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Title: Graham's Magazine, Vol. XXXIII, No. 5 (November 1848)

Date of first publication: 1848

Author: George Rex Graham (editor)

Date first posted: Apr. 8, 2016

Date last updated: Apr. 8, 2016

Faded Page eBook #20160407

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


Vol. XXXIII.      November, 1848.      No. 5.

Table of Contents

The Bride of Fate

Ode to the Moon

My Bird

The Knights of the Ringlet

A Requiem in the North


The Cruise of the Raker

The Battle of Life

Supplication.—Two Sonnets.

A Vision

Mary Dunbar

The Prophet’s Rebuke

A Scene on the Susquehanna

Pedro and Inez

A Legend of Clare

Edith Maurice


A Day or Two in the Olden Time

Game-Birds of America.—No. X.

My Love


Gems from Late Readings

Review of New Books

Editor’s Table

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


Vol. XXXIII.     PHILADELPHIA, November, 1848.     No. 5.






It was a glad day in Venice. The eve of the feast of the Purification had arrived, and all those maidens of the Republic, whose names had been written in the “Book of Gold,” were assembled with their parents, their friends and lovers—a beautiful and joyous crowd—repairing, in the gondolas provided by the Republic, to the church of San Pietro de Castella, at Olivolo, which was the residence of the Patriarch. This place was on the extreme verge of the city, a beautiful and isolated spot, its precincts almost without inhabitants, a ghostly and small priesthood excepted, whose grave habits and taciturn seclusion seemed to lend an additional aspect of solitude to the neighborhood. It was, indeed, a solitary and sad-seeming region, which, to the thoughtless and unmeditative, might be absolutely gloomy. But it was not the less lovely as a place suited equally for the picturesque and the thoughtful; and, just now, it was very far from gloomy or solitary. The event which was in hand was decreed to enliven it in especial degree, and, in its consequences, to impress its characteristics on the memory for long generations after. It was the day of St. Mary’s Eve—a day set aside from immemorial time for a great and peculiar festival. All, accordingly, was life and joy in the sea republic. The marriages of a goodly company of the high-born, the young and the beautiful, were to be celebrated on this occasion, and in public, according to the custom. Headed by the Doge himself, Pietro Candiano, the city sent forth its thousands. The ornamented gondolas plied busily from an early hour in the morning, from the city to Olivolo; and there, amidst music and merry gratulations of friends and kindred, the lovers disembarked. They were all clad in their richest array. Silks, which caught their colors from the rainbow, and jewels that had inherited, even in their caverns, their beauties from the sun and stars, met the eye in all directions. Wealth had put on all its riches, and beauty, always modest, was not satisfied with her intrinsic loveliness. All that could delight the eye, in personal decorations and nuptial ornaments, was displayed to the eager gaze of curiosity, and, for a moment, the treasures of the city were transplanted to the solitude and waste.

But gorgeous and grand as was the spectacle, and joyous as was the crowd, there were some at the festival, some young, throbbing hearts, who, though deeply interested in its proceedings, felt any thing but gladness. While most of the betrothed thrilled only with rapturous anticipations that might have been counted in the strong pulsations that made the bosom heave rapidly beneath the close pressure of the virgin zone, there were yet others, who felt only that sad sinking of the heart which declares nothing but its hopelessness and desolation. There were victims to be sacrificed as well as virgins to be made happy, and girdled in by thousands of the brave and goodly—by golden images and flaunting banners, and speaking symbols—by music and by smiles—there were more hearts than one that longed to escape from all, to fly away to some far solitude, where the voices of such a joy as was now present could vex the defrauded soul no more. As the fair procession moved onward and up through the gorgeous avenues of the cathedral to the altar-place, where stood the venerable Patriarch in waiting for their coming, in order to begin the solemn but grateful rites, you might have marked, in the crowding column, the face of one meek damsel, which declared a heart very far removed from hope or joyful expectation. Is that tearful eye—is that pallid cheek—that lip, now so tremulously convulsed—are these proper to one going to a bridal, and that her own? Where is her anticipated joy? It is not in that despairing vacancy of face—not in that feeble, faltering, almost fainting footstep—not, certainly, in any thing that we behold about the maiden, unless we seek it in the rich and flaming jewels with which she is decorated and almost laden down; and these no more declare for her emotions than the roses which encircle the neck of the white lamb, as it is led to the altar and the priest. The fate of the two is not unlike, and so also is their character. Francesca Ziani is decreed for a sacrifice. She was one of those sweet and winning, but feeble spirits, which know how to submit only. She has no powers of resistance. She knows that she is a victim; she feels that her heart has been wronged even to the death, by the duty to which it is now commanded; she feels that it is thus made the cruel but unwilling instrument for doing a mortal wrong to the heart of another; but she lacks the courage to refuse, to resist, to die rather than submit. Her nature only teaches her submission; and this is the language of the wo-begone, despairing glance—but one—which she bestows, in passing up the aisle, upon one who stands beside a column, close to her progress, in whose countenance she perceives a fearful struggle, marking equally his indignation and his grief.

Giovanni Gradenigo was one of the noblest cavaliers of Venice—but nobleness, as we know, is not always, perhaps not often, the credential in behalf of him who seeks a maiden from her parents. He certainly was not the choice of Francesca’s sire. The poor girl was doomed to the embraces of one Ulric Barberigo, a man totally destitute of all nobility, that alone excepted which belonged to wealth. This shone in the eyes of Francesca’s parents, but failed utterly to attract her own. She saw, through the heart’s simple, unsophisticated medium, the person of Giovanni Gradenigo only. Her sighs were given to him, her loathings to the other. Though meek and finally submissive, she did not yield without a remonstrance, without mingled tears and entreaties, which were found unavailing. The ally of a young damsel is naturally her mother, and when she fails her, her best human hope is lost. Alas! for the poor Francesca! It was her mother’s weakness, blinded by the wealth of Ulric Barberigo, that rendered the father’s will so stubborn. It was the erring mother that wilfully beheld her daughter led to the sacrifice, giving no heed to the heart which was breaking, even beneath its heavy weight of jewels. How completely that mournful and desponding, that entreating and appealing glance to her indignant lover, told her wretched history. There he stood, stern as well as sad, leaning, as if for support, upon the arm of his kinsman, Nicolo Malapieri. Hopeless, helpless, and in utter despair, he thus lingered, as if under a strange and fearful fascination, watching the progress of the proceedings which were striking fatally, with every movement, upon the sources of his own hope and happiness. His resolution rose with his desperation, and he suddenly shook himself free from his friend.

“I will not bear this, Nicolo,” he exclaimed, “I must not suffer it without another effort, though it be the last.”

“What would you do, Giovanni,” demanded his kinsman, grasping him by the wrist as he spoke, and arresting his movement.

“Shall I see her thus sacrificed—delivered to misery and the grave! Never! they shall not so lord it over true affections to their loss and mine. Francesca was mine—is mine—even now, in the very sight of Heaven. How often hath she vowed it! Her glance avows it now. My lips shall as boldly declare it again; and as Heaven has heard our vows, the church shall hear them. The Patriarch shall hear. Hearts must not be wronged—Heaven must not thus be defrauded. That selfish, vain woman, her mother—that mercenary monster, miscalled her father, have no better rights than mine—none half so good. They shall hear me. Stand by me, Nicolo, while I speak!”

This was the language of a passion, which, however true, was equally unmeasured and imprudent. The friend of the unhappy lover would have held him back.

“It is all in vain, Giovanni! Think! my friend, you can do nothing now. It is too late; nor is there any power to prevent this consummation. Their names have been long since written in the ‘Book of Gold,’ and the Doge himself may not alter the destiny!”

“The Book of Gold!” exclaimed the other. “Ay, the ‘Bride of Gold!’ but we shall see!” And he again started forward. His kinsman clung to him.

“Better that we leave this place, Giovanni. It was wrong that you should come. Let us go. You will only commit some folly to remain.”

“Ay! it is folly to be wronged, and to submit to it, I know! folly to have felt and still to feel! folly, surely, to discover, and to live after the discovery, that the very crown that made life precious is lost to you forever! What matter if I should commit this folly! Well, indeed, if they who laugh at the fool, taste none of the wrath that they provoke.”

“This is sheer madness, Giovanni.”

“Release me, Nicolo.”

The kinsman urged in vain. The dialogue, which was carried on in under tones, now enforced by animated action, began to attract attention. The procession was moving forward. The high anthem began to swell, and Giovanni, wrought to the highest pitch of frenzy by the progress of events, and by the opposition of Nicolo, now broke away from all restraint, and hurried through the crowd. The circle, dense and deep, had already gathered closely about the altar-place, to behold the ceremony. The desperate youth made his way through it. The crowd gave way at his approach, and under the decisive pressure of his person. They knew his mournful history—for when does the history of love’s denial and defeat fail to find its way to the world’s curious hearing. Giovanni was beloved in Venice. Such a history as his and Francesca’s was sure to beget sympathy, particularly with all those who could find no rich lovers for themselves or daughters, such as Ulric Barberigo. The fate of the youthful lovers drew all eyes upon the two. A tearful interest in the event began to pervade the assembly, and Giovanni really found no such difficulty as would have attended the efforts of any other person to approach the sacred centre of the bridal circle. He made his way directly for the spot where Francesca stood. She felt his approach and presence by the most natural instincts, though without ever daring to lift her eye to his person. A more deadly paleness than ever came over her, and as she heard the first sounds of his voice, she faltered and grasped a column for support. The Patriarch, startled by the sounds of confusion, rose from the sacred cushions, and spread his hands over the assembly for silence; but as yet he failed to conceive the occasion for commotion. Meanwhile, the parents and relatives of Francesca had gathered around her person, as if to guard her from an enemy. Ulric Barberigo, the millionaire, put on the aspect of a man whose word was law on ’change. He, too, had his retainers, all looking daggers at the intruder. Fortunately for Giovanni, they were permitted to wear none at these peaceful ceremonials. Their looks of wrath did not discourage the approach of our lover. He did not seem, indeed, to see them, but gently putting them by, he drew near to the scarcely conscious maiden. He lifted the almost lifeless hand from her side, and pressing it within both his own, a proceeding which her mother vainly endeavored to prevent, he addressed the maiden with all that impressiveness of tone which declares a stifled but still present and passionate emotion in the heart. His words were of a touching sorrow.

“And is it thus, my Francesca, that I must look upon thee for the last time? Henceforth are we to be dead to one another? Is it thus that I am to hear that, forgetful of thy virgin vows to Gradenigo, thou art here calling Heaven to witness that thou givest thyself and affections to another?”

“Not willingly, O! not willingly, Giovanni, as I live! I have not forgotten—alas! I cannot forget that I have once vowed myself to thee. But I pray thee to forget, Giovanni. Forget me and forgive—forgive!”

Oh! how mournfully was this response delivered. There was a dead silence through the assembly; a silence which imposed a similar restraint even upon the parents of the maiden, who had showed a desire to arrest the speaker. They had appealed to the Patriarch, but the venerable man was wise enough to perceive that this was the last open expression of a passion which must have its utterance in some form, and if not this, must result in greater mischief. His decision tacitly sanctioned the interview as we have witnessed. It was with increased faltering, which to the bystanders seemed almost fainting, that the unhappy Francesca thus responded to her lover. Her words were little more than whispers, and his tones, though deep, were very low and subdued, as if spoken while the teeth were shut. There was that in the scene which brought forward the crowd in breathless anxiety to hear, and the proud heart of the damsel’s mother revolted at an exhibition in which her position was by no means a grateful one. She would have wrested, even by violence, the hand of her daughter from the grasp of Giovanni; but he retained it firmly, the maiden herself being scarcely conscious that he did so. His eye was sternly fixed upon the mother, as he drew Francesca toward himself. His words followed his looks:

“Have you not enough triumphed, lady, in thus bringing about your cruel purpose, to the sacrifice of two hearts—your child’s no less than mine. Mine was nothing to you—but hers! what had she done that you should trample upon hers? This hast thou done! Thou hast triumphed! What would’st thou more? Must she be denied the mournful privilege of saying her last parting with him to whom she vowed herself, ere she vows herself to another! For shame, lady; this is a twofold and a needless tyranny!”

As he spoke, the more gentle and sympathizing spirits around looked upon the stern mother with faces of the keenest rebuke and indignation. Giovanni once more addressed himself to the maiden.

“And if you do not love this man, my Francesca, why is it that you so weakly yield to his solicitings? Why submit to this sacrifice at any instance? Have they strength to subdue thee?—has he the art to ensnare thee?—canst thou not declare thy affections with a will? What magic is it that they employ which is thus superior to that of love?—and what is thy right—if heedless of the affections of thy heart—to demand the sacrifice of mine? Thou hadst it in thy keeping, Francesca, as I fondly fancied I had thine!”

“Thou hadst—thou hast!—”

“Francesca, my child!” was the expostulating exclamation of the mother; but it failed, except for a single instant, to arrest the passionate answer of the maiden.

“Hear me and pity, Giovanni, if you may not forgive! Blame me for my infirmity—for the wretched weakness which has brought me to this defeat of thy heart—this desolation of mine—but do not doubt that I have loved thee—that I shall ever—”

“Stay!” commanded the imperious father.

“What is it thou wouldst say, Francesca? Beware!” was the stern language of the mother.

The poor girl shrunk back in trembling. The brief impulse of courage which the address of her lover, and the evident sympathy of the crowd, had imparted, was gone as suddenly as it came. She had no more strength for the struggle; and as she sunk back nerveless, and closed her eyes as if fainting under the terrible glances of both her parents, Giovanni dropped her hand from his grasp. It now lay lifeless at her side, and she was sustained from falling by some of her sympathizing companions. The eyes of the youth were bent upon her with a last look.

“It is all over then,” he exclaimed. “Thy hope, unhappy maiden, like mine, must perish because of thy weakness. Yet there will be bitter memories for this,” he exclaimed, and his eye now sought the mother—“bitter, bitter memories! Francesca, farewell! Be happy if thou canst!”

She rushed toward him as he moved away, recovering all her strength for this one effort. A single and broken sentence—“Forgive me, O forgive!”—escaped her lips, as she sunk senseless upon the floor. He would have raised her, but they did not suffer him.

“Is this not enough, Giovanni?” said his friend reproachfully. “Seest thou not that thy presence but distracts her?”

“Thou art right, Nicolo; let us go. I am myself choking—undo me this collar!—There! Let us depart.”

The organ rolled its anthem—a thousand voices joined in the hymn to the Virgin, and as the sweet but painful sounds rushed to the senses of the youth he darted through the crowd, closely followed by his friend. The music seemed to pursue him with mockery. He rushed headlong from the temple, as if seeking escape from some suffocating atmosphere in the pure breezes of heaven, and hurried forward with confused and purposeless footsteps. The moment of his disappearance was marked by the partial recovery of Francesca. She unclosed her eyes, raised her head and looked wildly around her. Her lips once more murmured his name.


“He is gone,” was the sympathizing answer from more than one lip in the assembly; and once more she relapsed into unconsciousness.



Giovanni Gradenigo was scarcely more conscious than the maiden when he left. He needed all the guidance of his friend.

“Whither?” asked Nicolo Malapiero.

“What matter! where thou wilt,” was the reply.

“For the city then;” and his friend conducted him to the gondola which was appointed to await them. In the profoundest silence they glided toward the city. The gondola stopped before the dwelling of Nicolo, and he, taking the arm of the sullen and absent Giovanni within his own, ascended the marble steps, and was about to enter, when a shrill voice challenged their attention by naming Giovanni.

“How now, signor,” said the stranger. “Is it thou? Wherefore hast thou left Olivolo? Why didst thou not wait the bridal.”

The speaker was a strange, dark-looking woman, in coarse woollen garments. She hobbled as she walked, assisted by a heavy staff, and seeming to suffer equally from lameness and from age. Her thin depressed lips, that ever sunk as she spoke into the cavity of the mouth, which, in the process of time, had been denuded of nearly all its teeth; her yellow wrinkled visage, and thin gray hairs, that escaped from the close black cap which covered her head, declared the presence of very great age. But her eye shone still with something even more lively and impressive than a youthful fire. It had a sort of spiritual intensity. Nothing, indeed, could have been more brilliant, or, seemingly, more unnatural. But hers was a nature of which we may not judge by common laws. She was no common woman, and her whole life was characterized by mystery. She was known in Venice as the “Spanish Gipsy;” was supposed to be secretly a Jewess, and had only escaped from being punished as a sorceress by her profound and most exemplary public devotions. But she was known, nevertheless, as an enchantress, a magician, a prophetess; and her palmistry, her magic, her symbols, signs and talismans, were all held in great repute by the superstitious and the youthful of the ocean city. Giovanni Gradenigo himself, obeying the popular custom, had consulted her; and now, as he heard her voice, he raised his eyes, and started forward with the impulse of one who suddenly darts from under the gliding knife of the assassin. Before Nicolo could interfere, he had leapt down the steps, and darted to the quay from which the old woman was about to step into a gondola. She awaited his coming with a smile of peculiar meaning, as she repeated her inquiry:

“Why are not you at Olivolo?”

He answered the question by another, grasping her wrist violently as he spoke.

“Did you not promise that she should wed with me—that she should be mine—mine only?”

“Well!” she answered calmly, without struggling or seeking to extricate her arm from the strong hold which he had taken upon it.

“Well! and even now the rites are in progress which bind her to Ulric Barberigo!”

“She will never wed Ulric Barberigo,” was the quiet answer. “Why left you Olivolo?” she continued.

“Could I remain and look upon these hated nuptials—could I be patient and see her driven like a sheep to the sacrifice? I fled from the spectacle, as if the knife of the butcher were already in my own heart.”

“You were wrong; but the fates have spoken, and their decrees are unchangeable. I tell you I have seen your bridal with Francesca Ziani. No Ulric weds that maiden. She is reserved for you alone. You alone will interchange with her the final vows before the man of God. But hasten, that this may find early consummation. I have seen other things! Hasten—but hasten not alone, nor without your armor! A sudden and terrible danger hangs over San Pietro di Castella, and all within its walls. Gather your friends, gather your retainers. Put on the weapons of war and fly thither with all your speed. I see a terrible vision, even now, of blood and struggle! I behold terrors that frighten even me! Your friend is a man of arms. Let your war-galleys be put forth, and bid them steer for the Lagune of Caorlo. There will you win Francesca, and thenceforth shall you wear her—you only—so long as it may be allowed you to wear any human joy!”

Her voice, look, manner, sudden energy, and the wild fire of her eyes, awakened Giovanni to his fullest consciousness. His friend drew nigh—they would have conferred together, but the woman interrupted them.

“You would deliberate,” said she, “but you have no time! What is to be done must be done quickly. It seems wild to you, and strange, and idle, what I tell you, but it is nevertheless true; and if you heed me not now bitter will be your repentance hereafter. You, Giovanni, will depart at least. Heed not your friend—he is too cold to be successful. He will always be safe, and do well, but he will do nothing further. Away! if you can but gather a dozen friends and man a single galley, you will be in season. But the time is short. I hear a fearful cry—the cry of women—and the feeble shriek of Francesca Ziani is among the voices of those who wail with a new terror! I see their struggling forms, and floating garments, and disheveled hair! Fly, young men, lest the names of those whom Venice has written in her Book of Gold, shall henceforth be written in a Book of Blood!”

The reputation of the sybil was too great in Venice to allow her wild predictions to be laughed at. Besides, our young Venetians—Nicolo no less than Giovanni, in spite of what the woman had spoken touching his lack of enthusiasm—were both aroused and eagerly excited by her speech. Her person dilated as she spoke—her voice seemed to come up from a fearful depth, and went thrillingly deep into the souls of the hearers. They were carried from their feet by her predictions. They prepared to obey her counsels. Soon had they gathered their friends together, enough to man three of the fastest galleys of the city. Their prows were turned at once toward the Lagune of Caorlo, whither the woman had directed them. She, meanwhile, had disappeared, but the course of her gondola lay for Olivolo.



It will be necessary that we should go back in our narrative but a single week before the occurrence of these events. Let us penetrate the dim and lonesome abode on the confines of the “Jewish Quarter,” but not within it, where the “Spanish Gipsy” delivered her predictions. It is midnight, and still she sits over her incantations. There are vessels of uncouth shape and unknown character before her. Huge braziers lie convenient, on one of which, amidst a few coals, a feeble flame may be seen to struggle. The atmosphere is impregnated with a strong but not ungrateful perfume, and through its vapors objects appear with some indistinctness. A circular plate of brass or copper—it could not well be any more precious metal—rests beneath the eye and finger of the woman. It is covered with strange and mystic characters, which she seems busily to explore, as if they had a real significance in her mind. She evidently united the highest departments of her art with its humblest offices; and possessed those nobler aspirations of the soul, which, during the middle ages, elevated in considerable degree the professors of necromancy. But our purpose is not now to determine her pretensions. We have but to exhibit and to ascertain a small specimen of her skill in the vulgar business of fortune-telling—an art which will continue to be received among men, to a greater or less extent, so long as they shall possess a hope which they cannot gratify, and feel a superstition which they cannot explain. Our gipsy expects a visiter. She hears his footstep. The door opens at her bidding and a stranger makes his appearance. He is a tall and well made man, of stern and gloomy countenance, which is half concealed beneath the raised foldings of his cloak. His beard, of enormous length, is seen to stream down upon his breast; but his cheek is youthful, and his eye is eagerly and anxiously bright. But for a certain repelling something in his glance, he might be considered a very handsome man—perhaps by many persons he was thought so. He advanced with an air of dignity and power. His deportment and manner—and when he spoke, his voice—all seemed to denote a person accustomed to command. The woman did not look up as he approached—on the contrary she seemed more intent than ever in the examination of the strange characters before her. But a curious spectator might have seen that a corner of her eye, bright with an intelligence that looked more like cunning than wisdom, was suffered to take in all of the face and person of the visiter that his muffling costume permitted to be seen.

“Mother,” said the stranger, “I am here.”

“You say not who you are,” answered the woman.

“Nor shall say,” was the abrupt reply of the stranger. “That, you said, was unnecessary to your art—to the solution of the questions that I asked you.”

“Surely,” was the answer. “My art, that promises to tell thee of the future, would be a sorry fraud could it not declare the present—could it not say who thou art, as well as what thou seekest.”

“Ha! and thou knowest!” exclaimed the other, his hand suddenly feeling within the folds of his cloak, as he spoke, as if for a weapon, while his eye glared quickly around the apartment, as if seeking for a secret enemy.

“Nay, fear nothing,” said the woman calmly. “I care not to know who thou art. It is not an object of my quest, otherwise it would not long remain a secret to me.”

“It is well! mine is a name that must not be spoken among the homes of Venice. It would make thee thyself to quail couldst thou hear it spoken.”

“Perhaps! but mine is not the heart to quail at many things, unless it be the absolute wrath of Heaven. What the violence or the hate of man could do to this feeble frame, short of death, it has already suffered. Thou knowest but little of human cruelty, young man, though thy own deeds be cruel!”

“How knowest thou that my deeds are cruel?” was the quick and passionate demand, while the form of the stranger suddenly and threateningly advanced. The woman was unmoved.

“Saidst thou not that there was a name that might not be spoken in the homes of Venice? Why should thy very name make the hearts of Venice to quail unless for thy deeds of cruelty and crime? But I see further. I see it in thine eyes that thou art cruel. I hear it in thy voice that thou art criminal. I know, even now, that thy soul is bent on deeds of violence and blood, and the very quest that brings thee to me now is less the quest of love than of that wild and selfish passion which so frequently puts on his habit.”

“Ha! speak to me of that! This damsel, Francesca Ziani! ’Tis of her that I would have thee speak. Thou saidst that she should be mine, yet lo! her name is written in the ”Book of Gold,“ and she is allotted to this man of wealth, this Ulric Barberigo.”

“She will never be the wife of Ulric Barberigo.”

“Thou saidst she should be mine.”

“Nay; I said not that.”

“Ha!—but thou liest!”

“No! Anger me not, young man! I am slower, much slower to anger than thyself—slower than most of those who still chafe within this mortal covering—yet am I mortal like thyself, and not wholly free from such foolish passions as vex mortality. Chafe me, and I will repulse thee with scorn. Annoy me, and I close upon thee the book of fate, leaving thee to the blind paths which thy passions have ever moved thee to take.”

The stranger muttered something apologetically.

“Make me no excuses. I only ask thee to forbear and submit. I said not that Francesca Ziani should be thine! I said only that I beheld her in thy arms.”

“And what more do I ask!” was the exulting speech of the stranger, his voice rising into a sort of outburst, which fully declared the ruffian, and the sort of passions by which he was governed.

“If that contents thee, well!” said the woman, coldly, her eye perusing with a seeming calmness the brazen plate upon which the strange characters were inscribed.

“That, then, thou promisest still?” demanded the stranger.

“Thou shalt see for thyself,” was the reply. Thus speaking the woman slowly arose and brought forth a small chafing-dish, also of brass or copper, not much larger than a common plate. This she placed over the brazier, the flame of which she quickened by a few smart puffs from a little bellows which lay beside her. As the flame kindled, and the sharp, red jets rose like tongues on either side of the plate, she poured into it something like a gill of a thick tenacious liquid, that looked like, and might have been, honey. Above this she brooded for awhile with her eyes immediately over the vessel; and the keen ear of the stranger, quickened by excited curiosity, could detect the muttering of her lips, though the foreign syllables which she employed were entirely beyond his comprehension. Suddenly, a thick vapor went up from the dish. She withdrew it from the brazier and laid it before her on the table. A few moments sufficed to clear the surface of the vessel, the vapor arising and hanging languidly above her head.

“Look now for thyself and see!” was her command to the visiter; she herself not deigning a glance upon the vessel, seeming thus to be quite sure of what it would present, or quite indifferent to the result. The stranger needed no second summons. He bent instantly over the vessel, and started back with undisguised delight.

“It is she!” he exclaimed. “She droops! whose arm is it that supports her—upon whose breast is it that she lies—who bears her away in triumph?”

“Is it not thyself?” asked the woman, coldly.

“By Hercules, it is! She is mine! She is in my arms! She is on my bosom! I have her in my galley! She speeds with me to my home! I see it all, even as thou hast promised me!”

“I promise thee nothing. I but show thee only what is written.”

“And when and how shall this be effected?”

“How, I know not,” answered the woman, “this is withheld from me. Fate shows what her work is only as it appears when done, but not the manner of the doing.”

“But when will this be?” was the question.

“It must be ere she marries with Ulric Barberigo, for him she will never marry.”

“And it is appointed that he weds with her on the day of St. Mary’s Eve. That is but a week from hence, and the ceremony takes place—”

“At Olivolo.”

“Ha! at Olivolo!” and a bright gleam of intelligence passed over the features of the stranger, from which his cloak had by this time entirely fallen. The woman beheld the look, and a slight smile, that seemed to denote scorn rather than any other emotion, played for a moment over her shriveled and sunken lips.

“Mother,” said the stranger, “must all these matters be left to fate?”

“That is as thou wilt.”

“But the eye of a young woman may be won—her heart may be touched—so that it shall be easy for fate to accomplish her designs. I am young; am indifferently well fashioned in person, and have but little reason to be ashamed of the face which God has given me. Beside, I have much skill in music, and can sing to the guitar as fairly as most of the young men of Venice. What if I were to find my way to the damsel—what if I play and sing beneath her father’s palace? I have disguises, and am wont to practice in various garments; I can—”

The woman interrupted him.

“Thou mayest do as thou wilt. It is doubtless as indifferent to the fates what thou doest, as it will be to me. Thou hast seen what I have shown—I can no more. I am not permitted to counsel thee. I am but a voice; thou hast all that I can give thee.”

The stranger lingered still, but the woman ceased to speak, and betrayed by her manner that she desired his departure. Thus seeing, he took a purse from his bosom and laid it before her. She did not seem to notice the action, nor did she again look up until he was gone. With the sound of his retreating footsteps, she put aside the brazen volume of strange characters which seemed her favorite study, and her lips slowly parted in soliloquy,

“Ay! thou exultest, fierce ruffian that thou art, in the assurance that fate yields herself to thy will! Thou shall, indeed, have the maiden in thy arms, but it shall profit thee nothing; and that single triumph shall exact from thee the last penalties which are sure to follow on the footsteps of a trade like thine. Thou thinkest that I know thee not, as if thy shallow masking could baffle eyes and art like mine; but I had not shown thee thus much, were I not in possession of yet further knowledge—did I not see that this lure was essential to embolden thee to thy own final overthrow. Alas! that in serving the cause of innocence, in saving the innocent from harm, we cannot make it safe in happiness. Poor Francesca, beloved of three, yet blest with neither! Thou shalt be wedded, yet be no bride; shall gain all that thy fond young heart craveth, yet gain nothing! Be spared the embraces of him thou loathest, yet rest in his arms whom thou hast most need to fear, and shalt be denied, even when most assured, the only embrace which might bring thee blessings! Happy at least that thy sorrows shall not last thee long—their very keenness and intensity being thy security from the misery which holds through years like mine!”

Let us leave the woman of mystery—let us once more change the scene. Now pass we to the pirate’s domain at Istria, a region over which, at the period of our narrative, the control of Venice was feeble, exceedingly capricious, and subject to frequent vicissitudes. At this particular time, it was maintained by the fiercest band of pirates that ever swept the Mediterranean with their bloody prows.



It was midnight when the galley of the chief glided into the harbor of Istria. The challenge of the sentinel was answered from the vessel, and she took her place beside the shore, where two other galleys were at anchor. Suddenly her sails descended with a rattle; a voice hailed throughout the ship, was answered from stem to stern, and a deep silence followed. The fierce chief of the pirates, Pietro Barbaro, the fiercest, strongest, wisest, yet youngest of seven brothers, all devoted to the same fearful employment, strode in silence to his cabin. Here, throwing himself upon a couch, he prepared rather to rest his limbs than to sleep. He had thoughts to keep him wakeful. Wild hopes, and tenderer joys than his usual occupations offered, were gleaming before his fancy. The light burned dimly in his floating chamber, but the shapes of his imagination rose up before his mind’s eye not the less vividly because of the obscurity in which he lay. Thus musing over expectations of most agreeable and exciting aspect, he finally lapsed away in sleep.

He was suddenly aroused from slumber by a rude hand that lay heavily on his shoulder.

“Who is it?” he asked of the intruder.

“Gamba,” was the answer.

“Thou, brother!”

“Ay,” continued the intruder; “and here are all of us.”

“Indeed! and wherefore come you? I would sleep—I am weary. I must have rest.”

“Thou hast too much rest, Pietro,” said another of the brothers. “It is that of which we complain—that of which we would speak to thee now.”

“Ha! this is new language, brethren! Answer me—perhaps I am not well awake; am I your captain, or not?”

“Thou art—the fact seems to be forgotten by no one but thyself. Though the youngest of our mother’s children, we made thee our leader.”

“For what did ye this, my brothers, unless that I might command ye?”

“For this, in truth, and this only, did we confer upon thee this authority. Thou hadst shown thyself worthy to command—”


“Thy skill—thy courage—thy fortitude—”

“In brief, ye thought me best fitted to command ye?”


“Then I command ye hence! Leave me, and let me rest!”

“Nay, brother, but this cannot be;” was the reply of another of the intruders. “We must speak with thee while the night serves us, lest thou hear worse things with the morrow. Thou art, indeed, our captain; chosen because of thy qualities of service, to conduct and counsel us; but we chose thee not that thou shouldst sleep! Thou wert chosen that our enterprises might be active and might lead to frequent profit.”

“Has it not been so?” demanded the chief.

“For a season it was so, and there was no complaint of thee.”

“Who now complains?”

“Thy people—all!”

“And can ye not answer them?”

“No! for we ourselves need an answer! We, too, complain.”

“Of what complain ye?”

“That our enterprises profit us nothing.”

“Do ye not go forth in the galleys? Lead ye not, each of you, an armed galley? Why is it that your enterprises profit ye nothing?”

“Because of the lack of our captain.”

“And ye can do nothing without me; and because ye are incapable, I must have no leisure for myself.”

“Nay, something more than this, Pietro. Our enterprises avail us nothing, since you command that we no longer trouble the argosies of Venice. Venice has become thy favorite. Thou shieldest her only, when it is her merchants only who should give us spoil. This, brother, is thy true offence. For this we complain of thee; for this thy people complain of thee. They are impoverished by thy new-born love for Venice, and they are angry with thee. Brother, their purpose is to depose thee?”

“Ha! and ye—”

“We are men as well as brethren. We cherish no such attachment for Venice as that which seems to fill thy bosom. When the question shall be taken in regard to thy office, our voices shall be against thee, unless—”

There was a pause. It was broken by the chief.

“Well, speak out. What are your conditions?”

“Unless thou shalt consent to lead us on a great enterprise against the Venetians. Hearken to us, brother Pietro. Thou knowest of the annual festival at Olivolo, when the marriage takes place of all those maidens, whose families are favorites of the Signiory, and whose names are written in the ”Book of Gold“ of the Republic.”

The eyes of the pirate chief involuntarily closed at the suggestion, but his head nodded affirmatively. The speaker continued.

“It is now but a week when this festival takes place. On this occasion assemble the great, the noble and the wealthy of the sea city. Thither they bring all that is gorgeous in their apparel, all that is precious among their ornaments and decorations. Nobility and wealth here strive together which shall most gloriously display itself. Here, too, is the beauty of the city—the virgins of Venice—the very choice among her flocks. Could there be prize more fortunate? Could there be prize more easy of attainment? The church of San Pietro di Castella permits no armed men within its holy sanctuaries. There are no apprehensions of peril; the people who gather to the rites are wholly weaponless. They can offer no defense against our assault; nor can this be foreseen? What place more lonely than Olivolo? Thither shall we repair the day before the festival, and shelter ourselves from scrutiny. At the moment when the crowd is greatest, we will dart upon our prey. We lack women; we desire wealth. Shall we fail in either, when we have in remembrance the bold deeds of our ancient fathers, when they looked with yearning on the fresh beauties of the Sabine virgins? These Venetian beauties are our Sabines. Thou, too, if the bruit of thy followers do thee no injustice, thou, too, hast been overcome by one of these. She will doubtless be present at this festival. Make her thine, and fear not that each of thy brethren will do justice to his tastes and thine own. Here, now, thou hast all. Either thou agreest to that which thy people demand, or the power departs from thy keeping. Fabio becomes our leader!”

There was a pause. At length the pirate-chief addressed his brethren.

