Title: Godey's Lady's Book, Vol. 48, No. XVIII, April, 1854
Editor: Sarah Josepha Buell Hale
Release date: December 19, 2018 [eBook #58494]
Credits: Produced by Jane Robins and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This file was
produced from images generously made available by The
The TABLE OF CONTENTS Table has been harvested from the January Edition.
|A Mother's Love, by Mary Neal,||355|
|Apron in Broderie en Lacet,||363|
|Beauty, by Miss M. H. Butt,||346|
|Border and Corner for Pocket-Handkerchief,||361|
|Celestial Phenomena, by D. W. Belisle,||315|
|Crochet Tassel Cover,||358|
|Dairy-House and Piggery,||349|
|Don't Overtask the Young Brain,||337|
|Dream Picture, by Mrs. A. F. Law,||353|
|Dress--as a Fine Art, by Mrs. Merrifield,||347|
|Ellie Maylie, by Jennie Dowling De Witt,||353|
|Godey's Course of Lessons in Drawing,||323|
|I was Robbed of my Spirit's Love, by Jaronette,||354|
|Jacket for Riding-Dress,||364|
|Laces and Embroideries,||379|
|Lady's Scarf Mantelet,||357|
|Le Printemps Mantilla,||289|
|Letters Left at the Pastry Cook's, Edited by Horace Mayhew,||334|
|Management of Canary Birds,||322|
|Mantillas, from the celebrated Establishment of G. Brodie, New York,||290, 291|
|Manuel Garcia, the celebrated Singing-Master,||366|
|Mrs. Murden's Two Dollar Silk, by The Author of "Miss Bremer's Visit to Cooper's Landing,"||317|
|Netted Cap, for morning wear,||360|
|Our Practical Dress Instructor,||357|
|Patterns for Embroidery,||365|
|Singular Inscriptions on Tombstones,||376|
|Some Thoughts on Training Female Teachers, by Miss M. S. G.,||336|
|Sonnets, by Wm. Alexander,||352|
|The Borrower's Department,||377|
|The Elixir of Life, by Charles Albert Janvier,||354|
|The Interview, by T. Hempstead,||352|
|The Last Moments, by R. Griffin Staples,||356|
|The Manufacture of Artificial Flowers, by C. T. Hinckley,||295|
|The Orphan's Departure, by Margaret Floyd,||310|
|There's Music, by Horace G. Boughman,||353|
|The Song-Birds of Spring, by Norman W. Bridge,||355|
|The Souvenir; or, The Arrival of the Lady's Book. A Sketch of Southern Life, by Pauline Forsyth,||338|
|The Trials of a Needle-Woman, by T. S. Arthur,||326|
|The Turkish Costume,||348|
|The Was and the Is, by O. Everts, M. D.,||356|
|The Wild Flowers of Early Spring-time,||343|
|To an Absent Dear One, by Fannie M. C.,||355|
|To Ida, by Horace Phelps, M. D.,||356|
|True Happiness in a Palace,||367|
|Washing made Easy,||379|
|Willie Maylie, by Cornelia M. Dowling,||353|
|Zanotti: a Romantic Tale of Italy and Spain, by Percy,||300|
FOR the early portion of the season, we illustrate a mantilla of great beauty. It is made of black-green or ruby-colored, with a richly embroidered ornamental design. Should it prove desirable, the upper portion of the garment may be left off, and the lower alone worn. The mantilla is trimmed with a netted fringe, seven inches wide.
FOR the close of this month and the early summer, we present a mantilla which shares largely the public favor. This garment has appeared elsewhere before, somewhat in advance of its time; but, as we desire to present accurate reports of what are actually the reigning modes, we publish it here for the benefit of our lady friends. It is in the berthe style, composed of white poult de soie, heavily embroidered. The collar is slashed upon the shoulder, and cross-laced with cords terminating in neat tassels. It is fringed with extraordinary richness.
THIS bonnet, which is suited to a plain walking-dress, is made of straw, and trimmed with Leghorn-colored ribbon, disposed in a simple and tasteful style, with two long flowing ends on the left side. The bonnet is lined with white ærophane, laid in small neat folds; and the under-trimming consists of loops of black velvet ribbon. The second figure is the reverse side of the same bonnet.
PHILADELPHIA, APRIL, 1854.
ILLUSTRATED WITH PEN AND GRAVER.
BY C. T. HINCKLEY.
THE manufacture of artificial flowers, first brought to a high degree of excellence by the Italians, is one of no small importance, considering the amount of skill and labor which it brings into requisition. The first attempt at making artificial flowers among civilized nations was by twisting ribbons of different colors somewhat into the shape of flowers, and fastening them to wire stems. This yielded to the use of feathers, which were far more elegant, but could not always be made to imitate in color the flowers which they represented, there being considerable difficulty in getting them to take the dyes. Where the plumage of birds is of great brilliancy, the natural colors admirably answer the purpose, and do not fade or lose their resplendent hues. Thus, in South America, the savages have long known how to fabricate beautiful artificial flowers from such plumage. In Italy, the cocoons of silkworms are often used, and have a soft and velvety appearance, while they take a brilliant dye. In France, the finest cambric is the chief material, while wax is also largely employed. The arrangement of the workshop, and the variety and use of tools, where flower-making is practised on a large scale, are as follows:—
A large and well-lighted room, which has the means of warmth in winter, is selected, and along its whole extent is placed a table, similar to the writing-tables used in schools, where the work-people may have a good light as long as possible. This table is fitted with drawers containing numerous compartments, arranged so as to receive and keep separate the small parts of flowers, such as petals, stalks, minute blossoms catkins, buds, leaves not mounted on their stalks and all other parts not fit to be placed among more finished specimens. It is desirable that the table be covered with oil-cloth, so that it may be frequently cleansed, by washing, from the stains of the different colors employed. Along the whole extent of this table are placed flower-holders, that is, light frames with horizontal iron wires, to which the flowers, when attached to their stalks, are suspended by merely crooking the end of the stalk, and hanging it on the wire. Sometimes tightly strained pack-thread is used instead of wire. Figs. 1 and 2 represent two forms of flower-holder; in both cases the frame is fixed to the table. Along the tables are also ranged bobbin-holders in considerable numbers, not unlike those used by weavers. The bobbin-holder is a rod of iron, Fig. 3, about six inches high, fixed in a massive leaden or wooden base. On this rod is threaded a large bobbin, on which is wound a quantity of silk or wool. On its summit may be fixed a nut, to prevent the bobbin, when in rapid motion, from whirling off the rod, but this is often omitted. Ladies who work for their pleasure frequently have this bobbin-holder made in an ornamental form, the base being covered with bas-reliefs, and the nut at the top taking the form of an arrow, a blossom, &c. But the more simple and free from ornament, the better is the holder for use, any unnecessary projections only acting as so many means of entangling the silk.
The flower-maker does not take up flowers or their parts with the fingers, but with pincers of the simplest description, Fig. 4, which are incessantly in use. With these, the smallest parts of the flower can be seized, and disposed in their proper places, raised, depressed, turned about and adjusted, according to the taste of the artist, and her appreciation of natural forms. It is with the pincers also that any little contortions of the extremities of petals, and irregularities in their form and in the arrangement of stamens, are copied. The proper length of this tool is about five inches. Each workwoman brings one for her own use, and keeps it close at hand. Dressing-frames of various sizes form another part of the furniture of the work-room. On these are stretched the materials, which are gummed and dyed. A dressing-frame, Fig. 5, consists of two uprights of hard wood, with two cross pieces of the same, capable of adjustment. The frame is fitted with crooks for the attachment of the material, or with a band of coarse canvas to which the material can be sewn. These frames have no feet, and are fitted sometimes against a wall, sometimes upon a chair. When covered with the material, they are hung up against the wall by one of the cross pieces, until it is time to dismount them.
There are also various useful implements, called by the work-people "irons," for cutting out petals, calyxes, and bracts, and for giving to leaves those various serrated and other forms which produce such wonderful variety in foliage. These cutting tools, two of which are shown in Figs. 6 and 7, are of iron, with a hollow handle, flat at its upper extremity, that the hammer may be readily applied. They are about four or five inches long, and of numerous sizes and varieties. That they may cut rapidly and clearly, the edges are occasionally rubbed with dry soap. When a leaf becomes attached to the interior, and cannot be shaken out, a little ring of wire, Fig. 8, is introduced in a hole j, Fig. 7, left for that purpose to disengage it. The material is doubled several times under the cutter, so that several petals or leaves may be cut out at once. The block on which the leaves are cut out is rather a complicated affair. It is placed near a window, and as far as possible from the workers, that the blows of the hammer may not interfere with their employment. Sometimes it consists of a very stout framework of timber, on which is placed a mattress of straw to deaden the blows, and upon this mattress a thick smooth piece of lead, forming a square table, Fig. 9. In some cases a solid block of timber is used, a portion of the trunk of a tree taken near the root, and on this the mattress and the leaden table are placed. The hammers used at this work are short and heavy; one is especially adapted for smoothing the surface of the lead when it becomes indented all over by the blows of the workman.
The cutting out of the leaves and petals is only a preliminary operation to the more perfect imitation of nature; the leaves must next be gauffered to represent the veins, the fold, and the endless touches and indentations which are found in the natural plant. Gauffering is executed in two ways, the first and simplest being that which merely gives the hollow form to the petals of roses, cherry-blossoms, peach, hawthorn, and numerous other flowers which preserve, until the period of decay, somewhat of the form of a bud, all the petals beautifully curving inwards. To imitate these, the gauffering tools are simple polished balls of iron fixed on iron rods, with a wooden handle attached, as shown in Fig. 10. The balls are of various sizes, from a pin's head upwards, to adapt them to the minute blossoms of such flowers as the forget-me-not, which require only the slightest degree of curvature, and to the large flowers of camelia, dahlia, mallow, &c., where the curvature is of often very great. These balls are made slightly warm, so as to fix the forms decidedly, without effacing the colors. The petals are placed on a cushion, and the iron is pressed against them. But curvature alone is not sufficient; there is, in many petals, a decided fold or plait up the centre, springing from the point where it is attached to the germen. This fold can be obtained by the use of a prism-shaped iron, Fig. 11. Conical, cylindrical, and hooked irons, Figs. 12, 13, are also useful to imitate the various minutiæ of the blossoms. A cushion near each artist serves as a rest to the gauffering irons, which must be preserved from the least taint of dust, seeing that they are applied to the most delicately-beautiful portions of the flower. The veins and curves of leaves are given by gauffers composed of two distinct parts, on each of which is severally moulded in copper the upper and under surface of the leaf as shown in Fig. 14. Sometimes, one part is of iron, the other of copper. It is necessary to have a very large assortment of these gauffers; in fact, they should correspond in number with the cutting-irons by which the forms of leaves are punched out. The leaf or leaves being inserted in the gauffer, a powerful pressure is given to stamp the desired form. This is accomplished either by means of a heavy iron pressed on the lid, or by two or three smart blows of a hammer, or, better still, by the uniform action of a press, such as is shown in Fig. 15. Besides the above articles, the workshop is provided with an abundance of boxes, scissors large and small, for cutting wire, as well as textile fabrics, camel-hair pencils, sponges, canvas-bags, &c., that everything likely to be needed by the work-people may be immediately at hand.
The material of which flowers are made is, first and best (as already stated), French cambric, but a great quantity of Scotch cambric, jaconet, and even fine calico, are also used. For some descriptions of flowers, clear muslin, crape, and gauze, are wanted; and for some very thick petals, satin and velvet are necessary. These materials are provided in various colors, as well as in white, but fresh tints have frequently to be given. These are laid on with a sponge, or a camel-hair pencil, or the petal is dipped in color; a quantity of green taffeta should always be at hand for leaves. The coloring matters used in dyeing the material for the petals are as follows: For red, in its various shades, Brazil wood is largely used, also carmine, lake, and carthamus. The best way of treating Brazil wood is to macerate it cold in alcohol for several days; a little salt of tartar, potash, or soap, will make this color pass into purple; a little alum gives it a fine crimson-red, and an acid will make it pass into yellow, of which the shade is deeper according to the quantity employed. Carmine is better in lumps than in powder; diffused in pure water, it gives rose-color; a little salt of tartar brightens the tint. Carthamus is dissolved cold in alcohol; heat, as well as the alkalies, causes it to pass to orange. The acids render it of a lively and pure red; a very delicate flesh-color is obtained by rinsing the material, colored with carthamus, in slightly soapy water. Blue colors are prepared by means of indigo, or Prussian blue. Sometimes balls of common blue are used, steeped in water. Indigo is first dissolved in sulphuric acid. This is then diluted with water, and powdered chalk or whiting is added until effervescence ceases. The liquor is afterwards decanted off, and the sediment, when washed, gives a paler color. Greater intensity is given to indigo by adding a little potash. Yellow colors are given by turmeric dissolved in spirits of wine, by saffron, chrome-yellow, &c. Green colors are obtained by mixtures of blue and yellow; violets, by mixtures of red and blue, and by archil and a blue bath; lilacs, by archil only.
The method of making a rose will give a good idea of the manufacture in general. First of all, the petals are cut out from the finest and most beautiful cambric. The pattern-shapes must be of different sizes, because, in the same rose, the petals are never equal; a good assortment of patterns enables the artist the better to imitate the variety of nature. When the petals are thus prepared, they have to be dyed in a bath of carmine in alkaline water. For this purpose, they are held separately by means of pincers, and dipped first in the bath, and then into pure water, to give them that delicacy of tint which is characteristic of the rose. But as the color of the petal usually deepens towards the centre, a tint is there laid on with the pencil, while a drop of water is laid on the point of insertion of the petal, to make the color there fade off, as it does in nature, to white. If the right tint is not given at first, the processes are repeated; any slight imperfection, such as is seen in the petals of most living flowers, being also accurately imitated with the pencil. The taffeta employed in making leaves is dyed of the proper green in the piece before cutting out. It is then stretched out to dry, and afterwards further prepared with gum-arabic on one side, to represent the glossy upper surface of leaves, and with starch on the other, to give the velvety appearance of the under side. This preparation, colored to suit the exact shade to be given to the leaf, must be just of the proper consistence, making the leaf neither too stiff nor too limp, while it gives the proper kind of under surface. Where the leaf requires a marked degree of this velvet texture, it is given by the nap of cloth reduced to fine powder, and properly tinted. A little gum is lightly passed over the surface, and when partly dry, this powder is dusted over it, the superfluous portion being shaken off. These preparations having been completed, it yet remains to give to the leaves, after they are cut out, the appearance of nature, by representing the veins and indentations which they always exhibit. For this purpose various gauffering-tools are made use of.
The material for the leaflets of the calyx in roses, is subjected to another process immediately on coming out of the dye, in order to preserve the firmness which it is necessary the calyx should have. To this end, the taffeta, while still damp, is impregnated with colored starch on both sides, and stretched on the drying-frame: when perfectly dry, the leaflets are cut out according to pattern. Buds are made also of taffeta, or, if partially open, they are made of white kid tinted of a suitable color, stuffed with cotton, or of bread, and tied firmly with silk to slender wires. The stamens are prepared by attaching to a little knot of worsted a sufficient quantity of ends of silk to form the heart of the flower. These ends of silk, cut to the proper length, are then stiffened in kid jelly, and, when dry, the extremities are slightly moistened with gum-arabic and dipped in a preparation of wheaten flour, colored yellow, to represent the pollen. Each thread takes up its separate grain, and is left to dry. The heart of the flower being thus prepared, and fixed to a stem of wire, the smaller petals are arranged round it, and fixed by paste at their points. The larger petals succeed, some of which are hollowed or wrinkled, while constant care is taken to give them a natural appearance in disposing them around the centre. The calyx comes next, and incloses the ends of all the petals. It is fixed with paste, and surrounded with more or less of cotton thread, which also generally incloses one or more wires attached to that which bears the heart of the flower, and forming the germ. The whole is covered with silver-paper tinted green. The leaves are mounted on copper wire, and are arranged on the stem in the order which nature teaches, the covering of cotton and tissue-paper hiding the joints.
In addition to the manufacture of flowers intended as closely as possible to represent their living models, there is a large branch of the art in which the aim seems to be to depart from nature as far as possible. These fancy flowers are the fruit of the artist's peculiar taste, and are therefore as impossible to describe as we sincerely wish they were impossible to execute. There are also flowers of natural forms, but of unnatural colors, being made to assume mournful hues to suit the circumstances of their wearers. There are also gold and silver flowers, more resplendent, but equally unnatural. Of these, sometimes the stamens and pistils alone are metallic; sometimes the petals are gilded, and sometimes the leaves and fruit glitter in the same precious metal. An easy method of applying the gilt in any device or form, is to prepare a cement which shall fix it to the cambric, paper, or other material (this cement may be honey and gum-arabic boiled in beer), and then to moisten with it the surface, placing thereon rather more gold-leaf than is necessary to cover it, pressing it down with a cotton rubber, and, when it is dry, rubbing off the superfluous gilding with the same.
Flowers are also made in chenille, but do not pretend to an accurate imitation of nature. There are two or three methods of making them, the simplest being to represent merely the shapes of flowers; for instance, apple-blossoms, represented by small loops of pink chenille arranged round a centre. Another method is, to make out the distinct petals, by rows of chenille placed close together. A third and prettier method, is that of uniting chenille with ordinary flower-making. Flowers made of feathers may be extremely rich and brilliant in their effect. Yet ordinarily feather-flowers are more difficult than satisfactory, and there are very few of our own familiar flowers that can be successfully copied by them. One of the best imitations is that of the wild clematis when adorned, as it is in autumn, with its plumed seeds. These can be admirably imitated in white marabout feathers. Some of the most available feathers for flower-making are those found under the wings of young pigeons.
The manufacture of wax-flowers is carried on by using the purest virgin wax, entirely freed from all extraneous matters. Wax that is either granular or friable must be rejected. It is generally melted in vessels of tinned iron, copper, or earthenware. To render it ductile, fine Venice turpentine, white, pure, and of an agreeable odor, is added. The mixture is constantly stirred with a glass or wooden spatula. All contact with iron must be avoided, and if the vessels are of that material, they must be well and carefully tinned. When stiff leaves are to be executed, two parts of spermaceti are added to eight parts of wax, to give transparency. Much care and tact are needed in coloring the wax. The colors being in fine powder, are made into a paste by adding little by little of essence of citron or lavender. When the trituration is perfect, this paste is mixed with melted wax, stirring rapidly all the while; and while the mass is still liquid, it is poured into moulds of pasteboard, or tinned iron, of the shape of tablets, and is then ready for use. Sometimes it is passed through fine muslin as it flows into the moulds. Another method is, to tie up the color in a muslin bag, and wave it about amongst the molten wax until the desired tint is obtained. To combine colors, it is only necessary to have two or three bags containing different colors, and to employ as much of each as shall have the desired effect. These bags, far from being spoiled by dipping in wax already containing other shades, have only to be rinsed in pure water to fit them for coloring other wax. The colors most in use in wax flower-making, are pure forms of white-lead, vermilion, lake, and carmine, ultramarine, cobalt, indigo, and Prussian blue, chrome, Naples yellow, and yellow ochre. Greens and violets are chiefly made from mixtures of the above.
The wax being prepared, the manufacture of flowers is carried on in two ways. The first consists in steeping in liquid wax little wooden moulds rinsed with water, around which the wax forms in a thin layer, so as to take the form of the mould, and thus to present, when detached from it, the appearance of the whole or part of a flower. In this way lilac and other simple blossoms are obtained with much rapidity. The branches are also executed with wax softened by heat, and moulded with the fingers round a thread of wire. As for leaves and petals, they are cut out of sheets of colored wax of the proper thickness. These sheets are glossy on one side, and velvety on the other. To express the veining of leaves, they are placed in moistened moulds, and pressed with the thumb sufficiently to get the impression, which is accurately copied from nature. The petals are made to adhere simply by pressure; the leaves are placed on a little footstalk, and the latter fastened to the stem. The manner of procuring moulds for the accurate imitation of leaves, is as follows: A natural leaf of the plant it is wished to imitate is spread out on a flat surface of marble, for example. It is lightly but equally greased with olive oil, and surrounded with a wall of wax, which must not touch it. Then, in a small vessel containing a few spoonfuls of water, a few pinches of plaster of Paris are to be thrown, and briskly stirred till the liquid has the consistence of thick cream. This is poured over the leaf, and left till it is well hardened. It is then lifted up and the leaf detached, when it will be seen that the plaster has taken a perfect impression of every vein and indentation. Such moulds are rendered far more durable if they are impregnated while warm with drying oil. This gives them greater solidity, and prevents their crumbling from frequent immersion in water. It is necessary to impress strongly on all amateur wax flower-makers the necessity for having all tools and moulds completely moistened with water, otherwise the wax will be constantly adhering, and preventing neatness of workmanship.
The variety of the materials used in artificial flower-making was displayed to an amusing extent in the World's Fair. In addition to the really beautiful and artistic productions already noticed, and to the elegant flowers constructed of palm-leaves, of straw, and of shells, as well as of all the materials named in this paper, there were flowers fabricated in human hair, in chocolate, in soap, in wood, marble, porcelain, common earthenware, and other unpromising materials.
COUNT CARLO ZANOTTI was a son of one of the noblest families in Venice—the heir of its titles, its wealth, its hereditary renown, and his prospects in the spring of life were golden as the trees in autumn. An incident in his father's history, which tinged the old man's declining years with a gloomy shadow, had also its effect upon the son, and, unmindful of the brilliant future, he brooded in sadness on the past. His mother, who was the beauty of her day, had yielded to the fascinations of a young and handsome Englishman, and in an unguarded moment left her home and her husband, to throw herself upon the poor protection of a profligate, and to meet the cold sneers and savage slights of a selfish and unforgiving world. How much the character, in its gradual development, is biased by a mother's influence, it is difficult to estimate; but we all know that "the thought which mirrors Eden in the face of home" has saved even the best of us from many an error and many a sin, and generated, even in the worst, some softening emotions, and caused some kindly acts. This holy influence, linked with a mother's memory, makes each thought of her, as the German beautifully expresses it, "a prayer to God," and we rise from musing upon her gentle love—kinder, better, wiser. "The wild sea of our hearts lies mute, and o'er the waves the Saviour walks." How terrible then to have that sanctuary defiled, to be taught that purity has fled, even from Dian's temple—to be brought up an atheist in the religion of the heart!
Calm, gentle, passionless in outward aspect, the count became noted as an earnest scholar, and yet his heart contained many a hidden stratum of volcanic passion, which burned scathingly at the thought of his mother's shame! From an intense consciousness that the conduct of his parent entailed its measure of reproach upon himself, he shrank from the society of men, and sought sources of relaxation in tracing to their sequences those great thoughts which the thinkers of all time, in their debasement and their exaltation, have written down and immortalized—some, on the undying page; some, on the living canvas; some, on the ever-moving firmament of ceaseless action! The shadow of the wing of time fell upon him as a man, at an age when most of us are immature, unthinking boys. The epochs of strong natures are dialed upon the mind not by the sunshine but by the darkness of the heart! Our sorrows are the evil genii who transform in a moment boyhood to manhood, and manhood to age!
Every day, every hour, this young man acquired something from ancient or from modern lore; at twenty-four he was versed in a learning beyond that of many a lifelong scholar. His studies, within a year of the period at which we introduce him to the reader, had taken a form different from any he had before pursued; the old disciples of a gorgeous mythology being neglected for the mystical and alluring spiritualism of the exponents of modern German philosophy. The English philosophy is entirely destructive of the grand, the lofty, the divine! It lowers and debases by its precepts, and chills by its explanations. The French, on the other hand, attempts no explanations; but the system is an elaborate sneer at all that is good, and true, and high, and noble. The aim of the German "is at least the nobler one, and elevates, not dwarfs, the souls of men." "There is a Godlike within us that feels itself akin to the God; and if we are told that both the 'Godlike and the God are dreams,' we can but answer that so to dream is better than to wake and find ourselves nothing!"
Who among us—but worms of the dust, low things, fit only for the mire in which they wallow—but has at one time or another demanded initiation into the secret order of the "searchers after truth?" Who among us but, unsatisfied with the knowledge that may be achieved, grasps wildly after heaven's thunderbolts, and would embrace the unattainable, feeling, as we so terribly do, the restlessness and the might of the Deity in our burning veins? Who among us but has tried to look deep into the future, and read the fate, not of the next year or moment, but of the undying spirit in that other world, of which we dream so much, and know so little?
And who among us who has had the heroism honestly to make the attempt, and to pursue to their sequences the terrible thoughts to which such reflection gives rise, but has gone down headlong to the pit? If no actual phantoms haunt the waking dreams of such unsuccessful neophytes, yet a more terrible thing is that accursed skepticism—that coldness that does not brook to be questioned, and that cannot be understood—that fills his soul. It does not come over his hours of mirth, when the wine-cup passes and the jest goes round; but, like the fabled fiend of the romancers, comes only over the lost one's soul, when his intellect would aspire and his genius dare. Comes it, with its eternal sneer, that sees nothing so high that it does not make it appear utterly despicable! When his genius would dare, comes it with its evil eyes, and he loses faith in his genius and doubts his power; loses faith when he knows that faith only can bear him through life's tempests; doubts while he feels doubt to be the unpardonable sin.
Count Zanotti had passed through each of the stages of which I speak—first, an unquenchable yearning for forbidden knowledge; next, the rapture that glows when the lip touches the sparkle on the brim of the cup—and then the flatness and the weariness that follow! But for him, there was yet a hope. His heart had never beat with the quick pulse of love! Its youthful vigor was unimpaired, and in a contest with the intellect there was strong hope of it proving victorious. The struggle came soon enough.
AT the end of the long, gloomy day following the conclusion of the carnival, Zanotti accompanied his father to a midnight mass, and there for the first time saw Leonora D'Alvarez, the daughter of Spain's ambassador to the court of the winged Lion of St. Mark's. She was one of those beautiful creations that we so often dream of, and sigh for, and sometimes, but very seldom, see. Soul there shed its spiritual attributes over one from whose features even the bloom of youth seemed to catch a brighter hue. Like all Italians, Zanotti had dreamed of love—the love of the poet and the dreamer; and now he felt it in its strength—the love of a pure, unselfish, yet deep and ardent nature!
To shorten a long story (for we must leave much to be divined in this history), he felt the inspiration growing out of love impelling him to give him his feelings to the world in immortal song. He wrote, and he became famous! Then, when a nation bowed before his genius—when a world re-echoed his name with reverence—he sought the woman who had roused his soul to exertion; he told her that he loved her; he told her that all the bright thoughts and sparkling fancies the universe had claimed as its own were hers—all hers; that she, and she alone, had made his name as deathless as the ethereal essence the Almighty had endowed his body with—and that unless she gave still another gift—her heart—fame, fortune, name, genius—were but empty, and hollow, and useless!
The whispered reply was no denying one, and he seemed to have attained all of happiness the world can offer. Months flew by—months in which life seemed born, like Venus, "of a rosy sea and a drop from heaven;" months when each to-morrow hung an "arch of promise," a ladder of sunlight, each round of which seemed made to lead the feet through Ivan gardens—up—up towards the sky! The glorious sun, warming like a lover's glance the beautiful bosom of the "Doge's bride"—the swelling "Adriatic"—the churches, the palaces, the prisons, whose gloom was hallowed by romantic memories, the legends attached to the palatial home of his own proud sires—these were subjects upon which, all the livelong day, he could expatiate, and she delightedly listen; and when night stole like a dream through the soft atmosphere, the stars, with their Chaldaic interpretations, furnished a new page from whence he could cull prophecies of their fate! Then would he weave old superstitions with the fancies of the poet and the lover, till he grew amazed at his own strange eloquence!
She, too, on her part, had an exhaustless theme in telling how, by degrees, his soul had, as it were, become a part of hers; how every emotion in his own mind, by an imperceptible and view-less magnetism, awakened hers to action. The simplest speech had a charm for him; there was music in her voice; her thoughts were dimless mirrors reflecting the spirituality of her soul; to use his own language, "each word was the spray of her heart, which mirrored in its sparkling globule all the beauty and none of the defects of the world around it!" The days glided by upon the swift pinions lent by unclouded happiness.
They lived in an atmosphere where all was of the past, save their love and their hopes; the multitude of traffickers and idlers that crossed their daily path were as unheeded shadows; they mingled only with beings of other times. Their friends—for the friends of the scholar became those of the maiden—were Homer and Virgil, Tasso and Marino, the graceful Catullus, and the rough, but noble-tongued Lucretius! They strolled in imagination through Ilion's Scæn gate, along the luxuriant banks of her winding rivers, and lay down to repose beneath her wild and broad-leaved fig-tree. And then, when they had gathered around them the heroes and the poets of past and buried ages, unlike Alaric, they would weigh the myrtle crown against the laurel wreath, and see glory kick the beam!
Could year after year of their lives have rolled away with such feelings and amid such employments, they would have indeed been blessed! But no! Alas! that could not be! Love, and youth, and hope, are but the sun-fringe of the cloud of life, the flame that gilds the bark it consumes, the lightning flashes that foretell a rent and shattered heart! For love, if no outward influences assail (or assailing, are conquered and driven back), there is custom, that slow, insidious lullaby, singing in Morphean tones unceasingly, till, wearied and overcome, that passion, that would have repelled a visible foe, sinks at his post in quietness—asleep!
It came! It burst upon them without a warning! Fate had suspended a sword above their heads; but, unlike the tyrant's envious favorite, they saw it not ere it fell! It came—crushing and blighting the flowers that had blossomed for them, and, tearing their young hearts from the beautiful dream-world in which they revelled, brought them back to the harsh and dull and cold realities of this! The father of the lover was suddenly arrested by the myrmidons of the terrible Council of Ten. It was discovered he was the head of a wide-spread conspiracy against the state, and the expiration of the month of his arrest saw the noble and powerful family of Zanotti exiles—its lord sent forth with the boon of life, but with ruined fortunes and a tarnished name—its heir an outcast, though spotless of a single crime.
The parting of the lovers was brief and terrible. She swore to him that death only should take the bloom from her love, that, ruined in name and fortune as he was, he was, as ever, the high priest of her heart's temple, and that no other could ever its altar. He offered no vows, but said to her, that if five years sped by without his presence, to deem him dead, and know he had died in striving to win laurels worthy to lay before her father's daughter!
YEARS passed, and in a foreign land Alfieri sought to win wealth and a new name to offer the idol of his heart. He succeeded beyond his wildest hopes, and with an impatience that would have been unsatisfied with the swiftness of the lightning, sped over the waters, in a richly freighted argosy of his own, back to his native city of the "Siren Sea."
Trusty adherents of his house had, in the mean time, procured the reversion of the attainder as far as it touched him, and, as his father was no longer alive, there was a strong prospect of his estate being restored to him.
Arrived at Venice, he learned that the Duke D'Alvarez had been recalled, and in the course of conversation the new ambassador mentioned that there was talk in Madrid of a projected nuptial between the Donna Leonora and the Prince Carlos of the blood royal of Spain.
Zanotti's lip quivered, and his eye flashed fiercely as he heard the rumor, but not a word escaped to betray the hot feelings that were pressing at his heart. Ere the sun sank into his bed of rosy clouds that night, his gallant ship, with straining masts and every stitch of canvas set, was speeding, like a gull, over the waters, and Zanotti paced the deck through that night and the next with a stride that betokened troubled thoughts. He reached Madrid in safety, and lost no time in finding the residence of the ambassador. There were bright lights flitting from window to window, and the sound of music was borne upon the night-wind, betokening revelry within. He stopped to question a lackey who was lounging at the entrance.
"The Donna Leonora was married this night three weeks ago, and Monseignor gives a feast to-night to his son-in-law, the prince!"
Zanotti clutched one of the pillars that supported the massive doorway, and kept his hold for a moment convulsively, for he felt his limbs failing him. This movement brought his face beneath the jet of a lighted chandelier, and the servant shrank with affright—it was like the countenance of the dead! Terrible as was the struggle in his breast; fearful as was the sudden contest of passion and despair; lost as he was to aught but a blighting sense of the wreck and desolation of his hopes, he still could not be oblivious to the significantly curious glance of the affrighted servant. By an almost superhuman effort he repressed further show of feeling, and his voice was without a particle of tremulousness, although very hollow, as he told the menial to announce "General di Romano." Such was his new rank and name! Many a fair dame started as that tall, majestic figure, with its proud head and features, pale and rigid as if hewn from the quarries of Pentelicus, passed her, as straight he proceeded to the extremity of the apartment, where, in a group conversing with smiling looks, stood the Duke de la Darca, his daughter, and the Prince Carlos of Spain. The count (or, as we should now call him, the general), unobserved by the group, placed himself near one of the large Gothic windows, opposite to which was a group of statuary that effectually concealed him from view. Here he paused to gaze upon the woman who had wrecked his happiness! Four years had passed without robbing her of a single grace, and she stood there sparkling with diamonds, radiant with beauty, and with a regality of bearing that well became her new and princely station.
An hour had elapsed, and he had watched her through many a stately measure in the pompous dances of her country, and heard her light jest and her gay laugh, and saw the same haughty fire in her magnificent black eyes, through all! Jealousy has often been described, and the burning words of the poet have wrought out an appalling picture; but if, during that hour, each wild throb of his bursting heart, if each shooting fire of his seething brain, if the madness and the agony and the fierce black promptings that fashioned each thought into shape, and called it murder! could have been conveyed in words or upon canvas to the minds of less volcanic natures, they would have laughed to scorn the artist or the author, and accused him of conjuring up the Titan agonies of hell to confine them in the contracted space afforded by the heart of a mere mortal man!
He turned from the revellers, sick and dizzy, and gazed out upon the night. The scene was as fair a one as God's smile ever lighted into beauty. The moon—floating in a sea of blue, cloudless, with the exception of one fleecy-looking mass of vapor that covered a small space like a veil of silver tissue—poured a flood of radiance upon a garden (surrounding the house on three sides) filled with rare exotics, and in the distance the steeples of the city rose up towards the sky, as if formed of luminous mist. The stars, too, were scattered round night's queen in rich profusion, and the air was fragrant with the breath of orange-blossoms. The Venetian, even in that land of sunshine and of flowers—his native Italy—had never looked upon as beautiful a scene. But it suggested no soothing fancies! It only revived the memory of hours of which it was now madness to think! Hours that were freighted with dreams and aspirations as lovely as itself! Hours that were passed—and forever; and aspirations that were coffined and dead! His brain seemed bursting with the heat of the room, and, as the window was a casement but a few feet from the ground, he sprang out, and walked with a hasty step in a direction in which, from a plashing sound that smote his ear, he hoped to find a spring or fountain. He found his conjecture a correct one, and, stooping down, laved his fevered temples in the liquid, which was as cold as ice, but seemed ineffectual when applied to the terrible fever that consumed him! He threw himself upon a richly sculptured seat that was supported by two marble Dryads on the edge of the fountain, and, in spite of every restraining effort, groaned aloud. He had remained thus for some time, regardless of time, place, everything but a dull leaden weight of misery, when a light footfall on the hard gravel roused him, and, springing from his recumbent position, he was about to conceal himself amid the foliage of the adjoining shrubbery, for he was in no mood for society just then. He also had been heard, however, and a rich, musical voice exclaimed—
"Dear father, are you there?"
Good heaven! it was her voice! He stood spell-bound—volition was suspended. The next moment they were face to face! With a low thrilling cry, she cast herself upon his breast. There was a gleam half of terror—partly of surprise and partly of joy—within her eyes. There were the two again! ay, even as of yore! Leonora and Carlo! The ruined noble and his betrothed bride—the princess and the soldier!
AN instant, but a single instant, the lady remained upon his breast, and then Zanotti, removing her clinging arms, placed her upon the seat which he had himself just occupied. She looked upon him, her full dark eyes flowing with tears, and seemed struggling for utterance, but no words came! At length, with an averted face, he spoke—
"Your highness forgets our relative positions, and"—
"Forgets!" said she wildly, interrupting him; "forgets! Ay! I did indeed for a moment forget all but you; and you, Oh Carlo, is yours the voice to bring back reality? Is it for you to whom every pulsation of my heart has been dedicated; for whom in the long hours of night I have wept tears that seemed of blood—is it for you to restore me to a reality which contains no elements but those of despair, those that break hearts, those that frenzy the exhausted brain?"
Alfieri's voice was sepulchrally hollow when he replied, and the quivering of his manly frame showed the violence of the emotion within.
"Leonora," said he, "Leonora, four years ago we parted in Venice. I vowed never to see you more till I had won a name you could not shame to wear; and you swore never to betray my deep devotion. I was then unacquainted with life; I was young and trusting; I looked upon the flower and inhaled its perfume, nor sought to analyze what hidden poisons lurked within it; I looked not for a serpent or a viper in its folded leaves! I gazed upon the diamond-sheeted waters, nor thought upon the noxious elements that, uniting in malaria, might rise from their bosom to desolate many a neighboring home. I turned my eyes upon the moonlit sky without a thought of a possible hour when the same azure face of heaven would frown and the live thunder launch its bolts to ruin and destroy! Ay! I then looked but at the fair outside of all created things, and heeded not the motive or the soul within! Leonora, I looked on you, and I believed you! I went forth cheerfully to the hard fight I had before me; I kept my vow—I am a field-marshal of Austria. Have you kept yours?"
