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Title: Graham's Magazine Vol XXXIV No. 1 January 1849

Date of first publication: 1849

Author: George R. Graham (1813-1894)

Date first posted: August 17, 2014

Date last updated: August 17, 2014

Faded Page eBook #20140825

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


Drawn & Engraved by W. E. Tucker








Of Literature and Art.





























JANUARY, 1849, TO JUNE, 1849.


All About “What’s in a Name.” By Caroline C——, 62
A Recollection of Mendelssohn. By J. Bayard Taylor, 113
A Voice from the Wayside. By Caroline C——, 300
Barbara Uttman’s Dream. By Mrs. Emma C. Embury, 43
Christ Weeping Over Jerusalem. By Joseph R. Chandler, 189
Cousin Fanny. By M. S. G. Nichols, 354
Doctor Sian Seng. From the French, 123, 174
Deaf, Dumb and Blind. By Agnes L. Gordon, 347
Editor’s Table, 79, 153, 215, 273, 330, 387
Eleonore Eboli. By Winifred Barrington, 134
Fifty Suggestions. By Edgar A. Poe, 317, 363
For and Against. By Walter Herries, Esq. 377
Game-Birds of America. No. XII., 68
Gems from Late Readings, 78, 149, 211
History of the Costume of Men. By Fayette Robinson, 71, 140, 196, 264, 319
Honor to Whom Honor is Due. By Mrs. Lydia Jane Peirson, 192
Jasper Leech. By B., 15
Kate Richmond’s Betrothal. By Grace Greenwood, 8
Love, Duty and Hope. By Enna Duval, 56
Lessons in German. By Miss M. J. Browne, 118
Mormon Temple, Nauvoo, 257
Mr. and Mrs. John Johnson Jones. By Angele De V. Hull, 277
Montgomery’s House, 330
May Lillie. By Caroline H. Butler, 365
Passages of Life in Europe. By J. Bayard Taylor, 307
Passages of Life in Europe. By J. Bayard Taylor, 373
Reviews, 81, 151, 213, 270, 334, 385
Rose Winters. By Estelle, 258
Reminiscences. By Emma C. Embury, 325
Speak Kindly. By Kate Sutherland, 53
St. Valentine’s Day. By J. R. Chandler, 110
The Belle of the Opera. By J. R. Chandler, 1
The Illinois and the Prairies. By James K. Paulding, 16
The Letter of Introduction. By Mrs. A. M. F. Annan, 26
The Fugitive. By the Viscountess D’Aulnay, 37
The Old New House. By H. Hastings Weld, 47
The Wounded Guerilla. By Mayne Reid, 50
The Young Lawyer’s First Case. By J. Tod, 85
The Man in the Moon. By Caroline C——, 91
The Wager of Battle. By W. Gilmore Simms, 99
The Chamber of Life and Death. By Professor Alden, 129
The Lost Notes. By Mrs. Hughs, 144
The Naval Officer. By W. F. Lynch, 157, 223, 286
The Unfinished Picture. By Jane C. Campbell, 182
The Adventures of a Man who could Never Dress Well.
    By M. Topham Evans, 199
The Plantation of General Taylor, 206
The Poet Lí. By Caroline H. Butler, 217
The Recluse. By Park Benjamin, 232, 298
The Missionary, Sunlight. By Caroline C——, 235
The Brother’s Temptation. By Sybil Sutherland, 243
The Gipsy Queen. By Joseph R. Chandler, 250
The Darsies. By Emma C. Embury, 252
Taste. By Miss Augusta C. Twiggs, 310
The Man of Mind and the Man of Money. By T. S. Arthur, 312
The Picture of Judgment. By W. Gilmore Simms, 337
The Battle of Life. By Len, 362
The Birth-Place of Benjamin West, 378
The Young Dragoon. By C. J. Peterson, 379
Unequal Marriages. By Caroline H. Butler, 169
Western Recollections. By Fay. Robinson, 178
Wild-Birds of America. By Prof. Frost, 142
Wild-Birds of America. By Professor Frost, 208
Wild-Birds of America. By Prof. Frost, 267
Wild-Birds of America. By Prof. Frost, 322
Wild-Birds of America. By Prof. Frost, 382



A Dirge for O’Connell. By Anne C. Lynch, 15
A Dream of Italy. By Charles Allen, 25
A Song. By Giftie, 46
A Song. By Richard Wilke, 112
A Twilight Lay. By W. Horry Stillwell, 128
An Hour Among the Dead. By J. B. Jones, 148
A Billet-Doux. By Frances S. Osgood, 177
A Summer Evening Thought. By Cousin Mary, 285
A Sonnet. By Fayette Robinson, 306
A May Song. By S. D. Anderson, 316
Ariel in the Cloven Pine. By Bayard Taylor, 324
Cathara. By Walter Colton, U. S. N. 76
Christine. By E. Curtiss Hine, 90
Dirge. 36
Do I Love Thee? By Richard Coe, Jr. 60
Dreams of Heaven. By M. E. Thropp, 378
Earth-Life. By J. Bayard Taylor, 133
Extract. By Henry S. Hagert, 181
Egeria. By Mary L. Lawson, 195
Florence. By Henry B. Hirst, 165
Fancies About a Lock of Hair. By S. D. Anderson, 207
From Buchanan. By Richard Penn Smith, 297
Human Influence. By Marie Roseau, 191
Jenny Lind. By Miss M. Sawin, 269
Lines. By R. T. Conrad, 52
Love. By Charles E. Trail, 173
Lost Treasures. By P. D. T., 242
Lines to an Idea that Wouldn’t “Come.”
    By Frances S. Osgood, 285
Luna. An Ode. By H. T. Tuckerman, 297
Marie. By Caroline F. Orne, 55
Marion’s Song in the School-Room.
    By Mrs. Frances S. Osgood, 61
Maple Sugar. By Alfred B. Street, 73
My Bird Has Flown. By Mrs. E. W. Caswell, 117
My Study. By Wm. H. C. Hosmer, 377
Night. By Miss Augusta C. Twiggs, 372
Ode to Shelley. By J. Bayard Taylor, 61
On a Diamond Ring. By Charles E. Trail, 231
Parting. By Mrs. Lydia Jane Peirson, 329
Paraphrase. By Richard Penn Smith, 361
Requiem. By Wm. H. C. Hosmer, 109
Rome. By R. H. Stoddard, 234
Reminiscences of a Reader.
    By the late Walter Herries, Esq., 249
Raffaelle D’Urbino. By W. H. Welsh, 352
Sunset upon the Steine-Kill. By Kate Dashwood, 46
Summer’s Bacchanal. By J. Bayard Taylor, 206
Sonnet to Machiavelli. By Fay. Robinson, 251
Storm-Lines. By J. Bayard Taylor, 270
Stanzas. By Mrs. O. M. P. Lord, 346
Steinhausen’s Hero and Leander. By H. T. Tuckerman, 364
Stanzas for Music. By Harriet S. Handy, 376
The Corsair’s Victim. By Wm. H. C. Hosmer, 14
The Gentle Step. By Harriet J. Meek, 42
To My Love. By Henry H. Paul, 73
The Departed. By Mrs. Mary S. Whitaker, 76
The Dead. By “An Auld Head on Young Shouthers,” 77
The Homestead of Beauty. By S. D. Anderson, 77
The World. By R. H. Stoddard, 89
The Ennuyee. By Mrs. S. A Lewis, 90
The Mirror of Life. By Anna, 97
To the Thames, at Norwich, Conn.,
    By Mrs. Lydia H. Sigourney, 98
The Song of the Axe. By C. L. Wheler, 98
The Past. By Miss Caroline E. Sutton, 112
The Phantasmagoria. By A. J. Requier, 120
The Beating of the Heart. By Richard Haywarde, 122
The Highland Laddie’s Farewell. By Augusta C. Twiggs, 128
The Old Year and the New. By Clara, 143
The Dial-Plate. By A. J. Requier, 168
The Icebergs. By Park Benjamin, 173
The Heart’s Confession. By Henry Morford, 188
The Precious Rest. By Richard Coe, Jr., 207
The Pine-Tree. By Caroline May, 210
To My Little Boy. By Mrs. Henrietta L. Coleman, 212
To Mother. By Annie Grey, 231
Thermopylæ. By Mrs. Mary G. Horsford, 242
The Unsepulchred Relics. By Mrs. Goodwin, 249
The Brother’s Lament. By Amelia B. Welby, 251
The Unmasked. By S. Anna Lewis, 257
The Zopilotes. By Fayette Robinson, 263
The Rustic Shrine. By Geo. W. Dewey, 296
The Grass of the Field. By Caroline May, 309
To an Absent Sister. By Mary G. Horsford, 309
Thoughts. By Marie Roseau, 346
Turn Not Away. By Henry Morford, 353
The Sleep of the Dead. By S. G. Hagert, 361
The New Search After Happiness. By E. Foxton, 371
Visitants from Spirit-Land.
    By E. Curtiss Hine, U. S. N. 70
Vincente Filicaja’s Sonnet to Italy.
    By Fayette Robinson, 384
What is Beautiful? By Augusta, 7


Softly O’er My Memory Stealing. Words by S. D. Patterson.
    Music by John A. Janke, Jr.
The Bells of Ostend. Words by W. L. Bowles.
    Music by J. Hilton Jones.
Oh, Have I Not Been True to Thee?
    Written and adapted to a beautiful melody
    by John H. Hewitt.
Adieu, My Native Land. Words by D. W. Belisle.
    Arranged for the piano by James Piper.
Virtue’s Evergreen. Words by Theodore A. Gould.
    Music by Theodore Von La Hache.
I Can’t Make Up My Mind. Words from Hood’s Magazine.
    Arranged for the piano by C. Grobe.


Day on the Mountains, engraved by W. E. Tucker.
The Belle of the Opera, engraved by W. E. Tucker.
The Wounded Guerilla, engraved by Rice.
Oglethorp University, engraved by Rawdon & Co.
A Valentine, engraved by W. E. Tucker.
Home Treasures, engraved by Addison.
The Mirror of Life, engraved by Wilmer.
Portrait of Mrs. Davidson, by Rawdon & Co.
Christ Weeping Over Jerusalem, by W. E. Tucker.
Why Don’t He Come, engraved by Addison.
The Bridal Night, engraved by Addison.
View of the Plantation of Gen. Taylor.
The Gipsy Queen, engraved by Thomas B. Welsh.
The Church of St. Isaac’s, engraved by A. L. Dick.
The Miniature, engraved by an American Artist.
Paris Fashions, from Le Follet.
May Morning, engraved by T. B. Welsh.
View of Tortosa, engraved by J. Dill.
Paris Fashions, from Le Follet.
The Star of the Night, engraved by Addison.
The Cottage Door, engraved by Humphreys.
Col. Washington at the Cowpens.
Paris Fashions, from Le Follet.

Table of Contents

The Belle of the Opera

What is Beautiful?

Kate Richmond’s Betrothal

The Corsair’s Victim

A Dirge for O’Connell

The Illinois and the Prairies

A Dream of Italy

The Letter of Introduction


The Fugitive

The Gentle Step

Barbara Uttman’s Dream

Sunset Upon “The Steine-Kill”

A Song

The Old New House

The Wounded Guerilla


Speak Kindly


Love, Duty and Hope

Do I Love Thee?

Ode to Shelley

Marion’s Song in the School-Room

All About “What’s in a Name.”

Game-Birds of America.—No. XII.

Visitants From Spirit-Land

History of the Costume of Men

Maple Sugar

To My Love

Softly O’er My Memory Stealing


The Departed

The Dead

The Homestead of Beauty

Gems From Late Readings

Editor’s Table

Review of New Books

Oglethorp University, Engraved by Rawdon & Co.

The Belle of the Opera, Engraved by W. E. Tucker.


Vol. XXXIV.      PHILADELPHIA, JANUARY, 1849.      No. 1.








It is not a small thing to be an engaged writer for a magazine that has admittance into numerous families, and, by the costliness and adaptation of its decorations, and the general proclivity of its contents, is in no small degree the handbook of young females.

A good book, an octavo or quarto, upon sound morals or religious doctrines comes like a wholesome breeze, “stealing and giving odors”—but then, like that breeze, it is only occasional—a current rushing in but rarely, and seldom finding the right object within its healthful influence. But the magazine is the atmosphere in which the inmates dwell; they are constantly within its influence, and their general life, their mental sanative properties become imbued with its qualities: And this is the more important as the influence is commenced at home, and upon the female portion; so that it becomes constantly, permanently, and extensively operative upon, and through others.

The writers for this magazine seem to have been impressed with this idea of these consequences, and hence the importance of their contributions; or the editor has been exceedingly careful in his winnowing, to allow nothing to pass the sieve that might be productive of evil in the field which he is called to cultivate.

The writer of this article is deeply impressed with the importance of his position, and the danger of an error. A magazine that is devoted to taste, the arts and the fashions, it would seem, from the opinions of some, must be in a great degree light, and in no degree instructive, save in the very subject of taste, fashion and the arts, to which it is ostensibly devoted, and according to the general acceptation of the words, taste and fashion, and the ordinary uses to which the arts are applied.

“A magazine, then, of polite literature, of the arts and fashions, must be for the day—must treat of ephemeral subjects—must make the fashions of female dresses a leading and permanent matter of thought—must recommend amusements as matters of life-consideration, and erect the finer arts as an image of universal worship.”

We say plainly that we differ from those who make this estimate of periodical literature. We cannot consent to such a degrading standard for the monthly press—we certainly will not submit ourselves or our pen to this shortening process of the Procrustean bed of literature—we will do what we can to keep “Graham’s Magazine” from such debasement—we will do it for the long established character of the periodical, and for what we think it capable of—we will do it for our own credit—and, most of all, we will do it for the good of that large portion of society to which this magazine supplies the mental pabulum. When we furnish forth the table of those who look to our catering, we will take care that there shall be no poison in the ingredients, no “death in the pot.”

But in a secular magazine there must be light reading—all, or nearly all, the contents must be of a kind addressed to the fancy as well as the understanding—and consequently of a character to excite the censure, or at least forbid the approach, of the ascetic. Nay, it must greatly differ from the class of periodical literature devoted to, and sustained upon sectarian religious grounds. The task, the labor of the magazine editor is to sustain the high moral tone of his work, and yet have it the vehicle of fashion, taste and the arts—to take the pure, the good, and the beneficial, and give to them attractions for the young and gay—or, to take that which is attractive for the young and the gay, and make it the vehicle of high moral truth—of sober, solid reflection, the means of heart-improvement, and the promoter of home joys—to overlay the book with gold, and with sculptured cherubim, and all the magnificence 2 of taste and ingenuity—but to be sure that within are the prophet’s rod—the shew-bread of the altar—and the written law of truth.

Our sense of the duty of a magazine writer of the present time, is rather hinted at than set forth in the above remarks. The subject is one that might command the pages of a volume, and if properly handled would be made eminently useful to writers and to readers. Our attention was awakened to the subject by an examination of the exquisitely executed picture of “The Belle of the Opera,” with which that accomplished artist, W. E. Tucker, has enriched the present number of this Magazine. We do not know that he who drew the figure had such a thought in his head as the improvement of magazine literature; and it is probable that Tucker when he exhausted the powers of engraving, or almost all its powers, to produce the figure, was impressed rather with the importance of his contribution to the artistic importance of periodicals, than to the high moral influence which he was aiding to promote. But true genius, wherever exercised, is suggestive—and the beautifully drawn figure is as promotive of useful reflection as the best composed essay. Hence the fine arts and literature are allied—allied in their elevating influence upon the possessors, and their power of meliorating and improving the minds of the uninitiated. Hence they go hand in hand in the path of usefulness—hence they are united in this Magazine.

The Belle of the Opera! Will the reader turn back once more and look at the picture? How full of life—how much of thought—how self-possessed—how desirable for the possession of others—how conscious of charms—and yet how charmed with the tasteful objects represented.

The Belle of the Opera! To be that—to be “the observed of all observers,” in a house crowded with objects for observation, to be made preeminent by exceeding beauty is “no small thing.” It must be costly—it must demand large contributions from other portions of the possessor of the proud object. If acres went to enrich the dress of the ancient nobility of England, something as desirable and as essential to the possessor, as those acres were to the British nobility, must have been sacrificed to perfect the attractions of the Belle of the Opera. Were they social duties? were they domestic affections? were they the means of womanly usefulness? of healthful and almost holy operation upon the minds of others? were they prospective or present? is present moderate but growing happiness sacrificed, or is the present enjoyment of distinction so great as to balance all of immediate loss, and to make the sacrifice that of future peace, future happiness, future domestic usefulness, future social consequence, all that makes mature womanhood delightful, all that makes age respectable and lovely?

Such reflections and such pregnant queries arise in the mind, when we contemplate the representation of such loveliness, so displayed. (I might say such loveliness displayed, for the representation is loveliness itself.) And the moralist has taken just such a beauty, (if his mind ever “bodied forth” the forms of things so unknown,) and marked upon all the display “vanity and vexation of spirit”—the very display, and especially the place of the display, warranting the conclusion.

We confess that we have looked at The Belle of the Opera until our mind has arrived at other conclusions. We think it fair to conclude that so lovely a face, and such a majestic form, are at least prima faciæ evidence of an elevated and beautiful mind, and that the enjoyment of opera music, nowhere to be enjoyed but at the opera, is by no means inconsistent with that elevation or that beauty. Music, that constitutes half our worship on earth, and all in heaven, shall that be regarded in itself as a sin or a means of degradation?

“But the display of the person, the vanity of the dress, the folly of the personal exhibition, these are against the character and usefulness of the Belle—”

How so? There is certainly no improper diminution of dress. The most that can be said is, that a beautiful woman, beautifully dressed, is sitting in the front seat of an opera-box, surrounded by hundreds of persons of both sexes, who have come with the same ostensible object, and who sit equally exposed.

But it is the exceeding beauty of the person and the elegance of the dress that make her conspicuous; and it is that conspicuousness which constitutes the ground of censure.

But fortunately The Belle of the Opera did not make herself beautiful. Those elegant proportions, those enticing charms, are the gift of Him who made human beings in his own image; and let it be confessed that half the elegance of the dress is attributable to the elegance of the form which it covers, and the exquisite beauty which it is not intended to conceal.

Beauty is a gift—a gift of God—like all personal or mental endowments, dangerous, it is confessed—but, like all, to be used for personal gratification and the promotion of social advantage.

If it is conceded to be a means of mental melioration to dwell among the beauties of artistic skill and lofty architectural efforts, then surely it must be still more advantageous to be reared within the influence of living charms; “to grow familiar day by day” with features and forms that constitute models for the representation of angels, and to pass onward through life with the sense of seeing constantly improved and gratified with objects of exquisite beauty exquisitely clothed. This is viewing The Belle of the Opera with an artist’s eye.

“But,” the moralist will say, “the high office of woman is vacated by such a sacrifice to display, and such a devotion of time to amusement. That The Belle of the Opera can never be The Bonne of the Nursery, and therefore woman is out of her place when out of such an exercise of her faculties as shall minister directly to domestic advantage.”

We take issue with the moralist on this question of the direct application of female faculties; and we do this because we feel that the narrow bigotry of the unenlightened, which leads them to condemn the 3 elegant enjoyments of life, and to ground their condemnation on the demand which is constant upon human beings, “to do good and to communicate,” is founded on a want of a full appreciation of female powers, and a mistake as to what constitutes these, and their means of usefulness.

There will be no space for a discussion of the measure of female duties, though it is intended to enter upon such a discussion hereafter; but we may say that however extensive or however limited they may be, their discharge will be more or less effectual and complete, as she is qualified by the elegance of education, the improvement of her mind, the cultivation and adaptation of her faculties, to impart to others the graces of life, and to fix them by constant example.

Virtue is embraced for its charms—it is not admired for deformity or its negligence of mind; it has its attractions and its means of compensation, as much as has vice—but they are not always as obvious. The young must be made to trust in the results of a virtuous course; they must have their faith fixed by the graces of parental, of maternal precept and example—and this good cannot be hoped for if the mother is incapable of attracting, if she has not the means of charming—if, indeed, she cannot show that what constitute the pleasures of life (pleasures which in excess become crimes) are, while properly enjoyed, wholesome and advantageous, and at the same time can show the line of demarcation between their uses and their abuses. She must know what are the true accomplishments of life—she must understand the influence of refinement and cultivation on the mind—and she must bring herself to apply all these. She must know the difference, too, between the uses and the abuses of cultivated talents, and she must learn to discriminate.

She who would deny to the young the cultivation of talents, musical, literary or artistic, is like the beings who would pile up the snows of winter, that the accumulated heap might prevent the budding and the blossoming of spring; while she who would force the mind of her child to an unnatural development of merely ornamental faculties, is like one who would concentrate the rays of the sun through a burning-glass, in order to accelerate the growth of a delicate plant.

What we mean to assert is the obvious fact, that the female, the mother, cannot discharge the high responsibilities of her sex, without many of those acquisitions which are condemned as worthless in themselves, and perhaps the condemnation is in some measure correct; that is, the acquisition separately considered may be rather injurious than beneficial.

Music itself, if it be the only or the principal attainment of a woman, must be valuable only as a means of obtaining money or fame. So of dancing—so of painting—so of poetry, that divine gift—each one of these, allowed to become predominant, loses its meliorating influence, and devotes the possessor to a solitary enjoyment, or, at most, assists her in acquiring notoriety and a living.

It is our intention to laud the cultivation of tastes only as parts of the meliorating means of woman’s character—the acquisition or rather the improvement of ingredients to fit her for that office of delicate influence for which God evidently designed her. Her personal beauty may be a part of the means of her wholesome domestic influence—her love of, and attainments in, music, her improvement in drawing, her literary gifts and acquirements all go, when all are mingled, to give to her consequence and usefulness in the nursery, and to make her beloved and beneficially influential in the domestic circle, and to add attraction to her charms in social life. There is no incompatibility between all these acquisitions with great personal beauty, between a sense of that beauty, indeed, and the entire fulfillment of all domestic and social duties, that are likely to be devolved on one thus highly endowed, thus qualified by extensive attainments.

The Belle of the Opera is at a place of refined amusement, where the richest productions of musical science are properly delivered. She is dressed to suit her own means and the place which she occupies. There is as much propriety in the proper presentation of her charms, as in the appropriate delivery of the music. The place itself is one of enlarged social intercourse. Elegant attire is the requisite of the place, and is due from the female (who has it) to him who incurs the expense of the visitation, and receives the honor of her company.

“But she is admired in her display; her dress, her form, the beauty of her face, attract marked attention. She is the object of general observation.”

And why not? Is it inconsistent with good taste to admire beauty? Is not the whole opera a place where the taste is to be improved and gratified? Is it music alone that is to be relished? When went forth the decree from morals or religion that beauty—female beauty—should not be adorned? And to be adorned it must be seen.

Let us not hear the platitudes about the worthlessness of beauty; it is not worthless—it is of high price—of exceeding worth—of extensive usefulness; and, appropriately displayed, its influence is humanizing, tranquilizing, and every way beneficial.

To personal charms The Belle of the Opera adds a cultivated taste for music—a taste which she indulges at the fountain-head of such enjoyments. But does she less, on that account, or rather on these accounts, (beauty and musical taste, namely,) fulfill her mission at home? Does the lesson of virtue which the accomplished mother gives to her young child, fall less impressively on the heart because the infant pupil, in looking upward, gazes into a face replete with all of earthly beauty? Is there not a certain coincidence between the looks of his beloved teacher and the excellence of her delightful instruction? or rather, does not her beauty tend to make these lessons delightful? And if the charm for the child is the morning or evening hymn, does not the sacred simplicity of the text drop with extraordinary unction on the ear, if conveyed in the rich melody of a cultivated voice.


I might thus enumerate all the high attainments, and show how each becomes useful; but it is enough to have it understood, that the true, the great value of all these high gifts and extraordinary cultivation is derived from their influence, when combined, to form the character of the possessor. The Belle of the Opera is also The Belle of the Ball-room. The same variety of characteristics, without a necessity for the same attainment, marks each, and both are liable to be set down by a superficial observer, as destitute of any qualities, except those which distinguish them in the places of amusement.

May not the Belle of the Opera, or the Belle of the Ball-room, be the guardian genius of the sick chamber, the faithful, devoted director of the nursery?

I knew The Belle of the Opera, and she was as fond of the dance as of the song, and shared in both in the social circle, and enjoyed them in others in more public displays. Her buoyant spirits, her happy gayety of disposition, made her the marked object of admiration in all parties in which she shared—the first to propose that in which all could gracefully and appropriately join, and the last to propound a thought that could cast a gloom over the countenance of a single being around her. She seemed so much the spirit of the joyous assembly, that serious thought, deepth of feeling, or firm principles of good, were not suspected by those incapable of looking into the heart. The Belle of the Opera was deemed by such, one set apart for the enjoyment of the opera and the dance, and to be without life when without these means of life’s pleasures; to have no sympathy with her kind, excepting through music and display, and to reckon none among her intimates but the light-hearted and the gay.

Men may be thus exclusive, but women are not.

Returning one night from opera or route, the Belle entered her parlor wearied with, but not tired of the pleasure in which she had shared, when suddenly a cry of distress was heard; it was caused by the appearance of a case of small-pox in a neighboring house. At once the Belle changed her dress, and was at the bed of the sufferer.

“But, madam, have you had the small-pox?”

“No; but I have been vaccinated.”

“Ah! so was my sister.”

“But evidently not well. I will tarry and assist until she be removed, or some change take place.”

The change took place after a few days, and the Belle of the Opera carefully wrapped the body of the deceased in its grave-clothes, and having committed it to a coffin, she went to purify herself, give thanks for her preservation, and to enjoy again the fine arts which she so much admired.

The pleasant laugh could at times, and did, give place to tears of sorrow or of sympathy; and the appearance of indifference would promptly yield, when thoughtlessly or wickedly some sentiment opposed to strict morality, would drop from the lip of a companion. Never did hours of gayety tend to moments of unkindness, or the full enjoyment of the abundance to which all were happy to contribute, obliterate a sentiment of gratitude toward those whose earlier kindness might have assisted to prepare for that enjoyment.

Beneath the exterior of frequent devotion to admissible pleasure, there was a depth of feeling and a soundness of principle that sustained themselves in all circumstances, and exhibited themselves where-ever their exercise was requisite, that were seen, indeed, influencing even in the midst of gayety, and throwing a charm around that freedom of conversation in which those of well-regulated minds may indulge.

The virtues of The Belle of the Opera are not sudden, fitful, dependent upon excited feelings—they are constant, influencing, ruling. They appear in private conversations, they are manifest in delicate forbearance toward the errors of others, they exhibit themselves in unwavering attachment to known established principles, and a delicate tolerance of the views of friends; and they are set forth for admiration by the charms of those accomplishments which the world admires, and which that world supposes to be her principal attraction.

And that world judges in this case as in most others; it has no interest in the object before it, and it is not concerned to look into the effect of its own judgment upon that object. Ten thousand who saw the late laughter-moving Jefferson upon the stage, supposed that he never moved without laughing himself, and making others laugh. They supposed that he must delight in and be the delight of social life; and as they had nothing to do with his life off the stage, they never cared to correct their judgment—they never knew that the most pleasant of all comedians was fond of solitude, loved the quiet silence of angling—and was a prey to melancholy.

The inward man, the man to himself, the household man, the man of the fireside and social circle, is different from the man abroad, the man professionally, the man to others, and this not from hypocrisy, not from a difference of character throughout, but simply because the many who judge see only one phaze, and one, indeed, is all that is exhibited, all that is required to fill up the part in which the many know the man. But justly to judge, and fairly to decide, we must see the whole man, we must know how all his relations are sustained; we must see how he discharges the high, solemn duties of his life, and carries the influence of that discharge into minor relations. We must understand how much of himself, his better self, he gives to the amusements and light enjoyments of life, and how much he brings from them to influence his conduct elsewhere; or, if weak, how much of himself he leaves in scenes where artistic taste only is exercised; how much he sacrifices of himself to mere gratification—a burnt-offering never to be recalled.

And here we reach a point toward which we have attempted to steer; we mean the fullness of character, the entire inward person—the meeting—the combination—the fusion, indeed, of all those properties and qualities of the mind, by a well-directed education; the balancing of the various propensities and gifts by the skillful hand of instruction, so that 5 no appetite, natural or acquired, shall have an undue predominancy, or serve to constitute the distinguishing characteristic of the possessor.

The Belle of the Opera, we have already said, brought to the place of amusements only the charms which God has bestowed and cultivated taste has well set off. She did not elect herself as The Belle of the Opera; she did not inaugurate herself as “the observed of all observers.” Such results, though made probable by the charms of her person, and promoted by the opportunities afforded by the indulgence of a high order of talents, was, nevertheless, the work of the admiring many, who felt and acknowledged the charms of person thus displayed, and at once rendered to them the kind of homage which their excellence and position seemed to suggest. They, the multitude, judged in part, judged by what they saw, and what they imagined—and deified the woman with the appellation of “Belle of the Opera;” it was all the attribute they had to bestow; they felt an influence that they did not comprehend; and not knowing of the charms concealed, that made effective what they saw, they gave to the visible and the ostensible, the regard which was only due to the concealed and the influencing, as the shepherds of old saw with admiration and delight the fiery part of the stars of the firmament in all their loveliness, and feeling an influence from the celestial display, adored the hosts of heaven for their beauty and their use, forgetful or ignorant of the power that made them seem beautiful—uninstructed in all the relations of those orbs by which their beauty and their usefulness are secured.

We have taken the reader to one scene, in which The Belle of the Opera showed how little the accomplishment of person, and the cultivation of taste had disturbed the feelings of humanity; and yet we confess, that such an example standing alone, seems to be a contradiction, or a sort of accidental effort, rather the result of impulse, rather dependent upon caprice or individual affection, than to be regarded as illustrative of, or consistent with, the ruling characteristics. We are speaking now of a whole character—and a character cannot be judged of by one strong propensity on one hand, and one great but contradictory act on the other.

Is the character of The Belle of the Opera complete? Is the distance between the lustre and display of the opera-box, and the devotion to the loathsomeness of the small-pox chamber, all occupied with corresponding virtues, and similar graces mingling, shading, combining, perfecting? If the great offices of the woman’s life, (we are speaking now of the Belle as a woman, looking at her higher vocation,) if all these offices are well discharged, if as mother, wife, as friend and neighbor, she stand unimpeachable; if she is as notable in all these relations as in the opera-box, still we want to inquire what is the influence exercised upon all these relations, by those qualities which made her The Belle of the Opera. How stand the opera-box and the nursery related? Because in the complete character of a woman are very few isolated qualities; they all bear upon each other, or exercise mutual influences, and each is less of itself by the qualities which it derives from others. The Belle of the Opera gave to her own fireside the attraction of her personal charms, if less gorgeously accompanied, still the more directly effective. The adventitious aid of ornaments, that was a sacrifice to public taste, was not required; and these charms gathered a circle which the exercise of mental accomplishments retained; and thus all within their influence derived the advantage which association with high gifts and large attainments necessarily impart, and the home was made gladsome by those charms which are attractive to their like, and compensating to their admirers.

The attainment of the science of music, and the display of that science at home, meliorated the manners of the inmates, and invited to association those whose taste was elevated, and whose talents were of a kind to sustain and appreciate high cultivation; and beyond the parlor these extended even to the nursery, or rather the nursery, by their exercise, was transferred to the parlor. That is what The Belle of the Opera understood by making all her accomplishments subservient to her duties as wife and mother. The mind of the child, by this constant intercourse with the gifted and the improved, became expanded, received character from the atmosphere in which it was placed, derived pleasure from the development which it witnessed, and had its habits formed to those graces which, in others, are only extraordinary results of extraordinary means, distinguishing the possessor only by one quality or attainment, making her The Belle of the Opera alone.

It is this association of the young with the beautiful and the accomplished, which infuses into their character, and fixes there those meliorating influences that constitute the charm of life, ruling, modifying, illustrating their whole character, making it whole, harmonious, consistent.

It must be understood that The Belle of the Opera was not a mere pianist, not a mere strummer upon the harp, she understood music as a science, and was therefore capable of conversing upon the subject as well as playing upon an instrument. This power of conversation, resting upon a deep knowledge of subjects, is the secret and charm of association; and it is worthy of remark, that gossip, even among the elevated, soon wearies; and what is more remarkable, it is wearisome and disgusting to children compelled to listen, while conversations or discussions upon subjects well understood by the interlocutors, are at once interesting to general listeners, and attractive, gratifying and instructive even to children. We appeal to general experience for this.

Eminently did The Belle of the Opera comprehend that truth, and practice upon it; hence a musical entertainment in her house was not a mere exercise of vocal powers, or a fearful attack upon the piano-keys. Music was discussed and then performed; and music, too, was not alone the theme. The well-lined walls denoted a taste for kindred arts; and the degrees of excellence of pictures, the distinguishing attributes of masters, were so lucidly 6 illustrated, that the junior members of the family grew into connoisseurs without dreaming of study—grew directly and certainly into such characters without forethought, as a blade of corn, in all its greenness, is tending in the warmth of the sun, and the favor of the soil, to produce a golden harvest. But the discipline of mind necessary to acquire the advancement which The Belle of the Opera attained, gave to her habits of care with regard to the education of her children; and the superficial study which makes amateurs in any branch, was unknown in her family. Various degrees of perfection were observable, and in different branches of pursuits and studies there was a superiority among them, according to gifts; but compared with other families, these children evinced pre-eminence in almost every thing they undertook.

But it was as a wife that The Belle of the Opera most distinguished herself; we mean the special, particular duties of a woman to her husband—all the other qualifications to which we have referred, were of a kind to make her desirable as a wife—but in constant affection, manifested in various ways in those delicate arts, appreciable but inimitable by man, with which a beautiful and an accomplished woman makes attractive her home, preserves it at once from the restraints of affected knowledge, which is always chary of near display, because fearful of detection, and from that ostentatious exhibition of attainments which wearies and disgusts by obtrusiveness. In all these, and the graces of intimate and reciprocal affection, she made her husband proud of his home, happy in his companion, and gratified at her superiority in those things which belong more especially to her sex and made her beauty beautiful.

There was a cloud thrown suddenly across the brilliant prospects of the husband, a threatening of utter insolvency; the evil seemed inevitable. Who should tell The Belle of the Opera that the means of gratifying her highly cultivated taste, and displaying her admirable accomplishments were about to cease?

The husband had all faith in the affections of his wife; he appreciated the excellence of her character, for he was worthy of her. But it was a terrible blow to pride—to womanly pride—the pride of condition, which had never been straightened; it must be a terrible blow to her who knew how to use and how to give, but had never been called upon to suffer or acquire. He carried to her the fearful news of the anticipated disaster; he did not annoy her by the prelude of weeks of abstraction and painful melancholy, but with the first consciousness of danger he announced to her his fears, and awaited the consequences of the shock.

“And what, my dear husband, will become of us all—of you, of me, and of the children?”

“That is the misery of my situation. It is not only the loss of the property I received with you, and that which I had acquired, but it is the difficulty of pursuing any business without some of the means which I thought so safe. I know not now how to sustain my family even in the humble state which we must assume until I can again make a business. And you, with all your charms, with all your attainments, and all your power to enjoy, and means of affording pleasure—what a blow—what a fall!”

“And while you enumerate my attainments, do you forget that they are like yours, marketable; have you forgotten what that education cost? Will not others pay me as much for instruction as I have paid for my education? And will not the task of imparting be a pleasure rather than a pain, because it will be the exercise of those talents, and the uses of those attainments, whose employment has been the delight of our home, the pride of our social relations, and the solace of my solitary hours. Be assured, my dear husband, that with the exception of giving, most of the pleasures of wealth may be had in poverty—and the substitute for the pleasure of giving must be found in that of earning.”

The apprehended evil was never realized. The losses, though considerable, did not reach an amount that rendered necessary any diminution of style in the family.

“I think the alarm has not been uninstructive,” said The Belle of the Opera; “either that, or the approach of age,” (there was nothing in the lustre of her eye, or the brilliancy of her complexion that denoted the proximity of years—and she knew it when she said so—women seldom speak lightly of such foes when they are within hearing distance,) “either that or the approach of age has taught me to relish less many of the amusements which our means have allowed and with which my taste was gratified.”

“A natural gratification of so cultivated a taste,” said her husband, “could be nothing but correct; and it is only when others are acquired, that we need feel regret at indulging such as you have possessed. We, who approach the midsummer of life, find fewer flowers in our pathway than spring presented, but let us not complain of those who gather the vernal sweets; rather let us rejoice that we take with us the freshness of appetites that delights in whatever the path of duty supplies, and by discipline are made to enjoy those latent sweets that escape the observation of the uncultivated.”

We repeat our remarks, that to judge of a woman we must know her whole character. We must not suppose because a lady is at the opera, that she has no pleasure in other positions, or that a cultivated taste for music is inconsistent with the general cultivation of her talents. It is wrong to imagine that a beautiful woman is necessarily vain, or that her beauty is inconsistent with the discharge of all the high and holy duties that belong to her sex; the wife, the daughter, the mother, and the friend.

Excessive amusement, we know, vitiates the mind; and a woman, whose whole pride is to be The Belle of the Opera, has evidently no mission for domestic usefulness. But the domestic circle is blessed, and woman’s office honored, when an improved taste and generally cultivated talent, the charms of person and elegance of manners are made subservient to, and promotive of, the full discharge of the duties that belong to woman in her exalted sphere.


And, we may add, that religion itself is made more lovely, more operative, when the offices of humanity which it suggests, and the services of devotion by which it is manifested, are discharged by one who brings to the altar talent, beauty, acquirements, with a sense of their unworthiness, and takes thence a spirit of piety and devotion that throws a charm about all the graces that have been so attractive to the world.

We would have our Magazine commend to our fair readers for approval and acquisition, all the gifts and graces which belonged to The Belle of the Opera; we would not have them seek that title. She did not; as unconscious of the admiration of the audience, as the performers were of her individual presence; she came to enjoy the music, not to acquire fame. We would have those for whom we write bear in mind that the character of woman is incomplete, whatever talents or acquisition she may boast, if she has not the charm that attracts to and delights its domestic circle. And she should know that the basis of all those charms which give permanent beneficial influence, is religion; a fixed principle of doing right, from right motives. Upon that basis let the lovely fabric be erected; beauty, music, literature, science, social enjoyment, all become and all ornament the structure. And woman’s character with these is complete, if she add the discharge of the duties of a friend—a wife—a mother. She who is the charm of social life must be the benignant spirit of home—the source and centre of domestic affection.








Flowers are beautiful—every hue

Colors their petals, and pearly dew,

The nectar the fairies love to sup,

Sparkles brightly in each tiny cup,

While the dark leaves of the ivy shine,

And its clustering tendrils closely twine

Round the old oak, and the sapling young,

And when it has lightly round them clung,

It laughs, and shouts, and it calls aloud,

Have I not now a right to be proud?

I’ve mastered the lordly forest-tree,

I’m King of the woods, come see, come see.


Night’s gems are beauteous, right rare are they,

Gloriously bright is each gentle ray,

Flashing and twinkling up so high,

Like diamonds set in the deep blue sky;

Who is there but loves night’s gentle queen,

Gorgeously robed in her silver sheen?

Shedding her pale, pure brightness round,

O’er hill and valley, and tree and ground;

Gilding the waters as on they glide

In their conscious beauty, joy and pride;

Or sending a quiet ray to rove,

And wake the shade of the deep-green grove.


The Sun is beautiful—“God of day,”

He sends o’er the earth a lordly ray,

He shames the sweet pensive Orb of night

By his radiant beams so fiercely bright.


Wind is beautiful—not to the eye—

You cannot see it—but hear it sigh

Lowly and sweet in a gentle breeze,

Rustling the tops of the lofty trees,

Sending the yellow leaves to the ground,

Playfully whirling them round and round,

Filling the sails with their fill of air,

Then dancing off on some freak more rare;

Scat’ring the snow and the blinding hail,

Shrieking aloud in the wintry gale,

Rudely driving the pattering rain

’Gainst the lonely cottage’s humble pane,

Uprooting the aged forest-tree,

Then whistling loud right merrily;

Owning no king save a mighty One!

Following His dictates, and His alone.


Water is beautiful—sounding clear,

Like distant music upon the ear,

Bubbling light, sparkling bright, bounding still

With a joyous laugh adown the hill,

Clapping its hands with a noisy glee,

Shouting I’m bound for the sea, the sea!

I’ll bear my spoils to the Ocean’s tide—

Hurrah! hurrah! the earth’s my loved bride;

I came through a lovely grassy glade,

And caught the dew-drops from every blade;

I stopped awhile in a shady spring

Hearing the summer-birds sweetly sing,

And I just ’scaped being pris’ner caught,

A maiden to fill her pail there sought;

But I laughed aloud with a careless ring,

As off I rolled from the crystal spring.

Small though I seem, I’m part of the tide

That’s to dash against a tall ship’s side,

Bearing silken goods far o’er the sea,

Bringing back ingots of gold for me—

For me to seize and to bury deep

Where thousands of pearls and diamonds sleep

Scorn me! who dares? I tell thee now,

I’m monarch, and mine is the lordly brow.


Oh! all is beautiful, all is fair—

High Heaven, and earth, and sea, and air,

The sun, the moon, and the stars on high,

The clouds, the waters, and sands that lie

Far away down where the mermaids roam

And the coral insects build their home.






I must warn my readers given to sober-mindedness, that they will probably rise from the perusal of the sketch before them, with that pet exclamation of the serious, when vexed, or wearied with frivolity, “vanity, vanity, all is vanity!” I can, indeed, promise no solid reading nor useful information—no learning nor poetry—no lofty purpose nor impressive moral—no deep-diving nor high-flying of any sort in all that follows. For myself, I but seek to wile away a heavy hour of this dull autumn day, and for my reader, if I may not hope to please, I cannot fear to disappoint him, having led him to expect nothing—at least nothing to speak of.

As a general thing, I have a hearty horror of all manœuvring and match-making, yet must I plead guilty to having once got up a private little conspiracy against the single-blessedness of two very dear friends. There is a wise and truthful French proverb, “Ce que femme veut, Dieu le vent,” which was not falsified in this case. But I will not anticipate.

My most intimate friend, during my school-days, was a warm-hearted, brave, frank, merry and handsome girl, by name Kate Richmond. In the long years and through the changing scenes which have passed since we first met, my love for this friend has neither wearied nor grown cold; for, aside from her beauty and unfailing cheerfulness, she has about her much that is attractive and endearing—a clear, strong intellect, an admirable taste, and an earnest truthfulness of character, on which I lean with a delicious feeling of confidence and repose.

As I grew to know and love Kate better, and saw what a glorious embodiment of noble womanhood she was, and how she might pour heaven around the path of any man who could win her to himself, I became intensely anxious that her life-love should be one worthy and soul-satisfying. One there was, well known to me, but whom she had never met, who always played hero to her heroine, in my heart’s romances; this was a young gentleman already known to some few of my readers, my favorite cousin, Harry Grove.

I am most fortunate to be able to take a hero from real life, and to have him at the same time so handsome a man, though not decidedly a heroic personage. My fair reader shall judge for herself. Harry is not tall, but has a symmetrical and strongly-built figure. His complexion is a clear olive, and his dark chestnut hair has a slight wave, far more beautiful than effeminate ringlets. His mouth is quite small—the full, red lips are most flexible and expressive, and have a peculiar quiver when his heart is agitated by any strong emotion. His eyes are full and black, or rather of the darkest hue of brown, shadowed by lashes of a superfluous length, for a man. They are arch, yet thoughtful; soft, with all the tenderness of woman, yet giving out sudden gleams of the pride and fire of a strong, manly nature. Altogether, in form and expression, they are indescribably beautiful—eyes which haunt one after they are once seen, and seem to close upon one never.

In character my kinsman is somewhat passionate and self-willed, but generous, warm-hearted, faithful and thoroughly honorable. Yet, though a person of undoubted talent, even genius, I do not think he will ever be a distinguished man; for he sadly lacks ambition and concentration, that fiery energy and plodding patience which alone can insure success in any great undertaking. He has talent for painting, music and poetry, but his devotion to these is most spasmodic and irregular. He has quite a gift for politics, and can be eloquent on occasion, yet would scarcely give a dead partridge for the proudest civic wreath ever twined. As a sportsman, my cousin has long been renowned; he has a wild, insatiable passion for hunting, is the best shot in all the country round, and rare good luck seems to attend him in all his sporting expeditions.

For the rest, he is a graceful dancer, a superb singer, and a finished horseman; so, on the whole, I think he will answer for a hero, though the farthest in the world from a Pelham, a Eugene Aram, a Bruno Mansfield, or an Edward Rochester.

“In the course of human events,” it chanced that a year or two since, I received an urgent invitation from my relatives, the Groves, to spend the early autumn months at their home, in the interior of one of our western states. Now for my diplomatic address; I wrote, accepting, with a stipulation that the name of my well-beloved friend, Miss Catharine Richmond, who was then visiting me, should be included in the invitation, which, in the next communication from the other party, was done to my entire satisfaction. Kate gave a joyful consent to my pleasant plan, and all was well.

One fine afternoon, in the last of August, saw the stage-coach which conveyed us girls and our fortunes rolling through the principal street of W——, the county-seat, and a place of considerable importance—to its inhabitants. We found my uncle, the colonel, waiting our arrival at the hotel, with his barouche, in which he soon seated us, and drove rapidly toward his residence, which was about two miles out of town. On the way, he told me I would meet but two of his seven sons at home—Harry, and an elder brother, on whom, for a certain authoritative dignity, we had long before bestowed the sobriquet of “the governor.” He also informed us that his “little farm,” consisted of 9 about eight hundred acres, and that the place was called “Elm Creek.”

As we drove up the long avenue which led to the fine, large mansion of my friends, I saw that my good aunt and Cousin Alice had taken steps to give us an early welcome. I leaped from the barouche into their arms, forgetting Kate, for a moment, in the excitement of this joyful reunion.

But my friend was received with affectionate cordiality, and felt at home almost before she had crossed the threshold of that most hospitable house. My grave cousin, Edward, met us in the hall—bowed profoundly to Kate, and gave me a greeting more courtly than cousinly; but that was “Ned’s way.” Harry was out hunting, Alice said, but would probably be home soon.

After tea, we all took a stroll through the grounds. These are very extensive, and the many beautiful trees and the domesticated deer, bounding about, or stretched upon the turf, give the place a park-like and aristocratic appearance. Elm Creek, which runs near the house, is a clear and sparkling stream, which would be pleasantly suggestive of trout on the other side of the Alleghanies.

Suddenly was heard the near report of a gun, and the next moment Harry appeared on the light bridge which spanned the creek, accompanied by his faithful Bruno, a splendid black setter. On recognizing me, he (Harry, I mean, not the dog) sprung forward with a joyous laugh, and met me with a right cousinly greeting. I never had seen him looking so finely—he had taste in his hunting-dress, which became him greatly; and it was with a flush of pride that I turned and presented him to Kate. Harry gave her a cordial hand-shake, and immediately after, his dog, Bruno, gravely offered her his sable paw, to the no small amusement of the company.

