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Title: Graham's Magazine, Vol. XXXII, No. 6 (June 1848)

Date of first publication: 1848

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

Date first posted: Jan. 15, 2016

Date last updated: Jan. 15, 2016

Faded Page eBook #20160116

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


Vol. XXXII.      June 1848.      No. 6.

Table of Contents

Captain Samuel Walker

Lamartine to Madame Jorelle

Phantoms All

Homeward Bound

Poor Penn—.

A Song

The Enchanted Isle

The Continents

Jehoiakim Johnson



The Pole’s Farewell

The Fortunes of a Southern Family

The Real and the Ideal

The Human Voice

Venice As It Was, and As It Is

Song.—Thou Reign’st Supreme.

The New England Factory Girl

Lines to ——.

The Double Transformation



Review of New Books

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


Boulevart St. Martin, 61.

Toilettes de Longchamps.

Chapeaux de Mme. Delannay, pl. de la Bourse, 31—Plumes et fleurs de Mme. Tilman, r. Ménars, 2

Robes de Mme. Bienvenu, r. de la Chaussie d’Aubin, 41.

Mantelet en dentelle de Violard, r. Choiseul, 2bis.

Yr. affectionate Brother, S H Walker


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






Time and opportunity make men—and high talent in any profession or sphere of life is valueless unless called into action. This is strikingly exemplified in the career of the person with whom we now have to do.

Samuel Walker was born in the county of Prince George, Maryland, in the year 1815. His family, though respectable, had neither fortune nor influence sufficient to advance his interests; and at an early age he was thrown on the world, dependent for success only on his own exertions. Educated to no profession or business, the chances of his drawing a prize in the lottery of life seemed small indeed, yet it is probable no man of his grade in the service has, since the commencement of the Mexican war, attracted more attention. Of the early career of Walker we know little except that in 1840 he was one of the party of less than twenty men selected by Col. Harney, from the strength of the 2d Dragoons, to penetrate the great Payhaokee or everglades of Florida. The history of this expedition is peculiar.

After the battle of Okeechobee the might of the Seminoles was broken, and they took refuge in the chain of lakes and immense hamacs which extend almost from Cape Florida to the Suwannee River. Divided into small parties, they defied the pursuit of heavy columns, yet frequently left their fastnesses to commit the most fearful atrocities. During the winter of 1839 and 40 they had been peculiarly bold, and had ventured even to attack, under the guns of Fort Micanopy, a party of mounted infantry which was escorting the young and beautiful wife of an officer of the 7th Infantry to a neighboring post. This party, with the exception of two or three persons, was destroyed. It became evident that no operations could lead to a good result unless the Indians were pursued to their own retreats, and treated as they had themselves conducted the war. Col. Harney, who was in command of one of the departments of Florida, immediately organized an expedition for the purpose of entering the great everglade south of the Lake Okeechobee, in which the Seminoles were supposed to be in much strength. The country in which he was about to act seemed to be the realization of the poetic chaos. It was overgrown with trees of immense size, of kinds almost unknown in other portions of the peninsula, and grass of great highth and strength rose two or three feet above the surface of the water, which not unfrequently had a depth of several feet. Notwithstanding, however, that this was the general character of the country there were often portages, or shoal and dry places, over which it was necessary to carry their boats by main force. In this kind of country the Indians had the manifest advantage, being acquainted with sinuous pathways, which, it is said, enabled them to thread all the intricacies of the hamac almost without wetting the moccason. The party of Col. Harney, however, were picked men, inured to all the hardships of Indian warfare, and after several days of hide and seek, surprised a party of Indians, among whom was a chief of distinction. As this identical party had more than once surrendered and broken truce, Colonel Harney ordered all the men to be hung summarily, and took the women with him to the nearest post as prisoners. So important was this service that the names of all the party were mentioned in general orders, and the enlisted men advanced in grade. The effect on the Indians was great; large parties came in and surrendered, and they remained almost quiet until their last attempt was crushed by Gen. Worth in the brilliant affair of Pilaklakaha, April 17, 1842.

Previous to this time, young Walker had been discharged from the service, by reason of the expiration of his enlistment, and with some funds he had amassed while in the army, proceeded at once to Texas, then embroiled with the abrasions of the great Camanche race and the minor tribes strewn along her northern frontier. He was one of the party of the famous Jack Hays, when in 1844 that leader defeated, with fifteen men armed with Colt’s pistols, then novelties in the West, a large force of Indians. In this encounter Walker was wounded by a lance, and left by his adversary pinned to the ground. After remaining in this position for a long time, he was rescued by his companions when the fight was over.

The disastrous expedition commenced under the command of Gen. Somerville, and terminated at Mier by the surrender of the whole party to Don Pedro de Ampudia, since become a person of most unenviable notoriety, is well known. One of the most conspicuous members of this foray, for it scarcely deserves another name, was Walker. He distinguished himself during the long siege the Texans maintained in the house they had seized, until forced for want of provisions and ammunition to surrender. With the rest he was marched to the castle of Perote, suffering every indignity which Mexican cruelty and ingenuity could invent. On this sad march, at Salado, Walker performed perhaps the most brilliant exploit of his life. Wearied out by cruelty, the Texans resolved to escape, and on this occasion Walker was the leader. The prisoners were placed in a strong stone building, at the door of which two sentinels were placed, while their escort bivouacked in front of the building. Walker, at a concerted signal, threw open the door, seized and disarmed one of the sentinels, while a gallant fellow named Cameron, a Highlander, was equally successful with the other. The unarmed prisoners immediately rushed through the gateway and seized the arms of the Mexican guard. No scheme was ever more daringly planned or more boldly executed. Within the course of a moment the two hundred and fourteen Texans had changed places with the numerous Mexican guard. Outside of a court-yard, in which the guard had bivouacked, was a strong cavalry force, which the Texans charged with the bayonet and routed, and immediately resumed their march back to the Rio Grande.

They deserved success and liberty, but ignorant of the country, soon became lost in the mountains, were overpowered and taken back to Salado. They found Santa Anna there, and the Mexican President decimated the party.

The Texans in their escape and conflicts had lost five men, and Santa Anna demanded the decimation of the rest. A bowl was brought, and a bean for every man was placed in it, every tenth bean being black. The bowl was covered, and the whole party were then ordered in succession to take out one bean. The twenty-one individuals who had chanced on the black beans were immediately shot. This was the famous Caravanza lottery, the mere mention of which is sufficient to make the bosom of every Texan boil with indignation, and which is the origin of the intense hatred borne by all the people of that state to Santa Anna. This worthy has during the whole war carefully avoided the Texan Rangers, and had he come in contact with them, they would doubtless have exacted a fearful retribution.

Walker with the survivors of the party were taken to Perote, whence he was lucky enough to escape, and returned to Texas, into the service of which he was at once received.

When the Mexican war began Walker was the captain of a company of Texan Rangers stationed on the Rio Grande, and immediately offered his services to General Taylor, who accepted them, and stationed him between Point Isabel and the cantonment for the purpose of keeping open the communication. On the 28th of April he discovered that the Mexican troops were in motion, and at once, with his small command of twenty-five men, set out to report the fact to the general. On his way he encountered the Mexican column, and it is not improbable that with his small party he was in contact with one wing of the force which subsequently fought at Palo Alto. The Texans were pursued to Point Isabel, on which place they fell back, having lost several men, but killed more of the enemy than their own force numbered.

In spite of the intervening force of the enemy, Walker determined to reach General Taylor on that night, and accompanied but by six of his men set out. After charging through a large body of Mexican lancers, he reached Gen. Taylor on the morning of the 30th.

On the 1st of May Gen. Taylor broke up his camp, and what followed is well known. On the 3d Walker was again employed in the perilous service of ascertaining the condition of Fort Brown, which was then being bombarded by all the batteries of the city of Matamoras. His reconnoisance was one of the boldest feats performed during the war, and though May, who had command of a hundred horse for the purpose of covering him, presuming he must have been captured returned to Gen. Taylor, Walker again returned on the 4th, having accomplished his duty alone.

At Palo Alto and La Resaca Walker again distinguished himself, and was mentioned by Gen. Taylor in the dispatch with the highest terms of commendation. For his distinguished services, on the organization of the Mounted Rifles, he was appointed a captain of cavalry in the regular service.

After sharing in all the perils of the war, Walker devoted himself to the pursuit of the Guerilleros, who infested the road from Vera Cruz to the capital, and uniformly maintained his high reputation. In the affair of La Hoya, Sept. 20, 1847, he acted independently, and was perfectly successful.

In the expedition of Gen. Lane, which terminated so gallantly at Huamantla, Walker served for the last time. The prize he had proposed to himself was great, being nothing less than the capture of Santa Anna. Walker on this occasion commanded the whole cavalry force, and led the advance. His charge into the town, from the covering of Magues, is described by old soldiers who saw it as having been terrific. Passing completely through the town, he pursued the enemy’s retreating artillery. After the success was sure, Walker returned, and was treacherously shot from a house on which a white flag was hanging. Within thirty minutes he died, after a brilliant victory, in gaining which he had been an important actor. With a force of one hundred and ninety-five men he had beaten and routed five hundred picked lancers, and given the tone to the events of the day.

No man was more regretted than Capt. Walker, who had enjoyed the confidence of every officer with whom he had served. Gen. Scott and Gen. Taylor both highly estimated his good qualities, and reposed the greatest trust in him.

When the news of his death reached the United States, the people were every where loud in their regrets, and he will be remembered as one of the heroes of the Mexican war.

Captain Walker had risen by his own exertions. Brought up in a good school, “the Light Dragoons of the U. S.,” his knowledge of tactics, acquired in Florida, was most useful to his first service as an officer in the army of the Texan Republic. He is spoken of as having possessed every requisite for a cavalry officer—a quick perception, a keen eye, a strong arm, perfect control of his horse, thorough knowledge of military combination, and the rarer and more valuable faculty of winning the confidence of his men. Had he not been cut off so untimely in his chosen career, he could not but have become a distinguished general.

Captain Walker died at the age of 33, in sight almost of the famous dungeon of Perote, where he had long been a prisoner. There was something like retribution in the fact that more than one other Texan, who, like himself, had been confined there, contributed to raise above its battlements the colors of the United States.






What! offer thee the tribute of my numbers?

  Thou daughter of the East! whose infancy

The warring desert winds rocked to its slumbers—

  Dost thou demand incense of Poesy?


Flower of Aleppo! whom the Bulbul choosing

  Would wander from his worshiped rose of May,

O’er thy fair chalice her remembrance losing,

  To languish ’mid thy leaves his moonlight lay!


Bear odors to the balm pure sweets exhaling?

  Hang on the orange bough a riper load?

Lend fires to Syria’s East at dawn unveiling?

  Pave with new stars[1] the Night’s all-glittering road?


No verses here!—Verse would despair of raising

  Aught save an image dark and faint of thee;

But gently in yon basin’s mirror gazing

  Behold thyself! Embodied Poesy!


When through the kiosque’s grated ogive straying,

  The sea-breeze mingles with the Moka’s fume,

Where softly o’er thy form the moonbeams playing

  Glance on thy couch, rich from Palmyra’s loom—


When on the jasmine tube thy lip half closes,

  Veiled with its golden threads in bright array,

While ruffling at thy breath, fragrant with roses,

  Murmur the drops within the Narquité—


When as winged perfumes rise into thy brain,

  In light caressing clouds around thee wreathing

All love’s and youth’s lost visions throng again,

  An atmosphere of dreams thy listeners breathing—


When in thy tale the Arab steed forth starting

  Yields foaming to thy curb of infancy,

And that triumphant glance obliquely darting

  Equals the summer-lightning of his eye—


When thy fair arm, of loveliest symmetry,

  Supports the fairer brow in thought reclining,

While gleams with diamond fires thy poniard nigh

  In quick reflection of the torch’s shining—


Naught is there in the murmured words of feeling,

  Naught in the Poet’s ever dreaming brow,

Naught in pure sighs from purest bosoms stealing,

  Naught redolent of Poesy as thou!


With me the age has flown when Love, life’s flower,

  Perfumes the heart—my warmest accents falter,

And beauty o’er my soul has lost her power—

  Cold is the light I kindle on her altar!


The harp is this chilled bosom’s only queen,

  But how would homage from its depths have burst

In gushing minstrelsy at bright sixteen,

  If then these eyes had rested on thee first!


How many stanzas had thy lover given

  To one sweet vaporous wreath that lately graced

Thy meditative lip, or how had striven

  To stay that form by unseen artist traced!


That shadow’s vague enchanting outline cast

  On yonder wall, to arrest with poet’s finger

Thy beauty’s mystic image fading fast,

  As round thy form fond moonbeams cease to linger!

The road of heaven, star-paved. Paradise Lost






It was with a feeling of regret, such as stirs one’s heart at parting with a dear friend, that I turned the last page of Irving’s most delightful visit to Abbotsford, which he has given us in language so beautiful from its simplicity, so graphic in its details, and so heart-deep in its sincerity, that with him we ourselves seem to be partakers also of the hospitality and kindness of the immortal Scott.

“Every night,” says Irving, “I retired with my mind filled with delightful recollections of the day, and every morning I arose with the certainty of new enjoyment.”

And so vividly has he painted for the imagination of his happy readers those scenes of delight, those hours of social interchange of two great minds, that we are admitted as it were into free communion with them. On the banks of the silvery Tweed we stroll delighted, or pause to view the “gray waving hills,” made so dear to all the lovers of Scott and Burns, through the enchantment which romance and poetry have thrown around them. We listen for the tinkling chime of the fairy bells as we pass through the glen of Thomas the Rhymer, almost expecting to see by our side, as we muse on the banks of the goblin stream, the queen of the fairies on her “dapple gray pony.” Again, through the cloisters of Melrose Abbey we wander silently and in awe, almost wishing that honest John Boyer would leave us awhile unmolested even by the praises of his master the “shirra,” whom he considers “not a bit proud,” notwithstanding he has such “an awfu’ knowledge o’ history!” Or it may be we recline amid the purple heather and listen to the deep tones of the great magician himself, as he delights our ear with some quaint tradition of the olden time, while Maida, grave and dignified as becomes the rank he holds, crouches beside his master, disdaining to share the sports of Hamlet, Hector, “both mongrel, puppy, whelp and hound” frolicking so wantonly on the bonny green knowe before us!

But at length the hour of parting comes. We feel the hearty grasp, and hear the farewell words with which Scott takes leave of his American friend, and as with them our delusion wrought by the magic pen of Irving vanishes, we would fain slay the enchantment—too bright to pass away unlamented!

    “The pen of a ready writer, whereunto shall it be likened?


              *      *      *      *      *


    Let the calm child of genius, whose name shall never die,

    For that the transcript of his mind hath made his thoughts immortal—

    Let these, let all, with no faint praise, with no light gratitude, confess

    The blessings poured upon the earth from the pen of a readywriter.”

Closing the volume which had so enchained my senses, my mind, from dwelling upon the presence of Scott himself, as introduced through the unformal courtesy of our beloved Irving, naturally turned to the varied and wonderful productions of that master mind, and to the many characters thereby created, seeming to hold a sacred place in our thoughts and affections, as friends whom we had once known and loved!

I was suddenly aroused from my ruminations by a light tap on the shoulder. Judge of my astonishment when Meg Merrillies stood before me, clad in the same wild gipsy garb in which she had warned the Laird of Ellangowan on Ellangowan’s height! In her shriveled hand it would seem she held the very sapling which for the last time she had plucked from the bonny woods which had so long waved above her bit shealing, until driven thence by the timorous and weak-minded laird. With this she again touched me, and in a half inviting, half commanding tone said:

“Gang wi’ me, leddy, gang wi’ me, and I will show ye a bonny company, amang whilk ye’ll soon speer those ye’re thinking o’.”

I confess it was not without some trepidation I arose to follow my strange conductor, who, seizing my hand, rather dragged than led me through several long dark passages, until suddenly emerging from one still more gloomy than the others, my eyes were almost blinded with the glare of light and splendor that flashed upon them.

“Gang in amang them a’, my leddy,” cried Meg, letting go my hand and waving me toward the entrance, “and gin ye suld see bonny Harry Bertram, tell him there is ane he kens o’ will meet him the night down by the cairn when the clock strikes the hour o’ twal.”

Obeying her mandate, I now found myself in a lofty and spacious saloon. From the ceiling, which was of azure sprinkled with golden stars, were suspended the most magnificent chandeliers, brilliant with a thousand waxen tapers. Gorgeous and life-like tapestry adorned the walls—massive mirrors reflected on every side the blaze of elegance, while the furniture, patterning the fashions of the different ages from the times of the Crusades to that of Elizabeth, was of the most choice and beautiful materials.

But of this I took little note—other and “more attractive metal” met my eye, for around me were kings and princes—peer and peasant—lords and ladies—turbaned infidel and helmeted knight—the wild roving gipsy and the wandering troubadour. In short, I found myself in the world of the immortal master of Abbotsford, and surrounded by those to whose enchanting company I had oft been indebted for dispelling many a weary hour of sickness and gloom—friends whom at my bidding I could at any moment summon to my presence—friends never weary of well-doing—friends never weighing down the heart by their unkindness, or chilling by their neglect. My heart throbbed with a delight before unknown; and I eagerly looked about me, recognizing on every side those dear familiar ones with whom, for so many years, I had been linked in love and friendship.

The first group on whom my eyes rested were our dear friends from Tully-Veolan accompanied by the McIvors.

The beautiful, high-souled Flora was leaning on the arm of the good old Baron Bradwardine, while the gentle Rose shrunk almost timidly from the support of the noble but ill-fated Fergus. They were both lovely—Flora and Rose; but while the former dazzled by her beauty and her wit, the latter, in unpretending sweetness, stole at once into our hearts. But not so thought Waverly. With “ear polite” he listened to the somewhat tedious colloquy of the old baron, yet his eloquent eyes, his heart speaking through them, were fixed upon the noble countenance of Flora McIvor.

“Come, good folks,” cried a merry voice—and the bright, happy face of Julia Mannering was before me—“I am sent by my honored father, the colonel, to break up this charmed circle; and he humbly requests to be put under the spell himself, through the enchanting voice of Miss McIvor—one little Highland air, my dear Flora, is all he asks—but see, with sombre Melancholy leaning on his arm, he comes to enforce his own request.”

And the gallant Colonel Mannering, supporting the fragile form of Lucy Bertram, clad in deep mourning robes, now approached, and after gracefully saluting the circle, solicited from Miss McIvor a song. Waverly eagerly brought the harp of Flora from a small recess, and as he placed it before her, whispered something in a low tone, which for a moment crimsoned the brow of the maiden, then coldly bowing to him, she drew the instrument toward her, and warbled a wild and spirited Highland air, her eyes flashing, and her bosom heaving with the exciting theme she had chosen.

“Pro-di-gious!” exclaimed a voice I thought I knew; and, sure enough, I found the dear old Dominie Sampson close at my elbow—his large, gray eyes rolling in ecstasy—his mouth open, and grasping in his hands a huge folio, while Davie Gellatly, with cap and bells, stood mincing and grimacing behind him—now rolling up the whites of his eyes—now pulling the skirts of the unconscious pedagogue—and finally, surmounting the wig of the Dominie with his own fool’s cap, he clapped his hands, gayly crying, “O, braw, braw Davie!”

Julia Mannering now touched the harp to a lively air, when suddenly her voice faltered, the eloquent blood mantled her cheek, and her little fingers trembled as they swept the harp-strings.

“Ah, ha!” thought I, “there must be a cause for all this—Brown must be near!” and in a moment that handsome young soldier had joined the group. Remembering the commands of Meg Merrillies, I was striving to catch his eye, that I might do her bidding, when the gipsy herself suddenly strode into the circle and fixing her eyes upon Brown, or rather Bertram, she waved her long skinny arm, exclaiming,

“Tarry not here, Harry Bertram, of Ellangowan; there’s a dark deed this night to be done amid the caverns of Derncleugh, and then

    The dark shall be light,

    And the wrong made right,

    When Bertram’s right, and Bertram’s might,

    Shall meet on Ellangowan Height.”

I now passed on and found myself in the vicinity of Old Mortality and Monkbarns, who were deeply engaged in some antiquarian debate—too much so to notice the shrewd smile and cunning leer which the old Bluegown, Edie Ochiltree, now and then cast upon them.

“Hear til him,” he whispered to Sir Arthur Wardour—“hear til him; the poor mon’s gone clean gyte with his saxpennies and his old penny bodies! odd, but it gars me laugh whiles!”

Both Sir Arthur and his lovely daughter, Isabel, smiled at the earnestness of the old man, and slipping some money into his hand, the latter bade him come up to the castle in the morning.

At this moment radiant in spirituelle beauty, glorious Die Vernon, like another Grace Greenwood, swept past me, followed by Rashleigh, and half a score of the Osbaldistons. She was, indeed, a lovely creature. The dark-green riding-dress she wore fitting so perfectly her light, elegant figure, served but to enhance the brilliancy of her complexion, blooming with health and exercise. Her long black hair, free from the little hat which hung carelessly upon her arm, fell around her in beautiful profusion, and even the golden-tipped riding-whip she held so gracefully in her little hand, seemed as a wand to draw her worshipers around her.

Turning suddenly and finding herself so closely followed by Rashleigh, her beautiful eyes flashed disdainfully, and linking her arm within that of Clara Mowbray, who, with the gay party from St. Ronan’s Well, were just entering the saloon, she waved her hand to her cousin, forbidding his nearer approach, and, with the step of a deer, she was gone.

An oath whistled through the teeth of Rashleigh, and his dark features contracted into a terrible frown.

“Hout, mon—dinna be fashed! Bide a bit—bide a bit! as my father, the deacon—”

“Ah, Bailie, are you there?” cried Rashleigh, impatiently; “why I thought you were hanging from the trees around the cave of your robber kinsman, Rob.”

Ere the worthy Nicol Jarvie could reply to this uncourteous address, the smiling Mr. Winterblossom approached, and in the name of the goddess, Lady Penelope Penfeather, commanded the presence of the angered Rashleigh at the shrine of her beauty. This changed the current of his thoughts, and with all that grace of manner and eloquence of lip and eye, which no one knew better how to assume, he followed to the little group of which the Lady Penelope and her rival, Lady Binks, formed the attraction. But whatever may have been the gallant things he was saying, they were soon ended in the bustle consequent upon the sudden rushing in of the brave Captain McTurk, followed by the enraged Meg Dods, with no less a weapon in her hand than a broom-stick, with which she was striving to belabor the shoulders of the unhappy McTurk.

Hegh, sirs!” she cried, brandishing it above her head, “I’ll gar ye to know ye’re not coming flisking to an honest woman’s house setting folks by the lugs. Keep to your ain whillying hottle here, ye ne’er-do-weel, or I’ll mak’ windle-strae o’ your banes—and what for no?”

Happily for the gallant captain, Old Touchwood here interposed, and by dint of coaxing and threats of joining himself to the gay company at the Spring, the irascible Meg was finally marched off.

A deep sigh near me caused me to look around, and there, as pure and as lovely as the water-lily drooping from its fragile stem, sat poor Lucy Ashton. And like that beautiful flower, the lily of the wave, seemed the love of that unhappy maid:

              “Quivering to the blast

    Through every nerve—yet rooted deep and fast

    Midst life’s dark sea.”

Her eyes were cast down, and her rich veil of golden tresses sweeping around her. At a little distance, with folded arms and bent brows, stood the Laird of Ravenswood, yet unable to approach the broken-hearted girl, as her proud, unfeeling mother, the stately Lady Ashton, kept close guard over her; and it made me shudder to behold, also, the old hag, Ailsie Gourley, crouching down by her bonny mistress, and stroking the lily-white hand which hung so listless at her side, mumbling the while what seemed to me must be some incantation to the Evil One.

“Wae’s me—wae’s me!” exclaimed that prince of serving-men, Caleb Balderstone, at this moment presenting himself before his master; “and is your honor, then, not ganging hame when Mysie the puir old body’s in the dead thraw! Hech, sirs, but its awfu’! Ane of the big sacks o’ siller—a’ gowd, ye maun ken, which them gawky chields and my ain sell were lifting to your honor’s chaumer, cam down on her head! Eh! but it gars me greet—ah! wull-a-wins, we maun a’ dee!”

“Ah, she is a bonny thing, but ye ken she is a wee bit daft, puir lassie!” cried Madge Wildfire, smirking and bowing, to catch the eye of Jeanie Deans, who, leaning on the arm of her betrothed, Reuben Butler, stood gazing with tearful eyes upon that wreck of hope and love exhibited in the person of the ill-fated Lucy of Lammermoor.

Bless that sweet, meek face of Jeanie Deans! Many a lovelier—many a fairer were in that assemblage, yet not one more winning or truthful. The honest, pure heart shone from those mild blue eyes; one might know she could make any sacrifice for those she loved, and that guided and guarded by her own innocence and steadfast truth, neither crowns nor sceptres could daunt her from her noble purpose.

And there, too, was Effie. Not Effie, the Lily of St. Leonards, such as she was when gayly tending her little flock on St. Leonard’s Craigs—not Effie, the poor, wretched criminal of the Tolbooth—but Effie, the rich and beautiful Lady Staunton, receiving with all the ease and elegance of a high-born dame the homage of the nobles surrounding her, of whom none shone more conspicuous than his grace the Duke of Argyle, on whose arm she was leaning.

With the step and bearing of a queen a noble lady now approached, and as, unattended by knight or dame, she moved gracefully through the brilliant crowd, every eye was turned on her with admiration.

Need I say it was Rebecca, the Jewess.

A rich turban of yellow silk, looped at the side by an aigrette of diamonds, and confining a beautiful ostrich plume, was folded over her polished brow, from which her long, raven tresses floated in beautiful curls around her superb neck and shoulders. A simarre of crimson silk, studded with jewels, and gathered to her slender waist by a magnificent girdle of fine gold, reached below the hips, where it was met by a flowing robe of silver tissue bordered with pearls. In queenly dignity she was about to pass from the saloon, when the noble Richard of the Lion Heart stepped hastily forward, and respectfully saluted her. He still wore his sable armor, and with his visor thrown back, had for some time been negligently reclining against one of the lofty pillars, a careless spectator of the scene around him. The lovely Jewess paused, and with graceful ease replied to the address of the monarch; but at that moment the voice of Ivanhoe, speaking to Rowena, fell on her ear—and with a hurried reverence to Cœur de Lion, she glided from the apartment.

“No, Ivanhoe,” thought I, “thou hast not done wisely—beautiful as is the fair Rowena, to whom thy troth stands plighted—thou shouldst have won the peerless Rebecca for thy bride.”

I was aroused from the revery into which I had unconsciously fallen by a hoarse voice at my elbow repeating a Pater Noster, and turning around, I beheld the jovial Friar of Copmanhurst, one hand grasping a huge oaken cudgel, the other swiftly running over his rosary.

Mary of Avenel next appeared, and (or it may have been fancy) near her floated the airy vision of the White Lady.

There was Sir Piercie Shafton, too, and the miller’s black-eyed daughter. The voice of the knight was low and apparently his words were tender; for poor Mysie Happer, with cheeks like a fresh-blown rose, and sparkling eyes, drank in with her whole soul the honeyed accents of the Euphoist.

“Certes, O my discretion,” said he, “thou shalt arise from thy never-to-be-lamented-sufficiently-lowliness; thou shalt leave the homely occupations of that rude boor unto whom it beseemeth thee to give the appellation of father, and shalt attain to the-all-to-be-desired greatness of my love, even as the resplendent sun condescends to shine down upon the earth-crawling beetle.”

I now approached a deep embrasure elevated one step above the level of the apartment, over which magnificent hangings of crimson and gold swept to the floor. Not for a moment could I doubt who the splendid being might be occupying the centre of the little group on which my eyes now rested enraptured.

The most lovely, the most unfortunate Mary of Scotland was before me, and, as if spell-bound, I could not withdraw my gaze. How did all the portraits my fancy had drawn fade in comparison with the actual beauty, the indescribable loveliness of this peerless woman. How was it possible to give to fancy any thing so exquisitely graceful and beautiful as the breathing form before me. Ask me not to depict the color of her eyes; ask me not to paint that wealth of splendid hair—that complexion no artist’s skill could match—that mouth so eloquent in its repose—those lips—those teeth. As well attempt to paint the strain of delicious music which reaches our ears at midnight, stealing over the moonlit wave; or to color the fragrance of the new-blown rose, or of the lily of the vale, when first plucked from its humble bed. For even thus did the unrivaled charms of Mary of Scotland blend themselves indescribably with our enraptured senses.

On a low stool at the feet of Mary sat Catharine Seyton, whose fair, round arm seemed as a snow-wreath resting amid the rich folds of her royal mistress’ black velvet robe. Yet not so deeply absorbed was she in devotion to her lady as to prevent her now and then casting a mischievous glance on Roland Græme, who, with the Douglas, were also in attendance upon their unhappy queen. Drawn up on one side was the stately figure of the Lady of Lochleven, with a scowl on her face, and a bitter look of hate fastened on the unfortunate Mary.

With regret I at length moved away from this enchanting presence, my sympathies to be soon again awakened for the gentle Amy Robsart, Countess of Leicester.

She was reclining on a sofa of sea-green velvet, seeded with pearls, bearing in its centre the cypher of herself and lord, surmounted by a coronet. At her feet knelt the Earl of Leicester with all the outward semblance of a god. One little hand rested confidingly in his, the other nestled amid the dark locks clustering over his high and polished brow. Ah! little did she dream of guile in her noble lord! How could she, when with such looks of love he gazed upon her—with such words of love delighted her trembling heart.

The fawning villain, Varney, stood at a little distance behind the unconscious Amy, even then, as it seemed to me, plotting her destruction with the old arch hypocrite, Foster, with whom he was holding low and earnest conversation. Tressilian—the brave, good Tressilian—as if sworn to protect the lovely lady, leaned on his sword at her right hand, his fine eyes bent with a look of mingled admiration and pity on her ingenuous countenance.

“The queen! the queen!—room for the queen!” echoed around. Hastily rising to his feet, and imprinting a slight kiss on her fair brow, the earl left his lovely bride, and was the next moment by the side of the haughty Elizabeth—England’s maiden Queen.

    “Then, earl, why didst thou leave the beds

      Where roses and where lilies vie,

    To seek a prim-rose, whose pale shades

      Must sicken when those gauds are by?


    “But Leicester (or I much am wrong)

      It is not beauty lures thy vows,

    Rather ambition’s gilded crown

      Makes thee forget thy humble spouse.


    “Last night, as sad I chanced to stray,

      The village death-bell smote my ear;

    They winked aside, and seemed to say,

      ‘Countess, prepare—thy end is near!’


          *      *      *      *      *


    “Thus sore and sad that lady grieved,

      In Cumnor Hall so lone and drear,

    And many a heartfelt sigh she heaved,

      And let fall many a bitter tear.


    “And ere the dawn of day appeared

      In Cumnor Hall, so lone and drear,

    Full many a piercing scream was heard,

      And many a cry of mortal fear.


    “The death-bell thrice was heard to ring,

      An aerial voice was heard to call,

    And thrice the raven flapped his wing

      Around the towers of Cumnor Hall.”

It was pleasant to turn from a scene of such confiding love on one part, and base hypocrisy on the other, to look upon the honest countenance of Magnus Troil, who, with his daughters on each arm—the stately, dark-eyed Minna, and the no less lovely Brenda—were now approaching me. Behind followed Norna of the Fitful-head, in earnest conversation with the Pirate Cleveland. As I looked upon her tall, majestic person, her countenance, so stern and wild, rendered more so, perhaps, by the singular head-dress she had assumed, and her long hair streaming over her face and shoulders, I could no longer wonder at the power she had obtained over the minds of the ignorant peasantry and fishermen of Jarlshof.

“Whist! whist! Triptolemus!” quoth Mistress Barbara Yelloway, pulling the sleeve of the Factor, “dinna be getting ower near the hellicat witch—wha kens but she may be asking for the horn o’ siller, man.”

This speech had the desired effect; and the trembling Triptolemus hastily placed the bold front of Baby between him and the object of dread.

Here, too, was Mareshal Dalgetty—and nothing but the respect due to so much beauty as was here assembled, I felt sure, could have prevented the appearance of his brave charger, Gustavus, also upon the scene. He was accompanied by Ranald of the Mist.

With her little harp poised lightly on her arm, sweet Annot Lyle tripped by the side of the moody Allan, striving by her lively sallies to break the thrall of the dark fit which was about to seize upon him.

Fair Alice Lee, and the brave old knight, Sir Harry, did not escape my notice—nor Master Wildrake, or the gay monarch, Charles, still under the disguise of Louis Kerneguy; and whose shuffling, awkward gait, and bushy red head, caused no small mirth in the assembly, as wondering to see one of so ungainly an appearance in such close attendance upon the lovely Alice.

