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Title: Graham's Magazine, Vol. VII, No. 6 (December 1840)

Date of first publication: 1840

Author: George R. Graham (editor)

Date first posted: Feb. 17, 2019

Date last updated: Feb. 17, 2019

Faded Page eBook #20190229

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


Vol. VII.      DECEMBER, 1840.      No. 6.


Fiction and Other Articles
Mausoleum at Lucnow
The Lover and the Poet
My First Declaration
The Man of the Crowd
Cruizing in the Last War
The Vespers
The Minister’s Daughter
The Life of a French Conscript
Fergus Leary
Edmund and His Cousin
Poetry and Fashion
Fashion Plate
The Orphan Child
I Remember—I Remember
Bridal Song
To a Wild Rose

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

Drawn by W. Daniell, R.A.       Engraved by W. J. Cooke

Mausoleum at Lucnow





Vol. VII.]     DECEMBER, 1840.     [No. 6.



Lucnow, the residence of the King of Oude, is situated on a branch of the Ganges above Allahabad, and is celebrated throughout India for the beauty of its palaces, and the splendor of its courts.

It was late on a sultry day in summer, that, after traversing the wild suburbs surrounding it, we entered Lucnow. Such a collection of mud cabins, lining both sides of the narrow streets, I had never seen before, nor did the innumerable beggars crowding every doorway, and gathered at every corner, diminish the meanness of the spectacle. I was astonished. I had looked for splendor, and here I was, in the midst of a dirty suburb whose thoroughfares were too narrow to admit of more than one elephant passing at a time.

We had travelled thus for some distance, when suddenly turning a corner, we entered a large and spacious street, adorned with sumptuous structures mostly built in the mingled Gothic and Saracenic architecture which I have so often described. The effect was magical. It reminded me of the wonders worked by Alladdin’s lamp. But a minute before, every thing had borne the appearance of extreme poverty; now we were surrounded by splendid structures, rich equipages, and trains of attendant servants.

One of the most striking characteristics of the city was the weapons carried by the inhabitants. Lucnow seemed like a city besieged. The poorest citizen as well as the wealthy nabob alike went armed. Every man appeared to fear for his life. The utmost license was perceptible on every hand, and a stranger might naturally, for a moment fancy himself in the midst of a civil war. Like the Hungarians the people of Lucnow have their intractable habits, and their own wild notions of liberty.

The king has one or two pretty palaces in Lucnow,—but its chief ornament is the “Imramidad,” or Cathedral, a building strongly marked with the Gothic style, and not unlike the Kremlin. It far surpasses the latter building in magnificence, and as I have seen both I can speak with some confidence.

It is a characteristic of oriental architecture to be light and graceful in the detail, though grand and imposing in general appearance. The cathedral is a celebrated example of this. Its wild courts, towering walls, and gorgeous architecture are celebrated throughout India, and it only requires to be visited, to be admired equally with its great rival at Moscow. It is filled with numerous mausoleums, built at a lavish cost, to tell the virtues of imbeciles and tyrants, long since gone to that other world where princes and peasants are alike.

The Mausoleum derives double beauty, from its being embowered in trees, out of the midst of which its balloon-like cupola rises with surpassing loveliness. In the distance are seen the minarets belonging to the other portion of this magnificent structure, and on every side groups of trees fan the air with their wide-spread leaves. There is a quiet beauty about the spot which witches one into a dreamy repose, from which he is only aroused by the voice of his servant announcing the palanquin.

C. F. W.





And didst thou not, thy breast to his replying,

Blend a celestial with a human heart;

And love, which dies as it was born, in sighing,

Share with immortal transports? could thine art

Make them indeed immortal, and impart

The purity of heaven to earthly joys,

Expel the venom and not blunt the dart—

The dull satiety which all destroys—

And root from out the soul the deadly weed which cloys?

Childe Harold.

Well, Merivale,” exclaimed young Maltby, as he entered his friend’s apartment, on a bright morning in June, “the ‘world’ is coming to an end; shall you seek refuge in Newp’rt, Nahant, The Branch, Saratoga, or The Cape?”

“A climax of detestability! If you ever write a grammar, Henry,—and who knows whether Fashion’s tyrant may not be compelled to resemble Corinth’s?—and wish to illustrate the adjective abominable in the three degrees of positive, comparative and superlative, print the three last places in the order in which you have named them.”

