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Title: Graham's Magazine, Vol. XXXII, No. 1 (January 1848)

Date of first publication: 1848

Author: George R. Graham and Robert T. Conrad (editors)

Date first posted: Jan. 11, 2016

Date last updated: Jan. 11, 2016

Faded Page eBook #20160110

This ebook was produced by: Mardi Desjardins & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net


Vol. XXXII.      January, 1848.      No. 1.

Table of Contents

Lace and Diamonds

A Funeral Thought

The Memorial Tree

The Rainbow

Spirit-Yearnings for Love

The Rival Sisters

Sonnet To Graham


The Penance of Roland

The Sea Nymph’s Song

The Little Gold-Fish

The Vesper Bell

The Teacher Taught

The Sunbeam

The Islets of the Gulf

The Land of Dreams

Sonnet—to S. D. A.

Biographical Sketch of General William O. Butler

Mathew Mizzle, of the Inquiring Mind

Shawangunk Mountain


A Drama of Real Life

Lines to ——.

Autumnal Scenery

Poetry.—A Song.

The Mourner


Sonnet to ——.

Game-Birds of America.—No. VIII.

Review of New Books

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








Of Literature and Art,




















. . . . . .








JANUARY, 1848, TO JUNE, 1848.

A Drama of Real Life. By N. P. Willis,61
Autumnal Scenery. By Joseph R. Chandler,64
Biographical Sketch of Gen. Wm. O. Butler.
      By Francis P. Blair,49
Battle of Fort Moultrie. By C. J. Peterson,198
Clara Harland. By G. G. Foster. (Illustrated.)241
Cincinnati. By Fayette Robinson,352
Captain Samuel Walker.
      By Fayette Robinson, (With an Engraving.)301
Dissolving Views. By F. E. F.172
Effie Morris. By Enna Duval,87
First Love. By Enna Duval,282
Game-Birds of America. By Prof. Frost,68
Game-Birds of America. By Prof. Frost,185
Home. By Mrs. H. Marion Ward,129
Jacob Jones. By T. S. Arthur,193
Jehoiakim Johnson. By Mary Spencer Pease,313
Lace and Diamonds. By Theodore S. Fay,1
Le Petit Soulier. By Ik. Marvel,165
Marginalia. By Edgar A. Poe,23
Mathew Mizzle. By Joseph C. Neal,57
Montezuma Moggs. By Joseph C. Neal,116
Marginalia. By Edgar A. Poe,130
Mrs. Pelby Smith’s Select Party.
      By Mrs. A. M. F. Annan,152
Marginalia. By Edgar A. Poe,178
My Lady-Help. By Enna Duval,180
Mary Warner. By Mrs. E. L. B. Cowdery,201
Major-General Worth. By Fayette Robinson,275
Power of Beauty, and a Plain Man’s Love.
      By N. P. Willis,99
Pauline Dumesnil. By Angele De V. Hull,121
Pauline Grey. By F. E. F.229, 265
Phantasmagoria. By John Neal,260
Phantoms All. By Caroline H. Butler,304
Poor Penn—. By Oliver Buckley,309
Stoke Church and Park. By R. Balmanno,73
The Rival Sisters. By Henry W. Herbert,13, 105
The Little Gold-Fish. By J. K. Paulding,31
The Teacher Taught. By Mary S. Adams,39
The Islets of the Gulf. By J. F. Cooper,42, 93, 159
The Cruise of the Gentile. By Frank Byrne,133, 205
The Little Cap-Maker. By Mrs. C. H. Butler,221
The Portrait of General Scott.234
Theresa. By Jane Tayloe Worthington,247
The Changed and the Unchanged. By Professor Alden,277
The New England Factory Girl.
      By Mrs. Joseph C. Neal,287, 343
The Lone Buffalo. By Charles Lanman,294
The Fortunes of a Southern Family.
      By A New Contributor,325
The Double Transformation. By James K. Paulding,350
Whortleberrying. By Alfred B. Street,270


A Funeral Thought. By J. Bayard Taylor,10
An Hour. By J. Bayard Taylor,98
A Butterfly in the City. By Thomas Buchanan Read,104
A Parting. By Henry S. Hagert,238
A Vision. By R. H. Stoddart,286
A Song. By Thomas Buchanan Read,311
Burial of a Volunteer. By Park Benjamin,128
Beauty’s Bath. (Illustrated.)131
Contemplation. By Jane R. Dana. (Illustrated.)190
City Life. By Charles W. Baird,204
Coriolanus. By Henry B. Hirst,319
Cleopatra. By Elizabeth J. Eames,363
Decay and Rome. By R. H. Stoddart,220
Elsie. By Kate Dashwood,67
Early English Poets. By Elizabeth J. Eames,92
Early English Poets. By Elizabeth J. Eames,171
Epitaph on a Restless Lady,179
Expectation. By Louisa M. Green,187
Eurydice. By Frances S. Osgood,274
Encouragement. By Mrs. E. C. Kinney,276
Fair Margaret. By Wm. H. C. Hosmer,293
Homeward Bound. By E. Curtiss Hine,308
Isola. By John Tomlin,190
Lenovar. By Wm. Gilmore Simms,218
Lines to —— By Caroline F. Orne,63
Love. By R. H. Stoddard,131
Lines to an Ideal. By Elizabeth L. Linsley,151
Lethe. By Henry B. Hirst,179
Lines. By Gretta,184
Lennard. By Mrs. Mary G. Horsford,320
Lamartine to Madame Jorelle. By Virginia,303
Lines to ——, By W. Horry Stilwell,349
Midnight. By Thomas Buchanan Read,286
No, Not Forgotten. By Earle S. Goodrich,228
O, Scorn Not Thy Brother. By E. Curtiss Hine,235
Poetry. A Song. By George P. Morriss,66
Revolution. By Arian,292
Spirit-Yearnings for Love. By Mrs. H. Marion Ward,12
Sonnet to Graham. By Altus,22
Sonnet to S. D. A. By “The Squire,”48
Shawangunk Mountain. By A. B. Street,59
Sonnet to ——. By Caroline F. Orne,67
Sunset After Rain. By Alfred B. Street,115
Sonnet to Night. By Gretta,120
Spirit-Voices. By Charles W. Baird,158
Song of the Elves. By Anna Blackwell,203
Song for a Sabbath Morning. By T. B. Read,204
Sonnets. By James Lawson,259
Sonnet. By C. E. T.269
Sonnet. By Mrs. E. C. Kinney,281
Stanzas. By W. H. Denny,293
Song. By C. E. T.342
The Memorial Tree. By W. Gilmore Simms,11
The Rainbow. By Mrs. Lydia H. Sigourney,12
The Penance of Roland. By Henry B. Hirst,25
The Sea-Nymphs Song. By W. H. C. Hosmer,30
The Vesper Bell. By Park Benjamin,38
The Sunbeam. By Mary E. Lee,41
The Land of Dreams. By Wm. C. Bryant,48
The Mourner. By Dr. John D. Godman,67
The Saw-Mill. By Wm. C. Bryant,86
The Portrait. By R. T. Conrad. (Illustrated.)92
The Lost Pleiad. By Henry B. Hirst,115
The Bride’s Confession. By Alice G. Lee,120
The Hermit of Niagara. By Mrs. Lydia H. Sigourney,127
The Bridal Morning. (Illustrated.)128
The Alchemist’s Daughter. By T. B. Read,148
The Belle. By Mary L. Lawson,164
The Voice of the Fire. By J. B. Taylor,177
Triumphs of Peace. By Wm. H. C. Hosmer,187
To My Wife. By Robt. T. Conrad,190
The Darling. By Blanche Bennairde,197
The Poet’s Love. By Henry B. Hirst,200
To the Author of “The Raven.”
      By Miss Harriet B. Winslow,203
The Fire of Drift-Wood. By Henry W. Longfellow,204
The Last of His Race. By S. Dryden Phelps,220
The Sailor-Lover to His Mistress. By R. H. Bacon,233
The Spirit of Song. By Mrs. E. C. Kinney,238
The Ancient and the Modern Muse. By Lyman Long,246
The Oak-Tree. By Park Benjamin,264
The Voice of the Night Wind. By E. Curtiss Hine,274
The Dayspring. By Samuel D. Patterson,281
The Adopted Child. By Mrs. Frances B. M. Brotherson,295
The Pole’s Farewell. By Wm. H. C. Hosmer,324
The Real and the Ideal. By Marion H. Rand,341
The Human Voice. By Geo. P. Morris,341
The Enchanted Isle. By Lydia J. Peirson,311
The Continents. By J. Bayard Taylor,312
Venice as It Was and as It Is.
      By Professor Goodrich,342
White Creek. By Alfred B. Street,147
Years Ago. By George P. Morris,190


The Poetical Works of Fitz-Greene Halleck,70
The Poetical Works of Lord Byron,71
The Life of Henry the Fourth, King of France 
      and Navarre. By G. P. R James,72
Artist Life. By H. T. Tuckerman,72
Poems of Early and After Years. By N. P. Willis,132
Practical Physiology. By Edward Jarvis,191
The Fruits and Fruit Trees of America.
      By A. J. Downing,191
Historical and Select Memoirs of the Empress
      Josephine. By M’lle. M. A. Le Normand,239
Memoir of Sarah B. Judson. By “Fanny Forester,”240
The History of a Penitent.
      By George W. Bethune, D. D.240
Keble’s Christian Year,240
Edith Kinnaird. By the Author of “The Maiden Aunt,”298
Jane Eyre. An Autobiography,299
The Princess. By Alfred Tennyson,300
The Origin, Progress and Conclusion of the
      Florida War. By John T. Sprague,300
The Poetical Works of John Milton,300
An Universal History of the Most Remarkable Events of All
      Nations, from the Earliest Period to the Present Time,354
Lectures on Shakspeare. By H. N. Hudson,354
Military Heroes of the Revolution.
      By C. J. Peterson,356
Old Hicks, the Guide. By C. W. Webber,356


Woman’s Love. Poetry by Anon.
      Music by Mathias Keller,188
Ben Bolt. The Words and Melody by
      Thomas Dunn English,236
When Shall I See the Object that I Love. A
      favorite Swiss Air. Music by J. B. Müller,296


Innocence, engraved by W. E. Tucker.
General Butler, engraved by Thomas B. Welsh.
A Portrait, engraved by Ross.
Beauty’s Bath, engraved by Sartain.
Paris Fashions, from Le Follet.
Bridal Morning, engraved by A. B. Ross.
Expectation, engraved by J. Addison.
Contemplation, engraved by Addison.
Paris Fashions, from Le Follet.
Gen. Winfield Scott, engraved by Thos. B. Welsh.
Pauline Grey, engraved by J. B. Adams.
Paris Fashions, from Le Follet.
General Worth, engraved by Sartain.
Clara Harland, engraved by Addison.
Paris Fashions, from Le Follet.
Captain Walker, engraved by A. B. Walter.
Cincinnati, engraved by J. W. Steel.
Paris Fashions, from Le Follet.


Vol. XXXII.     PHILADELPHIA, JANUARY, 1848.     No. 1.






“Don’t be angry, ma’ma—I wont jest any more, if it displease you, but I will make a plain confession.”

“Well,” said Mrs. Clifford, “let me hear it.”

“I have not one feeling which I wish to conceal from you. There have been moments when I liked Mr. Franklin,” and a pretty color crossed her cheek, “but I have been struck with a peculiarity which has chilled warmer sentiments. He appears phlegmatic and cold. There is about him a perpetual repose that seems inconsistent with energy and feeling. I am not satisfied that I could be happy with such a person—not certain that he is capable of loving, or of inspiring love. When I marry any one, he must worship, he must adore me. He must be ready to go crazy for me. Let him be full of faults, but let him have—what so few possess—a warm, unselfish heart.”

“I have heard you, through,” said Mrs. Clifford, “now you must hear me. It is very proper that you should not decide without full consideration. Examine as long as you think necessary the qualities of Mr. Franklin, and never marry him till he inspire you with confidence and affection. But remember something is due also to him; and the divine rule of acting toward others as you wish them to act toward you, must be applied here, as in every affair in life. While you should not, I allow, be hurried into a decision, yet your mind once made up, he should not be kept a moment in suspense.”

“Do you think, ma’ma,” asked Caroline, “that he has much feeling?”

“I think he has. I think him peculiarly gifted with unselfish ardor. That which appears to you coldness, is, in my opinion, the natural reserve of a warm heart—so modest that it rather retires from observation than parades itself before the world. Sentiment and fire, when common on the lips, are not more likely to be native to the soul. It is precisely that calm, that repose you allude to, which forms, in my judgment, the guarantee of Mr. Franklin’s sincerity, and the finishing grace of his character—a character in all other respects, also, a true and noble one.”

Caroline did not listen without interest.

Mrs. Clifford was a native of New York, and had come over just a year ago to enjoy a tour in Europe. Franklin had been a fellow-passenger; and a sort of intimacy had grown up between the young people, which the gentleman had taken rather au serieux. He had gladly availed himself of an accidental business necessity which called the son and proposed traveling companion of Mrs. Clifford suddenly home, to join her little party, and had accompanied them through Italy, France, Germany, Belgium, and Holland. The result was, that the happiness of his life now appeared to depend upon an affirmative monosyllable in reply to the offer he had just made of his heart and hand. Mrs. Clifford was the widow of a captain in the American navy, who had left her only a moderate income—sufficient, but no more, for the wants of herself and daughter. Mr. Franklin was a lawyer of six-and-twenty, who had been advised to repair the effects of too severe professional application, by change of air, and a year’s idleness and travel.

The conversation was scarcely finished, when the subject of it was announced.

After the usual salutations, Mr. Franklin said he had come, according to appointment, to accompany the ladies on a walk, and to see the lions of London, where they had arrived some days before. In a few minutes, hats, shawls, and gloves, being duly put in requisition, they had left their lodgings in Grosvenor Street, Grosvenor Square, and were wending their way toward Regent Street and the Strand, through the crowds of this wonderful and magnificent metropolis, of which every thing was a delightful curiosity, and where, amid the millions around, they knew and were known by scarcely a human creature.

Every stranger, newly arrived and walking about London, has noted the effect of this prodigious town upon him; and how singularly he is lost in its immensity, overwhelmed by its grandeur, and bewildered amid its endless multiplicity of attractions. So it was with our little party. Excited by the thousand novel and dazzling objects, the hours fleeted away like minutes; and it was late before they had executed or even formed any plans.

“Let us at least go somewhere,” said Caroline. “Let us go to St. Paul’s, or Westminster Abbey, or the Tower; and we have, beside, purchases to make—for ladies, you know, Mr. Franklin, have always shopping to do.”

“Well, as it is so late,” said Mrs. Clifford, “and we have promised to call on Mrs. Porter at half past two, I propose to leave the lions for another morning, and only enjoy our walk to-day.”

“Then, ma’ma, let us go to that splendid shop, and look at the lace once more. Only think, Mr. Franklin, we yesterday saw lace, not broader than this, and I had a half fancy to buy some for a new dress—and what do you suppose it cost?”

“I am little versed,” said Franklin, “in such mysteries—five pounds, perhaps—”

“Twelve pounds—twelve pounds and a half sterling—sixty American dollars. I never saw any thing so superb. Ma’ma says I ought not even to look at such a luxury.”

“But is lace really such a luxury?” inquired Franklin, smiling.

“You can have no idea how exquisite this is!”

“As for me,” rejoined Franklin, “I can never tell whether a lady’s lace is worth twelve pounds or twelve cents. Although, I hope, not insensible to the general effect of a toilette, yet lace and diamonds, and all that sort of thing, are lost upon me entirely.”

“Oh, you barbarian!”

“Real beauty was never heightened by such ornaments, and ugliness is invariably rendered more conspicuous and ugly.”

“You will not find many ladies,” said Mrs. Clifford “to agree with you.”

“Oh, yes! How often do we hear of belles, as distinguished for the simplicity of their toilette, as for the beauty of their persons. How often in real life, and how frequently in novels. There you read that, while the other ladies are shining in satin and lace, and blazing in diamonds, the real rose of the evening eclipses them all in a plain dress of white, without jewels, like some modest flower, unconscious of her charms, and therefore attracting more attention.”

“Well, I declare,” said Mrs. Clifford, smiling, “it is just as you say!”

“And what does Miss Caroline think of my attack on lace and diamonds?”

“Why,” said Caroline, laughing, “since you do me the honor to require my opinion, I will give it you. I agree that such pretending ornaments ill become the old and ugly. There you are right. I agree that the extremely beautiful may also dispense with them. These ball-room belles of yours—these real roses of the evening—are, I suspect, so lovely as to make them exceptions to the general rule. But there is a class of young ladies, among whom I place myself, neither so old and ugly as to make ornament ridiculous, nor so beautiful as to render it unnecessary. To this middle class, a bit of lace—a neat tab—a string of pearls here and there—a pretty worked cape—or a coronet of diamonds, I assure you, do no harm.”

“That you are not so ugly as to render ornament ridiculous,” replied Franklin, “I allow; but that there is, in your case, any want of lovelines to require—to render—which—”

“Take care, Mr. Franklin!” interrupted Caroline, mischievously, “you are steering right upon the rocks; and a gentleman who refuses all decoration to a lady’s toilette, should not embellish his own conversation with flattery.”

“Upon my word,” replied he, in a lower voice, “to whatever class you belong, Miss Clifford, you do yourself injustice if you suppose lace and diamonds can add to the power of your beauty, any more than the greatest splendor of fortune could increase the charms of your—”

“Ma’ma,” exclaimed Caroline, “we have passed the lace shop.”

“So we have,” said Mrs. Clifford; “but why should we go back—you certainly don’t mean to buy any—?”

“No, ma’ma; but I want some edging, and I might as well get it here, if only to enjoy another look at the forbidden fruit.”

The shop was one of those magnificent establishments of late years common in large metropolises. A long hall led from the street quite back through the building, or rather masses of buildings, to another equally elegant entrance on the parallel street behind. The doors were single sheets of heavy plate-glass. In the windows all the glittering and precious treasures of India and Asia seemed draped in gorgeous confusion, and blazed also through unbroken expanses of limpid glass of yet larger dimensions than the doors. Silks, laces, Cashmere shawls, damask, heavy and sumptuous velvets of bright colors, and fit for a queen’s train, muslins of bewildering beauty, dresses at £200 a piece, and handkerchiefs of Manilla of almost fabulous value. The interior presented similar displays on all sides, multiplied by reflections from broad mirrors, gleaming among marble columns. Perhaps those numerous mirrors were intended to neutralize the somewhat gloomy effect of the low ceiling, not sufficiently elevated to admit the necessary light into the central spaces. At various points, even in the day-time, gas-lights burned brilliantly. Before the door were drawn up half a dozen elegant coroneted equipages, the well-groomed, shining horses, and richly-liveried coachmen, indicating the rank of the noble owners; and on the benches before the windows lounged the tall and handsome footmen, with their long gold-headed sticks, powdered heads, gaudy coats, brightcolored plush breeches, and white silk stockings, and gloves.

In the shop there were, perhaps, fifty persons, as it happened to be a remarkably fine day in June—one of those grateful gifts from heaven to earth which lure people irresistibly out of the dark and weary home, and which, when first occurring, after a long and dismal winter, as in the present instance, appear to empty into the sunshiny streets, every inhabitant, the sick and the well, the lame and the blind alike, from every house in town.

Caroline asked to be shown some of the lace which she had looked at the day before. It was produced, and Mrs. Clifford and Franklin were called to examine it. The wonder consisted as much in the endless variety of the patterns, as in the exquisite fineness and richness of the material. The counter was soon strewn with the airy treasures, one piece after another, unrolled with rapidity, appeared to make a lively impression on the young girl, who at last, with a sigh, apologized to the polite person patiently waiting the end of an examination which his practiced eye had, doubtless, perceived was only one of vain curiosity.

“It is too dear,” said Caroline, “I cannot afford it. Pray let me see some narrow edging.”

“That lace is very pretty,” remarked a lady of a commanding figure, evidently a person of rank.

“Very pretty, my lady,” replied the clerk who had waited on Caroline.

“What is it?”

“Twelve and a half, my lady.”

“It is really pretty—give me twenty yards.”

“Very good, my lady.”

The article was measured and cut almost as soon as ordered, and the remnant rewound into a small parcel and thrown upon the counter.

At the same moment, and as a boy handed Caroline the edging, wrapped in paper, for which she had already paid, and which she took mechanically, she heard one of the bystanders whisper to another: “The Countess D——!” (one of the most celebrated women of England.)

“Ma’ma,” said Caroline, “did you observe that lady?”

And they left the shop.

“Bless me!” said Mrs. Clifford, looking at her watch, “do you know how late it is? Half past two. We promised to be at Mrs. Porter’s at this very time. She said, you remember, she was going out at four; and it will take us, I’m afraid, nearly an hour to get there.”

“Then let us make haste, ma’ma!”

And with a very rapid pace they hurried back toward Regent Street and Portland Place. They had gone on in this way, perhaps, twenty minutes, when a white-headed, respectable-looking old gentleman was thrust aside by a rude fellow pushing by, so that he ran against Caroline, and caused her to drop her pocket-handkerchief. He stopped, with evident marks of mortification, and picked it up, with a polite apology. Caroline assured him she was not hurt.

“But, my dear young lady,” said the benevolent-looking old gentleman, “let me return your parcel.”

“Oh, that is not mine,” replied Caroline.

“I beg your pardon, it fell with your handkerchief.”

“Gracious Heaven!” exclaimed Caroline, “what have I done! I have brought away a piece of that lace! Ma’ma, let us go back directly.”

Although the incident had occupied but a minute, Mrs. Clifford and Franklin, engaged in conversation, had not perceived it, and had gone several paces on. The old gentleman smiled, bowed, and disappeared around a corner.

At this moment a man stepped up, and laying his hand roughly on Caroline’s arm, said,

“Young woman, you must come with me!”

And a second iron-hand grasped her other arm.

Shocked and affrighted, she saw they were policemen.

Then the voice of a person very much out of breath, cried,

“This is the one!—I can swear to her! And look!—there is the very lace in her hand!”

Pale as death, bewildered with terror, the poor girl could only attempt to say, “Ma’ma! ma’ma!” but her tongue clove to the roof of her mouth, and her voice refused its office. A crowd had already collected, and the words, “Lady been a stealing!” and, “They’ve nabbed a thief!” were audible enough.

“Come, my beauty!” said the man, pulling her forward, “we’ve no time to lose.”

“Scoundrel!” cried the voice of Franklin, as he grasped him by the throat, “who are you?”

“You see who we are;” was the stern reply; “we’re policemen, in the execution of our duty. Take your hand off my throat.”

Franklin recognized their uniform, and relaxed his hold.

“Policemen! and what have policemen to do with this lady? You have made some stupid blunder. This is a lady. She is under my protection. Take your hand off her arm!”

“If she’s under your protection, the best thing you can do is to accompany us,” replied the man, bluntly; and he made another attempt to drag her away.

Franklin restrained himself with an effort which did him honor, conscious that violence would be here out of place, and perceiving that it would be utterly useless. He strove a moment to collect his thoughts as one stunned by a thunderbolt.

“What is the meaning of this?” he demanded.

“If you ask for information,” remarked the man, impressed by his agonized astonishment, “I will tell you; but wont the young woman get into a hack, out of the crowd?”

An empty carriage happened to be passing, into which, like a man in a dream, Franklin handed the ladies. One police officer entered with them—the other took his seat on the box with the coachman. Caroline, although still colorless, had partly regained her courage, and endeavored to smile. Mrs. Clifford, in a most distressing state of agitation, only found breath to say, “Well, this is a pretty adventure, upon my word!”

As the carriage moved away, followed by a troop of ragamuffins, leaping, laughing, and shouting, Franklin said,

“And now, my good fellow, I have submitted peaceably to this atrocious outrage, tell me by whose authority you act, and in what way this young lady has exposed herself to such an infamous insult?”

“Well, in the first place,” said the man, coolly, “I act by the authority of the Messieurs Blake, Blanchard & Co.; and in the second place, the young lady has exposed herself to such an infamous insult by stealing ten yards of Brussels’ lace, at £12 a yard, value £120 sterling.”

“Scoundrel!” exclaimed Franklin, again grasping his collar.

“Hollo! hollo! hollo!” cried the man—“hands off, my cove! and keep a civil tongue in your head, you’d best. It aint of no use, I give you my word of honor.”

“Miss Clifford—”

But Miss Clifford had covered her face with her white hands, which did not conceal her still whiter complexion.

“Why, look ye, sir,”, said the man, “if you really aint a party to the offence, I’m very sorry for you. The business is just this here. The shop of Blake, Blanchard & Co., has been frequently robbed, and sometimes by ladies. I was called, not four months ago, to take a real lady to prison, who had stole to the amount of £10. And to prison she went, too, though some of the most respectable people in town came down and begged for her. Now this here young lady came yesterday to the shop of Blake, Blanchard & Co.—tumbled every thing upside down, and bought nothing—went away—to-day came again—asked to see the most valuable lace—bought ten shillings’ worth of narrow edging, and left the premises. At her departure she was seen to take ten yards of lace—value, £120. I was called in, and followed her, with one of the clerks, to identify her person. We perceived her walking fast—very fast, indeed. It was as much as we could do to overtake her. The clerk can swear to her identity—and the lace was found in her hand. Both the young man and myself can swear to it, if she denies it—though I caution you, Miss, not to say any thing at present, because it can be used against you at your trial.”

“I do not deny it,” said Caroline, with flashing eyes. “I took the lace, but did not know I took it.”

“Oh! ho-ho!” said the man. “I hope you can make ’em believe that. Perhaps you can.”

“My dear friend,” cried Mrs. Clifford, now nearly beside herself, “I assure you, this is a frightful mistake. She carried the lace away from mere carelessness. Here is all the money I have about me. Take it for yourself, only let us go. My daughter, I assure you, is utterly incapable of stealing. You don’t know her. As for the lace, I am willing to pay for it. My name is Mrs. Clifford. I live No. —— Grosvenor Street, Grosvenor Square. My dear, kind, good sir, turn the carriage and let us go home. My husband was Captain Clifford, of the American navy. Do you think we would be guilty of stealing? I will give you any money you desire. I will give you £50—only let us go.”

“If your husband was Admiral Nelson himself,” replied the man, with dignity, “I could not let you go now—not if you were to give me £500. I have only to do my duty. It’s a very painful one—but it must be done. I aint a judge. I’m a policeman; and my business is to deliver you safe into the hands of Blake, Blanchard & Co.”

To describe the whirl of thoughts which swept through the mind of Franklin during the interval would be impossible. He saw that a simple act of carelessness had been committed by Caroline; but he was enough of a lawyer to perceive that the proof against her was singularly striking and unanswerable—and he knew the world too well, not to feel extraordinary alarm at the possible consequences. In London, alone, without friends or acquaintances, a glance into the future almost drove him to distraction. At moments he was half mastered by the impulse to bear Caroline away, by a sudden coup de main; but his hand was held by the reflection, that even were such a wild scheme possible, success would be no means of security, inasmuch as Mrs. Clifford had given her address; while the attempt would exasperate the other party, appear but a new evidence of guilt, and in every way enhance the danger of their position.

As they approached the fatal shop, a large crowd had collected around the door. Franklin felt that he was in one of those crises on which hang human destiny and life, and that he had need of more prudence and wisdom than man can possess, except it be given him from above. Deep, therefore, and trusting, was his silent prayer to Him who hath said, “Be strong and of a good courage. I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Caroline appeared ready to sink into the earth when the carriage stopped.

“My dearest Miss Clifford,” said Franklin, “these men have fallen into a bungling error, and it will require some prudence on our part to make them see it. But compose yourself. Put down your veil; say nothing till I call you—and may God, in his mercy, grant that our ordeal be short!”

These words were uttered with a composure and cheerful presence of mind which reassured in some degree the fainting girl. She had at her side a protector who would never desert her—a pilot with a strong arm, a steady eye, and a bold heart—who would steer her through the wild storm, if any human being could.

Mrs. Clifford, speechless with terror, let down her daughter’s veil as well as her shaking hands permitted, and was led by Franklin from the carriage into the house. He then handed, or rather lifted, out Caroline, who clung to him with helplessness and terror. The trembling party—a hundred unfeeling eyes bent upon them—were conducted through the shop to a back parlor, into the presence of Mr. Jennings, the only one of the firm of Blake, Blanchard & Co. who happened to be at home. As Franklin saw him his heart sank in his bosom, and the courage which had begun to mount with the danger, seemed a mockery.

Mr. Jennings was a respectable looking man of forty, of a thin, hard countenance, repelling manners, and sharp voice, which, when excited, rose to a piercing and discordant note. There was no sign of mercy or moderation in his physiognomy. This man, who, after faithful subordinate services, had become the inferior and hardest working partner, happened to be afflicted with a very violent temper, which had been wrought into a rage by various recent purloinings, apparently like the present, attributed to female customers, and perpetrated with a combined cunning and daring which baffled detection, and he had long yearned to lay his hand upon one of them. His passions and interests were mingled together in this desire, which, in addition, he supposed fully sanctioned by duty; and when a man, and particularly such a man, of a narrow mind and cold heart—loving power, and rarely enabled to taste its sweets, once gets into his head the idea that he is acting from duty—God help the poor victim that falls within his grasp.

Such was the individual before whom, in the attitude of a detected criminal, was dragged the sweet and trembling girl. Such was the man before whom Franklin stood, curbing within the limits of prudence his high wrought feelings.

“Now, my honest women,” said Jennings, seating himself magisterially in a large arm-chair by a table, while the rest stood in a circle around, like prisoners at a bar before their judge, “what have you to say with regard to the atrocious act of felony—”

“One moment, sir,” said Franklin. “You will have the kindness to order chairs for those ladies.”

Mr. Jennings paused, fixed a surprised glance at the speaker, and obeyed.

“Well then, now—” demanded he.

“I beg your pardon!” again interrupted Franklin, “permit me, in your own interest, to make another suggestion. Before you proceed in this examination, I warn you, with all deference to the sincerity of your present error, that you have before you two ladies of respectability, and unblemished reputation, and who are entirely innocent in this matter.”

“Bah!” ejaculated Mr. Jennings.

“Silence, sir,” cried Franklin, with an indignation irrepressible. “You have dragged before you through the streets of London, a young and innocent girl, like a criminal. If circumstances seem for a moment to give you the right, humanity, as well as decency requires, at least till the question of her guilt be settled, that you address her with respect, and hear her defence with candor and attention.”

Mr. Jennings turned pale, swallowed his rage, and replied: “Speak, sir! speak, sir! I am all candor and attention.”

“I beg your pardon,” resumed Franklin, “if I have answered with too much asperity. But this young lady is perfectly innocent. She has high friends. You will consider her under the protection of the American Ambassador at this Court! State to me, if you please, your reasons for dragging her before you in the custody of policemen.”

Awed by Franklin’s tone, but rather infuriated than melted, Mr. Jennings answered with sarcastic politeness—

“Certainly, sir, your request is a just one. The case is this. The young lady came to my shop this morning, and had brought out for her examination the most expensive lace, of which, however, she purchased none, but, instead, expended ten shillings for some narrow edging. I must inform you that persons in the dress of ladies, and even persons in the rank of ladies, have more than once committed thefts of this kind, and I have ordered one of the young men to watch. This individual saw in a mirror the young lady, as she was about to leave, seize a parcel of lace, and carry it out under cover of her pocket-handkerchief. We sent directly for policemen—but so rapid was the flight of the party, including yourself, that it was not without considerable difficulty and delay that they were overtaken, when the stolen lace was found in her hand. We are often obliged to forego the gratification of punishing such misdemeanors by the technical difficulty of proving the crime upon the criminal. You perceive how the present case stands. I am willing to allow it is but fair you should be heard, if you have any thing to say in reply.”

“I have much to say,” resumed Franklin, smiling with assumed confidence, “enough to satisfy any reasonable man, and I hope I stand before such a one. That the young lady took the lace no one can deny. But I will tell you how she took it. For the first time in London, her mind naturally excited, she was bewildered amid the novel and interesting objects around her. The splendor of your establishment dazzled her eyes and distracted her attention. In company with her mother and myself she came here to see the lace in question, but she could not have intended to steal it, if I must answer to such a charge, because it would have been impossible for her to use such an article without the knowledge of her mother. If she is a thief her mother and I share her guilt. I therefore repeat to you that these ladies can command references to raise them above the slightest breath of suspicion—references sufficient to satisfy the most incredulous—the most unreasonable. She is a person of the purest life and strongest principles. Not one of her friends, and, after a proper examination, not one of the public, will ever believe her guilty of any thing worse than a mere moment of bewilderment and absence of mind.”

“Upon my word, sir,” said Mr. Jennings, “you have undertaken a pretty difficult task—no less than to convince me that black is white, and that two and two don’t make four. Who are you?—and where are your references?”

Franklin did not succeed in concealing a certain trepidation at this blunt demand, and it was not lost upon Jennings.

“My references do not reside in England.”

“Ah! ha!”

“I am a stranger in your metropolis.”

“Oh! ho!”

“And therefore,” added Franklin, “every noble-minded and fair-play loving Englishman will say, possessing greater claim upon your moderation. I can bring you, from my own country—through the official intervention of the American Minister, references to outweigh a thousand fold—ten million fold—all opposite appearances. I can give a moral demonstration that the intentional commission by this young lady of the act with which she is charged, is an utter, and a ridiculous impossibility.”

“I have now heard you,” said Jennings, “and I am sorry to say, I must, notwithstanding, send the lady before a magistrate. The ingenious arguments you have used are equally applicable to every theft. No reference—no rank—no character can weigh against so plain a fact, proved by ocular demonstration. No rational judge or jury can doubt she stole the lace. It is my duty to make an example of her. This is not the first, nor the second time, we have been robbed by ladies in affluent circumstances, and respectably connected. It is a peculiar crime, and generally committed in a way which renders it both difficult and dangerous, even when we know the criminal, to attempt to fix the fact upon her. This time we have caught her in the very act. We have eye-witnesses enough to render doubt impossible. She does not deny it. She fled with precipitation. She was overtaken a long distance off—nearly half an hour after the offence—the lace was found in her hand—and her companion tried to bribe the policeman with £50 to let her escape. And do you now talk to me of ‘respectability,’ and ‘connections,’ and such nonsense? I would go as far as you or any man to save an innocent person from destruction. But when once convinced, by my own eyes, of deliberate guilt, it is too late for mercy. The ignorant beggar, who steals to save himself from starving, I could pity—I could almost release; but when the rich and the educated resort to stealing, to gratify their vanity and avarice, hoping to shelter themselves from punishment by their ‘connections,’ and their high position in society—they must be taught, sir, that they do it at a fearful peril, and that detection will bring down upon them the same vulgar and rigorous penalties as if they were the lowest dregs of the people.”

“I agree with you perfectly,” replied Franklin, with forced composure, although the plain picture appalled him, and robbed his countenance of every trace of color, “but permit me to remark that you must be quite sure the person before you belongs to this guilty class. Her innocence can be rendered morally certain. The whole world will brand as cruel injustice any harsh treatment. A careless girl has been absent-minded. All people are liable to be so. You look for your spectacles when they are on your nose—or seek your pocket-handkerchief, and find it in your hand—”

“Our opinions differ on that point,” said Mr. Jennings coldly, “and a jury must decide between us. Policemen, take the party before the magistrate. I will follow with my witnesses, and I pledge myself to visit so heinous a crime with the utmost rigor of the law.”

The policemen stepped to the side of Caroline.

“I appeal to your generosity—to your mercy,” cried Franklin, “that she may at least be taken to the American Minister, instead of being dragged before a magistrate. I request only that you act with gentleness.”

Mr. Jennings pointed the policemen to the door.

“And I not only request, I demand it!” cried Franklin. “If you refuse me, you refuse me at your peril—”

“You have nothing to command here, sir,” replied Mr. Jennings. “The American Minister can make his statement before the magistrate. I am not disposed to exercise the least mercy. Policemen, your duty. If her fate be a terrible one, she has herself to thank for it. I hope it may deter others from following her example.”

“And what will be my daughter’s fate?” asked the unsteady voice of Mrs. Clifford.

“Transportation for life,” was the reply.

Mrs. Clifford shrieked. Caroline rose wildly and staggered toward the door. Mr. Jennings, as if thirsting for her destruction, and fearing her escape, seized her so roughly that she screamed with pain and terror, when Franklin dragged him back and hurled him to the wall. His impulse was to strike him to the earth, but with one of the highest qualities attained by man, self-government, he recollected himself and refrained.

“Policemen,” shouted Mr. Jennings, very white, “I command you to take the whole party into custody. You witnessed the assault. I am in danger of my life. They are a gang of thieves and cut-throats. Off with them this instant.”

“Stop!” cried Franklin, and there was something in his voice which arrested the step of the policemen, and compelled Jennings to stand in breathless attention. “I demand the presence of one or both of your partners, before the young lady be removed. You will not, because you dare not, refuse me this reasonable request. If you do, sir, it were better you never had been born. Guilty, or not guilty, the person whom, before she has been tried, your infamous lips have branded as a common thief, has a right to all mild and gentle treatment, consistent with law and justice. You say the jury will decide. But the question is now whether your house is prepared to send her before a jury. That is the question to be discussed, and you are not in a temper of mind, sir, to enable you to decide it impartially. The affair will ring from one end of England and the United States to the other, and the execrations of thousands, who have as yet never heard of you, will fall upon your name. You will find that there are two sides to the question. You will find that if the lady has a malignant accuser she has also indignant and powerful defenders. The world will say you might have been excusable not to release her, but you had no right to hurry her before the public with needless and brutal precipitation. They will say—and I will take care to tell them—that, overcome by your violent temper, you insulted—you assaulted—a helpless young girl in your power, whose guilt had not been proved, and that, because I dragged you back—blind with wrath, and burning with revenge—you dared to take upon yourself, alone, the whole responsibility of this outrage, which will bring punishment on you, and disgrace on your house. They will say let no lady hereafter trust herself across the threshold of Blake, Blanchard & Co., where the watch is set and the trap laid for the unwary. They will say that Mr. Jennings is a foul calumniator of woman as a sex—that he has charged the noble ladies of England with crime. They will judge whether the young girl could be guilty without the participation of her mother and myself, who, as you say, fled with her. The case is one of mere carelessness, or we are three thieves. Go on, if you dare, without your partners. Your house, will become infamous, and you—yourself—mark me, sir, shall not escape the chastisement you deserve!”

He ceased, and the silence remained for a while unbroken.

This appeal was not, on the part of Franklin, the mere result of passion and despair, although from both it received a strange power. It was a wise calculation that Jennings, who could not be reasoned or melted, might be terrified from his purpose, till the arrival of his partners, before whom the matter might take a different turn. By a happy inspiration Franklin had read the man aright, and he saw changes of countenance, as he proceeded, which gave boldness to his heart and fire to his lips. Jennings was a coward. He was terror-struck at the idea of acting on his “sole responsibility,” in an affair which seemed likely to be so hotly contested. The blood curdled in his veins at the thought of the deadly enemies, darkly hinted at, and the consequences clearly threatened. He saw Caroline was no common thief, and Franklin no common man. There were moments when he actually believed the fact really was as Franklin represented—and, thus quailing under the torrent of eloquence to which the voice and manner gave something absolutely irresistible, half suffocated with rage and fear, he said with ill assumed indifference:

“Oh! very well, sir, very well. I will wait for my partners. Nothing shall be done rashly. Nothing from revenge. But the young lady shall not escape. Mr. Williams, go and see if Mr. Blake or Mr. Blanchard have come in.”

And thus at least more time was gained.

Mr. Williams went out, and returned to say that Mr. Blake had not yet come in, but Mr. Blanchard had, and would join them immediately.

The door opened and the person in question entered. He was a young man of thirty, of unusually prepossessing exterior. A stream of hope shot through Franklin’s heart as he read his face.

Mr. Blanchard seated himself gravely in the large chair which was abdicated in his favor by Jennings, who related to him the facts, respectfully and clearly, and called up the policemen and Mr. Williams in confirmation.

“It is a bad case,” said Mr. Blanchard. “Our duty is clear. Is there any thing said in the defence?”

“Oh yes, there is a powerful defence!” replied Mr. Jennings, with a sneer, “the young lady took the lace, and kept it half an hour, running away as fast as she could, but she didn’t know she had it!! ha! ha! ha!”

Mr. Blanchard shook his head.

“Sir, may I speak?” said Franklin.

“Speak,” returned Mr. Blanchard, in a low voice. “If you have any thing to say I will hear it with the sincerest desire to find it of weight. But you have a difficult task before you. These occasions are extremely painful. The necessity of sending to prison a respectable young lady, as you represent this person to be, is harrowing indeed; but private feelings must give way to higher considerations. I have a duty to perform—a duty to society—a duty to my partners—a duty to God!”

“You have,” rejoined Franklin, “but if you properly examine your conscience, and ask light of Him who knows the truth, you will hear the voice of God himself, warning you not to perform that duty prematurely, carelessly, or cruelly. I ask time. I offer references to prove that the person in question, from education, character, habits, opinions, religious principles, and her whole, pure and artless life, is not, and could not be intentionally guilty of the act in question. I request time to produce these references. My young companion took the lace in a moment of bewilderment—of absence of mind. She has just arrived in London—is dazzled and excited. If, sir, you have a sister, a daughter, a mother, a wife, picture her—after such a careless accident—grasped by a policeman, dragged through the streets, exposed to the eyes of the jesting crowd—the blackest construction put upon her action, shrinking before a magistrate, cast into prison, and, God knows what else!—and all because of an act, not in reality more inexplicable than that of a man who walks off with a hat not his own, or another person’s umbrella—in a fit of forgetfulness.”

Jennings leaned over and whispered something to Mr. Blanchard.