“Old Noll” had grouped around him in one corner the “Devil-scaring-lank-legs,” the “Praise-God-barebones,” and the “smell-sin-long-noses” of the day; but not finding any thing very attractive in that godly company, I passed on to where Isabella of Croye and the gallant Quentin Durward were holding earnest converse—not aware, unfortunately, that the snaky eye of the Bohemian was watching all their movements.

I quickly stepped aside as I saw the miser, Trapbois, eagerly advancing toward the Lady of Croye, his eyes gloating over the rich jewels which adorned her person, and his long, skinny fingers seeming ready to tear the coveted gems from her fair neck and arms. Indeed, but for the presence of his stern daughter, Martha, I doubted whether he would not at least make the attempt.

“Father, come home! this is no place for you—come home!” she said, in deep, slow tones.

“Nay, daughter, I would but offer to serve these rich nobles for a small con-sider-ation; let me go, Martha—let me go, I say!” as placing her powerful arm within his, she drew him reluctantly toward the door.

Suddenly a flourish of warlike music swelled through the lofty apartment—peal on peal reverberated around—and while I listened with awe to notes so grand and solemn, the music as suddenly changed its character. Now only the dulcet tones of the harp were heard, sweet as the soft summer shower when the tinkling rain-drops merrily pelt the flowers—strains so sweetly harmonious as seemed too heavenly for mortal touch. And as fainter and fainter, yet still more sweet, the ravishing melody breathed around, one by one the company glided out silently and mournfully—the tapestried walls gradually assumed the appearance of my own little parlor—the rich and tasteful decorations vanished—and where was I? Seated in my own comfortable rocking-chair, reclining in the same attitude as when so suddenly summoned forth by the gipsy carline. Truly,

     “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio.

      Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”





For weary years my feet had wandered

  On many a fair but distant shore;

By Lima’s crumbling walls I’d pondered

  And gazed upon the Andes hoar.

The ocean’s wild and restless billow,

  That rears its crested head on high,

For years had been my couch and pillow,

  Until its sameness pained my eye.


The playmates of my joyous childhood,

  With whom I laughed the hours away,

And wandered through the tangled wildwood

  Till close of sultry summer day;

My aged, gray, and feeble mother,

  Whom most I longed to see again,

My sisters, and my only brother,

  Were o’er the wild and faithless main.


At length the lagging days were numbered,

  That bound me to a foreign shore,

And glorious hopes that long had slumbered

  Again their gilded plumage wore;

Fond voices in my ear were singing

  The songs I loved in boyhood’s day,

As in my hammoc slowly swinging

  I mused the still night-hours away.


And sylvan scenes then came before me,

  The bright green fields I loved so well,

Ere Sorrow threw his shadow o’er me,

  The streamlet, mountain, wood and dell;

The lonely grave-yard, sad and dreary,

  Which in the night I passed with dread,

Where, with their sleepless vigils weary,

  The white stones watch above the dead;


Were spread like pictured chart around me,

  Where Fancy turned my gazing eye,

Till slumber with his fetters bound me,

  And dimmed each star in memory’s sky.

Then came bright dreams—but all were routed

  When morning lit the ocean blue,

And I, awaking, gayly shouted,

  “My last, last night in famed Peru!”


“Farewell Peru! thy shores are fading,

  As swift we plough the furrowed main,

And clouds with drooping wings are shading

  The towering Andes, wood and plain.

The passing breeze, thus idly singing,

  A sweeter, dearer voice hath found,

And hope within my heart is springing,

  Our white-winged bark is Homeward Bound!”


          *      *      *      *      *


’Twas night—at length my feet were nearing

  The home from which they long had strayed;

No star was in the sky appearing,

  My boyhood’s scenes were wrapped in shade.

I paused beside the grave-yard dreary,

  And entered through its creaking gate,

To find if yet my mother, weary

  Of this cold world, had shared the fate


Of those who in their graves were sleeping,

  But could not find her grass-grown bed,

Though many a stranger stone was keeping

  Its patient watch above the dead.

But Hers was not among them gleaming,

  And so I turned with joy away,

For many a night had I been dreaming

  That there she pale and faded lay!






“I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest;—most excellent humor.”

Some years ago, ere yet I had reaped the harvest of “oats” somewhat wildly sown, I resided in one of our principal western cities, and, like most juveniles within sight of the threshold of their majority, harbored a decided predilection for the stage. Not a coach and four, as is sometimes understood by that expression, but that still more lumbering vehicle, the theatre, which hurries down the rough road of life a load of passengers quite as promiscuous and impatient. The odor of the summer-fields gave me less delight than that which exhaled from the foot-lights; and the wild forest-scenes were less enchanting than those transitory views which honest John Leslie nightly presented to the audience, too often “few” if not “fit.” There is something, too, in the off-hand, taking-luck-as-it-comes sort of life among actors, which to me was especially attractive; and I was not long in making the acquaintance of many. But the memory of one among the number lingers with me still, with more mingled feelings of pain and pleasure than that of any other. Poor Penn—, I will not write his name in full, lest, should he be living, it might meet his eye and give his good-natured heart a moment’s discomfort. To him more than any other my nature warmed, as did his to me, until we were cemented in friendship. What pleasant rambles of summer-afternoons, after rehearsal; what delightful nights when the play was done, what songs, recitations and professional anecdotes were ours, no one but ourselves can know. The character he most loved to play was Crack, in the “Turnpike Gate.” Poor Penn—! I can see him yet—“Some gentleman has left his beer—another one will drink it!” How admirably he made that point! But that is gone by, and he may ere this have made his last point and final exit. After six months of the closest intimacy, I suddenly missed my hitherto daily companion, and all inquiries at his boarding-house and the theatre proved fruitless. For days I frequented our old haunts, but in vain; he had vanished, leaving no trace to tell of the course he had taken. I seemed altogether forsaken—utterly lost—and felt as if I looked like a pump without a handle—a cart with but one wheel—a shovel without the tongs—or the second volume of a novel, which, because somebody has carried off the first, is of no interest to any one. At last a week went by, and I sauntered down to the ferry, and stepping aboard the boat suffered myself to be conveyed to the opposite shore. On the bank stood the United States barracks, and gathered about were groups of soldiers, looking as listless and unwarlike as if they had just joined the “peace-league.” But their present quiet was only like that of a summer sea, which would bear unharmed the slightest shallop that ever maiden put from shore, but when battling tempests rise can hurl whole navies into wreck. Suddenly catching a glimpse of a figure at a distance which reminded me of my friend, I eagerly addressed one of the soldiers, and pointing out the object of my curiosity, inquired who he was.

“That’s our sergeant,” replied the man.

“Oh!” I ejaculated in my disappointment, feeling assured that a week would not have raised Penn— to that honor, and I sat down on the green bank and watched the steamboats as they passed up and down between me and the city. And as I gazed, many a sad reflection and strange conjecture passed and re-passed along the silent current of my mind. How alone I felt! Even the groups of soldiers standing about were but as so many stacks of muskets. My eyes wandered listlessly from object to object, and rested at last on a pair of boots at my side, such as had been moving about me for the last half hour, and they, that is my eyes, not the boots, naturally, but slowly, followed up the military stripe on the side of the pantaloons, then took a squirrel leap to the Uncle Sam buttons on the breast of the coat, and passed leisurely from one to another upward, until they lit at last full in the owner’s face! That quizzical look—that Roman nose! There was no mistaking Penn—, Sergeant Penn—, of the United States Army! My surprise may easily be imagined. However, a few minutes explained all.

    Alas! for poor humanity,

    Its weakness and its vanity,

    Its sorrow and insanity,


My friend in an evil hour had been led astray—had imbibed one “cobbler” too many for his leather; and like most men in similar circumstances, grew profoundly patriotic, and in a glorious burst of enthusiasm, enlisted! His fine figure, with a dash of the theatrical air, promoted him at once to the dignity of sergeant; and never did soldier wear his honors “thrust upon him” with a better grace than did Poor Penn—. Whether in his sober moments he regretted the rash act, I do not know; he was too proud to acknowledge it if he did. Taking me by the arm, he conducted the way to the barracks, and with an air of indescribable importance, exhibited and explained the whole internal arrangements. On the first floor, which was paved with brick, there was an immense fire-place, built in the very centre of the great room, and steaming and bubbling over the fire hung a big kettle, capable of holding at least thirty gallons. Over it, or rather beside it, stood the soldier-cook, stirring the contents, which was bean-soup, with an iron ladle. In the room above were long rows of bunks, stacks of muskets, with other warlike implements and equipage. A number of men were lounging on the berths, some reading, some boasting, and others telling long yarns. There was one stout, moon-faced gentleman laying on his broad back “spouting” Shakspeare. This individual, to whom I was introduced, turned out to be Sergeant Smith, another son of Thespis, who had left the boards for a more permanent engagement, not with the enemy, for those were days of peace, but with that stern old manager, Uncle Sam. Sergeant Smith was, perhaps, the most important person in his own estimation, on the banks, not even excepting the captain. There can be no doubt but that the stage suffered a great loss when he left it, for, indeed, he told us so himself. In a little while the call sounded, the roll was called, and all hands turned in to dinner. Penn— had provided me a seat by his side; and, for the first time in my life, I sat down to soldier fare. There was a square block of bread at the side of each pewter plate, a tin cup of cold water, and very soon a ladle-full of the steaming bean-soup was dealt round to each. It was a plain but a substantial dinner. Poor Penn—, as he helped me to an extra ladle of soup, observed, with the most solemn face imaginable, that the man who hadn’t dined with soldiers “didn’t know beans;” an expression more apt than elegant. During the space of three months I made weekly visits to the barracks, and was gratified to find that my friend Penn—, in spite of his formidable rival, Sergeant Smith, was fast rising in the confidence of the commanding officer and the estimation of the men. Smith, too, was judicious enough to hide any jealousy he might have felt, and like a true soldier, imitated his superior, and treated Penn— with marked distinction.

Such having been the state of affairs for so long a time, my surprise and indignation may easily be imagined, when upon calling, as usual, to see my friend, Sergeant Smith, with a most pompous air, informed me that he was not acquainted with the person for whom I inquired.

“Not acquainted with Penn—?” cried I, with the most unbounded astonishment.

“No, sir,” proudly replied the imperturbable sergeant, assuming the strictest military attitude, looking like a very stiff figure-head, seeming as if it would crack his eyelids to wink.

“Not acq—”

“No, sir,” cried he, with great determination, before I could finish the word. “Do you suppose an officer of the United States army, an unimpeached soldier, capable of being acquainted with a deserter?”

“A deserter!” echoed I; “Penn— a deserter!” and the truth flashed across my brain, writing that terrible word in letters of fire, as did the hand on the walls of Belshazzar. The next moment, by permission of the guard, who knew me, I passed down into the long damp basement of the barracks, where the offenders were imprisoned. At the farther end, among a number of fellow-culprits, my eager eye soon discovered the object of its search. He was sitting with folded arms, perched on a carpenter’s bench, and with the most wo-begone countenance imaginable, whistling a favorite air, and beating time against the side of the bench with his long, pendulous legs. I can hear the tune yet, “Nix my Dolly;” and who that has ever seen “Jack Shepherd” has forgotten it?

“Hallo!” cried I, “Penn—, how is this?”

He looked at me a moment with surprise, and after exclaiming, “How are you, my boy?” gave the bench a salutary kick, and whistled more vigorously than ever “Nix my Dolly;” and having gone through the stave, he turned to me and exclaimed,

“Look you, my boy, be chaste as snow, you shall not escape calumny—and to this complexion you may come at last.” Again he took sight at the blank stone wall, whistled, and beat time.

“But, come,” said I, “how did you get here?”

“Get here?” echoed he, “the easiest way in the world! Sergeant Penn⁠— crossed the river on a three hours’ leave of absence—took a glass too many—stayed over the time, and his friend, Sergeant Smith, feeling anxious for Penn⁠—’s welfare, went after him and had him arrested as a deserter—and here he is! ‘Nix my Dolly,’” etc. etc.; and he settled again into his musical reverie.

“Well, what will be the upshot of it?” said I.

“The down-shot of me, maybe!”—Nix my Doll—“at least, I shall be shipped off with these fine fellows to the west; and if the court-martial happen to sit on my case after dinner, I may get off with merely having my head shaved, and being drummed out!” Poor Penn—, at the thought of this, kicked the bench furiously, and whistled with all the vigor he could muster.

“When do you go?” asked I, eagerly.

“Next Sunday,” he replied, and added, “Look here, my boy, let me bid you good-by now, for the last time”—and he pressed my hand warmly—“for the last time, I say, for it would unman me to see you on that day, and Penn— would fain be himself, proud and unshaken even in his disgrace. There—there—go, my dear boy, let this be the last visit of your life to the barracks. God bless you!” and after giving his hand a hearty grasp, I turned hurriedly away, to hide my feeling. In passing the door I gave a hasty glance back, and saw Penn— sitting as before, his arms folded, his heels beating the bench, but so slowly, that their strokes seemed like the dying vibrations of a pendulum; and the whistle was so low that it was scarcely audible. With a heavy heart I passed away, much preferring to acknowledge the acquaintance of a “deserter” like Poor Penn— than to continue that of the unimpeachable Sergeant Smith. Another week brought around the day of my friend’s departure, and I found it impossible to resist the temptation to take a farewell look at my old companion. Accordingly I crossed the river, and taking my station behind a large tree on the bank of the river, so that I could see Penn— without letting him see me, I awaited with melancholy patience the moment when the deserters should be led out. The steamboat was puffing and groaning at the wharf, and in a few moments the heavy door of the guard-room swung open; there was a sudden clanking of irons, and soon I saw prisoner after prisoner emerge, dragging long heavy chains, which were attached to their ankles. I counted them as they came out—counted a dozen—but yet no Penn—; counted eighteen—nineteen—but the twentieth, and last, proved to be him. No language can describe the solemn majesty with which he brought up the rear of that dishonored line. No chain clanked as he stepped to tell of his disgrace; and the spectators, instead of suspecting him as being a culprit, may easily have imagined him to be one of the sergeants who had the rest in charge. This, to me, was a matter of much surprise, and turning to an old soldier at my side, I inquired,

“What does this mean, isn’t Penn— one of them?”

“Of course he is,” was the reply.

“But why doesn’t he wear a chain like the rest?”

“Wear a chain,” said the soldier, “you don’t know Penn—, Sergeant Penn— that was. He wear a chain! Why, bless your heart, he carries as heavy a chain as any of them, but he’s got it twisted around his leg, under his pantaloons, clear above his knee! He’s too proud to drag it—he’d die first!”

Poor Penn—! I could have embraced him for that touch of pride; and felt assured that whatever the penalty might be which he was doomed to suffer, that he had “a heart for any fate!” What that fate was I have had no means of knowing, for I have never since heard of poor Penn—.





Bring me the juice of the honey fruit,

  The large translucent, amber-hued,

Rare grapes of southern isles, to suit

  The luxury that fills my mood.


And bring me only such as grew

  Where rarest maidens tent the bowers,

And only fed by rain and dew

  Which first had bathed a bank of flowers.


They must have hung on spicy trees

  In airs of far enchanted vales,

And all night heard the ecstasies

  Of noble-throated nightingales:


So that the virtues which belong

  To flowers may therein tasted be—

And that which hath been thrilled with song

  May give a thrill of song to me.


For I would wake that string for thee

  Which hath too long in silence hung,

And sweeter than all else should be

  The song which in thy praise is sung.





Far in the ocean of the Night

  There lyeth an Enchanted Isle,

Within a veil of mellow light,

  That blesseth like affection’s smile.


It tingeth with a rosy hue

  All objects in that country fair,

Like summer twilight, when the dew

  Is trembling in the fragrant air.


And there is music evermore,

  That seemeth sleeping on the breeze.

Like sound of sweet bells from the shore

  Lingering along the summer seas.


And there are rivers, bowers, and groves,

  And fountains fringed with blossomed weeds,

And all sweet birds that sing their loves

  ’Mid stately flowers or tasseled reeds.


All that is beautiful of earth,

  All that is valued, all that’s dear,

All that is pure of mortal birth,

  Lives in immortal beauty here.


All tender buds that ever grew

  For us on Hope’s ephemeral tree,

All loves, all joys, that e’er we knew,

  Bloom in that country gloriously.


There is no parting there, no change,

  No death, no fading, no decay;

No hand is cold, no voice is strange,

  No eye is dark—or turned away.


To us, who daily toil and weep,

  How welcome is Night’s starry smile,

When in the fairy barge of Sleep

  We visit the Enchanted Isle.


All holy hearts that worship Truth,

  Though bleak their daily pathway seems,

Find treasure and immortal youth

  In that fair isle of happy dreams.


But, if the soul have dwelt with sin,

  It landeth on that isle no more,

Though it would give its life to win

  One glimpse but of the pleasant shore.


Their joys, which have been thrown away,

  Or stained with guilt, can bloom no more,

And o’er the night their vessels stray

  Where pale shades weep, and surges roar.





I had a vision in that solemn hour,

   Last of the year sublime,

Whose wave sweeps downward, with its dying power

   Rippling the shores of Time!

On the lone margin of that hoary sea

   My spirit stood alone,

Watching the gleams of phantom History

   Which through the darkness shone:


Then, when the bell of midnight, ghostly hands

   Tolled for the dead year’s doom,

I saw the spirits of Earth’s ancient lands

   Stand up amid the gloom!

The crownéd deities, whose reign began

   In the forgotten Past,

When first the glad world gave to sovereign Man

   Her empires green and vast!


First queenly Asia, from the fallen thrones

   Of twice three thousand years,

Came with the wo a grieving goddess owns

   Who longs for mortal tears:

The dust of ruin to her mantle clung,

   And dimmed her crown of gold,

While the majestic sorrows of her tongue

   From Tyre to Indus rolled:


“Mourn with me, sisters, in my realm of wo,

   Whose only glory streams

From its lost childhood, like the artic glow

   Which sunless Winter dreams!

In the red desert moulders Babylon,

   And the wild serpent’s hiss

Echoes in Petra’s palaces of stone

   And waste Persepolis!


“Gone are the deities who ruled enshrined

   In Elephanta’s caves,

And Brahma’s wailings fill the odorous wind

   That stirs Amboyna’s waves!

The ancient gods amid their temples fall,

   And shapes of some near doom,

Trembling and waving on the Future’s wall,

   More fearful make my gloom!”


Then from her seat, amid the palms embowered

   That shade the Lion-land,

Swart Africa in dusky aspect towered—

   The fetters on her hand!

Backward she saw, from out her drear eclipse,

   The mighty Theban years,

And the deep anguish of her mournful lips

       Interpreted her tears.


“Wo for my children, whom your gyves have bound

   Through centuries of toil;

The bitter wailings of whose bondage sound

   From many a stranger-soil!

Leave me but free, though the eternal sand

   Be all my kingdom now—

Though the rude splendors of barbaric land

   But mock my crownless brow!”


There was a sound, like sudden trumpets blown,

   A ringing, as of arms,

When Europe rose, a stately Amazon,

   Stern in her mailéd charms.

She brooded long beneath the weary bars

   That chafed her soul of flame,

And like a seer, who reads the awful stars,

   Her words prophetic came:


“I hear new sounds along the ancient shore,

   Whose dull old monotone

Of tides, that broke on many a system hoar,

   Wailed through the ages lone!

I see a gleaming, like the crimson morn

   Beneath a stormy sky,

And warning throes, my bosom long has borne,

   Proclaim the struggle nigh!


“The spirit of a hundred races mounts

   To glorious life in one;

New prophet-wands unseal the hidden founts

   That leap to meet the sun!

And thunder-voices, answering Freedom’s prayer,

   In far-off echoes fail,

As some loud trumpet, startling all the air,

   Peals down an Alpine vale!”


O radiant-browed, the latest born of Time!

   How waned thy sisters old

Before the splendors of thine eye sublime,

   And mien, erect and bold!

Pure, as the winds of thine own forests are,

   Thy brow beamed lofty cheer,

And Day’s bright oriflamme, the Morning Star,

   Flashed on thy lifted spear.


“I bear no weight,” so rang thy jubilant tones,

   “Of memories weird and vast—

No crushing heritage of iron thrones,

   Bequeathed by some dead Past;

But mighty hopes, that learned to tower and soar,

   From my own hills of snow—

Whose prophecies in wave and woodland roar,

   When the free tempests blow!


“Like spectral lamps, that burn before a tomb,

   The ancient lights expire;

I wave a torch, that floods the lessening gloom

   With everlasting fire!

Crowned with my constellated stars, I stand

   Beside the foaming sea,

And from the Future, with a victor’s hand

   Claim empire for the Free!”






What unlucky star it was that presided over the destiny of my cousin Jehoiakim Johnson I am not astrologer enough to divine. Certain only am I that it could have been neither Saturn, Mercury, Mars, nor Venus; for he was far from being either wise, witty, warlike, or beautiful.

Cowper says every one falls “just in the niche he was ordained to fill.” Cowper was mistaken in one instance, for Cousin Jehoiakim had no niche to fall into, but went wandering about the world, (our world,) without any thing apparently to do, or any where apparently to stay: And just the moment you wished him safe in Botany Bay, just that very moment was he standing before you with his—but never mind a description of his face and person. All cannot be handsome; folks unfortunately do not make themselves—and precisely the moment you became indifferent as to his presence, or if—a very rare thing—you wished it, that very instant he was no where to be found.

“Our world” was situated in good old New England, around and about Boston; and we, “our folks,” were of the better class of farmers, and lived within a day’s ride of the city.

Never in my life have I been happier than in that free, green country, with the broad, bright sky above me, and the clear, heaven-wide air around me; and bird and beast frolicking in freedom and gladness near and about me. I loved them all, and all their various noises, even to the unearthly scream of our bright, proud peacock. I shut my eyes and see them still; the world of gay-plumaged birds, with their sweet, wild songs, the little white-faced lambs, the wee, roly-poly pigs, the verdant ducks, the soft, yellow goslins, and the dignified old cows stalking about. Well do I remember each of their kind old faces. There was the spotted heifer, with an up-turned nose, and eyes with corners pointing toward the stars. If ever a cow is admitted into heaven for goodness, it will surely be Daisy. Then there was the black Alderny, and the—but leaving beef revenons à nos moutons—Cousin Jehoiakim. Still the place of all others to enjoy life, life unconstrained by city forms, life free, free as heaven’s wind, is on a New England farm. My heart bounds within me as I look back at the dear old homestead. Just there it lies in the bend of the time-worn road that winds its interminable length through dark elms—the gothic ivy-clad elms—and through black giant pines, and the bright-leaved, sugar-giving maple, and golden fields, hedged in by ragged fences, formed of the roots and stumps of leviathan trees.

You see that picket-gate? open it, and a path bordered on each side by currant bushes, and gooseberry bushes, and the tall cyranga, and the purple lilac, will lead you through an arbor of fine Isabella’s and Catawba’s to the dear old homestead, now in possession of Brother Dick and little Fanny, his better half.

I could describe every nook of that darling old house, and every thing surrounding it, from its old-fashioned chimneys—wherein the domestic swallows have sung their little ones to sleep each successive summer, time out of mind—to the unseemly nail that projected its Judas-point from one of the crosspieces of that same little gate, and which always contrived to give a triangular tear to my flying robes every time they fluttered through that dear little gate. Just imagine the happy moments I spent under the great old willow by the well, darning those same triangular rents. Still has all this nothing to do with Cousin Jehoiakim Johnson. You have probably seen folks that were often in your way; now, he was never any where else. Always in the way, and always ungraceful. He was not ungraceful for lack of desire to please: bless his kind, officious heart! Oh, no! Was there a cup of coffee to be handed, and were there a half dozen waiters ready to hand it, he was sure to thrust forth at least ten huge digits, and if he chanced to get it in his grasp, wo to the coffee! and wo to the snow-white damask table-cloth! or worse, wo to one’s “best Sunday-go-to-meetin’” silk dress. Nature uses strange materials in concocting some of her children—most uncouth was the fabric of which she constructed Jehoiakim Johnson.

Poor fellow! he is dead now—peace to his soul. Do you know I fancy it lies hid in the breast of my dog Jehu—the most ungainly, the best-natured creature alive. My baby rides his back, and pulls his ears. I never heard him growl. Oh! he is a jewel of a dog.

Poor Cousin Jehoiakim! Among his other plaisanteries he came near losing for me a noble husband. Patience, and I will relate how it came to pass.

Sister Anna and myself—that sister of mine, by the way, was a complete witch; all dimples and fun, with blue eyes that darted here and there, dancing in her head for very gladness; with a mouth on which the bright red rose sat like a queen on her throne. Her words I can liken to nothing but to so many little silver bells, ringing out into the clear air in joy and sweetness. And never have I heard those musical bells jingle one harsh or unharmonious sound. She is married now—poor thing—and the mother of three “little curly-headed, good-for-nothing, mischief-making monkeys.”

Notwithstanding her exceeding loveliness, Cousin Jehoiakim preferred me, and actually offered me his great broad hand, as you shall see. She was a perfect Hebe, while my style of beauty was more of the—though to confess the “righty-dighty” truth, as little folks say, my beauty was of that order which took the keenest of eyes to discover. There were a pair, however, dark, and full of soul, that dwelt with as much delight on me as though I were Venus herself.

Oh! those were dear, darling eyes, and were in the possession of the best, yes, the very best specimen of Nature’s modeling that New England contained; Nature wrought him from the finest of her clay, after her divinest image, and his parents named him Edgar Elliott.

Sister Anna and myself had been making our usual Christmas visit to Aunt Charity, or Aunt “Charty,” as we used to call her, in good old Yankee language. Aunt Charity dwelt in Boston; and was the wife of a very excellent man, in very excellent circumstances; and the mother of seven dear, excellent boys, of whom Cousin Jehoiakim Johnson was not one.

How delightfully flew our days on this particular Christmas visit. I felt myself in a new world. A world of brighter flowers, and brighter sunshine; for, although I was eighteen, never until then had I been any thing but a wild, thoughtless, giddy child. And then?—the truth is a new star had burst upon my horoscope, bright and beautiful, that so bewildered my eyes to look upon, I was forced to awake my heart from its long sleep, to supply the place of eyes. Steadfast it gazed into that bright star’s heaven-lighted depths, until I recognized it as my guiding star—my Destiny!

Oh, Love! thou angel! thou devil! thou blissful madness, thou wise folly! Thou that comest clad in rainbow garments, with words more full of hope than was the first arch that spanned high heaven, stouter hearts than mine have been compelled to own thee master. Prouder hearts than mine have listened to the witcheries of thy satin-smooth tongue until they forgot their pride. More ice-cold ones than mine have been consumed in the immortal fire thou buildest—the heart thine altar, Love, thou monarch of the universe!

Every thing has an end—a consolation oftentimes—rhapsody, as well as love, and so had that happy Christmas-time, when we were so merry, when I first saw that master-piece of nature—my Destiny—Edgar Elliott.

Anna and myself had been home but three weeks—three dreary years of weeks, Anna said—when we received a letter containing the joyful intelligence that Edgar Elliott, his aristocratic sister Jane, his unaristocratic sister little Fanny, and Herbert Allen—a young lieutenant, by the way, and, by the way, the red-hot flame of my harem-scarem sister—would all four honor Dough-nut Hall, the name we had playfully given our old homestead, with a speedy and long visit.

Joy and hope danced in our hearts when, clear and sunny, the promised day at length had come, the snow five and a half feet deep—the greatest depth of snow within the memory of the “oldest inhabitant”—the mercury full ten degrees below zero. I had just changed my dress for the fifth time, and sister Anna was offering me this consolation, “I must say, Clara, that that is the most unbecoming dress you have, you look like a perfect scare-crow,” when the sound of sleigh-bells coming up the avenue, sent my heart up in my throat, and myself quicker than lightning down to the “hall-door,” there to welcome—not my darling Edgar and his proud, beautiful sister, and Anna’s Adonis lieutenant, and Brother Dick’s pretty little Fanny—no, none of these, oh, no! who but my long-visaged, good-for-nothing cousin Jehoiakim Johnson.

“Fiddle-de-dee!” exclaimed a voice at my elbow; and my disappointed sister skipped, with chattering teeth, back into the house.

The stage drove off, after depositing cousin Jehoiakim and a Noah’s-ark of a trunk.

“Wall, Cousin Clarry!” exclaimed he, springing toward me with one of his own peculiar bear-like bounds. “How du you du? I guess you didn’t expect me this time, no how.”

“I can’t say that I did,” said I; “but do come in, this air is enough to freeze one.”

“Wall, here I am again,” said he, rubbing his great hands together before the blazing hickory. “But if that wasn’t a tarnel cold drive; and if this isn’t a nation good fire, then I don’t know. But how are uncle and aunt, and Cousin Anna, and Dick, and little Harry?”

“All quite well. Where have you been since you left here, cousin?”

“Why I went right to Cousin Hezekiah’s; but I did not stay there quite two months, because little Prudence caught the brain fever, and I was obliged to keep so still that it was very unpleasant. I went from there to Cousin Ebenezer’s. Wall, I stayed to Cousin Eb’s four months or so; then I went to stay a couple of months with Cousin Pildash and Axy, (Achsa.) So this morning I came from Uncle Abimelech’s. I only stayed there a few weeks, because—But, Cousin Clarry, du look! if there isn’t a sleigh-load of folks coming.”

I did look, and saw coming through the great open gate, and up the avenue, a sleigh, all covered with gold and brown, glittering in the sun’s setting rays. I saw the long, white manes of the ponies, and the heavy plumes of my beautiful friend, Jane, streaming far in the wind; and then I saw little Fanny’s bright, happy face, and the fierce moustache of Anna’s lieutenant; and then I saw a pair of dark, earnest eyes, full of devotion, gazing into mine as though at the shrine of their soul’s ideal. Never shall I forget the look they wore, so inexpressibly full of affection was it.

What a pity stars should set. What a pity that eyes, once overflowing with the light of wildest, truest love, should grow cold and dim. A pity, too, that love cannot always be love—that it should find its grave so often in hate, or indifference, or in sober friendship. Still that it does not always, let us bless Love, and think that the fault lies in us, and not in Love, that we are grown so like the clay of which our bodies are made, that Love, the spirit, cannot find an abiding-place within us; and, as years come over us, we are content more and more to harden our hearts, and bask, like butterflies, in the external sunshine of this beautiful world, until the world within—the world of thought and feeling—is a weary one, gladdened only with a few flowers of transcendent sweetness and brightness—rewards of merit from this work-day, lesson-learning earth.

Meantime were those warm eyes looking love upon me; and meantime, from out a world of buffalo-robes and furs, were our merry friends emerging; and then a fervent pressure of a soft, warm hand sent the bright blood burning to my very temples. Then came numerous other shakes of the hand, and question sounded upon question, and laugh pealed upon laugh; a gayer, merrier, madder party never met together. Sister Anna, and Brother Dick’s little love of a Fanny, were a host of mirth in themselves. The accession of so many merry faces seemed to act on the uncouth spirits of my Cousin Jehoiakim like so much exhilarating gas; for scarcely were we housed, when he suddenly caught me up in his windmill arms, and twirling me around as though I had been a feather, exclaimed, “Bless us! Cousin Clarry, I have scarcely had a chance to say how du you du, and to tell you how glad I am to be here once more. Arn’t you tickled to death to see me?”

Indignant and breathless, I sprang from him, saying, “Really, Cousin Jehoiakim, I should be much more delighted to see you if you would be kind enough to manifest a less rude way of expressing your joy.”

“Oh! beg pardon, Cousin Clarry. I forgot you had grown up into a young woman; another word for touch-me-not—ha! ha! ha! I guess you are all dressed up, tu; you look like a daisy, anyhow.”

