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Title: Graham's Magazine, Vol. XXX, No. 6 (June 1847)

Date of first publication: 1847

Author: George R. Graham (editor)

Date first posted: Feb. 7, 2018

Date last updated: Feb. 7, 2018

Faded Page eBook #20180212

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


Vol. XXX.      June, 1847.      No. 6.

Table of Contents

Fiction, Literature and Articles

Boots; Or the Misfortunes of Peter Faber
A Chapter on Eating. Part I
The Loyalist’s Daughter
The Strawberry-Woman
The Islets of the Gulf; Or Rose Budd
Spectral and Supernatural Appearances
The Musician. A Tale Founded upon Fact
Review of New Books

Poetry and Fashion

The Idiot Boy
Youthful Love
Sonnet from Petrarch, on the Death of Laura
Morning Invitation
A Prayer
Lines on Visiting Broad Street Hotel
The Soul’s Search
To Lizzie
To Ianthé
Picture of Tasso
Le Follet

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

Drawn by J. Smillie from a sketch by T. Addison Richards.        Engraved by Rawdon, Wright, Hatch & Smillie.

Graham’s Magazine 1844.

Painted by J. W. Wright.         Engraved by A. L. Dick.



Vol. XXX.     PHILADELPHIA, June, 1847.     No. 6.






It was a lovely autumnal morning. The air was fresh, with just enough of frost about it to give ruddiness to the cheek and brilliancy to the eye. The rays of the sun streamed brightly up the street; knockers, door-plates and bell-handles, beamed with more than usual lustre; while they who had achieved their breakfasts and had no fear of duns, went, according to the bias of their musical fancy, either whistling or singing through the town, as if they had finally dissolved partnership with care, and had nothing else to do for the remainder of their natural lives but to be as merry as grigs and as frolicsome as kittens. Every one, even to the heavy-footed, displayed elasticity of step and buoyancy of motion. There were some who seemed to have a disposition to dance from place to place, and evidently found it difficult to refrain from a pirouette around the corner or a pigeon-wing across the way, in evidence of the light-heartedness that prevailed within. The atmosphere had a silent music in it, more delicious than orchestral strains, and none could resist its charm, who were not insensible in mind and body to the innocent delight which is thus afforded to the healthful spirit. There are mornings in this variable climate of ours, more exhilirating than the wines of the banquet. There are days which seem to be a fête opened to all the world. The festive hall with its blaze of chandeliers and its feverish jollity has no pleasure in its joys to equal Nature’s holyday, which demands no hollow cheek or haggard eye in recompense. Enjoyment here has no remorse.

No wonder, then, that young men slapped their comrades on the back with a merry laugh, and dealt in mirthful salutations. Nor could it cause surprise that old men poked their cronies with a stick, and thought that it was funny. Ay, there are moments when our frail humanity is forgotten—when years and sorrow roll away together—when time slackens its iron hold upon us—when pain, tears, disappointments and contrition cease to bear down the spirit, and, for a little moment, grant it leave to sport awhile in pristine gleefulness—when, indeed, we scarcely recognize our care-worn selves, and have, as it were, brief glimpses of a new existence.

Still, however, this is a world of violent contrasts, and of painful incongruities. Some of us may laugh; but while we laugh, let us be assured of it that there are others who are weeping. It is pleasant all about you here, within your brief horizon, but the distance may be short to scenes most sadly different. Smiles are on your brow, as you jostle through the street, yet your elbow touches him whose heart is torn with grief. Is there a merry-making in your family—are friends in congregation there with mirth, and dance and song? How strange to think that it is scarce a step to the couch of suffering or the chamber of despair! The air is tremulous perchance with sighs and groans; and though our joyous strains overwhelm all sorrow’s breathings, yet the sorrow still exists even when we hear it not.

And so it was on this autumnal morning. While the very air had delight in it, and while happiness pervaded the atmosphere, there was a little man who felt it not—poor little man—poor grim little man—poor queer little man—poor little man disconsolate. Sadness had engrossed the little man. For him, with no sunshine in his heart, all outward sunshine was in vain. It had no ray to dispel the thick fogs of gloom that clouded round his soul; and the gamesome breezes which fluttered his garments and played around his countenance, as if to provoke a smiling recognition, met with as little of response as if they had paid courtship to the floating iceberg, and they passed quickly by, chilled by the hyperborean contact. The mysterious little man—contradictory in all his aspects to the order of the day—appeared as he walked toward the corner of Fifth and Chestnut streets—justice’s peculiar stand, where “Black Marias” most do congregate, and where his Honor does the honors to that portion of society who are so unfortunate and so maladroit as to be caught in their transgressions and to be arrested in their sins—he appeared, we say, as he approached this awful corner, to be most assuredly under duresse, as well as an enlistment under general affliction—a guard of functionaries—a body-guard, though not of honor, seemed to wait upon him—the grim little man and the queer little man. There was a hand too—ponderous in weight—austere in knuckle—severe in fist—resting clutchingly upon the collar of the little man, as if to demonstrate the fact that he only was the person to be gazed at—the incident, the feature, the sensation of the time—though the little man resisted not. He had yielded to his fate, sulkily, it may be, but submissively. Pale was the little man’s face—most pale; while his hat was generally crumpled in its circumference, and particularly smashed in the details of its crown, having the look, abused hat, of being typical of its owner’s fortunes—an emblem, as it were, of the ups and the downs, the stumbling-places and the pitfalls wherewith its owner’s way through life is diversified. He had a coat, too—though this simple fact cannot be alluded to as distinctly characteristic—most men wear coats whose aspirations go beyond the roundings of a jacket. But our little man’s coat was peculiar—“itself alone,” speaking of it merely as a coat. There were two propositions—either the coat did not belong to him, or else he did not belong to the coat—one of these must have been true, if it were proper to form an opinion upon the usual evidences which go to settle our impression as to the matter of proprietorship in coats. The fitness of things is the great constituent of harmony in coats, as in all other matters; but here was a palpable violation of the fitness of things, a coat being a thing that ought always to fit, or to come as near to that condition as the skill of the tailor or the configuration of the man will allow. It may possibly be that mischance had shrunk the individual’s fair proportions, and had thus left his garments in the lurch—the whole arrangement being that of a very small kernel in an uncommonly extensive shell. It may be mentioned also in the way of illustration, that the buttons behind were far below their just and proper location—that its tails trailed on the ground; while in front, the coat was buttoned almost around its wearer’s knees—not so stringently, however, as to impede progression, for its ample circumference allowed sufficient play to his limbs. Thus the little man was not only grim, and queer, and sorrowful, but was also picturesque and original. There was at least nothing like him to be seen that day, or any other day; and, as he walked, marvelous people held up their hands and wondered—curious people rubbed their eyes and stared—sagacious people shook their wise heads in disapproval; and dubious people, when they heard of it, were inclined to the opinion that it must be a mistake altogether, and “a no such thing.” A boy admiringly observed that it was his impression that “there was a good deal of coat with a very small allowance of man,” like his grandmother’s pies, which, according to his report, were more abundantly endowed with crust than gifted with apples; as if the merit of a pie did not consist mainly in its enclosures. To confess the truth, it might as well be candidly granted at once, that but for the impediment of having his arms in the sleeves, the little man might have turned round in his coat, without putting his coat to the inconvenience of turning round with him.

The case—we do not mean the coat, but the case, in general and inclusive—offered another striking peculiarity. In addition to the somewhat dilapidated pair which already adorned his pedal extremities, the little man, or Mr. Peter Faber—for such was the appellation in which this little man rejoiced, when he did happen to rejoice,—for no one ever was lucky enough to catch him at it—Mr. Peter Faber carried another pair of boots along with him—one in each hand—as if he had used precaution against being sent on a bootless errand, and took the field like artillery, supplied with extra wheels. But it was not that Mr. Peter Faber had feloniously appropriated these boots, as ill-advised persons might be induced to suppose. But each man has his idiosyncrasy—his peculiarities—some trait which, by imperceptible advances, results at last in being the master-passion, consuming all the rest; and boots—an almost insane love of boots—stood in this important relation to Mr. Peter Faber. In happier days, when the sun of prosperity beamed brightly on him, full of warmth and cheeriness, Peter Faber had a whole closet full of boots, and a top-shelf full of blacking—in boxes and in bottles—solid blacking, and that which is diluted; and Peter Faber’s leisure hours were passed in polishing these boots, in admiring these boots, and in trying on these boots. Peter knew, sadly enough, that he could not be regarded as a handsome man—that neither his face nor his form were calculated to attract attention as he passed along; but his foot was undeniably neat—both his feet were—and his affection for himself came to a concentration at that point.

Some men there are who value themselves upon one quality—others may be discovered who flatter themselves on the possession of another quality—each of us is a sort of heathen temple, with its peculiar idol for our secret worship. There are those who pay adoration to their hair. Whiskers, too, have votaries. People are to be met with who attitudinize with their fingers, from a belief that these manual appendages are worthy to be admired, because they are white or chance to be of the diminutive order. Many eyes have double duty to perform, that we may be induced to mark their languishing softness or to note their sparkling brilliancy. To smile is often a laborious occupation to those who fancy they are displayed to advantage in that species of physiognomical exercise; and there are persons of the tragic style, who practice frowning severity in the mirrors, that they may “look awfully” at times. Softnesses of this kind are innumerable, rendering us the most ridiculous when most we wish to please. The strongest have such folly; and the weak point in Peter Faber’s character lay in his foot. Men there are who will make puns, and are yet permitted to live. Peter Faber cherished boots, and became the persecuted of society! Justice is blind.

On the previous night, in the very hours of quietness and repose, there came a strange noise of rattling and bumping at the front door of the respectable house of the respectable family of the Sniggses—people by no means disposed to turbulence themselves, or inclined to tolerate turbulence in others. It so happened, indeed, on this memorable occasion, that Sniggs himself was absent from the city; and the rest of the family were nervous after dark, because his valor had temporarily been withdrawn from their protection. Still, however, the fearful din continued, to the complete and terrified awakening of the innocent Sniggses from the refreshment of balmy slumber. And such a turmoil—such hurrying to and fro, under the appalling influence of nocturnal alarm. Betsy, the maid of all-work, crept in terror to the chamber of the maternal Mrs. Sniggs. Betsy first heard the noise and thought it “washing-day,” but discovering her mistake, Betsy aroused the matron with the somewhat indefinite news, though rather fearful announcement, that “they are breaking in!”—the intelligence, perhaps, being the more horrible because of its vagueness, it being left to the excited imagination to determine who “they” were. Then came little Tommy Sniggs, shivering with cold and fear, while he looked like a sheeted ghost in the whiteness of his nocturnal habiliments. Tommy and Betsy crawled under the bed that they might lie hid in safety. Nor were Mary and Sally, and Prudence and Patience slow in their approach; and they distributed themselves within the bed and beneath, as terror chanced to suggest. Never before had the Sniggs family been stowed away with such compactness—never before had there been such trembling and shaking within the precincts of that staid and sober mansion.

“There it goes again!” shivered Mrs. Sniggs, from beneath the blankets.

“They’re most through the door!” quivered Betsy, under the bed.

“They’ll take all our money!” whimpered Prudence.

“And all our lives, too!” groaned Patience.

“And the spoons besides!” shrieked Mary, who was acting in the capacity of housekeeper for that particular week.

“Pa!” screamed Tommy, under the usual impression of the juveniles, that as “pa” corrects them, he is fully competent to the correction of all the other evils that present themselves under the sun.

“Ma!” ejaculated the others, seeking rather for comfort and consolation, than for fiercer methods of relief. But neither “pa” nor “ma” seemed to have an exorcising effect upon the mysterious bumpings and bangings, and pantings, and ejaculations at the front door.

In process of time, however, becoming a little familiarized to the disturbance, Mrs. Sniggs slowly raised the window, and put forth her nightcapped head, it having been suggested that by possibility it might be a noise emanating from Mr. Sniggs, or “pa” himself, returning unexpectedly.

“Who’s there?” said Mrs. Sniggs.

“Boots!” was the sepulchral reply.

“Is it you, dear—you, Sniggs?”

“If you mean me by saying you, it is me—but I’m not ‘dear’—boots is ‘dear’—Sniggs, did you say? Who’s Sniggs? If he is an able-bodied man, send him down here to bear a hand, will you?” and another crash renewed the terrors of the second story, which sought vent in such loud and repeated shrieks, that even the watchman himself was awakened, and judiciously halting at the distance of half a square, he made his reconnoisance with true military caution, concluding with an inquiry as to what was the matter, that he might know exactly how to regulate his approaches to the seat of war. An idea had entered his mind that perhaps a ghost was at the bottom of all this uproar; and though perhaps as little afraid of mere flesh and blood as most people of his vocation, he had no fondness for taking spectres by the collar, or for springing his rattle at the heels of a goblin, holding it—the principle, and not the ghost—as a maxim that if such folks pay no taxes and are not allowed to vote, they are not entitled to the luxury of an arrest; for the ordinances of the city do not apply to them.

“Even if it is not a ghost nor a sperrit, and I’m not very fond of any sort of sperrits but them that comes in bottles,” said he, having now approached near enough to hear the knocking and to see a dark object in motion at the top of Mr. Sniggs’s steps; “perhaps it’s something out of the menagerie or the museum—something that bites or something that hooks; and I cannot afford to have my precious corporation used up for the benefit of the city’s corporation. The wages is too small for a man to have himself killed into the bargain.”

“But maybe it’s a bird,” continued he, as he caught a glimpse of Peter’s coat-tail fluttering in the wind. “Sho-o-o-o!”

But no regard being paid to the cry, which settled the point that there was no bird in the case—“sho-oo!” being a part of bird language, and only comprehensible by the feathered race—the watchman slowly advanced until he saw that the mysterious being was a man—a little man—apparently leveling a blunderbuss and pulling at the trigger.

“Who said shoe, when it’s boot?” inquired the unknown figure, still seemingly with a gun at its shoulder, and turning round so that the muzzle appeared to point dangerously at the intruder.

“Halloo! don’t shoot—maybe it will go off!” cried the watch, as he ducked and dived to confuse the aim and to avoid the anticipated bullet.

“Don’t shute! I know it, don’t shute—that’s what I want it to do—I’m trying to make it shute with all my ten fingers,” was the panting reply, as the apparently threatening muzzle was lowered for an instant and raised again—“and as for its going off, that’s easy done. What I want, is to make it go on.”

Luckily for Charley’s comfort, he now discovered that the supposed blunderbuss was Peter Faber’s leg, and that the little man had it leveled like a gun, in the vain attempt to pull a Wellington boot over that which already encased his foot. He sighed and tugged, and sighed and tugged again. The effort was bootless. He could not, to use his own words, make it “shute.” The first pair, which already occupied the premises, would not be prevailed upon to admit of interlopers, and Peter’s pulling and hauling were in vain.

It was the banging of Peter’s back against the front door of Mrs. Sniggs’s mansion that had so alarmed the family; and now as he talked, he hopped across the pavement, still tugging at the boot, and took his place upon the fire-plug.

“Pshaw!—baint it hot!” said Peter. “Drat these boots! they’ve been eating green presimmings. I guess their mouths are all drawed up, just as if they wanted to whistle ‘Hail Kerlumby.’ They did fit like nothing when I tried ’em on this morning; but now I might as well pull at the door-handle and try to poke my foot through the key-hole. My feet couldn’t have growed so much in a single night, or else my stockings would have been tore; and I’m sure these are my own legs and nobody else’s, because they are as short as ever and as bandy. Besides, I know it’s me by the patches on my knees. That’s the way I always tell.”

“Are you quite sure,” inquired the watch, “that you didn’t get swopped as you came up the street? You’ve got boot, somehow or other. But come, now,” added he authoritatively, and putting on the dignity that belongs to his station, “quit being redickalis, and tell us what’s the meaning of sich goin’s on in a white man, who ought to be a credit to his fetching up. If you’re a gentleman’s son, always be genteel, and never cut up shindies or indulge in didoes. What are you doing with them ’are boots? That’s the question, Mr. Speaker.”

“Doing with my boots? What could I do without my boots, watchy?” added Peter, in tones of the deepest solemnity, as he laid his boots upon his lap and smoothed them down with every token of affection. “Watchy, though you are a watchy, you’ve got a heart with the sensibilities in it—nothing of the brickbat about you, is there, watchy? If you are ugly to look at, it’s not your fault, and it’s not your fault that you’re a watchy. I can see with half an eye that you’re a man with feelings; and you know as well as I do that we must have something to love in this world—you love your rattle—I love my boots—better nor they love me, I’m afraid,” and Peter grew plaintive.

The watchman, however, shook his head with an expression of “duberousness,” which, like the celebrated nod of Lord Burleigh, seemed to signify a great deal relative to the thoughts existing within the head that was thus shaken. It vibrated, as it were, between opinions, oscillating to the right, under the idea that Peter Faber was insane from moral causes, and pendulating to the left with the impression that he was queer perchance from causes which come upon the table of liquid measure.

Peter’s thoughts, however, were too intent upon the work he had in hand and desired to get on foot, to pay attention to any other insinuation than that of trying to insinuate his toes into the calf-skin. Sarcastic glances and nods of distrust were thrown away upon him. He asked no other solace than that of bringing his sole in contact with the sole of his new boot. On this his soul was intent.

“It’s not a very genteel expression, I know,” said the nocturnal guardian, “and it may seem to be rather a personal insinivation, though I only ask it in a professional way, and not because I want to know as a private citizen—no, it’s in my public campacity, that I think you have been drinking—I think so as a watchman, not as David Dumps. Isn’t you a leetle corned?”

“Corned! No—look at my foot—nor bunioned either,” replied Peter, as he commenced another series of tugging at the straps; and with a look of suspicion, he added, “That tarnal bootman must have changed ’em. He’s guv me some baby’s boots. But never mind—boots was made to go on, and go on they must, if I break my back a driving into ’em. Hurra!” shrieked our hero, “bring on your wild cats!”

With this exclamation—which amounts with those who use it, to a determination to do or die—Peter screwed up his visage and his courage to what may be truly denominated “the terrible feet,” and put forth his whole strength. Every nerve was strained to its utmost tension; the tug was tremendous; but alas! Cæsar was punctured as full of holes as a cullender, by those whom he regarded as his best friends; many others have been stuck in a vital part by those who were their intimate cronies, and how could Peter Faber hope to escape the treachery by which all great men are begirt? When exerting the utmost of his physical strength, the traitorous straps gave way. Two simultaneous cracks were heard; a pair of heels, describing a short curve, flashed through the air, and Peter, with the rapidity of lightning, turned a series of backward somersets from the fire-plug, and went whizzing like a wheel across the street. Now the half-donned boot appeared uppermost, and again his head followed his heels, as if for very rage he was trying to bite the hinder part of his shins, or sought to hide his mortification at his failure, not only by swallowing his boots, but likewise by gobbling up his whole body.

“Why, bless us, Boots!” said the Charley, following him like a boy beating a hoop, “this is what I call rewarsing the order of natur. You travel backerds, and you stop on your noddle. I thought you was trying to go clean through the mud into the middle of next week. A’n’t you most knocked into a cocked hat?”

“Cocked fiddlesticks!” muttered Peter. “Turn us right side up, with care. That’s right—cocked hat, indeed! when you can see with half an eye—if you’ve got as much—it’s my boots vot vont go on. A steam engine—forty horse power—couldn’t pull ’em on, if your foot was a thimble and your legs a knitting-needle. Don’t you see it was the straps as broke? Not a good watchy!” continued Peter, as he dashed the boots on the pavement, and made a vain attempt to dance on them, and “tread on haughty Spain.”

“Well, now, I think I am a good watchy; for I’ve been watching you and your boots for some time.”

“What’s a man if he a’n’t got handsome boots; and what’s the use of handsome boots, if he a’n’t got ’em on? As the English Gineral said, what’s beauty without bootee, and what’s bootee without beauty? Look at them ’are articles—fust I bought ’em, and then I black’d ’em, and now they turn agin me, and bite their best friend, like a wiper. Don’t they look as if they ought to be ashamed?”

“Yes, I rather think they do look mean enough.”

“Who cares what you think? Have you got a boot-jack in your pocket?—no, not a boot-jack—I want a pair of them ’are hook-em-sniveys, vot they uses in the shops. I don’t want a pull-offer; I want a pair of pull-on-ers.”

“If you’ll walk with me, I’ll find you a pair of hook-em-sniveys in less than no time.”

“If you will, I’ll go, because I must get my boots on somehow, and hook-em-sniveys will do it if anything will. There’s no fun in boots what wont go on; you can’t make any thing of ’em except old clothes-bags and letter-boxes, and I a’n’t got much use for articles of the sort—seeing as how clothes and letters are scarce with me.”

“Can’t you use ’em for book-keeping by double-entry? That’s the way I do. I put all my cash into one old boot, and all my receipts into the other. That’s scientific double-entry simplified,—old slippers is the Italian method.”

“No, I can’t. I does business on the fork-out system. I don’t save up, only for boots; and as soon as I gets any money, I speculates right off in something to eat, and lives upon the principal.”

Peter gathered up his boots, and half reclining upon the watchman, wended his way to the common receptacle, where, after discovering the trick played upon him, and finding that the “hook-em-sniveys” were not forthcoming, he shared his wrath between the boots which had originally betrayed him, and the individual who had consequently betrayed him. At length,

“Sweet sleep, the wounded bosom healing,”

restored Peter to himself and that just estimate of the fitness of things, which teaches that it is not easy—even for a man who is as sober as a powder-horn—to pull a pair of long boots over another pair; particularly if the latter happen to be wet and muddy. Convinced of this important truth, Peter put his boots under his arm, and departed to get the straps repaired, and try the efficacy of hook-em-sniveys where the law could not interfere.

And such was the close of this remarkable episode in the life of the grim little man and the queer little man, whose monomania had boots for its object.


There is a lowly mountain home

  That nestles near a clear blue stream,

A shady nook—a fitting spot

  For pilgrim rest, or poet’s dream.

Two tall elm trees their branches fling

  Across the humble roof-tree there

While fearlessly the robins sing,

  And woodland flowers perfume the air.


Not ten yards from the cottage door

  A rocky wall the streamlet meets,

And wildly, quickly dashing o’er

  With its rude song the valley greets.

While far and wide the glittering spray

  Like showers of diamonds fill the air,

The golden sunbeams with them play

  And arch the beauteous rainbow there.


A shelving rock, like semi-bridge,

  From the rude bank hangs jutting o’er,

While round the rough and frowning ridge

  Twine moss and vine and creeping flower.

A winding pathway, near the stream,

  Leads to this wild and dizzy height;

Once gained the waters flash and gleam

  Like jewels on the gazer’s sight.


Beyond, the hills, in robe of green,

  Mount upward to the calm blue sky,

While at their feet the silver sheen

  Of a broad river meets the eye.

Here in this cot, a space below,

  A widow dwells in silent grief,

Earth has no balm to sooth her wo,

  No magic song, no healing leaf.


Long weary years have slowly fled

  Since death first filled her home with gloom.

Numbered her husband with the dead

  And traced for her a widow’s doom.

One sunbeam there, one ray of joy

  On that low cottage shed its light,

A fair-haired child, an idiot boy

  Was to her heart like stars to night.


I’ve seen a vine, a fragile vine,

  When strong support had failed,

Around a weaker cling and twine,

  Till drooping both in dust they trailed.

I’ve seen a lonely captive find

  Sweet solace in his hours of grief,

Yea food for heart, and thought for mind,

  In a frail plant—one pale green leaf.


From the damp earth in his lone cell

  It sprung to life, sad life awhile,

But there, alas! it could not dwell,

  No sunshine shed its cheering smile.

’Twas tended well mid hope and fear,

  And watched with all a parent’s care,

Yea, watered daily with a tear,

  But could not stay in darkness there.


So in this cot that idiot boy

  Was like that leaf to captive sad,

His guileless ways, and childish joy,

  Oft made the broken-hearted glad.

Beside him she on earth had nought,

  For him all labor, love and prayer,

And he no other playmates sought,

  Save birds and flowers, sunlight and air.


Speech was denied him, and not one

Save she who gave him birth alone

His uncouth gestures e’er could read,

Or learn his sorrows, joy or need,

And as, amid the quiet sleep

Of summer noon, a storm will sweep

In sudden wrath, and blackness cast

O’er skies serene a moment past;

So in the spirit of this child

Dark passion, fitful, quick and wild,

Such inward storm would sometimes wake,

Naught but her gaze its power could break;

Her words could bid its fury cease,

The mother’s voice could whisper peace.

Not often thus, but the long hours

Of summer day mid birds and flowers

He’d cheerful spend, or watch the spray

Of dashing waves in their wild play.

And this, indeed, his chief delight,

When airs were bland and skies were bright.

So fixed his gaze, you wondered why,

A child should look so earnestly.

It seemed as if he longed to be

A wave amid those waters free.

His thoughts we know not, but perchance

Some spirit dream was in that glance!

Such as when reason leaves her throne

And fancy reigns supreme alone,

Will lead the helpless captive on

To deeds we fear to think upon.

Some thought as strange, some wish as wild,

We deem possessed this idiot child.

One day he climbed the pathway, where

The rocky bridge seemed hung in air;

Awhile he looked with strange delight

On sparkling wave and rainbow bright;

Then, with a scream so wild and shrill

It made the distant hearer thrill,

He plunged amid those waves and foam,

Like Naiade seeking its lost home.

A moment, and it all was o’er —

He sunk, to rise with life no more.

A schoolboy saw but could not save

The idiot from his watery grave.


Few were the mourners, and some there

With hard heart said, “the widow’s care

Would now be less,” yea, thought that she

From a great burthen thus was free.

Ill judging ones! ye could not know

The depth of that fond mother’s wo.

He surely was not loved the less

Because of his great helplessness —

Nor can we in our weakness tell

He was not loved by God as well —

The smallest bird and flow’ret share

His holy watch and daily care.

That broken link in Nature’s chain

May after death unite again.

The fettered mind! Ah! who can tell

What mysteries in that casket dwell,

When God, alone who holds the key

Shall set the darkened captive free?

One gleam of that electric thought,

Which beauty out of chaos wrought;

One touch of that creative hand

Which loosed prime Nature’s iron band,

To feeblest mind can give the power

On seraph’s wing to mount and soar.

We know not but the soul that lay

Like folded flower in feeble clay,

May open beneath purer skies,

And, fanned by airs of Paradise,

May bloom in beauty fresh and fair

Amid the richer glories there.

E. P.





Child no longer. I love, and I am Woman!”

When first thy face blent with my youthful dreaming,

  I loved thee fondly, madly, e’en as now;

Yet to a mossy bank, with careless seeming,

  I pressed a woman’s heart, a girl’s young brow.

I did not dream that thou couldst ever love me,

  One that was fondled as a very child!

But as the glorious stars that beamed above me,

  I worshiped thee, with love as deep and wild.


Then bending low, thy face was by my pillow:

  A kiss was pressed upon my burning cheek —

As floats a flower upon the foamy billow,

  Uprose my heart, and yet I could not speak.

I sat beside thee in that pulseless hour,

  And gazed into the cloudless vault above.

I learned that o’er thy heart was cast the power —

  E’en as on mine—the fatal spell of love.


Unto my soul it came a torrent rushing,

  And brought wild thoughts unknown to it before.

Bright hopes and dreams within thy heart were gushing

  Of joys the future held for thee in store.

I only knew that, seated now beside thee,

  My hand lay trembling, nestling in thine own;

I only felt thy dear voice did not chide me —

  Oh, how I treasured every careless tone.


Another hand in fancy thou wert pressing;

  Another voice fell softly on thine ear:

And looks of love came—with a low-voiced blessing —

  From beaming eyes, that memory brought so near.

While thoughts of a bright meeting on the morrow

  Had chased a transient shadow from thy brow —

Unto my heart came the first thrill of sorrow;

  An omen of the weight it beareth now.


We parted: I those mournful thoughts to smother

  Within a breast till then unknown to care.

I knew thou lovedst only as a brother —

  A sister’s love I had no wish to share.

In that short hour I had lived many years;

  And now, alas! must share the common lot —

The lot of woman—suffering and tears;

  While yet a child to those who knew me not.


The wreath of Fame e’en then for thee was twining;

  High aspirations urged thee proudly on:

The light of love upon thy path was shining,

  A dear hand would be thine when fame was won.

I bade God speed thee; though my heart was breaking

  My pale cheek flushed beneath thy parting kiss —

Hope from my soul a final leave was taking —

The future hath no trial worse than this.





Where is the brow that, with the slightest sigh,

  Moved my fond heart, its most devoted slave?

Where the fair eye-lid, and those stars divine,

  Which to my life its only lustre gave?

Where is the worth, the wise, accomplished mind;

  The prudent, modest, humble, sweet discourse?

Where are the beauties which, in her combined,

  So long of all my actions were the source?

The shadow of that gentle countenance

To which the weary soul for rest might flee?

And where my thoughts were written; where is she

Who held my willing life within her hands?

Alas! for the sad world! alas! for my

Still weeping eyes, that never shall be dry.






Brillat Savarin, the immortal author of “The Physiology of Taste,” among his axioms has the following: “Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai qui tu es.” (Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.) If any one doubt the truth of this remark, or has the least objection to it, he must not read my essay; for I judge him utterly incapable of understanding what follows. It was an equally wise saying of Sir John Hunter, that man was what his stomach made him; but he did not carry his investigations far enough. He had reference to the capacity, and, in case of damage, to the recuperative faculty of the stomach, and did not take into consideration the gentle persuasions of the palate—the sense which is slowest of development, but the most faithful companion of old age. The worthy Englishman had drawn his inferences from the stomachs of the livery and aldermen of London; and his beau ideal, in this respect, was no doubt the stomach of the Lord Mayor. But turtle and venison, though excellent things in themselves, are not the only criterion of rank, fashion, and capacity, though they are the necessary concomitants of magisterial dignity. Brillat Savarin went much further; he classified men according to their dinners; judging thereby of their tastes, their accomplishments, their refinement, and their scientific pursuits. There is, indeed, no function that man performs in common with the beasts, in which he differs so widely from the brute creation, as in eating, which led Brillat Savarin to another not less important axiom: “L’animal se repait, l’homme mange, l’homme d’ésprit seul sait manger,” (which, translated into elegant English, means, animals feed, man eats, but the man of education and refinement alone knows how to eat.)

The savage merely wants his meat coagulated—civilized man wants it cooked; but it requires taste to discriminate between gravies. Gravy is to meat what dress is to man, or rather woman; it not only hides deformities, but sets off and enhances beauty. It dissolves the dissonance which might otherwise exist between boiled and roasted into harmony; it establishes the balance of power between the joints and the petits pieds. Talk of man, in his savage state, appreciating gravy; or the man without refinement discriminating between a common sauce aux capres and one aux truffes, or au vin de champagne! Men, in civilized countries, have immortalized themselves by gravies; and Very—I mean the old man, not his son, who has done nothing in the world to entitle him to respect, except marrying a pretty woman, who never peeled a mushroom—has made gravies with which, as Puckler Muscau said, “a man could eat his grandfather!” The prince, being of half royal descent, meant by his grandfather the beau ideal of toughness.