The young man who spoke had been interrupted in the midst of deep and perplexing meditations by a visiter whose tiresome trifling was peculiarly unwelcome at that moment; and the person whose equanimity was thus disturbed was disposed to vent upon the subject of the discourse that irritation which he felt against its author. He was reclining on an ottoman in a very elegantly-furnished apartment, and in that comfortable position seemed inclined to pour out his bile against the rest of the world.

“You are somewhat like Dion’s spectre, as told by Wordsworth,—‘sweeping, vehemently sweeping.’ What have you to object to Newport?” said Maltby.

“Nothing but its everlasting ‘fog-smoke white,’ through which barely ‘glimmers the white moon-shine;’ and the talk of its transcendental doctors which has all the mist of the external scene, and still more moon-shine. I remember that a caravan of wild beasts once came to Newport; on the outside was hung up a picture representing a tawny creature reposing under a tree; the inhabitants pressed in, in the hope of seeing a great curiosity, and were sadly disappointed to find that the show was a lion and not a tree.”

“If you look for verdure, Nahant is certainly not very attractive.”

“ ’Tis a rock as barren as the sceptre of Macbeth; dull, monotonous and disagreeable. I have sometimes thought that the fable of Prometheus must have been meant to typify a summer’s residence at Nahant; and if so, I can excuse the martyr’s groans, and understand that all the chains of Neptune were needed to confine him to the rock.”

“The Branch?”

“Unlike the Virgilian, the fruit it bears is anything but golden. What can exceed the leaden dulness of its Dowagers, re-enacting in the relaxation of summer, and beside the majestic presence of the sea, the tedious etiquette of a half-bred dinner-party!”

“The Cape?”

“As I am a little out of practice in boxing, I fear it would not be safe. It is a colony of Thracians and Amazonians. The manners of the men are more ironed than their linen, and the very women, morally, are coated in male.”

“Then try the Falls of St. Anthony. I can give you letters to that part of the country.”

“The savages could not read them.”

“Cadmus, you know, carried letters into Bœotia, though the inhabitants were barbarous. You should imitate so venerable an example.”

“Nay, if you will follow precedents in conduct,” said Merivale, who grew every moment more and more restless, “let me recommend you to imitate Charles of Burgundy, and put upon your banner a Boar rampant.” Maltby whose intellects were not of the most penetrating kind, pondered for a moment with half-shut eyes upon this remark, trying to make out whether his friend meant to call him a boar.

“Francis,” said he at length, “you seem to be in a bad humor to-day.”


“Good morning!”

“Good morning!” cried the other, with the keenest alacrity, starting up as if his seat had suddenly become a springing-board.

When the visiter had withdrawn, the other locked and double locked the door, and pacing toward the other end of the apartment, threw out his arms with something like the feeling and air of Hamlet where he exclaims, “Now I am alone.” He paused before a buffet which stood in a recess of the room and poured himself out three or four glasses of Hock; and then with knit brow and folded arm walked up and down the room, occasionally throwing back his head impatiently, as if he strove to “shuffle off” some “mortal coil” of thoughts, or cares, or griefs. He presently seated himself in a large chair of crimson velvet and opened an escritoire which stood before it. Several effusions in verse and a few unfinished prose compositions were within. He took out a fresh sheet, and began to trace with irregular and hurried pen the rhymed record of the tumultuous thoughts and fiery passions which were raging in his brain and blazing within his heart. He had often found that poetic utterance was the best relief for a mind over-strung and feelings over-charged: nay, frequent and varied as were the occasions on which he had woven the rich sentiments of his nature into labored verse, he had never had any other inspiration than the self-compulsion of irrepressible excitement, or any other motive than to delay passion by expressing it.

After sometime he threw down his pen and exclaimed, “I will seek her,—I will see her: I will woo and I will win her. Why not? What task have I ever attempted and been foiled by? There lives no difficulty that has ever vanquished me. In efforts rarer and vaster than this I have laughed failure to scorn.”

He threw himself upon the sofa and became absorbed in meditation.

The person thus presented to the reader was a young man in form somewhat above the middle height, and in countenance and air singularly striking and noble. No one who observed his manner in his most careless moments could fail to be impressed with the fine patrician fire which shone in every gesture: and none threw the most transient glance on his features without returning to review his lineaments, with the consciousness that he was looking at a remarkable man, and one of whom he would probably ere long, hear something interesting. His pale brow, high and broad, was shaded by numerous glossy curls of brown, whose delicate beauty might have imparted an aspect of effeminacy, if the heavy eye-brow and fiery glance beneath it, had not effectually saved his countenance from any predominance of softness. His large grey eye, in his moments of quiet meditation or gentle mirth, seemed to contain behind its rich calmness a lambent fire which to the discerning, gave sufficient token of the quick, ceaseless lightning-play which it was capable of, when the storm of passion was kindled beyond it. His lip,—which in a striking face is usually the most significant feature,—displayed a fine, free and rich curve, whose flowing outline was carved with a free and faultless beauty. Its physical expression in repose was that of pride and impatience; in any agitation, its trembling changes were a faithful mirror of the disturbance, whether joyous or bitter, which passed across the bosom of its possessor. The whole cast of the face and more especially its sitting on the shoulders had an air of classic nobleness and purity.

