochester's presence is as essential to the court and to the amusement of the king, as his vanity induces him to suppose."

"The expression was a thoughtless one," observed the young Count de Grammont, who was present, "and doubtless not intended for your majesty's ears."

"Yet it was made, De Grammont," replied the king, "and, by the soul of St. Paul! he shall be responsible for it. Rochester presumes too much on our clemency, which he has so often experienced, but which he shall have no reason to slight again."

"Be merciful, my liege, for the sake of his wit," said the Duke of Buckingham, with an ill-concealed smile at the king's petulance.

"Better he had none, George," replied the king, "for he knows not how to use it. Odds-fish! he as essential to Charles as Charles to him! We have more wits at court, my lords, than Rochester. There's yourself, Buckingham, and De Grammont, there, and Killegrew, Sedly, and a dozen others who can make a pigmy of this Goliah!"

"But your majesty will limit the period of his disgrace?" asked De Grammont, who was sincerely friendly toward the obnoxious earl.

"We will put this limit to it, and none other," replied Charles. "When Rochester's wit is seductive enough to induce his king, personally, to wait upon him three several times, or to command his presence at court, then he may return, and not before; but come, gentleman, we have other things to attend to this morning without wasting time upon an ingrate."


The wittiest man at the wittiest court in Europe—that of Charles the Second of England—was undoubtedly John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester; and innumerable are the anecdotes that have been related of him in connection with his friend and sovereign, Charles. Rochester's wit, however, sometimes resulted in inconvenience to himself, and was occasionally the means of having him banished from the court. This circumstance generally occurred at least once a year, and sometimes oftener, as in seeking amusement for himself and friends, he held nothing sacred. Persons and things alike shared his satire and his wit, and even majesty was not always exempt from the shafts he lavished so freely on all sides.

The dialogue detailed in the last chapter was the result of one of those indiscretions. He had presented Charles to the court in so very ridiculous a light, that the monarch became highly incensed, and banished him from his presence. Rochester, at the time, happened to be engaged in an intrigue with one of the maids of honor to the Duchess of York, which made this interruption to his avocations the more unpleasant than it otherwise would have been. He bore it, however, with his usual humor, and left the court, declaring that his disgrace could not be of long duration, as he was quite as indispensable to Charles as Charles was necessary to him, and that within two months he would be recalled.

This inconsiderate boast had, as we have seen, been as inconsiderately repeated to the king, and resulted in the monarch's declaration that Rochester should not return to court until his wit had induced him, Charles, either to wait upon him three several times, or to command his presence.

The Count de Grammont took an early opportunity of communicating this resolution to his friend, and though he was himself sanguine in his hopes, and fertile in his invention, he was not a little surprised at the indifferent, not to say facetious, manner of its reception by Rochester.

"I accept his majesty's challenge," exclaimed the wit, laughing; "and by Miss Hobart's wrinkles, and the fair Temple's smiles, I swear, I am now disposed to say that within a single moon our sacred, sapient king shall command the presence of his most melancholy subject; ay, and wait upon him, too."

"Be not too confident, mon chere ami" said De Grammont, "for this time, for a wonder, our Charles is serious, and he must work deeply and sharply who outwits him."

"But he shall be outwitted, O, most unbelieving of infidels!" cried Rochester, "if thou wilt only prove true to me."

"Thou hast me as sure as thy blade," replied the count.

"Then within a month," said the earl, "the smiles of Rochester shall once more illuminate the court; and those who sigh in sadness now shall confess that the sun shone not during his absence. Do you but second my projects, and obey my behests, and Charles shall admit that he is no match for Rochester."

"But whither go you now to banishment?" asked De Grammont, as Rochester rose to leave him.

"You shall hear from me anon," replied the earl; "I go to make an actress of my lady's maid, and to study snares for the king."


Rochester left London for a day or two to conceal the traces of his whereabouts; but disguising himself[342] completely, and assuming the habit of a simple citizen, he soon returned, and selected an ostensible residence, where he intended, for the time, to appear in the character he had adopted.

Chance, in this vagary, had given to Rochester, as a host, a gentleman and a soldier, who had once been an equal and a companion.

A cavalier officer, and one of the most devoted to his king, Colonel Boynton, had fought in almost every battle against the troops of the parliament, and distinguished himself sufficiently in several to attract the royal notice, and to elicit the commendation of his king. With the loss of the royal cause, Colonel Boynton retired, wounded both in person and in fortune, to private life, where, in the society of his wife and infant daughter, he strove to forget the downfall of the unfortunate though guilty Charles, and the ruin of his family.

The triumph of the parliamentary cause still further affected Boynton's fortunes; yet, when some years after he knew that the sons of his royal master were fugitives in a foreign land, and in pecuniary distress, he did not hesitate to impoverish himself in order to minister to their necessities; trusting to Providence and his own exertions for his immediate wants, and to the re-establishment of the monarchy and the royal gratitude for his future fortune.

Colonel Boynton had lived to see the son of the First Charles ascend the throne; but his just expectations, with regard to his own fortune, had not been realized. Too proud to present himself to the royal notice to claim the reward of his services, and the return of his advances, when he thought that gratitude required he should be sought out, he languished, with his daughter, who had now grown up to be a beautiful maiden, neglected and unnoticed in a condition not many degrees removed from absolute want; struggling for the means of existence, and cherishing each hour increased feelings of bitterness against the king and the court.

It was with Colonel Boynton that Rochester now took up his abode, nor was it long before he recognized the heroic soldier of former times; and wild, reckless and dissipated as Rochester was, he could not help deeply sympathizing with the condition of Boynton, and determining to assist in having justice done to him. But from the Colonel himself he met with an impediment he had not expected; for when, in his assumed character, (Rochester did not disclose himself,) he suggested the king's ignorance of his existence and urged him to present himself to the monarch's notice, the old soldier unhesitatingly and indignantly refused, alleging proudly, that it was not for him personally to quicken the king's memory, adding, that if his services could be so easily forgotten, he was satisfied they should forever remain in oblivion.

Notwithstanding this unexpected obstinacy the earl resolved to serve the veteran and his motherless child, and he conceived a plot at the same time, by which he purposed making the colonel's history subservient to his design of outwitting the Merry Monarch.


A fortnight had hardly elapsed since the retirement of Rochester from court, when the reputation of a German doctor—said to be a wonderful astrologist—began to be generally noised about. He had located himself, on his arrival, in an obscure corner of the city of London, and his practice was at first confined to valets, waiting-maids, and such like persons; but so astounding and veracious had been his disclosures to these, that his fame rapidly reached the upper circles, and aroused the curiosity of the lords and ladies of the court. No sooner had he obtained this run of custom than he became a made man, with every prospect of a speedy fortune before him; for the displays of his art, with which he had petrified his more humble patrons, carried no less astonishment amongst the more fashionable ones, who at first affected to disbelieve in it, and who originally sought only to while away the tedium of an idle hour by laughing at the grossness of his impositions. But he had overwhelmed them with consternation by his knowledge, and his information of the intrigues with which they were all more or less connected; he covered them with confusion for themselves, at the same time that they could not withhold their admiration of his skill. He was quickly esteemed a wonderful man, to whom all hidden things were open, and who could decipher the pages of the past and future as readily as he could read the events which were transpiring around him.

Now to pretend that any supernatural powers had been displayed by the learned astrologer, Doctor Herman Von Lieber, (for that was the name under which this tenth wonder suffered himself to be known,) would, perhaps, be going too far; though it was certain that he possessed a knowledge of persons, and of the history of individuals who sought him, that was really startling; and if we consider that the development of personal matters of scandal, which we thought confined to our own breasts, is more apt to astound us than effects which are positively inexplicable and beyond the reach of human ken, we will not be surprised at the celebrity which our astrologer suddenly acquired.

All the court was in commotion at his disclosures, and the royal curiosity had been excited.

Late one afternoon the Chevalier de Grammont proposed to the king the idea of disguising themselves and paying a visit to the astrologer, who had created so great a sensation; and the monarch, who was anxious that the time until evening—when he, with the chevalier, had a new adventure to inspire them—should pass rapidly away, consented readily to the suggestion.

At the residence of the astrologer they found all the arrangements of the most singular character. They were met at the door by a couple of Ethiopeans, fantastically dressed, who conducted them, without question, through a suit of dim-looking apartments to one which would have been quite dark, had its gloom not been relieved by a few small antique lamps, whose light barely sufficed to disclose the necromantic arrangements of[343] the room and the untranslatable hieroglyphics around.

After bidding them be seated, one of the blacks approached a strange-looking table, and rang a small silver bell, then lighting another lamp, which in burning dispersed an aroma through the room, he, with his companion, left our adventurers to themselves.

"Odds-fish, De Grammont," exclaimed the king, as the door closed, "the sorcerer knows enough of human nature to commence his tricks by astonishing the outward senses, thereby rendering the conquest of the intellectual man the more simple."

"This looks necromancy, certainly;" replied De Grammont, "but let us see further before we confess ourselves bewitched, even by so great an adept."

At this moment a door at the further end of the apartment opened, and a tall, stately, venerable looking man entered. His dress was almost grotesque, but there was a certain dignity about it which redeemed it from being entirely so. It was surmounted by a magnificent robe trimmed with sables and decorated with a variety of unknown orders. Upon his head he wore a richly wrought velvet cap, from beneath which his long silvery hair escaped and reached quite down to his shoulders.

"Men seek me," said the astrologer, (for it was him) "but for two purposes: either to have the past rehearsed to them, or to lift the veil of time and unravel the mysteries of the future. For which of these do you come?"

"Most learned doctor," said Charles, smiling at his companion, "we come for both purposes; but more especially are we here to test that wisdom, the reputation of which has reached the four corners of the earth and filled the most profound with wonder."

"You sneer, my son," observed the doctor, gravely, "but nevertheless your wishes shall be gratified, for even a skeptic may be made a believer. Shall I expound the past to you?"

"First enlighten my incredulous companion as to his fate," replied Charles, "and then I will judge how far you can speak of mine."

"Give me the hour of your birth," said the doctor, turning to De Grammont, "and I will consult the stars in reference to your fortune."

De Grammont did as he was desired, and the astrologer left the apartment. In a few moments he returned.

"You are not what you seem!" he said, seating himself, and addressing De Grammont.

"Pray heaven you prove me no worse," replied De Grammont, laughing; "I am a thriving merchant, though I would fain be a lord or a duke."

"The merchandise you deal in," said the astrologer, "is to be found in the mart of fashion, where frailty, unrebuked, boldly lifts its head by the side of innocence, making the latter undistinguishable Thou hast naught to do with those wares that make a nation's commerce."

De Grammont laughed as he asked him of his parentage and past fortune.

"You are nobly derived," replied the astrologer: "you have been the companion of kings."

"Tut, tut!" exclaimed Charles, "thy art discloses naught. Thou wilt surely make me an emperor if my friend is already the companion of kings."

After a few more questions, which were as shrewdly answered by the adept, it became the disguised monarch's turn to learn his fate.

"Yours has been a checkered life," the doctor said, when he had, as before, consulted the stars. "The planets show that you have been beset by as many and as great vicissitudes even as the monarch now seated upon England's throne, and that thou hast profited as little by them."

Charles exchanged a smile with De Grammont, as he said—

"I thought you had a throne reserved for me, though I fear me 'tis in the moon it must be fixed. Prove but your words, however, and thou shalt be my chief favorite."

"That," replied the astrologer, "is too precarious a place for me. They say that Rochester is banished from King Charles's court, and what hope could I have of pleasing if he could be dispensed with? Nevertheless, I'll prove my words."

"Tell me, then, of the present," said Charles.

"I'll tell you of a war, and a concluded treaty of peace, that the world knows not yet of."

"With what nation, most sapient sir?" asked the monarch, laughing.

"With a woman!" replied the doctor. "There is one, who this morning was styled a countess, and, as such, waged war against you; the preliminaries of peace have been signed, and she is now the Duchess of Cleveland, for which concession she has consented to abjure the society of St. Albans' nephew, Jermyn, and to meddle no more with his Majesty's passion for the pretty Stewart!"

"Thou dealest with the devil!" exclaimed the monarch, startled into an awkward admission.

"I deal with the stars," replied the doctor, gravely, "and they are unerring guides."

"Let them speak of the future, then, and perchance I may think so."

"There is a bird a monarch seeks to cage, though the trembler knows him not. This night he hies to her bower in a strange habit, and hopes to win her thence; but let him take heed that more eyes look not on him than the young bird's; she may escape, and he be unmasked."

"Odds my life! my friend, I think thou knowest me," cried Charles, laughing, as he drew a purse from his belt.

"The stars proclaim thee England's king," replied the astrologer, as he bent his knee to the monarch.

Charles satisfied himself by asking a few more questions, then threw the doctor his purse, and, bidding him come to the palace to receive another, he departed.

The doctor reseated himself, and taking off his cap and venerable wig he disclosed the now easily recognized features of the Earl of Rochester.

Rochester indulged in a hearty fit of laughter, as he[344] muttered to himself,—"Already you have been outwitted once, friend Charles, thanks to De Grammont's aid, and shall be thrice, or Rochester will confess himself a fool, and unworthy to be recalled."


When Rochester casually stopped, an hour after the king's visit, at the humble residence of Colonel Boynton, he was surprised to find much confusion there. Two rough-looking strangers seemed to have taken possession of the apartment usually occupied by the veteran. The unfortunate old man stood passive, cold, and immoveable, while his pretty daughter Margaret hung round his neck, weeping bitterly, and pleading alternately with him and with the strangers, who—the instruments of a flinty-hearted creditor—seemed quite unmoved by her touching sorrow.

"What is this, my good friend?" asked Rochester, taking the colonel by the hand.

"'Tis nothing," he replied, with a quivering lip, as he turned his gaze upon his daughter; "I have been deficient in punctuality to an impatient creditor, and he thinks the discipline of a prison may quicken my memory and resources."

"Out upon him, the hard-hearted knave!" exclaimed Rochester, "he should have his ears slit to teach him better manners."

