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Title: Graham's Magazine Vol. XXXVI No. 3 (Mar. 1850)

Date of first publication: 1850

Author: George R. Graham (editor)

Date first posted: Apr. 15, 2018

Date last updated: Apr. 15, 2018

Faded Page eBook #20180417

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

Painted by H. Thompson, R.A.

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


Vol. XXXVI.      March, 1850.      No. 3.

Table of Contents

Fiction, Literature and Articles

The Lady of the Rock
The Brigand and His Wife
An Essay on American Literature and Its Prospects
Buondlemonte. A Tale of Italy
A Reception Morning
The Young Artist
Life of General Nathaniel Greene
Wild-Birds of America
Gems From Moore’s Irish Melodies. No. III.—Come Rest In This Bosom
Review of New Books
Editor’s Table

Poetry, Music, and Fashion

Ballads of the Campaign in Mexico. No. II
The Cry of the Forsaken
A Midnight Storm in March
A Sunbeam
Long Ago
The Two Worlds
The Sky
The Dying Student
To —— In Absence
Memory—The Gleaner
Le Follet
Thou Art Lovelier

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


Vol. XXXVI.     PHILADELPHIA, March, 1850.     No. 3.


Spenser finely characterizes this month —

Study March with brows full sternly bent

And armed strongly;

yet he pictures it, as it advances, scattering blessings around, calling on the buds to throw aside their wintry vestments, and come forth to gladden the earth with their smiles. Such is, in reality, the progress of the season. In the early days of the month

“Winter, still lingering on the verge of Spring,

 Retires reluctant, and, from time to time,

 Looks back.”

As it proceeds, however —

“The splendid raiment of the Spring peeps forth

 Her universal green, and the clear sky

 Delights still more and more the gazing eye,”

and all is joy and gladness. The lark is caroling in the clear blue vault of heaven; the notes of the blackbird resound through the yet leafless groves; the robin is again heard from his lofty perch on the branch of some tall tree. The waters are dancing in the pale sunshine, and every thing looks as if regeneration had commenced its work.

A quaint old writer says, “the moneth of March was called by the Saxons Leneth moneth, because the days did then first begin in length to exceed the nights. And this moneth being by our ancient fathers so called when they received Christianity, and, consequently, therewith the annual Christian custome of fasting, they called their chief season of fasting the fast of Lenet, because of the Lenet moneth, whereon most part of this fasting always fell, and hereof it cometh that we now call it Lent.” According to other etymologists, Lenet, or Lent, means Spring; hence, March was literally the Spring month. Spring, most delightful of seasons! how beautifully have thy charms been celebrated in undying song, by bards of old from the very dawn of literature. With what pleasure do we look back on thy worshipers of other days—such as Chaucer, Spenser, Herrick, Ben Jonson, Shakspeare, each speaking of thy beauties out of the fullness of his heart. But in our admiration of those whose memories will ever live in song, let us not forget those of our own day; gratitude, admiration and pride prompt our notice of Bryant, our favorite American poet, who thus beautifully apostrophizes this blustering month:

The stormy March is come at last,

  With wind and cloud and changing skies:

I hear the rushing of the blast,

  That through the snowy valley flies.


Ah! passing few are those who speak,

  Wild stormy month, in praise of thee!

Yet though thy winds are loud and bleak,

  Thou art a welcome month to me.


For thou to northern lands again

  The glad and glorious sun dost bring;

And thou hast joined the gentle train,

  And wearest the gentle name of Spring.


And in thy reign of blast and storm

  Smiles many a long bright sunny day,

When the changed winds are soft and warm,

  And heaven puts on the bloom of May.


Then sing aloud the gushing rills,

  And the full springs from frost set free,

That brightly leaping down the hills

  Are just set out to meet the sea.


The year’s departing beauty hides

  Of wintry storms the sullen threat,

But in thy sternest frown abides

  A look of kindly promise yet.


Thou bring’st the hope of those calm skies,

  And that soft hue of many showers,

When the wide bloom on earth that lies

  Seems of a brighter world than ours.

How graphically does the author of the “Fairie Queene” marshal this harbinger of Spring, in the noble march of the Seasons —

First lusty Spring, all dight in leaves of floures

  That freshly budded, and new blossomes did beare,

In which a thousand birds had built their bowres,

  That sweetly sung to call forth paramoures:

And in his hand a javelin he did beare,

  And on his head (as fit for warlike stoures)

A guilt-engraven morion he did weare,

  That as some did him love, so others did him feare

The great operations of Nature during this month seem to be, to dry up the superabundant moisture of February, thereby preventing the roots and seeds from rotting in the earth, and gradually to bring forward the process of evolution in the swelling buds, whilst, at the same time, by the wholesome severity of the chilling blasts, they are kept from a premature disclosure, which would expose their tender contents to injury from the yet unconfirmed season. Shakspeare in one of his beautiful similies says —

And, like the tyrannous breathing of the north,

Checks all our buds from blowing.

This seeming tyranny, however, is to be regarded as the most useful discipline; and those years generally prove most fruitful in which the pleasing appearances of Spring are the latest.

The sun having now acquired some power, often reminds us of the genial influence of Spring, though the naked shrubs and trees still give the landscape the comfortless appearance of Winter —

“There is a vernal freshness in the air,

 A breaking in the sky, full of sweet promise

 That the tardy Spring, capricious as she is,

 And chary of her favors, will, ere long,

 Smile on us in her beauty, and call forth

 From slumber long and deep each living thing.

   I know it by this warm delicious breeze,

 Balmy, yet fresh, the very soul of health—

 Of health, of hope, of joy; by these bright beams,

 And yonder azure heavens, I know it well.

   Soon the pent blossom in the naked spray,

 Trained to the sunny wall, shall own her power,

 And ope its leaves, tinged like an ocean shell:

 Soon shall each bank which fronts the southern sky,

 And tangled wood, and quiet sheltered nook,

 Be gemm’d with countless flowers—earth’s living stars.”

Mild, pleasant weather in March is seldom, however, of long duration. In Europe, where the seasons are much more forward than they are with us, they have an old proverb—“A peck of March dust is worth a king’s ransom.” For as soon as a few dry days have made the land fit for working, the farmer goes to the plough, and, if the fair weather continues, proceeds to sowing oats and barley, though this business is seldom finished till the next month.

“A strange commotion,” observes a celebrated English writer, “may be seen and heard at this season among the winged creatures, portending momentous matters. The lark is high up in the cold air before daylight, and his chosen mistress is listening to him among the dank grass, with the dew still upon her unshaken wing. The robin, too, has left off, for a brief season, his low, plaintive piping, which, it must be confessed, was poured forth for his own exclusive satisfaction, and, reckoning on his spruce looks and sparkling eyes, issues his quick, peremptory love-call in a somewhat ungallant and husband-like manner.

“The sparrows who have lately been skulking silently about from tree to tree, with ruffled plumes and drooping wings, now spruce themselves up, till they do not look half their former size, and if it were not pairing time, one might fancy there was more of war than of love in their noisy squabblings.” Among other indications of the advancing season, says Gray —

New born lambs in rustic dance

  Frisking ply their nimble feet,

Forgetful of their wintry trance

  The birds his presence greet;

But chief the sky-lark warbles high

His trembling, thrilling ecstasy,

And lessening from the dazzled sight,

Melts into air and liquid light.

Nothing, at this season, is a more pleasing spectacle than the sporting of the young lambs, most of which are yeaned this month, and are, if the weather is severe, protected in covered sheds, till the mildness of the season permits them to venture abroad. Dyer, in his poem of “The Fleece,” gives a very natural and beautiful description of this circumstance:

Spread around thy tend’rest diligence

In ploughing spring-time, when the new-dropt lamb,

Tottering with weakness by his mother’s side,

Feels the fresh world about him, and each thorn,

Hillock, or furrow, trips his feeble feet;

Oh! guard his meek, sweet innocence from all

The innum’rous ills that rush around his life!

Mark the quick kite, with beak and talons prone,

Circling the skies to snatch him from the plain!

Observe the larking crows! beware the brake,

There the sly wolf the careless minute waits!

Nor trust thy neighbor’s dog, nor earth nor sky;

Thy bosom to a thousand cares divide!

Eurus oft slings his hail; the tardy fields

Pay not their promised food; and oft the dam

O’er her weak twins with empty udder mourns,

Or fails to guard, when the bold bird of prey

Alights, and hops in many turns around,

And tires her, also turning; to her aid

Be nimble, and the weakest, in thine arms,

Gently convey to the warm cote; and oft,

Between the lark’s note and the nightingale’s

His hungry bleating still with tepid milk;

In this soft office may thy children join,

And charitable habits learn in sport;

Nor yield him to himself, ere the vernal airs

Sprinkle thy little croft with daisy flowers.

Another most agreeable token of the arrival of Spring is, that the bees,

“Pilgrims of Summer, who do bow the knee

 At every shrine,”

begin to venture out of their hives about the middle of this month. As their food is the honey-like juice found in the tubes of flowers, their coming abroad is a certain indication of the approach of Spring. No creature seems possessed of a greater power of foreseeing the weather; so that their appearance in the morning may be reckoned a sure token of a fine day.

The insect world, now sunbeams higher climb,

Oft dream of Spring, and wake before their time.

Bees stroke their little legs across their wings,

And venture short flights where the snow-drop brings

Its silver bell, and winter aconite,

Its buttercup-like flowers, that shut at night,

With green leaf furling round its cup of gold,

Like tender maiden muffled from the cold;

They sip, and find their honey-dreams are vain,

Then feebly hasten to their hives again.

The butterflies, by eager hopes undone,

Glad as a child come out to greet the sun;

Beneath the shadow of a sudden shower,

Are lost—nor see to-morrow’s April flower.

The gardens are now beginning to be studded by the crocus —

        “The flower of Hope, whose hue

Is bright with coming joy,”

the varieties of which adorn the borders with a rich mixture of yellow and purple. The little shrubs of mezereon are in their beauty. The fields begin to be clothed with the springing grass, and but few flowers appear to decorate their velvet mounds. The flowers of Spring have been favorite themes for the poets. Shakspeare represents Perdita as desirous to present to her guests


That come before the swallow dares, and take

The winds of March with beauty; violets, dim,

But sweeter than the lids of Juno’s eyes,

Or Cytherea’s breath; pale primroses,

That die unmarried, ere they can behold

Bright Phœbus in his strength, a malady

Most incident to maids; bold oxlips, and

The crown-imperial; lilies of all kinds,

The flower-de-luce being one!

and Chaucer has sung so melodiously and so affectionately of the charms of

        These flowres, white and rede,

Soch that men callen daisies in our town,

as to entwine it with the recollections of himself. Shelley, among the modern writers, in a single couplet, has left one of the most exquisite descriptions of this flower that ever was written:

Daisies, those pearled Arcturi of the earth,

The constellated flower that never sets!

And another poet endears it by a single epithet. He is seeking for a flower to place in the coffined hand of a dead infant.

Flowers! oh, a flower! a winter rose,

  That tiny hand to fill,

Go search the fields! the lichen wet,

  Bends o’er the unfailing well:

Beneath the furrow lingers yet

  The scarlet pimpernel.

Peeps not a snow-drop in the bower,

  Where never froze the spring?

A daisy? oh! bring childhood’s flower —

  The half-blown daisy bring!

Yes, lay the daisy’s little head

  Beside the little cheek;

Oh, hush! the last of five is dead —

  The childless cannot speak!

The inimitable Wordsworth, with the garrulity of a nurse, fondling a beloved infant, lavishes on it in a single poem, several endearing appellations, in one verse styling it

A nun demure, of lowly port.

And in another line:

A queen in crown of rubies drest.

And again:

A little Cyclops, with one eye,

Staring to threaten or defy.

The primrose, a beautiful little flower but little known in this country, also has been embalmed in song. Milton introduces it in terms of endearment, “the rathe primrose that forsaken dies,” as if its little heart was too gentle to withstand alone the rude shocks of the world.

The violet seems to have been a favorite flower with this author, when he says,

No sweeter fragrance e’er perfumed the gale.

Herrick thus fancifully accounts for its color:

Love, on a day, wise poets tell,

  Some time in wrangling spent,

Whether the violet should excel,

  Or she, in sweetest scent.


But Venus, having lost the day,

  Poore girles, she fell on you,

And beate ye so, as some dare say,

  Her blows did make ye blew.

Even the most unpoetical nature must have been occasionally conscious of some such emotion as is embodied in these lines:

                       There’s to me

A daintiness about these early flowers

That touches one like poetry.

Among the visitants of March, especially if the season be mild, that now delights the eye of the observer, is the rich scarlet flower of the Pyrus Japonica; and the sweet-smelling jonquil irradiates the flower-border, and if he ventures into the fields, and braves the blustering winds of the season, he will be charmed with the bright blossoms of the celandine and the butter-cup, whose bright golden faces recall many an hour of childhood and happiness of the time when

“Daisies and buttercups gladdened our sight,

 Like treasures of silver and gold.”

As we approach the Equinox, the storms and winds tempestuous and frequent, yet from these extremes, reconciled and moderated by the hand of Providence, much good results. Thus says the poet of nature, whose philosophic reflections and moral remarks are only to be equalled by his own matchless descriptions:

Be patient, swains, these cruel seeming winds

Blow not in vain; for hence they keep repressed

Those deepening clouds on clouds, surcharged with rain,

That o’er the vast Atlantic hither borne,

In endless rain would quench the summer blaze,

And cheerless drown the crude unripened year.







Splendor in heaven, and horror on the main,

Sunshine and storm at once—a troubled day.

Dramatic Poem.

All readers of English history must be able to recall to mind with especial distinctness that period in its annals when the unfortunate Charles I. drew upon himself the odium and mistrust of Parliament, and London witnessed the unprecedented scene of the trial of a king for treason before a court chosen from amongst his subjects. It will be recollected that opposing religious interests operated with those of a merely political nature in leading many of the enemies of Charles to push their aversion to his measures to this extreme. His unwise prohibition of the Puritan emigration to the American colonies was not the least of these creating causes; and might be cited by such as are fond of tracing retributive justice in human affairs, as one of those instances in which men are permitted by their frowardness to pass upon themselves the sentence of their own destruction, since, but for that prohibition, the most powerful opponent of Charles, and the mighty instrument of his ruin, would have embarked for New England, and this country have become the theatre of Cromwell’s actions and renown—supposing that the elements of that remarkable character must have won elsewhere something of the same name he has left behind him—a name to live alike in the condemnation and commendation of mankind.

To the period alluded the beginning of this tale reverts. The trial of the king had been in progress several days. Of more than an hundred and thirty judges appointed by the Commons, about seventy sat in constant attendance. Chief in rank and importance among these was General Lisle—a man whom we should not confound either with the mad enthusiasts of that day, or with those dissembling hypocrites who used their religion only as a stepping-stone to power, or the cloak to conceal a guilty and treasonable ambition, since his opposition to Charles was actuated solely by the purest principles of patriotism and religion. He was, at the time of the trial, in his sixtieth year; and his constant attendance and unwavering firmness of purpose—the evident results of preconceived principle—during the whole sitting of that strange tribunal, were not without great effect in nerving to continued resolution the otherwise faltering minds of many of the younger judges. For it cannot be doubted that compunctious feelings must have had moments of ascendency in the hearts of a number of those with whom rested the event of this questionable trial. This was evinced in some by their occasional absence; in others, who nevertheless felt scrupulously bound to be present, by a nervous tremor at the appearance of the prisoner, and subsequent abstraction of attention from the scene, as testifying a desire to assume as small a share as possible of the deep responsibility belonging to the occasion.

Of the latter class was William Heath, the son of a Puritan divine in Sussex. At the opening of the war, he had repaired to the army, and risen by his gallantry and merits to the rank of general. Though still young, he had been afterward conspicuous in Parliament, and was one of those who took up accusations against the eleven members. Yet although he was friendly to the king’s deposition, he had at first positively refused to sit when appointed one of a Court called to make inquisition for his blood. And he had at length only consented to assume the place assigned him there, as it was notoriously believed, through the influence of Lisle, to whose daughter he was betrothed, and his nuptials with whom were to be completed on the night on which this narrative opens.

His handsome countenance, as he sat in the Court through the whole day preceding—though it contrasted with the pallor which had marked it during those previous, in wearing upon it the anxious flush of the expectant bridegroom, yet bore the same harassed air which had been seen upon it since the commencement of the trial, and which even the blissful hopes he was about to realize could not suffice to dissipate. It was only when he turned his eyes upon Lisle, unflinching in his dignified composure, that he seemed momentarily able to yield himself up to the unalloyed anticipation of happiness. So true is it, that a conscience ill at ease with itself has the power to mar the bliss of heaven.

The Court had adjourned; the prisoner had been remanded to the care of Lisle, in whose house he had been kept in strict and harsh confinement ever since his landing in London, during those hours not occupied with his trial; and but one more day remained to decide the doom of the unhappy Charles Stuart.

It was eight o’clock in the evening. In an apartment, far remote from that chamber of Lisle’s spacious but sombre-looking dwelling, which held the person of the royal prisoner, were assembled the wedding guests. As much festivity and ornament had been called to grace the occasion as was consistent with Lisle’s Puritanic views, yet the whole seemed by far too little to celebrate the marriage of the lovely divinity for whom it was prepared. The apartment was in the Elizabethan style of architecture, but devoid of those ornaments of luxurious taste, which, in the reign of Charles I. graced the houses of the opulent and distinguished of the Church of England. A quaint stiffness reigned throughout the furniture and other arrangements. Rows of high-backed chairs, interrupted here and there with a book-case, table, or other heavy piece of mahogany, stood in prim regularity against the wall; tall candlesticks, containing taller candles, cast their blue light from the mantel-piece, and a large Bible, laid open upon the table, was calculated to infuse devotional or religious sentiments into those mirthful feelings belonging to the occasion. No branches of mistletoe or holly hung around the room remained as suggestions of the recent Christmas; no superb and glittering chandelier shed its soft flood of light upon the assembly; no damask drapery or luxurious sofas gave an air of elegance and comfort to the spacious dreariness of the apartment; no music was prepared for the enlivenment of the evening; nor were any profane amusements that night to invoke the judgments of Heaven upon the approaching ceremony.

The company consisted of more than two hundred guests, gentlemen and ladies, all staunch Puritans, and opposers of the king. The countenances of many of the male portion of these were recognisable as the same which had, for the last few days, appeared as the arraigners at the trial so speedily about to be terminated, and a certain peculiar expression, common to each, betokening a mind preoccupied by one deeply engrossing topic, might have enabled an uninformed observer readily to select them from the rest. Yet there were others present to whom the affair alluded to was not less momentous, and with whom rested fully as much of the responsibility of its now almost certainly dark result.

One of these latter, conspicuously seated near to Lisle, was the mighty mover of the political revolution of the day, and the chief instrument in procuring the king’s unhappy position—the aspiring, though still religious Cromwell. The descriptions of history have made the personal appearance of this remarkable man so familiar to posterity, that it is superfluous here to draw any picture of his coarse and strongly-made form, and severely harsh, but thoughtful features. The mention of his name will at once call up to the minds of such as have ever interested themselves in the account of those stirring times which have left their impress upon subsequent events, and one of whose later results may be traced in our own national freedom, no vague or shadowy embodiment, but a well-defined portrait, engraved on the tablet of memory.

On this evening, his furtive glance around him from beneath his shaggy eye-brows, as he conversed with Lisle in a labyrinthine manner peculiar to him at times, evinced a wish to penetrate into the secrets of such hearts as rated his character at its true value. A close observer might have noted, too, that ever and anon as that glance, after wandering to distant parts of the room, returned and fixed upon Lisle, it gradually fell, as if stricken to earth by the steady gaze of the truly disinterested religionist, and the rebukes of its owner’s accusing conscience.

“The Court, thou sayest,” ran his speech, “have this day considered and agreed upon a judgment. It is well. But I tell thee that not Parliament, nor the army, nor this Court, could avail to pull down Charles Stuart from his high place, saving that the God of Heaven is at war with him. What though there be witnesses to prove that he set up his standard at Nottingham, led his armed troops at Newbury, Edgehill and Naseby—issued proclamations and mandates for the prosecution of the war? They are but instruments in the hands of the same God who destroyed and dethroned Belshazzar of old, because he was weighed in the balance and found wanting. And is it not meet that we Christians should buckle on our armor in behalf of the Lord of Hosts? Yea, verily! else for mine own part, Charles Stuart should not fall from the throne of England. I am not a bloody man; nay, by reason of human frailty, my heart had now well-nigh failed me in this very cause, but that he who putteth his hand to the plough in these troublous times, and looketh back, need be careful that he be not hanged upon the gallows which Haman prepared for Mordecai.”

The whole of this last sentence was spoken in soliloquy, for Lisle had at that moment risen to receive some guests.

The persons entering were three in number—a gentleman of about forty years of age, attended by two lovely females, whose youthful years and striking resemblance to himself, would instantly have suggested, what was in reality the case, that they were his daughters.

From the looks of interest with which his arrival was regarded by all present, it was evident that he was a person of some distinction, though he had not, at that period, given to the world the monument of his genius on which he has since built his immortality. Yet John Milton was justly celebrated even then for his political writings, his strenuous assertion and defense of liberty, his austere Puritanic views, and his abstemious manner of life. His whole appearance was prepossessing in the extreme, but rather interesting than commanding; for his stature was low, though his body was strongly made and muscular. His hair, which was of light brown, streaked with hues of gold, and hanging in silken waves to his shoulders, was parted in the middle, after the fashion of the day, and surmounted a low yet expansive forehead, sufficiently indicative of the depth of genius which lay beneath. His complexion was fair, and delicately colored as a woman’s; and the contour of his features might have been objected to as effeminate, were it not for the expression of manly dignity which animated the whole countenance. His full, gray eye, in its somewhat sleepy expression, evinced that quiet melancholy peculiar to poetic genius, while a certain searching and wandering look with which he occasionally stared fixedly around him, suggested the idea that his sight was not perfect.

The two daughters of Milton, by whom he was attended, were highly interesting in appearance, with the dignity of countenance peculiar to their father, and having upon them the unmistakable stamp of an inheritance from him of nature’s noblest gift of intellect.

Returning Lisle’s salutation as he approached to meet them, these two young females retired to a seat amongst the ladies, and left Milton and his host standing near the entrance of the apartment.

“Thou losest thy daughter to-night, honored friend,” said the former. “I trust she may find a continuance of that happiness in wedlock that she has enjoyed in her father’s house.”

“True happiness belongs not to this earth,” said Lisle. “It is in mercy withheld from us by the Almighty, that we may be the more ready to meet death when the summons calls us hence.”

“Thou speakest well,” replied Milton; “the very impossibility of finding happiness here is a merciful provision of the all-wise Creator. But talking of a willingness to encounter death, they tell me that the court have decided upon the sentence of the tyrant and traitor king. Is the rumor correct?”

“So much so,” said Lisle, “that to-morrow we sign the warrant for his execution.”

“I shall marvel,” said the other, “though I speak it with shame, if fifty out of your hundred have the Christian courage to stain their fingers with the touch of the bloody quill prepared for them.”

“May all such then,” returned Lisle, while a flush as of indignation passed over his countenance for an instant, and then died rapidly away—“may all such as flinch from the performance of this noble act of duty to their country and to God, and omit to place their names, when called upon, to that righteous document of His preparing, not find at the last judgment that the angel of the Lord has likewise omitted to place their names upon his book. But here is my daughter and her future husband; and the man of God has risen to perform the marriage ceremony. Excuse me, I must meet them at the door.”

“I pray thee give me thy hand first, and conduct me to a seat. A strange mistiness which I have of late had to come frequently across my eyes, is upon them now, and every object before me seems indistinct and confused.”

Lisle hastily did as his friend desired, scarcely hearing or heeding, in his hurry, the import of his words, and then advancing to meet his daughter and Heath, he conducted them toward the venerable minister of their faith, in waiting to unite the young couple in the bonds of holy wedlock.

As they took their station before him, his pious “Let us pray,” was heard, and all present arose. After a long and fervent supplication, in the manner of the Puritan divines of that period, he delivered a sort of homily upon the duties and responsibilities of the marriage state, and then pronounced an extemporaneous and brief ceremony, ending with the words, “What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.” This was followed by another lengthy prayer, and William Heath and Alice Lisle were husband and wife.

The company now advanced to greet the bride and groom, who separately returned their salutations with a polished grace appropriate to their differing sex.

Unscreened by the customary bridal veil, as savoring too much of a form belonging to the established church, the lovely face of Alice was not covered, save that a few natural ringlets, purposely left unfastened, fell upon her cheeks, and partially screened from observation her exquisitely beautiful features. Her dress was of the simplest and purest white, and without ornament or addition to enhance her natural loveliness; and it is impossible to conceive of a being more charming than she appeared in the modest diffidence of her sex on the most important and conspicuous occasion of a woman’s life, and yet withal losing nothing of the dignity of manner belonging to one conscious of possessing that energy of mind, which, so far from being, as some erroneously suppose, a masculine or unwomanly trait, is, on the contrary, the distinguishing and crowning mark of a character essentially feminine. What but such strength of mind has ever yet triumphed over female vanity and love of display, and from the exacting divinity of man’s homage, converted a woman into the self-sacrificing and judicious minister to his happiness, fitted her to be true to one with untiring devotion through evil report and good report, rejoicing with him not for her sake, but for his, in his prosperity; sharing with him uncomplainingly his adversity, and cheering, with words of comfort, while her own heart may have been well nigh breaking, the path in which, but for her example to shame him, and her voice to comfort and encourage him, he would have sunk to rise no more.

Well was it for William Heath that Alice Lisle possessed these requisites for becoming such an unwavering and devoted companion in misfortune, as we have described; for the day, though not immediately near, was still in store, when her willingness to encounter adversity, and her fitness to meet it with fortitude sufficient to sustain herself, her father, and the husband to whom she had that night given her hand, and had long since pledged the full affections of her heart, were amply to be tested.

The appearance of Heath was such as was well calculated to excite interest, and his mind, character, and winning manners, such as speedily to change this on the appearance of any preference on his part, into sentiments of a more tender character. There was something in his whole mien—in the easy and upright carriage of his head—the intrepid character of his features—the bold and vigorous flashing of his dark eyes—that marked him no common man.

The salutations were soon ended, and the company now being somewhat relieved from the awkward embarrassment which they had experienced while waiting for the appearance of those whom the occasion was to honor—for, in those days, society was much the same in that respect as at present, the company scattered, and gathered together in knots and groups, and discussed with great eagerness the engrossing topic of the trial. Conversation, however, flowed, not as it was wont, in its pleasant current, diverging here and there, as fancy or caprice suggested, but an appearance of gloom pervaded the whole intercourse; and although each individual appeared evidently to make an effort to relieve this feeling, the effort itself showed a consciousness of the constraint.

It was not then the custom to deprive the groom and bride of each other’s society during the whole evening after the ceremony, but was rather the fashion to throw them together as much as possible—which must at least, in the case of all love-matches, have been more conformable with the inclinations, than that habit of scrupulously avoiding one another, now in vogue. Agreeably with this ordinary arrangement, Alice and Heath withdrew toward the close of the evening, without attracting observation, into an anteroom adjoining the main apartment.

It had not escaped the notice of any, that notwithstanding the blissful occasion, the brow of Alice wore a cloud, if not actually of sorrow, at least of melancholy sadness. We may believe that this had attracted the especial notice of him who had that evening taken her happiness into his proper keeping. But his sympathetic heart rightly surmised its cause.

“Thou art sad, my own Alice,” he said, “on this night, which I had fondly hoped would have made thee as supremely joyful as it does myself. You distress yourself on account of the king’s situation: is it not so?”

“Not only on account of the king’s unhappy situation, but likewise because of the hand my father and thyself have had in it. I fear that his blood, if he be sentenced, as the rumor is, to-morrow, will be avenged upon the heads of those whom I love best on earth.”

“But, Alice,” argued the husband, “he has merited, by his tyranny and treason, this trial, and in contemning the court, as he has done throughout in refusing to plead, he will likewise merit whatever sentence it may see fit, after examining the competent witnesses, to pass upon him. Besides, has not your father told you that this is the Lord’s cause, and that He calleth aloud from the throne of Heaven for the blood of Charles Stuart?”

“Those are indeed my father’s words,” replied Alice, “too severe in his religious views, and forgetting that the Almighty is a God of mercy no less than of justice. But, William Heath, they are not the words dictated by the generous and kind heart that animates thy bosom, else Alice Lisle, though she be her father’s daughter, had not this night become thy wife. Listen to the conscience which the penetrating eye of true affection seeth even now reproving thee, and have no further hand in this bloody work. Charles Stuart may be all that the Parliament and your court have named him; and if he be, God forbid that I should justify his baseness. But as we are all prone to err, it is sweet to forgive, even as we hope to be forgiven. Go not to the court to-morrow, William, nor stain this hand of thine by affixing thy signature to the death-warrant of the king. Promise me this, I ask it as my wedding boon.”

“Would that you had spared me, beloved one, the pain of hearing you ask aught that I cannot and dare not grant. My word of honor to your father is pledged to perform the very act which you implore me to leave undone. It was the condition which sealed my happiness in calling you wife this night. When I would have shrunk from the responsibility of taking an active part in the trial, and resigned my place to an older and more experienced statesman than myself, Henry Lisle, in disgust at what he conceived the indecision and irreligion of my character, would have robbed me of that dear hope which has even now been realized. I was forced to promise your father, Alice, that I would not only accept my place as one of the judges, but that I would be present throughout the trial, and shrink from no act which my position as a member of the court imposed on me—even to the signing of the warrant for Charles Stuart’s death. Is there naught else, involving less than my honor, that you would have me grant you? If there is, ask it, sweet one, and I will move heaven and earth to accomplish it.”

“These are idle words of gallantry, William, unworthy the confidence which should exist between us. A wife need have no boon to ask of her husband unless in a case which involves his own best interests. As such, I would have had thee remain away from the court to-morrow, and even have sought to use our united influence to detain my father also. But it seems he has set his heart upon the matter even more than I had deemed. I pray the Lord that his retributive justice for this parricidal act, fall not heavily on the heads of all of us. If this cause, as ye both believe, be His, can ye not be persuaded that He will avenge Himself on the king without human agency. Is there no hope for Charles Stuart? He is in this house: can no means be contrived for his escape?”

“That were impossible, dearest, guarded as he is on all hands. But if he would but abate his hauteur, and plead his cause in the eloquent manner he so well knows how to assume, there might yet, perhaps, exist a hope for him. In this lies his only chance of escape.”

At that moment supper was announced, and Alice and Heath repaired with the rest of the company to the refreshment-room.



  “Hark! the warning tone

Deepens—its word is death!”

Mrs. Hemans.

The large hall clock in Lisle’s house had told the hour of eleven, after the marriage described in the last chapter, and some fifteen or twenty minutes had elapsed since the departure of the guests, when the reader is invited into a small upper chamber, in a remote wing of the mansion. It was rather comfortless than otherwise in its whole aspect, and its grated windows, and long distance from any adjoining room—being surrounded entirely by galleries—suggested the idea of a place of confinement. It was one of those small rooms, common in large buildings at that period, and scarcely more suitable in its arrangements for an occupant than the waste halls and galleries which led to it. Some hasty preparations had been made for the prisoner’s accommodation. Arras had been tacked up, and a fire lighted in the rusty grate, which had been long unused, and a rude pallet placed in one corner.

Seated before a table in this chamber, was a person of something less than fifty years of age. He was dressed in plain black velvet, slashed with satin, and on his cloak, which was thrown back, glittered a star belonging to the order of the garter. His hair, thick and black, was slightly sprinkled with gray, and arranged in the custom of the day with scrupulous exactness. His mustaches were large and curled upward, and his pointed beard was of that formal style, so frequently seen in the portraits of that reign. His face was oval and handsome: the features being regular, notwithstanding that his full brown eyes seemed rather dull as he sat in thought; and a peculiar expression of exceeding melancholy rested upon his countenance. This look of melancholy was not relieved by the marks of any strong ruling passion or principle, nor much indication of individuality of character. Yet withal, it might not have escaped observation, that in the whole aspect there was not wanting a certain air of cold resolution, almost at variance with the mildness of the brow. This person was of the middle height, strongly made, and showing in his entire appearance a dignity denoting the highest birth.