“It is quite probable,” said Mr. Blanchard, “that you believe her innocent, but the various and glaring circumstances do not permit me to be of your opinion. The expressive flight, the intervening time, long enough to discover a mistake merely accidental—the bribe of £50—no—no—it is impossible,” said he, rising, “I am sorry for you, sir, but this matter rests no longer with me. The prisoner must be removed.”

“What I ask,” said Franklin, “is not her release. It is only time to make you acquainted with the proofs of which the case is susceptible. The ‘prisoner,’ as you call her, is as innocent as the snow yet unfallen from heaven. I do not ask you to sacrifice what you fancy your duty, I ask you only to pause ere you execute it. I request ere you thrust a shrinking girl, as a suspected thief, before the public, that you more carefully examine her side of the question. Her bankers, the Messrs. Baring, will answer for her presence whenever you desire. My banker will answer for her. The American Minister will satisfy you of the strong impropriety of any other proceeding. Oh! sir, in the name of a mother’s breaking heart—in the name of sweet girlish innocence—in the name of God, believe what I say! If you err, err on the side of mercy. Think, when you lay your head this night on your pillow, the day has not been lost, for it was marked by an act of mercy. Think, when on your death-bed, you plead at the throne of God, He has said, ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.’ If she really had committed the offence, I should not fear to ask you for mercy on her young head—her inexperienced life. Our Divine Master granted mercy even to the guilty. Will you refuse it then to this trembling and innocent girl, for whose guileless intention, in this terrible accident, I answer before man and God, and with my life and soul. Come here, Miss Clifford! Take off your veil. Tell Mr. Blanchard, in the simple language of truth, how this incident took place.”

“Yes, come here, my young friend,” said Mr. Blanchard, “and tell me how this sad mistake arose.”

Perhaps it was Franklin’s eloquence—perhaps it was Caroline’s appearance—perhaps it was both, which drew the silent tear from Mr. Blanchard’s eyes, and those two significant words from his lips. But oh! to Franklin’s soul, wrought up almost to despair—almost, to madness—they were rapture, they were ecstasy, they were like the first streak of golden sky which announces to the half-wrecked sailor that the tempest is over.

“Speak, my dear young lady,” said Mr. Blanchard, “do not tremble so! you have nothing to fear from me!”

“I left the door,” said Caroline, in a low voice, “without knowing I had the lace. A gentleman ran against me and knocked it out of my hand. He picked it up. I then saw what I had done. I exclaimed, ‘ma’ma, let us go back!’—but ma’ma had gone on—I was alone—two men seized me—and—and—”

She covered her face with her hands, and sunk into the chair.

“But, so far from coming back,” said Mr. Jennings’ piercing voice, “you were walking rapidly away.”

“No,” said Caroline.

“But I say yes!” screamed Jennings. “Mr. Williams, was not the young woman walking rapidly away?”

“She had been walking rapidly,” said Mr. Williams, “but when we came up she was, as she says, standing still, looking at the lace. It is also true that an old gentleman ran against her, knocked the lace out of her hand, and picked it up again. That I saw from the distance.”

“Mark you!” exclaimed Franklin, “how each small feature of her story is confirmed.”

“But you left our door,” exclaimed Mr. Jennings, “at a furious pace.”

“That I can explain to your satisfaction,” said Franklin. “We were engaged to call upon a lady, Mrs. Porter, No. ——, Portland-Place, at half past two. This Mrs. Porter herself can testify. We left your door too late, and walked rapidly to keep our appointment. You can ascertain from your clerks at what hour we left.”

“It was just half past two,” said Mr. Williams. “I looked at the clock.”

“Mark!” cried Franklin, with an air of triumph.

“Upon my word, Mr. Jennings,” said Mr. Blanchard, “we have been too hasty—”

At this moment the door opened, and another person entered.

“Just in time,” muttered Mr. Jennings.

It was Mr. Blake, chief partner in the firm of Blake, Blanchard & Co. He was a venerable old gentleman, of an agreeable person, with a certain dignity which well became his snow-white hair, but through which, on the present occasion, appeared a settled firmness, almost a sternness, boding no good.

“You have come in time,” said Jennings. “Do you know what is going on here?”

“I do. The facts have been related to me.”

“And the famous defence?” added Jennings, with one of his worst sneers, “do you know that also?”

“I do. It is a clear case. There is but one course for us.”

“And yet,” cried Jennings, “Mr. Blanchard has been thinking it will not do to send so respectable a young lady to prison. But I say you will not have a case in forty years so proper to make a wholesome example of. If you let this one go, whom can you punish? Precautions were useless, if thieves can commit their depredations under our very noses with impunity.”

“I am of your opinion,” said Mr. Blake. “The offence is of a very aggravated description; and I deem it absolutely necessary to send the delinquent before a magistrate to be punished as she deserves.”

“I have explained—” said Franklin.

But while he commenced once more his agonizing task, Mr. Jennings took Mr. Blake aside, and whispered to him some minutes vehemently. Franklin attempted to speak again.

“I will hear no explanation,” said the old gentleman. “No argument—no character—no references can prevail against so wicked a felony so clearly proved. The youth, condition in life, and education of the person, only render the crime more detestable, and the necessity for a terrible example more unavoidable. Your own good sense should have taught you, sir, that threats are here out of place, and violence can only make matters worse. I have solemnly vowed that I would meet the next case with the utmost rigor of the law. I am determined to prosecute. Where is the prisoner? Policemen, take her into custody.”

“But,” cried Franklin.

“I will hear no more,” said Mr. Blake, coldly and firmly. “Mr. Jennings, who has gone over the case with the most attention, is thoroughly convinced—”

“Thoroughly!” said Mr. Jennings.


Franklin’s brain whirled in wild despair. He clasped his hands—he conjured the mild, mistaken man, whose slightest word could save Caroline from destruction.

“Mercy! I ask only one day.”

“Young man, you plead in vain! Ask mercy of God, but not of me.”

“Then listen, heart of stone!” cried Franklin, “and hear my final words. You are old. Your head is white; your feet are already in the grave. You will, ere long, be called before your Maker—yourself a trembling suppliant for mercy. If, with cold-blooded, stupid obstinacy, in the face of my warning, you drag this innocent and modest girl, prematurely, into a police office—at a bar for criminals—to stand a spectacle for the public, amid robbers, and murderers, and to run the fearful chances of the law, I solemnly warn you, old man, you will have innocent blood on your conscience—you will call down God’s curse upon your head.”

“What can I do?” said Mr. Blake, overwhelmed by his irresistible earnestness.

“You can do unto others, as you would have them do unto you—you can give us time for proof, and yourself for reflection. You can suppose it was your own daughter in her place. You can examine more carefully. You can break from the leading-strings of that malignant Mr. Jennings. You can consult with Mr. Blanchard, a man of reason and feeling, who disapproves your severity. You can wait to satisfy yourself that this young lady is distinguished for a stainless character, a pure life, strict religious principles, humble faith in God, and habitual communion with him. You can judge for yourself whether this is a case of monomania—whether a person thus distinguished, could be guilty of intentional purloining. Sir, ocular demonstration weighs nothing against such a character. You can ask yourself more dispassionately whether it be not a possibility—a very natural one—for an absent-minded person to commit such an act mechanically and unconsciously. You can hear her artless story from her own lips, and candidly consider if it may not be the truth.”

Carried away by Franklin’s eloquent vehemence, Mr. Blake did look. Caroline had risen. The last spark of earthly hope had fled. She stood, without gesture or tear. It seemed as if death had already laid his icy hand upon her, only her eyes were lifted above, while she breathed a silent prayer to Him whose mighty hand can raise the trusting heart, in one instant, from the lowest depths of despair.

“Ha! What! God bless my soul!” suddenly ejaculated the old gentleman, in great astonishment. “What do I see! My dearest, sweetest young lady! Mr. Blanchard! Mr. Jennings! Mr. Williams—”

Caroline gazed at him a moment—uttered a shriek which thrilled to every heart with an electric shock, cried, “Oh, sir, save me—you can save me!” and fell insensible into the arms of Franklin.

“Policemen!—off with you!” cried Mr. Blake, with tears in his eyes. “Mr. Jennings, you are a fool! I answer with my life for this young lady. I ran against her in the street. I picked up the lace, and saw her look of astonishment and horror; and heard her exclaim, ‘ma’ma! let us go back directly!’ Go, proclaim to every one in the establishment that she is innocent. We are the guilty party—and we are at her mercy!”

To terminate the exciting scene, Franklin proposed to return home. A carriage was called. Caroline had revived, and her feelings, fortunately, found vent in tears. She wept bitterly on her mother’s bosom, who gave it back with interest. But in the midst of their joy, not one of the three forgot to offer up their secret, thankful prayer, to that overruling Providence, whose watchful mercy had rescued them from a fate too horrible for imagination.

Franklin could scarcely wait till they walked to the carriage. He wished to carry—to drag Caroline away. He shifted his position continually, without apparent cause; at last shook hands with his companions, saying he would follow the carriage, as he wanted air and exercise.

They soon arrived home, where Caroline, in a high state of excitement, was ordered to bed by a physician; but, after soothing medicines had calmed certain hysterical symptoms, she fell into a deep sleep, which the doctor said was worth more than all the apothecaries could compound. In fact, she did not wake till late next morning, and in a day or two was comparatively restored.

But poor Franklin had gone home in a raging fever, which increased during the night to delirium. His ravings were of magistrates, the jeering crowd, dungeons, chains, and the convict-ship. Then he was at the penal settlement. He heard the frightful oaths, obscene jests, and blasphemous laughter of the convicts. Among them he beheld Caroline Clifford—haggard, and in rags—now toiling at her task, now shrieking beneath the bloody lash—and he seemed to grasp the throat of Jennings, and implored him to stay his hellish hand.

More than a month passed before he was sufficiently recovered to leave his room. Every day Mrs. Clifford had visited him, and watched over him with a mother’s love. Every day the carriage of Mr. Blake brought the old gentleman to the bed-side of the poor invalid, where he listened to the ravings of his disturbed imagination, and shuddered to think of what horrors—but for a providential coincidence—he might have added to the history of human wo.

At length Mr. Franklin was allowed to take a drive. It is scarcely necessary to say that he called on the ladies. Mrs. Clifford, previously apprized of his intended visit, at the sound of the bell, accidentally remembered that she had left her scissors up stairs. So Franklin found Caroline alone.

“You are very, very pale,” cried the greatly agitated girl, her eyes filling with good, honest tears, as she gave him her hand.

He raised it to his lips.

“I beg your pardon, Miss Clifford.”

But, like Beatrice, she seemed to hold it there again with a fervor which even the modest Franklin could not wholly misunderstand.

“I owe you more than my life,” cried Caroline, with such a look as she had never bestowed upon him before.

“And yet,” cried Franklin, “you fraudulently withhold from me the only payment in your power.”

“Nonsense—what payment,” cried she, blushing deeply.

“Your dear self!” answered Franklin, in a timid voice.

“Then you must collect your debt, as other hard-hearted creditors do—by force.”

“In that case,” rejoined Franklin, with a boldness which astonished himself, “an execution must issue, and proceedings commence directly.”

Mrs. Clifford, having found her scissors, just then entered the room, but not before the ardent lawyer had performed the threatened duty—not quite so harrowing a one as that attempted by Mr. Jennings, though it led to the same result, viz., she was obviously transported, and, as it turned out—for life.

Nor is this all.

Old Mr. Blake had learned how the land lay from Mrs. Clifford, and he resolved to make the young people reparation. He owed it to them in all conscience. They were married in about six weeks; and when the ceremony was over, a parcel was brought in, directed “To Mrs. Franklin, with the compliments of Messrs. Blake, Blanchard & Co.,” which, on being opened, was found to contain a superb Cashmere shawl—thirty yards of the £12 lace, and a neat mahogany box, with a coronet of diamonds for the young criminal.

We wont go into the history of the lady’s objections to accepting these costly testimonials. Mr. Blake pleaded almost as eloquently as Franklin had done, till at last Franklin “put his foot down,” as I recommend all young husbands to do on such occasions, and showed Mr. Blake who was master.

Nor was this all either.

A number of years afterward, when Mr. and Mrs. Franklin had returned to New York, and while the fond wife and happy mother was one day profoundly engaged in arranging a highly ornamented and curious little cap, her husband entered with a letter, and read as follows:

To Mrs. Caroline Franklin.

London, Feb. 10, 184-.

Madam,—It has become my duty to inform you, that, by the will of the late Mr. Blake, of the firm of Blake, Blanchard & Co., you have become entitled to his blessing, and a legacy of £2500 sterling, which, upon proving your identity, you can either draw for on me, at thirty days, or have remitted in any other way you desire.

I have the honor to be, madam, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

John Lockley,

Solicitor, No. — Russel Square.





When the pale Genius, to whose hollow tramp

  Echo the startled chambers of the soul,

Waves his inverted torch o’er that wan camp

  Where the archangel’s marshaling trumpets roll,

I would not meet him in the chamber dim,

  Hushed, and o’erburthened with a nameless fear,

When the breath flutters, and the senses swim,

  And the dread hour is near!


Though Love’s dear arms might clasp me fondly then,

  As if to keep the Summoner at bay,

And woman’s wo and the calm grief of men

  Hallow at last the still, unbreathing clay—

These are Earth’s fetters, and the soul would shrink,

  Thus bound, from Darkness and the dread Unknown,

Stretching its arms from Death’s eternal brink,

  Which it must dare alone!


But in the awful silence of the sky,

  Upon some mountain summit, never trod

Through the bright ether would I climb, to die

  Afar from mortals, and alone with God!

To the pure keeping of the stainless air

  Would I resign my feeble, failing breath,

And with the rapture of an answered prayer

  Welcome the kiss of Death!


The soul, which wrestled with that doom of pain,

  Prometheus-like, its lingering portion here,

Would there forget the vulture and the chain,

  And leap to freedom from its mountain-bier!

All that it ever knew, of noble thought,

  Would guide it upward to the glorious track,

Nor the keen pangs by parting anguish wrought,

  Turn its bright glances back!


Then to the elements my frame would turn;

   No worms should riot on my coffined clay,

But the cold limbs, from that sepulchral urn,

  In the slow storms of ages waste away!

Loud winds, and thunder’s diapason high,

  Should be my requiem through the coming time,

And the white summit, fading in the sky,

  My monument sublime!





            Great trees that o’er us grow—

Green leaves that gather round them—the fresh hues,

  That tell of fruit, and blossoms yet to blow,

Opening fond bosoms to the embracing dews;


            These, now so bright,

That deck the slopes about thy childhood’s home,

  And seem, in long duration, to thy sight,

As they had promise of perpetual bloom;


            So linked with all

The first dear throbs of feeling in thy heart,

  When, at the dawn of summer and of fall,

Thou weptst the leaf that must so soon depart!


            What had all these,

Of frail, deciduous nature, to persuade,

  Howe’er their sweets might charm, and beauty please,

The memories that their own could never aid?


            They kept no tale—

No solemn history of the fruitful hour;

  The lover’s promise, the beloved one’s wail—

To wake the dead leaf in each lonely bower!


            The autumn breath

O’erthrew each frail memorial of their past;

  And every token was resigned to death,

In the first summons of the northern blast.


            They nourished naught

That to the chain of moral being binds

  The recollections of the once gay spot,

And its sweet offices, to future minds.


            Thou may’st repair—

Thou, who hast loved in summer-eve to glide

  With her whom thou hast still beheld as fair,

When she no longer wandered by thy side.


            And thou wilt weep

Each altered aspect of that happiest home,

  Which saw the joys its memories could not keep,

Save by the sympathy which shares their doom.


            Thus Ruin stands

For Ruin—and the wreck of favorite things,

  To him who o’er the waste but wrings his hands,

Proofs of the fall, and not the spring-time brings.


            Ah! who will weep,

In after seasons, when thou too art gone,

  Within this grot, where shadowy memories keep

Their watch above the realm they keep alone?


            Who will lament,

In fruitless tears, that she the dear one died,

  And thy surviving heart, in languishment,

Soon sought the grave and withered at her side?


            A newer bright

Makes young the woods—and bowers that not to thee

  Brought fruit or blossom, triumph in the sight

Of those who naught but fruit and blossom see;


            To whom no voice

Whispers, that through the loved one’s would the root

  Of that exulting shrub, with happiest choice,

Has gone, with none its passage to dispute.


            While thine own heart,

In neighboring hillock, conscious, it may be—

  Quivers to see the fibres rend and part

The fair white breast which was so dear to thee.


            Of all the past,

That precious history of thy love and youth,

  When not a cloud thy happy dawn o’ercast,

When all thou felt’st was joy, thou saw’st was truth;


            These have no speech

For idiot seasons that still come and go—

  To whom the heart no offices can teach,

Vainer than breezes that at midnight blow!


            And yet there seem

Memorials still in nature, which are taught,—

  Unless all pleasant fancies be a dream,

To bring our sweetest histories back to thought.


            A famous tree

Was this, three hundred years ago, when stood

  The hunter-chief below it, bold and free,

Proud in his painted pomp and deeds of blood.


            By hunger taught,

He gathered the brown acorn in its shade,

  And ere he slept, still gazing upward, caught

Sweet glimpses of the night, in stars arrayed.


            His hatchet sunk

With sharp wound, fixing his own favorite sign,

  Deep in the living column of its trunk,

Where thou may’st read a history such as thine.


            He, too, could feel

Such passion as awakes the noble soul—

  And in fond hour, perchance, would hither steal,

With one, of all his tribe, who could his ire control.


            And others signs,

Tokens of races, greatlier taught, that came

  To write like record, though in smoother lines,

And thus declare a still more human flame.


            Here love’s caprice—

The hope, the doubt, the dear despondencies—

  Joy that had never rest, hope without peace—

These each declared the grief he never flies.


            And the great oak

Grew sacred to each separate pilgrimage,

  Nor heeded, in his bulk, the sudden stroke

That scarred his giant trunk with seams of age.


            And we who gaze

Upon each, rude memorial—letter and date—

  Still undefaced by storm and length of days,

Stand, as beneath the shadow of a fate!


            Some elder-born,

A sire of wood and vale, guardian and king

  Of separate races, unsubdued, unshorn,

Whose memories grasp the lives of every meaner thing!


            With great white beard

Far streaming with a prophet-like display,

  Such as when Moses on the Mount appeared,

And prostrate tribes looked down, or looked away!


            With outstretched arms,

Paternal, as if blessing—with a grace,

  Such as, in strength and greatness, ever charms,

As wooing the subdued one to embrace!


          Thus still it stood,

While the broad forests, ’neath the pioneer,

  Perished—proud relic of the ancient wood—

Men loved the record-tree, and bade them spare!


            And still at noon,

Repairing to its shadow, they explore

  Its chronicles, still musing o’er th’ unknown,

And telling well-known histories, told of yore!


            We shall leave ours,

Dear heart! and when our sleep beneath its boughs

  Shall suffer spring to spread o’er us her flowers,

Eyes that vow love like ours shall trace our vows.





Mountain! that first received the foot of man—

Giving him shelter, when the shoreless flood

Went surging by, that whelmed a buried world—

I see thee in thy lonely grandeur rise—

I see the white-haired Patriarch, as he knelt

Beside his earthen altar, ’mid his sons,

While beat in praise the only pulse of life

Upon this buried planet,—

                           O’er the gorged

And furrowed soil, swept forth a numerous train,

Horned, or cloven-footed, fierce, or tame,

While, mixed with song, the sound of countless wings,

His rescued prisoners, fanned the ambient air.


The sun drew near his setting, clothed in gold,

But on the Patriarch, ere from prayer he rose,

A darkly-cinctured cloud chill tears had wept,

And rain-drops lay upon his silver hairs.

  Then burst an arch of wondrous radiance forth,

Spanning the vaulted skies. Its mystic scroll

Proclaimed the amnesty that pitying Heaven

Granted to earth, all desolate and void.

  Oh signet-ring, with which the Almighty sealed

His treaty with the remnant of the clay

That shrank before him, to remotest time

Stamp wisdom on the souls that turn to thee.

  Unswerving teacher, who four thousand years

Hast ne’er withheld thy lesson, but unfurled

As shower and sunbeam bade, thy glorious scroll,—

Oft, ’mid the summer’s day, I musing sit

At my lone casement, to be taught of thee.

  Born of the tear-drop and the smile, methinks,

Thou hast affinity with man, for such

His elements, and pilgrimage below.

Our span of strength and beauty fades like thine,

Yet stays its fabric on eternal truth

And boundless mercy.

                     The wild floods may come—

The everlasting fountains burst their bounds—

The exploring dove without a leaf return—

Yea, the fires glow that melt the solid rock,

And earth be wrecked: What then?—be still, my soul,

Enter thine Ark—God’s promise cannot fail—

For surely as yon rainbow tints the cloud,

His truth, thine Ararat, will shelter thee.





Love me, darling, love me, for my wild and wayward heart,

Like Noah’s dove in search of rest, will hover where thou art;

Will linger round thee, like a spell, till by thy hand caressed,

It folds its weary, care-worn wings, to nestle on thy breast.


Love me, darling, love me! When my soul was sick with strife,

Thy soothing words have been the sun that warmed it into life;

Thy breath called forth the passion-flowers, that slumbered ’neath the ice

Of self-distrust, and now their balm makes earth a Paradise.


Love me, darling, love me! Let thy dreams be all of me!

Let waking thoughts be round my path, as mine will cling to thee!

But if—oh, God! it cannot be—but if thou shouldst grow cold

And weary of my jealous love, or think it over-bold—


Or if, perchance, some fairer form should charm thy truant eye,

Thou’lt find me woman—proud and calm, so leave me—let me die.

I’d not reclaim a wavering heart whose pulse has once grown cold,

To write my name in princely halls, with diamonds and gold.


So love me, only love me, for I have no world but thee,

And darksome clouds are in my sky—’tis woman’s destiny;

But let them frown—I heed them not—no fear can they impart,

If thou art near, with smiles to bend hope’s rainbow round my heart.






It has been gravely stated by an Italian writer of celebrity, that “the very atrocity of the crimes which are therein committed, proves that in Italy the growth of man is stronger and more vigorous, and nearer to the perfect standard of manhood, than in any other country.”

A strange paradox, truly, but not an uningenious—at least for a native of that “purple land, where law secures not life,” who would work out of the very reproach, an argument of honor to his country. If it be true, however, that proneness to the commission of unwonted and atrocious crime is to be held a token of extraordinary vigor—vigor of nerve, of temperament, of passion, of physical development—in a race of men, then surely must the Anglo-Norman breed, under all circumstances of time, place, and climate, be singularly destitute of all these qualities—nay, singularly frail, effeminate, and incomplete.

For it is an undoubted fact, both of the past and present history of that great and still increasing race, whether limited to the narrow bounds of the Island Realm which gave it being, or extended to the boundless breadth of isles, and continents, and oceans, which it has filled with its arms, its arts, its industry, its language—it is, I say, an undoubted fact, that those dreadful and sanguinary crimes, forming a class apart and distinct of themselves, engendered for the most part by morbid passions, love, lust, jealousy, and revenge, which are of daily occurrence in the southern countries of, Europe, Asia, and America, are almost unknown in those happier lands, where English laws prevail, with English liberty and language.

It is to this that must be ascribed the fact, that, in the very few instances where crimes of this nature have occurred in England or America, the memory of them is preserved with singular pertinacity, the smallest details handed down from generation to generation, and the very spots in which they have occurred, howmuchsoever altered or improved in the course of ages, haunted, as if by an actual presence, by the horror and the scent of blood; while on the other hand the fame of ordinary deeds of violence and rapine seems almost to be lost before the lives of the perpetrators are run out.

One, and almost, I believe, a singular instance of this kind—for I would not dignify the brawls and assassinations which have disgraced some of our southern cities, the offspring of low principles and an unregulated society, by comparing them to the class of crimes in question, which imply even in their atrocity a something of perverted honor, of extravagant affection, or at least of not ignoble passion—is the well-known Beauchamp tragedy of Kentucky, a tale of sin and horror which has afforded a theme to the pens of several distinguished writers, and the details of which are as well known on the spot at present, as if years had not elapsed since its occurrence. And this, too, in a country prone above all others, from the migratory habits of its population, to cast aside all tradition, and to lose within a very few years the memory of the greatest and most illustrious events upon the very stage of their occurrence.

It is not, therefore, wonderful that in England, where the immobility of the population, the reverence for antiquity, and the great prevalence of oral tradition, induced probably at first by the want of letters, cause the memory of even past trifles to dwell for ages in the breasts of the simple and moral people, any deed of romantic character, any act of unusual atrocity, any crime prompted by unusual or extraordinary motives, should become, as it were, part and parcel of the place wherein it was wrought; that the leaves of the trees should whisper it to the winds of evening; that the echoes of the lonely hills should repeat it; that the waters should sigh a burthen to its strain; and that the very night should assume a deeper shadow, a more horrid gloom, from the awe of the unforgotten sin.

I knew a place in my boyhood, thus haunted by the memory of strange crime; and whether it was merely the terrible romance of the story, or the wild and gloomy character of the scenery endowed with a sort of natural fitness to be the theatre of terrible events, or yet again the union of the two, I know not; but it produced upon my mind a very powerful influence, amounting to a species of fascination, which constantly attracted me to the spot, although when there, the weight of the tradition, and the awe of the scene produced a sense of actual pain.

The place to which I allude was but a few miles distant from the celebrated public school, at which I passed the happiest days of a not uneventful life, and was within an easy walk of the college limits; so that when I had attained that favored eminence, known as the sixth form, which allows its happy occupants to roam the country, free from the fear of masters, provided only they attend at appointed hours, it was my frequent habit to stroll away from the noisy playing-fields through the green hedgerow lanes, or to scull my wherry over the smooth surface of the silver Thames, toward the scene of dark tradition; and there to lap myself in thick coming fancies, half sad, half sweet, yet terrible withal, and in their very terror attractive, until the call of the homeward rooks, and the lengthened shadows of the tall trees on the greensward, would warn me that I too must hie me back with speed, or pay the penalty of undue delay.

Now, as the story has in itself, apart from the extraneous interest with which a perfect acquaintance with its localities may have invested it in my eyes, a powerful and romantic character; as its catastrophe was no less striking than un-English; and as the passions which gave rise to it were at once the strongest and the most general—though rarely prevailing, at least among us Anglo-Normans, to so fearful an extent—I am led to hope that others may find in it something that may enchain their attention for a time, though it may not affect them as it has me with an influence, unchanged by change of scene, unaltered by the lapse of time, which alters all things.

I propose, therefore, to relate it, as I heard it first from an old superannuated follower of the family, which, owning other, though not fairer demesnes in some distant county, had never more used Ditton-in-the-Dale as their dwelling place, although well nigh two centuries had elapsed since the transaction which had scared them away from their polluted household gods.

But first, I must describe briefly the characteristics of the scenery, without which a part of my tale would be hardly comprehensible, while the remarkable effect produced by the coincidence, if I may so express myself, between the nature of the deed, and the nature of the place, would be lost entirely.

In the first place, then, I must premise that the name of Ditton-in-the-Dale is in a great measure a misnomer, as the house and estate which bear that name, are situated on what a visiter would be at first inclined to call a dead level, but on what is in truth a small secondary undulation, or hollow, in the broad, flat valley through which the father of the English rivers, the royal-towered Thames, pursues, as Gray sang,

The turf, the flowers, the shades among,

His silver-winding way.

But so destitute is all that country of any deep or well defined valleys, much less abrupt glens or gorges, that any hollow containing a tributary stream, which invariably meanders in slow and sluggish reaches through smooth, green meadow-land, is dignified with the name of dale, or valley. The country is, however, so much intersected by winding lanes, bordered with high straggling white-thorn hedges full of tall timber trees, is subdivided into so many small fields, all enclosed with similar fences, and is diversified with so many woods, and clumps of forest trees, that you lose sight of the monotony of its surface, in consequence of the variety of its vegetation, and of the limited space which the eye can comprehend, at any one time.

The lane by which I was wont to reach the demesne of Ditton, partook in an eminent degree of this character, being very narrow, winding about continually without any apparent cause, almost completely embowered by the tall hawthorn hedges, and the yet taller oaks and ashes which grew along their lines, making, when in full verdure, twilight of noon itself, and commanding no view whatever of the country through which it ran, except when a field-gate, or cart-track opened into it, affording a glimpse of a lonely meadow, bounded, perhaps, by a deep wood-side.

On either hand of this lane was a broad, deep ditch, both of them quite unlike any other ditches I have ever seen. Their banks were irregular; and it would seem evident that they had not been dug for any purposes of fencing or enclosure; and I have sometimes imagined, from their varying width and depth—for in places they were ten feet deep, and three times as broad, and at others but a foot or two across, and containing but a few inches of water—that their beds had been hollowed out to get marl or gravel for the convenience of the neighboring cultivators.

Be this as it may, they were at all times brimful of the clearest and most transparent water I ever remember to have seen—never turbid even after the heaviest rains; and though bordered by water-flags, and tapestried in many places by the broad, round leaves of the white and yellow water-lilies, never corrupted by a particle of floating scum, or green duckweed.

Whether they were fed by secret springs I know not; or whether they communicated by sluices or side-drains with the neighboring Thames; I never could discover any current or motion in their still, glassy waters, though I have wandered by their banks a hundred times, watching the red-finned roach and silvery dace pursue each other among the shadowy lily leaves, now startling a fat yellow frog from the marge, and following him as he dived through the limpid blackness to the very bottom, now starting in my own turn, as a big water-rat would swim from side to side, and vanish in some hole of the marly bank, and now endeavoring to catch the great azure-bodied, gauze-winged dragon-flies, as they shot to and fro on their poised wings, pursuing kites of the insect race, some of the smaller ephemera.

It was those quiet, lucid waters, coupled with the exceeding shadiness of the trees, and its very unusual solitude—I have walked it, I suppose, from end to end at least a hundred times, and I never remember to have met so much even as a peasant returning from his daily labor, or a country maiden tripping to the neighboring town—that gave its character, and I will add, its charm to this half pastoral, half sylvan lane. For nearly three miles it ran in one direction, although, as I have said, with many devious turns, and seemingly unnecessary angles, and through that length it did not pass within the sound of one farm-yard, or the sight of one cottage chimney. But to make up for this, of which it was, indeed, a consequence, the nightingales were so bold and familiar that they might be heard all day long filling the air with their delicious melodies, not waiting, as in more frequented spots, the approach of night, whose dull ear to charm with amorous ravishment; nay, I have seen them perched in full view on the branches, gazing about them fearless with their full black eyes, and swelling their emulous throats in full view of the spectator.

Three miles passed, the lane takes a sudden turn to the northward, having previously run, for the most part, east and west; and here, in the inner angle, jutting out suddenly from a dense thicket of hawthorns and hazels, an old octagonal summer-house, with a roof shaped like an extinguisher, projects into the ditch, which here expands into a little pool, some ten or twelve yards over in every direction, and perhaps deeper than at any other point of its course.

Beyond the summer-house there is a little esplanade of green turf, faced with a low wall toward the ditch, allowing the eye to run down a long, narrow avenue of gigantic elm-trees, meeting at the top in the perfect semblance of a Gothic aisle, and bordered on each hand by hedges of yew, six feet at least in height, clipped into the form and almost into the solidity of a wall. At the far end of this avenue, which must be nearly two-thirds of a mile in length, one can discern a glimpse of a formal garden, and beyond that, of some portion of what seems to be a large building of red brick.

At the extremity of the esplanade and little wall, there grows an enormous oak, not very tall, but with an immense girth of trunk, and such a spread of branches that it completely overshadows the summer-house, and overhangs the whole surface of the small pool in front of it. Thenceforth, the tall and tangled hedge runs on, as usual denying all access of the eye, and the deep, clear ditch all access of the foot, to the demesnes within; until at the distance of perhaps a mile and a quarter, a little bridge crosses the latter, and a green gate, with a pretty rustic lodge beside it, gives entrance to a smooth lawn, with a gravel-road running across it, and losing itself on the farther side, in a thick belt of woodland.

It is, however, with the summer-house that I have to do principally, for it is to it that the terror of blood has clung through the lapse of years, as the scent of the Turkish Atar is said to cling, indestructible, to the last fragment of the vessel which had once contained it.

When first I saw that small lonely pavilion, I had heard nothing of the strange tradition which belonged to it, yet as I looked on the plastered walls, all covered with spots of damp and mildew, on the roof overrun with ivy, in masses so wildly luxuriant as almost to conceal the shape, on the windows, one in each side of the octagon, closed by stout jalousies, which had been once green with paint, but were now green with damp and vegetable mould, a strange feeling, half of curiosity and half of terror, came over me, mixed with that singular fascination of which I have spoken, which seemed to deny me any rest until I should have searched out the mystery—for I felt sure that mystery there was—connected with that summer-house, so desolate and so fast lapsing into ruin, while the hedges and gardens within appeared well cared for, and in trim cultivation.

I well remember the first time I beheld that lonely and deserted building. It was near sunset, on as lovely a summer evening as ever shed its soft light on the earth; the air was breathless; the sky cloudless; thousands of swallows were upon the wing, some skimming the limpid surface of those old ditches, others gliding on balanced pinions so far aloft in the darkening firmament that the eye could barely discern them.

The nightingales were warbling their rich, melancholy notes from every brake and thicket; the bats had come forth and were flitting to and fro on their leathern wings under the dark trees; but the brilliant dragon-flies, and all the painted tribe of butterflies had vanished already, and another race, the insects of the night, had taken their places.

The rich scent of the new-mown hay loaded the air with fragrance, and vied with the odors of the eglantine and honeysuckle, which, increased by the falling dew, steamed up like incense to the evening skies.

I was alone, and thoughtful; for the time although sweet and delicious, had nothing in it gay or joyous; the lane along which I was strolling was steeped in the fast increasing shadows, for although the air aloft was full of sunshine, and the topmost leaves of the tall ashes shimmered like gold in the late rays, not a single beam penetrated the thick hedgerows, or fell upon the sandy horse-road. The water in the deep ditches looked as black as night, and the plunge of the frogs into their cool recesses startled the ear amid the solitude and stillness of the place.

It was one of those evenings, in a word, which calls up, we know not why, a train of thought not altogether sad, nor wholly tender, but calm and meditative and averse to action. I had been wandering along thus for nearly an hour, musing deeply all the while, yet perfectly unconscious that I was musing, much more what was the subject of my meditations, when coming suddenly to the turn of the lane, the old summer-house met my eyes, and almost startled me, so little did I expect in that place to see any thing that should recall to my mind the dwellings or the vicinity of man.

The next minute I began to scrutinize, and to wonder—for it was evident that this building must be an appendage to the estate of some gentleman or person of degree, and, knowing all the families of note in that neighborhood, I was well assured that no one dwelt here of sufficient position to be the owner of what appeared at first sight to be a noble property.

Anxious as I was, however, to effect my entrance into that enchanted ground, I could discover no means of doing so; for the depth of the water effectually cut off all access to the hedgerow banks, even if there had been any prospect of forcing a passage through the tangled thorn-bushes beyond. Before I could find any solution to my problem, the fast thickening shadows admonished me that I must beat my retreat; and it was only by dint of redoubled speed that I reached college in time to escape the consequences of absence from roll-call.

An early hour of the evening found me at my post on the following day; for having a direct object now in view, I wasted no time on the road, and the sun was still some distance above the horizon, when I reached the summer-house.

It had been my hope, as I went along, that I might find some shallow spot, with a corresponding gap in the hedge, before reaching the place, by means of which I might turn the defences, and take the enemy in the rear; but it was all in vain; and I came upon the ground without discovering any opening by which an animal larger than a rat could enter the forbidden ground.

Difficulty, it is well known, heightens desire; and, if I wished before, I was now determined that I would get in. Quickening my pace, I set off at a smart run to reconnoitre the defences beyond, but having found nothing that favored my plans, in some half mile or so, I again returned, now bent on forcing my way, even if I should be compelled to undress, and swim across the pool to the further side.

Before having recourse to this last step, however, I reconnoitered my ground somewhat more narrowly than before, and soon discovered that one of the main limbs of the great oak shot quite across the pool, and extended some little distance on my side over terra firma.

It is true that the nearer extremity of the branch was rather of the slenderest, to support the weight even of a boy, and that the lowest point was a foot or two above my head. But what of that? I was young and active in those days, and somewhat bold withal; and without a spice of danger, where were the pleasure or excitement of adventure?

It did not take me long to make up my mind, and before I had well thought of the risk, I had swung myself up into the branches, and was creeping, with even less difficulty than I had anticipated, along the great gnarled bough above the mirrored pool.

Danger, in fact, there was none; for slender as the extremities appeared, they were tough English oak, and the parent branch once gained, would have supported the weight of Otus and Ephialtes, and all their giant crew, much more of one slight Etonian.

In five minutes, or less, I had reached the fork of the trunk, and, swarming down on the further side, stood in the full fruition of my hopes, on that enchanted ground.

It was as I had expected to find it, a singular and gloomy spot; the tall elm trees which formed the avenue, and the black wall of clipped yew, which followed their course, diverging to the right and left, formed a semicircle, the chord of which was the low wall and hawthorn hedge, the summer-house standing, as I entered, in the angle on my left hand.

Although, as I have said, the sun was still high in heaven, the little area was almost dark already; and it was difficult, indeed, to conjecture for what end the wisdom of our ancestors had planted a sun-dial in the centre of the grass-plat, where it seemed physically impossible that a chance sunbeam should ever strike it, to tell the hour.

If it had not been for the narrow open space between the oak tree and the summer-house, the little lawn would even now have been as black as night; as it was, a sort of misty-gray twilight, increased, perhaps, by the thin vapors rising from the tranquil pool, filled all its precincts; and beyond these, stretching away in long perspective until the arch at the further end seemed dwindled to the size of a needle’s eye, was the long aisle of gloomy foliage, as massive and impenetrable to any ray of light as the stone arches of a Gothic cloister.

The only thing that conveyed an idea of gayety or life, to the cold and tomb-like scenery, was the glimpse of bright sunshine which lay on the open garden at the extremity of the elm-walk, with the gaudy and glowing hues, indistinctly seen in the distance, of some summer flowers.

Yet even this was not all unmixed with something of melancholy, for the contrast of the gay sunbeams and bright flowers only rendered the gloom more apparent, and like a convent-garden, seemed to awaken cravings after the joyous world without, diminishing nothing of the sorrow and monotony within.

But I was not in those days much given to moralizing, or to the investigation of my own inward feelings.

I had come thither to inquire, to see, to learn, to find out things—not causes. And perceiving at one glance that my first impression was correct, that the grass-plots were recently mown, the gravel-walks newly rolled, and spotless of weeds, the tall yew hedges assiduously clipped into the straightest and most formal lines; that every thing, in short, displayed the most heedful tendance, the neatest cultivation, with the exception of the summer-pavilion, which evidently was devoted to decay, I became but the more satisfied that there was some mystery, and the more resolute to probe it to the core.

It was quite clear that when that garden was laid out, and that avenue planted, how many years ago the giant size of the old elms denoted, the summer-house was the meaning of the whole design. The avenue had no object but to lead to it, the little lawn no purpose but to receive it. Doubly strange, therefore, did it seem that these should be kept up in all their trimness, that suffered to fall into decay.

It was the tragedy of Hamlet, with Hamlet’s part omitted!

I stood for a little while wondering, and half overcome by a sort of indescribable fanciful superstition. A cloud had come over the sun, the nightingales had ceased to sing, and there was not a sound of any kind to be heard, except the melancholy murmur of the summer air in the tree-tops.

In a moment, however, the transitory spell was shaken off, and, once more the bold and reckless schoolboy, I turned to the performance of my self-imposed task.

The summer-house, as I have said, was octagon, three of its sides, with a window in each, jutting out into the clear pool, and three, with a door in the centre, and a window on each side, fronting the little lawn. But, alas! the windows were all secured with jalousies, strongly bolted and barred from within, and the door was secured by a lock, the key of which was absent.

A short examination showed, however, that the door was held by no bolts at the top or bottom; and the rusty condition of both lock and hinges rendered it probable that it would not stand a very violent assault.

Wherefore, retreating some twenty paces, I ran at it more Etonensi, at the top of my speed, planted the sole of my foot even and square against the key-hole, with the whole impetus of my charge, and had the satisfaction of feeling the door fly open in an instant, while a jingling clatter within showed that my entrance had been effected with no greater damage to the premises than the starting of the staple into which the bolt of the lock shot.

Having entered thus, my first task was to repair damages, which was effected in five minutes, by driving the staple into its old place by aid of a great stone; my second, to provide means for future visits, which was as speedily managed by driving back the bolt of the lock with the same great stone; and my third, to look eagerly and curiously about me. To do this more effectually, I soon opened the two windows looking upon the lawn, and let in the light, for the first time, I fancy, in many a year, to that deserted room.

If I had marveled much before I entered, much more did I marvel now; for although every thing within showed marks of the utmost negligence and decay, though spiders had woven their webs in every angle, though mildew and damp mould had defaced the painted walls, though the gilding was black and tarnished, though the dust lay thick on the furniture, still I had never seen any thing in my life, except the state-rooms at Hampton Court and Windsor Castle, which could have vied with this pavilion in the splendor of its original decoration.

Its area was about thirty feet in diameter, and in height nearly the same, with a domed roof, richly fretted with what had once been golden scroll-work upon an azure ground. The walls were painted, as even I could discover, by the hand of a master, with copies from Guido and Caracci, in compartments bordered with massive gilded scroll-work, the ground between the panels having been originally, like the ceiling, of bright azure. The window-frames had been gilded; and the inside of the door painted, like the walls, in azure, with pictures of high merit in the panels. Every side of the octagon but two, the opposite walls to the right and left, were occupied by windows or a door; but that to the right was filled by a mantel-piece, exquisitely wrought with Caryatides in white Carrara marble, with a copy of the Aurora above it, while the space opposite to it had been occupied by a superb mirror, reaching from the cornice of the ceiling.