But I must not shoot ahead of my argument. I am to show that we, in this country, lay too little stress on what we eat—do no justice whatever to cooks, and thereby deprive ourselves of a vast deal of enjoyment that would not interfere with our neighbors. A man who tells you he does not care what he eats, might just as well tell you he does not care with whom he associates. You may depend on it that man cannot appreciate beauty. To him one woman is just as good as another—prose just as good as poetry—the sound of a jews-harp equal to that of a harpsichord. Avoid that man, by all means, or your associations will become vulgar, your taste corrupted, and your appreciation of beauty and elegance as dull as a pair of cobbler’s spectacles.

But there are those who boast of caring naught for a good dinner. They are so etherial, scientific, or Spartan-like, as to be just as well satisfied with a piece of beef as with a pair of canvas-backs. Well, what does it mean? Might a man not, for as good a reason, boast of his blindness, and his stoic indifference as to the color of woman’s eyes, or the incarnation of her cheeks? Might he not as well boast of liking the smell of tobacco as much as that of a rose or a violet? The man who has no taste, has only four senses instead of five, and is therefore defective in organization. What notion has he of a sweet face, a sweet disposition, or a sweet voice?

Taste may be cultivated as much as every other sense. The man who has never exercised his eyes, cannot be a judge of painting, of statuary, or of architecture. The man who has not cultivated his ear, will not easily distinguish between the harmony of Mozart and the tuning of the instruments, which set a musician’s teeth on edge; and a man who has not practiced his sense of touch, will take no more pleasure in taking a lady’s hand, than in handling her glove. Would, can, ought, a lady to give her hand to such a man?

But there is yet another still more remarkable philosophical consideration, which ought to induce us to investigate this subject. What we eat assimilates with us, becomes our own flesh and blood, influences our disposition, our temper, and consequently our amiability. Every living thing in nature longs for incarnation, aspires to become human—to move from its apogee to its human perihelium. But the lord of creation makes his selection; he consults his taste, and admits but few of the aspirants to his intimacy.

Nothing but want is an excuse for bad living—for not restoring ourselves in the best manner possible. Only think that every seven years we are made entirely new! Our whole frame is consumed, and new particles of matter accrue in place of the old ones, during that period. Then to reflect that we are made up of half boiled potatoes, raw meat, and doughy pie-crust! The very thought of it is enough to lower our self-respect, and to diminish very sensibly the regard we owe to others.

It is intended by nature that we should have taste—that we should select our food and make it palatable. The infinite variety of plants and animals subject to the human stomach, testify to the superiority of man. Without the power of assimilation, what sympathy could there exist between him and the rest of Creation? To say we are fond of trout, of grouse, of venison, is but another way of expressing our affection for fish, bird, and deer. What would these animals be to us if we did not eat them? What we to them? And does not our love often partake of the same characteristics? Do we not frequently crush that which we tenderly press to our bosoms?

The Germans have a terrible idiom for expressing the highest paroxysm of affection. They say “they love a woman well enough to eat her.” The idea is monstrous; and yet can it be denied that the greatest intimacy imaginable is the identity produced by assimilation. The idea, in spite of its apparent coarseness, is purely transcendental. And is not the converse of this principle admitted by all civilized nations? What do the terms “distasteful,” “disgusting,” “nauseating,” “sickening,” signify? What else but that these things do not agree with our stomachs? there are no stronger similes in the English language. Mark the climax; “distasteful,” referring to the tongue; “disgusting,” having reference to the palate; “nauseating,” applying to the throat; and “sickening,” proceeding, ex profundis, from the stomach! Here you have the whole gamut of human pathos—in which the stomach is, after all, the key-note—the heart being nothing but the sounding-board.

Even knowledge borrows its terms from the stomach. Our scientific acquisitions are “crude” and “undigested,” when they have not been systematized; and a man is “raw,” when he has neither tact or experience in the common pursuits of life. One half of our vocabulary is taken from the palate and the stomach—the milky-way of that microcosm of which man is the universe. Nor have we as yet properly watched that wonderful economy of nature, by which we are constantly consumed and restored—those unceasing pulsations between life and death, which, when undisturbed, are the cause of so much enjoyment. We watch the heavenly bodies, we rejoice over the discovery of a new planet, or an asteroid; we espy comets, and endeavor to account for their movements and perturbations, while a much more wonderful process is going on every day before our eyes, without exciting our astonishment. How comes it that the stomach, out of the most heterogeneous matters treasured up in it, is daily preparing flesh, bones, brains, the enamel of the teeth, the horny substance of the hair and nails, &c.? Can any philosopher explain how the particles of inanimate matter are vivified and thrown from the womb of life—the stomach—into circulation, to perform with the blood those rapid revolutions which mark our existence, and bear such a close analogy to the revolution of our planet round the sun? We look for wonders to the stars, and are a living wonder ourselves—a microcosm much more astonishing and interesting than all above and beneath us. The stomach is the great laboratory of the world, and yet how indifferent are the greater part of mankind to the gentle affinities of that much abused organ! We cultivate a good appearance—a healthy complexion—a clear eye, handsome teeth, and all that, but entirely neglect the gentle admonitions of that organ which alone can impart these virtues. Men talk of hereditary blood; but of what possible use is it without an hereditary good stomach? Give me a good stomach, and the blood will follow as a matter of course.

We talk of improving the breed of cattle, of horses, sheep, &c. But how is it done? By what other principal means than by improved feeding, and taking care that nothing shall interfere with the proper digestion of the improved food. You may use every possible means of improving the breed, without improved feeding the race will degenerate. And so it is with man. Whole nations, as, for instance, the English, wear a better aspect than others, merely because they are better feeders. Meat-eaters have generally a more florid complexion, and, on an average, a greater development of brains. They are, usually, not easily wrought; but when excited, “perplexed in the extreme;” and as slow to back out of as they are to commence a fight. We imagine these qualities inherent in the race; but they are the offsprings of the stomach, and nothing else. Change the diet of that nation, and she will soon lose her distinguishing characteristics. And so it is with certain classes of society. Why is the mob of England cowardly? Because it is badly fed. Increase the wages of the laboring man so that he can obtain beef once a day, and no soldiery in the world will be able to cope with him. He would soon show symptoms of animation; he would, in very characteristic language begin “to feel his oats.” Nothing is equal to the contempt which well-fed people have for those who are badly fed. The former are called respectable, the latter are thought capable of any mischief that can be conceived of. Pauper ubique jacet.

Between the stomach and the highest faculty of our souls there is a very close connection, though men have vainly endeavored to disprove it. Heavy food, which calls for undue action of the stomach, paralyzes, for a time at least, all mental action, and destroys the highest power of the mind—imagination. By gentle stimulants, however, we may increase both—provided we are temperate. You see better with a spy-glass than with the naked eye, provided you do not draw it out beyond the proper focus. Again; good cheer promotes cordiality, friendship, benevolence, and charity. Only the highest paroxysm of love is capable of triumphing over the stomach. But how long does it last? And does it not, in the end, warm itself at the chemical fire of good cheer, or die for the want of it? Love does very well during the hey-days of the blood; while the stomach, with its even sway, governs until death, with a power which increases as it goes on. Every passion fades as we pass the meridian of life, or dwells only in that great faculty of the soul, reminiscence, until that even becomes palsied by the gnawing tooth of time; but the sensitiveness of the palate increases—a regular gourmandizer scarcely existing before the age of forty. Our taste becomes matured with our judgment; when reason waits upon the tender passions, they have already flown. Every other passion has a regular rise and fall, and a culmination point, the pleasures of the palate alone are fixed and immovable as the eternal stars in the firmament. The fiery youth may “sigh like furnace,” and make “ballads to his mistress’ eyebrow,” and man “may seek the bubble reputation even at the cannon’s mouth;” but the sober justice is “capon lined;” he is the only sensible person among them, and guards against the bowels of compassion, by that completeness about the region of the stomach which is generally received as prima faciæ evidence of good nature. The Chinese—the oldest civilized people on earth—require that their justices should be fat; and the popular idiom of our own language corresponds to it; for we expect from a judge, gravity of deportment, and sedate manners. Lean men seldom inspire the confidence which fat men do. “I wish he were fatter,” says Cæsar, of Cassius; for a man who feeds well, and grows fat, has given “hostage to fortune.” Corpulency, like marriage, being “a great impediment either to enterprise or mischief.”[1]

There is yet another reason for conceding the ascendancy of the palate over the other organs. The palate and the stomach have had more to do with the establishment of civil liberty than is even suspected by those who have neglected this important study. The custom for magistrates to feed their clients, is as old as the Roman empire, and has been preserved in all civilized countries. Our Saxon and Anglo-Saxon ancestors were accustomed to do every thing important over a dinner; and to that circumstance, as Alderman Walker, of the English metropolis, very justly remarked, must be ascribed the preservation of English liberty, as contradistinguished from that of France. A people, accustomed to civic festivals, will not easily be reduced to slavery. Good cheer enlivens our attachment to the country, enhances patriotism, and calls for those expressions of sentiment which I look upon as the main pillars of liberal institutions. And if public liberty is consolidated by public feastings and Lord Mayors’ dinners in England, where the people only partake of the good cheer, by a liberal construction of the constitutional charter, that is to say, through their legal representatives, how much more conducive to public liberty must be those public dinners in our country, where people enjoy the privilege of assisting in person at the banquet! Instead of hearing the herald proclaim, “Now the Lord Mayor is helping himself to turtle—now the Lord Mayor has commenced upon venison—now the Lord Mayor drinks to the queen!” they themselves eat the turtle, the venison, and drink success to popular governments;—with this difference only, that they have less patriotic cooks—cooks who, in most cases, have scarcely an interest in common with those to whose patriotism they minister. This is radically wrong, and ought to be looked to. If our Fourth of July dinners have somewhat fallen into disrepute with the fashionables, it is, I trust, not from a want of patriotism on their part, but on account of the atrocious manner in which some of them are prepared. Let venison and turtle, or if these be out of season, the best that the market affords abound, and the beau monde of our Atlantic cities will excuse the sentiments for the cook’s sake, and wash them down with Champagne and Madeira!

The custom to invite men whom we respect and honor to a public dinner, is as old as the hills, and ought to be carefully handed down to our children. No higher distinction ought ever to be claimed by our public men, and none granted. Political feasts are the highest stimulants to action I know of—but in order to ensure their success, an act of Congress ought to prohibit set speeches, and impromptus prepared for the occasion. The awkward manner of taking public men by surprise, was strikingly exhibited in the speech of Lord Brougham, at a dinner of the members of the National Institute, which began thus: “Non-accoutumé que je suis à parler en publique,” and extorted some smiles even from the furrowed countenances of the French savants. The reading of written addresses, concealed under the plate during dinner, for the purpose of being let loose after the cloth is removed, is a breach of hospitality, and ought to be voted a nuisance; but the greatest latitude might, without danger to public safety, be allowed in regard to toasts, especially when they refer to the Eagle, who from his royal toughness has nothing to fear from the barbarism of the cooks. By the by, English writers and reviewers need not feel so squeamish about “that Eagle,” as “the British Lion” is quite as tough, if not more so, and when he is finished, there still remains the Unicorn, as a corps de reserve. They have two beasts to our one; neither of which is fit to be exhibited in a drawing-room.

Dinners serve scientific and artistical purposes quite as well as they do political ones. Every learned society of England has its annual meetings, at which a public feast is prepared for its officers and members. Turtle and venison are the only means of bringing the members together, just as the suppers at our Philadelphia Wistar parties season the scientific conversation of our own men of learning, and render their entertainments more attractive and cheerful. Dinners and suppers act as the attraction of cohesion among members of the same family. Why should they not promote a feeling of fraternity among men of science and literature?

The practice of patronizing literary men and artists by dining them, has, it is to be regretted, not yet been generally adopted in this country. In England and France it is quite common; but since the remuneration of artists exceeds all bounds in the latter country, the artists, in turn, invite their patrons. There is no better means of spreading useful information than these interchanges of hospitality. Knowledge in general is dry,[2] and would have few votaries if the stomach did not act as interpreter between the learned and the tyro. At table you may bring the most opposite characters together, and they will agree—as long as they are eating—on most subjects, provided they are but half bred. The elective affinity of viands and gravy, mushrooms and truffles, will establish harmony among them, which may last even for an hour after dinner; but at tea you must be careful. All beverages are deceptive, and are rather apt to exhibit differences than to equalize them. A true diplomat will press you to drink; but he will seldom taste any thing but ice water and lemonade.

What important part the stomach plays in diplomacy, is known to the whole world. Napoleon, when sending the Abbé de Pradt to Poland, gave him no other instruction than this: Tenez bonne table et soignez les femmes, (keep a good table and take care of the women.) I wonder whether the late administration gave similar instructions to Colonel Todd, when it sent him to St. Petersburg! Our ministers abroad may take care of the women, after a fashion, but I defy them, unless they are rich, to keep a good table.

It is a vulgar error to suppose that ladies are most attractive at a ball. I prefer to see a woman at dinner. The dinner is the touchstone of her attractions. If she be graceful and agreeable there, she will be so in every position in life, and you may say of her what Napoleon said of Josephine: elle a de la grâce même en se couchant. It was whimsical affectation in Lord Byron to pretend that ladies ought not to eat at all. A woman who has no appetite, or is indifferent as to the manner of gratifying it, is but a poor companion for life, whose good nature and agreeable temper will scarcely last through the honey-moon. Byron had in his mind’s eye an English woman, who breakfasts on chops and dines on raw joints, which is detestable. But fancy an artistically arranged salle à manger, a partie quarrée, (two ladies and as many gentlemen) at breakfast, and the servants handing round côtelettes à la Maintenon, (little lambs’ ribs that look as innocent as new-born babes, artistically set off and coupled with historical associations of the golden age of French literature!) and you have quite another picture. Then the abandon which follows the little cup of Mocca—the sallies of wit and humor—the little attractions of graceful hands and mouths, and fine teeth—the flow of conversation, and the embarrassing intervals and flaws filled up with wine! Then the dessert, which ought never to fail, even at breakfast,—flowers decorating the table, and the women as in the Hesperian garden, touching the forbidden fruit! There you see woman in all her grace, and in all the attractions of her sex,—calm, collected, dignified, observing, listening and perhaps—consenting. What is a ball in comparison? Ladies and gentlemen do not move as ballet-dancers, and make at best but an impression inferior to the latter. Their dilettantism in that respect is no better than that of music, compared with regular performers. At breakfast and dinner, a woman may study attitude, and remain longest in those which are attractive. At the ball-room, she is hurried along, and depends for success on her partner. A clumsy, ungraceful partner in a dance, is enough to ruin her—comparisons will wound her pride—she is agitated, angry, and it is only the queen of a ball who enjoys it and is capable of giving pleasure. At dinner, you possess a woman altogether to yourself,—the impressions which you receive and make are lasting, and you are, by the pleasant occupations of the table, prepared to relish them. You cannot become intimate with a woman unless you have taken a meal with her. And then how many thousand opportunities you have of showing your attention, your being captivated by her charms—how much resignation you can practice in entertaining her! The impressions made at dinner are indelible; those of a ball are evanescent, for you do not receive them in a proper state of mind, and forget them after a night’s rest. The dance deranges a woman’s toilet, makes her gasp and pant for breath, and is apt to exhibit those faults which a skillful toilet would have concealed, and which we would have been happier in not knowing. Ladies after a dance look like victims that have been tortured; and oh! gentle reader, may you never have the misfortune to be behind the scenes at a ballet! The first ballerina, after the greatest storm of applause, looks then but like a fallen angel scourged by furies. No, no! give balls and routes to boys and girls. A sensible man scorns at that, and takes it as no mark of respect for him to be invited to them. Let me lead the woman I fancy to dinner, and give me an hour’s conversation with her afterward, in the boudoir, and I will gladly resign meeting her in a crowd. Let the cook but half do his duty, and I will not be deficient in mine.

A word, before I part, to the Blue Stockings—(I would whisper it if I could do so in print)—It’s very well to quote Shakspeare, and Byron, and Milton, (whom nobody reads,) and Mrs. Hemans, who had much better written sermons. But if you want to acquire a lasting reputation, and choke off envy and detraction, have an eye to your cook. The most fastidious critic would sooner forgive a misquotation than the want of seasoning in a favorite dish. As much literary reputation may be acquired by dining literary men, as by imitating or plundering their writings.

I hope that in a chapter on eating I may quote “Bacon.”

“Gray, my friend, is all Theory, and Green the Tree of life,” says Mephistophiles to the student, in Goethe’s Faust.





Let us go to the dewy mountain, love,

  ’Tis the time of the Maying weather;

The lark is up in the blue above,

  The thrush in the briery heather;

From the cottage elm the robin calls —

  List, love, to the gentle warning —

We’ll away to the mountain waterfalls,

  And drink the dew of the morning.


Let us go to the tangled greenwood fair,

  The scented buds invite us;

The young red deer will gambol there,

  And a thousand songs delight us.

Thy hand in mine, and mine in thine,

  In the wood-path we will linger,

Where the dew is bright on the eglantine,

  As the jewel on thy finger.


Let us go to the moor and the virgin lake —

  I hear the call of the plover;

And the fisherman’s song comes over the brake,

  With the perfume of the clover.

A bonny boat with a pennon gay,

  Like a nymph on the blue is sleeping —

To the fairy lake, oh, let us away,

  While the sun from the hills is peeping.


Let us go to the upland airy lea,

  Where the silent flocks are browsing;

We’ll pass the dale where the honey-bee

  His early store is housing.

Our path shall lead through the meadow lane,

  Its daisy blooms will meet us;

And the reed-pipe strain on the distant plain,

  With the herd-boy’s song will greet us.


Let us go abroad at the early dawn,

  With the blue sky bending o’er us;

While the mingled music of grove and lawn

  Goes up in a grateful chorus;

For sweet is the breath of the morning, love,

  And sweet are the opening flowers;

And sweet shall our communion prove,

  In the fields and woodland bowers.


Let us go while Nature’s holy strain,

  O’er the joyous earth is pealing;

My pulse has caught its youth again,

  And throbs with the rural feeling.

Each bird, and brook, and dripping bud,

  Invites with a gentle warning;

Then let us away to the field and wood,

  And drink the health of the morning.





      Weary of earth, and tossed

Amid the storms which ever wreck my way,

Thou who canst save the wretched and the lost,

      O hear me pray.


      Weary of time, which brings

Little of comfort to my bosom now,

Feeble and worn, to Thee my bosom clings,

      To Thee I bow.


      Deep is the inward strife,

Thou knowest consumes my sick and weary soul,

Deep is that grief still agitates my life,

      Beyond control.


      Here joy is o’er,

Earth cannot soothe, for life can nothing give,

Take me, then, Father, to that mighty shore,

      For Thee I’ll live.


      Watch me where’er I go,

Guide my faint footsteps through this valley drear;

Father, I weep with more than mortal wo,

      But yet can bear.






(Concluded from page 274.)


The ensuing evening was cold, dark, and stormy. The commandant of Fort Constitution was faithful to his appointment. He was received at the door of Captain Wilton’s cottage by Arabella, and conducted silently to the drawing-room. A single light faintly illuminated the interior, and scarcely served to reveal the figure of an individual, plainly dressed, and enveloped in an overcoat, seated beside a table in the centre of the apartment. He rose on the entrance of Gansevoort, and advancing hastily to meet him, with extended hand, and a cordial manner, said, “I rejoice to meet you, Mr. Gansevoort, or rather Sir Francis, if you will permit me thus, in anticipation, to address you.”

The commandant drew back with evident emotion, and declining the proffered hand of the other, replied; “If I mistake not, I have the honor of addressing Sir Philip Bender. We will waive courtesies for the present, until we more fully understand the relation in which we stand to each other.”

“We meet no longer as enemies, Mr. Gansevoort, but as fellow-subjects of the same most gracious sovereign.”

“You and I are, indeed, subjects of one sovereign, Sir Philip, but it is that Sovereign whose empire is the universe.”

“Very true,” replied the other. “My remark, perhaps, was not properly applicable until our business is accomplished.”

“If there is business to be transacted between us, Sir Philip will have the kindness to disclose the nature of it.”

“Come, come, Colonel Gansevoort,” replied Major Bender, with a smile, “let us have no unnecessary formality. I have come to consummate, in every particular, the negotiation already pending between us, through my fair plenipotentiary here, and to learn from you at what hour you will be prepared to deliver formal possession of the fortress under your charge to its rightful and royal proprietor, whom I have the honor to represent.”

“You then recognize this lady as your authorized agent in what has heretofore passed between her and myself on this subject, and now renew her propositions.”

“I do,” eagerly replied Sir Philip; “I see we are fast coming to the point.”

“Yes, Sir Philip Bender, we are coming to the point; but it is one of which you do not seem to dream. In the name, and by the authority of the Congress of the United States, I arrest you as a spy.”

Simultaneously with these words, which were spoken in a tone sufficiently elevated to be heard without, the door opened, and a serjeant, followed by a dozen men, entered the room. A deadly palor overspread the countenance of Sir Philip. Surprise and consternation for a moment paralyzed his faculties. He made no attempt at escape, but dropping silently into a chair, covered his face with his hands, and remained speechless. Had not Bender considered his success in this intrigue as nearly certain as any human project can be rendered before its fulfillment, nothing would have induced him to run the hazard of a personal exposure. But, notwithstanding his certainty, he had still done all that he could do, to be prepared for what he considered the very remote contingency of a mistake. He had landed thirty men, under command of Wiley, and concealed them at the edge of a wood, about a third of a mile distant; it being impossible to bring them into the village without instant detection. A faithful servant alone had accompanied him to the house, and had received instructions, in case of need, to hasten, if possible, and bring them up in time for a rescue. At the moment of his arrest, Miss Wilton, trembling with terror, had slipped from the room, and hastened to notify the servant of his master’s danger. Sir Philip’s horse stood saddled at the door, and the clatter of his hoofs, as he dashed down the street, now caught the ear of the prisoner. Hope, therefore, had not entirely deserted him. If by any means he could detain his captor fifteen or twenty minutes, he was yet safe, and not only so, but would have accomplished no slight enterprise in capturing the commandant of the fort. Gansevoort manifested a becoming respect for the feelings of his prisoner, and allowed him to remain some minutes undisturbed. When the latter, however, saw that preparations were making to depart, he resorted to another artifice to gain time. He sought to draw the commandant into a debate on the propriety of his arrest, alledging that if he had been guilty of any offence, he had been decoyed into it by the latter.

“Not so,” replied Gansevoort, indignantly. “Did I decoy the Dragon into this harbor, or your emissaries into my presence? If I have made use of strategy, it has been to counteract strategy; to undermine the miner, and ‘blow up the engineer with his own petard.’ But why should I waste words in justifying myself to a man who has shown himself to be beyond the influence of every honorable feeling. Extraordinary, indeed, must be those measures which I should not have been justified in using, to prevent the accomplishment of an outrage so great, that I can scarcely refrain even here from inflicting signal vengeance for its contemplation. Base, perfidious, cowardly man! the mantling blood upon your cheek tells me that I am understood.”

“He rails with safety, who rails at a prisoner,” replied Bender, “but let me ask you,” he continued, rising and speaking slowly, and with an abstracted air, “let me ask you whether —”

“Another time and place must suffice,” said the other.

“One word,” rejoined Sir Philip, “only one word!” He paused suddenly, and threw back his head in a listening attitude. A distant tramp was heard. It came nearer—nearer—until a loud “halt!” resounded in front of the house. Then, with an air of indescribable exultation, he shouted, “Now, Colonel Gansevoort, the tables are turned. You are my prisoner! What think you now of ‘undermining the miner, and blowing up the engineer with his own petard?’ ”

“Stand to your arms, my men!” shouted Gansevoort, hastily drawing his sword, “Let one fly and alarm the garrison. Quick! barricade the doors!”

It was too late. The doors were flung violently open, and panting with haste, rushed into the room—not a British officer, but the Count Louis De Zeng! “We heard that you were in danger,” he exclaimed, hastily, to the commandant. “A hundred men at the door await your orders.”

“Your aid is timely,” was the reply. “Take half of your men, and conduct the prisoner immediately to the fort. The rest will remain with me to receive our approaching visiters.”

These orders were immediately put into execution. Wiley, however, became apprized of the state of affairs, and retreated with his men rapidly to their boats. They were not pursued.

A few words will explain the secret of Count De Zeng’s unexpected appearance. When Arabella gave her orders to the servant of Major Bender, Alice, unperceived, stood trembling by. She was terrified beyond measure at the peril of Gansevoort, in whom the gentle girl was interested to a degree that she would not own, even to herself and which nothing could have induced her to exhibit to another. She could not give the alarm within, without exposing her predilections, besides which, she supposed the British force to be much nearer than they were, and that nothing but an immediate alarm of the garrison would afford the slightest chance of escape. She ran, therefore, as soon as she was unobserved, hastily to the fort, which was scarcely forty rods distant. A sentinel on duty conducted her immediately to Count De Zeng, to whom, after exacting a promise of secrecy in regard to her agency in the matter, she briefly communicated the state of affairs at her father’s house. The count lost not a moment in acting on her information, with the result which has been described.



We will not follow the prisoner to the place of his confinement, or dwell upon his dismal reflections behind the grated bars of a felon’s cell. He was not a prisoner of war, entitled to the courtesies and respect due to a brave but unfortunate soldier. He was a criminal, guilty of a most base and ignominious act, for which his thorough knowledge of military law told him he must die. He had landed without a flag, entered the enemy’s quarters in disguise, and there sought to bribe an officer to the betrayal of his trust. There was no hope. He felt it. He must die upon the scaffold. In vain, with impotent rage, did he heap curses upon the heads of his imbecile agents. They were at liberty, and he was the victim. If any thing could aggravate his wretchedness, it was the reflection that the day of his arrest was the day of his expected nuptials. No time was lost in his trial. A military court was convened on the ensuing day, before which the prisoner made an ingenious but useless defence. He was convicted, and sentenced to death, and the sentence was immediately forwarded to the commander-in-chief for approval.

The minutes of the trial, which were also sent to General Washington, were fully explanatory of the particulars of his arrest, and of the personal reasons which had influenced Gansevoort in resorting to measures for its procurement, which the latter would otherwise have considered objectionable. To these, the commandant added his express desire, that if the circumstances afforded any ground for a mitigation of punishment, the prisoner might have the full benefit of it.

During the few days that elapsed before a return could be expected, no exertions were spared by the unhappy man that seemed to offer a chance for his escape. At times, inflated with the idea of his personal importance, he indulged the hope that Washington would not dare to proceed to extremities against him. If that distinguished leader entertained any idea of compromising the national quarrel, it certainly would be bad policy to widen the breach between the opposing parties, by unnecessary rigor. He did not, therefore, neglect to magnify his own importance by allusions to his family connections, his expected promotion to the peerage, and, stretching a point for that purpose, his intimacy with royalty itself. He succeeded so well by these means, in at least convincing himself of his security, that he soon began to resent even the indignity of a personal confinement. His first expostulations on this point, addressed to an officer on guard, were met by the assurance that his cause of complaint would be speedily removed. The order for his execution had arrived. Blanched with terror, he refused to believe the tidings. He had not entertained a doubt that whatever the decision of the commander-in-chief should be, the importance of the transaction would at least induce the personal attendance of that officer. When, however, pursuant to his request, the report of his trial and sentence was shown to him, bearing the simple endorsement, “Approved—Geo. Washington,” his humiliation was complete. Losing at once all sense of personal dignity and fortitude, he begged his life in the most abject terms. Resolutely refusing any personal interview with the prisoner, Gansevoort was importuned by letter. Entreaties, threats, and promises, mingled together, and urged with all the energy and earnestness of despair, formed the staple of his epistles. They were read and returned with the simple reply that his execution would take place on the ensuing day at sunset. We will pass over that dreadful interval, in which hope had entirely forsaken the breast of the doomed. Coward-like, he died a thousand anticipatory deaths.

The day and the hour approached. The giant shadows of the western mountains began to stretch toward the environs of Fort Constitution. As the declining sun lingered above the summit of the hills, its rays were reflected by the bayonets of a military guard, encircling a scaffold, a prisoner, and a coffin. To that sun the executioner looked for his signal. Its disk was resting on the horizon, and a hundred eyes were watching its motion. At this moment there was a sudden movement in the crowd—a parting to give way to some new comer, and a messenger, breathless with haste, placed a letter in the hands of Count De Zeng. Not heeding that it was addressed to the commandant, he hastily opened and perused it. The blood forsook his cheeks, as with a trembling hand he passed the note to Gansevoort, and made a signal to the executioner to forbear. As the eyes of the other ran rapidly down the page, mingled rage and terror shook for a moment his manly frame. Recovering himself with an effort, he directed the serjeant in command to approach.

“Remand the prisoner to his cell,” he said, “the execution must be deferred.”

Before explaining the cause of this sudden change in the aspect of affairs at the fort, it will be necessary to travel back a short period, and take up another clew of this singular history.



Miss Gansevoort’s week of dreadful expectation had passed away, and the day of her expected sacrifice arrived. Her father in the meantime had used every means both to persuade and frighten her into a peaceable compliance with his wishes. Fancying he perceived an increased docility in her conduct, he relaxed a portion of his severity, and tried the effect of kindness. Although closely watched, she was no longer confined to her room. When the appointed day arrived without bringing Sir Philip, she felt a temporary relief; but she then had the additional agony of suspense to endure. Hope, vague and indefinite, began to dawn in her breast; but its light was scarcely more than sufficient to reveal the depth of her despair. Every foot-fall alarmed her. Every voice quickened her pulsation.

In this state of mind, she was astonished and delighted by the unexpected reception of a letter from her brother. It was delivered in the evening to a servant at the door, by a man cloaked and muffled, who immediately departed. It informed her that, having heard of her situation, he had provided means for her immediate rescue; that at the hour of nine in the ensuing evening, a carriage would be in attendance at the corner of the street, displaying a single light in front; and that if she could escape her father’s surveillance long enough to reach the vehicle, she would be safe. A confidential friend of her brother would there receive her, and convey her before morning to the fort. Every thing, he said, was arranged to avoid detection or arrest upon the route.

