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Title: Graham's Magazine, Vol. XXXII, No. 3 (March 1848)

Date of first publication: 1848

Author: George R. Graham

Date first posted: Mar. 13, 2009

Date last updated: Jan. 13, 2017

Faded Page eBook #20090306

This ebook was produced by: David T. Jones, Juliet Sutherland, Mardi Desjardins & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net


Vol. XXXII.      March, 1848.      No. 3.

Table of Contents

The Cruise of the Gentile

White Creek

The Alchemist’s Daughter

Lines to an Ideal

Mrs. Pelby Smith’s Select Party


The Islets of the Gulf

The Belle

Le Petit Soulier

Early English Poets

Dissolving Views

The Voice of the Fire



Epitaph on a Restless Lady

My Lady-Help


Game-Birds of America.—No. IX.

Triumphs of Peace


Woman’s Love

Years Ago.—A Ballad.

To My Wife



Review of New Books

Transcriber’s Notes can be found at the end of this eBook.

Anaïs Toudouze


Boulevart St. Martin, 61.

Robes de Mme. Mercier, r. Nve. des Pls. Champs, 82.

Bonnet de Mlle. Fleury, gal. de la Madeleine, 7—Manchons du Cardinale, bt. Poissoniere 9.

Chapeau de Mme. Leclère, r. St. Honoré, 335bis.—Dentelles de Violard, r. Choiseul, 2bis.

Fleurs de Chagot—Gants Xveline, r. de la Paix, 18-20—Chaussures Meier, r. Tronchet, 17

Graham’s Magazine.


Vol. XXXII.     PHILADELPHIA, March, 1848.     No. 3.






In which the reader is introduced to several of the dramatis personæ.

On the evening of the 25th of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-nine, the ship Gentile, of Boston, lay at anchor in the harbor of Valetta.

It is quite proper, gentle reader, that, as it is with this ship and her crew that you will chiefly have to do in the following yarn, they should be severally and particularly introduced to your notice.

To begin, then. Imagine yourself standing on the parapet of St. Elmo, about thirty minutes past five o’clock on the evening above mentioned; the Gentile lies but little more than a cable’s length from the shore, so that you can almost look down upon her decks. You perceive that she is a handsome craft of some six or seven hundred tons burthen, standing high out of water, in ballast trim, with a black hull, bright waist, and wales painted white. Her bows flare very much, and are sharp and symmetrical; the cut-water stretches, with a graceful curve, far out beyond them toward the long sweeping martingal, and is surmounted by a gilt scroll, or, as the sailors call it, a fiddle-head. The black stern is ornamented by a group of white figures in bas relief, which give a lively air to the otherwise sombre and vacant expression, and beneath the cabin-windows is painted the name of the ship, and her port of register. The lower masts of this vessel are short and stout, the top-masts are of great height, the extreme points of the fore and mizzen-royal poles, are adorned with gilt balls, and over all, at the truck of the main sky-sail pole, floats a handsome red burgee, upon which a large G is visible. There are no yards across but the lower and topsail-yards, which are very long and heavy, precisely squared, and to which the sails are furled in an exceeding neat and seaman-like manner. The rigging is universally taut and trim; and it is easy to perceive that the officers of the Gentile understand their business. The swinging-boom is rigged out, and fastened thereto, by their painters, a pair of boats, a yawl and gig, float lovingly side by side; and instead of the usual ladder at the side, a handy flight of accommodation steps lead from the water-line to the gangway.

Now, dear reader, leaving the battlements of St. Elmo, you alight upon the deck of our ship, which you find to be white and clean, and, as seamen say, sheer—that is to say, without break, poop, or hurricane-house—forming on each side of the line of masts a smooth, unencumbered plane the entire length of the deck, inclining with a gentle curve from the bow and stern toward the waist. The bulwarks are high, and are surmounted by a paneled monkey-rail; the belaying-pins in the plank-shear are of lignum-vitæ and mahogany, and upon them the rigging is laid up in accurate and graceful coils. The balustrade around the cabin companion-way and sky-light is made of polished brass, the wheel is inlaid with brass, and the capstan-head, the gangway-stanchions, and bucket-hoops are of the same glittering metal. Forward of the main hatchway the long-boat stands in its chocks, covered over with a roof, and a good-natured looking cow, whose stable is thus contrived, protrudes her head from a window, chews her cud with as much composure as if standing under the lee of a Yankee barn-yard wall, and watches, apparently, a group of sailors, who, seated in the forward waist around their kids and pans, are enjoying their coarse but plentiful and wholesome evening meal. A huge Newfoundland dog sits upon his haunches near this circle, his eyes eagerly watching for a morsel to be thrown him, the which, when happening, his jaws close with a sudden snap, and are instantly agape for more. A green and gold parrot also wanders about this knot of men, sometimes nibbling the crumbs offered it, and anon breaking forth into expressions which, from their tone, evince no great respect for some of the commandments in the Decalogue. Between the long-boat and the fore-hatch is the galley, where the “Doctor” (as the cook is universally called in the merchant service) is busily employed in dishing up a steaming supper, prepared for the cabin mess; the steward, a genteel-looking mulatto, dressed in a white apron, stands waiting at the galley-door, ready to receive the aforementioned supper, whensoever it may be ready, and to convey it to the cabin.

Turning aft, you perceive a young man pacing the quarter-deck, and whistling, as he walks, a lively air from La Bayadere. He is dressed neatly in a blue pilot-cloth pea-jacket, well-shaped trowsers, neat-fitting boots, and a Mahon cap, with gilt buttons. This gentleman is Mr. Langley. His father is a messenger in the Atlas Bank, of Boston, and Mr. Langley, jr. invariably directs his communications to his parent with the name of that corporation somewhere very legibly inscribed on the back of the letter. He is an apprentice to the ship, but being a smart, handy fellow, and a tolerable seaman, he was deemed worthy of promotion, and as his owner could find no second mate’s berth vacant in any of his vessels, the Gentile has rejoiced for the last twelve months in the possession of a third mate in the person of Mr. Langley. He is about twenty years of age, and would be a sensible fellow, were it not for a great taste for mischief, romance, theatres, cheap jewelry, and tight boots. He quotes poetry on the weather yard-arm, to the great dissatisfaction of Mr. Brewster, (to whom you will shortly be introduced,) who often confidentially assures the skipper that the third mate would have turned out a natural fool if his parents had not providentially sent him to sea.

But while you have been making the acquaintance of Mr. Langley, the steward has brought aft the dishes containing the cabin supper. A savory smell issues from the open sky-light, through which also ascends a ruddy gleam of light, the sound of cheerful voices, and the clatter of dishes. After the lapse of a few minutes the turns of Mr. Langley in pacing the deck grow shorter, and at last, ceasing to whistle and beginning to mutter, he walks up to the sky-light and looks down into the cabin below. Gentle reader, place yourself by his side, and now attend as closely as the favored student did to Asmodeus.

The fine-looking seaman reclining upon the cushioned transom, picking his teeth while he scans the columns of a late number of the Liverpool Mercury, is Captain Smith, the skipper, a regular-built, true-blue, Yankee ship-master. Though his short black curls are thickly sprinkled with gray, he has not yet seen forty years; but the winds and suns of every zone have left their indelible traces upon him. He is an intelligent, well-informed man, though self-taught, well versed in the science of trade, and is a very energetic and efficient officer.

The tall gentleman, just folding his doily, is the mate of the ship, Mr. Stewart. You would hardly suppose him to be a sailor at the first glance; and yet he is a perfect specimen of what an officer in the merchant service should be, notwithstanding his fashionably-cut broadcloth coat, white vest, black gaiter-pants, and jeweled fingers. He is dressed for the theatre. Mr. Stewart is a graduate of Harvard, and at first went to sea to recover the health which had been somewhat impaired by hard study; but becoming charmed with the profession, he has followed it ever since, and says that it is the most manly vocation in the world. He is a great favorite with the owner of the ship; and when he is at Boston, always resides with him. He will command a ship himself after this voyage. His age is twenty-eight. Mr. Stewart is a handsome man, a polite gentleman, an accomplished scholar, a thorough seamen, a strict but kind officer, a most companionable shipmate, and, in one word—a fine fellow.

Next comes Mr. Brewster, the second mate. That is he devouring those huge slices of cold beef with so much gusto, while Langley mutters, “Will he never have done!” He with the blue jacket, bedizzened so plentifully with small pearl buttons, the calico shirt, and fancifully-knotted black silk cravat around his brawny neck.

Mr. Micah Brewster hails from Truro, Cape Cod, and, like all Capemen, is a Yankee sailor, every inch of him. He commenced going to sea when only twelve years old, by shipping for a four months’ trip in a banker; and in the space of fourteen years, which have since elapsed, he has not been on shore as many months. He is complete in every particular of seamanship, and is, besides, a tolerably scientific navigator. He knows the color and taste of the water all along shore from Cape Farewell to the Horn, and can tell the latitude and longitude of any place on the chart without consulting it. Bowditch’s Epitome, and Blunt’s Coast Pilot, seem to him the only books in the world worth consulting, though I should, perhaps, except Marryatt’s novels and Tom Cringle’s Log. But of matters connected with the shore Mr. Brewster is as ignorant as a child unborn. He holds all landsmen but ship-builders, owners, and riggers, in supreme contempt, and can hardly conceive of the existence of happiness, in places so far inland that the sea breeze does not blow. A severe and exacting officer is he, but yet a favorite with the men—for he is always first in any emergency or danger, his lion-like voice sounding loud above the roar of the elements, cheering the crew to their duty, and setting the example with his own hands. He is rather inclined to be irritable toward those who have gained the quarter-deck by the way of the cabin-windows, but, on the whole, I shall set him down in the list of good fellows.

That swarthy, curl-pated youngster, in full gala dress for the theatre, drawing on his gloves, and hurrying Mr. Stewart, is, dear reader, your most humble, devoted, and obedient servant, Frank Byrne, alias, myself, alias, the ship’s cousin, alias, the son of the ship’s owner. Supposing, of course, that you believe in Mesmerism and clairvoyance, I shall not stop to explain how I have been able to point out the Gentile to you, while you were standing on the bastion of St. Elmo, and I all the while in the cabin of the good ship, dressing for the theatre, and eating my supper, but shall immediately proceed to inform you how I came there, to welcome you on board, and to wish you a pleasant cruise with us.

About two years ago, (I am speaking of the 25th of March, A. D. 1839, in the present tense,) I succeeded in persuading my father to gratify my predilection for the sea, by putting me on board of the Gentile, under the particular care of Captain Smith, to try one voyage—so I became the ship’s cousin. Contrary to the predictions of my friends, I returned determined to go again, and to become a sailor. Now a ship’s cousin’s berth is not always an enviable one, notwithstanding the consanguinity of its occupant to the planks beneath him, for he, usually feeling the importance of the relationship, is hated by officers and men, who annoy him in every possible way. But my case was an exception to the general rule. Although at the first I was intimately acquainted with each of the officers, I never presumed upon it, but always did my duty cheerfully and respectfully, and tried hard to learn to be a good seaman. As my father allowed me plenty of spending money, I could well afford to be open-handed and generous to my shipmates, fore and aft; and this good quality, in a seaman’s estimation, will cover a multitude of faults, and endears its possessor to his heart. In fine, I became an immense favorite with all hands; and even Mr. Brewster, who at first looked upon my advent on board with an unfavorable eye, was forced to acknowledge that I no more resembled a ship’s cousin than a Methodist class-leader does a midshipman.

Mr. Stewart and myself had always been great friends before I went to sea. When I first came on board, Mr. Langley, who had been my school-mate and crony, was, though one of the cabin mess, only an apprentice, and had not yet received his brevet rank as third mate—Mr. Stewart, of course, stood his own watch, and chose Langley and myself as part of it. The mate generally kept us upon the quarter-deck with him, and many were the cozy confabs we used to hold, many the choice cigars we used to smoke upon that handy loafing-place, the booby-hatch, many the pleasant yarns we used to spin while pacing up and down the deck, or leaning against the rail of the companion. As I have said, Mr. Stewart was a delightful watch-mate—and Bill Langley and I used to love him dearly, and none the worse that he made us toe the line of our duty. He always, however, appeared to prefer me to Langley, and to admit me to more of his confidence. Since Bill’s promotion we had not seen so much of the mate, but still, during our late tedious voyage from Calcutta, he had often come upon deck in our watch, and hundreds of long miles of the Indian Ocean had been shortened in the old way.

Gentle reader, you are as much acquainted with the Gentile, and the quint who compose her cabin mess, as you could hope to be at one interview.



News from Home.

Mr. Langley had just commenced his supper with a ravenous appetite, stimulated by the tantalizing view of our previous gastronomic performances, which he had had through the sky-light, the mate and myself were on the point of going on deck to go ashore, the captain had just lighted a second cigar, when Mr. Brewster, who had relieved poor Langley in the charge of the deck, made his appearance at the cabin door, bearing in his hands a large packet.

“She’s in, sir!” he shouted, “she came to anchor in front of the Lazaretto while we were at supper, and Bill here didn’t see her. The quarantine fellows brought this along. Bill, you must be a bloody fool, to let a ship come right under our stern, and sail across the bay, and not know nothing about it.”

Langley, whose regards for the supper-table had drawn his attention from the arrival of a ship which had been expected by us for more than a week, and by whom we had anticipated the receipt of the packet the skipper now held in his hands, Langley, I say, blushed, but said nothing, and turned toward the captain, who, with trembling hands, was cutting the twine which bound the precious bundle together.

Now our last letters from Boston had been written more than a year before, had been read at Calcutta, since then we had sailed fifteen thousand miles from Calcutta to Trieste, and from Trieste to Valetta, and here we had been pulling at our anchor for three weeks, waiting orders from my father by the ship which had just arrived; it is not wonderful, therefore, that the group which surrounded Capt. Smith were very pale, eager, anxious-looking men. How much we were to learn in ten minutes time; what bitter tidings might be in store for us in that little packet.

At last it is open, and newspapers and letters in rich profusion meet our gaze; with a quick sleight the captain distributes them, sends a half dozen to their owners in the forecastle by the steward, and then ensues a silence broken only by the snapping of seals, and the rattling of paper. Suddenly Mr. Stewart uttered an exclamation of surprise, and looking up from my letter, I noticed the quick exchange of significant glances between the captain and mate.

“You’ve found it out, then,” said the skipper.

The mate nodded in reply, and gathering up his letters, retired precipitately to his state-room.

At this juncture, Mr. Brewster, who had just finished the perusal of a very square, stiff-looking epistle, gave vent to a prolonged whistle.

“Beats thunder, I swear!” said he, “if the old woman haint got spliced again—and she’s every month of fifty-six years old.”

“That’s nothing,” cried Langley, “only think, father has left the Atlas Bank, and is now Mr. Byrnes’ book-keeper; and they talk of shutting up the Tremont theatre, and Bob here says that Fanny Ellsler is—”

“Avast there!” interrupted the skipper, “clap a stopper over all that, and stand by to hear where we are bound to-morrow, or next day. Have any of you found out yet?”

“No, sir,” cried Langley and I in a breath, “Home, I hope.”

“Not so soon,” replied Captain Smith, “as soon as maybe we sail for Matanzas de Cuba, to take aboard a sugar freight for the Baltic—either Stockholm or Cronstadt; so that when we make Boston-light it will be November, certain. How does that suit ye, gentlemen?”

I was forced to muster all my stoicism to refrain from whimpering; Mr. Langley gave utterance to a wish, which, if ever fulfilled, will consign the cities of Cronstadt, Stockholm, and Matanzas to the same fate which has rendered Sodom, Gomorrah, and Euphemia so celebrated. Mr. Brewster alone seemed indifferent. That worthy gentleman snapped his fingers, and averred that he didn’t care a d—n where he went to.

“Besides,” said he, “a trip up the Baltic is a beautiful summer’s work, and we shall get home in time for thanksgiving, if the governor don’t have it earlier than common.”

“Matanzas!” inquired Langley; “isn’t there where Mr. Stowe moved to, captain?”

“Yes,” replied the skipper, “he is Mr. Byrnes’ correspondent there—”

“Egad, then, Frank, we shall see the girls, eh, old fellow!” and Mr. Langley began to recover his serenity of mind.

“Beside all this,” added the skipper, “Frank has a cousin in Matanzas—a nun in the Ursuline Convent.”

“So I have just found out,” said I; “father bids me to be sure and see her, if possible, and says that I must ask you about it. It is very odd I never have heard of this before. By the bye, Bill, my boy, look at this here!” and I displayed a draft on Mr. Stowe for $200.

At this moment Mr. Stewart’s state-room door opened, and he appeared. It was evident that he had heard bad news. His face was very grave, and his manner forced.

“Frank,” said he, “you must excuse my company to-night. Langley will be glad to go with you; and as we sail so soon, I have a good deal to do—”

“But,” said I, hesitating, “may I inquire whether you have received bad news from home?”

“On the contrary, very good—but don’t ask any questions, Frank; be off, it is very late to go now.”

“Langley,” said I, as we were supping at a café, after the closing of the theatre, “isn’t it odd about that new cousin of mine?”

“Ay,” replied my companion, “and it is odd about Stewart’s actions to-night; and it will be odd if I don’t kiss Mary Stowe; and it will be odd if you don’t kiss Ellen; and it will be odd if I arn’t made second mate after we get home from this thundering long voyage; and, finally, it will be most especially odd if we find all our boat’s crew sober when we get down to the quay.”

Nothing so odd as that was the case; but after some little difficulty we got on board, and Langley and myself retired to the state-room which we held as tenants in common.



In which four thousand miles are gained.

We laid almost a week longer wind-bound. At last the skipper waxed impatient, and one fine morning we got out our boats, and with the help of the Pharsalia’s boats and crew, we were slowly towed to sea. Here we took a fine southwesterly breeze, and squared away before it. Toward night we had the coast of Sicily close under our lee, and as far away as the eye could reach, the snow-capped summit of Ætna, ruddy in the light of the setting sun, rose against the clear blue of the northern sky.

We had as fine a run to Gibralter as any seaman could wish; but after passing the pillars of Hercules there was no more good weather beyond for us until we crossed the tropic, which we did the 10th of May, in longitude about sixty degrees, having experienced a constant succession of strong southerly and westerly gales. But having passed the tropic, we took a gentle breeze from the eastward, and with the finest weather in the world, glided slowly along toward our destined port.

I shall never forget the evening and night after the 15th of May. We were then in the neighborhood of Turks Island, heading for the Caycos Pass, and keeping a bright look-out for land. It was a most lovely night, one, as Willis says, astray from Paradise; the moon was shining down as it only does shine between the tropics, the sky clear and cloudless, the mild breeze, just enough to fill our sails, pushing us gently through the water, the sea as glassy as a mountain-lake, and motionless, save the long, slight swell, scarcely perceptible to those who for long weeks have been tossed by the tempestuous waves of the stormy Atlantic. The sails of a distant ship were seen, far away to the north, making the lovely scene less solitary; the only sounds heard were the rippling at the bows, the low sough of the zephyr through the rigging, the cheeping of blocks, as the sleepy helmsman allowed the ship to vary in her course, the occasional splash of a dolphin, and the flutter of a flying-fish in the air, as he winged his short and glittering flight. The air was warm, fragrant, and delicious, and the larboard watch of the tired crew of the Gentile, after a boisterous passage of forty days from Gibralter, yielded to its somnolent influence, and lay stretched about the forecastle and waists, enjoying the voluptuous languor which overcomes men suddenly emerging from a cold into a tropical climate.

Mr. Langley, myself, and the skipper’s dog, reclined upon the booby-hatch. The first having the responsibility of the deck contrived to maintain a half upright position, and to keep one eye open, but the other two, prostrate by each others’ side, slumbered outright.

“What’s the time, Bill?” I asked, at length, rousing myself, and shaking off the embrace of Rover, who was loth to lose his bedfellow.

“‘We take no note of time,’” spouted the third mate, drawing his watch from his pocket. “For’ard, there! strike four bells, and relieve the wheel. Keep your eye peeled, look-out; and mind, no caulking.”

“Ay ay, sir,” was the lazy response, and in a moment more the ting-ting, ting-ting, of the ship’s bell rang out on the silent air, and proclaimed that the middle watch was half over, or, in landsmen’s lingo, that it was two o’clock, A. M.

“Lay along, Rover,” I muttered, preparing for another snooze.

“Oh! avast that Frank; come, keep awake, and let’s talk.”

“Talk!” said I, “about what, pray?”

“Oh! I don’t know,” replied Bill. “I tell you what, Frank, if it wasn’t for being cock of the roost myself, I should wish that Stewart headed this watch now. What fine times we used to have, eh?—but he has altered as well as the times—how odd he has acted by spells ever since we got that packet at Malta. I’m d—d if I don’t believe he got news of the loss of his sweetheart.”

“He never had any that I know of,” I rejoined, “but he certainly did hear something, for he has changed in his manner, and the skipper and he have long talks by themselves, and I heard Stewart tell him one day that after all it would have been better to have left the ship at Gibralter, and not gone the voyage.”

“Did he, though!” cried Langley; “in that case I should have been second mate—however, I’m glad he didn’t quit.”

“Thank you, Bill,” said a voice behind us; and turning in some confusion we beheld Mr. Stewart standing in the companion. “How is her head?” he continued, asking the usual question, to allow us to recover from our embarrassment.

“About west, sir,” replied Langley.

“Well, as the wind freshens a little and is getting rather to the nor’ard, you’d better give your larboard braces a pull or two, and then put your course rather north of west to hit the Pass.”

“Ay ay, sir,” said the third mate. “For’ard, there, come aft here, and round in on the larboard braces. Keep her up, Jack, about west nor’west.”

After the crew had complied with the orders of the officer they retired forward, and we of the quarter-deck seated ourselves on the booby-hatch.

“We were talking about you when you came on deck, sir,” said I, after a short silence.

“Ah! indeed,” replied the mate smiling.

“Yes,” said Langley, “we thought it was rather odd you hadn’t been on deck lately, to see whether we boys were not running away with the ship in your watch. It has been deuced lonesome these dark blowy nights along back. If you had been on deck to spin us a yarn it would have been capital.”

“Boys,” said the mate, taking out his cigar-case, “I’ve a great mind to spin you a yarn now.”

“Oh! do, by all means,” cried the third mate and the ship’s cousin together.

We lighted our cigars; the mate took a few puffs to get fairly under way, and then began.



The Mate’s Yarn.

“I’ve told you about a great many days’ works, boys, but there is one leaf in my log-book of which you as yet know nothing. It is now about six years since I was in this part of the world, for the first and only time. I was then twenty-two, and was second mate, Frank, of your father’s ship, the John Cabot. Old Captain Hopkin’s was master, and our present skipper was mate. One fine July afternoon we let go our anchor alongside of the Castle of San Severino, in Matanzas harbor. A few days after our arrival I was in a billiard-room ashore, quietly reading a newspaper, when one of the losing players, a Spaniard of a most peculiarly unpleasant physiognomy, turned suddenly around with an oath, and declared the rustling of the paper disturbed him. As several gentlemen were reading in different parts of the room I did not appropriate the remark to myself, though I thought he had intended it for me. I paid no attention to him, however, until, just as I was turning the sheet inside out, the Spaniard, irritated by another stroke of ill luck, advanced to me, and demanded that I should either lay the newspaper aside or quit the room. I very promptly declined to do either, when he snatched the paper from my hands, and instantly drew his sword. I was unarmed, with the exception of a good sized whalebone cane, but my anger was so great that I at once sprung at the scamp, who at the instant made a pass at me. I warded the thrust as well as I could, but did not avoid getting nicely pricked in the left shoulder; but, before my antagonist could recover himself, I gave him such a wipe with my cane on his sword-arm that his wrist snapped, and his sword dropped to the ground. Enraged at the sight of my own blood, which now covered my clothes in front, I was not satisfied with this, but applying my foot to his counter, two or three vigorous kicks sufficed to send him sprawling into the street. Captain Hopkins arrived just as the fracas was over, and instantly sent for a surgeon, and in the meantime I received the congratulations of all present on my victory. I learned that my man was a certain Don Carlos Alvarez, a broken down hidalgo, who had formerly been the master of a piratical schooner, at the time when Matanzas was the head-quarters of pirates, before Commodore Porter in the Enterprise broke up the haunt. When the surgeon arrived he pronounced my wound very slight, and a slip of sticking-plaster and my arm in a sling was thought to be all that was necessary. After Captain Hopkins and myself got on board that night, he told me a story, the repetition of which may somewhat surprise you, Frank. Do you remember of ever hearing that a sister of your father married a Cubanos merchant, some thirty odd years ago?”

“I remember hearing of it when a child,” I replied, “and father in his last letter says that I have a cousin now in the nunnery at Matanzas. I suppose she is a daughter of that sister.”

“You are right,” resumed the mate, sighing slightly. “Your grandfather had only two children. When your father was but a small boy, the whole family spent the winter in Havana, to recruit your grandmother’s health, while your grandfather collected some debts which were due him. While there, a young Creole merchant, heavily concerned in the slave-trade, became deeply enamored with your aunt, and solicited her hand. The young lady herself was nothing loth, but the elders disliked and opposed the match; the consequence was an elopement and private marriage, at which your grandfather was so exceedingly incensed that he disowned his daughter, and never afterward held any communication with her. Your aunt had two children, and died some fifteen years ago. Your father shortly after received this intelligence by means of a letter from the son, and the correspondence thus begun was continued in a very friendly manner. Señor Garcia, your uncle by marriage, became concerned, in a private way, like many other Cubanos merchants, in fitting out piratical craft, and one of his confidential captains was this same Alvarez whom I so summarily ejected from the billiard-room. Garcia died in 1830, leaving a large property to his children, and consigning the guardianship of the younger, a girl, to his friend Don Carlos Alvarez. The will provided that in case she should marry any person, but an American, without her guardian’s consent, her fortune should revert to her guardian; and in the choice of an American husband her brother’s wishes were not to be contravened. The reservation in favor of Americans was made at the entreaty of the brother, who urged the memory of his mother as an inducement. Now it so turned out that Don Carlos, though forty years old, and as ugly as a sculpin, became enamored with the beauty and fortune of his ward, and, hoping to win her, kept her rigidly secluded from the society of every gentleman, but especially that of the American residents. Pedro Garcia, the brother, whom Captain Hopkins represented to be a fine, manly fellow, was, however, much opposed to such a plan, and ardently desired that his sister should marry an American, being convinced that this was the only way for her to get a husband and save her fortune. ‘If,’ said Captain Hopkins, in conclusion, ‘some smart young Yankee could carry the girl off, it would be no bad speculation. Ben, you had better try yourself, you couldn’t please Mr. Byrne better.’

“‘Much obliged,’ I replied, ‘but Yankee girls suit my taste tolerably well, much better than pirates’ daughters, and I hope that I can please my owner well enough by doing my duty aboard ship.’

“‘Pshaw! she is not a pirate’s daughter exactly; she’s Mr. Byrne’s niece.’

“‘For all that,’ I answered, ‘I should expect to find my throat cut some fine morning.’

“‘Well, well,’ said the old skipper, ‘I only wish that I was a young man, for the girl is said to be as handsome as a mermaid, and as for money, I s’pose she’s worth devilish nigh upon two hundred thousand dollars.’

“The next day but one was Sunday, so after dressing myself in my go-ashore toggery, I went with the skipper to take another stroll in the city. We dined at a café, and then hearing the cathedral bells tolling for vespers, I concluded to leave the skipper to smoke and snooze alone, and go and hear the performances. It was rather a warm walk up the hill, and, upon arriving at the cathedral, I stopped awhile in the cool airy porch to rest, brush the dust from my boots, arrange my hair and neckcloth, and adjust my wounded arm in its sling in the most interesting manner. Just as I had finished these nice little preliminaries, a volante drove up to the door, which contained, why, to be sure, only a woman, but yet the loveliest woman I have ever seen in any part of the world. Yes, Bill, your little dancer at Valetta ought not to be thought of the same day.

“Well, boys, I fell in love incontinently at first sight, and was taken all aback, but inspired by a stiff glass of eau-de-vie which I had taken with my pineapple after dinner, I forged alongside, before the negro postillion, cased to his hips in jack-boots, could dismount, and offered my hand to assist the lady to alight from the carriage. She at first gave me a haughty stare, but finally putting one of the two fairest hands in the world into my brown paw, she reached terra firma safely.

“‘Thank you, señor,’ said she, with a low courtesy, after I had led her into the church.

“‘Entirely welcome, ma’am,’ I replied, as my mother had taught me to do upon like occasions, ‘and the more welcome, as I perceive you speak English so fluently, that you must be either an English woman or my own countrywoman.’

“‘I am a Cubanos, señor,’ said the lady, with a smile, ‘but my mother was an American, and I learned the language in the nursery—but, señor, again I thank you for your gallantry, and so adios.’ She dipped her finger in the holy-water vase, crossed herself, and then looking at me from under her dark fringed eyelids with a most bewildering glance, and a smile which displayed two dazzling rows of pearls between her ruby lips, she glided into the church.

“‘Who is your mistress?’ cried I, turning to the negro postillion, but that sable worthy could not understand my question. The most expressive pantomimes were as unavailable as words, and so in despair I turned again into the porch, and stood in a reverie. I was clearly a fathom deep in love, and as my extreme height is but five feet eleven and a half, that is equivalent to saying that I was over head and ears in love with the strange lady. I began to talk to myself. ‘By Venus!’ said I, aloud, ‘but she is an angel, regular built, and if I only could find out her name and—’

“A smothered laugh behind me reminded me that so public a place was hardly appropriate for soliloquizing about angels. I turned in some vexation and encountered the laughing glance of a well dressed young man, apparently about twenty-five, who had probably been edified by my unconscious enthusiasm.

“‘You are mistaken, señor,’ said he in English, and looking quizzical; ‘those images in the niches are said to represent saints and not angels, though I must own they are admirably calculated to deceive strangers. As you said you wished to know their names, I will tell them to you—that is San Pablo, and that is San Pedro, and that is—’

“‘You are kind, sir,’ said I, interrupting him angrily, ‘but I’ve heard of the twelve apostles before.’

“‘I want to know, as your countrymen say,’ retorted the stranger, with a good-natured mocking laugh.

“I fired up on this. ‘Señor,’ said I, ‘if my countrymen are not so polished in their speech as the Castilians and their descendants, they never insult strangers needlessly. I have been insulted once before in your city within a few days, and allow me to add for your consideration, that the rascal got well kicked—’

“‘You are very kind to give me such fair warning,’ replied the stranger, bowing, ‘but allow me to ask whether the name of this person you punished is Alvarez?’

“‘I have heard so, and if he is a connection of yours I am—’

“‘Stay, señor, don’t get into a passion; believe me, that I thank you most heartily for the good service you performed on the occasion to which we allude. I only wish that I can be of use to you in return.’

“‘Well, then, señor,’ I replied, much mollified, and intent upon finding out my fair incognito, ‘a lady just now passed through into the church, and if you can only tell me who she is, I will promise to flog you all the bullies in Cuba.’

“‘Ah, that would be a long job, dear señor, but if you will accept my arm into the church, and point out the angel who has attracted your notice, I will tell you her name and the part of heaven in which she resides. She was very beautiful I suppose?’

“‘Oh! exquisitely beautiful.’

“‘Come, then, I am dying to find out which of our Matanzas belles has had the good fortune to fascinate you—this way—do you use the holy water?’

“In we went and found the organ piping like a northeast snow squall, and the whole assembly on their knees. The stranger and myself ensconced ourselves near a large pillar, and I stood by to keep a bright look out for the lady.

“At last I discovered her among a group of other women, kneeling at the foot of an opposite pillar.

“‘There she is,’ I whispered to my companion, who had knelt upon his pocket-handkerchief.

“‘Well, in a moment,’ he replied. ‘I’m in the middle of a crooked Latin prayer just now, and have to tell you so in a parenthesis.’

“A turn came to the ceremonies, and all hands arose.

“‘Sæcula sæculorum,’ muttered my companion, rising, ‘Amen! now where’s your lady?’

“‘Yonder, by the pillar,’ I whispered, in a fit of ecstasy, for my beautiful unknown in rising had recognized me, and given me another thrilling glance from her dark eyes.

“‘But there are a score of pillars all around us,’ urged the stranger, ‘point her out, señor.’

“‘Well, then,’ said I, extending my arm, ‘there she is; you can’t see her face to be sure, but there can be only one such form in the world. Isn’t it splendid?’

“‘There are so many ladies by the pillar that I cannot tell to a certainty which one you mean,’ whispered my would-be informant. Stooping and glancing along my arm with the precision of a Kentucky rifleman, I brought my finger to bear directly upon the head of the unknown, who, as the devil would have it, at this critical juncture turned her head and encountered the deadly aim which we were taking at her.

“‘That’s she,’ said I, dropping my arm, which had been sticking out like a pump brake, ‘that’s she that just now turned about and blushed so like the deuce—do you know her?’

“‘Yes, but I can’t tell you here,’ was the laconic reply of my companion; ‘come, let’s go. You are sure that is the lady,’ he continued, when we had gained the street.

“‘Sure! most certainly; can there be any mistake about that face; besides, didn’t you notice how she blushed when she recognized me?’

“‘Maybe,’ suggested my new friend, ‘she blushed to see me.’

“‘Well,’ said I, ‘I don’t know to be sure, but I think that the emotion was on my account; but don’t keep me in suspense any longer, tell me who she is; can I get acquainted with her?’

“‘Softly, softly, my friend, one question at a time. Step aboard my volante, and as we drive down the street I’ll give you the information you so much desire. Will you get in?’

