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Title: Graham's Magazine Vol. XXXVII No. 2 (August 1850)

Date of first publication: 1850

Author: George R. Graham (editor)

Date first posted: Feb. 16, 2016

Date last updated: Feb. 16, 2016

Faded Page eBook #20160225

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


Vol. XXXVII.      AUGUST, 1850.      No. 2.

Table of Contents

Fiction, Literature and Articles

Music and Musical Composers
The Chase
The Bride of the Battle
Pedro de Padilh
A Romance of True Love
Bridget Kerevan
What Katy Did
The Game of the Season
The Fine Arts
Review of New Books

Poetry, Music, and Fashion

Wood Violets
Red Jacket
The Mariner’s Tale
Impulse and Principle
Chant of the Néreides
Le Follet

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

Engraved expressly for Graham’s Magazine by W. E. Tucker


Vol. XXXVII.     PHILADELPHIA, AUGUST, 1850.     No. 2.





’Tis the silver key to the fountain of tears,

  Where the spirit drinks till the brain runs wild;

The softest grave of a thousand fears,

  Where their mother, Care, like a sleepy child,

Is laid asleep on flowers.


It were much too vast a labor to commence an inquiry into the subject of this essay, with a dissertation on the origin of music. Posterity may be enabled, by the aid of advanced wisdom, to explain the birth of this and other blessings which to us appear only natural, and may, perhaps, successfully trace to their sources the numerous enjoyments which God created as ministers to man’s happiness, and of which we now know only the mere existence. It will not be uninteresting to our children’s children to learn how men first discovered that the various sounds with which the Creator, in his wisdom, invested the human voice, might be linked together in wonderful combinations—producing from monotonous particles melodious unisons; and how a knowledge of the various distinctions which the extension or diminution of time confers on every distinct atom of sound, first dawned upon the human mind, appealing through the senses to the soul, and binding, with a force and power which belong not to any other immaterial agent, the heart of man in chains of amaranthine flowers. These wonders, like many more, which now, for aught we know, lie on the first unturned page of wisdom’s book, will one day be developed.

It is more than probable that he who first tuned his voice to song, little thought of the marvels of music, nor dreamed to what perfection the rules of sound would one day be brought. He used the power which God had given him, nor stopped to inquire into the nature or construction of the tones which he almost involuntarily produced, and which lightened his labor, while they made glad his heart. Science in those days was an infant:—has she yet passed the era of her first childhood?

A consideration of the history of music may be prosecuted under four heads: Ancient and Modern, Sacred and Profane; but as it is not intended to do more in this essay than to indulge in a few unimportant and rambling reflections on the progress of music, and on the state of perfection to which it has at present arrived, we will cursorily review ancient music, as preceding the days of Handel and Mozart, and of modern music, from those masters down to the writers of the present day.

It is not denied that the earlier attempts at song were so limited in design and so feeble in imagination as to excuse the application in our time of the term barbarous to the music of the days of Moses and Miriam, and even to the sounds which accompanied the inspired language of the poet king. Music was then in its infancy. The rude instruments which Tubal Cain invented, and which in after ages were improved, but still left rude, were circumscribed in their compass, and harsh in their tones, although reason teaches that they must have been, what is technically termed “true” in their mechanical formation. According to the compass of these rough productions, the multitude restrained their compositions. Instruments were considered necessary to give effect to song; but as these auxiliaries could not express all the sounds of which the voice was capable, it was thought requisite that the voice should be made subservient to the instruments. The more extensive compass of the voice excited admiration and stimulated the desire for imitation. Thus the voice was the means of improving the mechanical expression of sound; and as instrumental mechanism progressed, the human voice became liberated from the restrictions which former ignorance had imposed upon it, and a freer course was afforded to its capabilities in obedience to the eccentricities of the imagination.

Every nation has always had, as it now has, its own peculiar and distinctive style of expressing emotion through the agency of the voice. Barbarous as the first developments of musical ability may have been, they nevertheless expressed the peculiar and characteristic feeling of the people who employed them. With one nation the style was melancholy, with another pensive, with another light, and with a fourth lively. Some delighted to denote their ideas in the junction of lengthened and monotonous sounds, expressive of grief; others in short changing accents; of carelessness or indifference; and others in the deep measured sounds of martial melody. These distinctions still exist in so marked a degree among different people as to entitle them to the appellation of national musical characteristics.

It is generally believed, and not without good grounds, that the earlier attempts at producing musical effect by the union of a considerable number of voices and instruments, were not remarkable for any of that variety which invests with so many attractions the music of a later period. All the singers enunciated the same notes, and in the same time—very much in the style which large prayer-meetings adopt in the open air. The manner in which the beauty and diversity of concords and discords were first discovered, and the precise era at which such discovery was made, are also matters which are reserved for some later and more successful laborer. This branch of the science of music has, perhaps, undergone greater alteration and improvement than any other. It is by no means an uninteresting study, first to imagine the absence of all knowledge of chords among the first inhabitants of our globe; then to look over the works of the earliest masters whose compositions are still extant, and then to follow the publications of later writers down to the present day, observing at each stage the wonderful differences which exist in the instrumental writings of every age.

The act of committing sounds to paper, although very old, must still be regarded, comparatively with the birth of music, as of late discovery. Transferring mere sound from the mind to the paper, without the assistance of any intermediate articulation is a wonder equally great, to say the least of it, as is the act of writing words. Yet no one gives a thought to the invention of the marvel. The fame of Cadmus is diffused over the habitable globe, while the mastermind which first conceived the possibility of recording his thoughts on and in a few parallel lines by means of dots and scratches, causes no inquiry and excites no admiration.

The task of organizing and perfecting so complete and infallible a scheme must have been immense. In the first place the distance, so to speak, between each tone of which the human voice is capable was to be defined by certain laws and rules, and represented by distinctive marks. Then the length or duration of each tone in any given air was to be marked separately or in junction with other tones, without deranging the qualities of any or detracting from the harmony of the whole. Then were to be encountered the difficulties incidental to changes of the key-note or tone. On discovering that the human voice, after executing seven notes, among which are five tones and two semitones, produced, in ascending to the eighth, a tone exactly similar to the first, it was necessary to construct a scale of keys which would always place the two semitones in exactly the same position, and in the same relation to the full tones. Lastly, and perhaps more wonderful than all, a proper and minute division of TIME was to be effected. That inherent appreciation of what musicians term “time,” which almost every human being possesses naturally, but which few understand, and none can explain, was to be expressed and defined. Divisions and subdivisions were to be demonstrated and made clear. This was the task of tasks. Savages, who never heard of the existence of such a science as music, are known to clap their hands in unison at certain measurable periods in their wild songs. They observe the law of musical time, without having the slightest conception of what time is. Nor are we much better now. We can write time as well as tune, but we know not now, nor have we yet been able to analyze or detect the instinct which teaches us, as it does the Savages, at what periods of any given air we should mark time. Yet thousands of persons, singing together, will “beat” at the same instant. No one knows why or wherefore it should be so. We only feel that it is so, and that human ingenuity has enabled us to write and otherwise to mark time. The order of intellect, which first discovered the means of doing even this little, must have been very high indeed.

The difference between the musical instruments of our time and those of a former age, is another interesting subject of inquiry. The Bible mentions the timbrel, the ram’s horn, the reed, the harp, silver trumpets, and other equally rude inventions. From later classical writers we learn the existence of the pipe and tabor, the lyre, the lute, and others. In the records of a much more advanced period, we find mention of the harpsichord, whence we have obtained our present tolerably perfect piano forte. The gradations from the instrumental knowledge mentioned in the Bible down to the astonishing state of improvement to which the art of manufacturing musical instruments has arrived, have been slow but steady. It is possible that our posterity will look back upon our piano fortes, our violins, violincellos, double basses, cornets, trombones, bassoons, oboes, clarionets, flageolets, flutes, harps, French-horns, serpents, opheclides, guitars, tenors, and kettle-drums, with great contempt. Perhaps even our organ, which is an ancient invention, will not escape the critical censure of a coming age. And there can be little doubt that much remains yet to be known in the manufacture of musical instruments. It may be said with much reason that the only perfect instruments now in use are the violin, the violincello, the double-bass, the tenor, and one or two others. On these any tone of which their compass is capable can be produced in every possible variety of execution. The piano forte, delightful as are its powers, cannot produce a gliding sound from one note to the other; neither can it prolong a note for any length of time without losing at its termination the vigor with which it produced the tone at its commencement. In addition to these disadvantages it labors under another which is common to all wind instruments. It can produce full tones, diatonic semitones, and chromatic semitones, but it cannot yield an enharmonic tone. On the piano forte, on the harp, and on all wind instruments, (with the exception of the organ in the Temple Church, London,[1]) G flat is F sharp; A flat is G sharp; E sharp is F natural; B sharp is C natural; E flat is D sharp, and so on. The difference is so nicely arranged as scarcely to strike the finest ear; but it is undoubtedly an obstacle in the way of perfection which will most probably be overcome by and by. The organ in the Temple Church, in London, which we have made an exception to the above complaint, is a curious specimen. The black notes are split, in order to provide for the production of enharmonic tones, and the effect on a nice ear is very agreeable.

As the majority of organs are not made on the last named principle they must be classed among the imperfect instruments. At the same time, it is believed that general opinion unites in ascribing to the organ the first place among instruments. It is capable of prolonging sounds, of producing multiplied chords, of modulating and swelling its tones at the option of the performer, of suppressing or expanding its volume, and, in a word, of doing every thing which any other instrument can perform, except of gliding from one note to another.

There are now extant several specimens of the style of music in use among the monks of the earlier Christian ages. These examples are very curious, and, to the casual observer, extremely interesting. The airs are written on four lines, and are marked with treble and bass clefs, but they would appear to have been intended almost entirely for the use of singers. Instrumental music of that period is much more rare and uncommon. The compositions alluded to are very feeble, and evince an ignorance of the extent to which musical sounds might be made available. They are merely loose themes without any attempt whatever at artistic effect. As time wore on, the writing on five lines instead of on four became universally adopted in Europe, and the style of composition gradually improved.

The English nation have never been remarkable for musical genius. As late in their history as the accession of the house of Hanover, the greater part of their music came from abroad. Nor were there any great instrumental performers among them. It is only of comparatively late years that any thing like a talent for composition has sprung up among them, and even now they are so far behind most other nations in the art, as to hold a very insignificant position in the musical world. While the music of all other countries has in it something distinctively and peculiarly characteristic, English melodies (if we except their glees and madrigals) have none. The late operas which have been brought out in London, betray an attempt at servile imitation of the Italian school; but the English have not a writer at the present day whose compositions manifest the slightest originality: and with the exception of Dr. Arne, Cabott, Bishop, Rolf, Rooke, and one or two others, their musical works are devoid of conception, character, or beauty. At the same time it must be admitted that there is nothing finer in the world than the English glees and madrigals. These possess a truly definitive character. They are really English, and bear about the same relation to the smooth strains of Italy and Germany, as the bluff, straight-forward yeoman does to the French exquisite. They are at once original, heart-stirring, and amusing. Many of the madrigals exhibit a great amount of artistic skill and musical acquirement, and, when well executed, they are extremely entertaining. Some of the English anthems are also very excellent, but the attempt to imitate the German school is too apparent throughout. They are not the less agreeable on this account, but they lose the charm which would attach to originality.

The English are, as a nation, fond of music, but their love for it seldom reaches the enthusiasm which is felt for the art by a German, an Italian, a Frenchman, or a Spaniard. It would, perhaps, be more correct to say that the English admire music rather than that they love it. The uneducated classes will gladly listen to music, but they are never moved by it. They may learn or become acquainted with certain airs, but they never impart to what they sing or whistle that elegance or depth of feeling which a really musical mind never fails to throw into an air which pleases him.

The Scotch music, without possessing much claim to art, has a decidedly characteristic feature. It is unlike the compositions of any other country. Even their quickest airs have something peculiarly melancholy in their style, which is touching and agreeable. The principal feature in Scotch music is the frequent introduction of short, catching sounds before long notes.

The Spanish style of music is pleasing but variable. The national fondness for dancing appears to exercise some influence over all their strains; notwithstanding which many of their airs have an extremely melancholy expression. As opera writers they have never excelled, but for love-songs and martial choruses, their style is equal to that of any other people in the world. Their serenades are among the sweetest efforts of simple composition in the world, containing, notwithstanding the plainness of their style, considerable feeling, and an obvious expression of deep passion.

The Italian school of music divides with the German the admiration of the world. Differing widely from the German, it possesses charms equally attractive and quite as moving. If a preference is to be accorded at all, it must be given to the German school, which contains more art; this preference could, however, only be yielded by musicians. The masses are more likely to be attracted by sounds which appeal at once to the senses and charm the ear, than by strains which contain perhaps somewhat less of melody, but which stir up the passions to a greater degree and do not charm until they are understood. The Italian style is smooth, soft and melodious. Even the most martial or impassioned passages are harmonious and agreeable. The chief dependence of the composer for success would seem to be the melody of the scene which he writes. The arrangement is generally artistic, but only sufficiently so to accord with the desire of the composer to make use of the richer resources of his art. He makes the science subservient to the principle of attraction. For this reason Italian vocal music is highly preferred before Italian instrumental music. While as opera writers, the masters of Italy are deservedly famous, we seldom hear of them as composers for the piano, or of any lengthy romantic pieces in which instruments are to convey certain impressions unaided by the human voice or by personal representation.

Of the Italian composers who have remained favorites until the present day, none, perhaps, assimilate more closely to the German school than Pacini and Mercadante. Their works cannot boast of that melodious characteristic which so highly distinguishes those of their fellow-countrymen, the theme being generally less connected; but they are nevertheless decidedly of a higher order in an artistic point of view than the operas of their more favored successors. In the lighter style of Italian composition, Cimarosa and Ricci, as old masters, rank deservedly high; but they do not bear comparison with the Buffo school of the present day.

Among the later writers of Italian operas who have attained eminence in the divine science may be named Mercadante, Rossini, Bellini, Donnizzetti, and Verdi. To compare the peculiar merits of these great artistes would be a task of extreme difficulty, as Rossini, Bellini and Mercadante differ very materially in style, while that of Bellini and Donnizzetti closely assimilate, and Verdi’s partakes of the character both of Bellini’s and Donnizzetti’s, with something of the German school.

The style of Rossini, without being deficient in feeling or artistic arrangement, always partakes in some degree of lightness, which is owing to the very florid manner in which he invariably wrote. His Guiglielmo Tell, Pietro l’Eremita, Gazza Ladra, Otello and Semiramide, are among his finest compositions. The last named opera is decidedly his best effort. Il Barbiere di Seviglia is a favorite with many persons, but it cannot be said to contain many brilliant examples of success. The “Una Voce” and “La Colunnia,” are the attractions in the “Barber.” The role of Figaro is a great source of attraction to the lovers of Merry-Andrewisms, but scarcely so to the musician. One of Rossini’s most powerful compositions is the Stabat Mater.

The style of Bellini, on the other hand, is totally different from that of Rossini. Bellini is at once unaffected and chaste. There is no seeking after applause by introducing difficult passages requiring great flexibility of intonation. Every air, every symphony, every prelude and introduction appear to have been written with the view to the expression of some passion, or the demonstration of some feeling which it was required to convey. It is deeply to be regretted that so bright a genius, promising so brilliant a future, should so early have been lost to the world. During Bellini’s short but energetic career he produced eight operas, every one of which will to this day bear the most searching examination of the most rigid critic:—Norma, Bianca e Fernando, I Puritani, Il Pirata, La Straniera, I Montecchi ed i Capuletti, La Sonnambula, and Beatrice di Tenda. Of these his Puritani and his Norma stand pre-eminently great. Next in rank are his Capuletti and Beatrice di Tenda; then La Sonnambula, La Straniera, Il Pirata, and Bianca e Fernando. The whole of Bellini’s writing is marked by a tone of melancholy which at this day seems like the foreshadowing of an early affliction. He had, perhaps, in a greater degree than any other author, the power of throwing into his airs an unmistakeable interpretation of the passion or feeling which was embodied in the language. The “Deh! tu, bell Anima!” in Romeo e Giulietta, is one of the finest specimens of the remarkable correctness with which the words and music may be so blended as strictly to accord in the expression for which they are intended.

Against Donnizzetti it has been argued that he was a plagiarist; but when the number of operas which he has written are taken into consideration, the accusation will not bear weight or scrutiny. His style is neither so flowing nor so scientific as that of others, but his works are nevertheless highly meritorious, being generally very melodious and expressive. In the course of a long and famous life Donnizzetti produced upward of seventy operas. Among the best of these are his Lucia di Lamermoor, Belisario, Pia de Tolomeo, Lucrezia Borgia, Torquato Tasso, Fausta, Anna Bolena, Roberto Devereux, Betly, Elisire d’Amoré, Linda di Chamouni, Il Burgomastro di Saardam Favorita, and others.

Giuseppe Verdi is the latest composer of the Italian school, and he promises to be one of its brightest ornaments, when experience shall have amended his faults and restrained him from those bursts of too powerful effort which he delights to exhibit, and which impart a strained character to his works. There are many of the London Dilletanti who affect to dislike Verdi; but the only reason which can be given for the harsh criticism which is dealt out with no sparing hand on the devoted head of the young aspirant, is the habit which too often exists in that city to despise modern talent to the exaltation of the wisdom which is past and gone. The chief beauty of Verdi’s writing is to be found in his moving choruses and concerted pieces. These exhibit profound musical knowledge combined with much genius, great feeling, and frequently exquisite taste. As examples of a happy union of these qualities, may be instanced the chorus “Il Maledetto non ha fratello,” in Nabuco; the terzetto, in Ernani; the chorus of crusaders, in I Lombardi, and others. His operas are Nino, Ernani, I Lombardi alla prima Crocciata, I due Foscari, and Attila. Of these the four first mentioned are unquestionably the best. There are many other writers of great talent among the Italians, but as they are little known to the world a consideration of them may, perhaps, be deemed prolix.

We now come to the German school of music, which, notwithstanding the vastness of the subject comprehended in this title, will be treated with as much brevity as will serve to explain the writer’s views. German music may be divided into two branches; vocal and instrumental: in either of which it is generally believed to be vastly superior to that of any other school extant. The list of those who may be termed modern German masters, is garnished with the names of Mozart, Haydn, Handel, Weber, Beethoven, Meyerbeer, Mendelsohn, Spohr, Gluck, Lortzing, Bach, Listz, De Meyer, Herz, Thalberg, Moschelles, Herold, and others. Of these Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, and Mendelsohn, stand at the head of a long rank of sacred writers. The solemn requiems of Mozart, the beautiful “Creation” of Haydn; the stirring “Messiah” of Handel; the solemn symphonies of Beethoven; the magnificent “Elijah” of Bartholdy, will never be forgotten while a soul attuned to melody remains on earth. They all appear to have been written in moments of deep inspiration; and the enthusiast may almost believe that a beneficent God may have guided the hands whose work has more than once struck awe into the sinner’s soul to call him to repentance, and lifted up the heart of the pious man to still closer communion with the God who in his wisdom formed the noblest of his creatures.

Among the modern opera writers of Germany, Mozart, Weber, Beethoven, and Meyerbeer, stand pre-eminently high; and it is difficult at this day to say which of these writers outdoes the other in boldness of design, grandeur of conception, brilliancy of execution, or depth of feeling. If, for example, we take the “Don Giovanni” of Mozart, the “Der Freischutz” of Weber, the “Fidelio” of Beethoven, and the “Robert der Teufel” or the “Huguenots” of Meyerbeer, we will find in certain scenes equal attraction in the concerted pieces, similar beauties in the airs, like effect in the orchestral accompaniments, and the same grandeur in the choruses. Each author will therefore have his distinct admirers, who, notwithstanding any especial partiality, will readily confess to the attractions of the rival works. For ourselves, we are yet to hear an opera superior to the Fidelio of Beethoven.

For the reasons above stated, it is not possible, without venturing into matters of detail which would be uninteresting, to mark the minor differences which characterize each writer. It will therefore be only necessary to name some of the principal works of the principal opera writers of the German school. The best of Mozart’s efforts are his “Don Giovanni,” his “Così fan Tutte,” his “Zauberflotte,” and his “Nozze di Figaro.”

Weber’s greatest conceptions are supposed to be his “Freischutz,” his “Oberon,” and his “Preciosa”.

The “Fidelio” of Beethoven stands justly at the head of all his writings. Of Meyerbeer’s great works none are held in greater estimation than his “Robert le Diable,” his “Huguenots,” and his “Crocciatoin Egitto.” His “Prophete” is highly spoken of, but it still remains unknown to the longing ear of the writer of this essay. Herold’s “Zampa,” and Lortzing’s “Czar und Zimmermann,” are also in high repute among musicians.

In instrumental music, German writers rank as high as their compatriots do in the operatic school, and higher than the masters of any other country. In the more solid flights of art we have Beethoven, Mozart, Weber, Meyerbeer, Bartholdy, Spohr, Gluck, Bach, Listz, De Meyer, and others. In the lighter but not less meritorious style of composition, we have Thalberg, Herz, Moschelles, and others.

French music, with the exception of the works of one or two writers, has never been in favor out of France. It resembles closely in some points French poetry. There is harmony, melody, softness, and sometimes art; but there are wanting grandeur and loftiness of conception and smoothness. The writings of David and Auber are, however, exceptions to these objections. There is a force in David’s “Desert,” for example, which excuses comparison even with German writers; and many of the operas of Auber have a high place in the estimation of those who incline to the Italian school, a close resemblance to which is to be found in some of his writings. Among the best works of this distinguished musician are his “Muette de Portici,” his “Fra Diavolo,” and his “Diamans de la Couronne.” His “Domino Noir,” his “Barcarole,” and others, are also favorites even beyond the French frontier. Adam’s “Postillion de Lonjemeau” is another effort which must be mentioned with respect.

There are in each of the schools to which I have adverted many great composers whose names do not occur to me at this moment. Indeed, it would be almost impossible to record all those inspired men who have reflected on their several nations the glory which music has conferred on them.

The study of Music is so interesting as to excuse a very lengthy dissertation, and the present paper might be considerably prolonged, did the limits of the Magazine permit a continuation of this already lengthy essay, in which the several branches of the subject are only cursorily treated; but I feel that I need say nothing to recommend to the public of this country the Divine Art, which, as a German author beautifully expresses it, “is to Poetry what Poetry is to language.” It is undoubtedly the poetry of sound, the sweet harmonizer of society, the chief luxury of life and the greatest softener and civilizer of man’s harsh nature.

The only exception with which the writer is acquainted.






From the doorway, Manuela, in the sheeny April morn,

Southward looks, along the valley, over leagues of gleaming corn;

Where the mountain’s misty rampart like the wall of Eden towers,

And the isles of oak are sleeping on a painted sea of flowers.


All the air is full of music, for the winter rains are o’er,

And the noisy magpies chatter from the budding sycamore;

Blithely frisk unnumbered squirrels, over all the grassy slope;

Where the airy summits brighten, nimbly leaps the antelope.


Gentle eyes of Manuela! tell me wherefore do ye rest

On the oaks enchanted islands and the flowery ocean’s breast?

Tell me wherefore, down the valley, ye have traced the highway’s mark

Far beyond the belts of timber, to the mountain-shadows dark?


Ah, the fragrant bay may blossom, and the sprouting verdure shine

With the tears of amber dropping from the tassels of the pine,

And the morning’s breath of balsam lightly brush her sunny cheek—

Little recketh Manuela of the tales of Spring they speak.


When the Summer’s burning solstice on the mountain-harvests glowed,

She had watched a gallant horseman riding down the valley road;

Many times she saw him turning, looking back with parting thrills,

Till amid her tears she lost him, in the shadow of the hills.


Ere the cloudless moons were over, he had passed the Desert’s sand,

Crossed the rushing Colorado and the dark Apachè Land,

And his laden mules were driven, when the time of rains began,

With the traders of Chihuahua, to the Fair of San Juan.


Therefore watches Manuela—therefore lightly doth she start,

When the sound of distant footsteps seems the beating of her heart;

Not a wind the green oak rustles or the redwood branches stirs,

But she hears the silver jingle of his ringing bit and spurs.


Often, out the hazy distance, come the horsemen, day by day,

But they come not as Bernardo—she can see it, far away;

Well she knows the airy gallop of his mettled alazàn,[2]

Light as any antelope upon the Hills of Gavilàn.


She would know him ’mid a thousand, by his free and gallant air;

By the featly-knit sarápè,[3] such as wealthy traders wear;

By his broidered calzoneros[4] and his saddle, gaily spread,

With its cantle rimmed with silver, and its horn a lion’s head.


None like he the light riáta[5] on the maddened bull can throw;

None amid the mountain-cañons, track like he the stealthy doe;

And at all the Mission festals, few indeed the revelers are

Who can dance with him the jota, touch with him the gay guitar.


He has said to Manuela, and the echoes linger still

In the cloisters of her bosom, with a secret, tender thrill,

When the bay again has blossomed, and the valley stands in corn,

Shall the bells of Santa Clara usher in the wedding morn.


He has pictured the procession, all in holyday attire,

And the laugh and look of gladness, when they see the distant spire;

Then their love shall kindle newly, and the world be doubly fair,

In the cool, delicious crystal of the summer morning air.


Tender eyes of Manuela! what has dimmed your lustrous beam?

’Tis a tear that falls to glitter on the casket of her dream.

Ah, the eye of Love must brighten, if its watches would be true,

For the star is falsely mirrored in the rose’s drop of dew!


But her eager eyes rekindle, and her breathless bosom stills,

As she sees a horseman moving in the shadow of the hills:

Now in love and fond thanksgiving they may loose their pearly tides—

’Tis the alazàn that gallops, ’tis Bernardo’s self that rides!

In California horses are named according to their color. An alazàn is a sorrel—a color generally preferred, as denoting speed and mettle.

The sarápè is a knit blanket of many gay colors, worn over the shoulders by an opening in the centre, through which the head is thrust.

Calzoneros are trowsers, generally made of blue cloth or velvet, richly embroidered, and worn over an under pair of white linen. They are slashed up the outside of each leg, for greater convenience in riding, and studded with rows of silver buttons.

The lariat, or riáta, as it is indifferently called in California and Mexico, is precisely the same as the lasso of South America.






“Sail O!” cried the look-out from the mast-head.

“Whereaway?” asked the officer of the deck.

“On the lee-beam.”

We had been dodging about the horse-latitudes for several weeks, most of the time becalmed; and, of course, without meeting a single vessel. At this announcement, therefore, a general excitement pervaded the decks; the watch above placed themselves eagerly on the look-out, while the watch below crowded up the gangway to catch a glance of the stranger if possible.

In due time the character of the chase became evident. She was a heavy, fore-topsail schooner, and apparently a man-of-war. Instead of flying us, as was the case with most vessels, she stood boldly on her course, and in consequence was soon within range. Meantime, through our glasses, we could see that her decks were filled with men, who appeared to be eagerly scrutinizing us.

“Show him our flag,” at last said our captain.

The roll of bunting ascended to the gaff, and blowing out, disclosed our country’s ensign, the white stars sprinkling the field of azure, and the crimson stripes gleaming out against their white background.

No answer came from the schooner, however. She had apparently mistaken us for a friend, but now being assured of the contrary, and aware also by this time of our greatly superior force, she tacked hurriedly, and went off almost dead before the wind.

“Give her a shot,” cried the captain, “and see if that will bring her to.”

The ball went richochetting over the waters, and passing through her main-sail, plunged into the water a short distance ahead. A moment after the red-cross of Britain shot up to the schooner’s gaff, where it glared, blood-red, in the brazen sky. But, instead of lying to, the chase steadily kept on her way.

“Another shot,” cried the captain; “and let us see this time if we can’t cripple her.”

The ball whistled sharply across the air, but fell short of its mark; and another, fired immediately after, shared the same fate. It was evident that we were scarcely within range. As every shot deadened our progress, the captain ordered the gunner to desist; and, in place of firing, directed the sails to be wet down. The enemy, with a truer perception of the character of the combat, had declined, from the first, to return our shots, but had turned all his energies to spreading what light sail he could, and throwing water on his canvas from an engine on board.

“A stern-chase is a long chase,” said the captain. “But there is no help for it. However, as the fellow is a schooner, and we are square-rigged, I do not despair of eventually overhauling him. I wonder whether he really is an Englishman; he looks more like a slaver to my eye.”

The chase was, indeed, one of the most beautiful craft I had ever seen. She was painted of a deep black, relieved only by a crimson streak in the line of her ports. The mould of her hull was clean and graceful; her bows were sharp as a knife; and her tall, whip-stalk masts, that rose to an immense height, raked backwards with an air at once saucy and beautiful. A high bulwark, with a monkey rail running aft, concealed her decks entirely; but the number of faces peering at us, and the row of ports, proved her to be no mere yacht, as otherwise might have been supposed.

“That craft,” I replied, “was never built in England. There’s not a naval architect in the whole three kingdoms—take my word for it—who could turn out such a beautiful model. I’d bet a month’s pay that good, solid Rappahanock timbers hold her together, and that there’s more than one shipwright in Baltimore has handled the adze upon her.”

“Then she must be a slaver.”

“I think not. And you will agree with me when you have reflected a moment. We are a week’s sail out of the track of such scoundrels. Besides that craft carries too many men for a slaver.”

“You are right,” answered the captain, after a moment’s thought. “But what can she be?”

“That is more than I can tell. She may be either an Englishman or a pirate—more likely the latter than the former; for the British, even when they capture one of our fast-sailing schooners, are not apt to commission them; the lazy islanders think them too wet forward.”

“A pirate!”

“Yes! we have heard of several being about the West Indies, and this may be one, who, having followed the homeward-bound fleet, in hopes to catch a stray prize, has been, like ourselves, set into these infernal latitudes.”

“You reason well,” said the captain. “However, we shall soon know. We evidently gain upon her. I think we could now reach her with our guns. But,” he added, after hesitating a moment, “we’ll keep on till we range alongside, and then give him a broadside that will settle him at once.”

The plan of the captain was not destined, however, to succeed. He had scarcely spoken when the wind began perceptibly to die away, and before an hour it was almost a dead calm. Puffs of air, indeed, would occasionally distend our sails for awhile and urge us on a space, but the effect of this, on the whole, was to increase rather than lessen the distance between us and the chase, the latter making more headway in a light breeze.

By the middle of the afternoon we were rocking on the surface of the deep, with every sail set, yet without advancing an inch. The day had been intensely sultry, and now that not a breath of air was stirring, the heat became almost insupportable. The vertical rays of the tropical sun, pouring down on our white decks, nearly blinded the eyesight; but in vain we turned our gaze elsewhere to seek relief, for the broad expanse of ocean to the very verge of the horizon, glowed like molten silver; while above the fiery luminary blazed in a sky of brass. Panting and exhausted we lay about the decks, or leaned over the sides gasping for air.

As the hours wore on the captain began to show signs of uneasiness. He would look first at the sails and then at the chase, then up at our idle canvas again, and once more at the stranger. At last he addressed me.

“The night will soon be here,” he said, “and under cover of it this fellow may escape. Since your suggestion that he may be a pirate, I feel doubly anxious to capture him. What do you think of carrying him with the boats?”

I mused a moment before I replied.

“It would be a perilous enterprise,” I answered at last, “but I think it might be made to succeed. If you are willing, sir, to risk the lives of the men, I shall be willing to lead the attack; only, if the attempt is to be made, the sooner it is done the better.”

“Then my mind is made up.” And elevating his voice, he cried, “Boatswain, pipe away the boat’s crews; we will cut out the chase.”

The long inaction to which the men had been subjected, made them especially eager for a prize; and thus, notwithstanding the depressing influence of the atmosphere, they welcomed the enterprise with joy. In a comparatively short time we were speeding across the waters, the launch, with myself in command, leading.

How shall I describe that long pull across the hot and glittering deep? The men baring their brawny arms, bent steadily to their oars, yet reserving their strength at first with the caution long experience had taught them. And well was it that they acted thus! Soon great drops of perspiration gathered on their brows, and rolled down their swarthy chests, and before long it became evident that, with all their care, the task before them would prove almost beyond their strength. Indeed, in all my experience, I had never known a day so debilitating. As we proceeded, too, the atmosphere appeared to become more and more suffocating, until several of the men, in the different boats, actually gave out, declaring they could not breathe and work both. The difficulty of respiration on my part assured me that there was no pretence in this.

Meantime the schooner, like a ship painted on canvas, lay motionless on the deep, her whole figure reflected in the water, from the trucks down. Occasionally a light ripple would ruffle this shadow for a second, betraying its real character, but at other times it required but little fancy to imagine the reflection an inverted ship, and no mere cheat of the imagination. The men on board the chase were not, however, idle, but busily engaged in tricing up the hammock nettings; and when we had approached nearer, a carronade was run back to her stern, aimed at us, and fired.

“Better luck next time,” ironically said an old sea-dog, who pulled the stroke-oar of my boat, as the ball plumped into the water just ahead of us. “The man that trained that gun don’t understand his business, shipmates. We’ll be on board directly, if we pull sharp.”

“Yes, my lads,” I cried, “it’s no time to trifle now. The next ball may be truer sent. Besides,” I added, glancing over my shoulder at a black cloud rising rapidly in the sky, “this close atmosphere has not been without its meaning; yonder is a thunder-squall coming up, and if we don’t carry the schooner before it overtakes us, there may be the devil to pay.”

The men gave a cheer to show that they were ready to do their best, and bent, with renewed vigor, to their oars. Under this momentary excitement the boats surged along at a vastly accelerated rate, and the schooner rapidly drew within musket-shot. At this point another jet of fire was seen to flash from the carronade astern; a cloud of white smoke puffing out, broke away over the quarter, and then, with a dull report across the murky air, a ball came skipping toward us, striking the bow oar just as it rose from the water, and breaking the ashen blade, while it knocked the seaman over on his seat.

“Pull, with a will, boys, pull,” I cried, excited by the peril; “dash in on them.”

“Hurrah!” answered my men; and we shot like an arrow along.

Intent as I was on reaching the schooner before the carronade could be loaded again, I scarcely had noticed the rapid changes of the sky. I only knew that the air was growing thicker than ever, and that the clouds had completely shut in the sun. But now, when I saw the men at the carronade abandon it, and all hands address themselves to taking in sail, I knew that the danger from the squall was close and imminent; and I looked hastily up and around.

When I had called the attention of my men, scarcely ten minutes before, to the approaching tempest, there had been only a small cloud perceptible far down on the seaboard. But now, from pole to pole, and all round the horizon, a vast, black curtain shut out the light of day; yet not entirely shut it out, for here and there a lurid gleam, like that seen through the chinks of a furnace, penetrated the thick vapors. Over and over, in vast whirling masses, tossed and tumbled the inky clouds. The ghostly radiance that broke, as I have said, through the gaps of the ominous curtain, threw a spectral gleam across the seas that conjured up visions of dread and disaster. Oh! never can I forget that spectacle. The sultry closeness of the air; the sudden and sepulchral stillness; the awful gloom, and the lurid glare, like that from the bottomless pit, all seemed to say that sea and sky were at their last gasp, and that the great day of judgment had arrived.

The men had made the same observations, and apparently came to similar conclusions, for they ceased rowing, as if under a spell, while a look of blank horror occupied their faces. Every eye was turned toward me for a moment, and then, as by one common impulse, directed at the ship. Far up in the distance, almost undistinguishable against the sable back-ground, the —— was faintly visible. She was stripped entirely bare, with the exception of a bit of head-sail, which glowing red and ghastly in the sepulchral light, gave her the appearance of a demon vessel. Nor was this first impression removed on a second view, but rather heightened, so unearthly was the effect produced by the faint outlines of her spars, which were seen a moment and then lost to sight, like those of some spectral ship.

Suddenly, while we were thus looking at our distant craft, a dazzling, blinding glare shot athwart the firmament, and as instantly vanished, leaving eye and brain, however, dizzy with that instant of concentrated light. A sulphurous smell, at the same moment, pervaded the atmosphere. Then followed a roar so stunning, so close at hand, that, if a thousand batteries had been discharged right overhead, the noise could not have been more deafening. For a second I thought one of the boats, or at least the schooner, had been struck by the lightning; but when my brain ceased reeling, I saw they had escaped. This dazzling flash, this awful thunder-clap were succeeded by a darkness and silence as profound, as oppressive, as foreboding as before. Then came a few rain-drops, which, big and heavy, pattered, like huge hail-stones, on the waters around us. These were followed by another silence as deep as before; and then the hurricane, with a roar like a lion, was upon us.