When occupied with thought, the compressed firmness of the lip and the deep vertical lines along the forehead made it seem like the bust of some Grecian statesman; but at the kindling of some mirthful thought, its whole surface would instantly flash into gaiety and smiles; and in moments of sublimer meditation, when the spirit drew withinward and in hidden flight soared “into the region,” it was wrapt in a cold and mystic vacancy.

At the age of twenty-one Francis Merivale found himself the master of a large estate and the slave of a host of passions. He emerged from the rigorous, but wholesome mental discipline, to which the conscientious anxiety of guardians had subjected him with a mind highly accomplished, a memory stored with the best fruits of scholarship and an understanding that had been well and keenly exercised in the most tasking exercises of logic. But beneath this strong intellectual frame-work, and beneath the sternness of a still stouter and more resolute character and will, there swelled the heavings of deep, unresting feeling. Constitutionally impulsive in all his movements, and intolerant of any control, his studies had owed their devotion more to pride than to patience. Labor and the order of scientific thought were alien to all his tastes; and that very dislike made him turn upon the difficulty with the fury of a lion and conquer a foe which should not boast of having deterred or baffled him. He hated learning; and because he hated, he would subdue and possess it. The existence of knowledge which he had not acquired and sciences to which he was a stranger, seemed to insult his spirit, as the distant greatness of England was an eternal irritation to the imperial pride of Napoleon; and this provocation urged him to passionate and long enduring toils to strike at the heart of every science and enrol it under his sway.

These fierce forays into the dominions of knowledge were full of proud excitement: but it was only when he threw aside all outward thoughts and views, and banishing all the external world, plunged his spirit into the foaming sea of his own tumultuous feelings, that the fulness of ecstacy was his. When his being was hurled into the infinite abandonment of self, and the universe of consciousness filled with nothing but the myriad fire-eyed offspring of his own teeming soul,—then he lived! How essential was that life! how intense that being! how mad the intoxication of that joy! Boundless creation was the state and condition of that existence. Worlds of ideal nature, tinted with the hues of an ideal fairness, rose forth from the exhaustless regions of the spirit. Endless forms of force and splendor floated in the air of fancy, radiant with an abstract and primal beauty. And with an Olympic serenity of gaze, the eye of this divine genius which from its own being drew its own creations, surveyed their coming, like the calm, cloud-seated deities of Ida; and was glad.

When such a heart would refresh its sentiments or deepen the inspiration of its power by the added wealth of outward influences, the presence of man and of man’s world was a torment; it was only from the free and stainless face of nature that the bold and boundless sympathy that it was demanded, could be had;—in the field of the rising and the setting sun,—the gathering storm,—the mystery-girded mountain; but most of all from the majestic sea.

The father of young Merivale, whose great wealth was enjoyed under the dictates of a refined taste, had an estate adjoining the ocean in one of the most picturesque and impressive spots on the whole sea-coast. To escape from the city and from all society, and fly to this secluded region to give vent to feelings which by that mighty friend would never be mocked or reproved, formed the greatest delight that the boy ever felt. How did he remember the first time he ever saw the sea! He had driven down from town in a barouch; the road ran directly to the bank of the sea and then along its brow; it was toward sunset when this turn in the road suddenly threw upon his sight the deep, deep blue erected wave, crested with the fine featherings of its foamy plume. A sense of ineffable beauty smote upon his heart. He sank back in the carriage, and felt as if the very spirit of the Beautiful in all its veilless awe overshadowed his being—visions of marbled Greece, the home and the shrine of loveliness in form, floated before his eyes; the spirit of the classic days of art and genius was upon him; and he felt that all that he had dreamed of was realised,—all that he could ever hope for was supplied.