I soon had the satisfaction of seeing that there was a fine prospect of Kate and my cousin being on the very best terms with each other, as they conversed much together during the evening, and seemed mutually pleased.

The next morning my gallant and still handsome uncle took us out to the stable and invited us to select our horses for riding. He knew me of old for an enthusiastic equestrian, and Kate’s attainments in the art of horsemanship were most remarkable. Kate chose a beautiful black mare, Joan, the mate of which, Saladin, a fiery-spirited creature, was Harry’s horse, and dear to him as his life. I made choice of a fine-looking but rather coltish gray, which I shall hold in everlasting remembrance, on account of a peculiar trot, which kept one somewhere between heaven and earth, like Mohammed’s coffin.

The fortnight succeeding our arrival at Elm Creek, was one of much gayety and excitement—we were thronged with visiters and deluged with the most cordial invitations. Ah! western people understand the science of hospitality, for their politeness is neither soulless nor conventional, but full of heartiness and truth. Long life to this noble characteristic of the generous west.

Colonel Grove was an admirable host—he exerted himself for our pleasure in a manner highly creditable to an elderly gentleman, somewhat inclined to indolence and corpulency. Every morning, when it was pleasant, he drove us out in his barouche, and by the information which he gave, his fine taste for the picturesque, and the dry humor and genuine good nature of his conversation, contributed much to our enjoyment. In the sunny afternoons, we usually scoured the country on horseback—Harry always rode with Kate and I with “the governor,” who proved an interesting, though somewhat reserved companion. My Cousin Alice was unfortunately too much of an invalid for such exercises.

In our evenings we had music and dancing, and occasionally a quiet game of whist. Now and then we were wild and childish enough to amuse ourselves with such things as “Mr. Longfellow looking for his key-hole,” “Homeopathic-bleeding,” and the old stand-by, “Blind Man’s Buff.”

One rather chilly afternoon, about three weeks after our arrival, Alice Grove entered the chamber appropriated to Kate and myself, exclaiming, “Come, girls, put on some extra ‘fixings’ and come down, for you have a call from Miss Louisa Grant, the belle and beauty of W——, the fair lady we rally Harry so much about—you remember.”

We found Miss Grant dressed most expensively, but not decidedly à la mode, or with much reference to the day or season. She was surprisingly beautiful, however—a blonde, but with no high expression; and then she was sadly destitute of manner. She seemed in as much doubt whether to sit, or rise, nod or courtesy, as the celebrated Toots, on that delicate point of propriety whether to turn his wristbands up, or down; and like that rare young gentleman, compromised the matter.

Miss Louisa talked but little, and that in the merest commonplaces; she had a certain curl of the lip, and toss of the head, meant for queenly hauteur, but which only expressed pert superciliousness; so, undazzled by her dress and beauty, I soon sounded her depth and measured her entire circumference. But Kate, who is a mad worshiper of beauty, sat silent and abstracted, gazing on her face with undisguised admiration.

When the call was over, we accompanied our guest to the door, and while we stood saying a few more last words, Harry came up, having just returned from hunting. At sight of his fowling-piece, Miss Louisa uttered a pretty infantine shriek, and hid her eyes with her small, plump hands. Harry, taking no notice of this charming outbreak of feminine timidity, greeted her with a frank, unembarrassed air, and throwing down his gun and game-bag, begged leave to attend her home. She assented with a blush and a simper, which left me in no doubt as to her sentiments toward my handsome cousin. Ah! how perilously beautiful she seemed to me then, while I watched her proud step as she walked slowly down the avenue, with a bitter feeling, for all the world as though I was jealous on my own account. I was somewhat pacified, however, by 10 Harry’s returning soon, and bringing Kate a bouquet from Louisa’s fine garden.

That evening we were honored by another call extraordinary, from a young merchant of the place—the village D’Orsay—by name, La Fayette Fogg, from which honorable appellation the gentleman, by the advice of friends, had lately dropped the “Marquis”—his parents, at his christening, having been disposed to go the whole figure. But he had a title which in our “sogering” republic would more than compensate for any of the mere accidental honors of rank—he had recently been appointed captain of a company of horse, in W——, and had already acquired a military bearing, which could not fail to impress the vulgar. A certain way he had of stepping and wheeling to the right and left, suggestive at once of both a proud steed and a firm rider—a sort of drawing-room centaur. But Captain Fogg was beyond all question strikingly handsome. I never saw so perfect a Grecian head on American shoulders. There was the low, broad forehead, the close, curling hair, the nose and brow in one beautiful, continuous line, the short upper lip, round chin, small ears, and thin nostrils. A classical costume would have made him quite statuesque; but, alas! he was dressed in the dandiacal extreme of modern fashion. His entire suit of superfine material, fitted to an exquisite nicety, and he revealed a consciousness of the fact more Toots-ish than Themistoclesian. He moved his Phidian head with slow dignity, so as not to disturb his pet curls, slumbering in all the softness of genuine Macassar. His whiskers and imperial were alarmingly pale and thin, but seemed making the most of themselves, in return for the captain’s untiring devotion and prayerful solicitude.

The expression of this hero’s face, malgré a Napoleonic frown which he was cultivating, and a Washingtonish compression of the lips, was soft, rather than stern—decidedly soft, I should say,—and there was about him a tender verdancy, an innocent ignorance of the world—all in despite of his best friends, the tailor, the artist in hair, and the artist in boots.

During the first half hour’s conversation, I set the gallant captain down as uneducated, vain and supercilious; but I was vexed to see that Kate, dazzled by his beauty, regarded him more complacently. It was evident from the first, that Kate pleased him decidedly, and he “spread himself,” to use a westernism, to make an impression on her heart, whose admiration for his physique spoke too plainly through her eyes. While be talked, Kate watched the play of his finely chiseled lips, and when he was silent, studied with the eye of an artist, the classic line of his nose. The attentive, upward look of her large, dark eyes, was most dangerous flattery—it loosened the tongue of our guest marvelously, till he talked quite freely, almost confidentially. Among other things, he informed us that he “was born in the chivalrous south,” and had been “a native of W—— for only the five years past.” I glanced mischievously at Kate, and she, to turn the tide of talk, exclaimed—“Oh, Mr. Fogg, we had a call from Miss Grant to-day! Exquisitively beautiful—is she not?”

“Why,” drawled the captain, stroking his imperial affectionately, “she is rather pretty, but wants cultivation; I can’t say I admire her greatly, though she is called the Adonis of this country.”

Kate colored with suppressed laughter, bit her lip, and rising, opened the piano, saying—“Do you sing, Mr. Fogg?”

Fortunately, Mr. Fogg did sing, and that very well. He declined accompanying Kate in “Lucy Neal,” saying that he “never learned them low things;” but on many of Russell’s songs he was “some,” and acquitted himself with much credit.

During all this time Harry had taken little part in the conversation, and when asked to sing, drily declined. I thought him jealous, and was not sorry to think so. I saw that Kate also perceived his altered mood, yet she showed, I regret to say, no Christian sympathy for his uneasiness, but chatted gayly, sung and played for all the world as though earth held neither aching hearts nor dissatisfied Harrys.

At last my cousin rose hastily and left the room. I said to myself, “He has gone out to cool his burning brow in the night air, and seek peace under the serene influences of the stars.” But no, he crossed the hall, and entered the family sitting-room. Soon after I followed, and found him having a regular rough and tumble with Bruno, on the floor. He raised his head as I entered, and said with a yawn,

“Has that bore taken himself off?”

“No,” I replied.

“Well, why the deuce don’t he go—who wants his company?”

“I don’t know,” said I, “Kate, perhaps.”

“Very likely,” growled Harry, “you intellectual women always prefer a brainless coxcomb to a sensible man.”

“Yes, Cousin Harry, in return for the preference you men of genius give to pretty simpletons.”

The captain’s “smitation,” as we called it, seemed a real one, and his sudden flame genuine—at least there was some fire, as well as a great deal of smoke. He laid resolute siege to Kate’s heart, till his lover-like attentions and the manifestations of his preference were almost overwhelming. In a week or two Kate grew wearied to death of her conquest, and was not backward in showing her contemptuous indifference, when Harry Grove was not by. But, oh, the perverseness of woman! in the presence of my cousin, she was all smiles and condescension to his rival; and he, annoyed more than he would confess, would turn to Miss Louisa Grant with renewed devotion.

Yes, Harry was plainly ill at ease to mark another’s attentions pleasantly received by my friend—that was something gained; but such jealousy of a mere tailor-shop-window-man, was unworthy my cousin, as well as a wrong to Kate; and for my part, I would not stoop to combat it.

In the captain’s absence, however, all went admirably. Harry seemed to give himself up to the enjoyment of Kate’s brilliant society, her cleverness, 11 her liveliness, her “infinite variety,” with joyous abandon. They sung, read, danced, strolled, and rode together, always preserving the utmost harmony and good-will.

For Kate’s success in the part I wished her to play, I had never any fear. Aside from her beauty, which is undeniable, though on the brunette order, and her accomplishments, which are many, she has a certain indescribable attractiveness of manner, an earnest, appealing, endearing way—a “je-ne-sais-quoi-sity,” as a witty friend named it, which would be coquetry, were it not felt by all alike, men, women, and children, who find themselves in her presence. It is without effort, a perfectly unconscious power, I am sure.

Thus, I did not fear for Kate, provided Harry was heart-whole; but this fact I could not settle to my entire satisfaction. My Cousin Alice sometimes joked him about a certain fair maid he had known at New Haven, while in college, evidently wishing it to appear that she knew vastly more than she chose to reveal; and then Miss Grant was certainly a dangerous rival—far more beautiful, according to the common acceptation of the term, than my friend, with the advantage, if it be one, of a prior acquaintance.

One morning, as we were returning home, after having made a call on Miss Louisa, Harry, who once, for a wonder, was walking with me, began questioning me concerning my opinion of her. I evaded his question for awhile, but at length told him frankly that I could not speak freely and critically unless assured that I should give him no pain thereby.

“Oh, if that’s all,” replied Harry, with a laugh, “go on, and ‘free your mind, sister’—I shall be a most impartial auditor.”

“Indeed, Harry!—has there, then, been no meaning to your attentions in that quarter?”

“Why, as to that,” he replied, “I have always admired the girl’s beauty, and have flirted with her too much, perhaps, but there is not enough in her to pin a genuine love to; I have found her utterly characterless; and then, she affects a ridiculous fear of fire-arms, and behaves like a sick baby on horseback.”

“But, cousin,” I rejoined, “you do not want a wife to hunt with you, and ride horseback; Miss Grant is a young lady of domestic virtues and refined tastes—is she not?”

“Yes, and no. I believe she is a good housekeeper; she takes pains to let one know that—a perfect walking cookery-book; but for her refinement! Have you never noticed her coarse voice, and how much use she makes of provincialisms? She might sing well, but always makes mistakes in the words. She professes a passion for flowers; but last spring, coz, I helped her make her garden, and heard her say ‘piney’ and ‘layloc’—I never could marry a woman who said ‘piney’ and ‘layloc!’ and then she called pansies—‘pansies, that’s for thoughts’—those flowers steeped in poetry as in their own dew—‘Jonny-jump-ups!’ Bah! and then, she vulgarizes her own pretty name into Lo-izy!”

Need I confess that I was far from displeased with this little speech of my cousin’s. I was silent for a few moments, and then, with my head full of Kate and her fortunes, said, while pulling to pieces a wild-flower, which Harry had just gallantly presented to me,

“Well, then, cousin, you don’t love any body in particular, just now, do you?”

I raised my eyes when I had said this, to meet Harry’s fixed on my face, with a strange, indefinable expression—something of what is called a “killing look,” so full of intense meaning was it; but around his mouth lurked a quiet drollery, which betrayed him, even while he replied to my singular question in a tone meant to tell,

“Why, my dearest cousin, at this moment, I cannot say that I do not.”

I broke at once into a laugh of merry mockery, in which he joined at last, though not quite heartily; and we hastened to rejoin Ned, Kate and Alice, who were somewhat in advance.

On reaching our room I told Kate enough of my conversation with Harry to prove that he was really not the lover of Louisa Grant; and with a blush and a smile, she kissed and thanked me. Why should she thank me?

Thus matters went on—Captain Fogg’s star declining visibly, and Harry Grove’s evidently in the ascendant, until the last week of our stay, when a little incident occurred which had quite a disturbing influence on the pleasant current of my thoughts and Kate’s. One afternoon, while Harry was out shooting woodcock, of which Kate was very fond, on going up to my room, I perceived the door of Harry’s open, and saw his easil standing before the window, with a picture upon it. I could not resist the temptation of seeing what this might be, and entered the room. The picture was a small female head—the face rather fair, with dark blue eyes. It was probably a portrait, still unfinished. The likeness I did not recognize, though it looked like half a dozen pretty faces I had seen—Kate’s and Miss Grant’s among the number. To the bottom of the picture was attached a slip of paper, bearing these lines:

“Glow on the canvas, face of my beloved!

  Smile out upon me, eyes of heavenly blue!

Oh! be my soul’s love by my pencil proved,

  And lips of rose, and locks of auburn hue,

Come less obedient to the call of art,

Than to the pleading voice of my adoring heart!”

When I had read this verse, I remained standing before the picture in a thoughtful trance. I was finally startled by a deep sigh, and turning, saw Kate just behind me. She had also seen the portrait of the unknown, and read those passionate lines. She turned immediately and passed into her room.

When I rejoined her, a few moments after, she was reading, apparently deep in “Martin Chuzzlewit,” but tears were falling on the page before her.

“Martin’s return to his grandfather is a very affecting scene,” she observed.

I naturally glanced over her shoulder; the book was open at that “tempest-in-a-teapot” scene, the 12 memorable misunderstanding between Sairey Gamp and Betsey Prig.

Oh, Kate, Kate! thy heart had gone many days’ journey into the life and fortunes of quite another than Martin.

In the evening Captain Fogg honored us, and Kate was unusually affable and gay. She sung none but comic songs, and her merry laugh rang out like a peal of bells.

During the evening we played a game of forfeits, and it was once adjudged that the captain should relate a story, to redeem his turquoise breastpin. He told a late dream, which was, that once, on taking a morning walk to hear the birds sing, he found Miss Richmond completely lost in a fog, and refused to help her out!

Oh, how he sparkled, as he fairly got off his witticism, and saw that it took!

“Ah, captain,” said I, “you must have a gift for punning.”

“Something of one, Miss,” he replied, with a complacent pull at his imperial. “I was into White’s, the other day, buying some music, and White offered me a song called ‘Mary’s Tears,’ which I told him must have a tremendous run! White laughed till he cried, and threatened to expose me in our paper! ’Pon honor, he did so!”

The captain informed us that the following would be a great day for the militia, as there was to be on the village-green of W——, a parade and review; and he gallantly begged the honor of our presence. We graciously testified our willingness to patronize the show, provided Harry would drive us into town for the purpose. On leaving, the captain requested the loan of Harry’s noble horse, Saladin, which had been trained to the field, for the grand occasion. He would come for him in the morning, he said. Harry consented, with rather a bad grace, I thought. He is a perfect Arab in his loving care for his horse.

The next morning, about ten, the captain called and found us all ready—the barouche waiting at the door. Colonel Grove, who is a gentleman of the ancien régime, invited the young officer, who was in complete uniform, to take wine with him. It was really laughable—the captain’s affectation of a cool, bon-vivantish indifference, as he tossed off glass after glass of the sparkling champagne, showing himself to be far from familiar with that exhilarating and insidious beverage. He grew elevated momentarily; his very words soared majestically above mere common sense, and his eyes winked of strange mysteries, and flashed unutterable things.

At length were we civilians seated in the barouche and driving toward W——, at a brisk rate, the captain causing Saladin to wheel and caracole beside us in a most remarkable manner. Ah, how did the harmless lightning of his wit play around us! how were his compliments showered upon us like bonbons in carnival-time! How beautifully was he like the sparkling wine he had so lately quaffed—what was he but a human champagne-bottle, with the cork just drawn!

About half way to the village we saw before us an old Indian woman, well known in all the country round as a doctress, or witch, according to most people. She was bent almost double, and looked very feeble, though she was said to be still marvelously active and vigorous.

Suddenly the captain, who had galloped on a little to display his horsemanship, came dashing back, exclaiming—“Now, young ladies, for some glorious fun! Do you see that old squaw yonder?”

“Yes,” said Alice Grove, “that is old Martha—what of her?”

“Why, I mean to have some rare sport. I’ll invite her to take a ride behind me. I’ll ride up to the fence for her to get on, and then, just as she makes her spring, spur Saladin, and let her land on the ground.”

“Oh, don’t! don’t!” cried we all in chorus; but the captain was off and already speaking to old Martha. She evidently liked his proposition, for she quickly climbed the fence, preparatory to mounting. The captain wheeled his horse to within about two feet of her—she gave a spring—he spurred his steed, which leaped wildly forward—but too late! Old Martha was safe on Saladin’s back, her long, bony arms clasped closely round the waist of his rider—and, hurrah, they were off at a dashing rate.

Harry whipped up his grays, and we presently overtook the equestrians. Captain Fogg had succeeded in checking Saladin, and was striving to persuade old Martha to dismount, but in vain; she would ride to the village, as he had invited her. He coaxed, threatened, and swore—but all to no purpose; she would go on to the village!

At last, in endeavoring forcibly to unclasp her arms, Fogg dropped the rein, and Saladin, worried and frightened, started off at a furious gallop, and tore down the street like mad. Oh, the rich, indescribable ludicrousness of the sight! Such a conspicuous figure was the captain, so splendidly mounted, with “sword and pistols by his side,” and all his burnished buttons and buckles glistening in the morning sun; and then that ridiculous old woman, in her tattered Indian costume, seated behind him, clinging convulsively to his waist, and bounding up half a foot with every leap of the frantic steed. The ends of the captain’s scarlet sash floated back over her short black petticoat, and the white horse-hair of his military plume mingled ingloriously with her long elf-locks streaming in the wind.

The dirty woollen blanket of old Martha became loose, and flew backward, held only by one corner, exposing her bright blue short-gown, trimmed with wampum, while her red leggings got up quite a little show on their own account.

As thus they dashed on, faster and faster, they spread astonishment and consternation as they went.

A farmer, who with his son was gathering apples from a tree near the road, saw the vision—dropped his basket, and knocked down his first born with an avalanche of pippins. An old lady, who was hanging out clothes in her yard, struck with sudden fright and sore dismay, fell backward into her clothes-basket, 13 as white as a sheet, and as limp as a wet towel.

Young urchins let go the strings of kites, leaving them to whirl dizzily and dive earthward—left “terrestrial pies” unfinished, and took to their heels! A red-haired damsel who was milking by the road-side, on beholding the dread apparition, turned pale, and ran, and the cow, following her example, also turned pail and ran!

But most excruciatingly and transcendentally ridiculous was the scene when Saladin, over whom the captain had lost all control, reached the parade-ground, and dashed in among the soldiers and spectators. Hats were tossed into the air, and shouts of laughter and derisive hooras resounded on every side. But fortunately for poor Fogg, Saladin suddenly perceived a part of the cavalry company, who, in the absence of their captain, were going through some informal and supererogatory exercises, and obedient to his military training, wheeled into line, and stood still, with head erect and nostrils distended.

“For Heaven’s sake, boys,” cried the captain, “haul off this old savage!”

But the worthy Martha, wisely declining such rough treatment, leaped to the ground like a cat—made a profound courtesy, and with a smile rather too sarcastic for so venerable a person, said,

“Me tank you, cap’en—old Martha no often have such fine ride, with such pretty man, all in regiments!”

After this rare comedy, the review was a matter of little moment, and we soon returned home, not even waiting for the tragedy of the sham-fight.

On the afternoon of the following day, Harry invited Kate to take a horse-back ride—and the incidents of that ride, as I received them from my friend, I will relate to the best of my ability.

The equestrians took a route which was a favorite with both—up a glen, wild and unfrequented, through which ran a clear, silver stream. It happened that Harry was in one of his lawless, bantering moods, and teazed Kate unmercifully on the gallant part played by her lover, the captain, on the preceding day.

Kate, who was not in the most sunny humor, began to rally him about “Lo-izy” Grant, and the New Haven belle.

Suddenly Harry became grave, and said, in an earnest tone, “Shall I tell you, Kate, just the state of my heart?”

“Don’t trouble yourself,” she coolly replied, “it is a matter of no moment to me.”

“There, now, you are insincere,” said Harry, with a saucy smile, leaning forward to strike a fly from Saladin’s neck, “it is a matter of some moment to you, for you know that I love you, and that you are not entirely indifferent to my love.”

“Sir, you mistake in addressing such language to me—you are presuming,” said Kate, with a petrifying hauteur; and giving her horse a smart cut with the whip, galloped on. Surprised, and somewhat angry, Harry checked his own horse, and gazed after her till she was lost in a bend of the winding road. As he stood by the side of the rivulet, Saladin reached down his head to drink. In his troubled abstraction, Harry let go the rein, which fell over the head of his horse. With a muttered something, which was not a benediction, Harry dismounted to regain it, when Saladin, in one of his mad freaks, gave a quick leap away and galloped up the glen after his mate. Harry was about to follow, but an odd thought coming into his brain, he threw himself on the turf instead, and lay perfectly still, with closed eyes, listening to the gallop of the two steeds, far up the glen. Presently he heard them stop—then turn, and come dashing down again with redoubled speed. Nearer and nearer came Kate. She was at his side—with a cry of alarm she threw herself from her horse and bent above him.

“Harry, dear Harry, were you thrown—are you injured?” she cried, raising the head of the apparently unconscious man, and supporting it on her knee. “Oh, Heaven! he is hurt—he does not hear me!” she murmured, laying back the hair from his forehead and pressing her lips upon it wildly and repeatedly. Harry’s eye-lids remained hermetically sealed, but a queer, comical expression began to play around the corners of his mouth, and was about to betray him, when he suddenly opened his eyes, with a look of triumphant impudence, and broke into a peal of joyous laughter.

Kate dropped his head with a movement of indignation and dismay—sprung up—led her horse to the trunk of a fallen tree, just by, from which she leaped into her saddle, and was off almost as soon as Harry had regained his feet. Again the faithless Saladin left his master in the lurch, and followed Kate, who went at a furious rate, never pausing nor looking back; so the somewhat discomforted Harry was obliged to foot it home, a matter of “twa mile and a bittock,” as they say in Scotland.

That night Kate had a headache, and did not appear at the tea-table, nor join the evening circle, where poor Harry was cross-questioned without mercy on the strange circumstance of having been left behind both by his horse and lady-fair.

“Ah, Kate,” said I, as I joined her at the close of the evening, “I have something to tell you. While you were dressing for your ride to-day, Harry called me into his room to show me that picture—and will you believe, it is only a bad portrait of yourself! Harry sketched it long ago for Louisa Grant, but has lately been making some important alterations, and now he thinks it strikingly like you. I really wonder we did not see the resemblance; the poetry was meant for you alone.”

“Oh, Grace, Grace!” murmured Kate, in a bitter tone, “if you had only told me this before I went to ride!”

At breakfast, the next morning, there was no Harry—two hours before he had whistled his dog and shouldered his gun, and set out on a crusade in turkey-land. But long before noon the young hunter returned, and inquiring for Kate, was directed to the library, where she sat, striving to drive away her sad mood, according to her own cheerful philosophy, by light reading. She had chosen “Hood’s 14 Prose and Verse,” instead of Miss Landon’s Poems, which stood on the same shelf.

Again I must tell the story as it was told to me.

As Harry entered, Kate coloring deeply, started up—stood still a moment, and then sat down again, uttering not a word. Harry, seating himself near her, took off his hunting-cap, ran his fingers nervously through his hair, and in a tolerably steady voice began,

“I could have no peace, Miss Richmond, until I had begged your pardon for my unparalleled impertinence yesterday. I intreat you to believe that I had in my heart no intentional disrespect for you. I pray your forgiveness for my first rash words—what you called my presumption. For the other daring act, I am not so deeply repentant, for I would willingly have my head broken in reality, to have it lie for another moment where it laid yesterday; yet for that also I ask pardon. Do you grant it?”

“With all my heart,” said Kate, smiling; but Harry continued—

“I have been, indeed, most presuming and conceited, in supposing for a moment that I could be any thing to you; and, perhaps,” he continued, with a proud curl of the lip, “we have both been mistaken in according too much meaning to trifling words and acts—we two have flirted desperately, Kate,—have we not?”

Kate bit her lip in vexation, and a shade of disappointment passed over her face. Just then the eyes of the two met, for the first time for some minutes, and the ridiculousness, the utter absurdity of they two endeavoring to deceive one another—to conceal for a moment longer the blessed truth that they loved one another, broke upon them at once, and they burst into a long and merry laugh.

“Well,” said Harry, at last, dashing the tears of mirth from his flashing eyes, and seating himself nearer Kate, “it is time I at least was serious, for the deepest and strongest feelings of my heart will make themselves heard. Kate, dear Kate, whether it gives you pleasure to know it, or not, I must tell you how truly, how devotedly, and, though you will scarce believe that, how reverentially I love you! I am a strange, wild fellow, Kate, somewhat rude and over-mirthful; but you, I am sure, can make me what you wish. Will you undertake the task?”

“With all my heart,” she again replied, frankly extending her hand.

“Blessings on your sweet soul, Kate!—but—but—”

“But what, Harry?”

“Not much, only will you allow me to pay you back that small coin you bestowed on me yesterday, in your Christian charity?”

“Oh, I’ll forgive you the debt,” said Kate, laughing.

“No, dear, I’ll not take advantage of your generosity, but pay you to the uttermost farthing.”

“Ah, hold! that is all, now—a thousand times more than I gave you!”

Suddenly the happy lover darted out of the room, and presently returned, saying, “See, Kate! a portrait of you, from memory.”

“Ah, indeed!” said Kate. “But, Harry, you have made my dark hair quite an auburn, and it has only the slightest golden hue when the sunlight falls upon it.”

“Well,” he replied, “to my eyes, there was always sunlight playing around you.”

“Ah, thank you; but again, these eyes are dark blue, and mine are gray, or by complaisance, hazel.”

“A very natural mistake, dearest,” said Harry, with an arch smile, “I saw heaven in your eyes, and so came to paint them blue.”










When Night, upon her starry throne,

Held undisputed sway and lone,

And moonlight to the trembling wave

A soft but spectral radiance gave,

He seized, with iron grasp, his chain,

  As if endued with giant strength,

And after many efforts vain,

While glowing madness fired his brain,

  From bondage burst at length.

The canning Corsair heard the sound

  Of strong link breaking, with a clang,

And stealing lightly, with one bound,

  Upon his frenzied victim sprang:

His right arm, used to felon deed,

  The Corsair raised with ready skill—

One thrust of his stiletto freed

  The crazed one from his load of ill.

The pleading look and wild appeal

Of Zillah could not stay the steel;

She saw him fall, and from his side

The red stream gush in bubbling tide,

Then fell herself, as if the blade

A sheath of her own breast had made;

While fearfully his spouting gore

The white robe reddened that she wore.

Her ear heard not the gurgling sound

Of hungry waters closing round,

As hastily the ruffian cast

His victim to the ocean vast,

Or marked the grim, exulting smile

That lighted up his face the while:

Extended on the deck she lay,

  As if the war of life was over,

As if her soul had fled away

To realms of never-ending day,

  To join the spirit of her lover.



She woke at last from her long swoon,

To hope that Death would triumph soon,

And the mad pulses of her frame,

With icy touch, forever tame:

She woke with features ashy white,

  And wildly gazed upon the plank

That deeply, freely in the night

  The crimson of his veins had drank:

Then raising heavenward her eye,

  In still, expecting posture stood,

As if a troop from realms on high

  Were coming down, with battle-songs,

To wash out sternly in the blood

  Of coward-hearts her many wrongs:

No tear-drop came to her relief

In that wild, parching hour of grief,

The tender plant of love she knew

  Would into verdure break no more—

The spot was arid where it grew

  In green luxuriance before.

She knew henceforth her lot below

  Would be to quaff the cup of pain—

On thing of Earth she could not throw

  The sunlight of her smile again:

The voice was still whose melting tone

Had vied in sweetness with her own—

The hiding wave had closed above

The only object of her love:

And Rispah, as strict watch she kept,

  While cold, like forms of Parian stone,

Her sons on gory couches slept,

  Felt not more desolate and lone.


In many hearts the gloomy sway

Of sorrow lessens, day by day,

Until the charms of life at last

Blot out remembrance of the past:

As winds may kiss the trampled flower,

  And lift again its bruiséd leaf,

So time, with his assuaging power,

  May stay the wasting march of grief:

But hearts in other bosoms beat

Where anguish finds a lasting seat

That heal not with the lapse of time—

  Too delicately stung for earth,

Whose chords can never after chime

  With peals of loud, unmeaning mirth.

Weeks flew: but Zillah in their flight

  Strove oft, but vainly, to forget

The horrors of that fatal night,

When her beloved star, whose light

  Made bondage pleasant, set.

No murmur from the lip outbroke,

  Though suddenly her cheek grew thin—

No quick, convulsive start bespoke

  The desolating fire within.

Her dark eye rested on the wave

  By day and in the hush of eve,

As if, ere long, the wet sear cave

  Her buried one would leave,

And, drifting suddenly to view,

His murderer with dread subdue.

Ah! I have said the stately mien

Of Zillah would befit a queen,

That lawless crime could ill withstand

Her innate bearing of command.

Alas! regality of soul

Gives agony supreme control,

And prompts the wretched one to hide

  Consuming pangs from vulgar gaze—

To nurse, in uncomplaining pride,

  The scorpion that preys.








Throw open once again

  The portals of the tomb,

And give among the glorious dead

  Another hero room!


Unclose your shadowy ranks,

  Illustrious shades unclose!

The valiant Leader, crowned with years,

  Goes down to his repose.


The champion of Peace

  On many a well-fought field,

Whose bloodless victories left no stain

  On his untarnished shield;


A king, though on his brow

  No jeweled crown might shine,

A king, although his patriot blood

  Glowed from no royal line;


A sovereign o’er a realm

  No boundaries can confine.

Whose throne was in a Nation’s heart,

  Who reigned by right divine;


A priest at Freedom’s shrine,

  Whose kindling words he spoke,

Till the dumb millions from their sleep

  To life and hope awoke;


A soldier of the Cross,

  Who bore a stainless brand;

The Preacher of a new crusade

  To rescue a lost land.


Rome! to thy care is given

  The heart whose throbs are o’er;

Eternal City! to thy charge

  Take this one relic more!


And Erin, sad and lorn,

  Take thou thy sacred trust,

And let the soil he loved so well

  Commingle with his dust!


And, Fame, take thou in charge

  The patriot’s renown,

And gather from your amaranth fields

  Another fadeless crown.






That gallant officer and enterprising traveler, Major Long, did the Illinois great injustice when he described it as “an extended pool of stagnant water,” for it was, when I saw it, one of the prettiest streams to be found in this country of fine rivers. The width is such as to give a full view of objects on both sides in passing; the basin was full without overflowing; and though the current was gentle, its waters were neither muddy nor stagnant. It should, however, be observed, that my journey was in the season when the rivers of the great Mississippi valley, though beginning to subside, were still high, and that those who wish to see them to advantage should visit the South and West before the heats of summer. Else will they be assuredly disappointed, and accuse me of indulging in a favorite amusement of travelers.

The Illinois, until you approach the Rapids, seems made on purpose for steam navigation, which is seldom, if ever, molested either by winds or waves. With the exception of points where the prairies approach the borders, the river is every where skirted by those magnificent forests which constitute one of the most striking and beautiful features of this new world; and completely sheltered from the storm, seems to glide along unconscious of the uproar of the elements around. It flows through a region which, even in this land of milk and honey, is renowned far and near for its almost unequaled fertility, and the ease with which it may be brought to produce the rich rewards of labor. There is, perhaps, no part of the world where the husbandman labors less, and reaps more, than throughout a great portion of this fine state, on which nature has bestowed her most exuberant bounties.

But, strange to say, I found the good-hearted people, almost without exception, complaining of “hard times,” not arising, however, from the usual sources of war, famine, or pestilence, but from actual abundance. They had more than they knew what to do with, and it was an apt, though melancholy commentary on the wisdom of man, as well as the providence of human legislation, that while the citizens of Illinois, and, indeed, the entire great western valley, were overburthened with all the necessaries of life, a large portion of the laboring poor of England were starving for want of them, simply because their rulers had virtually prohibited one country from relieving the necessities of the other. But for the high duties on flour, grain and provisions, the wants of the poor of England might and would be greatly relieved by the superabundance of the United States, and thus the blessings of Providence bestowed on one country be disseminated among others. But legislators, renowned for their far-reaching sagacity, have decreed otherwise; and the plenty which might become a universal blessing, is made a burthen to one country, while useless to all the rest of the world.

This noble state, as is well known, derives its name from a tribe of Indians, originally called the Illeni, which the French missionaries and explorers, who were the first white men that visited this region, changed into Illinois. They were neither warlike nor brave, and were held in great contempt by the invincible Iroquois and Outagamis, as appears from the following relation of an old traveler. “An Outagami,” says Father Charleroix, “who was burnt by the Illinois, perceiving a Frenchman among the spectators, begged of him that he would help his enemies to torment him; and on being asked why he made this request, replied, ‘because I should have the comfort of dying by the hands of men. My greatest grief is, that I never killed a man.’ ‘But,’ said an Illinois, ‘have you not killed such and such persons?’ ‘True; as for the Illinois, I have killed enough of them, but they are not men.’”

The character of the Indians, and the view of the savage state as found in North America, given by this writer, is so philosophical and just, that I am tempted to transcribe it for the instruction and amusement of the reader. It appears at least to be impartial, which is more than can be said of more recent writers, one class of whom can find nothing to praise, the other nothing to blame in our Indians.

“With a savage appearance, and manners, and customs, which are entirely barbarous, there is observable among them a social kindness, free from almost all the imperfections which so often disturb the peace of society among us. They appear to be without passion; but they do that in cold blood, and sometimes through principle, which the most violent and unbridled passion produces in those who give no ear to reason. They seem to lead the most wretched life in the world; and they were, perhaps, the only happy people on earth, before the knowledge of the objects which so much work upon and seduce us, had excited in them desires which ignorance kept in supineness, and which have not, as yet, made any great ravages among them. We discover in them a mixture of the fiercest and the most gentle manners; the imperfections of wild beasts, united with virtues and qualities of the mind and heart which do the greatest honor to human nature. One would think at first they had no form of government; that they acknowledge neither laws nor subordination; and that living in an entire independence, they suffer themselves to be solely guided by chance, and the wildest caprice. Nevertheless, they enjoy almost all the advantages that a well regulated authority can secure to the best governed nations. Born free and independent, they look with 17 horror on the very shadow of despotic power; but they seldom depart from certain principles and customs founded on good sense, which are to them instead of laws, and which in some measure supply the place of a lawful authority. They will not bear the least restraint; but reason alone keeps them in a kind of subordination, which, from being voluntary, it not less effectual to obtain the end intended.”[1]

The Illinois has the same peculiarity I observed in all the rivers of the Mississippi valley. With the exception of here and there a solitary plantation, or a little embryo town, few traces of man appear on its borders until you arrive at the great prairie, above the head of steam navigation, which extends all the way to the lakes. At long distances we came upon one of those evidences of the busy body, man, in the shape of a little village, a clearing, or an establishment for putting up pork for exportation, where I was told, notwithstanding the “hard times,” they throw the ears, feet, and often heads of the swine into the river, to feed the eels and catfish. Indeed, from what I observed throughout the whole extent of my journey, in this suffering region, there is almost as much wasted there as would serve to feed the starving manufacturers of England.

Most of the towns on the river, below the Rapids, have little worthy of attention, and all their glories are prospective; but there is one it would be unpardonable to pass by without a tribute to its surpassing beauties. I refer to Peoria, whose aspect is as soft and gentle as its name. Father Charleroix, I think, calls it Pimitavery, and it lies on the left bank of the Illinois, where it expands into a lake from one to three miles wide, and ten in length. Ascending the bank, you come upon a fine prairie, forming a crescent, of some twelve or fifteen miles, judging by the eye, whose arch is bounded by a bluff, as it is here usually called, but which represents a natural terrace of wonderful regularity, clothed with luxuriant grass, and crowned with open woods, affording as beautiful sites for country residences as can be imagined in dreams. It was Sunday, and in the afternoon, when the sun was low, I took a walk from the town to the terrace, about a mile distant, which is reached by a private road, leading among wheat and corn fields of the greatest luxuriance.

Nothing could be more soft, calm, and alluring than the weather and the scene. The smooth glassy lake lay directly before me, bordered on the farther side by a vast green meadow receding far away, and fringed in the vague distance by a dark barrier of forest, beyond which was nothing but the skies. Between the lake and the terrace on which I stood, lay the thrifty, gay-looking town; to the left, the crescent gracefully curved till it met the lake, while to the right it made a noble sweep, enclosing a level prairie, whose extent I did not pretend to determine; and which, though it had never been sowed or reaped, looked as smooth as a shaven lawn, as green as the most luxuriant meadow. Neither fence nor inclosure of any kind was seen in that quarter, and the cattle dispersed about in all directions, strayed wherever they pleased. While contemplating the scene, the setting sun gradually retired behind the wooded terrace, and the glowing, golden lustre gave place to those transitions of the summer twilight which are so exquisitely touching and beautiful. There was a silence, a repose and loveliness all around, in the earth, in the heavens above, and on the waters, whose effect, if I could only communicate it to my readers, they would thank me for; and never did the sun set on a more holy Sabbath, or one better calculated to call forth grateful homage to the Creator of such an enchanting world.

This little paradise was until recently possessed by the Peoria Indians, a small tribe, which has since receded; and tradition says there was once a considerable settlement of the French on the spot. I was informed there is an extensive old burial-place, not of Indian origin, somewhere on or hear the terrace, and noticed that not a few of the names and physiognomies in this quarter were evidently French. There seems a chasm in the forest history of this region, between the relation of Charleroix, which refers to no later period than 1720, and the final cession of the French North American possessions to the English. A series of obscure and unrecorded incidents which have escaped the historian, led to results which for this reason appear unaccountable; and there is, I think, every reason to believe all those discoveries of iron and copper implements, and other evidences of mechanical skill, from which some ingenious writers have inferred that the Indians once possessed arts they have now lost, may be traced to this period, and to adventurous white men, long since forgotten.

Some eight or ten miles above Peoria, just at the point where this charming lake again becomes metamorphosed into its parent river, and in the midst of a solitude which requires only the presence and labors of man to make it one of the gayest as well as most fruitful districts in the world, are the ruins, or rather remains of the modern city of Rome, founded, not built, in the palmy days of speculation wild. These remains consist of the skeleton of a single house, which puts the passing traveler in mind of the voice of one crying in the wilderness of rich, waving prairie, blooming with flowers of every hue and odor. If there is not a city here now, there certainly will be in time; and the long-sighted speculator, whoever he was, only anticipated a generation or two in the march of population. This beautiful region only wants inhabitants, which, whatever people may say, are necessary to the prosperity of cities; and I think it by no means improbable that some hundreds, or perhaps thousands of years hence—which, after all, is nothing compared to eternity—when all the past, present and future glories of the ancient mistress of the world are buried in the bottomless pit of oblivion, the founder of this legitimate successor, though not suckled by a wolf, may take rank with Romulus and Remus, and be immortalized as the parent of a new and more illustrious Rome.

Sailing up the river, among the green meadows, and willows kissing the surface of the waters, amid 18 a silence broken only by the puffing of the steam-pipe, the next object which attracted my attention was a pretty little village pleasantly situated on the right bank, whose name commemorates the residence of old Father Hennepin, who, tradition says, once established a mission here. These early pioneers of the wilderness deserved and attained a great influence over the jealous, independent, impracticable red-man of the new world, and justly claim the respect of those who might never be incited to follow their example. They were unquestionably actuated by the purest, most elevated piety, in thus encountering and overcoming the dangers and privations of the untracked wilderness, and deserve to be respectfully remembered, if not for the success of their endeavors at least for the courage, zeal and perseverance with which they were prosecuted.

Among the earliest and most distinguished of these were Father Louis Hennepin and Joseph Marquette, the former of whom visited Canada somewhere about the year 1676. He remained some time at fort Frontenac, where he constructed a portable chapel, and whence he accompanied the celebrated Louis de La Salle, in a voyage of discovery on the Upper Mississippi, which had been discovered by Father Marquette, six years before. They visited the Falls of Niagara, of which he gives the earliest description on record. It is extremely accurate, as I ascertained by comparison on the spot, and shows what little change the incessant action of these mighty waters has produced in the lapse of almost two centuries. After establishing a post at Niagara, La Salle built the first schooner that ever sailed on the great lakes, and passing through Erie, St. Clair and Huron, entered Michigan, where he erected a fort at the mouth of the river St. Joseph. From thence they proceeded to explore the Mississippi, and it was probably on his return, that Father Hennepin erected his chapel on the spot where now stands the town bearing his name. According to his own account he first descended the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico, and returning, ascended that river as high as the Falls of St. Anthony, which are indebted to him for their name. He returned to France, published a relation of his discoveries, came back to this country, and I have not chanced to meet with any further account of him. Whether he ever visited France again, or whether he ended his days on the banks of the Illinois, I cannot say. I went on shore and visited the town, which stands on a high gravel bank—a great rarity in this region—and endeavored to ascertain the spot of the good father’s residence. But there are no aged persons, no depositories of traditionary lore to be found here; and our people are too much taken up with anticipations of the future, to pay much attention to the past. I found no one who could give any precise information, though all were familiar with his name. Hennepin is the county-seat of Putnam; and as it does not, I believe, aspire to the dignity of a great city, like most of its neighbors, will probably flourish long and happily, a memorial of the good father whose name it bears.

Father Joseph Marquette, whose name is also intimately associated with the early discoveries in this region, was a kindred spirit. According to Charleroix, who belonged to the same order of missionary knights errant, “he was a native of Laon, in Picardy, where his family still holds a distinguished rank. He was one of the most illustrious missionaries of new France; he traveled over almost all parts of it, and made many discoveries, the last of which was the Mississippi, which he entered with the Sieur Joliet, in 1673. Two years after this discovery, of which he published an account, as he was going from Chicagou, which is at the bottom of Lake Michigan, to Michilimackinac, he entered the river I am now speaking of, the mouth of which was at the extremity of the low land which, as I have said, we leave to the right in entering. He set up an altar here and said mass. After this he went a little distance to return thanks, and prayed the two men who managed his canoe, to leave him alone for half an hour. This time being expired, they went to seek him, and were greatly surprised to find him dead; but they recollected he said he should finish his journey there. As it was too far from thence to Michilimackinac to carry his body thither, they buried him pretty near the side of the river, which from that time has retired, as if out of respect, to the cape, at the foot of which it now runs, and where it has made a new passage. The year following, one of the men who had performed the last duties to this servant of God, returned to the place where he had buried him, took up his remains, and carried them to Michilimackinac. I could not learn, or else I have forgot, what name this river had before, but at present the savages always call it the river of the Black Gown. The French have given it the name of Father Marquette, and never fail to invoke him when they find themselves in any danger on Lake Michigan.”[2] The little river still bears the name, and the spot where he was buried is designated on the maps as Marquette’s grave.

About the head of steam-navigation on the Illinois, and especially near the junction of the canal which will connect the lakes with the Mississippi, cities multiply prodigiously, and are called by the most prodigious names. Most assuredly my countrymen are great at christening places; but still I wish they would consult Tristram Shandy, where they will find a most edifying discussion on the subject. The race of antiquaries who grope their way backward through the obscure labyrinth of time by the clue of names, will assuredly be not a little puzzled, as children are wont to be, to find out who was the father of Zebedee’s children. If they should follow the etymology of names, they will probably come to the conclusion that we derived our parentage from all the nations of the earth, ancient and modern, and had more fathers than children.

Nevertheless I have nothing to say against any of the thriving brood of young cities that multiplied so wonderfully in those happy days when swallows built in young men’s whiskers, and the little hatchet became a great hammer before the iron grew cold. 19 Those especially that have either houses or inhabitants, I wish all possible prosperity, and hope they will one day rival the great cities after which they are christened. But those which have nothing but a name and a lithographic map to demonstrate their existence, cannot expect to be recognized by any traveler of ordinary pretensions to veracity. The commencement of the canal to which allusion has just been made, was the signal for speculation in its immediate vicinity, and six cities were forthwith founded on the prairie between La Salle and Ottawa, a distance of some fourteen miles. As they may possibly perish in embryo before their birth, and thus dodge the antiquary who will be looking for them some centuries hence, I feel it a duty to do all I can to assist his inquiries, lest he should lose his wits in searching for them, as did the pedagogue in Le Sage, in looking for the paulo post futurum of a Greek verb.

The first of these, whose name I don’t choose to remember, is very advantageously situated on a barren rock, at the head of the navigation of a stream which can neither be spelt nor pronounced, and which had no water in it when I passed over. But not to wrong the river, or the long-headed, long-sighted founder of the city, I acknowledge I was informed that sometimes during the melting of the snows on the Rocky Mountains, or after a heavy shower of rain, there was an ample sufficiency of water to float a chip—not a ship, gentle reader—of considerable burthen, into the Illinois. It was therefore the opinion of the unknown and illustrious founder, that nothing could prevent this place from becoming in good time a great commercial emporium; and I was told, but will not vouch for the fact, that he had actually organized a whaling company, and seriously talked of opening a direct trade with China. In short, he looked forward with all the faith of a speculator, which exceeds that of a martyr ten times over, to seeing his city, in a few years, smothered by a corporation, blessed with half a dozen broken banks, and loaded with debts and taxes, in humble emulation of its betters.

In the books of English tenures, there are some whimsical conditions of ownership and occupancy; but I recollect none similar to the city I am commemorating, which denounces a forfeiture of property on all those convicted of either drinking or bringing spirituous liquors therein. No one will question the morality of this regulation, though its prudence may not be so obvious, as many people might suppose that any future purchasers of lots, some of which I was told had been originally sold for two or three hundred dollars each, would require some powerful stimulant in addition to the excitement of speculation. It is doubtful whether any sober man would give such a price at this time. I had almost forgot to mention that this city has neither houses nor inhabitants.

The next brevet city we passed, is just at the foot of the lower rapids of the Illinois, and directly on the margin of the river. It promises rather better than the other, having one house actually built, and another in anticipation. It is really a delightful spot, on a strip of prairie looking like an immense shaven lawn, backed by a high terrace of grassy knobs and precipitous rocks, whose sides and summits are clothed with foliage, along which the gentle river meanders lazily until it comes to the rapids, which, having passed, it pursues its way rejoicing. It might have destroyed the balance of this portion of the new world, had these two great marts been placed on the same side of the river, and accordingly they are prudently located on the opposite shores, in order to preserve the equilibrium. I was told there was a desperate rivalry between them, and great apprehensions are entertained from their competition when they come to be inhabited.