“I climbed aboard without hesitation, and was followed by my strange friend; the postillion whipped up and we were soon under weigh.

“‘Now,’ resumed my companion, ‘in reply to your first and oft-repeated inquiry, I have the honor to inform you that the lady is my only sister. As to your second question—I beg you wont get out—sit still, my dear sir, I will drive you to the café—your second question I cannot so well answer. It would seem that my sister herself is nothing loth—sit easy, sir, the carriage is perfectly safe—but unfortunately it happens that the gentleman who has the control of her actions, her guardian, dislikes Americans extremely; and I have reason to believe that he has taken a particularly strong antipathy to you. Indeed, I have heard him swear that he’ll cut your throat—pardon me, Mr. Stewart, for the expression, it is not my own.’

“Surprise overcame my confusion. ‘Señor,’ cried I, interrupting him, ‘it seems you know my name, and—’

“‘Certainly I do—Mr. Benjamin Stewart, of the ship John Cabot.’

“‘Señor,’ I cried, half angrily, ‘since you know my address so well, will you not be so kind as to favor me with yours?’

“‘Mine! oh yes, with pleasure, though I now recollect that I have omitted to state my sister’s name—hers first, if you please; it is Donna Clara Garcia.’

“‘And yours is Pedro Garcia.’

“‘Exactly, with a Don before it, which my poor father left me. You perceive, Mr. Stewart, by what means I knew you after your warning about the kicking, eh? I suspected it was yourself, when I saw an American gentleman with his arm in a sling, and so I made bold to accost you in the midst of your rhapsody about angels—’

“‘Ah! Don Pedro,’ I stammered in confusion, when I recalled the ludicrous scene, ‘how foolish I must appear to you.’

“‘For what, señor—for thinking my sister handsome? You do my taste injustice. I think so myself.’

“We rode on in silence a few minutes. I recalled all that Captain Hopkins had told me about my new acquaintance, his sister, and her guardian. I took heart of grace, and determined to know more of the beautiful creature whom I had now identified; but when I turned toward my companion, his stern expression, so different from the one his features had hitherto borne, almost disheartened me.

“‘Don Pedro,’ said I, with hesitation, ‘may I ask if you are angry at the trifling manner with which I have spoken of your sister before I knew her to be such?’

“‘Is it necessary for me to assure you to the contrary?’ he asked, with a smile again lighting up his face.

“‘But if,’ I continued, ‘I should say that the admiration I have manifested is sincere, that even in the short time I have seen her to-day, I have been deeply interested, and that I ardently desire her acquaintance.’

“‘Why, señor, in that case, I should reply, that my sister is very highly honored by your favorable notice, and that I should do my possible to make you know each other better. If,’ he continued, ‘the case you have supposed be the fact, I think I can manage this matter, her old janitor to the contrary notwithstanding.’

“‘I do say, then,’ I replied, with enthusiasm, ‘that the sight of Donna Clara has excited emotions in my bosom I have never felt before. I shall be the happiest man in the world to have the privilege of knowing her.’

“‘Attend, then. Don Carlos is absent at Havana, and will probably remain so for a few days, until his wrist gets well; in the meantime, his sister acts as duenna over Donna Clara. She is quite a nice old lady, however, and allows my sister far greater liberty in her brother’s absence than ordinarily, as, for instance, to-day. I will get her to permit Clara to spend a few days at my villa down the bay—Alvarez himself would not dare to refuse this request, if—’ my companion stopped short, and his brow clouded. ‘But I forget the best of the matter,’ he continued a moment after, in a lively tone. ‘Señor, you will dine with me to-morrow, and spend a day or two with me. I keep bachelor’s hall, but I have an excellent cook, and some of the oldest wine in Cuba. Beside, you will see my sister. Will you honor me, Mr. Stewart?’

“I was transported, ‘Senior,’ I cried, ‘if Capt. Hopkins—’

“‘Oh! a fig for Hopkins,’ shouted my volatile friend, ‘he shall dine with me too. He is an ancient of mine—he dare not refuse to let you go. But there is the fine old sinner himself in the verandah of the café; now we can ask him.’

“We rattled up to the door, to the infinite astonishment of my worthy skipper, who was greatly surprised to see Don Pedro and his second mate on such excellent terms, and all without his intervention.

“‘Hillo!’ he shouted, ‘how came you two sailing in company?’

“The worthy old seaman was briefly informed of my afternoon’s adventures over a bowl of iced sangaree; and when Pedro made his proposition about the morrow’s dinner, and a little extra liberty for me, the reply was very satisfactory.

“‘Sartainly, sartainly,’ said he, ‘and I hope good will come of it.’

“‘Well, then,’ said Pedro, ‘as this matter is settled, I must take my leave. I shall expect you early, gentlemen. Adieu’—and, with a graceful bow, my new friend entered his carriage, and was driven away.

“‘Now,’ said the skipper, after our boat’s crew had cleared their craft from the crowd at the stairs, ‘now, Stewart, what do you think of the pirate’s daughter, my boy? D’ye see, I never happened to sight her, though her brother and I have been fast friends these five years. Is she so handsome, Ben?’

“‘Full as good-looking as the figure-head of the Cleopatra,’ replied I.

“‘Egad! you don’t say so!’ exclaimed the skipper, who thought that the aforesaid graven image on the cut-water of his old ship, far excelled the Venus de Medici in beauty of feature and form. ‘She must be almighty beautiful; and then, my son, she is as rich as the Rajah of Rangoon, who owns a diamond as big as our viol-block. Did you fall in love pretty bad, Ben?’

“‘Considerable,’ I replied, grinning at the old gentleman’s simplicity.

“‘By the laws, then, if you don’t cut out that sweet little craft from under that old pirate’s guns, you’re no seaman, that’s a fact! Egad! I should like to do it, and wouldn’t ask only one kiss for salvage, and you’ll be for having the whole concern.’

“The next morning I packed my portmanteau and dressed myself with unusual care. About ten the skipper and myself got aboard the gig, and pushed off for Don Pedro’s villa, which lay on the eastern shore of the bay, two miles from the city, and nearly opposite the barracks and hospital.

“We landed at a little pier at the foot of the garden; the house, embowered in a grove of orange and magnolia trees, was close at hand. Don Pedro met us on the verandah.

“‘Welcome! welcome!’ he cried; ‘how do you like the appearance of my bachelor’s hall? But come, let’s go in; my sister has arrived, and knows that I expect Captain Hopkins and Mr. Stewart, of the Cabot, and,’ he added, with a significant smile, ‘nothing more, though she has been very curious to find who the gentlemen is with whom I entered the church yesterday.’

“We entered the drawing-room, and there, sure enough, was my angel of the cathedral-porch. Her eye fell upon me as I passed the doorway, and, by the half start and blush, I saw that I was plainly recognized, and with pleasure. We were formally presented by Don Pedro, and, after the old skipper had been flattered into an ecstasy of mingled admiration and self-complacency, Donna Clara turned again to me.

“‘I do not know that I ought to have bid you welcome, Mr. Stewart,’ she said, with an arch smile, ‘you treated my poor guardian shamefully, I am told.’

“‘Yes,’ cried Pedro, ‘and just to let you know what a truculent person he is, know that yesterday he more than insinuated that he would serve me in the same way that he did Don Carlos.’”

“Land ho!” sung out the man on the look-out.

“Where away?” shouted Langley, walking forward.

“Pretty near ahead, sir; perhaps a point on our starboard bow, sir.”

“Land ho!” bellowed the man at the wheel, “just abeam, sir, to loo-ard.”

“What had I better do, sir?” inquired Langley, of the mate.

“I was looking at the chart just at night, and I should reckon the land ahead might be Mayaguana, and the Little Caycos under our lee.”

“Head her about west, then; but we shall have the lead going soon.”

We filled away before the wind, which had now veered again to the eastward, and in a few moments were dashing bravely on, sailing right up the moon’s wake toward the Pass, the land lying on each side of us like blue clouds resting on the horizon. We settled ourselves again on the hatch, lighted fresh cigars, and the mate resumed his broken yarn.

“It is getting late, boys, almost six bells, and I must cut my story a little short. I will pass over the dinner, the invitation to stay longer, Captain Hopkins’ consent, the undisguised pleasure and the repressed delight of Clara at this arrangement, and I will pass over the next two days, only saying that the memory of them haunts me yet; and that though at the time they seemed short enough, yet when I look back upon them, it is hard to realize they were not months instead of days, so much of heart experience did I acquire in the time. I found Clara to be every thing which the most exacting wife-hunter could wish—beautiful as a dream. Believe me, boys, I do not now speak with the enthusiasm of a lover, but such beauty is seldom seen on the earth. Added to this, she was intellectual, refined, accomplished, and highly educated. I went back four years in life, and with all the enthusiasm of a college student I raved of poetry and romance. We read German together, and we talked of love in French; and the musical tongue of Italy, it seemed to me, befitted her mouth better than her own sonorous native language, and when in conversation she would look me one of those dreamy glances which had at the first set my heart in agitation, it perfectly bewildered me. You needn’t smile, Langley, (poor Bill’s face was guilty of no such distortion,) but if your little danseuse should practice for years, she couldn’t attain to the delicious glance which my handsome creole girl can give you. The heavily-fringed eyelid is just raised, so that you can look as if for an interminable distance into the beautiful orb beneath, and at the end of the vista, see the fiery soul which lies so far from the voluptuous exterior.

“But, though I was madly in love, I had not yet dared with my lips to say so to the lady, whatever my eyes might have revealed; but Pedro was my confident, and encouraged me to hope.

“The third day of my sojourn on shore was spent in a visit to Don Pedro’s plantation in the vale, and it was dark when we arrived home. After the light refreshment which constitutes the evening meal of Cuba, Don Pedro pleaded business, and left the apartment—and for the first time that day I was alone with Clara.

“‘Now,’ thought I, ‘now or never.’

“If upon the impulse of the moment a man proceeds to make love, he generally does it up ship-shape; but if he, with malice aforethought, lays deliberate plans, he finds it the most awkward traverse to work in the world to follow them—but I did not know this. I sat by the table, and in my embarrassment kept pushing the solitary taper farther and farther from me, until at last over it went, and was extinguished upon the floor.

“‘I beg ten thousand pardons!’ cried I apologizing.

“‘N’importe,’ replied Clara, ‘there is a fine moon, which will give us light enough.’

“She rose and drew the curtain of the large bow-window, so common in the West Indian houses, and the rich moonlight, now unvexed by the dull glare of the taper, flowed into the apartment, bathing every object it touched with silvery radiance. Clara sat in the window, in the full glow of the light, leaning forward toward the open air, and I, with a beating heart, gazed upon her superb beauty. Shall I ever forget it? Her head leaned upon a hand and arm which Venus herself might envy; the jetty curls which shaded her face fell in graceful profusion, Madonna-like, upon shoulders faultless in shape, and white as that crest of foam on yonder sea. Her face was the Spanish oval, with a low, broad feminine forehead, eyebrows exquisitely penciled, and arching over eyes that I shall not attempt to describe. Her lovely bosom, half exposed as she leaned over, reminded me, as it heaved against the chemiset, of the bows of a beautiful ship, rising and sinking with the swell of the sea, now high in sight, and anon buried in a cloud of snowy spray. One hand, buried in curls, I have said, supported her head, the other, by her side, grasped the folds of her robe, beneath which peeped out a tiny foot in a way that was rather dangerous to my sane state of mind to observe.

“We had sat a few moments in silence, when Clara suddenly spoke.

“‘Come hither, señor,’ said she, ‘look out upon this beautiful landscape, and tell me whether in your boasted land there can be found one as lovely. Have you such a sky, such a moon, such waters, and graceful trees, such blue mountains—and, hark! have you such music?’

“I approached to her side and looked out. The band at the barracks had just begun their nightly serenade, and the music traveled across the bay to strike upon our ears so softly, that it sounded like strains from fairy land.

“‘They are playing an ancient march of the days of Ferdinand and Isabel,’ whispered Clara; ‘could you not guess its stately measures were pure old Castilian? Now mark the change—that is a Moorish serenade; is it not like the fitful breathings of an Eolian harp?’

“The music ceased, but it died in cadences so soft that I stood with lips apart, half in doubt whether the spirit-sound I yet heard were the effect of imagination or not. Reluctantly I was compelled to believe myself deceived, and then turned to look upon the landscape. I never remember of seeing a lovelier night. It was now nine o’clock, and the sounds of business were hushed on the harbor, but boats, filled with gay revelers, glided over the sparkling surface of the water, whose laugh and song added interest and life to the scene. Nearly opposite to us, upon the other side of the bay, were the extensive barracks, hospital, and the long line of the Marino, their white stuccoed walls glowing in the moonlight. On our left the beautiful city rose like an amphitheatre around the head of the bay; the hum of the populace, and the rumbling of wheels sounding faintly in the distance. Behind the town the blue conical peaks of the mountains melted into the sky. On our right was the roadstead and open sea, the moon’s wake thereon glittering like a street in heaven, and reaching far away to other lands. All around us grew a wilderness of palm, orange, cocoa, and magnolia trees, vocal with the thousand strange noises of a tropical night. Directly below us, but a cable length from the overhanging palms which fringed the shore, lay a heavy English corvette in the deep shade of the land; but the arms of the sentry on her forecastle glinted in the moonbeams as he paced his lonely watch, and sung out, as the bell struck twice, his accustomed long-drawn cry of ‘All’s well!’ Just beyond her, in saucy propinquity, lay a slaver, bound for the coast of Africa—a beautiful, graceful craft. Still farther out the crew of a clumsy French brig were chanting the evening hymn to the Virgin. Ships from every civilized country lay anchored, in picturesque groups, in all directions, and far down, her tall white spars standing in bold and graceful relief against the dark, gray walls of San Severino, I recognized my own beautiful craft, sitting like a swan in the water; and still farther, in the deep water of the roadstead, lay an American line-of-battle ship, her lofty sides flashing brightly in the moonlight, and her frowning batteries turned menacingly toward the old castle, telling a plain bold tale of our country’s power and glory, and making my heart proud within me that I was an American sailor.

“‘Say,’ again asked Clara, in a low, hushed voice, ‘saw you ever aught so lovely in your own land?’

“To tell the truth, I had forgotten my sweet companion for a moment. ‘I am sorry,’ said I, taking her hand, ‘very sorry, that you think the United States so unenviable a place of residence. I hope, dear lady, to persuade you to make it your home.’

“The small hand I clasped trembled in mine.

“‘Señora,’ said I, taking a long breath, and beginning a little speech which I had composed for the occasion, while sitting at the table pushing the candle-stick, ‘Señora, I have your brother’s permission to address you. I am—a—sure, indeed, convinced, that I love you—ahem—considerably. I have known you, to be sure, but a few days, but, as I said before—at least—at all events—I could be quite happy if you were my wife—you know. Señora, and if you could—a—’

“I had proceeded thus far swimmingly, except that a few of the words I had previously selected seemed, when I came to pronounce them, as extravagant, and so I had substituted others in their place, not so liable to be censured for that fault; beside, a lapse of memory had once or twice occasioned temporary delay and embarrassment; but I had got along thus far, I say, as I presumed, exceedingly well, when, oh, thunder! Donna Clara disengaged her hand, curtseyed deeply, bade me good-night, and swept haughtily out of the room. Egad! I felt as if roused out of my berth by a cold sea filling it full in the middle of my watch below. ‘Lord!’ thought I, aloud, ‘what can I have done? There I was, making love according to the chart, and before I knew it, I’m high and dry ashore. One thing is clear as a bell, she is a regular-built coquette, and all her fine looks to me are nothing but man-traps, decoys, and false lights. Yet how beautiful she is, how she has deceived me, and how much I might have loved her. Shall I try again? No, I’m d—d if I do! once is enough for me. Egad! I can take a hint without being kicked. To-morrow I’ll go aboard again, and to work like a second mate as I am; that’s decided. But—’

“Absorbed in very disagreeable reflections, I sat by the window, insensible to the charms without, which had before been so fascinating, when I was suddenly aroused by the opening of the door. I looked around, and saw Don Pedro. ‘Where’s Donna Clara?’ he asked.

“‘Gone,’ I replied, in an exceeding bad humor.

“‘What! so early? I made sure to find her here as usual.’

“‘Well,’ said I, ‘you perceive that you were mistaken, I presume’—I was very cross.

“‘Why, señor, something has gone wrong; you appear chagrined.’

“‘Oh! no, sir; never was so good-natured in my life—ha! ha! beautiful evening, Don Pedro! remarkably fine night! How pleasant the moon shines, don’t it?’

“‘Mr. Stewart,’ said Don Pedro, gravely, ‘I do not wish to press you, but you will greatly oblige me by telling me what has passed between yourself and Donna Clara this night?’

“So, rather ashamed of my petulence, I recounted my essay at love-making.

“‘Carramba!’ ejaculated Don Pedro, ‘how d—d foolish—in her, I mean. She is a wayward girl, sir, but yet I think she loves you. I tell you frankly that I ardently desire her to marry you; pardon me, then, when I say, that if you love her, do not be discouraged, but try again.’

“‘I think not,’ said I, decidedly, ‘I go on board to-morrow.’

“My usually lively and mercurial friend sighed heavily, and then drawing a chair, sat down opposite me. ‘Listen to me a moment, sir,’ said he. ‘Cast aside your mortified pride, and answer me frankly. Do you really love my sister? Would you wish to see her subjected to the alternative, either to become the wife of Don Carlos Alvarez, or else to be confined in a convent, perhaps be constrained or influenced to take the hateful veil? You alone can save her from this dreadful dilemma.’

“My Yankee cautiousness was awakened, but I replied, ‘I do love your sister, sir, and would do any thing but marry a woman who does not love me to save her from such a fate as you represent; but still, sir, I cannot perceive how that I, till lately unknown to you, can have such an influence over you and yours. Is not your own power sufficient to prevent such undesirable results?’

“I saw by the moonlight that my companion’s eyes flashed with anger, but he made a strong effort to control himself.

“‘I do not wonder,’ he said, a moment after, ‘that you are angry, Mr. Stewart, after the conduct of my madcap sister, or indeed that you deem it strange to find yourself of so much importance suddenly,’ he added, a little maliciously, ‘but I will explain the last matter to you, relying upon your honor. About two years ago, I accompanied Alvarez to Havana, upon some business relative to Clara’s estate. While returning late one evening to our hotel, we heard in a retired street the cries of a woman in distress. Midnight outrages were then very common in the city, and usually the inhabitants, if they were not themselves interested in the issue, paid very little attention to calls for assistance, and Alvarez, upon my suggesting to him to go with me to the aid of the lady making the outcry, advised me to consult my own safety by keeping clear of the fracas, but when a louder cry for help reached my ears, I could restrain myself no longer, but started for the scene of action. I soon perceived a carriage drawn up before a house which had been broken open. Two of the professional bravos were forcing a lady into this carriage, whom, by the light of the lanterns, I recognized to be an actress at the San Carlos. A gentleman in a mask stood by, apparently the commander of the expedition. I called to the ruffians to desist, but was hindered from attacking them by the gentleman, who drew his sword and kept me off, while the robbers forced the lady into the carriage and drove rapidly away. My antagonist seemed also disposed to retreat, but I was very angry and kept him engaged, until, growing angry in his turn, he seriously prepared himself to fight. He was a very expert swordsman, nevertheless in a few minutes I ran him through the body, and he instantly fell and expired. At this juncture Don Carlos stepped up, and when we removed the mask from the face of the corpse, I found to my consternation that I had killed the Count ——, an aid-de-camp of the captain-general, and a son of one of the most powerful noblemen in the mother country. Horror-struck, we fled. The next day the whole city resounded with the fame of the so-called assassination. The government offered immense rewards for the discovery of the murderer. Since that time I hold my life, fortune and honor by the feeble tenure of Don Carlos’ silence. His power over me is very great. I distrust him much. Unknown to but very few, I have a yacht lying at a little estate in a rocky nook at Point Yerikos, in complete order to sail at any moment. On board of her is a large amount of property in money and jewels, but still, alas! I should, in case of flight, be forced to leave behind the greater part of my patrimony, which is in real estate, which I dare not sell for fear of exciting Alvarez’ suspicion. I live on red-hot coals. Clara alone detains me. It is true that she might fly with me, but she would leave her large fortune behind in the hands of her devil of a guardian. Now, with what knowledge you already have of my father’s will, you can easily guess the rest. You are no stranger to me. I know your history, your family, your education, and, under the most felicitous circumstances, would be proud and happy to call you brother. Now, then, decide to try again. Clara shall not refuse you; she does not wish to do so; on the contrary, she loves you; but some of her oddness was in the ascendant to-night, and so it happened as it did. At any rate I can no longer trifle with my own safety, and have no authority or means to prevent Don Carlos from exercising unlimited power over my sister’s actions. Good-night, señor, you can strike the gong when you wish for a servant and a light. I shall have your answer in the morning.’

“Don Pedro left the room in great agitation, and soon after I retired to bed. I lay a long time thinking over the events and revelations of the evening; love and pride alternately held the mastery of my determinations. I loved Clara well and truly, and sympathized with her and her brother in their unfortunate situation, but I had been virtually refused once, and my pride revolted from accepting the hand thus forced into mine by the misfortunes of its owner. At last, as the clock struck three, I fell asleep, still undecided. The sun had first risen in the morning when I started from an uneasy slumber. I dressed myself, passed through my window to the verandah, and down to the water, where I bathed, and returning through the garden entered an arbor and stretched myself on a settee, the better to collect my thoughts.

“I had been here but a very short time when I heard voices approaching me, and upon their drawing nearer, I perceived Don Pedro and his sister engaged in earnest conversation. It was now too late to retreat, for they were approaching me by the only way I could effect it, and I was upon the point of going forth to meet them, when they paused in front of the arbor, and I heard Clara pronounce my name so musically, that I hope you will not think I did wrong, when told that I drew back, determined to listen, and thereby to obtain a hint whereupon to act. Clara leaned upon her brother’s arm, who had evidently been expostulating with her, for his voice was earnest and reproachful, and Clara’s eyes looked as if she had been crying.

“‘And yet you say,’ continued Pedro, ‘that you can love this gentleman.’

“‘Can love him!’ cried Clara passionately, ‘oh! Pedro, if you only knew how I do love him!’

“‘Why, then, in the name of all that is consistent, did you act so strangely last night? In your situation an offer from any American gentleman deserved consideration, to say the least; but Mr. Stewart, a friend and protégé of our uncle’s, a refined, educated man, a man whom you say you love. Clara, I wonder at you! What could have been the reason?’

“‘This, Pedro,’ said Clara, looking at the toe of her slipper, which was drawing figures in the gravel-walk. ‘You must know that I did it to punish him for making love so awkwardly. Now, instead of going down on his knees, as the saints know I could have done to him, the cold-blooded fellow went on as frigidly as if he had been buying a negro, and that too with a moon shining over him which should have crazed him, and talking to a girl whose heart was full of fiery love for him. Pedro, my heart was chilled, and so, to punish him, I—’

“‘Diablo!’ swore Pedro, dropping his sister’s arm, and striding off in a great rage.

“‘Oh! stay, brother!’ sobbed poor Clara; ‘indeed, I could not help it. Oh, dear!’ she continued, as Pedro vanished from her sight, ‘now he’s angry. What have I done?’ She buried her face in her hands, entered the arbor, threw herself on the settee, and began sobbing with convulsive grief. Here was a situation for an unsophisticated youth like myself. Egad! my heart bounced about in my breast like a shot adrift in the cook’s biggest copper. I approached the lady softly, and, grown wiser by experience, knelt before I took her hand. She started, screamed faintly, and endeavored to escape.

“‘Stay, stay, dearest Clara!’ cried I, detaining her, ‘I should not dare to again address you after the repulse of last night, had I not just now been an inadvertent, but delighted listener to your own sweet confession that you loved me. Let me say in return that I love you as wildly, tenderly, passionately, as if I, like you, had been born under a southern sun; that I cannot be happy without you. Forgive me for last night. It was not that my heart was cold, but I was fearful that unless I constrained myself I should be wild and extravagant. Dearest Clara, will you say to me that which you just now told Pedro?’

“Her head sunk upon my shoulder. ‘Señor,’ she murmured, ‘I do love you, and with my whole heart.’

“‘And will be my wife?’ I asked.

“‘Whenever you please.’”

Here the mate paused, and gave several very energetic puffs, and lighted a new cigar.

“I clasped the dear girl to my heart,” he resumed, “and kissed her cheeks, her lips and eyes, a thousand times, and was just beginning on the eleventh hundred, when, lo, there stood mine host in the doorway, evidently very much amused, and, considering that it was his sister with whom these liberties had been taken, extremely satisfied.

“I came immediately to the conclusion, in my own mind, to defer any farther labial demonstrations, and felt rather foolish; but Clara arranged her dress and looked defiance.

“‘I beg ten thousand pardons,’ said Don Pedro, entering, hat in hand, and bowing low, ‘but really the scene was so exquisitely fine, so much to my taste, that I could not forbear looking on awhile. Clara, dear, has Mr. Stewart discovered the way to make love à la mode? I understood you to say he did it oddly and coldly; but, by Venus! I think he does it in the most natural manner possible, and with some warmth and vigor, or else I’m no judge of kissing—and I make some pretensions to being a connoisseur.’

“‘And an amateur also,’ retorted Clara.

“‘I wont deny the soft impeachment—but, my friends, breakfast is waiting for you, if Mr. Stewart can bring his appetite to relish coffee after sipping nectar from my sweet sister’s lips.’

“We made a very happy trio that morning around the well-spread board of my friend Pedro. Just as we were rising, however, a servant brought in a note for his master. Don Pedro’s brow darkened as he read it. ‘It is from Carlos,’ said he, folding it up, ‘and informs me that he will be at home to-night, and will call for you, Clara—for it seems he has been informed of your visit here, and is determined that it shall be as short as possible. We must work quick then.’

“‘But what is to be done?’ I inquired.

“‘You need do nothing at present but keep Clara company, while I go to town to see Capt. Hopkins. We will arrange some plan.’

“Clara and I passed the morning as you may imagine; it seemed but a few minutes from Pedro’s departure for the city, till his return in company with my skipper.

“‘Ben,’ shouted the latter, seizing my hand, ‘may I be d—d but you’re a jewel—begging your pardon, Donna Clara, for swearing in your presence, which I did not notice before.’

“When Clara retired to dress for dinner, Capt. Hopkins divulged to me the plans which had been formed by him and Pedro. ‘D’ye see, Ben, my child, Don Pedro and I have arranged the matter in A No. 1 style; and if we can only work the traverse, it’ll be magnificent—and I don’t very well see why we can’t. To-day is Thursday, you know. Well, I shall hoist my last box of sugar aboard to-morrow night, and, after dark, Don Pedro is going to run a boat alongside with his plunder and valuables. Your sweetheart must go home, it appears, but before she goes you must make an arrangement with her to be at a certain window of Alvarez’ house, Pedro will tell her which, at twelve o’clock Saturday night. You and her brother will be under it ready to receive her; and when you have got the lady, you will bring her aboard the ship, which shall be ready to cut and run, I tell you; up killock, sheet home, and I’ll defy all the cutters in Havana to overhaul us with an hour’s start! Those chaps in Stockholm are almighty particular about your health, if your papers show that you left Havana after the first of June, and so, to pull the wool over their eyes, and save myself a long quarantine, I was intending to stop at Boston and get a new clearance, so it’ll be no trouble at all to set you all ashore, for Don Pedro and his sister will not wish to go to Sweden; and my second mate, I suppose, will want to get married and leave me. Now, Ben, my boy, that’s what I call a XX plan; no scratch brand about that; superfine, and no mistake, and entitled to debenture.’

“‘Excellent, indeed!’ replied I.

“‘Well, after dinner, we’ll give you time to tell your girl all about it, and to kiss her once or twice; but you must bear a hand about it, now I tell you, because we must be out of that bloody pirate’s way when he comes, and there’s a sight of work to do aboard.’

“After dinner the whole matter was again talked over and approved by all, and then the skipper and myself took our leave and went aboard.

“As Captain Hopkins had arranged, we finished our freight on Friday evening, and in the night Pedro came off to us with a boat-load of baggage, pictures, heirlooms, and money. The next day we cleared at the custom-house, and in the afternoon hove short on our anchor, loosed our sails, and made every preparation for putting to sea in a hurry. A lieutenant from the castle came off with our blacks after dark, and while he was drinking a glass of wine in the cabin, Don Pedro, most unfortunately, came on board. I heard his voice and started to intercept him; but he met me in the companion, and seizing me by the hand, exclaimed, ‘Well, Stewart, you are all ready to cut and run, I see; by this time to-morrow I hope we will be far beyond reach—’

“‘Hush! hush! for God’s sake!’ I whispered, pointing to the companion; ‘there is an officer from the castle below.’

“We walked to the sky-light and looked down.

“‘Diablo!’ muttered Pedro, with a start, ‘do you think he heard me?’

“‘No, I think not; the skipper and he did not cease conversation. The steward is so glad to get back amongst his crockery, that he was kicking up a devil of a row in the pantry; that may have drowned your voice.’

“‘If he did hear me I’m ruined. He is Don Sebastian Alvarez, a nephew of Carlos’, and dependent on him; he has watched me closely for three months. What is his errand?’

“‘He brought off our cook and steward, who have been confined in the castle.’

“‘Well, I dare say all is right; he is a lieutenant in the castle, and there is nothing strange in his being here on such business; but I’ll keep out of sight.’

“The officer soon came on deck, shook hands with Captain Hopkins, wished him a pleasant voyage, and then went down into his boat, ordering the men to pull for the castle.

“‘All right, I trust,’ cried Pedro, emerging from the round-house, ‘if he had started for the city, it would have been suspicious.’

“The skipper called the crew, who were principally Yankees, upon the quarter-deck, and in a brief speech stated the case in hand to them. ‘Now, my men,’ said he, ‘which of you will volunteer to go with Don Pedro Garcia and Mr. Stewart?’

“Every man offered his services. We chose six lusty fellows, and supplied them with pistols and cutlasses. Don Pedro gave them a doubloon a-piece, and to each of the rest of the crew a smaller sum. At eleven o’clock we descended into the boat and pushed off for the shore. The night had set in dark and rainy, with a strong breeze, almost a gale, from the south. The men rowed in silence and with vigor, but the wind was ahead for us, and when we landed at the end of the mole, behind a row of molasses-hogsheads, it wanted but a few moments of twelve. Leaving two men for boat-keepers, Don Pedro and myself, with the other four, traversed the silent streets until we stopped in a dark lane, in the rear of a large house, which appeared to front upon a more frequented street, for even at that late hour a carriage occasionally was heard.

“‘Now, hist!’ whispered Pedro, ‘listen for footsteps.’

“We strained our ears, but heard nothing but the clang of the deep-toned cathedral bell, striking the hour of twelve. A moment after a window above us opened, and a female form stepped out upon the balcony.

“‘Pedro, whispered the musical voice of Clara, ‘is that you?’

“‘Yes, yes—hush! Mr. Stewart is here, and some of his men. Are you all ready?’

“‘Yes,’ replied Clara; ‘but how am I going to descend?’

“‘Catch this line, which I will throw to you,’ said I, making a coil.

“The fair girl caught the line as handily as—as—a monkey, I suppose I must say.

“‘Now, haul away,’ I said; ‘there is a ladder bent on to the other end, which you must make fast to the balustrade.’

“‘What!’ cried Clara, quite aloud, ‘a ladder!—a real, live rope-ladder! how delightfully romantic!’

“‘Hush! hush! you lunatic!’ said Pedro, in a hoarse whisper.

“‘Oh, Pedro!’ continued his sister, ‘just think how droll it is to run away with one’s lover, and one’s brother standing by aiding and abetting! Oh, fie! I’m ashamed of you! There, now, I’ve fastened this delightful ladder—what next?’

“I ascended, and taking her in my arms, prepared to assist her to the ground.

“‘Am I not heavy?’ she asked, as she put her arms about my neck.

“My God! boys, I could have lifted twenty of her as I felt then.

“‘This is the second time, señor, that you have helped me to the ground within a week; now get me on the water, and I will thank you for all at once.’

“‘In a few moments more all danger will be behind us, dearest.’

“Clara leaned upon my arm, enveloped in a boat-cloak, while we rapidly retraced our steps to the boat, which we reached in safety, but, behold, the men whom we had left were missing. Hardly had we made ourselves sure of this unwelcome fact when a file of men, headed by the same officer who had boarded us in the evening, sprang out from behind the molasses-hogsheads. In a moment more a fierce fight had begun. I seized Clara by the waist with one arm, and drew my cutlas just in time to save my head from the sabre of Carlos Alvarez, who aimed a blow at me, crying, ‘Now, dog of a Yankee, it is my turn!’

“‘In the name of the king! in the name of the king!’ shouted the officer—but it made no difference, we fought like seamen. Clara had fainted, but I still kept my hold of her, when suddenly a ton weight seemed to have fallen on my head; my eyes seemed filled with red-hot sparks of intense brilliancy and heat; the wild scene around vanished from their sight as I sunk down stunned and insensible.