"Oh, sir, speak to them!" cried Margaret, pointing to the officers; "they refuse to let me bear my poor father company."

Rochester took the commitment from one of the men, and glancing at the amount of the debt, proceeded at once to liquidate it from the king's purse.

"Hold, sir!" said Boynton, interposing. "I thank you from my soul for your intentions, but I cannot consent to receive charity from mortal man."

"I had no thought of charity, my excellent friend," said Rochester; "'tis only to exchange places with your creditor that I intend, and shall, at your earliest convenience, expect payment at your hands.—Think," he added in a lower tone, "of this fair girl, and leave not her youth and inexperience exposed to the temptations and corruptions by which she would be surrounded in your absence."

This argument was too powerful to be resisted. The gallant old colonel shook his friend's offered hand, as he suffered him to pay the debt, and dismiss the myrmidons of the law.

"I say it is no obligation," Rochester observed, in reply to the veteran's reiterated acknowledgments; "fortune has smiles in store for you yet, nor will they be withheld much longer. I must leave you now, though," he said, smiling at a passing idea, "for I have this night to superintend the planetary influences, in order to prevent the prognostications of the stars from failing."

The colonel looked after him as he departed, but without comprehending a word of his astrological remarks.


In a house remote from the one in which King Charles experienced his last adventure with the pretended astrologer, he sat again, disguised in the undress uniform of a naval officer, with his arm encircling the neat waist of a remarkably pretty girl.

She affected to allow this liberty reluctantly, yet there was that in her large black eyes and mischief-loving countenance which contradicted the attempted coyness she at first evinced.

"So, they call thee Margaret?" said the king, as he leaned his face against her curls.

"Yes, Master Stuart."

"And thou art poor, Margaret?"

"Alas! yes," she replied, "my father was once a royalist officer, and rich; but the civil wars and his sacrifices for his king left him penniless and friendless."

"It has been the fate of many besides him," the monarch observed. "Those same wars were, at one time, the ruin of my own family. But thou, Margaret, shalt be poor no longer. Thou shalt leave this home of penury with me, and I will make thee rich."

"Nay, sir," she said, as he attempted to kiss her, "be not so tender with your kindness. I fear already thy sympathy and its motive."

"Fear nothing from me, pretty one," said Charles, clasping her closely to him.

"Why are we here alone?" she asked, seeming to realize, and be startled at the idea, for the first time; "where is the friend who introduced you—where is Master Granby?"

"He will be here anon, pretty Margaret," replied the king, "his own affairs have called him hence for a time. Heed him not, though, my sweet trembler, my Peri of perfection, my Houri of Paradise! thou art safe with me, and with me thou shalt hie away to regions where love will smile upon thee, and gold will pour in perpetual showers in thy lap."

The monarch became so inexpressibly tender that the maiden, in her own defence, was compelled to scream. After a moment's lapse an approaching step upon the stairs warned the precipitate lover to defer the prosecution of his suit to a more auspicious occasion. He hastened to the door, but, to his astonishment, found it fastened, and on trying the window, that, too, had been externally cared for.

"De Grammont has betrayed me!" he exclaimed, as he drew a concealed pistol from his belt and prepared to confront the coming danger.

His apprehensions, were, however, groundless, for the only person who entered the room was a tall, athletic looking old woman, in her night dress, wearing a remarkably heavy pair of shoes. She placed her candle upon the table and walked deliberately up to where the young girl was sitting. Seeing her she started back in astonishment.

"Are you here, Margaret?" she exclaimed; "beshrew me, I thought thee asleep two good hours ago, instead of throwing thy company away upon a young man, and a stranger. Away with you, mistress, to[345] your bed! You are unworthy to be called your father's daughter."

"Nay, good dame, be not so hard with pretty Margaret," said Charles, as he saw the young girl leaving the room with her handkerchief to her eyes.

"Out upon thee, sirrah, for a knave!" retorted the old woman; "I'll see directly who thou art, sir jack-a-napes. To thy chamber, Miss, and thank Heaven for thy father's misfortune, which prevented his being here this night."

When the girl had gone, she took up the light, and approaching the king, scrutinized him closely from head to foot.

"Well, mother," he said, as he suffered her to proceed with the examination, "find you aught here to fear?"

She was gazing at the moment at his face, and she started back as she spoke.

"Much, much to fear!" she replied, "for I see here the features of a king! When we find the wolf in the sheepfold we may slay him, but who dare approach the 'lion!'

The king was filled with amazement at being recognised; but without suffering his surprise to be evident, he endeavored to ridicule the assertion.

"True, dame," he remarked, "they call me the king of good fellows; but as for a lion, the comparison is somewhat strained; it would be more apt with a longer-eared animal, for suffering myself to be trapped thus sillily."

The old woman seized his hand, and after pointing to the royal signet, dropped it.

"Charles Stuart, King of England, thou canst not deceive me!"

"Faith," said the king, laughing, "methinks this is another astrologer in petticoats!"

"And is it to his king," exclaimed the old woman, reproachfully, "that the unfortunate Colonel Boynton is indebted for a base attempt upon his daughter's honor, at the very moment when he himself is the tenant of a prison for having, by his loyalty, impoverished himself! Is this the reward for the blood he has shed, and the honorable wounds he has received in fighting your battles, and for hastening to offer you his last penny in a foreign land, even when his own family was persecuted and destitute at home!"

"Colonel Boynton!" cried Charles, as the old woman concluded; "surely not the brave Boynton who served so nobly at Edge Hill, Naseby, and Worcester, and who came to relieve his royal master's wants when he was a wanderer and an outcast among strangers? This cannot be his child, nor can he be living. They told me years since, when I caused inquiry to be made for him, that he was dead."

"He knew not that his king had ever sought for him," the old woman said; "he thought his services and his sacrifices in the past had been willfully forgotten, and his proud spirit scorned to thrust unpleasant recollections upon you."

"Poor Boynton! poor Boynton!" exclaimed Charles, "this has, indeed, been ingratitude to one of the most deserving and faithful of my subjects. Said you, my good woman, that he is now in a prison, and for debt?"

"Ay, my good lord."

"There, there!" said Charles, hastily handing her a weighty purse, "see that he is relieved at once—this night, if it be possible—and bid him in the morning wait upon his king, whose greatest regret is that he has not met with him sooner."

"Will your majesty write your request for him to come to the palace? he may be somewhat skeptical of your royal solicitude."

"Assuredly," replied the king, as he took up a pen from the table and drew a sheet of paper toward him; "and do you also bear him company."

"Add, then, if your majesty pleases, that you desire the bearer also to appear."

The king looked at her an instant, then did as she suggested.

"And now, dame," said he, "relieve me from my durance, and allow me to depart."

She hastily unfastened the door, and the king passed out. "Be sure," said he, as he lingered a moment at the threshold, "that you bring my pretty Margaret with you; her fortunes, too, must be advanced at court."

The old woman, after carefully fastening the door, threw herself into a chair, and gave vent to a hearty burst of laughter.

"There, Nancy, you can come down," exclaimed the familiar voice of Rochester, as the figure of the quondam Margaret appeared again upon the stairs. "Thou art a good girl, and I will make thee a capital actress yet. Old Rowley has again been outwitted!"


The next morning three strangers—two old men and a young girl—were admitted to the palace of Whitehall, on showing the king's order to that effect, but only one of the men was immediately conducted to the king's presence.

The Count de Grammont, (who had made his peace for his seeming desertion of the previous evening,) Lord Arlington, and Sir Charles Sedly, were with the king when Colonel Boynton was announced.

The old man knelt at the monarch's feet, and taking his hand, kissed it fervently.

"Rise, my gallant old friend, rise!" said Charles, assisting him as he spoke; "it gives us joy to see one so faithful, and so long neglected, once more near our person. Our greatest grief is that so tried a servant, and so brave an officer as Colonel Boynton should have been in adversity and we not know even of his existence; but you shall be cared for, my old friend, and the future shall prove to you that Charles knows how to be grateful to those who have served him when he most needed services."

"Your majesty is over bountiful to one who wronged you by supposing you capable of injustice. For this I crave your royal pardon, and also for another and more heinous offence."

"Thou hast it," replied the king, "even if the offence be treason against ourself."[346]

"It is the offence of having imposed upon my sovereign," exclaimed a voice that made the king start, while Rochester, ridding himself of his disguise, knelt before him.

"By my life, it is Rochester!" cried the king, starting back from the prostrate earl, while every one present, except De Grammont, was filled with amazement at the sudden transformation of Colonel Boynton.

Charles was at first disposed to laugh, but recollecting his outraged dignity, he restrained himself, and addressed his banished courtier in terms of considerable severity.

"This presumption, my Lord Rochester," said he, "ill becomes you; nor can the insult to your king be easily atoned for."

"Pardon me, my liege—" Rochester commenced.

"By what authority," said the king, interrupting him, "have you ventured to intrude yourself upon our presence, contrary to our express commands?"

"Simply by this, my gracious liege," replied the earl, handing the paper he had received the previous evening, and pointing to the word bearer.

"That, sir, was given to another, and a worthier person than the Earl of Rochester."

"I might, your majesty," said Rochester, lowering his voice, and approaching nearer to the king, "defend myself from the insinuation, but I am prevented by a powerful reason, for, when we find the wolf in the sheepfold, we may slay him, but who dare approach the lion."

Charles was astonished at hearing the old woman's words repeated, but the fear of his own exposure somewhat mollified his anger.

"So, then, thou wert thyself in masquerade?" he said; "and with whom hast thou dealt to put this cheat upon me."

"I deal with the stars," replied the earl, assuming as nearly as possible the tone of the astrologer, "and they are unerring guides."

"Odd-fish, my lord," exclaimed Charles, now laughing heartily, "and were you the necromancer, too?"

"And Colonel Boynton, too, my liege; and all for the purpose of inducing your majesty to keep your royal word, which said, 'When Rochester's wit is seductive enough to induce his king, personally, to wait upon him three several times, or to command his presence at court, then he may return.'"

"I think, my lords, I have been fairly caught," said the king, smiling, and speaking to those around him, "and to keep my word inviolate, must permit Rochester's return."

"To prove that I am not ungrateful for your majesty's goodness," observed the earl, "I am prepared to produce the objects of your solicitude—Colonel Boynton and his fair daughter—they wait your royal pleasure."

On the introduction of the venerable colonel and the pretty Margaret, the king whispered to Rochester, "Surely, my lord, this is not the girl I saw last night?"

"No, your majesty," replied the earl, "she was a pupil of my own."

Charles, in a few words, satisfied Colonel Boynton that the neglect of his faithful services had been owing entirely to misapprehension. He gave him at once a position which secured him against future reverses; nor was it long before his interesting daughter found a husband worthy of her choice.

Rochester's Protean exploits afforded amusement to the court for some time. Charles bore the raillery he heard around him philosophically, and good humoredly admitted that he had been completely outwitted.



Love thy mother, little one,
Love her tenderly;
Clasp thy little arms around her,
For a holy tie hath bound her—
Bound her close to thee!
Love thy mother, little one,
Love her tenderly!
Love thy mother, little one,
Love her earnestly;
Gaze into her eyes, and see there—
All that thou couldst hope to be there—
Warmest love for thee!
Love thy mother, little one,
Love her earnestly!
Love thy mother, little one,
Love her fervently;
By thy couch she kneeleth nightly,
And, with hands enclaspéd tightly,
Prayeth, love, for thee!
Love thy mother, little one,
Love her fervently!
Love thy mother, little one,
Love her tenderly;
Clasp thy little arms around her,
For a holy tie hath bound her—
Bound her close to thee!
Love thy mother, little one,
Love her tenderly!





And were not these high words to flow
From woman's breaking heart?
Through all that night of bitterest wo
She bore her lofty part;
But, oh! with such a glazing eye,
With such a curdling cheek—
Love, love! of mortal agony
Thou—only thou shouldst speak. Mrs. Hemans.
As their hearts—their way was one,
And cannot be divided. Joanna Baillie.

A child of seven summers reclined upon a couch. Suffering and disease had so enfeebled his naturally fragile frame, that his thin hand could scarcely sustain a bunch of roses, which his young sister Lillias had culled for him, from his own rose-tree; the tree that it had been his joy and pride to attend to, when in health. He hard marked, delighted, the first green leaf that in the spring-time burst from its wintry repose, and very joyously he clapped his little hands when a streak of crimson peered out from the first bud. He dreamed not, amid his happiness, that the Angel of Death should steal around him before its bright hue faded, nor that others should bud and blossom—to wither upon his grave. Even thus it was.

Willie M—— was a child of unusual feeling and sensibility, his young face often shadowing forth strange, sad feelings—feelings that seldom exist, save in the heart of maturer years. I have seen him gaze upward to the bright blue sky with delight, as though his childish ken could pierce the clouds, and commune with the intelligences of Heaven; and a flower—a murmuring rill—a boundless flow of water—silvery stars—and gentle winds—failed not to arouse enthusiastic emotions in his young heart, at which many marveled. "None knew him but to love him," and in his walks with "dear papa, sweet mamma, and darling Lillias," many an eye followed him with blessings. "Ah," said an aged one, whom he had cheered with sunny smiles and artless conversation, "few will be the years of Willie M——; he is one of God's angels lent to earth!" and her tears fell at the prophetic thought that even she would live to see his winsome wee face hid beneath the coffin's lid.

A group of young children stood around his bed, gazing with fearful wonder on the change that had been wrought in their loved playmate. He had begged of his mamma to send for them, that he might see them once more; and his large, spiritual eye had looked its welcome on each of that little band. Once he had hunted with them the early violet in the glade and dingle; once the echoes of his voice rang merrily out as they bounded over the greensward in chase of the bright, illusive butterfly—and his heart grew sad as he felt that he should be with them no more. A little hand was laid caressingly upon his head—it was Gary Lincoln, and as he turned around to look upon her he saw that her eyes were full of tears. "Why do you cry, Gary?" said he. "Because mamma says that you are going away to Heaven," she replied, "and I cannot bear to think of it—don't go, Willie, don't go!" and the tears streamed down her young face like rain. It was her first sorrow.