Just above this last-mentioned metropolis, and on the same side of the river, is the Starvation Rock, so called from a tradition, not very ancient, I believe, which tells that a large party of Illinois having sought refuge from the pursuit of a superior force of hostile Indians, were blockaded, and all, save one, perished by famine. This place was visited by Charleroix, in 1720, who ascended the rock, where he found the remains of old palisades, originally created for defence, and the bodies of two Indians, half consumed by fire. He says nothing, however, of the incident from which the place derives its present name. It is one of the most beautiful rocks I ever saw, exhibiting a succession of ledges, displayed horizontally with wonderful regularity, but of an infinite variety of shades and colors, such as is generally observed in cliffs of limestone. At a little distance, beheld through the soft hazy atmosphere of the prairie, it resembles the ruins of a great castle, towering to the height of perhaps two hundred feet, garnished with trees, shrubs, flowers and clambering vines. The whole of this vast fruitful region, from the delta of the Mississippi to the Niagara Ridge, terminating at Lewistown, is, so far as I observed, based on a limestone formation, and the waters every where impregnated with lime. They are said to be wholesome when one is accustomed to their use; but, unfortunately, I never could get used to them, and finally came to the conclusion, that—to vary the old proverb a little to suit the occasion—though Heaven had created the land, the D—l had furnished the water.

The last city I shall commemorate is called after a famous stronghold in Europe, being seated on a ledge of rocks extending from the Illinois into the prairie, and apparently inaccessible on all sides. It is certainly a capital position in a military point of view, and would be invaluable on a frontier. People might live there in great security if they could find any thing to eat. At present the only enemy they would have to fear is famine. Luckily, however, there are no inhabitants, and one need be under no apprehensions on that score. It is a most picturesque spot, the mossy rocks every where interspersed with flowers and verdure, and the summit crowned with an open wood of lofty trees, under which the grass is as green and luxuriant as a lowland meadow. There are several other cities, lying dormant, between 20 this and the town of Ottawa, and no one can predict their future destinies. When the canal connecting the Mississippi and the lakes comes to be finished, as I hope it soon will be, for it is a great national undertaking, and will form the last link to the most extensive inland navigation in the world, there can be little doubt, I think, that this will become a very busy and populous region. Towns will rise up as a matter of course; and, provided they do not ruin each other by their numbers and their rivalry, will flourish to a considerable extent. Those, therefore, who have the wealth of Crœsus, and the patience of Job, may, if they please, speculate in town-lots in these embryo cities, for the benefit of their posterity.

The gallant adventurer La Salle is worthily commemorated in this quarter, by a town and a county called after his name. Among all the hardy and daring pioneers, of the Mississippi valley and the lakes, he stands foremost, and best merits the remembrance and gratitude of the millions who are now enjoying the fruits of his enterprise and sufferings. He built the first vessel that ever floated on the lakes; he explored the Upper and Lower Mississippi, and perished at last by the hands of his companions, who finally shrunk from the perils and privations which he bore without flinching. Mr. Adams, when Secretary of State, in a correspondence with Don Leviz de Onis, the Spanish minister, on the subject of boundaries, pays a most eloquent, well deserved tribute to the genius, hardihood, courage and enterprise of Louis La Salle, but with this exception he has not met with that attention he so justly merits from my countrymen.

The little town of La Salle lies close to the junction of the canal with the Illinois, and was founded by a colony of the sons of old Erin, who were employed in that undertaking. It is a genuine, unadulterated Irish town; the cabins many of them of turf, and all thatched with straw. The number of pigs is only to be matched by that of children, and both are in a most flourishing condition, to judge from the portly dimensions of one and the rosy cheeks of the other. There is no place in the universe where the jolly, hard-working, warm-hearted Irishman can so gloriously luxuriate in the paradise of potatoes. The reader will please to understand that notwithstanding the number of great cities hereabouts, the entire prairie from Peru to Chicago, with here and there an occasional exception, is in a state of nature, although one of the fairest and richest portions of the earth. They began at the wrong end, or rather, they put the cart before the horse, and laid out towns instead of cultivating land. This is one of the prominent foibles of that sanguine, enterprising, anticipating and gallant race which is daily adventuring into the boundless region of the West. They are not content with land of inexhaustible fertility, but almost every tenth man aspires to be the founder of a city. Instead, therefore, of laying out his farm into fields, he lays it out into a town, which he calls after his own name, with a ville at the end of it; or he dams up the river, builds a mill, and lays the foundation of a series of bilious complaints, that descend to his posterity to the second or third generation. Hence the number of towns is out of all proportion to the number of inhabitants. With very many of them, their generation is a mere spasmodic effort of speculation. They consequently exhibit an appearance of prosperity for a few years; are then suddenly arrested, and either never grow any more, or dwindle away to nothing. A despotic monarch like Peter the Great may create a city where he will, but with all his power he cannot perpetuate its existence beyond his own, unless it possesses natural advantages to attract voluntary settlers. Private persons should beware how they undertake to found cities. They may build houses, but they cannot fill them with people.

The town of La Salle, unlike some of it neighbors, was conceived and brought forth in the natural way, that is, the people preceded the houses. When the honest Irish laborers came to work on the canal, they according to custom built themselves cabins, about the spot where they commenced their labors. As the land was neither cultivated nor enclosed, they employed their leisure hours in digging ditches about a piece of prairie large enough for a potato-patch, and sometimes a small patch of wheat or corn. Here, with little labor, they raised as much as supplied them with bread, or a substitute; and though the canal has for some years been discontinued for lack of means, these people continue to cultivate their little fields, which are wonderfully productive, frequently making new enclosures, and sometimes erecting frame houses. If the land belonged to the United States they were protected by the right of preemption, and if to a private citizen, it was his interest to let them alone, as there was no danger of the soil being exhausted, and he was thus saved the labor of the first ploughing, which is the most expensive of all the process of cultivation here. Thus these honest, laborious people live quite comfortably, waiting the period of recommencing the canal, and some of them perhaps able to purchase the land on which they reside, provided it is not laid out in cities, which is very probable, for you can hardly put down your foot without crushing one of these mushrooms.

Ottawa, like La Salle, is a real bona fide town, with houses and inhabitants. Its age is some twelve or fifteen years, and the number of its people from twelve to fifteen hundred. I found the situation so peculiarly agreeable, and the hotel so comfortable, that I determined to remain awhile, and amuse myself with making little excursions about the neighborhood, than which nothing can be more beautiful. The town stands at the junction of the Fox River with the Illinois. They are both clear, limpid streams, and though coming from far distant lands, meet and mingle together as quietly as if they had been friends from their birth. The scenery is as gentle as the rivers, and as mild and mellow as one of Claude’s pictures, that actually makes a real connoisseur yawn and stretch to look at it. In one direction the eye passes over a long narrow prairie, all one rich expanse 21 of grass and flowers, through which the Illinois sometimes hurries rapidly over a ledge of rocks, at others meanders lazily along. On either side of the river, the prairie is bounded by those remarkable terraces which form one of the more beautiful features of this region. They rise abruptly from the green level sward, to the height, I should imagine, of one hundred and fifty feet, in some places presenting a smooth grassy bank, whose ascent is dotted and their summits crowned with trees; in others, walls of perpendicular rocks disposed in regular strata, of varied tints, diversified with all sorts of verdure peeping from out the crevices. These terraces seem created on purpose for houses, from the porches or windows of which the proprietors of the rich fields and meadows beneath, might overlook their beautiful possessions, and thank a bounteous Providence for having cast their lot, not in Araby, but Illinois the blest.

Looking toward the north, from my window at the hotel, the great rolling prairie, extending from Ottawa to Chicago, presented itself in a succession of gentle risings and waving lines, all green, yet of such various shades, that there was nothing like sameness or dull insipidity. The Fox River approaches in this direction, and may be seen stealing its way with many windings of coy reluctance, toward that union with the Illinois where it is to lose its name and identity forever. Indeed, in all directions the views are almost unequaled for softness and delicacy, and I hope I may be pardoned for this vain attempt to communicate to my readers a portion of the pleasure I derived from their contemplation. Travelers have a right to such indulgence, since nothing can be more disinterested than for a man to undergo the fatigue of visiting distant places, merely for the gratification of making others as wise as himself.

Ottawa is a fine place for sportsmen, most especially those disciples of Job and St. Anthony who deal with the fishes. The traditionary fishing in the Illinois and Fox Rivers is capital, and there is scarcely a man to be met with, who has not at least once in his life been eminently successful. But it is certainly somewhat peculiar to the gentle science of angling, that the best fishing is always the greatest way off. It is never where you happen to be, but always somewhere else. It is never in the present tense, but always in the past or the future. However excellent it be on the spot, it is always better somewhere else: and the farther you go, the farther off, to the end of the chapter. Then, ten to one, it is too late, or too early; the sun shines too bright; the wind blows too hard, or does not blow at all. In short, there is ever some untoward circumstance in the way of success, and I know no school of patience and philosophy superior to the noble apprenticeship to angling.

The fishing is however good, both in the Fox River and the Illinois. There is a large species called trout, rather from its habits than appearance, which frequents the rapids, and is a noble subject for the angler; while the vulgar fisherman, who affects the still water, may now and then luxuriate in a cat-fish weighing ten or fifteen pounds, and ugly enough to frighten a member of a militia court-martial. There is also the gar-fish, of great size, whose pleasure it is to let you toss him up into the air, without ever catching him, and then see him plump down into the water with the bait, perhaps hook and all, in his jaws. On the whole, however, the sport is extremely agreeable, and the little excursions to the various points renowned for angling, present such a succession of charming scenes, that no one can complain he toiled all day long and caught no fish, who has preserved the happy faculty of enjoying the smiling earth and balmy air.

Add to this, the prairies abound in a species of grouse, affording equal sport to the fowler and the epicure. I am no shot, but my excellent host, who well deserves a passing notice, and who does credit to the Empire state, of which he is a native, was both a capital shot and a first rate angler. Indeed he could do almost any thing, and merited the title of an universal genius as much as any man I have met with. He would every morning rig out his little wagon, drawn by a rough uncivilized Indian pony, which, like old Virginia, “never tires,” and followed by a couple of dogs, sally out on the prairie, whence he never returned without a supply of game. The summer climate is here by no means oppressive; the storms never last a whole day; and, in short, I know few places where a man fond of rural scenes, rural sports, and quiet enjoyments, might spend his time more pleasantly than at the comfortable quarters of mine host at Ottawa, whose name is Delano, and whose house is on the margin of Fox River. “May he live a thousand years, and his shadow never be less.”

Leaving Ottawa, I embarked on the sea of the prairie, and after proceeding a few miles came to a settlement of Norwegians, consisting of a little straggling village, encompassed by luxuriant fields of wheat and corn, showing forth the rich rewards of industry operating in a fertile soil. The buildings and other appendages indicated not only comfort but competency, and I could not avoid being struck with the singularity of a community from the remote regions of Northern Europe planting itself in this secluded spot in the very bosom of the New World. Yet this is by no means a solitary example. Go where we will in the great region of the West, we perceive new evidence of the proud and happy destiny of our country, in being above all others on the face of the earth, the land toward which the eager and longing eye of hope is cast from every corner of Christendom: the land to which poverty turns for relief from its sufferings, and the oppressed for the enjoyment of the rights bestowed by God and filched away by man; the land which alone yields an adequate reward to labor, and gives to honest enterprise its fair field for exertion; the land where pining wretchedness never descends as an heir-loom from generation to generation, and want is not, like wealth, hereditary; the New World, which a gracious Providence seems to have reserved as a refuge and a home to the swarms of industrious bees driven from the 22 parent hive for want of room, want of employment, and want of bread.

This, after all, is the crowning chaplet that adorns the brow of our great republic, and long may it be before it withers. The triumphs of arms, art and literature fade in comparison with those of humanity, and that country which affords the greatest plenty of the necessaries and comforts of life to the greatest proportion of human beings, may justly challenge a pre-eminence over those which place their claims to that distinction merely on the ground of arts and refinements, whose influence is confined to a few, and contributes but little to the happiness, and less to the virtues even of those who make it the sole foundation of their assumptions of superiority. While our country continues to be the refuge of the honest, industrious poor of Europe, who cares for their boasts of those paltry refinements, those exquisite effeminacies, which in all past ages, and in every nation of the world, have been the sure precursors of decay and dissolution. When the descendants of those who were driven to the United States by the privations and discouragements they encountered at home, shall begin to leave the land of their refuge, and return to the bosom of the country of their forefathers in search of bread which they cannot procure here, then, and not till then, may the renovated Old World justly boast of that superiority which is now little more than a dream of long past times.

I have lately seen in some of the English papers exaggerated pictures of the condition of the United States, founded, probably, in the policy of encouraging emigration to her own possessions, or derived from the reports of some few disappointed emigrants who have returned home. It was proclaimed that the country was crushed with debts it never could repay without impoverishing the people by taxation; that labor could neither find employment nor receive adequate reward; that an universal blight had come over the land, and every where withered its prosperity; that the states were bankrupt and the people beggars. All this is sheer declamation. There never has been any thing like widely extended, much less general distress in the United States, arising from a deprivation or curtailment of the necessaries or comforts of life. There never was a time when any class, or any considerable proportion of a class, approached within a thousand degrees, that poverty and destitution which is the common lot of so large a portion of the laboring people of the Old World. The country has at all times been blessed with a plenty, a superfluity, an exuberance of every product essential to human existence, and those who could not obtain them, were either unwilling to make the necessary exertions, or unable to do so by sickness or some other untoward circumstance. The distress complained of is not positive, but comparative. We may be restricted in our luxuries, but the land, from one wide extreme to the other, is absolutely flowing with milk and honey, and it is little less than flying in the face of the bounties of Heaven to complain of hard times, which can only be traced to a superabundance of every thing, and shrink to the earth under the pressure of a debt, the whole of which could be paid is less time than it was contracted, without incurring one-fourth of the burden sustained by the people of England. But we have been spoiled by prosperity Fortuna nisirium quem foret stultum facit. Fifty years of almost uninterrupted prosperity had turned our heads, and it is to be hoped a few years of wholesome reaction will restore us to reason. The sudden cessation of a favorable gale often saves the vessel from running on the rocks and being dashed to pieces.

The prairies have already been described as well perhaps as they ever will be, because they are a sort of lusus naturæ, and there is nothing with which to compare them. To tell of what ingredients they are composed is easy enough, but to give a just idea of the effects of their combination, requires analogies not to be found in the other productions of nature, nor in the imagery of the mind. Although substantial realities, they present nothing but deceptions, and I believe it is beyond the power of language, almost imagination, to exaggerate the strange and beautiful combination of what is, and what is not, sporting together in perfect harmony on these boundless plains. The eye becomes at length wearied with being thus perpetually the dupe of imaginary forms, and imaginary distances, while the mind involuntary revolts at the deceptions practiced on the senses. Mr. Bryant in poetry, and Mr. Hoffman and Mr. Catlin in prose, have done all that can be done to convey to those who have never seen them an impression of the effect of these happy eccentricities of nature, and the beautiful phantasmagoria they exhibit forth to the senses and the imagination.

If ever miser were pardoned for coveting his neighbors land, it might be such land as the prairies of Illinois, where man labors almost without the sweat of his brow, and the crops are so abundant that all I heard the good people complain of was having more than they knew what to do with. This is indeed s lamentable state of things, and it were I think much to be wished that some of our philosophical lecturers would discuss the relative advantages of having too much and too little of a good thing. The case of an individual being overburthened with superfluity, is easily disposed of, as he has only to turn it over to his neighbors who may be in want; but when entire communities, states and confederations of states, labor under this inconvenience, where nobody wants, and all have plenty to bestow; in other words, where all wish to sell and nobody cares to buy, it must be confessed there occurs a crisis of such deplorable difficulty, that I can conceive no effectual remedy except two or three years of famine like those which succeeded the seven years of plenty in Egypt. This would consume the mischievous surplus, and rid them of an evil which as it never before occurred, has never been provided against by the wisdom of legislation, which most people believe can perform impossibilities. But be this as it may, I passed over a vast region where the table of every man groaned under superfluities, and every brood of swine wasted more corn than would supply bread to a family of 23 English manufacturers. Yet I found all, without exception, in the last stage of hopeless despondency, until one day I entered the log-cabin of an old negro woman, a slave, who was enjoying her pipe at ease, and upon asking the usual commonplace question of “how times went with her,” was answered with the most cheerful alacrity—“O bravely, massa. Hens ’gin to lay finely.” We hear of nations suffering from famine, but my unfortunate countrymen complain of nothing but plenty. Whence comes this strange paradox? Is it because men have sought to invent artificial means of prosperity which act in direct opposition to the great general laws of Providence, and are thus punished for their presumptuous folly by a new, unheard of infliction?

After riding a distance of some seventy or eighty miles on the prairie, over the best natural roads in the world, I halted at the house of a Dutch farmer from the banks of the Hudson, where I heard that old patriarchal language spoken for the first time in many years. There are several descendants of the ancient Hollanders settled in this quarter, to which they are tempted by the broad rich flats, and the easiness of their cultivation. I have observed that those who partake largely in this blood, though almost uniformly steady and industrious in their habits, don’t much like hard, fatiguing work. They prefer labor where there is no violent exertion or straining, no heavy burthens to lift or carry, and no call for extraordinary efforts to achieve what may be accomplished in the ordinary way without them. Hence they are great amateurs in good land, easy to cultivate and yielding liberal returns. In this I think they are perfectly right. Without doubt, it is the destiny of civilized man to labor, that is in moderation. But to labor without the rewards of labor; to be for ever toiling, and panting, and sweating over a piece of rough, stony land, on which the malediction of eternal barrenness has been denounced ever since the creation of the world; to be ever sowing wheat and reaping nothing but tares, is in my opinion, utterly unphilosophical, and unworthy of all men who can go farther and fare better.

A particular occasion had drawn together at this spot a large cavalcade of both sexes, gayly caparisoned and well-mounted, many of the females being equipped in riding-habits, hats with feathers, and all more or less picturesque in their appearance. They chose to accompany the carriage to a little town about six or seven miles distant, over a beautiful expanse of prairie, or as it might be aptly termed, “faerie land,” exhibiting a succession of grassy lawns and beds of flowers of hundreds of acres, marshaled under different colors, some were red, some blue, and others entirely yellow. It is difficult to imagine a more gay and beautiful spectacle than that presented on this occasion. The sky was sufficiently obscured to temper the glare of sunshine, which is sometimes here painful to the eye, and the playful cavalcade, consisting of perhaps an hundred, indulged in a thousand careless, graceful evolutions on the level greensward, that seemed without beginning or end, and offered no obstruction in any direction. Sometimes a pair of riders of both sexes would dash out from the throng, and scamper away until they appeared like shadows against the distant horizon; and at others, the whole mass would separate in different directions, skimming over the plain like Arabs on their winged steeds, their different colored dresses and picturesque costumes rendering the scene indescribably gay and animating. The females all without exception sat and managed their horses with that perfect skill and grace arising from constant habit, and upon the whole, I never witnessed any exhibition that could compare with this ride on the prairie of Illinois in romantic interest and novelty.

Thus, toward evening, I reached the pleasant town which was to be my resting-place for the night. By some strange perversion of ignorance, or freak of vanity, it is nicknamed Juliet, instead of Joliet, from the old pioneer of that name, who established his quarters here in olden time on a mount, which, fortunately, has escaped being travestied into Juliet, and still preserves his name. This mount is one of the most remarkable, as well as beautiful objects in nature. It rises directly from the prairie to the height, I should judge, of more than an hundred feet; is clothed with a rich velvet coat of grass on all sides, as well as at the summit; is entirely distinct from any other eminence; comprises an area of six or eight acres, and is as regular and perfect in construction, form, and outline, as any work of art I ever saw. It has been generally taken by travelers for a creation of those mysterious mound-builders, whose name and history have passed into oblivion, and who have left no memorials of their existence but such as render it only more inexplicable. It is, however, as I ascertained, a production of the cunning hand of Nature, who sometimes, it would seem, amuses herself by showing how much she can excel her illegitimate sister, Art, even in her most successful attempts at imitation. The canal connecting the Illinois with the lakes, runs directly at the foot of this mount, which with something like Gothic barbarity has been deeply excavated on one side, in order to form the outward bank. This process has disclosed a succession of different strata of earth, clay, and gravel, all regularly defined, and evidently not the work of man, but of the world of craters, which beyond doubt covered all the surrounding country, long posterior to the subsiding of the great deluge.

The Sieur Joliet, who tradition says, once resided on the top of this mount, which is flat and comprises several acres of rich meadow, was one of the adventurous heroes who first found their way from Canada to the Valley of the West. Little is known of him, except that he preceded or accompanied La Salle in some of his discoveries on the Mississippi, for which, says Charleroix, “he received a grant of the island of Anticosti, which extends about forty degrees north-west and south-east, and lies at the mouth of the River St. Lawrence. But they made him no great present; it is absolutely good for nothing. It is poorly wooded, its soil is barren, and it has not a single harbor where a ship can lie in safety.” I regret to differ with the good father, whose description shows it to be eminently 24 calculated for the site of a great emporium, and am surprised that it has hitherto escaped the notice of our illustrious founders of cities in places where it is all rocks and no water. But be this as it may, the Sieur Joliet is particularly unfortunate in having been rewarded for his services by an island worth nothing, and defrauded by ignorance or vanity of the honor of giving his name to a beautiful and thriving town.

Some fifteen years ago the place occupied by the town of Joliet was the seat of Black Hawk’s power. It now contains twelve or fifteen hundred white people, and is a busy, growing place, with reasonable anticipations of becoming considerably larger in good time. The frank, hospitable, spirited, and intelligent people of this noble region of the West, must not, however, calculate too confidently on all their towns becoming great cities because they grow with astonishing rapidity at the first starting. Great cities, like great men, do not spring up in all places and every where. A large portion of these towns, like children, will probably increase in size the first few years, more than in all their lives afterward. Many will stop short in their growth, and many will gradually be swallowed up by some neighboring rival, whose natural advantages, or some fortunate concurrence of circumstances, will enable it to secure the ascendancy, and render all the others tributary to its prosperity. When this ascendency is permanently acquired, nothing but inferior towns can flourish in its immediate vicinity, and like all great bodies, they will become the centre of attraction.

The canal connecting the Mississippi with the Lakes runs through the town, and is here finished in a most admirable and substantial manner. It is identified with the River Des Planes, which has been circumscribed by a wall to prevent its overflowing. There are here two locks, and a basin, equal to any I have ever seen, and indeed, all the permanent stonework of this canal appears to have been done in the most substantial and perfect style. A canal completing a line of inland water communication to the extent of from three to four thousand miles, by a cut of scarcely more than a hundred, through a region which is almost an apparent level, and presents perhaps fewer natural obstructions than any other of the same extent to be found elsewhere, is not only a noble, but a feasible undertaking. Its advantages are too obvious to require enumeration; it is in fact, essentially a national work, and stands a monument of rational foresight, among a thousand visionary schemes of sanguine folly, or selfish fraud. It is already more than two-thirds completed, and I conceive that New York is almost as deeply interested in the final issue as Illinois.

Leaving this fair and flourishing town, which still affords me many agreeable recollections of natural beauty and kind hospitality, I visited in my way to Chicago, the village of Lockport, which has grown up in anticipation of the completion of the canal. The descent of the River Des Planes is here sufficient to afford ample water-power for mills and manufactories, and this, in a country so level that the water half the time does not know which way to run, is quite enough to excite the sanguine adventurers to this promised land to a degree of delirium, and set them “kalkilating,” as Sam Slick has it, a hundred degrees beyond the ratio of geometrical progression. There is little reason to doubt that Lockport will become a considerable manufacturing town in process of time, after the canal is finished; but the far-sighted seekers into futurity would perhaps do well to bear in mind, that there must be people before there are cities; that these latter are the children, not the parents of the country, and that it is not good policy to wait so long for the grass to grow that two or three generations of steeds starve in the meantime. It is well to look a little to the present as well as the future, and not be for ever gazing at the shadowy mountain in the distance, least we fall into the ditch directly under our noses.

A few hours ride in a delightful morning, partly over rich cultivated prairie lands, brought me to Chicago, at the southern extremity of Lake Michigan. It is a fine town, and notwithstanding the blight of speculation which has swept the land from Dan to Beersheba, continues steadily on the increase. This is the best possible proof of innate constitutional vigor, and affords sufficient augury of its future growth and prosperity. To all these sanguine young cities and citizens, might I assume the universal privilege of giving advice, I would recommend the maxim of the wise Emperor Augustus, though I confess it is somewhat anti-republican to cite such an authority—festina lente—hasten slowly—be not in too great a hurry to grow big and to get rich, and do not crow before daylight, like ambitious young roosters, who aspire to be beforehand with the sun.

After remaining three or four days at Chicago, and making several agreeable acquaintances, among which was an enterprising old gentleman of four score, who had come there, as he said, “to seek his fortune,” I bade farewell to the State of Illinois, bearing on my mind the impression that there was not in any country of the known world, a region of the same extent combining within itself a greater portion of the elements of substantial and enduring prosperity. At the same time, I could not help lamenting that blessed as it is in its soil, its climate, its geographical position, and its industrious population, it had been precipitated from the summit of hope to the lowest abyss of debt and depression, by turning its back on the advantages which nature had gratuitously bestowed, to snatch at others that Providence had withheld. Though the immediate source of these pressing difficulties of the state, is without doubt improvident legislation, yet let not the good people of Illinois lay all the blame on their law-makers and rulers. They were chosen by their own free voices, and in many cases, for the express purpose of carrying out those very projects which in their vast accumulation have created these embarrassments. It was the feverish anxiety, the headlong haste, the insatiable passion for growing rich in a hurry, independently of the exertions of labor and the savings of economy, that brought them and other states where they are 25 now standing shivering on the verge of bankruptcy.

In the United States the people are the sovereign, and all power either for good or evil emanates from them. If they allow their own passions, or the seductions of others, to lead them astray, it is but a weak evasion to cast the blame on those who were only enabled to perpetrate the offence by the power which they themselves delegated. Let them then set about retrieving the consequences of their adherence to mischievous maxims and habits, by returning to those which if firmly adopted and steadily pursued, will be speedily followed by returning prosperity. Let the contest be, not who is to blame for the evil, but who shall be foremost in proposing an effectual remedy and contributing all in his power to bring it about. In short, let them only save as much in the next, as they wasted in the last twenty years, instead of resorting for relief to the very measure which produced the disease, and place their affairs in the hands of clear-sighted honest men, instead of great financiers, whose only expedient for paying one debt is contracting another, and my life on it, they will redeem themselves in less time than it took to enthral them. But we who live in glass houses should never throw stones. Illinois has enough of the sisterhood to keep her in countenance.

Charleroix, vol. ii. p. 102, 103.

Charleroix, vol. ii. p. 73.








Land of Poets, Italy,

As the rivers seek the sea,

Floats my dreaming soul to thee;


And I stand upon the soil,

Where with never ceasing toil,

Careless of the midnight oil,


Poets say the noblest lays—

Artists wrought for Heaven’s praise—

Marking time by deeds, not days.


And before my dreaming eyes,

Temples, palaces arise,

Less’ning, fading in the skies,


’Till upon their lifted spires,

Sit the stars, those spirit fires,

List’ning to thy minstrel lyres.


Hark! their music sweeps along—

Lightly dance the waves of song,

Through the air a happy throng;


Bearing on each foamy crest,

Thoughts that wrap the human breast;

Bidding care lie down to rest.


List’ning to each beauteous strain,

Ah! I am a child again,

Full of childish joy and pain;


All unwritten is life’s tome,

And my spirit seeks its home,

More beloved than gilded dome,


And around the once loved stream,

Revels free in Music’s dream—

Yet, alas! this does but seem.


Music! ’tis the voice of Love,

Sweetly floating from above,

Winged like Noah’s gentle dove;


Seeking, seeking wearily,

O’er life’s deeply flooded sea,

To some higher heart, to flee.


’Tis thy voice, thy language too,

Spoken by the Sainted Few,

Who still make thy wonders new.


Love, was exiled Dante’s theme;

Love, was Buonaroti’s dream—

Raphael took its sunny beam;


’Twas the pencil with which he

Wrought for immortality—

Sweet Italia, wrought for thee.


And the chaste Madonna grew,

From that touch so pure and true,

Breathing life, and speaking too.


These are they who speak for thee,

Speak, though toiling silently—

Speak in love, fair Italy.


Thus in visions of the night,

Oft my spirit takes its flight,

Soaring to thy land of light;


But, alas! the op’ning day,

Finds me from thee, far away,

And no more thy minstrel lay,


Floats in sweetness over me;

But the bird sings on the tree,

’Neath the casement blithe and free.


Yes, ’t has vanished into air,

And again comes heavy care—

Would, O, would, that I were there;


So my spirit whispers me,

Longing, mourning but to see,

Land of Poets, only thee;


For I’m lonely, lonely here,

Falls for me no kindly tear—

Love itself has pressed the bier;


And in bitterness of soul,

As the racer to his goal,

Or the magnet to its pole,


So my spirit turns to thee,

Land of sweetest minstrelsy,

Land of Poets—Italy.







My dear Mary—I know it will be a pleasure to you to become acquainted with my friends who will hand you this—Mrs. Dilberry and her two daughters. They are quite the aristocracy of our town, being very genteel, as you will find, and also independent as to property. They will be entire strangers in your city, and as they have made up their minds to take a trip there, (having the means, they intend to travel a great deal,) it is nothing but proper in me to give them this letter of introduction.”

Such was the exordium of a letter signed “Catherine Conolly,” and dated from “Tarry-town,” which I found on the centre-table one morning, after having been down the street to attend to a little business—giving a small order to a confectioner. The writer was an old school-mate of mine, whom, indeed, I had not seen since our school-days. She was Kitty Colville then—a fair, fat, freckled, squashy-looking girl, who was a sort of common favorite from the good-nature with which she bore being the butt of our tricks, and the scape-goat of our trespasses. She afterward married a young country doctor, and, as I had learned, was settled in some out-of-the-way village of which I had never known the name until I saw it at the head of her letter. I caught myself smiling as I laid down the missive, it was so characteristic of poor Kitty. After telling about her children, four in number, who were called after their grandfathers and grandmothers, John and Jacob, and Ruth and Sophia; and her husband, who had so much practice that he wore out a pair of saddle-bags every two years, she had filled the remainder of her page with apologies for her pen, ink, and bad writing. The neat but constrained chirography, into which she had been drilled at school by a teacher standing over her, had deteriorated into a scrawl, cramped here and straggling there, and the orthography testified that she no longer wrote with a dictionary at her elbow. “To chronicle small-beer,” it was very evident, had long been the extent of her literary efforts.

My heart always warms at the memory of my early days, and of those in any way pleasantly connected with them, and I felt glad to have an opportunity to prove to my old companion that I still remembered her with kindness. I took up the three cards which had been left with the letter. They had all been cut out of Bristol-board, and that not by square and rule. The first was inscribed with ink in a large, round hand, “Mrs. Dilberry, Tarry-town,” with the addition, in pencil, of “W—— Hotel.” The second was got up in similar style, the name being “Miss Esther Ann Dilberry”—both having the down-strokes dotted and scalloped for ornament. The third was still more ambitious—“Miss Jane Louisa Dilberry” being encircled with a painted wreath of roses, torches, doves, and quivers, with other etceteras, the execution of which, on watch papers and other fancy wares, was once indispensable to the perfection of young-lady-craft. They were any thing but comme-il-faut, but recollecting that my future acquaintances were from a region where cards were by no means a necessary of life, I thought it unfair to make them the basis of any prejudications. To give my correspondent the due of prompt action upon her letter, I set off without delay for the W—— Hotel, though I could not well spare the time for a long walk and a visit, for I had invited a small party to tea, to meet an agreeable Englishman and his accomplished wife, to whom my husband owed the rights of hospitality, and my preparations were yet to be made. The ladies had not returned to the hotel when I reached it, and leaving my card with an invitation to tea penciled upon it, and the hour specified, I hastened home.

The hour for tea had arrived and my company had nearly all assembled, when I heard strange voices on the stairway, and presuming them to be those of the party from the W—— Hotel, I stepped out, to go through the ceremony of introduction with them, before presenting them to the rest of my guests. I was right in my conjecture, though their appearance was such as to take me aback considerably. Mrs. Dilberry was a short, coarse, oily-looking woman, with very light, round eyes, a low, slender nose, almost hidden between a pair of puffy, red cheeks, and a plump mouth, turned down at the corners. Though it was a warm summer evening, she was dressed in a heavy reddish brown silk, with a cape of the same. The remainder of her costume was a fine, though out-of-fashion French-work collar, a cap of coarsely-figured net, trimmed with thick cotton lace, intermixed with a quantity of common, deep-pink artificial flowers, of which the green leaves looked like plain glazed paper, and a very coarse pocket-handkerchief, with which she fanned herself incessantly. Her daughters, whose names she pronounced as Easter Ann and Jane Louyza, were quite as little prepossessing. The elder, who must have been thirty, was tall, spare and sour, with a sallow complexion, and a little turned up nose, quite out of proportion with her long upper lip, and the general dimensions of her face. The other, who looked ten years younger, was a youthful likeness of the mother, short, fat, and florid. From her manner it was apparent that she set up for a beauty. They both had on summer dresses—that of Miss Esther Ann having straight, perpendicular stripes, which made her look still taller, while the dumpiness of the sister seemed 27 to be increased by one of a horizontal or run-round pattern; and they both wore clumsy, high-colored head trimmings, which bad been somewhat in vogue the winter of the preceding year.

“Dear me!” exclaimed the old lady, wiping her face with her handkerchief, “I am so flustered and fagged out!”

“We had such a time hunting up a cap for maw,” rejoined Miss Jane Louisa.

“Not that she did not bring plenty along,” corrected Miss Esther Ann, “but we thought that, as it was likely she would go out a great deal, she ought to have one of the newest fashion for evening dress.”

But the tea-trays were going into the drawing-room, and I hurried my trio after them. Whilst I was providing them with seats and introducing them to their neighbors, I heard on different sides of me a strange, burring, ticking sound, for which I could not account, and which, I perceived, attracted the attention of others beside myself. During the course of the evening I discovered its cause. Each of the three had at her side a large gold repeater, which, having all been set by the same time, had simultaneously struck eight.

In a movement to make room for my new arrival, Mr. Aylmere, my husband’s English friend—(Mr. Allanby, by the by, had that morning been called unexpectedly away for several days, and I was doing the honors alone)—had taken possession of a seat next to that of Miss Esther Ann. I had a misgiving as to the impression he was likely to receive, but did not therefore evade the civility of introducing her. A few minutes afterward I caught the thread of a dialogue between them.

“We intend to stay several weeks,” said she, “and we expect to see a great deal of city society. We brought a letter of introduction to Mrs. Allanby from one of her most particular friends, a physician’s lady, and of course she will think it her duty to make her circle acquainted with us. I dare say this party is intended for that.”

“Have you no older acquaintances in the city?” asked Mr. Aylmere.

“None that we shall claim. There are several persons from here that we were introduced to at different times in our own neighborhood, but we always found out afterward that they were not in the first circle, and we would not think it our place to keep up the acquaintance even if we should happen to fall in with them.”

I acknowledge myself afflicted, in some degree, with what is called our “national thin-skinnedness” to the opinion of an intelligent and well-bred foreigner of any of my own countrymen or women; even such of them as I may despise myself; I, therefore, heartily wished my curious and quizzical-looking Englishman in the farthest corner of the room. I had not, however, at the moment, the ingenuity to send him there, and, instead, I made an effort to change the conversation. But my attention was called off directly, and I next heard him say—

“Then in your neighborhood you recognize various grades of society?”

“That we do. Our town has three or four classes. Our own set are very exclusive, having none but lawyers and doctors, and the most genteel of the storekeepers, and we are very particular what strangers we pay attention to. We never call on any, of late, unless we find out that they are number one at home.”

“And I suppose it is somewhat difficult to ascertain that,” rejoined Mr. Aylmere.

“Not at all, sir. We know the names of two or three of the most genteel families in each of the large cities, and if the strangers are city people, some one finds out whether they know any of those. If they don’t, we set them down for nobodies. If they are not from the cities, we find out what they do at home, and if they are professional, or live on their means, we know that they are exclusive; if not we keep clear of them. Tarry-town is considered a very proud place.”

“Has your town a large population to select from?”

“Considerable—eight hundred or so. Though it is not a county-town, we have four lawyers, two of them, however, don’t practice, owning farms around the town; my brother is one of the two others. And we have three physicians, Mrs. Allanby’s friend being the lady of one of them. The botanic doctor we don’t count.”

“Do your rules of admission and rejection apply farther than to native Americans? If a foreigner, like myself for instance, were to go among you, how is it likely he would be received?”

“Of course according to his standing in his own country,” replied Miss Esther Ann, with imperturbable self-importance; “we understand very well how people are divided off in foreign countries, for we read a great deal. There’s my sister, she positively swallows every novel she can lay her hands on, and it is surprising what a knowledge she has of the world and fashionable life. She says she would know a nobleman at a glance by his distingué air, (pronounced a la Anglaise;) maw doesn’t encourage her in it—like most elderly persons, maw has very old-fashioned notions; she tells her it teaches her to look too high.”

“And I am to infer that, according to the code of Tarry-town, you would hesitate to admit foreigners, unless they should be noblemen?” persisted Mr. Aylmere.

“Certainly, or grandees, or gentry, I believe the English call them. We have it on the best authority that no others are noticed in the large cities—that is, by the first people—and what is not good enough for them is not good enough for us. We think ourselves on a par with any city people, and, when we go to a city, nothing ought to satisfy us but the first. Birds of a feather ought always to flock together, in my opinion, and I’m sure, that after taking the lead in Tarry-town, if ever I went to Europe, I should make myself very choice of my associates. Europeans have the same right when they come here. Those that are aristocracy at home have a right to be aristocracy every where else, and no others, and those 28 that are not, and push themselves forward, are no better than impostors.”

“Then I am afraid I should stand a chance to be tabooed at Tarry-town,” said Mr. Aylmere, “for I am an English merchant.”

Daring the progress of this conversation, Mrs. Dilberry, with a loud, though wheezing voice, was panting through a long harangue to Mrs. Aylmere, and two other ladies, in whose midst she had anchored herself.

“I expected a great deal of pleasure in shopping when I came to the city,” said she, “but it’s precious little I’m likely to have, for shopping without making bargains is but a dry business. We tried it yesterday and this morning, my daughters and me, and plague a thing could we find that was any thing to signify cheaper than in the stores at Tarry-town. I told the girls that I now believed what the man said in the newspapers, that people in the city all live by cheating one another. One would think that as they live at head-quarters, some of them could now and then pick up things for little or nothing and sell them at half-price, but it seems they are all leagued together to get whatever they can. We went from one end of a street to the other, and every place they had pretty much the same goods, and asked the same prices, unless it was here and there where they put up every thing monstrously high, just to come down little by little on being jewed, and then they never got lower than their next door neighbors. I was talking about it to one of the boarders at the hotel, old Mrs. Scrooge, a very sharp, sensible woman—some of you ladies know her, I dare say. She let me into a secret about shopping, that is well worth knowing. She says it is bad policy for people to go shopping with their best bib and tucker on, for if they look as if they are well off in the world, it’s a sure way to be taken advantage of, and that when she starts off among the stores, she always puts on a calico gown and a black straw bonnet which she keeps for that and for funerals.”

“And does her plan work well?” asked one of the ladies, at length breaking in upon the monologue.

“Just wait, I am coming to it. She says that she had three nieces that came to the city to buy finery. They were very dressy women, and they wished to lay in a good supply. She told them her plan, but they hooted the thoughts of going into the street looking common, so they fixed themselves up, and went in their carriage, having made up their minds not to purchase at once, but to go every where first and get samples. Well, Mrs. Scrooge offered to assist them in gathering samples, but not a foot would she set in their carriage, but puts on her old things, and goes out after them, and sometimes into the very places where they were. When they all got back and compared samples, she showed the others that she could get many of the self-same things six or eight per cent. lower than they could. She says that she has crowed over them ever since. I’m sure I’m much obliged to her for giving me the hint, and I don’t think any one will catch me shopping again with a silk dress on, and a four-dollar collar, and a gold watch at my side. I shall wear my old winter bonnet that I traveled in, and my faded mousseline de laine dress, and then they’ll have to put their goods down to suit my appearance. The girls say if I do I may go alone, for they have no notion to look common, and while they are in the city they mean to put the best foot foremost. Easter Ann says we should always stand upon our dignity—she’s very dignified herself. As to Jane Louyza, she says it looks mean and matter-of-fact to be always counting the cost, and that if I’d let her, she would take every thing without asking the price, particularly when she is waited on by some of the spruce, handsome, fashionable young gentlemen that cut such a dash, showing off the goods to ladies. But they’ll learn better when they get older; indeed, Easter Ann is old enough now—she’s no chicken, though she don’t like me to tell her so, and I shouldn’t wonder if they’d learn to look after the main chance as well as their mother before them. If I hadn’t been uncommon keen in money matters their poor father wouldn’t have died worth his twenty thousand cash, beside farms and stock, leaving them to sit up like ladies, with their hands in their laps.”

Miss Jane Louisa was sitting close by, engaged in what she called a “desperate flirtation” with two astonished-looking young men, the only beaux in the room, whom she seemed determined to monopolize, one of them being my brother-in-law, George Allanby, a youth of eighteen. She discussed love and matrimony with much languishment of manner, and novelty of pronunciation, and criticised her favorite novels after the following fashion:

“Ain’t the ‘Bride of the Brier-field’ beautiful? Don’t tell me you have not read it!—dear me!—I was perfectly on thorns till I got it. Araminta is so sweet, I almost cried my eyes out when she died. Of course you’ve read the ‘Pirate of Point Peepin?’ Oh, how I do hate him! I declare I never see black whiskers on any of the gentlemen in the street that I a’n’t ready to scream, they put me so much in mind of Don Hildebrando.”

Intent upon conquest as she was, the loud accents of her mother sometimes disturbed the tenor of her softer themes, and she showed her apprehension that the old lady’s discourse might not be in unison with the general tone of the company, by occasionally interpolating, “Just listen to maw!—did you ever know any one so old-fashioned;” or, “maw will always talk so, but you city people will get used to her ways after a while;” or, “maw is so independent, she always says whatever comes into her head.”

I thought it time to interpose between the loquacity of Mrs. Dilberry and the politeness of her listeners, and placing myself beside her, I made inquiries in a low voice about our friend in common, Mrs. Conolly. But she was one of those people who are always best satisfied with a numerous auditory; and punching the shoulder of Mrs. Aylmere, while she pushed the knee of another lady, she re-commenced in a still higher key.

“I believe I didn’t tell you ladies how I happened to be in such good company. I brought a letter of introduction to Mrs. Allanby from one of her most 29 particular friends, and that makes me feel quite at home with her, and almost as if she was a blood relation. You’ll really have to come to Tarry-town, Mrs. Allanby, to pay a visit to Mrs. Conolly. I’m sure you’ll never repent the expense of the journey, for she is settled very comfortably, and will introduce you to nobody but the very top of the town. Like my young people, she’s mighty particular about her associates. She is changed a good deal though, for looks—more, I dare say, than you have, Mrs. Allanby; but considering the wear and tear of married life, and the way she has to expose herself, for help is scarce in our section; not more so, perhaps, than might be expected, particularly when she is fixed up—which, to be sure, might be oftener, for she began to be careless in her dress almost as soon as she was married, and, though she has four children running about—troublesome, dirty little limbs, I can’t help saying—some of the wedding finery she brought out with her is quite good yet. She is a good deal more freckled, too, than she used to be, but that is no wonder, for I’ve seen her, many a time, out in the broiling sun in the garden cutting lettuce, without any thing on her head—she never was proud—except, indeed, a black bobinet cap; they are very much worn with us, as they save washing and are economical. And she has lost her two front teeth; no, I believe it is a front and an eye-tooth, and that, you know, always makes people look older. Her figure, though, looks genteeler than ever, for she is not so fat. The doctor says she is getting as poor as Job’s turkey. Did you never see the doctor, Mrs. Allanby? he is as thin as a weasel, himself, but a mighty money-making little man. I did a great deal to get him into business, and he now goes along swimmingly. He first bought the house they live in, and last year he put up a new kitchen, and this spring he bought a handsome sofa and marble-topped table for the parlors. I shouldn’t wonder if in a year or two he’d build an office, and have two parlors in his house, with folding-doors between them, as that is getting to be the fashion in Tarry-town. Some of us are pretty stylish.”

My friends, at length, began to withdraw, and I was at last left alone with the Dilberrys. The three repeaters struck eleven, and their mistresses exchanged whispers, and said something about getting back to their hotel.

“You rode, I presume?” said I.

“Not we, indeed,” returned Mrs. Dilberry; “I had enough of your hack-riding this morning. We did not know how to find the way here, so the landlord told us we had better take one of the hacks near the door. Well, we tried it, and, after we got back, though we hadn’t once got out, except to look at some balzarines and lawns at two or three stores, the impudent black fellow had the face to charge us a dollar. This evening we knew that we could find the place well enough, and we started as soon as we saw the gas lighted in some of the shops, for we had to stop by the way to buy me a cap—the girls having got a notion into their heads, I suppose from their novels, that things intended for evening dress ought always to be bought by candle-light. After trouble enough I found a cap—this I have on; and was asked a pretty price, two dollars, only I jewed the woman down to one and three-quarters. When we came to your street we took the omnibus, and were let out down here at the corner. We thought, that as you had invited young ladies, you would of course provide beaux to gallant them home.”

“I can’t say,” observed Miss Esther Ann, waving her neck with much dignity, “that it was exactly treating strangers with politeness, in Miss Duncan and Miss Edwards to walk off with the only two beaux, and leave us without any.”

“The young gentlemen escorted them here,” said I, “and according to custom were privileged to see them home. If I had known however, ladies, that you were unprovided with an escort, I should have requested my brother-in-law to return for you. But I will see what can be done. I have no carriage to offer you, my husband having taken our little turn-out to the country.”

I went out to direct my man-servant to attend them, but was reminded that I had given him permission to go to his family, in which there was sickness, after the refreshments had been served. There was nothing now to be done but to ask my guests to remain over night. I did so, and the invitation was accepted with a hale-fellow-well-met jocularity quite uncalled for.