“When I came to myself, I was lying in my own berth aboard the ship. I felt weak, faint, and dizzy, and strove in vain to collect my thoughts sufficiently to remember what had happened. My state-room door was open, and I perceived that the sun’s rays were shining brightly through the sky-light upon the cabin-table, at which sat Capt. Hopkins, overhauling the medicine-chest, which was open before him. I knew by the sharp heel of the vessel, her uneasy pitching, and the cool breeze which fanned my fevered cheek, that the ship was close hauled on a wind, and probably far at sea. I looked at my arms; they were wasted to half their usual size, and my head was bandaged and very sore and painful. Slowly and with difficulty I recalled the events of the few hours preceding that in which I had lost my senses—then I remembered the mélée on the mole. Evidently I had been severely wounded, and while senseless been brought off to the ship. Then came the inquiry, what had been the fate of Clara and her brother. Were they safe on board, or were they captured or killed in the fracas? I hardly dared to ask the skipper who still sat at the table, with a most dolorous face, arranging the vials and gallipots. At last the suspense became intolerable.

“‘Captain Hopkins,’ said I, but in a voice so weak that it startled me. Faint as it was, however, the worthy skipper started to his feet, and was by my side in an instant.

“‘Glory to God!’ he shouted, snapping his fingers. ‘I know by your eyes that reason has hold of your helm again. You’ll get well now! Hurrah! D—n, though I mus’n’t make so much noise.’

“‘But, Captain Hopkins—’

“‘Can’t tell you any thing now, you’re too weak to bear it; that is—you know, Ben, good news is—ahem! dreadful apt to kill sick people; and you’ve been horrid sick, that’s a fact. I thought four days ago that you had shipped on a voyage to kingdom come, and was outward bound; but you’ll do well enough now, if you only keep quiet, and if you don’t you’ll slip your wind yet. Shut up your head, take a drink of this stuff, and go to sleep.’

“Capt. Hopkins left me, and, anxious as I was, I soon fell sound asleep. When I awoke I felt much better and stronger, and teazed the skipper so much, that he at last ventured to tell me that after I had been struck down by a sabre-cut over the head, Don Pedro, also badly wounded, and Donna Clara, had been captured by the soldiers. The two boat-keepers also were missing, and one of the others left, either dead or badly wounded, on the mole. Our other three men, finding themselves overpowered, succeeded barely in gaining the boat with my insensible form, and pushed off for the ship. Capt. Hopkins, upon hearing their story, had no other alternative but to cut and run, and favored by the strong southerly gale, he managed to make good his escape, though fired on by the castle before he had got out of range. In the hurry and confusion my wound was not properly attended to, and a brain fever set in, under which I had been suffering for a week; but the kind care of Capt. Hopkins and Mr. Smith, and the strength of my constitution, at last prevailed over the disease. Dismal as was this story, and the prospects it unfolded, my spirits, naturally buoyant, supported me, and I determined that when the ship should arrive in Boston I would leave her and return immediately to Cuba, to make an effort for the release of my friends. Wild as was this resolve, I grew better upon the hope of accomplishing it; and when we anchored off Long Wharf, after a tedious passage, I was nearly well.

“Notwithstanding the advice of my friends I made arrangements for an immediate return to Matanzas, but the day before my intended departure the Paragon arrived from that port; and I learned from her officers that Don Pedro was closely confined, awaiting his trial for the murder of Count ——, the result of which would be, without doubt, against him. Clara, believing the general report of my death, had entered the Ursuline Convent to begin her novitiate; and I was told that if I was to be seen in Matanzas, the garrote, or chain-gang, was all that I could expect. Your father then told me that if I would consent to accompany Captain Hopkins, he would sail in my place to Matanzas, and do his utmost for his nephew and niece. I could not help but see the wisdom of this arrangement, and acceded to it. We sailed from Boston to Stockholm, from thence to Rotterdam, and from thence to Batavia. A freight offering for Canton, we went to that port, and from thence came home, after an absence of two years and a half. In the meantime Don Pedro had been tried, and sentenced to death; but by the exertions of your father, who wrought faithfully in his behalf, his sentence was commuted, first to twenty, and then to twelve years in the gallies, or, as it is in Cuba, the chain-gang. His efforts to see Clara, in order to disabuse her mind of the belief of my death, was abortive; and she, after finishing her year as a novice, took the veil—and she is now a nun in the Ursuline Convent at Matanzas, while her noble brother is a slave, with felons, laboring with the cursed chain-gang in the same city to which we are bound. Now, boys, do you wonder that when I found myself under orders to go again to the scene of all this misery I was affected, and that a melancholy has possessed me which has increased as the voyage has progressed? I did determine at first that I would leave the ship at Gibralter and go home, but I dreaded to part with my shipmates. I shall not go ashore while we lay at Matanzas for many reasons, though I should incur no risk, I think. Everybody who knew me in Matanzas believes me dead long since; and six years of seafaring life in every climate, changes one strangely. But the wind has veered again and freshened considerably since I began my yarn. It looks some as if we might catch a norther by way of variety. Brewster will have to shorten sail in his watch, I reckon, and maybe keep the lead going if we make much leeway. Come, Bill, it is 4 o’clock, and a little past.”

“Eight bells, there, for’ard!” shouted the third mate. “Call the watch! Rouse Brewster, Frank, will you?”

The sleepy, yawning starboard watch were soon on deck, half-dressed, and snuffing the morning air very discontentedly. We of the larboard division went below to our berths.

“Langley,” said I to the third mate, while we were undressing, “I’ve got a plan in my head to get my cousins clear from their bad fix. Will you help me work it?”

“Marry, that I will,” answered Langley, throwing himself into a theatrical attitude. “Look here, Frank, this is the way I’ll run that bloody Alvarez through the gizzard!”

The last sounds I heard that night were the hurried trampling of feet over my head on deck, and the shouts of the watch shortening sail. I fell asleep and dreamed that I was in the fracas at the end of the mole.

[Conclusion in our next.





[This is a picturesque little stream in Washington county, State of New York. It flows through the broad and beautiful meadows of the Hon. John Savage, late Chief Justice of the State.]

Over the stirless surface of the ground

The hot air trembles. In pale glittering haze

Wavers the sky. Along the horizon’s rim,

Breaking its mist, are peaks of coppery clouds.

Keen darts of light are shot from every leaf,

And the whole landscape droops in sultriness.

With languid tread, I drag myself along

Across the wilting fields. Around my steps

Spring myriad grasshoppers, their cheerful notes

Loud in my ear. The ground bird whirs away,

Then drops again, and groups of butterflies

Spotting the path, upflicker as I come.

At length I catch the sparkles of the brook

In its deep thickets, whose refreshing green

Soothes my strained eyesight. The cool shadows fall

Like balm upon me from the boughs o’erhead.

My coming strikes a terror on the scene.

All the sweet sylvan sounds are hushed; I catch

Glimpses of vanishing wings. An azure shape

Quick darting down the vista of the brook,

Proclaims the scared kingfisher, and a plash

And turbid streak upon the streamlet’s face,

Betray the water-rat’s swift dive and path

Across the bottom to his burrow deep.

The moss is plump and soft, the tawny leaves

Are crisp beneath my tread, and scaly twigs

Startle my wandering eye like basking snakes.

Where this thick brush displays its emerald tent,

I stretch my wearied frame, for solitude

To steal within my heart. How hushed the scene

At first, and then, to the accustomed ear,

How full of sounds, so tuned to harmony

They seemed but silence; the monotonous purl

Of yon small water-break—the transient hum

Swung past me by the bee—the low meek burst

Of bubbles, as the trout leaps up to seize

The skipping spider—the light lashing sound

Of cattle, mid-leg in the shady pool,

Whisking the flies away—the ceaseless chirp

Of crickets, and the tree-frog’s quavering note.


Now, from the shadow where I lie concealed,

I see the birds, late banished by my form,

Appearing once more in their usual haunts

Along the stream; the silver-breasted snipe

Twitters and seesaws on the pebbly spots

Bare in the channel—the brown swallow dips

Its wings, swift darting round on every side;

And from yon nook of clustered water-plants,

The wood-duck, slaking its rich purple neck,

Skims out, displaying through the liquid glass

Its yellow feet, as if upborne in air.


Musing upon my couch, this lovely stream

I liken to the truly good man’s life,

Amid the heat of passions, and the glare

Of worldly objects, flowing pure and bright,

Shunning the gaze, yet showing where it glides

By its green blessings; cheered by happy thoughts,

Contentment, and the peace that comes from Heaven.









Giacomo, the Alchemist,


Bernardo, his son-in-law,


Rosalia, his daughter, and Bernardo’s wife,


Lorenzo, his servant.



The interior of Giacomo’s house. Giacomo and Lorenzo discovered together. Time, a little before daybreak.

   Gia. Art sure of this?

   Lor.              Ay, signor, very sure.

’Tis but a moment since I saw the thing—

Bernardo, who last night was sworn thy son,

Hath made a villainous barter of thine honor.

Thou may’st rely the duke is where I said.

   Gia. If so—no matter—give me here the light.

                                       [Exit Giacomo.

   Lor. (Alone.) Oh, what a night! It must be all a dream!

For twenty years, since that I wore a beard,

I’ve served my melancholy master here,

And never until now saw such a night!

A wedding in this silent house, forsooth,—

A festival! The very walls in mute

Amazement stared through the unnatural light!

And poor Rosalia, bless her tender heart,

Looked like her mother’s sainted ghost! Ah me,

Her mother died long years ago, and took

One half the blessed sunshine from our house—

The other half was married off last night.

My master, solemn soul, he walked the halls

As if in search of something which was lost;

The groom, I liked not him, nor ever did,

Spoke such perpetual sweetness, till I thought

He wore some sugared villany within:—

But then he is my master’s ancient friend,

And always known the favorite of the duke,

And, as I know, our lady’s treacherous lord!

Oh, Holy Mother, that to villain hawks

Our dove should fall a prey! poor gentle dear!

Now if I had their throats within my grasp—

No matter—if my master be himself,

Nor time nor place shall bind up his revenge.

He’s not a man to spend his wrath in noise,

But when his mind is made, with even pace

He walks up to the deed and does his will.

In fancy I can see him to the end—

The duke, perchance, already breathes his last,

And for Bernardo—he will join him soon;

And for Rosalia, she will take the veil,

To which she hath been heretofore inclined;

And for my master, he will take again

To alchemy—a pastime well enough,

For aught I know, and honest Christian work.

Still it was strange how my poor mistress died,

Found, as she was, within her husband’s study.

The rumor went she died of suffocation;

Some cursed crucible which had been left,

By Giacomo, aburning, filled the room,

And when the lady entered took her breath.

He found her there, and since that day the place

Has been a home for darkness and for dust.

I hear him coming; by his hurried step

There’s something done, or will be very soon.

(Enter Giacomo. He sets the light upon the table and confronts Lorenzo with a stern look.)

   Gia. Lorenzo, thou hast served me twenty years,

And faithfully; now answer me, how was’t

That thou wert in the street at such an hour?

   Lor. When that the festival was o’er last night,

I went to join some comrades in their wine

To pass the time in memory of the event.

   Gia. And doubtless thou wert blinded soon with drink?

   Lor. Indeed, good signor, though the wine flowed free,

I could not touch it, though much urged by all—

Too great a sadness sat upon my heart—

I could do naught but sit and sigh and think

Of our Rosalia in her bridal dress.

   Gia. And sober too! so much the more at fault.

But, as I said, thou’st served me long and well,

Perchance too long—too long by just a day.

Here, take this purse, and find another master.

   Lor. Oh, signor, do not drive me thus away!

If I have made mistake—

   Gia.           No, sirrah, no!

Thou hast not made mistake, but something worse.

   Lor. Oh, pray you, what is that then I have made?

   Gia. A lie!

   Lor. Indeed, good master, on my knees

I swear that what I said is sainted truth.

   Gia. Pshaw, pshaw, no more of this. Did I not go

Upon the instant to my daughter’s room

And find Bernardo sleeping at her side?

Some villain’s gold hath bribed thee unto this.

Go, go.

   Lor. Well, if it must be, then it must.

But I would swear that what I said is truth,

Though all the devils from the deepest pit

Should rise to contradict me!

   Gia.           Prating still?

   Lor. No, signor—I am going—stay—see here—

              (He draws a paper from his bosom.)

Oh, blessed Virgin, grant some proof in this!

This paper as they changed their mantles dropt

Between them to the ground, and when they passed

I picked it up and placed it safely here.

   Gia. (Examining it.)

Who forged the lie could fabricate this too:—

But hold, it is ingeniously done.

Get to thy duties, sir, and mark me well,

Let no word pass thy lips about the matter—

                           [Exit Lorenzo.

Bernardo’s very hand indeed is here!

Oh, compact villainous and black! conditions,

The means, the hour, the signal—every thing

To rob my honor of its holiest pearl!

Lorenzo, shallow fool—he does not guess

The mischief was all done, and that it was

The duke he saw departing—oh, brain—brain!

How shall I hold this river of my wrath!

It must not burst—no, rather it shall sweep

A noiseless maelstrom, whirling to its center

All thoughts and plans to further my revenge

And rid me of this most accursed blot!

   (He rests his forehead on his hand a few minutes, and exclaims,)

The past returns to me again—the lore

I gladly had forgot comes like a ghost,

And points with shadowy finger to the means

Which best shall consummate my just design.

The laboratory hath been closed too long;

The door smiles welcome to me once again,

The dusky latch invites my hand—I come!

   (He unlocks the door and stands upon the threshold.)

Oh, thou whose life was stolen from me here,

Stand not to thwart me in this great revenge;

But rather come with large propitious eyes

Smiling encouragement with ancient looks!

Ye sages whose pale, melancholy orbs

Gaze through the darkness of a thousand years,

Oh, pierce the solid blackness of to-day,

And fire anew this crucible of thought

Until my soul flames up to the result!

          (He enters and the door closes.)


Another apartment in the alchemist’s house. Enter Rosalia and Bernardo.

   Ros. You tell me he has not been seen to-day?

   Ber. Save by your trusty servant here, who says

He saw his master, from without, unclose

The shutters of his laboratory while

The sun was yet unrisen. It is well;

This turning to the past pursuits of youth

Argues how much the aspect of to-day

Hath driven the ancient darkness from his brain.

And now, my dear Rosalia, let thy face

And thoughts and speech be drest in summer smiles,

And naught shall make a winter in our house.

   Ros. Ah, sir, I think that I am happy.

   Ber.               Happy?

Why so, indeed, dear love, I trust thou art!

But thou dost sigh and contemplate the floor

So deeply, that thy happiness seems rather

The constant sense of duty than true joy.

   Ros. Nay, chide me not, good sir; the world to me

A riddle is at best—my heart has had

No tutor. From my childhood until now

My thoughts have been on simple honest things.

   Ber. On honest things? Then let them dwell henceforth

On love, for nothing is more honest than

True love.

   Ros. I hope so, sir—it must be so!

And if to wear thy happiness at heart

With constant watchfulness, and if to breathe

Thy welfare in my orisons, be love,

Thou never shalt have cause to question mine.

To-day I feel, and yet I know not why,

A sadness which I never knew before;

A puzzling shadow swims upon my brain,

Of something which has been or is to be.

My mother coming to me in my dream,

My father taking to that room again

Have somehow thrilled me with mysterious awe.

   Ber. Nay, let not that o’ercast thy gentle mind,

For dreams are but as floating gossamer,

And should not blind or bar the steady reason.

And alchemy is innocent enough,

Save when it feeds too steadily on gold,

A crime the world not easily forgives.

But if Rosalia likes not the pursuit

Her sire engages in, my plan shall be

To lead him quietly to other things.

But see, the door uncloses and he comes.

(Enter Giacomo in loose gown and dishevelled hair.)

   Gia. (Not perceiving them.)

Ha, precious villains, ye are caught at last!

   Both. Good-morrow, father.

   Gia.               Ah, my pretty doves!

   Ber. Come, father, we are jealous of the art

Which hath deprived us all the day of thee.

   Gia. Are ye indeed? (Aside.) How smoothly to the air

Slides that word father from his slippery tongue.

Come hither, daughter, let me gaze on thee,

For I have dreamed that thou wert beautiful,

So beautiful our very duke did stop

To smile upon thy brightness! What say’st thou,

Bernardo, didst thou ever dream such things?

   Ber. That she is beautiful I had no cause to dream,

Mine eyes have known the fact for many a day.

What villains didst thou speak of even now?

   Gia. Two precious villains—Carbon and Azote—

They have perplexed me heretofore; but now

The thing is plain enough. This morning, ere

I left my chamber, all the mystery stood

Asudden in an awful revelation!

   Ber. I’m glad success has crowned thy task to-day,

But do not overtoil thy brain. These themes

Are dangerous things, and they who mastered most

Have fallen at last but victims to their slaves.

   Gia. It is a glorious thing to fall and die

The victim of a noble cause.

   Ber.               Ay, true—

The man who battles for his country’s right

Hath compensation in the world’s applause.

The victor when returning from the field

Is crowned with laurel, and his shining way

Is full of shouts and roses. If he fall,

His nation builds his monument of glory.

But mark the alchemist who walks the streets,

His look is down, his step infirm, his hair

And cheeks are burned to ashes by his thought;

The volumes he consumes, consume in turn;

They are but fuel to his fiery brain,

Which being fed requires the more to feed on.

The people gaze on him with curious looks,

And step aside to let him pass untouched,

Believing Satan hath him arm in arm.

   Gia. Are there no wrongs but what a nation feels?

No heroes but among the martial throng?

Nay, there are patriot souls who never grasped

A sword, or heard the crowd applaud their names,

Who lived and labored, died and were forgot,

And after whom the world came out and reapt

The field, and never questioned who had sown.

   Ber. I did not think of that.

   Gia.           Now mark ye well,

I am not one to follow phantom themes,

To waste my time in seeking for the stone,

Or chrystalizing carbon to o’erflood

The world with riches which would keep it poor;

Nor do I seek the elixir that would make

Not life alone, but misery immortal;

But something far more glorious than these.

   Ber. Pray what is that?

   Gia.           A cure, sir, for the heart-ache.

Come, thou shalt see. The day is on the wane—

Mark how the moon, as by some unseen arm,

Is thrusted upward, like a bloody shield!

On such an hour the experiment must begin.

Come, thou shalt be the first to witness this

Most marvelous discovery. And thou,

My pretty one, betake thee to thy bower,

And I will dream thou’rt lovelier than ever.

Come, follow me. (To Bernardo.)

   Ros.           Nay, father, stay; I’m sure

Thou art not well—thine eyes are strangely lit,

The task, I fear, has over-worked thy brain.

   Gia. Dearest Rosalia, what were eyes or brain

Compared with banishment of sorrow? Come.

   Ber. (Aside to Rosalia.)

I will indulge awhile this curious humor;

Adieu; I shall be with thee soon again.

   Gia. (Overhearing him.)

When Satan shall regain his wings, and sit

Approved in heaven, perchance, but not till then.

   Ber. What, not till then?

   Gia.           Shall he be worthy deemed

To walk, as thou hast said the people thought,

Arm in arm with the high-souled philosopher:—

And yet the people sometimes are quite right,

The devil’s at our elbow oftener than

We know.

(He gives Bernardo his arm, and they enter the laboratory.)

   Ros. (Alone.) He never looked so strange before;

His cheeks, asudden, are grown pale and thin;

His very hair seems whiter than it did.

Oh, surely, ’tis a fearful trade that crowds

The work of years into a single day.

It may be that the sadness which I wear

Hath clothed him in its own peculiar hue.

The very sunshine of this cloudless day

Seemed but a world of broad, white desolation—

While in my ears small melancholy bells

Knolled their long, solemn and prophetic chime;—

But hark! a louder and a holier toll,

Shedding its benediction on the air,

Proclaims the vesper hour—

        Ave Maria!

                         [Exit Rosalia.


Giacomo and Bernardo discovered in the laboratory.

   Gia. What say’st thou now, Bernardo?

   Ber.           Let me live

Or die in drawing this delicious breath,

I ask no more.

   Gia. (Aside.) Mark, how with wondering eyes

He gazes on the burning crucibles,

As if to drink the rising vapor with

His every sense.

   Ber.         Is this the balm thou spak’st of?

   Gia. Ay, sir, the same.

   Ber.         Oh, would that now my heart

Were torn with every grief the earth has known,

Then would this sense be sweeter by tenfold!

Where didst thou learn the secret, and from whom?

   Gia. From Gebber down to Paracelsus, none

Have mentioned the discovery of this—

The need of it was parent of the thought.

   Ber. How long will these small crucibles hold out?

   Gia. A little while, but there are two beside,

That when thy sense is toned up to the point

May then be fired; and when thou breathest their fumes,

Nepenthe deeper it shall seem than that

Which Helen gave the guests of Menelaus.

But come, thou’lt weary of this thickening air,

Let us depart.

   Ber. Not for the wealth of worlds!

   Gia. Nay, but thy bride awaits thee—

   Ber. Go to her

And say I shall be there anon.

   Gia. I will.

(Aside.) Now while he stands enchained within the spell

I’ll to Rosalia’s room and don his cloak

And cap, and sally forth to meet the duke.

’Tis now the hour, and if he come—so be it.

                                   [Exit Giacomo.

   Ber. (Alone.)

These delicate airs seem wafted from the fields

Of some celestial world. I am alone—

Then wherefore not inhale that deeper draught,

That sweet nepenthe which these other two,

When burning, shall dispense? ’Twere quickly done,

And I will do it!

          (He places the two crucibles on the furnace.)

Now, sir alchemist,

Linger as long as it may suit thy pleasure—

’Tis mine to tarry here. Oh, by San John,

I’ll turn philosopher myself, and do

Some good at last in this benighted world!

Now how like demons on the ascending smoke,

Making grimaces, leaps the laughing flame,

Filling the room with a mysterious haze,

Which rolls and writhes along the shadowy air,

Taking a thousand strange, fantastic forms;

And every form is lit with burning eyes,

Which pierce me through and through like fiery arrows!

The dim walls grow unsteady, and I seem

To stand upon a reeling deck! Hold, hold!

A hundred crags are toppling overhead.

I faint, I sink—now, let me clutch that limb—

Oh, devil! It breaks to ashes in my grasp!

What ghost is that which beckons through the mist?

The duke! the duke! and bleeding at the breast!

Whose dagger struck the blow?

          (Enter Giacomo.)

   Gia. Mine, villain, mine!

What! thou’st set the other two aburning?

Impatient dog, thou cheat’st me to the last!

I should have done the deed—and yet ’tis well.

Thou diest by thine own dull hardihood!

   Ber. Ha! is it so? Then follow thou!

   Gia. My time

Is not quite yet, this antidote shall place

A bar between us for a little while.

          (He raises a vial to his lips, drinks, and flings it aside.)

   Ber. (Rallying.) Come, give it me—

   Gia. Ha, ha! I drained it all!

There is the broken vial.

   Ber. Is there no arm

To save me from the abyss?

   Gia. No, villain, sink!

And take this cursed record of thy plot,

          (He thrusts a paper into Bernardo’s hand,)

And it shall gain thee speedy entrance at

Th’ infernal gate!

          (Bernardo reads, reels and falls.)

   Gia. (Looking on the body.) Poor miserable dust!

This body now is honest as the best,

The very best of earth, lie where it may.

This mantle must conceal the thing from sight,

For soon Rosalia, as I bade her, shall

Be here. Oh, Heaven! vouchsafe to me the power

To do this last stern act of justice. Thou

Who called the child of Jairus from the dead,

Assist a stricken father now to raise

His sinless daughter from the bier of shame.

And may her soul, unconscious of the deed,

Forever walk the azure fields of heaven.

          (Enter Rosalia, dressed in simple white, bearing a small golden crucifix in her hand.)

   Ros. Dear father, in obedience, I have come—

But where’s Bernardo?

   Gia. Gone to watch the stars;

To see old solitary Saturn whirl

Like poor Ixion on his burning wheel—

He is our patron orb to-night, my child.

   Ros. I do not know what strange experiment

Thou’dst have me see, but in my heart I feel

That He, in whose remembrance this was made

          (looking at the cross)

Should be chief patron of our thoughts and acts.

Since vesper time—I know not how it was—

I could do naught but kneel and tell my prayers.

   Gia. Ye blessed angels, hymn the word to heaven.

Come, daughter, let me hold thy hand in mine,

And gaze upon the emblem which thou bearest.

          (He looks upon the crucifix awhile and presses it to his lips.)

   Ros. Pray tell me, father, what is in the air?

   Gia. See’st thou the crucibles, my child? Now mark,

I’ll drop a simple essence into each.

   Ros. My sense is flooded with perfume!

   Gia. Again.

   Ros. My soul, asudden, thrills with such delight

It seems as it had won a birth of wings!

   Gia. Behold, now when I throw these jewels in,

The glories of our art!

   Ros. A cloud of hues

As beautiful as morning fills the air;

And every breath I draw comes freighted with

Elysian sweets! An iris-tinted mist,

In perfumed wreaths, is rolling round the room.

The very walls are melting from my sight,

And surely, father, there’s the sky o’erhead!

And on that gentle breeze did we not hear

The song of birds and silvery waterfalls?

And walk we not on green and flowery ground?

Ferrara, father, hath no ground like this,

The ducal gardens are not half so fair!

Oh, if this be the golden land of dreams,

Let us forever make our dwelling here.

Not lovelier in my earliest visions seemed

The paradise of our first parents, filled

With countless angels whose celestial light

Thrilled the sweet foliage like a gush of song.

Look how the long and level landscape gleams,

And with a gradual pace goes mellowing up

Into the blue. The very ground we tread

Seems flooded with the tender hue of heaven;

An azure lawn is all about our feet,

And sprinkled with a thousand gleaming flowers,

Like lovely lilies on a tranquil lake.

   Gia. Nay, dear Rosalia, cast thy angel ken

Far down the shining pathway we have trod,

And see behind us those enormous gates

To which the world has given the name of Death;

And note the least among yon knot of lights,

And recognize your native orb, the earth!

For we are spirits threading fields of space,

Whose gleaming flowers are but the countless stars!

But now, dear love, adieu—a flash from heaven—

A sudden glory in the silent air—

A rustle as of wings, proclaim the approach

Of holier guides to take thee into keep.

Behold them gliding down the azure hill

Making the blue ambrosial with their light.

Our paths are here divided. I must go

Through other ways, by other forms attended.





  I wandered on the lonely strand,

A setting sun shone brightly there,

  And bathed in glory sea and land,

And streamed in beauty through the air!


  A playful breeze the waters curled,

Touched their light waves and passed them by,

  Then fanned a bird whose wings unfurled

Were waving on the sunset sky!


  The bird had gone. The sun had set.

His beams still tipped the hills and trees,

  And flung a rainbow radiance yet

On clouds reflected in the seas!


  A distant boatman plied the oar,

All sparkling with its golden spray,

  His voice came softened to the shore,

Then melted with the dying day!


  And when the last bright lines on high

Departed as the twilight came,

  A large star showed its lone, sweet eye

All margined with a cloud of flame!


  The winds were hushed. Their latest breath

In soft, low murmurs died afar—

  The rippling of the wave beneath

Showed dancing there that one bright star!


  So fair a scene, so sweet an hour,

Were felt and passed. In stilly calm

  They shed around me beauty’s power,

Yet gave no peace, and brought no balm.


  I was alone! I saw no eyes

With mine gaze on the twilight sea—

  No heart returned my lonely sighs—

No lips breathed sympathy with me.


  I was alone! I looked above.

That star seemed happy thus to lave

  Its fairy light and glance of love

Deep in the bosom of the wave.


  I gazed no more! The blinding tear

Rose from my heart, and dimmed my sight.

  Had one dear voice then whispered near,

That scene how changed!—That heart how light!


  My soul was swelling like the sea!

Had thine eyes gleamed there with mine own,

  That soul a mirror true to thee

On ev’ry wave thyself had shown!





“Mrs. Goldsborough’s party is to-night, is it not?” said Mr. Pelby Smith to his wife; “are we going my dear?”

Apropos of parties,” returned she, waiving the question; “I don’t see how we are to get on any longer without giving one ourselves.”

“Why so, my dear? We cannot afford to give a party, and that will be an apology all-sufficient to a woman of Cousin Sabina’s sense.”

“Cousin Sabina!” exclaimed Mrs. Smith; “as if I, or any one else, ever thought of going to the trouble of a party for a plain old maid, like cousin Sabina Incledon!”

“My dear, I wish you would not speak in that way of Cousin Sabina; she is an excellent woman, of superior mind, and manners to command respect in any society.”

“That may be your opinion, Mr. Smith,” answered the lady tartly; “mine is that a quiet old maid, from somewhere far off in the country, and with an income of two or three hundred dollars a year, would not make much of a figure in our society. At all events, I shan’t make a trial of it.”

“I thought you alluded to her visit as making it incumbent on us to give a party,” said Mr. Smith meekly; “there is no other reason, I believe.”

“You will allow me to have some judgment in such matters, Mr. Smith. I think it is absolutely necessary that we should, that is, if we wish to go to parties for the future. We have been going to them all our lives without giving any, and people will grow tired of inviting us.”

“Then, my dear, why not make up our minds to stay at home. I would rather.”

“But I would not, Mr. Smith. I shall go to parties as long as possible. My duty to my children requires it.”

Mr. Smith opened his eyes as wide as his timidity would let him.

“My duty to my children, I repeat,” pursued she with energy; “they will have to be introduced to society.”

“Not for seven or eight years yet, any of them,” interposed Mr. Smith.

“Sooner or later,” continued the lady; “and how is that to be done unless I keep the footing which I have attained—with trouble enough, as I only know, and without any thanks to you, Mr. Smith. If I give up parties, I may fall at once into the obscurity for which you have such a taste. People of fortune and distinction can voluntarily withdraw for a while, and then reappear with as much success as ever, but that is not the case with persons of our position.”

“It is only the expense that I object to, my dear; my business is so limited that it is impossible for us to live in any other than a plain, quiet way. The cost of a party would be a serious inconvenience to me.”

“The advantages will be of greater consequence than the sacrifices,” returned the lady, softening as she saw her husband yielding; “the loss will soon be made up to you through an increase of friends. Party-giving people are always popular.”

Mr. Smith saw that his wife was determined to carry her point, which was nothing new. He had learned to submit, and to submit in silence, so, after sitting moodily for a few minutes, he took up his hat to go to his place of business.

“I knew, my dear,” said Mrs. Smith smoothly, “that you would soon see the matter in a proper light; and now about Mrs. Goldsborough’s party. I shall lay out your things for you. I can go with some satisfaction now that I have a prospect of soon being on equal terms with my entertainers.”

Mrs. Smith walked round her two small and by no means elegant rooms, reassuring herself as to the capabilities of her lamps, girandoles and candlesticks, for she had mentally gone through all her arrangements long before; the act of consulting her husband being, generally, her last step toward the undertaking of any important project. She was joined by the object of some of her recent remarks, Miss Sabina Incledon, a cousin of Mr. Smith’s, who, until within a few days, had been a stranger to her. She was a plainly dressed person of middle age, with an agreeable though not striking countenance, and unobtrusive, lady-like manners.

“I am sorry you are not going to Mrs. Goldsborough’s to-night, Cousin Sabina,” said Mrs. Smith; “I have no doubt she would have sent an invitation had she known I had a friend visiting me.”

“Not improbable. I do not, however, feel much inclination just now to go to a party. Had it not been for that, I should have sent my card to Mrs. Goldsborough after my arrival. I met her at the Springs last summer, and received much politeness from her.”

“Mrs. Goldsborough is a very polite woman—very much disposed to be civil to every one,” said Mrs. Smith; “by the bye,” she added, “Pelby and I have it in contemplation to give a large party ourselves.”

“Indeed? I thought you were not party-giving people; Cousin Pelby assured me so.”

“And never would be if Pelby Smith had his own way. To be sure, we are not in circumstances to entertain much, conveniently, but for the sake of a firmer place in society, I am always willing to strain a point. As to Pelby, he has so little spirit that he would as soon be at the bottom of the social ladder as at the top. I can speak of it without impropriety to you, as you are his relation, not mine. He has been a perpetual drag and drawback upon me, but, notwithstanding, I have accomplished a great deal. Five or six years ago we were merely on speaking terms with the Goldsboroughs, and the Pendletons, and the Longacres, and the Van Pelts and that set, and now I visit most of them, and receive invitations to all their general parties. I have always felt ashamed of not having entertained them in return, and now I am resolved to do so, as a favorable opportunity offers of doing it advantageously. I mean the coming out of Julia Goldsborough, Mrs. Goldsborough’s only daughter. It will be something to say that I have given her a party.”

“Do the family expect the compliment of you?” asked Miss Incledon, looking at her in surprise; “I did not know that you were on such intimate terms.”

Mrs. Smith smiled in conscious superiority. “Ah, Cousin Sabina!” said she, “you are very unsophisticated. Don’t you know that a party goes off with much more eclât for being associated with some name of importance. Now Julia Goldsborough, from her beauty and vivacity, and the fashion and fortune of her family, is to be the belle of the season, and a party got up for her must necessarily make a sensation. All her friends, and they are at the head of society, will attend on her account, if for nothing else, and everybody else will be glad to go where they do. Then the Pendletons and the Longacres and the Van Pelts, several of them, will give her parties—so it is understood—and it will be worth an effort to make mine one of the series.”

A faint expression of sarcastic humor passed over the placid countenance of Miss Incledon, but she made no comment.

Mrs. Pelby Smith entered the brilliant rooms of Mrs. Goldsborough that night with an elated spirit, seeing in herself the future hostess of the fashionable throng there assembled. Instead of standing in a corner, listening with unctuous deference or sympathy to any who chanced to come against her, as was her wont, proffering her fan, or her essence-bottle, or in some quiet way ministering to their egotism, she now stepped freely forth upon the field of action, nodding and smiling at the young men to whom she might have been at some time introduced; whispering and jesting with some marked young lady, while she made an occasion to arrange her berthe or her ringlets, and adding herself, as if by accident, to any trio or quartette of pre-eminent distinction. She had at length the anxiously desired opportunity to put out her feelers at Mrs. Goldsborough.