“Ye have spoken! ye threaten, too! This power, of which ye speak, is precious in your eyes. I value it not a zecchino; and wert thou to depose me to-morrow, I should be the master of ye in another month, did it please me to command a people so capricious. But think not, though I speak to ye in this fashion, that I deny your demand. I but speak thus to show ye that I fear you not. I will do as ye desire; but did not your own wishes square evenly with mine own, I should bide the issue of this struggle, though it were with knife to knife.”

“It matters not how thou feelest, or what movest thee, Pietro, so that thou dost as we demand. Thou wilt lead us to this spoil?”

“I will.”

“It is enough. It will prove to thy people that they are still the masters of the Lagune—that they are not sold to Venice.”

“Leave me now.”

The brethren took their departure. When they had gone, the chief spoke in brief soliloquy, thus:

“Verily, there is the hand of fate in this. Methinks I see the history once more, even as I beheld it in the magic liquor of the Spanish Gipsy. Why thought I not of this before, dreaming vainly like an idiot boy, as much in love with his music as himself, who hopes by the tinkle of his guitar to win his beauty from the palace of her noble sire, to the obscure retreats of his gondola. These brethren shall not vex me. They are but the creatures of a fate!”



Let us now return to Olivolo, to the altar-place of the church of San Pietro di Castella, and resume the progress of that strangely mingled ceremonial—mixed sunshine and sadness—which was broken by the passionate conduct of Giovanni Gradenigo. We left the poor, crushed Francesca, in a state of unconsciousness, in the arms of her sympathizing kindred. For a brief space the impression was a painful one upon the hearts of the vast assembly; but as the deep organ rolled its ascending anthems, the emotion subsided. The people had assembled for pleasure and an agreeable spectacle; and though sympathizing, for a moment, with the pathetic fortunes of the sundered lovers, quite as earnestly as it is possible for mere lookers-on to do, they were not to be disappointed in the objects for which they came. The various shows of the assemblage—the dresses, the jewels, the dignitaries, and the beauties—were quite enough to divert the feelings of a populace, at all times notorious for its levities, from a scene which, however impressive at first, was becoming a little tedious. Sympathies are very good and proper things; but the world seldom suffers them to occupy too much of its time. Our Venetians did not pretend to be any more humane than the rest of the great family; and the moment that Francesca had fainted, and Giovanni had disappeared, the multitude began to express their impatience of any further delay by all the means in their possession. There was no longer a motive to resist their desires, and simply reserving the fate of the poor Francesca to the last, or until she should sufficiently recover to be fully conscious of the sacrifice which she was about to make, the ceremonies were begun. There was a political part to be played by the Doge, in which the people took particular interest; and to behold which, indeed, was the strongest reason of their impatience. The government of Venice, as was remarked by quaint and witty James Howell, was a compound thing, mixed of all kinds of governments, and might be said to be composed of “a grain of monarchy, a dose of democracy, and a dram, if not an ounce of optimacy.” It was in regard to this dose of democracy, that the government annually assigned marriage portions to twelve young maidens, selected from the great body of the people, of those not sufficiently opulent to secure husbands, or find the adequate means for marriage, without this help. To bestow these maidens upon their lovers, and with them the portions allotted by the state, constituted the first, and in the eyes of the masses, the most agreeable part of the spectacle. The Doge, on this occasion, who was the thrice renowned Pietro Candiano, “did his spiriting gently,” and in a highly edifying manner. The bishop bestowed his blessings, and confirmed by the religious, the civil rites, which allied the chosen couples. To these succeeded the voluntary parties, if we may thus presume upon a distinction between the two classes, which we are yet not sure that we have a right to make. The high-born and the wealthy, couple after couple, now approached the altar, to receive the final benediction which committed them to hopes of happiness which it is not in the power of any priesthood to compel. No doubt there was a great deal of hope among the parties, and we have certainly no reason to suppose that happiness did not follow in every instance.

But there is poor Francesca Ziani. It is now her turn. Her cruel parents remain unsubdued and unsoftened by her deep and touching sorrows. She is made to rise, to totter forward to the altar, scarcely conscious of any thing, except, perhaps, that the worthless, but wealthy, Ulric Barberigo is at her side. Once more the mournful spectacle restores to the spectators all their better feelings. They perceive, they feel the cruelty of that sacrifice to which her kindred are insensible. In vain do they murmur “shame!” In vain does she turn her vacant, wild, but still expressive eyes, expressive because of their very soulless vacancy, to that stern, ambitious mother, whose bosom no longer responds to her child with the true maternal feeling. Hopeless of help from that quarter, she lifts her eyes to Heaven, and, no longer listening to the words of the holy man, she surrenders herself only to despair.

Is it Heaven that hearkens to her prayer? Is it the benevolent office of an angel that bursts the doors of the church at the very moment when she is called upon to yield that response which dooms her to misery forever? To her ears, the thunders which now shook the church were the fruits of Heaven’s benignant interposition. The shrieks of women on every hand—the oaths and shouts of fierce and insolent authority—the clamors of men—the struggles and cries of those who seek safety in flight or entreat for mercy—suggest no other idea to the wretched Francesca, than that she is saved from the embraces of Ulric Barberigo. She is only conscious that, heedless of her, and of the entreaties of her mother, he is the first to endeavor selfishly to save himself by flight. But her escape from Barberigo is only the prelude to other embraces. She knows not, unhappy child! that she is an object of desire to another, until she finds herself lifted in the grasp of Pietro Barbaro, the terrible chief of the Istrute pirates. He and his brothers have kept their pledges to one another, and they have been successful in their prey. Their fierce followers have subdued to submission the struggles of a weaponless multitude, who, with horror and consternation, behold the loveliest of their virgins, the just wedded among them, borne away upon the shoulders of the pirates to their warlike galleys. Those who resist them perish. Resistance was hopeless. The fainting and shrieking women, like the Sabine damsels, are hurried from the sight of their kinsmen and their lovers, and the Istrute galleys are about to depart with their precious freight. Pietro Barbaro, the chief, stands with one foot upon his vessel’s side and the other on the shore. Still insensible, the lovely Francesca lies upon his breast. At this moment the skirt of his cloak is plucked by a bold hand. He turns to meet the glance of the Spanish Gypsy. The old woman leered on him with eyes that seemed to mock his triumph, even while she appealed to it.

“Is it not even as I told thee—as I showed thee?” was her demand.

“It is!” exclaimed the pirate-chief, as he flung her a purse of gold. “Thou art a true prophetess. Fate has done her work!”

He was gone; his galley was already on the deep, and he himself might now be seen kneeling upon the deck of the vessel, bending over his precious conquest, and striving to bring back the life into her cheeks.

“Ay, indeed!” muttered the Spanish Gipsy, “thou hast had her in thy arms, but think not, reckless robber that thou art, that fate has done its work. The work is but begun. Fate has kept its word to thee; it is thy weak sense that fancied she had nothing more to say or do!”

Even as she spoke these words, the galleys of Giovanni Gradenigo were standing for the Lagune of Caorlo. He had succeeded in collecting a gallant band of cavaliers who tacitly yielded him the command. The excitement of action had served, in some measure, to relieve the distress under which he suffered. He was no longer the lover, but the man; nor the man merely, but the leader of men. Giovanni was endowed for this by nature. His valor was known. It had been tried upon the Turk. Now that he was persuaded by the Spanish Gipsy, whom all believed and feared, that a nameless and terrible danger overhung his beloved, which was to be met and baffled only by the course he was pursuing, his whole person seemed to be informed by a new spirit. The youth, his companions, wondered to behold the change. There was no longer a dreaminess and doubt about his words and movements, but all was prompt, energetic, and directly to the purpose. Giovanni was now the confident and strong man. Enough for him that there was danger. Of this he no longer entertained a fear. Whether the danger that was supposed to threaten Francesca, was still suggestive of a hope—as the prediction of the Spanish Gipsy might well warrant—may very well be questioned. It was in the very desperation of his hope, perhaps, that his energies became at once equally well-ordered and intense. He prompted to their utmost the energies of others. He impelled all his agencies to their best exertions. Oar and sail were busy without intermission, and soon the efforts of the pursuers were rewarded. A gondola, bearing a single man, drifted along their path. He was a fugitive from Olivolo, who gave them the first definite idea of the foray of the pirates. His tidings, rendered imperfect by his terrors, were still enough to goad the pursuers to new exertions. Fortune favored the pursuit. In their haste the pirate galleys had become entangled in the lagune. The keen eye of Giovanni was the first to discover them. First one bark, and then another, hove in sight, and soon the whole piratical fleet were made out, as they urged their embarrassed progress through the intricacies of the shallow waters.

“Courage, bold hearts!” cried Giovanni to his people; “they are ours! We shall soon be upon them. They cannot now escape us!”

The eye of the youthful leader brightened with the expectation of the struggle. His exulting, eager voice declared the strength and confidence of his soul, and cheered the souls of all around him. The sturdy oarsmen “gave way” with renewed efforts. The knights prepared their weapons for the conflict. Giovanni signaled the other galleys by which his own was followed.

“I am for the red flag of Pietro Barbaro himself. I know his banner. Let your galleys grapple with the rest. Cross their path—prevent their flight, and bear down upon the strongest. Do your parts, and fear not but we shall do ours.”

With these brief instructions, our captain led the way with the Venetian galleys. The conflict was at hand. It came. They drew nigh and hailed the enemy. The parley was a brief one. The pirates could hope no mercy, and they asked none. But few words, accordingly, were exchanged between the parties, and these were not words of peace.

“Yield thee to the mercy of St. Mark!” was the stern summons of Giovanni, to the pirate-chief.

“St. Mark’s mercy has too many teeth!” was the scornful reply of the pirate. “The worthy saint must strike well before Barbaro of Istria sues to him for mercy.”

With the answer the galleys grappled. The Venetians leapt on board of the pirates, with a fury that was little short of madness. Their wrath was terrible. Under the guidance of the fierce Giovanni, they smote with an unforgiving vengeance. It was in vain that the Istrutes fought as they had been long accustomed. It needed something more than customary valor to meet the fury of their assailants. All of them perished. Mercy now was neither asked nor given. Nor, as it seemed, did the pirates care to live, when they beheld the fall of their fearful leader. He had crossed weapons with Giovanni Gradenigo, in whom he found his fate. Twice, thrice, the sword of the latter drove through the breast of the pirate. Little did his conqueror conjecture the import of the few words which the dying chief gasped forth at his feet, his glazed eyes striving to pierce the deck, as if seeking some one within.

“I have, indeed, had thee in my arms, but—”

There was no more—death finished the sentence! The victory was complete, but Giovanni was wounded. Pietro Barbaro was a fearful enemy. He was conquered, it is true, but he had made his mark upon his conqueror. He had bitten deep before he fell.

The victors returned with their spoil. They brought back the captured brides in triumph. That same evening preparations were made to conclude the bridal ceremonies which the morning had seen so fearfully arrested. With a single exception, the original distribution of the “brides” was persevered in. That exception, as we may well suppose, was Francesca Ziani. It was no longer possible for her unnatural parents to withstand the popular sentiment. The Doge himself, Pietro Candiano, was particularly active in persuading the reluctant mother to submit to what was so evidently the will of destiny. But for the discreditable baseness and cowardice of Ulric Barberigo, it is probable she never would have yielded. But his imbecility and unmanly terror in the moment of danger, had been too conspicuous. Even his enormous wealth could not save him from the shame that followed; and however unwillingly, the parents of Francesca consented that she should become the bride of Giovanni, as the only proper reward for the gallantry which had saved her, and so many more, from shame.

But where was Giovanni? His friends have been dispatched for him; why comes he not? The maid, now happy beyond her hope, awaits him at the altar. And still he comes not. Let us go back for a moment to the moment of his victory over the pirate-chief. Barbaro lies before him in the agonies of death. His sword it is which has sent the much dreaded outlaw to his last account. But he himself is wounded—wounded severely, but not mortally by the man whom he has slain. At this moment he received a blow from the axe of one of the brothers of Barbaro. He had strength left barely to behold and to shout his victory, when he sunk fainting upon the deck of the pirate vessel. His further care devolved upon his friend, Nicolo, who had followed his footsteps closely through all the paths of danger. In a state of stupor he lies upon the couch of Nicolo, when the aged prophetess, the “Spanish Gipsy,” appeared beside his bed.

“He is called,” she said. “The Doge demands his presence. They will bestow upon him his bride, Francesca Ziani. You must bear him thither.”

The surgeon shook his head.

“It may arouse him,” said Nicolo. “We can bear him thither on a litter, so that he shall feel no pain.”

“It were something to wake him from this apathy,” mused the surgeon. “Be it as thou wilt.”

Thus, grievously wounded, was the noble Giovanni borne into the midst of the assembly for each member of which he had suffered and done so much. The soft music which played around, awakened him. His eyes unclosed to discover the lovely Francesca, tearful, but hopeful, bending fondly over him. She declared herself his. The voice of the Doge confirmed the assurance; and the eye of the dying man brightened into the life of a new and delightful consciousness. Eagerly he spoke; his voice was but a whisper.

“Make it so, I pray thee, that I may live!”

The priest drew nigh with the sacred unction. The marriage service was performed, and the hands of the two were clasped in one.

“Said I not?” demanded an aged woman, who approached the moment after the ceremonial, and whose face was beheld by none but him whom she addressed. “She is thine!”

The youth smiled, but made no answer. His hand drew that of Francesca closer. She stooped to his kiss, and whispered him, but he heard her not. With the consciousness of the sweet treasure that he had won after such sad denial, the sense grew conscious no longer—the lips of the youth were sealed for ever. The young Giovanni, the bravest of the Venetian youth, lay lifeless in the embrace of the scarcely more living Francesca. It was a sad day, after all, in Venice, since its triumph was followed by so great a loss; but the damsels of the ocean city still declare that the lovers were much more blest in this fortune, than had they survived for the embrace of others less beloved.

[The touching and romantic incident upon which this little tale is founded, has been made use of by Mr. Rogers, in his poem of “Italy.” It is one of those events which enrich and enliven, for romance, the early histories of most states and nations that ever arrive at character and civilization. It occurs in the first periods of Venetian story, about 932, under the Doge Candiano II. I have divided my sketch into five parts, having originally designed a dramatic piece with the same divisions. That I have since thought proper to write the tale in the narrative and not the dramatic form, is not because of any insusceptibility of the material to such uses. I still think that the story, as above given, might easily and successfully be dramatized, giving it a mixed character—that of the melo-dramatic opera, and only softening the close to a less tragical denouement.]







      Myriads have sung thy praise,

    Fair Dian, virgin-goddess of the skies!

      And myriads will raise

    Their songs, as time yet onward flies,

    To thee, chaste prompter of the lover’s sighs,

      And of the minstrel’s lays!

    Yet still exhaustless as a theme

      Shall be thy name—

    While lives immortal Fame—

    As when to people the first poet’s dream

      Thy inspiration came.





          None ever lived, or loved,

        Who hath not thine oblivious influence felt—

        As if a silver veil hid outward things,

        While some bright spirit’s wings

          Mysteriously moved

        The world of fancies that within him dwelt—

      Regent of Night! whence is this charm in thee,

    That sways the human soul with potent witchery?





      When first the infant learns to look on high,

        While twilight’s drapery his heart appals,

      Thy full-orbed presence captivates his eye;

        Or when, ’mid shadows grim upon the walls,

          Are sent thy pallid rays,

          ’Tis awe his bosom fills,

          And trembling joy that thrills

      His tiny frame, and fastens his young gaze:

          Thy spell is on that heart,

          And childhood may depart,

      But it shall gather strength with youthful days;

        For oft as thou, capricious moon!

          Shalt wax and wane,

      He, now perchance a love-sick swain,

        Will watch thee at night’s stilly noon,

      Pouring his passion in an amorous strain:

        Or, with the mistress of his soul—

          Lighted by thy love-whispering beams—

        In some secluded garden stroll,

          Bewildered in ambrosial dreams;

      Nor once suspect, while his full pulses move,

    That thou, whom tides obey, may’st turn the tide of love!





        The watcher on the deep—

          Though weary be his eye—

        Forgets even drowsy sleep,

          When thou art in the sky!

      For with thine image on the silvery sea

      A thousand forms of memory

        Whirl in a mazy dance;

      And when he upward looks to thee,

        In thy far-reaching glance

      There is a sacred bond of sympathy

          ’Twixt sea and land;

          For on his native strand

      That glance awakens kindred souls

        To kindred thought,

      And though the deep between them rolls,

        Hearts are together brought;

    While tears that fall from eyes at home,

      And those that wet the sailor’s cheek,

    From the same sacred fountains come—

          The same emotion speak.





          The watcher on the land—

          Who holds the burning hand

        Of one whom scorching fever wastes—

          Beholds thee, orient moon!

      With reddened face, expanded in the east,

      Till Superstition chills his breast,

        While tremulous he hastes

      To draw the curtains as thou journeyest on:

          But when the far-spent night

          Is streaked with dawning light,

          Again, to look on thee,

          He lifts the drapery,

      And hope divine now triumphs over fear,

          As in the zenith far

      A pale, small orb thou dost appear,

    While eastward rises morn’s resplendent star!

    And Fancy sees the passing soul ascend

    Where thy mild glories with the azure blend.





    Even on the face of Death thou lookest calm,

      Fair Dian! as when watchful thou didst keep

      Love’s holy vigils o’er Endymion’s sleep,

    Drinking the breath of youth’s perpetual balm.

      Thy beams are kissing now

        The icy brow

    Of many a youth in slumber deep,

      Who cannot yield to thee

    The incense of Love’s perfumed breath,

    For no response gives Death!

      Ah, ’tis a fearful sight to see

    Thy lustre on a human face

    Where the Promethean spark has left no trace,

        As if it shone upon

          The marble cold,

        Of that famed ruin old—

    The grand, but empty Parthenon!





    Dian, enchantress of all hearts!

      While mine in song now worships thee,

    From thy far-shooting bow the silver darts

          Fall thick and fast on me:

    Oh, beautiful in light and shade,

    By thee is this fair landscape made!

    Gems sparkle on the river’s breast—

    Now covered by an icy vest—

        Upon the frozen hills

          A regal glory shines!

        And all the scene, as Fancy wills,

          Shifts into new designs.

    Yet night is still as Death’s unbroken realms,

      And solemnly thy light, wan orb, is cast

    Through the arched branches of these reverend elms,

    As though it through the Gothic windows passed

    Of some old abbey or cathedral vast.





        In awe my spirit kneels—

    And seems before a hallowed shrine;

    Yet not the majesty of Art it feels,

        But Nature’s law divine—

    The presence of her mighty Architect!

      Who piled these pyramidal hills sublime,

    That still, pure moon, thy radiance will reflect,

      And still defy the crumbling touch of Time:

    Who built this temple of gigantic trees,

      Where Nature’s worshipers repair

      To pray the heart’s unuttered prayer,

    Whose veiled thought the great Omniscient sees.





    Oh, I could wonder, and adore

      Religious Night! and thee, her queen!

    Till golden Phœbus should restore

      His splendor to the scene!

    But the same natural laws control

      Thy motions and the poet’s will;

    So, that while tireless roves the soul,

      This actual life must weary still.

    And oh, inspirer of my song!

      While close these eyes upon thy beams,

    Watching, amid thy starry throng,

      Be thou the goddess of my dreams.





    Ring out, ring out, thy clear sweet note!

      Art longing to be free—

    To break thy bars and heavenward float?

      My bird, this may not be.


    Thou ne’er hast known another home

      Than in that cage of thine,

    And shouldst thou from its shelter roam,

      Where meet a love like mine?


    When the gay wealth of leaves and flowers

      Wreathes every fragrant bough,

    And hides thee all the summer hours

      From noontide’s sultry glow—


    And when the limpid grass-fringed brook

      Reflects thy yellow wing,

    And thou may’st seek each quiet nook

      Where sweets are blossoming—


    And warble there the cheerful song

      That oft has charmed mine ear,

    Thou might’st, those leafy shades among,

      Be happier far than here.


    But when sad Autumn sheds abroad

      The stillness of decay,

    And leaves beneath the feet are trod

      Where young winds love to play—


    When icy chains the streams have bound,

      Gems hang from every tree,

    And but the snow-bird skims the ground,

      Where would my trembler flee?


    Ah, fold thy wing and rest thee there,

      Nor trust deceitful skies,

    Though balmy now the gentle air,

      Dark tempests will arise.


    And Freedom! ’tis a glorious word!

      But should the rude winds come,

    Then wouldst thou wish, my warbling bird,

      For thine own quiet home.


    My bird! I too would take my flight,

      I long to soar away

    To those far realms where all is bright,

      Where beams an endless day.


    I may not tread a holier sphere,

      I may not upward move,

    But bound like thee, I linger here

      And trust a Father’s love.






If to be seated, on a bright winter’s day, before a glowing fire of anthracite, with one’s feet on the fender, and one’s form half-buried in the depths of a cushioned easy-chair, holding the uncut pages of the last novel, be indeed the practical definition of happiness, then Emma Leslie was to be envied as she sat thus cosily, one afternoon, listening to an animated discussion going on between an elderly lady and gentleman on the opposite side of the fire-place. The discussion ran on a grave subject—a very grave subject—one which has puzzled the heads of wise men, and turned the wits of weak ones. But though the argument grew every moment more close and earnest, the fair listener had the audacity to laugh, in clear, silvery tones, that told there was not one serious thought in her mind, as she said,

“Nay, good uncle, a truce to these generalities. If, as I imagine, all this talk upon woman’s rights and woman’s duties has been for my special edification, pray be more explicit and tell me what part I am to play in the general reform you propose?”

The gentleman thus addressed looked up at this interruption, and replied in a tone slightly acidified,

“For your benefit also has been your Aunt Mary’s clear exposition of what woman may and should be. Perhaps you will profit as much by her suggestions as you seem to do by mine.”

“Do not give me up as incorrigible just as I am coming to be taught how to be good,” said Emma, with mock gravity. “With regard to this subject of temperance, of which you were just speaking, and upon which you say woman has so much influence, what shall I do? How can I reclaim the drunkard while I move in a circle where the degraded creatures are not admitted. They will not be influenced by a person who has no feelings or sympathies in common with them, even were it proper for me to descend to their level in order to help them.”

“That may be. The tide of gay and fashionable life sweeps over and buries in oblivion the ruin its forms and ceremonies help to make. Yet there are some you might reach. Some who are just beginning to sink, and whom men cannot influence because they are too proud to own their danger.”

“How less likely, then, would a woman be to influence them,” replied Emma. “You know how men try to conceal their vices and foibles from us.”

“True, but yet men do not suspect the weaker sex of doubting their power to reform themselves, and are therefore more willing to be advised and persuaded by them to abandon their bad habits, which have not yet become fixed vices. Woman’s intuitive perception of what should be said, and the right moment to say it, men rarely possess; and this gives your sex a superiority over ours in the work of reform. Yet, alas! how often is this influence employed to lure the wandering feet further and further from the path of virtue.”

“Beware, uncle, I’ll have no slander,” replied Emma, half vexed.

“It is not slander. How often have I seen you, Emma, with smiles and gay words, sipping that which, however harmless to you, is poison to some of your thoughtless companions. Were you pure in word and deed from all contamination in that behalf, how different would be your influence. Yet you refused to join the Temperance Society I am endeavoring to establish in our neighborhood.”

“But you know,” said Emma, with a proud curl of her ruby lip, “that I am in no danger. Why should my name be mixed with the common herd?”

“That is false pride, unworthy a true-hearted woman. To refuse to aid a reforming movement that will assist thousands, simply because it will not benefit you, because you do not need its help. I did not think you so selfish.”

“I am not selfish. You shall not call me such ugly names,” replied the niece, striving to turn the conversation from the serious turn it had taken. “You know very well it is only my humility that speaks. I don’t think women have any right to form societies and make laws. All that honor and glory I am willing to leave to men, and only ask for my sex the liberty of doing as they please in the humble station assigned to them by the ‘lords of creation.’ You may rule the world, and give orders, and we will—break them.”

“Yes,” said her uncle, rising to go, “you will break them, indeed—break all laws of justice, honor and humanity in your giddy course.”

“Nay,” said Emma, rising and holding his hands in hers as he was about to leave the room,

    ‘Put down your hat, don’t take your stick,

     Now, prithee, uncle, stay.’

I will not let you go thinking me so naughty and saucy. Don’t look so sober, or I shall certainly cry, and you know you hate scenes. I am really half convinced by your arguments, but were I to sign the pledge, what good would it do. I have no desire to go about with a sermon on my lips, and a frown on my brow, to bestow on all the luckless wights who ‘touch, taste or handle.’ It is not genteel to scold, and I fancy they might think me impertinent were I to advise. Who is there among my acquaintance who would not resent my interference with their habits in this respect?”

“There is your cousin, Edward,” replied her uncle, seating himself again. “You know well how to lead him in your train through all kinds of fun and folly, perhaps you might induce him to sign the temperance pledge.”

“But Edward is strictly temperate. He rarely takes even wine.”

“True, and I don’t think him in danger of becoming less so. But his position in society gives him great influence over the young men with whom he associates; and some who follow his example in refusing to sign the pledge, are unable to follow him in controlling their appetites.”

“There is young Saville, too,” said Aunt Mary. “It is whispered among his friends, that unless something arrests his course, he will ere long be ruined.”

A flush passed over Emma’s beautiful face as, in a tone of surprise and horror, she exclaimed, “What, George Saville! with his genius and eloquence—is he a slave to that vice?”

“They say,” replied her aunt, “that much of his fiery eloquence arises from the fumes of brandy, and the sparkling wit that makes him so delightful is caught from the bubbles that dance on the wine-cup. When the excitement, thus produced, passes away, he is dull and spiritless.”

“And will no one warn him—no one save him?” said Emma, thoughtfully.

“Who can do it so well as yourself?” said her uncle. “Is he not one of the worshipers at your shrine? Of what avail is it to be young and beautiful and wealthy, if the influence such accidents give be not employed in the cause of truth and virtue?”

Emma did not reply, and her uncle left the room, where she remained a long time in deep thought, roused and startled by the new ideas presented to her mind, for giddy and thoughtless as she seemed, she possessed a mind and heart capable of deep feeling and energetic action.

The same evening she was seated by the piano, drawing thence a flood of melody, while her Cousin Edward and George Saville stood beside her. But the attention of the latter seemed more absorbed by the fair musician than by the sweet sounds produced by her flying fingers; and directing his companion’s attention to the soft brown hair that fell in long, shining ringlets around her pure brow, and over her snowy neck, he said, in a tone intended to reach his ear alone,

“What would you give to possess one of those curls?”

Low as were the words, Emma heard them, and pausing suddenly, said, “What would you give?”

“Any thing—every thing,” said the young man, eagerly.

“Would you give your liberty—would you bind yourself to do my bidding?” asked the maiden, in a tone in which playful gayety strove to hide a deeper feeling.

“The liberty to disobey your will, lady, has long been lost,” replied Saville, with a glance that well-nigh destroyed Emma’s self-possession. “It were a small matter to acknowledge it by my vow.”

“On that condition it is yours,” said Emma, while the rich blush that mantled cheek and brow, made her more beautiful than ever as she severed from her queenly head one of the longest of the luxurient tresses with which nature had adorned it.

“Ma belle Emma,” interposed Edward as she did this, “I cannot allow of such partiality. Let me take the oath of allegiance and gain an equal prize.”

“Will you dare?” replied Emma, gayly. “Will you bow your haughty spirit to do my bidding? Beware, for when you have vowed, you are completely in my power.”

“And a very tyrant you will be, no doubt, fair queen, yet I accept the vow. Royalty needs new disciples when there are so many deserters.”

“Kneel, then, Cousin Edward, and you also, Mr. Saville, and rise Knights of the Ringlet, bound to serve in all things the will of your sovereign lady.” So saying, she placed half the ringlet on the shoulder of each gentleman, as they knelt in mock humility before her. Some unutterable feeling seemed to compel Saville to look the thanks he would have spoken, but Edward, with a conscious privilege, seized her hand, and kissing it, exclaimed, as he threw himself into “an attitude,”

    “Thy will, and thine alone,

      For ever and a day,

    By sea and land, through fire and flood,

      We promise to obey.”



About a month after, Edward and his cousin found themselves listening to the eloquent appeals of a well known temperance lecturer. He dwelt upon the woes and ruins of intemperance, and the responsibility of every one who did not do all in his power to remedy the evil. At the close of the lecture the pledge was passed among the audience. When it came to where they were sitting, Emma took it, and offering Edward her pencil, whispered, “Let the Knight of the Ringlet perform his vow.” He looked at her inquiringly. She traced her own name beneath those written there, and bade him do the same. For an instant he hesitated, and was half offended with her for the stratagem, but good sense and politeness both forbade a refusal, and he complied.

It was a more delicate task to exert the same influence over the proud and sensitive George Saville, but at length the opportunity occurred.

One evening, as he mingled with the gay groups that filled the splendid drawing-rooms of the fashionable Mrs. B——, one of his acquaintance came up, and filling two glasses with wine that stood on the marble side-table, offered one to him. As he was raising it to his lips, a rose-bud fell over his shoulder into the glass, and a voice near him said, in low, musical tones, “Touch it not, Knight of the Ringlet, I command you by this token;” and turning, he saw Emma standing beside him. As she met his gaze, she passed her delicate hand through the dark curls that shaded her lovely face, and shaking her finger at him impressively, was lost in the crowd. Saville stood looking after her with a bewildered air, as if lost in thought, until the laugh of his companion recalled him to himself. “Excuse me,” he said, putting down the glass. “You saw the spell flung over me, I am under oath to obey the behests of beauty.”

Emma watched him through the evening, but he seemed to avoid her, and appeared thoughtful and sad. They did not meet again, until at a late hour; she was stepping into her carriage to return home, when suddenly he appeared at her side and assisting her into it, entreated, “Fair queen, permit the humblest of your most loyal subjects the honor of escorting you to the palace.” She assented, and the carriage had no sooner started than in a voice, trembling with earnestness, he added. “and permit me to ask if your command this evening was merely an exercise of power, or did a deeper meaning lie therein?”

“I did mean to warn you,” said Emma, gently, “that there was poison in the glass—slow, perchance, but sure.”

“And do you think me in danger, Miss Leslie?”

“I think all in danger who do not adopt the rule of total abstinance; and, pardon me, if I say that with your excitable temperament, I imagine you to be in more than ordinary peril.”

There was a long pause. When he spoke again his tones were calmer.

“I did not imagine I could ever become a slave to appetite. Often, while suffering from the fatigue induced by writing, I have taken brandy, and been revived by it. Sometimes before going to speak in public I have felt the need of artificial stimulus to invigorate my shattered nerves. Do you think that improper indulgence?”

“Do you not find,” said Emma, “that this lassitude returns more frequently, and requires more stimulus to overcome it than formerly?”

“It is true,” said he, thoughtfully; “yet I often speak with more fluency when under such excitement than I can possibly do at other times.”

“Once it was not so,” said Emma, kindly.

“Very true, but this kind of life wears on my system. I cannot get though with my public duties without help of this kind.”

“Does not this show,” replied Emma, “that you have already somewhat impaired those noble powers with which you are endowed. Would it not be far nobler as well as safer to trust solely to yourself than to depend on the wild excitement thus induced?”

“It does, indeed; fool that I have been to think myself secure. But, thank heaven! I am yet master. I can control myself if I choose.”

By this time they had arrived at the door of Miss Leslie’s mansion.

“Let me detain you one moment,” said Saville, as they stood upon the steps, “to ask you if you have heard others speak of this. Tell me truly,” he added, as she hesitated. “Do the public know that I am not always master of myself?”

“I have heard it intimated you were injuring yourself in this way,” replied Emma, in a low voice, doubtful how the intelligence would be received.

“And you,” said the young man, fervently, “you were the kind angel who interposed to save me from the precipice over which I have well-nigh fallen. Be assured the warning shall not be in vain. A thousand thanks for this well-timed caution,” he added, more cheerfully, as they parted, “the Knight of the Ringlet will not forget his vow.”

For a few moments the joyous excitement of his spirit continued, as he thought of the interest in him which her conversation and actions had that evening evinced. But when the door closed and shut her fairy form from his sight, a shadow fell over his heart. Other feelings arose and whispered that after all it was but pity that actuated her. Love—would she not rather despise his weakness that had need of such a caution? Then came a sense of wounded pride, an idea that his confession had humbled him before her, and ere he reached his home he had become so deeply desponding that he was meditating taking passage for England, and doing a thousand other desperate things, so that he never again might see the gentle monitress who, he had persuaded himself, regarded him with pity that was more akin to disgust than love.

A letter received the next morning calling him into the country for a week, prevented his executing his rash designs; but a feeling, unaccountable even to himself, made him shun the places where he was accustomed to meet Emma, and made him miserable, till three or four weeks afterward, merely by accident, he found himself seated opposite to her at a concert. Was it fancy, or did she look sad and thoughtful; and why did her eye roam over the crowd, as if seeking some one it found not. So he thought to himself, till suddenly, in their gazing, his eyes met hers. Instantly she turned away, and then in a moment after, gave him an earnest, inquiring glance, full of troubled thought. At that look the demon which tormented him vanished, and a flood of inexpressible love filled his soul. He could not go to her, hemmed in as he was by the audience; but he did not cease looking at her through the evening. In vain, she gave no second look or sign of consciousness of his presence.

“She is offended with me,” he soliloquized, as he went homeward; “and no wonder. How like a fool I have acted. I will go to her to-morrow and tell her all.”

In the morning he called, but others had been before him, and the drawing-room was well supplied with loungers. He staid as long as decency would permit; but Miss Leslie was not at all cordial in her manner toward him, and the “dear five hundred friends” kept coming and going, so that no opportunity offered for the explanation. “I will go again this evening,” said he to himself; and so he did. Emma stood at the window, beside a stand of magnificent plants, whose blossoms filled the room with fragrance. The lamps had not been lighted, and the moonlight fell like a halo of glory around her, as she stood in sad reverie that cast a pensive shade over her face, usually so brilliant in its beauty. So absorbed was she, that she did not hear the door open, and was unconscious of Saville’s presence till he was at her side.

“You received me coldly, fair lady, this morning, so that I came back to see if you are offended with me,” said he, as she turned to receive him.

“And I, in my turn, ask you the same question, or else why have you absented yourself so long?”