In every change of season and of day, in every variation of the elements, he had been familiar with the aspect of the sea. He found it a companion worthy of his spirit. He loved its venerable form with the affection of a friend; and often when returning from an absence of some length, he heard its long familiar roar of welcome, tears of love and gladness would flow unbidden down his cheek. And to it he owed the loftiest gratitude; for how often as he looked upon its long, majestic might of step, its magnanimous strength of movement, or heard its free, sublime and generous voice, had the petty jar and jangle of fretted feeling, the convulsive throb of passionate anguish, been calmed and soothed! How often had its presence renewed within his soul the eternal Hope, which is the life of life, when the pressure of the world had well-nigh crushed it out forever.

But in relieving and giving vent to emotion, the influence of the sea was not to subdue the excitement of his heart but rather to strengthen and extend it; it calmed feeling by expanding its range; it removed superficial restlessness by sinking it into the depths of his nature. It roused within him mighty aspirations,—calm because of their vastness,—quick yet inappeasible by all that earth contained. He communed with it not with the eye and ear only, but with the soul. He could not look upon it as a mere inanimate field of waters, which were thrown upon the shore in obedience to some mechanic law: it was to him a Being,—moving, feeling, speaking. The feelings which it excited seemed to belong to it; the thoughts it awakened, were taken to be of its thinking. On its broad bosom infinitely rested, silence sweet, eternity brooded. In its roar there was an utterance which addressed the inmost spirit; and again it spoke, and again; and that utterance was mystery. The heavy roll of its restless surf,—the glad dance of its foam in the morning sun-light,—the luxurious heave of its more distant billows, spoke of infinite power, infinite beauty, infinite enjoyment: and they planted in his breast a passionate prompting to find in the moral world those sentiments which the physical thus illustrated. He fed upon those ideas of immortal essence till all that daily life afforded, grew tame and tasteless.

These impressions were but deepened when from the sea he turned to gaze upon that mystic curtain of gorgeousness and beauty which nature has drawn beneath the heavens. The intense silence that gathered around the solemn canopy of crimson and green within which the declining sun passed for a space ere he descended into night, seemed like a trance of celestial ecstacy; and when he went down in the same mystic stillness, the soul of the enraptured gazers was drawn forth to follow him on that unknown journey, and returned from the pursuit with endless longings and ambitions which there was nothing to satisfy. These enjoyments of the heart and fancy fixed a decided quality on the character and life of Francis Merivale. If there were any interests which claimed thenceforth to absorb his nature, they must be infinite; if any pleasures were to content his bosom they must not be less than mortal.

With such powers and dispositions as would be the natural result of this sort of temper and education, Merivale entered at the age of twenty-one upon the unfettered enjoyment of a princely fortune. The happiness of man is proportioned to the degree in which the capacity for enjoyment which he may possess, is supplied by the enjoyments which are around him; if the objects of feeling fall below his ability to feel, he is by that amount, wretched. It is not surprising, then, that with all the pleasures which wealth and taste could lay before him, the young man was restless and unsatisfied. Having been once accustomed to intense delights, all moderate states of feeling seemed positive pains. He became reckless and desperate in his gratifications, and strove in wild and furious licentiousness to live once more the deep and earnest life which he had known. He joined the revelry of the gay, and the orgies of the profligate, that he might quench the distempered cravings of his soul. This soon disgusted him. He fell back upon his studies and labored to wear out the energy of his desires in laborious pursuits of science. He threw himself for a while into the arena of political ambition, but on the small scale on which he necessarily saw it, it is not wonderful that he found that amusement the least tolerable of any. Amid all these variations of course and of occupation, he was in the habit from time to time of pouring out in burning verses the most secret confessions of his soul. He often started from the midnight banquet to utter in melodious poetry his fiery discontent of soul, and would often throw aside the learned page to moralize on the vanity of all human science. Once as he turned over these numerous effusions of his genius, he was seized with the ambition of literary fame; and gathering the best of them and refining and polishing the style according to his best ability, sent forth a volume to the world. The poems were admired by the few as breathing in fervid accents noble aspirations after higher joys; but the mass were not interested by them and the author’s object was not attained. He had withheld his name even from his publisher; and abandoning without much regret his new career soon forgot, himself, that he had ever been an author. His disesteem of men and indifference to their opinions was too sincere and deep, to render him at all susceptible to either their praise or their blame.