Before him on the table lay the miniature of a lovely child, and a large Book of Common Prayer open beside it. He sat gazing upon the picture, until a tear ran slowly down his cheek. It was that of a blooming boy, the bright face shaded by clustered ringlets, and the whole countenance beaming with youthful hope and beauty.

“Sweet child,” he said audibly, “may you ascend the throne of the Stuarts under better auspices than I have done! Heaven in its mercy grant that you may never suffer the fate of your wretched father! Or if, at least, such hour of trial ever come upon you, may you not know what it is to be thus alone in your affliction, and separated from all you love on earth—shut out from the sweet sympathies of wife, children and home, while your rank and dignity as King of England is trampled upon, and you are imprisoned and tried by your own people!”

His softened mood seemed suddenly to give place to more angry feelings, as, rising up, and the dullness of his eyes brightening to a keen flash, he exclaimed:

“Let this court continue the mockery of its sitting; let it arraign me day by day, as a traitor, tyrant, and murderer. Am I not Charles Stuart, heir to a mighty line of sovereigns, and shall I stoop to acknowledge its authority, rather than resign myself to whatever fate its villainy may impose on me? Methinks already my doom could hardly be aggravated: yon matted floor—those wooden chairs—those grated windows—this narrow room—surely a prison were no worse. Yet perchance—but it cannot—no, it CANNOT be, that the base Cromwell will dare incite them to shed my blood.”

At this moment the door opened, and Alice Heath entered the apartment.

“Who is it intrudes upon me at this unseasonable hour?” angrily exclaimed the king, turning round and facing his fair visiter, who approached him, and dropped upon her knee.

“Spare your displeasure, sire!” she said, in the most soothing voice, “I am General Lisle’s daughter, but I come to you as a subject and a friend.”

“Rise, maiden,” said the king, “and talk not of being subject to an imprisoned and belied monarch. Charles Stuart is hardly now a sovereign in name.”

“Nevertheless, I would perform my duty by acknowledging him as such,” replied Alice, taking his hand, and then rising. “But it is not merely to admit his title, that I come to him at this hour of the night. I come to beg him to sacrifice his pride as the owner of that same dignity, and stoop to plead his cause for the saving of his life. Know, my liege, that to-morrow, unless you consent to relax your pertinacious refusal to plead your cause, the Court sign the warrant for your execution. I am ignorant whether or not you be all that my father and your enemies believe; but if you be, you are then the less fit to meet death.”

“Death! And has it come to this?” exclaimed Charles, setting his teeth, and rapidly pacing the room for some moments, without replying to his gentle visiter, or even heeding her presence.

At length she ventured to approach him.

“I have told you in what alone lies your hope of averting this awful sentence, my lord. I pray you to reflect upon it this night. A little sacrifice of pride—the mere utterance of a few humble words—”

“Sacrifice of pride! utterance of humble words! thou knowest not, girl, of what you speak. Charles Stuart cannot stoop so far, even though it be to save his life. Spirits of my royal ancestors,” added he, “spare me from a weakness which would make you blush to own me as your descendant.” And he covered his face with his hands.

“If it is permitted to a subject to own the feeling for her king, I compassionate your unhappy case most deeply,” said Alice, taking his passive hand, while her tears were falling fast.

A few moments silence prevailed, which Alice interrupted.

“Can I not induce you,” said she at length, “to value the precious boon of your life above the foolish pride of which we were speaking? Think, my lord, how sweet is existence, and all its precious ties of pleasure and affection—and she pointed to the miniature on the table—how awful is a violent death, and how lonely and dark and mysterious the tomb. Cannot the consideration of all these things move your purpose?”

“I thank you, sweet maiden, for your noble intention, and may God reward you for your words and wishes of goodness,” replied Charles, much touched by her tone of deep interest, “but my resolution is fixed.”

“Can you suggest nothing then, yourself, my liege, less displeasing to you? Have you no powerful friend whose influence I might this night move in your behalf?”

“Nay, it cannot be,” replied the king, after pondering a moment upon her words. “Charles Stuart is deserted on all hands, and it is the Lord’s will that he shall die. I begin to look upon it already with resignation. Yet the first intimation came upon me like the stroke of a thunderbolt. Private assassination I have long dreaded; but a public execution I had never dreamed of. Nevertheless, be it so. I shall meet death like a man and a king.”

“Then, farewell, since my visit is futile, and the Almighty be your support and comfort in your added affliction,” said Alice, as again kissing his hand, and bathing it with tears, she withdrew.

Left alone, the king remained for some time in deep thought. All anger and weakness appeared to have passed from his mood, and the remarkable expression of melancholy which we have before described, deepened on his face to a degree scarce ever seen except upon canvas. Not less heightened, however, was that coldly resolute air likewise previously alluded to—so that if evidently sad, it might likewise have been seen that Charles Stuart was also determined unto death.

What were his reflections in view of the announcement he had just received from the lips of Alice Heath, and which he saw no means of averting short of sacrificing the dignity with which his rank as sovereign of England invested him, we will not attempt to conjecture. None who have not been in his situation can form any thing like an adequate conception of his state of mind; and it were sacrilege to attempt to invade the sanctuary of the human soul in such hour of agony.

Whatever his cogitations were, they were of limited duration. For, after sitting thus for a considerable time, Charles pushed back his chair, and falling upon his knees before the table, he drew the Book of Prayer toward him, and clasping his hands upon it, read aloud:

“The day of thy servant’s calamity is at hand, and he is accounted as one of them that go down to the pit. Blessed Lord, remember thy mercies; give him, we beseech thee, patience in this his time of adversity, and support under the terrors that encompass him; set before his eyes the things which he hath done in the body, which have justly provoked thee to anger, and forasmuch as his continuance appeareth to be short among us, quicken him so much the more by thy grace and Holy Spirit; that he, being converted and reconciled unto thee, before thy judgments have cut him off from the earth, may at the hour of his death depart in peace, and be received into thine everlasting kingdom, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.”

Rising, he slowly disrobed, and throwing himself upon the bed, soon sunk into a placid slumber. Strange! that sleep of the prisoner in the prospect of death. The excitement of suspense—the palpitation of hope not altogether dead—these banish rest; but when the feverish perturbation caused by expectation departs, and the mind has nothing to feed upon but one dark and fearful certainty, it turns to seek forgetfulness in sleep.



With my own power my majesty they wound;

In the king’s name, the king himself’s uncrowned,

So doth the dust destroy the diamond.

Charles Stuart’s Majesty in Misery.

Sardanapalus.——Answer, slave! how long

Have slaves decided on the doom of kings?


Herald.—Since they were free.

Byron’s Sardanapalus.

All London was astir. The excited populace filled every street and alley of the vast city. The report that sentence of death was that day to be passed upon Charles Stuart, rang on every tongue, and the popular feeling ran mainly in favor of his condemnation. All business was suspended; and from an early hour crowds were wending their way to Westminster Hall, where the trial was about to be brought to a close.

That specimen of perfect architecture—which modern art is not ashamed to take as a model, but vainly seeks to imitate—had been fitted up with great regard to the smallest details, for this most remarkable occasion. This had been done in order to invest the ceremonial of the trial with all the pomp and dignity becoming the delegates of a great nation, sitting in judgment upon their monarch, and trying him for a breach of the trust committed to his care—the weal and peace of the people. Benches covered with blue velvet were arranged at the upper end for the accommodation of the judges; and within the bar were strewn thick carpets and cushions. A splendid chair, to correspond with the benches, was placed for the use of the firm and subtle Bradshaw, who had the honor or disgrace, according as it may be deemed, of presiding over the court. He was seated before a table covered with crimson drapery—his fine countenance betokening that decision for which he was remarkable—attired in costly dress, and supported on either hand by his assessors.

The galleries were filled to suffocation with spectators; and the main body of the building was thronged with a vast concourse of people, while a regiment of armed soldiery was in attendance, with pieces loaded and ready for use in case any tumult should arise. The Puritan party, now no longer timid or wavering, took no pains to conceal their sense of coming victory, and even Cromwell, usually so guarded in every outward observance, took his seat without the bar, with a look of conscious triumph. A profound stillness prevailed as the judges entered. Fifty-nine only out of the one hundred and thirty-three had been able to summon sufficient resolution to be present. With sad and solemn, though severe and determined countenances, these severally seated themselves, apparently filled almost to a sense of oppression, with the responsibility devolved on them, but seeming not the less resolved to act according to their determination previously agreed upon. Among these were Lisle and Heath, the latter of whom was perhaps the only commissioner whose countenance wanted something of the resolute bearing we have described. They had scarcely taken their seats when the rumbling noise of an approaching vehicle was distinctly heard. The previous silence if possible deepened, and for some moments the multitude, as if moved by one mighty impulse, almost ceased to breathe. Not a hand was in motion—not an air stirred—and scarce a pulse beat, as the ponderous door slowly revolved upon its hinges, and the regal prisoner entered. He cast a look of blended pride and sorrow upon the judges, as he walked up to the bar, surrounded by a guard. But he made no token of acknowledgment or reverence, nor did he remove his velvet cap, as he took the seat prepared for him.

The names of the judges were called over. Bradshaw then arose, and in a silvery and ringing tone, which made his declamation peculiarly impressive, while a shade of deepening pallor was perceptible on his countenance, addressed the court.

He deviated from the usually calm and temperate manner he was accustomed to assume, and became warm and impassioned. As he went on, his rich voice swelled on the air with a clear, distinct intonation, that fell deeply and artfully into the ears of the listeners. He was evidently bent as much on appealing to those without the bar, as to the judges. With the consummate skill of a rhetorician he first drew the picture of the serf-like slavery of the people, dependent upon the will or caprice of the king. He next pointed out the liberty to which, by a just sentence passed against its tyrant, the nation would be restored. Although a studied simplicity of language pervaded in general his remarks, yet, at times, some striking or brilliant metaphor would, as it were, accidentally escape him, which was speedily followed by a loud roar of applause, evincing its full appreciation by his hearers. He then turned to the prisoner in the following words:

“Charles Stuart, King of England, it is now the fourth time that you have been arraigned before this tribunal. On each occasion you have persisted in contemning its authority, and denying its validity—breaking in upon its proceedings with frivolous and impertinent interruptions—frequently turning your back upon the judges—nay, sometimes even laughing outright at the awful charges which have been preferred against you. Since its last convention, witnesses have appeared to prove conclusively that you took up arms against the troops commissioned by the Parliament. Once again, therefore, you are called upon in the name of your country and your God, to plead guilty or not guilty of tyranny, treason and murder.”

No change whatever took place in the king’s countenance at hearing these words. When they had ceased, he slowly rose, his head still covered, and made answer:

“I acknowledge not the authority of this court. Were I to do so, it were to betray the sacred and inviolable trust confided to me in the care of the liberties of the British people. Your delegation, to be legal, should have come alike from the individual voice of the meanest and most ignorant boor of this realm, as from the high and cultivated hypocrites who have empowered you. Should I ratify such an authority—in the eyes of the law not better founded than that of pirates and murderers—I would indeed be the traitor ye would brand me. Nay, let me rather die a martyr to the constitution. But before ye proceed to pronounce the judgment ye threaten, I demand, by all those rights of inheritance which invest me as a monarch, with a majesty and power second only to the Omnipotent, to be heard before a convention of both houses of Parliament; and, whether or not ye refuse me, I adjure ye, the so-called judges of this court, as ye each hope to be arraigned at no unlawful or incompetent bar at the final judgment, to pause and reflect before ye take upon ye the high-handed responsibility of passing sentence upon your king.”

He resumed his seat, and after a few moments’ intense quiet, William Heath arose, and suggested that the court would do well to adjourn for a brief season for the purpose of taking into consideration the request of the prisoner.

The expediency of this suggestion was acceded to, and they withdrew and remained for some fifteen or twenty minutes in conference.

On their return, after a few moments’ consultation with some of the older judges, Lisle among the rest, Bradshaw, taking a parchment from the table, turned to the king with these words:

“Charles Stuart, you have in your request to be heard before Parliament, as well as in other language addressed by you some moments since to this honorable court, given a fresh denial of its jurisdiction, and an added proof of your contempt. It has already, by such contumacy on your part, been too long delayed, and must now proceed to pass judgment against you. You have been proven a traitor to England in waging war against her Parliament, and in refusing to plead in your own behalf, or endeavoring to invalidate such proof, justice has no alternative but to demand your death. The following warrant has therefore been agreed upon by your judges, who will presently affix their signatures thereunto. ‘We, the Commissioners appointed by the Commons to sit in trial on Charles Stuart, King of England, arraigned as a traitor, tyrant and murderer, having found these charges amply substantiated, do for the glory of God, and the liberties of the British people, hereby adjudge him to death.’ ”

He ceased: the members of the court had risen during the reading of the warrant, to testify their concurrence, and the fatal document was now circulated among them to receive their various signatures. It was observed to be written in the chirography of Cromwell.

Throughout the remarks of Bradshaw, Charles had remained with his eyes fixed upon the ground; but while the warrant was being read, he raised them and cast them upon Cromwell, who was standing without the bar. Brief as was this glance, it seemed to convey some momentous truth, for Cromwell became at first scarlet, and then pale as death. Instantly, however, he turned away, and began coolly to unfold the plaits of a white cambric handkerchief, and appeared only occupied with that object.

As soon as the warrant had been passed around to receive the signatures, and Bradshaw had resumed his seat, Charles arose, and with more of dignity than contempt in the act, he turned his back upon the judges—as though his pride would prevent their observing whatever effect their sentence had upon him.

The profound silence which had heretofore prevailed among the crowd, here gave way to loud hisses, and expressions of contempt and disgust; while the soldiers, instigated by the Roundheads, uttered exclamations of “Justice!” “Justice!”

Charles, on hearing the cries of these latter, turned mildly toward them, and casting on them a look of pity, said, in a tone of voice, which, though not loud, was yet sufficiently distinct to be heard by all within the bar:

“I pity them! for a little money they would do as much against their commanders.”

The proceedings closed; and under a strong escort, and amid the shouts of the populace, the noble prisoner was conducted out of the hall. As he proceeded, various outrages were put upon him. With a kingly majesty superior to insult, he received these indignities, as though he deemed them unworthy to excite any emotion within him, save what his sorrowful eye indicated, that of pity for the offenders. Some few, in the midst of the general odium, endeavored to evince their continued allegiance. But their faint prayer of “God save the king!” was drowned in the swelling cries of “Down with the traitor!” “Vengeance on the tyrant!” “Away with the murderer!” One soldier, who was intentionally or inadvertently heard humming the national air of his country, was stricken to the ground by his officer, just as the king crossed the threshold of the door.

“Poor fellow,” said Charles, “methinks his punishment was greater than his offence.”



Will nothing move him?

The Two Foscari.

The streets of a crowded metropolis, which, with their noise and clamor, their variety of lights, and the eternally changing bustle of their hundred groups, offer, by night especially, a spectacle which, though composed of the most vulgar materials, when they are separately considered, has, when they are combined, a striking and powerful effect upon the imagination.

At a late hour on the following night, when London presented such a scene as we have described, two persons were winding their way to the Palace of Whitehall. One was an individual of the male sex, in whom might have been seen, even through the gloom, a polished and dignified bearing, which, together with his dress—though of the Puritanic order—declared him a gentleman of more than ordinary rank. His companion was a delicate woman, evidently like himself of the most genteel class, but attired in the simplest and plainest walking costume of the times. She leaned on his arm with much appearance of womanly trust, although there was an air of self-confidence in her step, suggesting the idea of one capable of acting alone on occasion of emergency, and a striking yet perfectly feminine dignity presiding over her whole aspect.

“I have counseled your visiting him at this late hour,” said the gentleman, “because, as the only hope lies in striking terror into his conscience, the purpose may be best answered in the solitude and silence of a season like this. Conscience is a coward in the daylight, but darkness and night generally give her courage to assert her power.”

“True, William,” replied Alice Heath, (for she it was, and her companion, as the reader is aware by this time, was her husband,) “true—but alas! I fear for the success of my visit; the individual of whom we are speaking deceives himself no less than others, and therefore to him she is a coward at all times. Hast thou not read what my poor dead grandfather’s old acquaintance has written about a man’s ‘making such a sinner of his conscience as to believe his own lies’?”

“I have not forgotten the passage, my Alice, and ever correct in your judgment, you have penetrated rightly into the singular character we are alluding to. I wot it were hard for himself to say how far he has been actuated by pure, and how far by ambitious motives, in the hand he has had in the sentence of the king. Nevertheless, you would believe his conscience to be not altogether dead, had you seen him tremble and grow pale yesterday in the court, during the reading of the warrant, (which, by the way, he had worded and written with his own hands,) when Charles Stuart raised his eyes and looked upon him as if to imply that he knew him for the instigator, and no unselfish one either, of his doom. The emotion he then testified, it was, which led me to hope he may yet be operated upon to prevent the fatal judgment from taking effect. It is true, Charles is a traitor, and I cannot regret that in being arraigned and tried, an example has been made of him. But having from the first anticipated this result, except for your father, Alice, I would have had no part in the matter, being entirely opposed to the shedding of his blood. All ends which his death can accomplish have already been answered; and I devoutly pray that the effort your gentle heart is now about to make for the saving of his life, may be blessed in procuring that merciful result.”

At this moment they paused before the magnificent structure known as the Palace of Whitehall, and applied for admission. Vacated some time since by the king, it was now occupied by his rival in power, the aspiring Cromwell; and although the hour was so late, the vast pile was still illuminated. Having gained speedy access to the main building, the visiters were admitted by a servant in the gorgeous livery of the fallen monarch. Heath requested to be shown to an anteroom, while Alice solicited to be conducted without previous announcement to the presence of his master. After a moment’s hesitation on the part of the servant, which, however, was quickly overcome by her persuasive manner, he conducted her through various spacious halls, and up numerous flights of stairs, till pausing suddenly before the door of a chamber, he knocked gently. As they waited for an answer, the accents of prayer were distinctly audible. They were desired to enter; the servant threw open the door, simply announcing a lady. Alice entered, and found herself alone with Cromwell.

The apartment was an anteroom attached to the spacious bed-chamber formerly belonging to the king. It was luxuriously furnished with all the appliances of ease and elegance suitable to a royal with-drawing room. Tables and chairs of rose-wood, richly inlaid with ivory and mother-of-pearl, were arranged in order around the room; magnificent vases of porcelain decorated the mantel-piece; statues from the chisel of Michael Angelo stood in the niches; and pictures in gorgeous frames hung upon the walls.

There, near a table, on which burned a single-shaded lamp, standing upright, in the attitude of prayer, from which he had just been interrupted, stood the occupant. For an instant—as she lingered near the door, and looked upon his figure, which bore so strongly the impress of power, and felt that on his word hung the fate of him for whom she had come to plead—she already feared for the success of her mission, and would fain almost have retracted her visit. But remembering the accents of prayer she had heard while waiting without, she considered that her purposed appeal was to the conscience of one whom she had just surprised, as it were, in the presence of his Maker, and took courage to advance.

“May I pray thee to approach, and be seated, madam, and unfold the object of this visit,” said Cromwell, in a thick, rapid utterance, the result of his surprise, as he waved his visiter to a chair. “At that distance, and by this light, I can hardly distinguish the features of the lady who so inopportunely and unceremoniously honors me with her presence.”

Immediately advancing, she threw back her hood, and offering him her hand, said, “It is Alice Heath, the daughter of your friend, General Lisle.”

Cromwell’s rugged countenance expressed the utmost surprise, as he awkwardly strove to assume a courtesy foreign to his manner, and exchange his first ungracious greeting for something of a more cordial welcome.

With exceeding tact, Alice hastened to relieve his embarrassment, by falling back into the chair he had offered, and at once declaring the purpose of her visit.

“General Cromwell,” she began, in a voice sweetly distinct, “you stand high in the eyes of man, not only as a patriot, but a strict and conscientious servant of the Most High. As such, you have been the main instrument in procuring the doom now hanging in awful expectation over the head of him who once tenanted, in the same splendor that now surrounds yourself, the building in which I find you. Methinks his vacation of these princely premises, and your succession thereunto, renders you scarcely capable of being a disinterested advocate for his death—since, by it, you become successor to all the pomp and power formerly his. Have you asked yourself the question whether no motives of self-aggrandisement have tainted this deed of patriotism, or sullied this act of religion?”

“Your language is unwarrantable and unbecoming, madam,” said Cromwell, deadly pale and trembling violently; “it is written—”

“Excuse me,” said Alice, interrupting him; “you think it uncourteous and even impertinent that I should intrude upon you with a question such as I but now addressed to you. But, General Cromwell, a human life is at stake, and that the life of no ordinary being, but the descendant of a race of kings. Nay, hear me out, sir, I beg of you. Charles Stuart is about to die an awful and a violent death; your voice has condemned him—your voice can yet save him. If it be your country’s weal that you desire, that object has been already sufficiently answered by the example of his trial; or, if it is to further the cause of the Lord of Hosts that you place yourself at the head of Britain in his place, be assured that he who would assert his power by surrounding himself with a pomp like this, is no delegate of One who commissioned Moses to lead his people through the wilderness, a sharer in the common lot, and a houseless wanderer like themselves. Bethink you, therefore, what must be the doom of him at the final judgment, who—for the sake of ambition and pride—in order that he might for the brief space of his life enjoy luxury and power—under the borrowed name, too, of that God who views the act with horror and detestation—stains his hands with parricidal blood. Yes, General Cromwell, for thy own soul’s, if not for mercy’s sake, I entreat thee, in whom alone lies the power, to cause Charles Stuart’s sentence to be remitted.”

As she waxed warm in her enthusiasm, Alice Heath had risen and drawn close to Cromwell, who was still standing, as on her entrance, and in her entreaty, she had even laid her hand on his arm. His tremor and pallor had increased every moment while she spoke, and though at first he would have interrupted her, he seemed very greatly at a loss, and little disposed to reply.

After a few moment’s hesitation, during which Alice looked in his face with the deepest anxiety, and awaited his answer, he said, “Go to, young woman, who presumest to interfere between a judge raised up for the redemption of England, and a traitor king, whom the Lord hath permitted to be condemned to the axe. As my soul liveth, and as He liveth who will one day make me a ruler in Israel, thou hast more than the vanity of thy sex, in hoping by thy foolish speech to move me to lift up my hand against the decree of the Almighty. Truly —”

“Nay, General Cromwell,” said Alice, interrupting him, as soon as she perceived he was about to enter into one of his lengthy and pointless harangues “nay, you evade the matter both with me and with the conscience whose workings I have for the last few moments beheld in the disorder of your frame. Have its pleadings—for to them I look and not to any eloquence of mine own—been of no avail? Will it please you to do aught for the king?”

“Young lady,” replied Cromwell, bursting into tears, which he was occasionally wont to do, “a man like me, who is called to perform great acts in Israel, had need to be immovable to feelings of human charities. Think you not it is painful to our mortal sympathies to be called upon to execute the righteous judgments of Heaven, while we are yet in the body. And think you that when we must remove some prime tyrant that the instruments of his removal can at all times view their part in his punishment with unshaken nerves? Must they not even at times doubt the inspiration under which they have felt and acted? Must they not occasionally question the origin of that strong impulse which appears the inward answer to prayer for direction under heavenly difficulties, and in their disturbed apprehensions, confuse even the responses of truth with the strong delusions of Satan. Would that the Lord would harden my heart even as he hardened that of —”

“Stop, sir,” said Alice, again interrupting him ere his softened mood should have passed away, “utter not such a sacrilegeous wish. Why are the kindly sympathies which you describe implanted in your bosom, unless it be to prevent your ambition from stifling your humanity? The rather encourage them, and save Charles Stuart. Let your mind dwell upon the many traits of nobleness in his character which might be mentioned with enthusiasm, ay, and with sorrow, too, that they should be thus sacrificed.”

“The Most High, young woman, will have no fainters in spirit in his service—none who turn back from Mount Gilead for fear of the Amalekites. To be brief—it waxes late; to discuss this topic longer is but to distress us both. Charles Stuart must die—the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”

As he spoke, he bowed with a determined but respectful reverence, and when he lifted up his head, the expression of his features told Alice that the doom of the king was irrevocably fixed.

“I see there is no hope,” said she, with a deep sigh, as Cromwell spoke these words in a tone of decision which left her no further encouragement, and with a brevity so unusual to him. Nor was his hint to close the interview lost upon her. “No hope!” she repeated, drawing back. “I leave you, then, inexorable man of iron, and may you not plead thus in vain for mercy at the bar of God.”

So saying, she turned, and rejoining her husband who remained in waiting for her, they returned together to Lisle’s house.

[To be continued.

Engraved expressly for Graham’s Magazine by F. Humphrys



The fine picture which our artist has given us for this number of our Magazine, is a spirited representation of a scene in the lives of those men of violence and murder who, setting at defiance both human and divine laws, wrest from the unarmed or overpowered traveler, amid the mountainous districts of Europe, the means of subsistence they are too idle to obtain through honest industry. To their secret retreat the band of robbers have been traced by armed soldiers, whose approach they are anxiously watching. The wife of the robber-chief is by his side.

By songs, stories, and pictures, much false sympathy has been created in the minds of the unreflecting for “bold brigands,” who are represented too often as possessed of chivalrous feelings and generous sentiments, while a charm is thrown about their wild and reckless lives which is altogether unreal. Love, too, a often brought in to give a warmer and more attractive color to the pictures thus drawn. The roving bandit is represented as loving passionately and tenderly some refined, pure-hearted, and high-souled woman, who, in turn, pours out for him her heart’s best affections.

Different from all this is the hard and harsh reality of the bandit’s life. He is no man of fine feelings and generous sympathies, but a selfish and cruel-minded villain; and between him and the woman, who, as his wife, shares his life of exposure and violence, there can be no gentle passages of affection, for these are only born of love laid upon the solid foundations of virtuous respect.

The real truth on this subject, Dumas has given in a Calabrian story. A body of soldiers had pursued a band of mountain robbers, in Calabria, and hemmed them in so effectually that, with all the passes guarded, escape seemed impossible. From this dilemma the chief determined to relieve his men, as they had refused to surrender, although promised pardon if they would give up their leader. The only possible way of escape was by crossing a deep chasm, so wide, that even the supple chamois could not make the fearful leap in safety. To reach this point, it was necessary to go along a narrow pass, near which sentinels had been placed. The movement was made at night. The chief of the robbers had a wife, and she had a babe at her bosom. For days they had been without food, except such roots as they dug from the ground, and the want of nourishment had dried the fountain of life in the mother’s breast, and the babe pined and fretted with hunger. As the little band moved silently along the narrow path, in which, if discovered by the soldiers, their destruction would be inevitable, the suffering babe began to cry. Instantly it was seized by the father, swung in the air, and its brains dashed out against a tree. For a moment the mother stood like a statue of horror, then gathering the mutilated remains of her murdered babe in her apron, she followed the retreating party.

Safely, through the skill of the chief, the chasm was passed, and they were beyond the reach of danger. All, then, after procuring some food, lay down to sleep, except a sentinel and the mother, who dug a grave with her own hands, in which to bury her child. This sad duty performed, she returned to the spot where her husband and his companions lay in deep slumber. It was not difficult for her to persuade the tired and sleepy sentinel to let her take his place, and soon she alone remained awake. Then stealthily approaching the spot where the father of her dead babe lay, she placed the muzzle of the piece she had taken from the sentinel within a few inches of his breast, and pulled the trigger. The ball passed through his heart!

Here we have something of the reality attending the life of a “bold brigand.” A lawless robber and murderer is incapable of such a sentiment as the true love of a woman. This feeling lives only in the breast of the virtuous. And whenever the poet or the novelist represents a pirate or robber as loving faithfully and tenderly some beautiful, true-hearted woman, the reader may set it all down as mere romance. Such things are contrary to the very nature of things. They never exist in real life. True love of woman is an unselfish love; but the inordinate self-love of these men leads them so utterly to disregard the rights of others, as to commit robbery and murder. How, then, are they capable of loving any thing out of themselves? It is impossible. A bitter fountain cannot send forth sweet water.





Resaca de la Palma.

Once again was daylight dawning, when the shrill, awakening fife

Called our soldiers from their slumbers to the toils of martial life:

We were weary: some among us through the long and dreary night

Had traversed, like silent ghosts, the scene of Palo Alto’s fight —

For our wounded lay around us, who had struggled at our side,

Stemming with their human bodies Battle’s hurricane-like tide.


All were anxious, for we knew that, though our foes had flown the field,

They were still in force before us, vowing never more to yield.

One by one our scouts came in—some with faces of dismay —

Others smiling at the promise of another glorious fray;

But the tidings that they brought only fired us, and we stood,

Like the old Norweyan Vikings, anxious for the feast of blood.


When our wounded were in motion, for our general, like a man

And a father, sent them back before the onward march began —

When we saw the laden wagons, with the sad, disheartened train,

Toward Point Isabel in silence slowly roll along the plain —

We advanced and took our places, drawing a determined breath,

While our wide-expanding nostrils drank the distant scent of death.


As we marched along the prairie, creeping, cat-like, from the day,

We could see the spotted jaguar, stealing from his human prey,

While in flocks the huge, majestic condor with his mighty wings

Flapped from his unusual feast, and swept above the plain in rings,

Shrieking, as he clove the air, some desperate necromantic charm

Over the pale, enchanted bodies that had lost the power of harm.


Here and there, as we proceeded, lying wounded in our way

We would meet some pallid victim, perishing in the face of day;

He was, yesterday, a foeman—now, a helpless, suffering man,

And a brother, praying sadly for some good Samaritan:

So we bound his wounds and fed him—each one from his little store

Taking what his pitying heart would fain have made a great deal more.


Hour by hour we marched in silence, throwing out in our advance

Daring souls with dauntless hearts, who laughed at lasso, ball and lance,

And, as, riding like the wind, one dashed along our serried files,

Twice a thousand lips breathed welcome, twice a thousand eyes looked smiles;

But at last the tidings reached us that our foes had made a stand

Between us and our gallant friends, near the yellow Rio Grande.


On we went with bounding hearts till the prairie lay behind.

While the tall, swan-like palmetto waved a welcome in the wind;

But when we reached the Swamp of Palms,[1] the bristling chapparal,

With our foes in solid thousands, rose before us, like a wall;

And the dense woods frowned upon us, clothed with centuries of green,

Precipitously plunging down the dark and deep ravine.


The army paused. A moment, and we passed along the plain,

With rapid steps and loud huzzas, defiling by the train,

And spreading right and left, marched on, when, ere we fired a shot,

Cannon and grape and musket-ball swept through us thick and hot;

But we never faltered—never; no; we took their fire, and then,

Acknowledging their courtesy, we gave it back like men.


But our men, though doing wonders, began to disappear,

When Ridgely thundered with his guns up from the distant rear,

And we heard his balls go crashing through the thick palmetto trees,

And the shrieks of wounded Mexicans come ringing up the breeze;

And we hurried on like maniacs, scarcely stopping to take breath,

While every where around us rushed the messengers of death!


By this time our brave infantry had reached the chapparal: —

Here and there we heard our comrades answering one another’s call;

And the sharp crack of their muskets, and the death-cries of their foes,

With the constant boom of cannon—Battle’s diapason rose!

All was chaos; while, like lightning, sword and lance and bayonet

Flashed around, as desperate men in the deadly mêlée met.


Hand to hand, and foot to foot, through the ascending clouds of smoke,

On the enemy, through them, over them, gallantly our soldiers broke,

Dealing death at every stroke: then we heard the shout of May,

And beheld his brave dragoons for an instant line the way:

Ridgely’s voice—the roar of cannon—clashing sabres—dying cries —

Rose distinct, yet intermingled as a chorus, toward the skies,


As the vapor separated, dashing down the rough ravine,

May and Inge, with all their men, for an instant filled the scene —

Rushing like an autumn tempest through the chapparal, down the glen,

May, half-hidden by streaming hair, with gallant Inge led on the men,

Loud hurraing: but a crash! and Inge clutched wildly at his rein —

And twice a score of neighing steeds swept riderless along the plain.


All in vain: another instant! May was riding o’er the wall,

Waving on his fiery followers through the tangled chapparal;

Wheeling in a moment, backward, with the same resistless force

Came the hero, like a giant, on his gaunt and sinewy horse; —

As our infantry came up, battling boldly by his gun,

General La Vega yielded, and the battery was won.