Dinner, the next day, found me still playing the hostess to my Tarry-town party, whose cool at-homeness seemed ominous of a still more protracted visit. After we had left the table, George Allanby, unsuspicious of my being so occupied, called in. He was saluted with a bantering familiarity by the old lady, and with the most frigid reserve by her daughters. Miss Jane Louisa walked to the front windows, upon which she drummed perseveringly with her fingers, while her sister slowly paced the floor with measured steps, her head elevated, and her nostrils turned up as if they were snuffing the ceiling. Mrs. Dilberry exchanged glances with them, and then addressed herself to my brother-in-law:

“I suppose, Mr. Allanby,” said she, “you are very much taken by surprise to see us still spunging on your sister-in-law, but I must make free to tell you there’s nobody to be blamed for it but yourself. I can’t say I would give you city young men the choice over our country beaux for good manners, for you took yourselves off last night, and left us three ladies in the lurch, without a single soul to see us safe back to our tavern. I told the girls I’d speak my mind about it. I’m one of that kind that make no bones about speaking what they think, and then it’s all over with me.”

I hastened to interpose with an explanation to the disturbed-looking youth, who seemed quite unconscious of the nature of his offence, but the old lady interrupted me by continuing—

“Mrs. Allanby has done her best to make us comfortable, and, indeed, I think myself in such good quarters, that, for my own part, I don’t feel in any hurry to get away, but the girls have been in the 30 dumps ever since. Jane Louyza, as you may see, is on a pretty high horse, and Easter Ann is sky-high, as she always is when she thinks she should stand on her dignity,” and she nodded and winked toward them.

“I exceedingly regret if I have failed in proper politeness,” said George. “I am ready to offer a thousand apologies, or any amendé you may suggest.”

“Well, now, that’s getting out of the scrape handsomely, after all,” returned Mrs. Dilberry. “I knew from the way you and Jane Louyza got along last night that you could easily make it up, and would soon be as thick as two pick-pockets. Here, Jane Louyza, Mr. Allanby is ready to shake hands and be friends, and he says he is willing to make any amends you please for being impolite;” and as Miss Jane Louisa approached, simpering and holding out her large, red hand, her mother added: “There, now, you have him in your power. You know you always said you would jump out of your skin to see an opera, and now’s your time. I dare say he would think he was getting off very well to take you there to-night.”

“Certainly, ma’am,” said poor George, coloring and stammering with the embarrassment common to his years, and turning to the daughters, he blundered on—“I shall be happy if Miss Jane Ann—that is, if both the young ladies will honor me with their company.”

“With the greatest of pleasure,” curtseyed the ecstatic Jane Louisa.

“The favor is to us,” rejoined the dignified Esther Ann.

“You are not to trick me that way, you young people,” exclaimed Mrs. Dilberry. “I should like to go to the theatre as well as any of you, and if you a’n’t civil enough to invite me, I’ll go whether or no. Let’s all go, Mrs. Allanby, and have a jolly time of it. You and I can beau each other.”

I excused myself with rather more energy than was necessary.

“Well, I mean to go, anyhow,” resumed the old lady, “though, of course, I’ll pay my own way. It would be imposing upon Mr. Allanby to make him go to the expense of paying for so many of us.”

“Not at all, ma’am,” said George, looking still redder and more frightened, “where shall I call for you?”

There was a pause, but as I had not the grace to break it by answering “here,” Miss Esther Ann had to reply—

“We stop at the W—— Hotel,” and the conscripted squire of dames made a precipitate retreat.

“We’ll have to go back to the hotel, maw, at once,” said Miss Jane Louisa, “for you know ladies must always go to the opera in full-dress. I’ll have to press out my book-muslin dress, and take the wreath off my bonnet to wear on my head, and Easter Ann must fix something to put on.”

“That will be quite unnecessary,” said I, anticipating all sorts of mortifications for my inexperienced brother-in-law, “you may have seats where you will be able to see and hear every thing, without being so conspicuous as to make any material change in your dress necessary. Strangers, who neither know any one nor are known themselves, generally prefer being unobserved, and saving themselves the trouble of much dressing. You will all do very well just as you are.”

“What do you say, girls,” said Mrs. Dilberry; “that might do well enough for you and me, Mrs. Allanby,” giving me a wink, “but I don’t know how these two would like to hide their light under a bushel. Girls like to give the beaux a chance to look at them wherever they can, and I must say it’s natural enough. As to the trouble of dressing, why we’ve got nothing else to do here, and people that have the wherewith may as well put it on their backs.”

The young ladies did not give their sentiments, but exchanged glances and whispered together, and Miss Esther Ann formally proposed going up for their bonnets. Reiterating their hopes of being able to catch an omnibus, to save them the fatigue of a long, warm walk, they took leave, not forgetting to volunteer abundant assurances that they would call every day and make themselves quite at home with me.

As soon as they were gone I wrote a note to George, instilling a little worldly wisdom by means of advising him to go late to the theatre, when the front seats would be filled, and to place his companions where they would attract as little notice as possible.

The next morning whilst I was at breakfast, the young man came in.

“Well, George, how did the opera come off?” asked I.

“You mean the by-play, in which I was concerned,” said he, passing his hand over his face. “Don’t talk to me about chivalry toward all woman-kind again! But I’ll let you have it from the beginning. In the first place, I took your advice, and went to the W—— Hotel rather late. I was shown into what, I presume, was the ladies’ saloon, for there were a couple of dozens of female faces, of all sorts, turned toward me, as if I were something anxiously expected, and very queer when I had come. I understood it all in a minute, though, for right in the middle of the room, parading between two tall glasses, in which they could see themselves back and front, were the Dilberrys, the objects of all the nodding and tittering I had observed before I came in for my share of attention. The old lady espied me first, and puffing out, loud enough to be heard all over the room, ‘here he comes girls—here comes our beau at last,’ she ran forward as if she were going to seize hold of me, the other two following with their arms, grace-like, twined about each other. ‘La, Mr. Allanby, you have served us a pretty trick—keeping us waiting so long!’ exclaimed Miss Esther Ann,’I shouldn’t wonder if we were not to get seats at all.’ ‘I’m ready to pout at you, I wanted so to see every body come in,’ said the other. ‘We were almost ready to give you up, and had all these ladies comforting 31 us,’ said Mrs. Dilberry; ‘here we’ve been, dressed from top to toe, for an hour or more, Jane Louyza walking and standing about, in broad daylight, with her arms and neck bare, for fear we shouldn’t be ready in time, for we thought that as you had made up your mind to lay out your money, you’d like us to get as much for it as possible.’ I escorted them to the carriage, assuring them they would be in time enough.”

“But what about their dress, George?” said I.

“You know I never can make any thing out of describing a lady’s dress. Mrs. Dilberry looked very choked-up, and melting and greasy, and had on that abominable frizzly cap that struck us all so last night; and Miss Esther Ann had on a white frock with old dark kid-gloves, and three brown cockades stuck on top of her head that made her look full six feet high; but Jane Louyza, as they call her, was the beauty! Her dress was one of those stiff, thin ones, that stand out like hogsheads, and are nearly as hard to bend. Such a crushing and pushing as there was to get it into the carriage, and down between the seats! Her neck was—I can’t tell you how bare, and her arms and hands ditto, only that on the latter she had little tight mitts, that looked like the skin tatooed. She had a wreath of artificial blue and purple roses on her head, and a quantity of ribbon flying in tags from each shoulder and from her back and front. But such arms and neck—so red and beefy!”

“And where did you get seats?”

“In one of the side boxes, three benches back—the very place I could have wished—but, as my luck would have it, a lady in the front row took sick, and her party left the theatre with her. Before I could have thought of such a thing, my fair charges pushed forward into the three vacant places, beckoning me to follow, and calling me by name loudly enough to be heard half over the house. Of course it drew all the eyes in the neighborhood upon them, and I observed that the Hallowells, and the Sewards, and the Wilkinses were in the next box; Joe Nicols was with them, and had the impudence to lean over and ask me, ‘Who the mischief have you here, George? country cousins, hey?’—and there they sat chattering and laughing at full voice, evidently greatly flattered by being so much stared at.”

“But of course, you had a respite when the opera commenced?”

“Just wait—as the old lady says. The curtain rose in a few minutes, and then each of them had to turn to me for explanations. ‘Dear me! is that one of your brag singers, the great Mrs. S——!’ said Miss Esther Ann, ‘how affected she is! Did you ever see any body roll her eyes so!’ ‘And what a mouth she has!’ said Jane Louisa, ‘you could almost jump down her throat! I don’t see any sense in such singing—Sarah Tibbets in our choir can go far ahead of that!’ ‘And how scandalous it is for a married woman to be looking up that way in a young man’s face,’ put in the old lady, ‘she surely must be painted up, such a color never was natural, and what loads of extravagant finery! I wonder what all her spangles cost?’

“At length there was a hiss beneath the box, and I directed their attention to it, informing them that it was meant to command silence, it being contrary to custom to talk during the performance. Mrs. Dilberry rolled up her eyes, and put her tongue into her cheek by way of being humorous, Miss Esther Ann screwed her shoulders and answered me huffishly that she supposed they should know how to behave, and Jane Louisa giggled, and kept her handkerchief to her mouth, every few moments looking back at me, as if it were an excellent joke.

“When the first act was over, a gentleman who sat between them and me, and who must have been exceedingly annoyed by their constantly leaning past him, proposed that I should exchange seats with him, which I could not refuse, though it made matters worse for me. ‘Why don’t you admire my bouquet, Mr. Allanby?’ said Jane Louisa, poking in my face a great clumsy bunch of larkspurs, ragged-robins, mallows, and those coarse, yellow lilies that shut up at night, garnished by a foliage of asparagus, ‘I was in despair about a bouquet for my evening-dress, when, luckily, I came across this when we walked through the market-house on our way from your sister’s. I do doat on bouquets.’ ‘Now do stop talking about that borquay,’ interrupted the old lady, ‘after such nonsensical extravagance as throwing away money for it. Why at home we could get a wheelbarrow full of such trash out of any body’s garden for nothing. But it seems to me you city people would be for making money out of the very dirt in the gutters.’ ‘La, maw, they only cost a six-pence, but you are so matter-of-fact, you don’t love flowers; we do, though, don’t we, Mr. Allanby?’ said Miss Jane Louisa.

“‘If you had told Mr. Allanby you wanted a bouquet,’ observed Esther Ann, ‘I dare say he would have brought you one, for we’ve heard that city gentlemen make it a point to give bouquets to ladies they wish to be polite to, and don’t mind how much they have to pay for them.’

“When the curtain rose again, the eye of Jane Louisa was caught by one of the understrappers, a tall fellow with a huge false moustache. ‘Who is that splendid looking young man!’ exclaimed she—not one of them having discernment enough to make out a single performer or character from the bill and the play; ‘isn’t he beautiful! I’m quite in love with him, I declare; why don’t they applaud him, Mr. Allanby? he’s so elegant!’ and greatly to my relief, she was so much taken up in looking at her new hero, and in watching for his appearance, that she withdrew her attention from me.

“At length, toward the finale, when S—— excelled himself in one of his master-pieces, two or three bouquets were thrown upon the stage at his feet. ‘What was that for?—why are they throwing their flowers away?’ asked Miss Esther Ann. I explained that it was an expression of admiration. ‘Dear me!’ said Jane Louisa, ‘I’d be very sorry to pay such a compliment to such an ugly fellow—he’s not fit to hold a candle to my favorite.’ The favorite immediately made his appearance in a 32 chorus, and took his place not far from the box in which we sat. Just as he opened his capacious mouth, Jane Louisa, with the confidence of a boy throwing stones, pitched her bouquet at him. The great clumsy thing came down flop against his face, breaking his moustache from its moorings, and sweeping it to the floor. The galleries clapped, the pit hissed, one or two of the minor actors laughed, and it was some moments before the singing could go on. I felt, as you ladies say, like sinking through the floor; and I believe I did crouch as low as possible among the people around me. How I got back to the hotel with my tormentors I can’t tell, for it appears like a vexatious dream. I remember, however, that, while they were going up the steps, one of them said I should tell you they would call this morning to get you to go the rounds of the dressmakers with them.”

This was a duty for which I had no inclination, and I concluded to dispose of myself by spending the day with a friend, knowing, from the specimens I had had of the familiarity of my new acquaintances, that the mere excuse of “very much engaged,” delivered by a domestic, would be insufficient to protect me from their society. Accordingly I went out as soon as possible after breakfast, and did not return until evening. As I had anticipated, the “country ladies,” as the servants called them, had inquired for me morning and afternoon, and had left a message purporting that they would come again next day.

The following morning I had some business which called me from home several hours. When I returned to dinner, I was surprised to find the entry lumbered full of furniture, evidently from an auction—a dozen of chairs, of the kind “made to sell,” very loose-jointed, and with flabby seats of thin haircloth; a sofa to match; a centre-table, with its top, as large as a mill-wheel, turned up against the wall, and a piano, which must have had some pretensions fifteen or twenty years back, being much ornamented with tarnished brass or gilding, and supporting five or six disabled pedals.

“What is the meaning of this?” I exclaimed, to the servant who let me in; “where did all these articles come from?”

“Didn’t you send them, ma’am?”

“I!—what in the world should I want with such things?”

“So we thought, ma’am; but they came in two furniture carriages, and the man said the lady told him to bring them here—they had our number on a card.”

“It is a stupid mistake—I know nothing about it; and upon my word, they have broken the walls in several places, bringing their lumber in.”

“And that’s not all, ma’am—they threw over the hat-rack, turning up that monstrous table, and knocked out two of the pins, beside breaking the little looking-glass.”

And so they had; but there was nothing else to be done than to wait patiently until the real proprietor appeared.

I had just finished my dinner when I heard a bustle in the hall, and hastened out, presuming that I was to be rid of my unwelcome storage, and desirous to superintend its removal. Who should I find but Mrs. Dilberry and her daughters. Miss Jane Louisa had already the lid of the piano thrown up, while her sister was trying the chairs, and the old lady sitting, or rather bouncing herself up and down on the sofa.

“Oh, Mrs. Allanby, we’ve had the best luck this morning!” they all cried at once; “do tell us what you think of our bargains!”

“Stop, girls, and let me talk;” said Mrs. Dilberry, peremptorily. “Well, to begin at the beginning, Mrs. Allanby, we had laid out to buy two or three pieces of furniture, to set off our parlors—a pyanna, for one—ours, that the girls learnt on, that is Jane Louyza, being rather old-timey—(it was left to me by my Aunt Easter, in her will;) so Mrs. Scrooge, at the tavern—an uncommon sharp, sensible woman—told us we would be fools to pay shop prices for things when we could get them at auction, almost as good, for little or nothing. Well, this morning she hunted up a sale for us, and took us to it, and we’ve had all these things knocked off to us for—now could you guess what, Mrs. Allanby?—upon my word, for what we had made up our minds to pay for a pyanna! and the best of it is, the chairs and sofa are new, spick and span. The auctioneer said that not a soul had ever sat on them before. They didn’t belong to the furniture of the house at all, but to himself, and he had just brought them there to sell, for his own convenience. But the pyanna—just think of it!—I may as well tell you what it cost, Mrs. Allanby, though it would never do to let it be known in Tarry-town;” and she added in a whisper, “only sixty-one dollars!”

“Do try it, Mrs. Allanby,” said Jane Louisa; “some of the strings are broken, to be sure, and the pedals don’t seem to work, but when it is fixed up, it will be delightful.”

I agreed that it must have been a fine affair in its day.

“And the centre-table,” rejoined Esther Ann, “think of such a centre-table selling for fifteen dollars—pure mahogany! when it is varnished, and has a new castor, one being broken, it will be beautiful—or even if it were just rubbed up with oil and turpentine; indeed, for my part, I prefer second-hand furniture to new—it looks more respectable, as if we had it some time. Our old furniture at home I’m very proud of—no one that sees it can call us upstarts.”

“Yes,” added Mrs. Dilberry, “there’s the pyanna, and the book-case, and the pair of card-tables—”

“Don’t say upstarts, sister;” said Jane Louisa, hurrying to drown her mother’s voice; “I’m sure you know it is the fashion to call them parvenues!”

“Upon my word,” resumed the old lady, still see-sawing up and down on the sofa, to enjoy its springs, “it will make talk enough in Tarry-town, when we get home with such lots of stylish things; they’ll call us prouder than ever; but when people 33 can be grand for quarter price, they’d be gumpies to let the chance slip through their fingers.”

Still the point that most concerned me, why they had been deposited in my charge, had not yet been broached, and I ventured to hint at it.

“Sure enough, we forgot to mention it;” said Mrs. Dilberry; “we could not take the things to the hotel, you know, so we told the men they might as well bring them here. I suppose they might be removed into the parlors at once.”

I remarked that my parlors were already as full of furniture as was desirable, and that their best plan would have been to have had them removed—at once to some cabinet-makers shop to be repaired, and boxed for transportation.

“That was what Mrs. Scrooge thought,” returned Mrs. Dilberry, “but we went to two or three shops and found they charged such different prices, that I made up my mind to wait, and go round to a dozen at least, till I could find out where the best bargain was to be made. So you may as well put them among your own things and have the credit of them till I can look about a little.”

I had no resource now but to send the chairs to the third story, the table to the dining-room, and to leave the sofa and piano where they stood. Whilst her possessions were being moved by the servants, Mrs. Dilberry ran about the house giving orders as if quite at home.

“Now I must tell you about our tower among the mantua-makers,” said she, at length settling herself in the drawing-room, and mopping her face with her handkerchief, after her exercise; “but, girls, why don’t you follow my example and take your bonnets off? Don’t wait to be coaxed—Mrs. Allanby don’t expect you to make strangers of yourselves with her; as we’ve come to spend the afternoon, we may as well be comfortable first as last. But where was I about the mantua-makers? Oh, I believe I hadn’t began. Well, a lady at the tavern gave us the names of three of them, written on a card, with directions where they were to be found. So we got into an omnibus, in front of the hotel, and were let out at the corner next to the place that was nearest. We soon found the house—as I’m alive, a large three-story brick, with marble steps, and nothing like a sign about it. But the name was on the door-plate, and we rang the bell. A black boy took us into the parlors, and what should we see but Brussels carpets, and looking-glasses as tall as yours, and spring-seated chairs, and a pyanna, and every thing as fine as you please. ‘Mercy on us, maw,’ says Jane Louyza, ‘there’s nothing looks like a mantua-maker’s here!’ I thought so myself, and told the girls we had better slip out before any body came; but Easter Ann would not hear to it—she said it would look undignified, and, says she, ‘If we are mistaken, maw, let me make the apology.’

“In a few minutes a lady steps in, dressed in a handsome black silk wrapper, with a watch at her side, looking as stiff as a poker. ‘We were told that we would find Mrs. N——, the mantua-maker, here, ma’am,’ says I.

“‘I am Mrs. N——,’ says she, stiffer, if any thing, than before.

“‘We have three dresses to make, ma’am,’ says Easter Ann; ‘perhaps it wouldn’t be convenient for you to undertake them?’

“‘I am always prepared to do any amount of work,’ says she.

“‘What may be your charges, ma’am?’ says I.

“‘That depends upon the material, and the style in which it is to be made,’ says she.

“‘One is a silk, and the other two are balzarines,’ says I.

“‘And we want them made fashionably,’ put in Jane Louyza.

“‘I make every thing fashionably,’ says she, as high as if she was the president’s lady.

“We had our bundles with us, and we opened them, and though our dresses are beautiful, considering how cheap we got them, she looked at them without saying a word, and didn’t even deign to take them in her hands. ‘I want mine made quite plain,’ says I; ‘but my daughters will expect to have theirs flounced off to the top of the mode—mine’s the silk one. But we’ll have to settle first what you’ll take to do the job—it’s a large one, remember, ma’am—three dresses—and it will be nothing but fair that you should make allowance for that.’

“‘I never make abatement,’ says she; ‘my charge is three dollars for a plain silk dress, and four for such as the others, if full trimmed.’

“Eleven dollars for making three dresses—just think of it! the girls looked dumb-foundered, and so was I; but being in the scrape, we had to get out of it the best way we could. ‘Very well, ma’am,’ says I, making up our bundles again, and looking unconcerned, ‘we’ll call again when we get the trimmings.’

“‘As you please,’ says she, more like Queen Victoria than a mantua-maker; and we walked out in double-quick time, my lady never condescending to step to the door. ‘She may call us fools if she ever catches us again,’ says I to the girls.

“Well, we went on to the next. The house looked pretty fine, too, this time; but under the name on the door was another plate with ‘Fashionable Dress-making’ on it, and we thought it didn’t look quite so stuck up. A girl let us in, and we didn’t find the parlors quite so grand, though they were stylish enough, dear knows. This was Mrs. B——’s. She was down stairs herself, waiting for customers, we supposed, which looked as if she was not above her business, and she had a table beside her covered all over with fashion-plates and magazines, like yours, on the centre-table. She was a little, sharp-eyed, fidgetty-looking woman, with a very pointy nose. She sent away a girl she was fixing a sleeve for, and came forward to meet us, and gave us seats, and seemed very sociable.

“‘We have some dresses to be made, ma’am,’ says I; ‘here’s three in our hands, and it’s likely we may have some more if we can make a good bargain about these.’ I thought it best to hold out a large inducement to her.


“‘And I suppose you will want the three without delay?’ said she, talking very glib; ‘dear me, how unfortunate just at this time! I have so much work on hand already. I keep twenty-two hands working night as well as day, and I don’t see how I possibly can get through all that I have taken in. But, really, I should like to oblige you three ladies—I always do all in my power to accommodate strangers—you are from the country, I presume?’

“‘From Tarry-town,’ says Easter Ann.

“‘Ah, indeed! I am very glad to have customers from Tarry-town; I have made dresses to be sent there several times.’ We could not help looking at each other, for we had known every dress in Tarry-town for years, and not one of them had ever touched her hands. ‘I make dresses for ladies in all parts of the country,’ she kept on; ‘my establishment is very popular with strangers, because it is known that I make it a point to accommodate them even at the risk of making sacrifices among my city customers. Of course, you ought to have your dresses in two or three days, and I’ll try what can be done. The silk is for you, ma’am, I perceive,’ and she tore open the bundles; ‘very appropriate, indeed, for an elderly lady, and the balzarines will make up quite dressy for your daughters. Look at the plates, ladies—this will suit you, ma’am, quite plain, but very genteel; the sleeve is particularly proper for a stout lady; and you, ma’am,’ to Easter Ann, ‘would look best in this, with flounces pretty high up, as you are tall and not fleshy. You, miss,’ to Jane Louyza, ‘ought to have front trimming, as you are rather low;’ and she actually slipped a tape measure round my waist. I was on thorns, for she hadn’t given us a word of satisfaction about her prices, and I told her we hadn’t made up our minds yet how we would have them made, ‘and, beside,’ says I, ‘we must first know what they are to cost.’

“‘Certainly, ma’am, that’s all very reasonable,’ says she; ‘and I know you wont find fault with my charges—I can perceive at a glance that you are a lady of property; are you certain that you have enough of the material?—ladies of your size require a very full skirt;’ and before I could have said ‘no,’ she had actually gathered up my silk and clipped a nick in it for a breadth of the skirt.

“‘I don’t think, ma’am, we have time to wait for the dresses to be cut out,’ says I, ‘we haven’t, neither, got the linings nor the sewing-silk, nor the other trimmings.’

“‘It will take me but a few minutes,’ says she, making another nick in the silk, ‘for I cut by a patent measure; and I always find the trimmings myself—I can then have them to suit me, and, you know, it all amounts to the same thing in the end;’ and she snatched up a piece of Holland from the table, and began measuring off a pair of backs. ‘Stop, if you please, ma’am,’ says I, ‘we’ve made no bargain yet, and it’s nothing but what I have a right to expect, to know what you are to charge me.’

“‘It will be difficult to tell,’ says she, ‘before the dresses are finished—it is not our custom to settle the prices until we have seen how the work is done.’

“‘But, ma’am,’ says I, ‘I insist upon a rough guess.’

“‘Then let me see,’ says she, ‘supposing we say something like five or six dollars each, trimmings included, for the young ladies’ dresses, and four for yours.’

“‘Why, bless my soul!’ says I, ‘I could get cord, and hooks and eyes, and sewing-silk, and linings enough for all three, for a dollar; and as to paying five or six dollars for making a dress, I’ll never do it in the world; it’s outrageous—it’s an imposition,’ and I snatched my silk out of her hands in short order.

“‘It’s too late, now,’ says she, pert enough, ‘to talk about that, as soon as the scissors are put in the work, it is considered as taken in.’

“‘It’s we that are taken in, or we came pretty near it,’ says I; and I bundled the silk under my arm, and the girls took up their balzarines; but such a tongue-lashing as we got, I never heard the like of it in my life before; and you may be sure I didn’t take it all quietly—I’m not very mealy-mouthed; and if it hadn’t been for Easter Ann telling me loud enough for her to hear, ‘Come along, maw, it’s not dignified to be disputing with a mantua-maker,’ she’d likely have got the worst of it.

“The girls were so put out that they didn’t want to try any more; but I’m not one to be brow-beat; I had got my spirit up, and I made them go on to the next. When we came to the house, there stood two splendid carriages, with black fellows about them that had gold bands on their hats, and velvet on their coats, and what not. ‘Don’t let’s go in,’ says Jane Louyza; ‘I dare say the house is full of customers already;’ and just then another coach and pair drives up, and two or three girls, dressed to death, jumps out, and orders their niggers to bring in their parcels—a whole carriage load, pretty near—so, thinks I, there’s not much encouragement for us to go in there, sure enough. We came away, and there hasn’t been a stitch put in our dresses yet.”

I gave my visiters a very early tea, and having no excuse for billeting themselves on me for another night, they made their departure before dark. They did not, however, forget to invite themselves for the following day.

The next morning, greatly to my relief, proved to be very rainy, and feeling secure from the premeditated inroad, I seated myself cosily at my sewing. But, alas! a vehicle stopping at the door drew me to the front windows. I had some expectation of my husband’s return, and instead of his carriage was a hackney-coach, which had already discharged its living cargo, and from which two large hair-trunks were unloading; at the same time the bell-wire cracked to the point of doom, and the Dilberrys rushed in.

“Here we come, bag and baggage, Mrs. Allanby, to make our home with you,” cried the old lady, “we have had a grand blow up at the hotel, and I’m determined, as long as I live, to keep exposing your city landlords for taking advantage of unprotected females.”


“I hope nothing very unpleasant has happened?” said I, my heart sinking at the prospect before me.

“I wonder if there hasn’t! What do you think, Mrs. Allanby, of our being charged twelve dollars a piece for six days’ board?”

“That, I believe, is the regular charge,” said I.

“Well, they’re not coming their regular charges over me again, I can tell them. Last night we were talking our bargains over in bed, and we made up our minds that as we could get things so low at auction, we might as well keep on till we had furniture enough for the spare bed-room, as well as for the parlors—people in Tarry-town expect something a little extra from us. We calculated how far our money would go, and it struck us that we had never found out what we were living up to at the hotel. So the next morning I told the waiter to bring us our bill, and what should it be but thirty-six dollars—two dollars a piece a day, and no allowance for the four meals we had eaten with you, and the night we had slept here. I sent for the landlord, and spoke my mind about the bill pretty plainly, letting him know that charging us for what we had not got was down-right imposition; and I told him he seemed to suppose we had no friends to see us righted, but that he was mistaken, for we had brought a letter of introduction to Mrs. Allanby, and her husband would soon be at home to speak up for us. He cut me short by telling me that he made no deductions, and that as long as we hadn’t given up our rooms we must expect to pay as their occupants; and he walked off as cool as a cucumber. So I sent out for a hack, knowing you would be glad to have us with you for company, as Mr. Allanby is not at home, particularly as you have house-room plenty, and servants enough to wait on your friends. Six dollars a-day, indeed! why we didn’t cost him one!”

“We are all very small eaters, as you may have observed, Mrs. Allanby,” said Jane Louisa.

“And though they gave us two chambers with a door between them, we all slept in one of them,” rejoined Esther Ann.

The visitation now began to have a serious aspect, but what was to be done? I could not, with truth, make any excuse to get rid of my obtrusive guests, except that of my want of inclination to entertain them, and to hint at that would have required more philosophy than I could command. My only hope now was in the speedy return of Mr. Allanby, on whose resolution or ingenuity I knew I might rely.

This was Saturday, and the weather remaining inclement, I had to endure for the rest of the day, and the whole of the next, the uninterrupted flow of their loquacity, which was a continuous exposition of ignorance, vulgarity, selfishness and meanness. On Monday morning the old lady, after some whispering and winking with her daughters, assailed me with,

“We told you, Mrs. Allanby, what a pucker we were in about getting our dresses made. Before we left the tavern, we went to Mrs. Scrooge’s room—the old lady, you remember, that took us to the auction; and she let us know how we might snap our fingers at the mantua-makers. She said there were women that go out sewing by the day, and that by hiring one of them, and helping along with the easy parts ourselves, we might have our dresses made for little or nothing. At the hotel we couldn’t have done it, for paying board for a seamstress would have been but a poor speculation; but now that we are in a private family visiting, there would be some sense in it. I dare say she could sit in one of our sleeping-rooms, and the little one woman would eat couldn’t be of much consequence to you.”

“I do not know where such a person could be found,” said I.

“Oh, that is all settled already. Mrs. Scrooge is to call for us to go to a second-hand furniture store this morning, and she promised that she would take us to a seamstress that goes out for thirty-one cents a-day.”

Again I succumbed to my inability to say “no.” Mrs. Scrooge did call—a vinegar-faced old lady, with a voice sharp enough to have given one an ear-ache; and I learned that the seamstress was engaged, though she could not come until the latter end of the week. The next day Mrs. Scrooge came again, and my trio departed to a second auction. The result of this expedition was another load of furniture, driven up to the door in the middle of the day. The first article discharged was a sideboard, capacious enough, almost, to serve as a pantry, with broken locks and an impaired foot, which fell off in the difficult descent of the main body from the wagon; then came a dressing-bureau, of scarcely smaller dimensions, with defective knobs and a low, distorted glass; and, lastly, a wash-stand, with a cracked marble slab. Mrs. Dilberry stood on the front steps, superintending their passage into the house, and giving orders at the top of her voice, when I ran out to protest against their being carried up stairs, which she was directing—the broken wall of the entry serving as a warning to me—and to propose their being stored in the wash-house. Whilst I was endeavoring to make myself heard, my husband, with a wondering countenance, presented himself before me. In my joy I dragged him into the first room, and shut the door.

“My dear Mary,” said he, “I was not right certain whether it was proper for me to come into my own house—what is the meaning of this commotion?”

I gave him a hurried narration of my trials, at which he laughed immoderately, as I thought, and at once he opened to me a prospect of relief. “I have made arrangements with one of my friends,” said he, “to send you on an excursion of several weeks among the mountains, to matronize his daughters. The young ladies are now, I suppose, on their way to meet you with carriage and servants, and, as soon as possible, you must be off. I shall lose no time to make the announcement to your visiters. As they have attached themselves to you merely for their own convenience, there will be nothing unfair in getting rid of them for ours.”

In half an hour my guests were on flatteringly familiar terms with Mr. Allanby, to whom they 36 confessed that they had dreaded his return, as they were afraid they could not feel so “free and easy” if there was a gentleman in the house. “Now that we have seen you,” observed the old lady, “we would rather have you here than not; you appear to suit us exactly, and we will be all the better off for having some one to beau us about.”

I own I could not myself have had courage to lower them from such a height of contentment, but my husband was less qualmish, and Mrs. Dilberry soon afforded him a desirable opportunity to approach the unexpected topic, by saying, “I suppose if you had known your wife had found such good company to cheer her up, you’d have been in no hurry to come back.”

“At least,” returned Mr. Allanby, “I should not have made a positive promise to send her from home as soon as her trunk could be packed.” He explained the arrangements he had made, and with all proper courtesy regretted that they should be peremptory.

“And what do you say, Mrs. Allanby, to your husband taking so much upon himself without leave or license from you?” asked the old lady, winking at me.

“That I always consider myself in duty bound to fulfill any engagement he may make for me, whether agreeable or not,” replied I, taking courage.

“Indeed!” exclaimed both Mrs. Dilberry and Esther Ann, in a tone of surprise and pique.

“If I did not know how fastidious you ladies are upon such points,” resumed Mr. Allanby, “I should beg you to share my bachelor establishment with me. As it is I must be content to render myself as useful to you as possible. If you commission me, I shall make exertions to find a boarding-house where you can be accommodated as comfortably as with us.”

“You needn’t concern yourself,” said Mrs. Dilberry, tartly; “if I had wanted to go to a boarding-house, I dare say I could have found one where we could have lived a great deal cheaper than at any you would be likely to pitch upon. I got enough of living on expense at the tavern, and I’ve not made up my mind to pay boarding for the little pleasure we’re likely to have. We’ve been to the theatre only once, and never were taken any where else, and there seems to be but precious little pains spent upon having attentions showed us. I’m one of them that always speak their minds; and I must say I can’t see where the politeness is in people, when they have company, running off and leaving them in the lurch, particularly when they haven’t got their dresses made or any thing. I shall be careful who I take a letter of introduction to again.”

The third day after this I was prepared to commence my trip, and my guests having taken passage for their homeward journey, were to leave the house at the same time, it having been decided that their furniture was to be boxed and sent after them. They had comported themselves, in the meantime, as if under a strong sense of injury, Miss Esther Ann being frigid and lofty, her sister sullen, and the old lady snappish and uncivil. The carriage was waiting for my conveyance, when the stage-coach, well-loaded with passengers, drove up to the door for them. I had wished them a safe and pleasant journey, offering them my hand, which they pretended not to observe, and was standing on the door-step to see them off, when Mrs. Dilberry paused, with one foot on the floor of the coach, as my husband was assisting her to climb in, and winking at her daughters, called back to me, “Good by to you, ma’am, and I hope you may have a merrier time of your trip than we have had of ours. I’ll not forget to give your love to the doctor’s wife, and let her know how you honored her letter of introduction.”

A chuckling laugh, which reached me in spite of the grinding of the wheels as they rolled away, was the last I heard of my wind-fall from Tarry-town.




The beautiful is vanished, and returns not.

Coleridge’s Wallenstein.


                Thou art gone!

We shall miss thee when the flowers

Come again with vernal hours,

Brightly though thy roses bloom,

They will whisper of the tomb!

And thy voice will linger still

In the gurgle of the rill,

In the murmurs, low and sweet,

Where the silver waters meet,

In the summer even’s gale,

Sporting with the violets pale.

Meekly will their blue eyes weep

O’er thy still and solemn sleep;

And the wild-bird’s gentle moan

Murmur o’er thy slumbers lone,

Like a viewless spirit’s lay,

Asking of thee Far Away!

                Fare thee well!


                Thou art gone!

On thy brow, so pale and fair,

On thy dark and glossy hair,

Wreathed in many a shining braid,

Sad, autumnal flowers were laid.

Slowly to thy tomb they bore thee,

Tender farewells murmured o’er thee,

Veiled thee in its silence deep,

In thy last and dreamless sleep.

Where thou liest, soft and low,

Winter spreads his sheet of snow,

Pure and spotless as thy form.

Thou hearest not the surly storm

Sweeping o’er the dazzling wold;

Stars are gleaming, pale and cold,

On thee from the vault above,

Like the watchful eyes of Love.

                Fare thee well!






[Most of our readers are familiar with “Claire d’Albe,” the work spoken of in the following pages, either in the original or as translated, and will recollect the pleasure its perusal gave them. Its author is better known in America, however, by one of her subsequent works, which has been translated into almost every written language, admired wherever it has been read, and which has been justly ranked among the first productions in that department of French literature to which it belongs. We refer to that affecting story, over which so many tears have been shed, “Elizabeth, Or The Exiles of Siberia.” In translating the following account we have been obliged, from its great length, to condense from the original—leaving out nothing, however, which was essential to the interest of the story. It will be recollected that the incidents of our tale took place in 1793, when France was convulsed by political revolutions.]

“Madam, this is beautifully written,” said an old nurse, looking up with the familiarity of an ancient and privileged servant.

The person thus addressed was a young woman, clothed in black, so small and so frail, that at first sight, without doubt, one would have taken her for a child. She was seated before a table of dark wood, drawn up in front of a good fire, upon which burned two wax candles, shining upon a heap of loose leaves, one of which she had just finished writing, and was then reading. Laughing at the admiration of her nurse, she asked,

“And do you, then, find it so beautiful?”

“Do I find it beautiful?” replied Marianne; “never since the world began have I read any thing so affecting. What an interesting creature that Claire was! and what a pity that she died! Ah, her death grieved me much; one might say that it frightened me; but that would not be astonishing in such a great lonely room as this. I hate these great rooms, I do;” added the nurse, looking cautiously around her, and gazing with a look of affright at the window the most distant from where she and her mistress were sitting.

“Oh how the curtain moves! did you not leave the shutters badly closed, madam?”

“It was not I who shut them,” tranquilly replied Madam Cottin, for it was of her old Marianne asked the question.

“Not you?” cried Marianne, in a frightened voice. “Who then could have shut them?”

“You, most probably, Marianne.”

“Me! I tell you, madam, I swear to you, as true as I am a good and sincere Christian, I swear to you, upon my soul—”

“Do not swear at all, Marianne; there is no one here but we two; if it were not me, it could have been no one else but you, and it was not me—”

“I am not a fool, out of my senses!” replied the Bordelaise. “I believe, rather,” she added in a solemn tone, “that there is some mystery behind the curtain—”

“We will admit that it was I who closed the shutters,” interrupted Madam Cottin, impatiently again taking up the papers, and reading them.

“But was it really you?” importuned the nurse.

“Why do you wish me to tell a lie? Shall I read you another page of my romance?”

“Oh yes, I love to hear you read,” replied the old woman. “But what are you going to do with that romance, as you call it?”

“Ah, Marianne, if I dared, if I did not fear the ridicule attached to the name of a female author, I would have it published, and the money that it would bring would ameliorate our condition. I would buy some articles of furniture—a piano, for instance—lonely and sad as I now am, music would charm my retreat.”

“Ah yes, Sophie, buy a piano; that will enliven you a little—may I call you Sophie?—for what else should I call you? It always seems as if I saw you as you looked when you were a child. I see now the house at Tonniens—the two steps you had to ascend on entering, then the little green gate, opening upon a lawn; then the garden to the right; upon the ground-floor was the kitchen, the dining-room and the parlor; on the first floor, the chamber of your mother, Madame Ristaud, that of your father, and yours, which was also mine. O, yes, I see it all! and your little bed with the figured coverlet! And the day you were born, it seems to me as yesterday! It was the fifteenth of August, 1773—that was twenty years ago. And then the day of your wedding at Bordeaux, (we lived then at Bordeaux;) didn’t your marriage make a noise?—you recollect it?—the little Ristaud, who married a rich banker of the capital, Monsieur Cottin. ‘Well, what is there astonishing about that?’ said I, ‘the little Ristaud is worth a banker of the capital two or three times over!’ I had only one fear, which I kept to myself, and that was, that when you should once be married and in Paris, you would not want your old nurse any longer. ‘Leave my nurse!’ you said, when you saw me weeping, and found why, ‘leave my nurse! no, no, I couldn’t do without her; I should feel lost if I should lose her.’ And you were right, my dear little one; your mother died, and your father, and then, in three years and six months after your wedding, your husband died; and now your fortune is gone, no one knows where, and not one is left but your nurse, your old nurse, who would give her blood, her life, every thing, that she might see you more happy. Yes, if you had a piano here, you could sing; you have such a sweet voice, and that would do well for us both. If by selling my cross of gold we might have one—what do you say?”


“It would need twelve hundred francs to purchase a piano, and the cross would not procure them; these” she added, striking her hand upon the papers scattered upon the table, “these would give them to me if I had the courage to go and sell them; but I dare not, I would only get a refusal.”

“Do you wish me to go, Sophie?” replied the nurse, “only tell me where, and it shall he done quickly—there!—what was that? This chamber is very gloomy, and that curtain is always moving!”

“I will go myself to-morrow,” said Madam Cottin, looking at her watch. “It is eleven o’clock—I must work a little longer; leave me, Marianne, and go to your rest.”

“Ah! now you are quite sure it was you who closed the shutters and drew down the curtains?” asked Marianne, reluctantly complying with her mistress’s command—“you are not afraid?”

“No!” answered Madam Cottin, who, as soon as she found herself alone, resumed her labor; but, whether it was the solitude and silence of the place, or because Marianne had really frightened her, she paused from her writing every few moments to look around her. By chance her eyes rested on the window-curtain, which, by the position of the lights, was thrown into the shade, and the words of Marianne recurred to her mind, “that, if she had left the window open on going out to walk, who could have shut it?” She thought, all at once, that she saw the cloth falling in numberless folds upon the floor, and moving in a most mysterious way. Fear bound her to the spot where she was standing, and for some moments she was unable to move; but at length, with a desperate effort, she advanced toward the curtain, and raised it up with a stifled cry. A man was standing behind with his back placed against the window-panes.

“Do not cry out, madam,” he said, “or I am a dead man.”

“What would you have me do?” said Madam Cottin, pale, but determined. “I am poor, and have nothing to tempt the cupidity of any one, nevertheless, if you are in want, here is a little money. But depart instantly, without approaching me; in Heaven’s name, go—go instantly!”

To the great astonishment of Madam Cottin, in place of taking the silver which she had offered him, the man threw back his cloak, and in a trembling, broken voice, said to her,

“Pardon me, madam, for having frightened you; can it be that you have forgotten me?”

“I do not know you,” replied Madam Cottin, scrutinizing the intruder, an old man, and whose disordered clothes, long, ragged beard, disheveled, gray hair, and the livid palor which overspread his features, prevented her from recognizing him.

“I am Monsieur de Fombelle,” said he, “proscribed and pursued—”

“Ah, good heaven!” interrupted Madam Cottin, running to bolt the door, “ah, sir, what can I do to assist you?”

“Alas! nothing, madam,” replied Monsieur de Fombelle, “for I have heard your conversation with your nurse, and can ask nothing of you.”

“If it is money you want, alas! I have none, sir! but approach the fire, and pardon me for not having recognized you sooner.”

Her visiter mechanically complied, while he abruptly addressed her.—

“Denounced by the law—pursued, tracked as a wild beast—finding no where an asylum, not even daring to seek one amongst my best friends, I wander in the streets of Paris—and—and—since yesterday I have not tasted food,” speaking with the air of a man with whom hunger stifled the shame of avowing it.


Madam Cottin immediately brought from a cupboard some bread, a pot of preserves, and a bottle of wine, saying as she did so,

“Believe me, this is the best I have.”

And she looked, with tears in her eyes, and a sad heart, upon that old man, whom she had known in better times, so polished, so dignified, so amiable, and so well beloved. He spoke not a word while eating, and when he looked up, at the end of his meal, he saw that she wept.

“Is it for me, or for yourself that you weep?” said he.

“For both of us,” replied Madam Cottin; “for you, that you suffer so much in your old age, and for me, that I am unable to assist a sincere friend of my husband.”

“Do you know no one?” he demanded.

“No one, sir; since my widowhood, I have seen no one.”

“Alas!” said Monsieur de Fombelle, lifting his eyes despondingly toward the ceiling, “and when I saw into what company I was cast, I believed I had found some assistance.”

“Was it not of your own accord that you came to me?”

“No, madam. A friend, who is actively endeavoring to assist me, but who scarcely has the means, for, like me, he is without money, appointed a place of rendezvous, after night-fall, in the open fields behind la rue Ceruti. I was returning from this rendezvous, when suddenly I found myself confronted face to face with my most mortal enemy—the same who had denounced me, and caused the decree against me. I endeavored to elude him, and had been running until almost exhausted, when a window, low and opened, attracted my attention. I obeyed my first impulse, made a spring, and found myself here. There was no one in the room, and, to guard against discovery, I closed the casement and the outer shutters; I lowered the curtains and concealed myself behind them. Scarcely had I done this, when you entered. As soon, as you spoke, I recognized you, the wife of my best friend; I should certainly not have hesitated to have presented myself before you, but your good nurse was with you, and I believed it prudent to await her departure. In overhearing your conversation, I learned how your condition, once so happy, had changed since the sad events which have desolated our dear country, and I resolved to escape, if possible, without causing you fear or danger. Hence my immovability while you lifted the curtain; for I supposed that in the obscurity of the place you would not perceive me. But I ought not, madam, longer to interrupt your repose.”

“No, do not go,” replied Madam Cottin, “until you tell me if I can in any way assist you.”

“In three days I am to quit France; all is arranged, and my flight is certain, if I can accomplish what seems to be an impossibility—I must raise twelve hundred francs.”

“Twelve hundred francs,” said Madam Cottin, thoughtfully.

“Otherwise, since I cannot hope always to elude my enemies, I shall be lost.”

“Monsieur de Fombelle,” said Madam Cottin, after a moment of silence, “I have but few means, yet I have such a desire to assist you, that perhaps God will aid me. Day after to-morrow, at this same hour, you will find my window open; enter, and perhaps I will then have some good news for you. And now, adieu, sir! be of good cheer;—stop, take under your cloak this bread, and this bottle of wine. Leave me to close the window—the street is deserted, and not a soul is passing. Remember, on the night of day after to-morrow, at eight o’clock, be under my window; strike three times on the glass. If I have succeeded, I will reply to you; if not, I will not have the courage to answer. Go, now, and be assured that I will do all in my power to assist you.”

Too much moved to venture a single word in reply, M. de Fombelle pressed her hand, leaped out of the window, and disappeared at the corner of a street yet inhabited by the Chaussée d’Antin.

The next morning had scarcely dawned, when Madam Cottin importuned her nurse to get breakfast; as soon as it was over, she gave her no time to arrange the furniture of the room.

“Come with me,” she said; “come with me, it is absolutely necessary that I sell Claire d’Albe this morning.”

“Ah, these young women!” exclaimed the nurse, as she complied; “these young women! when they once take a fancy, they have neither quiet nor reason. If the bookseller is as impatient to buy, as you are to sell, we shall soon have a piano, I see.”

From la rue Chanteriene to the quay, where, from time immemorial, the booksellers have had their shops, the walk was long, and Marianne harped upon the one idea of getting a piano, until they arrived at the place of their destination. After scrutinizing the long row of shops for a few moments, Madam Cottin selected one which had the most promising exterior.

“I can but fail,” said she, as she crossed the threshold. But as soon as she entered, she stopped, and remained, blushing, and with downcast eyes, before the bookseller, who advanced toward her, asking her what work she wished to purchase.

“It is not to purchase, but to sell, sir,” said Marianne, replying for her mistress, who could not overcome her embarrassment. “We have written a romance, and we have come to see if you wish to buy it. It is superb! I assure you, you have nothing in your shop which can compare with it.”

“Tut, tut, Marianne!” interrupted Madam Cottin, now sufficiently reassured to continue the negotiation. “Do you never buy manuscripts, sir?”

“Yes—no—that is—what is the name of the author?”

“The name of the book, sir, you mean to say?” timidly observed the young woman.

“No, of the author, not having time to read our books ourselves, you understand, it is almost always the name of the author that we buy.”