Willie spoke not, but a grieved, yet tender expression rested on his countenance, and his mamma, taking a hand of each within her own, told her that if she were good, if they all were good children, they should go to Willie—although he might not stay with them. She told them of the glorious home to which he was hastening—how happy he would be—never to suffer more—of the white robe—the starry crown and the tiny golden harp that should be his—and how he would be their guardian angel, through day and hush of night, and how joyfully he would welcome each one to his happy home.

That mother's heart was bursting, and yet her absorbing love for her child nerved her to this, and as she told of that clime where "the soul wears its mantle of glory," the little sufferer's eye grew so intensely bright that it seemed unearthly. Visions of Heaven seemed opened to his view, and with a face radiant with delight he clasped his hands, and said, "Dear mamma, let me go now." "We must wait, my child, till God sends his angels for you." "Yes," he murmured, "till the angels come," and sunk exhausted into a slumber. Slowly and quietly the children departed—and when next they looked upon him he was shrouded for the grave. In a few moments he awoke, and as he missed the little faces that had been around him, a sad look rested for a moment upon his face—but in an instant, as his eye rested on his young sister, he smiled feebly, and exclaimed—"They are all gone—yet my sweet Lillias is with me still."

That night the angels kept vigil around his couch, and ere morn arose upon the earth the unsullied spirit was wafted to its native Heaven. Never—never can that night of Death be effaced from the tablets of memory—marked as it was by such holy,[348] heavenly heroism on the part of that fond and devoted mother. Burning tears were on the father's cheek, and the young Lillias had sobbed herself into a feverish slumber, but until life was over the mother sat by the side of her child, breathing sweet, low whispers of the Better Land, so soon to be his home. She faltered not, and although her heart seemed consuming itself, she would still trace, with an eye of faith, new rays of comfort for the dying one. She could not bear to think that his childish heart should shrink from the grave—nor think of it—invested as it is so often—with dread and gloom. Thus she sustained him to the very portals of Heaven, until he needed earthly consolation no more, until the sheltering arms of Him received him, who hath said—"Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of Heaven." As peacefully as a child sinks to rest on a mother's bosom, sunk he into Death's embrace.

The agony of the hour, when it is said of a beloved one, "he is dead," has never—nor can it be justly portrayed. Then it is that Hope plumes her wing and soars afar—then it is the even, the clear eye of Faith seems dimmed. When the truth burst upon the mother's heart that her child was no more—when she felt that her grief had now no power to afflict the childish heart that had idolized her—then did the pent up torrents of agony rush forth, crushing every barrier, and threatening to overwhelm her soul in their mighty depth. Yet was she comforted—the glorious imaginings that she had so faithfully and forcibly portrayed to the dying one had fastened upon her soul—and when the first wild burst of grief was over, she turned from the coffined face to the upper world, as though she would say, "not here—but there."

Once more a childish group gathered around Willie M——. His eye smiled no welcome, his hand returned no pressure, but as he lay enshrouded in the garments of the grave, methought he was even more lovely than when his face was glowing with life. A smile still wreathed the parted lips, as though the happy spirit had returned to the tenement of clay, breathing of the blessedness of its glorious home. Each imprinted a kiss on the placid brow, and as the icy chill of death met their lips, so full of life and warmth, the reality of their loss was felt by all. Gary Lincoln lingered until she placed within those little hands a cluster of white rose-buds—"Flowers, pale flowers"—they were love's last gift.

Now came the hopeless anguish of the last look—the suspension of almost life, as the dear remains are lowered to their resting-place—and, worse than all, the hollow, maddening sound of the falling earth upon the coffin, sealing the doom of the bereaved, making complete their misery. They laid him to rest amid the bloom and shade of Mount Auburn, and his grave is a shrine around which those who loved him come, bringing ever with them the offering of gentle thoughts and pleasant memories of him who sleeps below. Little hands deck it with garlands, and sweet Cary Lincoln has placed a tuft of early violets above the sacred spot—for, said she, "Willie loved violets so well."

For months after his death, during the "long bright summer hours," a child was seen almost daily to visit his grave, lingering when all had gone. It was Lillias—and I thought if the departed spirit were hovering near, how often it would echo those words, "They are all gone, yet thou, my sweet Lillias, art with me still."

One year had elapsed, and a funeral train wound again through Mount Auburn, pausing at the grave of Willie. Lillias was no more. She ceased not to mourn for her brother, and during her last illness she spoke of little, save that she should find him in heaven. Once more that angel-mother sat by a dying child, breathing words of holy hope and trust, and her eye grew bright, and her heart was warm, as she spoke of a joyful reunion in heaven.

"Mamma," said the child, "we will keep a place for you and dear papa, and will you come soon?"

Years have since passed, but often at the holy twilight hour those gentle children are with me still; and when my rapt soul pierces the azure vault, I seem to see Willie in angel robes, and listen, entranced, to the tones of spirit-melody from his tiny golden harp—a form as radiant as his own is ever near him, and I fancy, as I mark the delighted look that ever greets a seraph strain from the beloved lips, that I hear in sweet tones, "thou, my sweet Lilias, art with me still."


Say, doth the sculptor's ready tool engrave
A mournful stanza o'er a conqueror's grave?
Or bid the willow bend, or cypress twine?
Or doleful tokens to his fame combine?
Then trace no saddening sentence o'er the place
Where rests the victor in a heavenward race;
Meeter the laurel and the trumpet-strain
For one who fought a fadeless crown to gain!
Bring the memorials of a warrior true,
The "sword," the "helmet," and the "breast-plate" too;
Write on the marble that by these he won,
And bid the gazer do as he hath done!
Write of his faith; how humble, yet how bright,
Diffusing round a clear and heavenly light;
Write of his zeal; how quenchlessly it burned,
How many a wanderer to the skies it turned!
And, mourner, when thou comest with a tear,
Love's costless tribute to remembrance dear,
Bend there thy trembling knee upon the sod,
And lift thy homage to the conqueror's God!






How shall I describe her? Who ever described the sun, or one of the glorious stars, or the white, witching moon; or who, even the least and simplest of the exquisitely, perfectly fashioned wild-flowers, that grow upon the humblest road-side? If these are indescribable, how much more so, in its highest perfection, is the most beautiful, most perfect of all God's beautiful, perfect creations—woman? Who ever depicted her one half as lovely and loving as she is? Who ever, amid all the wild, rapturous praise that has been so profusely lavished upon her, said one half that is her due for her truth and gentleness and beauty, her untiring devotion, her unwearying patience, her ever unselfish forgetfulness of self, her—,but what has been so many times vainly attempted, I cannot accomplish. How, then, shall I describe thee, beautiful Isoleth? Loveliest, lovingest, glowing, glorious Lady Isoleth! Bright Lady Isoleth!—wild as a hawk, and beautiful as Love. Thy every motion was grace, thine every look was truth. Bewitching little Isoleth! Her form was as lithe and flexible as a willow bough, and light and graceful as a young fawn's. Her queenly little head sat most proudly upon the daintiest, softest, whitest neck and bosom you ever saw. Two deep wells of light and love were her eyes, revealing every feeling of her beautiful soul. When she was sad, they looked out, half shut, through their long shining lashes, dewy, dark and tender; and when her mood grew merry, they danced in very joy. None yet agreed on their color. One would have sworn they were the softest, warmest brown—he saw them only when they were looking love, and he was—but of him anon. Another would have told you they were pure, clear blue—but he was the Lady Isoleth's confessor, with her when her thoughts dwelt upon things holy. By turns were they violet and gray, and all imaginable colors, in fact, except, indeed, green, or any other such unrighteous shade that eyes sometimes take upon themselves. Then her little, ripe, tempting mouth—ah! was it not just the mouth one loves to kiss? small, dimpled, with soft, rose-red lips; and tremulous ever—trembling with the love and gladness that filled her young heart. Most beautiful was the Lady Isoleth of Fernheath.



"My lady!" exclaimed a bustling, good-natured little old body, entering the room, which Wilhelm Gottfried, Baron of Arnhiem—the Lady Isoleth's uncle and guardian—ever pleased himself with calling the Lady Isoleth's menagerie, because, forsooth, the little lady delighted herself with feeding and taming countless birds that had been brought from all the known quarters of the globe. "My lady," spoke she, "do you know that this is your ladyship's birth-day, that you this day have arrived at an age which behooves you to put away childish things, and take upon yourself the cares that belong—"

"You wise, dear little nurse! don't put on so much of the awful; don't talk of care, you make me shiver at the bare idea.

"Where the bee sucks, there lurk I:
In the cowslip's bell I lie,
There I couch when owls do cry,
On the bat's back do I fly,
After summer merrily,
Merrily, merrily!"

And thus merrily sung the little airy Ariel, dancing around the room, scarce touching the floor as she sung.

"Bless her light, little, happy heart! What a sin that love must come, and with love, the self-loving, proud husband, that will bend that bright will to his own; and then old age, and care, sure enough, and wrinkles—and then that light, fairy-bounding step will be slow and leaden, and that—alas! alas! that such perfect beauty—!"

"What is that you are muttering about, nursey dear? You must not let me see one sad look to-day, for am I not this day sixteen—bright, merry sixteen!"

"Yes, my dear lady, sixteen to-day—sixteen to-day;" and the little dame, recovered from her momentary sadness, gave her lady a mysterious, quizzical look, as she once more repeated, "sixteen to-day!"

"Well, dear nurse, what would you have me do, or what shall I leave off from doing, now that I have grown so exceedingly old?" asked Isoleth, smiling that precious smile of hers—ten thousand dimples danced around it—ten thousand loves nestled in each dimple.

"Sixteen to-day!" replied the queer little old body, with what she meant for a very significant look. "Your guardian, the noble Baron of Arnhiem, comes this day—"

"As he does every year to see me, dear nurse, staying several weeks, sometimes months, with me."

"He comes not alone this year, my sweet lady," added the little woman, looking still more significantly.

"I suppose we shall have my dear prim old maiden aunt of Hansfeldt, with her snuff and lap-dogs, or is it my dear, sweet, beautiful cousins Blumine and Alida? Tell me, nursey, if they are coming. You shake your head. I guess, then, my proud uncle and aunt of Allwrath, and my aristocratic cousins, their haughty sons and daughters?"[350]

"None of them, sweet lady—that is, just yet."

"My beautiful, loving-cousin, Alice of Bernstorf, who has been living these six years alone and lonely in her castle with only her younger son and daughters. Is she or any of hers coming here again? And when will my cousins of Bernstorf return from those hideous wars? I have not seen them for so many years I should not know them."

"Now, dear lady, you are approaching nearer the fire, as the children say in the play."

"You dear, queer little old nurse, don't look so mystical and mystified, my circle of acquaintance, by reason of my father's will, is not so very extensive but that the roll might soon be gone through with. Come, unfold thy important, mysterious budget—who is it?"

"Who should it be, dear lady, but your noble cousin, Ferdinand, Prince of Bernstorf! My lady, there is a clause in your father's will, that you were not to know until your sixteenth birth-day, revealing a compact between your noble father and your Cousin Ferdinand, the reigning Duke of Bernstorf, that gave you as bride to your cousin, Prince Ferdinand Of Bernstorf. There, now, my lady, 'tis out. The secret has half-choked me these twelve years."

"Very kind and considerate in my father; but his child does not choose to become the bride of any one just yet, least of all of one old enough to be her grandfather."

"Old!" exclaimed the dame, throwing back her hands in amazement, "Old! why, my dear lady, he is a mere boy; he will be but twenty-eight—"

"Twenty-eight! and I sixteen! why they would have me marry my grandfather." And the little lady threw back her head, and with it its world of soft brown curls, and laughed in very glee.

"He will be but twenty-eight, two—no, three days after this coming Christmas. But, dear lady, do leave these screaming, noisy jack-daws and mackdaws, and come and let me dress you in the beautiful new court-dress your guardian sent you this morning."

"You naughty nurse! to abuse my beautiful birds. I have only one jack-daw, and these are my pretty West Indian macaws, not mackdaws, wise nursey. And those are my bright-eyed canaries, and that is—but you will not remember their names, although I have told them to you so often."

"I see some are blue, and some bright red, and I know that little Jenny, who helps you take care of them, loves them as well as you do. But will you not come now and try on your splendid dress? I would have you look your best and prettiest when your cousin comes."

"I know I shall not like him, and if I do not, my guardian will not force me to marry him."

"But your father's will—"

"I will not think of that now, nor will I dress, dear nursey. I will go ride my pony, and gather some of those wild-flowers my guardian loves so well." And away flew the bright, happy little maiden; she herself, of all the glad, sweet wild-flowers that grew among the shades of Fernheath, the gladdest, sweetest, merriest and wildest; and the one of all the rest her guardian uncle loved the best.

Little Dame Hildreth, while she flew about preparing for the reception of Baron Arnhiem and the prince, could not help sadly bemoaning the strange perversity of her young lady, in preferring birds and wild-flowers and ponies to court-dresses and husbands.

The Lady Isoleth soon forgot that she had arrived at the advanced age of sixteen, and that she had to put away childish things, and all about her father's will, and the awful prince. She rode her pony through the wood down to the sea; then ran a race with him upon the beach—the pony playfully allowing his mistress to win. She climbed the highest rocks in search of wild-flowers, and wove the sweet flowers into garlands; at length, recollecting how long she had been gone from home, she mounted her pony and galloped on toward the castle, her head wreathed with holly, and her arms full of flowers. As she entered the avenue there stood her impatient nurse awaiting her.

"My dear, darling young lady, what an age you have been away. We have all been watching—"

"Has he come?"

"Who, the prince?"

"My dear uncle—has he come?"

"Yes, my dearest lady. They both came, Prince Ferdinand and your guardian, soon after you left, and have been here for three long mortal hours waiting for you very anxiously. The prince looks very noble and handsome, and is dressed most magnificently. You must not be disappointed though, dearest lady, for he is somewhat changed."

"Changed! How changed, dear nurse? I have not seen him these six or seven years, ever since, you remember the time, he and my cousin duke, his father, with so many others, went to fight those horrid Turks."

