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Title: Graham's Magazine, Vol. XXXIII, No. 4 (October 1848)

Date of first publication: 1848

Author: George R. Graham (editor)

Date first posted: Apr. 6, 2016

Date last updated: Apr. 6, 2016

Faded Page eBook #20160406

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


Vol. XXXIII.      October, 1848.      No. 4.

Table of Contents

The Unmarried Belle


Temper Life’s Extremes

The Cruise of the Raker


A Leaf in the Life of Ledyard Lincoln

The Deformed Artist

A Farewell to a Happy Day

Sam Needy

The Angel of the Soul

Scouting Near Vera Cruz

I Want to Go Home

The Humbling of a Fairy

A Night Thought

The Bard

The Will

A Voice for Poland

To Her Who Can Understand It

A Pic-Nic in Olden Time

To the Violet

They May Tell of a Clime

A Dream within a Dream

Passed Away

An Evening Song

The Ocean-Buried

Review of New Books

Editor’s Table

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

Sir W. C. Rofs, R.A.               A.B. Ross

Engraved Expressly for Graham’s Magazine


Vol. XXXIII.     PHILADELPHIA, October, 1848.     No. 4.






  Talk not of wasted affection, affection never was wasted;

  If it enrich not the heart of another, its waters returning

  Back to their springs, like the rain, shall fill them full of refreshment;

  That which the fountain sends forth returns again to the fountain.

  Patience; accomplish thy labor; accomplish thy work of affection!

  Sorrow and silence are strong, and patient endurance is godlike;

  Therefore accomplish thy labor of love, till the heart is made godlike,

  Purified, strengthened, perfected, and rendered more worthy of heaven!

Longfellow’s Evangeline.

I was loitering beside my mother’s chair, in her drawing-room, one day on my return from school, listening to the conversation between her and some morning visiters; they were discussing most earnestly the merits of a reigning belle.

“She is, indeed, perfectly beautiful,” exclaimed my mother. “I looked at her the other evening, when I saw her at the last concert, and thought a more lovely creature could not exist. The music excited her, and her cheek was delicately flushed, which heightened the brilliancy of her eyes; her lovely lips were just half apart and trembling with feeling. Then she understands so well the art and mystery of dressing. While other young ladies around her were in the full pride of brilliant costume, the eye felt freshened and relieved when looking at her—there was such a repose in her demi-toilette. The simple white dress was so pure and chaste in its effect, displaying only her lovely throat, and her beautiful chestnut-brown hair was gathered up carelessly but neatly, while over one tiny ear fell a rich cluster of ringlets; then, with all her beauty and exquisite taste, she is so unconscious, so unstudied. That the world should call Mary Lee a beauty, I do not wonder; but that society should pronounce her a belle, is, indeed, a surprise to me—she is so unassuming, so free from art and affectation.”

“So unlike her mother,” exclaimed a lady, eagerly. “I think Mary’s success in society is as gratifying as unexpected to Mrs. Lee. She delayed her entrée into society as long as she could, and used to lament most piteously to me the trouble she expected to have with her, from her total want of animation and spirit. But now she seems to have entirely forgotten her former misgivings, for she takes many airs on herself about Mary’s popularity, talking all the while as though scarcely any one was good enough for the husband of the daughter she pronounced one year ago a stupid, inanimate creature.”

“Ah!” said a gentleman, laughing, “the tie now is between young Morton and Langley, I believe. As Langley is the more distingué of the two, I suppose the mother will favor him; but if one can judge from appearances, the daughter prefers Harry Morton.”

“I can assure you,” interrupted Mr. Foster, an intimate friend of our family, “the daughter has quite as much admiration for the rich Mr. Langley as the mother. There is a little incident connected with that same concert Mrs. Duval speaks of, that convinces me of the daughter’s powers of management.”

“Shame on you, Philip Foster!” said my mother, “you should not talk thus of any lady, much less of Mary Lee.”

“What was the incident, Mr. Foster?” eagerly inquired the other ladies.

“Yes, do tell us, Phil,” urged his gentleman friend.

My mother looked reproachfully at Mr. Foster, but he shook his head laughingly at her, as he said,

“Hear me first, dear Mrs. Duval, before you judge. I was at Mrs. Lee’s two or three mornings since. Several visiters were in the drawing-rooms, among them Harry Morton, as usual. I was looking at a new and costly collection of engravings on the commode table, when I overheard Harry Morton ask Miss Lee if he should join their party at the concert the next evening. She replied that she regretted they were not going, for she had already promised her mother to dine and spend the evening quietly with an old friend. The next evening at the concert the whole Lee party were there, and our belle, Miss Mary, was brought in by young Langley, just newly arrived from Europe. The unconscious demi-toilette Mrs. Duval speaks so admiringly of, had the desired effect. Langley’s taste has been chastened by a voyage over the Atlantic; the noisy over-dressing of his countrywomen would, of course, annoy his delicate sense—therefore was the simple home costume adopted in preference, and the “available” Mr. Langley secured as an admirer.”

“I do not believe any such thing, Philip!” exclaimed my mother, indignantly. “I will answer for it, there was some mistake. Mary Lee would scorn a falsehood, and is entirely above all artifice or design. Mrs. Lee is said to be manœuvering and worldly; if she is, her daughter is entirely free from such influences.”

“How did Morton take it, Phil?” asked the other friend, laughingly.

“He was with me,” replied Mr. Foster, evidently enjoying with some little malice my kind mother’s annoyance, “we had dropped into the concert by chance together. He looked thunderstruck, but said nothing, and did not approach her during the whole evening. She knew he was there, however, for I saw her return his cold bow in a painfully embarrassed manner.”

The entrance of some other visiters, connected with the Lees, put an end to the conversation. That night, when my nurse was undressing me for bed, I said,

“What’s a belle, Katy?”

“A very rich and beautiful young lady,” replied my nurse, “who has plenty of lovers, and gets married very soon.”

“Will I ever be a belle?” I innocently inquired, as she gathered up my rebellious hair under my cap.

“No,” she replied, in impatient tones, “your hair is too straight, and your skin too yellow; but you must do as you’re told to, or else nobody will even love you; so go to sleep right away.”

I was silenced, and thus obedience was obtained by appealing to my love of approbation. Many years passed, bringing me to womanhood, when I discovered the truth of Nurse Katy’s reason why I should not be a belle. Other people decided that my “hair was too straight, and my skin too yellow,” to use Katy’s homely, rough words; but her brusque admonition, that made me go to sleep so quickly when a child, acted upon me as a woman. My approbativeness once roused, I managed, despite my want of personal attractions, to secure a host of friends; and the lesson I then learned, to please others rather than myself for the sake of gaining their love, has caused my life thus far to be very sunny and happy, even more so than if I had been the belle my childish fancy desired.

One of Nurse Katy’s principal attributes of a belle, however, Mary Lee was deficient in. She did not get married at all—and Mary Lee she remained all her life. But she was one of the loveliest old maids in the world, and quite as popular in our circle as she had been in her own. She had been confined many years with an invalid mother and paralytic father, but after their death some time, she re-entered society; and her house was the favorite resort of the new set of young people, as it had been in her young days. She gave the most delightful parties, planned the most pleasant enjoyments for us, and although acknowledging herself to be an old maid, she still retained her youthful feelings unimpaired.

Her mind remained in a fresh, healthy state, and her disposition was still sweet and joyous. How we all loved her; she was our confidante, adviser and friend. She was still pretty, and might have proved a very formidable rival had she chosen to enter society as a young lady; but she preferred being regarded by us as an elder friend. The young ladies grouped around her as younger sisters; and one half the young gentlemen would have married her instanter, notwithstanding she was ten or fifteen years their senior. Old maid as she was, strange to tell, she was a promoter of marriages. The ill-natured called Mary Lee a match-maker. She certainly did interest herself very much with lovers, fathoming all the little mysteries of their love-quarrels, and setting every thing quite straight, even when they seemed in inextricable confusion.

Miss Lee had been very fond of my mother, and extended to me the same regard, therefore I was, notwithstanding the difference in our ages, on a more intimate footing with her than her other young friends. One day, as we were discussing the merits of an approaching wedding, the conversation assumed a confidential tone.

“Indeed, Enna,” she exclaimed, laughingly, “there is nothing more interesting to me than a couple of lovers full of romance, poetry, and perfectly blind and uncaring as to the future. I love to watch them in courtship, lend them a helping hand in the quicksands of that dangerous but delicious season; and then it makes me so happy to congratulate them after their troubles are all over, and they are happily married.”

“Ah! if they only could be sure of happiness,” I replied.

“Shame on you for that old maid’s croak!” she said, with a bright look; “those who are not happy in married life, would never be happy in any situation. There should be no old maids or old bachelors, Enna; we would all be happier married; we fail in fulfilling our missions when we remain single. Hunt up a lover, Enna; let me watch your courtship, and rejoice over your wedding. As a clever friend of mine once said, we think poetry as lovers, but in married life we act true poetry.”

I opened my eyes with astonishment, and innocently asked, “Why is it, then, you have never married?”

A shadow crossed over her face, and I felt a desire to recall the question, for I feared I had called up disagreeable reminiscences, but the next instant her countenance was as beaming and calm as before.

“I will tell you, Enna,” she said, as she caressingly rested her head on my shoulder, “why I have never married; but to do that I must relate the history of my rather uneventful life. My story has but little interest, but it will gratify the curiosity of one who loves me. My childhood was spent with an old aunt. She took me when I was a delicate wee thing, and I remained with her until her death, which took place when I was nearly grown. She was a dear, good old lady, and with her my life passed most happily; my short visits home gave me little pleasure, for my mother was a very worldly, ambitious woman, and displayed but little tenderness for me, which, when contrasted with my aunt’s fondness and indulgence, made me feel quite as a stranger in my family; and when Aunt Mary died, I wept as bitterly, and felt as lonely and bereft of friends, as though I did not possess a mother, father, and sisters. The two years after my aunt’s death were spent in close attention to those accomplishments which had been neglected in my education as unnecessary, and which my mother deemed so essential; and not a day passed without my poor mother’s exclamations of despair over me.

“‘One comfort there is, however,’ she would say, ‘your aunt’s little fortune of a few thousands will be exaggerated in society, and people will forget your mauvaise honte in giving you credit for being an heiress.’

“But the report of my being an heiress was not needed, for when I entered society, to my mother’s amazement, I created quite a sensation. I had been looked upon as a pretty girl always; but my mother had so often declared that I was so inanimate and innocent, she never would be able to do any thing with me, and my pretty face would be of no service to me, that I looked upon myself as quite an ordinary person, and was as much surprised at my belle-hood as my family. I wonder my little head was not turned with the attentions I received, so unused as I had been to admiration; it might have been, however, had not a disappointment—a bitter, heart-aching disappointment, wearied me of all this adulation and attention.

“Soon after my entrance into society, I became acquainted with a Mr. Morton—agreeable, good-looking, and attentive he was, of course—quite an acquisition to me in my circle of admirers. His worldly qualifications were not of so brilliant a nature as to attract my prudent mother’s fancy, for he was only a young lawyer of slender means and moderate practice. I do not think she ever dreamed of the interest he excited in me, but looked upon him as one of the crowd of attendants necessarily surrounding a belle. But how differently I regarded him. The piles of costly bouquets I received daily, gained but little attention from me, unless I discerned among them the tiny bunch of sweet-violets, tea-roses, and mignonette, which he once in a great while sent me. In my ball-tablets my eyes sought the dances marked down for him; and when he was my partner, the dance, generally so wearisome, was only too short, too delightful; the reminiscence of that happy time makes a silly girl of me again. My mother never imagined he aspired to my hand—she would have looked aghast at the bare mention of such a probability; but she regarded him as a friend, and he was a great favorite with her. She used to say young men like Harry Morton, that knew their places, were invaluable acquaintances for a belle; thus were we thrown a great deal together. She was so blind to his real position with me, quick-sighted as she generally was in other things, I was permitted to have him for my partner in dancing, even for several quadrilles during an evening; he was my constant attendant in my daily rides on horseback, and my mother never hesitated to call upon him if we were at any time in need of an escort to a ball or opera. He was upon the footing of a brother or cousin in the family; but, ah! how dear was he to me. Without any actual explanation, I felt sure of Harry Morton’s love. I never had any doubts or jealousies—we seemed to perfectly understand each other. I never looked forward to our future—I was too quietly happy in the present. I only dated from one meeting to another—from the dinner to the party, when he would be ready to hand us from our carriage, to take me off my father’s arm in compliance with my mother’s constant inquiry and request of, ‘Where’s Harry Morton? Here, Harry, do take charge of Mary,’ a request which he always seemed delighted to obey. Then, after the happy good-night, I would lie my head on the pillow to dream of him and the morning ride we would take together. Why he never spoke to me of his love I cannot tell. It might have been that feelings of delicacy restrained him; my father was rich, while he was but a poor young lawyer; then report had made me an heiress in my own right, as well as a belle, to my worldly mother’s great content. That he loved me I am sure, though he never told me with his lips.

“One morning my mother said to me, ‘Do not make any engagement for to-morrow, Mary; we must dine en famille with dear old Mrs. Langley; we have not been there for a month.’

“Now this Mrs. Langley was a person of great consideration in my mother’s eyes. She was very wealthy, and, moreover, had been at the head of the fashionable world for many years. Since my entrance into society, she had been quite an invalid, and rarely appeared in public, but it gratified her exceedingly to have her friends around her, for she dreaded yielding up her command in the world. My mother was an especial favorite of hers; and after I had taken such a prominent situation in society, she expressed great regard for me. Once in a month or so we spent a day with her. She lived in great style—a stately dinner, and a stupid, grand, heavy evening was the amount of the visit. How I used to dread the coming of the day; it was the only time I was separated from Harry, for Mrs. Langley being very exclusive, and making no new acquaintances, he had no entrée there. I used to sing for her, arrange her worsteds, tell her of the parties and different entertainments, and read to her her son’s last letter. She had only one son, and he had been in Europe for two or three years. He was her idol, and she never tired talking of him. Dear old lady, my conscience smote me many times for the feelings of impatient weariness and ennui I would give way to during one of her tedious dinner parties.

“The following morning after my mother had announced the visit of penance, Harry Morton made his appearance in our drawing-rooms, as usual, with the other morning visiters. Every one was talking of a new singer who was to make her debût on that evening.

“‘May I join your party at the concert this evening?’ Harry asked me, in a low voice.

“‘I regret exceedingly,’ I replied, ‘that we are not going to the concert. I have already promised mamma to spend a quiet day and evening with an old friend of hers. You must listen attentively to this new donna, and tell me all about her voice if you go.’

“‘I do not think I shall go,’ he replied, in low, earnest tones, ‘for I could not enjoy the concert if not with you.’ A turn in the general conversation drew us more into notice, and some ladies and gentlemen entering, put an end to all further intercourse between us; how long I remembered and cherished those last words of his. When I made my appearance in my mother’s room at 5 o’clock, shawl and hood in hand, she regarded me from head to foot smilingly.

“‘What new caprice to-day?’ she said, ‘and yet I must confess it is very becoming to you.’

“I had felt too languid to dress much, and as the weather was warm, spring being quite far advanced, I had chosen a simple white mull robe for the visit to our old friend, knowing that we should meet with but few visiters there. This I explained apologetically to my mother, who tapped me with her fan good-naturedly, saying that beauties were cunning creatures, they liked to show once in a while they could defy the aid of ornament. The first few months of my entrance into society my mother superintended, with great attention, all my toilettes; but near the close of the season she fell into the general opinion, that what ever I did was exactly right; and poor little me, that one short half-year before had no right to express an opinion upon so grave a subject as dress, was now constantly appealed to; and whatever style I adopted was perfect in her eyes. Society had placed its stamp upon me, I could pass current as a coin of high value to her.

“When I reached Mrs. Langley’s, I found the old lady attended by but one gentleman, who, beside ourselves, was her only visiter. What was my surprise to hear her introduce him as her son, Templeton Langley. The dinner passed more pleasantly than usual, for Mr. Langley made himself very agreeable. After dinner he proposed we should go to the concert, as he felt an interest in the new primadonna, having heard her at her debût in Europe. I made an objection, which was overruled by Mrs. Langley’s expressing a desire—strange for her—to go likewise; and we went. I had not been ten minutes in the room when, on lifting my eyes, the first person I saw was Harry Morton looking sternly at me. Foolishly, I grew embarrassed, my face burned, and my whole frame trembled with nervous agitation. He did not approach me, but gave me only a cold bow. ‘He thinks me guilty of falsehood,’ I said to myself. How wretchedly passed the evening, and yet I have no doubt I was an object of envy to many of my young lady friends. The rich distingué, Templeton Langley showed himself my devoted admirer, while his mother, the acknowledged leader of ton, sat beside us smiling approvingly. My indifferent, cold manner, my simple costume, and my beautiful face, completed that evening the conquest of the fastidious, fashionable young man. You cannot imagine the delight of my mother, when day after day found Templeton Langley constantly beside me, she could scarcely restrain her exultation; while I, poor child, listened with aching, throbbing senses for the approach of one who never came near me. Two or three weeks passed in a whirl of gayety. It was the close of the season, and one or two brides in our circle made the parties very constant. Mrs. Langley proposed that our family should join her son and herself in their summer visit to the Lakes; accordingly we did so, and we spent more than three months traveling. Ere the close of those three months, Templeton Langley offered himself to me. I could not describe to you the scene that ensued between my mother and myself when I rejected him. She was a worldly woman, and my conduct seemed perfectly wild to her. She remonstrated, persuaded, then reproached me in impatient, angry tones. My father was a quiet, amiable man, and rarely interfered with my mother in her management, but he fortunately shook off enough of his lethargy to come to my rescue at this time.

“‘If Mary does not love Mr. Langley,’ he said, ‘why urge her to marry him? Do not scold the poor child,’ and he drew me toward him tenderly.

“Templeton Langley was rather an indifferent person in every way. His wealth, combined with his situation in the fashionable world, placed him in a fictitious light; but he had little intelligence, no originality, and only a passable personal appearance. I was constantly drawing the comparison between him and Harry Morton. Harry was so handsome, so brilliant in conversation—and this thought rendered poor Mr. Langley, with all his fastidious, elegant manners, quite unbearable to me. To think of being tied to such a man for life was perfect martyrdom for me; and although hitherto so yielding, I showed myself on this occasion obstinate. Floods of tears I shed, and my mother fancied at first she could overcome my ‘ridiculous sentimentality,’ as she called it, but in vain; and finding a friend in my father, I remained firm. I felt more sorry for old Mrs. Langley, who was, indeed, terribly distressed, but she treated me very kindly, and exonerated me from all blame. She was, however, really very fond of me, and had set her heart upon having me for a daughter. Mr. Langley returned to Europe, and for many months our circle of friends were quite at a loss to know whether he had offered, been accepted, or refused, or whether he had only flirted with me. My mother felt too disappointed to boast of the rejection; and, moreover, she was so occupied in bringing out my sister, Emma, as to have little time to think of me or my affairs. My sister was but seventeen, three years younger than I, but much nearer my age in appearance. I found myself now of but secondary consideration in my mother’s eyes. I fear she really disliked me then. She was an ambitious woman, and had set her heart upon my making a brilliant match; this favorite hope of hers I had blighted, and feeling little interest in society, I became of less consequence, for my sad, absent manner made me, of course, uninteresting; therefore, as my reign as a belle was over, my poor mother now sought to dismiss me from her mind and occupy herself with other objects.

“Harry Morton had gone to the Southwest ere we returned from our summer’s journey, and we never met again. A year or so afterward I heard of his marriage with a dashing southern belle, and he is now a distinguished man at the South. After these perplexing, unfortunate misunderstandings, my health failed, and for a long while I was an invalid, rarely appearing in society. My two sisters, Emma and Alice, were more lucky than I, for they married happily, and with my mother’s gratified approbation—for they each made the ‘best match of their season.’ Neither one was so pretty as I had been, and as my mother used to ejaculate,

“‘Thank Heaven! neither Emma nor Alice are belles; they at least will not trouble me with their exaggerated notions about love and all that nonsense.’

“I passed a miserable, wretched existence for a year or more after Harry and I were separated. How earnestly I prayed for death, so completely prostrated was my spirit by my disappointment. I felt as lonely as I had at the time of dear Aunt Mary’s death. In time, however, I aroused myself from my morbid feelings, and in reading and study found at first occupation, then strength and content.

“The week after my youngest sister was married my father was stricken down with paralysis. I was the only one at home with my parents, for my bride sister had sailed for Europe the day after her wedding, and Emma was far distant in her Southern home, having married a wealthy South Carolinian two years before. Faithfully I devoted myself to my father, and when my mother, a year afterward, was seized with a painful, lingering disease, I made myself so necessary to her comfort, that she at last acknowledged, that what had appeared to be her greatest trouble had proved her greatest blessing. She altered very much before her death, and lost entirely all those worldly feelings which had actuated her during her early life. She suffered for many years at times agonizing pain, and during this time I was sole companion and nurse to my parents. Often I thanked Providence for having denied to me my early love, granting to me in lieu an opportunity of fulfilling the most holy of duties. See, Enna, to what an unromantic and yet enviable state of mind I at last attained. Believe me, dearest, we never should grieve over unavoidable troubles, for many times they are but the rough husk of that sweet kernel—a hidden blessing.”





      ’Twas holyday in Rome. Her sevenfold hills

    Were trembling with the tread of multitudes

    Who thronged her streets. Hushed was the busy hum

    Of labor. Silent in the shops reposed

    The implements of toil. A common love

    Of country, and a zeal for her renown,

    Had warmed all hearts, and mingled for a day

    Plebian ardor with patrician pride.

    The sire, the son, the matron and the maid,

    Joined in bestowing on their emperor

    The joyous benedictions of the state.

    Alas! about that day’s magnificence

    Was spread a web of shame! The victor’s sword

    Was stained with cowardice—his dazzling fame

    Tarnished by insult to a fallen woman.

    Returning from his conquests in the East,

    Aurelian led in his triumphant train

    Palmyra’s beauteous queen, Zenobia,

    Whose only crime had been the love she bore

    To her own country and her household gods.


      Long had the Orient owned the sovereign sway

    Of Rome imperial, and in forced submission

    Had bowed the neck to the oppressor’s yoke.

    The corn of Syria, her fruits and wares,

    The pearls of India, Araby’s perfumes,

    The golden treasures of the mountains, all

    Profusely poured in her luxurious lap,

    Crowned to the full her proud magnificence.

    Rome regal, throned on her eternal hills,

    With power supreme and wide-extended hand,

    Plundered the prostrate nations without stint

    Of all she coveted, and, chiefly thou,

    O Liberty, the birthright boon of Heaven.

    But Rome had passed her noon; her despotism

    Was overgrown; an earthquake was at work

    At her foundations; and new dynasties,

    Striking their roots in ripening revolutions,

    Were soon to sway the destinies of realms.


      The East was in revolt. The myriad seeds

    Of dark rebellion, sown by tyranny,

    And watered by the blood of patriots slain,

    Were springing into life on every hand.

    Success was alternating in this strife

    ’Twixt power and right, and anxious Victory,

    With balance poised, the doubtful issue feared.

    Amid the fierce contention, ’mid the din

    Of war’s sublime encounter, and the crash

    Of falling systems old, Palmyra’s queen

    Followed her valiant lord, Palmyra’s king.

    Ever beside him in the hour of peril,

    She warded from his breast the battle’s rage;

    And in the councils of the cabinet

    Her prudent wisdom was her husband’s guide.


      Domestic treason, with insidious stab,

    Snatched from Zenobia’s side her gallant lord,

    And threw into her hand the exigencies

    Of an unstable and capricious throne.

    Yet was her genius not inadequate.

    The precepts of experience, intertwined

    With intellectual power of lofty grade,

    Combined to raise Palmyra’s beauteous queen

    High in the golden scale of moral greatness.

    Under the teachings of the good Longinus

    The streams of science flowed into her mind;

    And, like the fountain-fostered mountain lake,

    Her soul was pure as its ethereal food.

    The patronage bestowed on learned men

    Declared her love for letters. The rewards,

    Rich and unnumbered, she conferred on merit

    Her own refined, exalted taste betrayed.

    Her graceful and majestic figure, crowned

    With beauty such as few but angels wear,

    Like the rich casing that surrounds the gem,

    Heightened the splendor of her brilliant genius.

    Equally daring on the battle-field

    And in the chase, her prudence and her courage,

    Displayed in many a hot emergency,

    Had twined victorious laurel round her brow.

    Under her rule Palmyra’s fortunes rose

    To an unequalled altitude, and wealth

    Flowed in upon her like a golden sea,

    Her wide dominion, stretching from the Nile

    To the far Euxine and Euphrates’ flood—

    Her active commerce, whose expanded range

    Monopolized the trade of all the East—

    Her stately capital, whose towers and domes

    Vied with proud Rome in architectural grace—

    Her own aspiring aims and high renown—

    All breathed around the Asiatic queen

    An atmosphere of greatness, and betrayed

    Her bold ambition, and her rivalry

    With the imperial mistress of the world.


      But ’tis the gaudiest flower is soonest plucked;

    The sturdiest oak first feels the builder’s axe.

    Palmyra’s rising greatness had awaked

    The jealousy of Rome, and Fortune looked

    On her prosperity with envious eye.

    Under the golden eagles of the empire,

    Aurelian’s soldiers swept the thirsty sands,

    And poured into Palmyra’s palmy plains,

    A mighty host hot for the battle-field.

    Borne on her gallant steed, the warrior queen

    The conflict sought, and led her eager troops

    Into the stern encounter. Like the storm

    Of their own desert plain, innumerable,

    They rushed upon the foe, and courted danger.

    Amid the serried ranks, whose steel array

    Glowed in the noonday sun, and threw a flood

    Of wavy sheen into the fragrant air,

    Zenobia rode; and, like an angry spirit,

    Commissioned from above to chastise men,

    Where’er she moved was death. There was a flash

    Of scorn that lighted up her fiery eye,

    A glance of wrath upon her countenance—

    There was a terror in her frenzied arm

    That struck dismay into the boldest heart.

    Alas for her, Fortune was unpropitious!

    Her fearless valor found an overmatch

    In the experienced prudence of Aurelian;

    And scarcely could the desert’s hardy sons

    Cope with the practiced legions of the empire.

    The battle gained, Palmyra taken, sacked—

    Its queen a captive, hurled from off a throne,

    Stripped of her wide possessions, forced to sue

    In humblest attitude for even life—

    The haughty victor led his weary legions

    Back to Italia’s shores, and in his train

    His fallen rival, loaded with chains of gold,

    Forged from the bullion of her treasury.


      ’Twas holyday in Rome. The morning sun,

    Emerging from the palace-crested hills

    Of the Campagna, poured a flood of light

    Upon the slumbering city, summoning

    Its teeming thousands to the festival.

    A playful breeze, rich-laden with perfume

    From groves of orange, gently stirred the leaves,

    And curled the ripples on the Tiber’s breast,

    Bearing to seaward o’er the flowery plain

    The rising peans’ joyful melodies.

    Flung to the wind, high from the swelling dome

    That crowned the Capitol, the imperial banner,

    Broidered with gold and glittering with gems,

    Unfurled its azure field; and, as it caught

    The sunbeams and flashed down upon the throng

    That filled the forum, there arose a shout

    Deep as the murmur of the cataract.

    In that spontaneous outburst of applause

    Rome spoke; and as the echo smote the hills

    It woke the slumbering memory of a time

    When Rome was free.


                    A trumpet from the walls

    Proclaimed the day’s festivities begun.

    Preceded by musicians and sweet singers,

    A long procession passed the city-gate,

    And, traversing the winding maze of streets,

    Climbed to the Capitol. Choice victims, dressed

    With pictured ornaments and wreaths of flowers,

    An offering to the tutelary gods,

    Led the advance. Then followed spoils immense,

    Baskets of jewels, vases of wrought gold,

    Paintings and statuary, cloths and wares,

    Of costliest manufacture, close succeeded

    By the rich symbols of Palmyra’s glory,

    Torn from her temples and her palaces,

    To grace a triumph in the streets of Rome.

    With toilsome step next walked the captive queen;

    And then the victor, in his car of state,

    With milk-white horses of Thessalian breed,

    And in his retinue a splendid train

    Of Rome’s nobility. In one long line

    The army last appeared in bright array,

    With banners high displayed, filling the air

    With songs of victory. The pageant proud

    Quickened remembrance of departed days,

    And warmed the bosoms of the multitude

    With deep devotion to the commonwealth.


      High in his gilded chariot, decked in robes

    Of broidered purple, and with laurel crowned,

    Rode the triumphant conqueror, in his hand

    The emblems of his power. The capital

    Of his wide empire was inflamed with zeal

    To do him honor and exalt his praise.

    The world was at his feet; his sovereign will

    None dared to question, and his haughty word

    Was law to nations. Yet his heart was troubled.

    In the dim distance he discerned the flight

    Of Freedom, on swift pinions heralding

    Enfranchisement to the oppressed of earth.

    He knew the feeble tenure of dominion

    Based on allegiance with reluctance paid;

    And read the future overthrow of Rome

    In the unyielding spirit of his victim.

    Uncovered in the sun, weary and faint,

    Bowed to the earth with chains of ravished gold,

    With feet unsandaled, walked Zenobia,

    Slave to the craven tyrant’s cruelty.

    Neither her peerless beauty, nor her sex,

    Nor yet her grievous sufferings could melt

    The despot’s stony heart. She, who surpassed

    Her conqueror in all the qualities

    Of head or heart which crown humanity

    With nobleness and high preëminence—

    She, whose misfortunes in a glorious cause,

    And not her errors, had achieved her ruin—

    Burdened with ignominy and disgrace

    For her resplendent virtues, not her crimes

    She who had graced a palace, and dispensed

    Pardon to penitence, reward to worth,

    And tempered justice with benevolence—

    Wickedly torn from her exalted station,

    Now walked a captive in the streets of Rome,

    E’en at the feet of the oppressors steeds.

    Yet was her spirit all untamed. Disdain

    Still sat upon her countenance, and breathed

    Unmeasured scorn upon her persecutors.

    The blush of innocence upon her cheek,

    The burning pride that flashed within her eye,

    The majesty enthroned upon her brow,

    Told, in a language which the tyrant felt,

    That her unconquered spirit soared sublime

    In a pure orbit whither his sordid soul

    Could ne’er attain. Had he a captive led

    Some odious wretch, whose sanguinary crimes,

    Long perpetrated under sanction of a strength

    No arm could reach, had spread a pall of mourning

    Over a people’s desolated homes,

    He then had right to triumph o’er his victim.

    But ’twas not thus. Insatiable ambition

    Had led him to unsheath his victor sword

    Against a monarch whose distinctive sway

    Ravished from Rome no tittle of her right;

    And, to augment the aggregate of wrong,

    That monarch was a woman, whose renown,

    Compared with his, was gold compared with brass.

    As o’er the stony street the captive paced

    Her weary way before the victor’s steeds,

    And marked the multitudes insatiate gaze,

    The look of calm defiance on her face

    Told that she bowed not to her degradation.

    Her thoughts were not at Rome. Unheeded all,

    The billows of the mad excitement dashed

    About her, and broke harmless at her feet.

    Dim reminiscences of former days

    Burst like a deluge on her errant mind;

    Leading her backward to the buried past,

    When in the artless buoyancy of youth

    She sat beneath Palmyra’s fragrant shades

    And gleaned the pages of historic story,

    Red with Rome’s bloody catalogue of wrong.

    Little she dreamed Palmyra’s palaces

    Should e’er be scenes of Roman violence;

    Little she dreamed that hers should be the lot

    (A captive princess led in chains) to crown

    The splendor of a Roman holyday.

    Alas! the blow she thought not of had fallen.

    A bloody struggle, like a dreadful dream,

    Had briefly raged, and all to her was lost,

    Save the poor grace of a degraded life.

    Her sun of glory was gone down in blood—

    The glittering fabric of her power despoiled

    To swell the triumph of her conqueror.

    But in the wreck of her magnificence,

    With eye prophetic, she foresaw the ruin

    Of the proud capital of all the world.

    She saw the quickening symptoms of rebellion

    Among the nations, and she caught their cry

    For freedom and for vengeance!



                        Hark! the Goth

    Is thundering at the gate, His reckless sword

    Leaps from the scabbard, eager to vindicate

    The cause of the oppressed. A thousand years

    The sun has witnessed in his daily course

    The tyranny of Rome, now crushed forever.

    The mighty mass of her usurped dominion,

    By its own magnitude at last dissevered,

    Is crumbling into fragments; and the shades

    Of long-forgotten generations shriek

    With fiendish glee over the yawning gulf

    Of her perdition.





    ’Tis wise, in summer-warmth, to look before,

      To the keen-nipping winter; it is good,

    In lifeful hours, to lay aside some store

      Of thought, to leaven the spirit’s duller mood;

    To mould the sodded dyke, in sunny hour,

      Against the coming of the wasteful flood;

    Still tempering Life’s extremes, that Wo no more

      May start abrupt in Joy’s sweet neighborhood.