“What a lovely creature Julia has become, Mrs. Goldsborough!” she exclaimed; “it seems but a few months since she was a little fairy only so high, and now she is so well grown and so commanding in her figure! and her manners, they are as pronounced and distingué as if she were twenty-five; they appear the more remarkable for her sweet, youthful face. I have been watching her the whole evening, and seeing every one offering her their tribute, I have gotten quite into the spirit of it myself. I’m sure you will smile at me, for you well know that I am not at all in the habit of such things, but I really must give her a party. I have known her so long, almost since she could first run about, and I always loved the little creature so much! I feel as if I have almost a right to be proud of her myself. Have you any engagements for the beginning of next week? If not, unless you positively forbid it, I shall send out invitations at once.”

“You are very kind, indeed, Mrs. Smith,” said Mrs. Goldsborough, smiling cordially, for she was a fond mother, and also was full of courtesy and amiability; “it will be an unexpected compliment to Julia. She will be flattered that your partiality for her is as warm as ever. We have no engagements for the first of next week. The parties with which my friends will try to spoil Julia do not come on so soon.”

Her scheme having been not unfavorably received, Mrs. Smith whispered it to one and another, until it was known to half the company before they dispersed that Miss Goldsborough was to be fêted next by Mrs. Pelby Smith.

Our heroine ought to have overheard the conversation which took place at the late breakfast of Mrs. Goldsborough the following morning.

“You could hardly guess whom you have charmed into party intentions toward you, Julia,” said Mrs. Goldsborough; “I suppose you have not heard? Mrs. Pelby Smith.”

“Defend me from Mrs. Pelby Smith!” laughed Julia; “but are you in earnest, mamma?”

“Certainly, my dear; she told me last night that she intended to give you a party in the beginning of next week.”

“That intolerable, toadying Mrs. Pelby Smith!” exclaimed young Frank Goldsborough; “I would not allow her to cover the iniquities of her ambition with my name, Julia, if I were you. Depend upon it, she has some sinister design in this thing.”

“I agree with Frank,” rejoined Miss Pendleton, Mrs. Goldsborough’s sister; “such as elevating herself in society on your shoulders, Julia, or rather those of your family.”

“Charity, charity! you know I don’t like such remarks,” interposed Mrs. Goldsborough, but with little show of severity; “we have no reason to decide that Mrs. Smith does not really mean a kindness. She always seemed very fond of Julia when a child.”

“And so she would have appeared, mamma, of any other that might have happened to be a grandchild of General Pendleton and Judge Goldsborough. I had sense enough to understand her even then. She used to call me in on my way to school, to warm my hands, when they did not need it, and inquire after the health of my mother and grandmothers and grandfathers and aunts and uncles, and admire my clothes, and wish her little Jane was old enough to run to school with me, and flatter me on the beauty of my hair and eyes and complexion, in such a way that very few children would have been so stupid as not to have seen through it. Could you not have said something to discourage the new idea, ma’ma?”

“Not without rudeness, Julia, though, I confess, I would rather it could have been done. Even presuming that she is sincere in her professions of regard, I do not like the thought of a person in her circumstances going to what to her must be serious trouble and expense on our account. The easiest way to reconcile myself to it would be by believing with you all, that she has some personal motive in it.”

At that same hour Mrs. Smith was immersed in her preliminary arrangements.

“I shall have to ask you to write some of the invitations, Cousin Sabina,” said she to Miss Incledon; “I am not much in the habit of writing, even notes; and Pelby, who has not time to attend to it, says that you write a very pretty hand. Here are pen and paper to make out the list—I will give you the names. In the first place, there are all the Goldsboroughs and Pendletons, and Longacres, and Van Pelts—”

“You forget,” interrupted Miss Incledon, “that it is necessary to name them individually.”

“True, I had forgotten—I have so many things to think about. Beginning with the Goldsboroughs—Mrs., Miss, and Mr.; then General and Mrs. Pendleton, Miss Pendleton, Mr. and Mrs. John, Mr. and Mrs. Henry, and Mr. and Mrs. James Pendleton;” and so Mrs. Smith kept on in continuous nomenclature for a considerable time. It was only as she came down into the lower ranks of fashion, after a regular gradation, that she hesitated for a moment—and then her pauses grew longer and longer.

“Perhaps I can assist your memory, Cousin Sarah,” said Miss Incledon; “I have seen several of your acquaintances, and have heard of a good many more; there is Mrs. Wills, with whom you were taking tea the evening of my arrival.”

“I have reflected upon that, and conclude that I shall not ask Mrs. Wills,” replied Mrs. Smith; “she is a plain person, and seldom goes to parties, which I can make a sufficient excuse for leaving her out, though, to be sure, she would come to mine, if I invited her; and to prevent her from being offended, I shall send for her a few days after to come socially to tea, with a few others of the same set. There will, of course, be plenty of refreshments left, and it will, therefore, be no additional expense.”

“Then Mrs. Salisbury and her two daughters, who called yesterday.”

“I believe not; they are not decidedly and exclusively of the first circle, though, as you seemed to consider them, quite superior women—very accomplished and agreeable. They have not much fortune, however, and have no connections here. On the whole, I do not see that any thing could be gained by inviting the Salisburys.”

“I have not your neighbor, Mrs. Streeter down,” observed Cousin Sabina.

“No; I don’t see the necessity for having Mrs. Streeter; she is a good creature—very obliging when one needs a neighbor, in cases of sickness, or the like, but would be far from ornamental. I can have an excuse for omitting her in never having received an invitation from her—she does not give parties. She will be very well satisfied, I dare say, if I send her a basket of fragments afterward. You must understand, Cousin Sabina, that as this is my first party, I mean it to be very select.”

“Then you will also, I presume, leave out Mrs. Brownell.”

“By no means; I calculate a great deal on Mrs. Brownell. She has the greatest quantity of elegant china and cut-glass, which it will be necessary for me to borrow. My own supply is rather limited, and I must depend chiefly on my acquaintances. It was on that account that I set down the Greelys. They have the largest lot of silver forks and spoons of any family I know—owing, it is whispered, to their having, where they came from, kept a fashionable boarding-house. Also, you may put down Mrs. Crabbe.”

“Mrs. Crabbe?—did I not hear you describe her as a very low person?”

“Peculiarly so in her manners—but what am I to do? I must have persons to assist me; and Mrs. Crabbe makes the most beautiful jellies and the most delicious Charlotte-Russe I ever tasted. She has a natural talent for all sorts of nice cookery, and with my little experience in it, she will be of the greatest service to me. It saves a great deal to make every thing except the confectionary at home; and I shall go at once and ask Mrs. Crabbe if she will prepare the materials for my fruit-cake, and mix it up.”

“You have said nothing about your Aunt Tomkins, of whom Cousin Pelby has talked to me, and of the different members of her family—they are to have invitations, of course?” suggested Miss Incledon.

“No—that is—I shall attend to it myself—I mean you need not mind;” and Mrs. Smith hurried to the door, beginning to perceive something she would rather escape in the countenance and interrogatories of Cousin Sabina. “Bless me!” she exclaimed, turning back, “I almost forgot—and what a mistake it would have been! put down Miss Debby Coggins; I should never have been forgiven if I had neglected her. She has a great many oddities, but she is related to all the first families, and one must keep on her right side. Have you the name?—Miss Deborah Coggins.”

We shall not follow Mrs. Smith into the turmoil of her preparations, which would have been much more wearisome and bewildering, from her inexperience in getting up a large entertainment, had it not been for the good judgment and quiet activity of Miss Incledon, and which the night of fruition at last terminated.

All was ready, even the lighting of the rooms, when Mrs. Smith, before commencing her own toilette, entered the apartment of her guest. Miss Incledon, who considered herself past the time of life for other than matronly decorations of the person, was laying out a handsome pelerine, and a tasteful cap, to wear with a rich, dark silk dress.

“My dear Cousin Sabina,” said Mrs. Smith, “do help me out of a difficulty; I have no one to remain on duty in the supper-room, and there certainly ought to be some one to sit there and see that nothing is disturbed—for there is a great quantity of silver there, mostly borrowed, and with so many strange servants about, I feel uneasy to leave it a moment.”

“Are you not able to get some one for that service?” asked Miss Incledon.

“No, indeed; I thought of Aunt Tomkins, but the truth is, I could not request her to do it without sending invitations to the whole family, which I concluded would not be advisable: there are so many of them, and as they would not be acquainted with the rest of the company, it seemed best not to have any of them. I thought, too, of old Mrs. Joyce, who sometimes does quilting and knitting for me, but she has a large family of grandchildren, some of whom she always drags with her when she goes to where there is any thing good to eat; and it would never do to have them poking their fingers into the refreshments. So it struck me that perhaps you might oblige me. You don’t appear to care for parties, and as you would be a stranger in the room, it is not likely you would have much enjoyment. Of course, if I believed you would prefer the trouble of dressing, and taking your chance among the company, I would not ask it of you.”

Nothing daunted by the glow of indignation which followed a look of astonishment on the face of Cousin Sabina, she paused for a reply. After a moment’s reflection, Miss Incledon answered calmly, “I am your guest, Sarah—dispose of me as you please;” and returning her cap and white gloves to their boxes, she refastened her wrapper to enter upon the office assigned to her.

The party passed off with the crowding, crushing, talking and eating common to parties. The supper was a handsome one—for Mr. Smith wisely decided that if the thing must be done at all, it should be done well—and therefore he had hinted no restrictions to his wife as to the expense. Many “regrets” had been sent in, but still Mrs. Smith was at the post she had coveted for years—that of receiving a fashionable assemblage in her own house; and if her choicest guests courted her notice as little as they would have done any where else, she was too much elated and flustered, and overheated to think about it. One of her principal concerns was to keep her eye on her husband, who, being a shy, timid man, with very little tact, was not much calculated for playing the host on such an occasion. He had, however, been doing better than she expected, when, a little before supper, he wandered through the crowd to where she was standing, for the moment, alone, and asked, “Where is Cousin Sabina?”

“In the supper-room. It is necessary at such times to have some one behind the scenes, and I had to get her to remain in the supper-room, to watch that things went on properly; and, in particular, to see that none of the silver was carried off, nor the refreshments wasted after supper.”

Mr. Smith looked disturbed, and exclaimed, rather too loudly, “Is it possible that you could ask a woman like Sabina Incledon to do such a thing! one of my most respectable relations, and a visiter in my house?”

“Don’t speak so loudly. I left out all my own relations, and I dare say they would, any of them, have looked as creditably as Sabina Incledon. When we have established our own standing, Mr. Smith, it will be time enough for us to bring out such people as your Cousin Sabina. To be sure, if I had had any one to trust in her place, I should not have objected at all to her coming in.”

Mrs. Smith was turning away, when she saw, at her elbow, Mrs. Goldsborough and Miss Pendleton, who must have overheard the conversation. To her it was the mortification of the evening.

The next morning at the breakfast-table Mrs. Smith was too much occupied in descanting upon the events of the night, describing the dresses, and detailing the commendations on different viands of the supper, to notice that Miss Incledon spoke but little, and when she did, with more dignity and gravity than usual. On rising from the table, she unlocked the sideboard, and taking from it a basket of silver, she said, “I would thank you, Cousin Sabina, to assort these forks and spoons for me. It will be something of a task, as they have to go to half a dozen different places. When you have got through I will look over them to see that all is right;” and she was hurrying off to commence some of the multifarious duties of the day.

“Excuse me, Sarah,” said Miss Incledon; “I’ll expect that a carriage will be here in a few minutes to take me into the country.”

“Dear me!” exclaimed Mrs. Smith, looking disappointed and somewhat displeased; “I thought I should have your assistance in putting away things—I had no idea of your leaving us to-day.”

“You may remember my telling you, Cousin Pelby,” said Miss Incledon, addressing Mr. Smith, “that I would be but a few days with you. I took advantage of traveling in this direction to renew our old family intercourse; but the principal object of my journey was to visit a very particular friend, Mrs. Morgan Silsbee.”

“Mrs. Morgan Silsbee!” said Mrs. Smith—“are you not mistaken, Cousin Sabina? I presume you mean Mrs. Edward Silsbee. Mrs. Morgan Silsbee lives ten or twelve miles out; their place is said to be magnificent, and I know that she and her husband drives a coach-and-four on state occasions. Mrs. Goldsborough made a splendid dinner for them a short time ago. Mrs. Edward Silsbee I have met often; I didn’t know that you were acquainted with her.”

“I am not acquainted with Mrs. Edward Silsbee,” said Miss Incledon, with dignity; “I mean her sister-in-law, Mrs. Morgan Silsbee. She is an old friend of mine, and I have been under engagement to her since I met her last summer, at the Springs, to make this visit. I had a note from her last night, written from one of the hotels, saying that she would stop for me this morning at nine or ten o’clock—your party preventing her from calling in person.”

Had a halo suddenly appeared around the head of Cousin Sabina, Mrs. Smith could hardly have changed her countenance and manner more markedly. “If I had only known it,” she exclaimed, “how gratified I should have been to have had an invitation, with my card, sent to her, and to have had her at my party. But, surely, Cousin Sabina, you will soon return to us?”

“I shall certainly pass through town on my way homeward, but will stop at a boarding-house,” said Miss Incledon.

The conscious Mrs. Smith reddened violently, but was relieved by the interruption of a handsome carriage, though not the coach-and-four, stopping before her house. Miss Incledon stepped to the parlor-door, to answer the footman, who inquired for her.

“Mrs. Morgan Silsbee’s compliments, ma’am,” said the man, “and the carriage is at your service whenever you are ready. We are to take her up at Mrs. Goldsborough’s, where she got out to wait for you.”

It took but a moment for Cousin Sabina to reappear bonneted and shawled, and to have her baggage put on the carriage. Then kindly bidding Mr. Smith farewell, she gave her hand to his wife, escaping the embrace in preparation for her, and was rapidly driven away.

“You see there are some persons who can appreciate Cousin Sabina,” said Mr. Smith; and afraid to wait for a reply, he hastened to his place of business.

“And so Cousin Sabina is the friend of Mrs. Morgan Silsbee, the friend of Mrs. Goldsborough!” said Mrs. Smith to herself, while a series of not very satisfactory reflections ran through her mind. But her attention was claimed by other things. What with putting away and distributing the fragments of the feast, washing and sending home table-furniture, gathering up candle ends, and other onerous duties, the day wore on. At last, late in the afternoon, with aching head and wearied limbs, she sat down in her rocking-chair in the dining-room to rest. A ring at the door-bell soon disturbed her. “Say I’m engaged, unless it is some person very particular,” said she to the servant.

“It is Miss Debby Coggins, ma’am,” said the colored girl, returning, with a grin; “I let her in, because she’s very partic’lar.”

Miss Deborah Coggins, from being connected in some way or other with each of the great families of the town, and having money enough not to be dependent on any of them, was what is called a privileged character—a class of individuals hard to be endured, unless they possess the specific virtue of good-nature, to which Miss Debby had no claim. She talked without ceasing, and her motto was to speak “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” She was of a thin figure, always dressed in rusty black silk, which must sometimes have been renewed or changed, though no one could ever tell when, and a velvet bonnet, of the same hue, with a peculiar lateral flare, which, however, was really made to look something like new once every three or four years. She wore a demi-wreath of frizzly, flaxen curls close above her shaggy eyebrows, which were of the same color; and her very long, distended nose was always filled with snuff, which assisted in giving a trombone sound to as harsh a voice as ever passed through the lips of a woman.

She had drawn up the blinds, and opened the sash of the windows when Mrs. Smith entered the front parlor. “How’re you this evening, Mrs. Smith?” said she, in answer to the bland welcome she received; “I was just telling your black girl that if you ever should happen to have a party again, she should open the rooms and have the air changed better the next day; and as you are not used to such things yourself, I thought I might as well let you know it, too. I raised the windows myself. Now,” she added, “the room is too cold to sit in, and I would prefer going to your dining-room, or wherever you were when I came in.”

“Certainly, certainly, Miss Debby,” said Mrs. Smith, marshaling the way.

“Stop!” said Miss Debby, “I want to take a look at your wall paper—I never noticed it before. I can’t say I like your taste; though, no doubt, you took it for the sake of economy—ugly papers sometimes go very cheap.”

“You are quite mistaken, I assure you, Miss Debby,” began Mrs. Smith, eagerly.

“Well, it’s of no consequence,” interrupted Miss Debby, “only I heard Matilda Shipley say yesterday, that there would be no use in dressing much for Mrs. Pelby Smith’s party, as her low rooms, with their dingy, dirt-colored paper, could never be lighted up to make any one look well.”

Mrs. Smith cleared her throat, but said nothing, recollecting by this time that all retort or explanation was lost upon Miss Deborah Coggins. To change the subject she remarked, “How disappointed I was at your not coming last night, my dear Miss Debby—one of the friends I most wished to see.”

“I have been rather sorry myself that I did not come, since I heard that the party turned out better than could have been expected. I supposed that there would have been a great many here that I did not know, and that my own set, mostly, would have stayed away, like myself, not caring much to meet them.”

“What an idea, Miss Debby! there was scarcely one in the room that you did not know. My company was very select.”

“So I was told to-day. Mrs. William Van Pelt said that you had invited every body that would not thank you, and, as she had been told, had left out those that had the best right to expect invitations. I should like to have had a share of the supper,” continued Miss Debby. “I heard that you had worried yourself nearly to death preparing it, and that it was really good, considering that you were not used to such things. Young John Pendleton said that it made him some little amends for being forced to go to a place where he made a mistake every time he addressed his entertainers and called them Joneses.”

Sorely wincing as Mrs. Smith was, she did not forget Miss Debby’s notoriety for following close upon the heels of a party for a share of the good things left. Accordingly, she opened her sideboard, and produced a choice variety of her store.

“I suppose it is too late to get some of the ice cream?” said Miss Debby, losing no time in attacking what was set before her; “you have used it, or let the ice run out, I dare say?—though, now that I think of it, I made up my mind that I would not care to have any of it, for old Mrs. Longacre told me that what she got was bitter, from being made partly of milk, she supposed, that had been burnt in boiling.”

This was more than Mrs. Smith could stand. “It is totally erroneous!” she exclaimed; “I used none but the purest cream, and that without boiling; I don’t know how the old lady could have made such a mistake, unless it was that she got some of the almond, which, perhaps, had too much of the bitter-almond flavor for her taste.”

“Perhaps so; and she said that she did not venture to taste the Charlotte-Russe, fearing it might turn out to be nothing but sponge-cake and custard, without jelly or whipped cream. But if it was all like this, nobody could complain of it;” and, absorbed in the gratification of her palate, Miss Debby gave her auditor a few minutes respite.

“Your party, on the whole, made something of a talk, Mrs. Smith,” she resumed.

Mrs. Smith bowed and smiled, taking the observation for a compliment.

“I was out making calls the day the invitations went round. You know making calls is a business with me, when I undertake it. I commence directly after breakfast, and keep on till night, eating my dinner wherever I suppose dinner chances to be ready. Well, the first I heard of your intentions was from Mrs. Harvey, who said she wondered you could think yourself under obligations to give a party to Julia Goldsborough, though, to be sure, like some other of your devices, she supposed that was only a ruse; and she was surprised that the Goldsboroughs were willing to be cat’s paws to help you along in ‘society.’”

Mrs. Smith’s face grew as red as the bon bon paper she was nervously twisting.

“That was to Mrs. Nicolas and me,” pursued Miss Debby; “and Mrs. Nicolas wondered how upon earth the Pelby Smiths could afford to give a party at all. She concluded that you would have to live on bacon and potatoes for the remainder of the season, to retrieve the cost, and would have to turn that changeable silk of yours the third time.”

“Oh, I don’t mind what people say,” observed Mrs. Smith, with a distorted smile.

“I know you don’t, or, at least, that you don’t resent any thing toward persons of such standing as those two, or I would not have repeated the conversation. But, is it true, that you had some trouble to get the party out of your husband?”

“Mr. Smith and I always act in concert,” said Mrs. Smith, looking dutiful.

“Do you? well, that’s a happy thing. I understood quite the contrary, though, that you always carried the day, from what Mrs. Joe Culpepper said. I was at her house when your invitation came in, and after she had opened it, she exclaimed, with her sly laugh, ‘Only think, Miss Debby, that manœuvring, pushing Mrs. Pelby Smith has at last worried her poor husband into giving a party!’ and from the way she pitied Mr. Smith, I inferred she must have some reason to believe that if you did not wield a pretty high hand, he would not be quite such a man of wax as he seems.”

Had Miss Debby been any thing less than a relation in common to the “Goldsboroughs, the Pendletons, the Longacres, and the Van Pelts,” Mrs. Smith would have been tempted to request her to leave the house; but as it was, her policy taught her to endure whatever Miss Debby might choose to inflict. So she leaned back hopelessly in her chair, while the old lady snapped and cracked a plate of candied fruits with a vigor of which her teeth looked incapable.

“Had you any of your borrowed things broken?—for I heard that you had to borrow nearly every thing,” resumed her torturer.

“Not any thing at all but two or three plates, which can easily be replaced,” replied Mrs. Smith, not knowing what next to expect on that point. But Miss Debby tacked about.

“I believe,” said she, “you had a visiter staying with you for a few days?”

“Yes—a cousin of Mr. Smith’s—Miss Sabina Incledon—”

“That’s the name,” interrupted Miss Debby, nodding; “the person that went out home with Mrs. Morgan Silsbee, this morning, I presume?”

“The same,” replied Mrs. Smith, feeling her consequence looking up; “Cousin Sabina is a very particular friend of Mrs. Morgan Silsbee, who for a long time had been soliciting the visit.”

“Then, surely, she could not have been the person you set to watching the kitchen and supper-room! Susan Goldsborough and Lydia Pendleton were talking about it, and repeating to each other what they overheard of a conversation between yourself and your husband, who seemed greatly shocked that you had done it. Susan Goldsborough remarked that if she had known that you had so little sense as to undervalue such a woman in that way, or so little feeling and good-breeding as to violate the laws of common hospitality and politeness so grossly, she would assuredly have declined the party for Julia when you proposed it to her.”

Mrs. Smith had grown quite pale, and could only answer tremulously, “What a misconstruction!—dear me—it was Cousin Sabina’s wish—how strange a mistake.”

“It certainly is strange if they were so mistaken, and stranger still that a woman of so much dignity, and so accustomed to society as Miss Incledon, should have preferred watching your servants to taking her proper place among your guests. I thought to myself whilst they were talking, that it seemed hardly consistent with your usual way of doing things, to put upon such duty a person who in all probability would soon be Mrs. Colonel Raynor, and the aunt of Mrs. Morgan Silsbee. I shouldn’t wonder if the match came off in a month.”

“Cousin Sabina likely to be married in a month!—and to Colonel Raynor!” exclaimed Mrs. Smith, startled out of her usual tact, and her lips growing yet bluer.

“Bless me! didn’t you know the story?” said Miss Debby, in her turn looking surprised; “they met last summer at the Springs, and the colonel was so pleased with her unpretending good sense, excellent principles, and superior mental cultivation, that he proposed to her before she went away. She deferred her answer until she and his children should have become acquainted. You know he is a widower with three daughters—two of them married. She has been in correspondence ever since with Mrs. Morgan Silsbee, the colonel’s niece, who has been trying to make the match, and who, that her cousins may meet her, has insisted upon the present visit. They are lovely young women, the daughters, whom she cannot fail to like, and as they know how to appreciate such a woman as Miss Incledon, there is no doubt of the marriage taking place. It will be a great thing for you, Mrs. Smith; the connection will do more for you than a dozen parties. And such a charming place as you will have to visit! The colonel lives like a prince, and at only a few hours’ drive from here. You can go there in the summer with your children, and meet a constant run of company more choice than at a watering-place, and all without any expense. When your cousin comes back to town, be sure to let me know, that I may call upon her. Susan Goldsborough is fretted enough that she was not apprised of her being here, and so are some of the Longacres; they blame you with it all.”

Mrs. Smith did not attempt to reply, and Miss Debby rose to go.

“It is getting late,” said she, “and I must walk. If you have no objection I will take those slices of fruit and almond cake, and a paper of candied fruit and bon bons with me—and perhaps you can spare some more Malaga grapes—or could you send them home for me by one of your servants? I should like to stop at Susan Goldsborough’s to tell her that you knew nothing about the good fortune in prospect for your cousin, and it is probable she will wish me to stay for tea.”

Mrs. Smith restrained herself until she had escorted her visiter to the door, and then returning to her rocking-chair, she indulged in a fit of weeping that looked very much like hysterics. Her most prominent thought was, “If I had only given the party to Cousin Sabina!”

This she had ample opportunity to reiterate—for time proved to her that the prime object of her grand effort had failed—those who comprised her select party never including her in any of theirs. More particularly did it recur to her, when, some months afterward, Mrs. Colonel Raynor, though she sometimes stopped to exchange a few kindly words with Mr. Smith at his place of business, evaded every invitation to his dwelling, while she went the rounds of sumptuous fêting among the Goldsboroughs, Pendletons, Longacres & Co.





“Hast thou heard ever a spirit-voice,

  As in morning’s hour it stole

Speaking to thee from the home of its choice,

  Deep in the unfathomed soul:

Telling of things that the ear hath not heard,

  Neither the mind conceived;

Bringing a balm in each gentle word

  Unto the heart bereaved?”


O, I have heard it in days of the spring,

  When gladness and joy were rife.

’Twas a voice of hope, that came whispering

  Its story of strength and life.

It told me that seasons of vigor and mirth

  Follow the night of pain;

And the heaven-born soul, like the flowers of earth,

  Withers, to live again!


“Hast thou heard ever a spirit-voice,

  At the sunny hour of noon;

Bidding the soul in its light rejoice,

  For the darkness cometh soon;

Telling of blossoms that early bloom

  And as early pine and fade;

And the bright hopes that must find a tomb

  In the dark, approaching shade?”


Yes, I have heard it in summer’s hour,

  When the year was in its strength:

’Twas a voice of faith, and it spoke with power

  Of joys that shall come at length.

It told how the holy and beautiful gain

  Fruition of peace and love;

And the blest ones, freed from this world of pain,

  Flourish and ripen above.


“Hast thou heard ever a spirit-voice,

  At the solemn noon of night,

When the fair visions of memory rise

  Robed in their fancied light.

When the loved forms that are cold and dead

  Pass in their train sad and slow;

And the waking soul, from its pleasures fled,

  Turns to its present wo?”


Oft have I heard it when day was o’er;

  And the welcome tones I knew:

Like the voices of those who have gone before,

  The Beautiful and the True.

And it turned my thoughts to that blissful time

  When ceaseth cold winter’s breath;

When the free spirit shall seek that clime

  Where there is no more death.



Ay, now I am in Arden; the more fool

I; when I was at home I was in a better place; but

Travelers must be content.    As You Like It.




[Entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1846, by J. Fenimore Cooper, in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Northern District of New York.]

(Concluded from page 98.)


The trusting heart’s repose, the paradise

Of home, with all its loves, doth fate allow

The crown of glory unto woman’s brow.

Mrs. Hemans.

It has again become necessary to advance the time; and we shall take the occasion thus offered to make a few explanations touching certain events which have been passed over without notice.

The reason why Capt. Mull did not chase the yawl of the brig in the Poughkeepsie herself, was the necessity of waiting for his own boats that were endeavoring to regain the sloop-of-war. It would not have done to abandon them, inasmuch as the men were so much exhausted by the pull to windward, that when they reached the vessel all were relieved from duty for the rest of the day. As soon, however, as the other boats were hoisted in, or run up, the ship filled away, stood out of the passage and ran down to join the cutter of Wallace, which was endeavoring to keep its position, as much as possible, by making short tacks under close-reefed luggs.

Spike had been received on board the sloop-of-war, sent into her sick bay, and put under the care of the surgeon and his assistants. From the first, these gentlemen pronounced the hurt mortal. The wounded man was insensible most of the time, until the ship had beat up and gone into Key West, where he was transferred to the regular hospital, as has already been mentioned.

The wreckers went out the moment the news of the calamity of the Swash reached their ears. Some went in quest of the doubloons of the schooner, and others to pick up any thing valuable that might be discovered in the neighborhood of the stranded brig. It may be mentioned here, that not much was ever obtained from the brigantine, with the exception of a few spars, the sails, and a little rigging; but, in the end, the schooner was raised, by means of the chain Spike had placed around her, the cabin was ransacked, and the doubloons were recovered. As there was no one to claim the money, it was quietly divided among the conscientious citizens present at its revisiting “the glimpses of the moon,” making gold plenty.

The doubloons in the yawl would have been lost but for the sagacity of Mulford. He too well knew the character of Spike to believe he would quit the brig without taking the doubloons with him. Acquainted with the boat, he examined the little locker in the stern-sheets, and found the two bags, one of which was probably the lawful property of Capt. Spike, while the other, in truth, belonged to the Mexican government. The last contained the most gold, but the first amounted to a sum that our young mate knew to be very considerable. Rose had made him acquainted with the sex of Jack Tier since their own marriage; and he at once saw that the claims to the gold in question, of this uncouth wife, who was so soon to be a widow, might prove to be as good in law, as they unquestionably were in morals. On representing the facts of the case to Capt. Mull and the legal functionaries at Key West, it was determined to relinquish this money to the heirs of Spike, as, indeed, they must have done under process, there being no other claimant. These doubloons, however, did not amount to the full price of the flour and powder that composed the cargo of the Swash. The cargo had been purchased with Mexican funds; and all that Spike or his heirs could claim, was the high freight for which he had undertaken the delicate office of transporting those forbidden articles, contraband of war, to the Dry Tortugas.

Mulford by this time was high in the confidence and esteem of all on board the Poughkeepsie. He had frankly explained his whole connection with Spike, not even attempting to conceal the reluctance he had felt to betray the brig after he had fully ascertained the fact of his commander’s treason. The manly gentlemen with whom he was now brought in contact entered into his feelings, and admitted that it was an office no one could desire, to turn against the craft in which he sailed. It is true, they could not and would not be traitors, but Mulford had stopped far short of this; and the distinction between such a character and that of an informer was wide enough to satisfy all their scruples.

Then Rose had the greatest success with the gentlemen of the Poughkeepsie. Her youth, beauty, and modesty, told largely in her favor; and the simple, womanly affection she unconsciously betrayed in behalf of Harry, touched the heart of every observer. When the intelligence of her aunt’s fate reached her, the sorrow she manifested was so profound and natural, that every one sympathized with her grief. Nor would she be satisfied unless Mulford would consent to go in search of the bodies. The latter knew the hopelessness of such an excursion, but he could not refuse to comply. He was absent on that melancholy duty, therefore, at the moment of the scene related in our last chapter, and did not return until after that which we are now about to lay before the reader. Mrs. Budd, Biddy, and all of those who perished after the yawl got clear of the reef, were drowned in deep water, and no more was ever seen of any of them; or, if wreckers did pass them, they did not stop to bury the dead. It was different, however, with those who were first sacrificed to Spike’s selfishness. They were drowned on the reef, and Harry did actually recover the bodies of the Señor Montefalderon, and of Josh, the steward. They had washed upon a rock that is bare at low water. He took them both to the Dry Tortugas, and had them interred along with the other dead at that place. Don Juan was placed side by side with his unfortunate country-man, the master of his equally unfortunate schooner.

While Harry was absent and thus employed, Rose wept much and prayed more. She would have felt herself almost alone in the world, but for the youth to whom she had so recently, less than a week before, plighted her faith in wedlock. That new tie, it is true, was of sufficient importance to counteract many of the ordinary feelings of her situation; and she now turned to it as the one which absorbed most of the future duties of her life. Still she missed the kindness, the solicitude, even the weaknesses of her aunt; and the terrible manner in which Mrs. Budd had perished, made her shudder with horror whenever she thought of it. Poor Biddy, too, came in for her share of the regrets. This faithful creature, who had been in the relict’s service ever since Rose’s infancy, had become endeared to her, in spite of her uncouth manners and confused ideas, by the warmth of her heart, and the singular truth of her feelings. Biddy, of all her family, had come alone to America, leaving behind her not only brothers and sisters, but parents living. Each year did she remit to the last a moiety of her earnings, and many a half-dollar that had come from Rose’s pretty little hand, had been converted into gold, and forwarded on the same pious errand to the green island of her nativity. Ireland, unhappy country! at this moment what are not the dire necessities of thy poor! Here, from the midst of abundance, in a land that God has blessed in its productions far beyond the limits of human wants, a land in which famine was never known, do we at this moment hear thy groans, and listen to tales of suffering that to us seem almost incredible. In the midst of these chilling narratives, our eyes fall on an appeal to the English nation, that appears in what it is the fashion of some to term the first journal of Europe(!) in behalf of thy suffering people. A worthy appeal to the charity of England seldom fails; but it seems to us that one sentiment of this might have been altered, if not spared. The English are asked to be “forgetful of the past,” and to come forward to the relief of their suffering fellow-subjects. We should have written “mindful of the past,” in its stead. We say this in charity, as well as in truth. We come of English blood, and if we claim to share in all the ancient renown of that warlike and enlightened people, we are equally bound to share in the reproaches that original misgovernment has inflicted on thee. In this latter sense, then, thou hast a right to our sympathies, and they are not withheld.