But the brave Tampicoäns still refused to fly or yield,

And maintained the unequal fight until the last one kissed the field;

When their flag went down a cry of anguish rent the Mexic ranks,

And our foemen broke and fled despairing toward the river’s banks.

All was over: we pursued them, and the now-descending sun,

Saw Resaca de la Palma’s bloody battle lost and won!

Resaca de la Palma—the Swamp of Palms. Resaca has no equivalent in English. Literally speaking, it is a place on which the tide ebbs and flows.






A national literature, purely our own, must rise superior to an imitation of that fostered by the institutions of the old world, and of course sustaining them. The principles of liberty and independence, which govern our country, are united in our national motto, with that which only can give them permanency, Virtue. Loose this bond of union, and the beautiful fabric of our institutions falls forever. To sustain virtue in her proud position, should then be the principal aim of republican literature. It is this alone which will preserve us from the disastrous fate of former republics, beginning, like our own, with a dawn of prosperity most auspicious, but whose fall, when at the very noon of fame and power, startled and disappointed a world.

Most of the writers and philosophers of ancient times, who defended virtue, wrote, regardless of the vengeance of those corrupt and luxurious governments under which they lived.

Thus was their testimony rendered more dear to succeeding generations, from the sacrifice of selfish interest with which it was given.

That genius which is called into action by the desire of fame only, must be interested; that stimulated by gain alone must be mercenary. Happily there is not enough of these encouragements in our new country to induce the many to leave the walks of busy life, or the more healthful though rugged paths of labor, from motives so liable to disappointment. Few can afford to devote a life to literature, and many of our brightest gems in poetry and prose are the offspring of minds, whose influence is more powerfully felt in the great action of our nation’s progress, or the refining process of their own good example on the morals of society. Others just peep out from the veil of their cherished domestic duties, to throw a simple flower into the world’s path. If lost, or unheeded, it causes no aching of the heart.

The great system of general education, now disseminating its light throughout our land, will place knowledge a welcome guest at every cottage hearth, and national intelligence will form the firm basis of our national literature. The labor of intense thought will not fall too heavily on the few. From the shade of every valley, from the height of every hill, genius will spring forth. The friction of cheerful and healthful labor, will light the spark, which virtuous emulation will fan to a flame.

From the freedom and happiness enjoyed, must necessarily arise a grateful sense of these blessings, a warm expression of that sense, and an anxiety to perpetuate those blessings. With genius and education, these feelings will find a vent in the flowing numbers of song, or the more perspicuous paragraphs of prose.

In both the old and new world, the present is a golden age of literature, rich in its array of brilliant talents and gifted minds. Some of these are glorious as the day-star, and like it, the harbingers of increasing light. Minds that from their own fullness impart knowledge and feelings, whose gushings are like those of the mountain stream, pure even when impetuous.

Others are like the meteor, brilliant, startling; their path a track of fire, but under that bright deception, like that wandering light are only a combination of unwholesome exhalations. Under their false glare, the clouds of vice are tinged with beauty, and the guilt of crime seems but the trace of romantic catastrophe.

That literature alone is valuable, which leaves an impression of increased knowledge, and improved moral sentiments, of chastened feeling and benign impulses, of virtuous resolutions and high aspirations. By these, man is prepared to fill the high station for which the Creator designed him. To partake of the joys of life without selfishness, to meet its sorrows with fortitude, to practice its virtues with firmness, to avoid its errors by resolution, and to dispense its charities with the feeling of brother toward brother. Under a free government, the arts and intrigue of the courtier would be useless and disgraceful appendages to the accomplishments that ornament life. Unsullied honor is based on truth and generous feeling, and the blessings enjoyed by freemen will teach them not to treat lightly the privileges of others. As the principles they profess are so different from those maintained by the policy of monarchical courts, the expression of them must also differ, and our country can proudly point to those, whose writings on these subjects may justly be considered standards for future efforts.

Constellations are already forming in our literary skies; some stars shining out in bold relief, like those glowing in the belt of Orion, or sparkling in the eye of Aldebaren. Some stretch across the northern sky, separate and grand as those in the Ursa major, while others timidly shrink from their own simplicity and beauty, like the meek twinkling of Pleiads. But all have their peculiar influence.

History, with its crowding events and exciting struggles, has already employed many gifted pens in our land. That of Bancroft, with his strong resources and vivid style; of Prescott, with his fine arrangement and freshness, combined with his clear narrative and research, and others, whose talents a limited essay is obliged to pass without remark.

Ethics and philosophy have brought to their aid a strong array of brilliant minds; the peculiar lights of each have their admirers. Comparison might be considered invidious, and it is enough that their names and talents belong to their country.

In various sciences, the American mind has shown itself capable of deep investigation, and our writers on these subjects, by their clear elucidations, have shed light on much that was shadowed in doubt.

In medical learning many works have appeared, and some of them of high importance and value. The number must increase, for the varied climate and diseases of our country require it, and the young physician, just entering on the practice of his profession in some newly settled prairie, or border land of the northern lakes, will find an American author his best guide in the treatment of diseases that differ so much in their nature from those of Europe, as to be but lightly glanced at by the best medical writers of the old world.

Works on law are also increasing; some of them emanating from those whose eloquence has “held captive their hearers.” If they cannot always impart that charm which seems the peculiar privilege of the few, their lessons must be the surest guide to the American lawyer; for, though including the best portions of the English code, there are so many peculiarities appertaining to the different States of the Union, each a sovereignty in itself, that national works must offer the clearest elucidations of all difficult cases.

Descriptive and narrative literature is rich in its contributions. The graceful ease and elegant diction of Irving, his vivid imagination and touching feeling, and the charm which he throws around his subject, have gained him an enviable fame both at home and abroad.

In the peculiar walks of Indian life, and the lonely daring of pioneer character, the pen of Cooper moves like a spell, and when it dips in the sea-wave—like the stroke of the oar, bright droppings glisten on its rising.

We can but name a few of the many whose talents have adorned this portion of literature. The interesting delineations of Simms, whose patriotic feeling glows under a southern sky; the reminiscent charm of Kennedy; the graphic strength of Paulding; the lively portraiture of Mrs. Kirkland, and the graceful but feeling pictures of Miss Sedgwick, recur to our memory.

These have all written on American subjects, and many more of equal merit might be added, if space allowed.

In poetry we have the bright imagery and refreshing beauty of Bryant, whose genius, like a clear stream, reflects the heavens above, and the loveliness of nature around.

Many others have the charm of originality, and a versification almost musical, but the votaries of the muse are so numerous, we must pass them without naming, yet our country may be proud of many a wild flower of poesy, the fragrance of which has been borne over the ocean, and appreciated in other lands.

The sweetness and beauty of Mrs. Sigourney’s muse, the elegance and delicacy of Halleck, the tenderness and strong feeling of Dana, the light grace of Willis, and many others of equal genius and talent are crowding on our memory.

But in this, as in every other branch, we must look to the future for the fulfillment of the high destiny of American literature.

Perhaps nothing has contributed more to the diffusion of intellectual knowledge, than periodical literature, which includes the reviews, magazines, and daily and weekly newspapers. Not a great many years have passed since the number of these were few, and though that few were of known excellence, how sparing was the patronage bestowed on them. How were the journals of other lands looked to for that supply of intellectual beauty, which the gifted minds of our own countrymen needed but a fair encouragement to pour forth. Yet who does not now look back with pride to the pioneer path of our first periodicals, those early gatherers of essays, showing the powers of mind now more strongly developed in our country?

These, in later years, have been followed by a gradual increase, and we can now proudly point to their numbers, many of them varied with the classic learning and lighter literature of contributors, whose talents would do honor to any country.

Possessing great advantages from its unassuming appearance and light form, periodical literature travels through the land. Like a gentle stream it winds its way, with banks covered with flowers, and pebbled bed, too pure to sully its waters. It comes to the door of the cottager to refresh him after labor. Its murmurs are heard near the village-green, and youth hastens to its welcome bath. If it bears not on its breast the heavy freight the larger river boasts, the light skiff on its waters offers a bijouterie that is truly interesting and valuable. Gems of poetry, incidents in history, pearls from the ocean, legends of the land, light from the sciences, and aid from the arts.

Some of the most beautiful effusions of American genius have graced the pages of periodical literature. Timid and retiring talent has been encouraged to take the first step in a path it is destined to illumine. How many gems from the ocean of thought have been brought to the surface, to sparkle on the view by the aid of this species of literature? What pearls from the shells which memory gathers, have thrown the faint but touching light of the past upon the present?

The gifted writers whose efforts have appeared on the pages of periodical literature, are too numerous, and many of them too equal in merit, though different in style, to be particularly named. This is especially the case with female writers, from some of whose pens the finely pointed moral or touching incident of narrative comes forth with varied beauty, but almost equal claims to attention.

This may be said with less force of male writers, where the scintillations of wit and graceful charm of humor in some, is in contrast with the grave discussions and intellectual strength of others, where the elegance of classic learning stands side by side with useful essays on national policy.

But the bright prospect of future American literature again opens before us in all its moral grandeur. When time shall have quieted the ruder anxieties of our being, when comfortable independence shall have passed from the few to the many, and the busy exertion of life can take longer rest from its labors, when the dignity of intellect shall outweigh that of wealth, how will the treasures of mind be poured on our land!

Future American literature must be very varied, from the great difference of climate and habits in our widely extended country. Stretching its immense length along the great Atlantic, the firm barrier of its waters, it almost connects the frozen pole with the burning Equator. The fervid imaginations of the sunny South will breathe their strains under the shadow of the lime-tree, and amidst the fragrance of the orange-grove, and the scenery and flowers that give emblems to their poetry, will be as strange to the dwellers on the rock-bound coast of the North-Eastern States, as the acacia of Arabia is to the Icelander, but its strange beauty will be dear to them, for it is American still.

From the calm, cold North, the calculations of Philosophy and the discoveries of scientific research will continue to issue. The progress already made, forms a bright page in our history, and the last great discovery which has realized the vision of our venerated Franklin, making the lightning of heaven the agent of earth, seems like a stray beam from the science of the skies. By it, knowledge, love, feeling, travel with the unseen speed of “angel’s visits.” The name of Morse will find a high association with that of the “Sage of the Revolution.”

For the light yet elegant portions of literature, our country presents a wide field. The history of Poetry in the old world, is mournfully, painfully interesting, from the blind dependence of the immortal Homer, down to the despairing end of the gifted Chatterton. From thence to the present time, how few have been successful, and of that few, how oft have their pages been marked, not, indeed, by the tear of weary anguish and hope deferred, but by a bitterness of sentiment filling the place from whence that tear was obliterated. Alas! how many strings in the harp of Genius have been broken by the force of its own disappointed feelings.

Pastoral poetry may well offer its incense at the shrine of our country’s scenery and productions, and breathe its strains in harmony with the happiness of American rural life. Here there need be no servile muse to sing of fruits the parched lip never tasted, nor of groves and streams whose verdure and coolness were felt not in the close atmosphere of garret penury. But from homes rendered happy by industry and content, the poets of our land may breathe their strains. The heart will speak from its own fullness, like the ascending vapor of the cottage chimney, that tells the comfort and warmth of the hearth beneath its roof.

Narrative prose and heroic verse have a deep fount from whence to draw.

It is true the legendary lore of our country has not yet the hoariness of age upon it, but what should recommend it more, it has the light of truth. If we have not moss-grown towers, whose mouldy recesses tell of ambition and cruelty, we have traces on the hills, and monuments in the vales of our varied landscape, that awaken the memory of deeds whose heroism might rival the days of chivalry; of battles where the disparity of force called forth the virtuous sacrifice of another Leonidas, of acts of patriotism and self-devotion worthy that purest of Romans, Regulus.

Love, during the struggle of the Revolution, was a sentiment, so guided by high impulses, as to offer to the pen of historical romance the most touching and thrilling incidents; vows rendered more sacred by the parting of the plighted, not to be renewed at the altar until the light of liberty shone on their country. The simple ribbon-knot and the glossy braid of hair, were to the patriot-lover talismans in the hour of danger; and courage to meet every trial came with the sweet thoughts of home and happiness with his American maid.

Mothers, with Spartan virtue, sacrificed their maternal tenderness on the altar of liberty, and urged the steps of their sons to the combat. Aged fathers, with eager though feeble hands, fastened the sword of their early days on the youthful limbs of those sons; and when their loved forms were brought back from the field of their country’s glory, cold in death, have pillowed their white locks on the young breasts, and died under the excitement of sorrow struggling with patriotic pride and glory.

Biography might appear like an overloaded vessel, her deck crowded with the bright and honored names of heroes, statesmen, patriots, scholars, and others, the famed and gifted of our land—but she gallantly bears the freight, for a greater than Cæsar is among them. Washington! how the full tide of feeling gushes at the name—a nation’s pride and glory, and the admiration of the world. Many brilliant pens have told his character and fame, and yet the theme seems new. How bright a pattern to American youth, is the docility of his childhood, and submission to parental rule, the beautiful truth of his boyhood, and pure morality of his youth. His tenderness, even in the noon of his fame, to the venerable mother, on whose breast at parting fell the strange but unchecked tears of manhood. His pure patriotism, his undaunted courage, his unchanging firmness and impartial justice, his meek devotion and faith in the God of nations, all present a beautiful example for imitation. Happy America! rearing in your own bosom the son whose talents and virtues were your protection in the hour of danger. And gloriously was he associated with the bright host of heroes and patriots, whose deathless names will live with his in the grateful memory of the country to which they gave freedom and independence. With such themes biography holds, and must continue to hold, an elevated rank in American literature; and when to these is added the bright list of those who, in later times have periled their all for their country’s glory, or whose talents and virtues have brightened her fame, the task of perpetuating their names and deeds to posterity will employ many gifted minds, and must look far into the future for its completion.

The ancient history of our country lies hid in the western mounds, or amidst the buried relics of past ages. Forests, in Central America, have grown over the ruins of temples and dwellings that, awakened from their sleep of ages by a Stephens and others, will in time become the Palmyra of the Western World. In the grandeur of their mysteries conjecture seems lost, yet there would appear a connection between them and the aboriginal race of our own land, whose lingering steps are receding toward the Pacific. In this remaining posterity of a lost genealogy, all that is left to tell the tale of the race from whence they sprung, is their firm independence, undying love of country, deep sense of injury and spirit of revenge, and strong faith of happier homes beyond the grave. Is not this a theme worthy the pen of the American poet, philosopher, antiquarian, or novelist?

With the many heroic virtues of Indian character, can we wonder that their principal fault should be that which filial piety made glorious in a Hannibal. In future they will be better understood, and while justice and humanity, nay, national pride, call on our government to civilize and enlighten them, the pens of their white brethren will show their true lineaments, and perhaps the hand of some American antiquary lift the veil that hides their lost ancestry.

While the music of their language yet lingers in the names of our rivers, we cannot forget their claims. In a lyric of much sweetness, a gifted poetess of our country pleads that they may not be changed. How quickly their sound arrests the attention of the traveler and stranger? How softly their syllables fall from the lips of beauty. There seems a magic spell about them. May it be their protection from any change. It is but just that the streams that first knew the Indians in their pride and glory should retain the melody of their language.

In many instances, the Indian character has been found capable of great refinement from education, and of the few who have been placed in our colleges, some have evinced superior talents. How pleasing is the thought that these children of the forest may hereafter contribute to the national literature of America. Will their strains be mournful, like the plaintive songs of the Israelites by the waters of the Euphrates? Perhaps not, for though many are far removed from the more eastern homes of their fathers, still it is their native land, now bounded only by the waves of the Pacific.

In anticipating the future literature of our country, its glorious effects on other nations should not be forgotten. The freedom and happiness that could fan into flame all that is great in mind, and all that is beautiful in virtue, must be appreciated; and from the combined effect of her own great example, and the persuasive influence of a literature then truly American, our country will become the standard of future republics.





Sing me to sleep, dear mother,

  Upon thy faithful breast —

Ah! many a day hath passed, mother,

  Since I laid me there to rest.

Now I am weary, weary,

  And I fain would sleep once more,

And dream such dreams of heaven,

  As I used to dream of yore.


Since then I’ve known Love’s power, mother —

  Its heritage is tears —

And I have felt, sweet mother,

  Its wild tumultuous fears.

Now hath the idol fallen,

  On my soul’s ruined shrine —

All other hearts deceive me,

  In grief I turn to thine.


Lull me to rest, kind mother,

  And sing to me the while —

These tearful eyes shall cease to weep

  These lips put on a smile.

And tell me of that blessed land

  Where love is not in vain,

And they who wept despairingly

  Shall never weep again.


Lull me to rest, dear mother,

  Sing to me soft and low,

The same sweet mournful strain, mother,

  You sang me long ago,

I am weary and heart-broken,

  And I fain would be at rest,

Oh take me in thine arms, mother —

  Let me slumber on thy breast.





The storm beats loud against my window-pane,

  And though upon the pillow of my bed

  In pleasant warmth is laid my grateful head,

I cannot sleep for the excited train

Of thoughts the storm arouses in my brain.

  O, wretched poor, who have no home—or if

  A home—are weak and weary, sore and stiff,

  For want of food and clothes and fire! O rain,

    Fierce rain, and howling wind, and hissing hail,

  Venting your rage beneath the flag of night —

    A black flag, without stars—how do they quail,

  Those aching, shivering poor, beneath your might!

O God, be pitiful! and to the poor’s sad tale

  Make rich hearts open with the opening light.







So thou art here, in Florence, to be wived, Buondlemonte?” a gay gallant laughingly observed to the tallest and most elegant of a group of cavaliers, as they sauntered leisurely together along the principal street of Florence: “Thou art at last to be shut out from the pale of happy celibacy, and be offered up, a living sacrifice, on the altar of that most insatiate of all insatiate deities, Hymen? By Mars, but I pity thee, poor youth!”

“Reserve thy pity, thou thoughtless railer, for those who stand in need on’t,” the eldest of the party, a dark-complexioned, stern-featured man, replied in the same vein in which the first individual had spoken, though the frown on his brow, and the compression of his lips evinced that he was not pleased at the tone of the conversation. “Buondlemonte mates with the noblest house of Florence; and though he ranks with the first in Italy, he is not to be pitied when he enters the family of Amedi.”

“Nay, Amedi, thou shalt not make me grave,” the first speaker said, smiling at the serious looks of his saturnine companion; “I will commiserate the fate of any luckless bachelor, whose days of freedom draw so near their close; though, thou haughty senor, I will make this reservation in thy favor, that if there exists aught to mitigate the thraldom of matrimony, it may be found in the smiles of the beautiful Francesca, and in the alliance with thy thrice noble house.”

“Even that admission is a step toward Guiseppo’s reformation,” Buondlemonte observed, with a light laugh, as he placed his hand upon the shoulder of the last speaker; “it proves that he is not quite incorrigible.”

“But tell me, Buondlemonte—I must have it from thine own lips,” Guiseppo said; “dost thou wed so soon? Shall we see thee a married man on the third day from this?”

“ ’Tis most true, Guiseppo,” Buondlemonte replied, with a smile upon his lips, though, as he spoke, an almost imperceptible sigh escaped him; “in three days thou wilt see me wived. ’Tis an old contract, existing since my youth. Amedi’s father and my own were friends—companions in arms—and agreed to this union of our families. The time has arrived for the consummation of the contract, and I am here to fulfill it.”

“Alas, poor youth! in what a tone of resignation was that last sentence uttered. A pious maiden bending to the will of mother church could not have answered more meekly. I fear me thou art a reluctant neophyte in Hymen’s temple.”

“A truce with thy jesting, Guiseppo Leoni,” Jacopa Amedi angrily observed; “thou dost proceed beyond the limits of courtesy. If the noble Buondlemonte chooses to submit to thy rough raillery, I do not. The honor of my house is concerned, and that shall not be tampered with by light lips.”

“Enough, Amedi,” Buondlemonte said, as he interrupted a sharp retort from Leoni, “Guiseppo meant no harm, and I have grown too wise, in my travels, to be angered by a friendly jest.”

“Methinks, though,” another of the group, who had hitherto remained silent, observed, “that Buondlemonte might vindicate my fair cousin from the insinuation of accepting an unwilling husband. The court of the emperor is a poor school for chivalry, if it does not teach the lesson that a fair lady’s name should be preserved, like the polished surface of a mirror, unsullied even by a breath.”

What reply Buondlemonte might have made to the captious cousin of his betrothed bride is impossible to say, for at that moment a young page, in gay attire, came up to the party, and, cap in hand, inquired if one of them was not Buondlemonte.

“There stands the object of thy search, thou elfin emissary from the bower of beauty!” Guiseppo smilingly remarked, as he pointed to Buondlemonte; “deliver the challenge thou art charged with, and he will meet thy mistress, though she be Medusa or Circe.”

The child carefully undid the folds of his scarf, and taking from thence a small note, presented it with a graceful obeisance to Buondlemonte.

“Your answer, noble sir,” he said. “I am directed to bear it.”

Buondlemonte took the billet, and, after excusing himself to his companions, stepped aside and cut the silken thread that bound it.

The note must have contained something more than ordinary, for as the young man glanced his eyes over it, the red blood mounted to his cheeks and his forehead.

“Whom dost thou serve, my pretty youth?” Jacopa Amedi asked, as Buondlemonte perused and reperused the paper.

“To answer your question, signor,” the boy replied with a sly smile, as he bowed with deference to the noble, “would be to prove that I am unworthy to serve any one.”

“And to quicken thy speech,” Amedi’s cousin remarked, in a tone half jesting half earnest, “it would be well to apply a leathern strap to thy shoulders.”

“Fie, Baptista Amedi, fie!” Guiseppo said, as he observed the child’s eyes flash with indignation; “conceive no foul thoughts toward the boy; he merits thy praise for being faithful to his mistress, whoever she may be.”

By this time Buondlemonte had concluded his perusal of the note, and turning to the boy, he said, as he handed him a piece of money, “I will, in person, bear an answer to your missive.”

The page bowed, and donning his plumed cap, was soon lost to observation among the passengers in the street.

It was in vain that Guiseppo jested and Jacopa Amedi looked grave and inquisitive; Buondlemonte was uncommunicative, and would make no revelations in relation to the page’s mission.

“By my faith, thou art a lucky knight, Buondlemonte!” Guiseppo said. “Not yet a day in Florence, and thou hast an assignation, I warrant me, with some mysterious being.”

They had now arrived at the corner of a street that crossed the one in which they were. Jacopa Amedi paused and pointed to a splendid mansion.

“You know our palace,” he said; “shall we thither?”

“Not now, Amedi,” Buondlemonte replied; “I have a commission for a friend to execute before I can gratify my own wishes. In an hour I’ll wait upon you at the palace; in the meantime present my duty to your fair sister, and say that ere long I will offer it with my own lips.”

The young men separated; Amedi and his relatives turning their steps toward the palace of the former, while Buondlemonte and Guiseppo continued their walk alone.



“Buondlemonte, thou art no happy bridegroom,” Guiseppo said, after they had proceeded for some time in silence.

Buondlemonte sighed, but made no reply.

“Thou dost not love Amedi’s sister,” Guiseppo observed, in a half interrogative tone.

“ ’Twas a compact between parents, and not a union of lovers that was intended,” Buondlemonte replied bitterly.

“Still thou dost not love her—this marriage promises thee no happiness.”

Buondlemonte paused a moment, and then said,

“I think, Guiseppo, thou art my friend, and I may trust thee.”

“Hast thou not proved me thy friend?” Guiseppo asked. “When first we left Italy together for the court of the French king, we pledged our faith each to the other. During our sojourn there thou still hast found me—thoughtless and gay, perhaps—but ever constant. ’Tis true, we parted, you to continue your travels to the capital of the empire, while I returned to Italy; and we have never met again until to-day, yet, believe me, I am still the same Guiseppo thou hast known among the brave knights and gay dames of France.”

Buondlemonte grasped the hand that was offered to him, and after a momentary pause, said,

“Thou art right, my friend; I am no happy bridegroom. This marriage is hateful to me—’tis none of my seeking.”

“Then why let it proceed?”

“Because the Amedi wish it, and the world thinks my honor demands it; heaven knows for no other cause. ’Tis true, Francesca is fair—so says report, for I have not seen her since her youth—but to me she can never seem so. She may be enchanting, yet me she cannot enchant. There is a dream of my youth about my heart, a spell that will not be dissipated. There is but one form that dwells in my memory, one voice that can breathe music in my ear.”

“And where dwells this siren?” Guiseppo asked with a slight smile at the enthusiasm of his friend.

“Here, even here, in Florence,” Buondlemonte replied.

“And her family is called?”


“Pandora and all her mischiefs!” exclaimed Guiseppo; “thou couldst not have mentioned a name more hateful to the family of thy affianced bride. The extremes of the earth are not wider apart than the houses of Donati and Amedi—a deadly feud exists between them.”

“From my childhood, I have known but one absorbing influence,” Buondlemonte said, “and that is my love for Camilla Donati. ’Tis a secret I have kept within my own breast till now; for I was educated to consider myself the husband of another, and, looking upon the marriage with Amedi’s sister as a thing that must be, I felt reconciled—while the period of our union was indefinite—to what I could not avoid.”

“Why not feel so still?” Guiseppo asked.

“I cannot,” was the reply; “the nearer the hour for our nuptials approaches, the more repugnant do I feel. There’s no sympathy between the house of Amedi and Buondelmonte—they are Ghibellines and I am a Guelph. I love not Francesca; I like not her unsmiling brothers; yet I must wed, and in fulfilling a compact made without my consent, doom myself to certain misery.”

Buondlemonte might have added that the missive which the page had delivered to him was from the mother of Camilla Donati, and that it had given strength to feelings which were before but too powerful; but he did not; the information might have compromised others, and he kept it to himself. What was further said would scarcely interest the reader, and we pass to details more immediately connected with the development of our story.



At the time of which we write—the latter end of the thirteenth century—there existed between the two principal families in Florence, (those of Amedi and Donati,) a spirit of bitter malignity and determined rivalry, which was carried quite to the extent of the quarrels described by Shakspeare, in “Romeo and Juliet,” between the houses of Capulet and Montague.

Ambition for supremacy was the origin of the dispute between these noble families, but political differences had widened the breach. The quarrels between the Emperor of Germany and the Pope, which followed the elevation of Gregory VII. to the papal throne—and which divided Germany, and even Italy into factions, calling themselves Guelphs and Ghibellines—had extended to Florence, mid the rival families of Donati and Amedi were not slow to take sides in the dispute; each hoping thereby to obtain an ascendency over the other. The Donati took part with the Pope, and called themselves Guelphs; the Amedi sided with the emperor, and were called Ghibellines; and for generations, the animosity between these two houses disturbed the peace of the beautiful city of Florence.

At the period of our narrative a female ranked as the head of the house of Donati. Left a widow, during the childhood of her only daughter, she had sustained with masculine energy the pretensions of her family, and at the same time she had reared with maternal fondness the offspring left to her sole charge.

The father of young Buondlemonte was a nobleman of the first influence in Italy. He resided in the upper vale of Arno, and though he supported the pretensions of the pontiff against those of the emperor, his feelings were so far from being rancorous, that he maintained an equal intimacy with the rival houses of Amedi and Donati; the circumstance of their having served together in the wars of the day alone induced him to prefer the alliance with the family of Amedi.

It is hardly necessary to observe, after the dialogue in the last chapter, that the predilections of the youthful noble took a different direction from the one indicated by the parental judgment. With free ingress to the bosoms of both families, Buondlemonte experienced no hesitation in preferring the sweet and gentle Camilla Donati to the equally beautiful, but haughty and imperious, Francesca Amedi. The considerate affection, too, of Camilla’s mother was much more attractive to him than the austere and severe manners which characterized the Amedi family.

Camilla Donati, young as she then was, was not insensible to the marked preference shown her by Buondlemonte. ’Tis true he uttered no words of love, yet she felt that she was beloved by him, and with all the ardor of her nature she returned his affection.

When he had arrived at the age of seventeen years, Buondlemonte’s father died. On his death-bed he expressed a wish that his son should travel for five years, and that the marriage with Francesca Amedi should be solemnized on his return to Italy. In accordance with this wish Buondlemonte left his home to acquire his education as a gallant knight at the polished court of the French king. His parting with his bride elect was a task of easy performance, but not so his farewell to Camilla Donati. It was with sad hearts and tearful eyes, and murmured hopes of a happier meeting that they separated. For five years he had been absent from his native country. All the scenes through which he had passed, all the fair ladies he had seen had not weakened the ardor of his first love. He returned to Florence, urged by the wishes of the Amedi family; but he came back with the feelings of a criminal stalking to the place of execution rather than as a bridegroom about to lead a beloved and blushing bride to the altar.



’Twas nearly twilight, and Francesca Amedi sat in a richly furnished apartment with her brother and her cousin. One of them had been making a communication to her to which she had listened in silence, but with wrapt attention. Her stately form, as he continued his story, became more majestic, her bosom heaved with concealed emotion, and, as she swept back with her beautiful hand the rich raven tresses, her dark eyes flashed like diamonds glittering in the light.

“So you think he loves me not,” she said, after a pause, as her cousin walked toward the window to examine the tapestry which hung from the walls.

“By St. Jago!” returned her brother, “an ice-hill on the summit of the Alps, could not have been colder than he was when speaking of thee. ‘ ’Twas an old compact,’ he said, ‘and he was here to fulfill it.’ By the souls of those who have gone before me! he could not have spoken more churlishly if he had been talking about a new doublet he had agreed to take upon a certain day.”

“I love him,” Francesca said, as she bit her lip till it became bloodless, “but he acts not wisely for his happiness or mine. He knows not what it is to put a slight upon Francesca Amedi.”

“Were it not,” Jacopa observed, “that his power, united with our own, will crush the whole race of the detested Donati, I would spurn his unwilling alliance, and he should die e’er he be thy husband. As it is,” he added, “we must dress our face in smiles, and thou must wed him.”

“I would do so,” Francesca said, as she fixed her eyes with a rigid look upon her brother, “were it only to make him feel what I have endured.”

“Before our very eyes,” Jacopa remarked, “he received without apology or explanation, a dainty billet from some shameless mistress.”

“Ay,” added Baptista, who had by this time concluded his careless scrutiny, and was listening to the conversation, “and if my memory serves me not a treacherous trick, that same page, who bore the silken-bound counsel, I have seen in attendance on our dearly loved friend, Donati’s widow.”

“If I had thought so,” exclaimed Jacopa, “I would have twisted the neck of the young go-between, even in the presence of Buondlemonte.”

“No, no,” Francesca said, as she waved her hand, “it cannot be. He would not—he dare not—offer me so great an insult as to receive a love-token from one of that house. He dare not, reckless as he is, place me in competition with the puling baby Donati calls her daughter.”

Baptista was about to repeat his opinion concerning the identity of the page, but he had scarcely commenced before Buondlemonte entered the apartment. Both Jacopa and Baptista exchanged an apparently cordial greeting with the new comer, and then retired, leaving him alone with Francesca.

“At last, Buondlemonte,” Francesca said, when they were left alone, “at last thou hast found time to see me.”

“The performance of a service for a friend,” Buondlemonte observed, as he touched with his lips the white hand which was extended toward him, “prevented the earlier presentation of my duty to thee.”

“It was not well,” she remarked, “after so long an absence, to give others a preference, and leave your promised wife neglected, if not forgotten. This was not an act of the cherished companion of former days; it was not the act of the noble youth who left Florence five years ago, betrothed to Francesca Amedi; thou no longer lovest me, Buondlemonte, or thou wouldst not have been thus slow to visit me.”

Buondlemonte thought that the charge might have been made with equal justice at any period of his existence, but he did not give utterance to the thought.

“If my tardiness gives offence,” he said, coldly, “I pray that thou wilt pardon it; I will be scrupulous not to repeat it.”

“Thou art as chilling in thy kindness as thou art in thy coldness,” she observed, with a short hysterical laugh, and then turned the conversation into another channel.

After an hour’s constrained intercourse, Buondlemonte rose to depart.

“I fear me,” she said, as she thought of the letter her brother had spoken of, “that some fairer lady than Francesca pines for thy society, and lures thee from my side.”

“Thou hast no cause to think so,” he replied, evasively, as he raised her hand respectfully to his lips.

She placed her hand firmly upon his arm and looked with her large, eloquent eyes steadily in his face.