    If Day burst sudden from the bars of Night,

      Or with one plunge leaped down the sheer abyss,

    Painful alike were darkness and the light,

      Bearing fixed war through shifting victories;

    But sweet their bond, where peaceful twilight lingers,

    Weaving the rosy with the sable fingers.






(Continued from page 136.)


The Revenge.

The report of the pistol fired by Julia had also been heard upon the pirate brig. To Florette it gave assurance of the safety of the fair fugitive. The pirate sprang to his feet, forgetful of his wound, but fell back helpless upon the companion-way, and soon relapsed into his former thoughtful state, supposing the sound had come from the deck of the Raker, though it had seemed much too near and distinct to appear possible that such was the case.

The escape of Julia was not discovered until the following morning. The wrath of the pirate was fearfully vindictive. Even Florette became alarmed when he fiercely accused her of some share in the disappearance of the captive girl. This she tremblingly denied, suggesting the opinion that Julia must have jumped overboard, in her despair, induced by the threats of the pirate. The loss of the boat was also noticed, but not connected with the escape of Julia, it being supposed that it had been carelessly fastened. As a very natural consequence of his anger, the pirate sought some person on whom he could vent its fury.

“Call aft the other woman,” shouted he, “unless she, too, has jumped overboard.”

A grim smile was interchanged between the men who heard this order. John’s true sex had not been long kept concealed after he had reached the pirate brig, and he had nearly fallen a victim to the rage the unpleasant discovery excited in the men, but his ludicrous and abject expressions of terror, though they awoke no emotions of pity, yet excited the merriment of his captors, and turned their anger into laughter. A man’s garments were thrown to him, in which he speedily equipped himself, being indeed in no slight degree relieved by the change. Since that time he had kept himself as much aloof as possible from the crew, anxiously and fearfully expectant of some sudden catastrophe, either that his brains would be blown out without affording him an opportunity to expostulate, or that he would be called upon to walk the plank.

He was roused by a heavy hand laid upon his shoulder.

“O dear, don’t,” cried John.

“The captain has sent word for’ard arter you, and faith ye had betther be in a hurry, for he’s a savage when he’s mad.”

“O! now I’ve got to do it.”

“Do what?”

“Why walk the plank to be sure.”

“Arrah, jewel! don’t be onaisy now.”

“Wont I’s, don’t you think?”

“Not a bit of it, darling. I think he will be afther running you up to the yard-arm.”

“But I can’t run up it.”

“Ha! ha! but come along, honey.”

Half dragging John after him, the sailor led him to the quarter-deck.

“Here’s the lady, captain, an’ faith she’s a swate one.”

The truth of the case had already been explained to the pirate.

“You cowardly fool,” said he, “did you expect to escape by such a subterfuge? Pat, run him up to the yard-arm.”

“Yes, captain, and that will be a relaif to him, for he was mighty afraid he’d have to walk the plank.”

“He was? well then he shall.”

The vindictiveness of the pirate commander, who had only changed the mode of John’s death because he thought that by so doing he should render it more fearful and bitter to the victim, was the means of saving the poor cockney’s life. So do revenge and malice often overreach themselves.

A long plank was laid out over the side of the brig and John commanded to walk out on it. He showed a strong disinclination to obeying, but a huge pistol placed against his forehead quickly influenced his decision, and with a cry of anguish he stepped out upon it. As the board tipped he turned to spring back to the brig, but slipping up, fell upon the board, which he pulled after him into the water.

“Fool,” cried the captain to one of his men, “what did you let the board loose for, he will float now till the chase picks him up—fire into him.”

A dozen balls were fired at John, and it seems he was hit, for he let go the board and sunk.

“There, captain, he’s done for.”

The brig by this time had reached a considerable distance from the place where John had been committed to the deep, and when he rose to the surface, as he soon did, he was out of danger from their shot.

“O dear!” cried he, “I shan’t ever get ashore; I never could swim much.”

The waves threw him against the plank.

“O! a shark! a shark!” shouted John, “now don’t;” and he grasped hold of the plank in a frenzy of fear. He soon discovered the friendly aid it would afford him, and held on to it with the tenacity of despair.

In less than half an hour the Raker came up. John was noticed from its deck, and a brawny tar seizing a rope and taking two or three turns of it round his left arm sprang overboard to rescue the half unconscious cockney.

As the sailor seized him, John, supposing it to be a shark, uttered a loud cry and lost all sensation. In this condition he was hauled up to the deck of the privateer, where, upon recovering his senses, he found to his great surprise and joy, that instead of being in the belly of some voracious fish, like Jonah of old, he was in safety, and surrounded by the crew of his former vessel, the Betsy Allen, including his master.

The poor fellow was severely wounded by a pistol shot, in the arm, but regardless of this he was wild in his demonstrations of joy, especially when told that his young mistress had also escaped.

Captain Greene found that he had gained little, if any, upon the pirate during the night, and became convinced that he must again commence firing upon her, trusting to some lucky ball to carry away a spar, or failing, to allow the villains to escape the punishment they so richly deserved, not only for their inhuman treatment of the crew of the Betsy Allen, but doubtless for numerous other crimes committed upon the seas, as savage in their conception, and more successful in their execution.

The long gun was again uncovered, and a shot dispatched from its huge portals after the pirate brig. The first ball fired fell short of the brig, striking the water directly in its wake, and ricochetting again threw up the water beyond it.

A succeeding ball, however, did some execution, crashing through her top-gallant forecastle, but without in any degree lessening her speed. As every fire from the Raker lessened her speed, Capt. Greene became exceedingly anxious that no balls should be thrown away, and commanded Lieut. Morris to point the gun, having more confidence in his skill than in that of the gunner. The young officer aimed the gun carefully, and as it was fired three cheers arose from his crew, as they perceived the pirate’s mizzen-mast fall away.

“She is ours,” cried the lieutenant.

“Stand by, men, to take in sail,” shouted the captain. “We will draw near enough,” continued he to Morris, “to fire into her at our leisure, a pirate is not entitled to a more honorable warfare, and he seems also to greatly outnumber us in men.”

As the privateer approached the pirate they could not but admire the singular beauty of her build. She rose and fell upon the waters as gracefully as a free and wild ocean bird. The long red lines of her port-holes swept with a gentle curve from stem to stern, and her stem was so sharp that the bowsprit seemed rather to terminate than to join it. Twelve carronades occupied a double row of port-holes, and the deck seemed crowded with men, all armed with cutlases and pistols.

“A formidable looking set,” said Captain Greene, as he laid aside his glass, “keep the gun lively.”

An ineffectual fire opened upon the privateer from the pirate, but though they had a swivel of pretty heavy calibre, turning on its axis amidship in such a manner as to menace at will each point of the horizon, it was evident that its force was far less than the long gun of the privateer.

A well aimed shot brought down the pirate’s fore topsail-yard, which hung in the slings, and succeeding shots did much injury to her masts and rigging, and at length the main-topmast fell over the side.

The scene on board the pirate, during this unequal warfare, was one approaching perplexity and disorder. Their commander stood by the helm, gazing at the privateer, his brow clouded with angry thought, and giving little heed to the movements of his crew. He was aroused from his abstraction by the voice of one of his officers.

“Captain, this is bad business, what is to be done?”

The captain gazed at him in silence.

“The crew are alarmed, and demand of you some relief from this harassing state. Our guns will not reach the chase, and we cannot leave her in this crippled state.”

At this moment a heavy ball from the privateer whizzed by them and buried itself in the main-mast of the brig.

The captain seemed fully aroused. His eyes flashed with their wonted fire. He turned toward his crew, and saw at a glance the state of depression which had fallen upon them all. He even overheard some muttered words of complaint.

“Pat,” says one, “this seems to be playing a rough game, where nothing is to be won on our side.”

“Faith, an’ ye may say that, but we stand a chance to gain one thing.”

“What may that be, Pat?”

“O, a two-inch rope, and a run up to the fore yard-arm.”

“The devil! That’s not a pleasant thought, Pat.”

“No, but they say it’s an aisy death.”

“Silence, men,” was heard in the deep tones of the captain’s voice.

In a moment all was still, and every eye turned toward the companion-way, on which the captain stood, resting one hand upon the main-boom, as he was exceedingly weak from the wound inflicted by the ball of Captain Horton.

“My brave fellows,” said their leader, “do not be alarmed, we shall not be hanged this time. Is our situation any worse than it has been in times heretofore? Trust in me. Have I ever deceived you—have I ever failed yet? You know I have not. Where we cannot conquer by fair battle, we must use stratagem. Be watchful and ready, and we will yet not only escape yonder vessel, but stand upon her deck as masters.”

The confidence with which he spoke inspired his followers with like feeling, and with countenances relighted by hope, they returned to their several stations. Their reliance upon their commander was unbounded. He had so often triumphed when even greater difficulties opposed, that they already felt sure of ultimate delivery, now that he had been restored to his former energy—they had mistaken the lethargy into which pain and weakness had thrown him for the torpor of despair. Again the joke and laugh went round, and already they began to compute their respective shares of booty in the vessel so soon to be theirs, they knew not how.

“Haul down the ensign, in token that we surrender,” cried the captain.

A murmur of indignation and surprise arose from the crew.

“What, men, do you doubt me? ’Tis but a feint. Haul down the flag and take in sail.”

The men obeyed with alacrity, for they already clearly comprehended the plan of their leader. It was his intention to entice the privateer alongside, and, well aware of his own superiority in numbers, to make a sudden onset upon her deck, and thus, contrary to all laws of honorable warfare, seize by foul means what could not be obtained in any other way.

These pacific indications were viewed with some surprise on board the privateer.

“By Heaven!” cried Lieut. Morris, “she’s tired of this game soon.”

“Well, she had no other way to do; as it was we should have sunk her without receiving a shot.”

“It was a losing game for her, true enough.”

“Lay the brig alongside of her,” shouted Captain Greene to his men.

As his men with a cheer began to unfurl all sail, Captain Horton approached the commander of the privateer. He had up to this period ventured no interference, both from matter of delicacy, and because he saw nothing to disapprove of in the course pursued by Captain Greene.

“My dear sir,” said he, as he laid his hand upon the arm of the captain of the privateer, “allow me to say a word.”

“Certainly, sir,” replied the courteous commander. “I ought sooner than this to have asked your advice.”

“I would not place too great confidence in the pirate’s signal of surrender.”

“Do you apprehend foul play?”

“Recollect the savage brutality which the fiend has already evinced, and judge for yourself whether he is worthy of being trusted at all.”

“You are right, sir. Lieut. Morris,” continued he, turning to his young officer.

“Ay, ay, sir.”

“Load the long gun with grape and canister, and wheel it abaft—load the larboard guns the same way. Now, my men, don’t run too near her. She must send a boat aboard.”

The privateer approached within half a cable’s length of the pirate.

“Ship ahoy!” cried Captain Greene.

No answer came from the pirate, but her head was rounded to, so as to bear directly down on the Raker.

“Answer me, or I’ll fire into you.”

“Fire and be d—d,” came from the deck of the pirate, and at the same time a broadside was poured into the Raker, which killed two or three men at the guns, and severely wounded Captain Greene.

“Lieut. Morris,” cried he, “take the command of the vessel,” and falling on the deck he was immediately carried below.

The young officer was fully equal to the emergency of the occasion. At a glance he perceived that the pirate in the confusion which ensued from his unexpected broadside, had fallen foul of the privateer’s rigging, and the crowd of his crew in his bow and fore-rigging, all with cutlases drawn, and ready to spring aboard the privateer, plainly announced the intention to board.

“All hands to repel boarders,” shouted Morris, and drawing his cutlas he sprang forward, followed by his men.

A well contested struggle ensued, the American seamen, indignant at the foul deceit which had been practiced upon them, fought like tigers, and for a time kept the pirates at bay—they had indeed, notwithstanding their superior numbers, nearly driven them from the deck, when the form of their commander appeared among them. In consequence of his wound he had, contrary to his custom, entrusted the command of the boarders to his first lieutenant, and had remained upon his own vessel watching the fight. He sprung among his crew, with a sword drawn, and a tight sash bound around his waist, from which the dark blood was slowly oozing, his wound having burst away from its ligaments.

“Cowards!” he shouted, “do ye yield—ye are two to their one.”

Leaping to their front, he struck down a sailor and plunged into the thickest of the fight. Reanimated by the presence of their leader, who had so often led them to victory, a new spirit seemed to light up the fainting courage of the pirates, and with a fierce yell they rushed forward. The American crew were compelled to fall back before the fierce assault. At the head of his men Lieut. Morris several times crossed swords with the pirate captain, but the swaying of the fight separated them. Perceiving that his men were slowly yielding, though in good order, Lieutenant Morris, cool and collected, cheered their courage, and at this moment thought of the long gun which had been drawn up, loaded to the muzzle with grape and canister, against the companion-way, and a man with a lighted match stationed by it.

“Fall back to the quarter-deck,” cried the young officer.

They retreated in close array, and uncovered the mouth of the huge gun. At the sight of this a cry of dismay broke from the foremost of the pirates, who broke the front rank, and many of them escaped for the time by leaping into the sea.

“Fire,” cried Lieut. Morris. In a moment he was obeyed. Wild cries of agony arose amid the gathering smoke, which, as it rolled away, revealed a horrible sight. Not a living pirate stood upon the deck of the privateer. A dense mass of bodies, writhing in pain, lay upon the fore-deck, and many of the pirates who had jumped into the sea were seen scrambling up the sides of their own vessel; the pirate chief lay dead at the head of his followers, foremost in death, as he had been in life. It was a terrible and revolting scene—the scuppers literally ran with blood, the bulwarks were bespattered with brains and pieces of scalps; several limbs were strewn about, and the entire deck covered with the dead or dying.

While the crew of the Raker stood for a time awe-struck at the desolation they had themselves made, the pirates, ferocious to the last, had regained their own ship and cut her adrift, and as they paid off fired a broadside into the Raker, which injured several of her men. Roused by this, the privateersmen rushed to their guns. The larboard guns, in obedience to the order of Captain Greene, were already loaded with grape; while with the starboard Morris commanded his men to keep up a steady fire at the masts and rigging.

A fortunate shot from the Raker struck the helms-man on board the pirate, shattering at the same time the tiller. In a moment the brig was up in the wind, and taken aback, throwing the pirates into confusion.

“Ready about,” cried Morris, leaping from the carronade-slide on which he had raised himself, and taking in at a glance the exposed position of the enemy—“head her round, and stand ready to give the rascals a taste from our larboard quarter.”

The Raker ranged across the bows of the pirate, and before he could regain his headway, raked him with a tremendous broadside of the same deadly missiles which had already destroyed so many of their comrades. The wild cries of anguish which arose from the clouds of smoke told with what destructive effect the death-bolts had been hurled.

The pirate now paid off and returned an ineffectual broadside, but rendered ungovernable by the loss of her head-sails and tiller, he immediately broached-to again, and the privateer poured in another terrible discharge of grape and canister, raking him fore and aft, then heaving-to and taking up a position on his bow, she fired broadside after broadside into him in rapid and deadly succession. The main-mast now fell over the side, and the pirate at the same time fell off before the wind, and drew out of the deep mantle of smoke which had for some time covered both vessels. As the smoke slowly curled up from the deep it was seen that not a living man was visible upon the deck of the pirate. Several of her guns were dismounted, and her masts so cut away that she lay upon the waters a helpless and disabled wreck. Yet the red ensign of death, though rent into ribbons, still fluttered from the peak, and the young lieutenant hesitated to board, having learned caution from the treachery of the pirate.

While the crew of the Raker were thus occupied in watching their enemy, a light female form was seen to issue from the hatchway and gaze around the deck of the pirate. She passed from body to body, but seemed not to find what she sought. At length she turned her eyes, streaming with tears, toward the Raker, and pointing to the flag above her, as if to indicate that there was no one to lower it, she knelt upon the deck, bowing her head upon her hands. Her long hair fell over her forehead and trailed upon the blood-stained deck, as she knelt in mute despair among the dying and the dead. It was a mournful and singular picture of wo, and there were eyes long unused to tears that filled to overflowing as they gazed upon her.

A boat was immediately lowered, and Lieutenant Morris with a dozen of his crew were soon in possession of the pirate’s deck. Upon examining the brig it was found that she was fast filling with water, and after conveying to the Raker all that they could lay hands on of value, including a large amount of precious metal, she was left to her fate. Not one of her crew was found living, so destructive had been the continual discharge of grape from the Raker. Florette accompanied them on board, and wept bitterly as she saw the dead body of the pirate commander lying in front of his slaughtered followers, but suffered herself to be led below by Julia, who received her with kindness and gratitude.

All sail was now set upon the privateer, and she bore away from the sinking craft of the pirate upon her former course. The latter vessel, traversed in every direction by the Raker’s terrible fire, was rapidly settling into the ocean. Suddenly, with a sound like the gushing of an immense water-spout, a huge chasm opened in the waves—the doomed brig seemed struggling as if with conscious life, and then lashing the waters with her shattered spars and broken masts, went down forever beneath the deep waters, over whose bosom she had so long rode as a scourge and a terror, with blood and desolation following in her wake.

Among the effects of the pirate captain which had been conveyed on board the Raker, a manuscript was found, which seemed to be an autobiography of his life. For what purpose he had written it can never be known—most probably from an impulsive desire to give vent on paper to thoughts and feelings which he could not breathe to any living person, and which he doubtless supposed would never be perused by human eye—they show that, savage, and lawless, and blood-thirsty as he had become, strong and terrible motives had driven him into his unnatural pursuit, and perchance a tear of pity may fall for him, as the gentle reader peruses the private records of the scourge of the ocean.



The Pirate’s Story.

I am the youngest son of a gentleman of the northern part of England. My father’s family is as good as any in the county, for without laying claim to any title of nobility, our blood is as pure and our lineage as ancient as the most boasted in England. I had but one brother, who succeeded at our father’s death to the broad lands and rich heritage of our name. The accursed law of primogeniture, to which I owe all the evil that has befallen me, of course debarred me from all share in the family estate. I had refused to enter the army, the church or the navy, though my inclinations were in favor of the latter profession; yet a stronger claim than ambition or a roving life kept me on the paternal estate. It was not that I envied my brother the possession of the wide bounds over which he ruled, or that I found less happiness in witnessing his, for I loved my brother, as God is my witness, here, in my lonely cabin, with this great sea around me, and this broad sky above me; here, though no eye may ever see these lines, I write, do I repeat it, I loved my brother dearly and proudly. It was love that kept me idle at home while other young men of England, belonging to the same position in society as myself, and in the same unfortunate category of younger sons, were carving out for themselves fame and wealth in the service of their country.

Helen Burnett was the loveliest girl I have ever seen, and I loved her with all the passionate devotedness of a young and ardent heart; she was to me the light of life, for all was dark when I was not with her. She was the only daughter of our village curate, and resided near our family mansion. We had sported together beneath the venerable trees of the park from the earliest days of childhood. Until I left home for college she had seemed to me as a sister, and I had loved her as such until, on returning home from a long absence at college, I found a blushing and beautiful young woman where I had expected, forgetting the rapid work of time, to meet with the same playful and lovely child I had kissed at parting. She was, indeed, beautiful; tall, graceful, and even commanding in figure, while the mildness of an angel reposed in the glance of her deep-blue eyes, and the sweet smile that so often visited her lips, while her pleasantly modulated voice was music itself.

          “A lyre of widest range,

    Touched by all passion—did fall down and glance

    From tone to tone, and glided through all change of liveliest


Her hair was of the darkest shade of brown, resting in soft wave-like smoothness above her high, pale forehead. Alas! that she was so lovely! had she been less so, either I might not have loved her, or I might have been permitted by fortune to have been happy with her.

After leaving college, my time was all devoted to Helen. She loved me no less than I loved her; and I looked forward to a quiet and happy life, picturing the future with colorings of the brightest hope and joyfulness.

It was at this time that my brother returned from a long tour of the Continent. He was one of the handsomest men of the day, and had been distinguished by the appellation which had accompanied him from court to court, of “the handsome Englishman.” He was of a medium stature, and faultlessly proportioned; his expansive and intellectual forehead seemed the seat of lofty thought, and his dark flashing eye, intensely expressive, seemed to penetrate to the heart of all who met its glance. I see him now—not in his glorious beauty, but pale—pale, touched by the cold fingers of death.

I had too much of the pride of my race to live as a dependent on my brother’s bounty, yet I could not bear the thought of leaving Helen. I was in no situation to marry, and in an undecided state of mind I suffered the days to glide away.

My brother had just come back from a day’s angling in the trout-stream that flowed through his lands. He met me at the park-gate.

“Well, John,” said I, “what luck to-day?”

“O, William,” said he, without heeding my question, “I have seen the most charming girl—the loveliest one that breathes. She outvies all I have seen in my travels; do you know her. She is the curate’s daughter.”

I felt a sickness at heart, like the bitterness of death—was it a presentiment, a warning of evil to come?

“Say, William?”

“Yes—yes, she is lovely.”

“She is an angel.”

Sir John passed into the park, and I proceeded, with a strange melancholy I could not dispel, to meet Helen. She was at her father’s door, and greeted me with her accustomed kindness of voice and manner.

“Why are you so sad this lovely evening William?”

“Sad!—am I sad?”

“You look so.”

“Well, I will be so no longer, then;” and I endeavored to shake off my depression, but not succeeding, I bade her farewell at an earlier hour than was my custom.

From that day my brother’s angling excursions became more frequent—but he seldom returned with a full basket. He often spoke to me of Helen, but I always replied carelessly, and changed the topic of conversation to something else, yet when alone, I was in continual torment from my thoughts. I endeavored to console myself with the reflection that Helen’s love was plighted to me, and that she would not change, yet my thoughts were continually recurring to my brother’s great advantages over me in every respect, not only in fortune but in personal appearance; and I had already, in my suspicions, placed him in the light of a rival for the hand of Helen. I knew his high-minded and honorable disposition too well to fancy for a moment that he would attempt her ruin; and I also knew that there was nothing in the inferior station of Helen’s family that would prevent him from seeking her hand in marriage, if she had compelled his love.

All that followed might perhaps have been prevented had I at first told my brother frankly of my love for Helen; but a foolish desire to prove her love for me, and a certain feeling of self-respect kept me silent.

It was not a long time before I either saw, or fancied I saw, a change in the manner of Helen toward me—the thought was torture. I was for days undecided how to act, but at length determined to learn the true state of things. I knew my brother was often at the parsonage, and I trembled for the result.

“Helen,” I asked her, “is not my brother a frequent visiter here?”

It was twilight, but I thought I observed a heightened color in her cheek.

“Yes, he has been here several times since his return.”

“Dear Helen, answer me frankly, has he ever spoken to you of love?”

She hesitated, but at length replied,

“He has.”

“And did you not tell him your vows were plighted to another?”

“My father entered the room before I made any reply at all.”

“Helen, do you love me now the same as ever you have done?”

“You have my plighted word, William.” Yet there was something bordering on coldness even in the sweet accents with which she spoke; the nice instinct of love detects each gradation of feeling with an unerring certainty. I was not satisfied, and when I left her, I was more unhappy than ever. I longed to speak to my brother on the subject, yet some indescribable feeling prevented me; and I allowed the days to glide away, growing more and more troubled in mind as they passed by.

I was now convinced that Helen’s affection for me was not what it had been; and after a short interview with her, in which she had again repeated her love for me, but in such chilling tones that I felt it was not from the heart she spoke, I sought the chamber of my brother in a state almost bordering on madness. All of our race have been of ungovernable passions, but none more so than myself. I paused at his door to regain in some degree my self-command, then lifting the latch, I entered.

“Ah, brother!” said Sir John, in a cheerful tone.

“Yes, your younger brother,” replied I, bitterly.

Sir John started with wonder.

“Why, William, what mean you?”

I paid no heed to the interruption, but continued growing, if possible, still more enraged as I proceeded.

“Are not all the broad lands of our family estate yours—its parks, its meadows, its streams; this venerable mansion, where the elder son has rioted for so many generations, leaving the younger to make his way in the world as best he may.”

“Brother, are you mad? My purse is yours—I have nothing that is not yours.”

“You have every thing, and not content with that, you have sought to win away the love of my affianced bride.”

“Who mean you, William?”

“Helen Burnett.”

My brother turned pale, and gazing upon me for a moment with astonishment, he heaved a deep sigh, and covered his face with his hands.

I folded my arms, and stood looking upon him scornfully, for my passion had made me consider him in the light of one who had knowingly stolen away my bride.

Sir John at length uncovered his face and spoke.

“I would to God, William, you had told me this sooner.”

“Is it then too late?” I inquired, bitterly.

“Too late—too late for my happiness, but not too late for justice and honor. She is yours, William, I resign all pretensions to her hand, and will cease to visit the parsonage.”

I was touched by the generous spirit of my brother, and by the mournful shadow which clouded his noble brow. I have ever acted from impulse, and seizing him by the hand, I said,

“Not so, John—not so! She is, as I have told you, my affianced bride; her solemn and oft-repeated vows are mine, and I have thought that her love was forever mine; but this very night I plainly perceived that a change has been wrought in her feelings. She treated me with coldness instead of warmth, and maddened by my interview with her, I rushed into your presence, and have blamed you unjustly.”

“My dear brother—”

“No, no, John, I was wrong to accuse you. I should have better known your nobleness. Henceforth let us stand on equal ground; I do not want an unwilling bride, and if you can win her love from me, take her, though it drive me mad.”

A gleam of pleasure passed over Sir John’s countenance as he replied,

“Be it so, my brother, it is but honorable; yet will I at once resign all hope, and leave the country if you but will it so.”

“Sir John, have you reason to think that Helen loves you?”

“She has never said so, but I did not think she looked coldly upon me.”

“She is ‘false, false as hell!’”

“My dear William, however this suite terminate, any thing in my power shall be done for you. If the estates were not entailed, I would at once give you a deed for half of them, and then I should have no advantage over you in wealth or position. Here is an order for a hundred thousand pounds.”

“Sir John I will accept nothing; if I lose Helen, I shall have no more to live for, and I warn you, if I become mad from disappointment, do not cross my path, or I know not the consequence.”

“You do not threaten me.”

I felt the turbulent passions of my nature rising within me, and fearing that I should lose all self-command, I rushed from the room, and entering the silent park, I wandered from grove to grove till the cool air of the night had calmed my raging spirit, when I sought my own chamber.

I had never told the worthy curate of my love for his daughter, and Helen had never been accustomed to depend on him for advice or consolation. It was to her mother that she had always turned for both, and that mother had died but a year before the return of my brother. Mr. Burnett was a quiet student, passionately fond of his books, as innocent of the world as a child, only fretful and peevish when any thing occurred to disturb the quiet monotony of his existence, and apparently unconscious that his little Helen had grown from a child to a woman. His mind was wholly wrapped up in his studies, even at his meals it was abstracted, and he retired hastily to his closet. Helen had no inclination to disturb the serenity of his life, until it became absolutely necessary that he should be made acquainted with her engagement to me; and I had been too thoughtless of all but my own happiness to intrude upon his privacy, confident that his sanction to our marriage would not be refused whenever demanded.

I had yet to learn the lesson, bitter and agonizing, that no woman is proof against the captivating temptations of ambition, and the glare of wealth. I know but little of the sex; they are called angels, and I had thought Helen was an angel—alas! I found my mistake. I read my doom in the averted coldness of her glance; I felt it in the unwilling pressure of her hand whenever we met, and I knew it when I gazed upon the countenance of my brother, on which was a quiet glow of happiness his expressive features could not conceal, even when he knew my searching glance was upon him. O! the agony of feeling which oppressed me in those bitter days; I felt all the savage passions of my nature rising within me; there were moments when I felt as if I could gladly see my brother and Helen stretched dead at my feet. Day by day these vindictive thoughts increased within me. It wanted but the finishing stroke to make me completely mad—it came. Though I had long dreaded to make the trial, on which all my happiness for this world rested, I at length determined to put it off no longer.

The shadows of twilight were settling over the earth as I slowly and sadly approached the parsonage. My head was bowed upon my breast as I walked with a noiseless step upon the little path that led to the unpretending dwelling. I was not aware how near I had come, till a ray of light from the window fell across the path, and recalled me to myself. As I stopped, I heard the tones of my brother’s voice in low and earnest conversation. I drew nearer, and beheld a sight which rooted me to the spot, even though I was not wholly unprepared for such a scene.

My brother and Helen were seated in the little arbor before the parsonage, as she and myself had often before sat when I fancied our love was lasting as life. In the dim light I could see that my brother’s arm was round her waist, and that her head rested upon his shoulder. I could hear their conversation.

“And you do love me, then, Helen?”

I heard no answer, but the long curls moved slightly upon my brother’s shoulder, and as he bent his head and kissed her, I felt that he was answered—I was answered—that he was loved.

My brain burned as if on fire—and I sunk to the earth with a low groan. How long I remained unconscious I do not know; when I recovered, Helen and Sir John stood beside me. I sprung to my feet, and gazed upon them with the glare of a maniac. It was so—my brain was crazed.

“William,” said Helen.

Her soft voice fell upon my ears with a singular cadence. With a fierce laugh I struck my brother to the earth, and rushed forth into the forest. All that night I must have wandered through its depths. I found myself at the break of day miles from our mansion, lying beneath an aged oak. I did not seem to know myself. I cannot now describe the feelings and thoughts which raged within me. The wild storm which is now lashing the ocean without my cabin is not more wild and fierce—the black sky above me is not more dark and gloomy. They seemed at length to settle into one stern, unchanging emotion, and that was hatred toward my brother, and a stern determination to revenge upon him the cruel wrong which had driven me mad.

My path led along the course of a mountain torrent, whose sudden descent as it hurried toward the river, formed successive water-falls not unmusical in their cadence. A few purple beech and drooping willows with here and there a mountain ash, skirted the ravine that formed its bed; their leaves had fallen before the blasts of autumn, they seemed emblematic of myself; like me their glory had departed—they were shorn of their loveliness by the rough storm, left bare and verdureless in the chilling breath of autumn; the seasons in their round would restore to them their beauty and their bloom, clothing their branches again in all the freshness of youth; but what should give back to me the freshness and youth of the heart? what restore the desolation of the soul?

Weak and exhausted, I flung myself down in a rude grotto, which commanded a view of the foaming stream as it washed the rocks below; it was a scene fitted to my mood, for I turned in disgust from the beautiful landscape an opening in the forest revealed—the beauty of earth had forever passed away from me. That same opening, however, unfolded to the sight the gray towers of my family mansion, and at once I started to my feet and bent my course toward them.

At length I reached my home—how hateful every thing about the venerable building seemed. I stole to my chamber, and falling upon my couch, slept from pure exhaustion.

It was night when I awoke. I arose, but did not leave my room; seated by the window with the cold wind of November blowing upon my burning brow, I nursed my thoughts of vengeance. I forgot that he against whom I harbored such thoughts was my only brother; I forgot my self-offered trial of our powers with Helen; I forgot every thing—every thing but the fiery feeling of revenge. Yes, I was mad.

Day after day I wandered around the old castle, shunning every one. My brother strove to converse with me, but glaring upon him like a maniac as I was, I rushed past him. I felt the poison of hatred working within me, and I knew the time was coming when my revengeful spirit would find its vent.

I often wandered toward the parsonage, but never sought an interview with Helen. At times I caught a glimpse of her light form as it passed by a window or before the open door that led into the hall. One evening I saw my brother enter, and drawing near the window, I saw through the slightly-parted curtain, such evidence of their mutual affection, that, if possible, I became more than ever crazy in my anguish and despair. I waited for him to come out long hours, hours to me of bitterest sorrow, to him of most intense delight. It was an exceedingly cold night. A slight snow had fallen during the day, and the landscape around me glistening in the moonlight, seemed wrapped in a robe of the purest white. Yet as I gazed all seemed to turn into the deep hue of blood—wherever I gazed, every thing presented the same fearful coloring. It was but the shadowy reflection of a coming deed that should forever stain my soul with a deeper red, that the years of eternity could never efface.

At length my brother opened the door of the parsonage and came forth. Leaning against the trunk of an old tree but a little distance from them, I saw and heard the parting acts of endearment. At that terrible moment the determination of my soul was made, and I heard the dark devil within me whisper one of you must die. I shuddered at the thought, but when scarcely out of sight of the parsonage, almost as soon as the door had closed upon the form of Helen, I confronted my brother. Sir John started back, surprised.

“What, William, is it you?”

I laughed scornfully.

“My poor brother!”

“Do you dare to pity me—ha! ha! ha! Sir John! one of us must die this night—here, upon this spot; here are two pistols, take one of them, and it will be soon seen which is the fated one.”

Sir John mechanically took the pistol; cocking my own, I retired a few paces, and turning, exclaimed,

“Are you ready?”

My words recalled him to himself; flinging his pistol far into the wood, he exclaimed,

“I will not fire at my brother.”


“The name belongs not to our race; fire at me if you will, I will not at you.”

Enraged beyond expression, yet even in my madness ashamed to fire at an unarmed man, I hesitated.