There were no bounds to the ecstasy of Miss Gansevoort on the receipt of this letter. She resolved to brave every danger, for the purpose of escaping the one which she dreaded most. Never did time travel so slowly as on the ensuing day. Every moment was an age of fear and suspense. Could she manage to make her escape? Would not Sir Philip arrive? Would there be no failure or mistake on the part of her brother’s friend? Who was that friend? These, and a thousand similar questions, continually passed through her mind, and kept it in a state of the most violent agitation. She was obliged to confide her secret to one of her maids, who readily promised all the aid in her power, and even consented to be the companion of her flight. Through her agency, when the appointed hour arrived, she was enabled to transfer a few indispensable articles to the carriage; and when she herself tremblingly prepared to depart, it was without an article of dress about her which could create a suspicion of her design. As the clock struck nine, she rose from her seat in the drawing-room, and with careless air approaching the outer door, suddenly opened it, and darted, fawn-like, down the street. She heard the alarm behind. She heard the clattering steps of her pursuers; but she saw the signal-light at hand. The carriage-door stood open, and a cloaked stranger at its side. Without a word he lifted her in—followed—closed the door—and the cracking of the coachman’s whip, and the rattling of the wheels, mingled with the shouts and execrations of the pursuers.

“My maid! my maid!” exclaimed Ellen, “she is left!”

“Silence! it is too late!” was the answer in a low voice. The noise made by the rapid motion of the coach, for some time effectually debarred any further attempt at conversation; but thinking only of her escape, Miss Gansevoort easily postponed her curiosity, convinced that their present velocity would soon carry them beyond the danger of pursuit, and admit of a more moderate speed. Worn out with fatigue and anxiety, she fell into an uneasy sleep, but was soon awakened by the stopping of the coach. Confused noises were heard without. Angry questions and replies were followed by a demand to open the door. Her companion suddenly let down a window and looking out, uttered a few words in a low tone. “Oh, it’s you, is it?” was the reply; and without further questions the carriage was allowed to proceed. Ellen strove hard, but in vain, to catch a glimpse of her mysterious companion’s face. She again sunk to sleep, and was again awakened to witness a similar scene. Every thing presented itself to her mind in a mystified and unnatural manner. Darkness and drowsiness, commingled dreams and realities, passing lights, strange voices, half understood sentences, beginning close at hand, and dying away in the distance, all contributed to complete her confusion, and prevent the obtaining of one distinct idea. It is not surprising that she yielded herself again and again, contentedly to sleep, for the one dominant hope of her waking moments became a glorious certainty in her dreams, and she smiled in security under the assured protection of him to whom, unawares, she had long since yielded up the priceless treasure of her heart.

Once, on awakening, the gurgling, rippling sound of water reached her ears. They were crossing the river at a ferry. The vehicle being stationary, it was a favorable moment to address her companion, which, with trembling voice, she hastened to do. The long, hard breathing of a sleeper was her only reply. Abashed and alarmed, she desisted from her inquiries, and in a few moments they were again in rapid motion. Fully awakened now by her fears, she slept no more.

Leaving the main route, the carriage at length entered a dark and narrow defile of the mountains, and for more than an hour slowly pursued its labarynthine course, amidst a gloom rendered tenfold by the surrounding forests. Having stopped at last before a small and obscure looking house, her companion alighted, and was received by several individuals, who seemed to have been awaiting his arrival. Laughter and congratulations ensued. Several of the bystanders approached the carriage, and in no gentle terms requested Ellen to alight. Hurried into the cottage, as soon as her bewildered faculties were enabled to comprehend the answers to her incoherent questions, she learned in substance that she was among a band of Tories and savages, a prisoner, and a hostage for the safety of Sir Philip Bender.



It is needless to say that the letter which had so suddenly arrested the threatened tragedy at Fort Constitution, was from Ellen Gansevoort. Her situation was perilous in the extreme. A prisoner among the most lawless of men, she was held, as has been said, in pledge for the safety of Bender, and was threatened, in the event of his execution, with being carried into remote captivity. A detachment of Indians, belonging to a western tribe, formed part of her captors, and on the fourth ensuing day were to set out on their return to the wilderness, with her, or without, as the fate of Bender should decide. It is unnecessary to say that Wiley was the agent in this infernal transaction. Horror-struck at the arrest of his patron, his terror had given way only to the most vindictive anger toward his supposed dupe, Gansevoort. He knew well the extraordinary affection which that gentleman entertained for his sister, and had also some intimation of Count De Zeng’s attachment to Ellen. With the desperate hope of aiding Sir Philip, for whose arrest he considered himself responsible, he had concocted, and, with unrelenting barbarity, carried into effect, the plot which has been detailed; and which his intimate connection with the Tories of Westchester county had afforded him every facility for consummating. His hand had forged the letter which had deceived Miss Gansevoort, and he had been her companion in the carriage. In the further execution of his plan, he had been compelled to disclose himself to his prisoner. But, although it was his exorcism that had conjured up the storm which now impended over the unfortunate Ellen, he had not the power to control its fury. The savages, whose services had been engaged, had been secured by the promise of a large reward from Major Bender, if released, or the person of their prisoner, if the project failed. Wiley had not the means, if he had had the disposition, to purchase her release in the event of failure. It was therefore no idle threat which had been made.

The substance of these facts was briefly communicated in Ellen’s letter to her brother, which was written at the request of Wiley, and by him forwarded to Gansevoort. In this he proposed to send Ellen, at once, in safety to the fort, upon receiving a written promise from the commander-in-chief to pardon Sir Philip. Miss Gansevoort expressed her belief that there was no reasonable hope of her rescue, owing to the wild and almost inaccessible nature of the fastnesses among which her captors were lurking. Her language betrayed inadvertently the anguish of fear which overwhelmed her, and which, in pity to her friends, she would fain have concealed. The startling effect produced by this letter on Colonels Gansevoort and De Zeng, will no longer be considered surprising; or that all other considerations were immediately lost sight of in so engrossing a subject. To them the safety of Ellen was a matter of paramount moment; and had they possessed the power to procure her release by the discharge of Bender, his shackles would have melted at a breath. But, alas! such was not the case. An immediate sally was earnestly urged by De Zeng, in pursuit of the brigand force; but this, without a guide, without any clew to the hiding-places of the enemy, who had their choice of a hundred impregnable positions among the mountains, would have been but wasting time, and rendering the situation of the captive still more perilous. The inflexible character of the commander-in-chief, in matters pertaining to the welfare of the country, left them but little hope that he would sacrifice its interests to any private consideration. But there was no time to be lost in deliberation; and De Zeng himself set out on the same evening, with a small guard, for Washington’s quarters. His route lying exclusively through a friendly region, he was enabled to obtain frequent relays of horses, and, by dint of hard riding, arrived at the camp soon after daylight on the ensuing morning. He did not hesitate to disturb the slumbers of the commander with a message, begging an instant audience. In the fewest words he had put General Washington in possession of all the facts, and pale with fatigue, and trembling with anxiety, stood watching the working of his countenance, to catch the first glimpses of a decision which he knew would be final. Benevolence gleamed from the commander’s eye, but a stern compression of his lips foreshadowed his reply. It was impossible, he said, to compromise the interests of the whole country for a single life, however precious. Bender’s guilt was unmitigated. The example of his punishment must be made. Similar attempts at corruption on the part of the British government had become frequent, and unless checked by some signal act, might be productive of the most disastrous consequences. In vain did the count, with all the earnestness of impassioned feeling, plead the cause of poor Ellen and her distracted brother. A calm rebuke from the commander reminded him that he also possessed the feelings of benevolence common to humanity, but that his decision, painful as it was, had been well weighed, and could not be altered.

After a brief repose, De Zeng, with a heavy heart, prepared to return; but, in the meantime, a second messenger had arrived from the fort, bearing a dispatch for the count. It was from Sir Philip Bender himself, and had been forwarded by permission of Gansevoort. It enclosed a letter to Gen. Washington, in which the prisoner proposed not only the release of Ellen, but also the surrender of his coadjutor, Wiley, to procure his own pardon. He boldly asserted that he had the means to bring about these results. Wiley was well known at head-quarters as a desperate and daring man, whose connection both with the British army at New York, and with the Tories in the river counties, rendered him a formidable adversary. His bitter hatred of the republicans, the frequency and facility of his disguises, and his utter disregard of every principle of honorable warfare, made him a valuable auxiliary to the enemy, and, not infrequently, a real scourge to the patriots. To accomplish his arrest, scarcely any sacrifice would have been considered inordinate. His life was trebly forfeited even before the affair of Fort Constitution, in which he had prostituted the sacred character of a flag to the most vile and corrupt of purposes.

General Washington avowed his utter disbelief in Bender’s ability to fulfill his engagement, which he considered probably a ruse to gain time. He, however, to the great delight of Count De Zeng, accepted the proposition; and the latter, with renewed hope, but with many misgivings set out on his return.



The messenger who had brought Miss Gansevoort’s letter to the fort, was the same servant of Sir Philip who had accompanied him to the house of Captain Wilton on the night of his arrest. It was through his agency that the prisoner proposed to accomplish his present designs. Base and perfidious to the last, he manifested not the least repugnance to thus sacrificing one, who, whatever were his other faults, had ever manifested the utmost fidelity to him. The servant had come directly from the camp of the brigands, and being fully in their confidence, could guide a detachment from the garrison directly to the spot, and thus probably promote the destruction or capture of the whole band. No time was lost in this enterprise. Count De Zeng in the most earnest manner begged, and obtained, command of the expedition. The outlaws were only about thirty in number, and the count, anxious to make a rapid and secret march, did not consider it necessary or prudent to take more than twice that force. The distance to be accomplished was about thirty miles, and at the hour of ten on the ensuing evening the little army set out. Knowing the vigilant character of his enemy, De Zeng had observed the greatest secrecy, and at the hour of starting not an individual of the company, excepting himself and his guide, had the most remote idea of the object of the expedition. Avoiding the village, which might contain the lurking spies of Wiley, they took the nearest route to the forest, and there, through its wild and unfrequented depths, slowly pursued their way. We will not dwell upon the particulars of this most toilsome march. The cold was intense, the snow lay deep upon the ground, and the wind came moaning through the long defiles of the mountains, among which their path must be pursued. To the Count De Zeng, unaccustomed even to the sight of an American wilderness, it was painful in the extreme. But no word or look gave token of impatience. The deep anxiety that pervaded his breast in relation to the result of his mission, on which the life of Miss Gansevoort, and his own future happiness must depend, diminished every smaller trial. Laughing at every obstacle, he encouraged his followers by his own fortitude and fearlessness. At the dawn of day they had accomplished but little more than half of their journey. Allowing his men a single hour for refreshment and repose, he again pressed forward. They beheld his endurance with surprise, and were ashamed to complain.

At about noon, the guide having informed De Zeng that they were drawing near to Wiley’s encampment, he made a brief halt, for the purpose of explaining to his men the nature of the service on which they were bound. He informed them that Wiley was to be taken alive, if possible; but charged them particularly that the chief object of the expedition was the safe recovery of Miss Gansevoort. Having succeeded in animating them with a portion of his own enthusiasm, by a few brief but forcible remarks, he resumed his march.

The camp was situated on a summit which overlooked all the adjacent region, and which, by reason of its steepness, was nearly inaccessible, excepting at a point which was in full view of the enemy. The denseness of the forest was, however, favorable to the secret approach from another direction, and De Zeng resolved at once to scale the height in the rear. With incredible toil this task was performed. The summit having been attained, the panting soldiers were immediately formed and led forward. Against any ordinary approach of an enemy Wiley was sufficiently guarded; but he was not prepared for treachery. He could not anticipate the approach of an army by a way that even a chamois hunter would have hesitated to climb. He was taken so entirely off his guard, that but few of his company were even under arms, and the first intimation of his enemy’s approach was a loud demand to surrender. The Tories and savages flew hastily to their arms, but a single volley, and a rapid charge with the bayonet proved decisive. Several were killed, and the rest, excepting only their leader, instantaneously surrendered. He alone, agile as a deer, fled into the forest, and descending the dreadful declivity almost at a leap, once more seemed to bid defiance to his foes. But the avenger was on his path. Nothing could exceed the rage which had burned in the bosom of the young count from the moment when he first caught sight of his enemy. Calling now on a few of his men to follow, but distancing every competitor, De Zeng rushed down the side of the mountain in pursuit, and gaining momentarily upon the fugitive, once more called on him to yield. Wiley turned, and stood for a moment at bay; but beholding the flashing blade of his pursuer at his breast, and numbers of his enemies hastening up, he quietly surrendered. Exulting in his success, the count now returned hastily to the camp; but, alas! he was yet destined to experience a bitter proof how difficult it is to circumvent a vigilant adversary. Notwithstanding Wiley’s terror, his countenance had worn a sardonic smile, which gave token of some unknown calamity. Too soon did the fearful truth transpire. Miss Gansevoort was not in the camp. No words can express the anguish of Count De Zeng at this discovery. Wiley, who was immediately sternly interrogated by his captor, stated that Ellen was a full day’s journey in the wilderness, in custody of a band of Hurons. But a moment’s reflection convinced the count of the improbability of this story. The time had not yet arrived, when, according to the statement in Ellen’s letter, the Indians were to start; and they would not be likely thus to defeat their whole plan by a premature movement. The other prisoners were severally questioned, but no satisfactory information could be obtained. Rage mingled with the grief of De Zeng, when he saw himself thus trifled with. He believed that Miss Gansevoort had been conveyed to some other lurking-place in the forest, by Wiley’s direction, and that the latter was fully cognizant of her present position. This hypothesis alone affording him any hope of rescuing her, he resolved to act upon it. Summoning Wiley, therefore, to his presence, he addressed him as follows:

“You alone are accountable for the present captivity and suffering of Miss Gansevoort. Produce her here within two hours or those forest trees shall afford a gallows for you, higher than Haman ever hung. Select any three of your men whom you choose to send upon this errand, and they shall immediately be set at liberty.”

Wiley smiled as he replied: “Count De Zeng forgets that he is talking to a gentleman, and an officer of the British army. Such threats may frighten children.”

“Decline the proposition,” said De Zeng sternly, “and the hours shall be shortened into minutes.”

“I repeat,” answered Wiley, again smiling contemptuously, “that I am not thus to be intimidated.”

De Zeng did not reply, but hastily detailing a dozen men, made known to them his wishes. The preparations went rapidly forward, but still the prisoner laughed. Not for effect, not with affectation, but with real incredulity and scorn, he laughed. He laughed while his hands were being tied. He laughed while the rope was fastened around his neck. A sapling had been bent slightly toward the ground, and secured in that position by a rope, readily formed of twisted bark, and tied around the summit and base of the tree, while another rope of the same material, suspended from the top, received the prisoner’s neck. The severance of the first-named cord would allow the tree to return to its upright position, thus simply effecting the design.

When all things were ready, Count De Zeng took out his watch, and solemnly informed the prisoner that he had only five minutes of life remaining, if he continued to refuse the proposed terms.

“You shall yet answer for this foolery,” was the only reply. “The law will redress me.”

“Outlaw! brigand! kidnapper!” returned the count; “do you talk to me of law?”

Wiley knew that his life was forfeited, and that if carried a prisoner to the American camp, his only chance of escape from death would consist in his being exchanged for Miss Gansevoort, which he entertained sanguine hopes of effecting. He was also infatuated to the last with entire incredulity in regard to De Zeng’s threats, having himself before witnessed, and even been a party to similar transactions, where nothing more was intended than to extort some valuable information. He therefore continued unrelenting.

An awful silence for a few minutes prevailed, during which De Zeng’s eyes were riveted upon his watch, and an attendant with drawn sword stood ready to sever the cord at the base of the tree. The prisoner again smiled, as he remarked, “The time must be past, Count De Zeng: I suppose the play is now over.”

A signal from the count, and a flash of the executioner’s blade, was the only reply. The released tree sprang upwards, and, suspended, struggling from its lofty top, Edward Wiley passed into eternity.

Appalled at the awful spectacle, the little company remained for some time silent, but at length one of the prisoners, who seemed in some authority, and who had ventured to remonstrate against the proceedings, remarked that the “tragedy was ended.”

“Ended!” exclaimed De Zeng, in a voice of startling tone; “it is but just begun. Your whole number, man by man, shall dangle at those tree-tops, if you still persist in withholding your captive. Who stands next in authority?”

Of course none were anxious to lay claim to so dangerous a dignity; but the majority of the prisoners being Indians, one, who bore the insignia of a chief, was selected and brought forward. Glancing with a slight tremor upward at the suspended body of his leader, he turned to the count, and said,

“The white chief carried a forked tongue; Wind-Wing will bring back the Pale Flower.”

A brief parley ensued, during which it appeared that the chief had a son among the prisoners, who agreed to be responsible for the fulfillment of his promise. The compact was duly made. By the time that the shadow of an adjacent maple should fall across the corner of the encampment, Wind-Wing was to return with the maiden, or his son was to die. The time specified was about an hour. It was a period of intense interest to all. The short winter day was fast wasting away, and Count De Zeng felt that if it passed without the rescue of Miss Gansevoort, but little hope would remain of effecting that object. He hardly dared to believe either in the fidelity of the savage, or in his ability to accomplish his task. If Ellen was in reality in the vicinity, she was doubtless in the custody of Tories, over whom the Indian would have no control. More especially, if the latter should be indiscreet enough to divulge the death of Wiley, would that circumstance operate against poor Ellen. The more De Zeng reflected the more he despaired. He even began to anticipate an attack of the camp, as Wind-Wing might make use of his fleetness only to arouse the neighboring Tories to the rescue of their friends. Double vigilance was therefore enjoined upon the sentinels. In the meantime the hour dragged slowly along, and the shadow gradually approached the designated line. It was with real pain that De Zeng gave orders to make ready the fatal tree. Wiley’s death he had witnessed without the slightest compunction, but the Indian was comparatively innocent. His resolution, however, was fixed. If the chief failed of his promise, there would be nothing further to rely upon, excepting a thorough intimidation of the remaining prisoners.

But the Indian who stood in jeopardy manifested no fear. While others watched the creeping shadow of the maple, his gaze was fixed upon the distant hills. The rope was adjusted, but he did not quail. The executioner took his stand, but still his bright eye, bespeaking an unfaltering faith in his sire’s fidelity, rested on the distant forests. Choked with emotion, his whole frame moved by the violent pulsations of his heart, Count De Zeng stood silently by. At this moment a sudden ejaculation from the Indian caused all eyes to take the direction of his own, when, bounding down the side of a distant mountain, Wind-Wing, bearing a white burthen in his arms, was perceived. Long, loud, and tumultuous were the cheers that burst from that assembled throng, and awakened the distant echoes of the silent forest. Darting from the midst of his companions, De Zeng once more dashed down the hill, and seeming to surpass all human speed in his flight, in a short time had met and received from the nearly exhausted chieftain, the terrified but yet conscious Ellen. Let us not undertake so idle a task as that of depicting the delight either of the liberated captive, or her generous rescuer.

The conjectures of Count De Zeng had been nearly correct. Anticipating a possible attack, Wiley had taken the precaution to send his prisoner, in custody of a small detachment of Indians, to a secure hiding-place a few miles distant from the encampment. There were, however, no Tories among her guard, and the influence of the chief over his fellow savages was, of course, sufficient to enable him to obtain the maiden without difficulty. They had even accompanied him the greater part of the way, and assisted to transport his gentle burthen.

With a light heart the count now gave orders for his homeward march. A litter was readily formed, in which Ellen was carried; the soldiers, who had begun to idolize their leader for his bold and successful conduct in the late enterprise, vieing with each other in alacrity to perform this duty. With brief intervals of repose, their march was continued through the night, and before noon of the ensuing day they arrived in safety at the fort. The commandant, to whom the period of De Zeng’s absence had been one of the most painful suspense, now gave way to the most unbounded delight, which soon, with a contagious influence diffused itself throughout the garrison. He gave orders to celebrate the event by a general salute from the guns of the fort, which were immediately carried into effect, amidst the heartiest and most tumultuous cheering that ever awakened the echoes of Tappaan Zee.

Bender, within a few days, was pardoned and released. Thoroughly humbled, yet sufficiently happy in saving his life, he quietly departed.

One result of the remarkable events which have been recorded will be so easily conjectured by the reader, as scarcely to require its relation. Born at remote points of the globe, singularly united in their recent destinies, and long really wedded in affection, Louis De Zeng and Ellen Gansevoort were not henceforth to be separated. But the day which witnessed their union was equally auspicious to another pair of generous and gentle hearts. Colonel Gansevoort had, by some accident, at length discovered his own attachment to the beautiful Alice. By her seemingly slight agency what momentous results had been effected. A lifetime of devotion could not have repaid the service, which, under the impulse of a generous feeling, she had freely rendered. But a sense of obligation was not necessary to inspire affection for Alice. Her gentle heart elicited a voluntary and perpetual homage, which no sentiment of duty was needed to confirm.

Little remains to be told. The subsequent military career of Colonels Gansevoort and De Zeng were distinguished by the same integrity, sagacity, and courage, which had marked their commencement. If they did not rise to eminence in station, it was less from want of ability than want of ambition. They had drunk of that charmed cup of bliss which renders tasteless and insipid all the inferior joys of life.

Colonel Edmund Gansevoort lived to read the proclamation by which his royal master acknowledged the sovereignty and independence of the United States of America, and to behold his own boasted possessions saved from confiscation only by the interest of his once disinherited son.







It is a structure of the olden time,

Built to endure, not dazzle for a day;

A stain is on the venerable roof,

Telling of conflict with the King of Storms,

And clings to casement-worn, and hanging eaves,

With thread-like roots, the moss.

                        Grey shutters swing

On rusted hinges, but the beams of day

Dart with a softening radiance through the bars.

Colossal domes of chiseled marble made,

Religion’s fanes, with glittering golden spires,

And Mammon’s airy and embellished halls,

Wearing a modern freshness, are in sight,

But a cold glance they win from me alone.


Why do I turn from Art’s triumphant works,

To look on pile more humble? Why in thought

Linger around this ancient edifice?

The place is hallowed—Washington once trod,

Planning the fall of tyranny, these floors.

Within yon chamber did he bend the knee,

Calling on God to aid the patriot’s cause,

At morn, and in the solemn hour of night,

His mandate, pregnant with a Nation’s fate,

Went forth from these plain, unpretending walls.

Here towered, in war-like garb, his stately form,

While marshaled thousands in the dusty street,

Gave ear to his harangue, and inly vowed

To die or conquer with their matchless chief.

Methinks at yon old window I behold

His calm, majestic features—while the sound

Of blessing rises from the throng below.

Have not the scenes of other days returned?

Do I not hear the sentry’s measured tramp,

Clangor of mail, and neigh of battle-steed,

Mingling their discord with the drum’s deep roll?

No! ’twas a dream!—the magic of a place

Allied to memory of Earth’s noblest son,

Gives form and seeming life to viewless air.


Relic of our Heroic Age, farewell!

Long may these walls defy dissolving Time,

Mock the blind fury of the hollow blast,

And woo the pilgrim hither, while a voice

Comes from the shadowy caverns of the Past,

Full of instruction to a freeman’s soul —

A mighty voice that speaks of Washington,

And prompts renewal of stern vow to guard

Pure fires that on my Country’s altar glow.





Strawbrees! Strawb’rees!” cried a poorly clad, tired-looking woman, about eleven o’clock one sultry June morning. She was passing a handsome house in Walnut street, into the windows of which she looked earnestly, in the hope of seeing the face of a customer. She did not look in vain, for the shrill sound of her voice brought forward a lady, dressed in a silk morning-wrapper, who beckoned her to stop. The woman lifted the heavy tray from her head, and placing it upon the door-step, sat wearily down.

“What’s the price of your strawberries?” asked the lady, as she came to the door.

“Ten cents a box, madam. They are right fresh.”

“Ten cents!” replied the lady, in a tone of surprise, drawing herself up and looking grave. Then shaking her head, and compressing her lips firmly, she added —

“I can’t give ten cents for strawberries. It’s too much.”

“You can’t get such strawberries as these for less, madam,” said the woman. “I got a levy a box for them yesterday.”

“Then you got too much, that’s all I have to say. I never pay such prices. I bought strawberries in market yesterday, just as good as yours, for eight cents a box.”

“I don’t know how they do to sell them at that price,” returned the woman. “Mine cost nearly eight cents, and ought to bring me at least twelve. But I am willing to take ten, so that I can sell out quickly. It’s a very hot day.” And the woman wiped, with her apron, the perspiration from her glowing face.

“No, I wont pay ten cents,” said the lady(?) coldly. “I’ll give you forty cents for five quarts, and nothing more.”

“But, madam, they cost me within a trifle of eight cents a quart.”

“I can’t help that. You paid too much for them, and this must be your loss, not mine, if I buy your strawberries. I never pay for other people’s mistakes. I understand the use of money much better than that.”

The poor woman did not feel very well. The day was unusually hot and sultry, and her tray felt heavier, and tired her more than usual. Five boxes would lighten it, and if she sold her berries at eight cents, she would clear two cents and a half, and that made her something.

“I’ll tell you what I will do,” she said, after thinking a few moments; “I don’t feel as well as usual to-day, and my tray is heavy. Five boxes sold will be something. You shall have them at nine cents. They cost me seven and a half, and I am sure it’s worth a cent and a half a box to cry them about the streets such hot weather as this.”

“I have told you, my good woman, exactly what I will do,” said the customer, with dignity. “If you are willing to take what I offer you, say so, if not, we needn’t stand here any longer.”

“Well, I suppose you will have to take them,” replied the strawberry-woman, seeing that there was no hope of doing better. “But it’s too little.”

“It’s enough,” said the lady, as she turned to call a servant. Five boxes of fine large strawberries were received, and forty cents paid for them. The lady re-entered the parlor, pleased at her good bargain, while the poor woman turned from the door sad and disheartened. She walked nearly the distance of a square before she could trust her voice to utter her monotonous cry of

“Strawb’rees! Strawb’rees!”

An hour afterward, a friend called upon Mrs. Mier, the lady who had bought the strawberries. After talking about various matters and things interesting to lady house-keepers, Mrs. Mier said —

“How much did you pay for strawberries this morning?”

“Ten cents.”

“You paid too much. I bought them for eight.”

“For eight! Were they good ones?”

“Step into the dining-room and I will show them to you.”

The ladies stepped into the dining-room, when Mrs. Mier displayed her large, red berries, which were really much finer than she had at first supposed them to be.

“You didn’t get them for eight cents,” remarked the visiter incredulously.

“Yes I did. I paid forty cents for five quarts.”

“While I paid fifty for some not near so good.”

“I suppose you paid just what you were asked?”

“Yes, I always do that. I buy from one woman during the season, who agrees to furnish me at the regular market price.”

“Which you will always find to be two or three cents above what you can get them for in the market.”

“You always buy in market.”

“I bought these from a woman at the door.”

“Did she only ask eight cents for them?”

“Oh no! She asked ten cents, and pretended that she got twelve and a half for the same quality of berries yesterday. But I never give these people what they ask.”

“While I never can find it in my heart to ask a poor, tired-looking woman at my door, to take a cent less for her fruit than she asks me. A cent or two, while it is of little account to me, must be of great importance to her.”

“You are a very poor economist, I see,” said Mrs. Mier. “If that is the way you deal with every one, your husband no doubt finds his expense account a very serious item.”

“I don’t know about that. He never complains. He allows me a certain sum every week to keep the house, and find my own and the children’s clothes; and so far from ever calling on him for more, I always have fifty or a hundred dollars lying by me.”

“You must have a precious large allowance then, considering your want of economy in paying everybody just what they ask for their things.”

“Oh, no! I don’t do that exactly, Mrs. Mier. If I consider the price of a thing too high, I don’t buy it.”

“You paid too high for your strawberries to-day.”

“Perhaps I did; although I am by no means certain.”

“You can judge for yourself. Mine cost but eight cents, and you own that they are superior to yours at ten cents.”

“Still, yours may have been too cheap, instead of mine too dear.”

“Too cheap! That is funny! I never saw any thing too cheap in my life. The great trouble is, that every thing is too dear. What do you mean by too cheap?”

“The person who sold them to you may not have made profit enough upon them to pay for her time and labor. If this were the case, she sold them to you too cheap.”

“Suppose she paid too high for them? Is the purchaser to pay for her error?”

“Whether she did so, it would be hard to tell; and even if she had made such a mistake, I think it would be more just and humane to pay her a price that would give her a fair profit, instead of taking from her the means of buying bread for her children. At least this is my way of reasoning.”

“And a precious lot of money it must take to support such a system of reasoning. But how much, pray, do you have a week to keep the family? I am curious to know.”

“Thirty-five dollars.”

“Thirty-five dollars! You are jesting.”

“Oh, no! That is exactly what I receive, and as I have said, I find the sum ample.”

“While I receive fifty dollars a week,” said Mrs. Mier, “and am forever calling on my husband to settle some bill or other for me. And yet I never pay the exorbitant prices asked by everybody for every thing. I am strictly economical in my family. While other people pay their domestics a dollar and a half and two dollars a week, I give but a dollar and a quarter each to my cook and chambermaid, and require the chambermaid to help the washer-woman on Mondays. Nothing is wasted in my kitchen, for I take care, in marketing, not to allow room for waste. I don’t know how it is that you save money on thirty-five dollars with your system, while I find fifty dollars inadequate with my system.”

The exact difference in the two systems will be clearly understood by the reader, when he is informed that although Mrs. Mier never paid any body as much as was at first asked for an article, and was always talking about economy, and trying to practice it, by withholding from others what was justly their due, as in the case of the strawberry-woman, yet she was a very extravagant person, and spared no money in gratifying her own pride. Mrs. Gilman, her visiter, was, on the contrary, really economical, because she was moderate in all her desires, and was usually as well satisfied with an article of dress or furniture that cost ten or twenty dollars, as Mrs. Mier was with one that cost forty or fifty dollars. In little things, the former was not so particular as to infringe the rights of others, while in larger matters, she was careful not to run into extravagance in order to gratify her own or children’s pride and vanity, while the latter pursued a course directly opposite.

Mrs. Gilman was not as much dissatisfied, on reflection, about the price she had paid for her strawberries, as she had felt at first.

“I would rather pay these poor creatures two cents a quart too much than too little,” she said to herself,—“dear knows, they earn their money hard enough, and get but a scanty portion after all.”

Although the tray of the poor strawberry-woman, when she passed from the presence of Mrs. Mier, was lighter by five boxes, her heart was heavier, and that made her steps more weary than before. The next place at which she stopped, she found the same disposition to beat her down in her price.

“I’ll give you nine cents, and take four boxes,” said the lady.

“Indeed, madam, that is too little,” replied the woman; “ten cents is the lowest at which I can sell them and make even a reasonable profit.”

“Well, say thirty-seven and a-half for four boxes, and I will take them. It is only two cents and a-half less than you ask for them.”

“Give me a fip, ma!—there comes the candy-man!” exclaimed a little fellow, pressing up to the side of the lady. “Quick, ma! Here, candy-man!” calling after an old man with a tin cylinder under his arm, that looked something like an ice-cream freezer. The lady drew out her purse, and searched among its contents for the small coin her child wanted.