She cast upon him an imploring, a piteous glance. The moon was beaming through an interstice in the foliage and shone full upon his features, making their paleness ghastly, but showing no violent emotion—nothing but a hushed, cold, haughty sorrow.
She trembled perceptibly as she replied to his concluding question.
"Yes, as truly as I have my faith in God; Alfieri, they told me you were dead. Circumstances too complicated to explain placed my father in a position with the government that involved his life. Prince Carlos saved him, and, for the priceless service, asked but the poor repayment of my hand. I told him my heart could not accompany the gift. He still urged his suit. Could I refuse?"
"Ay, madam, the tale sounds well," was the bitter reply; "but your grief seemed of a strangely merry sort; but now your laugh was as light as any in the room, your jest as gay!"
"Zanotti!" said the lady, and there was something of indignation in her tone, "I am not what the world in its cold carelessness deems me, and you judge me as the greatest stranger of them all would do! The face may be wreathed in smiles, the lips may be musical with laughing jests, and yet, in its unrevealed depths, the heart may writhe in anguish, the soul sink with despair! But this recrimination is vain, all vain!"
She clasped her forehead as if in pain, and hot tears forced themselves through the tightly pressed fingers. Her lover maintained a cold and scornful silence. All the pride of his race had combined with a deep sense of injury in a trusting and betrayed nature to make him stern and apparently heartless in his resentment. Suddenly Leonora started to her feet, the woman's pride within her revolted at what seemed the silent sarcasm of his look. Her eyes, with the tears checked suddenly within them, emitted a wild, singular, startling light; there was something of the Medusa in her aspect. She gazed at him with a strange mingling of supplication and haughtiness in her look; her glance penetrated his soul and softened it; he heard the panting throb of her heart, and knew there could be no acting in that. Her breath came warm upon his cheek; he trembled at the recollections that were crowding upon him. And then, too, she spoke—
"You use me too cruelly," she said; "I do not deserve this silent scorn! I have wronged myself by giving way to emotions for which you but mock and despise me!"
He started—were not her words true? Had he not been unjust in his grief?
"Leonora," said he, abruptly, "hear me! From my earliest youth—ever since remembrance avails me to recall events—rash, impetuous feeling (my inheritance from a long line of hot-headed ancestors) made me in every feeling extreme and violent. I rushed to my studies as to a conflict with a foe, and rested not till I had conquered every difficulty. The same in pleasure, obstacles were but the stones that made the stream of life sparkle brightly in its sun, and I leaped over them, or cast them aside with an exulting sense of power. My love for you concentrated all this vagrant impetuosity into one earnest and undying passion. It subdued and soothed the sinuosities of my outward nature; it checked the headlong restlessness that was before apparent in all I did, and turned all the various bubbling springs within me into one noiseless, but deep, resistless stream. It made an ocean of the rivers of my being; that ocean rose and fell, tinted with the sun's glorious beams for a brief space! Oh! how brief! and then storms arose; and now, when I know the tempest is to last forever, is it strange if I am indignant when I look on her who wrought all this misery, this fearful misery?"
He had spoken without looking up at her. He now raised his eyes, and found her again weeping bitterly.
"And do I not share that misery, with all the aggravation of a fruitless remorse? Oh, you know not," she added, her voice assuming a tone of beseeching earnestness, "the days and nights of intense anguish that dragged their slow length along, when thinking you lay beneath the deep sea (for they said your grave was there). When tears would flow, I wept for you, and mourned in silent anguish when they were refused me! You know not how stronger than a woman's that heart must be that can resist the appeal, continued day after day, when it comes from the lips of 'all, whom we believe to be in the wide world, whom we would bless.' Words may be met and combated; but the mute lip and imploring eye—they cannot be resisted; the tenderness that veils its dearest wish for fear of grieving us; the grief unspoken, and the more bitter from concealment! Who can see this, and in a father, every day, every hour, every minute, and nerve their hearts to deny the relief they can bestow? But all this avails nothing; the tie is irrevocable that binds me to misery and severs us forever. For you, Zanotti, you will go forth into the world; excitement is an antidote provided for the grief of man. You will win admiration and applause; your fame as a scholar and a poet, your renown as a soldier, will secure you a high position among men, higher than your rank alone would give. You will be loved, you will love again, and our hours of rapture will linger in your mind but as the recollection of a dream! I ask but a kindly remembrance and forgiveness of my unintentional sin. Farewell!"
"And is it thus we part!" There was a proud repelling sorrow in the lover's tone as he thus replied: "Is this, then, the end of our golden dream!" He paused, and, suddenly advancing, bent his head close to her ear, "Leonora, do you love me still?" The question was in a whisper. She started, a singular, a terrified expression mounting into her face. She was about to speak, but even as the words seemed on the eve of utterance, a crashing sound, as of some one forcing his way through the thickly intertwined branches of the neighboring vines, caught the attention of both herself and her companion, and, with a stifled shriek, she looked round as if seeking an opposite path by which to escape. Her intention was frustrated, however, for in an instant after the intruder made his appearance.
Leonora said but these two simple words, but there was a desperate impassibility in the tone in which they were spoken, that told of a heart whose terror was frozen into despair.
Zanotti, whose face had flushed crimson on the first appearance of the prince, was again as pale as death. The moon looked calmly down upon all, and God knows she had seldom shone on three persons whose hearts, in their agony, came nearer epitomes of hell than the group assembled there. Leonora seemed rooted to the spot, bound by a spell, a charm. Her small, beautiful hands were clenched convulsively together; her breath came with quick and labored gasps; her form seemed convulsed with a terrible and racking agony! She looked from her lover to her husband—a look beseeching their mutual forbearance—made a step forward, seemed struggling to articulate, and fell heavily to the earth.
SHE fell at the very feet of her husband, and he looked down with a smile that was sardonic in its bitterness. Zanotti, under an impulse that paused not to reflect that under the circumstances the action was an insult to the man who deemed himself already foully wronged, advanced with the intention of raising her, but Prince Carlos waved him back. Not a syllable had either of these men uttered. Their glances were sufficiently intelligible without speech. They seemed mutually fascinated; a kind of magnetism seemed to draw upon each the other's eyes. At length, the terrible silence was broken. It was the prince that spoke, and, as he did so, his look was terribly significant.
"Come, senor! You wear a sword!"
"What would your highness have?" said Zanotti, in the low, hoarse tone of a man struggling to subdue irrepressible emotion.
"I have said it. Draw!" was the short reply.
"What, here?" The remark escaped Zanotti unconsciously, as his eye sought the extended body of the insensible Leonora.
"Ay, sir!" said the prince. "She'll heed it not. In these little plays, you know, a tragic scene is indispensable to keep up the interest. Why should not the heroine witness it?"
Zanotti shuddered beneath the maniac look that accompanied this affected jocularity.
"As you will, sir," said he, sternly, repressing all show of feeling. "But," he ventured to add, "the lady, prince. It were unnecessary cruelty to leave her thus."
"Rather say kindness," said the other, solemnly. "It were a mercy if she never recovered."
The prince drew his sword as he spoke, and motioned to Zanotti to do the same. He did so, and, even in the momentary period occupied by the action, what a world of thoughts thronged upon him! He thought of his old cloister life, when books were at once his mistresses and his friends; he thought of his first meeting with Leonora d'Alvarez; of their parting, mitigated by a hope of reunion under happier auspices; of the miserable disappointment of that hope; and of the fearful future that was before Leonora, whether he lived or died, unless—and how weak the chance!—her husband could be convinced of her innocence.
"Prince Carlos," said he, abruptly, as the other placed himself on guard, "before we enter upon a struggle beside that inanimate body—a struggle in which death may seal my lips forever—I must crave a moment's attention. Your wife"—the word seemed almost to choke him—"is innocent of any wrong at which your suspicions would point."
The prince smiled—a smile of bitter, disdainful incredulity.
"It is true, and it were useless to deny it, I love her."
The prince started as if stung by an adder, the first departure he had made from his courtly immobility. Zanotti observed the gesture, and it gave him confidence; it showed this icy statue had human passions. He added, in a firmer tone than he had been capable of using before—
"Yes, Prince Carlos, the only being my heart worships lies there at your feet; but that love is of an earlier birth than her knowledge of your highness, and therefore the acknowledgment cannot be insulting. To-night I met her for the first time in the space of four years, and the meeting was accidental. With scarcely the hope of its finding faith, I make this asseveration. It is necessary for the reputation of that much injured lady. Her virtue—her purity is as untarnished as yonder sky!"
"Of her reputation," said the other, haughtily, "I know how to guard it. For her VIRTUE". A cold, venomous look of unbelief said the rest.
"Prince," said Zanotti, and his face showed some indignation, mixed with a haughty assumption of calmness—"prince, my words are probably those of a man about to solve the mighty secret of futurity, and I swear to you she is innocent! I pledge you all my hopes of eternal salvation, and trust that God may spurn me from his throne of mercy if my words contain an element of falsehood!"
"Oaths, on such an occasion," said the other, coldly, "are worthless. This is a superfluous waste of words. Leave her defence to herself. The question is now between you and me. Your presence here, with the avowal of passion you have made, is in itself an insult demanding reparation. I consent to forget the difference of rank between a hireling soldier and a prince of Spain, and you can hardly refuse to meet my vengeance."
"Enough, sir!" said Zanotti; "that slight was unnecessary. I am ready."
Their blades crossed, and, at first, every movement was studied and cautious, as if each sought to measure the other's skill, and hesitated to risk consequences that, in the situation in which they were placed, involved life or death. Many a feint passed between them, and each found in the other a much more formidable antagonist than he had anticipated. The Italian, the moment his sword touched that of his adversary, regained at once the calm, resolute bearing of one accustomed to rely upon those qualities for existence; and the Spaniard, at first, exhibited an equal degree of coolness. Gradually, however, he grew more excited, and made one or two lunges, which were quickly parried, but no effort made to return them. This indicated, on the part of Zanotti, an intention either to confine his action to defence, or murderously wait an opportunity of ending the struggle by a single, fatal stroke. Either supposition, as be-speaking a consciousness of superiority, was sufficiently galling to add to his excitement, and his thrusts increased in number, leaving him at each more and more exposed. But, suddenly, Zanotti altered his tactics. He brought his "forte" in contact with his opponent's "foible," and the next instant the prince's weapon, twirled from his grasp, was spinning through the air and fell upon the ground at some distance from where they stood.
For one moment, one single moment, the Spaniard glared upon him, his face bearing a look of concentrated venomous hate, then, snatching from its jewelled sheath a short stiletto, he sprang with the bound of an enraged panther upon his foe. Taken unprepared—for, the moment his adversary was disarmed, he had dropped the point of his own weapon—Zanotti staggered and fell, and the next instant the dagger was, as it seemed, plunged up to the very hilt in his heart.
Drawing the weapon from its still palpitating sheath, he wiped the blade, and then, with hands wet with her lover's blood, took the form of Leonora, yet happily insensible, and bore it to the palazzo. There was still revelry and mirth within.
Years have passed; it is night, and the stars are scattered over the broad, clear face of heaven, an archipelago of worlds. There has been a thunder storm during the afternoon, and large rain-drops still burden the foliage and the grass, sparkling like a maiden's bridal tears. The sky hangs, as it were, in quiet fondness over the earth, and the night-wind is sighing love tales to the flowers.
In a garden, situated a few miles from Cordova, which incloses within its high walls a lightly, but tastefully built edifice of considerable size, are assembled some six or eight persons of both sexes. Their attitudes and occupations are various. One young girl reclines negligently, but gracefully, on the still damp grass, and touches the chords of a guitar with no unskilful hand; a fine-looking man, in the prime of life, paces up and down a long avenue, and seems to be absorbed in meditation; and another, a lady, is weaving flowers into garlands. She is a splendid-looking woman, of perhaps five-and-thirty years of age, with those large, liquid black eyes that seem to absorb and reflect back to you a portion of your own soul. Her look, however, is sad and hopeless, even her smile giving but a pale, wintry gleam. Ever and anon she sighs, too, and talks to herself in a tone unintelligible to the ear, but breathing a sad, Æolian strain to the heart. Her eye wanders in bewilderment, seeking imagined forms. Her emotions seem to be all mute, expressionless, without a language, and translatable only by signs. It is Leonora; she is crazed!
AGAIN 'twas night; but this time deepening into morn. In a spacious chamber, furnished with all the appliances of opulent luxury, sat a man, upon whose massive brow forty winters had traced many a deep and rugged line. He seemed one who had not been slighted by fortune, for the insignia of several illustrious orders hung upon his breast. A small cabinet table, upon which were strewed gorgeously bound books and written papers of various kinds, was drawn up beside him. The materials for writing were also there; but he heeded them not, but sat with his head leaning upon his hands apparently in abstracted meditation.
He remained in this position for full an hour, not moving a single muscle, and more like a dead than a living thing. Then he arose suddenly, and paced the apartment with a vigorous and hasty step. His limbs were firm and his form athletic; it was his head only that looked old. This also lasted some time, and then he sat down once more, and, unlocking a concealed drawer, drew forth a letter and a miniature. Upon the letter he gazed long and earnestly, his look assuming an expression of mingled terror and dejection piteous to behold. Laying down the picture with a sigh, he then opened the billet and began to read, his countenance becoming each moment more careworn and haggard. And it was not strange it should be so; for it is a mournful thing to look upon the letters that once told of the throbbing affection of some friend or loved one, when the friendship is dead or merged in a deeper feeling for another, or the love is banished forever from its chosen temple. To recall the words that dropped on the page; archangels proclaiming with trumpet notes that we were the idol of one beating heart at least; to bring up again our old smile, and find it gleams, and with no Promethean power, upon affection's corse. Ah me, 'tis sad, indeed! The reader muttered to himself ever and anon, but his words were disjointed and unintelligible. He sighed, too, frequently and deeply, and even groaned aloud as he read the following passage:—
"Oh, believe me, your highness, it is fate, and not my own will, that makes me seem ungrateful! The gratitude your priceless favor has engendered in my breast is so warm, so fervid, that my life would be cheerfully given in requital; but when you ask my heart, alas! I can only say, I have it not to give. Years ago, ere I had seen your highness, or dreamed of the possibility of our ever meeting, Love had in my heart a Minerva birth, and, though the object of it lies in a bloody grave in a stranger's land, it will live in my own weary soul while it remains on earth, and accompany it when it flees to join him. You say, 'Perhaps I have not yet been fortunate enough to win your love or attract your regard but let me beseech you at least to receive and weigh the depth, the purity, the strength of my devotion against that of other men ere you decide.' Monseignor, you compel, even were I not willing to accord, my 'esteem;' my worthless 'regard,' and all the love my father and the dead do not claim, you also have; but were I to consent to your request, and become your wife, at his own altar should I send up a perjured vow to God."
Carefully, he placed both letter and picture in the drawer from whence he had taken them; but, instead of locking it, drew forth another "billet." It was much shorter, a mere note, in fact, but seemed to contain matter as pregnant with agitation as its predecessor. He paused some time over the following postscript:—
"You tell me that the grave, in closing over the object of my love, severed the tie between him and me forever—that death pronounced a divorce which gave me liberty to form another attachment. You know not woman's love to say so. It is impossible, when once ignited, to quench it entirely. It may be unseen, the ashes may be cold; but a spark certainly slumbers beneath them, and will never, never die! Oh, your highness, let me entreat you to select some worthier object than myself upon which to lavish your affections! I can never be yours!"
The man read this to the end. When he had finished, there was a smile of mockery upon his face; but a spasmodic shudder which convulsed his frame evinced the pain which it was meant to hide. How we learn to cheat ourselves by playing the hypocrite to others! The letter fell from his grasp to the floor. His head assumed its old position on his hand, and he gazed on vacancy. He remained in this posture so long that the candles one by one flickered and went out, not even perceiving, so great was his abstraction, the glare they gave just before they expired. The large gothic window immediately opposite to where he sat was open, and the air grew cooler and cooler each moment. It seemed, however, as if there were no stars in the sky—all was darkness. Suddenly, a terrific flash of lightning illumined earth and heaven, and cast a strong ruddy glare upon every object in the apartment. A tremendous peal of thunder followed, and the man started to his feet and advanced to the window. The rain was now coming down in large drops, and flash after flash of lightning, and peal after peal of thunder followed each other with astounding rapidity. The wind, which had lain motionless and dead previous to the beginning of the storm, now at one moment went rushing by with extreme violence, and the next sank into a low moan that was awful enough to blanch the cheek and palsy the heart of the stoutest. It was like the wailing voice of a God sorrowing over the sins of man, or the spirit of earth singing a dirge over vanished time.
The tenant of the chamber stood with folded arms, regardless of the fierce gusts that ever and anon dashed the heavy rain-drops in his face, and the ghastly blue tint cast upon his countenance by the lightning made him look unearthly enough to be the arbiter of the dreadful contest then raging between the shrieking storm fiends. His eye grew brighter and more glistening. There seemed a sympathy between the unchained elements in their rage and his own proud spirit. His form dilated, and he seemed to look with a strange delight upon the swaying trees bending beneath the terrific blasts of wind, and to list to the crashing thunder with a fierce joy. A magnificent oak, which had resisted every attempt of the tempest to more than shake its smaller limbs, was suddenly torn up by the very roots, and, with a rushing noise, fell to the ground. The very earth seemed to groan as it fell.
"Thus would I die," exclaimed the looker on, exultingly—"thus would I die! Amid a world's agonizing throes, when the mountains seem to bend their scathed tops, and the ocean roars its submission to the storm."
As he spoke, he advanced, heedless of the elements, through the casement, and stood upon the extreme edge of the battlemented parapet. A shrill, mocking laugh greeted his concluding words, and a voice, that seemed to his excited imagination preternaturally hollow, exclaimed—
"And die thus you shall!"
For a moment he stood perfectly paralyzed; but a heavy hand was laid upon his shoulder, and he turned to meet the glare of two eyes that shone as if lit with fire from hell. The person from whom the glance proceeded held in a threatening position a long, keen-looking dagger, and the blade gleamed brightly in the electric light with which a sudden flash of lightning illumined the scene. The man who had a moment before looked defiantly upon the wrathy heavens shrank from the danger which now threatened him from a human foe. It was, however, but for a moment. He saw in the implacable countenance of the man who had so strangely come upon him, sufficient evidence of some dark and evil purpose to make him look for mischief. He suspected the existence of a danger that would tax his every energy. He turned upon the intruder a look of inquiry, firm and proud, and somewhat rebuking in its aspect. The next moment, however, recollecting that, in the intervals between the flashes, all was invisible, he put the question audibly, which before he had mutely expressed. A tremendous peal of thunder drowned the words in its frightful reverberations, and the lightning that followed showed him the arm of his foe raised to strike. Even as the blade touched his breast he caught his adversary's wrist and threw himself upon him. Powerful he found him beyond all expectations, and his cheek turned ghastly pale, for he felt hope deserting him.
The struggle was terrible; a look of vengeful despair sat on the beaded brow of one, and deep, dark, unmitigable hate gleamed in the strained eyeballs of the other. The assailed man chafed like a maimed lion in the hunter's toils, and his efforts bore that character of ruthless savageness which is the consequence of hopeless fear—of rayless despair. The other, in the proud consciousness of tried strength, dashed his dagger into the bosom of the clouded chaos that formed the atmosphere in which they fought, and, by the exertion of resistless bodily power, bore his victim back towards the verge of the parapet. Too pale to seem human, like the animated statues of two contending gladiators, they rocked to and fro on its extremity. A momentary strife ensued, in which the muscles of each seemed cracking with the might of their exertions. For a single instant, the assailant seemed to give way, and the heart of his victim beat with a hope that intensity made an agony; but the relaxation was but the prelude to a more violent effort. Again they were upon the verge of the battlement—they balanced upon the edge—and then sank into the darkness. A wild, sardonic laugh, and a cry of agony that seemed to freeze the very elements and hush their destructive howl into silence, went up to heaven, succeeded by a dull, heavy sound that announced the departure of two souls to judgment.
The next day the patrol discovered, beneath the postern that opened upon the castle fosse, two mangled bodies, quite dead. The one was the Prince Carlos, Regent of Spain, and the other the Count Carlo Zanotti.
BY MARGARET FLOYD.
THE early years of few have been so carefully guarded and protected as were those of Edith Frazier. Her father was the rector of a church in a beautiful but secluded country village in the south of England. In addition to his sincere piety and high-toned moral character, Mr. Frazier possessed a well-cultivated mind. His wife was also a superior woman, and as Edith was their only child, her early training was the object of their most careful attention. In a lovely and sequestered home, surrounded not only by the comforts and luxuries, but the elegances of life, and in close association with persons of high refinement and elevated goodness, the young girl grew slowly up to womanhood. There was no undue excitement of vanity or the passions to force her, like some hothouse plant, into an early maturity; and no unseasonable call upon her for self-reliance or exertion, which entirely blots out of some lives the sweet carelessness of girlhood. At sixteen, she was still almost a child, when the death of her mother, her first great sorrow, made her sensible for the first time that this world is not the place for that uninterrupted happiness which had, until then, been her portion.
Edith was almost heart-broken at the loss of her mother. They had been constant companions, and she missed her every moment more and more. Mr. Frazier tried to supply to his daughter the place both of father and mother, but he was a studious, reserved man, and himself suffering deeply from his bereavement, so that they did little else but remind each other constantly of their great sorrow.
About a year after Mrs. Frazier's death, finding that his daughter did not rally from the depression so foreign to her nature, Mr. Frazier proposed a tour through the northern part of England and Scotland. It was just at the beginning of the pleasant summer weather, and, arranging matters in his parish so that his absence for two or three months would not be felt, he decided to leave immediately.
On the Sunday before his departure, a stranger was seen in the little parish church. He was a man who would have been noticed in any place, and who, in a quiet country village, was an object of general attention. Tall, handsome, and with a strikingly high-bred and gentlemanlike appearance, he would have been singled out anywhere as one of nature's nobility. Edith was struck and gratified by the stranger's evident interest in the sermon her father preached that day. It was one with which he had taken especial pains, and the daughter, proud as well as fond of her father, was glad to see that he had at least one appreciative listener.
A few days after, Mr. Frazier and Edith set out on their journey. London was their first stopping-place, and several very busy days were spent there, while Edith, with the vivid interest of one to whom almost everything in that vast and crowded city was strange and new, visited the many places of interest and note within it. While they were standing in St. Paul's, the stranger who had attracted their attention in Hillcomb, their own village, a few days before, passed them with a look of evident recognition. They met again while going over Westminster Abbey; and it so happened that they were at the same time paying to the genius of Shakspeare the homage of a visit to his grave at Stratford, and that they passed each other again while strolling over the grounds around Newstead Abbey.
By this time they had advanced so far on the way to acquaintanceship, that, when they again encountered each other near the lakes in Westmoreland, the home of so many of the poets of England, a bow was the almost involuntary mark of recognition. English reserve and shyness might have prevented any more intimate intercourse, but for an accident that happened to Edith in Scotland.
Mr. Frazier, finding that the cool and bracing air of that country had as favorable an effect on his daughter's health as the wild and romantic scenery had on her mind, and being pleased with a quiet country inn which he had found, proposed that they should make it their home for two or three weeks. They could not have found a pleasanter resting-place, for Lock Lomond was spread out in its calm serenity at their feet, and Ben Lomond towered in savage grandeur above their heads.
The first person whom they recognized on taking their seats at the table of the inn was the stranger whom they had met so frequently. Edith could not repress a smile as she shyly returned the stranger's salutation, at the chance that seemed to take such a whimsical pleasure in thus bringing them together. A few days after, while walking with her father in the rude paths on the side of the mountain, she strayed a little way from him when he stopped to admire the scene from some particularly favorable point of view; and when she attempted to return, she found herself, to her dismay, so perplexed by the intricate windings of the paths that she was at a loss which to take. She called to her father and heard his voice in reply, but it grew fainter and fainter, until, at last, it could no longer be discerned. Becoming aware that every step she took only led her farther from home, she stopped to see if she could not in some way distinguish the right path. But she was so utterly bewildered that she found it to be impossible. She thought that the only thing that was left for her to do was to remain stationary; in that way she would, at least, avoid the danger of falling into the mountain streams around, or down any of the precipices.
Night closed around Edith as she sat alone under the shelter of a gray rock that jutted out from the side of the mountain. She had around her only the light shawl she had thrown on for an afternoon's walk, and it was but a slight protection from the chilling night-air. In her hurried and toilsome search after her father, she had bruised her feet and wearied herself so that she could no longer stand. She called at intervals, in the faint hope that some wanderer might hear her and come to her assistance; but her voice died away from exhaustion, and she was still alone.
It was not so much a feeling of fear that weighed upon her, for the perfect trust in her all-seeing Father, which her mother had taught her from her childhood, was a tower of strength to her in this her hour of need; and the physical discomfort she could bear; but the thought of her father's anxiety and distress on her account almost overcame her.
The stars were going out one by one, when Edith heard in the distance a faint shout. She could not answer it, but, almost as if led by some unseen spirit, it came nearer and nearer. At last she gathered voice to reply, and she had evidently been heard. She could distinguish the sound of footsteps, and at last dimly discern a man's figure as it stopped before her.
"Is this Miss Frazier?" said the man in a voice that revealed its owner to be a person of refinement and tenderness.
"Yes," said Edith, rising with difficulty.
"I am Mr. Hildreth, the gentleman whom you have met so frequently lately. I heard of your disappearance from your father, and have been seeking for some hours. Could you walk a little way with me? He is not far from here; we can soon find him."
Edith tried to walk, but found it impossible. Taking her in his arms, Mr. Hildreth carried her a little way; then meeting her father, he resigned her to him while he went before to act as a guide. With some difficulty they reached the bottom of the mountain, and obtaining a rude vehicle from some of the country people near, conveyed Edith to the inn.
The acquaintance thus begun soon ripened into a friendship. Mr. Frazier and Edith learned that Mr. Hildreth was an American from the city of New York. The letters of introduction that he had with him proved that he had a right to the best society in England, for which his polished manners and uncommon conversational powers showed that he was well fitted. He had been taking an invalid aunt to the south of France for the benefit of the climate, he told them, and after seeing her comfortably established there, he had taken advantage of a few months' leisure to travel wherever his fancy led him. He readily accepted Mr. Frazier's invitation to join him and his daughter in their tour. The similarity of taste they had shown so singularly was a sufficient evidence, he said, that any course they might take would be equally agreeable to both parties.
The next six weeks, Edith thought, were the most delightful she had ever spent. Nowhere does the society of an agreeable and intellectual person add more to the enjoyment of the company than in travelling. Although grave and quiet, Mr. Hildreth was full of thoughtfulness and observant care for the comfort of his fellow-travellers. Whenever he spoke to Edith, there was a gentle deference in his manner that, from one of his superior abilities, was irresistibly attractive.
On his side, Mr. Hildreth was no less charmed by those with whom he had been so strangely thrown. On the Sunday in which he had first seen them, he had been pleased and impressed by Mr. Frazier's sermon, and thought that he had never seen a face of more artless and attractive loveliness than Edith Frazier's. She reminded him of Chaucer's beauties, of a rose half opened and still wet with the morning dews, and of all that was most fresh and delicate in nature. Her mind answered to the promise of her countenance. Ignorant of the world and uncontaminated by it, she walked in almost unconscious innocence the simple path of duty. Her disposition, naturally cheerful and bright, had already begun to recover its buoyancy, and her happiness reacted on her graver companions, who seemed to vie with each other as to which should add most to her pleasure.
Seasons of unshaded happiness are generally as brief as bright. By the end of the six weeks, Mr. Hildreth received a letter from his aunt, who wrote urgently for his immediate presence. He took a reluctant leave of his companions, but not before he had had a long conversation with Mr. Frazier, in which he asked his permission to reveal to Edith the love that had already become a strong feeling in his heart.
Heretofore he had been thrown, he said, among a set of worldly and fashionable women, and had come to look upon simplicity and unworldliness as traits no longer to be met with among the educated and polished members of society, and Edith Frazier exhibited a character as new as attractive to him. She was the only woman that he had ever met, whose society and conversation never wearied or lost their interest to him.
Mr. Frazier's paternal pride was gratified at the tribute thus paid to Edith by a man like Mr. Hildreth, but he could not bear to think of giving up the only object of affection left to him, nor contemplate without pain the idea that his daughter's home might be in a distant land. He did all that he felt justified in doing to avert the day of separation, and pleading Edith's youth, requested Mr. Hildreth to postpone for a year his declaration. To this delay Mr. Hildreth was unwilling to consent; but at last was obliged unwillingly to yield to a probation of six months.
He left Edith, in accordance with the promise he had made Mr. Frazier, entirely unconscious of his feelings towards her, and for some time almost equally unaware of her own. She knew that the loss of his society had deprived her of the greater part of the pleasure she had taken in the new scenes through which she was journeying, but it was not until she was again settled in her own home at Hillcomb that she began to feel that Mr. Hildreth had been far more to her than a mere agreeable casual acquaintance.
This discovery mortified her extremely. She felt as though it was both wrong and humiliating, that one whom she had known so short a time, and who had shown no proof of regarding her as anything but a very young and rather pleasing girl, should engross so much of her thoughts. She resolved to use every means to crush the feelings that, new as they were, seemed to have struck their roots so deeply in her heart. But first she could not resist asking her father one question.
"Do you think we shall ever see Mr. Hildreth again, father?" said she one day, with affected indifference.
"Perhaps so," said he, quietly; "we can never tell what may happen."
"He can never have spoken to my father about coming here," thought Edith, "or he would not have seemed so uncertain about it;" and, with true feminine pride, the young girl forbore any farther mention of the one whom yet she found it impossible to forget.
Two months of the six had passed away, when Edith was called to bear another heavy trial. Her father died suddenly, leaving her unprovided for and alone in the world. Such an event was apparently the last in the world to be expected, as Mr. Frazier had always seemed to be a man in vigorous health, and with a fair prospect of long life. To a long life he had evidently looked forward, for he had made no arrangements for his cherished daughter, and had left no directions by which she might guide her future course.
In her desolation, Edith could think of but one person from whom she might expect protection; a half-sister of her father's, who resided in London. She had seen her aunt, Mrs. Burnleigh, but seldom, but knew that she was a widow in easy circumstances, with a large family of children. To her she accordingly applied, and received in return an invitation to come to her until she had decided on her future course.
With a sorrowful heart, Edith left the home where so many bright and happy years had been passed. As she sat alone waiting for the coach to pass that was to convey her to London, with no attendant but the gardener's boy, and no companion but her canary, a parting gift from Mr. Hildreth, sent to Hillcomb by him from Dover just before he embarked for France, the contrast between her present desolation and the warm, sheltering love in which she had so long lived, almost overcame her. But the lonely soon acquire the power of self-control, and Edith had already begun to learn the hard lesson of self-reliance. With an outward composure that hid the painful throbbings of her heart from her travelling companions, she took her seat in the coach, and in a few hours arrived safely at Mrs. Burnleigh's.
Edith found her aunt an apparently well-meaning, proper kind of a woman, kind and sympathizing in her manners, but who evidently had not the slightest intention of denying herself or her children the smallest luxury for the sake of her brother's orphaned daughter. For a few weeks Edith was left to the quiet indulgence of her grief, and then Mrs. Burnleigh, thinking that she had done all that society could possibly demand of her in the way of respect to her brother's memory or kindness to his child, began to sound Edith as to her intentions for the future.
The young girl, thrown so suddenly upon her own resources, had not yet begun to think for herself, and the idea of seeking a home among strangers made her heart sink within her. She begged her aunt to take upon herself the task of finding for her some position that she could fill creditably, but she hoped, she said, timidly, that it might be somewhere near her aunt, her only remaining relative.
This did not suit Mrs. Burnleigh exactly, who, being of that turn of mind that always foresees the possible evil in all cases, was not pleased with the idea that she might at any time be called upon to offer a home to her friendless relative. Like a prudent woman, however, she forbore saying anything that might reveal her true feelings, but was none the less resolved that, if two equally favorable situations offered themselves, it would be wiser for her to advise Edith to accept the one at the greatest distance.
She succeeded beyond her hopes. Coming in one day, she said to Edith, with unusual animation—
"My dear, I have found a most delightful situation for you. Two hundred pounds a year for teaching one little girl. You can speak French, can you not?"
"Yes, I have spent a year in France."
"And you play unusually well, and draw and paint beautifully, so that I think the parents of the child may consider themselves quite fortunate."
"Who are they?" asked Edith
"They are Americans—a Mr. and Mrs. Blake, from South Carolina."
Edith's heart had bounded at the mention of the country, but it sank when the state was named to which Mrs. Burnleigh wished to send her. Unlike most English girls, she knew enough of the geography of the United States to remember that a wide distance separated South Carolina from New York, so that, even if Mr. Hildreth had returned to his own country, which was unlikely, she would be almost as distant from him there as if she remained in England. The idea of going so far away from all on whom her relationship or early association gave her any claim, was exceedingly painful to her.
"Don't you think, dear aunt," said she, hesitatingly, "that I might find something to do nearer home?"
"It would be impossible for me to find you another situation so advantageous in every respect; but, if you think you could succeed, you had better make the attempt," replied Mrs. Burnleigh, coldly, while a displeased expression settled upon her face.
There were a few moments' silence, and then Edith said—
"How soon will Mr. and Mrs. Blake expect me?"
"They are now here. I have just met them at one of my friends, who had been speaking to them about you. They told me that they intended to sail for America in about two weeks, and that, if you were ready by that time, they would like you to accompany them."
"Very well," said Edith; "you can tell them that I shall be ready to go with them."
"They are charming people," said her aunt, caressingly; "I am sure, my dear, you will like them very much, and be very happy with them. Of course, I would not wish my brother's child to go where she would not be with those who are likely to take some interest in her."
Edith could not help perceiving that her aunt was relieved by the prospect of her departure; and this thought, while it strengthened her in her resolve, made her feel her isolation still more deeply.
On board the same steamer with Mr. and Mrs. Blake and Edith was a little girl, an invalid, who interested the young English girl extremely. Edith had brought her bird with her. It was the only thing she had to remind her of happier days, and she could not bear to part with it. At little Ellen's earnest request, she hung the cage in her state-room, and, before the end of the voyage, the little sick girl had become so attached to the pretty bird, whose sweet song was almost the only cheering sound she heard during the long and weary days at sea, that she could not speak of parting with it without showing by her tearful eyes the pain it gave her. Edith felt that she ought not to deprive the little sufferer of so great a pleasure, and, concealing her reluctance to give up a souvenir she had cherished so long, she told little Ellen that the bird was to be hers. The child's evident delight was some compensation to Edith for her self-denial, yet it was with a sharp pang that she watched the cage as it was put in the carriage, after the arrival of the steamer at New York, to be conveyed to the upper part of the city, while Edith, with her new friends, went on board another steamer about to sail for Charleston.
Mr. Blake's residence was among the pine forests of the State; a region healthful, it is true, but peculiarly desolate, especially to one accustomed to the soft verdure and smiling landscape of England. The tall dark trees; unceasingly sighing forth their low and mournful murmurs, seemed to Edith a fit emblem of the griefs that were henceforward to darken her life.
There was but little in her new home to call her thoughts from the sad recollections to which they were constantly recurring. Mr. Blake and his wife were very kind to her, treating her rather as a guest than one to whose services they were entitled; but they lived in a part of the country very thinly settled, their nearest neighbor being at a distance of seven or eight miles, and there was a wearying monotony in Edith's daily life that weighed upon her spirits. Gratitude for the unvarying and thoughtful kindness shown to her by Mrs. Blake induced Edith to make every exertion to regain her accustomed cheerfulness, and she had, in some measure, succeeded, when the Christmas holidays came to remind her, by the contrast between her own position and that of the persons by whom she was surrounded, more painfully of her isolation. The little family gatherings, from which she could hardly absent herself without appearing unmindful of Mrs. Blake's gentle yet urgent requests, and yet where she felt herself among them, but not of them, recalled to her so forcibly the former seasons, when her happiness and pleasure were to all around her the one thing of the greatest importance, that, for the first time since her departure from England, Edith yielded to her feelings of loneliness, and every night wet her pillow with her tears. The reply of the Shunamite woman to the prophet's inquiry about her wants, "I dwell among mine own people," came with a new and touching significance to her mind, now that she began to feel that never again would she feel the sweet security and protection implied in such a position.
On New Year's eve, Edith slipped away from the merry group assembled in Mr. Blake's parlors to indulge her sad meditations for a little while without interruption. As she stood on the porch listening to the mournful music of the pines, whose aromatic incense filled the air with its healthful fragrance, and watching the moon as it slowly waded through the clouded sky, now shining out in full brilliancy, and then almost entirely darkened as it passed behind the thick masses of vapor that were hanging in the vast concave, she thought that just such sudden alternations of darkness and light had been her lot in this life.
"The clouds hang heavily over me now," thought she; "but there will be brightness soon."