Nearly in the centre of this mirror, however, there was a small circular fracture, as if made by a stone or a bullet, with long cracks radiating, like the beams of a star, in all directions over the shivered plate; and when I looked at it more closely, I observed that it was dashed in many places with large drops of some dark purple fluid, which had hardened with time into compact and solid gouts.

I thought little of this at the time, and only wondered why people could be so mad as to abandon so beautiful a place; and why, since they had abandoned it, they did not remove the furniture, of which even a boy’s eye could detect the value.

There was a centre-table of circular form, the pedestal of which, curiously carved, had been wrought, like all the rest, in gold and azure, while the slat, when I had wiped away with some fresh green leaves the thick layer of dust which covered it, positively astonished my eyes, by the delicacy and beauty of the designs with which it was adorned. Beside this, there were divans and arm-chairs of the same fashion and colors, with cushions which had been once of sky-blue damask, though their brilliancy, and even their hues, had long ago been defaced by the dust, the dampness, and the squalor of that neglected place.

I should have mentioned, that on the beautiful table I discovered gouts of the same dark substance which I had previously observed on the broken mirror: and that there were still clearly perceptible on one of the divans, dark splashes, and what must, when fluid, have been almost a pool of the same deep, rusty hue.

At the time, it is true, I paid little attention to these things, being busily employed in the boy-like idea of putting my newly discovered palace of Armida into a complete state of repair, and coming to pass all my leisure moments, even to the studying my Prometheus Bound, and composing my weekly hexameters and Alcaics in this sweet sequestered spot.

And, in truth, within a week I had put the greater part of my plan into execution; purloined dusters from my dame’s boarding-house, green boughs of the old elms for brooms, and water from the ditch, soon made things clean at least; and the air, which I suffered, so long as I was there, daily, to blow through it in all directions, soon rendered it, comparatively speaking, dry and comfortable; and when all its windows were thrown wide, it would be scarcely possible to find a more lightsome or delicious spot for summer musing than that old English summer-house.

Thus things went on for weeks, for months, unsuspected—for I always latched the door, and secured the windows from within, before leaving my fairy palace for the night; and as all looked just as usual without, no one so much as dreamed of trying the lock, to ascertain if a door were still fastened, the threshhold of which, as men believed, no human foot had crossed since the days of the second James.

I could often, it is true, discover the traces of recent labor in the immediate neighborhood of my discovery; I could perceive at a glance where the grass had been newly shorn, the yew hedges clipped, or the gravel-walks rolled, but never, in the course of several months, during which I spent every fine evening, either reading, or musing, or composing my boy verses, in that my enchanted castle—for I began really to consider it almost my own—did I see any human being on the premises.

The cause of this, which I did not suspect until it was revealed to me, after chance had discovered my visits to the place, was simply this, that my intrusions were confined solely to the evening, whereas, so great was the awe of the servants and the workmen for that lonely and terror-haunted spot, that nothing short of absolute compulsion, or the strongest necessity, would have induced them to go near the place, after the sun had turned downward from the zenith.

In the meantime, gratified by the complete success of my first inroad, and the possession of my first discovery, I felt no inclination to push my advances further, or to make any incursion into the body of the place.

Every evening, as early as I could escape from the college walls, I was at my post, and lingered there as late as college hours would permit. It was a strange fancy in a boy, and stranger yet than would at first appear in this, that there was a very considerable admixture of something nearly approaching to fear, and that of a painful kind, in the feelings which made me so assiduous in my visits to that old pavilion.

There was, it is true, nothing definite in my fancies. I knew nothing, I cannot say even that I suspected any thing, concerning the mysterious closing of the place; and often, since I have been made acquainted with the tale, I have marveled at my own obtuseness, and wondered that a secret so transparent should have escaped me.

So it was, however, that I suspected nothing, although I felt sure that mystery there was; and being of somewhat an imaginative temper, I used to amuse myself by accounting for it in my own mind, weaving all sorts of strange and wild romances, and inventing the most horrible stories that can be conceived, until, as the shadows would fall dark around me, daunted by my own conceptions, I would make all secure and fast with trembling fingers, swing myself back across over the pool by my accustomed oak-branch, and run home as hard as my legs could carry me, haunted by indistinct and almost superstitious horror.

Thus things went on, until at the end of summer I was at last detected in my stolen visits, and the whole mystery was cleared up.

I remember as clearly as if I heard it now, the exclamation of terror and dismay uttered by the old gardener, who, having left some implement behind him on the lawn during the morning labors, had been forced to bend his unwilling steps back to the haunted ground to recover it.

I could not but smile afterward, when he recounted to me his astonishment and terror at seeing the old summer-house, which never had been opened within the memory of man, with all its windows wide to the free air and evening sunshine—when he told me how often he turned back to seek aid from his fellows—how he almost believed that fiends or evil spirits were holding their foul sabbath there, and how he started aghast with horror, not now for himself, but for me, as he beheld the young Etonian stretched tranquilly upon the blood-stained couch—for those dark stains were of human gore—conning his task for the morrow.

I rushed out of the place at his hurried outcry; a few words told my story, and plead my excuse—with the good, simple-minded rustic little excuse was needed—but it was not till after many sittings, and many a long afternoon’s discourse, that I learned all the details of the sad event which had converted that fair pavilion into a place as terrible, to the ideas of the country folks, as a dark charnel-vault.

“Ay!” said the old man, as he gazed fearfully about him, after I had persuaded him at length to cross the dreaded threshhold, “Ay! it is all as they tell, though not a man of them has ever seen it. There is the glass which the bullet broke, after passing right through his brain; and there is his blood, all spattered on the mirror. And look, young master, those spots on the table came from her heart; and that couch you was lying on, is where they laid her when they took her up. See, it’s all dabbled yet; and where your head was resting now, the dead girl’s head lay, more than a hundred years since! Come away, master—come away! I never thought to have looked on these things, though I know all about them.”

“Oh, tell me—tell me about them!” I exclaimed. “I am not a bit afraid. Do tell me all about them.”

“Not now—not now—nor not here,” said the old man, gazing about as if he expected to see a spirit stalk out of some shady nook of the surrounding trees. “I would not tell you here to be master of all Ditton-in-the-Dale! But come up, if you will, to the great house to-morrow, and ask for old Matthew Dawson, and I’ll show you all the place—the family never lives here now, nor hasn’t since that deed was done—and then I’ll tell you all about it, if you must hear. But if you’re wise, you’ll shun it; for it will chill your young blood to listen, and cling to your young heart with a gloom forever.”

“Oh, I will come, be sure, Matthew! I would not miss it for the world. But it is getting late, so I’ll fasten up the old place, and be going;” and suiting the action to the word, I soon secured the fastenings, while the old gardener stood by, marvelling and muttering at the boldness of young blood, until I had finished setting things in order, when I shook hands with the old man, slipping my one half crown into his horny palm, and saying,

“Well, good night, Matthew Dawson, and don’t forget to-morrow evening.”

“That I wont, master,” he replied, greatly propitiated by my offering. “But which way are you going?”

“Oh, I’ll soon show you,” I replied; and swinging myself up my tree, I was beyond the precincts of the haunted ground almost in a moment.

“The very way he came the time he did it,” cried the old gardener, with upturned hands, and eyes aghast. But I tarried then to ask no further questions, being quite sufficiently terrified for one night; although my pride forbade my displaying my terrors to the old rustic.

The next day I was punctual to my appointment; and then, for the first time, I heard the melancholy tale which, at length, I purpose to relate.

It was a proud and noble Norman family which had held the demesnes of Ditton-in-the-Dale, since the reign of the last Plantagenet—a brave and loyal race, which had poured its blood like water on many a foreign, many a native battle-field. At Evesham, a Fitz-Henry had fought beside Prince Edward’s bridle-rein, against the great De Montfort, and his confederate barons; and afterward through all the long and cruel wars of the Roses, on every field a Fitz-Henry had won honor or lost blood, upholding the claims of the true sovereign house—the house of York—until at fatal Bosworth the house itself went down, and dragged down with it the fortunes of its bold supporters.

Thereafter, during the reign of the Tudors, the name of Fitz-Henry was heard rarely in the court, or on the field; impoverished in fortune by fines and sequestrations, suspected of disloyalty to the now sovereign house, the heads of the family had wisely held themselves aloof from intrigue and conspiracy, and dwelt among their yeomen, who had in old times been their fathers’ vassals, stanch lovers of field-sports, true English country gentlemen, seeking the favor and fearing the ill-will of no man—no, not of England’s king.

Attached to the old religion, though neither bigots nor zealots, they had escaped the violence of bluff Harry, when he turned Protestant for Bullen’s eyes; and had, though something to leeward of her favor, as lukewarm Romanists and no lovers of the Spaniard, passed safely through the ordeal of Mary’s cruel reign.

But with the accession of the man-minded Elizabeth, the fortunes of the house revived for a while. It was the policy of that great and gracious queen to gather around her all that were brave, honest, and manly in her realm, without regard to family creeds, or family traditions. Claiming descent as much from one as from the other of the rival houses of Lancaster and York, loyalty to the one was no more offence to her clear eyes than good faith to the other. While loyalty to what he honestly believed to be the true sovereign house, was the strongest recommendation to her favor in each and every subject.

The Fitz-Henry, therefore, of her day, a young and gallant soldier, who visited the shores of the New World with Cavendish and Raleigh, fought for his native land, although a Catholic, against the terrible armada of the Most Catholic King, with Drake, and Frobisher and Howard, waged war in the Low Countries, and narrowly missed death at Tutphen by Philip Sidney’s side, stood as high in the favor of his queen as in the estimation of all good and honorable men. It is true, when the base and odious James succeeded to the throne of the lion-queen, and substituted mean and loathsome king-craft for frank and open English policy, the gray-haired soldier, navigator, statesman—for he had shone in each capacity—retired, as his ancestors had done before him, during the reigns of the seventh and eighth Henrys, to the peaceful shades and innocent pleasures of Ditton-in-the-Dale.

So true, however, was he to the time-honored principles of his high race, so loyally did he bring up his son, so firmly did he strengthen his youthful mind with all maxims, and all laws of honor, linking the loyal subject to the rightful king, that no sooner had the troubles broken out between the misguided monarch and his rebellious Parliament—although the veteran of Elizabeth had fallen asleep long before, full of years and honors—than his young heir, Osborn Fitz-Henry, displayed the cognizance of his old house, mustered his tenantry, and set foot in stirrup, well nigh the first, to withdraw it the very last, of the adherents of the hapless Charles. So long did he resist in arms, so pertinaciously did he uphold the authority of the first Charles, so early did he rise again in behalf of the second, that he was noted by the Parliament as an incorrigible and most desperate malignant; and, had it not been that, by his gallantry in the field, and his humanity when the strife was ended, he had won the personal good-will of Cromwell, it is most likely that it would have gone hard with his fortunes if not with his life.

After the restoration, he was of course neglected by the fiddling, gambling, wenching, royal buffoon, who succeeded the royal martyr, and whose necessities he had supplied, when an outcast pauper exile in a foreign land, from the proceeds of those very estates which he had so nearly lost in fighting for his crown.

Osborn Fitz-Henry, too, was gathered to his fathers. He died little advanced beyond the prime of life, worn out with the toil he had undergone in the camp, and shattered by the wounds which he had received on almost every battle-field from Edge-Hill to Dunbar and Worcester.

He had, however, married very young, before the breaking out of the rebellion, and had lived to see not his son only a noble and superior man, ready to fill his place when vacant, and in it uphold the honor of his family, but his son’s children also advancing fast toward maturity.

Allan Fitz-Henry, the son of Charles’ stout partisan, the grandson of Elizabeth’s warrior, was the head of the house, when my tale commences.

He, too, had married young—such, indeed, was the custom of his house—and had survived his wife, by whom he had two fair daughters, but no heir; and this was a source of vexation so constantly present to his mind, that in the end it altered the whole disposition of the man, rendering him irritable, harsh, stern, unreasonable, and unhappy.

Fondly attached to the memory of his lost wife, whom he had loved devotedly while living, it never entered his mind to marry a second time, even with the hope of begetting an heir by whom to perpetuate the honors and principles of his house; although he was continually on the fret—miserable himself, and making others miserable, in consequence of the certainty that he should be the last of his race.

His only hope was now centered in his daughters, or to speak more correctly, in his eldest daughter—for her he had determined to constitute his heiress, endowing her with all his landed property, all his heirlooms, all that could constitute her the head of his house; in return for which he had predetermined that she should become the wife of some husband of his own choosing, who should unite to a pedigree as noble as that of the Howards, all qualifications which should fit him to represent the house into which he should be adopted; and who should be willing to drop his own paternal name and bearings, how ancient and noble soever, in order to adopt the style and the arms of Fitz-Henry.

Proud by nature, by blood, and by education—though with a clear and honorable pride—he had been rendered a thousand times prouder and more haughty by the very circumstances which seemed to threaten a downfall to the fortunes of his house—his house, which had survived such desperate reverses; which had come out of every trial, like pure gold, the better and the brighter from the furnace—his house, which neither the ruin of friendly monarchs, nor the persecutions of hostile monarchs, nor the neglect of ungrateful monarchs, had been able to shake, any more than the autumnal blasts, or the frosts of winter, had availed to uproot the oak trees of his park, coeval with his name.

In the midst of health and wealth, honor and good esteem, with an affectionate family, and a devoted household around him, Allan Fitz-Henry fancied himself a most unhappy man—perhaps the most unhappy of mankind.

Alas! was it to punish such vain, such sinful, such senseless, and inordinate repinings?

Who shall presume to scrutinize the judgments, or pry into the secrets of the Inscrutable?

This much alone is certain, that ere he was gathered to his fathers, Allan Fitz-Henry might, and that not unjustly, have termed himself that, which now, in the very wantonness of pampered and insatiate success he swore that he was daily—the most unhappy of the sons of men.

For to calamities so dreadful as might have disturbed the reason of the strongest minded, remorse was added, so just, so terrible, so overwhelming, that men actually marveled how he lived on and was not insane.

But I must not anticipate.

It was a short time after the failure of the Duke of Monmouth’s weak and ungrateful attempt at revolution, a short time after the conclusion of the merciless and bloody butcheries of that disgrace to the English ermine, the ferocious Jefferies, that the incidents occurred, which I learned first on the evening subsequent to my discovery in the fatal summer-house.

At this time Allan Fitz-Henry—it was a singular proof, by the way, of the hereditary pride of this old Norman race, that having numbered among them so many friends and counsellors of monarchs, no one of their number had been found willing to accept titular honors, holding it a higher thing to be the premier gentleman than the junior peer of England—At this time, I say, Allan Fitz-Henry was a man of some forty-five or fifty years, well built and handsome, of courtly air and dignified presence; nor must it be imagined that in his fancied grievances he forgot to support the character of his family, or that he carried his griefs abroad with him into the world.

At times, indeed, he might be a little grave and thoughtful, especially at such times as he heard mention made of the promise or success of this or that scion of some noble house; but it was only within his own family circle, and to his most familiar friends, that he was wont to open his heart, and complain of his ill-fortune, at being the first childless father of his race—for so, in his contempt for the poor girls, whom he still, strange contradiction! loved fondly and affectionately, he was accustomed in his dark hours to style himself; as if forsooth an heir male were the only offspring worthy to be called the child of such a house.

Though he was fond, and gentle, and at times even tender to his motherless daughters—for, to do him justice, he never suffered a symptom of his disappointment and disgust to break out to their annoyance, yet was there no gleam of paternal satisfaction in his sad eye, no touch of paternal pride in his vexed heart, as he looked upon their graceful forms, and noted their growing beauties.

And yet they were a pair of whom the haughtiest potentate on earth might have been proud, and with justice.

Blanche and Agnes Fitz-Henry were at this time in their eighteenth and seventeenth years—but one summer having passed between their births, and their mother having died within a few hours after the latter saw the light.

They were, indeed, as lovely girls as the sun of merry England shone upon; and in those days it was still merry England, and famous then as now for the rare beauty of its women, whether in the first dawn of girlhood, or in the full-blown flush of feminine maturity.

Both tall, above the middle height of women, both exquisitely formed, with figures delicate and slender, yet full withal, and voluptuously rounded, with the long taper hands, the small and shapely feet and ankles, the swan-like necks, and classic heads gracefully set on, which are held to denote, in all countries, the predominance of gentle blood; when seen at a distance, and judged by the person only, it would have been almost impossible to distinguish the elder from the younger sister.

But look upon them face to face, and never, in all respects, were two girls of kindred race so entirely dissimilar. The elder, Blanche, was, as her name denotes, though ladies’ names are oftentimes misnomers, a genuine English blonde. Her abundant and beautiful hair, trained to float down upon her snowy shoulders in silky masses of unstudied curls, was of the lightest golden brown. There was not a shade of red in its hues, although her complexion was of that peculiarly dazzling character which is common to red-haired persons; yet when the sun shone on its glistening waves, so brilliantly did the golden light flash from it, that you might almost have imagined there was a circlet of living glory above her clear white brow.

Her eyebrows and eyelashes were many shades darker than her hair, relieving her face altogether from that charge of insipidity which is so often, and for the most part so truly, brought against fair-haired and fair-featured beauties. The eyes themselves, which those long lashes shrouded, were of the deepest violet blue; so deep, that at first sight you would have deemed them black, but for the soft and humid languor which is never seen in eyes of that color. The rest of her features were as near as possible to the Grecian model, except that there was a slight depression where the nose joins the brow, breaking that perfectly straight line of the classical face, which, however beautiful to the statue, is less attractive in life than the irregular outline of the northern countenance.

Her mouth, with the exception of—perhaps I should rather say in conjunction with—her eyes, was the most lovely and expressive feature in her face. There were twin dimples at its corners; yet was not its expression one of habitual mirth, but of tenderness and softness rather, unmixed, although an anchorite might have been pardoned the wish to press his lips to its voluptuous curve, with the slightest expression of sensuality.

Her complexion was, as I have said, dazzlingly brilliant; but it was the brilliance of the lily rather than of the rose, though at the least emotion, whether of pain or pleasure, the eloquent blood would rush, like the morning’s glow over some snow-crowned Alp, across cheek, brow, and neck, and bosom, and vanish thence so rapidly, that ere you should have time to say, nay, even to think,

“Look! look how beautiful, ’t was fled.”

Such was the elder beauty, the destined heiress of the ancient house, the promised mother of a line of sons, who should perpetuate the name and hand down the principles of the Fitz-Henries to far distant ages. Such were the musings of her father,

Proh! cœca mens mortalium!

and at such times alone, if ever, a sort of doubtful pride would come to swell his hope, whispering that for such a creature, no man, however high or haughty, but would be willing to renounce the pride of birth, even untempted by the demesnes of Ditton-in-the-Dale, and many another lordly manor coupled to the time-honored name of Fitz-Henry.

Her sister, Agnes, though not less beautiful than Blanche—and there were those who insisted that she was more so—was as different from her, in all but the general resemblance of figure and carriage, as night is from morning, or autumn from early summer-time.

Her ringlets, not less profuse than Blanche’s, and clustering in closer and more mazy curls, were as black as the raven’s wing, and, like the feathers of the wild bird, were lighted up when the sun played on them with a sort of purplish and metallic gloss, that defies alike the pen of the writer, and the painter’s pencil to depict to the eye.

Her complexion, though soft and delicate, was of the very darkest hue that is ever seen in persons of unmixed European blood; so dark that the very blood which would mantle to her cheek at times in burning blushes, was shaded, as it were, with a darker hue, like damask roses seen through the medium of a gold-tinted window-pane.

Her brows and lashes were as black as night, but, strange to say, the eyes that flashed from beneath them with an almost painful splendor, were of a clear, deep azure, less dark than those of the fairer sister, giving a singular and wild character to her whole face, and affecting the style of her beauty, but whether for the better or the worse it was for those who admired or shunned—and there were who took both parts—to determine. Her face was rounder and fuller than her sister’s, and, in fact, this was true of her whole person—so much so that she was often mistaken for the elder—her features were less regular, her nose having a slight tendency to that form which has no name in our language, but which charmed all beholders in Roxana, as retroussie. Her mouth was as warm, as soft, as sweetly dimpled, but it was not free from that expression which Blanche’s lacked altogether, and might have been blamed as too wooing and luxurious.

Such were the various characters of the sisters’ personal appearance—the characters of their mental attributes were as distinctly marked, and as widely different.

Blanche was all gentleness and moderation from her very cradle—a delicate and tender child, smiling always, but rarely laughing; never boisterous or loud even in her childish plays. And as she grew older, this character became more definite, and was more strongly observed; she was a pensive, tranquil creature, not melancholy, much less sad—for she was awake to all that was beautiful or grand, all that was sweet or gentle in the face of nature, or in the history of man; and there was, perhaps, more real happiness concealed under her calm exterior, than is often to be found under the wilder mirth of merrier beings. Ever ready to yield her wishes to those of her friends or companions, many persons imagined that she had little will, and no fixed wishes, or deliberate aspirations—passionless and pure as the lily of the vale, many supposed that she was cold and heartless. Oh! ignorant! not to remember that the hearts of the fiercest volcanos boil still beneath a head of snow; and that it is even in the calmest and most moderate characters that passion once enkindled burns fierce, perennial and unquenchable! Thus far, however, had she advanced into the flower of fair maidenhood, undisturbed by any warmer dream than devoted affection toward her parent, whose wayward grief she could understand if she could not appreciate, and whom she strove by every gentle wile to wean from his morbid fancies; and earnest love toward her sister, whom she, indeed, almost adored—perhaps adored the more from the very difference of their minds, and for her very imperfections.

For Agnes was all gay vivacity, and petulance, and fire—so that her young companions, who sportively named Blanche the icicle, had christened her the sunbeam; and, in truth, if the first name were ill chosen, the second seemed to be an inspiration; for like a sunbeam that touched nothing but to illuminate it, like a sunbeam she played with all things, smiled on all things in their turn—like a sunbeam she brought mirth with her presence, and after her departure, left a double gloom behind her.

More dazzling than Blanche, she made her impression at first sight, and so long as the skies were clear, and the atmosphere unruffled, the sunbeam would continue to gild, to charm, to be worshiped. But if the time of darkness and affliction came, the gay sunbeam held aloof, while the poor icicle, melted from its seeming coldness, was ever ready to weep for the sorrows of those who had neglected her in the days of their happiness.

Unused to yield, high-spirited when crossed, yet carrying off even her stubbornness and quick temper by the brilliancy, the wit, the lively and bold audacity which she cast around them, Agnes ruled in her circle an imperious and despotic queen; while her slaves, even as they trembled before her half sportive but emphatic frown, did not suspect the sceptre of the tyrant beneath the spell of the enchantress.

Agnes, in one word, was the idol of the rich and gay; Blanche was the saint of the poor, the lowly, the sick, and those who mourn.

It may be that the peculiarity of her position, the neglect which she had always experienced from her father, and mediately from the hirelings of the household, ever prompt to pander to the worst feelings of their superiors—the consciousness that born co-heiress with her sister, she was doomed to sink into the insignificance of an undowered and uncared-for girl, had tended in some degree to form the character which Agnes had ever borne, and which alone she had displayed, until the period when my tale commences.

It may be that the consciousness of wrong endured, had hardened a heart naturally soft and tender, and rendered it unyielding and rebellious—it may be that injustice, endured at the hands of hirelings in early years, had engendered a spirit of resistance, and armed her mind and quickened her tongue against the world, which, as she fancied, wronged her. It may be, more than all, that a secret, perhaps an unconscious jealousy of her sister’s superior advantages, not in the wretched sense of worldly wealth or position, but of the love and reverence of friends and kindred, had embittered her young soul, and caused her to cast over it a veil of light and wild demeanor, of free speech, and daring mirth, which had by degrees grown into habits, and become part and parcel of her nature.

If it were so, however, there were no outward indications that such was the case; for never were there seen two sisters more united and affectionate—nor would it have been easy to say on which side the balance of kindness preponderated. For if Blanche was ever the first to cede to her sister’s wishes, and the last, in any momentary disappointment or annoyance, to speak one quick or unkind word, so was Agnes, with her expressive features, and flashing eye, and ready, tameless wit, prompt as light to avenge the slightest reflection cast on Blanche’s tranquillity and coldness; and if at times a quick word or sharp retort broke from her lips, and called a tear to the eye of her calmer sister, not a moment would elapse before she would cast herself upon her neck and weep her sincere contrition, and be for hours an altered being; until her natural spirit would prevail, and she would be again the wild, mirthful madcap, whose very faults could call forth no keener reproach than a grave and thoughtful smile from the lips of those who loved her the most dearly.

Sad were the daughters of Allan Fitz-Henry—daughters whom not a peer in England but would have regarded as the brightest gems of his coronets, as the pride and ornament of his house; but whom, by a strange anomaly, their own father, full as he was of warm affections, and kindly inclinations, never looked upon but with a secret feeling of discontent and disappointment, that they were not other than they were: and with a half confessed conviction, that fair as they were, tender, and loving, graceful, accomplished, delicate and noble-minded, he could have borne to lay them both in the cold grave, so that a son could be given to the house, in exchange for their lost loveliness.

In outward demeanor, however, he was to his children all that a father should be; a little querulous at times, perhaps, and irritable, but fond, though not doting, and considerate; and I have wandered greatly from my intention, if any thing that I have said has been construed to signify that there existed the slightest estrangement between the father and his children—for had Allan Fitz-Henry but suspected the possibility of such a thing, he had torn the false pride, like a venomous weed, from his heart, and had been a wiser and a happier man. In his case it was the blindness of the heart that caused its partial hardness; but events were at hand, that should flood it with the clearest light, and melt it to more than woman’s tenderness.

[To be continued.


On, in thy mission! ’Tis a holy power

  That which thou wieldest o’er a people’s heart:

And wastes of mind, that never knew a flower,

  Bloom now and brighten, ’neath thy magic art.

Hearthstones are cheerful that were chill before;

  And softened beams, like light that melteth through

The stained glass of old cathedrals, pour

  Stream upon stream of beauty. All that’s true,

All that is brave and beautiful, ’tis thine—

  High office, high and holy! thus to shed,

Sun-like, and sole, in shadow or in shine,

  Thoughts that bedew and rouse minds cold and dead,

Startling the pulse that stirred not. This is thine!

Be proudly humble: ’tis a power divine!


New Orleans, October 1, 1847.                  Altus.





We mere men of the world, with no principle—a very old-fashioned and cumbersome thing—should be on our guard lest, fancying him on his last legs, we insult, or otherwise maltreat some poor devil of a genius at the very instant of his putting his foot on the top round of his ladder of triumph. It is a common trick with these fellows, when on the point of attaining some long-cherished end, to sink themselves into the deepest possible abyss of seeming despair, for no other purpose than that of increasing the space of success through which they have made up their minds immediately to soar.

All that the man of genius demands for his exaltation is moral matter in motion. It makes no difference whither tends the motion—whether for him or against him—and it is absolutely of no consequence “what is the matter.”

In Colton’s “American Review” for October, 1845, a gentleman, well known for his scholarship, has a forcible paper on “The Scotch School of Philosophy and Criticism.” But although the paper is “forcible,” it presents the most singular admixture of error and truth—the one dovetailed into the other, after a fashion which is novel, to say the least of it. Were I to designate in a few words what the whole article demonstrated, I should say “the folly of not beginning at the beginning—of neglecting the giant Moulineau’s advice to his friend Ram.” Here is a passage from the essay in question:

“The Doctors [Campbell and Johnson] both charge Pope with error and inconsistency:—error in supposing that in English, of metrical lines unequal in the number of syllables and pronounced in equal times, the longer suggests celerity (this being the principle of the Alexandrine:)—inconsistency, in that Pope himself uses the same contrivance to convey the contrary idea of slowness. But why in English? It is not and cannot be disputed that, in the Hexameter verse of the Greeks and Latins—which is the model in this matter—what is distinguished as the ‘dactylic line’ was uniformly applied to express velocity. How was it to do so? Simply from the fact of being pronounced in an equal time with, while containing a greater number of syllables or ‘bars’ than the ordinary or average measure; as, on the other hand, the spondaic line, composed of the minimum number, was, upon the same principle, used to indicate slowness. So, too, of the Alexandrine in English versification. No, says Campbell, there is a difference: the Alexandrine is not in fact, like the dactylic line, pronounced in the common time. But does this alter the principle? What is the rationale of Metre, whether the classical hexameter or the English heroic?”

I have written an essay on the “Rationale of Verse,” in which the whole topic is surveyed ab initio, and with reference to general and immutable principles. To this essay (which will soon appear) I refer Mr. Bristed. In the meantime, without troubling myself to ascertain whether Doctors Johnson and Campbell are wrong, or whether Pope is wrong, or whether the reviewer is right or wrong, at this point or at that, let me succinctly state what is the truth on the topics at issue.

And first; the same principles, in all cases, govern all verse. What is true in English is true in Greek.

Secondly; in a series of lines, if one line contains more syllables than the law of the verse demands, and if, nevertheless, this line is pronounced in the same time, upon the whole, as the rest of the lines, then this line suggests celerity—on account of the increased rapidity of enunciation required. Thus in the Greek Hexameter the dactylic lines—those most abounding in dactyls—serve best to convey the idea of rapid motion. The spondaic lines convey that of slowness.

Thirdly; it is a gross mistake to suppose that the Greek dactylic line is ‘the model in this matter’—the matter of the English Alexandrine. The Greek dactylic line is of the same number of feet—bars—beats—pulsations—as the ordinary dactylic-spondaic lines among which it occurs. But the Alexandrine is longer by one foot—by one pulsation—than the pentameters among which it arises. For its pronunciation it demands more time, and therefore, ceteris paribus, it would well serve to convey the impression of length, or duration, and thus, indirectly, of slowness. I say ceteris paribus. But, by varying conditions, we can effect a total change in the impression conveyed. When the idea of slowness is conveyed by the Alexandrine, it is not conveyed by any slower enunciation of syllables—that is to say, it is not directly conveyed—but indirectly, through the idea of length in the whole line. Now, if we wish to convey, by means of an Alexandrine, the impression of velocity, we readily do so by giving rapidity to our enunciation of the syllables composing the several feet. To effect this, however, we must have more syllables, or we shall get through the whole line too quickly for the intended time. To get more syllables, all we have to do, is to use, in place of iambuses, what our prosodies call anapœsts.[1] Thus, in the line,

Flies o’er the unbending corn and skims along the main,

the syllables ‘the unbend’ form an anapœst and, demanding unusual rapidity of enunciation, in order that we may get them in in the ordinary time of an iambus, serve to suggest celerity. By the elision of e in the, as is customary, the whole of the intended effect is lost; for th’unbend is nothing more than the usual iambus. In a word, wherever an Alexandrine expresses celerity, we shall find it to contain one or more anapœsts—the more anapœsts, the more decided the impression. But the tendency of the Alexandrine consisting merely of the usual iambuses, is to convey slowness—although it conveys this idea feebly, on account of conveying it indirectly. It follows, from what I have said, that the common pentameter, interspersed with anapœsts, would better convey celerity than the Alexandrine interspersed with them in a similar degree;—and it unquestionably does.

To converse well, we need the cool tact of talent—to talk well, the glowing abandon of genius. Men of very high genius, however, talk at one time very well, at another very ill:—well, when they have full time, full scope, and a sympathetic listener:—ill, when they fear interruption and are annoyed by the impossibility of exhausting the topic during that particular talk. The partial genius is flashy—scrappy. The true genius shudders at incompleteness—imperfection—and usually prefers silence to saying the something which is not every thing that should be said. He is so filled with his theme that he is dumb, first from not knowing how to begin, where there seems eternally beginning behind beginning, and secondly from perceiving his true end at so infinite a distance. Sometimes, dashing into a subject, he blunders, hesitates, stops short, sticks fast, and, because he has been overwhelmed by the rush and multiplicity of his thoughts, his hearers sneer at his inability to think. Such a man finds his proper element in those “great occasions” which confound and prostrate the general intellect.

Nevertheless, by his conversation, the influence of the conversationist upon mankind in general, is more decided than that of the talker by his talk:—the latter invariably talks to best purpose with his pen. And good conversationists are more rare than respectable talkers. I know many of the latter; and of the former only five or six:—among whom I can call to mind, just now, Mr. Willis, Mr. J. T. S. S.—of Philadelphia, Mr. W. M. R.—of Petersburg, Va., and Mrs. S——d, formerly of New York. Most people, in conversing, force us to curse our stars that our lot was not cast among the African nation mentioned by Eudoxus—the savages who, having no mouths, never opened them, as a matter of course. And yet, if denied mouth, some persons whom I have in my eye would contrive to chatter on still—as they do now—through the nose.

All in a hot and copper sky

  The bloody sun at noon

Just up above the mast did stand,

  No bigger than the moon.—Coleridge.

Is it possible that the poet did not know the apparent diameter of the moon to be greater than that of the sun?

If any ambitious man have a fancy to revolutionize, at one effort, the universal world of human thought, human opinion, and human sentiment, the opportunity is his own—the road to immortal renown lies straight, open, and unencumbered before him. All that he has to do is to write and publish a very little book. Its title should be simple—a few plain words—“My Heart Laid Bare.” But—this little book must be true to its title.

Now, is it not very singular that, with the rabid thirst for notoriety which distinguishes so many of mankind—so many, too, who care not a fig what is thought of them after death, there should not be found one man having sufficient hardihood to write this little book? To write, I say. There are ten thousand men who, if the book were once written, would laugh at the notion of being disturbed by its publication during their life, and who could not even conceive why they should object to its being published after their death. But to write it—there is the rub. No man dare write it. No man ever will dare write it. No man could write it, even if he dared. The paper would shrivel and blaze at every touch of the fiery pen.

For all the rhetorician’s rules

Teach nothing but to name the tools.—Hudibras.

What these oft-quoted lines go to show is, that a falsity in verse will travel faster and endure longer than a falsity in prose. The man who would sneer or stare at a silly proposition nakedly put, will admit that “there is a good deal in that” when “that” is the point of an epigram shot into the ear. The rhetorician’s rules—if they are rules—teach him not only to name his tools, but to use his tools, the capacity of his tools—their extent—their limit; and from an examination of the nature of the tools—(an examination forced on him by their constant presence)—force him, also, into scrutiny and comprehension of the material on which the tools are employed, and thus, finally, suggest and give birth to new material for new tools.

Among his eidola of the den, the tribe, the forum, the theatre, etc., Bacon might well have placed the great eidolon of the parlor (or of the wit, as I have termed it in one of the previous Marginalia)—the idol whose worship blinds man to truth by dazzling him with the apposite. But what title could have been invented for that idol which has propagated, perhaps, more of gross error than all combined?—the one, I mean, which demands from its votaries that they reciprocate cause and effect—reason in a circle—lift themselves from the ground by pulling up their pantaloons—and carry themselves on their own heads, in hand-baskets, from Beersheba to Dan.

All—absolutely all the argumentation which I have seen on the nature of the soul, or of the Deity, seems to me nothing but worship of this unnameable idol. Pour savoir ce qu’est Dieu, says Bielfeld, although nobody listens to the solemn truth, il faut être Dieu même—and to reason about the reason is of all things the most unreasonable. At least, he alone is fit to discuss the topic who perceives at a glance the insanity of its discussion.

I use the prosodial word “anapœst,” merely because here I have no space to show what the reviewer will admit I have distinctly shown in the essay referred to—viz: that the additional syllable introduced, does not make the foot an anapœst, or the equivalent of an anapœst, and that, if it did, it would spoil the line. On this topic, and on all topics connected with verse, there is not a prosody in existence which is not a mere jumble of the grossest error.






                             PART I.


When the weird and wizard bats were flitting round his dusky way,

Over a moorland, like a whirlwind, rushed the knight, Sir Roland Grey;

When the crimson sun was setting, as the yellow moon arose,

Far and faint, behind Sir Roland, sank the slogan of his foes—


Far and faint; and growing fainter as he reached the forest sward,

Spreading round for many an acre over the lands which owned him lord.

As he dashed along the woodland, fitfully, upon the breeze,

Swept the tu-who-o of the owlet through the naked forest trees;


And the loudly whirring black-cock through the creaking branches sprung,

Frightened by his horse’s hoofs, that like the Cyclop’s anvil rung—

Like a hurricane on he hurried, wood and valley gliding past,

While around him, o’er him, on him, burst the sudden autumn blast.


Down upon him, in a deluge, rushed the cold November rain;

But the wind about him whistled, and the tempest swept in vain.

What to him was wind or tempest, when his brain was seared with flame?

What to him was earth or heaven, when his soul was sick with shame?


In the dreary, desolate desert on his ears had burst a tale,

That, like falling thunder, stunned and left him terrified and pale;

How, while he was battling bravely, like a true and holy knight,

For the sacred tomb of Christ, against the swarthy Moslemite;


How, while round him lances shivered, armor rang, and arrows fell,

And the air was mad with noises—Arab shout and Paynim yell—

She, the partner of his heart, descended (so the legend said)

From the ancient Saxon monarchs, sank in shame her sunny head.


From his friends—his growing glory—over dark and dangerous seas—

From his red-cross banner proudly flowing, floating on the breeze—

Over field and flood he traveled, flinging fame and honor by,

With a heart as full of hell as full of glory was the sky.


All his mind became a chaos; but along its waste there stole

What his bloody purpose shook, and what was manna to his soul,—

Memories of his youthful moments, when through grassy glen and wood

He wandered with the Lady Gwineth, dreaming none so fair and good;


And he saw her sweetly smiling, as when at her feet he knelt,

And with bold but modest manner on his burning passion dwelt—

Felt her fall upon his bosom—felt her tears upon his cheek,

As he felt them when his tongue was all too full of joy to speak!


And his heart was slowly softening—when a hoarse voice bade him “yield!”

And a claymore clanked and clattered on the bosses of his shield;—

Rising round him, closing on him, sprang an ambush of his foe,

The despoiler of his honor! All his answer was a blow!


All his soul was in his arm; and, as his foemen closed around,

Vassal after vassal, wounded, yelling, fell and bit the ground;

But when through the wood there rushed an hundred thronging to the fight,

Charging through them, still defying, Roland safety sought in flight.


When the crimson sun descended, as the yellow moon arose,

Far and faint behind Sir Roland sank the slogan of his foes—

Far and faint, and waxing fainter, as he reached the forest sward,

Spreading round for many an acre, over the lands that owned him lord.


Like a whirlwind on he hurried, though the storm was raging sore:

In his heart he carried torture: there was music in its roar—

Like a hurricane on he hurried, spurring on with loosened rein,

Till he checked his jaded courser on his old paternal plain.


Clouds were scudding o’er the heavens; wild the tempest roared around;

And the very earth was shaking with the thunder’s heavy sound;

But between the lightning flashes, frowning grimly, here and there,

Loomed his old ancestral castle, with its old ancestral air.


There, the barbican—the draw-bridge—there, the ancient donjon-keep,

With its iron-banded portals—there, the moat in sullen sleep!—

Galloping onward, lo! he halted, for they kept strict watch and ward,

And his courser’s clanking hoofs had roused the ever-wary guard.


Loud above the increasing tempest rose the warder’s threatening hail;

Louder rose the ringing answer from a lip that scorned to quail:

“Grey of Grey!” the warrior thundered, “he who fears nor bolt nor dart—

He who is your master, vassal—Roland of the Lion Heart!”


Clanking, clattering, grating, slowly up the huge portcullis went,

And the draw-bridge over the moat creaking, shrieking, downward bent;

On his armor flashed the torch-light, over helmet, cuirass, shield,

With its lion d’ or couchant upon a stainless argent field.


Over rode he, frowning fiercely, throwing from him ruddy light,

Flashing, like a burning beacon, on his startled vassal’s sight.

Rose the draw-bridge, fell the barrier, closed the oaken gates behind.

—All was silence save the roaring of the wild November wind.



                             PART II.


In a lofty vaulted chamber, pillared, Gothic, full of gloom,

But that flashes of the fire-light fitfully fell athwart the room—

Ruddy gleams of fading fire-light, lighting many a bearded face,

On the fluted hangings woven—founders of her husband’s race—


On a carven couch in slumber lay the Lady Gwineth Grey,

Traces of a smile yet lingering on a cheek of rosy May—

On the softest velvet slumbering, in a mist of golden hair,

Trembling on her heaving bosom, and along her neck as fair.


Seemed she like the Goddess Dian sleeping in some lonely wood,

Or a nun on convent pallet dreaming only what was good:

By her stood an outened flambeaux, from which, blue, and thin, and rare,

Stole a wave of trembling vapor, slowly melting into air.


But the tapestry was lifted, and a form in steel array

Suddenly entered, and his coming drove the waning mist away.

Treading softly o’er the rushes Roland stept beside his bride,

In the passing of a moment standing at her couch’s side.


Like an angel seemed the lady, lying in her rosy rest;

Like a devil seemed the knight, with passion raging in his breast:

For within his bosom, gnawing all his heart with teeth of fire,

Reigned Revenge, and on his forehead burned the purple hue of ire.


Slowly bending o’er his wife, but making not a sound, he gazed

Upon her, while his glaring eye-balls, like twin torches, brightly blazed.

—Starting, feeling one was near her, Gwineth raised her golden head,

Looking round her—flashed his falchion, and she sank in silence—dead!


Roared the tempest; crashed the thunder; even the castle seemed to quail

And tremble, like a living thing, before the fury of the gale;

But the fierce and fearless murderer turned to where his child reclined,

Asleep, amid the thunder’s crash, the rushing rain and roaring wind.


As he bent above his boy, dim memories of days long back

Came, like stars an instant seen amid the autumn tempest’s rack;

But as swiftly over his spirit flashed the ruin of his name—

Flashed the withering thought that even that child might be the child of shame.


Wildly then he raised his glaive, but wilder, sterner, still, without,

Swelled the tempest, burst the thunder, yelled the winds with maniac shout;

While the lightning, red and vivid, quivered through the skies in ire,

Till the chamber with its flashes seemed a blazing hall of fire.