He soon afterward went abroad for a year or two and in the stimulus of travel, which Lord Byron has justly said is, except ambition, the most powerful of all excitements, he found a more salutary interest than any other occupation had afforded. He returned much relieved by the outward tendency which was then given to his thoughts, from that diseased brooding on his own mind, which had been before, the copious source of his wretchedness. He felt in society and refined conversations, not only a deliverance from the self-torture of solitude, but a positive and high pleasure: and he determined to devote himself to it as both the most profitable and most agreeable employment which he could take up. But he was not content to engage in it merely as the amusement of a vacant hour and the side-play of a mind otherwise more strenuously exercised. It was his nature to pursue everything as a passion; if he desired any result he must throw the whole force of his nature upon the object. He accordingly resolved to devote the next winter exclusively to company, and assume as a profession the character of a man of fashion. His wealth, fine powers, person, and cultivated taste fitted him to excel in that field; and his strong pride and the fine contempt which he cherished for the whole human race were not the feeblest elements of that command of the opinions and the admiration of men, which he sought.

His apartments were furnished with luxurious ostentation; his equipage was far the most splendid in the city, and his dress and all the appointments of his person displayed the elaborate and faultless finish which a mind like his seriously dedicated to such a task could not fail to produce. But he did not address the eye only; and, like most of those who were his rivals, exhibit but the empty shell of a brilliant character. The observer “started, for soul was present there.” His brilliant, varied wit,—elegant knowledge—and accomplished taste fascinated those who would have looked with contempt upon the mere display of fashionable extravagance. Did any man sneer at the vanity of such a worldly life, or attempt to humble its pretensions by the rivalry of sound sense and learning, he was ready with sarcasm which baffled the reprover’s judgment, or prepared to prove by immediate display that if he trifled with his prowess it was not because he had not an auditor and an intellect that could stamp defeat on any understanding that would venture to encounter him. Able thus to vindicate his station, he was gladly put forward by his peers as the representative and champion of their calling; and soon became the admitted head of gaiety and fashion. Cordially liked by the few that knew him well, envied by some, and hated by others, he was worshipped by all. He knew the falseness of that homage, but he knew also that it was as sincere as any which the world pays; and he had grown tolerant of scorn and was too experienced in life to be disgusted with the contemptible. Whether loved or hated, his vanity was gratified; and that was all he cared about.

One morning, a few weeks before this narration opens, he was sitting in his room turning over a new romance of De Kock’s, when Henry Maltby entered. Without saluting his host, he walked to a chair and seated himself in silence.

“Merivale,” said he, after a few moments, “I have seen the most transcendantly beautiful woman that the opal rays of the sunbeams ever shone upon,—enchanting, overpowering! Had an artist seen her, he would have forsworn his easel forever; a poet, had he dreamed of such a countenance, would have gone mad with wonder at his own creation.”

“Ha! ha!” cried Merivale; “before dinner, Harry, this is too bad.”

“I am indeed intoxicated; but it is as Addison says ‘with wonder, love and praise.’ ”

“Three emotions, by the bye, utterly inconsistent with one another,” said Merivale calmly. “But seriously ar’nt you intending to speak to the police about her? for, a woman that threatens to drive all our poets to the mad-house and turn our painters as beggars into the street, should not be suffered to go at large.”

“ ’Twill be more than a police-officer that will capture Miss Percival; to express the difficulty in the highest terms it is worthy of your genius.”

“Miss Percival! I have heard of her, and of her marvellous charms. Is she such a wonder?”

“You will see her to-night at Mrs. Nash’s, where of course you go. If you are not overwhelmed and astonished, you are more or less than I take you for. In your poetic humor you may dream learnedly as you will; but it will be long ere you dream up to a perfection like hers.”

“ ’Tis a world of quackery, Henry; I have found as many quacks among women as in any other profession. The history of these illusions of reputation is in this wise; beauty, touching the feelings, kindles the imagination into its most vivid life; and Coleridge has told us that it is the attribute of that faculty to transform a partial likeness into a total one. Thus it happens that she who in one particular has one shadow of perfection, is deemed its perfect image. There are few that have more than some single excellence that is gifted to delight one portion of our being; yet love is the devotion of all our nature. Hence the disappointment of the wedded. Could I unite in one woman all the qualities and charms of all the women in the world, my soul would then be satisfied; till then, we will vaunt the miracles of beauty without believing them, and will worship Miss Percival, but will not woo her. So much for the metaphysics of beauty. Where do you dine to-day?”

“At home; come and help me through it.”

“I ordered dinner here; but a solitary meal is to a temperate person like myself rather an effort; the bottle will stay with you so. Which ever has the best menu de repas, shall entertain the other. I can give you a codshead and a tolerable omelette soufflee. What are the chief forces of your liste?”

Des champignons, dressed under my own direction, according to a receipt which I found in Evelyn. Their attractions will vanquish all your table.”

“I’ve hardly the required heroism. I have the silly infirmity to care more for my life than my palate.”