With that he threw himself back in a perfect roar of ha! ha’s! and he! he’s! My eyes glanced around to see the effect produced on my friends by my gauche cousin. The great blue eyes of the aristocratic Jane opened themselves wider and more wide, while the merry black ones of little Fanny seemed to enjoy the sport. The lieutenant’s moustache curled itself a little more decidedly, as he surveyed Jehoiakim Johnson; looking upon him, probably, as on some savage monster. I thought I perceived a darker shade in Edgar’s eyes. It soon passed over, and we all became quiet and chatty. The twilight deepened around us, meantime, and the shadows formed by the blazing hearth grew more and more opaque, and more and more fitful, lengthening themselves over carpet, chairs, and sofas, to the very farthest corner of the room, darting all manner of fantastic forms upon Sister Anna and her handsome lieutenant, as they sat over by the window, in earnest conversation. Yes, Sister Anna, for once wert thou earnest. Upon our group on the sofa, before the hearth, fell also those strange fire-light shadows. Sweet little Fanny! how like a little fairy didst thou look in that flickering fire-light; thy graceful form, half reclining, thrown carelessly on the sofa; thy long, curling hair flowing in dark clouds over thy snow-white dress, and nearly hiding thy happy, child-like face, and bright eyes, that glanced out on Brother Dick, who, entranced, was devoutly bending over thee, gazing on thy sunny face—what he could see of it. Sweet little Fanny! And thy proud, beautiful sister, Jane—sitting beside me, and near thee; well did that gleaming light reveal her noble outline of face and form contrasting so finely with thine. Nor did those wayward shadows spare our dear mother, but daguerreotyped all manner of merry-andrews on her sober satin dress, as she sat over on a lounge, quietly talking with my dear, sweet Edgar, who employed his leisure moments in throwing sundry loving glances over at me. Nor did these weird shadows spare our Cousin Jehoiakim Johnson in the great old-fashioned arm-chair, where he had flung himself, seemingly wrapped in meditation most profound. They frolicked over his broad, square shoulders like the Liliputs upon Gulliver, dancing all sorts of fantastic dances, pulling at his ears, and tweaking his substantial nose, when a snore of most immense magnitude broke on our quiet ears. Then another and another, each louder than the last. Ah! Cousin Jehoiakim, most profound was thy meditation.

Now I am not going to weary your patience by telling you how just then our “help” entered, one bearing a tray-full of tall sperm candles, another an immense waiter, crowned with the thick-gilt, untarnished china, that had been handed down in our family by four successive generations—we had begged our dear mother to let the tea, the tea only, be handed around as it was done in Boston; she in an evil hour consenting. Nor how Cousin Jehoiakim, aroused from his meditation by the glare of light, starting up, cast his eyes upon Mercy, the stout serving maiden, and bearer of that same precious porcelain—for which my dear mother’s reverence was as great, every whit, as that of Charles Lamb’s for old China; and how the next moment the waiter was in the hands of my six feet seven and a-half cousin, with “Du let me help you, young woman!” and how the next instant the six feet seven and a-half formed a horizontal line with the floor, instead of a perpendicular one; and how the glittering fragments of gold and white glistened from under every chair, and from the hearth, and out from among the ashes, like unto so many evil eyes glaring upon him for his stupidity and carelessness; and how little Fanny unwound from one foot of the prostrate six feet seven and a-half several yards of snow-white muslin—the innocent cause of the disaster; and how, light as a bird, she sprung, merrily laughing, from the room, with the fluttering fragments of her cobweb dress gathered in an impromptu drapery around her graceful little form.

No; I will not fatigue you with the history of that unlucky adventure; nor how, but a short time after, when we had taken tea from less costly China, and had fallen into a witty, merry uttering of each other’s thoughts, we were interrupted by screams the most—but never mind what kind, seeing I have said you shall not be fatigued with a description of what was nothing but an immense kettle of boiling lard flowing quietly and river-like over the long length of the before so spotless kitchen floor, with many a cluster of dough-nut islands interspersed, by way of relieving the said river of monotony. Our dear mother was famed for miles around for the profusion and superiority of her dough-nuts, hence our soubriquet—“Dough-nut Hall.” And, seeing that Mercy was only scalded half to death, the guilty culprit, who insisted that the kettle was “too heavy for a woman to lift,” escaping unhurt, that is bodily—his remorse of conscience being truly pitiable. No; none of all this, with long, ugly sentences, shall you have; no, nor a detail of his many daily, hourly, and almost momently, misadventures; how once, when we were sitting in Miss Elliott’s room, in he bolted with, “Bless my soul! what a lot of industrious women-folk! ‘How doth the busy bee;’” that new and elegant little poem was, word for word, recited. Little Fanny he found making a bead purse for Brother Dick, and examining her box with every conceivable shade of bead duly assorted, and separated from each other by innumerable partitions. No matter what he said about them, only the beads were spilled, and the purse could not be finished; and then were Miss Jane’s delicate brushes passed through his wondering red hair before a saving hand could arrest them; then was Miss Jane’s beautiful inlaid dressing-box broken irreparably; and then—but I will tell you what I will relate you—all about our sleigh-ride and country ball. Yes! that you must know; not because it is worth telling, but because I should like you to hear it—all about how I nearly lost my darling. But to commence.

Rumors were afloat of this said ball, the countriest kind of a country ball, to take place in Squire Brown’s barn, the largest, best built barn for miles around. Our city friends entered into the spirit exactly, and determined on going. “Cousin Jehoiakim? Oh, he need know nothing about it,” said Sister Anna; “or we can easily deceive him as to the day, without telling him very much of a lie.” Ah! Sister Anna. The important day arrived. In one great bandbox reposed various satins, laces, and ribbons too numerous to mention; the owners thereof were standing cloaked, hooded, and muffed, ready to start. The distance was ten miles. We had cast lots for the sleighs, and had agreed on exclusiveness, though not exactly the exclusiveness that Sister Anna wickedly proposed, viz., that each brother should take his respective sisters in due decorum. The new “cutter” of my brother’s was drawn by himself; and he had already started with his little Fanny by his side. The proud, beautiful Jane—I really believe I had forgotten to mention that, while Cousin Jehoiakim was upsetting chairs, and spilling pitchers of water, and breaking glasses, and treading on people’s toes, and the cat’s tail, a distant cousin of ours arrived—rather a guess cousin than Cousin Jehoiakim; tall as the last named, to be sure, but bearing about the same resemblance to him as a vigorous, graceful young willow does to an overgrown mullen stalk. This new cousin—by cognomen Clarence Spencer—the family name our own, by the way—proud and beautiful as the haughty Jane herself—had seen fit to fall most gracefully in love with her. These two, therefore, were just started on their way to the ball, in Clarence’s own incomparable turn-out. Lieutenant Allen had drawn the Elliott’s beautiful gold and brown sleigh. He was holding the impatient ponies, and Sister Anna was arranging the cushions when Cousin Jehoiakim hove in sight. Sister Anna sprung like a doe to the front seat, threw the heavy buffalo-robes about, making them and the great bandbox fill up the back seat, and seating herself by the lieutenant—all this quicker than lightning—and giving the ponies a touch of the whip, on they dashed to the imminent peril of their necks as well as her own. A saucy toss of the head was all she vouchsafed me. All, then, were on their way save Edgar and myself, who were expecting a quiet, loving talk in the comfortable old-fashioned “pung,” with a gig top, that papa used in his frequent drives to Boston.

“Wall, now, Cousin Clarry, I reckon you thought I didn’t snuff what was going on.”

Poor fellow! he looked so good-natured, truly my heart smote me.

“There is another cutter in the barn, cousin,” replied I, “and you can take your pick of the horses.”

“You are very kind, Cousin Clarry, but there ain’t no occasion of calling any more of the poor dumb critters out into the cold. I guess you can make room for me; I will ride on top until we catch up to some of the two-seated sleighs.”

Time was too precious to waste in words, and as Cousin Jehoiakim good naturedly persisted that he should be very comfortable on the top, on the top he seated himself. I saw that Edgar did not like the arrangement, but he was too polite, or too proud to interfere. “Let us overtake the others,” said he. A bright smile passed over his face. I saw he meditated some mischief. I knew it could not be very mischievous mischief, for a kinder, nobler heart never beat more warmly in any human breast. Forward dashed the horses, throwing the white, sparkling snow before and around them into the bright sunshine. Faster and faster sped the spirited horses, until we passed, first—yes, it was no illusion, his lips were actually pressing her little rosy mouth. Then, Lieutenant Allen, you are not the first man that has done the like; it is a way they all have, ever since Adam gave Mother Eve her first love-kiss. What man would not part with some years of his life for the privilege of pressing to his own a pretty little soft mouth?

Ah, Sister Anna! the question was actually popped; and on that memorable day of the ball, thy giddy heart was actually caged. We came so noiselessly and swift through the soft snow that we actually took thee by surprise. Thy blushes were beautiful; but on we sped, and our next tableaux presented Cousin Clarence gazing most intensely and earnestly into the great deep-blue eyes of the beautiful Jane Elliott, as though he were pouring forth a question from his soul to hers. Her delicate hand lay in his, and her stately, graceful head inclined gently toward him. They were so earnestly occupied, he in talking, and she in listening, that they did not see us until we had passed them; and after we passed them we were not long in overtaking Dick and his little Fanny. Bless the lovers! Her curly-headed little head started, quick as lightning, from its warm resting place, though not so quick but that my practiced eye saw it take leave of Brother Dick’s manly shoulder. Her fun-loving spirit could not resist the ludicrous appearance of Cousin Jehoiakim, perched upon the top of our pung like some immense bird of prey. Brother Dick joined in her pealing, merry laughter, and the old woods rang again. The stump of a tree grew at the road-side, near an immense snow-bank. Edgar, as though he had been on the look-out for such a fine opportunity, speedily and dexterously ran one runner of our pung over the stump, and over went the pung. By a skillful movement he righted it instantly. The friendly side preserved me from the snow; but Cousin Jehoiakim—alas! for gravity on a gig-top. In this deep bank of snow, his heels high in air, stood my inverted cousin. As soon as I could speak from convulsive laughter, I implored Edgar to go back to my cousin’s assistance.

“As you please,” said he. Now you must know that I was the only one that treated Cousin Jehoiakim kindly. Sister Anna and Brother Dick made a complete butt of him; the rest did not treat him at all, except to an occasional shrug of the shoulder from Anna’s lieutenant, or a gay laugh from little Fanny. And, forsooth, because I was civil to him, and talked to him, and excused his awkwardness, why Edgar saw fit, in his wisdom, to be jealous of him. Was there ever any thing more absurd? Yes, since time out of mind have men, the wisest and the best of them, been just so absurd; and unto all eternity will they, the wisest and best of them, be just so absurd again.

By the time we had reached again the spot, the others had come up, and were engaged in disentombing the imbedded unfortunate.

“That was a cold bed, any how,” said he, shaking himself from head to foot like a huge Newfoundland dog, and smiling upon us with his imperturbable good-nature; “but why, in the name of all that is good, did you not help a feller out sooner? If it had been feathers instead of snow, I should surely have been suffocated.”

“Thank your stars for your safe deliverance,” said the laughing Fanny.

“What were you thinking of, cousin?” said Anna, in a choking voice.

“I could think of nothing but the ten commandments; and I wondered what sinful iniquity my grandfather had been guilty of, that I should be visited in such an awful manner for his transgressions. But where on earth is my hat? I have looked in the hole, and all about for it.”

“Look on your neck, Hoiky; you are wearing it for a stock,” said my brother.

“By gracious! so I am.”

I brushed the snow from his shoulders and hair, and assisted his long neck from its cumbrous stock, and pinning on the crown-piece, the hat was quite wearable again.

“Mr. Johnson will ride much more comfortably in one of the double-seated sleighs,” said Edgar.

“Most certainly, Mr. Elliott,” replied Cousin Jehoiakim, “you know I begged you to let me out the first sleigh we met. I reckon you did let me out to some purpose at last. By jimminy! but that was a cool dip. Wall, Cousin Anny, what do you say to my riding along with you, though I had a leetle rather sit alongside of Clarry, yet if you’ve no objections I havn’t none.”

So now was my turn to pay back my sister by as provoking a toss of the head as she gave me. Our ride the rest of the way was pleasant. Edgar’s eyes grew warm and loving. Among the other interesting things we talked of, Edgar poured into my greedy ears the wonders and beauty of the almost new doctrine of the transcendentalists. He described the home he was going to give me, and called me his little wife, and said—but dear me, I am not going to tell you all he said. His passionate words and the love in his soul-full eyes lay deep in my heart as we stopped before Squire Brown’s.

Then came the dressing, and then it was we found that Cousin Jehoiakim had contrived to crush the great bandbox on the seat beside him. The beautiful lace dress Miss Elliott was to have worn over a satin was torn and spoiled, also Anna’s and my wreaths, also things too numerous to mention. When we told of the disaster, Brother Dick said that Anna and I looked much prettier in our own uncovered hair than with an artificial flower-garden upon our heads—that the elegant white satin of Miss Jane needed no lace to make it more beautiful—adding, in an undertone, that he would give more to see a woman dressed in the simple white muslin his little Fanny wore than for all the laces and satins that could be bought.

When we entered the ball-room we found Cousin Jehoiakim already dancing with a red-haired young lady, in a blue gauze dress. Seeing us, and wishing to astonish us, he attempted a quadruple pigeon-wing, which unfortunately entangled his great feet in the blue gauze dress, and ended in his own subversion and the dismemberment of the thin gauze. The young lady was obliged to retire for the night, while Cousin Jehoiakim slowly picked himself up. He was so much abashed I had to console him by asking him to dance with me. I really pitied the poor fellow, he could get no one but me to dance with him, still he tried so hard to make himself agreeable, and was so determinedly good-natured that it was not his fault that he could not be a second Apollo.

I was Edgar’s partner for a reel.

“You seem to take very great interest in the well-doing of that odious cousin of yours,” said he.

“Poor fellow! why should I not?” replied I.

“Because he is awkward and disagreeable,” said he, half laughing at his own reason.

“He is as the Lord made him,” replied I, in a tone of affected humility.

“But the Lord did not make you to dance with him and lavish so much attention upon him; you will oblige me very much, Clara, by not dancing any more with him and making yourself so ridiculous.”

Now there was not very much in those words to take offence at, and I should, like a submissive woman that was about to be a wife, have promised obedience, but, unfortunately, being a daughter of Eve I inherited somewhat of her pride and vanity. In a different tone of voice Edgar might have said even those words without offending either pride or vanity, but his voice was cold, and his eyes were colder, and I, driving my heart away from my lips and eyes, replied—“I trust Mr. Elliott does not flatter himself he has yet the entire control of my actions.”

“Just as you please.”

The reel was finished, and he was off. I repented as soon as the words passed my lips—the first angry words I had spoken to him. But then, thought I, sitting down on a bench by myself, why is he so foolishly provoking and unreasonably jealous of my poor cousin. He to be so unkind, he who had ever been the noblest and most loving of sons, the kindest and truest of brothers. For a moment my heart misgave me at the thought of becoming his for life, it was only a moment. I saw through the dim vista of years a vision of peace and love.

Cousin Jehoiakim came and sat down beside me. “Ah! Cousin Clarry,” said he, abruptly taking my hand and holding it, “you are good and kind to me, how happy I shall be when you are my own little wife, when the time comes to give you my hand as I already have my heart.”

Cousin Jehoiakim sentimental! I looked up—Edgar’s cold blue eyes were fastened upon me. I hastily drew my hand from my cousin, and sprung toward the glooming Edgar.

“Is it not near time to go, dear Edgar?” exclaimed I, grasping his hand in my own.

“Mr. Johnson can see you home. I have engaged to go with a friend of mine back to Boston.”

“Edgar!”—but he was gone.

You may depend I did not ride home with Mr. Johnson, but begged a seat with my sister, leaving my cousin the “pung” with the gig-top all to himself. Whether he encountered any more stumps or pit-falls I cannot say. He and the pung came safely home, as did the rest of us.

“Mother,” exclaimed I, “I do wish you would contrive some means to get rid of my odious Cousin Jehoiakim, he is the torment of my life.”

“Mamma,” chimed in Anna, while a smile twinkled in the corner of her eye, “Cousin Jehoiakim has ruined my beautiful French wreath, and has broken my Chinese pagoda, and my exquisite Chinese mandarins, and soiled my Book of Beauty, and has broken my new set of chess-men that Uncle Eb. brought from the East Indies, and has—dear mother, can you not think of some means of sending him to Uncle Abiram’s, or to Halifax?”

“Yes, mother,” said Brother Dick, with a laugh, “Hoiky has been here mischiefizing long enough; do invent some means of packing him off. We have been victimized long enough. He has broken every fishing-rod I have, and has lost my hooks, and he has lamed my beautiful pony Cæsar, and ruined my gun, and yesterday, in shooting game, he shot my dog Neptune, that I have been offered fifty dollars for, and would not have taken one hundred.”

“Wife,” said our dear papa, coming into the room, “it is of no use, I can be patient no longer, you must devise some method of letting Nephew Jehoiakim understand we do not wish his presence any longer. Poor fellow! I would not for the world be unkind to him. I will give him an annual stipend that will support him liberally during his life, willingly, gladly, but I cannot have him here any longer. He is utterly incorrigible.”

“What has he done now?” asked our dear mamma.

“He left the bars down that led into my largest, best field of wheat, and half the cattle in the country have been devouring it. They have ruined at least a couple of hundred dollars worth. The money is not what I care so much for, but it was the best wheat-field for miles around, and I had a pride in having it yield more than any field of my neighbors. I have borne with him day after day, hoping he might do better. Poor fellow! he is sorry enough always for his mistakes. The other day he left the garden-gate open, and the cows got in and ate all my cabbages and other vegetables; then he leaves the barn-door open, and the hogs go in and the calves come out.”

“We will see,” said our dear mamma.

The next morning at the breakfast-table said our dear mother—

“You will have a delightful day to ride in, dear nephew.”

Cousin Jehoiakim opened wide his eyes, inquiringly.

“Richard, my son, I hope you did not forget to tell Mr. Grimes to let the stage stop here this morning. It will be very inconvenient for your cousin to be obliged to stay another day. I packed your trunk this morning early, dear nephew, just after you left your room, knowing how you disliked the trouble.”

Still wider opened my cousin’s eyes.

“Harry, my son,” said mamma to my little brother, “those cakes and dough-nuts are for your cousin to take with him for his lunch.”

“Mayn’t I have a piece of pie then?”

“Go and get what you want of Mercy, my dear. I put some runs of yarn in your trunk, dear nephew, you may give them with my love to sister Abigail, and tell her the wool is from white Kitty. She will remember the sheep. Give my love to brother Abiram with this letter.”

Still wider opened Cousin Jehoiakim’s eyes.

“You will find also in your trunk a dozen and a half of new linen shirts that I have taken the liberty of putting there instead of your old ones.”

“Thank you, dear aunt, you are very kind. I really am very sorry to leave you all. I have enjoyed myself very much here; but Aunt Abigail will feel hurt if I do not pay her a visit. I shall come again as soon as I can, so do not cry your eyes out, Cousin Clarry.”

The stage came and Cousin Jehoiakim went.

And the way I lured back my flown bird would make quite an interesting sentimental little story of itself. Bless his bright eyes! they are shining on me now, full of mischief at this sketch I am giving you, beloved reader. But didn’t we have a nice wedding time? There was Anna and her brave lieutenant, Brother Dick and his bright little Fanny, the beautiful, majestic Jane, and my beautiful, majestic Cousin Clarence, and my darling, good Edgar, and, dear reader, your very humble servant.





How many legends have been told or sung

  Since Rome—the nursling of the wolf—arose,

Lean, gaunt and grim, and lapped the bubbling blood

        Of fallen and dying foes.


How many lyrics, which, like trumpets heard

  At dawn, when, clad in steel, the long array

Of marshaled armies glittering in the sun

        Stretch, like the skies, away.


But none so golden, chivalric and holy

  As that of thine, Coriolanus—none

In the imperial purple of old days

        But pale before its sun.


True, thou wast proud, and deemed the people base,

  Prone to idolatry of those who sought

Their April smiles—who fawned to win their votes,

        Nor dreamed them dearly bought.


Thou, who hadst stood where death reigned like a king,

  First in Corioli—thy wounds in front—

Preferring neigh of steed and clash of arms,

        The battle’s deadly brunt,


To silken ease, and mirth, and song, and dance,

  And festal follies in Etruscan halls—

Bacchantic revels, when the sun went down,

        Beyond the city walls,


Couldst well gaze on the mass with eagle eye,

  Demanding as a right their voice, and blush

To bare thy scars, while thy patrician scorn

        Made cheek and forehead flush.


The base cabals—the hate which drove thee forth

  A wanderer, ennobled thee: thy fame

Looked lightning on the curs that dared abuse,

        But lacked the power to shame.


Prouder thy spirit in that trying hour

  Than theirs who stung thee: well might’st thou go forth

Undaunted, for thy fame was not of Rome,

        But, rather, of the earth.


Yet it was hard to leave thy wife and babe—

  Virgilia and thy little one—hard to break

The bonds that held thee to them: Rome grew dear—

        Most dear for their sweet sake.


But as their forms waxed dim, thy festering heart

  Looked from thine eyes; thy swelling nostrils told

The inward struggle, and thy heaving chest

        A human ocean rolled.


Kneeling upon the ground, thy sinister arm

  Adjuring heaven, thy soul broke forth in tones

Of thunder; but thy agony in that hour

        Pale Rome repaid with groans.


Coldly, with stately step and placid brow—

  A lull—the herald of the approaching storm—

Thou went’st thy way toward Antium—trod its streets

        Without the thought of harm.


Humble was thy approach, but thou went’st forth

  A Mars of the time—thy snorting steed arrayed

And glistering with gold, while at thy heels

        A thousand clarions brayed.


Rome from her seven hills looked down with fear,

  Appalled and breathless, while her people stood

Like men awoke from sleep, amazed, aghast—

        With agues in their blood.


Like an avenging angel with the sword

  Of wrath unsheathed, careering toward thy home

Through flame and blood, thou rod’st: thy coming shook

        The hundred gates of Rome.


She, who abused, beseeched thee, but in vain—

  Humbled herself before thee; yet thy hate

Was unappeased; and, like one stricken dumb,

        Rome gazed upon her fate.


But when Volumnia came—thy mother—she

  Who bore thee ’neath her heart, and, at her side

The one who, in thy softer hours, with love

        Thy trembling lip called bride,


Leading thy child—thy boy—the old hours came

  Like south wind over thee; thy icy soul

Dissolved in tears; thy hard—thy iron heart

        Acknowledged love’s control,


And Rome was saved—Rome, who had wronged, was free!

  —Thou lost!—O, never from the depths of Time

Came sweeter record of the power of love

        Than this, in my poor rhyme.


Never was story fuller of the strength

  Of love o’er hate: undimmed by age, it breathes

A perfume, and a crown around thy brow,

        Coriolanus, wreathes!






              —“Mightier far

Than strength of nerve or sinew, or the sway

Of magic potent over sun or star

Is Love, though oft to agony distrest,

And though his favorite seat be feeble woman’s breast.”




    Night o’er the Santee! up the sky

    The pale moon went with misty eye;

    And in the west a brooding cloud—

    Departed day’s wind-lifted shroud—

    Waved slowly in the depths of blue,

    While now and then a world looked through

    The broken edge, as from above

    Steals down a seraph’s glance of love,

    Through sorrow’s cloud and mortal air,

    On breaking hearts or tearful prayer.





    Within the recess of the wood

    That on the river’s margin stood,

      Encamped beneath the shade

    Of solemn pine and cypress tree,

    And tulip soaring high and free,

      A patriot band had made

    Their pillows of the moss and leaves,

    Through which the moaning south-wind grieves

      When day forsakes the glade.

    And all save one slept hushed as night

    Beneath the starry Infinite—

      That one a boy in years,

    Whose daring arm and flashing eye,

    When death and danger hovered nigh,

      Belied the trembling fears

    And shrinking dread that seemed to speak,

    From quivering lip and pallid cheek

      At sight of war’s array;

    The first the fearful strife to bide,

    Forever at his captain’s side,

      Was Lennard in the fray;

    Yet strange to tell, though oft beside

    That captain’s form he dared to bide

      The cannon’s fiery blast,

    His hand no human blood had shed,

    Beneath his steel no foe had bled,

      When in the battle cast.

    So said his comrades tried and cold,

    Who marveled that a heart so bold,

      Should beat in pitying breast.

    And now beside the smouldering fire,

    He marked its flickering flames expire,

      And watched his leader’s rest.





    That leader—in the civil strife

    Then waged for Liberty and Life,

      No braver spirit stood,

    Between his country and the chain,

    Mistaken tyranny would fain

      Have cast o’er lake and wood;

    And though in manhood’s early morn,

    Young Huon led through strife and scorn

      A trusty troop and free,

    Who left their homes his lot to share,

    For Freedom sworn to live and dare,

      Or die—at Fate’s decree;

    And from the covert solitude

    Of dark morass and thicket rude

      Guerilla warfare waged,

    On Tory band, unwary foe,

    And struck full many a dauntless blow,

      While hate and conflict raged.





    One hour from midnight and the sleep

    That wrapped the stalwart frame so deep,

      Was woke by guard and sign;

    The forest sounded with the tramp

    Of rushing steeds, until the camp

      Was reached by foremost line

    Of the brigade of fearless men,

    Who rode through wood, and brake, and fen,

    As speeds the red deer to his glen.

    No gorgeous suit of war array,

    No uniform of red or gray

      In that rude band were seen;

    The ploughman’s dress, but coarse and plain,

    And marred by toil with many a stain,

      Betrayed no gilded sheen;

    Their only badge the white cockade,

    No dagger’s point or glittering blade

      Was worn with martial pride,

    But sabre hilt and rifle true,

    Oftimes of dark, ensanguined hue,

      Were ever at the side.

    They hailed their comrades in the fight,

    With blazing fires illumed the night,

      And waged with jest and smile,

    As toward the lurid torches’ light

      Rode up their chief the while.

    No pert gallant or Conrad he,

    With gay plume waving haughtily;

    Nor donned he aught his troopers o’er,

    Save that the leathern cap he wore

    In front a silver crescent bore,

    Inscribed with “Death or Liberty.”

    Of stature low, the piercing eye,

    And forehead broad, and full, and high,

      And lined with lofty thought;

    Were all that marked from his compeers,

    The man who through long, gloomy years

      With tireless vigor wrought,

    Nerved by defeat for loftier aim,

    To build his country’s Hope and Fame,

    And win for her a seat divine

    Beneath bright Freedom’s hallowed shrine;

    And few, though rashly brave, would dare,

    To start the Swamp Fox[2] from his lair.

    Or in his fastness wild and dun,

    Cope with the rebel Marion.





    Soon Huon by the river’s tide

    Sought out his brave commander’s side,

    And listened with respectful air,

    To learn what new emprise to share,

    What lurking foe to shun or brave.

    Short was their conference and grave,

      Ere Huon bade a trooper call

    His page, young Lennard, to his aid;

      And passing ’neath the cedar tall,

    And giant oaks’ far spreading shade,

    The boy with graceful step and light,

    Stood quickly in his captain’s sight,

    And Marion thus, in kindly tone,

    Spoke with a frankness all his own.

    “’Tis said, my boy, thy heart is brave,

    Thy courage sure, and caution grave;

    This night, then, we will task thy power.

    Seek, ere the closing of the hour,

      The village inn that stands below,

    Embowered within the coppice glade,

      And learn the bearings of the foe—

    Their force in camp, and field, and shade;

    But ere the silver moon again

    O’er Carolina’s hills shall wane,

    Meet us beside the deep lagoon

    Beyond, that knows no scorching noon.”





    Anon, far down the silent wood,

    Undaunted by its solitude,

      Sped Lennard on his way;

    Until beneath a blasted pine,

      Beyond the forest gray,

    That tall, and bald, and hoary white,

    Gleamed through the dusky veil of night,

    As through Life’s mist on human sight

      Gleams vital truth divine,

    He paused, and from a whistle clear,

    Drew notes that thrilled the valley near.





    Within the rebel camp, meanwhile,

    No slumbers winning smiles beguile,

      From care to dreams away;

    The troop who view with fearless heart

    The coming strife and battle’s mart;

    And thus with blithesome song, though rude,

    Awake the echoes of the wood:


          Though dark the night,

          And fierce the fight,

            We fear no living foe;

          The swamp our home,

          The sky our dome,

            Our bed the turf below;

          We hail the strife,

          And prize not life,

            Unblessed by Freedom’s smile;


          And Age and Youth,

          To patriot Truth,

            Pledge hopefully the while.


          Our Country’s name

          Must sink in shame,

            Or sound in triumph free;

          Then, brothers, on!

          For Marion,

            Our homes and liberty.





    ’Twas morning—from the golden sky

    Night fled before day’s burning eye,

    As flies the minister of sin

    From souls that kneel to God, to win

    Courage to meet the tempter’s wile,

    And strength upon the strife to smile.

    Scarce had the cloudless sun betrayed,

      The flowers that bloomed in meadows low,

    Ere toward a thickly shaded glade,

      An armed horseman traveled slow;

    And paused beside a gushing spring,

      Whose gentle murmurs thrilled the air,

    As thrills an angel’s unseen wing

      The distant blue when mounting there.

    The dark trees hung above its wave,

      A tapestry of green,

    And arching o’er the waters, gave

      A softness to the sheen

    Of mellow light that darted through

    The dewy leaves of richest hue;

    While round the huge trunks many a vine,

    Had bade its graceful tendrils twine;

    The blossoming grape and jessamine pale,

    Loading with sweets the summer gale.

    Not long with hasty step he trod

    The narrow path and flowery sod,

    Ere gently o’er the sere leaves’ bed

    A maiden passed with faltering tread.





    Oh! light was the step of the blooming girl,

    And glossy the hue of the raven curl,

    And joyous the glance of the dark eye’s play,

    When the pride of the village was Morna Grey.

    But ruthless war to her dwelling came,

    Her brothers slept on the field of fame,

    Her father’s blood on his hearth was shed;

    And the desolate orphan in anguish fled

    To the cottage of one who her childhood nursed,

    And who soothed the spirit that grief had cursed;

    And now in the depths of that speaking eye

    There slumbered a sadness still and high,

    But veiled with a clear and mellow light,

    Like the softened glow of a moonlit night;

    And the rose on her cheek that came and went,

    Like the hues of the West when day is spent,

    Told how the chords of the heart below,

    Quivered and shrunk at the breath of wo.

    But why did a presage of coming ill,

    With a fiercer pang her bosom thrill,

    And pale her cheek to a deadlier hue,

    As she sought the spring where the jessamine grew?

    She had come to meet for a moment there,

    Ere he sought the field in the strife to share,

    One who her father had blessed in death,

    As she pledged her faith with faltering breath;

    And Huon with joyous smile and gay,

    Welcomed the presence of Morna Grey.





    But the words they spoke were short and few—

    A soldier must be to his duty true;

    And ere a half hour had hastened by,

    She watched his steed as it hurried nigh,

    O’er the verdant plain to the cedars tall,

    Where his men were waiting their leader’s call.

    As she dashed the drops that dimmed her sight,

    From the dark-fringed lids where they trembled bright,

    A rustling was heard in the brushwood near,

    And a crone, whose wild and fantastic gear

    Betrayed the erring of mind within,

    Stood in her presence with mocking grin.

    “Said I not sorrows in dark array,

    Crowded the future of Morna Grey?

    Why from the cheek do the roses fly?

    Where is the light of the flashing eye?

    Where has the rounded lips, ruby red,

    Gone, since we parted beside the dead?

    The white owl entered the casement high,

    O’er the brow of the dying I saw it fly;

    Presager of death! I hailed its wing,

    She scorned the omen but felt the sting

    Of bitter grief, when another day

    Bore her angel Mother from earth away.

    I warned her, when on the coming blast

    I saw the phantom-like shades flit past;

    She smiled on my words as idle play,

    But wept when her sire, in the midnight fray,

    Felled to the dust by the Tory’s blade,

    Died in the home where his bones are laid;

    When the cold drops stood on the forehead fair,

    And the curdling blood on the thin, gray hair.

    But the dead in silence forgotten sleep;

    She is weaving on earth a vision deep,

    Of joyous hopes that must fade and die,

    Like the bow that smiles when the tempests fly,

    In vain the strength of her youth is shed,

    In a path where she trembles and fears to tread;

    In vain—in vain would the fragile form,

    Brave the hot breath of the cannon’s storm;

    The bullet speeds on its mission free—

    A broken heart and a grave I see.”


    “Though dark my way, I fear it not;

    Speed, woman, to thy sheltered cot,

    Lest thou, with no protector nigh,

    Should catch some hostile wanderer’s eye.

    My trust is in that mighty Power,

    Who rules the battle’s wildest hour;

    And woman’s love is like the flower

    That bloometh not in sunny bower;

    But when the dark and solemn night,

    Has gathered round with storm and blight,

    Unfolds its petals bright and rare,

    And sheds its fragrance on the air;

    And if it dare and peril all,

    Asks only to preserve or fall,

    His bleeding land requires his arm—

    God will protect the brave from harm.”


    “Behold!” and Morna turned to gaze

      Upon the huge tree, dark and lone,

      The withered finger of the crone

    Marked out, and glancing in the rays

    Of morn, beheld a serpent coil

    Its glossy length, with easy toil,

    Up the brown trunk, till close it hung

    Above the wild bird’s nest and young;

    While round and round, with scream of dread,

    The frighted bird in anguish fled;

    And vainly sought to drive the foe

    From his dark aim again below.





    Moments there are when Reason’s control,

    Yieldeth to Fancy in heart and soul;

    When the spirit views with prescient eye,

    The common light and shaded sky,

    An omen finds in the falling leaf,

    And symbols in all things of joy or grief.