“I was not offended—ah, no!” said Saville, dropping the tone of forced gayety in which he had at first spoken, “but can you not understand why I have thus exiled myself? Did you not know it was that I feared you might despise me—you from whom more than from any one else I desired esteem, admiration—love.” The last word was spoken in a lower tone, and he looked at her appealingly, as if to ask forgiveness for having uttered it. For one instant he met the gaze of Emma’s dark blue eyes, and he must have read something there he did not expect to find, for the expression of his own changed into one so hopeful and earnest that Emma’s sunk beneath its light. And when he drew Emma into a seat beside him, and in a few rapid words told her what in fact she knew before, how long and how well he had loved her. I don’t know what she said, for, reader, I came away then.

But I do know that one morning, six months after, some carriages went from Mr. Leslie’s mansion to the church, and came back filled with a party looking most auspiciously happy, and that some hours after, as Edward was conducting his Cousin Emma to a traveling carriage, which stood at the door, he said, “So you and Saville have changed positions, and you are henceforth to obey. What a tyrant I would be, were I in his place. Pray does this morning’s act cancel former obligations?”

“The contract is unbroken,” said Saville, answering for his bride, and producing a locket containing the ringlet—“here is the token that renders the vow perpetual.”





    Speed swifter, Night!—wild Northern Night,

      Whose feet the Artic islands know,

    When stiffening breakers, sharp and white,

      Gird the complaining shores of snow!

    Send all thy winds to sweep the wold

      And howl in mountain-passes far,

    And hang thy banners, red and cold,

      Against the shield of every star!


    For what have I to do with morn,

      Or Summer’s glory in the vales—

    With the blithe ring of forest-horn,

      Or beckoning gleam of snowy sails?

    Art thou not gone, in whose blue eye

      The fleeting Summer dawned to me?—

    Gone, like the echo of a sigh

      Beside the loud, resounding sea!


    Oh, brief that time of song and flowers,

      Which blessed, through thee, the Northern Land!

    I pine amid its leafless bowers,

      And on the black and lonely strand.

    The forest wails the starry bloom,

      Which yet shall pave its shadowy floor,

    But down my spirits aisles of gloom

      Thy love shall blossom nevermore!


    And nevermore shall battled pines

      Their solemn triumph sound for me,

    Nor morning fringe the mountain-lines,

      Nor sunset flush the hoary sea;

    But Night and Winter fill the sky,

      And load with frost the shivering air,

    Till every gust that hurries by

      Chimes wilder with my own despair.


    The leaden twilight, cold and long,

      Is slowly settling o’er the wave;

    No wandering blast awakes a song

      In naked boughs above thy grave.

    The frozen air is still and dark;

      The numb earth lies in icy rest;

    And all is dead, save this one spark

      Of burning grief, within my breast.


    Life’s darkened orb shall wheel no more

      To Love’s rejoicing summer back:

    My spirit walks a wintry shore,

      With not a star to light its track.

    Speed swifter, Night! thy gloom and frost

      Are free to spoil and ravage here;

    This last wild requiem for the lost

      I pour in thy unheeding ear!





    Why mourn the perished glories of the past?

      Why wrong with murmurs Death’s paternal care?

    Sire of immortal Beauty, from his vast

      Embrace with Infinite Life, spring all things fair

    And good and wonderful: Ye are not cast,

      Like wailing orphans, on the desert bare,

      To cry and perish. Life comes everywhere


    With Mother-love, and strong Death garners fast

      His bounty for her board; for all which live

    His tireless hands the harvest sow and reap,

      He feeds alone those lily breasts which give

    New strength to all on Life’s white arms that leap;

      Fear not, sweet babes, in his thick mantle furled,

      Now lulled asleep, to wake in a new splendor-world.






(Continued from page 196.)


The Raker in a Calm.

A long calm, usually so tiresome to sailors, but considered most fortunate by Lieutenant Morris, succeeded the events just narrated. He was constantly in the society of the beautiful Julia Williams, and the impression first made upon him by her surpassing beauty rapidly deepened into a devoted love. Wholly absorbed in his passion, he cared not how long his little brig lay with flapping sails upon the water waiting for the wind. Julia was by no means indifferent to his addresses, so ardent and yet so respectful. She already loved the gallant young sailor, though she hardly even suspected it herself, yet why did she so love the long evening walk with him upon the deck of the brig? Why did her eye grow brighter, and her heart beat faster, whenever he entered the little cabin? Such feelings she had for him as she had never felt before, though one of her beauty could hardly have been without lovers in her native land. She loved to hear him talk of his own home in the far west—of the clear blue skies of America. She even began to think that her country was wrong in the quarrel then existing between the two nations, though the young officer touched but lightly upon the subject, not deeming it matter of interest to a lady’s ears. Yes, Lieutenant Morris had a strange influence over Julia, and she wondered why it was, but she could not be in love with him, O, no!

The disastrous events which had so effectually prevented Mr. Williams from prosecuting his voyage to the Indies were matters of deep regret to the worthy merchant, and his brow was continually clouded with care. Julia was not so much engrossed with her passion for the young lieutenant that she did not perceive this, but as she saw no way to console her father, she only strove by her own cheerfulness to impart a greater degree of contentment to him. As for John, he seemed both happy and proud. He was once more in safety, and he bore honorable wounds to show in proof of his valor. His stories of his own achievements when he so gallantly made his escape from the pirate each day grew more and more marvelous. He was especially fond of narrating this exploit to his friend Dick Halyard, to whom he endeavored to convey the impression that he had fought his way overboard from the deck of the pirate, and for want of a boat had boldly set sail upon a plank over the dangerous deep.

“Crikey! Dick, if ever I get back to old Lonnon agin, how the women will love me when I tell ’em how I fought them bloody pirates.”

John had never read Shakspeare, or he might have said with Othello, that they would love him,

    “For the dangers I have passed.”

Dick, who as the reader already knows was somewhat of a wag in his way, was not at all disposed to allow John to retain this self-conceited idea of his own valor, and determined to convince him before the belief got too strongly settled in his mind, that he was as much a coward as ever.

With this praiseworthy intention he waited till the middle watch of the night, when John was comfortably snoozing in his hammock, to which he had become somewhat accustomed. Dick suddenly awoke him.

“John, roll out, the pirates are on us again.”

John jumped from his hammock, thoroughly awakened by the dreadful word.

“O lud! Dick, where can I hide myself?”

“Why, we must fight them off, John. You have now a chance to get another wound to show the girls in Lonnon. Come, be lively.”

“O! Dick, here’s a box, let me get in here.”

“Nonsense, man! take this cutlas, and here’s a pair of pistols; come, we shall be too late for them.”

“O! Dick, I can’t fight.”

“Can’t fight! What was that yarn you told me this morning, how you killed two pirates on their own deck, and jumped overboard followed by a shower of balls.”

“Dick, that was all a lie.”

“Ha! ha! ha!”

“I never fought in my life; I always run when any body tried to lick me, ever since I was a little boy.”

“Well, I thought so, John. You can turn in again, and snooze till daylight.”

“What, aint there no pirates on board us?”

“Not a one, ha! ha! ha! I only wanted to see how brave a fellow you were, so turn in.”

“Thunder and lightning! Dick,” said John, picking up the cutlas and brandishing it heroically, “you don’t think I’m afraid of pirates do you?”

“O! no, not a bit of it.”

“Of course I aint.”

“I don’t think you are—I only know you are.”

“Well now, you see, Dick, taint our business to fight ’em if they was here; this ship belongs to the ’Mericans, and we haint got to fight for them, it’s their own look out.”

“Turn in, John.”

“Thunder! if this ’ere was an English ship you’d a seen me going into ’em.”

“John, I say, don’t you tell me any thing more about your fighting the pirates, ’cause if you do, I’ll tell the whole crew how I frightened you.”

“Say nothing, Dick, and I wont lie to you any more.”

“Ha! ha! ha!”

Dick left John to his repose, and returned to the deck much pleased with the success of his stratagem.

“Confounded mean, that ’are, in Dick Halyard,” thought John, as he tumbled into his hammock again. “Now I never would a served him so—there aint nothing like true friendship in this world—at any rate there aint none out to sea—but never mind, I can tell the story to the girls in Lonnon, if I ever get there, and there wont be nobody to make a fool of me then—pirates, crikey! who cares, I aint afraid of ’em.”

And John went to sleep, dreaming that he was sailing on a plank again, with any quantity of sharks following in his wake.

After several days a fine breeze filled the sails of the Raker; it did not come in consequence of the vast amount of grumbling, and perhaps of swearing, which the uneasy tars had given vent to, but from whatever cause it filled them with joy, and every countenance among them was lighted with pleasure. Captain Greene had so far recovered as to be able to reach the deck of his brig, and as his smart little craft walked off before the wind, he sat on the quarter-deck with a pleasant smile upon his weather-beaten countenance, conversing with Captain Horton and Mr. Williams. Each of the three old gentlemen held a short pipe in his mouth, and all seemed to be decidedly enjoying themselves.

“I say, Captain Greene,” exclaimed the commander of the lost merchantman, “nobody would think our two countries were at war to see us now,” and the worthy tar blew a long column of smoke from his mouth and laughed merrily.

“Truly not, and it don’t seem more than half natural that we should be.”

“Why, we English all think that the Americans cherish feelings of hatred toward us.”

“Not a bit of it sir—there is, on the contrary, a strong feeling of attachment among us all for our mother country.”

“Well, what are you fighting us for now then?”

“Because we think we have been wronged; your naval officers have time and again impressed our free-born American citizens, on board their own craft, though it was clearly shown that they owed no allegiance to the king.”

“Well, if that is so, it looks wrong to be sure; I don’t know much about the war, but as an Englishman, I am bound to believe my country is in the right, some way or other, even if it looks otherwise.”

“Of course, captain—at any rate, I don’t believe we shall quarrel about it. Fill up again, captain, I see your pipe is out.”

“Thank you, I believe I will. Mr. Williams, you don’t seem to feel as well as usual, you look a little gloomy.”

“My thoughts just then were running upon my great disappointment, in being so unfortunately prevented from proceeding to the Indies.”

“The fortune of war, Mr. Williams,” said Capt. Horton, as he lit his pipe from the American commander’s. “It’s bad, I know, and I’ve lost as nice a little brig as ever sailed out of London, and don’t know as I shall ever get another, even if I ever get home to old England again. Speaking of that, Captain Greene, do you hold us prisoners of war, or how?”

“Not at all, sir,” replied the captain. “If I’d overhauled your brig before that pirate fell a-foul of you, why, then, it would have been a different thing; but, shiver my timbers, if I ever make war against a ship’s crew in distress. No, no—I picked you up at sea, and I don’t consider you at all in the light of enemies. I will set you adrift again the first chance I have.”

“Not on a raft, I hope, Captain Greene, ha! ha! ha!”

“No, but I shall lay the Raker alongside of the first craft I see that sports a British flag; and after I have taken it, why I’ll put you and your crew aboard, and you may make the best of your way back to England.”

“Suppose you should run a-foul of one of our frigates.”

“Never fear that—the little Raker will take care of herself. She can outsail any thing that floats, now that we have sunk that bloody pirate. I do think that he could sail away from her. I always run up to a vessel or run off from her, just as my spy-glass tells me I’d better do. You may depend on seeing old England again before a great while, Captain Horton, or I’m much mistaken.”

“I shant be sorry to come within hail of her white cliffs again, though I did not expect, two weeks ago, that I should see them for many a long month.”

Julia and Florette were seated in the little cabin below; the French girl was weeping bitterly. She had done little else since she had been removed to the privateer. Julia had in vain endeavored to console her; and rightly judging that it would be better to allow her grief to have full vent, she had for several days done little but to see to all her wants, and whisper an occasional word of cheerfulness and encouragement. She determined, however, on this morning to make another attempt to console the unfortunate girl.

“My dear Florette,” said she, “why do you so continually mourn; all that has happened cannot now be remedied.”

“I know it, lady.”

“Then do not weep, Florette, you shall once more see your native France; and you will be happy again.”

“O, never, never! I have lost all that could make me happy!”

“You have been unfortunate, Florette, but you have not been guilty.”

“Alas! I have been guilty; it is that which grieves me now more than aught else. No, I should have died rather than have suffered myself to become the pirate’s mistress.”

“Yet you were compelled, Florette.”

“Ah! lady, you would not have been compelled; you would have sooner died—would you not?”

The flashing eye of Julia, and the warm flush that covered her cheek and neck, answered the poor girl. She would not trust herself to answer in words.

“I see you would, dear lady—and so should I have done. No, I am guilty. I could have saved my honor in the arms of death; the pirate’s dirk lay on the table in my cabin—that would have saved me; the deep, deep sea was all around me—there, too, I might have found an honorable safety.”

“My dear Florette, do not think of these things now. You are sorry for the past, whether you have done a great wrong, or a small, it is certainly not one which the good God cannot forgive.”

“But the world will not; and, lady, I loved the pirate-captain; harsh as he was to all else, to me he was kind—and now he is dead. O! William, William!”

“Do not weep for him, Florette.”

“I will try not to any more; but, lady, I shall never be happy again. I shall never again see the hills of sunny France. I feel that I shall not—but I will weep no more. I never close my eyes but the form of William appears to me. Last night I saw him. Oh! ’twas a fearful dream; he seemed to me to rise from the ocean, close beside this brig, and standing on the blue water, he spoke to me, as I gazed from this cabin-window.”

“‘Come, Florette,’ said he, ‘come with me to our home in the deep; beautiful are its coral chambers, and its floors are strewn with pearls. Soft is the radiance that lights its gorgeous halls, where the riches of a thousand wrecks are stored; the dolphins sport like living rainbows in the watery sky above it, and the huge leviathans guard its golden portals. Come, Florette, I wait for you, in our home in the deep.’”

Julia wept as she heard the plaintive tones of the poor girl.

“Florette, it was but a vision, do not think of it.”

“Well, lady; yet I shall soon join my William—so my heart tells me. You will think of me when I am gone?”

“Often, very often, Florette; but you will soon be better.”

Florette shook her head mournfully, and Julia, who saw she would not be comforted, left her to herself, and ascended to the deck. Lieutenant Morris was in a moment at her side, and in his conversation she soon forgot the unfortunate girl, who as soon as Julia had gone, threw herself upon a couch, and gave way to her cheerless thoughts; her eyes were closed, but ever and anon a large tear burst through the closed lids and rolled down the wasted cheeks, which already the hectic flush, so fatally significant, had dyed with its lovely hue.

While the trio of old gentlemen kept up their smoking and conversation on one side of the companion-way, Lieutenant Morris and Julia took possession of the other. The young officer had not dared as yet to speak of his love to her, but he had not failed to evince it by every thing but words; and he felt assured that it was known to her, and not treated with indifference.

“Julia,” said he, as they gazed out upon the beautiful waters flashing in the clear beams of the morning sun, “do you know that we must soon part?”

“I do not see how we can, Lieutenant Morris, unless you are going to take a cruise in the jolly boat.”

“We shall soon, doubtless, fall in with some merchant vessel from your native country, as we are directly in their course, and then you and your father, with all the crew of the Betsy Allen, will be allowed to go on board of it, and return to England.”

“Dear England, shall I so soon see it again.”

“And will you have no regret at leaving the Raker?”

“Why, is it not an enemy’s vessel?”

“Not your enemy’s.”

“No, it is not; you have all been kind to us, and we shall feel as if we were parting with friends.”

“Dear Julia,” said the young officer, taking her hand in his, “you will not forget us? You will not forget me?” and he ventured to press the little hand he held in his own. It was not withdrawn. Encouraged in his advances, the young lieutenant was emboldened to proceed, and bending his head until he could gaze into the blushing countenance which was half averted from him, he made his first declaration of love, and his heart beat painfully as he awaited her answer.

“Julia, I love you.”

He heard no answer from her lips, but he felt a pressure from the hand he still held in his own, and was happy.

“Will you be mine, Julia?”

Julia had no affectation in her character, and she frankly avowed that she loved the young lieutenant, but could not give him an answer until she had seen her father.

“I will be yours or no ones,” said she; and releasing her hand, she glided below into the cabin.

Lieutenant Morris paced the deck in very pleasant companionship with his thoughts. He did not believe that Julia’s father would strenuously oppose their marriage, if he saw that his daughter’s happiness was concerned, though he might very naturally prefer that she should marry one of her own countrymen.

He was disturbed in his meditations by the cry of “sail ho!” from the foretop-crosstrees. He ordered the man at the helm to bear away for the strange craft. As the two vessels rapidly approached each other, she was soon hull above the water, and Morris perceived through his glass, that the stars and stripes floated at her mast-head. A thrill of pleasure, like that which one feels at meeting an old friend in a distant land, shot through his veins. Signal-flags were shown and answered from each vessel, and the approaching sail proved to be the Hornet, of the American navy. Each of the two vessels were laid in stays as they drew near each other, and a boat from the privateer was soon alongside the Hornet, and after a while returned with several of the officers of the latter, who were desirous to pay their respects to the lady on board the privateer. They were all highly accomplished gentlemen, as well as gallant officers; and in after years, when Julia heard of the fate of the Hornet and her noble crew, she wept none the less bitterly that words of courtesy had passed between her and the officers of the devoted vessel, on the broad ocean, where such kindly greetings seldom were met or returned.

From the Hornet Lieutenant Morris heard that a convoy of merchantmen were not far to windward of him, protected by an English frigate.

“If you keep a bright eye open,” said a gay young midshipman, as he stepped into the boat which was to reconvey him to his vessel, “you may cut out one or two of them, for they sail wide apart, and the frigate keeps heaving ahead, and laying-to for the lubberly sailers.”

And with a touch of his hat, and a wave of his hand to the fair Julia, on whom his eye lingered as if she had reminded him of another as bright and fair as she, whom he had left behind him, the gallant boy sprung into the boat, and was soon upon his own deck, which he left only for the deep bosom of the ocean, when, not long afterward, the Hornet went down with all sail standing, and the stars and stripes at her mast-head, in the midst of a terrible storm, against which she could not stand. There were eyes that long looked anxiously for the return of the loved and lost—hearts that sighed, and spirits that sunk with the sickness of hope deferred; but there was no return for those who slept

    “Full many a fathom deep,

     In the deep bosom of the ocean buried!”




In consequence of the information obtained from the Hornet, the head of the Raker was turned more to windward, in order to intercept the convoy of merchantmen; but, owing to miscalculations of their bearings, she lost them entirely, and after keeping her course several days, hauled up again, and bore off on her former track.

Florette had wasted away like a flower in midsummer. Each succeeding hour seemed to bear off upon its wings some portion of her beauty and bloom, as the winds steal away the fragrance from the rose, and leave it at length withered and dying. Her mind seemed also to waste with her body—her brain was fevered, and the form of the pirate seemed to be always before her gaze.

The night had set in calm and beautiful, though the wind blew strong, and the waves were high, yet the heavens were cloudless, and the bright stars glided along the upper deep, like bubbles bathed in silver light.

Julia sat by the side of Florette, in the cabin, gazing with anxious melancholy upon her wan yet beautiful countenance, and striving to direct her wandering thoughts by her own counsel.

“Florette, you seem happier to-night?”

“O, yes! I am happier—do you not see how he smiles upon me; his face is not dark to me. See! he beckons me to follow him!”

And rising, she began to ascend the steps that led from the cabin.

“Florette, where are you going?”

“With William.”

Julia seized her hand and led her gently back to her seat.

“Come, you are not well enough to go upon deck—let us talk of something else. Do you not long to see France again?”

“France, la belle France?” murmured the poor girl.

“Yes, your own France.”

“I see the home of my childhood; O, is it not beautiful! How full the vine-tree hangs with the clustering grape, and the village girls are dancing on the green. I see myself among them—and I look smiling and happy; but, O! there is William! how dark he looks as he gazes through the vines upon me; he beckons me away. I will come! I will come!”

Julia wept as she looked sorrowfully upon this wreck of happiness and beauty.

“My dear Florette, I hope you will yet again dance with your village girls beneath the bower of vines you seem to see.”

“O, never, never! Did I not tell you I should never see France again? No, no! I am going to William, he is impatient. See! he frowns!” and again she strove to break from Julia, but suffered herself to be restrained by the gentle violence of her companion.

“Come, Florette, will you not sleep?”

A gleam of intelligence seemed to pass across her countenance, and her eyes lighted as if with a sudden resolve. She was too weak to escape from Julia, and with the cunning which so often characterizes the fevered mind, she determined to attain by deception, what she saw could not be done otherwise.

“Yes, lady, I will sleep.”

And with a smile upon her lips she closed her eyes, and wrapping her long scarf about her, fell back upon the couch.

Julia watched her long. In the dim light of the cabin-lamp she did not perceive that occasionally those bright eyes were half opened, and fastened upon her impatiently.

Satisfied at length that she was asleep, Julia gently left the cabin, and stole upon the deck, where Lieutenant Morris anxiously awaited her.

The moment her light form vanished, the invalid rose from her couch, and, with a triumphant smile, gazed round the vacant cabin.

“There is no one here now, William, but you and I. Now I will go with you to your beautiful home in the sea. Stay a moment, let me arrange my toilette. I do not look as well as I did, William, or this glass deceives me; but it matters not, you look kindly on me still, and I am happy now—happier than I have been for a long time. There, William, I am ready!” and following the shadow of her imagination, she glided with a stealthy step to the deck.

Lieutenant Morris and Julia were slowly pacing the deck, with their heads bent forward, forgetful of every thing but themselves; a light step was heard close behind them, and the low rustling of garments. They turned to look, but too late; Florette sprung past them, her foot rested on the gunwale, and with the cry, “I follow you, William!” the form of the girl disappeared over the side of the brig.

Lieutenant Morris sprung forward, and the cry of “man overboard!” was heard from the look-out; the sails were immediately thrown a-back, and the boat lowered—but the body of Florette was not found. Her long scarf was picked up, stained with blood; the worthy tar shuddered as he gazed upon it.

“Jack, I told you that shark was not following us for nothing; he’s been in our wake now these ten days. I knew somebody on board had got to go to Davy Jones’s locker.”

“Poor girl! but heave ahead, Bill, it’s no use after this, you know.”

Julia was terribly shocked at the dreadful fate of Florette, and retiring to the cabin, she wept sadly, and long, for the poor girl—this last victim of the scourge of the ocean, murdered no less by him than were the hundreds his bloody hand had struck dead with the sword. Even the rude seamen shed tears for the lost and ill-fated girl; and a silence like that of the death-chamber reigned on board the little brig, as it swept noiselessly over the waters. No class of people are more proverbially light-hearted and thoughtless than seamen. The sad event of the preceding night seemed to have passed from the memories of all on board the Raker with the morning’s dawn—from all save Julia. She, indeed, often thought of the unfortunate Florette, and her eyes were red, as if from much weeping, long after the pirate’s mistress had been forgotten by all others.

To Lieutenant Morris it was but an event in an eventful life, and if not wholly forgotten by him, yet slumbered in his memory with other deeds he had witnessed, as melancholy and appalling as the death of the poor girl—for his thoughts were too entirely occupied by his love for Julia, and the necessary duties of his station, to find room for other and sadder recollections.

Mr. Williams, who had just finished his morning glass, and with a pipe in his mouth, was reclining in the stern-sheets, a little melancholy, to be sure, but apparently wholly occupied in watching the long curls of smoke, which the wind bore off to leeward, to mingle with the purer air of ocean, was a little surprised when the young officer approaching him, requested a moment’s conversation on business of importance.

“Certainly, certainly, sir.”

“Mr. Williams, I am anxious to know if you approve of my attentions to your daughter?”

The old gentleman, who had been blind to the progress of the attachment between his daughter and Morris, seemed not to comprehend him, which his inquiring gaze evinced.

“Would you be willing to accept of me as a son-in-law, sir?”

The worthy merchant had just drawn in a mouthful of smoke as this question made the matter clear to him; the pipe fell from his lips, and no small quantity of the smoke seemed to have gone down his throat, as, instead of giving any intelligible answer to the proposition, he was seized with a violent fit of coughing.

The anxious lover folded his arms with a half smile upon his countenance, and waited till his desired information could be obtained.

“Whew!” exclaimed the merchant; “excuse me, sir. Confound the smoke! I understand you, sir; but it took me by surprise. Have you said any thing to Julia about this?”

“She has herself referred me to you, if your answer is favorable, I shall have no reason to despair.”

“Ah! has it gone so far as this?”

“I trust you do not regret it, sir.”

“You are not an Englishman, Lieutenant Morris, I believe.”

“Well, sir—that is one objection.”

“You are an enemy of England, are you not?”

“I can’t deny it, sir.”

“Well, there’s two objections—and I suppose I might find more; but it seems to me that’s enough.”

As the old gentleman said this with a very decided air, he picked up his pipe, and began filling it again.

“I do not think those are strong objections, sir; if I am not myself an Englishman, my forefathers were, and of good old English blood; and if I am an enemy of England, I am neither your enemy nor your daughter’s.”

“Well, that’s all true, but it don’t look natural, somehow, that my daughter should marry an American.”

“Such things have happened, however.”

“I suppose likely; but, young man, I am not rich. What little I had was taken away by the pirate, and I havn’t seen it since.”

“I care nothing for that, sir.”

“But I do.”

“I mean, Mr. Williams, that my love for your daughter will not be influenced one way or the other by the riches or poverty of her father.”

“You seem to be a whole-souled man, anyway, Lieutenant Morris; and if you were only an Englishman, you should have my daughter for that speech, if for nothing else, you should, by St. George! I recollect when I was rich, the young men were round Julia as thick as bees; and when I failed, Lord! how they scattered!”

“My dear sir, I am rich enough for us all; beside a large amount of prize-money, my family estate is not small.”

This last remark seemed to produce a deeper effect upon the old gentleman than any thing that had been said.

“Well, well, boy, I will think of it.”

Lieutenant Morris was wise enough to say no more at that time; he saw that he had nearly, if not quite, secured the old gentleman’s assent; and leaving him, he went forward.

Mr. Williams followed his manly form with his eyes, as he stepped lightly over the deck.

“Pity he’s not an Englishman—confounded pity. He’s a fine-looking fellow—never saw a better; rich, too. Well, I’ll go and talk with Julia. After all, it will be pretty much as she says about it, I suppose.”

That same evening Julia told her lover that her father would not oppose their marriage after the war had closed, but that he was strongly opposed to its taking place any sooner.

“But it may last forever, Julia.”

“Well, I hope not.”

“If it does?”

“Why then I’ll make father change his mind, I think.”

Morris laughed, and clasped her to his bosom, the broad main-sail hid them from observation, and he impressed upon her lips a kiss, warm as his devoted love—not the first kiss of love, for he had been a poor suitor, indeed, if that had been the first. He then tried to persuade Julia that she and her father should remain with the Raker, and go with him to the States; but he did not expect compliance with this request, and soon desisted from it, devoting the remainder of the evening to such converse as was most delightful to him and Julia, but which, doubtless, would be uninteresting to all others.

He had been afraid each morning that he should hear the cry of “Sail in sight!” for he had lost his ambition in his love; and he knew that the first vessel they captured would be given to the crew of the Betsy Allen, and that with them Julia and her father would depart. It was with a feeling, then, that partook more of sadness than any other emotion, that he heard the long-expected cry.

The sail in sight proved to be an English merchantman, which, as she was a lazy sailer, was speedily overhauled. A gun brought her to. As if determined, however, not to surrender without a shot, she replied with as powerful a broadside as she could command, immediately striking her flag. The only effect of her fire was to frighten poor John, who had rashly remained upon deck. That courageous personage fell upon his face, so suddenly, that his friend, Dick Halyard ran to him, really supposing he was hit; there was, however, no other expression than that of fear in the upturned countenance of John.

“O, lud, Dick! you are safe—how many are killed?”

“You are the only one, I believe, John.”

“Me? I aint hit, be I?”

“Pshaw, John, get up,” said Mr. Williams, approaching him angrily; “don’t you see everybody is laughing at you?”

John rose slowly, anxiously eyeing the merchantman, as if ready to dodge the first flash.

“A fortunate escape, Dick.”

“Yes, another adventure to tell the girls in Lonnon.”

“Don’t now, Dick.”

The merchantman was richly laden, and the honest captain, who doubtless had his own interest in her cargo, actually shed tears as he saw the greater portion of it removed to the privateer. The crew of the latter could not but pity his distress, but they thought, and none could dispute the truth, that an English cruiser would have hardly been moved by the sorrow and complaints of one of their own captains, if he should fall into his hands. It was, moreover, in accordance with the law and usage of nations at war, and the English captain felt that he was kindly dealt with, when informed that he would be allowed to depart with his vessel, on condition of conveying a number of his own countrymen to their native shore. He contented himself, therefore, with cursing the war, and all who caused it. As the peaceful mariner, he neither knew why the two nations were at war, nor could he feel the justice of any laws which involved him in ruin while quietly following his avocation, content to let others alone if the same privilege could be extended to him.

Strong arguments have indeed been urged against the right of the system of privateering! It is no part of our task either to defend or to condemn it, yet it would seem evident that, looking at it as a means of crippling an enemy more efficacious than any other that can be devised, thereby hastening a return to peace, it cannot in its broadest sense be deemed unjust or cruel. Private individuals must suffer in every war, and fortune had ordained that the poor merchantman should be one of them. It would doubtless have been difficult to have persuaded him that he was suffering for the good of his country. He certainly did not look nor feel remarkably like a patriot, and would have much preferred not to have been used as a means to accomplish the end of war, and the restoration of peace between the two great contending powers.

He received Captain Horton, his crew and passengers, however, with much affability, and when his ship had parted from the Raker, after cursing the Yankees awhile in good old Saxon, his countenance was restored in great measure to its wonted expression of good humor.

Julia and Lieutenant Morris had parted sorrowfully, yet full of hope for the future. A heavy box was also conveyed to the merchantman by orders of Lieutenant Morris, who told Mr. Williams it contained an equivalent for his loss by the pirate. It did indeed contain a sum in gold, which Mr. Williams would never have accepted had he had an opportunity to refuse. It produced on his mind precisely the effect which, without doubt, the young lieutenant intended that it should, awakening a feeling of obligation, which would prevent his opposing very strenuously the suit of the young American, which there was some reason to fear might be the case after he had been separated from him and returned to his own land.

In a short time the two vessels were out of sight of each other. The merchantman reached England in safety, and Mr. Williams determined to remain there, inasmuch as he was heartily sick of adventures on the ocean; and the sum of money left in his hands by Lieut. Morris enabled him to form a good business connection in London. With this arrangement Julia also was pleased, as she felt sure that as soon as the war closed her lover would be at her feet, and that the end of hostilities would be peace and happiness to them, as well as to the contending nations.



The Arrow and the Raker.

The immense injury done to the English service by American privateers, no less than the splendid victories obtained by our regular navy, had at length awakened in the mind of our adversaries a proper respect for American prowess. They had learned that the stars and stripes shone upon a banner that was seldom conquered, and never disgraced. At this period of the war their attention was more particularly directed to the privateers, who seemed to be covering the sea. Almost every merchantman that sailed from an English port became a prize to the daring and active foe. The commerce of England was severely crippled, and anxious to punish an enemy who had so seriously injured the service, several frigates were fitted out to cruise especially against the American privateers; these were chosen with particular reference to their speed, and one which was the admiration of every sailor in the service, called the Arrow, had spoken the merchantman, just as it was entering the channel, a few days after its capture by the Raker. No definite information as to the present position of the privateer could be obtained from the merchantman, but having learned her bearings at the time she was lost sight of, the Arrow bent her course in the same direction, confident that if he could once come in sight of her he would find little difficulty in overhauling her.

It was a black, murky, windy day, with frequent gusts of rain, and a thick fog circumscribed the horizon, narrowing the view to a few miles in each direction. Toward evening the fog rose like a gathered cloud to westward, leaving that part of the horizon cloudless, and shedding down a bright light upon the waters. Had the look-out on the Arrow been on the alert he might have seen, directly under this clear sky, the topsails of the American privateer, but the honest sailor had just spliced the main-brace, and having deposited a huge quid of tobacco in his cheek, was lying over the crosstrees, in a state as completely abandon as a fop upon a couch in his dressing-room.

All on the Raker, however, were on the broad look out, they knew they were nearing the shores of England, and liable at any time to come within sight of an enemy’s cruiser as well as merchantman.

Lieut. Morris had for some time been anxiously scanning the horizon with his glass, and had caught sight of the frigate’s topsails almost as soon as the fog lifted. As Captain Greene’s wounds still in a great measure disabled him, the lieutenant still kept the command of the privateer. Unable to determine whether he had been seen by the frigate or not, he at once gave orders to bear off before the wind, hoping that even if such were the case, his little brig would prove superior in speed to the frigate.

As his brig wore off, with her white sails glittering in the flood of light, the worthy look-out on the Arrow had just raised his head to eject a quantity of the juice of the weed. His eyes caught sight of the sails as they rose and fell like the glancing wings of a bird; rubbing his eyes, he took another careful look, and then cried “sail in sight.” The officer of the deck, as soon as he had got the bearings from the sailor, could plainly see her himself, and after swearing slightly at the look-out for not seeing her sooner, gave orders that all sail should be set in pursuit. As the fog rapidly lifted from the ocean, each vessel was able to determine the character of the other, and when the sun went down, leaving a cloudless sky, it was evident that the Arrow had gained on the privateer. Lieutenant Morris felt that his brig must be overhauled unless the wind should slacken. The breeze was now so powerful that, while it bore the frigate onward at its best speed, it prevented the privateer from making its usual way. Before a light breeze, Lieutenant Morris felt quite confident that he could sail away from any frigate in his majesty’s service. He therefore calmly ordered every rag to be set that he thought the little brig would bear, and kept steadily on, trusting the wind would die away to a light breeze after the middle watch. It did indeed die away almost to a calm, and when the day broke, although the Raker had put a considerable distance between herself and the frigate, yet she lay in plain sight of her, the sails of both vessels flapping idly in the still air.

Morris knew that he must prepare for an attack from the frigate’s boats, and consequently every gun on board was loaded with grape and canister, and carefully pointed; the captain of each gun receiving orders to be sure his first fire should not be lost, for that is always the most effective, and indeed often wins the battle, as many sea-fights will attest. Every sail was kept set, as this was a conflict in which it would be no disgrace for the privateer to run if favored by the wind.

The frigate had by this time lowered three boats, which were speedily filled by her brave seamen, and impelled by vigorous oarsmen toward the privateer. As it would occupy them nearly two hours to make the passage between the two vessels, the crew of the Raker paid no immediate attention to their progress, but quietly partook of their breakfast, and then girded themselves with their boarding cutlases, and made ready to defend to the death the little bark they all loved so well.