It would be vain to attempt finding language adequate to describe what followed. In an instant the air was filled with millions of particles of spray, which, torn from the surface of the deep, and carried in the arms of the tempest, hid every thing, except objects within a few feet, entirely from sight. The stinging of these fine particles, as they struck the cheek, was like that of mustard-shot. Meantime the force of the wind was such that it was impossible to sit erect—and all stooped, as if by a common impulse, before the blast. Shading my eyes with my hand, to protect the orbs from the spray, I glanced at the place where the schooner had been last seen. But she was no longer visible there. A moment after, however, in a casual opening of the prospect, I caught a glimpse of her form, far away ahead, as, half buried in mist, she drove, like a sheeted spectre, before the gale. The instant after she vanished from my vision, and the squall closed around us like the walls of a dungeon.

Fortunately the launch was already before the wind, so that we had only to hold on, and wait the issue. The other boats were soon out of sight, and speedily out of hearing also. I could, therefore, do nothing for the rest of my command, and resigning myself to fate, I bent my head between my knees, ordered the men to lie down, and so let the hurricane have its way. The rain was now falling, as it falls only in the tropics, in vast sheets of water: the drops, instead of descending perpendicularly, driving slantingly before the hurricane, and striking the water with gigantic force, keeping the deep in commotion all around. The hissing of the rain, the roar of the tempest, the blinding glare of lightning, and the terrific thunder-claps combined to make a scene more awful than I had ever witnessed in all my long experience.

For half an hour the storm continued in its fury. At the end of that time the intense darkness began to give way; but it was nearly half an hour more before the squall had entirely passed over us. At last the rain ceased, the clouds began to break, and the wind in part subsided. I now ventured, for the first time since the tempest had burst upon us, to rise up and look around. I was anxious to see what had become of the remaining boats, as well as to learn in what direction our ship was; for the schooner, I had no doubt from the speed with which I saw her going last, was hull down on the horizon by this time.

Eagerly I scanned the prospect, therefore. My first object of search was the ship, for I knew that on her depended our safety. Her greater size had placed her, I reasoned, even more at the power of the gale than ourselves, and consequently I looked for her to be in advance of us considerably. I had fancied, indeed, during the height of the hurricane, that I saw her tall masts, for a single instant, shooting, meteor-like, past us: but in the blinding rain that then closed in the prospect, it was easy, I was sure, to be deceived. My search, however, for her was unsuccessful. Nowhere, on the whole horizon, was she or the schooner to be seen. Up to windward, where it was now entirely clear, the view was unbroken; and she was plainly not there. In front, for a long distance, the prospect was equally unbroken; but she was not in sight in this direction either. Far down, however, in the furthest horizon, where the squall was disappearing, there still hung a black cloud, from which the sullen thunder occasionally growled, and across whose gloomy front the lightning, every few minutes, crinkled. That dark curtain, I knew, enveloped our missing ship, or else she, and her three hundred souls, were buried in the deep.

With a heavy sigh I beheld this condition of affairs. Parted from the ship, without water or provisions on board, destitute even of a compass, and with night coming on, our situation was indeed piteous in the extreme. How far the squall might carry the ship before outrunning her, it was impossible to conjecture. Perhaps, when the hurricane should be over for our comrades on board, the gallant craft might be hull down on the horizon. In that event, though she would naturally retrace her path to seek us, night might shut in before we could be seen from the mast-head even: and, in the darkness that would follow, nothing could be easier than for her entirely to miss us. Days, in that event, would probably elapse before we would be picked up, if ever. The thought was terrible, and I turned from it, sick at heart, to look for the other boats.

I was not, indeed, without misgivings as to the fate of these. The launch, being large, was better fitted to ride out the gale than her companions, and I expected that the smaller of the two boats, at least, had been swamped. However, I soon discovered both her and her companion, one about a cable’s length astern, and the other nearly abeam. With a glad hallo, that sounded strangely on the now lonely seas, my crew took to their oars, and pulled rapidly in the direction of the boat abeam, the one astern following our example. The first voice I heard was the junior lieutenant’s.

“Can you see any thing of the ship?” he said.

“No,” I replied, “she is entirely out of sight.”

“What is to be done?” he asked.

“You have no water or provisions on board, I suppose?”

“Nothing but a beaker of water, and not a solitary biscuit.”

“How far is it to the nearest land?”

“About five hundred miles, I take it.”

“So I thought,” I answered.

And now I mused for a moment, the crews of the three boats resting on their oars, and looking eagerly at me. Every man knew, as well as myself, that, in all likelihood, we should never see the ship again: in which event a lingering death by starvation was our almost inevitable doom. On my decision, whether to pull after the ship, which would carry us further from land, or, abandoning the hope of meeting the ship, seek to reach the coast by the nearest route, hung, perhaps, our lives: and all were aware of this.

“Follow the squall,” I said, at last, turning my eyes to the dark cloud, now fast disappearing on the eastern horizon, “it is our only chance. If we don’t find the ship we are dead men. It is madness to think of reaching land.”

“I would to God the sun was a few hours higher!” said the lieutenant, looking at that luminary, which now hung, a blazing orb, a few degrees only above the horizon. “We haven’t even a lantern on board, to show a light!”

Nothing further was said. The boats were headed east, the men bent to their tasks, and, in another minute, the little fleet was speeding silently across the waters. But with what different feelings from those with which we set out from the ship two hours before!

As the time wore on, and the sun declined lower to the horizon, yet still no sign of the ship became visible, our hearts sunk within us. The squall in the distance had now dwindled to a bank of clouds, low on the furthest seaboard; but no vestige of the ship, between it and us, was perceptible. At last the sun’s disc touched the western horizon, and, in another instant, had entirely disappeared. Darkness, deep and profound, now fell upon us; for, in that tropical latitude, there is no twilight to prolong, in part, the day. As the gloom settled around us, a deep drawn breath rose from the boat’s crew: it was an involuntary expression of the general feeling, that, with the sun, hope too had set.

For more than an hour we pulled on in silence. As no sail had been in sight when darkness shut in, it was useless to hail: and so we continued without a word being spoken. Not a sound, therefore, broke the hush except the measured rollicking of the oars, and the surging noise of the launch as it was propelled heavily through the water. The darkness still continued, for numerous clouds flecked the sky, and every here and there, in consequence, would a star find its way out. But in the azure west, like a lustrous gem, there shone through all one bright, large orb, whose light, flickering and dancing along the water, cheered us with its beauty and kept us from entirely desponding.

Suddenly the old veteran, whom I have before alluded to, looked up.

“If I’m not mistaken, sir,” he said, addressing me, “there’s a bunch of rockets in the locker in the stern-sheets. They were put there by the gunner some days ago, and have never, I believe, been removed. At any rate it is worth while to look.”

Never did I hear words sweeter to my ears. I was up in an instant and searching the locker. Sure enough, as the old tar had said, the rockets were still there, the result of a carelessness which now appeared to me to have been little less than providential.

The intelligence was immediately announced to the other boats; and the crews, inspired by the news, rested on their oars, as of one accord, and gave vent to three hearty cheers.

“I will signal the ship,” I said to my second in command, “and if she is any where within range of vision, we shall hear from her instantly.”

Accordingly, I let off two rockets in rapid succession. The fiery missiles shot up to a great height in the sky, and falling in a shower of stars, illuminated the horizon far and near for a moment. Many an eye, during that half instant, scanned the seaboard eagerly, in order to see if the ship was in sight; but not a sign of her was perceptible, and a deep sigh told the disappointment.

I, however, did not yet despair. I knew that the ship, though invisible in that partial light, might still be near enough to discern our rockets; and I was well aware that on board of her half a hundred eager eyes were at this moment on the look-out. Without despair, yet with a beating heart, I watched for the reply to my signal. One minute passed, and then another, but still there was no sign of an answering rocket.

My heart grew faint. My limbs tottered beneath me. Minute after minute succeeded, and my hopes were gradually dwindling away—when suddenly the old tar before me shouted,

“Huzza, there she goes! Huzza—huzza—we are safe, lads, huzza!”

Quick as thought my eyes followed his, and I saw, far off, apparently on the very surface of the water, a single spark of light. But that spark grew and grew, and, as it grew, it rose, until finally it ascended high into the blue ether, leaving a train of light, comet-like, behind it. All at once it burst into a dozen fire-balls, some blue and some red, which, hovering a moment in mid-air, fell at last slowly toward the deep. Every one who saw those colors was aware of their meaning: they were the well-known signals of our gallant ship.

Such a shout as then went up to the sky! It rings in my ears even yet, and the very memory of it makes the blood leap quicker in my veins.

Two hours after we were safely on board, having been guided on our way by signal rockets till the ship came into sight.

As for the schooner, we never saw her more!





The violets are growing thickly in Washington Square, early as it is. The gates are not yet open, but many linger by the high railing to catch a glimpse of these “Spring Beauties.” Letters from Philadelphia.

Those purple clustering violets

  Hiding beneath the grass!

How many pause to look on them

  Who by their covert pass.


Many a care-worn face is pressed

  Close to the iron gate,

Heedless if at their daily toil

  They shall be counted late.


The trembling lips—the starting tears—

  Ah me! what yearning thought

The simple wild-wood violets

  To these lone hearts have brought.


Visions of childhood’s careless time

  When like the flowers they grew,

Dwellers beside the singing brook—

  Beneath a sky as blue.


How lightly trod their tiny feet

  Upon the velvet moss,

How gayly sprang from stone to stone

  The little brook across.


What shouts of eager laughter rose,

  As, bending to the stream,

They found the violets, betrayed

  By their deep azure gleam.


The soughing of the dark pine trees,

  The fresh sweet breath of Spring—

The even song of low-voiced birds,

  All these those blossoms bring.


And wearily the sons of toil

  Turn from this haunted spot,

Haunted by scenes of joy and hope

  For many years forgot.


They go more slowly on their way,

  Nor heed the city’s din,

The heavy eyelids as they close

  Press back the tears within.


For once wood violets had grown

  In their own garden bowers,

But now, alas! how rarely bloom

  For them fresh wayside flowers!





Once more, once more, my Mary dear,

  I sit by that lone stream,

Where first within thy timid ear

  I breathed love’s burning dream;

The birds we loved still tell their tales

  Of music on each spray,

And still the wild rose decks the vale—

  But thou art far away.


In vain thy vanished form I seek,

  By wood and stream and dell,

And tears of anguish bathe my cheek

  Where tears of rapture fell;

And yet beneath these wild-wood bowers

  Dear thoughts my soul employ,

For in the memories of past hours,

  There is a mournful joy.


Upon the air thy gentle words

  Around me seem to thrill,

Like sounds upon the wind-harp’s chords

  When all the winds are still,

Or like the low and soul-like swell

  Of that wild spirit-tone

Which haunts the hollow of the bell

  When its sad chime is done.


I seem to hear thee speak my name

  In sweet low murmurs now,

I seem to feel thy breath of flame

  Upon my cheek and brow;

On my cold lips I feel thy kiss,

  Thy heart to mine is laid—

Alas that such a dream of bliss

  Like other dreams must fade!






(Continued from page 29.)


The moment she had disappeared from the kitchen, the negro was taken forth by the captain of loyalists, who by this time had surrounded himself with nearly all his band. A single soldier had been stationed by Clymes between the house and kitchen, in order to arrest the approach of any of the whites from the former to the scene where Brough was about to pass a certain painful ordeal. The stout old African doggedly, with a single shake of his head, obeyed his captors, as they ordered him to a neighboring wood—a small copse of scrubby oaks, that lay between the settlement and the swamp forest along the river. Here, without delay, Brough was commanded, on pain of rope and hickory, to deliver up the secret of Richard Coulter’s hiding-place. But the old fellow had promised to be faithful. He stubbornly refused to know or to reveal any thing. The scene which followed is one that we do not care to describe in detail. The reader must imagine its particulars. Let it suffice that the poor old creature was haltered by the neck, and drawn up repeatedly to the swinging limb of a tree, until the moral nature, feeble at best, and overawed by the terrors of the last mortal agony, surrendered in despair. Brough consented to conduct the party to the hiding-place of Richard Coulter.

The savage nature of Matthew Dunbar was now in full exercise.

“Boots and saddle!” was the cry; and, with the negro, both arms pinioned, and running at the head of one of the dragoon’s horses, leashed to the stirrup-leather, and in constant danger, should he be found tripping, of a sudden sabre cut, the whole party, with two exceptions, made their way down the country, and under the guidance of the African. Two of the soldiers had been placed in watch upon the premises, with instructions, however, to keep from sight, and not suffer their proximity to be suspected. But the suspicion of such an arrangement in existence was now natural enough to a mind, like that of Frederica Sabb, made wary by her recent misfortune. She was soon apprised of the departure of the loyalist troop. She was soon taught to fear from the weakness of poor Brough. What was to be done? Was her lover to be caught in the toils? Was she to become indirectly the agent of his destruction? She determined at all events to forego no effort by which to effect his escape. She was a girl of quick wit, and prompt expedients. No longer exposing herself in her white cotton garments, she wrapped herself closely up in the great brown overcoat of her father, which buried her person from head to foot. She stole forth from the front entrance with cautious footsteps, employing tree and shrub for her shelter whenever they offered. In this way she moved forward to a spot inclining to the river, but taking an upward route, one which she naturally concluded had been left without a guard. But her objects required finally that she should change her course, and take the downward path, as soon as she could persuade herself that her progress was fairly under cover. Still she knew not but that she was seen, and perhaps followed, as well as watched. The spy might arrest her at the very moment when she was most hopeful of her object. How to guard against this danger? How to attain the necessary security? The question was no sooner formed than answered. Her way lay through a wilderness of leaves. The silent droppings from the trees for many years had accumulated around her, and their constant crinkling beneath her tread, drawing her notice to this source of fear, suggested to her the means of safety. There had not been a rain for many weeks. The earth was parched with thirst. The drought had driven the sap from shrub and plant; and just below, on the very route taken by the pursuing party, a natural meadow, a long, thin strip, the seat of a bayou or lake long since dried up, was covered with a rank forest of broom-grass, parched and dried by the sun. The wind was fresh, and driving right below. To one familiar with the effect of firing the woods in a southern country under such circumstances, the idea which possessed the mind of our heroine was almost intuitive. She immediately stole back to the house, her eagerness finding wings, which, however, did not betray her caution. The sentinels of Dunbar kept easy watch, but she had not been unseen. The cool, deliberate tory had more than once fitted his finger to the trigger of his horseman’s pistol, as he beheld the approach toward him of the shrouded figure. But he was not disposed to show himself, or to give the alarm before he could detect the objects of his unknown visiter. Her return to the house was not beheld. He had lost sight of her in the woods, and fancied her still to be in the neighborhood. Unable to recover his clue, he still maintained his position waiting events. It was not long before she reappeared upon the scene. He did not see the figure, until it crossed an open space, on his right, in the direction of the river. He saw it stoop to the earth, and he then bounded forward. His haste was injurious to his objects. He fell over the prostrate trunk of a pine, which had been thrown down for ranging timber only a few days before, and lay dark, with all its bark upon it, in the thick cover of the grass. His pistol went off in his fall, and before he could recover his feet, he was confounded to find himself threatened by a rapid rushing forest of flame, setting directly toward him. For a moment, the sudden blaze blinded him, and when he opened his eyes fully upon surrounding objects, he saw nothing human—nothing but the great dark shafts of pine, beneath which the fire was rushing with the roar and volume of swollen billows of the sea, breaking upon the shore which they promised to engulf. To save himself, to oppose fire to fire, or pass boldly through the flame where it burned most feebly, was now a first necessity; and we leave him to extricate himself as he may, while we follow the progress of Frederica Sabb. The flame which she had kindled in the dry grass and leaves, from the little old stable-lantern of the cottage, concealed beneath the great-coat of her father, had sufficed as a perfect cover to her movements. The fire swept below, and in the direction of the tory sentinels. The advance of the one she had perceived, in the moment when she was communicating the blazing candle to the furze. She fancied she was shot when she heard the report of the pistol; but pressing her hand to her heart, the lantern still in her grasp, she darted headlong forward by one of the paths leading directly to the river. The fire was now raging over all the tract between her and the tory sentries. Soon she descended from the pine ridge, and passed into the low flat land, strewed with gray cypresses, with their thousand knees, or abutments. The swamp was nearly dry. She found her way along a well known path to the river, and from beneath a clump of shrouding willows, drew forth a little dugout, the well known cypress canoe of the country. This was a small egg-shell like structure, scarcely capable of holding two persons, which she was well accustomed to manage. At once she pushed boldly out into the broad stream, whose sweet rippling flow, a continuous and gentle murmur, was strangely broken by the intense roar and crackling of the fire as it swept the broad track of stubble, dry grass and leaves, which lay in its path. The lurid shadows sometimes passed over the surface of the stream, but naturally contributed to increase her shelter. With a prayer that was inaudible to herself, she invoked Heaven’s mercy on her enterprise, as with a strong arm, familiar in this exercise, she plied from side to side, the little paddle which, with the favoring currents of the river, soon carried her down toward the bit of swamp forest where her lover found his refuge. The spot was well known to the maiden, though we must do her the justice to say, she would never have sought for Richard Coulter in its depths, but for an emergency like the present. It was known as “Bear Castle,” a close thicket covering a sort of promontory, three-fourths of which was encircled by the river, while the remaining quarter was a deep swamp, through which, at high water, a streamlet forced its way, converting the promontory into an islet. It was unfortunate for Coulter and his party that, at this season the river was much lower than usual, and the swamp offered no security on the land side, unless from the denseness of the forest vegetation. It might now be passed dry shod.

The distance from “Bear Castle” to the farmstead of old Frederick Sabb, was, by land, but four or five miles. By water it was fully ten. If, therefore, the stream favored the progress of our heroine, the difference against Dunbar and his tories was more than equalled by the shorter route before him, and the start which he had made in advance of Frederica. But Brough was no willing guide. He opposed frequent difficulties to the distasteful progress, and as they neared the spot, Dunbar found it necessary to make a second application of the halter before the good old negro could be got forward. The love of life, the fear of death, proved superior to his loyalty.

Brough would have borne any quantity of flogging—nay, he could, perhaps, have perished under the scourge without confessing, but his courage failed, when the danger was of being launched headlong into eternity. A shorter process than the cord or swinging limb would not have found him so pliant. With a choking groan he promised to submit, and with heart swollen almost to bursting, he led the route, off from the main road now, and through the sinuous little foot-paths which conducted to the place of refuge of our patriots.

It was at this point, having ascertained what space lay between him and his enemy, that Dunbar dismounted his troopers. The horses were left with a guard, while the rest of his men, under his personal lead, made their further progress on foot. His object was a surprise. He designed that the negro should give the “usual” signal with which he had been taught to approach the camp of the fugitive, and this signal—a shrill whistle, three times sounded, with a certain measured pause between each utterance—was to be given when the swamp was entered over which the river, in high stages of the water, made its breach. These instructions were all rigidly followed. Poor Brough, with the rope about his neck, and the provost ready to fling the other end of the cord over the convenient arm of a huge sycamore under which they stood, was incapable of resistance. But his strength was not equal to his submission. His whistle was but feebly sounded. His heart failed him and his voice; and a repeated contraction of the cord, in the hands of the provost, was found essential to make him repeat the effort, and give more volume to his voice. In the meanwhile, Dunbar cautiously pushed his men forward. They packed through great hollows, where, at full water, the alligator wallowed; where the whooping crane sought his prey at nightfall; where the fox slept in safety, and the wild-cat in a favorite domain. “Bear Castle” was the fortress of many fugitives. Aged cypresses lay like the foundations of ancient walls along the path, and great thorny vines, and flaming, flowery creepers flaunted their broad streamers in the faces of the midnight gropers through their solitudes. The route would have been almost impassable during the day for men on horseback; it was a tedious and toilsome progress by night for men on foot. But Dunbar, nothing doubting of the proximity of his enemy, went forward with an eagerness which only did not forget its caution.



The little party of Richard Coulter consisted of four persons beside himself. It was, perhaps, an hour before this that he sat apart from the rest conversing with one of his companions. This was no other than Elijah Fields, the Methodist preacher. He had become a volunteer chaplain among the patriots of his own precinct, and one who, like the Bishop of Beauvais, did not scruple to wield the weapons of mortal warfare as well as those of the church. It is true he was not ostentatious in the manner of the performance; and this, perhaps, somewhat increases its merit. He was the man for an emergency, forgetting his prayer when the necessity for blows was pressing, and duly remembering his prayers when the struggle was no longer doubtful. Yet Elijah Fields was no hypocrite. He was a true, strong-souled man, with blood, will, energies, and courage, as well as devotion, and a strong passion for the soil which gave him birth. In plain terms he was the patriot as well as the preacher, and his manhood was required for both vocations.

To him Richard Coulter, now a captain among the partisans of Sumter, had unfolded the narrative of his escape from Dunbar. They had taken their evening meal; their three companions were busy with their arms and horses, grouped together in the centre of the camp. Our two principal persons occupied a little headland on the edge of the river, looking up the stream. They were engaged in certain estimates with regard to the number of recruits expected daily, by means of which Coulter was in hopes to turn the tables on his rival; becoming the hunter instead of the fugitive. We need not go over the grounds of their discussion, and refer to the general progress of events throughout the state. Enough to say that the Continental army, defeated under Gates, was in course of re-organization, and re-approaching under Greene; that Marion had been recently active and successful below; and that Sumter, defeated by Tarleton at Fishing Creek, was rapidly recruiting his force at the foot of the mountains. Richard Coulter had not been utterly unsuccessful in the same business along the Edisto. A rendezvous of his recruits was appointed to take place on the ensuing Saturday; and, at this rendezvous, it was hoped that he would find at least thirty stout fellows in attendance. But we anticipate. It was while in the discussion of these subjects that the eyes of Coulter, still looking in the direction of his heart, were attracted by the sudden blaze which swept the forests, and dyed in lurid splendor the very face of heaven. It had been the purpose of Frederica Sabb, in setting fire to the undergrowth, not only to shelter her own progress, but in this way to warn her lover of his danger. But the effect was to alarm him for her safety rather than his own.

“That fire is at Sabb’s place,” was his first remark.

“It looks like it,” was the reply of the preacher.

“Can it be that Dunbar has burnt the old man’s dwelling?”


“He is not too good for it, or for any thing monstrous. He has burnt others—old Rumph’s—Ferguson’s, and many more.”

“Yes! but he prefers to own, and not destroy old Sabb’s. As long as he has a hope of getting Frederica, he will scarcely commit such an outrage.”

“But if she has refused him—if she answers him, as she feels, scornfully—”

“Even then he will prefer to punish in a different way. He will rather choose to take the place by confiscation than burn it. He has never put that fire, or it is not at Sabb’s, but this side of, or beyond it.”

“It may be the act of some drunken trooper. At all events, it requires that we should be on the look-out. I will scout it for a while and see what the mischief is. Do you, meanwhile, keep every thing ready for a start.”

“That fire will never reach us.”

“Not with this wind, perhaps; but the enemy may. He evidently beat the woods after my heels this evening, and may be here to-morrow, on my track. We must be prepared. Keep the horses saddled and bitted, and your ears open for any summons. Ha! by heavens, that is Brough’s signal now.”

“Is it Brough’s? If so, it is scarcely from Brough in a healthy state. The old fellow must have caught cold going to and fro at all hours in the service of Cupid.”

Our preacher was disposed to be merry at the expense of our lover.

“Yes, it is Brough’s signal, but feeble, as if the old fellow was really sick. He has probably passed through this fire, and has been choked with the smoke. But he must have an answer.”

And, eager to hear from his beloved one, our hero gave his whistle in reply, and moved forward in the direction of the isthmus. The preacher, meanwhile, went toward the camp, quite prompt in the performance of the duties assigned him.

“He answers,” muttered the tory captain; “the rebels are delivered to our hands!” And his preparations were sternly prosecuted to make a satisfactory finish to the adventure of the night. He, too, it must be remarked, though somewhat wondering at the blazing forest behind him, never for a moment divined the real original of the conflagration. He ascribed it to accident, and, possibly, to the carelessness of one of the troopers whom he left as sentinels. With an internal resolution to make the fellow, if offending, familiar with the halberds, he pushed forward, as we have seen, till reaching the swamp; while the fire, obeying the course of the wind, swept away to the right of the path kept by the pursuing party, leaving them entirely without cause of apprehension from this quarter.

The plans of Dunbar for penetrating the place of Coulter’s refuge were as judicious as they could be made under the circumstances. Having brought the troopers to the verge of the encampment, the negro was fastened to a tree by the same rope which had so frequently threatened his neck. The tories pushed forward, each with pistol cocked and ready in the grasp. They had scattered themselves abroad, so as to form a front sufficient to cover, at moderate intervals, the space across the isthmus. But, with the withdrawal of the immediate danger, Brough’s courage returned to him, and, to the furious rage and discomfiture of Dunbar, the old negro set up on a sudden a most boisterous African howl—such a song as the Ebo cheers himself with when in the doubtful neighborhood of a jungle which may hide the lion or the tiger. The sounds re-echoed through the swamp, and startled, with a keen suspicion, not only our captain of patriots, but the preacher and his associates. Brough’s voice was well known to them all; but that Brough should use it after such a fashion was quite as unexpected to them as to Dunbar and his tories. One of the latter immediately dropped back, intending to knock the negro regularly on the head; and, doubtless, such would have been the fate of the fellow, had it not been for the progress of events which called him elsewhere. Richard Coulter had pressed forward at double quick time as he heard the wild chant of the African, and, being familiar with the region, it occupied but little space to enable him to reach the line across which the party of Dunbar was slowly making its way. Hearing but a single footfall, and obtaining a glimpse of a single figure only, Coulter repeated his whistle. He was answered with a pistol shot—another and another followed; and he had time only to wind his bugle, giving the signal of flight to his comrades, when he felt a sudden sickness at the heart, and a faintness which only did not affect his senses. He could still feel his danger, and his strength sufficed to enable him to roll himself close beside the massive trunk of the cypress, upon which he had unhappily been perched when his whistle drew the fire upon him of several of the approaching party. Scarcely had he thus covered himself from a random search when he sunk into insensibility.

Meanwhile, “Bear Castle” rang with the signals of alarm and assault. At the first sound of danger, Elijah Fields dashed forward in the direction which Coulter had taken. But the private signal which he sounded for the other was unanswered, and the assailants were now breaking through the swamp, and were to be heard on every hand. To retreat, to rally his comrades, to mount their steeds, dash into the river and take the stream was all the work of an instant. From the middle of the sweeping current the shouts of hate and defiance came to the ears of the tories as they broke from the copse and appeared on the banks of the river. A momentary glimpse of the dark bulk of one or more steeds as they whirled round an interposing headland, drew from them the remaining bullets in their pistols, but without success; and, ignorant of the effect of a random bullet upon the very person whom, of all, he most desired to destroy, Mat Dunbar felt himself once more foiled in a pursuit which he had this time undertaken with every earnest of success.

“That d—d African!” was his exclamation. “But he shall hang for it now, though he never hung before!”

With this pious resolution, having, with torches, made such an exploration of Bear Castle as left them in no doubt that all the fugitives had escaped, our tory captain called his squad together, and commenced their return. The fatigue of passing through the dry swamp on their backward route was much greater than when they entered it. They were then full of excitement, full of that rapture of the strife which needs not even the feeling of hate and revenge to make it grateful to an eager and impulsive temper. Now, they were baffled—the excitement was at an end—and with the feeling of perfect disappointment came the full feeling of all the toils and exertions they had undergone. They had but one immediate consolation in reserve, and that was the hanging of Brough, which Dunbar promised them. The howl of the African had defeated their enterprise. The African must howl no longer. Bent on murder, they hastened to the tree where they had left him bound, only to meet with a new disappointment. The African was there no longer!



It would be difficult to describe the rage and fury of our captain of loyalists when he made this discovery. The reader will imagine it all. But what was to be done? Was the prey to be entirely lost? And by what agency had Brough made his escape? He had been securely fastened, it was thought, and in such a way as seemed to render it impossible that he should have been extricated from his bonds without the assistance of another. This conjecture led to a renewal of the search. The rope which fastened the negro lay upon the ground, severed, as by a knife, in several places. Now, Brough could not use his hands. If he could, there would have been no sort of necessity for using his knife. Clearly, he had found succor from another agency than his own. Once more our loyalists darted into the recesses of Bear Castle, their torches were to be seen flaring in every part of that dense patch of swamp forest, as they waved them over every spot which seemed to promise concealment to the fugitive.

“Hark!” cried Dunbar, whose ears were quickened by eager and baffled passions. “Hark! I hear the dip of a paddle.”

He was right. They darted forth from the woods, and when they reached the river’s edge, they had a glimpse of a small dark object, which they readily conceived to be a canoe, just rounding one of the projections of the shore and going out of sight, a full hundred yards below. Here was another mystery. The ramifications of Bear Castle seemed numerous; and, mystified as well as mortified, Dunbar, after a tedious delay, and a search fruitlessly renewed, took up the line of march back for old Sabb’s cottage, inly resolved to bring the fair Frederica to terms, or, in some way, to make her pay the penalty for his disappointments of the night. He little dreamed how much she had to do with them, nor that her hand had fired the forest grasses, whose wild and terrific blaze had first excited the apprehensions and compelled the caution of the fugitives. It is for us to show what further agency she exercised in this nocturnal history.

We left her, alone, in her little dug-out, paddling or drifting down the river with the stream. She pursued this progress with proper caution. In approaching the headlands around which the river swept, on that side which was occupied by Dunbar, she suspended the strokes of her paddle, leaving her silent boat to the direction of the currents. The night was clear and beautiful, and the river undefaced by shadow, except when the current bore her beneath the overhanging willows which grew numerously along the margin, or when the winds flung great masses of smoke from the burning woods across its bright, smooth surface. With these exceptions, the river shone in a light not less clear and beautiful because vague and capricious. Moonlight and starlight seem to make a special atmosphere for youth, and the heart which loves, even when most troubled with anxieties for the beloved one, never, at such a season, proves wholly insensible to the soft, seductive influences of such an atmosphere. Our Frederica was not the heroine of convention. She had never imbibed romance from books; but she had affections out of which books might be written, filled with all those qualities, at once strong and tender, which make the heroine in the moment of emergency. Her heart softened, as, seated in the centre of her little vessel, she watched the soft light upon the wave, or beheld it dripping, in bright, light droplets, like fairy glimmers, through the over-hanging foliage. Of fear—fear for herself—she had no feeling. Her apprehensions were all for Richard Coulter, and her anxieties increased as she approached the celebrated promontory and swamp forest, known to this day upon the river as “Bear Castle.” She might be too late. The captain of the loyalists had the start of her, and her only hope lay in the difficulties by which he must be delayed, going through a blind forest and under imperfect guidance—for she still had large hopes of Brough’s fidelity. She was too late—too late for her purpose, which had been to forewarn her lover in season for his escape. She was drifting toward the spot where the river, at full seasons, made across the low neck by which the promontory of “Bear Castle” was united with the main land. Her paddle no longer dipt the water, but was employed solely to protect her from the overhanging branches beneath which she now prepared to steer. It was at her approach to this point, that she was suddenly roused to apprehension by the ominous warning chant set up by the African.

“Poor Brough! what can they be doing with him?” was her question to herself. But the next moment she discovered that his howl was meant to be a hymn; and the peculiar volume which the negro gave to his utterance, led her to divine its import. There was little time allowed her for reflection. A moment after, and just when her boat was abreast of the bayou which Dunbar and his men were required to cross in penetrating the place of refuge, she heard the sudden pistol shooting under which Coulter had fallen. With a heart full of terror, trembling with anxiety and fear, Frederica had the strength of will to remain quiet for the present. Seizing upon an overhanging bough, she lay concealed within the shadow of the copse until the loyalists had rushed across the bayou, and were busy, with lighted torches, exploring the thickets. She had heard the bugle of Coulter sounded as he was about to fall, after being wounded, and her quick consciousness readily enabled her to recognize it as her lover’s. But she had heard no movement afterward in the quarter from which came the blast, and could not conceive that he should have made his way to join his comrades in the space of time allowed between that and the moment when she heard them taking to the river with their horses. This difficulty led to new fears, which were agonizing enough, but not of a sort to make her forgetful of what was due to the person whom she came to save. She waited only until the torrent had passed the straits—until the bayou was silent—when she fastened her little boat to the willows which completely enveloped her, and boldly stepped upon the land. With a rare instinct which proved how deeply her heart had interested itself in the operations of her senses, she moved directly to the spot whence she had heard the bugle-note of her lover. The place was not far distant from the point where she had been in lurking. Her progress was arrested by the prostrate trunk of a great cypress, which the hurricane might have cast down some fifty years before. It was with some difficulty that she scrambled over it; but while crossing it she heard a faint murmur, like the voice of one in pain, laboring to speak or cry aloud. Her heart misgave her. She hurried to the spot. Again the murmur—now certainly a moan. It is at her feet, but on the opposite side of the cypress, which she again crosses. The place was very dark, and in the moment when, from loss of blood, he was losing consciousness, Richard Coulter had carefully crawled close to the cypress, whose bulk, in this way, effectually covered him from passing footsteps. She found him, still warm, the flow of blood arrested, and his consciousness returning.

“Richard! it is me—Frederica!”

He only sighed. It required but an instant for reflection on the part of the damsel; and rising from the place where she had crouched beside him, she darted away to the upper grounds where Brough still continued to pour out his dismal ejaculations—now of psalms and song, and now of mere whoop, halloo, and imprecation. A full heart and a light foot make quick progress when they go together. It was necessary that Frederica should lose no time. She had every reason to suppose that, failing to secure their prey, the tories would suffer no delay in the thicket. Fortunately, the continued cries of Brough left her at no time doubtful of his whereabouts. She soon found him, fastened to his tree, in a state sufficiently uncomfortable for one whose ambition did not at all incline him to martyrdom of any sort. Yet martyrdom was now his fear. His first impulses, which had given the alarm to the patriots, were succeeded by feelings of no pleasant character. He had already had a taste of Dunbar’s punishments, and he dreaded still worse at his hands. The feeling which had changed his howl of warning into one of lament—his whoop into a psalm—was one accordingly of preparation. He was preparing himself, as well as he could, after his African fashion, for the short cord and the sudden shrift, from which he had already so narrowly escaped.

Nothing could exceed the fellow’s rejoicing as he became aware of the character of his new visiter.

“Oh, Misses! Da’s you? Loose ’em! Cut you’ nigger loose! Let ’em run! Sich a run! you nebber see de like! I take dese woods, dis yer night, Mat Dunbar nebber see me ’gen long as he lib! Ha! ha! Cut! cut, misses! cut quick! de rope is work into my berry bones!”

“But I have no knife, Brough.”

“No knife! Da’s wha’ woman good for! No hab knife! Take you teet’, misses—gnaw de rope. Psho! wha’ I tell you? Stop! Put you’ han’ in dis yer pocket—you fin’ knife, if I no loss ’em in de run.”

The knife was found, the rope cut, the negro free, all in much less time than we have taken for the narration; and hurrying the African with her, Frederica was soon again beside the person of her lover. To assist Brough in taking him upon his back, to help sustain the still partially insensible man in this position until he could be carried to the boat, was a work of quick resolve, which required, however, considerable time for performance. But patience and courage, when sustained by love, become wonderful powers; and Richard Coulter, whose moans increased with his increasing sensibility, was finally laid down in the bottom of the dug-out, his head resting in the lap of Frederica. The boat could hold no more. The faithful Brough, pushing her out into the stream, with his hand still resting on stern or gunwale, swam along with her, as she quietly floated with the currents. We have seen the narrow escape which the little vessel had as she rounded the headland below, just as Dunbar came down upon the beach. Had he been there when the canoe first began to round the point, it would have been easy to have captured the whole party, since the stream, somewhat narrow at this place, set in for the shore which the tories occupied, and a stout swimmer might have easily drawn the little argosy upon the banks.



To one familiar with the dense swamps that skirt the rivers through the alluvial bottom lands of the South, there will be no difficulty in comprehending the fact that a fugitive may find temporary security within half a mile of his enemy, even where his pursuers hunt for him in numbers. Thus it happened that, in taking to the river, our little corporal’s guard of patriots, under the direction of Elijah Fields, the worthy preacher, swimming their horses round a point of land on the opposite shore, sought shelter but a little distance below “Bear Island,” in a similar tract of swamp and forest, and almost within rifle-shot of their late retreat. They had no fear that their enemy would attempt, at that late hour, and after the long fatigue of their recent march and search, to cross the river in pursuit of them; and had they been wild enough to do so, it was equally easy to hide from search, or to fly from pursuit. Dunbar felt all this as sensibly as the fugitives; and with the conviction of his entire failure at “Bear Castle,” he gave up the game for the present. Meanwhile, the little barque of Frederica Sabb made its way down the river. She made her calculations on a just estimate of the probabilities in the situation of Coulter’s party, and was not deceived. As the boat swept over to the opposite shore, after rounding the point of land that lay between it and “Bear Castle,” it was hailed by Fields, for whom Brough had a ready answer. Some delay, the fruit of a proper caution, took place before our fugitives were properly sensible of the character of the stranger; but the result was, that with returning consciousness, Richard Coulter found himself once more in safety with his friends, and, a still more precious satisfaction, attended by the woman of his heart. It was not long before all the adventures of Frederica were in his possession, and his spirit became newly strengthened for conflict and endurance by such proofs of a more than feminine attachment which the brave young girl had shown. Let us leave the little party for a season, while we return with the captain of loyalists to the farmstead of old Frederick Sabb.