Almost at the same moment there came the sound of an approaching arrival, and Edith hastily retreated to the house. She had hardly time to mingle with the gay family party, when, hearing her name called, she turned suddenly, while a thrill of amazed delight passed over her at the familiar tone, and saw before her Mr. Hildreth, whose smile shed a light and warmth upon her heart to which it had long been a stranger.
The clouds were at once lifted off from her soul, and she was once more the light-hearted girl she had been in her English home. In the midst of her happiness there was a feeling of insecurity, a doubt as to its continuance. But that Edith would not allow herself to dwell upon. It was happiness enough for the present to think that one whom she so highly esteemed still cared enough for her to seek her out in her secluded home.
But before the last hours of the old year had passed away, walking in the serene moonlight under those pine-trees to whose mournful murmur her thoughts had been so long attuned, Edith listened with a beating heart to the avowal of the same feelings which Mr. Hildreth had confessed to her father more than a year before. What had become of all the sadness that had brooded over Edith's heart so many months? It was gone like the clouds from the sky, but not to return, like them, in a few short hours.
"How did you find me out?" asked Edith, after many more important questions had been asked and answered.
"Ah, a little bird told me where I should find the runaway."
"A bird?" said Edith, wonderingly.
"Perhaps it was the cage rather than the bird," replied Mr. Hildreth. "I had been for some two or three months in search of you, or rather your aunt, with whom I was told you were staying. But she seemed to be possessed by some perverse and wandering spirit; for, when I went to London to find her, she had just left with her family on a tour through Germany, and, when I followed her there, I learned she had gone into Italy. Into Italy I went post haste, and reached Naples just in time to learn that Mrs. Burnleigh had left the week before for Egypt and the Pyramids. No whit daunted, I was about to seek you, even if I had to go to the heart of Ethiopia, when the sudden illness of my aunt recalled me to Marseilles. Her death obliged me to return to New York; but I arranged my business there as soon as possible, and had already engaged my passage in the next steamer to Liverpool, when, walking through Fifth Avenue, my eye was attracted by a cage that I recognized instantly, by certain peculiarities, as one that I had sent you just before I left England after our pleasant tour. A sudden hope seized me that some happy impulse had led your travel-loving aunt to my very hearthstone, and I lost no time in making inquiries of the lady of the house, from whom I learned all about the little Edith for whom I had been seeking in such far away places.
"And now, dearest," he continued, after a pause, "have you any objection to a tour through Europe? I went in such haste before that, far from satisfying my curiosity, I only increased the desire to see everything more at my leisure."
"None at all," said Edith, with a smile and blush.
"Well, then, I will see how soon Mrs. Blake can spare you, and we will set off on our travels. I hope she will be very obliging about it."
She was very obliging, and gave Edith, to whom she had become strongly attached, a grand wedding in the southern fashion, which lasted two days, and she hung the pine grove with colored lamps, so that the dark woods took, for that occasion only, quite a festal appearance.
BY D. W. BELISLE.
LEO.—This is one of the most clearly defined and brilliant constellations in the winter hemisphere, containing an unusual number of very bright stars. It is situated east of Cancer, and comes to the meridian the sixth of this month. This constellation contains ninety-five stars visible to the naked eye.
Five very bright stars in this constellation are grouped in the form of a sickle. Regulus, in the shoulder of Leo, is the lowest of this group, and forms the end of the handle in the sickle. It is the brightest star in the cluster, and is of great use to nautical men in determining their longitude at sea. Eta, a small glittering star, marks the other end of the handle, while Al Gieba Adhafera, Ras al Asad, and Lambda form the blade. Two small stars, at an equal distance from Lambda, form a small right-angled triangle. Denebola, in the brush of the tail, is a star of the first magnitude, and, with Zozma in the back, and Theta in the thigh, form a triangle whose vertex is Denebola.
According to Greek mythology, the Lion was one of the formidable animals killed by Hercules in the forests of Nemæa, and was placed by Jupiter in the heavens to commemorate the event. Egyptian mythologists claim the honor of having placed it there, asserting it was placed in the heavens to commemorate the haunting of the banks of the Nile during the heat of summer by these monsters, the river then being at its highest elevation.
LEO MINOR.—This constellation is of modern origin, occupying the space between Ursa Major and Leo Major. The stars in the cluster are of the third and fourth magnitude, with no particular interest attached to them. It comes to the meridian the 6th of April.
SEXTANT.—This is a small constellation south of Leo, and contains forty-one stars, all very small and unimportant, and comes to the meridian the 6th of April. This constellation is sometimes called Urania's Sextant, in honor of one of the muses who presided over Astronomy. Urania was daughter of Jupiter and Mnemosyne.
HYDRA.—This is an extraordinary constellation, winding through a vast space from east to west for more than one hundred degrees. It lies south of Cancer, Leo, and Virgo, and reaches from Canis Minor to Libra. It contains sixty stars, principally of the second, third, and fourth magnitudes. The head of Hydra may readily be distinguished by four bright stars south of Acubens, in the Crab. They form a rhomboidal figure. The three upper stars form a beautiful curve, and are too distinct and conspicuous to be forgotten when once seen. Alphard, twenty-three degrees south south-west of Regulus, is a very brilliant star of the second magnitude, and is in the heart of Hydra, and comes to the meridian twenty minutes before nine o'clock on the 1st of April. When the head of the Hydra is on the meridian, its other extremity is many degrees below the horizon, so that its whole length cannot be traced out in the heavens until its centre is on the meridian.
According to mythology, the Hydra was a terrible monster that infested the Lake of Lerna, in the Peloponnesus. It was reported to have had a hundred heads, and, as soon as one of these was cut off, two grew in its place, unless the wound was stopped by fire.
The formidable monster was at last destroyed by Hercules, with the assistance of Iolaus, and who afterwards, dipping his arrows in the gall of the Hydra, rendered every wound inflicted by them incurable and mortal.
THE CUP.—This small constellation lies south of the Lion, and rests upon the Hydra. Six of the principal stars form a crescent or semi-circle, opening to the west. The crescent of the Cup is so striking and clearly defined, when the moon is absent, that no description is necessary to point it out, as it is the only one of the kind in that part of the heavens.
COMETS.—These objects of extraordinary interest form a part in the economy of the solar system. Since the time when the presence of a comet was considered by nations to be the sure precursor of war, famine, and pestilence, up to the present period, these visitors have created much speculation and excitement; and, no longer ago than the fall of 1853, it was predicted by an eminent "professor" that one of these waifs in the heavens would come in collision with the earth, and destroy a portion of China. This, however, like many other pieces of mischief which had been predicted it would accomplish, failed, and the professor has retired from observation covered with the laurels won by his research.
A comet, so brilliant that it could be seen at noonday, made its appearance seventy-three years before the birth of our Saviour. This date was just after the death of Julius Cæsar, and by the Romans the comet was believed to be his metamorphosed soul, armed with fire and vengeance. This comet appeared again in 1106, and then resembled the sun in brightness, being of great size, and having an immense trail.
In 1456, a large comet made its appearance. The terror it created extended through all classes, and the belief was universal that the day of judgment was at hand. At this time, the Turks, with their victorious armies, seemed destined to overrun all Europe. This added to the gloom and terror. The people became regardless of the present, and anxious only for the future. To prepare the world for its expected doom, Pope Callixtus III. ordered the Ave Maria to be repeated three times instead of twice a day, and to it was added, "Lord, save us from the Devil, the Turk, and the Comet!" and thrice each day these obnoxious personages suffered excommunication. At length, the comet began to retire from eyes in which it found no favor, and the Turks retired to their own dominions.
The comet of 1680 was of the largest size, having a trail ninety-six millions of miles in length. Dawning science, however, robbed it of its terrors, assisted by the signal failure of its illustrious predecessor.
Such are many of the fantasies which these peculiar visitors have called up. The beautiful comet of 1811, the most splendid of modern times, was considered, even by many intelligent persons, as the harbinger of the war which was declared the spring following; and the remembrance will be fresh in the minds of many of an indefinite apprehension of some dreadful catastrophe, which pervaded both continents, in anticipation of Bela's comet in 1832.
Comets, unlike the planets, observe no one direction in their orbits, but approach to and recede from their great centre of attraction in every possible direction. Some seem to come up from immeasurable depths below the ecliptic, and, having doubled the heaven's mighty cape, again plunged downward with their fiery trains,
"On the long travel of a thousand years."
Again, they seem to come from the zenith of the universe, and, after doubling their perihelion about the sun, reascend far above human vision. Others, again, seem to be dashing through the solar system in every conceivable direction, apparently in an undisturbed path; others are known, however, to obey laws like those which regulate planets. Nothing is known with certainty as to the composition of these bodies, although it is certain they contain very little matter, for they produce little or no effect on the motions of planets when passing near those bodies. Upon what errands they come, what regions they visit when they pass from view, what is the difference between them, the sun, and planets, and what is their mission in the economy of the universe, are questions often pondered over, but the solution of which is beyond the limited powers of human understanding.
BY THE AUTHOR OF "MISS BREMER'S VISIT TO COOPER'S LANDING," "GETTING INTO SOCIETY," "MUSTARD TO MIX," ETC. ETC.
"ISN'T it perfect?" said young Mrs. Murden, drawing her husband towards a shop window as she herself made a halt in front of it. "I think it is the loveliest shade I ever saw, and that satin stripe gives it such an air so perfectly genteel!"
"What?" asked Mr. Murden, simply, roused from his calculation of percentage on certain articles just consigned to him. "It" was certainly an indefinite pronoun, with all that display of elegant silks, ribbons, laces, and embroideries, so skilfully arranged to attract the promenaders of Chestnut Street.
"Why, that silk. I've stopped to look at it twice this week."
"That blue and red plaid? Yes, it is very handsome; just the pattern of your woollen shawl, isn't it?"
"Plaids!" exclaimed Mrs. Murden, contemptuously. "Why, that's only a dollar silk; besides, everybody wears plaids—they're so common!"
"Then a thing is not pretty when it's common?"
"Why, of course not. I heard Mrs. George Barker say yesterday that no real lady wore such gay colors on the street; that, in Paris, plain colors are all the rage. I mean that rich purple, with the thick satin stripe. It's perfect."
Young Mrs. Murden had thought the plaids the very height of fashion, until she overheard this conversation between Mrs. George Barker and her mother. Who should know what was stylish, if Mrs. George Barker did not, when she lived in a house with a marble front, had a coachman in livery, and the family arms, done in the best manner, on the panel of her crimson lined carriage?
People said she had made a mistake in the last, however; that the stately swan of the crest should have been a tailor's goose. But, then, these were people who had no carriage of their own, and were obliged to patronize omnibuses. No doubt, if they could have afforded it, the paternal awl and lapstone would have been transposed into a dagger and shield, in a similar manner; so their opinion is no manner of consequence.
Mrs. Murden had gone into Evans & Gilman's to "price," as she called it, the very plaid she now scorned—for her best silk was giving way—when she overheard its sentence pronounced by those red lips, with a shrug of the sable-caped shoulders of the fashionable lady. Mrs. Barker pronounced the purple "exceedingly stylish;" Mrs. Murden "caught the verdict as it fell;" and, from that moment, her affections were centred upon it.
Not that she had any claims to being stylish herself; on the contrary, her little home, in a far away cross street, was exceedingly plain; but the young wife had undeveloped aspirations towards a less humble sphere, shown by being, in some sort, a leader of the circle in which she visited. It was not large, or very select, but there were some well-educated, well-bred people, some very warm, true hearts, and, as the case will always be, others as empty-minded, selfish, and frivolous as if they were really in fashionable life. Mrs. Murden, as her husband sometimes noticed, had rather an inclination to court the latter party, as they dressed and furnished the most showily, and, in fact, to outvie them—a disposition which the far-sighted Mr. Murden dreaded not a little.
He was decidedly a domestic man, and, besides, as his wife often said, so her dress was put on properly, with a clean collar and undersleeves, he did not know half the time whether it was silk or calico. Indeed, he had brought quite a serious attack of pouting upon himself, by calling his wife's new green foulard a calico. You may be sure, he had entirely forgotten that purple silks were ever manufactured by the next day at dinner, when he was reminded of it by Mrs. Murden abruptly terminating a long fit of musing by the exclamation—
"I should be perfectly happy, if I had it."
Mr. Murden, foolish man, supposed at first that she meant a picture of the children, who were marvellously near of an age—two of them.
"Well, dear, when shall we take them down to Root's? Say the word." For Mr. Murden himself thought it a great pity that such remarkable beauty should be lost to the world. No doubt, Root would insist on a duplicate for his show-case.
"Root's! I was talking about that silk, Mr. Murden. What has Root got to do with it, I'd like to know?" Mrs. Murden seemed inclined to help to tarts before the dessert was served.
"Oh!" And Mr. Murden resumed his carver, helping himself to a second cut of beef. "Bless my soul, how much women do think of dress! Who's going to have a new one?"
"It's high time I had, dear. Only think, we've been married three years next month, and I've only had one silk in that while."
"Why, you had one in the summer—that striped frock and cape."
"That's an India; we don't call these thin things anything. I mean a good, heavy poult de soie, like my mazarine blue I had when we were married. It's fairly gone now, careful as I have been. It's been turned and cleaned, and now it's so shabby I hate to put it on."
"I'm sure, you never look better in any dress you've got," insisted Mr. Murden, who had very pleasant associations connected with their early married life and the dress in question.
"Why, it's a perfect fringe around the bottom, and has two great stains on the skirt. What are you thinking of, John?"
"Well, well, I'll give it up. I like it, that's all. How much will a new one cost?"
Mrs. Murden, slightly diplomatic, could not present an estimate. Her husband had told her of a business loss when he came in; it was not a very favorable moment.
Wonderful as it seemed to her, the purple silk was still unsold when a week had passed; but, then, it is a color very few dare to try their complexions by, which Mrs. Murden did not reflect upon. The celebrated "Purple Jar" was not more attractive to "Rosamond," as chronicled by Miss Edgeworth, than was the dress to its constant worshipper, who made an errand into Chestnut Street daily that she might pause for a moment before it. Mr. Murden said she reminded him of his father's old pony, who always halted of his own accord at the houses of the doctor's principal patients. Mrs. Murden "did not thank him" for any such comparisons.
That same evening there was a perceptible rise of spirits observable in the father of the family. He tossed the baby, accordingly, so far that its anxious mother was sure its poor little head would be dashed against the ceiling; he gave George Washington, the eldest hope, three several rides on his boot, and carried him up to bed in a fashion best known to nurses as "pig-a-back." Mrs. Murden wondered what had happened; she little knew the good fortune in store for her.
"Well, Barney"—Mr. Murden always called his wife Barney when in particularly good humor, though her name was a very romantic one, Adelaide Matilda—"how about that dress? Tell us, out and out, how much it would cost. Let's see if it would break a fellow."
"It's a splendid piece," began Mrs. Murden.
"So I have been told every day for two weeks."
"You know I'm not very extravagant; and, once in a while, dear, I do take a fancy for something handsome."
Mr. Murden thought the proposition would have been stated correctly, if she had said, "every little while;" but Mrs. Murden was warming his slippers for him, and looking very pretty in the bright firelight, so he made no ungracious comment; he only said—
"Come, Barney, out with it. What's the entire figure?"
"Well, it's a two dollar silk, I find"—Mrs. Murden made a desperate attempt to look unconcerned—"and it will take ten yards."
"Whew!" Mr. Murden had thought a ten dollar gold piece would have been all-sufficient, and was turning one over in his pocket at the moment. "Why, as much as an overcoat almost."
"And will last twice as long, dear; just remember that."
"Well, well, for once in my life—there's a nice piece of extravagance; but, as you've set your heart upon it, you shall be indulged, Barney. Take them both." And he dropped the two eagles, received that afternoon for what he had considered a bad debt, into her outstretched hand.
It was thus that Mrs. Murden came into possession of her two dollar silk, the envy of her next door neighbor, Mrs. Keyser, her intimate friends, Mrs. Hopkins and Miss Lippincott, to whom it was shown in the piece.
"How are you going to have it made?" asked Mrs. Keyser. "I'd have a basque, by all means, and have it open." Mrs. Keyser was one of those ladies who accomplish so much on a committee of foreign affairs, and so little in the home department.
"Oh, so would I," said Miss Lippincott, who always assented to everything that was said.
"I don't believe a basque would be becoming," enviously interposed Mrs. Hopkins, who was herself remarkably stout and dumpy in figure.
"Perhaps not," said Miss Lippincott; "very likely not."
"I don't believe Miss Johns could fit a basque either," pursued Mrs. Hopkins, who had no intention of being outdone by her neighbor; her dresses were all made for the winter.
"Nor I," added Miss Lippincott.
"I wouldn't trust Miss Johns to put scissors into that silk anyhow," Mrs. Keyser said; for, having relations living in Spruce Street, she was considered to have unusual claims to knowingness in matters of fashion, and was not slow to put them forth.
"Surely," thought Mrs. Murden, "it never would do. Miss Johns was well enough for a plain dress; but a two dollar silk!"
"How I wish you could afford to have it made at Miss Stringer's now," continued Mrs. Keyser. "Emma Louisa always has everything done there, and so does Mrs. Coleman, she's so intimate with, and Mrs. George Barker. You never saw such splendid fits."
It is presumed that Mrs. Keyser did not allude to convulsions; but Mrs. Hopkins always elevated her little flat nez on a mention of these Spruce Street relatives; for every one knows she said to Miss Lippincott, as they walked down the street together—
"Every one knows that she never is invited there when any one else is expected, not even to the wedding. I wouldn't own such relations, if I had shoals of them; would you, Miss Lippincott?"
"No, indeed," returned that lady, with unusual animation for her, for she was rather worn out with allusions to the Spruce Street relations herself, in an intimacy of some months' standing.
It was a very daring thing, but young Mrs. Murden, revolving all these things in her mind, the basque, the open front, Miss Johns's lack of style, and that she was employed by all her acquaintances, came to the conclusion that her dress should be made at a Chestnut Street shop, although she had never had anything made out of the house before. "But it's once in a lifetime," as she said to Mr. Murden, walking down with him after dinner; and he, who had never seen a fashionable mantuamaker's bill, thought it of very little consequence to whom the important commission was intrusted.
The little woman felt rather nervous, it is true, on entering such awful precincts as the shop of Miss Stringer, which was by no means diminished by the manner of the lady in waiting, who pursued, at the same time, her gossip with another damsel seated in the window with a "dummy" on her knee, shaping a cap on its unconscious head, not less empty, perhaps, than the one it was destined to grace.
"I should like a dress made, if you could do it," stammered forth Mrs. Murden as the girl leisurely surveyed her from head to foot, taking an exact inventory of her dress, and knowing to a fraction the cost of every article.
"Certainly, madam." And then over her shoulder to the cap-maker at the window: "Is it possible that she has white feathers on a blue bonnet? I wouldn't wear such a thing myself. Who's with her?"
"Young Rushton," returned the street surveyor, turning dummy's blank face for another fold of lace. "He's devoted, they say."
"I beg your pardon, madam." It was not a pardon asked for inattention, but a suggestion to Mrs. Murden to finish her business.
"A dress," continued Mrs. Murden, falteringly. "When could you make it?"
"Next week, or week after, perhaps, or early next month. You can call on Wednesday, and Miss Stringer will make an appointment to fit you," vouchsafed the attendant with the Jenny Lind silk apron. "You can send round the material in the mean time. Street or evening-dress?"
Strictly speaking, Mrs. Murden never had had an evening-dress; her silks were worn to the parties she usually attended. She had the precious purchase with her, and she considered it quite handsome enough for any ball that ever was given; but she would not have offered it to the young woman then on any consideration. She felt convicted of carrying her own bundles, and consequently carried this one home again, to be left next day by Mr. Murden on his way to the store.
Wednesday, and Mrs. Murden, dressed in her best, waited again upon Miss Stringer. This time, the lady herself appeared, and proved not to be quite so withering as her assistant—principals seldom are. There were several fashionable ladies in waiting, all on the most gossipping and familiar terms with Miss Stringer, who was besieged with petitions for impossible work to be done in incredible haste, enforced by "You kind, good creature," and other terms of endearment written in the wheedling vocabulary. According to their piteous statements, not one of these splendidly attired women had a dress to cover them, or a cloak to shield them from the cold. Mrs. Murden had a fine opportunity of seeing and hearing while she waited exactly one hour for Miss Stringer. She had never been in such close contact with fashionable women before. Like many others of her own position in life, they had always been her envy and her admiration from a distance, as they swept across the pavement from their carriages, or brushed past her at the entrance of Bailey's or Levy's, at whose fascinating windows she was spell-bound. They could not have a wish ungratified, she was sure; their lives must pass like a fairy tale, all flowers and music. But, now that she saw them nearer, the wan and restless eyes, the half hidden wrinkles painfully distended in the glare of a bright winter's morning, and the querulous, fretful tones, told another story.
"They were tired to death"—they whose feet scarcely touched the pavement, and who had servants at every call. "The party of last night was so stupid!" "The ball of Thursday wouldn't be worth the trouble of dressing for." "What should they wear? Miss Stringer must tell them." "Did she know Rushton's engagement was broken with Bell Hamilton? Her ill health, it was said; but every one knew, because he had been flirting so all winter with Mrs. McCord. But then she had such a brute of a husband, Coleman McCord, who could blame her? He was devoted to the southern beauty, Miss Legree." "Was lemon color quite out of date? and should they get crimson fuchsias with gold tips for the wreath?"
Mrs. Murden was so deep in moral reflections suggested by this style of conversation, that she did not perceive Miss Stringer was ready for her at first. She was almost sorry when the moment arrived, for she dreaded an interview with this maker of fine ladies, who dictated to them so coolly, and was so besieged, and coaxed, and petted by them. The lady's distant, preoccupied manner added to her embarrassment, when, finding she had an unoccupied half hour, she proposed to fit her forthwith, and asked Mrs. Murden into the inner apartment, with its curtains and lounges, its cheval glass reflecting the little woman's figure from head to foot, and reminding her that the dress she wore was at least two inches shorter than the flowing robes of the birds of paradise who had just taken their departure. Silly little body, she felt so awkward and old-fashioned, and wished in her heart she was in her own back parlor, with Miss Johns and her heart-shaped pin-cushion. She was quite a mirror of fashion to Miss Johns, who was indebted to Mrs. Murden for half her new sleeves and trimmings, caught by those observing black eyes, and shaped out at home with the aid of old newspapers. But here it was the mantuamaker's place to dictate.
"A basque, of course, or is it an evening-dress? What name?"
"Murden—Mrs. Murden." And she knew perfectly well it was one entirely foreign to the ears that caught it, low as was her tone. But when Miss Stringer came to see that silk her opinion might change. Mrs. Murden longed to have it brought forth and note the effect.
"A silk; for the street, I suppose? Basque, of course. We only make bodices in full dress. Open body?" And Miss Stringer's rapid fingers measured the shoulders, the waist, the arms, presented to her, mechanically. Customers were but lay figures to the fashionable modiste, to be made up at pleasure. "Miss Elbert, Mrs. Murden's silk."
But Miss Elbert feigned entire ignorance of its reception. "Mrs. Murden—she could not remember the name." And a bustle of search ensued, while the forewoman from the work-room made her appearance for orders, bringing skirts and waists of such rich and dazzling materials as Mrs. Murden had never dreamed of, while she trembled for the fate of her own precious purple. Two errand girls, charity children they looked like, with their little sharp, thin faces and faded shawls, were dispatched to match buttons, and gimps, and galloons, with handsful of patterns, and heads full of instructions, which last did not stay where they were put, which accounted for Miss Lawrence appearing at the Thursday ball with yellow fringe on a lemon-colored dress, and Mrs. Johnson Rogers finding her gray silk—she was in half mourning for the late lamented Mr. Johnson Rogers—decorated by brown velvet acorn buttons. However, both passed for Parisian novelties, and were greatly admired; so Miss Stringer, and not the stupid errand girls, who came back too late to admit of a change, received the credit of these novel decorations.
Much to Mrs. Murden's relief, the silk was at last forthcoming, from an out-of-the-way drawer, and she awaited with inward satisfaction Miss Stringer's inspection. But two-dollar silks were everyday bread and butter to that lady, who merely glanced at it, and tossed the package upon a neighboring sofa, as if it had been so many yards of crash towelling.
"Very good quality," she remarked. "You got it at Evans & Gilman's. Trying to most complexions. What now, Miss Elbert? No, I shall not touch Mrs. Cadwalader's dress before Monday. Tell her she can wear her white moire d'antique; she's only worn it twice this season to my knowledge. Tell her to wear her Honiton scarf, and no one will know what kind of a dress she has on. That will do, Mrs.—I beg your pardon—Mudon. You can come again on Thursday week. How will you have it trimmed?"
Mrs. Murder did not venture to suggest a trimming, and prudently left the whole matter to Miss Stringer's abler hands. Prudently, in one sense; she had never seen a bill from a fashionable shop, recollect. She had been just about to inquire what Miss Stringer would charge. Fortunate escape! The question would have been met with paralyzing coldness. It is a risk to procure your own trimming; but to seek to place a limit as to ultimate expense—unpardonable in the eyes of an autocrat of fashion.
So Mrs. Murden departed very much cast down, and very insignificant in her cashmere dress and the fur she had thought so handsome—so it was in her own set; but her eyes had been dwelling upon velvet cloaks and sable victorines the past two hours. Alas! for her last year's mantle, pretty as it had been; embroidered merinos looked so common—fatal word.
Miss Stringer had entirely forgotten the appointment when she presented herself again on Thursday week. Meantime, it had been very difficult to parry the inquiries of her trio of intimates as to when and how the dress was to be made, without betraying her all-important secret. But she succeeded to admiration. It was in vain for Mrs. Hopkins to remark that Miss Johns was engaged for nearly all the week, to her certain knowledge, or for Mrs. Keyser to allude to Emma Louisa's green poplin, the "sweetest" thing she had ever seen; Mrs. Murden did not give out a clue. She saw the identical green poplin at Miss Stringer's, on her second audience, and heard Miss Elbert remark, with her accustomed freedom, upon its possessor, who was set down by Miss Stringer's young woman as decidedly vulgar and over-dressed. Mrs. Keyser never would have survived overhearing this assault upon her kinswoman. Mrs. Murden treasured it up for future remembrance.
"It does make me sick," remarked Miss Elbert, "to see people load on such things. Thank my stars, I'm not a rich woman! Poor things, I pity them! in a fever from morning till night about a dress or a cloak. Half of them murder the king's English. Don't you say so, Miss Replier?"
Miss Replier, who still fitted "dummy" to one unending round of caps, assented with a nod.
"Then they're so afraid some one else will have something," continued this free-spoken, candid young person. "Did you see Mrs. James Thomas, the day of our opening, take up that garnet hat Miss Stringer had ordered out for Mrs. McCord? Mrs. McCord wouldn't have it, after all, when she heard there was one made from it. And there's Miss Thornton thinks she's got the only Eugenie robe in the country. Levy imported three to my certain knowledge. For my part, it makes me sick as the head boy at a confectioner's. If I was as rich as Mrs. Rush, I wouldn't have a thing better than I have now." And here she condescended to see if Miss Stringer was disengaged, and ushered the possessor of the purple silk into the fitting-room.
It was quite a picture as Mrs. Murden entered it. The lounges spread with dresses that surpassed her imagination. Two bonnets, all lace and flowers, the frame seeming only intended to support them, were on stands in one corner, and wreaths, gloves, ribbons, and embroideries made up the graceful confusion. Miss Stringer was on her knees before a large deal box, folding and packing these wonderful creations.
"A bridal order," she said, "for the South. Look around, if you would like to."
Mrs. Murden would not have touched any of them for a kingdom; it seemed as if a breath would soil the gossamer-like evening-dresses, with their light garlands of flowers. A velvet robe fit for a queen, destined for the mother of the bride; a morning-dress of French cambric embroidery, over a violet-colored silk; flounced dresses, with borders of woven embroidery, in the most delicate contrasting shade; glove-knots, shoulder-knots, breast-knots, of ribbon and gold lace, were some of the items of this costly trousseau.
The cherished purple silk faded, as if it had been exposed to a summer sun, in Mrs. Murden's eyes. It looked so very "common"—to think of a two dollar silk being common—beside those brocades and flounced taffetas, when it came to be tried on; and then the prices dealt out in the most amiable manner by Miss Stringer conscious that she had made a good thing of it.
The velvet had cost a hundred dollars "before scissors had touched it." The lace on the skirt of the bridal-dress was seventy-five dollars a yard; the morning-dress was a robe imported, of course, at sixty dollars; and so on to the ermine-bordered mantle, at four hundred and fifty.
Mrs. Murden asked when her dress would be sent home, as she resumed her bonnet and cloak. She had lost nearly all interest in it, as Miss Stringer pulled and puckered, let out, and let in, the nicely fitting basque. It was not lost, perhaps, but swallowed up for the time in the contemplation of so much elegance, which, come what would, she could never hope to attain. And she colored, we grieve to record it, as she gave the lynx-eyed Miss Elbert her address, so far away from the fashionable quarter. Perhaps she saw the glance exchanged with Miss Replier as it was named.
Mrs. Murden anticipated the arrival of the purple silk with dread forebodings. She hoped her husband would not be at home if the bill came with it. "Making up" was a trifle when she sewed with Miss Johns, and found her own trimmings. She knew that Mr. Murden had not calculated on any extra demands, the dress once purchased. Besides, he had been losing money all the week, and besides, she had anticipated the last dollar of her month's allowance. She was more abstracted than ever as the time drew near.
But it came, and there was no help for it—on Saturday evening, the night of all others when Mr. Murden was sure to be at home. It was very, very stylish; the trimming, a broad embossed velvet ribbon, matched the shade to perfection. Mr. Murden wanted to have it tried on at once, and did not think the absence of a chemisette detracted at all from the tout ensemble.
He felt very much pleased with himself for having allowed his pretty wife to have her own way, and gave her a kiss by way of approval to her taste, which chaste matrimonial salute was interrupted by the reappearance of their one servant, to say that the girl was waiting in the hall, as the bill was receipted.
"Ah, the bill!" There it was, pinned conspicuously on the flap of the basque. Mr. Murden detached it, and read the amount: "$13 29 cts. Received payment, Ann Stringer."
"Good gracious, my dear, what a mistake! More than half as much as the dress cost!"
Mrs. Murden caught at the straw. Perhaps it was a mistake, and the wrong bill had been sent to her. But there was no such good fortune; there it was, in Miss Elbert's own hard, angular handwriting, item by item. And Mr. Murden paid it on the spot, for he never allowed a bill to be presented twice; but he went out without returning to the parlor, and shut the front door with a bang, to countermand the new overcoat which he had been measured for that afternoon, and which he needed badly.
It was weeks before the purple silk was again alluded to by him, and spring before Mrs. Murden could afford to purchase undersleeves and a chemisette to wear with it. She walked to church in the mazarine blue beside the shabby overcoat, with its threadbare sleeves and rusty collar, a humbler and a better woman. It was only when Mr. Murden discovered what a cure the surfeit of finery in Mrs. Stringer's fitting-room had wrought, that he quite pardoned the folly and extravagance of the purple silk. "For," as Mrs. Murden said, "there must always be a great many people better dressed, spend what she would, so where was the use? And, after all, comfort was the thing, not show."
The purple silk became quite a favorite eventually, for Mr. Murden did not consider the lesson dearly bought at thirty-three dollars and twenty-nine cents, since it was to last a lifetime.
BY request of a correspondent, we publish the following from Mrs. Hale's "New Household Receipt-Book:"—
"Canary birds that are kept tame will breed three or four times in the year. Towards the middle of March begin to match your birds, putting one cock and hen into the breeding-cage, which should be large, so that the birds may have room to fly and exercise themselves. Place two boxes or little basket-nests in the cage, for the hen to lay her eggs in, because she will sometimes have a second brood before the first are fit to fly, leaving the care of them to the father bird, who feeds and brings them up with much care, while she is sitting on her second nest of eggs. Whilst your birds are pairing feed them, besides the usual seeds, with the yolks of hard-boiled eggs, bread that has been moistened, or, if hard, grated fine, and pounded almond-meat. When the young birds are to be fed, give the same soft food, and be sure have it fresh every day; also furnish the old birds with fresh greens, such as cabbage-lettuce, chickweed, groundsel, &c. Give fresh water every day, and a clean bath every morning. The hen lays, commonly, four or five eggs, and sits fourteen days. When the young are hatched, leave them to the care of the old birds to nurse and bring up till they can fly and feed themselves, which is, usually, in about twenty days."
Fig. 36 shows the position of the two ellipses a and b, which form the bases of the ornamental sketch shown in Fig. 37. In like manner, the half-ellipse, formed on the horizontal line in Fig. 38, is the foundation of the sketch shown in Fig. 39. So also is the foundation of a flower-petal, shown in Fig. 40, made clear by the analytical sketch in Fig. 41, where the preliminary forms are shown drawn. Again, the ornamental scroll in Fig. 42 is drawn by sketching a half-ellipse on the horizontal line.
The convolvulus flower and stem in Fig. 43 are also drawn by previously sketching an ellipse to form the flower.
In sketching the flower in Fig. 44, the pupil must first draw an outline which will take in the whole figure, making it as near the shape of the sketch as the eye dictates. After the correct outline is formed, the details must be drawn.
The flower, stem, and leaves of the sketch in Fig. 45 must be drawn in, the form being estimated chiefly by the eye; the stem ought to be put in first, thereafter the distances between the leaves, and then filling in the details. The ivy-leaf in Fig. 46 is to be drawn in the same way as the last. The ivy-stem and leaves shown in Fig. 47 should be drawn by first sketching out the length, form, and direction of the stem, then ascertaining and marking the distances between the leaves, and filling in the details as before. The leaf in Fig. 48, and the leaves in Fig. 49, should next be copied. Fig. 50 is the leaf of the common "dock." It is to be copied by first drawing an ellipse, thereafter filling in the details. Fig. 51 is the stem and leaves of the "burdock." The sketch may be put in at once by the assistance of the eye; it may be better, however, to draw a circle for the part a, and an ellipse for that of b.
The scroll in Fig. 52 may be sketched by drawing an outline which would touch all the parts of the design, thereafter filling up the details.
In drawing the sketch shown in Fig. 53, the pupil will have to trust greatly to the eye. The stem should be drawn first, its length and direction being carefully noted; the distances of the extremities of the leaves from the stem should next be marked off; next, their general outline, and thereafter the details. The proportions the parts bear to one another must be attended to.
BY T. S. ARTHUR.
(Continued from page 227.)
THE efforts made by Perkins to find the residence of the stranger proved unavailing. Half suspecting that Michael had deceived him, he returned to the shop of Mr. Berlaps, and asked the direction anew. It was repeated precisely as at first given.
"But I have been there."
"Well, wasn't she at that number?"
"I don't know anything about her, then. It often happens that these sewing-girls deceive us as to their whereabouts."
Perkins turned away disappointed, but with his interest in the stranger more than ever excited.
"Who and what can she be? and why do I feel so deep an interest in a perfect stranger, who cannot possibly be anything to me?" were involuntary questions which the young man endeavored, but in vain, to answer.
That night, as he sat alone in his room, his friend Milford came in and found him with the miniature before alluded to in his hand.
"Whose sweet face is that? Bless me! But she is a lovely creature!" said Milford, as his eye caught a glimpse of the picture which Perkins made a movement to conceal. "Aha! Mr. Sobersides! have I found you out at last?"
But seeing that his remarks had the effect to disturb, even agitate his friend, he said, in a changed tone—
"Forgive me if I have thoughtlessly jarred a string that vibrates painfully! I knew not that you carried in your heart an unhealed wound."
"And yet I do, my friend. A wound that, I fear, will never cicatrize. Five years have passed since I parted with the living original of this picture. The parting was to be only for a few months. We have never met since, and never will, in this world! The sea gives not up its dead!"
There was a solemn earnestness in the voice of Perkins that showed how deeply the loss still affected him.
"To me," said his companion, after a pause, "it seems strange that you should never have alluded to this subject, even to your nearest friend."
"I could not, Milford. The effort to keep my feelings under control has been severe enough, without permitting myself to speak of the matter at all. But now that it has been alluded to, I feel inclined to talk upon the subject, if you have any desire to hear."
"I certainly have an anxious desire to hear," replied Milford.
Perkins shaded his face for a few moments with his hand, and sat silent and thoughtful. He then gave, in a calm voice, the following narration:—
"You are aware that, when I came to this city to reside, a few years since, I removed from Troy, New York. That is my native place—or, at least, I had lived there from boyhood up, when I removed to Boston. It is now about ten years since a man named Ballantine, who seemed to possess considerable wealth, made his appearance in the place, accompanied by his daughter, a young girl about thirteen years of age. He came from New Orleans, where his wife had died, and where he was still engaged in business. His object in coming north with his child was to secure for her the advantages of a good seminary. He seemed to prefer Troy, and after remaining there for some months, concluded to place his child in the family of a newly-married man, whose wife, somewhat matronly in age and in habits, happened to please his fancy, as a maternal guardian for his child. After making every requisite arrangement in regard to her education, he returned to New Orleans, from which city money to defray her expenses was regularly transmitted. Once a year he came north to visit her, and remained in our town for a few weeks.