“See that I have not,” she said, in a voice which had lost all its natural melody. “See that I have not. Thou mayst ensure my love, if ’tis worthy of an effort, but remember! I will brook no rival in thy affections—Francesca Amedi knows how to protect herself!”

“By all the torturing fates that ever turned awry love’s currents!” exclaimed Buondlemonte, as he reached the street, “but my destined spouse seems to be formed more in the mould of the tigress than the dove. A further promise,” he muttered ironically, “of our mutual happiness!”



“Ye are beautiful, ye heavens!” murmured Camilla Donati, as she gazed from a casement of an apartment in her mother’s palace upon the gorgeous starlight of an April evening; “but what hope do you bring to me? He who was wont to make even darkness seem light, even he, is another’s, and ye shine in mockery of my anguish—your brightness makes my gloom the darker!”

It was, indeed, a beautiful evening; but he must have been an anchorite who would not have turned from the balmy air and richly studded sky, to gaze upon the graceful form and heavenly countenance of the fair being who apostrophized the stars.

Her age would have been that of a mere girl’s in any clime save those in which nature seems precocious; but her figure was that of a woman’s, in the zenith of her loveliness. Eighteen summers had scarcely passed over Camilla Donati, and, to contemplate her appearance, the thought would suggest itself that each succeeding year had outvied the efforts of the one that had preceded it, in a struggle to make her beauty faultless.

Her complexion was exquisitely fair. The natural color in her cheeks, as she sat in pensive thought, had disappeared, but still a roseate shade remained, and that, perhaps, shone in more perfect contrast with the transparent skin on which it rested. Pygmalion, when he worshiped the effort of his own art, could not have beheld more chastely beautiful features than she possessed. An ample forehead, shaded by clustering curls, terminated where the penciled brows overlooked lids, fringed with long silken lashes, which contained within their orbits a pair of lustrous, soul-speaking eyes. A nose of Grecian outline, and a mouth—formed from the model of Cupid’s bow—with lips of clear vermilion, seemed to speak an “alarum to love.” When we add to this description a chin of unsurpassed contour, and a neck of swan-like symmetry, we may form some idea of Camilla Donati’s features.

The dress she wore, though it shrouded, it did not conceal the proportions of her figure. The full, swelling bust and the slender waist could be discerned; nor were her robes so sweeping but that a fairy foot might have been discovered peeping from beneath them. A glittering veil had been thrown carelessly over her luxuriant auburn curls, but this she had put back with her delicate hand, and, as her cheek rested on that dimpled hand, she seemed too bright a thing to be profaned by the touch of sorrow; grief should have found a less transcendent temple in which to spread its sombre mantle.

“What is left me now,” she whispered to herself, as if pursuing a train of thought, “but to die, or, within the gloomy walls of a cloister, to endeavor to forget this world by offering myself up a sacrifice to heaven.”

“Not so, my child,” an unexpected voice observed, as a stately female stepped from the shade, and seated herself beside Camilla; “Heaven needs not such a sacrifice at thy hands, or at mine.”

“My mother!” exclaimed the lair girl, “I knew not thou wert present,” and bending her head to the parental bosom, she gave vent to her feelings in stifled sobs.

“Fie, Camilla!” the mother said, as she passed her hand affectionately over the glossy ringlets, “this is unworthy of thy race. Thou art a Donati, my child, and should have more iron in thy nature than to bend, like a willow-wand, before every storm; besides, all is not lost yet; Buondlemonte may still be thy husband.”

“Never!” replied Camilla; “I would not have it so now. Within three days he weds Francesca Amedi.”

“Not if I can prevent it!” exclaimed the elder lady. “He shall not sully his nobleness, or add to the o’ergrown pride of that arrogant house by mating with the haughty Francesca. This night—this hour—he hies hither to harken to my counsels; and if I have power to move him, he leaves not this palace till he is thy plighted husband.”

Camilla knelt at her mother’s feet, and clasping her hands, she turned her tearful eyes to that mother’s face.

“In mercy, spare me!” she said; “I would not wed an unwilling lord—I would not do a wrong even to a member of the house of Amedi.”

“Thou art a foolish child,” her mother replied; “thou shalt neither wed a reluctant lord, nor do a wrong to living soul. If wrong there be in aught I counsel, it rests with me, and I fear not to brave the consequences.”

Camilla was about to speak, but her mother interrupted her.

“I tell thee, timid flutterer,” she said, “Buondlemonte loves thee. I know him, even as if he were my own child—he loves thee, and thee alone. An ancient compact, wrung from the weakness of his father, is all that binds him to Francesca Amedi. Between them there is no shadow of affection. Her swollen pride is not akin to tenderness, and he could not love a being whose nature, like hers, is fierce, revengeful and fiend-like.”

Again Camilla was about to interpose, but her mother stopped her.

“Hear me out,” she said. “Buondlemonte’s interest and inclination, as well as ours, require that he should abandon all thoughts of that unholy union, and take thee to wife. In all, save hypocritical appearances, the Amedi are his enemies—enemies in religion, enemies in disposition. He is frank, open, generous and noble; and they are cold, selfish, subtle and malignant. His faith is pure, and, like us, he sustains the cause of our holy church; while they are Ghibellines—little better than schismatics—and in their hearts detest all who think not with them. If ’twere not a virtue to humble the pride of this presumptuous family, it would at least be a charity to preserve the peace of the noble youth, by disconcerting so ill-assorted a match.”

Once more Camilla attempted to be heard, but again she was interrupted.

“I will hear no reply,” her mother said: “I cannot be moved by arguments from the course I intend to pursue. Thou knowest me tender and indulgent, but at the same time resolute and determined. Thy happiness and his demand the policy I adopt; let me not hear thee therefore murmur against it. I go now,” she observed, rising from her seat, “to meet him I would make thy husband: bide thou here till my return.”

As she concluded she left the apartment.

Camilla, at the thought of meeting Buondlemonte, and the circumstances, instinctively drew her veil over her burning cheeks.

“It is not I, Francesca,” she murmured, “who plots against thy peace; it is not I, Buondlemonte, who seeks to make thee swerve from thy knightly faith!”

For the space of half an hour Camilla Donati remained in a state of timorous apprehension and painful thought; at the expiration of that period, however, the door of the apartment she occupied again opened, and her mother re-entered. This time she was not alone—Buondlemonte was with her. His handsome countenance was flushed with excitement; the color mantled in his cheeks, and an unusual lustre danced in his bright eyes.

No sooner did his gaze rest on the maiden’s form than he rushed forward, and, bending his knee before her, took her unresisting hand and pressed it again and again to his lips.

“Dearest Camilla!” he exclaimed, in a whispered voice, “even thus have I dreamed of thee in my wanderings! even thus have I knelt before thee, and, unrebuked by a reproachful look, pressed thy gentle hand.”

The elder lady approached her daughter, and raising the veil which concealed her beautiful features she addressed Buondlemonte.

“This,” she said, as Buondlemonte’s ravished sight wandered from the flushing cheeks to the closed lids and trembling lips, “this is the bride I had reserved for thee. From childhood she has loved thee, and loves thee still.”

Buondlemonte’s enraptured exclamations prevented Camilla’s piteous appeal to her mother from being heard.

“From childhood she has been the star I have worshiped,” he replied, and rising to a seat beside her, his arm encircled her delicate waist. “None other,” he exclaimed with enthusiasm, as his eyes devoured the unfolding beauties which momentarily developed themselves, “none other shall claim the bride who has been reserved for me. If she will accept the homage of a heart that is all her own, my wedded wife she shall be before two suns have gilded the eastern sky.”

The burning blushes were on Camilla’s cheeks, and the tears gushed from her eyes, but her breath came quick and her heart throbbed strangely.

“Speak, dearest Camilla!” Buondlemonte whispered; “let me know from thy own lips that my passion is not unrequited—say that thou lovest me!”

“Oh, Buondlemonte!” Camilla articulated, in a low voice, “think of Francesca—think of her family.”

“To wed her would be a union on which nor heaven nor earth could smile,” he replied. “Dearest Camilla, Francesca loves me not, and I do not love her; her family are my aversion—there is no kindred, no sympathy between us. This night, if thou dost love me still, this night I will revoke the ill-advised bond that linked my destiny with Francesca Amedi’s, and to-morrow’s night shall see us happily wedded.”

Small blame was it to Camilla that she yielded to the entreaties, nay, the commands of her mother, and the moving solicitations of her lover. Her heart, too, was an advocate against herself. For some time she resisted the persuasive music which was poured into her ear, but at length she breathed in whispered accents the words that united her fate to Buondlemonte’s.

The rest of the evening, to the lovers, passed like the brief existence of a moment; yet its lapse had afforded an eternity of happiness. It had given birth to a world of pleasant recollections.

Ere he slept that night, Buondlemonte dispatched his friend Guiseppo Leoni to Jacopa Amedi, to inform him of the step he had taken. Disclaiming all intention to offend, he pleaded his early passion in palliation of his apparent fickleness, and alleged that the uncongeniality between Francesca and himself could be prolific of naught but discord and unhappiness.



The dawn of the morrow found the Amedi family awake and stirring; and every member of it breathing deep and terrible vengeance against the faithless Buondlemonte. Late as it was when Guiseppo Leoni delivered the unpleasant communication of which he was the bearer, messengers had been dispatched to all the relatives of the house, to summon them to a council, which was fixed to meet at an early hour in the morning.

When Francesca Amedi learned what had happened her towering form grew more erect, her dark eyes flashed forth unutterable thoughts, and, as she grasped tightly the jeweled dagger that hung from her girdle, she muttered between her set teeth —

“He would not learn how deeply I could have loved, but he shall feel—he and his puny minion—how bitterly I can hate, and how fearfully I can avenge!”

“He is not married yet,” her brother menacingly observed.

“The saints be praised for that,” she replied; “There shall be more guests at the wedding than are bidden.”

She retired to her own apartment, and after a long interview with her principal attendant she gave directions that no one should be admitted to see her, and that no summons, from any source, should be communicated to her.



The council had assembled at the Amedi palace. In a spacious apartment a crowd of men sat together. There were dark frowns upon their countenances, and, at intervals, angry exclamations escaped from their lips, as the cause of their convocation was dwelt upon with malignant emphasis and vehement declamation by Jacopa Amedi.

“What,” he asked, after having recapitulated the facts, “should be the fate of him, who, casting aside the honor of knighthood and manhood, violates his plighted word, showers disgraceful contumely upon our house, and offers deadliest insult to Amedi’s daughter?”

“Death!” replied a solitary voice, as the door of the apartment opened, and a stranger stood at the threshold.

The eyes of all were turned with wonder in the direction from which the voice proceeded. No one present appeared to know the stranger.

The intruder gazed around unrebuked by the inquiring looks that were bent upon him, and as his eye met the speaker’s, he repeated the ominous word which had startled the assembled group.

He was a youth of fine appearance; slight in form, but of a lofty bearing, with a handsome countenance, and full, large, searching, dark eyes. His dress was of sable velvet. Upon his head he wore a cap, surmounted with two black plumes, and at his side there hung a sombre-cased rapier, the hilt of which glittered with diamonds.

“Death!” he repeated, as he glanced deliberately from one individual to another, “death should be the doom of him who, traitorous to love and false to honor, pays back the affection of a betrothed wife with withering scorn, and upon the dignity of a noble house tramples with profane and sacrilegious tread!”

Jacopa Amedi advanced from the position he had occupied, and confronted the new comer.

“Whoe’er thou art, sir stranger,” he said, “thou hast mistaken the place for thy reception. This is a meeting only of the relatives of our house—thou canst not claim kindred with the Amedi.”

“I am,” the youth replied, “of noble birth—a Ghibelline—a friend to thy family and cause, and an enemy—a deadly enemy—to Buondlemonte and the Donati. Thy wrongs are the wrongs of all who hate the Guelphs, and affect every noble in the land. Me they have united to thee by an indissoluble bond, and I proclaim again that death—death unannounced—should be the fate launched at the treacherous Buondlemonte!”

There was a wild energy in the stranger’s voice, and as he spoke, his dark eyes gleamed with demoniacal fire.

“For thy noble sympathy thou art entitled to our thanks, and hast them,” Jacopa Amedi observed, in reply; “but still we must entreat thy absence; a stranger may not be admitted to our counsels.”

“Not though he tenders thy honor as dearly as though he were himself an Amedi?” the young man asked hurriedly.

Jacopa bowed a negative.

“My name may change thy thought,” the youth remarked, as he approached Jacopa, and, as the latter inclined his ear, whispered a single sentence to him.

Jacopa Amedi started back in amazement, and gazed for a moment as if he had been paralyzed.

“Thou! thou!” he exclaimed, as a grim smile settled upon his features.

The stranger placed his gloved finger upon his lip to advise caution; and Jacopa, warned by the signal, restrained the expressions to which he had been about to give utterance.

“This,” he said, as he took the other’s hand and led him forward, while a gloomy frown supplanted the smile upon his own countenance, “this is as it should be; there is nobility enough in the act to make thee a worthy partaker in our deliberations.”

Saying this, he made a place for him among the rest, and vouched to the company for his right to be present.

The consultation was continued, but Jacopa Amedi ceased to take the lead in it. The stranger, as if by magic, exerted a controlless influence over every one. He spoke, and all listened with breathless attention to his lava-like words. He proposed and his suggestions were adopted without a dissenting voice. He named himself the leader of an enterprise in contemplation, and he was selected by acclamation.

“Who,” he asked, after an hour had been spent in consultation, “is informed of the period when this faithless lord leads his dainty bride to the altar?”

“I have taken care to learn that,” Baptista Amedi replied. “An hour after vespers the priest pronounces the marriage sacrament in the chapel of the palace.”

“Then at vespers,” the stranger said, as he rose from his place, “meet me here again, prepared as we have agreed; till then let us teach ourselves discretion.”



The hour of vespers had passed, and Camilla Donati sat alone with Buondlemonte. She was attired for the altar, and in her bridal robes outrivaled e’en her own loveliness. Yet she was sad with all her beauty, and amidst all the aids to happiness that surrounded her. A cloud shaded her fair brow, and the rosy lips sought in vain to wreath themselves in smiles.

“Thou art grave, dear Camilla!” Buondlemonte said, speaking in a subdued tone; “dost thou repent thy promise to be mine?”

She turned her beautiful eyes, liquid with tenderness and trusting affection, to his, and placed her snowy hand lightly upon his shoulder,

“Dost thou think it?” she asked.

“Forgive me!” he replied; “I only meant to banish thy sad thoughts, and make thee gay.”

“I should be happy,” she said, as his arm stole round her waist, “but yet I cannot feel so. Thy form is ever in my thought, and bliss smiles at thy side, yet when I seek to clasp it in my embrace, a dark phantom interposes, and with a hollow laugh, mocks my baffled purpose. In the air there is a murmuring dirge, and thy voice swells with sepulchral sound. I cannot feel happy,” she said; “an icy coldness settles round my heart.”

“Let love,” he replied, “banish it from thence. Thou shall not yield thy soul up to sickly fancies. ’Tis part of mine, dear Camilla, and must take its hue from the cheerful coloring of its other half. Thy fears for my safety have faded the rose-tint from thy cheeks, but within an hour—when the holy father has performed the sacred rite, and thou art mine own—thou wilt smile at the fantastic thoughts that now make thee look so grave.”

“Would that the rite were over, and safely so!” Camilla fervently whispered, as she turned aside her blushing face.

The wish seemed uttered only to be answered, for at that moment her mother entered the apartment to summon the couple to the chapel.

“The priest is at the altar,” she said, “and the guests await the presence of the bridegroom and his bride.”

Buondlemonte rose, and supporting Camilla on his arm, passed into an adjoining room, where Guiseppo Leoni and the maidens who were to officiate as bridemaids, were assembled.

The wedding-party passed from the palace to the chapel. The lamps were all lighted, and beneath the arched roof a gay crowd was collected. Jewels glittered, rich silks rustled, lofty plumes waved, and happy smiles circulated on every side.

When Camilla and Buondlemonte appeared, the crowd fell back, and opened a passage for them to the altar, where for a moment they stood—the admiration of every beholder—till the ceremony should commence.

The holy man commenced the marriage-service, and propounded to the parties concerned, the questions which the church directs shall be put on such occasions. Those addressed to Camilla were answered in a low, musical voice, while Buondlemonte made his responses boldly and with pride.

The ceremony was over—they were man and wife. A happy smile already diffused itself over the countenance of the bride, and the priest raised his hand to pronounce the benediction; but he spoke not. His attention was arrested by voices elevated in anger, and sounds of rude strife at the entrance of the chapel.

All turned to inquire the cause of this interruption, and as they did so, the huge doors were forced back upon their hinges, and a band of armed men, with weapons bared, rushed up the tesselated aisle toward the altar. At their head was the youthful stranger who had appeared that morning at the Amedi palace. In his hand gleamed a naked poignard; his plumed cap had fallen from his head, and upon his shoulders there fell a luxuriant mass of long, dark hair. His eyes were bloodshot, and his voice sounded hoarse and unnatural as he called upon those who came after, to follow him. Casting with desperate strength all impediments aside, he paused not in his course until he stood fronting Buondlemonte.

The latter had drawn his sword, but Camilla Donati threw herself impulsively before him to shelter his person with her own; the stranger took advantage of the act of devotion, and burying his poignard up to the hilt in Buondlemonte’s body, he exclaimed,

“Die, traitor! even in thy act of treachery!”

The unfortunate young nobleman fell to the ground weltering in his own blood; and Camilla, with a shriek of heart-piercing agony, sank fainting and prostrate upon his body.

The stranger gazed for an instant at the harrowing sight before him, then bent his knee beside Buondlemonte, and said, in a voice which already was touched with remorse,

“Buondlemonte, thou hast grievously wronged Francesca Amedi, and she has been her own avenger!”

The dying noble turned an inquiring glance upon the speaker, and with difficulty recognized the person of Francesca in the habiliments of the stranger.

“Thou art indeed avenged,” he murmured, in a weak voice, as he endeavored to embrace his fainting bride.

“Thou hadst canceled my hopes of happiness,” she said, as she rose to her feet, “and I have put the seal to the act by destroying thine!”

With a solemn step she stalked from the chapel, protected by those who had supported her; while Buondlemonte, after breathing a prayer to Heaven for Camilla’s peace, resigned his soul into the hands of its author.

It would be too melancholy a task to detail the particulars that followed this unhappy bridal. A few words will be sufficient to explain all that is necessary.

Camilla Donati, after many months, recovered from the fearful shock she had received in seeing her lover slain; but this world had ceased to delight her. She entered a convent, and in the course of time became its abbess. Francesca Amedi had accomplished her vengeance, but with its accomplishment she had ensured her own misery. With the vulture, remorse, ever preying upon her heart, she knew but one wish, and that was for death, while she lacked the power to terminate her own existence and solve the problem of eternity. After a vain effort to secure forgetfulness by mingling in society, she, too, retired from the world, and within the walls of the same convent over which Camilla Donati presided, she became a nun.

The death of Buondlemonte added virulence to the wars of the Guelphs and Ghibellines; and many generations passed away before the families of Amedi and Donati became reconciled.





A sunbeam flashed from its azure throne,

O’er the bright and the beautiful earth to roam;

And it left a plume from its glist’ning wings

Where’er it traced its wanderings.


It tipped the bough of an old oak tree

With its joyous ray, and in their glee

A myriad host that were slumb’ring there

Came glancing forth in the morning air.


Then off like a flash it sped away,

And next it touched with a diamond ray

A lofty spire, as it rose upon high,

Till it looked like a star in an azure sky.


Again it flew, and this joyous beam

Flashed o’er the breast of a rippling stream;

And a bridge of trembling light it gave

To the sparkling crests of the dimpled wave.


I mused awhile—and lo! I heard

The joyous song of a bright-winged bird;

It had caught the flash of that morning ray

As it sped to its bower of love away.


And bathed in a flood of golden light

It looked like a rainbow spirit bright,

By an angel hand sent down to unfurl

The banner of peace to a sinful world.


And a thousand voices rose on high,

As its gliding form flew swiftly by;

Each bright and beautiful thing of earth

Awoke to hail its heavenly birth.


Sweet beam, said I, oh! how I’d love,

Like thee, the bright green earth to rove;

To shine o’er the hearts of pale despair

And kindle a glow of rapture there.


Just then, a darkling cloud flew by,

And shadowed the face of the azure sky;

I looked for this beautiful child of the dawn

But its glory had faded, its brightness had gone!


And I thought how much like Life did seem

The fate of this bright yet transient beam;

In glory it rose with the morn’s first breath,

At eve it was shadowed in darkness and death.


Long ago a blue-eyed cherub

      In my arms

Softly lay and sweetly smiled—

Spotless, holy, undefiled—

And my troubled heart beguiled

      With its charms.


Long ago, on angel’s pinion,

      To my breast

Came a gentle, timid dove—

Stole the treasure of my love—

Upward soared, no more to rove

      From its nest.


Long ago my seraph maiden

      Took her flight

From a dreary, darkling world—

She her radiant wings unfurled,

And the heavenly gates of pearl

      Shut my sight.


Long ago the angel reaper

      Cruel sore

Gave my heart its keenest blow,

Made my tears of anguish flow,

Bid me onward weeping go—



Long ago the fair world faded

      In mine eyes,

And I burn to clasp that child.

With a love more fondly wild

Than when first she sweetly smiled

      From the skies.


Long ago one lock I severed

      From her brow,

And that sunny little tress

In its shining loveliness—

To my heart I fondly press

      Ever now.


In my dreams I meet the maiden—

      Passing fair

Far beyond the frost and snow

Doth my lovely flow’ret blow—

And my tears no longer flow

      For her there.

E. H.





Like the contented peasant of the vale,

  Dreams it the world and never looks beyond.


There was an humble village lad

  Who thought the round, revolving world,

Mountains and plains and streams and skies,

Lay in the compass of his eyes.


The symphonies of the leafy woods,

  The melodies of the murmuring brooks,

Mingling—like light, or songs of spheres —

Contented his untutored ears.


Confined between gigantic hills,

  The little hamlet, where he dwell,

Never imagined land more blest

Than that where it had made its nest.


And so our simple village boy,

  With thoughtless urchins like himself,

Chatting with brooks and birds and flowers,

Ran swiftly through his childish hours.


But manhood, like a shadow, rose

  And stood before his growing eyes —

With aspirations, such as start

To being in the ambitious heart.


Somehow—he knew not whence it came —

  The fancy of a nobler world

Than that in which his soul now pined,

Trembled, like moonlight, on his mind.


Habit, however, made his home

  So very dear; he sadly threw

The thought aside, and, turning back,

Pursued his old accustomed track.


Nevertheless, the glowing dream

  Followed his steps with pleading eyes,

Filling his heart, wherever he went,

With unaccustomed discontent.


But one day hunting in the hills

  He saw a chamois mount a peak,

Which seemed—its summit was so high —

To melt and mingle with the sky.


Urged by the instinct of the chase,

  He slowly crept from crag to crag

Until he reached the dizzy height

Where last the chamois met his sight.


Before him, in the morning sun,

  Stretching away from sky to sky,

Brighter than even his soul had dreamed.

His other world before him gleamed.


Behind him lay the little vale

  Where he had spent his youthful hours;

There was the cottage where he dwelt —

The shrine at which he always knelt.


And over-shadowing the brook,

  He saw the weeping-willow stand,

Where, but the night before, he met

His loving, lovely young Florette.


But fairer than his maiden love,

  And lovelier than his native glen,

Inviting him with novel charms,

His fairy world held out its arms.


The Old yields always to the New,

  And so the youth with just such steps

As one would run to meet a bride,

Ran lightly down the mountain side.


Day after day, year after year,

  He wandered in his golden world:

A shadow-hunter he became: —

The Shadow which he sought was Fame.


But Age, who walks on velvet feet,

  Followed his footsteps like a wolf,

And when the fame he sought was won,

He only saw the setting sun.


Cold as his native granite rocks,

  And hard, had grown the wanderer’s heart:

For many weary, desolate years

His eyes had lost the power of tears.


The name his genius had acquired,

  The wealth which Fortune had bestowed,

Instead of pleasure gave him pain:

Sadness was in his heart and brain.


The great are friendless: he was great:

  His very fortune hedged him round

And shut him from the love of all;

He could not leap the lofty wall.


But somehow, like an angel’s tear,

  The memory of his early home

Fell on his heart: he saw the glen

He loved so in his youth again.


A wan and worn and wrinkled man

  He stood upon his native hills:

There was each old familiar spot;

There stood his silent shepherd cot.


Downward with trembling, painful steps

  The wanderer took his lonely way:

Like one who wakens from a dream

He stood beside the mournful stream.


Above him, in a green old age,

  He saw a weeping-willow trail

Its murmuring leaves; and at its foot

A single rose had taken root.


It grew upon a grassy mound,

  At head of which a rustic cross

Pointed to heaven;—there last he met —

There last he clasped the fair Florette.


The old man’s eyes were full of tears,

  As, like a penitent child, he knelt

And sobbed and prayed in pale despair:

Next day a maiden found him there.


The hillock where reposed his form

  Was circled by his feeble arms:

Pale, pitying Death his seal had set

On love, and laid him with Florette.






Je m’oublie,

Tu t’oublies,

Il ou elle s’oublis, etc.

Verb S’oublier.

Why were you not at Elliot’s last night, Mrs. Fortesque?” asked Mrs. Lyman.

“We do not visit,” replied Mrs. Fortesque, with a slight shade of mortification.

“Not visit!” repeated her friend in an accent of surprise, and fixing her eyes as she spoke with a prolonged look of astonishment that caused Mrs. Fortesque to color. “Is it possible! It was an elegant party—very select—the handsomest I have been at this winter. Indeed, the party of the season.”

“It could scarcely surpass Rawley’s,” said Mrs. Fortesque with smothered indignation. “I am sure there was nothing spared there, and their house is larger than Elliot’s.”

“Yes. But it was such a jam at Rawley’s,” replied Mrs. Lyman, in the tone of one oppressed even by the recollection of the crowd—“and such a mêlée—all sorts of people! This paying off debts in this way is, in my opinion, very vulgar. Now at Elliot’s it was so different. Just every body you would wish to meet and no more. Room to see and be seen—and the ladies so beautifully dressed—no crowd—every thing elegant and recherché.”

“The dressing at Rawley’s was as elegant as possible,” remarked Mrs. Fortesque, evidently piqued that the party she had just been describing to Miss Appleton with no small degree of complacency as so fashionable, should now be spoken of as a mêlée.

“Did you think so?” said Mrs. Lyman, with affected surprise. “It was very inferior to that of last night. Indeed in such a crowd there’s no inducement to wear any thing handsome; but last night the ladies really came out. I never saw such dressing—and the supper was exquisite.”

“It seems to me that all suppers are alike,” said one of the Miss Appletons, with true girlish ignorance.

“Oh, my dear!” exclaimed both ladies in a breath.

“The difference between such a supper as we had at Elliot’s and such a one as at Rawley’s,” continued Mrs. Lyman, “is immense. The exquisite china, the plate, and then the natural flowers! Such a supper as you can only have at a select party.”

Mrs. Fortesque looked very angry. The Rawleys were rather her grand people, and as she had not been at Elliot’s she did not like this being set down in the crowd of “any bodies” invited.

“I am fairly tired out,” pursued Mrs. Lyman languidly, “with this succession of parties. I do wish people would be quiet for a little while and let one rest. The girls too are quite jaded and fagged with this dancing night after night.”

“Oh, it’s too much,” said Emma Appleton. “I never go more than two or three times a week. I wonder you do,” turning to Miss Lyman.

“How can you help it, my dear?” said Mrs. Lyman, in the tone of one bewailing a great hardship. “You give such offence if you decline.”

“I decline whenever it suits me,” replied Miss Appleton, “and people bear the disappointment very philosophically,” she added, smiling.

“You may well say that, Emma,” said Mrs. Fortesque, with an emphasis meant at Mrs. Lyman. “Society is so large now that I at least never find offence is taken when I decline.”

“But you cannot refuse a first invitation,” pursued Mrs. Lyman. “Now the Elliots for instance. They have just called upon us, we could not decline. Are you going to Hammersley’s to-morrow, Emma?”

“No,” said Emma, “we are not invited. Are you?”

“Yes; it’s a small party. We shall go there first and afterwards to Lascelles’.”

“I saw you all at the opera on Monday,” remarked Emma.

“Yes, we were there the first two acts—we went from there to Shaw’s. By the way, did you call upon the bride yesterday?”

“No,” replied Emma. “I have never visited the Halseys.”

“But as Hamilton’s friends,” pursued Mrs. Lyman, “I called on his account.”

“No,” said Emma carelessly, “I hate bridal receptions and avoid them whenever I possibly can.” Mrs. Lyman had risen while she was speaking, and she said, “Oh don’t go! Why are you in such a hurry?”

“I must, my dear,” replied Mrs. Lyman. “The Armstrongs and Ringolds receive to-day, and then I must call at Meredith’s. We have not been there since the party. And Cadwaladers too, Mary,” she said, turning to her daughter, “don’t forget them. We have been owing that visit so long—and the Harrisons, and I don’t know how many,” she continued, as if quite oppressed with the weight of fashionable cares. “I don’t suppose we shall get through with the half of them. Come Mary,” and so bidding Emma and her friends good morning, she withdrew.

The door had hardly closed upon her, when Mrs. Fortesque, still wrathy at the manner in which Mrs. Lyman had spoken of Rawleys, and angrier still at finding she was going to Hammersley’s, vented some of her indignation exclaiming —

“How that woman does work for society!”

“One would think she had been at court to hear her talk of Elliots,” said Emma laughing.

“Just so, Emma,” said Mrs. Fortesque, in a tone of bitter satisfaction at the young lady’s laughing satire. “It’s too absurd! And as to saying the Elliots called first, I don’t believe it. They, strangers here, and people of their fortune, are not likely to go about making first calls.”

“What’s that?” said Charlotte Appleton, who had been engrossed in conversation with a gentleman on the opposite side of the room. “What’s that about the Elliots making first calls.”

“I was saying it was rather remarkable that they should have called first on Mrs. Lyman,” replied Mrs. Fortesque.

“They did not,” exclaimed Charlotte. “Of course, as strangers, you know, Mrs. Fortesque, they would not, and I know the Lymans called upon them some time ago.”

“Are you sure of that, Charlotte?” asked Mrs. Fortesque, with the triumphant manner of one securing an important fact.

“Certainly,” replied Charlotte, “for she asked mamma and myself to call and introduce her, but we were engaged that morning, and she said it was no matter, she would leave her card and be introduced the first time they met.”

“I thought so!” said Mrs. Fortesque exultingly, “It’s just like her!”

“There’s no reason why she should not have called, Mrs. Fortesque,” said Emma.

But Mrs. Fortesque did not look assenting at this; she only said, however —

“Perhaps so. But I don’t like calling on these people for their parties—for it amounts to that, when you can’t return them.”

“But, my dear Mrs. Fortesque,” said Emma, “then only the rich would know the rich. And there are a great many charming people in society who cannot afford to entertain, and who the Elliots and others are delighted to have.”

“Oh, my dear,” returned the lady with much excitement of manner, “that’s all very well when you have happened to know them; but I would not go out of my way to make their acquaintance. There’s nobody of any consequence in society, or who entertains, that Mrs. Lyman does not make it a point of knowing. Now, her calling on the bride yesterday as one of Hamilton’s friends. Why, she knows Hamilton just as you and I and half the town do—a slight bowing acquaintance—but now he is marrying a rich fashionable girl, she finds out that it is incumbent on her as ‘one of his friends’ to call on his bride! So absurd! And she wont effect her object by this sort of thing either,” she added spitefully. “The young men are tired of seeing those two ugly girls of hers at every place they go.”

“Oh, Mrs. Fortesque!” said Emma expostulatingly, yet half laughing.

“Of course, my dear,” returned Mrs. Fortesque warmly. “Every body sees that, and she’ll fail.”

“Well, if that is the object—” said Emma.

“And it is,” persisted Mrs. Fortesque decidedly.

“I don’t agree with you in thinking she’ll fail,” continued Emma, without noticing the interruption. “I think the Lymans are nice girls and generally liked.”

“No beauties, you’ll admit,” said Mrs. Fortesque, scornfully.

“No, not beauties,” replied Emma, “but they get on quite as well as if they were. Besides, really Mrs. Fortesque, to do Mrs. Lyman justice, I never saw any thing about her like a match-making mother.”