“I havn’t any thing less than a levy,” she at length said.

“Oh, well, he can change it. Candy-man, you can change a levy?”

By this time the “candy-man” stood smiling beside the strawberry-woman. As he was counting out the fip’s worth of candy, the child spoke up in an earnest voice, and said —

“Get a levy’s worth, mother, do, wont you? Cousin Lu’s coming to see us to-morrow.”

“Let him have a levy’s worth, candy-man. He’s such a rogue I can’t resist him,” responded the mother. The candy was counted out, and the levy paid, when the man retired in his usual good humor.

“Shall I take these strawberries for thirty-seven and a-half cents?” said the lady, the smile fading from her face. “It is all I am willing to give.”

“If you wont pay any more, I mustn’t stand for two cents and a-half,” replied the woman, “although they would nearly buy a loaf of bread for the children,” she mentally added.

The four boxes were sold for the sum offered, and the woman lifted the tray upon her head, and moved on again. The sun shone out still hotter and hotter as the day advanced. Large beads of perspiration rolled from the throbbing temples of the strawberry-woman, as she passed wearily up one street and down another, crying her fruit at the top of her voice. At length all were sold but five boxes, and now it was past one o’clock. Long before this she ought to have been at home. Faint from over-exertion, she lifted her tray from her head, and placing it upon a door-step, sat down to rest. As she sat thus, a lady came up, and paused at the door of the house as if about to enter.

“You look tired, my good woman,” she said kindly. “This is a very hot day for such hard work as yours. How do you sell your strawberries?”

“I ought to have ten cents for them, but nobody seems willing to give ten cents to-day, although they are very fine, and cost me as much as some I have got twelve and a half for.”

“How many boxes have you?”

“Five, ma’am.”

“They are very fine, sure enough,” said the lady, stooping down and examining them; “and well worth ten cents. I’ll take them.”

“Thanky, ma’am. I was afraid I should have to take them home,” said the woman, her heart bounding up lightly.

The lady rang the bell, for it was at her door that the tired strawberry-woman had stopped to rest herself. While she was waiting for the door to be opened, the lady took from her purse the money for the strawberries, and handing it to the woman, said,

“Here is your money. Shall I tell the servant to bring you out a glass of cool water? You are hot and tired.”

“If you please, ma’am,” said the woman, with a grateful look.

The water was sent out by the servant who was to receive the strawberries, and the tired woman drank it eagerly. Its refreshing coolness flowed through every vein, and when she took up her tray to return home, both heart and step were lighter.

The lady, whose benevolent feelings had prompted her to the performance of this little act of kindness, could not help remembering the woman’s grateful look. She had not done much—not more than it was every one’s duty to do; but the recollection of even that was pleasant, far more pleasant than could possibly have been Mrs. Mier’s self-gratulations at having saved ten cents on her purchase of five boxes of strawberries, notwithstanding the assurance of the poor woman who vended them, that, at the reduced rate, her profit on the whole would only be two cents and a-half.

After dinner Mrs. Mier went out and spent thirty dollars in purchasing jewelry for her eldest daughter, a young lady not yet eighteen years of age. That evening, at the tea-table, the strawberries were highly commended as being the largest and most delicious in flavor of any they had yet had; in reply to which, Mrs. Mier stated, with an air of peculiar satisfaction, that she had got them for eight cents a box when they were worth at least ten cents.

“The woman asked me ten cents,” she said, “but I offered her eight, and she took it.”

While the family of Mrs. Mier were enjoying their pleasant repast, the strawberry-woman sat at a small table, around which were gathered three young children, the oldest but six years of age. She had started out in the morning with thirty boxes of strawberries, for which she was to pay seven and a-half cents a box. If all had brought the ten cents a box, she would have made seventy-five cents; but such was not the case. Rich ladies had beaten her down in her price—had chaffered with her for the few pennies of profits to which her hard labor entitled her—and actually robbed her of the meager pittance she strove to earn for her children. Instead of realizing the small sum of seventy-five cents, she had cleared only forty-five cents. With this she bought a little Indian meal and molasses for her own and her children’s supper and breakfast.

As she sat with her children, eating the only food she was able to provide for them, and thought of what had occurred during the day, a feeling of bitterness toward her kind came over her; but the remembrance of the kind words, and the glass of cool water, so timely and thoughtfully tendered to her, was like leaven in the waters of Marah. Her heart softened, and with the tears stealing to her eyes, she glanced upward, and asked a blessing on her who had remembered that, though poor, she was still human.

Economy is a good thing, and should be practiced by all, but it should show itself in denying ourselves, not in oppressing others. We see persons spending dollar after dollar foolishly one hour, and in the next trying to save a five penny piece off of a wood-sawyer, coal-heaver, or market-woman. Such things are disgraceful, if not dishonest.





A weary, wandering soul am I,

  O’erburthened with an earthly weight;

A palmer through the world and sky

  Seeking the celestial gate.


Tell me, ye sweet and sinless flowers,

  Who all night gaze upon the skies,

Have ye not in the silent hours

  Seen aught of Paradise?


Ye birds, that soar and sing, elate

  With joy which makes your voices strong,

Have ye not at the crystal gate

  Caught somewhat of your song?


Ye waters, sparkling in the morn,

  Ye seas, which hold the starry night,

Have ye not from the imperial bourn

  Caught glimpses of its light?


Ye hermit oaks, and sentinel pines,

  Ye mountain forests old and gray,

In all your long and winding lines

  Have ye not seen the way?


Thou moon, ’mid all thy starry bowers,

  Knowest thou the path the angels tread?

Seest thou beyond thy azure towers

  The golden gates dispread?


Ye holy spheres, that sang with earth

  While earth was yet a sinless star,

Have the immortals heavenly birth

  Within your realms afar?


Thou monarch sun, whose light unfurls

  Thy banners through unnumbered skies,

Seest thou amid thy subject worlds

  The flaming portals rise?


All, all are mute! and still am I

  O’erburthened with an earthly weight,

A palmer through the world and sky

  Seeking the celestial gate.


No answer wheresoe’er I roam—

  From skies afar no guiding ray;

But, hark! the voice of Christ says “Come!

  Arise! I am the way!”





And all hearts do pray, “God love her!”

  Ay, in certes, in good sooth,

  We may all be sure He doth.

Miss Barrett.

There’s a charm about thee, Lizzie,

  That I cannot well define,

And I sometimes think it lieth

  In that soft blue eye of thine;

And yet, though pleasant is thine eye,

  And beautiful thy lip—

As a rose-leaf bathed in honey dews,

  A bee might love to sip—

Yet I think it is nor lip nor eye

  Which binds me with its spell,

But a something dearer far than these,

  Though undefinable.


When I meet thee, dearest Lizzie,

  When I hear thy gentle tone;

When my hand is pressed so tenderly,

  So warmly in thine own—

Why then I think it is thy voice,

  Whose music, like a bird’s,

Can soothe me with the melody

  Of sweetly spoken words:

Perchance the pressure of thy hand

  This hidden charm may be—

Or the magic, Lizzie, of a sigh

  That lures my heart to thee.


Perchance it is thy gentleness,

  Perchance thy winning smile,

Which lurketh in such dimples

  As might easily beguile;

Or perchance the music of thy laugh

  Hath a bewildering flow—

Yet I cannot tell, my Lizzie,

  If it be thy laugh or no;

For mirth as musical as thine

  Hath met mine ear before,

But its memory faded from my heart

  When once the strain was o’er.


Oh! for the wand of fairy

  To dissolve the witching spell,

And teach me, dearest Lizzie,

  What it is I love so well.

Thy simple truth and earnestness,

  Perchance it may be this,

Or the gentle kindness breathing

  In thy morn or evening kiss—

Thy care for others’ weal or wo,

  Thy quickly springing tears—

Or, at times, a quiet thoughtfulness,

  Unmeet for thy brief years.


Well, be it either look or tone,

  Or smile, or soft caress,

I know not, Lizzie, yet I feel

  I could not love thee less.

And something, haply, there may be,

  “Like light within a vase,”

Which, from the soul-depths gleaming forth,

  Flings o’er thee such a grace.

Perchance, the hidden charm I seek,

  That words may not impart,

Is but the warm affections

  Of a kind and loving heart.



Ay, now I am in Arden; the more fool

I; when I was at home I was in a better place; but

Travelers must be content.    As You Like It.




[Entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1846, by J. Fenimore Cooper, in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Northern District of New York.]

(Continued from page 313.)


Ay, fare you well, fair gentleman.—As You Like It.

While the tyro believes the vessel is about to capsize at every puff of wind, the practiced seaman alone knows when danger truly besets him in this particular form. Thus it was with Harry Mulford, when the Mexican schooner went over, as related in the close of the preceding chapter. He felt no alarm until the danger actually came. Then, indeed, no one there was so quickly or so thoroughly apprized of what the result would be, and he directed all his exertions to meet the exigency. While there was the smallest hope of success, he did not lessen, in the least, his endeavors to save the vessel; making almost superhuman efforts to cast off the fore-sheet, so as to relieve the schooner from the pressure of one of her sails. But, no sooner did he hear the barrels in the hold surging to leeward, and feel by the inclination of the deck beneath his feet, that nothing could save the craft, than he abandoned the sheet, and sprang to the assistance of Rose. It was time he did; for, having followed him into the vessel’s lee waist, she was the first to be submerged in the sea, and would have been hopelessly drowned, but for Mulford’s timely succor. Women might swim more readily than men, and do so swim, in those portions of the world where the laws of nature are not counteracted by human conventions. Rose Budd, however, had received the vicious education which civilized society inflicts on her sex, and, as a matter of course, was totally helpless in an element in which it was the design of Divine Providence she should possess the common means of sustaining herself, like every other being endued with animal life. Not so with Mulford, he swam with ease and force, and had no difficulty in sustaining Rose until the schooner had settled into her new berth, or in hauling her on the vessel’s bottom immediately after.

Luckily, there was no swell, or so little as not to endanger those who were on the schooner’s bilge; and Mulford had no sooner placed her in momentary safety at least, whom he prized far higher than his own life, than he bethought him of his other companions. Jack Tier had hauled himself up to windward by the rope that steadied the tiller, and he had called on Mrs. Budd to imitate his example. It was so natural for even a woman to grasp any thing like a rope at such a moment, that the widow instinctively obeyed, while Biddy seized, at random, the first thing of the sort that offered. Owing to these fortunate chances, Jack and Mrs. Budd succeeded in reaching the quarter of the schooner, the former actually getting up on the bottom of the wreck, on to which he was enabled to float the widow, who was almost as buoyant as cork, as, indeed, was the case with Jack himself. All the stern and bows of the vessel were under water, in consequence of her leanness forward and aft; but though submerged, she offered a precarious footing, even in these extremities, to such as could reach them. On the other hand, the place where Rose stood, or the bilge of the vessel, was two or three feet above the surface of the sea, though slippery and inclining in shape.

It was not half a minute from the time that Mulford sprang to Rose’s succor, ere he had her on the vessel’s bottom. In another half minute, he had waded down on the schooner’s counter, where Jack Tier was lustily calling to him for “help,” and assisted the widow to her feet, and supported her until she stood at Rose’s side. Leaving the last in her aunt’s arms, half distracted between dread and joy, he turned to the assistance of Biddy. The rope at which the Irish woman had caught, was a straggling end that had been made fast to the main channels of the schooner, for the support of a fender, and had been hauled partly in-board to keep it out of the water. Biddy had found no difficulty in dragging herself up to the chains, therefore, and had she been content to sustain herself by the rope, leaving as much of her body submerged as comported with breathing, her task would have been easy. But, like most persons who do not know how to swim, the good woman was fast exhausting her strength, by vain efforts to walk on the surface of an element that was never made to sustain her. Unpracticed persons, in such situations, cannot be taught to believe that their greatest safety is in leaving as much of their bodies as possible beneath the water, keeping the mouth and nose alone free for breath. But we have seen even instances in which men, who were in danger of drowning, seemed to believe it might be possible for them to crawl over the waves on their hands and knees. The philosophy of the contrary course is so very simple, that one would fancy a very child might be made to comprehend it; yet, it is rare to find one unaccustomed to the water, and who is suddenly exposed to its dangers, that does not resort, under the pressure of present alarm, to the very reverse of the true means to save his or her life.

Mulford had no difficulty in finding Bridget, whose exclamations of “murther!” “help!” “he-l-lup!” “Jasus!” and other similar cries led him directly to the spot, where she was fast drowning herself by her own senseless struggles. Seizing her by the arm, the active young mate soon placed her on her feet, though her cries did not cease until she was ordered by her mistress to keep silence.

Having thus rescued the whole of his companions from immediate danger, Mulford began to think of the future. He was seized with sudden surprise that the vessel did not sink, and for a minute he was unable to account for the unusual fact. On the former occasion, the schooner had gone down almost as soon as she fell over; but now she floated with so much buoyancy as to leave most of her keel and all of her bilge on one side quite clear of the water. As one of the main hatches was off, and the cabins doors, and booby-hatch doors forward were open, and all were under water, it required a little reflection on the part of Mulford to understand on what circumstance all their lives now depended. The mate soon ascertained the truth, however, and we may as well explain it to the reader in our own fashion, in order to put him on a level with the young seaman.

The puff of wind, or little squall, had struck the schooner at the most unfavorable moment for her safety. She had just lost her way in tacking, and the hull not moving ahead, as happens when a craft is thus assailed with the motion on her, all the power of the wind was expended in the direction necessary to capsize her. Another disadvantage arose from the want of motion. The rudder, which acts solely by pressing against the water as the vessel meets it, was useless, and it was not possible to luff, and throw the wind from the sails, as is usually practiced by fore-and-aft rigged craft, in moments of such peril. In consequence of these united difficulties, the shifting of the cargo in the hold, the tenderness of the craft itself, and the force of the squall, the schooner had gone so far over as to carry all three of the openings to her interior suddenly under water, where they remained, held by the pressure of the cargo that had rolled to leeward. Had not the water completely covered these openings, or hatches, the schooner must have sunk in a minute or two, or by the time Mulford had got all his companions safe on her bilge. But they were completely submerged, and so continued to be, which circumstance alone prevented the vessel from sinking, as the following simple explanation will show.

Any person who will put an empty tumbler, bottom upwards, into a bucket of water, will find that the water will not rise within the tumbler more than an inch at most. At that point it is arrested by the resistance of the air, which, unable to escape, and compressed into a narrow compass, forms a body that the other fluid cannot penetrate. It is on this simple and familiar principle, that the chemist keeps his gases, in inverted glasses, placing them on shelves slightly submerged in water. Thus it was, then, that the schooner continued to float, though nearly bottom upward, and with three inlets open, by which the water could and did penetrate. A considerable quantity of the element had rushed in at the instant of capsizing, but meeting with resistance from the compressed and pent air, its progress had been arrested, and the wreck continued to float, sustained by the buoyancy that was imparted to it, in containing so large a body of a substance no heavier than atmospheric air. After displacing its weight of water, enough of buoyancy remained to raise the keel a few feet above the level of the sea.

As soon as Mulford had ascertained the facts of their situation, he communicated them to his companions, encouraging them to hope for eventual safety. It was true, their situation was nearly desperate, admitting that the wreck should continue to float forever, since they were nearly without food, or any thing to drink, and had no means of urging the hull through the water. They must float, too, at the mercy of the winds and waves, and should a sea get up, it might soon be impossible for Mulford himself to maintain his footing on the bottom of the wreck. All this the young man had dimly shadowed forth to him, through his professional experience; but the certainty of the vessel’s not sinking immediately had so far revived his spirits, as to cause him to look on the bright side of the future, pale as that glimmering of hope was made to appear whenever reason cast one of its severe glances athwart it.

Harry had no difficulty in making Rose comprehend their precise situation. Her active and clear mind understood at once the causes of their present preservation, and most of the hazards of the future. It was not so with Jack Tier. He was composed, even resigned; but he could not see the reason why the schooner still floated.

“I know that the cabin-doors were open,” he said, “and if they wasn’t, of no great matter would it be, since the joints ar’n’t caulked, and the water would run through them as through a sieve. I’m afeard, Mr. Mulford, we shall find the wreck going from under our feet afore long, and when we least wish it, perhaps.”

“I tell you the wreck will float so long as the air remains in its hold,” returned the mate, cheerfully. “Do you not see how buoyant it is?—the certain proof that there is plenty of air within. So long as that remains, the hull must float.”

“I’ve always understood,” said Jack, sticking to his opinion, “that wessels floats by vartue of water, and not by vartue of air; and, that when the water gets on the wrong side on ’em, there’s little hope left of keepin’ ’em up.”

“What has become of the boat?” suddenly cried the mate. “I have been so much occupied as to have forgotten the boat. In that boat we might all of us still reach Key West. I see nothing of the boat!”

A profound silence succeeded this sudden and unexpected question. All knew that the boat was gone, and all knew that it had been lost by the widow’s pertinacity and clumsiness; but no one felt disposed to betray her at that grave moment. Mulford left the bilge, and waded as far aft as it was at all prudent for him to proceed, in the vain hope that the boat might be there, fastened by its painter to the schooner’s tafferel, as he had left it, but concealed from view by the darkness of the night. Not finding what he was after, he returned to his companions, still uttering exclamations of surprise at the unaccountable loss of the boat. Rose now told him that the boat had got adrift some ten or fifteen minutes before the accident befell them, and that they were actually endeavoring to recover it when the squall, which capsized the schooner, struck them.

“And why did you not call me, Rose?” asked Harry, with a little of gentle reproach in his manner. “It must have soon been my watch on deck, and it would have been better that I should lose half an hour of my watch below, than we should lose the boat.”

Rose was now obliged to confess that the time for calling him had long been past, and that the faint streak of light, which was just appearing in the east, was the near approach of day. This explanation was made gently, but frankly, and Mulford experienced a glow of pleasure at his heart, even in that moment of jeopardy, when he understood Rose’s motive for not having him disturbed. As the boat was gone, with little or no prospect of its being recovered again, no more was said about it; and the widow, who had stood on thorns the while, had the relief of believing that her awkwardness was forgotten.

It was such a relief from an imminent danger to have escaped from drowning when the schooner capsized, that those on her bottom did not, for some little time, realize all the terrors of their actual situation. The inconvenience of being wet was a trifle not to be thought of, and, in fact, the light summer dresses worn by all, linen or cotton as they were entirely, were soon effectually dried in the wind. The keel made a tolerably convenient seat, and the whole party placed themselves on it to await the return of day, in order to obtain a view of all that their situation offered in the way of a prospect. While thus awaiting, a broken and short dialogue occurred.

“Had you stood to the northward the whole night?” asked Mulford, gloomily, of Jack Tier; for gloomily he began to feel, as all the facts of their case began to press more closely on his mind. “If so, we must be well off the reef, and out of the track of wreckers and turtlers. How had you the wind, and how did you head before the accident happened?”

“The wind was light the whole time, and for some hours it was nearly calm,” answered Jack, in the same vein; “I kept the schooner’s head to the nor’ard, until I thought we were getting too far off our course, and then I put her about. I do not think we could have been any great distance from the reef, when the boat got away from us, and I suppose we are in its neighborhood now, for I was tacking to fall in with the boat when the craft went over.”

“To fall in with the boat! Did you keep off to leeward of it, then, that you expected to fetch it by tacking?”

“Ay, a good bit; and I think the boat is now away here to windward of us, drifting athwart our bows.”

This was important news to Mulford. Could he only get that boat, the chances of being saved would be increased a hundred fold, nay, would almost amount to a certainty; whereas, so long as the wind held to the southward and eastward, the drift of the wreck must be toward the open water, and consequently so much the further removed from the means of succor. The general direction of the Trades, in that quarter of the world, is east, and should they get round into their old and proper quarter, it would not benefit them much; for the reef running south-west, they could scarcely hope to hit the Dry Tortugas again, in their drift, were life even spared them sufficiently long to float the distance. Then there might be currents, about which Mulford knew nothing with certainty; they might set them in any direction; and did they exist, as was almost sure to be the case, were much more powerful than the wind in controlling the movements of a wreck.

The mate strained his eyes in the direction pointed out by Jack Tier, in the hope of discovering the boat through the haze of the morning, and he actually did discern something that, it appeared to him, might be the much desired little craft. If he were right, there was every reason to think the boat would drift down so near them, as to enable him to recover it by swimming. This cheering intelligence was communicated to his companions, who received it with gratitude and delight. But the approach of day gradually dispelled that hope, the object which Mulford had mistaken for the boat, within two hundred yards of the wreck, turning out to be a small low, but bare hummock of the reef, at a distance of more than two miles.

“That is a proof that we are not far from the reef at least,” cried Mulford, willing to encourage those around him all he could, and really much relieved at finding himself so near even this isolated fragment of terra firma. “This fact is the next encouraging thing to finding ourselves near the boat, or to falling in with a sail.”

“Ay, ay,” said Jack, gloomily; “boat or no boat, ’twill make no great matter of difference now. There’s customers that’ll be sartain to take all the grists you can send to their mill.”

“What things are those glancing about the vessel?” cried Rose, almost in the same breath; “those dark sharp-looking sticks—see, there are five or six of them; and they move as if fastened to something under the water that pulls them about.”

“Them’s the customers I mean, Miss Rose,” answered Jack, in the same strain as that in which he had first spoken; “they’re the same thing at sea as lawyers be ashore, and seem made to live on other folks. Them’s sharks.”

“And yonder is truly the boat!” added Mulford, with a sigh that almost amounted to a groan. The light had, by this time, so far returned, as to enable the party not only to see the fins of half a dozen sharks, which were already prowling about the wreck, the almost necessary consequence of their proximity to a reef in that latitude, but actually to discern the boat drilling down toward them, at a distance that promised to carry it past, within the reach of Mulford’s powers of swimming, though not as near as he could have wished, even under more favorable circumstances. Had their extremity been greater, or had Rose begun to suffer from hunger or thirst, Mulford might have attempted the experiment of endeavoring to regain the boat, though the chances of death by means of the sharks, would be more than equal to those of escape; but still fresh, and not yet feeling even the heat of the sun of that low latitude, he was not quite goaded into such an act of desperation. All that remained for the party, therefore, was to sit on the keel of the wreck, and gaze with longing eyes at a little object floating past, which, once at their command, might so readily be made to save them from a fate that already began to appear terrible in the perspective. Near an hour was thus consumed, ere the boat was about half a mile to leeward; during which scarcely an eye was turned from it for one instant, or a word was spoken.

“It is beyond my reach now,” Mulford at length exclaimed, sighing heavily, like one who became conscious of some great and irretrievable loss. “Were there no sharks, I could hardly venture to attempt swimming so far, with the boat drifting from me at the same time.”

“I should never consent to let you make the trial, Harry,” murmured Rose, “though it were only half as far.”

Another pause succeeded.

“We have now the light of day,” resumed the mate, a minute or two later, “and may see our true situation. No sail is in sight, and the wind stands steadily in its old quarter. Still, I do not think we leave the reef! There, you may see breakers off here at the southward, and it seems as if more rocks rise above the sea, in that direction. I do not know that our situation would be any the better, however, were we actually on them, instead of being on this floating wreck.”

“The rocks will never sink,” said Jack Tier, with so much emphasis as to startle the listeners.

“I do not think this hull will sink until we are taken off it, or are beyond caring whether it sink or swim,” returned Mulford.

“I do not know that, Mr. Mulford. Nothing keeps us up but the air in the hold, you say.”

“Certainly not; but that air will suffice as long as it remains there.”

“And what do you call these things?” rejoined the assistant steward, pointing at the water near him, in or on which no one else saw anything worthy of attention.

Mulford, however, was not satisfied with a cursory glance, but went nearer to the spot where Tier was standing. Then, indeed, he saw to what the steward alluded, and was impressed by it, though he said nothing. Hundreds of little bubbles rose to the surface of the water, much as one sees them rising in springs. These bubbles are often met with in lakes and other comparatively shallow waters, but they are rarely seen in those of the ocean. The mate understood, at a glance, that those he now beheld were produced by the air which escaped from the hold of the wreck; in small quantities at a time, it was true, but by a constant and increasing process. The great pressure of the water forced this air through crevices so minute that, under ordinary circumstances, they would have proved impenetrable to this, as they were still to the other fluid, though they now permitted the passage of the former. It might take a long time to force the air from the interior of the vessel by such means, but the result was as certain as it might be slow. As constant dropping will wear a stone, so might the power that kept the wreck afloat be exhausted by the ceaseless rising of these minute air-bubbles.

Although Mulford was entirely sensible of the nature of this new source of danger, we cannot say he was much affected by it at the moment. It seemed to him far more probable that they must die of exhaustion, long before the wreck would lose all of its buoyancy by this slow process, than that even the strongest of their number could survive for such a period. The new danger, therefore, lost most of its terrors under this view of the subject, though it certainly did not add to the small sense of security that remained, to know that inevitably their fate must be sealed through its agency, should they be able to hold out for a sufficient time against hunger and thirst It caused Mulford to muse in silence for many more minutes.

“I hope we are not altogether without food,” the mate at length said. “It sometimes happens that persons at sea carry pieces of biscuit in their pockets, especially those who keep watch at night. The smallest morsel is now of the last importance.”

At this suggestion, every one set about an examination. The result was, that neither Mrs. Budd nor Rose had a particle of food, of any sort, about their persons. Biddy produced from her pockets, however, a whole biscuit, a large bunch of excellent raisins that she had filched from the steward’s stores, and two apples; the last being the remains of some fruit that Spike had procured a month earlier in New York. Mulford had half a biscuit, at which he had been accustomed to nibble in his watches; and Jack lugged out, along with a small plug of tobacco, a couple of sweet oranges. Here, then, was every thing in the shape of victuals or drink, that could be found for the use of five persons, in all probability for many days. The importance of securing it for equal distribution, was so obvious, that Mulford’s proposal to do so, met with a common assent. The whole was put in Mrs. Budd’s bag, and she was intrusted with the keeping of this precious store.

“It may be harder to abstain from food at first, when we have not suffered for its want, than it will become after a little endurance,” said the mate. “We are now strong, and it will be wiser to fast as long as we conveniently can, to-day, and relieve our hunger by a moderate allowance toward evening, than to waste our means by too much indulgence at a time when we are strong. Weakness will be sure to come if we remain long on the wreck.”

“Have you ever suffered in this way, Harry?” demanded Rose, with interest.

“I have, and that dreadfully. But a Merciful Providence came to my rescue then, and it may not fail me now. The seaman is accustomed to carry his life in his hand, and to live on the edge of eternity.”

The truth of this was so apparent as to produce a thoughtful silence. Anxious glances were cast around the horizon from time to time, in quest of any sail that might come in sight; but uselessly. None appeared, and the day advanced without bringing the slightest prospect of relief. Mulford could see, by the now almost sunken hummocks, that they were slowly drifting along the reef, toward the southward and eastward, a current no doubt acting slightly from the north-west. Their proximity to the reef, however, was of no advantage, as the distance was still so great as to render any attempt to reach it, even on the part of the mate, unavailable. Nor would he have been any better off could he have gained a spot on the rocks, that was shallow enough to admit of his walking, since wading about in such a place would have been less desirable than to be floating where he was.

The want of water to drink, threatened to be the great evil. Of this, the party on the wreck had not a single drop! As the warmth of the day was added to the feverish feeling produced by excitement, they all experienced thirst, though no one murmured. So utterly without means of relieving this necessity did each person know them all to be, that no one spoke on the subject at all. In fact, shipwreck never produced a more complete destitution of all the ordinary agents of helping themselves, in any form or manner, than was the case here. So sudden and complete had been the disaster, that not a single article, beyond those on the persons of the sufferers, came even in view. The masts, sails, rigging, spare spars, in a word, every thing belonging to the vessel was submerged and hidden from their sight, with the exception of a portion of the vessel’s bottom, which might be forty feet in length, and some ten or fifteen in width, including that which was above water on both sides of the keel, though one only of these sides was available to the females, as a place to move about on. Had Mulford only a boat-hook, he would have felt it a relief; for not only did the sharks increase in number, but they grew more audacious, swimming so near the wreck that, more than once, Mulford apprehended that some one of the boldest of them might make an effort literally to board them. It is true, he had never known of one of these fish’s attempting to quit his own element in pursuit of his prey; but such things were reported, and those around the wreck swam so close and seemed so eager to get at those who were on it, that there really might be some excuse for fancying they might resort to unusual means of effecting their object. It is probable that, like all other animals, they were emboldened by their own numbers, and were acting in a sort of concert, that was governed by some of the many mysterious laws of nature, that have still escaped human observation.

Thus passed the earlier hours of that appalling day. Toward noon, Mulford had insisted on the females dividing one of the oranges between them, and extracting its juice by way of assuaging their thirst. The effect was most grateful, as all admitted, and even Mrs. Budd urged Harry and Tier to take a portion of the remaining orange; but this, both steadily refused. Mulford did consent to receive a small portion of one of the apples, more with a view of moistening his throat than to appease his hunger, though it had, in a slight degree, the latter effect also. As for Jack Tier, he declined even the morsel of apple, saying that tobacco answered his purpose, as indeed it temporarily might.

It was near sunset, when the steward’s assistant called Mulford aside, and whispered to him that he had something private to communicate. The mate bade him say on, as they were out of ear-shot of their companions.

“I’ve been in sitiations like this afore,” said Jack, “and one l’arns exper’ence by exper’ence. I know how cruel it is on the feelin’s to have the hopes disapp’inted in these cases, and therefore shall proceed with caution. But, Mr. Mulford, there’s a sail in sight, if there is a drop of water in the Gulf!”

“A sail, Jack! I trust in Heaven, you are not deceived!”

“Old eyes are true eyes in such matters, sir. Be careful not to start the women. They go off like gunpowder, and, Lord help ’em! have no more command over themselves, when you loosen ’em once, than so many flying-fish with a dozen dolphins a’ter them. Look hereaway, sir, just clear of the Irish woman’s bonnet, a little broad off the spot where the reef was last seen—if that an’t a sail, my name is not Jack Tier.”

A sail there was, sure enough! It was so very distant, however, as to render its character still uncertain, though Mulford fancied it was a square-rigged vessel heading to the northward. By its position, it must be in one of the channels of the reef, and by its course, if he were not deceived, it was standing through, from the main passage along the southern side of the rocks, to come out on the northern. All this was favorable, and at first the young mate felt such a throbbing of the heart as we all experience when great and unexpected good intelligence is received. A moment’s reflection, however, made him aware how little was to be hoped for from this vessel. In the first place, her distance was so great as to render it uncertain even which way she was steering. Then, there was the probability that she would pass at so great a distance as to render it impossible to perceive an object as low as the wreck, and the additional chance of her passing in the night. Under all the circumstances, therefore, Mulford felt convinced that there was very little probability of their receiving any succor from the strange sail; and he fully appreciated Jack Tier’s motive in forbearing to give the usual call of “Sail, ho!” when he made his discovery. Still, he could not deny himself the pleasure of communicating to Rose the cheering fact that a vessel was actually in sight. She could not reason on the circumstances as he had done, and might at least pass several hours of comparative happiness by believing that there was some visible chance of delivery.