With this climax of the tempest—thunder, lightning, rain and wind—

Roland felt an awful doubt creep tremblingly athwart his mind;

Slowly, slowly, it arose, and grew gigantic; slowly, slowly,

Cloud-like, overshadowing him, darkening his spirit wholly.


Then, like Saul of Eld, he trembled, feeling his deed was one of guilt—

Believing heaven itself asserted it was innocent blood he spilt—

Feeling heaven was interfering, sank his heart, and fell his blade,

And the superstitious murderer tottered, wailing and dismayed.


“Be she spotless,” groaned the warrior, “I have done a grievous crime—

Stained the snowiest shield that ever graced the temple-walls of Time.

—Thou, my noblest and my fairest! with thy mother’s Saxon eye—

Shall my hand, too, strike thee lifeless? No! I cannot see thee die!”


Suddenly Roland saw the peril hanging over his guilty head—

Felt that he could never hide him from the vengeance of the dead—

Saw the heartless headsman smiling, and the axe, and heard the crowd

Shouting curses on the assassin—and the chieftain groaned aloud—


Groaned, for that his deed had robbed him of a home and of a name,

Hurling on his orphan son the damning heritage of shame:

Life and lands by law were forfeit; he had driven his offspring forth,

Rudely, ruthlessly, to wander, one of the Ishmaelites of earth.


But a sudden thought came o’er him, and his lofty eye again

Flashed with resolution, stern and strong as was his spirit’s pain.

“Shall I rob thee of thy birthright—rob thee of thy noble name,

Of our old ancestral castle, and our fathers’ deeds of fame?


“Shall I fling thee forth to struggle with a never-sparing world;

Knowing every eye will scorn thee, every lip at thee be curled?

Know thee, budding bloom of beauty, withering in thy youth away—

Feel thy infant promise fading—see thy falcon-eye decay?


“Did I give thee life to cloud it—life to poison every breath?

Better far the dreary dungeon, and the dark and iron death!

Never! Let them heap upon me rock on rock Olympus high;

None shall see a sinew quiver, none shall hear the slightest cry.


“‘Blood for blood’ is rightly written: I have slain a spotless wife,

And will dree a heavy penance—yield the law my forfeit life;

Come the judgment, I will meet it; and the torture shall not tear

Word from me to make a beggar of my rightful, righteous heir.”


As the stricken knight was speaking, in the distance died the storm;

And the moonlight on the casement wandered sweetly, rested warm;

Through the golden glass it floated, fluttering over the lady’s hair,

Till she seemed a mild Madonna, watched by angels, slumbering there.


Shaken by the storm of conscience, Roland sank upon his knee,

Sudden as before a hurricane falls some famous forest tree;

Sank beside pale, placid Gwineth, weeping, wailing, sorrow riven,

Feeling God had spoken, praying that his crime might be forgiven.


All that long and dreary night, Sir Roland watched beside the dead,

Humbly kneeling in the rushes strown around the carven bed.

Slowly, quietly approaching came the gray-eyed dreamy dawn,

Making every thing about him seem more desolate and wan.


One by one the stars went out, and slowly over the Orient came

Streaks of rose and tints of purple, flakes of gold and rays of flame,

And around the ancient castle Roland heard the hum of those

That from quiet sleep were waking, as they, one by one, arose.


Slowly through the painted casement, touching first the chamber crown

And the groined roof, the sunlight stole in lovely lustre down

Over the tapestry, that glistened, gleaming with its golden ray,

Till it kissed the russet rushes where in yellow sleep it lay.


Came the Lady Gwineth’s maidens, starting at the sudden sight

Of their lord, Sir Roland, standing like a warrior for the fight;

But he waved them on; and, wondering, they unto the sleeper went—

Shrieking loudly, shrieking wildly as above her corpse they bent.


Startled by the sudden clamor, Roland’s son in fright awoke,

As from all sides, madly rushing in the room, the vassals broke;

Gathering round him, gazing on him, looking on the bloody brand

And the lady, who, when living, was the loveliest in the land.


Not a word the warrior uttered, though his son implored him sore,

And they led him like an infant toward the oaken chamber-door;

There he turned and gazed on Gwineth, looking on her face his last;

Then between his guards in silence to the castle-prison passed.


There they left him; but at mid-day came, and, beckoning, bade him forth

To journey, not as he was wont to, from his ancient honored hearth:

To an armed guard they gave him, and amid their stern array,

Haughty, lofty-souled and silent Roland sternly rode away.



                             PART III.


When the gathering gloom of night in swarthy shadows floated down

On the mountain and the forest, Roland saw the distant town:

O’er its walls, and round its towers, a dim and sickly lustre lay.

Like the gray and ghostly haze that heraldeth the dawning day.


While, behind those walls and turrets, standing blackly in her light,

Full and large the lurid moon rose ghastily upon the night;

Shrouded in a cloud of crimson, slowly, slowly as he came

Rising higher, higher, higher, till the east was full of flame.


As his guards approached the gates—did she sink or did they rise?

Behind the black gigantic towers the planet vanished from his eyes.

All without was solemn blackness, but within was drearier dark,

Save when from some grim old building stole a taper’s trembling spark.


Slowly through the lengthy streets, between old houses, rising high,

Over which, dark, dusk, sepulchral, bent the purple pall-like sky,

Through the town they bore him on, until frowningly, at last,

Rose the castle-walls before them, huge and massy, broad and vast.


With a last look on the heavens, the knight rode on beneath the gate:

Stepping from his steed he bowed him, stately, to his fearful fate:

On his limbs they fastened fetters, cold! how cold! their chillness ran

Freezing through his blood, the spirit of the stern, unconquered man.


Through a gallery they led him to a dark and dismal cell.

Where they left him. Sad and solemn, heavy, awful as a knell,

Seemed the fading of their footsteps, as he heard them slowly glide

Through the long and vaulted corridor till their very echo died.


Days went by—days dark with anguish, for his conscience, like a spur,

Drove him o’er the wastes of memory which were never black before;

Weeks slid by, and months—such months! such bitter months of pungent pain,

That their very hours seemed serpents gnawing at his heart and brain.


Next they led him forth to trial: like a child he bowed and went,

With his once black hair like snow, and his stalwart form so bent,

And his beard so long and white, and his cheek so thin and wan,

Even his very keepers thought it was a ghost they gazed upon!


When before his ermined judges, stately, silent, Roland came,

Over his cheek there flashed and faded, suddenly, a flash of flame:

Like a falling star it faded: lofty and erect he turned,

With the feeling that aroused it under his iron Will inurned.


“Roland, Baron Grey!” the crier, in the ancient Latin tongue,

Which, like some old bell in tolling, through the vaulted building rung:—

Cold and stern the prisoner answered—cold and stern—devoid of fear—

Looking haughtily around him:—“Roland, Baron Grey, is here!”


Muttering the solemn charge, they bade him answer; but he stood

Cold, and calm, and motionless, as though he were nor flesh nor blood,

But, rather, all a bronzed statue of the proud, primeval time—

In his silence self-devoted—in his very guilt sublime.


Thrice they prayed him: while he listened, not a quiver on his brow,

Not the movement of a hair upon his head or beard of snow,

Not the motion of a lip, nor even the flutter of an eye,

Betokening that he even heard them—he was there alone to die.


In the distant, dreary years, so run the legends even now—

Misty legends on whose summits slumber centuries of snow—

Lofty legends round whose summits clouds have lain for solemn ages—

Legends penned with iron pens in blood by Draco-minded sages—


It was written, they should bear him to a dungeon under ground,

Far beneath the castle moat, where came no single human sound,

And unto the earth should chain him, naked, on the icy ground—

Naked, like the sage Prometheus, on the mountain’s summit bound.


Water—there was none for him, save that which flowed in the castle moat,

On whose green and slimy surface newts and mosses loved to float—

Bread—a crust a day—so, starving, freezing, there the Doomed was spread,

Pressed with weights of stone and iron till he answered or was dead.


Did he answer guiltless, lo! the trial; guilty, lo! the axe;

Death before the grinning thousand! worse than were a myriad racks!

While the trial were an evil quite as grievous, quite as great,

For the verdict of his peers would rend from him his proud estate:


But, if he died silent, then his lands would pass in quiet down

To bless his boy, his innocent boy, and not escheat unto the crown:

So he chose the darksome dungeon, rather there to die alone

Than by cowardly fear to steal the birthright of his orphan son.


But, beside this, came the thought that, by this penance he might win

Forgiveness from offended Heaven for his now-repented sin.

“Noble Roland,” quoth his judges, “answer, ere it be too late;

Heavy, else, must be our judgment—heavier thine awful fate.”


Then arose the ghostly knight, with his spectral eyes aflame,

While a more than mortal vigor coursed and circled through his frame;

And he gazed upon them smiling, and like hollow thunder broke

His accents on the swarthy silence:—thus and so the chieftain spoke:


“Lords! I answer not. If guilty, God will judge my sinful soul:

For my body—that is yours! I yield it to your stern control.

Would you have me—me, a warrior, like a coward plead for life?

Death and I are old acquaintance! I have met him in the strife—


“I have met him when the air was swooning with a ghastly fear;

When the Moslem swept before us, driven like a herd of deer;

When our voices mocked the thunder, shouting ‘England and Saint George!’

And the lightning of our falchions fell like flashes from a forge!


“There, amid the clash and clang of sword and shield, I strove with Death—

That I conquered, ye may see; and now I yield to him my breath

Where there is no rescue, yield! and, as one would call a bride,

So I bid the grisly monarch smilingly unto my side.


“Shall I yield my broad estates, my castles and my manor lands,

To the harpies of the law, to hold them with unhallowed hands?

Shall I send my youthful heir forth with a stain upon his crest?

No! my eaglet yet shall reign an eagle in his parent nest.


“Lords and judges, I have done: no further words shall pass my lips,

Save prayers to Heaven, that my soul may, sun-like, rise from death’s eclipse.”

Silently, he braved them still; and, sighing, sad, and full of gloom,

His judges sent him forth to struggle with the sharp and lingering doom.


Did he tremble at their sentence? Not a muscle quivered, not

A sign to mark he heard, save on his cheek one purple spot:

Statelier yet than ever, firmer, with a long triumphant breath,

Roland, smiling on his judges, sternly walked to certain death.



                             PART IV.


In his cell the knight is lying, naked, fettered foot and hand;

Bound unto the rocky ground with many an iron link and band;

On him lie the piles of granite, pressing, pressing; yet he still

Looks on death with lofty eye—so giant is his mighty will.


Day by day, he lay and suffered, wrung with agony, but content—

Day by day, though hard to bear was his grievous punishment—

Never once, though, hour on hour, they piled the jagged granite higher

On his quivering limbs, he murmured; yet his very veins were fire.


Once, however, came his jailer, saying that his nephew sought

His presence; and the knight, consenting, in his brother’s son was brought:

“Uncle Roland,” quoth he, weeping, “what is this that I have done?

Curses, curses on my head! curse, uncle, curse thy brother’s son!


Mine the tongue that wrought this evil—mine the false and slanderous tongue

That done to death the Lady Gwineth—O! my soul is sadly wrung!”

“Demon, devil!” groaned the warrior—“devil of the evil eye!

Look upon the awful horror wrought by thy atrocious lie.


Tell me? was it all a falsehood? Tell me, was it all—all—all?

Speak! and let these prison walls, oppressed with horror, on thee fall!”

“All was false! Mine, too the ambush; for I sought to grasp thy lands—

Sought to win the Lady Gwineth, with thy blood upon my hands.


But she drove me forth with scorn; and then I coined the lying tale—

O! forgive me, Uncle Roland! give me leave to weep and wail;

Give me leave to sit in sackcloth, heaping ashes on my head;

Mourning in some craggy cavern for the early lost and dead.”


“Unexampled liar and traitor! first of all our noble name

Guilty of so black a treason! first to stain our shield with shame!

Hence! away! I—No! repent! begone! and pray for my repose:

Life on both of us too soon for our grievous crimes will close.


“I forgive thee—now away—nay, do not touch me! I am wan—

Sick with suffering—mad with anguish—Go!” The penitent man is gone.

—Once again he lies alone, save his agony, alone;

Then they come and pile upon him heavier weights of iron and stone.


Still more pallid, at the even, Roland in his anguish lay,

Wrestling, for his soul was strong, with his body’s slow decay;

And the sweat upon his forehead stood and rolled and fell like rain,

Cold, while pain and fire and fever battled in his heart and brain.


Now and then his senses wandered; now again his mind was calm,

And he wrung from out his suffering penitential draughts of balm;

Then again his senses left him, and he lay in phrenzy there,

Talking wildly in his madness with the dim, impalpable air.


Now, he saw the Lady Gwineth wandering in her maiden joy;

Now, he viewed her in her chamber frolic with her baby boy;

Now, he saw her sadly lying, all her bosom bathed with blood;

And beheld himself as o’er her on that fatal night he stood.


Was he dreaming? through his dungeon stole a pale purpureal light,

Flowing round him, floating round him, making daylight of its night;

In its midst, his gentle Gwineth, while around her brow there flowed,

Fluttering flame, a golden halo! that with heavenly glory glowed.


Did he hear her? Was it real? With an angel’s voice she spoke:

How the words, like flakes of music, silver music! sweetly broke,

Round and round him! how they floated, ringing in his ravished ears,

Like the notes of Memnon’s lyre, or chantings from the distant spheres!


“Coming, Roland, from that heaven where, though clad with light, I sigh

And languish for the softer lustre of thy gentle loving eye,

I await thee, singing, singing hymns to cheer thy dying hour

That the Cherubim sang in Eden when it first arose in flower.


Hearken! how my notes are mingling—one by one, and two by two,

Dropping on thy brain as falls on fading roses freshening dew;

Three by three, they upward circle: thou hast heard them in thy dreams,

When I came, a missioned spirit, from the four eternal streams.


I can see them, though thine eyes can only compass earthly vision:

Soon, O, Roland! soon, O, Roland! thou shalt see with eyes elysian:

Then the notes that now thou hearest thou shalt see, as on they flow,—

Angels that are rarest air! and view them through their dances go.”


Still, entranced, the sufferer listened; and it seemed as from his pain

Sweeter music yet was born, for holier hymning lulled his brain;

Very wild his agony; very; but between its bars his eyes

Saw the angels as they wandered on the walls of Paradise.


Faint and fainter grew he, while the melody loud and louder rang,

Till it seemed not only Gwineth but a myriad angels sang;

And his soul seemed rising, rising, rising from his pallid clay,

Which, each moment, grew more feeble—faintlier wrestling with decay.


Burst upon his ears one swell! it seemed an anthem of the spheres,

Jubilant, divinely ringing; swam his eyes with happy tears—

“Come, forgiven one,” the cadence, “chastened spirit, come, arise

From thine earthly prison-house to holy homes beyond the skies.”


Fainter, fainter, still more feeble, grew the sufferer as he heard,

And a sigh swooned on the silence, soft as breathing of a bird,—

And all was over. In his trance his spirit’s sparkling feet had trod

The realms of space, and gone from earth, through air, to judgment and to God.


The judgment of the peine forte et dure, on an instance of which our ballad is founded, was well known in the ancient law of England. As has been seen, it was terribly severe. The circumstances of the judgment were as follows: When a prisoner stood charged with an offence, and an indictment had been found against him, before he could be tried he was called upon to answer, or, in technical parlance, to plead. A plea in bar is an answer, either affirming or denying the offence charged in the indictment, or, if of a dilatory character, showing some ground why the defendant should not be called upon to answer at all. In those days, in all capital cases, the estates of the criminal, on conviction and judgment, were forfeited to the crown. The blood of the offender was considered as corrupted, and, as a consequence, his property could not pass to his family, who, although innocent, suffered for the faults of the criminal. Crimes, therefore, where the punishment fell, not only on the criminal but on his family, were comparatively of rare occurrence. An admission of guilt produced the same effect as a conviction. If the defendant, however, stood mute, obstinately refusing to answer, by which behaviour he preserved his estates to his family, he was sentenced to undergo the judgment of the peine forte et dure.

“The English judgment of penance for standing mute,” says Chief Justice Blackstone, in his admirable Commentaries, “was as follows: That the prisoner be remanded to the prison from whence he came, and put into a low, dark chamber; and there be laid on his back, naked, unless where decency forbids: that there be placed upon his body as great a weight of iron as he could bear and more; that he have no sustenance, save only on the first day, three morsels of the worst bread; and, on the second day, three draughts of standing water, that should be nearest to the prison door; and in this situation this should be alternately his daily diet till he died, or (as anciently the judgement ran) till he answered.”

With respect to this horrid judgment, Christian, in his notes to the same work, goes on to say: that “the prosecutor and the court could exercise no discretion, or show no favour to a prisoner who stood obstinately mute.” “In the legal history of this country,” (England,) he continues, “are numerous instances of persons who have had resolution and patience to undergo so terrible a death in order to benefit their heirs by preventing a forfeiture of their estates, which would have been a consequence of a conviction by a verdict. There is a memorable story of an ancestor of an ancient family in the north of England. In a fit of jealousy he killed his wife; and put to death his children who were at home, by throwing them from the battlements of his castle; and proceeding with an intent to destroy his only remaining child, an infant nursed at a farm-house at some distance, he was intercepted by a storm of thunder and lightning. This awakened in his breast compunction of conscience. He desisted from his purpose, and having surrendered himself to justice, in order to secure his estates to this child, he had the resolution to die under the dreadful judgment of the peine forte et dure.” This tale is the base of our romance.





Sound is he sleeping

  Far under the wave—

Sea nymphs are keeping

  A watch for the brave:

Deep was our grief and wild—

  Wilder our dirge

When the doomed ocean child

  Drowned in the surge.


Within a bright chamber

  His form we have laid;

With spar, pearl and amber

  The walls are arrayed—

Though high rolls the billow

  He wakes not at morn,

And sponge for his pillow

  From rocks we have torn.


I heard thy name spoken

  When down came the mast;

His hold was then broken,

  That word was his last.

A picture is lying,

  Lorn maid! on his breast—

That picture in dying

  His hand closely prest.


Why turns thy cheek paler

  These tidings to know?

The truth of thy sailor

  Should lessen thy wo:

The wave could not chill it

  That stifled his breath;

Pure love—can aught kill it?

  Give answer, Oh, Death!






In the reign of good King Doddipol, surnamed the Gnatsnapper, there lived in a stately castle, on the top of a high mountain, a rich old Norseman, who had an only son whom he loved with great ardor, and little discretion, on account of his being the last of an illustrious family. The youth was called Violet, partly because he had for his godmother the Fairy Violetta, and partly on account of having on his left shoulder an impression of that flower, so perfectly defined, and so vivid in color, that the old nurse mistook it at first sight for a real violet, and declared it smelled like a nosegay.

Being the only son of a great and rich nobleman, as well as somewhat indolent and unambitious, Violet passed much of his time, while growing up to manhood, in thinking much and doing nothing. He was without companions, having no equals around him, and was prohibited from associating with his inferiors by the strict etiquette which prevailed throughout the dominions of good King Doddipol. As he grew up thus in almost entire solitude his temperament became highly poetical and imaginative, his feelings irregular and ardent, and it was predicted that some day or other he would become a martyr to love.

Much of his time was spent in lonely rambles among the mountains which surrounded the residence of the Old Man of the Hills, as he was called, a distance of many miles in every direction, and one summer day, wandering on without knowing or caring whither he went, he at length found himself in a region where he had never been before. It was a deep, sequestered, rocky dell, shaded by gloomy pines, from the farther extremity of which there tumbled a bright cascade of snow-white foam, which, after forming a deep transparent basin at its foot, escaped murmuring among the rocks below and disappeared. Not a sound was heard but that of the falling waters and the gurgling stream, for the birds delight not in the gloom of perpetual shade, and neither hunter nor woodman ever visited this lonely retreat.

Tired with his long ramble, Violet sat down at the foot of a lofty tree, whose roots seemed to drink of the crystal basin, and fell into a deep reverie, during which his eyes were fixed unconsciously on the transparent water, which, though clear as our northern lakes, was so deep that no one could see the bottom. While thus occupied in weaving webs of youthful anticipation, he saw a little gold-fish suddenly dart from under the rock on which he was seated, and play around with infinite grace, quivering its fins and fanning its tail, while their bright colors glittered in the rippling water with indescribable brilliancy.

The youth watched its motions with increasing interest, and an eagerness he had never experienced before. Sometimes it would come up close to the spot, almost within reach of his hand, and after balancing on the surface awhile, again dart away, only to return and play a thousand fantastic gambols, full of vivacity and grace. At other times it would remain stationary awhile, looking him in the face with its mellow, melancholy eyes, and an expression of sorrowful tenderness that sunk into his heart. He remained watching its motions in deep solicitude, until the gathering shadows of twilight warned him away, and reached home so late that he found his father anxiously awaiting his return. The Old Man of the Hills inquired of him where he had been, and what had detained him so long; but he answered evasively, being ashamed to confess he had been fascinated by a little gold-fish.

That night he could think of nothing but the little gold-fish, and when at length sleep came over his eyelids, he dreamed it was a beautiful princess, transformed by the power of some wicked enchanter or malignant fairy. The impression was so vivid in his mind, that when he awoke he could not decide whether it was indeed a dream, or whether he had not actually seen the charming princess, whose features were indelibly impressed on his memory. The next morning he again sought the path he had traveled the day before, and about mid-day arrived at the glen of the shining cascade. He had scarcely seated himself, when the little gold-fish darted from under the rock as before, and winning its way to the surface of the crystal basin, looked at him with an expression of its beautiful eyes that spoke a joyful welcome. Violet put forth his hand, and tried to woo it still nearer, but it only gave a melancholy shake of the head, and when he attempted to seize it, retired beyond his reach with a lingering hesitation that seemed to indicate a mingled desire and apprehension.

Thus the little creature continued to coquette with him for several days during which he repeated his visits, staying all day, and dreaming every night the same dream of the beautiful princess changed into a little gold-fish. While absent from the crystal basin, his imagination was forever dwelling on the form and features of the princess, and the mysterious connection he was convinced subsisted between his waking thoughts and experience and his nightly dreams. By degrees the two became inseparably associated together in his mind, and insensibly he fell in love to distraction, but whether with the beautiful princess or the little gold-fish he could not decide. He became so melancholy in consequence that the latter, as if conscious of his feelings, permitted him to take it in his hand, kiss it, and nestle it in his bosom at pleasure. At such times he would beseech it in the most moving terms to speak to him, tell him if his dreams were true, and respond to his devoted affection. But it only replied by a silent tear, and a look of strange meaning, which he could not comprehend.

Violet grew every day more sad, and his youthful form continued to waste away, so that as he walked in the sun, his shadow could scarcely be seen. During this period the behavior of the little gold-fish was so full of inconsistencies and contradictions that Violet was well nigh distracted. Sometimes it would contemplate his pale cheek and wasted form with tears in its eyes, while at the next moment it looked at him with an expression of unfeeling triumph. Then its eyes would glance rapidly and eagerly, sometimes toward himself, at others down on the crystal basin, and at others upward to the skies.

One bright morning, when the position of the sun toward the east had become gradually changed, and the beams of the former fell directly upon the crystal basin, Violet was sitting, as usual, fondling the little gold-fish in his hand, admiring its soft hazel eyes, and addressing a thousand endearments to the little dumb creature, which at that moment appeared insensible to his affection. Keeping its eyes earnestly fixed on the transparent waters, which now glittered in the golden beams of the sun, the youth suddenly felt it tremble as if with ecstasy in his hand, as with a sudden spring it vaulted into the basin and instantly disappeared. He gazed with intense anxiety, expecting every moment it would reappear; but it returned no more, and after waiting in vain, until dusky twilight enveloped the glen in shadows, he bent his way homeward, scarcely conscious whither he was going. That night he slept from the mere weariness of sorrow, and dreamed the beautiful princess appeared to thank and bless him for her disenchantment.

The next day the Old Man of the Hills called his son before him, and announced with great satisfaction that he had just concluded a treaty of marriage between him and the oldest daughter of King Doddipol, a lady of great discretion, and old enough to be his mother. The young man quitted the presence of his father in despair, and, scarcely conscious of whither he was wandering, sought the crystal basin at the foot of the shining cascade. Here, seated on the rock, he gazed himself almost blind, in the hope of seeing the little gold-fish once more appear, to receive his last farewell. But he gazed in vain for hours, and hours, until in the bitterness of disappointment he at length cried out aloud—“It is all in vain. It will come no more, and nothing is now left me but a remembrance carrying with it eternal regrets. But one hope remains. I will seek my adored princess, for such I know she is, where she disappeared from my sight, and either find her or a grave.” Saying this he plunged into the basin in an agony of despair.

He continued to sink, as it appeared to him, for nearly half an hour, without once drawing his breath, until, just as he felt himself quite exhausted, he found himself precipitated into what seemed a new world, far more beautiful than that he had just abandoned. The skies were of a deeper blue, and being likewise far more transparent, reflected the features of the lower world as in a vast illimitable mirror. There was no sun visible in the heavens. Yet a soft, delicious mellow light, more rich and yet more gentle than that of summer twilight, diffused itself everywhere, giving to every object the charm of distance, and giving to the air a genial warmth inexpressibly grateful. The meadows seemed like endless waving seas of verdure, and together with the foliage of the woods, exhibited all the freshness of the new-born spring; the little warbling birds seemed to revel among the groves and verdant meads in joyous luxury, filling the air with their melodious concert; the meadows were sprinkled with beds of flowers of various hues and fragrance, and a thousand delicious odors gave zest to every breath he drew. Vast fields of violets, most especially, were spread out in every direction, larger and more beautiful than any he had ever seen before. A gentle river meandered deep and clear through a long valley spread out before him, skirted on either side by pale blue hills, so high they seemed to reach and mingle with the heavens above. A cool, refreshing zephyr played about his brow, and as he breathed its inspiring odors, Violet felt himself suddenly restored to all his wonted vigor and activity.

As he stood gazing in almost stupefied wonder at the scene before him, and doubtful whether it was merely a creation of his bewildered fancy, he perceived a radiant female form approaching, seated in a chariot formed of a single violet, and crowned with a diadem of the same flowers. Her dress, too, was composed of many-colored violets, and her chariot drawn by butterflies, whose wings of gold and purple were of glorious lustre. The chariot stood still on coming up to the youth; the lady springing out, lighted on the flowers without ruffling their leaves, and giving him her tiny hand addressed him as follows:

“Welcome, Prince Violet, for such you are by birth, and by my creation. I was the friend of your mother. I presided at your birth, and I gave you your name. I therefore feel in some measure responsible for your happiness, and am come hither to give you the benefit of my advice and assistance. Know, my prince, that you are brought here by a destiny you could not avoid. You are in the dominions, I might almost say in the power of the wicked enchanter Curmudgeon, who is as potent as he is wicked. Among his other diabolical acts, he is an adept in the new science of animal magnetism, can put you to sleep by the waving of his hand, pull out your teeth without your knowing any thing about it, and divorce your spirit from your body, sending it wandering away to distant regions, while the body remains unconscious though not inanimate. In short, there is no end to his wicked devices, and he is the most mischievous, malignant monster in the world, inexorable in his revenge, and clothed with the power of gratifying it to its utmost extent. It is to warn you against him that I am here. My name is Violetta.”

The prince, as he must now be called, listened to this speech with great gravity and decorum, though he thought it rather long, and replied with infinite discretion. He thanked the fairy for her kind intentions, and concluded by observing that he had often, when a child, heard his mother speak of the Fairy Violetta with great affection.

“Your mother was a woman of taste,” said the fairy, “but there is not a moment to be lost, for the enchanter is by this time apprized of your coming, and the purport of your visit. Do not ask me what that is. It is sufficient that you are here to fulfill your destiny.”

The fairy then stamped three times with her little foot on a bed of violets. At the first stamp there rose out of the ground a superb suit of violet-colored armor; at the second a sword and spear; and at the third a gallant violet-colored steed richly caparisoned.

“Take these, arm thyself, mount, and away. You will meet with many obstacles in your course, but you have nothing to fear so long as you fear nothing. Your first enemy will be a little mischievous caitiff, called Master Whipswitchem, a creature of the wicked enchanter; your second a monstrous giant; your third a beautiful spectre, and your fourth the enchanter himself. The first you must circumvent by your wit; the second by your valor; the third by your self-command; and the fourth by your promptitude and sagacity. There is no magic in your weapons, though they are equally good and true. Your dependence must be on yourself alone; on your valor, your constancy, and your cause; and remember, that should you ever turn your back on an enemy, whether man, beast, or fiend, your happy destiny will never be accomplished. You will never see your little gold-fish again.”

“My little gold-fish!” exclaimed the prince eagerly—“What dost thou mean? O tell me, most beneficent fairy!”

“You will know in good time, if you do not turn recreant,” answered the fairy, with a significant smile. “But away, away, my prince. Mount and away. Follow the course of the river, and once more, never turn aside let what will be before you, remembering that nothing is impossible to courage, conduct, and perseverance in a good cause.”

The prince bowed himself before the lady, repeated his grateful thanks, mounted his neighing steed, which pawed the ground impatiently, and was about clapping spurs to his sides, when the fairy suddenly stopped him.

“Hold, prince! I had almost forgotten. Take this bouquet of violets, place it in your bosom, and guard it well. But be careful not to draw it forth except in the last extremity, depending always on your valor and your sword. When your life shall hang suspended by a single hair; when the last breath is quivering on thy lips, and all other means fail, then, and not till then, use it as your instinct may direct. Adieu, my prince—be faithful, bold and fortunate.”

The fairy mounted her chariot, the butterflies spread their gorgeous wings, and ascending rapidly through the transparent skies the whole pageant disappeared. The prince lost not a moment in pursuing the course pointed out by the fairy, and as he proceeded, gradually fell into a reverie, the subject of which was the hint that it would depend on himself whether he ever saw the little gold-fish again. The thought roused him to the utmost height of daring, and he resolved, come what might, nothing should be wanting on his part to the accomplishment of a glorious and happy destiny. He felt himself suddenly animated by this determination to gain a noble prize by noble exertions, for nothing is more certain than that none but groveling, abject beings, to whom nature has denied the ordinary faculties of mind, can remain insensible to the excitement of glory, or the rewards of love.

He had not, however, proceeded far, when on a sudden there alighted on the head of his steed, right between the ears, one of the most extraordinary creatures he had ever seen. It was a little imp, about three feet high, exactly resembling one of those scarecrows we sometimes see in corn-fields, except that it was a great deal more outre in its form and dimensions. It wore an immense hat, of the shape of a cullender, and with almost as many holes, through which protruded little wisps of straw instead of feathers. The face was perfectly undefinable, having neither dimensions nor shape, resembling nothing of the live human species, and consisting apparently entirely of a nose which projected several inches beyond the brim of his hat; his shirt-collar was tied with a piece of rope; his jacket was as much too short as his breeches were too long, one being out at the elbows, the other at the knees, the latter of which were tied with a wisp of straw tortured into a true lover’s knot; his legs seemed nothing but a pair of short broom-sticks, of neither shape nor substance, ensconced in an old pair of spatterdashes; and the toes of his shoes curled upward like a pair of old-fashioned skates. Altogether he cut a curious figure, and the prince could not help laughing at his new traveling companion. “This,” thought he, “must be Master Whipswitchem.”

But his gallant steed did not seem to enter into the spirit of the joke. He pricked his ears, pawed the ground, snorted, champed and foamed, and finally stood stock still, trembling like a leaf. Prince Violet began to wax somewhat impatient. Yet at length said to him very courteously—

“My friend, if it is the same thing to you, I had rather you would get off and walk.”

“Thank you, my friend, but if it’s the same thing to you, I’d rather ride. Ho-ho! ha-hah!” and thereupon he laughed like a whole swarm of flies.

Then the valiant prince drew his sword and gave Master Whipswitchem a great blow under the short-ribs, which he took it for granted would cut him in two; but the sword rebounded as if it had struck on an empty bladder, while the little imp only bounded upward about three yards, alighting in the same place as before, and crying out, “Ho-ho! hah-hah!” At this rate, thought Prince Violet, I shall never get to the end of my journey. Still he repeated his blows, at each one of which the pestiferous little imp only jumped higher and laughed louder, and the gallant steed only snorted, pawed, and stamped more vehemently, until both steed and master became quite exhausted. The latter then resorted to artifice, seeing that force was unavailing. So putting up his sword, he affected to expostulate with his troublesome companion on the impropriety of his conduct, watching at the same time for an opportunity of laying hold of him. When he seemed off his guard, and was crying “Ho-ho! ha-hah!” with infinite glee, the prince suddenly throwing himself forward, seized him by the long nose, and after holding him up kicking in the air for a few moments—for he was as light as a feather—with a sudden jerk pitched him away out into the river, where, after bobbing up and down some half a dozen times, and crying “Ho-ho! ha-hah!” he disappeared. “Ho-ho! ha-hah!” cried the prince, “I think I have done Master Whipstichem’s business this time.” After which he proceeded gayly on his journey.

Before, however, he had time to enjoy the victory, his gallant steed suddenly began to rear up before, and then to kick up behind with great violence. The prince clapped his hand on his trusty blade, thinking he was approaching the giant, but on looking round in every direction could see neither castle nor draw-bridge. Indeed nothing visible seemed to justify the horse in his unseemly gambols, and the prince accused his gallant steed of being in league with his enemies, when happening to look over his shoulder, who should he see but Master Whipswitchem seated quietly on the crupper, and spurring away with an old rusty nail he had fixed in the heel of his shoe, while he held by the horse’s tail for a bridle. “I swear by the eyes of my beautiful gold-fish,” cried the prince, “but this is too bad!” And then he attempted to dislodge the pestilent imp, by thrusting his elbow into his back; but the little caitiff every time bounced up like a tennis-ball, and the next instant was in his seat, crying, “Ho-ho! ha-ha!” louder than ever. This time he was too cunning for the prince; for knowing by experience that his nose was the most exposed part of his outworks, he kept his back to the prince, and his face toward the tail of the horse. At the expiration of an hour the prince became so worried that he could scarcely lift his hand to his head, and his horse so exhausted that he could kick no more. At length, however, while the little caitiff was spurring and laughing away with great glee, the prince turning suddenly round on the saddle, seized the rope which he wore round his neck for a cravat, and leaping from his steed, hoisted him up to an old sign-post at the road-side, where he left him dangling in the air. “Ho-ho! ha-ha!” said the prince, “I think I shall have no more trouble with Master Whipswitchem.”

Finding himself as well as his steed quite exhausted, and both requiring rest and refreshment, Prince Violet dismounted in a pleasant, shady grove, through which meandered a clear stream, bordered by rich, luxuriant grass, thus furnishing both drink and food to the panting animal, whom, having turned loose, he left to roam at will. Seating himself among a bed of fragrant flowers, he lighted a cigar, and sat smoking and thinking of his future prospects.

“Ho-ho! ha-hah! my prince, what are you about? You put me in mind of a smoking chimney, though from your mighty contented look, I should suppose you were very pleasantly occupied. I should like to take a puff too, if you have no objection.”

“O, beneficent Fairy Violetta,” exclaimed the prince, “what shall I do with this pestiferous caitiff, who minds neither hanging nor drowning?” And thereupon the fairy, who doubtless heard his adjuration, inspired him with a lucky thought. Knowing that the little caitiff was but a man of straw, animated by the wicked enchanter, he at once resolved to take advantage of that circumstance.

“Ho-ho! ha-hah! are you there, my friend?” replied the prince. “Well, I see there is no use in quarreling with such a pleasant fellow. Come, sit down, and take a puff with me, and let us swear eternal friendship.”

“Agreed!” replied the little caitiff, briskly. “It is true you played a joke or two on me, but I flatter myself, on the whole, I paid you beforehand; and for the present the account is pretty well balanced.”

So they sat down and smoked very sociably together, talking about various matters, until the little caitiff’s cigar being burnt to a stump, and somewhat incommoding his long nose, he began turning and twisting it about, until it set fire to some blades of straw that projected from his nostrils, which straight-way communicated to his head, and thence to his body, and in a moment he was in full blaze.

“I am a gone sucker!” exclaimed he, and the words were scarcely out of his mouth when, he became nothing but a heap of black ashes.

“Ho-ho! ha-hah!” quoth the prince, “if he is a gone sucker, I take it for granted, it is all Dicky with Master Whipswitchem.” And then, himself and his horse being sufficiently refreshed, he mounted and rode forward on his journey.

Ascending a high, wearisome hill, he saw at a little distance a great and magnificent castle, which he at once took for that of the enchanter Curmudgeon. The crisis of his fate was then at hand; and after inspecting his armor and equipments, the prince spurred on briskly to consummate his destiny. A few moments brought him to a tower, at the end of a draw-bridge, where hung an enormous bell, which, without hesitating a moment, he rung till it resounded far and near. Instantly at the sound there rose up from the inner side, a monstrous and deformed giant, upward of sixteen feet high. As he advanced, he seemed all body and no legs—the latter being utterly disproportioned to the former; his shoulders rose like mountains, one higher than the other, almost to the top of his head; his body was all over covered with impenetrable scales like an alligator, and he wore on his head an old Continental cocked-hat, from which projected a queue of such unaccountable length that it was said nobody ever saw the end of it. But his most atrocious feature was a great proboscis, growing just over a little pug nose, he used for smelling, about the size of that of an elephant, which it exactly resembled in strength and elasticity.

“What want you here?” roared the monster, in a voice so loud and horrible, that it set the bell tinkling, and in a most discourteous manner peculiar to giants, who are notorious for their ill manners.

“I wish to see the far-famed and puissant enchanter, the great Curmudgeon, with whom I have a bone to pick, an please your worship,” replied the prince, with infinite politeness.

“You see him—what good will that do? He would not look at, much less speak to, such a sloppy stripling as you. To the right-about—march! or I’ll make mince-meat of you in less than no time.”

“Stand aside, and let me pass!” cried the enraged prince, drawing his sword.

“Advance at your peril!” roared the giant, twirling his proboscis, and twisting his long queue like a great black-snake.

And now commenced a battle, the like of which is not recorded in history, tradition, or romance. The sword of the valiant prince gleamed, and flashed, and flew about like lightning, raining such a shower of dry blows on the monster, that had not his hide been invulnerable to any but enchanted weapons, he would in good time have been a gone sucker, as Sir Bruin said. The giant, on the other hand, had managed his proboscis with admirable skill, his great object being to entwine the prince in its folds, and squeeze him to death. Sometimes he would stretch it out at least six yards, and at others draw it in suddenly, in hopes the prince would be deceived as to its length, and come within the sphere of its action. But the prince being gloriously seconded by his gallant steed, displayed an activity fully equal to the craft of the giant; and for an hour at least the fight continued doubtful. The only vulnerable part of the monster was his long queue, which the prince, in hopes that, like Sampson, his strength might peradventure lie in his hair, by an adroit manœuvre cut off about six feet from his head. Thereupon he roared like ten thousand bulls of Bashan, insomuch that the enchanter, Curmudgeon, feared he was vanquished, and trembled in the recesses of his castle.

The giant frantic with rage at the loss of what he was more vain of than even his stately proboscis, now redoubled his efforts, while the prince every moment became more exhausted, and his gallant steed ceased his usual activity. The giant seeing this, watched his opportunity, till he at length succeeded in throwing a slipping noose, made by twisting his proboscis over the head of the prince. This he gradually tightened with all his force, until the prince perceived himself rapidly suffocating. His eyes failed him, and seemed bursting from their orbits; his vision presented nothing but gleams of many colored lights dancing before him; his heart heaved and panted with throes of desperate agony; his arm became almost nerveless, and his sword fell from his hand, while the shouts of the giant announced that the victory was won.

At this moment of extreme peril, when the last gleam of consciousness lingered in his brain, the prince recollected the bouquet of violets which he still carried in his bosom, and drawing it forth with a desperate effort, thrust it into the little pug nose of the giant, which was directly before him. That instant the proboscis relaxed, as if by magic, and the giant suddenly untwining its folds, commenced a fit of sneezing, awful to hear, jumping up several feet from the ground at every paroxysm, swearing at intervals like a trooper, and cutting the most enormous capers. The moment Prince Violet recovered himself sufficiently, he dismounted, and regaining his trusty sword, belabored the impenetrable hide of the egregious monster with such arrant good will, that he retreated backward between every fit of sneezing, until finally falling into the moat, he stuck fast in the mud, sneezing and roaring most vociferously.

Prince Violet lost no time, but passed swiftly into the castle, and proceeding through several apartments, far more vast and magnificent than the palace of King Doddipol, at length came to the study where the wicked enchanter practiced Mesmerism, and other diabolical devices. The old sinner was seated in an arm-chair of ebony, curiously carved, and ornamented with figures of strange, misshapen imps, among which the prince recognized his old friend, Master Whipswitchem. By his side stood a female of such transcendent and inimitable beauty, that the prince at once concluded this was the phantom against whom he was so emphatically warned by his good friend the fairy. He allowed himself but one glance, which sufficed to convince him she resembled exactly the charming princess he had so often seen in his dreams, and which had like to have proved fatal. Then shutting his eyes, he advanced backward, sword in hand, toward the enchanter, who at the first moment he saw him, began those mysterious wavings of the hand with which he was wont to put his victims to sleep, and those cabalistic words which changed men into beasts, insects, and reptiles. But the prince having his eyes shut, and his back toward him, could not see his motions, and the enchanter being horribly affrighted, as well as naturally a great blockhead, was so long in recollecting the formula of his incantation, that the prince, seeing by a sly glance over the shoulder, that he was sufficiently near, suddenly turned round, and with one blow severed his head from his shoulders. Then catching it before it fell to the ground, he threw it into the great kettle that hung boiling over the fire. He was just in time, for Curmudgeon had got to the last but one of his cabalistic words, and in a single instant more, Prince Violet would have been changed into a cabbage. No sooner was the head thrown into the kettle, than the water began to hiss and foam, and blaze up in spires of blue sulphureous flame, until finally the kettle burst into a thousand fragments, and the head disappeared up the chimney. Then the phantom beauty, uttering a shrill, dismal scream, melted into air—and the enchantment was dissolved forever. At that moment Prince Violet heard a voice from the skies, as tuneful as the music of the spheres, saying, “Well done, my prince, the death of the wicked enchanter was necessary to the recovery of thy lost gold-fish—for while he lived thou wouldst never have seen it again. Go on—thy destiny ere long will be accomplished.” A strain of aerial music succeeded, which gradually faded into whispering zephyrs, bearing on their wings the mingled perfume of a thousand flowers.