“Oh, my dear!” ejaculated Mrs. Fortesque. “She is very anxious to marry them off. And well she may be. The other two are growing up as fast as they can. I only think she is taking the wrong course. And then such a labor as she makes of it! She’s somewhere every night.”

“Oh yes. Sometimes at two parties beside the opera,” said Charlotte. “There’s no pleasure in society at such a rate. They have an idea that it is tonish I believe.”

“Too absurd!” repeated Mrs. Fortesque, who had evidently not yet discharged all her wrath. But being obliged to make other calls she rose, and as Lady Teazle says, “left her character behind her,” for she was not fairly out of the room before Emma laughed and said —

“Poor Mrs. Fortesque! She cannot get over the Lymans getting on so well in society. To be sure they do push for it, but they get it. And their being at Elliot’s where she was not invited and does not visit, seems to have capped the climax of her vexation.”

“And to speak slightingly of Rawleys’ party,” said Charlotte. “That really was unkind in Mrs. Lyman, for she knows how much Mrs. Fortesque thinks of the Rawleys.”

“That was the reason of course,” replied Emma laughing. “She knows the Rawleys are Mrs. Fortesque’s grandees. For there’s no one that thinks so much of fine people as Mrs. Fortesque.”

“No. How droll it is,” said Charlotte. “Every invitation is taken as such a compliment, and every omission as a particular slight.”

“That struck me very much,” remarked Mrs. Henry Willing who happened to be present, but who had not joined much in the conversation hitherto, “for I have always looked upon Mrs. Fortesque as a person who rather pinned her faith upon fashionable people, and who rated her acquaintance very much according to their consequence in society.”

“Oh she does, decidedly,” said both the girls in a breath.

“It’s that,” continued Emma, “that makes her so angry with Mrs. Lyman. They are intimate, and Mrs. Lyman is always ahead of her in making fine acquaintances, and in getting invited to parties that are rather exclusive. Now you will see that Mrs. Fortesque does not rest until she visits and is invited at Elliot’s too.”

“But I think she is really unjust, Emma,” said Charlotte, “in saying her object is to get the girls married.”

“To be sure she is,” replied Emma. “But the fact is, her own head is so full of anxiety on the subject of marrying Cornelia, that she thinks every other mother’s head must be the same.”

“The Lymans are no beauties,” said Charlotte, “but they are quite as handsome as Cornelia Fortesque.”

“And a great deal pleasanter,” replied Emma. “They have something at least, but poor Cornelia has nothing.”

As the Appletons were “at home” that morning, the conversation was here interrupted by other visiters.

Elliot’s party was again the theme under discussion, the display of wealth and beauty on the occasion giving rise to much animated remark.

“One of the most striking persons there was your friend Mrs. Norton, Miss Appleton,” said Mrs. Henry Willing.

“I never saw her look more beautiful,” remarked another.

“Nor more beautifully dressed,” said Mrs. Willing quietly, but with meaning.

Emma colored at this, for she felt the innuendo. Mr. Norton had failed not very long since, and the extravagance of his pretty wife had not escaped its due portion at least of animadversion.

“What was it?” asked Emma.

“A very rich blue silk, with flounces of superb lace almost to the hips,” replied Mrs. Willing in a tone that conveyed as much reprehension as tones could convey.

“Oh, that’s the same lace she has worn these three years,” said Emma, vexed that her pretty friend could not even wear her old things without exciting unkind remarks.

“It does not look well, Emma,” remarked Mrs. Grayson. “Though it is not new, it is expensive, and not in keeping with their present circumstances, it’s in bad taste.”

Emma looked disconcerted, and said she thought that a matter of very little importance when every body knew the lace almost as well as they did Mrs. Norton herself.

Mrs. Willing however did not think so. “Every body knew the expense attendant on society, and she thought it altogether indiscreet in Mrs. Norton to be out as constantly as she was. It excited much remark.”

Whereupon an animated discussion ensued in which poor Mrs. Norton was well pulled to pieces. Emma however defended her bravely, though driven from point to point. That she was very expensive, if not extravagant, seemed however to be settled beyond dispute, and Mrs. Willing was not inclined to make any allowance for her youth and inexperience, nor permit her grace and beauty any weight at all in extenuating her imprudence. Emma was for overlooking every thing, Mrs. Willing nothing, and the discussion was certainly as warm as is ever deemed allowable among ladies, when Mrs. Willing rose to leave. No one remaining, fortunately for Emma, but Mrs. Grayson, with whom the Appletons were very intimate, and so she gave unrestrained vent to her indignation almost before Mrs. Willing was out of hearing.

“She is a pretty one!” she exclaimed, “to find fault with Mrs. Norton! She is just as expensive as her means will allow, without Mrs. Norton’s excuse of youth and beauty.”

“But, my dear,” interposed Mrs. Grayson, “her husband has not failed.”

“No,” said Emma, “for he is not a merchant. But every body knows their circumstances. He’s over head and ears in debt, and yet they entertain and give dinners, and she’s forever at the opera. But because she’s not a beauty and does not care particularly for dress, she is very virtuous about poor Mrs. Norton.”

“Very true,” said Mrs. Grayson laughing. “I could not but be amused while she was talking to think how much that she was saying would apply equally well to herself. But people never think of that when they are laying down the law for others. But have you heard this story, girls, about Mrs. Crawford?”

“No. What?” they both asked.

And then followed a piece of scandal that had just burst upon the town, too naughty to repeat.

“Shocking!” and “Can it be true?” they exclaimed.

“No doubt of it,” returned Mrs. Grayson. “No one will visit her,” and with much interest she continued to add circumstance and suspicion one on top of the other without mercy or stint.

All minor gossip was forgotten in the engrossing interest of the new subject. Mrs. Grayson talked on till the French clock on the mantel-piece struck the dinner hour, when starting up, she exclaimed —

“So late! Is it possible? You’ve been so agreeable girls I had quite forgotten the hour, and my husband is waiting for me, I suppose,” and off she hurried.

“She has had all the talk,” said Emma, “and that’s what she calls finding us agreeable. But this story is very bad, if it is true.”

“Yes, but I don’t believe half of it,” said Charlotte. “Mrs. Grayson you know always puts the worst construction upon every thing. She is so very harsh in her judgments.”

“And she of all others should have mercy upon those in trouble,” observed Mrs. Appleton, who had just then came into the room. “But what were you talking of girls?”

And with great animation they related Mrs. Grayson’s bit of gossip to their mother.

“Strange!” said Mrs. Appleton, “that Mrs. Grayson should be the first to tell it.”

“Why, mamma?” asked both daughters at once.

“Because just such an affair occurred in her own family.”

“In hers! When?” exclaimed they in astonishment. “I never heard that before!”

“Oh, years ago—you can hardly remember it. Indeed it was just after I was married.”

“Then,” said Charlotte laughing, “it’s not surprising we do not remember the circumstance.”

“I had forgotten it was so long ago,” said their mother. “It made a great talk at the time.” And then scandal that had been buried for years and years was revived and listened to with no small interest.

“Strange!” said Emma, “that Mrs. Grayson should talk of Mrs. Crawford.”

“I should think she would avoid all such stories as carefully as possible,” said Charlotte.

“I suppose she thought we knew nothing about it,” pursued Emma.

“But if we did not, she must,” replied Charlotte. “People cannot forget such things themselves.”

“Mrs. Grayson has gone through severe trials and mortifications in life,” observed their mother.

“Then it ought to give her some charity for others,” said Charlotte. “But she is the hardest woman I know.”

“It appears to me that’s always the case,” said Emma. “One would think that suffering would soften and purify—but it does not.”

“Not that kind of suffering,” remarked their mother. “That which comes of mortification, and which we experience at the hands of our fellow men, there are few natures fine enough not to grow hard under it.”

Emma heard her mother afterward in a low voice telling their father the story she had just heard from her daughters, and giving Mrs. Grayson as authority.

“The less she says about it the better,” drily remarked Mr. Appleton.

“You remember, my dear,” continued his wife, “that affair of her sister.”

“To be sure,” he replied. “A bad business. I always wondered how they got over it.”

And then Mr. and Mrs. Appleton had a long, comfortable, cosy talk, in which things long past and forgotten were brought to life, as the old couple warmed up in their reminiscences of “old times.” Emma soon tired, and gave up trying to keep the thread of grandmothers and great-aunts, particularly as her father and mother frequently confounded the present with the past generation, and she found that the “young Tom Somebody,” that they were talking of, was now the “old Tom,” of present times; the “young Tom” being a middle-aged man, with a Tom junior treading fast on his heels.

Charlotte and Emma were now talking over their morning visiters, and Emma again spoke with some warmth of Mrs. Willing’s remarks on Mrs. Norton, who happened to be Emma’s particular admiration, her extravagance being, in her opinion, “very natural.”

“I can conceive,” she added, “of people’s

‘Compounding sins they are inclined for,

 By damning those they have no mind for,’

but to abuse people for doing what you are doing yourself, is rather too much.”

“It’s the old principle, I suppose,” said Charlotte, “of ‘Lord, I thank thee that I am not as other men.’ ”

“Yes, but,” persisted Charlotte, “when you are like as other men.”

“Well, then—not so bad, then,” said Charlotte, laughing—“Mrs. Willing takes comfort in thinking she is only expensive, while Mrs. Norton is extravagant. Every body has their besetting sin it seems.”

“I wonder what ours is,” said Emma.

“If we have one,” said Charlotte, laughing. “For my part, I think we approach perfection as near as possible—‘Sans peur et sans reproche.’ ”

Sans peur, certainly,” said Emma, in the same tone of playful mockery, “if not sans reproche. Well, but what do we abuse others most for?” she added. “For, depend upon it, that’s the particular weakness we are given to ourselves.”

“What do we most criticise others for?” said Charlotte. “Why, for abusing others, I think. And we are called satirical, you know. ‘People in glass houses should not throw stones.’ ”

“No,” said Emma carelessly. “That is, if they care about having their windows broken.”

“Nobody likes to have their windows broken,” said Mrs. Appleton gravely, who, just entering, caught the last part of the sentence, which she took literally, with a true housekeeper’s feeling.

“That’s true, mother,” said the girls, laughing at the odd application of her remark. “It’s very true, though you did not mean it.”

But whether they remembered these sage reflections and kept them the next “reception morning,” we think very doubtful.





The sky, the ever-changing sky,

How broadly spans that arch on high!

How calmly in the morning’s light

Blends its rich hues so purely bright,

And lit by golden sunbeams now

In glory bends its azure brow.


The sky, the sky, serenely bright,

No cloud sits on thy bosom’s light,

No fleecy folds beneath the eye

Of the sun’s light are glancing by,

Nor gath’ring clouds of misty spray

Play round the sun’s imperial way.


And with a look of light and love

That azure sea bends far above,

Its glories to the day unfurled

Are resting o’er our circling world,

And lit by many a brilliant star

At night that archway beams afar.


And on its breast so pure and high

The burning paths of planets lie,

Planets which ’neath its folds had birth

When worlds on worlds first smiled o’er earth,

And northern-lights and comets play,

And meteors gleam, then die away.


And oft that bending sky doth wear

A look of deep and troubled care.

When sunbeams by deep clouds are hid,

The gath’ring tempests frowning lid,

And thunders burst, and lightnings play,

And storms sweep o’er the trav’lers way.


And on the broad and rolling deep

Each mariner doth turn and keep

An anxious vigil of the sky,

When threat’ning clouds and storms are nigh,

And tempests round them fierce are driven,

Or rainbows span the arch of heaven.


The sky, the sky, now clear, now bright,

Now wreathed with folds of snowy white,

Now tinged with amber hues, whose glow

Is borrowed from the sunbeams flow,

Then on its ever-changing breast

Beam roseate streakings in the west.


And oft upon the sky I gaze

As in my childhood’s early days,

And watch at every morn and night

Its fading or increasing light,

And trace with love each cloud and star,

Which floats above, or beams afar.


The sky, the sky, it bendeth o’er

The weary exile, who no more

Can greet his home, or feel the breeze

Play through his native forest trees,

Or watch upon his home’s clear stream

The moon’s pale rays reflected beam.


And the bright sky o’er all that’s here

Unto the exile’s heart is dear;

In it he sees each beaming star

Which shone above his home afar,

And knows a power of deathless love

Spread out that azure sea above.


And over all things here below

It bendeth with a radiant glow;

On peasant’s cot—on lordly hall—

Alike its sun and shadows fall,

And gems which gild its brow at even

Shine forth for all beneath the heaven.


And from its firm unwav’ring height,

Its never-failing day and night,

The fadeless glory of its sun—

Its tireless stars, when day is done,

May all, as tow’rd that sky they turn,

A lesson of deep import learn.





The Scorpion’s stars crawl down behind the sun,

  And when he drops below the verge of day,

The glittering fangs, their fervid courses run,

  Cling to his skirts and follow him away.

Then, ere the heels of flying Capricorn

  Have touched the western mountain’s fading rim,

I mark, stern Taurus, through the twilight gray

        The glinting of thy horn,

  And sullen front uprising large and dim,

Bent to the starry hunter’s sword, at bay.


Thy hoofs, unwilling, climb the sphery vault;

  Thy red eye trembles with an angry glare,

When the hounds follow, and in fierce assault

  Bay through the fringes of the lion’s hair.

The stars that once were mortal in their love,

  And by their love are made immortal now,

Cluster like golden bees upon thy mane,

        When thou, possessed with Jove,

  Bore sweet Europe’s garlands on thy brow

And stole her from the green Sicilian plain.


Type of the stubborn force that will not bend

  To loftier art;—soul of defiant breath

That blindly stands and battles to the end,

  Nerving resistance with the throes of death —

Majestic Taurus! when thy wrathful eye

  Flamed brightest, and thy hoofs a moment stayed

Their march at Night’s meridian, I was born:

        But in the western sky,

  Like sweet Europa, Love’s fair star delayed,

To hang her garland on thy silver horn.


Thou giv’st that temper of enduring mould,

  That slights the wayward bent of Destiny —

Such as sent forth the shaggy Jarls of old

  To launch their dragons on the unknown sea:

Such as kept strong the sinews of the sword,

  The proud, hot blood of battle—welcome made

The headsman’s axe, the rack, the martyr-fire,

        The ignominious cord,

  When but to yield, had pomps and honors laid

On heads that moulder in ignoble mire.


Night is the summer when the soul grows ripe

  With Life’s full harvest: of her myriad suns,

Thou dost not gild the quiet herdsman’s pipe,

  Nor royal state, that royal action shuns,

But in the noontide of thy ruddy stars

  Thrive strength, and daring, and the blood whence springs

The Heraclidean seed of heroes: then

        Were sundered Gaza’s bars;

  Then, ’mid the smitten Hydra’s loosened rings,

His slayer rested, in the Lernean fen.


Thou sway’st the heart’s red tides, until they bear

  The kindled spirit on their mounting wave,

Up to the notch of Glory; in thy glare

  Age thaws his ice, and thrills beside the grave.

Not Bacchus, by his span of panthers borne,

  And flushed with triumph of the purple vine,

Can give his sons so fierce a joy as thou,

        When, filled with pride and scorn,

  Thou mak’st relentless anger seem divine,

And all Jove’s terror clothes a mortal brow.


Thine is the subtle element that turns

  To fearless act the impulse of the hour —

The secret fire, whose flash electric burns

  To every source of passion and of power.

Therefore I hail thee, on thy glittering track:

  Therefore I watch thee, when the night grows dark,

Slow rising, front Orion’s sword along

        The starry zodiac,

  And from thy mystic beam demand a spark

To warm my soul with more heroic song.






(Concluded from page 112.)


Ellison was no longer, either in sentiment or purpose, an artist. His whole character had undergone a sudden, though temporary change. He reveled no more in Italian dreams. Beautiful creations arose not, in imagination, under his pencil. The ideal of his life had taken a new form. His end was no longer perfection in the Art at whose shrine genius had made him a worshiper. He had turned to another god; and bowed his knee on the threshold of the house of Mammon. What splendid castles arose in the air all around him! He saw his land cleared of its trees a century old; and fields of grain brightening in the sunshine and waving in the breeze, where now the light could scarcely penetrate the gloomy forest. In the centre of his estate a site was selected for a splendid dwelling, and he saw it rising up before him as if by the touch of enchantment.

But for no very long time was this vain dream to be indulged. An overseer, to give practical attention to the cutting of logs in the woods, two miles away from his mill; to look after their transportation to the place where they were to be manufactured into boards, and to have a general supervision of every thing connected with the business, could not be had for less than five hundred dollars a year. Besides this individual, an engineer to run the mill, hands to attend it, and wood-cutters and teamsters, were all to be employed. Six yoke of oxen had also to be purchased; and the expense of feeding them was something of an item in itself. The whole weekly cost of this force, independent entirely of his personal expenses, was about fifty dollars. A month passed, and, though a dozen trials had been made to start the mill, the gearing and machinery were found so defective that they would not work. All hands but the overseer and engineer were then discharged, and millwrights employed to half build the mill over again. They kept at work nearly three months, by which time Ellison’s cash being nearly all expended, he was beginning to be in no very enviable state of mind. A good many things had occurred, in the meantime, to cause more than a doubt as to the success of his scheme to cross his mind. His overseer was a practical man, and able to apply tests to the whole business unknown to Ellison.

One day, it was nearly five months from the time the mill came into the young man’s possession, and after some part of the new gearing had given way in an attempt to get it started, the overseer said to him —

“I’m afraid you will find this a losing business, manage it as you please. It’s my opinion that it will cost you more to cut the timber, haul it to the mill and saw it up, than the lumber will bring after it is produced.”

And then he exhibited to Ellison a series of estimates and calculations based upon things actually done, which fully proved all he said.

“Had the mill been erected on your land, you might have saved yourself. But, to cut the timber, and then haul it two miles, makes the cost of each log so great as to throw profit entirely out of the question. I think, sir, that you had better sell your mill, if you can find a purchaser.”

Ellison was confounded. The demonstration made by his overseer was so accurate that there was no possibility of gainsaying it. To go on, even if he had the money with which to proceed, would, he saw, be only an act of folly. He, therefore, after debating the matter for some days, saw that there was no way left for him but to discharge all in his employment, and sell the mill if a purchaser could be found. The sale he did not find a matter of easy accomplishment. He advertised it far and near, but only a few came to look at it, and they were not long in making up their minds that the road to fortune did not lie in that direction. In the meantime, the first note of one thousand dollars given to Claxton fell due, and was permitted to lie over. Ellison had not fifty dollars in cash left of the five thousand obtained from the sale of stocks, and how could he lift a note of a thousand. He wrote to Claxton, upbraiding him as the willful instrument of his loss—as having made him the scape-goat to bear the burden of his own folly and miscalculation. To this he received a brief answer from Claxton’s brother, who said that the notes were now his property, and that he would wait until the three were matured, when, in case they were not all paid, he would foreclose the mortgage in his possession and sell his land.

Unhappy young man! He was almost beside himself with anguish of mind. His castles in the air had all dissolved in storm-clouds. His confident pride in his own energy and ability to wrest a fortune from the elements around him was all gone. In the effort to make peace with his own mind—to secure his independence—by suddenly duplicating the value of the property obtained by his wife, he had lost nearly the whole of it in less than a year. His folly was the town talk. Not a man in D——, with whom he had conversed during the progress of his money-losing scheme, gave him a word of encouragement. Every one said that his expectations would prove fallacious; and now that all had occurred as predicted, the only sympathy he received was the pride-crushing remark that it had turned out as every one knew it would.

The letter from Claxton’s brother awoke Ellison to a keener sense of the difficulty by which he was surrounded than he had yet experienced. There was no hope of selling his mill. It had already cost him about four thousand dollars, and three thousand were yet due. There was no escape from the payment of this last sum, as it was fully secured by a mortgage upon his land.

While in this sad dilemma, so distressed in mind that he often walked the floor for half the night, the owner of the other mill, which had been kept steadily at work, offered him two thousand dollars for the whole concern, which had cost him seven thousand. This offer he accepted without a moment’s hesitation. It was the severing of one fold of the horrible serpent that had entwined itself around him, and whose contractions were almost crushing out his life. The next step was to offer the four hundred acres of land for sale. It so happened that there were three large property-holders in D——, each of whom had particular reasons for wanting the tract of land. From this cause a better sale than even Ellison anticipated, was made. Twenty dollars per acre was realized, or eight thousand dollars for the whole tract.

Three thousand dollars canceled the debt to Claxton. About five hundred more went to pay various bills and accounts that were brought in as soon as it was known that Ellison was closing up his business. Of some of these the young man had no kind of recollection; but he paid them. After all was settled, only about six thousand five hundred dollars of the entire property which Ellison had received by his wife remained. In other words, in a little over a year, he had lost one half of it. During the progress of these disasters, Clara, who had never approved of what her husband was doing, avoided saying a word that he could construe into disapproval or disappointment. Still she felt troubled, and could not always keep her brow free from shadows. Whenever they were seen by Ellison, he felt them as smarting rebukes; and his quick fancy gave them a language which they did not really convey.

About two months prior to the closing up of Ellison’s disastrous business in D——, Clara presented her husband with a daughter. The birth of this child was not so glad an event to the father as it would have been a flew months earlier, when, waking or sleeping, his mind was full of golden dreams. From the effects of her illness Clara recovered but slowly. A change in her bodily feelings produced a change in her thoughts, which turned toward her old home and her old friends. From a small beginning the wish to go back grew into an intense desire. She had never been really happy since coming to the West; and now every thing she saw around her but increased her dissatisfied feelings. But as far as it was in her power to do so, all this was concealed from her husband.

One day, it was when Ellison was about making his closing transactions in D——, he spoke of their removal from that city, and mentioned Cincinnati.

“Why not go back to Philadelphia?” said Clara, with an eagerness that showed how much her heart was in her words. She spoke from an impulse, and therefore with a fuller exhibition of her real feelings than would otherwise have been the case.

“I’d rather hang myself!” was the equally impulsive and much less guarded answer of Ellison.

The effect of this rude, in fact, unfeeling reply, was a gush of tears, that flowed long and silently. The heart of Ellison smote him for the unkindly spoken words. But they had found an utterance, and he felt that an attempt to recall them would be of no use.

For the space of full half an hour the unhappy young man, and his equally unhappy wife, sat silent and almost motionless, yet their thoughts were busy all the while. What passed in the mind of Ellison will hereafter appear.

“We will go back, Clara,” he at length said, breaking the oppressive stillness of the apartment in which they sat, and speaking in a voice of affectionate sympathy. “Forgive me that I thought too much of myself. I know it must be a hard trial for you—this separation from all your early associations and most cherished friends. I hoped to make this visit to the West one of prosperity to us both. But I have erred, and a heart-crushing disaster has been the result. I will atone for this error in the future as best I can.”

“Alfred! Alfred! do not speak so,” said Clara, lifting her eyes from the floor. Tears were again upon her cheeks. “All has been done for the best. Do not think of the past. Do not reproach yourself. We have still something left, and it is enough, and more than enough, to sustain us until your own professional efforts meet with their deserved reward. Let us go to Cincinnati, or any where else that you may think best.”

“No, Clara, we will return to Philadelphia, and that immediately. You cannot be happy among strangers who feel for you no sympathy.”

“I can be happy any where with you, Alfred,” replied the young wife, leaning toward her husband and looking tenderly in his face.

“But happier in the old place. We will go back, Clara.”

“Forgive my weakness, wont you, dear?” said Clara, half imploringly. “It was only a weakness, and it is past now. No, no! we will not return. That would be painful to you; and I would not be the cause of your feeling a moment’s pain for the world. I can be happy any where with you and our precious babe.”

But Ellison’s resolution had been taken. Back to Philadelphia he would go, and no where else. Perceiving how firm he was in this, Clara soon ceased to oppose her husband. In about two weeks they left D——, and in a few days afterward were in Philadelphia.



There was a change in Ellison. Clara perceived it from the moment he avowed his intention to return to the East. Its meaning she could not tell. For some time before, a certain coldness, or more properly speaking, a reserve, had appeared in his manner toward her. Slight causes, too, had been productive of disturbance. But now he was more tender in his intercourse with her than he had ever been, and seemed to have scarcely a thought that did not involve her comfort and happiness. His affection for their babe appeared every moment to increase. Clara would often find him looking at it with a tenderness of expression that was almost tearful.

On arriving in Philadelphia, Ellison avoided all the relatives of his wife. He neither received nor returned the visit of any one of them. Contrary to the expectation of Clara, he did not take a room for professional use, nor did he say any thing about resuming his work as an artist. Immediately on his return, he purchased stocks to the value of five thousand five hundred dollars, the certificates for which, with four hundred dollars in money, he placed in her hands, saying, as he did so,

“I have kept five hundred dollars for a particular purpose.”

For about a week he remained nearly the whole time in the house, yet exhibiting many evidences of a disturbed and active mind.

One morning, after kissing his wife and the babe that lay in her arms, with visible emotion, he went away. Contrary to what had been his custom since their return, he did not come back during the forenoon, and was absent at dinner-time. A feeling of uneasiness—a vague dread of some impending evil—had weighed upon the mind of Clara ever since he had gone out, and this now changed into anxiety not unmingled with alarm. Slowly the afternoon wore away and night came sadly down. As long as she could see the forms of passengers in the street, Clara stood at the window, waiting and watching for her husband. Then she sat listening for the sound of his entrance below, starting and hearkening more intently, as one after another opened and shut the door. But supper-time came, and he was still away. All night he remained absent. Oh, what a night that was for Clara! Sleep visited her not until day-dawn, and then it came with frightful visions that broke the rest so much needed almost as soon as sweet oblivion had come upon her senses. Early in the day a letter was placed in her hands. She knew the writing to be that of her husband. Breaking the seal, she read,

“My Dear Clara,—I leave you for a time. How long the time will be, Heaven only knows! What it has cost me to break away from you and our sweet babe, no one but myself will ever know. I meant all for the best; it was to increase your property—not with a reckless indifference as to consequences—that I made that ruinous adventure in the West. The failure almost broke my heart. But I will retrieve the loss. I vowed to do so when the disaster came; and I mean to fulfill that vow, if it cost me the labor of a whole life. Happily, enough is left to keep you and our babe from want. Bear my absence, if you can, without repining. Do not think my affection for you has grown cold; it has but increased in fervor since our marriage, and absence will make it the more intense. Ah, me! How do our errors, like seed cast into the ground, reproduce themselves a hundred fold! I erred at first, and error has since followed me like a shadow. May Heaven keep you, my dear wife, until my return. It is best for me to go away. To be happy under present circumstances, is impossible. I am crushed to the earth, and if I remain here, will lie powerless. It may be a weakness in me to feel as I do; but I did not make myself, and cannot help it. Oh! how often have I wished that you had been without a dollar and without a friend. How tenderly would I have cherished you! How light would the hardest labor have been, if it but produced flowers in your pathway! Let me make a confession. It is wrung from me almost in tears. But we may never meet again, and I would not have you misunderstand me, nor feel a doubt, when you think of me, overshadowing your mind. I loved my art with a passion that few can understand. But I was poor, and had to work in my profession for bread, when I longed to go only in pursuit of the beautiful, and to labor for the attainment of what was excellent in the profession I had chosen. How blessed would I have been with a competence! A few hundred a year would have filled the measure of my desires. Bread and water would have sufficed for my natural wants, could I have breathed under an Italian sky, and lived among the wonderful creations of those master-spirits who have made our art immortal. It was thus with me, when, in an evil hour, a friend suggested a marriage in which money should be the first consideration. I threw the suggestion aside with a feeling of indignation. He re-presented it, drawing at the same time a picture upon which I could not look without a quickening pulse. I in Italy, and a loving wife by my side, sketching and painting amid the perfect works of art that fill the galleries of every city in that beautiful land. I looked at the picture, and my heart stirred within me. Then you were mentioned; but I rejected the thought of any end in marriage lower than affection for the person, abstract from all other considerations. But every time I looked upon you after this came the dream of Italy; I saw myself there, and you by my side. It was in this soil that the seeds of affection were sown; here they took root, and here they grew. I could not help loving you; but I loved you not, at first, all for yourself. There was something beyond. You had the means by which I could attain to a desired end—but I never thought of attaining it as a consummation to be enjoyed alone; it was to be shared with you. In this blindness I sought your hand; in this blindness we were married, at a time when my income was scarcely sufficient to meet my own light expenses. I had, with a feeling that was little less than an insanity, depended for the future on the property you were said to possess. But, after marriage, how like the leaf of a sensitive plant from the approach of an intruder, did my whole nature shrink at the thought of touching your money, particularly as I had no means of my own. I saw my error when it was too late to retrace my steps. I felt that I had been mercenary, and that you would perceive it and despise me. Anxiously did I struggle in my profession for the means of independence; but I struggled in vain. Ah, Clara! words can give you no idea of the humiliation I experienced when necessity drove me to a confession of my poverty. If I could only erase that impression from my memory! When your brother so cruelly taunted me, I felt mad with a wild desire to show him, and every one else, that I had power to make your property the stepping-stone to great wealth. How sadly I failed in my purposes I will not repeat. You know all too well.

“Clara! Since our marriage, love for you has been a daily increasing passion. The more deeply I looked into your heart, the more I saw to inspire that respect upon which affection lays its broadest foundations. And now the parting with you seems as if it would rend me asunder. But it is necessary for our future happiness. You have enough left for the support of yourself and our sweet child. I will return when I am, as I should have been before our marriage, fully entitled to the blessing of a loving wife, because able to support her. Farewell, my dear, dear Clara! Do not grieve over my absence. Think of me hopefully—pray for me. I will return. Hide from other eyes the pain this step must occasion you. Conceal the apparent desertion for your own sake. Say that I have gone abroad to perfect myself in my art. I will come back, for without the light of your presence, I feel that all around me will lie in shadow. How soon, Heaven only knows! Farewell! farewell! I write the words tearfully. Farewell!

Your Husband.

Mrs. Ellison was a woman of great self-control and decision of character. She loved her husband truly, notwithstanding his conduct since marriage had often been incomprehensible, and never so open and freely affectionate as she could have wished. All was now fully explained. She understood much that had been covered by doubt. Though the sudden disappearance of Alfred was a painful shock, yet, in the explanations he had given, her heart found relief, and she caught, as she looked along the future, glimpses of a happier prospect. Though the letter was wet with tears, as she finished reading it for the third time, and then hid it in her bosom, yet she was far from being hopeless and entirely wretched. She could comprehend, to some extent, the feelings of her husband, and was thus able to find an excuse for conduct at first sight so extraordinary. Thus, though smitten almost to the earth by the desertion and mystery of his absence, she could yet find many avenues to consolation. If he had only said where he was going, it would have been a great relief. But this he had chosen to conceal.

“Let me be patient and hopeful,” said she, pressing her hand upon her bosom, as if she would thus still the flutterings of her stricken heart. And then she lifted her eyes tearfully upward and prayed for guidance and strength—prayed also for the absent one who had made himself a wanderer on the earth.

The next great trial of Clara was to meet her friends and answer for the absence of her husband in such a way as to conceal the fact of his having gone away without confiding to her his destination. The utmost self-control on her part was necessary; and her answers had all to be in a certain sense evasive. All this was painful; for it was too evident that none felt satisfied, and that suspicions against her husband were created. Thus was the weight she had to bear increased. But she strung her heart to endurance; and said, in the silence of her grieving spirit, “I will be patient and hopeful.”

Months went by after the departure of Ellison, but no word from him came to his anxious, long-suffering, hopeful wife. The sweet bud he had left upon her bosom gradually opened in the warm sunshine; but its beauty and fragrance were but half enjoyed because he was not there to divide the pleasure. In spite of her efforts to hold fast by her confidence in his return, the heart of Clara grew weaker every day. Nightly were her dreams full of her husband; but in visions she only saw him sick or in danger, and she often awoke in terror. The color left her cheeks; her face grew thin and overcast with anxiety. Still the months went by, but no intelligence from the absent one came; no ray of light pierced the thick clouds of uncertainty that veiled her sky.



It was a year since the young artist had deserted his home and the dear ones who nestled there. Twelve weary months had passed. He had been in Paris, Dresden, Rome, Florence, and now he was in Venice; wasted almost to a shadow; but still he sat with pencil or pallet in hand, striving to catch the wonderful grace, or to attain the masterly effect of color that he almost worshiped in those whose names were synonymous with all that was grand and beautiful in art. But all that he had yet achieved was so far below what was around him, that he was in despair.