The females received the intelligence with very different degrees of hope. Rose was delighted. To her their rescue appeared an event so very probable now, that Harry Mulford almost regretted he had given rise to an expectation which he himself feared was to be disappointed. The feelings of Mrs. Budd were more suppressed. The wreck and her present situation were so completely at variance with all her former notions of the sea and its incidents, that she was almost dumb-founded, and feared either to speak or to think. Biddy differed from either of her mistresses—the young or the old; she appeared to have lost all hope, and her physical energy was fast giving way under her profound moral debility.

From the return of light, that day, Mulford had thought, if it were to prove that Providence had withdrawn its protecting hand from them, Biddy, who to all appearance ought to be the longest liver among the females at least, would be the first to sink under her sufferings. Such is the influence of moral causes on the mere animal.

Rose saw the night shut in around them, amid the solemn solitude of the ocean, with a mingled sensation of awe and hope. She had prayed devoutly, and often, in the course of the preceding day, and her devotions had contributed to calm her spirits. Once or twice, while kneeling with her head bowed to the keel, she had raised her eyes toward Harry with a look of entreaty, as if she would implore him to humble his proud spirit and place himself at her side, and ask that succor from God, which was so much needed, and which indeed it began most seriously to appear that God alone could yield. The young mate did not comply, for his pride of profession and of manhood offered themselves as stumbling-blocks to prevent submission to his secret wishes. Though he rarely prayed, Harry Mulford was far from being an unbeliever, or one altogether regardless of his duties and obligations to his Divine Creator. On the contrary, his heart was more disposed to resort to such means of self-abasement and submission, than he put in practice, and this because he had been taught to believe that the Anglo-Saxon mariner did not call on Hercules, on every occasion of difficulty and distress that occurred, as was the fashion with the Italian and Romish seamen, but he put his own shoulder to the wheel, confident that Hercules would not forget to help him who knew how to help himself. But Harry had great difficulty in withstanding Rose’s silent appeal that evening, as she knelt at the keel for the last time, and turned her gentle eyes upward at him, as if to ask him once more to take his place at her side. Withstand the appeal he did, however, though in his inward spirit he prayed fervently to God to put away this dreadful affliction from the young and innocent creature before him. When these evening devotions were ended, the whole party became thoughtful and silent.

It was necessary to sleep, and arrangements were made to do so, if possible, with a proper regard for their security. Mulford and Tier were to have the look-out, watch and watch. This was done that no vessel might pass near them unseen, and that any change in the weather might be noted and looked to. As it was, the wind had fallen, and seemed about to vary, though it yet stood in its old quarter, or a little more easterly, perhaps. As a consequence, the drift of the wreck, insomuch as it depended on the currents of the air, was more nearly in a line with the direction of the reef, and there was little ground for apprehending that they might be driven further from it in the night. Although that reef offered in reality no place of safety, that was available to his party, Mulford felt it as a sort of relief, to be certain that it was not distant, possibly influenced by a vague hope that some passing wrecker or turtler might yet pick them up.

The bottom of the schooner and the destitute condition of the party admitted of only very simple arrangements for the night. The females placed themselves against the keel in the best manner they could, and thus endeavored to get a little of the rest they so much needed. The day had been warm, as a matter of course, and the contrast produced by the setting of the sun was at first rather agreeable than otherwise. Luckily Rose had thrown a shawl over her shoulders, not long before the vessel capsized, and in this shawl she had been saved. It had been dried, and it now served for a light covering to herself and her aunt, and added essentially to their comfort. As for Biddy, she was too hardy to need a shawl, and she protested that she should not think of using one, had she been better provided. The patient, meek manner in which that humble, but generous-hearted creature submitted to her fate, and the earnestness with which she had begged that “Miss Rosy” might have her morsel of the portion of biscuit each received for a supper, had sensibly impressed Mulford in her favor; and knowing how much more necessary food was to sustain one of her robust frame and sturdy habits, than to Rose, he had contrived to give the woman, unknown to herself, a double allowance. Nor was it surprising that Biddy did not detect this little act of fraud in her favor, for this double allowance was merely a single mouthful. The want of water had made itself much more keenly felt than the want of food, for as yet anxiety, excitement and apprehension prevented the appetite from being much awakened, while the claims of thirst were increased rather than the reverse, by these very causes. Still, no one had complained, on this or any other account, throughout the whole of the long and weary day which had passed.

Mulford took the first look-out, with the intention of catching a little sleep, if possible, during the middle hours of the night, and of returning to his duty as morning approached. For the first hour nothing occurred to divert his attention from brooding on the melancholy circumstances of their situation. It seemed as if all around him had actually lost the sense of their cares in sleep, and no sound was audible amid that ocean waste, but the light washing of the water, as the gentle waves rolled at intervals against the weather side of the wreck. It was now that Mulford found a moment for prayer, and seated on the keel, that he called on the Divine aid, in a fervent but silent petition to God, to put away this trial from the youthful and beautiful Rose, at least, though he himself perished. It was the first prayer that Mulford had made in many months, or since he had joined the Swash—a craft in which that duty was seldom thought of.

A few minutes succeeded this petition, when Biddy spoke.

“Missus—Madam Budd—dear Missus”—half whispered the Irish woman, anxious not to disturb Rose, who lay furthest from her—“Missus, bees ye asleep at sich a time as this?”

“No, Biddy; sleep and I are strangers to each other, and are likely to be till morning. What do you wish to say?”

“Any thing is betther than my own t’oughts, missus dear, and I wants to talk to ye. Is it no wather at all they’ll give us so long as we stay in this place?”

“There is no one to give it to us but God, poor Biddy, and he alone can say what, in his gracious mercy, it may please him to do. Ah! Biddy, I fear me that I did an unwise and thoughtless thing, to bring my poor Rose to such a place as this. Were it to be done over again, the riches of Wall Street would not tempt me to be guilty of so wrong a thing!”

The arm of Rose was thrown around her aunt’s neck, and its gentle pressure announced how completely the offender was forgiven.

“I’s very sorry for Miss Rose,” rejoined Biddy, “and I suffers so much the more meself in thinking how hard it must be for the like of her to be wantin’ in a swallow of fresh wather.”

“It is no harder for me to bear it, poor Biddy,” answered the gentle voice of our heroine, “than it is for yourself.”

“Is it meself, then? Sure am I, that if I had a quar-r-t of good, swate wather from our own pump, and that’s far betther is it than the Crothon the best day the Crothon ever seed—but had I a quar-r-t of it, every dhrap would I give to you, Miss Rose, to app’ase your thirst, I would.”

“Water would be a great relief to us all, just now, my excellent Biddy,” answered Rose, “and I wish we had but a tumbler full of that you name, to divide equally among the whole five of us.”

“Is it divide? Then it would be ag’in dividin’ that my voice would be raised, for that same r’ason that the tumbler would never hold as much as you could dhrink yourself, Miss Rose.”

“Yet the tumbler full would be a great blessing for us all, just now,” murmured Mrs. Budd.

“And isn’t mutthon good ’atin’, ladies! Och! if I had but a good swate pratie, now, from my own native Ireland, and a dhrap of milk to help wash it down! It’s mighty little that a body thinks of sich thrifles when there’s abundance of them; but when there’s none at all, they get to be stronger in the mind than riches and honors.”

“You say the truth, Biddy,” rejoined the mistress, “and there is a pleasure in talking of them, if one can’t enjoy them. I’ve been thinking all the afternoon, Rose, what a delicious food is a good roast turkey, with cranberry sauce; and I wonder, now, that I have not been more grateful for the very many that Providence has bestowed upon me in my time. My poor Mr. Budd was passionately fond of mutton, and I used wickedly to laugh at his fondness for it, sometimes, when he always had his answer ready, and that was that there are no sheep at sea. How true that is, Rosy dear; there are indeed no sheep at sea!”

“No, aunty,” answered Rose’s gentle voice from beneath the shawl; “there are no such animals on the ocean, but God is with us here as much as he would be in New York.”

A long silence succeeded this simple remark of his well beloved, and the young mate hoped that there would be no more of a dialogue, every syllable of which was a dagger to his feelings. But nature was stronger than reflection in Mrs. Budd and Biddy, and the latter spoke again, after a pause of near a quarter of an hour.

“Pray for me, Missus,” she said, moaningly, “that I may sleep. A bit of sleep would do a body almost as much good as a bit of bread—I wont say as much as a dhrap of wather.”

“Be quiet, Biddy, and we will pray for you,” answered Rose, who fancied by her breathing that her aunt was about to forget her sufferings for a brief space, in broken slumbers.

“Is it for you I’ll do that—and sure will I, Miss Rose. Niver would I have quitted Ireland, could I have thought there was sich a spot on this earth as a place where no wather was to be had.”

This was the last of Biddy’s audible complaints, for the remainder of this long and anxious watch of Mulford. He then set himself about an arrangement which shall be mentioned in its proper place. At twelve o’clock, or when he thought it was twelve, he called Jack Tier, who in turn called the mate again at four.

“It looks dark and threatening,” said Mulford, as he rose to his feet and began to look about him once more, “though there does not appear to be any wind.”

“It’s a flat calm, Mr. Mate, and the darkness comes from yonder cloud, which seems likely to bring a little rain.”

“Rain! Then God is indeed with us here. You are right, Jack; rain must fall from that cloud. We must catch some of it, if it be only a drop to cool Rose’s parched tongue.”

“In what?” answered Tier, gloomily. “She may wring her clothes when the shower is over, and in that way get a drop. I see no other method.”

“I have bethought me of all that, and passed most of my watch in making the preparations.”

Mulford then showed Tier what he had been about, in the long and solitary hours of the first watch. It would seem that the young man had dug a little trench with his knife, along the schooner’s bottom, commencing two or three feet from the keel, and near the spot where Rose was lying, and carrying it as far as was convenient toward the run, until he reached a point where he had dug out a sort of reservoir to contain the precious fluid, should any be sent them by Providence. While doing this, there were no signs of rain; but the young man knew that a shower alone could save them from insanity, if not from death, and in speculating on the means of profiting by one, should it come, he had bethought him of this expedient. The large knife of a seaman had served him a good turn, in carrying on his work, to complete which there remained now very little to do, and that was in enlarging the receptacle for the water. The hole was already big enough to contain a pint, and it might easily be sufficiently enlarged to hold double that quantity.

Jack was no sooner made acquainted with what had been done, than he pulled out a knife and commenced tearing splinter after splinter from the planks, to help enlarge the reservoir. This could only be done by cutting on the surface, for the wood was not three inches in thickness, and the smallest hole through the plank, would have led to the rapid escape of the air and to the certain sinking of the wreck. It required a good deal of judgment to preserve the necessary level also, and Mulford was obliged to interfere more than once to prevent his companion from doing more harm than good. He succeeded, however, and had actually made a cavity that might contain more than a quart of water, when the first large drop fell from the heavens. This cavity was not a hole, but a long, deep trench—deep for the circumstances—so nicely cut on the proper level, as to admit of its holding a fluid in the quantity mentioned.

“Rose—dearest—rise, and be ready to drink,” said Mulford, tenderly disturbing the uneasy slumbers of his beloved. “It is about to rain, and God is with us here, as he might be on the land.”

“Wather!” exclaimed Biddy, who was awoke with the same call. “What a blessed thing is good swate wather, and sure am I we ought all to be thankful that there is such a precious gift in the wor-r-ld.”

“Come, then,” said Mulford, hurriedly, “it will soon rain—I hear it pattering on the sea. Come hither, all of you, and drink, as a merciful God furnishes the means.”

This summons was not likely to be neglected. All arose in haste, and the word “water” was murmured from every lip. Biddy had less self-command than the others, and she was heard saying aloud,—“Och! and didn’t I dhrame of the blessed springs and wells of Ireland the night, and haven’t I dhrunk at ’em all; but now it’s over, and I am awake, no good has’t done me, and I’m ready to die for one dhrap of wather.”

That drop soon came, however, and with it the blessed relief which such a boon bestows. Mulford had barely time to explain his arrangements, and to place the party on their knees, along his little reservoir and the gutter which led to it, when the pattering of the rain advanced along the sea, with a deep rushing sound. Presently, the uplifted faces and open mouths caught a few heavy straggling drops, to cool the parched tongues, when the water came tumbling down upon them in a thousand little streams. There was scarcely any wind, and merely the skirt of a large black cloud floated over the wreck, on which the rain fell barely one minute. But it fell as rain comes down within the tropics, and in sufficient quantities for all present purposes. Everybody drank, and found relief, and, when all was over, Mulford ascertained by examination that his receptacle for the fluid was still full to overflowing. The abstinence had not been of sufficient length, nor the quantity taken of large enough amount, to produce injury, though the thirst was generally and temporarily appeased. It is probable that the coolness of the hour, day dawning as the cloud moved past, and the circumstance that the sufferers were wetted to their skins, contributed to the change.

“Oh, blessed, blessed wather!” exclaimed Biddy, as she rose from her knees; “America, afther all, isn’t as dhry a counthry as some say. I’ve niver tasted swater wather in Ireland itself!”

Rose murmured her thanksgiving in more appropriate language. A few exclamations also escaped Mrs. Budd, and Jack Tier had his sententious eulogy on the precious qualities of sweet water.

The wind rose as the day advanced, and a swell began to heave the wreck with a power that had hitherto been dormant. Mulford understood this to be a sign that there had been a blow at some distance from them, that had thrown the sea into a state of agitation, which extended itself beyond the influence of the wind. Eagerly did the young mate examine the horizon, as the curtain of night arose, inch by inch, as it might be, on the watery panorama, in the hope that a vessel of some sort or other might be brought within the view. Nor was he wholly disappointed. The strange sail seen the previous evening was actually there; and what was more, so near as to allow her hull to be distinctly visible. It was a ship, under her square canvas, standing from between divided portions of the reef, as if getting to the northward, in order to avoid the opposing current of the Gulf Stream. Vessels bound to Mobile, New Orleans, and other ports along the coast of the Republic, in that quarter of the ocean, often did this; and when the young mate first caught glimpses of the shadowy outline of this ship, he supposed it to be some packet, or cotton-droger, standing for her port on the northern shore. But a few minutes removed the veil, and with it the error of this notion. A seaman could no longer mistake the craft. Her length, her square and massive hamper, with the symmetry of her spars, and the long, straight outline of the hull, left no doubt that it was a cruiser, with her hammocks unstowed. Mulford now cheerfully announced to his companions, that the ship they so plainly saw, scarcely a gun-shot distant from them, was the sloop-of-war which had already become a sort of an acquaintance.

“If we can succeed in making them see our signal,” cried Mulford, “all will yet be well. Come, Jack, and help me to put abroad this shawl, the only ensign we can show.”

The shawl of Rose was the signal spread. Tier and Mulford stood on the keel, and holding opposite corners, let the rest of the cloth blow out with the wind. For near an hour did these two extend their arms, and try all possible expedients to make their signal conspicuous. But, unfortunately, the wind blew directly toward the cruiser, and instead of exposing a surface of any breadth to the vision of those on board her, it must, at most, have offered little more than a flitting, waving line.

As the day advanced, sail was made on the cruiser. She had stood through the passage, in which she had been becalmed most of the night, under short canvas; but now she threw out fold after fold of her studding-sails, and moved away to the westward, with the stately motion of a ship before the wind. No sooner had she got far enough to the northward of the reef, than she made a deviation from her course as first seen, turning her stern entirely to the wreck, and rapidly becoming less and less distinct to the eyes of those who floated on it.

Mulford saw the hopelessness of their case, as it respected relief from this vessel; still he persevered in maintaining his position on the keel, tossing and waving the shawl, in all the manners that his ingenuity could devise. He well knew, however, that their chances of being seen would have been trebled could they have been ahead instead of astern of the ship. Mariners have few occasions to look behind them, while a hundred watchful eyes are usually turned ahead, more especially when running near rocks and shoals. Mrs. Budd wept like an infant when she saw the sloop-of-war gliding away, reaching a distance that rendered sight useless, in detecting an object that floated as low on the water as the wreck. As for Biddy, unable to control her feelings, the poor creature actually called to the crew of the departing vessel, as if her voice had the power to make itself heard, at a distance which already exceeded two leagues. It was only by means of the earnest remonstrances of Rose, that the faithful creature could be quieted.

“Why will ye not come to our relaif?” she cried at the top of her voice. “Here are we, helpless as new-born babbies, and ye sailing away from us in a conthrary way! D’ye not bethink you of the missus, who is much of a sailor, but not sich a one as to sail on a wrack; and poor Miss Rose, who is the char-rm and delight of all eyes. Only come and take off Miss Rose, and lave the rest of us, if ye so likes; for it’s a sin and a shame to laive the likes of her to die in the midst of the ocean, as if she was no betther nor a fish. Then it will be soon that we shall ag’in fale the want of wather, and that, too, with nothing but wather to be seen on all sides of us.”

“It is of no use,” said Harry, mournfully, stepping down from the keel, and laying aside the shawl. “They cannot see us, and the distance is now so great as to render it certain they never will. There is only one hope left. We are evidently set to and fro by the tides, and it is possible that, by keeping in or near this passage, some other craft may appear, and we be more fortunate. The relief of the rain is a sign that we are not forgotten by Divine Providence, and with such a protector we ought not to despair.”

A gloomy and scanty breaking of the fast succeeded. Each person had one large mouthful of bread, which was all that prudence would authorize Mulford to distribute. He attempted a pious fraud, however, by placing his own allowance along with that of Rose’s, under the impression that her strength might not endure privation as well as his own. But the tender solicitude of Rose was not to be thus deceived. Judging of his wishes and motives by her own, she at once detected the deception, and insisted on retaining no more than her proper share. When this distribution was completed, and the meager allowance taken, only sufficient bread remained to make one more similar scanty meal, if meal a single mouthful could be termed. As for the water, a want of which would be certain to be felt as soon as the sun obtained its noon-day power, the shawl was extended over it, in a way to prevent evaporation as much as possible, and at the same time to offer some resistance to the fluid’s being washed from its shallow receptacle by the motion of the wreck, which was sensibly increasing with the increase of the wind and waves.

Mulford had next an anxious duty to perform. Throughout the whole of the preceding day he had seen the air escaping from the hull, in an incessant succession of small bubbles, which were formidable through their numbers, if not through their size. The mate was aware that this unceasing loss of the buoyant property of the wreck, must eventually lead to their destruction, should no assistance come, and he had marked the floating line on the bottom of the vessel with his knife, ere darkness set in, on the previous evening. No sooner did his thoughts recur to this fact, after the excitement of the first hour of daylight was over, than he stepped to the different places thus marked, and saw, with an alarm that it would be difficult to describe, that the wreck had actually sunk into the water several inches within the last few hours. This was, indeed, menacing their security in a most serious manner, setting a limit to their existence, which rendered all precaution on the subject of food and water useless. By the calculations of the mate, the wreck could not float more than eight-and-forty hours, should it continue to lose the air at the rate at which it had been hitherto lost. Bad as all this appeared, things were fated to become much more serious. The motion of the water quite sensibly increased, lifting the wreck at times in a way greatly to increase the danger of their situation. The reader will understand this movement did not proceed from the waves of the existing wind, but from what is technically called a ground-swell, or the long, heavy undulations that are left by the tempest that is past, or by some distant gale. The waves of the present breeze were not very formidable, the reef making a lee; though they might possibly become inconvenient from breaking on the weather side of the wreck, as soon as the drift carried the latter fairly abreast of the passage already mentioned. But the dangers that proceeded from the heavy ground-swell, which now began to give a considerable motion to the wreck, will best explain itself by narrating the incidents as they occurred.

Harry had left his marks, and had taken his seat on the keel at Rose’s side, impatiently waiting for any turn that Providence might next give to their situation, when a heavy roll of the wreck first attracted his attention to this new circumstance.

“If any one is thirsty,” he observed quietly, “he or she had better drink now, while it may be done. Two or three more such rolls as this last will wash all the water from our gutters.”

“Wather is a blessed thing,” said Biddy, with a longing expression of the eyes, “and it would be betther to swallow it than to let it be lost.”

“Then drink, for Heaven’s sake, good woman, it may be the last occasion that will offer.”

“Sure am I that I would not touch a dhrap, while the missus and Miss Rosy was a sufferin’.”

“I have no thirst at all,” answered Rose, sweetly, “and have already taken more water than was good for me, with so little food on my stomach.”

“Eat another morsel of the bread, beloved,” whispered Harry, in a manner so urgent that Rose gratefully complied. “Drink, Biddy, and we will come and share with you before the water is wasted by this increasing motion.”

Biddy did as desired, and each knelt in turn and took a little of the grateful fluid, leaving about a gill in the gutters for the use of those whose lips might again become parched.

“Wather is a blessed thing,” repeated Biddy, for the twentieth time—“a blessed, blessed thing is wather!” —

A little scream from Mrs. Budd, which was dutifully taken up by the maid, interrupted the speech of the latter, and every eye was turned on Mulford, as if to ask an explanation of the groaning sound that had been heard within the wreck. The young mate comprehended only too well. The rolling of the wreck had lifted a portion of the open hatchway above the undulating surface of the sea, and a large quantity of the pent air within the hold had escaped in a body. The entrance of water to supply the vacuum had produced the groan. Mulford had made new marks on the vessel’s bottom with his knife, and he stepped down to them, anxious and nearly heart-broken, to note the effect. That one surging of the wreck had permitted air enough to escape to lower it in the water several inches. As yet, however, the visible limits of their floating foundation had not been sufficiently reduced to attract the attention of the females; and the young man said nothing on the subject. He thought that Jack Tier was sensible of the existence of this new source of danger, but if he were, that experienced mariner imitated his own reserve, and made no allusion to it. Thus passed the day. Occasionally the wreck rolled heavily, when more air escaped, the hull settling lower and lower in the water as a necessary consequence. The little bubbles continued incessantly to rise, and Mulford became satisfied that another day must decide their fate. Taking this view of their situation, he saw no use in reserving their food, but encouraged his companions to share the whole of what remained at sunset. Little persuasion was necessary, and when night once more came to envelope them in darkness, not a mouthful of food, or a drop of water remained to meet the necessities of the coming morn. It had rained again for a short time, in the course of the afternoon, when enough water had been caught to allay their thirst, and what was almost of as much importance to the females now, a sufficiency of sun had succeeded to dry their clothes, thus enabling them to sleep without enduring the chilling damps that might otherwise have prevented it. The wind had sensibly fallen, and the ground-swell was altogether gone, but Mulford was certain that the relief had come too late. So much air had escaped while it lasted as scarce to leave him the hope that the wreck could float until morning. The rising of the bubbles was now incessant, the crevices by which they escaped having most probably opened a little, in consequence of the pressure and the unceasing action of the currents, small as the latter were.

Just as darkness was shutting in around them for the second time, Rose remarked to Mulford that it seemed to her that they had not as large a space for their little world as when they were first placed on it. The mate, however, successfully avoided an explanation; and when the watch was again set for the night, the females lay down to seek their repose, more troubled with apprehensions for a morrow of hunger and thirst, than by any just fears that might so well have arisen from the physical certainty that the body which alone kept them from being engulfed in the sea, could float but a few hours longer. This night Tier kept the look-out until Jupiter reached the zenith, when Mulford was called to hold the watch until light returned.

It may seem singular that any could sleep at all in such a situation. But we get accustomed, in an incredibly short time, to the most violent changes; and calamities that seem insupportable, when looked at from a distance, lose half their power if met and resisted with fortitude. The last may, indeed, be too significant a word to be applied to all of the party on the wreck, on the occasion of which we are writing, though no one of them all betrayed fears that were troublesome. Of Mulford it is unnecessary to speak. His deportment had been quiet, thoughtful, and full of a manly interest in the comfort of others, from the first moment of the calamity. That Rose should share the largest in his attentions was natural enough, but he neglected no essential duty to her companions. Rose, herself, had little hope of being rescued. Her naturally courageous character, however, prevented any undue exhibitions of despair, and now it was that the niece became the principal support of the aunt, completely changing the relations that had formerly existed between them. Mrs. Budd had lost all the little buoyancy of her mind. Not a syllable did she now utter concerning ships and their manœuvres. She had been, at first, a little disposed to be querulous and despairing, but the soothing and pious conversation of Rose awakened a certain degree of resolution in her, and habit soon exercised its influence over even her inactive mind. Biddy was a strange mixture of courage, despair, humility, and consideration for others. Not once had she taken her small allowance of food without first offering it, and that, too, in perfect good faith, to her “Missus and Miss Rosy;” yet her moanings for this sort of support, and her complaints of bodily suffering much exceeded that of all the rest of the party put together. As for Jack Tier, his conduct singularly belied his appearance. No one would have expected any great show of manly resolution from the little rotund, lymphatic figure of Tier; but he had manifested a calmness that denoted either great natural courage, or a resolution derived from familiarity with danger. In this particular, even Mulford regarded his deportment with surprise, not unmingled with respect.

“You have had a tranquil watch, Jack,” said Harry, when he was called by the person named, and had fairly aroused himself from his slumbers. “Has the wind stood as it is since sunset?”

“No change whatever, sir. It has blown a good working breeze the whole watch, and what is surprising, not as much lipper has got up as would frighten a colt on a sea beach.”

“We must be near the reef, by that. I think the only currents we feel come from the tide, and they seem to be setting us back and forth, instead of carrying us in any one settled direction.”

“Quite likely, sir; and this makes my opinion of what I saw an hour since all the more probable.”

“What you saw! In the name of a merciful Providence, Tier, do not trifle with me. Has any thing been seen near by?”

“Don’t talk to me of your liquors and other dhrinks,” murmured Biddy in her sleep. “It’s wather that is a blessed thing; and I wish I lived, the night and the day, by the swate pump that’s in our own yard, I do.”

“The woman has been talking in her sleep, in this fashion, most of the watch,” observed Jack, coolly, and perhaps a little contemptuously. “But, Mr. Mulford, unless my eyes have cheated me, we are near that boat again. The passage through the reef is close aboard us, here, on our larboard bow, as it might be, and the current has sucked us in it in a fashion to bring it in a sort of athwart-hawse direction to us.”

“If that boat, after all, should be sent by Providence to our relief! How long is it since you saw it, Jack?”

“But a bit since, sir; or, for that matter, I think I see it now. Look hereaway, sir, just where the dead-eyes of the fore-rigging would bear from us, if the craft stood upon her legs, as she ought to do. If that isn’t a boat, it’s a rock out of water.”

Mulford gazed through the gloom of midnight, and saw, or fancied he saw, an object that might really be the boat. It could not be very distant either; and his mind was instantly made up as to the course he would pursue. Should it actually turn out to be that which he now so much hoped for, and its distance in the morning did not prove too great for human powers, he was resolved to swim for it at the hazard of his life. In the meantime, or until light should return, there remained nothing to do but to exercise as much patience as could be summoned, and to confide in God, soliciting his powerful succor by secret prayer.

Mulford was no sooner left alone, as it might be, by Tier’s seeking a place in which to take his rest, than he again examined the state of the wreck. Little as he had hoped from its long-continued buoyancy, he found matters even worse than he apprehended they would be. The hull had lost much air, and had consequently sunk in the water in an exact proportion to this loss. The space that was actually above the water, was reduced to an area not more than six or seven feet in one direction, by some ten or twelve in the other. This was reducing its extent, since the evening previous, by fully one-half; and there could be no doubt that the air was escaping, in consequence of the additional pressure, in a ratio that increased by a sort of arithmetical progression. The young man knew that the whole wreck, under its peculiar circumstances, might sink entirely beneath the surface, and yet possess sufficient buoyancy to sustain those that were on it for a time longer, but this involved the terrible necessity of leaving the females partly submerged themselves.

Our mate heard his own heart beat, as he became satisfied of the actual condition of the wreck, and of the physical certainty that existed of its sinking, at least to the point last mentioned, ere the sun came to throw his glories over the last view that the sufferers would be permitted to take of the face of day. It appeared to him that no time was to be lost. There lay the dim and shapeless object that seemed to be the boat, distant, as he thought, about a mile. It would not have been visible at all but for the perfect smoothness of the sea, and the low position occupied by the observer. At times it did disappear altogether, when it would rise again, as if undulating in the ground-swell. This last circumstance, more than any other, persuaded Harry that it was not a rock, but some floating object that he beheld. Thus encouraged, he delayed no longer. Every moment was precious, and all might be lost by indecision. He did not like the appearance of deserting his companions, but, should he fail, the motive would appear in the act. Should he fail, every one would alike soon be beyond the reach of censure, and in a state of being that would do full justice to all.

Harry threw off most of his clothes, reserving only his shirt and a pair of light summer trowsers. He could not quit the wreck, however, without taking a sort of leave of Rose. On no account would he awake her, for he appreciated the agony she would feel during the period of his struggles. Kneeling at her side, he made a short prayer, then pressed his lips to her warm cheek, and left her. Rose murmured his name at that instant, but it was as the innocent and young betray their secrets in their slumbers. Neither of the party awoke.

It was a moment to prove the heart of man, that in which Harry Mulford, in the darkness of midnight, alone, unsustained by any encouraging eye, or approving voice, with no other aid than his own stout arm, and the unknown designs of a mysterious Providence, committed his form to the sea. For an instant he paused, after he had waded down on the wreck to a spot where the water already mounted to his breast, but it was not in misgivings. He calculated the chances, and made an intelligent use of such assistance as could be had. There had been no sharks near the wreck all that day, but a splash in the water might bring them back again in a crowd. They were probably prowling over the reef, near at hand. The mate used great care, therefore, to make no noise. There was the distant object, and he set it by a bright star, that wanted about an hour before it would sink beneath the horizon. That star was his beacon, and muttering a few words in earnest prayer, the young man threw his body forward, and left the wreck, swimming lightly, but with vigor.

[To be continued.


Sweetest Ianthé, I can read thy features,

  And tell the latent meaning of each look —

Thou most inscrutable of earth’s bright creatures;

  Thou unread riddle in an open book —

  To me thou art a clear and crystal brook,

And I need be no wonder-raising seer

  To tell thee that thy brow of Parian stone

Is radiant with pure thought; that deep and clear

  Thine eye is lighted from the soul alone.

That on thy tranquil nostril Courage sleeping

  Heeds not the fears that Reason smiles to see;

That from the dimples round thy mouth are peeping

  Sweetness and mirth and heavenly charity —

  Thy glances—nay, look up—I’ll read them silently.