My brother spoke.

“Come, William, let us go home.”

“Home!—ha! ha! ha! my home is the wood and the cave! Here, take my good-night.”

Thus speaking I flung my pistol full at his face with all my strength; it struck him lengthwise, and being cocked, went off in consequence of the concussion.

Sir John fell upon the cold snow. I rushed up to him, and beheld the blood flowing in torrents from a ghastly wound; the ball had taken a downward direction, and penetrated the abdomen.

“William,” he said, faintly, “you have murdered me. God forgive you!”

It seemed as if my reason came back to me at that terrible moment as suddenly as it had left me. At the report of my pistol, I had heard a loud scream in the parsonage, and almost at the same time with myself Helen rushed up to the side of my brother.

“Oh!” she cried, in accents of agony, “who has done this?”

“Who!” said I, bitterly, “do you ask? You have done it; but no, Helen, I do not mean it—let us carry him into the parsonage.”

With difficulty we lifted the body of my brother, and bearing him into the house, laid him upon a bed. Helen, who had up to this time been sustained by the necessity of exertion, fainted beside the body. I stood gazing upon them in stupid despair. The worthy pastor opened the door of the room; he had heard an unusual noise, and left his books to learn the cause.

I stopped not to converse with him, I could not trust myself to speak, but stooping to the lifeless form of Helen, I imprinted a last kiss upon her pale lips, and burst from the chamber. I do not know the result of that fatal night. It may be that my brother and Helen were both restored to life and happiness. God grant that it was so. It may be that the spirits of both had already passed to another world when I broke from the room, leaving the pale and astonished pastor gazing upon the lifeless bodies of his only daughter and the young lord of the manor. Years have passed since then, and not a happy hour have their long ages borne to me; yet methinks if I could but know that my brother and Helen are living in happiness in the mansion of my fathers, much that is dark and despairing in the remnant of life would be taken from the future.

That night I bade farewell to the haunts of boyhood, and the next day I was out upon the broad ocean. I had jumped aboard of a little vessel which was just weighing anchor, without asking its destination or caring where it bore me. I made brief reply to all interrogatories, merely showing a purse of gold, which was sufficient answer, inasmuch as it showed I was not to be an unprofitable part of the cargo.

Seated upon the companion-way, that evening I watched the receding shores of my native isle, and as the sunlight went out on its white cliffs, leaving them in sombre shade, I felt that so had the light of my life gone out, leaving the darkness of despair forever. Reckless as I was of the future, and dark as was the past, I was not yet dead to all emotion, and I could not witness my native land fading from my view without experiencing those melancholy feelings which the endearing recollections of former years excite, embittered as they were with me by the thought that even if I ever should return to the home of my fathers, I should find no kindred to welcome me back. No wonder, then, that I felt a chilling sickness of the heart as I caught a last glimpse of the Wicklow Mountains gleaming in the warm colorings of the evening sun, as they mingled their hoary summits with the “dewy skies” of my native isle.

The vessel on which I had chanced to take passage was bound for the West Indies. It was a small merchantman, and fell an easy prey to the first pirate that gave chase. We were boarded and all consigned to death. When the command was given to the pirates to shoot us all through the head, I stepped forward with a smile, and a heart partaking more of gladness than it had felt for long months, a pistol was at my temple, when the stern voice of the pirate captain commanded his man to stay his hand. He stepped forward and gazed into my face.

“My fine fellow, are you not afraid to die?”

“I have nothing to live for—blow away, and I will thank you.”

“By heaven, you are just the man for us! Now take your choice, I have no objection to shoot you, indeed it would be rather pleasant than otherwise, but one of my lieutenants was killed yesterday, and you can fill his place if you will. I give you five minutes to decide while we are dispatching these dogs.” I gazed upon the cruel work—it did not shock me; I even smiled at their agony, and had determined to share their fate, when a momentary thought of the unknown, mysterious hereafter restrained my advancing step. Am I ready, thought I, to plunge into its mysteries. I shuddered at the thought. It was not the beautiful blue sky unrolled above me, nor the broad, playful sea around that wooed me to life. No, it was that fear of the “something after death.”

“Are you ready to answer?”

“I am thine.”

“It is well, throw these carcasses into the sea, and set all sail for the Bermudas. Well, lieutenant,” continued he, as the ship fell off before the wind, “give us your name, or it will be awkward work hailing you.”

“William—” I stopped, the pride of my race arose within me.


“I will not give my name—call me William, I’ll answer to that.”

“Very well—lieutenant William, my lads, your second lieutenant.”

The men seemed to like me from the first, and as I gazed upon them with a proud, fearless eye, a hearty cheer arose that endorsed my command.

Since then my home has been the pirate’s deck; my heart has grown harder and harder with the lapse of time. I love the sight of blood better than I love the flowing wine—the agonizing shriek of death better than the sweetest music—like an emissary of evil I gloat over the tortures of man. I have learned to hate the land of my birth, and all who first drew breath upon her detested soil. I have been foremost in every conflict, yet have I not met death—the only foe whom I cannot conquer by my fierce will and dark heart.

I could not long remain a subordinate in command. I had become the idol of our lawless crew, and a single blow from my sword laid our captain low in death upon his own deck; and I filled his place, smiling with a fiendish pleasure, as I saw his body thrown into the waves, and the hungry sharks severing the limbs yet throbbing with life. I have no feeling for my kind—yet I was not meant for this. Under happier auspices, I might have been a leader in the ranks of God as I am now in those of Satan; my sword might have been drawn for my native land with the purest and loftiest feelings of patriotism, instead of being turned against her and her children. Even now, in the midst of my crimes and desolation, my heart throbs when I think of the great and good of earth, and I feel that, like them, I might have left a name of boast and pride to mankind; now, I shall perish, unknown and unwept; the annals of my house shall never record that one of its scions led a pirate crew to deeds of bloody cruelty and death. Long since I have buried my name in oblivion—I am dead to my kindred, dead to the world; the caves of ocean are yawning for the body of the pirate-chief, and there will he sleep with the howling ocean and the shrieking storm to sing his requiem and his dirge.

[To be continued.


    Yes, there were pleasant voices yesternight,

      Humming within mine ear a tale of truth,

    Reminding me of days ere the sad blight

      Of care had dimmed the brightness of my youth:

      Yes, they were pleasant voices; but, forsooth,

    They threw a kind of melancholy charm

      Around my heart; as if in vengeful ruth,

    Our very dreams have knowledge of the harm

    Ourselves do to ourselves, without the least alarm!


    I love such dreams, for at my couch there stood

      One who, in other lands, with magic spell,

    Had taught my untaught heart to love the good,

      The pure, the holy, which in her did dwell.

      It was a lovely image, and too well

    I do remember me the fatal hour,

      When that bright image—but I may not tell

    How deep the thraldom, absolute the power—

    My very dreams decide it was her only dower.


    What are our dreams? A sort of fancy sketches,

      Limned on the mind’s retina, with a grace

    More subtle than the wakeful artist catches,

      And tinted with a more ethereal trace.

     Our dreams annihilate both time and space,

    And waft us, with magnetic swiftness, back

      O’er an oblivious decade to the place

    Where youth’s fond visions clustered o’er our track;

    Of youth’s fond hopes decayed, alas! there is no lack!


    I love such dreams, for they are more than real;

      They have a passion in them in whose birth

    The heart receives again its beau ideal—

      Its Platonized embodiment of worth.

      Call ye them dreams! then what a mortal dearth

    Throws its gaunt shadow o’er our little life!

      Our very joy is mockery of mirth,

    And our quiescence agony of strife:

    If dreams are naught but dreams, what is our real life?

Sandwich Islands.

E. O. H.






It was in the joyous leaf-giving, life-giving month of June, of 18—, after an absence of six years, that I found myself once more among my own dearly loved native hills.

An intense worshiper of Nature, I had gratified to the utmost my passion and curiosity by exploring all the accessible regions of the old world. I had studied every scene that was in any way famous, or infamous I might say with regard to some, if the necessity of clambering down or up unclimbable precipices, or wading through interminable swamps, could render them so.

With all the fatigue and hardships I had undergone my reward was great, and had more than repaid me for the perilous dangers I had courted and conquered. I had gazed, and dreamed, and raved by turns. I had been melted into tears of tenderness by the perfect harmony and loveliness of some scenes, and had been frozen into awe by the magnificent grandeur and terrible sublimity of others. And, after those six years of travel in foreign lands, I had returned, my brain one endless panorama of hills, valleys and cloud-capped mountains, earth, skies, wood and water. Not one of those gorgeous scenes, however, had moved me as I was moved when once again I beheld my boyhood’s home—the stately mansion of my fathers. Half hidden, it rose majestically amid the noble elms that surrounded it; there lay the velvet-green sloping lawn in front—down which, as a boy, I had rolled in the summer and sledded in the winter—there the wild, night-dark ravine in the rear—fit haunt for elves and gnomes—that terminated amid jagged rocks and tangled trees, in a rushing, roaring brook of no mean dimensions, almost as large as many of the so-called rivers of the mother country. Just at this point, at the turn of the old time-worn stage-road, where the venerable, picturesque old homestead of my sires burst thus suddenly into view, an opening in the trees, whether by accident or design, revealed one of the very merriest, maddest of musical water-falls, that went foaming and tumbling its snow-white, sparkling waters over a bed of huge rocks, and then, by a sudden wilful bend, that same loud-uttering brook was lost to view.

As the rattling stage neared my home, my heart leaped within me, and every fibre of it trembled with emotion. I could have hugged and kissed each familiar sturdy old tree, looking so grand and natural. My soul warmed and yearned toward the well remembered scene; and as I thought upon my fond, doting mother and my loving, lovely sisters, and my ever-indulgent father, I could have wept in the intensity of my joy at finding myself so near them, and breathing the same free, pure, health-giving air that had nurtured my childhood. But was there not sitting directly opposite to me one of the most exquisitely beautiful of God’s lovely women; and did not her saucy, demure eyes seem to read my very soul? I therefore restrained a display of my feelings, for it would not have appeared in the least dignified or proper in a fine-looking young man (such as I imagined myself to be) of four-and-twenty, to be seen with eyes streaming like a young girl.

More than once, during our short stage-coach ride had our eyes met; and hers had revealed to me a living well of spiritual beauty; and although they were withdrawn as soon as they encountered mine—not coquettishly, but with true feminine modesty—still they were not turned away until our mutual eyes had flashed one electrical spark of mutual understanding and mutual sympathy, that whole volumes of dull words could never express either as vividly or as truly. What a heaven-born mystery is contained in the glance of an eye: it can kill and can make alive; it can fill the heart with a sudden and delicious ecstasy, and it can plunge it into the deepest, darkest despair.

I gave her one last look as the stage stopped before my father’s door, and if it expressed one tithe of what I felt, it told her of my warm admiration of her glorious beauty, and of my sorrow at leaving her, perhaps forever, without knowing more of her.

For the time the matchless image of my stage-coach companion was lost in the loving embraces and tender greetings of my family. I felt it truly refreshing, after six years of exile from my own kith and kin, to be caressed and made much of; to be told by three deliciously beautiful, exquisitely graceful sisters, hanging around one, and kissing one every other word, to be told how much the few last years had improved one, how handsome, &c. one was grown; was it not enough to somewhat turn one’s brain, and make one a little vain and considerably happy.

In the still hush of the night, after finding myself once more in my own room—my room, with its cabinets of shells and mosses, that I had collected when a boy in my various trips to the seashore, all religiously left arranged as I had left them, its guns, fishing-rods, stuffed rabbits and birds, its preserved rattle-snakes and cases of insects, all of which had stood for so long a time in their respective places that they had become a part of the room—in the still hush of the night the divine image of my most beautiful stage-coach companion arose before me. The evening was warm and soft, and gleaming in the gorgeous moonlight lay that wild, weird ravine, and the ever downward, foaming water-fall. Its musical utterings, the delicious moonlight, and my own newly awakened and hitherto invulnerable heart, all conspired to make me poetical and inspired, or at least to imagine myself to be so; and pardon me if I gave utterance in verse to some of my feelings. But do not in the least imagine that you are going by any means to be presented with a fatiguing copy of my passionate numbers; in the first place I am very diffident, and in the next—but never mind the next, I will tell you in plain prose that I felt convinced in my heart, I felt a rapturous presentiment that the unutterably lovely being I had that day beheld would ere long be my own dear little wife, forever and forever. An indistinct dream of having somewhere, at some time before, known her haunted me and tormented me, but I racked my brains in vain to recollect the spot or time, and finally came to the conclusion that it had been in another state of existence we had met.

I had been home but a few days when business letters came, demanding the presence of my father or myself in Philadelphia. My father expressed a desire that I should go, and a certain internal prompting urged me to comply with his request. The next morning bright and early found me seated in the same stage-coach in which I had met her. The due progress of steamboat and cars deposited me safely the day after in the goodly city of Squareruledom.

The first leisure moment at my command, I paid my respects to the family of my father’s brother. I found my good uncle and aunt at home; but my little pet Emily—their only child—whom I had last seen a rosy romping little imp of twelve—was unfortunately out. My uncle urged me very hard to make his house my home during my stay in Philadelphia; but I had taken up my abode in the family of an old college chum of mine, who had lately commenced the practice of the art of healing, and who I knew would be none the worse from a little of my help in a pecuniary way. I therefore declined my kind uncle’s request, with a promise to come and see them often.

Judge of my inexpressible joy when, turning a corner of a street, after leaving my uncle’s, who should I chance upon but the very being of whom my brain and heart were full! Yes, there was the identical she, and bless her dear little heart! she gave me a bright half smile of recognition, which I returned with as profound a bow as ever courtier bowed to queen, or devotee to Pope’s sublime imperial toe.

An omnibus came rolling by, which she, with a motion of her neat little gloved hand, bid stop. She stepped lightly into it, while I, with my usual impetuosity, without knowing exactly what I was doing, sprang after her. I consoled myself for my apparent rudeness by throwing the entire blame upon the elective affinities.

On we went, and from time to time as I stole a glance at her sweet face, I thought I detected a sly, mischievous little devil playing around the corners of her small dimpled mouth, and about the pure lids of her downcast long-fringed eyes. She never vouchsafed me a look, however; and as we went on, and as I still watched her lovely face, a dread vision arose up before me of a six-foot and well proportioned youth, with fierce whiskers and a moustache of undisputable cut and style, that I remembered to have seen with the young lady during our stage-coach ride together—that I remembered, with a terrible heart-sinking, was impressively attentive to her. I inwardly resolved to let nature have her way, and let all the hair grow on my face that would; what if it did grow a little reddish or so—why I should resemble the rising sun, with my glory like a halo around me. Seriously, I have long been of the opinion that a shaved face is as much of a disgrace, and ought to be so considered, as a shaved head fresh from prison. Why do we not finish the half completed work and actually shave off the hair of our heads, our eye-brows and lashes, as well as our beards, and thus go cool and comfortable through the world? There would be this advantage in it, the disciples of Spurzheim would have no trouble of making a map of our bumps at sight; and then think what an immense saving it would be in combs and brushes, to say nothing of pomatum, which some so freely use. I rejoice sincerely to see the sudden rise in crops of hair, and most truly hope they will not have as rapid a fall. Shaving is artificial and injurious, exposing parts to cold that Nature never meant should be exposed. Black, white or red—hair is a protection and ornament that no manly face or head should be without. Rejoice ye, therefore, over every repentant sinner who tarrieth in Jericho and letteth his beard to grow.

But to return to my little omnibus companion, who by this time was gracefully moving over the smooth gravel-walks of Fairmount—for there we had stopped—and exceedingly refreshing were its cool shades and splashing fountains on that sultry June day. I kept as near her as I could without appearing rude, especially as I had received one or two half glances from her bright eyes, that nearly annihilated me, such an unearthly fluttering and bumping in the region of my heart did they create. Mercy upon me! what would a whole glance do? And for a whole glance I courageously resolved to strive, let the consequences be what they might.

Now do you not expect an earthquake, or a roaring bull, or at least a rabid dog? It was nothing more however than a refreshing shower of rain—truly refreshing to my thirsty soul, for it gave me that coveted whole glance. Heavens! I actually staggered, and would undoubtedly have fallen had it not been for a friendly sappling—you will sneer at witless I—that grew near me. But just try the effect upon yourself—a shock of electricity is nothing in comparison to a shock from a pair of bright eyes—such eyes as hers. The truth of the case was here, of a sudden, apparently from out the clear sky, came down, with not a moment’s warning, a perfect avalanche of rain-drops—all expressly got up, or down, for my benefit, else why did I happen to have an umbrella in my hand? “A Wise man—” you remember the rest. My beautiful incognito was away up those long stairs, and walking leisurely around the immense basin, when the rain came down. I was not very far from her, and in less than an instant my umbrella was over her pretty little blue bonnet, with—

“Be kind enough to accept my umbrella, Miss”—in the most insinuating manner of which I was master.

“Thank you! but I will not deprive you of its shelter,” with that whole glance of which I spoke. So on we went together, and somehow after we found ourselves under shelter, it was the easiest and most natural thing in the world to fall into a pleasant conversation. After talking about the scenery, weather, &c., we had mutually enjoyed during our short stage ride, I spoke of the beauty around us, and asked her if she often visited this lovely spot.

“Not very often,” replied she. “It is very beautiful though, in spite of all they have done to spoil it.”

“To spoil it!”

“Yes, by making it as much like a chess-board as possible, all straight lines and stiffness. That is Philadelphia however.”

“Then you are not a Philadelphian, or it is not a favorite city with you?”

“There you are mistaken. It is my native place, and a city I love dearly—with all its formalities and inhospitalities toward strangers. Philadelphia is a prim matron, with a warm heart but a most frigid, repulsive exterior, until you become acquainted with her—one of her particular children.”

“I have been told that there is a finer collection of works of art here than in any other city in the Union.”

“I believe you have been told correctly. We have more time in our quiet way to look after and admire the productions of the great masters. Our taste has wonderfully improved within a few years.”

“I have not been in town long enough to visit any of your show places yet.”

“How I should like to see that lovely water-fall and the whole of that beautiful scene on canvas. Do you know I almost envied you a home in that beautiful house with all its picturesque surroundings.”

“I am truly thankful you had the kind grace to think of me at all.”

“How could I help it? I had a feeling the first moment I saw you that you and I were destined to be friends. Is there not a certain mysterious something—call it magnetism or instinct—that either draws us toward or repels us from every person we meet in either a greater or less degree? With me this instinct is very strong, and I obey it implicitly, never in one instance having found it to fail. I know at once who to trust and who to love. And would know, by the same unerring law of my nature, who to hate if ever I felt the least inclination to hate. The only feeling of hate I ever experienced is a strong desire to avoid all persons or things that are disagreeable to me. I love harmony the most perfect, and discord is a thing for me to flee from. I felt toward you a most decided drawing, and I felt a conviction then, as I do now, that we are to be very near and dear friends.”

The little angel! I could have hugged and kissed her on the spot; but I hugged her in my soul, and inwardly vowed to consecrate my life to her, if the “drawing” she felt for me could be rendered sufficiently strong to admit of such a thing. On a sudden I bethought me of the whiskered incognito, her stage attendant. I mustered courage to ask her in a half laughing way, if that fine-looking fellow she had called Charles were her brother.

Instantly her manner changed from that of sweet and almost tender seriousness to an arch, quizzical one that puzzled me.

“Oh no, not my brother,” said she.

Not her brother—a sharp pang of pain shot through me—I was getting dreadfully jealous—I looked all manner of curiosity and all manner of questions; she took pity on me and said—a smile still lurking in the corner of her eye—

“He is no more nor less than the intended future husband of the one you see before you.”

“The future devil! I sincerely beg your pardon, but—you take me by surprise—I regret—but really I do not feel that it can be so.”

“And why not?”

“Truly, why not!”

“He is very handsome.”

“That is as one thinks.”

“And very accomplished.”

“In flattery, most like.”

“And a most profound scholar.”

“In the art of making love, it would seem.”

“But I do not love him.”

“Not love him!”

“No, nor never can.”

“Then why, my dearest young lady, do you marry him?”

“You may well ask; why indeed?”

“You seemed very friendly with him the day I saw you together, and happier than I could have wished you.”

“That was before I knew I was to be his wife. It has only been decided upon a few days.”

“And now?”

“It is a long story, that I may tell you if we should meet again. I never can love him, though I greatly esteem him, and—”


“A sad substitute for love; but what is love without esteem?”

“What is esteem without love?”

“Very true. It was not my own doing, although I reluctantly gave my consent. If I can with honor release myself from this unfortunate engagement—I have thought more and more every day since, that love, true heart-love, is the only tie that should sanction the union of two beings—but why should I talk in this way to you, a stranger? I cannot feel, however that you are a stranger; we have surely met before in some other state of being. I am a firm believer in the beautiful faith of the transmigration of souls—of pre-existence. What is it that brings two congenial souls together, uniting them in one hour in more perfect harmony than whole years could effect among ordinary acquaintances?”

“Something unexplainable,” I answered, “as it is mysterious. We can call it elective affinity, and can talk very learnedly upon the singular attraction of the magnet, as applied to the poles as well as souls, and we can make vast and wise experiments, and in the end be as far from the real cause as we were before the Solomonic experiments were made. The school-boy’s reasoning was more to the point—

    “I do not like you, Dr. Fell,

     The reason why I cannot tell.”

“I love you dearly, Dr. Fell, the reason why, &c., would be just as conclusive. We are so accustomed to seeing drops of water drawing near to meet each other, and mingling in a loving embrace of perfect unity, that we cease to wonder at the occurrence, as we do also at the fact that oil and water will not mingle.”

“Just as my soul will not mingle with the souls of some. There is an antagonism more or less decided between my inner self and many persons I know; people, too, that I am compelled to be friendly with, and wish to be friendly with, many of them my cousins and aunts. Then again toward some am I as irresistibly attracted.”

Her beautiful eyes sought mine frequently during our conversation, and her glorious soul looked through them—earnest, simple and pure.

“Just so,” resumed she, after a pause, during which her sweet, soft eyes had been gazing on the dreamy waters. “Just so have I felt attracted toward you. I could sit down beside you and tell my whole soul to you as freely as though you were my own brother.”

The word brother sent a disagreeable shiver through me that all her sweet confidence could not banish.

“But,” exclaimed she, starting up, “what am I doing? The rain has stopped, and the waning sun warns me that it is time to be at home. And what must you think of me? I hardly dare to ask the—”

“That you are the most lovely, most glorious of all Heaven’s glorious creatures; that you—”

“There, there! if you talk in that way, I shall truly repent having said all I have to you.”

“Forgive me; though I spoke sincerely, I hope—”

“I will forgive on condition of good behavior in future. But I must not stay for another word. Promise me that you will not leave this spot until ten minutes after the omnibus I shall be in is out of sight.”

“I promise,” said I, reluctantly.

She gave me her little, soft, ungloved hand at parting; its gentle pressure sent a thrill of ecstasy through me, and I looked all the unutterable things that my full soul felt into her warm brown eyes. And, by the way, I may as well say that my own eyes are—they are a dark, deep blue, and strangely expressive, if I believe my sisters and my friends, and—my own glass.

For one week did I wander up and down the streets, and watch every omnibus, and stare into the windows and doors of every house I passed. I peered under every pretty bonnet I met, and was, on the eighth day, giving full chase to a coquettish little blue one, in the earnest hope of finding the sweet face of my beautiful incognita hidden under it, when some one laid a strong grasp on my shoulder, and looking around, I beheld the generous face of my good uncle.

“Bless the boy! why, Led, what is your hurry? Your business must have been very urgent this last week. Why, in the name of all the saints, have you kept away so studiously? There is poor little Emily actually dying with anxiety to see you. Bless my soul! is this the way to treat your friends? But now that I have fairly captured you, I do not intend to let you go.”

And he did not, and would not; so I had to go with him. And what do you think? The first object that met my bewildered gaze, as my uncle led me into the drawing-room, was—herself! her very self! but so altered, looking so cold and stately. My uncle introduced me to her as “My daughter Emily, nephew Ledyard.” “My daughter Emily” inclined her beautiful head most graciously, and sweetly smiled, but not one recognizing glance did she deign to bestow on poor “nephew Ledyard.” Lovely she was, and proud and majestic as a queen. What could it mean? I made several well-planned alluions to omnibuses and stages, &c., not one of which did she seem to comprehend.

Her exceeding beauty still charmed me in spite of her coldness; and I stayed to tea and then the evening. My cousin sung for me; her voice was highly cultivated and exceedingly sweet, and full of feeling. Song after song she poured forth into the listening air, and each song entranced me more than the last.

We conversed gayly on several topics, and she grew more and more familiar with me, alluded playfully to our childish intimacy; still, to the very close of the evening, did she refuse to remember by look or word that we had met since children. She evidently wished to forget, and wished me to forget the whole of that pleasant interview that had afforded me, at least, such soul-felt delight; yet she acted her part so well, was so careless and unconscious, and withal so cold and full of queenly dignity, that I went home in a perfect bewilderment of amazement.

As I lay tossing on a sleepless bed, and in my heart bitterly railing against the perversity and incomprehensibility of women, I found myself incessantly repeating to myself, “Am I Giles, or am I not;” the truth flashed upon me that I was the unhappy victim of an optical illusion, that the Cousin Emily I had but a little before left was simply my Cousin Emily, and not the beautiful being of whom my heart and life were full—that incessant thinking of her, and seeking her, had crazed my brain. I relighted my lamp and made my way into the doctor’s study. I read all I could find on the subject of optical delusion and maniacal hallucination until I convinced myself that I was laboring under a very alarming attack of one or both, and resolved on seriously consulting my friend, the doctor, early the next morning.

I went back to bed with the decided opinion that I was exceedingly to be pitied—how would it appear in the papers? for I must undoubtedly grow worse, and it must undoubtedly end in suicide. “Sad occurrence,” “nice young man,” “brilliant prospects,” “only son of—,” and “promising talents,” “laboring under incipient insanity,” “fatal cause unknown,” &c., &c. I sympathized with myself until near morning, then fell into a sleep, which lasted until the bell rung for breakfast. I dressed in a hurry, and got down before the muffins were quite cold. I ate a hearty breakfast, read a newspaper or two, and determining on seeing my cousin again before I made up my mind to ask advice, I soon found myself at her door. The fresh morning air and the walk had so invigorated me, that I laughed at my last night’s fears, especially as my lovely cousin came into the drawing-room to receive me, radiant with health and beauty. I found her just the same as she was the night before, gay, witty and charming, and as cold as marble. Still I could not be mistaken; for, with all her feigned coldness—for some good reason of her own undoubtedly—there was no doubting her identity with that of my glorious Fairmount vision.

The day was a lovely one, soft and mild as a June morning could make it. After conversing on indifferent subjects for a time, I asked her, remarking on the deliciousness of the morning, if she would not like to go out with me to Fairmount. She assented with a quiet smile, as innocently as though she had never in her life before heard of such a place as Fairmount.

“The little deceiver!” thought I. “Which way shall we go?” said I, aloud, and very significantly, “shall we take the omnibus?”

“I will order the carriage,” replied she, with a slight shrug; “I never ride in those omnibusses, one meets with such odd people.”

Never?” asked I, emphatically.

“Certainly, never!” answered she, with much apparent surprise.

My drive was a delightful one. How could it be otherwise, with a glorious day surrounding me, and a gloriously beautiful cousin sitting beside me, with whom I could not exactly make up my mind whether to fall desperately in love, or desperately out of love. I, too, such an enthusiastic lover of beauty. But she chose to be so different from what she was at our first meeting—so reserved, that I could not decide whether I most loved or was most indifferent to her.

We rode all the morning, and I left her, promising to call again in the evening. I walked the streets until dark, the whole affair vexed me so much—I, such a hater of all mysteries, the most impatient of all breathing mortals. I determined to come at once to an understanding with my perverse little cousin, and to decide at once the puzzling question whether to love or not to love.

In the evening I found myself alone with my little tormentor.

“Now, sweet Cousin Emily,” said I, playfully, “you have been teazing me long enough with your pretty affectation of ignorance and innocence—not but that you are as ignorant as the rest of your sweet sex, and as innocent too—but, I beseech you, lay by this masquerading, you have played possum long enough. I humbly implore of you to be the same to me that you were in our first visit to Fairmount—the earnest, simple-hearted Cousin Emily you then were.”

“Mr. Lincoln speaks in enigmas; I must confess I do not understand his meaning, nor his elegant allusion to ‘playing possum.’”

This she said with so much haughtiness, that I was taken all aback. Rallying, however, in a moment I determined not to give up the point.

“I beseech of you to pardon the inelegance of my expression, and also my pertinacity in insisting upon some explanation of your manner toward me. It will all do very well for the stage,” continued I, bitterly, “but in real life, among cousins, and two that have met so frankly, and in such sincerity, I feel that our acquaintanceship must at once end, pleasant as it has been, as it might be to me, unless you lay aside this assumed coldness. It harasses me more than I can express. Emily, after seeing you in the stage-coach, I thought I had never met with one half so lovely, and I could think of nothing but you. After remaining at home but one week, business called me to Philadelphia. Judge of my delight when almost the first object that met my view was your beautiful, unforgotten little self. You were just stepping into one of those very omnibusses you have since seen fit to decry. What followed you must remember as distinctly as I—no not as distinctly, for the whole of that delicious interview is engraven on my heart—one of the sun-bright scenes of my life that I can never forget. And now, after that beautiful interchange of thought and soul that promised—every thing, do I find you cold, impassive. If you repent the trust you so freely reposed in me, in all frankness, say so; but for the sweet love of heaven, do not pretend to such—”

“For the sweet love of heaven what is the man raving about? Are you mad, dear cousin, insane? Poor Cousin Ledyard! Or is it—?” her whole manner changed, her brilliant eyes lighted up with intense fire. How beautiful she looked! I could have knelt and worshiped her, though, strange to say, my restless, ardent love for her had entirely abated. “Yes!” exclaimed she, “it must be so;” and with that she clasped her small white hands, and throwing back her fine head, laughed with all her heart, and strength, and soul.

This was very pleasant for me; still I had to join her laugh, it was so genuine and infectious.

“Forgive me, dear cousin, forgive me for my rude laughter; forgive me also for my folly in attempting to deceive you. You will hereafter find me the same you found me in our first pleasant interview. Here is my hand—I will not explain one other word to-night; I hear voices on the stairs. Come here to-morrow evening at eight, and you shall know all—all my reasons.”

“And why not to-morrow morning, cruel cousin?”

“I am engaged all of the day to-morrow. I go with mamma and papa out of town, ten miles or so, to dine; a stupid affair, but mamma wishes it.”

“But before you go—just after breakfast.”

“No, no—come in the evening.”

By this time the voices heard on the stairs had entered the room in the shape of a merry half-dozen of my cousin’s young friends. Feeling too agitated for society, I withdrew.

And now another night and a whole day more of suspense—that pale horror, that come in what shape it will, even in the shape of a beautiful cousin, always torments the very life from my heart.

All the clocks in town were striking eight as I rung my uncle’s bell. I found the drawing-room full of company, at which I felt vexed and disappointed.

My lovely cousin came up to me and placed her arm within mine, and led me through the next room into the conservatory, and there, seated amid the rare eastern flowers, herself the queen of them, was, gracious heaven! I dared scarcely breathe, so great was my fear of dispelling the beautiful illusion. It was she! none other; my stage-coach companion—my Fairmount goddess. The musical, measured voice of my statue-like Cousin Emily brought me to myself.

“Allow me. Cousin Ledyard, to introduce you to my Cousin Emily.”

There they both stood, one Cousin Emily, calm, stately, serene; the other trembling and in blushes.

I looked from one to the other in the most ludicrous bewilderment, yet each glance showed me more and more what a wonderful fool I had been making of myself for the last few days. Still they were strangely alike; their own kindred could not at times distinguish one from the other. My heart could feel the difference. My Emily was a child of nature, the other bred in a more conventional school. My Emily was a shade less tall, less stately, less Grecian, and exquisitely more lovely, and loving.

But that double wedding was a grand one. By what means my Emily contrived to disentangle herself from that handsome-whiskered “Charles,” and to entangle him fast in the chains of the other Emily, any one who wishes to know, and will take the trouble, can have all due information on the subject, and can also learn how I wooed my peerless Emily and won her, by coming to our lovely picturesque dwelling, situate in one of the most romantic spots in the country. I write you all to come, one by one, and spend a month with me, and you shall know all the particulars. You will find my little Emily a pattern housekeeper; you will also find a ready welcome. Bless her sweet face! There she sits, at the moment that I am writing this to you, with her willow arms twined around the exquisite form of her little lily-bud boy, and bending low her graceful form over him, hushing to sleep the very bravest, noblest, merriest little specimen of babyhood—the exact image of his enraptured father.





    The twilight o’er Italia’s sky

      Had wove a shadowy veil,

    And one by one the solemn stars

      Looked forth serene and pale;

    As quickly the waning light

      Through a high casement stole,

    And fell on one with silver hair,

      Who shrived a passing soul.