Lieutenant Morris watched with some anxiety for the moment to give orders to fire. If he could cripple and sink two of the boats, he felt confident that he could beat off all who would then attempt to board, as that would reduce the number of his foe nearly to his own number. The boats had now approached within half a mile of the privateer, evidently making vigorous efforts each to take the lead. All was silent on board the Raker, not the silence of fear, but of suspense. They looked with a feeling somewhat akin to pity upon the gallant seamen, many of whom were hurrying to death. Lieutenant Morris himself stood by the long gun, holding the match in his hand, and frequently taking aim over its long breech—another moment and the fatal volley would be sped, but even as he was about to apply the match, his quick eye saw the sails filling with the breeze, and with the true magnanimity of a generous heart he stayed his hand.

The light bark fell off gracefully before the wind, and in the hearing of the volley of curses, accompanied by a few musket-shots, from the boats, the graceful brig shot away from them, leaving them far in the wake. It was but a cap-full of wind, however, and again the privateer was motionless upon the calm waters. Alas for many a brave English heart! With a loud cheer from their crews the boats again came sweeping on.

“Boat ahoy!” shouted Morris, “’bout ship or I’ll blow you out of water.”

He was answered by a musket-shot, which struck his right arm lifeless to his side, compelling him to drop the match. Another moment and the foremost boat would be inside the range of the gun, but with a cool courage which belongs only to the truly brave, Lieutenant Morris picked up the match with his left hand, and though his wounded arm pained him excessively, without hurry or confusion he waited the dreadful instant when the gun would cover the boat—then the heavy gun sent forth its smoke and deadly missiles—as the dense cloud lifted from around the brig, he saw how terrible had been its effect; the foremost boat was cut in pieces, and of its gallant crew only here and there was one able to struggle with the waves; most had sunk under the deadly volley. A few were picked up by the hindmost boat, the second having pressed on with the valor characteristic of English seamen; they were met, however, by a heavy fire from the starboard guns, which had been depressed so as to cover a particular range, and the second boat like the first was shattered to pieces. The third busied itself in picking up the crew, and then lay on its oars, as if aware of the folly of attempting to board under such a terrible fire. It is seldom indeed that a boat attack is successful against a well armed and expecting vessel, and the attempt on the part of the Arrow may justly be considered rash, and doubtless arose from a hope that fortune would favor the assault, rather than from a confidence in its success.

Lieutenant Morris had no desire to shed more blood, and he therefore, after giving orders to load the long gun, kept his position by it, with his match ready, but forbore to hail the boat, well aware that any thing like a taunt from him would bring the gallant crew forward even to certain death, and confident that a few moments reflection would convince the officer of the boat that, if he should make the assault, he would more likely be a candidate for immortality than for promotion.

To such a conclusion did that worthy officer arrive, and having picked up all his wounded companions, his boat returned to the Arrow, the slow, heavy strokes of the oars showing how different were the feelings of those that held them, from the excited valor with which they pulled toward the privateer but a short hour before.

For the remainder of the day the two vessels held their relative positions, but the heavy clouds gathering over the western sky portended a storm of wind during the night, and the crew of the Raker felt no little anxiety, as they were well aware that the frigate being much the heaviest, would have every advantage over them in the chase. But there was but one way, and that was to run for it, not yielding till the last moment—for a sailor never yet sailed under the stripes and stars, that would not rather see his flag shot down by an enemy’s ball, than strike it with his own hands.

The wind increased by the hour of sunset to so strong a blow, that it seemed impossible that the little privateer should escape the frigate—and it was not to be doubted that the two vessels would be alongside each other before morning; yet the Raker was saved, and by American hands.

On board the Arrow were several native-born American seamen, who had been pressed into the English service, and compelled to serve even against their own country. Three of these sailors were among the middle watch on board the frigate. They had watched the whole conduct of the Raker with a patriotic pride, and were in no slight degree vexed and disappointed when they saw that the frigate must in all probability overtake the little brig.

These three sailors were together in the bow of the frigate, the rest of the watch being on the look-out, or pacing up and down between decks.

“I say, Bill,” says one, “isn’t it too d—d bad that the little craft has got to be overhauled after all. She’s given this cursed frigate a good run for it, anyhow.”

“Yes she has; the old man has looked black all day, and sworn a little I guess; here he’s kept all ready for a fight for the last two days—arm-chests on deck—cutlas-racks at the capstan and for’ard—decks sanded down—and haint got within a long shot yet. God bless the little brig, and the flag she sails under—the stars and stripes forever!”

“Yes, the stars and stripes—’tis just the handsomest flag that floats.”

“By Heaven, and that’s the truth! but avast now, Bill, can’t we do any thing for the little craft ahead?”

“D—d if I see how, Hal; we can’t shorten sail, for we should be seen; and we can’t fire bow-chasers, for we should be heard—and those are all the ways I know on to deaden a vessel’s speed.”

“Bill, I’ve got my grapples hold on an idear. I recollect once, when I was a fishing in Lake Winnepisoge, in the old Granite State, where we used to anchor with a heavy stone, made fast to a rope, and sometimes we used to row with the stone hanging over the side, not hauled up.”

“Well, Hal, what’s all this long yarn about? If you call it an idear, it strikes me it’s a d—d simple one.”

“Why the yarn aint much, I think myself; and I shouldn’t tell it on the forecastle in a quiet night, no how; but it’s the principle of the thing, Bill—that’s what’s the idear.”

“Well, shove ahead—they allers told me on shore, before I came to sea, that I hadn’t got no principle—but that’s no sign you haint.”

“Now, boys, if we can only get some dead weight over the frigate’s side, it will lessen her way you see, and the wind may lull enough before morning to give the little craft a chance to haul off.”

“That’s a fact, Hal; blast my eyes but they spoiled a good lawyer sending you to sea. But what can we make a hold-back of? And there’s them cursed Britishers abaft, sitting on all the rope on deck.”

“That’s a poser!—no, I have it. Can’t we drop these anchors?—that would do it.”

“They’ll make a confounded noise running through the hawse-holes; but let’s try it, it’s hard work for three men. Belay it round that pin, Hal! Better take two turns, ’cause if any body comes toward us, one more will hold it tight. I believe we shall do it.”

“Do it—of course we will! aint we working for our country?”

The whistling of the wind through the shrouds, and the rushing of the waters over the deck, aided the seamen much in their noble achievement, and in a short time both anchors were run out to their full length. Fortunately for them, the watch was changed before it became apparent that the frigate was losing ground, and upon the after investigation of the matter, no suspicion fell upon their watch, and the perpetrators of the deed were never detected.

As any seaman knows, so heavy a dead weight on the bow of a vessel would materially lessen its speed; and by the morning’s sun the privateer’s topsails were but barely visible in the distance.

The commander of the Arrow was furious in his anger, and threatened to flog the whole of the last watch, as before they took charge of the deck, the frigate had neared the privateer so much as to give assurance of taking her; but, after a rigid examination, no one was punished, and all the captain could do was to keep a close eye on all his crew, trusting to discover the traitors at some future time.

As for the gallant Americans, they had the proud consciousness that though chained to an enemy’s service, they had been able to serve their own country, perhaps more effectually than if fighting under her banner.

The wind slackened, and long before night the Raker was out of sight. She was not, however, to be frightened off her cruising ground by a narrow escape, and did not set sail for the States until she had a full cargo; and, being favored by fortune, reached her port in Chesapeake Bay, with wealth aboard for all hands, followed by three English merchantmen—the English ensign at their peaks, with the stars and stripes streaming over them.

The Raker had nearly prepared for another cruise, when she was stayed by rumors of peace being declared between the two nations; the report was soon confirmed, and the gallant crew of the Raker shook hands together over the news. They were glad, for the sake of their country, that the war was over, yet all had acquired a love for their wild and exciting life as privateersmen; and there was much that partook of a mournful nature in their feelings, as they thought that their number must be divided forever. Some of the crew entered the regular American Navy, some entered the merchant service; and a few, having sufficient wealth to purchase farms, made the attempt to be happy ashore, but after a short time declared it a lubberly sort of a life, and returned once more to “do business upon the waters.”

Lieutenant Morris purchased the Raker, and made one more cruise in her—not for war, nor for gold, but for his lady-love. She who had risen like a Naiad from the wave to be his bride. A year had passed since he had seen her, and though he doubted not her truth, it was with an anxious heart that he drew near the shores of England. He feared lest some hand might yet dash the cup of happiness from his lips—perhaps the unseen hand of death.

Mr. Williams’s name was once more good on ’change; and his fair daughter had once more seen crowds of suitors thronging their doors, among them were the titled and the proud, who gladly laid at her feet their titles and their pride—but still her heart beat true to the young sailor, though her father now and then ventured to hint that she had better accept the hand of Lord Augustus this, or Sir George Frederick that, remarking that likely enough her lover had got killed before the close of the war; and that if she did not be careful, she might never get a husband of any kind. At these remarks, half expostulatory and half petulant, from her worthy father, Julia would smile very quietly, telling him she was sure her young sailor was alive, and would soon be at her feet.

She was right in her prescience. The gallant sailor before another week had passed, after her father’s expostulations, had cast anchor in the Thames—and without difficulty found the residence of Mr. Williams. Julia presented him to her visiters with pride, for, in the fashionable dress of the day, his appearance was more brilliant and graceful than any one of her titled suitors. These soon discovered how matters stood between the young American and the fair Julia. Some were wise enough to retreat from the field with good grace; but vigorous attempts were made to drive the lieutenant from the course by two or three others, who could illy bear their disappointment; but the firm and haughty bearing of Morris had its due effect upon them, and one by one they dropped away, until the old merchant, who had not at first received the lieutenant with much satisfaction, acknowledged to his daughter that she had better marry him if she wanted any body, as he was the only one left. To this Julia assented readily, and their hands were joined as their hearts had long been; and the blessing of the old merchant pronounced upon them, as he saw the happiness which beamed from his daughter’s eyes, as she gazed up from the altar that had heard her willing vows.

Long years have since then joined the irrevocable past. Mr. Williams lived several years, to witness the happiness of his child, but could never be persuaded to visit America. He had no doubt, he said, but that it was a very fine country, and he would go and see it, if it wasn’t for crossing the sea, and that he wouldn’t do for nobody. After he had been gathered to the dead, his children resided entirely on the family estate of the Morris’s, in New Jersey, where, at this day, they still reside, surrounded by children with the lofty port of their father, and the flashing eye of their mother. The tale of the pirate’s death, and the fate of poor Florette, is a tale that never wearies their fire-side circle, and there, tears are still shed for the dark scourge of the ocean, and his devoted mistress; and very often is an old and gray-headed man, in whom the reader would hardly recognize our old friend, John, asked to recount his perilous achievements on the pirate’s deck, and his wonderful escape, obtained by his own right arm.





    There are countless fields, the green earth o’er,

    Where the verdant turf has been dyed with gore;

    Where hostile ranks, in their grim array,

    With the battle’s smoke have obscured the day;

    Where hate was stamped on each rigid face,

    As foe met foe in the death embrace;

    Where the groans of the wounded and dying rose

    Till the heart of the listener with horror froze,

    And the wide expanse of crimsoned plain

    Was piled with heaps of uncounted slain—

    But a fiercer combat, a deadlier strife,

    Is that which is waged in the Battle of Life.


    The hero that wars on the tented field,

    With his shining sword and his burnished shield,

    Goes not alone with his faithful brand:—

    Friends and comrades around him stand,

    The trumpets sound and the war-steeds neigh

    To join in the shock of the coming fray;

    And he flies to the onset, he charges the foe,

    Where the bayonets gleam and the red tides flow,

    And he bears his part in that conflict dire

    With an arm all nerve and a heart all fire.

    What though he fall? At the battle’s close,

    In the flush of the victory won, he goes

    With martial music—and waving plume—

    From a field of fame—to a laureled tomb!

    But the hero that wars in the Battle of Life

    Must stand alone in the fearful strife;

    Alone in his weakness or strength must go,

    Hero or coward, to meet the foe:

    He may not fly; on that fated field

    He must win or lose, he must conquer or yield.


    Warrior—who com’st to this battle now,

    With a careless step and a thoughtless brow,

    As if the day were already won—

    Pause, and gird all thy armor on!

    Dost thou bring with thee hither a dauntless will—

    An ardent soul that no fear can chill—

    Thy shield of faith hast thou tried and proved—

    Canst thou say to the mountain “be thou moved”—

    In thy hand does the sword of Truth flame bright—

    Is thy banner inscribed—“For God and the Right”—

    In the might of prayer dost thou wrestle and plead?

    Never had warrior greater need!

    Unseen foes in thy pathway hide,

    Thou art encompassed on every side.

    There Pleasure waits with her siren train,

    Her poisen flowers and her hidden chain;

    Flattery courts with her hollow smiles,

    Passion with silvery tone beguiles,

    Love and Friendship their charmed spells weave;

    Trust not too deeply—they may deceive!

    Hope with her Dead Sea fruits is there,

    Sin is spreading her gilded snare,

    Disease with a ruthless hand would smite,

    And Care spread o’er thee her withering blight.

    Hate and Envy, with visage black,

    And the serpent Slander, are on thy track;

    Falsehood and Guilt, Remorse and Pride,

    Doubt and Despair, in thy pathway glide;

    Haggard Want, in her demon joy,

    Waits to degrade thee and then destroy;

    And Death, the insatiate, is hovering near

    To snatch from thy grasp all thou holdest dear.


    In war with these phantoms that gird thee round

    No limbs dissevered may strew the ground;

    No blood may flow, and no mortal ear

    The groans of the wounded heart may hear,

    As it struggles and writhes in their dread control,

    As the iron enters the riven soul.

    But the youthful form grows wasted and weak,

    And sunken and wan is the rounded cheek,

    The brow is furrowed, but not with years,

    The eye is dimmed with its secret tears,

    And streaked with white is the raven hair;

    These are the tokens of conflict there.


    The battle is ended; the hero goes

    Worn and scarred to his last repose.

    He has won the day, he conquered doom,

    He has sunk unknown to his nameless tomb.

    For the victor’s glory, no voice may plead,

    Fame has no echo and earth no meed.

    But the guardian angels are hovering near,

    They have watched unseen o’er the conflict here,

    And they bear him now on their wings away,

    To a realm of peace, to a cloudless day.

    Ended now is earthly strife,

    And his brow is crowned with the Crown of Life!


Engraved Expressly for Graham’s Magazine








    Hearts will sigh. The burdens of distress

      Weigh on us all. E’en from the natal hour

    The purest soul some hidden cares oppress,

      O’ertasking far our vain and feeble power.

      Clouds o’er each mountain summit ever lower,

    And gloom enwraps each hushed and quiet vale:

    Bright eyes grow dim, each rosy cheek grows pale,

      For change is earth’s inevitable dower.

    Then the crushed soul, forgetful of its pride,

      Turns from itself to what it may not see

        But knows exists, for safety and for aid.

    And well it is that we may lay aside

      Our burdens thus, and in humility

    Pray at a shrine where prayer was ne’er denied.





    And in that hour of weariness of soul,

      Not ’mid a marble aisle, ’neath vaulted domes,

      The stricken heart for aid and refuge comes;

    But where from lonely hills bright torrents roll,

      And placid lakes reflect the moon’s bright ray,

      Striving with clouds that ever seem to sway

    Like ocean waves. When heaven’s great scroll

      Is spread before us does the heart unfold

    Its agony to God’s all-searching eye,

      And pray to him to shield it from distress.

        Then o’er the heart comes hopefulness again,

    As moonbeams rush from out the clouded sky:

      The brow grows bright, the spirit dares to bless

        The unseen hand that loosed its heavy chain.





[This piece was composed during a tremendous storm off Cape Horn, on board the frigate “United States” in 1844.]

    Night from her gloomy dungeon freed,

      Had chased the lingering light away,

    The landscape, clad in widow’s weed,

      Mourned o’er the couch of dying day;

    Bright-shielded Mars, who leads the host

      That watch around God’s burning throne,

    Placed sentinels on every post,

      Whose beaming eyes upon me shone!


    The tears of eve were falling fast,

      With diamonds spangling every flower,

    Whose gentle fragrance round was cast,

      Like incense in some Eastern bower.

    The wearied hind had left his plough

      To rest within its furrowed bed,

    And on full many a waving bough

      Was heard the night-bird’s lightest tread.


    All else was still, save Nature’s voice,

      That whispered ’mid the waving trees,

    And bade my lonely heart rejoice;

      While oft the playful evening breeze,

    Came o’er the moonlit Hudson’s tide,

      And brushed it with its playful wing,

    As swift it hurried by my side,

      Perchance in angel’s bower to sing.


    Afar the Highlands reared a wall,

       To keep the clouds from passing by,

    There, in a mass were gathered all,

      Impatient gazing on the sky;

    Where sister-cloud escaped was free,

      Sailing the heaven’s blue ocean o’er,

    Like lonely frigate on the sea,

      That seeks some fair and distant shore.


    Where Summer’s busy hand had wove

      A shady roof above my head,

    I sat me down and eager strove,

      To spy the rebel cloud that fled.

    I saw it soon, with wondering eye,

      Take to itself a female form,

    And hover toward me from on high,

      As fall the leaves in Autumn storm.


    Her dress was like the mantle fair

      Which Autumn to Columbia brings,

    And bids the moaning forest wear,

      With rainbow hues of angel’s wings;

    Her voice was like the witching strain

      Which laughing streamlets gayly sing

    When Summer o’er the ripening grain

      Spreads wide her warm and golden wing.


    The rustling of her snowy wing

      Was like the music of the breeze,

    That seraphs mimic when they sing:

      ’Twas sweet as when an organ’s keys

    Are touched by angel’s hand at night,

      When all the earth in slumber share,

    And glimmering grave-yard meteors light

      The church while spirits worship there.


    Softly she spoke—“Awake! arise!

      Thy doom is sealed, thou long must roam

    Where ocean surges wet the skies,

      And where the condor makes his home!

    Thou’lt gaze on many a cloudless sky,

      Where deathless Summer sweetly smiles,

    Like restless swallow thou shalt fly

      Where ocean’s breast is gem’d with isles,


    “Thy feet shall track the forests wide,

      Like vast eternity unshorn,

    Where great Missouri’s arrowy tide

      On pebbled couch is borne.

    But when the World’s imperial brow

      Shall frown like wintry sky,

    Then seek my cloud-winged bark, and thou

      Shalt soar with me on high!”


    She paused and vanished—but her form

      In Heaven’s blue lake I hail,

    When oft before the raging storm

      The clouds in squadron sail;

    And when the fleet can live no more,

      But in a mass are thrown,

    On the horizon’s circling shore

      She skims the air alone!






Once more the Stanwoods sat of a morning in their pleasant parlor. Once more the sun streamed lazily and warmly through the heavy silk curtains, and once more sat the cherished and beloved invalid in the cosiest nook, with her spectacles beside her, and the book on the little table before her.

Something of change might be felt rather than seen in the blooming faces near her. A thoughtful shadow on the clear brows of youth, the impression of mind and feeling that ever shows itself in the deeps of the eye and about the mouth, where smiles alone no longer play, but the experience of life is showing itself in slight but unmistakeable and uneffaceable lines.

The bell rung, and presently a portly, calm-looking old gentleman came in, and after chatting a few minutes on ordinary topics took his leave. It was a Mr. Gardner of Connecticut; somewhere about the south part, Louisa thought, and Alice thought him a very dull person, and they were both rather relieved when he left them.

“Do you like him, grandmother?” asked Alice.

“No, not exactly: at least he is not a person I should like of myself; but he is connected with much that has interested me, and he is himself a more interesting man than you would think him.”

“Now, grandmother, dear,” said the young girls, with an earnestness that brought a smile to Mrs. Stanwood’s face, “now do give us one of your real stories: they are better, after all, than the latest and newest novel, for they are true ones.”

“This Mr. Gardner’s story is rather an eventful one, certainly; he is a phlegmatic sort of man, as you see, and yet he has not lived without having the depths of his being stirred. I happened to know him and about his affairs a good deal at one time, and afterward I continued my interest in him, though I saw nothing of him for years—but it is rather a long story.”

“Never mind the length—no fear of its seeming long, because it will be true, you know.”

“Yes, it will be true, but it is liker a fiction than any of the true stories I have told you: but if you are patient with an old woman’s stories, and are willing to begin with the beginning, I will try to be as sketchy as possible.”

“That will we be,” said Alice; “when did you know us otherwise?” and both the girls hurried to take their seats on a low divan before Madam Stanwood’s arm-chair, and to look attentively up in her kind face.

“Now then, to begin with the beginning, Mary Dunbar and myself were visiting at a town somewhere in the western part of Massachusetts. I could tell you where, but you may as well have some mystery about it—well, there we were visiting, and enjoying all the hospitalities of a small town where city people were rather rare articles, and prized accordingly. The beauty of Mary, and her gentle winning manners, made a great impression on every body, and a succession of pleasant rides, walks, pic-nics, little sociables, and every thing which could bring young people together, kept us quite delighted with every thing and every body about us; and as attentions and admiration are apt to have a pleasant effect on the disposition as well as the countenance, I, too, came in for a share, and we were quite the belles of the time. Every body regretted, however, and that continually, “that Mr. Gardner was not at home—oh! if he could see Miss Dunbar! and oh! if Miss Dunbar could see him!” and at last he did come from Burlington, where he had been gone a good while, at last he did see Miss Dunbar, and as in duty bound admired her very much. He was a common-looking young man, as he is now an old one—only then he had a fair youthful complexion and light curling hair, that united strangely with a premature gravity, and methodical way of saying every thing. He was not a taking person as you say, Louisa, but he was the nabob of the place. His father had died young, and the “Gardner place” was a very small part of the large property which this young man had inherited. He kept house, and managed his large domestic establishment with the greatest propriety and hospitality. All these things are looked into thoroughly in such a town as K——, and young Gardner’s character was pronounced unexceptionable, and the match every way most desirable for any girl for twenty miles round.

“Mary did not seem to fancy him much, and when at length her brother came for us, and Mr. Gardner quietly proposed himself to Mr. Dunbar as Mary’s suitor, and he had told him the connection would give him great pleasure, they neither of them seemed to think much more was necessary, for absolutely nothing was said to Mary till we got home. Mr. Dunbar lived at Cambridge then, near Boston. He was a widower, and Mary lived with him, and kept his house in some sort, and played with his little boy occasionally. You may suppose she was not a very staid personage, for she was at this time only seventeen years old, and as I was more than twenty-seven, I occasionally checked her wildness, while I could not help laughing at her graceful follies. She should have been born of a French mother and a Spanish father, for she was gay and volatile as the summer insect, and yet she had much depth of feeling, and was full of romantic tenderness, with sometimes a haughty expression that seemed altogether foreign to her usual character of face, and looked only the index of what might be expected of her if she should ever be exasperated to fight against her destiny. But so far destiny seemed to wait humbly on her pleasure; she was beloved by all, and though left early an orphan, had found in the indulgent tenderness of her brother and his wife a delightful home.

“A little while after our return, Mr. Dunbar took an opportunity when business did not press, for he went daily into Boston and left Mary and me to ourselves through the day, just to mention the little matter of Mr. Gardner’s proposal to Mary; and to say he had accepted it so far as he was concerned.

“Now, girls, you must not ask me about characters, I shall tell you the facts, and you must guess at the characters of persons by them, the whys you can ascertain as well as I could tell you. When Mr. Dunbar had told Mary, who received the intelligence in silence, he dismissed the topic and no further allusion was made to it.

“I asked Mary soon after if she considered herself engaged to Mr. Gardner.

“‘Certainly not.’

“I asked her if she liked him, and she gave me the same laconic answer. So I, too, dismissed the topic. There was a little mystery in Mary’s manner about this time. If she did not like Mr. Gardner she did like young Randolph, a Southerner, and a student, who walked with her, and sent her flowers, and notes, and all sorts of pretty and poetical things to read—poems marked for her eye, and the sweetest and newest music for her piano. Then of a moonlight night we had serenades without number, and soft strains sung in a deep, rich voice, so that what with flowers, music, notes and very expressive looking and sighing, the prospect was all but shut out for poor Mr. Gardner, and opening an interminable vista for Randolph.

“Weeks went on—oh, I forgot; in the meantime Mr. Gardner wrote two letters, one to Mr. Dunbar about Mary, and one to Mary herself, but not much about her. It was mostly a business letter, written in a calm, friendly style, and asking her opinion about some alterations he proposed making in the house, adding a wing, I think. He seemed to consider her a person who had a right to be consulted in his arrangements, and I remember he finished his letter with ‘Yours, &c.’ Mary handed the letter to me with a look of extreme vexation, which at length subsided into a hearty laugh. I laughed too, but Mr. Dunbar did not, and looked rather surprised at us.

“In the course of four weeks from the time of our return, this ardent lover appeared in person. He drove up to the door in a very handsome carriage, and with his servant, all looking very stylish. I saw Mary color extremely, but she sat quite still, and when Mr. Gardner entered and went toward her holding out his hand, she remained in her place, and did not move her hand at all. He shook hands with the rest of us. Mary made tea, and one or two persons coming in, Mr. Gardner became rather animated, and appeared as he was, a very gentlemanly, intelligent person. At last Mary could bear it no longer. She ran out of the room and went up to her chamber. She shared hers with me, and Mr. Gardner’s was adjoining ours. It was rather late, between ten and eleven o’clock, and presently Mr. Gardner, who was somewhat fatigued, bade us good-night and ascended to his own apartment. I then went to Mary’s room: I found her in a state of great excitement and indignation, and yet though I sympathized fully with her, there was something so comical in the business-like way of doing the thing, which Mr. Gardner had adopted, and his entire unconsciousness of the sort of person he was to deal with, that I began to laugh heartily.

“‘Hush! hush! for Heaven’s sake! he can hear every word! Oh, my heart!—do you believe, he has come up stairs and gone straight to bed, and is this minute fast asleep! there—hear him! don’t laugh! he’ll wake as sure as you do!’

“But laugh I did, for I could not help it, albeit Mary’s pallid face and earnest eyes checked me in the midst.

“‘Now I am going down stairs this minute to put a stop to all this at once. I could not have believed stupidity could have gone so far. I shall see my brother and have an end put to his journeys here: good heavens! to think of it.’

“This I could not object to, of course. Indeed, from the first of this very peculiar ‘arrangement’ I had not been consulted by either Mary or her brother, and I had a dreamy sort of feeling that by and by we should all wake up and find Mr. Gardner was only an incubus, instead of the unpleasant reality he was getting to be.

“I sat still for nearly or quite half an hour, when Mary returned to her chamber on tiptoe and looking very pale.

“‘Now, what is it?’ said I earnestly, for I saw it was no joke to poor Mary: her very lips were pallid and trembling, and her hand was pressed to her side as if to still the convulsive springing of her heart.

“‘I—I have been talking it over to William,’ she said, in a thick, hasty voice; ‘I told him I could go no further with this man—this no man—who is willing to take me, without so much as inquiring if I have a heart to bestow—but oh! oh, Susan—Randolph has gone!’ she sobbed out in a complete passion of grief, that could not brook further concealment or restraint.

“‘But how do you know this?’ I asked, after, as you may suppose, I had soothed and hushed her as far as I was able.

“‘William told me so himself. I told him I could not, would not marry Mr. Gardner—and he would not believe me—called me a foolish, nonsensical child, who didn’t know my own mind—and at last, when nothing else would have any effect on his mind, I said—I said—ah! Susan, how hard it was and is to say it! I loved another!’

“‘And how then, my poor child?’

“‘Then—he just in his quiet, calm way, that kills one, you know—for it seems the death-blow to all sentiment—he said, ‘Mary, if you mean young Randolph, whom I have sometimes met here, playing the lover, all I can say is, he is too discreet to contest the field, witness this note of farewell which was sent to my office this afternoon. He desires his very respectful compliments to you, Mary.’ Would you believe it, Susan? I took that note—and read every word of it; yes, and I smiled, too, as I gave it back to him, as if it were the most indifferent thing in the world—though I felt then, as I do now, every line of it chilling my heart like ice.’

“‘Dear Mary,’ I said, still very quietly, for she grew almost wild with excitement, ‘how is this? Why has Randolph gone? have you had any quarrel?’

“‘Quarrel! God help you—no!—how should that be? don’t I love the very dust he treads on!’ she screamed out violently at last, and went into a hysteric fit. The sound of her maniacal voice brought her brother to the door with anxious inquiry, but as I told him Mary was a little over excited, and quiet would soon restore her, at my earnest request he retired. In a short time I was able, with bathing her head in cold water, and constantly soothing her with low murmuring tones of endearment, to see her sobbing herself into a troubled sleep, and as I looked on her beautiful face, pale as marble, and the black hair wetted and matted back from her fine brow, I felt that I saw a double victim to the cruel indifference of others, and the violent emotions of her own untutored nature.”

Alice and Louisa Stanwood had gazed steadily into the face of their grandmother, while in the relation of this true story, it lighted up with remembered emotion.

“Poor, poor girl!” said they; “but where, then, was Mr. Gardener all this while? Surely he must have relented.”

“Truth compels me to say, my romantic girls, that this quiet-loving lover, to all human appearance, was not in the least disturbed. Indeed, as I listened to the painful breathings of Mary, every now and then catching, as if for life, at a breath, and then hushed into all but dead silence, I was distinctly aware of certain audible demonstrations of profound composure on the part of Mr. Gardner. In sooth, he was not a lover for a romance writer at all; but such as he was—and you must remember our agreement was that I should only relate facts, not account for them—such as he was, he rose with the lark and took his usual walk, to promote his appetite and prolong his life.

“When he returned, as Mary was too unwell to go down stairs, I descended to the breakfast-room where I found Mr. Dunbar uneasily walking the room.

“‘How is Mary?’ said he, the moment he saw me? ‘No better? Tell her to be comforted—be quiet. God forbid I should do any thing to make her unhappy. I will speak to Mr. Gardner about the matter myself, and tell him it can’t be.’

“His earnest manner quite convinced me that however he might seem, his sister was really very near his heart, and ‘albeit unused to the melting mood,’ I felt my eyes fill with tears, as I turned and ran up to Mary’s room to comfort her poor heart. She was comforted and quieted, though she declined leaving her room till after Mr. Gardner’s departure; and I left her, at her own request, to silent reflection.

“And now you will think all the trouble was over. But did ever faint heart win fair ladie? Never. And Mr. Gardner’s heart did not sink when he was told the true story of Mary’s indifference and aversion. Both brother and lover had deceived themselves, or rather they had not thought about it. But now that he did think about it, Mr. Gardner was not inclined to relinquish the pursuit. He knew that women were fickle and strange beings, and oft-times refused the very happiness they were dying to possess. Whether Mary were of this species he knew not, but at all events the prize was worth trying for. So he told Mr. Dunbar he would not trouble Mary more at present, but leave it to time. Time did a great many things. Time might make him acceptable to the very heart that now tossed him as a scorned thing away.

“Now Alice, my dear child, don’t give up my Mary, nor think her a heartless being, when I tell you that in six months from that time she became Mrs. Gardner. A very lovely bride she was, too—pale as a snow-drop, and graceful as the lake-lily. She smiled, too, with a sort of contented smile, not radiant, not heartfelt, not joyous; there were no deeps of her being stirred as she stood calm and passionless by the altar, and promised to love and honor Mr. Gardner, but a very quiet and pensive sort of pleasure. A part of her soul seemed to have been buried with the past, and to have been forcibly crushed down with all its young ardor and bloom forever; but above it was an everyday being, full of determination to do her duty, to make her husband happy, and be as happy herself as she could. So she was married; and so she stepped into a handsome carriage with Mr. Gardner, and the bridemaids and groomsmen followed in another; and never was there a gayer and merrier cavalcade than at Mary Dunbar’s marriage.”



“Now, my dear girls, you must skip over a few years, during which I neither saw nor heard of Mary Dunbar. I returned from a journey which I had been taking, and was glad to feel that Mr. Gardner’s house lay in my nearest route home. I longed to see Mary in her new character, now that she had had time to feel and perform her duties, and proposed to be with her for a few days, that I might form my own opinion touching this ‘mariage de convenance.’

“Mr. Gardner’s house was one of some pretension originally; that is to say, it had been built in the style of country gentlemen in New England forty years ago. A row of white-pine pillars surrounded the house from roof to basement, and formed a piazza-walk very convenient in a dull day. Six chimneys crowned the roof, and the whole arrangement was tasteful and imposing. There was a terrace of green turf all round the house, and the offices and out-buildings were at a short distance from the main building. As the stage-coach wound up the avenue, I noticed in the disposition of the grounds and shrubbery the evident hand of female taste. Fantastic arbors, almost hid behind clematis and honeysuckle; little white arches supporting twining roses of twenty sorts, and trees arranged in picturesque groups, gave a character of beautiful wildness to the scenery.

“I fancied Mary the presiding genius of the place as I last had seen her, white and bright, with a little rose-tint on her cheek, caught from nature and the happy quiet of her life—for I had heard that she rejoiced in an infant, whose beauty and promise I knew must renew all the affectionate sympathies of her woman’s heart.

“The stage-coach stopped. A servant opened the door, and to my inquiry for Mrs. Gardner, answered hesitatingly, that ‘he believed she did not wish to see company.’ How much of apprehension was compressed into that brief moment. What could have happened to her? Much might have happened, and I not know it, for I had been living in great seclusion, and had had no correspondence with Mary. However, I gave my card to the man, and bade him take it to Mrs. Gardner, meanwhile sitting with a throbbing heart in the carriage.

“The man returned in a short time with a message requesting me to stop, and to have my trunks taken off. Not a welcoming voice or face met me—and in silence I followed the servant to the parlor. Mary was sitting there; some fire was in the grate, though it was in July; and she hovered over it as if she sought to warm her heart enough to show proper feeling at the sight of an old friend.

“‘Mary Dunbar!’ I cried out, with my arms outspread, for the figure before me of hopelessness and gloom gave me a feeling almost heart-breaking.

“The sound of her own maiden name acted like magic on Mary. She sprung to my arms like a frightened bird, and clung to me with such intensity of sad earnestness in her face, that it brought back to me all the old sorrow of that night of suffering at her brother’s. Once more I soothed her, smoothed back the dark plumage of her hair, and with soft words and gentle caresses, brought her to quietness.

“‘You are ill, my poor Mary,’ I said, as I looked at her sunken cheek, and the deep gloom about her eyes. ‘Where is Mr. Gardner?’