Belief in the supernatural has obtained credit in the world from the earliest records with which we are acquainted. The Grecian and Roman histories are full of it; even the Sacred Volume contains instances of spectral or preternatural appearances, which can neither be denied nor explained. In all civilized nations, at all times, up to the present period, we have testimony of unequivocal authority, giving minute details of extraordinary facts, on the evidence of individuals of unimpeachable integrity, which confound experience, elude investigation, and baffle research. The wisest of our divines, and the most accomplished of our philosophers are all forced to admit that there are things, with which human comprehension and reason cannot successfully grapple.

We must allow the truth of the remark of that immortal poet, whose commanding intellect and reach of thought, soared far above that of any “man of woman born;”—“there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy.” The boastful wisdom of vain-glorious men, like Voltaire, and such deistical writers, must bow before the Almighty fiat, “Thus far shalt thou go, and NO farther.” That fiat can never be violated by man.

As I am about to give the result of some rather extraordinary circumstances which have either occurred to myself, or to personal friends with whose names the world is well acquainted, it may not be altogether out of place to introduce them, by a short notice of those very singular annoyances to which the family of the Reverend Samuel Wesley, of Epsworth Parsonage, in the county of Leicester, in England, were subjected for a considerable length of time.

And it is remarkable that these extraordinary circumstances were not confined to the experience of one, nor two, nor three individuals, but to a whole family, consisting of nine persons, besides a neighboring clergyman; and it is still more extraordinary that they were not made apparent to one sense alone, but to several, inasmuch as they heard, they felt, and they saw. Confederacy or collusion appears to have been out of the question, and, indeed, to have been strictly guarded against, at the suggestion of Mr. Wesley’s two sons, then absent, whose suspicions were deeply excited.

Both these gentlemen were men of strong sense and highly cultivated mind. Samuel, the elder of the two, was at the time an usher in Westminster High School, and John, so celebrated afterward as the founder of Methodism, was a student of Christ Church, the most aristocratic of all the colleges in Oxford.

These gentlemen, in writing to their parents concerning the appearances, suggested the possibility of collusion, or the work of young men wishing to get access to the house, to enable them to make love to their sisters, who were, however, young ladies of unsullied purity and virtue.

Dismal groans were heard, and strange knockings, three or four at a time. Loud rumblings above and below stairs. Clatterings amongst bottles; footsteps of a man going up and down stairs at all times of the night; dancings in an empty room, whose door was locked; and gobblings like a turkey-cock. Mr. and Mrs. Wesley endeavored at first to persuade the children and servants it was rats within, and mischievous persons without, or that some of their daughters sat up late, and made the noises as a hint to their lovers; but these ideas soon underwent a change. Mrs. Wesley supposed she saw a black badger run from under the bed; and the man, Robert Brown, saw a white rabbit, with its ears erect, and its scut standing straight up, run from behind the oven. A shadow might explain the first, and the last might be owing to the propensity of ignorant persons to exaggerate.

But no such animals had ever been kept on the premises, nor were any such in the neighborhood. Yet, granting them to have been shadows, or an affection of the retina, these in no degree invalidate the other parts of the story, which rest on the concurrent testimony of many intelligent persons.

They cannot be explained by confederacy, collusion, legerdemain, nor ventriloquism, nor by any secret of accoustics. Such things may be preternatural, and yet not miraculous; they may not be in the ordinary course of nature, yet imply no violation of its laws.

The sounds seemed sometimes in the air of the room, and the family could not by any contrivance make such sounds themselves. The pewter trenchers were rattled down—the doors clapped—curtains were drawn—the nursery door was thrown open—the mastiff dog barked violently when the noises first commenced, but ever afterward, and sometimes before the family were sensible of its approach, he ran whining behind some of the company, or into the servant’s bed; and this is a remarkable feature in the case, because the intelligence of a dog is such, and his ear so fine, that he is invariably the first to discover the advance of a stranger—he never shrinks at the approach of man, but becomes fierce and forward to defend his protectors.

It never came by day, until Mr. Wesley ordered a horn to be blown about the premises, and then it was as frequent in the day as in the night. After that, none of the family could go from one room to another without the latch of the room they were going to being lifted before they entered it. It never went into Mr. Wesley’s study, until he reproved it sharply, and called it “a deaf and dumb devil,” and bid it cease to disturb the innocent children, and come to him in his study, if it had any thing to say to him; after which it visited him in his study frequently, nay, once it pushed him in, almost headlong. At other times it slammed the door in his face. There is the mother’s account of it to her son John Wesley, a student at Oxford, his sister Emilia’s account, his sister Mary’s account, his sister Susan’s account, his sister Ann’s, the Rev. Mr. Horne’s account, and Robert Brown, the servant’s account.

All these give long details in letters to the brothers, and other persons.

On one occasion it seemed as if a vessel full of silver were poured on Mrs. Wesley’s breast, and ran jingling about her feet, as she was going down stairs to breakfast with her husband.

The noises continued from the second of December till the end of January following, nearly two months.

None of the family felt the goblin until Mr. Wesley had called it a deaf and dumb devil; after that, they were sensible of being touched, pushed forward. Once or twice, when Mr. Wesley, in his clerical capacity, rebuked it severely, he heard two or three feeble squeaks, a little louder than the chirping of a bird, but not at all resembling the noise made by rats.

The details are so perplexing, that Dr. Southey, from whom the account is in part extracted, does not attempt to explain them. They are better authenticated than any similar story on record, by persons whose testimony, on any other subject, could not for one moment be questioned.

What interest could a quiet, retired, respectable clergyman, of the established Church of England, have for imposing on the world? His acknowledged piety precludes the suspicion; he was fast approaching, and was very near that period of life when he knew he had to account to his Creator for his truth or falsehood. His testimony is supported by that of a brother clergyman, equally pious and respectable, who came to assist in detecting the cheat, if cheat there had been. Can it be for one instant believed, that if there had been collusion, the ladies of the family would not in after life have confessed it to their husbands or children? No less than nine respectable witnesses lived and died in the belief of its supernatural origin, and at their respective deaths, they were as unable to account for the mystery as at the time of its occurrence.

It commenced without apparent or ostensible cause, and terminated with no other effect than the annoyance of an amiable family.

I shall now endeavor to relate a few remarkable circumstances which have occurred either to myself or to personal friends, on whose veracity I place implicit reliance; they are altogether unlike the preceding, and I think I shall be enabled to show that, by a quiet, cool, persevering investigation, we may generally be enabled to account in a natural way, for imaginary preternatural circumstances and appearances, although the senses may have been many times deceived.

Every story or averment of the sort ought to be taken quære tamen, or sed quære, as the lawyers have it—searched, sifted, scrutinized.

In Scotland, the land of second-sight, of brownies, bogles, kelpies, and fairies, a superstition prevailed when I was a child, which was called the Dead Candle. It was said that when a person was in the last agony, in the act of departing this life, a pale blue gleam of light, resembling the flame of a small spirit-lamp, was seen to flit slowly across the room and through the passages, and disappear, without its being evident whence it came, or whither it went. It was said and supposed to be the soul of the departed, taking its flight for eternity. Many were the dismal narratives of the dead candle, to which, while a mere boy, I had listened amongst the servants of my father’s household.

In a certain ancient city in Scotland which I could name, the houses are very large and very old; they are built entirely of granite, having very thick walls, in a far more substantial manner than houses of the present day.

The different floors, or flats, as they are there called, are shut off from the general stair-case, and are let out to separate families, each having a complete suite of apartments within itself.

In a large antique house of this sort, in the city alluded to, whilst I and my brother were at school, under the charge of a sister considerably older than ourselves, there resided in the flat above us, a young lady who was lying dangerously ill of a brain fever. One night, about eleven o’clock, during her illness, some time after my brother and I had retired to bed, and as I lay thinking of the poor girl, I distinctly saw a faint gleam of light pass across the foot of the bed in which I and my brother were reposing. The house at the moment was perfectly still, and the beam of light passed without the slightest sound; its appearance exactly corresponded with what, in my childhood, I had been told was presented by a “dead candle.” I was considerably alarmed, but probably not so much as might have been expected in a boy twelve years of age, inasmuch as from my earliest years, my parents had endeavored to disabuse my mind of all superstitious fancies, and the venerable and venerated clergyman, at whose school I then was, had, I believe, almost eradicated them.

I watched the light as it slowly moved across the inequalities of the bed-clothes, over my own and brother’s feet; and as its appearance recalled all the dismal stories of dead candles, I fully expected the young person who lay sick had just then expired. But next morning I found that although she had been exceedingly ill, she was still alive.

On the following night, about the same hour, I again saw the self-same appearance, in every respect as on the preceding night. The pale beam of light was clearly and palpably defined, moving slowly athwart the foot of the bed, as it had done on the former occasion; it was impossible I could be mistaken—seeing is believing.

The young lady certainly did die that night, about the very hour that I saw what I then verily believed to be her dead candle. I found it impossible to divest myself of the impressions with which my infant mind had been imbued; but what was, perhaps, rather singular in so young a person as I then was, I concealed the circumstance of seeing her spirit even from my brother; he was my senior by some years, and I well knew he would have jeered and laughed at me, if I had told him—I was a trifle more sensitive to ridicule then than now. My brother had been asleep on both occasions and did not see it.

Of course, I pondered much on so extraordinary an appearance, which I then actually believed to be a real dead candle, and it was not long before I had all doubt respecting its reality removed. On the following night, at the same hour, I saw the apparition a third time, and—the explanation shall be detailed in the sequel.

I was indebted to my late eminent friend, Henry Fuseli, R. A., the celebrated historical painter, for the following story of a spectral apparition which he himself saw.

During the time of his residence in Italy as a student at Rome, he had gone on an excursion to Frascati, where he intended to remain all night, but having changed his intention, he returned to Rome, rather late in the night. Being fatigued with the journey, which he performed as a pedestrian, and having gained access to his apartments without calling for a light, or otherwise disturbing the family in whose house he resided, he undressed in the dark and retired to rest.

On awaking, between two and three o’clock in the morning, he was horror-stricken to behold in the dim light afforded by the now risen moon, the figure of an angel of majestic proportions, arrayed in a loose flowing robe of radiant whiteness, hovering over the foot of his bed.

He gazed on the seraphic vision with straining eyes, lost in amazement to observe that, at one moment it seemed to approach with outstretched arms, as if intending to descend and embrace him, and then gracefully and slowly recede, gazing all the time with deep, fixed attention on his countenance.

As far as his terror permitted, he observed that always between the approach and retreat of the vision there was a pause, as if it hesitated, and stopped in uncertainty.

All the while the Seraph was palpably floating “in thin air.” The artist was both astonished and alarmed at so terrifying a phantom, even although the purity of its robe threw a halo of glory around it exceedingly Corregiesque.

In that Catholic country, where visions of saints are seen, and apparitions visible, the phantom, to a good Catholic, would probably have been hailed as a manifestation of Divine presence, a Beatification of the blessed Virgin.

Not so, however, to a sturdy Swiss—a Protestant Master of Arts—educated in the school and church of John Calvin, the contemporary, school-fellow, and friend of Lavater, Hess, Bodmer, and Bretinger.

But notwithstanding all this, it shook his nerves to their inmost extremity, and made each particular hair like quills; and as he once said to me with deep-toned emphasis, “it made my marrow cold.” For a length of time he continued spell-bound, with his large blue eyes riveted on the vision as intensely as his own sublime Hamlet glares on the ghost of his father. Those in this country who remember the penetrating eyes and look of the late lamented Dr. Follen, can easily picture to themselves Henry Fuseli, for there was a striking resemblance between them.

Becoming at last overpowered by the agony of his fears, and almost mad with excitement and apprehension, involuntarily and sudden as lightning, he sprung from the bed, and with outstretched arms clutched at the angelic form, as it came floating majestically toward him, and seemed to court his embrace.

Alas! poor youth, he little dreamt what an angel is composed of—the beatific form was evanescent; he caught the radiance, but it was unearthly—fleshless—boneless—a shadow, “an unreal mockery;” like Ixion, he had embraced—that which shall appear hereafter.

The next incomprehensible circumstance which I shall relate, occurred to myself. When I first became a resident in the Temple, “eating” my way into the technicalities of English jurisprudence, I rented chambers, consisting of a suite of three rooms and a spacious entrance hall, in one of those ancient brick tenements, which have what I believe architects call a well-staircase, built of solid timber from bottom to top, intended to last, as they have lasted, for ages. Each suite has two doors, a strong outer one, with a very substantial lock, and an inner, which can also be locked, should occasion require, or when the occupant is absent on circuit.

They are snug, cosy places—for bachelors—these Inns of Court, whether it be in the Temple, the most ancient of all, or Lincoln’s, Grey’s, Clement’s, Clifford’s, Furnival’s, Serjeant’s, or Staple’s Inn.

Most of them have extensive squares, besides gardens of great extent, with fountains and jets of water playing under old ancestral trees. All are extra parochial, and the whole have peculiar privileges—let the limbs of the law alone for that! There are gates at the various entrances, strong enough to defy the force of a battering-ram, which are carefully barred, bolted, and locked, every night at ten o’clock, and none, save inmates having chambers, are admitted after that hour.

The benchers, barristers, and students, resident within the precincts of the Temple, number from one thousand two hundred to fifteen hundred persons, which will give some idea of the extent of the societies of the Inner and Middle Temple. Respectable elderly females, called laundresses, who mostly reside in the neighborhood, come every morning to clean the rooms, light the fires, prepare breakfast, &c., &c.

That glorious spirit, Charles Lamb, was a Templer, at the time I speak of, and rented chambers not far from my own. Perchance I may hereafter give some reminiscences of dear Elia.

The first night I slept in the Temple was the most melancholy and uncomfortable which, in the whole course of my life, I remember ever to have passed.

It was toward the end of the long vacation, during autumn, when most of the profession were in the country. I felt a solemn awe steal over me as I locked the outer-door upon myself in a suite of large, lofty, gloomy rooms, some centuries old, which were wainscoted and paneled from floor to ceiling, with fifty, perhaps five hundred coats of paint, that had once been white.

Melancholy and heavy did the hours pass, until I lit my reading lamp, and took up that detested collection of Commentaries, the text book of lawyers; but I soon laid it aside in disgust. A Black-snake could not have been more loathsome to me than was Blackstone, that dismal, solitary, sad, and heavy evening.

Finding it impossible to read, or write, or do any one thing in the way of study, I passed through the hall into the very dark bed-room, and my uncomfortable fears, or fancies, induced me to take down a long antique rapier, which I had hung up at the head of my bed, and I was silly enough to plunge it underneath, in case any assassin or robber might be lying perdu under it. So “stern was the dint,” that I had some difficulty in withdrawing the point from the wainscot, into which it had penetrated on the further side of the bed. Ridiculous as it now seems, I continued this practice of pinking the panels for some nights afterward. There were five or six floors in the house, on all which were suites of chambers. Mine were on the floor which, in this country, would be called the second; in England it is known as the first. On entering from the courtyard, you ascended three stone steps into a long passage, in which were a set of chambers, directly underneath mine. At the end of the passage you ascended a short flight of nine steps to a landing, and then went up nine more, making in all eighteen steps from the entrance hall. These eighteen steps landed you close to the door of my apartments. I am thus particular for very good reasons, to be stated presently.

It was during the second, or possibly the third night after I had taken possession of the rooms, between ten and eleven o’clock, that I heard a very heavy foot coming along the paved court. Whoever it was, ascended the three stone steps, came along the entrance hall, up the stairs, and made a sudden dead stop at my door. I waited, expecting every moment to hear some one knock, but all was silent, the intruder stirred no further. I went softly, a tip-toe, to the door, listened, put my ear to the key-hole, but could hear no one move or breathe.

I thought it very singular, and stood considering what I should do. After remaining ten minutes breathless, with the light in my hand, I came away, thinking as there were two stout doors between us, each of which had strong patent locks, the person outside would find it a difficult matter to get at me, if so disposed; but I kept a lamp burning all night, and had my rapier ready at hand.

The following night, after I was in bed, I distinctly heard from the window of the room, which opened upon the stair-case, the same heavy tread coming up the stairs, and again it stopped close to my door. What can the man want haunting my door? thought I. I lay long immovable, with my head raised from the pillow, scarcely drawing my breath—but I could hear no further movement. Finally, I concluded it might be some drunken man, who, having no home, had somehow contrived to get into the Temple before the gates were closed, and had probably since then been sitting under the cloisters, and was now come to lie down and sleep on the mat. I determined to get up early in the morning and give him into the custody of the porters at the gate-house.

As the Temple bell struck four, I rose, dressed hastily, and went to the door; but the bird was flown—no trace of him was there. I thought I might, possibly, have been deceived, although the sound of the heavy tread coming up the stairs, and stopping exactly at my door, was so distinct, and the death-like stillness of the house at the time, seemed to preclude the possibility of mistake; but to guard against any chance of future deception, I counted the number of steps on the stairs, and found them to be eighteen, as I have stated.

Although I watched attentively the next night, the unwelcome footsteps were not heard; but on the succeeding one I heard them distinctly—counted the sound of the foot on the three stone steps—the walk along the passage—then the first nine risings—the turn—and the succeeding nine steps landed him close to my door. No mistake now, thought I to myself. I was burning with rage at the fellow’s pertinacity, and going boldly to the door, whipt it open in a twinkling, and found—what thinkest thou, reader? Exactly that which the Dutchman caught in his famous bear-trap—“nothing at all.” Not a soul was there. And yet that a heavy man had entered, had come along the hall, had ascended the stair, and had stopped at my door, I felt as morally certain as I could have been of any thing whatever. I could have sworn to it, because on this last occasion the night was remarkably still, so still, indeed, that I could distinctly hear the pattering of the drops of water, as they fell into the basin from the jet d’eau in the quadrangle of Garden Court. I had heard the footsteps on the pavement of the court-yard, before the person entered the door. The adjoining houses were too large and too solid for a sound from them being audible, and I had now several times heard the same footsteps, agreeing in every particular, and always stopping at my own door. I was completely baffled and at fault.

I tried to account for it in every way I could think of, and failed in all. So I determined, the next time I heard the mysterious unknown, to dash down stairs and seize him in the act of entering from the court-yard. I had become excited, nervous, and was perpetually on the watch. Sooner than expected, my curiosity was amply gratified; for the very next night, as I patiently sat on the watch, scarcely drawing my breath, I heard the well-known sounds,

“Tramp, tramp, along the court,

 Stump, stump, into the hall.”

I bounded down the stairs like a tiger on his prey, and as I leapt into the passage, the frightful unknown was discovered—the mystery cleared completely and satisfactorily. I could scarcely believe my own eyes; but as I had expended much valuable time, and much deep thought in endeavoring to elucidate the mystery, I shall beg permission to leave the solution, and the reader to ponder, think, weigh, and determine, as I had done. He shall be gratified hereafter; and I doubt not will wonder at much as I did.

This affair of mine was, however, mere child’s play, compared with the long series of mysterious occurrences which happened to a very dear friend, whom I shall call Mr. Crofton. He is yet alive, and I hope he will long live to enjoy the happiness and felicity to which he is eminently entitled. He is a gentleman who has been long and favorably known in the literary world as author of many popular and highly embellished works; and he is, moreover, in common parlance, as good a fellow as ever stirred a tumbler—and many is the recherché goblet compounded by his delicate hand, which I have sipped, listening to his sparkling wit, and most interesting conversation long years ago. This gentleman being then a bachelor, and of very studious habits, occupied lodgings in a remarkably quiet house, in a quiet street, leading from Holborn to Bloomsbury Square, where he had a large, elegant, richly furnished room, with a spacious bay-window, and excellent attendance; in short, he found himself as comfortably situated as is possible or compatible for a bachelor—to feel. There was no other lodger in the house—no children—no pet-animals—no parrot—and no piano. The family consisted of a respectable old gentleman who had a respectable old wife, both of whom were strictly

“Sober, steadfast, and demure.”

The female attendant was one of those sweet, artless, rosy-cheeked damsels, which I verily believe no country on the face of the earth can produce equal to England, in the same station of life.

Mr. Crofton was eminently happy. In process of time, however, as is generally the lot of humanity, where people begin to feel themselves too happy, he was somewhat annoyed by frequently finding his books and papers in disorder, his pens split up to the plume, and his ink sputtered or overturned.

Now, Mr. Editor, I am very sure you can sympathize with my friend in these petty annoyances. Did you never feel your bile, if you have any, bubbling up, on returning to your sanctum, after having left your papers and proofs in apple-pie order, finding them all knocked into pi, as your affectionate friends, the compositors, would call it?

But Mr. Crofton being a gentleman of an uncommonly amiable disposition, said little, in fact nothing, about it, believing it to be occasioned by the maid, in her assiduity to keep his room “tidy.”

As, however, repeated and increased annoyances of this kind will, in time, ruffle the sweetest temper, Mr. Crofton one day, in the mildest possible manner, ventured to tell the damsel it would much oblige him, if she would be kind enough always to leave his papers and books exactly as she found them. To his surprise, the girl burst into tears, and said she was very glad he had named it, as she had now an excuse for giving her mistress warning to quit her service.

On inquiring her reason for conduct which seemed to him rather extraordinary, she said, “There is something wrong about this house, sir. I never touch your books or papers, and sometimes when I am cleaning the room, I hear whisperings near me, sometimes groans and moanings, as of a person in distress. I have searched every corner, but can discover nothing. I am sure the house is haunted by the spirit of some woman who has been murdered.”

Mr. Crofton was more surprised at this recital, than he chose to express, as he had himself reason to suspect there was some secret mystery to be cleared up; but he comforted Marianne with the assurance that, if she would say nothing about it, and would endeavor to arrange the room whilst he was taking his breakfast in the bay-window, he would lock the door when he went out to his office, and carry the key with him.

This plan proved extremely acceptable to Marianne, because Mr. Crofton’s kind, gentlemanly manners, and very handsome Christmas present, had probably made a deeper impression on her simple heart, than she was, perhaps, aware of, or would have been willing to admit.

Soon after this arrangement was entered into, Mr. Crofton was seized with a complaint to which he was occasionally subject; it was, in fact, a fit of the gout; and during the first night of his confinement to the house, as he lay reading, with his candle on a small round-table, which stood close by the bed-side, he noticed that the light was becoming paler and fainter; when looking up from his book, he was astonished and amazed beyond the power of utterance, to observe that the table was moving, silently and slowly away, and by degrees gliding from the bed-side.

At first he could scarcely believe his own eyes, he fancied he was laboring either under an optical delusion, delirium, or hallucination of the brain, induced by his illness; but on reaching out his hand to feel whether the table was absolutely removed, he became sensible, beyond all doubt, that it had not only moved away, but was then silently traversing the room. He watched its slow progress along the floor with intense emotion, and noticed that, when it reached the right hand side of the fire-place, its usual stand, it became stationary.

The effect of this unaccountable movement of the table, combined with previous circumstances, operated on Mr. Crofton’s corporeal system, just as if he had swallowed a dozen papers of James’s powders. At first he became cold as lead, but when the table stopped, and the candle appeared to be burning blue, and he was every instant expecting something would appear, he burst into a violent perspiration, and the fear of taking cold prevented him from getting up to investigate the cause of the table’s volition; so he continued gazing and perspiring until the candle, which was nearly burnt out, dropped down into the socket; and as the light alternately flickered up or fell, he again saw the table, of its own mere motion, making its way back toward the bed-side, as slowly as it had retreated, and then it stopped at the exact spot from whence it had taken its mysterious departure, of which he made certain by rising on his elbow, and raising the slide in the candlestick; and just at that moment he fancied he heard a mouse run along the carpet; yet the idea of a mouse moving a table backward and forward, across a large room, was too absurd to be entertained for a moment. In a state of most painful perplexity and suspense he passed the first part of the night, but at last fell asleep; and on awakening late the next day, he found the copious perspiration which he had been thrown into, had had the most salutary effect on his gout. When he got up, he minutely examined the table; but after a long inspection of it, he failed to discover the slightest cause for its extraordinary perambulations backward and forward along the room.

A short time after this unaccountable movement of the table, a friend came to breakfast with him one morning, and as the maid servant could not with propriety be in the room to arrange it, during the time his friend was there, they went out together, leaving the breakfast equipage on the table, to be removed, and the room put to rights, at leisure.

When Mr. Crofton returned in the afternoon, Marianne’s handsome features, as she let him in, indicated that all was not right. She followed him up stairs.

“Oh, sir,” were her first words, “I have been so frightened; I’ll never enter this room alone again.”

“Why, what’s the matter, Marianne?”

“The matter, sir! Why, as soon as you and Mr. Brooke went out, sir, I set about cleaning the room, and directly heard those dreadful mutterings all around me, with such sighs, and such groans, and weeping and distress, and as I was removing the ashes from under the grate, one of your books was thrown at me with such force, I do believe if it had hit me, it would have been the death of me. The house is haunted by evil spirits; I am sure some horrid murder has been committed.”

“Do you hear any thing of this in any other of the rooms, Marianne?”

“No, sir, only in yours, sir; and I cannot think of staying longer in such a shocking place—there, sir,” said she, starting, “did you hear that?”

Now Mr. Crofton did hear something, at the very moment, but the noise was of a vague, confused nature, difficult to comprehend. It annoyed him exceedingly, however, as he found it impossible to account for or explain the cause of the disturbances, but he was possessed of an indomitable courage, and affected to treat it all lightly, so begging the girl to say nothing about the matter, nor by any means to think of leaving her place; he put a guinea into her hand, and told her to continue as good and virtuous a girl as she had ever been, and to fear nothing.

Always on his return home in the afternoon, the girl was in the habit of lighting the fire, and having done so, one evening, Mr. Crofton immediately afterward went out to call on his friend Mr. Priestly, the bookseller, with whom he staid and took tea. He came home about nine o’clock, and on unlocking his door, was horrified to behold a creature, which to all outward appearance was the devil, standing on his cloven hoofs at the farther side of the table, engaged in munching some pears which Mr. Crofton had left on a plate. The creature, or being, was large and black, it had horns, which were sharp and slightly crooked, and an enormous beard. This frightful apparition stared Mr. Crofton full in the face, with a pair of large, black, oblique, glittering eyes, the glance from which seemed to pierce his very soul! And still it kept its place at the table devouring the fruit. There was a peculiarly offensive effluvia in the room—it was not exactly brimstone, but equally nauseous and strong. From the extremely offensive odor which was emitted, however, it was soon apparent that the intruder was no other than an enormous he-goat! but how it had obtained access to the room was inexplicable. Mr. Crofton hesitated not a moment what was to be done; he instantly relocked the door, went down stairs and procured a musket, which having charged with buck-shot, he almost immediately, or in less than five minutes, as he told me, returned to his room, fully determined to shoot the hateful beast, but what was his astonishment on entering the door, to meet, instead of a goat, a very fine, large bashful Newfoundland dog, wagging his bushy tail in the most friendly manner. Mr. Crofton could scarcely credit his own eyes—the room still smelt of a goat, but there was no mistake about the noble, honest dog! Now it happened that Mr. C. was uncommonly fond of dogs—who that has a heart is not? So he laid aside the musket and all hostile intentions, but he made an immediate examination of his canine visiter’s paws, to verify whether there was not among them a cloven foot! The scrutiny was satisfactory, but whether it was dog or devil, he was allowed to escape, and happy he seemed thereat.

The mystery seemed to thicken, and Mr. Crofton now felt really uneasy. He spoke to his landlord on the subject, but it was quite clear from the old gentleman’s artless manner, and the real alarm he manifested, that he was entirely ignorant of the cause of the disturbances.

He sent for a police officer, and had every part of the room and the whole house carefully examined, but no clue to a discovery could be obtained.

To guard against future surprises, Mr. Crofton procured and kept a brace of pistols, constantly loaded, at the head of his bed, and directed Marianne, as she lighted the fire, to put the poker between the bars, in order that it might be always red hot.

Now let me assure you, Mr. Editor, that a red hot poker is a potent weapon in the hands of an angry man.

I can of my own personal knowledge vouch, that from some singular crotchet in his head, arising probably from apprehension of personal danger, the late eminent antiquary and author, Francis Douce, invariably, during the winter months, kept his poker in the fire! I observed he always took it out and laid it aside to cool, whenever I entered his noble library to settle a Shakspearean difficulty, or resolve a disputed point of antiquity; and I noticed, that from long service in the fiery ordeal, his poker was half burnt away, and become very short, and as thin as a skewer toward the point; in fact it bore a striking resemblance to some men’s love—it was become—“too hot to hold!”

Neither dog nor devil ever again made their appearance in the room; but one afternoon, when Mr. Crofton had caught a cold, and was lying down on his bed, he was startled to notice the closet-door near the fire-place slowly and cautiously opening—and at last, the apparition of a human head, upon the upper shelf of the closet! Its large, round, black eyes were fixed on his, exactly like those of a rattlesnake intent on its prey. The head had a horrible indescribable grin, or ghastly smile. For a second, surprise at the apparition paralyzed him, but his natural intrepidity rallied the next, he seized a pistol, and pointing it at the head—which still grinned—he pulled the trigger, but the weapon flashed in the pan; he instantly seized the other, but before he could point it and draw the trigger, the door closed, and the pistol only flashed like the former. Mr. Crofton sprung from his bed, seized the red-hot poker, rushed to the closet and whipt open the door, but the head had vanished, whither did not appear; he thrust the poker against the back of the closet, between the shelves, where the head had appeared, but the brick wall was solid.

The clew was, however, at last found; it was plain and palpable all the annoyances had proceeded from that closet. Detection soon followed—ample and astounding—but as its details lead back to, and are connected with the fiercest and bloodiest period recorded in history, I shall for a short time defer the explanation, whilst I relate the circumstantial account of a spectral vision which appeared to two intelligent persons, at or near the same moment of time. I give it on the authority of a lady of the highest respectability, who is connected with some of the first families in the city of New York. She related it one evening, when ghost stories and second-sight—fruitful themes—were the subject of discussion; and I was not a little surprised to learn, at the same time, that there is a family in New York, consisting of two maiden sisters, of high respectability, natives of New Jersey, who are subject to those mysterious, melancholy and terrible visitations, identical in every respect with what is known in the Highlands of Scotland, as the “second-sight.” Equal ridicule has been attached to the second-sight as to Mesmerism and clairvoyance; the very name is almost enough to raise a smile, yet I am assured that the ladies in question, could, if they chose, relate circumstances of a character so dismal, that they would change smiles into tears, and ridicule into awe.

It ought to be remembered that the fearful visitation of the second-sight is involuntary to the party who is subject to it. It is sudden, unexpected, and unforeseen at the time of its occurrence, and renders its victim miserable and melancholy to the last degree.