    And this was one, for on that failing strife

    Had Morna cast her dearest hope in life.

    Must she behold with power as vain to shield,

    Earth’s only blessing from her presence torn?

    Was there a fiercer pang for her revealed

    In that short conflict than she yet had known?

    Her dark eyes grew more wildly bright,

    And gleamed with an intenser light,

    As closer drew the venomed fang,

    And shrill the lone bird’s accents rang.

    But, hark! a shot—a rustling fall—

    Approaching steps—a sportman’s call—

      The parent bird is in the dust;

    And o’er the path that homeward led,

    With fleeting step fair Morna fled,

      And breathed a prayer of thanks and trust.

    Though sweet to live, more blest to die,

    For those that strong affections tie

    Has fettered to the clinging heart,

    With links not Death can wholly part.





    The day wore on, and down the West,

    The sun had rolled in his unrest;

    While gorgeous clouds of gold and red,

    Reflected back the splendor fled;

    And twilight—pensive nun, to pray,

    In silence drew her veil of gray.

    The last bright gleam was waxing pale,

    And low night winds began their wail,

    When near a ruined house, that stood

    Within a grove of tulip wood,

    Young Lennard paused and gazed awhile,

    With clouded brow and saddened smile,

    On trampled flowers, and shrubs, and vine,

    Torn from the pillar it would twine

    With verdant bloom, and casting round

    Its scarlet blossoms on the ground.

    A waste of weeds the garden lay,

    And grass grew in the carriage way;

    Cold desolation, like a pall,

    Had spread its mantle over all;

    Yet not the creeping touch of Time,

    Had wrecked that dwelling in its prime.

    The fierce and unrelenting wrath

    Of human war had crossed that path,

    And left its trace on all things near,

    Save the blue sky above our sphere.

    Anon, with hurried step and free,

    He crossed the ruined balcony,

    And passing by the fallen door,

    Stood on the dark hall’s oaken floor.

    Lighting the pine-torch that he bore,

    He watched its lurid beams explore

    The gloomy precincts, and passed on,

      As one who knew each winding well,

    To a low room that lay beyond,

    And echoed to the south wind’s knell.

    Upon the threshold crushed and lone,

    By rude marauder’s hand o’erthrown,

      The holy volume lay;

    He raised it from its station there,

    And smoothed the crumpled leaves with care,

      Then sadly turned away

    To gaze upon a portrait near,

    Whose thoughtful eyes, so calm and clear,

    And chastened look and lofty mien,

    And forehead noble and serene,

    Told of a spirit touched by time

    Only to soften and sublime;

    Of woman’s earnest faith and love

    Surmounting earth to soar above.





    With quivering lip the boy gazed long;

    Unheeded and unmarked a throng

    Might there have met, so fixed his soul

    On Memory’s unfolding scroll.

    He knew not that the hours crept by,

    And sullen grew the deepening night;

    Again he met his mother’s eye,

    As erst in joyous days and bright,

    And heard the accents clear and mild,

    Now hushed in death, breathe o’er her child

    A fervent blessing and a prayer;

    Again his father’s silver hair

    Gleamed on his sight, although the tomb

    Had closed him in its rayless gloom.





    His leathern cap aside was flung,

    And o’er his brow the dark locks hung

    In wild confusion, as he stood

    Amid that haunted solitude,

    Raising the blazing torch to throw

    Upon the pictured face its glow.

    In him a careless eye might see

    A semblance of that face in life;

    With more of fire and energy

    To brave the storm and strife;

    With more of earthly hope to claim,

    And less of Heaven—yet still the same.





    But suddenly the mystic spell

    That bound him to the Past was rent;

    The vivid lightning, forked and red,

    Flashed through the broken casement, blent

    With the loud thunder’s awful roar,

    Prolonged and echoing o’er and o’er.

    The warring of the world without

    Offended not the struggling heart;

    Roused from the apathy of thought

    He sought the casement with a start,

    And watched the raging storm sweep by

    With kindling cheek and flashing eye.





    On! on! it came with fiery breath,

    Instinct with rage and winged with death,

    As downward swept, ere Time begun

    His swift and varied race to run,

    Through realms chaotic and sublime,

      With wing of light and forehead pale,

    Immortal in remorse and crime,

      Thrilling the Infinite with wail,

    The apostate troops from lands of light

    To darkness, shame and withering blight.

    On! on! it came, and in its path

    The tall trees bent beneath its wrath,

    And fell with hollow, crashing sound,

    Torn and uprooted, to the ground.

    Still nearer grew the lightning flash,

    And heavier broke the thunder crash;

    And as, with almost blinded gaze,

    Watched Lennard the electric blaze,

    He saw through rain and densest night

    A thin, pale line of waving light

    Speed to a lofty oak, whose head

    Sunk powerless to its parent bed.





    The hours passed on—the storm had spent

    The fury to its madness lent,

    And wild and sullen clouds on high

    In broken masses swept the sky,

    As Lennard left the ruined hall,

    And, bounding o’er the garden wall,

    Walked swiftly o’er the lonely plain,

    Till ’neath the blasted pine again

    He paused, and blew the whistle low;

    Soon from a clump of firs below

    An aged servant slowly led

    A saddled steed: the pale moon shed

    Its fitful gleam as Lennard sprung

    Light to his seat, then fearless flung

    The bridle loose, and spurring, soon

    Drew up beside a deep lagoon,

    Whose stagnant waters ’neath the moon

    Glimmered through bush and hanging vine,

    And cypress bald and ragged pine.

    Concealed within the spectral gloom,

    Of wide morass and forest tomb,

      His comrades there he found;

    By many a devious winding led,

    Where the pale fire-flies’ torches shed

      A fitful gleam around,

    He paused at length where Huon stood,

    Amid his faithful band, though rude,

      And thus his errand told:

    “Where bends the Santee in the plain

    Has Tarleton’s troop encamped again,

      With careless movement bold;

    One half his men will march to-night

    To join the troop on Charleston height,

    The guard will be both dull and light;

    A few short hours, with speed and care,

    Must lead us to the station there.”





    His mission o’er, with thoughtful look,

    The boy sought out a shaded nook,

      Apart from all—yet near

    The opening where the men had laid

    Their rations on the mossy glade,

      Beside the swamp-marsh drear.

    Silent was he, reserved and shy,

    Seldom raising cap or eye;

    Not many days since first his hand

    Had joined him to that patriot band;

    Yet none more truly did fulfill,

      The duties of his arm required,

    Though slight withal, and often still

      When the loud signal-gun was fired,

    The herald of the coming fight,

    His cheek would pale like flowers at night

    Beneath the autumn’s chilling blight;

    None knew his residence or name,

      Save that of Lennard, which he told

    The morn when to the camp he came,

      And begged that he might be enrolled

    In Huon’s corps, to serve with those

    Who bled to heal their country’s woes;

    Of late his arm had bolder grown

    When in the rout and skirmish thrown,

      And stronger, too, and Huon loved

    The slender boy who at his side

    Stood nobly when o’er War’s red tide

      The fiery death-shot moved.





    ’Twas midnight, as with silent tread,

    Like one who bears the coffined dead,

    His valiant troopers Marion led

      Through long and dark defile;

    And on they marched till morning light

    With streaks of crimson touched the night;

    Then, unannounced by trumpet-clang,

      Fell on the slumb’ring foe;

    Swift to his post each warrior sprang,

      Above, around, below;

    And soon in close and eager strife,

    As o’er the tomb meet Death and Life,

      The hostile forces stood;

    The sabre flashed in day’s bright eye,

    The whizzing shot, death-winged, swept by,

      The turf grew red with blood;

    And where the charge was hottest made,

    Where boldest fell the flashing blade,

      Was Huon foremost there;

    And ever near his daring hand

    The youngest, gentlest of his band,

      Stood Lennard on that day;

    Fierce raged the conflict o’er the dead,

    Until, o’erpowered, the vanquished fled;

      Yet ere they left the fray

    One aimed the bloody lance he bore

    At Huon’s heart—a moment more,

    And Lennard fell, his life-blood o’er

      The green turf welling fast;

    The blade that sought his leader’s breast

      His hand aside had cast;

    Swift to his aid his comrades prest;

    The death-hue on his forehead lay

    As Huon flung both sword and lance

    With quivering lip away,

    And met in Lennard’s dying glance

      The smile of Morna Grey.





    Beside the Santee’s murmuring wave,

    They made the early dead a grave;

    And sometimes on its borders green

    The passing traveler has seen

    A spot where pale wild roses blow

    The lofty oaks and firs below—

    The turf is verdant with the spray—

    There sleeps the dust of Morna Grey.

    And Huon?—Still his daring arm

      Was lifted in his country’s aid,

    Though life had lost its sunniest charm,

      And o’er the future hung a shade;

    And time would fail me now to tell

      Of all the deeds his valor wrought,

    How, when Fort Moultrie’s color fell,

      He mounted ’mid the flames and shot

    The merlon height, and fixed on high

    The starry banner ’mid the sky.

    Nor how he died—the nobly slain,

    In bearing from the battle-plain

      The flag intrusted to his care.

    But deeds like these were common then

      As life, and light, and air;

    Brave deeds that shall forever round

      Our nation’s annals cling;

    Perchance some louder harp shall sound,

      Some bolder spirit sing.

    For me—the first pale star on high

    Herald’s the night with beaming eye,

    And down the west has rolled the sun—

    My song is o’er—my task is done.


During the Revolution, a young girl plighted to an officer of Marion’s corps, followed him without being discovered to the camp, where, dressed in male attire, and unknown to him, she enrolled in the service. A few days after, during a fierce conflict that occurred, she stood by his side in the thickest of the fight, and in turning away a lance aimed at his heart received it in her own, and fell bleeding at his feet. She was buried on the banks of the Santee. He was afterward distinguished in the service at Fort Moultrie, and at Savannah, where he received his death-wound in carrying off the flag which was intrusted to him.

Swamp Fox was the cognomen bestowed on Marion by the British.





    Warsaw, farewell! Alone that word

      Fame’s dark eclipse recalls;

    The voice of wail alone is heard

      Within her ruined walls—

    Her pavement rings beneath the tread

    Of bondsmen by their master led.


    Hope kindles on my native shore

      No more her beacon fires—

    The Northern Bear is trampling o’er

      The dust of fallen sires,

    And signal ever to destroy

    Hath been his growl of savage joy.


    Oh! for one hour of glory gone—

      An arm of might to hurl

    The Czar, in thunder, from his throne,

      And Freedom’s flag unfurl;

    Then welcome, like a bride, the grave,

    Unbranded by the name of slave!


    Our snowy Eagle[3] screams no more

      Defiance high and loud;

    The wing is broken that could soar

      Through battle’s smoky cloud,

    And wounded by a coward’s spear,

    His perch is now lost Poland’s bier.


    Once happy was the hall of Home,

      Now Desolation’s lair—

    Blood stains its hearth, and I must roam

      A pilgrim of despair,

    Leaving, when heart and brain grow cold,

    My weary bones in foreign mould.

The Ensign of Poland is a White Eagle.







“Oh! it is pleasant for the good to die—to feel

Their last wild pulses throbbing, while the seal

Of death is placed upon the tragic brow;

The soul in quiet looks within itself,

And sees the heavens faintly pictured there.”

Now, would that I could wield as magic a pencil as did Benjamin West, that mighty paint-king, how quickly would glow upon canvas one of the most beautiful and magnificent landscapes that ever entranced the eye of a scenery-loving traveler—a landscape upon which you might gaze enraptured every day for years, as I have done, and yet never tire nor grow less fond of beholding it. I would paint for your especial gratification, a living, a breathing picture of my old homestead, endeared by so many joy-fraught hours, and the surrounding scenery, through which I roved until I knew its every nook and corner as well as my dog-leaved spelling-book, by the venerable Dilworth. But, as it is, dear reader, I must be content to offer you a rude “pen and ink sketch,” excavated from the ruins of my childhood recollections of as exquisitely beautiful and picturesque a spot as ever riveted the human gaze.

Imagine, for a moment, that we are standing upon a ledge of moss-grown rocks, projecting from a red hill-side, and whose verge beetles over a foaming river, which swirls and rages amongst the uplifting crags, flashing with diamonds in its rush and impetuosity, and then, placid and almost waveless, creeping on through the gnarled old forest with a faint murmur, seeming like a huge serpent of silver asleep in the gushing sunshine.

We are leaning against a rugged mass of the gray ledge—your head is resting upon your right hand, and you are gazing intently down at the circle and whirl of the romping waters. Only a few yards above, a cool spring gushes up, quick and bright, dimpling and laughing in the arrowy sunshine, then flashing and foaming over the dark rocks, and twisting in and out among the bare roots of the majestic oak that cools us with its shadows, falls in a golden shower to the mossy basin at your feet, and leaping over the steep precipice, mingles in foam with the seething river below. We are turned toward the west, and as you raise your eyes to a level with the horizon, one of the most stupendous views of the Blue Mountains that ever caused man to stop in breathless awe, now presents itself to your astonished gaze. Mountain towers behind mountain, and peak behind peak in wild sublimity, like giant waves heaved along the blue sky, almost seeming as if they were the ramparts of the world. Their sloping sides are dark with forests, save here and there, where the axe has penetrated their recesses, and blocked out spaces which, having been touched with the magic of the plough, now smile with fertility. And yonder, a little to your right, lifting his narrow pinnance above all the rest, stands time-honored Currahee, with his red cap on—for thus we are accustomed to designate the barren soil which crowns his lofty summit.

Now, for a moment, permit me to call your attention farther up the river. Did you ever see a more entrancing and exquisitely beautiful cascade, steeped as it is in the softness, and glowing with the brightness of a cloudless spring morning? See how the wreathes of foam come bounding along, like a pack of ravenous wolves chasing each other, and stop suddenly in their mad career, for an instant equipoising upon the very brink, as if they had shrunk back and feared to take the awful leap, then, pushed on by the rush of the waters behind, descend like a shower of diamonds, and come whirling and dashing through the narrow gorge at our feet. And is not that deep basin at the base of the falls glorious? What an angry aspect its surface puts on, plunging and surging like a mass of living snow, while the flashing sunlight is perpetually endeavoring to paint a rainbow in the ever-mounting spray, and yet never quite succeeds. And those massive rocks, too, piling themselves up so quaintly on either side of the falls, just where they take the final plunge—are they not magnificent? How verdant and mossy, and superb in their ruggedness! Oh! if we were only upon one of those ledges—that one that seems ready to bow itself into the foaming torrent; if we only stood there, by that wide-spreading, gnarled old oak, twisting its dark roots in and out amongst the deep crevices like a knot of huge serpents, what a glorious prospect would burst upon your sight! There are so many entrancing scenes about my birth-place, but, among them all, none as magnificent as the one you behold from that mossy ledge. But the bridge—did you look at the old bridge? See where it stands festooned with shadows. That is a dear spot to me, for with it are associated some of the most treasured recollections of my boyhood. One end of this time-worn fabric opens into a sandy lane, with broad, green margins on both sides next the zig-zag fences, where I have so often gathered a bunch of flowers for my instructress, as I passed through it on my way to the school-house; the other is embowered by a clump of oak and beech trees, which, together with a few hemlocks and chestnuts, out-skirt a superb grove of evergreens, in the midst of which towers the little white cottage of Farmer Daniels. There was always a dream-like stillness about the old bridge that pleased me; and I have spent whole hours in peeping through the crevices of those time-worn and trampled planks, at the dark, deep waters creeping and dimpling beneath the massive and sodden arches with a low gurgle, receiving a sheet of silver sheen as they stole away into the rich sunshine; and, in gazing over the rude balustrade where the gaudy butterflies flitted around, or rested by the river’s brink, opening and shutting their unruffled fans; or in flinging pebbles into the placid waters, and then watching the widening circles as they swept down with the current. But there is yet another thing about the old bridge for which I have cherished memories; that venerable buttonwood tree, gnarled and twisted into the quaintest and most comical deformity, that looms up from that high bank at the end of the lane. That bough which projects so far over the rippling surface, making a horizontal bend, like that of a man’s arm, and then shooting up several yards at an obtuse angle, terminating in a mass of luxuriant foliage, was my favorite seat, when fishing, through many a long summer.

Now, look still farther down the river. Follow the grass-fringed banks in their graceful curve around yonder dark, gray promontory, until your eye rests upon a long ridge of snowy foam, where a stream of considerable magnitude mingles its waters with those of the river. Glancing a little way up this stream, a huge old mill presents itself to view, blackened with exposure, and grown picturesque by the lapse of years. Here and there the green moss adorns its roof, and slumbers along the walls with a quaint richness, especially where the heavy water-wheel, revolving in a sea of foam, keeps it shadowy and moist. A short distance above stands the pond—a broad, beautiful expanse of water, glittering like a sheet of untarnished silver; and, in a shady nook, close by the dam, where the large weeping-willow sways its long, drooping branches to and fro wearily, floats a little boat, endeared by many a fond remembrance.

Turn once more, and mark how the river, increased in size by the addition of the mill-stream, having swept around Castle-Hill, (so named from its rugged front and frowning aspect,) comes resplendently into view again, glowing like a sheet of burnished white, in strange and singular contrast with the many and dense shadows which always fringe its banks like heaps of black drapery. See where it takes a sudden bend, flowing back toward the falls, and then curving gracefully to the west, dividing against a jutting rock, and sweeping around it and the adjacent woodland, forming an island about a mile in circumference. That large white building, which crowns the summit of that gentle declivity on the nearest side of the island, with a neat porch in front, half embowered by vines and fruit trees—that is my birth-place. There never was a spot at once so tranquil and picturesque as that where stands my dear old homestead. Is it not a beautiful mansion-house? How sequestered and deliciously cool? The slope down to the river’s brink is covered with a wilderness of shrubbery; while to the right of the garden-fence spreads a magnificent grove of white pines, once making a famous play-ground for us children. Down yonder, in that old field waving with long grass, beyond the grove, is a patch of splendid blackberry bushes; and near that old ivy-bound oak on the bank, leaning so gracefully over the placid waters, as if to greet his image reflected in its vast mirror, is a fine place to hunt summer grapes. At the building, that little right-hand window with a shutter, around which are trailed pea-vines and purple morning-glories, and just above the roof of the porch, opens into a small chamber—my sleeping-room. At night you can behold a most magnificent prospect from that little window. It looks directly down upon the river, which, when there is a full moon and cloudless sky, seems like one broad belt of molten silver, weaving its way in and out among the gnarled old trees, at intervals, sparkling through openings in the thrifty foliage with exceeding beauty; and again, entangled in the black shadows flung upon it by the beetling crags above. Then all is so silent, too, save the snowy water-fall sending up its eternal anthem to the skies, yet coming to your ears with such a pleasant sound that you never tire in listening. Sometimes the sky is full of golden stars, and then the scene is so beautiful—oh! so very beautiful! Many a time have I stolen from my bed, far away in the night, while all the rest were in deep repose, to gaze upon the soft moonlight flashing over the meadows until they looked like acres of green velvet, and gathering upon the dark foliage until it almost seemed as if it were sprinkled with umber dust, or to gaze at the deep blue cerulean, studded with innumerable burning orbs.

There is another object to which I must direct your particular attention, since it assumes an important place in the relation of my story. Trace the road from where it leaves the east end of the bridge with an abrupt curve, sweeping around that magnificent grove of evergreens, passes the old mill, and turning to the east again for a short distance, threads its way along a grassy lane, and you arrive before a neat, commodious frame building, prettily white-washed in front, and hedged in by a rustic fence, with a little gate opening next the road. This was the dwelling of our schoolmistress, the remembrance of whom will ever be an oasis upon the deserts of memory—for to her I owe some of the most pleasurable moments of my boyhood existence. A more Christian-like spirit, a soul fraught with greater or intenser sympathies, and a mind less selfish in its manifestations, or imbued with more genial influences than hers, never existed within the compass of human being. As a teacher, she was firm, yet mild; as a neighbor, kind and obliging—in a word, her whole demeanor was such that the heart unconsciously awakened to affectionate regard. The dwelling of our schoolmistress was originally built, at her request, by a benevolent farmer, with the understanding between them that some future day should witness a transfer of ownership, and contains but three apartments—a large room, which, in the words of the old song, serves for “parlor, for kitchen, and hall,” and two small chambers, but all as neat as hands can make them. Its white front, and massive stone chimnies, were completely embowered by a clump of superb maples, whose heavy branches twining their dark foliage, form a delightful arbor over the very entrance, from the first bursting forth of the tiny buds into perfect life and beauty, until autumn comes with its garment of mourning, and the sere and yellow leaves slowly forsake the limbs which have been their birth-place. A thicket of damask and white roses, lilac trees, and clusters of pale-blue clematis, with a wealth of other flowers, luxuriate beneath, where they receive just enough of the warm and rich sunshine that flashed through the woven shades upon them in the morning, and of the scented dew-drops which the wind shakes from the leaves above at nightfall, to make them the most beautiful flower-plot in all the neighborhood. At the back, a low shed, extending the whole length of the house, one corner projecting further than the rest, and covering a cool spring that gushes up, quick and bright, with a sweet impetuosity, and goes dancing merrily across the green meadow, bright and glorious in the sunlight, but sullen in the shade. The scenery around, too, is magnificent. Here spreads a vast and unbroken forest, whose mighty solitudes once echoed to the whar-whoop of the savage, and looked upon his horrid rites beneath a midnight moon, or scowling sky; and, in the dim distance loom the granite-based mountains, like giant pillars to the vault of heaven, from whose tempest-beaten summits fifty centuries have looked down, unnoted and unknown.

Our schoolmistress was a widow, the Widow White, as she was usually designated. A woman of middle-age at the commencement of my story, she had devoted many years to securing a decent competence for her declining years, and for her only child such an education as would prepare him for an honorable station in society. Early wedded to a young clergyman of promising expectations, she was left a widow shortly after the birth of a son, and only a few days after her husband had assumed his duties as pastor of the little flock amidst which she had scarcely taken her abode. Thus left alone at the very period when most she needed a protector, she began her course with the unfaltering energy which ever characterized her undertakings. Yielding to conscientious scruples, she refused the assistance kindly offered by the surrounding community, and having chosen a vocation, assiduously applied herself to the accomplishment of her cherished purpose. Ere long, she had heaped together an amount of money sufficiently large to purchase the comfortable homestead I have pointed out.

There it is that the opening scene of my story commences. The sun was setting leisurely behind the western mountains in a mass of lurid clouds, and drowsy twilight had already begun to blur the fine scenery in the east, when Widow White sat down to her evening repast. A fire of hickory reflected a ruddy glare upon the hearth, before which reclined innocent pussy, with eyes half-closed, gazing intently at the flames as they crept slowly around the logs, and uniting, darted suddenly up the wide-mouthed chimney. The pine floor and splint chairs were scoured with scrupulous exactness; a small, oblong looking-glass, crowned with shrubs of evergreen, rested upon the high mantle-piece; the two windows were adorned with curtains of coarse, but milk-white linen, and, in one corner, stood a quaint bedstead of curled maple, covered with a counterpane of old-fashioned dimity, which lay upon it like a sheet of snow. In the centre of the room was placed a small table, covered with a cloth of freshly ironed linen, which fairly rivaled the ermine in whiteness, upon which sat a garniture of glossy porcelain. A plate of venison and nut-brown sausages, surrounded by pearly and yellow eggs, sent up its savory odors to tempt the palate, while a pitcher of rye-coffee, on which the heavy cream was mounting like a foam, stood at its side; and, near by, a loaf of warm wheat-bread, a saucer of wild-honey, and another of golden butter—these constituting the wholesome repast of which Widow White was partaking.

“Heaven be praised for a comfortable house and bountiful meal!” she piously ejaculated, rising from her seat with the expression of gratitude warm from her heart. “If we always have as good, we shall never have cause to complain.”

Although no apparent attention was paid them, these words were evidently intended for her son, a tall, premature-looking youth, between the ages of fourteen and fifteen, who had entered the room only a few moments before, and now stood leaning against the mantle-piece, beating the devil’s tatoo upon the wall, and, from time to time, whistling snatches of a popular air. His strongly marked features, though handsome, were bold and repulsive, the upper lip curling with half a sneer—but it was merely the soul imaged in the countenance, for, lad as he was, the spirit had quaffed many a deep draught of sinfulness, while mildew and iciness had crept down and sullied the purity of his heart, whose stern monitor-angel, conscience, still vainly strove to awaken rich melody from the chords which had once vibrated to its slightest touch.

“David,” again spoke Widow White in a subdued tone of voice, raising her eyes to the face of her son, “for the last few days I have been thinking deeply of the past—thinking what a mighty change fourteen short, rapid years have wrought in every thing around me. You were a babe in the cradle then, and the grave of your father was fresh in the lonely church-yard. The sky of my life was black with the storms of adversity, and I was very unhappy, for it almost seemed as if the day which had departed from it never would dawn again. But amidst all this gloominess and desolation, one star beamed with a constant and steady radiance, and that star was yourself. I loved you as my life, and many, many a time, as I rocked you to repose, have I pictured out a bright and glorious future for you, while my mind thrilled with the pleasure of its own creations. But a blight has come upon it all. I loved you too well—too well for either mine or your own good. Yielding to the fondness of a mother’s love, I indulged almost your every wish, until now, turbulent and self-willed, you spurn my best and holiest affections as a mockery, and I find, almost too late, that I have greatly erred. I speak this in no spirit of unkindness, David. I feel it to be my duty as a Christian—my duty as a mother, to talk with you as I am now doing. God knows how fearful was the struggle within my mind before I could bring myself to the determination I have. But I am resolved now; the scales have fallen from my eyes, and I can plainly see both your danger and my own. You are trembling upon the very brink of destruction, and I would ever feel as if there were a curse upon my soul, were I to see it all, and yet not endeavor to save you. I have come to an unshaken determination. There must be a reformation.”

“Another sermon, I suppose. It is bad enough to hear one every Sunday, but one every day is intolerable and insufferable,” insolently broke in the lad, and he kicked the cat across the room, and began to whistle snatches of a lively air.

The widow turned with a deep sigh to the window, while a gleam of sharp agony shot across her face, and then seeming not to heed the interruption, she continued:

“Yesterday I was in the village, and saw Mr. Warwick, the saddler. I have made arrangements with him for your becoming an apprentice to the trade, and to-morrow you are to go there. It is the best thing I can do for you, David, and the fullness of a mother’s heart alone prompted it. If you conduct yourself properly, you may still become an honorable man, and occupy an honorable station in society; but if you persist in your vicious habits, God only knows where you will end.” Here she paused for a moment, and then added: “To-night I am going away for some hours. Mrs. Williams is very sick, perhaps dying, and has sent for me. I may not return until quite late, but, in the morning before you go, we can talk this subject over fully.”

There was such an earnestness and depth of feeling in his mother’s remarks, that David White felt but little inclined to reply the second time, but the dark thoughts and evil feelings rankled deeply in his heart, though no tongue gave them utterance.

Widow White gazed intently into the fire for several minutes after she had ceased speaking, and then taking her bonnet from the bed, advanced to the door, but stopped a moment on its threshold, and turning to her son, said, “Should you become drowsy before I return, carefully cover up the fire ere retiring to bed.” She closed it after her, and David was alone.

He stood still until the last echo of his mother’s footsteps died away in the distance, and then crept stealthily to the front window, where, seeing her passing the gate into the lane, he broke out into a low laugh, and returned again to the fire-place.

“So, I must be a saddler, must I? Ahem! Well! it takes two to play at that, so we’ll see who makes high, low, Jack, and the game this deal. Hurst was about right when he said things would come to a compass afore long. Guess they have, but who cares? I reckon I know which side my bread is buttered!”

Here David White again crossed over to the window, and looked out. His mother was far away in the lane, and just turning the last pannel of the garden fence, where the road branched off, and led by the old mill. Withdrawing from the window, he took a small hand-saw file, and a rudely fashioned key from his pocket, passed over to the bed, and lifting the foot-valance, drew out a large and strong oaken chest; then glancing hurriedly around the room to be sure that no one was present, he applied the key to the lock. It did not quite fit, but, after carefully filing and applying it for some time, the bolt turned in its socket, and the chest stood open before him. In rummaging the till, he at length discovered the object of his search, a purse of silver coin, the accumulated gains of months, and placed there by his mother only a few days previous. This was not her usual depository for money, but, in the present instance, it had been laid aside until the absent minister of the village should return, into whose hands she was accustomed to deliver her spare funds for safe keeping. Laying the purse by his side, he locked the chest, and having arranged every thing as nearly as possible as he found it, retired through an opposite door into his chamber.

“Twenty dollars and a shilling, I think they said,” muttered he to himself. “A good round sum for one evening’s work. I wonder if I hadn’t better take mother’s fashion, and praise Heaven for it?”

Having entered his chamber, he sat down to count his newly-acquired treasure, and finding the amount as large as he expected, carefully deposited it, with the exception of a few dollars, in a leathern belt around his person. Then assuming his shot-pouch, and flinging his rifle to his shoulder, he stooped down, and taking a small bundle, wrapped in a silk handkerchief, from his trunk, retired from the house, slamming the door violently after him, and walked rapidly on, until he reached the summit of an eminence near the old moss-grown mill, which was the last place from which he could see the home he was leaving, perhaps forever. Here he stopped for a few moments, leaned his rifle and bundle against a large, long-limbed, butter-nut, and sat down upon a decaying log at its foot, to gaze, for the last time, upon the old mansion which had been his home from earliest remembrance.

It has been said that there are times when the stoniest hearts are softened; when the sternest natures are made mild, and when the most abandoned are like little children. That moment had now come for David White. It was strange, passing strange. He had committed crime upon crime, yet scarcely felt a moment’s remorse; for years he had acted toward his mother as if his whole soul were naught but selfishness; but when he came to leave that mother, that old homestead, and all the bright and beautiful objects around it, a softness breathed over his iron-nature, and the fount of tears sent up its gushing libations. I have often thought that such feelings must be akin to those mysterious, indefinable, and gloomy forebodings—those dim and indescribable fears and shrinkings within self, that sometimes come over our spirits like a creeping, icy thrill—in the midst of a giddy round of pleasure, or, as we stand by the grave’s brink to see our friends entombed, and yet which no earthly or human cause is able to explain.

He was beholding everything for the last time, and he looked around him as the dying man upon his nearest friends, when he feels the cold hand of death pressed heavily upon his brow, and the silver chords of his spirit’s harp gathering to their utmost tension, and snapping, one by one, like reeds before the blast. There was the home which had sheltered him in his helplessness, glowing in a shower of soft moonlight, and seeming more beautiful than he ever saw it before. There the only true love this wide world of cold and bitter heartlessness can know, beamed on his infant eyes; and there he had spent the only happy moments in all his boyhood existence. In that little room he had first learned to pray, and there, first forgotten the duty. There his mother had watched over him night after night, when he had a burning fever, and the grave had half-opened its terrible portals for his entrance. And now he was going to abandon that mother who had loved and cherished him so fondly—leave her all alone, a joyless, childless widow, and for what cause? He choked down the emotion that rose to his mind, and turned hurriedly in another direction. Not more than twenty paces from him, a stream went dancing and bubbling across the road like a track of liquid silver—the stream that was fed by the cool spring at home; and he remembered how he had gazed in transport, many years agone, at the bright-hued insects floating in the meek, golden-colored sunshine, now sinking their velvet feet into the moist sand upon the water’s brink, and sipping tiny draughts; or, resting upon the edges of the blue and crimson flowers that looked up like gems from the verdant grass, opening and shutting their unruffled fans, woven of gold and sunlight. He turned away from the scene sick at heart, but still another object presented itself to view, awakening old memories. A little farther on yonder in the green meadow, through which murmured the mill-stream, and by the drooping-willow whose long branches rippled in the current, was a deep place, in the midst of which loomed up a dark-gray rock, like a lone sentinel to the rapid waters, and the scene made his heart bound again. There he had angled for trout for many a summer, and looked down delighted into the music-breathing waters, watching the silver and mottled fishes as they went trooping swiftly past, like guests to a fairy wedding. The tears gushed into his eyes as old recollections came thronging to his mind, and he faltered in his determination. He turned, and took one step toward home, but vicious impulses triumphed, and the rainbow that had begun to arch his heart faded in darkness. He disappeared down the slope toward the old bridge, and David White was ruined forever.