“But, sir, the work is written by me, and my name is not known,” said Madam Cottin, almost discouraged; 40 “if you would take the trouble to read it,” and she presented, hesitatingly, a little roll of papers.

“I have no doubt,” replied the bookseller, blandly, “it is a master-piece; it would be useless for me to read it—I would find it perfect. But business is not profitable just at this time. Some other time, when you shall have become known—”

“If all booksellers were like you, we would never be known,” impatiently interrupted Marianne. “Let us go, we have not got the piano yet.”

“No,” replied Madam Cottin, “but God always places good and bad fortune side by side; we will go in here,” and she boldly crossed the threshold of a second shop.

The appearance of this bookseller was more engaging than that of his neighbor. On seeing a lady enter, he advanced courteously toward her.

“What can I do to serve you?” he asked; then offering a seat to Marianne, and one to Sophie, he remained standing before the latter, who said to him,

“I am afraid of a disappointment, sir, after one failure to-day. I have written a little story—”

“Which you wish to have printed?” asked the bookseller.

“If you think it worthy of it, sir.”

“It will be necessary to see it, madam—have you the manuscript?”

Sophie’s hand trembled as she presented it to him.

“It is very small,” said the bookseller, glancing at it; “it will make a very small volume. It is a romance, in letters. Will you allow me to look at it?”

“Certainly. I am ignorant of the value of the work; having written it within the last five days, I have not bestowed upon it either the time or labor of retouching it; but I am in need of twelve hundred francs. I need it by to-morrow evening; see, sir, if you can give them to me.”

“Since you request so early a decision, I will ask only time to read three letters—one at the commencement, one in the middle, and one at the end of the book; and I will then be able to give you my opinion of the rest.”

With these words the bookseller retired behind a railing, hung with green curtains, and applied himself to reading the manuscript. Meanwhile Madam Cottin remained seated with her old nurse, unable to conceal the anxiety which devoured her.

“You are afraid that you will not get your piano, are you not, madam?”

“Yes, yes,” she replied, without knowing what she was saying.

“But why is it necessary for you to have the money to-morrow evening? Is it because the poor countess, who offers to sell you one, demands it immediately? Jean Paul, her porter, told me that she would give long time. You have spoken of it, then, to the countess?”

“Yes, yes, he seems satisfied!” exclaimed Sophie, anxiously scrutinizing the countenance of the bookseller.

At this moment the bookseller rose from his seat. Sophie’s heart beat as he approached.

“It is good, madam, very good! the conception is perfect; only one can see that you are not in the habit of writing, and it seems to me impossible to print it without corrections. As to the price, it is rather dear; but as you are in need of money, I will not deny it you. You will repay the difference in some other book which you will write for me, will you not?”

“Oh, yes, sir, yes!” eagerly replied Madam Cottin. “Give me the manuscript, sir; to-morrow, at six o’clock, you shall have it corrected.”

“And to-morrow, at six o’clock, your money shall be ready. Shall I bring it to you, that you may avoid going out at that hour? Do you wish this little sum in paper, in gold, or in silver?”

“In gold, sir. Oh! you have saved more than my life!” said Madam Cottin, departing.

“At last we shall have the piano!” said Marianne, running by the side of her mistress, scarcely able to keep even with her rapid pace.

“Jean Paul,” said she, when they had arrived opposite to the countess’s residence, stopping a moment behind her mistress, “Jean Paul, you may tell the countess we will purchase the piano, and that we will pay her to-morrow evening—do you hear, Jean Paul?”

“What have you been doing this morning, that you have found so much money to-day?” replied the porter, with a sneer; “has your mistress found a treasure?”

“No, sir,” replied Marianne, angrily, “it is in her mind that she has a treasure—it is in her head.”

“A trifle, citizen Marianne—a trifle! You told me she wrote, did you not? Now look you, I’ll put both of my hands into the fire, if your mistress is not a conspirator!”

“What!—a conspirator! Do you know what you are saying, Mr. Jean Paul?”

“Perfectly, citizen Marianne; and since your mistress loves ink, they are going to give her and her nurse some. Listen; I do not meddle—I say nothing, but I see all. This morning I had a little talk with the officer who lives near, and he is of my opinion concerning your mistress. She holds correspondence with the enemy—the English! Otherwise, why should she be writing all day? It is not natural for a woman to write so much. My wife never writes; it is true, she does not know how to write—but that makes no difference. Now I have an idea—I may have an idea, may I not?—well, I have an idea that she wishes to sell France; who knows but that she has already sold it, and that it is with some of the money she is going to buy the piano! O, my country—my poor country! into what hands have you fallen!”

“You are either a fool, or you don’t love music, which is the same thing; for if I understand a word you say, I hope my head may be cut off!” With this retort, Marianne turned toward Madam Cottin’s apartments.


Madam Cottin did not go to bed that night, but labored without relaxation to have her book ready by the appointed hour, and to receive the twelve hundred francs, by which she was to aid the escape of her husband’s friend. Morning and noon passed, the sun began to decline, and as the clock sounded five, she finished the last letter. The same moment the door of her chamber was opened with violence, and Marianne, weeping, rushed in, followed by a motley crowd of soldiers and “citizens,” the porter at their head.

“In the name of the law, search every where,” said a municipal officer; and in an instant they were ransacking every corner of the apartment. As soon as Madam Cottin could recover her self-possession, which had deserted her at first sight of these intruders, she demanded,

“What do you here—and what do you wish of me, sirs?”

Carrying his hand to his cap with a military air, the officer replied,

“Citizen, you are accused of holding correspondence with the enemies of France, and we are ordered to seize your papers.”

“Me, sir, holding correspondence with the enemy!” cried Madam Cottin, in a tone of surprise; “me, a poor widow, without friends and without experience! Who has been so base as to invent this falsehood?”

“If you are innocent, you have nothing to fear,” replied the officer, “and the examination of your papers will clear you without doubt.”

“Take them, then,” said Madam Cottin, assisting them in the search. The officer examined packages of letters from her husband, her mother, her schoolmates, some large writing books in which were registered the fruits of her studies, and some loose papers in her port-folio, without finding any thing which could excite suspicion.

At length the manuscript of Claire d’Albe, lying on the table, attracted his eye, and approaching it, he laid his hand upon it. Madam Cottin could not refrain from a cry of affright.

“Oh, for pity! pity! do not touch that!”

“Ah! we have reached the hiding-place at last!” said the officer, beginning to collect the scattered leaves.

“Sir,” said the lady, anxiously, “those papers do not endanger in any way the security of the state, I assure you; nay, I will most solemnly swear it!”

“Why then this fear?” said the officer, still gathering up the leaves.

“Because—because—they are invaluable to me, though they can be of little use to you. Oh! I am telling you the truth! Give them back, I beseech you!”

“Oh, yes, Mr. Officer!” interposed Marianne, “that is nothing but a romance, which my mistress sold yesterday for twelve hundred francs, to buy a piano. This is all the mystery, and if I were to die to-day, I have told you the exact truth. But if you do not believe what I have said, here comes the bookseller, and you can ask him yourselves.”

As she spoke, this personage entered the apartment.

“Speak, sir,” cried Marianne, rushing toward the bookseller, “make clear the innocence of my mistress. Say to these gentlemen what these papers are.”

The bookseller looking at the packet which the officer held in his hand, replied, “That is a romance which I bought yesterday of madam.”

Madam Cottin, seemingly insensible to what was passing around her, followed with her eyes the minute-hand of the clock, which was approaching nearer and nearer to the eighth hour. There was a short interval of silence, when the officer replied,

“I am inclined to believe, sir, that this is, as you say, a romance; but what difference can it make to you or madam, if I carry it to the Section? I will return it in the morning.”

Madam Cottin grew desperate. The hands on the dial-plate marked seven o’clock and five minutes.

“Let me read you one of the letters, sirs, and if you find in it a line to suspect, I will give the book into your hands.”

“I see no objection,” replied the the officer, and accordingly, Madam Cottin, taking up the first letter, commenced reading. As she proceeded, the attention of her audience became more and more profound; their countenances betrayed emotion; soon tears started from their eyes, and at length one of the auditors, interrupting the fair reader, threw himself upon his knees before her.

“I am a miserable wretch, madam, do what you please with me! It was I who denounced you—I who first suspected your daily habit of writing; no, there is no torture that I do not deserve! Oh! what you have written is beautiful! it is beautiful! I will buy the book when it is printed; I will learn to read—I, and my wife, and my children. Sir,” he added, turning toward the bookseller, “I wish the first copy you send out of your shop, and I will pay you any price you ask. I am Jean Paul, porter of house number forty-six, in la rue Chanteriene. And now, madam, pardon me—will you say that you pardon me?”

Madam Cottin cast a look at the dial—it wanted but five minutes of eight! She rose hastily.

“Yes, yes, I pardon you. Sir Officer, you leave me my manuscript, do you not?” added she, turning to the officer, who wiped his eyes, while the porter remained sobbing in his place.

“Certainly, madam,” replied he; “I leave you all your papers. I see that the republic of France has nothing to fear from you; and in taking my leave; I beg you to excuse our seeming rudeness.”

At this moment three blows were struck upon the window. Madam Cottin turned pale as death—

“Not yet—not yet!” said she, recovering herself instantly, and intending the words to have a meaning which should apply to the person without, as well as to those within. As she turned toward her secretary, the bookseller, unobserved by the rest, slipped a small roleau of gold into her hand—the price of the romance.

“We fear we are abusing your politeness,” said the officer, rising to leave. A second blow, stronger 42 than the first, rattled upon the glass. Sophie turned paler than before.

“I pray you remain,” she replied, in a loud voice, adding, in a lower tone, “and you also, Jean Paul. Marianne, bring some of the wine of our country—Bordeaux. Gentlemen, you can not refuse to drink the prosperity of France? And now,” added she, “the excitement I have undergone—this fire, which is so warm—you will excuse me, if I step to the window a moment for fresh air.”

So saying, she went to the window, and opened the shutters, letting the curtains fall before her.

“Stop!” she said to M. de Fombelle, restraining him from entering the chamber, which he attempted, and handing him the rouleau of louis-d’ors—the price of her first book—“take this, and begone quickly; you are in danger if you remain. Adieu!”

Closing the shutters and the sash, she again appeared, smiling in the midst of the soldiers. Marianne returned the same moment with a salver covered with glasses, and bottles of wine.

“At last we shall have a piano, Sophie,” said she, turning toward her mistress to drink.

“Not yet, my good Marianne,” replied Sophie, with a joyful tone, which contradicted her reply.

Such was the début of the gifted woman who has written so many charming romances. Late in life she commenced a work on Education; but a cruel malady surprised her in the midst of her labor, and after three months of suffering, which were, however, alleviated by the tenderness of friends, and the consolations of religion, she died on the 25th of August, 1807, aged thirty-four years.








Hearts somewhere beat, from which it cannot pass;

  Earth has no sunshine left, nor time nor place,

But a new scene slides o’er the magic glass,

  And we forget the space.


Light, and still lighter seemed that step to fall;

  I scarce could tell you when it ceased, or how;

A breathing spirit walked the earth—’tis all—

  That does not walk it now.


I think sometimes upon the sunny floor

  I see the shadow of her golden hair;

And turn half-dreaming to the open door,

  To look if she is there.


And then I mind. Life’s rough and thorny round

  Would long ere this have torn the folded wing

Whose downy waving glided over sound,

  And left it slumbering.


Death came, when flowers were passing from the earth;

  We thought to hear the clanking of his chain,

But the light step one evening left the hearth,

  And came not back again.






In the little hamlet of Anneberg, far up among the Erzberges or Copper Mountains of Saxony, there dwelt, once upon a time, a gentle child named Barbara. She was so fair, with such soft blue eyes, such long golden curls, and withal wearing a look of such exceeding sweetness, that the people of the hamlet, who were all miners, or workers in metal, called her by a name that signified the “Lily of the Mines.” Barbara was an orphan, a little lone creature, whom no one claimed, but whom every body loved. Her father had been a delver into the depths of the earth, and when she was only a tiny little baby, he had kissed her round cheek, and gone to his daily labor at early dawn; but ere the shadows of the dark trees fell toward the eastern slope of the hills, he was brought home mangled and lifeless. The “fire-damp” had seized him and his companions; or, as the simple peasants believed, the demon of the mine had arisen in his might, and torn to pieces the daring spoilers of his treasure-house. Barbara’s mother did not long outlive the dreadful sight. She pined away, with a dull aching at her heart, and one morning a kind neighbor found the child sleeping calmly on the cold bosom of her dead mother.

From that moment the little Barbara became the nursling of the whole hamlet. The good women of the village remembered that she had been born on a Sunday morning, and according to their tender and beautiful faith, the “Sabbath-child” had received a peculiar blessing, which was shared, in some degree, by all who ministered to her wants. So Barbara was the foster-child of many mothers, and found heart-kindred in every cottage. But chiefly did she dwell, after she had grown beyond the swaddling-bands of infancy, in the house of the good Gottlieb, the pastor of this little mountain flock of Christians. Barbara grew up a gentle quiet child, rarely mingling in the noisy sports of the villagers, and loving nothing so well as to steal away to some forest nook, where she would sit for hours looking out upon the rugged face of nature, and weaving dreams, whose web, like that of the wood-spider, was broken by a breath.

Some said—“little Barbara is moping for the lack of kindred.” Others said more truly—“Nay, is she not a blessed Sabbath-child? It may be that the spirit of her dead mother is with her in the lonely places where she loves to abide; hinder her not, therefore, lest ye break the unseen bond between the living and the dead.” So Barbara was left to the guidance of her own sweet will, and long ere she had grown beyond childhood she was familiar with all the varied aspects of nature in the wild and beautiful country of her birth. It seemed as if some holy charm had indeed been bestowed on the little orphaned Sabbath-child, for every living thing seemed to recognize in her a gentle and loving companion. All the children of the hamlet loved her, and it was wonderful to see the little shy birds hopping about her feet to pick the crumbs which she always scattered for them in her wanderings.

But Barbara was not a merry, light-hearted maiden. Cheerful she was and gentle, but not gay, for a cloud had fallen upon her earliest years, and a shadow from Death’s wing had thrown a gloom over her infant life, darkening those days which should have been all sunshine. True, she had found friends to shield her from want, but never did she see a child nestling upon its mother’s bosom, without feeling a mournful loneliness of heart. Therefore it was that she loved to steal away to the green foldings of the hills, and hold companionship with the pleasant things of earth, where, in the quietude of her own pure nature, she could commune with herself. She had early learned to think of her mother as an angel in heaven, and, when she looked up to the blue sky, gorgeous in its drapery of gold and purple clouds, or shining with its uncounted multitude of stars, she never forgot that she was gazing upon the outer gates of that glorious home, where dwelt her long lost parents. Yet she was not an idle or listless dreamer in a world where all have their mission to fulfill, and where none are so desolate as to have no duties to perform. She learned all the book-lore that the good pastor chose to impart to the little maidens of the hamlet, and no hand was more skillful than hers with the knitting-needle and distaff. Thus she grew up, delicate and fair, with eyes as blue as summer skies, and long golden locks, hanging almost to her feet, for she was as tiny as a fairy in stature.

There came sometimes to the cottage of Father Gottlieb, a dark-browed man, whose towering form and heavily-built limbs gave him the semblance of some giant of the hills. His voice was loud and as clear as a trumpet-call, and his step was bold and firm, like that of a true-born mountaineer. He was the owner of vast tracts in the mine districts, and stores of untold wealth lay hidden for him in earth’s deep caverns. Herr Uttman was stern of visage, and bold—it may be rough—in his bearing, but his heart was as gentle as a woman’s. He loved to sit at Gottleib’s board, and, while partaking of his simple fare, to drink in the wisdom which the good pastor had learned in far-off lands. The wonders of Nature—the mystic combinations that are ever going on in her subterranean laboratory—the secret virtues, or the equally secret venom, which is found in her humblest plants—the slow but unfailing process of her developments, by which the small and worthless acorn grows into the towering oak, and the winged seed lifts its broad pinions in the new form of leafy 44 branches toward the skies—all these things Herr Uttman loved to learn from the lips of the wise old man. Therefore did he seek the pastor’s cottage whenever he had leisure to listen to his teachings.

Uttman’s kindly heart had early warmed toward the orphan child of Gottlieb’s adoption. He won her infantine love by telling her wild tales of the dark mines, and the fantastic spirits of the nether world. He had tales of the Fire-Demon, and the Water-Dragon, of the Mocking-Imp, who led poor miners to their destruction, by mimicking the voice of a companion, and of the dazzling Cavern-Queen, the flash of whose diamond crown, and the gleam of whose brighter eyes, lured the poor workman to a frightful death. To sit on his knee, twining her small fingers in the black curls which fell unshorn upon his shoulders—to look in his great dark eyes as they gleamed with the enthusiasm of that half-poetic nature which is the inheritance of a high-hearted mountaineer—to feel herself nestling like a dove on his broad breast, and clinging to him half in terror, half in delight, as his strong words brought all those fearful shapes vividly before her eyes—these had been Barbara’s pleasures when a little child.

But Barbara could not always remain the petted child, and the time came when the budding maiden sat on a stool at Uttman’s feet, and no longer leaned her head upon his bosom while she listened to his wild legends. At first Herr Uttman was troubled at the change in Barbara’s manner, then he pondered over its meaning, and at last he seemed to awaken to a new perception of happiness. So he asked Barbara to be his wife, and though his years doubly numbered hers, she knew that she loved no one half so well, and, with the affection which a child might feel for a tender parent, she gave him the troth-pledge of her maiden faith. Nor was Barbara mistaken in her recognition of his real nature. A rough and stern man did he seem to many, but his heart was full of kindness, and his affections, though repressed and silent, yet, like a mountain stream, made for themselves only a deeper channel. He had an abiding love for Nature. He defaced not her fair bosom with the scars of the plough or the pick-axe, but following the course of the dark ravine, and entering into the yawning chasm, he opened his way into earth’s treasure-house, leaving the trees to tower from the mountain’s brow, the streams to leap down their rocky beds, and the green sward to stretch down the sunny slopes. Barbara was as a dove nestling in the branches of a stately tree. No wonder her husband worshiped her, for his affections were like a full, deep stream rushing through a mine, and she was like the star, which, even at noonday, may be seen reflected in its depths. She was the angel of his life, the bright and beautiful spirit of truth and love within his household.

Years passed on and Barbara had but one ungratified hope within her heart. God had given her no children, and the tenderness of her nature found no vent save in her kindly charities. To the poor, and needy, and sorrowful, she was the friend and benefactress, but her heart sometimes thrilled with a vain repining, and she felt a thirst for those pure waters which spring up only in a mother’s pathway. One night she was oppressed with sadness, and ere she yielded herself up to sleep, she prayed that this vain longing within her heart might be quenched for ever, or find some solace in the duties which lay around her.

Scarcely had she closed her eyes in slumber, when her couch was visited by a wild and wonderful dream. She dreamed she was standing within the porch, when a lady clad in shining raiment, emerged from the foldings of the hills and slowly approached her. The lady’s face was hidden beneath a snow-white veil of some transparent fabric, which though it seemed as translucent as water, yet, like water, gave an indistinctness to the object seen through it But when the strange visitant spoke, her voice thrilled through Barbara’s inmost heart, for it was the spirit-voice which she had so often heard in her childhood—the voice of her dead mother. It seemed to Barbara that the lady stood close beside her, and then, without fear Barbara laid her head on the stranger’s bosom and clasped her arms around her tall form, while she rather felt than heard these words:

“Daughter lift up thine eyes, and behold the children which the Lord hath given unto thee.”

Barbara raised her head and beheld a train of young maidens clad in the simple costume of the Saxon peasant, and linked together as it seemed by webs of the same transparent texture as that which veiled the lady’s face. Slowly they passed before her wondering eyes, fading into thin air as they became lost in the distance, but still succeeded by others, similarly clad and holding webs of the same delicate fabric, until Barbara’s brain grew giddy as the troop swept on and on unceasingly. Weary with gazing she closed her eyes, and when she re-opened them the maidens had vanished; only the strange lady in her shining garments was beside her, and she heard a low, silvery voice saying:

“They who are called to fulfill a mission among nations must find their sons and their daughters beneath the roof-tree of the poor and the oppressed. Childless art thou, Barbara, yet the maidens of Saxony through yet uncounted ages shall call thee mother.”

Barbara awoke from her dream, but so strongly was it impressed upon her memory, that she could not banish it from her thoughts for many days. But it had done its work upon her gentle spirit, for from that hour she felt that Heaven had some recompense in store for her, and though utterly unable to interpret her vision, she endeavored by redoubling her charities to find for herself children among the needy and sorrowful.

But year after year fleeted on, and the Herr Uttman’s coal-black locks had become almost silver-white, while Barbara’s cheek had lost nothing of its smoothness, and her golden locks, though gathered beneath a matron’s coif, were still as glossy and sunny as in her girlhood. (For time seemed to have spared her gentle beauty, as if in reverence for the gentle spirit which it had so long clothed in a fitting 45 garb.) She had long since forgotten her youthful repinings, for from every cottage in the hamlet had blessings gone up to heaven upon her who was the friend of the friendless, and, though her dream was still vivid in her remembrance, she fancied that she had already attained its fulfillment in the gratitude of the poor.

“Come with me, sweet wife, and I will show thee a new wonder in the mines,” said the good Herr Uttman, one summer’s morning.

Barbara looked up with a pleasant smile:

“Have I not threaded with thee all the maxes of the dark mountains, and gathered the glittering spar, the many-tinted stone, and the rough gem? Are there yet more marvels in thy dark domain?”

“Nay, don thy wimple and hood, and thou shalt see.”

So Barbara went forth with her husband, and he led her to the yawning mouth of a dark cavern in the mountains. Carefully enfolding her in a thick cloak, to protect her from the jagged points of the rocks, he took her in his arms, (for he had lost none of his gigantic strength,) and bore her like a child, into the cavern. For a time they wended their way in what seemed to her total darkness, and she was only conscious of being carried along winding passages, where she felt the spray of a subterranean torrent, and heard the dash of its waters in some unfathomed chasm. At length her husband, setting her feet upon a broad ledge of rock, lifted the cloak from her face and bade her look upon the scene before her.

Barbara found herself at the entrance of a long gallery in the mine, in the roof of which an aperture had been made up to the outer surface of the mountain, and through which a flood of sunshine was pouring down into what seemed a glittering corridor, hung with festoons of the most exquisitely wrought tapestry. Never had Barbara beheld any thing so fantastically beautiful. The sides of the shaft were covered with a half transparent fabric, enwrought with patterns like rich embroidery, through which the gleam of the metal shone like gold, as the sunbeam danced into the cavern depths.

It was a gallery in the mine, which years before had been closed up and forgotten. The workmen, while digging an air-shaft, had struck into the disused chamber. Cut in the solid ore, the pillars which supported its roof were carved into grotesque shapes, as the whim of the old miners had directed the stroke of their tools. During the years that it had been closed, the spiders had taken possession of its walls, and their webs, spun over and over again, for more than half a century, had produced a tapestry richer in design, and more airy in fabric than ever came from the looms of Ispahan. It needed but little stretch of imagination to behold the vine with its tiny tendrils and drooping fruit, the rose with its buds and leaves, the fantastic arabesque border, and the quaint devices of ancient emblazoning in that many-tissued yet translucent web. No where else could the same humble material have worn the same magical beauty, for the mingled colors of the ore which formed the walls, and the golden sunshine pouring in through the roof, tinted the woven tracery with all the hues of the rainbow.

Barbara stood entranced before this strange spectacle, but while she gazed, dim and vague recollections came thronging upon her mind. At length all was clear to her. In the webs which adorned the walls of the mine, she recognized the beautiful drapery which had veiled the face of her dream-visitant, and had linked together the band of dream-children in former years. A cry of wild surprise broke from her lips, and from that moment she felt that there was a mysterious connection between her fate and this haunted chamber of the mine.

Now when Barbara returned to her home, and sat down amid her workwomen, she told of this wondrous fabric woven by the little fairy spinners in the mine. It happened that among the pensioners of her bounty was numbered a certain woman from Brabrant who had been driven from her home by the cruelties practiced by the Duke of Alva in the Low Countries. In her own country she had learned to weave a coarse kind of lace, and when she heard her lady describe the delicate texture of the spiders’ webs, she drew forth some flaxen threads, and wove them into meshes resembling somewhat the drapery which Barbara had so admired. This was all that was wanting to give purpose and definiteness to Barbara’s vague fancies.

They who look with most pleasure on a finished work, are oft-times most easily wearied with tracing the slow footsteps of the patient laborer. The reader would tire of this faithful chronicle if called to watch the gradual progress of Barbara Uttman’s schemes of wide spread good. By unwearied toil she made herself acquainted with the means of perfecting the new manufacture, which offered to her prophetic spirit a means of livelihood to the feebler portion of the poor. Going on from one improvement to another, she finally invented the cushion, the bobbins, and the pins, by which hand-woven lace is wrought with such perfect symmetry and regularity of fabric and design as make it, even now, the costliest of all the trappings of wealth. Then—when the invention was perfected—by offering premiums to those who would engage in the work, by establishing manufactories in her own domain, by precept and example, and all the varied means of influence which wealth and virtue had placed within her power, she established the weaving of lace as the especial employment of the women of Saxony. Thousands of maidens have found their sole support in this employment, and for nearly three hundred years the name of Barbara Uttman has been revered as the “mother” of many daughters, and the benefactress of the women of more than one nation in Europe.

Gentle reader, I have beguiled you with no fictitious tale. In the church-yard of the little mountain hamlet of Anneberg lie the remains of Barbara Uttman, who was born in 1514, married in 1531 to Christopher Uttman, a rich mine-owner, and died a widow in 1575. A visit to a long-disused shaft in a mine, where the spiders’ had woven their webs for fifty 46 years, gave her the first idea of that beautiful fabric, which, under the various names of Mechlen, Valenciennes, and Brussels lace, makes the choicest of all additions to a lady’s toilet. It is said that since her establishment of its manufacture in 1560, upwards of a million of women are supposed to have obtained a comfortable livelihood by this species of employment. Notwithstanding the general introduction of a much inferior kind of lace, which is woven by machinery, at least twenty thousand women in Europe, annually obtain their support from the manufacture of hand-woven lace. With the far-seeing spirit of true philanthropy a woman thus solved for her country the problem which statesmen yet cavil over, and by affording the poor a means of humble independence, rescued the females of her own land from want and destitution. Yet how few of those who deck themselves with lace, only less costly than diamonds, have ever heard the name of Barbara Uttman!








[The Steine-Kill is one of the sparkling tributaries of our

American Rhine, the Hudson, and signifies “Stony River.”]


Our own bright “Steine-Kill!” once more, once more!

  Thy wavelets steal the glowing hues of Heaven,

And now with stranger glory than before,

  The gold-encrimsoned clouds melts into even.

One soft-veiled rose-cloud floateth slowly on,

  Mirrored in thy calm bosom; rainbow-dyes

All radiant, vie with glowing hues like morn;

  While far amid the deep’ning west, arise

  Strange giant-forms, that seem to guard the skies.


Ay, giant-clouds!—from out the vestibule

  Of Heaven’s vast, dark’ning dome, what mighty train

Comes forth!—a cavalcade of kings—whose sceptered rule,

  The whole broad realm of Heaven! Lo, again

Their host they marshal—where the God of Day

  Sinks, like a wearied conqueror, to his rest,

They have usurped his throne; with proud array

  Of gold and purple canopy o’er thy breast—

A gorgeous couch!—rest captive conqueror!

The orient guards thy bright triumphal car.


But, lo, another scene—a battle-plain—

  The deep-toned roar of Heaven’s artillery!

’Mid iron hail and lightning-flash, again

  The shattered hosts rush fiercely to the fray!

’Mid foaming steed, and flashing shield and spear,

  And waving oriflame, those warrior-clouds

Surge onward like the sea!—a mighty bier

  Yawns to receive them—for the darkness shrouds

Them, as a tomb, and solemn twilight’s reign

Broodeth o’er Heaven’s ensanguined battle-plain.


Thus, change the scenes of thy great drama, Life!

  Love, Hate, Pride—the fever-dreams

Of restless energies, warring with the strife

  Of bigot Ignorance; while brightly gleams

The radiant light of Hope! Ah! are not all

  These passions mirrored from our hearts, in those

We love and influence?—ever may their thrall

  Be like the secret fount the lap-wing knows,[3]

E’er pure, and calm, and holy—as thy breast—

Oh, Steine-Kill! whereon the twilight rests.

It is known that the “hud-hud,” or lap-wing, possesses the instinct to discover subterranean springs.










Oft when the evening sun is low,

  Along the billowing sea

Is heard the echoing sound of bells,

  Ringing harmoniously.


Ringing the call to vesper prayer,

  With muffled tone and low,

From the towers of that old “wonder-town,”

  Submerged so long ago.


And as the billows dance and play

  Beneath the lingering light,

The sailor sees far in the sea

  A strange and fearful sight;


For temple, tower and palace gleam

  I’ the sunset’s golden sheen;

And ghostly people walk the streets

  Like a crowd of living men.


Oh, human heart! art thou not like

  That city lost of old

With all thy glittering towers of pride,

  And buried joys untold.


The tides of life rush over thee,

  But cannot sweep away

The temples of thine early hopes—

  Thine halls of imagery.


And from thy depths there comes a tone—

  A music sad and low;

The requiem of thy buried loves,

  That perished long ago.


And gloriously thy visions gleam

  I’ the light of memory;

Oh, human heart! art thou not like

  That city of the sea.






Many a kind heart beats under a rough exterior. Such a heart was old Simon Gray’s, and in appearance he was rude and uncourtly enough. People said he was crazed, but his madness never was exhibited in any unkindness, or in any injustice. Nor was he at all deficient in his business management, or incoherent in his conversation, when he chose to converse. Simon was a man of few words—to others—though his lips often moved, as if he talked to himself. When he did speak audibly there was good will even in his harshest tone; and the pale blue eyes, which were deep set under his bushy brows, beamed with kindness, when once you had passed their forbidding portals. Strange boys and chance comers were afraid of the old man, as he sat at the door of the old new house where he had dwelt for many, many years in bachelorhood; but those who knew him had always a kind word, and he had a cheerful answer. His especial pet was a little fair-haired girl, whom he seemed to love with the affection of a protector as well as parent. He tried to shield her that even the wind might not visit her too roughly; and she on her part looked up to him with a confidence, love, and trust, which would make it seem almost that she knew him to be more than human. Both are dead now, else might we not write this story, for it would have given the old man pain, and made a revelation to the young child of which she died happily ignorant. Nor, so far as we know are there any, who under our altered names of persons and places, and the absence of dates, will recognize the characters. If there are, they will admit that we do old Simon no more than justice; or if they knew him but slightly they will love a memory which has hitherto been to them only that of a bizarre old man.

We have called the house old and new. Old it certainly was, as the blackened boards and other marks of time showed—prematurely old, from neglect. And yet it appeared new too, in that the building was never entirely finished. Paint, plaster, and care have made a new place of it since the time of which we write, for it has passed into strange hands. Why it presented the appearance of which we have been speaking, will appear in our narrative.

Simon Gray’s life opened happily. There was nothing which indicated for him a splendid destiny. The path which seemed open before him was obscure, and promised to embrace only the ordinary incidents of ninety-nine lives in a hundred; but it so befell that his experience showed that strange things may happen as well to the humble as to the exalted. The prince has gilded play-things, the peasant boy plain. Both are toys after all, and both the possessors are children. Both grow up to be men only, and in every man’s heart the thoughts are mightier to himself than the marching of an army with banners.

Simon received the usual elements of a practical education in a New England public school. And what was more to his benefit, he was taught by parental admonition and example the way in which he should go; and was founded in true faith in the God whom he should love. And between himself and a young woman, his neighbor, Margaret Goodenow, there grew an attachment which strengthened with their years. Neither could go back and fix the date when the other was not a chosen companion. It was love, pure and unsophisticated; and it was only when they learned by observation that they were not and could not be brother and sister to each other, that the thought came into their heads that they might be something else, still nearer and dearer. Simon continued his attentions naturally, and Margaret as naturally accepted them as matters of course. There were no vows—no protestations—no jealous fits—no frantic passages—no prudery and no affectation of concealment. None of the romantic artillery which gives eclat to the pages of a fashionable novel marked their intercourse. All went quietly and happily, without any particularly definite thought of the future; until, about the same time, Simon’s father asked him how he would like to build over against the big elm, (that same house of which we were speaking just now,) and Margaret’s mother asked her why she did not put a web for herself in the loom.

That “set them to thinking,” as the Yankee phrase is. Mag plied the distaff and shuttle as if at task-work—and a pleasant task too. Simon would not wait that spring, till the frost was out of the ground, before he tried some experimental blows with the pick, at the cellar; and as for the stone for cellar-wall and foundation, that was on the spot before sledding was over. And everybody looked forward to the completion of the house as a probable approximation to the date of the young couple’s wedding. Margaret was daily at the building—her mother daily scolding her, good-humoredly, and telling her that Simon would certainly get his part done first; but then Margaret knew that Simon would rather the cloth should not be woven, than that she should not know every inch of the house’s progress. So together they consulted, and together they planned all the details; and as the walking became “settled,” it was not unfrequently the case that both families were collected there once a day, if not oftener. Every body had 48 some advice or suggestion, or incident from experience, how cellars should be kept dry, and rats and mice kept out; how room could be saved this way and that—how too many corners catch dirt, and above all, how a house is nothing without “cupboards” and closets. Manifold where the dark places which were economized into “stow-holes,” and long and earnest the conferences between Simon and Margaret. They heard the others, and then did as they pleased—or rather as she pleased. A wise man will let woman have her way in such arrangements, provided that she does not wish to do any thing quite as outre as commencing the chimneys at the top, after the mode described in Gulliver’s Travels.

Summer sometimes brought idlers and valetudinarians to Hill-side. It was not a regular summering resort; but those who really wish to enjoy country-life occasionally discover that the crowded watering-place is not the true scene of rural pleasures. A young man named Bernard came this summer to the village. Whether his pocket, his taste, or a mere whim brought him there; whether he sought retirement, or traveled for health, or what induced him to pitch upon this spot, nobody knew. Some letters he had, and what was a better introduction, he had a good address. He was young and pale, and of course, interesting. He had frequent letters and parcels at the post-office, and must therefore be a man of some note. He was extremely affable to all whom he met, old and young; and in a very little time every body at Hill-side felt an interest in the handsome stranger; and trusted that he would carry away such a report of the place, its advantages and hospitalities, as would induce other visiters.

The young people voted him an author—perhaps a poet—certainly a student; and Margaret’s mother was not at all displeased when the young student applied to her for summer-quarters; for to tell the truth, she had already resolved such a possibility in her mind. He said he wished home comforts, which were not to be found at a country tavern, and delicately conveyed his firm impression that her house would be to him a perfect elysium. She was not prepared to take a stranger into the house, lived in a plain way, and all that. But he protested that these objections were precisely the advantages that he sought in a country visit—the absence of a mercenary calculation—a mouthful for each penny paid, and a set price for lodgings. Where one party is determined, and the other opposes only feigned resistance, the point at issue is soon determined, and Bernard was at once domiciliated at Chestnut-Farm.

Never was man so little trouble as he—never were family so much infatuated with a stranger. Margaret and all partook of the fascination. It seemed as if she never would tire of reciting his praises to Simon at their daily meetings. She was very anxious that the two young men should be intimate, and as she said, “like each other very much.” She knew that they would do so if each could only know the good points of the other as well as she knew both. But neither of them could be inspired with any very warm attachment in the direction she desired. Bernard was civil and courteous to Simon, as he was to every body; but Margaret thought she could detect some appearance of undervaluing her lover on the part of the stranger. And he permitted this impression to be gathered in the most agreeable manner—that is to say, as if he accidentally betrayed his sense of her exceeding worth, and his sorrow that she was to be sacrificed to Simon. In no way did he attempt to derogate from that individual’s good points in the abstract, or as plain Simon—but it was as Margaret’s accepted that he fell below Bernard’s standard. Margaret pleaded with Bernard for her lover, and that was dangerous business, because it was in some sort admitting what Bernard rather implied than alleged. It was reading his hieroglyphics, and that indicated a common understanding between them, and emboldened Bernard, while it threw Margaret in the way of temptation.

And she pleaded with Simon for Bernard. That was dangerous business too. The most unsuspecting heart is not proof against all misgivings—and Simon did not like that she should enter so warmly into advocacy for a man in whose behalf he saw no reason why she should be so deeply interested. The stranger was but a transient guest—never again to visit the vicinity Simon hoped; and he could not perceive that it was a matter of great consequence whether he ever learned to like him particularly or not. He soon ceased to argue the matter at all with her. He forced himself to listen; but it was with evident disrelish, and Margaret, finding the subject an unpalatable one, abandoned it. But this did not mend matters much, since Simon’s uneasiness now look a positive character. He had disliked to hear Margaret continually talking of the stranger, but her evident reserve upon all that related to him was worse. And Margaret shared in his discontent; for it seemed to her, though she did not trust herself to say it, or even dare to think of it, that Simon was unkind. And, what was more unfortunate for her peace, she felt that Bernard was not.

The young stranger was by no means an indifferent observer of all this. Nay, it seemed wonderfully to fall in with his plans—perhaps with his expectations—certainly with his wishes. Margaret learned to be very much pleased with him, and fond of his conversation and society; and yet she felt a half-consciousness that she was doing her old friend a wrong. But why? she would ask herself. Is it esteeming Simon less, to do justice where he refuses it? It was too knotty a point in casuistry for her to solve; and things at Chestnut-Farm now began to go on strangely. Simon was spoken of in a tone in which he had never been mentioned before. Bernard was particular in his expressions of good opinion—too particular—patronizing. But there was, withal, a covert spice of detraction in it—as neatly contrived as Mark Antony’s effort “to bury Cæsar, not to praise him.” Bernard affected to praise Simon, not to detract from him; but the effect of all his conversation was precisely the opposite of his ostensible 49 design. After a time even Margaret could laugh heartily at a joke uttered at the expense of her lover in his absence. At first she was almost offended at any liberty taken with the character or person of Simon, however well it was gilded; but the polished wit of Bernard, and his apparently unassuming superiority, led her more and more to desire that her country lover could resemble her accomplished friend.

It would too much lengthen our sketch to describe the whole process and progress of the estrangement—for an estrangement it became. Bernard’s discussions upon architecture quite ruined in the eyes of Margaret the humble dwelling which had once seemed to her a palace. As she suggested this and that and the other impossible change in the original plan, and treated poor Simon’s cherished notions with ill-disguised superciliousness, he was grieved to perceive in all this, that he as well as the house, was daily growing less and less in her estimation. And the villagers began now to perceive the growing coolness. It made the judicious sad; the thoughtless sneered, the friends of Simon were angry. And at last he became angry himself; or at least his feelings approached as near to anger as the love he still felt would admit; and he looked anxiously forward to the time when the departure of the dangerous guest would release Margaret from her hallucination.

Summer passed away, and the foliage commenced to wear its autumn hue. Long before this Simon had taken it for granted that his house would have been finished and furnished, and that his wife would have been busy with him, perfecting their winter comforts. But now things began to wear the aspect of a house begun without counting the cost. There was a delay in the few finishing touches which alone remained to perfect the building. A step here, and a pale there were ready for their places, but still stood unadjusted. The gate which had been tacked up, waiting for bolts and hinges, still waited. Dust blew over the door-stone, and all looked like neglect. Simon Gray was no more seen daily at the building; indeed he was scarcely seen abroad at all, and when he did make his appearance, it was with an aspect so wan and woful, that men saw he had a broken-heart.

The student had gone from the village. Margaret, who had grieved the good people by a flirtation with him which had grown more and more open and unblushing, was now seldom met. The whole vicinage, so cheerful and pleasant in the spring, appeared to have had a spell cast over it; and the people—for in a village men sympathize with each other—looked as if a heavy secret lay at all their hearts; as if they knew more than they would speak, and feared more than they knew.

Winter came; and the deep snows of New England drifted over the paling of Simon Gray’s new house, and filled the yard, where nobody broke a path. Winds blew, and scattered from the bared road side sand and gravel over the white mantle, and still it lay unbroken, and where the eaves dropped it froze. The threshold was ice, and the roof and windows hung with icicles. Simon passed one day, and paused and looked at the place earnestly. A little boy who watched him, for Simon had now become an object of marvel to the little folk, said that Simon Gray drew his sleeve across his eyes. The lad wondered if it was not because his house was not finished before the snow set in. Poor Simon! He was no poet, but the sullied snow had given him other and more bitter thoughts than that!

Spring opened. The strengthening sun melted down the bank of snow before Simon Gray’s new house, and the winter-hid shavings and bits of brick, and scraps of mortar, peeped out—last year’s mementoes of the unfinished work, preserved beneath the bank to tell their story over again in the new year. And now a great surprise had taken the village; and the envious wondered how that family, meaning Margaret’s poor mother, and her father, bowed with more than the weight of years, could have held up their heads as long as they did. The doctor, and the truly worthy and pious minister, vied with each other in the constancy and frequency with which they visited Chestnut Farm-house. Simon went at last also, for the minister took him there. If he went at all disposed to be unforgiving, he came away melted and subdued. His heart was lighter too; for he had performed a duty which all owe who dare to say in their prayers “forgive us—as we forgive.”

A long train wound one day, just as the violets were opening, into the village grave-yard. Simon Gray was there, and it was observed, as they passed his new house, for the train were all on foot, that his companion had much labor to bear him up. But he was not a mourner as one without hope; for his arms had supported Margaret when she resigned her soul to Him who forgiveth sin, and heareth those who call upon Him. He never spoke of her after while he lived; and he never would hear when her name was mentioned. Some people felt, and others affected surprise that he was present at all at the funeral—but Simon noticed neither. He was simply following the dictates of an affection too virtuous to have permitted him to sacrifice his self-respect had she lived—too charitable to permit one who was once loved to die unforgiven of man, since the Master received her—or to die unloved of a fellow-mortal, since while we were yet sinners Christ died for us; and greater love can none show than this.

Such is the story of the “Old New House.” The child of whom we spoke at the opening was Margaret’s grandchild. Her father grew in that house, lived there married and single, and died there. Simon never would suffer it to be finished further than absolute necessity required; and people, as we have already stated, said he was crazed. He was solitary and heart-broken; and if it were a strange fantasy that he should rear Margaret’s child, there was a method in such madness, which we all would do well to imitate in behalf of the orphan and the destitute.








The city of Puebla lies in the centre of an immense plateau, seven thousand feet above sea level, and bordered by mountains of more than twice this altitude. Malinchi, rendered classic in the history of the first conquest, rises on the north; the Piñal bars up the eastern passes, while the great Cordillera of the Rio Frio forms its western boundary, thus separating the two great valleys of Puebla and Mexico by an almost impassible barrier. In this ridge lie the great snow mountains of Popocatepec and the “White Woman,” (la muger blanca,) known poetically as the “Twin Sisters.”

These mountains soar far above the regions of eternal snow. Popocatepec is a cone, and the gray fringe that marks the blending of the white glacier and the dark pines of the mountain forest, forms the circumference of a horizontal circle. On the White Woman this snow line is more irregular. On both mountains its altitude is variable, according to the season and the heat of the sun. Thus the melting of the snows in the sultry months of summer throws the gray fringe higher up the sides of Popocatepec and Ixticihuath, and irrigates the broad plains of Puebla and Tlaxcalla.

But for these snow-crowned mountains the plateau of Puebla would be a barren desert. As it is, the western segment of this plain may be termed the garden spot of Mexico.

As the traveler emerges from the western gate of Puebla, he beholds one of the loveliest pictures in the world. The delighted eye roams over broad fields of corn and wheat, and “frijoles,” bordered by fence rows of the picturesque maguey—here and there the cupolas of rich haciendas—the turrets of a flourishing village, and the spires of a rural church variegate the green landscape, while in the distance rises the dark Cordilleras of the Mexican Andes, over whose gloomy forests and frowning chasms the snowy crests of the “Twin Sisters” glisten with a dazzling whiteness.

This is, perhaps, the fairest picture in Mexico. Its beauty, however, did not protect it from the desolating influence of war, and during the occupation of Puebla by the American army, bands of robbers under the name of “guerilleros,” alike hostile to Mexican and American, roamed over the fairest portions of this district, committing every species of outrage upon its peaceful inhabitants.

The American army entered Puebla in the month of May, 1847. The inhabitants, one hundred thousand in number, were struck with astonishment at the boldness of the act. They had been expecting an army of at least ten thousand men. Instead of this, ninety dragoons rode into the piazza alone, where they halted to await the advance of the army, in all, not numbering four thousand men. Hundreds of Mexicans counted our soldiers as they crossed the bridge of “Noche buena,” and the feeling that existed in the breasts of the Poblanos, after our entry into their city, was one of shame, that they had permitted such a handful of men to take the old and warlike town of Puebla without a blow having been struck in its defense.

They might apparently have stoned us to death.

Santa Anna repulsed at Amozoc, had retreated upon San Martin, and now held that fair district with his rabble soldiery.

On finding that it was not in the power of the American commander to advance beyond Puebla for a time, the bright idea struck Santa Anna of rousing the national pride once more in defense of their capital. He consequently crossed the mountains at Rio Frio, and commenced fortifying the ancient city of the Aztecs, leaving however a large guerilla force, who roamed at will over the western plain of Puebla and occupied San Martin, Tlaxcalla, and Atlixco. These at first commenced hostilities by stopping the supplies of the Puebla market, which depends altogether upon the fertile districts of the west. Finding, however, that the American gold received in exchange for the fruits and vegetables of San Martin, served their purposes better than revenge, the guerillas at length permitted the produce to pass, levying a heavy contribution upon each article.

The hated “alcabala,” was abolished at the city gates, and the Indians and rancheros of Chohula, San Pablo, and San Martin, flocked to the grand Piazza of Puebla.

It was a rare sight in the bright mornings of June, this Piazza of Puebla. Hundreds of Indian girls seated in groups under their awnings of “petates,” gayly chatting with one another, or laughing with a clear ringing laugh at the bad Spanish of the American soldier. Who says that the Indians of Mexico are a dejected race? No such thing. We have seen more bright happy faces in the markets of Puebla than any where else. The slightest witticism—a mispronunciation of the names of any of their wares by a foreign tongue, will elicit peals of laughter from these merry market-girls, while the almost constant display of their small pearly teeth and sparkling eyes evinces the lightness of their hearts.

Engraved by Rice

The remnants of several nations exist in the plains of Puebla. These may be easily distinguished in the 51 streets of the city by a singular custom. A few strands of worsted thread, blue, crimson, or purple, are twisted into the plaits of their luxuriant black hair. The difference of color in this worsted marks the tribe or village to which the wearer belongs, so that at a glance you may tell an Indian girl from Tlaxcalla or San Pablo from one of the Cholultecas.