    No costly pomp and luxury

      Relieved that chamber’s gloom,

    But glowing forms, by limner’s art

      Created, thronged the room:

    And as the low winds echoed far

      The bell for evening prayer,

    The dying painter’s earnest tones

      Fell on the languid air.


    “The spectral form of Death is nigh,

      The thread of Life is spun,

    Ave Maria! I have looked

      Upon my latest sun.

    And yet ’tis not with pale disease

      This frame is worn away,

    Nor yet—nor yet with length of years—

      A child but yesterday”


    “I found within my father’s hall

      No fervent love to claim—

    The curse that marked me from my birth

      Devoted me to shame.

    I saw upon my brother’s brow

      Angelic beauty lay,

    The mirror gave me back a form

      That thrilled me with dismay.”


    “And soon I learned to shrink from all,

      The lowly and the high;

    To see but scorn on every lip,

      Contempt in every eye.

    And for a time e’en Nature’s smile

      A bitter mockery wore,

    For beauty stamped each living thing

      The wide creation o’er;”


    “And I alone was cursed and loathed;

      ’Twas in a garden bower

    I knelt one eve, and scalding tears

      Fell fast on many a flower;

    And as I rose I marked with awe

      And agonizing grief,

    A frail mimosa at my feet

      Fold close each fragile leaf.”


    “Alas! how dark my lot if thus

      A plant could shrink from me;

    But when I looked again I marked

      That from the honey-bee,

    The falling leaf, the bird’s gay wing,

      It shrunk with pain and fear,

    A kindred presence I had found,

      Life waxed sublimely clear.”


    “I climbed the lofty mountain height

      And communed with the skies,

    And felt within my grateful heart

      Strange aspirations rise.

    Oh! what was this humanity

      When every beaming star

    Was filled with lucid intellect,

      Congenial, though afar.”


    “I mused beneath the avalanche,

      And traced the sparkling stream,

    Till Nature’s face became to me

      A passion and a dream:”

    Then thirsting for a higher lore

      I left my childhood’s home,

    And stayed not till I gazed upon

      The hills of fallen Rome.


    “I stood amid the forms of light,

      Seraphic and divine,

    The painter’s wand had summoned from

      The dim Ideal’s shrine;

    And felt within my fevered soul

      Ambition’s wasting fire,

    And seized the pencil with a vague

      And passionate desire”


    “To shadow forth, with lineaments

      Of earth, the phantom throng

    That swept before my sight in thought,

      And lived in storied song.

    Vain, vain the dream—as well might I

      Aspire to build a star,

    Or pile the gorgeous sunset clouds

      That glitter from afar.”


    “The threads of life have worn away,

      Discordantly they thrill,

    But soon the sounding chords will be

      Forever mute and still.

    And in the spirit-land that lies

      Beyond, so calm and gray,

    I shall aspire with truer aim—

      Ave Maria! pray!”





    Good-bye—good-bye, thou gracious, golden day:

    Through luminous tears, thou smilest, far away

    In the blue heaven, thy sweet farewell to me,

    And I, through my tears, gaze and smile with thee.


    I see the last faint, glowing, amber gleam

    Of thy rich pinion, like a lovely dream,

    Whose floating glory melts within the sky,

    And now thou’rt passed forever from mine eye!


    Were we not friends—best friends—my cherished day?

    Did I not treasure every eloquent ray

    Of golden light and love thou gavest me?

    And have I not been true—most true to thee?


    And thou—thou earnest like a joyous bird,

    Whose sacred wings by heaven’s own air were stirred.

    And lowly sang me all the happy time

    Dear, soothing stories of that blissful clime!


    And more, oh! more than this, there came with thee,

    From Heaven, a stranger, rare and bright to me,

    A new, sweet joy—a smiling angel-guest,

    That softly asked a home within my breast.


    For talking sadly with my soul alone,

    I heard far off and faint a music-tone,

    It seemed a spirit’s call—so soft it stole

    On fairy wings into my waiting soul.


    I knew it summoned me to something sweet,

    And so I followed it with faltering feet;

    And found—what I had prayed for with wild tears—

    A rest, that soothed the lingering grief of years!


    So for that deep, perpetual joy, my day!

    And for all lovely things that came to play

    In thy glad smile—the pure and pleading flowers

    That crowned with their frail bloom thy flying hours—


    The sunlit clouds—the pleasant air that played

    Its low lute-music ’mid the leafy shade—

    And, dearer far, the tenderness that taught

    My soul a new and richer thrill of thought—


    For these—for all—bear thou to Heaven for me

    The grateful thanks with which I mission thee!

    Then should thy sisters, wasted, wronged, upbraid,

    Speak thou for me—for thou wert not betrayed!


    ’Twas little—true—I could to thee impart—

    I, with my simple, frail and wayward heart;

    But that I strove the diamond sands to light,

    In Life’s rich hour-glass, with Love’s rainbow flight;


    And that one generous spirit owed to me

    A moment of exulting ecstasy;

    And that I won o’er wrong a queenly sway—

    For this, thou’lt smile for me in Heaven, my Day!






Several years ago, a man of the name of Samuel Needy, a poor artisan, was living in London. He had with him a wife, and a child by this wife. This artisan was skillful, quick, intelligent, very ill-treated by education, very well-treated by nature—able to think, but not to read. One winter his work failed him—there was neither fire nor food in his garret; the man, the woman, and the child were cold and hungry; he committed a theft; it is unnecessary to state what he stole, or whence he stole it. Suffice it to know, that the consequences of this theft were three days’ food and fire to the wife and child, and five years of imprisonment to the man.

Sam Needy, lately an honest man, now and henceforth a thief, was dignified and grave in appearance; his high forehead was already wrinkled, though he was still young; some gray lines lurked among the black and bushy tufts of his hair; his eye was soft, and buried deep beneath his lofty and well-turned eye-brow; his nostrils were open, his chin advancing, his lip scornful; it was a fine head—let us see what society made of it.

He was a man of few words—more frequent gestures—somewhat imperious in his whole manner, and one to make himself obeyed; of a melancholy air—rather serious than suffering; for all that he had suffered enough.

In the place where he was confined there was a director of the work-rooms—a kind of functionary peculiar to prisons, who combined in himself the offices of turnkey and tradesman, who would at the same time issue an order to the workman and threaten the prisoner—put tools in his hand and irons on his feet. This man was a variety of his own species—a man peremptory, tyrannical, governed by his fancies, holding tight the reins of his authority, and yet, on occasion, a boon companion, jovial and condescending to a joke—rather hard than firm—reasoning with no one—not even himself—a good father, and doubtless a good husband—(a duty, by the way, and not a virtue;) in short, evil but not bad. The principal, the diagonal line of this man’s character was obstinacy; he was proud of it, and therein compared himself to Napoleon, when he had once fixed what he called his will upon an absurdity, he went to its furthest length, holding his head high, and despising all obstacles. Such violence of purpose without reason, is only folly tied to the tail of brute force, and serving to lengthen it. For the most part, whenever a catastrophe, whether public or private, happens amongst men, if we look beneath the rubbish with which it strews the earth, to find in what manner the fallen fabric had been propped, we shall, with rare exceptions, discover it to have been blindly put together by a weak and obstinate man, trusting and admiring himself implicitly. Many of the smaller of these strange fatalities pass in the world for providences. Such was he who was the director of the work-rooms in the House of Correction where poor Sam Needy was sent to undergo his sentence. Such was the stone with which society daily struck its prisoners to draw sparks from them. The sparks which such stones draw from such flints often kindle conflagrations.

In a short time Sam found the prison air natural to him, and appeared to have forgotten every thing; a certain severe serenity, which belonged to his character, had resumed its mastery.

In about the same time he had acquired a singular ascendency over all his companions, as if by a sort of silent agreement, and without any one knowing wherefore, not even himself. All these men consulted him, listened to him, admired and imitated him, (the last point to which admiration can mount.) It was no slight glory to be obeyed by all these lawless natures; the empire had come to him without his own seeking—it was a consequence of the respect with which they beheld him. The eye of a man is a window, through which may be seen the thoughts which enter into and issue from his heart.

Place an individual who possesses ideas among those who do not, at the end of a given time, and by a law of irresistible attraction, all their misty minds shall draw together with humility and reverence round his illuminated one. There are men who are iron, and there are men who are loadstone. Sam Needy was loadstone. In less than three months he had become the soul, the law, the order of the work-room; he was the dial, concentrating all rays; he must even himself have sometimes doubted whether he were king or prisoner—it was the captivity of a pope among his cardinals.

By as natural a reaction, accomplished step by step, as he was loved by the prisoners, so was he detested by the jailers. It is always thus, popularity cannot exist without disfavor—the love of the slaves is always exceeded one degree by the hate of their masters.

Sam Needy was, by his particular organization, a great eater; his stomach was so formed, that food enough for two common men would hardly have sufficed for his nourishment. Lord Slickborough had one of these large appetites, and laughed at it; but that which is a cause of gayety for a British peer, with a rent-roll of fifty-thousand pounds a year, is a heavy charge to an artisan, and a misfortune to a prisoner.

Sam Needy, free in his own loft, worked all day, earned his four pounds of bread, and ate it; Sam Needy, in prison, worked all day, and, for his pains, received invariably one pound and a half of bread, and four ounces of meat; the ration admits of no change. Sam was therefore constantly hungry whilst in the House of Correction; he was hungry, and no more—he did not speak of it because it was not his nature so to do.

One day Sam, after devouring his scanty pittance, had returned to his work, thinking to cheat his hunger by it—the rest of the prisoners were eating cheerily. A young man, pale, fair, and feeble-looking, came and placed himself near him; he held in his hand his ration, as yet untouched, and a knife; he remained in that situation, with the air of one who would speak, and dares not. The sight of the man, and his bread and meat annoyed Sam.

“What do you want?” said he, rudely.

“That you would do me a service,” said the young man, timidly.

“What?” replied Sam.

“That you would help me to eat this—it is too much for me.”

A tear stood in the proud eye of Sam; he took the knife, divided the young man’s ration into two equal parts, took one of them, and began eating.

“Thank you,” said the young man; “if you like, we will share together every day.”

“What is your name?” said Sam.


“Wherefore are you here?”

“I have committed a theft.”

“And I too,” said Sam.

Henceforth they did thus share together every day. Sam Needy was little more than thirty years old, but at times he appeared fifty, so stern were his thoughts usually. Heartall was twenty—he might have been taken for seventeen, so much innocence was there in his appearance. A strict friendship was knit up between the two, rather of father to son than brother to brother, Heartall being still almost a child, Sam already nearly an old man. They wrought in the same work-room—they slept under the same vault—they walked in the same airing-ground—they ate of the same bread. Each of these two friends was the universe to the other—it would seem that they were happy.

Mention has already been made of the director of the work-rooms. This man, who was abhorred by the prisoners, was often obliged, in order to enforce obedience, to have recourse to Sam Needy, who was beloved by them. On more than one occasion, when the question was, how to put down a rebellion or a tumult, the authority without title of Sam Needy had given powerful aid to the official authority of the director; in short, to restrain the prisoners, ten words from him were as good as ten turnkeys. Sam had many times rendered this service to the director, wherefore the latter detested him cordially. He was jealous of him; there was at the bottom of his heart a secret, envious, implacable hatred against Sam—the hate of a titular for a real sovereign—of a temporal against a spiritual power; these are the worst of all hatreds.

Sam loved Heartall greatly, and did not trouble himself about the director. One morning when the turnkeys were leading the prisoners, two by two, from their dormitory to the work-room, one of them called Heartall, who was by the side of Sam, and informed him that the director wished to see him.

“What does he want with you?” said Sam.

“I do not know,” replied the other.

The turnkey took Heartall away.

The morning past; Heartall did not return to the work-room. When the dinner hour arrived, Sam expected that he should rejoin Heartall in the airing-ground—but no Heartall was there. He returned into the work-room, still Heartall did not make his appearance. So passed the day. At night, when the prisoners were removed to their dormitory, Sam looked out for Heartall, but could not see him. It would seem that he must have suffered much at that moment, for he addressed the turnkey—a thing which he had never done before.

“Is Heartall sick?” was his question.

“No,” replied the turnkey.

“Why is it, then, that he has not again made his appearance to-day?”

“Ah,” replied the turnkey, carelessly, “they have put him in another ward.”

The witnesses who deposed to these facts at a later period, remarked, that at this answer, Sam’s hand, in which was a lighted candle, trembled a little. He again asked, calmly,

“Whose order was this?”

The turnkey said “Mr. Flint’s.”

The name of the director of the work-rooms was Flint.

The next day went by like the last, but no news of Heartall.

That evening, when the day’s work ended, Mr. Flint came to make his usual round of inspection. As soon as Sam Needy saw him, he took off his cap of coarse wool, buttoned his gray vest, sad livery of the work-house, (it is a principle in prisons, that a vest, respectfully buttoned, bespeaks the favor of the superior officers,) and placed himself at the end of his bench, waiting till the director came by. He passed.

“Sir,” said Sam.

The director stopped and turned half round.

“Sir,” said Sam, “is it true that Heartall’s ward has been changed?”

“Yes,” returned the director.

“Sir,” continued Sam, “I cannot live without Heartall; you know that with the ration of the house I have not enough to eat, and that Heartall shared his bread with me.”

“That was his business,” replied the director.

“Sir, is there no means of getting Heartall replaced in the same ward as myself?”

“Impossible! it is so decided.”

“By whom?”

“By myself.”

“Mr. Flint,” persisted Sam, “the question is my life or death, and it depends upon you.”

“I never revoke my decisions.”

“Sir, is it because I have given you offence?”


“In that case,” said Sam, “why do you separate me from Heartall?”

It is my will,” said the director.

With this explanation he went away.

Sam Needy stooped his head and made no answer. Poor caged lion, from whom they had taken his dog!

The grief of this separation in no way changed the prisoner’s almost disease of voracity. Nor was he, in other respects, obviously altered. He did not speak of Heartall to any of his comrades. He walked alone in the airing-ground, in the hours of recreation, and suffered hunger—nothing more.

Nevertheless, those who knew him well, remarked something of a sinister and sombre expression which daily overspread his countenance more and more. In other respects he was gentler than ever. Many wished to share their ration with him, but he refused with a smile.

Every evening, after the explanation which the director had given him, he committed a sort of folly, which, in so grave a man, was astonishing. At the moment when the director, in the progress of his habitual duty, passed by Sam Needy’s working-frame, he would raise his eyes, gaze steadily upon him, and then address to him, in a tone full of distress and anger, combining at once menace and supplication, these two words only—“remember Heartall!” the director would either appear not to hear, or pass on, shrugging his shoulders.

He was wrong. It became evident to all the lookers on of these strange scenes, that Sam Needy was inwardly determined on some step. All the prison awaited with anxiety the result of this strife between obstinacy and resolution.

It has been proved, that once Sam said to the director, “Listen, sir, give me back my comrade; you will do well to do it, I assure you. Take notice that I tell you this.”

Another time, one Sunday, when he had remained in the airing-ground for many hours in the same attitude, seated on a stone, his elbows on his knees, and his forehead buried in his hands, one of his fellow-convicts approached him, and cried out, laughing,

“What are you about here, Sam?”

Sam raised his stern head slowly, and said, “I am sitting in judgment!

At last, on the evening of the 1st of November, 1833, at the moment when the director was making his round, Sam Needy crushed under his foot a watch-glass, which he had that morning found in the corridor. The director inquired whence that noise proceeded.

“It is nothing,” said Sam. “It is I, Mr. Flint—give me back my comrade.”

“Impossible!” said his master.

“It must be done though,” said Sam, in a low and steady voice, and looking the director full in the face, added, “reflect, this is the first of November, I give you till the 10th.”

A turnkey made the remark to Mr. Flint that Sam Needy threatened him, and that it was a case for solitary confinement.

“No, nothing of the kind,” said the director, with a disdainful smile, “we must be gentle with these sort of people.”

On the morrow, another convict approached Sam Needy, who walked by himself, melancholy, leaving the other prisoners to bask in a patch of sunshine at the further corner of the court.

“What now, Sam—what are you thinking of? You seem sad.”

I am afraid,” said Sam, “that some misfortune will happen soon to this gentle Mr. Flint.”

There are nine full days from the 1st to the 10th of November. Sam Needy did not let one pass without gravely warning the director of the state, more and more miserable, in which the disappearance of Heartall placed him. The director, worn out, sentenced him to four-and-twenty hours of solitary confinement, because his prayer was too like a demand. This was all that Sam Needy obtained.

The 10th of November arrived. On this day Sam arose with such a serene countenance as he had not worn since the day when the decision of Mr. Flint had separated him from his friend. When risen, he searched in a white wooden box, which stood at the foot of his bed, and contained his few possessions. He drew thence a pair of sempstress’s scissors. These, with an odd volume of Cowper’s poems, were all that remained to him of the woman he had loved—of the mother of his child—of his happy little home of other days. Two articles, totally useless to Sam; the scissors could only be of service to a woman—the book to a lettered person. Sam could neither sew nor read.

At the time when he was traversing the old hall, which serves as the winter walk for the prisoners, he approached a convict of the name of Dawson, who was looking with attention at the enormous bars of a window. Sam was holding the little pair of scissors in his hands; he showed them to Dawson, saying, “To-night I will divide those bars with these scissors.”

Dawson began to laugh incredulously. Sam joined him.

That morning he worked with more zeal than usual—faster and better than ever before. A little past noon he went down on some pretext or other to the joiner’s workshop, on the ground-floor, under the story in which was his own. Sam was beloved there as every where else; but he entered it seldom. Thus it was—“Stop, here’s Sam!” They got round him; it was a perfect holyday. He cast a quick glance around the room. Not one of the overlookers was there.

“Who has a hatchet to lend me?” said he.

“What to do?” was the inquiry.

“Kill the director of the work-rooms.”

They offered him many to choose from. He took the smallest of those which were very sharp, hid it in his trowsers, and went out. There were twenty-seven prisoners in that room. He had not desired them to keep his secret; they all kept it. They did not even talk of it among themselves. Every one separately awaited the result. The thing was straight-forward—terribly simple. Sam could neither be counseled nor denounced.

An hour afterward he approached a convict sixteen years old, who was lounging in the place of exercise, and advised him to learn to read. The rest of the day was as usual. At 7 o’clock at night the prisoners were shut up, each division in the work-room to which they belonged, and the overseers went out, as it appears was the custom, not to return till after the director’s visit. Sam was locked in with his companions like the rest.

Then there passed in this work-room an extraordinary scene, one not without majesty and awe, the only one of the kind which is to be told in this story. There were there (according to the judiciary deposition afterward made) four-and-twenty prisoners, including Sam Needy. As soon as the overseers had left them alone, Sam stood up upon a bench, and announced to all the room that he had something to say. There was silence.

Then Sam raised his voice, and said, “You all know that Heartall was my brother. Here they do not give me enough to eat; even with the bread which I can buy with the little I earn, it is not sufficient. Heartall shared his ration with me. I loved him at first because he fed me, then because he loved me. The director, Mr. Flint, separated us; our being together could be nothing to him—but he is a bad-hearted man, who enjoys tormenting others. I have asked him for Heartall back again. You have heard me. He will not do it. I gave him till the 10th, which is to-day, to restore Heartall to me. He ordered me into solitary confinement for telling him so. I, during this time, have sat in judgment upon him, and condemned him to death. In two hours he will come to make his round. I warn you that I am about to kill him. Have you any thing to say on the matter?” All continued silent.

He went on; he spoke (so it appears) with a peculiar eloquence, which was natural to him. He declared that he knew he was about to do a violent deed, but could not think it wrong. He appealed to the conscience of his four-and-twenty listeners. He was placed in a cruel extremity; the necessity of doing justice to himself was a strait into which every man found himself driven at one time or other; he could not, in truth, take the director’s life without giving his own for it; but it was right to give his life for a just end. He had thought deeply on the matter, and that alone, for two months; he believed he was not carried away by passion, but if it were so, he trusted they would warn him. He honestly submitted his reasons to the just men whom he addressed. He was about to kill Mr. Flint; but if any one had any objection to make, he was ready to hear it.

One voice alone was raised to say, that before killing the director, Sam ought to make one last attempt to soften him.

“It is fair,” said Sam. “I will do so.”

The great clock struck the hour—it was eight. The director would make his appearance at nine.

No sooner had this extraordinary court of appeal ratified the sentence he had submitted to it, than Sam resumed his former serenity. He placed upon the table all the linen and garments he possessed—the scanty property of a prisoner—and calling to him, one after the other, those of his companions whom he loved best after Heartall, he divided all amongst them. He only kept the little pair of scissors. Then he embraced them all. Some of them wept—upon these he smiled.

There were moments in this last hour, when he chatted with so much tranquillity, and even gayety, that many of his comrades inwardly hoped, as they afterward declared, that he might perhaps abandon his resolution.

He perceived a young convict who was pale, who was gazing upon him with fixed eyes, and trembling doubtless from expectation of what he was about to witness. “Come, courage, young man,” said Sam to him, softly, “it will be only the work of a moment.”

When he had distributed all his goods, made all his adieux, pressed all their hands, he interrupted the restless whisperings which were heard here and there in the dim corners of the work-room, and commanded that they should return to their labor. All obeyed him in silence.

The apartment in which this passed was an oblong hall, a parallelogram, lighted with windows on its two longer sides, and with two doors opposite each other at the two ends of the room. The working-frames were ranged on each side near the windows, the benches touching the wall at right angles, and the space left free between the two rows of frames formed a sort of avenue, which went straight from one door to the other, crossing the hall entirely. It was this which the director traversed in making his inspection; he was to enter at the south door, and go out by the north, after having looked at the workmen on the right and left. Commonly he passed through quickly and without stopping.

Sam Needy had reseated himself on his bench, and had betaken himself to his work. All were in expectation—the moment approached; on a sudden they heard the clock strike. Sam said, “It is the last quarter.” Then he rose, crossed gravely a part of the hall, and placed himself, leaning on his elbow, on the first frame on the left hand side, close to the door of entrance; his countenance was perfectly calm and benign.

Nine o’clock struck—the door opened—the director came in.

At that moment the silence of the work-room was as of a chamber full of statues.

The director was alone as usual; he entered with his jovial, self-satisfied, and stubborn air, without noticing Sam, who was standing at the left side of the door, his right hand hidden in his trowsers, and passed rapidly by the first frames, tossing his head, mumbling his words, and casting his glance, which was law, here and there, not perceiving that the eyes of all who surrounded him were fixed upon him as upon a fearful phantom. On a sudden he turned sharply round, surprised to hear a step behind him.

It was Sam Needy, who for some instants followed him in silence.

“What are you about there?” said the director. “Why are you not in your place?”

Sam Needy answered respectfully, “Because I have something to say to you, Mr. Flint.”

“What about?”

“Concerning Heartall.”

“Still Heartall!” exclaimed the director.

“Always,” replied Sam.

“Be quiet,” said the director, walking on again. “You are not content, then, with your four-and-twenty hours of solitary confinement?”

Sam followed him—“Mr. Flint, give me back my comrade.”


“Sir,” said Sam, in a tone which might have softened the heart of a fiend, “I entreat you, restore Heartall to me. You shall see how well I will work. To you who are free, it is no matter—you do not know what the worth of a friend is; but I have only the four walls of my prison. You can come and go, I have nothing but Heartall—give him back to me. Heartall fed me—you know it well. It will only cost you the trouble of saying yes. What can it be to you that there should be in the same room one man called Sam Needy, another called Heartall?—for the thing is simply that, Mr. Flint; good Mr. Flint, I beseech you earnestly, for Heaven’s sake!”

Sam had probably never before said so much at one time to a jailer; exhausted with the effort, he paused. The director replied, with an impatient gesture,

“Impossible—I have said it; speak to me no more about it, you wear me out.”

Then, as if in a hurry, he stepped on more quickly, Sam following. Thus speaking, they had reached the door of exit; the prisoners looked after them, and listened breathlessly.

Sam gently touched the director’s arm. “At least let me know why I am condemned to death—tell me why you have separated him from me?”

“I have told you,” answered the director; “it is my will.”

He turned his back upon Sam, and was about to take hold of the latch of the door.

On this answer Sam had retreated a step; the assembled statues who were there saw him bring out his right hand, and the hatchet with it; it was raised, and ere the victim could utter one cry, three blows, one upon the other, had cleft his skull. At the moment, when he fell back, a fourth blow laid his face open; then, as if his frenzy, once let loose, could not stop, Sam struck a fifth blow; it was useless—he was dead.

“Now for the other!” cried the murderer, and threw away the hatchet. That other was himself. They saw him draw from his bosom the small pair of scissors, and before any one could attempt to hinder him, bury them in his breast. The blade was too short to penetrate. He struck them in again and again, so many as twenty times. “Accursed heart! cannot I then reach you?” and finally fell in a dead swoon, bathed in his blood.

Which of these men was the victim of the other?

When Sam returned to consciousness, he was in bed, well attended, his wounds carefully bandaged; a humane nurse was about his pillow, and more than one magistrate, who asked him, with the appearance of great interest, “Are you better?”

He had lost a great quantity of blood, but the scissors with which he had wounded himself, had done their duty ill—none of the wounds were dangerous.

The examinations commenced. They asked him if it were he who had killed the director of the work-rooms. He replied, “It was.” They asked him why he had done it. He answered—it was his will.

After this the wounds festered. He was seized with a severe fever, of which he only did not die. November, December, January, and February, went over in recovering him and preparing for his trial; physicians and judges alike made him the object of their care—the former healed his wounds, the latter made ready his scaffold. To be brief, on the 5th of April, 1834, he appeared, being perfectly cured, before the Court of Sessions.

Sam made a good appearance before the court; he had been carefully shaved, his head was bare; he was dressed in the sad prison livery of two shades of gray.

When the trial was entered upon, a singular difficulty presented itself. Not any of the witnesses of the events of the 10th of November, would make a deposition against Sam. The presiding judge threatened them with his discretionary power in vain. Sam then commanded them to give evidence. All their tongues were loosed. They related what they had seen.

Sam Needy listened with profound attention. When one of them, out of forgetfulness, or affection for him, omitted some of the circumstances chargeable upon the accused, Sam supplied them. By this means the chain of facts which has been related was unfolded before the court.

There was one moment when some of the females present wept. The clerk of the court summoned the convict, Heartall. It was his turn to come forward. He entered, staggering with emotion—he wept. The police could not prevent his falling into the arms of Sam. Sam raised him, and said with a smile to the attorney-general, “Here is a villain who shares his bread with those who are hungry.” Then he kissed Heartall’s hand.

The list of witnesses having been gone through, the attorney-general rose and spoke in these words: “Gentlemen of the jury, society would be shaken to its foundation if public vengeance did not overtake such great criminals as this man, who, etc., etc.”

After this memorable discourse, Sam’s advocate spoke. The pleader against, and the pleader for, made each in due order, the evolutions which they are accustomed to make in the arena which is called a criminal court.

Sam did not think that all was said that might be said. He arose in his turn. He spoke in a manner which must have amazed all the intelligent persons present on the occasion. It appeared as if there were more of the orator than the murderer in this poor artisan. He spoke in an upright attitude, with a penetrating and well-managed voice; with an open, sincere, and steadfast gaze, with a gesture almost always the same, but full of command. There were moments in which his genuine, lofty eloquence stirred the crowd to a murmur, during which Sam took breath, casting a bold gaze upon the bystanders. Then again, this man, who could not read, was as gentle, polished, select in his language, as a well-informed person—at other moments modest, measured, attentive, going step by step over the irritating parts of the argument, courteous to his judges. Once only he gave way to a burst of passion. The attorney-general had proved in his speech that Sam Needy had assassinated the director without any violence on his part, and consequently without provocation.

“What!” exclaimed Sam Needy, “I have not been provoked! Ay—it is very true—I understand you. A drunken man strikes me with his dagger—I kill him, I have been provoked; you show mercy to me, you send me to Botany Bay. But a man who is not drunk, who has the perfect use of his reason, wrings my heart for four years, humbles me for four years, pierces me with a weapon every day, every hour, every minute, in some unexpected point for four years. I had a wife, for whose sake I became a thief—he tortures me through that wife; a child for whom I stole—he tortures me through that child. I have not bread enough to eat—a friend gives it me; he takes away my friend and my food. I ask for my friend back—he condemns me to solitary confinement. I speak to him—him, the spy—respectfully; he answers me in dog’s language. I tell him I am suffering—he tells me I wear him out. What would you, then, that I should do? I kill him. It is well—I am a monster; I have murdered this man; I have not been provoked. You take my life for it—be it so.”

The debates being closed, the presiding judge made his impartial and luminous summing up. The results were these: a wicked life—a wretch in purpose. Sam Needy had begun by stealing—he then murdered. All this was true.

When the jury were about being conducted to their apartment, the judge asked the accused if he had any thing to say upon the questions before them.

“Little,” replied Sam, “only this; I am a thief and an assassin. I have stolen, and have slain a man. But why have I stolen? Why have I murdered? Add these two questions to the rest, gentleman of the jury.”

After a quarter of an hour’s deliberation on the part of the twelve individuals whom he had addressed as gentlemen of the jury, Sam Needy was condemned to death.

Their decision was read to Sam, who contented himself with saying, “It is well—but why has this man stolen? Why has this man murdered? These are questions to which they make no answer.”

He was carried back to prison—he supped almost gayly.

He had no wish to make an appeal against his sentence. The old woman who had nursed him entreated him with tears to do so. He complied out of kindness to her. It would appear as if he had resisted till the very last moment, for when he signed his petition in the register, the legal delay of three days had expired some minutes before. The benevolent old nurse gave him a crown. He accepted the money and thanked her.

While his appeal was pending, offers of escape were made him. There was thrown, one after the other, in his dungeon, through its air-hole, a nail, a bit of iron file, and the handle of a bucket. Any of these three tools would have been sufficient to so skillful a man as Sam Needy to cut through his irons. He gave up the nail, the file, and the handle to the turnkey.

On the 10th of June, 1834, seven months after the deed, its expiation arrived. That day, at seven o’clock in the morning, the recorder of the tribunal entered Sam Needy’s dungeon, and announced to him that he had not more than an hour to live. His petition was rejected.

“Come,” said Sam, coldly, “I have this night slept well, without troubling myself that I should sleep still better the next.”

It would appear as if the words of strong men always receive a certain dignity from approaching death.

The chaplain arrived—then the executioner. He was humble to the one, gentle to the other.

He maintained a perfect ease of spirit. He listened to the chaplain with extreme attention, accusing himself of many things, and regretting that he had not been instructed in religion.

At his request they had given him back the scissors with which he had wounded himself. One blade, which had been broken in his breast, was wanting. He entreated the jailor to have these scissors taken to Heartall as from himself.

He besought those who bound his hands to place in his right hand the crown-piece which the good nurse had given him—the only thing which was now remaining to him.

At a quarter to eight he was led out of his prison, with the customary mournful procession which attends the condemned. He was pale; his eyes were fixed on the chaplain—but he walked with a firm step.

He ascended the scaffold gravely. He shook hands with the chaplain first, then the executioner, thanking the one, forgiving the other. The executioner pushed him back gently, says one account. At the moment when the assistant put the hideous rope round his neck, he made a sign to the chaplain to take the crown-piece which he had in his right hand, and said to him, “For the poor.” At that moment the clock was striking eight, the sound from the steeple drowned his voice, and the chaplain answered that he could not hear him. Sam waited for an interval between two of the strokes, and repeated with gentleness, “For the poor.”

The eighth stroke had scarcely sounded when this noble and intelligent criminal was launched into eternity.





Una stella, una notte, ed una croce. Antonio Bisazza.

    Silence hath conquered thee, imperial Night!

    Thou sit’st alone within her void, cold halls,

    Thy solemn brow uplifted, and thy soul

    Paining the space with dumb and mighty thought.

    The dreary wind ebbs, voiceless, round thy form,

    Following the stealthy hours, that wake no stir

    In the hushed velvet of thy mantle’s fold.

    Thy thoughts take being: down the dusky aisles

    Go shapes of good, and beckoning ghosts of crime,

    And dreams of maddening beauty—hopes, that shine

    To darken, and in cloudy height sublime,

    The spectral march of some approaching Doom!

    Nor these alone, oh! Mother of the world,

    People thy chambers, echoless and vast;

    Their dewy freshness like ambrosial cools

    Life’s fever-thirst, and to the fainting soul

    Their porphyry walls are touched with light, and gleams

    Of shining wonder dazzle through the void,

    Like those bright marvels which the traveler’s torch

    Wakes from the darkness of three thousand years,

    In rock-hewn sepulchres of Theban kings.

    Prophets, whose brows of pale, unearthly glow

    Reflect the twilight of celestial dawns,

    And bards, transfigured in immortal song,

    Like eager children, kneeling at thy feet,

    Unclasp the awful volume of thy lore.