“‘Oh, he is gone most of the time,’ said she hastily, and then, for the first time, seeming to recollect her duty as hostess, she added, ‘but you are tired and travel-soiled, and hungry, too, I dare say; let me make you comfortable.’ She laughed a little as she spoke, but not like her old laugh, it was affected, and died in its birth.

“She rang the bell, gave orders for lunch to be brought in, and a room prepared for me, with something of her old activity, and saying cordially, ‘Now you must stay with me; now I have got you here, I cannot spare you again.’ She relapsed into thoughtfulness and absence. This strange manner puzzled me not a little.

“I went up stairs. The white dreariness of my room chilled me. Mary did not accompany me as she would once have done, to see that all was comfortable for me. The muslin window-curtains hid the view outside, and the stately high-post bedstead, with its gilded tester, looked as if sleep would be afraid to ‘come anear’ it. My trunks were brought up, and then a silence like death was in the house. No child was in the house, that was clear—and nobody else it would seem. Well, I must wait. I should know all in good time. I dressed and went down to the parlor. Mary still hovered over the fire, looking, in her white wrapper and whiter face, more like a ghost than any living thing. I had intended to be calmly cheerful, to talk to Mary about old times, and by degrees to lead her to speak of so much of her present life as would give me an insight into the mysterious sorrow that reigned like a presence over the dwelling.

“But as poor Ophelia says, ‘we know what we are, but not what we shall be.’ So no more did I know how to look at that crouching figure and be cheerful and calm. I lost all presence of mind, and could only sit down and cry heartily. Mary rose at the sound of my weeping and came to me.

“‘Do you know I cannot weep, Susan? These fountains are drained dry. See, there are no tears in my eyes, though God knows my heart is drowned all day and night. It is dreadful to have such a burning head as mine, and no tears to wet it withal.’

“I wiped my eyes and grew calmer when I saw the wild brightness of her eye; and dreading another nervous attack, I did my best to quiet both her and myself. The day passed on without further reference to any present griefs; she showed me her little conservatory, with a few rare flowers in it, which she had reared with much care, and led me over the pleasantest paths in the grounds and groves attached to the house. In one of these groves, at some distance from the house itself, was a little cleared space, and in the centre of that a small, a very small mound.

“I knew at once what it was. There slept the child I had heard of. So had been broken the dearest tie Mary had felt binding her to life. She stood with me a moment, looking at the mound with a steadfast look, and then putting back her hair from her forehead, as if she tried to remember something, she smiled sadly, and said in a broken voice,

“‘You see I cannot shed one tear, even on my child’s grave.’ I led her gently away among the old trees and quiet paths, and we sat in the warm July shadows till the sun went down.

“You may guess how thankful I was to see at last, as we turned homeward, the tears slowly falling over her face and dropping on her dress, as she walked on, evidently unconscious of the blessed relief. ‘Like music on my heart’ sunk these tears, for I knew that with them would come the coolness, ‘like a welcoming’ over her burning pulse, and I carefully abstained from saying a word that would interrupt the feelings rather than thoughts which now agitated her. We returned to the house; tea was served silently, for even the domestics hardly spoke above a whisper; and then we sat in the soft moonlight and looked on the sleeping scene before us. The summer sounds of rural life had long died away, and nothing but the untiring chirp of the tree-toad was to be heard. The melancholy monotony of the scene hushed Mary’s spirit to a quiet she had not for a long time known, and at last she became conscious of having wept freely.

“‘I have wept, thank God! that shows I am human. Now ask me all about what you want to know. I think I can talk about it. Mr. Gardner? Oh, he is gone—he is gone a great deal, you know; his business leads him continually away from home, and that leaves me, of course, very dull—very. Shouldn’t you think it ought to, Susan dear?’

“Thus incoherently she began; but the first step taken, and secure of sympathy in her hearer, she went on, and you will believe me when I tell you we talked till midnight, and that then Mary sunk, like a weary child, into my arms in a sound sleep.

“I cannot give you her precise words, but the import of her relation I shall never forget. A few words will suffice to tell you what it took her hours of emotion and tears to reveal.

“You remember I told you she looked determined to do her duty, and be as happy a wife as she could. Did ever a wife succeed in being happy with duty for the material? Perhaps if Mr. Gardner had been an ardent lover, somewhat impulsive, and eager to commend himself to her grateful affection, he would have succeeded in doing so; indeed, I am sure of it, in time it must have been so; but, alas! Mr. Gardner was a calm, gentlemanly, sensible, phlegmatic person, who thought his wife’s impulsive and hasty nature should be occasionally checked, and who had no toleration for, nor sympathy with, her excitable spirit. Consequently, she soon learned to have a calm exterior when he was at home, which his frequent absences made it easy to assume. They had been married something like three years, and Mary was the delighted mother of a healthy and lovely daughter. Her heart, which had almost closed in the chilly atmosphere of her husband’s manners, expanded and flowered luxuriantly in the warmth of maternity. In her happiness she reflected a part of its exuberance on her husband, and smiled with much of her old gayety. ‘I felt my young days coming back to me,’ she said.

“One day the post brought a letter for her, which she opened, and then left the room to read. The letter was from young Randolph. The writer apologized for his year’s silence to her, by an account of a long illness, &c. He knew of her happiness, of her child; in short, he seemed to be informed of every thing about her. He asked to be permitted to correspond with her. The letter expressed the strongest and deepest interest, but couched in such respectful and friendly terms as were difficult to resist. Mary struggled long with her sense of what was due to herself and her husband; but right at last conquered, and she re-entered the room with the letter in her hand. Tremblingly she gave it to her husband, who read a part of it, and then said, with much kindness of manner,

“‘Correspond with any of your friends, male or female, my dear. I have not the slightest objection.’

“Mary’s good spirit was still at her ear, and she said with some difficulty,

“‘Mr. Gardner, the writer of this letter was once much interested in me.’

“‘And you in him, eh? Well, my love, those things are all gone by; I can fully trust you. So again, I say, correspond with any body you like, provided you don’t ask me to read the letters.’

The generous confidence of her husband deeply affected Mary; but, unhappily, it did not induce her to the safe course of declining the correspondence with this fascinating and dangerous friend. The correspondence went on for years, nay, it was continued up to the time of my visit. And now, my dears, I must stop the current of my story for a minute, to utter my protest against this most dangerous and wretched of all theories—Platonic friendships between a married woman and her male friends. But for the false notions of safety in such a friendship, Mary Dunbar might now be a loved and loving woman. This you will not believe could have been with Mr. Gardner; but remember, Mary was getting to love Mr. Gardner a good deal, and habit and duty and maternal happiness would have done much; so that in a sort, she would have been both loved and loving. The letters from Randolph, which she showed me, were very interesting, and full of fine sensible remarks on education, all so interspersed with gentle and deep interest for herself, that you saw she was never out of his mind and heart for an instant. Just such letters as a happy married woman would never read, and what any woman’s instinct protects her from if she listens to it.

“Things had gone on in this way for two years, or thereabouts, when the child, who had been the subject of so many theories, and in whom were garnered all the conscious hopes of Mary, was taken suddenly ill. Her anxiety induced her immediately to summon medical assistance; and she could hardly believe her physician when he said there were no grounds for apprehension. The child had a sore throat; there was a considerable degree of inflammation about the system, and when he left, he directed Mary to have some leeches applied to the neck of the little girl, at the same time pointing to the spot where he wished them to take the blood.

Mary was particular to place them there, but to her great alarm, the blood issued from the punctures in such a quantity as to drench the bed-linen almost immediately. In vain she tried to stop it—it flowed in torrents, and before the horror-struck servants could summon the physician, the life had ebbed from the child—nothing but a blood-stained form remained. The physician said the jugular vein had been pierced, and that it was something like half an inch nearer the ear than he ever saw it before. I believe he was not to blame—far less was the wretched instrument, whose agony I will not attempt to describe.

“But from that hour the nervous spasms and depression of spirits supervened, which I found had become the habit of her mind. I should have premised that through all the distressing circumstances of the child’s death Mr. Gardner was absent. Undoubtedly, could he have been at home, his fortitude and calmness would have been of the greatest service to her; but he did not return until long after her maternal agonies had sunk into a sort of stupor of wretchedness, which looked like a resigned grief outwardly. Far enough was her spirit from the enforced composure of her manner. By degrees she came to look upon herself as born only to make others unhappy. That she had caused the death of her own child was too horrible a thought to dwell on voluntarily, yet it obtruded itself always—and she shuddered at the grave of the being dearest to her heart.

“I remained with Mary until her husband’s return, and then left her, promising to visit her again in the course of a few weeks. I was pleased to see the manly kindness of Mr. Gardner’s manner to his wife. He evidently did not understand her, but he was gentle and quiet in his words to her, and so far as was in his nature to do, sympathized with her. He was frequently called away from home for weeks together, and had no idea of the effect solitude was having on the mind of his wife.

“As soon as I could so arrange my affairs at home as to leave them, I went to my sick-souled friend. I found her in her chamber and lying on her bed. She looked paler than ever, and her eyes were dry and tearless as when I first saw her before. All over the bed, and pressed in her hands, were letters strewn, half open, and which she had evidently been reading. She looked up at me when I entered, but immediately began gathering up the letters with a strange carefulness, placing them one above the other according to their dates, taking no further notice of me. I saw something agitating had occurred, and seated myself without speaking till she should be more composed. I knew they were Randolph’s letters; I had seen them before.

“Presently she spoke in a low voice and seemingly exhausted manner.

“‘Susan!’ I was by her instantly. She gave me a folded manuscript. ‘Between you and me there is no need of words. Take this and read it. It is the last death I shall cause. Leave me now, dear Susan; perhaps I may sleep, who knows.’

“She put her hands over her eyes—they were burning as coals—and tried to smile, but the lips refused the mockery. I begged her to lie down and try to sleep, closed the curtains, and left the room, not a little anxious to see the contents of the manuscript which I hoped would explain this new grief.

“The first letter was from a clergyman at the South, containing the intelligence of Randolph’s death, after a long illness, and transmitting, at his request, the sealed packet to Mrs. Gardner.

“And saddening enough was the recital of the young man’s sorrows. He began with saying that he had scrupulously abstained from ever mentioning his attachment to Mary while he had lived, but he could not refrain from asking her pity for him when he could never more disturb or injure her. He inclosed to her his journal, kept from the first day he saw her, when he loved her with all the fervor of his southern nature, and all the confidence of youth. Then followed the shock of hearing from Mr. Dunbar’s own lips of his sister’s engagement and approaching marriage. Then the farewell note of wounded affection that assumed indifference. Then a long delirious fever; then the news of Mary’s marriage; and then the vain attempt to conquer his ill-fated love. His delight in his correspondence with her; it had been the life of his life, all that soothed the downward passage to the grave. To that grave he had gladly come, feeling that happiness was forever denied him, and only begged her to believe in his never-varying love from the moment he met her to this dying hour, when he signed his name to the last words he should address to mortal.

“All that she had lost—all she might have been, and might have enjoyed in a union with this young man, so brilliant, so amiable, so devoted, rushed on my heart, and contrasting with the reality a few paces off, made me weep bitterly. Oh! had they never loved so kindly!

“I sat long with the manuscript, looking at the writing, some of it years old, and written with a firm, flowing hand, then varying through all the vicissitudes of health and feeling, till it trembled and died away in its last farewell. The peculiar tenderness with which we look on the handwriting of the dead, however personally unknown, affected me. This young man I had seen, though seldom; and I easily connected the memoir before me with the memory of his dark, curling hair, his olive complexion, and the graceful dignity of his manner. I saw his bright eye dim, the dew of suffering on his brow, his cheek pale with anguish of heart and body, and the last flicker of his glorious light going out in darkness.

“From these thoughts I was roused by a sudden and deep groan; it seemed near me, and I sprung to my feet. Bells rang; there was a rush on the staircaise—a shriek—another rush—the opening of doors wildly; all this was in a moment—in the moment I ran out of my room toward Mary’s where an undefined and terrible fear taught me to look.

“You will guess what met my appalled gaze. Mr. Gardner, who had returned from a journey while I was reading in my own room, hastened up stairs to see Mary. At the moment he entered, she had completed the act which terminated her life. He received in his arms the lifeless body. The suffering soul still hovered unconsciously. We believe that God who made us, alone can try us, and He who knew all the wo that ‘wrought like madness in her brain,’ can both pity and forgive.”

A deep silence followed Madame Stanwood’s relation. Alice and Louise were thinking how little such an experience could have been guessed from Mr. Gardner’s exterior.

“I wonder,” said Louisa at last, “if he ever knew he cause of Mary’s death—did you give him the manuscript, grandmother?”

“Well—what should I have done?”

“Oh! I would have given it to him! I would have rejoiced to see him one hour feeling all the agony which poor Mary had felt so long!”

“That is very natural, my child, for you to say; and, I confess, when I saw him first—his clothes covered with his wife’s life-blood, and her marble face on his shoulder; when I saw his calmness, his complete self-possession, the directions he gave for the physician, all the time keeping his hand so pressed on the wound, that no more blood should flow; when I saw him hold her till the surgeon closed the wound, and then place his hand on the heart, and watch its beating, if happily life might yet linger there; when I saw this, I longed to say, ‘thou cold-hearted being! she is beyond the chill of thine icy love—care not for her! the grave is softer and warmer than thou art!’

“But life had gone out. Not, however, till the loss of blood had so relieved the agonizing pressure on the brain, that reason had evidently returned—for she opened her eyes, with a sweet, sad smile, looked at us all—saw every thing—knew every thing that had passed. She raised her hand to her neck, and then pointed upward, and breathing more and more softly, like the dead child who had gone before her, in its baptism of blood, she slept in peace.

“I thought of all that had passed in the hearts of the two young persons for whom life had so early closed. They had suffered much, but I did not see how any good could occur to the dead or the living by further communication. If Mary had desired it, there had been opportunity enough. She might have left the letters for her husband to read. On the contrary, she had burned them immediately after I had left the room. Her woman had brought her a lamp, and she saw her setting fire to letters—and, in fact, the relics of them were still in the chimney.

“I therefore said no more to Mr. Gardner. He had been much shocked with the events of the day, and for some time was depressed. But he recovered the tone of his mind, and to this day, I suppose, has very little comprehension of what was about him and around him for years—of the broken-heart that was so long breaking.”





    In a cedar-ceiled palace, the proud arches rolled,

    O’erlaid with vermilion, and blazoned with gold,

    While their graceful supporters in colonnade stood,

    Like the children of giants, a grand brotherhood:

    Around them the lily and pomegranate wreath,

    In delicate tracery, while far beneath

    The siren-voiced fountains beguile the long day,

    And the tessalate pavement is gemmed with their spray.


    The East from her treasury joyeth to bring

    Her magnificent gifts to a world-renowned king;

    Her birds, like to meteors, as brilliant and fleet,

    And her rainbow-hued flowers are laid at his feet,

    While he, in regality’s power and pride,

    Sits enthroned with the symbol of pomp by his side.

    The beauty is glorious that beams in his face,

    His mien is majestic, his movement is grace!

    Before him a prophet, with hair long and white

    Falling down o’er a mantle as sable as night,

    With a glance of stern loftiness, cheek cold and pale,

    And a gesture of earnestness, thus told his tale.


    “Two men in this city there dwelleth, my lord—

    One is blessed in the battle, and blessed by the board:

    He hath numberless flocks in the field and the fold,

    And the wealth of his coffers remaineth untold.

    The other hath naught save one lamb, which he fed

    Like a child of his household; it ate of his bread,

    It partook of his portion of food and of rest,

    It followed his footsteps, it lay on his breast,

    It lightened his sorrows with innocent art,

    And e’en, as a daughter, was dear to his heart.

    A traveler came to the rich man’s abode,

    And he welcomed the guest in the name of his God;

    Bade him tarry awhile, ’mid the fierce noontide heat,

    ’Neath the vine-tree’s broad shadow, to rest him and eat.

    Then straightway he hasted, with tenderest care,

    To spread forth the board and the banquet prepare,

    While he spared of his own to take youngling or dam

    But dressed for the stranger his neighbor’s ewe lamb.


    “As a breath from the meadow, on wings of the wind,

    To the sense that had breathed but the perfume of Ind,

    Seemed this tale of simplicity, told to the heart

    That had dwelt ’mid the spells of magnificent art.

    Spake the king, while fierce anger flashed hot from his eye,

    “Now, as the Lord liveth! this robber shall die!

    To the victim of wrong let his cattle be told,

    Till full restitution be rendered fourfould,

    And cursed be forever, with sword and with brand,

    The wretch who hath done such foul wrong in our land!”


    “Then with stern condemnation the prophet replied

    To the monarch, who sat in his purple-clad pride,

    And his bold voice resounded throughout the broad span

    Of the arches above them, “Thou, thou art the man!

    Saith the Lord, I have raised thee from humble estate,

    To rule o’er a nation most favored and great—

    I have given thee Judah thy portion to be,

    And the honor of Israel centres in thee!

    Thy children, like olive boughs, circle thy board,

    And the wives of thy master await at thy word,

    But insatiate still, thou hast entered the dome

    Of thy neighbor, and stolen the wife from her home;

    Thou hast slaughtered the husband with treacherous wile,

    And the vengeance of Heaven rewardeth thy guile!

    The child of thy love from thy arms shall be torn—

    And in sackcloth and ashes thy proud head shall mourn—

    The wives of thy household thy rivals shall be—

    As thou didst unto others, so be it to thee!

    And the sword thou hast taken, with murderous art,

    From thy heaven-doomed lineage ne’er shall depart.”






The incidents of life around us—of common life—of everyday events, and the common scenes which Nature has prepared on every side, are full of interest, full of means of gratifying a taste formed or cultivated to rational enjoyment. The Hymmalayen mountains may overtop the Andes, and the Amazon bear more water to the sea than the Susquehanna, but it follows not thence that the combination of scenery—points of beauty to be associated with the eye—are less attractive in the latter than in the former; and though thousands may tread, may ride, or may murder on the unfrequented path of the elder world, and give tragic effect to narrative, yet on all sides of us, in our home experience, and our limited wandering, events are every day occurring of as much interest to the participators as are those which constitute the theme of the foreign tourist; and scenes are presenting themselves almost daily within our own observation, that need only the pen of a Radcliffe to describe, or the pencil of a Claude to depict, to fix them on the imperishable canvas of the artist or the immortal page of the gifted poet.

How often have we been struck with the clustering beauties of a seashore by Birch, or some landscape by Russell Smith, and while we gazed in admiration at the production so rich in artistic skill, and felt astonishment at the fidelity of the representation, have shrunk away from the picture, ashamed that objects so constantly before our eyes should have remained unadmired till the pencil of the artist had transferred them to canvas—had selected the moment when sunshine had brought out the clustering beauties of some gentle promontory, or shade had deepened the darkness of the dell, and all which to our eyes had been daily spread out in constantly changing hues, had been fixed in beauty to challenge our admiration and create new love for the original.

Events which strike us with astonishment in their record, whether they are real or imaginary, acquire much of their importance from our knowledge of the antecedent circumstances and present condition of the actors. We connect the present with the past, and our sympathies becoming enlisted with the joys or sorrows of others, all that relates to them acquires the exaggerated importance to us which it has with those who are really connected with the occurrences. Every group of immigrants we meet, every wedding party we attend, every funeral train we join, contains in itself a story of deep and thrilling interest; the power of genius only is necessary to collect and combine the incidents, to bring in the feelings and hopes of the parties, and to present to the reader what the unobtrusive actor does, feels, hopes, fears and suffers.

Ungifted to catch the beauties of the landscape and transfer them to canvas, unpracticed in the simplest movement of the artist’s duties, I can only stand and admire what Providence has spread around with a profusion of bounty, and as colors deepen or fade, and beauties augment or diminish, I bow with admiration at the object, and increased love to Him whose hand garnished the heavens, and whose goodness is as manifest “in these his lower works” as in the constellated glories of the firmament, whose systems combine to enrich with heatless light worlds of space—and the infinite seems exhausted to gem with starry lustre earth’s evening canopy.

Equally unsupplied am I with that genius which seizes on passing incidents, and moulds them to important events, building the interesting and the sublime on the simple and the ordinary. I have not these gifts, but I have the love for the gifts, the sense of their existence in others, and a sort of conception of the time and the place in which they should be employed; and often, as I pass along, I select groups and note incidents that with the child of genius would be seed for a golden harvest. And scenes, too, that escape the general eye, or only excite the exclamation “how beautiful,” press upon me till I wish that I had the genius and skill to fix the picture which Nature has drawn, and show that our own land and own vicinity are full of those beauties which true taste admires, which, transferred to canvas, become in turn the stimulant to taste. Yet the scenes which I see, and the occurrences which I note, may be of use to those who know better how to combine and present the materials; and what I saw and heard, others may present in an attractive form.

During the close of August and the first of September last I was, in obedience to an imperative call, engaged in some business in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The little borough was crowded with delegates to two conventions then being held, for the purpose of nominating candidates by the opposing parties for the office of Governor of the Commonwealth; a part of the machinery to which our institutions give rise, and those who affect to sneer at these preliminary movements, do not understand the true theory and practice of republicanism, where action, to be effective, must begin in the will of the people, and to be beneficially operative it must continue in concurrence with that will. Notwithstanding the presence of two antagonistic parties there were peace and much social intercourse between the delegates of opposite creeds; nor was this marvelous, the contest had not yet been delivered to the parties; the rivalry and antagonism were between the members of the same party, who should be the candidate—that settled on each side, then the divided fronts of the main divisions would unite, and the hostility be transferred from sections of the same party to the parties themselves. The general field of contest was of course not taken there, so that the elements of political warfare were held in abeyance, and the thronged streets wore a holyday appearance of pleasure and hope.

Standing early one morning at the door of the hotel, before the customary hour of rising, I was struck with a little procession from the canal toward the centre of the place. A stern woman led the company, in which were four men, two of whom, and the youngest, each carried a child; and in the rear was a very tall man, bearing also a younger child, wrapped about with parts of a ragged female dress. The man by his height and measured tread drew attention particularly to himself. The appearance of the whole was that of poor immigrants; Germans probably; though the stateliness of the march of its principal man was that of some one who had a spirit of independence, and felt that whatever might be his appearance, he was, for a time at least, above the influence of outward circumstances. The company passed me, and for some time I lost sight of them, and indeed nothing but the peculiar look of the woman and the remarkable tread of the man would have kept them in my memory. It was not long, however, before I saw a gathering in front of a public building, and loving to hear the remarks of those who speak out unrestrainedly, I joined the little company. Its centre was the band of immigrants. It was evident that some movements toward effective sympathy had been suggested. What they were or by what suggested I could not tell. The strangers could speak little or no English, and for a time their appearance only appealed to the kindly feelings of the multitude. I had pressed in close to the strong man, who was still bearing the little child in the same position in which it rested when he passed me at the door of the hotel. The same fixed look of independence was in his face and his position. There was much of sternness on the face of the woman, but it was marked by pain, referable perhaps to her situation, and to the marks of recent grief. Something was to be done, but what I could not yet determine. As I pressed nearer to the man the company crowded closer.

“You need help,” said I to the strange man.

He intimated plainly that he could not understand me.

“You want bread,” said I.

Das brod,” exclaimed he, shaking his head. “Nein—das grab!

And he threw the clothes from the face of the child on his arm, and the pale, quiet features of the little one were cold in death.

One low, agonizing cry went up from the depth of the woman’s heart. One proud look around was given by the father, but that look was exchanged for one of anguish as he turned his eye downward toward the burthen which his arm sustained.

The company had come up, not to solicit charity, that they might eat and drink before they should die—but that they might obtain a burying-place for the little one of their flock, whom death had released from its parents’ troubles.

It was a pretty child; the blue eyes were visible beneath the half divided lids, and the long lashes hung over them like gentle palls, defending them from the rudeness of earth’s winds. The fine light hair lay smoothly over the marble forehead, and a few white teeth shone out from between the lips that were shrinking away from each other in the coldness of death.

It was a grave the parents needed.

The contributions were liberal, and a grave was provided. It would seem that in the wilderness of unreclaimed lands which lie along the public works of Pennsylvania, there might be found a resting-place for an infant stranger, without the eleemosynary aid which had been sought—but, alas! who does not desire when they “bury their dead out of their sight,” that it may be in a place which memory may cherish.

We cannot comprehend the unconsciousness of the grave. We hedge it about, we make the last house as if comforts were to be enjoyed therein, and we love to place our dead side by side with others, as if there were fellowship with the mouldering clay. It is of no use to argue against this—it is better perhaps to encourage the feelings, and assist in their gratification. They refine the mind, they elevate views, they meliorate passions and keep alive affections. Let the resting-place of the dead be sanctified to all, it is the home of the temple of God. It is the Moriah of the Christian dispensation.

I cannot leave Harrisburg at any season of the year, but especially in the early part of Autumn, without seeking the shore of the Susquehanna at sunset. All day long the river is beautiful, the quiet stream as it goes shining down to the ocean is full of loveliness, and all upon it or near it, partakes of its character. But it is exquisitely rich and attractive near the close of the day. I went alone to enjoy the scene. And placing myself upon the bold bank between the town and the river I looked westward for the sight that had so often been enjoyed. It was there; no change comes over such beauties; they are immortal, they are without mutation. In the bosom of the broad river—glowing with the golden beams of the retiring sun—sat the islands that break the unity of the stream and augment its beauties. So rich, so full was the sunlight upon the river, that these islands seemed to be floating in the gorgeous light. Some shot out prominent angles into the water, and presented salient points to break the uniformity, while others sat swan-like down, their rounded edge touching the stream, as if they had been dressed by art to present the perfection of symmetry; the dark green of the shrubbery that sprung up in the moisture of the islands was mingled with the golden hues of the sun, and here and there the gentle current, by passing over some obstructing object, broke into a ripple, that danced like liquid gold in the sunlight.

It was a rich and lovely sight, one to which frequency of enjoyment can bring no satiety, and he who sits down to such a scene finds the impressions of unfriendly association passing away—the resolutions of revenge, which unprovoked rudeness excited, melting into the better determinations of the heart—and all of bitterness and animosity which unchastened pride encourages, are neutralized and lost in the deep emotions of love which such a view of God’s works and such a sense of man’s enjoyment necessarily promote.

I sat absorbed in the scene until the sun began to drop below the hills, and the warmth of the coloring upon the water was yielding to the neutral and colder tints of evening, but upward along the sides of the hills the gorgeousness of the sunlight was in its fullness. Casting my eyes away to the right, I noticed a gathering on the upland: and on looking closer I could discover the forms of those who had composed the morning procession. They had made a grave for the little one of their flock, and had gathered around it to do the last offices to the inanimate form. They all bowed together, as if taking a last look, and when they raised their heads, I thought I caught a little of the wild cry of the anguished mother—but I must have been deceived, the distance was too great, but the signs of grief were visible, and I saw the father sustaining with his arm the afflicted wife, and the other members of the group cast their eyes toward their afflicted female companion. The air was full of dust, the consequence of a long drought, and as the floating particles reflected the sunbeams, the funeral gathering seemed for a moment, bathed in the glorious light of the setting sun, transfigured on their mount of sorrow—transfigured from the poor mendicant wanderers they had appeared in the morning, to children of light.

That glorious sunset on the islands and waters of the Susquehanna cannot soon fade from my memory—nor shall I easily forget the blaze of glory shed around the infant’s grave. Strange that the richness of sunlight should spring from the impure particles by which it is reflected—but in this world of ours what but errors and impurities of the human kind make visible and beautiful the grace of Him in whose light and heat “we live and move and have our being?”





[It is a well known fact that the hapless Inez de

Castro, the young and beautiful bride of Pedro of

Portugal, was murdered, while he was absent on a

hunting excursion.]

    Softly broke the light of morning, through a pictured window’s gloom,

    Blandly strayed the zephyr’s winglet ’mid rich plants of Eastern bloom,

    Shedding a strong spicy fragrance round that gorgeous room,

    Lightly on her couch of purple slumbered Pedro’s new-made bride,

    In her young unshadowed beauty, with no other thought beside

    That which his deep love had poured o’er her spirit’s tide.


    Softly had Prince Pedro risen from his nuptial couch that morn,

    Lightly donned his hunting vesture, at the call of hound and horn:

    Yet he bends enamored o’er that face of Beauty born.

    One more love-glance, yet another, on the sleeping face he cast;

    Soft he stoops to meet that red lip—one light kiss—the last!

    “God and our Lady bless thee, love!”—and so Prince Pedro passed.


    Softly faded into twilight gorgeous gleams of gold and red,

    Valley, stream, and purple mountain lay in mellow glory spread.

    And the lemon’s snowy blossom dewy odors shed.

    Homeward through eve’s tender shadows speeds Prince Pedro with his band,

    While with love almost paternal his fond eye drinks in the land,

    Over which he soon may govern with a kingly hand.


    Now the mellow horn he soundeth through the leafy olive groves,

    Far and wide the clear notes echo, but they bring not her he loves—

    “Inez? is it thou, sweet Inez, where yon shadow moves?”

    Never more shall Inez answer to that fond familiar call—

    Of the lovely bride left sleeping, bleeding clay is all—

    Of a fiendish hate the victim lies she, wrapt in gory pall.


    Never more from that dread hour was Prince Pedro seen to smile!

    Never more did chase or revel his still agony beguile—

    But he walked in the shadow of dark thoughts the while!

    With her martyred form forever graven on his memory,

    He became a scourge and terror from whom all men sought to flee,

    Tortured were his victims, but he smiled in mockery!


    Such the change, and such the monarch whose reft hand made discord ring

    Like a clarion through the country that had gladly hailed him king.

    Darkly, like the tempest, rode he on the avenger’s wing!

    And when midnight drew her curtain round the land, that hour

    In her blood-stained chamber did he stand with fearful power,

    And renew the fatal vow to avenge his martyred flower!









One of my own dear countrymen, casting his eye on the above title, may possibly recognize something in it familiar to him, especially should he ever have resided on the classic shores of Galway or of Clare, our own “Far West;” but to others who may chance to honor our legend with a perusal, some few words of introduction are necessary to transport them, “in their mind’s eye,” from the city of “brotherly love,” to the far distant and far different land of the O’Malleys, the Macnamaras,[1] and the Blakes.

An Irishman is, in my humble opinion, rather unlike a prophet, for this reason, he is in one sense only, to be honored in his own country—transplant him; and though he may be unimpaired, perhaps, in vigor of body; though he may make an excellent fabricator of rail-roads and canals, yet it has always appeared to me he loses his native raciness, except under very peculiar circumstances; he grows different; in a word, he gradually becomes—like the rest of the world!

Is it the absence of the unique fragrancy of his native turf smoke, which at home he so freely inhaled, or is it the substitution of beef and pudding for his former scanty meals of the never-failing root of plenty? Let us leave these vexatæ questiones to those whom they may concern, but on one point let us give our decided opinion. Our readers may say, “O, now you all are changed! since your Father Mathew has made five millions of you teetotallers, your country is not worth the living in! No more doth the invigorating, all-inspiring, thrice concentrated juice of the ‘barley grain’ push you forward to glorious deeds of heroic daring—of skull-breaking, dancing, or of story-telling; so that for all intents and purposes you have nothing left worth chronicling—you are getting like the rest of the world!” “Aisy a bit,” say I, “the fiddle and the bagpipes have just the same charms to ‘put the capers in our heels’ as in whisky’s balmiest days; and as for story-telling, that we can do equally well over a good cup of fine hot coffee. No, no; while the same fresh and free breezes shall continue to be wafted across the Atlantic to us; while we have our own green fields and wild, lofty mountains to behold, Irishmen we shall be in all our better qualities; and though Father Mathew may have been influential enough in cooling our heads, (we admit,) yet our hearts are as warm as ever!”

Irish cabins, which you all have heard of, would not be such bad concerns after all, and we should get on very well indeed, if we were only a leetle better treated. On all hands it is admitted that we are pretty nearly able (and take my word for it we are willing enough) to eat and to drink all that a bounteous Providence causes to be brought forth from the most fruitful of soils; in truth, a superficial observer might even be tempted to utter an exclamation of surprise on being told that with a territory one thousand square miles less than that of the state of Maine, and six thousand less than that of Pennsylvania, ten millions of human beings should be supported; but then consider, kind reader, when our beef, and our butter, and our eggs, and even the little cabbages from our gardens, must fly on the wings of steam to pay the rent, and that rent flies away again, you know, to pay whom; (a slight glance at a certain map will tell you that;) consider, I say, that we cannot always be light-hearted, that a little sadness will sometimes creep over us. Think how our poor countrymen must sometimes suffer, and let ever our warmest sympathies be exerted when we hear of their distresses.

But, “stop!” you say, “these are twists you’re getting into, indeed. What has this to do with your legend?” Well, then, reader, jump over with me into a snug cabin, which is not so very unlike a log-cabin, only built of stone or mud, (excuse me,) and sit down with me and a collection of choice spirits, round a blazing turf fire, keeping it warm, as we say, with the pipe and the “darlin’ tibacky” taking their accustomed rounds. I may as well introduce Jimmy Carmody to you—my “Micky Free”—Tom Dillon, and a few others. So, now we are all settled.

“What’s this you’re all discussing so learnedly, boys?”

“O, nothing very partic’lar, your honor, only we’re just saying what mighty quare owld ruins them is—them round towers. Did your honor never see any of them? Sure there’s one on Scattery Island, in the Shannon, and one at Kilmacduagh, I believe, in this county.”

“O, yes, Tom, I’ve seen those you mention, and a great many more, too; and if any of you have ever been to Dublin by the canal, I’m sure you must have seen the one at Clondalkin. There’s one, too, you know, in the county Wicklow, at the lake that Tommy Moore made the beautiful song about:

    ‘By that lake, whose gloomy shore

     Skylark never warbled o’er.’”