The prince took possession of the castle by right of conquest; and when the people over whom the enchanter had reigned with a cruel and despotic sway heard of the gallantry with which he had rid them of their tyrant, they gathered themselves together, and with one voice chose him for their king.

Prince Violet proved an excellent sovereign; but, though he made his subjects happy, he partook not in what he so freely bestowed on others. The recollection of the little gold-fish, and of the beautiful princess he had so often seen in his dreams, was ever present, and poisoned his days and nights with perpetual sorrows. Though courted by King Grabyall, and all the surrounding potentates, who had grown up daughters, he declined their advances, passing most of his leisure hours in wandering along the river he had followed in his journey, and which flowed just at the foot of the terrace of his stately castle. He remembered that it issued from the aperture through which he had emerged from the crystal basin, and constantly fed his sickly fancy with the hope that the little gold-fish might have vanished in the same direction. If so, it was probably still in the river, if it lived at all; and he was perpetually bending over the stream, watching the gambols of the finny tribes, to see if he could not detect among them his lost wanderer.

One day having rambled much further than he had ever been before in that direction, he perceived in turning a sharp angle of the river, a noble marble villa, which had never attracted his notice before. It basked its white, unsullied beauties on the bank of the murmuring stream, and its turrets rose from out a sea of green foliage that almost hid them from sight. Led by curiosity, or rather by his destiny, he approached the building by a winding walk, that seemed almost a labyrinth, now bringing him near, and anon carrying him to a distance, until tired at last, he stopped, and rested himself under the shade of a stately beech, that spread its broad arms afar, and afforded a delightful canopy. Here, gazing around in listless apathy, his attention was attracted by the letter V, carved on the smooth bark, and environed with a chaplet of violets, underneath which the motto, “Forget me not,” was cut in graceful letters. While pondering on this rural emblem of constant love, he was startled by a low and plaintive female voice chanting the following simple strain, with the gentle pathos of chastened sorrow:

“Forget me not! forget me not!

 Pale, withered leaf, in which I read

 The sad, mysterious, lonely lot

 By cruel fate for me decreed.

“Pale, withered leaf, you mind me now

 Of him whose gentle name you bear,

 Whose lips once uttered many a vow,

 In breath more sweet than violets are.

“Oft would he take me in his hands,

 Oft hide me in his throbbing heart;

 Oft kiss my eyes with words so bland—

 Was ever scaly imp so blessed;

“I joy’d his wasting form to see,

 His stately beauties fade away;

 ’T was wo to him, but bliss to me—

 It made him sad, while I was gay.

“But I shall never see him more,

 Nor share with him my life’s dear lot;

 Sweet youth, whose memory I adore—

 Forget me not! forget me not!”

These words, sung to a sweet, melancholy melody, equally excited the sympathy and wonder of the prince. The idea of a young lady being delighted at seeing the face of her lover wither, and his body waste away, he thought did little credit to the heart of woman; and that what made him sad should make her gay, appeared to show a great want of sympathy. As to the “little scaly imp,” he could make nothing of it. Still there was that in the song which seemed to bear some strange allusion to his own peculiar situation; and his curiosity became so excited, that without reflecting on the impropriety of his conduct, or its consequences, he, as it were, impelled by an involuntary yet irresistible impulse, advanced in the direction whence the voice proceeded.

Passing through a long winding avenue bordered by beds of violets, and overshadowed by lofty trees, he at length came to a bower of clambering vines entwined with each other, at the further extremity of which, seated on a bank of flowers, he beheld a female figure, her cheek resting on her hand, and tears flowing from her eyes. He gazed on her face, which was turned toward the heavens, and shuddered as he recognized an exact likeness of the phantom beauty he had seen at the side of the enchanter’s chair. He sought to retreat, but continued to advance by an irresistible impulse, until the lady, at the sound of his footsteps, looked toward him. The moment she saw the prince she uttered a piercing shriek, at the same time rushing forward with extended arms, and a face glowing with joyous welcome. Then, as if suddenly recollecting herself, she hastily retired, and sunk down on the seat, her cheek glowing with blushes. The prince continued to advance, controlled by an influence he could not withstand, and coming up to her, apologized as well as the confusion of his mind would permit, for his unceremonious intrusion.

The lady remained gazing at him, with mingled smiles and blushes, for a few moments, and then addressed the prince in words that seemed to come from a mouth of roses.

“Don’t you know me, my prince?”

“Know you,” faltered he, “I believe—I fear—I know you but too well. You are the phantom beauty. The chosen instrument of the wicked enchanter, Curmudgeon.”

“Alas! no. I am no phantom, nor, I trust, an instrument of mischief at least to you. The phantom was formed in my likeness, because—because, as the enchanter confessed, he could create nothing so beautiful as myself by the utmost exertion of his arts.”

The prince gazed at her in a trance of admiration, for never, with the single exception of the phantom, and the idol princess of his dreams, had he seen a being so enchantingly lovely. The lady received his scrutiny with smiles of modest pleasure, and at length repeated her question—

“Do you not know me, my prince?”

The prince emboldened by her smiles, or impelled by his destiny, seated himself by her side, and gazed ardently, yet wistfully, in her face. There was something in the expression of her eyes he fancied he had seen before, but when or where he could not call to mind. At length the lady, compassionating his perplexity, again anxiously asked—

“Do you remember a certain little gold-fish?”

“Remember? I shall never forget,” and his eyes glistened.

“Do you remember how you used to come to the crystal basin, at the foot of the shining cascade, and stay all day long fondling a little gold-fish, kissing its eyes, and hiding it in your bosom?”

“Remember!” cried the prince, “the recollection constitutes the hope, or rather the despair, of my life. Would that I could see my dear little companion again. Methinks I should then be happy, or at least die content.”

“Look in my face—look steadily,” replied the lady, greatly agitated.

Their eyes met, and that look of mutual intelligence which never deceives, disclosed the mystery. He recognized at once that glance of mingled love and gratitude he had so often seen beaming from the soft expressive eyes of the little gold-fish. He started from her side, threw himself at her feet, and exclaimed—

“Tell me—tell me! art not thou my little gold-fish?”

“I am,” rejoined the lady. “Once thy little gold-fish, now thy faithful and devoted handmaid, the Princess Violetta. It is to thy constancy I am indebted for the recovery of my former self; and such as I am, I will be to thee what thou choosest to make me.”

“Mine forever! my beloved, my adored wife!” cried the prince, as he folded her in his arms, kissed her as he was wont to do the little gold-fish, and at that moment reaped the reward of all his sufferings.

After enjoying the first delights of mutual love, the princess said to him, “Doubtless you are anxious to know how I came to be transformed into a fish; and I will tell you now, that there may be nothing to explain hereafter. I must begin early, for my misfortunes commenced almost at my birth. I am the only child of King Grabyall, in whose dominions you now are; and according to the universal custom of all royal christenings, a great many fairies were invited to mine, and some few vulgar things came without invitation. Among the latter was an old fairy, so ill-natured and malicious, that, though very powerful to do evil, no one would pay her the least attention; for they knew that no kindness could conciliate the wicked old creature. Of course, neither my father nor mother paid her the least attention, or made her presents; and no one spoke a word to her, at which she flew into a great rage, and went away shaking her wand, and mumbling in a spiteful manner, ‘Well, good people, you are all mighty silent now, but before long you shall have talking enough, I promise you!’

“Everybody laughed at the spiteful old woman—but it was no such laughing matter, I assure you, my prince; for she was hardly out of sight, when, to the astonishment of the whole court, I began to talk with such volubility that nobody could keep pace with me. First I scolded the nurse, then abused the fairies, and finally took my parents to task roundly for attempting to stop me. The courtiers tried to persuade them that this was only an omen of my precocious genius, and that, beyond all doubt, I should one day become the wisest, most eloquent princess in the world. But they remembered the threat of the malicious old fairy, and became exceeding sorrowful. As I grew up my volubility increased; I talked from morning till night, and all night too. Sleeping or waking, it was just the same; and my voice was so loud and shrill that it could be heard all over the palace. What rendered the matter still worse, I was exceeding ill-natured, satirical, and witty, insomuch, that all were afraid to come near me; and I was obliged at last to talk to myself. It is necessary I should apprise you that I grew up to great beauty, and by the time I was sixteen, many of the neighboring princes came to pay their addresses to me. But I never gave them an opportunity, for before they could open their lips, I poured a torrent of satirical reproaches in their ears that struck them all dumb; insomuch, that it was said some of them never recovered their speech afterward. Do you not hate me, my prince, for being such a termagant?”

The prince, to say the truth, was a little startled at this detail, but replied with a look that was perfectly satisfactory; and the princess proceeded with her story.

“At the age of seventeen, the enchanter, Curmudgeon, incited by the report of my beauty, came to pay my father a visit—my mother being long since dead. He at first sight fell violently in love, and demanded me in marriage of my father, who, though a kind-hearted, good man, was, I believe, heartily glad to get rid of me, but at the same time frankly apprized him of my infirmity. ‘O, ho!’ answered the enchanter, ‘never mind that—I shall soon cure her, I warrant you.’ He then approached to make his declaration, when, being exceedingly provoked at his slighting expressions, which I had overheard, I gave him such an explosion of satire, spleen, and ill-nature, as he had never probably heard before. I ridiculed his pretensions, scoffed at his person, despised his offers, and defied his power, until he could stand it no longer. Stamping his foot on the floor, waving his hand, and muttering some cabalistic words, he at length cried out in a rage, ‘Be dumb forever! or at least till such time as some prince shall be fool enough to fall in love with you, and pine away until he makes no shadow in the sun.’

“At that moment I found myself changed into a gold-fish, and swimming in the crystal basin where you first saw me. How long I remained there before you made your appearance I cannot tell, but I know that I was heartily tired of my loneliness, and at first felt the loss of speech very severely. I rejoiced when I first saw you. Your caresses penetrated my heart, and—you must forgive me, my dear prince—but when I beheld you wasting away daily, and knew it was for love of me, my happiness grew with your sorrows, for I felt that my deliverance was at hand, and that I should live to reward you for all your sufferings. The day the sun first shone full into the crystal basin, and I saw that you cast no shadow there, you may remember, I suddenly darted from your hand and disappeared. It was very ungrateful, but I could not resist my destiny. I was instantly transformed to my original likeness, and—but don’t be alarmed, my prince, for I assure you my propensity to talking was effectually and forever repressed, by the long habit of silence I had preserved as the little gold-fish. I was received by my father with affectionate welcome, and—and what else shall I say? I have mourned your absence day after day, until I almost ceased to hope that I should ever see you again. But,” added the princess, with a look of unutterable tenderness, “thou hast come back once more to me—thou hast sought and found thy little gold-fish, and I am happy.”

The prince had scarcely time to return suitable acknowledgments, and vow eternal love, when they were roused by the sound of the hunter’s horn, announcing the return of King Grabyall from the chase. The princess introduced him to the prince; and his majesty being in high good humor, having been very successful that morning, beside having an excellent appetite for dinner, received him most graciously. The ardent prince lost no time in declaring his love; and King Grabyall, knowing that he had been chosen to govern the territories of the enchanter, Curmudgeon, beside inheriting all his vast riches, graciously consented to the marriage. He did this the more willingly, knowing from late experience that the princess, having fulfilled the denunciation of the malicious old fairy, had survived her infirmity.

There was never in this world such a splendid and happy wedding; and what added to the pleasure of all parties, was seeing the good fairy, Violetta, enter the superb saloon to honor the ceremony.

“Welcome, my prince,” said she, holding out her little, delicate hand, “I congratulate you; you have triumphed by valor and constancy.”

When the ceremony was over, the prince inquired anxiously whether she knew aught of his father, and was informed that he had married the daughter of good King Doddipol, and was wasting his substance as fast as possible, by giving fêtes to the bride, and lending great sums to his father-in-law. Prince Violet sighed at the fate of the Old Man of the Hills, but in good time forgot all his griefs in the arms of love and beauty.

The Princess Violetta made a most excellent wife, and never afterward talked more than became a reasonable woman. The wicked giant, who, it should have been premised, had been extricated from the moat, and finished his fit of sneezing, being freed from the diabolical influence of the enchanter, Curmudgeon, took the pledge, became a tetotaller, and lived ever after an example to all overgrown monsters, past, present, and future.





How deep and mournfully at eve’s sweet hour

  The bell for vespers chimes its holiest note,

When the soft twilight lends its soothing power

  And on the air a silence seems to float!


The weary wand’rer knows a home of rest,

  He toils not now who toiled the livelong day,

Friends cherish fondest recollections, blest

  With thoughts of them whose love cannot decay,


The best affections of the heart are told,

  We greet with joy our dear, domestic hearth,

And think how strong the viewless bonds that hold

  Unwearied love to transient things of Earth.


And visions of his lyre the poet sees

  At this lone time of Nature’s sweet repose,

When fancied music, borne on every breeze,

  Æolian-like, with thrilling sadness flows.


Oh, then move thoughts, the holiest and best,

  O’er the soul’s calm and mild serenity,

Like beauteous birds that skim along the breast

  Of the still waters in some waveless sea.


Where that deep bell sends forth its solemn tone,

  How many worship at Devotion’s shrine!

How many voices rise before the throne

  Whence the bright glories of the Godhead shine!


Not when the glories of th’ opening day

  With crimson blushes usher in the dawn,

Not when the noontide pours its deepest ray

  On forest, glade, blue lake and emerald lawn;


Not when the moonbeams shed their silvery light

  In richest lustre over copse and dell,

Come sainted hopes, sweet dreams and fancies bright

  As when through shadows sounds the Vesper Bell.





“Three months’ imprisonment! Heigho!” soliloquized Harvey Hall, as he entered the school-room, and surveyed the array of seats before him. “Well, poverty is a crime punished not only by one’s state and country, but by the whole world. Here am I longing for a profession which shall give some play to my mind, which shall enable me to take a stand among men; and now to purchase that profession I must ‘teach young ideas’ till the requisite sum is obtained. The daughters of Darius were condemned for the murder of their husbands to fill leaky vessels in Tartarus—that is, they became teachers! It is hard that those who have neither been nor murdered husbands should endure like punishment.”

Harvey Hall always spoke the truth, albeit sometimes the truth a little swollen; so he was, as he said, condemned to a temporary reign over children and spelling-books, in order to pursue his studies—for the expenses of which the limited finances of his parents would not suffice; and he had taken the academy at L., with the due announcement of all his qualifications in the county newspaper.

“Some bright faces here,” thought he, as his eyes glanced over those of his scholars upturned to him, and rested on one with eyes bright enough to light Cupid on his way to any untenanted heart, but bearing the expression of smothered mirth, never relished by those who do not happen to know the mot d’enigme. Small white fingers traced something rapidly on the slate, which was then given to a young lady, who, on the perusal of its characters, gave a stifled laugh, and buried her face in a handkerchief. But the author of the mischief, whatever it was, instantly turned to gravity, and met the searching gaze of Hall with a demure look which amused him not a little.

“That daughter of Parson Hinton finds fun enough in something. I wish her father could preach her into better behavior. She is the most troublesome sprite I have in school. Young ladies,” he said, assuming all the dignity of his position, “less whispering, and more attention to your studies would conduce to your improvement.”

Annie Hinton and her chum took their books, and were soon apparently absorbed in them. Annie met with some question she could not solve; and taking her book to the teacher, she asked an explanation. It was given.

“And you made an observation just now, sir, which I wish to remember. Will you be so kind as to repeat it,” she added, bending toward him with the greatest mock attention and deference.

It is said that the worst reception of a compliment is to request its repetition; and the remark is just as applicable to a reproof. Certainly Harvey Hall found it so. Impudence he could have met successfully; but there was something in the arch air of respect, so evidently assumed, and in the polite tone accompanying bright eyes which would almost laugh out, which told him that the present scene would figure in some after frolic formidable enough to young gentlemen who are never proof against the ridicule of mirthful girls in their teens. He longed to laugh with her at it all, but an assembled school, a roguish scholar, would not exactly admit of this; so, coloring a little, and then provoked at himself for the gossiping blood which betrayed his inward embarrassment, he said,

“Oh, merely that study is more appropriate to the school-room than amusement. I shall be happy to have it dwell in your memory and practice, Miss Hinton.”

Annie bowed gracefully, gravely, and turned away, but not before Hall mentally resolved never to admonish her again if he could avoid it.

When the day for compositions came—that bore which all parties would gladly overlook instead of look over—Hall, dreading trite essays on all the hackneyed themes of school, told the misses under his charge to write on any thing that interested them—they might describe some of the manners and customs among them.

“But we have no manners, and very few customs, Mr. Hall,” said Annie.

“Well, select any subject that pleases yourself, Miss Annie.”

The composition was on Dignity, and was so ludicrous, so personal a description of it, that Mr. Hall was fairly puzzled. What shall I say to this merry damsel, who seems to turn into sport all I say or do. I cannot correct her.

“Miss Hinton, carry this home to your father, and see if he says it is a proper article for you to bring in as a composition.”

The next day it was returned with, “My father thinks Dignity one of the finest things he has ever seen,” she said, half hesitating, as if unwilling to utter such praise, but looking as if all the spirits of fun had taken the opportunity to look out of her eyes. Of course, her reverend parent had never had a glimpse of it—and this her teacher very well knew.

But why watch her with more interest than all the “well behaved” of his school? In accordance with Scripture, he left the ninety and nine just ones, to search for the one who went astray. The lessons she recited had for him a double interest; the days she was absent were like the dull, gray sky of autumn—nay, several times he even acknowledged to himself that teaching was not the dull routine he had supposed, and the term of his probation had not the leaden wings he had anticipated.

But there was an apprehension to disturb the tenor of his thoughts, and fall heavily upon his official capacity. He had—yes, he certainly had seen Annie Hinton receive a billet from Charles Lane; and Charles Lane was a bright youth—a fine scholar—ready to enter college the next term—and just her age. It was wrong, decidedly wrong, to have any silly flirtations between mere boys and girls—he had always considered it so; but now it was wonderful to see how strong his reasoning, and firm his opinions were on this subject. And personal experience has an extraordinary power in giving edge to moral reflections; how it draws them out of the shade, concentrates and clinches them.

Well, Harvey Hall felt really grieved that scholars should have their attention drawn away from their studies by such nonsense as a children’s love affair. Charles Lane was a promising boy to be sure; but he must go through college, and be settled in life before he ought to think of fancying any one. He might become dissipated—such bright boys often did; or fickle—in short, no one knew which rein of his character the future might pull. And Annie—pretty creature—who could not pass a day without some mirthful episode, how ridiculous for a child like her to think of selecting a lover! her mind was not disciplined at all—her taste not pronounced; she might make a different choice when she really knew her own wishes, and had seen more of the world. It would be wrong to entangle herself with any passing fancy like the present—really wrong to suffer a child to make a decision by which the woman must abide. And then the good minister would be shocked to see his plaything, Annie, forming any foolish attachment. Yes, he must do all he could to prevent it. But how could Parson Hinton be so blind? The other evening when he called there, Charles Lane knocked at the door, to bring a slip of geranium, which he had walked several miles to get for Annie; and the old gentleman only said, “You are very obliging, Charles—drop in and see us often.” So strange, not to know it was just like such precocious youths to fancy themselves in love with every pretty girl. So laws were enacted stricter than those of the Medes and Persians, against all billets passed in school; as if Cupid, had he made the essay, would not have delighted to jeopardize all regulations, and fly in the face of all laws.

One day as Mr. Hall was ascending the steps to enter school, he saw Annie give Charles Lane a knitted purse, and heard her say something about “the phillipina.” As I said, he was principled against such interchange of sentiment, or gifts, between such children; but the present instance did not come precisely under his dominion, being out of school—and he entered upon his duties with a somewhat cloudy brow. Every one has observed how much the sky of his feelings influences the earth of reality. If one wakes “out of tune” in the morning, the events of the day seldom harmonize him. Let you walk out in a city, feeling blue and burthened, and how many things conspire to annoy you. You are blinded by dust, or contaminated with mud, or the snow slumps, or your feet slip at every step; a child is almost run over in the street; people jostle rudely; the bell tolls; the town-crier seems to scream at every corner where you turn; the lady you particularly admire is talking with vast animation to ——, and does not even perceive you; a bow thrown away; Mr. Lawkens, the deaf man, will cross over to speak to you, but cannot hear your answer, although you have repeated it the third time; a gust of wind blows off your hat, and a bore holds you by the button to tell you, what you well knew, the election has gone against your favorite candidate; while you inwardly exclaim, “misfortunes never come single.”

Our pedagogue had a hazy atmosphere around his spirit this day—and nothing cleared it. The recitations were miserable, and the boys full of pranks—which boys are heir to; the girls were any thing but book-intent. The class in chemistry was called, and as Mr. Hall was performing some experiments on the apparatus, he said,

“Now, when I apply this, you will see that—it wont go,” he added, as the desired result, from some cause, failed.

“Certainly, we see it,” smilingly whispered Annie to the next on her seat.

The sound reached Mr. Hall, already mortified by the failure of the experiment.

“Miss Hinton,” he exclaimed, in a loud, stern tone, “take your books, and go home.”

Annie looked surprised, as well she might, and waited, as if to be sure she did not misunderstand him. The attention of the school was roused—there could be no revocation—so the mandate was repeated, and obeyed.

Poor Hall! his chemical manipulations were no more successful that day; classes were called, and heard at random. The small scholars thought “it was a grand time—master did not seem to mind them;” while older ones wondered at his unwonted humor. Meanwhile his reflections were any thing but agreeable. How could he have been so harsh for such a trifle, and ungentlemanly too. All Annie’s faults were the mere exuberance of a joyous spirit; and she was quick to acknowledge and regret them; and yet he had not expostulated, but abruptly commanded her to leave. How she must despise him! And she had a great deal of sensibility; he had seen the color suffuse her face, and the tears glisten in her dark eyes, when a tale of sorrow or delicious poem had excited her emotion. Perhaps she was at that very moment weeping at his harshness; and then proofs of interest in him, albeit she was a laughter-loving spirit, stole over his memory. He thought of an evening he had lately passed at her house, when his conversation seemed to rivet her attention, although he afterward heard her say, “There! Mary Jane has a party to-night, and I entirely forgot it until too late. Well, I have enjoyed myself better here.” And he, the ingrate! how had he returned it, by unwarrantable rudeness! She was just beginning to talk to him with confiding frankness of her books, her tastes, and opening to his study a mind as well worth it as the changing loveliness of her face—when this folly had destroyed it all. And what would the good minister say? He who had received him so kindly; so hospitably told him to come to him at any and all times when he could be of assistance—what would he say to have his pet, at once his amusement and pride, turned out of school like any common urchin?

Oh! how the hours of school dragged. Every moment seemed to bear a weight of lead, and carry to the luckless teacher a thousand arrows poisoned by self-reproach. No sooner was his fiat of release obtained, than with mingled regret and apprehension, he wended his steps to the parsonage. He knocked at the door, desired to see Mr. Hinton, and was accordingly shown up into his study.

“He looks as if something lay on his mind,” thought the clergyman, as he saw him enter, and advanced to shake hands with him. “Perhaps he is considering the concerns of his soul. Heaven help me to counsel him aright!” and there was an unusual kindliness in his tone, as he urged him to be seated, which was “heaping coals of fire” on the head of the conscience-stricken teacher.

A pause. “I am—I have called—I regret—”

“Ah, yes,” mentally ejaculated the old man, “he feels the burden of sin, and is under conviction, I see—”

“In short, sir, I am sorry to trouble you at this time, but I—”

“Speak out freely, my dear young man,” said his benignant listener.

Is it possible he does not know what has passed?

“I regret to say that, vexed by the inattention of the scholars, and by whispering, in which Miss Annie joined, I hastily told her to leave school.”

“Told my daughter Annie to leave school!”

The door of the study was thrown open, and Annie danced into the middle of the room, her bonnet hanging on her arm, flowers in her hair, and a bouquet in her hand, fresh from the woods in which she had been rambling. “Father! father!” she stopped, and gazed first at her father, and then at Mr. Hall, with a mingled expression of regret and surprise. Her long walk that afternoon had given her a heightened color; and the varied feelings which moved her were clearly depicted on her face.

“Come here, Annie,” said Hall, extending his hand, “come here, and say you forgive the rudeness of this afternoon.” She hesitated an instant—the crimson deepened on her cheek, and the lip slightly trembled; then looking up with one of her own radiant smiles, she gave her small, white hand to the teacher.

Not long after he made another visit to the good minister’s study, not, indeed, to ask forgiveness for turning Annie out of school, but to beg permission to transplant her one day to a home of his own. Whatever was said, we suspect Annie might have served as “an instance in point” for that rather broad generalization of Swift,

    “No girl is pleased with what is taught

     But has the teacher in her thought.”

“Young gentlemen,” said Harvey Hall, (Judge Hall then,) when some years afterward two or three of his law students were spending the evening at his hospitable mansion, “young gentlemen, never regret the necessity of exerting yourself in order to obtain your profession; for beside the habit of self-help thus formed, which is invaluable, you may,” he added, glancing archly at the face, fair as ever, of her who sat with muslin stitchery by the centre-table, “meet with a wayside rose as precious as Annie.”



Come! watch with me this sunbeam, as o’er the moss bank green

It glides, and enters swiftly the foliage dark between;

Resting its golden lever, of mystic length and line,

Upon the dewy herbage, in an oblique decline:

Toward its moving column the stamen of the flowers

Whirl, as by strong attraction; and through the daylight hours

Gay insects, azure atoms, with every-colored wing,

Swim ’mid the light, still lending fresh sparkles as they spring.


See! how in cadenced measure they gravitate below,

Now linking, then unlinking, in quick, harmonious flow;

Of Plato’s worlds ideal the semblance here appears,

Those worlds that danced in circles to the music of the spheres:

So small is every atom, amid yon countless band,

That hosts of them were needful to make a grain of sand;

They form the lowest step of that brilliant ladder trod,

Ascending from the light mote to the all-present God.


And yet a separate being exists in every part,

Within each airy globule there dwells a beating heart;

One world, perchance, presiding o’er worlds unnumbered, free,

To which the lightning’s passage is an eternity;

Yet, doubtless, each enjoying, within their drop of space,

Days, nights, in all fulfilling their order and their place;

And while in wondrous ecstasy, man’s throbbing eye looks on,

A thousand worlds are ended, their destinies are won!


O God! how vast the sources which feed such life and death,

How piercing is that vision which marks out every breath;

How infinite that Spirit which cherishes each grade;

And more than all, how boundless that love, free, unrepaid,

Which nurtures into being each particle that floats,

Descending from far sun-worlds to microscopic motes;

O God! so grand and awful in yonder little ray,

What thought dare seek to fathom the blaze of thy full day?




Ay, now I am in Arden; the more fool

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

Travelers must be content.    As You Like It.




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

(Continued from page 293.)


  The screams of rage, the groan, the strife,

    The blow, the grasp, the horrid cry,

  The panting, throttled prayer for life,

    The dying’s heaving sigh,

  The murderer’s curse, the dead man’s fixed, still glare,

  And fear’s and death’s cold sweat—they all are there.

Matthew Lee.

It was high time that Capt. Spike should arrive when his foot touched the bottom of the yawl. The men were getting impatient and anxious to the last degree, and the power of Señor Montefalderon to control them was lessening each instant. They heard the rending of timber, and the grinding on the coral, even more distinctly than the captain himself, and feared that the brig would break up while they lay alongside of her, and crush them amid the ruins. Then the spray of the seas that broke over the weather side of the brig, fell like rain upon them; and every body in the boat was already as wet as if exposed to a violent shower. It was well, therefore, for Spike that he descended into the boat as he did, for another minute’s delay might have brought about his own destruction.

Spike felt a chill at his heart when he looked about him and saw the condition of the yawl. So crowded were the stern-sheets into which he had descended, that it was with difficulty he found room to place his feet; it being his intention to steer, Jack was ordered to get into the eyes of the boat, in order to give him a seat. The thwarts were crowded, and three or four of the people had placed themselves in the very bottom of the little craft, in order to be as much as possible out of the way, as well as in readiness to bail out water. So seriously, indeed, were all the seamen impressed with the gravity of this last duty, that nearly every man had taken with him some vessel fit for such a purpose. Rowing was entirely out of the question, there being no space for the movement of the arms. The yawl was too low in the water, moreover, for such an operation in so heavy a sea. In all, eighteen persons were squeezed into a little craft that would have been sufficiently loaded, for moderate weather at sea, with its four oarsmen and as many sitters in the stern-sheets, with, perhaps, one in the eyes to bring her more on an even keel. In other words, she had just twice the weight in her, in living freight, that it would have been thought prudent to receive in so small a craft, in an ordinary time, in or out of a port. In addition to the human beings enumerated, there was a good deal of baggage, nearly every individual having had the forethought to provide a few clothes for a change. The food and water did not amount to much, no more having been provided than enough for the purposes of the captain, together with the four men with whom it had been his intention to abandon the brig. The effect of all this cargo was to bring the yawl quite low in the water; and every seafaring man in her had the greatest apprehensions about her being able to float at all when she got out from under the lee of the Swash, or into the troubled water. Try it she must, however, and Spike, in a reluctant and hesitating manner, gave the final order to “Shove off!”

The yawl carried a lugg, as is usually the case with boats at sea, and the first blast of the breeze upon it satisfied Spike that his present enterprise was one of the most dangerous of any in which he had ever been engaged. The puffs of wind were quite as much as the boat would bear; but this he did not mind, as he was running off before it, and there was little danger of the yawl capsizing with such a weight in her. It was also an advantage to have swift way on, to prevent the combing waves from shooting into the boat, though the wind itself scarce outstrips the send of the sea in a stiff blow. As the yawl cleared the brig and began to feel the united power of the wind and waves, the following short dialogue occurred between the boatswain and Spike.

“I dare not keep my eyes off the breakers ahead,” the captain commenced, “and must trust to you, Strand, to report what is going on among the man-of-war’s men. What is the ship about?”

“Reefing her top-sails just now, sir. All three are on the caps, and the vessel is laying-too, in a manner.”

“And her boats?”

“I see none, sir—ay, ay, there they come from alongside of her in a little fleet! There are four of them, sir, and all are coming down before the wind, wing and wing, carrying their luggs reefed.”

“Ours ought to be reefed by rights, too, but we dare not stop to do it; and these infernal combing seas seem ready to glance aboard us with all the way we can gather. Stand by to bail, men; we must pass through a strip of white water—there is no help for it. God send that we go clear of the rocks!”

All this was fearfully true. The adventurers were not yet more than a cable’s length from the brig, and they found themselves so completely environed with the breakers as to be compelled to go through them. No man in his senses would ever have come into such a place at all, except in the most unavoidable circumstances; and it was with a species of despair that the seamen of the yawl now saw their little craft go plunging into the foam.

But Spike neglected no precaution that experience or skill could suggest. He had chosen his spot with coolness and judgment. As the boat rose on the seas he looked eagerly ahead, and by giving it a timely sheer, he hit a sort of channel, where there was sufficient water to carry them clear of the rock, and where the breakers were less dangerous than in the shoaler places. The passage lasted about a minute; and so serious was it, that scarce an individual breathed until it was effected. No human skill could prevent the water from combing in over the gunwales; and when the danger was passed, the yawl was a third filled with water. There was no time or place to pause, but on the little craft was dragged almost gunwale to, the breeze coming against the lugg in puffs that threatened to take the mast out of her. All hands were bailing; and even Biddy used her hands to aid in throwing out the water.

“This is no time to hesitate, men,” said Spike, sternly. “Every thing must go overboard but the food and water. Away with them at once, and with a will.”

It was a proof how completely all hands were alarmed by this, the first experiment in the breakers, that not a man stayed his hand a single moment, but each threw into the sea, without an instant of hesitation, every article he had brought with him and had hoped to save. Biddy parted with the carpet-bag, and Señor Montefalderon, feeling the importance of example, committed to the deep a small writing-desk that he had placed on his knees. The doubloons alone remained, safe in a little locker where Spike had deposited them along with his own.

“What news astern, boatswain?” demanded the captain, as soon as this imminent danger was passed, absolutely afraid to turn his eyes off the dangers ahead for a single instant. “How come on the man-of-war’s men?”

“They are running down in a body toward the wreck, though one of their boats does seem to be sheering out of the line, as if getting into our wake. It is hard to say, sir, for they are still a good bit to windward of the wreck.”

“And the Molly, Strand?”

“Why, sir, the Molly seems to be breaking up fast; as well as I can see, she has broke in two just abaft the fore-chains, and cannot hold together in any shape at all many minutes longer.”

This information drew a deep groan from Spike, and the eye of every seaman in the boat was turned in melancholy on the object they were so fast leaving behind them. The yawl could not be said to be sailing very rapidly, considering the power of the wind, which was a little gale, for she was much too deep for that; but she left the wreck so fast as already to render objects on board her indistinct. Everybody saw that, like an overburthened steed, she had more to get along with than she could well bear; and, dependent as seamen usually are on the judgment and orders of their superiors, even in the direst emergencies, the least experienced man in her saw that their chances of final escape from drowning were of the most doubtful nature. The men looked at each other in a way to express their feelings; and the moment seemed favorable to Spike to confer with his confidential sea-dogs in private; but more white water was also ahead, and it was necessary to pass through it, since no opening was visible by which to avoid it. He deferred his purpose, consequently, until this danger was escaped.

On this occasion Spike saw but little opportunity to select a place to get through the breakers, though the spot, as a whole, was not of the most dangerous kind. The reader will understand that the preservation of the boat at all, in white water, was owing to the circumstance that the rocks all around it lay so near the surface of the sea as to prevent the possibility of agitating the element very seriously, and to the fact that she was near the lee side of the reef. Had the breakers been of the magnitude of those which are seen where the deep rolling billows of the ocean first meet the weather side of shoals or rocks, a craft of that size, and so loaded, could not possibly have passed the first line of white water without filling. As it was, however, the breakers she had to contend with were sufficiently formidable, and they brought with them the certainty that the boat was in imminent danger of striking the bottom at any moment. Places like those in which Mulford had waded on the reef, while it was calm, would now have proved fatal to the strongest frame, since human powers were insufficient long to withstand the force of such waves as did glance over even these shallows.

“Look out!” cried Spike, as the boat again plunged in among the white water. “Keep bailing, men—keep bailing.”

The men did bail, and the danger was over almost as soon as encountered. Something like a cheer burst out of the chest of Spike, when he saw deeper water around him, and fancied he could now trace a channel that would carry him quite beyond the extent of the reef. It was arrested, only half uttered, however, by a communication from the boatswain, who sat on a midship thwart, his arms folded, and his eye on the brig and the boats.

“There goes the Molly’s masts, sir! Both have gone together; and as good sticks was they, before them bomb-shells passed through our rigging, as was ever stepped in a keelson.”

The cheer was changed to something like a groan, while a murmur of regret passed through the boat.

“What news from the man-of-war’s men, boatswain? Do they still stand down on a mere wreck?”

“No, sir; they seem to give it up, and are getting out their oars to pull back to their ship. A pretty time they’ll have of it, too. The cutter that gets to windward half a mile in an hour, ag’in such a sea, and such a breeze, must be well pulled and better steered. One chap, however, sir, seems to hold on.”

Spike now ventured to look behind him, commanding an experienced hand to take the helm. In order to do this he was obliged to change places with the man he had selected to come aft, which brought him on a thwart alongside of the boatswain and one or two other of his confidents. Here a whispered conference took place, which lasted several minutes, Spike appearing to be giving instructions to the men.

By this time the yawl was more than a mile from the wreck, all the man-of-war boats but one had lowered their sails, and were pulling slowly and with great labor back toward the ship, the cutter that kept on, evidently laying her course after the yawl, instead of standing on toward the wreck. The brig was breaking up fast, with every probability that nothing would be left of her in a few more minutes. As for the yawl, while clear of the white water, it got along without receiving many seas aboard, though the men in its bottom were kept bailing without intermission. It appeared to Spike that so long as they remained on the reef, and could keep clear of breakers—a most difficult thing, however—they should fare better than if in deeper water, where the swell of the sea, and the combing of the waves, menaced so small and so deep-loaded a craft with serious danger. As it was, two or three men could barely keep the boat clear, working incessantly, and much of the time with a foot or two of water in her.

Josh and Simon had taken their seats, side by side, with that sort of dependence and submission that causes the American black to abstain from mingling with the whites more than might appear seemly. They were squeezed on to one end of the thwart by a couple of robust old sea-dogs, who were two of the very men with whom Spike had been in consultation. Beneath that very thwart was stowed another confident, to whom communications had also been made. These men had sailed long in the Swash, and having been picked up in various ports, from time to time, as the brig had wanted hands, they were of nearly as many different nations as they were persons. Spike had obtained a great ascendency over them by habit and authority, and his suggestions were now received as a sort of law. As soon as the conference was ended, the captain returned to the helm.

A minute more passed, during which the captain was anxiously surveying the reef ahead, and the state of things astern. Ahead was more white water—the last before they should get clear of the reef; and astern it was now settled that the cutter that held on through the dangers of the place, was in chase of the yawl. That Mulford was in her Spike made no doubt; and the thought embittered even his present calamities. But the moment had arrived for something decided. The white water ahead was much more formidable than any they had passed; and the boldest seaman there gazed at it with dread. Spike made a sign to the boatswain, and commenced the execution of his dire project.

“I say, you Josh,” called out the captain, in the authoritative tones that are so familiar to all on board a ship, “pull in that fender that is dragging alongside.”

Josh leaned over the gunwale, and reported that there was no fender out. A malediction followed, also so familiar to those acquainted with ships, and the black was told to look again. This time, as had been expected, the negro leaned with his head and body far over the side of the yawl, to look for that which had no existence, when two of the men beneath the thwart shoved his legs after them. Josh screamed, as he found himself going into the water, with a sort of confused consciousness of the truth; and Spike called out to Simon to “catch hold of his brother-nigger.” The cook bent forward to obey, when a similar assault on his legs from beneath the thwart, sent him headlong after Josh. One of the younger seamen, who was not in the secret, sprang up to rescue Simon, who grasped his extended hand, when the too generous fellow was pitched headlong from the boat.

All this occurred in less than ten seconds of time, and so unexpectedly and naturally, that not a soul beyond those who were in the secret, had the least suspicion it was any thing but an accident. Some water was shipped, of necessity, but the boat was soon bailed free. As for the victims of this vile conspiracy, they disappeared amid the troubled waters of the reef, struggling with each other. Each and all met the common fate so much the sooner, from the manner in which they impeded their own efforts.

The yawl was now relieved from about five hundred pounds of the weight it had carried—Simon weighing two hundred alone, and the youngish seaman being large and full. So intense does human selfishness get to be, in moments of great emergency, that it is to be feared most of those who remained, secretly rejoiced that they were so far benefitted by the loss of their fellows. The Señor Montefalderon was seated on the aftermost thwart, with his legs in the stern-sheets, and consequently with his back toward the negroes, and he fully believed that what had happened was purely accidental.

“Let us lower our sail, Don Esteban,” he cried, eagerly, “and save the poor fellows.”

Something very like a sneer gleamed on the dark countenance of the captain, but it suddenly changed to a look of assent.

“Good!” he said, hastily—“spring forward, Don Wan, and lower the sail—stand by the oars, men!”

Without pausing to reflect, the generous-hearted Mexican stepped on a thwart, and began to walk rapidly forward, steadying himself by placing his hands on the heads of the men. He was suffered to get as far as the second thwart, or past most of the conspirators, when his legs were seized from behind. The truth now flashed on him, and grasping two of the men in his front, who knew nothing of Spike’s dire scheme, he endeavored to save himself by holding to their jackets. Thus assailed, those men seized others with like intent, and an awful struggle filled all that part of the craft. At this dread instant the boat glanced into the white water, shipping so much of the element as nearly to swamp her, and taking so wild a sheer as nearly to broach-to. This last circumstance probably saved her, fearful as was the danger for the moment. Everybody in the middle of the yawl was rendered desperate by the amount and nature of the danger incurred, and the men from the bottom rose in their might, underneath the combatants, when a common plunge was made by all who stood erect, one dragging overboard another, each a good deal hastened by the assault from beneath, until no less than five were gone. Spike got his helm up, the boat fell off, and away from the spot it flew, clearing the breakers, and reaching the northern wall-like margin of the reef at the next instant. There was now a moment when those who remained could breathe, and dared to look behind them.

The great plunge had been made in water so shoal, that the boat had barely escaped being dashed to pieces on the coral. Had it not been so suddenly relieved from the pressure of near a thousand pounds in weight, it is probable that this calamity would have befallen it, the water received on board contributing so much to weigh it down. The struggle between these victims ceased, however, the moment they went over. Finding bottom for their feet, they released each other, in a desperate hope of prolonging life by wading. Two or three held out their arms, and shouted to Spike to return and pick them up. This dreadful scene lasted but a single instant, for the waves dashed one after another from his feet, continually forcing them all, as they occasionally regained their footing, toward the margin of the reef, and finally washing them off it into deep water. No human power could enable a man to swim back to the rocks, once to leeward of them, in the face of such seas, and so heavy a blow; and the miserable wretches disappeared in succession, as their strength became exhausted, in the depths of the gulf.