"I happened to know the family in which Eugenia Ballantine was placed, and became acquainted with her immediately. I was then but a boy, though some four years her senior, yet old enough to feel for her, from the beginning, something more than a mere fraternal regard. And this sentiment was reciprocal. No place was so pleasant to me as that which was cheered by her presence—no smile warmed my heart like her smile; and I could always see her countenance brighten the moment I came where she was.
"Gradually, as year after year passed, and she still remained among us, our early preference for each other, or rather our early affection, assumed a more serious character. We loved each other; she was just seventeen, and I twenty-one, when I ventured to tell her how deeply, fervently, and purely I loved her. The formal announcement did not seem to create surprise, or agitate her in the least.
"'I never doubted it,' was her innocent reply, looking me tenderly in the face.
"'And do you love me as truly as I love you, Eugenia?' I asked.
"'Have you ever doubted it?' was her quiet response to this, also.
"From that moment I was bewilderingly happy. My family was one of wealth and standing, and I immediately wrote to Mr. Ballantine, who, after sufficient time to make inquiry in regard to the character and position of his daughter's lover, returned a cordial assent to my proposal for her hand. Thus far everything had gone on as smoothly as a summer sea. We smiled sometimes together at the carping adage, 'The course of true love never did run smooth,' and referred to our own case as a signal instance of its falsity.
"During the summer succeeding our engagement, Mr. Ballantine did not come on to the north. In the ensuing spring, Eugenia's term of instruction closed at the seminary, after having been in Troy nearly five years. She was a tall, beautiful woman, with a mind highly cultivated, and externally accomplished in every respect. I was proud of her beauty and acquirements, at the same time that I loved her with fervent devotion. Spring passed away and summer came; with the advancing season her father arrived from the south. He had not seen his child for two years, during which time she had grown up into a mature and lovely woman. I could forgive the jealous pride with which he would look into her face, and the constant tenderness of his allusions to her when she was away from his side.
"'I do not think, Mr. Perkins,' he would say to me, sometimes, 'that I can let you have my Eugenia, unless you will go south. I am sure I cannot part with her again.'
"'Why not come north, Mr. Ballantine?' I would suggest.
"But he would shake his head as he made some disparaging remark in regard to the north, and playfully insist that I must go with him to the sunny south. It was about the first of September that I asked that our marriage might take place at an early day. But the father shook his head.
"'Be content that the flower is to be yours. Do not become too eager to pluck it from its parent stem. I must have my dear girl with me for at least one winter. In the spring she shall be yours.'
"'Oh, no! Mr. Ballantine,' I said, in alarm, 'you are not going to rob me of her for so long a time?' I spoke with warmth.
"'Rob you of her!' ejaculated the father, in seeming half indignation. 'You are unreasonable and very selfish, my dear boy! Here you have had her for five years, and after a little while are to have her for life, and yet are unwilling to give me even the boon of a few short months with my own child. You are not generous!'
"I felt the rebuke, and confessed that I had been moved by too selfish feelings.
"'If you think the time long,' he added, 'all you have to do is to take a packet and come round—we shall welcome you with joy.'
"'That I shall no doubt be compelled to do, for I will not be able to exist for five or six long months away from Eugenia.'
"'So I should suppose. Well, come along, and after I get you there, I will see if I can't inoculate you with a love of Southern people, Southern habits, and Southern manners. I am sanguine that you will like us.'
"'Well, perhaps so,' I said. 'But we will see.'
"The time for the departure of Mr. Ballantine and his daughter was set for the first of October. The few remaining days passed on fleet wings, and then, after completing the necessary arrangements, Eugenia left Troy with her father for New York, thence to go by sea to her native city. I accompanied them down the river, and spent two days with them in the city, previous to the sailing of the ship Empress, in which they were to embark. Our parting was tender, yet full of hope for a speedy meeting. I had already made up my mind to visit New Orleans about January, and remain there during the winter. Our marriage was then to be solemnized.
"After the sailing of the Empress, I returned to Troy, to await the news of her safe arrival at New Orleans. I felt gloomy and desolate, and for my uncompanionable humor received sundry playful jibes or open rebukes from my friends. In about a week I began to examine the shipping lists of the New York papers, in the hope of seeing some notice of the good ship that contained my heart's best treasure. But no record of her having been spoken at sea met my eyes as I scanned the newspapers day after day with an eager and increasing hope, until four, five, and six weeks had passed away. So much troubled had I now become, that I went down to New York to see the owners of the ship.
"'Has the Empress arrived out yet?' I asked, on entering their counting-room.
"'Not at the latest dates,' was the reply, made in a voice expressive of concern.
"'Is not her passage a very long one?'
"'We should have had news of her arrival ten days ago.'
"'Has she been spoken on the passage?'
"'Never but once, and that after she was three days out.'
"'Is she a good ship?' I next inquired.
"'None better out of this port,' was the prompt answer.
"For ten days I remained in New York, eagerly examining each morning the shipping lists, and referring to all the southern papers to which I could get access. I met during that time but one reference to the Empress, and that was contained in a paragraph alluding to her long passage, and expressing great fears for her safety. This thrilled my heart with a more palpable and terrible fear. On the next day but one, I met in a New Orleans paper a farther allusion to her, coupled with the remark that a suspicious-looking vessel, clipper-built, with a black hull, had been seen several times during the past few weeks cruising in the Gulf, and expressing a fear lest she had come across the Empress. I thought this would have driven me beside myself. But why prolong this painful narration by attempting to describe my feelings, as day after day, week after week, and month after month passed, and no tidings came of the missing ship? From the day I parted with Eugenia, I have neither seen her nor heard from her. The noble vessel that bore her proudly away neither reached her destination, nor returned back with her precious freight. All—all found a grave in the dark depths of the ocean.
"It is a terrible thing, my friend, to be thus reft of all you hold dearest in life. If I had seen her touched by the hand of disease, and watched the rose fading from her cheek, leaf after leaf falling away, until death claimed at last his victim, I could have borne the severe affliction with some degree of fortitude. Even if she had been struck down suddenly at my side, there would have been something for the bruised heart to rest upon. But to be taken from me thus! her fate shrouded in a most fearful mystery! Oh! it is terrible!"
And the young man set his teeth firmly, and clenched his hands, in a powerful struggle with his still o'ermastering feelings. At length he resumed, in a calmer voice—
"No matter what terrors or violence attended her death—no matter how deep she lies in the unfathomable sea, her spirit is with the blessed angels, for she was pure and good. This ought to be enough for me. The agonies of a fearful departure are long since over. And why should I recall them, and break up afresh the tender wounds that bleed at the slightest touch? Henceforth I will strive to look away from the past, and onward, in pleasing hope, to that future time when we shall meet where there will be no more parting."
"She must have been a lovely creature, indeed," said Milford, some minutes after his friend had ceased, holding, as he spoke, the miniature in his hand, and looking at it attentively.
"She was lovely as innocence itself," was the half abstracted reply.
"Although I never saw her, yet there is an expression in her face that is familiar"—Milford went on to say—"very familiar; but it awakens, I cannot tell why, a feeling of pain. This face is a happy face; and yet it seems every moment as if it would change into a look of sadness—yea, of deep sorrow and suffering."
"This may arise, and no doubt does, from the melancholy history connected with her, that I have just related."
"Perhaps that is the reason," Milford returned, thoughtfully. "And yet I know not how to account for the strangely familiar expression of her face."
"Did you ever see a picture in your life that had not in it some feature that was familiar?" asked Perkins.
"Perhaps not," the friend replied, and then sat in mental abstraction for some moments. He was not satisfied with this explanation, and was searching his memory for the original of that peculiar expression which had struck him so forcibly. He was sure that it did exist, and that he had looked upon it no very long time before. But he tried in vain to fix it. The impression floated still in his mind only as a vague idea.
"There! I have it!" he at length exclaimed, but with something of disappointment in his tones. "I remember that the young seamstress we were speaking of a few days ago, a single glimpse of whose face I obtained, had that very look which strikes me as familiar in this picture. I thought I had seen it somewhere else."
Perkins started, and looked surprised and agitated. But this was only momentary.
"Now you speak of her," he said, calmly, "I remember that I always thought of Eugenia when I saw her, which is no doubt the reason why I have felt strongly interested for the young stranger, who has doubtless seen better days. I related to you, I believe, the adventure I had near the bridge, in which she was concerned?"
"You did. I wonder what in the world takes her over to Charleston so often? She goes, I believe, almost every day, and usually late in the afternoon. Several persons have spoken of her to me; but none seemed to know her errand there, or to have any knowledge of her whatever."
"There is some mystery connected with her, certainly. This afternoon I went in to make some inquiries in regard to her of Berlaps. I was just in time to hear Michael, his salesman, give her some insulting language, for which I rebuked the fellow sharply."
"Indeed! How did she take it?" said Milford.
"She did not seem to notice him, but glided quickly past, as he bent over the counter towards her, and left the store."
"Did you see her face?"
"No. Her veil was closely drawn, as usual," answered Perkins.
"I don't know why it is, but there is something about this young female that interests me very much. Have you yet learned her name?"
"It is Lizzy Glenn—so I was told at the clothing store for which she works."
"Lizzy Glenn? An assumed name, in all probability."
"Very likely. It sounds as if it might be," said Perkins.
"If I were you," remarked the friend, "I would learn something certain about this stranger; if for no other reason, on account of the singular association of her, in your involuntary thought, with Miss Ballantine. She may be a relative; and, if so, it would afford a melancholy pleasure to relieve her from her present unhappy condition, for the sake of the one in heaven."
"I have already tried to find her; but she was not at the number where Michael said she resided."
"She may not have given him the right direction," said Milford.
"So he pretends to infer. But I would rather believe that Michael has purposely deceived me than that she would be guilty of falsehood."
"If I see her again," said Milford, "I will endeavor, by all means, to discover her place of residence."
"Do, if you would oblige me. It is my purpose not to lose sight of her at our next meeting, be it where it may. Our present conversation has awakened a deeper interest, and stimulated a more active curiosity. I am no blind believer in chance, Milford. I do not regard this meeting with the stranger as something only fortuitous. There is a Providence in all the events of life, and I am now firmly assured that these encounters with the seamstress are not merely accidental, as the world regards accidents, but events in a chain of circumstances that, when complete, will result in positive good. Of the nature of that good—as to who will be blessed or benefited—I do not pretend to divine. I only feel ready to act my part in the drama of life. I must and will know more about this stranger."
AS little Henry, after parting with his mother, hurried on by the side of Mr. Sharp, who took his way directly across the bridge leading over to Charleston, where he had left the chaise in which he had ridden from Lexington, a handsome carriage, containing a mother and three happy children, about the age of himself, Emma, and the sister who had just died, drove rapidly by. The children were full of spirits, and, in their thoughtless glee, called out gayly, but with words of ridicule, to the poor, meanly clad child, who was hurrying on at almost a run beside the man who had become his master. Their words, however, were heeded not by the full-hearted boy. His thoughts were going back to his home, and to his much-loved mother.
This incident is mentioned here, as a striking illustration of the practical working of that system of grinding the poor, especially poor females, by which many men make fortunes, or at least acquire far more than a simple competence for life. That carriage belonged to Berlaps, and those happy children were his. But how could he buy a carriage and horses, and build fine houses, and yet not be able to pay more than the meagre pittance for his work that the reader has seen doled out to his half-starving workwomen? How could his children be fed and clothed sumptuously every day, and the widow, who worked for him from early dawn until the silent watches of midnight, not be able to get wholesome bread and warm garments for her little ones, unless he took more than his just share of the profits upon his goods? If he could only afford to pay seven cents for coarse shirts, and so on, in proportion, up through the entire list of articles made, how came it that the profits on these very articles enabled him to live in elegance, build houses, and keep his own carriage and horses?
Such questions apply not alone to the single instance of Berlaps, here introduced. They are pertinent in their application to all who add to their profits for the purpose of a grand aggregate, at the expense of reducing the pay, even a few cents, upon the hard toiling workwoman whose slender income, at best, is barely sufficient to procure the absolute necessaries of life. This cutting down of women's wages, until they are reduced to an incompetent pittance, is a system of oppression too extensive, alas! in this, as well as many other countries. It is one of the quiet and safe means by which the strong oppress the weak—by which the selfish build themselves up, cruelly indifferent to the sufferings of those who are robbed of a just compensation for their labor. The record of a conversation overheard between two of the class alluded to will illustrate this matter. They were tailors—or, rather, what are sometimes called slop-shop or clothing men. Let it not be supposed that tailors alone are the oppressors of workwomen. In most of the employments at which females engage, especially such as admit of a competition in labor, advantage is taken of the eager demands for work, and prices reduced to the lowest possible standard. In the eager scramble for monopolizing more than a just share of custom, or to increase the amount of sales by the temptation of extremely moderate rates, the prices of goods are put down to the lowest scale they will bear. If, in doing this, the dealer was content with a profit reduced in some proportion to the increase of his sales, no one would have a right to complain. He would be free to sell his goods at cost, or even below cost, if that suited his fancy. Instead of this, however, the profits on his articles are often the same that they were when prices were ten or fifteen per cent. higher, and he reaps the advantage of a greatly increased sale, consequent upon the more moderate rates at which he can sell. The evil lies in his cutting down his operatives' wages; in taking off of them, while they make no party to his voluntary reduction of prices, the precise amount that he throws in to his customer as a temptation to buy more freely. But to the promised dialogue:—
"Money don't come in hand-over-fist, as it ought to come," remarked Grasp, of the flourishing firm of Grasp & Co., Merchant Tailors, of Boston, to the junior partner of the establishment. "The nimble sixpence is better than the slow shilling, you know. We must make our shears eat up cloth a little faster, or we sha'n't clear ten thousand dollars this year by one-third of the sum."
"Although that would be a pretty decent business these times."
"I don't call any business a decent one that can be bettered," replied Grasp, contemptuously.
"But can ours be bettered?"
"By selling more goods."
"How are we to do that?"
"By putting down the prices, and then making a confounded noise about it. Do you understand?"
"I do. But our prices are very low now."
"True. But we may reduce them still further, and, by so doing, increase our sales to an extent that will make our business net us beyond the present income quite handsomely. But, to do this, we must cut down the prices now paid for making up our clothes. In this way, we shall be able to greatly increase our sales, with but a slight reduction upon our present rates of profit."
"But will our workmen stand it? Our needle-women, particularly, work very low now."
"They'll have to stand it!" replied Grasp; "most of them are glad to get work at any price. Women, with half a dozen hungry mouths around them, don't stand long to higgle about a few cents in a garment, when there are so many willing to step in and take their places. Besides, what are three or four cents to them on a vest, or pair of pants, or jacket? The difference in a week is small and will not be missed—or, at the worst, will only require them to economize with a little steadier hand; while upon the thousands of garments we dispose of here, and send away to other markets, it will make a most important aggregate on the right side of profit and loss."
"There is no doubt of that," replied the partner, the idea of the aggregate of three or four cents on each garment occupying his mind, and obscuring completely, for a time, every other idea. "Well, I'm with you," he said, after a little while, "in any scheme for increasing profits. Getting along at the rate of only some two or three thousand a year is rather slow work. Why, there's Tights, Screw, & Co., see how they're cutting into the trade, and carrying everything before them. Tights told me that they cleared twenty thousand dollars last year."
"No doubt of it. And I'll make our house do the same before three years roll over, or I'm no prophet."
"If we are going to play this cutting down game, we had better begin at once."
"Oh, certainly. The sooner the better. But first, we must arrange a reduced scale of prices, and then bring our whole tribe of workwomen and others down to it at once. It will not do to hold any parley with them. If we do, our ears will be dinned to death with trumped-up tales of poverty and distress, and all that sort of thing, with which we have no kind of concern in the world. These are matters personal to these individuals themselves, and have nothing to do with our business. No matter what prices we paid, we would have nothing but grumbling and complaint, if we allowed an open door on that subject."
"Yes, there is no doubt of that. But, to tell the truth, it is a mystery to me how some of these women get along. Very few make over two dollars a week, and some never go beyond a dollar. Many of them are mothers, and most of them have some one or more dependent upon them. Food, rent, clothes, and fuel, all have to come out of these small earnings. By what hocus-pocus it is done, I must confess, puzzles me to determine."
"Oh, as to that," returned Grasp, "it is, no doubt, managed well enough. Provisions, and everything that poor people stand in need of, are very cheap. The actual necessaries of life cost but little, you know. How far above the condition of the starving Irish, or the poor operatives in the manufacturing portions of England, is that of the people who work for us! Think of that for a moment."
"True—very true," replied the partner. "Well," he continued, "I think we had better put the screws on to our workwomen and journeymen at once. I am tired of plodding on at this rate."
"So am I. To-night, then, after we close the store, we will arrange our new bill of prices, and next week bring all hands down to it."
And they were just as good as their word. And it happened just as they said—the poor workmen had to submit.
But we must return from our digression.
The child who, under the practical operation of a system of which the above dialogue gives some faint idea, had to go out from his home at the tender age of ten years, because his mother, with all her hard toil early and late, at the prices she obtained for her labor, could not earn enough to provide a sufficiency of food and clothes for her children—that child passed on, unheeding, and, indeed, unhearing the jibes of the happier children of his mother's oppressor, and endeavored, sad and sorrowful as he felt, to nerve himself with something of a manly feeling. At Charlestown, Mr. Sharp got into his chaise, and, with the lad he had taken to raise, drove home.
"Well, here is the youngster, Mrs. Sharp," he said, on alighting from his vehicle. "He is rather smaller and punier than I like, but I have no doubt that he will prove willing and obedient."
"What is his name?" asked Mrs. S., who had a sharp chin, sharp nose, and sharp features throughout; and, with all, rather a sharp voice. She had no children of her own—those tender pledges being denied her, perhaps on account of the peculiar sharpness of her temper.
"His name is Henry," replied her husband.
"Henry Gaston, I believe. Isn't that it, my boy?"
Henry replied in the affirmative. Mr. Sharp then said—
"You can go in with Mrs. Sharp, Henry. She will tell you what she wants you to do."
"Yes, come along." And Mrs. Sharp turned away as she spoke, and retired into the more interior portion of the house, followed by the boy.
"Mrs. Sharp will tell you what she wants you to do!" Yes, that tells the story. From this hour the child is to become the drudge—the hewer of wood and drawer of water—for an unfeeling woman, whose cupidity and that of her husband have prompted them to get a little boy as a matter of saving—one who could do the errands for the shop and the drudgery for the house. There was no thought for, and regard towards, the child to be exercised. He was to be to them only an economical little machine, very useful, though somewhat troublesome at times.
"I don't see that your mother has killed you with clothes," said Mrs. Sharp to him, after taking his bundle and examining it, and then surveying him from head to foot. "But I suppose she thinks they will do well enough; and I suppose they will. There, do you see that wooden pail there? Well, I want you to take it and go to the pump across the street, down in the next square, and bring it full of water."
Henry took the pail, as directed, and went and got the water. This was the beginning of his service, and was all well enough, as far as it went. But from that time he had few moments of relaxation, except what the night gave him, or the quiet Sabbath. All through the first day he was kept busy either in the house or shop, and, before night, had received two or three reprimands from Mrs. Sharp, administered in no very affectionate tones.
When night came, at last—it had seemed a very long day to him—and he was sent to bed alone, in the dark, he put off his clothes and laid himself down, unable, as he did so, to restrain the tears and sobs. Poor child! How sadly and yearningly did his heart go back to the narrow apartment, every nook and corner of which were dear to him, because his mother's presence made all sunshine there! And how earnestly did he long to be with her again! But he soon sank away to sleep, from which he did not awaken until the half angry voice of Mrs. Sharp chided him loudly for "lazing it away" in bed until after sunrise. Quickly getting up and dressing himself, he went down and commenced upon a new day of toil. First he had to bring in wood, then to grind the coffee, afterwards to bring water from the pump, and then to scour the knives for breakfast. When these were done, he was sent into the shop to see if Mr. Sharp didn't want him, where he found plenty to occupy his attention. The shop was to be sprinkled and swept out, the counter to be dusted, and various other little matters to be attended to, which occupied him until breakfast-time. After he had finished this meal, Mrs. Sharp managed to find him plenty to do for some hours, and then her husband laid out work for him, at which he devoted himself all the rest of the day, except when he was wanted in the kitchen for some purpose or other. And so it continued, day after day, from morning until night. Not an hour's relaxation was allowed the child; and if, from weariness or disheartened feeling, he sometimes lingered over a piece of work, a severe scolding or some punishment from Mrs. Sharp was sure to follow.
Thus things went on, every day adding to the cold of a rapidly advancing northern winter. But Mrs. Sharp still thought, according to her first conclusions in regard to Henry's clothes, that "they would do." They were not very warm, it is true—that she could not help admitting. "But then he is used to wearing thinner clothes than other children," she reasoned, "or else his mother would have put warmer ones on him. And, any how, I see no use in letting him come right down as a dead expense upon our hands. He hasn't earned his salt yet, much less a suit of winter clothes."
But the poor little fellow was no more used to bearing exposure to the chilling winds of winter than she had been when a child. He therefore shrunk shiveringly in the penetrating air whenever forced to go beyond the door. This did not fail to meet the eye of Mrs. Sharp—indeed, her eye was rarely off of him when he was within the circle of its vision—and it always irritated her. And why? It reproved her for not providing warmer clothes for the child; and hurt her penurious spirits with the too palpable conviction that before many weeks had passed they would be compelled to lay out some money for "the brat," as she had begun frequently to designate him to her husband, especially when she felt called upon to complain of him for idleness, carelessness, dulness, stupidity, wastefulness, uncleanliness, hoggishness, or some other one of the score of faults she found in a child of ten years old, whom she put down to work as steadily as a grown person.
A single month made a great change in his external appearance; such a change as would have made him unfamiliar even to his mother's eye. While under her care, his clothes, though poor, had always been whole and clean—his skin well washed, and his hair combed smoothly. Now, the color of his thin jacket and trowsers could scarcely have been told for the dust and grease which had become imbedded in their texture. His skin was begrimed until it was many shades darker, and his hair stood stiffly about his head, in matted portions, looking as if a comb had not touched it for weeks. One would hardly have imagined that so great a change could have passed upon a boy in a few weeks as had passed over him. When he left his mother's humble abode, there was something about him that instantly attracted the eye of almost any one who looked at him attentively, and won for him favorable impressions. His skin was pure and white, and his mild blue eyes, with their expression of innocent confidence, looked every one in the face openly. Now there was something repulsive to almost every one about the dirty boy, who went moping about with soiled face and hands, a cowed look, and shrinking gait. Scarcely any one seemed to feel a particle of sympathy for him, either in or out of the house where he dwelt.
Time passed on, and New Year's day rapidly approached, that anxiously longed-for time, to which Henry had never ceased to look forward since he left his mother's presence. Every passing day seemed to render his condition more and more uncomfortable. The air grew colder and colder, and the snow lay all around to the depth of many inches. A suit of cloth clothes had been "cooked up" for him out of an old coat and trowsers that had long since been worn threadbare by Mr. Sharp. Thin though they were, they yet afforded a most comfortable substitute for those their welcome appearance had caused him to throw aside. But the pair of shoes he had worn when he left Boston were still considered good enough, if thought of at all, notwithstanding they gaped largely at the toes, and had been worn so thin in the soles that scarcely the thickness of a knife-blade lay between his feet and the snow-covered ground. In regard to sleeping, he was not much better off. His bed was of straw, upon the floor, in a large, unplastered garret, and but scantily supplied with covering. Here he would creep away alone and in the dark every night, on being driven away to bed from crouching beside the warm kitchen fire after his daily toil was done, and get under the thin covering with all his clothes on. There he would lie, all drawn up into a heap to keep warm, and think of his mother, and long for New Year's day to come, until sleep would lock up his senses in unconsciousness.
At last it was New Year's eve, but the poor child had heard no word about going home. He could sleep but little through that night for thinking about the promised return to his mother on the next day, and for the dread he felt lest Mr. Sharp had forgotten, or would disregard his promise. The bright morning of another new year at length arose, clear and piercingly cold, and Henry crept early from his bed, and went down stairs to make the fires as usual. When Mr. Sharp at length made his appearance, he looked wishfully and inquiringly into his face, but no notice whatever was taken of him, except to give him some order, in the usual short, rough tone in which he always addressed him.
"Ain't I going home to see my mother to-day, sir?" was on his tongue, but he feared to utter it.
After breakfast he watched every movement of Mr. Sharp, expecting each moment to see him go out and get the chaise ready to take him to Boston. But no such idea was in the mind of the thoughtless, unfeeling master. Nine, ten, and eleven o'clock came and went, and the poor child's anxious heart began to fail him. Several times he was on the point of recalling to the mind of Mr. Sharp his promise to his mother that he should be sent home at New Year's, but as often his timid heart caused him to shrink back. At last dinner-time came, and yet nothing was said, nor were there any indications that the boy was to go home. The meal passed, and then Henry was directed to go on some errand about a mile away.
"But ain't I going home to-day, Mr. Sharp?" said he, with a sudden, despairing resolution, looking up with tearful eyes, as he spoke.
"What's that?" eagerly asked Mrs. Sharp, coming forward. "What's that, ha?"
The frightened boy slunk back, and stood with his eyes upon the floor.
"Go where, did he say, Mr. Sharp?"
"Go to see his mammy, to be sure!" replied the hatter, in a half-sneering tone of surprise.
"His mammy, indeed! And pray what put that into his head, I should like to know?"
"Mr. Sharp told mother he would send me home to see her on New Year's day," the child ventured to say, in explanation.
"Clear out! Off with you, Mr. Assurance!" exclaimed Sharp, in an angry voice, at this, half raising his hand to strike the lad. "How dare you!"
Henry started back trembling, at once conscious that all hope of seeing her he had so pined to meet for many long and weary days of suffering and privation, was at an end. Slowly he left the house, shrinking in the cold blast, and went on his errand through the hard frozen snow.
"Did any one ever hear such impudence!" ejaculated Mrs. Sharp, in breathless surprise. "Sent home on New Year's day to his mammy! A pretty how-do-you-do, upon my word! the dirty little ill-conditioned brat!"
"I believe, now I come to think of it," said Sharp, "that I did say something of the kind to his mother, just to pacify her, though I had no thought of doing it; and, indeed, I don't suppose she cares any great deal about seeing him. She didn't look as if she could keep soul and body together long."
"If she wanted to see him so dreadful bad, why didn't she keep him at home with her, tied all the while to her apron-string?" said the unfeeling woman.
"She would have had to work a little harder to have done that. No doubt she was glad enough to get rid of the burden of supporting him."
"Well, all that I can say is, that any mother who is not willing to work to take care of her children, don't deserve to see them."
"So say I," returned the husband.
"And as to Henry's going home, I wouldn't hear to any such thing. He'd not be a bit too good to trump up any kind of stories about not being treated well, so as to prevail upon her not to let him come back. I know just how boys like him talk when they get a chance to run home. Even when they do come back, they're never worth a cent afterwards."
"Oh, no! As to his going home, that is out of the question this winter," replied Sharp. "If his mother cares about seeing him, she'll find her way out here."
With a sadder heart than ever did poor Henry grope his way up into the cold garret that night, with but one thought and one image in his mind, the thought of home and the image of his mother. He dreamed of her all night. He was at home. Her tender voice was in his ear, and his head rested on her bosom. She clothed him in warmer garments, and set him beside her at the table, upon which was tempting food. But morning came at last, and he was awakened from visions of delight to a more painful consciousness of his miserable condition by the sharp, chiding voice of his cruel mistress. Slowly, with stiffened limbs and a reluctant heart, did he arise, and enter upon the repulsive and hard duties of another day.
As he had not been permitted to go home, his next consolatory thought was that his mother would come out at once to see him. This hope he clung to day after day, but he clung to it in vain. It mattered not that, every time the shop door opened when he was in it, he turned with a quickened pulse to see if it were not his mother, or that he would pause and listen, when back in the house, to hear if the strange voice that came suddenly from the shop, were not the voice of her he so longed to see. She came not; nor was any word from her brought to him.
And thus passed the whole of the severe month of January, the long and cold winter adding greatly to his other causes of suffering.
(To be continued.)
BEING THE CLANDESTINE CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN KITTY CLOVER AT SCHOOL, AND HER "DEAR, DEAR FRIEND" IN TOWN.
EDITED BY HORACE MAYHEW.
(Dated March 9th.)
SHOWING WHAT KITTY THOUGHT OF SOME MORE OF HER SCHOOLFELLOWS.
IN my last letter, I forgot to tell you about the two Miss Suetts, Emilia and Julia. They are fat, and round, and heavy, like (Meggy says) a couple of yeast dumplings. Their parents are in India, and they never go home. No one cares much about that, however; for they are great teazers, and the most dreadful tell-tales. But they are never without preserves and pickles of some kind, and have such delicious pomegranates and guava jelly sent to them, in such large blue jars, that, after all, I doubt if any two girls would be more missed from the school than the two Suetts—disagreeable things as they are. You should only taste their tamarinds, Nell!
There is also Ada Steele, the poetess, who writes verses, some of which have actually appeared in print (in the "Family Page," I think), and you cannot imagine how conceited she is about it. I am told she knows every line of poetry that ever was written. She is such a dreadful plague, that I never go near her if I can avoid it. You cannot ask her what's the day of the month, but she'll give you a hundred lines of poetry right off from some poet or other. Meggy calls her "a tap of poetry," which once turned on, will go on running till you stop it. Byron is her especial favorite, and she always calls him "dear." His works are not allowed in the college; but Ada Steele has got a copy of them, and she puts it under her pillow every night.
But the girl I dislike most is Susan Carney. Fancy a tall, thin creature, with hair the color of blotting-paper, and with eyes like an owl's, that cannot look at you, and you have her standing before you. She is the "sneak" of the school; and moves about like a cat. When we are talking secrets, and turn round, there she is—pretending to look for something, but in reality listening. Or, if a girl has comfortably got one of James's delicious novels inside her grammar, and looks up to see that it is all right and snug, there is Carney's cold, fishy eye sure to be fixed sideways upon her. Meggy says her eye is so sharp, she's confident that, like a needle's, it would cut thread. We cannot have a bit of fun but Miss Carney is sure to spoil it. We cannot read or write a letter in class without her knowing it. We cannot talk to the masters, or have a comfortable bit of gossip about the filthy dinners and the lady principal, without our being requested, before the day is half over, "to step to Mrs. R.'s boudoir," after which you will see the girls coming back with red eyes and burning cheeks.
The oddest thing is, no one is sure that it is Carney who tells, though every one is convinced that she does. She manages it so cleverly that she is never found out. We tease her as much as we dare, calling her "policeman," "spy," "tell-tit," and everything we can think of; but it takes no effect upon her. She turns a little pale, talks morality in a whining tone, and leaves it to Mrs. Rodwell to redress her wrongs.
Another curious thing is the way in which she wheedles a secret out of you. Though on your guard, she flatters and fawns, and coaxes and lectures till you have parted with your secret long before you are aware of it. You would imagine she was chloroform, so cleverly does she extract it, without the smallest consciousness on your part. The fact is, she crawls over you, Nelly; and as for talking, it is my firm belief she would talk a letter out of a letter-box. She is exceedingly neat and clean, with not a single hair out of bounds; and, somehow, her dresses do not rustle, nor her shoes creak, as other persons' do. She is down upon you, like a shower at the horticultural fête, before you have time to run for it. What with her crawling, and her sleek appearance, and her gliding so noiselessly about the room, she looks like a big lizard, or some slippery serpent, that was advancing towards you; and I always feel inclined to scream, or to put up my parasol, when she comes near me, to frighten her away.
Nor is she much a favorite with the remainder of the school. The little girls bribe her with oranges and cakes, and lend her small sums of money, to prevent her telling. But the big girls know it's no use, and waste nothing upon her; they know well enough she will take the bribe one minute, and go and blab the next. The governesses are even afraid of her, and begin talking of the weather whenever she approaches.
But what shocks me the most, Nelly, is that she is righteous. She moans and groans, and turns up the whites (or the yellows, rather) of her eyes, and is so pious at church, and is always inveighing against "the shameful wickedness" of the school. Then she reads hymns, and is embroidering a prie-dieu for her godpapa, who is something in the church, and exceedingly rich; and she writes such insufferably long sermons, twice the length of anybody else's; and after service she begs to see Mrs. Rodwell, pour confier son cœur as she calls it, but we all know what that means, for as sure as plum-pudding on Sunday, some one is sure to be punished that same afternoon! I only wish we could find her out in anything. I really believe the entire school would rush up to the lady principal, and tell of her. But Miss Carney is far too cautious to be caught tripping! They tell me she even sleeps with her eyes open.
Let us turn from this hateful creature (I can't help hating her, Nelly) to some more agreeable subject. I will not tire you with descriptions of Miss Smiffel, the butcher's daughter, or Miss Embden, the baker's daughter, except to tell you that they have a sad time of it, and are called rare ugly names, because their papas happen to be butchers and bakers, just as if they could help it. I need not tell you, either, about Lizzy Spree, a little, merry, fidgety, laughing thing, with black eyes, who is the romp—the "bad girl" of the school. She is always playing tricks, making apple-pie beds, or sewing up the tops of our stockings, or hiding the dancing-master's shoes, or tying the cat's tail to the parrot's leg, or filling Miss Blight's bed with bread-crumbs and cockchafers, or breaking a window, or tearing her dress every day. The consequence is, she is always in punishment; but she cares no more for it than a duck cares for an umbrella. She spends all her pocket-money on crackers and detonating balls and valentines, and is always going to be expelled; only Mrs. Rodwell relents, and gives her "one chance more." The maid fell down stairs with the soup-tureen yesterday, from the fact of her strewing the kitchen-steps with marbles and orange-peel. It was too bad. We had to go without soup in consequence.
But, Nelly, you would quite love little Jessie Joy; she is the wee'st little thing you ever saw. You might hang her to your châtelaine. You would declare that she was not more than ten, and yet she was sixteen last birthday. She has a rosy round face, and little flaxen curls, exactly like a pretty doll, if you could only keep her still for a moment to look at her. She plays about the room like the sun on a looking-glass, and her whole body seems to quiver with light. I defy you to catch her, unless, perhaps, it was in the dark. We call her "pet" and "tiny."
I don't know how it is Jessie cannot be taught; and yet she is far from being an idiot, for the little thing understands; nor is she stupid, for she is quick enough to outwit us all. Still, they have never been able to teach her anything. Her eyes (I don't know what color they are) fly away like butterflies directly you attempt to catch them, and settle on all places but on her book. We think she can read, but no one is sure of it. If told to learn, she pouts her lips like cherries, until you feel inclined to bite them; and her little head swings to and fro, Nelly, like the bells on a fuchsia when set a dancing by the wind. The lady principal cannot scold her. The utmost she can do is to call her to her in an angry tone, when she takes up her little head in her two hands as if it were a bowl of milk, and kisses her gently on the forehead. This is all her punishment; and the little culprit runs back into her place as quick as a rabbit.
But if she can't read, or spell, or learn, you should only hear her sing, Nell! It is like a wild bird. She warbles every air she hears. Music seems to gush from her like water from a fountain. Once she was caught playing, and they say it sounded like the rejoicing of good spirits; but she cried when they wanted her to do it again, and has never touched the instrument since. She dances more like a fairy than a human being. And yet when Monsieur Viaulon (the French dancing-master) attempted to teach her the polka, she ran away and hid herself behind the great globe in the music-room. The truth is, her dancing has nothing of the ball-room in it. She flits about so restlessly, it makes your eyes wink to look at her. Her feet never seem happy on the ground, and I always have a curious fear when the window is opened that Jessie will fly out of it.
The girls are rather frightened at her restless ways and her strange beauty, which seem to belong more to the air than to the earth. They declare that she is a fairy changeling; and that the tale which is told of her father being shot in a duel, and of her mother dying when Jessie was born, is all a story. Jessie rarely goes home. The only person who comes to see her is an aged aunt, with a face all over lines, like a railway map. She brings her plenty of toys and plenty of sweeties; but Jessie, apparently, does not care the least about her. The only person her flighty disposition stops in its giddy career to alight upon is Amy Darling. She listens to no one else without impatience—she will play with no one else, except it is a young kitten that belongs to the cook—she will obey no one else. But then I believe, if Amy spoke to the lightning, that she would stop it.
I am so tired of scribbling, dear Nelly, that I can't write any more to-day, though I could fill a whole band-box with particulars about this place. So no more at present from your dear affectionate.
BY MISS M. S. G.