“Why, now, yer honor’s perfectially right!” said Jimmy, who just then remembered some incidents in his former travels to Dublin about his “little spot of a pratee garden, that was near being sowld at the Four Courts for non payment. Quite right your honor is. Sure I wint down to see where the blessed Saint Kevin done all his miracles—where he turned the loaves into stones, and where he med the owld king’s goose, that he was so fond of, young again, and all that; but sure your honor knows all about it; but after a while, the man that was there showed me a little hole up over the lake in the clift above, and ‘look!’ says he, ‘that’s St. Kevin’s bed,’ says he. ‘Why, then, now!’ says I, ‘up in that little pigeon-hole!’ says I. ‘O! and did his blessed reverince go up there to bed?’ says I. ‘No! you fool!’ says he, ‘but to avoid the darlin’ young lady,’ says he. ‘And it’s there he threw her down into the deep, cowld, dark lake,’ says he. ‘Would you like to go up and lie down in his bed?’ says he. ‘Is it me,’ says I, ‘to do it? Why my brain is like a spider’s web wid lookin’ at it,’ says I. But a young man that was used to crawling in them unchristian places—them mines—went up; and I thought I could jump through a key-hole, I felt so, to see him do it; and says I, when he came down, ‘Young man, I pray, when you settle in life, you may have a handier way of gettin’ into bed than that, particularly if you’re—’”

Here a burst of laughter, which it is not hard to elicit from such an auditory, interrupted Jimmy, who is requested to tell “whether he ever heard who built these round towers, or why they were built at all?”

“Why,” remarks Jimmy, “why they were built, no one can tell—they don’t look like any thing Christian; but the man that undoubtedly built some of them was the Gubbaun Seare.”

“Who was he, Jimmy?” asked all.

“Why, then, your honor, myself doesn’t know much about the Gubbaun Seare, only as the owld people tell us.”

“Well, Jimmy, that don’t make what the old people tell us of no account; for with all our new improvements, (I had been explaining a rail-road to them the evening before,) we are obliged to retain nearly all their inventions also; so you may as well tell us what you know about the Gubbaun Seare, for you may depend there must be some truth and value in it.”

“Why, then, that’s true for your honor,” said another; a sentence, by the bye, which always greets you when you utter an opinion, correct or incorrect.

“Well, then,” said Jimmy, “in them owld times, I believe, when the round towers was building, there was a mason—and if there was, he was as fine a mason as ever lived, or ever will again—and, indeed, your honor, you know the round towers would prove that, if he built them—for where is the mason-work that’s equal to what’s on them? That one at Glendalough is a fine one, to be sure—and there’s many finer than that. Well, he lived in a fine cottage, somewhere in Munster, and I don’t know exactly where.

“He had been married, and had an only son—and proud was he of him, you may depend. Well, it was given up to the Gubbaun, that he was not only the best mason in all the world, but along with that, sir, he was the cutest man known, and the greatest hand at all kinds of plans and contrivances. He was able for every one, and any one; and nobody ever had to boast that they had gained the least advantage over him.”

“I suppose, Tom, that with all this wisdom of the father, the son must have been as wise as he was himself, or may be wiser?”

“Why, to be sure, so one would imagine; but it was far from him to be as good a boy as the father—and that the father knew right well, for he was always trying to make him sensible of the scaming; but the son was always too honest, and that vext the father.

“However, he said nothing until the son grew up a dashin’ fine young man; and if he wasn’t the best av scamers, he was nearly as good a mason as the father himself, and was quiet and honest, only a terrible simpleton, and what the English gentleman that used to come to see your honor called spooney; though what a man had to do with a spoon, myself doesn’t see. But the father racked his brains constantly to find out some way to make him knowin’; and at last he came to be determined in his mind that nothing would do the son so much good, or put sinse so well into his head as a fine, clever, smart young woman av a wife, if he could meet one to his mind; and, your honor, though I never tried it myself, I have no doubt an excellent plan it is. Well, sir, after he once hit on a plan, sorra long he was in puttin’ it into execution. One morning he got up very early, and called his son into the field. ‘Now, Boofun,’ (that was the young man’s name,) ‘now, Boofun,’ says he, ‘run an’ catch the sheep beyant there—that big white one, with the fine fleece, and bring her to me quick!’ So Boofun did; an’ if he did, the Gubbaun pulled out his big knife, and kill’d her; an’ by the same token the summer was comin’ on, and the fleece was fine, and long, and silky.”

“What did he do that for, Jimmy?”

“Wait a bit, your honor. When the Gubbaun had her skinned, he embraced his son, (that’s hugged him, boys, d’ ye mind,) an’ spoke to him as this:

“‘Now, Boofun, avick, (my son,) and it’s you was ever the good boy of a son to me, only I never could make you understand the coorse of the world’s doin’s as well as I could wish; but never heed! you’ll improve yet—so take courage and do as I desire you; but mind, if you don’t, never call the Gubbaun Seare your father more, the longest day you have to live! Do you see that skin?’ ‘I do, father—I see it,’ says he, innocent as a child. ‘Well, Boofun, you must take to the road now at once, and you must walk on, and never stop till you get some one that will buy this skin, and pay you for it, and then give you your skin back again into the bargain.’

“‘O! O! father!’ says the other, ‘I’m a fool myself, I know, and yet I’m sure I wouldn’t do sich a simple thing as that,’ says he, ‘and I think, indeed, father, you must be a fool yourself to think so,’ says he. ‘Howld your tongue, an’ be off, you natral!’ says the father; ‘what do you know about it! Be off at wanst; and here, take this! here’s cost enough for the road,’ says he, ‘and be sure an’ remember what I towld you,’ says he.

“So poor Boofun, sir, wint off; and sorrowful he was to lave his father, and his business, and his comfortable home, and to go away on what he thought sich a wild-goose chase. It happened that it was market-day at the next town, an’ many a one overtook him, an’ he cryin’.

“‘Well, Boofun,’ they’d say, for they knew him, ‘are you going to sell that fine sheep’s skin?’ ‘I am,’ he’d say; ‘but I know you wont buy it, for by the way I’m selling it, it would be a dear article for you.’ ‘Why so, man? I’m in want of wool, an’ very little would make me buy the same skin, for it’s fine wool.’ ‘Yes, but,’ Boofun would say, ‘you must pay me for it, and then give it me back if you buy it!’ So he would be always laughed at, an’ he was nearly dying av dishpair.

“However, on he traveled and walked; and many miles from home he came to a beautiful lake, all surrounded with trees, very like that lake where your honor and the captain, and the ladies used to go and fish, and make peckthers, (pictures,) Inchiquin lake, sir; an’ if he did, there was as darlin’ a young lady as could be seen, an’ she standing on the shore of the lake, and after finishing washin’ some of the finest fleeces of iligant wool. ‘O!’ said he to himself, ‘if I could only get this darlin’ to buy my fleece! But no one will ever do so foolish a thing as that, an’ I shall never sell it, nor get back again!’

“However, Boofun took courage, and wint up to her. ‘God bless your work, alanna! ’tis yourself’s not idle this morning! And what beautiful wool! I’ve a fleece here myself, an’ I thought it good, but yours bates it intirely! I would sell mine, too, but neither you nor any one else will ever buy it! A voh! voh!’

“‘Why, that must be a curious fleece, if no one’ll buy it. Sir,’ says she, ‘what may be the price?’

“‘O, for that,’ says he, ‘it’s for little or nothing I’d sell it; but what good would that do you, agrah, when I’m never to enter my father’s house again, nor call myself his son, until I bring him back the skin and the price of it as well! However, it’s no use talking to you, at any rate, for you’ll have nothing to do with me.’

“‘Why, how can you say so till I tell you?’ says she.

“‘O, my thousand blessings for that word,’ says he, ‘it makes my heart rise like a cork to hear you!’

“‘Well, what will you take for the skin?’

“‘O, very little, then—only so much, (mentioning a small sum.)

“‘Very good,’ says she, ‘I’ll give you that much, and welcome;’ and whisper, ‘are you the son of the Gubbaun Seare?’

“‘I am; but how could you guess that?’

“‘Because,’ says she, ‘no one could think of such a plan but his own four bones, and I think I see the meanin’ of it, too,’ says she. ‘Hand me the skin.’ So Boofun did, sir; and she fell to work, and in a very short time she had the wool stripped off. ‘And here, now,’ says she, ‘here is your skin back for you, and here is the price of it,’ says she, handing him the money; and tell the Gubbaun a very good buraun the skin’ll make,’ says she.

“‘O, my million thanks to you,’ says he; ‘though I never should have thought of this in thousands of years, yet you’ve settled it with one word!’

“So, sir, after much more talk, away he ran, and never stopped till he came home; and the Gubbaun had just returned from his work, and findin’ the house so lonesome, was almost repentin’ he’d ever sent Boofun away. Glad he was, though, when Boofun came in, and gave him a great account of all he had done; but what was his joy when Boofun drew forth the sheep’s skin, and counted out the money. Well, after some of the joy was over, the Gubbaun put on a very long, sarious face, ‘And now, Boofun,’ says he, ‘don’t as you love me,’ says he, ‘deny any thing I ask,’ says he, ‘but tell me the truth. I know, you needn’t tell me, it was a woman that thought of the plan of skinning the fleece, for no man in Ireland would think of it but myself.’

“‘Faix, then, so she said herself,’ says Boofun.

“‘Hah! well, I knew it was a she; but was she young or owld? for, by my trowel and hammer!’ says he, ‘the owld ones are sometimes as cute as any!’

“O, then, she was young, and handsome, too, and rich beside,’ says he.

“‘O, never mind the riches,’ says the Gubbaun, ‘for half a grain of sinse is worth a ton of it; but you’re my darlin’ son at last, and be off at the first light of morning,’ says he, ‘and take the best horse I have, and put on the best clothes you have, and bring her home—and I’ll engage she comes.’

“Long before the Gubbaun was up, Boofun started; and not many hours was he on the road, when he met the very same young lady, an’ she goin’ to market all by herself. Well, sir, they had a great salutation, an’ he coaxed her to take a sate on the horse. She wanted to get off at the market, but it wouldn’t do, sir; and he came to his father’s house airly in the evening.

“Well, you’d think, sir, the Gubbaun knew it all. Some said surely that he could foretell. There was the house, all beautiful and nate, and a most splendid intertainment on the table; there was a large party of the Gubbaun’s friends, and plenty of all that was good.

“And the Gubbaun was the boy that could intertain them all. And, sir, when all were in high good-humor, and herself laughing and jokin’ with Boofun, then he brought forward the match. To be sure, she was very shy, and ashamed, the crayther, (all by herself, you may say,) but you know, sir, even now, as we see every day, a match isn’t long comin’ round, when the parties are willin’ an’ the spaykers are good. So it was now; she agreed to lave all for Boofun—and she did well. To make my long story short, in a few days they were married; and in the meantime they had got her friends’ consint. And a great weddin’ they had.”

“Well, Tom, now we’ve got them well married, jump up for some turf! don’t you see the fire’s a’most out?”

“O, then, that your honor may never want for a good fire, I pray.”

“Yes, Jimmy, nor a good warrant, like yourself, to tell a good story.”

“To be sure, sir, it shortens the night, as we say, an’ if Jimmy wont be offended, for taking the story out av his mouth, I’ll tell your honor some more of the Gubbaun’s doin’s.”

Let me assure my readers that this word is pronounced Macnamahra.



“That’s a good boy, Tom,” said Jimmy, “myself doesn’t remember any more about him.”

“Well, then, sir, they were not very many weeks married, when the Gubbaun wished to try the wife still more, to see whether she was knowin’ enough for him, in order that she might be depended on completely, if any thing should happen. So one day he towld the son to get ready, and to come with him, for that he had heard of a fine job of work. So they started; and when they had got about three miles on the road, the Gubbaun turned sharp round, and asked Boofun the distance to the next place.

“‘Twenty miles, no less,’ says Boofun.

“‘Well,’ says the Gubbaun, ‘every inch of the road we have to go,’ says he, ‘but it’s too long by ten miles.’

“‘Sure I can’t help that,’ says Boofun.

“‘You can, sir!’ says the Gubbaun, ‘you can make it ten miles, if you like; and if you can’t, go back, sir, and stay at home with your wife, for you’re not fit to travel with me,’ says he.

“Boofun said ‘he couldn’t do it;’ so he had to go back. And when he came home, his wife ran out.

“‘Well, what’s brought you back? Any thing the matter?’

“‘Every thing!’ says poor Boofun. ‘We hadn’t got three miles before the Gubbaun towld me to shorten the road one half; and sure, you know, all I could say wouldn’t shorten it!’

“‘I don’t know that,’ says she, ‘may be not; but take my advice, run back, and begin to tell him some story,’ says she, ‘no matter whether it is true or not, but amuse him as well as you can; and if he isn’t satisfied, cut my head off when you come back,’ says she. So, sir, he never stopped until he overtook the Gubbaun; and the very minute he began the story, he had confidence in Boofun’s wife.

“Now, Tom, tell us—what reason could he have had for that? Couldn’t they and she both have taken care of themselves?”

“Howld on a while, and maybe you’ll see, sir.

“They traveled on and on, a hundred miles, or maybe more, and at last they came to a most splendid, iligant, noble palace, that the King of Munster was building. Thousands of masons, and carpenters, and all kinds of workmen, were in full operation at it—and the finest of work they were doing. It was just dinner-time, as it happened, when the Gubbaun and Boofun came, but they made no delay, but asked the steward of the works, sir, for employment, an’ they didn’t let an they were any thing in particklar, only just masons.

“‘O!’ says the steward, says he, ‘there’s plenty av employment for men in your line,’ says he, ‘but wait till after dinner, and then I’ll talk to you,’ says he.

“‘Why, for that matter,’ says the Gubbaun, ‘it’s a while ago we eat our dinner,’ says he, ‘and if it’s all the same to you, we’ll be glad if you’ll set us some piece of work that we can be at till you come back.’ And just then, sir, the dinner-bell began to ring. ‘Well, gentleman,’ says the steward, laughin’ out loud, an’ turnin’ up his nose, an’ winkin’ round to the rest of the men, since you are so impatient, an’ sich wonderful men, just sit down here, and take that block of marble,’ says he, ‘and have a cat an’ two tails made out of it when I come back,’ says he, runnin’ into dinner.

“Well, sir, it was a fine block of stone, sure enough, and likely, rale Kilkenny marble; but it was any thing like a Kilkenny cat they med, for they never stopped until they had a splendid cat, wid two noble tails carved out, and all this before the lazy steward and his men came back from their dinner; and what was the most astonishin’ to all, the surprisin’ fierce pair of whiskers that the Gubbaun was puttin’ out from the cat’s nose when the steward came out! But who should be along with him but the King of Munster himself; and when he saw the cat, and the two tails, and the warlike pair of whiskers, he was all but ready to split with the laughin’, and when he got words at last, he never stopped praisin’ the Gubbaun.

“‘But,’ says the King of Munster, turning round to the unfortunate steward, (that hadn’t one word to say,) ‘you scoundrel! your intention was to make game of this honest man, and now he has done in one hour, what you wouldn’t do if you were to live as long as that cat would last; and it’s he, and not you, that has the best right to be steward here,’ says he. So the Gubbaun was appointed steward over all the palace; and it was he that made all the ornaments, and all the images and statues that was in the place intirely, he and Boofun; and the King of Munster grew fonder and fonder of him every day.

“But, sir, in the course of time the king got curious notions into his head, and the worst was, that at last he determined that his palace should not only be the finest and grandest in all Ireland, but what was worse for the Gubbaun, he resolved that as soon as all was finished, he would put an end to the poor fellow’s life, and particularly because he had lately found out that the King of Leinster had heard of his beautiful palace, and that he intended to send for the Gubbaun and construct one still finer.

“But, sir, though the King of Munster was certainly determined to kill the Gubbaun Seare, he found it very difficult to lay a plan to do it—for he well knew who he had to deal with, and how hard it would be to catch him. However, the king incraysed his wages, and made him very well off, so that he mightn’t suspect any thing; but, for fear he should, he sent for the man who owned the house where the Gubbaun and Boofun lived, privately, and made him great presents to keep the saycret, and to lay hands on the Gubbaun if he suspected that he was about to start away in any hurry. But, sir, as luck would have it, this very man’s daughter, who loved the Gubbaun and Boofun dearly, happened to be behind the door, or in a closet, while the king was giving these horrible directions to her father, and determined at once to let them know the danger they were in.”

“I wonder, Tom, the Gubbaun didn’t suspect something?”

“O, then, most likely he did, and was well prepared, I dare say, (for we all know, sir, how hard it is to trust these kings and great people,) still the girl found it very hard to make the Gubbaun sensible of his danger; and she knew there was always a strict guard over him, and spies out, for fear he’d make his escape; though, the palace not being finished yet, the king did not like to do the action for a while.

“One day the Gubbaun and Boofun had been hard at work at some grand temple, and they came back at night, mighty hungry. This very girl was the cook, and she had a very fine lookin’ pot of pratees on the fire for dinner.”

“Potatoes, Tom! No! Why they came from America, a thousand or more years after this!”

“Why, then, now, did they, your honor? Well, I suppose it was something as good; any how, we’ll call them pratees.

“‘Good evenin’!’ says the Gubbaun; ‘is supper ready?’

“‘O, quite ready,’ says she; ‘but it’s a poor one we have to-day, only pratees and eggs,’ says she; for you know, your honor, they didn’t live then as we do now—they knew better than that.

“‘Well, them same’s good,’ says he. ‘Did you never hear the old saying, When all fruits fail, welkim haws!’ for he’d always a pleasant joke or saying in his mouth. ‘But what’s this?’ says he; ‘Why, how came so many raw ones among them?’

“‘O,’ says she, looking hard at him, ‘if you will stop here, you must take things as they come, agreeable and disagreeable, for that’s the way they’re going!’

“‘By my trowel and hammer!’ says the Gubbaun, to himself, ‘if that’s the case, its full time to be goin’ ourselves likewise;’ and when they were going to work, he told Boofun every word, for he never suspected. ‘But never fear,’ says he, ‘we’ll get out of this scrape, if they did their worst and their best, and if they were seventeen times wiser than they are, and if they had all the guards in his kingdom to watch me; but howld your tongue, and don’t let on a word of what I’ve said.’

“Next morning, when the king was up, and in his room, where he transacted all his affairs, the Gubbaun came and sint up word that he would be glad to see his majesty about something that was wanted for the palace. Now the Gubbaun, sir, was always welcome; and it was only because the king had too good an opinion of him, that he was going to kill him. When he was admitted, ‘Well,’ says the king, (mighty grand,) ‘is my palace finished, or what do you want with me?’ says he.

“‘Why, plaze your majesty’s reverence,’ says the Gubbaun, (for he was a fine spoken man,) ‘your majesty’s palace is not quite complately turned out of my hands yet,’ says he, ‘nor I can’t exactly call it finished, nor let the people that’s to come after me speak of the name of the Gubbaun Seare along with it, unless one thing is done, that should be done, if your majesty raylly wishes it to be perfect.’

“‘Well, spake your wishes, and then, if I plaze, they shall be attinded to,’ says the king.

“‘Well, then, plaze your majesty, there is an instrument, and without it, your statues, and your images and pillars can’t be polished nor complayted unless I get it, and that instrument is at home with me,’ says he.

“‘What may be the name of it?’ says the king.

“‘Why, we call it,’ said the Gubbaun, (of course they spoke in Irish,) ‘Khur enein khur, agus khaoun enein khaoun!’ (and that, your honor, manes, the tricks upon tricks, and the twists upon twists;) ‘no one in Ireland owns such an instrument but myself, or at any rate not half such a good one; and if your majesty plazes, I’ll go home and get it.’

“‘No,’ says the king, ‘you must never laive me; when I’ve this palace built, I’ll build another, and I’ll want you; if I let you go now, may be you’d meet something better, though that you could hardly do, I believe; but may be you’d die on the road, and I’d never see you again. No,’ says he, ‘you must never laive me!’

“‘Do you think so?’ says the Gubbaun to himself. ‘By my trowel and hammer, though, I think you’re considerably wrong! Why, indeed, your majesty,’ answered the Gubbaun, ’tis yourself that was ever and always the good friend to me and my son; and, indeed, so happy am I here, long life and good luck to your majesty!’ says he, ‘and may you incrayse, and long reign,’ says he, ‘that I would certainly never wish to part from you, and I’d be satisfied to build palaces for you all my life; may be, then, in that case, your majesty would be graciously plazed to allow my son, Boofun, to set out and get the khur enein khur, agus khaoun enein khaoun?’

“‘No!’ says the king, says he, ‘I’m nearly as fond and as proud of Boofun as yourself; and it’s my orders to double his wages, and to double your own from this minute.’

“‘Well, very well, your majesty, let it be so, then. I would tell no common fellow here where it is, he’d just break it on the road; and if I’m not, nor Boofun, to go for this instrument, things must stop as they are, and the palace will remain unfinished to the end of the world.’

“The king considered for some time; at last, ‘Gubbaun Seare,’ says he, ‘I must have my palace finished, and yet I must have your instrument; now my son, the prince, has nothing on earth to do—and will you be satisfied if I send him? I will be your security that he takes the greatest care of it.’

“‘Well, your majesty, your will must be law. O! O! my poor instrument, if any thing should happen you!’

“So, sir, the prince was ordered up, and the Gubbaun gave him all kinds of directions how to carry it, and towld him where he’d get it, ‘in the big chest, over the chimney-piece.’

“The next day the prince set out, and took but one companion with him; and who should that be but his younger brother, a young lad that wished for some divarsion—and the two only thought it a pleasant ride.

“In a few days they reached the Gubbaun’s cottage, and when Boofun’s wife saw them coming, she was sure something was wrong. Some of her people were in the house, but she bundled them out; ‘Be ready, though,’ says she, ‘for fear I’d want you, but leave those lads to me.’ So they came in, and the prince saluted her most kindly, towld her who he was, and begged lave to put up his horse. Then she asked him ‘how her husband and the Gubbaun were?’ But he gave her a full account of all I’ve told you, as far as he knew. ‘But, ma’am,’ says the prince, very gracious intirely, ‘there is an instrument that the Gubbaun can’t do without, that he wants to polish the stones,’ says he, ‘and my father’s so fond of them both,’ says he, ‘that he wouldn’t let him or Boofun home,’ says he, ‘and the Gubbaun wouldn’t let any common fellow come, for fear he’d break it, and so I’m sent to ask you for it.’

“‘And plaze your highness,’ says she, ‘what may be the name of this instrument? for he left so many afther him here, in that terrible big chest over the chimney-piece, that raylly I don’t know which it could be.’

“‘Ah! sure enough,’ he said, ‘it was in the big chest,’ says the prince, ‘and the name of it is—let me see, I dare say you know it ma’am—the khur enein khur, agus khaoun enein khaoun.’

“‘O, yes, your highness!’ says she, ‘I know the twists upon twists, and tricks upon tricks very well, and a very fine, useful kind of instrument it is, as you’ll soon see. I don’t know whether I’ll be able to get it out av the chist or not, but if I’m not able, you can do it aisy, for you’re a fine, tall young man, and may you live long!’ says she. So she got up on a chair and tried, and all she could reach was the lid av the chest. Then she put another chair on that one, and tried again, but she could only get her hand a little way in, and, says she, ‘O, the lid’s mighty heavy! but do you try, and I’m sure you’ll bring it, for I can just reach it; I can almost feel it.’ So the prince fell to laughin’, and mounted on the chairs in no time, and opened the big lid av the chest, and looked in, while she gave the sly wink to one of her brothers.

“‘O!’ says the prince, ‘but it’s very deep! I can’t see the bottom av it yet, it’s so dark,’ says he; ‘get a candle.’

“‘O, no!’ says she, ‘creep down, your highness; the instrument is quite at the bottom, I’m sure,’ says she. ‘Now,’ says she to her brother, ‘when I say you’re very near it, catch a howlt av his legs, and bundle him into the chest.’ Now the prince’s brother all this time was ayten some bread and milk, and never suspected a ha’porth.

“‘O, ma’am,’ says the prince, ‘I can’t reach it,’ says he, bendin’ over, and balancin’ his body on the edge av the chist, ‘is it here at all?’ says he.

“‘O, you’re very near it now!’ says she. And, sir, in a minute they had him doubled up an’ pitched into the chest, and caught a howlt of the young brother and tied him neck and heels.

“‘Ha! ha! what your highness asked for, you got,’ says she. ‘In all your life now, did you ever see a finer trick or a nicer twist? Faix! I think it was a rale trick upon trick, and a twist upon twist! Your brother may go back now, as quick as he likes, and tell his father that as soon as the Gubbaun is done polishin’ the statues, we’ll be very glad to see him back, and Boofun too, and we’ll take iligant care of yourself until he comes; it was a good messenger he found to go for the khur enein khur, agus khaoun enein khaoun. That’s a fine fellow,’ says she, (to the young chap,) ‘pelt away home, and when we see the Gubbaun and Boofun in view of this house, we’ll release your brother; but mind me! if they are not in this house within one week from this day, your father will never see the prince again!’

“So he rode home, tearin’ over the roads like mad, and as soon as he was gone, sir, she had the prince taken out av the chest, (for he was a’most smothered,) and took him up the mountains in hide, and fed him well, and took care av him.

“But O! your honor, how can I tell you how mad the king was, when he saw the hare that the Gubbaun had made av him, and how he wouldn’t spake a word all day, but cursin’. However, next mornin’ he considered that after all it was useless to fret, and that no time must be lost, or he’d lose the prince.

“So he put a good face on the business, and called the Gubbaun and Boofun to him, but took great care to explain to the Gubbaun how he didn’t mean to harm him, and all that, and they say that kings and sich like people were always tolerable good hands at the blarney. And he paid them all their full amount of wages, and made them presents, and sent to the stables, and had two of the most splindid hunters that could be found saddled and bridled, and gave them to them.

“Well! they set out, and weren’t long till they got home, and glad and thankful they were for their great escape; and to be sure Boofun’s wife was proud indeed to see them, and she went and had the prince brought down, and the Gubbaun invited all his friends, and a great intertainment was prepared in honor of his return, and in honor of the prince.

“In the evening, or rather the morning of the next day, the prince asked leave to take his departure, but the Gubbaun wouldn’t let him go till he had written a letter to the king, and I think this was the letter:—

“‘May it plaze your majesty—I returned here quite safe, but I can’t let his highness the prince off without returnin’ you many thousand thanks for all you have done for me. You have made a family comfortable and happy for life, and, by my trowel and hammer, I will forever pray for your majesty’s reverence! However, plaze your majesty, the instrument I have safe here, which the prince wasn’t able to make out; and in all my expayrience I never yet met with one that answered my purpose better than the Khur enein khur, agus khaoun enein khaoun.

The Gubbaun Seare.’”

W. Drummond               J. Addison


Engraved Expressly for Graham’s Magazine






How many beautiful, lovely-minded women do we meet in society, who are united, by marriage contract, with men whose tastes, habits and characters, cannot but be in every way uncongenial. And on the other hand, how often do we see the finest specimens of men unequally joined to women who seem to have no true appreciation of what is really excellent in morals or social life. The reason for such inequality is very apparent to all who observe with any intelligence. The affinities which govern among those who enter life’s dazzling arena, are, in most cases, external instead of internal. Accomplishment, personal appearance, and family connections, are more considered than qualities of the heart. Beauty, wit, station and wealth, are the standards of value, while real merit is not thought of or fondly believed to exist as a natural internal correspondent of the external attractions so pleasant to behold. In this false and superficial mode of estimating character lies the bane of domestic happiness. Deceived by the merest externals, young persons come together and enter into the holiest relation of life, to discover, alas! in a few years, that there exists no congeniality of taste, no mutual appreciation of what is excellent and desirable in life, and, worse than all, no mutual affection, based upon clearly seen qualities of the mind. Unhappiness always follows this sad discovery, and were it not for the love of children, which has come in to save them, hundreds and thousands, who, in the eyes of the world, appear to live happily together, would be driven angrily asunder.

Aunt Esther, whose own experience in life, confirmed by much observation, made the evil here indicated as clear as noonday to her perceptions, saw the error of her beautiful niece, Edith, in courting rather than shunning observation while in society.

“You wrong yourself, dear,” she would often say, “by this over carefulness about external appearance. You attract those who see but little below the surface, while the really excellent and truly intelligent avoid instead of seeking your society.”

“Would you have me careless about my appearance, aunt?” Edith would sometimes say, in reply to these suggestions.

“By no means,” Aunt Esther would reply. “A just regard to what is appropriate in externals marks the woman of true taste and right feelings. But you go beyond this.”

“Then I violate the principles of taste in dressing.”

“I will not say that you do very broadly. Most persons would affirm that you display a fine taste, and in using the word display would express my objection. I think a woman infringes good taste when she so arrays herself as to attract attention to her dress.”

“As I do?”

“Yes, Edith, as you do. If you disguise from yourself the fact that you both love and seek admiration for personal appearance, you do not do so from others—at least not from me.”

Aunt Esther did not wrong her niece by this judgment. It was Edith’s weakness to love admiration; and what we love we naturally seek. Without actually infringing the laws of taste and harmony, she yet managed to dress in a style that always attracted the eye, and set off her really fine person in the most imposing manner. The consequence was that she had many admirers, some of whom were elegant and attractive young men. But none of these were drawn to the side of Edith from a love of her moral beauty. It was the beauty of her person, the fascination of her manners, and the sparkle of her wit, that made her an object of admiration.

Edith had a friend whom she dearly loved; a sweet, gentle, true-hearted girl, named Mary Graham. Those who were dazzled by an imposing appearance, passed Mary with indifference; but the few who could perceive the violet’s odor by the way-side, as they moved along through life, sought her company, and found, in the heart of a loving woman, more of beauty and delight than she ever gives as a creature of show and admiration.

Different as they were, in many respects, Edith and Mary were alike in the possession of deep affections. Both loved what was pure and good; but, while one had an instinctive power of looking beneath the glittering surface, the other was easily deceived by appearances. While one shrunk from observation, the other courted attentions. The consequence was, that Edith had hosts of admirers, while only the discriminating few lingered near the retiring Mary. The one was admired for what she appeared to be, the other was loved for what she was.

Two young men, entirely dissimilar in character, yet thrown together as friends, by circumstances, met one evening, when one of them, whose name was Ashton, said to the other,

“Erskine! I met a glorious creature last night—a perfect Hebe!”

“Ah! Who is she?”

“Her name is Edith Maurice.”

“She’s a showy girl, certainly.”

“Showy! She’s a magnificent woman, Erskine. And so you’ve met her?”

“A few times.”

“Were you not enchanted?”

“No. Your glorious creatures never turn my brain.”

“You’re an anchorite.”

“Far from it. I delight in all things lovely; and, above all, in the presence of a lovely woman.”

“A lovelier woman than Edith Maurice I have not seen for a twelvemonth.”

“Though I have.”

“You have, indeed!”

“I think so. She has a friend, named Mary Graham, whom I think far more interesting.”

“Pray introduce me.”

“I will, when opportunity offers.”

Not long afterward an introduction took place, and Ashton spent a short time in the company of Mary Graham.

“That’s your lovely woman,” said the young man to his friend, in a tone of contempt, when they next met.

“To me she is exceedingly interesting,” returned Erskine.

“Interesting! A duller piece of human ware it has not been my fortune to meet for these dozen years. I should say she has no soul.”

“There you are mistaken. She is all soul.”

“All soul! If you want to see a woman all soul, look at Edith Maurice.”

“All body, you mean,” replied Erskine, smiling.

“What do you mean by that?” inquired Ashton.

“All external. It is rather the beauty of person than the beauty of soul that you see in Edith; but, in Mary, every tone and motion but expresses some modification of the true beauty that lies within. Edith bursts upon you like a meteor; but Mary comes forth as Hesperus, scarcely seen at first, but shining with a purer and brighter light the more intently you gaze upon her.”

“Not a meteor, my dear fellow,” replied Ashton. “I repudiate that comparison. Edith is another Sirius, flashing on the eyes with an ever-varying, yet strong and beautiful light. As for your evening stars, with their unimpassioned way of shining—their steady, planet-like, orderly fashion of sending forth their rays—I never had any fancy for them.”

“Every one to his taste,” said Erskine. “As for me, I like true beauty—the beauty of the mind and heart.”

“Oh, as for that,” returned Ashton, lightly, “let people go in for hearts who understand such matters. I don’t profess to know much about them. But I can appreciate, ay, and love a magnificent woman like Edith Maurice. You can have Mary Graham, and welcome; I will never cross your path.”

From this time Ashton became the undisguised admirer of Edith. The young man was handsome, well educated, and had a winning address; yet, for all this, there was something about him from which the pure-minded girl at first shrunk. Erskine she sometimes met; and whenever she happened to be thrown into his company, she was charmed with his manners, and interested in his conversation. Unobtrusive as he was, she admired him more than any man she had yet seen. But the showy exterior of Edith hid from the eyes of Erskine her real worth. He looked upon her as vain, fond of admiration, and of course, as possessing little heart—and turned from her to find a congenial spirit in her friend Mary. Had Erskine sought to win the favor of Edith, a man like Ashton would have proved no rival. But Erskine evinced no disposition to show her any thing more than ordinary polite attentions, and with an inward sigh, she suffered the heart which shrunk at first with instinctive repugnance, to turn with its affections toward Ashton.

Vain with the thought of having so imposing and beautiful a woman as Edith for a wife, Ashton did not stop to inquire whether there was a relative fitness for mutual happiness, but pressed his suit with ardor, and won her consent before the half-bewildered girl had time for reflection. Friends, who understood the character of the young man, interposed their influence to save Edith from a connection that promised little for the future; but their interposition came too late. She was betrothed, and neither could nor would listen to a word against the man with whom she had chosen to cast her lot in life.

A brilliant and beautiful girl, Edith was led to the altar by one, who, as a man, was her equal in external attractions; but he was far from possessing her pure, true, loving heart. It did not take many months to lift the veil that had fallen before the eyes of Edith. Gradually the quality of her husband’s mind began to manifest itself—and sad, indeed, was her spirit, at times, when these manifestations were more distinct than usual.

The experience of a single year was painful in the extreme. The young wife not only found herself neglected, but treated with what she felt to be direct unkindness. She had discovered that her husband was selfish; and though, to the world, he showed a polished exterior, she had found him wanting in the finer feelings she had fondly believed him to possess. Moreover, he was a mere sensualist, than which nothing is more revolting to a pure-minded woman. External attractions had brought them together, but these had failed to unite them as one.

No wonder that, in such a marriage, a few years robbed the cheeks of Edith of their roundness and bloom, and her eyes of their beautiful light. Those who met her, no longer remarked upon her loveliness, but rather spoke of the great change so short a period had wrought. A certain respect for himself caused Ashton to assume the appearance of kindness toward his wife, when any one was present; but at other times he manifested the utmost indifference. They had three children, and love for these held them in a state of mutual toleration and forbearance.

Ill health was the understood reason for the change in Edith’s manner and appearance. Few, if any, knew the real cause. Few imagined that the fountain of her affections had become sealed, or only poured forth its waters to sink in an arid soil. In society she made an effort to be companionable and cheerful for the sake of others; and at home, with her children, she strove to be the same. But, oh! what a weary, hopeless life she led; and but for the love of her little ones, she would have died.