The Indians of the last mentioned tribe are perhaps the most interesting to be met with in Mexico. Living at the foot of the great pyramid, on “haunted holy ground,” they are constantly reminded of the religion of their fathers, many of whose peculiar customs and habits they still preserve in all their pristine simplicity. The young girls of this tribe are strikingly handsome, and but for their malformation—the effect of early toil and careless rearing—the Cholultecas, with their dark Indian eyes and pearly teeth, would far eclipse with their beauty the daughters of the famed Castilian conquerors.

Of all the Indian maidens who visited the Piazza of Puebla, none attracted more admiration from the officer or soldier who thronged through this market than two sisters from Cholula. These girls were named Remedios and Dolores, after the appellations of two of the most popular saints in Mexico.

The elder, Remedios, was strikingly beautiful, and though admired by all, her dark Indian eye had made a deeper impression upon the heart of a young Ranger.

The occupation of these girls was that of weaving baskets from the fine fibres of the palma redonda, which wares, along with the flowers that grew in their little garden at Cholula, they brought once or twice a week to the city.

The young ranger spoken of, was frequently placed upon picket guard at a point on the Cholula road, and had thus become acquainted with the sisters, with whom he seemed to be on terms of friendly intercourse. He was frequently seen to accompany them beyond the confines of the city on their return homeward, and at parting the beautiful Remedios would linger behind her sister, and concealed by the friendly shelter of a maguey plantation, bid him farewell with a kiss. It was evident that the passion between the ranger and the fair Cholulteca was mutual.

Such was the state of affairs in the city. Let us follow the young girls to their native village at the foot of the far-famed pyramid.

Under the shade of a huge pepper-tree, stood a small but neat cottage of adobes. In front of this cottage was a little garden filled with bright flowers, and fenced in by a close wall of the octagonal columns of nopal. Outside of the little garden grew the giant maguey planted closely in rows, and running alongside pathways which led to other cottages similar to the one above mentioned. Such pathways form the lanes and streets of a Mexican-Indian village.

Over the cottage door is a little awning or shade formed by two or three poles and the broad leaves of the royal palm, and under this awning are seated the sisters Remedios and Dolores.

They have been silent for some time, each busily engaged with her work, which consists in weaving the beautiful palm-baskets, that meet with such ready sale in the piazza. Dolores is no doubt thinking upon the profits which her work will yield, and how she will rejoice the heart of her old and helpless father, who has no other support. Dolores is the old man’s favorite, and returns his parental fondness with a heart full of filial love.

The thoughts of Remedios are dwelling upon a far different object, and two or three times she has become so absent as to make strange mistakes in her work. Presently the fibre of palm which she has been weaving becomes entangled, and suddenly breaks.

“What are you doing, Remedios?” asks her sister. Then adds with a somewhat malicious laugh. “Thinking of Don Santiago! But come, sister, see better to your work, or we will not have our baskets ready for to-morrow’s market, and then how you would be disappointed!”

Remedios blushed, but made no other reply to the pleasantry of her sister.

Dolores looked in her face, and noticing the blush, said in a more serious tone.

“Ah, Remedios! if Pepe only knew.”

“Knew what?”

“Of Don Santiago.”

“And if he did?” exclaimed the elder sister, while her dark eyes flashed with indignation, “what is Pepe to me. I never loved him, and I never told him I did—he has no right to me more than another!”

At this moment a footstep reached the ears of the sisters, causing them to start and look up.

A young man of rather a forbidding appearance was coming up between the rows of magueys. He was dressed in the costume of an ordinary peasant, but the short carbine which he carried over his shoulder, and the belt and pouch slung across his breast, betokened that he was one of the enrolled guerillus, whose head-quarters were for the time in the village of Cholula.

The young man entered through the opening of the nopal fence, and striking the butt of his piece to the ground, stopped in front of the cottage, saluting the sisters with the usual exclamation for that hour “buenos tardes!” (good evening.)

The salutation was returned by both the sisters; but in such a manner by the elder, as showed that she felt a coldness, or rather a repugnance toward the object of it.

Pepe (the name of the intruder,) noticed this, and glared upon her with a scowl which bespoke a strange blending of fierce love with jealous anger. It was evident that he was now before them with some sinister design, and the sisters sat without speaking, but both trembling under the influence of his evil eye.

“So, Remedios, I have found out the reason why you rejected me so scornfully, but I will be revenged.”

“What mean you, Pepe?” asked the girl in a conciliatory tone.


“You know what I mean. I have heard and know well, too, of your partings on the road by the garita. I have been told all—but trust me you will take no more of these affectionate farewells, for this night I will have my revenge. We have laid our plans, and this night your Yankee lover will die—and if by to-morrow at noon you have not promised to be mine, you may dread the vengeance of my comrades, for they shall know all.

“Remember, to-morrow I return.”

So saying, the guerilla flung his carbine over his shoulder, and with an angry look strode from the cottage.

The young girls watched for a moment in silence his retreating form. When he had passed from their sight Remedios bent toward her sister, and in a half whisper asked.

“What does he mean when he says that he must die to night? Do you think he has some plot laid to assassinate Don Santiago?”

“No, to-night they are to attack the picket at the garita. You know that this is the day of Don Santiago’s guard. I overheard one of the guerillus talk of their plan as I came from the church.”

All that night Remedios was unhappy. She slept but little, thinking of the threat which had been uttered by the jealous Pepe, and with painful suspense she awaited the approach of day.

At an early hour the sisters, with their basket filled with the work of yesterday, and a profusion of beautiful flowers, started for Puebla.

Shortly after leaving the village they met an Indian woman coming from the direction of the city, driving an ass. This woman informed the sisters that there had been a severe skirmish near the garita between the guerillus and the guard, in which the former had been defeated and scattered. The guard had got information by some means of the intended attack, and had sent to Puebla for a reinforcement of mounted men, which had arrived just in time and by a circuitous route, and had attacked the guerillus in the rear, so that only a few of them escaped from either death or capture.

The sisters had scarcely bid adieu to the Indian woman, when on reaching a turn in the road they came upon one of the guerillus, seated upon a stone.

A handkerchief was bound around his head—his face, pale and haggard, was spotted with blood, and there was a look of wild revenge in his eye as he recognized the approach of the two girls.

They were at first alarmed on perceiving whom they had encountered, for it was Pepe who was before them, but when they saw that the guerilla was wounded, and apparently suffering, in the true spirit of womanly compassion both the young girls ran up to him and inquired what they could do to assist him.

This appeared for a moment to soften the bitter spirit of the wounded man, and in a manner of more tenderness than he usually exhibited, he requested one of them to bring him a draught of water, while the other rebound the handkerchief upon his wound.

The elder sister immediately ran to fulfill his request, while Dolores remained alone with the guerilla.

She unbound the handkerchief with tender care, and had commenced readjusting it, when the sudden trampling of horses’ hoofs was heard, and before the wounded man had time to escape, half a dozen rangers came galloping up the road.

The guerilla had seized his carbine, and was making for the chapparal, when one of his pursuers called at him to halt and they would spare him. Seeing the impossibility of escape, the man turned suddenly round and doggedly approached the party of rangers, who had halted upon the road.

At this moment Remedios returned, and recognizing one of the rangers, with an exclamation of delight called out—

“Don Santiago!”

“Ha!” cried the guerilla, “it is he!” And throwing up his carbine he fired at the young ranger, who had leaped from his horse, and was approaching the girl.

The ball took effect, passing through the fleshy part of the ranger’s arm. The shock, brought him to the ground, and the wild laugh of the guerilla told that he believed his vengeance had been complete.

The quick successive reports of half a dozen rifles for a moment drowned this laugh, and when they ceased it was heard no more. He that had uttered it lay by the road a bleeding corpse.










May not, in this sweet season, my meek prayer

Rise near thine own? It is a prayer for thee,

Gentle and pure, affectionate and fair,

God guard thee ever! and around thee be

Blessings like rays! Thine is a heart to throw

A noble reflex from a manly mate,

To give his loftiest pulse a loftier glow,


And shed o’er all his path a purer fate.

Gentle as thou art may thy summers be!

Sweet as thy voice and gentle as thy smile!

And hopes that know no winter give to thee

All that is sweetest, surest! all that, while

The clouded earth obscures, has power to light

The soul upon that path that never knows a night.






“Gracious, girl!” exclaimed Mrs. Lindley, thrown suddenly off of her guard, and turning, with a frown, upon a young lady who had accidentally trodden upon her dress as she was almost forced down the stairs of the Musical Fund Hall, at the breaking up of a crowded concert.

“I am sorry, ma’am,” said the young lady, gently; “it was entirely an accident.”

“People ought to look where they put their feet!” muttered Mrs. Lindley, frowning another reproof upon the blushing girl; and then, with a dignified toss of the head, resuming her march down the stairs, letting the crowd, that had been momentarily checked in its downward tendency, move on again more freely.

“I should call that a poor specimen of a refined lady,” remarked the gentleman upon whose arm the girl so rudely addressed was leaning, as they gained the street. “I hope we shall not find her a representative of Philadelphia good breeding.”

“Oh, no! I presume not,” was the answer. “New York has plenty just like her; and I would be very sorry if strangers were to estimate all by the standard they afford.”

“Very true! How weak and foolish it is,” remarked the young man, “for people to lose temper at every trifle. If the person who gave us so fine a specimen of amiability to-night, has any right feelings about her, she was not ten steps from the door of the concert-room before a feeling of shame took the place of anger. But, whether this be so or not, I would much rather have your feelings than hers on the occasion.”

“So would I. And yet an incident like this cannot but disturb the feelings. To be spoken to insultingly, in the midst of strangers, is far from being pleasant.”

“It is. But no one suffers in the estimation of those who happen to be present when such things occur, but the individual who so far outrages all good breeding as to resent a trifling accident with ill nature.”

“True. And yet I feel hurt about the incident which has just transpired. It leaves a weight upon my feelings, that such thoughts as you suggest will not throw off. My self-love is perhaps wounded. In other words, I feel insulted.”

“And you have reason to feel so, for you were insulted.”

“Still, I must not permit myself to think unkindly of the person who so far lost her self-control as to wound my feelings. She may be a woman of many good qualities, yet hasty in her temper. This may have only been the exhibition of a prominent weakness, and she may now be suffering severe mortification in consequence.”

“More probably she is, at this present moment, animadverting upon the rudeness of people in public assemblies—herself of course not included.”

Don’t think so unkindly of any one. Rather look at the brighter side.”

“I’m not as charitable as you are. People show us, in unguarded moments, the true features of their character. Judging from the glance we had to-night, I should pronounce the individual who got into such a pet for a trifle, to be no lady, notwithstanding she was well dressed and seemed to be in good company. A true lady is one who thinks of others more than of herself, when she is in society; and—one who does this is never thrown off of her guard—never speaks unkindly to others—never insults those who happen, by accident, to step upon a corner of her dress.”

The subject of this conversation was a Mrs. Lindley. The remarks her conduct elicited from the companion of the young lady who had, by stepping upon her dress, caused her to lose her temper, were rather severe. But few of her intimate friends, had they heard them, could possibly have believed that she was meant, for they only knew her as a lady of polished and amiable manners. But Mrs Lindley had her weaknesses. She was naturally of a hasty temper, though her regard for the good opinion of others caused her to keep it under control while in society, and her reason prompted her to put a check upon it, under all circumstances. Still, occasions would come when she would forget herself.

On the occasion of her attending the concert at the Musical Fund Hall, she wore a new and elegant dress. The fabric was very delicate, as was also the color. In descending the stairs, at the close of the concert, she felt herself suddenly drawn back, and on turning around quickly, saw that a young woman, a stranger, had stepped upon this dress. Her first thought was, that it was both torn and soiled, and the exclamation, “Gracious, girl!” dropped from her lips as an expression of surprise at the carelessness of the strangers. The annoyance she felt prevented her from accepting the apology that was instantly offered, and caused her to reject it in the ungracious manner we have seen. But a few minutes only elapsed before a better state of mind came, and then she was deeply mortified at her unlady-like conduct, and would have given almost anything could she have recalled the hasty words that had fallen from her lips.

“It will be a lesson to me,” she said to herself, as she sat brooding over the incident, after her return home that evening. “I am too apt to speak from the impulse of the moment, and too prone to speak unkindly on slight provocation.”

On the next day, Mrs. Lindley received a letter 54 from a very particular friend in New York, in which was mentioned the fact that a highly accomplished young lady, belonging to one of the best families in the city, was then on a visit to Philadelphia.

“Miss Herbert,” said the letter, “is a sweet girl, and I number her among my choicest friends. I have frequently spoken to her of you, and she has expressed a wish to make your acquaintance. She will remain at Jones’s Hotel for a week. Will you not call upon her, and show her some attentions, for my sake? I know you will like her very much; she is the favorite of every one. Among all my friends here, I know of no one to whom I am more attached. She is so kind, so gentle, so unselfish, so wise for one of her age. Make her acquaintance, by all means.”

“For your sake, if for no other, I will do so,” said Mrs. Lindley, as she closed the letter. “And as Miss Herbert is only going to spend a few days in Philadelphia, I will call upon her at once.”

And so Mrs. Lindley dressed herself that very morning, and called at Jones’s, to see her friend’s particular friend. She found her quite a young lady, simple in her style of dressing, slightly reserved at first, yet easy in her manners. Five minutes had passed before Mrs. Lindley was entirely at home with her.

“When did you arrive in our city?” inquired Mrs. Lindley, soon after they met.

“I came on day before yesterday,” was replied.

“Will your stay be short?”

“I shall leave in a few days, for the South, where I intend spending the winter.”

“My friend, Mrs. D—— is, I suppose, very well?”

“Oh, yes! I never saw her look better in my life She speaks of you very often, and promises herself great pleasure from your contemplated visit to New York.”

“Not more than I do myself. She is a lovely-minded woman.”

“She is, truly, and the favorite of every circle wherein she moves.”

“There is something familiar in your face, Miss Herbert,” said Mrs. Lindley, during a slight pause in the conversation, looking earnestly at the young lady as she spoke. “It seems as if we must have met before.”

“And your face made the same impression upon me,” returned Miss Herbert, smiling.

“This is a little singular, is it not?” remarked Mrs. Lindley. “We never met before, and yet both recognize something familiar.”

“At first thought it seems so. But it is a fact, that we rarely, if ever, see a new face which has not in it something familiar.”

“True. But the likeness belongs to a class, and generally has in itself a peculiarity essentially its own, that marks its individuality. Not such a likeness do I see in your face. It seems to me as if we must have met before.”

“And I cannot get away from the same impression, in regard to you,” said Miss Herbert.

“It is a little singular,” returned Mrs. Lindley, sinking for a few moments into a musing state.

“Have you been out much since you arrived in the city?” she inquired, as she came out of this slight abstraction of mind.

“I have been around a good deal, for the short time I have been here. Last night I attended the concert at your fine Musical Fund Hall. For musical purposes, it is one of the best rooms I have ever been in.”

“Were you pleased with the concert?” inquired Mrs. Lindley—her thoughts reverting, as she spoke, to the unpleasant incident we have mentioned, and a vague, yet deeply mortifying suspicion, stealing through her mind. Her eyes, which were upon the face of Miss Herbert, drooped, and a slight flush warmed her cheeks.

“Very much pleased with the concert,” replied the young lady, “but not quite so well pleased with some of the people who were there.”

“Ah! What displeased you in the people?”

“I should have spoken rather in the singular number,” said Miss Herbert, smiling. “At the close of the concert, and while descending the steps, I was so unfortunate as to tread upon the dress of a lady, who became offended thereat, and spoke to me, I thought, with extreme rudeness. I felt hurt at the moment, but soon got over it.”

Mrs. Lindley tried to look calmly at the young lady, while she spoke, and to assume an expression of countenance different from her real feelings. But the effort was not entirely successful. Miss Herbert saw that there was a change, and, for a few moments, wondered at its meaning. Then the truth flashed upon her mind, and she understood why the face of Mrs. Lindley was so familiar. She had met her before, and she remembered where!

To both, this was a painful and an embarrassing discovery. But each felt that self-possession, and a seeming unconsciousness of the mortifying fact was of all things necessary. As quickly as Mrs. Lindley was sure that she could command her voice, she said—

“I am sorry that any one should have so far forgotten what was due from a lady as to utter an unkind word to a stranger, in a public assembly, and on so slight a provocation. But you must try and forgive the indignity.”

“That I have already done,” said Miss Herbert, making every effort in her power to seem unconcerned. “I know that the very best people may sometimes, in a moment of weakness, be thrown off of their guard, and say or do things entirely at variance with their real character, and for which, afterward, they feel the sincerest regret.”

“It is best always,” replied Mrs. Lindley, whose feelings no one need envy, “to judge thus kindly of others, even under marked provocation. But I cannot so readily excuse the person who, from so slight a cause, could be led into a gross violation of one of the commonest proprieties of life. Ah, me! How watchful we should all be, for we cannot tell at what moment we may be thrown off of our guard. 55 and say or do something that will cost us unavailing regret.”

This was as much as Mrs. Lindley felt that she dared say upon the subject; and, as Miss Herbert’s reply did not lead to its continuance, the theme of conversation took another direction.

During the young lady’s stay in Philadelphia, Mrs. Lindley paid her every attention; but never in her presence did she feel at ease, for she had an instinctive assurance that she was known to Miss Herbert, as the person who had offered her, on slight provocation, a most gross indignity.

For all the kindness and attention of Mrs. Lindley to Miss Herbert, during her brief stay in Philadelphia, the latter could not forget the night of the concert. Reason the matter as she would, she could not force from her mind the natural conclusion that, when off their guard, people spoke as they felt. The anger of Mrs. Lindley’s voice, her impatient and insulting language, and particularly the expression of her face, were constantly presenting themselves to her mind.

“She may be a woman of many excellent qualities,” she said to herself, as she mused upon the unpleasant incident connected with their first meeting; “but I would not choose her as an intimate friend.”

On her return from the South, Miss Herbert passed through Philadelphia without calling upon Mrs. Lindley. She thought of doing so, and even debated the matter seriously, but the repugnance she felt prevented a renewal of the acquaintance. Reason with herself as she would, afterward, she found it impossible to think well of Mrs. Lindley, and though she has been in Philadelphia frequently since, has not visited her. Yet, for all this, Mrs. Lindley is a woman of excellent qualities, and much beloved among all her friends. In a moment of weakness she was thrown off of her guard, and betrayed into the utterance of unkind words; and that single phase of her character, presented to the eyes of a stranger, made an unfavorable impression that could not afterward be effaced.








When we bore thee to thy grave, Marie,

  The flowers were springing fair,

And violets, like azure gems,

  Were scattered every where.

The blossoms of the trees, Marie,

  In perfumed showers fell fast,

The incense of their dying breath

  Each light breeze floated past.


For the sweet spring-tide had come, Marie,

  When we laid thee to thy rest,

With the lily and forget-me-not,

  And the rose-bud on thy breast.

These were thy favorite flowers, beloved,

  And our tears fell on them, then,

For we thought that nevermore with thee

  Should we gather them again.


Soft clouds were in the sky, Marie,

  Soft summer-clouds were they,

They wept a few bright drops for thee,

  So early past away.

They floated swiftly by, beloved,

  Half sunshine, and half tears,

Like the checkered light and shade of life,

  In thine own vanished years.


The ever-wandering winds, Marie,

  That went and came at will,

Brought whispered tones of love from thee,

  As thou wert with us still.

And I almost saw thy seraph form

  Hovering above us there,

And felt thy spirit-wing, beloved,

  Fanning the viewless air.


We stood around thy grave, Marie,

  Where thy gentle form was laid;

It is a pleasant place of rest

  Beneath the greenwood shade;

The wind-flower blooms there earliest,

  When the earth wakes from her sleep,

But the spring will come and go, beloved,

  Nor break thy slumber deep.


Our tears fall fast for thee, Marie,

  Young mother and young wife,

But not thine infant’s pleading tones

  Could call thee back to life;

The soft smile lingered on thy lip,

  Lending its quiet grace,

And the dark fringe of thy snowy lids

  Shadowed thy pale, calm face.


We knew ’twas but thy form, Marie,

  We placed beneath the mould,

We knew thy spirit laid it off

  As a garment’s cumbrous fold.

But beautiful to us, beloved,

  Had thy spirit’s dwelling been,

And ’twas hard to see the cold, cold grave

  So darkly close it in.


Thou art nearer to us now, Marie,

  Thy vision is more clear,

Thou speakest with a seraph’s voice

  In that celestial sphere.

Oh, pray the Lord of Life, beloved,

  That unto us be given,

To cheer the darkness of our path,

  Some glimpses of thy heaven.






“Learn by a mortal yearning to ascend—

Seeking a higher object. Love was given,

Encouraged, sanctioned, chiefly for that end;

For this the passion to excess was driven—

That self might be annulled: her bondage prove

The fetters of a dream, opposed to love.”


“What though the radiance which was once so bright

Be now for ever taken from my sight,

Though nothing can bring back the hour

Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower;

  We will grieve not, rather find

  Strength in what remains behind,

  In the primal sympathy

  Which having been must ever be;

  In the soothing thoughts that spring

  Out of human suffering.

  In the faith that looks through death,

In years that bring the philosophic mind.”


There is a romance and interest in the simple unadorned recital of any woman’s life, no matter how confined may have been her sphere of action. When I look around a circle of elderly ladies, whose countenances, so quiet and calm, tell the victory they have gained over “the weary strife of frail humanity.” I think, ye were once young and full of hope, love and enthusiasm, and ye have passed through scenes of romance unconsciously. Each wrinkle, each line on their aged faces seem glorified to me, for they are records of woman’s trials—evidences of the earnest struggle of each fond, enduring woman’s heart.

Years, many and trying have passed since I was a child. The days of my girlhood I recall with but little pleasure, for the recollection is associated with remembrances of dependence, loneliness, and ill-health. My parents died while I was yet quite young. Of my father I have no recollection—of my mother a faint memory, which may be but fancy after all. A girl always imagines she recollects her mother, and with the fancied memory she blends all that is lovely and beautiful.

My relatives were kind-hearted, but plain matter-of-fact people. They were mostly well to do in the world, but they had families of their own to forward in life, and the poor weakly girl was but a burthen to them. As I grew larger and stronger in health, they all agreed that something must be done to make me independent when I should grow to woman’s estate. Very properly they argued “she may never marry, and although a woman, she must have some means of support to free her from the humbling feeling of dependence.” My weakly constitution had made me shy and reserved. A mother’s watchful, fearful love would have overcome this tendency, but I shrank from the abrupt kindnesses of my plain, homely friends, and in secret, with a sort of “sorrowing luxury” pined for the gentle hand of a mother to smooth the pillow for my constant aching brow, and listen to, and soothe my childish complainings. I loved to be alone, and fortunately I early imbibed a love for reading. In books I forgot the sensation of loneliness that weighed down my young spirits. The bustling, busy natures of those amongst whom the death of my parents had thrown me, caused them to look upon this very natural tendency of mine as something quite remarkable. They thought I must surely be uncommonly clever, uncommonly intelligent to display, thus early, a love for books; their own memories told a different story—study and reading had been irksome to their restless minds—minds which found food enough in every-day worldly pursuits. My vocation was decided upon—I was fond of study, therefore I would surely make a good teacher, and to fit me for this trying office, they all resolved that I should have an excellent education, cost what it might. As I grew older, I fully appreciated their judicious kindness, and prayed Heaven might bless such single-hearted people—for although I had not received from my homely, matter-of-fact relatives, the gentle caresses, and persuasive, patient endurance of parents, for which I pined in childhood, yet they freely gave of their store to me, and provided me with the resources, which in womanhood fortified my mind, and enabled me to bear with sore trials.

An old established prosperous school was selected, where, under the supervision of a highly accomplished and superior mind, my early days were passed. I improved rapidly. Each session at its conclusion gave a most satisfactory report of my progress; and when I reached the age of fifteen I had obtained such a position as to entitle me to a vacant subordinate teachership in the school, the duties of which were but light, and left me sufficient time to pursue the higher branches of study. My position as half-teacher, half-pupil, caused a slight barrier to be raised between my fellow scholars and myself, but amongst them I had many dear friends, who disregarded this fancied difference, and loved me as one of themselves. My most intimate school-girl friend was Clara Neale. So different were we in every respect, that even as a girl I used to wonder at our intimacy. 57 She was beautiful, rich, and surrounded by a troop of loving and admiring friends. I poor, not absolutely ugly, yet plain, and almost if not quite alone in the school world. How I worshiped her beauty—I was always strangely affected and influenced by personal appearance. Beauty, particularly in a woman, attracted me—it was a weakness, but still I acknowledge its power. The blue of Clara’s eyes was so deep, so dark—I can see their melting, bewitching softness of expression even now, though many, many years have passed away, and those eyes are closed in death.

Her hair was of the purest shade of chestnut brown; and many an hour have I hung over her as if under the influence of a beautiful dream, listening to her sweetly modulated voice reading some impassioned tale; her graceful form thrown carelessly in a lovely attitude, and every movement beaming with beauty. She was my idol, I confess, but the idol also of many. My enthusiastic love pleased her, for I was cold to others, being as in childhood, quiet and reserved, and seldom giving evidence of any emotion. In the school I ranked high as a scholar, and on account of my incessant, ambitious application, received from my principals more credit for superiority of mind, than I fear I really deserved; which, although it caused me to be an object of envy to many, yet by girls possessing the associations and independence of position which Clara did, I was regarded with respect and admiration. Therefore did my romantic love flatter her. She was my first infatuation. I clothed her with every virtue under the sun—I endowed her with every mental gift in my fancy. As I look upon the ideal being created by my girlish fascination, I can scarcely refrain from smiling, though in sadness. Beautiful, she truly was, “as a poet’s or a painter’s dream”—but she was little else. Clever enough, but not superior. She was romantic, easily influenced, and gentle—but I loved her passionately, and I love her memory now, even though she caused me great suffering.

My vacations were generally spent at the school, for it was situated in a very healthy section of country, and there were always many of the boarding scholars that different circumstances compelled to remain. But the summer of my sixteenth year, my health gave evidences of failing. The preceding winter had been a trying one, both out of doors and in—bleak and stormy had been the weather—the studies had likewise been arduous and severe for me. The class of younger girls, my charges, had been uncommonly large, consequently my duties increased, which caused me to take from my sleeping hours the time necessary for accomplishing my other studies. I felt that my reputation as the leading scholar in the establishment was all I had to depend upon, therefore I could not permit any thing to deprive me of that which I knew was my only capital. But, ah! how wretchedly I felt at the close of the session; all the old pining sadness of my childhood returned to me—I sickened for a tender mother’s gentle soothings, a father’s looks of anxious pride—but these were not for me, poor lone hearted girl, and “the future rose only as a wall of darkness before me.” No longer did my heart beat with pride when the principal prizes were unanimously awarded to me; and the directors of the school looked compassionately on me, as they marked my thin form, hollow cheeks, and dim eyes. A change of scene was necessary, so all said, and I received from a distant relative an invitation to spend the weeks of my vacation in his family. Passively I accepted the kind offer, for so despondent was I, that all places seemed alike to me; but I little expected the happiness that awaited me. They were relatives I had never met with before; the husband was kind, intelligent, and pleasant—the wife was still handsome, though no longer young—in my eyes a great virtue—had known and loved my mother, and was gentle and affectionate. They had many children, all married, and young grandchildren shouted merrily through the house. It was a beautiful country place where they lived, high mountains surrounded them, and thick forests, such as I had never seen but in pictures and dreams. The glow of health soon bloomed once more upon my cheeks; the dark cloud of the Future was no longer regarded by me, for the bright sunny light of the Present, blinded me to its shadows and I again rejoiced in life.

When my visit was about half over, a ward of my cousin’s came to pay them a visit. Does not my reader see already that I am approaching the history of my second infatuation? How my heart beats even now, old as I am, when I recall the image of Walter Grey. He was also beautiful, or my heart would never have been enchained. A miniature of him lies beside me as I write, and I fancy I am a girl again, as I look in those liquid dark eyes and dwell on the lovely lines of the countenance—massive and rich are the dark clusters of the wavy hair; beautiful is the face, and deeply, devotedly, did I love the original.

The last weeks of my sojourn in that blessed region floated as on dream-wings. Walter was my constant companion. We wandered through the forests—by the gushing, dancing, Undine streams, and he imagined, while listening to my girlish rhapsodies, that I was the realization of an intellectual perfection he had created in his fancy. We parted in the fall, promising to meet again. My cousin’s family had become much attached to me, and they insisted on parting, that every vacation should be spent with them. Gladly I consented, and with a heart beating as it never before had beat, with feelings of rapture and hope, I returned to school. Clara was my confidante, and yet I had nothing to confide, as she with more worldly wisdom said. She looked disappointed when I told her Walter had made no offer, and my sensitive spirit felt shocked that she should think it a necessary attendant upon our intercourse. He had talked of love, but not particularly of loving me. We had roamed together by the banks of the mountain streamlets, watching the moon-beams glistening on the tiny white-crested wavelets, listening to the chiming of their ringing foam bells, as they sprang aloft to kiss the overhanging branches of the osier 58 willows that hung as in “love-sick langor” o’er the banks of the faëry waters. Hand clapped in hand, we had talked of nature, of spiritual love and beauty—earthly every day matters were unthought of by us, we were dreamers, and happy in our visions.

A winter vacation came, and again I visited my cousin’s beautiful home—again met with Walter. I saw those magnificent forests clothed in snow—a glittering mantle enveloped all nature; but still the dancing streamlet leaped, dashing and sparkling along its mountain path, unbound by the icy chains that held captive other streams; it seemed as an emblem of my own joyous nature. I was so happy. Another summer came, and I revisited the lovely place; but that summer I had indeed much to confide to Clara. Walter and I were betrothed, with the willing, joyful consent of my relatives. We were to be married at some future time, when he should have accomplished his studies. Two or three years might elapse, but then we could meet frequently at my cousin’s, and we could write, oh! such eloquent letters to each other. I yielded myself up heart and soul to this infatuation, with an earnestness that surprised me, for I had been so accustomed to control my feelings from childhood, that I was almost ignorant of the depth of feeling I possessed.

Walter was wealthy, and every one congratulated me on my good fortune. Little I cared for his worldly goods, and with all the romance of a young disinterested spirit, I sighed that he was not poor—but he rejoiced over his wealth for my sake, he said, and longed with impatience to release me from what he deemed degrading thraldom. He implored that I should no more return to Penley-Hill—that I should remain with my cousins—they united their entreaties, but I refused; no, until our marriage, I preferred my residence at the school. I represented to him that it was not disagreeable to me, my pursuits were intellectual, and it was better for me to continue my studies. This was the only cause for dispute between us, and I felt more pained than I was willing to confess when I discovered that he rather looked down on my position in life; but his love, freely and fervently expressed, for my own self, soothed my wounded feelings, and we again parted—I for Penley-Hill, he for the gay metropolis, where he was to commence the study of a profession, which would occupy two years—two long years—at the expiration of which we were to be married.

That winter was a long one to me, for Clara had left the school at the close of the preceding session—her education completed, she was to make her debut that season in society. But her letters and Walter’s, cheered the hours which would have otherwise hung heavily. I was exceedingly anxious they should meet, and looked forward with delight to Walter’s residence in the city where Clara’s parent’s resided. They did meet—in the same circle of fashionable, wealthy families did they mingle, and I was charmed at the rapturous description my friend and my lover gave me of each other. How could they fail being pleased, one with the other I said, and I pressed their letters with transport to my bosom. That either should prove false, never entered my mind, and long, long was it before I opened my eyes with fearful certainty to the truth fatal to my happiness. The constrained, short letters I received from both, I attributed to every cause but the right one. Clara was so occupied in a whirl of dissipation I thought, as to be unable to write differently. Walter was hurried in his studies, I said self-consolingly; he was vainly endeavoring to shorten by intense application the tedious two years probation.

The winter’s vacation I spent at Penley—for Walter wrote that his studies would detain him in the city. The next vacation was indeed passed at my cousin’s mountain-home—but in such wretchedness that my heart aches as I recall that sad time. The lovely place had lost all beauty in my eyes. Long before the spring flowers had drooped, I became convinced of my friend’s perfidy—my lover’s infidelity; and I was nearer death than life when my tender relatives bore me from Penley to their home, vainly endeavoring to soothe and comfort my outraged spirits. Long and severe was the illness which held me helpless as an infant to my bed. Those who still loved me watched with painful anxiety, scarcely hoping for my recovery, for they felt that returning health would only restore me to a miserable, forsaken existence. But I did recover, and quietly and calmly resolved to bend to the burden imposed upon me. But a greater trial came. My dangerous illness had awakened feelings of remorse in both Clara and Walter. She wrote wild, self-reproaching letters, begging my forgiveness, and yielding up all claim to Walter; whilst he renewed his protestations of love, imploring me to pardon his wandering; but the same spirit which made me return to Penley the preceding summer, caused me to reject firmly these weak overtures. But I wrote with earnest affection to both, communicating my firm determination. They both sought to see me, but I steadily refused all interviews, and assured them if they really wished my future quiet and rest, they must love each other as I had loved them, but not harass my wounded heart by useless scenes and letters. Some of my friends commended my course, others attributed it to a natural coldness of disposition, and felt a sympathy for the two who had so deeply injured me; but I was alike deaf to commendation or censure. I acted as my heart and spirit impelled me, and felt a cold indifference to the remarks or opinions of any one.

I heard from Walter and Clara no more for years. Before the two years necessary for the completion of his studies had passed around, they were married; but I was far distant at the time, and did not hear of it until some months after. After my health was established my devoted application to my duties was the remark of every one, and I soon rose in the school to one of the head teacherships. I gave myself up heart and spirit to my business, and it was regarded as a wonder that I so young, should display such endurance and strength. They knew not how I suffered in secret—they knew not of the moments when my overtaxed heart could bear up no longer—when 59 I trembled before the wailings of my inner spirit. I felt that I had

“Poured out my soul’s full tide

Of hope and trust,

Prayer, tear, devotedness;

’Twas but to write with the heart’s fiery rain,

Wild words on dust.”

The habit of self-control which I had early acquired, enabled me, however, to struggle against such feelings of sorrowful, hopeless despondency, and I would rouse myself, seeking constant, unceasing occupation in my daily duties, that I might strengthen my fainting spirit.

Amongst my pupils was one whose situation had always endeared her to me. Lucy Hill was a delicate, weakly orphan girl. She reminded me of myself in my early days; but, unlike me, though dependent, it was on an affectionate, wealthy uncle, who, being unmarried, had no one to care for but her. He watched anxiously every breath, and anticipated every wish of this idolized niece. A fall in her infancy had increased a debility natural to her, and the fear of personal deformity at last became realized. As she passed the age of early childhood, her physicians thought that to place her at Penley Hill would be of benefit to her, bodily as well as mentally; and she had resided there for three or four years, as half pupil, half boarder. She loved me as she would have loved an elder sister; and I taught her, nursed her, and after my great sorrow, tried to forget my own griefs in the interest I felt for her. Symptoms of the disease which had swept off her family displaying themselves in her, a milder climate than her bleak northern home was deemed necessary—and her uncle resolved to take her to the South of Europe. She insisted upon my accompanying her—urged how necessary I was to her health and happiness. Her uncle joined his entreaties, and even the principals of Penley urged me to accept the offer, though at the same time, with kind, flattering words, assured me that on my return they would gladly again receive me in their establishment, from which they said they could illy spare me. But in truth they feared that I, as well as poor Lucy, needed the change of scene and climate. Though quiet and resigned, my health was gradually sinking under the burden pride imposed upon my suffering spirit, and my friends began to tremble for my life.

I accepted the munificent offers Lucy and her uncle made to me. Money was of no consequence to him compared to the gratification of that loved girl; and we set sail for Europe. A year and more passed delightfully to me. Lucy’s health seemed, indeed, benefited by the change. We traveled leisurely through the classic scenes of Europe—lingering where we wished, and roaming where fancy led us; and I almost forgot—yes, quite forgot—my sorrows in the intellectual gratification I was enjoying. But a new cause of annoyance sprung up; Mr. Hill became, to my surprise, my lover, and Lucy added her entreaties to his. I shrank from the idea of marrying. No, I had loved once, I never could again—and I would never marry without love. Mr. Hill was much older than I—many years my senior, but pleasant, intelligent and gentlemanly. He knew of my unfortunate connection with Walter, and was one of those who had looked with respect upon the course I had pursued; this sympathy and respect had deepened into love. I liked him—respected him—had even a warm friendship for him—but marry him! oh, no—that I could never do; and when he found that his offers pained me, he and Lucy, with kind consideration, desisted from their entreaties. But I could see in his countenance and manner that great was the struggle he endured; and I had resolved upon returning home, when an alarming change took place in Lucy, which forbade my leaving her. A few weeks of violent, intense suffering to her ensued, which ended in her death. On her death-bed I yielded to her request—I became the wife of her uncle. She dreaded to leave him alone in life, and her parting breath was calmed with the certainty that I was, indeed, her aunt, by the ceremony which was performed sadly, at her bed-side a few hours previous to her death.

We remained abroad many years, and I was quietly happy. I at last fancied I loved my husband; not as I had loved Walter, it is true; but the many excellent qualities which my husband possessed, won upon me. His kindness, his attention to my unexpressed wishes, could not but be appreciated—and I valued him as he deserved to be valued. We had troubles in our married life, however; our three lovely children were laid, one after another, beside dear Lucy, in the beautiful Neapolitan burial-place; and when, after ten years of quiet, calm happiness, my husband died, he left me a childless widow. We had returned to our native country a year or so before his death, and he had taken great pleasure the last few months of his existence, in beautifying in every possible manner, our country residence, which was my favorite abode. One could scarcely imagine a more lovely spot; nature had been lavish in its bounties, and my husband added every thing that wealth could purchase to adorn its exterior and interior. It reminded me of the beautiful villa belonging to the Italian, Paul Jovius; and I wish for his glowing words, that, like him, I could paint with rapture “the gardens bathed by the waters of the lake—the shade and freshness of the woods—the green slopes, sparkling fountains—the deep silence and calm of solitude.”

My husband, in adorning this place, followed out with loving precision, the classic description given of the Italian eulogist’s beautiful residence. Like the villa of Jovius, “a statue was raised in the gardens to Nature. In the hall stood a fine statue of Apollo and the Muses around, with their attributes. The library was guarded by a Mercury, and there was an apartment, adorned with Doric columns, and with pictures of the most pleasing subjects dedicated to the Graces.”

The loss of such a husband could not but be deeply felt by me, and though young, wealthy, and more comely than I had been in youth, I shut myself up from society, long after the period of mourning had 60 elapsed. I became resigned at last, and in intellectual pursuits was tranquilly happy. Being surrounded by images of beauty—the works of masters glowing on my walls—exquisite and costly pieces of sculpture around me—my library almost a fairy spot—my days passing in luxurious quiet—the recollection of past sorrow became subdued and softened, and I breathed with calm tranquillity the delicious atmosphere of the present.

One summer, some four or five years after my husband’s death, I ventured to visit the mountain region where my dear cousins had resided. They were dead—kind creatures—but their youngest child, a married daughter, of whom I was fond, resided there with a lovely family of children. They were such romping, blessed little ones, I envied her the possession of these darlings. One lovely child, which bore the name of my mother and hers—Mary—I quietly resolved to adopt and coax away from her parents, when she should become sufficiently fond of me. The days passed delightfully to me, although that lovely place was connected with the most bitter recollections of my past life. Again I roamed through the deep forests—along the mountain paths, and traced the course of the stream as it dashed over its rocky bed as I had in girlish days with Walter, and at last found myself recalling his beautiful face to my memory. One day, on my return from my ramblings, I was told that he—Walter—the long parted one—had arrived. He was, like myself, alone in life—a childless widower. Clara was dead. How my heart sprung—and then sunk; recollections of bitter agony came with his presence—and I was chilled. We met—and days did we spend together. I knew that the meeting and intercourse had been planned by my kindly meaning friends; they thought we would renew our love—how little they knew of woman’s heart. Again we visited our old haunts; again Walter addressed words of passionate love to me, and for a while I fancied the influence of the old dream hung over me. I returned abruptly to my home, and spent weeks in its quiet, calm seclusion; severely and earnestly questioning my heart, my first conclusion remained; the recollection of past love was mingled too deeply with the remembrance of those bitter moments of heart-breaking agony, when I had dared, in my sufficiency, to question the justice of Providence. Walter’s desertion had taught me to still and calm my feelings—to coldly reason on heart-throbbings; now he was the sufferer by the lesson—and again we parted, never more to meet. I was firm—he said, heartless—and it may be I was; if so, his early faithlessness had caused that heartlessness.

Life passed quietly around. I succeeded in persuading the little Mary to love me as she loved her mother—and her merry voice and light footstep cheered my residence. I saw her married to one she loved; and my former quiet, solitary home has rung with the joyous laughter of her children, who troop around me daily. I have known great sorrow, but also much happiness, and have contributed to lighten the griefs of many. I am now old, but I am surrounded with dear, loving friends; and when I would sigh over the past, I look on these happy faces around me, and raise my heart in grateful thoughts to the Power that guided me through a painful childhood—a bitter womanhood—and led me at last to the quiet waters of peaceful prosperity, where I may lay down my spirit to rest.








Do I love thee? Ask the flower

  If it love the pearly tear

That, at evening’s quiet hour,

  Falleth soft and clear,

    Its gentle form to bless?

    If, perchance, it answer “yes!”

      Answer thee sincerely—

    Then I love with earnestness,

      Then I love thee dearly!


Do I love thee? Ask the child,

  If it love its mother dear?

If it love her accents mild?

  Love her fond, sincere,

    Tender and warm caress?

    If, perchance, it answer “yes!”

      Answer thee sincerely—

    Then I love with earnestness,

      Then I love thee dearly!


Do I love thee? Ay! I love thee

  Better far than words can tell;

All around and all above me

  Lives a charméd spell,

    My spirit sad to bless!

    Then I fondly answer “yes!”

      Answer thee sincerely—

    That I love with earnestness,

      That I love thee dearly!









Why art thou dead? Upon the hills once more

  The golden mist of waning Autumn lies;

The slow-pulsed billows wash along the shore,

  And phantom isles are floating in the skies.

They wait for thee: a spirit in the sand

  Hushes, expectant, for thy lingering tread;

The light wind pants to lift thy trembling hair;

        Inward, the silent land

  Lies with its mournful woods—why art thou dead,

When Earth demands that thou shalt call her fair?


Why art thou dead? O, glorious Child of Song,

  Whose brother-spirit ever dwells with mine,

Feeling, twin-doomed, the burning hate of Wrong,

  And Beauty’s worship, deathless and divine!

Thou art afar—wilt thou not soon return,

  To tell me that which thou hast never told?

To grasp my throbbing hand, and by the shore

        Or dewy mountain-fern,

  Pour out thy heart as to a friend of old,

Tearful with twilight sorrow? Nevermore.


Why art thou dead? My years are full of pain—

  The pain sublime of thought that has no word;

And Truth and Beauty sing within my brain

  Diviner songs than men have ever heard.

Wert thou but here, thine eye might read the strife—

  The solemn burthen of immortal song—

And hear the music, that can find no lyre;

        For thou hast known a life,

  Lonely, amid the Poets’ mountain-throng—

Whose cloudy snows concealed eternal fire!


I could have told thee all the sylvan joy

  Of trackless woods; the meadows, far apart,

Within whose fragrant grass, a lonely boy,

  I thought of God; the trumpet at my heart,

When on bleak mountains roared the midnight storm

  And I was bathed in lightning, broad and grand:—

Oh, more than all, with low and sacred breath

        And forehead flushing warm,

  I would have led thee through the summer land

Of my young love, and past my dreams of Death!


In thee, immortal Brother! had I found

  That voice of Earth for which my spirit pines;

The awful speech of Rome’s sepulchral ground,

  The dusky hymn of Vallambrosa’s pines!

From thee the noise of ocean would have taken

  A grand defiance round the moveless shores,

And vocal grown the mountain’s silent head.

        Canst thou not still awaken

  Beneath the funeral cypress? Earth implores

Thy presence for her son—why art thou dead?


I do but rave—for it is better thus:

  Were once thy starry heart revealed to mine,

In the twin-life which would encircle us,

  My soul would melt, my voice be lost in thine!

Better to mask the agony of thought

  Which through weak human lips would make its way,

’Neath lone endurance, such as men must learn:

        The Poet’s soul is fraught

  With mightiest speech, when loneliest the day;

And fires are brightest, that in midnight burn.








Away with you, ye musty tomes!

  I’ll read no more this morning!

The wildwood rose unlessoned grows—

  I’m off—your sermons scorning!


I found a problem, yester eve,

  In wondering where the brook led,

More pleasant far for me to solve

  Than any one in Euclid.


I heard a bird sing, sweet and low,

  A truer lay than Tasso—

A lay of love—ah! let me go,

  And fly from Learning’s lasso!


I saw a golden missal, too,

  ’Twas writ in ancient ages,

And stars—immortal words of light—

  Illumined all its pages!


The hand of God unclasped the book,

  And oped its leaves of glory;

I read, with awed and reverent look,

  Creation’s wondrous story.


I will not waste these summer hours,

  The gift that He has given;

I’ll find philosophy in flowers,

  Astronomy in heaven!


Yon morning-glory shuts its leaves,

  A worm creeps out from under;

Ye volumes, take the hint she gives,

  And let the book-worm wander!


I’ll scan no more old Virgil’s verse,

  I’d rather scan the heavens;

I’ll leave the puzzling Rule-of-Three

  At sixes and at sevens;


The only sum I’ll cipher out

  Shall be the “summum bonum;”

My only lines—shall fish for trout,

  Till Virgil wouldn’t own ’em!


A costly cover has my book,

  Rich blue, where light is winding;

How poor, beside its beauty, look

  Your calf and cotton binding.


Away! the balmy air—the birds—

  Can teach me music better

Than all your hard, high-sounding words,

  That still my fancy fetter.


The waves will tell me how to play

  That waltz of Weber’s rightly;

And I shall learn, from every spray,

  To dance, with grace and lightly.


Hush! hark! I heard a far-off bird,

  I’ll read no more this morning;

The jasmine glows—the woodbine blows!

  I’m off—your sermons scorning!






’Tis folly to think of life’s troubles, yet they have the most inconvenient faculty of forcing themselves on the minds of men! An. Phi.

Proprietor of the visual organs now scanning this page, which the publisher, with the still but potent voice of print, proclaimeth henceforth and forever mine, do you love music? rejoice you in the melody of singing voices? If you reply in the affirmative, then most heartily do I wish that you occupied my place at this present moment; for over the way—oh, most uncomfortable proximity!—there is a “Hall,” where regularly meet a number of vocalists, whose chief object in life, for all I can discover, seems to be to ascertain to a certainty the exact power of their individual lungs—perhaps a secondary intent may be to edify this usually calm neighborhood; in case this latter should be at all an influential motive, I hereby proclaim that I, being the neighbor most concerned, am fully satisfied, and far from following the pernicious example of the world-renowned Oliver, I will not cry for “more,” on the contrary, I would much rather stoop to compromise; and if they will but cessate, I will henceforth and forever maintain a most unbreakable silence on all musical subjects, though in doing so, you can hardly conceive what a sacrifice I would be making.