He had thrown his brushes and pallet upon the floor, and was sitting in an attitude of despondency before his easel, upon which was a half-finished head after Raphael, when a young English artist, with whom he had made an acquaintance, entered his studio.

“You are ill, Marston,” (it was by this name that Ellison passed in Italy,) said the visiter, in a voice of concern.

“I am in despair,” replied Ellison.

“At what?”

“I cannot paint.”

“If I could produce flesh like that on the canvas before you, I would go home to-morrow.”

“It looks like any thing but flesh to me.”

“Come, Marston,” said the other, taking the hand of the young man, “an hour upon the water will give your eyes a better vision. But how your hand burns! And there is a flush in your cheeks. You have fever!”

As the young man spoke, Ellison gathered up his brushes, and taking his pallet, said, while his eyes brightened,

“There, Liston! stand just in that light.”

“No, I’ll do no such thing,” replied Liston, moving from his position. “You must paint no more to-day. If you will not go out and breathe the pure air, you must go to bed and let me send you a physician.”

“I’m not sick—I’m only in despair.”

The friend took him by the arm and tried to force him away from his easel; as he did so, a deathly paleness overspread the face of the young artist, and he fell back insensible. As soon as the first few moments of surprise and confusion had passed, Liston laid the inanimate body which he had caught in his arms on the floor, and went for assistance. After various efforts at restoration had been used by the physician who was summoned, but without effect, the body of Ellison was removed to his lodgings, and placed in bed, where it remained for some hours before a reaction of the exhausted vital system took place. Liston, who had become much attached to the young artist for his many excellent qualities, never left his side until his pulses again commenced their feeble play, and then only for a few moments at a time. He was deeply pained to perceive that the fine intellect of Ellison did not reanimate as life again flowed along his veins. That had been overtasked, and was, for the time being, paralyzed.

Day after day went by, and the bodily health of Ellison slowly improved; but his mind continued to wander. Much to the surprise of Liston, in these wanderings he often spoke of one to whom he applied the tenderest name by which man can call a woman, and said that he would soon return to her.

“Is our dear little Ella living yet?” he asked one day, looking earnestly at Liston, his large, bright eyes beaming with affection.

“Who is Ella?” asked Liston.

The question appeared to react upon his state of mind. He became grave and silent for some moments.

“I thought Clara was here,” said he, after awhile, in a more serious voice.

“Who is Clara?”

This question threw him back again into silence, and he lay for more than a minute with his eyes closed. Then he opened them quickly, and glanced around with eager expectation, half rising as he did so from his pillow. A sigh quivered through his white lips as he sank back, and said, in a sad voice,

“I thought she was here.”

For some time he lay with closed eyes, and his hands clasped across his bosom. Then looking up again, he asked,

“Hasn’t she come yet? It is time she was here.”

Bending toward the door, he listened attentively.

“She must be here soon.”

“Something has delayed her,” said Liston, falling in with the humor of the sick man. “Lie down again and try to sleep. Perhaps she will be here when you awake.”

“Hark!” said Ellison.

Liston bent his ear for a moment or two. Then the sound of feet moving along one of the distant passages was faintly heard.

“She is coming!” exclaimed Ellison, in a voice of exultation.

The footsteps approached rapidly. They were at hand; and then the door flew open and a woman entered.

“My husband!” fell from her lips as she sprang forward and caught Ellison in her arms, who, sobbing like a child, nestled helplessly, but with the gladness of a half unconscious babe, upon her bosom.

Liston gazed on this scene in profound amazement. He expected every moment to see the life-blood again thrown back upon the heart of his sick friend, and his eyes closed once more in dark insensibility. But it was not so. The meeting produced no disastrous shock.

“I have been looking for you to come,” said Ellison, lifting his head from the bosom of his wife, after he was a little composed, and gazing into her face.

A shadow fell upon the countenance of Clara, and she turned her eyes upon Liston with a look of troubled inquiry.

“It is true, as he says,” remarked Liston, perceiving what was in her mind. “He spoke of you, and said you were coming ere I could hear the sound of your approaching footsteps.”

“But I heard them,” said Ellison, with a smile that lit up his whole countenance. “And I knew that you were here.”

It was now plain to Clara that her husband’s mind had lost its balance.

“Has he been sick long?” she asked of Liston.

“His health has not been good for some time,” was the young man’s reply. “He has tied himself down in his studio too long, and worked with too intent a purpose, until he has wasted his body as you see. A few days ago, nature sank exhausted under burdens too heavy for her to bear. But your presence and your care will restore him.”

And Liston was right in his prediction. Ellison soon after sank away into a deep slumber, which lasted for hours. When he awoke, though weak almost as an infant, he was in his right mind.



A week subsequent to Clara’s arrival in Venice, whither she had come after a month’s search in Paris, Naples, Florence and Rome, for her husband, she sat by the bed-side of Alfred, now rapidly recovering, while Ella, their beautiful child, over a year old, was sleeping in her arms.

“I know it would have been better, Clara, far better,” said the invalid, replying to a remark which his wife had made. “But the disasters of that western business put me half beside myself. Ah me! how much happier we would have been if your fortune had been like my own—nothing.”

A cloud flitted over the brow of Clara as he made this last remark. She sighed faintly, and was silent.

“I am weak and foolish on this subject,” said he, after a few moments. “But you understand why it is so. The weight of a feather will hurt an inflamed wound.”

Clara looked at her husband half reproachfully, and then changed the subject.

A year longer Ellison remained in Italy, devoting his time to study and practice in the higher schools of art, and then turned his face homeward, taking with him about twenty pictures, half of which were his own compositions, and all of a high order of merit.

There is now, in the city of New York, an artist whose pictures are scarcely dry from the easel ere they meet with purchasers at a liberal price. His portraits are among the finest that are produced, and he is, consequently, never without a sitter. Money flows in to him by thousands, and from the proceeds of his own work, he has surrounded himself with all the elegances of life that a man of taste could desire. That artist is Ellison. Fifteen years have elapsed since the painful events we have described transpired. But success has not entirely obliterated the marks they left behind. To let his mind go back and linger thoughtfully on the past, is but to throw a shadow over his spirit. Often, as he looks into the face of his wife, comes upon him the remembrance that he sought her, at first, less for herself than for the external advantages she would bring him, and that she knows of the mercenary feelings which drew him to her side.

“If she had been poor, like myself,” he often sighs, as he turns away from some memory of the past, “there would have been nothing to dim the sunshine of our happiness; nor, if I had won my way to success by the force of my own talents, ere I asked to lead her to the altar. Alas! that the fine gold of affection should have been dimmed by the base alloy of selfishness!”

That the inflamed spot, fretted into painfulness by the touch of even a feather, still remains, is evident from the fact, that he has settled ten thousand dollars upon his wife, and will not touch a farthing of the income it yields. By this act he keeps alive in his own mind, as well as in that of Clara, the memory of things that should be buried with the mistakes and errors of the past, and thus robs both her and himself of a portion of the happiness that is rightfully their due. On this subject, suffering has made him little less than a monomaniac; and such he will probably remain while he lives. How true is it that our motives give quality to our acts, and mar all the effects that flow from them if they be stained with selfishness. Most true is this of marriage. If a base or mercenary end influence us in entering into this relation, unhappiness must inevitably follow. A reaction, such as that which occurred in the case of Ellison, may not take place; but there will come a reaction of some kind, and that a painful one, as surely as an effect follows its producing cause. Thousands around us fail to secure a true union in marriage, that consummation above all things desired by the heart, and for no other reason than the one here assigned. Of all motives from which we act, let those leading to marriage be freest from alloy. We may err in other things, and escape without a severe penalty; but never in marriage. We cannot do violence to the heart’s best affections without after years of pain and unavailing repentance.


I told my wife a secret—

  “And did she keep it?” say you.

Ah! therein lies the moral, man,

  To which give heed, I pray you!

She kept it but an hour or two—

  She then put on her bonnet,

And called upon her Cousin Sue,

  That both might comment on it!

Alas! ere half the day was o’er,

  Most dearly did I rue it!

Sue told it to a dozen more,

And they to others talked it o’er;

I found on coming from my store

  That all the village knew it.








In the early part of the seventeenth century a number of families emigrated to New England and took up their residence in the colony of Plymouth.

Among them was a family of the name of Greene, from which the subject of this memoir was a lineal descendant. Not many years after their settlement there, religious controversies began to wear a serious aspect, and John Greene becoming involved in them, determined to remove with his family to the settlement formed a year before, by Roger Williams, on the banks of the Providence river. We find the name of John Greene recorded among the twenty-four original colonists, who obtained a permanent organization by the charter of Charles the Second. From that period, members of this family are frequently mentioned as holding offices of dignity and trust; one of them was Governor of Rhode Island during several years of the revolutionary war.

Nathaniel Greene, a brother of Governor Greene, and direct in descent from the original emigrant, had established himself as an anchor-smith near the head waters of a small stream, which still retains its Indian name of Potowhommett.

On the settlement of this town it was named Warwick, where the subject of this sketch, and son of the above Nathaniel Greene, was born, on the 27th of May, 1742.

The first years of his life were almost exclusively passed in the labors of the farm, for which he was well adapted by a strong and vigorous constitution. Losing his mother when he was only ten years of age, his domestic education more immediately devolved upon his father, who was a rigid disciplinarian, confining his son very closely to agricultural pursuits, and a stand at the anvil. This was continued through the spring and summer, but at the approach of winter a teacher was sought to reside in the family to teach the elements of an English education.

The Bible was the only book allowed to be used in the family of the Quaker preacher, for such was the rank his father held. But to Nathaniel such an education was too limited, and therefore unsatisfactory; he accordingly, as fast as his small savings would permit, purchased himself a small, but well selected library, and often spent the whole night, after the family supposed he had retired to bed, in regular study. An acquaintance casually formed, at the age of fourteen, with a young man who happened to be spending his college vacation at Warwick, first directed his attention to higher and more absorbing pursuits. It is not for us to conjecture what passed between Greene and his newly found friend. But whatever it was, the spark in his coarse clad bosom soon became ignited, and kindled into a flame that was never to be quenched.

The next winter another teacher was engaged, better qualified to direct the first efforts of a mind awakening to a consciousness of its powers, and with him he studied mathematics and the classics.

He had now reached his twentieth year, and by patient industry and unwavering perseverance he had acquired a certain amount of knowledge, which was a matter of surprise to his neighbors, having so little leisure between the mill and the forge. Every penny of his hard-earned savings was devoted to his library, and he now possessed many valuable and standard works which he considered gems of invaluable worth. His life was regular but methodical, one cup of coffee in the morning, and one substantial meal in the afternoon sufficed for each day. His father, as has been before observed, was a strict disciplinarian, and every morning strictly laid out the duty which Nathaniel had to perform before night; this task he was never known to neglect, but always carried in his pocket some favorite volume, as a relaxation during the few intervals of leisure through the day.

It might easily be supposed, that with such strict habits he would have lost all his original buoyancy of spirits and love of frolic, but it was the reverse; it appeared to give a stronger zest to his sports, and no sooner was his mind relaxed from study or toil, than he entered at once into some feat of agility or mimic, in which art he so frequently displayed his skill. In notes written by his grandson, while consul at Rome, we find the following amusing anecdote: he says—“His chief passion was dancing, and that pleasure was often purchased at the risk of a fall from the window through which, when the watchful eyes of his father were closed in sleep, he would steal away to the scenes that he loved. It happened once, however, that something had excited his father’s suspicion, and set him upon the watch. There was a ball in the neighborhood to which young Greene was invited. The dance continued until late in the night, and he was cautiously making his way homeward, when whom should he see but his father, with horse-whip in hand, patiently pacing to and fro beneath the window. Retreat would have been useless, for the door was locked, and there was no other way of getting into the house. He knew the inflexible severity of his father too well to dream of escape, for dancing, of all misdemeanors, was most heinous in the eyes of a Quaker, and there was nothing to be done but to submit to his punishment with the best grace he could.

“But, while he made up his mind to take his flogging patiently, he was resolved to suffer as little from it as possible; and accordingly, before he presented himself to the lash, he cautiously thrust under his clothes three or four shingles, from a pile that chanced to be lying near him, and then coolly advanced to meet his father. The reception was just such as he was prepared for, and the blows fell quick and heavy upon his corselet of shingles.”

Some of his biographers have said that this love of frolic yielded at last to the rigorous discipline of his parent, but this is a mistake. Many years after this, when on a visit to Block Island, to the family of the lady who subsequently became his wife, dancing and riding were his chief amusements, and many persons remember to have seen him in his house at Newport, after the close of the war, amusing himself by playing with his wife the old game of poor puss wants a corner. About this time there was a considerable change in domestic affairs, his father purchased a new mill at Coventry, a few miles distant from his home, and made him the director. For the first time in his life he felt that he was his own master, and possessing a small share in the concern, his resources were enlarged, together with the means of employing them. His library, which had been but scantily supplied, now felt the benefit of this change, for it soon reached to between two and three hundred volumes, which at that period was considered an extensive affair. He now began to feel of some importance in the neighborhood in which he had made his new home. He began also to take an active part in public affairs, and was soon the means of establishing the first public school at Coventry, the result of the interest he took in all that related to the cultivation of mind. In 1770 he was elected to the General Assembly of the Colony, and from his zeal in the general cause, he continued to be returned for the town of Coventry until sometime after his appointment to the command of the Southern army. As a member of the Assembly he was distinguished for his dispassionate and patient investigation.

A portion of a correspondence of this period is still preserved, which shows how steadily he kept in view the cultivation and expansion of his mind. In 1769 a circumstance took place which caused much excitement, in which Greene took a conspicuous position.

It was the burning of the Gaspee in Providence river. On this occasion Greene’s bold and unequivocal expression of his sentiments drew upon him the suspicions of the royal agents, and it was expected he would have been summoned before the special tribunal convened at Newport to trace out and condemn the destroyers of the Gaspee.

From the exciting events continually occurring around him, Greene became convinced that the hour was not far distant when both parties must bring their differences to the test of the sword, and that nothing less than the sword could settle them. Being satisfied on this point, and determined to share in the contest, he at once commenced qualifying himself for the part he considered it his duty to take. With his usual energy he studied the art of war, and as military history had long been one of his favorite branches, his progress in this new science was both rapid and sure. He soon found himself absorbed in the study of Sharp’s Military Guide, Memoirs of Turenne, Cæsar’s Commentaries and Plutarch, for these were his text books. Every day brought fresh news, and the sound of preparation summoned the farmer from his plough and the mechanic from his workshop. Companies were organising in all parts of the country, and a review of a great number of men already under arms took place at Plainfield, which was witnessed by Greene with much enthusiasm and pleasure. This conduct, so entirely opposed to the rigid doctrines of the broad-brims, gave great displeasure, and he was summoned before some of their leading men appointed for the purpose of remonstrating with him for this open violation of their rules, and to endeavor to bring him back to that peaceful doctrine of his ancestors. He received their remonstrances with respectful silence, but informed them that it was his intention to persevere in the part he had embraced.

This of course caused an immediate expulsion from their society, to which he was never again united.

About this time, another change took place in his domestic situation. During his frequent visits at the house of Governor Greene, a lineal descendant of the founder of the family, he became acquainted with a young lady of the name of Littlefield, a niece of the wife of the Governor; and a few visits consummated the impressions so mutually made at their first interview. It was during his visits to the young lady at her house on Block Island where he indulged so freely his taste for dancing, the more so, perhaps, for having recently thrown off his Quaker’s garb. On the 20th of July, 1774, he was married at the residence of the lady’s father on Block Island, and returned to his home in Coventry to commence the enjoyment of a married life. But he was not suffered long to enjoy the repose of domestic life, the political horizon seemed to grow darker every day, and men were looking around them for the first burst of the tempest which they were assured must soon come. In almost every county or town independent companies were being raised.

One of these was formed at East Greenwich, under the name of the Kentish Guards, and Greene was solicited to become their lieutenant; this however failed, he not being able to obtain a sufficient number of votes, and he enrolled himself as a private in the same company. One of the most serious difficulties which they had to surmount was a proper supply of arms; but Greene (whose decision was prompt and decisive) made a visit to Boston under the pretext of collecting an old debt for his father, in order to look up and procure the necessary accoutrements for the company.

There he beheld for the first time an array of armed men sent from beyond the sea for the subjugation of his native land.

During his visit he was very punctual in his attendance on their morning and evening parades, and carefully noted down every remarkable evolution; at the same time referring to the lessons given in his text book. Little did the British officers, while glittering under their scarlet and gold, dream who was looking on them, or how fatally their lessons would be applied. It so happened that he fell in company with a deserter, whom he at once engaged to return with him to Rhode Island and become drill-master to the guards. This he considered a signal triumph, and having procured all he wished in the way of equipments, and bribed a wagoner to hide both the accoutrements and the new drill-master under the straw of his wagon, made the best of their way to Coventry unharmed.

It was not many weeks after their return, when the news of the first outbreak was announced to them in the battle of Lexington. Not a moment was lost, the drum of the Kentish Guards beat to arms, and they were soon on their march toward Boston. News having reached the Governor that they had left for the seat of war, he sent a peremptory message for their immediate return, and, strange to say, the whole company, with the exception of Greene, his brother, and another, responded to the request and returned to their homes; these three gallant fellows mounted their horses and repaired with all haste toward the scene of action, but before they had completed half their journey they were met with the welcome tidings of the retreat of the British, and the triumph of their countrymen. The first blow being given, retaliation commenced with vigor; delegates were dispatched in all directions, calling for assistance in this trying emergency. The Assembly of Rhode Island voted an army of one thousand six hundred men. The army was to receive its officers from the Assembly; and then it was that Greene’s real position among his colleagues was felt, by the unanimous voice of that body he was raised to the rank of major-general. In a few days his preparations were completed, and in less than one year from the day of his marriage, he entered upon that career in which he was to encounter so many hardships and reap so high a fame. Greene having attained the age of thirty-three, in the month of May, 1775, assumed the command as major-general of the Rhode Island troops to the army of the united colonies. It was well for him that his mind and body had long been trained to habits of laborious exertion, for he soon found himself surrounded with cares and anxieties which no one but a commander of an undisciplined army can understand. His military knowledge, obtained by his studies, was now brought into actual service, and the information gained from the instruction of the deserted drill-master was of immense importance to him. Greene was a man who had made human nature his favorite study, and deep indeed must have been that disguise which could escape his penetrating glance. With these important qualities, he commanded with more than ordinary success, his opinion was always listened to with deference and a preference given to his acknowledged military talents. A gentleman of distinction, who happened to be present at a court-martial upon which he was sitting a few weeks after the battle of Bunker’s Hill, was so struck with the sagacity and pertinence of his remarks, and the commanding dignity of his aspect, that without even knowing his name, pronounced him to be a man of real military genius, and decidedly the ablest member of the court. In entering seriously upon his military duties, Greene had firmly resolved to submit to every sacrifice, and endure every hardship in the fulfillment of them. The zeal and energy with which he applied himself in the discipline of his men, caused his troops to be pronounced, by a member of Washington’s own staff, as the best disciplined men in the service. On the 3d of July, General Washington joined the camp at Boston.

His arrival was hailed with great delight by Greene, who was anxious that the forces of the country should be brought together under one common head. In order to make his sentiments more publicly known, he welcomed him to the army in the name of his troops; and the feelings emanating from such relative positions, led to the formation of that affectionate and confidential intercourse, which ceased only with life. The first duty assigned the commander-in-chief, was to place the army upon the continental establishment, the officers till now, holding their commissions from their respective states, were received into the immediate service of the united colonies.

Some dissatisfaction was felt among the officers, on account of the changes in rank, but Greene found that he had no cause for complaint at being required to exchange the rank of major-general to brigadier, which was offered him in the name of Congress.

Shortly after the arrival of General Washington, the command of the left wing had been given to Major-General Lee, and Greene with his brigade placed under him. Nearly a year passed away without any decisive movements on either side, although both Washington and Greene were anxious to make the trial. “Out of an army of twenty thousand men,” says Greene, “it will be hard if we cannot find eight thousand who will do their duty.” But many of the officers were of a different opinion, and to their decision he was obliged to acquiesce. At this time serious apprehensions were entertained of the small-pox, which was known to be raging in Boston, and against which few were guarded by inoculation.

By Greene’s advice, a hospital was established at Coventry, for the inoculation of the officers; and sending his family into hired lodgings, he gave up his own house for the purpose.

During the excitement which this disease caused among both officers and men, Greene was seized with a severe attack of jaundice, the first illness he ever had, probably the consequence of this new mode of life; and this, too, at a time when many officers and men were down with the small-pox, and strong reasons for supposing that an attack would at length be made upon Boston. “Sick or well,” says he, “I intend to be there, if I am able to sit on my horse.” But the attempt was not made; and when, a month after, positive preparations were making for an assault by water, to support the movements at Dorchester, a brigade of four thousand picked men was entrusted to his command.

A sudden tempest frustrated the plans of the British commander, compelling him to put off the assault which he had meditated upon the right wing of the American army; and when the storm ceased, it was too late to attempt it with any chance of success. He, hastily embarking his troops, evacuated Boston.

Washington now ordered the forces to withdraw with all speed to New York, where he next expected to meet the enemy. Greene was ordered to march with all haste, and take up his quarters at Brooklyn. He had not reached his destination when he was seized with a bilious fever, which brought him to the brink of the grave. This was in the month of August, and during this severe attack, the battle of Long Island was fought; when the news reached him and he was hardly able to raise his head from his pillow, he exclaimed, “Gracious God! to be confined at such a time!” From his bed he heard the sound of the cannon, and received with the keenest anxiety the reports which were brought to him every half hour of the progress of the battle. When he was told of the havoc that had been made in Smallwood’s gallant band, his favorite regiment, he could no longer restrain his feelings, but burst into an agony of tears, accompanied by such severe spasms as to alarm the attendants who were near him. Well might he mourn over such a misfortune, for it was very generally believed, that had he been permitted to have been present, the reverses of that memorable day would have been changed. As soon as he was able to mount his horse, he was again at his post, the duties of which had been much enlarged by his promotion to the rank of major-general. The fate of New York was the question which was now in suspense; and Greene being stationed at Hærlem, took part in his first battle; for he had hitherto seen nothing but distant cannonades and slight skirmishes; in his journal he speaks of it as one in which he had “fought hard.”

No sooner had this battle taken place than new difficulties appeared before him; the terms of service of a large portion of the troops was about to expire, and no measures taken to supply their places. The only resource that remained was the militia, and very many of them had refused to serve, alledging as an excuse the assurances of peace, liberty and safety which had been given them by the British. This was a moment of conflict, and he found that the strong hand of the soldier must be used to enforce the injunctions of the law. He instantly ordered down a detachment of his regulars, to check it in its bud, threatening them, at the same time, with the rigors of garrison duty in Fort Lee, as a punishment for their cowardice.

Early on the morning of the 18th of November, Lord Cornwallis crossed the Hudson with a strong body of the British and Hessians, intending an attack upon Fort Lee. Greene had four miles to march before he could reach the river, and Cornwallis but one and a half. Without losing an instant, he pushed forward with all his forces to the head of the stream, and drawing them up in front of Cornwallis, contrived to hold them at bay until Washington, to whom a courier had been dispatched, could come up. Then, leaving them under the guidance of the commander-in-chief, he hastened back to the fort, and collecting the stragglers and others, nearly three hundred in all, conveyed them in safety across the Hackensack River. This manœuvre was his first encounter with Cornwallis. Now began the memorable retreat through the Jerseys.

During the whole of this trying period Greene was by the side of his commander, partaking his cares and anxieties, and sharing with him that firm and unbending trust in the ultimate triumph of their cause, which forms one of the sublimest traits in the character of Washington.

By rapid and exhausting marches, in a few days, the hostile armies were ranged, front to front along the banks of the Delaware.

During this halt was planned the brilliant attack upon Trenton; in this Greene bore a distinguished part, and strongly urged the following up of this blow by an attack upon the other posts of the enemy in New Jersey. During the winter of 1777, Washington established his quarters at Morristown. Greene was stationed with a separate division at Baskingridge; and through the whole of a long and severe winter, continual skirmishes took place, which very frequently were attended with decided advantages to the Americans. At the approach of spring, General Greene was dispatched to Philadelphia, to hasten the action of Congress upon the important subjects submitted for their decision. After his return, he with General Knox was sent to examine the passes of the Highlands on the Hudson, and take measures for their defense. The winter had thus far passed without much molestation, and early in May Washington removed from his quarters at Morristown to a strong station at Middlebrook. While encamped at this station, an incident occurred, which was well nigh depriving the army of some of its bravest officers. The delicate etiquette of military rank had never been fully understood by the new and inexperienced Congress; and when a report reached camp that a gentleman but recently arrived in the country had been appointed a major-general, with a commission of an earlier date than their own, it is not surprising that it should cause Generals Greene, Sullivan and Knox to declare their intention of resigning in case the report should be found true; and each of them addressed the President of Congress to this effect. Happily the rumor was unfounded; and by it Congress saw the necessity of a rigorous adherence to the established laws of promotion.

Nearly the whole of the following summer was employed in short marches and slight skirmishes, till the 10th of September, when they took up their position on the banks of the Brandywine.

Early on the morning following, the British appeared on the advance, preparing for an attack.

The passage of the ford, near which the chief of the American forces had been stationed, was manfully defended; but in the mean time a strong detachment, led by Howe and Cornwallis, had crossed the river by a circuitous march, and were rapidly gaining the American rear. A few minutes sufficed to show how judiciously this measure had been devised.

After a gallant resistance the Americans were forced from the field, in spite of all the efforts of their officers to rally them. Now was the time for Greene to display his coolness and his energy.

Marching along a road which intersected the flight of the Americans, and the advance of the enemy, he hurried his men forward with such rapidity that they marched four miles in forty-nine minutes. Here every thing was in confusion; ranks broken, troops scattered, the roads filled with fugitives, rushing forward they knew not whither, in the wildness of fear, and the enemy pressing close upon their footsteps with shouts of exultation. Throwing himself between them and his flying countrymen, he opened a sharp and well directed fire from his field-pieces, opening his ranks from time to time for the fugitives, and closing them the moment they had passed.

Having retreated in this manner for half a mile, until he came to a narrow defile protected on both sides by woods, he halted and drew up his men for battle; first depositing his cannon in a safe place, in case he should be forced to a hasty retreat. The British soon made their appearance, flushed with success, and thinking only of putting the last hand to their victorious conflict; but a close and destructive fire checked their pursuit, and compelled them to halt. So well chosen was Greene’s position, that it could neither be forced nor turned, and the sight of his fierce eye and firm countenance seemed to have inspired his men with an energy like his own. For two hours did he maintain the unequal conflict, and having wearied the enemy out, he gave up the contest, and drew off his troops to rejoin the army at their rallying point.

Howe was now resolved to follow up his success by another battle, or a stroke at Philadelphia, and advancing with two columns, was soon once more within striking distance of the Americans.

This being perceived by Greene, he managed to frustrate all his designs, till Howe, finding it useless to continue his skirmishes, made the best of his way to Philadelphia, where he made his triumphal entry on the 26th of September. At this time the main body of the British army were quartered at Germantown; a portion was in the city, and another part scattered between the two places. Washington now resolved on attacking the main army at Germantown, and began making preparations for that purpose.

Greene was ordered to march at once within the limits prescribed by Washington, which was done, and the effect was the sanguine and bloody battle of Germantown, which historians have so repeatedly described. Greene’s next orders were to examine the forts on the Delaware, and then retire to Valley Forge for winter quarters. It was customary with the generals when retired to quarters for the winter to receive their families; shortly after their arrival at Valley Forge Mrs. Washington joined her husband, and about the same time Mrs. Greene arrived, and the wives of other officers hastened to follow the example, and the cares and gloom of a winter encampment were illumined for a moment by this transient return of the sweets of domestic life. It was during this memorable winter that the intrigues against the commander-in-chief, commonly known as Conway’s cabal, became public. These calumnies were traced and ferreted out by the perseverance of Greene, and when exposed by him, fell to the ground, like drops from the melting icicle in the rays of the sun. In a letter to a friend, before they went to Valley Forge, he writes thus, “I have no hopes of coming home this winter, the general will not permit it; Mrs. Greene is coming to camp; we are all going into log huts; a sweet life after a most fatiguing campaign.”

Time was now approaching for some action, and indications were observed which led the army to suppose that the British troops were about to evacuate Philadelphia. But they were unable to ascertain whether it was the intention of the enemy to return overland to New York, or to engage in some more distant enterprise.

News, however, having arrived, informing them that the enemy was on the eastern bank of the Delaware, and that it was his intention to direct his march through the Jersey’s, the American army was now hastily put in motion to follow, and after a few minutes conversation, the orders were issued which ended in the battle of Monmouth.

At this period the department of quartermaster in the American army was in a very defective and alarming condition, and required speedy reform.

The commander-in-chief was requested by Congress to look out for an officer suitably calculated to fill a post of so much importance. Washington well knew that if Greene could be convinced that he could render his country more essential service in the department of quartermaster than in the field, he would accept of the appointment. “There is not,” he observed, “an officer in the army, nor a man in America, more sincerely attached to the interests of his country than General Greene; and could he best promote their interests, in the character of a corporal, he would readily exchange the epaulet for the knot.” When the appointment was offered Greene, he at first declined it, but on a second conference with the commander-in-chief, he accepted, on condition that he should forfeit nothing of his right to command in time of action.

He entered on the duties of his office on the 22d March, 1776. Very shortly after receiving his new appointment, he took a high and distinguished part in the battle of Monmouth, and followed in a very brilliant expedition against the enemy in Rhode Island, under the command of General Sullivan. At the battle of Monmouth, General Washington, disgusted with the behaviour of General Lee, deposed him in the field of battle, and appointed Greene to his command, which greatly contributed to retrieve the errors of his predecessor, and to the events of the day. General Greene had now been more than three years from home, and during this period the direction of his affairs had been intrusted to others, over which he had neither time nor means of control.

His short visit to his home at Coventry was hailed by his neighbors with affectionate demonstrations of joy. Even the Society of Friends, who had reluctantly excluded him from their communion, expressed their sincere satisfaction at the high position he had attained in the confidence of his country. One of the Society of Friends was asked by a young officer, in jest, how he, who was an advocate for peace, could keep company with General Greene, whose profession was war. “Friend,” said the Quaker, “ ’Tis true, I do not approve of this many-colored apparel, but whatever may be the color of his garments, Nathaniel Greene still retains the sound head and virtuous heart, which have gained him the love and esteem of our Society.”

About this time, General Greene was called to perform one of the most trying and painful duties of his life. The melancholy affair of Major Andre.

Washington having summoned a court of fourteen general officers, appointed General Greene to preside.

When summoned before this military tribunal, the unfortunate officer disclosed without interrogatory, what bore heaviest on his own life, but studiously concealed whatever might affect the safety of others.

His own confessions were conclusive, and no witness was examined against him. The court were unanimous that he must suffer death. When the sentence was communicated to the unhappy man, he entreated that he might not be compelled to expire on a gibbet, like a common felon, but that he might be permitted to close his life by that law generally prescribed by military usage; and to effect this, he dictated a letter to General Washington, containing one of the most affecting and pathetic appeals that ever fell from mortal pen. The commander-in-chief referred the subject to his general officers, who, with the exception of Greene, decided that Andre should be shot. The following remarks from the president of the council show his firmness; that no circumstance whatever could move him where the honor of his country was involved. “Andre,” said he, “is either a spy or an innocent man. If the latter, to execute him in any way will be murder; if the former, the mode of his death is prescribed by law, and you have no right to alter it; and at this alarming crisis of our affairs, the public safety demands a solemn and impressive example. Nothing can satisfy it short of the execution of the prisoner as a common spy; a character of which his own confession has clearly convicted him.”

This reasoning was considered conclusive by the council, and the prisoner suffered as a common spy. The post at West Point, now vacated by the treachery of Arnold, was confided to Greene, and by the 8th of October he was already at his new station on the banks of the Hudson. He had hardly entered upon his duties, when General Washington appointed him to the command of the army in the South.

We now behold an entire change in the situation of General Greene, and follow him through a southern campaign, virtually invested with the supreme command of a large section of the United States. On his arrival at Charlotte, North Carolina, the head-quarters of General Gates, and on entering on the duties of his command, he found himself in a situation fearfully embarrassing.