Here Mat Dunbar had again taken up his quarters as before, but with a difference. Thoroughly enraged at his disappointment, and at the discovery that Frederica had disappeared—a fact which produced as much disquiet in the minds of her parents, as vexation to her tory lover; and easily guessing at all of the steps which she had taken, and of her object, he no longer imposed any restraints upon his native brutality of temper, which, while he had any hope of winning her affections, he had been at some pains to do. His present policy seemed to be to influence her fears. To reach her heart, or force her inclinations, through the dangers of her parents, was now his object. Unfortunately, the lax discipline of the British authority, in Carolina particularly, in behalf of their own followers, enabled him to do much toward this object, and without peril to himself. He had anticipated the position in which he now found himself, and had provided against it. He had obtained from Col. Nesbett Balfour, the military commandant of Charleston, a grant of the entire farmstead of old Sabb—the non-committalism of the old Dutchman never having enabled him to satisfy the British authorities that he was a person deserving their protection. Of the services and loyalty of Dunbar, on the contrary, they were in possession of daily evidence. It was with indescribable consternation that old Sabb looked upon the massive parchment, sealed, signed, and made authoritative by stately phrases and mysterious words, of the purport of which he could only conjecture, with which the fierce Dunbar denounced him as a traitor to the king, and expelled him from his own threshold.

“Oh! mein Gott!” was his exclamation. “And did the goot King Tshorge make dat baber? And has de goot King Tshorge take away my grants?”

The only answer to this pitiful appeal vouchsafed him by the captain of loyalists was a brutal oath, as he smote the document fiercely with his hand, and forbade all further inquiry. It may have been with some regard to the probability of his future marriage—in spite of all—with the old Dutchman’s daughter, that he permitted him, with his wife, to occupy an old log-house which stood upon the estate. He established himself within the dwelling-house, which he occupied as a garrisoned post with all his soldiers. Here he ruled as a sovereign. The proceeds of the farm were yielded to him, the miserable pittance excepted which he suffered to go to the support of the old couple. Sabb had a few slaves, who were now taught to recognise Dunbar as their master. They did not serve him long. Three of them escaped to the woods the night succeeding the tory’s usurpation, and but two remained in his keeping, rather, perhaps, through the vigilance of his sentinels, and their own fears, than because of any love which they entertained for their new custodian. Both of these were women, and one of them no less a person than the consort of Brough, the African. Mrs. Brough—or, as we had better call her, she will understand us better—Mimy, (the diminutive of Jemima,) was particularly watched, as through her it was hoped to get some clue to her husband, whose treachery it was the bitter resolution of our tory captain to punish, as soon as he had the power, with exemplary tortures. Brough had some suspicions of this design, which it was no part of his policy to assist; but this did not discourage him from an adventure which brought him again very nearly into contact with his enemy. He determined to visit his wife by stealth, relying upon his knowledge of the woods, his own caution, and the thousand little arts with which his race usually takes advantage of the carelessness, the indifference, or the ignorance of its superior. His wife, he well knew, conscious of his straits, would afford him assistance in various ways. He succeeded in seeing her just before the dawn of day one morning, and from her discovered the whole situation of affairs at the farmstead. This came to him with many exaggerations, particularly when Mimy described the treatment to which old Sabb and his wife had been subjected. It did not lose any of its facts or dimensions, when carried by Brough to the fugitives in the swamp forests of Edisto. The news was of a character to overwhelm the affectionate and dutiful heart of Frederica Sabb. She instantly felt the necessity before her, and prepared herself to encounter it. Nine days and nights had she spent in the forest retreats of her lover. Every tenderness and forbearance had been shown her. Nothing had taken place to outrage the delicacy of the female heart, and pure thoughts in her mind had kept her free from any annoying doubts about the propriety of her situation. A leafy screen from the sun, a sylvan bower of broad branches and thickly thatched leaves, had been prepared for her couch at night; and, in one contiguous, lay her wounded lover. His situation had amply reconciled her to her own. His wound was neither deep nor dangerous. He had bled copiously, and swooned rather in consequence of loss of blood than from the severity of his pains. But the hands of Elijah Field—a rough but not wholly inexperienced surgeon, had bound up his hurts, which were thus permitted to heal from the first intention. The patient was not slow to improve, though so precious sweet had been his attendance—Frederica herself, like the damsels of the feudal ages, assisting to dress his wound, and tender him with sweetest nursing, that he felt almost sorry at the improvement which, while lessening his cares, lessened her anxieties. Our space will not suffer us to dwell upon the delicious scenes of peace and love which the two enjoyed together in these few brief days of mutual dependence. They comprised an age of immeasurable felicity, and brought the two together in bonds of sympathy, which, however large had been their love before, now rendered the passion more than ever at home and triumphant in their mutual hearts. But with the tidings of the situation in which her parents suffered, and the evident improvement of her lover, the maiden found it necessary to depart from their place of hiding—that sweet security of shade, such as the fancy of youth always dreams of, but which it is the lot of very few to realise. She took her resolution promptly.

“I must leave you, Richard. I must go home to my poor mother, now that she is homeless.”

He would, if he could, have dissuaded her from venturing herself within the reach of one so reckless and brutal as Mat Dunbar. But his sense of right seconded her resolution, and though he expressed doubts and misgivings, and betrayed his uneasiness and anxiety, he had no arguments to offer against her purpose. She heard him with a sweet smile, and when he had finished, she said,

“But I will give you one security, dear Richard, before we part, if you will suffer me. You would have married me more than a year ago; but as I knew my father’s situation, his preferences, and his dangers, I refused to do so until the war was over. It has not helped him that I refused you then. I don’t see that it will hurt him if I marry you now; and there is something in the life we have spent together the last few days, that tells me we ought to be married, Richard.”

This was spoken with the sweetest possible blush upon her cheeks.

“Do you consent, then, dear Frederica?” demanded the enraptured lover.

She put her hand into his own; he carried it to his lips, then drew her down to him where he lay upon his leafy couch, and repeated the same liberty with hers. His shout, in another moment, summoned Elijah Field to his side. The business in prospect was soon explained. Our good parson readily concurred in the propriety of the proceeding. The inhabitants of the little camp of refuge were soon brought together, Brough placing himself directly behind his young mistress. The white teeth of the old African grinned his approbation; the favoring skies looked down upon it, soft in the dreamy twilight of the evening sunset; and there, in the natural temple of the forest—none surely ever prouder or more appropriate—with columns of gigantic pine and cypress, and a gothic luxuriance of vine, and leaf, and flower, wrapping shaft, and cornice, capital and shrine, our two lovers were united before God—our excellent preacher never having a more solemn or grateful sense of the ceremony, and never having been more sweetly impressive in his manner of performing it. It did not impair the validity of the marriage that Brough honored it, as he would probably have done his own, by dancing Juba, for a full hour after it was over, to his own satisfaction at least, and in the absence of all other witnesses. Perhaps, of all his little world, there were none whom the old negro loved quite so much, white or black, as his young mistress and her youthful husband. With the midnight, Frederica left the camp of refuge under the conduct of Elijah Fields. They departed in the boat, the preacher pulling up stream—no easy work against a current of four knots—with a vigorous arm, which, after a tedious space, brought him to the landing opposite old Sabb’s farm. Here Frederica landed, and the dawn of day found her standing in front of the old log-house which had been assigned her parents, and a captive in the strict custody of the tory sentries.

[Conclusion in our next.


Written on being presented by a lady with a wild flower that grew on his grave, near Buffalo.




Thanks to the Genii of the flowers

  Who planted on his humble tomb,

And nursed, with sun and pleasant showers,

  This herb of faded bloom!

And, lady fair, my thanks to thee

For bringing this frail gift to me,

  Although it cannot match in dye

The velvet drapery of the rose,

Or the bright tulip-cup that glows

  Like Summer’s evening sky.


It hath a power to wake the dead—

  A spell is in its dying leaf

To summon, from his funeral bed,

  The mighty forest chief.

Realms that his fathers ruled of yore—

Earth that their children own no more,

  His melancholy glance beholds;

And tearless though his falcon eye,

His bosom heaves with agony

  Beneath its blanket folds.


Within the council-lodge again

  I hear his voice the silence breaking,

Soft as the music of the main,

  When not a wind is waking;

With touching pathos in his tone

He mourns for days of glory flown,

  When lay in shade both hill and glen,

Ere, panoplied and armed for slaughter,

  The big canoes brought pale-browed men

Over the blue salt water;

When deer and buffalo in droves

Ranged through interminable groves,

And the Great Spirit on his race

Smiled ever with unclouded face.

Now, with a burning tale of wrong,

He wakes to rage the painted throng,

  And points to violated graves,

While eloquence dilates his form,

And his lip mutters like the storm

  When winds unchain the waves;

An hundred scalping-knives are bare—

An hundred hatchets swing in air,

  And while the forest Cicero,

Lost power portrays, and present shame,

Old age forgets his palsied frame,

  And grasps again the bow.


Thus, sweet, wild-flower of faint perfume!

Thy magic can unlock the tomb,

  And forth the gifted sagamore

Call from the shroud with vocal art

To sway the pulses of the heart,

  And awe the soul once more;

For on his couch of lowly earth

Thy modest loveliness had birth,

  And lightly shook thy blooming head,

When midnight summoned round the place

The kingly spectres of his race

  To sorrow for the dead;

And sadly waved thy stem and leaf

When Erie tuned to strains of grief

  The hollow voices of the surge,

And for that monarch of the shade,

By whom his shore is classic made,

  Raised a low, mournful dirge.


The pilgrim from Ausonian clime,

Rich in remains of olden time,

  Brings marble relics o’er the deep—

Memorials of deathless mind,

Of hallowed ground where, grandly shrined,

  Sage, bard and warrior sleep;

And precious though such wrecks of yore,

I prize thy gift, fair lady, more,

  Plucked with a reverential hand;

For the old chief, above whose tomb

Its bud gave out a faint perfume,

  Was son of my own forest land,

And with bright records of her fame

Is linked, immortally, his name.





Spain, and Tercera.}
       AD. 1583.}

It is part of the popular belief, I know, that our ancestors, of three centuries back, lived and talked in quite a different fashion from mankind at the present day; but as I entertain no political designs on that Great Caioled, the people, I may venture to assert an opinion of my own. I cannot persuade myself what is called human nature has undergone much alteration in the exchange of an iron for a broadcloth suit, and it is very certain people ate, drank, and slept in those remote times much as we now do, although your stilted romancers seldom recognise the fact, and make their heroines as unlike tangible women, “not too good for daily food,” as their heroes are exemplars of the mendacious gifts of their biographers. In the matter of speech, through which we mainly receive impressions of fictitious personages, it is extraordinary what fustian is palmed on a credulous posterity, as the veritable domestic talk of nobles, knights and folks of lesser condition. There is no comedy, high or low, in the conceptions of many of these authors; Man having apparently assumed the distinguishing trait of a laughing animal, or at best of an humorous one, at some more recent epoch of modern history. Every body struts about in buskins and speaks tragedy, nothing less; and as to the fooleries enacted by pages, grooms, and servitors of all kinds, there is no end to them, nor any like nowadays, except we find it on the boards of a country theatre.

What I say admits of easy illustration. Thus, when the page woke Don Pedro out of his morning nap—which, by the bye, he was taking not as the usual impression is, in greaves and a casque—he, the page, did not “lout low as it behooves trusty varlets” to do, but in a manner as straight-forward as a modern Thomas would employ, gave the drowsy knight to understand that some one had been sounding his horn at the gate for the last half hour.

“Very well,” returned the master, turning over to resume his doze where he was interrupted—the gate being the concern of the warder, of course.

“But, Sir Peter,” put in the page, by way of remonstrance, “it is mi señora who has sent.”

“Ah ha!” cried the knight, suddenly becoming wide awake, and leaning on both elbows in bed to regard the speaker. “Well, what message does she send?”

“That she wishes you to come up to the castle as soon as your comfort allows, as she has something special to say.”

“That I will, presently,” exclaimed Don Pedro, getting up so promptly his gaunt figure showed to no advantage in its scant costume. “And so tell Gil, or whoever came, to carry back word. How the dear lady talks of comfort to a man accustomed to the ease of camps! Fetch me those things, Iorge, and look behind the arras for my slashed doublet. Stop, before you go, reach down my sword and spurs from the hook behind the door.”

Now all this is very rational, much like what one would say at the present date, and unless the Spanish version of my story was never written, (which the Muse of veracity—whatever her name—it was not Clio, I know—forbid!) was the identical language employed on the occasion by my hero, as true a knight as Spain has produced since her Cid Rodrigo. This reminds me a hero of romance cannot be passed over as commoner folks, with a surmise as to his inches and the color of his hair, and moreover is expected to be an Apollo in shape, and sort of supernatural in virtues, provided his character is not cast in quite a different mould, and dependent for admiration on the enormity of its crimes. But Don Pedro, unfortunately for the interest his fortunes are destined to excite, fell into neither extreme, was neither a saint nor a monster of iniquity, and as far from being handsome as from being deformed. To have designated him in a crowd, you would have called attention to his overtopping the rest by a full head, or to a certain sinewy spareness of limb, or else the simplicity of his toilet, at a time when country gentlemen wore ribbons and gewgaws alternately with steel harness. But closer, the irregularity of his features, browned by the sun where the rim of the casque had not interposed, was compensated for by the singularly calm beauty of his eyes, which, in their serene intelligence, would have become the brows of any woman, and even in battle shone with a high sort of exultation, such as one would attribute to a victorious angel in the celestial wars. There was nothing about Don Pedro which harmonized with these eyes, except, perhaps, an undertone of gentleness pervading his voice; it was an undertone only, for nothing womanish characterized his speech, no mincing of words or petit-maître modulations in addressing the other sex: there was not a particle of affectation in the man, because there was not a particle of untruth.

I think it was these same fine eyes and gentleness which first won the heart of the lady Hermosa, and his sincerity that safely kept it. Of where and how they first met, in what words our Don laid his little keep of a castle and patrimony at her feet, (his whole estate would not have paid her upholsterer’s bill,) history discloses nothing. It is only known she married him, and thereby raised a tempest of wrath and despair in the breasts of numberless admirers, who, however, all consented to eat of her cake on the happy occasion. Sir Peter was in nothing changed by the event, but lived as before in his tower, spent not a maravedi of his wife’s income on himself, and contented her by the frequency and tenderness of his interviews. It was his whim to lead this style of life, and she loved him enough to soon make it a whim of her own, the separations not being very remote it must be conceded, as the keep and castle stood perched on opposing hills, in full sight of one another. Such concession in a young wife was certainly praiseworthy, although some were found to be scandalized at its want of precedent. Of the husband’s crotchet I say only, it was a quaint piece of instinctive honor, which a few of his neighbors extolled, and the greater part laughed at as an act of arrant simplicity: although, to my mind, the less said about simplicity the better, by people who lived when dragons and giants were not yet supposed to have retired upon ultimate Thule, and Ponce de Leon’s search after the fountain of youth, (he was looking for it then in Florida!) counted no great waste of time.

The Don and his countess concerned themselves very little about such gossip, finding abundant occupation in a course of life which, without the bias one unavoidably entertains for his heroes, is a source of satisfaction to the writer hereof. It was in the lady’s nature to be charitable, being one of those unaffected well wishers of humanity with “abundant means,” whose part in this life seems to be to render everybody in reach as satisfied as themselves, and before Sir Pedro’s discretion and mature knowledge of the world came to her assistance, committed as many philanthropic blunders as would have made her eligible to an abolition chair, or seat in Exeter Hall. Of course I must not be understood to undervalue the good she continued to do in the dark. I have too great a reverence for money to suppose it capable of injury to any recipient under any circumstances, differing in this respect from all medicines whatever, which become poisons in quantity, and are defective in the important item of universal application. The truth is, I am led to this admission by an instance I have now in mind. There was one Don Carlo, (so he called himself: the fellow had a dog’s name, but any dog, short of a sheep-worrier, would have been compromised by his acquaintance.) A free-captain, who earned his crust by such little excesses as made the payment of black-mail an acceptable compromise on the part of his favorites, and even in Philip the Second’s time, brought an amount of civil odium upon his head which would have relieved him of that incumbrance, had he not disbanded his company and retired to the provinces to enjoy his honest gains. Here Captain Carlo—who was of a playful temper and delighted in masking—made the acquaintance of our heroine in the likeness of a veteran of the Moorish wars, and found waylaying her steps and asking an alms as many times a day as she walked out unattended (in as many different characters, of course,) so much more profitable, to say nothing of the safety of the proceeding, than poniarding a foot-passenger, or roasting a villager to discover hidden treasure, that he became a pattern of morality to the country round, and is currently said to have refrained more than once, when sorely tempted by the purse she carried, from cutting his benefactress’ slender throat; in this respect showing himself wiser than the avaricious owner of the goose Æsop tells us of.

Captain Carlo, however, lost his golden eggs, as did many others of scarcely less merit, when Sir Pedro de Padilh brought, as has been hinted, his longer head and more comprehensive benevolence to the aid of his young wife’s virtuous designs.

The latter quickly saw her mistake when once its results were laid bare, and fell to correcting it with a feminine energy which constituted a strong element of her character; Sir Peter meanwhile contenting himself with a vigilant guardianship of her interests and benevolent projects, and a hearty participation in her active measures—suggestions of his own, not unfrequently too—which it was his fancy to conceal under an assumption of caution; although I can’t say his wife was ever deceived by the cloak worn on such occasions, for her tender affection would have lent intelligence to faculties much duller than my heroine’s.

Sir Pedro very well knew it was some such work ahead which brought a summons to his gate so early, and was in his saddle, breathing in the fresh, moist air, and galloping through the fields and olive plantations between, before Gil reached his lady’s castle.

I see the good knight now in my mind’s eye: Andalusian steed and housings both spotless white, the first as much over the average height of his race as was his master above that of common men: sitting straight, with doublet buttoned easily across the breast, and a cap with a trailing plume, which a branch caught off and forced him to wheel his horse, with a gracias señor, to recover: so, picking a way up the hill, and stooping under the portcullis, ready open, diminishing the stature of the men around by contrast with his figure dismounted. Up the wide steps, and into a room where his countess met him with her usual happy face whenever this giant of a husband was nigh her. Perhaps I call attention too often to Sir Peter’s seven feet of altitude, but in this case the mention was involuntary; for I was thinking how, when she put her arms about him, there being no one near, she was constrained to kiss him where she laid her cheek, on his breast, being able to reach no higher; and he, as a pine might an ash in windy weather, stooped and kissed her on the forehead.

“Lady mine,” he said with a grave smile, holding her off to look down in her face, “what is the matter? You were scarcely more troubled when I rode against the Moors.”

“Señor—husband”—she replied, “what I have to tell may induce you to leave me again. It is that troubles me.”

“Humph!” returned the knight, “a crusade against something or somebody?”

“Yes,” answered the countess, “one full of danger.”

Don Pedro smiled as a soldier of his inches, of course, should at the idea of the thing.

“A week ago, my cousin Vida Inique came to me in much distress. You remember her?”

“Certainly! She is the betrothed, Heaven help her, of that vagabond nephew of mine.”

“She stopped here, for she came from Madrid with that purpose; partly because she needs sympathy now, and I am her nearest relative, and partly for the sake of society during the absence of her father with the Marquis of Santa Cruz.”

“Santa Cruz!” repeated the Don, with the animation of his Andalusian snuffing a whiff of cannon smoke.

“Yes. The king has ordered an armament under the marquis against Tercera.”

“Not a word of this reached me in the mountains. A handful of good knights would drive every Portuguese into the sea; I wonder the marquis sails against such enemies, when he complained only the other day of their ill breeding in Portugal; there was scarce a skirmish in which their backs were not turned upon their Spanish guests.”

“You will think differently, my señor, when I tell you all; but let me tell it as I heard it. Doña Viola wept so incessantly at first, whenever she attempted to allude to Hilo—for, of course, he is the cause of her grief—that I could understand nothing. The silly girl loves him with her soul and heart, and pretty and wealthy as she is, this half nephew of yours feels the yoke of his connection intolerable, and has adopted the most outrageous means of extorting her consent to canceling the agreement.”

“Ha! what mischief has he been doing lately?”

“First, when his representations and contemptuous reception of her fond prayers failed to gain his purpose, he insulted her eyes by parading before them on all occasions his companions, the most notorious thieves and desperadoes of the capital, and women of the vilest character, flaunting, not unfrequently, in chains and baubles he had stooped to accept but never to wear, for the boy is as proud and wicked as Lucifer; all this done with a scornful, overbearing air, which plainly said, ‘these, madam, are my intimate friends; they will sit at your table and fill your house when I am master. Beware how you make me so!’ She is so subdued and heart-broken already, she only wept and endeavored to hide his insults from her father.”

“Santiago! what infatuation!”

“Then his vile nature broke forth still more insolently. His birth, as you know, gives him access to the company of numerous dissolute cavaliers, although the society he usually affects is of a much baser sort. Through their means, without other harm to himself than what is in store for his lying tongue, señor, he poisoned her life by spreading through all ranks tales in which her maiden name was coupled with that of infamy, and when this gossip was in the mouth of everybody, flung her off publicly with a show of horror and mental anguish, which probably had its weight on those who knew nothing of the man’s character.”

Sir Pedro’s brows contracted above his fine eyes, but he remained silent.

“The scandal reached at last the ears of Don Augustino Inique himself, in Portugal, and hastening from the frontier to the court, he laid the matter before the king, demanding redress. Unluckily, this was not until he had exhausted every source of information in tracing the flight of the young man, who had stabbed the Count of Villenos in a quarrel in the meanwhile, and disappeared from the city. Don Philip loves to be called the Prudent, and has no fancy for being second in any intrigue, and accordingly the enraged and baffled father was dismissed with polite promises that meant nothing. Since then he has received secret intelligence that Hilo has gone over to France, and either through unnatural hatred of his countrymen, or characteristic recklessness of every honorable purpose—for he is capable of any degradation—enlisted under the commander, De Chaste, who sails soon at the bidding of the queen mother to reinforce the Tercerans.”

“Why he is more depraved than his father, and he scrupled at little when his passions were roused!” exclaimed Sir Pedro, baiting suddenly in a walk which crossed the chamber at six strides. “This man is only my half relative, as his father was, and does not even bear my name; but I must save him from final ruin if that be possible. What steps have been taken by Inique?”

“He readily obtained the appointment of camp-master under the marquis, as no one at court knew his motive, and supposed he went abroad to find forgetfulness in active service. A singular feature in the affair, is his ignorance of Hilo’s relation to yourself; and although Viola is acquainted with its existence, the chief defect in her character, a timid reluctance to confiding any personal matter to her father, has prevented his learning the truth during his brief visits to his home. Yet a more gentle nature I have never found than hers.”

“I scarcely wonder at her shrinking from opening her heart to Don Augustino,” answered our knight, “and were you to see him frequently, you would entertain a like opinion. He is a soldier, and nothing better if nothing worse—stern, scrupulous of his word, and jealous of his honor; although what he calls by that name is of no wide compass; a man whose outbreak of rage against his daughter I would have awaited with strong apprehension, had I known any thing of this affair before. Perhaps, however, the purpose of swift vengeance so occupies his brain that feebler emotions is pushed aside.”

“I think you are right, Sir Pedro,” returned his lady, thoughtfully. “For during the short space he remained with us, he seemed pre-occupied, as if tracing a single idea through a maze of thought, and spoke little of his own accord. His bearing was frigid enough, but if any unjust anger toward his child remained, it was well concealed under the elaborate courtesy he shared between us.”

“Yes,” said the knight, with a half laugh. “His old way, I recollect it well; never more labored than when a volcano is smouldering under his doublet. Only once have I seen him forgetful of this courtesy, when his son, a mere stripling, and a coward by instinct, as others are brave without will of their own, in a skirmish with the French sheltered himself behind his father in sight of the opposing lines. He was his only son, but he had better have been thrust through by a Gallic lance, than taken refuge where he did.”

“Poor fellow! Did Sir Augustino strike him?”

“Worse. His boy was on foot, himself on horseback; when his threats and imprecations failed to drive him back into the melee, in a paroxysm of fury he struck him repeatedly on the head with the pommel of his sword, unsoftened by the fair, bleeding face the child turned up while clutching his leg, and begging for life. Not a gentleman in the two armies sympathised with the father except Capt. De Chaste, who, incapable of a like barbarity, is noted for pushing to an extreme all questions of honor.”

“He was scarcely less cruel than Beaumanoir, who cried, ‘Bois ton sang,’ to his fainting son,” exclaimed Doña Hermosa, with a cheek paled by the recital. “Did the poor lad die?”

“No. He lived by an accident, or Providence, which you will, a miserable idiot, his brain having been injured by the concussion, perhaps, also by the anguish endured. Sir Augustino takes him with him, no matter where he goes, studiously bent on concealing his existence, much more his presence from his companions in arms. In spite of every precaution, however, the fact is well known; and twice this wreck of a man has eluded his keeper, and appeared suddenly in the midst of the knight’s guests.”

“Was his father much moved?”

“No, very little in appearance, his usual proud composure concealing whatever pang he felt; and it is impossible to ascertain from his manner whether he adheres to this strange companionship from remorse, and a resolute purpose of atonement, or a less worthy desire to smother the reproach by a jealous guardianship of its living witness.”

“Or else, dear señor, from a return of natural tenderness which a false shame prevents him acknowledging for so mean an object.”

“Why some share of good belongs to every man; even it may be, to my next of kin, although warped by the supremacy of his passions.”

“That is the only sane argument Viola advances for her love.”

“Humph!” After an interval; “I would like to see the Doña, if only to remove the impression that she is no higher than this chair, as she was when I saw her some years since.”

“You will find her,” rejoined the countess, smiling, “less a child in height and style than her youth would lead you to suppose; for a comparatively self-dependent life in close vicinity to the court, has already converted girlish bashfulness into a becoming modesty enough. But stay here till I find her,” added Doña Hermosa, going out.

“A wretched state of things,” mused our knight, resuming his suspended strides, with hands clasped behind. “It is evident I have but one course left; to track that young knave down, and by dint of soft or hard words, turn him from a career which has already entitled him to a bench in the galleys, if nothing worse. It is a good way, at all events, to pay back the bitter hatred of his father, God forgive him!” and the soldier’s moody brows relaxed at the thought, while his eye ran down the steep road at the foot of which the father of the man he designed saving, had one evening shattered his carbine on the rocks, because its hanging-fire saved Sir Pedro’s life in passing. A quiet smile, called up, perhaps, by a recollection of the solicitude shown by the countess the day succeeding, still lingered about the knight’s mouth when he turned from the window and saw the lady herself approaching, accompanied by her guest, a fair girl, with the light, soft hair and eyes of an Englishwoman, which her mother was. Her beauty appeared less imposing than that of the thoroughly Spanish Hermosa, but much more delicate, and so Sir Pedro seemed to think, for advancing and taking her by both hands, he said, in a tone much more modulated than was common with him,

“Doña Viola—I called you Viola when we last met, and you were no taller than my sword.”

“Call me so now, señor,” put in Viola, gently. “I cannot afford to lose even the wording of friendship.”

The knight looked attentively at the speaker, whose eyes meeting his, swam in tears. He paused thoughtfully, and then with his usual straight-forward kindness, said,

“My child, I have learned your grievances through your cousin here. You are nearly alone in the world, let us both assist you in all we can. You see I am old enough to be your father, think of me as such for the present. Besides, the cavalier whose fiancée you are, is, you know, my half nephew; and the attempt I am about making to draw him from his wicked courses, will be materially assisted by any good traits I may become acquainted with; for while I confess my ignorance of the better side of his character, Doña Viola, I am sure one exists, or you would not have proved so faithful as you are.”

A faint red spot in the girl’s cheek had deepened and spread as Sir Pedro spoke, until at his last words, her whole face was flushed, and stooping quickly, she pressed her lips on his hand before he could withdraw it.

“You are right,” she said, eagerly to Padilh, who stood with something like a blush on his soldierly features at the impulsive action. “Save him from himself, from his temptations, for he has a virtue mated with every vice he practices, and ready to assume its place when the bad is uprooted. I know,” she added, with an impetuous accent which betrayed her Spanish blood, and was singularly impressive in her timid manner of speaking, “he is a professed gambler, yet I have seen him clothe and feed a company of beggars with the lavish generosity of a prince; I know he has repeatedly endeavored to rescind our contract of marriage, but how should this bind his love, since we were infants when it was drawn in our joint name; and I have no reason, surely, to complain that he has employed harsh means to accomplish his end, when I shut my eyes to the growth of his aversion. No, Sir Pedro, the fault has been mine in tempting him on; no one can say how different his life might have been, but for the incumbrance I would not consent to his putting away—and so let me suffer, not him. Save him, I earnestly beseech you, from himself, and if need be,” she added, dropping her voice, and becoming as suddenly pallid as before flushed, “save him from an encounter with my father.”

“That I will,” returned the Don, soothingly, “if interposition of my words or body can. And one of these days, Doña Viola, we will talk these matters over calmly, and discuss what is best to be done.”

“The poor thing is crazed,” he said an hour after to his countess, “to love this Hilo! It was not easy to bring my mouth to call the scamp ‘cavalier;’ but her innocent distress overcame the reluctance. When this feverish excitement, which forbids all close questioning, subsides, it will be well to learn more, if she knows more of her betrothed. And if I set out before that can be done—”

“What, do you really go to this war!” exclaimed our heroine, with the admirable versatility of the sex, “when you have resigned yourself to the gratification of a particular request not at all to your liking at first.

Dear, Sir Pedro, don’t you think some better way may be found of accomplishing our purpose? For instance, let some trusty person find out this young man and carry him a letter from you, as from an uncle solicitous of doing him a benefit. Or, perhaps, Señor Inique might be moved from his design by your calm representations. Only don’t go!” she urged, with a tremulous lip.

To this outbreak Don Pedro de Padilh, with the tranquillity of one who remembers a story he is anxious to tell and overlooks the last question, rejoined,

“Did you ever hear, Hermosa, the history of the wonderful cat that lived in Biscay when I was of no great size myself? There is one of the tribe on the battlement yonder, marked as that intelligent animal must have been, and put the story in my head.”

“Pshaw!” said the countess, half inclined to laugh, with tears in her eyes.

“This cat was remarkable for ugliness and cunning, qualities which increased the umbrage the priest naturally took to a cat who was said to use better Latin than himself, to that degree he could not rest at ease until the object of his jealousy was condemned to be burned, on the rational plea of possessing more learning than was orthodox. But so sagacious a creature was not to be caught asleep, and at the first rumor of the affair took occasion to pay his respects to the most notorious gossip of the province.

“‘Ah!’ said the cat, in the course of conversation, “‘talking of merit, I am so delighted to find it rewarded occasionally, that I have been in a state of ecstasy since the news came from the capital.’

“‘Santomio!’ cried the old woman arrectis auribus; ‘what are they doing there, my dear cat?’

“‘Have you not heard about it! Our curà is to be rewarded with a bishopric instanter; and for my part I don’t think a better selection possible, when his scholarship is taken into consideration, and I have some cause to count myself a judge of such matters.’

“‘Yes, yes, Señor Miz,’ put in the other. ‘But this is important news to be sure; I hope you have it from good authority.’

“‘None better. My sister’s grandkitten is attached to the household of the cardinal resident, and has just come down to pay me a visit. Trust to my honor, señora most respected, you may talk of it without fear for your veracity.’

“Of course, this was all sheer invention on the part of the cat, but served his purpose for a time.”

“But why did not the foolish cat slip quietly away beforehand?” asked the countess, who began to feel an interest in his fortunes.

“Oh, because the familiars on watch were too alert, I suppose. But hear what followed. When the curà, who had been on a little expedition to bargain for the faggots, returned to his house, he was charmed to learn his approaching exaltation from a score of friends; and at this juncture, being seized with remorse at his precipitation, resolved to hear from the cat’s own mouth the state of his faith. ‘For,’ said he to himself, as he tucked up his cassock and waded through the mud to the latter’s door, ‘one should not burn a Christian beast by mistake; and who knows what influence the grandkitten of his very discreet sister may have in his eminence’s house.’

“‘Why,’ said the shrewd grimalkin, who saw in a twinkling how much this last reason had to do with the curà’s visit, ‘your reverend worship’s excellency must perceive at a glance how this seam in my upper lip forms a cross with the nostril above—a sign which I need not inform your worship, is found only on catholic quadrupeds.’

“‘Ha!’ cried the priest, struck with the idea, ‘so it is. I beg your pardon, Señor Miz, for overlooking it hitherto.’

“‘Not at all, the wisest sometimes err, as my relative, the cardinal’s favorite, remarked to me yesterday. I am glad your reverence was not within hearing, for she was good enough to repeat much of the praise his eminence bestows on your worship, knowing she could not better please me.’

“In such amicable conversation time passed, until the priest, bethinking himself that the preparations for Autodafeïng his host, had gone too far to be hushed up without some plausible excuse, and seeing no way out of his dilemma, reluctantly confided his difficulty to the party interested, for whom he began to feel a very disinterested friendship.

“‘Make yourself easy,’ rejoined the other, scarcely able to hide his satisfaction, ‘if that is the whole difficulty, all your worship has to do is to fling my san-berito (faugh! the name makes me hot and cold all over!) into the fire, and give me a chance to clutch your reverend legs, under your worship’s gown.’

“‘To be sure!’ said the curà, in a tone of benignant admiration, which one should get Judge Belton, or the Mayor of Aiken, (who got it from the Spanish original,) to mimic.

“Even the joint sagacity of a cat and a priest may fall short of perfection. It was natural, certainly, for the curà to dream all night of his expected mitre, and allow the same agreeable subject to occupy his brain all day to the exclusion of every other. But I hold to it, that he should have remembered at the right moment, (as he might easily have done, of course, by tying a knot in his handkerchief or thread round his finger,) to slip off the san-berito, and not throw his unhappy friend into the fire. Why, but for his confounded (I beg pardon, but one has their feelings!) absence of mind, he might have seen his victim’s tail—his head being smothered in the conical caroza—as big as his arm, with rage and indignation.

“‘Wo is me!’ cried the wretched man, when he saw what was done, tearing his beard in anguish of mind, ‘I have burned a Christian cat, and lost my mitre!’”

While saying the last words, Don Pedro, who had been standing during the recital, took his cap and moved to the door. But his countess intercepted him with a wistful, half-perplexed face.

“Well?” said the knight, stopping, and looking at her with a scarce visible smile.

“I think,” returned Hermosa, doubtingly, “you mean I am no wiser than the curà, who, forgetting what he was about, threw his friend into the fire, and then fell to lamenting his loss. But who is the cat?”

“Ah!” rejoined Sir Pedro, laughing, “the pith of the story lies in six words,

‘La casa quemada,

Acudir con el agua.’”

A couplet I design putting into the mouth of that scape-gallows, Hilo de Ladron, in the next number of Graham, to serve as a thread, by closely following which, the somewhat tangled woof of the young gentleman’s character may in good time be unraveled.





Scene. A Flower Garden of a Mariner’s Asylum.

   Characters. An aged Sailor and a Visiter.

Sailor.All things must move in circles as earth doth.

The orbs that make space gorgeous move in circles;

E’en space itself is one eternal circle;

For were it not, its end would sure be reached.

All drag a chain still moving round and round

Until we join the two ends of the chain:

Thus man completes his circle. No escape then.

Stranger.You spoke, sir, of a voyage.

Sailor.Oh! pardon me:

I had forgot—those circles set me wild.

Where left I off? ’Tis strange, the thread is broken.

Stranger.In the South Sea.

Sailor.O, true!—’mong fruitful isles

The jocund waters leaped when morn arose,

And fringed each billow’s snow-white pinnacle

With golden tissue. Waves that wildly roared

Through night, like fiends contending for their prey,

Now smiled serenely as a lawn in spring

Spangled with herbage ’mid the wasting snow;

And as our gallant vessel glided on

The joyful waters, like some amorous dame,

Kissed the bright prow in very wantonness,

Regardless of the wound so rudely made

In the too pliant bosom.

Stranger.          You liken well

The waters to a woman; beautiful

In the bright sunshine of prosperity!

But when the tempest rages, sea-tossed man

Oft finds a shoal there, where his barque may strand,

Expecting a safe haven.