Oh, could you but hear them shout “I will praise the Lord!” perhaps if you are a good Christian you might put up with the nuisance, after having given utterance to only a partial sigh; but possessing as I do so small a share of the Christian graces, I can only say in answer, though with all reverence, “if you call this praise, beseech you, expedite your glorifyings, and have done.”

Perhaps I owe an apology, at least a reason, for opening this chapter in such an exceedingly unamiable style: here it is then. I came into my “sanctum” with the express purpose of thinking of one I would fain tell you all about, but with thoughts so distracted as mine are at present, I fear I shall hardly do justice to any body in giving them utterance to night, and yet I feel constrained so to do; remember, in mercy, how I have been outraged by the explosion in yonder “Hall,” and so proceed.

My heroine lived and lives in this most beautiful of all villages in the Empire State, which, as perhaps you know, is footed by the most charming of lakes imaginable, and is, though a “sleeping beauty,” (the village I mean,) when taken all together quite perfect in its way.

To avoid being convicted of speaking of any body in particular, I shall treat of this lady as though she were one of the has beens; perhaps afterward I may tell you what she is.

Well, then, in her young days she was a maiden very much like other maidens, (American, of course,) pretty, graceful, intelligent, and interesting. No one ever thought her a great beauty, but the expression of her countenance was decidedly good. She was very fair, indeed, so fair that her face seemed pale, in contrast with the glossy black hair which was not usually arranged with very great regard for effect. Her eyes also were black—not the detestable, twinkling, beady, black orb, nor the very opposite, dull, heavy black; but a soft, spiritual eye, filled with mild, cheerful light, quite pleasing to behold; and yet I have seen them glowing actually with what might be called the fire of determination, which was quite astonishing to see in one most every body took to be the most placid, and amiable, and soft-hearted creature in the world.

In a crowd of brilliants, or of ordinary fashionable people even, this little lady would have been in her earlier days hopelessly lost to all observation. It was amid the fire-side circle she was calculated pre-eminently to shine. In her own home, among familiar friends, what an affectionate child she was; the arms of her spirit seemed to be continually out-stretched, seeking and asking for love and kindness and sympathy; it was a craving of her nature, a necessity to her happiness, that all should love and esteem her.

A pale-faced, quiet girl, whom, because of her goodness and gentleness, every body liked—there, you have her. You have seen hundreds such, but in all your promiscuous travels, I will guaranty, not many of you have met with one of whom you have such a tale to tell as I am going to unfold.

In order that I may continue this story with any degree of satisfaction to you, patient(?) bearer with my many digressions, or with any comfort or propriety to myself, it is absolutely necessary that I should give this amiable and loveable maiden “a name,” as I have already given her a “local habitation.” I have not delayed doing this for so long without reason, so far from that, it is with inexpressible reluctance that I proclaim to you the cognomen of this friend of mine. I have tried to get up a little interest in her on your part before mentioning her title, the world is so cold-hearted, and possesses so little power of appreciation, that I fear me it will imagine no manner of interest could attach itself to the owner of such a name.

Poor dear, (do not look at me so earnestly, my tongue falters while I speak,) poor, dear Delleparetta Hogg, all honor to thee for bearing the burden of such a nomenclature so meekly and so well! Let me tell you all about her, (for really I am coming to the point,) and you will see what other burdens she bore nobly, beside that odious appendage to her identity.

Her childhood passed much in the manner of the childhood of other people. From the time when she was a little wee thing till she was twelve years old, 63 Delleparetta, or Delle, as we used to call her, went with all the rest of the village children to the village-school; she played with us, and rode, and walked, and went nutting with us, and was in all respects as we, only a great deal better, and more obliging, till, as I have said, she approached ’teen hood. Then “trouble came down upon” the young child.

One day the sun, which had always shone so cheerfully upon her, went behind a dark and hateful cloud, and an evil genius passing by her home, stamped upon the door the cross of poverty. From that day there was a sad change in little Delle; her voice became more hushed than ever in its tone, she rarely came to join us in our merry-makings—and there spread a thoughtful, sad expression over the face of the gentle child, which told she had heard unpleasant changes in the aforetime harmony of her life.

The father of Delle had started in life with a purse alarmingly full of nothingness, but by slow and patient toil and care, he had worked himself into the possession of a comfortable living. Not content with this, one ever-to-be-lamented day he entered into a wild speculation, which, instead of at once doubling his fortune, left him in a far worse predicament than he was placed in at the beginning of life forty years before, when he had played a bare-footed boy in the streets, with scarcely a home to boast of. Yes, he was a great deal worse off than he was then, despite his present respectability, and his fine noble wife, and five children; because then he was but a boy, brimful of hope, eager to enter into the contest of life, fearful of no failure, feeling he had “little to lose, and all to win.” Now his habits of ease and quiet had been so long fastening upon him, it really required no little strength of mind and purpose to rouse and labor as he had done in the days of his youth; his eagerness and hopefulness of spirit were gone—his ambition was departed; and when he looked on his five helpless little ones, the eldest but twelve years old, he felt as though the weight of a mountain were on his hands.

Temptation comes well armed to such a mind, and not with unheard footsteps, or disregarded smile drew she nigh to him. She held the wine-cup to his lips—his eyes grew red with looking on the burning poison, and he tasted, and was lost! Not a hand lifted he to avert the dread calamity which he alone could avert; not an effort did he make to re-establish once more the happiness of that household, when smiles and kind words were all the little group cared to have. About this time Sickness passed on heavy wing by this home of our little friend; she saw the cross her sister Poverty had marked upon the lintel, and she knew where she might rest. The poor have no power to shut out the dark angel, when she pauseth before their open door.

The mother, who, during one of the longest and hardest of winters had exerted herself daily and nightly far beyond her strength to provide for the wants of her children, who had in reality no other support but her, drooped when the “life-inspiring” spring came round again. The health which was so shattered by the struggles and heart-sorrows of the winter, was not restored again when the sunlight streamed so richly through her cheerless home. With the blossoming trees, and the violets, her hope did not strongly revive. The voices of the returning birds did not bring to her the lightness and happiness of spirit she had known in other days—for every day the brand of drunkenness was graven deeper and deeper on the forehead of the lover of her youth. Long, long after all her natural strength had failed, the mother’s love, and the wife’s devotion sustained, supported her. Long after her voice was faltering with weakness, did she supplicate that husband to rouse him to his former manliness, to exert himself once more. Long after her hands were trembling with disease, did she continue to ply the needle, whose labor was to bring them their daily food.

And heavy debts hung over them. Then the creditors, who saw no probability of these being ever satisfied, determined to liquidate them by selling off the little farm and residence of Mr. Hogg. And so they were sold. With the miserable remnant of their household goods which was left them, they removed to a smaller and less comfortable home. Then, as if evil days had not dawned on them already, one morning found the toiling mother laid on the bed of sickness and of death. To leave those helpless children thus! oh, it had been hard to part with those little ones, when around each one her heart-strings clung, even had their future been very bright, but to leave them when darkness and dreariness of life was before them, when a path so beset with sorrow and trial was all that she could see in store for them! bitter, bitter it was, indeed! Pass we over the sacredness of that hour, when the dying mother breathing the few faint parting words in the ear of her eldest child, left them to struggle on in their hard road alone. Words fail me to tell her anguish, who, in the last moments of her life, was racked by the thought of all that they might be called on to endure. No living voice should essay to speak of all that was in her heart, when she clasped the youngest, a bright-eyed boy, to her bosom, while his gay voice broke forth in laughter, and he flung his arms about her neck, and hid his face, all radiant with smiles, in her bosom. I am powerless when I attempt to tell you of the girl who stood shuddering with agony beside that bed, while the shadows of the coming night were fast filling the little room, when, after a long, and to her terrible silence, with trembling hands she lifted the boy from his mother’s arms, and felt as her fingers loosened the parent’s grasp, that the thin hands were icy cold, when she fell almost lifeless to the floor with the little one in her arms, feeling that those children had no mother or protector but her. I cannot tell you as should be told, if told, indeed, at all, of the terrible sorrow that filled her soul, when the little one said to her, “put me back with mamma, she is sleeping!”

From that day Delle went with us no more to the village school, neither joined us in our hours of gayety. While she was so young, the cares and anxieties of a woman had overtaken her, and trials which older heads and hearts find it hard to bear, 64 were thick in her path, all that delights the young and excitable, did she most cheerfully forego; I never heard a murmur from her lips. The living witnesses of her mother’s love and life-devotion surrounded her; they forbade every expression, every feeling of impatience, or envious regard of the happiness of others, no worthier than herself.

It was a heart-cheering sight, the firmness and perseverance of that strong-minded girl, when the first wildness of her sorrow was passed, and she stood amid that family group, a support, and a counsellor, and guide, plying her little hands on the coarse work with which the neighbors had supplied her. All the counsel and advice of the dead mother she kept most religiously. Never for a moment did she falter in her duty, but no one knows how much of sadness there was in her heart.

At the time of his wife’s death, the father seemed to pause for a little in his downward course, for he had loved her once, and remembered well that happy time, and perhaps, but no, I cannot dignify the affection with which still, in his sober hours, he thought of her, with the name of love. No, he did not love her in her better days, because love would have prompted him to deeds commensurate with so ennobling and exalting a faculty. Yet when she died, the husband sorrowed for her, and conscience reproached him, too, when he looked for the last time on the care-worn, faded countenance of his departed wife, who had always been his good angel. Still it was not with such sorrow as he should have sorrowed for her, that he followed her to the grave, and then led his little ones back to his home; had it been, he would have sought then, in a better life, to pay a fitting homage to her memory.

For a few weeks he did labor with what little skill was left him, at his old trade; but his was not the will, nor the mind, nor the heart to pursue the good because it was right, and just, and his duty. His recent excesses had shattered his constitution—his hands trembled, and his feet went tottering, and ere long these evil inclinations quite overcame him again. Poor Delle! she had no more hope for him when she saw that the death of her mother was a thing so feebly remembered and cared for by him. How strange it seemed to her that he could ever forget the words of entreaty the dying woman addressed to him. To the mind of the innocent child it was wonderful that he should ever seek to drown those words of pleading and warning that she had spoken to him in the horrible forgetfulness that is bought by intoxication.

But aside from this great sorrow, there was another and a different kind of care that weighed heavily on Delle’s mind. Her only sister was ten years old at the time of her mother’s death. She had been always a puny, sickly little thing—the object of that mother’s unceasing and peculiar care. It is said that the heart of the parent is always filled with a deeper and tenderer sympathy and love for an unfortunate child. Most true was this in the case of Jane. She had never been much at school, and rarely had left her mother’s side. A sober little creature she was, always seeking to make herself useful, and quite unlike in all respects the romping boys who filled the house with their noise. When Mrs. Hogg died, Jane, to use Mrs. Jones’ expressive words, “wilted right down, just like a cabbage-leaf;” and the scrofula, which had afflicted her for many years, manifested itself in a fearful form. It seemed to Delle that the cup of bitterness was running over when the village doctor, who was called to the child’s aid, told her, for she would know the truth, that he could do nothing for her—that her spine would be inevitably curved. It might be, he said, that constant care and watching would in a measure restore her health, and her life might be spared for years, but she could never wholly recover.

All the tenderness and affection her mother had borne toward little Jane, seemed to have centered itself in the bosom of Delle. A most patient and untiring nurse was she, doing every thing so cheerfully, sacrificing all her own wants that she might procure comforts for the invalid, and never giving the child reason to suppose for a moment that her, I mean Delle’s, constitution was not made of iron. Often and often, after a day of exertion, would she sit for half the night by the side of the little sufferer, who was writhing in agony, watching her and supporting her with the fondest care; and to all poor Jane’s anxious fears that she would weary out, the gentle voice of Delle assured her it was not possible to weary in doing for her.

Three years from the spring when the weeping children had gathered around their mother’s grave, they stood together in the church-yard again, and saw the dust and the sod heaped over the dead body of their father. I would not say that it was not with much sorrowing, with many tears, that Delle had nursed him through his death-sickness; that it was not with love and a martyr’s patient endurance she had ministered to his numberless wants; but I should be far wrong (and you will not impute it to her sin) were I to say that it was the same great sorrow which had bowed and well-nigh crushed her gentle spirit when her mother died, that brought forth those tears when she stood by her father’s death-bed. He was her father; she remembered with affectionate gratitude the days of old, when be was to his children a parent indeed, when he had been the tender and devoted husband of his wife; but even that remembrance was not strong enough to obliterate all recollection of the recent past; and I say it was not in her nature, nor, indeed, in human nature at all, to mourn very deeply over such a man. It was not with such a dreadful sense of bereavement that she followed him to the grave, as had once before swept over her. The “cloud had spent its fury” upon her, the bolt had fallen the day her worshiped mother died.

The children returned to their home, orphaned—four of them dependent on the exertions of that frail young creature on whom only the sun of sixteen years was beaming. There were no friends on whom they might depend, for their mother’s relatives lived somewhere in the far South; and had Delle even known where they lived, there was far too much 65 independence and self-reliance in her nature to impose on them the maintenance of five strange children, which she felt could not be a very agreeable accession to any family; and her heart was so filled with almost parental affection for those young beings, that she could not bear to think of subjecting them to the possible hard treatment of unsympathizing relatives.

Delle’s next-door neighbor was an old woman, who, though poor as the children themselves, and dependent upon her own feeble exertions for support, had taken the deepest interest in this parentless family. She it was who proposed to Delle that she should go to her father’s brother, who lived in a town further to the west, and pray that he would help them in their need. This was the day after Mr. Hogg’s funeral, and the old “lady” had dropped in to console the children, bringing with her provisions for them which she could ill spare from her own little store. I was gone from home that year, but many times since I have heard Delle speak with tears of gratitude of the kindness of the good old Mrs. Jones at that crisis of their lives. She came to advise with Delle, as I have said, and even went so far in her Christian charity (by the way, though in the very act of constructing a fit and proper sentence, I must pause to say the ever-to-be-lamented Hood erred when he wrote so musically,

“Alas! for the rarity

Of Christian Charity

Under the sun;”

because there is plenty of charity and sympathy in the world, if people were only so wise as to know where to look for it. Do you think to find fragrance in the dahlia, and the bright-hued tulip-flowers? Vain will be your seeking. Go into the woods and fields, along the banks of the little stream—search in such places, you will not return successless, you will come back with your hands filled with fragrant violets and wild-roses!) as to offer to take charge of the younger member of the family during her necessary absence, and also to endeavor to gather from the neighbors sufficient funds to carry her to those friends. But to all these kind proposals, greatly astonished was the good woman by Delle’s firm refusal.

“No,” said she, “Mrs. Jones, I remember when our misfortunes overtook us three years ago; father wrote to uncle, and told him of our necessities, begging him to assist us, but uncle made such answer, that I will never repeat those requests; no, Mrs. Jones, though I should starve! But we shall not starve, neither shall my little ones come on the town. You know that after I left school, for some time I taught Charley and Georgy, and Jane, and I have learned them a great deal, beside improving myself, and this is what I’ll do. I’ll open a small school for children, and the neighbors—will they patronize me for my poor dear mother’s sake—oh, I will try, and teach so well!”

Poor Delle’s voice was not quite firm as she disclosed these projects to the kind-hearted old woman, but she did not cry; there was not a tear in her soft, down-cast eyes—but Mrs. Jones did weep outright when she looked on the excited young girl, and saw the flashes of color which betrayed her emotion, deeply tinging her cheek one moment, and the next leaving it colorless. She did weep, I say, and for some minutes made no answer to Delie’s inquiry; this sympathy which the old woman evinced, emboldened the maiden to speak again, for she felt she had no time to weep then—she must act.

“Do you think, dear Mrs. Jones, I shall succeed? Will the people be afraid to send their children to me because I am so young? Oh, if you will but speak to a few, just a few people, and tell them how I will try to do justice to their little ones. And tell them, yes, tell them, Mrs. Jones, that I do it to give bread to my children; they have always known me, they need not fear I will neglect theirs.”

“Yes, yes,” cried the old woman, hurriedly, starting up and wiping her eyes, “I’ll go this minute; bless your noble heart! they shall send their children to your school. I’ll be bound you’ll do justice to ’em—when shall I tell ’em you’ll open?”

“To-day—to-morrow—any day; let them come here, I shall be ready for them, I have no time to wait or to waste.”

And in a moment old Mrs. Jones (blessed be her memory!) was gone on her errand of mercy; and then, yes, as a true historian, I must say, Delle’s tears did burst forth, resisted no longer. The children left their broken toys and their play, when they saw their sister weeping, and came softly and stood beside her—every little face that had a moment before been covered with smiles, wore a most touching, solemn expression, when they saw how grieved she was; Jane laid her head on Delle’s knee and wept too, scarcely knowing why; and little Willy crept into her arms, and while he nestled there so lovingly, he brushed away her tears with his tiny hand, saying, “Dear, dear Delle, don’t cry, we all love you so dearly.”

But the words and sympathy of the children only brought the tears faster to her eyes, even while they fell like balm on her heart. Was she not rich in the love of those children? What a pleasure would it be to labor for them, and to see them guided by her hand, growing up in goodness and knowledge; and again, in that home, before God she vowed she would be unceasingly faithful to her dead mother’s charge.

Two years passed away, and Delle’s school was continued with the greatest success; indeed, it had become the child’s school of our village. You should have seen her in the school-room of her now comfortable home, amid the multitudes of youth who gathered around her, whose “young ideas” she was teaching to “shoot” in the right direction. You should have seen her in the hours when she was alone in her home with her brothers and invalid sister. How unabated was her tender and watchful care of the fragile Jane; how unceasing her efforts to secure the comfort and happiness of the poor girl; how happy she herself was when a smile and visible contentment on the part of the sufferer was returned for all her pains. You should have seen her encouraging, 66 or mildly reproving, or joining the three light-hearted boys in their sports, who regarded her with the deference and affection they would have shown toward a parent. You should have seen her on the Sabbaths when she went with the children, whom her diligence and perseverance fed and clothed, to the village church, teaching them by her example to “remember their Creator in their youth.” You should have watched her when she went with them to the church-yard, to the place where their parents were buried—a little spot which their hands had made beautiful as a garden. You should have seen Delle at such times to have rightly and fully estimated her worth. Those only who saw her and knew her in all these lights, could know her truly; for as she grew nigh to womanhood, there was a dignity and reserve in her manners, resulting from the manifold trials to which she had been exposed, which made her not readily understandable to those who had not known her from childhood.

Do you abominate parties? So do I. But follow me this once, ’tis a beautiful moonlight night, to yonder well-lighted mansion. I have trod through it oftentimes, and with me for your guide, there is no possible danger of losing your way. Here we are in the midst of the gay assemblage; what profusion of flowers, what pleasant voices and bright smiles, and happy hearts; and, hark! there are sounds of music and of dancing feet. Let us wander, now, through the rooms, in spirit, and amuse ourselves for a moment with “seeing what is to be seen,” and hearing what is to be heard; and if there be any malice in our remarks, we can keep our own secret, and not expose those “modern belles” to more ridicule than very naturally they draw forth from common, ordinary observers; nor will we say any thing aloud about that nondescript sort of personage yclept a fashionable beau, whose culminated faculties emerge before the public in the shape of unmitigated nonsense.

Ah, what an unexpected relief—the belabored piano is resting now; the incessant battering and twisting of the keys, which, alas! rarely open the real gates of glorious music, is stilled—the harp is twanged no more—the guitar is silenced, yet the music-room is filled, and every sound is hushed, and they await in expectancy a somewhat—there it is! Heard you ever the like. That is music! keep silent, it will not do to criticise such singing. How melodiously the words gush forth; they are new, but how distinctly they are pronounced! The song is finished. What, not one concluding, prolonged trill of approved flourish? No—for it is finished.

See how they crowd round the pale, sweet-faced girl who has filled the room with such melody, and all, excepting the performers who have so prodigiously exerted themselves on the musical instruments, entreat for one more song. And while she stands silently for a moment, see the delighted countenance of the tall, well-formed gentleman who stands near her; listen, he is saying in the lowest possible tone, “pray, lady, sing once more.” And the lady heard his words, and as she raises her eyes to the stranger, a scarcely perceptible flush is on her pale face. Again her eyes are drooping, and the rich voice is doing ample justice to Mrs. Heman’s splendid poem, “The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers.” Is not the wild, drear scene before you—can you not see it all as she sings, how

“The breaking waves dashed high

  On a stern and rock-bound coast,

And the woods against a stormy sky,

  Their giant branches tossed.”

And again they are beseeching for but one more song; but see how mildly, yet so firmly, that they cannot doubt she means to sing no more, does she decline. No one essays to charm the ear now after such singing—and already they are beginning to pour out of the music-room, whither her voice had drawn them. But, see! there is one who remains standing, as spell-bound, beside the lady. Who is this stranger? A city gent, but to-day arrived from the East, at the residence of his relative, our hostess. How refined he is in manner and dress, and apparently not tinged with coxcombry at all, yet this may be the effect of an education conducted solely with the intent to please and catch the world’s eye, as well as of good sound common sense. At all events, if he is puffed up with inordinate vanity because Heaven has suffered him to attain the ordinary stature of manhood, in the possession of a fine, intelligent face, he conceals it with consummate skill, does he not? That is one thing in his favor, for a proper appreciation of the rarity of such an instance vide the Book of Human Life. They are in the midst of a most agreeable conversation; happily, the gentleman touches on the right topics to interest the maiden; you can tell that by her manifest attention, and pleasure, as well as by the spirit with which she carries on her part of the conversation. Suddenly and abruptly he has left her. Ah! the hostess has entered the room, and he is speaking with her rapidly. Now, leaning on his arm, she approaches the pale little lady standing beside the piano, and makes Mr. Alfred Livingstone, whose most unreserved admiration she had won, acquainted with Miss Delleparetta Hogg! Do but see that sudden lifting of the gentleman’s eyebrows, the half frown on his forehead, and the ill-concealed smile of his lips, which even his “good breeding” cannot wholly banish, as he listens to her name; fortunate for Delle is it that her eyes are just now cast down; but never seemed she more fair, graceful and lovable than now, while she stands confessing to that outrageous name!

Despite this little drawback, the city gentleman seems in a fair way of falling desperately in love with Delle. Not for a moment since her first song has he left her side; and now she has gone so early from the gay company, because she thinks of the dear ones at home, waiting to hear all about the party—and he accompanies her. Delle seldom appears in such scenes—but the heart beating beneath those eyes which never shone so brightly before is not weary; she feels no fatigue because of the unwonted excitement. And to-morrow, when she sits in her pleasant school-room again, initiating her pupils in 67 the mysteries of common-sense, which no teacher ever knew how to teach more successfully, perhaps those words which Alfred Livingstone has spoken to her, will not be quite forgotten.

A fortnight passed away, and three weeks, and a month, still young Livingstone tarried in our dull village; and every night his tall figure might be seen wending its way up our beautiful street to the tasteful, cheerful home of Delle. And it grew at last to be not the most wonderful sight in the world to see the poor school-teacher taking the walk she so much needed, after the close confinement of the day, not with her usual companion, her oldest brother, but with the stately youth already named. It was a happy month to Delle, if we might judge from appearance. One could not but see there was a certain lightness in her step, and a general joyousness in her whole appearance, that was alone wanting in former times to make her beautiful. But at the end of the month it became necessary that Livingstone should return to his city home; and the last we to the opposite saw of him, he was emerging from the cottage-home of Delle, as the whistle of the approaching cars was heard—and he was gone; and the children had a holyday!

They who prided themselves on being learned in such matters, said that every week brought with it regularly a letter from —— to Delle, and that very often the western mail bore a most lady-like (in its outward garb) epistle to the eastern city. Then, when all this was currently reported and believed, some wise head, judging from appearances, added to the story the information, that early in the spring Delle was to discontinue her school altogether.

How near “they” came to the right of the story, let us try and find out, which I think having earnestly set ourselves about it, we shall do suddenly.

Just imagine Alfred Livingstone, two or three months after his return from his country sojourning, seated, alone, in his exquisitely furnished apartment at the Astor, before a table covered with writing materials. The paper over which his pen is hovering is unstained yet by the ink—for he is arrested by voices speaking in the adjoining room, which are neither hushed nor moderate, they are speaking with all the freedom of tone one is wont to indulge in at home. Do but hear them and watch him!

“Where in all the world did you hear that?” asked one.

“What?” responded the other, carelessly.

“That you were speaking about at Howard’s, that Fred Livingstone, prince of beaux and gentlemen, is going to marry a dowdy little country Miss?”

“Hear it!” ejaculated the other, “why it’s the town talk.”

“But who is she—is she rich, or beautiful? Something she must be beyond the common to win him. Who are her relations? What—”

“Stop, stop—how shall I wade through all these questions. What an inquisitor you’d make! but I acknowledge that for once your curiosity is laudable. First, as to who she is? She is the daughter of some miserable low family, remarkable for nothing but their poverty. Second, what is she? A country school-teacher, who spends her days in teaching a set of insufferable children their ab-abs. Is she a beauty? Don’t know, deponent saith not. She sings well though, and you know music was always Fred’s hobby—he says he abominates this fashionable singing.”

“Well, but you haven’t told me her name.”

“Ah, that’s the horrible part of the thing. Listen while I try to pronounce it, and then say wonders will never cease. The name of this captivator, this charmer of ‘the greatest match in town,’ is—Delleparetta Hogg! Do but think of his asking, in his bland voice, Miss Hogg, to favor him with a song!”

“Heaven and earth!” exclaimed the other, after a moment’s silence, for he had seemed struck dumb with amazement; and then the hopeful conversationists burst into such a roar of laughter as quite drowned the noise of the crash with which Alfred Livingstone’s hand was brought down on his writing-desk, making in its descending progress the most dreadful marks on his paper, which, in their confusion and blackness, perhaps resembled closely the color and confusion of his thoughts at that present moment.

Now be it known that this unfortunate name of his lady-love had been the sorest of all points with Alfred Livingstone, Esq. Indeed, it had instituted a series of doubts in his mind which were there agitated for a long time, before he arrived at the brave conclusion that he would marry her, name and all—that is, supposing he could win her consent. But to be jested with by his city friends, and in his circle, on such a subject, the very thought was insupportable. He had hoped with all his heart that her name would never elapse till he introduced her, to the envy of all the town, as Mrs. Livingstone.

But now it was all over; his love was not proof against such a trial—such a mortification he thought it—for her name was a most indisputable fact, a tangible thing on which his friends and enemies might harp to his continual agony. There was but one remedy—a desperate one it was—but there was no other remedy, or way of escape. It took him not long to concoct and despatch that letter which he had meant to fill with kind and loving words. Poor Delle, she never quite understood that cruel epistle; but there was one thing about it she could sufficiently comprehend, that all was passed that ever could pass between her and Alfred Livingstone.

The next morning the elegant Mr. Livingstone laid his hand, and heart,(?) and fortune, and name, at the feet of the most accomplished and brilliant “belle of the season,” which, I scarcely need say, when it was held in consideration, that he was “the greatest match in town,” was without hesitation accepted.

Delle’s school was carried on as usual; there was no cessation or holyday when that letter of renouncement came to her. She had lived through and borne nobly sharper griefs than was hers when she read his strange, cold words. With renewed diligence she 68 turned to her occupation—that was not “gone”—but it was a hope that struggled long in her heart, that the recreant would at least write to explain—that he would tell her there was no meaning to his words. Such an explanation never came, however. The school continued, I said, and it continues still; and one would scarcely think, to look on the self-possessed, noble young lady at its head, that she had had such an experience in love matters.

There is another report circulating extensively in our neighborhood just now, relative to Delle’s movements in the coming spring. I will not vouch for its truth. I have not dared ask her if it be true; but people do say that a rich bachelor in our neighborhood, is then to relieve her of that odious name which is now so indisputably hers; and that at that happy time she will take up her abode, with the children who are her constant care, in his beautiful mansion. If this be true, it is hardly necessary for me to ask what kind of wife you think she’ll make. I know your thoughts already on this subject; and if you be a gentleman, I fancy that I hear you “heaving a sigh,” and longing for just such a wife, because you are, of course, far too sensible to think there’s any thing in a name!

Some say this is no love match—that Delle will only marry this bridegroom elect for the purpose of ridding herself of the fatigues of school-teaching, arguing from the fact, I suppose, that he is so unlike Alfred Livingstone in all respects; and that he is so much older than she—and his hair is already tinged with gray; beside he is an odd sort of man, as is usually the case with old bachelors. Be this as it may, whether Delle is so foolish as to marry for love (which generally turns out to be such a delusion) or not, of this thing be convinced, reader, the marriage will be a happy one, for everybody knows he is as “kind as kind can be;” and she—but I’ve already said enough about her; and after all, if she derives but one benefit from the union, it will not be a small one—for will not that name, that horrid name of hers, be merged in partial forgetfulness? Don’t call names trifles! By hers she lost him whom she did truly love, and who, perhaps, was not, strange as it may seem that I should say so, wholly unworthy of her love; for in very deed and truth, he had but one weak side, and that was most mortally pierced by the sharp arrow pointed with her name.

If there be one whose eyes have followed the jottings of my pen thus far, let me say to such an one another word about proper nouns in particular. If with most philosophic indifference you have, after mighty struggles, brought yourself to repeat with the chiefest of bards, on thinking of your own high-sounding misfortune,

“What’s in a name?”

please let me advise you “lay your mouth in the dust,” remembering, my word for it, that there is something “considerable, if not more,” in a name—especially in such an one as Miss Delleparetta Hogg—poets and philosophers “to the contrary notwithstanding,” which I hope and pray for your edification and enlightenment I have satisfactorily proved.


THE DUNLIN. (Tringa Variabilis. Temminck.)

The Dunlin, or Ox-bird, or Purre, is well entitled to the epithet “variabilis,” from the great difference between its summer and winter plumage. It is the Purre in summer and the Dunlin in winter in England, while in the United States it is called most commonly the Red-backed Sandpiper. In winter these birds assemble in small parties, following the tide on the oozy shores and estuaries near the sea. When undisturbed they run rather swiftly, and utter a sort of murmuring note, but when they are alarmed and forced to take wing, they utter a querulous and wailing scream. In the autumn they are seen around Vera Cruz, and may be bought in the markets of Mexico, while many, in their winter dress, remain throughout the winter within the limits of the Union. At times they frequent the coast of the Carolinas in 69 great numbers about February, leading a vagabond life, and swayed hither and thither by every change in the temperature.

In the Middle States, the Dunlins arrive on their way to the North in April and May, and in September and October they are again seen pursuing the route to their hybernal retreat in the South. At these times, according to Nuttall, they mingle with the flocks of other strand birds, from which they are distinguishable by the rufous color of their upper plumage. They frequent the muddy flats and shores of the salt marshes, at the recess of the tide, feeding on the worms, insects and minute shell-fish which such places generally afford. They are very nimble on the strand, frequenting the sandy beaches which bound the ocean, running and gleaning up their prey with great activity on the reflux of the waves. When, says Nuttall, in their hybernal dress they are collected in flocks, so as to seem at a distance like a moving cloud, performing their circuitous waving and whirling evolutions along the shores with great rapidity, alternately bringing its dark and white plumage into view, it forms a very grand and imposing spectacle of the sublime instinct and power of Nature. At such times, however, the keen gunner, without losing much time in contemplation, makes prodigious slaughter in the timid ranks of the Purres, while, as the showers of their companions fall, the whole body often alight, or descend to the surface with them, until the greedy sportsman becomes satiated with destruction.

Length of the Dunlin is eight inches and a half; extent, fifteen inches; bill black, longer than the head, which would seem to rank it with the snipes, slightly bent, grooved on the upper mandible, and wrinkled at the base; crown, back, and scapulars bright reddish rust, spotted with black; wing coverts pale olive; quills darker; the first tipped, the latter crossed with white; front cheeks, hind head, and sides of the neck quite round; also the breast, grayish white, marked with small specks of black; belly white, marked with a small crescent of black; tail pale olive, the two middle feathers centered with black; legs and feet ashy black; toes divided to their origin, and bordered with a slightly scolloped membrane; irides very black.

The males and females are nearly alike in one respect, both differing greatly in color, even at the same season, probably owing to difference of age; some being of a much brighter red than others, and the plumage dotted with white. In the month of September many are found destitute of the black crescent on the belly; these have been conjectured to be young birds.

SEMIPALMATED SNIPE, OR WILLET. (Scolopax Semipalmata.)

Willets breed in great numbers along the shores of New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland, and afford the sportsman an easy prey and excellent eating. The experienced gunners always select the young birds, which are recognized by the grayness of their plumage, in preference to the older and darker birds, which are not so tender and well flavored. In the month of October they generally pass on to their winter-quarters in the warmer parts of the continent. Their food consists chiefly of small shell-fish, aquatic insects, their larvæ and mollusca, searching for which they may be found on the muddy shores and estuaries at low water. The Willet is peculiarly an American bird, its appearance in the north of Europe being merely accidental, as is also that of the Ruff in America. The Willets wade more than most of their tribe, and when disabled by a wound they take to the water without hesitation, and swim with apparent ease.

The length of the Willet is about fifteen and a half inches; length of the bill to the rictus two and a half inches, much shorter in the young bird of the season; tarsus two inches eight lines. In the summer plumage, according to Nuttall, the general color above is brownish gray, striped faintly on the neck, more conspicuously on the head and back, with blackish brown; the scapulars, tertiaries and their coverts irregularly barred with the same; tail coverts white, tail even, whitish, thickly mottled with pale ashy brown, that color forming the ground of the central 70 feathers, which are barred with dusky brown toward their extremities; spurious wing, primary coverts, a great portion of the anterior extremities of the primaries, the axillary feathers, and under-wing coverts black, with a shade of brown; the remaining lower and longer portion of the primaries, and the upper row of under-wing coverts white; the posterior primaries tipt with the same; secondaries and the outer webs of their greater coverts white, marbled with dusky; wings rather longer than the tail, the lower with a spotted liver-brown streak, bounded above by a spotted white one; eyelids, chin, belly and vent white; the rest of the under plumage brownish white, streaked on the throat and transversely barred, or waved on the breast, shoulders, flanks, and under tail coverts with clove-brown, the bars pointed in the middle. Female colored like male, but an inch longer. Legs and feet dark lead color, the soles inclining to olive, the toes broadly margined with a sort of continuation of the web; iris hazel. Winter dress with fainter spots on the upper plumage, and without the dark waving transverse bars below, only the fore part of the neck and breast of a cinereous tint, marked with small brown streaks.








Then the forms of the departed

  Enter at the open door,

The loved ones, the true-hearted,

  Come to visit us once more.



They are ever hovering round us,

  A mysterious, shadowy band,

Singing songs, low, soft and plaintive

  They have learned in Spirit-Land.

Bright their wings as hues elysian,

  Blended on the sunset sky,

By unseen, but angel-artists,

  That concealed behind it lie.


Sweet their soft and gentle voices

  Mingle with each passing breeze,

And the sorrowing heart rejoices,

  As amid the leafy trees

In the green and verdant summer,

  Tones long-hushed are heard again,

And the quick ear some new-comer

  Catches joining in their strain.


Sceptics say ’tis but the breezes

  Wandering on their wayward way—

That the souls of the departed

  Rest in peace and bliss for aye.

But I know the fond, the loved ones,

  Cleansed from every earthly stain,

Who have passed away before us,

  Come to visit us again!


True, our eyes may not behold them,

  Nor the glittering robes they wear.

True, our arms may not enfold them,

  Radiant phantoms formed of air!

But I often hear them round me,

  And each gentle voice is known,

When some dreamy spell hath bound me,

  As I sit at eve alone!


Playmates of my joyous childhood,

  Wont to laugh the hours away,

As they roamed with me the wildwood,

  In life’s beauteous break-of-day;

They are spirits now, but hover

  On bright pinions round me still,

Tender as some doting lover,

  Warning me of every ill.


And among them comes one, brighter,

  Fonder far than all beside,

Sunlight of my young existence,

  Who in life’s green springtime died.

Music from her lips is gushing,

  Like the wind-harps plaintive tune,

When the breeze with soft wing brushes

  O’er its strings in flowery June.


O, thou white-browed peerless maiden,

  Holiest star that beams for me!

Thou didst little dream how laden

  Was this heart with love for thee!

Once fair garlands thou didst weave me,

  But to gem Emanuel’s throne

Thou didst soar away and leave me

  In this weary world alone!


But in dreams thou comest often,

  Hovering saint-like round my bed,

Telling me in gentle whispers

  Of the loved and early dead!

Once, methought, thou didst a letter

  Bring from one remembered well,

Who has left this world of sorrow,

  In the Spirit-Land to dwell!


Strange the seal, and when ’twas broken,

  Strange the characters within,

For ’twas penned in language spoken

  In a world devoid of Sin;

Told, no doubt, of joys that wait them

  Who shall enter spotless there,

But before I could translate them

  I awoke, and found them air!


Deem not that the soul reposes

  In its radiant home for aye,

On the fragrant summer roses

  Sunset beams may sadly play;

But they whisper “banish sorrow,

  And from bitter thoughts refrain,

On the bright and glorious morrow

  We will gild your leaves again!”







People grieve about the departure of the good old times, and prate of the days of chivalry, which Mr. Burke sixty years ago said were gone. That they are gone the world may well rejoice at, not only because they were times of ignorance and cruelty, but also of discomfort and inconvenience. In the diary of a court-officer of the days of Henry VII. is the note of a charge for cutting rushes, to strew on the floor of the Queen-closets; and another one mentions the number of under-garments belonging to Henri III. of France as considerably less than any one of the better orders in our own time would require. In those days, the downy couch meant a bed of goose-wing feathers; gloves were not; and when a gentleman needed a new doublet or head-piece, he went not to a tailor or the hatter of the day, but to a blacksmith. Let the lovers of romance talk as they please, there was little true poetry, and less feeling, in the minds of the heroes they wish to extol, than of the veriest apostles of commerce of our own age. Rightly enough do we date civilization from the times when men laid aside the rugged manners of old with the bronze and iron armor, and doffing the hammered helmet, assumed the cap of velvet and the hat of plush; when they laid aside the iron gauntlet for the chamois glove, and assumed the Cordovan boot in place of the leg-pieces of steel.

The feelings of chivalry yet lingered as late as the days of the English Charles I. and the French Louis XIII. in the minds of the nobility. A new series of ideas, however, had arisen in the breasts of the people at a date long previous to this. Printing had become general, and the learning previously the property of the priests had become the heir-loom of humanity: As a natural consequence, new ideas and new wants were unfolded, and these same ideas had become more general. At this crisis France took the lead, and not only in philosophy but in the minor things of life, French manners and habits were copied. Consequently, in describing costume, Paris will be perpetually referred to, from the fact that from that great city emanated the fashions which controlled the costume of the world.

It is true that other nations had their peculiar costume, handed down and preserved by the tradition of courts, as the Norman dress continues even now the court uniform of the state officials of the British kingdom; Spain had her peculiar doublet, hose and cloak, and Holland her own court apparel. If, however, we look nearer and closer, we shall discover each of these were dresses imported from France at some particular crisis, and retaining position and importance in their new home, when they were forgotten in the land whence they were adopted.

The most highly civilized of all the nations of Europe at the time that this supremacy over the costume of the world was exerted by France, it might have been expected that its selection would have been guided by good taste and propriety. This was not however the case, for in spite of the progress the world has made, the women of France and our own country, and the men also, are not to be compared to the members of the most savage tribes, either in gracefulness of form or propriety of dress. If the Chinese distort the foot, or the Indians of the North West Coast of America the forehead, the civilized women of to-day compress the waist, and men commit not less enormities.

These matters are, however, incontestable; and though we might regret we cannot prevent them. They simply therefore give us a clue in treating our subject, of which we will avail ourselves. They teach us, that to Paris belongs the incontestable empire of that mysterious power known in France as la mode, and in our own land as Fashion. Possibly this may be a remnant, the sole vestige, of that tone of pretension which led France in other days to aspire to universal empire. If so, the pride of other nations which led them elsewhere to resist French assumption here has been silent. Though not the rulers of the world by the power of the sword; though the French idiom be not so universal as the English, even the denizens of “Albion perfide” submit to the behests of the controlling powers of the French mode. Let the French language be universal or not, is to us now of no importance; that French fleets will drive English and American squadrons from the seas, is doubtful, but it is very certain Englishmen and Americans for all time to come will wear French waist-coats, and Germans both in London and Philadelphia will call themselves French bootmakers. How fond soever a people may be of its national garb, ultimately it must submit to the trammels devised in Paris. Ultimately all men will wear that most inconvenient article called a hat, will insert their extremities into pantaloons, and put their arms into the sleeves of the garment, so short before and so long behind, they are pleased to call a coat. When all nations shall have come to this state of subserviency, the end of the world will certainly be at hand, whether because the ultima perfectio has been reached, or because God, who created man after his own likeness, will be angry at the ridiculous figure they have made of his features, better theologians than I must decide. We certainly are not very near this crisis, for hundreds of yellow-skinned gentlemen are yet ignorant of the art and mystery of tying a cravat, and never saw a patent leather boot.

Like great epidemics, the passion for dress often leaps over territorial boundaries, and ships not unfrequently carry with the cholera and vomito bales of articles destined to spread this infection among lands as yet ignorant of it; so that some day we may live to hear of Oakford sending a case of hats to the Feejees, and of Watson making an uniform for the general-in-chief of the King of the Cannibal Islands.

Possibly this passion for our costumes is to be attributed to the deterioration of the morals of the 72 savages, and if so, even dress has its historical importance and significance, and is the true reflection of morale. It may be that the days of the iron garb were days of iron manners, and also of iron virtue, and that in adopting a silken costume we have put on, and they may be about to adopt a silken laxity of virtue and honor.

We will begin to treat of costume as it was in the days of Louis XIV., the solemn mood and ideas of whom exerted their influence even on dress, and the era which saw all other arts become pompous and labored, also saw costume assume the most complicated character. Costume naturally during this reign was permanent in its character, and when Louis XV. succeeded to the throne he found his courtiers dressed entirely as their fathers had done, and the young king, five years of age, dressed precisely like his great-grandfather, with peruke, cane and breeches. When he had reached the years of discretion, Louis XV. continued to devote himself more to the trifles of the court than to affairs of state.

The following engraving is an illustration taken from a portrait of a celebrated marquis of that day.

This, it will be remembered, was the era when women wore whalebone frame-works to their dresses and caps, or a kind of defensive armor over the chest and body. The fine gentlemen also encased themselves in wires, to distend the hips of their culottes or breeches. This was the costume of the fine gentlemen, and in it kings and heroes appeared on the stage almost without interruption until the days of Talma, if we except the brief and unsuccessful attempt at reform, as far as theatres were concerned, by Le Kain and Mademoiselle Clairon.

The foregoing was the prevailing court costume, the next is the military garb of the day, recalling the costume of Charles XII. of Sweden, and not unlike that of our own Putnam or Mad Anthony Wayne. Thus the lowland gentlemen who fought in ’45, dressed after this mode, were the opposing parties of the armies at Ramilies. As a whole it is not malapropos, and altogether more suitable and proper than the uniforms of our own day. The following is the portrait of a mousquetaire just one century after the time of Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D’Artignan, whom Dumas made illustrious.









Oh, the rich, dark maple sugar! how it tells me of the woods,

Of bland south winds and melting snows, and budding solitudes!

Oh, the melting maple sugar! as I taste its luscious sweets,

Remembrance in my raptured ear her witching song repeats;

Once more my heart is young and pure! once more my footsteps stray

Amid the scenes, the lovely scenes, of childhood’s opening day.


A frosty night! the searching air made hearth-fires a delight,

Stern Winter seemed as if again to rally in his might;

But, oh, how pure and beautiful the morning has arisen!

What glorious floods of sunshine! off! the dwelling is a prison!

Off, off! run, leap, and drink the air! off! leave man’s roofs behind!

Nature has more of pleasure now than haunts of human kind.


How free the blood is bounding! how soft the sunny glow!

And, hearken! fairy tones are ringing underneath the snow!

Slump, slump! the gauzy masses glide from hemlock, fence and rock,

And yon low, marshy meadow seems as spotted with a flock;

Drip, drip, the icicle sends its tears from its sparkling tip, and still

With tinkle, tinkle, beneath the snow rings many a viewless rill.


We cross the upland pasture, robed with a brown and sodden pall,

The maple ridge heaves up before—a sloping Titan wall!

The maple ridge! how gloriously, in summer it pitches tent:

Beneath, what a mossy floor is spread! above, what a roof is bent!

What lofty pillars of fluted bark! what magical changeful tints

As the leaves turn over and back again to the breeze’s flying prints.


Up, up, the beaten path I climb, with bosom of blithesome cheer,

For the song, oft varied with whistle shrill of the woodsman Keene, I hear;

The bold and hardy woodsman, whose rifle is certain death,

Whose axe, when it rings in the wilderness, makes its glory depart like breath,

Whose cabin is built in the neighboring dell, whose dress is the skin of the doe,

And who tells long tales of his hunting deeds by the hearth-fire’s cheerful glow.


The summit I gain—what soaring trunks—what spreading balloon-like tops!

And see! from the barks of each, the sap, slow welling and limpid, drops;

A thicket I turn—the gleam of a fire strikes sudden upon my view,

And in the midst of the ruddy blaze two kettles of sooty hue,

Whilst bending above, with his sinewy frame, and wielding with ready skill

His ladle amidst the amber depths, proud king of the scene is Will.


The boiling, bubbling liquid! it thickens each moment there,

He stirs it to a whirlpool now, now draws thin threads in air;

From kettle to kettle he ladles it to granulate rich and slow,

Then fashions the mass in a hundred shapes, congealing them in the snow,

While the blue-bird strikes a sudden joy through the branches gaunt and dumb,

As he seems to ask in his merry strain if the violet yet has come.


The rich, dark maple sugar! thus it brings to me the joy,

The dear warm joy of my heart, when I was a careless, happy boy;

When pleasures so scorned in after life, like flowers, then strewed my way,

And no dark sad experience breathed “doomed sufferer be not gay!”

When Life like a summer ocean spread before me with golden glow,

And soft with the azure of Hope, but concealing the wrecks that lay below.








Dewy buds of Paphian myrtle

  Strew, ye virgins, as I sing;

Chaplets weave from Love’s bright fountain—

  O’er my lyre their fragrance fling.

What—what is gay Pieria’s rose,

  What is Paphos’ blushing flower,

Whilst Beauty doth my spirit thrall,

  Whilst all my pulses feel thy power?


With Cyprian fire thine eye is sparkling,

  Like the morning’s tender light;

Through thy silken lashes straying,

  Shafts resistless wing their flight:

O! the time I first beheld thee,

  Blushing in thy early teens,

Rose nor lily ne’er excelled thee,

  Though the garden’s rival queens.