"He looks older, much older than he did—that, though, must be—yes, it must be on account—"

"Older! why you simple, queer little nurse, he is older. Why should he not look—I expect to see him look half as old as Methuselah at least. How shockingly old one must feel if they live to be twenty-eight."

"Yes, he does seem older than I expected to see him—though, to be sure, he has been, for the last seven years engaged in the wars; yes, that must be it. Nothing makes one grow old so fast as fighting. But, dear lady, come, now, and dress, there's a darling. You will have just about time enough before dinner. But where is your bonnet?"

"Up in the branch of a tree, nursey dear. It will make some bird a delightful nest next spring. I lost it getting this curious white flower. Look at it. It grew in an almost inaccessible spot upon the cliff by the sea."

"You are a dear little kid clambering among those ugly rocks. Let me take some of your flowers, your bundle is nearly as big as yourself. The saints preserve us! if there are not your uncle guardian[351] and the prince! And you in such a tattered plight. For the love of Heaven, dear lady, come in here among these bushes until—"

But the little dame had to finish her speech to the winds, for the impulsive Isoleth had sprung from her pony, and was clasped in her guardian uncle's embrace before her nurse was half through beseeching her to hide.

"Why, my dear child, have you turned gipsy? You are as ragged as one, and are as brown as a berry. But I can see through your long, thick curls that the last year has improved you most wonderfully. Let me introduce you to your cousin, Ferdinand of Bernstorf."

Isoleth looked up and beheld—gracious me! He was every day as old as her guardian, and positively had gray hairs. She was sure she saw white hairs among his black curls. She could give him only one glance, for his dark, handsome eyes were fastened searchingly upon her. Her eyes fell beneath his admiring gaze, and fell upon her torn muslin dress—the rocks and briars had paid no respect to it—rather had paid their best respects to it; and, without vouchsafing a word in reply to her uncle or handsome cousin, she sprung, light as a fawn, into her saddle, and was out of sight in the twinkling of an eye.

"What say you, Cousin of Bernstorf, to such a bride as that for the proposed alliance—a wild one, is it not?"

"I like her exceedingly. By the holy mass! but she is the most beautiful creature I ever saw. We will take her to court, she will bewitch us all, old and young. By my faith, but she is—"

"Yes, yes, she is," replied the baron, smiling at Ferdinand's earnestness. I thought she would surprise you. I cannot conceive of any thing one-half so beautiful as she."

"Beautiful! you surprise me! Bless my soul! she is radiant with beauty, and she is the greatest surprise I ever had in my life. We will electrify the whole court with surprise and delight at her wondrous grace and beauty, and—"

"All in good time, noble cousin. You recollect her father's will—that she should remain at Fernheath, neither going from here, nor receiving much company, save her own kinsfolk, until after her marriage with your noble—"

"Yes, yes, I have not forgotten the will. 'So was it nominated in the bond.' It delights me most exceedingly that she is so marvelously beautiful. St. Jerome! but I feel already that I love her as dearly as though she were my own—"

"Good gracious, cousin! You always had a spice of enthusiasm that is delightful and refreshing to me." And the baron laughed right heartily because he was delighted—and the laugh seemed to refresh him. "After all," continued he, as soon as the corners of his mouth had come within speaking distance of each other, "after all, she is but an untrained country-girl; she—"

"Nature, and her own beautiful soul, have given her all the training she needs. Her wild, unconstrained life, has developed her as no court or city life could. That I can see, seeing her as little as I have."

"You think just as I do, dear cousin. My brother's will was a wise one, that kept her thus from the deadening conventionalities of a court life."

"By my soul! how exceedingly lovely she is. She surpasses all my expectations. I recollect her as a little fairy thing of eight or ten. I have not seen her until now—"

"Since just before this last war, full seven years ago."

If Ferdinand of Bernstorf thought the little tattered gypsey Isoleth so inconceivably lovely, his eyes were half blinded with the radiant beauty of the young Countess of Fernheath, as she entered the dining-hall, clad in the shining court-robe her guardian had sent her. Her cousin's dark eyes were fastened upon her with a look of passionate admiration, that caused the bright blood to burn on her face and bosom. Nor did those handsome black eyes scarce leave her during the whole long dinner. As soon as she could release herself she hastened to her only confidante, Dame Hildreth.

She found the little dame kneeling upon the floor, busily engaged in unpacking boxes, while the floor was literally alive with silks, and satins, and laces, and woman's finery.

"See here, my lady—and here—and there! Look what your uncle guardian of Arnheim has provided for your approaching nuptials! And, dear lady, do but look here;" and the eager, proud little dame opened a casket of beautiful pearls—necklace, girdle, coronet, brooch and armlets. This noble present comes from the father of your betrothed. It is to be followed by a still more beautiful set of diamonds."

"These pearls may deck my burial instead of my bridal, for I never will live to wed with him below."

"Why, my sweetest lady!" exclaimed nurse Hildreth, glancing up in surprise at her young mistress's flushed and excited face. "For the love of Heaven, do not talk in that way! What objection can you possibly have to such a noble, handsome, princely prince? He is the oldest son and heir to—"

"Oldest, indeed! He is old enough to be my father's father."

"Mercy on us! Lady Isoleth, you talk wild. I will wager my life he is only twenty-eight, three days after this coming Christmas. He has been in the wars, you know—and war is no gentle nurse. Exposure in the wars has caused him to appear somewhat older than he is. You know, dearest lady, that war—"

"But he is gray—"

"Exposure in the wars—"

"And wrinkled—"

"Exposure in the wars—"

"But there is that about him I never could love, were he as young as—I never can love him—I hate him, and I will not wed him."

"But, my dear, dear, dearest young lady, what will you do?" The thought never entering her head that the Lady Isoleth could do any thing but submit[352] to the will of others; for woman in those times was sought and given in marriage without often consulting her own inclination.

What will I do, dear nurse? Why I will fall on my knees at the feet of my beloved guardian and plead with him. He never refused me any thing; and I know he will grant—"

"But your father's will, dearest lady—"

"Shall be put aside, where his daughter's happiness is at stake."

"Would it may be as you wish, sweetest lady. But I fear. Still he is a right noble prince, and will make a right noble husband."

"Not for me."



In the saddest of sad moods the Lady Isoleth betook herself to her favorite retreat among the rocks, and there within her own little vine-covered bower, was—not a bird, nor a squirrel, nor her tame deer—but a man! young and wondrously handsome; with a broad, pale, noble brow, and a host of jet-black curls shading it. There was something in his clear, dark eye, so still and serene as it gazed beyond this world, and something in the expression of his fine, manly face, so tender, so almost sad, that made her forget to be afraid of him. She approached him gently, and asked him in a soft voice,

"What are thy meditations, beautiful stranger?"

"I was dreaming of thee!" uttered he, awaking from his reverie, and fixing his dark, earnest eyes full upon the glowing form before him. His glance, so full of passion, so full of tenderness, so fervent, went to her heart and woke it up—that precious little heart that had been sleeping for sixteen long years.

"Of me! How can that be?" asked Isoleth, with a deep blush. "Dost thou know me? Dost thou—'

"One like thee, most beautiful being!"

"One like me—just like me? How strange! What is her name?"

"Whatever is thy name, loveliest, most lovely lady, is hers."

"My name is Isoleth," replied she, with a low voice, and a deep blush.

"Art thou the Lady Isoleth of Fernheath? Art thou? Stupid! that I did not see sooner that thou art! Yes, thou art! And I am happy, most happy, most inconceivably happy that thou art! Ah!" continued he, in a tone of the most rapturous delight, "that my dream and my bride should prove to be one and the same. I am most inexpressibly joyful!"—and the large tears fell from his eyes like summer rain—"most unutterably—and thou, wilt thou love me, and be mine, my glorious, sweetest, loveliest cousin—my most, most beautiful bride!"

"Thy cousin! thy bride! Alas! alas! thy cousin I may be, but thy bride—! They are going to marry me up there at the castle to an old, ugly, cross prince; he is there now, and you cannot know how much I hate him. I will die—"

"The devil they are! Forgive me, sweetest, most beautiful cousin, it is a foolish way we learn of speaking in camps. But, loveliest, do not talk of dying, let the old and the ugly die, but thou—First tell me who this ugly, old, cross prince is, they shall not marry you to any such."

"Why he is not so very ugly—and I do not exactly know that he is cross; but then he is old, very old—yes, very old and very disagreeable—and I never can love him."

"Nor shalt thou—his name, most beautiful?"

"Ferdinand, Prince of Bernstorf."

"Ferdinand, prince of ten thousand devils! I beseech of thee to forgive me once again, sweetest cousin; but thou dost petrify me. Ferdinand, Prince of —— Ah! it must be—yes, yes, it must be so."

"What must be? Thou speakest in riddles, stranger cousin."

"And thou lovest him not, nor dost thou wish to wed him?" asked the stranger, an almost provoking smile just curling his handsome mouth.

"No, no, never—never!"

"Nor shalt thou ever!" exclaimed he, his manner changing to one of serious earnestness. Nor shalt thou ever, dearest, most beautiful—for I will prevent it, I—"

"Thou? Alas! alas! I have been betrothed to him ever since I was an infant. How could my dear father—"

"Dearest cousin, trust to me—wilt thou not? And, dearest, sweetest cousin, love me, and be my beautiful wife. Nay, shake not thy loveliest head. Have I been too hasty in urging my love? I have known thee, and loved thee, for so many years; thou hast, thy beautiful spirit has ever, night and day, been near me, the light of my life; but I have frightened thee by my impetuosity—and thou canst never love me? But, no, thy beautiful eyes look tenderly upon me; and thou wouldst not let me hold this little soft, warm hand, and imprison it within mine, if thou didst hate me. I do not lightly ask that precious boon, thy love. Believe me, it is as I say," continued he, earnestly bending upon her his deep, dark, eloquent eyes—eyes that made her little heart thrill to its very core. "It is as I tell thee, thou hast been my dream by day and by night. See here," and he drew from his bosom a small miniature, and handed it to her—the exact image of—herself. "And now I will tell thee what I never before told mortal being. Just three years ago, after a fatiguing day's fight, I lay in my tent, awake; and thou didst come to me, just as thou now dost appear—a vision of light and purity and glorious loveliness. Whether it was a dream or not, or a trance, I know not; but never since has that radiant vision left me. Thou didst lay thy little soft, white hand upon my fevered brow, and I heard most distinctly, as thy sweet face bent over me, these words: 'Do not love other than me, for I alone, on earth, am destined for thee.' From my earliest boyhood have I loved to use the pencil; and on the next morning I tried, and succeeded in conveying to this bit of ivory the image of that most, most beautiful vision; and I have worn it upon my heart ever since, where I would the[353] loved, deeply, dearly loved and beautiful original might ever be. From then till now have I worn next to my heart that semblance of my nightly, daily dream; but never until now have I been blessed in seeing my dream, living, breathing before me."

How that young heart throbbed and bounded, almost suffocating its loving, lovely owner with the intensity of its joyous emotion, as the earnest tones of that low, passionate voice fell, word by word, into its inmost centre, as the glance of those deeply, deeply loving eyes awoke it to life and love. Her hand lay within his, and by little he drew her more and more closely and warmly to his heart, and by little her head gradually sunk upon his manly breast, her eyes looked up tenderly and trustingly into his and drank in his passionate gaze, as though it were her life. Time flew by them unheeded, each pouring out joy and life into the heart of the other. Their very being melting and mingling each into the other, until each felt that their two lives were one. Nor did he sully those pure, exquisite lips, with one earthly kiss. His soul kissed hers, and her own vibrated to his in trembling unison.

Such moments of intense soul-rapture do not often occur to many of us on earth, for perfect love seeks perfect fulfillment; and in the perfect fulfillment of love is too often the satiety that deadens its finest, most spiritual impulses.

The castle gong sounded, booming heavily through the trees. Isoleth started to her feet like a frightened doe.

"I must go," exclaimed she, "my guardian—"

"Stay one moment, sweetest, I have something to tell thee, that thou must hear."

"I have staid too long already," interrupted she, hastily, "my guardian will be sending out for me—it is already growing dark. Fare thee well;" and she gave him a farewell with her soft, brown eyes that never left his heart—so full of unconscious love was it.

"You will meet me here again to-morrow morning? Promise me at least so much, dearest beloved."

"Yes, yes," and with another glance from her soft, bright eyes, she glided out of his sight.



"I am glad to see thee safely at home, my dear child. Where hast thou been? Thou knowest I hate to have thee rambling about the castle-grounds after night-fall. I have already sent out to seek thee, and was on the point of going in search of thee myself. But, dear child, if walking at any time will bring thee home with such a radiant, glowing color, I shall not quarrel with the cause or hour. Thou art looking as bright and as happy and beautiful as I hope always to see thee look."

"I was afraid, dear uncle," replied Isoleth, blushing still more deeply, and casting her conscious, love-full eyes to the ground, "I was afraid thou wouldst begin to be uneasy about me, and I hastened—I have no one, dearest uncle, when thou art away, to take such good care of me. I go wandering about among my favorite haunts at my own good will and pleasure, night or day, as it happens."

"The time is coming, eh! sweet Isoleth, when thou wilt have to consult another will save thine own," said the baron, patting her fondly on her soft, white neck.

Ferdinand laughed, and looked very impressed and impressive, and gazed her out of countenance with assured, admiring eyes, as he answered for her,

"Yes, yes, we are waiting only for the goodly company that are to witness the approaching nuptials. Is it not so, fairest lady?"

"The hideous being!" thought Isoleth, without vouchsafing an audible reply. "Is this the one with whom I am to spend my days—but no, it shall not be."

She did the honors of the supper-table with a suffocating throat, with a proud rebellious heart, full of love for one she felt she ought not to love, and full of hate for another that she knew she ought to love. She was absent in spite of herself, and did all manner of queer things that people do, who, for a time, take leave of absence of themselves—answering yes, for no—and no, for yes—attempting to bite a piece out of her little porcelain cup-plate, instead of the cook's snowy cake; pouring her guardian's cup up with cream instead of coffee, and sweetening it with salt instead of sugar. Many other little pleasantries of like nature did she perform, very much to the amusement of her guardian and the hated Ferdinand. The latter made himself exceeding merry at her expense, at the same time showing her every attention and gallantry that he, finished courtier, could devise. Isoleth felt at length completely worried and tired to death, as though she could not for one moment longer, endure the torture of her heart's conflicting emotion.