IN a former communication, we sought to awaken the more lively and practising interest of ladies generally (especially those possessed of large means and influence), in the subject of teacher-training to an extent and thoroughness of method which have hitherto been scarcely deemed requisite, especially in those portions of the country where education has been conducted too much, if we may say so, at hap-hazard. Such of our readers as have traversed various sections of our wide-spread land will realize what we mean, as they recall juvenile groups, collected or bustled together, because something must be done with them, to be coaxed, awed, or driven by a leader who occupied the post as a pis aller, or as a mere half-way house to some less wearisome or more lucrative avocation. We are not fearful here of wounding the self-love or better feelings of any truly estimable or conscientious teacher, for such we have ever found the most prompt to welcome improvement, the most open to suggestions of amendment. But perceiving, as we do, throughout the community, marked signs of a willingness, a desire to assign to instructors a more elevated position, a post of honor among the benefactors of the race, and knowing, by experience, the readiness of many to meet the requisite claims of expenditure, it is to teachers themselves, to young teachers especially, and to those aspiring to that high and responsible office, that we would now offer a few earnest, and we trust heart-stirring questions and remarks.
We would ask on whom and on what must mainly rest the position they are to hold, the character of the work to be effected? Surely, in themselves and in the disinterested and docile spirit with which it is entered on and pursued. Short of high aims and pure motives, no course can leave its valuable impress, and it is an acknowledged, even if too little credited, maxim, that they who best learn to obey and submit to lawful rule, best know how to govern. Let us therefore be permitted to persuade the young and high-spirited to remember that their time will come to take the lead, and that no premature assumption of authority or airs of control will avail for half the benefit to be derived from a teachable spirit, and quiet observing and waiting for opportunity. We know full well and practically that this simple method is capable of eliciting the most harmonious and beautiful results, and that between teachers of experience and those seeking preparation for the work, a friendship will grow of a character the most extended and the most varied in its points of interest. We will not pause to enlarge on the sad contrast to this state of things, its multiform evils—for we do not like looking on the dark side of subjects which should bring out every latent grace and virtue of the soul. Moreover, we are fully persuaded of better things, so far at least as intention and desire are concerned, yet a friendly hand may offer some warning hints of evils which are wont to creep in and mar the benefit and beauty of fulfilment.
A trite motto tells us that "manners make the man!" It is, at least, by all conceded that they are the outward garb and indication of that which is within, and that to a degree of which the actor is often unaware and unconscious. Can the young teacher then deem unimportant any measure of care in deportment, or regard as too severe a self-sacrifice the gentle and habitual control of those ebullitions of spirits, those out-of-place familiarities which we have oftentimes seen sweeping away the outguards of reverence by action, word, or look? If these are in an isolated individual annoying or unseemly, how great are their effect and potency when a sympathetic influence pervades a number met for the same purpose, and that avowedly one of the highest improvement and culture! A little true reflection on this point would, we are assured, convert many a well-meaning, but unpolished, and therefore ill-prepared young woman into the well-mannered lady, the true helper of her presiding teacher, and, in time, the consistently dignified instructress of others.
Again, we know that simplicity is ever the expression of the highest truth, of elegance, and of purity. We need not rake up classical authority, or quote the poets, to prove what makes its own way to every unsophisticated mind and heart. But would indeed that the "daughters of the land" might consider this, and reflect on St. Paul's caution, "Not the outward adorning of plaiting the hair, or of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel," ere they present themselves as examples to the young, so especially, on this point, prone to imitation and emulation. Far higher, we feel assured, would they then rise in the true esteem of their juniors, far more secure would they be of reaching and maintaining that position to which every teacher should aspire, that of feeling that in a real superiority none has the claim or the power to surpass them.
Our time and space are limited, and we do not desire to crowd on our readers too much of our own practical experience, and "notes taken from life by the way." If welcomed, however, with the sincere good-will with which they are offered, other "thoughts" may yet find utterance, and, we would fondly trust, find their counterpart in the efficient action of many an unknown young teacher, and their reflection in many a childish scholar.
THE minds of children ought to be little, if at all, tasked, till the brain's development is nearly completed, or until the age of six or seven years. And will those years be wasted? or will the future man be more likely to be deficient in mental power and capability, than one who is differently treated? Those years will not be wasted. The great book of nature is open to the infant's and the child's prying investigation; and from nature's page may be learned more useful information than is contained in all the children's books that have ever been published. But even supposing those years to have been absolutely lost, which is anything but the case, will the child be eventually a loser thereby? We contend, with our author, that he will not. Task the mind during the earlier years, and you not only expose the child to a greater risk of a disordered brain—not only, it may be, lay the foundation for a morbid excitability of brain, that may one day end in insanity—but you debilitate its bodily powers, and by so doing, to all intents and purposes, the mind will eventually be a loser in its powers and capabilities.—Dr. Robertson.
A SKETCH OF SOUTHERN LIFE.
BY PAULINE FORSYTH.
A SOUTHERN plantation lying, as so many of them do, at some distance from any town or village, presents a phase of life peculiar to itself, and very singular to one unaccustomed to it from childhood. It has not the loneliness of isolation, for each planter's house is in its way a sort of a palace, the residence of the superior authority, while at a little distance are clustered together the cabins of his retainers, sometimes in such numbers as to form almost a little village of their own. Yet the members of the family are often separated for weeks or months from all congenial companionship, excepting what they can find in each other; for, besides the distance, the state of the roads is often an insuperable obstacle to all intercourse with their far-off neighbors. Eminently social as Southerners usually are, this is no slight drawback to their enjoyment, and the arrival of the post is looked forward to as the one great weekly event to relieve the monotony of "the leaden-footed hours."
Bessie Egerton was in this respect more fortunate than many of her companions, her father's plantation being but about five miles from the village of Oxford, in South Carolina. This was only a pleasant ride when the roads were good; but there were weeks during the winter and early spring when even Bessie Egerton, general belle and favorite as she was throughout the surrounding country, had nothing but the mails to remind her that there were other interests and more stirring events in the world than those of which her home was the centre.
Mr. Egerton was not one of those wealthy planters whose income rivals that of the merchant princes of the North, and would be a pretty fortune for a person of moderate wants; but he was in comfortable circumstances, and Bessie's home was a very pleasant one. The house stood on a gentle slope, and with its wide verandas covered with roses, jessamine, and honey suckles, and overhung by live-oak trees, from whose gnarled branches hung drooping long fringes of the gray moss, giving them the venerable appearance of age, it suggested ideas of coolness and shade, the peculiar comforts of that part of the country.
It was in the latter part of February; the early spring was already coming on with the laggard steps of one sure of its dominion, and therefore in no haste to assert it. The rose-bushes, that had but a few weeks before shaken off their summer's burden of leaves and flowers, gave tokens that they were about to take it up once more, and the yellow jessamine in the woods, with those many beautiful, but as yet unnamed vines and flowers that adorn the swamps and marshes of the South, had already begun to awaken from their winter's slumber.
Bessie had been busy all the morning. Her mother was a confirmed invalid, and upon the eldest daughter of the house were devolved all the active duties that belong to the mistress of a plantation—much heavier and more arduous than those of a Northern housekeeper, requiring the exercise of more thought and discretion. After breakfast, with her basket of keys, that invariable accompaniment of a Southern housekeeper, she went to the store-room to give out the dinner for the family. There, after having measured out the flour and spices, and counted the eggs, and portioned off the vegetables required, she stood to see that everything was replaced in its proper order. Her next visit was to the smoke-house for the meat, and there she was often required to superintend the distribution of certain portions of it, both to the house and field-servants on her father's place. Then giving a scrutinizing glance at the poultry-yard as she passed, she sought the spring-house, which was a dairy also, and remained there for an hour overlooking the operations of the dairy-woman. From thence she bent her steps to the negro-quarter, where there were two or three sick servants, of whose condition her mother wished to have a particular account. To obtain an idea of their ailments and their needs was the work of no little time, for to be sparing of words is not a characteristic of either the ignorant or the suffering. She ended her duties here by a visit to her nurse, now a bedridden old woman, and, after talking with her for a little while, and reading to her, as was Bessie's daily practice, she returned to what was called, par excellence, "the house."
When she entered her mother's room to give a detailed account of all that she had done, she was greeted with—
"Bessie, dear, I want you to cut out directly a shirt and a pair of trowsers for Peter. He has just been in to say that his old ones are not fit to wear to church, and, if he don't have some new ones, he cannot go next Sunday; and, as it is communion-day, I do not like to have him compelled to stay away by any neglect of mine."
"But he ought to have given us a little more time, I think," said Bessie. "To-day is Friday."
"Yes, dear; but Dinah can make the shirt, and you can have Elsie, your little maid, to help you with the trowsers. She is quite a neat seamstress."
"But I told Elsie to sew on my new dress to-day. I intended to wear it next Sunday."
"You have plenty of old ones that you can wear, my dear. Peter must be attended to first in this case, I think."
Bessie was so accustomed to be the hands to do the bidding of her mother's thoughtful and considerate head and heart, that she made no farther objection to complying with Mrs. Egerton's suggestion. Since she was fifteen, she had been in the habit of cutting out, under her mother's supervision, not only nearly all her own clothing, including her dresses, that very abstruse and difficult portion of female attire, but also the clothing for all the servants, men, women, and children, on her father's place; so that the particular portion of the work assigned her was quickly and skilfully performed. But, pressed for time as they were, she had also to assist in the sewing, and she was busily employed with her needle, preparing for Peter his Sunday habiliments, when the noise of a carriage driving up to the door attracted her attention.
"It is Nannie and Virginia Lanning," said Bessie to her mother, after a glance from the window, and she ran to welcome her guests.
"Now, I hope you have come to stay with me two or three days," said Bessie, after the first greetings were over, with the hospitable warmth common to the class to which she belonged; an invitation to pass the night at their houses being usually the shortest time to which a Southern planter restricts his invitations, equivalent to the "Stay and take tea with us," of the Northerners.
"Yes," replied Nannie, "we have come to pass Sunday with you, and the idea of going to church once more is quite a treat; it is three months since we have been off our place. The roads have been so bad, and Prince got lame, and pa, who thinks almost as much of his horses as he does of us, would neither sell him and buy another, nor allow him to be used till he was quite well; so that we have really been prisoners. It is a great favor that he allowed us to drive with him so far, but we promised to come very slowly. We have been nearly six hours coming these ten or eleven miles."
"Don't you often feel very lonely?" asked Bessie.
"Yes, indeed. Sometimes for two or three weeks we do not see a human being out of our own family; and it comes very hard at first, after we have been travelling about all summer; but it is astonishing how soon we get accustomed to it. We have occasional visitors, though, that break in on the monotony, if they do nothing else. You know we have no tavern within twelve or fifteen miles of us, and, as father has the largest house in the neighborhood, travellers are often directed there to pass the night, and sometimes they prove to be very agreeable people."
"Yes," said Virginia, "there was a lawyer from Philadelphia travelling through the country on business, that Nannie declares she fell in love with; and then there was a Yankee quack doctor that stayed with us nearly a week, and amused us very much. He took our house for a tavern, and ordered the servants about, and made himself quite at home. He told father that he thought that he had rather a tumble-down sort of a place, but, if he would just spry up a little and go to work, he might fix up considerable."
"And," continued Nannie, "when he was going away, he pulled out an old pocket-book and said, 'Wall, Squire, what's the damage?' And when pa told him, 'Nothing, that it was a private house, but that he was very happy to afford travellers the shelter they could procure nowhere else,' the man looked quite confounded. 'Wall, really,' said he, 'ef I ain't beat out. I hadn't the least idea that this wasn't a public house; but I thought you had a dreadful shiftless way of doin' business. Why, there was enough on your table at dinner to last our folks to hum for a hull week. But, I must say, you've treated me fust rate; and, of you ever get up as far as old Connecticut, and will come to Peterboro', just ask for Isa Jeffries, and I will do as much for you.' And he went to see if his horse was ready; but he soon came back with a bottle in his hand. 'Here, Squire,' said he, 'that youngest darter of your'n has a very peaked sort of look. Ef she will take some of my Electron here, it will do her a sight of good.' And so he left the bottle for Virginia. Poor Virginia! It was quite a shock to her to hear herself called peaked-looking, especially since Mr. Chapman has persuaded her that she was sylph-like."
"It only shows with what different eyes different people look on the same thing," said Virginia, with philosophic composure. "And now let us go to your mother."
"You seem to be very busy, Bessie," said Nannie, after they were seated in Mrs. Egerton's room. "What are you doing?"
"Making some clothes for Peter, our waiter. He is something of a dandy, and made the discovery this morning that he had nothing fit to wear to church next Sunday, so we have been a little hurried about it."
"Oh, we can help you after dinner; and, together, we can soon finish them," said Virginia.
At dinner, Bessie asked her father if he could not send Peter to the post-office that afternoon.
"Why, Bessie," said her father, "I sent him for you yesterday, and I cannot conveniently spare him to go every day. You seem to have a post-office mania lately, coming on at regular intervals."
"Yes, father," said Agnes, Bessie's younger sister; "ever since the 'Lady's Book' began to come so mysteriously, Bessie is never easy till she gets it; and I want it quite as much. Do, please, send for it."
Of course, Mr. Egerton could not resist his children's entreaties, and Bessie had the satisfaction of seeing Peter set out for Oxford soon after dinner.
Towards the close of the afternoon, Bessie proposed that the work now nearly completed should be left to Elsie to finish, while they went out to enjoy the fresh, soft air, full of the sunshine and life of the early spring.
"Don't you think the other side of the house is less sunny?" suggested Nannie, as Bessie seated herself on the green bank by the house, with Agnes standing at her side.
"This is much pleasanter, I think, and the sun will soon be away. But take my parasol, dear; I have a bonnet, and do not need it."
"Oh no, thank you; I am going to finish this story, and could not trouble myself to hold it. Virginia and I pride ourselves on complexions that neither sun nor wind can affect."
And, in truth, their clear, dark, colorless, yet healthful complexions gave to their features the firm, unimpressible look of finely polished marble.
"I will tell you," said Agnes, "why sister always chooses this seat. We can see Peter from here long before he reaches the gate."
"Then," said Nannie, "I quite agree with her in thinking it decidedly the pleasantest. I am as impatient as she can be to see the 'Book;' but I candidly confess that the fashions are its chief attraction to me. It is a great thing to know exactly how other people dress, so as to be sure, when you come out of your winter's shell, that you are not making a fright of yourself."
"Pa and I like the stories," said Agnes.
"So do I," said Virginia.
"But ma likes the serious part of it," continued Agnes, "and Bessie the poetry, especially if it is marked. I see her crying over it sometimes."
"Oh, Agnes!" said Bessie, while her face flushed suddenly.
"I would like to know what all those blushes mean," said Nannie; "whenever we mention the 'Lady's Book,' I see Bessie's cheeks growing red. What can be the association of ideas that produces such a remarkable effect?"
"You know Wallace Cuthbert?" said Agnes.
"Agnes, hush; you do not know anything about it," interrupted Bessie.
"Yes, dear, I know Wallace Cuthbert. Go on," said Nannie, encouragingly.
"Do, just let me tell this," said Agnes, too eager to impart what she considered her wonderfully acute conjecture to show her usual deference to her elder sister. "You know, Wallace Cuthbert asked pa if he might not write occasionally to Bessie when he went away, and pa would not consent to it. But ever since he first went to Philadelphia the 'Lady's Book' has been coming regularly, and I have no doubt he sends it, and marks the poetry, too."
"Now, Agnes, I hope you have finished your revelations," said Bessie, a little impatiently. "Of course," continued she, turning to Nannie, "this is a mere conjecture of Agnes's, and a very childish one."
"On the contrary, I think it a very shrewd one; it is putting cause and effect together in a wise and discreet way that is entirely satisfactory to me. For one, I feel myself under great obligations to Wallace Cuthbert, and intend to tell him, when I see him, that he could not have chosen a more judicious means if he wished 'to keep his memory green,' and connect pleasant associations with thoughts of himself. Pa has promised me that, when I am eighteen, I may take the 'Lady's Book' for myself, and I am quite impatient for my next birthday to come."
"See, there is Peter!" said Virginia, who had, with her usual quiet sagacity, seated herself so that she could catch the first glimpse of him. "He seems to be waving something."
"Oh, he has brought it!" said Agnes, springing up joyfully. "I am so glad! I was afraid it would not come before Monday, because, when you wait and watch so for anything, you are almost sure to be disappointed."
"Peter seems to understand what we are expecting, and to be as delighted as any of us," said Nannie.
"Oh, yes," replied Agnes; "he knows how glad we are to get it; besides, he feels sure that it comes from Wallace Cuthbert, and he has always been very fond of him. He said to me one day, after the 'Book' first began to come regularly, and when we were all wondering about it, I am certain sure, Miss Agnes, Mas'r Wallace has a finger in dat pie.' That gave me my first suspicions about Mr. Cuthbert; and I asked pa about it, and he said, 'Very likely.' Peter says, too, that if 'Miss Bessie will only marry Mas'r Wallace, and take him for her head waiter, his earthly hopes will be suspended.'"
"Agnes, how can you repeat such nonsense?" said Bessie, in a state of desperate confusion.
"I like to hear little people talk," said Nannie; "a great deal of useful information can be obtained from them. You seem to have a wonderful faculty, Agnes, for putting this and that together; but I have a little sister at home that is almost equal to you."
"Give it to me, Peter," said Virginia, springing forward to take the offered prize; "the others seem to be absorbed in such an interesting discussion that they will not care about it."
But, notwithstanding this assertion, the cover was no sooner torn off, which Bessie took an opportunity, when unobserved, to slip into her pocket, than the four heads were crowded together over the engravings and fashion plate with an eagerness and delight that it would be difficult to express. For the first few minutes they all talked at once, exclaiming, "Isn't this pretty?" "Isn't it lovely?" "I wonder what it means!" "Let's read the story about it."
"Do look, what an odd fashion! It is pretty, though. I mean to make my new dress so."
"See here, girls," said Mr. Egerton, leaning over the veranda, "if you go on in that way I shall have to make the same rule the Scotch laird did with his thirteen daughters—that not more than seven of them should speak at a time. What has caused this outburst of enthusiasm?"
"The 'Lady's Book,' pa," said Bessie. "Look at that picture; isn't it beautiful?"
"It is, indeed," replied he, taking the "Book." "How much they have improved lately in the art of engravings! Why, when I was a boy, a picture like that would have been considered wonderfully fine, and would have been carefully laid away and preserved as a rare treasure; and now they are flying about on the wings of the post-office department into the most distant parts and by-places of the country. They must be of no small advantage in cultivating the taste of the community, coming as they do to many persons who see but few other books during the year. Here, Bessie, you had better take the 'Book' to your mother; she is always pleased to see it, and this evening we will have a family reading party."
Excusing herself to her companions, Bessie hastened to comply with her father's suggestion, but returned with the welcome arrival after a few minutes, when an animated discussion was held over the fashion-plates and the descriptions of them. The conversation was serious and earnest. No assembly of divines ever debated a knotty point in theology with more intent gravity than these young girls wasted over the questions as to whether bodices, which were evidently going out, were not in the main superior to round waists, which were coming in; whether basques were likely to be a permanent fashion, or a mere fleeting freak of fancy, was also warmly discussed; and the question of trailing skirts, or those just long enough to touch the ground, might have caused a schism, if Bessie, with great presence of mind, had not changed the conversation to the arrangement of the hair. Here all differences were swept away by the unanimous agreement that bandeaux of curls, à la Jenny Lind, was a much prettier and easier way of dressing the head than any other.
A summons to tea interrupted all farther discussion. After tea, the whole family assembled, as was their custom, in Mrs. Egerton's room. Mr. Egerton, without his hat, which many Southerners seem to think as useful in the house as out of it, was seated in the large arm-chair by the side of a blazing fire, which the chilliness of the evenings still rendered necessary; Nannie heaped up the cushions on the lounge, a home-made, chintz-covered affair, and made herself perfectly comfortable; the other two girls, constituting themselves the readers for the rest, seated themselves by the centre-table; while Agnes sometimes sat on the bed by her mother, and sometimes hung over the reader, to make sure with her own eyes that they were scrupulously giving each word—skipping was, in her eyes, a most unjustifiable and unpardonable act.
"There is still enough to occupy us to-morrow evening," said Bessie, as she closed the "Book;" "but it is time now for mother to go to sleep."
As she bent over to kiss her mother for good-night, Mrs. Egerton whispered—
"That was a very cunning plan Wallace hit upon, dear, to evade your father's prohibition about letters. He gives us all so much pleasure that we do not think of objecting to it. Don't you think he must be a very designing sort of a man?"
"We don't know at all that it is Wallace," said Bessie, stoutly.
"We shall see what we shall see. Has he marked anything?"
"There are a few foolish verses marked; but I do not know who did it," replied Bessie.
"Well, leave the 'Book' with me; I would like to read them."
That was very hard. Bessie had only had time to glance hastily over some lines signed W. C., and speaking in woful strains of the pangs of absence and hope deferred, but breathing the most devoted constancy and love. These verses which, in her reckless confusion, she had stigmatized as foolish, she was longing to read over and over in the silence of her own room. But she would not, for the whole of Carolina, have expressed her wish. She quietly laid the "Book" on her mother's bed, placed the candles near her, and retired with her companions.
"Did you hear, my dear," said Mrs. Egerton to her husband, when they were left alone, "what Mr. Littleton, who has just returned from Philadelphia, says of Wallace Cuthbert—about the high estimation in which the professors of the university hold him? One of them told Mr. Littleton that he regarded Mr. Cuthbert as one of their most promising students, and that he bid fair to become one of the first physicians in the country."
"No, I have not heard it before; but I always had a good opinion of him. I refused to allow him to write to Bessie when he went away, three years ago, because they were both too young, I thought, to entangle themselves in any way. Bessie was hardly sixteen, and he but four or five years older. And he had not only his profession to acquire, but also to establish himself; for he has little else than his own talents to depend upon. Besides, I did not think Bessie cared much about him; she did not appear to."
"I think she always preferred him; but her preference was not a very decided one when he went away," said Mrs. Egerton. "Indeed, she was too young to know herself exactly whether she loved him or not; but it has happened that in each one of these monthly souvenirs that Mr. Cuthbert has been sending, there has been some pathetic story or touching little poem, by marking which he has contrived to indicate his own feelings, and not only preserve, but deepen Bessie's interest in him. I can perceive, I think, that her liking for him has grown stronger almost day by day. It is very clear that she cares for no one else. Here were George Musgrave and Robert Linn, two of the richest and finest young men about, whom Bessie dismissed without a moment's hesitation."
"Well," said Mr. Egerton, "I am perfectly willing to trust Bessie to make her own choice, now that she is old enough to judge for herself. We will leave the matter to time to settle."
Time justified Mrs. Egerton's previsions. Wallace Cuthbert did not disappoint the high expectations that had been formed of him, and was soon able to claim Bessie's hand as a reward for his assiduity and devotion to his profession.
"I think you may thank the 'Lady's Book' for Bessie's constancy," said Mrs. Egerton one day to Mr. Cuthbert. "If it had not been for some such suggestive memorial, I am afraid she would hardly have resisted all the attacks made upon her."
"Very likely," said Mr. Cuthbert, smiling. But, though his words expressed such proper humility, in his inmost heart, with that generous self-appreciation so unusual perhaps in his modest sex, he attributed the love and the patient waiting of Bessie Egerton entirely to his own peculiar merits.
Peter's "earthly hopes were suspended."
THOSE accustomed to the gay and busy life of a city know little of the ennui that generally attends a rural life. Those who live in the bosom of nature, as it were—in the very midst of God's beautiful works—ought not to feel wearisome; and they would not if their eyes were open to the interesting phenomena that continually go on around them. Every season of the year, every day, nay every hour, brings about some instructive change on the face of Nature; and there is no more interesting and improving pursuit than the observation of natural phenomena. To watch the opening of the buds, the leafing of the trees, the blooming of the flowers, the ripening of the fruit, and the decay and death which autumn brings, is of itself an interesting occupation; but when we connect these various events with their proximate causes, and endeavor to trace those general laws by whose operation they are regulated, then the study becomes a truly philosophical as well as a pleasant one. We may also gather spiritual wisdom from such contemplations. Our beloved Saviour sought to illustrate his teachings by a reference to the phenomena of plants; we are directed to "Consider the lilies how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; yet I say unto you that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." Every reader of this page may have "considered" the lilies and admired the beauty of their various parts; but in the passage which has been quoted there is, perhaps, a deeper meaning than many have guessed at. Consider the lilies how they grow; examine their structure, and their beautiful mode of development; see how the fair form of this beauteous flower rises, "like a resurrection from the dead," out of its scaly, withered-like bulbous root, perfects its fruit, and then decays. To know how the lily grows is to know the most important principles of vegetable physiology. It is a gratifying fact that the physical sciences are now becoming important branches of general education, and no department is more popular than botany. It is a science peculiarly adapted for ladies; the objects whose purpose it is to investigate are beautiful, and esteemed by every one—a striking contrast to the forbidding directions and dirty experiments which are necessary in the prosecution of many other departments of natural science; even Entomology—the study of insects—requires the bottling of poor beetles in spirituous solutions, the pinning of innocent moths and gay butterflies, and other cruel operations, at which every kind-hearted woman ought to shudder.
In pursuing botanical investigations, even very slightly, it is necessary to form a herbarium, or collection of dried specimens of plants. In these collections much taste may be displayed in the arrangement, as well as in the careful drying of the specimens; and the writer of these observations—a public teacher of botany to extensive classes of both ladies and gentlemen—can testify to the fact that the herbaria formed by ladies are, as a general rule, pre-eminent for neatness and artistic beauty in the arrangement of the specimens. It is difficult, however, for ladies who have not the benefit of a teacher, nor friends devoted to botanical pursuits, to get an acquaintance with the method of preserving plants properly; and it is therefore deemed advisable to offer a few observations on this subject on the present occasion, before going on to consider the characteristics of the Spring Flora.
The process of preparing botanical specimens may be shortly described to be, the pressure of plants between sheets of soft absorbent paper for the purpose of extracting their moisture without destroying their beauty, and thus enabling them to be kept for an indefinite period in an arranged form, for future reference and study. When well dried, plants may be kept for hundreds of years; they are almost as indestructible as books, if properly cared for.
German botanists excel in the beauty, and well-preserved specific characters, of their specimens; as is well evidenced by the beautiful specimens which they send to this country. One reason of their success is no doubt to be attributed to the very soft paper (made from woollen rags) which they use in the process; but it is no doubt due, in a larger measure, to the great care which they take, and the time and patience which they bestow upon their specimens.
Plants ought, in all cases where practicable, to be gathered when dry; or, if moist with rain or dew when gathered, they ought to be exposed to the atmosphere of a dry room for an hour or two previous to being put into papers. For the conveyance of specimens a tin box, called a vasculum, is used, which prevents the plants withering during a long journey, and otherwise protects them. Some of our readers may not think the japanned tin vasculum a very elegant accoutrement, but it is quite usual for ladies to carry such along the streets of Modern Athens, where, through the labors of Professor Balfour and others, botany has, of late years, become of high repute as a feminine accomplishment.
In proceeding to dry the plants, procure a quantity of soft blotting-paper. Four or five sheets are to be laid down on the table (each folded within the other, as in a ream), and on the uppermost one the specimen is to be laid. Spread it out carefully, separating the branches and leaves so that they do not overlap; and after this is done, a slip of paper or "label" put beside the specimen, indicating its botanical name, the locality where collected, and the date when; then another four or five sheets, folded as before, are to be laid over the plant. On the surface of this latter layer of paper, another specimen or specimens may be spread—an additional layer of four or five sheets being placed over them—and so on until all the specimens collected are spread out. A board of the same size as the paper is to be placed above the uppermost sheet, and on the top of that a heavy weight, fifty or sixty pounds. A bundle of large volumes will serve the purpose of a weight, if no better is at hand. Some recommend a screw-press for pressing the plants, instead of a weight; but presses of all kinds are objectionable, as the shrinking of the plants renders the pressure unequal from the want of elasticity, which is so easily attained by means of an ordinary weight. After the specimens have been allowed to stand in this manner twenty-four hours or so, they should be taken carefully out; such leaves as are disarranged should be spread out properly, and the whole put into dry paper, in the same way as in the previous operation. The moist paper from which they are taken should be spread before the fire to dry; it will be ready for use another time. The plants are to be supplied with dry paper, in this manner, once every twenty-four hours, until they have become quite dry, when they may be taken out and put apart in single sheets of gray paper.
The operation of drying the specimens has been here described, but that of mounting them on white paper is equally important. Gum Arabic is generally used for this purpose, but it is very bad; does not adhere sufficiently, and thus allows the specimens to spring off from the sheets. Fine glue, prepared in a very thin state, is the best material for fixing the plants. The melted glue should, when very hot, be spread over the specimen carefully with a brush, a sheet of dirty absorbent paper lying beneath the specimen to prevent the glue soiling anything, and then the specimen is to be put down upon the sheet of white paper previously laid out for its reception. A towel is then taken to press the different branches or leaves gently down upon the surface of the paper. After this is done, a few sheets of drying paper are to be laid over the specimen, and on the top of this another sheet of white paper for the reception of another glued specimen, and so on until all are completed. A board is then to be placed over the whole, and a weight, in order to press all parts of the plants equally to the sheets of paper, until they are made firm by the drying of the glue. After the specimens have stood in this manner a few hours, they are to be taken out, their names, localities, and dates written at the bottom of the sheet, and the whole arranged in such manner as the possessor may think proper. Any refractory stems or branches that have sprung up from the paper in spite of the glue, may be fastened down by slips of gummed paper. The marginal portion of postage-stamp sheets supplies these to those who can obtain them in sufficient quantity.
The plants of each genus are to be put together inside of a double sheet of paper, with their generic name written at the bottom of the sheet upon the outside at the left hand corner; for instance, the pansy, the sweet violet, the dog violet, the yellow mountain violet, &c., are all to be put inside of one double sheet, the generic name "VIOLA" being written upon the corner of it. This is to facilitate references.
We now proceed to point out what spring flowers are likely to reward the exertions of those who go in search of them among the woods and fields. And first of all the primrose and the cowslip demand attention as general favorites. The wild plant, with its modest flower of pale yellow hue (which has given rise to the name of a tint known as primrose yellow), is probably familiar to every one, but it may not be so well known that the gay polyanthus of our florists, and the rich double-flowered primroses of every hue which decorate our gardens, all owe their existence to the wild plant as their original stock. The cowslip, although local in its geographical distribution, is abundant in many localities, and is associated right pleasantly with cowslip wine. Beneath the hedges in early spring-time there is a pretty little plant which seldom catches the eye of the passer-by; it is aptly styled the "gloryless," for its little flowers are of greenish-yellow hue, and so small as to be inconspicuous to any one save the botanical explorer. When examined, however, it is an object of great, though simple beauty. It sends up a delicate stem, which bears a little rosette of divided leaves, and from amidst this rises the flower-stalk, pale and slender, bearing on its summit a compact head of a few tiny showless flowers. Its botanical name is Adoxa Moschatellina.
It is summer time before the buttercups begem the pastures; but one member of the family already welcomes us by hedge-rows; it is the Lesser Celandine of Wordsworth, which received a special favor from his pen in the dedication of a pretty little poem. The Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus Ficaria) grows abundantly on wet shady banks, and produces a profusion of its bright glossy golden flowers, which, in fading, assume a pure white hue. This ranks as one of the economical plants of Britain; and humble as it is, it has been brought forward as a substitute for that unfortunate vegetable, the potato. Plants of the Lesser Celandine, raised from roots which had been gathered in Silesia by the Rev. Mr. Wade in 1848, were grown in the Edinburgh Botanic Garden, and exhibited by Mr. M'Nab, the curator of the garden, to the Botanical Society. These roots had been exposed over a large extent of country in Austria by heavy rains, and the common people gathered them and used them as an article of food. Their sudden appearance gave rise to various conjectures as to their nature and origin, and in the Austrian journals they were spoken of as if they had fallen from the sky. The "small bodies" (roots) were used as peas by the inhabitants. Either in a dried state, or when fresh, they are found, on boiling, to be very amylaceous; that is, they contain much starchy matter. There is no acridity in the roots even in a fresh state, which is a remarkable fact when we take into consideration the acrid and poisonous nature of the entire race of plants allied to it in structure, viz., the Ranunculaceæ, to which order it belongs. For instance, one of these plants, the Indian Aconite, is thus spoken of by Professor Balfour:—
"The root of the plant possesses extreme acrimony, and very marked narcotic properties. It is said to be the most poisonous of the genus, and as such has been employed in India. Wallich says that in the Turraye, or low forest-lands which skirt the approach to Nipal, and among the lower range of hills, especially at a place called Hetounra, quantities of the bruised root were thrown into wells and reservoirs, for the purpose of poisoning our men and cattle. By the vigilant precaution of our troops, however, these nefarious designs were providentially frustrated. In the northern parts of Hindoostan, arrows poisoned with the root are used for destroying tigers. The root, according to Rayle, is sent down into the plains, and used in the cure of chronic rheumatism, under the name of Metha tellia. Roots, apparently of this plant, were sent by Dr. Christison from Madras under the name of Nabee. Pereira made a series of experiments on the roots which had been kept for ten years, and still retained their poisonous properties. The roots were administered to animals in the form of a powder, and spirituous and watery extract. The spirituous extract was the most energetic, the effects produced being difficulty of breathing, weakness, and subsequent paralysis, which generally showed itself first in the posterior extremities, vertigo, convulsions, dilatation of the pupil, and death apparently from asphyxia."
One grain of the alcoholic extract killed a rabbit in nine and a half minutes, and two grains introduced into the jugular vein of a strong dog caused death in three minutes.
This is the general character of the crowfoots, and they are indeed the most destructive cattle poisons that infect our pastures; it is a curious fact, therefore, that one of them should be so harmless and so nutritious as we have seen the Lesser Celandine to be; and a still more curious fact that Linnæus, the father of naturalists, should have thought that agriculturists should endeavor to extirpate this pretty flower, not only as acrid and poisonous, but as injurious to all plants growing near it.
BY MISS M. H. BUTT.
YES, there is beauty in this world of ours. In looking throughout Nature, we see its impress everywhere. At early morn, wander forth to the verdant fields, mark the flowers of every tint, and inhale their perfume. When Spring dawns, see the trees laden with delicate blossoms, foretelling a plentiful harvest; watch the tall grass waving so gracefully as the zephyrs sport there. Surely such a sight is beautiful.
Stop for a moment and list to the murmuring of the streams as they skip on joyfully; watch the pearly bells which dance upon their brow all sparkling and bright. Look above, and view the thousand birds on gay wing, singing so merrily, welcoming the dawn of Spring, and chanting a lay as a requiem to the departure of Winter. Look around still, and view the myriads of insects sporting in the sunlight or sipping nectar from flowers. Oh, is not beauty there?
When Night comes forth with spangled robes and diadem of gems upon her brow, while each planet and star with tiny harps welcome her coming, touching those gentle chords, the echo of which glides like a bright meteor to earth, charming the very soul—is this not beautiful? Or, when spirits from dream-land watch by our couch during the hours of repose, painting scenes to enchant us—are they not beautiful?
Nor are all these scenes alone lovely. There is that which hath greater beauty: it is woman. She stands forth, like some brilliant star, to guide man through the path of life and cheer his way. Whether she be in the lofty or lowly walks of life, if she possess certain mental qualifications and traits of character, she is beautiful. Her beauty does not consist alone in the bright flashing eye, which seems to speak the sentiments of her heart; it depends not upon the graceful form or gorgeous equipage; it is her mind, well cultivated and endowed with all those intellectual qualifications, which will make her a brilliant star, and which will enable her to enlighten those with whom she may become conversant. It may be found, also, in her heart, one which possesses all those fine and exquisite feelings whereby she can sympathize with the sufferings of others and minister to their wants. Woman holds a dignified position in life, and she should cultivate all those traits which will cause her to be the very pillar of the society in which she moves. Yes, woman is truly beautiful; she is earth's greatest ornament; of her too much cannot be said. In whatever light we view her, she is lovely.
Although Nature possesses so much beauty, Art has also her share, for she endeavors to copy her works and invest them with beauty, as one has said of man—
Look at the artist, who toils day after day upon a painting which he has copied from Nature; he endeavors to paint the flowers with accuracy, give that exquisite emerald hue to the leaves of the trees, the same tints to the horizon, and that gorgeous light to the sun. Why? He saw beauty in Nature, and desired to imitate it. The sculptor works with all his skill upon the bust of some celebrated person, all his power is employed; he wishes to delineate every feature with accuracy, and determines, if possible, to accomplish it. Soon he has the gratification of seeing the soulless and once rugged block of marble transformed into an image of symmetry and beauty.
Is there not great pleasure to be felt while beholding works of art? We can but admire and love the fruits of genius. It is very true that there are many who can look upon the works of art, still no effect will be produced; yet a person of nice perception and correct taste could gaze for hours upon them, and see each time something to admire. It is so in Nature even. Many might walk forth on a lovely morning when Spring first smiles, yet see no beauty whatever, but merely cast a careless eye upon all around. One may see much to admire in the storm-cloud which rises darkly o'er the sea, while streaks of lightning dive 'neath the briny waves, and the peals of thunder rattle furiously; we may have feelings of awe, yet, at the same time, see sublimity, and in our hearts we exclaim, "How beautiful!"
Yes, beauty dwelleth everywhere; from the tiny flower which blooms, to the stupendous heavens at night lighted with innumerable stars, being the impress of the One who created all things.
BY MRS. MERRIFIELD.