“They are grown in my own hot-houses, and picked under my own inspection.”

“Your inspection will satisfy your doubts but not mine.”

“Well; au plaisir.”

“By the way, Harry,” said Merivale, as his friend was leaving the room; “suppose before sitting down to those champignons that you add as a codicil to a certain instrument that I am to have your old canary, au cas que, you know.”

Merivale dined, and in the evening drove to the opera. He lounged for an hour in his private box, trying to make out what piece they were performing. At first he thought that it was a general rehearsal of all the operas of the season; and finally concluded that some wag had invaded the musicians’ books, and interleafed Fra Diavolo with Massaniello and Tigus. He sent for a bill and found that this melange was called “The Postillion of Lonjumeau.”

After a little while he went down to pay his respects to Mrs. Mildmay, whose loge was directly under his own. She was a woman of great emphasis in society, being the connecting link of the classes which are found in every city,—the respectable and the fashionable; and Merivale always paid her the most scrupulous attention. When he entered, no one was with her in the box but a single lady, who, with an opera-glass at her eye, was engaged in scanning something or somebody on the other side of the house. Merivale seated himself on the second bench, and began to talk to Mrs. Mildmay. In a few moments the stranger laid down her glass, and turning round fixed her countenance full upon him. Merivale stopped short in the middle of a remark, and literally shrunk back along his seat, overpowered with the splendor of that face.

Her beauty’s princely majesty was such,

Confounds the tongue and makes the senses rough.

Her face seemed a very day-spring of light and glory; a flood of effulgence streamed from it. It seemed to be the focus of all the spiritual brightness of the world. It was like the dawn of a celestial day. It appeared to lighten the air around her. It rayed the might and fullness of a divine glory. Its radiance dazzled the beholder’s eye too much to permit a continued gaze.

Mrs. Mildmay seemed to enjoy Merivale’s amazement for a little while, and then said in her quiet way, “Miss Percival, let me present Mr. Merivale.”

“Do you admire this opera?” said she, in tones as soft, and clear, and rich as the sounds of a fountain-fall in the silent woods of summer.

It was fortunate for Merivale’s conversational reputation that at that moment a person came into the box, who obliging him to rise saved him from the necessity of making a reply to this question,—an effort to which, in his actual state of confusion, he would have been quite unequal. The person who entered seemed to know Miss Percival familiarly, and seating himself behind her, Merivale was left to recover his faculties in discussing trifles with Mrs. Mildmay. The curtain presently rose, and while the ladies were attending to the music, he had time more calmly to survey the apparition which at first had so startled and overwhelmed him.

The features of Miss Percival were faultless: but though regular enough to have served for an unrivallible model of ideal beauty, they were infinitely far removed from common place or cold. The magic of the impression, however, consisted in her complexion. It was as pure and stainless as the newest birth of crystal; yet rich and deep and spiritual as might have been a substantiated soul. In truth, that countenance seemed to be less a material form than a divine and intellectual essence. It exhaled such a sparkling light of gracefulness that as you gazed you lost the distinctness of the lineaments; even as to one that looks upon the sun, the form of the sun is invisible. There rested upon it a glittering air which dimmed the outline. A colorless cloud of spirituality floated around it; nay, itself seemed fashioned of some cloud of unearthly hue that had imbibed forever the mysterious lustre of the sunset hour. Like some high burst of music, its glance seemed to open away the material world, and to pour out full upon the soul the presence of that spiritual world of which our common life enjoys but glimpses. It was a thought and a feeling rather than a shape: it was less a substance than an impression.

Her large and dark blue eye possessed an exhaustless interest. The shape of it was perfect, and its outline was traced with an exquisite distinctness and regularity. And beyond the high and sparkling lustre which told of the gay serenity and proud gladness of earth’s most favored habitant, there lurked a farther expression, in whose mysterious quiet lay perhaps the essential secret of her enchantment. In the depths of that splendid orb there seemed to linger the reflection of a light caught from some high, far-distant world, and garnered there forever. It was like the glance of some missioned child of heaven, who homaged by the thankful nations he has rescued, and surrounded by incense—gifts of rarest offering, in the midst of the triumph remembers his far-off home and the lands where these choicest gems are worthless pebbles; and smiles upon their tribute as much in tender pity as in grateful pleasure. Upon her smile, too, there hung always a faint restraint; as if within her heart was some sympathy which was not given. Behind that expectation and that enjoyment of pleasure, which beamed on her countenance, there dwelt the aspiration of “a farther-looking hope”—an air of pre-occupation,—the testimony of some uncommunicated wish and delight which the world did not share.