"You look pale and tired, my beloved child," said her guardian, tenderly taking her little cold, white hand within his. All your beautiful color is gone. I fear that after all your walk, or the excitement, has been too much for you. You had best retire for the night. Shall I ring for Dame Hildreth, or some of your maidens?"

"No, dear uncle, with your permission, I will seek those I wish," answered Isoleth, only too glad to escape from the hated presence into the calm stillness of her own room.

She found the good little dame awaiting her; and to her compassionate ear she poured forth the sorrow and joy of her young heart. The kind-hearted little woman sympathized cordially with her precious foster-child, wishing over and over again that some benevolent fairy would change the beautiful stranger cousin with the hateful old Prince Ferdinand—she had to acknowledge that he did look old—until after the happy wedding was over. "And then how blank and black the prince would look, and how astonished we all would be to find you had married the handsome young man instead of the grumpy old one."

"Now leave me, good nurse, I would be alone. I will entreat my dear uncle on the morrow to[354] release me from this dreaded alliance. He never yet refused a request of mine."

Isoleth quieted herself in the belief that her beloved guardian would certainly grant her petition as soon as she made it known to him. In child-like confidence, therefore, she sunk to her happy sleep, with a pair of dark, loving eyes hovering over her and mingling with her dreams. And never eyes gazed on more gentle sleep or lovely sleeper.



With a buoyant step and a sparkling eye the Lady Isoleth sought her guardian early the next morning. He was deeply immersed in papers and parchments, while huge, formidable-looking books were piled high around him. He nevertheless welcomed his sweet niece with a sudden clearing off of his thought-lined brow, and a fond, affectionate smile.

"Forgive me, dearest uncle, if I have disturbed thy studies; but I would see thee alone, and I feared this might be the only opportunity, as the carriages containing our kinsfolk are even now expected; so nurse Hildreth informed me."

"What would my pet bird have that she seeks her uncle thus early?"

"A boon that you must grant, dearest uncle, for upon it depends my heart's happiness now and forever."

"Name it, my darling Isy—what wouldst thou have, little enthusiast?"

"Release from one I never can love. Oh! my dearest uncle," continued she, fondly twining her soft, white arms around his neck, and lovingly kissing his time-worn brow, "do, for Heaven's sweet love, tell me at once that I need not wed him, for I never can love him—never, never!"

"Bless her little heart, what is the child raving about? Whom dost thou mean, dear baby, by him?"

"Who should I mean, dearest uncle, but my cousin, this Prince Ferdinand. I need not be his wife. I—"

"Thy cousin, Prince Ferdinand!"

"I hate him—I abhor him—I utterly detest him! I never can love him! I never will be his wife! I never—"

"Hold, hold! not so fast; why thou romantic little recluse! thou hast lived alone too much by half. Thy little head is brim full of fancies. Thy tongue is running wild. Thou hatest him! Why what wouldst thou have better? Is he not all a woman could desire? Is he not young and—"


"And handsome, and—"


"And is he not a prince? And is he not heir to a powerful, wealthy ducal throne? And will he not take thee to court—the gay, beautiful court; and wilt thou not reign there a queen—a queen of beauty and joy and light—and ere long queen of the throne?"

"All that does not dazzle me, dearest uncle—for what are thrones and splendor where love is not? Oh! dear, dearest uncle, do not press this hated match upon me. Do not doom me to eternal sorrow. Do not—"

"Hoity, toity! Why thou dost talk just as they do in those silly romances. I wager thy head is full of them. Thou hast had bad teachers, child, to permit thee to fill thy poor little brain with such trash instead of useful knowledge. Or is it," said he, fixing his gray eyes searchingly upon her, "or is it that thou hast met some sighing Adonis in the woods? Ha! thou dost blush—have a care, child. There, thou needest not tremble, I will not seek to know thy secret, if secret thou hast. This much, however, know for a certainty, that Prince Ferdinand is destined to be thy—"

"Dearest uncle!" exclaimed the little lady, her beautiful eyes filling with tears, "thou shalt know all—all I have to tell, if thou wilt but deliver me from this—"

"Have done with this folly, Lady Isoleth," and his cold gray eyes sternly regarded her. "It was thy dead father's will that thou shouldst marry thy cousin, Prince Ferdinand of Bernstorf; and thy father's will must and shall be obeyed."

"'Folly!' 'Lady Isoleth!' 'must and shall!' He never before now spoke one unkind word to me." And the weeping Isoleth went with a breaking heart and shut herself in her own room, alone, and locking herself in, she gave unrestrained vent to her passionate grief.



"I will seek him—yes, he will not refuse my prayer. I will tell him I hate him. He will be only too glad to release me when he knows the depth of hatred I bear him. I will go this moment, for soon will all my gay cousins be here, and then will be the horrid betrothal ceremony—but I will not think of that—"

"Ha! my shy, beautiful cousin, Lady Isoleth!" Ferdinand was in the library, amusing himself with books and prints. "See here, beautiful cousin, I have found a book of rare merit, and beautifully illuminated. I suppose, though," continued he with a quizzical look, "that all the books here and their manifold contents are familiar to thy bright eyes—is it not so?"

"Not exactly all," replied Isoleth, smiling in spite of her sorrow, as she glanced at the endless rows of huge leather-bound tomes, that had not even had the cobwebs dusted from them for a century at least.

"Wilt thou not deign to look over this precious book with me, most beauteous lady? Thy sharp wit may help my slow faculties to comprehend its quaint poetry, and thy glorious eyes will love its finely executed prints."

"I came not to disturb thy meditations," replied she, shrinking from his approaching steps. I came to crave a boon from thee."

"It is granted thee, fairest lady, even before thou dost utter it. But what is it, the most beautiful, most[355] lovely of her beautiful, lovely sex would ask? Be it even unto the half of my kingdom—"

"It is not the half of thy kingdom, but the whole of it, together with thy kingdom's lord, that I would be freed from."

"Thou art pleased to be facetious, most charming Lady Isoleth. Pray explain thyself, that my dull understanding may comprehend thy meaning."

"Ferdinand, Prince of Bernstorf—"


"Is one that I never, never can love—one that I had rather should see me in the grave ere he shall call me wife."

"Ha! well, loveliest cousin, that is plain, and easy to be understood even by the slowest comprehension. Thou hatest him, dost thou?"

"Most cordially."

"My son thanks thee, fair cousin—and I also, in his name."

"Thy son!"

"Ay, and here he is to thank thee himself. How now, scapegrace! Thou art tardy in paying thy respects to this beautiful, noble lady. Thou shouldst have been here days ago. Even now thy fair cousin was on the point of refusing thee. I tell thee, lad, thou'lt never find a fairer. Courting was not done in this slipshod way when I was a boy."

All this while Isoleth was gazing in mute astonishment upon—yes, she was not mistaken—he was the very one—the very most beautiful being to whom she had given, only the night before, her precious little heart. And those dark, earnest eyes were passionately regarding her, drinking in rapturously her glowing beauty, until her eyes, abashed, sought the floor, unable to bear the light of those intensely loving ones.

"Then thou'rt the Duke of Bernstorf, my father's cousin?" suddenly asked she, of Ferdinand the elder.

"Who else, fairest cousin? Ha! thou didst then think—" a sudden light seemed to break through the chambers of his brain. "Ha! ha! ha!" laughed he, "Thou thoughtest that I was the one. I could not wish a fairer, more beautiful bride than thou; but—ha! ha! ha! I have one goodly wife already, who is to be here this very day; and, between you and I, one is more than I can manage, although she is one of the best of her perfect, bewitching sex. Still—So, that was the reason thou wert so shy of me, sweet flower." And the father, Ferdinand, threw himself back in his chair, and gave way to the most uncontrollable bursts of laughter; while Ferdinand, the son, had taken the soft, lily-white hand of his lovely betrothed, and was talking to her in words from his heart's heart.

"I should have told thee all this last evening if thou couldst have waited but one instant longer. I was to have accompanied my father and thy guardian here; but I dreaded so much to see my affianced bride—not dreaming until last evening that my beloved and betrothed were one and the same—that my beautiful dream was a more beautiful reality. If I had come and found the young Countess of Fernheath one that I could not have loved, I should certainly have moved earth and heaven but that I would have had the contract, made by our goodly sires, annulled—or I would have drowned or shot myself. Don't shudder, sweetest, I shall do neither now, unless I am shot by the lightning of your bright eyes, and drowned in the bliss—but, dearest, I love you too dearly to speak nonsense to thee—even love nonsense. Strange, was it not, darling, that I should not have recognized you? It has been many a long year since I saw you a little rosy, romping, fairy thing of only a few bright summers. We have had troublous times since then; war and bloodshed that would—"

"Pardon me, most beautiful cousin, my long laughter hath been rude; but, indeed, thy mistake was most droll. There, sweet cousin, I have done! Thy blushes, however, are exceedingly becoming thy fair face. So thou and my goodly son hast met before—is it not so? And he is not the laggard in love I unjustly deemed him. And now I suppose the best thing for me to do is to take myself off to another world, and resign my kingdom and crown in this for one in the—however, we will arrange all that after the wedding. Let us, meantime, enjoy the present. Ah! here comes thy good uncle with a cloudy brow; something has gone wrong with him—we must have no gloom to-day. And here also comes thundering down the avenue all the goodly old carriages containing our expected kinsfolk."

And here also comes,


Which I know will delight you, dearest reader, as it containeth the wedding; but most especially will it delight you because it is the last. The wedding was of course a splendid one, and better still, a joyous one. Little Dame Hildreth would let no one but herself fasten so much as a bridal ornament on her beautiful young foster-child. It would be hard saying which moved fastest on the important day, her hands or her tongue.

"Just to think!" exclaimed she, as she clasped those same pearls, that had once been cast aside in scorn, upon her darling—and pure and lovely they shone among her soft, brown curls, and on her snow-white arms and neck, and around her lithe and slender waist—"to think that I could have mistaken Ferdinand, the reigning Duke of Bernstorf, for Ferdinand, the Prince. Really, though, my lady, to look at them, one does not see much difference in their appearance—they are both so handsome and grand-looking. Oh, yes! you see a vast odds in their looks—that's natural! These old eyes, I suppose, are growing dim—but they are bright enough to see that thou art the dearest, loveliest, most beautiful bride that ever the sun shone upon."

"Sic transit gloria mundi."





Pride of the South, thy glittering spires
Point to the arching sky,
While tower and palace proudly rear
Their stately forms on high;
Thy spacious squares spread far and wide
Along the valley green,
And bright above thy hundred fanes
An hundred crosses gleam.
Bland, spring-like breezes, brilliant skies,
Birds of gay song and plume,
Cool sparkling founts, wide shaded walks,
Trees, of eternal bloom,
Bright glowing flowers, as fresh and pure
As infant's rosy mouth,
Rare, tempting fruits—all—all are thine,
Sweet City of the South.
Around thee lime and citron bowers
In peaceful beauty rest,
While orange groves stretch far away
To blue Tezcuco's breast;
Beyond thee giant bulwarks stand,
Cordillera's mountain line,
And lift along thine azure sky
Their silver crests sublime.
Ah! thou hast beauty, Southern Queen,
And thou hadst wealth and power;
But wealth and beauty proved to thee
"A darkly glorious dower."
Iberia on her rocky heights
Beheld thee from afar,
And rolled o'er all thy subject clime
The lurid tide of war.
On thee the mighty torrent burst,
And with resistless sway
Bore from thy desperate, struggling sons
Their gods, their kings away.
Then followed weary, weary years,
Such as the conquered know,
When brave hearts bleed and faint ones break
Beneath their weight of wo.
Iberia's brood with iron sway
Kept down thy fallen ones,
And bonds and stripes were freely doled
To thy degraded sons;
Then spear and lance were left to rust
Along thy bannered walls,
Thine eagle drooped and strangers dwelt
In "Montezuma's halls."
Oppression's long dark night of pain
At length wore slowly on,
And, radiant 'mid receding gloom,
Hope heralded the dawn.
Day broke, and Freedom's glorious sun
Uprose o'er thine and thee,
While thy clear bells with silvery chime
Proclaimed a country FREE.
And mingling with their heavenly tones
Glad triumphs swelled the breeze,
For that bright sun dispelled the gloom
Of rolling centuries.
A flood of golden light streamed down
O'er valley mount and plain,
Thy joyous eagle plumed his wing
And soared aloft again.
Thy sons rejoiced o'er rights restored,
The joy of other years,
And gentler woman's truthful heart
Wept silent grateful tears;
And thou—bathed in thy new-born light—
Thou ancient island-gem,
Ah! to thy proud fond children's hearts
Thou wert an Eden then.
But thy stern oracles the while
Spoke ever deep and slow—
"Dark hours are yet reserved for thee,
Ill-fated Mexico!"
And after years proved all too soon,
Proved to thy bitter pain,
Thy soil's vast wealth, thy sons' best blood,
Had flowed, and flowed in vain.
How hast thou mourned the civil broils
That shook thy peaceful homes?
How hast thou mourned the broken faith
Of thy degenerate sons?
The faith thrice broken that incurred
Columbia's vengeful sword,
Till red o'er many a battle-plain
Thy blood like water poured.
Again the stranger's echoing tread
Sounds from thy ancient halls—
Again the flag of other lands
Waves o'er thy captured walls.
Thy peerless beauty, storied lore,
Thy buried heroes' fame,
Wealth, power—ah, what are they to thee
With thy dishonored name!
The foe that first beheld thy towers
Beyond the lake's green shore,
And they who fondly reared thee up,
The lordly ones of yore—
They did not dream a change like this
Could on thy pride be hurled,
Who erst amid thy mountains reigned
Queen of the new-found world.