ORNAMENT, although not an integral part of dress, is so intimately connected with it that we must devote a few words to the subject.
Under the general term of ornament, we shall include bows of ribbon, artificial flowers, feathers, jewels, lace, fringes, and trimming of all kinds. Some of these articles appear to be suited to one period of life, some to another. Jewels, for instance, though suitable to middle age, seem misplaced on youth, which should always be characterized by simplicity of apparel; while flowers, which are so peculiarly adapted to youth, are unbecoming to those advanced in years: in the latter case, there is contrast without harmony—it is like uniting May with December.
The great principle to be observed with regard to ornament is that it should be appropriate, and appear designed to answer some useful purpose. A brooch, or a bow of ribbon, for instance, should fasten some part of the dress; a gold chain should support a watch or an eye-glass. Trimmings are useful to mark the borders or edges of the different parts of the dress, and in this light they add to the variety, while by their repetition they conduce to the regularity of the ornamentation.
The subject of economy in dress, an essential object with many persons, now claims our attention. We venture to offer a few remarks on this head. Our first recommendation is to have but few dresses at a time, and those extremely good. If we have but few dresses, we wear them, and wear them out while they are in fashion; but, if we have many dresses at once, some of them become quite old-fashioned before we have done with them. If we are rich enough to afford the sacrifice, the old-fashioned dress is got rid of; if not, we must be content to appear in a fashion that has long been superseded, and we look as if we had come out of the tombs, or as if one of our ancestors had stepped out of her picture-frame and again walked the earth.
As to the economy of selecting the best material for dresses, we argue thus: Every dress must be lined and made up, and we pay as much for making and lining an inferior article as we do for one of the best quality. Now, a good silk or merino will wear out two bad ones, therefore one good dress, lining and making, will cost less than two inferior ones, with the expenses of lining and making them. In point of appearance, also, there is no comparison between the two; the good dress will look well to the last, while one of inferior quality will soon look shabby. When a good silk dress has become too shabby to be worn longer as a dress, it becomes, when cut up, useful for a variety of purposes, whereas an inferior silk, or one purely ornamental, is, when left off, good for nothing.
Plain dresses, that is to say, those of a single color, and without a pattern, are more economical, as well as more quiet in their appearance, than those of various colors. They are also generally less expensive, because something is always paid for the novelty of the fashion; besides, colored and figured dresses bear the date on the face of them as plainly as if it was there in printed characters; the ages of dress fabrics are known by the pattern, therefore dresses of this description should be put on as soon as purchased, and worn out at once, or they will appear old-fashioned. There is another reason why dresses of various colors are less economical than others. Where there are several colors, they may not all be equally fast, and, if only one of them fades, the dress will lose its beauty. Trimmings are not economical; besides their cost in the first instance, they become shabby before the dress, and, if removed, they generally leave a mark where they have been, and so spoil the appearance of the dress.
Dresses made of one kind of material only are more durable than those composed of two, as, for instance, of cotton and silk, of cotton and worsted, or of silk and worsted. When the silk is merely thrown on the face of the material, it soon wears off. This is also the case in those woollen or cotton goods which have a silken stripe.
The question of economy also extends to colors, some of which are much more durable than others. For this we can give no rule, except that drabs and other "quaker colors," as they are frequently called, are amongst the most permanent of all colors. For other colors, we must take the word of the draper. There is no doubt, however, that the most durable colors are the cheapest in the end. In the selection of colors, the expense is not always a criterion; something must be paid for fashion and novelty, and perhaps for the cost of the dye. The newest and most expensive colors are not always those which last the longest.
It is not economical to have the dresses made in the extremity of the fashion, because such soon become remarkable; but the fashions should be followed at such a distance that the wearer may not attract the epithet of old-fashioned.
We conclude this part of our subject with a few suggestions relative to the selection of different styles and materials of dress.
The style of dress should be adapted to the age of the wearer. As a general rule, we should say that in youth the dress should be simple and elegant, the ornaments being flowers. In middle age, the dress may be of rich materials, and more splendid in its character; jewels are the appropriate ornaments. In the decline of life, the materials of which the dress is composed may be equally rich, but with less vivacious colors; the tertiaries and broken colors are particularly suitable, and the character of the whole costume should be quiet, simple, and dignified. The French, whose taste in dress is so far in advance of our own, say that ladies who are fifty years old should neither wear gay colors nor dresses of slight materials, flowers, feathers, or much jewelry; that they should cover their hair, wear high dresses, and long sleeves.
Tall ladies may wear flounces and tucks, but they are less appropriate for short persons. As a general rule, vertical stripes make persons appear taller than they really are, but horizontal stripes have a contrary effect. The latter are not admissible in garment fabrics, "since, crossing the person, the pattern quarrels with all the motions of the human figure, as well as with the form of the long folds in the skirts of the garment. For this reason, large and pronounced checks, however fashionable, are often in bad taste, and interfere with the graceful arrangement of drapery." Is it to show their entire contempt for the principles of design that our manufacturers introduced last year not only horizontal stripes of conspicuous colors, but checks and plaids of immense size, as autumnal fashions for dress fabrics? We had hoped that the ladies would show the correctness of their taste by their disapproval of these unbecoming designs, but the prevalence of the fashion at the present time is another evidence of the triumph of fashion over good taste.
A white and light-colored dress makes the wearers appear larger, while a black or dark dress causes them to appear smaller than they actually are. A judicious person will therefore avail herself of these known effects, by adopting the style of dress most suitable to her stature.
To sum up in a few words our impressions on this subject, we should say that the best style of dress is that which, being exactly adapted to the climate and the individual, is at once modest, quiet, and retiring, harmonious in color and decoration, and of good materials.
We conclude with the following admirable extract from Tobin's "Honeymoon," which we earnestly recommend to the attention of our fair readers:—
"I REMEMBER," says Mr. St. John, "once seeing a Falstaff fasten his Kashmire, six or seven yards long, to a door-handle, and having gone with the other extremity to the opposite side of his court-yard, began to wind his huge form into it with as much gravity and decorum as if he were performing a pious mystery. He had a peculiar theory as to the position of every fold, and if he failed in arranging them exactly, would unwind himself again with a rapid rotary motion, his hands raised in the air. The operation, with all its vicissitudes, generally lasted about half an hour; and I have rarely seen a magnificent Effendi, without thinking of how he must have looked whilst putting on his shawl."
WE do not present our readers the following as model cottages; but we give them a model "Dairy Building" and a model "Piggery." They are from C. M. Saxton's work on "Rural Architecture."
This building is one and a half stories high, with a broad, spreading roof of 45° pitch; the ground plan is 10 feet between joists, and the posts 16 feet high. An ice-house is at one end, and a wood-shed at the opposite end, of the same size. This building is supposed to be erected near the milking-sheds of the farm, and in contiguity to the feeding-troughs of the cows, or the piggery, and adapted to the convenience of feeding the whey to whichever of these animals the dairyman may select, as both, or either are required to consume it; and to which it may be conveyed in spouts from the dairy-room.
Interior Arrangement.—The front door is protected by a light porch a, entering by a door b, the main dairy-room. The cheese-presses c, c, occupy the left end of the room, between which a passage leads through a door l, into the wood-shed h, open on all sides, with its roof resting on four posts set in the ground. The large cheese-table d stands on the opposite end, and is three feet wide. In the centre of the room is a chimney e, with a whey and water boiler, and vats on each side. A flight of stairs f, leading into the storage-room above, is in the rear. A door b, on the extreme right, leads into the ice-house g. There are four windows to the room—two on each side, front and rear. In the loft are placed the shelves for storing the cheese, as soon as sufficiently prepared on the temporary table below. This loft is thoroughly ventilated by windows, and the heat of the sun upon it ripens the cheese rapidly for market. A trapdoor, through the floors, over which is hung a tackle, admits the cheese from below, or passes it down when prepared for market.
The cheese-house should, if possible, be placed on a sloping bank, when it is designed to feed the whey to pigs; and even when it is fed to cows, it is more convenient to pass it to them on a lower level than to carry it out in buckets. It may, however, if on level ground, be discharged into vats, in a cellar below, and pumped out as wanted. A cellar is convenient—indeed, almost indispensable—under the cheese dairy; and water should be so near as to be easily pumped or drawn into the vats and kettles used in running up the curd, or for washing the utensils used in the work. When the milk is kept over night for the next morning's curd, temporary tables may be placed near the ice-room, to hold the pans or tubs in which it may be set, and the ice used to temper the milk to the proper degree for raising the cream. If the dairy be of such extent as to require larger accommodations than the plan here suggested, a room or two may be partitioned off from the main milk and pressing-room for washing the vessels and other articles employed, and for setting the milk. Every facility should be made for neatness in all the operations connected with the work.
Different accommodations are required for making the different kinds of cheese which our varied markets demand, and in the fitting up of the dairy-house, no positive plan of arrangement can be laid down, suited alike to all the work which may be demanded. The dairyman, therefore, will best arrange all these for the particular convenience which he requires. The main plan and style of building, however, we think will be generally approved, as being in an agreeable architectural style, and of convenient construction and shape for the objects intended.
THE design here given is for a building 36 feet long and 24 feet wide, with twelve-feet posts; the lower, or living-room for the swine, 9 feet high, and a storage chamber above for the grain and other food required for his keeping. The roof has a pitch of 40° from a horizontal line, spreading over the sides and gables at least 20 inches, and coarsely bracketed. The entrance front projects 6 feet from the main building, by 12 feet in length. Over its main door, in the gable, is a door with a hoisting beam and tackle above it, to take in the grain, and a floor over the whole area receives it. A window is in each gable end. A ventilator passes up through this chamber and the roof, to let off the steam from the cooking vats below, and the foul air emitted by the swine, by the side of which is the furnace-chimney, giving it, on the whole, as respectable an appearance as a pigsty need pretend to.
Interior Arrangement.—At the left of the entrance is a flight of stairs b, leading to the chamber above. On the right is a small area a, with a window to light it. A door from this leads into the main room c, where stands a chimney d, with a furnace to receive the fuel for cooking the food, for which are two kettles, or boilers, with wooden vats on the top, if the extent of food demands them; these are secured with broad wooden covers, to keep in the steam when cooking. An iron valve is placed in the back flue of the furnace, which may fall upon either side, to shut off the fire from either of the kettles, around which the fire may revolve; or the valve may stand in a perpendicular position, at will, if both kettles be heated at the same time. But, as the most economical mode is to cook one kettle while the other is in process of feeding out, and vice versa, scarcely more than one at a time will be required in use. Over each kettle is a sliding door, with a short spout to slide the food into them when wanted. If necessary, and it can be conveniently done, a well may be sunk under this room, and a pump inserted at a convenient place; or, if equally convenient, a pipe may bring the water in from a neighboring stream or spring. On three sides of this room are feeding pens e, and sleeping partitions f, for the swine. These several apartments are accommodated with doors, which open into separate yards on the sides and in rear, or a large one for the entire family, as may be desired.
Construction.—The frame of this building is of strong timber, and stout for its size. The sills should be eight inches square, the corner posts of the same size, and the intermediate posts 8 by 6 inches in diameter. In the centre of these posts, grooves should be made, two inches wide, and deep, to receive the plank sides, which should be two inches thick, and let in from the level of the chamber by a flush cutting for that purpose, out of the grooves inside, thus using no nails or spikes, and holding the planks tight in their place that they may not be rooted out or rubbed off by the hogs, and the inner projection of the main posts left to serve as rubbing posts for them. Above the chamber floor thinner planks may be used. The centre post in the floor plan of the engraving is omitted, by mistake, but it should stand there, like the others. Inside posts at the corners, and in the sides of the partitions, like the outside ones, should be also placed and grooved to receive the planking, four and a half feet high, and their upper ends be secured by tenons into mortices in the beams overhead. The troughs should be made of cast-iron, or the hardest white oak plank, strongly spiked on to the floor and sides.
BY T. HEMPSTEAD.
BY WM. ALEXANDER.
BY CORNELIA M. DOWLING.
BY JENNIE DOWLING DE WITT.
BY HORACE G. BOUGHMAN.
BY MRS. A. F. LAW.
BY CHARLES ALBERT JANVIER.
The following lines were suggested by a remark in Washington Irving's "Student of Salamanca," that the old alchymist died just as he was on the point of discovering the philosopher's stone.
BY NORMAN W. BRIDGE.
BY MARY NEAL.
BY FANNIE M. C.
BY HORACE PHELPS, M. D.
BY O. EVERTS, M. D.
BY R. GRIFFIN STAPLES.
THE newest style of mantle is the Scarf Mantelet. Its graceful shape, lightness, and elegance have made it a great favorite. This mantle is made of muslin or silk, and trimmed with lace as fancy dictates.
DESCRIPTION OF DIAGRAMS OF LADY'S SCARF MANTELET.
Fig. 2.—Back. Join a to a and b to b.
We also add the diagrams of a very pretty jacket.
DESCRIPTION OF DIAGRAMS OF LADY'S JACKET.
Fig. 5.—Side-piece. Join a, a, a.
Fig. 6.—Sleeve in full. (This shape is very much worn for morning and evening dress.) A Shoulder.
Material.—Crochet thread, No. 1; Penelope needle, No. 3.
COMMENCE with 12 chain, make it round by working a single stitch in the first chain stitch.
1st round.—(4 chain and 2 plain in the foundation chain, 7 times.)
2d.—1 chain (2 treble, 3 chain and 2 treble, all in the 4 chain of the first round), then 1 chain, 1 plain on the 2 plain. Repeat 6 times more.
3d.—Miss 1, 1 plain in the 1 chain, 3 chain, miss 2 (3 treble, 3 chain and 3 treble, in the 3 chain of the last round), then 3 chain, miss 2, 1 plain in the next 1 chain. Repeat 6 times more.
4th.—5 chain, keep this chain at the back of the last round, and work 1 plain between the 2 plain stitches of the last round. Repeat 6 times more, leaving the points formed in the last round in front.
5th.—(2 chain and 1 plain, 3 times, in each of the 5 chains of the last round.)
6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th.—(2 chain and 1 plain, in the 2 chain, 21 times.)
10th.—(1 chain and 1 plain, in the 2 chain, 21 times.)
12th.—41 plain, 1 single.
13th.—(6 chain, miss 4, and 2 plain, on the lower edge of the stitches of the last round, 7 times), the upper edge of the stitches of the 12th round are left at the back to form the foundation of the inner part of the tassel.
14th.—2 chain (3 treble, 3 chain, and 3 treble, all in the 6 chain); then 2 chain and 1 plain, on the 2 plain of the 13th round. Repeat 6 times more.
15th.—1 chain, miss 2, 1 plain in the 2 chain; then 2 chain, miss 2 (3 treble, 3 chain and 3 treble, in the 3 chain), 2 chain, miss 2, 1 plain in the 2 chain. Repeat 6 times more; then 1 plain in the 1st chain stitch.
16th.—4 chain, miss 6, 3 treble in the 3 chain; then 5 chain, turn, miss 4, 1 single on the 1st stitch of these 5 chain to form a round loop; turn, and work (5 chain and 1 plain, in the round loop, 5 times), then 3 treble in the same 3 chain of the 15th round as before, 4 chain, miss 6, 1 plain in the 1 chain. Repeat 6 times more, and fasten off, which finishes the outside.
To form the under part of the tassel, return to the 12th round, the upper edge of the stitches having been left on the inside of the tassel, and commencing on the first stitch, work for the
1st round.—42 plain, 1 single on the 1st stitch of the round.
2d.—(5 chain, miss 2, and 1 plain, 14 times.)
3d.—(5 chain, miss 4, and 1 plain, in the 5 chain, 14 times.)
4th.—1 chain, miss 4, 1 plain in the 5 chain, then 9 chain, 1 plain in the same 5 chain, then 1 chain, 6 treble in the next 5 chain. Repeat 6 times more.
5th.—1 chain, miss 5, 1 treble in the 9 chain (then 3 chain and 1 treble in the same 9 chain, 3 times); 1 chain, miss 5, 3 treble in the 3d stitch of the 6 treble, then 3 treble in the next stitch. Repeat 6 times more.
6th.—1 chain, miss 5, 1 plain in the 3 chain, then 3 chain, miss 3 (2 long, 5 chain and 2 long, all in the next 3 chain), 3 chain, miss 3, 1 plain in the next 3 chain, 1 chain, miss 5, 3 treble in the 3d treble stitch, and 3 treble in the next stitch. Repeat 6 times more.
7th.—1 chain, miss 5, 1 plain in the 3 chain, then 2 chain, miss 3, 1 plain in the 5 chain, then (5 chain and 1 plain, in the same 5 chain, 5 times) 2 chain, miss 3, 1 plain in the 3 chain, then 1 chain, miss 5, 3 treble in the 3d treble stitch, and 3 treble in the next stitch. Repeat 6 times more.
8th.—3 chain, miss 9, 1 plain in the 5 chain, 3 chain, miss 5, 1 treble in the next 5 chain, 3 chain, miss 5, 1 treble in the next 5 chain, 3 chain, 1 treble in the same 5 chain as before, 3 chain, miss 5, and 1 treble in the next 5 chain, 3 chain, miss 5, 1 plain in the next 5 chain, 3 chain, miss 9, 1 plain on the centre of the 6 treble. Repeat 6 times more; then 3 chain, miss 3, 1 plain in the first 3 chain.
9th.—3 chain, miss 3, 1 treble in the next 3 chain, then 3 chain, miss 3, 1 treble in the next 3 chain, 3 chain, miss 3 (1 long, 3 chain, 1 long, both in the 3 chain), 3 chain, miss 3, 1 treble, 3 chain, miss 3, 1 treble, 3 chain, miss 3, 1 plain in the 3 chain, miss 1, 1 plain in the next 3 chain. Repeat 6 times more.
10th.—Miss 2, 3 plain in the 3 chain, *, miss 1, 1 plain, 1 treble, 3 chain, 1 treble, and 1 plain, all in the next 3 chain. Repeat from * 4 times more; then miss 1, 3 plain in the 3 chain. Repeat from the commencement of the round, 6 times more, and fasten off.
Materials.—Crochet thread, No. 4; and, to embroider the pattern, a skein of pink or blue Shetland wool, or embroidery cotton, No. 16; steel mesh, No. 14, and a flat ivory mesh, one quarter of an inch in width—this will make an ordinary cap; but, if any other size is required, the meshes and thread must be coarser or finer.
COMMENCE with the crochet thread, and No. 14 mesh, on a foundation of 20 stitches; work 40 rows of 20 stitches each. This piece forms the centre of the crown, cut it off the foundation, and run a string along the four sides, about four or five stitches from the edges, so as to work all round the square.
1st round.—Work down the first side thus: net a stitch plain, then net 2 stitches in one stitch, 15 plain, 2 stitches in one, 2 plain, and along the other side, *, net 2 stitches in one, 15 plain, 2 stitches in one, and 2 plain. Repeat from * twice more.
2d.—Net 3 plain then (2 stitches in one, and 10 plain, 8 times).
4th.—(Net 11 plain, and 2 stitches in one, 8 times.)
It will now be advisable to take out the string, and run it into the 1st round to keep the work even. Net 15 rounds plain.
20th.—Net 2 stitches in one, then 20 plain, 2 stitches in one, 79 plain. Net 4 rounds more the same as last, working 2 stitches more at the end of each round, so that the 20 plain stitches are always over those of the preceding round; when finished, turn back. Net to within 20 stitches of the end of the round, turn back again, and leaving the 20 stitches to form the back of the cap, work for the front, 8 rows plain, netting two stitches in the last stitch of each row. Then 12 rows plain without increasing; and for the foundation of the border double the cotton and work 6 rows plain.
Embroider the cap with the pink wool in darning stitch, passing the needle about 6 times in each square of the netting.
THE BORDER.—With the thread, and No. 14 mesh, net 6 stitches plain, and continue working backwards and forwards for about 9 yards; then to form.
THE EDGE.—Run a string in the loops which form the selvedge, so as to work on the other selvedge.
1st row.—With flat mesh, net 4 stitches in every other stitch of the selvedge.
2d.—With 14 mesh, plain netting, working a stitch in every stitch of the first row. Then, with the pink wool, embroider the plain netting.
To make up the cap, sew a row of the border to the last thick row of the cap, fulling it at the ears, plain across the front to the centre, then draw 5 loops close together to make it rather pointed, plain again, and full at the other ear, and across the back, sew on another row of the border the same, attaching it to the first thick row; then sew on a third border, very full, and in a zigzag form on the ears, but the same as before across the front.
THE STRINGS.—With the thread and No. 14 mesh, net 12 stitches, and continue working backwards and forwards for 5 inches, then net 2 stitches in one at the end of every third row, until it is increased to 28 stitches; then net 8 rows, leaving 3 stitches unworked at the end of each row; and for
THE EDGE.—With the flat mesh, commence in the last stitch of the side, and net 4 stitches in every other stitch across the uneven rows; then one row plain, with No. 14 mesh. Work another string the same, and embroider them as the cap.
OUR readers can scarcely imagine the difficulty we meet with in presenting novelties in this department. The shades of fashion are so various, and yet so slight, that, in giving new designs from month to month, those not accustomed to scrutinize closely may not notice the peculiarities they are intended to present, or that each month has its peculiar and seasonable adaptation. For instance—
Fig. 1, a wrought lace chemisette and stomacher, is intended for the mild opening season, when cambric embroideries would be too heavy for the style of dress. The prevailing form of the opening of the basque corsage is also denoted by it—low, square, or a broad oval on the bust. The construction of the chemisette of broad scalloped lace, is simple enough, on a foundation of Grecian net or coach blonde.
Fig. 2 is an undersleeve to correspond, made sufficiently loose at the wrist for the hand to pass through. The box plaiting or quilling of satin ribbon, which heads the lace in both Figs. 1 and 2, is fastened in the sleeve by a rosette. This is of course only caught on, and is easily removed when the lace is to be done up; it may be of any shade, and is very stylish in evening dress.
Fig. 3 is a rather close morning cap for a lady of middle age, made of alternate rows of clean muslin puffs and fine Valenciennes insertion. It has a crown, front piece, and frill. The border is a medium Valenciennes edge sewn in the insertion, two rows slightly frilled. Bows and strings of violet-colored satin ribbon.
Fig. 4.—Breakfast cap for a young married lady, consisting of a crown piece, and two rows of edging, of Maltese lace. Bows and ends of rich ribbon, medium width between the rows, a knot of broader ribbon behind, a little to the right. For description of Maltese lace, see fashion article.
(See Blue Plate in front of Book.)
Materials.—Seven-eighths of a yard of wide black glace silk, two knots of cerise Russia silk braid, one knot of pale vert-islay ditto, and a dozen skeins of sewing-silk to match each braid.
BRODERIE EN LACET signifies a design out-lined as if merely for braiding, but with the flowers and other parts filled in with point lace stitches, so as to make a solid piece of embroidering on the silk. For no article is this novel style of work more suitable than for aprons, which it renders exceedingly ornamental, at a very small expenditure of time and trouble, the very simplest of the point lace stitches only being used in this work. Of course, the size of our page precludes our giving even the half of the apron the full size. The design must be enlarged according to the size required, the pattern procured, and the silk marked in the same way as ordinary braiding or embroidery.
Braiding should always be done with a strand of the silk of which the braid is made. Before beginning, cut off a yard of the braid and draw out the threads for sewing with. Thread the end of the braid on a large darning-needle, and draw it through the silk to the wrong side for the commencement, and do the same at every necessary break, sending the ends down. Run the braid on very smoothly, taking the stitches across it slanting and cut along the centre, as is usually done. The braid should lie perfectly flat, and the edges be smooth and even.
The knots at the side suspending the wreath are done in the green braid, the two parallel lines of which are connected by close herring-bone stitch, or point d'Alençon, as it is called in lace-work. All the fancy stitches are done with the common sewing-silk, not with the strands of the braid. The leaves need have merely the veinings worked in Venetian bars; those, however, who do not mind the trouble, will do well to fill them first with Brussels lace, and work the fibres over that; the improved effect will quite repay the extra work. The roses are filled up closely in the Brussels and Venetian lace, the narrow parts being connected with English bars. The lower part of each bud has a rosette in it, the remainder is filled with Venetian lace.
Gold braid on velvet or cloth.
THE material is merino, or very fine lady's cloth; the color a light shade of cinnamon brown. The basque, or skirt, at the waist is rather long, and the jacket is edged all round with a Greek border in soutache. It is made rather open in front, so as to show a waistcoat of plain blue cashmere fastened with gold buttons. The collar to be worn with this jacket is of cambric, and may be either worked or plain. The undersleeves, also of cambric, are full, and the fulness gathered at the wrists on bands of needlework. Necktie of black velvet. Our illustration shows only the jacket of this riding-dress; but we may mention that the skirt of the habit should be of the same material, and that the hat worn with it should be of gray felt, ornamented with a feather of the same color, and the crown encircled by a band of blue ribbon fastened in a rosette on one side.
WE put aside, for this month, a number of short articles, in order to give our readers the pleasure of an introduction to the celebrated singing-master, to whose instructions the Swedish Nightingale owes, in a great measure, the restoration of her wonderful voice, and her unequalled power in using it. Very important lessons are contained in this interesting sketch, translated from the German of Elise Polko.
Rue Chabannais, No. 6.—In one of the most insignificant streets of splendid Paris, the narrow little Rue Chabannais, there stands a tall, dark-looking house known as No. 6. Ugly, rambling, old-fashioned buildings stand on each side, and have posted themselves opposite to it also, like old duennas mounting guard, squinting down incessantly with their dim eyes, their unwashed windows, upon the gray house with its broad doorway. The inhabitants of the little street, on the contrary, regard it with a certain pride mingled with a tender friendliness of feeling, and rejoice like children over each brilliant equipage that stays its rapid course before No. 6, as well as over every unpretending fiacre that there deposits its light burden.
At all hours of the day, graceful female figures glide over the threshold of the large dark house, and the modiste of the Rue Chabannais, who arranges her fluttering caps, ribbons, and veils so invitingly in the corner window, might make valuable studies for costume from the many and divers figures, great and small, who so heedlessly pass by her well-displayed treasures. One may see rich heavy silks, and simple black woollen robes, superb velvet mantillas and delicate light shawls, the careless and yet striking costume, the carefully-chosen and usually brilliant garb of slender German women, the elegant and coquettish French bonnet, and the great roof-like straw hat which shelters the fair brow of the English lady. One might be tempted to think some skilful gardener must have his abode here, and all the flowers were flocking to him for advice about their tender lives, from the glorious exotic of the greenhouse to the humblest field flower that needs only its drop of dew.
But men too, young and old, whose figures and faces remind us neither of flowers nor spring, enter mysterious No. 6 with rapid steps, and strangely do their countenances differ in expression as they come out again. Sometimes there is a bright smile and a beaming eye, but most of them have a deep and earnest look, and a brow furrowed with anxious thought—traces which vanish soon enough in the Place Louvois or the gay and brilliant Rue Richelieu.
"Perhaps a second Lenormand has fixed her residence in the large house, disclosing strange secrets to the curious, and uttering dark oracles!" Ah, no! such magicians are sought only under cover of twilight and the dark shadows of night—never in bright day.
Now, shall I solve the riddle of the gray house? Will you follow me up the broad stone stairway? Forward, then! Many a light foot has lingered anxiously on these steps, doubtful whether to go further; this iron railing has been touched by many a trembling hand, and these white walls have echoed many a sigh. At last we have mounted the third flight; let us take breath! Many a young heart has beat audibly before this closed door, believe me! for we are standing before the dwelling of
the greatest singing-master of our time.
One of the most charming of fairies (and I tell you for your comfort there are still many of them who, to escape the roar and tumult of our mad world, hide themselves far down in the flower-cups), at my earnest request, has lent me her fragrant veil for an hour or two; we wrap it around us and are invisible, and now we can boldly enter the rooms of the artist. Passing through a small antechamber, we carefully open a folding door on the right, and enter a simple apartment, partially darkened, and tastefully and comfortably furnished. Two beautiful busts arrest our attention; one bears the inscription "Eugenie Garcia," the other the immortal name "Marie Malibran." Two familiar portraits adorn the walls: the pleasant kindly face of the Swedish Nightingale, and the earnest countenance of Pauline Viardot.
Silvery sounds, full and powerful, reach our ear from the adjoining room; they attract us irresistibly; we follow them, gently open a side door and find ourselves in the very sanctum of the master, in the atelier of the artist. The long folds of the red silk curtains are partially drawn, so that a rosy light falls upon every object; a fine piano stands in the middle of the room; arm-chairs by the fireplace; a luxurious divan on one side covered with scattered music; the elegant marble table loaded with books, portfolios, music-books, papers of all kinds; music-stands in every direction, on one of which, beside the singer, we see an open volume of exercises. "L'école de Garcia, l'art du chant." A breath of poetry seems to pervade the apartment. Garcia sits at the piano, his scholar stands at some distance before him.
The maestro is very tall, unusually slender, and of a truly feverish vivacity. His face is small and deadly pale; his dark, slightly curled hair falls over a high forehead. His eyes are dark, restless, flashing, and inspired. Now he listens with fixed attention to the full, swelling notes that flow from the lips of the songstress; the next he throws back his head impatiently; a word of warning or of blame is rapidly addressed to the pupil; sometimes a kindly smile, a slight sarcasm, a pleasant jest, all strangely intermingled with sudden starts, angry stamping of the feet, and stern frowns of displeasure. How rarely a word of praise! But one single warm word of commendation from such a master is a sunbeam that has power to penetrate and unfold every fast closed bud of zeal and earnest effort.
How cautiously Garcia handles the precious possession intrusted to his care, the human voice! How tenderly he protects it! how carefully he watches it! how anxiously he strives to preserve that pure, brilliant freshness of youth which is the greatest charm a voice can possess.
It is really impossible to lose this flower-like bloom under Garcia's guidance; whatever may be said or has already been said to the contrary, such a reproach can never come home to a master whose whole method is so entirely according to nature. And how strenuously does he insist upon resting pauses in his hours of instruction! Hear what he says to that listening pupil who looks up to him with such eager expectation:—
"Freshness and spontaneousness are the most precious qualities of the voice, but they are also the most fragile. The voice which loses them never regains them; its tone is gone, never to return."
"During the first days of practising, the pupils should not devote themselves to their exercises more than five minutes consecutively; but studies thus regulated may be resumed four or five times a day, provided they be separated by long intervals. Afterwards, the time devoted to practice, by increasing it five minutes at a time, may be extended to half an hour, a limit which should never be exceeded. At the end of five or six months, you may increase the number of half hours of exercise to four, but be careful in going beyond it, remembering always that these periods be separated by long rests."
The singer begins again. Her own figure stands before her in the large mirror that hangs behind the master's back; no movement of her face can escape her; every contraction of her eyebrows, every slight wrinkle in her forehead, every ungraceful movement of her mouth is truly reflected there. And no trick passes unreproved, for Garcia's piercing eye watches with fixed attention every feature of the singer. But he does not arrange and prescribe how the cheekbones are to move, or the lips to open; he does not confuse the ideas of his pupils by incomprehensible, wordy descriptions of the position of the mouth and the posture of the head; he simply repeats the teaching of the famous old Italian singing-masters, Tosi and Mancini: "Every singer should hold his mouth as he is in the habit of doing when he smiles naturally, that is, so that the upper teeth may be moderately and perpendicularly separated from the lower ones." Without directing the posture of the body like a drill-sergeant, Garcia says briefly, but decidedly: "Keep the body erect, tranquil, well-balanced on the two limbs, and at a distance from any other point of support." The arms must be held a little back, "so as not to interfere with the play of the chest." The lesson is finished. The maestro kindly dismisses his pupil, again repeats, with condensed brevity, the main point of to-day's instruction, appoints the task for home practice, and encourages the timid departing scholar with heart-cheering words of courage and hope.
But look! scarcely has the door closed when it is again opened. A pale young man, accompanied by some sober-looking, elderly gentlemen, bows in an awkward and yet assuming manner, and, with a smile of conscious self-satisfaction, presents different letters of recommendation, among which such names as Meyerbeer, Auber, Spontini, shine out. It is a singer from one of the provinces; enchanted with the praises of his table-companions, he is about to devote himself to the stage. His rich father and richer uncle have come with him to Paris; Cousin Meyerbeer sends him to Garcia, as he has already sent him from Pontius Auber to Pilate Spontini. With what indifference Garcia throws aside these great letters, but how carefully he begins to test the young man's abilities! The aspiring devotee to art has brought with him his favorite air, his show-piece; Verdi is his idol among composers! The recitation begins; Garcia accompanies him. The voice is weak and yet sharp, already half-cracked; the flow of it unnatural and cramped; the most terrible effort is apparent at every note; false respiration too, and indistinct pronunciation. The master grows more and more impatient; his feet begin to jerk as if seized with sudden cramps; he plays faster and faster; with feverish haste, his slender hands run over the keys, his face changing with every sound; his eyes flash more and more restlessly; his teeth are pressed against his lips; suddenly, he springs from his seat, with the half-smothered exclamation, "Assez, Monsieur, assez, je vous prie!" He sinks exhausted into a chair; an awful pause ensues. At last the master quietly and decidedly explains to the singer the grounds upon which he is obliged to refuse his request, in spite of all the recommendations of Meyerbeer and Spontini. His candor and calmness towards the offended amateur are worthy of admiration. He concludes by kindly advising the astonished aspirant, if he has not implicit faith in his words, to seek another teacher, and dismisses the deluded worshipper of Verdi with the most refined courtesy.
How frequently does he reject lady pupils who, with great assumption and half-ruined voices, come to him that his hand may scatter a few flowers over their remains! How impatient he is of all musical narrowness, want of talent, and laziness! His severity in such cases has given him a bad reputation, his violence has forced tears from many eyes; but his justice remains unimpeachable. He will not for a moment feign for a scholar an interest he does not feel, or that has been forfeited by any of the defects I have mentioned; he is unsparing in making them feel how little he cares for such pupils. Holding a book in one hand, with the other he carelessly strikes an accompaniment, and as he diligently reads on, only the monotonous "encore" at the end of a solfeggia proves that the ear of the master has been attending.
The more untrained and untutored the voice that is brought to him, the more thankfully he receives it. How joyfully does he then devote himself to his arduous task! how unwearied is his attention! how carefully and conscientiously does he watch over the treasure intrusted to him! On the other hand, he is most unwilling to under-take "repairs" and "final embellishments," which, artist-like, he confesses without disguise; and singers who, with this in view, seek the master's studio, will have but little satisfaction in his lessons. * * * * * *
But hush! hush! My gracious protectress gives me a gentle warning, and touches the magic veil we had wrapped about us. Let us obey her timely hint, nor provoke one kind spirit to anger! Farewell, good master Garcia! Heartily do we rejoice that we have listened to thee; believe me, we shall often wing our way back to thee without fairy help, even in the spirit, that we may look on thee with gratitude and admiration. And the golden and silvery sounds which thy magic power draws from young rosy lips will again flow forth and bear us on in their clear stream; the bright, pearly drops of brilliant roulades will refresh and quicken us into new life; and oh, joy! the poor troubled heart will hear no more the sharp, cutting, irreconcilable discords of the everyday world.
AN AMERICAN ARTISTE ABROAD.—Miss Adelaide Phillips, of Boston, has lately made a very successful débût at Brescia (Italy), in the character of Arsace in Rossini's Semiramide. "The public were lavish of well-merited applause," says the Italian critic. Miss Phillips first sang, as a child, at the Boston Museum. She went, about two years since, to Italy, to complete her musical education. Biscaccianti sang for her benefit, and Jenny Lind, though she refused to sing for her, it is understood, gave her $1,000, and letters of recommendation to her old teacher, Garcia. Miss Phillips is the fifth American who has, within the last few years, succeeded on the Italian stage.
TRUE HAPPINESS IN A PALACE.—Frederick William III., King of Prussia, married, in 1793, Louisa, daughter of the Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The union was one of elevated love and perfect confidence, the character of the wife presenting a combination of excellencies that dignify her sex and ennoble humanity. Among her graces, that of doing good to the poor was always in exercise. The king allowed her a certain sum for her charities, which she often exceeded, and when the treasurer informed the king of this, he had a way of gradually replenishing the drawer in her desk.
She would say, "What angel has filled that drawer for me again?" To which the king—that the angels were legion, although he knew only one; and then repeated the beautiful verse—
"He gives his favors to his favorites while sleeping."
This high and tender appreciation of the queen's graces and virtues appeared at all times. Himself grave, often morose, silent, and somewhat sarcastic, he knew well how to make use of and shelter himself behind the serene smiles and ever-genial, gracious demeanor of the queen, to whom he used to say, when assailed by the plaudits of their subjects: "Now, Louisa, you must salute them for me; you can do it better than I; but how you can hold out so long, I cannot think."
Much is said of her sly playfulness and ready repartee, one anecdote of which we cannot resist giving. The king, who was extremely careful and judicious in his expenditure, and whose maxim it was that the secret of dollars lies in groschen—exactly similar to our saying about pennies and pounds—on entering the queen's apartments one morning, espied a pretty new headdress, of which he jestingly inquired the price.