Not a word had been uttered while this terrific scene was in the course of occurrence; not a word was uttered for some time afterward. Gleams of grim satisfaction had been seen on the countenances of the boatswain, and his associates, when the success of their nefarious project was first assured; but they soon disappeared in looks of horror, as they witnessed the struggles of the drowning men. Nevertheless, human selfishness was strong within them all, and none there was so ignorant as not to perceive how much better were the chances of the yawl now than it had been on quitting the wreck. The weight of a large ox had been taken from it, counting that of all the eight men drowned; and as for the water shipped, it was soon bailed back again into the sea. Not only, therefore, was the yawl in a better condition to resist the waves, but it sailed materially faster than it had done before. Ten persons still remained in it, however, which brought it down in the water below its proper load-line; and the speed of a craft so small was necessarily a good deal lessened by the least deviation from its best sailing, or rowing trim. But Spike’s projects were not yet completed.

All this time the man-of-war’s cutter had been rushing as madly through the breakers, in chase, as the yawl had done in the attempt to escape. Mulford was, in fact, on board it; and his now fast friend, Wallace, was in command. The latter wished to seize a traitor, the former to save the aunt of his weeping bride. Both believed that they might follow wherever Spike dared to lead. This reasoning was more bold than judicious notwithstanding, since the cutter was much larger, and drew twice as much water as the yawl. On it came, nevertheless, faring much better in the white water than the little craft it pursued, but necessarily running a much more considerable risk of hitting the coral, over which it was glancing almost as swiftly as the waves themselves; still it had thus far escaped—and little did any in it think of the danger. This cutter pulled ten oars; was an excellent sea boat; had four armed marines in it, in addition to its crew, but carried all through the breakers, receiving scarcely a drop of water on board, on account of the height of its wash-boards, and the general qualities of the craft. It may be well to add here, that the Poughkeepsie had shaken out her reefs, and was betraying the impatience of Capt. Mull to make sail in chase, by firing signal guns to his boats to bear a hand and return. These signals the three boats under their oars were endeavoring to obey, but Wallace had got so far to leeward as now to render the course he was pursuing the wisest.

Mrs. Budd and Biddy had seen the struggle in which the Señor Montefalderon had been lost, in a sort of stupid horror. Both had screamed, as was their wont, though neither probably suspected the truth. But the fell designs of Spike extended to them, as well as to those whom he had already destroyed. Now the boat was in deep water, running along the margin of the reef, the waves were much increased in magnitude, and the comb of the sea was far more menacing to the boat. This would not have been the case had the rocks formed a lee; but they did not, running too near the direction of the trades to prevent the billows that got up a mile or so in the offing, from sending their swell quite home to the reef. It was this swell, indeed, which caused the line of white water along the northern margin of the coral, washing on the rocks by a sort of lateral effort, and breaking, as a matter of course. In many places no boat could have lived to pass through it.

Another consideration influenced Spike to persevere. The cutter had been overhauling him, hand over hand, but since the yawl was relieved of the weight of no less than eight men, the difference in the rate of sailing was manifestly diminished. The man-of-war’s boat drew nearer, but by no means as fast as it had previously done. A point was now reached in the trim of the yawl, when a very few hundreds in weight might make the most important change in her favor; and this change the captain was determined to produce. By this time the cutter was in deep water, as well as himself, safe through all the dangers of the reef, and she was less than a quarter of a mile astern. On the whole, she was gaining, though so slowly as to require the most experienced eye to ascertain the fact.

“Madame Budd,” said Spike, in a hypocritical tone, “we are in great danger, and I shall have to ask you to change your seat. The boat is too much by the starn, now we’ve got into deep water, and your weight amidships would be a great relief to us. Just give your hand to the boatswain, and he will help you to step from thwart to thwart, until you reach the right place, when Biddy shall follow.”

Now Mrs. Budd had witnessed the tremendous struggle in which so many had gone overboard, but so dull was she of apprehension, and so little disposed to suspect any thing one-half so monstrous as the truth, that she did not hesitate to comply. She was profoundly awed by the horrors of the scene through which she was passing, the raging billows of the gulf, as seen from so small a craft, producing a deep impression on her; still a lingering of her most inveterate affectation was to be found in her air and language, which presented a strange medley of besetting weakness, and strong, natural, womanly affection.

“Certainly, Capt. Spike,” she answered, rising. “A craft should never go astern, and I am quite willing to ballast the boat. We have seen such terrible accidents to-day, that all should lend their aid in endeavoring to get under way, and in averting all possible hamper. Only take me to my poor, dear Rosy, Capt. Spike, and every thing shall be forgotten that has passed between us. This is not a moment to bear malice; and I freely pardon you all and every thing. The fate of our unfortunate friend, Mr. Montefalderon, should teach us charity, and cause us to prepare for untimely ends.”

All the time the good widow was making this speech, which she uttered in a solemn and oracular sort of manner, she was moving slowly toward the seat the men had prepared for her, in the middle of the boat, assisted with the greatest care and attention by the boatswain and another of Spike’s confidents. When on the second thwart from aft, and about to take her seat, the boatswain cast a look behind him, and Spike put the helm down. The boat luffed and lurched, of course, and Mrs. Budd would probably have gone overboard to leeward, by so sudden and violent a change, had not the impetus thus received been aided by the arms of the men who held her two hands. The plunge she made into the water was deep, for she was a woman of great weight for her stature. Still, she was not immediately gotten rid of. Even at that dread instant, it is probable that the miserable woman did not suspect the truth, for she grasped the hand of the boatswain with the tenacity of a vice, and, thus dragged on the surface of the boiling surges, she screamed aloud for Spike to save her. Of all who had yet been sacrificed to the captain’s selfish wish to save himself, this was the first instance in which any had been heard to utter a sound, after falling into the sea. The appeal shocked even the rude beings around her, and Biddy chiming in with a powerful appeal to “save the missus!” added to the piteous nature of the scene.

“Cast off her hand,” said Spike reproachfully, “she’ll swamp the boat by her struggles—get rid of her at once! Cut her fingers off if she wont let go.”

The instant these brutal orders were given, and that in a fierce, impatient tone, the voice of Biddy was heard no more. The truth forced itself on her dull imagination, and she sat a witness of the terrible scene, in mute despair. The struggle did not last long. The boatswain drew his knife across the wrist of the hand that grasped his own, one shriek was heard, and the boat plunged into the trough of a sea, leaving the form of poor Mrs. Budd struggling with the wave on its summit, and amid the foam of its crest. This was the last that was ever seen of the unfortunate relict.

“The boat has gained a good deal by that last discharge of cargo,” said Spike to the boatswain, a minute after they had gotten rid of the struggling woman—“she is much more lively, and is getting nearer to her load-line. If we can bring her to that, I shall have no fear of the man-of-war’s men; for this yawl is one of the fastest boats that ever floated.”

“A very little now, sir, would bring us to our true trim.”

“Ay, we must get rid of more cargo. Come, good woman,” turning to Biddy, with whom he did not think it worth his while to use much circumlocution, “your turn is next. It’s the maid’s duty to follow her mistress.”

“I know’d it must come,” said Biddy, meekly. “If there was no mercy for the missus, little could I look for. But ye’ll not take the life of a Christian woman widout giving her so much as one minute to say her prayers?”

“Ay, pray away,” answered Spike, his throat becoming dry and husky, for, strange to say, the submissive quiet of the Irish woman, so different from the struggle he had anticipated with her, rendered him more reluctant to proceed than he had hitherto been in all of that terrible day. As Biddy kneeled in the bottom of the stern-sheets, Spike looked behind him, for the double purpose of escaping the painful spectacle at his feet, and that of ascertaining how his pursuers came on. The last still gained, though very slowly, and doubts began to come over the captain’s mind whether he could escape such enemies at all. He was too deeply committed, however, to recede, and it was most desirable to get rid of poor Biddy, if it were for no other motive than to shut her mouth. Spike even fancied that some idea of what had passed was entertained by those in the cutter. There was evidently a stir in that boat, and two forms that he had no difficulty, now, in recognizing as those of Wallace and Mulford, were standing on the grating in the eyes of the cutter, or forward of the foresail. The former appeared to have a musket in his hand, and the other a glass. The last circumstance admonished him that all that was now done would be done before dangerous witnesses. It was too late to draw back, however, and the captain turned to look for the Irish woman.

Biddy arose from her knees, just as Spike withdrew his eyes from his pursuers. The boatswain and another confident were in readiness to cast the poor creature into the sea, the moment their leader gave the signal. The intended victim saw and understood the arrangement, and she spoke earnestly and piteously to her murderers.

“It’s not wanting will be violence,” said Biddy, in a quiet tone, but with a saddened countenance. “I know it’s my turn, and I will save yer sowls from a part of the burden of this great sin. God, and His Divine Son, and the Blessed Mother of Jesus have mercy on me if it be wrong; but I would far radder jump into the saa widout having the rude hands of man on me, than have the dreadful sight of the missus done over ag’in. It’s a fearful thing is wather, and sometimes we have too little of it, and sometimes more than we want—”

“Bear a hand, bear a hand, good woman,” interrupted the boatswain, impatiently. “We must clear the boat of you, and the sooner it is done the better it will be for all of us.”

“Don’t grudge a poor morthal half a minute of life, at the last moment,” answered Biddy. “It’s not long that I’ll throuble ye, and so no more need be said.”

The poor creature then got on the quarter of the boat, without any one’s touching her; there she placed herself with her legs outboard, while she sat on the gunwale. She gave one moment to the thought of arranging her clothes with womanly decency, and then she paused to gaze with a fixed eye, and pallid cheek, on the foaming wake that marked the rapid course of the boat. The troughs of the sea seemed less terrible to her than their combing crests, and she waited for the boat to descend into the next.

“God forgive ye all, this deed, as I do!” said Biddy, earnestly, and bending her person forward, she fell, as it might be “without hands,” into the gulf of eternity. Though all strained their eyes, none of the men, Jack Tier excepted, ever saw more of Biddy Noon. Nor did Jack see much. He got a frightful glimpse of an arm, however, on the summit of a wave, but the motion of the boat was too swift, and the surface of the ocean too troubled, to admit of aught else.

A long pause succeeded this event. Biddy’s quiet submission to her fate had produced more impression on her murderers than the desperate, but unavailing, struggles of those who had preceded her. Thus it is ever with men. When opposed, the demon within blinds them to consequences as well as to their duties; but, unresisted, the silent influence of the image of God makes itself felt, and a better spirit begins to prevail. There was not one in that boat who did not, for a brief space, wish that poor Biddy had been spared. With most that feeling, the last of human kindness they ever knew, lingered until the occurrence of the dread catastrophe which, so shortly after, closed the scene of this state of being on their eyes.

“Jack Tier,” called out Spike, some five minutes after Biddy was drowned, but not until another observation had made it plainly apparent to him that the man-of-war’s men still continued to draw nearer, being now not more than fair musket shot astern.

“Ay, ay, sir,” answered Jack, coming quietly out of his hole, from forward of the mast, and moving aft as if indifferent to the danger, by stepping lightly from thwart to thwart, until he reached the stern-sheets.

“It is your turn, little Jack,” said Spike, as if in a sort of sorrowful submission to a necessity that knew no law, “we cannot spare you the room.”

“I have expected this, and am ready. Let me have my own way, and I will cause you no trouble. Poor Biddy has taught me how to die. Before I go, however, Stephen Spike, I must leave you this letter. It is written by myself, and addressed to you. When I am gone, read it, and think well of what it contains. And now, may a merciful God pardon the sins of both, through love for his Divine Son. I forgive you, Stephen; and should you live to escape from those who are now bent on hunting you to the death, let this day cause you no grief on my account. Give me but a moment of time, and I will cause you no trouble.”

Jack now stood upon the seat of the stern-sheets, balancing himself with one foot on the stern of the boat. He waited until the yawl had risen to the summit of a wave, when he looked eagerly for the man-of-war’s cutter. At that moment she was lost to view in the trough of the sea. Instead of springing overboard, as all expected, he asked another instant of delay. The yawl sunk into the trough itself, and rose on the succeeding billow. Then he saw the cutter, and Wallace and Mulford standing in its bows. He waved his hat to them, and sprang high into the air, with the intent to make himself seen; when he came down, the boat had shot her length away from the place, leaving him to buffet with the waves. Jack now managed admirably, swimming lightly and easily, but keeping his eyes on the crests of the waves, with a view to meet the cutter. Spike now saw this well planned project to avoid death, and regretted his own remissness in not making sure of Jack. Everybody in the yawl was eagerly looking after the form of Tier.

“There he is on the comb of that sea, rolling over like a keg!” cried the boatswain.

“He’s through it,” answered Spike, “and swimming with great strength and coolness.”

Several of the men started up involuntarily and simultaneously to look, hitting their shoulders and bodies together. Distrust was at its most painful height; and bull-dogs do not spring at the ox’s muzzle more fiercely than those six men throttled each other. Oaths, curses, and appeals for help, succeeded; each man endeavoring, in his frenzied efforts, to throw all the others overboard, as the only means of saving himself. Plunge succeeded plunge; and when that combat of demons ended, no one remained of them all but the boatswain. Spike had taken no share in the struggle, looking on in grim satisfaction, as the Father of Lies may be supposed to regard all human strife, hoping good to himself, let the result be what it might to others. Of the five men who thus went overboard, not one escaped. They drowned each other by continuing their maddened conflict in an element unsuited to their natures.

Not so with Jack Tier. His leap had been seen, and a dozen eyes in the cutter watched for his person, as that boat came foaming down before the wind. A shout of “There he is!” from Mulford succeeded; and the little fellow was caught by the hair, secured, and then hauled into the boat by the second lieutenant of the Poughkeepsie and our young mate.

Others in the cutter had noted the incident of the hellish fight. The fact was communicated to Wallace, and Mulford said, “That yawl will outsail this loaded cutter, with only two men in it.”

“Then it is time to try what virtue there is in lead,” answered Wallace. “Marines, come forward, and give the rascal a volley.”

The volley was fired; one ball passed through the head of the boatswain, killing him dead on the spot. Another went through the body of Spike. The captain fell in the stern-sheets, and the boat instantly broached to.

The water that came on board apprised Spike fully of the state in which he was now placed, and by a desperate effort, he clutched the tiller, and got the yawl again before the wind. This could not last, however. Little by little, his hold relaxed, until his hand relinquished its grasp altogether, and the wounded man sunk into the bottom of the stern-sheets, unable to raise even his head. Again the boat broached-to. Every sea now sent its water aboard, and the yawl would soon have filled, had not the cutter come glancing down past it, and rounding-to under its lee, secured the prize.

[To be continued.





A mighty realm is the Land of Dreams,

  With steeps that hang in the twilight sky,

And weltering oceans and trailing streams

  That gleam where the dusky valleys lie.


But over its shadowy border flow

  Sweet rays from the world of endless morn,

And the nearer mountains catch the glow,

  And flowers in the nearer fields are born.


The souls of the happy dead repair,

  From their bowers of light, to that bordering land,

And walk in the fainter glory there,

  With the souls of the living, hand in hand.


One calm sweet smile in that shadowy sphere,

  From eyes that open on earth no more—

One warning word from a voice once dear—

  How they rise in the memory o’er and o’er!


Far off from those hills that shine with day,

  And fields that bloom in the heavenly gales,

The Land of Dreams goes stretching away

  To dimmer mountains and darker vales.


There lie the chambers of guilty delight,

  There walk the spectres of guilty fear,

And soft low voices that float through the night

  Are whispering sin in the helpless ear.


Dear maids, in thy girlhood’s opening flower,

  Scarce weaned from the love of childish play!

The tears on whose cheeks are but the shower

  That freshens the early blooms of May!


Thine eyes are closed, and over thy brow

  Pass thoughtful shadows and joyous gleams,

And I know, by the moving lips, that now

  Thy spirit strays in the Land of Dreams.


Light-hearted maiden, oh, heed thy feet!

  Oh keep where that beam of Paradise falls;

And only wander where thou may’st meet

  The blessed ones from its shining walls.


So shalt thou come from the Land of Dreams,

  With love and peace, to this world of strife;

And the light that over that border streams

  Shall lie on the path of thy daily life.





When the young Morning, like a new-drest bride,

  With pearls of dew fresh glistening in her hair,

Walks through the east in early summer-tide.

  Her robe loose floating on the scented air,

The laughing hours assembled at her side

  Or circling round her—then is she less fair

  Than, in my heart, the picture, sweet and rare,

Thy presence left.—My books go unperused,

Old friends are shunned, and time flies by unused,

  While I, grown idle, nothing do but dream;

  Gazing upon that picture till I seem

Thyself, again, before my eyes to see,

And not the ideal show: so that to me

The semblance turns to sweet reality.


Entered according to act of Congress in the Year 1847 by G.R. Graham in the Clerks Office of the District Court for the Eastern District of Pa.






In memoirs of individuals of distinction it is usual to look back to their ancestry. The feeling is universal which prompts us to learn something of even an ordinary acquaintance in whom interest is felt. It will indulge, therefore, only a necessary and proper curiosity to introduce the subject of this notice by a short account of a family whose striking traits survive in him so remarkably. General Butler’s grandfather, Thomas Butler, was born 6th April, 1720, in Kilkenny, Ireland. He married there in 1742. Three of his five sons who attained manhood, Richard, William and Thomas, were born abroad. Pierce, the father of General William O. Butler, and Edward, the youngest son, were born in Pennsylvania. It is remarkable that all these men, and all their immediate male descendants, with a single exception, (who was a judge,) were engaged in the military service of this country.

The eldest, Richard, was Lieut. Col. of Morgan’s celebrated rifle-regiment, and to him it owed much of the high character that gave it a fame of its own, apart from the other corps of the Revolution. The cool, disciplined valor which gave steady and deadly direction to the rifles of this regiment, was derived principally from this officer, who devoted himself to the drill of his men. He was promoted to the full command of his regiment sometime during the war, (when Morgan’s great merit and services had raised him to the rank of general,) and in that capacity had commanded Wayne’s left in the attack on Stony Point. About the year 1790, he was appointed major-general. On the 4th of November, 1791, he was killed in St. Clair’s bloody battle with the Indians. His combat with the Indians, after he was shot, gave such a peculiar interest to his fate that a representation of himself and the group surrounding him was exhibited throughout the Union in wax figures. Notices of this accomplished soldier will be found in Marshall’s Life of Washington, pages 290, 311, 420. In Gen. St. Clair’s report, in the American Museum, volume xi. page 44, Appendix.

William Butler, the second son, was an officer throughout the revolutionary war; rose to the rank of colonel, and was in many of the severest battles. He was the favorite of the family, and was boasted of by this race of heroes as the coolest and boldest man in battle they had ever known. When the army was greatly reduced in rank and file, and there were many superfluous officers, they organized themselves into a separate corps, and elected him to the command. General Washington declined receiving this novel corps of commissioned soldiers, but in a proud testimonial did honor to their devoted patriotism.

Of Thomas Butler, the third son, we glean the following facts from the American Biographical Dictionary. In the year 1776, whilst he was a student of law in the office of the eminent Judge Wilson of Philadelphia, he left his pursuit and joined the army as a subaltern. He soon obtained the command of a company, in which he continued to the close of the revolutionary war. He was in almost every action fought in the Middle States during the war. At the battle of Brandywine he received the thanks of Washington on the field of battle, through his aid-de-camp Gen. Hamilton, for his intrepid conduct in rallying a detachment of retreating troops, and giving the enemy a severe fire. At the battle of Monmouth he received the thanks of Gen. Wayne for defending a defile, in the face of a severe fire from the enemy, while Col. Richard Butler’s regiment made good its retreat. At the close of the war he retired into private life, as a farmer, and continued in the enjoyment of rural and domestic happiness until the year 1791, when he again took the field to meet the savage foe that menaced our western frontier. He commanded a battalion in the disastrous battle of Nov. 4, 1791, in which his brother fell. Orders were given by Gen. St. Clair to charge with the bayonet, and Major Butler, though his leg had been broken by a ball, yet on horseback, led his battalion to the charge. It was with difficulty his surviving brother, Capt. Edward Butler, removed him from the field. In 1792 he was continued in the establishment as major, and in 1794 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel commandant of the 4th sub-legion. He commanded in this year Fort Fayette, at Pittsburg, and prevented the deluded insurgents from taking it, more by his name than by his forces, for he had but few troops. The close of his life was embittered with trouble. In 1803 he was arrested by the commanding general—Wilkinson—at Fort Adams, on the Mississippi, and sent to Maryland, where he was tried by a court-martial, and acquitted of all the charges, save that of wearing his hair. He was then ordered to New Orleans, where he arrived, to take command of the troops, October 20th. He was again arrested next month; but the court did not sit until July of the next year, and their decision is not known. Col. Butler died Sept. 7, 1805. Out of the arrest and persecution of this sturdy veteran, Washington Irving (Knickerbocker) has worked up a fine piece of burlesque, in which Gen. Wilkinson’s character is inimitably delineated in that of the vain and pompous Gen. Von Poffenburg.

Percival Butler, the fourth son, father of General Wm. O. Butler, was born at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in 1760. He entered the army as a lieutenant at the age of eighteen; was with Washington at Valley Forge; was in the battle of Monmouth, and at the taking of Yorktown—being through the whole series of struggles in the Middle States, with the troops under the commander-in-chief, except for a short period when he was attached to a light corps commanded by La Fayette, who presented him a sword. Near the close of the war he went to the South with the Pennsylvania brigade, where peace found him. He emigrated to Kentucky in 1784. He was the last of the old stock left when the war of 1812 commenced. He was made adjutant-general when Kentucky became a State, and in that capacity joined one of the armies sent out by Kentucky during the war.

Edward Butler, the youngest of the five brothers, was too young to enter the army in the first stages of the Revolution, but joined it near the close, and had risen to a captaincy when Gen. St. Clair took the command, and led it to that disastrous defeat in which so many of the best soldiers of the country perished. He there evinced the highest courage and strongest fraternal affection, in carrying his wounded brother out of the massacre, which was continued for miles along the route of the retreating army, and from which so few escaped, even of those who fled unencumbered. He subsequently became adjutant-general in Wayne’s army.

Of these five brothers four had sons—all of whom, with one exception, were engaged in the military or naval service of the country during the last war.

1st. General Richard Butler’s son, William, died a lieutenant in the navy, early in the last war. His son, Captain James Butler, was at the head of the Pittsburg Blues, which company he commanded in the campaigns of the Northwest, and was particularly distinguished in the battle of Massissinnawa.

2d. Colonel William Butler, also of the revolutionary army, had two sons, one died in the navy, the other a subaltern in Wayne’s army. He was in the battle with the Indians in 1794.

3d. Lieut. Col. Thomas Butler, of the old stock, had three sons, the eldest a judge. The second, Col. Robert Butler, was at the head of Gen. Jackson’s staff throughout the last war. The third, William E. Butler, also served in the army of Gen. Jackson.

4th. Percival Butler, captain in the revolutionary war, and adjutant-general of Kentucky during the last war, had four sons: first, Thomas, who was a captain, and aid to Gen. Jackson at New Orleans. Next, Gen. William O. Butler, the subject of this notice. Third, Richard, who was assistant adjutant-general in the campaigns of the war of 1812. Percival Butler, the youngest son, now a distinguished lawyer, was not of an age to bear arms in the last war. Of this second generation of the Butler’s, there are nine certainly, and probably more, engaged in the present war.

This glance at the family shows the character of the race. An anecdote, derived from a letter of an old Pennsylvania friend to the parents, who transplanted it from Ireland, shows that its military instinct was an inheritance. “While the five sons,” says the letter, “were absent from home in the service of the country, the old father took it in his head to go also. The neighbors collected to remonstrate against it; but his wife said, ‘Let him go! I can get along without him, and raise something to feed the army in the bargain; and the country wants every man who can shoulder a musket.’” It was doubtless this extraordinary zeal of the Butler family which induced Gen. Washington to give the toast—“The Butlers, and their five sons,” at his own table, whilst surrounded by a large party of officers. This anecdote rests on the authority of the late Gen. Findlay, of Cincinnati. A similar tribute of respect was paid to this devoted house of soldiers by Gen. La Fayette, in a letter now extant, and in the possession of a lady connected with them by marriage. La Fayette says, “When I wanted a thing well done, I ordered a Butler to do it.

From this retrospect it will be seen that in all the wars of the country, in the revolutionary war, in the Indian war, in the last British war, and the present Mexican war, the blood of almost every Butler able to bear arms has been freely shed in the public cause. Maj. Gen. William O. Butler is now among the highest in the military service of his country; and he has attained this grade from the ranks—the position of a private being the only one he ever sought. At the opening of the war of 1812, he had just graduated in the Transylvania University, and was looking to the law as a profession. The surrender of Detroit, and the army by Hull, aroused the patriotism and the valor of Kentucky—and young Butler, yet in his minority, was among the first to volunteer. He gave up his books, and the enjoyments of the gay and polished society of Lexington, where he lived among a circle of fond and partial relations—the hope to gratify their ambition in shining at the bar, or in the political forum of the state—to join Capt. Hart’s company of infantry as a private soldier.

Before the march to join the northwestern army, he was elected a corporal. In this grade he marched to the relief of Fort Wayne, which was invested by hostile Indians. These were driven before the Kentucky volunteers to their towns on the Wabash, which were destroyed, and the troops then returned to the Miami of the lakes, where they made a winter encampment. Here an ensign’s commission in the second regiment of United States infantry was tendered to the volunteer corporal, which he declined, unless permitted to remain with the northwestern army, which he had entered to share in the effort of the Kentucky militia to wipe out the disgrace of Hull’s surrender by the recapture of Detroit. His proposition was assented to, and he received an ensign’s appointment in the seventeenth infantry, then a part of the northwestern army, under the command of Gen. Winchester. After enduring every privation in a winter encampment, in the wildernesses and frozen marshes of the lake country, awaiting in vain the expected support of additional forces, the Kentucky volunteers, led by Lewis, Allen, and Madison, with Well’s regiment, (17th U. S.) advanced to encounter the force of British and Indians which defended Detroit. On leaving Kentucky the volunteers had pledged themselves to drive the British invaders from our soil. These men and their leaders were held in such estimation at home, that the expectation formed of them exceeded their promises; and these volunteers, though disappointed in every succor which they had reason to anticipate—wanting in provision, clothes, cannon, in every thing—resolved, rather than lose reputation, to press on to the enterprise, and to endeavor to draw on to them, by entering into action, the troops behind. It is not proper here to enter into explanations of the causes of the disaster at the River Raisin, the consequence of this movement, nor to give the particulars of the battle. The incidents which signalized the character of the subject of this memoir alone are proper here.

There were two battles at the River Raisin, one on the 18th, the other on the 22d of January. In the first, the whole body of Indian warriors, drawn together from all the lake tribes, for the defence of Upper Canada against the approaching Kentuckians, were encountered. In moving to the attack of this formidable force of the fiercest, and bravest, and most expert warriors on the continent, a strong party of them were descried from the line with which Ensign Butler advanced, running forward to reach a fence, and hold it as a cover from which to ply their rifles. Butler instantly proposed, and was permitted, to anticipate them. Calling upon some of the most alert and active men of the company, he ran directly to meet the Indians at the fence. He and his comrades out-stripped the enemy, and getting possession of the fence, kept the advantage of the position for their advancing friends. This incident, of however little importance as to results, is worth remembrance in giving the traits of a young soldier’s character. It is said that the hardiest veteran, at the opening of the fire in battle, feels, for the moment, somewhat appalled. And Gen. Wolfe, one of the bravest of men, declared that the “horrid yell of the Indian strikes the boldest heart with affright.” The strippling student, who, for the first time, beheld a field of battle on the snows of the River Raisin, presenting in bold relief long files of those terrible enemies, whose massacres had filled his native State with tales of horror, must have felt some stirring sensations. But the crack of the Indian rifle, and his savage yell, awoke in him the chivalric instincts of his nature; and the promptitude with which he communicated his enthusiasm to a few comrades around, and rushed forward to meet danger in its most appalling form, risking himself to save others, and secure a triumph which he could scarcely hope to share, gave earnest of the military talent, the self-sacrificing courage, and the soldierly sympathies which have drawn to him the nation’s esteem. The close of the battle of the 18th gave another instance in which these latter traits of Gen. Butler’s character were still more strikingly illustrated. The Indians, driven from the defences around the town on the River Raisin, retired fighting into the thick woods beyond it. The contest of sharp-shooting from tree to tree was here continued—the Kentuckians pressing forward, and the Indians retreating, until night closed in, when the Kentuckians were recalled to the encampment in the village. The Indians advanced as their opposers withdrew, and kept up the fire until the Kentuckians emerged from the woods into the open ground. Just as the column to which Ensign Butler belonged reached the verge of the dark forest, the voice of a wounded man, who had been left some distance behind, was heard calling out most piteously for help. Butler induced three of his company to go back in the woods with him to bring him off. He was found, and they fought their way back—one of the men, Jeremiah Walker, receiving a shot, of which he subsequently died.

In the second sanguinary battle of the River Raisin, on the 22d of January, with the British and Indians, another act of self-devotion was performed by Butler. After the rout and massacre of the right wing, belonging to Wells’ command, the whole force of the British and Indians was concentrated against the small body of troops under Major Madison, that maintained their ground within the picketed gardens. A double barn, commanding the plot of ground on which the Kentuckians stood, was approached on one side by the Indians, under the cover of an orchard and fence; the British, on the other side, being so posted as to command the space between it and the pickets. A party in the rear of the barn were discovered advancing to take possession of it. All saw the fatal consequences of the secure lodgment of the enemy at a place which would present every man within the pickets at close rifle-shot to the aim of their marksmen. Major Madison inquired if there was no one who would volunteer to run the gauntlet of the fire of the British and Indian lines, and put a torch to the combustibles within the barn, to save the remnant of the little army from sacrifice. Butler, without a moment’s delay, took some blazing slicks from a fire at hand, leaped the pickets, and running at his utmost speed, thrust the fire into the straw within the barn. One who was an anxious spectator of the event we narrate, says, “that although volley upon volley was fired at him, Butler, after making some steps on his way back, turned to see if the fire had taken, and not being satisfied, returned to the barn and set it in a blaze. As the conflagration grew, the enemy was seen retreating from the rear of the building, which they had entered at one end, as the flame ascended in the other. Soon after reaching the pickets in safety, amid the shouts of his friends, he was struck by a ball in his breast. Believing from the pain he felt that it had penetrated his chest, turning to Adjutant (now Gen.) McCalla, one of his Lexington comrades, and pressing his hand to the spot, he said, ‘I fear this shot is mortal, but while I am able to move, I will do my duty.’ To the anxious inquiries of this friend, who met him soon afterward, he opened his vest, with a smile, and showed him that the ball had spent itself on the thick wadding of his coat and on his breast bone. He suffered, however, for many weeks.”

The little band within the pickets, which Winchester had surrendered, after being carried himself a prisoner into Proctor’s camp, denied his powers. They continued to hold the enemy at bay until they were enabled to capitulate on honorable terms, which, nevertheless, Proctor shamefully violated, by leaving the sick and wounded who were unable to walk to the tomahawk of his allies. Butler, who was among the few of the wounded who escaped the massacre, was marched through Canada to Fort Niagara—suffering under his wound, and every privation—oppressed with grief, hunger, fatigue, and the inclement cold of that desolate region. Even here he forgot himself, and his mind wandered back to the last night scene which he surveyed on the bloody shores of the River Raisin. He gave up the heroic part and became the schoolboy again, and commemorated his sorrows for his lost friends in verse, like some passionate, heart-broken lover. These elegiac strains were never intended for any but the eye of mutual friends, whose sympathies, like his own, poured out tears with their plaints over the dead. We give some of these lines of his boyhood, to show that the heroic youth had a bosom not less kind than brave.



The battle’s o’er! the din is past,

Night’s mantle on the field is cast;

The Indian yell is heard no more,

An silence broods o’er Erie’s shore.

At this lone hour I go to tread

The field where valor vainly bled—

To raise the wounded warrior’s crest,

Or warm with tears his icy breast;

To treasure up his last command,

And bear it to his native land.

It may one pulse of joy impart

To a fond mother’s bleeding heart;

Or for a moment it may dry

The tear-drop in the widow’s eye.

Vain hope, away! The widow ne’er

Her warrior’s dying wish shall hear.

The passing zephyr bears no sigh,

No wounded warrior meets the eye—

Death is his sleep by Erie’s wave,

Of Raisin’s snow we heap his grave!

How many hopes lie murdered here—

The mother’s joy, the father’s pride,

The country’s boast, the foeman’s fear,

In wilder’d havoc, side by side.

Lend me, thou silent queen of night,

Lend me awhile thy waning light,

That I may see each well-loved form,

That sunk beneath the morning storm.

These lines are introductory to what may be considered a succession of epitaphs on the personal friends whose bodies he found upon the field. It would extend the extract too far to insert them. We can only add the close of the poem, where he takes leave of a group of his young comrades in Hart’s company, who had fallen together.

And here I see that youthful band,

That loved to move at Hart’s command;

I saw them for the battle dressed,

And still where danger thickest pressed,

I marked their crimson plumage wave.

How many filled this bloody grave!

Their pillow and their winding-sheet

The virgin snow—a shroud most meet!

  But wherefore do I linger here?

Why drop the unavailing tear?

Where’er I turn, some youthful form,

Like floweret broken by the storm,

Appeals to me in sad array,

And bids me yet a moment stay.

Till I could fondly lay me down

And sleep with him on the cold, cold ground.

For thee, thou dread and solemn plain,

I ne’er shall look on thee again;

And Spring, with her effacing showers,

Shall come, and Summer’s mantling flowers;

And each succeeding Winter throw

On thy red breast new robes of snow;

Yet I will wear thee in my heart,

All dark and gory as thou art.

Shortly after his return from Canada. Ensign Butler was promoted to a captaincy in the regiment to which he belonged. But as this promotion was irregular, being made over the heads of senior officers in that regiment, a captaincy was given him in the 44th, a new raised regiment. When free from parole, by exchange, in 1814, he instantly entered on active duty, with a company which he had recruited at Nashville, Tennessee. His regiment was ordered to join General Jackson in the South, but Captain Butler finding its movements too tardy, pushed on, and effected that junction with his company alone. Gen. Call, at that time an officer in Capt. Butler’s company, (since Gov. of Florida,) in a letter addressed to Mr. Tanner of Kentucky, presents, as an eye-witness, so graphically, the share which Capt. Butler had in the campaign which followed, that it may well supersede any narrative at second hand.

Tallehasse, April 3, 1844.

Sir,—I avail myself of the earliest leisure I have had since the receipt of your letter of the 18th of February, to give you a reply.

“A difference of political sentiments will not induce me to withhold the narrative you have requested, of the military services of Col. Wm. O. Butler, during the late war with Great Britain, while attached to the army of the South. My intimate association with him, in camp, on the march, and in the field, has perhaps made me as well acquainted with his merits, as a gentleman and a soldier, as any other man living. And although we are now standing in opposite ranks, I cannot forget the days and nights we have stood side by side, facing the common enemy of our country, sharing the same fatigues, dangers, and privations, and participating in the same pleasures and enjoyments. The feelings and sympathies springing from such associations in the days of our youth can never be removed or impaired by a difference of opinion with regard to men or measures, when each may well believe the other equally sincere as himself, and where the most ardent desire of both is to sustain the honor, the happiness and prosperity of our country.

“Soon after my appointment in the army of the United States, as a lieutenant, in the fall of 1814, I was ordered to join the company of Capt. Butler, of the 44th regiment of infantry, then at Nashville, Tennessee. When I arrived, and reported myself, I found the company under orders to join our regiment in the South. The march, mostly through an unsettled wilderness, was conducted by Capt. Butler with his usual promptitude and energy, and by forced and rapid movements we arrived at Fort Montgomery, the headquarters of Gen. Jackson, a short distance above the Florida line, just in time to follow our beloved general in his bold enterprise to drive the enemy from his strong position in a neutral territory. The van-guard of the army destined for the invasion of Louisiana had made Pensacola its headquarters, and the British navy in the Gulf of Mexico had rendezvoused in that beautiful bay.

“The penetrating sagacity of Gen. Jackson discovered the advantage of the position assumed by the British forces, and with a decision and energy which never faltered, he resolved to find his enemy, even under the flag of a neutral power. This was done by a prompt and rapid march, surprising and cutting off all the advanced pickets, until we arrived within gun-shot of the fort at Pensacola. The army of Gen. Jackson was then so inconsiderable as to render a reinforcement of a single company, commanded by such an officer as Capt. Butler, an important acquisition. And although there were several companies of regular troops ordered to march from Tennessee at the same time, Capt. Butler’s, by his extraordinary energy and promptitude, was the only one which arrived in time to join this expedition. His company formed a part of the centre column of attack at Pensacola. The street we entered was defended by a battery in front, which fired on us incessantly, while several strong block-houses, on our flanks, discharged upon us small arms and artillery. But a gallant and rapid charge soon carried the guns in front, and the town immediately surrendered.

“In this fight Capt. Butler led on his company with his usual intrepidity. He had one officer, Lieut. Flournoy, severely wounded, and several non-commissioned officers and privates killed and wounded.

“From Pensacola, after the object of the expedition was completed, by another prompt and rapid movement, we arrived at New Orleans a few weeks before the appearance of the enemy.

“On the 23d of December the signal-gun announced the approach of the enemy. The previous night they had surprised and captured one of our pickets; had ascended a bayou, disembarked, and had taken possession of the left bank of the Mississippi, within six miles of New Orleans. The energy of every officer was put in requisition, to concentrate our forces in time to meet the enemy. Capt. Butler was one of the first to arrive at the general’s quarters, and ask instructions; they were received and promptly executed. Our regiment, stationed on the opposite side, was transported across the river. All the available forces of our army, not much exceeding fifteen hundred men, were concentrated in the city; and while the sun went down the line of battle was formed; and every officer took the station assigned him in the fight. The infantry formed on the open square, in front of the Cathedral, waiting in anxious expectation for the order to move. During this momentary pause, while the enemy was expected to enter the city, a scene of deep and thrilling interest was presented. Every gallery, porch and window around the square were filled with the fair forms of beauty, in silent anxiety and alarm, waving their handkerchiefs to the gallant and devoted band which stood before them, prepared to die, or defend them from the rude intrusion of a foreign soldiery. It was a scene calculated to awaken emotions never to be forgotten. It appealed to the chivalry and patriotism of every officer and soldier—it inspired every heart, and nerved every arm for battle. From this impressive scene the army marched to meet the enemy, and about eight o’clock at night they were surprised in their encampment, immediately on the banks of the Mississippi. Undiscovered, our line was formed in silence within a short distance of the enemy; a rapid charge was made into their camp, and a desperate conflict ensued. After a determined resistance the enemy gave way, but disputing every inch of ground we gained. In advancing over ditches and fences in the night, rendered still more dark by the smoke of the battle, much confusion necessarily ensued, and many officers became separated from their commands. It more than once occurred during the fight that some of our officers, through mistake, entered the enemy’s lines; and the British officers in like manner entered ours. The meritorious officer in command of our regiment, at the commencement of the battle, lost his position in the darkness and confusion, and was unable to regain it until the action was over. In this manner, for a short time, the regiment was without a commander, and its movements were regulated by the platoon officers, which increased the confusion and irregularity of the advance. In this critical situation, and in the heat of the battle, Capt. Butler, as the senior officer present, assumed command of the regiment, and led it on most gallantly to repeated and successful charges, until the fight ended in the complete rout of the enemy. We were still pressing on their rear, when an officer of the general’s staff rode up and ordered the pursuit discontinued. Captain Butler urged its continuance, and expressed the confident belief of his ability to take many prisoners, if permitted to advance. But the order was promptly repeated, under the well-founded apprehension that our troops might come in collision with each other, an event which had unhappily occurred at a previous hour of the fight. No corps on that field was more bravely led to battle than the regiment commanded by Capt. Butler, and no officer of any rank, save the commander-in-chief, was entitled to higher credit for the achievement of that glorious night.

“A short time before the battle of the 8th of January, Capt. Butler was detailed to command the guard in front of the encampment. A house standing near the bridge, in advance of his position, had been taken possession of by the light troops of the enemy, from whence they annoyed our guard. Capt. Butler determined to dislodge them and burn the house. He accordingly marched to the attack at the head of his command, but the enemy retired before him. Seeing them retreat, he halted his guard, and advanced himself, accompanied by two or three men only, for the purpose of burning the house. It was an old frame building, weather-boarded, without ceiling or plaster in the inside, with a single door opening to the British camp. On entering the house he found a soldier of the enemy concealed in one corner, whom he captured, and sent to the rear with his men, remaining alone in the house. While he was in the act of kindling a fire, a detachment of the enemy, unperceived, occupied the only door. The first impulse was to force, with his single arm, a passage through them, but he was instantly seized in a violent manner by two or three stout fellows, who pushed him back against the wall with such force as to burst off the weather-boarding from the wall, and he fell through the opening thus made. In an instant he recovered himself, and under a heavy fire from the enemy, he retreated until supported by the guard, which he immediately led on to the attack, drove the British light troops from their strong position, and burnt the house in the presence of the two armies.

“I witnessed on that field many deeds of daring courage, but none of which more excited my admiration than this.

“Capt. Butler was soon after in the battle of the 8th of January, where he sustained his previously high and well earned reputation for bravery and usefulness. But that battle, which, from its important results, has eclipsed those which preceded it, was but a slaughter of the enemy, with trivial loss on our part, and presenting few instances of individual distinction.