Meanwhile Widow White had almost reached her destination. A few steps farther on rose a little white-washed cottage, with sloping roof, and two large china-trees embowering it in front. As she arrived at the small trellis-work gate, a light met her eye, faintly twinkling through the dark foliage of an intervening bough, and reflecting a ruddy glare upon the side-walk that lay entombed in shadow. She opened the gate, followed the narrow foot-path leading to the front door, and found herself in a dark entry, with a few rays of light shimmering through the key-hole of a door immediately before her. As she put her hand to the latch, a stifled sob broke upon her ear, and noiselessly opening the door, she glided into the apartment. It was indeed the chamber of death. On a little table by the fire-place, amidst a number of glasses and vials, burned a solitary candle over a long and lengthening wick, shedding a dim radiance throughout the room. By the side of an old-fashioned bedstead, hung with snow-white valance, knelt the old gray-headed minister, and his low voice, broken and thrillingly solemn, went up in earnest prayer for a departing soul. Upon the bed itself, propped up with pillows, lay the invalid. Three days ago the flush of health had mantled her cheek, and brightened in her eye, and now, how ghastly and changed she was! The sunken and mist-covered eye; the pallid cheek; the hueless lips, and painful breath, too truly testified that the dark angel Azrael was watching by the couch-side. At the head of the bed sat the daughter, a little girl apparently five years of age, with her head bent upon her knees, and her hands clasped beneath her face, weeping bitterly. The supplicating accents of the gray-haired minister ceased, and he arose from his kneeling posture, his eyes streaming with tears, and clasping in both of his the thin white hand that rested upon the snowy counterpane, leaned gently over, and placed his lips close to the ear of the dying woman.

“My dear Mrs. Williams,” said he kindly, “we all feel that you are rapidly sinking; do you die happy? Do you feel that there is a Jesus in heaven, through whose mediation you will be saved?”

There was a rustling of the bed-clothes, a faint murmur, and the sufferer languidly turned her eyes upon the speaker. A dimness was in those sunken orbs; a clamminess upon her wan brow, and her breast heaved wildly beneath the linen that lay in snowy waves across it. But she did not appear to have heard the inquiry of the minister.

“The Widow White—has she not come yet? It is getting late—quite late,” feebly spoke the sufferer.

Until then Widow White had stood unnoticed in the dark shadow, unwilling to interrupt; but, hearing this inquiry, she glided to the bedside.

“Yes, Mrs. Williams, I have come,” and she laid her hand upon the dewy brow of her she had named, and tenderly smoothed back the long hair that lay loosely upon it.

A gleam of satisfaction shot across the wan countenance of the sufferer as these words fell upon her ear. A light, almost preternatural, stole to her eyes, until they sparkled as the diamond, and she lifted her head upon her hand, and strove to speak. But the effort was too great for her debilitated condition—a weakness came over her, and she sunk back exhausted to her pillow. Ere long, however, she recovered sufficient strength to speak, and turning toward Widow White, clasped her hand affectionately.

“I feel that my life is fast ebbing away,” she began in a subdued and thrilling voice. “A few short hours will pass by, and this body will be a soulless mass. But I do not fear to die; for me, death has no terror, nor the grave a victory. I am standing upon its very brink, and look down into its blackness without an emotion save that of pleasure. This is a vain and heartless world! I have found it so, again and again, and the grave is the only place where I can find rest from its temptations and persecutions, and I feel glad that the time is almost here, when rest, both for body and soul, will be attained. But there is one thing that troubles me. My husband slumbers beneath the heavy sod in the village grave-yard; I am standing upon the very brink of eternity; I have no relatives living on this side of the Atlantic, and when I am gone, what is to become of my poor friendless, motherless child? I know there is One above who has promised to take care of the orphan, but still, it would give me a pleasure to know, that when my mouldering body reposes in ‘that bourne whence no traveler returns,’ that the light of a pleasant home would shed its radiance on her girlish years. I fear to trust her to the world. I fear its buffetings—I fear its bitterness—I fear its selfishness!—I have keenly felt them all, and they bowed my strength of spirit almost to the dust!—they sullied my purity of purpose, and my love of God! Three years ago I took up my abode in this community. Life was in its spring-time of joyousness. Pleasure opened her thousand portals, and nature breathed in beauty. Then a stern blight came upon it all! The gloom of death shadowed my dwelling, and soon the cold and rigid form of my beloved partner was carried out, and laid in the narrow bier where the ‘dust returns to dust as it was.’ The feeling of desolation entered my heart; I sorrowed in tears, and life almost became a weariness. Then you, Widow White, came to me in my distress, like a ministering angel; advised me, prayed with me, and led me on, until a light broke in upon my soul, and a new life spread out its million paths to happiness. From that moment I loved you as my own mother in heaven. And now I have a request to make—the request of a dying woman—will you grant it?” and she grasped the arm of the listener with a wild eagerness, and looked into her eyes, as if she saw down into the very soul, and read her every thought.

“Mrs. Williams,” began Widow White in reply, in a tone of voice thrillingly solemn, her eyes dimmed with tears, and her whole frame trembling with emotion, “Mrs. Williams, you know how endeared you are to me—that I love you as if you were my own daughter, and that if I could comply with any thing that would give you pleasure in a dying moment, I would most willingly do so.”

“Thank God!—thank God!” exclaimed she fervently, clasping her hands as if in prayer. “I have prayed for this, again and again, and now it has come to pass—when the grave closes over my mouldering remains, my child will have a home and a mother still! Widow White, cherish her as your own. Educate her for heaven, and if we mortals, after death, are sent as ministering angels to the living, then will I be your guardian spirit. Our kind minister, into whose hands I have committed them, will inform you of my little worldly concerns after I am gone, for my strength is fast failing me, and I feel that I have little time left for words. Mary, dear, come to my bedside. A little nearer for I am quite weak and exhausted. I am dying, Mary. I am going far away—away to heaven. In a short time, my body will be cold and motionless, and then I cannot hear you, or speak to you any more. Then you will have no mother; she will be dead. In a few days I will be laid in the cold and dark ground, and you will never see me again in this world. When I am dead, this lady will be your mother. She will take care of you, and be kind to you, just as I am; and you must obey her, and try not to be naughty. If bad feelings come into your mind, think of your dead mother, and how she talked to you and advised you when she was dying. If you do what is right, God will love you, and bless you, and take care of you, and when death comes, you will go to live with Jesus, where there is nothing but happiness; but if you are wicked, God will hate you, and when you die, you will go down to hell, where all the bad people dwell, and where there is nothing but misery and anguish. Now kiss me, for I am too weak to talk to you any longer,” and the dying woman drew the child to herself, and imprinted a lingering, burning kiss upon her forehead.

She sunk back exhausted to the pillow, and her breath came in painful gasps from her parted lips, while her hands moved about spasmodically on the white counterpane—the excitement of the last hour had been too much for her weakened condition. She lay thus for several moments, and then suddenly started from her recumbent position, and sat upright in the bed. A glorious lustre broke through the mist that whelmed her eyes, and a faint color sprung to her pallid cheek. She clasped her daughter in her arms with an hysterical sob; looked wildly into her face; pressed a burning, quivering kiss upon her forehead, and then her lips gave forth fragments of speech, broken, but beautiful. But this did not last long; a weakness came over her almost preternatural strength; she loosened the embrace that circled her child; the color fled her cheek, the brightness her eye; the death-rattle rung out shrilly upon the air, and she fell back motionless to the bed. They looked upon her countenance—a single glance was sufficient—it was cold, calm, passionless—the seal of the grave was upon it.

The gloom of death had shadowed that cottage for two days, and now it was desolate indeed. The stealthy tread of those who came to gaze upon the dead and prepare its burial, no longer broke the solemn hush that brooded over the dwelling. The departed was in truth the departed—they had borne her over the threshold of her home, and laid her remains in the narrow house where all must one day repose—a plain head-board alone marking the grave in which slumbered what was once Eliza Williams. Like others, she had died sincerely mourned by many—like others, futurity would leave no memorial to tell that she had ever existed. Decay, and rude hands, and careless feet, after the lapse of years, would mar her last resting-place, as many in the grave-yard had already been marred, but the form below could never know nor feel the injury—she slept, and would sleep, as sleep the dead, until the trump of Gabriel awakens and clothes the dry bones in the habiliments of another world.

And now they were alone—the mother and her adopted daughter, making preparations for a final departure from that desolate old homestead. The ashes lay cold upon the hearth-stone, and a gloomy loneliness reigned throughout the whole building, flinging a pall over the feelings of Widow White. A chill crept over her as the large gray cat came purring to her side, and rubbed his soft coat against her ankle; and tears sprung to her eyes when she saw the countenance of the little child wearing such a sad and mournful expression, and she vowed in her heart that no blight should come over her youthful prospects, if it were in her power to prevent it.

Ere long, the necessary preparations were completed, and the two bade a final adieu to the lonely dwelling, and passed slowly along the road toward the mansion of Widow White.



“Parent! who with speechless feeling,

    O’er thy cradled treasure bent,

Found each year new charms revealing,

    Yet thy wealth of love unspent;

Hast thou seen that blossom blighted

    By a drear, untimely frost?

All thy labor unrequited?

    Every glorious promise lost!”

Time, at whose touch the monument of a thousand ages crumbles to dust; at whose embrace empires totter to ruin, and at whose breath cities rise and sink like bursting bubbles in a pool, rolled on his car of wonderful mutations.

Ten years—ten short, rapid years had lapsed away into the infinitude of the past, and mighty changes had marked their progress. The wave of population, like the ocean at its flood, had gradually advanced over the land, and many new habitations sent up their curling smoke within sight of the old homestead of Widow White. The mansion-house itself had changed but little, though one of the tall maples had been cut away from the massive stone chimney at the south end of the building, and the moss had crept over the sloping roof in spots, giving a quaint richness of appearance to the time-honored shingles. The huge old mill below the dam had grown a little more picturesque with the lapse of years; but it was fast going to decay, for its owner was long since dead, and there being some still pending lawsuit between the heirs concerning this piece of property, no repairs had been made, or even any attention paid to its mouldering condition; and for several twelvemonths it had ceased to send up its daily medley of pleasant sounds. The old wooden bridge that spanned the river where it swept across the mouth of the valley, seemed as it ever did, save that rude hands had leveled the magnificent clump of trees that had embowered one end, and enveloped it, during half the day, in a mass of dense shadows, which always slept about this old fabric, and darkened the waters like heaps of black drapery. The scenery around was still as magnificent and entrancing as ever, though, immediately surrounding the dwelling of Widow White, it had undergone a very material change. The adjacent hills that gradually sloped down to the river’s brink, were still dark with forests, though here and there the settler’s axe had penetrated their sun-hidden recesses, and blocked out spaces, in the midst of which arose many a comfortable farm-house. But, at the time of which I speak, stern-browed winter had breathed over the scene, and the gnarled oak forest stood out like an army of skeletons against the stormy sky.

But ten years had not thus glided away without leaving their stern impress upon Widow White. She had become thinner and paler; many white hairs had crept in amongst the auburn that once adorned her head; and her hazel eye had assumed a milder, more subdued expression. The sudden departure of her self-willed son, and the manner of it, had caused her many a heart-pang; yet for months after it occurred she entertained serious hopes of his becoming repentant and returning; and this, for a time, had served to buoy up her depressed spirits; but when years had gone by, and no intelligence reached her concerning him, hope fell to the ground, and her ardent expectancy settled down into a stern grief. Mary, the adopted daughter, stood upon the threshold of woman-hood, in all the flush and spring-time of life and enjoyment. Widow White seemed to love her as if she were her own child, and watched over her with the tenderest care and solicitude. At this period Mary was near sixteen years of age, and rather striking in her appearance, though by no means what would be strictly termed beautiful. Indeed, the contour of her features, as a whole, was rather commonplace than otherwise; but a soul beamed out through her flashing black eye, and lit up her countenance with a sweetness, a loveliness, which was strange, and sometimes startling, from the brilliancy of its expression. A ruddy glow, like the blush of a summer sunset, dwelt in either cheek, and a slight contraction at both corners of the mouth gave her face a half-mirthful look; but her forehead, full in the upper and lateral portions, seemed almost too severely intellectual for the other features. She possessed a wealth of luxuriant black hair, which she had a quaint method of coiling around her head in a single massive braid, singularly contrasting with the alabaster whiteness of the delicate temples upon which it rested. She was very happy at the home she occupied, which was often enlivened by the joyous snatches of music that broke from her ruby lips as from a bird; but she had but a faint, a dream-like remembrance of the scenes connected with her early childhood.

It was a cold afternoon in December—cold even for that ice-clad month. Dark, gloomy, stern-browed winter had spread his varied desolations around. The first snow of the season had fallen during the night previous, and lay upon the ground to the depth of several inches, in some places, drifted into the ravines, leaving the declivities almost entirely uncovered, and at others, overspreading the soil with an unruffled sheet of stainless white. The winds had awakened from their August slumbers, and blustered and shrieked dismally through the leafless forests, then sweeping out among the houses, sought entrance, but finding none, flung themselves despairingly against the doors, and mocked at the clattering windows, which every now and then threatened to burst from their casements; anon, swept moaning around the corners, now muttering, and now whispering at the crevices, then passing up toward the eaves, died away in sobbings and wailings. Even the dark blue cerulean wore a chilly aspect; and the huge masses of heavy, leaden-colored clouds that piled themselves up so quaintly over by the lofty-peaked, snow-capt mountains, drifted wildly before every impulse of the ice-winged lord of the storm.

Late on this afternoon a solitary traveler on horseback might have been seen winding slowly along the serpentine road that led over the hill above the falls. This traveler was David White. At his heart, were the same fierce and turbulent passions—the same dark thoughts and bad feelings—the same willful and perverse nature that dwelt there, when I left him, ten years ago, forsaking home and happiness; time had only served to deepen the impressions, and crime almost entirely to blot out the few remaining influences of a religious education, while the vicious impulses strengthened. But, in person, he was greatly changed. From the stripling he had become the man. A half sneer was on his countenance as in boyhood; and the same restless, wicked eye lighted up his features with an evil fire. It was a face that told the wily hypocrite—the man who could assume any character he chose—now, high-minded and honorable, and again, crime-seeking and fiendish, just as circumstances required. The cheeks were thin and sunken, and the deep pallor which had stolen away the rosy tints of health, plainly showed a course of continual dissipation. In person, he was somewhat above the standard height, and slender in his make, though his frame exhibited great powers of endurance, and no common share of muscular strength.

He wound slowly down the hill, stopped for a moment to gaze at the falls, adorned with huge, long icicles, and a shore of frozen foam; then moved on again, passed leisurely along the curving lane, and paused once more at the old bridge, to look up and down the river; after which he advanced a short distance into the magnificent grove of evergreens which skirted the road, and fastening his horse securely to one of the strongest pine saplings, bent his steps toward the home of his childhood. By this time the last flashing gleams of sunset were dying away in the west, and dark-hued twilight began to shroud the east in a mist-like dimness.

David White had been a wanderer in foreign lands. More than once had he stood amidst a field of the ghastly dead and shrieking wounded, when the tide of a great battle raged fiercest and strongest, his foothold bathed in the life-blood of his comrades. Such scenes ever tend to pervert the kinder tendencies of our nature, and to render the mind adamantine in its manifestations; nor were his less susceptible to these influences than others. When first he entered the ranks of the army, and joined in the death-dealing battle, he saw the daily commission of crimes which made his soul shrink even to contemplate; but, by degrees, he learned to look upon them merely as the amusements of a passing hour, and finally, to lend a ready hand to their accomplishment. Then his heart grew still colder and more feelingless. He thirsted for excitement, lawful or unlawful. He longed for the bloody onset to come; the deafening roar of the cannon was a music in his ears, and the murderous combat brought a restlessness that pleased him. But human nature is strange—passing strange. At intervals he was mild and gentle. Standing upon the battlefield, when night had drawn her silvery curtain over the ghastly and hideous spectacle, when the booming shot and frightful discord—the shriek, the groan, the shout, and ceaseless rush of angered men were passed away, he had looked round upon the cold and bloody scene, and wept—his sternness softened, and he became as other men. He brought water to the wounded and dying soldier; staunched the flowing blood; pillowed his head upon his knee, and as the body shuddered in the last fierce agony, and the enfranchised spirit went trembling up to God, tears fell like jewels on the pallid face of the dying, and thoughts, of which the good might have been proud, flashed through his mind. Who, at such moments, would recognize David White, the bold, dark, dangerous man? But thus it is; mirthful feelings will sometimes obtrude when the heavy clod is falling upon the coffin of a friend, and the grave closing over him forever; thoughts of the last agony, the bourne of death, and the curtained futurity, will sometimes come like a pall over our minds, when the dance is at its flush, and pleasure in its spring-time; and moments will sometimes roll round when a softness breathes upon the hearts of hardened men.

David White was again amongst the scenes of his boyhood; but he looked upon them merely as the passing traveler—with an idle curiosity. Change had been more busy than he expected, yet nothing around him served to awaken emotion. Not even when he stood upon the little eminence, and on almost the very spot where he had stood ten years agone, to bid a final adieu to home, and then to pass on to ruin, did he seem to remember, save by a faint and sickly smile, half-sneering in its expression. Yet, had he seen it when environed by other circumstances, perhaps his heart might have been touched—but now it was feelingless.

Arrived at the old homestead, he knocked loudly at the door—but no one answering the call, he lifted the latch and entered the apartment. A large hickory fire was blazing on the hearth, casting a ruddy glare upon the floor, and radiating a pleasant heat throughout the room. Upon a worsted hearth-rug reclined a large gray cat, which he thought the very same he had kicked across the room on the evening of his departure, and which started up at his approach, and took refuge beneath the bed. Finding that no one was conscious of his presence, he flung off his dark overcoat, and laying it on a little pine table by the window, drew a large rocking-chair from its nook in the corner, and seating himself by the hearth, began very complacently to contemplate the ornaments upon the mantle-piece. But soon growing tired of this employment, he left his seat and crossed over to some pictures that hung against the opposite wall. At this moment a door opened to his left, and turning, he beheld Mary entering the apartment, her cheeks rosier than ever with recent exercise.

“Good evening to you, my pretty lass,” he observed in his blandest tones, and slightly bowing as she drew back in surprise at his sudden appearance. “A widow was once the occupant of this dwelling—the Widow White she was usually called; is she still living, and a resident here? and if so, will you be so kind as to inform her of my presence.”

Mary replied briefly in the affirmative, and hastened out to call her mother from an out-house, a new building which had lately been erected to subserve the two-fold purpose of kitchen and dairy, where they both had been busily engaged at the time of his arrival, while he sauntered familiarly to his seat by the fire, and commenced drumming a tune upon the head-board of the mantle-piece. In a few moments the widow made her appearance, and politely requested her guest to be seated.

He flung himself carelessly into the chair he had occupied, and slightly turning in his seat, fixed his dark eyes on her face, and remarked, “You seem to be quite comfortably situated, Mistress White; this pleasant fire and comfortable apartment contrast finely with the cold and dreariness without doors.”

“Yes, thanks to Providence! things have gone especially well with me for many years, indeed, much more so perhaps than I really deserve. Though this world often requires much care and toil from us frail mortals, it also yields many blessings for which to be thankful.”

“That is true,” replied he; and then breaking off suddenly from the topic of conversation, remarked, “But I perceive, Mistress White, that you do not recognize your quondam friend. I hope you do not suffer prosperity to dampen your recollection of old times.”

The widow stopped her knitting for a few moments, leaned slightly forward, and scrutinized the features of the stranger; then recovering her former position, answered, “I have a faint, a dream-like recollection of your countenance. It seems that I have seen it before, yet I cannot distinctly remember where.”

“Look again!” exclaimed he, divesting himself of a pair of false whiskers, and again bending his dark eyes searchingly upon her face. “Now do you know me?”

She gazed but an instant, a deathly pallor sprung to her cheeks, and extending her arms as if to embrace, she tottered toward him, exclaiming, “It is!—I cannot be mistaken!—it is my long lost son, David White! Oh, David! David!” and she fell upon his neck, and twined her arms around him, sobbing aloud in her ecstasy of enjoyment.

“Tut-tut, mother—what’s the use of carrying on so? To be sure I am your son, in flesh and blood, and just the same as ever, only changed a little for the better. But where’s the use in crying? I reckon I am not going to die, that you should take on after this fashion.”

Here he rudely shook off her embrace, and reseated himself, while a sharp pang, such as she had not known since the years of his boyhood and unfeeling transgressions, struck deeply into her heart as his light mocking tones smote upon her ear, and sinking into a chair, she gave vent to her feelings in a gush of tears.

Who, at that moment, to have looked upon the dark countenance of David White, and to have witnessed his heartless and unmanly actions, would have recognized the cradle-joy of his mother’s early widow-hood—the babe that smiled so sweetly upon the beholder—the little prattler for whom she had pictured out such a bright and glorious future. She had loved him—still loved him with all the devotedness and dewy freshness of life’s morning hours; she had cherished and watched over him with the tenderest care and most affectionate solicitude, and now, when the fountains of deep-toned feeling and sympathetic emotion should have sent up their gushing libations, and she should have been reaping the rich benefits of her manifold attentions, the son, so fondly cherished, and so dearly loved, turns, like the frozen serpent that the shepherd warmed in his own bosom, to sting his benefactor.

But if we look back to this man’s infancy, it will be found that much of this harvest was unconsciously sown by the mother. Domestic education exerts a great power in forming the manners and regulating the conduct which is to guide the future man; and as the system of Widow White had been injudicious, though she discovered her error at the last, it was too late for reform—her son was ruined, and an ingratitude engendered which would tinge the whole stream of her future life with bitterness. The mother is almost always the arbiter of her child’s destiny; and if she misguide the bark of his life so that it finally anchors in a gulf of base and stormy passions, can it be wondered that his sympathies should be blunted, and the manifestations of his mind vile and ignoble?

“There, now! I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings,” again spoke the son, first breaking the silence which had existed for several minutes, and the mother looked up half smilingly through her tears as these gentle words came to her ear, they were so unlike the mocking tones with which he had sought to evade her welcome. The kind manner of their utterance went to her heart, and the best affections of her nature gushed to meet them.

“You look worn and tired with your journey, David—would you not be the better of some supper? something warm might refresh you,” and she took a step toward the door in execution of her kind purpose.

“No, no—my time is precious, and I have none to waste in eating. I must be back to the Bend before nine, and there is famous little moon left to light the way.”

“So soon! Why not remain with us to-night, and then return in a more comfortable manner in the morning? You surely have no imperative necessity to visit the Bend on such a blustering night as this. The north, too, is black with a gathering storm. You had better stay.”

“I can’t. It is impossible. I have a very urgent necessity to return, and quickly told, too—money; I must have money, and in no small amount either. It is absolutely necessary that I have twenty-five dollars, and that I have it now. I am in debt, and the debt must be paid—paid to-night. It has been a long time since I asked you for money, but I reckon you have enough of the mother about you to let me have that sum.”

“In debt, David! to whom?”

“To the boat for my passage. But it is getting late, and I have no time to ask or answer questions; so, once for all, will you let me have it or not?”

The mother was deeply imposed upon, but never, even for an instant, did the thought flash across her mind that his statements were false, and only used for the purpose of extortion. Obtaining the specified amount, she placed it in his hands with a gush of tears, for her feelings were greatly hurt at his harsh words.

He received the money, bade her farewell in blander tones than his previous conversation, and hastened from the dwelling. When he arrived at the spot where was fastened his horse, his mind was fired to a high degree of excitement by the dark thoughts rankling within. His face was pale with anger; his heavy brows worked and knit themselves over eyes that flashed like fire, and he was muttering slowly to himself in broken expressions, while his fingers played unconsciously about the handle of the bowie-knife which slightly protruded from beneath his vest. Having taken a sudden turn in the undergrowth, he unexpectedly stood immediately before the horse, which, seeing him indistinctly, became affirighted, and ran back with an impetuosity that almost tore up the sapling by its roots.

“So, so,” he muttered between his clenched teeth, as composedly as his anger would permit. “Easy, Oliver, easy!” and advancing, he tenderly patted him on the neck, while the restive animal, recognizing his voice, greeted him with a low neigh.

Detaching the bridle from the mass of twigs that entangled it, he carefully led the way out into the road, and brushing off the snow which had collected upon the saddle, leaped to his seat, still agitated with the deep passion he was in vain endeavoring to control.

“On!” burst from his lips in a hoarse whisper, which seemed like a low shout suppressed by a strong will. “On!” and he struck the spurs fiercely into the sides of his steed, and dashed swiftly across the old bridge, the clattering hoofs ringing out upon the still night with a strange distinctness.

At first, the moon looked down brightly from the starry sky, shedding around a shower of flashing beams, which rested upon the sheeted snow until it became dazzling in its whiteness. Soon, however, the heavy masses of clouds in the northeast, that drove wildly before every ice-winged impulse of the storm-king, overwhelmed and shrouded the silver disc from sight, and gave forth the tempest they had so long threatened. Still, now and then, as the wrathful clouds would separate for a moment, a faint lustre would dart forth, sprinkling, as with the purple glories of the orient morn, the torn and ragged opening, and illuminating the landscape with a quaint beauty—half light and half shadow—then all would become dark again. But soon, even this ceased, and the heavens were hung with black. Still his horse plunged on amid sheets of driving and whirling snow, never stopping his speed for an instant.

Ere long the impetuous rider drew up before a dark, weather-beaten, dilapidated building, at the north end of the village, and dismounted. The old chestnut by the fence creaked dismally as the winds swept fiercely up from the valley below, and through one of the swaying boughs came a faintly twinkling light, which seemed forcing itself through the folds of a window-curtain. Knocking loudly at the front door, it was presently opened, and giving some hasty directions concerning his horse, he hurried through a dark, narrow entry, and guiding his way up a creaking staircase by the aid of a balustrade which ran along either side, at length stood before a small door, through whose key-hole issued a narrow stream of light, slightly illuminating the thick gloom around him. Here he paused for a short time to recuperate his exhausted energies, and to subdue the passion that still somewhat agitated him. Then pushing open the door, he entered the apartment.

It was a gaming-room. Six or eight small tables stood about on the floor, at each of which, where the forgotten candles burned dimly over the long and lengthening wicks, sat several men—some, with faces brightly haggard, gloating over their unhallowed gains—others, dark, sullen, silent, fierce, gazing furtively at their piles of lost money. Here rattled the dice-box, and yonder fell the dirty cards—all were busily engaged—all were motionless, save their hands and eyes—all were hushed, save when they uttered solitary words to tell their bets.

David White had almost reached the centre of this room before any one was cognizant of his presence; then, several looked up with a nod of recognition, and once more bent themselves, pale, watchful, though weary, to the duties of the game. The emotion which had so recently agitated him was passed away, and his countenance wore the same expression which most frequently lurked over it. Crossing over to a table at the farthest end of the apartment from the door, he addressed a few words to its occupants; assumed a vacant chair by its side, and joined in the play. For hours he sat grasping the cards with trembling avidity, winning and losing, apparently unmindful of either. But this was merely the gilded outwardness—within, rankled fierce passions, like the lightning in the summer-evening cloud. The night glided on; its dank air grew fresher; the fire burned low on the hearth-stone; the raging storm was hushed to stillness, and three was sounding from the antique clock that adorned the mantle-piece. Save two men the room was deserted. One by one the rest had stolen away, until these two were its only occupants. The last stake of David White was in the pool; the cards had been dealed, and the game was about to be played which was to determine the ownership of the large pile of silver that lay in the middle of the table. He had lost, won, and lost again—doubled his bets—trebled them, until all had been swept away—money, horse, and even his Bowie-knife. Then he had contrived to borrow—won again, and now the last stake trembled in the scales. The game was played—once more he was penniless. He sat still for several minutes, his eyes gazing on vacancy, and when he arose he seemed like a strange man, his face was so changed with the workings of evil passions.

“There! now you have it all, and I am ruined! Do you hear?” exclaimed the frenzied man, his lips quivering with emotion as his voice became elevated with excitement. “And who is the dastardly craven that made me so? Who was it found me pure, and innocent, and stainless as the babe unborn, and lured me from happiness to scenes of madness and debauchery—of crime and wretchedness? Say! who was it did all this? Who was it first placed the cards in my hands, and trained my youthful mind to the cheateries of the gaming-table? And who, when I became older, taught me to revel in human gore, and to delight in carnage and distress, making me the heartless villain that I am? Who was it did all this, I say? Was it not you, Wilson Hurst—was it not you that did it?” and the frantic man struck the table a tremendous blow with his clenched fist as this last question trembled on his white lips, while he glared fiercely upon the listener.

His mind had now worked itself up to the highest pitch of excitement; his countenance wore a deathly pallor; his heavy brows lowered fearfully above eyes that flashed like fire; his nostrils were widely distended, and, as the air breathed through it seemed to choke him; his teeth chattered with rage, while the white foam oozed between, gathering in a thick froth about the parted lips, and with an exclamation that almost froze the blood to hear, he flung himself upon his companion. But his adversary had foreseen the whole, and was fully prepared to meet this sudden attack. Taking advantage of his cat-like eagerness, he threw him to the floor, overpowered, and finally, exhausted with struggling, thrust him out the street door, and shut it in his face.

Left to himself, he gradually became calm and collected, and then other and gentler thoughts grew busy. He stood there in the still moonlight, the cool breezes of morning fanning his feverish brow, from which distilled great drops of moisture in the anguish of his spirit.

“What a change! what a change!” exclaimed he wildly, smiting his breast with his hands. He was thinking of childhood, of those hours of innocence forever gone, and he buried his face in his hands, and sobbed aloud. The strong man was bowed—yes! he who, undaunted, had stood amidst the angered rush of battle; he who, fearless, had seen his comrades falling around him like trees before the hurricane; he who, unappalled, had heard the shrieks of the wounded and dying, wept at the recollection of childhood. What a scene for God and the angels to look down upon!

David White sedulously strove to renew the acquaintanceships of his boyhood, but amongst none, either of those who remembered him, or others to whom he was a perfect stranger, did he contrive to make a friend. His company, however, was not avoided, for his conversation abounded with strange and interesting adventures in various foreign lands, often instructive; but there were too many demands for the possessor of an able body, and too extensive a prevalence of sound morality, for him to find a spirit any way congenial to his own in the vicinity of his home. He therefore took up his residence at the Bend, which was a kind of stopping-place for boats passing up and down the river, and where congregated all grades of society. His pursuits were now undisguisedly those of a gambler—and still further, though unknown—those of a smuggler. His mother received frequent, though indirect communications concerning her son’s course of conduct at the neighboring village—indeed, few days passed in which she did not incidentally obtain such intelligence. He appeared occasionally at the old homestead, but his stay was seldom prolonged beyond a few hours. His conduct cost his mother many a heart-pang, but the day when she could influence his mind had long since gone by, and she entertained no hope of a reformation—indeed, such an occurrence would have appeared almost a miracle in the eyes of those acquainted with his character and mode of action. Thus months lapsed away into the infinitude of the past; summer came round, and soon an eventful and crime-stained night rolled into its place.

The moon waxed high in her career. Midnight was gathering slowly over the earth; that hallowed and mysterious hour, the isthmus between two days. But the deep-toned thunder was muttering at intervals in the sky, and the torn clouds swept on in massy columns, dark and aspiring, growing blacker and blacker as they rolled up the great heavens, and portending a terrible convulsion of the elements. The night was far advanced, and in all respects suited to the purpose of David White. Twelve o’clock was already striking, when he issued from a private door of the time-worn building, where had occurred the gambling scene on the stormy night of the winter before. Since then, the two men had made friends; fortune had changed, rechanged, and changed again; and now, almost penniless, he had resolved on a bold stroke, by which to replenish his purse, and furnish means whereby to indulge his consuming and all absorbing love of gaming. After entering the street, he glanced cautiously around, and then advancing to the iron-gray charger that was tied with a stout bridle to the horse-shoe at the doorpost, adjusted the accoutrements, leaped to the saddle, and rode hurriedly along the road leading to the old homestead.

Meantime the aspect of the heavens had materially changed. The black, opaque mass of vapors had extended its dark and jagged front a third of the way around the horizon, piling its frowning steeps high up toward the zenith. Here and there overhead, the sky was blotted with isolated black clouds, which were fast increasing in size and joining into one. The thunder, which had been occasionally muttering on high, now rattled incessantly, and the forked lightning rushed down in sheets of lurid flame. Ere long, the huge mass of sweeping clouds had reached the zenith, and were rolling darkly onward toward the opposite horizon. Directly the wild uproar died nearly altogether away, and intense darkness shrouded the skies and earth in its folds. The air grew heavy, and seemed to be forcibly pressed toward the ground. This was that strange pause in the strife of the elements, apparently as if the combatants were gathering all their strength for the fearful contest that was to follow. But this pause was only momentary, and soon was at an end. Then a distant, sullen, bellowing murmur came surging up from the depths of the forest, followed by the sorrowful moaning of the trees along the road-side. David White grew pale, and could almost hear the beating of his own heart as he bent forward in the saddle, and listened to the approaching rush and roar of the lashed winds. He had not expected such a wild fierceness in the storm, but now he had gone too far to recede; he was in the very midst of the forest, and the danger was the same either way, so he spurred on the plunging animal beneath him with a desperate energy. At that instant a blinding flash shot down from a cloud almost directly overhead, drank up the thick darkness, and wrapped the air in sheets of lurid flame, while the tall trees stood out like a spectral throng in its supernatural glare. Before a clock could tick, the report followed with a roar, deafening and tremendous, rattling and echoing along the sky like the simultaneous discharge of a thousand deeply freighted cannon. Terrified at the unearthly glare and stunning thunder-bolt, the horse plunged aside with a fierce impetuosity, that would have flung the rider to the earth had he not clung to the mane with his utmost strength; and even for minutes after “the jaws of darkness” had devoured up the scene, and the fearful report had died away in the distance, his eyes still ached with the intense light, and his ears rung with the deafening bolt that had followed.