The queen replied in the same tone: "It is not always right that men should know the price of women's dress; they don't understand it, and think everything too dear."
"Well, but do tell me the price for this cap, for I should like to know."
"Oh, certainly I will! I bought it a great bargain; I only gave four dollars for it."
"Only! an enormous price for such a thing. What a large sum of money!" and running on in the same vein, he saw from the window an old invalid veteran of the guard, whom he beckoned to come in, saying to him as he entered: "The lady who is sitting on that sofa has a great deal of money; now, what ought she pay for that little cap on the table? You must not be dazzled by the beautiful pink ribbons, but say what you think it is worth."
The old soldier shrugged his shoulders, and said, after a pause: "Why, I suppose it would cost some groschen" (pence).
"There, now!" said the king; "do you hear that? Groschen, indeed! That thing cost four dollars. Now go and ask that pretty lady for four dollars. She can well afford to give you as much as she can afford to pay for that."
The queen smilingly opened her purse, and presented the four dollars to the old man. "And now," continued the queen, archly imitating the king's tone, "you see that noble gentleman standing at the window; he has much more money than I have. All I have is from him, and he gives very freely. Now go and ask for double of what you have got from me: he can afford to give you eight dollars."
The king saw at once that he was caught in his own trap, and laughingly gave the old man the sum she had so charmingly forced from him.
Such domestic happiness is seldom found in a palace; when it is, we see how it adds to the glory of royalty. Every married pair are royal in their own home, and if every husband and wife would study to make each other happy, like Frederick and Louisa of Prussia, there would be no question about the "rights" of either. Both would find their best happiness in their respective duties.
A MISTAKE.—The following paragraph we are sorry to see ascribed to the lady editor of the "Book":—
"Mrs. Hale says there is more talent and general information displayed by the press of the United States, taken collectively, than can be found in Congress and all the Legislatures taken collectively."
Mrs. Hale never presumed thus to criticize or compare the merits of editors and statesmen. The opinion belongs to Mr. Godey—he can answer for himself.
TO CORRESPONDENTS.—The following articles are accepted: "Mrs. Clark's Experience as a Servant," "The Schottisch Partner," "Stanzas," "Autumn Dying," "The Thrice Wedded," "Memory's Retrospect," "The Mother's Lesson," "My blighted Rose-buds," "Come unto me," "To Miss Laura," "Lines," "Two Mothers," "I Pray for the Loved at Home," "The Smiling Boy," "A loving Heart," "Legend of Long Pond, or Lake of the Golden Cross," "Deacon Downright."
The following articles are declined: "Valuable Copyrights," "The Grave;" "The Sabbath of the Soul." (Poetical in idea, and evinces genius as well as taste; but unequal, and the closing lines poor. The writer may feel sure of success if energy does not fail.) "Turkish Battle Song," and the translation of the "Forty-seventh Ode of Anacreon," are both declined. Neither war nor wine is a fitting theme for our "Book," nor do we need poetry of any kind. "To Belle Irene." The following, the first and best stanza, is all we have room for. (There is power in the writer, and he does not lack imagination, but he dashes off his lines in such hot haste, that he often leaves metre and measure far behind. A little more care in the versification would be a great improvement.)
"Lines about Tecumseh," "To Mary," "I Would;" "Tears." We give below an extract, the poem being too extended for its one idea; the writer is capable of better things:—
"Mrs. Penelope Pennington's Disappointments." (The article is well written, the subject commonplace. "A Leaf from the Life of an Old Maid" was declined; the acceptance noted in September was by mistake; the "Book" is sent, nevertheless, as the author will undoubtedly succeed, and we can wait. Many articles on hand are not yet examined.
BOOKS BY MAIL.—Now that the postage on printed matter is so low, we offer our services to procure for our subscribers or others any of the books that we notice. Information touching books will be cheerfully given by inclosing a stamp to pay return postage.
From LIPPINCOTT, GRAMBO, & CO. (successors to Grigg & Elliot), No. 14 North Fourth Street, Philadelphia:—
A NEW AND COMPLETE GAZETTEER OF THE UNITED STATES. Giving a full and comprehensive review of the present condition, industry, and resources of the American confederacy; embracing, also, important topographical, statistical, and historical information, from recent and original sources; together with the results of the census of 1850, and population and statistics in many cases to 1853. By Thomas Baldwin and J. Thomas, M. D. The enterprising publishers of this valuable and important work may very justly feel gratified in being able to present it to the public, and with equal truth do they claim it to be the most elaborate, comprehensive, and perfect "Gazetteer" of the United States that has ever issued from the press. Instead of 800 pages, to which the work was originally restricted, it has swelled to 1,400 pages, embracing at least 10,000 names of places not to be found in any other "Gazetteer," together with the appropriate statistics and information. Neither the hope of profit, nor the pressure of competition has induced the publishers to present their work before it was complete, or before all the ample materials furnished by the census of 1850, and other statistics and important facts in the hands of editors, were "fully digested and arranged." The expense incurred in the production of this unequalled "Gazetteer," in which, besides the editors and their assistants, several thousand correspondents in all parts of the United States were engaged, has consequently been very great, amounting, as we learn, to more than $30,000.
But, if the publishers have reason to feel gratified in the result of their labors, we think the American public should be congratulated in having within command and ready for use a volume which presents so faithfully the present condition of the country, in all the ramifications of population, trade, commerce, wealth, etc., and which foreshadows the future as unerringly as it records the history of the past. The great public, therefore, always alive to its own interests, will lose no time in discovering the propriety, as well as the justice of rewarding the spirited publishers of the "New and Complete Gazetteer," by purchasing the volumes as fast as they can be got ready. And this, we think, will be the result as soon as its merits are generally known. As a book of reference, it will be indispensable to editors, authors, merchants, and men of enterprise in all the departments of business. In families, it will also be found to furnish the readiest means in impressing the young inquirers with an amount of history in relation to the extent, climate, soil, productions, and general statistics of their country, which they might search in vain for in the various histories prepared for their exclusive benefit.
From A. HART (late Carey & Hart), corner of Fourth and Chestnut Streets, Philadelphia:—
HEROIC WOMEN OF THE WEST: containing Thrilling Examples of Courage, Fortitude, Devotedness, and Self-Sacrifice, among the Pioneer Mothers of the Western Country. By John Frost. LL.D., author of "Pictorial History of the World," "History of the United States," etc. etc. This is a handsome and interesting volume, in which are graphically narrated the heroic deeds of forty of the pioneer women of the West. It has many beautiful illustrations.
From TICKNOR, REED, & FIELDS, Boston, through C. G. Henderson, Philadelphia:—
HAPS AND MISHAPS OF A TOUR IN EUROPE. By Grace Greenwood. This is a very clever and readable book, its style fluent, flashy, and flowery. Every sentence is highly wrought and carefully polished, and every sentiment, good, bad, and indifferent, is expressed in the highest pitch the English language will bear; and, when it would bear no more, the climax has sometimes been given in words borrowed from softer, sweeter, or stronger and more thrilling vocabularies than our coarse mongrel Saxon. We know Grace Greenwood to be a graceful and polished writer; but in this volume she has evidently labored too ardently to dignify and garnish poetically common incidents and common sayings, which would have appeared to much better advantage in commonplace prose. But all this, we presume, proceeds from her determination to let her feelings have their full sweep; and thus, as they have directed her, and as she has been differently impressed by similar sights and images, we find her at one time subdued and almost in tears before a painting of the Madonna, and at another hurling impassioned imprecations upon the heads of those who foster a worse than pagan superstition. We do not wonder, therefore, after reading her book, that, near the close of her tour, the over-excited author felt an inexpressible longing for rest "in a comfortable home among her dear English friends."
From R. T. YOUNG, New York, through J. L. GIHON, Philadelphia:—
HISTORY OF NEW AMSTERDAM; or, New York as it was in the Days of the Dutch Governors. Together with Papers on Events connected with the American Revolution, and on Philadelphia in the Times of William Penn. By Professor A. Davis, Corresponding Member of the N. Y. Hist. Society, Hon. Member of the N. Y. S. of Letters, and formerly Chaplain to the New York Senate. Six fine illustrations. The younger classes of historical readers will find this a very attractive and very instructive volume.
From TICKNOR, REED, & FIELDS, Boston, through W. P. HAZARD, Philadelphia:—
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AN ACTRESS; or, Eight Years on the Stage. By Anna Cora Mowatt. These simple and unaffected memoirs will greatly interest the many warm and ardent friends of the authoress. They will, at the same time, endear her to a numerous class of readers who have hitherto had no opportunities to form just judgments of her character, her talents, and her noble struggles through a professional life, such as is generally supposed to be more dangerous to those who enter upon it than almost any other they could make choice of. We see, however, in this instance, as in many that have passed before, that where the virtues of the heart and the energies of the mind are combined in motive and effort, the profession itself is elevated, and the professor triumphs.
From PHILLIPS, SAMPSON, & CO., Boston, through R. H. SEE & Co., Philadelphia:—
OUTLINES OF THE GEOLOGY OF THE GLOBE, AND OF THE UNITED STATES IN PARTICULAR: with two Geological Maps, and Sketches of Characteristic American Fossils. By Edward Hitchcock, D.D., LL.D.: President of Amherst College, and Professor of Natural Theology and Geology. This work has been prepared as a sequel to "Elementary Geology," published by the author in 1847. It forms a most valuable addition to the original work, as will be seen by a single glance at the maps.
From M. W. DODD, opposite the City Hall, New York, through C. G. HENDERSON, Philadelphia:—
THE LECTURES COMPLETE OF FATHER GAVAZZI, as Delivered in New York. Reported by an eminent Stenographer, and revised and corrected by Gavazzi himself. Including translations of his Italian addresses with which the greater part of the lectures were prefaced. To which are prefixed, under his authority and revision, the life of Gavazzi, continued to the time of his visit to America. By G. B. Nicolini, his friend and fellow-exile, author of the "History of the late Roman Republic." The fulness of the title, and the great celebrity acquired by the author in the delivery of his lectures, release us from any obligation we might otherwise be under of explaining the controversial character of this work.
ORIENTAL AND SACRED SCENES, from Notes of Travel in Greece, Turkey, and Palestine. By Fisher Howe. This is a very beautiful volume, with maps and colored illustrations. The incidents narrated, the descriptions of the cities and monuments visited, and the just and appropriate reflections of the author, are calculated not only to gratify the curiosity, but to leave deep and salutary impressions upon the mind of the reader. The Christian public will be the more interested in the sale of this handsome volume, when informed that the profits are specifically devoted to the cause of promoting the Gospel in the East under the American Board of Commissions for Foreign Missions.
From J. S. REDFIELD, 110 and 112 Nassau Street, New York, through W. B. ZIEBER, Philadelphia:—
SKETCHES OF THE IRISH BAR. By the Rt. Hon. Richard Lalor Shiel, M. P. With Memoir and Notes, by R. Shelton Mackenzie, D.C.L. In two volumes. These volumes will greatly interest such readers as may desire to investigate the Irish character, as displayed under the higher influences of education, talents, and patriotism, and when aroused into action by motives of rivalry or ambition for place and power. Independent of these personal characteristics, the volume contains a great deal of information connected with the actual history of Ireland not yet embodied in any other work that has come under our notice.
THE PARTISAN. A Romance of the Revolution. By W. Gilmore Simms, Esq., author of "The Yemassee," "Guy Rivers," "Martin Faber," etc. etc. A new and revised edition. The first edition of this work was so favorably received by the critics, and was so generally read, it would seem unnecessary for us to call particular attention to its merits as a history or a romance. We may say, however, with great justice, that in his revision of the work the author has availed himself of all the new facts brought to bear upon his subject by the critical observations of friends, and that the volume now presents a complete history of all the leading events in the war of the Revolution in South Carolina, dating from the fall of the city of Charleston, in 1780.
From J. P. JEWETT & CO., Boston:—
DRESS AS A FINE ART. By Mrs. Merrifield. The publisher, in his preface, says: "This work of Mrs. Merrifield's has been circulated among the forty thousand subscribers of the 'London Art Journal.'" He might have added, "and also among the hundred thousand subscribers of the 'Lady's Book;'" for we have published nearly every word of it. Still, the book before us is beautifully got up, and, the articles being gathered together and placed before the reader upon beautiful type and paper, it must command a great sale, as it is an admirable work. That may be taken for granted, or it never would have appeared in "Godey." The book is a splendid specimen of typography.
NOVELS, SERIALS, PAMPHLETS, &c.
From Garrett & Co., 18 Ann Street, New York, through T. B. Peterson, 102 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia: "Dashes of American Humor." By Howard Paul. Illustrated by John Leech. This is a collection of amusing stories.
From Bunce & Brothers, New York, through T. B. Peterson, Philadelphia: "Annie Vincent; a Domestic Story." By the author of the "Twin Sisters."
From D. Appleton & Co., 200 Broadway, New York, through C. G. Henderson & Co., Philadelphia: "An Attic Philosopher in Paris; or, a Peep at the World from a Garret." From the French of Emilie Souvestre. There are many excellent thoughts and worthy examples within the unpretending paper cover of this little volume.—"Linny Lockwood: a Novel." By Catharine Crowe, author of "Susan Hopley," etc.
From T. B. Peterson, 102 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia: "The Young Duke; or, the Younger Days of George the Fourth." By B. D'Israeli, M. P., P. C., author of "Henrietta Temple," etc. etc. With a beautiful portrait of the author. Complete. Price 37 cents.—"Memoirs and Correspondence of Thomas Moore." Edited by the Rt. Hon. Lord John Russell, M. P. Part 6. Price 25 cents.—"Contarini Fleming: an Autobiography." By B. D'Israeli, M. P., P. C., author of "The Young Duke," etc. With a portrait of the author.
From J. S. Redfield, New York, through W. B. Zieber, Philadelphia: "The Partisan: a Romance of the Revolution." By W. Gilmore Simms, Esq., author of "The Yemassee," "Guy Rivers," etc. etc. This is a new and revised edition of one of the author's most popular works.—"Poems, Descriptive, Dramatic, Legendary, and Contemplative." By William Gilmore Simms, Esq. In two volumes. The first of these volumes contains "Norman Maurice: a Tragedy;" "Atlantis: a Tale of the Sea;" "Tales and Traditions of the South;" "The City of the Silent." The second volume embraces "Southern Passages and Pictures;" "Historical and Dramatic Sketches;" "Scripture Legends;" "Francesca da Rimini." These, and the prose writings of Mr. Simms, have established his fame as a chaste and brilliant writer. We hope he will receive from the publication of his prose and poetical writings, in their present complete and uniform editions, the pecuniary reward to which his incessant literary labors so justly entitle him.
From Ticknor, Reed, & Fields, Boston, through W. P. Hazard, Philadelphia: "Poems and Parodies." By Phœbe Carey. The name of this author and the character of her poetry are familiar in every town and country in the United States that can boast a newspaper. This is a handsome collection, and will be sought after by her numerous friends.—"The Young Voyagers; or, the Boy Hunters in the North." By Captain Mayne Reid, author of the "Boy Hunters," "The Desert Home," etc. With twelve illustrations by W. Harvey. Captain Reid has been a great traveller, and he describes men, and birds, and beasts, and strange and startling incidents with wonderful minuteness.
From Herman J. Meyer, New York: "The United States Illustrated; in Views of City and Country." With descriptive and historical articles. Edited by Charles A. Dana. We have received Parts 8, 9, and 10, East and West, of the first volume of this beautiful and truly national work. All connected with this work deserve great credit for the literary and artistic excellence exhibited in every number.
OUR APRIL NUMBER.—We do not perceive any falling off in the "Lady's Book." As we commenced, so we go on. We have, at a very considerable expense, procured the very latest style for bonnets, dresses, and mantillas, for spring wear. These may be depended upon, as they are not mere reprints taken from other publications, but designed and engraved expressly for Godey. We will furnish patterns of the dresses for $1 50, and of the mantillas for $1.
THE Dairy House and Piggery in this number are from the excellent work on Rural Architecture published by C. M. Saxton, New York. We can furnish the work complete, postage free, on receipt of $1 25.
"THE Trials of a Needlewoman" continues to increase in interest. Our exchanges and private letters pronounce this Mr. Arthur's best story.
BY the way, for the last ten or fifteen years, we have considered Godey's Fashions unrivalled. No other magazine equals him in this particular. So says the "Illinois Union," and so says almost every one of our exchanges. It is useless to enlarge upon this subject. It is conceded.
THE "Germantown Telegraph," whose editor was also caught with the imported story—"Marrying through Prudential Motives"—comes out like an honorable gentleman, as he is, and thus speaks he:—
"JUSTICE, THOUGH THE HEAVENS FALL!—Some two or three weeks ago, we found in one of our respectable New York exchange papers an excellent story, purporting to have been taken from 'La Belle Assemblée;' entitled 'Marrying through Prudential Motives,' which was no doubt much admired by our readers; but the paternity of which belongs to 'Godey's Lady's Book,' instead of the Parisian journal, which, it appears, had unhandsomely appropriated the production without any acknowledgment of the original ownership. Coming back to us with a French godfather, of course, it was a thousand times better than the domestic article, and therefore it 'took' surprisingly. Our own apology is, not that we ever deny our friend Godey any of the merit that belongs to his elegant and popular magazine, but simply that the story in question was overlooked at the time of its publication, in the multiplicity of good things always filling its pages, and that when it was published in our own columns, it came under our eye for the first time at the opportune moment. Our desire is at all times to do 'justice though the heavens fall;' and to none would we yield it more promptly than the gentlemanly proprietor of the 'Lady's Book.'"
BACK numbers from January can be supplied throughout the year, as the work is stereotyped.
WHITE'S BONNET ESTABLISHMENT IN SECOND ABOVE CHESTNUT STREET.—Mr. White has got into his new building, and we unhesitatingly pronounce it one of the handsomest fronts in the city. It is of brown stone of the finest quality, and is now the palace of the longest business street probably in the world. Second Street is about five miles long, and if one side of the street was placed at the end of the other, it would make a straight line of ten miles of stores.
THE "Georgia Times" has caught us. We certainly must plead guilty to his charge:—
"Godey is up to the highest notch, and seems determined that none shall outstrip him. Our junior has just given us an idea. Oh, we've got you, Uncle Louis—caught you in a mistake one time! You said there should be no 'difference between your January and February numbers:' and there is, for the February number is the better! Now then, sir, ain't you caught?"
A PROPER ACKNOWLEDGMENT.—We find in the New York journals copies of a correspondence between W. C. Bryant, Gulian C. Verplank, Jonathan Sturges, F. W. Edmonds, A. B. Durand, and other eminent citizens, as a committee, and Abraham M. Cozzens, Esq., President of the American Art Union, on the occasion of presenting a service of plate to the latter, as a testimony on the part of the donors of their "appreciation of his long and faithful services to the cause of Art in the United States." We can add our own assurance to that of the committee—for circumstances have made us familiar with the fact—that, "for a series of years," Mr. Cozzens has "devoted both time and labor, at a great sacrifice of his personal interests, to the promotion of a taste for the Fine Arts among his countrymen, and to the encouragement of native artists," and we cordially agree with them that his "distinguished services render him worthy of this tribute"—the tribute being a complete and costly dinner set of massive silver. We may add, moreover, that besides his special merits as a patron and promoter of Art, Mr. Cozzens is a fine, frank, generous, right-minded, true-hearted gentleman, who wins his honors fairly, and knows how to wear them gracefully.
BURTON has produced "Shakspeare's Midsummer's Night Dream" in most splendid style at his theatre in New York, and Marshall has brought it out at the Bowery. Opinions seem to differ among the New York press as to which house has produced it in the best manner.
A HAPPY HIT.—"The Three Bells," gratefully dedicated to the noble Captain Crighton. A very pretty piece of music, which everybody ought to purchase. It will keep before them the memory of "the greatest captain of the age."
THE Sewing-Machine published in our February number is Messrs. Grover, Baker, & Co.'s patent, whose advertisement will be found on our cover.
THAT "Republican" man of McArthur is hard to please. We have not a. little "Godey" to spare. There are five of them, and we wish there were a dozen.
FRENCH FURNITURE.—The furniture which is now made in the ateliers of Paris is unparalleled in magnificence and extravagance. Bedroom, as well as drawing-room furniture, is laden with sculpturing and ornaments. Gilt furniture is much in vogue for drawing-rooms; the rich brocatelles and damasks produce a beautiful effect in the gilt frames. The superb furniture of the state-rooms of the Tuileries is of gilt; when illuminated by a thousand wax lights, the effect is gorgeous. This style of furniture is only suitable for large reception-rooms.
THE following is dreadfully touching, and what is more, it is pointed. It cannot possibly affect any of our subscribers, however, for there is not one of them but would scorn the implication of being a delinquent to the "Lady's Book." We need hardly say that it is an imitation of Hood's "Song of the Shirt":—
THE INSTRUCTIVE CHARACTER OF THE LADY'S BOOK.—This is the point that we wish to urge upon the public; that every number is full of instruction as well as amusement. Several of our exchanges have commented upon this matter. Our title would seem to mislead—and why it should, it is hard to tell. We would not publish a book for a lady, and pay so poor a compliment to her understanding as to fill it with mere trifling matter. We aim at nobler purposes, and we challenge an investigation and a comparison with any magazine, as to which contains the most instructive matter, either to a lady or gentleman. Look at our descriptions of Factories of various kinds; our Model Cottages; our receipts upon every subject; our essays; our practical instructions to every lady how to cut and make her own dresses; the various kinds of needlework for ladies; our accounts of the several gold regions, Nineveh, Babylon, &c. The editor of the "Ithaca Chronicle" says: "We have just received the January No., for 1854, and can truly say it is more welcome to our table than any other magazine we now receive. The present number contains one hundred pages of reading matter—not flimsy trash—but of such as is instructive to any person who will read it with a desire to gain knowledge."
YOUNG HYSON AND POTATOES.—The "Stroudsburg Jeffersonian" says: "Our wife would rather go without her Young Hyson at any time (and she is passionately fond of it too), than miss the smiles of Godey; or a new dress, rather than to be without his patterns for making it." The "Christian Advocate" of Missouri expresses his astonishment that we are acquainted with the virtue of the potato:—
"Mr. Godey, at the back of his ARM-CHAIR, gives a list of excellent receipts for cooking potatoes. From the nice and superb manner in which he has always gotten out his book for the ladies, we had no certain evidence that he had much acquaintance with that invaluable esculent, the potato. It seems, however, we were mistaken. Success to him."
Not acquainted with potatoes! Why, my dear sir, it is the A B C of cooking, and is the first thing to be learned; besides, as a caterer for the ladies, we are bound to know a little of everything.
THE NEW MANTEAU DE LA COUR, required to be worn by the ladies at the French court, is even more unpopular than was anticipated. Husbands don't like it on account of the expense, and wives shrink from the dancing-master's drill, without which, the wearers of the costume cannot hope to avoid appearing ridiculous. The Empress alone has train-bearers; but other ladies must concentrate all the powers of their mind upon their trains to escape a catastrophe. At the last reception-night there were not more than two hundred ladies present out of eight hundred invited. Under these circumstances it is thought impossible to enforce the regulation announced, that ladies not availing themselves of invitations on January the first, would not be again asked to court during the year.
VERY neat and pretty compliment from the "North Carolina Whig and Advocate":—
"Godey is always prompt, always welcome, and always interesting. If we were asked to point out the best number of the 'Lady's Book,' we should reply in the language of Dr. Johnson when asked which of Shakspeare's plays he most admired? 'The last I read,' the Doctor answered."
THERE has been some pleasantry on the part of the press touching that unfortunate milkmaid in our February number being on the wrong side of the cow. Our answer is very plain, and gentlemen should make inquiry before they criticize. The girl was left-handed, and the cow would not be milked on the other side. She was—that is the cow—a queer creature.
DEDICATORY ADDRESS, delivered before the members of Hesperian Lodge, upon the opening of their new hall, by Anson G. Chester, of the "Morning Express." In as short a notice as our space will permit us to give, we cannot do justice to the merits of this beautiful address. We could only do so by publishing the whole of it. Mr. Chester is well known as one of the best poets in this country. His prose is poetic, and worthy of its distinguished author. We wish also to pay a compliment to the handsome dress in which the pamphlet is presented to the public. Messrs. A. M. Clapp & Co. may well be proud of it. The cover is the prettiest piece of type-work we have seen in a long time.
FRANKLIN INSTITUTE REPORT of the twenty-third exhibition. The address, by George Harding, Esq., that is given in this number, is an able production, and worthy of its author. There is perhaps no similar case on record of a young man, who has hardly been at the bar for two years, who has taken so high a stand as Mr. Harding. He is engaged in almost every patent case that is brought before our courts.
THE "Charleston Weekly News" says of Mrs. Hale's "New Book of Cookery," and the "New Household Receipt Book":—
"These two works will prove invaluable to housekeepers. Mrs. Hale has absolutely exhausted her subject. There is nothing in the wide world, we believe, appertaining to the 'cuisine,' from the homeliest to the most recherché dishes, receipts for the preparation of which cannot be found in these volumes. We think that all the ladies who have the direction of 'a home department,' should send a vote of thanks to the author of this Encyclopædia of what should certainly be ranked among the fine arts."
We can furnish one or both.
WE enter our protest against those children's sayings that are now going the rounds of the press. They are horribly blasphemous; and the whole wit in them seems to be in making a familiar use of God's holy name.
THE "Boston Olive Branch" comes to us in a new dress, and looks very handsome. It is an excellent paper, and well conducted. Its circulation is very large. Mr. Norris, the publisher, has authority from us to club his paper with the "Lady's Book." We wish also to say a word of another excellent paper published in another part of our Union, the "Georgia Citizen," L. F. W. Andrews, editor and publisher. There is no paper we open with more satisfaction. It is sprightly and solid. Mr. Andrews, its editor, is a man of sterling sense and honesty. We know him well, and esteem him highly. Our merchants would do well to select it for their advertising patronage. The price is $2 50 a year.
"DORSEY'S DISPATCH," at Wetumpka, Ala., is another of our excellent exchanges. Mr. D. formerly edited the "State Guard," which is now the "Dispatch." Dorsey is as well known in Alabama as we are in Pennsylvania, and the reason is that he publishes an excellent paper.
RAPP'S PENS.—If those persons ordering these pens will please say whether the order is their own writing, we shall be the better able to tell what kind of a pen will best suit them.
MUCH obliged to "A. T. T.," and publish her acrostic:—
BEDCHAMBER OF THE EMPRESS EUGENIE OF FRANCE.—The upholsterers have furnished it a magnificent sky-blue silk tenture along the walls, which is fixed by gold frames, in the style of Louis XV. The arm-chairs, chairs, sofas, and lounges are of the same style and like silk. As for the bed, all made with gilt carved wood, it is covered with a couvre pieds of Maline lace, and the curtains, of blue silk and lace, are hung down all around it, in the same manner as the old beds of our grandmothers. The carpet is also of a blue color, and so thick that one would take it for a bear skin. It was made at Aubusson, expressly for the place in which it lays. The ceiling of the room was painted by Mr. Bresson, and it represents a group of geniuses throwing flowers from rich baskets. The painting is so well done that no one could believe that the figures are not alive. In short, this magnificent bedroom is the ne plus ultra of riches and elegance.
Well, this is all well enough in its way; but who would not prefer being plain Mrs. Smith or Mrs. Godey, or any other Mrs.—never being certain, for a moment, when your husband goes out, that he is not to be shot at. Even if you want to go and pay a friendly visit only one or two squares off, you must wait until six horses are harnessed up, a body of cavalry dressed and mounted, the streets cleared of the crowd, and a host of other little etceteras. Dear me, we should soon be tired of royalty!
FEMALE SHOEMAKERS.—It is stated that in Washington some of the most respectable women, married and single, engage in the shoemaking business as an agreeable pastime, as well as from motives of economy. "The gaiters which cost us three dollars at the stores," writes a female, "cost us one day's labor and sixty cents for the best material bought at retail. One of us has made five pair of ladies' gaiters in a week. Many of us make shoes for ourselves and children, without neglecting other household duties. On Capitol Hill, alone, there are thirty ladies thus employed, and about two hundred in the city. We find it very easy to make two pair of children's shoes in a day, and they cost here one dollar and twenty-five cents a pair."
We understand that many ladies in this city stitch and prepare their own gaiter boots, and have them made up by the shoemaker. Others again find out the journeymen and employ them. We understand that at least one to one and a half dollars are thus saved on one pair of boots.
PUNCH—than whom there is no greater satirist upon women—says:—
A LIVING SUPERIORITY.—Woman has this great advantage over man—she proves her will in her lifetime, whilst man is obliged to wait till he is dead.
"NEW YORK SPIRIT OF THE TIMES."—This excellent paper, under the editorial supervision of W. T. Porter, Esq., continues to flourish and take the lead as a paper of genius, wit, and humor. It is one of the most successful and popular publications of the day.
A COMPLIMENT TO TWO.—"I inclose you the amount necessary to pay for 'Godey's Lady's Book' and 'Arthur's Home Gazette,' which I have taken and paid for since the first number was issued. The 'Lady's Book' I have taken for fourteen years. I would not be without either of them for twice the amount of the subscription. S. A. M."
It is a pleasure to record such instances as the above. This is one of our long-continued subscribers.
PRECOCITY.—A young lady, twelve years of age, has sent us a club of subscribers to the "Lady's Book." She will make a good wife some day for one of the unfortunate bachelor editors who loan their "Lady's Books."
TEARS AND LAUGHTER.—God made both tears and laughter, and both for kind purposes; for as laughter enables mirth and surprise to breathe freely, so tears enable sorrow to vent itself patiently. Tears hinder sorrow from becoming despair and madness, and laughter is one of the very privileges of reason, being confined to the human species.
AN old maid, who confesses to thirty-five, says "she doesn't believe—not a bit of it—in the nonsense that men talk about breaking their hearts!" It's her firm belief that there never was a man yet who broke his heart, or, if there was, that he broke it as a lobster breaks one of his claws, another one shooting up very gradually in its place.
LITTLE CHILDREN.—"No man can tell," wrote Jeremy Taylor, "but he who loves his children, how many delicious accents make a man's heart dance in the pretty conversation of those dear pledges. Their childishness, their stammering, their little anger, their innocence, their imperfections, their necessities, are so many little emanations of joy and comfort, to him that delights in their persons and society."
WE are receiving repeated applications from our subscribers to publish in some number this year the celebrated engraving of "CHRIST HEALING THE SICK," from Benjamin West's great picture. If we thought it would be agreeable to the mass of our subscribers, we would do so with pleasure, but we don't like the idea of publishing one engraving twice, it looks as if we were short of engravings. Shall we republish it for the benefit of the new subscribers this year? What say you?
THE spring patterns in this number, from the establishment of Mrs. Suplee, must command general attention. They are the style for the present season.
"RAILROAD POLKA" and the "Reading Polka," the first dedicated to R. L. Stevens, President of the Camden and Amboy Railroad, and the other to the Rev. W. A. Good, A. M. "The Grave of my Mother," and "Mary's Beauty," two songs. These last have the prettiest colored vignettes we have ever seen printed on music sheets. J. W. Gougler, of Reading, is the publisher of the above, and our city music publishers must look to their laurels, for such attractive music is seldom found. J. G. Gould, Swaim's Buildings, has all the above for sale.
THE "Keeseville Gazette" is responsible for the following:—
"When is 'Godey's Lady's Book' as great a source of self-abnegation as a certain observance in the Catholic Church? When it is Lent."
"HOW TO MAKE A DRESS."—By the time this number reaches our subscribers, the second edition of this work will be ready. We have been obliged to delay numerous orders: but we shall now be ready with a very large edition to supply all who may order the work.
THE editor of "Moore's Western Lady's Book" says:—
"We have heard it said that Godey is a bachelor, but WE don't believe it, for we cannot see how he can remain such in his present business. How is it, Godey? Suppose you 'let the cat out.' The Western ladies are very CURIOUS to know."
Yes, my dear madam, we are married. Sorry to disappoint the Western ladies; but we have a son fast growing up to man's estate. He will be in the market soon, and is almost as good-looking as his father. It was to him that the following lines were addressed:—
VERY brief, expressive, and complimentary:—
"P. S. When ——'s subscription runs out, don't stop her 'Book.' Next to myself and her sister, loves she 'Godey's Lady's Book.'"
WORTHY OF BEING IMITATED.—A subscriber in Maryland, who was in arrears, sent on his subscription at the full price, $4 a year, and added the interest. Another, a lady, sent us $4 a year for three years, and paid her subscription to 1855. Another, a gentleman, remitted his subscription in full up to 1860. We fancy that there are few other publications can give such instances as these.
SOMETHING ABOUT COOKS.—We heard an anecdote about "the new cook" that is worth telling. "Betty," says the mistress, "I want those shells warmed for dinner"—meaning the pastry shells. "Yis, ma'am." And, sure enough, Betty brought up the shells after dinner—a large tray full of them. "Why, what have you there, Betty?" "The shells, ma'am; and they are quite hot." "Shells!" exclaimed the indignant mistress. "Why, those are oyster shells!" "Sure they are, ma'am; and, as you had oysters last night, and I didn't see any other shells, I thought it was these you wanted warmed."
WE extract the following from Mrs. Partington's "Carpet Bag of Fun":—
MRS. PARTINGTON ON FUNNY-GRAPHY.—And Ike read, "Mr. Wightman submitted a detailed report on the subject of introducing phonotopy, as a study, into the primary schools." "Stop, Isaac," said Mrs. Partington, threateningly holding up her finger, and slightly frowning, "don't make light of anything serious that you are reading—it isn't pretty." "But it's so in the paper, aunt," said Ike; and he again read the sentence, emphasizing the word "phonotopy" prodigiously. Mrs. Partington adjusted her specs, and looked at it, letter by letter, to be assured. "Well, if ever!" said she, holding up her hands; "I declare I don't know what they're gwine to do next. They're always organizing or piano-fortin the schools, and now this funny topy comes along to make 'em laugh, I s'pose, when they ought to be getting their lessons. Sich levity is offal. They do have sich queer notions, nowadays! I can't make head nor tail of 'em, I'm shore."
CONCERT HALL, PHILADELPHIA.—We beg leave to recommend this splendid room to all who wish to occupy it for exhibitions of any kind, concerts, balls, lectures, &c. Mr. Andrews, the lessee, is very attentive, and he is ably seconded by his right-hand man, Mr. Hood. In fact, politeness to visitors by all concerned seems to be the ruling feature.
THE EYELASHES AND EYEBROWS.—In Circassia, Georgia, Persia, and India, one of the mother's earliest cares is to promote the growth of her children's eyelashes by tipping and removing the fine gossamer-like points with a pair of scissors, when they are asleep. By repeating this every month or six weeks, they become, in time, long, close, finely curved, and of a gloss. The practice never fails to produce the desired effect, and it is particularly useful when, owing to inflammation of the eyes, the lashes have been thinned or stunted.
LA PIERRE HOUSE.—The Boston "Olive Branch" says of this magnificent hotel:—
"'La Pierre House.' Such is the name of a new hotel just opened in Philadelphia, of the most magnificent character. As described in the 'Inquirer,' we should deem it to surpass, in finish and in splendor of furnishment, the regal glory of a palace. Hear how it describes one of the suite of rooms: 'It consists of a parlor and chamber, is extremely beautiful, and furnished in the very richest possible manner, yet with a quietness and repose of taste that are very pleasing and striking. The rooms are separated by a rose-colored and white brocatelle curtain, intertwined with a graceful drapery of lace, suspended from a golden arch. The bedstead is of the richest carving in rosewood, exquisitely adorned with rose and lace drapery, pendent from an ornamental canopy above.'"
A CIRCUMSTANCE of this kind could only happen in Paris, and we somewhat doubt that it ever occurred there:—
On Thursday, a beautiful equipage was seen in the Champs Elysées, containing an elderly gentleman and a lady; the latter, though her face was covered with a thick veil, appeared to be young and handsome. The gentleman, an Englishman, Sir Edward ——, is said to be one of the oddest and most eccentric fellows ever produced by prolific Albion. A talented pianist was lately summoned to his house. His services were required for an evening party, and a generous recompense was promised. The musician came early, and he was introduced into a spacious drawing-room, where many persons were already assembled. This apartment, which was magnificently furnished, was but dimly lighted by two lamps, and scarcely heated at all—the splendid fireplace, adorned with costly bronzes, containing only a wretched fire, which cast a sepulchral glare over the rich furniture. The host went to meet the musician as soon as the footman had announced him, and received him in a most flattering manner. A lady, most sumptuously and elegantly dressed, was seated on a sofa. "Allow me to introduce you to Lady ——, my wife!" said Sir Edward. The musician made a profound obeisance, which the lady, nevertheless, took no notice of; she sat straight and immovable, and fixed an unearthly gaze on the new-comer. There was another lady in an arm-chair, leaning with her elbow on a round table, and apparently reading a book with the greatest attention. "My sister, Miss Emily," said Sir Edward. "Mademoiselle," said the pianist, with a bow; but in vain did he repeat the word and the salutation to call the attention of the young lady; she neither moved nor raised her eyes from the book. "She has always loved reading very much," said Sir Edward. "Rather more than politeness would warrant!" thought the artiste to himself. The remainder of the company consisted of five or six gentlemen. The artiste observed, with astonishment, that all these persons affected a strange immobility, just like the lady and sister of Sir Edward. "Will you take a seat at the piano?" said Sir Edward. "What do you wish me to play?" asked the musician. "Shall I select the pieces, or will madam have the kindness to point out some favorite morceau?" Miladi did not reply, and Sir Edward, answering for her, said, "My wife and I have the same taste in music, so play a piece of Mozart or Listz, and one of your own compositions." "I will begin my own, therefore; for after those masters mine would not be acceptable!" modestly replied the artiste. The sofa on which Miladi was seated was very near the piano, and placed in such a manner that the artiste had the lady opposite him. He looked at her while he was playing, in order to read in her countenance the impression which the music might produce on her. The handkerchief which Miladi held in her hand, having, after a while, fallen to the ground, the musician rushed forward to pick it up: and, in doing so, could not refrain from uttering an exclamation of surprise. "What is the matter with you?" said Sir Edward. "Oh, sir, the lady—the pretended lady!" "Alas!" interrupted Sir Edward, "I only possess the image of an adored wife!" And it was then explained that the worthy baronet, being inconsolable for the loss of certain friends, always travelled about with their image in wax! A party of living friends afterwards assembled, and the evening was spent very agreeably.