Sailor.          You are bitter:

But truth is not always sweet. All on board

Assembled on the deck to hail the sun

Weaving with gold God’s heaving world of green;

While lowly murmuring the gladsome waves

Sang matins to their master. Voices full

As deep-toned organ’s swell, and others shrill

As notes of linnets, mingled with the songs

The glad sea made in praising Him who made it.

Stranger.Let the great sea and all that therein is;

The earth—its fruit—and all that live thereby—

And all that live hereafter, praise his name.

Sailor.Amid our happy concourse there was seen

A father and his little family,

And the fair partner of his joys and griefs,

The mother of his children. While they gazed

Upon the wide expanse, their bosoms heaved

With admiration for His mighty works

Who rules the fearful sea. They thanked and trusted.

Stranger.All thank and trust, who know the God they trust in.

Sailor.Among them was a fair-haired rosy boy

Who hugged his father’s knee; his little hands

Clasped in devotion to the unseen God,

In ignorance adoring; for his spirit,

Unstained of earth, was redolent of heaven,

And instinct with the praises he had learnt

From angel-lips in his celestial birth-place.

Stranger.Childhood’s inheritance, which manhood squanders,

God gives us all, while we return but little.

Sailor.As the sun rose he sung a little hymn.

The words were these. I think his father made it.

  In the morning of existence,

    Earth smiles, as Eden smiled on Adam;

  With God and angels for companions,

    Man—little lower than the angels—

    Receives the truth as it was given

    Once—face to face, and fresh from heaven.

  In the noontide of existence,

    With bathed brow and stalwort limb,

  Man, singing, struggles for subsistence

    For those in sin begot by him,

    Rejoices in those human frailties

    Which make him imitate his God.

  In the sunset of existence,

    Alone, in thy Gethsemane,

  Quaff the cup bravely and repine not—

    For man, thy God is there with thee.

    Meekly obey the mandate given,

    It purifies thy soul for heaven.

Stranger.A strange thought that—childhood is Adam’s Eden,

Where man beholds his Maker face to face;

The close of life is his Gethsemane,

Where he must quaff the chalice to the dregs,

Without a prayer to take it from his lips.

I’ve heard that hymn before.

Sailor.          Why call it strange?

The cup is sweetened though it smack of bitter,

And the most bitter drops become the sweetest.

Gethsemane was nearer heaven with him

Who bathed with tears and blood the sacred soil,

Than fresh blown Paradise appears to have been

With angel visitants. Perchance they are

The self-same garden, typed by Spring and Autumn,

Seed-time and harvest! If that thought be true,

With bathed forelock and with steadfast soul

Gather the harvest of Gethsemane,

More precious than the flowers that smiled in Eden.

The task is thine—first husbandman, then reaper.

Stranger.Talk further of the boy who sung the hymn.

Sailor.That spotless child, the rudest of the crew

Loved, for his presence made us better men.

Stranger.True, all men who love children still grow better;

And the best men are children to the last,

At least in thought and feeling.

Sailor.There’s the circle—

Extremes must meet, and we are hedged within them.

But to pursue our voyage—and the boy.

Day passed away, and as the night came on

The full-orbed moon roiled in a cloudless sky,

And the wide waters now lay hushed in sleep.

As gentle as the slumber of a child

Wearied with gambols through the live-long day.

The night-breeze from the orange-groves passed by,

Laden with odor. Heaven was chrisolite;

The sea a living mirror, in whose depths

The richly studded concave was reflected,

Making a perfect globe; and as the ship

Pursued her trackless flight, she seemed to be

Some spirit on errand supernatural,

So dark and silently she glided on

The babbling waves were scarcely audible.

Stranger.A pleasant sail which landsmen only dream of—

But never enjoy.

Sailor.All joy hath bitterness.

Stretched on the deck the sailor-boy reposed,

And lived in dreams his infant years again.

The seamen, ’mid the shrouds aloft reclining,

Told o’er their tales of wreck and lingering death,

And in the drowsy interval was heard

The rugged cadence of the helmsman’s song.

“A pleasant sail!” But pleasure has strange wings,

She comes a zephyr and departs a whirlwind.

Stranger.Kisses the flower to blooming, then destroys.

Sailor.Sudden the helmsman’s drowsy song was hushed.

A fearful cry arose—“The ship’s on fire!”

The seamen from aloft sent back the cry;

The sailor boy shook off his happy dream,

And woke to horror. All was wild dismay!

Half sleeping—half awake, the crew came forth;

Grim death, enveloped in his robes of flame,

Marched on and laughed. There was no human power

To put aside his footstep. On he moved

In awful majesty; whate’er he touched,

True to its origin, returned to dust,

And Nature’s master-work, man’s godlike frame,

Became as worthless as the spars and sails,

Each made its pile of ashes—nothing more.

Stranger.Ashes to ashes all, and dust to dust,

The self-same mandate both on earth and sea.

Sailor.The flames attained dominion. Tyrant-like,

They ruled and raged. Upon the shrouds they seized,

Kissing destruction—laughing as they kissed;

While the broad glare they spread upon the deep

Changed the sea’s nature. Water soon became

A lake of living fire. “A pleasant sail!”

Stranger.You weep. Go on.

Sailor.O that I then had perished!

I seized the boy and leaped into the waves.

Upon a fallen spar we safely rode

Until the ship went down. “A pleasant sail!”

Her knell one shriek of mortal agony.

We had no heart to weep for their sad fate—

No heart to pray for one less terrible.

I gathered fragments from the floating wreck,

And made a raft, where two immortal souls

Struggled with time to check eternity

With frail appliance. For three days we suffered;

And then a passing ship preserved our lives

For greater suffering.

Stranger.The boy—his fate?

Sailor.His parents dead—the lad became my charge.

I then was married to a worthy woman—

God’s kindest gift. We had an only child—

My wife brought up the children as if twins,

And at a proper age he sailed with me.

He grew to manhood—noble—cheerful—kind

As those who love the artless lips of children;

A very babe was he in his affections—

A very demon in his bitter passions.

The eagle and the dove oft make their nest—

The tiger and the ermin find a lair

In the same bosom.

Stranger.What became of him?

Sailor.My wife grew sick. He loved her as his mother;

He loved my daughter too. I sailed, and left him

To till my little ground and smooth their pathway.

After three years I came to port again.

Crossing my fields, which now poured forth their increase,

I saw a man resting upon his plough,

Singing right lustily.

Stranger.What did he sing?

Sailor.In the noontide of existence,

        With swarthy brow and rugged limb,

      Man bravely struggles for subsistence

        For those in sin begot by him;

      Rejoices in all frailties—sorrows,

      They draw him nearer to his God.

Stranger.The hymn of early childhood still remembered.

Sailor.A bending in the chain to form the circle.

He led me to my home—and such a home!

It seemed as if the fairies had been there

Making their May-day—wife and daughter happy.

Then, from an arbor overgrown with flowers,

He placed a prattling child upon my knee,

And called him by my name. He laughed outright—

My daughter blushed. They now were man and wife.

I danced—then blubbered like a very child.

Tears are at times a truer sign of joy

Than smiles and laughter.

Stranger. ’Twas a boy, you said?

Sailor.A boy—his bud of Paradise, he called him.

Such flowers, too, often yield most bitter fruit

In man’s Gethsemane.

Stranger.Thank God! not always.

Sailor.We dwelt together for a few brief months.

He then proposed to try the sea again,

To place the beings whom we fondly loved

Beyond the cold calamities of earth.

Three years we sailed—we prospered, and returned

With means to make those happy whom we loved.

On wearied pinions, like the dove of peace

When land was found, he flew to seek the ark

Where our best feelings day and night reposed,

While struggling with the ocean. God! O God!

No ark was there—no resting-place for him!

Even Ararat was covered with the deluge.

Stranger.I understand you not.

Sailor.His wife was false.


Sailor.But true. You tremble sir.

Her father curst the memory of his child;

Her mother withered, and soon died heart-broken.

You seem disturbed.

Stranger. ’Tis past. What did your son?

Sailor.He slew the slimy reptile that crawled over him;

Put his hard heel upon her glossy front,

Trampled her out in cold blood.

Stranger.God of heaven!

Sailor.And he did right.

Stranger.Your daughter!

Sailor.He did right.

She who betrays the honor of her husband,

Regardless of her parents, self, and children,

Should cease to live, though all unfit to die.

Better to rot in earth, than crawl through life,

Offending all things with her foul pollution.

I love my God; knowledge increases love.

I ask forgiveness of him, as Christ prayed.

I am his child, and yet I curse my child.

Her sin hath made the best of prayers from my lips

An invocation of a lasting curse

On her old father’s head a mockery!

Forgive as I forgive—a lie to God!

Her sin hath robbed me of my prayer of childhood—

The prayer I gathered from my mother’s lips—

The prayer that opens the celestial portals—

The prayer He taught when He appeared as mortal.

Stranger.His destiny.

Sailor.He fled and took his child;

But not as Cain fled with the brand upon him.

’Twas sacrifice to virtue, and no murder.

When I arrived my Eden was Golgotha;

I found a corpse—my wife bereft of reason.

I buried one, attended to the other

For years until she died. The fruits of lust!

I went to sea again in search of strife—

The quiet of the land near drove me mad.

The ship I sailed in scoured the southern sea,

To quell the pirates. We o’ertook a rover.

A deadly strife ensued—’twas life or death;

Their chief and I by chance met sword to sword;

I knew him not, and, strange, he knew not me.

O! grief outstrips the rapid wing of time

In marring youthful beauty! See this scar!

His cutlas gave it—but I mastered him.

Their chief subdued, the rover soon surrendered.

Stranger.His destiny?

Sailor.The yard-arm, and a halter.

I saw him pass away.

Stranger.And said he nothing?

Sailor.Naught to the crowd—but I remember this:

    In the sunset of existence,

      Alone in my Gethsemane,

    I quaff the cup without repining,

      For God, I feel thou’rt still with me.

      Meekly obey the mandate given

      That purifies the soul for heaven.

Stranger.His cradle-hymn still chanted to the grave.

Sailor.The circle, sir—the end and the beginning—

The two ends of the chain are linked together.

Stranger.You said he had a boy.

Sailor.I said not so.

There was a boy, whom I have searched for since;

But, like the shadows of all earthly hope,

He hath eluded me.

Stranger.I am that boy.

Sailor.Thou!—thou that boy! The wheel is still in motion!

Stranger.I stood beside the gallows when he died.

Sailor.His bird of Paradise! A cherub then!

I’ve seen you often sleeping among roses,

And he, a guardian angel, smiling o’er you.

You have not slept on roses often since,

But wept beneath your father’s gallows-tree.

And my blind deeds have shaped your destiny.

I brought your father to a shameful death,

Which your young eyes beheld. And I’ve made known

A thing, perhaps unknown to you before—

Your mother’s infamy. Alas! poor boy!

What an inheritance have we bequeathed you!

Stranger.You did your duty, sir.

Sailor.Ay, there’s the question.

Can duty lead man’s footsteps to God’s throne,

Making life death, the glad earth Tartarus?

I snatched a fellow-being, winged for heaven,

With God’s own impress on him still unblurred,

Who, but for me, would have flown chanting there

Anthems to angels. But with ruffian hands

I checked his flight, and stayed him for perdition.

Would that the ocean had received the child!

Would I had let him perish in the flames!

Would that this wound had marked me for the grave,

Ere I had saved him for an after life

Of sin and sorrow, though impelled by—duty.

Stranger.Why do you pluck those gorgeous poppy-flowers,

And cast them in the walk?

Sailor.They now are harmless;

Suffered to ripen, they are poisonous.

Let them die blooming, while they are innoxious.

Would he had perished as these simple flowers,

Ere his bloom faded, yielding deadly seed.

Stranger.I’ve sought you, sir, to solace your old age.

Sailor.God bless my child! We’re in the circle still.

Good begets evil often—evil good.

The grandsire and the grandson close the chain—

Alone—forlorn! Yet both have done their duty.

The world goes round and round, ’till hidden things

Stalk forth as spectres from the rotten grave.

All, all is plain! These circles drive me mad!






Perched, like a large gray owl with folded wings, upon the summit of the very highest hill within a day’s journey from “our village,” but within half a mile of the old meeting-house, stands a narrow stone dwelling, with a narrow, pointed roof, narrow windows, or loop-holes, as they might be more properly termed, and one narrow door; the whole inclosed within a narrow yard, from which two slender poplars point their “tall columns to the skies.”

One would scarcely imagine from so unpromising an aspect that a heart-history could be gleaned from “lifting” that narrow roof. I must confess, too, that there is certainly very little romance in the appearance of the inmate whom it shelters—so gaunt and cadaverous—nearly as tall as the poplars, and with arms like the evolving sails of a windmill. Yet, as by searching there is gold to be found even amid the most rocky and unpromising defiles of California, so is there sterling mettle hid beneath the rough exterior of Apollos Dalrymple, and this having found I will disclose.

When I say that Apollos is the sole tenant of this owl-like habitation, I need not add that he belongs to the bachelor fraternity—but in justice to him I will say that he was not made a bachelor from any contempt or irreverence of the fair sex, but from “sweet love’s teen” having “loved not wisely, but too well.”

It is now many years since Apollos thus retired from the world. His hair is nearly silver white, and old age sits upon his shoulders, yet still he washes and mends his clothes, with his long, bony fingers knits his stockings, and cooks his own food from the little plat of vegetables behind the house—for Apollos is a Grahamite, as well as a Gray-eremite. I must retrace some twenty years in the life of Apollos, for the first record of the heart-history I have promised—I will even go still further back, and introduce him a “puling infant in the nurse’s arms.”

It was the misfortune of Apollos to be born with an ear—I mean an ear for music! Whether the euphonious name by which he was christened had any thing to do with the quaverings of his innocent cradle-dom I cannot say, but certain it is, his infantine warblings were loud and incessant—“prestissimo” and “fortissimo,” seldom allowing a “rest” either to himself or his poor worn-out mother. The period of infancy passed, Apollos was sent to school, where he was distinguished for the long drawn nasal tones in which he might be said to chant his lessons, and being moreover somewhat given to whistling and tuning up of jews-harps, the terrible ire of Schoolmaster Ferule vented itself in drawing long scales upon his tender flesh, to which Apollos composed the notes upon a high key.

As soon as he could read the tenth chapter of Nehemiah without drawing a long breath, his father made him ruler over countless heads of cattle, and set him to ploughing and planting, sowing and reaping the fertile acres which were one day to become his own. Even into the drudgery of the farm Apollos bore with him his musical mania, and while he sowed the seed and planted the corn it was all done to music, so that when the green grain burst through the ground there was no stiff regularity about it, but falling off into minims, crotchets, quavers and demi-semi-quavers, it swept through the broad fields like a living sheet of music, from which no doubt the little ground-sparrow and the glassy-winged grasshopper, learned many new variations.

Not “blest as the gods,” Apollos could strike no harp but the jews-harp, for his father had no music in his soul, though a very clever man, Shakspeare to the contrary, and would never allow his son to spend his earnings in cultivating so useless an art. The singing-school he tolerated, and there, in the long winter evenings, by the flickering light of tallow candles did Apollos luxuriate—also at all trainings, when “the spirit-stirring drum and ear-piercing fife” echoed through the streets, there was the tall, ungainly figure of Apollos to be seen, almost envying even the little fat drummer the powers of his rub-a-dub.

One day our musical hero purchased a cracked flute! How trilled his heart in joyful cadence as he held in his hand the precious bargain—with what ecstasy did he turn it over and over, and then, as soon as the cattle were foddered, and the shades of evening resting over the farm, he would nightly retire into the recesses of the forest, and there blow and puff, like Sam Weller’s “aggrawated glass-blower,” until his eyes almost started from their sockets—the rocks and trees to be sure kept their places in the firm earth, but the whip-po-wils and the owls peeped forth to listen, and more than once did he hear his notes re-echoed by some young, aspiring screech-owl.

The next musical adventure of Apollos was effected by exchanging a young and tender calf for a fiddle! Every muscle of his long arm, became as a separate fiddle-bow, giving forth such endless see-sawing and tweedle-dee-ing that every good wife in the neighborhood was tempted to complain of him as a nuisance, for waking up all the babies and disturbing them in their first sleep, for the strains of Apollos, like those of “sweet Philomela,” were only heard at night. But notwithstanding all this Apollos was a general favorite, for the spirit of harmony pervaded his bosom for all animate and inanimate objects—there was to him music in all created things. His heart was gentle—his hand ever ready to do a kindness, and therefore he was suffered to fiddle to his bent, little dreaming the anathemas which the deed, not the doer, nightly originated.

Side by side stood the cottages of Leonard Davis and Luther Howell, and side by side grew up the two lovely children Paul and Linda.

Neither Davis nor Howell were in good circumstances, although both owned the farms on which they lived; yet there was a great difference in the character of the two men, which in the end led to very different results. Leonard Davis was a thriftless, indolent man, who loved better to smoke his pipe under the tavern porch, and give forth his opinions upon the politics of the day, than to cultivate his land or keep his fences in order. Luther Howell, on the contrary, was a hard-working, industrious man. He loved money although he had but little of it—yet he resolved to have more; and upon the strength of that determination dug and delved away his days, almost begrudging even the Sabbath rest.

Linda was the youngest of his five children, all of which, to Mr. Howell’s great chagrin were daughters. Mr. Davis had but one child, little Paul, whose mother had died while he was but an infant, and Mrs. Howell feeling compassion for the motherless boy encouraged him to play with her children, so that by degrees the little fellow became nearly domesticated under the same roof with the five rosy-cheeked, happy little Howells. Paul was three years older than Linda, and was very proud of the confidence which Mrs. Howell reposed in his superior age and strength, by trusting to him the care of the little toddling girl, and repaid her confidence by deserving it. Linda soon became more fond of Paul than any one else, and Paul would at any time leave his play with the older girls, or throw down his bat and ball if he but heard the sweet voice of the little Linda calling his name. He would lead her into the woods, and with a natural love of the beautiful select a spot where the moss was the greenest and freshest, and where the golden sunlight quivering through the dense foliage danced in playful gambols around them—here he would carefully seat the little girl, and gather for her the pretty wild flowers which he found hid in the thick woods, or the bright scarlet berries peeping out from the dark, glossy leaves of the winter-green; and when the little Linda was old enough to go to school, Paul still enacted himself her champion and assistant.

Linda was ten years old when Mr. Howell received a letter from his brother, living in New York, offering to relieve him of a share of his burdens by adopting one of the five girls into his family. Imbued with the same money-getting spirit as his brother, Ansel Howell had left the village many years previous, to seek the fortune he was resolved upon amassing. He had been successful, and at the date of the letter which caused so much excitement in the humble residence of Luther, Ansel might be considered a rich man.

The offer was gladly accepted, and the question next arose which of the girls should go forth from the family hive. Prudence governed their decision. Bessie could spin her day’s work with any farmer’s daughter for miles around—Sophie was already capable of taking charge of the dairy, while Polly and Margaret not only could sew nearly as well as their mother, but could also make themselves useful in various ways about the house. Linda was of the least service in the domestic keep, and therefore the choice fell upon Linda, who was thus taken from her simple country pleasures, and from her dear friend Paul to a new home and new friends amid the ceaseless din of a city.

Luther Howell reaped the benefits of his industry. His farm throve—his stock increased—the old house was torn down, and a handsome, convenient two story dwelling erected on its site; and in the course of a few years Mr. Howell went as representative to the state legislature, and was reckoned one of the most substantial men in the village. But just in proportion as things had prospered with Howell had they gone adverse with his neighbor Davis, and about the time when the new tenement of the former was being raised amid the loud cheers of the workmen, the sheriff seized upon both house and land of the latter, and that being insufficient to meet his debts, for “the want thereof they took the body”—at that time imprisonment for debt was no uncommon thing. If Davis had not been so perfectly thriftless, in all humanity his townsmen would have bailed him out, but the fact is, it was pretty generally conceded that he might just as well smoke in jail as elsewhere—pipes and tobacco therefore were freely contributed, and in the course of a few months poor Leonard Davis evaporated—his soul taking flight in a whiff of tobacco smoke!

Before the affairs of his father became so desperate, Paul had worked his way to New York, and apprenticed himself in a large printing-office, trusting with all the confidence of youth that he should return ere many years to his native village, free his father from the shackles of debt, and perhaps set up an establishment of his own. Another and a brighter vision might have mingled with these day dreams, of which we may learn more hereafter.

Paul knew that his little friend Linda lived in the same city with him, and after a long search he was at length enabled to discover the dwelling which sheltered the pet flower of his boyhood. But there was such an atmosphere of grandeur around her now, that poor Paul had not courage to penetrate further, so for several weeks he contented himself with hovering around the house in the evening and on Sundays, hoping at least to obtain a glimpse of the little girl.

At length one day he met Linda with her governess. It was his own Linda—yet how changed! What a lovely young face! what grace—what innocence! and then how tall! Paul forgot that years mark their flight—he looked for the child, and he found a beautifully formed maiden of fifteen!

Ah, he dared not address her! he cast his eyes upon the ground and stood still for Linda to pass! and then as her little foot twinkled upon the pavement close to him, and her robe brushed his coarse garments, he involuntarily looked up. Linda turned her large hazel eye upon him. She started—a rosy blush mantled her sweet face! It seemed to the maiden that she was strangely transported back to the green grassy meadow and the play-grounds of her infancy! Again she looked at Paul:

“Linda!” he softly whispered.

“Paul!” responded the heart and the lips of Linda; and with all the innocence and gladness of a child she threw her arms around his neck, and pressed a kiss upon his sun-burned cheek!

Ah that kiss—happy, happy Paul!

But here Miss Lofty interposed. It was scandalous—kissing a young man in the street—good gracious, who ever heard of such a thing—a fellow, too, in a green jacket—monstrous!

“Why, dear Miss Lofty, it is Paul—only Paul!” cried Linda, earnestly; “how many times I have told you about my dear, dear Paul!” and then turning her back upon the horrified spinster, with her little hand clasped tightly in his, she begged of him again and again, to come and see her.

“Yes, you can call on Miss Howell, young man, if you please, but you must not stand here any longer, Miss Linda; I am really shocked at your want of delicacy. I can hardly answer to your aunt for such strange doings!” and so saying, Miss Lofty led off her young charge.

As Linda disappeared sunshine and daylight faded from the heart of poor Paul.

He felt there was now an immeasurable gulf between him and her; and, after all, why was it that he came to so sorrowful a conclusion? Was it because, as Miss Lofty had said, he wore a green jacket, and worked with his hands, while Linda sat in her delicate robes of muslin or silk, and with slender fingers wrought at her embroidery-frame, or airily swept the piano. Ah, Paul, be brave! Let not your heart fail you at mere external or worldly distinctions.

He called to see Linda. It was shortly after this first interview; she had become restrained, and her aunt sat stately in the room, and without being rude, yet was her manner so little removed from it, that Paul never went again. For two or three years Linda heard no more of the playmate and friend of her early childhood. But Paul saw her when she little dreamed what fond eyes were watching her! He saw her graceful, beautiful, and accomplished; and although he dared not whisper a hope that she might one day be his, he resolved to improve his mind by study and application, that he might at least raise himself above her contempt; and so, by the midnight lamp, the poor fellow went to work, and for two years every leisure moment was spent in study, and every penny he could save, employed in procuring books for his thirsting mind. His perseverance did not go unrewarded; his employer soon took note of his talents, and Paul became assistant editor of a popular weekly journal.

By some unforeseen calamity, Ansel Howell became a poor man, and Linda returned to her father’s roof.

Eight years previous her parents had gladly parted with her, and they now as gladly welcomed her back; her sisters were all married, and the old people quite alone, so that her presence was as the light of morning to their lonely fireside. Her city life had by no means spoiled Linda for the pleasures of the country; she felt like a bird who, after being caged a weary time, is suddenly permitted to flit at freedom amid its native bowers.

Linda retained a vivid impression of the early scenes of her childhood, and as she again revisited each nook and dell, the remembrance of her kind friend, Paul, also came back to her, and the present seemed incomplete without him whose tender care and ever ready invention to amuse her waywardness, had cast such brightness over the days of infancy. Where was he now? Had he forgotten her? She thought of him as she had seen him when he so suddenly appeared before her—those deep, tender eyes, regarding her with so much respect and affection; and then, when admitted into the stately dwelling of her uncle, he had come forward so modestly, yet with so much self-respect to greet her, and her heart reproached her, that, through fear of her aunt’s displeasure, she had, perhaps, treated him coldly.

“But, dear Paul, I am sure I did not mean to be unkind!” she mentally exclaimed.

Ah, if Paul, as he sat in his office in that narrow, confined street, bending so diligently over his desk, in the sultry breath of the city, could have known the thoughts of the fair girl, as she strolled through the summer woods, what rapture would have thrilled his bosom, and how would the dull atmosphere in which he toiled have become irradiate in the light of love and happiness.

Has the reader forgotten Apollos—the Apollo—the Paganini, whose witched fiddle-bow made both echoes and babies shriek in concert?

It chanced one evening that Apollos, out of resin, set forth for the village to supply that dire necessity. Whistling he went, when suddenly there were borne to his ear strains of most ravishing sweetness, now softly swelling on the evening breeze—now fainter and fainter dying away until even silence seemed musical, and then again bursting forth so free and joyous, that the very air around him vibrated with melody.

Spell bound stood Apollos. The doors of his great ears swung back to welcome in the harmony, and his mouth, too, opened as if to swallow it. Then, led on as it were by invisible spirits, his feet followed the bewitching sounds, and planted themselves under the large button-ball tree which stood near the window where Linda was thus unconsciously drawing both soul and body of Apollos magnetically unto her.

Conceive his perfect rapture as thus, so near the centre of attraction, the sweet strains encompassed him about. They ceased, and then to the window, still warbling, the young girl came, and leaning from the casement, stretched forth her little white hand, and began plucking the leaves from the very tree whose shadowing branches waved around the head of Apollos.

A sweet face becomes almost as the face of an angel, when seen in the calm moonlight; and as Linda stood there, her large, brown eyes, looking out into the holy night, her high, pure forehead clasped in the glossy braids of her dark hair, and her light, graceful figure folded in a snowy robe, no wonder she seemed to Apollos too pure, too beautiful, for a being of earth’s mould. But while he gazed and gazed, she turned away, and with her took the heart of Apollos. Again seating herself at the piano, Linda ran her fingers over the keys with the lightness of a bird upon the wing, and one of Beethoven’s exquisite sonatas awoke to life under her touch.

Poor Apollos! No volition had he of his own—he went whither the fates impelled him. Step by step did he approach the open casement, and as some poor bird is drawn, little by little, into the very mouth of its fascinating destroyer, even so was Apollos drawn head and shoulders into the window. The moon beams danced around him, as if enjoying the mischief they were about to disclose, and gleamed coldly but steadily upon him, his elbows resting on the sill, and his long legs, curved outward, like those of a grasshopper. At last, rising from the instrument, Linda closed it, and was about to approach the window, when the strange apparition of Apollos glared upon her. With a loud shriek she rushed from the room; as for Apollos, he bounded away like a madman—

“Swift on the right—swift on the left,

   Sweeps every scene asunder—

 Heaths, meadows, fields—how swift their flight,

   And now the bridges thunder!”

That night Apollos Dalrymple was convicted of having seen a ghost.

And now, from that eventful evening, Cupid ensconced himself within the virgin heart of Apollos, and there the little rascal sat perched upon a hill of ancient ballads, delighted with the mischief he was doing, and every now and then beating up such a rub-a-dub as well-nigh drove poor Apollos distracted. For here were garnered up stores of the dainty food which the poets have appropriated exclusively to the little god—not, to be sure, the fastidious fare of a modern amateur, supping only on the tongues of Italian or Swedish nightingales, but the good, substantial fare our forefathers loved.

By the death of his father all those goodly acres had descended to Apollos; but this year the farm proved a losing concern, for the sheep died from starvation—the cattle from over-feeding—the hoe cut down both corn and weed—the grass luxuriated in freedom from the scythe, and the grain from the sickle, until both were over-ripe. The people all thought Apollos bewitched, and bewitched he certainly was. Even the fiddle was suffered to be mute, unless when seizing it with sudden furor he would strive to repeat some note which the voice of Linda had fastened upon his memory, but as sure as he did so, her image appeared at his working elbow, and Cupid, with a jog, jumped astride the fiddle-bow.

There was a beautiful simplicity in the heart of Apollos—an almost maidenly delicacy. He shrunk from intruding upon the fair object of his thoughts, never once did he speak with her, or seek to claim her acquaintance. She was to him something too divine to approach, and he worshiped her at a distance—a star whose beams blended with the music of his soul. There was no vanity hid away in his brain; he saw himself as others saw him—a rough, ungainly figure, without comeliness or proportion, and the more did he strive to cultivate those inward graces by which even his ugliness was made to be forgotten.

How little did Linda dream, as she sometimes passed him in her walks, what a great heart throbbed for her, and would have poured out its life-blood in her service.

The summer following Paul Davis revisited his birth-place, and for the first time for many years he and Linda met again. In form and feature both were changed—but in both the heart remained the same, and the same affinity which had in childhood bound them, now by a closer and dearer tie united them.

But Mr. Howell’s other four daughters had all married rich men; and as Linda was the fairest and most accomplished, he had planned for her a match which might be considered brilliant. When, therefore, Paul asked for her hand, it was refused with the contempt of one who feels that riches, not affection and kindness make up the summum bonum of life’s happiness, and with whom the weight of the purse out-balances the weight of both head and heart. And then Pride, too, put in her voice—what, his daughter marry the son of Leonard Davis, who died in a jail! To be sure, he understood that Paul was doing a very good business in the editorial line; but then a mere editor—a drudge for the public—bah!

And so Paul was scornfully dismissed, and returned to the city, yet bearing with him the sworn faith of her he loved.

Smiles faded from the cheek of Linda, and her voice now seldom sent its glad notes to cheer the heart of Apollos. He saw she was pale, and that her step was listless. He felt she was unhappy, and now, in addition to his own grief, he bore about with him the pain of knowing that she, too, had sorrows which he could not heal. He would have had her so happy. Around her path only thornless roses should have clustered, and how gladly would he have shielded her from all the storms of life.

Ah, poor Apollos! if it could have been; if, like the great branches of the oak which shelter the timid daisy from sun and rain, those great arms of thine would have enfolded this little flower—then, indeed, would thy big soul have leaped with gladness.

Months passed on.

Paul worked at his desk patiently, and hoping that by some favor of fortune he might yet claim the hand of Linda.

About this time the proprietor of the establishment in which he was employed, desirous of making a change in his business, offered to sell out at a price very advantageous for the purchaser. Paul would gladly have availed himself of this opportunity, but his means were insufficient, and he knew of no person of whom he could solicit the required sum. While the sale was pending Paul again visited the village, not with any idea of a second time subjecting himself to the rudeness of Mr. Howell by a further request for the hand of his daughter. He went, therefore, as on ardent lover may be supposed to go, impelled by a desire of seeing again the object of his affection, and of hearing from her dear lips a renewed assurance of her truth.

Now it chanced that the very afternoon of his arrival, Apollos strolled forth in somewhat melancholy mood, and took a path leading through a thick grove bordering upon his farm. It was one of those cold, gloomy days in March, when not a bud or a leaf has as yet betokened the grateful advent of spring. Little patches of ice and snow still clung around the decaying leaves, frozen into black heaps where the autumn winds had gathered in their many dead; the wind rattled the naked branches of the trees in the dull, chill atmosphere; flights of crows flew low with their dismal croak, and the squirrel now and then looked out timidly from the old brown trunks, as if to note the aspect of the weather, and feeling the biting wind upon his nose, turned nimbly back to his hole again. It was through these gloomy woods, therefore, that Apollos bent his way, and had nearly cleared the grove, when his reveries were suddenly interrupted by hearing the sound of voices from a thick cluster of young pines, whose green, spiral branches gave relief to the brown aspect of the surrounding trees. He recognized at once the accents of Linda; there was sadness in them, and he involuntarily paused, not with any intention of becoming a listener from curiosity, but only to drink in her beloved tones. His next impulse was to retreat softly; but the words which her companion spoke arrested his attention anew, and so he stood irresolute, anxious to learn more, and yet unwilling to steal thus into the secrets of the young pair.

“Well, dearest Linda, we must be patient and hopeful,” said Paul. “The assurance of your love will inspire me with fresh ardor in this struggle with fortune, and in the end, Linda, I am sure to come off conqueror. I wish not to reproach your father, but I flattered myself that wealth would not have been so great a consideration with him, and that as he has known me from my childhood, he would have preferred an honest, truthful heart, and the happiness of his child to the glitter of gold.”

“I hoped so, too, dear Paul; perhaps he will yet alter his determination; let us hope for the best,” answered Linda.

“A few thousand dollars would at this moment place me in a situation to demand your hand a second time, dear Linda,” continued Paul. “Mr. Neeland wishes to dispose of his establishment, and offers it at so reasonable an estimate that I would gladly become a purchaser if I had but the means—this, Linda, would remove the scruples of your father, and crown our happiness!”

“True, dear Paul. Ah! would that some kind friend might assist you. You have friends, I am sure—are there none of whom you can ask this favor?” said Linda.

“No—it is a kindness I do not feel authorised to ask from any one—it would involve me at once in obligations which I might not be able to fulfill—no, dearest Linda, I must toil on a few more years, and if my labors are followed with the same success which has heretofore crowned them, I shall have earned, even in your father’s estimation, the rich reward I would fain this moment call my own,” replied Paul.

Loving Linda as he did so faithfully, it was impossible that Apollos could listen to this conversation without a struggle between envy and the natural kindness of his heart. It is true, he knew before that his love was hopeless—that the young and fair object of his adoration could be no more to him than the distant planet shining so gloriously in the glittering dome of the heavens—but here stood one possessing that priceless gift, her heart, one on whom her first pure affections were bestowed—ah, poor Apollos—it was not in human nature to resist the workings of jealousy and envy—great drops of anguish stood on his pale brow, and he almost groaned aloud! Then better and nobler feelings stirred his bosom—he gave way to their healthful promptings, and a load seemed lifted from his breast.

Paul parted with Linda at her father’s gate and went home to his lodgings, where he had not been long seated, when an ill-written, almost illegible note was handed him. It was from Apollos Dalrymple, requesting earnestly to see him before he should leave the village.

“Some old debt, doubtless, of my poor father’s, which I am required to pay,” thought Paul. “Well, I will go and see him, and if in my power it shall be canceled.”

As he drew near the dwelling of Apollos, the strains of the fiddle seemed to welcome him on, and knocking at the door it was opened by the owner himself—his great chin holding firm to his breast the neck of the instrument, and his hand wielding the bow. Walking before him into a small back room, he made signs for him to be seated, and then taking up the air where the summons of Paul had interrupted it, he played it deliberately through!

Paul thought this proceeding very rude, to say the least of it—but if he could have read the heart of Apollos, he would have seen that he was only striving to lull into peace by the soothing powers of melody those rebellious and evil passions which the sight of his happier rival called forth.

At length, carefully hanging up the fiddle on a peg at his right hand, Apollos opened a small drawer, and taking out a pocket-book, put it into the hand of his astonished visiter.

“I reckon there is just two thousand dollars there—it is yours,” he said, bluntly. “I guess you’ll make a pretty straight bargain with that man that wants to sell out.”

Paul sat speechless with surprise at finding his affairs thus known to the strange man before him. Apollos arose, went to the window, and began to whistle, then added in a husky voice,

“I reckon old Howell wont object any longer; so you can—can marry—Linda!” and with another vociferous whistle, he again sat down.

By this time Paul, somewhat recovered from his first amazement, said, as he handed back the pocket-book,

“But, my dear sir, I cannot accept of your bounty I may never be able to repay you—”

“Put up the money, I say, put it up—it is yours,” interrupted Apollos; “I—I—overheard your talk with Linda, this afternoon—so you see I know all about you.”

“But why this interest for a stranger, Mr. Dalrymple—how can I ever repay—”

“Be kind to her—to Linda—that’s all the pay I want!” hastily interposed Apollos. “And you see, Paul, if you want any further help to get along, I conclude you are bound to come to me.”

Again Paul attempted to be heard.

“At least suffer me to explain my affairs to you, that you may know better the man upon whom your kindness has so liberally fallen.”

“I reckon I know you; you’re an honest, good lad—and—and Linda loves you—you need not say a word.”

And, indeed, had Paul been gifted with the eloquence of an Adams or a Webster, Apollos would not have listened to him, for no sooner did he see the money safe in the pocket of the young man, than he coolly arose, put on his hat, and taking his violin, walked out of the house; so Paul had no alternative than to do the same, yet leaving upon the table an acknowledgment of his gratitude, written with a pencil on the back of an old letter.