As has been already said, we now advance the time eight-and-forty hours, and again transfer the scene to that room in the hospital which was occupied by Spike. The approaches of death, during the interval just named, had been slow but certain. The surgeons had announced that the wounded man could not possibly survive the coming night; and he himself had been made sensible that his end was near. It is scarcely necessary to add that Stephen Spike, conscious of his vigor and strength, in command of his brig, and bent on the pursuits of worldly gains, or of personal gratification, was a very different person from him who now lay stretched on his pallet in the hospital of Key West, a dying man. By the side of his bed still sat his strange nurse, less peculiar in appearance, however, than when last seen by the reader.

Rose Budd had been ministering to the ungainly externals of Jack Tier. She now wore a cap, thus concealing the short, gray bristles of hair, and lending to her countenance a little of that softness which is a requisite of female character. Some attention had also been paid to the rest of her attire; and Jack was, altogether, less repulsive in her exterior than when, unaided, she had attempted to resume the proper garb of her sex. Use and association, too, had contributed a little to revive her woman’s nature, if we may so express it, and she had begun, in particular, to feel the sort of interest in her patient which we all come in time to entertain toward any object of our especial care. We do not mean that Jack had absolutely ever ceased to love her husband; strange as it may seem, such had not literally been the case; on the contrary, her interest in him and in his welfare had never ceased, even while she saw his vices and detested his crimes; but all we wish to say here is, that she was getting, in addition to the long-enduring feelings of a wife, some of the interest of a nurse.

During the whole time which had elapsed between Jack’s revealing her true character, and the moment of which we are now writing, Spike had not once spoken to his wife. Often had she caught his eyes intently riveted on her, when he would turn them away, as she feared, in distaste; and once or twice he groaned deeply, more like a man who suffered mental than bodily pain. Still the patient did not speak once in all the time mentioned. We should be representing poor Jack as possessing more philosophy, or less feeling, than the truth would warrant, were we to say she was not hurt at this conduct in her husband. On the contrary, she felt it deeply; and more than once it had so far subdued her pride, as to cause her bitterly to weep. This shedding of tears, however, was of service to Jack in one sense, for it had the effect of renewing old impressions, and in a certain way, of reviving the nature of her sex within her—a nature which had been sadly weakened by her past life.

But the hour had at length come when this long and painful silence was to be broken. Jack and Rose were alone with the patient, when the last again spoke to his wife.

“Molly—poor Molly!” said the dying man, his voice continuing full and deep to the last, “what a sad time you must have had of it after I did you that wrong!”

“It is hard upon a woman, Stephen, to turn her out, helpless, on a cold and selfish world,” answered Jack, simply, much too honest to affect reserve she did not feel.

“It was hard, indeed; may God forgive me for it, as I hope you do, Molly.”

No answer was made to this appeal; and the invalid looked anxiously at his wife. The last sat at her work, which had now got to be less awkward to her, with her eyes bent on her needle, and her countenance rigid, and, so far as the eye could discern, her feelings unmoved.

“Your husband speaks to you, Jack Tier,” said Rose, pointedly.

“May yours never have occasion to speak to you, Rose Budd, in the same way,” was the solemn answer. “I do not flatter myself that I ever was as comely as you, or that yonder poor dying wretch was a Harry Mulford in his youth; but we were young and happy, and respected once, and loved each other; yet you see what its all come to!”

Rose was silenced, though she had too much tenderness in behalf of her own youthful and manly bridegroom to dread a fate similar to that which had overtaken poor Jack. Spike now seemed disposed to say something, and she went to the side of his bed, followed by her companion, who kept a little in the back-ground, as if unwilling to let the emotion she really felt be seen, and, perhaps, conscious that her ungainly appearance did not aid her in recovering the lost affections of her husband.

“I have been a very wicked man, I fear,” said Spike, earnestly.

“There are none without sin,” answered Rose. “Place your reliance on the mediation of the Son of God, and sins even far deeper than yours may be pardoned.”

The captain stared at the beautiful speaker, but self-indulgence, the incessant pursuit of worldly and selfish objects for forty years, and the habits of a life into which the thought of God and the dread hereafter never entered, had encased his spiritual being in a sort of brazen armor, through which no ordinary blow of conscience could penetrate. Still he had fearful glimpses of recent events, and his soul, hanging as it was over the abyss of eternity, was troubled.

“What has become of your aunt?” half whispered Spike—“my old captain’s widow. She ought to be here; and Don Wan Montezuma—where is he?”

Rose turned aside to conceal her tears—but no one answered the questions of the dying man. Then a gleaming of childhood shot into the recollection of Spike, and, clasping his hands, he tried to pray. But, like others who have lived without any communication with their Creator through long lives of apathy to his existence and laws, thinking only of the present time, and daily, hourly sacrificing principles and duty to the narrow interests of the moment, he now found how hard it is to renew communications with a being who has been so long neglected. The fault lay in himself, however, for a gracious ear was open, even over the death-bed of Stephen Spike, could that rude spirit only bring itself to ask for mercy in earnestness and truth. As his companions saw his struggles, they left him for a few minutes to his own thoughts.

“Molly,” Spike at length uttered, in a faint tone, the voice of one conscious of being very near his end, “I hope you will forgive me, Molly. I know you must have had a hard, hard time of it.”

“It is hard for a woman to unsex herself, Stephen; to throw off her very natur’, as it might be, and to turn man.”

“It has changed you sadly—even your speech is altered. Once your voice was soft and womanish—more like that of Rose Budd’s than it is now.”

“I speak as them speak among whom I’ve been forced to live. The forecastle and steward’s pantry, Stephen Spike, are poor schools to send women to l’arn language in.”

“Try and forget it all, poor Molly! Say to me, so that I can hear you, ‘I forget and forgive, Stephen.’ I am afraid God will not pardon my sins, which begin to seem dreadful to me, if my own wife refuse to forget and forgive, on my dying bed.”

Jack was much mollified by this appeal. Her interest in her offending husband had never been entirely extinguished. She had remembered him, and often with woman’s kindness, in all her wanderings and sufferings, as the preceding parts of our narrative must show; and though resentment had been mingled with the grief and mortification she felt at finding how much he still submitted to Rose’s superior charms, in a breast as really generous and humane as that of Jack Tier’s, such a feeling was not likely to endure in the midst of a scene like that she was now called to witness. The muscles of her countenance twitched, the hard-looking, tanned face began to lose its sternness, and every way she appeared like one profoundly disturbed.

“Turn to Him whose goodness and marcy may sarve you, Stephen,” she said, in a milder and more feminine tone than she had used now for years, making her more like herself than either her husband or Rose had seen her since the commencement of the late voyage; “my sayin’ that I forget and forgive cannot help a man on his death-bed.”

“It will settle my mind, Molly, and leave me freer to turn my thoughts to God.”

Jack was much affected; more by the countenance and manner of the sufferer, perhaps, than by his words. She drew nearer to the side of her husband’s pallet, knelt, took his hands, and said solemnly,

“Stephen Spike, from the bottom of my heart, I do forgive you; and I shall pray to God that he will pardon your sins as freely and more marcifully than I now pardon all, and try to forget all that you have done to me.”

Spike clasped his hands, and again he tried to pray; but the habits of a whole life are not to be thrown off at will; and he who endeavors to regain, in his extremity, the moments that have been lost, will find, in bitter reality, that he has been heaping mountains on his own soul, by the mere practice of sin, which were never laid there by the original fall of his race. Jack, however, had disburthened her spirit of a load that had long oppressed it, and, burying her face in the rug, she wept.

“I wish, Molly,” said the dying man, several minutes later, “I wish I had never seen the brig. Until I got that craft, no thought of wronging human being ever crossed my mind.”

“It was the Father of Lies that tempts all to do evil, Stephen, and not the brig which caused the sins.”

“I wish I could live a year longer—only one year; that is not much to ask for a man who is not yet sixty.”

“It is hopeless, poor Stephen. The surgeons say you cannot live one day.”

Spike groaned; for the past, blended fearfully with the future, gleamed on his conscience with a brightness that appalled him. And what is that future, which is to make us happy or miserable through an endless vista of time? Is it not composed of an existence, in which conscience, released from the delusions and weaknesses of the body, sees all in its true colors, appreciates all, and punishes all? Such an existence would make every man the keeper of the record of his own transgressions, even to the most minute exactness. It would of itself mete out perfect justice, since the sin would be seen amid its accompanying facts, every aggravating or extenuating circumstance. Each man would be strictly punished according to his talents. As no one is without sin, it makes the necessity of an atonement indispensable, and, in its most rigid interpretation, it exhibits the truth of the scheme of salvation in the clearest colors. The soul, or conscience, that can admit the necessary degree of faith in that atonement, and in admitting, feels its efficacy, throws the burthen of its own transgressions away, and remains forever in the condition of its original existence, pure, and consequently happy.

We do not presume to lay down a creed on this mighty and mysterious matter, in which all have so deep an interest, and concerning which so very small a portion of the human race think much, or think with any clearness when it does become the subject of their passing thoughts at all. We too well know our own ignorance to venture on dogmas which it has probably been intended that the mind of man should not yet grapple with and comprehend. To return to our subject.

Stephen Spike was now made to feel the incubus-load, which perseverance in sin heaps on the breast of the reckless offender. What was the most grievous of all, his power to shake off this dead weight was diminished in precisely the same proportion as the burthen was increased, the moral force of every man lessening in a very just ratio to the magnitude of his delinquencies. Bitterly did this deep offender struggle with his conscience, and little did his half-unsexed wife know how to console or aid him. Jack had been superficially instructed in the dogmas of her faith, in childhood and youth, as most persons are instructed in what are termed Christian communities—had been made to learn the Catechism, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Creed—and had been left to set up for herself on this small capital, in the great concern of human existence, on her marriage and entrance on the active business of life. When the manner in which she had passed the last twenty years is remembered, no one can be surprised to learn that Jack was of little assistance to her husband in his extremity. Rose made an effort to administer hope and consolation, but the terrible nature of the struggle she witnessed, induced her to send for the chaplain of the Poughkeepsie. This divine prayed with the dying man; but even he, in the last moments of the sufferer, was little more than a passive but shocked witness of remorse, suspended over the abyss of eternity in hopeless dread. We shall not enter into the details of the revolting scene, but simply add that curses, blasphemy, tremulous cries for mercy, agonized entreaties to be advised, and sullen defiance, were all strangely and fearfully blended. In the midst of one of these revolting paroxysms Spike breathed his last. A few hours later his body was interred in the sands of the shore. It may be well to say in this place, that the hurricane of 1846, which is known to have occurred only a few months later, swept off the frail covering and that the body was washed away to leave its bones among the wrecks and relics of the Florida Reef.

Mulford did not return from his fruitless expedition in quest of the remains of Mrs. Budd, until after the death and interment of Spike. As nothing remained to be done at Key West, he and Rose accompanied by Jack Tier, took passage for Charleston in the first convenient vessel that offered. Two days before they sailed, the Poughkeepsie went out to cruise in the gulf, agreeably to her general orders. The evening previously Capt. Mull, Wallace, and the chaplain, passed with the bridegroom and bride, when the matter of the doubloons found in the boat was discussed. It was agreed that Jack Tier should have them; and into her hands the bag was now placed. On this occasion, to oblige the officers, Jack went into a narrative of all she had seen and suffered, from the moment when abandoned by her late husband down to that when she found him again. It was a strange account, and one filled with surprising adventures. In most of the vessels in which she had served, Jack had acted in the steward’s department, though she had frequently done duty as a fore-mast hand. In strength and skill she admitted that she had often failed; but in courage, never. Having been given reason to think her husband was reduced to serving in a vessel of war, she had shipped on board a frigate bound to the Mediterranean, and had actually made a whole cruise as a ward-room boy on that station. While thus employed she had met with two of the gentlemen present; Capt. Mull and Mr. Wallace. The former was then first lieutenant of the frigate, and the latter a passed-midshipman; and in these capacities both had been well known to her. As the name she then bore was the same as that under which she now “hailed,” these officers were soon made to recollect her, though Jack was no longer the light, trim-built lad he had then appeared to be. Neither of the gentlemen named had made the whole cruise in the ship, but each had been promoted and transferred to another craft, after being Jack’s shipmate rather more than a year. This information greatly facilitated the affair of the doubloons.

From Charleston the travelers came north by railroad. Harry made several stops by the way, in order to divert the thoughts of his beautiful young bride from dwelling too much on the fate of her aunt. He knew that home would revive all these recollections painfully, and wished to put off the hour of their return, until time had a little weakened Rose’s regrets. For this reason, he passed a whole week in Washington, though it was a season of the year that the place is not in much request. Still, Washington is scarce a town, at any season. It is much the fashion to deride the American capital, and to treat it as a place of very humble performance with very sounding pretensions. Certainly, Washington has very few of the peculiarities of a great European capital, but few as these are, they are more than belong to any other place in this country. We now allude to the distinctive characteristics of a capital, and not to a mere concentration of houses and shops within a given space. In this last respect, Washington is much behind fifty other American towns, even while it is the only place in the whole republic which possesses specimens of architecture, on a scale approaching that of the higher classes of the edifices of the old world. It is totally deficient in churches, and theatres, and markets; or those it does possess are, in an architectural sense, not at all above the level of village or country-town pretensions, but one or two of its national edifices do approach the magnificence and grandeur of the old world. The new Treasury Buildings are unquestionably, on the score of size, embellishments and finish, the American edifice that comes nearest to first class architecture on the other side of the Atlantic. The Capitol comes next, though it can scarce be ranked, relatively, as high. As for the White House, it is every way sufficient for its purposes and the institutions; and now that its grounds are finished, and the shrubbery and trees begin to tell, one sees about it something that is not unworthy of its high uses and origin. Those grounds, which so long lay a reproach to the national taste and liberality, are now fast becoming beautiful, are already exceedingly pretty, and give to a structure that is destined to become historical, having already associated with it the names of Jefferson, Madison, Jackson, and Quincy Adams, together with the ci polloi of the later Presidents, an entourage that is suitable to its past recollections and its present purposes. They are not quite on a level with the parks of London, it is true; or even with the Tuileries, or Luxembourg, or the Boboli, or the Villa Reale, or fifty more grounds and gardens, of a similar nature, that might be mentioned; but, seen in the spring and early summer, they adorn the building they surround, and lend to the whole neighborhood a character of high civilization, that no other place in America can show, in precisely the same form, or to the same extent.

This much have we said on the subject of the White House and its precincts, because we took occasion, in a former work, to berate the narrow-minded parsimony which left the grounds of the White House in a condition that was discreditable to the republic. How far our philippic may have hastened the improvements which have been made, is more than we shall pretend to say, but having made the former strictures, we are happy to have an occasion to say (though nearly twenty years have intervened between the expressions of the two opinions) that they are no longer merited.

And here we will add another word, and that on a subject that is not sufficiently pressed on the attention of a people, who, by position, are unavoidably provincial. We invite those whose gorges rise at any stricture on any thing American, and who fancy it is enough to belong to the great republic to be great in itself, to place themselves in front of the State Department, as it now stands, and to examine its dimensions, material and form with critical eyes; then to look along the adjacent Treasury Buildings, to fancy them completed, by a junction with new edifices of a similar construction to contain the department of state; next to fancy similar works completed for the two opposite departments; after which, to compare the past and present with the future as thus finished, and remember how recent has been the partial improvement which even now exists. If this examination and comparison do not show, directly to the sense of sight, how much there was and is to criticise, as put in contrast with other countries, we shall give up the individuals in question, as too deeply dyed in the provincial wool ever to be whitened. The present Trinity church, New York, certainly not more than a third class European church, if as much, compared with its village-like predecessor, may supply a practical homily of the same degree of usefulness. There may be those among us, however, who fancy it patriotism to maintain that the old Treasury Buildings were quite equal to the new, and of these intense Americans we cry their mercy!

Rose felt keenly on reaching her late aunt’s very neat dwelling in Fourteenth Street, New York. But the manly tenderness of Mulford was a great support to her, and a little time brought her to think of that weak-minded, but well-meaning and affectionate relative, with gentle regret, rather than with grief. Among the connections of her young husband, she found several females of a class in life certainly equal to her own, and somewhat superior to the latter in education and habits. As for Harry, he very gladly passed the season with his beautiful bride, though a fine ship was laid down for him, by means of Rose’s fortune, now much increased by her aunt’s death, and he was absent in Europe when his son was born; an event that occurred only two months since.

The Swash, and the shipment of gunpowder, were thought of no more in the good town of Manhattan. This great emporium—we beg pardon, this great commercial emporium—has a trick of forgetting; condensing all interests into those of the present moment. It is much addicted to believing that which never had an existence, and of overlooking that which is occurring directly under its nose. So marked is this tendency to forgetfulness, we should not be surprised to hear some of the Manhattanese pretend that our legend is nothing but a fiction, and deny the existence of the Molly, Capt. Spike, and even of Biddy Noon. But we know them too well to mind what they say, and shall go on and finish our narrative in our own way, just as if there were no such raven-throated commentators at all.

Jack Tier, still known by that name, lives in the family of Capt. Mulford. She is fast losing the tan on her face and hands, and every day is improving in appearance. She now habitually wears her proper attire, and is dropping gradually into the feelings and habits of her sex. She never can become what she once was, any more than the blackamoor can become white, or the leopard change his spots; but she is no longer revolting. She has left off chewing and smoking, having found a refuge in snuff. Her hair is permitted to grow, and is already turned up with a comb, though constantly concealed beneath a cap. The heart of Jack, alone, seems unaltered. The strange, tiger-like affection that she bore for Spike, during twenty years of abandonment, has disappeared in regrets for his end. It is succeeded by a most sincere attachment for Rose, in which the little boy, since his appearance on the scene, is becoming a large participator. This child Jack is beginning to love intensely; and the doubloons, well invested, placing her above the feeling of dependence, she is likely to end her life, once so errant and disturbed, in tranquillity and a home-like happiness.





She stands before the mirror—she is fair,

  And soft the light within her beaming eyes,

But unshed tears are slowly gathering there,

  Like passing clouds that float o’er summer skies;

Her cheek is wan, as blanched by thoughts of pain,

  And on her snowy brow a shadow sleeps:

Are such surpassing gifts bestowed in vain?—

  The pale, sad beauty turns aside and weeps!


Long, long in anguish flows the burning tide—

  Dark storms of feeling sweep across her breast—

In loneliness there needs no mask of pride—

  To nerve the soul, and veil the heart’s unrest,

Amid the crowd her glances brightly beam,

  Her smiles with undimmed lustre sweetly shine:

The haunting visions of life’s fevered dream

  The cold and careless seek not to divine.


Night after night unheeded glides away

  ’Mid mirth and music, flattery’s whispered tone,

Her dreary penance—ever to be gay,

  Yet longing, oh! how oft—to be alone;

But when all other hearts seek needful rest,

  And heavy sleep the saddest eyelids close,

Her dreams are those the wretched only know,

  As memory o’er her soul its shadow’s throw.


Friends that had shared her girlhood’s happier day,

  And forms now mingling with the dust arise,

The early loved recalled with pensive tears,

  Though once in pride half scorned and lightly prized;

Fair pictured scenes long vanished from her sight,

  Soft tones of songs and voices loved of yore.

And words of tenderness and looks of light,

  And fresh young hopes that bloom for her no more.


But this one hour has crowned in deep despair

  The many sorrows of life’s galling chain,

Yet mid those sighs that rend her aching soul

  The heart’s wild struggle is not felt in vain,

For she has turned to Him whose smile can cheer

  The darkened mind and hopes lost light reveal,

And learns to feel ’mid trembling doubt and fear—

  That He whose power can wound is strong to heal.


While loftier thoughts to nobler purpose given

  Than those long wasted amid fashion’s glare,

And deep resolves the future shall be fraught

  With holy deeds, her earnest musings share—

Though in the dance her step no more may glide,

  The glittering circle miss its chosen queen,

Around the vacant place a closing tide

  Will leave no record where her form was seen.


But where the widow’s tear-drop may be dried,

  And where the orphan wanders sad and lone,

Where poverty its grieving head may hide,

  Will breathe the music of her voice’s tone;

And if her face was blest with beauty rare

  ’Mid gilded sighs and worldly vanity,

When heavenly peace has left its impress there

  Its loveliness from earthly stain is free.







I have said that the Abbé G—— had a room in some dark corner of a hotel in the Rue de Seine, or Rue de la Harpe—which of the two it was I really forget. At any rate, the hotel was very old, and the street out of which I used to step into its ill-paved, triangular court, was very narrow, and very dirty.

At the end of the court, farthest from the heavy gateway, was the box of the concierge, who was a brisk little shoemaker, forever bethwacking his lap-stone. If I remember right, the hammer of the little cordonnier made the only sound I used to hear in the court; for though the house was full of lodgers, I never saw two of them together, and never heard them talking across the court from the upper windows, even in mid-summer.

At this distance of time, I do not think it would be possible for me to describe accurately all the windings of the corridor which led to the abbé’s door. I remember that the first part was damp and low, and after it I used to mount a crazy stone staircase, and at the top passed through a passage that opened on one side upon a narrow court; then there was a little wicket of iron, which, when it turned, tinkled a bell. Sometimes the abbé would hear the bell, and open his door down at the end of the corridor; and sometimes a lodger, who occupied a room looking into the last-mentioned court, would draw, slyly, a corner of his curtain, and peep out, to see who was passing. Sometimes I would loiter myself to look down upon the lower windows in the court, or to glance up at story resting above story, and at the peaked roof, and dot of a loop-hole at the top.

A single small door opened into the court, and occasionally an old woman, or bustling, shabbily-dressed man would shuffle across the pavement; the faces at the windows seemed altogether sordid and every-day faces, so that I came to regard the quarters of the abbé, notwithstanding the quaint-fashioned windows and dim stairway, and suspicious quiet, a very matter of fact, and so, very uninteresting neighborhood.

As the abbé and myself passed out sometimes together through the open-sided corridor, I would point into the court, and ask who lived in the little room at the top.

“Ah, mon cher, I do not know,” the abbé would say.

Or, “who lives in the corner, with the queer narrow window and the striped curtain?”

“I cannot tell you, mon cher.”

Or, “whose is the little window with so many broken panes, and an old placard pinned against the frame?”

“Ah, who knows! perhaps a chiffonier, or a shopman, or perhaps—” and the abbé lifted his finger, and shook his head expressively, and continued,

“It is a strange world we live in, mon ami.”

What could the abbé mean? I looked up at the window again; it was small, and the panes were set in rough metal casing; it was high up on the fourth or fifth floor. I could see nothing through but the dirty yellow placard.

“Is it in the same hotel with you?” said I.

Ma foi, I do not know.”

I tried to picture satisfactorily to my own mind the appearance of the chamber to which the little window belonged. Small it must be, I knew, for in that quarter few were large even upon the first floor, and looking upon the street. Dirty, too, it should surely be, and comfortless, and tenanted by misery, or poverty, or sin, or, very likely, all together. Possibly some miserly old wretch lived there, needing only a little light to count up his hoard, and caring little for any intrusive wind, if it did not blow away his treasure. I fancied I could see him running over the tale of his coin by a feeble rushlight—squat, perhaps, on the dirty tile-floor—then locking his box, and placing it carefully under the pillow of his straw pallet, then tip-toeing to the door to examine again the fastening, then carefully extinguishing the taper, and after, dropping into an anxious, fevered sleep.

I even lingered very late at the abbé’s room, to see if I could detect the old man; but there was never any light to be seen.

Perhaps it was the home of some poor gentleman who had seen better days, and whom necessity obliged to deny himself the poor luxury of a centime light. Possibly it was a little shopman, as the abbé had suggested, struggling with fortune—not scrupulous in honesty, and shunning observation; or it might be (who could tell) a sleek-faced villain, stealing about in the dusk, and far into the night, making the dim chamber his home only when more honest lodgers were astir in the city.

All sorts of conjectures came thronging on me, and I cast my eyes up, day after day, at the little window, hoping some change of appearance might give plausibility to some one of my fancies.

Week after week, however, the corridor wore its old quietude; the striped curtain in the wing window, and the yellow placard in the suspicious window at the top, still kept their places with provoking tenacity; and I could never, with all my art, seduce the good-natured abbé into any bugbear story about the occupant of the dim chamber on the court.

I dare say I might soon have neglected to look up at all, had I not observed one day, after my glances had grown very careless, and almost involuntary, a rich lace veil hanging against the same little window where had hung the placard. There was no mistaking it—the veil was of the richest Mechlin lace. I knew very well that no lady of elegance could occupy such apartment, or, indeed, was to be found (I mean no disrespect to the abbé) in that quarter of Paris. The window plainly belonged to some thievish den, and the lace formed a portion of the spoils. I began to be distrustful of late visits to the abbé’s quarters, and full of the notion of thievish eyes looking out from the strange window—I used half to tremble as I passed along the corridor. I told the abbé of the veil, and hinted my suspicions.

“It is nothing,” said he, “princes have lived in worse corners.”

“And yet you are not curious to know more?”

Mon cher, it is dangerous to be too curious, je suis un prêtre.”

Some days after—it was on a winter’s morning, when a little snow had fallen—I chanced to glance over into the court on which the mysterious window looked, and saw the beautiful foot-mark of a lady’s slipper. It was scarce longer than my hand—too narrow and delicately formed for a child’s foot, least of all the foot of such children as belonged to the Rue de Seine. I could not but associate the foot-track—so small, so beautiful, and so unlooked for in such scene—with the veil I had seen at the window.

Through all of my morning’s lesson—I was then reading La Grammaire des Grammaires—I could think of nothing but the pretty foot-track in the snow. No such foot, I was quite sure, could be seen in the dirty Rue de Seine—not even the shop-girls of the Rue de la Paix, or the tidiest Llorettes could boast of one so pretty.

I asked the abbé to walk with me; and as we passed the corridor, I threw my eye carelessly into the court, as if it were only my first observation, and said as quietly as possible, “Mon cher abbé, the snow tells tales this morning.”

The abbé looked curiously down upon the foot-marks, ran his eye rapidly over the windows, turned to me, shook his head expressively, and said, as he glanced down again, “O’etait un fort joli petit soulier.” (It was a very pretty little shoe.)

“Whose was it?” said I.

Mon cher, I do not know.”

I still kept up, day after day, my watch upon the window. It shortly supplied me with an important link in the chain of observations. I saw lying within the glass, against which the veil yet hung, nothing more nor less than the same little shoe, I thoroughly believed, which had made the delicate foot-marks on the snow in the court. Not a prettier shoe could be seen on the Boulevards, and scarce one so small. It would have been very strange to see such delicate articles of dress at any hotels of the neighborhood, and stranger still to find them in the humblest window of so dismal a court.

There was a mystery about the matter that perplexed me. Every one knows, who knows any thing about Paris, that that part of the city along the Rue de Seine, between the Rues Jacob and Bussy, and though very reputable in its way, is yet no place for delicate ladies, not even as a promenade, and much less as a residence. It is assigned over, as well by common consent as custom, to medical students, shop-men, attorneys, physicians, priests, lodging-house keepers, market-men, sub-officials, shop-women, second-class milliners, and grisettes.

Indeed a delicate lady—and such only, I was sure, could have left the foot-print in the court, and be the owner of the shoe I had seen—could hardly pass through the Rue de Seine without drawing the eyes of all the lodgers on the street. Dried up hag faces would have met the apparition with a leer; the porters would have turned to stare, and she would have had very suspicious followers.

I loitered about the outer court of the hotel, under pretence of waiting for the abbé, in hope of seeing something which would throw light upon the mysterious occupant of the chamber. But the comers and goers were all of the most unobtrusive and ordinary cast. I ventured to question the concierge concerning his lodgers. They were all bons gens.

“Were there any ladies?”

The little shoemaker lifted his hammer a moment while he eyed me—“But one, monsieur; the wife of the old tobacconist at the corner.”

I asked about the windows in the little court, beside which I passed—did they belong to his hotel?

He did not think it.

I prevailed on him to step with me a moment into the corridor, and pointed out to him the window which had drawn so much of my attention. I asked if he knew the hotel to which it belonged?

He did not. It might be the next, or the next after, or down the little alley branching out of the Rue de Seine. I asked him of the character of the neighborhood.

It was a good neighborhood, he said—a very reputable neighborhood. He believed the lodgers of the quarter to be all honnêtes gens.

I took occasion to loiter about the courts of the adjoining houses, frequently passing the opposite side of the way, with my eye all the time upon the entrance gates. The lodgers seemed to be even inferior to those who passed in at the court where the abbé resided.

One individual alone had attracted my attention. He was a tall, pale man, in the decline of life, dressed in a sort of half-uniform; he walked with a stooping gait, and seemed to me (perhaps it was a mere fancy) as much weighed down by care as years. Several times I had seen him going in or coming out of the court that opened two doors above the abbé’s. He was unlike most inhabitants of the neighborhood in both dress and air.

I ventured to step up to the brisk little concierge in the court one day, and ask who was the tall gentleman with the tarnished lace who had just entered?

“It is un Monsieur Very,” said the concierge.

“And poor Monsieur Very lives alone?” said I.

“How should I know, monsieur?”

“He always walks alone,” said I.

“It is true,” said the concierge.

“He has children, perhaps?” said I.

Très probable,” said the concierge.

He was little disposed to be communicative, yet I determined to make another trial.

“You have very pretty lodgers,” said I.

“Pardon, monsieur,” said he, “I do not understand you.”

“Pretty—very pretty lodgers,” said I.

“You are facetious, monsieur,” said the concierge, smiling.

“Not at all,” said I; “have I not seen (a sad lie) a very pretty face at one of the windows on the back court?”

“I do not think it, monsieur.”

“And then there are no female lodgers?”

Pardon, monsieur—there are several.”

Here the little concierge was interrupted by a lodger, and I could ask no more.

I still, however, kept up my scrutiny of the attic window—observed closely every female foot that glanced about the neighboring courts, and remitted sadly my attention to the Grammaire des Grammaires, in the quiet room of my demure friend the abbé.

Sometimes, in my fancies, the object of wonder was a young maiden of the noblesse, who, for imputed family crimes, had hid herself in so humble a quarter. Sometimes I pictured the occupant of the chamber as the suffering daughter of some miserly parent, with trace of noble blood—filial, yet dependent in her degradation. Sometimes I imagined her the daughter of shame—the beloved of a doating, and too late repentant mother—shunning the face of a world that had seduced her with its smiles, and that now made smiles the executioners of its punishment.

In short, form what fancies I would, I could not but feel a most extraordinary interest in clearing the mystery that seemed to me to hang about the little window in the court. Unconnected with the foot-track and the slipper, the window on the court would have been nothing more than half the courts to be seen in the old quarters of Paris. Or, indeed, the delicate foot-prints, and articles of female luxury would have hardly caught attention, much less sustained it with so feverish curiosity, in any one of the courts opening upon the Rue de Rivoli, or Rue Lafitte.

The concierge next door, I was persuaded, knew more of his inmates than he cared to say. I still, as I have said, glanced my eye, each morning, along the upper angles of the court, and sidled now and then by the gate of the neighboring hotel; but the window wore its usual look—there was the veil, and the placard, and the disjointed, rattling sash; and in the neighboring court was, sometimes, the tall gentleman picking his way carefully over the stones, and sometimes the stumpy figure of a waiting woman.

Some ten days after my chat with the neighbor concierge, I reached the hotel of the abbé an hour earlier than my usual morning visit, and took the occasion to reconnoitre the adjoining courts. The concierge, my acquaintance of the week before, was busy with a bowl of coffee and a huge roll; and, just as I had sidled up to his box for a word with him, who should brush past in great apparent haste, but the pale, thin gentleman who had before attracted my observation.

I determined to step around at once into the open corridor of the abbé’s hotel, and see if I could detect any movement—so slight even as the opening or shutting of a door in the chamber of the narrow window.

It was earlier by a half hour at the least than I had ever been in the corridor before. The court was quiet; my eye ran to the little window—at a glance I saw it had not its usual appearance. A light cambric handkerchief, with lace border, was pinned across it from side to side; and just at the moment that I began to scrutinize what seemed to me like a coronet stitched on the corner, a couple of delicate fingers reached over the hem, removed the fastening, first on one side, then on the other—the handkerchief was gone.

It was the work of an instant, and evidently done in haste; but I still caught a glimpse of a delicate female figure—sleeve hanging loose about the arm a short way below the elbow, hair sweeping, half curled and half carelessly over a cheek white as her dress, and an expression, so far as I could judge, of deep sadness.

I shrunk back into a shadow of the corridor, and waited; but there was no more stir at the window. The yellow placard dangled by one fastening; a bit of the veil was visible, nothing else, to tell me of the character of the inmate.

I told the abbé what I had seen.

The abbé closed his grammar, (keeping his thumb at the place,) shook his head slowly from side to side, smiled, lifted his finger in playful menace, and—went on with his lesson.

“Who can it be?” said I.

“Indeed, I cannot tell you, mon ami,” said the abbé, laying down his book with a look of despair.

The morning after I was again in the corridor a full half hour before my usual time, but the window wore its usual air. The next day, again I was an hour beforehand, and the abbé had not put off his priest robe, in which he goes to morning mass; still there was no handkerchief at the little window—no wavy mesh of hair—no taper arm—no shadowy form moving in the dim chamber.

I had arranged to leave for the south in a few days, and was more than ever anxious for some explication of the mystery. A single further mode only occurred to me; I would go to the concierge next door, and under pretence of looking for rooms, would have him conduct me through his hotel.

It had dismal corridors, and steeper stairways than even the abbé’s. I was careless about the second and the third floors; and it was not till we had mounted a half dozen crazy pair of stairs, that I began to scrutinize narrowly the doors, and sometimes to ask if this or that chamber was occupied. I made my way always to the windows of the rooms shown me, in hope of seeing the little court I knew so well, and the abbé’s half-open corridor, and yet in half fear, that I might, after all, be looking from the very window about which hung so perplexing mystery.