Now came the arrowy flight and form of the hurricane itself. It crushed the tall and sturdy trees to the ground as if they had been a forest of reeds. On it came, darker, fiercer, and more impetuous, as if under the influence of some angry fiend enjoying a triumph. The shrieking of the lashed winds; the crashing thunder; the noise of the giant monarchs of the forest upheaving from their deep-set foundations, and toppling to the ground; the rush and howling of the tempest—all mingled in one swelling uproar, and deafened the very heavens. Now the whole malignity and embodied power of the hurricane was upon them. The shivering horse sprang forward into the shelter of a huge rock that frowned upon the road like some stern sentinel guarding the passage, and David White leaped from the saddle, and crouched in terror against the dark mass that towered above and afforded protection.

On it came, winding its tortuous pathway from right to left and from left to right, crushing and twisting the Titans of the woods from their trunks in its awful rush of destruction. The wheeling clouds and tumultuous atmosphere were lashed through and through with the fiery lightning, and masses of loose leaves, and branches, with all their wealth of mangled foliage—saplings twisted up by the roots, and bunches of shrubs tossed themselves impetuously into the air, flung into the wildest and most rapid agitation—now rushing together as if consolidating into masses—now scattered abroad in the deepest confusion, while a stubborn oak, disdaining to bend, was dashed headlong across the road, where the horse and his rider had stood only a few moments previous, and hurling the soil to their very feet.

Rush after rush of the trooping winds went by—each succeeding onset wilder and more impetuous than the last, until at length the sullen distant roar—and then the low, surging murmurs announced that the greatest danger had overblown, and that the hurricane was winding its tortuous pathway through the forests many miles away to the right.

Gradually the devastations of the awful skies became mellowed down; the wheeling clouds began to dispart, and a gush of heavy drops came pattering from above. Moaning pitifully, the prostrate and bowed trees and undergrowth lifted their mangled boughs from the compressed state into which they had been forced—those which had survived the tempest, seemingly with a painful effort, regaining their upright and natural position.

Soon the heavy and dank air grew fresher; the wrathful clouds separated, and the moon once more gleamed forth in resplendent beauty and brightness. By degrees the gloom retired from the face of the heavens, the stars looked down gloriously from their sapphire thrones, and a silvery gush played amidst the swaying foliage, where the rain-drops glistened on their leaflet platforms like so many diamonds. Then the lucid milky-way, whose loveliness flushes the firmament, bent itself across the concave above, one broad flame of pure transparent white, as if some burning orb had fled along the sky with so swift a flight, that, for a moment, it had left its lustre in the vault of heaven. Gradually all was lulled into stillness, and nature became as one great solitude.

Awe-stricken and bewildered, David White remounted his quivering steed, and slowly wound his way along the ruin-covered road. One by one the appearances which told a near approach to his destination came into view; and finally he stood before the home of his childhood, which was now to be the scene of a great and heinous crime. Carefully hitching his horse in the dark shadows of some ancient oaks at the head of the lane, he softly opened the gate, and glided round the house until he stood at a little window which looked out from his mother’s chamber, and next the old stone chimney. For the night, she was absent at a distant neighbor’s, which circumstance, together with that of her having withdrawn a large amount of funds from the possession of the village minister, had induced the present visit.

But when he saw the shutter open, a thing wholly unexpected, it flashed through his mind that he was watched—that this was an allurement to ensnare him; so he shrunk back into the dense shadows of the maples, and glanced hurriedly around him. Satisfied with his investigation, he ventured to the window, and peered cautiously into the chamber, but seeing nothing to excite his fears, gently raised the sash, and leaped into the apartment. The moon shone so brightly that he had no occasion to strike a light, but its silver disc was fast verging toward the horizon, and warned him to haste, else be left to return in darkness. Fumbling in his coat-pocket, he at length produced a large bunch of keys, and stooping down, applied one to the heavy oaken chest beneath the window-sill. Fortunately it suited the lock; the bolt turned without difficulty, and he lifted the massive lid, which he upheld with one hand, while he rummaged the till with the other. At this moment a slight rustling reached his ears from the furthest corner of the apartment from the window.

“What the deuce is that?” exclaimed he, starting up from his kneeling posture, and turning anxiously in the direction whence the disturbance had proceeded, at the same time thoughtlessly relinquishing his grasp of the lid, which fell with a heavy crash upon the arm still resting beneath.

“Furies!” shouted he, writhing in agony, and releasing the bruised member from its painful position.

At these words a faint scream of terror issued from the bed which stood only a few feet distant. Mary White had been awakened by his outcry, and starting up in alarm, beheld a man standing by the window, which occasioned the involuntary exclamation that had just burst from her lips. She had sat up until quite late, every moment expecting the young lady who was to have been her companion for the night; and then the convulsions of the tempest had kept her wakeful, and prevented her retiring. The tedium of the hours becoming irksome, she had sauntered into her mother’s chamber, and opened the window to gaze out upon the lulling war of the elements; but growing wearied of this employment, and a drowsiness stealing over her, she had flung herself upon the bed, and almost immediately sunk into a refreshing slumber, from which the late disturbances in the apartment had just awakened her. The first impulse that entered her mind was to gain the door and escape, but her nature was one on which fear acts as a sudden paralysis. All power of volition deserted her; and she stood motionless as carved marble, with her eyes glaring, and her finger pointed toward the spot where was the object of her terrors.

“Who’s there? stand back!” burst from his lips in nervous agitation as the shriek rung out upon the air, and turning round, he rushed to the bedside, but started back; and there was the confusion of cowardice in his manner as he exclaimed, “You here, Mary! what in the world brought you into this room at such a time of night as this?”

“David White!” exclaimed she, shrinking back, when the moonlight fell upon his features, and she recognized the intruder.

“No one else, my pretty lass,” replied the vile man, becoming emboldened by the time and situation; and with a graceful bend of his fine form, he threw his arm around her waist, and attempted to press his lips to her cheek; but fear gave her an almost preternatural strength, and she thrust him forcibly from her.

“What! are you determined to fight shy?” said he, with a dark sneer, again advancing toward her.

“Off! off!—do you dare to lay that vile hand on me again?” and as he caught her arm, she struck him forcibly in the face with her clenched fist, and releasing his grasp, darted toward the door with the swiftness of the deer.

He sprung after her with arms outstretched, and his eyes on fire with fierce rage. His hand clutched the folds of her dress as she reached the door, and he jerked her toward himself with a violence that was almost stunning.

“Ha!” shouted he, inebriate with passion, as her pallid face turned to his, “is this your game? Take that, then!” and he plunged a glittering knife deeply into her bosom.

She clasped her hands convulsively, turned her eyes heavenward, and with a single groan, the utterance of the last mortal agony swelling in her soul, sunk, pale and quivering, slowly to the floor. Then a deep stillness reigned around, broken only by the gurgling sound of the blood as it gushed from the deep wound near her heart, and gathered in a dark, clotted pool by her side.

“’Twas quickly done!” muttered he, in stifled tones of still unsubdued ferocity. “Let this finish it well!” and he made a random stab, which was followed by a spasmodic movement of the body; and drawing the blade from its fleshy sheath, he composedly wiped off the warm blood against the bed-clothes, and thrust it back into his bosom with a low, savage laugh.

He then crossed over to the chest, and cursing his carelessness, abstracted the money from its careful hiding-place, and quitted the scene of his exploit with hurried steps, passing out the front way, and flinging the door wide open as he departed. Within an hour and a half more he was at home. There all was silent and dreary, but he had no observation to fear. Striking a light, he carefully washed the blood from his hands, and disarraying himself of the cast-off clothing which he had assumed for the occasion, thrust them into the fire, and watched until the whole was entirely consumed. Having thus guarded against direct evidence, he made some artful dispositions of negative disproof, that he might be provided with full armor against all suspicions; and then retiring to his homely bed with a feelingless heart, and unmurmuring conscience, he slept soon and deeply.



    “Alas! for earthly joy, and hope, and love,

      Thus stricken down, e’en in their holiest hour!

    What deep, heart-wringing anguish must they prove,

      Who live to weep the blasted tree or flower.

    Oh, wo! deep wo to earthly love’s fond trust,

      When all it once has worshiped lies in dust!”


Time glided on—days dawned and waned—weeks came and went—soon months were numbered with the ruins of the past, and when the old year, with sober meekness, took up his bright inheritance of luscious fruits, a pomp and pageant filled the splendid scene. The yellow maize and golden sheaves stood up in the fields, and the fading meadow, like a crushed flower, gave out a dying fragrance to the fresh, cool winds, that, sporting playfully amongst the tree-tops, swept downward from their high communion, and stooped to dally with its sweet decay. Then the apple-boughs were heavily laden with crimson fruit, peeping like roses from their garniture of woven foliage; the purple grape-clusters dotted the creeping vine, half transparent in their tempting lusciousness; the red cherries seemed, in the distance, like the burning brilliancy of a summer sunset struggling through the branches and tangled leaves that intervened; and the downy peach peered provokingly from amongst the sheltering green, where, all the summer long, it had stolen the first blush of saffron-vested Aurora, when seraph hands unbar the gates of morning, and the last ray of golden light that paused at the flame-wrought portals of expiring day to look reluctant back. Another change came over the face of nature, and delicate-footed spring seemed to have come again with her lap full of leaves and blossoms. The trees cast aside their long-worn garniture of green, and flaunted proudly in gorgeous robes of gold and crimson. The blushing rose once more sought the thorny stem that had slept so long desolate; and the changeful-hued touch-me-not looked up smilingly from the pallid grass, where nestled thousands of purple violets peeping out timidly from their shady nooks; and the waning year smiled—smiled as smiles the dying man, when the life-blood quickens in his veins, for almost the last time to linger on the cheek and lip, brighten in the eye, and give a joyous swell to the heart that lies in ruins. The gorgeous pageant went by, and the trees put on their robes of mourning—anon, tossed their huge branches to the sky, leafless and desolate, save where the ivy, creeping gracefully up the twisted trunk, or the sacred mistletoe, luxuriant on the dying bough, wore a fadeless green amidst the desolations that surrounded them. The clear, unsullied sky assumed a deeper, peculiar blue; the night reigned with a clearer, intenser brilliancy, and the thronging stars beamed with an almost unnatural brightness; the cold, hurrying winds awoke from their sluggishness, and took their way over hill and meadow with a dismal tone, like the midnight howl that comes to the ear of the dying with hideous tales of the noisome grave; and the fleecy mass of trooping clouds, driving wildly before every ice-winged impulse of the wintry storm, seemed like sheets of floating snow dotting the vast cerulean. Still another change—the earth was clad in a robe of spotless ermine, and the gray dawn opened her pale eye on iciness and desolation; men hurried to and fro as nature were a plague, and they its victims; the sparkling, tripping, garrulous brooks, whose sweet voices had so long gone up like a spirit’s on the air, now sped their way with a faint and death-like gurgle; the laurel, pine, and cedar, disdaining to be poor pensioners on the bounties of a gushing sunshine, or, with a cringing obsequiousness, to yield conformity to the golden mutations of a passing hour, expanded their foliage of living green, unchanged amidst the bleakest ruins of winter, while the stern-browed year, old, wrinkled, and hoary, drew nearer and nearer his death-time. Ere long spring came. As the grim darkness flees before the many-tinted dawn, until at last she stands blushing upon the eastern horizon in perfect beauty, so fled the stern winter before the radiant footsteps of this flower-goddess. At her approach the wooing south-winds swept downward from their sky-built thrones, and stooping to the hill-tops, laid their soft fingers on the expanding buds, stealing a fragrance, and whispering their heaven-taught melody amongst the gnarled old branches; then crept stealthily into the valleys below, and drinking in their rich gush of pleasant sounds, glided back exulting to their high communion. The merry-voiced waters, freed from their icy fetters, and sparkling like a sheet of silver sheen, went dancing and leaping on—on with a winged impetuosity to their ocean home. Anon, the yellow violets shook off their winter slumbers, and opened their smiling cups to the arrowy sunshine; then came a wealth of painted flowers, and soon the life-breathing spring had attained its zenith. A thousand glad voices rose and swelled amid the forest’s leaf-wrought canopy; its breezes were awake with spicy odors, and the bird warbled as life were new, and this creation’s morn. In the orchards, the peach-trees were glorious with pink blossoms, sprinkling the tall, waving grass with rosy flakes at every gush of the wooing zephyr, which, laden with sweetness, swept sighing across the meadows.

Anon, a spring sunset came on. The lurid disc of the sun wheeled slowly down to the western horizon. Pile on pile of clouds, heaped up in gorgeous magnificence, varying from red to purple, and from purple to gold, gathered fantastically in the sky—now like a molten ocean with uplifting rocks, and then like toppling steeps whose summits reached the stars. Gradually the day went down behind the everlasting hills, and the brilliant hues insensibly died away through all the variations of the many-tinted rainbow, until only a faint golden mellowness suffused the western sky, slowly fading into a deep azure as it approached the zenith. At length twilight, twin sister to the cold, gray dawn, shrouded the heavens in misty dimness. Universal silence seemed to pervade the whole face of nature. The voice of the feathered songsters was hushed in the grove, and the breeze, which all day long had refreshed the deep woods with its joyous ministrations, lulled into stillness, as if its kind office were now completed. Then the brighter stars came out, one by one, and assumed their sapphire thrones in the vaulted cerulean, and the round, bright front of the full moon floated over the eastern mountains, whose dark umbrage glowed with the silver glories of the thronging night—the night whose morrow had but its dawn for David White, the condemned felon. Ten long, weary months had come and passed away with their pomp and mutation, finding and leaving him within a prison’s walls; and now, the lapse of a few short, rapid hours would behold a tenement in ruins, and a soul set free. Another day-break, and he would know the untried and unimaginable realities of a shoreless eternity, from whose everlasting portals men have so often shrunk back appalled. Oh, what a bewildering rush of thoughts crowded upon his mind. He stood by the prison-window, through whose iron bars came trooping the silent moonbeams, lighting up his countenance, ghastly and contracted with anguish, then flashing along the darkness, rested upon the floor in mellow radiance. At the farthermost verge of the western horizon, just where the gray outlines of the mountains stood forth like shadows against the deep blue of the sky, huge masses of clouds piled themselves up into strange and fantastic forms, indistinct and dark, from whose bright centre, ever and anon, leaped the fierce lightning, like the tongues of a thousand adders forked in flame, and boomed the loud thunder as the din of a far-off battle. While he gazed, old memories thronged from the past; the fount of tears sent up its gushing libations, and he buried his face in his hands, and strove to pray. Oh, how sorrow, and suffering, and solitude, and the certainty of a near death bow the strong spirit! It may have become darkened by fierce and unruly passions; grown callous and crime-stained amidst the roll of years, and almost destitute of a single virtuous impulse, yet, for a time, under such circumstances, a softness will gather about the heart; a thousand little harps, untuned before, quiver with a rich gush of melody, and the angel in our nature spring up and assert its influence. But no one, in whom the mind has not been crushed or debilitated by the decay of the body, has stood upon time’s furthest brink in perfect consciousness, as David White did at that moment, without thinking with an aching intenseness on the dread hour when life must end; and as he leaned his head against the iron bars of the narrow lattice, the balmy breeze laying its cool hands upon his feverish brow, and the soft moonlight playing upon his wan features like the kiss of a tender bride, his soul was wrought with a stern agony, and his frame with a shudder—for dark thoughts and sad images of death and eternity came thronging—for no Jesus was there to light the breathless darkness of the grave—no Hope stood by to point exultant to a sinless heaven!—for him, futurity was a dark and impenetrable gulf, without a wanderer or a voice.

Suddenly he started. An overpowering, yet unutterable awe crept over him—a fearful but undefined sensation—a presentiment that something terrible was about to happen. He strove to shake it off, but could not—like an icy thrill it ran, slow and curdling, through his veins. A low rustling, as of silken drapery, struck upon his ear. He turned to know the cause, and leaned eagerly forward. A shriek, wild and agonizing, burst from his pallid lips; his hair stood upright, and his arms fell nerveless to his side—his blood ebbed back upon the heart, returned with tenfold violence throughout his system, seemed to thicken, and then stagnate; his pulses bounded, staggered and ceased; cold moisture bathed his wan forehead, and his whole frame appeared stiffening with the death-chill. A few feet distant, by a window the very counterpart of the one near which he stood, loomed forth a shape—a substance, yet it cast no shadow—the moonlight shone through it, resting on the floor like slightly tarnished silver. He looked on speechless and motionless; his whole soul concentrated into an intense and aching gaze. At first, it floated before his fixed and dilating vision, indistinct and mist-like; but, as he gazed, it assumed the outline of a human form—then the features of Mary White, the foster-sister whom he had murdered. The apparition grew still plainer. The ghastly countenance; the fallen lip; the sightless eye, dull and open with a vacant stare; the deep, solemn, mysterious repose which ever accompanies the aspect of death; the deep wound near the heart, from which gushed life’s crimson torrent, falling at her feet without a sound—each—all, for one short, passing, fearful, agonizing moment, trembled into terrible distinctness. Then she lifted an arm reeking with blood, and pointing through the window at a new-made gibbet and its dangling rope, smiled a faint and sickly smile, and vanished as a dying spark. The trance passed from his spirit, and nature recommenced her operations like the clanking of a vast machinery. Yet his eye, as if it could not recover from its vision of terror, remained glaring upon the spot where the spectre had been; and it was not until several minutes had elapsed that the sharp agony which had contracted his features died away. He sprung forward with a wild cry, but the echo alone replied. No voice but his own awoke the awful stillness, pulseless it reigned around him. The stars glittered as brightly, the moon shone as gloriously, and, as he held his breath, the faint and confused murmur of the distant water-fall, and the caroling of the night-wind in the gnarled old forest, almost seeming to be a part of the silence, came up through the window to his ear as distinctly and steadily as ever—every thing belied the scene he had just witnessed. Was it a dream? He grasped his arm until it pained him—he was awake—there was no change—all appeared as it had been. He attempted to shake the iron bars of the lattice—they were firm in their sockets. He groped his way to the other side of the room, passed his hands along the walls—nothing but darkness was there. He stood where first he had stood when he beheld the apparition—the unearthly visitant was there no longer. He bent forward, and strained an aching gaze—in vain; nothing underwent a change. Then he felt that he had seen the dead—the murdered. His mind recoiled upon itself, and the very marrow in his bones crept at the thought. He flung himself upon his pallet, and for the hundredth time strove to sleep. Black despair had eaten down into his very heart’s core, and remorse, like an old vulture, gnawed at his vitals; yet for a few brief, agonizing moments he slept, but only as the fiends of hell might be supposed to sleep. A dream, a series of change and torture, bewildering and terrible, came, like a blight, over his spirit.

Now he felt the cold hand of death upon his brow, and his whole body seemed to be encompassed in a mass of ice. His blood waxed thick in its courses; his heart staggered, fluttered, gave one agonizing throb, and for a moment ceased to pulsate; cold dews gathered on his brow, and a stinging sensation pervaded his whole system; his eyelids trembled, and the balls rolled, gave out a dying lustre, glazed, grew fixed and sightless in their sockets—then came the last convulsive and impotent contest with the King of Terrors—the groan, the gasping breath, the half-uttered words upon the quivering lip—the death-rattle, the soulless face, and the pulseless silence. He recovered. Above him was a sky of livid flame, upon whose high zenith dread darkness sat enthroned. Around him spread a shoreless ocean of molten fire. No wave agitated its placid bosom—no sound—no wind breathed over its fearful stillness. A lone rock, cold, barren, and dismal, yet like an oasis in a desert, lifted its gray summit from the sluggish surface. Upon this he stood, rigid and motionless, like a marble statue on its pedestal; and, ever and ever, around and above him, rushed to and fro shadowy forms, upon whose countenances was engraven unutterable anguish. Suddenly, over the vast and dreary profound, went the low, deep, muffled tolling of a bell, bursting on the red air like the knell of hope, peace, and mercy, lost forever to another soul. As it ceased, the boundless sea of ebbless and unextinguishable flame, that glowed with a lurid but intolerable light at his feet, began to uplift in one mighty and unbroken mass. Slowly—slowly it rose up—up—up, until the liquid fire was frothing, and the sky and ocean seemed to blend—then flowed back, returned, and closed hissing around him. A groan, deep, intense, and fearful, bubbled up in a gush of blood, and echoed in the distance like fiendish laughter. Higher and higher rose the living flames. They were about to close over him—his head sunk upon his bosom, and a voice—the voice of her whom he had murdered, shrieked in his ear—“The Ocean of Remorse!”

     “A change came o’er the spirit of his dream.”

He stood upon the narrow verge of an awful precipice. Night, black, rayless night, enshrouded the yawning gulf below, save that, ever and anon, hideous and fleshless forms—skeletons wrought in lurid and undying flame—strode to and fro within the thick panoply of gloom; while, at intervals, howls of despair came up from its midst, like howls from the lips of the damned in hell. With a thrill of horror, he turned hurriedly from the scene, and cast his despairing eyes heavenward. In the centre of a massive cloud, burning with the brilliancy of a summer sunset, appeared a vast city, with domes and palaces of pearl and ruby, and whose gates were gates of burnished gold. As he gazed, they were flung open on silent hinges, and a host, clothed in spotless white, entered their portals, welcomed with swelling anthems and seraphic songs. Then the toppling precipice began to reel and stagger beneath his feet—a fierce bright flame burst from amidst the night below, more brilliant than the sun’s intensest ray. It drank up the darkness, and filled the gulf with liquid fire. It flashed through his eye-balls like a glance of lightning. He felt his foothold totter on the eve of its awful rush of destruction, and turned to flee, but started aside with a wild cry. The same voice was in his ear, and it shrieked in exulting tones—“The Murderer’s Doom!”

But where was the mother during these fearful and agonizing moments! Had she forgotten the son that once nestled on her bosom? Had she forsaken the child she bore, now that the dark hour of adversity had come? Ah! no. It is not a mother’s nature to forget or to forsake! Though crime and infamy enshroud his name; though base heartlessness and vile ingratitude shut-to the portals of his soul; though he fling off the hoarded wealth of her affections as the oak the clinging ivy when the storm comes, yet the mother will love—must love—it is the thirst of her immortal nature. No, no! Widow White had not forgotten, neither had she forsaken her son. Villain as he was, and stained with the blood of her foster-child, her heart warmed toward him—the mother was the mother still! Though absent, her mind was racked with agony—stern agony. For hours had she paced up and down her dim-lit chamber, her hands folded across her breast, and her eyes fixed upon the floor—thought and feeling were busy. To the casual observer her features exhibited scarcely an evidence of internal emotion; but the arched lip, bloodless with pressure, and the swollen veins upon her high forehead betokened how severe was the struggle going on within. There are some persons who can stand by the bedside of a dying relative, and, with an almost unruffled countenance, behold him stiffened in the cold arms of death—who can look upon the corpse for the last time, follow it to the grave, and see it laid beneath the heavy sod with so little apparent concern, that the beholder considers him heartless; but draw aside the curtain which separates the inner from the outer being, and the features of the spirit are seen to be distorted with anguish. To this class of individuals belonged Widow White. Oh, how she felt as she trod to and fro within that dim-lit room! Her son—her only son, in the endearing playfulness of whose infantile smiles she had so often exulted; upon whose boyish accents she had so frequently hung with transport, and for whom she had pictured out such a bright and glorious future, was a condemned felon, and the morrow would open its great eye upon him for the last time. The lapse of another day!—and that son, so cherished, and so fondly loved, would fill a murderer’s grave, and she would look upon his face no more. She knew that it was appointed for all to “pass through the dark valley of the shadow of death,” but what a horrible, detestable, and ignominious death was his! Could it be true? Was he—her son, in the prime of manhood and enjoyment—the life-blood coursing freely and strongly throughout his system—unshattered by disease—to die—to be a sport for the winds—to hang—ay—ay—to hang!—to be cut down—to be thrust into the coffin, blackened, distorted, and hideous, the rope still around his neck—to be laid in the ground with infamy around his name—to rot—to be a banquet for the worms? Horror of horrors! She would not believe it! Surely it was a dream!

Thus that agony-fraught night lapsed away, and the morning, which, from the birth of creation, has never failed, dawned once more—dawned as it ever dawns, bright, glorious, and magnificent, bearing the impress of a mighty God. That morning witnessed a terrible—a horrible scene. Another human being took his exit from the transitory splendors of this decaying world, and entered upon the untried and unimaginable realities of a futurity, whose secrets none can ever know until the silver chord is loosened, and the golden bowl is broken. Upon what state of existence David White entered when eternity closed its everlasting portals, and the enfranchised spirit went up to the Eternal Judge, it is not for me to say. God is just, and whatever was apportioned, it was good and right. Let it suffice to know, that, be his doom what it may, it is irrevocable—sealed forever.

From that eventful day, Widow White became thinner and paler, and the expression of her countenance was that of a strong heart in ruins, and with its energies prostrated. Three weeks went by, and she, too, was gone. They carried her out from the desolate homestead, and laid her cold remains beneath the grassy sod, where neither the war of the elements, nor of human passions could ever disturb her more. Since then many years have lapsed away into the dim and shadowy past, and now, a sunken grave alone marks the last resting-place of Widow White—the victim of a broken heart, and of her own injudicious education of a son in his infancy and boyhood.





    Alas, the romances! the beautiful fancies!

      We fling round our thoughts of a poet;

    How can we believe that the web which we weave

      Has no solid basis below it?


    Youth, beauty and grace—a soul-speaking face,

      And eyes full of genius and fire;

    The softest dark hair, with a curl here and there;

      All this, without fail, we require.


    A warm feeling heart, affectation or art

      Unknown to its deepest recesses;

    A brow fair and high, where her thoughts open lie

      To him who admiringly gazes.


    But let this bright thought, this idol, be brought

      To nearer and closer inspection—

    Alas! ’tis a dream! ’tis a straying sunbeam,

      Of far more than human perfection.


    Then turn for awhile from the heavenly smile

      That haunts thy fond fancy, young dreamer;

    Turn from the ideal to gaze on the real,

      And see if she be what you deem her.


    She is young, it is true, her eyes dark and blue,

      But sadly deficient in lustre,

    While often is seen in one hand a pen,

      In the other a mop or a duster.


    Her hair, of a shade inclining to red,

      Is tied up and carefully braided;

    And the forehead below (not as white the snow)

      By no drooping ringlet is shaded.


    Her little hands write, but they’re not always white,

      With marks of good usage they’re speckled,

    While the face, once so fair, has been kissed by the air,

      Until ’tis considerably freckled.


    She has her full part of a true woman’s art,

      Her share of a woman’s warm feeling!

    She knows what to hide, with a true woman’s pride,

      When the world would but scorn the revealing.


    This earth is no place fancy beauties to trace,

      Or seek for perfection uncertain;

    Then why mourn our fate, when sooner or late,

      Reality peeps through the curtain.


    But if we must cling to the form lingering

      And cherished within us so dearly,

    We must gaze from afar, as upon some bright star,

      And never approach it more nearly.





    We all love the music of sky, earth and sea—

    The chirp of the cricket—the hum of the bee—

    The wind-harp that swings from the bough of the tree—

      The reed of the rude shepherd boy:

    All love the bird-carols when day has begun,

    When rock-fountains gush into song as they run,

    When the stars of the morn sing their hymns to the sun,

      And hills clap their hands in their joy.


    All love the invisible lutes of the air—

    The chords that vibrate to the hands of the fair—

    Whose minstrelsy brightens the midnight of care,

      And steals to the heart like a dove:

    But even in melody there is a choice,

    And, though we in all her sweet numbers rejoice,

    There’s none thrills the soul like the tones of the voice,

      When breathed by the beings we love.


[WRITTEN IN 1826.]




    Bright glancing in the sun’s last rays,

      The Fairy City rose to view:

    It seemed to “swim in air”—a blaze

      Of parting glory round she threw.


    Midst silent halls and mouldering towers,

      And trophies fallen from side to side,

    Awe-struck, I saw a few brief hours,

      The grave of Venice’ ruined pride.


    Light from her native surge she sprung,

      The Venus of the Adrian wave;

    And o’er the admiring nations flung

      The spell of “Beautiful and Brave


    Her Winged Lion’s terror shook

      The Sultan’s throne:—o’er prostrate piles,

    “Breaker of Chains,” she proudly spoke

      Her mandate to a hundred isles.


    Astonished Europe saw that hour

      Her blind old chieftain guide her wars,

    And twice, in one brief season, pour

      Her fury on Byzantium’s towers!


    Saw when in Mark’s proud porch,

      Abased in dust the eastern crown was laid.

    And when, with frantic pride, she placed

      Her foot on Barbarosa’s head!


    Gone, like a dream! wealth, pomp and power!

      And Learning’s toils, so nobly urged!

    Doomed ’neath a tyrant’s lash to cower,

      She gnaws the chain she once had forged.


    And still that tyrant bids to stand,

      In mockery of her former state,

    Those emblems of her wide command,

      The three tall Masts where glory sate:


    And high upreared on column proud,

      And glancing to the wide-spread sea,

    Her Winged Lion stands, aloud

      To tell a nation’s infamy!


    Oh, how unlike the day, when round

      Those Masts and ’neath that Lion’s wings,

    Exulting thousands thronged the ground,

      And spoke the fate of distant kings.


    When brightly in the morning beam

      Her galleys, ranged in stern array,

    Impatient stood, till Pontiffs came

      To bless the parting warrior’s way.


    They go beneath the drum’s long roll,

      The cymbal’s clang, the trumpet’s breath;

    While Beauty’s glances fire the soul,

      And Honor smooths the road to death.


    Tread now that court! The unbended sail

      Flaps idly in the passing wind;

    And dark below, each dull canal

      Is stagnant as its owner’s mind!


    Yet here, how many a burning soul

      Has poured at moonlit eve the song,

    While conscious Beauty, panting, stole

      To hear the strain her praise prolong!


    Hark to that shout! Her nobles come,

      In many a galley ranged, and gay

    With waving flag and nodding plume,

      To grace fair Venice’ bridal day.


    See! on the foremost prow, a king

      In form—eye—soul!—again

    The exulting Doge has cast the ring

      That weds him to the Adrian Main!


    Mark now that wretch with downcast eye,

      And abject mien, once free, once brave!

    It is the People’s Doge! and he

      Is now an Austrian tyrant’s slave.[4]


    And she, the Beautiful One, lies

      Fallen to earth; while by her side

    Moulder her towers and palaces,

      The grave of Venice’ ruined pride!

I have here used the license, in order to carry out the contrast, of supposing that the Office of Doge, like most of the institutions of Venice, is preserved by the Austrian government; though I believe it has been abolished.


    Thou reign’st supreme, love, in my heart,

      O’er every secret thought;

    Thou canst not find the smallest part

      Where thou abidest not.

    All blest emotions, every sense

      Are consecrate to thee;

    Would that affection so intense,

      But filled thy heart for me!


    Thou reign’st supreme, love, eyes that burn

      With the soul’s restless fire,

    Their liquid glances on me turn,

      Yet no fond thoughts inspire.

    E’en in that hour for thee I long,

      Like a wild bird set free;

    Ah! would that love so true and strong

      But filled thy heart for me!


    Thou reign’st supreme, love, while I live

      Thine shall be every breath;

    And be thou near me to receive

      My last fond sighs in death;

    Thus to expire were joy, were bliss,

      May such my portion be!

    Oh! would that love as deep as this,

      But filled thy heart for me!

C. E. T.






For naught its power to Strength can teach

  Like Emulation—and Endeavor.


(Concluded from page 292.)



How vexatious is delay of any kind when one’s mind is prepared for a journey, “made up to go,” as a good aunt used to say. Mary grew anxious and almost impatient as April passed and found her still an inhabitant of the city of looms and spindles. The more so, that spring was the favorite season, and she longed to watch its coming in the haunts of her childhood; and in the busy, bustling atmosphere by which she was surrounded, none gave heed to the steps of “the light-footed maiden,” save that our heroine’s companions availed themselves of the balmier air to dress more gayly. In our larger cities the ladies are the only spring blossoms. It is they who tell us by bright tints and fabrics, that the time has come when nature puts on her gay appareling; yet it is in vain that they imitate the lilies of the field, there is a grace, a delicacy in those frail blossoms, that art never can rival.