As she was going to Mrs. Nash’s ball immediately after the opera, she was dressed with elaborate elegance and grace. Her figure was commanding in height, and faultless in its proportions. Over a white dress, richly adorned with lace, there was thrown a light-blue scarf.

On the whole she was a creature of light and purity and splendor; at once, innocence with all its sweetness and grace, with all its charms: equally fitted to charm the cottage of simple love by gentle excellence of nature, and to command a glittering court by the impressive majesty of her character. So chaste the delicacy of her aspect, one almost shrank from touching her; so spotless the whiteness of her spirit, one was reluctant to obtrude on such a presence the unworthiness of one’s common thoughts.

Merivale, with keen and penetrating gaze, surveyed this person,—undoubtedly the most beautiful woman of the age, and sufficient, in herself, to make her epoch, a pausing-point in the backward view of succeeding times. Her presence woke within his heart some portion of the long-hidden poetry of his being, and brought back visions of joy that had been destined to neglect. But remembering the rôle which he had undertaken to support, he flung back all those sentiments, and resolved to approach Miss Percival no otherwise than en homme du bel au. He began to converse with her, and displayed all the courtly wit and worldly humor which belonged to the character he had taken up. She seemed to be somewhat amused at his manners and appearance, not being much accustomed to come in contact with so extravagant a specimen of fashion. Her replies indicated something of indifference,—perhaps the faintest possible dash of well-bred contempt.

When the opera was over, Merivale attended the ladies to Mrs. Nash’s. He entered with Miss Percival on his arm. Every eye was directed to her approach, for the queen-like splendor of her presence absorbed attention wherever she might be. In the midst of this unconscious triumph, Merivale perceived her arm within his own trembling sensibly; and when he contrasted the diffidence of such a creature with his own unimpressible confidence, that display of natural emotion interested him deeply.

“Will Miss Percival,” said he, when the presentation had taken place, and the music had struck up, “add to the honor she has done me, by permitting me to be her partner in the first quadrille?”

“With pleasure,” she replied, and took her place.

“Are you fond of la danse?”

“Oh, yes; like the leaf in Christabel, I dance as often as dance I can.”

“Then must Coleridge’s leaf have been like Wordsworth’s,—

        ‘A leaf with glory hued,

With praise and wonder to be viewed.’ ”

“But this walking movement which now prevails in the ball-room is hardly to be called dancing.”

“It is very characteristic alike of the levelling and the calculating temper of the times,” said Merivale, “that we have banished the steps and preserved nothing but the figures.”

“They will soon go too, I suppose; and we shall have nothing left.”

“Not while Miss Percival is in society; she will make a figure in the dance.”

“There is something in that stately and elaborate life of former times which I must admire,—the ceremonies of the Escurial,—the splendor of Versailles. It imparted great dignity to existence.”

“Yes; men would not but respect themselves and one another when life was so laborious an affair. It expressed a man’s sense of his own importance, and implied a courtly value for the opinions of others. But among us, society and song have become alike pedestrian; and Versailles and Dryden have yielded to Wordsworth and Almack’s.”

“Do you find Wordsworth so prosaic?”

“I would rather hear your opinion of his merits before I make up my own.”

“I confess he is a favorite of mine,” said Miss Percival, with the reserved and cold air of a person who thought it would be idle to enlarge on such a subject before a trifler who could not understand what was said. Merivale saw the manner, and it piqued him.

“Wordsworth will bear two very different characters according to the view under which he is regarded. As one of ‘the world’s true worldlings’—as a man of wit and humor, and of sense and sarcasm—he is fitly a fruitful theme of ridicule.—As a man of that genius which is not ‘of the earth earthly,’ but descendeth like a dove from heaven upon the consecrated brow, his name is to be pronounced, unbonnetted. He is the person who before every person of this age, has unsphered the divinity of man, and has seen and sung those feelings which are the sympathy of our soul with the soul of the universe, and those thoughts which being the memories of a prior life are the eternal prophecies of a future being,—apprehended, but unutterable,—communicated by a glance, but not to be explained in volumes:—the High priest of an inspiration, which is the life of the spirit of nature itself,—the sanctity of every shrine,—the religion of religion. Time, whereon we travel, is a trans-verse section of eternity, and Wordsworth has seen the color on the soul of the direct rays of immortal light.”

Merivale was proceeding with this harangue, when Miss Percival, who had been for some time regarding him with an air of surprise, now began to laugh.