It was long before I caught sight of my old point of observation in the neighboring corridor. The room was small, and was covered with singular ancient hangings, with a concealed door, which the concierge opened into a charming little cabinet. How many more concealed doors there might have been I do not know. I put my head out the window, and looked down in search of the strange casement; it was not below. Then I looked to one side—there was the long window with a striped curtain. I looked to the other side—another long window. I looked up—there at length it was, over my left shoulder. I could see plainly the yellow placard, and heard it flapping the casement.

I asked the concierge if he had no rooms above.

Oui, monsieur—a single one; but it is too high for monsieur.”

“Let me see,” said I—and we mounted a miserably dim staircase. There were three doors; the concierge opened the nearest to the landing.

La voici, monsieur.” It was a sad little affair, and looked out by just such a loop-hole as was the object of my curiosity, upon a court I did not know.

“It will never do,” said I, as I came out of the room. “But what is here?” continued I, brushing up to the next door.

The concierge caught me by the arm, and drew me back. Then he raised himself forward on tip-toe, and whispered, “C’nt le Monsieur Very.

I knew from its position it must have been the little casement which looked upon the corridor. There was another door opposite; I brushed up to this, and was again drawn back by the concierge.

“Who is here?” said I.

La Mademoiselle Marie,” said the concierge, and put his finger on his lip.

“Is she young?” said I, following the concierge down the stairway.

Oui, monsieur.

“And pretty?”

Oui, monsieur.

“I have never seen her,” said I.

Ma foi, that is not strange, monsieur.”

“And she has been here—?”

“A month.”

“Perhaps she is rich,” said I.

Mon Dieu!” said the concierge, turning round to look at me, “and live in such a chamber?”

“But she dresses richly,” said I.

Eh bien! you have seen her, then!” exclaimed briskly the little concierge.

By this time we were in the court again. My search had only stimulated my curiosity tenfold more. I half fancied the concierge began to suspect my inquiries. Yet I determined to venture a single further one. It was just as I was carelessly leaving the court—“Mais, la mademoiselle, is, perhaps, the daughter of Monsieur Very, eh, monsieur?”

Ma foi, I cannot tell you, monsieur,” said the little concierge—and he closed his door.

I told the abbé of my search. He smiled, and shook his head.

I described to him the person of Monsieur Very, and told him he must keep his eye upon him, and, if possible, clear up the strange mystery of the window in the court.

The abbé shook his finger doubtingly, yet gave me a half promise.

Three days only were left to me; I cast up anxious glances each morning of my stay, but there was nothing but the placard and a bit of the veil to be seen—the little shoe was gone. My last evening I passed with the abbé, and came away late. I stopped five minutes on the corridor, just outside the wicket; the moon was shining bright, and the stars were out, but the window at the top of the court was dark—all dark.



Poor Clerie! but I have told his story,[1] so I will not tell it again. It made a sad greeting for me on the lips of the abbé, when I first came back to the city after a half year’s absence; and it will not, I am sure, seem strange that seeing the abbé in his priest-robes, and hearing his sad tale of poor Clerie, I should forget entirely to ask about the little shoe, or the tall gentleman of the attic. Nevertheless I did, as I went out, throw a glance up to the window of the court—alas! there were more panes broken, the placard was gone, the veil was gone—there was nothing but a flimsy web which a bold spider had stretched across one of the corners. I felt sure that the last six months had brought its changes to other houses, as well as the house of Clerie.

I thought I would just step round to the conciergerie of the neighboring hotel, and ask after Monsieur Very; but before I had got fairly into the court I turned directly about, and walked away—I was afraid to ask about Monsieur Very. I felt saddened by the tale I had already heard; it had given, as such things will, a soft tinge of sadness to all my own thoughts, and fancies, and hopes. Everybody knows there are times in life when things joyful seem harsh; and there are times, too—Heaven knows!—when a saddened soul shrinks, fearful as a child, from any added sadness. God be blessed that they pass, like clouds over the bright sky of His Providence, and are gone!

I was afraid to ask that day about Monsieur Very; so I walked home—one while perplexing myself with strange conjectures; and another while the current of my thought would disengage itself from these hindering eddies, and go glowing quick, and strong, and sad—pushed along by the memory of poor Clerie’s fate.

I knew the abbé would tell me all next day—and so he did.

We dined together in the Palais Royal, at a snug restaurant up-stairs, near the Theatre Français. We look a little cabinet to ourselves, and I ordered up a bottle of Chambertin.

The soup was gone, a nice dish of filet de veau, aux epinards, was before us, and we had drank each a couple of glasses, before I ventured to ask one word about Monsieur Very.

Ah, mon cher,” said the abbé—at the same time laying down his fork—“il est mort!

“And mademoiselle—”

Attendez,” said the abbé, “and you shall hear it all.”

The abbé resumed his fork; I filled up the glasses, and he commenced:

“You will remember, mon cher, having described to me the person of the tall pale gentleman who was our neighbor. The description was a very good one, for I recognized him the moment I saw him.

“It was a week or more after you had left for the south, and I had half forgotten—excuse me, mon ami—the curiosity you had felt in the little window in the court; I happened to be a half hour later than usual in returning from mass, and as I passed the hotel at the corner, I saw coming out a tall gentleman, in a cloak trimmed with a little tawny lace, and with an air so different from that of most lodgers in the neighborhood, that I was sure it must be Monsieur Very.”

“The very same,” said I.

“Indeed,” continued the abbé, “I was so struck with his appearance—added to your interest in him—(here the abbé bowed and sipped his wine) that I determined to follow him a short way down the street. He kept through the Rue de Seine, and passing under the colonnade of the Institute, crossed the Pont de Fer, continued along the quay as far as the gates of the garden—into the Rue de Rivoli, and though I thought he would have stopped at some of the cafés in the neighborhood, he did not, but kept steadily on, nor did I give up pursuit until he had taken his place in one of the omnibuses which pass the head of the Rue de la Paix.

“A week after, happening to see him, as I came home from Martin’s, under the Odeon, I followed him again: I took a place in the same omnibus at the head of the Rue de la Paix. Opposite the Rue de Lancry he stopped. I stopped a short way above, and stepping back, soon found the poor gentleman picking his feeble paces along the dirty sideway.

“You remember, mon cher, wandering with me in the Rue de Lancry; you remember that it is crooked and long. The poor gentleman found it so; for before he had reached the end he leaned against the wall, apparently overcome with fatigue. I offered him assistance; at first he declined; he told me he was going only to the Hôpital St. Louis, which was now near by. I told him I was going the same way, upon which he took my arm, and we walked together to the gates. The poor gentleman seemed unable or unwilling to talk with me, and at the gates he merely pulled a slip of paper from his pocket to show the concierge, and passed in. I attended him as far as the middle hall in the court, when he kindly thanked me, and turned into one of the male wards. I took occasion presently to look in, and saw my companion half way down the hall, at the bed-side of a very feeble-looking patient of perhaps seven or eight-and-twenty.

“There seemed a degree of familiarity between them, more than would belong to patient and physician. I noticed too that the attendants treated the old gentleman with marked respect; this was, I fancy, however, owing to the old gentleman’s air, for not one of them could tell me who he was.

“I left him in the hospital, more puzzled than ever as to who could be the occupant of your little chamber. He seemed to me to have seen better days; and as for your lady of the slipper, it was so long before I saw any female with Monsieur Very, that I began to think she had no existence, save in your lively imagination.”

Here the abbé sipped his wine.

“You saw her at length, then?” said I.

Attendez. One evening I caught a glimpse of the tall gentleman going into the court of his hotel, with a lady closely muffled in black upon his arm.”

“And she had a pretty foot?”

“Ah, mon ami, it was too dark to see.”

“And did you see her again?”

Attendez. (The abbé sipped his wine.) For a month I saw neither monsieur nor mademoiselle. I passed the court early and late; I even went up to St. Louis, but the sick man was gone. The whole matter had nearly dropped from my mind, when one night—it was late, and very dark—the little bell at the wicket rung, and presently there was a loud rap at my door. It was the concierge of the next court; a man he said was dying, and a priest was wanted.

“I hurried over, and followed the concierge up, I know not how many stairs, into a miserable little chamber. There was a yellow placard at the window—”

I filled the abbé’s glass and my own.

“Poor Monsieur Very,” continued the abbé, “was on the couch before me, dying! The concierge had left the chamber, but there was still a third person present, who scarce seemed to belong to such a place.”

The abbé saw my earnestness, and provokingly sipped his wine.

“This is very good wine, monsieur,” said the abbé.

“Was she pretty?” said I.

“Beautiful,” said the abbé, earnestly.

I filled the abbé’s glass. The garçon had taken away the fricandeau, and served us with poulet roti.

“Had she a light dress, and long, wavy ringlets?” said I.

“She was beautiful,” said the abbé, “and her expression was so sweet, so gentle, so sad—ah, mon amiah, pauvrepauvre fille!

The abbé had laid down his fork; he held his napkin to his face.

“And so poor Very died?” said I.

“It was a sad sight,” said the abbé.

“And he confessed to you?”

“I was too late, mon ami; he murmured a word or two in my ear I could not understand. He confessed to God.”

“And mademoiselle—”

“She sat at the foot of the couch when I went in, with her hands clasped in her lap, and her eyes fixed on the poor gentleman’s face; now and then a tear rolled off her cheeks—but she did not know it.

“Presently the dying man beckoned to her. She stole softly to the head of the couch, and laid her little white hand in his withered fingers.

“‘Marie,’ said he, ‘dear Marie, I shall be gone—soon.’

“The poor girl burst into tears, and gathered up the palsied hand of the old man in both hers, as if she would not let him go.

“‘Marie,’ continued he, very feebly, ‘you will want a friend.’

“Again the poor girl answered by a burst of tears. She could say nothing.

“‘I have seen Remy,’ continued the old man, still addressing the girl, who seemed startled at the name, notwithstanding her grief. ‘He has suffered like us; he has been ill, too—very ill; you may trust him now, Marie; he has promised to be kind. Marie, my child, will you trust him?’

“‘Dear father, I will do what you wish,’ said the girl, weeping.

“‘Thank you, Marie,’ said the old man, and he tried to carry the white hand to his lips, but he could not. ‘And now, Marie—the little locket?’

“Marie stepped softly across the chamber, and brought a small gold locket, very richly wrought, and put it in the old man’s hand; the old man raised it toward his face.

“‘A little more light, dear Marie,’ said he.

“Marie stepped to the window and removed the yellow placard.

“‘A little more—light, Marie,’ said the old man, feebly. He was getting lower and lower.

“Marie set the door ajar, and, stepping to the window, she pulled a little handkerchief from her pocket, and tried to rub some of the dust from the glass.

“‘Light, Marie; dear Marie—more light!’ He said it scarce above his breath, but she heard it, and looked at me. I shook my head. She saw how it was, and caught the stiffening hand of the old man.

“‘Dear, dear father!’ and her tears streamed over it. Her sobs roused the old man for a moment.

“‘Marie,’ said he, and he raised his hand with a last effort, till it rested on her head, ‘Marie—God bless you!’

“I could hear nothing now but the poor girl’s sobs. The hand of the old man grew heavier and heavier on her head. She sunk down till her knees touched the rough floor of the chamber, and her face rested on the couch. Gradually the hand of the old man slipped down and lay upon her white, smooth neck.

“Presently she lifted her eyes timidly till they looked on the eyes of the old man—they must have looked strangely to her.

“‘Father, dear father!’ said she. There was a little clock at the foot of the couch, and it ticked very—very loud.

“The poor girl gave a quick, frightened glance at me, and another hurried look into the fixed eyes of the old man. She thought how it must be; ah, mon ami, if you had heard her cry, ‘Mon Dieu! il est mort!il est mort!’”

For a moment the abbé could not go on.

“She was right,” continued he, presently, “the old man was dead!”

The garçon removed the chicken, and served us with a dozen or two of oysters, in the shell. For ten minutes the abbé had not touched his wine—nor had I.

“He was buried,” resumed the abbé, “just within the gates of Pere la Chaise, a little to the right of the carriage way. A cypress is growing by the grave, and there is at the head a small marble tablet, very plain, inscribed simply, ‘à mon pere, 1845.’

“I was at the burial. There were very few to mourn.”

“You saw mademoiselle?”

“Yes, I saw her; she was in deep black. Her face was covered with a thick black veil—not so thick, though, but I could see a white handkerchief all the time beneath; and I saw her slight figure tremble. I was not near enough to hear her sobs, when they commenced throwing down the earth upon the coffin.

Oui, mon ami, I saw her walk away—not able to support herself, but clinging for very weakness to the arm of the man whose face I had seen at St. Louis. They passed slowly out of the gates; they entered a carriage together, and drove away.”

“It was Remy, I suppose?” said I.

“I do not know,” said the abbé.

“And when did you see her again?”

“Not for months,” said the abbé; and he sipped his wine.

“Shall I go on, mon cher?—it is a sad story.”

I nodded affirmatively, and filled the abbé’s glass, and took a nut or two from the dish before us.

“I called at the hotel where monsieur had died; mademoiselle had gone, the concierge could not tell where. I went to the hospital, and made inquiries for a Monsieur Remy—no such name had been entered within a year. I sometimes threw a glance up at the little window of the court; it was bare and desolate, as you see it now. Once I went to the grave of the old man—it was after the tablet had been raised; a rose-tree had been put at the foot of the grave. I did not know, but thought who must have set it there. I gave up all hope of seeing the beautiful Marie again.

“You remember, mon ami, the pretty little houses along the Rue de Paris, at Passy, with the linden trees in front of them, and the clear marble door-steps?”

Très bien, mon cher abbé.

“It is not many months since I was passing by them, and saw at the window of one, the same sad face which I saw last at the grave. I went in, mon ami. I made myself known as the attendant on her father’s death. She took my hand at this—ah, the soft white hand.”

The abbé sipped his wine.

“She seemed sadly in want of friends, though there were luxuries around her. She was dressed in white, her hair twisted back, and fastened with a simple gold pin. Her sleeves were loose, and reached but a little way below the elbow; and she wore a rose on her bosom, and about her neck, by a little gold chain, a coral crucifix.

“I told her I had made numerous inquiries for her. She smiled her thanks.

“I told her I had ventured to inquire, too, for the friend, Remy, of whom her father had spoken; at this she put both hands to her face, and burst into tears.

“I begged pardon; I feared she had not found her friend.

“‘Mon Dieu!’ said she, looking at me earnestly, ‘il estil etait mon mari!

“She burst into tears. What could I say? He is dead, too, then?”

“‘Ah, non, non, monsieur—worse—Mon Dieu! quel mariage!’ and she buried her face in her hands.

“What could I do, mon cher? The friend had betrayed her. They told me as much at Passy.”

Again the abbé stopped.

“She talked with a strange smile of her father; she wanted to visit his grave again. She took the rose from her bosom—it was from his grave—and kissed it, and then—crushed it in her hand—‘Oh, God! what should I do now with flowers?’ said she.

“I never saw her again. She went to her father’s grave—but not to pick roses.

She is there now,” said the abbé.

There was a long pause. The abbé did not want to speak—nor did I.

At length I asked if he knew any thing of Remy.

“You may see him any day up the Champs Elysiens,” said the abbé. “Ah, mon ami, there are many such. Poverty and shame may not come on him again; wealth may pamper him, and he may fatten on the world’s smiles; but there is a time coming—it is coming, mon cher, when he will go away—where God judgeth, and not man.”

Our dinner was ended. The abbé and myself took a voiture to go to Pere la Chaise. Just within the gateway, a little to the right of the carriage-track, were two tablets, side by side—one was older than the other. The lesser one was quite new; it was inscribed simply—“Marie, 1846.” There were no flowers; even the grass was hardly yet rooted about the smaller grave—but I picked a rose-bud from the grave of the old man. I have it now.

Before I left Paris, I went down into the old corridor again, in the Rue de Seine. I looked up in the court at the little window at the top.

A new occupant had gone in; the broken glass was re-set, and a dirty printed curtain was hanging over the lower half. I had rather have seen it empty.

I half wished I had never seen Le Petit Soulier.

Fresh Gleanings, pp. 132, 133.







Learned and illustrious of all Poets thou,

  Whose Titan intellect sublimely bore

The weight of years unbent; thou, on whose brow

  Flourish’d the blossom of all human lore—

How dost thou take us back, as ’t were by vision,

  To the grave learning of the Sanhedrim;

And we behold in visitings Elysian,

  Where waved the white wings of the Cherubim;

But, through thy “Paradise Lost,” and “Regained,”

  We might, enchanted, wander evermore.

Of all the genius-gifted thou hast reigned

  King of our hearts; and, till upon the shore

Of the Eternal dies the voice of Time,

  Thy name shall mightiest stand—pure, brilliant, and sublime.





Not dearer to the scholar’s eye than mine,

  (Albeit unlearned in ancient classic lore,)

  The daintie Poesie of days of yore—

The choice old English rhyme—and over thine,

  Oh! “glorious John,” delightedly I pore—

Keen, vigorous, chaste, and full of harmony,

  Deep in the soil of our humanity

  It taketh root, until the goodly tree

Of Poesy puts forth green branch and bough,

  With bud and blossom sweet. Through the rich gloom

Of one embowered haunt I see thee now,

  Where ’neath thy hand the “Flower and Leaflet” bloom.

That hand to dust hath mouldered long ago,

Yet its creations with immortal life still glow.





Thou, too, art worthy of all praise, whose pen,

  “In thoughts that breathe, and words that burn,” did shed,

  A noontide glory over Milton’s head—

He, “Prince of Poets”—thou, the prince of men—

  Blessings on thee, and on the honored dead.

How dost thou charm for us the touching story

  Of the lost children in the gloomy wood;

Haunting dim memory with the early glory,

  That in youth’s golden years our hearts imbued.

From the fine world of olden Poetry,

  Life-like and fresh, thou bringest forth again

  The gallant heroes of an earlier reign,

And blend them in our minds with thoughts of thee,

Whose name is ever shrined in old-world memory.







“You had better leave Harry alone about that girl,” said Tom Leveredge to his sisters, who were talking very fast, and sometimes both together, in the heat and excitement of the subject under discussion. “You only make Harry angry, and you do no good. Take my advice, and say no more to him about her.”

“And let him engage himself without one word of remonstrance,” exclaimed Miss Leveredge, despairingly.

“You don’t know that he means to engage himself,” argued Tom; “and if he does, opposition wont prevent him. On the contrary, it may settle a passing fancy into a serious feeling; and if he does not mean it now, you are enough to put it into his head, with all the talk you make about it.”

She’ll put it into his head,” ejaculated Miss Leveredge, scornfully. “Leave her alone for that. She’ll get him—I know she will,” she continued, almost in tears at the thought. “It’s too bad!”

“What do you think about it, Tom?” inquired Mrs. Castleton, earnestly. “Do you think with Emma, that it will end in his having her?”

“I should not be surprised,” replied Tom, coolly.

“Then you think he is in love with her?” continued his sister, mournfully.

“There’s no telling,” replied Tom. “He’s a good deal with her; and if he is thwarted at home, and flattered by her, I think it very possible he may fancy himself so, whether he is or not.”

“Oh!” exclaimed Mrs. Castleton, “that would be melancholy, indeed—to be taken in without even being attached to her!”

“Don’t be in such a hurry,” said Tom. “I don’t know that he is not in love with her, or that he is going to be taken in; but I do say, that Emma’s course is very injudicious.”

“What is that?” inquired Mrs. Castleton.

“Oh, abusing the girl so—saying she is vulgar, and—”

“I am sure I did not say any thing that is not true,” said Emma, with some spirit.

“Perhaps not,” replied Tom; “but it is not always wise to be forcing the truth upon people at all times, and in all tempers.”

“Where on earth did Harry become acquainted with her?” asked Mrs. Castleton.

“That’s more than I can tell you,” replied Tom. “He told me that Jewiston introduced him.”

“I never could bear that Jewiston,” remarked Miss Leveredge; “I always thought him very under-bred and vulgar. Why will Harry have any thing to do with him?”

“Who—Jewiston? He’s a clever fellow enough,” said Tom.

“Oh, Tom! how can you say so!”

“So he is,” persisted the young man. “He’s not very refined or elegant, I grant you—but still a very good fellow.”

“And so you think, Tom,” continued Mrs. Castleton, still intent on the main theme, “that in all probability Miss Dawson will be our sister-in-law?”

Emma shivered.

“I don’t think it probable, but very possible,” replied the young man, “particularly under the present system of family politics.”

“And it would be very bad.” pursued Mrs. Castleton, inquiringly.

“Oh, dreadful!” ejaculated Emma.

“There’s nothing very dreadful about it,” remonstrated Tom; “it would not be pleasant, certainly—but that’s all. There’s no use in making the matter worse than it is.”

Emma looked as if that were impossible, but said nothing, while Mrs. Castleton continued with—

“What kind of a set is she in—and what are the family?”

“Very low, vulgar people,” said Emma.

“Now, Emma, there again you are exaggerating,” rejoined Tom. “They are not a low set—vulgar, I admit.”

“The same thing,” persisted Emma.

“It’s not the same thing, Emma,” said the young man, decidedly. “They are very far from being low people. Her father is a highly respectable man, and, indeed, so are all the family—not fashionable, I grant you.”

“Fashionable!” ejaculated Emma, with a smile full of scornful meaning.

“But I admit,” continued Tom, “that it is not a connection that would altogether suit us. I should be as sorry, perhaps, as any of you to see the thing take place.”

“And what is the girl in herself,” pursued Mrs. Castleton.

“A vulgar, forward, ugly thing,” said Emma, speaking quickly, as if she could not help herself—the words must out, let Tom say what he would.

Tom said nothing, however.

“Is she?” said Mrs. Castleton, looking very much distressed, and turning to her brother.

“Emma will have it that she is,” he replied.

“Now, Tom, you know she is,” expostulated Emma.

“No, Emma,” said Tom, “if you will permit me, I know no such thing.”

“You surely don’t admire her, too,” said Emma, with a look of mingled alarm and disgust.

“No,” said Tom, “she is as you say, vulgar, and somewhat forward—but not ugly. On the contrary, she is decidedly handsome.”

“Handsome!” repeated Miss Leveredge. “Do you call her handsome, with all those hanging curls, and that feronière, and her hat on the very back of her head; with her short petticoats and big feet—and such bright colors, and quantity of tawdry jewelry as she wears, too.”

“You women never can separate a girl from her dress,” said Tom, laughing. “Miss Dawson dresses execrably, I grant you; but give her one half of the advantages of the girls that you see around you in society, and she would be not only pretty, but beautiful.”

“Then she may be improved,” said Mrs. Castleton, hopefully.

“Not much of that,” said Tom. “She is very well satisfied with herself, I imagine.”

“Oh, it’s evident she’s a public belle and beauty in her own set,” said Emma. “She’s full of airs and graces.”

Mrs. Castleton sighed.

“It’s a bad business, I am afraid,” she said, mournfully.

“No,” said Tom, stoutly, “it’s not pleasant, and that’s all. The girl may make a very good wife, though she does dress badly. She looks amiable, and I dare say has sense enough.”

“It’s not her dress only,” persisted Emma, “but her manners are so bad.”

“Well, many a flirty girl has settled into a very respectable married woman,” continued Tom.

“Where have you seen her, Emma?” asked Mrs. Castleton.

“Tom pointed her out to me one night at the theatre; and I have since seen her in the street frequently.”

“Then you do not know her at all?” continued Mrs. Castleton, with some surprise in her tone. “How, then, do you know any thing about her manners, Emma?”

“It’s not necessary to know her to know what her manners are,” replied Emma. “One glance across the theatre is enough for that. She had two or three beaux with her—indeed, I believe she was there only with them—”

“Her mother was with her, Emma,” interposed Tom, decidedly.

“Well,” continued Emma, a little provoked at being set right, “she ought to have made her behave herself, then.”

“But how did she behave, Emma?” pursued Mrs. Castleton, who had been absent from the city during the rise and progress of this flirtation, and was now anxious for as much information as could be obtained on the subject.

“Oh, laughing, and flirting, and shaking her long curls back, and looking up to their faces—perfectly disgusting!”

Mrs. Castleton looked at her brother in the hopes of some amendment here on his part; but he only smiled, and shook his head, and said,

“Pretty much so, Emma.”

“And then, dressed—oh, you never saw a girl so bedizzened!”

“Strange!” said Mrs. Castleton. “that Harry should admire such a girl. He is generally rather critical—hates particularly to see you at all over-dressed, Emma. He never would admire Fanny Lewis, you know, because she had something of that manner. I wonder he should admire this girl.”

“Oh, it all depends very much upon the clique in which a man sees a girl how she strikes him,” said Tom. “Miss Dawson’s manners are very much those of the girls around her, quite as good, if not better; then she is really handsome—moreover, very much admired, the belle of the set; and Harry’s vanity is rather flattered, I suppose, by the preference she shows him.”

“You think, then, she likes him?” said Mrs. Castleton.

“I know nothing more about it than you do,” replied Tom. “I suppose she must, for she certainly could marry richer men than Harry if she wanted to. She has the merit, at least, of disinterestedness.”

“Harry would be a great match for her,” said Emma, indignantly—“and she knows it. She might get more money, perhaps, but think of the difference of position.”

“Yes, I suppose that has something to do with it,” replied Tom. “You women all think so much of such things.”

“Strange!” repeated Mrs. Castleton, “I don’t know how Harry can fancy such a girl.”

“Don’t you know all objects vary according to the light they are in,” said Tom. “If Harry saw Miss Dawson among young ladies of a different style and stamp, the changes of the ‘dissolving views’ would not be greater. The present picture would fade away, and a new, and in all probability a very different one, would take its place.”

“That’s a good idea!” exclaimed Mrs. Castleton, suddenly, and clapping her hands joyfully. “I’ll call and ask her to my party for the bride.”

Emma looked at her for a moment aghast, as if she thought she had suddenly gone crazy.

“What do you mean, Laura?” she exclaimed.

“Why, to follow out Tom’s idea,” she said. “It’s excellent! I’m going to give Mrs. Flemming a party. I’ll make it very select, and not large; invite all the prettiest and most elegant girls, and then play amiable to Harry, by telling him I’ll call upon his Miss Dawson and invite her.”

Emma looked very dubious, and said,

“I don’t like our countenancing the thing in this way.”

“You need have nothing to do with it,” returned her sister. “As it seems you and Harry have had words about it, you had better not; but I’ll call—I’ll have her. And it shall be such an elegant, select little affair that it will show her off to charming advantage,” she continued, with much animation, delighted with her own cleverness in the scheme. “He can’t help but be ashamed of her. Don’t you think so, Tom?”

The young man laughed.

“Now, Tom,” said she, a little disappointed, “don’t you think so?”

“There’s a good chance of it, certainly,” he replied. “You can but try it.”

“Then why do you laugh,” she continued, still dissatisfied.

“Only to see what spiteful creatures you women are,” he continued, smiling. “To see the pains you’ll take to put down a girl you don’t happen to fancy.”

“Surely, you yourself, Tom,” commenced Mrs. Castleton, seriously, and “I am sure, Tom,” chimed in Emma, in the same breath, “you have always said—” and then they both poured forth such a torrent of reminiscences and good reasons for wishing to prevent the match, that he was glad to cry for mercy, and ended by saying seriously,

“I am sure I hope you may succeed.”



“Harry,” said Mrs. Castleton, in her prettiest and most winning manner, “I am going to call on your friend, Miss Dawson, and invite her for Thursday evening.”

Harry looked up very much astonished, hardly knowing whether to be pleased or not, and said,

“What put that in your head?”

“I want to know her,” continued Mrs. Castleton. “They tell me you admire her, Harry; and if she is to be my future sister, as people say—”

“People say a great deal more than they know,” said Harry, hastily.

“Well,” rejoined his sister, playfully, “be that as it may, Harry, I should like to see the young lady; and beside, I want as many pretty girls as I can get, they always make a party brilliant—and you say she is pretty, don’t you, Harry?”

“Beautiful,” he replied, with an earnestness that startled Mrs. Castleton. “You’ll have no prettier girl here, I promise you that, Laura,” he added, presently, more quietly. “But what will Emma say,” he continued, bitterly. “She’ll never give her consent, depend upon it, to your calling.”

“It’s not necessary that she should,” said Mrs. Castleton, good humoredly; “so perhaps I had better not ask her.”

“Emma gives herself airs,” continued Harry, angrily. “She thinks that all the world are just confined to her one little clique; that there’s neither beauty, nor sense, nor any thing else out of her particular set. Now I can tell her that there’s more beauty among those who don’t give themselves half the airs, and who she looks down upon, than there is to be found among her ‘fashionables.’ But Emma is perfectly ridiculous with her ‘exclusive’ nonsense,” he continued, with much feeling, evidently showing how deeply he resented his sister’s reflections upon the style and stamp of his present admiration, Miss Dawson.

“Oh,” said Mrs. Castleton, soothingly, “it’s a mistake all very young girls make, Harry. They know nothing out of one circle. Of course, they disparage all others.”

But Harry was not to be quieted so easily. He was not satisfied until he had poured forth all his complaints against Emma; and Mrs. Castleton found it best not to take her part, but trust to the result of her experiment of the next week with putting him in good humor with her again.

“Will you call with me?” she continued, presently. “I have ordered the carriage at one.”

He looked pleased, and said he would. But after a little while he seemed to grow nervous and fidgetty—walked about the room—asked a good many questions, without seeming to attend much to the answers, and at last said, hurriedly,

“Well, Laura, it’s rather late, and I have an engagement down town—do you care about my calling with you? You know it’s only necessary for you to leave your card. You need not go in even, if you don’t care about it.”

“Oh, certainly,” she replied. “No, don’t wait for me.”

And he took his hat and darted off like light, as if he had made an escape from he hardly knew what.

Mrs. Castleton could not but laugh as she heard him shut the hall-door, almost before she was aware he had left the room, well pleased with this indication of susceptibility on his part, which she took as a good omen of the future, fully believing that “future events cast their shadows before.” “If Harry were nervous already, what would he be on Thursday evening.”

The call was made. Miss Dawson was out. A card was left, with an invitation, which, in due time, was accepted.

“Are you going to ask the Hazletons,” inquired Emma.

“No,” said Mrs. Castleton; “I don’t want to have too large a party. I want just enough to fill my rooms prettily, so that you can see everybody, and how they are dressed—just one of those small, select, pretty parties, where everybody is noticed. I have hardly asked a person—I don’t know one—who is not in some way distinguished for either dress, manner, air, or beauty. I have taken pains to cull the most choice of my acquaintance. The rooms will be beautifully lighted—and I expect it to be a brilliant affair.”

“If it were not for that Miss Dawson to spoil all,” said Emma, dejectedly—for she had never liked the scheme, though she did not oppose it. “I declare, Laura, I wonder at your moral courage in having her. I don’t think I could introduce her among such a set, even to be sure of breaking it off. You will be terribly ashamed of her. You don’t know, I think, what you have undertaken.”

Mrs. Castleton could not but laugh at the earnestness, not to say solemnity, of Emma’s manner.

“Not I, Emma—why should I be ashamed of her. If she were Harry’s wife, or if even he were engaged to her, the case would be different—I should blush for her then, if she is vulgar. But merely as a guest, how can her dress or manners affect me. My position is not to be altered by my happening to visit a girl who dresses vilely, and flirts à discretion.”

But still Emma looked very dubious, and only said, “Well, don’t introduce me.”

“Don’t be alarmed,” replied her sister. “I don’t mean to. Come, come, Emma,” she continued, laughing, “I see you are nervous about it, but I think you may trust me for carrying it off well,” to which her sister replied,

“Well, Laura, if any one can get out of such a scrape gracefully, you will.”

Mrs. Castleton laughed, and the subject dropped.

What Emma had said was true. There was an airy grace, a high-bred ease about Mrs. Castleton, that could carry her through any thing she chose to undertake.

Thursday evening arrived at last. Mrs. Castleton’s rooms were lighted to perfection, and she herself dressed with exquisite taste, looking the fitting priestess of the elegant shrine over which she presided. Emma, with her brothers, came early—and one glance satisfied Mrs. Castleton. The simplicity and elegance of Emma’s toilette were not to be out-done even by her own. Tom looked at them both with great pride; and, certainly, two prettier or more elegant specimens of humanity are not often to be met with.

He made some playful observation to his sister, expressive of his admiration of her taste, and looking about, said,

“Your rooms are very well lighted. There’s nothing like wax, after all.”

“They are too hot,” said Harry, pettishly.

“Bless you, man,” replied Tom, “how can you say so. I am downright chilly; but as there is to be dancing, it is better it should be so.”

“If you find this room warm, Harry,” said Mrs. Castleton, “you had better go in the dancing-room—there is not a spark of fire there.”

Harry walked off, and Emma said,

“I don’t know what is the matter with him—he’s so cross. He has been so irritable all day that I have hardly dared to speak to him.”

Tom only laughed.

Mrs. Castleton gave him a quick look of intelligence, but before she had time to speak, she was called upon to receive her guests, who began to come.

At every fresh arrival Harry’s face was to be seen peeping in anxiously from the dancing-room, and it wore something of a look of relief as he turned off each time to resume his restless wanderings in the still empty apartment.