The next week three topics of interest were going the rounds of the village, and arousing the curiosity and wonder of its inhabitants.

The first was, that the son of Leonard Davis had become the sole proprietor of one of the largest printing offices in the city of New York—who would have thought it!

The second item was, that Apollos Dalrymple had offered his fine farm for sale—what could it mean?

The third and most wonderful was, that the said Apollos commenced building the identical narrow stone-house on the top of the hill—was the man bewitched, or going to be married!

In the course of the summer Paul again solicited the hand of Linda, which was no longer refused him—

“For money has a power above

 The stars, and fate, to manage love.”

But Apollos refused to be present at the happy event which his noble kindness had so materially assisted to bring about; and little did either of them surmise the generous devotion which had called it forth.

As soon as his solitary dwelling was completed, Apollos, taking with him a few goods and chattels, removed thereto. And there he still abides with peace in his heart, and “good-will to all men.”

He admits no visiters—yet is his bounty never the less; for, like some forest rill, which has its source hidden among the rocks, yet whose presence revivifies and fertilizes all around it, so do the streams of his bounty, flowing silently and unobtrusively, gladden and refresh the hearts of the weary and destitute. He never goes out, except on the Sabbath, upon whose sacred services he is a constant attendant, and may always be seen in his suit of homespun gray, standing erect near the choir, and beating time with his long, bony hand, to the music of the psalms.

Upon the calm summer evenings, the notes of his violin are borne on the gentle breeze to the ears of the villagers, and as the plough-boy hies him to his task, with the early up-rising of the lark, he hears the morning hymn of the forest choristers, accompanied in their notes of praise by the music of Apollos’ violin.

Painted by Compte Calix


Engraved by T. B. Welch expressly for Graham’s Magazine





Two youths approached a torrent in their path;

  One soft and fair, one eagle-eyed and strong;

  Thoughtful the last, the first all mirth and song.

They saw two bridges o’er the torrent’s wrath;

One a rough tree-trunk from a rugged ledge,

  Rugged to reach, uneven to the tread;

  The other at their feet, all broadly spread

  With flowers and mosses plumped from edge to edge.

    On the green platform sprang the first like light,

    Still loud in song, but in his midway flight

  The green bridge broke, and down to death he fell.

    The other, meanwhile, clambered painfully

    The steep, and, nerving strong, crossed safe the tree.

Thus in Temptation’s hour, Impulse and Principle.


The death of this eminent poet, after an honorable and useful life, prolonged to eighty years, will doubtless provoke a new conflict of opinions regarding the nature and influence of his great and peculiar mind. The universal feeling among all lovers of what is deep, and delicate, and genuine in poetry, must be—

“That there has passed away a glory from the earth;”

and not until literature receives an original impulse from a nature equally profound and powerful, will it be called upon to mourn such a departure “from the sunshine into the Silent Land.” His death was worthy of an earthly career consecrated by devout and beautiful meditations to a life beyond life—his soul, so long the serene guest of his mortal frame, meekly withdrawing itself at the end to a world not unfamiliar to his raised vision here.

We confess, at the outset, to an admiration for Wordsworth’s genius bordering on veneration, but we trust that we can speak of it without substituting hyperbole for analysis, without burying the essential facts of his mental constitution under a load of panegyric. It appears to us that these facts alone convict his depreciating critics of malice or ignorance; that the kind of criticism to which he was originally subjected, and which even now occasionally reappears with something of the sting of its old flippancy, is essentially superficial and untenable, failing to cover the ground it pretends to occupy, and disguising nonsense under a garb of shrewdness and discrimination. The opinion of a man of ability on subjects which he understands, and on objects he really discerns, is entitled to respect, and we do not deny that Jeffrey’s opinions on many important matters are sound and valuable; but, in relation to Wordsworth, whom he perversely misunderstood, he appears presumptuously incompetent and undiscerning throughout his much vaunted criticisms; in every case missing the peculiarities which constituted Wordsworth’s originality, and satirizing himself in almost every sarcasm he launched at the poet. The usual defense set up for such a critic is, that he judges by the rules of common sense; but every poet who deserves the name is to be judged by the common sense of the creative imagination, not by the common sense of the practical understanding; and thus judged, thus removed from the jurisdiction of the mere police of letters, we imagine that Wordsworth will readily assume his place as the greatest of English poets since Milton.

In claiming for him a position in that line of English poets which contains no other names than those of Chaucer, Spenser, Shakspeare, and Milton, we imply that he is not only great as an individual writer, but that he is the head and founder of a new school of poets; that he is the point from which the future historian of English letters will consider the poetry of the age; that he introduced into English literature new elements, whose inspiration has not yet spent itself, but continues to influence almost every poet of the day; that

“Thither, as to their fountain, other stars

Repairing, in their golden urns draw light.”

This fact can be chronologically proved. In the “Lines on Revisiting Tintern Abbey,” written as far back as 1798, and in which we have the key-note of Wordsworth’s whole system of viewing nature and man, we perceive not only a new element of thought added to English poetry, but an element which appears afterward in Shelley and Byron—modified, of course, by their individuality—and still appears, with decreasing force, in Tennyson and Browning. Plato and Lord Bacon are not more decidedly originators of new scientific methods than Wordsworth is the originator of a new poetical method. Even if we dislike him, and neglect his poetry, we cannot emancipate ourselves from his influence, as long as we are thrilled by the most magnificent and etherial passages in Shelley and Byron. We may be offended at the man, but we cannot escape from his method, unless our reading of the poets stops with Goldsmith and Cowper.

The vital poems of Wordsworth—those which are really inspired with his spirit and life, and not mere accretions attached to his works—form a complete whole, pervaded by one living soul, and, amid all their variety of subject, related to one leading idea—the marriage of the soul of man to the external universe, whose “spousal hymn” the poet chants. They constitute together the spiritual body of his mind, exhibiting it as it grew into beautiful and melodious form through thirty years of intense contemplation. To a person who has studied his works with sufficient care to obtain a conception of the author’s personality, every little lyric is alive with his spirit, and is organically connected with the long narrative and didactive poems. This body of verse is, we think, a new creation in literature, differing from others not only in degree but in kind—an organism, having its own interior laws, growing from one central principle, and differing from Spenser and Milton as a swan does from an eagle, or a rose from a lily.

We need hardly say that the central power and principle of this organic body of verse is Wordsworth himself. He is at its heart and circumference, and through all its veins and arteries, as the vivifying and organizing force—coloring every thing with his peculiar individuality, representing man and nature through the medium of his own original and originating genius, and creating, as it were, a new world of forms and beings, idealized from hints given by the actual appearances of things. This world is not so various as that of Shakspeare or Scott, nor so supernatural as that of Milton, but it is still Wordsworth’s world, a world conceived by himself, and in which he lived and moved and had his being. A true criticism of his works, therefore, would be a biography of his mind, exhibiting the vital processes of its growth, and indicating the necessary connection between its gradual interior development and the imaginative forms in which it was expressed. This we cannot pretend to do, having neither the insight nor the materials for such a task, and we shall be content with attempting a faint outline of his mental character, with especial reference to those qualities which dwelt near the heart of his being, and which seem to have been woven into the texture of his mind at birth.

Wordsworth was born in April, 1770, of parents sufficiently rich to give him the advantages of the usual school and collegiate education of English youth. He early manifested a love for study, but it may be inferred that his studies were such as mostly ministered to the imagination, from the fact that he displayed, from his earliest years, a passion for poetry, and never seems to have had a thought of choosing a profession. At the university of Cambridge he appears to have studied the classics with the divining eye and assimilating mind of a poet, and if he did not attain the first position as a classical scholar, he certainly drank in beyond all his fellows the spirit of the great writers of Greece and Rome. In a mind so observing, studious, thoughtful, imaginative and steadfast as his, whose power consisted more in concentration of view than rapidity of movement, the images of classical poetry must have been firmly held and lovingly contemplated; and to his collegiate culture we doubtless owe the exquisite poems of Dion and Laodamia, the grand interpretative, uplifting mythological passage in The Excursion, and the general felicity of his classical allusions and images throughout his works. He probably wrote much as well as meditated deeply at college, but very few of his juvenile pieces have been preserved, and those which are seem little more than exercises in expression. On leaving college he appears to have formed the determination of educating his poetical faculty by a communion with the forms of nature, as others study law and theology. He resided for some time in the west of England, and at about the age of twenty, made the tour of France, Italy, Switzerland and Germany, traveling, like our friend Bayard Taylor, mostly on foot, diving into forests, lingering by lakes, penetrating into the cottages of Italian peasants and rude German boors, and alternating the whole by a residence in the great European cities. This seems to have occupied nearly two years of his life; its immediate, but not its only result, was the publication of his “Descriptive Sketches in Verse,” indicating accurate observation rather than shaping imagination, and undistinguished by any marked peculiarities of thought or diction. We next hear of him at Bristol, the companion of Coleridge and Southey, and discussing with those eager and daring spirits the essential falsehood of current poetry as a representation of nature. The sensible conclusion of all three was this—that the worn-out epithets and images then in vogue among the rhymers, were meaningless; that poetry was to be sought in nature and man; and that the language of poetry was not a tinsel rhetoric, but an impassioned utterance of thoughts and emotions awakened by a direct contact of the mind with the objects it described. Of these propositions, the last was one of primary importance, and in a mind so grave, deep and contemplative as Wordsworth’s, with an instinctive ambition to be one of “Nature’s Privy Council,” and dive into the secrets of those visible forms which had ever thrilled his soul with a vague and aching rapture, the mere critical opinion passed into a motive and an inspiration.

“The Lyrical Ballads,” published in 1798, and to which Southey and Coleridge contributed, were the first poems which indicated Wordsworth’s peculiar powers and passions, and gave the first hints of his poetical philosophy, and the first startling shock to the tastes of the day. They were mostly written at Allfoxden, near the Bristol Channel, in one of the deepest solitudes in England, amid woods, glens, streams, and hills. Here Wordsworth had retired with his sister; and Coleridge was only five miles distant at Stowey. Cottle relates some amusing anecdotes of the ignorance of the country people, in regard to them, and to poets and lovers of the picturesque generally. Southey, Coleridge and his wife, Lamb, and the two Wedgewoods, visited Wordsworth in his retirement, and the whole company used to wander about the woods, and by the sea, to the great wonder of all the honest people they met. As they were often out at night, it was supposed they led a dissolute life; and it is said that there are respectable people in Bristol who believe now that Mrs. Coleridge and Miss Wordsworth were disreputable women, from a remembrance of the scandalous tattle circulating then. Cottle asserts that Wordsworth was driven from the place by the suspicions which his habits provoked, being refused a continuance of his lease of the Allfoxden house by the ignoramus who had the letting of it, on the ground that he was a criminal in the disguise of an idler. One of the villagers said, “that he had seen him wander about at night and look rather strangely at the moon! And then he roamed over the hills like a partridge.” Another testified “he had heard him mutter, as he walked, in some outlandish brogue, that nobody could understand.” This last, we suppose, is the rustic version of the poet’s own statement—

“He murmurs near the running brooks

 A music sweeter than their own.”

Others, however, took a different view of his habits, as little flattering to his morals as the other view to his sense. One wiseacre remarked confidently, “I know what he is. We have all met him tramping away toward the sea. Would any man in his senses take all that trouble to look at a parcel of water? I think he carries on a snug business in the smuggling line, and, in these journeys, is on the lookout for some wet cargo.” Another, carrying out this bright idea, added, “I know he has got a private still in his cellar; for I once passed his house at a little better than a hundred yards distance, and I could smell the spirits as plain as an ashen faggot at Christmas.” But the charge which probably had the most weight in those times was the last. “I know,” said one, “that he is surely a desperd French Jacobin; for he is so silent and dark that no one ever heard him say one word about politics.” The result of all these various rumors and scandals was the removal of Wordsworth from the village. It is curious that, with such an experience of English country-people, Wordsworth should never have looked at them dramatically, and represented them as vulgar and prejudiced human beings as well as immortal souls. It proves that humor did not enter at all into the constitution of his nature; that man interested him more than men; and that his spiritual affections, connecting humanity constantly with its divine origin, shed over the simplest villager a light and atmosphere not of earth.

While the ludicrous tattle to which we have referred was sounding all around him, he was meditating Peter Bell and the Lyrical Ballads, in the depths of the Allfoxden woods, and consecrating the rustics who were scandalizing him. The great Poet of the Poor, who has made the peasant a grander object of contemplation than the peer, and who saw through vulgar externals and humble occupations to the inmost soul of the man, had sufficient provocations to be the satirist of those he idealized.

In these Lyrical Ballads, and in the poems written at the same period of their publication, we perceive both the greatness and the limitations of Wordsworth, the vital and the mechanical elements in his poetry. As far as his theory of poetic diction was unimaginative, as far as its application was willful, it became a mere matter of the understanding, productive of little else than shocks to taste and the poetic sense, and indicating the perversity of a powerful intellect, pushing preconceived theories to the violation of ideal laws, rather than the rapt inspiration of the bard, flooding common words and objects with new life and divine meanings. It is useless to say that the passages to which we object would not provoke a smile if read in the spirit of the author. They are ludicrous in themselves, and would have made the author himself laugh had he possessed a moderate sense of the humorous. But the gravest objection against them is, that they do not harmonize with the poems in which they appear—are not vitally connected with them, but stand as excrescences plastered on them—and instantly suggest the theorizer expressing his scorn of an opposite vice of expression, by deliberately substituting for affected elegance a simplicity just as full of affectation. Wordsworth’s true simplicity, the simplicity which was the natural vehicle of his grand and solemn thoughts, the simplicity which came from writing close to the truth of things, and making the word rise out of the idea conceived like Venus from the sea, cannot be too much commended; but in respect to his false simplicity, his simplicity for the sake of being simple, we can only say that it has given some point to the sarcasm, “that Chaucer writes like a child, but Wordsworth childishly.” These objectionable passages, however, are very few; they stand apart from his works and apart from what was essential in him; and they are to be pardoned, as we pardon the occasional caprices of other great poets.

Another objection to the Lyrical Ballads, and to Wordsworth’s poems generally, is an objection which relates to his noblest creations. He never appears to have thoroughly realized that other men were not Wordsworths, and accordingly he not infrequently violates the law of expression—which we take to be the expression of a man to others, not the expression of a man to himself. He speaks, as it were, too much to his own ear, and having associated certain words with subtle thoughts and moods peculiar to himself, he does not seem aware that the words may not of themselves convey his meaning to minds differently constituted, and accustomed to take the expressions at their lexicon value. In this he differs from Coleridge, whose words and music have more instantaneous power in evoking the mood addressed, and thread with more force and certainty all the mental labyrinths of other minds, and act with a tingling and inevitable touch on the finest nerves of spiritual perception. The Ancient Mariner and Christobel almost create the moods in which they are to be read, and surprise the reader with a revelation of the strange and preternatural elements lying far back in his own consciousness. Wordsworth has much of this wondrous wizard power, but it operates with less direct energy, and is not felt in all its witchery until we have thought into his mind, become enveloped in its atmosphere, and been initiated into the “suggestive sorcery” of his language. Then, it appears to us, he is even more satisfying than Coleridge, moving, as he does, in the transcendental region of thought with a calmer and more assured step, and giving evidence of having steadily gazed on those spiritual realities which Coleridge seems to have casually seen by flashes of lightning. His language consequently is more temperate, as befits a man observing objects familiar to his mind by frequent contemplation; but, to common readers, it would be more effective if it had the suddenness and startling energy coming from the first bright vision of supernatural objects. As it is, however, his style proves that his mind had grown up to those heights of contemplation to which the mind of Coleridge only occasionally darted, under the winged impulses of imagination; and therefore Wordsworth gives more serene and permanent delight, more “sober certainty of waking bliss,” than Coleridge, however much the latter may excel in instantaneousness of effect.

The originality of the Lyrical Ballads consisted not so much in an accurate observation of nature as in an absolute communion with her, and interpretation of the spirit of her forms. They combine in a remarkable degree ecstasy with reflection, and are marvelously refined both in their perception of the life of nature and the subtle workings of human affections. Those elusive emotions which flit dimly before ordinary imaginations and then instantly disappear, Wordsworth arrests and embodies; and the remotest shades of feeling and thought, which play on the vanishing edges of conception, he connects with familiar objects, and brings home to our common contemplations. In the sphere of the affections he is confessedly great. The still, simple, searching pathos of “We are Seven,” the mysterious, tragic interest gathered around “The Thorn,” and the evanescent touch of an elusive mood in “The Anecdote for Fathers,” indicate a vision into the finest elements of emotion. The poems entitled, “Expostulation and Reply,” “The Tables Turned,” “Lines Written in Early Spring,” “To My Sister,” and several others, referring to this period of 1798, evince many of the peculiar qualities of his philosophy, and combine depth of insight with a most exquisite simplicity of phrase. The following extracts contain hints of his whole system of thought, expressing that belief in the life of nature, and the mode by which that life is communicated to the mind, which reappear, variously modified, throughout his writings:

Nor less I deem that there are Powers

  Which of themselves our minds impress;

That we can feel this mind of ours

  Is a wise passiveness.




And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!

  He, too, is no mean preacher:

Come forth into the light of things,

  Let nature be your teacher.


  She has a world of ready wealth,

    Our minds and hearts to bless—

  Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,

    Truth breathed by cheerfulness.


  One impulse from a vernal wood

    May teach you more of man,

  Of moral evil and of good

    Than all the sages can.


  Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;

    Our meddling intellect

  Misshapes the beauteous forms of things—

    We murder to dissect.


  Enough of Science and of Art;

    Close up those barren leaves;

  Come forth and bring with you a heart

    That watches and receives.




  I heard a thousand blended notes,

    While in a grove I sat reclined,

  In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts

    Bring sad thoughts to the mind.




  Through primrose tufts in that sweet bower,

    The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;

  And ’tis my faith that every flower

    Enjoys the air it breathes.




  There is a blessing in the air

    Which seems a sense of joy to yield

  To the bare trees, and mountains bare,

    And grass in the green field.




  One moment now may give us more

    Than years of toiling reason:

  Our minds shall drink at every pore

    The spirit of the season.


  Some silent laws our hearts will wake,

    Which they shall long obey:

  We for the year to come may take

    Our temper from to-day.

But the most remarkable poem written at this period of Wordsworth’s life, is that on Tintern Abbey, “Lines Composed on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye.” We have here that spiritualization of nature, that mysterious sense of the Being pervading the whole universe of matter and mind, that feeling of the vital connection between all the various forms and kinds of creation, and that marriage of the soul of man with the visible universe, which constitute the depth and the charm of Wordsworth’s “divine philosophy.” After describing the landscape which he now revisits, he proceeds to develop the influence it has exerted on his spirit:

                These beauteous forms,

Through a long absence, have not been to me,

As is a landscape to a blind man’s eye:

But oft in lonely rooms, and ’mid the din

Of towns and cities, I have owed to them,

In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,

Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart,

And passing even into my purer mind

With tranquil restoration; feelings, too,

Of unremembered pleasure; such, perhaps,

As have no slight and trivial influence

On that best portion of a good man’s life,

His little nameless, unremembered acts

Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust,

To them I may have owed another gift

Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood,

In which the burthen of the mystery,

In which the heavy and the weary weight

Of all this unintelligible world,

Is lightened; that serene and blessed mood,

In which the affections gently lead us on,

Until the breath of this corporeal frame,

And even the motion of our human blood

Almost suspended, we are laid asleep

In body, and become a living soul;

While with an eye made quiet by the power

Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,

We see into the life of things.

He then proceeds to describe the passionate fascination which nature exerted over his youth, and the change which had come over him by a deeper and more thoughtful communion with her spirit. When we consider that Wordsworth, at this time, was only twenty-eight, and that even the motions described in the first part of our extract had no existence in contemporary poetry, we can form some idea of his giant leap in advance of his age, as indicated by the unspeakable beauty and novelty of the concluding portion. Our readers will notice that although the style becomes almost transfigured by the intense and brooding imagination which permeates it, the diction is still as simple as prose:

              I cannot paint

What then I was. The sounding cataract

Haunted me like a passion; the tall rock,

The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,

Their colors and their forms, were then to me

An appetite, a feeling, and a love,

That had no need of a remoter charm,

By thought supplied, nor any interest

Unborrowed from the eye. That time is past,

And all its aching joys are now no more,

And all its dizzy raptures. Not for this

Faint I, nor mourn, nor murmur; other gifts

Have followed; for such loss, I would believe,

Abundant recompense. For I have learned

To look on nature, not as in the hour

Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes

The still, sad music of humanity,

Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power

To chasten and subdue. And I have felt

A presence that disturbs me with the joy

Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime

Of something still more deeply interfused,

Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,

And the round ocean and the living air,

And the blue sky, and in the mind of man;

A motion and a spirit, that impels

All living things, all objects of all thought,

And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still

A lover of the meadows and the woods,

And mountains; and of all that we behold

From this green earth; of all the mighty world

Of eye and ear—both what they half create

And what perceive; well pleased to recognize

In nature and the language of the sense,

The anchor of my purest thoughts, the muse,

The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul

Of all my moral being.

It is this “sense sublime of something still more deeply interfused,” that gives to a well-known passage in the concluding portion of the poem its particular significance:

                      Nature never did betray

The heart that loved her; ’tis her privilege,

Through all the years of this our life, to lead

From joy to joy; for she can so inform

The mind that is within us, so impress

With quietness and beauty, and so feed

With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues,

Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men,

Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all

The dreary intercourse of daily life,

Shall e’er prevail against us, or disturb

Our cheerful faith, that all which we behold

Is full of blessings.

In Wordsworth’s use of the word nature, it must always be borne in mind that he means, to use his own phrase,

            The Original of human art,

Heaven-prompted Nature.

This poem enables us to understand the process by which so peculiar a nature as Wordsworth’s grew up into its spiritual stature. It was by placing his mind in direct contact with natural objects, passively receiving their impressions in the still hours of contemplation, and bringing his own soul into such sweet relations to the soul of nature as to “see into the life of things;” or, as he expresses it, in another connection, “his soul had sight” of those spiritual realities, of which visible forms and hues are but the embodiment and symbolical language. Nature to him was therefore always alive, spiritually as well as visibly existing; and he felt the correspondence between his own life and her life, from perceiving that one spirit penetrated both. Not only did he perceive this, but he mastered the secret alphabet by which man converses with nature, and to his soul she spoke an audible language. Indeed, his mind’s ear was even more acute than his mind’s eye; and no poet has excelled him in the subtle perception of the most remote relations of tone. Often, when he is on the peaks of spiritual contemplation, he hears voices when he cannot see shapes, and mutters mystically of his whereabouts in words which suggest rather than embody meaning. He grew in spiritual strength and height by assimilating the life of nature, as bodies grow by assimilating her grosser elements; and this process was little disturbed by communion with other minds, either through books or society. He took nothing at second-hand; and his nature is therefore not the nature of Homer, or Dante, or Shakspeare, or Milton, or Scott, but essentially the nature of Wordsworth, the nature which he saw with his own eyes, and shaped with his own imagination. His humanity sprung from this insight, for not until he became impressed with the spirit of nature, and divined its perfect adaptation to nourish and elevate the human mind, did he perceive the worth and dignity of man. Then simple humanity assumed in his mind a mysterious grandeur, and humble life was spiritualized by his consecrating and affectionate imagination. He might then say, with something of a proud content,

The moving accident is not my trade;

  To freeze the blood I have no ready arts;

’Tis my delight alone in summer shade,

  To pipe a simple song for thinking hearts.

The passages in which this thoughtful humanity and far-sighted spiritual vision appear in beautiful union, are too numerous for quotation, or even for reference. We will give but two, and extract them as hints of his spiritual biography and the growth of his mind:

Love he had found in huts where poor men lie;

  His daily teachers had been woods and rills,

The silence that is in the starry sky,

  The sleep that is among the lonely hills.




But who is He with modest looks,

  And clad in homely russet brown?

He murmurs near the running brooks

  A music sweeter than their own.


He is retired as noontide dew,

  Or fountain in a noonday grove;

And you must love him, ’ere to you

  He will seem worthy of your love.


The outward shows of sky and earth,

  Of hill and valley, he had viewed;

And impulses of deeper birth

  Had come to him in solitude.


In common things that round us lie

  Some random truths he can impart—

The harvest of a quiet eye

  That sleeps and broods on his own heart.

We shall give but one more extract; illustrative of the moral wisdom which the poetic recluse had drank in from Nature, and incorporated with his own character. It was written at the age of twenty-five:

If thou be one whose heart the holy forms

Of young imagination have kept pure,

Stranger! henceforth be warned; and know that pride,

Howe’er disguised in its own majesty,

Is littleness; that he who feels contempt

For any living thing, hath faculties

Which he has never used; that thought with him

Is in its infancy. The man whose eye

Is ever on himself doth look on one,

The least of Nature’s works, one who might move

The wise man to that scorn which wisdom holds

Unlawful, ever. O be wiser, Thou!

Instructed that true knowledge leads to love;

True dignity abides with him alone

Who, in the silent hour of inward thought,

Can still suspect, and still revere himself,

In lowliness of heart.

We have dwelt thus long on Wordsworth’s first characteristic publication, because it expresses so well the nature of his own mind, and because it gave an original impulse to poetical literature. These Lyrical Ballads were published in the summer of 1798, and though they attracted no general attention corresponding to their original merit, they exercised great influence upon all the young minds who were afterward to influence the age. In September, 1798, in company with Coleridge, he visited Germany, and on his return he settled at Grasmere, in Westmoreland; a spot so well known to all readers of his poetry, and where he continued to reside for fifteen years. In 1803 he married a Miss Mary Hutchinson, of Penrith. Neither was wealthy, their joint income being but £100 a year. Of his wife we know little, except that she was of small stature and gentle manners, and was loved by her husband with that still, deep devotion characteristic of his affections. He refers to her, in a poem written in his old age, as

She who dwells with me, whom I have loved

With such communion, that no place on earth

Can ever be a solitude to me.

Between 1803 and 1807, when a second volume of Lyrical Ballads was published, he wrote many of the most beautiful and sublime poems in his whole works. To this period belong “The Memorials of a Tour in Scotland,” (1803,) containing “The Solitary Reaper,” “The Highland Girl,” “Ellen Irwin,” “Rob Roy’s Grave,” and other exquisite and glowing impersonations—his grand sonnets dedicated to “National Independence and Liberty”—“The Horn of Egremont Castle,” “Heart-Leap Well,” “Character of a Happy Warrior,” “A Poet’s Epitaph,” “Vandracour and Julia,” the “Ode to Duty,” and, above all, the sublime “Ode on the Intimations of Immortality from the Recollections of Childhood,” which appears not to have been struck off at one beat, but to have been composed at various periods between the years 1803 and 1806.

There are no events, in the common acceptation of the term, in Wordsworth’s life after the period of his marriage, except the publication of his various works, and the pertinacious war waged against them by the influential critics. Though his means were at first limited, he soon, through the friendship of the Earl of Lonsdale, received the appointment of Distributor of Stamps for the counties of Westmoreland and Cumberland, a sinecure office, the duties of which were done by clerks, but which seems to have given him an income sufficient for his wants. In 1809 he published a prose work on the “Convention of Cintra,” which, though designed as a popular appeal in favor of the oppressed Spaniards, was little read at the time, and is now forgotten. Southey, whose mind was on fire with sympathy for the Spanish cause, says of this pamphlet, in a letter to Scott—“Wordsworth’s pamphlet will fail of producing any general effect, because the sentences are long and involved; and his friend, De Quincey, who corrected the press, has rendered them more obscure by an unsound system of punctuation. This fault will outweigh all its merits. The public never can like any thing which they feel it difficult to understand. . . . I impute Wordsworth’s want of perspicuity to two causes—his admiration of Milton’s prose, and his habit of dictating instead of writing: if he were his own scribe his eye would tell him where to stop.”

But the great work to which Wordsworth was devoting the best years of his life, was his long philosophical poem of “The Recluse,” designed to give an account of the growth of his own mind, and to develop all the peculiarities, poetical, ethical and religious, of his system of thought. A large portion of this remains unpublished, but the second part was issued in quarto, in 1814, under the title of “The Excursion,” and was immediately lighted upon by all the wit-snappers and critics of the old school, and mercilessly “probed, vexed and criticised.” Jeffrey, who began his celebrated review of it in the Edinburgh with the sentence, “This will never do,” was successful in ridiculing some of its weak points, but made the mistake of stigmatizing its sublimest passages as “unintelligible ravings.” The choice of a pedler as the hero of a philosophical poem, though it was based on facts coming within the author’s knowledge, was a violation of ideal laws, because it had not sufficient general truth to justify the selection. A pedler may be a poet, moralist and metaphysician, but such examples are for biography rather than poetry, and indicate singularity more than originality in the poet who chooses them. Allowing for this error, substracting some puerile lines, and protesting against the tendency to diffusion in the style, “The Excursion” still remains as a noble work, rich in description, in narrative, in sentiment, fancy and imagination, and replete with some of the highest and rarest attributes of poetry. To one who has been an attentive reader of it, grand and inspiring passages crowd into the memory at the mere mention of its title. It is, more perhaps than any other of Wordsworth’s works, enveloped in the atmosphere of his soul, and vital with his individual life; and in all sympathetic minds, in all minds formed to feel its solemn thoughts and holy raptures, it feeds

“A calm, a beautiful, and silent fire.”

“The Excursion” was followed, in 1815, by the “White Doe of Rylstone,” a narrative poem, which Jeffrey said deserved the distinction of being the worst poem ever printed in a quarto volume, and which appears to us one of the very best. We do not believe the “White Doe” is much read, and its exceeding beauty, subtle grace, and profound significance, are not perceived in a hasty perusal. It is instinct with the most refined and ethereal imagination, and could have risen from the depths of no mind in which moral beauty had not been organized into moral character. Its tenderness, tempered by “thoughts whose sternness makes them sweet,” pierces into the very core of the heart. The purpose of the poem is to exhibit suffering as a purifier of character, and the ministry of sympathies,

“Aloft ascending, and descending quite

Even unto inferior kinds,”

in allaying suffering; and this is done by a story sufficiently interesting of itself to engage the attention, apart from its indwelling soul of holiness. In the representation of the Nortons we have the best specimens of Wordsworth’s power of characterization, a power in which he is generally deficient, but which he here exhibits with almost dramatic force and objectiveness.

“Peter Bell” and “The Wagoner,” which appeared in 1819, were executed in a spirit very different from that which animates the “White Doe.” They were originally written to illustrate a system, and seem to have been published, at this period, to furnish the enemies of Wordsworth some plausible excuse for attacking his growing reputation. “Peter Bell” was conceived and composed as far back as 1798, and though it exhibits much power and refinement of imagination, the treatment of the story is essentially ludicrous. But still it contains passages of description which are eminently Wordsworthian, and which the most accomplished of Wordsworth’s defamers never equaled. With what depth, delicacy, sweetness and simplicity are the following verses, for instance, conceived and expressed:

He roved among the vales and streams,

  In the green wood and hollow dell;

They were his dwellings night and day,—

But nature ne’er could find the way

  Into the heart of Peter Bell.


In vain, through every changeful year,

  Did Nature lead him as before;

A primrose by the river’s brim

A yellow primrose was to him,

  And it was nothing more.




At noon, when by the forest’s edge

  He lay beneath the branches high,

The soft blue sky did never melt

Into his heart; he never felt

  The witchery of the soft blue sky.


On a fair prospect some have looked

  And felt, as I have heard them say,

As if the moving time had been

A thing as steadfast as the scene

  On which they gazed themselves away.




There was a hardness in his cheek,

  There was a hardness in his eye,

As if the man had fixed his face,

In many a solitary place,

  Against the wind and open sky.

“The Wagoner,” is altogether unworthy of Wordsworth’s genius. It is an attempt of a poet without humor to be gay and jocular, and very dismal gayety it is. But even this poem is not to be dismissed without a reference to its one exquisite passage—that in which he describes the obligation upon him to write it:

Nor is it I who play the part,

But a shy spirit in my heart,

That comes and goes—will sometimes leap

From hiding-places ten year’s deep;

Or haunts me with familiar face,

Returning, like a ghost unlaid,

Until the debt I owe be paid.

The next volume of Wordsworth was a series of sonnets, under the general title of “The River Duddon,” published in 1820, and singularly pure in style and fresh in conception. This was followed, in 1821, by “Itinerary Sonnets,” chronicling a journey to the Continent; “Ecclesiastical Sonnets,” in 1822, celebrating events and characters in the history of the English church; and “Yarrow Revisited, and other Poems,” in 1834. In old age he still preserved his young love for nature, and lost none of his power of interpreting her teachings. In a poem entitled “Devotional Incitements,” written at the age of sixty-two, and distinguished for the delicate keenness of its insight, no less than its lyric rapture, it will be perceived that natural objects were still visible and audible to his heart and imagination. “Where,” he exclaims,

Where will they stop, those breathing powers,

The spirits of the new-born flowers?

They wander with the breeze, they wind

Where’er the streams a passage find;

Up from their native ground they rise

In mute aërial harmonies;

From humble violet—modest thyme—

Exhaled, the essential odors climb,

As if no space below the sky

Their subtle flight could satisfy:

Heaven will not tax our thoughts with pride—

If like ambition be their guide.


Roused by the kindliest of May-showers,

The spirit quickener of the flowers,

That with moist virtue softly cleaves

The buds, and freshens the young leaves,

The birds pour forth their souls in notes

Of rapture from a thousand throats—

Here checked by too impetuous haste,

While there the music runs to waste,

With bounty more and more enlarged

Till the whole air is overcharged.

Give ear, O man, to their appeal,

And thirst for no inferior zeal,

Thou, who canst think as well as feel.




Alas! the sanctities combined

By art to unsensualize the mind,

Decay and languish; or, as creeds

And humors change, are spurned like weeds:

And priests are from their altars thrust;

Temples are leveled with the dust;

And solemn rites and awful forms

Founder amid fanatic storms,

Yet evermore, through years renewed

In undisturbed vicissitude,

Of seasons balancing their flight

On the swift wings of day and night,

Kind Nature keeps a heavenly door

Wide open for the scattered Poor,

Where flower-breathed incense to the skies

Is wafted in mute harmonies;

And ground fresh cloven by the plough

Is fragrant with a humbler vow;

Where birds and brooks from leafy dells

Chime forth unwearied canticles,

And vapors magnify and spread

The glory of the sun’s bright head

Still constant in her worship, still

Conforming to the eternal Will,

Whether men sow or reap the fields

Divine monition Nature yields,

That not by bread alone we live,

Or what a hand of flesh can give;

That every day should leave some part

Free for a sabbath of the heart.

On the death of Southey, Wordsworth was appointed Poet Laureate. The latter years of his life were passed in undisturbed serenity, and he appears to have retained his faculties to the last. His old age, like his youth and mature manhood, illustrated the truth of his poetic teachings, and proves that poetry had taught him the true theory of life. One cannot contemplate him during the last ten years of his existence, without being forcibly impressed with his own doctrine regarding the lover of nature:

Thy thoughts and feelings shall not die,

Nor leave thee when old age is nigh

  A melancholy slave;

But an old age serene and bright,

And lovely as a Lapland night,

  Shall lead thee to thy grave.

The predominating characteristic of Wordsworth’s poetry is thoughtfulness, a thoughtfulness in which every faculty of his mind and every disposition of his heart meet and mingle; and the result is an atmosphere of thought, giving a softening charm to all the objects it surrounds and permeates. This atmosphere is sometimes sparklingly clear, as if the airs and dews and sunshine of a May morning had found a home in his imagination; but, in his philosophical poems, where he penetrates into a region of thought above the ken of ordinary mortals, this atmosphere is touched by an ideal radiance which slightly obscures as well as consecrates the objects seen through it, and occasionally it thickens into mystical obscurity. No person can thoroughly enjoy Wordsworth who does not feel the subtle spirit of this atmosphere of thought, as it communicates an air of freshness and originality even to the commonplaces of his thinking, and apparels his loftier conceptions in celestial light—

                        “The gleam,

The light that never was on sea or land,

  The consecration and the poet’s dream.”