He found but a handful of men, amounting to about two thousand, and these principally militia, with but three days’ provision, and a very short supply of ammunition. In front lay an enemy treble his number, proud in victory, and too strong to be encountered. Before him was a task which he considered hopeless—the recovery of two States already conquered, and the protection of a third. He saw the astounding difficulty he had to encounter—to raise and provide for a dispirited army in a devastated country, having to create resources where they did not exist; to operate with an incompetent force on an extended and broken line of frontier, and to contend with an enemy superior in numbers and discipline. To conduct a warfare like this required a genius of the highest order, combined with indefatigable skill and industry. In order to prepare for such a campaign, Greene’s first care was to provide for his troops subsistence and ammunition. His next was to draw close the reins of discipline, which had been shamefully relaxed, and make both officers and men feel that they had a commander who knew both his duty and theirs, and was resolved that both should be performed. He called no councils of war, studying every question himself, and communicating his intentions to only two or three of his officers whom he trusted most. In a letter to General Hamilton, he says, “If I cannot inspire the army with confidence and respect by an independent conduct, I foresee it will be impossible to instill discipline and order among the troops.”

His next care was to select a position where his troops could be properly trained to the use of their arms, and better and more easily supplied with food; while at the same time it was essential that every step on his part should be a connecting link in his general plan of operations. It must be conceded that much of the moral strength of an army consists in a confidence in its leader, an attachment to his person, and a spirit of subordination founded on principle. To such an extent was this true, that even the common soldiery, sensible of the superintendence of a superior officer, confidently predicted a change of fortune. They felt a solicitude to regain the reputation they lost at Camden under their late commander, and to signalize their prowess under the command of their present one. The main part of the British army was then lying at Winnsborough, between the Broad River and the Catawba, with powerful garrisons in their flank and rear, and Charleston to fall back upon in case of a defeat. Cornwallis, who was at Charleston, receiving continual supplies of both men and provisions from New York, was expected to connect with the part of the army at Winnsborough, and attack the Americans before they could be ready to leave the village of Charlotte. This called for a decided movement of the American army, and Greene resolved to divide his forces, sending one portion to act upon the west bank of the Catawba, to the north of the enemy’s position, and advancing with the other to the Cheraw hills on the frontiers of South Carolina. The first dispatch was about four hundred continentals, under General Morgan, with Colonel Washington’s corps of dragoons, and a few militia, amounting in all to six hundred men. This judicious arrangement, which formed a rallying point for the friends of independence, both in the East and West, also facilitated the procuring of provisions for the troops. General Greene soon began to feel the good effects of this movement; it enabled him to make the most of his little army by compelling his adversary to divide his forces, and leaving him at a loss which way to direct his efforts. By advancing against the American commander, he would expose his posts at Ninety-Six and Augusta, or Morgan, hovering upon his flanks or his rear, might seize the critical moment for aiming a blow in concert with the main army. Cornwallis, on discovering the movements of Greene, and finding that there was no time to be lost, dispatched Colonel Tarlton with a strong detachment, amounting in horse and foot to nearly a thousand men, for the protection of Ninety-Six, with orders to bring General Morgan, if possible, to battle. With numbers greatly superior to Morgan, he advanced with a menacing aspect, and compelled him at first to fall back rapidly. He accordingly continued for a few days to retire before his adversary, receiving at every step new accessions of strength from the inhabitants of the country through which he passed, alarmed by the presence, and irritated by the cruelty of the enemy. Relying with confidence on the firmness of his regulars, and glorying in action, Morgan halted at the Cowpens, and prepared to give his adversary battle. Tarlton seized the opportunity, and the conflict, which was severe and stoutly contested, ended in a complete victory obtained by the Americans. Tarlton fled, leaving one hundred and eighty-four men on the field, and more than five hundred as prisoners in the hands of the victor. Two field-pieces, eight hundred muskets, one hundred dragoon-horses, with a very large supply of tents and ammunition, which constituted, in the present state of the American army, one of the most welcome fruits of the victory. This battle of the Cowpens, although achieved under the immediate command of Morgan, was the first stroke of General Greene’s fortunate career at the South.

The disappointment of Cornwallis was severe, for he had looked with confidence for victory under the accomplished Tarlton. Still he received the tidings with serenity, and immediately gave orders for pursuing the victorious army, whose retreat he yet hoped to cut off; and in order to prepare for the effort, and free himself from every thing that could encumber or retard his march, he ordered that all the baggage at head-quarters should be committed to the flames.

This was done, and the example was followed by his faithful soldiers with cheerfulness, reserving but a small supply of clothing for each man, and a few wagons for the conveyance of hospital stores, ammunition, and of the sick and wounded. Every thing else was burned. While these desperate measures were going on in the British camp, Greene reached Morgan’s head-quarters on the banks of the Catawba.

To his great mortification, Lord Cornwallis now perceived that in two of his objects, the destruction of Morgan’s detachment, and the prevention of its union with the main division, he was completely frustrated by the activity of Greene. But he still hoped to cut off the retreat of the Americans into Virginia, after their union, and to compel them to action, was still perhaps practicable; and to the achievement of this he now directed his undivided energies.

Notwithstanding the vigilance and activity of the British commander, Greene brought his men in safety into Virginia, without any loss of either men or ammunition. Soon after his arrival in Virginia he received reinforcements, and also effected a junction with a continental regiment. Upon these accessions, he was determined on attacking the British commander without loss of time, and accordingly commenced his march toward Guildford Court-House, the British then lying at twelve miles distance. His army had now increased to four thousand five hundred men, that of the British about two thousand four hundred. General Greene arrived at Guildford Court-House on the 14th of March, and on the morning of the 15th Cornwallis marched to meet him. He disposed his army in three lines—the militia of North Carolina were in front; the second line was composed of those of Virginia; and the third, which was the flower of the army, was formed of continental troops, near fifteen hundred in number. They were posted on a rising ground, a mile and a half from Guildford Court-House.

The engagement commenced by a brisk cannonade, after which the British advanced in three columns and attacked the first line composed of North Carolina militia. Many of the latter had never been in action before, and panic-struck, ran away without firing a gun, or being fired upon, and even before the British had come near them. The conflict lasted an hour and a half, and was terminated by General Greene’s ordering a retreat, when he found the enemy about encircling his troops.

This was a hard fought battle, and the exertions of the two rival generals, both in preparing for this action and during the course of it, were never surpassed. Forgetful of every thing but the fortune of the day, they on several occasions, mingled in the danger like common soldiers. The Americans lost in this battle about 400; several of the number were officers of distinction. The result of this conflict, though literally a defeat, was eventually a victory; for on the part of General Greene it will be seen that it placed him on higher ground toward his adversary than he had previously occupied. Believing that Lord Cornwallis would follow him, he kept retreating slowly until he had gained an advantageous position, where he could renew the contest whenever his adversary came in view. But Cornwallis, not being in a condition to pursue, commenced his retreat, leaving behind him about seventy of his wounded, whom he recommended, in a handsome letter, written by himself, to the humanity and attention of the American commander. Had General Greene been in a situation to have pursued his lordship, the destruction of that officer and his army would have been inevitable; and Carolina would have witnessed that momentous event which was reserved for Virginia. But the exhaustion of General Greene’s military stores, suspended his movements till he had received a supply.

These having arrived, he immediately pursued the enemy; but the advanced position of Lord Cornwallis, and the bad state of the roads, determined him to halt, in order to indulge his troops with that repose which they so much needed. Having abandoned the pursuit of the enemy, General Greene found himself encircled with new difficulties. Of that part of the Union over which General Greene’s command extended, the enemy was in force in three large and important sections. South Carolina and Georgia being entirely in possession of the enemy, and Cornwallis had taken post in the maritime district of North Carolina, and part of Virginia was occupied by a powerful detachment of British troops, under the command of General Phillips. Greene, under all these difficulties, was at a loss to determine in which of these points he should act in person, and on consulting with officers, he found them greatly divided in opinion. He accordingly decided to penetrate South Carolina, and after dividing his army into two columns, attack and harass the enemy at their different posts, without permitting them to concentrate their forces, and thus recover that rich and important member of the Union.

General Greene commenced his march South, and arrived at Hobkirk’s Hill, in front of Camden, the head-quarters of Lord Rawdon, then the commander-in-chief of the British forces in that section. In order to prevent supplies from being brought in, and to take advantage of such favorable circumstances as might occur, he encamped at about a mile from the town. Lord Rawdon’s situation was extremely delicate. His supplies also were very precarious; and should General Greene’s reinforcements arrive, which were hourly expected, he might be so closely invested as to be at length obliged to surrender. In this dilemma, the only expedient that presented itself, appeared to be a bold attack; for which purpose he armed every person with him capable of carrying a musket, not excepting even his musicians. On the 25th of April he made the attack upon General Greene in his camp.

The defense was obstinate, and for some time appeared to be in favor of America. At one time Lieut. Colonel Washington, who commanded the cavalry, had not less than two hundred British prisoners.

However, by the inadvertence of one of the American regiments, victory was snatched from General Greene, who was compelled to retreat, with a loss of about two hundred killed, wounded, and prisoners. The British general lost about two hundred and fifty-eight. The evacuation of Camden, with the vigilance of General Greene, and the several officers under him, gave entirely a new complexion to affairs in South Carolina, where the British ascendency declined more rapidly than it had been established.

Nearly every fort, with the exception of fort Ninety-Six, garrisoned by the enemy, with military stores and artillery, fell into the hands of the Americans.

The next attempt was the siege of Ninety-Six, but which proved unsuccessful, and Greene was obliged to retreat over the Saluda. Lord Rawdon now prepared to evacuate the garrison of Ninety-Six, and return to Charleston; and General Greene became in reality the pursuing party, exceedingly anxious to bring the enemy to battle. But this did not take place till September; the British at that time were posted at Eutaw Springs, where General Greene, who had assembled about two thousand men, prepared to follow and attack them.

The American force was drawn up in two lines; the first, composed of Carolina militia, was commanded by Generals Marion and Pickens, and Colonel de Malmedy. The second, which consisted of continental troops from North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland, was commanded by General Sumpter, Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, and Colonel Williams. As the Americans approached toward an attack, they fell in with some advanced parties of the enemy, at about three miles ahead of the main body.

These being driven back, the action soon became general. In the very heat of the engagement General Greene ordered the Maryland and Virginia continentals to charge with trailed arms. This decided the fate of the day. “Nothing,” says Dr. Ramsay, “could surpass the intrepidity of both officers and men on this occasion. They rushed on in good order through a heavy cannonade, and a shower of musketry, with such unshaken resolution that they bore down all before them.” The British were broken, closely pursued, and upward of eleven hundred of them killed and taken prisoners; the loss of the Americans was about five hundred.

Judge Johnson, in his life of General Greene, says—“At the battle of the Eutaw Springs, Greene says, that hundreds of my men were naked as they were born. Posterity will scarcely believe that the bare loins of many brave men who carried death into the enemy’s ranks at the Eutaw, were galled by their cartouche-boxes, while a folded rag or a tuft of moss protected the shoulders from sustaining the same injury from the musket. Men of other times will inquire by what magic was the army kept together? By what supernatural power was it made to fight?”

General Greene in his letter to the Secretary of War says—“We have three hundred men without arms, and more than one thousand so naked that they can be put on duty only in cases of a desperate nature.”

Again he says—“Our difficulties are so numerous, and our wants so pressing, that I have not a moment’s relief from the most painful anxieties. I have more embarrassment than it is proper to disclose to the world. Let it suffice to say that this part of the United States has had a narrow escape. I have been seven months in the field without taking off my clothes.” Such then was the issue of the battle of Eutaw, and the last essay in arms in which it was the fortune of General Greene to command.

The surrender of Cornwallis at the battle of Yorktown soon followed, and the happy moment arrived when by the virtue and bravery of her sons, America, aided by the bounty of Heaven, compelled her invaders to acknowledge her independence; her armies quitted the tented field, and retired to cultivate the arts of peace and happiness.

General Greene now returned to his native state, where he remained two years in the adjustment of his private affairs, and in October, 1785, settled with his family on his estate near Savannah, Georgia. The three Southern States, South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia, who had been most essentially benefited by his valor and services, manifested their sense of justice and gratitude by liberal donations. South Carolina presented to General Greene an estate valued at ten thousand pounds sterling. Georgia, with an estate, a few miles from Savannah, worth five thousand pounds; and North Carolina, with twenty-five thousand acres of land in the State of Tennessee. In writing from his new home, he speaks of his plantation with a kind of buoyant joy, which is constantly breaking out in gay and cheerful expressions; of his garden, and his flowers, the mocking-birds that sing around him morning and evening, and the mild and balmy atmosphere, with the same interest with which he would once have spoken of his troops, of their bravery and their discipline. But this felicity was to be of short duration. On Monday, the 12th of June, 1786, he went down to Savannah with his wife, and on their return the following day they paid a visit to an old friend, at whose house he was seized with an inflammation of the brain, which caused him to sink into a torpor, from which he never again was roused; he expired on Monday the 19th of June. The melancholy tidings soon reached Savannah, calling forth the strongest expressions of public grief. They had known him first as the champion of the South, in the hour of her greatest need, then as a fellow citizen, kind-hearted and benevolent, endearing himself to all by his social and civil virtues; and now, in the prime of manhood, he was suddenly snatched away, and a grave was all they could give him.

On the following day the body of the deceased was conveyed to Savannah, and at the request of the inhabitants, was interred in a private cemetery with military honors.

On the 12th of August of the year in which General Greene died, the Congress of the United States unanimously resolved—“That a monument be erected to the memory of the honorable Nathaniel Greene, at the seat of the federal government, with the following inscription —







who departed this life

the 19th of June, 1786.

Late Major-General

in the service of the United States,

and commander of the army in the

Southern Department.

The United States in Congress assembled

in honor of

his patriotism, valor and ability,

have erected this



His relative and biographer very appropriately remarks—“More than sixty years have elapsed since the body of Greene was consigned to the tomb; and thus far, a medal for the Eutaws, two pieces of cannon for his general services, and a vote for a monument, which has never been erected, are the only tributes which the general government has ever paid to his memory. The spot in which his ashes repose has long been forgotten, and the chances of the preservation of the simple silver slab on which his name was engraved, are the only hopes which remain of ever distinguishing his bones from those, which during this long interval, have silently mouldered by their side. Not a statue, not a bust, not a portrait of him, adorns the halls of our national councils; and of the many objects of interest which command the admiration of the stranger at the seat of government, there is not one which recalls his memory.” General Greene had just completed his forty-fourth year, when he was thus suddenly taken from his friends and his country.

Of all those who had distinguished themselves during the war of the Revolution, he was, next to Washington, the one who will ever hold the highest place in public esteem; and few men, if any, have ever built themselves a name upon purer or more durable foundations.

From the governor to the humble citizen, General Greene was regarded as the object of every eye, the praise of every tongue, he closed a life of deep, pure, devoted patriotism to his country, and love and good-will to all mankind.





I feel the fever’s hot breath flashing

  In deep and deadly strife,

From my pale, parched lips slowly dashing

  The golden cup of life!

Disease, with cold and icy fingers,

  Now creeps about my heart,

And Death but for a moment lingers,

  To snap its chords apart!


My heavy pulse is weaker growing;

  Life’s lamp burns feebly now,

And the long locks are darkly flowing

  Upon my damp, cold brow.

I hear a voice, low, faint and broken,

  Falling upon my heart;

Its tones in solemn awe have spoken

  That I must soon depart.


And must my wild dreams coldly perish,

  And wither in the dust!

The golden hopes I fondly cherish—

  My earthly joy and trust!

The schemes my soul has long been forming,

  Just bursting into light,

And tones of love my fond heart warming,

  All—all be quenched in night!


Full many a bud of hope was wreathing

  About my thornless path,

In mellow tones of music breathing

  Of all but blight and death;

I had not thought to see them fading

  And dying at their birth—

To view this cloud of darkness shading

  The beautiful of earth.


Oh, there were softest whispers telling

  Of greatness and of fame;

Of rapture in the bosom swelling,

  And of an honored name;

And how the knee of genius bending,

  Should own a deeper sway,

And shouts of joy the blue skies rending,

  Bear higher deeds away.


And there were gentle voices finding

  A way to my deep soul,

Love’s own sweet angel softly binding

  My heart to her control;

And in my dreams of fame and glory,

  Beamed ever her meek eyes,

Telling a fond and pleasant story

  Of mingled smiles and sighs.


That tone—’twas music, ever hushing

  My panting heart to rest—

And glorious dreams like sunlight gushing,

  Thrilled through my peaceful breast,

Those dreams like summer buds have faded,

  That tone hath died away,

Death’s cloud my beaming skies hath shaded,

  And quenched the light of day.


I lay me down, faint, lone, and weary,

  No hand upon my brow;

Through the dark valley, cold and dreary,

  No voice to cheer me now.

My life has been a dream; in vain

  Have soft eyes shed their light;

Frail phantoms of a fevered brain—

  Their ray has sunk in night.


And thus, when earthly trust hath perished,

  And earthly joy hath fled—

When hopes my fond heart loved and cherished

  Are lying with the dead—

Oh! may there not in yonder heaven

  Be for my brow a wreath,

Whose fadeless flowers shall ne’er be riven

  By the rude hand of Death!


Father above, wilt thou now hearken

  Unto my feeble cry—

Dispel the mists that coldly darken

  And dim my failing eye?

I bless thee—for the cloud hath parted

  That hid thy glorious face;

Joyful and glad, yet humble-hearted,

  I sink in thine embrace.

G. CATTERMOLE.              H. ROSS

Engraved expressly for Graham’s Magazine.

TO    ——    IN ABSENCE.




When first we met, beloved, rememberest thou

  How all my nature was athirst and faint?

My soul’s high powers lay wasting still and slow,

  While my sad heart sighed forth its ceaseless plaint.


For frowning pride life’s summer waves did lock

  Away from light, their restless murmuring hushed —

But thou didst smite the cold, defying rock,

  And full and fast the living waters gushed!


Oh, what a summer glory life put on!

  What morning freshness those swift waters gave

That leaped from darkness forth into the sun,

  And mirrored heaven in every smallest wave!


     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .


The cloud that darkened long our sky of love,

  And flung a shadow o’er life’s Eden bloom,

Hath deepened into night, around, above —

  But night beneficent and void of gloom.


The dews of peace and faith’s sweet quiet bringing,

  And memory’s starlight, as joy’s sunlight fades,

While, like the nightingale’s melodious singing,

  The voice of Hope steals out amid the shades.


Now it hath come and gone, the shadowed day,

  The time of farewells that beheld us part,

I miss thy presence from my side alway —

  Thy smile’s sweet comfort raining on my heart.


Yes, we are parted. Now I call thy name,

  And listen long, but no dear voice replies;

I miss thine earnest praise, thy gentle blame,

  And the mute blessing of thy loving eyes.


Yet no, not parted. Still in life and power

  Thy spirit cometh over wild and wave,

Is ever near me in the trial-hour,

  A ready help, a presence strong and brave.


Thy love breathes o’er me in the winds of heaven —

  Floats to me on the tides of morning light —

Descends upon me in the calms of even,

  And fills with music all the dreamy night.


It falleth as a robe of pride around me,

  A royal vesture, rich with purple gleams —

It is the glory wherewith life hath crowned me,

  The large fulfillment of my soul’s long dreams!


It is a paean drowning notes of sadness —

  It is a great light shutting out all gloom —

It is a fountain of perpetual gladness —

  It is a garden of perpetual bloom.


But to thy nature pride and power belong,

  And death-defying courage; what to thee,

With thy great life, thy spirit high and strong,

  May my one love in all its fullness be?


An inward joy, sharp e’en to pain, yet dear

  As thy soul’s life—a warmth, a light serene,

A low, deep, voice which none save thou may hear —

  A living presence, constant, though unseen.


Yet shalt thou fold it closer to thy breast,

  In the dark days, when other loves depart —

And when thou liest down for the long rest,

  Then, oh, beloved, ’twill sleep upon thy heart!





THE QUA BIRD. (Ardea Nycticorax. Wilson.)

This bird, otherwise known as the Night Heron, and the Rail, is found both in Europe and America. Its habits are somewhat different on the two continents, but the American bird may be safely considered as the type of the species. It is called Qua Bird on account of the rough guttural sound, qua, qua, which it utters while seeking its prey; and by some, Night Heron, from the circumstance of seeking its prey at night. During the day the Qua Birds perch in silence on high trees, and it seems probable that their eye cannot sustain the rays of the sun. But at night few birds are more active or enterprising. They are generally found in flocks, in the vicinity of deep swamps, or marshy woods, partially submerged by water. From these places troops of Qua Birds issue at twilight, and scatter themselves along ditches and by the river shore, to search for food. “On entering the swamp,” says Wilson, “in the neighborhood of one of these breeding places, the noise of the old and the young would almost induce one to suppose that two or three hundred Indians were choking or throttling each other. The instant an intruder is discovered, the whole rise in the air in silence, and remove to the tops of the trees in another part of the woods, while parties of from eight to ten make occasional circuits over the spot, to see what is going on. When the young are able they climb to the highest part of the trees, but, knowing their inability, do not attempt to fly. Though it is probable that these nocturnal birds do not see well during the day, yet their faculty of hearing must be exquisite, as it is almost impossible, with all the precautions one can use, to penetrate near their residence without being discovered. Several species of hawks hover around, making an occasional sweep among the young; and the Bald-Eagle himself has been seen reconnoitering near the spot, probably with the same design.”

Until recently the young of this bird was considered as the female. The close observations of Wilson detected the error; and his dissections proved that the male and the female were so similar in external appearance as to be distinguished only by a practiced eye. The length of the full grown bird is two feet four inches; extent of the wings four feet; the bill four inches and a quarter long from the corners of the mouth to the tip. The general color of the under plumage is white, tinged with cream; the wings are ash; and the back a glossy blue, inclining to green. From the hinder part of the head flows three long tapering feathers, about nine inches long, and so united, when the bird is quiet, as to appear but one. When alarmed or angry, the Qua Bird erects these singular appendages, which then give it a strange and threatening appearance. The eye of the species is noted for its beauty, the pupil being black and the iris blood-red. The young of the first year differs both in color and shape from the parent bird. Their food is composed of small fish, which the birds labor for with great industry at night.

The Qua Bird extends over a large portion of North America. It arrives in Pennsylvania about the beginning of April; and invariably chooses each season the building place occupied the season before. If that place has been disturbed by the advances of cultivation, the bird chooses a similar spot as near to it as possible; although instances have occurred, that, when persecuted by man, or teased by other birds, the Qua flock have departed in a body, for parts unknown. The eggs are four in number, of a pale blue color. This bird is found in India; but it is smaller than the American variety, and builds on the ground among reeds. The European bird is smaller than the Indian, but closely resembles it in other respects. It is, however, undoubtedly the same species as that which we have described.

THE ROSEATE SPOON-BILL. (Platalea Ajaja. Wilson.)

The group to which this bird belongs, form a connecting link between the Herons and the Tantali, and receive their name from the singular shape of the bill. Like the Herons, they live in flocks, preying in the twilight upon fish and aquatic animals. They are said to search the mud with their bills, in the manner of ducks, straining out the insects and other small animals, upon which they feed when nothing better can be obtained. The European Spoon-bills breed on trees by the sea-side, and sometimes take their prey from other birds. At such seasons they are very noisy, and will often attack birds larger than themselves. They are sometimes tamed, and their flesh is esteemed equal to that of the goose.

Of the habits of the species under consideration not much is known. It is found along the seashore from Brazil to Carolina, and has been seen in the northern parts of Louisiana. It is not very common, however, in any of the Southern States, but is frequently seen in Mexico and the West Indies. It is generally in the water, sometimes swimming about gracefully, at others diving and then searching for its prey. This consists of insects, fish, shell-fish and small crabs. Wilson gives the following account of a specimen, which he received from a friend, and which had been shot in the neighborhood of Natchez.

“The Roseate Spoon-bill now before us measured two feet six inches in length, and near four feet in extent; the bill was six inches and a half long from the corner of the mouth, seven from its upper base, two inches over at its greatest width, and three-quarters of an inch where narrowest; of a black color for half its length, and covered with hard, scaly protuberances, like the edges of oyster-shells; these are of a whitish tint, stained with red; the nostrils are oblong, and placed in the centre of the upper mandible; from the lower end of each there runs a deep groove along each side of the mandible, and about a quarter of an inch from its edge; whole crown and chin bare of plumage, and covered with a greenish skin; that below the under mandible dilatable, like those of the genus Pelicanus; space round the eye, orange; irides, blood-red; cheeks and hind head, a bare black skin; neck, long, covered with short white feathers, some of which, on the upper part of the neck, are tipped with crimson; breast, white, the sides of which are tinged with a brown, burnt color; from the upper part of the breast proceeds a long tuft of fine, hair-like plumage, of a pale rose color; back, white, slightly tinged with brownish; wings, a pale wild rose color, the shafts lake; the shoulders of the wings are covered with a long, hairy plumage, of a deep and splendid carmine; upper and lower tail coverts, the same rich red; belly, rosy; rump, paler; tail, equal at the end, consisting of twelve feathers of a bright brownish orange, the shafts reddish; legs and naked part of the thighs, dark dusky red; feet, half webbed; toes, very long, particularly the hind one. The upper part of the neck had the plumage partly worn away, as if occasioned by resting it on the back, in the manner of the Ibis. The skin on the crown is a little wrinkled; the inside of the wing a much richer red than the outer.”





The harvest-field of Boaz. Like a host

Drawn up for battle stands its yellow grain,

Rustling its own sweet music. Brawny men

Are there to steal its beauty—and the noise

Of the keen sickle blends with random songs.

Close on their track the agile binders haste

To form the lately fallen grain in sheaves,

Which throng the field with golden monuments

To Industry and Labor.

                     Glance again —

Woman upon the field, the sweet and frail!

Like a young lily in a waste of thorns,

So she among the workmen. See! she bends —

And with a graceful, stainless hand collects

The single stalks that else would perish there.

’Tis gentle Ruth, the meek and beautiful,

Around whose name are wreathed the rarest flowers

Of generous remembrance—whom, though years

Counted by centuries have come and gone,

Woman delights to love and man to praise.

Oh! who can gaze upon her slender form,

Intent upon its labor, or can catch

The mild expression of her lovely face,

Nor feel his veins thrill deeper! Filial Ruth!

While that blest page endures that chronicles

Thy winning history for after times,

Love shall embalm thy name in benisons,

And hearts shall be thy home!

                           Another scene —

Behold before thine eye a mightier field —

Th’ unmeasured, the illimitable Past!

Yonder, well-busied with her ceaseless toil,

Lo! Memory—The Gleaner. Not like her,

The gentle Moabitess, laboring for love,

But as another Nemesis in look and work.

One gleaned to succor life—affection led

Her footsteps to the field and cheered her toil —

The other gleans for justice—hoarding up

A store of testimony in her garner-place,

For judgment and for Heaven. Pause awhile —

View her vocation and its circumstance —

Give wing to Thought—expand Reflection’s sails —

And thy salvation may be thy reward.


She stretcheth forth her hand and gleaneth. Day

And cheerless night are each to her the same;

A stranger to vicissitude and change,

She gathers up material for Heaven.

Mark what is in her grasp—lo! thrifty tares,

Old, unrepented sins thou hast forgotten —

And thistles, too, thine unforgiven wrongs —

And worthless weeds, thy lost and squandered hours —

And flowers, thy deeds of common charity,

Which Pity’s ardent hot-bed forced to shoot,

Not Duty’s tardy but unerring soil —

Life’s sweet embellishments, which make it fair,

Yet have no signal claim to merit—these

Were but unwelcome witnesses when thou

Art summoned for thy last account to meet

With thine accuser, Memory—and these,

If these were all to testify of thee,

Would seal thy doom with rayless misery:

It is alone the rich, ripe, perfect grain

Of Goodness and of Virtue that can win

For thee the taintless wealth of Paradise.


.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .


Our lives are what we make them—human will

Moulds human destiny—spirits on earth

But leave and bud, the blossom is the Future’s —

Earth, like a cunning sculptor, fashioneth

The form and features of Eternity.

Like Jacob’s dream-known angels we can rise

Upon “celestial stairs” to his and their fruition —

Or, like to him who burned and glowed in Heaven,

Be quenched amid the mists of endless night.


.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .


As thou shalt sow, man-brother, she shall glean —

Like maketh like—the seed thou scatterest

Into Life’s furrows shall produce its kind

In generous abundance. Oh! reflect

That thou art sowing for Eternity—that this

Thine earthly labor shall be known on high:

For as thou sowest, Memory will glean—

And as she gleans so shall thy portion be.


Her store-house shall be opened—from its depths

Her treasured evidence shall be produced,

Hoary with years, yet firm and forcible.

All else is worthless—but, if thou hast left

Upon thy pathway pure and sterling grain,

And Memory’s hand has gathered it for thee,

Then shalt thou tread the golden streets of Heaven,

And thy clear brow shall wear a seraph’s crown.


Scatter, oh! scatter on thine earthly way

The perfect seed of Goodness, Truth and Love:

That, when thou meetest Memory on high,

Bearing the tokens of thy life’s employ,

Thou shalt embrace her as an olden friend: —

And, counted with the angels, shalt remain

In the eternal childhood of the skies.





While engaged in writing songs to the native airs of his country, Moore, in a letter to the Countess of Donegal, makes these remarks on Irish music:

“It has been often said, and still oftener felt, that in our music is found the truest of all comments upon our history. The tone of defiance succeeded by the languor of despondency—a burst of turbulence, dying away into softness the sorrows of one moment lost in the levity of the next—and all that romantic mixture of mirth and sadness, which is naturally produced by the efforts of a lively temperament to shake off, or forget the wrongs which lie upon it. Such are the features of our history and character, which we find strongly and faithfully reflected in our music; and there are even many airs, which it is difficult to listen to, without recalling some period or event to which their expression seems applicable. Sometimes, for instance, when the strain is open and spirited, yet here and there shaded by a mournful recollection, we can fancy that we behold the brave allies of Montrose, marching to the aid of the royal cause, notwithstanding all the perfidy of Charles and his ministers, and remembering just enough of past sufferings to enhance the generosity of their present sacrifice. The plaintive melodies of Carolan take us back to the times in which he lived, when our poor countrymen were driven to worship their God in caves, or to quit, forever, the land of their birth—like the bird that abandons the nest which human touch has violated.”

In writing to these melodies, the poet’s task, a most difficult one, was to express sentiments in harmony with the air. To give an intelligible utterance to the feelings pent up in music, whether gay, solemn or mournful. At the time he wrote, Irish patriotism was in the ascendant, and many of the songs had a political bearing. So apparent was this, that the fact was noticed, we believe, by the government, or at least by some high in office. In the following well-known song, so full of the purest pathos, it is not clear to what the poet particularly alluded. If there was an allusion, as is not improbable, to Emmett and Miss Curren, Moore deemed it but an act of prudence to withhold the fact.

“Come, rest in this bosom, my own stricken deer,

 Though the herd has fled from thee, thy home is still here;

 Here still is the smile that no cloud can o’ercast,

 And a heart and a hand all thy own to the last.


“Oh! what was love made for, if ’tis not the same,

 Through joy and through torment, through glory and shame?

 I know not, I ask not, if guilt’s in that heart,

 I but know that I love thee, whatever thou art.


“Thou hast called me thy Angel in moments of bliss,

 And thy Angel I’ll be, ’mid the horrors of this —

 Through the furnace, unshrinking, thy steps to pursue,

 And shield thee, and save thee—or perish there too.”

At any rate, the sentiments of this song might well be applied to the personages mentioned, even if the poet himself had another application in his mind. Their tenderness is scarcely surpassed by any thing in the language; and there are states of mind with every one in which their repetition would bring tears.


Representative Men: Seven Lectures. By R. W. Emerson. Boston: Phillips, Sampson & Co. 1 vol. 12mo.