“Capt. Butler received the brevet rank of major for his gallant services during that eventful campaign, and the reward of merit was never more worthily bestowed. Soon after the close of the war, he was appointed aid-de-camp to Gen. Jackson, in which station he remained until he retired from the army. Since that period I have seldom had the pleasure of meeting with my valued friend and companion in arms, and I know but little of his career in civil life. But in camp, his elevated principles, his intelligence and generous feelings, won for him the respect and confidence of all who knew him; and where he is best known, I will venture to say, he is still most highly appreciated for every attribute which constitutes the gentleman and the soldier.

“I am, sir, very respectfully,

“R. K. CALL.”

Mr. William Tanner.

General Jackson’s sense of the services of Butler, in this memorable campaign, was strongly expressed in the following letter to a member of the Kentucky Legislature:

Hermitage, Feb. 20, 1844.

My Dear Sir,—You ask me to give you my opinion of the military services of the then Captain, now Colonel, Wm. O. Butler, of Kentucky, during the investment of New Orleans by the British forces in 1814 and 1815. I wish I had sufficient strength to speak fully of the merit of the services of Col. Butler on that occasion; this strength I have not: Suffice it to say, that on all occasions he displayed that heroic chivalry, and calmness of judgment in the midst of danger, which distinguish the valuable officer in the hour of battle. In a conspicuous manner were those noble qualities displayed by him on the night of the 23d December, 1814, and on the 8th of January, 1815, as well as at all times during the presence of the British army at New Orleans. In short, he was to be found at all points where duty called. I hazard nothing in saying that should our country again be engaged in war during the active age of Col. Butler, he would be one of the very best selections that could be made to command our army, and lead the Eagles of our country on to victory and renown. He has sufficient energy to assume all responsibility necessary to success, and for his country’s good.


Gen. Jackson gave earlier proof of the high estimation in which he held the young soldier who had identified himself with his own glory at New Orleans. He made him his aid-de-camp in 1816—which station he retained on the peace establishment, with the rank of colonel. But, like his illustrious patron, he soon felt that military station and distinction had no charms for him when unattended with the dangers, duties, and patriotic achievements of war. He resigned, therefore, even the association with his veteran chief, of which he was so proud, and retired in 1817 to private life. He resumed his study of the profession that was interrupted by the war, married, and settled down on his patrimonial possession at the confluence of the Kentucky and Ohio rivers, in the noiseless but arduous vocations of civil life. The abode which he had chosen made it peculiarly so with him. The region around him was wild and romantic, sparsely settled, and by pastoral people. There are no populous towns. The high, rolling, and yet rich lands—the precipitous cliffs of the Kentucky, of Eagle, Tavern and other tributaries which pour into it near the mouth—make this section of the State still, to some extent a wilderness of thickets—and the tangled pea-vine, the grape-vine and nut-bearing trees, which rendered all Kentucky, until the intrusion of the whites, one great Indian park. The whole luxuriant domain was preserved by the Indians as a pasture for buffalo, deer, elk, and other animals—their enjoyment alike as a chase and a subsistence—by excluding every tribe from fixing a habitation in it. Its name consecrated it as the dark and bloody ground; and war pursued every foot that trod it. In the midst of this region, in April, 1791, Wm. O. Butler was born, in Jessamine county, on the Kentucky River. His father had married, in Lexington, soon after his arrival in Kentucky, 1782, Miss Howkins, a sister-in-law of Col. Todd, who commanded and perished in the battle of the Blue-Licks. Following the instincts of his family, which seemed ever to court danger, Gen. Pierce Butler, as neighborhood encroached around him, removed, not long after the birth of his son William, to the mouth of the Kentucky River. Through this section the Indian warpath into the heart of Kentucky passed. Until the peace of 1794, there was scarcely a day that some hostile Savage did not prowl through the tangled forests, and the labyrinths of hills, streams and cliffs, which adapted this region to their lurking warfare. From it they emerged when they made their last formidable incursion, and pushed their foray to the environs of Frankfort, the capital of the State. General Pierce Butler had on one side of him the Ohio, on the farther shore of which the savage hordes still held the mastery, and on the other the romantic region through which they hunted and pressed their war enterprises. And here, amid the scenes of border warfare, his son William had that spirit, which has animated him through life, educated by the legends of the Indian-fighting hunters of Kentucky.

To the feelings and taste inspired by the peculiarities of the place and circumstances adverted to, must be attributed the return of Col. Butler to his father’s home, to enter on his profession as a lawyer. There were no great causes or rich clients to attract him—no dense population to lift him to the political honors of the State. The eloquence and learning, the industry and integrity which he gave to adjust the controversies of Gallatin and the surrounding counties, would have crowned him with wealth and professional distinction, if exhibited at Louisville or Lexington. But he coveted neither. Independence, the affections of his early associates, the love of a family circle, and the charm which the recollection of a happy boyhood gave to the scenes in which he was reared, were all he sought. And he found them all in the romantic dells and woodland heights of Kentucky, and on the sides of the far spreading, gently flowing, beautiful Ohio. The feeling which his sincere and sensitive nature had imbibed here was as strong as that of the Switzer for his bright lakes, lofty mountains, and deep valleys. The wild airs of the boat horn, which have resounded for so many years from arks descending the Ohio and Kentucky, floating along the current and recurring in echoes from the hollows of the hills, like its eddies, became as dear to him as the famous Rans de Vache to the native of Switzerland. We insert, as characteristic alike of the poetical talent and temperament of Butler, some verses which the sound of this rude instrument evoked when he returned home, resigning with rapture “the ear piercing fife and spirit stirring drum” for the wooden horn, which can only compass in its simple melody such airs as that to which Burns has set his beautiful words—

When wild war’s deadly blast was blawn,

And gentle peace returning,

Wi’ mony a sweet babe fatherless,

And many a widow mourning;

I left the lines and tented field.

The music of this song made the burden of the “Boatman’s Horn,” and always announced the approaching ark to the river villages.

The sentiments of the poet, as well as the sweet and deep tones which wafted the plaintive air over the wide expanse of the Ohio, may have contributed to awaken the feeling which pervade these lines.



O, boatman! wind that horn again,

  For never did the list’ning air

  Upon its lambent bosom bear

So wild, so soft, so sweet a strain—

What though thy notes are sad, and few,

  By every simple boatman blown,

Yet is each pulse to nature true,

  And melody in every tone.

How oft in boyhood’s joyous day,

  Unmindful of the lapsing hours,

I’ve loitered on my homeward way

  By wild Ohio’s brink of flowers,

While some lone boatman, from the deck,

  Poured his soft numbers to that tide,

As if to charm from storm and wreck

  The boat where all his fortunes ride!

Delighted Nature drank the sound,

Enchanted—Echo bore it round

In whispers soft, and softer still,

From hill to plain, and plain to hill,

Till e’en the thoughtless, frolick boy,

Elate with hope, and wild with joy,

Who gamboled by the river’s side,

And sported with the fretting tide,

Feels something new pervade his breast,

Chain his light step, repress his jest,

Bends o’er the flood his eager ear

To catch the sounds far off yet dear—

Drinks the sweet draught, but knows not why

The tear of rapture fills his eye

And can he now, to manhood grown,

Tell why those notes, simple and lone,

As on the ravished ear they fall,

Bind every sense in magic spell?

There is a tide of feeling given

To all on earth, its fountain Heaven.

Beginning with the dewy flower,

Just oped in Flora’s vernal bower—

Rising creation’s orders through

With louder murmur, brighter hue—

That tide is sympathy! its ebb and flow

Give life its hues of joy and wo.

Music, the master-spirit that can move

Its waves to war, or lull them into love—

Can cheer the sinking sailor mid the wave,

And bid the soldier on! nor fear the grave—

Inspire the fainting pilgrim on his road,

And elevate his soul to claim his God.

Then, boatman! wind that horn again!

Though much of sorrow mark its strain,

Yet are its notes to sorrow dear;

What though they wake fond memory’s tear!

Tears are sad memory’s sacred feast,

And rapture oft her chosen guest.

This retirement, which may almost be considered seclusion, was enjoyed by Col. Butler nearly twenty-five years, when he was called out by the Democratic party to redeem by his personal popularity the congressional district in which he lived. It was supposed that no one else could save it from the Whigs. Like all the rest of his family, none of whom had made their military service a passport to the honors and emoluments of civil stations, he was averse to relinquish the attitude he occupied to enter on a party struggle. The importunity of friends prevailed; and he was elected to two successive terms in Congress, absolutely refusing to be a candidate a third time. He spoke seldom in Congress, but in two or three fine speeches which appear in the debates, a power will readily be detected which could not have failed to conduct to the highest distinction in that body. Taste, judgment, and eloquence, characterized all his efforts in Congress. A fine manner, an agreeable voice, and the high consideration accorded to him by the members of all parties, gave him, what it is the good fortune of few to obtain, an attentive and gratified audience.

In 1844 the same experiment was made with Butler’s popularity to carry the state for the Democracy, as had succeeded in his congressional district. He was nominated as the Democratic candidate for governor by the 8th of January Convention; and there is good ground to believe that he would have been chosen over his estimable Whig competitor, Governor Owsley, but for the universal conviction throughout the state that the defeat of Mr. Clay’s party, by the choice of a Democratic governor in August, would have operated to injure Mr. Clay’s prospects throughout the Union, in the presidential election which followed immediately after in November. With Mr. Clay’s popularity, and the activity of all his friends—with the state pride so long exalted by the aspiration of giving a President to the Union—more eagerly than ever enlisted against the Democracy, Col. Butler diminished the Whig majority from twenty thousand to less than five thousand.

The late military events with which Maj. Gen. Butler has been connected—in consequence of his elevation to that grade in 1846, with the view to the command of the volunteers raised to support Gen. Taylor in his invasion of Mexico—are so well known to the country that minute recital is not necessary. He acted a very conspicuous part in the severe conflict at Monterey, and had, as second in command under Gen. Taylor, his full share in the arduous duties and responsibilities incurred in that important movement. The narrative of Major Thomas, senior assistant adjutant-general of the army in Mexico, and hence assigned by Gen. Taylor to the staff of Gen. Butler, reports so plainly and modestly the part which Gen. Butler performed in subjecting the city, that it may well stand for history. This passage is taken from it.

“The army arrived at their camp in the vicinity of Monterey about noon September 19th. That afternoon the general endeavored by personal observation to get information of the enemy’s position. He, like Gen. Taylor, saw the importance of gaining the road to Saltillo, and fully favored the movement of Gen. Worth’s division to turn their left, &c. Worth marched Sunday, September 20th, for this purpose, thus leaving Twiggs’ and Butler’s divisions with Gen. Taylor. Gen. Butler was also in favor of throwing his division across the St. John’s river, and approaching the town from the east, which was at first determined upon. This was changed, as it would leave but one, and perhaps the smallest division, to guard the camp, and attack in front. The 20th the general also reconnoitered the enemy’s position. Early the morning of the 21st the force was ordered out to create a diversion in favor of Worth, that he might gain his position; and before our division came within long range of the enemy’s principal battery, the foot of Twiggs’ division had been ordered down to the northeast side of the town, to make an armed reconnoisance of the advanced battery, and to take it if it could be done without great loss. The volunteer division was scarcely formed in rear of our howitzer and mortar battery, established the night previous under cover of a rise of ground, before the infantry sent down to the northeast side of the town became closely and hotly engaged, the batteries of that division were sent down, and we were then ordered to support the attack. Leaving the Kentucky regiment to support the mortar and howitzer battery, the general rapidly put in march, by a flank movement, the other three regiments, moving for some one and a half or two miles under a heavy fire of round shot. As further ordered, the Ohio regiment was detached from Quitman’s brigade, and led by the general (at this time accompanied by Gen. Taylor) into the town. Quitman carried his brigade directly on the battery first attacked, and gallantly carried it. Before this, however, as we entered the suburbs, the chief engineer came up and advised us to withdraw, as the object of the attack had failed, and if we moved on we must meet with great loss. The general was loath to fall back without consulting with Gen. Taylor, which he did do—the general being but a short distance off. As we were withdrawing, news came that Quitman had carried the battery, and Gen. Butler led the Ohio regiment back to the town at a different point. In the street we became exposed to a line of batteries on the opposite side of a small stream, and also from a tête de pont (bridge-head) which enfiladed us. Our men fell rapidly as we moved up the street to get a position to charge the battery across the stream. Coming to a cross-street, the general reconnoitered the position, and determining to charge from that point, sent me back a short distance to stop the firing, and advance the regiment with the bayonet. I had just left him, when he was struck in the leg, being on foot, and was obliged to leave the field.”

“On entering the town, the general and his troops became at once hotly engaged at short musket range. He had to make his reconnoisances under heavy fire. This he did unflinchingly, and by exposing his person—on one occasion passing through a large gateway into a yard which was entirely open to the enemy. When he was wounded, at the intersection of the two streets, he was exposed to a cross-fire of musketry and grape.”

“In battle the general’s bearing was truly that of a soldier; and those under him felt the influence of his presence. He had the entire confidence of his men.”

The narrative of Major Thomas continues:

“When Gen. Taylor went on his expedition to Victoria, in December, he placed Gen. Butler in command of the troops left on the Rio Grande, and at the stations from the river on to Saltillo—Worth’s small division of regulars being at the latter place. Gen. Wool’s column had by this time reached Parras, one hundred or more miles west of Saltillo. General Butler had so far recovered from his wound as to walk a little and take exercise on horseback, though with pain to his limb. One night, (about the 19th December,) an express came from Gen. Worth at Saltillo, stating that the Mexican forces were advancing in large numbers from San Luis de Potosi, and that he expected to be attacked in two days. His division, all told, did not exceed 1500 men, if so many, and he asked reinforcements. The general remained up during the balance of the night, sent off the necessary couriers to the rear for reinforcements, and had the 1st Kentuckey, and the 1st Ohio foot, then encamped three miles from town, in the place by daylight; and these two regiments, with Webster’s battery, were encamped that night ten miles on the road to Saltillo. This promptness enabled the general to make his second day’s march of twenty-two miles in good season, and to hold the celebrated pass of Los Muertos, and check the enemy should he have attacked Gen. Worth on that day, and obliged him to evacuate the town. Whilst on the next, and last day’s march, the general received notice that the reported advance of the enemy was untrue. Arriving at the camp-ground, the general suffered intense pain from his wound, and slept not during the night. This journey, over a rugged, mountainous road, and the exercise he took in examining the country for twenty miles in advance of Saltillo, caused the great increase of pain now experienced.”

The major’s account then goes on to relate Gen. Butler’s proceedings while in command of all the forces after the junction of Generals Worth and Wool—his dispositions to meet the threatened attack of Santa Anna—the defences created by him at Saltillo, and used during the attack at Buena Vista in dispersing Miñon’s forces—his just treatment of the people of Saltillo, with the prudent and effectual precautions taken to make them passive in the event of Santa Anna’s approach. It concludes by stating that all apprehensions of Santa Anna’s advance subsiding, Gen. Butler returned to meet Gen. Taylor at Monterey, to report the condition of affairs; and the latter, having taken the command at Saltillo, transmitted a leave of absence to Gen. Butler, to afford opportunity for the cure of his wound.

This paper affords evidence of the kind feeling which subsisted between the two generals during the campaign, and this sentiment was strongly evinced by Gen. Butler, on his arrival in Washington, where he spoke in the most exalted terms of the leader under whom he served.

In person Gen. Butler is tall, straight, and handsomely formed, exceedingly active and alert—his mien is inviting—his manners graceful—his gait and air military—his countenance frank and pleasing—the outline of his features of the aquiline cast, thin and pointed in expression—the general contour of his head is Roman.

The character of Gen. Butler in private life is in fine keeping with that exhibited in his public career. In the domestic circle, care, kindness, assiduous activity in anticipating the wants of all around him—readiness to forego his own gratifications to gratify others, have become habits growing out of his affections. His love makes perpetual sunshine at his home. Among his neighbors, liberality, affability, and active sympathy mark his social intercourse, and unbending integrity and justice all his dealings. His home is one of unpretending simplicity. It is too much the habit in Kentucky, with stern and fierce men, to carry their personal and political ends with a high hand. Gen. Butler, with all the masculine strength, courage, and reputation to give success to attempts of this sort, never evinced the slightest disposition to indulge the power, whilst his well-known firmness always forbade such attempts on him. His life has been one of peace with all men, except the enemies of his country.






How could he help it? Born with an inquiring turn of mind, and gifted from the first with a disposition toward experimental philosophy, by what processes would you undertake to change the current of Mathew Mizzle’s mind? He is one of those who take nothing for granted. A weight of authority is little in his mind when compared to the personal investigation of the fact—facts for the people, and for himself as one of the people—that’s the pivot on which Mathew Mizzle turns and returns, one fact being to his mind worth whole volumes of speculative assumption; and to Mizzle all facts, let them relate to what they may, are of peculiar interest. It is useless to tell him so. He must go, see and examine for himself. Often, for instance, as he had been told that Gruffenhoff’s big dog would bite at the aspect of strange visitations, do you think that this species of information would content the youthful Mizzle? No—he must see into the matter for himself, and ascertain it beyond the possibility of a doubt, by touching up Gruffenhoff’s big dog with a stick, as the aforesaid big dog lay asleep in the sun, whereby the demonstration was immediately afforded. The big dog would bite—he did bite severely; and thus the little Mizzle added another fact to his magazine of knowledge, as well as an enduring scar to his person, which placed the result upon record, and kept memory fresh on the subject. One dog, at least, will bite; and thenceforth, Mathew Mizzle admitted the inference that dogs are apt to bite, under circumstances congenial to such dental performances. If you doubt it, there’s the mark.

“Burnee—burnee, baby,” are the notes of warning often heard in the nursery, when heated stoves become an object of interest to little human specimens just learning to creep. But “burnee, burnee,” conveyed no precise idea to the infantile Mizzle during his preliminary locomotive operations; and in consonance with the impulses of his nature, he soon tried the stove in its most intense displays of caloric, and in this way determined that “burnee, burnee,” was unpleasant to the person, and injurious to the costume and raiment of that person, to say nothing of its threatening dispositions toward the whole establishment. “Burnee, burnee,” to the house, as well as “burnee, burnee,” to the baby. And so also as to lamps and candles—that they would “burnee” too, was placed, painfully, beyond the impertinent reach of a doubt in minds of the most sceptic order. Mathew Mizzle can show you the evidences to this day, scored, as it were, upon the living parchment, and engrossed in characters not to be misunderstood upon the cuticular binding of his physical identity.

It was useless, also, to place the little Mathew at the head of stairs, with information that any further advance on his part would prove matter of injury. How could he know until he had tried? Indeed, it required several clear tumbles down an entire flight to satisfy his judgment on this point, and to imprint it on his mind, through the medium of his bumpology, that the swiftest transition from one place to another, especially when effected by the downward movement, is not always the safest and the most agreeable. But afterward, none knew better than he what is meant by the word “landing,” as applied to the staircase. “The Landing of Columbus” may be celebrated in pictures; but Mathew Mizzle accomplished landings that made very nearly as much noise as that effected by “the world-seeking Genoese,” and the voyages of both were accompanied by squalls.

But it was not by the touch alone that Mathew Mizzle sought after information in his earlier career. His taste was equally curious. Strange bottles were subjects of the most intense interest, so that like Mithridates, he almost became proof against injury by the frequent imbibings of poison. He knew that pleasant draughts came from bottles, but had to learn that because a bottle has contents, it does not necessarily follow that these contents are either safe or agreeable. Ink, for instance—a copious mouthful of ink—however literary one may be, ink thus administered is not a matter over which the recipient is inclined greatly to rejoice. It did not appear so, at least, when Mathew Mizzle, in frock and trowsers, astonished, after this fashion, his mouth, his clothing and the carpet—so astonished himself that he forgot to reverse the bottle, but permitted it to pour in a steady stream right into the aperture of his lovely countenance. No one probably in the wide world ever acquired a greater variety of knowledge, as to the effect of substances of all kinds upon the human palate, than was obtained by Mathew Mizzle in the course of his earlier investigations into the relative qualities of solids and liquids. A spoonful of Cayenne pepper probably afforded him as much of surprise as any thing of the same portable compass. The varied expressions of his countenance would have been a study to a Lavater. The opera-house never witnessed a dance more remarkable for force and for expression; and if ever Mathew Mizzle was wide awake—wider than on any previous occasion, it was when he had seasoned himself highly with Cayenne. It made Mathew piquant to a degree; and something of the same kind might have been said of him when under the influence of mustard. He was then the warmest boy anywhere about; and fully appreciated the cheering influence of “the castors”—he did not go upon castors for a long time afterward, and never again to the same extent.

There was another source of trouble to Mathew Mizzle. His eyes proper were sharp enough; but the knowledge they acquired was not sufficient to satisfy his devouring thirst for information, and therefore much of his seeing was done with the tips of his fingers, or the grasp of his hands. He must touch every thing, and of course spoilt many things. Leave him alone in the room for a moment, and he would open all the letters, peep into every drawer, smell at every unknown substance, displace your china, spoil your musical-box, climb up the piano-forte, and pull over the vases of flowers. If you did not hear a crash this time, do not flatter yourself. Some secret, but equally important mischief has been accomplished, though it may not be apparent for days. The Mathew Mizzles always leave their mark; and when a gun went off in his hands, the shot that fractured the mirror rendered it fortunate that the mark was only a mirror, as Mathew Mizzle roared with terror at “the sound himself had made.”

Mathew Mizzle, grown as he is now to man’s estate, has perchance changed the objects of his pursuit, but the activity both of his mind and of his body remains undiminished. Curious as ever to ascertain facts. He is one of those who have ever an eye upon their neighbors. He follows people to ascertain whither they are going. It is a favorite amusement of his to peep through the blinds of an evening, to ascertain what you and your family are about. He listens at doors, and he peers through cracks and patronizes knot-holes. If he can learn nothing else, it is a satisfaction for him to ascertain what you are about to have for dinner, and who stopped in to tea. Speak over loud in the street, and Mathew Mizzle saunters close at your elbow, but with such an unconscious look, that you would never dream that he had come merely for information.

No one knows better than he all about the domestic difficulties of families. His sources of intelligence are innumerable. Sometimes you may find him on the back fence, taking observations of the domestic circle; and he has been seen of an evening up the linden-tree in front of domiciles, for similar purposes. The servants of the vicinage are all on confidential terms with Mathew Mizzle; and—have you not noted the fact?—when you would have secret discourse with a friend, Mizzle comes upon you, as the birds of prey scent a battle-field. All secrets appear to hold a species of telegraphic communication with our friend Mathew Mizzle, as to the fact at least, that there is a secret in existence, as well as a regard to its local habitation.

Ubiquitous Mathew Mizzle, yet invariably out of place. Open the door suddenly, and Mathew Mizzle is almost knocked down. Throw out a bucket of water at night, and Mathew Mizzle is there to receive its contents. Pass a stick through the key-hole, and it’s Mizzle’s eye that suffers the detriment. You stumble over him in dark entries—you find him lying perdu in the closet. Go where you will, there is Mizzle, if it be in the wrong place for Mizzle’s presence.

Behold him prowling round the scenes to investigate the mysteries of a theatrical performance. There he is, just where he was told not to be, and William Tell was not in fault that his arrow has stricken Mathew Mizzle breathless. What business had Mizzle there in Switzerland, lurking near the walls of Altorf?

Mizzle’s last catastrophe, like the last catastrophe of many other distinguished citizens, was effected by means of a ladder, which he had ascended cautiously by night, after the painters had left their work, to see what was going on in the chamber of a second story. Suddenly, there was a dog at the bottom of the aforesaid ladder, and a cudgel at the top, presenting the alternatives of a dilemma. Switches above and bark below, what could the unfortunate Mathew Mizzle do but surrender himself a prisoner of war? Poor Mizzle! They put him under the pump, and made him acquainted with the nature of ducks.

Is it not a pity that the system of “espionage” does not obtain in America, that Mathew Mizzle might have a field for the exercise of the qualities which are so remarkably developed in his constitution? It would be a perfect union of duty and of pleasure, if he could be employed to find out every thing that goes on in town and about, and it is a great pity that means could not be devised to save so fine a young man from the waste of his genius.

“People are so fussy about their secrets,” says he, “as if there were any use of having secrets, if it were not for the fun of finding them out and talking about them. It’s mean and selfish to abridge intelligence in that sort of way, and if I knew of any country where they manage matters on a different system, I’d emigrate right away, I would. A pretty piece of business, to put a man under the pump, because he seeks after knowledge.”





Before the plough had scattered fields of grain

And grassy orchards midst the oaken woods

Of Shawangunk, upon the mountain’s top

Stood a wood-cutter’s hut. Himself and wife

Shared it alone. The spot was green and sweet.

The earth was covered with a velvet sward,

Grouped with low thickets, here and there a tree

Rearing its dark rich foliage in the heavens.


Pleasant the echoes of his fast plied axe,

Merrily rattling through the mountain-woods,

To those who sought the old surveyor’s road

For shade and coolness; and amidst the sounds

Would boom deep heavy shocks of falling trees,

Like growls of thunder in the noontide-hush,

So that the eye would glance impulsively

Up to the tree-tops, to discern the peak

Of the ascending cloud.


                   His forest-life,

Though rude, was joyous. When the mellow charm

Of sunset on the smiling mountains lay,

The creaking of his high-piled cart would blend

With song or whistle blithe, as, dipping down

The road, he sought the village in the midst

Of the green hollow. This slight mountain-road

Went slanting to the summit, with blazed trunks

On either side, and soft delicious grass

Spreading its carpet; one faint track alone

Telling that wheel had e’er its beauty scarred.

Close to the hut it passed, then downward plunged,

And sought the level of the opposite side.


’T was at the close of one cold winter day

That down this road I trod. My weary steps,

With efforts vain, had tracked, for hours, the deer,

And now, with empty flask and rifle, swift,

I journeyed homeward. Nature’s great bright eye

Low beaming in the west, still poured sweet light

Upon the mountain. The pure snow, all round,

In delicate rose-tints glowed. The hemlocks smiled,

Speckled with gold. The oak’s sere foliage, still

Tight clinging to the boughs, was kindled up

To warm rich brown. The myriad trunks and sprays

Traced their black lines upon the soft snow-blush

Beneath, until it seemed a tangled maze.

Upon the mountain’s top, a thread of smoke

From the low cabin rose, as though a streak

Of violet had been painted on the air.

I heard the ring of the wood-cutter’s axe,

And, through an opening, saw his instrument

Flashing into a walnut’s giant stem,

Whose upborne mass, in the fast lowering light,

Seemed cut in copper. A broad wind-fall near

Let down my eyes upon the hollow. White

In snow it lay, with long and dusky lines

Of fences crossing—groups of orchard-trees—

Hay-barracks—barns and long low dwelling-roofs.

Straight as an arrow ran the streak of road

Athwart the hollow. As I looked, the eye

In the red west sank lower, till half quenched

Behind the upland, then a shred of light

Glittered and vanished, and the sky was bare.


Whilst gazing on this splendor, suddenly

I heard a shriek. Shrill, ringing midst the woods

In piercing clearness, through my ears it cut,

And left a sense of deafness. Startled, round

I gazed. Again the horrid sound thrilled past.

I knew it then as the terrific cry

Of the fierce, bloody panther. In our woods

Naught fiercer, bloodier dwells, when roused by rage

Or hunger. Oft our hunters had of late

Marked the huge foot-prints of the ravenous beast,

And heard his scream at midnight, but no eye

As yet had seen him. With a nervous grasp

Upon my useless weapon, and a weight

Of helplessness, like lead, upon my soul,

I started on my path. At every step

I thought his tawny form and fierce green eye

Would meet my sight, upon some limb o’erhead.

But naught was seen. The village soon I reached,

And gladly crossed the threshold of my home.


The long, cold, breathless night came swiftly down.

The clear, magnificent moon seemed not inlaid

In the bright blue, but stood out bold, distinct,

As though impending from the cloudless skies

Glittering with frost. Upon the sparkling snow

The rich light slept in such sweet purity

As naught on earth can match. The hours sped on,

The silver day still shone serene and clear,

And twinkled on the crystals shooting round.

Gazing once more upon the splendid scene,

Before I sought the couch, my wandering eye

Glanced at the mountain. There it grandly stood

A giant mass of ivory. On the spot

Where the steep slanting road the hollow joined,

My sight a moment dwelt, for there I last

Had swept around a quick and piercing gaze,

In search of the gaunt monster whose keen cry

Still echoed in my ears. Is that a spot

Of shadow flickering in some transient breeze?

No. O’er the hollow, gliding swift, it comes.

Is it the ravenous panther, fierce for blood,

Seeking the village? Closer as it speeds

A clearer shape it shows—a human form—

’Tis the wood-cutter’s wife! She loudly shrieks,

“My husband—lost—wake, wake!” the moonlight falls

Upon her features swollen with tears. A band

Of villagers was soon aroused, and forth

We sallied toward the mountain. So intense

The cold, the snow creaked shrilly at our tread,

And the strewed diamonds on its surface flashed

Back the keen moonlight. As we trod along,

The wife in breathless haste, her story told,

How, when the sunset fell, she watched to see

Her husband’s form swift speeding up the road,

From the side-clearing, at that wonted hour,

Toward his low roof. The sunset died, and night

Sprang on the earth; the absent one came not.

The moon moved up; the latch-string was not pulled

For entrance in the cabin. Hours sped on.

And still, upon the silvered snow, no form

Her gaze rewarded. Once she heard afar

A panther’s shriek. Her fear to frenzy rose.

To the side-clearing sped she; naught was there

But solitude and moonlight. As she told

Her tale I shuddered. In my ear again

Rang the fierce shriek I heard as sunset glowed,

And my flesh crept with horror. Up we trod

Our mountain snow-path speedily. At length,

To where the narrow opening in the woods

Led from the road, we came. ’T was at this spot

I stood, and watched the form and flashing axe

Of him, the lost. We passed within. The moon

Threw on the little clearing a full flood

Of radiance. There the crusted wood-pile stood;

There was the walnut with a ghastly notch

Deep in its heart. A ledge of rock rose up

Beside the wounded tree, and at its base

A space of blackest hue proclaimed a chasm.

No life was stirring on the brilliant waste;

The trees rose like a wall on every side

But where the ledge frowned darkly. As I checked

My footsteps at the half-hewn walnut, drops

Thick sprinkled round—the snow stamped down—an axe

Lying upon the high wreathed roots, my gaze,

As with a charm, arrested. From this spot

Large prints and a broad furrow stretched along

To the black chasm within the rocky ledge.

We clustered round the mouth. A low, deep growl

Came from the depths. Two orbs of flashing fire

Glared in the darkness. Brace, the hunter, aimed

His rifle just between the flaming spots,

And fired. Fierce growls and gnashings loud of teeth

Blent with the echoes, and then all was still.

The spots were seen no more. A few had brought

Splinters of pine for torches, and the flint

Supplied the flame. With one hand grasping tight

A hatchet keen, the other a bright torch,

The dauntless hunter ventured, with slow steps,

Within the cavern. Soon a shout we heard,

And Brace appeared, with all his giant strength

Dragging a lifeless panther. In again

He passed, and then brought out a human form,

Mangled and crushed. A shriek pealed wild and high,

And, swooning, sank the wife upon the snow,

Beside the dead. With silent, deep-felt awe

We bore both to the hut. A sudden cloud

Rose frowning from the north, and deep and fierce

Howled the loosed tempest. From her death-like swoon,

Roused by our care, the hapless wife poured out

Her cries and wailings. Through the livelong night

We heard her moans and screams and ravings wild,

Blending with all those stern and awful tones

That the scourged forest yields. But morning dawned,

And brought the widowed and the broken heart

The peace of death. Beside the lonely hut,

Two graves were opened in the frozen snow,

And silence then fell deeply on the spot.

No more the smoke curled up. No more the axe

Rang in the mountain; and a few short years

Leveled the cabin with the forest-earth,

Midst spreading bushes, fern and waving grass.


Let me, lamb-like, share caresses,

  From thy hand that knows not stain;

Flowers that woo, the smile that blesses,

  Hours that pass and leave no pain!


Be with me in sleeping, waking;

  Be with me in toil and rest;

Living, thine; and, life forsaking,

  Let me slumber on thy breast!

Painted by J. T. Bignaud R A            Engraved by W. E. Tucker


Engraved expressly for Graham’s Magazine



To Geo. R. Graham, Esq.

New York, December 1, 1847.

Dear Sir,—By to-night’s mail should go to you a piece of mental statuary, which is yet in a marble block of the reluctant quarry of my brain—due to you by agreement on the first of December, one unconceived tale! But though we do so strangely bargain the invisible wares of the imagination, deliverable, like merchandize, on a certain day, the contractor is still liable to the caprices of the world he trades from, and your order on me for fancy yet undug, must, I fear, be protested. You would not believe me if I were to tell you literally why. But the truth is that I, and a certain cave (mentioned by Humboldt, on the banks of the Oronookoo, which he calls a “subterranean organ,”) can only give out music in certain states of the weather. With the dry, sharp, icy north wind of the last few days, I could no more write than I could supply electricity to Morse’s wire.

But—no failure is quite twenty shillings in the pound. What say you to the assets? The statue will not be forth coming—but will you have the model, after which the undug block was to have been chiseled? Shall I send you the literal truth which I had intended to drape with imagination—tell the facts of real life which I had designed to weave into a story. I shall thus, at least, clear yourself of the non-fulfillment of the promise of your pre-advertised contents, and (engaging to send you a story properly completed for the next number) shall effect, perhaps, a compromise for my delinquent punctuality.

This, then, is the thread of literal truth which was to have run through the fancy-woof of my story.

Some years ago, after a year or two of residence in different cities of Italy, I found myself very much at home in Naples. It was an unusually gay season—the concentration of the rank and fashion of the floating society of travelers varying between Rome, Florence, and Naples, very much as it does, in our country, between the different watering-places—by caprices that no one can foresee. The English people of rank, more particularly, were in very great force; and the blonde moustaches, so much admired in the dark-haired South, and the skins of alabaster and rose, so envied by the brunettes of Italy, abounded at the balls and in the public places. The king kept very gay court, the royal entertainments accessible to all strangers properly introduced, and the ambassadors and bankers, nobles and wealthy strangers, seemed to want twice as many nights and mornings in the week, so conflicting were the balls and breakfasts, driving-parties and dinners.

As, of course, an unobserved looker-on in scenes of such brilliant rivalry and display, I had more attention to spare than most whom I met; and I soon found myself—eyes, mind, fancy, and interest, absorbed in one study—a new revelation of a type of woman. We are accustomed to see the sex in classes—hundreds of a kind—and find them sufficiently absorbing as nouns of multitude. It is probably one of Heaven’s principles of human safety, that women are made in “lots” so like, that a transfer of a slighted heart, from an unwilling beauty to some willing likeness of her, safely vents the volcano. Proportionately dangerous, however, are those rare women—of whom a man sees, perhaps, one or two in his life—who are the only ones of their type and kind; for, out of love for them, there is no exit but through their hearts.

You are going too fast if you fancy I am about to record a fruitless passion of my own. Though of “easy wax,” I am not stamped, except by will of the imprintress; and my only cobweb thread of personal remembrance is a horseback excursion to Camaldoli, in which I played the propriety-third to the best of my discretion. It is necessary to define thus much, to redeem my estimate of the lady from the imputation of mere fancy. Had I known her intimately, or not known her at all, my judgment of her would be less reliable. In just the position for untroubled and most favorable observation, I studied her in silence through that brilliant season, and laid away her image (as one does without more than one or two choked-down aspirations) to people castles in the air, and fill niches in the temple of dreams.

The foregoing prepares you for a portrait of the proposed heroine of my story—but that you would have had, had the story been written. I never could draw a picture of a woman but from the life, and to that fictitious tale I should have transferred, with studied and careful truthfulness, the enamel portrait burnt in upon my memory, and which you would have admired my fancy for conceiving. Oh! the mistake of supposing that we can imagine things brighter than we have seen with our eyes—that there is any kingdom of air, visitable by poets, which is comparable to the glorious world we live in, with its some women, some sunsets, some strains of music, and some fore-tasted heaven-thrills of emotion.

The heir to one of the oldest titles of England was the husband of this lady. The fortunes of his family had been wasted; and they had lived for a generation or two in comparative obscurity, when the present Lord —— came of age. He had been educated carefully, but was of great personal beauty, and I thought when I first saw him, was as fine a model as I had ever seen of the quiet, reserved, self-intrenched school of modern English manners. With his beauty and his title, though with little or no estate, he had easily married a lady of fortune—the only daughter of a retired banker. And this heiress, Lady ——, is the one whose story I would have told through a veil of fiction.

The Countess of —— was an unsurpassed horsewoman, and rode constantly. Her blood-horses had been sent round by ship from England; and she was always mounted on an animal whose every fibre seemed obedient to her thought, and with whose motion every line of her own tall and slenderly-rounded person, and every ringlet of her flowing, golden curls seemed in a correspondence governed by the very spirit of beauty. She rode with her rein loose, and her mind apparently absorbed with any thing but her horse. A turn of her head, or the pressure of her foot upon his shoulder, was probably the animal’s guidance. But, of an excessively impassioned nature, she conversed in the saddle with the expression and gesture of the most earnest untrammeling of mind, and, in full speed, as in the repose upon a lounge in a saloon, she carried away the listener with her uncalculating and passionate absorption—no self-possession, however on its guard it might be, able, apparently, to withstand the enveloping and resistless influence which she herself was a slave to. Unconsciousness of every thing in the world, except the feeling she was pouring from her soul, seemed the only and every-day condition and law of her nature; and supreme as she was in fashion of dress, and style of manner, these seemed matters learned and lost thought of—she having returned to nature, leaving her triumphs as a belle to be cared for by infallible habit. A separate spirit of light, speaking from the lips of the most accomplished and best perfected of women—the spirit, and the form possessed, being each in full exercise of their best faculties—could scarcely have conveyed more complete impressions of wondrous mind, in perfect body, or have blended more ravishingly, the entireness of heavenly with the most winning earthly development. She was an earnest angel, in the person of a self-possessed and unerringly graceful woman.

I chanced to be looking on, when Prince ——, one of the brothers of a royal family of central Europe, was presented to the Countess ——. It was at a crowded ball; and I observed that, after a few minutes of conversation with her, he suddenly assumed a ceremonious indifference of manner, and went into another room. I saw at once that the slightness of the attention was an “anchor to windward,” and that, in even those few minutes the prince had recognized a rare gem, and foreseen that, in the pursuit of it, he might need to be without any remembered particularity of attention. Lady —— conversed with him with her usual earnest openness, but started a little, once or twice, at words which were certainly unaccompanied by their corresponding expression of countenance; and this, too, I put down for an assumption of disguise on the part of the prince. It was natural enough; with his conspicuous rank, he could only venture to be unguarded in his attentions to those for whom he had no presentiment of future intimacy.

That the progress of this acquaintance should assume for me the interest of a drama—a scene of it played every night, with interludes every day, in public drives and excursions—would not be wonderful to you, could I have drawn the portrait of the principal performer in it, so that you would understand its novelty. I had never seen such a woman, and I was intensely interested to know how she would bear temptation. The peculiar character of the prince I easily understood; and I felt at once, that of all stages of an accomplished man’s progress, he was at the one most dangerous to her, while, perhaps, no other kind of woman in the world would have called upon any but very practiced feelings of his own. He was of middle age, and had intellect enough to have long anticipated the ebb of pleasure. With his faculties and perceptions in full force, he was most fastidious in permitting himself to enjoy an enthusiasm, to admire, to yield to, or to embark upon with risk. The admiration of mere beauty, mere style, mere wit, mere superiority of intellect in woman, or of any of these combined, was but a recurrent phase of artificial life. He had been to the terminus, the farthest human capability of enjoyment of this, and was now back again to nature, with his keenest relish in reserve, looking for such outdoings of art as nature sometimes shows in her caprices. In the Countess —— he recognized at once a rare miracle of this—a woman whose beauty, whose style, whose intellect, whose pride, were all abundant, but, abundant as they were, still all subservient to electric and tumultuous sensation. Her life, her impulse—the consciousness with which she breathed—was the one gift given her by Heaven in tenfold measure, and her impression on those she expanded to, was like the magnetizing presence of ten full existences poured into one. The heart acknowledged it before her—though the reason knew not always why.

Lord —— would scarce have been human had he not loved such a woman, and she his wife. He did love her—and doubtless loves her at this hour with all the tenderness of which he could ever be capable. If they had lived only on their estates in England, where seclusion would have put up no wall of concealment to his feelings, she might have drawn from the open well of his heart, the water for which her ardent being was athirst. But with the usage of fashionable life, he followed his own amusements during the day, leaving the countess to hers; and in scenes of gayety they were, of course, still separated by custom; and all she enjoyed of nature in her rides, or of excitement in society, was, of course, with others than her husband. Naples is in the midst of palace-gardens, and of wonders of scenery—in seeing which love is engendered in the bosom and brain with tropical fruitfulness—and Lady —— could no more have lived that year in Italy without passionate loving, than she could have stayed from breathing the fragrance of the orange blossoms, when galloping between the terraced gardens of Sorrento.

When abroad, a little more than a year ago, I made a visit to a friend, whose estate is in the same county with that of the father of Lady ——, and between whose park-gates and his extends the distance of a morning’s drive through one of the loveliest hedged winding-roads of lovely England. A very natural inquiry was of the whereabout and happiness of the Countess of ——, whom I had left at Naples ten years before, and had not been in the way of hearing of since; and I named her in the gay tone with which one speaks of the brilliant and happy. We were sitting at the dinner-table, and I observed that I had mis-struck a chord of feeling in the company present, and with well-bred tact, the master of the house informed me that misfortunes had befallen the family since the period I spoke of, and turned the conversation to another topic. After dinner, I heard from him the following outline of the story, and its affecting sequel.