Miss Dawson, meaning to be very fashionable, came late. The bride for whom the party was ostensibly given had arrived; and Mrs. Castleton was about giving orders to have the dancing-room thrown open, and just at the pause that frequently precedes such a movement in a small party, the door was thrown open, and Miss Dawson entered, leaning on the arm of a gentleman whom she introduced as Mr. Hardwicks. Now this Mr. Hardwicks was something more than Mrs. Castleton had bargained for; and Harry hastened forward with a look of some embarrassment and vexation as he perceived the mistake his fair friend had made in taking such a liberty with his high-bred sister. Miss Dawson had often taken him to parties with her, and somehow it had not struck him then as strange. Perhaps it was because he saw it was the style among those around him. But these were not the “customs of Branksome Hall;” and Harry was evidently annoyed. Moreover, this Mr. Hardwicks was a forward, under-bred looking individual, with a quantity of black whisker, and brass buttons to his claret-colored coat, altogether a very different looking person from the black-coated, gentlemanly-looking set that Mrs. Castleton had invited. She received him with a graceful but distant bow, somewhat annoyed, it is true; but as she never allowed trifles to disturb her, she turned calmly away, and never gave him a second thought during the evening.

Miss Dawson she received with empressement. She was dressed to her heart’s delight, with a profusion of mock pearl and tinsel; her hair in a shower of long curls in front, with any quantity of bows and braids behind, and a wreath!—that required all Mrs. Castleton’s self-possession to look at without laughing. Her entrance excited no little sensation—for she was a striking-looking girl, being tall, and full formed, with a very brilliant complexion. Simply and quietly dressed, and she would have been decidedly handsome; but as it was, she was intensely showy and vulgar.

“Harry, the music is just beginning; you will find a place for Miss Dawson in the dancing-room,” and so, whether he would or no, he had to ask her to dance. Probably he would have done so if his sister had let him alone; but as it was, he felt as if he had to.

She danced very badly. Harry had not been aware of it before; but she jumped up and down—and if the truth must be told, with an air and spirit of enjoyment not just then the fashionable style.

“How in earnest your fair friend dances,” said a young man, with a smile, to Harry, as they passed in the dance.

Harry colored.

“Who on earth have you there, Harry?” asked another, with rather a quizzical look. “Introduce me, wont you?” But Harry affected not to hear the request.

“Who is the young lady your brother is dancing with, Mrs. Castleton?” he heard asked several times; to which his sister answered in her sweetest and most winning manner, “Miss Dawson—a friend of Harry’s;” and to some of her brother’s particular friends, he heard her say, “Oh, that’s Harry’s belle. Don’t you know Miss Dawson—let me introduce you.”

Harry felt quite provoked, he did not know why, at hearing his sister couple him always with Miss Dawson; and if he thought the room hot at the beginning of the dance, he did not feel it any cooler before it was over.

Mrs. Castleton introduced a gentleman just as the dance finished, who asked her for the next, when Harry said quickly,

“You are fatigued, are you not? Perhaps you had better go with me and get an ice.”

“Do you go and bring Miss Dawson one,” said his sister. “I hope,” she continued, “you are not fatigued already?”

“Oh, no,” replied the young lady, with an animation and energy that proclaimed she had a dancing power within not to be readily exhausted. “Oh, no, indeed; I could dance all night.”

“I am glad to hear it,” said Mrs. Castleton, graciously, as if she felt her dancing a personal compliment. And before the dance was over she had introduced half a dozen young men to her.

Feeling herself a decided belle, Miss Dawson was in high spirits (that trying test to an unrefined woman.) She considered Mrs. Castleton’s visit and invitation as a marked compliment, (as she had every right to do,) and her attentions now, and the admiration she received, excited her to even more than her ordinary animation, which was always, to say the least of it, sufficient. She laughed, and she talked, and shook her long curls about, and flirted in a style that made the ladies look, and the gentlemen smile. Moreover, Mr. Hardwicks, who knew no one else, (for Mrs. Castleton had no idea of forcing him on any of her friends,) never left her side; and the easy manner in which he spoke to her, and took her fan from her hand while she was talking, and even touched her sleeve to call her attention when her head was turned away, all of which she seemed to think quite natural, made Harry color, and bite his lip more than once with mortification and vexation.

“You are not going to waltz?” he said, justly distrusting the waltzing of a lady who danced so.

“Yes,” she said, “with Mr. Hardwicks;” and in a moment they were whirling round in a style quite peculiar, and altogether new to the accomplished waltzers then and there assembled.

People looked, and some smiled—and then couple after couple paused in the dance to gaze on the strangers who had just taken the floor—and soon they had it all to themselves, and on they whirled like mad ones. Harry could not stand it—he left the room.

Presently some of his young friends followed him, who seemed excessively amused, and one of them exclaimed,

“Harry, where on earth did you pick up those extraordinary waltzers. Mrs. Castleton tells me they are friends of yours?”

Harry muttered something, and said,

“Hardwicks should not ask any woman to waltz. He did not know how; no man should, if he could not waltz himself.”

“Are you dancing, Francis?” asked another, of a fashionable looking young man standing near.

“No,” he replied, languidly, “I am exhausted. I danced with Harry’s fair friend the last dance, and it requires no small degree of physical power to keep pace with her efforts.”

Harry was excessively annoyed. He heartily wished he had never seen her; and was quite angry with Mrs. Castleton for having invited her. And just then, irritated and cross as he was, Mrs. Castleton met him with,

“Harry, Miss Dawson says you have carried off her bouquet.”

“I have not got her bouquet,” he answered, angrily.

“Well, go and make your own apology,” and before he had time to know what she was about, she had her arm in his, and had taken him up to Miss Dawson, saying,

“Here is the culprit, Miss Dawson—but he pleads not guilty;” whereupon the young lady tapped him with her fan, and declared he was a “sad fellow,” and shook her curls back, and looked up in his face, and flirted, as she thought, bewitchingly, while he with pleasure could have boxed her ears.

“Your carriage is at the door,” Mrs. Castlelon heard him say soon after.

“Why, Harry!” exclaimed his sister, looking almost shocked at his evident desire to hurry away her guest. “You surely don’t think of going yet. Miss Dawson?” said she, in her most persuasive manner. “You will dance this polka.”

A polka! Harry was in despair. He would have preferred dancing on hot ploughshares himself.

“The scheme works to admiration,” said Mrs. Castleton to Emma, as they met for a moment in the crowd.

“But it has spoiled your party,” replied the other.

“Not at all,” she answered, laughing, “what it has withdrawn in elegance, it has made up in spirit. The joke seems to take wonderfully.”

But Emma did not like such “jokes.” Mrs. Castleton’s hauteur was of a more flexible kind. To spoil a match she was willing to spoil her party.

“Was I right?” she said to Tom, toward the close of the evening.

He nodded and laughed, and said, “I congratulate you.”

Harry had in vain attempted to persuade Miss Dawson that she was heated and tired, and had better not polka; but the young lady thought him over-careful, and chose to dance.

“A willful thing!” muttered Harry, as he turned off. “Trifles show the temper—preserve me from an unamiable woman.”

Now Miss Dawson was not unamiable, but Harry was cross. If he were ashamed of her, she was hardly to be expected to know that. At any rate he walked off and left her to take care of herself. Mr. Hardwicks took her home as he had brought her—and Harry hardly looked at her again.

He was thoroughly out of humor. Mrs. Castleton had discretion enough not to follow up her victory. She saw she was successful, and so left things to their own course.

Never was a “dissolving view” more perfect. Harry had really imagined Miss Dawson not only very beautiful, but thought she would grace any drawing-room in Europe. He now saw her hoydenish, flirty, and ungraceful, with beauty of a very unrefined style—in fact, a different person. Such is the power of contrast, and the effect of a “new light.”

The spell was broken—for when a lover is mortified, ashamed of his choice, the danger is over.

Fortunately, his honor was no deeper pledged than his heart. Miss Dawson had not flirted more with him than with two or three others; and though she would have preferred him, one of the others would do.

“What did Harry say of my party last night?” asked Mrs. Castleton of her sister.

“He merely said ‘it was a great bore, this going out,’ and seemed quite cross, and took his light and walked off to his room immediately; and, in fact, it seemed such a delicate point with him, that I did not dare to make any allusion to it this morning.”

“Poor fellow! I don’t wonder,” said Mrs. Castleton, laughing. “How she did look beside the Claverings and Lesters.”

“Like a peony among moss rose-buds,” said Emma.

“Laura,” said Harry, a few days after, “I am going to New Orleans for the rest of the winter.”

“Are you?” she said, in surprise.

“Yes. My father is anxious about that business of his, and I am going for him.”

“I thought you had declined, and that he was going to send Tom,” she said.

“I’ve changed my mind,” he replied. “In fact it is very dull here, and as Tom don’t want to go, I think I shall like the trip.”

“I’ve no doubt you will find it very pleasant,” she said, cheerfully, amused at his proposing himself the very thing they had all been so anxious to have him do, and which he had negatived so decidedly some weeks back.

“Ah, Tom,” said Mrs. Castleton, laughing, “that was a bright idea of yours. There’s nothing like a new light for bringing out new colors. I think that party of mine finished Miss Dawson.”

“You need not crow too much, Laura,” replied Tom, “for, in all probability, if you had left Harry alone in the beginning, the party never would have been required. You women never learn not to thwart and oppose a man until it is too late. Then, you’ll move heaven and earth to undo your own work. If you would only govern that ‘unruly member’ in the beginning, you would have required no ‘dissolving views’ in the end.”





They sat by the hearth-stone, broad and bright,

Whose burning brands threw a cheerful light

On the frosty calm of the winter’s night.


Her radiant features wore the gleam

Which childhood learns from an angel-dream,

And her bright hair stirred in the flickering beam.


Those tresses soft to his lips were pressed,

Her head was leaned on his happy breast,

And the throb of the bosom his soul expressed;


And ever a gentle murmur came

From the clear, bright heart of the wavering flame,

Like the faltering thrill of a worshiped name.


He kissed her on the warm, white brow,

And told her in fonder words, the vow

He whispered under the moonlit bough;


And o’er them a steady radiance came

From the shining heart of the mounting flame,

Like a love that burns through life the same.


The maiden smiled through her joy-dimmed eyes,

As he led her spirit to sunnier skies,

Whose cloudless light on the future lies—


And a moment paused the laughing flame,

And it listened awhile, and then there came

A cheery burst from its sparkling frame.


He visioned a home by pure love blest,

Clasping their souls in a calmer rest,

Like woodland birds in their leafy nest.


There slept, foreshadowed, the bliss to be,

When a tenderer life that home should see,

In the wingless cherub that climbed his knee.


And the flame went on with its flickering song,

And beckoned and laughed to the lovers long,

Who sat in its radiance, red and strong.


Then broke and fell a glimmering brand

To the cold, dead ashes it fed and fanned,

And its last gleam leaped like an infant’s hand.


A sudden dread to the maiden stole,

For the gloom of a sorrow seemed to roll

O’er the sunny landscape within her soul.


But, hovering over its smouldering bed,

Its ruddy pinions the flame outspread,

And again through the chamber its glory shed;


And ever its chorus seemed to be

The mingled voices of household glee,

Like a gush of winds in a mountain tree.


The night went on in its silent flow,

While through the waving and wreathèd glow

They watched the years of the Future go.


Their happy spirits learned the chime

Of its laughing voice and murmured rhyme—

A joyous music for aftertime.


They felt a flame as glorious start,

Where, side by side, they dwelt apart,

In the quiet homestead of the heart.





One of the happiest examples, in a small way, of the carrying-one’s-self-in-a-hand-basket logic, is to be found in a London weekly paper called “The Popular Record of Modern Science; a Journal of Philosophy and General Information.” This work has a vast circulation, and is respected by eminent men. Sometime in November, 1845, it copied from the “Columbian Magazine” of New York, a rather adventurous article of mine, called “Mesmeric Revelation.” It had the impudence, also, to spoil the title by improving it to “The Last Conversation of a Somnambule”—a phrase that is nothing at all to the purpose, since the person who “converses” is not a somnambule. He is a sleep-waker—not a sleep-walker; but I presume that “The Record” thought it was only the difference of an l. What I chiefly complain of, however, is that the London editor prefaced my paper with these words:—“The following is an article communicated to the Columbian Magazine, a journal of respectability and influence in the United States, by Mr. Edgar A. Poe. It bears internal evidence of authenticity.”!

There is no subject under heaven about which funnier ideas are, in general, entertained than about this subject of internal evidence. It is by “internal evidence,” observe, that we decide upon the mind.

But to “The Record:”—On the issue of my “Valdemar Case,” this journal copies it, as a matter of course, and (also as a matter of course) improves the title, as in the previous instance. But the editorial comments may as well be called profound. Here they are:

“The following narrative appears in a recent number of The American Magazine, a respectable periodical in the United States. It comes, it will be observed, from the narrator of the ‘Last Conversation of a Somnambule,’ published in The Record of the 29th of November. In extracting this case the Morning Post of Monday last, takes what it considers the safe side, by remarking—‘For our own parts we do not believe it; and there are several statements made, more especially with regard to the disease of which the patient died, which at once prove the case to be either a fabrication, or the work of one little acquainted with consumption. The story, however, is wonderful, and we therefore give it.’ The editor, however, does not point out the especial statements which are inconsistent with what we know of the progress of consumption, and as few scientific persons would be willing to take their pathology any more than their logic from the Morning Post, his caution, it is to be feared, will not have much weight. The reason assigned by the Post for publishing the account is quaint, and would apply equally to an adventure from Baron Munchausen:—‘it is wonderful and we therefore give it.’. . . The above case is obviously one that cannot be received except on the strongest testimony, and it is equally clear that the testimony by which it is at present accompanied, is not of that character. The most favorable circumstances in support of it, consist in the fact that credence is understood to be given to it at New York, within a few miles of which city the affair took place, and where consequently the most ready means must be found for its authentication or disproval. The initials of the medical men and of the young medical student must be sufficient in the immediate locality, to establish their identity, especially as M. Valdemar was well known, and had been so long ill as to render it out of the question that there should be any difficulty in ascertaining the names of the physicians by whom he had been attended. In the same way the nurses and servants under whose cognizance the case must have come during the seven months which it occupied, are of course accessible to all sorts of inquiries. It will, therefore, appear that there must have been too many parties concerned to render prolonged deception practicable. The angry excitement and various rumors which have at length rendered a public statement necessary, are also sufficient to show that something extraordinary must have taken place. On the other hand there is no strong point for disbelief. The circumstances are, as the Post says, ‘wonderful;’ but so are all circumstances that come to our knowledge for the first time—and in Mesmerism every thing is new. An objection may be made that the article has rather a Magazinish air; Mr. Poe having evidently written with a view to effect, and so as to excite rather than to subdue the vague appetite for the mysterious and the horrible which such a case, under any circumstances, is sure to awaken—but apart from this there is nothing to deter a philosophic mind from further inquiries regarding it. It is a matter entirely for testimony. [So it is.] Under this view we shall take steps to procure from some of the most intelligent and influential citizens of New York all the evidence that can be had upon the subject. No steamer will leave England for America till the 3d of February, but within a few weeks of that time we doubt not it will be possible to lay before the readers of the Record information which will enable them to come to a pretty accurate conclusion.”

Yes; and no doubt they came to one accurate enough, in the end. But all this rigmarole is what people call testing a thing by “internal evidence.” The Record insists upon the truth of the story because of certain facts—because “the initials of the young men must be sufficient to establish their identity”—because “the nurses must be accessible to all sorts of inquiries”—and because the “angry excitement and various rumors which at length rendered a public statement necessary, are sufficient to show that something extraordinary must have taken place.”

To be sure! The story is proved by these facts—the facts about the students, the nurses, the excitement, the credence given the tale at New York. And now all we have to do is to prove these facts. Ah!—they are proved by the story.

As for the Morning Post, it evinces more weakness in its disbelief than the Record in its credulity. What the former says about doubting on account of inaccuracy in the detail of the phthisical symptoms, is a mere fetch, as the Cockneys have it, in order to make a very few little children believe that it, the Post, is not quite so stupid as a post proverbially is. It knows nearly as much about pathology as it does about English grammar—and I really hope it will not feel called upon to blush at the compliment. I represented the symptoms of M. Valdemar as “severe,” to be sure. I put an extreme case; for it was necessary that I should leave on the reader’s mind no doubt as to the certainty of death without the aid of the Mesmerist—but such symptoms might have appeared—the identical symptoms have appeared, and will be presented again and again. Had the Post been only half as honest as ignorant, it would have owned that it disbelieved for no reason more profound than that which influences all dunces in disbelieving—it would have owned that it doubted the thing merely because the thing was a “wonderful” thing, and had never yet been printed in a book.





Agressi sunt mare tenebrarum id in eo exploraturi esset. Nubian Geographer.

Looking like Lethe, see! the lake

A conscious slumber seems to take,

And would not for the world awake. “The Sleepers.” Poe.

There is a lake whose lilies lie

  Like maidens in the lap of death,

    So pale, so cold, so motionless

    Its Stygian breast they press;

They breathe, and toward the purple sky

  The pallid perfumes of their breath

Ascend in spiral shapes, for there

No wind disturbs the voiceless air—

No murmur breaks the oblivious mood

Of that tenebrean solitude—

No Djinn, no Ghoul, no Afrit laves

His giant limbs within its waves

Beneath the wan Saturnian light

That swoons in the omnipresent night;

But only funeral forms arise,

With arms uplifted to the skies,

And gaze, with blank, cavernous eyes

In whose dull glare no Future lies,—

The shadows of the dead—the Dead

Of whom no mortal soul hath read,

No record come, in prose or rhyme,

Down from the dim Primeval Time!

A moment gazing—they are gone—

Without a sob—without a groan—

Without a sigh—without a moan—

And the lake again is left alone—

Left to that undisturbed repose

Which in an ebon vapor flows

Among the cypresses that stand

A stone-cast from the sombre strand—

Among the trees whose shadows wake,

But not to life, within the lake,

That stand, like statues of the Past,

And will, while that ebony lake shall last.


But when the more than Stygian night

Descends with slow and owl-like flight,

Silent as Death (who comes—we know—

Unheard, unknown of all below;)

Above that dark and desolate wave,

The reflex of the eternal grave—

Gigantic birds with flaming eyes

Sweep upward, onward through the skies,

Or stalk, without a wish to fly,

Where the reposing lilies lie;

While, stirring neither twig nor grass,

Among the trees, in silence, pass

Titanic animals whose race

Existed, but has left no trace

Of name, or size, or shape, or hue—

Whom ancient Adam never knew.


At midnight, still without a sound,

Approaching through the black Profound,

Shadows, in shrouds of pallid hue,

Come slowly, slowly, two by two,

In double line, with funeral march,

Through groves of cypress, yew and larch,

Descending in those waves that part,

Then close, above each silent heart;

While, in the distance, far ahead,

The shadows of the Earlier Dead

Arise, with speculating eyes,

Forgetful of their destinies,

And gaze, and gaze, and gaze again

Upon the long funereal train,

Undreaming their Descendants come

To make that ebony lake their home—

To vanish, and become at last

A parcel of the awful Past—

The hideous, unremembered Past

Which Time, in utter scorn, has cast

Behind him, as with unblenched eye,

He travels toward Eternity—

That Lethe, in whose sunless wave

Even he, himself, must find a grave!


The gates were unbarred—the home of the blest

  Freely opened to welcome Miss C——;

But hearing the chorus that “Heaven is Rest,”

  She turned from the angels to flee,

Saying, “Rest is no Heaven to me!”






“You are in want of an efficient person to assist you in taking charge of your domestic affairs, Enna,” said a maiden aunt of mine to me one evening. I pulled my little sewing-table toward me with a slight degree of impatience, and began very earnestly to examine the contents of my work-box, that I might not express aloud my weariness of my aunt’s favorite subject. I had been in want of just such an article as an “efficient person” ever since I had taken charge of my father’s ménage; and after undergoing almost martyrdom with slip-shod, thriftless, good-for-nothing “help,” as we Americans, with such delicate consideration, term our serving maids, I had come to the conclusion that indifferent “help” was an unavoidable evil, and that the best must be made of the poor, miserable instruments of assistance vouchsafed unto the race of tried, vexed housekeepers.

“I have just thought,” continued my aunt, “of a very excellent person that will suit you in every way. Lizzie Hall, the one I was thinking of, has never been accustomed to living out. Her father is a farmer in our place, but having made a second marriage, and with a young family coming up around him, Lizzie very properly wishes to do something for herself. I remember having heard her express such a desire; and I have no doubt I could persuade her to come to you. She is not very young—about eight-and-twenty, or thereabouts.”

I listened to my Aunt Lina’s talk with, it must be confessed, indifference, mingled with a little sullenness, and quieted my impatience by inward ejaculations—a vast deal of good do those inward conversations produce, such mollifiers of the temper are they. “So, so,” said I to myself, “my Aunt Lina’s paragon is a ‘lady-help.’ Of all kinds ‘of help’ the very one I have endeavored most to avoid; it is such a nondescript kind of creature that lady-help;” and as I soliloquized, recollections of specimens of the kind I had been afflicted with, came in sad array before my memory—maids with slip-shod French kid slippers, that had never been large enough for their feet—love-locks on either side of their cheeks, twirled up during the day in brown curl-papers—faded lawn dresses, with dangling flounces and tattered edging; then such sentimental entreaties that I should not make them answer the door-bell if Ike, the black boy, might happen to be away on some errand, or expose them to the rude gaze of the multitude in the market-house; and I groaned in spirit as I thought what a troublesome creature the “lady-help” was to manage. During this sympathizing colloquy with myself, my aunt went on expatiating most eloquently on the merits of her protégé, Lizzie Hall. Some pause occurring—for want of breath, I really believe, on my aunt’s side—good-breeding seemed to require a remark from me, and I faltered out some objection as to the accommodations a city household afforded for a person of Lizzie Hall’s condition.

“Of course,” said my aunt, “she will not wish to sit at the same table with the black servants you may happen to have; but Lizzie will not cause you any trouble on the score of accommodations, I’ll answer for it, Enna; she is too sensible a person not to fully understand the difference between town and country habits—and if you say so, I will engage her for you when I return to Rockland.”

My father, who had been dozing over his paper, gradually aroused himself as this conversation progressed, and as my aunt made the last proposition, he entered into it most cordially, and begged she would endeavor to procure the young woman, and send her by the earliest opportunity. I remained quiet—for I could not say any thing heartily, seeing nothing but vexation and annoyance in the whole affair for me. The young woman was evidently a favorite with my Aunt Lina; and should she not prove a very useful or agreeable maid to me, I would receive but little sympathy from my immediate family. My father is as ignorant as a child of what we poor housekeepers require in a domestic; and my Aunt Lina, though kind-hearted and well-wishing, is in equally as blissful a state. A very indifferent servant, who happened to please her fancy, she would magnify into a very excellent one; then, being rather opinionative and “set,” as maiden ladies are apt to be when they pass the fatal threshold of forty, I despaired of ever convincing her to the contrary. “However,” said I to myself, “I will not anticipate trouble.”

I had just recovered from a dangerous fit of illness, through which my kind, well-meaning aunt had patiently nursed me. At the first news of my sickness she had, unsummoned, left her comfortable home in Rockland, in mid-winter, and had crossed the mountains to watch beside the feverish pillow of her motherless niece. Careful and kind was her nursing; and even the physicians owned that to her patient watchfulness I owed my life. How grateful was I; and with what looks of love did I gaze on her trim, spinster figure, as she moved earnestly and pains-taking around my chamber; but, alas! the kitchen told a different story when I was well enough to make my appearance there. Biddy, a raw, bewildered-looking Irish girl, with huge red arms and stamping feet, had quite lost her confused, stupid expression of countenance, and was most eloquent in telling me, with all the volubility of our sex, of the “quare ways of the ould maid.”

“Sure, and if the ould sowl could only have had a husband and a parcel of childthers to mind, she wouldn’t have been half so stiff and concated,” exclaimed Biddy.

Even poor little roguish Ike, with mischief enough in his composition to derange a dozen well-ordered houses, looked wise and quiet when my prim, demure aunt came in sight. Complaints met me on all sides, however, for my Aunt Lina was quite as dissatisfied as the rest.

“I found them all wrong, my dear,” she said, “no order, no regulation, every thing at sixes and sevens; and as for the woman Biddy, she is quite, quite incorrigible. I showed her a new way of preparing her clothes for the wash, by which she could save a deal of labor; but all in vain, she persisted most obstinately to follow the old troublesome way. Then she confuses her work altogether in such a manner that I never can tell at which stage of labor she has arrived; and when I put them all en traine, and leave them a few instants, I find on my return every thing as tangled as ever. Method is the soul of housekeeping, Enna. You will never succeed without order. I fear you are too easy and indulgent; although I have never kept a house, I know exactly how it should be done. A place for every thing—every thing in its place, as your grandpapa used to say. If you insist upon your servants doing every thing at a certain hour, and in a certain way, your affairs will go on like clock-work.”

I could not but assent to all these truisms—for I felt conscience-stricken. I knew I had always depended in all my housekeeping emergencies too much on my “talent for improvising,” as Kate Wilson merrily entitles my readiness in a domestic tangle and stand-still. I had been in the habit of letting things go on as easily as possible, scrupulously avoiding domestic tempests, because they deranged my nervous system; and if I found a servant would not do a thing in my way, I would let her accomplish it in her own manner, and at her own time—so that it was done, that was all I required. I felt almost disheartened as the remarks of my precise aunt proved to me how remiss I had been, and resolved in a very humble mood to reform. But when Aunt Lina continued her conversations about the mismanagement before my father, then I felt the “old Adam” stir within me. There she surely was wrong. I could not bear he should have his eyes opened; he had always fancied me a little queen in my domestic arrangements—why should he think differently—what good did it do? If he found his dinner nicely cooked and served, his tea and toast snugly arranged in the library, in the evening, when he returned wearied from his office, with his dressing-gown and slippers most temptingly spread out; then awakened in the morning in a clean, well-ordered bed-room, with Ike at his elbow to wait his orders, and a warm, cozy breakfast to strengthen him ere he started out on his daily labors—if all this was carefully and quietly provided for him, what need of his knowing how it was done, or what straits I might be driven to sometimes, from my own thoughtlessness or forgetfulness to accomplish these comforts for him. I had always scrupulously avoided talking of my household affairs before him; but when Aunt Lina discoursed so eloquently and learnedly in his presence, slipping in once in a while such high-sounding words as “domestic economy,” “well-ordered household,” “proper distribution of time and labor,” &c., &c., he began to prick up his ears, and fancy his thrifty little daughter Enna was not quite so excellent in her management as he had blindly dreamed. Poor man! his former ignorance had surely been bliss, for his unfortunate knowledge only made him look vexed and full of care whenever he entered the house. He even noted the door-handles, as to their brightness, rated poor Ike about the table appointments, and pointed out when and how work should be done—told how he managed in his business, and how we should manage in ours. I was almost distraught with annoyance; and, kind as my aunt had been, I wished for the time of her departure silently, but as earnestly as did my servants. Heaven pardon me for my inhospitality and ingratitude.

“Now, Lina,” said my father, the morning she left, “don’t forget the woman you were speaking of. Enna needs some experienced person to keep things in order. We shall have to break up housekeeping if affairs go on in this disordered state. I do not know how we have stood it thus long.”

I opened my eyes but said not a word. Three months before and my father had been the happiest, free-from-care man in the city; now the little insight he had gained into domestic affairs—the peep behind the curtain given him by my mistaken maiden aunt, had served to embitter his existence, surrounding his path with those nettles of life, household trifles, vulgar cares and petty annoyances. I almost echoed Biddy’s ejaculation as the carriage drove from the door with my aunt and her numberless boxes, each one arranged on a new, orderly, time-saving plan.

“Sure, and it’s glad I am, that the ould craythur is fairly off—for divil a bit of comfort did she give the laste of us with her time-saving orderly ways. And it’s not an owld maid ye must ever be, darlint Miss Enna, or ye’ll favor the troublesome aunty with her tabby notions.”

Ike shouted with glee, and turned somersets all the way through the hall into the back entry, regardless of all I could say; and the merriment and light heartedness that pervaded the whole house was most cheering. Biddy stamped and put her work in a greater confusion than ever; and Ike dusted the blinds from the top to the bottom in a “wholesale way,” as he called it, and cleaned the knives on the wrong side of the Bath-brick to his heart’s content. Every one, even the dumb animals, seemed conscious of Aunt Lina’s departure. My little pet kitten, Norah, resumed her place by the side of the heater in the library, starting once in a while in her dreams and springing up as though she heard the rustle of Aunt Lina’s gown, or the sharp, clear notes of her voice—but coiled herself down with a consoling “pur,” as she saw only “little me” laughing at her fears—and my little darling spaniel Flirt laid in my lap, nestled on the foot of my bed, and romped all over the house to his perfect satisfaction. I should have been as happy as the rest also, if it had not been for the anticipation that weighed down on me, of the expected pattern-card—my lady-help.

Soon after my aunt’s return home I received a letter from her, announcing with great gratification her success. The letter was filled with a long preachment on household management, which my father read very seriously, pronouncing his sister Lina a most excellent, sensible woman, possessing more mind and judgment than did most of her sex. My aunt wound up her letter, saying—

“But you will have little order and regulation about your house so long as you keep that thriftless Biddy in it. Take my advice and tramp her off bag and baggage before Lizzie comes, for, from my account of her, Lizzie is not very favorably disposed toward her.”

Here was a pretty state of affairs to be sure, not very agreeable to a young housekeeper who had hitherto been her own mistress—my new maid was to dictate to me even my own domestic arrangements. My father was earnest in wishing to dispose of Biddy—but on that point, though quiet, I was resolute in opposition. Poor warm-hearted Biddy, with all her stupid thriftless ways, I could not find in my heart to turn away, and as my chambermaid wanted to go to her relations in the “back states,” as she called the great West, I proposed to Biddy to take her place, so soon as the new woman should make her appearance.

“If she’s like the aunty of ye,” said Biddy when we concluded this arrangement and were talking of the expected new comer, “I’ll wish her all the bad luck in the world, for it’s hot wather she’ll kape us in all the time with her painstakings.”

Not in a very pleasant frame of mind I awaited the arrival of my new domestic. Poor girl, there was no one to welcome her when she at last came, and she stepped into the kitchen without one kind feeling advancing to greet her. Biddy’s warm Irish heart was completely closed against her, and Ike, the saucy rogue, pursed up his thick lips in a most comical manner when she appeared. But how my heart smote me when I first looked at the pale, care-worn, sad-looking creature. She was not pretty—her face bore the marks of early care and trial. She might have been well-favored in girlhood, but if so, those good looks had completely vanished. Her eyes were dim, her cheek hollow, and her brow was marked with lines stamped by endurance; her whole person thin and spare, with hard, toil-worn hands, and large feet, showed that labor and sorrow had been her constant companions. And how unjust had been our hasty judgment of her—for so far from proving to be the troublesome, fault-finding, airs-taking, lady-help I had fearfully anticipated, I found her amiable, yielding and patiently industrious. She had no regular set ways about her, but worked unceasingly from morning till night in every department in the house. Not a week passed before I heard Biddy, with her Irish enthusiasm, calling on Heaven to bless the “darlint.” She was always ready to excuse Biddy’s thriftlessness and Ike’s mischief, helping them on in their duties constantly. Good Lizzie Hall! every one in the house loved her. Yes, indeed, my dear housekeeping reader, all doubtful as you look, I had at last obtained that paragon, so seldom met with—a good, efficient servant. Lizzie lived with me many years, and when I parted with her, as I had to at last, I felt certain, I had had my share of good “help”—that her place would never be supplied.

Lizzie grew very fond of me, and ere she had lived with us many months told me her whole history. Poor girl, without beauty, without mental attractions, of an humble station, and slender abilities, her life-woof had in it the glittering thread of romance—humble romance, but romance still it was. Lizzie’s father was a farmer, owning a small farm in the part of the country where my Aunt Lina resided. His first wife, Lizzie’s mother, was an heiress according to her station, bringing her husband on her marriage some hundreds of dollars, which enabled him to purchase his little farm, and stock it. They labored morning, noon, and night, unceasingly. Lizzie’s mother was a thrifty, careful body; but, unfortunately, she had more industry than constitution; and when Lizzie was seventeen, her mother was fast sinking into the grave, a worn-out creature, borne down by hard labor and sickness. Nine children had she, and of them Lizzie was the eldest and only girl. What sorrow for a dying mother! Before her mother’s last sickness, Lizzie was “wooed and won” by the best match in the place. James Foster, her lover, was a young farmer, an orphan, but well off in life. He owned a handsome, well-stocked farm, and was a good-looking, excellent young man. Both father and mother cheerfully gave their consent, but insisted that their engagement should last a year or so, until Lizzie might be older. As Mrs. Hall felt death approaching, she looked around on the little family she was to leave motherless behind her; and with moving, heart-rending entreaties, besought of Lizzie not to leave them.

“Stay with your father, my child,” she urged; “James, if he loves you, will wait for you. Don’t marry until the boys are all old enough to be out of trouble. Think, Lizzie, of the misery a step-mother might cause with your brother Jack’s impetuous temper, and Sam’s hopeless, despairing disposition—each one would be hard for a step-mother to guide. Be a mother to them, my girl; down on your knees, and to make your mother’s heart easy, promise before God that you will guide them, and watch over them as long as you are needed. Stay with your father, and Heaven will bless you, as does your dying mother.”

Willingly did the almost heart-broken girl give the required promise—and James Foster loved her all the better for it. She wept bitter, heart-aching tears over her dear mother’s grave, but turned steadily to the hard path traced out before her; but she was young and beloved, and a bright star beamed before her—the star of love—to gild her toilsome path; and a mother’s smile seemed blended with its bright rays. A year or two rolled around—years of hard labor, which made Lizzie, who toiled untiringly, as her mother had done, old before her time. She was noted, however, all over the village for a thrifty, industrious, excellent girl. James Foster was a pattern for lovers; every spare moment he gave to her. What few amusements she had time to enjoy he procured for her; and as the village people said, they went as steadily together as old married people.