    My soul goes down thy far, untrodden paths,

    To the dim verge of being. There its step

    Touches the threshold of sublimer life,

    And through the boundless empyrean leaps

    Its prayer, borne like a faint, expiring cry,

    To angel-warders, listening as they pace

    The crystal walls of Heaven. Down the blue fields

    Of the untraveled Infinite, they come:

    Beneath their wings one sweet, dilating wave

    Thrills the pure deep, and bears my soul aloft,

    To walk amid their shining groups, and call

    Its guardian spirit, as an orphan calls

    His vanished brother, taken in childhood home:


    “White through my cradled dreams thy pinions waved,

    Lost Angel of the Soul! thy presence led

    The babe’s faint gropings through the glimmering dark

    And into Being’s conscious dawn. Thy hand

    Held mine in childhood, and thy beaming cheek

    Lay close, like some fond playmate’s, to mine own.

    Up to that boundary, whence the heart leaps forth

    To life, like some wild torrent, when the rains

    Pour dark and full upon the cloudy hills,

    Thy gentle footsteps wandered near to mine.

    Be with me now! Oh, in the starry hush

    Of the deep night, that holds the earthly down

    In all my nature, bring to me again

    The early purity, which kept thy hand

    From the entrancing harp it held in Heaven!

    Through the warm starting of my hoarded tears,

    Let me behold thine eyes divine, as stars

    Gleam through the twilight vapors of the sea!


    “Not yet hast thou forsaken me. The prayer

    Whose crowning fervor lifts my nature up

    Midway to God, may still evoke thy form.

    Thou hast been with me, when the midnight dew

    Clung damp upon my brow, and the broad fields

    Stretched far and dim beneath the ghostly moon;

    When the dark, awful woods were silent near,

    And with imploring hands toward the stars

    Clasped in mute yearning, I have questioned Heaven

    For the lost language of the book of Life.

    Oh, then thy face was glorious, and thy hair

    On the white moonbeam floating, veiled thy brow,

    But in the holy sadness of thine eye

    Which held my spirit, tremblingly I saw,

    Through rushing tears, the sign of angel-grief

    O’er the false promise of diviner years.

    From the far glide of some descending strain

    Of tenderest music I have heard thy voice;

    And thou hast called amid the stormy rush

    Of grand orchestral triumph, with a sound

    Resistless in its power. I feel the light,

    Which is thine atmosphere, around my soul,

    When a great sorrow gulfs it from the world.


    “Come back! come back! my heart grows faint, to know

    How thy withdrawing radiance leaves more dim

    The twilight borders of the night of Earth.

    Now when the bitter truth is learned; when all

    That seemed so high and good but mocks its seeming—

    When the warm dreams of youth come shivering back,

    In the cold chambers of the heart to die—

    When, with the wrestling years, familiar grows

    The merciless hand of pain, desert me not!

    Come with the true heart of the faithful Night,

    When I have cast away the masquing garb

    Of hollow Day, and lain my soul to rest

    On her consoling bosom! From the founts

    Of thine exhaustless light, make clear the road

    Through toil and darkness, into God’s repose!”






Hours before day, Lieutenant Rolfe and his party were threading the mazes of the chapparal. The moon glistened upon their bayonets and bright barrels. Their path lay in a southwesterly direction, near the old road to Orizava. Here it passed through a glade or opening, where the moonbeams fell upon a profusion of flowers, there it reëntered dark alleys among the clustering trees, where the “trail arms” was given in a half whisper. The boughs met and locked overhead, and the thick foliage hid the moon from sight. Now a bright beam escaping through some chance opening in the leaves, quivered along the path, and scared the wolf in his midnight wanderings. Out again upon the open track through the soft grass, and winding around the wild maguey, or under the claw-shaped thorns of the musquit. A deer sprung from his lair among the soft flowers—looked back for a moment at the strange intruders, and frightened at the gleaming steel, dashed off into the thicket. The woods are not silent by night, as in the colder regions of the north. The southern forest has its voices, moonlit or dark. All through the livelong night sings the mock-bird—screams the “loreto.” From dark till dawn, you hear the hoarse baying of the “coyote,” and the dismal howl of the gaunt gray wolf. The cicada fills the air with its monotonous and melancholy notes. In all these sounds there is a breathing, a wild voluptuousness that tells you you are wandering in the clime of the sun—amidst scenes like those rendered classical by the pen of St. Pierre. They who have read the sweet French romance, will recognize his faithful painting of tropical pictures. The sunny glades—and shady arbors—the broad green and yellow leaves—the tall palm-trees, with their long, lazy feathers and clustering fruits waving to the slightest breeze, and looking the same as in that sea island where they flung their changing shadows over the loves of Paul and Virginia. Scouting at night, and to strangers (as were Rolfe and his men) in the land, was not without its perils. Objects of alarm were near and around. The nopal rose before you like the picket of an enemy. Its dark column gleaming under the false light of the moon is certainly some sentinel on the outpost. A halt is the consequence, and silent and cat-like one of the party, on his hands and knees, steals nearer and nearer, through the thorny brambles, until the true nature of the apparition betrays itself, in the shape of a huge column of prickly pear. He then returns to his comrades, and the obstacle is passed, some one as he passes, with a muttered curse, slashing his sabre through the soft trunk of the harmless vegetable.

The wild maguey grasps you by the leg, as though some hideous monster had sprung from the bushes. You start and rush forward, only to be dragged back among the elastic leaves. It is useless to struggle. You must either return and unwind yourself by gentle means, or leave the better part of your cloth inexpressibles in the ruthless fangs of the plant. The ranchero fences his limbs with leather, or with leggings of tiger-skin. It is not fancy or choice to wear leather breeches in Mexico. Necessity has something to say in fixing the fashion of your small clothes.

When day broke, Rolfe and his party were ten miles from camp—ten miles from the nearest American picket, and with only thirty men! They were concealed in a thicket of aloes and musquit. This thicket crowned the only eminence for miles in any direction. It commanded a view of the whole country southward to the Alvarado.

As the sun rose the forest echoed with sounds and song. The leaves moved with life, as a thousand bright-plumed birds flashed from tree to tree. The green parrot screamed after his mate, uttering his wild notes of endearment. They are seen in pairs flying high up in the heavens. The troupiale flashed through the dark foliage like a ray of yellow light. Birds seemed to vie with each other in their songs of love. Amidst these sounds of the forest, the ear of Rolfe caught the frequent crowing of cocks, the barking of dogs, and the other well-known sounds of the settlement. These were heard upon all sides. It was plain that the country was thickly settled, though not a house was visible above the tree-tops. The thin column of blue smoke as it rose above the green foliage proved the existence of dwellings.

At some distance, westward, an open plain lay like an emerald lake. The woods that bordered it were of a darker hue than the meadow-grass upon its bosom. In this plain were horses feeding, and Rolfe saw at a glance that they were picketed. Some of them had dragged their laryettes and were straying from the group. There appeared to be in all about an hundred horses. It was plain that their owners were not far off. A thin blue smoke that hung over the trees on one side of the meadow gave evidence of a camp. The baying of dogs came from this direction, mingled with the sounds of human voices. It was evidently a camp of the “Jarochos,” (guerilleros.)

Suddenly a bugle sounded, wild and clear above the voices of the singing-birds, a few notes somewhat resembling the dragoon stable-call. The horses flung up their heads and neighed fiercely, looking toward the encampment. Presently a crowd of men were seen running from the woods, each carrying a saddle. The few strays that had drawn their pickets during the night, came running in at the well-known voices of their masters. The saddles were flung on and tightly girthed—the bits adjusted and the laryettes coiled and hung to the saddle-horns, in less time than an ordinary horseman would have put on a bridle. Another flourish of the bugle, and the troop were in their saddles and galloping away over the greensward of the meadow in a southerly direction. The whole transaction did not occupy five minutes, and it seemed to Rolfe and his party, who witnessed it, more like a dream than a reality. The Jarochos were just out of musket range. A long shot might have reached them, but even had Rolfe ventured this, it would have been with doubtful propriety. Rumor had fixed the existence of a large force of the enemy in this neighborhood. It was supposed that at least a thousand men were on the Alvarado road, with the intention of penetrating our lines, with beeves for the besieged Veracruzanos.

“They got off in good time, sergeant,” muttered Rolfe, “had they but waited half an hour longer—Oh! for a score of Harney’s horses!”

“Lieutenant, may I offer an opinion?” asked the sergeant, who had raised himself and stood peering through the leafy branches of a cacuchou-tree.

“Certainly, Heiss, any suggestion—”

“Wal, then—thar’s a town,” the sergeant lifted one of the leafy boughs and pointed toward the south-east—a spire and cross—a white wall and the roofs of some cottages were seen over the trees. “Raoul here, who’s French, and knows the place, says it’s Madalin—he’s been to it—and there’s no good road for horses direct from here—but the road from Vera Cruz crosses that meadow far up—now, lieutenant, it’s my opinion them thieving Mexicans is bound for that ’ere place—Raoul says it’s a good sweep round—if we could git acrosst this yere strip we’d head ’em sure.”

The backwoodsman swept his broad hand toward the south, to indicate the strip of woods that he desired to cross. The plan seemed feasible enough. The town, although seemingly near, was over five miles distant. The road by which the guerrilleros had to reach it was much farther. Could Rolfe and his party meet them on this road, by an ambuscade, they would gain an easy victory, although with inferior numbers, and Rolfe wished to carry back to camp a Mexican prisoner. This was the object of the scout, to gain information of the force supposed to be in the rear of our lines. The men, too, were eager for the wild excitement of a fight. For what came they there?

“Raoul,” said Rolfe, “is there any path through these woods?”

“Zar is, von road I have believe—oui—Monsieur Lieutenant.”

Raoul was a dapper little Frenchman, who had joined the army at Vera Cruz, where we found him. He had been a sort of market-gardener for the plaza, and knew the back country perfectly. He had fallen into bad odor with the rancheros of the Tierra Caliente, and owed them no good-will. The coming of the American army had been a perfect godsend to Raoul, who was now an American volunteer, and, as circumstances afterward proved, worthy of the title.

“Close teecket, monsieur,” continued the Frenchman, “but there be von road, I make ver sure, by that tree, vot you call him, big tree.”

Raoul pointed to some live-oaks that formed a dark belt across the woods.

“Take the lead, Raoul.”

The little Frenchman sprung out in front and commenced descending into the dark woods beneath. The party was soon winding through the shadowy aisles of a live-oak forest. The woods were at first open and easy. After a short march they came to a small stream, bright and silvery. But what was the surprise of Rolfe to find that the path here gave out, and on the opposite bank of the rivulet the trees grew closer together, and the woods were almost woven into a solid mass, by the lianas and other creeping plants. These were covered with blossoms. In some places a wall of snow-white flowers rose up before you. Pyramidal forms of foliage, green and yellow, over which hung myriads of vine-blossoms, like a scarlet mantle. Still there was no path—at least to be trodden by human foot. Birds flew around, scared in their solitary haunts. The armadilla and the wolf stood at a distance with glaring eyes. The fearful-looking guana scampered off upon the decaying limbs of the live-oak, or the still more fearful cobra di capella glided almost noiselessly over the dry leaves and brambles.

Raoul confessed that he had been deceived. He had never traveled this belt of timber. The path was lost.

This was strange. A path had conducted them thus far, but on reaching the stream had suddenly stopped. Soldiers went up and down the water-course, and peeped through the trellis of vines, but to no purpose. In all directions they were met by an impenetrable chapparal.

Chafing with disappointment, the young officer was about to retrace his way, when an exclamation from Heiss recalled him. The backwoodsman had found a clew to the labyrinth. An opening led into the thicket. This had been concealed by a perfect curtain of closely woven vines, covered with thick foliage and flowers. It appeared at first to be a natural door to the avenue which led from this spot, but a slight examination showed that these vines had been trained by human hands, and that the path itself had been kept open by the same agency. Branches were here and there lopped off and cast aside, and the ground had the marks of human footsteps. The track was clear and beaten, and Rolfe ordering his men to follow noiselessly, in Indian file, took the lead. For at least two miles they traced the windings of this forest road, through dark woods, occasionally opening out into green flowery glades. The bright sky began to gleam through the trees. Farther on and the breaks became larger and more frequent. An extensive clearing was near at hand. They reached it, but to their astonishment, instead of a cultivated farm, which they had been expecting to see, the clearing had more the appearance of a vast flower-garden. The roofs and turrets of a house were visible near its centre. The house itself appeared of a strange oriental style, and was buried amidst groves of the brightest foliage. Several huge old trees spread their branches over the roof, and their leaves hung around the fantastic turrets.

What should have been fields were like a succession of huge flower-beds—and large shrubs, covered with sheets of pink and white blossoms that resembled wild roses. This shrubbery was high enough to conceal the approach of Rolfe and his party as they followed the path—apparently the only one which led to the house.

On nearing this, the officer halted his men in a little glade, and taking with him Heiss and the boy Gerry, (who might return for the men in case of a surprise,) proceeded to reconnoitre the strange-looking habitation.

A wall of ivy, or some perennial vine, lay between him and the house. A curtain of green leaves covered the entrance through this wall. This appeared to have grown up by neglect. As Rolfe lifted this festoon, to pass through, the sound of female voices greeted him. These voices reached his ear in tones of the lightest mirth. At intervals came a clear ringing laugh from some throat of silver, and then a plunging, splashing sound of water. Rolfe conjectured that some females were in the act of bathing, and not wishing to intrude upon them sat down for a moment outside the wall. The sounds of merriment were still heard, and among the soft tones the officer imagined that he could distinguish the coarser voice of a man. Curiosity now prompted him to enter. Moreover, he reflected that if there were men there already there could not be much impropriety in his taking a share in the amusement.

Drawing aside the curtain of leaves he looked in. The interior was a garden, but evidently in a neglected state. It appeared the ruin of a once noble garden and shrubbery. Broken fountains and statues crumbling among weeds, and untrained rose-trees, met the eye. The voices were more distinct, but those who uttered them were hidden by a hedge of jessamines. Rolfe stepped silently up to this hedge and peeped through an opening. The picture presented was indeed an enchanting one.

A large fountain lay between him and the house filled with crystal water. In this fountain two young girls were plunging and diving about in the wildest abandon of mirth. The water was not more than waist deep, and the arms and bosoms of the young girls appeared above its surface. They were strikingly alike, in all except color. In this there was a marked contrast. The neck, arms and bosom of one seemed carved from snow-white marble, while the other’s complexion was almost as dark as mahogany. There was the same cast of features, the same expression in both countenances, and their forms, just emerging from the slender figure of girlhood, were exactly alike. Their long hair trailed after them, black and luxuriant, on the surface of the water, as they plunged and swam from one side of the basin to the other. A huge negress sat upon the edge of the fountain, seemingly enjoying the bath as much as those who partook of it. It was the voice of this negress that Rolfe had mistaken for that of a man.

The young officer did not hesitate a moment, but stole gently back and regained his comrades.

Then striking through the flowery fields that stretched away toward the wood in the rear, he commenced searching for the path that led from the woods in a direction opposite to that whence he had come, without disturbing the inmates of this peaceful mansion. Finding this path on the other side, the party entered and hastily kept on, in order to intercept the guerilleros, whom they still hoped to fall in with. In these hopes they were not disappointed, for emerging from the woods near Medellin they came upon the guerilleros, with whom they had a sharp skirmish. Rolfe and his party were successful, killing two of the guerrilla and taking the same number prisoners.

The young girls continued their pleasant pastime, little dreaming how near to them had been these strange and warlike visiters.





    “I want to go home!” saith a weary child,

      That hath lost its way in straying;

    Ye may try in vain to calm its fears,

    Or wipe from its eyes the blinding tears,

      It looks in your face, still saying—

        “I want to go home!”


    “I want to go home!” saith a fair young bride,

      In anguish of spirit praying;

    Her chosen hath broken the silver cord—

    Hath spoken a harsh and cruel word,

      And she now, alas! is saying—

        “I want to go home!”


    “I want to go home!” saith the weary soul,

      Ever earnest thus ’tis praying;

    It weepeth a tear—heaveth a sigh—

    And upward glanceth with streaming eye

      To its promised rest, still saying—

        “I want to go home!”





The Princess Dewbell was confessed to be the queen of the ball, notwithstanding that the beauty and grace and wit of the whole realm were there, for it was the birth-night festival of the fairy princess, and her royal father, with all a parent’s fond pride, had exhausted invention, and impoverished extravagance, to give éclat to the occasion. The walls of his ancestral palace were sparkled all over with dew-drops, which a troop of early bees had spent all the summer mornings in collecting and preserving in the royal patent dew-preserver, invented by one of the native geniuses of the realm. These brilliant mirrors, flashing in the light of ten thousand fire-flies of the royal household, whose whole lives had been expended in learning how to carry their dainty lamps about so as to produce the finest effects, reflected the forms of the ladies and the dazzling military trappings of the handsome cavaliers, (there was war at that time between the glorious empire of Fairydom and the weak and infatuated republic of Elfland on its southern borders, and the epaulette and spurs were the only pass to the hearts of the fair,) imbuing them with an infinitude of prismatic hues, all softened into a kind of timed starlight, exquisite as the dying voice of music. In this gorgeous saloon, at the head of which sat, well pleased, the benevolent old King Paterflor and his modest and still lovely queen Sweetbine, all were noble and accomplished and beautiful and gay; but the charms of the Princess Dewbell, just bursting into the richness of full-grown fairyhood, were so surpassing that none had ever been found to question, even in their own hearts, her supremacy. This, perhaps, may appear strange to many of my pretty readers, but they must remember that mine is a faithful chronicle of fairies—not of women. The princess was standing lightly touching—it could not be said that she leaned against—the slender stalk of a garden lily, that rose like an emerald column of classic mould above her lovely form, and expanded into a graceful dome of transparent and crimson-veined cornelian above her head. Her eyes were cast pensively (at the Musical Fund Hall it would have been called coquettishly) upon the ground, and ever and anon she tossed her proud head with an imperious gesture, until the streaming curls waved and parted around her cheek and neck, like vine-leaves about a marble column as the south wind creeps among them soliciting for kisses. The lady Dewbell, amid all this scene of enchantment, which spread out before and around her, as if her own loveliness had breathed it into existence, still was discontented; sad, perhaps, at the total absence of care in her bosom, and sighing for a sorrow. Unhappy lady Dewbell! She had so many hundred times been told, what she herself believed full well, that she was absolutely the most beautiful creature in existence, that the tale had lost its interest. The champagne of flattery, its creaming foam long ago melted into the brain, stood untasted before her, dull and flat as the subsided fountain poured by the last rain-shower into the tulip’s cup. And so the fairy princess stood listless and apart from the joyous revel, her little form swaying lightly to and fro, with the undulations of the lily-stem against which she more perceptibly rested. It is well for Root and Collins and Plumbe that the royal daguerreotyper was laid up in a cowslip, with a broken skylight which he had received in a rough-and-tumble with a gnat, about the ownership of a particular ray of light, at last sunsetting.

But if the lady Dewbell were queen of the ball, the noble knight Sir Timothy Lawn was as undisputedly worthy of the post of honor among her gallant train of admirers. Indeed, it was universally known, of course as a profound secret among the gossips of the palace, that Sir Timothy was the declared lover of the proud Dewbell, and it was even whispered that she had actually been seen hanging around his neck one bright June morning, in a sweet clover-nook by the brook-side, while he bent tenderly over her, his eyes filled with tears of rapture. But as this story could only be traced to a rough beetleherd, who said he saw the lovers thus as he was driving his herd of black cattle to water, it was not generally believed. At any rate, all the ladies were decidedly of opinion that Sir Timothy was in every way a match for the haughty beauty, and that if she did not accept him while he was in the humor she would be very likely to go farther and fare worse. In fact, several old maids and bluestockings, over their dishes of scandal and marsh-fog, (both of which they made uncommonly strong,) openly avowed it as their opinion, that he was a great deal too good for her, and that, if the truth must be told, the princess was an impertinent, saucy and irreverent creature, who hadn’t the slightest respect for her superiors. “As to her beauty,” said one of these crones, whose little face was very much of the size and complexion of a dried camomile-flower, and who was shrewdly suspected of qualifying her marsh-fog with pale pink-brandy—“As for her beauty, that is all in my eye. I have seen plenty of your plump, smooth-skinned pieces of paint and affectation fade in my time, little as I have yet seen of life. Mark my words—before we have reached our prime, my great lady princess will be as ugly as—”

“As ugly as yourself, granny! Ha, ha, ha! ho, ho, ho! haw, haw, haw!” shouted a mirthful voice, while an indescribably comic face, half cat and half baby, appeared for a single glimpse above the burdock leaf behind which the spinsters were holding their conversazione.

“There’s that imp Puck again, as sure as I am a woman!” exclaimed the gentle Mrs. Mullenstalk, rising hastily and spilling a dish of fog all over the front of her new green and yellow striped grass dress, as she ran toward the spot whence the voice had proceeded. “I’ll to the palace this very night, and lay my complaint against that wretch. We’ll see whether virtuous ladies are to be insulted in this manner, and their helplessness trampled under foot!”

The intruder had already disappeared; but as the amiable Mrs. Mullenstock got her spectacles adjusted, she just caught sight of him throwing a somerset into a pumpkin-flower; while his laugh still sounded faintly upon the air, mingled with snatches of a wild refrain, of which she could only distinguish these lines:

    “Oh ho, Granny Mullenstock, how envious you be;

     I’ll plague you to death, or the hornets catch me!”

The spinster shook her fist and grinned horribly at the broad-mouthed, innocent yellow flower, down whose throat the varlet had leaped—but chancing at that moment to catch a glimpse of her own face in a little bit of mica, which served her for a toilet-mirror, she uttered the least bit of a little shriek in the world and fainted—her companions, who had by this time gathered round her, exchanging sly winks and malicious looks of gratification as she went off.

But we must return to the ball-room, where the fire-flies have got sleepy, and many of them had already put out their lamps and retired, and the brilliant company of dancers and promenaders has dwindled down to a few sets, composed of those ladies who had not been asked to dance in the height of the evening, and some sour-looking gentlemen in very tight coats and pants, who had “got the mitten” from their sweethearts at the door, and were desperately trying to do the amiable out of sheer revenge. At length even these disappeared; the saloons were entirely deserted, save by the beautiful mother moonbeam, who slept upon the fragrant turf, her babe, the silver starlight, folded lovingly within her bosom.

Yet no, the scene is not quite solitary. Carefully bending aside the tall, slender spears of diamond-tipped grass that perpetually guarded the sacred domain of the imperial palace, a cavalier in full armor appears, making way for a lady, whose long veil of the finest spider’s web completely conceals her head and form, making her seem like an exhalation, taking, as its highest gift of grace, the shape of woman. The two advance slowly and cautiously to the centre of the saloon, and then the cavalier, throwing himself on his knees, (that’s the way fairies invariably make love,) beseeches his companion to have pity upon him. The lady throws back her veil with a motion of indescribable grace, and looking down into the upturned face of her lover, seriously a moment, then lightly, utters a low laugh, and replies,

“Very well, Sir Timothy Lawn, upon my word! Quite prettily done, indeed! You must have been taking lessons of Signor Sweetbriar, the royal parson. Now do run and bring me a glass of geranium-dew—I protest I have drank scarcely a drop all the evening.”

“Not one word, then, for your poor lover and true knight,” sighed Sir Timothy, in a tone of the deepest despondence.

“I did not come here to listen to school-boy nonsense,” said the lady Dewbell, with a haughty and impatient motion of the head. “I came to get a glass of geranium-water. But, as you decline obliging me to that extent, I suppose I must e’en get it for myself. Good-night to you, Sir Timothy! Pleasant dreams!” and she disappeared.

The knight was for a moment confounded; then rising slowly, he pointed to a bright star that shone directly above him, winking and winking with all its might, as much as to say, “what a green-horn you are!” and swore an oath that no fairy should ever henceforth have power over his heart, till she who had so wantonly scorned and insulted him should beg to be forgiven. As he was turning sadly away, to seek his solitary chamber in the upper branch of a bachelor’s button, on the other side of the brook, the elf-clown Puck stood before him, looking as demure as puss herself.

“Well, fool,” said the knight, somewhat impatiently, “how long hast thou been listening here?”

“As long as my ears, your worship,” replied the urchin, undauntedly, “and they were long enough to hear that your worship’s valiancy is a very much over-praised commodity—since a maiden’s dainty veil of knitted night-air has proved too strong for him.

    The knight he sued, and the knight he sighed,

    But he went away without supper or bride.”

“Silence, imp! or I’ll make thine ears, of which thou hast had such pestilent service, shorter by a span.”

“No, I thank your valiancy! my ears do very well as they are. And I came to do you a good turn by offering you the use of them. But as your worship is so high and dry in Dundrum Bay, as we say at sea, I’ll e’en get back to my nap in the hazel copse again.”

“Nay, good Puck, I meant thee no harm, as thou knowest well enough. Since thou knowest my innermost grief, let me hear thy fool’s advice in the matter.”

“If I gave thee advice, I were in truth a fool. But I’ll very willingly forgive thee this time, and tell thee what I overheard to-night at the palace.”

“Ah, that’s a good Puck!”

“That depends on circumstances, your valiancy. I am somewhat like a dish of toasted gallinippers—whether it is palatable or not depending very much in the way it is served. But this is what I heard his majesty say to her majesty. ‘Sweetbine, my dear,’ said he, ‘don’t you think Dewbell has a fancy for our brave and noble knight, Sir Timothy Lawn?’ ‘Why, my love,’ replied her majesty, ‘I have long been almost certain that she loved him. But she is such a confirmed flirt I am afraid she can never be brought to say so. I haven’t the least idea that she would not reject Sir Timothy, were he to propose.’ ‘We must cure her of this fatal pride and folly,’ replied his majesty, ‘and I think that, with a little of your assistance, I can manage it capitally.’ And then the dear old people passed into the royal bed-chamber, in the japonica wing, and I heard no more.”

“I’ll to the king.”

“And I’ll to a better friend than he; if you permit me, your worship, I take my bough and leave.”

“Avaunt, vile punning Puck! Thou hast been to Philadelphia, where all the streets rhyme, and every corner is a pun upon the next. May the fiend unquip thee! Away!”

“If thou I kest not jokes, thou hadst best stick to thy bachelor’s-buttonhood. I tell thee, marriage is a capital joke.”

“What knowest thou of marriage?”

“I am one of its fruits.”

“A bitter jest, indeed, and plucked ere half ripened. St. Bulwer! but thou wilt be a mother’s blessing when thou art fully grown!”

“Better save thy wits, sir knight! Thou wilt have a plentiful lack of them ere the honeymoon be out of the comb. A pleasant roost in thy bachelor’s hall, and many of them!” and the vagabond sprung upon the back of a green lizard creeping silently through the grass, and sticking his heels into his astonished charger, dragoon-fashion, disappeared down the bank of the brook.

The old king and his good wife, Sweetbine, were very much grieved at the foolish trifling of their daughter, Dewbell—for they were well assured that Dewbell loved the noble knight, Sir Timothy, and that it was only a spirit of mere wantonness that led her to vex and torment him. Long into the night did the royal couple converse, striving to devise some means of bringing their wayward daughter to her senses. They at last hit upon a plan, which they fondly hoped might be the means of securing the happiness of their child, and settling her comfortably in life.

The next morning his majesty sent for the dwarf, Puck, to his private cabinet, and received him with an unusually grave and troubled aspect.

“Venerable sire,” said Puck, making a mock reverence, and scarcely able to suppress a chuckle at the solemn looks of his master, “what facetious dream hath been playing its mad pranks about thy sacred pillow? Never saw I kingly face so mirthfully beprankt.”

“Come hither, good Puck,” said the king, patiently, “and when thou hast made thy breakfast of fun upon thy poor master, listen to him seriously.”

“Dear prince”, said the dwarf, suddenly running up to the king and casting himself weeping at his feet, “art thou, then, really troubled? Forgive thy poor slave!” and he began blubbering in the most pitiable manner, while he looked up into the face of the king with such a look of wo-begone and ludicrous despair, that Paterflor himself could scarce refrain from bursting into laughter.

“Thou hast done nothing wrong, good Puck—handsome Puck,” said the king, chucking his favorite under the chin. “I have need of thee. Here is my signet-ring. Bring me straight hither a young and handsome peasant, one who has never been seen by the court, nor any inhabitant of the palace. He must be intelligent, conscientious, and trustworthy. Dost thou know of such a one?”

“Yes, your majesty, I think I do. My friend, young Paudeen O’Rafferty, the son of the old forest-keeper, has just returned from Ireland, where he was carried by the fairies at his christening, and has been kept ever since until now, trying to get through the rent made by Mr. O’Connell in the pockets of his relatives. He’s as tight an Irish lad as your majesty ever saw; and as for his honesty, I’ll endorse it with both hands. The O’Raffertys are constitutionally honest.”

“Well, bring him hither at once. I shall be ready to receive him.”

Puck, with his funny face entirely restored to good humor, left the palace by a private gate, and running across a beautiful meadow, disappeared in the dark green forest. Idle lingerer as he was, he felt a strong inclination, at every hazel-copse he passed, to stop and have a chat with the rabbits he knew were hid beneath it; and more than once he was on the point of running up to a friendly deer and kissing his cold, black nose, just for auld lang syne. But, for a wonder, he was constant to his errand, and ran straight on—not stopping even to throw stones at a squirrel by the way—till he came to the forester’s hut.

He found the old forester and his wife alone. They received him kindly, for, notwithstanding his mad pranks, Puck was a favorite every where, and especially among the poor and humble, who were always safe from his mischievous propensities. The young Paudeen was out a little bit in the forest, but would return directly.

“And what brings good Master Puck from among the great lords and beautiful ladies of the coort to our poor little shieling, not bigger nor betther than the mud cabins of ould Ireland itself?” inquired the old woman, who had grown, with age and toil, wrinkled deaf and sour.

“I’ll explain all that as soon as Paudeen comes home,” replied the grave and mysterious Puck; “but, in the meantime, how do you get on Mr. O’Rafferty, and what is the news in the forest?”

“We get on but poorly,” said the old forester, “and the news is, that the people at the other side of the forest, where the potatoes have all rotted, and the land is wore down to its bare bones, for want of rest like, are very bad. Some of the women and childhers have already starved, and the men have for the most part took to dhrinken and fighten, till things is in a mighty bad way.”

“Yes,” chimed in the old woman, who seemed to have caught by instinct the subject of conversation, “and the poor stharven people say, too, that there is plenty of money squandhered upon extravagance by the king and his coort to give them all bread; and that the forests that is kept for the deers and craythurs to be killed for the spoort of the big folks, would give every man a bit of fresh land, and that the potatoes would grow well enough then.”

“Auch, Peggy, will ye have us hung for parjery, out and out!” exclaimed the terrified husband, casting a deprecating look at Puck. “Poor craythur, she doesn’t know what she is saying.”

At this juncture the young Paudeen made his appearance, and put a stop to a conversation that was becoming decidedly stupid. He made his respects cordially to Puck; and when he heard his errand, seemed amazed and delighted. After a good deal of difficulty, the old lady was made to understand what was the desire of the king.

“Hooh!” exclaimed the old crone, leaping from her seat and dancing about the room, “the dhrame’s come true at last! Och, hullybaloo! didn’t I know that the pretty Paudeen wasn’t born for the pig-stye! Bedad, but he’ll ruffle the gentles! Wont you, darlint?” and the old woman fell upon her son’s neck, smothering him with kisses, while the poor youth could hardly keep his legs under the vigor of her maternal caresses.



In a few days after the interview of Puck and Paudeen in the hut of the forester, there was great excitement at the court of Fairyland. The fashionable milliners and dress-makers never had seen such a time—orders from the aristocracy poured in upon them by scores, and their doors were beset by fashionable carriages, and little fairy footmen caparisoned in long coats with many capes, and broad, red bands fastened with shining buckles round their hats. The great artistes who were at the head of these establishments saw themselves amassing fortunes from the sudden influx of fashionable custom. But the poor little fairy seamstresses, who sat up all night, sometimes without time to eat or sleep, from sunset to sunset, so that all these splendid dresses might be finished in time—they did not fare so well. They grew pale and sick, and sat swaying and swinging about as they worked, until one might have thought them the ghosts of fairy workers, come back for a ghostly midnight frolic in their old haunts. It was melancholy enough, truly; but then nobody knew any thing about it. The rich ladies, when their splendid robes came home, did not stop to think that good, earnest, faithful fairy hearts had embroidered the roses that adorned the skirts from their own cheeks, and spangled them with the broken fragments of their youth’s faded dreams. If they had—

Well, and if they had?

That is not at all to the purport of my story; and so I will proceed to let the reader into the secret of all this flutter and fluster. A great prince had made his appearance at the court of Paterflor, and had created almost as great an excitement in Fairyland as a new prima donna with bright eyes and a sfogato voice among mere mortals. Nobody knew exactly who he was, but he came from a great way off, and had a name as long as a province, and, beside being incalculably wealthy, it was universally voted (ladies vote in Fairyland) that he was the very handsomest love of a fairy knight that ever jingled spurs, or sighed at the feet of beauty. He had come to court evidently with the “highest recommendations” to the king, such as would have procured him immediate access into the first “circles,” even in Philadelphia, where society lives behind barred doors, and goes about armed cap-a-pie against encroachment or intrusion. He had been at once received at the royal table, and a splendid suite of apartments had been assigned him in the palace itself. Such extraordinary attentions from the imperial family, of course, made the stranger a favorite and a welcome guest wherever he appeared; and there was not a lady at court who would not have given her eyes—if it would not have spoiled her beauty—for a smile from his magnificent mouth.