Mary had so longed for the winter to pass, she had even counted the days that must intervene before she could hope to see her mother, and all the dear ones at home. The little gifts she had prepared for them were looked over again and again; and each time some trifle had been added until she almost began to fear she was growing extravagant. But she worked cheerfully, and most industriously, through the pleasant days, and when evening came, she would dream, in the solitude of her little room, of the meeting so soon to arrive.

“A letter for you, Mary—from home, I imagine,” said her gay friend, Lizzie Ellis, bursting into her room one bright May morning. “I called at the post-office for myself and found this, only. It’s too bad the people at home don’t think enough of their sister to write once a month; but I’m not sorry that your friends are more punctual. There’s good news for you, I hope, or you’ll be more mopish than ever.”

Mary’s lip quivered as she looked up. The instant the sheet was unfolded in her hand, she saw that it bore no common message. There was but a few lines written in a hurried, nervous manner; and as her eye glanced hastily over the page, she found that she was not mistaken.

“Poor little Sue is very ill,” said she, in reply to her friend’s anxious queries; “mother has written for me to come directly, or I may never see her again”—her tone grew indistinct as she ceased to speak; and leaning her face upon Lizzie’s shoulder, a burst of tears and choking sobs relieved her. Poor Sue—and poor Mary! It would not have been so hard could she have watched by her sister’s bedside and aided to soothe the pain and the fear of the dear little one who had from the time of her birth been Mary’s especial care.

Delay had before been vexatious, but it was now agony. The few hours that elapsed before she was on the way, were as weeks to Mary’s impatient spirit; and then the miles seemed so endless, the dreary road most solitary. The night was passed in sleepless tossing, and the afternoon of the second day found her scarcely able to control her restless agitation. She was then rapidly nearing home. Every thing had a familiar aspect; the farm-houses—the huge rocks that lifted their hoary heads by the road-side—the dark, deep woods—the village church—were in turn recognized. Then came the long ascent of the hill, which alone hid her home from view. Even that was at last accomplished, and she caught a glimpse of the dear old homestead, its rambling dark-brown walls, half-hidden by the clump of broad-leaved maples that clustered about it. Could it be reality, that she was once more so near all whom she loved? There was no deception; it was not the delusive phantom of a passing dream; her brother’s glad greeting was too earnest; her mother’s sobbed blessing too tender. After the hopes and plans of many weeks, even months, such was her “welcome home.”

“You are in time to see your sister once more,” said Mrs. Gordon, as she released Mary from a fond embrace; and a feeble voice from the adjoining room, a whisper, rather than a call, came softly to her ears.

“Dear Susie—my poor darling!” were all the spoken words, as she clasped the little sufferer in her arms. The child made no sound, not even a murmur of delight escaped her wan lips. She folded her thin, pale hands about her sister’s neck, and gently laying her head upon the bosom which had so often pillowed it, lay with her large spiritual eyes fixed upon those regarding her so tenderly, as if she feared a motion might cause the loved vision to vanish. Fast flowing tears fell silently upon her face, but she heeded them not; then came fierce pain, that distorted every feature, but still no moan, no sound.

“Speak to me, Susie, will you not!” whispered Mary, awed by the fixed, intense gaze of those mournful eyes.

“I knew you would come, sister, to see me once more before I go,” was the murmured reply. “I knew God would let me meet you here, before he takes me to be an angel in heaven. I am ready now, for I said good-by to mother and Jamie, and all, long ago. I only waited for you, dear Mary. Kiss me, won’t you—kiss me again, and call mother—I feel very strangely.”

Her mother bent over her, but she was not recognized; her father took one of those emaciated hands within his own, but it was cold, and gave back no pressure. Awe fell upon every heart in that hushed and stricken group; there was no struggle with the dark angel, for the silver chord was gently loosened. The calm gaze of those radiant eyes grew fixed, unchangeable—a faint flutter, and the heart’s quick pulsations forever ceased—wings had been given that balmy eve to a pure and guileless spirit.

Mary calmly laid the little form back upon the pillow. Her mother’s hand closed the already drooping lids; a sweet smile stole gently round the mouth, and its radiance dwelt upon the marble forehead.

“It is well with the child,” said the bereaved parent—and her husband bending beside the bed of death, prayed fervently, while the sobs of his remaining children fell upon his ears, that they might be also ready.

“Oh, mother, how can I bear this! how can you be so calm and resigned!” said Mary, as her mother sat down beside her in the twilight, and spoke of the sorrowful illness of their faded flower. “I had planned so much for Susie; I thought as much of her as of myself, and here are the books, and all these things that I thought would make her so happy; she did not even see them. Why was she taken away, so good, so loving as she always was?”

“And would you wish her back again, my child; has she not more cause to mourn for us, than we for her? Think—she has passed through the greatest suffering that mortal may know; she has entered upon a world the glory of which it ‘hath not entered into the heart of man to conceive of;’ and would you recall her to this scene of trial and temptation? Rather pray, dear Mary, that we may meet her again in her bright and glorious home. I, her mother, though mourning for my own loneliness and bereavement, thank God that my child is at rest.”

“If I could only feel as you do, mother; but I cannot. Poor Susie!” and Mary’s tears burst forth afresh.

She begged to be allowed to watch through the night beside the form of the lost one, even though she knew the spirit had departed. But her mother would not allow this—some young friends whom Mary could not greet that night, though she loved them very dearly, claimed the sad duty. And again, after a year of new and strange life, she found herself reposing in her own quiet room, with sighing trees, the voice of the brook, and the low cry of the solitary whippo-wil, to lull her to sweet sleep.

It was Sabbath morning, calm and holy. The bell of the little village church tolled sadly and reverentially, as the funeral train wound through the shaded lane. All the young people for miles around had gathered in the church-yard; and as the coffin was borne beneath the trees that waved over its entrance, they joined in the procession. It passed toward the place of worship, and for the last time the form of their little friend entered the sacred walls.

The simple coffin was placed in the broad central aisle, the choir sung a sweet yet mournful dirge; then the voice of music and of weeping was hushed, for the man of God communed, with faltering voice, with the Father in heaven, who had seen fit in his mercy to take this lamb to his bosom; and when the prayer was ended, and an earnest and impressive address was made to those who had been bereaved, and those who sympathized with them, the friends and playmates of the little one clustered about the coffin to take a farewell glance of those lifeless yet beautiful features.

The pure folds of the snowy shroud were gathered about the throat, and upon it were crossed the slender hands, in which rested a fading sprig of white violets, placed there by some friend, as a fit emblem of the sleeper. Her sunny curls were smoothly bound back beneath the cap, and its border of transparent lace, threw a slight shadow upon the deeply-fringed lids that were never more to be stirred. Oh! the exceeding beauty and holiness of that childish face, in its perfect repose! None shuddered as they gazed; the horror of death had departed; but tears came to the eyes of many, as they bent down to kiss that pure forehead for the last time.

Aye, “the last time!” for the lid was closed as the congregation passed, one by one, once more into the church-yard, shutting out the light of day from that still, pale face forever. The mother gazed no more upon her child—brother and sister must henceforth dwell upon her loveliness but in memory—the father wept—and man’s tears are scalding drops of agony.

Many lingered until the simple rites were ended, and then turned away under the shade of sombre pines, to think of the loneliness that must dwell in the hearts of those from whom such a treasure had been taken; and they, as they turned to a home that seemed almost desolate, tried in vain to subdue the bitterness of their anguish. They had seen her grave—and who that has stood beside the little mound of earth that covers the form of some one loved and lost—has forgotten the crushing agony that comes with the first full realization that all is over—that hope—prayer—lamentation—is of no avail, for the “grave giveth not up its dead until such a time as the mortal shall put on immortality.”

The dark hearse, with its nodding plumes, bears the rich man from his door, to a grave whose proud monument shall commemorate his life, be its deeds good or evil. Perhaps an almost endless train of costly equipages follow; and there are congregated many who seem to weep, but I question if in all that splendor there lingers half the love, or half the regret which was felt for the little one whose mournful burial we have recorded; or if the grave, with its richly wrought pile of sculptured marble, be as often visited, and wept over, as was the low, grassy mound marked only by a clambering rose-tree, whose pure petals, as they floated from their stems, were symbols of the life and death of the village favorite.

It was many days before the household of Deacon Gordon regained any thing like serenity; but the business of life must go on, come what may, and in the petty detail of domestic cares, the keenness of grief is worn away, and a mournful pleasure mingles with memories of the past. It was in this case as in all others; gradually it became less painful to see everywhere around traces of the child and the sister; they could talk of her with calmness, and recall the many pleasant little traits of character which she had even at so early an age exhibited. The robin that she had fed daily, came still at her brother’s call to peck daintily at the grain which he threw toward it. The pet kitten gamboled upon the sunny porch, or peered with curious face over the deep well, as if studying her own reflection, unconscious that the one who had so loved to watch her ceaseless play was gone forever. Even Mary could smile at its saucy ways; and though the memory of her sister was ever present, she could converse without shedding tears, of her gentleness and truth, thanking God she had been taken from evil to come.

Then she felt doubly attached to her mother. She was now the only daughter; and though Mrs. Gordon seemed perfectly resigned, and even cheerful, she knew that many lonely and solitary hours would come when Mary was once more away. And James had so much to tell, for he, too, was home for a few days of the spring vacation, the rest being passed in the poor student’s usual employment—school teaching. They would wander away in the pleasant afternoon to the depths of the cool green wood, and sit with the shadows playing about them, and the wind whispering mystic prophecies as it wandered by, recalling for each other the incidents of the past year, and speculating with the hopefulness of eager youth, on the dim and unknown future.

A new friend sometimes joined them in their woodland walks. The young pastor of the village church, who had sorrowed with them at their sister’s death, and who, having made Mary’s acquaintance in a time of deep affliction, felt more drawn toward her than if he had known her happy and cheerful for many years. Somehow they became less and less restrained in his presence, and at last James confided to him his hopes and prospects. Mary was not by when the disclosure was made, or she would have blushed at her brother’s enthusiastic praise of the unwavering self-denial which had led her away from home and friends, and made her youth a season “of toil and endeavor;” and she might have wondered why tears came to the eyes of their friend while he listened; and why he so earnestly besought James to improve to the utmost the advantages thus put before him. Allan Loring was alone in the world, and almost a stranger to the people of his charge, for he had been scarce a twelvemonth among them. Of a proud and somewhat haughty family, and prejudiced by education, he had in early youth looked upon labor of the hands as a kind of degradation; but the meek and humble faith which he taught, and which had chastened his spirit, made him now fully appreciate the loving and faithful heart, which Mary in every act exhibited, and he looked upon her with renewed interest when next they met.

Again the time drew near when Mary was to leave her home. A month had passed of mingled shadow and sunshine within those dear walls. It was hard to part with her mother, who seemed to cling more fondly than ever to her noble-minded daughter; her father and Stephen, each in their blunt, honest way, expressed their sorrow that the time of her departure was so near at hand; but still Mary did not waver in her determination, though a word from her mother would have changed the whole color of her plans. That mother saw that for her children’s sake it was best that they should part again for a season—and she stifled the wish to have them remain by her side. So Mary went forth into the world once more with a stronger and bolder spirit, to brave alike the sneers and the temptations which might there beset her pathway; with the blessings of her parents, the thanks of an idolized brother, and “a conscience void of offence,” she could but be calmly happy, even though surrounded by circumstances which often jarred upon her pure and delicate nature, and which would have crushed one less conscious of future peace and present rectitude.

Beside, Mr. Loring had seemed, she knew not why, to take a deep interest in all her movements. He had begged permission, at parting, to write to her occasionally; and his letters, full of friendly advice and inquiry, became a great and increasing source of pleasure. There was nothing in them that a kind brother might not have addressed to a young and gentle sister; and Mary’s replies were dictated in the same spirit of candor and esteem. So gradually her simple and child-like character was unfolded to her new friend, who encouraged all that was noble, and strove to check each lighter and vainer feeling which sprung up in her heart. At times she wondered why one so wise and so good should seem interested in her welfare; but gradually she ceased to wonder why he wrote, so that his letters did not fail to reach her. Still noisy and fatiguing labor claimed her daily care; but in the long quiet evenings she found time for study and reflection; thus becoming, even in that rude school, “a perfect woman, nobly planned.”




Are you fond of tableaux, dear readers? If so, let me finish my simple recital by placing before you two scenes in the life of our little heroine—something after the fashion of dissolving views.

Four years had passed since first we looked in upon that quiet country home. Four years of cheerful toil—of mingled trial—despondency and hope to those who then gathered around that blazing hearth. One, as we have seen, had been taken to a higher mansion—others had gone forth into the world, strong only in noble hearts, firm in the path of rectitude. We have witnessed the commencement of the struggle, followed in part its progress—and now let us look to its end. No, not the end—for life is ever a struggle—there may be a cessation of care for a season, but till the weary journey be accomplished, who shall say that all danger is passed.

It was the annual examination at one of our largest New England female schools. The pretty seminary-building gleamed through the clustering trees that lovingly encircled it, and its snowy pillars and porticoes—vine-wreathed by fairy-fingers—gave it an air of lightness and grace which village architecture rarely shows. Now the shaded path which led to its entrance was thronged, as group after group pressed upward. Carriages, from the simple “Rockaway” to equipages glittering with richly plated harness, and drawn by fiery, impatient steeds, stood thickly around. It was the festival-day of the village, and each cottage was filled to overflowing—for strangers from all parts of the Union were come to witness the debut of the sister, the daughter, or the friend.

Many were the bright eyes that scarcely closed in sleep the night preceding this eventful anniversary. There was so much to hope—so much to fear. “If I should fail,” was repeated again and again; and their hearts throbbed wildly as the signal-bell was heard, which called them to pass the dread ordeal. Such a display of beauty—genuine, unadorned beauty—rarely greets the eye of man. More than a hundred young girls, from timid fifteen to more assured one-and-twenty, robed in pure white, with tresses untortured by the prevailing mode, decorated only by wreaths of delicate wild flowers, or the rich coral berry of the ground-ivy, shaded by its own dark-green leaves. A simple sash bound each rounded form, and a knot of the same fastened the spotless dress about the throat. Then excitement flushed the cheeks which the mountain air had already tinged with the glow of health, and made bright eyes still brighter as they rested on familiar faces.

The exercises of the day went on, and yet those who listened and those who spoke did not weary. The young students had won all honor to themselves and their teachers; and as the shadows lengthened in the grove around them, but one class remained to be approved or censured.

“Now sister—there!” exclaimed a manly-looking Virginian, as the graduates came forward to the platform. “Who is that young lady at their head. I have tried all day to find some one that knew her, but she seems a stranger to all.”

“With her hair in one plain braid, and large, full eyes? Oh, that is Miss Gordon; she has the valedictory, though why, I’m sure I don’t know, for she has been in school but about a year, and Jenny Dowling, my room-mate, has gone through the whole course. Miss Gordon entered two years in advance. She was a factory girl, brother—just think of that; and worked in Lowell three or four years. Miss Harrison wished me to room with her this term—but not I; there is too much Howard spirit in me to associate with one no better than a servant-girl. Some of them seem to like her though; and as for the teachers, they are quite carried away with her. Miss Harrison had the impertinence to say to me only last week, that I would do well to take pattern by her. Not in dress, I hope—” and the young girl’s lip curled, as she contrasted her own richly embroidered robe with the simple muslin which Mary Gordon wore.

Clayton Howard had not attended to half that his sister said, for with low and earnest voice Mary had commenced reading the farewell address which she, as head of her class, had been chosen to prepare in its behalf; and his eyes were riveted on the timid but graceful girl. We have never spoken of our heroine’s personal attractions, choosing first to display if possible, the beauty of heart and character which her humble life exhibited. The young Southerner thought, as he eagerly listened, that the flattered and richly attired belle of the fashionable watering-place he had just left, was not half as worthy of the homage which she received, as was this lowly maiden. If beauty consists in regularity of features, Mary would have little in the eye of those who dwell upon outline alone; but there was a high intelligence beaming from her full, dark eyes, a sweet smile ever playing about the small exquisitely formed mouth, and a mass of soft, rich hair, smoothly braided back, added not a little to perfect the contour of her queenly head.

Her voice grew tremulous with deep feeling as she proceeded, her eyes were shaded by gathering tears, and when, in behalf of those who were about to leave this sheltered nook, she bade farewell to the companions whose love and sympathy had made their school days pleasant; the teachers who had been their friends as well as guides; scarce one in that crowded hall deemed it weakness to weep with those now parting. Never more could those cherished friends meet again; they were going forth, each on a separate mission, and though in after years, greetings might pass between them, the heart would be utterly changed. The unreserved confidence, the warm affection of girlhood passes forever away, when rude contact with the world has chilled trust and child-like faith. And they knew this, though it was felt more fully in after years.

But tears were dried, as the enthusiasm which lighted the face of the reader—as her topic turned to their future life—was communicated to those who listened. She spoke to her classmates of the duties which devolved on them as women; of the strength which they should gather in life’s sunshine, for the storm and the trial which would come. That their part in life was to shed a hallowed but unseen influence over its strife and discord—

        “Sitting by the fireside of the heart

        Feeding it flames.”

    “In that stillness which best becomes a woman,

     Calm and holy.”

And when she ceased, and the gathered crowd turned slowly from the threshold, many hearts—beating in proud and manly bosoms—felt stronger and purer for the words they had that hour listened to, from one who, young as she was, had learned to think, and to act, with a sound judgment, and bold independence in the cause of truth, which shamed them in their vacillation.

Young Howard was leaning behind a vine-wreathed pillar, to watch the one in whom he had that day become strangely interested. His heart beat fast as she approached his hiding-place, and then sunk within him, as he noted the warm blush which stole over her face, as two gentlemen, whom he had not before noticed, came to greet her.

“Dear sister,” said one, kissing her burning cheek, “have I not reason to be proud of you.”

The other, older by ten years than the first speaker, grasped the hand which she timidly extended to him, and whispered, “I, too, am proud of my future wife.”

Howard did not hear the words, but the look which accompanied that warm pressure of the hand did not escape him. It destroyed at once hopes, which he had not dreamed before were fast rising in his breast, and he turned almost sadly away from that happy group to join his sister.

“See,” said the young girl, as she took his arm, “there is Mr. Loring, one of the finest-looking men I know of, and belongs to as proud family as any in Boston, yet he is going to throw himself away on Mary Gordon. To be sure he is only a poor country clergyman, but he might do better if he chose, I’m sure.”

Her brother thought that was hardly possible, though he did not say so; neither did he add—lest he should vex his foolishly aristocratic sister—that but for Mr. Loring the chances were that she would be called upon, so far as his inclinations were concerned, to receive Miss Gordon not as a room-mate, but as a sister, before the year was ended.




A stranger would have asked the reason of the commotion in the village, though every one of its inhabitants, from highest to lowest, knew that it was the morning of their pastor’s bridal. None, not even the oldest and gravest of the community, wondered—or shook their heads in disapprobation of the choice. They had known Mary Gordon from her earliest childhood—they saw her now an earnest and thoughtful woman, with a heart to plan kind and charitable deeds, and a hand that did not pause in their execution. They knew, moreover, that for two years she had refused to take new vows upon herself because she felt that her mother needed her care; but now that health once more reigned in the good deacon’s dwelling, she was this day to become a wife, and leave her father’s roof, for a new home and more extended duty.

Again we look upon the village church, but it is no mournful procession that passes up its shaded aisles. There are white-robed maidens thronging around, and men with sun-burned faces. Children, too, scarce large enough to grasp the flowers which they tear from the shrubs that climb to the very windows of the sanctuary; and through the crowd comes the bridal train. Mary Gordon, leaning upon the arm of her betrothed, is more beautiful than ever, for a quiet dignity is now added to the grace that ever marked her footsteps; and he, in the pride of his manhood, looks with pride and tenderness upon her.

The deacon is there, with his heavy, good-natured face, lighted by an expression of profound content; and his wife is by his side, looking less calm and placid than usual, though she is very happy. It may be that she fears for her daughter’s future welfare, though that can scarcely be when the dearest wish of her heart is about to be fulfilled; or, perhaps, as her eye wanders from the gay group around her, it rests upon a little grassy mound not far away, and she is thinking of one who would have been the fairest and the best beloved of all.

Stephen seemed to feel a little out of place, as he stood there with a gay, laughter-loving maiden clinging to his arm; but the happiest of all, if we may judge from the exterior, was James; arrived but the night before, after an absence of nearly two years. He had just been admitted to the bar, and Mr. Hall, who was present at the examination, said it was rare to meet with a young man of so much promise, and knowing his untiring industry, he had little doubt of his success in after life. So James—now a manly-looking fellow of three-and-twenty—was, after the bride, the observed of all observers; and not a few of the bride’s white-robed attendants put on their most witching smile when he addressed them.

Despite of all the sunshine and festivity at a bridal, there is to me more of solemnity, almost sadness, in the scene than in any other we are called upon to witness, save that more mournful rite, when dust is returned to dust. There is a young and often thoughtless maiden, taking upon herself vows which but few understand, in the depth of their import, vows lasting as life, and on the full performance of them depends, in a great measure, the joy or misery of her future years. Then, too, in her trust and innocence, she does not dream that change can come, that the loved one will ever be less considerate, less tender, than at the present hour. True, she has been told that it may be so—but the thought is not harbored for an instant. “He never could speak coldly or unkindly to me,” she murmurs, as eyes beaming with deep affection meet her own. Then, too, the proud man that stands beside her, may be but taking that gentle flower to his bosom, to cast it aside when its perfume may have become less grateful—leaving it crushed and faded; or, worse still—and still more improbable, though it is sometimes so—there may be poison lurking in the seemingly pure blossom, that will sting and embitter his future life. Oh, that woman should ever prove false to the vow of her girlhood!

All these thoughts, I say, and many more scarcely less sorrowful, come to my mind when I look upon a bridal; and tears will start, unbidden it is true, when the faces of those around are radiant with smiles. But perhaps few have learned with me the truthful lesson of the poet—

     “Hope’s gayest wreaths are made of earthly flowers—

      Things that are made to fade, and fade away,

    Ere they have blossomed for a few short hours.”

How could I call up such a train of sombre thought when speaking of Mary Gordon’s marriage? None doubted her husband’s truth, her own deep devotion, as they crowded around when the simple rite was ended to congratulate them, and breathe a fervent wish that their joy might increase as the years of their life rolled onward. They went forth from that quiet church with new and strange feelings springing up, and as Mary looked upon the throng who still reiterated their friendly wishes, she felt an inward consciousness that God had blessed and sustained her through those years of trial and probation.

“Who would have thought that the deacon’s Mary would ever have grown up such a fine woman?” said Aunty Gould, as she wiped her spectacles upon the corner of her new gingham apron. “The deacon himself ain’t got much sperit in him, and as for Miss Gordon, I don’t believe she ever whipped one of them children in her life. She always let ’em have their own way a great deal too much to suit me. Jest think of her letting Mary go off to Lowell, in the midst of that city of iniquity, and stay three or four years, jest because James must be college larned. As if it warn’t as respectable to stay to home and be a farmer, as his father and his grandfather was before him. I haven’t much ’pinion of him, but Stephen Gordon is going to make the man. Steddy and industrious a’most as the deacon himself.”

So we see the differences of opinion which exist in the narrowest community; for Mrs. Hall, as she turned toward her own bright home, said to her husband that Mary Gordon was a pattern to the young girls now growing up in the village. But for her honest independence and hardihood in braving the opinion of the world, her family might have been living without education, and without refinement. Now she had won for herself the love of a noble heart—could see her brother successful through her efforts, and knew that their parents were happy in feeling that they were so. “She has been the sun of that household,” replied her husband, “and I doubt not will ever be the happiness of her own.”

They were sitting alone—the newly made husband and wife—on the eve of their marriage-day. They were in their home, which was henceforth to be the scene of all their love and labors. The last kind friend had gone, and for the first time that day they could feel the calm, unclouded serenity which the end of a long and often wearisome toil had brought.

The moonlight trembled through the shaded casement, and surrounded as with a halo the sweet, serious face that looked out upon the night; and far around, even to the rugged mountains that rose as sentinels over the green valley, earth and air were bathed in that pure and tender radiance. The flowering shrubs that twined about the little porch seemed to give forth a more delicious perfume than when scorched by the sun’s warm kiss. The neighboring orchards almost bending beneath the clusters of buds and blossoms that covered the green boughs, waved gently in the light breeze that showered the sunny petals as it passed upon the freshly springing grass beneath. The low cry of the whippo-wil came now and then from a far-off wood; save that, and the rustle of the vines clinging about the casement, no sound broke the sabbath-like repose. The church—scarce a stone’s throw from the little parsonage—stood boldly relieved by the dark trees which rose beside it; and not far away—not too far for them to see by day the loved forms of its inmates—they could distinguish the sloping roofs and brown walls of Mary’s early home.

The young bride turned from the scene without, and when she looked up into her husband’s face he saw that her eyes were filled with tears.

“Are you not happy, my Mary?” said he, as he drew her more closely to his bosom.

“Happy! oh, only too happy!” was the murmured response, as he kissed the tears away. “I was but thinking of my past life; how strange it seems that I should have been so prompted, so guided through all. Then, stranger than the rest that you should love one so humble, so ignorant as myself. I may tell you now—now that I am your own true wife, how your love has been the happiness of many years. Ere I dared to hope that your letters breathed more than a friendly interest—and believe me I would not indulge the thought for an instant until you had given me the right so to do—though the wish would for an instant flit across my mind—I knew that one less wise, less noble than yourself would never gain the deep affection of my heart. I almost felt that I could live through life without dearer ties, if so you would always watch my path with interest, awarding, as then, praise and blame.

“But, strange as it may seem, you did love me through all, deeply, devotedly. Oh, what is there in me to deserve such affection! and when I read those blessed words—‘I love you, Mary, have loved you from an early period of our correspondence,’ it seemed as if my heart were breaking with the excess of wild happiness which rushed like a flood upon it. How could you love me? what was there in me to create such an emotion?”

Allan Loring thought that the wife was far more beautiful than the maiden, as she stood encircled by his arms, gazing with deep earnestness, as if she would read his very soul.

“I cannot tell you all there is in you to love and admire,” said he, tenderly, “and, indeed, my little wife would blush too deeply at a recital of her own merits and graces. But this I now recall, that the first emotion of deep interest which I felt for you, arose as I listened to your brother’s recital of your wonderful self-denial, and persevering effort for his sake. I saw, young as you were, the germ of a high and noble nature, best developed, believe me, in the rough and untoward circumstances by which you were surrounded. I wrote to you at first, thinking, perhaps, to aid you in the struggle for knowledge and truth; and as your mind and heart were laid open before me, how could I help loving the guileless sincerity which every act exhibited.

“I knew that the good sister, the affectionate child, could but make a true and gentle wife. So I thought myself fortunate, beyond my own hopes even, when I found you could grant me the only boon I asked, a deep and steadfast affection.”

What heart is there that would not have been satisfied with such praise; and who, witnessing the calm spirit of content which animated both the husband and the wife, could have prophesied evil as the result of such a union.

We might follow our heroine still farther—might show her to you as the companion and assistant in her husband’s labors of love, as he fulfilled the high mission to which he had been appointed—as the mother, training her little ones to usefulness and honor. But we will leave her now, assured that whatever storms may cloud the unshadowed morn of her wedded life—and all know that in this existence no home, however lofty or lowly, is exempt from suffering and trial—she bore a talisman to pass through all unscathed—strength, gained by patient endurance, and the knowledge of duties rightly performed.

It may be, dear lady—you who are now glancing idly over these pages—that you are surrounded by every luxury wealth can command. You are lounging, perhaps, upon a softly cushioned divan, with tiny, slippered feet half buried in the glowing carpet. There are brilliants blazing upon the delicate hand which shields your face from the warm sunlight, and as you glance around, a costly mirror reveals at full length your graceful and yielding form.

“I have no interest in such as these,” you say, as the simple narrative is ended.

I pray, in truth, that you may never learn the harsh lessons of adversity; but remember, as you enjoy the elegancies of a luxurious home, that change comes to all when least expected. And if misfortune should not spare even one so young and so beautiful; if poverty or desolation overshadow the household, it may be your part to sustain and to strengthen, not only by words, but by deeds. Well rewarded should I feel, if words from this pen could aid in removing one pang, could give a tithe of the strength of mind and heart such a lesson would call forth. God shield you, dear lady; but if the storm come, remember that honest labor elevates rather than degrades; and those whose opinions are of value will not hesitate to confirm the truth of the moral.





    A sister’s love I did not ask from thee,

      Though that were much—oh, more than earth hath given;

    None live to bear that gentle name for me,

      Though one may lisp it now, perchance, in Heaven.

    I know not even, for I never felt,

      The quiet yearnings of such love as this;

    Thou should’st have known a deeper feeling dwelt

      In the rapt glow of that impassioned kiss!


    “I had no wish a brother’s love to share”—

      I did not read thy features dreamingly,

    And peer into thine eye’s deep azure, there

      Searching another’s depths, in revery!

    I did not press, all passionless, thy hand

      Or idly dally with thy taper finger,

    Or coldly gaze, for I could not withstand

      The high and holy hope which bade me linger!


    I was not thinking of another then,

      In thy sweet face her features imaging,

    Tracing each thought-print o’er them—watching when

      Hope’s earnest breathings to my lips might spring;

    Nor this—nor fame—though her ascending star

      Might shed its glory in a halo o’er me;

    No thought like this, that moment, rose to mar

      The vision that in beauty stood before me!


    But it was marr’d, for even then the feeling

      Came o’er me, that thou never couldst be mine!

    And in the cloud of sadness, gently stealing

      Like a dim shadow o’er that brow of thine,

    I read my destiny. Oh! life can bring

      No darker doom—no wo that may inherit

    So much of bitterness—no rack to ring

      With deeper agony, my fainting spirit.


    To dwell, in thought, upon one image still,

      Till it becomes a portion of our being,

    Hath fix’d its features in the eye, until

      It hath become a part of sight—thus seeing,

    Even in tree, and rock, and rill, and flower,

      A form of borrow’d beauty, and a spell—

    A spirit of unspeakable heart—power—

      To move the waters in our soul’s deep well!


    Till every thought, that like a wavelet, breaks

      Upon the surface of life’s charmed pool,

    Circling instinctively, unbidden, takes

      Form, hue, direction, from that magic rule!

    What is it but the yearning of the soul

      Toward one allied to it by heavenly birth?

    And seeking to unite, blend, melt the whole

      Into one miracle of love on earth!


    Such have my feelings been—thy soul to mine

      Came robed in radiance of such heavenly hue,

    My spirit clasped it as a thing divine;

      And while I dreamed they into oneness grew,

    I suddenly awaked, to know that vision

      Had not appeared to any one but me!

    Why did I learn, waked from that dream elysian,

      A sister’s love was all I shared with thee!





There was no inhabitant of all the East more favored by nature and by fortune than Adakar, son of Benhadad, of the famous city of Damascus, which Musselmen call the Paradise of the earth. He was young, rich, and beautiful; and being early left without parents, had run the race of sensual pleasures by the time his beard was grown. He became sated with enjoyment, and now passed much of his time in a spacious garden which belonged to him, through which the little river Barady, which flows from Mount Hermon, meandered among beds of flowers, and groves of oranges, pomegranates, and citrons, whose mingled odors perfumed the surrounding air.

Here he would recline on a sofa in listless apathy, or peevish discontent, sometimes half dozing, and, at others, inwardly complaining of the lot of man, which seemed to have ordained that the possession of that wealth which it is said can purchase all which is necessary to human enjoyment, should yet be incapable of conferring happiness. He became the victim of spleen and disappointment; and as he watched the butterflies flitting gayly about among the groves and beds of many-colored flowers, sipping their sweets, without labor or satiety, he often wished that he was like them gifted with wings to cut the trackless regions of the air, and freed from all the miseries of disappointed hope, inflamed imagination, and memory, which too often brings with it nothing but the sting of remorse. By degrees he rendered himself still more miserable by envying the happiness of these gilded epicures, and it became the dearest wish of his heart to become a butterfly, that he might pass his life among the flowers, and banquet on their sweets like them.

One day as he sat buried in these contemplations, his attention was attracted by a butterfly more beautiful than any he had ever seen before. Its body was of imperial purple, glossy and soft as velvet; its eyes shone like the diamonds of Golconda; its wings were of the color of the deep blue skies of Damascus, sprinkled with glittering stars; its motions were swift and graceful beyond all others, and it seemed to revel in the bliss of the dewy roses and honeysuckles, with a zest which made Adakar only repine the more, that he had lost the capacity of enjoyment by abusing the bounties of fortune.