The first and grandest exercise, therefore, of his imagination is the creation of this harmonizing atmosphere, enveloping as it does the world of his creation with that peculiar light and air, indescribable but unmistakable, which enable us at once to recognize and to class a poem by Wordsworth. We do not hesitate to say that, in its peculiarity, there is nothing identical with it in literature—that it constitutes an absolutely new kind of poetry, in the Platonic sense of the word kind. An imagination which thus fuse all the faculties and emotions into one individuality, so that all the vital products of that individuality are characterized by unity of effect, is an imagination of the highest kind. The next question to be considered is the variety which this unity includes; for Shakspeare himself, the most comprehensively creative of human beings, never goes beyond the unity of his individuality, his multifarious variety always answering to the breadth of his personality. He is like the banyan tree in the marvelous fertility of his creativeness, and the province of humanity he covers; but the fertility all comes from one root and trunk, and indicates simply the greatness of the kind, as compared with other kinds of trees. The variety in the operation of Wordsworth’s imagination we will consider first in its emotional, and second in its intellectual, manifestation—of course, using these words as terms of distinction, not of division, because when we employ the word imagination we desire to imply a fusion of the whole nature of the man into one living power. In the emotional operation of Wordsworth’s imagination we discern his Sentiment. No term has been more misused than this, its common acceptation being a weak affectionateness; and, at best, it is considered as an instinct of the sensibility, as a simple, indivisible element of humanity. The truth is that sentiment is a complex thing, the issue of sensibility and imagination; and without imagination sentiment is impossible. We often meet excellent and intelligent people, whose affections are warm, whose judgments are accurate, and whose lives are irreproachable, but who lack in their religion, morality and affections an elusive something which is felt to be the grace of character. The solution of the problem is found in their want of sentiment—in their want of that attribute by which past scenes and events, and absent faces, and remote spiritual realities, affect the mind like objects which are visibly present. Now, without this Sentiment no man can be a poet, either in feeling or faculty; and Wordsworth has it in a transcendent degree. In him it is revealed, not only in his idealizing whatever in nature or life had passed into his memory, but in his religious feeling and in his creative art. Scenes which he had viewed years before, he tells us, still

Flash upon that inward eye,

  Which is the bliss of solitude.

Thus Sentiment is that operation of imagination which recalls, in a more vivid light, things absent from the bodily eye, and makes them act upon the will with more force and inspiration than they originally exerted in their first passionate or thoughtful perception; and from its power of extracting the essence and heightening the beauty of what has passed away from the senses and passed into memory, it gives the impulse which sends the creative imagination far beyond the boundaries of actual life into the regions of the ideal, to see what is most beautiful here

                        —Imaged there

  In happier beauty; more pellucid streams,

    An ampler ether, a diviner air,

  And fields invested with purpureal gleams,

Climes, which the sun, who sheds the brightest day

Earth knows, is all unworthy to survey.

It is needless to adduce passages to prove the depth and delicacy of Wordsworth’s sentiment, sanctifying as it does natural objects and the humblest life, and lending to his religious faith a mysterious, ineffable beauty and holiness. In our view of the quality it must necessarily be the limitation of a poet’s creativeness, for the imagination cannot represent or create objects to which it does not tend by a sentiment; and Wordsworth, while he has a sentiment for visible nature, a religious sentiment, a sentiment of humanity, is still confined to the serious side of things, and has no sentiment of humor. If he had humor as a sentiment, he, dowered as he is with imagination, would have it as a creative faculty, for humor is the intellectual imagination inspired by the sentiment of mirth.

Let us now survey the power and scope of Wordsworth’s imagination, considered in its intellectual manifestation. Here nothing bounds its activity but its sentiments. It is descriptive, pictorial, reflective, shaping, creative, and ecstatic; it can body forth abstract ideas in sensible imagery; it can organize, as in “The White Doe,” a whole poem round one central idea; it can make audible in the melody of words, shades of feeling and thought which elude the grasp of imagery; it can fuse and diffuse itself at pleasure, animating, coloring, vitalizing every thing it touches. In description it approaches near absolute perfection, giving not only the scene as it lies upon the clear mirror of the perceptive imagination, but representing it in its life and motion as well as form. The following, from “The Night Piece,” is one out of a multitude of instances:

  He looks up—the clouds are split

Asunder—and above his head he sees

The clear Moon, and the glory of the heavens.

There, in a black blue vault she sails along,

Followed by multitudes of stars, that, small

And sharp, and bright, along the dark abyss

Drive as she drives.

In the description of the appearance of the White Doe, we have not only form, hue and motion, but the feeling of wonder that the fair creature excites, and the rhythm which musically expresses the supernatural character of the visitant—all embodied in one vivid picture:

The only voice that you can hear

Is the river murmuring near.

—When soft!—the dusky trees between,

And down the path through the open green,

Where is no living thing to be seen;

And through yon gateway, where is found,

Beneath the arch with ivy bound,

Free entrance to the church-yard ground—

Comes gliding in with lovely gleam,

Comes gliding in serene and slow,

Soft and silent as a dream,

A solitary Doe!

White she is as lily of June,

And beauteous as the silver moon

When out of sight the clouds are driven

And she is left alone in heaven;

Or like a ship, some gentle day,

In sunshine sailing far away,

A glittering ship that hath the plain

Or ocean for her own domain.

In the following we have a mental description, so subtle and so sweet as to make “the sense of satisfaction ache” with its felicity:

And she has smiles to earth unknown,

Smiles that, with motion of their own,

  Do spread and sink and rise;

That come and go, with endless play,

And ever as they pass away,

  Are hidden in her eyes.

This is from the little poem to “Louisa.” It is curious that Wordsworth, in the octavo edition of his works, published when he was seventy-seven years old, omits this stanza. It was so refined that he had probably lost the power to perceive its delicate beauty, and dismissed it as meaningless.

In describing nature as connected with, and embodied in, human thoughts and sentiments, Wordsworth’s descriptive power rises with the complexity of the theme. Thus, in the poem of Ruth, we have an example of the perversion of her energizing power:

The wind, the tempest roaring high,

The tumult of a tropic sky,

  Might well be dangerous food

For him, a youth to whom was given

So much of earth—so much of heaven,

  And such impetuous blood.

Whatever in those climes he found

Irregular in sight or sound,

  Did to his mind impart

A kindred impulse, seemed allied

To his own powers, and justified

  The workings of his heart.

Nor less, to feed voluptuous thought,

The beauteous forms of nature wrought,

  Fair trees and gorgeous flowers;

The breezes their own languor lent;

The stars had feelings, which they sent

  Into those favored bowers.

In another poem, we have an opposite and purer representation of nature’s vital work, in an ideal impersonation which has nothing like it in the language:

Three years she grew in sun and shower,

Then Nature said, a lovelier flower

  On earth was never sown;

This child I to myself will take;

She shall be mine, and I will make

  A lady of my own.

Myself will to my darling be

Both law and impulse; and with me

  The girl in rock and plain,

In earth and heaven, in glade and bower,

Shall feel an overseeing power

  To kindle or restrain.

She shall be sportive as the fawn,

That wild with glee across the lawn,

  Or up the mountain springs;

And hers shall be the breathing balm,

And hers the silence and the calm

  Of mute insensate things.

The floating clouds their state shall lend

To her; for her the willow bend;

  Nor shall she fail to see

Even in the motions of the Storm,

Grace that shall mould the maiden’s form

  By silent sympathy.

The stars of midnight shall be dear

To her; and she shall lean her ear

  In many a secret place

Where rivulets dance their wayward round,

And beauty born of murmuring sound

  Shall pass into her face.

But the most common exercise of Wordsworth’s imagination is what we may call its meditative action—its still, calm, searching insight into spiritual truth, and into the spirit of nature. In these, analysis and reflection become imaginative, and the “more than reasoning mind” of the poet overleaps the boundaries of positive knowledge, and, steadying itself on the vanishing points of human intelligence, scans the “life of things.” In the poems in which meditation predominates, there is a beautiful union of tender feeling with austere principles, and this austerity prevents his tenderness from ever becoming morbid. As his meditative poems more especially relate to practice, and contain his theory of life, they grow upon a studious reader’s mind with each new perusal. In them the Christian virtues and graces are represented in something of their celestial beauty and power, and the poet’s “vision and faculty divine” are tasked to the utmost in giving them vivid and melodious expression. He is not, in this meditative mood, a mere moralizing dreamer, a vague and puerile rhapsodist, as some have maliciously asserted, but a true poetic philosopher, whose wisdom is alive with the throbs of holy passion, and

Beauty—a living Presence of the earth—

Surpassing the most fair ideal Forms

Which craft of delicate spirits hath composed

From earth’s materials—waits upon his steps;

Pitches her tents before him as he moves,

An hourly neighbor.

But though these poems are essentially meditative in spirit, they are continually verging on two forms of the highest poetic expression, abstract imagination and ecstasy; and the clear, serene, intense vision which is their ordinary characteristic, is the appropriate mood out of which such forms of imagination naturally proceed. Let us first give a specimen of the creativeness of his imagination in its calmly contemplative mood, and we will select one of his many hundred sonnets.

Tranquillity! the sovereign aim wert thou

  In heathen schools of philosophic lore;

  Heart-stricken by stern destiny of yore

The Tragic Muse thee served with thoughtful vow;

And what of hope Elysium could allow

  Was fondly seized by Sculpture to restore

  Peace to the Mourner. But when He who wore

The crown of thorns around his bleeding brow

  Warmed our sad being with celestial light,

Then Arts, which still had drawn a softening grace

  From shadowy fountains of the Infinite,

Communed with that Idea face to face:

And move around it now as planets run,

Each in its orbit round the central sun.

We will not stop to comment on the wealth of thought contained in this sonnet, or the lingering suggestiveness of that wonderful line—

“Warmed our sad being with celestial light,”

but proceed to give another example, fragrant with the deepest spirit of meditation:

More sweet than odors caught by him who sails

Near spicy shores of Araby the blest,

A thousand times more exquisitely sweet,

The freight of holy feeling which we meet

In thoughtful moments, wafted by the gales

From fields where good men walk, and bowers wherein they rest.

The following sonnet may be commended to warriors and statesmen, as containing a wisdom as practical in its application as it is lofty in its conception:

I grieved for Bonaparté with a vain

  And an unthinking grief! The tenderest mood

  Of that man’s mind—what can it be? What food

Fed his first hopes? What knowledge could he gain?

’Tis not in battles that from youth we train

  The Governor who must be wise and good,

And temper with the sternness of the brain

  Thoughts motherly and meek as womanhood.

  Wisdom doth live with children round her knees;

Books, leisure, perfect freedom, and the talk

Man holds with week-day man in the hourly walk

  Of the mind’s business; these are the degrees

By which true sway doth mount; this is the stalk

  True Power doth grow on; and her rights are these.

We will now extract a magnificent example of abstract imagination, growing out of the meditative imagination, and penetrated by it. It is the “Thought of a Briton on the Subjugation of Switzerland;” the “two voices” are England and Switzerland.

  Two Voices are there; one is of the sea,

One of the mountains; each a mighty Voice:

In both from age to age thou didst rejoice,

  They were thy chosen music; Liberty!

  There came a Tyrant, and with holy glee

Thou fought’st against him; but hast vainly striven:

Thou, from thy Alpine holds at length art driven,

  Where not a torrent murmurs, heard by thee.

Of one deep bliss thine ear hath been bereft:

Then cleave, O cleave to that which still is left;

  For, high-souled Maid, what sorrow would it be

That mountain Floods should thunder as before,

And Ocean bellow from his rocky shore,

  And neither awful Voice be heard by thee!

Of the ecstatic movement of Wordsworth’s imagination, we might extract numberless instances, rushing up, as it does, from the level of his meditations, throughout his poetry. Take the following, from the “Ode to Duty”:

Stern Law-giver! yet thou dost wear

  The Godhead’s most benignant grace;

Nor know we any thing so fair

  As is the smile upon thy face;

Flowers laugh before thee on their beds,

And fragrance in thy footing treads;

Thou dost preserve the stars from wrong;

And the most ancient heavens through thee are fresh and strong.

In a descriptive poem called “The Gipsies,” there is a very striking instance of rapture immediately succeeding calmness:

The weary sun betook himself to rest;

Then issued Vesper from the fulgent west,

Outshining like a visible God

The glorious path in which he trod.

Again, observe how the imagination kindles and melts into rapturous idealization, and impetuously deifies the object of its sentiment, in the following short reference to the death of Coleridge:

Nor has the rolling year twice measured,

  From sign to sign, its steadfast course,

Since every mortal power of Coleridge

  Was frozen at its marvelous source;

The ’rapt One of the godlike forehead,

  The heaven-eyed creature.

In the sonnet which we now extract we have a specimen of that still ecstasy, so calm and so intense, in which Wordsworth stands almost alone among modern poets:

A fairer face of evening cannot be;

  The holy time is quiet as a nun

  Breathless with adoration; the broad sun

Is sinking down in its tranquillity;

The gentleness of heaven broods o’er the sea:

  Listen! the mighty being is awake,

  And doth with his eternal motion make

A sound like thunder—everlastingly.

  Dear child! dear girl! that walkest with me here,

If thou appear’st untouched by solemn thought,

Thy nature is not therefore less divine:

  Thou liest in Abraham’s bosom all the year;

And worship’st at the temple’s inner shrine,

God being with thee when we know it not.

It is, however, in the sublime “Ode on the Intimations of Immortality from the Recollections of Childhood,” that we best perceive the power of Wordsworth’s imagination in all the various modes of its expression—descriptive, analytic, meditative, interpretative, abstract and ecstatic; and in this ode each of these modes helps the other; the grand choral harmonies of the rapturous upward movement seeming to be born out of the intense contemplation, that hovers dizzily over the outmost bounds of human conception, to scrutinize, in the dim dawn of consciousness,

            —those first affections,

      Those shadowy recollections,

    Which be they what they may,

  Are yet the fountain light of all our day,

Are yet a master light of all our seeing.

It is from these that we have ecstasy almost as a logical conclusion; for

Hence in a season of calm weather,

    Though inland far we be,

Our souls have sight of that immortal sea

    Which brought us hither,

    Can in a moment travel thither,

And see the children sport upon the shore,

And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.

We have no space to particularize the felicity of Wordsworth’s muse in dealing with the affections, or the depth and power of his pathos. Before leaving the subject of his genius, however, we cannot withhold a reference to his “Ode on the Power of Sound,” which appears to be little known even to readers of the poet, though in the thronging abundance of its ideas and images, in the exquisite variety of its music, and in the soul of imagination which animates it throughout, it yields the palm to no ode in the language.

Wordsworth is most assuredly not a popular poet in the sense in which Moore and Byron are popular; and he probably never will be so among those readers who do not distinguish between being passionate and being impassioned, and who prefer the strength of convulsion to the strength of repose; readers who will attend only to what stirs and startles the sensibility, who read poetry not for its nourishing but its inflaming qualities, and who look upon poetic fire as properly consuming the mind it animates. Wordsworth is not for them, except they go to him as a spiritual physician, in search of “balm for hurt minds.” Placed in a period of time when great passions in the heart generated monstrous paradoxes in the brain, he clung to those simple but essential elements of human nature on which true power and true elevation must rest; and, while all around him sounded the whine of sentimentality and the hiss of Satanic pride, his mission, like that of his own beautiful blue streamlet, the Duddon, was “to heal and cleanse, not madden and pollute.” His rich and radiant imagination cast its consecrating and protecting light on all those dear immunities of humanity, which others were seeking to discard for the delusions of haughty error, or the fancies of ripe sensations. Accordingly, though many other poets of the time have a fiercer or fonder charm for young and unrestrained minds, he alone grows upon and grows into the intellect, and “hangs upon the beatings of the heart,” as the soul advances in age and reflection; for there is a rich substance of spiritual thought in his poetry to meet the wants of actual life—consolations for sorrow, help for infirmity, sympathy for bereavement, a holy gleam of awful splendor to irradiate the dark fear of death; a poetry, indeed, which purifies as well as pleases, and penetrates into the vitalities of our being as wisdom no less than loveliness:

“Filling the soul with sentiments august—

The beautiful, the brave, the holy and the just.”






I will tell you, scholar, I have heard a grave divine say that God has two dwellings, one in heaven, and the other in a meek and thankful heart; which Almighty God grant to me and to my honest scholar.    Isaak Walton.

“How did you find them all at home, Bridget?”

“Hearty, ma’am, thank ye;” and the girl moved busily about the room.

She was my chambermaid, and although she had only lived with me a little while, I felt very much attached to her, for she was so kind, industrious and honest. Soon after she came to us I was seized with a painful illness, and during it, she nursed me with the tenderness of a sister; often, when the spasms of acute pain would shake my feeble body, I had seen large tears standing in her full, round eye.

As she assisted me in undressing, I observed that she was not in her usual spirits, and when she handed me my dressing-gown, I saw that her hands trembled. But she patiently went through every little duty, although I could well see that she was suffering from some hidden trouble. When I sat down to my reading, she left me to prepare for me some tea—for, dear reader, I am a true old maid, and love my cup of tea, as well as I love my existence almost.

Presently she re-entered, and rolling a little teapoy beside my chair, she placed on it the waiter, and poured out my tea. Just then I heard the heavy breathing of my dear Aunt Mary, who was asleep in the adjoining room.

“Close the door of Aunt Mary’s room, my good Bridget,” I said; “and while I drink my tea and eat this nice piece of toast you have made me, come and tell me something about Ireland.”

I knew this would please her; for often had she talked to me at night, when I would be undressing, about the glens and vales of beautiful, song-famed Coleraine; and the fairies, with their round rings in the grass. She had never seen a fairy her own self, but “Elsie the child” her sister had, and the “little body,” as she called the fairy, had pinched the poor “wean Elsie.”

Then again on Sunday, or holyday nights, she would tell me how, when a child, she had wished to be a nun, and that she would go out in the dark, pitch night, and kneel on the ground in the middle of their garden, and ask the good Virgin and the Saints to pray for her—for Bridget has always been a religious girl.

Then she had actually heard the Benshee cry. It came wailing around the house when her father died; and she had heard it a week before his death, when he was hale and hearty. She had heard it at night-fall one evening when she was crossing the glen below their cottage, as she was coming from Coleraine, where she had been spending the day with her grandmother. It commenced “low and mournful like” in the bushes beside her, and then ranged around the hills, swelling out louder and louder, until it ceased behind the cottage. As she would dwell on this, my fancy would picture to me the enthusiastic, imaginative Irish girl, standing with lips apart, listening to this mournful wailing night-wind, which her after troubles shaped into the sad poetical Benshee; and if I had had the skill of an artist, I would have made a lovely sketch, I am sure; for so plainly did her descriptions bring before me her figure and the surrounding landscape, lightened with the warm hue of the lingering twilight so peculiar to Ireland.

Bridget sat down on the rug beside me, and when we went to bed that night, good reader, it was later than unsuspecting Aunt Mary imagined; but I had heard all Bridget’s troubles, had soothed and comforted her, had read her lover’s last letter to her—for she had a lover—what girl has not?—and sent her to bed with a heart considerably lighter than when, with aching head but patient fingers, she had prepared my nice night meal.

Bridget’s father, Dermot Kerevan, was a Scotchman by birth, but of Irish parentage. His father had settled in Glasgow, and there did Dermot spend his early years, and obtain thriftiness and steadiness, qualities not often found in an Irishman. Dermot was early apprenticed to a gardener, and when he was out of his term of service, his master recommended him to an Irish gentleman, who wanted a gardener for his place, “The Forest,” at Coleraine. There Dermot came, and it was not long before he brought home to his pretty gardener’s-cottage, the beauty of Coleraine, Grace Mullen, who he had persuaded to be his “bonnie wife,” as he called her. They must have been very happy—for sweeter domestic pictures I have never heard described, either in tale or poem, than my good Bridget would sketch in her little stories of their home, during her father’s life. But this blessed happiness could not last for ever. One fine spring day poor Dermot was brought home from the garden, up at “the great house,” on a litter, nearly dead. He had fallen from a high tree while lopping off a branch. He lingered only a few hours, leaving the lonely widow with her “four childer,” to battle with life alone.

Bridget was the eldest, and she was only twelve. Then there was Grace, and Elsie, and little Jinny, the baby, all to be cared for. Bridget was sent to her uncle’s at Glasgow town, and the grandmother of Grace Kerevan gave the shelter of her poor roof to the rest of them. Widow Kerevan opened a little shop in her grandmother’s front room, and did “bits of work for the people all around Coleraine,” as Bridget expressed it.

A year after the kind, loving father’s death, home came Bridget from Glasgow town. Her uncle, the rich distiller, was enraged at her, for she had told his wife she had rather starve in Ireland than go to the meeting-house all day Sunday, and sit straight up at her sewing and knitting the rest of the week. Poor girl! the strict, rigid habits of her uncle’s thrifty Scotch wife had driven her almost frantic. She, who had roamed at will, over hill and glen, and had never been bound down to any duty. The domestic affairs of her own home had always been soon dispensed with, and she had spent most of her time in rambling through the forest, or by the stream-side, or playing with Gracey, Elsie, and the baby, chasing their shadows on the grassy hill-side; then how could she bear the strait-laced notions and rules of her notable Scotch aunt? Not at all, and she told her so; and they sent her home to the starvation her aunt had often taunted her with, holding it in perspective, when she would be rebellious.

The mother, grandmother, and children crowded around her. Grace Kerevan held her child, from whom she had been so long parted, close to her bosom, and sobbed with joy.

“And so,” said the old grandmother, “the ‘Scotch quean,’ as poor Dermot used to say, told ye we starved here? Never mind, darlint, ye shall always have a p’raty, even if we all do without.”

Poor Bridget worked early and late, for the farmers’ wives, but she only made a “small thrifle,” as she said, and sometimes they were so poor that they had scarcely a potato apiece in the house.

“And did you ever wish yourself back in Glasgow town, Bridget?” I inquired.

“Niver, ma’am,” was the girl’s energetic answer; and I do not believe she ever did, for the genial light of home-love shone in her poor, Irish home, for which her little affectionate heart had pined, under the wealthier but cold roof of her uncle.

“Thin I came to Ameriky.”

“But, Bridget, how came you to think of America?”

“Och, the girls all around talked about Ameriky, and my aunt’s cousin’s husband’s sister writ home a letter about her making such a power of money. Well, I talked to mother about it, but she cried, and so did grandmother, and they asked me where I’d get the four pound to pay my passage with. That kept me quiet a bit, for I’d niver seen so big a heap of money. But one day, when I was shaking up grandmother’s bed, I felt a great big lump in it, that was sewed up in the straw, and I dragged it out, and it was an old stocking with money tied in it. I ran screamin’ with joy to mother. But och, how she cried and grandmother scolded. Then I cried, too, and grandmother came and hugged me, and told me to give over cryin’, that there was the money if I wanted it. She said she’d hid it away in the bed, years agone, to keep off the dark day. Then I cried, ‘Grandmother, let me go ’till Ameriky, and I will send ye so much gold that’ll keep the dark day away forever.’

“Then mother said, ‘Let the girl go, for sure she’s had light given her, and she knows better than us.’”

“Did you not feel a little sorry, Bridget, when they gave up at last?” I asked.

“No, ma’am, not a bit,” she continued; “and I hurried around and got ready. The girl that had writ the letters home about Ameriky, sent out a ticket to her sister to come on the vessel that was just going; but she—Rosy McLanahan it was—was very sick, and couldn’t go; and so mother bought her ticket for me. But, och, when mother bid me good bye, and kissed me, and left me on the vessel, then I cried. I didn’t cry a bit when I bid grandmother and the childer good bye at the house, but it was when I saw mother going down the side of the vessel, and get into the tumbling little boat, that I cried. I felt so lonely like, just as I did when father was buried; and I watched the little boat, and her red cloak, until she got ashore. Then there she stood, and shook her handkerchief until it growed too dark to see her. Och, Miss Enna, but then I cried—all to myself though—for I was ashamed the people should see me, and I went off to my little bed and cried all night; for I thought I was furder away from them than father was, for he was in heaven, and I was out on wide wather. Then I thought of what father used to tell me about God bein’ with us always, and I tried to stop my cryin’ by prayin’.”

“How old were you then, Bridget?”

“Not quite fifteen, ma’am.”

“Were you not glad when you saw America, my poor child?”

“Indade and indade I was, for I’d been so sick all the way, and when the vessel came up the river to Philadelphia, I cried with joy. But when the vessel anchored, and people came from shore, and I heerd them a greetin’ one another, my heart fell like a great lump of lead, for I’d nobody in this wild, new country to greet me. Then I cried again, but it was with the heart-ache. I sat there all alone, when one of the women, who had been very kind to me on the passage, came up to me, and she brought with her a man, who, she said, used to know my mother when she was a slip of a girl in Coleraine, and if I would go home with him, he would try to find me a place. I bundled up my clothes, which were only a few pieces, and went with him. This was on a Saturday night like, Miss Enna, and on Monday they took me to a place.”

“Was it a nice place, Bridget?”

“Yes, ma’am; but ’twas a plain, hard-working family; they kept only me, and they had a lot of childer and a whole parcel of apprentice boys; but Mrs. Hill—that was her name—was kind to me, and worked with me when she could, and took good care of my money, which she put all away, and I didn’t spend a bit. She giv’ me some of her old dresses and an old hood, so I saved up all my money for four months. Then I writ my first letter to mother, and sent her the sixteen dollars.”

“Oh, Bridget!” I exclaimed, “why did you not write before?”

The girl laughed quietly, and replied,

“I wanted to send a big bit of money when I writ home; and I know’d the neighbors would stare, and grandmother would open her eyes, and mother would be so proud of her Bridget sendin’ home three pound and over. Then came a letter from them at home, and it made me cry so. They were all well, and had got my money; but mother tried to scold a bit bekase I hadn’t writ before, but she was so plased to hear I was doin’ well, that she didn’t scold much. Then I worked on, but I felt lonely like, and kept thinkin’ how nice ’twould be to have Gracey with me. So I saved up twenty dollars, and sent it to Ireland; and soon Gracey came to me. Mother couldn’t come, I know’d, for grandmother was so old as to stay in bed all the time. I’d been a year in Ameriky when Gracey came over; then after awhile I sent for Elsie, for the times were still harder in Ireland, and mother had bad work to get on with her poor old sick granny to nurse. Elsie seemed so little when she came, that I didn’t know what to do with her; but Mrs. Hill, the kind soul, said she might come and live with me; that she could play with the childer, and rock the cradle, and go errands, and she would give her her clothes the first year; then, if she was smart, she would give her a half dollar a week—for Mr. Hill was richer now. I took great pleasure in Elsie, she was good and minded me; but Gracey was headstrong like, and would have her own way. She gave me a dale of trouble, and many’s the night I’ve laid awake and thought about her. She liked to taze me, and make me believe she was worse than she was.

“At last Mr. Hill and his wife made up their minds to buy a large farm clear up in the country, a great many miles off from Philadelphia, and Elsie and me went with them. This did Gracey good, and she was a better girl ever afterward, for when she was left alone in Philadelphia, she saw how cross she’d been to me, and this made her sorry; and she went to church rigilar, and attended to her duties, and used to go and talk to my good old priest, Father Shane, for he writ about it to me, unbeknownst to her—och, but I was glad thin.

“After I’d been in the country—on the farm, I mane—a letter came from mother, telling us of poor grandmother’s death, and the letter had all tears over it, which made Elsie and me cry, for we know’d they were poor mother’s tears. In this same letter she said she wished we could send her a ticket to come to Ameriky with; that if she could only see her Bridget once more before she died, she would be happy. This was spring-time, so I takes up Elsie’s money and mine, and goes off to Philadelphia to buy a ticket for mother and show Gracey mother’s letter. Gracey had no money to give me, for she was always extravagant; and no wonder, for she was pretty, like mother, and liked a bit of finery better than plain folks like myself. She cried about it, but I comforted her, and told her niver mind, I’d enough; but I couldn’t buy myself a dress—that I didn’t let her know though for fear she’d fret.

“So I bought the ticket, and got Father Shane to write a letter for me. I was going to stay in Philadelphia a week—so Mrs. Hill said I might; but the day after I bought the ticket, a wagon came all the way from the farm to tell me Elsie was dying—that she had sickened the day I left, and had the measles. Then again, Miss Enna, I was in trouble, for Elsie was so good, and she looked like father. Och, I cried all the way out to Mrs. Hill’s. Sure enough, when I got there my poor baby was near gone. I nursed her night and day, poor child, but ’twas no use, God took my wean away from me.

“The night she died she opened her eyes and know’d me for the first time. I thought she was getting well, though the doctor said she couldn’t.

“‘Bridget,’ siz she, ‘we’d a nice play down in the glen, hadn’t we!’

“I couldn’t answer, my heart was so full, for I saw she thought she was home in Coleraine.

“‘Bridget!’ she called, and held out her little hands to me. I took her in my arms, cryin’ all the time.

“‘Let’s go into the cottage,’ siz she, ‘for father and grandmother have been callin’ us a good many times. It’s dark out here, Bridget, and cold—hold me, Bridget, dear, for I can’t see.’

“Then she called ‘mother!’ and tryin’ to put her little arms around my neek, said she wanted to go to sleep, and told me to sing to her. I hugged her close up to me, and after a few words about the long grass under the hill by the cottage, where she and Jinny used to roll over playin’, she drew a long breath, and as I kissed her, she died. Och, but that was the darkest night I iver spent, Miss Enna. I was all alone, for Mrs. Hill had gone to sleep, tellin’ me I must call her if Elsie was worse. There I sat all night holdin’ my dead darlint close to my bosom, too heart-struck to cry. But when in the morning Mrs. Hill tried to take her from me, they say I screamed and held on to her like a mad person.

“I niver saw Elsie afterward, Miss Enna,” said the poor girl, with tears streaming down her cheeks, “for when they buried her in the cold earth, I was raving sick, and they said I would die too. Part of the time I know’d them, and part of the time I was crazy, but when I’d my sinses, I prayed God would just keep me alive to see my mother. He heard my prayer,” she continued, crossing herself devoutly, “and before mother came I was well again, though my heart was full of sorrow for Elsie.

“When I sent for mother, I told her not to come till fall, for I thought by that time I’d lay by a trifle of money to take a room in Philadelphia and buy some furniture. All summer I worked hard, and Mrs. Hill, the good soul, give me as much money in the fall as if Elsie had been workin’ too. She know’d what I wanted with it, and she give me some old chairs, and a bed, too. I was sorry to leave her, for her and her husband was kind to us always; but I know’d mother would feel lonely like in town without me. So I packed up all my things, and came in Mr. Hill’s market-wagon to town.

“Father Shane had writ to me that the vessel was expected in a week or so—and I came to town just in time to rent a nice room for mother. I’d enough of money to pay a month’s rint ahead, and to buy some wood. Then I bought a carpet and a nice bedstead, and a table, and a good, warm stove—oh, yes, and a cushioned form, or sofy, as the people call it here, that looked like the one we had at home in Coleraine. Gracey give me a little trifle, which was a grate dale for her, seein’ it had been summer-time, and she had to have a new bonnet, bein’ in town.

“The night before mother came, Gracey ran round from her place to see mother’s room, and how proud I felt, as we stood in the middle of it, and looked around at all the things—we felt so rich.

“‘Now, if we only had a bureau,’ said Gracey, ‘to put under that little glass of mine.’

“Gracey had always finer notions than me. I’d niver thought a bit of a bureau, for I know’d mother had a chist which would hold Jinny’s clothes and hers—all they had, poor things. Father Shane came to see me that night, too, and brought a big, black, wood cross to hang over the mantlepiece, and a string of beads for Jinny. Och, but we felt very happy, only every little bit, poor Elsie would come to my mind, and I’d think of how merry she’d been if she’d been livin’; and grate tears would roll down in spite of me. Father Shane spoke very pretty about her, and made me feel better, and after he and Gracey went away, I sat down by the stove, and there I sat all night, for I didn’t want to rumple the bed I’d made up for mother, for the sheets looked so white and smooth.

“The next afternoon the vessel came up the river, but it was ten o’clock at night before mother got off. There I stood on the wharf, talkin’ to her, that was on the ould vessel, all the evenin’. When she first see’d me, she cried,

“‘Och, and it’s my Bridget, God bless her!’

“She was so glad, she’d have tumbled overboard, but for one of the sailors who caught her. We both cried and laughed, and some laughed at us; but the good sailor who had caught ahold of her when she was fallin’, told her to cheer up, that she’d soon be on shore with her Bridget. He helped her down the side of the vessel, and when she hugged me and we both cried, I saw him wipe his eyes. He shook hands with us both, and asked where we lived, and said he’d come to see us.

“But, och, didn’t mother stare when she see’d her nice room. Then she throw’d her apron over her head and cried like a baby. Jinny had grow’d so tall I didn’t know her. I was glad she was tall, for I’d hated to see her, for fear she’d make me cry about Elsie, bein’ little like her; but she was near as tall as Gracey, and right pretty.

“Mother examined all the room, and kissed me, and hugged me, and then, when Gracey came, she looked very proud—for Gracey was so fine lookin’. Gracey staid all night, and we made her and Jinny a bed on the floor with the cushions of the form, for mother said she’d sleep with her Bridget. We talked nearly all night, and we all cried about Elsie, and I told ’em a great many pretty stories about her.

“‘Yes, mother,’ said Gracey, ‘Elsie, the darlin’, was always a blessin’ to Bridget, but I was a trouble.’

“I made her hush, and told her she wasn’t as bad as she pretended to be, and then after a bit we all went to sleep. But after I’d been asleep awhile I wakened, and there was mother lanin’ over me cryin’ and kissin’ me; I didn’t ope my eyes, but laid so still; for oh, Miss Enna, it was so nice to have my own mother beside me, and then I was afraid I was dramin’.”

“Well, Bridget,” I said, as the girl wiped her eyes, “how did you support your little family?”

“Very azy, ma’am,” she replied, “for we all took care of ourselves. Mrs. Hill came in and asked Jinny to go and live with her. Then I got a nice place at poor Mrs. Kenyon’s mother’s. You know’d Mrs. Kenyon, Miss Enna, ’twas she who died?”

Indeed I did know her, for Mary Kenyon had been one of my dearest friends, and only a few short months before the grave had closed over her—the beautiful and the good.

“Well,” continued Bridget, “after a bit I got mother two nice first-floor rooms, at the corner of the street where she lived; and in the front one she opened a little store, which kept her nicely.”

But now came the romance—the love-story of good, innocent Bridget’s life. Her lover was the good, kind-hearted sailor who had been so interested in them when widow Kerevan landed. He came to see them as he had promised, and though Bridget and the widow thought that Gracey’s pretty curls and bright eyes brought him so often “o’ evenin’s,” they soon found out it was the good Bridget he was after.

“It’s three years now gone, since we were ingaged,” said Bridget, “and nearly that since I have seen or heerd tell of him,” and she sighed heavily.

“Where did he go to, Bridget?”

“Why, ma’am, he went in a states government vessel to the Ingees, and he said he’d write to me; but I’ve niver had a line from him since he sailed. He writ a letter to me at Norfolk town just before he went off, and told me to love him true ’til he came back, then we’d be man and wife. Mother long since wanted me to take another beau, for she sez I’m gettin’ old, and bein’ plain like, nobody will have me, then I’ll be an old maid that nobody likes or cares for; but I’d sooner be an old maid, than brake my vow to Patrick; and even Father Shane has scolded mother and Gracey about it, for they both taze me—and he sez I’m right.”

“How do you mean break your vow, Bridget?”

“Why you see, Miss Enna, both Patrick and I loved old Ireland so much that we rigilarly ingaged ourselves, like the people used to in the old country.”

“How was that, my child?”

“Patrick takes a Prayer-book the night before he went away, and stood in the middle of mother’s room, and swore on it by the holy cross, that he niver would marry any woman but me, Bridget Kerevan; och, but his oath was so solemn and beautiful, it made me tremble all over. Then he puts the Prayer-book in my lap, and we took hold of each other’s hands over it, and I made the same vow, and then we both kissed the book. Mother and Gracey were by and heerd it all. How can I, then, Miss Enna, even if I wanted to, take another beau? And I’m sure if any thing happens to him I shall niver want another beau, for he was my first real one, and he seemed to come right in Elsie’s place like in my heart.”

As she sighed heavily, I comforted her, by telling her she was perfectly right in keeping good faith to the absent Patrick; that she need not mind if they did trouble her, it was better to suffer annoyances than give up to do wrong.

“To-night,” she continued, “they taxed me so bekaze I wouldn’t have any thing to say to one of the neighbor’s boys from Coleraine, who know’d us when we were childer; and mother said it was her belafe that Patrick was safe and happy somewhere else, married to some other woman. This made me very mad, and I started up and went out of the house without sayin’ a word; but mother ran after me down the street, and made me kiss her good-night, and we made up and parted friends.”

“That was right, Bridget, for she is your mother, and though mistaken, she meant it for the best.”

“I know that, Miss Enna, but they trouble me so much, I sometimes hate to go home.”

Then she went softly up into her bed-room and brought down a poor, worn-looking letter, and a dilapidated book, with one cover off, and the leaves part gone.

“This is his letter from Norfolk town, Miss Enna; read it, plaze, aloud, for I niver tire hearin’ it.”

I read it, and found it to be a manly, affectionate, lover-like letter. He touchingly reminded her of her vow, in homely, plain language, it is true, but real heart words were they, that brought tears to my eyes.