Mary Graham was united to Mr. Erskine, shortly after the union of Edith with Mr. Ashton—and it was a true marriage. A just appreciation of internal qualities had drawn them together, and these proved, as they ever do, permanent bonds.

Mary and Edith had retained a tender regard for each other, and met frequently. But in all their intercourse, with true womanly delicacy, Edith avoided all allusion to her own unhappy state, although there were times when her heart longed to unburden itself to one so truly a sympathizing friend.

One evening—it was ten years from the time of Edith’s marriage—her husband came home in his usual cold and indifferent way; and while they sat at the tea-table, something that she said excited his anger, and he replied in most harsh and cutting words. This was no unusual thing. But it so happened that Edith’s feelings were less under her control than usual, and she answered the unkindness with a gush of tears. This only tended to irritate her unfeeling husband, who said, in a sneering tone,

“A woman’s tears don’t lie very deep. But it’s lost time to use them on me. I’ll go where I can meet cheerful faces.”

And then rising from the table, he put on his hat and left the house to spend his evening, as usual, in more congenial society.

Edith dried her tears as best she could, and going to her chamber, sought, by an effort of reason, to calm her agitated feelings. But such an effort for a woman, under such circumstances, must, as in this case, ever be fruitless. Calmness of spirit only comes after a more passionate overflow of grief. When this had subsided, Edith remembered that she had promised Mrs. Erskine, who lived only two or three doors away, to come in and spend the evening. Had she consulted her feelings now, she would have remained at home, but as she would be expected, she rallied her spirits as much as was in her power, and then went in to join her friend.

How different was the home of Mary to that of Edith. Mutual love reigned there. The very atmosphere was redolent of domestic bliss. Mr. Erskine was away when Edith joined Mary, and they sat and talked together for an hour before he returned. A short time before Edith intended going home, he came in, with his ever cheerful face, and after greeting her cordially, turned to his wife, and spoke in a voice so full of tenderness and affection, that Edith felt her heart flutter and the tears steal unbidden to her eyes. It was so different from the way her husband spoke. The contrast caused her to feel more deeply, if possible, than ever, her own sad, heart-wrung lot.

Rising suddenly, for she felt that she was losing the control of her feelings, Edith excused herself, and hastily retired. Mary saw that something had affected her friend, and, with a look, made her husband comprehend the fact also. He remained in the drawing-room, while Mary passed with Edith into the hall, where they paused for a moment, looking into each other’s faces. Neither said a word, but Edith laid her face down upon the bosom of her friend, and sobbed passionately.

“What is it that pains you, Edith?” Mary asked, in a low, tender voice, as soon as her friend had wept herself into calmness.

Edith raised her face, now pale and composed, and pushing back with her hand a stray ringlet that had fallen over her cheek, said, with a forced but sad smile,

“Forgive my weakness, dear—I could not help it. A full heart will at times run over. But, good-night—good-night!”

And Edith hurried away.

A few years more and the history of a hopeless, weary life was closed. Is the moral of this history hard to read? No; all may comprehend it.





    Vain our hopes with pleasure glowing,

      False the light ambition burns,

    Swift the tide of time is flowing,

      And the dial quickly turns.


    Mark the flowers how they wither,

      As the north winds pass them by,

    And the sparrow passing thither

      At the falcon’s luring cry:


    So our movements straight are bearing

      Courses to the silent grave,

    All alike its terrors sharing,

      E’en the monarch and the slave.


    From its verge there’s no retreating,

      Wayward, helpless masses throng;

    Nature’s wheels are still repeating

      Revolutions swift and strong.


    Onward with the current rushing

      Atoms and their kindred blend;

    Worlds to dust in fragments crushing,

      As they proximate the end.


    Thus all things, in perfect keeping,

      Point direct to that dread day

    When the trump shall wake the sleeping,

      And this orb shall fade away:


    When the planets wildly rolling,

      As by Heaven’s fierce lightnings hurled,

    Thunders deep, like curfew’s tolling

      Requiems of the dying world:


    Then shall join, in quick succession,

      Stars, celestial bodies, all,

    Form the trembling, vast procession

      At their Maker’s final call.





[It is related of Justin Martyr that, while a young man, walking upon a certain occasion on the seashore near Alexandria, and meditating doubtfully on the immortality of the soul, he met a stranger of venerable appearance, who accosted him, and discovering the subject of his thoughts, revealed to him the doctrines of the Gospel on that subject. Justin shortly after embraced Christianity—became one of the brightest ornaments of the church—and suffered martyrdom at Rome, at a very advanced age. From this text the following sketch was produced, which may be considered rather as a fanciful outline of what might have befallen any Christian in the days of Rome’s fierce domination, than as faithfully following the history of any real personage.]


The sun was setting over the wide waste of sand which surrounded the ancient city of the great Alexander. The sultry heat of a summer day was beginning to give place to a refreshing coolness. All was calm and still—the bustle of the mighty city, faintly heard in the distance, seemed to enhance the quiet of the solitary shore upon which walked one alone and in deep thought. He was a man in his youthful prime, but clad in the grave robes of one devoted to the study of philosophy, and his face was marked with the lines of much thought and study. Sometimes he moved slowly on, his eyes fixed on the sand which the retiring tide had left a firm and even footing. Anon he paused to look at the play of the little waves, as they came murmuring in, and curled their light foam over the last traces of his footsteps. Far as the eye could reach, the blue waters of the Mediterranean spread themselves, scarcely agitated by the faint breeze, and reflecting, in a long line of undulating light, the glory of the setting sun. As the bright luminary sunk, the eye of the wanderer rested on it, and a shade of deep melancholy gathered over his face.

“Another day thou hast fulfilled thy task, O sun! and done thy Makers bidding—again thou hidest thyself in the ocean’s bosom, to arise to-morrow with renewed splendor. Thou art no enigma, to give the lie to all the conclusions of philosophy. Clear as thy light is the purpose for which thou wast hung on high; steady as thy Maker’s will is thy bright obedience. Thou fulfillest thy destiny—but man, man—I and such as I—alas! we but resemble these useless waves which foam out their little moment and vanish on the barren sand. Alas! shall it never be that we shall find a solution of the mystery of our being? How aimless, how useless, appears our existence. Confined to this narrow stage, how vain are our mighty energies, our inexhaustible wishes, our infinite hopes. Where now,” he exclaimed, as turning to retrace his steps, his eye was caught by the towers and temples of the distant city, lit by the sun with transitory splendor, “where now is the mighty hero who founded yonder city? He is gone forever from the stage of being, as little regarded or remembered as the dust which the hurrying crowd tramples in its streets. O for some certainty, some assurance that this life is not all; that hereafter permitted to awake from the sleep of death, man shall yet fill a part worthy of his mighty spirit, shall yet find in infinite perfection an object on which to expend those treasures of thought and feeling which corrode hidden here in his heart, or are wasted on idols as vain as yonder vapor which rises from the sea.”

Absorbed in mediation, he had not perceived until now that another was approaching, walking at a slow pace along the margin of the sea. As the stranger came nearer, the young philosopher could not avoid observing him with interest. He was apparently very aged. Long locks of white hair streamed on his shoulders and mingled with the hair of a beard equally as white. His robe was arranged with careful soberness, and in his hand he carried a staff, though his erect and firm figure did not seem to need its support. In his clear, bright eye, his ruddy cheek and benign expression, appeared intelligence, health and goodness, all the beauty of a green old age, all the charm of the fully ripened autumn of life. As they drew nearer each other, the stranger looked earnestly on the young philosopher, who regarded him with increasing interest.

“Dost thou know me, my son,” said the old man, at length, “that thou lookest on me so earnestly?”

The young man bowed reverently as he answered.

“No, father; but I wondered to see one like thee here at such an hour.”

“I am here,” replied the stranger, “to meet one who promised to be with me at this place. But what, my son, brings thee to this lonely spot, when yonder busy city is thronged with whatsoever can minister to pleasure or the thirst of knowledge?”

“It is therefore I am here; for it is when alone with the great Author of Nature, among his works, that we can best seek that highest wisdom which is learned only by meditating on His nature and the end of our being. The fountains of divine philosophy may be found even here in the cold sea-sand.”

“Alas! my son, and if they be, of what avail shalt thou find them? The sand upon which the showers descend vainly for centuries, is not more barren nor more unstable than that philosophy of which thou makest thy boast.”

“I boast not—I am but a seeker after Truth.”

“Ay, so say all you philosophers; but what profit shalt thou have of that truth which cannot be practiced in life, nor console thee at death?”

“My father, it was but now that I lamented to myself my own useless and aimless existence, and the vanity of those speculations wherewith we strive in vain to pierce the mystery of our being. There are moments when that foundation of reason on which I build my hopes of eternal life seems to shift beneath my feet, as unstable as this sand; when life and its purposes, death and its consequences, seem to me a mystery more unfathomable than yonder sea. What assurance have I that my existence will not terminate like that of the beasts which perish? What certainty that, with my mortal frame, this spirit which I feel within me shall not also die and disappear forever? It is true, there are many probabilities that the soul is immortal, nature and reason seem alike to teach that it is so, but still I have no assurance, still that mighty hope at times seems vain, often it is eclipsed entirely, and my soul is shrouded in darkness.”

“My son, what wouldst thou give to one who could give thee an assurance, a positive certainty, that thy hopes of immortality are not vain?”

“Did there exist one able to give me that assurance I would deem the devotion of my whole life a poor return for so vast a blessing. But thou mockest me with so vain a hope. No created being is able to give me such assurance, or is worthy of belief did he promise it. No—the great Maker of my spirit alone can reveal to me if it be immortal; but where shall I seek him to ask for that revelation? He is to be found only in his own works, and I can but go back to that school, and strive by meditation on Him to strengthen my spirit in the only faith which gives any value to life.”

The stranger regarded the young man with a long and wistful gaze.

“Wouldst thou believe me, my son, were I to tell thee that I possess that assurance? that I am as firmly convinced of my existence after death, as I am that I am now a living, breathing man? that I feel an absolute certainty that you and I will meet, immortal spirits, before the throne of God, who is the Judge of all men?”

The young philosopher smiled mournfully, regarding the aged man with a look of affectionate pity.

“Thou thinkest now that this is delusion, but it is a truth, a hope full of immortality. Listen, my son; has God left himself without a witness of his own existence? Is it not written on the heavens and on the earth in characters as clear as the light that he is, and that his hand hath made all these things? Behold the sun which performs his daily task so perfectly, the stars which write all over the heavens the story of God’s glory. Go forth into the field and behold his work. See him preparing the bright cloud, which the winds gently upheave, from whose bosom drops the softening shower—how richly the grass springs in the valley—how the golden grain steals splendor from the sunbeam which has smiled on it so long—how his hand is ever at work providing for the wants of his creatures, and ever reminding men by this silent ministry that he is the Author and Giver of every good and perfect gift. If God hath so clearly revealed the great truth of his own existence, is it not reasonable to suppose that he hath in like manner revealed to man that truth concerning his own destiny which it is most important for him to know?”

“That it is, indeed,” replied the young philosopher, “on which we build our hopes. It is reasonable, and it may be hoped that God will yet make such a revelation—but, alas! it is only a hope.”

“My son, my son, it is no longer a faint, uncertain hope, it is a matter of perfect certainty, and if thou wilt abide by my words thou wilt find it so, and it shall give thee, after a season, a peace past all understanding. If thou wilt but submit thyself to God’s teaching thou shalt no longer grope as the blind at noonday, but a light above the brightness of the heavens shall shine into thy soul.”

The young man bowed his head, and crossed his arms upon his breast, as he sadly replied, “God’s teaching—but where, O, my father, may it be found, save where I have vainly sought—among his works?”

The old man, without reply, drew a manuscript from his bosom, and laying his hand on the arm of the other they walked forward together over the smooth sand, while he read aloud high and burning words, which the ear of his companion drank eagerly in. Upon that silent shore, in the still evening air, arose that clear voice, uttering to the astonished sense of the young heathen philosopher the argument of Paul the Apostle, in which he persuades the Corinthians of the resurrection of the dead. He read on and the other listened as one in a dream, and the sun had gone down over the wide sea and outspread sands where they walked alone, and one silver star came forth in the west, the lovely Vesper, and looked at its image in the quiet wave, as the old man read, with tears which would not be restrained, the mighty conclusion, “O Death, where is thy sting? O Grave, where is thy victory?”



Behold another scene in the shifting panorama of a life. In a poor and humble chamber, on a mean couch, lay one dying. It is evening, and he is alone. Fearfully sounds the gasping breath and the low moan, terrible is the look cast upward in anguish. The hurrying tread of the busy multitude is heard without, the sound of music and merry voices, and trampling of steeds and rattling of wheels, and still he lies there alone. He is aged and poor, and his kindred have forsaken him, for the heathen creed taught nothing better than the leaving such as he to struggle alone with the last enemy. The light of evening waxes fainter and fainter, and now a step is heard on the threshold, and a form enters, dimly seen in the fading twilight. It is the same we beheld on the seashore hearkening to the words of eternal life. The seed there sown germinated soon under the culture of that faithful teacher. In that heart it found a good soil, and it sprung up, and bore fruits manifold of faith and temperance and heavenly wisdom. That divine word taught him to seek his suffering fellow mortals and minister to their necessities. This was not his first visit to this poor dying man, and he was welcomed even now with joy and gratitude. How gently did he smooth the pillow, how tenderly support the sinking frame, how kindly bathe the brow and wet the parched lips. Philosophy had not taught him this. O, no! occupied in high meditation, she swept past the couch of suffering humanity; “commercing with the skies,” she forgot that man’s mission is to his fellow man, and that his life’s business is to do, not altogether to think. Christ had taught this young disciple a new, a different and a better lesson; and he sat there now, patient and humble beside the dying man, regarding him, not as an atom, soon to be swept from an aimless existence, but as an immortal spirit shaking off encumbering clay and preparing for a new and glorious state of being. With his own hands the young Christian lighted the little rude lamp which hung from the ceiling, and sat down on a low stool by the bed-side, and drawing a manuscript from the folds of his robe, read aloud the same hallowed words he had first heard on the seashore in the still twilight of a summer evening long past away. Sometimes he paused to add a word of comment or explanation, and when he had finished reading, he kneeled down to pray. He was famed even then in the schools of philosophy. He had been the envy of his fellow-disciples in the academic grove for his profound wisdom and various learning. But had one of those fellow-students stood there and beheld him, he would have scorned him. He kneeled on the stone-floor. The dim light of the lamp fell on his bowed head and long, dark robe, and lit faintly the couch of the dying beggar. The only sounds to be heard were the voice of earnest, heartfelt prayer, and the quick breathing which told that life was ebbing fast with him for whom that prayer was offered with trembling accents and tears fast falling. But, ah! there was a presence there better than philosophy, greater than Plato, holier than Socrates, “higher than the kings of the earth,” even of Him “that sitteth on the circle of the heavens,” and saith “To this man will I look—even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.”

The whole night through the young Christian was a patient watcher by the bed of death. Once he had wasted the midnight oil in the study of vain wisdom and false philosophy, utterly forgetful that thousands lay all about him perishing in ignorance and misery. Now how rich was his reward when the glazing eye opened with a gleam of intelligence, and the pale lips murmured the sweet hope of pardon, or strove to frame the language of some remembered promise from the word of God. The noise of the great city had long ago subsided. Solemn, indeed, was the stillness; and the spirit of that faithful watcher almost quailed when the King of Terrors laid hold of his victim with the last, inexorable grasp. Long did he struggle in that savage hold with agony not to be described. At last it was over, and he lay calm and scarcely breathing. The beams of the cold, pale dawn stole in and dimmed “the ineffectual fire,” of the lamp, as the young man bent over that form to ascertain if life yet lingered in it. As he did so the dying eyes opened. How full of consolation was that look! He pressed the hand that still held his; a faint, sweet smile stole over his face, and he whispered in a tone so low that the eager ear of the listener could scarcely catch it. “Thanks be unto God who giveth us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord!” They were the last words. As the golden sun rose once more to light the towers and temples of the city, he sent one rich beam into that humble chamber. The Christian was alone with the dead now. He had composed the body in decent order with his own hands, and reverently covered it over. The face was still visible, but no distortion was there; the lips were gently closed, and the eyes, as if in slumber; the white locks fell quietly down over the hollow temples and wasted cheeks, and over all was written the fulfillment of the promise, “Thou shalt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed upon Thee.” Awful is the presence of Death always; and when he has set his seal on the aged servant of God, there is a holiness there which every human spirit must bow down before. No matter how rude the form, how coarse the features—with his plastic hand he moulds them into lines of superhuman grandeur. He robs the face of the hues of life, and it becomes as pure as marble. He touches the white hair, and it falls into beautiful repose. He breathes on the distorted brow and smoothes every wrinkle. We know that the messenger who has wrought this wondrous change is none other than the servant of God, that he is the last commissioned of the ministering spirits to the earthly tabernacle, that he hath no more that he can do, and he compels us to look on his handiwork and stand in awe.

Long did the young Christian gaze on the face of the dead with solemn thoughts and unuttered prayers—not, indeed, for the departed spirit, for he knew that with that his business was accomplished and over for ever—but for himself, that his latter end might be such. His thoughts, not unnaturally, went forward into the distant future, and speculated on his own dying hour, and he wondered what might be its accompaniments. He prayed that it might be as peaceful as this he had just witnessed, that he might descend into the grave as a shock of corn fully ripe; that he might lie down with the sweet consciousness that his work was done, and his reward sure. With no unhallowed curiosity did he strive to pierce the future, but had some evil genius been permitted at that moment to lift the veil which hid his own death-scene, how would he have shrunk and shuddered, and his yet young faith fainted in the contemplation.



It was a bright, busy day in Imperial Rome. Never had her resplendent sun shone more brightly on her marble palaces, her gorgeous temples, her lovely groves and gardens. The scented air stole in through open windows, where sat secluded lovely damsels and noble matrons; and it wantoned, too, over humbler homes, where little children played and sung and shouted joyously. It fanned the cheek of the pale student, as he paced the lonely grove in silent meditation, and lightly touched the troubled brow of the orator as he took his way to the forum. It wooed the captive, in his cell, to dream of freedom and long-remembered home. In the streets were heard quick footsteps, and loud, merry voices. Traffic went on in the crowded mart, and pleasure was pursued in the luxurious halls of the noble. Here, flower-crowned guests reclined at the banquet, listening to sweet music, while yonder the squalid miser counted his gold, and there a fair young mother smiled upon her children. Just the same passions crowded into human hearts that day, just the same delusions were followed, the same pleasures felt, and the same griefs deplored on that bright day in Imperial Rome, as now agitate, or delight, or torture us who have beheld that great city a living tomb.

While all this went on in the fresh air and sunshine of a summer-day, far down, beneath the earth which upheld the city, were other and sadder sights. In those terrible caverns, which run in veins of darkness under its foundations, which travelers now fearfully explore by torch-light, human beings, guilty of no crime but that of bearing the name of Christians, were shut up, expecting, hoping no release until summoned to a frightful death. In a solitary cell, small, damp and noisome, lighted by a dim lamp, an aged man sat alone. It is easy to picture to ourselves the hideous gloom, the walls sweating unwholesome vapors, the oppressive thickness of the air, never stirred by a fresh breath from heaven, the jar of water and mouldy crust, the miserable garments, the pallid face and emaciated form of a prisoner in such a place. It is less easy to guess what might be the thoughts of one sitting there in expectation of an instant summons to execution. More than seventy years had laid their weight upon him. His hair was quite white, but his eye was bright and beaming, his whole countenance informed with a noble, thoughtful expression, and beautified, despite of man’s cruelty, with benevolence. It was plainly to be seen that only the outer tabernacle of the spirit was suffering and declining, while that within was burning brighter and higher as the mortal part drew toward extinction. He knows that his days are numbered, but he meditates peacefully on the change which awaits him. He knows that his death will be painful and ignominious, but he knows not yet the exact manner of it—at least, it will be the end of his long course, and then remain only the reward and rest. He has now nearly arrived at a long-desired period, and he finds all the sweetness of that immortal hope which first dawned upon his soul on the seashore beside far-distant Alexandria. It seems as if that glorious faith could only be known in its perfection of consolation in such a dungeon, and awaiting such a doom; and promise after promise from the word of God comes upon his memory, making that living grave “all glorious within.” Yea, it will be a blessed change. To-day he will be done forever with sin and sorrow, and to-morrow he will be “where the wicked cease from troubling.” To-day he will take farewell of a world lying in wickedness, and to-morrow will behold him a companion of “just men made perfect.” To-day he will quit his dungeon and miserable garments, and wear to-morrow a crown of glory and robes of righteousness.

As these promises and hopes crowded upon his mind, his meditation was disturbed by a long, low, sullen roar, which seemed to shake the ground he rested on. He started up with anguish and terror in his face. He listened. Again it came, distincter than before, with a sharper, deeper cadence. He shuddered visibly, and his face grew paler in the dim light, and large drops of sweat broke out upon his forehead. The third time it was repeated, and then all was silent. He listened long, with strained ear and eye, which seemed to pierce his dungeon walls; but he heard no more. He sunk back, and covering his face prayed in an agony. Now, too well he knew what was to be his doom. He had heard the voice of his executioner. It was the desert lion roaring for his prey. Now he remembered that in these caverns were confined the Christians reserved for martyrdom, and, in still lower cells, the wild beasts to which they were to be surrendered in the bloody amphitheatre. It is no wonder that mortal terror, for a season, took possession of the soul of the aged Christian. He shrunk with unutterable horror when he thought of the savage beast, rendered fiercer by protracted hunger; of the crowded amphitheatre, the gazing eyes, the exulting shouts, the unpitying human hearts. It was long before he could bring himself to look beyond these and upward to Him who sat enthroned on high and watched tenderly the falling sparrow. He was a Christian hero, but he was also a man. His sensitive human frame, his natural human will shuddered and revolted at the execution of this frightful doom, and it was not until hours had passed, and he had wrestled mightily in prayer, that he learned to contemplate it calmly. Then great consolations were vouchsafed him; his crown glittered bright before him; the passage to death was shown him as short, though terrible, the hereafter, long, long and glorious, even glory forever and ever. Above all he was shown the cross; and, O, how inexpressibly dear was the Lord who hung there; and how sweet was that most beautiful of all the promises, “God himself shall wipe away all tears.”

It needs not to tell how his furious jailors burst in upon his solitude. How they dragged him to the arena. How, when the blindness from the intolerable sunlight had passed, he beheld the crowded rank on rank of eager spectators, and heard the shout which greeted a fresh victim. He looked upward to the clear, blue sky, where soft, lovely clouds floated here and there, and he inhaled the sweet, elastic air. There was the usual offer of reprieve, pardon, life, at the cost of a single act of idolatry. There was heard at the same instant, the savage roar of the hungry lion, now kept near in waiting for his prey. There was the shout of triumph when that last offer was refused, calmly, contemptuously. Then he quickly found himself alone in the vast arena. Other victims had been there before him. He saw the blood, hastily and slightly covered—he looked round once more; alas! there was no human eye to pity, and no hand to spare. With a bound the mighty beast was in the arena, and close upon him.

It was soon over. This was the conclusion of the day’s spectacle, and plebeian and patrician Romans were on their way homeward, talking of this and that, merrily, carelessly; and the so lately crowded Amphitheatre was solitary and deserted. But the sun, with his mighty eye, looked down upon the guilty spot, and his hot beam drank up a portion of the fresh blood, and the winds of heaven sighed round it, and the clouds came and cast their shadows over it; and centuries have passed since then, and still the sun and winds and clouds have gone about it, day after day, and still the eye of God beholds, and its dumb walls and crumbling arches cry aloud for vengeance.


THE RAIL. (Rallus. Linnæus.)

Taken altogether, the generic characters of the several kinds of Rail may be stated to be as follows: the bill longer than the head, straight or slightly curved, compressed at the base, and cylindrical toward the tips, the upper mandible channeled, the nostrils opening longitudinally at the base of the bill in the grooves, open through and through, but in part closed with membrane; legs very stout, bare of feathers to some distance above the tarsal joints, with three long toes to the front and one to the rear, articulated on the tarsus, the front toes free or divided to their bases; the wings of mean length and rounded, the first quill being shorter than the second, and the third and fourth the longest in the wing.

The Clapper Rail, or Mud Hen, is one of the most remarkable, and like its relative, the Corncrake of England, makes its note heard all the night long. It is fourteen inches in length and eighteen in the stretch of the wings; the bill is two inches and a quarter long, slightly bent, and of a reddish-brown color; the upper part is black, and streaked with dull brown; the chin and streak over the eye are brownish-white; the fore neck and breast are reddish-brown; the flanks and vent black, with white tips to the feathers; the coverts of the wings are dark chestnut-brown, and the tail-feathers and quills dusky, without any margins; the legs are dull brown, and the irides dark red. This species is very common, during the summer, through all the latitudes of the United States, keeping near the sea-coast, as it prefers the salt marshes to the waters of the interior. It is a very noisy bird, especially during the night and before rain, which are, of course, the times when the molusca crustacea, and other small animals, upon which it feeds in the marshes, are in the greatest activity, and most easy to be obtained.

Wilson’s account of the casualties to which it is exposed in the breeding season, is so graphic, that we shall in part quote it. “About the twentieth of May,” he says, “they usually begin building and laying at the same time; the first egg being usually dropped in a slight cavity lined with a little dry grass pressed for the purpose, which, as the eggs increase to their usual complement, is gradually added to till it rises to the height of twelve inches or more, doubtless to secure it from the rising of the tides. Over this the long, salt grass is artfully arched, to conceal it from the view above; but this very circumstance enables the experienced egg-hunter to distinguish the spot at the distance of thirty or forty yards, though, imperceptible to a common eye. The eggs are of a pale clay color, sprinkled with small spots of dark red, and measure somewhat more than an inch and a half in length by an inch in breadth, being rather obtuse at the small end. These eggs are delicious eating, far surpassing those of the domestic hen. The height of laying is about the first of June, when the people of the neighborhood go to the marshes an egging, as it is so called. So abundant are the nests of this species, and so dexterous some persons at finding them, that one hundred dozen of eggs have been collected by one man in a day. At this time the crows, the minx, and the foxes, come in for their share, but, not content with the eggs, these last often seize and devour the parents also. The bones, feathers, wings, &c., of the poor mud hen lie in heaps by the hole of the minx, by which circumstance, however, he himself is often detected and destroyed.” It seems as if the very elements were in conspiracy against these birds; they “are subject to another calamity of a more extensive kind; after the greater part of the eggs are laid there sometimes happen violent north-east tempests that drive a great sea into the bay, covering the whole marshes; so that at such times the Rail may be seen in hundreds floating over the marsh in great distress; many escape to the main land, and vast numbers perish. On an occasion of this kind I have seen, at one view, thousands in a single meadow, walking about exposed and bewildered, while the dead bodies of the females, who perished on or near their nests, were strewed along the shore. The last circumstance shows how strong the tie of maternal affection is in these birds, for, of the great number which I picked up and opened, not one male was to be found among them, all were females; such as had not yet begun to sit probably escaped. These disasters do not prevent the survivors from recommencing the work of laying and building anew; and instances have occurred in which their eggs have been twice destroyed by the sea, and yet in two weeks the nests and eggs seemed as numerous as ever. If all is well, the young are soon able to run about, which they do with great swiftness, and tread the grass and other marsh plants with wonderful dexterity. They can swim in smooth water, though they are, of course, ill able to contend with an inbreak of the sea. Swimming is a much more severe action in them, however, than in birds which have the feet webbed or lobed; though they strike powerfully, their stroke tells but little upon the water; and the rapidity of their stroke proves their distrust of that element—their feet are for the land, not for the water, and on the level ground and the leaves of floating plants, they run with astonishing rapidity.”

The Virginian or Lesser Clapper Rail is scarcely distinguishable from the true Clapper, except by its reduced size; and in every part of America it appears to be a somewhat rare species. It confines itself to the fresh-water marshes, and thereby escapes many of the mishaps which befall its relative. This circumstance also has caused the people of New Jersey to bestow upon it the name of the Fresh Water Mud Hen, and renders it not unknown on the bogs and swampy grounds near the Ohio and Mississippi. Their flesh is not inferior to that of the Soree, but their diminutive size renders them little sought after as game. The Soree or Common Rail of America, than which, perhaps, none affords a more delicious repast, or more agreeable amusement, is now before us.

CAROLINA RAIL. (Crex Carolinus. Bonaparte.)

The natural history of the Rail, or Soree, or Coot, as it is called in the Carolinas, is involved in much mystery, the process of incubation being still more unknown than the exact places where it is effected. The general character of the Sorees is the same as that of the two other species of Rail already mentioned. They run swiftly, fly slowly, and usually with the legs hanging down, become extremely fat, prefer running to flying, and are extremely fond of concealment. In Virginia, along the shores of the James River, the inhabitants take advantage of the effect produced upon the Rail by fright much in the following fashion. A mast is erected in a light canoe, surmounted by a grate, in which is a quantity of fire. The person who manages the canoe is provided with a light paddle, and at night, about an hour before high tide, proceeds through and among the reeds. The birds stare with astonishment at the light, and as they appear, are knocked on the head with the paddle and thrown into the boat. Three negroes have been known to kill from twenty to eighty dozen in the space of three hours. The reeds attain their full growth along the shores of the Delaware in August, when the Rail resort to them in great numbers to feed upon the seeds, of which they, as well as the Rice Birds, are excessively fond. The eloquent Wilson, than whom no one could more enjoy the pleasures of Rail-shooting, thus speaks of the sport: “As you walk along the bank of the river at this period, you hear them squeaking in every direction like young puppies. If a stone be thrown among the reeds, there is a general outcry and reiterated kuk, kuk, kuk, something like that of a Guinea-fowl. Any sudden noise, or the discharge of a gun, produces the same effect. In the meantime none are to be seen, unless it be at or near high water; for, when the tide is low, they universally secrete themselves among the interstices of the reeds, and you may walk past, and even over them, where there are hundreds, without seeing a single individual. On their first arrival they are generally lean, and unfit for the table, but as the reeds ripen they rapidly fatten, and from the twentieth of September to the middle of October, are excellent, and eagerly sought after. The usual method of shooting them in this quarter of the country is as follows: The sportsman furnishes himself with a light batteau, and a stout, experienced boatman, with a pole of twelve or fifteen feet long, thickened at the lower end to prevent it from sinking too deep into the mud. About two hours or so before high-water they enter the reeds, and each takes his post, the sportsman standing in the bow ready for action, the boatman on the stern-seat pushing her steadily through the reeds. The Rail generally spring singly, as the boat advances, and at a short distance ahead, are instantly shot down, while the boatman, keeping his eye on the spot where the bird fell, directs the boat forward and picks it up as the gunner is loading. It is also the boatman’s business to keep a sharp look-out, and give the word ‘Mark!’ when a Rail springs on either side without being observed by the sportsman, and to note the exact spot where it falls until he has picked it up; for this, once lost sight of, owing to the sameness in the appearance of the reeds, is seldom found again. In this manner the boat moves steadily through and over the reeds, the birds flushing and falling, the gunner loading and firing, while the boatman is pushing and picking up. The sport continues till an hour or two after high-water, when the shallowness of the water, and the strength and weight of the floating reeds, and also the backwardness of the game to spring as the tide decreases, oblige them to return. Several boats are sometimes within a short distance of each other, and perpetual cracking of musketry prevails along the whole reedy shores of the river. In these excursions it is not uncommon for an active and expert marksman to kill ten or twelve dozen in a tide. They are usually shot singly, though I have known five killed at one discharge of a double-barreled piece. These instances are rare. The flight of these birds among the reeds is usually low; and shelter being abundant, is rarely extended to more than fifty or one hundred yards. When winged and uninjured in their legs, they swim and dive with great rapidity, and are seldom seen to rise again. I have several times on such occasions discovered them clinging with their feet to the reeds under the water; and at other times skulking under the floating reeds with their bill just above the surface. Sometimes, when wounded, they dive, and rising under the gunwale of the boat, secrete themselves there, moving round as the boat moves until they have an opportunity of escaping unnoticed. They are feeble and delicate in every thing but the legs, which seem to possess great vigor and energy, and their bodies being so remarkably thin or compressed as to be less than an inch and a quarter through transversely, they are enabled to pass between the reeds like rats. Yet though their flight among the reeds seems feeble and fluttering, every sportsman who is acquainted with them here must have seen them occasionally rising to a considerable height, stretching out their legs behind them, and flying rapidly across the river where it is more than a mile in width.”

PURPLE GALLINULE. (Gallinula Porphyrio. Wilson.)

Before concluding this article, we would say a few words in behalf of the Gallinule, called, from its resemblance to the domestic fowl, the Water Hen. In respect to manners, it is, according to Latham, a very docile bird, being easily tamed and feeding with the common poultry, scratching the ground with the foot like the latter. It will feed on many things, such as roots of plants, fruits, and grain, but will eat fish with avidity, dipping them in the water before it swallows them; will frequently stand on one leg and lift the food to its mouth with the other, like a parrot. Its flesh is exquisite in taste. This bird was famous among the ancients under the name Porphyrion, indicating the red or purple tint of its bill and feet—a far more appropriate appellation than that now vulgarly applied to it. It is known to breed in Georgia, whose thick swamps favor the concealment to which it is partial. It is extremely vigilant and shy, and cannot be shot without great difficulty. They move with grace upon the water, and run with equal facility on the ground or on the leaves of water plants.





    I love! and ah, ’tis bliss to feel

      My breast no longer lone and cold;

    To know, though Time all else should steal,

      The heart can never all grow old!

    I love! and now I live again!

      The world looks brighter to my eyes;

    There is a gladness on the plain—

      A newer glory in the skies.


    I love! Her smile is o’er my path

      Like sunlight in sweet April hours:

    Her voice steals o’er me like the breath

      Of morning to half-withered flowers.

    I love! Ah she may never know

      How wild my love! I have no sigh—

    I have no word—nor look to show

      How much I’m blessed when she is nigh.


    And it is well!—my hapless love

      May never dare to ask return—

    Enough that her glad smiles may move

      My heart—I ask not hers to burn!

    Ah no. ’Tis better thus to meet

      With equal pulse and tranquil brow—

    Drink, through her eyes, delirium sweet.

      Can madness from such fountains flow?