It was discovered, however, at a very early stage of the proceedings, that the chief object of the prince’s admiration was the lady Dewbell, who, proud as she was, could not help feeling flattered by the evident and special devotion of one for whom the whole of her sex were dying. Sir Timothy Lawn, who, from pique or melancholy, or from some unknown cause, had left the court the very day after the arrival of the new prince, was not entirely forgotten, but was laid away carefully on a back shelf of her heart; and the lady Dewbell never had been so beautiful, so fascinating, so joyous and irresistible. Courts are as fickle as coquettes; and before the month had passed, in a series of brilliant fêtes and entertainments, at all of which the prince and princess were the reigning toast, it was regarded as a settled thing that there would, ere the maple leaves grew red in the dying gaze of the year, be a royal marriage in Fairyland.

But while to all around the beautiful Dewbell was ever the same careless, saucy and happy creature as ever, in her heart she nursed a bitter sorrow. After many and severe struggles, she was forced at last to make to herself the humiliating acknowledgment that she deeply and truly loved Sir Timothy Lawn, that noble and chivalric spirit, whom her unworthy trifling had driven—so her frightened heart interpreted it—in disgust from her. Compelled in common courtesy to receive the devoted attentions of the stranger prince, and to hear every day and every hour repeated the earnest solicitations of her father that she should school herself to regard the stranger as her future husband, her little fairy heart was quite broken with its ceaseless struggles. Her pride and self-will were entirely vanquished, and she felt herself truly the most miserable of fairy maidens. Suicide is of course a thing strictly prohibited among immortals; but had it been otherwise, I sadly fear that one of the lady Dewbell’s spider-web silk hose would some morning have been found without a garter, and she herself hanging like a beauteous exhalation among the elm-leaves in the morning sunshine. Oh, had Sir Timothy been there then, he would have found, instead of his imperious and tantalizing coquette, the tenderest and truest of disconsolate maidens, ready to melt into his arms between the delicious pause of a sigh and a kiss. “Naughty, cruel Sir Timothy! Horrid creature! to take all my nonsense for real earnest, and to go away and leave me to be persecuted to death!” exclaimed the lady Dewbell, with an uncontrollable burst of tears, as she threw herself, her toilet half finished, and her hair all strewn over her face and shoulders, upon her little praying cushion. “What will become of poor Bell!”

“What ails my daughter?” said the sweet, soft voice of the queen mother, as she knelt tenderly over her child, and pressed her head to her bosom. “Tell your sorrows to your mother.”

“Oh, mother, I am the most wretched fairy that ever existed. I don’t want to marry that odious, red-haired stranger; and my father has made me promise that the wedding shall take place on Halloween—and I—I have consented. But I love Sir Timothy; and I wont marry any body but him,” sobbed the poor creature, convulsively, as she cast herself upon the floor, and looked up to her mother, terrified and half frantic.

“But, dearest, you know you laughed at poor Sir Timothy’s vows—and he is so sensitive.”

“Oh, yes, I know I did, but I’ll never do so any more. If Sir Timothy will only come back and forgive me, and marry me, just this once, I will never, never offend him again as long as I live—never, never, never! Do, mamma, do make him come back!”

“Poor child! I will certainly do all I can. But you have promised to be married on Halloween.”

“Oh, yes, but that is a good fortnight off, and you can bring Sir Timothy back before then, you know, and he can kill this horrid stranger, and then every body will be so happy!” and the face of the volatile creature began already to re-clothe itself in smiles.

“I fear you are mistaken, love,” said her mother, solemnly, and shaking her head in an impressive manner, she added, “do not deceive yourself with such fallacies, my daughter; your princely word is passed, your father’s royal honor is pledged, and you must be married on Halloween.”

The lady Dewbell, sobbing hysterically, again looked up. She was alone; at the same moment the cat-and-baby face of Puck glanced by the window, and a wild, mischievous laugh melted away into a song, of which the lady only caught the two last lines:

    “He rideth fast, and he rideth well,

     But his heart still clings to the pretty Bell.”

“Oh, bless thee, dear Puck!” sighed the haply wondering lady, rising and leaning from the window. “May thy sweet prophecy come true!”



’Tis Halloween midnight. Through the tall windows of the venerable church streamed in the broad moonlight, in bright silver floods, that lost themselves in the profound recesses of the distant aisles, or fell like many-colored snow-flakes upon the marble floor. Entering without sound, came up the middle aisle the royal wedding-procession. First walked the father, the royal Paterflor, looking stern and determined, yet, it must be confessed, a little roguish about the crowsfeet. Upon his arm leaned his pale and stricken daughter, the once proud, joyous and imperious Princess Dewbell. She was pale as a lily’s cup, and drooping as its stem. She never raised her head from her bosom, and her eyes, once sparkling like fountains of light, were hidden beneath their willowy lids. Next comes the “red-haired prince,” as the lady Dewbell had scornfully denominated him, (his head was a little inclined to flame, dear reader, between you and me,) respectfully conducting the ever sweet and placid Queen Woodbine; and after them a troop of merry and gayly-dressed fairies, both ladies and gentlemen, but very demure and solemn; while Puck, in the united capacity of Hymen and Grand Usher, was dodging about with his flaming torch, now in front, now in rear, now here, now there, and every where imparting an air of grotesqueness to the whole affair.

At the altar the party stopped, and ranging themselves in the approved order for such occasions, the priest—a grave and reverend bullfrog, whose surplice was scrupulously neat and tidy—proceeded with the ceremony. When he came to the question, “dost thou, my daughter, freely and voluntarily bestow thy hand and thy affections upon this man, Paudeen O’Rafferty, commonly called Pat?”

The pale and shrinking lady raised her head and opened her great ox-like eyes; the bridegroom looked sheepish and hung his head; King Paterflor seemed suddenly troubled with a severe fit of coughing, and the priest could scarcely forbear a chuckle.

“Father, dear father, what is the meaning of this cruel joke?” exclaimed the poor lady Dewbell, running to her father and catching hold of his arm. But the old king’s cough was still very troublesome. She then appealed to the priest, but he seemed deaf, and only made a grum kind of noise in his throat, that sounded a good deal like “Pat O’Rafferty.”

“Who, then, are you, sir?” demanded she, at last, of the groom, turning suddenly and imperiously upon him her piercing gaze.

“So plaze yer ladyship, I am Paudeen O’Rafferty, the son of the forester—at yer ladyship’s sarvice.”

The fairy princess was about to faint, in the most approved manner, and had already selected a convenient cushion upon which to fall, when a tall and noble form crossed the moon-ray, and Sir Timothy Lawn stood before her.

“Beloved princess,” said he, kneeling, and respectfully taking her hand, “I hope my presence is not disagreeable to the queen of my heart, for whose love I have so long pined. Speak to me frankly, sweet lady Dewbell, tell me, can you love me? Will you permit me to call you mine forever?”

The lady Dewbell changed her intention respecting the cushion upon which she had intended to faint, and, somehow, found herself before she was half conscious of it, in her lover’s arms. An explanation ensued; the prince Paudeen gave up his post of honor to Sir Timothy; the ceremony was concluded on the spot; and as the gay and joyous party left the church, Puck was seen sitting at the organ accompanying himself in a sort of wild yet sweet chant, of which the lady Dewbell easily distinguished—

    “Oh, a merry tale will the gossips tell,

     Of the happy mishap of the proud lady Bell.”





      Long have I gazed upon all lovely things,

        Until my soul was melted into song,

      Melted with love till from its thousand springs

        The stream of adoration, swift and strong,

      Swept in its ardor, drowning brain and tongue,

    Till what I most would say was borne away unsung.


      The brook is silent when it mirrors most

        Whate’er is grand or beautiful above;

      The billow which would woo the flowery coast

        Dies in the first expression of its love;

      And could the bard consign to living breath

    Feelings too deep for thought, the utterance were death!


      The starless heavens at noon are a delight;

        The clouds a wonder in their varying play,

      And beautiful when from their mountainous height

        The lightning’s hand illumes the wall of day:—

      The noisy storm bursts down—and passing brings

    The rainbow poised in air on unsubstantial wings.


      But most I love the melancholy night—

        When with fixed gaze I single out a star

      A feeling floods me with a tender light—

        A sense of an existence from afar,

      A life in other spheres of love and bliss,

    Communion of true souls—a loneliness in this!


      There is a sadness in the midnight sky—

        An answering fullness in the heart and brain,

      Which tells the spirit’s vain attempt to fly

        And occupy those distant worlds again.

      At such an hour Death’s were a loving trust,

    If life could then depart in its contempt of dust.


      It may be that this deep and longing sense

        Is but the prophecy of life to come;

      It may be that the soul in going hence

        May find in some bright star its promised home;

      And that the Eden lost forever here

    Smiles welcome to me now from yon suspended sphere.


      There is a wisdom in the light of stars,

        A wordless lore which summons me away—

      This ignorance belongs to earth which bars

        The spirit in these darkened walls of clay,

      And stifles all the soul’s aspiring breath;—

    True knowledge only dawns within the gales of Death.


      Imprisoned thus, why fear we then to meet

        The angel who shall ope the dungeon-door,

      And break these galling fetters from our feet,

        To lead us up from Time’s benighted shore?

      Is it for love of this dark cell of dust,

    Which, tenantless, awakes but horror and disgust?


      Long have I mused upon all lovely things;

        But thou, oh Death! art lovelier than all;

      Thou sheddest from thy recompensing wings

        A glory which is hidden by the pall—

      The excess of radiance falling from thy plume

    Throws from the gates of Time a shadow on the tomb.





    Why should my anxious heart repine

    That Wealth and Power can ne’er be mine,

      And Love has flown—

    That Friendship changes as the breeze?

    Mine is a joy unknown to these;

      In Song’s bright zone,

    To sit by Helicon serene,

    And hear the waves of Hippocrene

      Lave Phœbus’ throne.


    Here deathless lyres the strains prolong,

    That gush from living founts of song,

      Without a cross;

    Here spirits never feel the weight

    Of Wrong, or Envy, or of Hate,

      Or earthly loss;

    The pomp of Pelf—the pride of Birth—

    The gilded trappings of this earth

      Return to dross.


    Oh, ye! who would forget the ills

    Of earth, and all the bosom fills

      With agony!

    Come dwell with me in Fancy’s dream,

    Beside this lovely fabled stream

      Of minstrelsy;

    And let its draughts celestial roll

    Into the deep wells of thy soul



    God always sets along the way

    Of weary souls some beacon ray

      Of light divine;

    And only when my spirit’s wings

    Are weary in the quest of springs

      Of Song, I pine;

    If I could always heavenward fly,

    And never earthward turn mine eye,

      Bliss would be mine.






There is peace in the Night of the Early Dead—

  It will yield to a glorious morrow! Clarke.


Amid all the brightness and bloom which the imagination conjures up, when we think of the sunny islands lying within the tropics, many mournful associations arise and cast a sadness over the picture. Very few have not had within the circle of their relatives, or friends, some cherished one, who has vainly sought the balmy breezes of those favored spots, with the feverish hope that amid their loveliness Death would forget to launch his arrows for them.

Alas! to die among strangers is usually the fate of those who are thus lured from their homes by a deceitful hope. There, where Nature wears a perpetual verdure—where the fervid sun brings forth a luxuriance of vegetation unknown in more northern regions, the wearied spirit sinks to repose, soothed, or saddened, by the glow of existence around.

A spacious apartment on the southern side of a highly ornamented villa, opened into a magnificent garden, filled with orange-trees, oleanders, and many other gorgeous flowers peculiar to the climate of Cuba; while in the distance the sunlight gleamed upon a row of towering palms, whose stately columns, crowned by their verdant coronal, resembled the pillars of some mighty temple, which found a fitting canopy in the blue arch of heaven, glowing with the gorgeous hues of a tropical sunset.

The floor of this room was inlaid with marble of different colors, and the couch and windows were draped with snowy lace, lightly embroidered at the edges, and looped with cords of blue and silver—tables with marble tops, supporting porcelain vases filled with flowers, were placed between the windows, for these ephemeral children of sunshine were dear to the heart of the dying one. Beside one of these stood a large cushioned chair, in which reclined a young man of delicate features and wasted form. He appeared in the last stages of his fell disease, and the friends who had received him beneath their roof to die, wondered that he should have been deluded with the hope that health could ever again reanimate his bowed and shrunken form. There was an expression of care upon his sharpened features—a feverish restlessness in his manner, which betrayed the spirit’s unrest.

At his feet sat a young girl, whose brilliant complexion and pale-brown hair betrayed her Saxon origin; the finely rounded figure, the delicately formed feet and hands, and the gracefully turned head and bust, were all evidences of the grade of life to which she belonged. She held the burning hand of the invalid between her own soft, cool palms, and sung in a sweet low voice an old ballad which told of the ancient greatness of the Saxon race. At a short distance from them sat an elderly lady, clad in deep mourning, and her saddened countenance corresponded well with her weeds.

The young man made an impatient movement, and said—“Sing not to me England’s former prowess, dear Edith. What to the dying can such themes be but a bitter mockery? Take your guitar, my sister, and throw your soul into its vibrating strings, while you sing me such a lay as I can fancy the angels of Heaven to be pouring forth around the throne of God.”

“Shall I sing the chants of our church, dearest Edgar?” said Edith in a subdued voice.

“Yes—yes—they breathe peace and resignation into my restless soul. When I am dying, my sister, stifle your own feelings as you love me, and pour into my failing senses those magnificent strains. If God sees fit to tear me from you before I can legally provide for you and my beloved mother, I shall be enabled to forget the bitter truth in listening to your sweet voice. You promise me this, Edith?”

“I do—Heaven will sustain me even then, my darling brother, and give me power to forget my own anguish in soothing your last moments.”

Edith Euston pressed his hand to her lips, and raising from the floor a guitar which lay beside her, she poured forth a strain of melody which seemed to soothe the senses of the invalid to rest. His eyes closed, and an expression of repose rested on his worn features.

Twilight deepened over the earth—a single ray of light, from the reddened sky, fell through the open window upon the figure of the young girl, and the mother, who sat silent and abstracted, thought as she glanced upon her that even in a higher world her beloved Edith could wear no lovelier outward semblance than was now hers. There was an expression of elevated feeling, of pure tenderness in her upturned face which revealed the high and noble soul within. One fitted to suffer and conquer in the dark struggle which she felt awaited her.

Hers were not the only eyes which contemplated that lovely picture of sisterly devotion upon that twilight eve. Another stood without, beneath the shadow of a high hedge, and gazed upon the unconscious musician with even deeper admiration; and his dark, expressive features lighted up with an emotion almost of reverence. The stars came forth in the translucent depths of ether; the young moon cast her tremulous light over the garden, yet still the intruder lingered in his place of concealment. Twice he put the boughs aside, as if to approach the room and announce his presence, but again receded, as if irresolute and uncertain as to the effect his presence might produce.

At length all became silent. The tones of the instrument died slowly away, and the voice of the singer ceased to pour forth its song. The windows were still unclosed, for the invalid had reached that distressing stage in his malady, when his oppressed breathing required a constant circulation of free air. A lamp burning beneath an alabaster shade was swung from the centre of the ceiling, and its mellow lustre diffused a faint moonlight radiance throughout the apartment.

With suppressed breathing the two ladies watched the sleep of the sick youth, and he who had so earnestly observed every movement of Edith, ventured to approach so near the open window that the heavy and interrupted respiration of young Euston was distinctly audible to him; while his eagle eye sought to penetrate the shadow in which his features reposed, that he might read upon them the ravages made by approaching dissolution.

As he stood thus, the moonlight revealed a tall, well proportioned figure, clad in a suit of black, well fitted to his form. His prominent features and flashing black eyes were half concealed by a large straw hat, which was carelessly placed upon his head. As he gazed upon the sleeping form, his lips curled, and a strange expression of exultation came to his face; his eye wandered triumphantly to the fair brow of Edith.

“Twice rejected,” he muttered half audibly—“twice rejected, and with scorn, by yon dainty girl; now methinks my vengeance is almost within my grasp. I hold her future destiny in my power; for this boy cannot drag out his existence another week. Yes, Edith—to labor you have not been bred—to beg you will be ashamed, and he who vainly hopes that time will be granted him to deprive me of my inheritance, will perish from my path, just as he believes himself on the verge of consummating his hatred to me.”

Edith softly arose, and making a sign to her mother, glided noiselessly from the room by a distant window, which opened to the floor. The intruder hesitated a moment, and then followed her with light and rapid steps. The flutter of her white dress guided him to the retreat she had chosen, and she had scarcely thrown herself upon a rustic seat beneath the shelter of some orange-boughs, and given vent to her painfully repressed emotion, by a burst of tears, when the dark stranger stood before her. She started up and would have fled, but he spoke, and the sound of his voice seemed to bind her to the spot as by a spell.

“Why would you fly from me, Edith?” he asked. “I come in the spirit of good-will to you and yours.”

A struggle seemed to be passing in the mind of the young girl. She wiped her tears away, and after a pause answered in a tone which faltered at first, but grew firm, and even haughty as she proceeded,

“What has brought you hither, Mr. Barclay? Yet why do I ask? To exult in the fate of your unfortunate victim; to watch each painful breath which brings him nearer to his grave, with the certainty that the very eagerness with which he desires a few more days of existence, that he may fulfill a sacred duty, is fast wearing away the faint thread that yet binds him to life. Oh false, unfeeling man! depart, I pray you, if one human instinct yet remains within your callous heart, and leave my unhappy brother to die in peace.”

She turned to depart, but Barclay stepped forward and placed his hand on her arm, as if to detain her. She shrunk from his touch with an expression of loathing, which called the crimson to his cheek, but he suppressed his emotion, and said calmly—

“I knew that you would soon need a protector, Miss Euston, and I came hither with the faint hope that I might be able to overcome your cruel prejudices against me—that I might become to you a friend at least, if no dearer title were allowed me.”

“You a friend to me!” exclaimed Edith impetuously. “You, who lured my brother from his home, to wreck his existence in the life of dissipation to which you tempted him. Ever feeble from his boyhood, you knew that little was needed to destroy his frail constitution—yet, because he stood between you and the possession of wealth, his life was offered as the sacrifice to your criminal cupidity. And now you come hither to watch the last fluttering throes of existence, fearful that Death may delay his arrows until he shall have passed that hour which entitles him to dispose of his property—and disappoint your hopes, by bequeathing his wealth to those who are dearest to him.”

“You are excited, Edith. You judge me too severely. Edgar’s own headlong passions destroyed him. I merely urged him to do as others of his years and station, without foreseeing such fatal results. My love for you would have prompted me to save your brother.”

“Speak not to me of love—dare not approach the sister of your victim with proffers of affection. The death of Edgar may leave me penniless—nearly friendless—I have been tenderly nurtured, but I would sooner embrace a life of sternest self-denial, of utter poverty, than link myself with infamy in your person. Leave me—and dare not approach the room of my brother, to imbitter his last hours by your presence.”

“And your mother, my fair heroine?” said Barclay, in a tone of sarcasm bordering on contempt. “What will become of her if you persist in the rejection of the only person in the wide world on whom you have any claim? She is old, feeble, broken in health and spirit. Ah! will not your proud heart faint when you behold her sharing this life of poverty and self-denial, which seems to you so much more attractive than the home and protection I offer you?”

Edith stifled the tears that sprung anew to her eyes, and after a brief struggle said with composure—

“My mother is too honorable—she has too bitter a disdain of meanness ever to wish her child to sacrifice the truth and integrity of her soul, by accepting the hand of one for whom she has no respect.”

“By Heaven!” said Barclay passionately, “you force me to throw away the scabbard and declare war to the knife. Be it so, then. Yonder weak boy cannot survive five of the ten days yet required to complete his majority. Then comes to me—yes to me—all his wealth; and only as my wife shall one ray of my prosperity shine upon you. The gray hairs of your only parent may be brought to the grave by want and sorrow, and unless you relent toward me my heart shall be steeled to her sufferings.”

At this picture, which was only too likely to be realized, the courage of the unhappy Edith forsook her, and she exclaimed in faltering tones—

“My dear, dear mother! for her sake any other sacrifice might be borne—but not this—not this. My brother yet lives, and Heaven may in pity prolong his existence beyond the hour he so anxiously prays to see. Then we escape your power.”

Barclay laughed mockingly.

“This is the fifteenth, and he is not of age until the twenty-fifth, exactly at the second hour of the morning. One moment only before that time should Death claim his victim the estate is mine, and you dependent on my bounty. Think you that the frail and wasted ghost of a man who struggles for breath in yonder room can live through another week? Hope—yes, hope for the best, for despair will come soon enough. I feel as secure of my inheritance as though it were already mine.”

Edith proudly motioned him from her path, and fled toward the house, with his mocking words still ringing in her ears. Her brother yet slept, and as she gazed upon his sunken features it seemed to her as if death were already stamped upon them, and she bent her head above his still face, to convince herself that he yet breathed.

Barclay and Euston were distantly related, and had both been educated by an eccentric kinsman, with the belief among their connections that he designed dividing his ample fortune between them. To the surprise and chagrin of Barclay, he found on the death of Colonel Euston that the whole of his estate was bequeathed to his young cousin, encumbered with an annuity to himself, which appeared to one of his expensive tastes, and lavish prodigality, as absolute poverty.

Edgar Euston was then but seventeen years of age, and of a delicate bodily organization, which did not promise length of days. A clause in Colonel Euston’s will offered a temptation to Barclay, which he had not sufficient principle to resist. If Euston died before attaining his majority the estate was to pass into the hands of his kinsman, and no mention was made of the mother or sister of the young heir. Barclay reflected that if he could remove Euston from his path, before he attained his twenty-first year, the coveted wealth would yet be his.

From that hour he made every effort to win the confidence and affection of young Euston. He was his senior by nearly ten years, and possessed a knowledge of the world, and a fascination of manner which was extremely attractive to a youth who had passed the greater portion of his life, at a country residence, in the society of his mother and sister. Euston entered one of our Northern colleges, and under the auspices of his kinsman he soon achieved a reputation which was far more applauded by the wild students than agreeable to the professors. He blindly followed wherever Barclay led, and before he entered his twenty-first year he returned to his early home, with a constitution completely broken by the reckless life he had led, and the symptoms of early decay in his flushed cheek and hollow cough. Vain had been the entreaties and remonstrances of his mother and sister; under the influence of his tempter, they were utterly disregarded—until the hand of disease was laid upon him, and he felt that the only atonement he could offer for all the suffering he had inflicted upon them would probably be denied to him.

He earnestly desired to live, that he might reach that age which would entitle him to make a legal transfer of his property to those who were deservedly dear to him, for in the event of his death without a will, his mother and sister would be left entirely dependent on the tender mercies of his successor. An unfortunate lawsuit had deprived his mother of the property which had become hers on the death of his father, and his own reckless extravagance had dissipated more than the annual revenue of his own property since it came into his possession.

Too late he discovered the baseness of Barclay’s motives, and renounced all intercourse with him—but he would not thus be cast off. He had seen and loved the noble-hearted Edith, and he forced his hypocritical offers of service upon the afflicted family, until Edith distinctly assured him that he need never hope for a return to his passion.

Euston had long since abandoned all hope of recovery, but he sought the mild climate of Cuba, trusting that the fatal day might be deferred until he had secured independence to his family, but his physician feared that the very eagerness of his wishes would eventually defeat them. It was mournful, and deeply touching, to witness that clinging to existence in one so young, not from love of life itself, but from a desire to perform an act of justice. That completed, his mission on earth was ended, and Death might claim him without a murmur.

The hours dragged heavily on toward the desired day, and each one as it passed appeared to hurry the poor invalid with rapid strides toward the grave, that seemed eager to claim its prey. Barclay had not again ventured to intrude on Edith, but he nightly hovered around the room of the dying youth, and gloated on the wasted and death-like form which held his earthly fortunes in his hands.

A skillful physician had accompanied Euston from his native land, and his unremitting attention, aided by the tender nursing of his affectionate sister, seemed as if they would eventually reap their reward in the preservation of life beyond the hour of his majority.

In pain and weariness time slowly waned, but it still left him life and an unclouded mind; and the bold, bad heart, that nightly watched him, feared that the wealth he so ardently coveted, might yet elude his grasp.

The evening of the twenty-fifth at last arrived. Euston reclined in his chair as we first beheld him, wrapped in a brocade dressing-gown, whose brilliant colors made his extreme pallor the more remarkable; a table was drawn close beside him, and on it, at his own desire, was placed his repeater, from which his eyes scarcely wandered. His breath came slowly and gaspingly, and at brief intervals his physician moistened his parched lips with a restorative cordial, and murmured words of encouragement in his ear.

As before, Edith sat at his feet, with her guitar, ready to stifle her deep emotion, and fulfill her promise to sing to him while his parting soul was struggling for release from its earthly tenement. His mother leaned over his chair, and bathed his cold brow with her burning tears; in the back-ground sat a clergyman, gazing on the scene with absorbing interest.

Each one in that hushed room felt the approach of the stern tyrant, and all prayed fervently that his dart might be stayed yet a few hours.

“My sister, sing to me. Soothe me into quietness by the loved tones of your voice. It is my only hope for life beyond the desired hour,” murmured the dying youth.

With tremulous fingers Edith touched the chords, and poured forth the solemn strains to which he loved to listen, and he sunk back and closed his eyes. At first her voice faltered, but she gradually regained her self-command, and never had those clear, rich tones uttered a sweeter strain, than that which floated around the fluttering spirit, which struggled to release itself from the attenuated form of the early doomed.

Barclay stood without, watching the scene with breathless interest, and a terrible struggle was passing in his dark and stormy soul. Euston might live beyond the hour of two, and he would then be a beggar. His eye wandered toward Edith, so nobly devoted, so purely beautiful; and the tempter whispered,

“She might save you—ennoble you; the love, the sweet influence of such a woman are all powerful. Once yours, you could surround her with such an atmosphere of care and tenderness, that her heart must be won to love you—to forget the past. Without her, you are doomed—doomed. What matters a few more moments of existence to one like him, when the eternal welfare of a human being hangs trembling in the balance? Deprived of the means of living, Edith will have no choice—she must marry you, or debase her pride of soul before the iron sway of poverty. Her mother is old—infirm; and for her sake, the daughter will listen to your proffers of love. Take your destiny into your own hands. Cowardly soul! why falter now? It is but completing your own work. He is your victim—you know it, and feel it in every pulse of your throbbing heart. Years of usefulness might have been his, but for you; then complete the sacrifice without hesitation. What avails it to have accomplished so much, if the reward escapes you at the last moment?”

Such were the wild thoughts that oppressed his soul during those terrible hours. He saw that the parchment which disinherited him was placed beside Euston, and the pen stood in the inkstand, ready to do its service, so soon as the hand of the watch pointed to the hour of two; and he ground his teeth in impotent rage, as the moments flitted by, and Euston yet continued to breathe.

Terrible is the watch of love beside the flitting soul which parts in peace; but how much more awful was that vigil, in which the anguish of bereavement was doubly embittered by the fear of future want to those who had been reared amid all the refinements of luxury. The mother looked upon her remaining child, and felt that she was not formed to struggle with poverty and neglect, and the daughter bent her tearful eyes on that venerable form, and in the depths of her soul, prayed that her old age might be spared the grinding cares of want.

The watch struck the half hour—then the quarter—and a feeble motion of Euston stopped the hand of Edith as she swept it over the strings of her instrument. She arose and stood beside him; a breathless silence reigned throughout the apartment, only broken by the monotonous ticking of the watch, which struck upon the excited nerves of those around with a sound as distinct as the reverberations of thunder.

Not a word was uttered until the hand pointed to the hour, then, as if endued with sudden energy, the dying man stretched forth his hand, and grasping the pen, said in a firm, distinct voice,

“Now let me sign my name, and yield up my spirit to the angel that has been beckoning me away for hours. My mother—my sister, God has vouchsafed to me a mercy I did not deserve. Thank Heaven! your interests are safe. You are free from his power.”

At that instant a strange cry was heard; a bird flew into the room, and, dazzled by the light, flapped his wings against the shade of the lamp, overturned it, and left the apartment in utter darkness. In the confusion of the moment, a figure glided through the open window, and stood beside the chair of Euston. He noiselessly placed his firm grasp upon his laboring breast, and held it there a single instant. A faint rattling sound was heard, and Edith wildly called for lights.

Noiselessly as he had entered glided that dark form from the side of his victim, and buried itself in the shadows of the trees without. Many lights flashed into the room—they glared coldly on the face of the dead, and the mother sunk senseless in the arms of her daughter.



Several months have passed away, and Mrs. Euston and her daughter have returned to their native land. A single room in an obscure boarding-house in the heart of a southern city was occupied by both. The expenses of their voyage to New Orleans, and a few months sojourn in their present abode, humble as it was, had nearly exhausted their slender resources. Edith had made many efforts to procure a few scholars to instruct in music and drawing, but the departure of the greater portion of the wealthy, during the unhealthy season, had deprived her of those she had been able to obtain. She thought of going out as a daily governess, but the feeble health and deep dejection of her mother, offered an insuperable objection to such an arrangement. When she left her alone even for an hour, she usually found her in such a state of nervous excitement on her return, as was painful to behold.

Edith is seated near the only window of their sordid apartment in the afternoon of a sultry summer day; the sun is shining without with overpowering splendor; a heated vapor rises from the paved streets and seems to shimmer in the breathless atmosphere. Edith had lost all the freshness and roundness of youth; her cheek was deadly white, and her emaciated form seemed to indicate the approach of the terrible disease of which her brother had died. She was sewing industriously, and her air of weariness and lassitude betrayed the strong mastery of the spirit over the body, in the continuance of her employment.

Mrs. Euston was lying on the bed; and twenty years seemed to have passed over her since the night of her son’s death. The oppressive heat had induced her to remove her cap, and her long hair, white as the snows of winter, lay around her wasted and furrowed features. From infancy the respect and observance due to one of high station had been bestowed upon her, and the reverse in their fortunes was more than she could bear. At first, her high-toned feelings had shrunk from obligations to the new heir, and she approved of Edith’s rejection; but as time passed, amid privations to which she had never been accustomed, her very soul revolted against their miserable mode of living.

To a woman of refined feelings and vivid imagination, the coarse and sordid realities around her were sufficiently heart-sickening, without having the terrible fear forced upon her that her only child was hurrying to the grave through her exertions to keep them literally from starvation. Her daughter now thought she slept, but her mind was far too busily occupied to permit the sweet influences of slumber to soothe her into a momentary forgetfulness of her bitter grief. Suddenly she unclosed her eyes, and spoke.

“Edith, my child, lay aside that work—such constant employment is destroying you. Is it not time that we heard from Robert Barclay? Surely he will not be relentless, when he hears that your health is failing. After all, Edith, you need not be so averse to receiving assistance from him; the property he holds is rightfully ours.”

“Mother,” replied Edith, a faint flush mounting to her cheek, “for your sake I have submitted to humiliate myself before our ruthless kinsman, but I fear it will be in vain. Only as his wife will my claims on his humanity and justice be acknowledged. Would you not shrink, dearest mother, from condemning your child to such a doom? Could you not better bear to stand above my grave, and know me at peace within it, than to behold me wedded to this unprincipled man, to whose pernicious example my brother owed his early doom?”

“Speak not of dying, my daughter,” said the poor mother, hysterically, “I cannot bear it; I am haunted by the fear that I shall at last be left on earth alone. I daily behold you fading before my eyes without the power to avert the fate I see written upon your pale cheek and wasted form. As Robert’s wife you would have a luxurious home, the means of gratifying refined tastes, and of contributing to the happiness of others. He may atone to me, by the preservation of one child, for the destruction of the other.”

“Mother, your fears for me blind you to the truth. Are not mental griefs far more difficult to bear than the privations of poverty, galling as they are? As Mr. Barclay’s wife, I should loathe myself for the hypocrisy I should be compelled to practice toward him; and the wealth for which I had sold myself, would allow me leisure to brood over my own unworthiness, until madness might be the result. No, no, mother—come what may, I never can be so untrue to myself as to become the wife of Robert Barclay.”

“God help us, then!” said Mrs. Euston, despondingly.

A carriage drove to the door, and a gentleman alighted from it. Edith heard the bustle, but she did not look out to see what occasioned it, and she was startled from her painful reverie by a knock on the door. She opened it, and started back with a faint cry as she recognized Barclay.

“The landlady told me to come up,” he said, as he glanced around the wretched apartment, and a slight twinge of remorse touched his heart as he remarked the changed appearance of Edith. She motioned him to enter, while Mrs. Euston arose from the bed, and offered him a seat.