The subjects of these lectures, originally delivered before New England Lyceums, are Uses of Great Men; Plato, or the Philosopher; Swedenborg, or the Mystic; Montaigne, or the Skeptic; Shakspeare, or the Poet; Napoleon, or the Man of the World; and Goethe, or the Writer; subjects calculated to test the most various powers of the greatest mind, and, as treated by Mr. Emerson, appearing always in an original and fascinating, if not always a true light. The volume we consider, on the whole, the best of Mr. Emerson’s works. It is not, rhetorically speaking, so carefully written as his “Essays,” but it has more human interest, deals more generously with facts, and indicates a broader and more stalwort individuality. It is certainly one of the most fascinating books ever written, whether we consider its subtle verbal felicities, its deep and shrewd observation, its keen criticism, its beautiful mischievousness, its wit or learning, its wisdom or beauty. The best passages may be found in the lectures on Plato, Shakspeare, and Swedenborg; but the best lecture is probably that on Montaigne, which must have been written con amore. Indeed, the author seems a kind of Montaigne-Plato, with his eyes wide open both to material and spiritual facts, without a hearty self-surrender to either. There are in the volumes some speculative audacities which, in common with the rest of the human race, we consider equally erroneous and hurtful. In matters of religious faith it may be confidently asserted that mankind is right and Mr. Emerson wrong. Our author puts objectionable doctrines in language which shocks the minds of his readers without conveying to them his real ideas—a blunder, equally as regards prudence and expression.

The excellence of the book is not so much in its representations of the representative men who form its subjects, as in the representation of Mr. Emerson himself; and we doubt if, in all literature, there are revealed many individualities so peculiar, and so powerful in its peculiarity, as the individuality stamped upon every page of the present volume. We would not presume, in our limits, to attempt an analysis of an intellect so curiously complex as Mr. Emerson’s—with traits which strike us as a Parthian’s arrows, shot while he is flying, and which both provoke and defy the pursuit of criticism; but we will extract instead, a few of the beautiful and brilliant sentences which are inserted, like gems, in almost every lecture, and in each of which some sparkle of the writer’s quality appears. The lecture on Goethe is a perfect diamond necklace, shooting out light in every direction, with some flashes that illumine, for the instant, labyrinths of thought which darkness is considered to hold as exclusively her own.

In speaking of the acting of Shakspeare’s plays, he translates into words an emotion which everyone has felt, but which we never dreamed could be perfectly expressed. “The recitation,” he says, “begins; one golden word leaps out immortal from all this painted pedantry, and sweetly torments us with invitations to its own inaccessible homes.” Again, he remarks that Shakspeare is inconceivably wise; all other writers conceivably. “A good reader,” he says, “can, in a sort, nestle into Plato’s brain, and think from thence; but not into Shakspeare’s. We are still out of doors.” Speaking of Montaigne’s use of language, he exclaims, “but these words, and they would bleed; they are vascular and alive.” Of Mr. Emerson’s peculiar wit the present volume is full of Examples. Thus he speaks of “the heaven of law, and the pismire of performance under it;” of Plato as having “clapped copyright on the world;” of the possibility, as regards marriage, of dividing the human race into two classes; “those who are out and want to get in, and those who are in and want to get out;” but quotation of small sentences is impertinent, where so many paragraphs are thoroughly pervaded with the quality.

In speaking of Plato’s mind, Mr. Emerson gives us some of his keenest and most characteristic sentences—sentences in which the thought seems to go in straight lines right at the mark, but to lack a comprehension of relations. In Plato, he says, “the freest abandonment is united with the precision of a geometer. His daring imagination gives him the more solid grasp of facts; as the birds of the highest flight have the strongest alar bones.” . . . “His strength,” he says, a few pages after, “is like the momentum of a falling planet; and his discretion, the return of its due and perfect curve.” Perhaps the best passage, however, in the lecture on Plato, is that in which he describes the divine delirium, in which the philosopher rises into the seer. “He believes that poetry, prophecy, and the high insight, are from a wisdom of which man is not master; that the gods never philosophize; but, by a celestial mania, these miracles are accomplished. Horsed on these winged steeds, he sweeps the dim regions, visits worlds which flesh cannot enter; he saw the souls in pain; he hears the doom of the judge; he beholds the penal metempsychosis; the Fates, with the rock and shears; and hears the intoxicating hum of their spindle.”

Sentences, bright and beautiful as these, might be extracted from this volume to such an extent as to bring upon us an action for violating the copyright. For fineness of wit, imagination, observation, satire and sentiment, the book hardly has its equal in American literature; with its positive opinions we have little to do. With respect to these, it may be generally said, that Mr. Emerson is always beneath the surface, and never at the centre.

The Seaside and the Fireside. By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Boston: Ticknor, Reed & Fields. 1 vol. 16mo.

We have not space this month to do much more than refer to this beautiful collection of poems, instinct with sentiment and imagination, and with that drapery of beauty over the whole which constitutes the charm equally of Longfellow’s narratives and meditations. The first poem in the volume is “The Building of the Ship,” a worthy counterpart of Schiller’s “Song of the Bell,” and a grand example of the union of the common with the beautiful. We doubt if any of the poet’s longer compositions will equal it in popularity. To this succeed a number of pieces relating to the sea, of which “The Light House,” and “The Fire of Drift Wood,” appear to us the best. The poems “by the fireside,” commence with “Resignation,” an elegy warm from the author’s heart and imagination, and whose exquisite pathos has been felt and acknowledged all over the country. “The Open Window,” and “The Sand of the Desert,” belonging to this portion of the volume, are fine specimens of two processes of Longfellow’s mind—its subtle suggestiveness and its clear pictorial power. A long poem of twenty-seven pages, translated from the Gascon of Jasmin, entitled “The Blind Girl of Castèl-Cuillè,” is a tragedy whose power, sweetness, and pathos the dullest reader cannot resist. We wish that Mr. Longfellow would give us more specimens of this charming poet, as worthily “Englished” as the present.

We think that none of Mr. Longfellow’s volumes will be received with more favor than this, embodying as it does the best qualities of his muse, and leaving little for even the critic to grumble at but the smallness of its bulk.

Old Portraits and Modern Sketches. By John G. Whittier. Boston: Ticknor, Reed & Fields. 1 vol. 12mo.

This elegantly printed volume, from the press of a firm celebrated all over the country for tasteful books, is one of Mr. Whittier’s most characteristic productions. It contains strongly marked representations of John Bunyan, Thomas Ellwood, James Naylor, Andrew Marvell, John Roberts, Samuel Hopkins, Richard Baxter, William Leggett, Nathaniel P. Rogers, and Robert Dinsmoore. If sympathy be, as Carlyle says, the first condition of insight, there can be no doubt that these striking individualities have sat to the right artist for their portraits. The best pieces in the volume are John Bunyan, Naylor, Marvell and Baxter, which are really mental portraits, glowing with life and meaning. The inspiration of Whittier is impassioned conscience—a conscience as bold and resolute as it is quick and delicate; and wit, imagination, understanding and learning, all work under the direction of this moral force. His general taste is for the strong and daring in action and meditation; his field, the region of great ideas and universal sentiments; but at the same time he has a capacity for embodying the delicacies and refinements of thought and emotion, and in pure pathos and beauty he has few American superiors. All these qualities are displayed in this volume in their most genial action, and the result is a book of equal fineness and power.

History of Spanish Literature. By George Ticknor. New York: Harper & Brothers. 3 vols. 8vo.

Ben Jonson was wont to congratulate himself that his solid dramas were called “works,” while the dramatic productions of his contemporaries were but “plays.” Professor Ticknor’s History is eminently a “work,” the result of twenty years of thought and research. To its erudition no other epithet can apply than Dominie Sampson’s epithet of “prodigious.” Every department of the literature of a whole nation, through some ten centuries of existence, the author has thoroughly mastered. No intellectual history with which we are acquainted rests on such a solid basis of authorities. As the author has had the subject in his thoughts from his youth, his erudition, immense as it is, does not encumber his mind. It does not use him, but he uses it; and the result is that the work has the great merit of clear statement. It is not only full of knowledge, but the knowledge is so presented as to be communicated to every reader. Those who are little interested in the subject as a whole, will still find the work attractive from its biographical matter, its analysis of the plot and characters of different plays, and its fine translations of particular poems and ballads. The accounts given of the stories forming the plots of some of the dramas, are interesting as mere tales.

There are few American books which are so much calculated to raise the foreign estimate of American Scholarship and intelligence as this History of Spanish Literature, and we doubt if there be many men, in Spain or out of Spain, who could have written it.

People I have Met; or Pictures of Society and People of Mark. Drawn under a Thin Veil of Fiction. By N. Parker Willis. New York: Baker & Scribner. 1 vol. 12mo.

In this elegant volume we have a collection of Mr. Willis’s tales and sketches, recording the results of his intercourse with society on both sides of the Atlantic. It indicates that the author’s practical observation of men and things is as acute and sure as if his head did not contain the most trickery and exuberant of human fancies. No one can read the volume without delight, and without having his knowledge of society increased. It is a fit companion to the “Rural Letters,” being as full of the world as those are of nature. The writer’s sunny and sportive, keen and sparkling mind, glances and gleams through every story and sketch; and over the whole there is that indefinable grace, which the poet alone can communicate to the things of convention, and which almost lifts them into an ideal region of existence.

Monuments of Egypt; or Egypt a Witness for the Bible. By Francis L. Hawks, D. D., LL. D. With Notes of a Voyage up the Nile. By an American. New York; Geo. P. Putnam. 1 vol. 8vo.

Mr. Putnam has got up this volume with his usual indifference to expense, and his usual regard for typographical beauty. The illustrative engravings are exactly what the reader wants to assist him in the comprehension of the text. Dr. Hawks refuses, in the preface, the name of author, preferring the more modest appellation of compiler; but we should like to see many more compilations from the same source. He has carefully studied the works of the great English and French savons and travelers relating to the subject, and has presented in clear language the truths which they have established. We commend the book to all who are desirous of accurate information about a most interesting country, in its past and present condition.

A System of Ancient and Mediæval Geography, for the Use of Schools and Colleges. By Charles Anthon, LL. D. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1 vol. 8vo.

This solid and well printed volume is but one out of many proofs of the author’s extensive erudition and classical enthusiasm. We are incompetent to speak of its value as a class-book, but certainly can bear testimony to its wealth of information relating to ancient countries, and its interest to all who are students of ancient history. The work rests on a solid foundation of over a hundred authorities, German, English, and French, and indicates on every page a scholarship as minute in details as it is large in its grasp. In the limits of some seven hundred and fifty octavo pages, crammed rather than filled with matter, Dr. Anthon has almost compressed a library of knowledge.

The King of the Hurons. By the Author of “The First of the Knickerbockers,” and “The Young Patroon.” New York: Geo. P. Putnam. 1 vol. 12mo.

In the press of this month’s publications we trust that this novel, the work of a man of shrewd and accurate observation, graceful fancy, and brilliant style, will not be lost in the crowd. The author’s wit and humor sparkle over his narrative, and lend an increased fascination even to the engrossing interest of the characters and incidents.

Essay on Christian Baptism. By Baptist W. Noel, M. A. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1 vol. 16mo.

The author of this little volume has already attained great notoriety by his volume directed against the union of church and state. The object of his present work is to declare himself by conviction a Baptist, and to exhibit the train of scriptural argumentation by which he came to the conclusion that believers have the exclusive right to Christian baptism. The work is well written, and the reasoning indicates a conscientious inquirer after truth.

Fairy Tales from all Nations. By Anthony R. Montalba. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1 vol. 12mo.

The Harpers fairly bewilder critics by the number and variety of their publications. In following their books we have to make the most violent ascents and descents to and from one department of letters to another. We had hardly finished a survey of a Latin Dictionary before we came directly upon this delicious volume of fairy stories, containing a representation of supernatural novelties from Denmark, Germany, France, Sweden, Russia, Poland, Norway, Italy, Hungary, Iceland, Bohemia, and some Eastern countries. The collection is one of the most fascinating we have ever seen, and its interest is much increased to the younger class of readers by some thirty grotesque illustrations.

The History of England. By David Hume. Vol. 5. Boston: Phillips, Sampson & Co.

This volume of the cheap Boston edition of Hume is devoted to Charles I. and the Commonwealth; contains the principal alleged offences of the author against the principles of civil and religious liberty, and is, accordingly, that part of his great work which has been made the subject of the most vehement controversies. It is, perhaps, the ablest in style and matter of the whole, and may be profitably read in connection with Macaulay’s views on the same subjects.

Saint Leger, or The Threads of Life. New York: Geo. P. Putnam. 1 vol. 12mo.

This is the work of a man of intense conceptions, whose style is urged on by the furor of his thinking, and who, by sheer strength, drags the readers along with him from the first to the last page. The detail of the hero’s personal experience, if given with less vividness, would certainly tire, but as expressed in the author’s vehement style, it fastens attention as much as the incidents.

The Whale and his Captors; or The Whaleman’s Adventures, and The Whale’s Biography. By Rev. Henry T. Cheever. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1 vol. 16mo.

This volume is the production of a scholar, a man of letters, and a clergyman; and the characteristics of all three are modified by a sort of assumed Jack-Tarism, always racy, if sometimes in questionable taste. It is spirited in style, full of a landsman’s exultation in the incidents and scenery of sea life, and laden with interesting information pleasantly told.



  Grif.                     Noble madam,

Men’s evil manners live in brass; their virtues

We write in water. May it please your highness

To hear me speak his good now?


  Kath.                     Yes, good Griffith;

I were malicious else.


  Grif.                     This cardinal,

Though from an humble stock, undoubtedly,

Was fashioned to much honor from his cradle.

He was a scholar, and a ripe and good one;

Exceeding wise, fair spoken, and persuading;

Lofty, and sour, to them that loved him not;

But, to those men that sought him, sweet as summer.

King Henry VIII.

My dear Willis,—In an article of yours, which accompanies the two beautiful volumes of the writings of Edgar Allan Poe,[2] you have spoken with so much truth and delicacy of the deceased, and with the magical touch of genius have called so warmly up before me the memory of our lost friend, as you and I both seem to have known him, that I feel warranted in addressing to you the few plain words I have to say in defense of his character, as set down by Dr. Rufus W. Griswold. Although the article, it seems, appeared originally in the New York Tribune, it met my eye for the first time in the volumes before me. I now purpose to take exception to it in the most public manner. I knew Mr. Poe well—far better than Mr. Griswold; and by the memory of old times, when he was an editor of “Graham,” I pronounce this exceedingly ill-timed and unappreciative estimate of the character of our lost friend unfair and untrue. It must have been made in a moment of spleen, written out and laid aside, and handed to the printer, when his death was announced, with a sort of chuckle. It is Mr. Poe, as seen by the writer while laboring under a fit of the nightmare; but so dark a picture has no resemblance to the living man. Accompanying these beautiful volumes, it is an immortal infamy—the death’s head over the entrance to the garden of beauty—a horror that clings to the brow of morning, whispering of murder. It haunts the memory through every page of his writings, leaving upon the heart a sensation of utter gloom, a feeling almost of terror. The only relief we feel, is in knowing that it is not true—that it is a fancy sketch of a perverted, jaundiced vision. The man who could deliberately say of Edgar Allan Poe, in a notice of his life and writings, prefacing the volumes which were to become a priceless souvenir to all who loved him—that his death might startle many, “but that few would be grieved by it”—and blast the whole fame of the man by such a paragraph as follows, is a judge dishonored. He is not Mr. Poe’s peer, and I challenge him before the country, even as a juror in the case.

“His harsh experience had deprived him of all faith in man or woman. He had made up his mind upon the numberless complexities of the social world, and the whole system with him was an imposture. This conviction gave a direction to his shrewd and naturally unamiable character. Still, though he regarded society as composed altogether of villains, the sharpness of his intellect was not of that kind which enabled him to cope with villany, while it continually caused him by overshots to fail of the success of honesty. He was in many respects like Francis Vivian in Bulwer’s novel of ”The Caxtons.“ Passion, in him, comprehended many of the worst emotions which militate against human happiness. You could not contradict him, but you raised quick choler; you could not speak of wealth, but his cheek paled with gnawing envy. The astonishing natural advantages of this poor boy—his beauty, his readiness, the daring spirit that breathed around him like a fiery atmosphere—had raised his constitutional self-confidence into an arrogance that turned his very claims to admiration into prejudices against him. Irascible, envious—bad enough, but not the worst, for these salient angles were all varnished over with a cold, repellent cynicism, his passions vented themselves in sneers. There seemed to him no moral susceptibility; and, what was more remarkable in a proud nature, little or nothing of the true point of honor. He had, to a morbid excess, that desire to rise which is vulgarly called ambition, but no wish for the esteem or the love of his species; only the hard wish to succeed—not shine, not serve—succeed, that he might have the right to despise a world which galled his self-conceit.”

Now, this is dastardly, and, what is worse, it is false. It is very adroitly done, with phrases very well turned, and with gleams of truth shining out from a setting so dusky as to look devilish. Mr. Griswold does not feel the worth of the man he has undervalued—he had no sympathies in common with him, and has allowed old prejudices and old enmities to steal, insensibly perhaps, into the coloring of his picture. They were for years totally uncongenial, if not enemies, and during that period Mr. Poe, in a scathing lecture upon The Poets of America, gave Mr. Griswold some raps over the knuckles of force sufficient to be remembered. He had, too, in the exercise of his functions as critic, put to death, summarily, the literary reputation of some of Mr. Griswold’s best friends; and their ghosts cried in vain for him to avenge them during Poe’s life-time—and it almost seems, as if the present hacking at the cold remains of him who struck them down, is a sort of compensation for duty long delayed—for reprisal long desired but deferred. But without this—the opportunities afforded Mr. Griswold to estimate the character of Poe occurred, in the main, after his stability had been wrecked, his whole nature in a degree changed and with all his prejudices aroused and active. Nor do I consider Mr. Griswold competent—with all the opportunities he may have cultivated or acquired—to set as his judge—to dissect that subtle and singularly fine intellect—to probe the motives and weigh the actions of that proud heart. His whole nature—that distinctive presence of the departed which now stands impalpable, yet in strong outline before me, as I knew him and felt him to be—eludes the rude grasp of a mind so warped and uncongenial as Mr. Griswold’s.

But it may be said, my dear Willis, that Mr. Poe himself deputed him to set as his literary executor, and that he must have felt some confidence in his ability at least—if not in his integrity—to perform the functions imposed with discretion and honor. I do not purpose, now, to enter into any examination of the appointment of Mr. Griswold—nor of the wisdom of his appointment to the solemn trust of handing the fair fame of the deceased unimpaired to that posterity to which the dying poet bequeathed his legacy—but simply to question its faithful performance. Among the true friends of Poe in this city—and he had some such here—there are those I am sure that he did not class among villains; nor do they feel easy when they see their old friend dressed out, in his grave, in the habiliments of a scoundrel. There is something to them in this mode of procedure on the part of the literary Executor, that does not chime in with their notions of “the true point of honor.” It looks so much like a breach of trust, that, to their plain understandings, it is a proceeding that may very fairly be questioned. They may, perhaps, being plain business men, be somewhat unschooled in legacies, and obligations of this sort, but it shocks all their notions of fair dealing. They had been led to suppose, that thus to fritter away an estate was, to say the least of it, not of that high kind of integrity which courts of justice alone recognize in a settlement in ordinary affairs. As heirs, in part, to the inheritance left by their lost friend, they find the fairest part of the domain ravaged, and the strong castle battered down; and do not think because the hedges have been a little trimmed up, and the gateway set in fashion, that the property has been improved—on the contrary, they think the estate is ruined. They had all of them looked upon our departed friend as singularly indifferent to wealth for its own sake, but as very positive in his opinions that the scale of social merit was not of the highest—that Mind, somehow, was apt to be left out of the estimate altogether—and, partaking somewhat of his free way of thinking, his friends are startled to find they have entertained very unamiable convictions. As to his “quick choler” when he was contradicted, it depended a good deal upon the party denying, as well as upon the subject discussed. He was quick, it is true, to perceive mere quacks in literature, and somewhat apt to be hasty when pestered with them; but upon most other questions his natural amiability was not easily disturbed. Upon a subject that he understood thoroughly, he felt some right to be positive, if not arrogant, when addressing pretenders. His “astonishing natural advantages” had been very assiduously cultivated—his “daring spirit” was the anointed of genius—his self confidence the proud conviction of both—and it was with something of a lofty scorn that he attacked, as well as repelled, a crammed scholar of the hour, who attempted to palm upon him his ill-digested learning. Literature with him was religion; and he, its high-priest, with a whip of scorpions scourged the money-changers from the temple. In all else he had the docility and kind-heartedness of a child. No man was more quickly touched by a kindness—none more prompt to atone for an injury. For three or four years I knew him intimately, and for eighteen months saw him almost daily; much of the time writing or conversing at the same desk; knowing all his hopes, his fears, and little annoyances of life, as well as his high-hearted struggle with adverse fate—yet he was always the same polished gentleman—the quiet, unobtrusive, thoughtful scholar—the devoted husband—frugal in his personal expenses—punctual and unwearied in his industry—and the soul of honor, in all his transactions. This, of course, was in his better days, and by them we judge the man. But even after his habits had changed, there was no literary man to whom I would more readily advance money for labor to be done. He kept his accounts, small as they were, with the accuracy of a banker. I append an account sent to me in his own hand, long after he had left Philadelphia, and after all knowledge of the transactions it recited had escaped my memory. I had returned him the story of “The Gold Bug,” at his own request, as he found that he could dispose of it very advantageously elsewhere.

“We were square when I sold you the ‘Versification’ article; for which you gave me first 25, and afterward 7—in all$32 00
Then you bought ‘The Gold Bug’ for52 00
I got both these back, so that I owed$84 00
You lent Mrs. Clemm12 50
Making in all$96 50
The review of ‘Flaccus’ was 3¾ pp, which, at $4, is15 00
Lowell’s poem is10 00
The review of Channing, 4 pp. is 16, of which I got 6, leaving10 00
The review of Halleck, 4 pp. is 16, of which I got 10, leaving6 00
The review of Reynolds, 2 pp.8 00
The review of Longfellow, 5 pp. is 20, of which I got 10, leaving10 00
So that I have paid in all59 00
Which leaves still due by me$37 50

This I find was his uniform habit with others, as well as myself—carefully recalling to mind his indebtedness, with the fresh article sent. And this is the man who had “no moral susceptibility,” and little or nothing of the “true point of honor.” It may be a very plain, business view of the question, but it strikes his friends that it may pass as something, as times go.

I shall never forget how solicitous of the happiness of his wife and mother-in-law he was, whilst one of the editors of Graham’s Magazine—his whole efforts seemed to be to procure the comfort and welfare of his home. Except for their happiness—and the natural ambition of having a magazine of his own—I never heard him deplore the want of wealth. The truth is, he cared little for money, and knew less of its value, for he seemed to have no personal expenses. What he received from me in regular monthly instalments, went directly into the hands of his mother-in-law for family comforts—and twice only, I remember his purchasing some rather expensive luxuries for his house, and then he was nervous to the degree of misery until he had, by extra articles, covered what he considered an imprudent indebtedness. His love for his wife was a sort of rapturous worship of the spirit of beauty which he felt was fading before his eyes. I have seen him hovering around her when she was ill, with all the fond fear and tender anxiety of a mother for her first-born—her slightest cough causing in him a shudder, a heart-chill that was visible. I rode out one summer evening with them, and the remembrance of his watchful eyes eagerly bent upon the slightest change of hue in that loved face, haunts me yet as the memory of a sad strain. It was this hourly anticipation of her loss, that made him a sad and thoughtful man, and lent a mournful melody to his undying song.

It is true that later in life Poe had much of those morbid feelings which a life of poverty and disappointment is so apt to engender in the heart of man—the sense of having been ill-used, misunderstood, and put aside by men of far less ability, and of none, which preys upon the heart and clouds the brain of many a child of song: A consciousness of the inequalities of life, and of the abundant power of mere wealth allied even to vulgarity, to over-ride all distinctions, and to thrust itself bedaubed with dirt and glittering with tinsel, into the high places of society, and the chief seats of the synagogue; whilst he, a worshiper of the beautiful and true, who listened to the voices of angels, and held delighted companionship with them as the cold throng swept disdainfully by him, was often in danger of being thrust out, houseless, homeless, beggared upon the world, with all his fine feelings strung to a tension of agony when he thought of his beautiful and delicate wife dying hourly before his eyes. What wonder, that he then poured out the vials of a long-treasured bitterness upon the injustice and hollowness of all society around him.

The very natural question—“Why did he not work and thrive?” is easily answered. It will not be asked by the many who know the precarious tenure by which literary men hold a mere living in this country. The avenues through which they can profitably reach the country are few, and crowded with aspirants for bread as well as fame. The unfortunate tendency to cheapen every literary work to the lowest point of beggarly flimsiness in price and profit, prevents even the well-disposed from extending any thing like an adequate support to even a part of the great throng which genius, talent, education, and even misfortune, force into the struggle. The character of Poe’s mind was of such an order, as not to be very widely in demand. The class of educated mind which he could readily and profitably address, was small—the channels through which he could do so at all, were few—and publishers all, or nearly all, contented with such pens as were already engaged, hesitated to incur the expense of his to an extent which would sufficiently remunerate him; hence, when he was fairly at sea, connected permanently with no publication, he suffered all the horrors of prospective destitution, with scarcely the ability of providing for immediate necessities; and at such moments, alas! the tempter often came, and, as you have truly said, “one glass” of wine, made him a madman. Let the moralist who stands upon tufted carpet, and surveys his smoking board, the fruits of his individual toil or mercantile adventure, pause before he lets the anathema, trembling upon his lips, fall upon a man like Poe! who, wandering from publisher to publisher, with his fine, print-like manuscript, scrupulously clean and neatly rolled, finds no market for his brain—with despair at heart, misery ahead for himself and his loved ones, and gaunt famine dogging at his heels, thus sinks by the wayside, before the demon that watches his steps and whispers, OBLIVION. Of all the miseries which God, or his own vices inflict upon man, none are so terrible as that of having the strong and willing arm struck down to a child-like inefficiency, while the Heart and Will, have the purpose and force of a giant’s out-doing. We must remember, too, that the very organization of such a mind as that of Poe—the very tension and tone of his exquisitely strung nerves—the passionate yearnings of his soul for the beautiful and true, utterly unfitted him for the rude jostlings and fierce competitorship of trade. The only drafts of his that could be honored, were those upon his brain. The unpeopled air—the caverns of ocean—the decay and mystery that hang around old castles—the thunder of wind through the forest aisles—the spirits that rode the blast, by all but him unseen—and the deep metaphysical creations which floated through the chambers of his soul, were his only wealth, the High Change where only his signature was valid for rubies.

Could he have stepped down and chronicled small beer, made himself the shifting toady of the hour, and with bow and cringe, hung upon the steps of greatness, sounding the glory of third-rate ability with a penny trumpet, he would have been feted alive, and, perhaps, been praised when dead. But no! his views of the duties of the critic were stern, and he felt that in praising an unworthy writer, he committed dishonor. His pen was regulated by the highest sense of DUTY. By a keen analysis he separated and studied each piece which the skillful mechanist had put together. No part, however insignificant or apparently unimportant, escaped the rigid and patient scrutiny of his sagacious mind. The unfitted joint proved the bungler—the slightest blemish, was a palpable fraud. He was the scrutinising lapidary, who detected and exposed the most minute flaw in diamonds. The gem of first water shone the brighter, for the truthful setting of his calm praise. He had the finest touch of soul for beauty—a delicate and hearty appreciation of worth. If his praise appeared tardy, it was of priceless value when given. It was true as well as sincere. It was the stroke of honor, that at once knighted the receiver. It was in the world of MIND that he was king; and with a fierce audacity he felt and proclaimed himself autocrat. As critic he was Despotic, Supreme. He waved his sceptre, and countless heads fell from proud shoulders. With a world arrayed in hostile argument, he combated each step. The shrieks of the slaughtered were incense to unseen spirits, who to his eye nodded approval, and danced for joy. The accused were tried by the most subtle of laws—their works passed through the alembic of a most powerful and penetrating intellect; to them the decrees of an unseen court—and friend or foe, saint or sinner, were pardoned with grave rebuke, or gibbeted without mercy. Yet no man with more readiness would soften a harsh expression at the request of a friend, or if he himself felt that he had infused too great a degree of bitterness into his article, none would more readily soften it down, after it was in type—though still maintaining the justness of his critical views. I do not believe that he wrote to give pain; but in combating what he conceived to be error, he used the strongest word that presented itself, even in conversation. He labored, not so much to reform, as to exterminate error, and thought the shortest process was to pull it up by the roots.

He was a worshiper of INTELLECT—longing to grasp the power of mind that moves the stars—to bathe his soul in the dreams of seraphs. He was himself all ethereal, of a fine essence, that moved in an atmosphere of spirits—of spiritual beauty overflowing and radiant—twin brother with the angels, feeling their flashing wings upon his heart, and almost clasping them in his embrace. Of them, and as an expectant archangel of that high order of intellect, stepping out of himself, as it were, and interpreting the time, he reveled in delicious luxury in a world beyond, with an audacity which we fear in madmen, but in genius worship as the inspiration of heaven.

But my object in throwing together a few thoughts upon the character of Edgar Allan Poe, was not to attempt as elaborate criticism, but to say what might palliate grave faults that have been attributed to him, and to meet by facts, unjust accusation—in a word, to give a mere outline of the man as he lived before me. I think I am warranted in saying to Mr. Griswold, that he must review his decision. It will not stand the calm scrutiny of his own judgment, or of time, while it must be regarded by all the friends of Mr. Poe as an ill-judged and misplaced calumny upon that gifted Son of Genius.

Yours truly,

Geo. R. Graham.

To N. P. Willis, Esq.

Philadelphia, Feb. 2, 1850.

P. S. I should fail in my whole duty to the memory of Edgar Allan Poe, if I did not mention that his works have been issued by Mr. Redfield, for the benefit of Mrs. Maria Clemm, the mother-in-law of the deceased, whose comfort in her coming days is in a great degree dependent upon an extensive sale of the work. The readers of Graham, who have been so often delighted by his pen, will, I am sure, eagerly embrace this opportunity to preserve his complete collected writings; and it will afford me pleasure to be the medium of the transmission of their subscriptions to the publisher.

G. R. G.

The Works of the Late Edgar Allan Poe: With Notices of His life and Genius, by N. P. Willis, J. R. Lowell, and R. W. Griswold. In Two Volumes. New York: J. S. Redfield, Clinton Hall.

Anaïs Toudouze


PARIS Boulevart St. Martin 61

Chapeaux de Mme. Baudry, r. Richelieu, 87—Robes et pardessus de Camille.

Fleurs de Chagot ainé, r. Richelieu, 81.

Graham’s Magazine.






Thou art lovelier than the coming

Of the fairest flow’rs of spring,

When the wild bee wanders humming,

Like a blessed fairy thing.

Thou art lovelier than the breaking

Of the Orient crimson’d morn,

When the gentlest winds are shaking


dew-drops from the thorn

Thou art lovelier than the coming

Of the fairest flower of spring,

When the wild bee wanders humming,

Like a blessed fairy thing.




I have seen the wild flow’rs springing

In field, in wood, in glen,

Where a thousand birds are singing,

And my thoughts were of thee then;

For there’s nothing gladsome round me,

Nothing beautiful to see,

Since thy beauty’s spell hath bound me,

But is eloquent of thee.

Thou art lovelier than the coming

Of the fairest flow’rs of spring,

When the wild bee wanders humming

Like a blessed fairy thing.

Transcriber’s Notes:

Table of Contents has been added for reader convenience. Archaic spellings and hyphenation have been retained. Obvious type-setting and punctuation 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.


page 171, Or Cythereas breath; ==> Or Cytherea’s breath;

page 171, pearled Acturi of the ==> pearled Arcturi of the

page 172, the same harrassed air ==> the same harassed air

page 177, Charles Stuart, rung on ==> Charles Stuart, rang on

page 180, pointless harrangues “nay, ==> pointless harangues “nay,

page 181, for her to pursuade ==> for her to persuade

page 188, “I will commisserate the ==> “I will commiserate the

page 192, offend, he plead his early ==> offend, he pleaded his early

page 194, agony, sunk fainting and ==> agony, sank fainting and

page 206, as he sunk back, and ==> as he sank back, and

page 208, PORTRAIT OF GENERAL GREENE. ==> caption used is based on entry in the index for the volume.

page 208, LIFE OF GENERAL NATHANIEL GREENE ==> correct spelling is ‘Nathanael’, but the ‘Nathaniel’ spelling throughout the article has been left as printed.


[The end of Graham's Magazine Vol. XXXVI No. 3 (Mar. 1850) edited by George R. Graham]