In the Eastern States the true partridge is known by the name of quail, the appellation of partridge being there given to what in Pennsylvania is called the pheasant, and which in the Ornithologies bears the name of the Ruffed Grouse, (Tetrao Umbellus. Wilson.) It inhabits a very extensive range of country, being found at Hudson's Bay, in Kentucky and Indiana, Oregon and the Floridas. Its favorite places of resort are high mountains covered with the balsam, pine, hemlock and other evergreens, and as we descend from such heights to the lower country they become more rare; and in the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida they are very scarce. The manners of the pheasant are solitary, they are seldom found in coveys of more than four or five together, and more usually in pairs, or singly. They are often shot in the mornings in the roads over the mountains bounding the Susquehanna; where they come for gravel. On foggy mornings very considerable numbers may be seen in these situations, moving along with great stateliness, their broad fan-like tail expanded to its fullest extent. The drumming of the pheasant, a sound compared by Wilson to that produced by striking two full blown ox bladders together, but much louder; the strokes at first slow and distinct, but gradually increasing in rapidity till they run into each other, resembling the rumbling sound of very distant thunder dying away gradually on the ear. This drumming is the call of the male bird to his mate, and may be heard in a calm day nearly half a mile. Wilson thus describes the manner in which this singular noise is produced. The bird, standing on an old prostrate log, generally in a retired and sheltered situation, lowers his wings, erects his expanded tail, contracts his throat, elevates two tufts of feathers on the neck, and inflates his whole body something in the manner of the turkey-cock, strutting and wheeling about with great stateliness. After a few manœuvres of this kind he begins to strike with his stiffened wings in short and quick strokes, which become more and more rapid until they run into each other, as has been already described. This is most common in the morning and evening, though Wilson states that he has heard them drumming at all hours[358] of the day. By means of this the pheasant leads the gunner to the place of his retreat, though to those unacquainted with the sound there is great deception in the supposed distance, it generally appearing to be much nearer than it really is. Audubon mentions having often called them within shot by imitating the sound. This he accomplished by beating a large inflated bullock's bladder with a stick, keeping up as much as possible the same time as that in which the bird beats. At the sound produced by the bladder and the stick, the male grouse, inflamed with jealousy, has flown directly toward him, when, being prepared beforehand, he has easily shot it. When flushed, the pheasant flies with great vigor through the woods, beyond the reach of view, springing up at first within a few yards, with a loud whirring noise. Noticing this peculiarity of flight, Mr. Audubon states that when this bird rises from the ground at a time when pursued by an enemy, or tracked by a dog, it produces a loud whirring sound resembling that of the whole tribe, excepting the black-cock of Europe, which has less of it than any other species. The whirring sound is never heard when the grouse rises of its own accord, for the purpose of removing from one place to another; nor, in similar circumstances, is it commonly produced by our little partridge. "In fact," he continues, "I do not believe that it is emitted by any species of grouse, unless when surprised and forced to rise. I have often been lying on the ground in the woods or the fields, for hours at a time, for the express purpose of observing the movements and habits of different birds, and have frequently seen a partridge or a grouse rise on wing within a few yards of the spot where I lay, unobserved by them, as gently and softly as any other bird, and without producing any whirring sound. Nor even when this grouse ascends to the top of a tree does it make any greater noise than other birds of the same size would do."

With a good dog, pheasants are easily found, and what is singular, they will look down upon him from the branches of a tree, where they sit, apparently stupefied, not attempting to fly, but allowing themselves to be shot one by one until all are killed. Should one of those on the higher branches, however, be shot first, the sight of his fall will cause an immediate flight. A figure 4 trap is used with success in taking them, especially when deep snow lies on the ground. They were formerly numerous in the immediate vicinity of Philadelphia, but the advances of the agriculturist have led them to retreat to the interior, and but a very few can be now found within several miles. The pheasant is in the best order in September and October, but in mid-winter those who shoot them should be careful to draw them as soon as possible, as the buds of laurel on which at that season they sometimes feed, if left in the stomach of the dead bird, diffuse their poisonous qualities over its whole body, and render it dangerous food.


AMERICAN PARTRIDGE, OR QUAIL. (Perdrix Virginianus. Wilson.)]

This well known bird, though not very migratory in its habits, has extended its colonies from New England to Mexico. The spot where they have been raised, if they can at all support life, is their home; and there they will remain until the whole flock is destroyed by sportsmen. This fact sufficiently disproves the asserted identity of our partridge with the quail of the European continent, which is a bird of passage, leaving Europe for Asia at the approach of winter, and returning in very great numbers in the spring. Partridges assemble in small families, varying according to circumstances from three to thirty; and, except in the breeding season, they all live together in a happy and mutual alliance. The quails on the other hand are pugnacious to a proverb—"as quarrelsome as quails in a cage."

The partridges are nearly full grown by the beginning of September, and associated in the usual coveys of from twenty to thirty afford considerable sport to the gunner. The notes of the males at this time are frequent, clear and loud, and they may by skillful imitation of the call be deceived and induced[359] approach. Their food consists of grain seed, insects and berries of various kinds. The buckwheat fields suffer severely from their depredations in September and October, affording them at that time abundant food and secure shelter. At night they roost in the middle of a field, on high ground, sitting round in a circle with their heads outward. In this position they place themselves at the commencement of a fall of snow, when their mutual warmth is the better able to resist the effects of frost, and each forms a guard for the whole against the approach of danger. They are not afraid of snow, for they sometimes fly to a drift for safety; it being only when a coating of frozen sleet resists their efforts to leave it that they experience bad effects from it. The loud whirring sound of their flight when flushed is well known. Its steady, horizontal flight renders it an easy prey to the sportsman, especially when he is assisted by a sagacious dog. The flesh of the partridge is peculiarly white, tender and delicate, in this respect unequaled by any other American game.


THE AMERICAN ROBIN. (Turdus Migratorius.)]

This well known bird, and universal favorite, can require but a very few words at our hands. His unassuming familiarity of manners has caused him to be immortalized in the Songs for the Nursery, and others of Mother Goose's collections for the little ones. His nest is preserved from the rude hands of boyhood by a sort of instinctive veneration for his well known and long established character, and his cheerful, zealous singing not unfrequently causes the older sportsman to take down the armed gun from his shoulder, and suffer the assiduous songster to enjoy his liberty and life.

The robin is particularly fond of gum-berries, and it is only necessary for the sportsman to take his stand near one of these trees when it is covered with fruit, and load and fire his gun. One flock after another will come to it without intermission during the whole day.


Thy leaves are not unfolded yet to the sweet light of love,
Thy bosom now is blushing like the sunset clouds above;
Thy beauteous form is perfect, thy hopes are fair and bright,
Thy dreams are sweet while sleeping in the gentle breeze of night;
And though I know a dew-drop tear hath in thy bosom been,
'Twas only sent to nourish thee, and make thee pure within:
No canker-worm corrodes thy rest, and life is life to thee,
And as the past has ever been so may the future be.
May all thy dreams be realized, thy hopes be not in vain,
Thy life pass calm and sweetly on without a sigh of pain:
And when thy leaves shall droop and fall, as droop and fall they must,
Thy lovely form will then lie low, to mingle with the dust;
And to thy long last resting-place soft winds shall be thy bier,
While the fragrance of thy loving heart will ever linger near;
To me thy memory will come back when I am lone and sad,
And thoughts of thy pure, gentle life shall make my spirit glad.
Ah! lovely rose-bud, well I know that both of us must die,
And when death comes, may I, like you, leave earth without a sigh;
May I, like you, when youth shall fade, still yield the sweet perfume,
The incense of a worthy heart, which age can not consume:
Farewell, farewell, sweet rose-bud, were I but as pure as thee,
My soul would be contented, my spirit would be free,
Each wish would then be gratified, each longing have a home,
And joy and peace would fill my heart wherever I might roam.

Y. S.




Light streams through a rift in the cloud
That hangs over green Innisfail—
While voices of millions are shouting aloud
The satraps of Tyranny quail:
The collar of Shame hath been worn
Through ages of folly and wo—
Too long hath thy neck, O Hibernia! borne
The yoke of a merciless foe,
Whose creatures, while Perfidy sharpened the dart,
Like vultures have crimsoned their beaks in thy heart.
Hot winds from the waste of Despair
On thy blood-bedewed shamrock have breathed,
But the leaves, growing verdant in Liberty's air,
Again round her brow shall be wreathed:
And chisel of Art on the stone
Shall name of that martyr engrave
Who prayed for a sepulchre, noteless and lone,
While foot of one heart-broken slave
Polluted the green of that beautiful shore,
By steel-harnessed champions trodden of yore.
Gone forth hath the gathering word,
And under Hesperian skies
Fond exiles the call of their mother have heard,
And homeward are turning their eyes:
They send o'er the murmuring brine
In answer a shout of applause,
And drops, that give warmth to their bosoms, like wine,
Are ready to shed in a cause
That cannot march on with a faltering stride
While Truth wears a buckler, and God is a guide.
Land of the valiant! at last
The brow of thy future is bright;
In return for a shadowed and comfortless past
Is dawning an era of light:
The Lion of Britain in vain
Is baring his teeth for the fray—
Thy children have sworn that dishonoring stain
Shall be wiped from thy forehead away:
The bones of thy martyrs have stirred in the tomb,
And glimmers the starlight of Hope through the gloom.
Invaders thy valor have rued—
To deeds that will aye be admired
Bear witness, Clontarf! where the Dane was subdued,
And Bryan, the dauntless, expired:
Thy sons on the scaffold have died,
The block hath been soaked with their gore,
And long ago banished thy splendor and pride;
But idle it seems to deplore—
Unbending resolve to blot out thy disgrace,
In hearts of the brave, to regret should give place.
The Genius of Erin from earth,
Uprising, hath broken the bowl,
Whose tide to a black-crested viper gave birth,
That long dimmed the light of her soul;
And millions of high-hearted men
Who thus can wild passion restrain,
Though driven for refuge to cavern and den,
Will arm for the conflict again—
And, venturing all on the hazardous cast,
Prove victors, though worn and outnumbered, at last.
Thou isle, on the breast of the sea
Like an emerald gracefully set,
Though feet shod with iron have trampled on thee,
A brightness belongs to thee yet:
In bondage thy magical lyre
Hath thrilled a wide world with its strains,
And thine eloquent sons have awakened a fire
That fast is dissolving thy chains:—
The Saxon is watching the issue in fear—
He knows that thy day of redemption draws near.




The inspiration of thy smile,
Thou minstrel of the wayside song,
Yet lingers on thy face the while
I see thee climb the Alps along;
As if thy harp's unwearied lay
Sustained thee on thy rugged way.
There dwells within thy poet-eyes
The spirit of the ancient bards—
A soul in which no shadow lies—
A glance forever heavenwards;
As though the thoughts thy dreams unfurled
Hung, star-like, o'er a watching world.
Methinks the bard who saw at night,
Amid the glacier's snow and ice,
A youth ascend the spectral height,
Unfurling there "the strange device,"
Did, with a prophet's pen, foreshow
Thy form upon those mounts of snow.
And when the mists have valeward rolled,
Below thy pathway, hard and long,
Stern Death shall find thee, pale and cold,
Upon the highest peak of Song
Still grasping, with a frozen hand,
The banner of that Alpine Land!

Yours ever, J. Bayard Taylor




[The Hindoo philosopher Gautama, now worshiped under the name of Buddha, lived in the fifth century before Christ. He taught the unity of God and Nature, or rather, that the physical and spiritual worlds are merely different conditions of an eternal Being. In the spiritual state, this Being exists in perfect and blissful rest, whose emanations and over-flowings enter the visible world, first in the lowest forms of nature, but rising through gradual and progressive changes till they reach man, who returns after death to the original rest and beatitude.]

How long, oh! all-pervading Soul of Earth,
Ere Thy last toils on this worn being close,
And trembling with its sudden glory-birth,
Its wings are folded in the lost repose?
Thy doom, resistless, on its travel lies
Through weary wastes of labor and of pain,
Where the soul falters, as its Paradise
In far-off mirage fades and flies again.
From that pure realm of silence and of joy,
The quickening glories of Thy slumber shine,
Kindling to birth the lifeless world's alloy,
Till its dead bosom bears a seed divine.
Through meaner forms the spirit slowly rose,
Which now to meet its near elysium burns;
Through toilsome ages, circling towards repose,
The sphere of Being on its axle turns!
Filled with the conscious essence that shall grow,
Through many-changed existence, up to Man,
The sighing airs of scented Ceylon blow,
And desert whirlwinds whelm the caravan.
On the blue bosom of th' eternal deep
It moves forever in the heaving tide;
And, throned on giant Himalaya's steep,
It hurls the crashing avalanche down his side!
The wing of fire strives upward to the air,
Bursting in thunder rock-bound hills apart,
And the deep globe itself complains to bear
The earthquake beatings of its mighty heart!
Even when the waves are wearied out with toil,
And in their caverns swoon the winds away,
A thousand germs break through the yielding soil,
And bees and blossoms charm the drowsy day.
In stillest calms, when Nature's self doth seem
Sick for the far-off rest, the work goes on
In deep old forests, like a silent dream,
And sparry caves, that never knew the dawn.
From step to step, through long and weary time,
The struggling atoms rise in Nature's plan,
Till dust instinctive reaches mind sublime—
Till lowliest being finds its bloom in Man!
Here, on the borders of that Realm of Peace,
The gathered burdens of existence rest,
And like a sea whose surges never cease,
Heaves with its care the weary human breast.
Oh! bright effulgence of th' Eternal Power,
Break the worn band, and wide thy portals roll!
With silent glory flood the solemn hour
When star-eyed slumber welcomes back the soul!
Then shall the spirit sink in rapture down,
Like some rich blossom drunk with noontide's beam,
Or the wild bliss of music, sent to crown
The wakening moment of a midnight dream.
Through all the luminous seas of ether there,
Stirs not a trembling wave, to break the rest;
But fragrance, and the silent sense of prayer,
Charm the eternal slumber of the Blest!