Of this I can vouch, that my friend, the late James Miller, M.D., of Islington, near London, has often assured me he knew from boyhood a servant of Sir John Sinclair’s, who resided at his castle near Thurso, in Caithness, who was one of these pitiable beings, and the doctor related to me many of the man’s fearful and fatal predictions, which came to pass, literally, under his, the doctor’s, own personal knowledge, when he was resident in that part of Scotland. But I digress.

The vision related by the lady I allude to, I considered so singular, that I requested the favor of her to write it down for me. She kindly complied with my request, and the following is a verbatim copy of her letter. The names, of course, I suppress.

Dear Sir,—The vision or dream which you wished me to relate, is, as nearly as I can recollect it, as follows: James, the second son of Mrs. G****, who lives in the south of England, was suddenly awakened one night, by the apparition of his elder brother Charles, who seemed visibly to approach his bed, dressed in his night-clothes, looking pale and death-like. Charles was at the time absent in the West Indies, and when the family last heard from him, was in perfect health, so that James had no anxious fears respecting him, and although the vision made a powerful and painful impression on his mind, as it was likely to do from its vividness, he determined to think no more of it, but compose himself again to sleep. He had, however, been so much startled by the unearthly look of his brother, that he found sleep impossible, and therefore rose to take a few turns about his room, in order to shake off the melancholy impression, and he remarked, on looking at his watch, that it was then just three in the morning!

“When the usual breakfast hour arrived, he went down to the parlor, where the family were assembled. His mother appeared exceedingly dejected, and complained of violent headache, which she accounted for by saying she had been much shocked during the night, at having been awakened by the appearance of her eldest son, who seemed as if alive in her room, and to approach her bedside in his night-clothes, looking at her with fixed eyes, and a countenance so pallid and corpse-like, that she could not get rid of the impression and belief that he was either dead or dying!

“James and her other children rallied her upon her superstitious fears and faith in dreams and visions, and endeavored to dissipate her fears. James appeared carelessly to inquire, whether she knew at what hour of the night the vision appeared, and was answered it must have been a few minutes before three in the morning, as she heard the hall clock strike three directly after the spectre vanished.

“Nothing further was said on the subject, but as soon as James left the parlor, he went to his own room, and wrote a minute account of his own and his mother’s dream or visitation, mentioning the precise hour and day of the month when it occurred.

“He sealed up the paper and asked his eldest sister to certify in writing, that he had delivered that sealed paper to her that day.

“Both of them had almost forgotten the circumstance, when, about two months afterward, a letter arrived from Jamaica, conveying the sad intelligence that their brother had died there, at the very moment—allowing for the difference of time—of his death-like appearance to his mother and brother!

“Mr. James G**** was a student of medicine at the University of Edinburgh, and resided in the same house in which I lived, at the time he related to us the circumstances. I regret that although only a few years have elapsed since I heard him relate it, the exact dates which he then communicated have escaped my memory, and I will not attempt to supply them. He was a young gentleman of undoubted veracity, and I believe the circumstances to be true as stated.

New York, 22d December, 1840.

In remarking on this communication, I will not say it is impossible that the extraordinary circumstance of two persons having each the same dream—I will call it—at the same hour, and that both believed they were awakened by the phantom of a distant relative, may not be explained by natural causes, as some things of a similar character were attempted to be explained, under the word “spirit,” in an early edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, but in the absence of facts, what do such attempts amount to? Probabilities and possibilities!

But in this instance, although the young man’s death may have been imprinted on his mother’s and brother’s imagination—from apprehension of his fate, we will say, by reading or hearing of the ravages of yellow fever—which, however, is not alluded to in the lady’s interesting letter, the singularity is, how the dream, or phantom, should come to visit both—at precisely the same hour—and dressed exactly alike, and that so vividly, as to awake them in fear and terror!

It would be folly to attempt a rational explanation—such things are beyond human comprehension. We may speculate, but we can never penetrate the veil under which the Divine Will has shrouded such mysteries; yet I have not the shadow of a doubt that in some future state of existence, they will, to those who walk aright in this, be made clear and manifest, and we will then, possibly, wonder how near, how very close we have been allowed to approach the threshold, without being able to cross it! “Thus far shalt thou go, and no farther!”

I well remember one lovely starlight night, walking on the terrace in front of Somerset House with Henry Fuseli, and whilst speculating on futurity, he told me that he and Lavater had made a solemn agreement, that whichever should die first, would, if permitted, make himself manifest to the other, in some way. Lavater died many years before his friend, but Mr. Fuseli informed me with a sigh, he had never, in any way, waking or dreaming, made himself manifest. It is, perhaps, useless to mention that Fuseli was a classical scholar of very high attainments, and I know that he was a firm, undoubting believer in the immortality of the soul. He died at the ripe age of 86, whilst on a visit to the Dowager Countess of Guilford, and whilst on his death-bed, within an hour of the time his immortal spirit took its flight for a better world, he had an impression that he heard soft sweet music in the room, and faintly inquired of the countess, why she had placed musical snuff-boxes on the bed. Yet the dying man never had an ear for music, and could not distinguish one air from another—music was all perfectly monotonous to him—but the music which he imagined he then heard was to him heavenly. This impression on the ear seems altogether different to that made on the visual organ of many persons on the approach of death. Fervently do we pray that such impressions as visited the dying hour of Henry Fuseli, may equally be the blissful harbinger to eternity of all such good men.

The above story related by a lady, coincides in some degree with a visitation which occurred to Sir Walter Scott and his lady, at Abbotsford, who were both awakened by some extraordinary noise on the premises. He says in a letter—“The night before last, we were awakened by a violent noise, like the drawing of heavy boards along the new part of the house. I fancied something had fallen, and thought no more about it. This was about two in the morning. Last night, at the same witching hour, the very same noises occurred. So I got up, with Beardies’ broad-sword under my arm, but nothing was out of order, neither could I discover what occasioned the disturbance.

“I protest to you, the noise resembled half a dozen men putting up boards and furniture, and nothing can be more certain than that there was nobody on the premises at the time.”

It subsequently appeared, that at the exact hour mentioned by Scott, Mr. George Bullock died suddenly in London. He was a particular friend of Sir Walter’s, and had been very active in planning, and procuring articles of antiquity and old furniture for the embellishment of Abbotsford. The circumstance appeared to have made a strong impression on Sir Walter’s mind. But I think I could show—as I certainly believe—that the death of Mr. Bullock, at the time when Sir Walter and Lady Scott fancied they heard noises, was merely a coincidence.

A near and dear relative of my own, a manufacturer, whose dwelling-house adjoined the factory, was so successful in business, that his wife, according to the superstition of the period, thought he was assisted by fairies during the night! The excellent lady and her maid servants from hearing the sound of the machinery all day, thought they heard the “good people” making the same noise in the night; and, as I was told, they more than once went slyly and softly to the factory-door, which they opened with the greatest caution, in order to gratify that laudable curiosity, falsely attributed to the fair sex!—they longed to see the little folks whom they heard so well, but the moment they peeped in, that instant the fairies ceased! The accuracy of the eye, exactly as in the case of Scott, destroyed the deception of the ear!

But Sir Walter’s eye, in consequence probably of irregularity of the stomach, was sometimes more at fault than his ear. Once, while crossing the hall at Abbotsford, he believed he saw Lord Byron standing before him, but the imaginary form soon faded into a plaid cloak hanging on a screen. At another time, on his way to Abbotsford, he supposed he saw a shepherd in his plaid, standing on the moor a short distance from the road, but the man vanished as soon as Scott came opposite to him, but reappeared after he had passed a little way. Sir Walter turned his horse to ride up to the man, who again vanished, into a pit as he supposed, but on searching for it, he found it was merely an optical delusion, the ground was all smooth and firm.

It is now high time I should enter the Confessional, and render to the reader—if he or she have followed me so far—my account—detailing the mystery of the “dead candle,” and sundry other marvels contained in this article.

Imprimis, then. Of the annoyances to which the family of Mr. Wesley were subjected, I have little further to add. The story must stand or fall on the degree of credibility attached to the witnesses, but, as Doctor Southey says, it is better authenticated than any similar story on record.

In reading the letters written from Egypt, by the sister of Mr. Lane, author of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians, she details a series of annoyances to which she and her brother’s family were subjected, in a house at Cairo, supposed to be haunted by an ’Efreet, or evil spirit, in consequence of a murder having been committed in it.

Some of the events closely resemble those which befel the family at Epsworth parsonage, consisting of knockings, and other annoyances, at all hours of the night, which eluded investigation; none of the native maid servants would remain in the house over a week, and although it was in every respect a delightful and most desirable residence, Mr. Lane and his sister were reluctantly compelled to abandon it.

My own detection of the “dead candle” arose in this way. On the third night of its appearance, the beam of light was as clearly defined to my sight as it had been on the two preceding nights, but it was now passing across the bed clothes more quickly, and was accompanied by a faint rustle, and that sound flashed the truth upon my mind in a moment. It was my own sister crossing the hall, and the ray of light from her live candle shining through the key-hole of the door!

I had formed a boyish admiration for the young lady who was ill, and apprehension for her fate, and thoughts of her, kept me much longer awake than usual. On the two first nights my sister crossed the hall slowly and noiselessly, in order that she might not disturb the dying sufferer, but now that the sad catastrophe was over, she moved quicker, and I could hear her!

The ANGEL—whose radiant effulgence had excited such fearful emotion in the mind of Henry Fuseli, was neither more nor less than the white dress of an Italian lady, which his hostess, not expecting his return from Frascati before the following day, had hung up on a cord stretched across the room, to dry, and its slow floating movements were occasioned by the air from the window, which was left open to facilitate the drying.

Fatigued by his long walk, he undressed the moment he gained his own apartment, and retired to rest without observing the signora’s robe, or that the window was open. The moon had risen whilst he was asleep, and was faintly shining on the white drapery when he awoke, and the effect, to an imaginative mind like his, gave it the appearance of animation.

The whole story, as related by him, was glorious—but who could relate a ghost story, or any story, like Fuseli? His choice and powerful language, and his acting of the scene, were inimitable. He was equally successful in any comic story, although in a dryer way; even his description of the manner in which the present Lady Jersey catches a flea! was irresistible. What action, what emphasis, what a look. You could have almost sworn you saw the indignant flash of her ladyship’s bold, brazen eye, and her long nose, when she discovered the little blood-sucker upon her cream-colored skin. The recollection of it is so perfect at this moment that I cannot resist a laugh as I write; but the manner of the thing I must defer until I give my Reminiscences of Harry Fuseli, in which I shall try to detail some of his literary combats at the table of Joseph Johnson, where he vanquished the great Porson, with his, Porson’s, own chosen weapon, Greek.

But his angelic ghost story was absolutely terrific; after having worked one up to the highest pitch of excitement, the denouement came so entirely unexpected. With a low, sepulchral tone, he would say, “I was mad with apprehension; and in an agony which I could not repress, I sprung up like a maniac, clutched the apparition in my arms, and came down like a dog, and broke both my shins on a d—d chair!—instead of an angel, I grasped a white gown, perhaps smock, of some Italian trollop.”

The invisible and mysterious personage who had, as I supposed, so pertinaciously haunted the door of my chambers, was a large, heavy man, employed as a porter in a shop near Temple Bar. His wife was a respectable laundress, who, unknown to me, occupied the basement of the house. The entrance hall was rather dark, and as I had just taken possession, I had not observed a narrow passage which, by proceeding a few steps beyond the foot of the stairs leading up, led to a staircase going down, having exactly the same number of steps, and, in consequence of the whole staircase from bottom to top being a species of conductor, the sound of footsteps going down was conveyed up so perfectly, that to any one sitting in my rooms it was impossible for the nicest ear to tell, whether the person was coming up or going down; and the floor of the basement being of brick, the sound was lost the moment it was trodden on.

I was perfectly dumb-foundered when I saw the big fellow pass quietly by me without taking the least notice; and I felt a mighty inclination for a fight, in consequence of his having so cruelly disappointed and mocked my determined belief in a ghost. But, like Mr. Van Buren, “sober second thought,” induced me to retrace my steps, and walk quietly up stairs, somewhat like a president walking down, when he is unexpectedly turned to the right-about. My Andrea Ferrara was hung upon its peg, from which it was never afterward removed, during all the unhappy years I afterwards passed as a Templar in those old-fashioned rooms. What reminiscences do they not now revive?

The vexatious annoyances to which my friend, Mr. Crofton, was so long subjected, arose from an admirably concocted scheme of female waggery, in which a youth bore a principal part; but to render its details intelligible, it is, as formerly hinted, necessary to digress a little into history.

In the year 1794, during the frenzy excited by the French Revolution, when every throne in Europe was shaken to its centre, a society was formed in London for the pretended reform, although it was in fact for the overthrow of the English Government.

It was called the London Corresponding Society for Constitutional Reform, and it was in secret correspondence with Robespierre, and other monsters of that terrible tribunal which never spared, until it had deluged France with the blood of 1,022,351 of its best citizens. Start not, reader, in doubt, there is no mistake in the figures—ONE MILLION, TWENTY-TWO THOUSAND, THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY-ONE victims, male and female, adults and children, perished under the axe of the accursed guillotine, or other wholesale murders, perpetrated during the Reign of Terror.

May its bloody horrors be a lesson and A WARNING to nations, in all future time, to beware or the perils attending MOB LAW!

The London Corresponding Society was headed by Hardy, Horne Tooke, Thelwall, and other turbulent spirits of the time. But by the firmness of the Prime Minister, William Pitt, son of the Earl of Chatham, the leaders were apprehended in their own homes, during the night, and tried for high treason. But the society, although with greater privacy, still held its sittings, and in order to defeat the government police, one of its agents hired two houses adjoining each other, where, with extraordinary care and secrecy, a secret passage was constructed between the two, by means of closets, so artfully contrived, that at a moment’s warning the members could escape with their papers from one house to the other, and elude the chance of capture.

In the room where the traitors met, the back of the closet was built up of bricks, resting on strong shelves, which were fixed to a door of strong plank. This door, with its shelves and brick back, swung on well oiled pivots. The bricks were whitewashed, and were firmly attached to the shelves, which were furnished with China and crockery, coated with fine dust, to make it appear, on looking into the closet, as if it had not been opened for a long time.

The closet in the adjoining house, resembled it exactly, except in the arrangement of its contents. The back or swing door, on that side next to the committee-room, had strong secret bolts, which kept all firm in its place.

The two houses had passed into the occupation of different persons, years after the society ceased to exist, without the secret of the “corresponding” closets having been divulged; but at the time when Mr. Crofton occupied his apartment, the servants of the adjoining house had discovered the secret of the bolts and swing door, in consequence of a brick coming loose, in driving a nail, and with that amiable curiosity generally attributed to the fair sex, and probably from envy of her beauty, and of hearing some compliments paid to Marianne’s graceful figure, they determined on the species of pantomime which they so successfully put in practice, being mainly aided in it by a youth of great inventive genius, and a very dare-devil at mischief.

The disarrangement of the books, papers, pens and ink, with suppressed mutterings, groans, weepings and wailings, can therefore be easily understood.

The movement of the table was effected by means of a long piece of string, of the color of the carpet, which the young genius first passed round one of the table-casters, then around the foot of the bed, and the two ends of the string brought through the closet under the door, by pulling either one end or the other, he could withdraw or advance the table at pleasure; when the manœuvre was complete, he let go one end, and, in nautical phrase, “hauled in the slack.” The withdrawing of the cord was what Mr. Crofton took for a mouse.

The goat was obtained from the stable-yard of the George and Blue Boar, a well-known Inn on the other side of Holborn, in the immediate neighborhood; and the dog was one which the lad had enticed from the street. Being perfectly cognizant of every thing said or done in Mr. Crofton’s apartment, they overheard the conversation about the pistols and poker, and found it necessary to be rather cautious. They were perfectly aware of Mr. Crofton’s out-goings and in-comings, and during his absence, the charges were withdrawn from his pistols, and plugs of lead, covered with cotton, introduced, and firmly rammed down. When the girl stealthily opened the closet door, she was not aware Mr. Crofton was at home, and the appearance of her head on the shelf, in the act of reconnoitering, led to the detection and exposure of the whole thing; for the landlord was so exasperated, he had them all up before the police. Ample apology, however, was made, and the joke, from its ingenuity, forgiven. But the party-walls of both houses were restored to their original condition, putting an effectual stop to all further correspondence, or tricks, upon Mr. Crofton; but I believe it may have been this very extraordinary affair, that induced him to write one of his most popular works; and I only wonder he was never induced to work up the details of the mystery (which I have so imperfectly attempted) into a tale, or drama, of exciting interest. With reference to my chambers in the Temple, when I spoke of the unhappy years I had passed in them, I alluded to the contrast which they presented to the felicity which a married life soon afterward conferred on —

An Unbeliever in Spectral or Supernatural Appearances.


“Are there not deep, sad oracles to read

   In the clear stillness of that radiant face?

 Yes, ev’n like thee must gifted spirits bleed,

   Thrown on a world, for heavenly things no place!”

Those poet-eyes, with inspiration burning —

  Half wild, half pensive, still they haunt my dream —

Eyes, in whose depths the soul of passionate yearning,

  Intense unrest, and high devotion gleam.


The Spirit of the Ideal, throned in glory,

  Shines with superior brightness on that brow: —

O, laurel-crowned! thou famed in song and story,

  How sweetly float thy spell-strains o’er me now!


Doth this rapt, earnest, mournful face resemble

  In all its shaded lineaments thine own?

Did the soft love-vow on that proud lip tremble —

  Yet fear to deepen to a tenderer tone?


And the rare love that haunts thy magic numbers —

  Didst thou not hope to make such worship thine?

The passionate paleness on thy cheek that slumbers,

  Tells that thy heart was but Love’s lonely shrine!


The love of Genius!—with its dream and vision —

  Its hopes and fears—vainest of earthly things.

Only in spiritual visitings Elysian

  Are realized the bard’s imaginings.


Meanwhile thine image rises oft before me,

  With memories that to mine own heart belong;

And as I muse on thy life’s hist’ry, o’er me

  Comes the conviction, O, sad son of song!


That the celestial gift can never, never

  For all the unrest it hath cost atone;

The Unattained still haunts us here forever —

  There, in thy world, vain yearnings are unknown!







I was traveling outside the coach from B ——, early in the year 18—, after a season of fashionable dissipation, tired with the important nothings which eke out the existence of the beau monde, and determined to seek relief in change of scene, from the daily increasing ennui that oppressed me. I am not one of those who travel from Dan to Beersheeba without seeing any thing worthy of attention. To me the face of every human being is a book, in which strange and eventful histories are written legibly by the hand of time and passion, and with the assistance of my somewhat active imagination, I often fancy that I can trace the actions and events, the hopes and fears, that have made up their sum of life. It is a pleasing and grateful task to watch the face of youth; to trace love, hope, and confidence, in every line of the countenance. There is not to be seen one doubt, one look of distrust in this the brightest page of life’s eventful history.

My companions were a young girl, a free and generous-hearted sailor, two ordinary, every-day travelers, and a pale, and to all appearances, an intellectual youth. I make it a rule, when thrown into the company of strangers, if but for an hour, to make that hour, by conversation, pass as pleasantly as possible; and as I was likely to remain with my present companions for some hours, I determined to draw them into a familiar discourse. Our sailor was a character such as Dibden loved to draw—light-hearted and careless to a fault. At each place, while the horses were being changed, he would dismount, and insist upon treating every one around, spending his hard-earned cash without a thought for to-morrow. He kept us in a roar of laughter for some hours, by the strange tales he told. One, I remember, but it was so interlarded with technical terms, which he explained at the time, that I fear it will lose half its gist by their omission, and the substitution of my shore-going phraseology.

“We were cruising off the Bermudas,” said he, “in the summer of 179-. And a blazing summer it was—so hot, that all the sugar on board was turned into hard bake, and the purser’s skin was so dried, that he kept his tally on his face for the rest of the voyage; to say nothing of the captain’s dog, Toby, who was sitting on deck one day, when the pitch in the seams melting, he was held so fast by the stern, that he was unable to cut and run, and was in consequence exposed to the heat of the varticle sun, whereby he caught what the parley-voos call a ‘coop do sol’s heel,’ which, I suppose, means a ‘kick from the sun’s heel.’ Howsomever, that’s as may be. Well, as I said before, we were sailing with a fine steady breeze, at the rate of eight knots an hour, when, all of a sudden, we felt ourselves brought up, as it were, with a round turn. All hands immediately jumped on deck; the skipper came up in a devil of a hurry, swearing that we had struck upon some hidden rock. We sounded but could not find the bottom. The wind was rising and filled the canvas almost to bursting, but not an inch did she move. The skipper was flabbergasted, and the master, an old Northman, said that he thought we were over some magnetical rocks, and, according to the doctrine of substraction, they would draw all the iron out of the bottom, and we should fall to pieces. When, all of a sudden, it strikes Harry Dare-em-all—ah, by the by, he was a fellow—bathing one day in those very seas, he saw a shark as big as a whale coming right upon him. Away swims Harry; down he dives, and up he comes again, but Mr. Sharkey, was close upon his heels, and at last had turned over, ready for a grip, when Harry darts under him, and gives him such a kick in the small of his back, just to help him on the faster, that he broke him in half. The gentleman was hauled on board, and to this day I uses one of his grinders for a baccy-stopper. Well, says Harry, I shouldn’t wonder if it’s one of them feline animals of the shark species—for you see Harry knew something of fishogomy—as has bolted the junk we threw astarn to catch them beggars with. Away we all flies to the starn, and sure enough, there was the rope as taut as nothing. We pulled and hauled, but it was no go; so at last we gave it a turn round the capstan, and all hands were ready to toe it merrily round; but devil a bit of a round could they go, for the more they pushed the more he pulled. He must have had pretty tough muscle to stand against a stiff breeze and the whole ship’s crew—but he did, and beat us too. So at last the skipper ordered the carpenter to cut the rope—and so he did. But, my eyes! no sooner was it cut than away goes the barkey at such a rate, for two hours, that we thought we should have lost every stick. Howsomever, the shark got nothing by his move, for I met one Bill Jones, some years after, which had been cruising in them seas, and he says that there is a atomy of a shark, as goes diving about like one demented, with an iron hook, and a hundred fathom of cable hanging to his jaws, so that he hasn’t disgested ’em yet.”

The young girl, when she started, was weeping most bitterly, and sobbed as though her heart would break. Being a stranger, I dared not intrude upon her sorrow, but I longed to speak comfort to the poor wanderer. To take one shade of grief from a sorrowing heart, affords me more sincere pleasure, than all the luxuries of a winter campaign, however brilliant it may be. The sight of her grief brought on a train of thought, and suggested the following lines to my mind: —

What makes thy bosom heave, thy tears o’erflow,

Say, hast thou ever felt the throb of wo?

Has sorrow ever come, fair girl, to thee,

To dash thy cup of joy with misery?

But such is life!—too sure the brightest sky

That ever beamed to bless a mortal eye,

            Must pass away;

The sweetest flower that ever yet has bloomed,

By Nature’s law, is all too early doomed

            To know decay.


Has she, the idol of thy friendship, proved

A traitress, where she fondly vowed she loved?

Or is it but affection’s tear,

That falls at leaving friends so dear?

Grievest thou to leave this lovely scene,

Where all thy early joys have been,

            Thy youthful hours?

Where thou hast frolicked through the days,

With childhood’s many pleasant ways,

            In summer bowers?


What, weeping still? believe ’tis folly

To give full way to melancholy.

Youth should be as an April day,

Then smiles should chase those tears away;

For if in youth deep sorrows come,

Oh, where shall mem’ry find a home,

            In after years,

To linger on, and raise a smile,

Amidst the world’s deceit and guile,

            And other cares?


Say, hast thou left thy parents dear,

And need their smiles thy heart to cheer?

For all these woes there is a cure —

They never can ’gainst Time endure.

If one of these is not thy grief,

Then cannot Time bring thee relief;

            For should it prove,

What now I deem thy cause for cares,

There is no cure in after years

            For hopeless love.

I accosted the youth, whose appearance so interested me, and found him intelligent, but of a wildly romantic turn of mind, on which fancy might work her wildest spells. He told me that he was a musician, and proceeding to the metropolis to get his works published. Without friends or connections, I greatly feared—for I know something of these publishers—that his speculations would prove but a source of annoyance to him, without yielding him any profitable return. I offered to give him letters of introduction to my friends, to introduce him to my circle of acquaintance, and it was extensive; in short to be a patron to him in his outset of life. But, with expressions of fervent gratitude, he modestly declined my assistance, saying, “that he had determined to rely solely on his own resources, to depend upon no one, but to let whatever talent he possessed make a road to fortune for itself.” How confident is youth! How trusting in its own powers. He fancied that he knew, and was prepared for all the delays and disappointments endured by those who have to dance attendance upon the all-powerful publishers. However, while we were taking refreshments, I wrote a note to one of my most powerful friends, an amateur devotedly attached to the study of music, and prevailed upon him to accept it, and made him promise to use it if he did not find fortune so smiling as he expected. I gave him my address when we parted, and begged him to remember me when he was in need of a sincere friend.

Shortly after this, business called me to the Continent, and, being there, I was induced to make a tour of Europe, which detained me abroad some years. On my return I made inquiries about him; but all I could learn was, that he had published many beautiful compositions, and was looked upon as one whose genius promised greatly for the future. At one time he seemed fortunate and prosperous, but for some months past he had disappeared; no tidings could be learned of him, and it was supposed that he had left London.

I had not been in town many weeks, when one evening a person brought me a note from Ernest Moreton, requesting me to visit him immediately. I followed the bearer of the message, through many low streets in the neighborhood of Fleet street, until we arrived at a narrow, wretched-looking court. In a small, dark room, without furniture, on a miserable couch, lay my poor friend. He pressed my hand, and a sad smile passed over his wan, emaciated features, as I seated myself upon the only chair in the room, by his side. Poor fellow! he was, indeed, sadly changed! From the confident and aspiring youth, eager in the pursuit of fame, and strong in hope, I beheld him shrunk to the miserable occupant of a sick, untended bed. Where now are all those bright delusive dreams which thy too warm fancy wove? Have they not all faded into nothingness? Alas! do they not always fade?

“My friend,” he said, “I see by your countenance that you think me much changed since our parting. I am also aware of it; but you do not think me so ill as I really am. Dear sir, I feel that I am dying, and rapidly will life’s flame be extinguished. But do not mourn for me, my friend; it does not grieve me now. There was a time, indeed, when youth’s delusions were strong within me; when ambition and love struggled for mastery, and quite bewildered my too excitable imagination with glorious dreams of the future; that thoughts of death seemed to fall upon my soul like a blight. But the hand of God has been upon me; sorrow has chastened the heart that transient prosperity had too much elated. In my home, and, as you see, not very happy home, without a friend, without money, food, fire, clothing, in sickness and desolation, the folly and vanity of my pursuits have come most forcibly upon me. I am much altered; though nothing can banish from my breast the old enthusiasm for my profession, yet ambition has now no place there. You see, even here I have written much; but of what avail, further than as a relief to my overburthened heart? Music holds still her spell upon me, but hope has quite departed. I am dying of no disease, save that of a broken heart. I have for months been wasting away; as hope upon hope has taken flight, deeper and deeper has sunk the barbed arrow of sorrow into my heart, and life has ebbed away, purely from the want of a wish to live. To you, my generous friend, in this last hour I call. With you by my side, I would breathe my last breath. I have not power to say much more. A short account of my life you will find amongst my papers; read it, and you will learn by what means I was brought to this despairing state. My music you will burn; and my last request is, that you will, if it be possible, have my body placed by her side. Do not leave me, my friend, for the world is passing rapidly away.”

I took his thin, white hand in mine, and the slight pressure it returned showed how weak he was. He lay still as death; but ever and anon a smile would illumine his countenance, as if the memory of some happy hour shed its bright influence over his latest moments. And he would murmur the name of Adeline, in accents so tenderly bewailing, that it melted me to tears. “My poor girl,” he said, “thy broken heart is now at rest; and I am coming, freed from my many sorrows, to lie me down beside thee. I have never smiled since you left me—my smiles were all buried with thee, Ada, in the grave; but I am happy, now, for I come to join thee in heaven! The tomb separated us, but the barrier is passed, and hope is mine again.” As morning approached, his sentences grew fainter and less frequent. As the dawn appeared he sunk into a quiet slumber, which proved, as I feared, the sleep of death.

And thus died one, who, under happier circumstances, might have lived honored, prosperous, and happy. Who, for want of some true friend to regulate his wild enthusiasm—to save him from himself—perished like a beggar, in a hovel, when his talents ought to have secured him an independence. He belonged to a class of beings little understood or appreciated by the world. The bright imaginings of the poet’s mind can be understood by the million, for he writes in a language that is common to all. But the musician pours forth his thoughts through a medium so refined, so exquisitely delicate, that it requires a fancy as chastely imaginative, a mind as richly stored with bright thoughts, a soul as open to the liveliest and warmest emotions, and stored with feelings of depth and intensity, with emotions which have a mixed derivation—the effect of a devoted love and reverence of mistress, parents, sisters, friends, of nature, and of God—it requires all this to comprehend his dreamings, or to enter in any degree into the emotions of his soul. The poet has a thousand means by which he can place his works before the world. Publications are appearing daily wherein their works would be gladly received; the musician has but one—the music publisher. Those who have had any dealings with them, can bear witness how generously disinterested they are. No young composer can “get any thing out,” unless he pays for it, and then, as it is of little consequence to the publisher whether it sells or not, it is of course allotted the least prominent place in the shop; and, saving the immediate friends of the author, if he has any, none know that the work is in existence. Or, if too poor to indulge in the luxury of publishing on his own account, he offer to give some works, for the sake of their publication, such a one is sure to be chosen as will offer the least evidences of his capability. So he has no resource but to watch and wait upon these mighty men, gathering a harvest of sorrow and bitterness of heart; living through disappointments and hopes deferred, and dying in poverty from neglect and a broken spirit.

I paid the last offices of friendship to my departed friend, and he rests quietly beside her he so dearly loved in life. There are persons who seem to be born for each other—whose souls own the same emotions, the same passions excite them, the same destiny impels them—their fates seem to be linked together by preordination. It is a strange fact, but of the many instances which have come under my personal observation, of hearts apparently fore-doomed for each other, in not one case has happiness resulted. It appeared as though they were only to love and to be wretched. So in this instance it proved; for they were to each other as a sorrow, even while most devoted. But they rest, now, where sorrow cannot reach them.

I shall give the short history nearly as I found it.