Softly o’er my mem’ry stealing,
Comes the light of other days,
Visions of past joys revealing,
Lit by Hope’s enchanting rays.
in that blest time I knew thee,
And thy glance and gentle tone,
Thrill’d with magic influence through me,
Waking joys till then unknown.


Time has sped with ceaseless motion;
  Chance and change have wrought their will—
But my heart, with fond devotion,
  Clings to thee, belov’d one, still.
Nor can life yield richer pleasure,
  Or a brighter gift impart,
Than the pure and priceless treasure,
  Of thy fond and faithful heart.









Cathara had that pure Ionian face,

  Which melts its way in music to the heart;

Each look and line betrayed that breathing grace,

  Which Genius has embalmed in classic art,

Or sculptured in the Aphrodite—where glows

Immortal life, in marble’s still repose.


Her presence on your love and wonder stole

  With such an atmosphere of softened light,

It seemed as some Aurora of the Pole,

  Were melting down the starry depths of night;

Or Dian had her glowing form unrolled

From out her floating orb of liquid gold.


Her features were most delicately moulded,

  And so transparent shone her dimpled cheek,

That when her large black eyes their rays unfolded.

  Its bloom was lighted like some Alpine peak,

When zephyrs roll the circling mists away,

And on its summit breaks the blush of day.


Her raven hair in showering ringlets fell,

  That veiled her sylph-like form from human vision;

Her step was light as that of the gazelle,

  And yet its airy- motions had precision;

The circling air displayed, where’er she went,

A wave of light in rainbow beauty bent.


Her voice was sweet as warble of a bird;

  The accent flowed so softly through the tone,

It seemed as ’twere the thought itself you heard—

  Like music, which the summer’s breeze hath thrown

O’er silent waters, from some woodland lyre,

Or humming stream, or old cathedral quire.


Her beauty broke not on a sudden glance,

  But if you watched its soft progressive ray,

Some hidden charm of form, or countenance,

  Like silver planets at the close of day—

Would cast its slender veil of shadows by,

And timidly advance upon the eye.


Her heart was that from which her features took

  The tender tone their aspect ever wore;

The pensive thoughts which saddened in her look,

  Were what you feel upon a lonely shore,

Where not a sound is heard except the surge,

In which some billow hymns its dying dirge.


Her eyes would swim, her bosom heave with grief,

  When pale misfortune poured its tragic theme;

As in the quick wind shakes the forest leaf,

  An orphan’s wo would tremble in her dream;

The tears despair had hardened into stone,

Would melt to dew, when mingled with her own.


You deemed that such an one, if death were nigh,

  Might cheer and soothe you, tho’ she might not save;

You thought how sweetly on your closing eye

  Would fall each glance her tender spirit gave;

While meekness showed where guilt might be forgiven,

And mercy plumed the parting soul for Heaven.








Bid sorrow cease; she rests in peace—

    Her task, at last, is done;

And decked with youth, and bright with truth,

    Cold lies thy martyred one.

But thine the crime, and through all time,

    Remorse shall follow thee,

With phantom form, through calm and storm,

    On land and on the sea.


Her shadowy hair, her bosom fair,

    So often heaving sighs;

Her smile so bland, her lily hand,

    Her mildly mournful eyes—

Which long did weep—in troubled sleep,

    How lovely will they come,

All fresh with life, and free from strife,

    From out the marble tomb.


Her voice of love, all price above,

    Shall speak, as once it spoke,

With gushing flow of tender wo,

    The while her heart was broke;

When thy distrust had bowed to dust

    Her bosom’s modest pride,

Ere like a flower, beneath the shower

    Too rude, she meekly died.


’Twill whisper soft, “Beloved, how oft

    Thy brow grows dark and stern;

I know not why, yet in thy eye

    Strange coldness I discern;

A heavy blight, the spirit’s night,

    Falls darkly on my soul;

This inward grief, without relief,

    Thou only canst control!”


These accents clear, thy waking ear

    Shall lose in silence dread;

But from thy heart shall ne’er depart,

    The wailing of the dead;

Her wasted bloom, her early doom,

    Shall haunt thee evermore!

While she, at rest, with spirits blest,

    Lives on the better shore.









Dead! dead! they are dying—dying!

  Oh! for the hands that were clasping ours!

Passed like a breeze in its own sad sighing,

  Falling like leaves from the wasted flowers,

Dropping away, so still—so still!

Call them again, so cold and chill!


Dead? dead? Oh! how could they die?

Laughed they not, sang they not joyfully?

Were they not with us—and now are they gone?

Why have they left us, and where have they flown?

Spake they not oft of a deathless tie?

Are they not sleeping? Oh! where do they lie?


Here! not here! ’tis a fearful place—

Were they not gentle, with steps of grace?

Were they not glad as the birds in June?

With hearts like a fountain of joyful tune?

They were with us at morn, and with us at night,

Their locks were of gold, and their eyes of light!


Yet—yet, ye say they are dead;

Tell us the land where their footsteps tread!

Oh! there is one who hath sought its shore,

Never to smile with us, weep with us more;

Soon, too soon; ’tis a mournful thing

To pass with the bier o’er the flowers of spring!


List! list! she is coming now!

Twine ye the wreath for her gladsome brow,

Gather the buds, ay, the buds that keep

Such trembling dreams in their breasts, asleep,

Beauteous types of her heart are they;

Cull them from streamlet and glen away!


Here, here, when the sun is low,

We shall sit again, when the shadows throw

Their dusky wings o’er mount and sea,

And speak of the past, and the time to be!

Counting the links that have broken away

From each chain at the fount, where the heart-streams play!


Hist! hist! did you hear her pass,

The ringing laugh on her lip? Alas!

Say ye again that she slumbers low?

Mourner, why art thou shaken so?

Death is the veil that the spirit takes,

When the light of God on its sorrowing breaks!


Then, then, thou’lt murmur no more!

Peace to the weary who travel before!

Blesséd are they He hath chosen and tried,

Blesséd are they in His love that have died;

Heart! let thy throbbings be constant to prayer,

So thou wouldst dwell where thy cherished ones are!


Turn! turn, look down through the vale

Stretching before thee, where, saddened and pale,

Sorrow is beck’ning thee—sorrow and wrong—

Weak though thine arm may be, feeble thy song,

God smileth aye, on the small “precious seed,”

Making the harvest-time golden indeed!


Thou hast been sleeping; wake from thy dreams!

Wo for that waking till God o’er it gleams!

Better the sleeper were locked in his rest,

Better the sun had gone down in his west!

Yet if thy path windeth up through thy fears,

Hope’s resurrection shall dawn on thy tears!


Hope! Hope! transfigured and bright,

Walking with Faith on the mountains of light!

Bidding thee weep the departed no more,

Angels await at the sepulchre door!

Bidding thee take up thy cross, for the day

Soon from thy vision will vanish away!








There’s a homestead of beauty by Delaware’s stream,

  And the sweet tones of children are ringing all day,

While the voice of the mother is blithesome and glad,

  As the notes of the song-bird that warbles in May.

The Angel of Peace to the hearth-stone has come,

  With a message of mercy to brighten each dream,

And as glad to the heart, as ’tis pure to the eye,

  Is that homestead of beauty by Delaware’s stream.


The woodbine has curtained the threshold with flowers,

  And the half-shaded sunbeams fall soft on the floor;

While the white-sanded streamlet is singing as sweet

  As the echoes of music, when music is o’er.

The dew on each snow-drop is gem-like and bright,

  And the lily is bathed in morn’s earliest beam,

While the zephyrs are whispering their matins of praise,

  Round that homestead of beauty by Delaware’s stream.


The wings of the evening come loaded with bliss,

  When the toil and the trouble of daylight is past,

And the coolness and calm of the star-lighted hours,

  O’er the dwellers in hall and in cottage is cast,

The sun-browned cheek of the father is kissed;

  With tears the full eye of the parent will gleam

As he presses those loved ones more near to his heart,

  In that homestead of beauty by Delaware’s stream.


And then from that cottage the hymn and the prayer

  Uprose, when the hour of reposing had come;

And each sent an offering of thanksgiving up

  To Him who had blessed them with quiet at home.

Oh! who has not wished, when the cold world has chilled

  Each flow’ret that blossomed in life’s morning dream.

To find out some refuge from sorrow and care,

  Like that homestead of beauty by Delaware’s stream.




We always fail when we judge of the fate of others. Life is double—an internal and an external life; the latter often open to the eyes of all, the former only seen by the eye of God. Nor is it alone those material things which we conceal from the eyes of others, which often make the apparently splendid lot in reality a dark one, or that which seems sad or solitary, cheerful and light within. Our characters, our spirits operate upon all that fate or accident subjects to them. We transform the events of life for our own uses, be those uses bitter or sweet; and as a piece of gold loses its form and solidity when dropped into a certain acid, so the hard things of life are resolved by the operations of our own minds into things the least resembling themselves. True, a life of study and of thought may seem to most men a calm and tranquil state of existence. Such pursuits gently excite, and exercise softly and peacefully the highest faculties of the intellectual soul; but age brings with it indifference even to these enjoyments—nay, it does more, it teaches us the vanity and emptiness of all man’s knowledge. We reach the bounds and barriers which God has placed across our path in every branch of science, and we find, with bitter disappointment, at life’s extreme close, that when we know all, we know nothing. This I have learned, and it is all that I have learned in eighty years, that the only knowledge really worth pursuing is the knowledge of God in his word and his works—the only practical application of that high science, to do good to all God’s creatures.

The operation of man’s mind and of his heart are as yet mysteries. We talk of eager love; we speak of the warm blood of the South; we name certain classes of our fellow beings excitable, and others phlegmatic; but we ourselves little understand what we mean when we apply such terms, and never try to dive into the sources of the qualities or the emotions we indicate. We ask not how much is due to education, how much to nature; and never think of the immense sum of co-operating causes which go to form that which is really education. Is man or woman merely educated by the lessons of a master, or the instructions and exhortations of a parent? Are not the acts we witness, the words we hear, the scenes with which we are familiar, parts of our education? Is not the Swiss, or the Highlander, of every land, educated in part by his mountains, his valleys, his lakes, his torrents? Is not the inhabitant of cities subjected to certain permanent impressions, by the constant presence of crowds, and the everlasting pressure of his fellow men? Does not the burning sun, the arid desert, the hot blast, teach lessons never forgotten, and which become part of nature to one class of men; and frozen plains, and lengthened winters, and long nights, other lessons to the natives of a different region? Give man what instruction you will, by spoken words or written signs, there is another education going on forever, not only for individuals but for nations, in the works of God around them, and in the circumstances with which his will has encompassed their destiny.




The ocean looketh up to heaven,

  As ’twere a living thing;

The homage of its waves is given

  In ceaseless worshiping.


They kneel upon the sloping sand,

  As bends the human knee;

A beautiful and tireless band—

  The priesthood of the sea.


They pour the glittering treasures out

  Which in the deep have birth;

And chant their awful hymns about

  The watching hills of earth.


The green earth sends its incense up

  From every mountain shrine—

From every flower and dewy cup

  That greeteth the sun-shine.


The mists are lifted from the rills,

  Like the white wing of prayer

They lean above the ancient hills,

  As doing homage there.


The forest tops are lowly cast

  O’er breezy hill and glen,

As in a prayerful spirit passed

  On nature as on men.


The clouds weep o’er the fallen world,

  E’en as repentant love;

Ere, to the blessed breeze unfurled,

  They fade in light above.


The sky it is a temple’s arch—

  The blue and wavy air

Is glorious with the spirit-march

  Of messengers at prayer.


The gentle moon, the kindling sun,

  The many stars are given,

As shrines to burn earth’s incense on—

  The altar-fires of Heaven!


There is always something sad, if not revolting, In the visit of those unsympathizing servitors of dissolution who first break upon the stillness of the house of death. The very nature of their errand is fearful— they come to claim all that is left of what was once life, and will, and action—to tread heavily over the floor where others have previously moved with a noiseless step—to talk in hoarse, although suppressed voices, where the dull echoes have latterly been hushed—and coldly to pursue their avocation in the very presence of eternity. Perhaps it is well that there is no possibility of delaying this first trial, for where the ties of love have been rent asunder, who would have courage to sanction so unhallowed an intrusion? Who could summon to the bedside, so lately the scene of agony and prayer, the unsympathizing eyes and hands of mercenary strangers? Human nature is ever prone to resist where resistance is possible, and suffering certain; happy is it, therefore, that it is taught, in so solemn a moment, to feel its own impotence, and to submit.

The tiger gives no warning before he springs—it is for the traveler to be wary. The serpent utters no threatening before he stings—the intended victim must defend himself against the venomed tongue. And thus, in like manner, the woman who sees only the gorgeous skin or the gleaming scales of vice, and wilfully closes her eyes against the poison to which they lend a mocking and a worthless charm, finds little pity, and excites no sympathy.



A Happy New-Year.—Holding continual intercourse through the press with so many thousands scattered over this country, and other countries, we feel an enlarged sympathy with our fellow beings, and use suitable occasions to give utterance to hopes and wishes in another form than that of the essays, stories and poetry of the stated columns of this Magazine. We set forth our humble “table,” and while we invite all to a seat, we bid all welcome to the viands; nay, we make the little festival with a particular and special view—to express to our readers our hearty wishes for “a happy New-Year.” May they all be happy, all enjoy the year upon which we now enter, all be freed from care and troublesome anxiety, and all have enough for their own enjoyment and the gratification of liberal feelings.

Now we are as sensible as any can be that the above wish is extended to the readers of Graham—“And so we are selfish, sordid, can only wish well to those who do well to us.” That is the charge which will be made by some good-natured body that has not had her feelings refined by a constant perusal of this Magazine. She curls her thin lip in scorn at our narrow feeling, and quotes scripture and poetry against the contracted philanthropy which does good in such a limited circle. We shall not quote scripture back to her, but content ourselves with a simple remark that we adhere to our form of expression, and shall prove it to be sufficiently inclusive for all the New-Year wishes which we are bound to entertain and utter.

In the first place, we wish the readers of Graham a happy New-Year—health, peace, comforts—rational enjoyment and pleasures that will please on reflection.

Can peace, comfort and enjoyment be had by the readers of this Magazine, when those who are related with them are deprived of such gratifications? Should we not offend by gross injustice if we should imagine the readers of Graham capable of high enjoyments when others were in distress? How numerous and extensive are the ramifications of social life! Not a blow is struck on the remote verge of society but some sympathetic nerve carries it to the heart—friend—relative—associate—give interest to events; and such links in the chain of social existence bind man to man, and make of human society one common body. We wish you happy! then wealth, health, peace and quiet to all with whom you stand related. Can you be happy and your brother, your friend, your relative miserable? It is not possible. And when we wish a happy New Year to the thirty or forty thousand who take, and the four hundred thousand who read Graham, we wish a general happiness.

We enter upon a new year with the fullness of hopes that are only enlarged by the fruition of former hopes. Our hopes are not hopeless. Our desires to be rewarded have kept pace with our desires and efforts to please. We believe the latter desires have contributed to the gratification of the former; and it is therefore in a spirit of hopeful gratitude that we wish our friends and their friends a happy New-Year.

To the old we wish the ease which belongs to the dignity of years, and that degree of health which makes the twilight of life delightful.

To the middle-aged we wish the maturity of intellect which secures wisdom to plans, and success to efforts.

To youth a consciousness that very many of the promises of life are so deceptive, that they must learn to rely more upon their own exertions than upon those promises. We wish to them well regulated minds, well controlled passions—we do not expect, we do not wish for the stately dignity of age in the lively and stimulated feelings of youth: enjoyment—and enjoyment of something of which age calls the vanity of life—is permitted to youth. So that in all their rejoicings, in all the cheerfulness of their hearts, in all the wanderings which they make by the light of their eyes, (alas! how much has the lustre of even one pair of woman’s eyes led us astray,) and in the understanding of their hearts, (and how much do we all suffer by overrating that understanding!) all these things may be endured—may be encouraged indeed—if indulged in with that kind of reflection which keeps in view accountability for it all.

Some have desired that at the foot of Janus, who guards the closing portal of the past and the opening door of the coming year, there might flow a rill from the river of Lethe, that we might drink in oblivion to the past. How narrow, how contracted must be the mould of such wishes. Let us take with us into the new year a full remembrance of the past. Let the events which have cast a gloom over a portion of our experience be recollected, that we may feel for others, that we may have in view that great fact, that we are born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.

The heartiness of our wishes for the good of the readers of this Magazine will be found in our efforts to make its pages interesting and instructive. We have adopted measures, and shall carry them out, to maintain the pre-eminence of position which our Magazine has acquired. And while we look to the increased patronage of the public, we shall continue to hold at a proper elevation the standard of Literature, Morals and Truth.

A Nut to Crack for ’49.—With, we think, a very just estimate of the position of Graham’s Magazine, in the eye of the American public, we do flatter ourselves that the January number, will in no degree be equaled by any cotemporary, or that we will in the least lesson our own dignity, if we boast a little about it. There has been so much talking on the part of our would-be rivals about their books, and an effort so manifestly strained to catch our tone and look, that we shall let out a link or two—or, as the horsemen say, “shake out a step faster, if the mettle is in the other nag.”

The truth is, that there is a very great mistake made in efforts to assimilate to Graham’s Magazine—for, in the first place, all competition must be distanced by our superior facilities, derived from circulation; and in the next, the effort ends in playing second fiddle, to the great loss of reputation and time. There is—there ought to be at least—some unexplored field in which these rivals of ours may try their unfledged wing, where our own magnificent flight may not be seen in humiliating contrast, by these gentlemen and their friends.

Suppose now, for instance—having tried a magazine after Graham—they confess the “distance,” and give us a touch at a magazine made up exclusively of translations from the French, with such copies of the illustrations as may be picked up in Paris, or can be done here. We really think something could be done with this hint profitably, but this blundering and dodging along after another magazine, which crowds every avenue, and presents 79 itself for contrast at every turn, must be most humiliating and vexatious, and cannot but be a losing concern in shoe-leather and temper. The stereotype promises of our friends, which appear with the “snow-birds” every January, have lost their value, and as a standing joke might be relished well enough, but it strikes us that it is a sort of eccentricity in amusement, harmless only because nobody is deluded.

It is unfortunate that one half the world takes its notions of business, as it does its opinions, from the other half, and vainly supposes that the high road to success is a beaten track. Nothing can be more absurd; and the history of the leading penny commercial and weekly papers in large cities attests this. In magazines the world does not take unfledged genius and untried promises at par. The magazine world—by which we mean that part of the world that reads magazines—has grown cautious, cute, shrewd, or whatever may happen to be the choicest phrase to designate a careful squint into the “bag” before “buying the pig.” It will not do, therefore, to attempt to gull the good folks, with a supposed rivalry between your buzzard and our hawk—they know the difference, and although “Hail to the chief who in triumph advances,” may charm the ear as Graham for January flutters its golden wings before the bright eyes of all the cherry-cheeked damsels, in all the post-towns, when on his annual visit—his New-Year’s call—to his fifty thousand friends—the tatterdemalion who, under cover, attempts to follow, will assuredly be greeted with the “Rogue’s March,” and achieve disgrace if not the whipping-post. It will not do, this sort of living by wit—this throwing out of a magnificent prospectus like Graham’s, and then following it up with a specimen number in the way of “inducement,” as if the world were one vast fishpool, and people—who are not gudgeons—were to be jerked out, dollars and all, with an adroit fling of the fly, (going a flyer with a prospectus.) The game has been played to every variety of tune—we think—and the gamut—we had like to have said gammon—is exhausted, and with it the public patience.



My dear Jeremy,—The coming of the year 1849 must present reflections of a mixed character to “The Trio.” Our memories do not stretch back to “thirty years since,” but fifteen years ago at “Bamford’s,” how vividly fresh in memory, to “You and Joe and I!” Those years of fun, frolic, literature in the bud, (poetic,) and extravagant expenditure of sixpences. Which of us troubled our brains about current rates, while we passed “currant” at “Bamford’s?” What cared we about the opinion of the world? Ourmead of praise” was in bottles. “Imperial!” did you say? You are right there. “Three bottles of it!” Did we ever reach that sublime of extravagant dissipation in those imperial days? I think not. It would have been a sort of royal expenditure, that must have drained the treasury, and rendered us unfit for the grave studies of the afternoon.

Ah! there was a foam, a sparkle, a sort of frost-work fizzling upon those mead-glasses, which we shall never see again, Jeremy!—NEVER! Champaigne, bubble it ever so brightly, pales in its ineffectual rivalry with the memory of the snowy effervescence, which crowned the goblet at “Bamford’s!” With the freshness of life’s morning, has “Bamford” and his “imperial” melted away! and the place which knew them and us is known no more. The old blue frame, with an attic in its first story, and its window all awry, is gone!—as if to join those bright dreams which have floated into the unattainable. The very dew of the heart of each of us has been exhaled, and with those laughing hours has gone, upward we trust, to enjoy sunshine and smiles with the angels.

Do you know that I cannot look upon the staring brick edifice which covers that hallowed ground, without thinking it a desecration? and feeling a sort of unbidden wish for a circumscribed earthquake! Is it not enough that the heart shrivels and grows cold in its calloused casement, under the blighting influences of the god of this world—that Mammon must bridge over and entomb the small spot that memory has consecrated to truth; so that the scared conscience shall be watered no more at the fountain at which in youth the heart’s secrets of each of us were mirrored. Must even the green places which we remember in the past be obliterated forever?—the points from which, with imprisoned impulses and high hopes, we started into that untried and beckoning world, which, as a prism to the young eye, varied its fanciful and attractive colors as we advanced, forever changing, forever deceptive, until the heart, jaded and wearied with the cheat, started from its dreams of bliss, to dream—to hope—no more.

It is enough that the heart changes—that all that we looked forward to in youth, hopefully and trustfully, fades as we advance. That the path which before us was verdant and full of flowers, is sterile and strewn with ashes, as we tread it now; and instead of the songs of birds, which filled the grove and made the air vocal, and the heart happy, we have but the melancholy dirge—the funeral wail of autumn—sweeping with moaning sound through the unleafed trees—a sad sky above our heads—and withered leaves beneath our feet!

Ah! how sadly have we changed!—“We Three!” What bitter heart experiences have we treasured up! How many of “the world’s” dark lessons do we know! Would not either of us give all that we have learned for one hour of the unshadowed happiness of those young days? Could we but go back again to taste it—did you ever muse on this?—would we change as we have, or remain as we were, think you? With but a slice of a year’s experience—as years roll by us now—to start with as a capital, would we be as wordly-wise—in any way as worldly—as we are? I think not. We should quaff its knowledge more sparingly, believe me, in a Bamford-reminiscence, vividly intermingled with that slight appreciation of men as we know them! We should treasure those heart bubbles, which the world has blown into air! Should we not, Jeremy?

G. R. G.

Industry and Perseverance.—The power of these two qualities to overcome almost every difficulty is well exemplified in the case of Bulwer, the novelist. When he first commenced writing, he found it to be very hard work. Bently says he worked his way to eminence through failure and ridicule. His facility is only the result of practice and study. He wrote at first very slowly, and with great difficulty; but he resolved to master his stubborn instrument of thought, and mastered it. He has practiced writing as an art, and has re-written some of his essays (unpublished) nine or ten times over. Another habit will show the advantage of continuous application. He only works about three hours a day—from ten in the morning till one—seldom later. The evenings, when alone, are devoted to reading, scarcely ever to writing. Yet what an amount of good hard labor has resulted from these three hours! He writes very rapidly, averaging 20 pages a day of novel print.



Lays and Ballads. By Thomas Buchanan Read. Philadelphia: Geo. S. Appleton. 12mo. pp. 140.

We confess that we have little sympathy with the mass of cream and tea-colored books which have invaded our land, with the apparent intention of benefitting none but printers. It is therefore with heartfelt satisfaction that we now and then glean from amid this host of versified rubbish a volume like the one before us.

To the numerous admirers of Mr. Read’s former collection the present volume will afford peculiar pleasure, fulfilling as it does the predicted progressive spirit which was everywhere manifest in his earlier production, which is evident here, and which still points to something better to come. We know of no surer test of true poetical greatness than this evidence of a power of development, which has always shown itself in the earlier verses of men possessing the highest order of genius.

The volume before us, as the title imports, is chiefly composed of lyrical poems; but there are also two or three articles in blank verse, whose exceeding merit awaken a desire to see a further exertion of the author’s talents in this unfettered mode of versification. The power which he evinces in “the Alchemist’s Daughter” and “A Vision of Death,” prove the existence of resources for which the friends of his former volume scarcely gave him credit. We own ourselves astonished at the versatility of Mr. Read’s genius, at the ease with which he passes from lyrical to the highest order of poetry, with the scope of thought which is shown in his unveilings of man’s inner nature, and with the dramatic variety and intensity of his diction. We scarcely recognize the same hand in the lyrical and dramatic poems; both are beautiful, but of widely different orders of beauty. The former are characterized by a purity of thought and sentiment, a delicate refinement and nicety in the choice of phrases, a brilliant and constant play of fancy in figures the most apt and glowing, a striking spirit of individuality, and a versification the most varied and harmonious. The transition from the lyrical to the dramatic pieces is at the same time both delightful and startling. The style changes at once, the author vanishes from sight, and is lost in our sympathy for the imaginary creatures of his mind. In the dramatic compositions the language is vigorous, passionate and condensed, dealing rather in the bold metaphor than in the more ornate but less difficult simile, and seeking effect rather by force and earnestness than by beauty and delicacy of expression. This is as it should be, and proves our author the possessor of powers which must eventually place him in the very first rank of poets. But we must leave general criticism, and proceed to substantiate our high opinions by the text before us.

The volume opens with a poem replete with the most picturesque and striking imagery. There is a beautiful contrast between the desolate, frozen appearance of nature—

    “When old Winter, through his fingers numb,

  Blows till his breathings on the windows gleam;

And when the mill-wheel, spiked with ice, is dumb

  Within the neighboring stream;”

and the fervent feeling which appears to have dictated this friendly tribute to one whose presence can at all seasons make

“A summer in the heart.”

Passing some half dozen poems, every way worthy of special notice, but omitted on account of our confined space, We come to “The Beggar of Naples.” This is one of the longest and most striking poems in the book; in a versification the most irregular but the most harmonious, indulging in the wildest flights of fancy, but never soaring beyond the common ken. The story is simple, and turns on the power with which a virtuous love may shape the destiny of the meanest. The picture of the beggars hanging round the sunny corners of the streets, tells with a few skillful touches more than a whole library of statistics.

“Avoiding every wintry shade,

The lazzaroni crawled to sunny spots;

At every corner miserable knots

Pursued their miserable trade,

And held the sunshine in their asking palms,

Which gave unthanked its glowing alms,

Thawing the blood until it ran

As wine within a vintage runs.”

The italicized lines are eminently suggestive; and in the contemplative mind, awaken a long train of the most solemn thoughts—thoughts of Heaven’s indiscriminate bounty, and man’s unthankful forgetfulness, of the beggar’s hands overflowing with the gifts of nature, but all empty of the gifts of churlish human charity. The listlessness of the beggar’s life, the vacant sense and brain of the purposeless idler, is admirably portrayed in the following lines:—

“Upon the beggar’s heart the matin hymn

Fell faint and dim;

As when upon some margin of the sea

The fisher breathes the briny air,

And hears the far waves symphony,

But hears it unaware.

The music from the lofty aisle,

And all the splendor of the sacred pile—

The pictures hung at intervals

Like windows, giving from the walls

Clear glimpses of the days agone.


     *    *    *    *    *


All were unheeded,

And came but as his breath;

Or if there came a thought, that thought unheeded

Even in its birth met death.”

The awakening from this lethargy, at the first touch of love, is unrivaled:—

“At once upstarting from his knees,

He watched her as she went;

The blood awakened from its slothful ease,

Through all his frame a flaming flood was sent;

He stood as with a statues fixed surprise,

Great wonder making marble in his eyes!

What can surpass the simple grandeur of the concluding lines of this passage? The new light which at once bursts on his aroused senses is thus happily described:—

“All things at once became a glorious show;

Now could he see the sainted pictures glow;

And instantly unto his lips

Rolled fragments of old song—

Fragments which had been thrown

Into his heart unknown.” &c.

His shame at his tattered appearance, at his companions, and at his base mode of life, are singularly beautiful and truthful strokes. That a soul so aroused should struggle for and reach the first ranks of fame is nothing strange, and that he should wed his deliverer is strict poetical justice. From “The Deserted Road” we clip the following felicitous local touches:—

“Here I stroll along the village,

As in youth’s departed morn,


But I miss the crowded coaches,

  And the driver’s bugle-horn;


“Miss the crowd of jovial teamsters,

  Filling buckets at the wells,

With their wains from Conestoga,

  And their orchestras of bells.”

“The Alchemist’s Daughter,” amid a host of stirring lines, contains the following beautiful passages. Lorenzo, speaking of the marriage of his young mistress—

“Her mother died long years ago, and took

One half the blessed sunshine from our house,

The other half was married off last night.”

This is genuine poetry, and we recognize it at once. Again, describing the rising moon,—

“Mark how the moon, as by some unseen arm,

Is thrust toward heaven like a bloody shield.”

The following noble burst should go far to cheer those whose labors appear to produce no immediate results:—

“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 a crowd applaud their names—

Who lived and labored, died, and were forgot;

And after them the world came out and reapt

The field, and never questioned who had sown.”

From this garden of dainty devices let us, before leaving, cull a few choice flowers. From “The New Village” we would fain extract the whole stanza, describing the forest-life of the Indian maids, which concludes thus—

    “The daisies kiss their foot-falls in the grass,

And little streams stand still to paint them in their glass.”

In “A Vision of Death,” the flowers over the grave of a beautiful maiden, are thus invoked:—

                    “Bloom, bloom,

Ye little blossoms! and if beauty can,

Like other purest essences, exhale

And penetrate the mould, your flowers shall be

Of rarest hue and perfume.”

From “The Realm of Dreams,” we extract this exquisite couplet:

“And where the spring-time sun had longest shone

And violet looked up, and found itself alone.”

The above has a positive fragrance, that unexplainable odor which at once distinguishes genuine poetry, however disguised, from all imitations, however ingenious. No one but a true poet could have written this passage, which, for its suggestive delicacy, is scarcely rivaled in our language. From the same poem we extract this simile, describing the unruffled quiet of a small mountain lake:—

“Through underwood of laurel, and across

A little lawn, shoe-deep with sweetest moss,

I passed, and found the lake, which, like a shield

Some giant long had ceased to wield,

Lay with its edges sunk in sand and stone,

With ancient roots and grasses overgrown.

The descent of the mystic spirit of the lake is thus pictured:

“Then noiselessly as moonshine falls

Adown the ocean’s crystal walls,

And with no stir or wave attended,

Slowly through the lake descended;

Till from her hidden form below

The waters took a golden glow,

As if the star which made her forehead bright

Had burst and filled the lake with light.

Observe the beautiful melancholy, and the slow, swaying versification of the following description of a deserted quay:—

“The old, old sea, as one in tears,

  Comes murmuring with his foamy lips,

And knocking at the vacant piers,

  Calls for his long-lost multitude of ships.”

We would gladly extend this imperfect notice to twice its prescribed length; for we are aware that in our limited bounds we can do but partial justice to merits so conspicuous; and, perhaps, in our bungling haste to pluck that which caught our fancy, we have passed by beauties which would have arrested the eyes of others. We are conscious of having bestowed on this volume the most unmixed praises; and the censorious may ask us, what has become of our critical gall? The province of criticism is two-fold—to cheer with praise, or to correct with censure; and we belong to that good-natured portion who exercise the former calling. What is deliberately done can be followed by no apology. Whatever we have said, has been supported with solid material from the work before us; and our readers may judge by the extracts, whether we have done our author that worst of all injustice which arises from over commendation.

Poems. By Oliver Wendall Holmes. A New Edition. Boston: Wm. D. Ticknor & Co. 1 vol. 16mo.

It gives us great pleasure to announce the appearance of a new and revised edition of Dr. Holmes’s poems, printed in a style of simplicity and elegance creditable to the publishers and appropriate to him. It contains a large number of pieces which have never before appeared in any collection of his poems, and also a number which are now printed for the first time. A volume which is so emphatically “a nest of spicery,” which sparkles on every page with wit, fancy, and imagination, and which contains some of the most perfect specimens of versification and true poetical expression ever produced in the country, will be sure of a rapid and a large circulation. The author has been literally mobbed for many years to prepare an edition of his poems, and we now have one which fairly reflects his character and powers.

In criticising a poet, the too common method pursued by the craft is to fix upon him some time-honored and time-worn phrases and epithets, which apply to him only as they apply to all poets, and to avoid that task of analysis which would bring out the peculiarities of his genius. Holmes has especially suffered from this mode of criticism; and thus one of the most singular and individual of our poets, a man who, whatever may be thought of the scope and domain of his genius, is still a strictly original writer, is described in terms which are as applicable to Longfellow and Bryant as to him.

The great mental peculiarity of Holmes is fineness of intellect—subtilty in the perception of resemblances, subtilty in the perception of differences, and subtilty in the conception of remote and filmy shades of thought. He has a most acute and inevitable perception of the ludicrous, but it is ever passed through his intellect before it is expressed; and, accordingly, his wit and humor have the certainty of demonstration, and never miss their mark. He has a no less acute perception of the pathetic, the beautiful, and the grand, but he never hazards their expression from the simple impulse of enthusiasm, but passes them also through his intelligence, scrutinizes them as they lie mirrored on his imagination, and gives them utterance only when he is satisfied intellectually and consciously of their validity and excellence. Such a man would naturally be accused of lacking sensibility, sensitiveness to impressions; but no careful reader of his writings, who considers their singular wealth and variety of sensuous imagery, of niceties and felicities of description, can fail to discern the intense sensibility to external objects they continually imply, however much he may be puzzled to account for the form in which it is expressed. The truth is, we should judge, that Holmes’s extreme 82 sensitiveness made him skeptical, or fearful of the quality, and that he arraigned his impressions, his spontaneous combinations and strange freaks of juxtaposition, his teeming throng of fanciful images, his impatient, voluble, and affluent verbal extravagances, before the tribunal of his intellect, to see if they would bear the tests by which the bizarre is discriminated from the picturesque, levity from wit, drollery from humor, sentimentality from pathos, flightiness from ideality. Were it not for his detecting, exacting, sure and fine intellect, there would be no rein on his wild colt of a fancy, and the result would be more portentous freaks of deviltry and mischievousness, and perhaps more direct expression of impatient passion and tender feeling, but the whole would be but splendid disorder and aimless brilliancy. It is thus from the very fulness and fierce pressure of his sensitive nature for expression, that Holmes has become so eminently an intellectual poet, and that all his writings indicate an intense working of faculties rather than a heedless expression of affinities. Take up any one of his poems, witty or serious, subject it to the chemical processes of criticism, and it is surprising what seemingly untameable elements of thought and emotion are revealed. This mastery of his impulses, as seen in the intellectual form of their expression, is the peculiarity of Holmes, and gives to his poems that character of certainty, decision, and restrained exuberance, which constitutes so much of their charm. Such a man must have rejected more brilliancies and grotesque strokes of fanciful wit, than most men have ever conceived. Nothing which his fancy or his wit, his Ariel or his Puck, pitches into his mind, can pass muster, unless it can bear the sharp, close, microscopic glance of his sure and subtle intellect.

In respect to the intellectuality of his processes, Holmes bears some resemblance to Tennyson, with the exception that Tennyson’s mind pierces patiently into a different and more mysterious domain of spiritual phenomena, and bears the marks of a slower reduction of film to form. The mind of Holmes acts with the rapidity of lightning. It examines and dissects as instantaneously as it feels and conceives. There is no patient contemplation of the object of his thought, but a quick, brisk, almost nervous seizure of it. His mind works with such intensity, all its faculties are so perfectly under his control, that what it grasps it grasps at once with the celerity of intuition. Nothing comes to him by degrees and slow steps. He does not wait for the Muse to turn her countenance gradually upon him, unfolding feature after feature, but he impatiently seizes her by the shoulders, twirls her round, and looks her right in the face. He is not abashed by her reproof, and disregards all her airs and assumptions of dignity. He seems plainly to tell her that he will stand none of her nonsense—that he knows her secret—that she cannot impose upon him—that if she do not choose to smile he can sail along very well without her assistance. Such spiteful treatment from any body else, would draw down her wrath; but Holmes seems a favorite, and has his mischievous ways indulged.

There is observable in Holmes’s long poems one defect which springs from the refinement of his perceptions. Though his writings evince no lack of vivid and palpable imagery, the curious subtilty of his mind leads him often into a remoteness of allusion whose pertinence and beauty are not apprehended by the ordinary reader. The leading idea of some of his poems, though obvious enough if sharply scrutinized, is still not prominent enough to enforce attention of itself. The result is that “Poetry” and “Urania,” appear at first like aggregates of brilliant parts rather than as vital wholes. The unity of each is perceived only on an after examination. This is an artistical defect which mars their excellence and effectiveness.

The present edition of Holmes, while it contains a complete collection of his published pieces, is enriched with some after dinner poems, which were not intended for the public eye. These seem to have been thrown off extempore, but they teem with brilliancies of wit and fancy, and are full of fine audacities of expression. Of these the best are “Terpsichore,” “A Modest Request,” and “Nux Postcænatica,” which contain enough spirit and poetry to make a reputation, and which almost add to that which Holmes has already made. The drinking song, slily called “A Song of Other Days,” is almost unmatched for the grandeur and splendor of its imagery, and the heartiness of its tone. The “Sentiment” which follows this right royal Anacreontic, is as glorious a tribute to water as the other is to wine—thus satisfactorily proving that Holmes is indebted to neither for inspiration. One of the most beautiful and brilliant of the poems added in this edition, is that on the Ancient Punch Bowl, and the mode in which sentiment and wit are made to shake hands, and dwell cosily together, is grandly humorous. “Urania,” we suppose, must be considered on the whole, the best production in the volume. It has touches of sentiment and pathos, so graceful, so pure, and so elusive—not to speak of its satirical and witty portions—that it would be in vain to place any other poem of the author before it.

We have only space to refer to one more admirable peculiarity of Holmes, a natural consequence of the vigor, affluence and fineness of his intellect, and that is the re-readableness of his productions. There is a perpetual stimulant in them which we cannot drain dry. On a fourth or fifth perusal some refinement of allusion or analogy, some delicacy of thought or expression, some demure stroke of humor, which did not at first fix the attention, repays the diligent reader. Indeed to read one of his poems for the purpose of taking in its whole meaning at once, would require the mind to be as thoroughly awake and active as if it were engaged on Hume or Butler. The very gladness and briskness with which his verse moves, the flood of radiance poured out upon it, the distinctness of much of the imagery, interfere, on the first perusal, with the perception of his minor felicities and remote combinations of fancy and wit. Holmes, indeed, is a poet to have constantly on the parlor-table, not one to be consigned to a shelf in the library; for there is hardly a page not brightened by those fine fancies which age does not dim, and which “sparkle like salt in fire.”

United States Fiscal Department.

In a republican government entire simplicity in all that relates to public affairs, is not only convenient to the officers, but is a duty to the public, every man of whom is a party in the business. We are reminded of the value of simplicity and order by two quarto volumes now before us, which point out the order, and show how simplicity is to be attained in whatever relates to the fiscal department of the government of the United States.

The title of these volumes is expressive of their valuable contents. “A Synopsis of the Commercial and Revenue System of the United States, as Developed by Instructions and Decisions of the Treasury Department, for the Administration of the Revenue Laws: Accompanied with a Supplement of Historical and Tabular Illustrations of the Origin, Organization and Practical Operations of the Treasury Department and its various Bureaus, in Fulfillment of that System: In Eight Chapters, with an Appendix. By Robert Mayo, M.D. 2 vols. 4to.”

We have not space to enter into details of this truly 83 great work. All that is set forth in the promises of the title page is amply sustained by the body of the work, and an amount of information is given, truly astonishing to those who have not had experience in the numerous ramifications of the overgrown department. While there is scarcely a relation which any citizen could occupy with regard to the treasury department, in all its forms, and while the duty of every officer connected with that branch of government, whatever may be his grade, is amply set forth, it seems as a matter of course that at least one in every hundred of the citizens of this country should have a copy of this instructive work, for the benefit of himself and of the others to whom he is the centurion. And while these various kinds of information are given, the work incidentally contains a history of the department.

Loan holders, applicants for remuneration, and all who have any connection or business with the treasury department, are instructed by these volumes how to proceed—how they ought to proceed—and how others have proceeded. Dr. Mayo has done a public service by preparing these volume. We hope the public will remember him and his work.

The Women of the Bible; Delineated in a series of Sketches of Prominent Females mentioned in Scripture. By Clergymen of the United States. Illustrated by eighteen characteristic engravings. Edited by the Rev. J. M. Wainwright, D. D. Phila: Geo. S. Appleton, 164 Chestnut street.

This book is as remarkable for the felicity of its design as for the beauty of its execution. The plates which adorn it are eighteen in number, and they are among the best and most exquisite specimens of the engraver’s art that it has ever been our good fortune to examine. The articles have been written by clergymen of the United States, distinguished for their talents, and eminent for their piety; and they have truly rendered a meet offering for those to whom it is appropriately dedicated, “thoughtful readers, men as well as women, the one being interested equally with the other, in what constitutes the character of mother, wife, daughter, sister.” As the inside of the book is rich and attractive, so the skill and taste of the binder have made its exterior truly magnificent. The style is new in this country, being a rich, massive arabesque, and its execution reflects the highest credit upon Mr. J. T. Altemus, of this city, under whose supervisory direction the work was accomplished.

The Republic of the United States of America; Its Duties to Itself, and its Responsible Relations to other Countries. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 12mo.

In this volume the author enters upon an elaborate defense of the democratic party of the union, the administration of President Polk, and the Mexican War. As a partisan production it may be considered able and moderate. The writer, however, in his remarks on war in general, and the Mexican war in particular, falls into some offensive cant of his own, in attempting to upset some popular cant of another kind.

Mrs. Sigourney’s Poems.

Carey & Hart have published, in one beautiful volume, uniform with their editions of Longfellow, Bryant and Willis, the Poems of Lydia H. Sigourney, a lady who has been long before the public as a writer, and whose fine powers have ever been devoted to good objects. She richly deserves the compliment of such an edition, and we have no doubt that its success will be triumphant. The volume contains many poems which have never before been included in a collection of her works, and many which are now published for the first time. The illustrations by Darley are the best, both in respect to design and execution, which have appeared in Carey & Hart’s editions of the American poets. They all exhibit Darley’s singular power of making the countenance physiognomical of the mind, even of the most elusive qualities of thought and emotion, and of bringing out character distinctly and decisively.

Notes of a Military Reconnoisance of the Route to California with the advanced Guard of the Army of the West, Commanded by General S. W. Kearney. By W. H. Emory, U.S.A.

This public document, printed by order of Congress, and vastly different from the usual verbose farragos, in printing which public money is expended, is a most valuable work. Mr. Emory has traveled with the eye of a scholar as well as soldier, and while he has amassed a valuable collection of military data, he has added scarcely less to our stock of Ethnological and antiquarian information. Well written, truthful, because it is an official report, recording many incidents of peril by flood and field, it should find a place in every library, as a memorial of the toil and sufferings of that gallant little band which, under the guidance of the late General Kearney, won that beautiful country for the United States. The battle of San Pasqual and the subsequent operations on the San Francisco, (where the gallant Captain Moore Johnstone, Lieut. Hammond, and so large a portion of the command were killed,) are graphically told, and add to the interest of the book, which is richly illustrated by engravings of ruined buildings, plants, scenery, etc.

The Opal.—Our amiable and highly gifted friend, Mrs. Sarah J. Hale, has presented to the public, in “The Opal” just published, one of the best and most beautiful Annuals we have ever seen. Her superior taste as Editress, has enabled her to collect a number of articles of unquestionable merit, which, together, form a most delightful volume. We do not wonder at “The Opal’s” popularity, especially since the care of its preparation has devolved upon Mrs. Hale, who is so eminently fitted for the performance of that duty. Its pages are pure and bright, and the gems which adorn them, from the rich treasures of the minds of Grace Greenwood, N. P. Willis, and other equally popular authors, serve to render it in truth, a neat and appropriate offering for all seasons.

Thirty Years Since, or the Ruined Family.—The indefatigable G. P. R. James, has written another novel, which bears this title. It is remarkable with what facility works of fiction emanate from his pen, and it is not the less astonishing that they should be so generally readable. “Thirty Years Since” is fully equal to any of its author’s recent productions, and will doubtless find many readers and admirers.

The Rival Beauties.—This is the title of a new novel written by Miss Pardoe, author of “The City of the Sultan,” &c. Gertrude and Sybil, the Rival Beauties, are as dissimilar in their natures as light is the opposite of darkness, and the character of each has been portrayed in an admirable manner by the writer. Miss Pardoe’s works are usually interesting—the one before us will, we think, compare advantageously with any that have preceded it.

Hand-Book of the Toilette and Hand-Book of Conversation and Table Talk, are the titles of two bijou volumes published by G. S. Appleton. They are beautifully gotten up, and contain many valuable suggestions.

Transcriber’s Notes:

Hyphenation and archaic spellings have been retained. Punctuation has been corrected without note. Obvious typographical errors have been corrected as noted below. For illustrations, some caption text may be missing or incomplete due to condition of the originals used for preparation of the ebook.

page iv, the Stiene-Kill. By ==> the Steine-Kill. By

page 2, of the possesor ==> of the possessor

page 5, the varions propensities ==> the various propensities

Page 8, a dead patridge ==> a dead partridge

page 12, ancien regimé ==> ancien régime

page 14, by complaisance, hazle ==> by complaisance, hazel

page 14, for my unparalelled ==> for my unparalleled

page 15, unmeanining mirth ==> unmeaning mirth

page 15, the stately mein ==> the stately mien

page 34, ‘we havn’t ==> ‘we haven’t

page 34, and its nothing ==> and it’s nothing

page 35, if their hasn’t ==> if there hasn’t

page 35, six day’s board ==> six days’ board

page 41, to day, I have ==> to-day, I have

page 49, The threshhold was ==>  The threshold was

page 50, and Tlascalla ==> and Tlaxcalla

page 53, “Do’nt think so ==> “Don’t think so

page 66, diligence and perseverence ==> diligence and perseverance

page 67, all the fredom ==> all the freedom

page 71, and the learnning ==> and the learning

page 71, however, incontestible; and ==> however, incontestable; and

page 71, belongs the incontestible ==> belongs the incontestable

page 79, quaff its knowledgee ==> quaff its knowledge

page 82, in Homes’s long poems ==> in Holmes’s long poems

page 83, with the tresury ==> with the treasury

[The end of Graham's Magazine Vol XXXIV No. 1 January 1849 by George R. Graham]