It is a sweet and shady spot
Beneath the aged trees,
Where perfumed wild flowers lowly bend
Unto the passing breeze;
And joyous song-birds warble there
Rich music to the sunny air,
And many a golden-tinted beam
Fails on the spot like childhood's dream.
The moss-clad church is standing there,
The stream goes laughing by,
Sending its gurgling music out
Along a summer sky;
The rose has found a dwelling here
Beside the coffin and the bier;
And here the lily rears its head,
Within this Eden of the dead.
The sunlight glances on the scene
With many a sombre hue,
Caught from the cypress near the stream,
Or from the funeral yew;
And, spirit-like, above each stone
Is heard the night-wind's whispered tone,
As if the spirit lingered there,
Enchanted with a scene so fair.
The wild bee revels 'mid the flowers
That climb the ruined wall,
And, gently drooping, shroud the tomb
With Nature's fairest pall;
And dirge-like sings the trickling rill,
At evening's hour when all is still;
Whilst echo answers back again
In mimic notes the plaintive strain.
But moonlight gilds the scene anew,
Now all is hushed and calm;
The very winds seem sunk to rest,
O'erladen with their balm;
The stars, pale watchers of the night,
Look brightly out on such a sight;
Whilst from the hill the bird's low wail
Is wafted on the evening gale.
Be mine the lot, when life's dull day
Has drawn unto a close,
And dreams of Love, and hopes of Fame,
Have sunk to calm repose,
By all forgot, to rest my head
Unmarked beside the silent dead;
Hushed by the murmurs of the wave
That moans around my Father's Grave.






Presented by George Willig, No. 171 Chestnut Street.—Copyright Secured according to Law.
music 1

In the silence of the midnight,
When the cares of day are o'er,
In my soul I hear the voices
Of the loved ones gone before;

music 2

And the words of comfort whisp'ring,
Tell they'll watch on ev'ry hand,
And I love, I love to list to
Voices from the spirit land,
And I love, I love to list to
Voices from the spirit land.


In my wanderings, oft there cometh
Sudden stillness to my soul;
When around, above, within it
Rapturous joys unnumber'd roll;
Though around me all is tumult,
Noise and strife on every hand,
Yet within my soul I list to
Voices from the spirit land.


Loved ones that have gone before me
Whisper words of peace and joy;
Those that long since have departed,
Tell me their divine employ
Is to watch and guard my footsteps:
Oh, it is an angel band!
And my soul is cheered in hearing
Voices from the spirit land.




Oh, there is many a spot in this every-day world of ours as bright and beautiful as those of which we dream, or go miles away to visit and admire; but we must seek for them in the right spirit, ere the dimness will pass away from eyes blinded by the love of foreign novelties. Our own land, ay, even our own city—the crowded mart of commerce, and the vast haunt of poverty and crime, is rich in many a quiet nook, which, although it might arrest the attention if depicted on the gemmed page of the picturesque annual by some summer tourist, it is considered plebeian to notice as we pass them in our daily walks.

We have sat beneath the vines and blue skies of Italy, and heard from her moonlight balconies such strains as made us hold our breath to listen that we might not lose a note ere the perfumed breeze bore it lingeringly away: and in after years, in those English balconies we have described, wept, beneath the same moon, tears that had more of joy than grief in them, at some rude and simple strain which, sung by loved lips, made the charm of our careless and happy childhood. We have stood awe-stricken before the walls of the Colosseum, at Rome, and dreamt of it for evermore! But we have likewise paused opposite the Colosseum in the Regent's Park, investing it in the dim twilight with a thousand beauties that made it an object of interest. We can well remember lingering in the neighborhood, before the mimic church, or convent, as we had been taught to call it, of St. Catharine, with the moonshine gleaming through its arches, and the flickering lights appearing here and there in the diamond-paned windows, watching eagerly for the appearance of those white-robed nuns with which our childish fancy had peopled that quiet place—wondering that they never came. And amid all the architectural glory of foreign churches and cathedrals, since visited, have failed again to realize that simple love of, and faith in the beautiful, which then invested every scene with its peculiar charm. Where the mind makes its own picturesque, it never yet failed to find materials, and is often gifted with a strange power to charm others into seeing with its own loving eyes! So the poet immortalizes the humble home of his boyhood, and in after years men make pilgrimages to the time-worn stile, the

Rustic bridge—the willow tree;
Bathing its tresses in the quiet brook;

which his genius has redeemed from obscurity, and rendered hallowed spots for evermore.


Oh! tell me not of lofty fate,
Of glory's deathless name;
The bosom love leaves desolate
Has naught to do with fame.
Vainly philosophy would soar—
Love's height it may not reach;
The heart soon learns a sweeter lore
Than ever sage could teach.
The cup may bear a poisoned draught,
The altar may be cold,
But yet the chalice will be quaffed—
The shrine sought as of old.
Man's sterner nature turns away
To seek ambition's goal;
Wealth's glittering gifts, and pleasure's ray,
May charm his weary soul;—
But woman knows one only dream—
That broken—all is o'er;
For on life's dark and sluggish stream
Hope's sunbeam rests no more.


How strange it is to those who are in some sense new to the world, to see the way in which time plasters over wounds which we should have imagined that nothing could have healed: wounds which we should have expected to see bleed afresh at the sight of the inflictor, as it was said of old that those of the murdered did at the approach of the murderer. Sometimes we almost feel as if nothing was real in that singular existence called the world. Like the performers, who laugh and talk behind the scenes after the close of some dreadful tragedy; we see around us men who have ruined the fortunes and destroyed the happiness of others, women who have betrayed and been betrayed, whose existence has been perhaps devoted to misery and to infamy by the first step they have taken in the path of guilt, and whose hearts, if they did not break grew hard; we see the victims and the destroyers, those who have loved and those who have hated, those who have injured and those who have been injured, mix together in the common thoroughfares of life, meet even in social intimacy, with offered hands and ready smiles; not because "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy;" not because "To those who forgive, shall much be forgiven;" but because what is genuine and true, what is deep and what is strong, takes no root in that worn-out soil on which we tread, thrives not in that withering air which we breathe in that fictitious region which we live in, and which we so emphatically and so presumptuously call the world.



Speak kindly, oh! speak soothingly,
To him whose hopes are crossed,
Whose blessed trust in human love,
Was early, sadly lost;
For wearily—how wearily!
Drags life, if love depart;
Oh! let the balm of gentle words
Fall on the smitten heart.
Go gladly, with true sympathy,
Where want's pale victims pine,
And bid life's sweetest smiles again
Along their pathway shine.
Oh, heavily doth poverty
Man's nobler instincts bind;
Yet sever not that chain, to cast
A sadder on the mind.


He was a fool, and not a philosopher, who said that uncertainty was the just condition of man's mind. In trust, in confidence, in firm conviction, and in faith, is only to be found repose and peace. Assurance is what man's heart and understanding both require, and the very fact of the mind not being capable of obtaining certainty upon many points, is a proof of weakness, not of strength.



The Close of the Year.—The year is closing on us—and the change suggests reflections, which, if rather melancholy, may nevertheless be profitable. We acknowledge that the divisions of time are rather arbitrary—and therefore may vary, as they do vary, in different parts of the world. But whenever we arrive at one of these important epochs, whatever that may be, and wherever it constitutes a point in the popular calendar, we have passed one period of our life, and have so much the less to spend.

If we feel the rapidity of time's march in our ordinary festivity, and regret the approaching dissolution of the pleasant assembly, by how much the more do we feel if we pause to think that we are approaching the time when all our associations in life must cease, and we be remembered—not known—and that remembrance day by day growing less and less distinct, as new objects occupy the public eye, or new associations are taken up by those we leave. Nor would we "jump the life to come," by neglecting to make our approximation to that an occasion for such a solicitude as would lead to a preparation.

But we would not have all those reflections gloomy. We would not cloud the close of the year, nor the evening of life with moroseness, as if all were vanity that we had enjoyed, and all were vexation of spirit that was left. Such a use of the season would be a poor return for all the good things which Providence has wrought in our behalf. We know at this season of the year that the mountain summits are covered with snow, and in some places the drooping sides are whitened with the treasures of the clouds, but even these things, chilling as they may appear, are good in their season, and the beauteous covering of the hill-tops may glisten with the reflected rays of the sun, and seem to enjoy the visiter that has descended upon them. All the trees that yield their leaves to the season have for weeks been bare, ready to receive the weight of snow which might fall upon them, and teaching man that preparation is necessary to meet the evils of life and sustain its burthens. Here and there a few evergreens retain their foliage, and appear doubly beautiful amid the waste that is around them.

But it is not alone for their beauty that these objects are worthy of consideration—they teach also. They are full of instruction. Every leaf that glistens with winter's frost, or is crushed dry and rustling beneath our feet, has its lesson—it is well that all do not retain their position—they would be less monitory, less worthy our thought. Nature, in her use of foliage, acts upon the plan which the sybil of old adopted—she writes her lessons upon the leaves—and yet so arranges the truths they should convey, that they become more and more apparent, more and more valuable, as the hand of destructive time diminishes their number.

Elsewhere we have given reflections upon those events by which kingdoms and empires have been shaken in the year now coming to a close. Let us come nearer the heart, and speak of some of those changes by which human affections and individual attachments have been disturbed. Not, however, to quote the instance exactly—that would be to drag up into life the hidden sorrow, and expose to observation the grief which is sanctified for the recesses of the heart, whither in moments of leisure the wounded retire and sit and brood in profitable reflection over the affliction which Providence has allowed. We dare not drag up to day and its exposure each grief that lies buried deep in the grave of the mourner's heart. How truly beautiful, however, is the reflection that the stone of the sepulchre may be rolled away, and that in appropriate seasons the afflicted one makes a retreat from the business and the pleasures of life, and "goeth unto the grave to weep there." Sanctified—as beautiful—be the sorrow that hath not its exponent in the public assembly, that hath no signal by which its existence is to be denoted—no condition of countenance by which its extent is to be measured. Perhaps the sufferer had not yet obtained permission to call the object hers—and thus is deprived of the privilege of admitted mourning—how deep is that grief—it has known only the hope of life which takes with it all of the sunlight that makes the rainbow; without one drop of the storm from which that bow is reflected. Perhaps the young WIFE sits solitary in the chamber which affection has blessed, and pines amid the thousand emblems of the taste or customs of the dead—perhaps her grief is her inspiration, and she gives to story or to song the promptings of her sorrow, which the world supposes is the gift of joyous inspiration.

Perhaps the mother is pausing in the midst of renewed anguish for the departure of her gifted, her only child, and sits enumerating all his perfections, the greatest of which, and that which sanctified all other virtues, and hid the very shadowings of error, was his deep, constant love for her. Oh, how the maternal heart, smitten by the heaviest of griefs, bathes itself in the fountain of filial love; and when, at last, the over-wrought frame yields to the undermining sorrow, the mourner comforts herself with the reflection of the afflicted monarch of Israel, "I shall go unto him, he shall not come again unto me." These reflections, with all of blighted hopes which parent, lover, friend and patriot have indulged, the falling leaves of autumn suggest; but the evergreen tells us of the survival of affections, of friends, of beauty, and, perhaps, of attainments, and teaches us that while we bend, and may bend in bitter anguish—anguish long indulged beneath the rod of affliction—it is good for us also to kiss the rod—for it has the power of budding anew in the hand of Him who wields it; and the same might which made it the instrument of His afflictive dealings can make it also the means of after joy and peace.

Perhaps, upon the leaves that we examine, the sybil, with rearward glance, has recorded some event for joyous reflection. Have we not been made participants of high gratifications—domestic, social, public associations of instructive and pleasant operation? Have not new affections warmed the heart, or old ones sent out new tendrils to cling with a stronger hold upon us? Perhaps we have had the acquisition of wealth without the augmentation of desires, so that we can make ourselves happy by judicious distribution. Perhaps, above all, and over all, we are better, by the passage of the year, better by newly acquired, and especially newly exercised virtues—virtues that bless others, and, through them, bless ourselves. If so, surely we have grounds for pleasant reflections on the close of the year, and may hope that we have not lived in vain.

The virtues of the human heart are like the water-springs of the earth, their worth is measured by what overflows; nay, as an accumulation even of the purest water must become stagnant, profitless and offensive without an outlet, so what we call the virtues of man become useless and even injurious, unless they extend to others, by overflowing the fountain breast. Virtue is communicable; and those who associate with the good, find an influx of affection and piety, as the woman of faith was cured by touching the hems of the garment, that covered the source and example[366] of all health and goodness. If we have sought to acquire good for ourselves, and to do good to others during the present year, reflections upon its approaching close need not be painful; it should be to us a source of high gratification, that, enjoying as we have enjoyed, and mourning as we have mourned, we are nearer the union of the good who have gone before us, and further from the ills that follow upon our footsteps; and as we close our year, or close our life, may we throw back from joyous, grateful hearts, a smile of virtuous pleasure, which shall enrich the stern clouds that have passed us with the bow of promise of pleasures that are to come. C.

Graham's Magazine for 1849.—The new volume of Graham's Magazine, to be commenced with the January number, will, beyond all doubt, be the most elegant volume that has ever been issued of this most popular of all the American monthlies. The ample experience and liberal expenditure of money by the publishers, the ability of its host of contributors, the editorial tact which will be brought into service, and the genius and skill of the artists engaged to embellish it, must more than sustain the high position it has heretofore held in public estimation. The magazine literature of this country is destined to a warmer appreciation in the public regard, as it becomes purged from the sickly sentimentality which degrades public taste, and when the first minds in the nation are found devoting solid thought to adorn and elevate it. A few years since, the highest aim of contemporary competition seemed to be to fill a given number of pages with the silly effusions of a class of writers whose feeble powers and false taste were gradually undermining public regard, and bringing this branch of national literature into contempt and disgrace, but the higher aims of the publishers of the now leading periodicals, evinced in the engagement of the brightest intellect of the country, have raised American periodicals to a scale second to none in the world.