On entering London, my friend’s first care was to procure lodgings in one of the most humble streets of the metropolis—the best suited to his narrow means. When the excitement of the change of scene had subsided, he began to feel that he was alone. “I,” to use his own words, “wandered about the first few days, in an ecstasy of delight; but chilling sensation of loneliness crept on apace; I felt myself alone amidst the thousands; I looked around, and sought in vain for one familiar face to give a smile of recognition; not one among the million that surrounded me, would return a friendly pressure of my hand; there were none to smile at my prosperity, to weep at my misfortunes, or to tend me should I sink upon a bed of sickness. I have walked amidst the loneliest scenes of nature, where not one sign of mortality intruded; I have wandered alone upon the barren heath; have buried myself within the bosom of the deepest wood, have singly stood upon the lofty mountain’s brow, but never felt that I was truly, utterly alone till now.” After a few days he began to present himself to the notice of the publishers. He was received with the utmost politeness by many, and was requested to bring some of his works, that they might judge of their merits. He left them, flushed with hopes of success, and returned with some of his best compositions, but, unfortunately, the gentlemen were from home. Again and again, and yet again he called, until at last, when hope was departing, he was honored by a hearing. The songs were “beautiful, charming,” but they feared that they would not sell—this symphony was too long, that required altering; these harmonies were too full, that passage was too difficult; but if these, not perhaps faults, only publishing faults, were altered, they would get them out for him. He left them much depressed, and felt lowered in his own opinion—for a young and sensitive mind is depressed or elated by the good or bad opinion of the world. To cut and hack his songs to pieces went sorely against his feelings. The very symphonies which the buying public would not play, contain most frequently the most refined and choice thoughts, and to omit these were to give forth a false impression of his talents. But the mighty fiat had gone forth, and altered they must be. Accordingly, he in a measure re-wrote them; but it was then found, without a hearing, that their printers were employed for many months to come. Thus, after keeping him months in continued suspense, he was in every case put off with some palpable lie, or some frivolous excuse. These annoyances, nay, misfortunes, are told in few words, but the time of their duration was some eighteen months.

For some months his funds had been getting alarmingly low; and at this period he was forced to part with much of his wardrobe, his books, and other articles. This continued until he had parted with every thing that would procure the means of existence. “I left my home in a state of mind bordering upon insanity. I walked rapidly, with a scowling brow, through the crowded streets, and felt the demon of despair brooding over my heart. I knew myself to be disunited from my kind by misfortune; none could feel sympathy with the starving musician; he is a being apart from the rest—let him die! I had wandered unconsciously out of the city, and found myself in view of the river. My soul seemed to start with joy at the sight. Deliverance was at hand—total oblivion was within my grasp, eternity already seemed gained, and I rushed on wildly to the banks of the Thames. For awhile I remained gazing abstractedly upon the darkly flowing stream, till the floodgates of memory opened upon my soul; my happy, joyous childhood, my mother’s fond and tender smile, my sister’s pure and deep devotion, seemed to call me back to earth. But with my childhood, memory’s pleasures ceased. I recalled my youth passed amidst strangers, in the cold and calculating world; the severing by death of all those sweet endearing ties, and finally, my manhood, barren in aught save misery, without parents, sisters, friends, starving and desolate, my talents unappreciated, my hopes blasted! What had I to live for? Oh! welcome then the oblivion of thy wave, dark river! One plunge, one struggle with mortality, and the world, with its petty, though maddening miseries, is lost forever. Oh, if it be a sin for the soul to resume its immortality, yet surely it were better thus to die, having some hope of forgiveness, than starving, die. Parting with life inch by inch; enduring days of mortal agony, till the overburthened soul, cursing its Maker, dies despairing. I took out my pocket-book, to pencil a short note to the owner of my wretched home, begging her to accept my small stock of worldly goods as a remuneration for her slight pecuniary loss, when, as I opened it to tear from it a leaf, a letter fell upon the ground. I snatched it up; a gleam of hope flashed upon my soul. It was the letter of introduction given to me by my generous friend of a day. I felt the hand of heaven had interposed between me and damnation. The magnitude of the crime I was about to commit came fully before me; my feelings softened, my soul melted into tears; and on my knees, with a heart bowed down by misfortune, and filled with feelings of remorse and gratitude, I poured forth my prayers and thanks to God.”

He returned home once more, with a heart humbled and trusting. In the morning he waited upon the gentleman to whom the note was addressed, and was received in the kindest manner. He led him to speak of his prospects, and asked why the letter had not been delivered before. My poor friend then related how he had relied upon his talents, and recounted all the misfortunes and disappointments which had befallen him. Mr. Singleton seemed much touched by the recital, and begged him to dine with him that day, and in the meantime he would think how he could assist him. With expressions of gratitude Moreton took his departure. The events of the party had better be told in his own words. “On reaching Mr. Singleton’s house, I was introduced to his daughter, a creature so lovely, that to gaze upon was to adore. Of the middle stature, with a form of the most perfect symmetry; her face was oval, with a complexion neath which the warm blood came and went, as warm tints play upon the snow-crowned Alps. An intellectual brow, sad and contemplative; with eyes of great beauty, bespeaking a depth and intensity of passion, whose wildest fires were hidden, and were only to be roused by the emotions of the soul. There was some unutterable charm about every movement of her form or features which entranced me. I felt at once that I had found my destiny, and therefore did not attempt to place any restraint upon my feelings. I could not deny myself the luxury of drinking in love with her every look or word. I felt myself urged toward her by an irresistible impulse, and did not, therefore, attempt to check it. In the evening, Mr. Singleton begged me to publish a song, and dedicate it to him, and said that he should like me to overlook the musical studies of his daughter. Had the proudest fortune been placed at my disposal, it would not have inspired me with the deep joy this privilege bestowed upon me. I should then be near her; should see her often, and be blessed by a smile from those speaking eyes. The past was all forgotten. The sorrows of my past life were all merged in dreams of future happiness.

“In the course of the evening I was introduced to the nephew of my host, a low-browed youth, with a keen grey eye, and a look of habitual cunning, but poorly concealed under a manner of assumed frankness. Months, nay, two years passed away, and found me still attending at the house. My prospects were much improved. I had many pupils, and the few things I had published were highly spoken of. Those years were passed in a state of intoxicating delight. I lived but for her; it was her image that inspired me when I wrote; it was ever before me, and formed at once my blessing and my bane. When I thought of the immense distance which wealth had placed between us, I felt how utterly hopeless was my love—and I was wretched. Then it was that music came to my aid. I would sit for hours at my piano, and in its harmony forget all else beside. While there, what are to me the pomp and luxury of the rich and great? What to me their parties and their feastings? Do they enjoy for one moment the blissful rapture which fills my heart then? Do they revel in rapture, purged of all earthly grossness? These are the remunerating moments of a musician’s wretched life. The soul seems floating in an atmosphere of delicious harmony; a sad but pleasing melancholy comes on; a grateful languor falls upon his heart, and softens it to happiness. How indefinable those feelings; the emotions then felt have no sympathy with things that be; the present has no connection with it; it is like the dream of some dim, far-off land of beauty, the mortal eye never saw, but with which the memory of the soul seems charged. I cannot word the feeling—it is nameless.”

But I must bring the history to a conclusion. A month or two after the date of the last quotation, he was tempted to declare his love, which, to his great joy, was returned with an ardor equal to his own. He had gained her heart’s first love—her young heart’s deep devotion was his, and given with a fervor which nothing could exceed. For months they enjoyed uninterrupted happiness, when, after a short illness, her father died. His property was left entirely, saving an annuity to the nephew, to Adeline, with this proviso, that if she died without heirs, the whole was to revert to the nephew. Expressing at the same time a wish that their fortunes should be united. Time wore on, and at the end of the mourning, Adeline promised to wed Moreton. Her cousin had, by every means in his power, endeavored to gain possession of her hand, but had met with a decided refusal, and to avoid further persecution, Adeline left London on a visit for a few months. The lovers parted with every expression of tenderness and unalterable affection—but they parted to meet no more in happiness. Her cousin, Arlington, maddened by the indignant refusal he had met with, and the probable loss of the property, determined to use every means in his power to frustrate the intended marriage. This he was enabled to effect, by bribing the waiting-maid of Adeline. She was, indeed, the confidant of her mistress. From childhood had she lived with her, and had been treated more as an humble friend than a servant. Many and sore were the poor girl’s struggles of conscience, but the offered reward was too much for honesty to resist, and she fell. A few weeks after Adeline’s departure, Moreton was seized with an illness which proved to be a malignant fever, at that time very prevalent, which confined him to his bed for many weeks. No letters came to him. Between the wanderings of his mind at the fever’s height, he would ask for the letters from Adeline, his wife, and would not believe but that they were kept from him. As health began, though slowly, to come, he wrote to Adeline, telling her of his illness, and complaining of her neglect; to which he received in reply a renouncement of every vow, at the same time declining any further correspondence with the fortune-hunter. The shock occasioned by this letter, so unexpected and so cruel, acting upon a constitution debilitated by a long illness, brought on an inflammatory fever, which rendered him helpless for months. As he recovered, his landlady, a good old babbling soul, used to bring the newspapers and read to him in the hope to divert his mind, and rouse him from his habitual melancholy. He listened, for he would not hurt the feelings of one who had been as a mother to him during his long illness. One morning she read, among other things, that “Miss Adeline Singleton, the rich heiress, would be led to the hymenial altar by her cousin, Alfred Arlington, Esq., to-morrow morning at Hanover Church.” Ernest scarcely started, but begged for the paper, and to be left alone. His course was fixed.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

The bride and bridegroom approached the altar! Ah! never was there a sadder bride—the roses that were placed upon her brow were not more pale than she. Life held but a slight tenure in that fair form, for the hectic spot upon her cheek betrayed that the grave was not far distant. The priest had raised his voice to breathe the prayer that was to join their hands forever, when a form was seen hastening up the aisle, with a tottering and uncertain step—he approached the altar; with a wild, haggard and death-like look, gazed upon the bride, and uttering her name sunk at her feet. The poor girl shrieked out, “Ernest!” and swooned in the arms of her bridemaids. She was carried to her home, never to stir from thence, but to a quieter home—the grave. Moreton, who had left his sick couch to meet her at the altar, was removed to his dwelling, and for three days remained in a state of listless stupor. On the fourth day, a note from Adeline, begging him to come to her, roused him from his lethargy, and, reckless of consequences, he complied with her request. With a beating heart he entered the house; he found her reclining on a couch, with the traces of recent tears upon her cheeks, and very, very pale. On seeing him a bright smile irradiated her countenance; he approached not—anger and love were struggling in his breast for mastery. She held out her hands to him and murmured, “dear Ernest!” Love had triumphed! he was kneeling by her side. Then came that outpouring of the heart—that blissful confidence; sighs, tears, and deep regrets spoken by each, removed ages of sorrow from their hearts.

On the disastrous termination of the wedding, the faithless servant, conscience-stricken, disclosed the whole of the scene of heartless treachery acted by her at the instigation of the villain Arlington. How she, assisted by him, had intercepted letters; written others in their place, and, by a system of the most artful deception, contrived to make Moreton appear despicable, and to raise Arlington, in the estimation of Adeline. The continued illness of Moreton materially assisted their plot, as he could not defend himself. His guilt and falsehood were made so apparent, that Adeline could not doubt their existence, and with a woman’s heart, as quick in revenge as in love, and unswerving in both, in mortified pride and wounded feelings, she gave her consent to marry her cousin. But now all doubts were at an end, and they could smile again and hope for the future.

Too true is it, that even in life we are in the midst of death! The thought of Moreton’s falsehood had fixed sorrow too deeply in her heart for health to live there too. During their separation, after the scheming of the plotters began to take effect, she sought earnestly to banish every feeling of love from her heart. But who shall control the heart—a woman’s heart? Her love is not a thing of calculation; she looks not to external circumstances; she asks not even if he be worthy of her affection. If once her love be given, it is given without reserve. The whole volume of that mighty and absorbing passion is laid at his feet. Her all of earthly happiness is placed in his possession; no other passion divides with it the interest of her heart; no other feelings or sensations, save those which have their rise in this all-powerful passion, can dwell therein. All ties of relationship or friendship are trifling, compared to that tie which binds her heart to his, and sink to nothing in the scale when opposed to it. To him she awards all the attributes of virtue and honor; friends may condemn him; fortune may leave him; the present may be a blank, and the future without a hope, but she clings only the closer to him. She feels a sort of selfish joy at being his only comfort; the only thing left him to love, that leads her almost to rejoice in the misfortunes which make her his all in all. Her heart teems with exhaustless affection, that only flows more freely the more sorrow assails the object of her love. Though where this deep feeling exists it must be paramount, yet the correlative passions of self-love and jealousy are also there; and though dormant when no exciting cause is in action, yet, when aroused, they go near to banish love forever from the heart, however deeply based. Adeline’s self-love had been aroused most powerfully; the thought of being loved only for her wealth galled her proud, but warm and confiding soul.

Here at once were scattered all her most cherished hopes. She had hitherto looked upon life as a bright and happy dream, thinking but to wake from it when the grave should have opened to her dazzled sight the glories of our heavenly home. But now the veil was torn aside, and cold deceit was placed before her view, which had hitherto only looked on love and joy. To be thus suddenly awoke from the beautiful but fallacious dreamings which our first love ever weaves around us: to have the world with all its selfishness thrust thus rudely upon our shuddering hearts, is hard indeed. No shock of after years can ever equal its intensity. All the ties and pleasant memories that our past life has created are at once severed; the past has no connection with the present; one is all dream, the other stern and rugged truth. It is not, then, to be wondered at, that so frail a thing as a woman’s heart, under the feeling of her first and only love, should sink beneath the disruption of all her fondest wishes. The idol she worshiped has been unsanctified; its altar desecrated, and her heart lies shattered at its feet, a useless sacrifice. And the same spirit which led her to give her hand to another, to hide from the common gaze her hopeless sufferings, was silently, but surely, undermining her health, and sowing the seeds of that remorseless disease which in a few months removed her broken spirit from its earthly travail.     .     .     .     .     .     .

The disease rapidly assumed a more alarming aspect. Physicians were called in; they advised a change of climate, but at the same time feared that nothing could save her life. She felt that hope was past, and refused to leave her home. For the few months she lived, Ernest never left her. The days were passed in performing acts of the tenderest solicitude, and the nights in feverish slumbers, whose visions showed him his Adeline in all her former loveliness, and pictured forth scenes of deep and holy love, such as might have been his, had Heaven so willed it, only to sink him deeper in despair by the contrast the waking truth presented.

He would read to her the wild and visionary tales of Germany, and her eyes would brighten as she listened to some speculative but beautiful theory of the future, or she would clasp his hand within her own, and gaze up into his eyes with unspeakable affection, as she listened to some tale of deep devotion, and murmur out, “they must have loved as we love.” She would listen to his music for hours, with a breathless attention, absorbed and unconscious of the passing time, as if unwilling to lose one note of that harmony which must soon sound for her in vain. Nothing so heightens and refines the passion of love as music; that passion which would be firm and vigorous without its aid, becomes under its influence more refined, luxurious, more blissful, more yielding, but not less holy. All grossness and sensuality are purged from it; the heart is softened to languor, but at the same time etherealized.

Thus days and weeks flew rapidly on unmarked; each day adding to their deep devotion, and lessening the time to that day which was to separate them forever in this world. It came at last.

The morning had been unusually overcast. Not an air stirred, and the atmosphere was sultry and oppressive. They had felt a vague sensation, such as is experienced previous to some unknown calamity, all the morning, which prevented them following their usual occupations. Adeline looked unusually well; there was a flush upon her lovely cheek, and her eye beamed with unwonted brightness. They had drawn the sofa to the window, which looked upon a charming lawn, and was thrown open as a relief to the sultriness of the weather. They sat there, his one hand holding her waist, the other clasping her slender hands. Her cheek rested upon his shoulder, and oh! as he gazed upon that cheek, what a gush of tenderness filled his heart! He thought what a scene of misery his life had been until she rose upon his sight, an angel of light, dispelling all grief and sorrow. He thought of what they had suffered for each other; her deep devotion; her unswerving love; her pure and classic mind; her virtuous principles; her beauty, whose spell was now upon his heart; the scenes of dreamy bliss they had passed together, and the whole intensity of his love filled his heart almost to bursting. All that the mind can imagine of the extremest joy, thankfulness, hope and love, was concentrated in that one fond look. She seemed to understand the thoughts that were passing in his mind, and as he stooped to kiss those murmuring lips she pressed his hand to her throbbing heart, and a tear, the offspring of feelings too deep for expression, stole slowly and silently down her glowing cheek. At that moment the sun shone suddenly forth, and brightened again the face of nature. Till then they had not spoken. “Dear Adeline,” he said, “let this be an omen of the future, as the preceding gloom was of the past. There are, believe me, many happy years in store for us. The bloom of health is mantling upon your cheeks, and there is new vigor in the sparkling of your eyes; and though this little and transparent hand, be but the shadow of its former self, will not the summer’s genial warmth, and the tranquillity that waits upon reciprocated love, and unclouded prosperity, soon, very soon restore it? I have a strange sensation at my heart, which your altered appearance translates into a precursor of happiness. My spirit seems to have burst from the trammels of earth, and to revel in an atmosphere where love and hope are fadeless. You do not smile, love! Does not your heart echo my joy? Does not the same happy presentiment pervade your heart, and gild the future in brilliant colors?”

“I have the same presentiment, but my heart refuses to give to it the flattering meaning with which your hopes have invested it. I always feared that our love was doomed never to meet with happy consummation. Even in the first hours of our passion, when not one thought of grief should have intruded, there was a fear that would not leave me, of future sorrow. Our love was never meant for happiness on earth; it was too exclusive—too perfect. The future would hold out no attraction or hope, did death rudely destroy the state of present perfect bliss. But to the weary and heavy-hearted, death opens a path to peace, and even to the happy and joyful, a home of more blissful and lasting happiness. I look on death as a kind and tender friend, who releases my soul from its weak material companion, which, with its decay and rottenness, clogs that immortal part. That it separates me from thee is my only grief; my poor heart rebels against it, and clings to thee with a tenacity which nothing can relax. But oh! my beloved, if, as we are told, the infinite space is peopled with disembodied spirits, who wander round those spots where centers all they loved—all that life has rendered dear, shall I not be with you ever? Sleeping or waking, I will hover round you, and as you wander over those spots sacred to our young hearts’ deep devotion, I will be upon your heart as I am now; my spirit shall be upon your memory, and awaken it to thoughts of those passionate hours. I will throw a charmed halo round the Past, will sweeten the Present, and will gild the Future with visions of fadeless bliss in heaven with our God. Death cannot separate our souls! It shrinks the body into dust, but there is an immortal link which binds soul unto soul, that death can never break.”

As she uttered these words, her cheek became flushed, her eyes brightened, and her whole air partook of a spiritual grace, and a deep and holy enthusiasm. There was something unearthly in her look and manner that chilled the heart of Ernest. At length with a voice faltering with emotion, he replied, “Whatever be the end of these forebodings, dear Ada, my heart is unchangeably yours. You are my first love, the chosen of my heart, and living or in the grave, I dedicate that heart to you alone. No other being shall have a vow of mine—this hand shall clasp no other hand in love—no other lip shall join to mine with passion’s kiss—no other form shall rest within these arms, or find a pillow on my troubled breast; this I swear to you, by all my hopes of our eternal joy hereafter. I will live and die your own in heart and thought. And let this fond and holy kiss seal my vow of eternal constancy.” He imprinted a long and ardent kiss upon her paling lips. The tears coursed each other rapidly down her pale cheeks, for the false hectic bloom had fled, and the ravages of the fell disease were now terribly visible in her sunken cheeks—her heart beat convulsively at intervals—she pressed him closer to her, and gazing up into his face with a look in which the whole intensity of her mighty and absorbing love was centered, in a voice scarcely audible from emotion, she murmured out—“I could die now.” Again his lips sought hers, and clung there as though they had been incorporate—her head drooped upon his breast—her hand relaxed its grasp—she had died then! . . . . . . . . .

How he died, I have before related.


Past and Present, and Chartism. By Thomas Carlyle. New York: Wiley & Putnam. 2 parts, 12mo.

In these works Carlyle states his views regarding the source and character of the evils afflicting the British nation, and the means by which they may be mitigated and removed. “Past and Present” is the most splendidly written and carefully meditated of the two. It contains many sentences of remarkable force and beauty, with numerous touches of that savage humor peculiar to Carlyle. The tone of the work, however, is one of perfect discontent. The style bristles with the author’s usual extravagance about society and government, declaring both to be shams and unveracities, and sneering at all plans for improvement which the ingenuity or benevolence of others have framed. If we understand Carlyle aright, he considers that the constitutional government of England is a humbug; that William the Conqueror, and Oliver Cromwell were the best governors that England has ever had; that since Cromwell’s time the country has been governed by Sir Jahesh Windbag, strong in no faith but that “paragraphs and plausibilities will bring votes;” and that everybody is a fool or a flunkey except Thomas Carlyle. He hates every form of government which it is possible to establish in this world—democracy among the rest. If his work may be said to have any practical bearing on politics, it is this—that a governor is wanted with force enough to assume arbitrary power, and exercise it according to the dreams of mystics and sentimentalists. His system is a compound of anarchy and despotism. His ideal of a governor is of a man, with an incapacity or indisposition to explain himself, who rises up some day and cries—“the government of this country is a lie, the people cannot make it a reality, but I can and will.” His notion of the wretched condition of society is disheartening enough. Man, he tells us, has lost all the soul out of him. “This is verily the plague-spot—centre of the universal social gangrene, threatening all modern things with frightful death. You touch the focal-centre of all our disease, of our frightful nosology of diseases, when you lay your hand on this. There is no religion; there is no God; man has lost his soul, and vainly seeks antiseptic salt. Vainly: in killing kings, in passing Reform Bills, in French Revolutions, Manchester Insurrections, is found no remedy. The foul elephantine leprosy reappears in new force and desperateness next hour.” Sad condition of poor depraved humanity! A whole generation, except one man, without souls, and that one exception without his senses! It is curious to notice the illusions of an understanding so powerful when governed by a sensibility so tempestuous. It would be unjust, however, to deny the depth of many detached thoughts, and truth of some of his speculations in this volume.

It would doubtless be unjust to deny Carlyle’s claim to be considered a thinker, but he is an intense rather than a calm and comprehensive one. A comprehensive thinker looks at every thing, not singly, but in its relations; an intense thinker seizes hold of some particular thing, exaggerates it out of its proper place in the economy of the world, and looks at every thing in its relation to his own hobby. In reasoning on the evils of society and government, it is useless to growl or snarl at what you desire to improve. If a man cannot look an evil in the face without rushing off into rage at its prevalence, and considering that evil as the root of all others, he will do little for reform. Indeed, Carlyle appears to us to find delight in getting the world into a corner. Nothing pleases him more than to shoot a sarcasm at statesmen and philanthropists who are grappling practically with some abuse; in this way warning everybody to avoid particular medicines, and come to him for an universal panacea. Thus his works on social evils are substantially little more than savage jests at the depravity of mankind, and contemptuous fleers at those who are attempting to mitigate it. It is needless to remark that he is not always consistent; but this, it seems to us, is the general character of his political writings. He criticises human life as he would a play or a novel, and looks to his own taste alone in passing his judgments.

Many objections have been made to Carlyle’s style. Now style, to be good for any thing, should be characteristic of the writer; and certainly Carlyle’s style, viewed in this light, is very good. It is an exponent of himself. The fault lies in the man, not in the style. Those who contrast the diction of the Life of Schiller with Past and Present, should recollect that a change as great has occurred in the character of the author. No other style than his present could fully express the whole meaning of his thoughts. Most of his ideas are commonplace enough in themselves; and their originality consists in the peculiar modification they have received from his own mind.

The Constitutional History of England from the Accession of Henry VII. to the Death of George II. By Henry Hallam. From the Fifth London edition. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1 vol. 8vo.

This great work was originally published in 1827. Since that period the author has made many additions to it. The present edition is printed from the latest London issue, in 1846, and is therefore the best and most complete edition in the country. The Harpers have printed it in clear, readable type, on good paper, and have placed it at a price so moderate as to bring it within the means of the humblest student. Of the value and importance of the work it is hardly necessary to speak, as it has forced reluctant praise even from those whose principles and policy it condemns. It has taken a prominent place among those standard books which no library can be supposed to be without. There are probably few books since Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, which have equaled this in the task of demolishing prejudice, and guiding public opinion aright. The space of political history which the volume occupies, has long been the battle-ground of opposing sects, factions, and parties. Historians, who have explored it most successfully, have generally been unduly influenced by their political or religious prejudices, in their accounts of events and estimates of persons. The Whig and the Tory, the Catholic, the Churchman, and the Puritan, each has bent the truth of history to the purposes of party, and accommodated, like poets, the shows of things to the desires of the mind. This has turned English political history into historical romance. Cranmer, Burleigh, Charles I., Strafford, Laud, Hampden, Cromwell, Sidney, Marlborough, Somers, Sunderland, have been so often passed from the partisan who daubs to the partisan who damns, as to appear like the heroes of bad novels, rather than mortal men.

Mr. Hallam has been especially able and courageous in his opposition to all this perversion of facts and character. Though himself a moderate Whig, and a sturdy friend of the popular element of the Constitution, he is as remorseless in breaking the idols of the Whigs as of the Tories. He holds no terms with the declamation of either side; and, indeed, takes a peculiar delight in weighing in his impartial scales every English politician who has been the object of stereotyped admiration or hatred. Parties naturally individualize their principles, and depend a good deal for their influence on the character of their great men, and the charm of their catch-phrases. They naturally dislike that their saints and martyrs should be subjected to calm scrutinizing criticism, and deprived of their exaggerated virtues, and exhibited, naked and shivering, to the profane eyes of the crowd. Mr. Hallam, from his mind and disposition, was admirably calculated to perform this work well. Without doing positive injustice to any statesman, and heartily praising all who have labored in their generation for the public good, he has considered truth of more importance than the service of party, and has not spared the excesses of tyranny and fanaticism, even when committed by the champions of freedom and toleration. Many a fine bubble, blown up to a beautiful magnitude by the breath of political superstition, bursts the moment it feels the prick of his pen, and is “resolved into its elemental suds.” A critic very happily characterizes his work as eminently judicial. “Its whole spirit is that of the bench, not of the bar. He sums up with a calm, steady impartiality, turning neither to the right nor the left, glossing over nothing, exaggerating nothing, while the advocates on both sides are alternately biting their lips to hear their conflicting mis-statements and sophisms exposed.”

Clarsach Albin, and Other Poems. By James M. Morrison. Including his Correspondence with Clark, McCammon, and Longlap. Phila.: Zieber & Co.

We advise those who understand the Scottish dialect to read this unpretending little book. The subjects of the poems are not such as to excite much attention, and the interest of the very clever rhyming correspondence carried on by the author with Messrs. Clark, McCammon, and Longlap, must, of course, be in a great measure evanescent; but there is a sly humor, a readiness of rhythm, and very often a burst of pure poetical feeling, which will repay the reader. While we thank him for this little book, from which we have derived much pleasure, the author will allow us to say, that he is capable of far better things; and we hope to have from his pen, at some future day, a collection of pure lyrics, in good broad Scotch, both serious and playful.

Feudal Times; or the Court of James the Third. A Scottish Historical Play. By Rev. James White. New York: William Taylor & Co.

The merits of this play consist in the general vigor of its style, the elevation of its sentiment, and the bustle of its action. It appears well calculated to succeed in representation. The characters, however, and many of the incidents, show little invention or imagination; and the whole drama presents greater evidence of the playwright than the dramatist. Compared, however, with the usual run of plays, and tested by the rather gentle rules now applied to dramatic compositions, it would honorably pass muster. The interest centres in Cochrane and Margaret, two lofty natures, placed among a herd of feudal barons, and becoming their victims. There are many striking passages of poetry in the play.

Aunt Kitty’s Tales. By Maria J. McIntosh. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 12mo.

The authoress of these pleasant stories has won a deserved celebrity by her novel, entitled “To Seem and To Be”—a book which deserves a high place among works on practical morals. The present volume is designed more particularly for the young, and, we trust, will find its way to that interesting portion of society. We cordially join in Aunt Kitty’s wish that her efforts for the improvement of her young friends will not prove unsuccessful, and that her stories will be found “not altogether unworthy teachers of those lessons of benevolence and truth, generosity, justice, and self-government, which she designed to convey through them.”

Streaks of Squatter Life, and Far-West Scenes. By John S. Robb. Phila.: Carey & Hart. 1 vol. 12mo.

These sketches, hastily dashed off in a few hours of the author’s leisure from engrossing business, show quite an eye for character, and are exceedingly amusing. With more care in composition, and a higher aim, Mr. Robb might write a fine humorous novel. The “Streaks” in this volume are full of life, but they are too coarse. Every writer in this style would do well to study the art with which Dickens delineates the lowest and most vulgar characters, without any sacrifice either of taste or propriety.

Modern Chivalry, or the Adventures of Captain Farrago and Teage O’Regan. By H. H. Breckenridge. Phila.: Carey & Hart. 2 vols. 12mo.

This novel belongs to Carey & Hart’s Library of Humorous American Works. It is a reprint of an old book. The style is clear and familiar, the humor such as touches the risibilities, and the strokes of satire sometimes peculiarly happy. Though the author formed himself on the model of Fielding, the allusions and subject matter are essentially American. The illustrations by Darley are excellent. Like all true humorists the author makes his pleasantries the vehicle of knowledge and wisdom. He has sound political maxims embodied in jokes, and curious bits of learning swimming on the surface of his humor.


Boulevart St. Martin, 61.


Chapeaux de Mme. Penet, r. Nve. St. Augustin, 4,—Plumes et fleurs de Mme. Tilman, r. Ménars, 5;

Robes de Palmyre;—Dentelles de Violard, r. de Choiseul, 2 bis.;

Ombrelle de Lemarechal, bt. Montmartre, 17.


Graham’s Magazine.

Transcriber’s Notes:

Table of Contents has been added for reader convenience. Archaic spellings and hyphenation have been retained. Punctuation and obvious type-setting errors 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. A cover has been created for this eBook and is placed in the public domain.


page 332, ce que tu mange, ==> ce que tu manges,

page 333, will soon loose her ==> will soon lose her

page 335, true diplomate will ==> true diplomat will

page 344, They had drank of ==> They had drunk of

page 346, pay the exhorbitant ==> pay the exorbitant

page 347, lady rung the bell ==> lady rang the bell

page 347, own and her childrens’ ==> own and her children’s

page 351, quarter of the word, ==> quarter of the world,

page 356, than he out knife and ==> than he pulled out a knife and

page 363, built of sold timber ==> built of solid timber

page 360, added [To be continued.

page 375, barren in ought save ==> barren in aught save

page 375, by an irresistable impulse, ==> by an irresistible impulse,

Le Follet, Chapeau de Mme. ==> Chapeaux de Mme.


[The end of Graham's Magazine, Vol. XXX, No. 6 (June 1847) edited by George R. Graham]