HOUSEKEEPERS, look at this; and, before you engage a cook, inquire if she has a husband. This is an illustration of that that said husband going to the paternal abode, with something to feed the young ravens, after having paid a visit to his wife. It is simply "the husband of your cook leaving your house."
SOUND REASONING—and, as such, will be recognized by those who have been humbugged by the Brown and other lecturers who have honored us with visits from abroad:—
Lectures vs. Books.—Why a man should put on his overcoat and comforter, and a woman wrap herself in furs, mufflers, cloaks, and shawls, and the children bundle up, to face a strong nor'-wester, and go out to hear a lecture of dubious excellence, or a concert that, after all, is little better than a bore, while at home a goodly array of philosophers and poets, story-tellers and grand advisers, stand waiting to offer their services; yet not one of which looks sad if his neighbor is preferred before him—this we would wonder at, if it were not everybody's habit. If a man has weak eyes, or his thoughts find no anchorage, and if he cannot afford the luxury of a private reader, let him visit the public lecture-room, and he can get much good from it. Or if, for his sins, he has lost his home, let him go to the concert and mortify himself. But we who have homes cannot afford, first, the sacrifice of our home comforts, second, the loss of precious winter evening hours, and third, the price of tickets, unless we know of a surety that they will admit us to choice performances.
On the Duke of Marlborough:—
In St. Bennet's, Paul's Wharf, London:—
From Broom Churchyard, England:—
In St. Michael's Churchyard, Aberystwith, is another, to the memory of David Davies, blacksmith:—
The following epitaph is transcribed from one of the local histories of Cornwall:—
From Cunwallow Churchyard, Cornwall. [It may be read either backwards or forwards.]
In St. Germain's, in the Isle of Man, the following very singular epitaph is yet to be seen, in Latin, over the tomb of Dr. Samuel Rutter, formerly prebendary of Litchfield, and afterwards Bishop of Sodor and Man:—
SOME FEW INSTRUCTIONS IN CROCHET-WORK, which may be of use to some of our lady readers.
In the first instance, the crochet-hook should be very smooth, made of fine steel, and fixed in handles. The stitches used are chain, slip, single, double, treble, and long treble crochet.
Chain Stitch (ch) is made by forming a loop on the thread, then inserting the hook, and drawing the thread through the loop already made. Continue this, forming a succession of stitches.
Slip Stitch is made by drawing a thread at once through any given stitch and the loop on the needle.
Single Crochet (sc). Having a loop on the needle, insert the hook in a stitch and draw the thread through in a loop. You have then two on the hook; draw the thread through both at once.
Double Crochet (dc). Twist the thread round the hook before inserting it in the stitch, through which you draw the thread in a loop. There will then be three loops on the hook; draw the thread through two, and then through the one just formed and the remaining one.
Treble Crochet (tc), and Long Treble (long tc), are worked in the same way; in treble the thread is put twice, in long treble three times, before inserting it into the stitch.
Square Crochet is also sometimes used. The squares are either open or close. An open square consists of one dc, two ch, missing two on the line beneath before making the next stitch. A close square has three successive dc. Thus any given number of close squares, followed by an open, will have so many times three dc, and one over; therefore any foundation for square crochet must have a number that can be divided by three, having one over.
To contract an Edge. This may be done in dc, tc, or long tc. Twist the thread round the hook as often as required, insert it in the work, and half do a stitch. Instead of finishing it, twist the thread round again, until the same number of loops are on, and work a stitch entirely; so that, for two stitches, there is only one head.
To join on a Thread. In joining, finish the stitch by drawing the new thread through, leaving two inches for both ends, which must be held in.
To use several Colors. This is done in single crochet. Hold the threads not in use on the edge of the work, and work them in. Change the color by beginning the stitch in the old color and finishing it with the new, continuing the work with the latter holding in the old. If only one stitch is wanted in the new color, finish one stitch and begin the next with it; then change.
To "Purl" in Netting. Bring your thread forward, and take up the inner side of the stitch, putting your needle downwards in the stitch instead of upwards, as you do in plain knitting.
"W. J. M."—Cannot send the "Lady's Book" previous to January, 1851. Wish we had the eight years to send you.
"Clara S."—Will find explanations of the abbreviations of crochet terms in this number; also March number, page 279; and in our May number we will give further directions.
"L. M. H."—Sent you patterns by mail on 18th.
"Miss A. R."—Sent your hair bracelet on the 18th.
"Miss P. S."—Sent your ring and thimble on the 19th.
"O. V. H."—Sent your gold pen on 19th.
"B. A. C."—Sent the cap patterns by mail on 19th.
"M. P. R." commits the common error of not dating letter nor giving place of residence. The postmark, like every other postmark, is illegible. One-half the letters we receive have the same omissions, giving us a great deal of trouble. We can supply the numbers; but how can we tell what the postage will be when we don't know their destination? The price of the numbers will be 25 cents. The communication was received too late for March number.
"Miss E. P."—Sent your patterns on 20th.
"Graduate" is informed that he had better advertise in the papers here for the situation he wants. There is no other way of procuring it. We have used the masculine in answering this, as "Graduate" omits letting us know whether we are addressed by a male or female. If a female, why not write the first name in full, or prefix Mrs. or Miss?
"T. G. B."—Sent Rigolet by Adams's Express on 28th.
"C. C. D."—Sent Odd Fellows' Regalia by Adams & Co.
"Miss E. C. G."—Sent cotton on the 30th.
"J. W. K."—Sent jet cross on 30th.
"Miss C. R. L."—Sent apron pattern on the 2d.
"M. R. E. P."—Sent jacquette pattern 4th.
One of our subscribers wrote us upon the subject of cutting dresses by our patterns. We have mislaid the letter. Will she please write again?
"Miss T."—Sent cotton by mail. The postage will be expensive; but cheaper than express.
"A. S. C."—Sent dress on the 7th by mail.
"Miss D. H."—Sent patterns by mail on 7th.
"Helen."—Boots to button at the side for winter wear are very fashionable here. Bronze or blue gaiter boots $3, French kid slippers $1 50. Never heard of such a mono-mania; make him wear girl's clothing until he reforms.
"S. S. S."—Sent goods by mail (the cheapest way) on the 7th.
"T. S. H."—Sent Rapp's pen by mail on the 14th.
"Miss M. F."—Sent breastpin by mail on 14th.
"Mrs. J. A. C."—Wrote and sent you circular of prices of Boardman & Gray's pianos.
"M. S. L."—Sent jewelry by mail on 18th.
"Bed Quilts."—Marseilles are almost invariably used now. Of course, they are fashionable.
"J. S. B."—Too late for March number. Cannot furnish "Lady's Book" from the commencement. We have only as far back as 1851.
"Mrs. A. V. Du B."—Sent patterns by mail on 18th.
No orders attended to unless the cash accompanies them.
All persons requiring answers by mail must send a post-office stamp.
"The wicked borroweth and payeth not again."
THE "Pennsylvania Trojan" says: "The present is decidedly the best number, in point of illustrations, reading matter, paper, and typography, ever issued, and every way worthy of the wide-spread reputation of L. A. Godey. We cannot lend this number, to show it to our friends, for Mrs. M. has taken charge of it, and is copying some very pretty patterns of embroidery from it. However, she will take pleasure in displaying its beauties to you."
Sent you a duplicate of that prospectus sheet, friend "Trojan."
GOOD.—A letter from a Ky. editor: "I have about one dozen BORROWING subscribers, who all like your 'Book' remarkably well, I presume, from their eagerness to get hold of it. I have lost one or two of these, however, as they have sent on and subscribed for themselves."
Don't lend, and we shall have the remainder of them soon.
A letter from a lady in New York State:—
"SIR: I have endeavored to be as punctual as possible in making up my club for 1854. The 'Lady's Book,' with its many charms, has become very necessary to our happiness. I am gratified that there are a few ladies among us who are sufficiently endowed with a sense of the beautiful and interesting to appreciate its worth. One of its admirable traits is that it bears acquaintance well. That race of beings who borrow everything they read is not extinct in this vicinity. But that habit, like that of drinking ardent spirits, is growing less, as decent people are ashamed to practise it."
"No loss but what falls on my head." The "Advocate," Stamford, says: "By the way, if the individual who so unceremoniously borrowed the August number will be kind enough to return it, we shall be saved the necessity of troubling Mr. Godey for a duplicate."
Of course, we had to send it.
ONE of our lady subscribers takes two copies of the "Lady's Book," so that she can have one to lend. Hard case; but it is the only way, she says, that she can secure a copy for her own perusal. We would suggest to her to slip in the copy proposals for a club of six. The price to each one would only be $1 67 for a year's subscription.
CHEAP CONTRIVANCE FOR FILTERING.—A very cheap and good contrivance for filtering is to take a large garden flower-pot, and lay in the bottom a piece of sponge, so as to cover the hole. Upon this put a few smooth, clean pebbles, to keep the sponge in its place, and fill up the pot, to within two or three inches of the brim, with a mixture of one part of powdered charcoal to two parts of fine sharp sand. Then cover the top of the pot with a piece of clean white flannel, tied tightly round the rim with a twine, but so as to sink or sway down in the centre. Set the flower-pot in a pan or tub, and pour the water into the flannel, letting it filter through the charcoal, &c.; and, by the time it has passed through the sponge, and come out at the bottom, it will be clear.
TO CLEANSE A TEAKETTLE FROM FUR.—Heat the kettle rapidly over a fire of shavings, having previously made it quite dry. The expansion will separate the fur from the metal, and it may then be easily removed.
TO REMOVE STAINS OF ACIDS, &C.—Stains caused by acids may be removed by tying some pearlash up in the stained part; scrape some soap in soft cold water, and boil the linen till the stain is gone. Many stains may be removed by dipping the linen in some sour buttermilk, and drying it in a hot sun, washing it afterwards in cold water. It may be found necessary to repeat this once or twice.
TO TAKE OUT IRONMOULD.—Wet the ironmould with water, and then lay the linen on a hot water-plate and put on the part a little essential salt of lemons. When it becomes dry, wet it again, and renew the process, being particular that the plate is boiling hot. Dip the linen into a good deal of water, and wash it as soon as the stain is removed, to prevent any damage from the acid.
TO PRESERVE STEEL PENS.—Metallic pens may be preserved from rusting by throwing into the bottle containing the ink a few nails, or broken pieces of steel pens, if not varnished. The corrosive action of the acid which the ink contains is expended on the iron so introduced, and will not therefore affect the pen.
FRENCH POLISH.—To one pint of spirits of wine add a quarter of an ounce of gum copal, a quarter of an ounce of gum arabic, and one ounce of shellac. Let your gums be well bruised, and sifted through a piece of muslin. Put the spirits and the gums together in a vessel that can be safely corked; place them near a warm stove, and frequently shake them. In two or three days they will be dissolved; strain it through a piece of muslin, and keep it tightly corked for use.
CUSTARDS, CREAMS, JELLIES, AND BLANC MANGE.
CHARLOTTE RUSSE.—Line the bottom of a plain round mould with Savoy biscuits, placing them close together in a star or some device; line the , placing the biscuits edgewise, to make them form a compact wall; put the mould upon ice; have ready a Crême au Marasquin, adding a glass of brandy. Fill the mould as it stands on the ice, and leave it till the time of serving, when turn it over upon the dish and take off the mould.
CHARLOTTE RUSSE. An easy way.—Mix with the yolks of four eggs a quarter of a pound of sugar pounded fine, and add to this half a pint of new milk. Put it over the fire till it begins to thicken like custard, but do not let it boil; then add half a pint of very stiff calves-foot jelly. Strain it through a napkin; put in a pan placed on ice, a pint of very rich cream, flavored or not, as you like, and whip it until it looks like float; pour the cream into another dish, and put the custard in the pan on the ice; stir it on the ice with a paddle until it becomes thick like jelly; then add the cream very lightly. The mixture should look like light sponge-cake before it is baked. A round tin pan must be prepared with sponge-cake, called ladies' fingers, placed around and at the bottom very evenly and closely; pour the charlotte in it, and place it on the ice till wanted. When wanted, put a round dish or plate on it, and turn it out. The bottom will then be at the top—and no cake at the bottom.
CREAM HASTY.—Take a gallon of milk from the cow, set it on the fire, and when it begins to rise take it off the fire, skim off all the cream and put it on a plate, then set the skillet on the fire again and repeat the skimming till your plate is full of cream; put to it some orange flower and sugar, and serve it.
CREAM "AU NATUREL."—Take some thin cream, mind and let it be fresh, and put it in a bowl on ice to cool; add to it powdered sugar, and serve it.
CREAM, TO KEEP.—Cream already skimmed may be kept twenty-four hours, if scalded without sugar; and, by adding to it as much powdered lump sugar as will make it sweet, it will keep good two days in a cool place.
CURDS AND CREAM.—With about half a tablespoonful of rennet, turn two quarts of milk just from the cow; drain off the whey, and fill a mould with the curd; when it has stood an hour or two, turn it out. Strew colored comfits over it, sweeten some cream, mix grated nutmeg with it, and pour it round the curd.
CURDS AND CREAM, AS IN SCOTLAND.—Put two quarts of new milk into the dish in which it is to be served, and turn it with a teaspoonful of rennet; when the curd has come, serve it with the cream in a separate dish.
NAPLES CURD.—Put into a quart of new milk a stick of cinnamon, boil it a few minutes, take out the cinnamon, and stir in eight well-beaten eggs and a tablespoonful of white wine; when it boils again, strain it through a sieve; beat the curd in a basin, together with about half an ounce of butter, two tablespoonfuls of orange-flower water, and pounded sugar sufficient to sweeten it. Put it into a mould for two hours before it is sent to table. White wine, sugar, and cream may be mixed together and poured round the curd, or it may be served in a sauce tureen.
THE SICK ROOM AND NURSERY.
CURE FOR SQUINTING.—Squinting frequently arises from the unequal strength of the eyes, the weaker eye being turned away from the object, to avoid the fatigue of exertion. Cases of squinting of long standing have often been cured by covering the stronger eye, and thereby compelling the weaker one to exertion.
SCRATCHES.—Trifling as scratches often seem, they ought never to be neglected, but should be covered and protected, and kept clean and dry until they have completely healed. If there is the least appearance of inflammation, no time should be lost in applying a large bread and water poultice, or hot flannels repeatedly applied, or even leeches in good numbers may be put on at some distance from each other.
IT is a long time ago since we rejoiced in the possession of a new spelling-book, with a bright blue board cover (so liable to get the corners chipped off), and learned from its fascinating pages that ever-to-be-remembered lesson for the household—
What else of profit we gleaned from its double-columned pages, our readers, or perhaps our printers, are the best judges; but the poetic bit of family government, though faded with years, comes out now and then feebly in remembrance, as sympathetic inks brighten by firelight. It is at present recalled by a subject suggestive for this month's chat, "the duties of an elder daughter at home," or, as we would have it read, of "daughters at home." The mother of a large family has had demands on her time, health, and spirits in their infancy, which they cannot understand until they come to be situated in like manner, but certain it is, and as the daughters grew up around her, she naturally looks to them to aid her in the cares and responsibilities of the home.
Of course, to all well-ordered governments there must be one head, the centre of all action; but inferior officers can ofttimes take the whole burden of petty detail. The silver, the mending, the wash, must be seen to, and here it might be a daughter's pleasant duty to see her mother's instructions faithfully obeyed. How much better this, than adding to the general discomfort and disorderly careless habits, and inconsideration or rudeness to the servants.
Then as regards her brothers—the daughter of the household has much to think of: to be considerate for their comfort, to respect their feelings, to care for their amusement, to enter into their plans and pursuits. How many a brother is driven to seek idle, expensive, and too often vicious company from the lack of such sympathy at home! And yet one so often hears—"brothers are so troublesome"—or, "we can't practice just to play for a brother"—or, "the boys have their company, and I have mine." The taste may not always be congenial, but good feeling and gentle manners will accomplish far more than a sarcastic repulse.
Thus, in course of time, the stepping-stones safely passed, the girl becomes the young wife—housekeeper—mother—fitted for the duties of her station, and therefore contented with it, finding nothing harsh or irksome in domestic routine, and satisfied with the pleasures and enjoyments of home. Far more likely to do so than she who leads a careless, idle life as a girl—to become a fretful, discontented wife, or neglectful mother.
LACES AND EMBROIDERIES.
WE promised, in speaking of new caps, a paragraph in our fashion chat on laces; but, as that has its own material, in discussing the merits of shapes and styles, we lay our laces upon the centre-table instead.
We have now in preparation some very new and tasteful designs for chemisettes, to be worn in mourning, every one understanding that embroideries are laid aside with a black dress. For the strictest styles, plain linen, cambric, and Swiss muslin are worn; but when silks or fringed dresses are put on, fluted ruffles, edged with plain narrow lace, on collars and open sleeves, are not out of taste, or edges of needle-work in scallops and points.
Laces, or very thin muslin embroidery, will be worn this summer; cambric, whether plain or embroidered, being seen only in morning-dress. We speak to those who "dress for dinner." There is a new style of lace, the Maltese, which is very heavy and apparently durable, somewhat resembling Honiton, at about half its cost. It is very pretty for caps, as seen in our design for the month. Heavy laces are still in vogue; Valenciennes and the still more delicate and lady-like Mechlin have given place to them. There is an Irish point occasionally to be met with, the most durable of all, being of the purest linen thread. Collars, or chemisettes, and undersleeves are worn to match. Nothing is more untidy—save soiled muslins—than to see cambric sleeves and a rich lace collar, or muslin sleeves and English flouncing for a chemisette. Better to have both of plain cambric or linen.
WASHING MADE EASY.
THE truthfulness of the "Washing-Day" song, with its disagreeable effects on the spirits and temper, has never been questioned or doubted. For ourselves, our spirits fall with the first rising of steam from the kitchen, and only reach a natural temperature when the clothes are neatly folded in the ironing-basket. If any of our club sympathize with us, they will rejoice that a better day is at hand, and consider the invention described below as full of the deepest interest to our sex as housekeepers. The one thus commented on is in use in the St. Nicholas Hotel, New York:—
"A strong wooden cylinder, four feet diameter, and four and a half feet long, is mounted on a frame, so as to be driven by a band on one end of the shaft. This shaft is hollow, with pipes so connected with it that hot or cold water, or steam, can be introduced at the option of the person in charge. The cylinder being half full of water, a door at one end is opened, and 300 to 500 pieces of clothing are thrown in, with a suitable quantity of soap, and an alkaline fluid which assists in dissolving the dirt and bleaching the fabric, so that clothes, after being washed in this manner, increase in whiteness without having the texture injured.
"When the cylinder is changed, it is put in motion by a small steam-engine, and made to revolve slowly, first one way a few revolutions, and then the other, by which the clothes are thrown from side to side, in and out, and through the water. During this operation the steam is let in through a double-mouthed pipe—somewhat of this shape, X—which has one mouth in and one mouth out of water; the steam entering the water through the immersed end, and escaping through the other, by which means it is made to pass through the clothes, completely cleansing them in fifteen or twenty minutes. The steam is now cut off, and the hot water drawn through the waste pipe, and then cold water introduced, which rinses the articles in a few more turns of the cylinder. They are now suffered to drain until the operator is ready to take them out, when they are put into the drying-machine, which runs like a millstone, and its operation may be understood by supposing that millstone to be a shallow tub, with wire network sides, against which the clothes being placed, it is put in rapid motion; the air, passing in a strong current into the top and bottom of the tub, and out of the sides, carries all the moisture with it into the outside case, from whence it runs away. The length of time requisite to dry the clothes depends upon the rapidity of the revolving tub. If it should run 3,000 revolutions a minute, five to seven minutes would be quite sufficient. When there is not sufficient steam to run the dryer with that speed, it requires double that. In washing and drying, there is nothing to injure the fabric. Ladies' caps and laces are put up in netting bags, and are not rubbed by hand or machine to chafe or tear them in the least, but are cleansed most perfectly.
"It can readily be imagined what a long line of wash-tubs would be required to wash 5,000 pieces a day, and what a big clothes-yard to dry them in; while here the work is done by four persons, who only occupy part of a basement-room, the other part being occupied by the mangle, and ironing and folding-tables. Adjoining are the airing-frames, which are hung with clothes, and then shoved into a room steam-pipe heated, when they are completely dried in a few minutes.
"Small Family Machines.—Almost the first thought, after witnessing the operation of this machine, was, can washing be done upon the same principle in small families? To our inquiries upon this point, we have received the following satisfactory information:—
"For common family use, hand-machines are made to cost from $40 to $50, with which a woman can wash fifty pieces at a time, and complete 500 in a day without laboring severely. For the purpose of washing, without driving the machinery by steam, a very small boiler will be sufficient. It is not necessary to have a head of water, as that can be found in the cylinder, which can be turned by horse or any other convenient power. The plan of cleansing clothes by steam is not a new one; but it is contended by the inventor that his process is an improvement upon all heretofore applied to that purpose."
APPLETONS' is the very conspicuous gilt-lettered name of a large brown-stone building just opened on Broadway, New York, for the business purposes of this well-known firm. It was built originally for a public library, but was bought last spring by the present owners, and the lower story has since been fitted up for them. Henceforth, "Appletons'" will be one of the lions of Broadway.
It may not be a very flattering comparison, but one at least easily understood—what "Stewart's" is to the woman of fashion, or "Taylor's" to the gourmand, "Appletons'" is now to the student or the book fancier. The design and decorations are in perfect keeping with the business, the very windows, deep set as they are, suggesting the alcoves, with which it is lined, as in a public library. The ceiling walls are ornamented in fresco, of quiet, yet cheerful tints; fourteen Corinthian columns are the central support, and these have the effect of Sienna marble. The book-cases and shelving are of plain oak. The proportions and whole interior effect are admirable; and here are to be found everything that is bindable or readable, from superb London editions of the classics to the last new school-book, in its plain cloth cover.
A good hour's lounge would scarcely give a just idea of the united elegance and utility of the new establishment; for the curious visitor should not neglect to glance at the wholesale ware-room, occupying the warm, well-lighted basement, which has its own "exits and entrances," its own salesmen, attendants, and purchasers, and gives perhaps a more just estimate of the immense business of the firm. There is certainly nothing approaching to it in this country or in England.
WE must enforce upon our correspondents the necessity of being explicit in forwarding their addresses; for we agree with them in thinking it rather awkward for a young lady to be addressed as M. S. Jones, Esq., or a married lady to find herself suddenly divorced, and written to as Miss. But how are we to help it? How is the editor, especially in the haste and confusion of a correspondence the uninitiated cannot imagine or comprehend, to discover from internal evidence whether the said M. S. Jones is a noun masculine or feminine, or, being feminine, to decide upon her state and condition regarding the holy bonds of matrimony? Let the letter read thus, and all doubt and misdirection are at an end:—
"DEAR SIR: Inclosed is $10 for the following subscription to the Lady's Book. MISS M. S. JONES, Dalton, Ohio"—
or Mrs., as the prefix may be. That agreeable young lady will not, in this case, have her feelings hurt by being addressed as Esq., and so supposed to belong to the Woman's Right party, at least; nor we be obliged to waste, to us, very valuable time, in reading letters of explanation or writing notes of apology. Not to mention the two postage stamps saved—a consideration; since, by Poor Richard's rule of compound interest—
"A penny saved is two pence got."
"MRS. BARNARD."—Let your children wear aprons, by all means. They are not out of fashion; but, on the contrary, new patterns are constantly being designed. See our fashion article for the present month.
"A NEW MAMMA" will find several editions of "Mother Goose" in the market. One is contained in "Harry's Ladder to Learning," published by Evans & Brittan, one of the best juveniles we know, as there are many excellent things inclosed in its covers. It can also be had separate, postage and all, for less than a quarter of a dollar. A more elaborate edition, as full of clever designs as the Christmas-pie of little Jack Horner was supposed to be of plums, is published by John Rund Smith, London, under the title of the "Nursery Rhymes of England." Also imported by Evans & Brittan.
"MISS A. B. L." can safely have her white and muslin dresses for the ensuing season made with infants' waists. If her figure is small and light, they cannot fail to be becoming; and, for quite young ladies, the style never is out of date.
"MRS. P. L.," of Darien, Geo., can have her books by package or mail. We add to our list for reading aloud, "An Attic Philosopher in Paris: being the Journal of a Happy Man," published by the Appletons. Its tone is most genial and pure, entirely free from the French sentimentality that borders on frivolity, and, at the same time, full of pathetic truths. For the children, we would particularly commend "Our Little Comfort" and "Love's Lessons," both of which are admirable.
"MRS. H."—An infant's skirt should not be over a yard in length. Of course, the petticoats should be a hem shorter, the flannel shortest of all.
"MISS LIZZIE N."—See fashion article.
"ELLEN" had better send an order for patterns, now that they are so cheap—much cheaper than words.
Of the work that "MRS. R." has asked our opinion as a book for the family, we must be allowed to say that we do not consider its morality to be pure, nor the sympathies it arouses womanly. Dwelling on such scenes cannot do the general good that some critics seem to expect from it. We agree with them that "ignorance is not virtue;" at the same time, there is much to be dreaded in familiarizing the innocent mind with the details of sin and wickedness. "To the pure, all things are pure," again urges the specious moralist; but, alas for our nature that it should be so! the seeds of impurity are to be found in every earth-born mind, only too ready to be developed. Poison the mind, the imagination, and you open the flood-gates of innumerable temptations. Only too true is the lesson of a sterner moralist—
We may seem to speak warmly on the subject, and thus overstep our limits; but books that wrong, under a pretence of virtue, are worst of all to be dreaded. Our sex are more exposed to their influence than to any open temptation. Books are to us companions. They lie under our pillows, and on the empty seat beside us; they hide in our work-baskets, or under the sofa cushion, to come forth at a moment's notice; while, with men, they have but the passing notice of an idle hour.
NOTICE TO LADY SUBSCRIBERS.
Having had frequent applications for the purchase of jewelry, millinery, etc., by ladies living at a distance, the Editress of the Fashion Department will hereafter execute commissions for any who may desire it, with the charge of a small percentage for the time and research required. Bridal wardrobes, spring and autumn bonnets, dresses, jewelry, bridal cards, cake-boxes, envelopes, etc. etc., will be chosen with a view to economy, as well as taste; and boxes or packages forwarded by express to any part of the country. For the last, distinct directions must be given.
Orders, accompanied by checks for the proposed expenditure, to be addressed to the care of L. A. Godey, Esq., who will be responsible for the amount, and the early execution of commissions.
No order will be attended to unless the money is first received.
Instructions to be as minute as is possible, accompanied by a note of the height, complexion, and general style of the person, on which much depends in choice. Dress goods from Levy's or Stewart's; cloaks, mantillas, or talmas, from Brodie's, 51 Canal Street, New York; bonnets from Miss Wharton's; jewelry from Bailey's or Warden's, Philadelphia, or Tiffany's, New York, if requested.
DESCRIPTION OF STEEL FASHION PLATE FOR APRIL.
Fig. 1st.—Dinner-dress of rose-colored cashmere, the flounces trimmed with velvet points of a rich dark brown; the opening in the front of the basque is made by laying the corsage back from the shoulder to the line of the waist, sloping the width gradually. Short wide sleeves trimmed to correspond. Bonnet of rose-colored taffeta ribbon, with a border and bands of pale green, tied with strings of the same. The inside has a very full ruche of blonde, with a single damask rose placed high up on the right side.
Fig. 2d.—Plain walking-dress of mode-colored silk, the skirt entirely plain. The corsage is close and high, with a short basque, trimming of black guipure lace and velvet ribbon; the sleeves are opened on the back and forearm, trimmed to correspond. Knots of velvet ribbon close the corsage. White drawn bonnet, the brim very shallow, full trimmed, the lace having blue crape convolvulus bells, intermixed at irregular distances.
Child's dress of plain white cashmere, flounced; blue cloak of full Talma pattern. White drawn bonnet, with double wreath of daisies inside the brim.
CHITCHAT UPON NEW YORK AND PHILADELPHIA FASHIONS FOR APRIL.
The month of April with us is principally devoted to shopping; the changes of dress do not begin to be general before May, although the preparations are, of course, made at this time. The principal consideration of the month would seem to be mantillas, scarfs, etc., bonnets, and the making up of dresses.
For a large variety of styles, in the mantilla department, we are indebted to Brodie, of New York, who ranks at the head of this manufacture. In our next number, we shall give a more detailed account of his large establishment, entirely devoted to cloaks, mantillas, and scarfs. And here we are bewildered with the variety, in attempting to select for our readers.
Although velvet is not in season, strictly speaking, we must notice a scarf mantilla of royal purple, the rich and costly fabric being decorated by embroidery, the design a heavy wreath of grape leaves, purple clusters, and twining tendrils. They are shaded with exquisite art, the leaves and tendrils in different stitches, the clusters in rich raised work, the effect of which it is impossible to describe.
A bridal scarf of rich embroidery on a white ground, as pure as the bridal dress itself, is one of the next most costly importations. No other house uses so much embroidery as Brodie, and we are assured by him that the French needle-work, exquisite as it is, can be excelled in this country. His establishment alone affords employment to hundreds in this branch of female industry, through the busy seasons of the year.
The woven embroidery now so much the style, where bouquets, wreaths, etc., are brocaded on a plain ground, is brought into service the present season. The Oriental scarf we notice, as combining richness of material and effect, with plainness of form and decoration. It has a deep border of palm leaves in bright shades, gold predominating, on a plain ground of royal purple; the heavy fringe is of the same hue. The form is the simple close-fitting mantilla scarf.
Another style, destined to become a favorite from its richness of effect, is composed of several flounces of black guipure lace on a plain silk, deep blue, green, violet, brown, etc. The lower one, much deeper than those on the body of the mantle, falls over the dress, and that next to the row which forms the upper finish follows the curve of the shoulder. There is a space between each the width of the lace, and the several rows are headed by a box-plaited ruche of narrow black satin ribbon. Another style has bands of velvet ribbon an inch and a half in width, placed lengthwise on the scarf, the ends falling over the flounce of lace below. They are at a little distance apart, and each is encircled or edged by a narrow row of lace placed on flat, giving an effect at once elegant and novel, which it would be impossible to describe by words. These are a few of the leading spring styles; and others less costly, and in lighter fabrics, will be described in our extended notice of Mr. Brodie's establishment.
For those who do not order their mantillas and scarfs from the city direct, or who depend upon home manufacture, we would advise them to send to Demorest, 67 Canal Street, a few doors from Brodie's, for a set of patterns, and make them up according to the very accurate idea given by his styles. Here, again, we have several new varieties, the establishment also importing direct from Paris. One of very graceful shape has plaits at the back, as in the cloaks of the past season, with a tablier, or scarf front passing around and forming a deep collar on the shoulder. All the mantillas of the season, be it remarked, are very low and open, to display the collar, chemisette, etc. Another, of plainer scarf form, has a collar pointed in front, and a shoulder-piece coming below it has the effect of a double collar, ending in a bow of ribbon upon the shoulder. Still another, especially suited for a matron, has a slight fulness in the back, which is cut in the same piece as the front, coming into a very low pointed yoke on the shoulder; the collar corresponds in form and style. All Madame Demorest's patterns are made in tissue paper, fitting to the figure with the same grace as the real garment, and the trimmings are imitated with wonderful exactness.
For several new sleeves, we are also indebted to the same establishment, although the season is too early to admit of a judgment as to what will be the prevailing styles.
The bonnets are all very small, with open shallow brims and long low crowns. The stiff round crown has entirely gone out, and the ingenuity of the milliner is almost exhausted in draping this very necessary part of the bonnet in the most graceful way. Dress, or drawn bonnets are made of silk and crape, with a profusion of ribbon and lace; the bonnet itself seems of little consequence, so that the crown has a good shape, and the inside of the brim is gracefully decorated. Our fashionable ladies have a remarkable air of one-sidedness in this respect. For instance, a large bow of pink ribbon, set high up on the right, and a drooping spray of flowers on the left, connected by blonde or narrow laces of any kind. In wreaths running around the face, one side is made heavier than the other, and continued so to the forehead, or crosses it perhaps, instead of the old-fashioned well-balanced bouquets on each side, connected by narrow wreaths at the top. White is the prevailing color so far, with crape flowers in purple, with bright green leaves, as lilacs, heartsease, convolvulus, clusters of glycena, etc. etc. Delicate shades of pink, green, violet, and blue are also seen; lace, either blonde or less costly styles, is used in all.
Of ribbons for straw bonnets we have endless varieties of colors and patterns, brocaded, plaided, and plain. For ourselves, we are no fanciers of a ribbon that at a little distance looks like a strip of gay-colored chintz; a rich, thick satin, or Mantua, of one shade, is always more lady-like, and sufficient variety can be found in the different stripes, pearlings, etc. Gold brocaded ribbons—by brocaded, we mean a raised figure upon a plain ground—are more suitable for headdresses, or evening-dress, than the street. They will be entirely out of place on a straw bonnet; as much so as a rich gimp or velvet trimming on a chintz dress.
Silks, mousselines, and light spring cashmeres, indeed, any fabric of like thickness, will be made, as in the past winter, with basques, closed all around, over the hips, and without the rolling-collar at the bust, which was so long the style. The sleeves will be worn decidedly larger at the top, even when they are not intended for puffs or plaits. These open on the inside of the arm, and require to have the seam set very far forward, so as to have the opening fall away from the wrist. It is now the style to face a silk sleeve far up with white Florence, and box-plait a white satin ribbon about an inch in width around the inside edge, no matter as to what the dress itself is trimmed with: it gives a very stylish finish. Ribbons, galloons, and frills of the same are the favorite trimmings, which, in all cases save black, should match the shade of the dress exactly. Black silks are much worn this spring, with ribbon trimmings of deep purple, blue, green, and even crimson; the flounces are bound in this style, and the barque and sleeve trimmings correspond. Bows of ribbon, medium width, either flat or with flowing ends, close the basque and sleeve openings on most of the new silks, etc. Guipure lace is the richest and most costly of all, and comes of every shade and width, ranging from 75 cents to $5 per yard. The galloons are rich, light, and fanciful; satin and velvet, watered, pearled, etc.
Our May number, besides a more elaborate notice of Mr. Brodie's establishment, will contain many items of great interest in this department, as the openings are announced for an early day. FASHION.
TO EXTRACT ESSENCES FROM FLOWERS.—Procure a quantity of the petals of any flowers which have an agreeable fragrance, card thin layers of cotton, which dip into the finest Florence or Lucca oil, sprinkle a small quantity of fine salt on the flowers, and lay a layer of cotton and one of flowers alternately, until an earthen vessel or wide-mouthed glass bottle is full. Tie the top close with a bladder, then lay the vessel in a south aspect to the heat of the sun, and in fifteen days, when uncovered, a fragrant oil may be squeezed away from the whole mass, quite equal to the highly-valued otto of roses.
TO IMPROVE THE VOICE.—Beeswax, two drachms; copaiba balsam, three drachms; powder of liquorice-root, four drachms. Melt the copaiba balsam with the wax in a new earthen pipkin; when melted, remove them from the fire, and while in a melted state mix in the powder. Make pills of three grains each. Two of these pills to be taken occasionally.
 I have liberally availed myself, in the above theory, of the hints of my talented friend, J. J. Woodward, contained in an epistolatory criticism on Bulwer's Zanoni, written to a mutual friend.
 Entered according to Act of Congress, by T. B. PETERSON, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
P. 298. 'or crum of bread', changed 'crum' to 'crumb'.
P. 302. 'ever appoach', changed 'appoach' to 'approach'.
P. 368. ... the subject commonplace.) Closed brackets.
P. 374. 'a silkly gloss.' Changed 'silkly' to 'silky'.
P. 378 'line the slides', changed 'slides' to 'sides'.
Fixed various punctuation.