Blackwood and Frazer, in England, and The Knickerbocker and "Graham's Magazine," in America, now stand side by side, and by paying liberally for talent, command the very highest. It may be doubted, however, whether in this country the force of periodical writing has not been in some degree impaired, by a diversion of the public eye and taste in the smaller class of magazines with feeble aims, to engravings and pictures, many of which are but the refuse of the English Annuals, and the efforts of second rate artists in this country; and also how far those magazines which are marked by ability, and which, as magazines of Art as well as of Literature, embracing in their object and scope, the improvement of a very laudable branch of art—that of engraving—as well as the adornment of the work, should be drawn aside into a competition in the number of their engravings, instead of the worth which should mark each one of them. It appears to us that this degrading of magazines into picture-books for children, by impoverishing the literary department to swell the number of wretched engravings in a department of art, so called, must impair the value and shorten the existence of any periodical thus conducted.

For ourselves, we have marked out a course in regard to the mere illustrations of this periodical, from which we shall not be diverted. We shall continue to furnish to our readers the most finished and elegant specimens of the American engraver's skill, keeping at the same time in view the value aside from the mere ornament of the engraving, thus catching the public desire in the portrait of a person who may have some claim upon posterity, even though the face may not be the most beautiful; and in sketches of such scenes as deserve to live in the pages of this magazine, either from their own great beauty, from their grandeur, or from association which gives them value to the American eye and mind.

The Female Poets of America.—Messrs. Lindsay & Blakiston have presented to the public a delightful volume prepared by Caroline May. It embraces biographical sketches, and extracts from the productions of many of our own native female writers, and serves to render us familiar with those whose sweet strains have often charmed our hearts. The style of execution of the volume in question, corresponds with the excellent character of its contents, and the authoress, publishers and printers have executed their respective parts with great skill and effect.

Burns, as a Poet and as a Man.—The admirers of the gifted Scottish bard, will find an interesting and well executed review of his character as a Poet and a Man, in a volume, prepared by S. Tyler, Esq., of the Maryland bar, and just issued by Baker and Schriver, of New York. We are indebted for a copy to Messrs. Lindsay & Blakiston, of this city, who are ever skillful in catering for the intellectual taste of their literary friends.

hand We lay our present number before our readers with feelings of pride and pleasure, confident of the admission, on their part, that a richer or more varied treat has never been presented in the pages of any magazine. Our contributors have supplied us with admirable articles—our artists have acquitted themselves with great ability—our printers have acted well their part—and now, we trust, our patrons will complete our gratification, by being as much pleased with the number before them as we are in making the offering.

hand We thank our editorial brethren throughout the country for the favorable manner in which they continue to notice our Magazine. They do us but justice when they say that all our efforts will be put in exercise to keep our Magazine in the enviable position we have so long occupied. Always in advance of every contemporary, we shall show in the new volume upon which we are entering, what enterprise, zeal and energy can accomplish in the elevation of the standard of literature and the arts.

Kate Walsingham.—This is another of Miss Pickering's delightful novels, just issued from the press of T. B. Peterson. The story is an interesting one, and the book abounds with brilliant and sparkling beauties.

Lays and Ballads, by T. B. Read.—A volume from the pen of Mr. Read, one of the most accomplished of our contributors, has just been published by Mr. Appleton. The lateness of the hour at which a copy reached us prevents us from noticing it at present as we desire to do. We shall therefore make it the subject of a paragraph in a future number.

J. Bayard Taylor, Esq.—A life-like portrait of our friend and co-laborer, J. B. Taylor, graces this number of the Magazine. We know our readers—our fair ones especially—will admire him; and we would remark, en passant, for their information, that well-looking as he unquestionably is, his merits in this particular are fully equaled by his good qualities of head and heart.[367]


Principles of Political Economy, with some of their Applications to Social Philosophy. By John Stuart Mill. Boston: Little & Brown. 2 vols. 8vo.

Mr. Mill is almost the model man of science of his age. To habits of deep and thorough investigation, and rigid, penetrating, exhaustive thought—pursuing a principle through all the details of its application, and never stopping halfway to pause or digress—he adds a calm but strong sympathy with the philanthropic movements of the age; and the tendency of all his writings is to advance the cause of truth, justice and benevolence. But he is a reformer in a peculiar sense, not practically understood by many who bear the name. A comprehensive and patient thinker, and discussing every question bearing on the interest, happiness and elevation of mankind with a conscientious as well as rigid logic, he indulges in no vituperation, uses none of the weapons of passion and malice, and irresistibly conveys the impression to the most prejudiced mind that it is truth he is seeking, not the gratification of vanity or antipathy. The consequence is that he is the only radical thinker in England who is read by all parties, and who influences all parties. With more industry, mental vigor and scientific precision than Mackintosh, he has a great deal of that beneficence of spirit, that judicial comprehension, and that strict impartiality of understanding, which enabled Mackintosh to reach minds separated from his by the walls of sect and faction. Mill is one of those rare men who make no distinction between moral and logical honesty; who would as much disdain to utter a sophism as to tell a lie; and who can discuss questions which array the passions of a nation on different sides, without adopting any of the opposite bigotries with which they are usually connected. As a matter of course the prejudiced and the bigoted themselves, in those hours of calmness when they really desire to know the truth and reason of the things they are quarreling about, go to a man like him with perfect confidence. Thus Mill, a philosophical English radical, is ever treated with that respect which clings to a profound and conscientious thinker, even by the most violent of his Tory opponents. One of the late numbers of Blackwood's Magazine—a periodical accustomed to blackguard the men it cannot answer, and in which Mackintosh himself was ever treated with coarse invective or affected contempt—has a long article on Mill's present work on political economy, admitting its claim to be considered one of the greatest works of the century, even though it takes strong ground against many of the cherished absurdities of the Tory political creed.

The reputation of Mr. Mill was sufficiently established before his political economy was published. As the writer, over the signature of A., of several articles in the Westminster Review, such as those on Coleridge, Bentham, and the Privileged Classes, and the author of the profoundest and most complete treatise on Logic ever written, he needed no introduction to the public. "The Principles of Political Economy" is a book bearing on every page the decisive marks of his strong and accurate mind. It is a work after the model of Smith's Wealth of Nations, in which principles are always associated with their applications, and economical questions considered in their relations to social philosophy, and the general well-being of man. As, since the time of Adam Smith, political economy and social philosophy have both made a perceptible advance, Mr. Mill's work purports to supply the deficiency of a complete system of political economy, including all the latest discoveries, and combining a strict scientific exposition of the abstract principles of the subject with their practical applications. The result is that he has produced the most complete and satisfactory work of the kind at present in existence, and, on the whole, the most important contribution to political economy since the time of Adam Smith.

We, of course, have no space to refer at any length to his treatment of the different branches of his subject; but the book has one characteristic which we hope will have the effect to make it generally read. The style is so clear, vigorous, simple and lucid, and the illustrations so apt and copious, that the work can be readily understood by those readers who are commonly repelled by the dry and abstract character of other treatises on the science. The author intended that his book should be popular as well as profound, and has exerted his full strength of mind in simplifying the more abstruse principles of his subject; and we trust that his labor will not have been spent in vain. Every legislator, merchant, manufacturer, and agriculturist, every man who is in any way connected with the creation or distribution of wealth, should read this book.

An Oration Delivered Before the Society of Phi Beta Kappa, at Cambridge, August 24, 1848. By Horace Bushnell. Cambridge: George Nichols.

Dr. Bushnell has within a year or two taken a prominent position among New England divines, and promises to rank high among the influencing minds of the day. To deep and scholarly culture, he unites a strong, independent, and singularly keen and ingenious intellect, and a beautiful and bountiful spirit of cheerfulness and charity. The present oration is a fine poem, expressing rather a mood of mind than a system of philosophy, but grouping together with fine art many facts of consciousness, and applying them to the phenomena of life. Every thing, in fact, is surveyed in the light of two ideas, Work and Play, and though the application is sometimes more fanciful than reasonable, the result is a series of beautiful representations, original in conception and finely felicitous in expression. There is room for considerable difference of opinion in the oration, but none will be inclined to doubt the author's ability or keenness. As a specimen of the style we extract a passage relating to war, which he calls an imposing and plausible counterfeit of play, or inspiration.

"Since," he says, "we cannot stay content in the dull uninspired world of economy and work, we are as ready to see a hero as he is to be one. Nay, we must have our heroes, as I just said, and we are ready to harness ourselves, by the million, to any man who will let us fight him out the name. Thus we find out occasions for war—wrongs to be redressed, revenges to be taken, such as we may feign inspiration and play the great heart under. We collect armies, and dress up leaders in gold and high colors, meaning by the brave look, to inspire some notion of a hero beforehand. Then we set the men in phalanxes and squadrons, where the personality itself is taken away, and a vast impersonal person called an army, a magnanimous and brave monster, is all that remains. The masses of fierce color, the glitter of the steel, the dancing plumes, the waving flags, the deep throb of the music lifting every foot—under these the living acres of men, possessed by the one thought of playing brave to-day, are rolled on to[368] battle. Thunder, fire, dust, blood, groans—what of these?—nobody thinks of these, for nobody dares to think till the day is over, and then the world rejoices to behold a new batch of heroes."

Three Sisters and Three Fortunes; or Rose, Blanche and Violet. By G. H. Lewes. New York: Harper & Brothers.

Mr. Lewes is an author very little known in this country. This is the first work of his which has been reprinted. But in England he has considerable reputation among the higher class of readers and men of taste for his brilliant powers of mind and extensive acquirements. His Biographical History of Philosophy we have never seen, but we have observed allusions to it in other publications, exalting it to a very high rank among thoughtful books. For some time, if we are not mistaken, he was the chief literary critic of the Westminster Review, and many of his articles were marked by strong and deep thinking, a little injured by vagaries of expression. In a novel by such a writer we should naturally expect more than a mere love story, more than a narrative of incidents and representation of passions; and he has not disappointed expectation. Indeed one can easily see that the book is based on a philosophical system, and that more is meant than directly meets the eye. The characters and events all illustrate some problems in metaphysics and ethics, and refer more to the understanding than the imagination. The story does not lack interest, nor the personages character, but both are o'erinformed with meditation. Fine as the novel undoubtedly is, the author has not given it the requisite artistical finish to produce an harmonious impression. Speculation on matters connected with literature, art and politics, essays on the passions and the will, appear in their naked character amid romantic incidents and imaginative representation. The author, in short, ought to have made his book altogether didactic or altogether dramatic, to fulfill the requisitions of either department. Had he fused all his abstract thought and practical speculation in the alembic of the imagination, and accordingly represented all in the concrete form of character and events, the result would have been a much better novel.

Euthanasy; or Happy Talk Toward the End of Life. By William Mountford, Author of Martyria, &c., &c. Boston: Crosby & Nichols. 1 vol. 12mo.

The author of this volume is one of the most profoundly meditative writers living. We are not aware that his productions have had an extended circulation out of New England, where they are very popular, and if they have not, we hardly know of a better service we could do our readers than to advise them to seek his companionship. Martyria and the present work are two books which no one can read without being benefitted—without having a deeper sense of the "dread soul within him," and without feeling a warmer love of his race. "Euthanasy" is one of those volumes which win their way into the heart with a soft unconscious persuasiveness, and abide there when they have once found an entrance. The author's spirit is rich, sweet, thoughtful, tender—seeking the beautiful and the good by a spontaneous instinct, and discerning them often, with the subtilty of purity in things which seem valueless to the common eye—and while it soars into the highest regions of spiritual contemplation, can still survey practical life with a wisdom and sagacity which almost seem incompatible with its loftiness. The truth is that the author possesses one of the rarest things ever seen in this world—a truly spiritual mind, in which there is established no divorce between the practical and the spiritual, the common and the ideal. Spirituality with him is a life—no hearsay or imagination, but an experience. He consequently spiritualizes the human and humanizes the spiritual.

The work, in addition to its own stores of original thought, has many a golden sentence and rhyme from the meditative poets of Germany and England, which lend it increased richness and beauty.

Ellen Middleton; a Tale. By Lady Georgiana Fullerton, Author of Grantly Manor. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 12mo.

Grantly Manor is a novel of high and peculiar excellence, and has had a great run. Its readers threw themselves upon the present work as soon as it was published, their expectations whetted by the memory of the last. The result has been comparative disappointment. The truth is Ellen Middleton preceded Grantly Manor, and is altogether a less pleasing production. Considered, however, as the first work of the author, it is rich in promise and by no means insignificant in performance. The characters are strongly drawn and well discriminated, and the passions with which it deals are of that potent kind which test a novelist's strength and daring. The difficulty with the book is not its lack of power, but its lack of homely interest. The characters and incidents are too much made up in the author's mind—enclosed, as it were, in a peculiar domain, and colored by one peculiar experience of life—to give that satisfaction which results from a delineation of actual life, or from vivid and beautiful ideal creations. There is too much agony, and anguish, and hyperbolical emotion, and splitting of the heart, and such like rioting in spiritual misery and ruin. The elegance, eloquence and sweetness of the author's style, and the high moral and religious character of her mind, appear, however, in Ellen Middleton as in Grantly Manor, and with the advantage of as good a story would produce as agreeable an impression.

History of Mary, Queen of Scotts. By Jacob Abbott. With Engravings. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1 vol. 16mo.

This is one of a series of popular histories which Mr. Abbott is preparing for his countrymen. The tone and object will considerably differ from the common historical works in circulation. Mr. Abbott considers that the situation and principles of American readers require views of historical events different from those they would obtain from foreigners. The present work is devoted to one of the most romantic and thrilling stories in historical literature—the Life of Mary, Queen of Scotts. It is elegantly and truthfully written, and the mechanical execution of the volume is exceedingly beautiful.

Macaulay's History of England.

The Harpers have received from the author, in sheets, the first and second volumes of "The History of England, from the Accession of James II., by T. B. Macaulay." For these they pay one hundred guineas a volume. The work itself will doubtless create as great a stir as any book published within the last twenty years. Every body is curious especially to discover the style which Macaulay has adopted—that of his Essays being too brisk, brilliant and epigrammatic for an historian. It will probably be something like that of the Preface to the "Lays of Ancient Rome," or that of his latest article on Lord Chatham.