“I concluded it would be best to reply to your communication in person,” said he to Mrs. Euston, as he took the offered chair. “I come with the most liberal intentions, provided Miss Euston will listen to reason. I am grieved to see you in a place so unsuited to your former station as this wretched apartment.”

“And yet,” said Edith, “I have passed some pleasant hours in this room, comfortless as it looks. So long as I had the hope of being able to provide for our wants by my own exertions, I found contentment in its humble shelter.”

“Your happiness must then be truly independent of outward circumstances,” replied Barclay, with a touch of his old sarcasm. “I supposed, from the tenor of your mother’s petition, that you had begun to repent of your high-toned language to me in our last interview, and would now accede to terms you once spurned, as the price of my assistance to you and yours.”

Edith curbed her high spirit, and calmly replied, “You misunderstood my mother’s words. As the mother of the late heir, she justly considers herself entitled to a pittance from your estate, and she claimed from your humanity, what she was hopeless of obtaining from your sense of justice. For myself, I hoped for nothing from either, but I acquiesced in her application. I am sorry that you have founded on it expectations which must prove fallacious.”

“Then, madam, I need remain no longer,” said Barclay, addressing Mrs. Euston. “Your daughter remembers our interview previous to, and after, the death of her brother; the only terms on which I would assist you were then explicitly expressed.”

Mrs. Euston caught his hand, and bowed her venerable head upon it.

“Have mercy, Robert, upon my gray hairs—my daughter; look at her—she is dying by inches—she is stifling in this wretched spot. The money that was my son’s should surely buy a shelter for us. Leave us not helpless, hopeless. My God! my God! give me eloquence to plead for my child!” and she threw herself upon the floor, and raised her clasped hands to heaven.

“Madam,” said Barclay, “it only rests with your daughter to have mercy upon you and herself. Where, I ask you, is her filial piety, when she beholds you suffer thus, and relents not toward one who offers her a love that has survived coldness, contempt, contumely.”

Edith approached her mother, and assisted her to rise.

“My dearest mother, calm yourself. Humble not yourself thus before our oppressor. God is just—is merciful. He will not forget the widow and the orphan in their extremity. Leave us, Mr. Barclay; had my wishes alone been consulted, you never would have been called on thus to witness our misfortunes.”

Barclay bowed, and haughtily strode from the room.

“Another month of privation,” he muttered, “and she will surely be mine or Death’s. It does not much matter to which she belongs. Ah, if she only knew all!” and he sprung into his cabriolet, and dashed off toward the more aristocratic portion of the city.

In the hope that Edith would be forced to relent, Barclay had remained in New Orleans thus late in the season, and he resolved to linger yet a little longer, until want and suffering should leave her no choice. His passion for her was one of those insanities to which men of his violent character are often liable. He desired her as the one great gift, which was to purify, to exalt him in the scale of humanity. The delicate beauty of her person, the sensibility of her soul, the grace of her manner, rendered her irresistibly attractive to him; but so selfish was his love, that he would sooner have seen her perish at his feet, than have rendered her assistance, except at the price proposed.

Another month passed by, and still there was no news of Edith or her mother. He grasped the daily paper, almost with a sensation of fear, and glanced at the column of deaths, which at that season usually contains a goodly array. Their names were not yet among them, or perchance in their poverty and obscurity they would not find admittance even among the daily list of mortality.

The yellow fever had commenced its annual ravages, and Barclay retreated to a country-house in the vicinity, owned by a friend, and dispatched a confidential servant to inquire concerning Mrs. Euston and her daughter. They were still in the same place, but the mother had been ill, and was still confined to her bed.

One morning, about two weeks afterward, Barclay was seated in a delightful little saloon, over a late breakfast. The room was furnished with every appliance of modern luxury, and the morning air stirred the branches of noble trees without, whose verdant shade completely shut out the glare of the sun. A servant entered, and presented to him a letter which had just been left. The irregular hand with which it was directed, prevented him from recognizing the writing of Edith, and when he opened the missive, which had evidently been blotted with her bitter tears, a flush of triumph mounted to his cheek, and he exclaimed with an oath,

“Mine at last!—I knew it must end thus!”

The letter contained the following words:

“After a night of such suffering as casts all I have previously endured into the shade, I address you. My mother now lies before me in that heavy and death-like sleep which follows utter exhaustion. Her state of health for the last month has demanded my constant care, and the precarious remuneration I have been able to obtain for sewing, I have thus been compelled to give up. We have parted with every souvenir of our better days—even our clothing has been sacrificed, until we have but a change of garments left; and now our landlady insists on being paid the small sum we owe her, or we must leave her house to-day. She came into our room last evening, and the scene which ensued threw my mother into such a state of nervous excitement, that she has not yet recovered from it.

“I cannot disguise from myself that she is very ill. If she awakes to a renewal of the same anguish, I dare not contemplate the consequences. You know that I do not love you, Mr. Barclay. I make no pretension to a change in my feelings; repugnant as it must be to a heart of sensibility, I must view this transaction as a matter of bargain and sale. I will accept your late offer, to save my mother from further suffering, and to gain a home for her declining years.

“For myself, I will endeavor to be to you—but why should I promise any thing for myself. God alone can give me strength to live after the sacrifice is completed.


There was much in this letter that was wounding to his vanity, and bitter to his feelings; but he had triumphed! The stately pride of this girl was humbled before him—her spirit bowed in the dust before the gaunt spectre she had thought herself capable of braving. She would be his—the fair, the pure in heart, would link herself to vice, infamy and crime, for money. Money! the world’s god! See the countless millions groveling upon the earth before the great idol—the golden calf, which so often brings with it as bitter a curse as was denounced against the people of old, when they forsook the living and true God for its worship.

Can it not buy every thing—even woman’s love, or the semblance of it, which would serve him just as well? He, the murderer of the brother, would purchase the compliance of the sister with this magical agent; but—and his heart quailed at the thought—could it buy self-respect? Could it enable him to look into the clear eye of that woman he would call his wife, and say, “My soul is worthy to be linked with thine in the realms of eternity.”

No—he felt that the sacrilegious union must be unblessed on earth, and severed in heaven, yet he shrunk not from his purpose.

He lost no time in seeking Edith; Mrs. Euston was yet buried in the leaden slumber produced by a powerful narcotic. The unhappy girl received him alone, and he remarked that his words of impassioned love brought no color to her marble cheek—no emotion to her soul; she seemed to have steeled herself for the interview, and it was not until he pressed the kiss of betrothal upon her pallid lips, that she betrayed any sensibility—then a thrill, a shudder pervaded her whole frame, and he supported her nearly insensible form several moments before she regained power to sustain herself. Could he have looked into that breaking heart, and have read there all the bitter loathing, the agonized struggles for self-control, would he have persisted in his suit? Yes—for this was a part of his vengeance for the slights she had put upon him; and in the future, if she did not play the part he thus forced upon her, with all the devotion he should exact, had he not bitter words at his command to taunt her with the scene of that morning?

A physician was called in, who advised the removal of Mrs. Euston while she slept; and arrangements were soon made to accomplish it. The family to whom Barclay’s present retreat belonged, were spending the summer at the north, and their house had been left at his disposal. He determined to remove Mrs. Euston and her daughter thither, while he took up his own abode, until the day of his marriage, with a bachelor friend in the neighborhood.

Edith demanded an interval of a week before their union took place, which he reluctantly granted. Naturally prodigal, he employed the time in ordering the most elegant trousseau for his bride. She who so lately was struggling with bitter want, was now surrounded by servants eager to anticipate every wish, while Barclay played the devoted lover. Edith prayed earnestly for power to regard him with such feelings as alone could hallow the union they were about to form. Vain were her lonely struggles—her tearful supplications; a spectral form seemed to rise ever between them, and reproach her that she had been so untrue to herself, even for the preservation of a mother.

The only thing that consoled her for her great sacrifice, was that her beloved mother seemed to revive to some sense of enjoyment, when she again found herself surrounded by that comfort to which she had been accustomed. Weakened in mind as in body, Mrs. Euston fondly flattered herself that her daughter might yet be happy amid the splendors of wealth; and the poor mother welcomed the arbiter of their future fate with smiles and courteous words, to which he listened with politeness, and scorned as the hollow offspring of necessity.

The dreaded day at length arrived, and with the calmness of exhausted emotion, Edith prepared herself for the ceremony which was to consign her to the protection of Barclay. She believed her earthly fate sealed, and resignation was all she could command.

Amid all her suffering, there was one thought which arose perpetually before her; there was one human being on earth who would have risked his life to serve or save her, and she knew that a heart worthy of her love would hear the history of her enforced marriage with bitter disappointment and anguish.

Near the home of her infancy dwelt a family of sons and daughters with whom she had been reared in habits of intimacy. Between herself and the eldest son a strong attachment had grown up; it had never been expressed in words, yet each felt as well assured of the affection of the other, as if a thousand protestations had been uttered. About the time that Mrs. Euston and her daughter left their own home to travel with their beloved invalid, Walter Atwood bade adieu to his paternal home, on a tour to Europe, where he was to complete his professional education as a medical man.

Mrs. Euston’s place passed into the hands of strangers, and after a few months all intercourse by letter ceased between their former friends and themselves. After the death of her son, the bereaved mother would not consent to return to their former neighborhood, and thus all trace of them was lost to the Atwoods; but Edith knew in her deep heart that Walter would return—would seek her; and it was this conviction which gave her firmness to resist so long the overtures of Barclay.

Now all was at an end; another hour and the right even to think of him would no longer be hers. Her mother entered her room, folded her to her breast, and whispered,

“The hour has arrived, my child. Robert is here with the clergyman. Do not keep them waiting.”

“I am quite ready, mother,” said Edith, calmly, and she advanced without hesitation toward the door, for she heard an impatient step without, which she well knew. Barclay awaited her in the hall—he impetuously seized her hand and drew it beneath his arm.

At that moment the door-bell was violently pulled, and both turned impulsively to see who made so imperious a demand for admittance.

At the open door stood two figures, one of a young man, who appeared deeply agitated, for his features, beneath the light of the lamps, seemed white and rigid, as if cut from marble. Over his shoulder appeared a swarthy face, with a pair of bright, keen eyes, gleaming from beneath overhanging brows.

Edith and Barclay both uttered an exclamation—but they were very different in their character. In the impulse of the moment, the former drew her hand forcibly from him who sought to retain it, and with one bound, was in the arms of the foremost stranger, as she exclaimed,

“Walter—my saviour—my preserver! you have come at last!”

The face of Atwood lost its unnatural rigidity as he pressed her to his heart, and said,

“Thank Heaven! I am not then too late!”

Barclay advanced threateningly,

“What does this mean, sir? Are you aware that such conduct in my house is not to be tolerated—that you shall answer for it to me with your life?”

“It means, Mr. Barclay, that I come with authority to prevent the unholy alliance you were about to force upon this helpless and unprotected girl, to place the seal upon your crimes, by clasping in wedlock the hand of the sister with that which is red with the brother’s blood.”

“’Tis false—the boy killed himself, as Edith herself knows full well. Am I to be held accountable for the dissipation of a young fool, who, when once the curb was removed, went headlong to destruction without the necessity of any prompting from me.”

“We will waive that part of the question, if you please, Mr. Barclay. I have brought with me one who can prove much more than that. Come forward, Antoine.”

The Frenchman advanced, and Barclay grew pale as he recognized him.

“Let us retire to a private room,” continued Atwood, in a lower tone—“I would not have Mrs. Euston and her daughter hear too suddenly the developments I am prepared to make.”

Then turning to Edith he said—

“You are saved, my dear Edith. Retire with your mother, while I settle with Mr. Barclay.”

Mechanically Barclay led the way into an adjoining room. When there, he turned haughtily and said—

“Now, sir, explain yourself—tell me why my privacy is thus invaded, and—”

Atwood interrupted him.

“It is useless to attempt bravado with me, sir. Your whole career is too intimately known to me to render it of any avail. You know that from my boyhood I have loved Miss Euston, for you may remember a conversation which took place between us several years since, when you were received as a visiter at her mother’s house. Jealousy enabled you to penetrate what had been carefully veiled from others, and you taxed me with what I would not deny. Do you remember the words you used to the boy you then spoke to? That you would move heaven and earth to win Edith Euston.”

“To what does all this tend?” asked Barclay, in an irritated tone.

“Patience, and you will see. I returned from Europe and found that Mrs. Euston’s family had left for Havanna. Her lawsuit had gone against her, and she had lost her home. Nothing more was known of her. I lost no time in following her. I reached Cuba, and after many inquiries, traced her to the house of the family which had received her beneath their roof. There I heard the history of her son’s unhappy death, at the moment he was about to confer independence upon his mother and sister. You were mentioned as a visiter after his death; your generous offer to share with Miss Euston as your wife the wealth which should have been hers was dwelt on. All this aroused a vague suspicion in my mind. I made minute inquiries, and traced you through all the orgies of your dissipation. One night I was following up the inquiry, and I entered a tavern much frequented by foreigners. A man sat apart in gloomy silence. One of his comrades said—

“‘Antoine grieves over the loss of his bird. All the money the American paid him does not make him forget that he sold his best friend!’

“By an electric chain of thought, the incident which attended poor Euston’s last moments, occurred to me. I approached the man, and addressed him in French, for I saw that he was a native of that country. I spoke of his bird. He shook his head and said—

“‘It is not the loss of the bird, monsieur, but the use that was made of him, that troubles my conscience.’

“In short, to condense a long story, I learned from Antoine, that he remained in your lodgings several days, until the mackaw he sold to you became sufficiently accustomed to you to be caressed without biting. During that time you had a room darkened, and required him to train the bird to fly at a light and overturn it. When he was dismissed, his curiosity was excited, and he watched your movements. He nightly dogged your steps, and traced you to the garden of the villa. He stood within a few feet of you on the night of Euston’s death, and beheld the use to which you put his bird. His eyes, accustomed to the gloom without, beheld your dark form glide to the side of your victim. He saw your murderous hand pressed upon the breast of the dying youth.”

“’Tis false—false. I defy him to prove it.”

“It is true, sir—the evidence is such as would condemn you in any court; and now listen to me. I offer you lenient terms, in consideration of the ties of relationship which bind you to those you have so cruelly oppressed. One third of the fortune for which you have paid so fearful a price shall be yours, if you will sign a paper I have with me, which will restore the remainder to Mrs. Euston. If you refuse, I have in my pocket a writ of arrest, and the officers are in the shrubbery awaiting my orders to execute it. Comply with my terms and I suffer you to escape.”

Thus confronted by imminent danger, Barclay seemed to lose his courage and presence of mind. He measured the floor with rapid steps a few moments, and then turning to Atwood motioned for the paper, to which he affixed his signature without uttering a word.

“There is yet another condition,” said Atwood.

“Leave this country within forty-eight hours. If, after that time, I am made aware of your presence within the jurisdiction of the United States, I will have you arrested as a murderer. The peace of mind of those I have rescued from your power shall not be periled by your presence within the same land they inhabit.” Barclay ground his teeth with rage.

“I shall leave it, be assured, but not to escape from this absurd charge.”

“Go then. I care not from what motive.”

Another instant, and Barclay had passed from the room. Edith and her mother traveled to their former home in the beautiful land of Florida, under the protection of Atwood, and there, amid rejoicing friends, surrounded by all the happy associations of her bright youth, she gave her hand to her faithful lover.

Barclay perished in a street brawl, in a foreign land, and the whole of her brother’s estate finally devolved upon her.





    Up, for encounter stern

      While unsheathed weapons gleam;

    The beacon-fires of Freedom burn,

      Her banners wildly stream;

    Awake! and drink at purple springs—

    Lo! the “White Eagle” flaps his wings

      With a rejoicing scream,

    That sends an old, heroic thrill

    Through hearts that are unconquered still.


    Leap to your saddles, leap!

      Tried wielders of the lance,

    And charge as when ye broke the sleep

      Of Europe, at the call of France:

    The knightly deeds of other years

    Eclipse, ye matchless cavaliers!

      While plume and penon dance—

    That prince, upon his phantom steed,

    In Ellster lost your ranks shall lead.


    Flock round the altar, flock!

      And swear ye will be free;

    Then rush to brave the battle shock

      Like surges of a maddened sea;

    Death, with a red and shattered brand

    Yet clinging to the rigid hand,

      A blissful fate would be,

    Contrasted with that darker doom

    A branded brow—a living tomb.


    Speed to the combat, speed!

      And beat oppression down,

    Or win, by martrydom, the meed

      Of high and shadowless renown;

    Ye weary exiles, from afar

    Came back! and make the savage Czar

      In terror clutch his crown;

    While wronged and vengeful millions pour

    Defiance at his palace-door.


    Throng forth with souls to dare,

      From huts and ruined halls!

    On the deep midnight of despair

      A beam of ancient glory falls:

    The knout, the chain and dungeon cave

    To frenzy have aroused the brave;

      Dismembered Poland calls,

    And through a land opprest, betrayed,

    Stalks Kosciusko’s frowning shade.





    They tell me, lady, that thy heart is changed—

      That on thy lip there is another name;

    I’ll not believe it—though for life estranged—

      I know thy love’s lone worship is the same.

    The bee that wanders on the summer breath,

      May wanton safely among leaves and flowers,

    But by the honied jar it clings till death—

      There is no change for hearts that loved like ours.


    You may not mock me—’tis an idle game—

      The lip may lie, the eye with bright beguiling

    May, from the world, conceal a suffering flame,

      But ’tis the eye and not the heart is smiling;

    And I, too, have that power of deceiving,

      By the strong pride of an unfeeling will,

    The cold and cunning world in its believing—

      What boots it all? The heart will suffer still.


    Comes there not o’er thy spirit, when ’tis dreaming

      In the lone hours of the voiceless night,

    When the sweet past like a new present seeming,

      Brings back those rosy hours of love and light?

    Comes there not o’er thy dreaming spirit then

      Delicious joy—although ’tis but a vision—

    That we have met, caressed and kissed again,

      And revel still among those sweets Elysian?


    Comes there not o’er thy spirit when it wakes,

      And finds, with sleep, the vision too hath parted

    A lone depression, till thy proud heart aches,

      And from thy burning orb the tear hath started?

    And with sad memories through thy bosom thronging,

      Within thy heart’s most secret deep recesses

    Feel’st thou not then an agony of longing

      To dream again of those divine caresses?


    To dream them o’er and o’er, or deem them real,

      While penitence is speaking in thy sighs—

    For this, unlike thy dream, is not ideal—

      It brings the pallid cheek, the moistened eyes:

    Then, lady, mock not love so deeply hearted,

      With that light seeming which deceit can give—

    The love I promised thee, when last we parted,

      Shall never be another’s while you live.

Engraved by W. E. Tucker


Engraved Expressly for Graham’s Magazine






Joy is as old as the universe, yet as young as a June rose: and a pic-nic has of all places been its delight, since the little quiet family fêtes champêtres of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. So it is of no especial consequence in what reign of what kingdom our clever artist has laid his scene—and sooth to say, from the diversified and pleasantly incongruous costume and accessories of the picture, it might puzzle an uninitiated to tell. But we, who are in the secrets of Maga, and to whom the very brain-workings of her poets and painters are as palpable as the crystal curdling of the lake beneath the filmy breath of the Frost King, of course know all about it, and will whisper in your ear the key to the pretty harmonies of wood and sky and happy faces which he has spread out in a sort of visible cavatina, or dear little love-song, beneath your eye.

It was a gay time at Sweetbriar Lodge—for the fair Alice Hawthorn had just been married to the Squire of Deerdale, and the happy pair (new-married people were even in those times happy, although they were not so set down in the newspapers,) had determined to spend the honeymoon quietly at home, like sensible people, instead of posting off to Bath or Brighton; or mewing themselves up in some outlandish corner of the country, where they could see and hear nothing but themselves, until they were ready to commence the married life by being cloyed with each other’s society. The season was mid-summer, and the weather so balmy and beautiful that after wandering about in the woods and fields all day, and watching the moon creep stealthily up the sky to view herself in the fountain, one felt a longing to make his bed on the fresh turf under the katydid’s bower, and sleep there. Of course I don’t mean the young and happy bridegroom. He never dreamed of being absent from his Alice; and he even felt quite jealous of her little sister Emma, who used sometimes to come and put her laughing, roguish face and curly head between the lovers, as they were sitting on the sofa or reclining on the green turf by the little fountain.

But Alice had another sister, older than herself, and who had already refused several excellent offers of marriage—declaring that she intended to live and die single, unless she should fall in love with some wandering minstrel or prince in disguise, like Lalla Rookh. Her name was Hortensia; but on account of her proud indifference to the attentions and compliments which were every where offered to her wonderful beauty, she was usually called Haughty Hawthorn—a name which seemed to please her better than all the flatteries of which she was the object. She was already twenty-two, and ripening into the full magnificence of glorious womanhood—her heart yet untouched by the electric dart of love, and her fancy free as the birds of air.

Now it was quite natural that the gentle Alice, whom love had made so happy, should willingly enter into a conspiracy with her husband and a parcel of the young people of the neighborhood against the peace and comfort of her haughty sister—deeming of course—as I myself am also of opinion—that a young lady out of love ought to be supremely miserable, whatever she herself may think about it.

Keeping in view the peculiar requisites required by Haughty in a lover, the plan was to get up an old-fashioned pic-nic, at which a young friend of Squire Deerdale, who was studying for an artist, and had just returned from Italy, where he had picked up a little music as well as painting, should be introduced after a mysterious fashion, which would be sure to inflame the imagination of the loveless lady. The artist, according to the squire, was handsome as a prince and eloquent as a minstrel, and his extensive practice in Rome had made him perfect master of the fine arts, the art of making love included. So the pic-nic was proposed that very evening, to take place the next day. Hortensia, who was fond of frolick and fun as the best of them, albeit not yet in love, fell at once into the snare; and the squire carelessly led the conversation to turn upon the sudden and unexpected arrival of the young Duke of St. James upon his magnificent estate adjoining Sweetbriar Lodge, which he said had taken place that very day.

“The duke,” said the squire, “is, as you all have heard, one of the most romantic and sentimental youths in the world, and quite out of the way of our ordinary extravagant, matter-of-fact young nobility. I had the pleasure of meeting him when I was in Rome, and could not help being charmed with him. He read and wrote poetry divinely, played the mandolin like St. Cecilia, and sung like an improvisatore. I met him to-day, as he was approaching home in his carriage, and found him, as well as I could judge from a five minutes’ conversation, the same as ever. I say nothing—but should a fresh-looking, golden-haired, dreamy-eyed youth be seen at our pic-nic to-morrow, I hope he will be greeted with the courtesy and welcome due not only to a neighbor but a man of genius.”

This adroitly concocted speech was drank in like wine by the unsuspicious Hortensia. A duke! a poet! a romantic man of genius! What was it made her heart beat so rapidly?—her heart, that had never beat out of time save over the page of the poet or the novelist—or may be in the trance of some beautiful midnight dream, such as love to hover around the pillows of fair maidens, and who can blame them?

The next morning, as Willis says of one of his fine days, was astray from Paradise; and bright and early our pic-nickers, comprising a goodly company of young people, married and single, with several beautiful children, including of course the roguish Emma, were on the field selected for the day’s campaign. It was a lovely spot. Under a noble oak whose limbs, rounded into a leafy dome, shed a palpitating shadow around a sweet little fountain, guarded by a marble naiad, gathered the merry company upon the green velvet ottoman, daisy-spangled, that ran around this splendid natural saloon, bower and drawing-room combined. The day had fulfilled the golden promise of the early morning; the air, impregnated with a sparkling, effervescing sunshine, was as bewitching as the breath of champagne foam, and our adventurers were in the liveliest and gayest spirits.

Noon was culminating, and the less excitable and more worldly portion of the company began to be thinking seriously of the bountiful refection which had been provided for the grand occasion. Hortensia, it was observed by Squire Deerdale and his wife, and the others who were in the secret, had seemed absent and thoughtful, all the morning, and little Emma had teased her sufficiently for not playing with her as usual. At this moment a young man was seen coming down the broad sloping glade at the foot of which the party were seated. The squire immediately rose and welcomed the stranger, introducing him to his bride and sister-in-law, and expressing his pleasure that he had come. “We almost began to fear,” he added, “that you had forgotten our humble festival.”

“A fête thus embellished,” replied the stranger, bowing with peculiar grace to the ladies, and glancing admiringly at Hortensia, “is not an affair to be so easily forgotten by a wanderer who comes, after years of exile, to revive beneath the blue skies and bluer eyes of his native land.”

“But your mandolin, Signor Foreigner; I hope you have not forgotten that?”

“Oh no indeed,” returned the stranger with a musical laugh, “I never forget my little friend, whose harmonies have often been my only company. Here it comes,” pointing to a lad who just then came up, bearing a handsome though outlandish-looking guitar gingerly across his arm.

Another of the party had also brought his guitar, and the two were soon tinkling away at different parts of the grounds—the latter surrounded by half a dozen young men and women, and several beautiful children; while the stranger, throwing himself on the grass at the feet of Hortensia, upon whose lap nestled the little Emma, began a simple ballad of the olden time—while the squire and his bride stood against the old oak behind Hortensia. At length the strain of the young musician changed, subsiding into low and plaintive undulations.

“It is time for us to go,” whispered Alice to her husband; “we are evidently de trop here”—and the wedded pair glided noiselessly off, casting mischievous glances at the haughty Hortensia, who sat absorbed in the music, and tears of sympathy and rapture ready to fall from her eyes. It was a clear case of love at first sight.

From this pleasant reverie both musician and listener were suddenly roused by little Emma, who, raising her head and shaking back the long ringlets from her face, exclaimed,

“Oh, sister, hear that! There goes the champagne, and I am so hungry. Come, let us go to dinner.”

“Excuse me, madam,” exclaimed the stranger, ceasing to play and springing to his feet, “your beautiful little monitor is right. I was already forgetting myself and venturing to dream as of old;” and he offered his arm to Hortensia, with that polite freedom not only permitted, but enjoined, by the etiquette of the pic-nic.

“And do you call it forgetfulness to dream?” inquired Hortensia.

“With so fair a reality before me, yes; but at other times to dream is to live.”

“Oh, yes, it is nice to dream!” broke in the little Emma. “Almost as nice as a wedding. Now last night I dreamt that you were married, Haughty, like sister Alice.”

A lambent rosy flame seemed to envelop for an instant the beautiful Hortensia, disappearing instantly, yet leaving its scarlet traces on cheek and brow.

“What say you, my pretty one,” said the stranger, patting the lovely child upon the head, “what say you to a sandwich and a glass of wine with me, here on the greensward? (They had now approached the table—if a snow-white damask spread upon the velvet grass, and loaded with tempting viands could be called so.) Is not that better than dreams?”

“I love wine, sir, but mamma and sister say I shouldn’t drink it, because it makes my eyes red. Now your eyes are as bright as stars. Do you drink wine?”

It was the stranger’s turn to blush. And this little childish prattle seemed to have removed the barrier of strangership from between the two young people, who exchanged glances of a sort of merry vexation, and seemed to understand each other as if they were old friends.

That was a merry meal, “all under the greenwood tree,” and on the margin of that sweet little fountain, whose waters came up to the very lip of the turf, which it refreshed with a sparkling coolness that ever renewed the brightness of the flowers upon its bosom. After the dinner was over, a dance was proposed, and the services of the handsome stranger, as musician, were cheerfully offered and promptly accepted. It was observed, however, that Hortensia, usually crazy for dancing, strolled pensively about with little Emma at her side, and at length seated herself on a little grassy bank, remote from the dancers, yet where she could overlook the scene.

There was a little pause in the dance, and Squire Deerdale approached the stranger and whispered,

“Do you like her?”

“She’s as beautiful as Juno, but I dare not hope that she would ever love a poor vagabond like me. She deserves a prince of the blood, at the very least.”

“Never mind!—Vedremo, as we say in Italy;” and with a laugh the young man bounded again into the dance, while the stranger redoubled his attention to his guitar.

The day began to wane, and the shadows of a neighboring mountain to creep slowly across the lea; and yet, so absorbed was that gay company in the merry pleasures of the day, that hours glided by unnoticed; and it was not until the round, yellow moon rose over the eastern hills, as if peeping out to see the sun set, that they thought of breaking up a scene of little less than enchantment.

The stranger scarcely left the side of Hortensia, who seemed completely subdued and fascinated by the serious eloquence, the inexhaustible brilliancy of his conversation, as well as enthralled by the classic beauty of his face, and the respectful yet tender glances which he from time to time cast upon her face. It may also be supposed that the hints casually dropped by the squire the night before, respecting his distinguished acquaintance, the young Duke of St. James, had not been without their effect. Sooth to say, however, that the hitherto cold and impassive Hortensia was really in love, and that she had too much self-respect to make any conditions in the bestowal of her admiration. She was haughty, proud and ambitious—yet at the same time high-minded and generous where her feelings were really interested.

Much may be accomplished in an afternoon between two congenial hearts that meet for the first time; and it is not at all surprising that on their way home the stranger and Hortensia should have lingered a little behind the rest of the party, engaged in deep and earnest talk.

“Beautiful being,” whispered the stranger, “I have at length found my heart’s idol, whom in dreams I have ever worshiped. What need of long acquaintanceship between hearts made for each other? Lady, I love you!”

“Sir, sir, I beg you to pause. You know not what you are saying—you cannot mean that—”

“But I tell you he does mean it, though,” exclaimed a merry voice close at the lady’s elbow; and turning round, she saw her mischievous brother-in-law, who had been demurely following their tardy footsteps.

“Brother! you here! I—really—am quite astonished!”

“And,” interrupted the stranger, while a dark flush came over his face, “allow me to say, Squire Deerdale, that I also am astonished at this violation of the rights of a friendship even so old and sincere as ours.”

“Well, well, I beg your pardon, fair lady; and as for you, sir, after you have heard my explanation, I shall be prepared to give you any satisfaction you may require. You must know, then, my dear old friend, that from a few careless words I dropped last evening, by way of joke, this young lady has imbibed the idea that you are the young Duke of St. James in disguise; and for the purpose of preventing any misunderstandings for the future, it is requisite that my sister and my friend Walter Willie, the artist, should comprehend one another’s position fully.”

“Good heavens! madam, you cannot believe that I was accessory to this mad prank of your brother’s? Do not believe it for the world.”

“No, no, I acquit you and every body but myself. I am sure I intended no harm by my thoughtless joke. Come, come, make up the matter at once, so that I may hasten back to Alice, who will begin to grow jealous, directly.”

“Madam, dear madam, (Hortensia turned away her head with an imperious gesture,) I have only to beg your pardon for having too long intruded upon your attention, and to take my leave. The poor artist must still worship his ideal at a distance. For him there is but the world of imagination. No such bright reality as being beloved rests in his gloomy future. Farewell!” and the young man, bowing for a moment over the hand of Hortensia, withdrew.

“Brother, brother, what have you done!” passionately exclaimed the beauty, in a voice choked by sobs. “For a foolish joke you have driven away the only being who has ever interested my lonely heart. And now I can never, never be happy again.”

“But, dear Hortensia, would you stoop to love a mere artist?”

“Stoop, sir,—stoop! I know not what you mean. Think you so meanly of me as to believe I would sell myself for wealth and a title? Proud I may be—but not, I thank God, mercenary nor mean. And what a lofty, noble spirit is that of your friend! What lord or duke could match the height of his intellect or the gorgeousness of his imagination. Oh, too soon my beautiful dream is broken!” and the young lady, all power of her usual self-restraint being lost, wept like a child upon the shoulder of her brother.

“Nay, nay, sister dear, weep not,” at length said the squire, tenderly raising her head and leading her homeward. “All is not lost that is in danger. And so that you really have lost your hard little heart to my noble, glorious friend, I’ll take care that it is soon recovered—or at any rate another one quite as good. Come, come, cheer up! All will go well.”

The squire, although not usually rated as a prophet, predicted rightly for once; for the very next day saw young Walter Willie at Sweetbriar Lodge, with a face as handsome and happy as the morning. Hortensia was ill, and must not be disturbed; and at this information his features suddenly became overcast, as you may have seen a spring sky by a thick cloud, springing up from nobody knows where. However, the squire entered directly after, and whispered a few words to his guest, which seemed to restore in a measure the brightness of his look.

“And you really think, then, that I may hope?”

“Nay, my friend, you may do as you like about that. All men may hope, you know Shakspeare says. But I tell you that Hortensia has fallen in love with your foolish face—it’s just like her!—and that’s all about it. Come in and take some breakfast. Oh, I forgot—you’ve no appetite. Of course not. Well, you’ll find some nice fresh dew in those morning-glories yonder, and I will rejoin you in a minute. We’ll make a day of it.”

That evening the moon shone a million times brighter, the sky was a million times bluer, and the nightingale sung a million times sweeter than ever before. At least so thought the beautiful Hortensia and her artist-lover, as they strolled, arm-in-arm, through the woody lawn that skirted the garden of Sweetbriar Lodge, and held sweet converse of immortal things by gazing into each other’s eyes. And so ends our veracious history of the Pic-Nic in Olden Time.