Lizzie’s father was a narrow-minded, selfish man, caring very little for any one’s comfort but his own, and at times was exceedingly cross and testy. Unfortunately, he took great interest in politics, and was quite an oracle in the village bar-room. He was bigoted and “set” in his opinions, considering all who differed from him as enemies to their country, and called them rascals and hypocrites freely. His wife had been dead about two years, when a presidential election came on. James Foster, unluckily, had been brought up with different political opinions from Mr. Hall; but, being very quiet and retiring in his disposition, he never had rendered himself obnoxious. Of course, Mr. Hall took great interest in the approaching election. He became very ambitious of his township giving a large vote on the side to which he belonged—and he used every means to obtain votes. Elated with fancied success, he swore one day in the tavern bar-room, that he would make James Foster abandon his party, and vote to please him. Some, who knew Foster’s quiet but resolute disposition, bantered and teased Hall, which wrought him to such a pitch of excitement that, on meeting James Foster a little while after in front of the tavern, he made the demand of him. Foster at first treated it as a jest; then, when he found Hall was in earnest, decidedly, but civilly, refused; and in such a manner as to put at rest all further conversation. Enraged, Hall instantly turned, swearing to the laughing politicians that surrounded the tavern steps, and who had witnessed his discomfiture, that he would punish Foster’s impudent obstinacy. Accordingly, full of ill, revengeful feelings, he returned home, and forbade his daughter ever permitting Foster to step over the threshold of the door—commanding her instantly to break the engagement. She used every entreaty, expostulated, temporized—all was of no avail; indeed, her entreaties seemed but to heighten her father’s anger; and at last, with a fearful oath, he declared, if she did not break the engagement with the purse-proud, hypocritical rascal, she should leave his house instantly. She looked on the terrified children, the youngest only five years old, and who clung weeping to her knees, as her father threatened to turn her out of doors, never to see them again; and she thought of her mother’s last words—her decision was made; and with a heavy heart she performed the self-sacrifice.

“Don’t say you will never marry me, Lizzie,” urged her lover; “I can wait ten years for you, darling.”

But Lizzie was conscientious; her father had expressly stipulated there should be no “half-way work—no putting off;” all hope must be given up, she never could be his—and forever she bid him farewell. James tried to argue with and persuade her father; but the selfish, obstinate old man would listen to nothing from him. Poor James, finding both immovable, at last sold off his farm, and all his property, and moved away into a distant state; he could not, he said, live near Lizzie, and feel that she never would be his wife. Men are so soon despairing in love affairs, while women hope on, even to death. Poor Lizzie, how her heart sunk when the sight of her lover was denied to her; and she felt even more wretched than she did at the moment of her mother’s death. Nothing now remained to her in life but the performance of stern, rigid duty. Two or three years passed by, and one by one her charges departed from her. One brother was placed with a farmer, and the others were apprenticed to good trades. The little white-headed Willie, who at his mother’s death was a tiny, roly-poly prattler, only two years old, was becoming a slender, tall youth. Lizzie felt proud as she looked at her crowd of tall boys, when once or twice a year they would assemble at home; and on a Sunday’s afternoon, at twilight, on her way to the evening meeting, she would steal down into the quiet church-yard, and kneeling beside her mother’s grave, ask, with streaming eyes, if she had not done well. Such moments were fraught with bitter anguish; but a heavenly peace would descend on her, and she said her trials, after the agony was over, seemed lighter to bear.

“But I was blessed in one thing, dear Miss Enna,” she would exclaim, “not one of those darling boys was taken from me, and all bid fair to turn out well. God surely smiled on the motherless, and gave me strength to perform my labor of love.”

At last there moved to the village a woman of the name of Pierce; she opened a little milliner’s shop, and soon made herself busy with the affairs of others, as well as her own, becoming quite a considerable person amongst the villagers. She was a widow with two or three children—a girl or two, and a boy—little things. She was a stout, healthy, good-looking woman, “rising forty,” with a clear, shrill voice, and good, bright black eyes in her head. She soon steadied these bonnie eyes at the widower, Lizzie’s father, and not in vain; for after hailing him industriously, as he passed the door of her shop, with questions about the weather, or the crops, he at last managed to stop without the hailing; and after a short courtship brought her and her children to his own home. How Lizzie rejoiced that her brothers were now all out of the way. Her last pet, Willie, had, a few months previous to the new marriage, been sent to a printer in the neighboring city. She never thought of herself, but commenced with redoubled industry to assist in taking care of the new family. But her constant industry and thrifty habits were a silent reproach to the step-mother, I fancy, for she left no stone unturned to rid herself of the troublesome grown up daughter. She tried every means, threw out hints, until at last Lizzie perceived her drift. Even her father seemed restrained and annoyed by her presence; and when she proposed to him that she should do something now for herself, in the way of support, he made no opposition; on the contrary, seemed relieved, saying the times were hard, and he had always had an expensive family. At this time my dear Aunt Lina obtained her for me. Blessed Aunt Lina! how we all loved her for this good act; even Biddy said,

“Well, the owld toad wasn’t so bad, afther all. She had some good in her, for she sent the angel to our door—good luck to her forever.”

And what parted Lizzie from us? Ah, there is the romance of my story—the darling little bit of sentiment so dear to my woman’s heart. Lizzie lived with me five years. In the meantime her father had died; the thriftless wife had broken his heart by her extravagant habits, and Lizzie and her brothers never received a penny of their mother’s little fortune. One evening, my father, on handing me the letters and papers, said, “Amongst those, Enna, you will find a letter for Lizzie, which has come from the far West, clear beyond St. Louis—what relations has she there?”

I could not tell him, but gave the letter to Ike, now grown into quite a dandy waiter, to take to her. I did not feel much curiosity about the letter, thinking it might be from some cousin of hers; but when I retired to bed that evening, she came into my room, and throwing herself down on the soft rug beside my bed, by the dim light of my night-lamp, told me all her happiness. The letter was from James Foster—he still loved her as dearly as ever. He had heard by chance of her father’s death, and her situation, and said if she was ready to marry him, he was still waiting. He wrote of his handsome farm he had cleared with his own hands, and the beautiful wild country he lived in, telling her he hoped her future life would be free from all care. All this, and even more, dear reader, he told her—in plain, homely words, it is true; but love’s language is always sweet, be it in courtly tongue or homely phrase.

And James Foster came for her; and in our house was she married. My father presented the soft mull dress to the bride, which Kate Wilson and I made, and assisted in dressing her, and stood as her bride-maids. Aunt Lina, Biddy, the stamping, good-hearted Biddy, and dandy Ike, were all there, rejoicing in her happiness. Her husband was a stout, strong, hard-featured, but kind-hearted man, and looked upon his poor, care-worn, slender Lizzie as if she were an angel. We all liked him; and her whole troop of brothers, who were present at the ceremony, greeted him with hearty words of friendship. Three he persuaded to accompany them out to the “new home”—the farmer, the shoemaker, and the little white-headed Willie, Lizzie’s pet—declaring all the time that his house and heart, like the wide western valley where he lived, was large enough to hold them all. They all went out one after another; and when I last heard from Lizzie, she was very happy, surrounded by all her brothers; and she told me of a little darling girl, whom she had named after her dear Miss Enna. My father and I often talk during the winter evenings, when sitting very cozily together in the warm library, of taking a summer’s jaunt to Lizzie’s western home. I wish we could, that I might see my lady-help as mistress of her own household; and what is still better, a happy wife, mother, and sister.


Addressed to a friend who asked “How would you be remembered when you die?”

How would I be remembered?—not forever,

  As those of yore.

Not as the warrior, whose bright glories quiver

  O’er fields of gore;

Nor e’en as they whose song down life’s dark river

  Is heard no more.


No! in my veins a gentler stream is flowing

  In silent bliss.

No! in my breast a woman’s heart is glowing,

  It asks not this.

I would not, as down life’s dark vale I’m going

  My true path miss.


I do not hope to lay a wreath undying

  On glory’s shrine,

Where coronets from mighty brows are lying

  In dazzling shine:

Only let love, among the tomb-stones sighing,

  Weep over mine.


Oh! when the green grass softly waves above me

  In some low glen,

Say, will the hearts that now so truly love me

  Think of me then;

And, with fond tones that never more can move me,

  Call me again?


Say, when the fond smiles in our happy home

  Their soft light shed,

When round the hearth at quiet eve they come,

  And mine has fled,

Will any gentle voice then ask for room—

  Room for the dead?


Oh! will they say, as rosy day is dying,

  And shadows fall,

“Come, let us speak of her now lowly lying,

  She loved us all!”

And will a gentle tear-drop, then replying,

  From some eye fall?


Give me, oh! give me not the echo ringing

  From trump of fame;

Be mine, be mine the pearls from fond eyes springing,

  This, would I claim.

Oh! may I think such memories will be clinging

  Around my name.




This bird, the marvel of the whole Pigeon race, is beautiful in its colors, graceful in its form, and far more a child of wild nature than any other of the pigeons. The chief wonder, however, is in its multitudes; multitudes which no man can number; and when Alexander Wilson lays the mighty wand of the enchanter upon the Valley of the Mississippi, and conjures it up to the understanding and the feeling of the reader, with far more certain and more concentrated and striking effect than if it were painted on canvas, or modeled in wax, these pigeons form a feature in it which no one who knows can by possibility forget. It is probable that the multitudes may not be more numerous than those of the petrels in Bass’s Strait, of which Captain Flinders—who also was a kind of Wilson in his way—gives a graphic description. But vast as the multitude of these was, it was only as a passing cloud to the captain; he was unable to follow it up; and even though he had, the flight of birds over the surface of the sea is tame and storyless, as compared with the movements of the unnumbered myriads of these pigeons in the great central valley of our continent. None of the names which have been bestowed upon this species are sufficiently, or at all, descriptive of it. Passenger, the English expression, and Migratoria, the Latin name, fall equally short, inasmuch as every known pigeon is to a greater or less extent migratory as well as this one. The “swarm” pigeon, the “flood” pigeon, or even the “deluge” pigeon would be a more appropriate appellation; for the weight of their numbers breaks down the forest with scarcely less havoc than if the stream of the Mississippi were poured upon it.

Birds so numerous demand both a wide pasture and powerful means of migration, and the Passengers are not stinted in either of those respects. In latitude, their pasture extends from the thirtieth to the sixtieth degree, which is upward of two thousand miles; and the extensive breadth in longitude cannot be estimated at less than fifteen hundred. Three millions of square miles is thus the extent of territory of which the Passenger pigeon has command; and that territory has its dimensions so situated as that the largest one is the line upon which the birds migrate.

In Canada their numbers are so great, and the ravages which they commit upon the cultivated ground so extensive, that instances are recorded in which the bishop has been seriously and earnestly implored to exorcise them “by bell, book, and candle”—to cast them out of the land by the same means used in days of yore against spirits troublesome to other individuals, men and women. But as the Passengers were material and not spiritual, the bishop had the good sense not to try the experiment upon them. At least, La Houton, who records the matter, is perfectly silent as to the success or failure of the proposition.

Both sexes are beautiful birds; but their value, in an economical point of view, is not, however, in any way equal to their numbers or their beauty. The flesh of the old ones is dark, dry, hard and unpalatable, as is very generally the case with birds which are much on the wing; but the young, or squabs, as they are called, are remarkably fat; and as in the places where the birds congregate, they may be obtained without much difficulty, this fat is obtained by melting them, and is used instead of lard. As they nestle in vast multitudes at the same place, their resting-places have many attractions for the birds of prey, which indiscriminately seize upon both the old and the young. The eggs, like those of most of the pigeon tribe, are usually two in number; but the number of birds at one nesting-place is so great that the young, when they begin to branch and feed, literally drive along the woods like a torrent. They feed upon the fruits which at this time they procure at the middle heights of the forests, and do not venture upon the open grounds. The nests are far more closely packed together than in any rookery, and are built one above another, from the height of twenty feet to the top of the tallest trees.

Wilson says that as soon as the young were fully grown, and before they left the nests, numerous parties of the inhabitants from all parts of the adjacent country came with wagons, axes, beds, cooking utensils, many of them accompanied by the greater part of their families, and encamped for several days at this immense nursery, near Shelbyville, Kentucky, forty miles long, and several miles in breadth. The noise in the woods was so great as to terrify their horses, and it was difficult for one person to hear another speak without bawling in his ear. The ground was strewed with broken limbs of trees, eggs, and young squab pigeons, which had been precipitated from above, and on which herds of hogs were fattening. Hawks, buzzards and eagles were sailing about in great numbers, and seizing the squabs from their nests at pleasure, while from twenty feet upward to the tops of the trees, the view through the woods presented a perpetual tumult of crowding and fluttering multitudes of pigeons, their wings roaring like thunder, mingled with the frequent crash of falling timber, for now the axe-men were at work cutting down those trees which seemed to be most crowded with nests, and seemed to fell them in such a manner that, in their descent, they might bring down several others, by which means the falling of one large tree sometimes produced two hundred squabs, little inferior in size to the old ones, and almost one mass of fat. On some single trees upward of one hundred nests were found. It was dangerous to walk under these flying and fluttering millions, from the frequent fall of large branches, broken down by the weight of the multitudes above, and which in their descent often destroyed numbers of the birds themselves. This is a scene to which we are aware of no parallel in the nesting-places of the feathered tribes. In the select places where the birds only roost for the night, the congregating, though not permanent, is often as great and destructive to the forest. The native Indians rejoice in a breeding or a roosting-place of the migratory pigeon, as one which shall supply them with an unbounded quantity of provisions, in the quality of which they are not particularly chary. Nor are these roosting-places attractive to the Indians only, for the settlers near them also pay them nocturnal visits. They come with guns, clubs, pots of suffocating materials, and every other means of destruction that can well be imagined to be within their command, and procure immense quantities of the birds in a very short time. These they stuff into sacks and carry home on their horses.

The flocks being less abundant in the Atlantic States, the gun, decoy and net are brought into operation against them, and very considerable numbers of them are taken. In some seasons they may be purchased in our markets for one dollar a hundred, and flocks have been known to occupy two hours in passing, in New Jersey and the adjoining States. Many thousands are drowned on the edges of the ponds to which they descend to drink while on their aerial passage; those in the rear alighting on the backs of those who touched the ground first, in the same manner as the domestic pigeon, and pressing them beneath the surface of the water. Nuttall estimates the rapidity of their flight at about a mile a minute, and states among other data for this result, that there have been wild pigeons shot near New York, whose crops were filled with rice that must have been collected in the plantations of Georgia, and to digest which would not require more than twelve hours.


Usually fat, much esteemed as food, and not uncommon in our markets, this beautiful bird may be seen in different seasons ranging from Hudson’s Bay to Mexico, and from New England to the Rocky Mountains. They arrive in the Northern and Middle States late in the fall, and many remain throughout the winter. As the weather grows colder in the north, however, they become quite common in South Carolina and Georgia, frequenting the plains, commons and dry ground, keeping constantly upon the ground, and roving about in families under the guidance of the old birds, whose patriarchal care extends over all, to warn them by a plaintive call of the approach of danger, and instruct them by example how to avoid it. They roost somewhat in the same manner as partridges, in a close ring or circle, keeping each other warm, and abiding with indifference the frost and the storm. They migrate only when driven by want of food; this appears to consist of small round compressed black seeds, oats, buckwheat, &c., with a large proportion of gravel. Shore Lark and Sky Lark are the names by which they are usually known. They are said to sing well, rising in the air and warbling as they ascend, after the manner of the sky-lark of Europe.





      From palace, cot and cave

  Streamed forth a nation, in the olden time,

    To crown with flowers the brave,

  Flushed with the conquest of some far-off clime,

  And, louder than the roar of meeting seas,

  Applauding thunder rolled upon the breeze.

      Memorial columns rose

  Decked with the spoils of conquered foes,

And bards of high renown their stormy pæans sung,

  While Sculpture touched the marble white,

  And, woke by his transforming might,

      To life the statue sprung.

    The vassal to his task was chained—

    The coffers of the state were drained

  In rearing arches, bright with wasted gold,

  That after generations might be told

      A thing of dust once reigned.


  Tombs, hallowed by long years of toil,

    Were built to shrine heroic clay,

  Too proud to rest in vulgar soil,

    And moulder silently way;

  Though treasure lavished on the dead

  The wretched might have clothed and fed—

  Dragged merit from obscuring shade,

  And debts of gratitude have paid;

  From want relieved neglected sage,

    Or veteran in battle tried;

    Smoothed the rough path of weary age,

  And the sad tears of orphanage have dried.


    Though green the laurel round the brow

      Of wasting and triumphant War,

    Peace, with her sacred olive bough,

      Can boast of conquests nobler far:

        Beneath her gentle sway

        Earth blossoms like a rose—

      The wide old woods recede away,

      Through realms, unknown but yesterday,

        The tide of Empire flows.

  Woke by her voice rise battlement and tower,

  Art builds a home, and Learning finds a bower—

  Triumphant Labor for the conflict girds,

  Speaks in great works instead of empty words;

  Bends stubborn matter to his iron will,

  Drains the foul marsh, and rends in twain the hill—

  A hanging bridge across the torrent flings,

  And gives the car of fire resistless wings.

  Light kindles up the forest to its heart,

  And happy thousands throng the new-born mart;

  Fleet ships of steam, deriding tide and blast,

  On the blue bounding waters hurry past;

  Adventure, eager for the task, explores

  Primeval wilds, and lone, sequestered shores—

  Braves every peril, and a beacon lights

  To guide the nations on untrodden heights.

J. Hayter                    J. Addison


Engraved expressly for Graham’s Magazine






Why comes he not? He should have come ere this:

  The promised hour is past: he is not here!

I love him—yes, my maiden heart is his;

  I sigh—I languish when he is not near.

The truant! Wherefore tarries he? His love,

  Were it like mine, would woo him to my side—

Or does he—dares he—merely seek to prove

  The doubted passion of his promised bride?

Do I not love him? But does he love me?

  He swore so yester-eve, when last we met

Down in the dell by our old trysting-tree:

  Can he be false? If so, my sun is set!

No; he will come—I feel—I know he will;

  And he shall never dream that once I sighed;

I hear his step—behold his form: be still,

  Warm heart; he comes—to clasp his bride.





A Woman’s love, deep in the heart, Is like the violet

flow’r, That lifts its modest head apart, In

some sequester’d bow’r. And blest is he who

finds that bloom, Who sips its gentle sweets; He

heeds not life’s oppressive gloom, Nor all the care he meets



A woman’s love is like the spring

  Amid the wild alone;

A burning wild o’er which the wing

  Of cloud is seldom thrown;

And blest is he who meets that fount,

  Beneath the sultry day;

How gladly should his spirit mount,

  How pleasant be his way.



A woman’s love is like the rock,

  That every tempest braves,

And stands secure amid the shock

  Of ocean’s wildest waves;

And blest is he to whom repose

  Within its shade is given—

The world, with all its cares and woes,

  Seems less like earth than heaven.






On the banks of that sweet river

  Where the water-lilies grow,

Breathed the fairest flower that ever

  Bloomed and faded years ago.


How we met and loved and parted,

  None on earth can ever know,

Nor how pure and gentle-hearted

  Beamed the mourned one years ago.


Like the stream with lilies laden,

  Will life’s future current flow,

Till in heaven I meet the maiden

  Fondly cherished years ago.


Hearts that truly love forget not—

  They’re the same in weal or wo—

And that star of memory set not

  In the grave of years ago.





When that chaste blush suffused thy cheek and brow,

  Whitened anon with a pale maiden fear,

  Thou shrank’st in uttering what I burned to hear:

And yet I loved thee, love, not then as now.

Years and their snows have come and gone, and graves,

  Of thine and mine, have opened; and the sod

  Is thick above the wealth we gave to God:

Over my brightest hopes the nightshade waves;

And wrongs and wrestlings with a wretched world,

  Gray hairs, and saddened hours, and thoughts of gloom,

  Troop upon troop, dark-browed, have been my doom;

And to the earth each hope-reared turret hurled!

And yet that blush, suffusing cheek and brow,

’Twas dear, how dear! then—but ’tis dearer now.





I dreamed that thou a lily wast,

  Within a lowly valley blest;

A wingèd cherub flying past,

  Plucked thee, and placed within his breast,

And there by guardian angel nurst,

  Thou took’st a shape of human grace,

Until, a lowly flower at first,

  Thou grew’st the first of mortal race.

Alas! if I who still was blessed

  When thou wast but a lowly flower—

To pluck thy image from my breast,

  Though thus thou will’st it, have no power;

Thou still to me, though lifted high

  In hope and heart above the glen,

Where first thou won my idol eye,

  Must spell my worship just as then.






Strange! that a tear-drop should o’erfill the eye

Of loveliness that looks on all it loves!

Yet are there moods, when the soul’s wells are high

With crystal waters which a strange fear moves,

To doubt if what it joys in, be a joy;

Fear not, thou fond and gentle one! though life

Be but a checkered scene, where wrong and right,

Struggle forever; there is not a strife

Can reach thy bower: the future, purely bright,

Is round about thee, like a summer sky.

And there are those, brave hearts and true, to guard

Thy walks forever; and to make each hour

Of coming time, by fond and faithful ward,

Happy as happiest known within thy bridal bower.

J. W. Wright                       J. Addison


Engraved expressly for Graham’s Magazine


Practical Physiology: for the use of Schools and Families. By Edward Jarvis. Philadelphia: Thomas, Cowperthwaite & Co.

The popular and practical study of physiology is too much neglected in this country, and we rejoice to see this effort to commend its important truths to public attention. Perhaps no people existing are in greater need of a heedful regard to the lessons of this work than the over-fed, over-worked, and over-anxious people of the United States. The pursuit of wealth, honor, and power, the absorbing and health-sacrificing devotion to advancement, impels our people from the moment they first enter the school-house until they are snatched from the scene of their over-wrought strugglings. At the school, the child is treated as a man. The fresh air, the blue sky, the bright and happy hilarity of boyhood are too often proscribed indulgences. And this is called, not murder, but education. Those who survive it, having been taught that an American youth should never be satisfied with the present, that excelsior should be the only motto, and that all pleasure should be denied, health sacrificed, and time unremittingly devoted to win the eminence struggled for, rush into the business of life before their time. They win wrinkles before they attain manhood, and graves before the wild ambition thus kindled and inflamed can receive its first chaplet. All our literature teaches this unquiet and discontented spirit as to the present, and this rash and impatient determination to achieve immediate success. Now, this is a peculiarity of our country, the land of all others which should cherish a disposition to be gratefully contented with the unequaled blessings with which it is endowed. There is no necessity for this forcing system to expand properly and in due time the real energies of our people. The truly great in every walk of science and literature have been generally patient students, and have lived, in tranquillity, to a good old age. The impatient ambition which scourges our people on to the farthest stretch of their energies in any adopted pursuit, is inconsistent with the permanent and healthful character of a race. It made Rome great; but it left her people, as a race, so physically exhausted that the weakest tribes of the North dictated to her the terms of her degradation. The physical character of a nation moulds its intellectual nature, and shapes its destinies. The study of health is therefore the great study, and it will be found in all things accordant with those loftier truths taught by the Great Physician. Strangers of intelligence often remark that, with unbounded means of happiness, affluence for every reasonable want, security against every danger, and the high prerogatives of conscious and elevated freedom, we are still the most unhappy of the sons of Adam. They assert that we grow old before our time; are restless, excitable, and ever worrying for an attainment, in reference to some ruling passion beyond our reach. Comfort, health, calmness, and content, are sacrificed to grasp at something more. Our cheeks grow pale, our brows wrinkled, our hearts clouded, from a settled, taught, established habit of discontent with any position that is not the highest. There is much of truth in all this, as every one who treads our crowded marts and finds each man, however prosperous, cankered with the thought that he is not prosperous enough, will admit. All this constitutes American energy; all this renders our country great in the world’s eye; but does it constitute happiness? It may be gravely doubted. The study of health is essentially the study of happiness. Life is with our people, as a general rule, a thing of little value. Those who think, in a better spirit, and remember its duties and its ends, will come to a different conclusion, and regard the conservation of the even and steady physical energies of the body as superior in importance to any result to be gained by the forced and unnatural efforts from which more is attained than nature sanctions.

A work like the one before us is calculated to be of great service, and especially so if it be placed in the hands of children. It claims, and certainly deserves, no praise as an original work of science; but it has this merit—no ordinary one—that it communicates the most important truths of physiology in language which any intelligent child can understand; and does so in a manner that every moralist will commend.

The Fruits and Fruit Trees of America. By A. J. Downing. Published by Wiley & Putnam, New York.

This work has been known to every scientific horticulturist and pomologist for many years. Its author has devoted a vigorous and enlightened intellect to this purest and noblest of pursuits; and has won a reputation of which this work will form the coronal wreath. The past editions of this work, and they have been many, have elicited the strongest praise here and abroad. The classic poets of every land have valued the praise which rewarded their dedication of the first triumphs of the muse to subjects connected with the cultivation of the soil, to the arts that rendered the breast of our common mother lovely, and wedded the labors which sustain life with the arts that render it happy. The work before us has an established reputation. It is written by one whose labors upon this subject are known as well abroad as here, and who has won the applause of all who regard pomology as worthy of an earnest support. He is the Prose Virgil of our country. This work contains eighty-four colored engravings of apples, pears, cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, raspberries, and strawberries. These plates have been, at great expense, executed at Paris, and are worthy of all commendation. Among those that seem to us worthy of especial commendation are, in the plums, the Columbia, the Coe’s Golden Drop, and the Jefferson; among the pears, the Bartlett, the Bosc, the Flemish Beauty, the Frederick of Wurtemburg; among the apples, the Gravenstein, the Yellow Belle Fleur, the Dutch Mignonne, Ladies’ Sweet, and Red Astrochan. All the plates are, however, good; and the work is, to all who love nature, invaluable.

The leading horticultural societies of this country have recently endeavored to counteract the confusion which has heretofore prevailed in pomological nomenclature, by adopting this work as the American standard; and we learn that it has been so recognized and adopted, in reference to this country, in London. Horticulture is greatly indebted for the advances it has made within the last few years to the author of this work. He is well known to all those who cherish the science of the soil, as the popular editor of the Horticulturist, and as one of the ablest, most scientific and enthusiastic horticulturists and pomologists in the country.

Tristram Shandy.—Original or not, Sterne gave to the literature of this language that which must last and should last. This edition, published by Grigg, Elliott & Co., is cheap, and should be cheap, for it is got up for universal distribution. It is well illustrated by Darley.

The Medical Companion, or Family Physician, Treating of the Diseases of the United States, &c. By James Ewell.

This is a work long and well known to the nation; and the edition before us, being the tenth, is an enlargement and improvement on those which have heretofore appeared. Dr. Chapman has pronounced it to be indisputably the most useful popular treatise on medicine with which he is acquainted; and a large number of the most celebrated professors of the country, as Caldwell, Shippen, Barton, Woodhouse, and others, have very emphatically commended it to the confidence of the public. The edition before us is a great improvement upon those which have preceded it, having, in addition to corrections resulting from the advance of the science, a treatise on Hydropathy, Homœpathy, and the Chronothermal system. It is published by Thomas, Cowperthwaite & Co., Philadelphia, and does, in general appearance and character, great credit to those enterprizing publishers.

General Scott and his Staff. Comprising Memoirs of Generals Twiggs, Smith, Quitman, Shields, Pillow, Lane, Cadwallader, Patterson, and Pierce, and Colonels Childs, Riley, Harney and Butler, and Other Distinguished Officers Attached to General Scott’s Army; Together with Notices of Gen. Kearney, Col. Doniphan, Fremont, and Others. Philadelphia: Grigg, Elliot & Co.

This work embodies the floating intelligence which has reached us in relation to the present Mexican war, and is illustrated by wood-cuts worthy of the text. We can say no more. This book is not inferior to others which the curiosity of the community has invited, and will doubtless sell, as they have sold, well.

General Taylor and his Staff. Comprising Memoirs of Generals Taylor, Worth, Wool, and Butler, Cols. May, Cross, Clay, Hardin, Yell, Hays, and Other Distinguished Officers Attached to Gen. Taylor’s Army. Philadelphia: Grigg, Elliot & Co.

This volume seems to be as picturesque and as veritable as other works of a like character, and is as well written and as well printed as the best. Perhaps this is not saying much; but can we say more?

Lectures on the Physical Phenomena of Living Beings. By Carlo Matteuci, Professor in the University of Pisa. Translated by Jonathan Pereira, M. D., F. R. S. Phila.: Lea & Blanchard.

This work has passed through two editions in Italy, and one in France. A hasty examination of the volume has excited a degree of curiosity and admiration which a more careful perusal than we can now give it will enable us hereafter to do justice to.

Three Hours, or the Vigil of Love, and Other Poems. By Mrs. S. J. Hale. Carey & Hart, Philadelphia.

This beautiful volume is dedicated to the readers of the Lady’s Book, (why not to its amiable proprietor?) of which she has long been an able and successful editor. We have not found time to examine the volume page by page—that is a happiness reserved to us, and we feel, in so much, the richer in our capital of future enjoyment; but we know that Mrs. Hale is one of the purest, most powerful, truthful, and tasteful of our writers; and we are certain that the volume before us is worthy of more than praise.

Evangeline.—This beautiful poem has been beautifully complimented by an artist-poet whose contributions enrich our pages, Thomas Buchanan Read, or, as he has been aptly characterized by a contemporary, “the Doric Read.” The painting is worthy the subject, the artist, and the poet; and is one of the richest productions of American art.

A Campaign in Mexico, or a Glimpse at Life in Camp. By one who has seen the Elephant. Phila.: Grigg & Elliott.

This work, though, perhaps, beneath the dignity of a formal review, is still good reading, and we have gone through its pages with pleasure.

Principles of Physics and Meteorology. By J. Müller. First American edition, Revised and Illustrated with 538 engravings on wood, and two colored plates. Phila.: Lea & Blanchard.

This treatise on Physics, by Professor Müller, is the first of a series of works, on the different branches of science, now passing through the press of Bailliére, in London. The American editor has made many additions and improvements; and the work, as presented to the public, is worthy of all praise and all patronage.

The Primary School Reader—Parts First, Second, and Third. By Wm. D. Swan, Principal of the Mayhew Grammar School, Boston. Philadelphia: Thomas, Cowperthwaite & Co.

These volumes have been prepared to supply the want of a system for teaching reading in Primary Schools. The task has been well performed, and the series will be found of value both to the teacher and the taught.

Greene’s Analysis. A Treatise on the Structure of the English Language, or the Analysis and Classification of Sentences and their Component Parts. With Illustrations and Exercises adapted to the use of schools. By Samuel J. Greene, A. M., Principal of the Phillip’s Grammar School, Boston. Published by Thomas, Cowperthwaite & Co.

The title of this volume sufficiently indicates its purposes and character. It is a work calculated to contribute, in a considerable degree, to improve the methods of teaching the English language.

The Grammar School Reader, consisting of Selections in Prose and Poetry, with Exercises in Articulation. By William D. Swan. Thomas, Cowperthwaite & Co., Philadelphia.

This work is well designed to correct prevailing vices of articulation. There is much room for reform in this branch of education, even our best public speakers being guilty of provincial errors, and faulty enunciation. The rules are lucidly explained, and the selections made with taste.

Swan’s District School Reader. Same Publishers.

This is a more advanced and more valuable branch of the same series of class books, and is designed for the highest classes of public and private schools.

The Home Journal.—This admirable periodical maintains and advances its enviable reputation. With Morris & Willis as its editors, it needs no endorsement from its contemporaries. It must be, with such genius, tact and experience, all that a weekly periodical can be. We invite attention to the advertisement upon the cover of this number of the Magazine. Those who know the Journal will complain that the advertisers have not told half its merits.

Transcriber’s Notes:

Archaic spellings and hyphenation have been retained. Punctuation has been corrected without note. Other errors have been corrected as noted below. For illustrations, some caption text may be missing or incomplete due to condition of the originals available for preparation of the ebook.


Page 133, and mizzen-rroyal poles ==> to mizzen-royal poles

Page 133, called in them erchant ==> called in the merchant

Page 137, as the fracas was over ==> as the fracas was over

Page 139, I get acquaiuted with her ==> I get acquainted with her

Page 140, early, gentlemem. Adieu ==> early, gentlemen. Adieu

Page 140, skipper, who thonght that ==> skipper, who thought that

Page 143, of Don Carlo’s silence ==> of Don Carlos’ silence

Page 144, love à la modé? ==> love à la mode?

Page 144, can’t. To day is Thursday ==> can’t. To-day is Thursday

Page 146, but to cut an run ==> but to cut and run

Page 147, Of wordly objects ==> Of worldly objects

Page 148, Giacoma, the alchemist ==> Giacomo, the alchemist

Page 152, at the springs last ==> at the Springs last

Page 158, only a few hour’s drive ==> only a few hours’ drive

Page 162, rigid interpretaion, it exhibits ==> rigid interpretation, it exhibits

Page 163, compared wtth its village-like ==> compared with its village-like

Page 166, je sins un prêtre ==> je suis un prêtre

Page 173, at least, of disinterestednesss. ==> at least, of disinterestedness.

Page 180, most eloquenly on the ==> most eloquently on the



[The end of Graham's Magazine, Vol. XXXII, No. 3 (March 1848) edited by George R. Graham]