Near the close of the season when Lord —— was at Naples, he suddenly left that city and returned with his wife and their one child to England. To the surprise of the wondering world, Lady —— went to her father’s, and Lord —— to the small estate of his widowed mother, where they remained for a while in unexplained seclusion. It was not long before rumors arrived from Italy, of a nature breathing upon the reputation of the lady; and soon after a formal separation took place, Mr. ——, her father, engaging to leave his whole fortune to the son of Lord ——, if that nobleman would consent to give him to the exclusive keeping of his mother. With these facts ended the world’s knowledge of the parties, the separated pair remaining, year after year, in absolute seclusion; and Lady —— never having been known to put foot beyond the extending forest in which her home was hidden from view, and the gates to which were guarded from all entrance, even of family friends.

It was but a few days before this sequel was narrated to me, that the first communication had been made from the Countess of —— to her husband. It was a summons to attend, if he wished, the burial of his only child—the heir of his name, and the bringer-back, had he lived, of wealth to the broken fortunes of his title. A severer blow could hardly have followed the first—for it struck down heart, pride, and all that could brighten this world’s future. Lord ——came. The grave was made in a deep grove of firs on the estate of the boy’s mother. There were but three mourners present—herself, her father, and her husband. The boy was ten or eleven years old when he died, and one of the most gifted and noble lads, in mind and person, that had ever been seen by those who knew him. On his horse, with his servant behind him, the young boy-lord was a constant sight of pride and beauty to the inhabitants of the county, and was admired and beloved every where he rode in his daily excursions.

The service was read; the two parents stood side by side at the grave, while the body was laid in it—the first time they had met since their separation, and both in the prime of life, and with hearts yearning—both hearts, beyond a doubt—with love, and longing for forgiveness; and when the earth rang on the coffin, they parted without exchanging a word. The carriage of Lord —— waited for him in the avenue; and with the expiring echo of his wheels through that grove of fir-trees, died all hope and prospect, if any had been conceived, of a re-union, in grief, of these proud broken-hearted.

I have told you thus, with literal truth, all that I could know of this drama of real life; but, of course, its sketchy outline could be easily filled out by fancy. Your readers, perhaps, will like to do this for themselves.

Yours truly,

N. P. Willis.





Like a cloud of the summer sunset

  Gleaming across the blue,

Like a star of the golden twilight

  Through the misty evening dew,

Like a strain of heavenly music

  Breathed mournfully and low,

Charming the heart to sadness

  By its bewildering flow—

Thou camest to my presence

  In the far off long-ago.

Thou camest for a moment,

  Then fleeted swift away,

As the rosy cloud of sunset

  Fades at the close of day,

As the beaming star of twilight

  Withdraws its golden ray.

Thou hast passed from out my presence

  As the songs low cadence dies,

Which the heart seeketh ever,

  And evermore it flies.

Oh, in my weary journeying

  Come to me yet once more,

While still my footsteps wander

  On Time’s uncertain shore.

Come to me, oh, sweet vision

  Of what my soul has sought,

And with mine once more mingle

  Thy far, sky-piercing thought.

Call I in vain thy spirit?

  Do I seek thee all in vain?

Shall I never hear thy accent

  In music fall again?

Why didst thou cross my pathway,

  Oh soul so pure and true?

To fade like the clouds of sunset.

  Like the star from the misty blue?






I am not of those who think that a true enjoyment of the beauties of nature, of natural scenery, and natural objects, generally, is a test of the purity of principle or the delicacy of sentiment, any more than I hold that a love of music is essential to domestic, social or political virtue. The cultivation of the eye and the ear—or the capabilities in those organs for cultivation—have more to do with all this than many seem to allow; and men and women of the purest principles, and the highest benevolence, may stand within the loveliest scenes that nature has ever spread out, or may listen to the most delicious music that art has ever prepared and performed, without comprehending the beauties or the excellence of either, or imagining that there is a moral test applied to them in these attractions. Nevertheless, there is an enjoyment in such scenes and such sounds, and those who are permitted to share therein have another life—or such an additional enjoyment added to that of ordinary minds, that they seem to live more, if not longer, in such pleasures than the common allotment; and none, I suspect, will doubt that the indulgence of a taste for natural beauties tends to soften the mind, soothe the passions, and thus elevate the feelings and aspirations.

If I have less of the power of appreciating and enjoying rural sights and rural sounds, if there is vouchsafed to me a limited capability of understanding and delighting in the beauties of the field and wood, of gathering pleasure from the outstretched loveliness of land and stream, still I thank God; and I speak with reverence, I thank God that I have some pleasure in these things; and more than that, I have a certain fixed delight in noticing the enjoyment which the better formed and higher cultivated mind derives from what a good Providence has poured out for the decoration of the earth. Humble as this faculty may be, which is partly exercised through intermediate objects, I find it useful to me, and, still better, I find that it ministers to other pleasures—to enjoy what is lovely is a high and a cultivated talent—the enjoyment of that loveliness with another kindred or more elevated mind is a yet higher attainment, as the performance of concerted music is more difficult and more gratifying than a simple solo.

Rarely within my recollection, and that is as inclusive as the remembrance of almost any around me, rarely has an autumn been more delightful than that which has just closed, in its clear, shining sunlight, or more attractive for its bland and healthful temperature. Not leisure—for that I have little to boast of, or to fear. Let my young readers mark that word, fear. I am not about to write a homily upon the uses of time and talents, but let me parenthetically note that the gift of enjoying leisure is so rare in the young, that a lack of constant occupation should be rather feared than courted. I do not speak of the danger of flagrant vice, but of a growing propensity to disregard portions of time, because only portions may be necessary to the discharge of admitted duties—the danger is imminent—but not to the young alone. In youth, love of action may employ the leisure to the promotion of vice in age, a tendency to inertness may induce the abuse of the leisure to total inaction. I can hardly imagine any object more unsightly than an idle old man—the dead trunk of a decayed tree, marring the landscape and injuring culture. But I must return. Not leisure, for I have little of that to boast of or fear; not leisure, but a love, a growing love for the partial solitude of the field, and something of an enjoyment of the elevating communion which it leaves, sent me more than once in November last strolling beyond the dusty roads and noisy turnpike in the vicinity of our city. It was, as I have reason to recollect, on the eighteenth of November, that I was wandering observantly, but in deep contemplation, across some of the fields that lie near the road leading from the city to Frankford. It was a lovely day, and every feeling of my heart was consonant to the scene. Ascending a little eminence, I obtained an extensive view. The forest trees had lost their rich garb of mottled beauties, and their denuded limbs stretched out with attenuated delicacy, seemed to streak the distant horizon with darkened lines. On my right the winding Delaware lay stretched out in glassy beauty, and near me, glittering in the sunlight beyond, were a thousand gossamer webs that had survived a recent storm. The fields were unusually green, for the season, as if the year were clothing itself, like an expiring prelate, with its richest habiliments, that its departure might leave the impress of that beauty which comes from its usefulness. I had yielded to the influences of the scene, had allowed my feeling to predominate, and was in the midst of an unwonted abstraction from all ordinary cares and relations, catching something of that state with which the more gifted are indulged, when I was startled by the sound of footsteps upon the carpet-like grass around me.

“Hardly looking for game here?” said the person inquiringly.

“And without dog and gun?” said I.

“There’s not much game in these parts,” said he.

“And yet I was hunting!” said I. “Hunting pleasure from the prospect.”

“I do not derive much pleasure,” said my companion, “from such things. Almost all fields are alike to me. Generally they are places for labor, or they lie between my residence and labor, and thus make a toilsome distance.”

“But do you not enjoy the pleasure of this scene? Do you not, while looking abroad from some eminence, feel a sensation different from what you experience while walking on the turnpike?”

“Most generally. I think there was once or twice a feeling came over me here which I did not exactly understand.”

“And when was that?”

“Always on Sunday morning, as I have been crossing the field to attend service at the church yonder. I could not tell whether it was a sense of relief from ordinary labor, or something connected with the service in which I was about to join; but, certainly, the fields, and woods, and water beyond, had a different appearance, and seemed to affect me differently from their ordinary influence. Perhaps as these feelings are recent, they may have sprung from another cause.”

“If the beauties of nature, and the influence of religious aspirations could not account for those feelings which you experienced, I can scarcely tell whence you derived the sensation.”

“I suppose that all beauties are not discernable at once, and our sympathies are not all awakened by a single exhibition of what may be productive of delight or sorrow. Whatever of pleasure I have derived from the beauties observable from such places as this, are not primarily referable to my own powers of application, but rather from the lessons of another—lessons derived from a few words, and from constant example.”

“And, pray, what example could open to you new beauties in a landscape, or develop attractions in a scene which you had been in the habit of seeing for many years?”

“I do not know that any one has taught me by word and example to see from any point of observation, aught that I had not discerned before, but it is certain that what was unnoticeable became an object of contemplation, and points of the scenery have been made to harmonize by association, when viewed separately, they had little that was attractive.

“A few years since, a young lady, I think of European birth, was brought to live in the house which stands near yonder clump of trees; her situation seemed that of an humble companion to the lady—but her services and her influence made her more than loved. I never saw more affection exhibited than all of the household manifested toward her. I cannot tell you what means she used to acquire such a mastery over the love of all around her, but, though less within the influence of her attractive manners than some others, I yet shared in the general feeling of regard. She was a frequent visiter to a small eminence in this immediate neighborhood, and I often followed her thither, though I was careful not to reach the place until her departure; and then I have gone around as she did, looking at the various points of the scenery, to try to have the enjoyment which was imparted to her from the visits. Once I came when she was here, and met a condescension entirely hidden in kindness; she called my attention to what she designated the numerous beauties of the place, and subsequently I went frequently to the spot to look at what she had pointed out, and I think I occasionally derived some new pleasure from the scene. I am not able now to say whether that pleasure was the result of new capacities to behold beauties, or whether it was consequent upon my respect for her who had imparted the lesson. Perhaps both.

“There was a young man, a relative of Mrs. ——, with whom this lady resided, that came frequently to the house. I never saw a person apparently more winning in his manner, or more delicate in his attentions; and, as all expected, he proposed for marriage to the young woman. It was thought that there would be objections on the part of his relations—and there were; but they came from the gentleman of the house, who plainly declared that the young man was not worthy of the woman he sought. Her heart, it was evident, was concerned; it was whispered, I know not how truly, that the youth had associations in the city unworthy his relations at home. But when do the young and confiding ever regard monitions of this kind. She, whose good sense had restored order to a family that needed direction, and had sustained her against all adverse circumstances among strangers, could not influence her against the pleadings of her own heart. The young man, more than a year since, received a commission, and joined the army at Mexico. He left with her a sealed paper, and his favorite dog. The animal was already most affectionately attached to her, and now became her constant companion. Never did I see an animal so completely devoted to a human being; never was kindness more reciprocated than was that of the companion of her walks; he patiently awaited at the door of the church for the conclusion of the services, and at night held vigils beneath her window. I think the dog, too, must have understood something of the beauty of this scenery; for I have seen him for an hour together standing wistfully beside his mistress, and gazing up into her face, and then not meeting with an encouraging look, stretching his sight far away in the direction of her eyes, as if determined to share with her whatever contributed to her pleasure or her pain.

“Less than four months ago news reached the family of the death of the young man—I do not remember the exact time, or the place of the engagement in which he fell—but his death produced deep sensation in the family generally, but it went to the heart of the young lady. I saw her once or twice on her favorite place in the field, but I dared not approach her—she had no companion but the faithful dog. In two weeks she was confined to her bed—and shortly afterward the family was plunged in new afflictions by her death. I was inquiring of one of the family relative to the particular disease of which she died, and heard it suggested that it might have been a rapid consumption.”

“I think not,” said a very little girl, who had shared in the affectionate instruction of the deceased.

“And why?”

“Can the heart of a person break to pieces?” asked the child.

“The heart may be broken,” I said.

“Then that is it—for I heard mamma tell sister that Miss Mary’s heart was broken.”

“I have noticed that the death of an affianced one is more severely felt by a woman, as a severe disturbance of affection, than is the death of a husband. And I suppose this comes from the delicacy of a maiden that shrinks from the utterance of a grief which finds vent and sympathy with a widow. I never hear of such a bereavement without deeper sorrow for the survivor’s sufferings, than I have for the mourning wife. God help her who’s crushed by a grief that she may not openly indulge; who must hide in her bosom the fire that is consuming her life.”

The sealed paper was reopened; it contained a rich bequest to the young woman, and with it was a small piece of paper, containing her request to be buried beyond us, whence she had so often contemplated the scene around us. The field was her own property, by the will of the young man. She relinquished all else of his gift. “We buried her there. I say we—for though my position was far below hers, yet none felt more deeply her loss than those who looked up to admire her. The little paling that surrounds the eminence was erected to keep away the foot of the thoughtless. Shall we go to see the grave?”

I followed the man into the enclosure. The sods which covered the grave of Mary had not yet united; and one or two seemed to be worn, as if they had been treated with some rudeness. I drew the attention of my guide to the abrasion.

“Ah, yes! that is poor Lara’s doings,” said he. “Poor dog! I looked around for him at the funeral, expecting to see him at the grave, but was disappointed. Every evening since the funeral, just before the sun goes down, and often in the morning—the hours in which Miss Mary was wont to come hither to enjoy the scenery—poor Lara has been seen stretched out upon the grave, uttering his grief in a low wail. I scarcely believe that he will recover from the loss he has sustained; and others might be equally unconsolable, if they did not feel that it is better with Mary now than when she lived.”

When I had looked downward to the grave for a time, and almost into it, that I might the better contemplate the character and end of her who rested there, my companion drew my attention to the beauty of what was around us.

“Miss Mary loved to stand here,” said he, “and enjoy the rich sunset. Mark, now, how richly its beams are thrown from the windows of yonder Gothic house beyond the turnpike, and on the new dwelling a little this side. A mellowness is in that light, to soothe where it falls; and the whispering of the southern wind that we now hear, is like the cries of spirits communing with their good sister below us.”

“You seem now to enjoy the scenery, my friend,” said I, “as much as almost any other person.”

“Sir, I have felt, of late, a growing fondness for this place and this scene; and last Sunday, when returning from the afternoon service, I stood here almost wrapt in the pleasure which the place afforded to the departed one, and I have since come to believe that there is something more than book-knowledge necessary to the relish of natural scenery.”

“May I ask what that something is, which you think assists us to appreciate the beauty of a landscape?”

“Why, sir—perhaps I am wrong, you certainly know better than I—but, it appears to me, my growing sense of enjoyment in this scene is due to the memory of the virtues of her whom I constantly connect with this place, and that enjoyment is fixed and augmented by the frame of mind in which I go to, or come from the place of worship.”

“If I understand you correctly, you have come to the conclusion that to enjoy nature, our hearts must be touched, and our affections mellowed by earthly sympathies, and our views expanded and elevated by a sense of religious duties.”

“Something like that, sir.”

“And is not that what is understood by ‘LOVE TO GOD, AND LOVE TO MAN?’”





To me the world’s an open book

  Of sweet and pleasant poetry;

I read it in the running brook

  That sings its way toward the sea:

It whispers in the leaves of trees,

  The swelling grain, the waving grass.

And in the cool fresh evening breeze

  That crisps the wavelets as they pass.


The flowers below—the stars above—

  In all their bloom and brightness given,

Are, like the attributes of love,

  The poetry of earth and heaven.

Thus Nature’s volume, read aright,

  Attunes the soul to minstrelsy,

Tinging life’s clouds with rosy light,

  And all the world with poetry.





    Why is thy visage o’ershadowed by gloom,

  Are Nature’s enchantments not scattered around,

    Has the rose lost her fragrance, the tulip her bloom,

  Has the streamlet no longer its mild, soothing sound?

    Say what are thy pleasures—or whence is thy bliss,

  In thy breast can no movements of sympathy rise?

    Canst thou glance o’er a region so lovely as this,

  And no bright ray of pleasure enliven thine eyes?

    Where are there fields more delightfully drest,

  In a verdure still fresh’ning with every shower?

    Here are oak-covered mountains, with valleys of rest,

  Richly clothed in the blossoming sweet scented flower.

    Why lingerest thou ever to gaze on that star,

  Sinking low in the west e’er the twilight is o’er?

    While the shadows of evening extending afar

  Bid the warbler’s blithe carol be poured forth no more,

    Oh why when the Sabbath bell’s pleasantest tone

  Wakes the soul of devotion in song to rejoice,

    Are thy features with sorrow o’erclouded alone,

While no sounds but of sadness are heard from thy voice?


    Listen, while I tell thee, stranger!

      In a brief and hurried measure:

      Though my soul drink not of pleasure,

      Though mine eyes be sunk in gloom;

    Tis not from fear of coming danger,

      Nor yet from dread of doom.


      The youngest leaves must fall,

    When summer beams have ceased to play;

      And may not sorrow spread her pall,

    When joy, and hope, and love decay?

      Earth’s loveliest scenes;

    The boons of heaven most cherished;

      Fields dressed in gladdening greens,

    Are drear, when hope has perished:

      Spring’s beauteousness,

    Followed by summer’s glory,

      May fade without the power to bless,

    As doth a dreaméd story.


      It gives me peace to gaze at even,

    Watching the latest, faintest gleam

      Of yon bright traveler of heaven,

    Reflected in the silver stream;

      For she I love has gently leaned—

    While my fond heart with bliss was swelling—

      Upon my arm, to see descend

    That brilliant star in light excelling.


      The chiming bells give joy no more,

    Long since the tones have lost their sweetness;

      They now but wake me to deplore

    The bliss that fled with air-like fleetness.

      Blame not my sorrow: chilling pride

    Nor clouds my brow nor kills the smile;

      For loss of wealth I never sighed,

    But all for her I mourn the while.

  She was my all, my fairest, dearest, best;

  I loved—I lost her—tears may speak the rest.





A young white rose-bud—with its leaves

  Just blown apart, and wet with dew—

A fair child in a garland weaves

  ’Mid glowing flowers of every hue.

She sitteth by the rushing river,

  While the soft and balmy air

Scarce stirs the starry flowers that quiver

  Amid her sunny hair—

Thou of the laughing eyes! ’mid all

The roses of thy coronal—

  Thou’rt fairest of the fair.


Ah, bright young dreamer! may thy heart

  In its early freshness ever be

Pure as the leaves—just blown apart—

  Of the rose thou’rt wreathing in childish glee.

Ah, well I know those flowers thou’rt twining

  For thy fair pale mother dear—

For the love-light in those blue eyes shining

  Is shadowed by a tear;

And thy thoughts are now in that dim, hushed room—

With the sad, sweet smile, and the fading bloom—

  Thou’rt all too young to fear.


The crimson clouds had gathered round the sun,

  Sinking full slowly to his nightly rest,

And gilding with a glory all his own

  The bannered splendor of the glowing west,

Entranced I gazed upon the gorgeous scene

  That thus so fair before my vision lay;

The calm, serene, blue heavens looked out between,

    And softly smiled upon retiring day.

  All was so beautiful, I could but feel

  A shade of sadness that thou wert not nigh,

  The radiant glory to behold with me;

  And still the thought would o’er my spirit steal,

  That all the clouds and mists in my dark sky

Would gather rays of glory, my life’s sun, from thee!

C. O.






This well-known inhabitant of our meadows like the Partridge, is sociable, somewhat gregarious, and partially migratory. The change of country, however, appears to be occasioned only by scarcity of food, and many of them pass the whole winter with us. They may be bought in our markets when snow is on the ground; and in the month of February, Wilson found them picking up a scanty subsistence in the company of the snow-birds, on a road over the heights of the Alleghanies. Its flight, like that of the Partridge, is laborious and steady. Though they collect their food from the ground, they are frequently shot on trees, their perch being either the main branches, or the topmost twigs. At the time of pairing, they exhibit a little of the jealous disposition of the tribe, but his character vindicated by his bravery, and the victory achieved, he retires from his fraternity to assist his mate in the formation of her nest. The flesh of the Meadow-Lark is white, and for size and delicacy, it is considered little inferior to the Partridge. In length, he measures ten and a half inches, in alar extent, nearly seventeen. Above, his plumage, as described by Nuttall, is variegated with black, bright bay, and ochreous. Tail, wedged, the feathers pointed, the four outer nearly all white; sides, thighs, and vent, pale ochreous, spotted with black; upper mandible brown, the lower bluish-white; iris, hazel; legs and feet, large, pale flesh-colour. In the young bird the color is much fainter than in the adult.

RICE BUNTING. (Emberiza Oryzivora. Wilson.)

This is the Rice and Reed-Bird of Pennsylvania and the Southern States, and the Boblink of New York and New England. He is of little size, but of great consequence, hailed with pleasure by the sportsman and the epicure, and dreaded as worse than a locust by the careful planter. Wilson has treated of him fully, and from his eloquent account we shall endeavor to select a few points in his history worthy of notice. According to his best biographer, then, three good qualities recommend him, particularly as these three are rarely found in the same individual—his plumage is beautiful, his song highly musical, and his flesh excellent. To these he added the immense range of his migrations, and the havoc he commits. The winter residence of this species is from Mexico to the Amazon, from whence they issue in great hosts every spring. In the whole United States, north of Pennsylvania, they remain during the summer, raising their progeny; and as soon as the young are able to fly they collect together in great multitudes, and pour down on the oat-fields of New England. During the breeding season, they are dispersed over the country; but as soon as the young are able to fly, they collect together in great multitudes, like a torrent, depriving the proprietors of a good tithe of their harvest, but in return often supply his table with a very delicious dish. From all parts of the north and western regions they direct their course toward the south, and about the middle of August, revisit Pennsylvania, on their route to winter quarters. For several days they seem to confine themselves to the fields and uplands; but as soon as the seeds of the reed are ripe, they resort to the shores of the Delaware and Schuylkill in multitudes; and these places, during the remainder of their stay, appear to be their grand rendezvous. The reeds, or wild oats, furnish them with such abundance of nutritious food, that in a short time they become extremely fat, and are supposed by some of our epicures to be equal to the famous Ortolans of Europe. Their note at this season is a single chuck, and is heard overhead, with little intermission from morning till night. These are halcyon days for our gunners of all descriptions, and many a lame and rusty gun-barrel is put in requisition for the sport. The report of musketry along the reedy shores of the Delaware and Schuylkill is almost incessant, resembling a running fire. The markets of Philadelphia, at this season, exhibit proofs of the prodigious havoc made among these birds, for almost every stall is ornamented with some hundreds of Reed Birds.

The Rice Bunting is seven inches and a half long, and eleven and a half in extent. His spring dress is as follows: upper part of the head, wings, tail, and sides of the neck, and whole lower parts, black; the feathers frequently skirted with brownish-yellow, as he passes into the color of the female; back of the head, a cream color; back, black, seamed with brownish-yellow; scapulars, pure white; rump and tail coverts the same; lower part of the back, bluish-white; tail, formed like those of the Woodpecker genus, and often used in the same manner, being thrown in to support it while ascending the stalks of the reed; this habit of throwing in the tail it retains even in the cage; legs, a brownish flesh color; hind heel, very long; bill, a bluish-horn color; eye, hazel. In the month of June this plumage gradually changes to a brownish-yellow, like that of the female, which has the back streaked with brownish-black; whole lower parts, dull-yellow; bill, reddish-flesh color; legs and eyes as in the male. The young birds retain the dress of the female until early in the succeeding spring. The plumage of the female undergoes no material change of color.

CEDAR BIRD. (Ampelis Americana.)

The Cedar-Bird, (Ampelis Americana,) is very frequently shot at the same time with the Robin. The plumage of this bird is of an exquisitely fine and silky texture, lying extremely smooth and glossy. The name Chatterers has been given to them, but they make only a feeble, lisping sound, chiefly as they rise or alight. On the Blue Mountains, and other ridges of the Alleghanies, they spend the months of August and September, feeding on the abundant whortleberries; then they descend to the lower cultivated parts of the country to feed on the berries of the sour gum and red cedar. In the fall and beginning of summer, when fat, they are in high esteem for the table, and great numbers find purchasers in the market of Philadelphia. They have derived their name from one kind of their favorite food; from other sorts they have also been called Cherry Birds, and to some they are known by the name of Crown Birds.


The Poetical Works of Fitz-Greene Halleck. Now first collected. Illustrated with Steel Engravings, from drawings by American Artists. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 8vo.

This volume is a perfect luxury to the eye, in its typography and embellishments. The fact of an author’s appearance in so rich a dress, is itself an evidence of his popularity. We have here, for the first time, a complete edition of the author’s poems, tender and humorous, serious and satirical, in a beautiful form. It contains Alnwick Castle, Burns, Marco Bozzarris, Red Jacket, A Poet’s Daughter, Connecticut, Wyoming, and other pieces which have passed into the memory of the nation, together with the delicious poem of Fanny, and the celebrated Croaker Epistles. The illustrations are all by American artists, and really embellish the volume. The portrait of Halleck is exceedingly characteristic of the man, expressing that union of intellect and fancy, sound sense, and poetic power, which his productions are so calculated to suggest. His great popularity—a popularity which has always made the supply of his poems inferior to the demand—will doubtless send the present magnificent volume through many editions.

The poems of Halleck are not only good in themselves, but they give an impression of greater powers than they embody. They seem to indicate a large, broad, vigorous mind, of which poetry has been the recreation rather than the vocation. A brilliant mischievousness, in which the serious and the ludicrous, the tender and the comic, the practical and the ideal, are brought rapidly together, is the leading characteristic of his muse. In almost every poem in his volume, serious, or semi-serious, the object appears to be the production of striking effects by violent contrasts. The poet himself rarely seems thoroughly in earnest, though at the same time he never lacks heartiness. There are two splendid exceptions to this remark—Burns, and Marco Bozzarris—poems in which the delicacy and energy of the author’s mind find free expression. They show that if the poet commonly plays with his subject, it is not from an incapacity to feel and conceive it vividly, but from a beautiful willfulness of nature, which is impatient of the control of one idea or emotion. Halleck’s perceptions of the ideal and practical appears equally clear and vivid. His fancy cannot suggest a poetical view of life, without his wit at the same time suggesting its prosaic counterpart in society. A mind thus exquisitely sensitive both to the beautiful and laughable sides of a subject—looking at life at once with the eye of the poet and the man of the world—naturally finds delight in a fine mockery of its own idealisms, and loves to sport with its own high-raised feelings. His poetry is not, therefore, so much an exhibition of the real nature and capacity of the man, as of the play and inter-penetration of his various mental powers, in periods of pleasant relaxation from the business of life. In a few instances, we think, his humorous insight has been deceived from the unconscious influence upon his mind of the sentiment of Byron and Moore. Thus he occasionally falls into the exaggerations of misanthropy and sentimentality. In his poem entitled Woman, we are informed that man has no constancy of affection,—

              His vows are broke,

Even while his parting kiss is warm;

But woman’s love all change will mock,

And, like the ivy round the oak,

  Cling closest in the storm.

Here, for the purpose of a vivid contrast, there is a sacrifice of poetic truth. The same piece closes with asserting that the smiles and tears of woman,

Alone keep bright, through Time’s long hour,

That frailer thing than leaf or flower,

  A poet’s immortality.

Here the thought, redeemed as it is by beautiful expression, is worthy only of a sentimental poetaster of the Della Cruscan school; and we can easily imagine what a mocking twinkle would light the eye of its author, if some one should tell him that Homer, Dante, Shakspeare, and Milton were “kept bright” by the smiles and tears of woman. These, and one or two other passages in Halleck, are unworthy of his manly and cant-hating mind; and it is wonderful how they could have escaped his brilliant good sense.

Fanny, and the Croaker Epistles are the most brilliant things of their kind in American literature, full of wit, fancy, and feeling, and in all their rapid transitions, characterized by an ethereal lightness of movement, a glancing felicity of expression, which betray a poet’s plastic touch equally in the sentiment and the merriment. No American poems have been more eagerly sought after, and more provokingly concealed, than these. Three editions of Fanny have been published, but the difficulty of obtaining a copy has always been great. Many who were smitten with a love for it have been compelled to transcribe it from the copy of a more fortunate collector. The Croaker Epistles have been even more cunningly suppressed. Now we have both in a form which will endure with the stereotype plates. They evince the most brilliant characteristics of Halleck’s genius, and continually suggest the thought, that if the mind of the author be so powerful and various in its almost extempore sport and play, it must have still greater capacity in itself.

Fanny, and the Croaker Epistles swarm with local and personal allusions which a New-Yorker alone can fully appreciate. Van Buren, Webster, Clinton, the politicians and authors generally of the period when the poems were written, are all touched with a light and graceful pencil. Fanny is conceived and executed after the manner of Byron’s Beppo and Don Juan. It is full of brilliant rogueries, produced by bringing sentiment and satire together with a shock. For instance,

Dear to the exile is his native land,

  In memory’s twilight beauty seen afar:

Dear to the broker is a note of hand

  Collaterally secured—the polar star

Is dear at midnight to the sailor’s eyes,

And dear are Bristed’s volumes at half price.




The sun is loveliest as he sinks to rest;

  The leaves of Autumn smile when fading fast;

The swan’s last song is sweetest—and the best

  Of Meigs’s speeches, doubtless, was his last.

In a mocking attempt to prove that New York exceeded Greece in the Fine Arts, we have the following convincing arguments:

In sculpture we’ve a grace the Grecian master,

  Blushing, had owned his purest model lacks;

We’ve Mr. Bogart in the best of plaster,

  The Witch of Endor in the best of wax,

Beside the head of Franklin on the roof

Of Mr. Lang, both jest and weather-proof.




In painting we have Trumbull’s proud chef d’œuvre,

  Blending in one the funny and the fine;

His independence will endure forever—

  And so will Mr. Allen’s lottery sign;

And all that grace the Academy of Arts,

From Dr. Hosack’s face to Bonaparte’s.




In physic, we have Francis and McNeven,

  Famed for long heads, short lectures, and long bills;

And Quackenboss, and others, who from heaven

  Were rained upon us in a shower of pills.

It would be impossible to give a notion of the genial satire of the Croakers by extracts. The following, from the epistle to the Recorder, is unmatched for felicity and exquisite contrast:

The Cæsar passed the Rubicon

With helm, and shield, and breast-plate on,

  Dashing his war-horse through the waters;

The R*d*r would have built a barge,

Or steamboat, at the city’s charge,

  And passed it with his wife and daughters.

In the same piece occurs the following fine tribute to Bryant:

Bryant, whose songs are thoughts that bless

  The heart, its teachers, and its joy,

As mothers blend with their caress

Lessons of truth and gentleness,

  And virtue for the listening boy.

Spring’s lovelier flowers for many a day

Have blossomed on his wandering way,

Beings of beauty and decay,

  They slumber in their autumn tomb;

But those that graced his own Green River,

  And wreathed the lattice of his home,

Charmed by his song from mortal doom,

  Bloom on, and will bloom on forever.

Pope has become famous for his divine compliments, but certainly no poet ever celebrated the genius of another with more felicity and sweetness than in the above beautiful passage.

It would be impossible to notice all the striking poems in this volume—and they are too favorably known to need it. There is one piece, however, which deserves especial commendation, and its merits do not appear to have called forth the eulogy which has been bountifully lavished on many others. We allude to his exquisite translation from Goethe, on the eighty-third page—the invocation to the ideal world, which precedes Faust. It is one of the gems of the volume.

The Poetical Works of Lord Byron. Complete in one Volume. Collected and Arranged, with Illustrative Notes. Illustrated by Elegant Steel Engravings. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 8vo.

This edition of Byron might bear the palm from all other American editions, in respect to its combination of cheapness with elegance, if it were not the most valuable in point of completeness and illustrative notes. It is a reprint of Murray’s Library edition, and while executed in a similar style of typography, excells it, if we are not mistaken, in the number of its embellishments. It contains an admirable portrait of Byron, a view of Newstead Abbey, and also six fine steel engravings, executed with great beauty and finish. It is uniform with the same publisher’s library edition of Southey and Moore, contains eight hundred pages of closely printed matter, and includes every thing that Byron wrote in verse. It does honor to the enterprise and taste of the publishers, and will doubtless have a circulation commensurate with its merits. As long as our American booksellers evince a disposition to publish classical works in so beautiful a form, it is a pleasant duty of the press to commend their editions. We cordially wish success to all speculations which imply a confidence in the public taste.

It would be needless here to express any opinion of the intellectual or moral character of Byron’s poems. Everybody’s mind is made up on those points. The present edition is admirably adapted to convey to the reader Byron’s idea of himself, the opinions formed of him by his contemporaries, and the effect of his several works on the public mind as they appeared. It contains an immense number of notes by Moore, Scott, Jeffrey, Campbell, Wilson, Rogers, Heber, Milman, Gifford, Ellis, Bridges, and others, which will be found extremely useful and entertaining. Extracts are taken from Byron’s own diary, and from the recorders of his conversations, giving an accurate impression of each poem, as regards its time and manner of composition, the feelings from which it sprung, and the opinion he entertained of its reception by the public. Profuse quotations are made from the first draught of each poem, showing how some of the most striking ideas were originally written, and the improvements introduced in their expression by the author’s “sober second thoughts.” The opinions expressed of the various poems by the leading reviews of the time, including the criticisms of Scott, Jeffrey, Gifford, Heber, and others, are largely quoted. Added to these are numerous notes, explaining allusions, or illustrating images which the common reader might be supposed not to understand. Taken altogether, the edition will enable almost any person to obtain a clear understanding of Byron and his works, without any trouble or inconvenience. There is no other edition which can compare with it in this respect.

Many of the notes are exceedingly curious, and if not absolutely new, have been gathered from such a wide variety of sources, as to be novel to a majority of readers. We have been struck with the impression which Byron’s energy made upon Dr. Parr, the veteran linguist. After reading the Island, he exclaims—“Byron! the sorcerer! He can do with me according to his will. If it is to throw me headlong upon a desert island; if it is to place me on the summit of a dizzy cliff—his power is the same. I wish he had a friend, or a servant, appointed to the office of the slave, who was to knock every morning at the chamber-door of Philip of Macedon, and remind him he was mortal.” From Parr’s life we learn that Sardanapalus affected him even more strongly. “In the course of the evening the doctor cried out, ‘Have you read Sardanapalus?’ ‘Yes, sir.’ ‘Right; and you couldn’t sleep a wink after it?’ ‘No.’ ‘Right, right—now don’t say a word more about it to-night.’ The memory of that fine poem seemed to act like a spell of horrible fascination upon him.” Perhaps from a few anecdotes like this, we gain a much more vivid impression of the sensation which Byron’s poems excited on their first appearance, and their strong hold upon the imagination and passions of the public, than we could obtain from the most elaborate description of their effects. If such was their power upon an old scholar like Parr, what must have been their influence upon younger and more inflammable minds?

The editor’s preface to Don Juan is no less valuable than entertaining. It contains not merely the opinions expressed of the poem by the reviews and magazines, but those of the newspapers, and enables us to gather the judgment of the English people upon that strange combination of sublimity and ribaldry, sentiment and wit, tenderness and mockery, at the time it first blazed forth from the press. The suppressed dedication of the poem to Southey is also given in full, with all its brutal blackguardism and drunken brilliancy. In truth, the volume conveys an accurate impression of all the sides of Byron’s versatile nature, and from its very completeness is the less likely to be injurious. There is no edition of his poems which we could more safely commend to the reader, as it exhibits Byron the poet, Byron the scoffer, Byron the roué, in his true colors and real dimensions; and if, after reading it, a person should adopt the old cant about his brilliant rascalities, and the old drivel about his sentimental misanthropy, the fault is in the reader rather than the volume. For our own part we are acquainted with no edition of any celebrated author, equaling this in the remorselessness with which the man is stripped of all the factitious coverings of the poet, and stands out more clearly in his true nature and character.

The Life of Henry the Fourth, King of France and Navarre. By G. P. R. James. New York: Harper & Brothers. 2 vols. 12mo.

Few kings have been so fortunate as Henry the Fourth in the reputation and good will they have obtained from the people. By democrats as well as monarchists his name is held in a kind of loving veneration. Much of this popularity is doubtless owing to his superiority, in disposition as well as mind, to the ferocious bigotry of his age, and to his great edict of toleration which healed for a time the horrible religious dissensions of France. Apart from his ability, however, his virtues as a king sprung rather from good-nature and benevolence, than from moral or religious principle. His toleration was the result of his indifference as much as his good sense; and he was not a persecutor, because to him neither Catholicism nor Protestantism was of sufficient importance to justify persecution. He was a fanatic only in sensuality; and if he committed crime, it would be rather for a mistress than a doctrine. The last act of his reign, growing out of his impatience in having his designs on the Princess of Condé baffled, showed that lust could urge him into an unjust and unprincipled war, where religious superstition would have been totally ineffective.

Mr. James’s Life of Henry is a careful compilation from the most reliable sources of information, and embodies a large amount of important knowledge. Though far from realizing the higher conditions of historical art, it is more accurate and spirited than the general run of historical works. Mr. James’s conscience in the matter of the present book, seems to have been much greater than we might have expected from the king of book-makers. When his history was ready for the press, the French Government commenced publishing the “Lettres Missives” of Henry IV., and Mr. James delayed his book four years, in order that its facts might be verified or increased by comparison with that important publication. His work, therefore, is probably the fullest and most accurate one we possess on the age of which it treats. It is well worthy of an attentive perusal. It abounds in incidents and characters which would make the fortune of a novel, and is an illustration of that kind of truth which is stranger than fiction. The Harpers have issued the work in a tasteful form.

Artist Life. By H. T. Tuckerman. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 12mo.

Mr. Tuckerman is an author whose productions we have repeatedly had occasion to notice and to praise. They have always a finished air, which favorably distinguishes them from many American publications, the products of mingled talent and haste. Mr. Tuckerman does not appear to rush into print, with unformed ideas hastily clad in a loose undress of language—as if the palm of excellence were due to the swiftest runner in the race of expression. His style is clear, polished, graceful, and harmonious, combining a flowing movement with condensation, and free from the tricks and charlatanries of diction. He is not so popular as he would be if he made more noise about his words and thoughts, and called the attention of the public to every felicity of his style or reflection by a pugnacious manner, and a strained expression. Though possessing a singularly rich and suggestive fancy, and a wide variety of information, his use of ornament and allusion is characterized by a taste, an appropriateness, a reserve, which men of smaller stores rarely practice. As a critic, he is calm, clear, judicious, sympathetic, and making the application of a principle all the more stringent, from his vivid perception of the object of his criticism. The present volume is worthy of its subject, and is more calculated to convey accurate information of the lives, character, and works of American artists, than any other we have seen. It is also exceedingly interesting, being full of anecdotes and biographical memoranda of artists who are commonly known only as painters, not as men. In this respect the volume contains much original information, which will be valuable to the future historian of American art. In his criticism, Mr. Tuckerman evinces knowledge as well as taste; and by avoiding technical terms, he contrives to render agreeable and clear what is generally unintelligible to the uninitiated reader of critiques on paintings. The volume contains, among other sketches and biographies, very interesting notices of the lives and works of West, Copley, Stuart, Allston, Morse, Durand, W. E. West, Sully, Inman, Cole, Weir, Leutze, and Brown.

Appleton’s Library Manual: Containing a Catalogue Raisonné of upwards of Twelve Thousand of the most Important Works in Every Department of Knowledge, in all Modern Languages, New York; D. Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 8vo.

This is one of the most available and valuable bibliographical works extant. Its object is indicated by its title. Such a book should be in the possession of every student, scholar, book-collector, and librarian. There is hardly a subject which can attract the attention of an inquisitive mind, which is not included in this collection, and the titles of the best books, in different languages, which relate to it given in full, with the various editions, and their price. It would be needless to dilate upon the value of such a work. The compilers deserve the highest credit for the labor, intelligence, and expense they have devoted to it. The cost is but one dollar.

Sybil Lennard, a Record of Woman’s Life.

Mrs. Grey is one of the most popular novel writers of the present day, and Sybil Lennard is unquestionably the best of her works. It is published by Mr. T. B. Peterson, by whom the advance sheets were procured from England.

Chambers’ Miscellany.

Part No. 5, of Chamber’s interesting Miscellany has been published, and the articles it contains are of the highest order of excellence. Messrs. Zieber & Co. are the Philadelphia publishers.

Posthumous Writings of Joseph C. Neal, Esq.—We have several admirable Charcoal Sketches by Mr. Neal—a rich legacy bequeathed expressly to us by our gifted and lamented friend. Now that the fountain, whose outpourings have so often enriched our pages, is forever closed, these gems of genius will have a new and peculiar value. We commence their publication in our present number.

The New York Mirror.—This journal is edited with surpassing ability; and its continued and advancing popularity is creditable to the taste of the community in which it is published. Spirited, independent, and liberal, it not merely, as its name indicates, reflects the light of the age, but shines with a lustre of its own. It is well worthy its good fortune.

Transcriber’s Notes:

Archaic spellings and hyphenation have been retained. Punctuation has been corrected without note. Other errors have been corrected as noted below. For illustrations, some caption text may be missing or incomplete due to condition of the originals available for preparation of the ebook.


page 2, windows lounged the the tall ==> windows lounged the tall

page 6, said Mr. Jenning coldly ==> said Mr. Jennings coldly

page 7, could, but she but she didn’t know ==> could, but she didn’t know

page 8, I request you ere you ==> I request ere you

page 10, of the ladies’ objections ==> of the lady’s objections

page 28, than were a a myriad ==> than were a myriad

page 28, in the stife— ==> in the strife

page 43, ahead a single instant ==> ahead for a single instant

page 45, strength became exhaused ==> strength became exhausted

page 46, a minuute after they ==> a minute after they

page 58, taking observatious of ==> taking observations of

page 59, The oak’s sear foliage, ==> The oak’s sere foliage,

page 61, them, their is no exit ==> them, there is no exit

page 63, hast past from out ==> hast passed from out

page 72, Appleton’s Library Manuel ==> Appleton’s Library Manual

page 72, a Catalogue Raisonne ==> a Catalogue Raisonné


[The end of Graham's Magazine, Vol. XXXII, No. 1 (January 1848) edited by George R. Graham and Robert T. Conrad]