“What is that book, Bridget?”

“Oh, Miss Enna,” replied the girl, looking down, and her round face grew crimson, “it’s a book of his’n. He used to be always readin’ in it; and one day he throw’d it into my lap, and said, when I could read it he’d give me a silk gownd fit for a quane to wear. I laughed and thought nothin’ at all about it until after he’d been gone above a year, when I found it down at mother’s one night in my old chist, which mother had given me when I’d bought her the bureau poor Gracey wanted so bad. I’ve kept the book iver since; and I take it out of my drawer o’ nights, and sit down and try to see somethin’ in it, but even if I could rade, which I can’t, I couldn’t see nothin’ in it, for it always makes me cry.”

I took the book from her with great curiosity; I was anxious to see what was the nature of it, for I hoped to judge by it of the character of this sailor-lover. It was Falconer’s Shipwreck. I was satisfied, and was a firmer friend than before to Patrick.

A few weeks afterward, one night Bridget came home with a face perfectly radiant, or “bamin,” as she would have said. I was reading in my bed-room all alone. She came in, closed Aunt Mary’s door, and giving me a letter, said,

“Rade it, dear Miss Enna, rade it; he’s alive, and is comin’ home;” and she sat down on the rug beside me, and laughed and cried at once as I read the letter aloud to her.

Sure enough, the lover was safe and true. He had written to her often, but the letters had been lost, he supposed, as he had never heard from her; but he felt sure, he said, that she was still his Bridget, even if he did not hear from her.

“There, you see, Miss Enna, how bad I’d been if I’d done as they wanted me to,” she exclaimed; “and so Father Shane said to mother to-night, when he read the beautiful letter—for he brought it to me. Patrick writ to him, and sint him this letter to me inside of his’n, bekase he said he’d writ so often to me, and sure a letter would rach me through Father Shane.”

Patient Reader, this is a true story; but I am the only one to be sympathized with in it, for I lost my jewel of a chambermaid. A few months afterward Patrick came home and claimed his faithful Bridget. We had a busy time when she was married—for the whole family took an interest in good Bridget’s fortune. Patrick was a nice, healthy, bright-looking Irishman; and when on the Sunday after he arrived he came to take her to mass, I saw him as they walked down the street together, look at her sturdy little figure with as much admiration as if it had possessed the fine proportions of a Venus. Love is such a beautifier.

Father Shane married them, and Patrick rented a nice little house in the suburbs of our town, and took Widow Kerevan home to live with them. Bridget is a happy wife; but she has one trouble, and that is, that her husband’s calling takes him away from her, and places him in danger; but when he returns from long voyages she is as bright and merry as a lark.

The other day I went to see her, and as her little girl Elsie came nestling close to me, Bridget said,

“Ever since that child was born, Miss Enna, I feel that my blessed darlint has come back to me. Och, but He’s been kind to me,” she said, blessing herself with devotion, “for He give me back both Patrick and Elsie.”

Good girl! God had indeed been kind to her, for he had bestowed upon her those priceless gifts of the spirit—Faith and Truth.





“O tell me where did Katy live,

  And what did Katy do?

And was she very fair and young,

  And yet so wicked too?”

I was passing through a grove of budding maple trees, thinking of you, of “Graham”—that is, wondering what in all the world I could find to say, that you would care to hear; a desperate mood for one to be in, certes—when my meditations were disturbed by the voice of a creature which came from the heights above, chirping out, not softly, not musically, but in a shrieking tone, as though bent on vociferous disputation with somebody, “Katy did.” The spirit of opposition roused within me as I heard that cry; I was about to deny the assertion point blank, when the sweet, tiny voice of another insect, answered distinctly, “she didn’t.” It was like the acceptance of a challenge in effect; forthwith the first speaker began again, with increased energy, “Katy did! Katy did—she did! she did! she did!” But still the milder voice, quite undismayed, replied valiantly, and with a solemn air of undoubtable truth, “She didn’t.” The neighboring spirits were now all aroused; never did mortal before hear such a rush of sound as burst upon me then! A perfect flood of abuse gushed from one throat, while distinct and dignified denial met it all in reply. Asseverations numberless, and uncharitable defamation of one, powerless now to vindicate herself, followed. With wonder and with patience I listened to the end; oh, loveliest reader, will you do so likewise? Here is the substance of that most strange conversasionne.

Little Kitty Clover was the only child of her widowed father—“a fine old English gentleman, all of the olden time;” she was a blooming fairy of a girl, spoiled, of course, and worshiped, too—a very “household goddess.” Miserably educated had the young thing been; for—only think of it!—at sixteen years of age, she was as wild and free in spirit as a chamois, as brave as a chamois-hunter, and through the unpardonable neglect of those who had the care of her, she had been taught nothing whatever of sorrow, save the Dictionary definition—and that she could scarcely comprehend. At this age she was still under the care, or rather in the companionship, of a governess, Lucy Freer, a lady also young, indeed but two years older than her pupil; but she was a dignified, commanding personage, (and thus differed very much from Kitty;) a silent, sad, but remarkably handsome girl, who sometimes wept, and never laughed, (which was strange, for one would have thought that the spirit of mirth dwelling in Kitty was of an absolutely infectious nature;) but Lucy had the sweetest of smiles when she was pleased or happy, and that smile, with her unvarying goodness and talent, secured from the first, the warm love of her pupil.

As we have intimated, Kitty’s father had done all that he possibly could to spoil his daughter, and the labor in that way, it must be confessed, had been far from vain; but fortunately, nature had given the girl a warm, affectionate heart, and the training of her childhood had not tended to make her half so selfish and exacting as might in all reason have been expected. She was innately frank and noble; and there was a clear expression of her blue eyes, which told how honest and sincere she was in all her thoughts and doings.

Retired and unsuperficial as had been her way of life, poor Kitty! she found occasion to fall “desperately in love!”

Shortly after the governess made her home at Woodland Cottage, in C——, a gentleman from London came to call upon her. The pupil happened to be present at the interview, and she heard the stranger announce his intention of making his home in the village; and the great evident satisfaction of Lucy Freer, as she heard this determination, did not escape the observation of the keen-eyed Kitty; and having little else to think about for several days, she indulged in wonderment as to what kind of regard her governess could cherish for the handsome man, that she should be so very light of heart, so really joyous from the very moment of his appearing.

Eugene Lind, that was his name, was about thirty years of age, as fine looking, stately, and elegant a person as need be; he was a lawyer by profession, but still more of a poet by choice. As the only acquaintance he had in C—— was housed at Woodland, he became at once a frequent guest at the cottage, where he found always a genial host in Reginald Clover; but the truth must be said, that though the old man’s welcome was desirable, it was not him that the lawyer really went or cared to see. This became quite evident when, ere long, in view of his old friendship for Lucy, he made bold to push his way directly to the school-room, when his visits were made in the day hours, which was oftenest the case.

It was no very marvelous wonder that Kitty Clover, secluded as she was from the rest of the world, save that minute portion of it that dwelt in and just about her own home—it was no wonder, I say, that, in the course of time she should have begun to think quite as much of Mr. Lind as she did of her grammar and mathematics; that she should even prefer at last, greatly prefer, listening to his fine readings and conversation to any other amusement. But she did no more than listen, that is for a year, till she was sixteen, and then Kitty had become so accustomed to his presence, so cognizant of her own powers of speech, as to find it really possible to talk with, and to learn of him; and he was a wiser teacher than Lucy even, for he imparted a high charm to every book he laid his hands on—it became “tabooed” immediately to the child’s apprehension.

Ah! no longer did she sit then, a shy and silent creature, in the great bow-window, pretending to total abstraction from all things past, present, or future, save what she found in the dry pages of her book; but boldly, at least calmly, came she forward to sit beside her governess, to meet the glances of the poet-lawyer, to listen, and to speak with him and Lucy, as a sane and intelligent being.

And so it was that, day by day, and more and more thoroughly, she learned to love him; so it was that his words fell one by one, with creative power on her heart, till the most radiant and glorious flower sprung up there; but though its fragrance filled her life with a beauty which she felt, she could not comprehend it, did not at all understand it, till at last from wondering she passed to knowledge, as she wakened to see how very pale the governess was growing—how languidly she carried forward the work of instruction—how abstractedly she went about all her tasks—how she neglected totally the volumes which had once been her love companions—how she oftentimes wept—how dull and dispirited she was when Eugene Lind was not by, and how she invariably, for a moment at least, brightened up and smiled when he drew near.

And when poor Kitty’s eyes were opened, lovely reader, they seemed good for nothing in the world but to weep—just a vent for tears; for then she knew—she could not help knowing—that Lucy Freer loved the lawyer. And it was a terrible discovery to make, was it not—for now, the child, what right had she to think of him? She did not wonder for a moment whether or no the love of the governess was well-founded, whether or no he returned it; she could only say to herself, “he has visited her constantly, has exerted himself to be agreeable, and it’s all his own fault and doing—he has no right, and is too old to trifle so. Lucy is an orphan, and poor; she is beautiful and good enough—yes, even for him! I have a father, and am rich; he ought to love her, and he shall tell her he does.”

And so little Kate (recollect my world-fashioned lady, all this happened a long time ago, and she had learned her knowledge of life’s obligations only from wild romances) felt that a duty devolved on her which must be performed; and oh, how strenuously she labored, how dispassionately she reasoned with herself, that she might become strong to fulfill it!

Eugene had not visited the cottage for many days; a Friday night came round, and for two whole weeks he had absented himself. On this day, as by mutual consent, the books were laid aside, the school-room deserted, Lucy retired to her own room ill—certainly at heart—and Kitty, silent and troubled, yet stronger to bear her burden of sorrow, because she felt that another suffered more than she, walked, practiced her music, arranged flowers with the utmost determination, and then, restless, but not knowing what to do with herself, she wandered about the house, quite as if in a dream, yet cautious as a somnambulist, for how carefully she shunned the presence and inquiring glances of her good old father. She was dreaming—such a dream, indeed, as adds years to the “inner life” of the young—dreaming of bereavement, self-sacrifice, and death! even she, that bright young girl!

But at last, with assured purpose, Kitty seated herself to write a letter. A difficult work it was to pen it, good and loving soul, thou wilt not doubt it. No attempt at disguise was made in the writing, yet she left the letter without signature, thinking to herself he will understand how it all is; he will, if there is any honor in him, explain—at least he shall feel that there is one here who watches him.

Mr. Lind,—Because you seem blind, and deaf, and dumb, to all that you should, as a man of honor, be proud to see and know, I deem myself excusable in reminding you of what you owe to one who has received you into her presence as a brother, as more. I have no feeling of false delicacy in thus appealing to you. A sense of right you must have. You will feel that I am only true to myself, to my sense of right, in so doing. Halting thus, when you have gone so far, you do that which no gentleman should do. I cannot yet believe that you have sought the presence of one who loves you well, if not wisely, merely because it afforded you a momentary pleasure. Let me remind you that the life-peace of a human being depends upon the course you shall pursue.”

This heroic epistle was, of course, written, destroyed, and rewritten many times before Kitty became fully satisfied that it was to her purpose. That very night it was despatched to the post with no feelings of false delicacy, as she said, but with a very little trepidation. Dear child! she must certainly have been laboring under a species of moral insanity, when she thought it better to risk so much as she did, rather than a whole life should be made miserable by her hesitation, as she believed Lucy Freer’s would be.

The next day, Saturday, happened to be consecrated to the memory of St. Valentine, February the fourteenth. Much relieved in mind, Kitty sat on this “All Fool’s Day,” with the governess in her boudoir—a very charming place it was, by the way, where beauty lived with the heiress. They were listlessly looking over the love declarations which filled the silver waiter before them; and it was evident that the passionate confessions on which they gazed, produced little effect, save a vague, momentary curiosity in the minds of either. One of them, in her young heart, had renounced all loves, and as for the other—

But at last Lucy looked upon her pupil with a flushed, smiling face, exclaiming, “Here is a missive for you from Eugene! You know the writing—isn’t it his? It will be worth reading.”

“Hum!” was the doubtful, brief reply—and Kitty held out her hand quite carelessly for the Valentine, though, try as she might, she could not conceal the sudden flashing of her eyes, and her hand, I believe, trembled a little. She took the note and read—to herself.

I who love you duly, truly,

  Dare to tell you so to-day;

Sweetest maiden, though love-laden,

  Bolder souls beset your way.

              Do you hear?

While the earnest, eager voices

  Vow their passion and their truth,

I, too, bend in adoration

  Of the splendor of your youth.

              Do you care?

And because your lightest whisper

  Chains my spirit as a spell,

Oh, because your smile is dearer

  To my heart than I can tell,

              Will you love me?

In my memory I have throned you,

  Thinking of you every hour;

Dear young Kitty, I adore you,

  Ah! forget your tyrant power.

              Try to love me!

E. L.

A sudden smile, brilliant in its gladness, swept over the maiden’s face as she read; but then remembering somewhat, she arose, and hastily flung the perfumed note within the grate, saying,

“The impudence of those village boys is unpardonable; neither of us know them much more than by sight, and they have no right to presume so far!” But though she spoke so pettishly, Kitty’s smile, as she read the quoted love-lay, had not escaped Lucy’s notice, and she said quietly in reply,

“My dear, Eugene Lind is not a boy, and I don’t think his writing to you this day a piece of presumption either.”

At night-fall, when Kitty sat alone, another epistle was laid before her, which she read from beginning to end in such a state of bewilderment as may be “imagined but not described.”

Dear Friend,—I have this morning received a letter, singular rather in its bearings—at least to the fashion-moulded automaton it might seem so—to me it is blessed to appear any thing but blessed. A letter written in such a style of undisguised earnestness and truth, that, though it is Valentine day, I cannot doubt (perhaps you will say it is because I will not) either the writer’s name, or the purport of her words—a declaration of love! And to me it is unspeakably dearer than any thing else in the wide world could be. It is only because I felt sensible every day of an increasing, engrossing interest in her, that I have stayed so long away—it seems an age to me—from Woodland Cottage. Now, if it be indeed true that I have gained the affection of your glorious young charge, am I not blest? Of such ‘a consummation, most devoutly to be wished,’ I have dreamed, but never dared really to hope. To-morrow I shall come to you, Lucy, and you must counsel me. The letter inclosed has just reached me, accompanying one for myself from Richmond. Joy to you! for now can you ‘give care to the winds’ once more—a bright day is dawning, I clearly foresee it.

“Adieu, yours ever,

Eugene Lind.”

Was there ever—was there ever such a mishap?

Surely never did astonished, troubled mortal wish more fervently for instant annihilation than did poor Kitty Clover as she read this letter, discovering at its conclusion that it had been by mistake addressed to her! With what frantic haste did she commit it to the flames—how furiously the bell-rope swung in her hand—how passionately she dispatched the servant who answered her call with the letter which had come inclosed, to Lucy. And then, the windy tempest having passed, how wildly did she weep, as she barred herself from human sight, that she might agonize alone over the effect of her most stupid interference! Dead within her was all curiosity; she cared not who the stranger Richmond was; she cared not for the conviction that Eugene Lind was at that moment rejoicing in the thought of having won her love; the natural misconstruction he had been so glad to put upon her words, took in her mind nothing like the shape of a “comedy of errors”—it was something intolerably worse.

For hours she wept wildly and without ceasing; but the fountain of tears was at last exhausted, and near midnight, having become wonderfully calm again—the calmness of desperation it was, doubtless, and thinking of every thing but sleep—Kitty ventured into the presence of her governess. Neither had Lucy yet retired; but there she sat, poring over her letter, and looking more beautiful and happy than she had in many weeks.

Kitty seated herself at Lucy’s feet, and said, quite regardless of her friend’s astonishment at the ghost-like appearance she made,

“Is there anybody you love?”

“Why, if there were not I should die!”

Whom do you love?”

“You, dear Kitty.”

“But, is there anybody you shall marry? Do you like any person well enough for that?”

“I truly hope it. ’Twould be forlorn to think otherwise.”

“Now, in Heaven’s name, don’t trifle! Tell me something about yourself, about your past life; if you do not, Lucy, I shall go mad at once.”

Lucy seemed lost in wonder, or in retrospection, as Kitty spoke thus; she did not answer, and the impatient child, unable to bear the silence and suspense, threw herself on her knees, and looked up imploringly, with clasped hands, on the governess; finally, she said, “Lucy Freer, tell me—do you love Eugene? What has made you so sad and pale lately?”

“Do I love him! Yes, heartily—he has been so kind to me!” was the now immediate and energetic reply. “Would you hear of my past, dear Kitty? It is a dreary story.”

But it was now the young girl who was silent; with her head bent to her knees she sat at the feet of the governess; perhaps Lucy comprehended her thoughts by intuition, (I know not,) but at all events she did not wait long for a reply.

“I am a married woman already,” she said.

And now was Kitty all life and fire—up she sprung, exclaiming,

“Is he, then, your husband?”

“No, far from it,” was the answer which rolled back a cloud that threatened to make more than Hadé’s gloom in the soul of the pupil.

“I will tell you all, dear child; indeed, I will, for I can now—sit down.” She was obeyed. “To-night Eugene Lind, God bless him! has sent me a letter, the first received in months from my husband, Richmond Freer. Come nearer, Kitty, look up, I am sad no longer, even though I tell you he is exiled, he can never come back to old England again. But I am going to him. I am going very soon.” No, even at this sudden and most unexpected announcement, the listener would not lift her head. “When I was at school, in London, I wrote occasionally for a paper which Richmond edited; and by so doing I was able to help my poor, dear mother very much—and she was in need of help. After a while I became personally acquainted with the editor, and when at last he was arrested for publishing what was called an incendiary—a too patriotic a paper for these slavish times—you may be sure I did not forget to feel for him. After his trial was over, and the sentence of banishment was passed on him, we met again, for we loved each other, Kitty, and misfortune made him only dearer to me. The very night of his departure from England, his cousin, Eugene Lind, married us—and my poor mother was present at the ceremony; she would not oppose the union, wild as it doubtless seemed to her, because she knew that we were not fickle in our love, and felt that a bright time might at last come even to us. Shortly after the exile’s departure she died. I was left alone! When I had finished the course of studies, and was a graduate, owing to Eugene’s efforts, this situation of governess in your home was secured to me. May Heaven bless and make all your life happy, Kate; you have been kind and dear to me. For a long time Richmond lived on the Continent; but he did not prosper there—he has been very unfortunate, poor fellow! Now that he has gone to the New World, a pilgrim shorn of all things but my love, do you not see—I must go to him? He calls me—I must go; and what a glorious word is that must! Kitty, you will not ask me again if I love Eugene Lind, or I shall launch out into such praises of him as will astonish you.”

And thinking now but of one thing, that Lucy had certainly, in some unaccountable way, discovered her secret, Kitty sprung from her humble posture, she could not speak one word, but with a kiss she left the governess alone.

And oh, what a miserable little puss was she that live-long night. It was now all clear; she, the proud, lofty-hearted, impulsive Kate, stood in the eyes of another as having demanded his love—a beggar, imploring his hand in payment of the heart given him unasked. Hugh! what blackness of darkness was that which enveloped her now, body and spirit, as she sat through the night-hours pondering with burning brain on her wretched mistake. How hateful, how intrusive seemed the sunlight which at last streamed in upon her! How would he ever believe, how could he ever be told the ridiculous truth of the matter? For the very tenor of that philanthropic letter she had written, made it impossible for her to find or even seek a confidante in Lucy.

There was but one thought that could at all console the mourner; perhaps Eugene Lind would seek her hand some day, relying on the truth of what he imagined her declaration, and then how disdainfully she would spurn him—yes! if she died in the struggle, she would renounce him! Dear spirit of human pride, what a mighty thing thou art!

True to his expressed intention, Eugene visited Woodland Cottage the next day, and everyday until the departure of the governess; but Lucy and Mr. Clover alone received him. It was said in the house that Kitty, in her grief at parting with Lucy, had wept herself sick; and for some cause or other it was very evident that the gay girl was transformed into a “weeping maiden.”

But to Lucy’s mind it was all very clear; she had read Kitty’s heroic appeal to Eugene, and could not doubt that it had been made on her own account; she had no occasion to seek her pupil’s confidence, and when her cousin, in his trouble, revealed to her all his doubt and grief, though she made no explanation, she felt warranted in reassuring him, in promising him an ultimate victory, if not an easy one.

It was a relief to Kitty Clover when she was left alone in the cottage; alone, I say, for her father accompanied Lucy and Mr. Lind to the sea-side; the sorrow at parting with her friend was soon overcome, the tears wiped away, and she breathed freely once more.

When Eugene returned from Liverpool, as Lucy had counseled him, he wrote to Kate a frank and manly letter, which ended with these words, “You have my life in your hands—to make it glad or miserable. I love you, and can be happy only if you return my love. May I come to you, and will you welcome me? Oh remember, I pray you, how much depends on your reply, and be merciful!”

And the speedy answer was, only, “I do not love—I cannot receive you.”

With a smile of triumph this was written, reader; and though a more thoroughly false declaration never issued from the will of a proud woman, still, when it was penned and sent, the more Kitty felt her respect and power of self-endurance rising rapidly; life seemed to her then, as, after all, a pleasant burden, easy to be borne. Yes, she could live—live happily, too, alone with her dear old sire, free in heart and in fancy, fetterless as the winds—for the shadow of a shade of control Mr. Clover never thought of exercising over her.

But was she really happy? Why, then, was she so tearful, so shy of cherishing old memories? And if she was not fearful, how happened it that she so carefully piled away her old music, every song, every tune she had used in the by-gone? Why did she hide from sight, in the high, remote shelves of the library, all those books from which Eugene once read to her and Lucy Freer? Why was the school-room, that pleasant chamber, so studiously shunned? Why was it, dear, wise reader?

During all the summer days the daughter spent much time in company with her sire; and to please her, the old man began to be quite literary in his tastes; and with chess, and books, and gardening, the time went swiftly on to both. But a change had come over Kitty—and Mr. Clover had eyes to perceive it; but he rather rejoiced in it, and became more proud of her than ever. She was a child no longer—nor a lively, joyous girl, but a quiet, thoughtful woman, becoming every day more beautiful, more studious, and womanly. The idea of going into the gay world had once made her almost wild with joy, but now the proposal which the father made, that they should pass the ensuing season in the metropolis with his relatives, was received with simple quiescence, and the preparations for a long sojourn from home made calmly and soberly. The brain of the lovely heiress teemed with no brilliant anticipations of conquest; and love and show—what could it mean?

The sickness which, for the first time in her life, prostrated Kitty, the very week previous to the intended departure, was not therefore attributable to great excitement, or to any like cause. It was a slow, nervous fever, which, by degrees, wasted her strength away, and left her an infant in helplessness on her bed. The course of the disease could not be checked; it brought her to the very door of death, and there the angel stood, ready to break the slender thread of life, yet the destroying work, as if in mercy to the father, was delayed.

Much of the time of this sickness her mind had wandered sadly; and he who watched incessantly beside the girl, the adoring old man, had become cognizant of a secret which he was not too proud to use. And so, one evening, just at twilight, he stood with another—not the nurse, nor the physician—in the sick chamber. Kitty had seemed sinking all the day, and at nightfall the doctor had left her for a moment, almost at his (professional) wit’s end. Then it was that Mr. Clover also had gone forth, and when he came again, Eugene Lind was with him.

She was sleeping when they entered, and both of those strong men trembled when they stood together, looking silently upon her wasted, pallid face. Eugene sat down beside her, and when she awakened, reader, the father went softly from the room.

Hush! I cannot tell you of that awaking from death to life—from the assumed indifference which had nearly chilled a young heart out of existence, to the life of love. No! and I will not tell it; but don’t you say it is because I am tired of talking that I pause, or that I feel inefficient to tell it all. It is not true.

But, still later in the season, when the brown leaves were falling in every direction from the trees, when the clouds gathered often in the sky, and the frequent rains presaged cold winter storms, there stood, one of those intensely bright days yet vouchsafed October, a little lady, frail and young, leaning on the arm of a gentleman, in the beech grove, near Woodland Cottage. Cheerily fell the sunlight through the almost leafless branches, and numberless insects flitted to and fro—one of these, a tiny thing, alighted on the maiden’s hand, not the one clasped in his! They had paused in their walk to rest, and neither had for many moments spoken; but as they began, as by mutual consent, to retrace their steps, the gentleman looked up into the blue sky, exclaiming fervently, “How beautiful it is to-day!” and with a heart full of thankfulness, he murmured fondly a name—a name with which the reader is familiar. Then he looked upon her, and he seemed to find all of heaven reflected in her eyes—and more beautiful than the sky or the sunshine seemed she to him; he bent his stately form, he kissed her; and, reader, her arms wound round him in a moment, she returned his embracing. It was a marriage-covenant—nothing more or less!

Ha! then the insect flitted away, far, far up above the happy mortals, with a cry heard never before, and the grove became vocal with it; how crimson grew the girl’s pale face, as she heard that strange, bold voice, proclaiming to the winds, “Katy did!

Over the ocean flew a message—thus it run:

“She is mine, Lucy! this brave, proud, generous little Kitty, is mine! And because she is given to me in this eleventh hour, I feel that she is a ‘gift of God,’—a gift unspeakably precious. My heart is full of ‘thanksgiving and the voice of melody,’ for we are one now—one forever—in life and in death, one. I shudder when I think how she has twice been nearly lost to me—once by her own lofty pride, and again by the Angel of Death, who seemed a terror-king when he hovered beside her. She is so pale and weak, so unlike her former self in physical beauty, that I tremble when I look upon her; yet I know, Lucy, that she will not die. We shall both live, to prove, on earth, how strong a tie of love unites us.”

Yes, they did live to prove it; and certainly a happier poet never breathed, than he whose bright and cheering songs, springing from a deep, clear fountain in the heart, went afterward, floating over the wide earth—they were the most glorious “songs of the affections.”

And so you have the long and the short of the matter. You know as well as I, all that poor Katy did! How many times on this great earth have “trifles, light as air,” set all the world a-gadding! Alas! yes, creatures as brainless and chattering, and far less innocent, than the insect disputants, have we humans too often proved ourselves. Many a great matter has a spark of fire kindled; and the “Comedy” has become a rare thing in comparison with the Tragedy of Errors.






The Hudsonian Godwit. Limosa Hudsonica.   Vulgo. Ring-tailed Marlin.

The Red-Breasted Snipe. Scolopax Noveboracensis.   Vulgo. Robin-breast, Quail Snipe, Dowitcher.

Under the general, and very incorrect appellation of Bay Snipe, and sometimes of Plover, the sea-shore gunners, and city fowlers who accompany them for pleasure, are wont to include many totally distinct and different families of waders, each containing several varieties, and all, though in some sort connected, entirely dissimilar in characteristics, plumage, cry and flight, as well as in some peculiarities of habit.

Of these families, the most remarkable are the Curlew, numenius; the Godwit, limosa; the Sandpiper, tringa; the Tattler, totanus; the Plover, charadrius; the Snipe, scolopax; the Turnstone, strepsilas; the Sanderling, calidris; the Avoset, recurvirostra; and the Stilt, himantopus; all of which at some period of the year are visiters or temporary inhabitants of some portion of the Atlantic shores of North America, from the Bay of Boston to the Belize.

In the tepid waters of Florida, the great bay of Mobile, the sea lakes of Borgne and Pontchartrain, and all along the muddy shoals and alluvial flats of the lower Mississippi, these aquatic races dwell in myriads during the winter months, when the ice is thick even in the sea bays of the Delaware and Chesapeake, and when all the gushing streams and vocal rivulets of the Northern and Middle States, are bound in frozen silence. In the spring, according to the temperature of the season, from the middle of April until the end of May, these migratory tribes begin to visit us of the northern shores, from the Capes of the Chesapeake, along all the river estuaries, sea bars, lagoons, and land-locked bays, as they are incorrectly termed, of Maryland and Delaware, the Jersey shores and the Long Island waters, so far as to Boston Bay, beyond which the iron-bound and rugged nature of the coast deters them from adventuring, in the great flights with which they infest our more succulent alluvial shores and sea marshes.

With the end of May, with the exception only of a few loitering stragglers, wounded, perhaps, or wing-worn, which linger after the departure of their brethren, they have all departed, steering their way, unseen, at immense altitudes, through the trackless air, across the mighty continent, across the vast lakes of the north, across the unreclaimed and almost unknown hunting-grounds of the red man, to those remote and nearly inaccessible morasses of the Arctic Regions whither the foot of man has rarely penetrated, and where the silence of ages is interrupted only by the roll of the ocean surf, the thunderous crash of some falling iceberg, and the continuous clangor of the myriads and millions of aquatic fowl, which pass the period of reproduction in those lone and gloomy, but to them secure and delightful asylums. Early in the autumn, or, to speak more correctly, in the latter days of summer, the Bay birds begin to return in hordes innumerable, recruited by the young of the season, which, not having as yet indued the full plumage of their respective tribes, are often mistaken by sportsmen and gunners, unacquainted with the distinctions of natural history, for new species. During the autumn, they are much more settled and less restless in their habits than during the spring visit, when they are impelled northward by the irresistible æstrum, which at that period stimulates all the migratory birds, even those reared in confinement and caged from the nest, to get under way and travel, whither their wondrous instinct orders them, in order to the reproduction of their kind in the localities most genial and secure.

Throughout the months of August and September, they literally swarm on all our sand-bars, salt meadows, and wild sea marshes, feeding on the beaches and about the shallow pools left by the retiring tide, on the marine animalculæ, worms, aquatic insects, small crabs, minute shell-fish, and fry; after this time, commencing from the beginning of October, they move southward for winter quarters, although some species tarry later than others, and some loitering individuals of all the species linger behind, until they have assumed their winter garniture, when they are again liable to be mistaken for unknown varieties.

Of these misnamed Bay Snipe, the following are the species of each family most prized by the sportsman and the epicure, all of which are eagerly pursued by the gunner, finding a ready sale at all times, although, me judice, their flesh is for the most part so oily, rank and sedgy, that they are rather nauseous than delicate or palatable. Much, however, depends on the state of their condition, the nature of the food on which they have fattened, and localities in which they feed; and to some persons the very flavor, of which I complain as rank, sedgy and fishy, appears to take the guise of an agreeable haut gout.

The Red-breasted Sandpiper, Tringa Icelandica, known on the Long Island waters, among the small islets of which it is very abundant, as the “Robin Snipe,” by which name it is generally called, owing to the resemblance of its lower plumage to that of the Red-breasted Thrush, or Robin, Turdus migratorius, of this continent. In autumn this bird assumes a dusky gray upper, and white under, plumage, and is then termed the “White Robin Snipe.” In point of flesh it is one of the best of the Shore-birds. It is easily called down to the decoys by a well simulated whistle, and is consequently killed in great numbers.

The Red-backed Sandpiper, Tringa Alpina, generally known as the “Black-breasted Plover.” It is a restless, active and nimble bird, flies in dense bodies, whirling at a given signal; and at such times a single shot will frequently bring down many birds. In October it is usually very fat, and is considered excellent eating. In its autumnal plumage it is generally known to fowlers as the “Winter Snipe.”

The Pectoral Sandpiper, Tringa pectoralis. This is a much smaller, but really delicious species, particularly when killed on the upland meadows, which it frequents late in the spring and early in the summer, and on which I have killed it lying well to the dog, which will point it, while spring snipe shooting. On Long Island it is known as the “Meadow Snipe,” or “Short Neck;” on the Jersey shores, about Egg Harbor, where it sometimes lingers until the early part of November, it is called the “Fat Bird,” a title which it well merits; and in Pennsylvania, where it occurs frequently, is often termed the “Jack Snipe.” It is these blunders in nomenclature, and multiplication of local misnomers, which render all distinctions of sportsmanship so almost incomprehensible to the inhabitants of distant districts, and so perplexing to the youthful naturalist. During the autumn of 1849 I killed the Pectoral Sandpiper in great numbers, together with the American Golden Plover, Charadrius Marmoratus, and the Black-bellied Plover, Charadrius Helveticus, on the marshes of the Aux Canards river, near Amherstberg, in Canada West, in the month of September, and a month later at Montgomery’s Pool, between lakes Simcoe and Huron.

Of the Tattlers, three only are in repute as shore-birds, the best of the species, the Bartramian Tattler, Totanus Bartramius, better known as the “Upland Plover,” which is, in fact, with scarcely an exception, the most delicious of all our game-birds, being a purely upland and inland variety, and as such never, or but extremely seldom, shot on the coast.

These three are,

The Yellow-shanks Tattler, Totanus Flavipes, vulgo, “the lesser yellow legs”—a bird, in my opinion, of very indifferent qualifications for the table, but easily decoyed, and readily answering the fowler’s whistle, and therefore affording considerable sport.

The Telltale Tattler, Totanus Vociferus, vulgo, “greater yellow legs,” a less numerous species than the former, and more suspicious. Its flesh, when it feeds on the spawn of the king-crab, or “Horse-shoe,” is all but uneatable, but later in the season it is in better condition, and is esteemed good eating. A few are said to breed in New Jersey. In the neighborhood of Philadelphia, where these birds are shot in great numbers on the mud-flats of the Delaware from skiffs, with carefully concealed gunners, stealthily paddled down upon them till within close shooting distances, these birds are termed “Plovers,” and the pursuit of them plover shooting; of course wrongfully.

The last of this family is the Semipalmated Tattler, Totanus Semipalmatus, universally known as the “Willet,” from its harsh and shrill cry, constantly repeated during the breeding season, the last note of which is thought to bear some resemblance to that sound. It is a swift, rapid and easy flyer, and though rather shy when in exposed situations, can be allured to the decoys. When in good order the flesh of the Willet is very palatable, although not so greatly esteemed as its eggs, which really are delicious.

Next to these come the Godwits, two in number, known by the unmeaning title of Marlin.

The great Marbled Godwit, Limosa Fedoa, the “Marlin.” This bird, though not very abundant, is a regular visitant of the seashores and bays in the spring and autumn. It is very watchful, and will permit of no near approach, unless some of its fellows are killed or wounded, when it will hover over the cripples, with loud, shrill cries, affording an easy opportunity of getting several barrels in succession into the flock.

And the Hudsonian Godwit, Limosa Hudsonica, or the “Ring-tailed Marlin,” is a still rarer and smaller variety than the last, of very similar habits and of equal excellence in flesh. It is far more common in the Middle States than in the Eastern districts, and is abundant in the wild and barren lands far to the northward. I have seen it shot, likewise, on the swamps of the Aux Canards, to which I have already referred. This is the larger of the three birds, lying uppermost, in the group, at the head of this article; it was sketched from a fine specimen shot on the Delaware in the month of May. It is thus described by Giraud in his excellent work on the Birds of Long Island:

“Bill, blackish-brown, at base of lower mandible yellow; upper parts light-brown, marked with dull-brown, and a few small, white spots; neck all round brownish-gray; lower parts white, largely marked with ferruginous; basal part of tail-feathers and a band crossing the rump, white. Adult with the bill slender, blackish-brown toward the tip, lighter at the base, particularly at the base of the lower mandible; a line of brownish-white from the bill to the eye; lower eyelid white. Throat white, spotted with rust color; head and neck brownish-gray; lower parts white, marked with large spots of ferruginous; under tail coverts barred with brownish-black and ferruginous; tail brownish-black cast, a white band at the base; a band over the rump; tips of primary coverts and basis of quills white; upper tail-coverts brownish-black, their basis white; upper parts grayish-brown, scapulars marked with darker spots; feet bluish. Length fifteen inches and a half, wing eight and a half.”

Among the various families of birds, which are all known, as I have stated, by the general title of Bay Snipe, there is but one Snipe proper, and that is one of the most numerous, and perhaps the most excellent of the tribes.

The Redbreasted Snipe, Scolapax Noveboracensis—the “Dowitcher,” the “Quail Snipe,” the “Brown Back.”

A brace of these excellent and beautiful birds are depicted as thrown carelessly on the ground, under the neck of the Ring-tailed Marlin, in the preceding sketch.

This bird has the bill of the true snipe, Scolopax Americanus, excepting only that the knob at the tip of the upper mandible of the bill is less distinctly marked. The spring plumage of this bird, in which it is depicted above, is on the upper parts brownish-black, variegated with clove-brown, and light reddish-brown, the secondaries and wing-coverts tipped and edged with white. Lower parts bright orange colored ferruginous, spotted with dusky, arrow-headed spots. The abdomen paler. The tail-feathers and upper tail-coverts alternately barred with black and white; the legs and feet dull yellowish-green.