    I know not! Dearest, still, oh still,

      “Look love upon me,” sweet and kind!—

    Let thy glad thought, in music, thrill

      Bright witchcraft through my longing mind.

    I clasp thee to my breast—in dreams!

      Thy lips rain kisses warm and fast—

    And I half hate the morning beams

      That scare thee to thy home at last.


    Thy “home!”—ah, would it ne’er had been—

      Thy home and mine are wide apart—

    The world’s grim shadow glooms between—

      And my life lives but where thou art.

    Ah, dearest, we’re not happy! Life

      Yields not the bliss ’twas meant to do:

    Discord might come of wrong and strife—

      Should sorrow spring from duty, too?


    Thou art not happy, dearest, thou!—

      A shade has fallen on thy young years;

    Thou art not happy: even now

      Thine eyes are full of unshed tears.

    And this our fate? My Life!—my “world!”—

      Too late beloved—too rarely seen—

    And we, as o’er Time’s tide we’re hurled,

      Can only say “WE MIGHT HAVE BEEN!”





    In every life there is a stream

      Whose waters flow,

    Dark as the current of a dream,

      And seem to throw

    On cup and hall and summer beam

      A sign of wo!


    In every life there is a ray

      That shineth still,

    From noon to night and night to day,

      Through every ill;

    And serves to light our solemn way

      Go where we will.


    Oh, traveler! of that stream beware

      Which cannot glow;

    It floweth only where a snare

      Is lying low,

    To deal upon thee unaware

      A fatal blow.


    Oh, traveler! seek that gentle ray

      Which constant gleams,

    So beautiful that none can say

      Like what it seems;

    The star predestined on thy way

      To throw its beams.


    For in that stream of leafless shade

      A fiend is hid;

    And on thy fall his heart is laid,

      Thy fall amid

    The sinner’s shriek and shroud and spade

      And coffin-lid.


    And in that ray so pure and bright

      A buoyant form,

    Will bear thee through the darkest night

      Away from harm;

    Swift as the rainbow’s graceful flight

      Out of the storm.


    Let fate be stern—let fortune fly—

      Their chastening rod

    Strikes not the soul whose strength is high

      Above its clod;

    Thy heart may bleed to breaking nigh—

      But trust in God!



“An humble appreciation of your powers might save you pain; but I doubt if your humility exceeds your knowledge. Fascinated by harmony of tone and grace of manner, you perceive not a deficiency in energy—a want of moral courage. You close your eyes against every token of an over-sensitiveness to ridicule, veiled beneath the more graceful cloak of fastidious taste. You will not understand that pride and weakness fashion a character which, however seemingly amiable in many other points, is not such as to repay the devotion of a woman’s love. A strong mind will make itself known; and where all is perfect harmony, no unmodulated tone, no sudden and impulsive movement, no springing into action, there is art, and that may not be trusted—or there is over-refinement, wasted powers, a trivial mind, without a noble aim—or there is weakness, which fears ridicule—a moral cowardice: or there is mediocrity, that cannot rise above the common herd—that dares not dare—that may pass unnoted in prosperity, but whose powers rise not in adversity. Such should not be throned in woman’s heart! He is not worthy woman’s tender, self-denying love, whom a sneer will change—a laugh will part—he will be found wanting—he will stand aloof when the faint heart turns to him for consolation. Wo to you! wo to you, especially if you trust such. You cannot always tread on flowers; choose one who can and will smooth down a rugged path. The gilded vessel, the child’s plaything, rides gayly on a glassy sea—but life is not a glassy sea; the storm must come. If you would reach the peaceful port, embark not in a summer yacht; select a ship that can abide the storm—a mind that can maintain its course—that struggles—and will conquer. Look there,” he continued, for she made no reply, taking up a highly finished drawing from the table, the performance showing more pains than genius, and contrasting it with a bold, free sketch which lay beside it, “there they are exactly, the one all harmony, or insipidity as I should call it; a model of weakness—highly finished—not a stroke wanting—complete as a whole—but how poor a whole! Without the possibility of amendment, too: deficient in energy—not a bold line: and were such put in it would be out of place—it would spoil the keeping. Now look on this! A bold and vigorous outline—the work of mind, seizing the attention: soul, not manner; thought, not mechanism; it may be filled up ill, but it may also be filled up well: there is the capability of greatness: there may be faults in the petty details, but the whole will compel admiration, and not weary in the survey. This other makes me yawn. Better choose the bold, the frank, the generous, with all his faults; he may be rash, unthinking, wasting the powers whose force he knows not; but the capabilities of amendment are within him. What say you to my exordium?”

It is great injustice to assert that delicacy of feeling is confined to the higher ranks, and is the offspring of refinement and education; these may nourish and increase, but they cannot give it. It is innate; the child of the untutored heart; the very essence of the beautiful: chained to no climate, bounded to no rank.

We have seen the wealthy, those who thought themselves the great ones of the earth, take leave of those of fallen fortunes with undimmed eye and steady voice, as though they knew not that there was cause for sorrow, guessed not that the heart was well nigh broken, and only stayed the expression of its grief that the cold gaze might not mock it. We have seen the lowly ones of earth, lowly in station, but how high in worth! part from the same; and the lip could not speak for the heart’s feeling; and the tears of the mourner, repressed before lest the cold should mock, mingled with theirs. The first passed on with stately step, and a cold offer of future service; the last plucked the only rose from the favorite tree, and placed it by the traveler’s cloak with a trembling hand and quivering lip. They thought that the traveler would prize it as a memorial of a once happy home. That single rose, and its kind and delicate giver, can they ever be forgotten? If all the memories of misfortune were like that who would not be unfortunate? What feeling so endearing, so ennobling as gratitude? Even love, though it may have more of beauty and brightness, is not so generous and so pure.

What a glorious day! Not a heavy cloud in all the sky, only a few fleecy forms floating across the rich blue vault, and the sun shining out in all its summer splendor, as though it had never shone before, looking down for the first time on the gladsome earth, instead of having run its course unnumbered years—undimmed in lustre—unimpaired in power.

Where are the works of man? his labors of the past? The eye looks on ruin; or time hath swept away even that poor trace; and a fable or tradition alone remains. But time hath no power over the Eternal or the works of His hands—itself His slave.

Out! out! treading the green turf—lying on some flowery bank—dreaming beneath the leafy shade. Who would be pent up within four stone walls on such a day, when he could forth with the blue above and the green below, and a thousand gleesome things around? What though the walls are gilded, and the lofty ceiling fretted; the Persian carpet soft as the woodland moss; whilst the luxuries of art, the beauties of genius, lend their splendors with a gorgeous profusion? Still it is only a magnificent prison. We see but little of the blue heaven; scarcely more of the varied tints of earth. The air we breathe is close; and the heart flutters to be free, as the imprisoned butterfly on the first day of spring. Who would not rather go forth into the fresh, free air, than be a prisoner even in a gilded cage? And Nature, is she not more beautiful than Art? Doth not that beauty make the step more buoyant, and the heart more light?

How one loves a summer day with all its gentle glories its murmured music—its delicious fragrance—its warmth, gladdening, not oppressing, its soft and soothing air—its dreamy feel, its shadows and its lights—its brilliant visions and its stirring thoughts—and more, far more, its loving memories!


    My dwelling is no lordly hall,

      I rule no wide domain;

    No bending servants wait my call,

      No flatterers swell my train;

    But roses twine around my home,

      Bright smiles my presence greet;

    The woodland wild is mine to roam,

      Mine Summer’s odors sweet.

    No costly diamonds deck my hair,

      No cloth of gold have I;

    But gorgeous robes and jewels rare

      Stay not the sad heart’s sigh.

    Those gems might bind an aching brow,

      There is no pain in mine;

    Red gold might win a faithless vow,

      And I be left to pine.


It may seem perhaps a paradox to say that expectation is enjoyment. Nevertheless it is so on this earth. Fruition is for heaven. With the accomplishment of every desire there is so much of disappointment mingled that it cannot be really called enjoyment, for fancy always exercises itself upon the future; and when we obtain the hard reality for which we wished, the charms with which imagination decorated it are gone. Did we but state the case to ourselves as it truly is, whenever we conceive any of the manifold desires which lead us on from step to step through life, the proposition would be totally different from that which man forever puts before his own mind, and we should take one step toward undeceiving ourselves. We continually say, “if I could attain such an object, I should be quite contented.” But what man ought to say to himself is, “I believe this or that acquisition would give me happiness.” He would soon find that it did not do so; and the never-ceasing recurrence of the lesson might, in the end, teach him to ask what was the source of his disappointment? Was it that other circumstances in his own fate were so altered, even while he pursued the path of endeavor, as to render attainment no longer satisfactory?—was it that the object sought was intrinsically different when attained, from that which he had reasonably believed it to be while pursuing it?—or was it that his fancy had gilded it with charms not its own, and that he had voluntarily and blindly persuaded himself that it was brighter and more excellent than it was? Perhaps the answer, yes, might be returned to all these questions; but yet I fear the chief burden of deceit would rest with imagination, and that man would ever find he had judged of the future without sufficient grounds, and had suffered desire to stimulate hope, and hope to cheat expectation. Yet, perhaps, if he would but turn back and look behind, when disappointment and success had been obtained together, he would find that the pleasures lasted in the pursuit, especially at the time when fruition was drawing nearer and nearer, would, in the sum, make up the amount of enjoyment which he had anticipated in possession.



    Bland as the morning breath of June

      The south-west breezes play;

    And through its haze the winter noon

      Seems warm as summer day.

    The snow-plumed angel of the north

      Has dropped his icy spear;

    Again the mossy earth looks forth,

      Again the streams gush clear.


    The fox his hill-side cell forsakes,

      The muskrat leaves his nook,

    The blue-bird in the meadow brakes

      Is singing with the brook.

    “Bear up, O Mother Nature!” cry

      Bird, breeze, and streamlet free,

    “Our winter voices prophesy

      Of summer days to thee!”


    So in the winters of the soul,

      By bitter blasts and drear,

    O’erswept, from memory’s frozen pole,

      Will sunny days appear,

    Reviving Hope and Faith, they show

      The soul its living powers,

    And low beneath the winter’s snow

      Lie gems of summer flowers.


    The night is mother of the day,

      The winter of the spring,

    And ever upon old decay

      The greenest mosses cling;

    Behind the cloud the starlight lurks,

      Through showers the sunbeams fall;

    For God, who loveth all his works,

      Has left his Hope with all.



What a strange power there is in silence! How many resolutions are formed—how many sublime conquests effected during that pause, when the lips are closed, and the soul secretly feels the eye of her Maker upon her! When some of those cutting, sharp, blighting words have been spoken which send the hot indignant blood to the face and head, if those to whom they are addressed keep silence, look on with awe, for a mighty work is going on within them, and the Spirit of Evil, or their Guardian Angel, is very near to them in that hour. During that pause they have made a step toward heaven or toward hell, and an item has been scored in the book which the day of judgment shall see opened. They are the strong ones of the earth, the mighty for good or for evil, those who know how to keep silence when it is a pain and a grief to them; those who give time to their own souls, to wax strong against temptation; or to the powers of wrath, to stamp upon them their withering passage.



        Life, believe, is not a dream

          So dark as sages say;

        Oft a little morning rain

          Foretells a pleasant day.

    Sometimes there are clouds of gloom,

      But these are transient all;

    If the shower will make the roses bloom,

      O why lament its fall?

          Rapidly, merrily,

        Life’s sunny hours flit by,

          Gratefully, cheerily,

        Enjoy them as they fly!


    What though Death at times steps in,

      And calls our best away?

    What though sorrow seems to win,

      O’er hope, a heavy sway?

    Yet hope again elastic springs,

      Unconquered, though she fell:

    Still buoyant are her golden wings,

      Still strong to bear us well.

        Manfully, fearlessly,

      The day of trial bear,

        For gloriously, victoriously,

      Can courage quell despair!


Vanity Fair, a Novel without a Hero. By W. M. Thackeray. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1 vol. 8vo.

This is one of the most striking novels of the season. It bears little resemblance in tone, spirit and object, to the other popular romances of the day. The author follows in the track of Fielding rather than Bulwer, and aims at representing the world as it is. Though his mind is not creative, it is eminently delineative, and he has succeeded in cramming into one volume a large variety of characters, each expressing one of the different forms of worldliness, and all belonging strictly to the world we live in. Though the novel thus relates exclusively to the world, and indicates a most remarkable knowledge of the selfish element in human nature, in the multitudinous modifications which that element receives from individual peculiarities, the general tone of the author himself is so far from being worldly, that it is distinguished by singular manliness, cheerfulness and generosity. There is nothing morbid, nothing of the hater or the sentimentalist in his representations. He trusts himself resolutely to the genuine emotions of the heart, but he guards himself against all superfine feelings and manufactured sentiment. His characters are so true that at first we are inclined to consider them commonplace. In their development, however, we soon find that the author is a master in his art, that without pretension and without exaggeration, he touches profound springs of thought and sentiment, and represents with a graceful decision, and in clear light, those evanescent and unconscious transpirations of character, in which a novelist’s capacity is most truly exhibited.

The animating spirit of the novel is that master-piece of address and cunning, little Becky Sharp. Tact and talent never had a worthier representative than this character. She indicates the extreme point of worldly success to which these qualities will carry a person, and also the impossibility of their providing against all contingencies in life. Becky steadily rises in the world, reaches a certain height, makes one inevitable mistake, and then as steadily falls, while many of her simple companions, whom she despises as weaklings, succeed from the very simplicity with which they follow the instinctive sagacity of pure and honest feeling. Colonel Rawdon Crawley, a brainless sensualist, whom Becky marries, and in some degree reforms, but who, by having an occasional twinkle of genuine sentiment in his heart, always was her superior, is drawn both with a breadth and a nicety of touch which is rare in such delineations. The exact amount of humanity which coexists with his rascality and stupidity, is given with perfect accuracy. Sir Pitt Crawley, coarse, uneducated, sordid, quarrelsome, his small, sharp mind an epitome of vulgar shrewdness, is a personation to force laughter from the lungs of a misanthrope. Old Mr. Sedley is a most truthful representation of a broken-down merchant, conceived in the spirit of that humane humor which blends the ludicrous and the pathetic in one. Joe Sedley, the East Indian, slightly suggests Major Bagstock. He has the major’s physical circumference, apoplectic turn and swell of manner, with the addition of Cockney vulgarity and cowardice. His retreat from Brussels, just before the battle of Waterloo, is described with the art of a comic Xenophan.

In the characters of George Osborne, Dobbin and Amelia, the author has succeeded admirably. They are wonderfully true to nature, and indicate even a finer power of characterization than is exhibited in the more strongly marked personages of the work.

The test of the excellence of a novel is the clearness with which its events and characters are remembered after it has been read. We think that Vanity Fair will bear this criterion. All its characters are recognized in memory as living beings, and we would refer to and quote them with as much confidence as to any of the acquaintances we hold in remembrance.

Life, Letters and Literary Remains of John Keats. Edited by Richard Moncton Milnes. New York: Geo. P. Putnam. 1 vol. 12mo.

This book, the long promised, has at last appeared, and we must confess that, from the time expended in its preparation, we expected a more satisfactory result. The biography, though written in a style of elaborate elegance, and pleasing enough as regards cadence of period and felicity of phrase, tells little about Keats which is new, and leaves many obscure passages of his life in the same darkness in which it found them. Nothing to the purpose is told of the lady who was the object of Keats’s passionate love, and who shares with consumption in being the dismal cause of his early death. Mr. Milnes points triumphantly to the new facts and private letters he has included in the volume, in proof that the common impression that Keats lacked manliness of character, is an error; but instead of proving that Keats was a strong man, he has very nearly proved that he himself is a sentimentalist. The characteristic of Keats is sensitiveness to external impressions, the characteristic of Milnes is sensitiveness to self; the page of one throngs with delicious sensations, but leaves no strong impression of character; that of the other is pervaded by a thoughtful ennui, and leaves an impression of egotistic weakness of character. Of course, Keats is the stronger man of the two, and a stronger man even than Milnes’s musical sentences indicate, but still not a strong man in the strict meaning of the phrase.

The letters of Keats are exceedingly interesting, and some of them fine specimens of brilliant epistolary composition, but we think there is a general tone of languid jauntiness observable in them, which shows a certain feebleness at the heart of his being. He seems a man whom every one would desire to see placed in happy circumstances, but not one who would bear bravely up under bad circumstances. The state of his finances occupies a good portion of his letters, and it is often very pleasantly stated. As early as 1817, he speaks of receiving a note for £20, and avows his intention of destroying with it “some of the minor heads of that hydra, the dun;” to conquer which he says, the knight need have no sword or shield, but only the “Bank-note of Faith and Cash of Salvation, and set out against the monster invoking the aid of no Archimago or Urganda, but finger me the paper, light as the Sybil’s leaves in Virgil, whereat the fiend skulks off with his tail between his legs. . . I think,” he adds, “I could make a nice little allegorical poem, called ”The Dun,“ where we would have the Castle of Carelessness, the Drawbridge of Credit, Sir Novelty Fashion’s expedition against the City of Tailors, &c., &c.” There is a good deal of this coquetry with indigence in the volume.

There is one curious letter to Reynolds, referring to Wordsworth’s calling the exquisite Hymn to Pan, in “Endymion,” “a pretty piece of Paganism.” Keats took the words in a contemptuous sense, and wrote a letter from the feelings it excited, reminding us in its style of an essay by Emerson. We extract it as almost the best thing in the book.

Hampstead, February 3, 1818.

My Dear Reynolds,—I thank you for your dish of filberts. Would I could get a basket of them by way of dessert every day for the sum of two pence, (two sonnets on Robin Hood, sent by the two penny post.) Would we were a sort of athereal pigs, and turned loose to feed upon spiritual mast and acorns! which would be merely a squirrel and feeding upon filberts; for what is a squirrel but an airy pig, or a filbert but a sort of archangelical acorn? About the nuts being worth cracking, all I can say is, that where there are a throng of delightful images ready drawn, simplicity is the only thing. It may be said that we ought to read our contemporaries, that Wordsworth, &c., should have their due from us. But, for the sake of a few fine imaginative or domestic passages, are we to be bullied into a certain philosophy engendered in the whims of an egotist? Every man has his speculations, but every man does not brood and peacock over them till he makes a false coinage and deceives himself. Many a man can travel to the very bourne of Heaven, and yet want confidence to put down his half-seeing. Sancho will invent a journey heavenward as well as any body. We hate poetry that has a palpable design upon us, and, if we do not agree, seems to put its hand into its breeches pocket. Poetry should be great and unobtrusive; a thing which enters into one’s soul, and does not startle it or amaze it with itself, but with its subject. How beautiful are the retired flowers! How would they lose their beauty, were they to throng into the highway, crying out “Admire me, I am a violet! Dote upon me, I am a primrose!” Modern poets differ from the Elizabethans in this; each of the moderns, like an Elector of Hanover, governs his petty state, and knows how many straws are swept daily from the causeways in all his dominions, and has a continual itching that all the housewives should have their coppers well scoured. The ancients were emperors of vast provinces; they had only heard of the remote ones, and scarcely cared to visit them. I will cut all this. I will have no more of Wordsworth or Hunt in particular. Why should we be of the tribe of Manassah, when we can wander with Esau? Why should we kick against the pricks when we can walk on roses? Why should we be owls when we can be eagles? Why be teazed with “nice-eyed wagtails,” when we have in sight “the cherub Contemplation?” Why, with Wordsworth’s “Matthew with a bough of wilding in his hand,” when we can have Jacques “under an oak,” &c.? The secret of the “bough of wilding” will run through your head faster than I can write it. Old Matthew spoke to him some years ago on some nothing, and because he happens in an evening walk to imagine the figure of the old man, he must stamp it down in black and white, and it is henceforth sacred. I don’t mean to deny Wordsworth’s grandeur and Hunt’s merit, but I mean to say we need not be teazed with grandeur and merit when we can have them uncontaminated and unobtrusive. Let us have the old Poets and Robin Hood. Your letter and its sonnets gave me more pleasure than will the Fourth Book of “Childe Harold,” and the whole of any body’s life and opinions.

In return for your dish of filberts, I have gathered a few catkins.[2] I hope they’ll look pretty.

“No, those days are gone away,” &c.

I hope you will like them—they are at least written in the spirit of outlawry. Here are the Mermaid lines;—

“Souls of Poets dead and gone,” &c.

In the hope that these scribblings will be some amusement for you this evening, I remain, copying on the hill,

Your sincere friend and co-scribbler,

John Keats.

The reader rises from the biography of Keats with the impression that it tells one of the most melancholy stories in the history of literature. The account of his last days is beyond measure painful. The poems now published for the first time, though good enough to make a reputation, will hardly add to the fame of Keats.

Mr. Reynolds had enclosed Keats some Sonnets on Robin Hood, to which these fine lines are an answer.

The Women of the Revolution. By Elizabeth F. Ellet. New York: Baker & Scribner. 2 vols. 12mo.

We are under obligations to Mrs. Ellet for the two volumes now before us. They are the first fruits of a large harvest. And we doubt not that the authoress will pursue the subject, and give “continuations,” until something like justice shall be done to the women, the mothers, sisters, wives and sweethearts of the great and good men of our Revolution. We wish that some just appreciation of what all society owes woman could be had. We wish that some one would sit down and show how all great efforts have their origin in woman’s devotion to her duty, and all great men owe their position to their mother’s faithful service, and how society owes the advantages which it may possess to the plastic mind of women. In this spirit Mrs. Ellet has prepared the two volumes before us, and has by her labors added one other name to the long list that claims the gratitude of Americans. Of course when notices of one hundred and twenty-four women are crowded into two duodecimo volumes, no great extent can be allowed to the biography of any one. Yet by a judicious disposition of material, and selection of prominent places for really prominent persons, Mrs. Ellet has given enough to make her readers comprehend the character, services and position of all her heroines. It happens to us to have known something of the private life of several mentioned in the volumes, and while we recollect much that is not recorded, we are bound to confess that the character of each so far as we know is well brought out, and additional materials might serve only to sustain the opinion formed by what is offered. We regard Mrs. Ellet’s work only as a prelude—a rich, delightful, prelude—but it must be followed by other performances. The work is enriched with the likenesses of several ladies whose biographies are given—one or two of these we know are correct. The others resemble what we recollect to have heard denominated good likenesses.

Orators of the American Revolution. By E. L. Magoon. New York: Baker & Scribner. 1 vol. 12mo.

Mr. Magoon is a writer of great fluency and sensibility, who “wreaks” his thoughts upon expression. He has given us a very exciting volume, glowing with revolutionary fervor, and eloquent of revolutionary heroes. The great difficulty is that each of his orators is described in terms which a cool person might hesitate in applying to Demosthenes and Cicero. Mr. Magoon writes too much on the high-pressure principle. As we move down the Mississippi stream of his rhetoric, we are pleased with the rapidity of the motion, and the chivalrous feeling of the captain of the boat, but we look occasionally at the boiler and the engine with some fear of an explosion.

Seriously, the volume will doubtless serve its purpose of impressing a great idea of our revolutionary orators on the popular mind—to reach which mind a certain extravagance of statement and description is now considered necessary. The glowing mode of writing history and biography is, doubtless, better than the dry and dead mode, but a medium between the two, combining life and movement with accuracy and discrimination, is better still. However, we know of no book on the subject so good as the present. It can be read at one sitting, and it leaves a strong impression on the mind of the power of our great orators. Every production which forcibly conveys an idea of our historical men as living souls, as well as living names, deserves to succeed.

Historical and Miscellaneous Questions. By Richard Mangnall. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 12mo.

This has been one of the most successful educational books ever published. The present edition is from the eighty-fourth London edition. The sale in England has reached a hundred thousand copies. A mere glance at the book will explain its popularity. It embraces the elements of Mythology, Astronomy, Architecture, Heraldry, as well as Ancient and Modern History, and gives exactly that kind of information which every body needs. The first principles and foundations of knowledge are often imperfectly understood by persons moderately learned. Few have any system in reading or study, but cram their minds with miscellaneous matter of various kinds, without regard to arrangement, and with no clear perception of the principles of any thing. Such a book as the present is needed not only by youth, but by many men and women who would be offended at the charge of ignorance. No person can read it without some addition to his knowledge. It is got up with remarkable skill, and covers a very wide extent of erudition.

Thrilling Incidents of the Wars of the United States: Comprising the most Striking and Remarkable Events of the Revolution, the French War, the Second War with Great Britain, and the Mexican War. With Three Hundred Engravings. By the Author of the Army and Navy of the United States. Philadelphia: Carey & Hart. 8vo.

This is a large octavo volume, filled with deeply interesting historical anecdotes, illustrated with engravings—a volume which will create a taste for the whole series of American history, while it gratifies in part a useful appetite. The work is beautifully printed and admirably got out.

Amelia. This is one of Miss Leslie’s novels, and it is worthy of that lady’s fame, founded on liberal efforts to improve the heart, and make men and women better, by setting before them instances of folly and examples of virtue.


The Total Eclipse of the Moon.—In the month of September—the night of the 12th and 13th—there was a total eclipse of the moon. Those who would know all about it—exactly what was done when the adumbration commenced, when and how long total obscuration was observable, and when exactly the satellite passed out of the shadow of her principal planet—have nothing to do but read in the almanacs the predictions and calculations of the event—for exactly to a second the whole was performed as set down by the astronomers. It was a beautiful sight for those who love to watch the phenomena of the heavens, and there was not a cloud, not a passing scud, to prevent a complete view of the whole movement, from the first stain upon the eastern limb of the moon until the whole passed off from her western side.

This eclipse of the moon is caused by that planet’s passing through the shadow of the earth, projected far into space; and in proportion to the proximity of the moon is the duration of the eclipse—so that we who occupied the side of the earth to which the eclipse was visible, really saw the moon darkened by the intervention of our own shadow. How like life is this! How many thousands are daily condemned for some apparent fault, which they have indeed acquired from those who condemn. How many live and suffer in the shadow of those who sneer—and persecute while they impart the cause. How many parents, by their errors, keep the sunlight of Truth and Religion from their children, and yet condemn them for the shadow which rests upon their mind, and makes them objects of undesirable notoriety—profitless members of the social circle.

Go and inquire of that heart-broken, condemned female, why she ceased to be the light of the circle in which she was placed—and she will answer that the very beings whom she was to bless, and from whom she was to derive blessings, darkened her pathway by the interference of injudicious kindness or ill-timed severity, and she became totally eclipsed. Ask the youth who has just made shipwreck of his wealth and his fame, and he will tell you that in passing through the shadow which relatives and associates had thrown across his path, his eclipse was so long that society had no patience to await his return to light—no mercy for the obscuration which their ill-timed lenity to others had made him suffer.

But the moon on the morning of the 13th September passed out of the obscuration, and went on her course diffusing light to all, and maintaining her supremacy, in apparent size and real lustre, above all the stellar orbs. And thus it is with man. The shadow of misfortune or error, of indiscretion, is always projected across his path—he is liable with every change to suffer some obscuration, some diminution of his brightness, some eclipse of that portion bestowed on man. Let society wait—let him toil onward—let there be a little faith, a little confidence, a little hope, and he will recover all he has lost, he will emerge from the shadow that is upon him and be bright and profitable as before. In the deepest obscuration of the full, or the earthward face of the moon, when all but its bare existence seemed blotted out, the upper, heavenward surface was undimmed, and reflected all the stellar glories of the higher planets. And thus is it with man. Sorrows, disappointments, errors, wrongs, darken his way, and all that is visible to those around him seems sullied and obscure, and he is left to toil onward through the deep shadow of misery and shame—the earthward side of his heart in a total eclipse—but the heavenward portion, the cherished and the blessed, though beyond the gaze, and often beyond the comprehension of the worldly—is bathed in the holy light of heavenly influences—it knows no diminution of brightness, no darkness from earthly shadows, no dimness from worldly cares or worldly sorrow, but, turned away from the observation and uses of mankind, its phaze is one of unalterable quiet, of undimmed and shadowless lustre. Earth is not permitted to project one shadow upon its plane, while heaven and heavenly light lie beautiful and beautifying upon its surface.

The Women of the Scriptures.—Our booksellers are making judicious preparations for the approaching holydays, and it may be anticipated that the next “Christmas times” will afford a most varied and elegant assortment of gift books for the choice of purchasers. Among those that we have been favored with a sight of, one of the most beautiful, both in design and execution, is a volume entitled “The Women of the Scriptures,” which Messrs. Lindsay & Blakiston have gotten up to correspond with those favorite works “Scenes in the Life of the Saviour” and “Scenes in the Lives of the Apostles,” heretofore issued by them. The new publication has been edited by the Rev. H. Hastings Weld, who has been well sustained by the artists, printers and binders in their several departments. The purchaser will find in this volume articles from many of the most able and popular writers in the country, and we are sure that it cannot fail to commend itself, in an eminent degree, to the favor of the public.

Messrs. Carey & Hart are about to publish an edition of Mrs. Sigourney’s poetry, to be illustrated by some of the best productions of the American burin, samples of which we have seen and admired. It is fitting that the writings of Mrs. Sigourney should be thus set out.

The same publishers have caused to be prepared for the festive season a handsome volume, of the Souvenir family, called the Ruby. A portion, indeed most of its pictorial embellishments are of the first class of engraving, and the letter-press contains poetry and prose worthy of perusal. The work is a beautiful addition to the centre-table, and will of course find favor.

It is not Always Night.”—The heart chilled by adversity or languishing in sorrow, may find consolation and peace in the thought which forms the caption of this article, and which we find so beautifully woven into the harmony of numbers by our contemporary, William C. Richards, Esq. Editor of the “Southern Literary Gazette.”

    It is not always night! Though darkness reign

      In gloomy silence o’er the slumbering earth,

    The hastening dawn will bring the light again,

      And call the glories of the day to birth!

    The sun withdraws awhile his blessed light,

    To shine again—it is not always night!

    The voices of the storm may fill the sky,

      And Tempest sweep the earth with angry wing;

    But the fierce winds in gentle murmurings die,

      And freshened beauty to the world they bring:

    The after-calm is sweeter and more bright;

    Though storms arise, it is not always night!

    The night of Nature, and the night of Storm,

      Are emblems both of shadows on the heart;

    Which fall and chill its currents quick and warm,

      And bid the light of peace and joy depart:

    A thousand shapes hath Sorrow to affright

    The soul of man, and shroud his hopes in night.

    Yet, when the darkest, saddest hour is come,

      And grim Despair would seize his shrinking heart,

    The dawn of Hope breaks on the heavy gloom,

      And one by one the shadows will depart:

    As storm and darkness yields to calm and light,

    So with the heart—it is not always night!

The Future.—By the time another number of the “Magazine” is laid before its numerous readers, the bustle and din of the presidential election will have subsided, and the people will set themselves to thinking seriously of the selection of useful and entertaining publications, to render perfect the enjoyment of the long, calm, quiet winter evenings at home. Of course, none who take “Graham’s Magazine” now, will consent to deprive themselves of it for the future, especially as the new volume, commencing in January, will be rendered as attractive as means, energy, industry and application can make it. We shall soon lay before our hundred thousand readers our new Prospectus, in which will be given a bird’s-eye view of the plan of our prospective operations. Nothing will be promised that we will not fully and faithfully perform; and, unrivaled as this “Magazine” has heretofore been, we intend so to improve upon it, that the new volume shall bear away the palm, and command the universal admission that it is more excellent than ever!

Cheap Publications.—In these days of cheap publications, the means of gratifying a love for reading are within the reach of all. There is an abundant supply to feed the mental appetite, and our neighbor, T. B. Peterson, caters for the public taste with great energy and success. To the lovers of light literature it may not be amiss for us to state, that Mr. P. has published uniform editions of the works of those popular and approved writers, Mrs. Grey and Miss Pickering—ladies whose writings are always worth reading, and always convey a good moral. A late publication, “The Orphan Niece,” by Miss Pickering, appears now, for the first time in this country, and is as excellent and interesting as those from the same pen with which the public are more familiar.

HWere we inclined to copy one-half of the very handsome compliments bestowed upon our Magazine by our friends of the press, we could not find room to do so. We feel, however, rejoiced at and grateful for these evidences of their favor, and will strive to render ourselves yet more worthy of their commendations. The motto of “Graham’s Magazine” is Excelsior; and as it has hitherto stood immeasurably above all competitors in the public estimation, so shall it maintain its enviable position, and merit the success it has enjoyed.

HOur engraver, Wm. E. Tucker, Esq., has in hand and will have ready for the next volume, some brilliant specimens of his art. We promise our patrons—and we do so without a single fear that our promise will not be fully redeemed—more magnificent embellishments than any literary work in the country has ever presented. This, of course, will involve an immense expenditure of money, but we never place cost in competition with the duty we owe our patrons, and our desire to merit their favor.

HWe expect to give, in our next number, a life-like portrait of our late correspondent and now co-editor, J. Bayard Taylor. He is a modest gentleman, and may not be pleased with the idea of so public an introduction to the readers of this Magazine, but we know that he is a favorite with them, and the admirers of his articles will be gratified to see “what manner of man he is.”

Winter Fashions.—Our friend Oakford knows how to cap the climax of human perfection, if we may judge from the various styles and fashions of Hats, Caps, &c., presented in his card on the cover of our “Magazine.” His establishment is a favorite place of resort for all who desire to be well fitted; and they must, indeed, be hard to please, who cannot find something there to suit their fancy.

HIf we were inclined to be boastful, we think we might raise a high note of exultation upon the character of the present number of the “American Monthly Magazine.” But, as “good wine needs no bush,” we lay our offering before the public, confident that its manifest excellence will be discovered without the necessity of a word from us to point out its varied beauties. While, however, we believe, and feel assured that the public will concur in the belief, that this number is one of surpassing beauty and merit, it may not be improper to hint that the arrangements we have consummated for the future, will enable us to improve even upon our present high standard of excellence, and keep us, as ever, far, very far in advance of the most labored efforts of all contemporaries. Our course is onward, and he must bestir himself actively who would excel us.

Transcriber’s Notes:

Archaic spellings and hyphenation have been retained. Grammar and minor irregularities in spelling have been maintained as in the original. Errors in punctuation have been corrected without note. Other errors have been corrected as noted below. For illustrations, some caption text may be missing or incomplete due to condition of the originals available for preparation of the ebook.


Page 274, the tessalate pavement ==> the tesselate pavement


[The end of Graham's Magazine, Vol. XXXIII, No. 5 (November 1848) edited by George Rex Graham]