“Allah!” exclaimed he, “if I were only that butterfly!” At that moment the luxurious vagrant, in the midst of its careless sports, and voluptuous banquet, became entangled in a web woven by a great black spider, which sat with eager impatience waiting until it had wound itself into the toils by its fruitless exertions, that he might seize and devour his prey. The heart of Adakar melted with pity; starting up from the spot where he was reclining, he gently seized the little glittering captive and rescued it from the fangs of the spider, which at the same instant disappeared among the foliage of the orange trees.

Adakar sat down with the butterfly in his hand, and was contemplating its beautiful colors with increasing envy as well as admiration, when he thought he heard a low silvery whisper come from he knew not whither. He gazed around wistfully, but could see no tiny thing but the little captive in his hand, and was about setting it free, when another whisper, more distinct met his ear. “Adakar,” it seemed to say, “thou hast saved me from the jaws of a devouring monster. I am a fairy transformed for a time by the malice of a wicked enchanter, and fairies are never ungrateful. Ask what thou wilt and it shall be granted. Wealth thou hast already more than enough. Thou art in the enjoyment of youth, beauty and a distinguished name, for thou art descended from the Prophet, and wearest the green turban. Dost thou wish to be any thing more? If so thou hast only to ask and it shall be given thee.”

“Make me a butterfly like thee!” exclaimed Adakar with eager impetuosity; and at one and the same moment the butterfly disappeared, while he became transformed into its likeness.

At first his astonishment rendered him incapable of estimating the immediate consequences of the change, and he remained on the spot where it was accomplished, until seeing the great black spider cautiously emerging from his retreat and coming toward him, he spread his glittering wings, and mounting over the tops of the minarets of Damascus, at length settled down among the flowery meadows that environ the city. Here, for a time, he was delighted with his change of being, and eagerly enjoyed the freedom of thus roaming at will, and sipping the flowery banquet. But while he was thus solacing himself, a little boy, who had approached unseen, suddenly covered him with his cap, and he became a prisoner. The boy was however greatly puzzled to secure his prey, and while slipping his hand under the cap, raised it sufficiently to permit Adakar to escape.

From this time Adakar encountered unceasing perils from wanton boys, who sought the meadows to sport or gather flowers, and soon learned that his safety depended on perpetual watchfulness. If he lighted on a flower he felt his heart beating least some secret enemy was near, and the honeyed dew, sweet as it was, became embittered by the apprehension of being caught at the banquet. In short, he lived in continual terror, and soon learned from experience that a life of fear is one of unceasing misery. Every living thing that approached was an object of dismay, and at length Adakar, who, though transformed in appearance, was not divested of the consciousness of his identity, resolved to leave the haunts of men, for the purpose of seeking refuge in some unfrequented solitude, where he might repose in peace, enjoy his freedom and his flowers, and spread his gilded wings without the great drawback of perpetual apprehension.

Accordingly, he once more mounted high into the air, and spreading his silken wings directed his course toward Mount Horeb, at the foot of which lies the city of Damascus, in whose deep recesses he sought to escape from the dangers that beset him in the neighborhood of man. Here he sported among the flowers that nodded over the precipices which border the little river Barady, as it plunges its way through the gorges of the mountain.

“Here,” thought he, “I shall surely be safe, since the foot of man can never reach these inaccessible cliffs.” Scarcely, however, had the thought passed over his mind, when hearing a whistling noise in the air, he cast his eyes fearfully upward and perceived a bird darting toward him with such inconceivable swiftness, that he had scarcely time to shelter himself from its talons by crouching into a hole in the rock, where he remained throbbing with fear, not daring to look out to see whether his enemy was still on the watch.

“There is no safety for me here,” exclaimed Adakar, who at length gathered sufficient courage to look out from his retreat, and seeing the bird had disappeared, once more flitted away. He visited the recesses of the forest, the cultivated plains, and the solitudes of the desert, but wherever he went he found enemies watching to make him their prey, and his life was only one long series of that persecution which strength ever wages against unresisting weakness. “What,” thought he, “is the use of my wings, since they only enable me to encounter new dangers, and to what purpose do I sip the dews of the opening flowers, when death is every moment staring me in the face, and enemies beset me on every side? O, that I were a man again; I would willingly resign the unbounded freedom I enjoy, for that slavery which is accompanied by security.”

Thus he continued to become every day more discontented with his lot, until by degrees the autumn came, and the flowers withered and died. The frosts, too, began to shed their hoary lustre over the green fields that gradually changed their hue to that of melancholy brown, and Adakar became pinched with both hunger and cold. The brilliant colors of his body and wings faded, as if in sympathy with the waning beauties of nature; his strength and activity yielded to the approach of expiring weakness; he had provided neither food nor shelter against the coming winter; and once more death stared him in the face with an aspect more dreary and terrible than it had ever presented before. The bare earth afforded no shelter, and the withered fields no food. “O,” thought he, as he felt himself dying, “O, that the fairy would once more change me into a man!”

He had scarcely uttered these words when he found himself transformed according to his wish, and the fairy butterfly once more in his place.

“Adakar,” said she, in her whispering, silvery voice, “thou hast first played the butterfly as a man, and now as an insect. In both situations thou didst pursue the same course. As a man thou livedst only for the present moment, regardless of the consequences of reveling in perpetual sweets, without looking to the period when the frosts of age would chill thy imagination, and the ice of winter freeze up thy capacity for those enjoyments of sense which constituted thy sole happiness, if happiness it may be called. As a butterfly thou didst sport through the spring-time and summer without for a moment thinking of providing food and refuge against the wintry barrenness and wintry cold. Thou hast learned that the beings which live in air, sport among gardens, groves, and flowers, and traverse the climes of the earth at will, are not necessarily happier than man, since they live in perpetual fear. Be wiser in future. Be content with thy lot, assured that the only way to be happy in this and every other state of existence, is to use the blessings bestowed on us by a beneficent Providence with sober moderation, and share them among others with a chastened liberality. Thou hast been a benefactor to me, and I have repaid the obligation by enabling thee thus to learn wisdom from bitter experience. The lesson has been dearly bought, but is fully worth the price. Go, and be thankful that thou wast created a man instead of a butterfly.”

The fairy disappeared, and Adakar took his way toward Damascus, where his appearance caused great surprise, most especially to a hump-backed cousin, who had taken possession of his estate, after having convinced the bashaw of Damascus, by twelve purses of gold, that he was certainly dead. Adakar was obliged to appeal to the bashaw for the restoration of his property, but failed to establish his identity. He could only account for his absence by relating his transformation into a butterfly, of which the bashaw, being blinded to the truth by the glitter of gold, would not believe one word. He decreed the estate to the cousin, and consoled the other for his loss by inflicting the bastinado. Adakar passed several years as a water-carrier, until the benevolent fairy, finding that he had completed the circle of his experience by drinking at both extremes of the fountain, wrought a second transformation, by which Adakar became changed into the likeness of his cousin, and the latter into that of Adakar, who thus regained his estate at the expense of his beauty. He became a wise as well as a good man; and devoting himself to the study of philosophy, wrote a famous treatise, in which he clearly demonstrated that men were at least as well off in this world as butterflies.






When Columbus discovered the new world, he was in search of a western route to Cathay and India, whence he expected to bring back, if not treasures of gold and gems, intelligence of the wonderful land Marco Polo had described. It was not until long after the discovery of the continents of North and South America, that it was ascertained that a new region, broad as the Atlantic, lay between the ocean and the Indian Sea, as the Pacific was then called. So deep-rooted was this belief that the French colonists in Canada, long after they had begun to be formidable to their English and Hollandish neighbors, in spite of many disappointments, followed the tracery of the Ohio and Mississippi in the full confidence that this mighty current could end only in the Western Sea. They could not realize that nature in America had always acted on a grander scale than they were used to, and would have laughed, if told that not far above the mouth of the Ohio was another great artery which, by its tributaries, watered one valley, the superfices of which was larger than all Europe.

They, with their limited views, were the discoverers to Europe of the Ohio, which, in the language of the tribe that dwelt on the bank from which the white man first beheld it, signified Beautiful Water. This the French translated into their own language, and by the term of La Belle River it was long known in the histories of the Jesuit and Franciscan missions, which, until the land the Ohio watered became the property of the second North American race, were its only chronicles. Not until a later day did it become known to the English colonists, and then so slightly, that even in the reign of Charles II. authority was given to the English governor of Virginia, Sir William Berkeley, to create an hereditary order of knighthood, with high privileges and brilliant insignia, eligibility to which depended on the aspirant having crossed the Alleghany Ridge, and added something to the stock of intelligence of the region beyond, the title to all of which had been conferred by royal patent on the colony at Jamestown.

Possessed of Canada, with strongly defended positions at Fort Duquesne (Pittsburg) and Fort Chartres, near the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi, with the even then important city of New Orleans, the wily statesmen of the reign of Louis XIV. conceived the plan of enclosing the English colonies in a network of fortifications, and ultimately of controlling the continent. So cherished was this policy that treaties made in Europe between the crowns of France and England never extended their influence to America, and for almost a century continued a series of contests, during which Montcalm, de Levi, Wolf and Braddock distinguished themselves and died. The result is well known, Canada became English, the northern point d’appui of the system was lost, and the Ohio was no longer under their control. This prologue to the beautiful engraving of Cincinnati is given because, though Pittsburg and Louisville are important cities, Cincinnati is the undoubted queen of the river.

It was not, however, until the war of the Revolution that serious attention was generally directed to the Ohio, for the brilliant expedition of Clarke against Kaskaskia (which is almost unknown, though in difficulty and daring it far exceeded Arnold’s against Quebec,) was purely military. Immediately on the termination of the war, emigrants began to hurry to the Ohio, and by one of the hardiest of these, Cincinnati was commenced in 1789. By the gradual influx of population into the west Cincinnati throve, and soon became the chief city of the region.

For a long while Cincinnati was merely the depot of the Indians and fur trade, the most valuable of the products of which required to be transported across the mountains and through forests to the seaboard. At that time Cincinnati presented a strange appearance; the houses were of logs, and here and there through the broad streets its founders so providentially prepared, were seen the hunter, in his leathern jerkin, the Indian warrior in full paint, and the husbandman returning home from his labors. Almost from the establishment of the northwest territory Cincinnati had been the home of the governor; and it was the residence of St. Clair, long the only delegate in congress of the whole northwest—a wilderness then, but now teeming with three million of men, and sending to Washington thirty-four representatives.

Cincinnati was the point de depart of many of the expeditions against the Indians between the revolution and the war of 1812. When that war broke out it acquired new importance. Military men replaced the hunter and Indian, and every arrival brought a reinforcement of troops. From it Taylor and Croghan marched with Gen. Harrison northward, and to it the victorious army returned from the Thames. When peace returned, a new activity was infused into Cincinnati; the vast disbursements made by the government had attracted thither many adventurers. Then commenced the era of bateau navigation, and the advent of a peculiar race of men, of whom now no trace remains. Rude boats were built and freighted with produce, which descended the river to New Orleans, where the cargo was disposed of, and the boat itself broken up and sold. The crew, after a season of dissipation, returned homeward by land, through the country inhabited by the Chactas and Chickasas, and the yet wilder region infested by thieves and pirates. It was no uncommon thing for the boatmen never to return. Exposure to danger made them reckless; and they were often seen floating down the bosom of the stream, with the violin sounding merrily, but with their rifles loaded, and resting against the gunwales, ready to be used whenever an emergency arose. All the west even now rings with traditions of the daring of this race; and the traveler on the waters of the west often has pointed out to him the scene of their bloody contests and quarrels.

The era of steam began, and this state of things passed away. The mighty discovery of Fulton created yet more activity in the west; and a current of trade, second in importance to none on the continent, except, perhaps, those of New York and Philadelphia, sprung from it. As the States of Kentucky and Ohio began to fill up, the farmers and planters crowded to Cincinnati with their produce, and the character of the population changed. The day of the voyageur was gone, and lines of steamboats crowded its wharf. The peculiar character of the country around it, teeming with the sustenance for animals and grazing, made it the centre of a peculiar business which, unpoetical as it may seem, doubled every year, until in 1847 it amounted to more than the value of the cotton crop of the whole Atlantic frontier.

Other branches of industry also grew up. Ship-yards lined the banks of the river, and more than one stately vessel has first floated on the bosom of the Ohio, in front of Cincinnati, been freighted at its wharves, and sailed thence to the ocean, never again to return to the port of its construction.

Long before the reign of merchant princes began, stately churches, colleges, and commodious dwellings had arisen, and replaced the hut of the early settlers, so that Cincinnati, with the exception of Philadelphia, is become the most regular and beautiful city of the Union. The scene of the accumulation of large fortunes, cultivation has followed in their train, so that it is difficult for one who first visits it from the east to realize that he is seven hundred miles from the seaboard.

Fulton had by his discovery overcome the difficulties of communication, and opened a market for its immense products; but yet another discovery was to contribute to its prosperity. By means of the magnetic telegraph communication between the seaboard of the Atlantic and the lakes is more easy than between New York and Brooklyn, and with the whole west Cincinnati has acquired new importance. It can not but continue to advance and acquire yet more influence than now it has.





    Enchantress queen! whose empire of the heart

      With sovereign sway o’er sea and land extended,

    Whose peerless, haunting charms, and syren art,

      Won from the imperial Cæsar conquests splendid;

    Rome sent her thousands forth, and foreign powers,

      Poured in thy woman’s hand an empire’s treasures;

    Was Fate beside thee in those gorgeous hours

      When monarchs knelt, slaves to thy merest pleasures?

    When but a gesture of thy royal hand

    Was to the proud Triumvirs a command.


    O, bright Egyptian Queen! thy day is past

      With the young Cæsar—lo! the spell is broken

    That thy all-radiant beauty o’er him cast;

      His eye is cold—wo! for thy grief unspoken!

    Yet thy proud features wear a mask, which tells

      How true thou art to thy commanding nature:⁠—

    Once more, in all thy wild bewildering spells,

      Thou standest robed and crowned, imperial creature:

    Thy royal barge is on the sunny sea,

    Oh! sceptered queen—goest thou victoriously?


    But hark! a trumpet’s thrilling call “to arms!”

      O’er the soft sounds of lute and lyre ringeth.

    Doubt not thy matchless sovereignty of charms,

      But haste—the victor of Philippi bringeth

    His shielded warriors and lords renowned⁠—

      With spear and princely crest they come to meet thee,

    Arrayed for triumph, and with laurels crowned,

      How will their stern and haughty leader treat thee?

    He comes to conquer—lo! on bended knee

    The spell-bound Roman pleads, and yields to thee!


    Once more the world is thine. Exultingly

      Thy beautiful and stately head is lifted;

    He lives but in thy smile—proud Antony⁠—

      The crowned of empire—he, the grandly gifted.

    The spoils of nations at thy feet are laid⁠—

      The wealth of kingdoms for thy favor scattered:

    Oh! Syren of the Nile! thy love has made

      The royal Roman’s ruin! crowns were shattered

    And kingdoms lost. Fame, honor, glory, power,

    Were playthings given to grace thy triumph-hour.


    Another change!—the last for thee, doomed queen,

      Now calmly on thine ivory couch reclining⁠—

    The impassioned glow hath left thy marble mien⁠—

      And from thine night-black eyes hath past the shining.

    But still a queen! that brow, so icy cold,

      Its diadem of starry jewels beareth⁠—

    Robed in the royal purple, and the gold,

      No conqueror’s chain that form imperial beareth.

    To grace Death’s triumph was but left for thee,

    Daughter of Afric, by the asp set free!


An Universal History of the Most Remarkable Events of All Nations, from the Earliest Period to the Present Time, forming a Complete History of the World. Vol. 1. Ancient History. William H. Graham: New York.

This is one of the most useful works now issuing from the American press. Its publication has been commenced in this country somewhat in advance of the London and Leipsic editions, which have been previously advertised; thus securing an immediate circulation in the three great reading nations of the world. The entire work will embrace about twenty numbers, appearing at intervals of a month. The first four of these, two numbers of which are before us, are devoted to Ancient History, extending to the Fall of the Roman Empire.

No province of literature has been so modified by the vast increase of books as the writing of History. While the republican idea, which has struck such deep root into the world’s politics, seems to tend toward an equalization of human intellect, it has, perhaps, made the deeps of thought shallower, and weakened the concentration and devotion of mind which marked the scholars of former centuries. The fields of knowledge, once but a small manor, have broadened into a kingdom; and, grasping at total possession, men prefer the shortest and easiest ways of obtaining it. Works of the imagination, and fictions, illustrative of life and society, which are now multiplied to an indefinite extent, unfit the common mind for those grave and serious studies which were once almost the only road to literary distinction.

The consequence of this is, that books are written with a view to their being read; and where the subject is addressed to the understanding alone, polished and classic language, or more frequently an assumed peculiarity of style, is used to hold the ear captive, and through it the intellect. The modern writers of history especially, seize upon scenes and situations which involve strong dramatic effect, endeavoring, as it were, to reproduce the past, by painting its events with the most vivid colors of description. They do not give the polished, stately bas-reliefs of the old historians, but glowing pictures, perhaps less distinct in their outlines, but conveying a stronger impression of real life. The works of Prescott, (who has maintained, however, a happy medium between these styles,) Michelet, Lamartine, and Carlyle, furnish striking examples of this.

The present work fills a blank which has long existed among historical works—that of a Universal History, which, embracing the prominent events of all ages, placed before the reader in a clear and comprehensive arrangement, shall yet be so simple and brief as to command the perusal of the great laboring classes, who would shrink from the study of Rollin or Rotteck, as a task too serious to be undertaken. The abridgment of Schlosser’s “Weltgeschichte,” which we believe has never been translated, contains these qualifications in an eminent degree; yet its high philosophical tone is rather adapted to the scholar than the general reader. Gibbon’s great work, from its magnificence of language, long retained a place in popular favor, and will always be read by the diligent historical student, but of late years it has ceased to be in common use. Our knowledge of ancient history has been wonderfully extended by the study of the modern Asiatic languages, and the restoration of tongues, which had been forgotten for centuries, and the Roman Empire, which once included in its history that of the greater part of the ancient world, is almost equaled in interest and importance by the records of Egypt, India, and China. What is wanted, therefore, is a concise abstract, which shall embody the labor of all former histories and the discoveries of modern research.

The author of this work, judging from that portion of it already published, is equal to this task. He comes to it prepared by twenty years of study, and a familiar acquaintance with all the necessary authorities, not only those to whom we look for the solid record of fact, but those who have gone beneath the surface of events, and tracked the source of political convulsions by a thousand pulses back to the hidden heart of some great principle. This Philosophy of History, which has become almost a distinct branch of literature, gives vitality to the narrative, by leading us to causes which may still exist; thus connecting our interest in the Present with the fate of the Past. In this country, where every man is more or less a political philosopher, a history possessing merit of this character, is likely to become exceedingly popular.

The utility of the present work to the general reader is greatly increased by the geographical and statistical accounts of the countries, which are given in connection with their history. In fact, some knowledge of their physical character, climate, and productions is necessary to a comprehensive idea of the people who sprung up and flourished upon them. These descriptions would become still more valuable if they were accompanied with maps; and we would suggest that this defect be remedied, if possible, in the succeeding numbers.

The author has chosen the epistolary form, as combining ease of style with a certain familiar license of language, and therefore better adapted for popular instruction. Commencing at the traditionary period from which we date the origin of man, he describes the gradual formation of society, and marks out the first broad divisions of the race from which sprung the great empires of Egypt and the East. The geographical account of these countries is extended and complete, embracing also a graphic view of their modern condition. We notice that in common with several distinguished German historians, the author gives to the Hindoos the distinction of being the earliest race of men. “Above all the historical records of other nations,” says he, “the Hindoos have brought forth the best evidence of the highest antiquity, and the earliest civilization. Therefore the supposition of those may be correct, who presume that man’s first abode was somewhere in the neighborhood of the Himalaya mountains, which are the most stupendous on the globe.”

The two remaining numbers devoted to Ancient History, will bring us down to A. D. 476. The author dedicates his work to M. A. Thiers, as the “orator, statesman, historian, and friend of liberty.”

Lectures on Shakspeare. By H. N. Hudson. New York: Baker & Scribner. 2 vols. 12mo.

We suppose that few of our readers are unacquainted with Mr. Hudson, the lecturer on Shakspeare, and the writer of various brilliant and powerful articles in the American Review. The lectures which compose the present volume have been delivered, at various times, in the principal cities of the Union, and have everywhere been welcomed as productions of the highest merit in one of the most difficult departments of critical art. The author has delayed the publication until the present time, in order that they might be subjected to repeated revision, and every opinion they contain cautiously scanned. Many of the lectures have been re-written a dozen times; and probably few books of the size ever published in the country, have been the slow product of so much toil of analysis and research. Almost every sentence gives evidence of being shaped in the “forge and working-house of thought.” All questions which rise naturally in the progress of the work are sturdily met and answered, however great may be their demand on the intellect or the time of the author. Every thing considered, subtilty, depth, force, brilliancy, comprehension, we know of no work of criticism ever produced in the United States which equals the present, either in refinement and profundity of thought, or splendor and intensity of expression. Indeed, none of our critics have devoted so much time as Mr. Hudson to one subject, or been content to confine themselves so rigidly to the central sun of our English literary system. We doubt, also, if there be any work on Shakspeare, produced on the other side of the Atlantic, which is so complete as the present in all which relates to Shakspeare’s mind and characters. It not only comprehends the highest results of Shaksperian criticism, but it is a step forward.

This may to some appear extravagant praise, but for its justice we confidentially appeal to the record. The plays which have most severely tried the sagacity of Shakspeare’s critics, are Hamlet, Macbeth, Lear, and Othello. We do not hesitate to say that Mr. Hudson’s analysis and representation of these are the most thorough, accurate, and comprehensive which exist at present either in English or German. Compare him or these tragedies with Goethe, with Schlegel, with Coleridge, with Hazlitt, with Ulrici, and it will be found that he excels them all in completeness. It is needless to add that he is able to excel them only by coming after them; and that it is by diligently digesting all the positive results of Shaksperian criticism that he has been enabled to advance the science. He has grasped the principles which Schlegel and Coleridge established, and applied them to the discovery of new truths. By the most patient and toilsome analysis he has fully brought out many things which they simply hinted, and distinctly set forth conclusions which lay dormant in their premises. And in the analysis of individual character, meaning by that the resolving each Shaksperian personage into its original elements, and indicating the degree of general truth it covers, our countryman has hardly a rival. Few even of Shakspeare’s diligent readers are aware of the vast stores of thought and knowledge implied in Shakspeare’s characters, because the fact is so commonly stated in general terms. Mr. Hudson proves that the characters are classes intensely individualized, by showing how large is the number of persons each character represents, or of whom it is the ideal. He thus indicates the extent of Shakspeare’s range over the whole field of humanity, and the degree of his success in classifying mankind. No one, therefore, can read Mr. Hudson’s interpretative criticisms without new wonder at the amazing reach and depth of Shakspeare’s genius.

It would be impossible in the space to which we are necessarily confined, to do justice to Mr. Hudson’s powers of analysis and representation, as exercised through the wide variety of the Shaksperian drama. The volumes swarm with strong and striking thoughts on so many suggested topics, that it is difficult to fix upon any particular excellence for especial praise. The first quality which will strike the reader will be the author’s opulence of expression and profusion of wit. Analogies with him are as cheap as commonplaces are to other men. He has no hesitation in announcing his analysis in a witticism, and condensing a principle into an epigram. His page often blazes and burns with wit. South, Congreve, and Sheridan are hardly richer in the precious article. In Mr. Hudson, also, the quality has an individual character, and is the racier from its genuineness and from its root in his intellectual constitution. This wit is, perhaps, the leading characteristic of his style, though his diction varies sufficiently with the varying demands of his subjects, and often glides from the tingling concussion of antithesis into the softest music, or rises from sarcastic brevity and stinging emphasis into rich and sonorous amplification. The analysis of Iago, and the analysis of the Weird Sisters, indicate, perhaps, the extremes of his manner. Throughout the volumes, whether the subject be comic or tragic, humorous or sublime, there is never any lack of verbal felicities. These seem to grow spontaneously in the soil of his mind; and there is no American writer whose style is more wholly free from worn and wasted images, phrases, and forms of expression. He is neither mediocre in thought nor expression.

We cannot resist the temptation to give a few of Mr. Hudson’s sentences, illustrative of his manner of stinging the minds of his readers and enforcing their attention. Speaking of Sir Thomas Lucy, on whose manor Shakspeare is said to have poached, Hudson remarks: “This Warwickshire esquire, once so rich and mighty, is now known only as the block over which the Warwickshire peasant stumbled into immortality.” Referring to those purists who regard words more than things in their strictures on licentiousness, he calls them persons “whose morality seems to be all in their ears.” Speaking of Hume, “an exquisite voluptuary among political and metaphysical abstractions,” he puts him in a class of men who “study art as they study nature, only in the process of dissection—a process which, of course, scares away the very life which makes her nature; so that they get, after all, but a sort of post-mortem knowledge of her.” Again, he observes—“Pope, for example, was the prince of versifiers, and Hume the prince of logicians: with the one versification strangled itself in a tub of honey; with the other logic broke its neck in trying to fly in a vacuum. It is by no means strange, therefore, that the thousand-eyed philosophy of Shakspeare should have seemed a perfect monster to the one-eyed logic of Hume.” Perhaps the finest answer to the charge that Shakspeare was an unregulated genius, full of great absurdities and great beauties, is contained in Hudson’s ironical statement of it: “He has sometimes been represented as a sort of inspired and infallible idiot, who practiced a species of poetical magic without knowing what he did or why he did it; who achieved the greatest wonders of art, not by rational insight and design, but by a series of lucky accidents and lapsus naturæ; who, in short, went through life stumbling upon divinities, and blundering into miracles.”

By the publication of these lectures Mr. Hudson takes his place among the first thinkers and writers of the country. He has that in his writings which will make him popular, and that which will make him permanent. It is unnecessary to say that a book so strongly marked by individuality as his is calculated to provoke criticism. It contains many things which will be severely assailed by those whose opinions on certain theories of government and society are in exact opposition to those of the author. Some positions, critical and political, which he confidently states as settled, are still open to discussion. But take the work as a whole, as an embodiment of mental power, and there are few men in the country on whom it would not confer honor. It needs but a very small prophetic faculty to predict for a work so fascinating and instructive a circulation commensurate with its merits.

The Military Heroes of the Revolution. With a Narrative of the War of Independence. By Charles J. Peterson. Philadelphia: Wm. H. Leary. 487 pp. octavo.

This is one of the most elegant books which has ever been issued from the American press. The type is large and clear, and the paper is of the finest quality. It is embellished with nearly two hundred engravings, consisting of portraits of all the chief actors of the Revolution, spirited representations of almost every engagement, with numerous views of noted places. This, together with the picturesque style in which the book is written, gives a peculiar charm, and leaves on the mind of the reader impressions more vivid and lasting than any other work which we have seen on the same subject.

The design of the work is to furnish brief analytical portraits of those military heroes who, either from their superior ability or superior good fortune, played the most prominent part in the war of independence. The volume contains thirty-three biographies. Of these Washington’s, Putnam’s, Arnold’s, Moultrie’s, Warren’s, Marion’s, Hamilton’s, and Burr’s, are, in our opinion, the most spirited. The biography of Washington affords a keen analysis of that great hero’s character, and conclusively proves, we think, that he was not only a great patriot, but a great general. This is a somewhat new view of his character, the fashion having been to exalt his undoubted goodness at the expense of his skill, the result of positive ignorance of his character during the war of independence. Those were no weak achievements which Napoleon acknowledged to have been the examples which first fired him with the spirit and plan of his own victories! And our author justly remarks, that “if four generals in succession, beside several entire armies, failed to conquer America, it was not on account of want of talent or means on the part of the enemy, but because the genius of Washington proved too gigantic for any or all of his competitors.”

The most of these biographies are, as it were, the frames to battle pictures: thus, in the history of Putnam, we have a graphic description of the contest on Bunker Hill; in that of Moultrie, of the defence of Fort Sullivan; and in that of Washington, of the battle of Trenton. The actions from the skirmish at Lexington to the surrender of Cornwallis, are all admirably and graphically told in a style animated without being florid, and chaste without being stiff. The straight forward honesty of the diction, leaves the mind of the reader to be carried on with the simple but intense spirit of the action, as if he were a spectator rather than reader. The description of the battle of Trenton is the most complete ever published.

The author, in his preface, says he does not claim exemption from errors, that no one can who writes on a subject so obscure in many respects as that of the Revolution. We think his decisions, however, are generally unimpeachable. Wherever we have been able of testing them, we have found them accurate; and this induces us to believe that in other cases he is correct. But we should like to have seen his evidence of the second battle of Assunpink, for Hull, in his diary, mentions nothing of it. We think, too, that Arnold was not personally present at Stillwater, though Burgoyne was of opinion that he was, for he complimented him for his behaviour on that occasion. We notice some misprints in the volume, a thing almost unavoidable in a book of this size; one or two are glaring ones—but these can be corrected in a second edition.

The narrative of the war, in all its relations, is well told. It gives a comprehensive picture of the rise and progress of the contest, and abounds with much new matter, showing a thorough knowledge of the great history of that period. We notice many anecdotes which we have never before seen in print.

The public has long needed a good popular history of the Revolution; for Batta’s, and others of that stamp, are too long; and, beside, much new light has been lately thrown on that portion of our annals. We have such a book here, and it is for this reason that we hail it with peculiar pleasure.

We cannot close this notice without quoting the following somewhat remarkable passage from Mr. Peterson’s preliminary chapter, which was evidently written long before the late events in Europe—more than two years ago, according to the preface.

“It is evident,” he says, “that the old world is worn out. There are cycles in empires as well as dynasties; and Europe, after nearly two thousand years, seems to have finished another term of civilization. The most polite nation in the eastern hemisphere is now where the Roman empire was just before it verged to a decline—the same system of government—the same extremes of wealth and poverty—the same delusive prosperity characterizing both. Europe stands on the crust of a decayed volcano, which at any time may fall in. The social fabric in the old world is in its dotage.” Part of this prediction has already been verified, and we wait with impatient expectation for the fulfillment of the rest.

Old Hicks, the Guide; or Adventures in the Camanche Country in Search of a Gold Mine. By Charles W. Webber. New York: Harper & Brothers. 2 parts.

Here is a book “to stir a fever in the blood of age”—full of wild adventure, and running over with life. It seems to have been composed on horseback. The sentences trot, gallop, leap, toss the mane, and give all other evidences of strength and activity in the race of expression. The author fairly gives the reins to his thoughts and fancies, and they sweep along the dizziest edges of rhetoric with a jubilant hip! hip! hurrah! We have rarely known so much daring rewarded with so much success. The critic is expecting every moment to see the author break his neck by a sudden descent from the sublime to the ridiculous, but is continually disappointed. The vigor of old Kentucky bounds in the veins and “lives along the heart” of this most stalwart and defiant Kentuckian. He charges critical batteries with the force of Harney’s dragoons. We accordingly surrender at discretion. Captain Scott need but to point his rifle, and the coon comes down at once.

Seriously, Mr. Webber’s book is one of the most captivating of its kind ever produced in the United States. It shows the scholar and the practiced writer amid all its rampant energy, and many passages are full of eloquence. The scenery and events are of that kind most calculated to fasten on the popular imagination. The author has a singular faculty of condensing narration and description, and bringing the scene and deed right before the eye, without any of the tedious minutiæ in which most descriptive writers indulge. Consequently his observations are flashed upon the mind of the reader rather than conveyed to it, piece by piece. If Mr. Webber would soften a little the ravenousness of his style, and treat his subjects with a little more regard to artistic propriety, he might produce a work of fiction of very great merit, both as regards plot and characterization. The present volume indicates a vitality of mind, to which creation is but an appropriate exercise. It evinces more genius than Typee or Omoo.

Cookery in America. Illustrated by Martin the Younger. Wm. H. Graham, New York.

Fair and funny. It is time that the lex talionis should be applied to those who have so often made themselves merry at our expense.

Transcriber’s Notes:

Several characteristic spellings and instances of punctuation were left as in the original, as representing the usage of the times. Some printing errors have been corrected silently. Other errors have been corrected as noted below.


Page 302, target id ==> link target

Page 302, guard had bivoucked, was ==> guard had bivouacked, was

Page 318, and eat all my cabbages ==> and ate all my cabbages

Page 318, to sister Abigal, and ==> to sister Abigail, and


[The end of Graham's Magazine, Vol. XXXII, No. 6 (June 1848) edited by George R. Graham and Robert T. Conrad]