    Sweet trophy of life’s morning, fresh and calm,

      Dropped from the gleanings of relentless time,

    How from thy dainty chalice steals the balm

      That hung like incense o’er its dewy prime!


    The lily’s stateliness thou dost not own,

      Nor glow voluptuous of the damask rose,

    Thou canst not emulate the laurel’s crown,

      Nor, like the Cereus, watch while all repose.


    And these gay rivals of parterre and field

      May freely drink the sunshine and the dew,

    But only unto thee does heaven yield

      The pure reflection of her cloudless blue.


    Thy tint will sometimes darken till it wear

      A purple such as decked the eastern kings,

    And yet, like innocence, all unaware

      Its tribute to the wind thy blossom flings.


    Symbol of what is cherished and untold,

      Thy fragrance oft reveals thee to the sight,

    Peering in beauty from the common mould,

      As casual blessings the forlorn requite.


    Thy image upon Laura’s robe was wrought,

      O’er which her poet with devotion mused,

    And gentle souls, I ween, have ever caught

      From thee a solace that the world refused.


    The Tuscan flower-girls delight to cheer

      Each pensive exile with thy scented leaves,

    Fit largess of a clime to fancy dear,

      Which a new blandishment from thee receives.


    Grief’s frenzy, when it melts, of thee will rave,

      As of a thing too winsome to decay,

    And thus Laertes at his sister’s grave

      Bids violets spring from her unsullied clay.


    Lowly incentive to celestial thought!

      We ne’er with listless step can pass thee by,

    For thou with tender embassies art fraught,

      Like the fond beaming of a northern eye.


    Hence thou art sacred to our human needs;

      Laid on the maiden’s white and throbbing breast

    Thy delicate odor for the absent pleads,

      And mourners strew thee where their idols rest.


    In those wild hours when feeling chafed its bound,

      And deepened more that utterance was denied,

    In thee persuasive messengers I found

      That reached the haven of love’s wayward tide.


    And I have borne thee to the couch of death

      When naught remained to do but wait and pray,

    And marked the sudden flush and quickened breath

      That proved thee dear though all had passed away!


TO —— ——.




    They may tell of a clime more delightful than this,

      The land of the orange, the myrtle and vine;

    Where the roses blush red beneath Zephyr’s warm kiss,

      And the bright beams of summer unceasingly shine.

    But I know a sweet valley, a beautiful spot,

      Where the turf is so green, and the breezes are bland;

    And methinks, if you’ll share there my ivy-crowned cot,

      There’ll be no place on earth like my own native land.


    A palace ’neath Italy’s star-covered sky,

      Unblest by thy presence would desolate be;

    But cheered by the light of thy soft beaming eye,

      Ah! sweet were a tent in the desert with thee.

    For ’tis love—O! ’tis love which thus hallows the ground,

      And brightens the gloom of the anchorite’s cell;

    And the Eden of earth—wheresoe’er it be found—

      Is the spot where the heart’s cherished idol doth dwell.


    Then come to my cottage—though cool be the shade,

      And verdant the sod ’neath the wide-spreading bough—

    Where the wood-dove its nest ’mid the foliage hath made,

      Yet lone is that cottage, and desolate now.

    For as the green forest, bereft of the dove,

      No more with sweet echoes would musical be—

    Even so is the rose-mantled bower of love,

      Unblest and uncheered, if not gladdened by thee.





I dreamed that for a long time I courted Charlotte—what need of dreaming? It was true. Nevertheless I dreamed that for a long time I courted Charlotte, and at last, which was not true, married her. And I thought that Charlotte and I lived very happily together.

She loved me better than she ever thought she could before we were married, for I loved her exceedingly, and was very kind to her.

I remember how long it was that I wooed her. Always hoping, though sometimes fearing that she would never love me so as to marry me; how, when at last we were married, and I carried her home to my pretty cottage, I could hardly contain myself for joy; and when I saw her seated in our own parlor on the wedding eve, I could not keep a tear from trickling down my cheek; and how she kissed away the tear, and when she knew the cause, how she burst into a flood of tears, and said she would love me the better for my having loved her so; and how that we were from that time wholly united in heart and sympathy.

Then, in the course of time, we had two darling children, which we both loved—and I thought my cup of happiness completed. I had been an ambitious man in my youth, and had experienced much of the disappointment incident to a life for fame. But when God had given us two such lovely children, I thought it was abusing his mercy to neglect them for the applause of the world—and so devoted myself entirely to their welfare. If I worked hard and was inclined to feel peevish and cross, I thought how that I was laboring to make happy, and good, and great, the dear boys, and I forgot every thing else. If I became tired of the turmoil of life, I was the more happy when I got home, for the children were always waiting and glad to see me, and their presence immediately banished all anxiety and care. They seemed so happy when I came—for Charlotte used to teach them to prize my presence by dating their pleasures by my arrival; that I thought it joy enough for one mortal to have looked upon the impersonation of innocence and joy in his own children.

Then, when the boys were asleep, how we used to talk about them; how anxious we were when either of them was restless or unquiet! How we used to reckon on the joy they would give us in age, and how in the happiness of our lot we shed tears of happines and joy! With what fervor did we unite in prayer for their health and preservation, and wish all the world as happy as we were. We became selfish in our joy, and felt to care little for any thing but home, and in our enjoyment of the gift we had like to have forgotten the Giver.

But at length Charlie, the younger boy, was sick, and we feared he would die. We then remembered in whose hands his life was, and, I believe, ever after regarded our treasures as trusts committed to our keeping. Charlie suffered great pain, but he complained not. His very submission smote our hearts, and though we could not think he was to die, yet we thought he was too good to live. Benny could no longer smile upon us, but watched by his brother’s bed without speaking or moving, unless to do him some service. We felt anxious about Charles, yet forbore to speak of our anxiety, though when he was asleep we could no longer conceal our sorrow and fears. And when one day the physician imprudently said in his hearing that he feared Charles would die, he looked at him in surprise, as if he had not thought of that; and kissing the fevered brow of his sick brother, he came and stood by his mother’s side, and looking in her face as much as to say you wont let brother die, he saw a tear in the clear blue eye of his mother, and he sobbed aloud; and Charlotte could contain herself no longer, but dropped hot tears on his face faster than she could kiss them away. Then I feared if Charlie should die lest Benny should die too; and then I knew that Charlotte could not bear all this, and I prayed in my heart to God for Charles. And the next day, when the good physician said the danger was past, we felt to thank God that he had so chastened our affections, and ever loved him the more.

So we lived in love and happiness for many years, and all that time not a shade of discord passed between us; and I often thought what a dreary world this had been to me if Charlotte had never been mine. I used to pity my bachelor neighbor, and, as I thought, I could see the tear of disappointment in his eye when he witnessed my happy lot. I saw it was a vision, and only the figure of Margaret, my once loved and pretty sister, who existed then but in the land of spirits, was before me.

And I told Margaret of the vision, and could not repress a sigh that it was not reality; and musing long on what I was, and what I might have been had nature dealt with me more kindly, until the vision returned. Again I lived the life of youth’s fancy.

But the boys now began to mingle a little with the world, and we feared we were not equal to the task of educating them. We trembled when we thought of the dangers before them, though we could not believe it possible that they should ever do wrong. Alas! what trouble was before us!

I had carried home a box of strawberries, and set them in the pantry, and setting myself down in the library, waited for Charlotte to come home from shopping. I saw Charlie come from the pantry, but thought nothing at the time, and when Benny came in, bade him bring them to me that I might divide them between them—they were gone; Charles must have taken them, for no one else had been in the pantry. I called him to me, and asked if he had taken them. I asked without concern, for I knew if he had, he did it supposing it to be right. He said, “No, sir.” “Ah,” said I, “you did.” He then inquired what ones I meant, and I told him, and told him he must confess it, or I must punish him. But when I talked so seriously of punishment, he seemed confounded. He turned pale, and only said, “I did not do it.” That was a trying moment; and when Charlotte came in, we considered long and anxiously what we ought to do. Should we let the theft go unpunished, and the falsehood to be repeated. Again we urged him to confess. The answer was still the same. There was no alternative but a resort to what I had prayed Heaven might spare me. I punished him severely, but he confessed not. I wished I had not begun, but now I must go on. I still increased the castigation, and it was only when I told him that I would stop when he owned the theft, and not before, that he confessed he had taken the berries.

After this cruel punishment he went out and found Benny, who had been crying piteously all the time, and then my two boys went and hid themselves. I would have suffered the rack to have recalled that hour. It was too late. On going into the kitchen shortly after, I found a poor woman of the neighborhood with the box, which she said her thievish son had confessed he stole from the pantry. Perhaps some parents imagine the feelings of Charlotte and myself when we made this discovery. But they are few. The boys both shunned us, and we dreaded to see them. But at last we sent for them to come in, and they dared not refuse to obey. I took Charles in my arms. I asked him to forgive me; I told him who took the berries; I shed tears without measure; I begged him to forgive me—to kiss me as he was wont. He could not do it. It was cold and mechanical. His little heart seemed broke. Had he died I thought I could have borne it, but I could not endure this. When he slept he was fitful and troubled; ah! his troubles could not be greater than mine. I slept not that night; no, nor for many nights after that; but I watched him in his sleep, and many a hot tear did I drop on his cheek, which he wiped off as poison; and for many weeks I would rise several times every night, and go and gaze on his yet pretty face, on which was stamped the curse for my own cruel haste.

In the midst of these sore trials, the lovely face of Margaret again appeared before me, and again the vision vanished into nothing. And I told her this part of the dream, and even then could not suppress a tear that it was a dream, and that the children of W—— could never have an existence or a name.

Then the kind Margaret spoke words of comfort to me, and made me repress the half-formed feeling of discontent.

“Have you not,” said she, “said you would be satisfied for only one hour of the love of Charlotte?”

“True,” I replied, “and that dream was worth more than all my life before.”

“Have you not known in that the joys of a parent, and have you not seen what sorrows and trials might have been yours, from which you have now escaped? And do you now complain of your lot, W——? You know not the designs of Providence. Will not Charlotte be yours in the world to come?”

“God grant it!” said I; “but where will be Benny and Charles? They can never be, and I shall die, and the flame of parental love will burn in me, and never can it have an object.”

“Hush you!” said Margaret, “cannot God give you in the other world those spirits of fancy? Did you not enjoy them in the dream, and cannot the same power make you enjoy them in Elysium? Is it nothing that God has done for you in showing you what might have been, and what can be there? Are you still ungrateful, and do you still distrust his goodness? Is it nothing that he has kept you from temptation, and that you have so clear a conscience? Will you not be worthy of Charlotte in heaven; and have you no gratitude for all this? Have you not dear friends still; and will not Margaret be a guardian-angel to you so long as you sojourn in this valley of tears?”

“Ah!” said I, “I am blest beyond my deserts, and I will no more complain, but thank my heavenly Father for the dream-children he hath given me.”

I felt reproved by the words of Margaret, for I felt I had often indulged in useless repinings; and I determined I would do so no more, but patiently await my time to enjoy the loved ones, both real and ideal, in heaven. I again turned to speak to Margaret—but Margaret had vanished to the land of spirits, and I was alone, the solitary man I had long been. It was but a dream within a dream.





    With wearied step, and heavy heart,

      O’erburdened with life’s woes—

    My soul bowed down with grief and care

      The orphan only knows—

    I strayed along old ocean’s shore,

    Where I had wandered oft before,

      My grief to hide from men;


    I listened—something seemed to say—

      The joys that once did fill thy breast

    Where, oh! where are they?

      A voice that mingled with the roar

      Of dashing waves against the shore,

        In hollow tone, replied—

        “They bloomed, and died!”






    Lyre of my soul, awake—thy chords are few,

      Feeble their tones and low,

    Wet with the morning and the evening dew

      Of ceaseless wo.

    The time hath been to me and thee, my lyre,

        When soul of fire

    Was ours, and notes and aspirations bold

    Of higher hopes and prouder promise told—

        Those days have flown—

          Now we are old,

            Old and alone!


    Old in our youth—for sorrow maketh old,

      And disappointment withereth the frame,

      And harsh neglect will smother up the flame,

    That else had proudly burned—and the cold

      Offcasting of affection will repel

    The warm life-current back upon the heart,

      And choke it nigh to bursting—yet ’tis well,

    And wise-intended, that the venomed dart

      Shall bear its sure and speedy remedy.

      Why should the wretched wish to live? to be

      One in this cold wide world—ever to feel

      That others feel not—wounds that will not heal—

    A bruised, though yet unbroken spirit’s strife—

    A waning and a wasting out of life—

      A longing after loving—and the curse

              To know

    One’s self unknown—

      In secrecy a hopeless hope to nurse—

        Down to the grave to go



    Yet not alone! Pardon, thou gentle breeze,

      That comest o’er the waters with the tread

      Of beauty stealing to the sufferer’s bed,

    To cool the burning brow, and whisper peace.

    Pardon, ye sweet wild flow’rets, that each morn

      Woo us to brush the dew-drop from the lid

    Of tearful innocence, and meekly warn

      Of worth in garb of lowliest texture hid.

    Beings of gentlest life, ye murmuring streams,

    Lull of our waking, music of our dreams,

    Ye things of artless merriment, that throw

    Around you gladness, wheresoe’er ye flow—

    And ye dark mountains, down whose changeful sides

    The mystic guardian, giant shadow strides,

    Whose kindly frown, howe’er the storms prevail,

    Peace and repose ensureth to the vale—

    Ye tall proud forests, that forever sway

    In kingly fury, or in graceful play—

    Ye bright blue waters whose untiring drip

      Against this island shore doth lightly break,

    Gentle and noiseless as the parting lip

      Of dreaming infant on its mother’s cheek,

    Pardon my rash averment—pardon, ye

      Flow’rets and streamlets, mountains, woods and waves,

    That pour into the soul a melody,

      Like to the far down music of the caves

    Of ocean, heard not, felt not, save within,

    Seeking to joy the darker depths to win—

      Oh! while your sweet and sacred voices steal

        Into my spirit, as the joyous fall

      Of the warm sunbeam on the frozen rill,

        To wake the voice that slumbereth, and call

          To bear you company

    In your glad hymnings, let the wretched own

        He cannot be



    Never alone!—awake, my soul—on high

      The glorious sun his thousand rays has flung

    Athwart the vaulted sky—

      Lo! there the heavens their mighty harp have strung,

        The gold, the silver and the crimson chord,

        To hymn their evening hymn unto the Lord.

    Hark! heard ye not that glorious burst of song,

      Which, touched by hands unseen, those chords sent forth,

    Bidding the attuned spheres the notes prolong

      Deeper and louder, till the trembling earth

        Catcheth the thrilling strain—

        Echoeth back again—

    From the bosom of ocean a voice

    Pealeth forth, and the mountains rejoice

    And the plains and the woods and the valleys rebound,

    And the Universe all is a creature of sound,

      That runneth his race

      Through the infinite regions of infinite space,

        Till arrived at the throne

        Of Him who alone

    Is worthy of honor and glory and praise.


    And it is ever thus—morn, noon and eve,

      And in the still midnight, undying

    Choirs of creation’s minstrels weave

      Sweet symphony of incense, vying

    In wrapt intricacy of endless songs.

      Ever, oh ever thus they sing,

    But to our soul’s dull ear belongs

        Seldom the trancing sense

      To list the universal worshiping,

    Thrill with the glorious theme, and drink its eloquence.


    Mocking all our soul’s desiring,

      Distant now the notes are stealing,

    And the minstrels high reining,

      Drapery blue their forms concealing.



Of Blooming Grove, O. C., N. Y.,


   “Bury me not in the deep, deep sea.” The words came faint and mournfully,

   From the pallid lips of a youth who lay On the cabin couch where,


    day by day, He had wasted and pined, till o’er his brow The death shade

    had slowly pass’d, and now, When the land and his fond loved home were

    nigh, They had gath’rd around to see him die.


    Let my death-slumber be where a mother’s prayer

    And sister’s tears can be blended there.

    Oh, it will be sweet ere the heart’s throb is o’er,

    To know, when its fountain shall gush no more,

    That those it so fondly has yearn’d for will come,

    To plant the first wild-flower of spring on my tomb.

    Let me lie where lov’d ones can weep over me—

    Bury me not in the deep, deep sea!


    And there is another, her tears would be shed

    For him who lays far in an ocean bed;

    In hours that it pains me to think of now,

    She has twin’d these locks and kiss’d this brow—

    In this hair she has wreathed shall the sea-snake hiss?

    The brow she has press’d shall the cold wave kiss?

    For the sake of that bright one that wails for me,

    Bury me not in the deep, deep sea!


    “She hath been in my dreams”—his voice failed short,

    They gave no heed to his dying prayer.—

    They have lowered him o’er the vessel’s side—

    Above him hath closed the solemn tide.

    Where to dip her wing the wild fowl rests—

    Where the blue waves dance with their foamy crests—

    Where the billows bound and the winds sport free,

    They have buried him there, in the deep, deep sea.


Calaynos: A Tragedy. By George H. Boker, E. H. Butler & Co. Philadelphia, pp. 218.

The spirit of English poetry has been for years eminently lyric; the few attempts at the epic or dramatic having been laid aside, if not permanently, at least for a time. The age has been too busy in working out, with machinery and steam, its own great epic thought, to find leisure to listen to any thing longer than a single bugle-blast encouraging its advancement. We cannot but believe, however, if we may be allowed an analogical inference, that the age is fast approaching the climax of its utilitarian inventions, and that man, instead of chasing through unknown regions every will-o-wisp of his brain, in the hope of bringing it a captive to the Patent-office, will sit modestly down to apply to their various uses the discoveries already made. Then will the healthy feast of literature once more begin, and the public cease to be surfeited by the watery hash which has been daily set steaming before them. In the volume under consideration we think we can discern the promise of the return of the good old spirit of English poetry—of solid honest thought expressed in straight forward Saxon. The story, which is one of the chivalrous days of Spain, while it is devoid of trick is full of thrilling interest, and its style, while it is eminently poetical, neither swells into bombast nor descends to the foppery so common among the verse-makers of our day. There is a stately, old-fashioned tread in the diction, as of a man in armor, who, should he attempt to gather flowers of mere prettiness, would crush them at the first touch of his iron gauntlet, and who, if he seems to move ungracefully at times, owes his motion to his weight of mail. Calaynos, the hero, is in every respect a nobleman, not only in blood, but what is better, in mind. He is a scholar, one who, in the words of Dona Alda his wife,

        —uses time as usurers do their gold,

    Making each moment pay him double interest.

He is a philosopher—

    Things nigh impossible are plain to him;

    His trenchant will, like a fine-tempered blade,

    With unturned edge, cleaves through the baser iron.

He is generous and has

      —a predetermined trust in man;

and holds that

    He who hates man must scorn the Source of man,

    And challenge as unwise his awful Maker.

The character of Dona Alda is noble and womanly—her chief trait being her great pride and jealous care of her honor. She conceives that no one will brave the

          —peril, such as he must brook,

    Who dares to love the wife of great Calaynos.

Her maid, Martina, tells her that

          —Queens of Spain

    Have had their paramours—

and she replies,

            —So might it be,

   Yet never hap to bride of a Calaynos!

Don Luis, the villain of the plot, thus paints his own picture:

            —I was not formed for good:

    To what Fate orders I must needs submit:

    The sin not mine, but His who made me thus—

    Not in my will but in my nature lodged.



    I will grasp the stable goods of life,

    Nor care how foul the hand that does the deed.

Martina is admirably drawn; her wit is excellent, and as exhaustless as it is keen. She says of Calaynos—

    He looks on pleasure as a kind of sin,

    Calls pastime waste-time——



    I heard a man, who spent a mortal life

    In hoarding up all kinds of stones and ores,

    Call one, who spitted flies upon a pin,

    A fool to pass his precious lifetime thus.

She says of Oliver, Calayno’s secretary,

    Yes, there he goes—

    Backward and forward, like a weaver’s shuttle,

    Spinning some web of wisdom most divine.

She addresses him thus—

    Our clay, the preachers say, was warmed to life;

    But yours, your dull, cold mud, was froze to being.

    I would not be the oyster that you are

    For all the pearls of wisdom in your shell!

All the persons of the play are vivid and life-like. With the beginning of the third act the interest becomes intense, and nothing could be more vigorous and touching than the action and depth of pathos toward the close of the piece. Every page teems with fine thoughts and images, which lead us to believe that the mine from which this book is a specimen, contains a golden vein of poetry which will go far to enrich our native literature.

Literary Sketches and Letters: Being the Final Memorials of Charles Lamb, Never before Published. By Thomas Noon Talfourd. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 12mo.

The present work is important in more respects than one. It was needed to clear up the obscurity which rested on several points of Lamb’s life, and it was needed to account for some of the peculiarities of his character. The volume proves that this most genial and kindly of humorists was tried by as severe a calamity as ever broke down the energies of a great spirit, and the frailties commonly associated with his name seem almost as nothing compared with the stern duties he performed from his early manhood to his death. The present volume is calculated to increase that personal sympathy and love for him, which has ever distinguished the readers of Lamb from the readers of other authors, and also to add a sentiment of profound respect for his virtues and his fortitude. The truth is that Lamb’s intellect was one of the largest and strongest, as well as one of the finest, among the great contemporary authors of his time, and it was altogether owing to circumstances, and those of a peculiarly calamitous character, that this ample mind left but inadequate testimonials of its power and fertility. He is, and probably will be, chiefly known as an original and somewhat whimsical essayist, but his essays, inimitable of their kind, were but the playthings of his intellect.

Talfourd has performed his editorial duties with his usual taste and judgment, and with all that sweetness and grace of expression which ever distinguishes the author of Ion. His sketches of Lamb’s companions are additions to the literary history of the present century. Lamb’s own letters, which constitute the peculiar charm of the book, are admirable—the serious ones being vivid transcripts of his moods of mind, and some of them almost painful in their direct expression of agony, and the semi-serious rioting in mirth, mischief and whim, full of wit and meaning, and full also of character and kindliness. One of his early letters he closes, as being from his correspondent’s “afflicted, headachey, sore-throatey, humble servant.” In another he calls Hoole’s translation of Tasso “more vapid than smallest small beer, ‘sun-vinegared.’” In speaking of Hazlitt’s intention to print a political pamphlet at his own expense, he comes out with a general maxim, which has found many disciples: “The first duty of an author, I take it, is never to pay any thing.” When Hannah More’s Coelebs in Search of a Wife appeared, it was lent to him by a precise lady to read. He thought it among the poorest of common novels, and returned it with this stanza written in the beginning:

    If ever I marry a wife

      I’d marry a landlord’s daughter,

    For then I may sit in the bar,

      And drink cold brandy-and-water.

In speaking of his troubles toward the close of his life, he has a strange, humorous imagination, in every way worthy of his peculiar genius: “My bedfellows are cough and cramp; we sleep three in a bed.”

The present volume is elegantly printed, and will doubtless have a run. It is full of matter, and that of the most interesting kind. No reader of Lamb, especially, will be without it.

Modern French Literature. By L. Raymond de Vericour. Edited by W. S. Chase, A. M. Boston: Gould, Kendall & Lincoln. 1 vol. 12mo.

This work is the English production of a native Frenchman, and was written for one of Chambers’s series of books for the people. It is edited, with notes alluding particularly to writers prominent in the late French Revolution, by a young American scholar, who has recently resided in France. The book, though deficient and sometimes incorrect in details, deserves much praise for its general correctness and accuracy. The author, though by no means a critic of the first class, is altogether above the herd of Grub street hacks who commonly undertake the popularizing of literary history. He is no Winstansley and no Cibber. The range of his reading appears to be extensive. His judgments are somewhat those of a school-master, but one of the highest grade. There are several amusing errors relating to the position of English authors, to some of which we cannot help alluding, as they seem to have escaped the vigilant eye of the editor. Speaking of Guizot and Sismondi as the leaders of the school of French philosophical historians, he remarks that “the English language possesses some good specimens of this class of history; the most remarkable are Gibbon’s Decline and Fall and the works of Mr. Millar.” This is as if the author had said that England possessed some good specimens of the Romantic Drama, the most remarkable being Shakspeare’s Macbeth and the works of Mr. Colman.

Again, in speaking of the novels of Paul de Kock, and protesting against those English critics who call him the first writer of his time and country, he says that it is as ridiculous as it would be in Frenchmen to exalt the novels of Charles Dickens above Ivanhoe, Philip Augustus and Eugene Aram, The idea of a Frenchman thinking it a paradox to rank Dickens above James, or even Bulwer, shows how difficult it is for a foreigner, especially a Frenchman, to pass beyond the external form of English literature.

The author deserves the praise of being a sensible man, in the English meaning of the phrase. There is one sentence in his introductory which proves that his mind has escaped one besetting sin of the French intellect, which has prevented its successful cultivation of politics as a practical science. In speaking of the histories of Thiers and Mignet, he says that they “have hatched a swarm of Jeunes Prances, vociferating in their wild aberrations, emphatic eulogies on Marat, Coulhon and Robespierre, and breathing a love of blood and destruction, which they call the progressive march of events.”

Rise and Fall of Louis Philippe, Ex-King of the French, Giving a History of the French Revolution from, its Commencement in 1789. By Benj. Perley Poore, Boston: Wm. D. Ticknor & Co. 1 vol. 12mo.

Of all the publications we have seen relating to Louis Philippe this is the most complete and the most agreeable. The author, from his long residence in Paris, and from his position as Historical Agent of the State of Massachusetts, was enabled to collect a large mass of matter relating to French history, and also to learn a great deal respecting the Orleans dynasty, which would not naturally find its way into print. The present volume, though it has little in relation to the first French Revolution not generally known by students, embodies a large number of important facts respecting Louis Philippe, which we believe are now published for the first time. The biography itself has the interest of a romance, for few heroes of novels ever were, in imagination, subjected to the changes of fortune which Louis encountered in reality. Mr. Poore’s view of his character is not more flattering than that which commonly obtains—on both sides of the Atlantic. To sustain this disparaging opinion of his subject, however, he is compelled to suppose policy and hypocrisy as the springs of many actions which a reasonable charity would pronounce virtuous and humane. It must be conceded that the conduct of the king during the last few days of his reign was feeble, if not cowardly, but his uniform character in other periods of his life was that of a man possessing singular readiness and coolness in times of peril, and encountering obstacles with a courage as serene as it was adventurous.

The Tenant of Wildfield Hall. By Acton Bell, Author of Wurthuring Heights. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1 vol. 12mo.

The appearance of this novel, so soon after the publication of Wurthuring Heights, is an indication of Mr. Bell’s intention to be a frequent visiter, or visitation, of the public. We are afraid that the personages he introduces to his readers will consist chiefly of one class of mankind, and this class not the most pleasing. He is a monomaniac on the subject of man’s rascality and brutality, and crowds his page with forcible delineations of offensive characters and disgusting events. The power he displays is of a high but limited order, and is exercised chiefly to make his readers uncomfortable. To be sure the present novel is not so bad as Wurthuring Heights in the matter of animal ferocity and impish diabolism; but still most of the characters, to use a quaint illustration of an eccentric divine, “are engaged in laying up for themselves considerable grants of land in the bottomless pit,” and brutality, blasphemy and cruelty constitute their stock in trade. The author is not so much a delineator of human life as of inhuman life. There are doubtless many scenes in The Tenant of Wildfield Hall drawn with great force and pictorial truth, and which freeze the blood and “shiver along the arteries;” but we think that the author’s process in conceiving character is rather logical than imaginative, and consequently that he deals too much in unmixed malignity and selfishness. The present novel, with all its peculiar merits, lacks all those elements of interest which come from the generous and gentle affections. His champagne enlivens, but there is arsenic in it.

Brothers and Sisters. By Frederika Bremer. Translated by Mary Howitt. New York: Harper & Brothers.

This is by no means one of Miss Bremer’s best productions, but it is not on that account a commonplace production. The pathos, the cheerfulness, the elevation, the sweet humane home-feeling of the Swedish novelist, are here in much of their old power, with the addition of universal philanthropy and the rights of labor. But we fear that the original vein of our authoress is exhausted, and that she is now repealing herself. It is a great mistake to suppose that a new story, new names of characters, additional sentiments nicely packed in new sentences, make a new novel, when the whole tone and spirit of the production continually reminds the reader of the author's previous efforts. It is no depreciation of Miss Bremer’s really fine powers to assert, that she lacks the creative energy of Scott, or the ever active fancy and various observation of Dickens.

Grantley Manor. By Lady Georgiana Fullerton. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 12mo.

This is altogether one of the finest novels which have appeared for many years. It is written with much beauty of style; evinces a creative as well as cultivated mind, and contains a variety of characters which are not only interesting in themselves, but have a necessary connection with the plot and purpose. The mind of the author has that combination of shrewdness and romantic fervor, of sense and passion, so necessary to every novelist who desires to idealize without contradicting the experience of common life.


To the Readers of “Graham.”—A series of misfortunes having bereft me of any proprietory interest in this Magazine, the present publishers have made a liberal arrangement with me, and for the future, the editorial and pictorial departments of Graham’s Magazine will be under the charge of Joseph R. Chandler, Esq., J. Bayard Taylor, Esq., and myself.

It is due to the subscribers to “Graham” from me, to state, that from the first hour I took charge of it, the warmest support and encouragement were given me, and from two not very profitable magazines “Graham” sprung at once into boundless popularity and circulation. Money, as every subscriber knows, was freely expended upon it, and an energy untiring and sleepless was devoted to its business management, and had I not, in an evil hour, forgotten my own true interests, and devoted that capital and industry to another business which should have been confined exclusively to the magazine, I should to-day have been under no necessity—not even of writing this notice.

I come back to my first love with an ardor undiminished, and an energy not enervated, with high hopes and very bold purposes. What can be done in the next three years, time, that great solver of doubts, must tell. What a daring enterprize in business can do, I have already shown in Graham’s Magazine and the North American—and, alas! I have also shown what folly can do, when business is forgotten—but I can yet show the world that he who started life a poor boy, with but eight dollars in his pocket, and has run such a career as mine, is hard to be put down by the calumnies or ingratitude of any. Feeling, therefore, that having lost one battle, “there is time enough to win another,” I enter upon the work of the “redemption of Graham,” with the very confident purposes of a man who never doubted his ability to succeed, and who asks no odds in a fair encounter.

Geo. R. Graham.

An Acquisition.—Our readers will share in the pleasure with which it is announced, that Joseph R. Chandler, Esq., the accomplished writer, and former editor of “The United States Gazette,” will hereafter be “one of us” in the editorial management of Graham’s Magazine. There are few writers in the language who equal, and none excel Mr. Chandler in graceful and pathetic composition. His sketches live in the hearts of readers, while they are heart-histories recognized by thousands in every part of the laud. An article from Mr. Chandler’s pen may be looked for in every number, and this will cause each number to be looked for anxiously.

Editors Looking Up.—It is expected that an early number of “Graham” will be graced with a portrait of our distinguished rival of the “Lady’s Book,” that gentleman having “in the handsomest manner,” as they say in theatricals, sat for a picture of his goodly countenance and proportions. At our command this has been transferred to steel, to be handed over to the readers of “Graham,” by Armstrong, an artist whose ability is a fair warrant for a fine picture. Now if any of our fair readers fall in love with Godey, we shall take it as a formal slight, and shall insist upon having our face run through an edition of a magazine, to be gazed at and loved by thousands of as fine looking people as can be crowded upon a subscription book.

W. E. Tucker, Esq.—We are very much gratified to be able to state, that an arrangement has been made by the proprietors of “Graham” with Mr. W. E. Tucker, whose exquisite title-pages and other gems in the way of engraving are familiar to our readers, and that for the year 1849, he engraves exclusively for Graham’s Magazine.

This is but the beginning of arrangements proposed to revive the original splendor of the pictorial department of this magazine, while the literary arrangements are in the same style of liberality which has ever distinguished “Graham.” “There is a good time a-coming boys” in 1849.

Sketches from Europe.—In the present absorbing state of affairs abroad, it will please our readers to know, that we have engaged an accomplished writer to furnish sketches of European manners, events and society, such as escape the daily journals, for the pages of the magazine. These sketches will occasionally be illustrated with engravings of scenery and persons taken on the spot, and cannot fail to add to the value of “Graham.”

Gems from Late Readings.—We shall introduce into the next number of Graham a department which we think cannot fail to be of interest, by selections from authors which it is not possible for all the readers of Graham to have seen. Culling such passages as may strike us in our reading as worthy of wide circulation and preservation.

Transcriber’s Notes:

Archaic spellings and hyphenation have been retained. Errors in punctuation have been corrected silently. Grammar and minor irregularities in spelling have been maintained as in the original. Other errors have been corrected as noted below. For illustrations, some caption text may be missing or incomplete due to condition of the originals available for preparation of the ebook.


Page 189, vessel, the Betty Allen ==> vessel, the Betsy Allen

Page 210, which the travele’rs torch ==> which the traveler’s torch

Page 215, in the hazle copse ==> in the hazel copse


[The end of Graham's Magazine, Vol. XXXIII, No. 4 (October 1848) edited by George R. Graham]