“At the close of April,” says Mr. Giraud, “the Redbreasted Snipe arrive on the coasts of Long Island. Invited by a bountiful supply of food, at the reflux of the tide, it resorts to the mud-flats and shoals to partake of the rich supply of shell-fish and insects which nature in her plenitude has provided for it. As the tide advances, it retires to the bog meadows, where it is seen probing the soft ground for worms. In the spring it remains with us but a short time. Soon after recruiting it obeys the unerring call of nature, and steers for the north, where it passes the season of reproduction. About the middle of July it returns with its young, and continues its visit during September, and if the season be open, lingers about its favorite feeding grounds until the last of the month.”

The specimens from which the above sketch is taken, were procured on the Delaware so late as the latter part of May; but it must be remembered that this spring, 1850, was unusually late and backward.

This snipe associates in large flocks, is very easily whistled, flies in dense and compact bodies over the decoys, and is so gentle that, after half the flock has been cut down by the volleys of the lurking gunner, the remainder will frequently alight, and walk about demurely among their dead companions and the illusive decoys, until the pieces are reloaded, and the survivors decimated by a fresh discharge.

Even when feeding on the open mud-flats, the Redbreasted Snipe is so tame as to allow itself to be approached by the sportsman, with little or no address, running about and feeding perfectly unsuspicious, until its enemy has come within short range, when it springs with its tremulous cry only to be riddled with the shot of the close discharge.

The other of these birds worthy of the most attention are,

The Sanderling, Calidris Arenaria, which, though very small, is fat and excellent.

The Black-bellied Plover, Charadrius Helveticus, “Bull-headed,” or “Beetle-headed Plover,” a shy bird, but frequently whistled within gunshot. On the coast it is apt to be fishy, but when shot inland, and on upland pastures, of superior quality.

The American Golden Plover, Charadrius Marmoratus, “the Frost bird;” a very beautiful species, and of rare excellence when killed on the upland, where it is found more frequently and more abundantly than on the shore.

The Long-billed Curlew, numenius Longirostris, “Sickle-bill,” a large, coarse-flavored bird, easily decoyed.

The Hudsonian Curlew, numenius Hudsonicus, “Short-billed Curlew,” or “Jack Curlew.” Similar to the latter in all respects, although smaller in size.

And last, The Esquimaux Curlew, numenius Borealis, “the Futes,” “the Doe Bird.” This bird feeds principally on the uplands, in company with the golden plovers, and on the same food, videlicet, grasshoppers, insects, seeds, worms, and berries. Its flesh is delicate and high flavored. It breeds far to the north, and winters far to the south of the United States, residing with us from early in August until late in November.

With this bird, although there are numerous other smaller species, the list of these tribes may be held complete.

From the commencement of the present month until late in the autumn, anywhere along the coasts and bays of the Northern and Middle States a bag may readily be filled to overflowing with these varieties by the aid of good decoys and skillful whistling, or of a skiff paddled by a cunning fowler; a gun of 8 to 10 pounds weight, of 12 gauge, with two oz. of No. 5 shot, and an equal measure of powder, will do the work. But when the work is done, comparatively the game is worthless, and the sport, as compared with upland shooting, scarcely worth the having.





          In a wood, all deep and solemn,

          Where fall many a leafy column

Lifts aloft its crested summit to the beautiful blue sky—

          Where the sunbeams bright and golden,

          Gloss the mosses dank and olden,

And the brooks, from out them slipping, to the gleaming river hie;—


          A piazza, broad and shaded,

          By the vines about it braided,

Has within its wreathed pilasters full a world of lovely dreams;

          And it looks toward the river,

          Where long shadows lie and quiver—

Lie and quiver in the sun that through the nodding treetops streams.


          I can hear the distant tumble

          Of the waters, and the rumble

Of the mill-wheel, never ceasing on its constant, busy round,

          And the cascade’s steady drumming

          Comes like sweet and lowly humming,

As if water-sprites were chanting, with a low and dreamy sound.


          If the sun have just arisen,

          With its brightness to bedizen

Clustered leaves, and vines, and flowers—and the dew-drops on the lawn—

          What a glory is before me—

          All around, beside, and o’er me—

What a glory, all of colors that no human hand hath drawn!


          Or if it be at even,

          When soft breezes blow from heaven,

And the glimmer of the twilight comes a-dancing through the leaves—

          Oh! how thick my brain is crowded

          With sweet images enshrouded—

With sweet images enshrouded in the mists my fancy weaves!


          Little pools lie closely hidden

          In the woods, as if forbidden

To reflect within their surface but a hand’s breadth of the sky—

          Where the turtle’s lonely whirring

          Is at evening ever stirring,

Winning over the calm list’ner with its saddest melody.


          I have often sat, when saddened,

          And as often, too, when gladdened,

At the side of these clear mirrors, where the sweetest dreams have slept;

          And the world beyond forgotten,

          Quiet thoughts would be begotten—

Thoughts of Life, and Love, and Heaven, over which I fondly wept.


          And beside the river’s dashing,

          In the tumult of its plashing,

I have felt my pulses quickened, and my spirits bravely stirred;

          Then below, where it runs slowly,

          And the boughs bend over lowly,

My soul again was saddened, as by some enchanter’s word.


          Upon every tree are builded—

          By the garish sun ne’er gilded—

Nests of songsters, close secluded in the still and welcome shades;

          And within their snug dominions

          I can see the fledging pinions

Of the callow young, grown restless in their leafy colonnades.


          The fresh morning air is ringing

          With a concord of sweet singing,

From a million throats all pouring out their melody of praise;

          High within the sylvan arches

          Of the chestnuts, holms, and larches,

Sounds the hymning of these songsters in the forest’s darkened maze.


          I love to sit at morning,

          In the glory of the dawning

Of the sunlight, flashing over the high eastern hills afar,

          On this broad piazza olden,

          Where the gray streaks and the golden

Come a-streaming from their chambers through the vines that curtains are.


          The hawthorn and the holly,

          Bearing berries red and jolly,

Are inwoven with the bushes that run riot with them all;

          And like caps of grenadiers

          The dark moss in clumps appears—

The dark moss that stands in bunches all along the garden wall.


          O, ’tis glorious in October,

          When the sky is clear and sober,

To rove among the beauties that abound at Riverside!

          For the forest is all blazing

          With the Autumn colors, raising

Painted groves, and tinted arbors, where was naught but green beside,


          And the influences setting

          In upon me are begetting

Purer thoughts than those I felt away among the busy crowd;

          For the earth hath such a seeming,

          With its thousand glories teeming,

That I dare not always trust myself to utter words aloud.


          Yes, for me the deep wood solemn,

          Where full many a leafy column

Lifts aloft its crested summit to the beautiful blue sky,

          And the sunbeams, bright and golden,

          Gloss the mosses gray and olden,

And the brooks, from out them slipping, to the gleaming river hie.






Oh, follow our counsel,

And rest thee in gladness;

The flow’rs ’neath the willows shall

ease thee of sadness.

Here slumber thou lov’d one,

Thy labours shall cease;

We breathe and we warble of gladness and peace.


The Opera.—Strange, that Philadelphia, with so much musical taste and cultivation, cannot have an Opera. Once in a while an Operatic troupe wanders along, and rests, for a short time, in our sober town, gives a few representations, then away it goes. Our neighbors of New York manage this thing better—an Opera they will have, even if they run in debt for it. And yet it seems that one, properly managed, might succeed in this concert-loving town of Penn. It must be a moderate one, however; that is, moderate in price. A serious old merchant, well to do in the world, will hesitate at taking even two tickets, at a dollar a-piece, but he would not mind taking a half dozen tickets if they cost only half that sum. The principle is the thing.

Brother Jonathan likes a show of economy, at least. Every politician in Congress, who wishes to be popular in Bunkum, invariably makes speeches against appropriations, mileage, &c., in order to prove that he is anxious to save Uncle Sam’s purse; but, at the same time, this same politician will have his pet appropriations, and not refuse his mileage either.

The small circle of fashionable people may subscribe and talk, but they can do little in this opera matter, without the support of the plain, unpretending portion of the inhabitants, who, after all, make up the audience, and bring in the money; and they have made up their minds to give only a moderate sum, and they will not give any more.

Then the Troupe must be a good one; or, if only a slender one, it must not attempt too much. The Seguins always drew well, because they only attempted Operettes and Vaudevilles. Not that the Philadelphians do not like a higher order of music, but they are fastidious, and know when a good Opera is badly given. They will not go to hear the rich, full music of Norma murdered by a poor Troupe, with worn-out voices, and meagre choruses. Whatever they listen to must be well sung.

We wish that inimitable knight of the Baton—the white cravated Max Maretzek—would think a little of this. But if he does, there is one hint that it would be well to whisper in his ear, or in the ear of any other venturesome Opera proprietor, who is bold enough to undertake the establishing of an Opera here. There must be no cliques—no donnas of different schools in the Troupe. We can all remember how weary we all were of the Biscaccianti and Truffi feud; and then, again, of the Truffi and Laborde cliques. The real lovers of music, who went for the love of the Opera, and not in a spirit of pedantic fashionable affectation, were ready to exclaim, with Mercutio,

A plague o’ both your houses.

Let the Opera be of either the French or Italian School, so that it be of one, alone. There is sufficient love for music with us, to make us liberal to either school, so that it be well represented. So far as our own taste is concerned, the Italian school is the more pleasing. The French vocalization is too exaggerated, we think. It is a mere matter of taste, however, and we will be content to listen to either, so that we have an Opera.

In the early part of the summer of ’47, an Italian Opera Troupe, from Havana, tarried a few weeks in Philadelphia. Most of the townsfolk, especially the wealthier class, had left the town, and were at different watering places; and, yet, we remember this company drew good houses.

It was one of the best Troupes we have ever had in Philadelphia. Its Donnas were Tedesco and Caranti Vita, and Marini. Tedesco, with her rich, mellow, mezzo-soprano voice, and the timid petite Vita, with a delicate sympathetic soprano, that warbled like a bird—it was a treat indeed. Then Marini—the only true Contr’alto we ever heard—how she startled the audience with her fulness and depth of tone. She was awkward as an actress, and her voice, though rich, was rough; but there was so much melody in it that it touched us, and we could not, if we would, criticise.

Of the Operas sung by this Troupe we speak of, Saffo and Sonnambula were our favorites. True, the Choruses in Norma were beautifully done—for the Choruses of this well-balanced Troupe were full, and well trained—but the chaste, simple music of Saffo, suited Tedesco’s fresh, young voice; and the delicate, melodious caroling of Amina, was the very character of Caranti Vita.

Perelli—the popular Perelli, without whose instructions no lady in Philadelphia, with any pretensions to a voice, can possibly get along—was the Tenore in this Troupe, and its Maestro. In Verdi’s Hernani, his voice produced a fine effect and, every thing he sung, gave evidence of high culture and good taste.

The Opera of Saffo pleased us, particularly—the music was so pure and chaste. Such compositions are the sculpture of Music; a simple, classic plot—clear, decided harmony—pure melody. This is enough—scenic illusions and orchestral effects are of secondary importance.

This style of music belongs to a good, old school—the story also is effective. Schlegel it is, we think, who says, that there is a fanciful freedom in the handling of mythological materials, or subjects taken from chivalrous or pastoral romances, which always produces a fine effect in Opera. That so soon as the Heroic Opera chains itself down to History, after the manner of Tragedy, Dullness, with a leaden sceptre, presides over it.

There is another Opera of this school, the music of which we have heard, but we have never seen the opera represented—Niobe. Every instrumental performer will recal, with something like a loving memory, the beautiful melody from this Opera, “I tuoi frequenti palpiti,” which has been arranged, in “all sorts of ways,” for different instruments.

Good Reader, we will have a chat once in a while, on this subject of Music. We will talk together of Concerts, sometimes, both professional and amateur—and we will give some good-natured hints to our amateur prima donnas, about the difference between stage-singing and chamber singing. But you must join with us in all we say, and though we play spokesman and you listener, you must agree with us, and while we talk, you stand behind us, and make the gestures—then we shall succeed in interesting others as well as ourselves.

Spohr has completed his ninth orchestral symphony, which he has entitled “The Seasons.”

Madame Frezzolini, after an absence of eight years from London, has returned to her Majesty’s Theatre, which she opened with great success as Lucrezia.

The Philosopher’s Stone” is the title of a new burletta, produced in London, having for its subject of ridicule the gold and California mania.


Latter-Day Pamphlets. Edited by Thomas Carlyle. No. 6. Parliaments. Boston: Phillips, Sampson & Co.

We think that this pamphlet, though its notions are pushed to a crazy extreme, is calculated to do good. In attacking the existence of legislative assemblies, it lays bare and mercilessly ridicules their abuses, especially their tendency to endless and worthless talk and palaver. The style is not that which Carlyle is accustomed to use in his library, but the style of Carlyle over his brandy and water; and it accordingly has the recklessness as well as the fire of that peculiar method of accelerating the faculties. The Parliament which Carlyle likes, and which he contrasts with Lord John’s, is an old Norman one, before the business of Parliament had been undertaken by the newspapers; a Parliament which advised, not a Parliament which governed. “Reading,” he says, “in Eadmerus and the dim old Books, one finds gradually that the Parliament was at first a most simple Assemblage, quite cognate to the situation; that Red William, or whoever had taken upon him the terrible task of being King of England, was wont to invite, oftenest about Christmas time, his subordinate Kinglets, Barons, as he called them, to give him the pleasure of their company for a week or two; there, in earnest conference all morning, in freer talk over Christmas cheer all evening, in some big royal Hall of Westminster, Winchester, or wherever it might be, with log-fires, huge rounds of roast and boiled, not lacking Malmsey and other generous liquor, they took counsel concerning the arduous matters of the kingdom. ‘You, Taillebois what have you to propose in this arduous matter. . . Tête-d’étoupes, speak out. And first the pleasure of a glass of wine, my infant!’ Thus, for a fortnight’s space, they carried on, after a human manner, their grand National Consult, or Parliamentum; intermingling Dinner with it (as is still the modern method;) debuting every thing as Tacitus describes the Ancient Germans to have done, two times; once sober, and once what he calls ‘drunk’—not exactly dead-drunk, but jolly round their big table; that so both sides of the matter might be seen, and, midway between rash hope and unreasonable apprehension, the true decision of it might be hit.”

Throughout the pamphlet the author wantons in dogmatism and impertinence, and has an especial love for a phrase representing the British people as “twenty-seven millions mostly fools.” The United States comes in as usual for a rap. The rumor is, that we are indebted for all Carlyle’s sarcasms against our people to the American tourists who have bored him; persons whom he always treated with roughness, but whom he now receives with almost savage insolence. We have heard a story of an American lady, who visited him—under the impression that he was a great philanthropist, and immediately opened the conversation with some remarks in favor of the abolition of slavery. He growled out a bitter rejoinder, in which he took strong grounds in favor of that institution, and denounced all abolitionists as sentimental fools and flunkies. The lady, irritated and surprised, hit instantly on the true woman’s method, the argumentum ad hominum, and put the startling question, “How, Mr. Carlyle, should you like to be a slave?” He dilated his person to its full dimensions, and in his broad Scotch brogue exclaimed, “Well, I should be glad to be a great bull-necked nigger, and have somebody to take care of me!” We must confess to a sympathy with his wish, as far as it relates to somebody’s taking care of him, we think good might be done to his head in an asylum.

There is, however, an allusion in the pamphlet to our Congress, which is not without its wisdom just at this time, and which may be safely commended to the attention of those honorable members who consume time and money, precious to the public, in speeches which rarely rise in thought to the level of party newspaper leaders, and which, in style, are often below the rhetoric of romances in yellow covers. He says, “Only perhaps in the United States, which alone of all countries can do without governing—every man being at least able to live, and move off into the wilderness, let Congress jargon as it will—can such a form of so-called ‘Government’ continue for any length of time to torment men with the semblance, when the indispensable substance is not there. For America, as the citizens well know, is an ‘unparalelled country’—with mud soil enough, and fierce sun enough in the Mississippi valley alone to grow Indian corn for the extant Posterity of Adam at this time; what other country ever stood in such a case? ‘Speeches to Bunkum,’ and a constitutional battle of the Kilkenny cats, which in other countries are becoming tragical and unendurable, may there still fall under the comical category.”

Webster’s Dictionary.—A new quarto edition of Webster’s Dictionary, with additions by Professor Goodrich, has recently been issued by G. & C. Merriam, of Springfield, and is for sale in this city by booksellers generally. Study of the Dictionary is the great want of a majority of American writers. They neither drink at the sources nor draw from the depths of the language, to supply the thirst for purity, variety, and force of expression, with which truly masculine minds are panting. With a vocabulary equal to the largest demands of truth in its labors, or of imagination in its play, we find constantly recurring the same set-phrases, the same commonplaces, the same worn-out figures. Our college-bred men are not deficient in a Johnsonian stock of Latin derivatives, but into the Saxon mine of our tongue, few of them have ever delved. They are too indolent to open the record and search for the treasures bequeathed to them. Until Webster’s researches and toils brought these treasures together, they were so far hidden and scattered, that few even of the learned appreciated their amount. Thirty-five years he spent in the compilation of his Dictionary; and since the publication of the first edition, it has been enriched by himself and the present editor with thousands of words; and it is now, by the consent of the learned in England as well as this country, valuable above every other, for comprehensiveness, etymological accuracy, and clearness of verbal definitions. The new quarto contains the whole matter of the former editions in two volumes, printed with clear type, on good paper, and substantially bound. It is one of the few books, of which a threadbare recommendation may be truly repeated—“no library is complete without it.” One of the most distinguished of American writers, whose choice of fresh and forceful words has at times brought upon him a charge of pedantry, but who in fact has only used fearlessly the wealth of the language, told us, some years ago, that it was his habit to read the Dictionary through about once every year. To the student, this practice may be commended as of inestimable service. A single word is often the cue to a sentiment or a train of ideas worthy of expression. As the mind is full of words to give variety to its pictures, so will it be full of suggestions for new subjects. The relation between words and ideas is to a degree an absolute identity. An illiterate person sits down to write a letter. His fund of language being small, the paucity of his thoughts is in the same proportion. He may have traveled half over the world, yet he has nothing to say to his friends at home, except that he is well, and hopes they are the same. Our young writers may find in this illustration a reason for studying the Dictionary faithfully and continually. Not from the conversation of the educated, or from miscellaneous books alone, will they catch by accident the riches of the language. They must search and reflect—a task which the labors of Webster and his great predecessors in lexicography, have reduced to child’s play. Among the two or three thousand newspapers in the United States, are at least some hundreds edited by men who have not had the opportunities of a classical education. Minds only of extraordinary energy, or those rising to the standard of genius, can do perfect justice to the important duties of journalism without the advantages of this discipline. But they may in mature life, find its best substitute in the systematic study of a comprehensive Dictionary, in connection with the classics of the language. Were this method adopted, we would not so often have reason to blush for the feebleness and illiteracy exhibited not only in many newspaper columns, but in the pages of periodicals of far higher pretensions, as exemplars of rhetorical propriety.

The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith. Including a Variety of Pieces now first collected. By James Prior. New York: George P. Putnam. 4 vols. 12mo.

Few English classics have been edited with the care and the thoroughness of this edition of Goldsmith. Prior, an antiquarian who never touches a subject which he does not exhaust, has paid especial attention to Goldsmith; has written a biography of him, which forms the basis both of Foster’s and Irving’s; and in the present edition, has printed many valuable essays and poems never before collected. The articles contributed by Goldsmith to the Monthly and Critical Reviews, when he was a hack-writer in the most dismal sense of that term, are here collected; and though not to be compared with his best works for humor or for style, they still evince the hand of genius in many a scrap of serene wisdom, and in many a sentence of penetrating sagacity. In the fourth volume, just published, we find an oratorio, “The Captivity,” and a ludicrous scene from a farce called “The Grumbler,” never before printed. Mr. Putnam has issued the edition in a style of great neatness, and has placed it at a very low price. We hope it will meet with a sale corresponding to its merits. It supersedes all the other editions of Goldsmith now in the market, being the best printed, and the best edited of all, and containing several hundred pages of matter to be found in no other collection.

Moneypenny, or the Heart of the World. A Romance of the Present Day. By Cornelius Mathews. New York: Dewitt & Davenport. 1 vol. 8vo.

Mr. Mathews is well known as an able but somewhat eccentric writer, with the grotesqueness, as well as the insight of the humorist, and often miscalculating the avenues to popular favor, while he gave no evidence of lacking the powers which deserve it. His present novel is his best production in respect to story and characterization, and is especially remarkable for its minute knowledge of every locality, and every phase of humanity and life, in the city of New York. This is not displayed in the way of a mere copyist, but in the higher mode of the observing humorist, to whom external forms are symbolical of serious or smiling spiritual facts. The style sparkles with a kind of laughing earnestness, which indicates an intense sympathy in the author with the varying throng of local objects which press upon his imagination for representation. We commend it to all readers who have fancies to be touched by its quaint analogies, and risibilities to be tingled by its humor.

Heroines of the Missionary Enterprise; or Sketches of Prominent Female Missionaries. By Daniel C. Eddy. Boston: Ticknor, Reed & Fields. 1 vol. 16mo.

This elegant volume contains thirteen carefully prepared biographies of eminent women who have toiled and suffered, bodily and mentally, in the missionary cause. They are well worthy the honors of heroism, and some of them in Catholic countries, would have been sainted. Among the biographies are the names of Harriet Newell, Esther Butler, Sarah L. Smith, Henrietta Shuck, Sarah D. Comstock, and the three Mrs. Judsons.

The Use and Abuse of Alcoholic Liquors, in Health and Disease. By William B. Carpenter. Philadelphia: Lea & Blanchard.

This work is the Essay, to the author of which was awarded one hundred guineas, in London, by the Committee, selected to read the articles on behalf of the munificent donor. It is a work of great ability, thoroughly exposing all the fallacies which men indulge in, as an excuse for using intoxicating drinks, and driving the last vestige of excuse from the drunkard. It is a work that should be read by every young man in America.

Eldorado, or Adventures in the Path of Empire: compromising a Voyage to California, via Panama; Life in San Francisco and Monterey; Pictures of the Gold Region, and Experiences of Mexican Travel. By Bayard Taylor, author of “Views a-Foot,” etc. With illustrations by the author. New York: Geo. P. Putnam. 2 vols. 12mo.

The popularity of the author of these delightful volumes is indicated by the rapid sale of the first edition, which was disposed of on the day of publication. The work will add to Taylor’s reputation in respect to every quality of mind and disposition for which he is deservedly distinguished. It so combines the observer with the poet, that the reader soon becomes the author’s companion, seeing what he sees and feeling what he feels. His descriptions of scenery are beautiful representations; a few quiet and magical sentences bring pictures right before the eye; and when his subject happens to be the vegetation of the tropics, he gives us not only foliage but fragrance. The whole book is pervaded by that genial and happy spirit, which lends fascination to all of Taylor’s writings, and converts his readers into friendly partisans. We have not space at present to indicate the stores of information and delight which the volumes contain, but will extract one paragraph on a Pacific sunset, as a specimen of the ease with which the author’s facile style rises to eloquence. “Why,” he exclaims, “has never a word been said or sung about sunset on the Pacific? No where on this earth can one be overvaulted with such a glory of colors. The sky, with a ground-hue of rose toward the west, and purple toward the east, is mottled and flecked over all its surface with light clouds, running through every shade of crimson, amber, violet, and russet-gold. There is no dead duskiness opposite the sunken sun; the whole vast shell of firmament glows with an equal radiance, reduplicating its hues on the glassy sea, so that we seem floating in a hollow sphere of prismatic crystal. The cloud-strata, at different heights in the air, take different coloring; through bars of burning carmine one may look on the soft, rose-purple folds of an inner curtain, and, far within and beyond that, on the clear amber-green of the immaculate sky. As the light diminishes, these radiant vapors sink and gather into flaming pyramids, between whose pinnacles the serene depth of air is of that fathomless violet-green which we see in the skies of Titian.”

The Life and Religion of Mohammed, as Contained in the Sheeãh Traditions of the Hyât-ul-Kuloob. Translated from the Persian. By Rev. James L. Merrick, Eleven Years Missionary to the Persians. Boston: Phillips, Sampson & Co. 1 vol. 8vo.

This is altogether the most important and trust-worthy work relating to Mohammed ever translated into English, giving, as it does, “a full view of his life and religion, with sketches of his ancestors, companions, and times, blended with maxims and legends illustrative of Oriental manners.” To the theologian it is invaluable, while to the general reader it is as interesting as an Oriental romance, being in the form of narrative, with frequent flashes of magnificent poetry. The account of the birth of Mohammed, especially, is exquisitely beautiful. As a specimen of the style, we give a paragraph embodying Sawadbin-Karib’s testimony. “Four days after the birth, Sawadbin-Karib, a man celebrated among the Arabs for his knowledge, came to congratulate Abdulmutalib, and see the child of whom he had heard many marvelous accounts. On going to the house of Aminah they were informed that he was asleep. When the cover of the cradle was removed to gratify them with a sight of the wonderful babe, such lightning gleamed from his blessed countenance that the roof of the house was cloven by it, and the visiters drew their sleeves over their dazzled eyes.”

Gleanings from the Poets, for Home and School. A New Edition, Enlarged. Boston: Crosby & Nichols. 1 vol. 12mo.

The title of this volume is an honest title, accurately describing the contents. The poems are selected from a wide variety of English authors, and consist of pieces which have not been worn threadbare by previous publication in school-reading books. Some of the selections will be new to most readers of poetry, such as the narrative poems of French and those of Mary Lamb. We notice two poems by Tennyson not included in the edition of his works. “The Skylark” is here, not only in Shelly’s rapturous lyric, but as he was viewed by the imaginations of Wordsworth and Hogg. Wordsworth’s wonderful “Ode on the Intimations of Immortality from the Recollections of Childhood,” the grandest and subtlest of modern odes, is given in full. We notice also a number of pieces by Vaughan, Quarles, and holy George Herbert, not generally known. The Prioress’s Tale is reprinted in Chaucer’s old spelling, its quaint phraseology truly embodying its intense sweetness of sentiment. Altogether, we think that “home” to be deficient in which this volume has not its place.

Redwood: A Tale. By the Author of “Hope Leslie,” etc. New York: George P. Putnam. 1 vol. 12mo.

This novel, the third volume of Mr. Putnam’s elegant re-issue of the works of Miss Sedgwick, is especially interesting, as giving the best account we have ever read of life among the Shakers. The effect of the doctrines of that singular sect upon individual character is traced with masterly discrimination. The story is also one of the most interesting which even Miss Sedgwick’s genial fancy has invented, and fastens the attention which it once engages.

The Origin of the Material Universe. Boston: Phillips, Sampson & Co.

This pamphlet is exceedingly ingenious and interesting, and is worthy of extensive circulation. It is a highly wrought description, on scientific principles, of the manner in which the earth was formed, and the events connected therewith from its existence, in a fluid state to the time of the Mosaical narrative. The theory of the writer is ably sustained, and, whether true or not, has the effect to stimulate and fill the imagination, and spur it to the contemplation of grand and majestic images.

Zanoni. By Sir E. Bulwer Lytton. New York: Harper & Brothers.

The Harpers have included this work in their cheap “Library of Select Novels,” which has now reached its one hundred and forty-second number, and is probably the cheapest work ever issued. There are few novel readers to whom Zanoni is not familiar, and of all the author’s productions it best bears the test of reperusal. Its feverish power exacts a feverish interest, which is as unhealthy as it is stimulating; but this intellectual dram-drinking is now so common that the charge of morbid sentiment brought against a book operates as a puff.

Household Words. A Weekly Journal. Conducted by Charles Dickens. New York: George P. Putnam. Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Mr. Putnam, with his usual enterprise, has contrived to make an arrangement with Bradbury and Evans, of London, to publish Dickens’s Journal contemporaneously with its appearance in London, and to afford the English edition itself at what Mr. Chevy Slyme would call the “ridiculously low price of six cents.” The Journal is full of stories and sketches of a genial character, admirably adapted for the fireside of home. To the uncounted number of people who constitute Dickens’s public, the “Household Words” will be a welcome visitant.

Letters of a Traveler; or Notes of Things seen in Europe and America. By William Cullen Bryant. New York: George P. Putnam. 1 vol. 12mo.

This handsome volume is composed of letters, running over a period of sixteen years, and recording impressions of travel in Europe and America. The heart and imagination of Bryant consecrate and color the whole series: and though the scenes he describes have often been described by others, they appear new and fresh as mirrored in his pages. The serene but searching, the tolerant but earnest, mind of the author, gives the same life and charm to his prose as to his verse. The style is characterised by the grace, delicacy and thoughtfulness, the sober beauty, and “superb propriety,” native to his mind; and the cadence of his sentences leaves a lingering music in the reader’s brain, long after the book has been closed. The scenes and incidents of the volume are of exceeding variety. Paris, Florence, Pisa, Venice, London, Edinburgh,—Richmond, Charleston, St. Augustine, Mackinaw, Savannah, Havana, Boston, Portland,—the Peaks of Derbyshire and the White Mountains,—these widely distant places are but points to indicate the number and dissimilarity of the topics which come under the author’s view. Every lover of Bryant should possess this volume.

Essays Upon Authors and Books. By W. Alfred Jones. New York: Stanford & Swords. 1 vol. 12mo.

The writer of this valuable little volume is favorably known among all who favor independent thought, exercised in the domain of literary criticism and characterization, as the author of “The Analyst” and “Literary Studies.” The “Essays” are thirty in number, covering a wide variety of topics, and indicating that kind of literary knowledge which looks through books into the spiritual constitution of their authors. Mr. Jones is a professor of the condensed in composition, and seems ever ambitious to cram his matter into a small space, and short, sharp, curt sentences. Perhaps he sacrifices mellowness in thus aiming after the laconic, but his fault is of so rare a nature in these days of verbose expansiveness, that to blame him for it were to fall into a worse one. Among the many essays which induce us heartily to recommend this volume to the reader, are those entitled “Traits of American Authorship,” “Home Criticism,” “The Two Everetts,” “Hoyt’s Poems,” “Hugh Latimer,” “Sir Philip Sidney’s Defense of Poesy,” “R. H. Dana,” “Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy,” “The Literature of Quakerism,” “Æsthetical Fragments,” “Thomas Moore,” and “Lord Bolingbroke.” Mr. Jones’s culture sweeps over the field of English literature, and some of his most interesting essays relate to quaint authors, whose names are in few mouths, but who are capable, in capable hands, of being made interesting even in this age. We need not say that the moral character of Mr. Jones’s criticism is as high as it’s mental, and that his book may be safely taken as a guide to young as well as to experienced readers.

The Hungarian Revolution. Outlines of the Prominent Circumstances attending the Hungarian Struggle for Freedom. Together with brief Biographical Sketches of the Leading Statesmen and Generals who took part in it. By Johan Pragay. New York: George P. Putnam. 1 vol. 12mo.

This volume carries with it more authority than any as yet published on the Hungarian Revolution. The author had an official station in the Ministry of War under Kossuth’s administration, and was Adjutant-General of the Army. As the work of a soldier and statesman actively engaged in the conduct of the war, it is as reliable as it is interesting.

Hints Toward Reforms, in Lectures, Addresses and Other Writings. By Horace Greely. 1 vol. 12mo.

The author of this volume is well known as the editor of an influential political journal, and as a sturdy, independent, benevolent, strong-minded and warm-hearted reformer. The topics he discusses are those which deeply interest the popular mind at this time—labor, temperance, land reform, capital punishment, free trade, protection, etc.; and Mr. Greely grapples with the knottiest questions which those themes suggest with a firm will, and an eager intellect. Bating some doubtful opinions and some bad rhetoric, the volume conveys a good impression of the author’s many excellent qualities of mind and character. We cannot better describe the object of his work than by employing his own words. “It aspires,” he says, “to be a mediator, an interpreter, a reconciler, between Conservatism and Radicalism—to bring the two into such connection and relation that the good in each may obey the law of chemical affinity, and abandon whatever portion of either is false, mistaken, or outworn to sink down and perish. It endeavors so to elucidate and commend what is just and practical in the pervading demands of our time for a Social Renovation that the humane and philanthropic can no longer misrepresent and malign them as destructive, demoralizing or infidel in their tendencies, but must joyfully recognize in them the fruits of past and the seeds of future Progress in the history of our Race.” The idea in this passage is one which a conservative of the school of Burke would have no reason to disown. The difficulty is in the different things meant by the two parties, when they use the words “false, mistaken, and outworn.” Time, and the course of things, not any particular intellect, must settle the dispute; although we hope that Time, if he can take “Hints,” will accelerate his pace a little, at our author’s particular request.

Talbot and Vernon. A Novel. New York: Baker & Scribner. 1 vol. 12mo.

The author of this volume is guilty, as Pitt said of himself, “of the atrocious crime of being a young man,” and appears now for the first time before the public. But, though young, he has evidently seen and experienced more than most old men. His knowledge of life has been obtained from a residence in the Great West, and by a Campaign in Mexico. The present novel is one of much interest and power, indicating great freshness, quickness, and force of mind, and is particularly rich in promise. The scenes in Mexico, including the description of the battle of Buena Vista, and the whole trial scene toward the end of the volume, are especially felicitous.

Caprices. New York: R. Carter & Brother. 1 vol. 12mo.

This volume of poems, we should say, was the production of a sensitive imagination and reflecting mind, gifted at present with more receptivity than original power, and having a greater experience of Tennyson, Emerson and Longfellow, than of actual or ideal life. The author has a wide command of language, no mean powers of description, and a tremblingly delicate sensibility for the beautiful and the grand, but his present volume is more the promise than the performance of a forcible and original poet. The very title indicates the fitful character of the pieces.

The Daltons; or Three Roads in Life. By Charles Lever. New York: Harper & Brothers. Part I.

The author of “The Daltons” is so widely known for the heartiness and vehemence of his comic narratives that it is only necessary to announce his commencement of a novel to recommend it to attention.


The proprietors of the “Dollar Newspaper,” in this city, offer five hundred dollars in premiums for the eight best stories written for that paper, and sent in before the 1st day of October next—the merits of the stories to be determined by a committee of literary gentlemen, whose names will be given when the award is made. Two hundred dollars is the premium for the best story; one hundred for the next best; fifty dollars each for the two next best; and twenty-five dollars each for the four next best. We have a long acquaintance with the proprietors of the “Dollar Newspaper,” and have not the slightest doubt that their proposition is made in good faith, and that all that they can do will be done to arrive at a just and impartial decision. No writer who is awarded a prize, could have any doubt of the prompt payment of the full amount awarded. The only condition imposed by the publishers is, that the scene of the story shall be American. Here’s a chance for the literati.

LE FOLLET,   boul. St. Martin, 69

Chapeaux de Mlle. Grafeton, pl. de la Madeleine, 5Mouchoirs L. Chapron & Dubois, rue de la Paix, 7.

Fleurs de Chagot ainé, r. Richelieu, 73, Robes et pardessus Isabelle de Camille.

The styles of Goods here represented can be had of Messrs. L. J. Levy & Co. Philadelphia

and at Stewart’s, New-York.

Graham's Magazine 134 Chestnut Street

Transcriber’s Notes:

Archaic spellings and hyphenation have been retained as well as some spellings peculiar to Graham's. Punctuation has been corrected without note. Other errors have been corrected as noted below. For illustrations, some caption text may be missing or incomplete due to condition of the originals used for preparation of the ebook.


page 73, first untuned page ==> first unturned page

page 76, and he promisess ==> and he promises

page 77, a benificent God ==> a beneficent God

page 77, deepth of feeling ==> depth of feeling

page 77, Bartholdy, Sphor, Gluck, ==> Bartholdy, Spohr, Gluck,

page 78, the rushing Colorada ==> the rushing Colorado

page 78, traders of Chihuaha ==> traders of Chihuahua

page 88, exploring the the thickets ==> exploring the thickets

page 89, little bark of ==> little barque of

page 92, or petit-maitre modulations ==> or petit-maître modulations

page 95, whose fiancèe you ==> whose fiancée you

page 96, a litle expedition ==> a little expedition

page 98, Day past away ==> Day passed away

page 98, his bark may strand ==> his barque may strand

page 102, By some unforseen ==> By some unforeseen

page 104, were bestowod ==> were bestowed

page 106, Tinturn Abbey ==> Tintern Abbey

page 123, sat, pouring over ==> sat, poring over

page 126, Avoset, recurvirosta ==> Avoset, recurvirostra

page 128, of 12 guage ==> of 12 gauge

page 135, Sheeâh Traditions ==> Sheeãh Traditions

page 135, the Hyat-ul-Kuloob ==> the Hyât-ul-Kuloob

page 135, his usual interprise ==> his usual enterprise

page 135, London, Edinburg ==> London, Edinburgh

page 135, Peak of Derbyshire ==> Peaks of Derbyshire

page 136, accellerate his pace ==> accelerate his pace

page 136, awarded a a prize ==> awarded a prize


[The end of Graham's Magazine Vol. XXXVII No. 2 (August 1850) edited by George R. Graham]