“Pardon my excessive rudeness, Mr. Merivale; but I did not expect such a speech from ‘the glass of fashion and the mould of form.’ I was not prepared to hear in a ball-room, and from one of its gayest ornaments, a discourse on the transcendental philosophy of Wordsworth.”

Merivale joined in the smile for a moment; but in the next his dark eye flashed with the keenest frown, and an expression of deep pride gathered about his lip.

“If Miss Percival deems me one of these ‘water-flies,’—a thing of ‘yesterday’s collections,’ like the rest of them,—she knows not my character in life. I have exhausted poetry and passion; and I have abandoned philosophy, and banished its handmaid fancy, because they had nothing left to teach. By the levity of my present demeanor, I but express my contempt of a world which is won by such artillery.”

Miss Percival regarded the speaker with surprise and interest.

“Passion,” said she, “and the poetry of passion may indeed be exhausted; but that philosophy which is founded on the sympathy of the spirit and not the tumult of the feelings, is as calm as it is deep, and constant as earnest. It is easy to confound the two; and there is no more distinguishing test that the sensations of the soul endure and grow in interest, while the emotions of passion are transitory and fluctuating.”

After a few moments, Merivale gave his arm to Miss Percival, and they walked from the heat of the ball-room into the cool air of the large conservatory that adjoined it. Here, in the unrestrained solitude of the scene, and impressed with a strong interest and respect for her companion, she gave utterance to her free sentiments in the high speech of her kindled eloquence. Merivale was enchained and fascinated by the lofty poetry of her thoughts, and the brilliant colors of her language. As her beauty seemed to glow with a yet brighter lustre beneath the excitement of her mind, she seemed to him to be a seraph descended from heaven, with the glow of empyrean glory, discoursing of the mysteries of her celestial home. He felt awed by the genius as he had been delighted by the beauty of this woman. She fixed upon his mind and heart the impression of wondering boundless admiration.

After a little while, some one came to claim her hand for the dance. Merivale wandered into another room and encountered Mrs. Mildmay.

“From what part of the heavens, my dear Madam,” said he, “descended this splendid being, your protégée?”

“From beneath the constellation of the Pleiades, no doubt,” was the reply; “for I am sure she must be the lost one. Stand here so as to keep off Mrs. Boreall, who is meditating a descent upon me, and I will tell you all about her. Her father lives in Newton, and has great wealth and high family claims; it is in fact his exclusiveness and aristocratic refinement which keeps him from being as much known in the great world as he ought to be. Miss Percival has been paying me a short visit, and is going home early to-morrow. Those who know her well say that she possesses vast genius, and a highly romantic disposition; just the shrine for you to worship at. But unfortunately I hear that her affections are probably engaged; to whom, I know not. It is a secret attachment, and the object of it is not known even to her family. If therefore you are inclined to be a suitor, I must answer with the Roman,

’Tis too late!”

“Ah! my dear Mrs. Boreall, how do you do to-night? I am very happy indeed to see you.”

From that party, Francis Merivale went home, with a spirit more deeply and powerfully impressed than he was at first aware of. It was not till several days had elapsed, that the full influence of this person upon his nature was developed: imagination had first to act upon her subject before his feelings were touched to their depths, and perhaps some time was needed to overcome the hardening effect of his late worldly habits, and reinduce the native susceptibility of his character. He had long nourished a firm disrespect for women as the philosophy both of fact and of expediency, and had braced his mind against any sympathy with their being; and it was only gradually that this barrier was broken down, and the complete persuasion of her charms poured in upon his soul. Then, there was wrought upon him a thorough transformation. Her character appealed to the memory of his bright and passionate youth, and the feelings and hopes and aspirations of that glorious dawn of life, re-awoke within him like giants refreshed by slumber. He flung from his heart the ungenial coldness of his recent existence, and with an impulsive abandonment of spirit, lapsed back to all the visionary ardor of his boyhood. He was a poet again, with all the decoy atmosphere of romance about his mind: he was a lover with all the bright-eyed inspiration of immortal Hope, once more within his bosom.

It was the fancy of Merivale that was thus kindled, rather than his feelings. He found an intense delight in cultivating, and luring from their silence, the thoughts and sentiments which her recollection prompted. His old passion for poetry returned; and so full of “forms”, of grace, and splendor “that glittered in the muses’ ray” was his imagination, that there was no way to clear the air and calm the tumult, but to pour them forth upon the tide of verse. He spent a month upon the composition of a volume, which was a garland of detached poems, breathing all the impressions of a lover’s heart, and deriving a graceful unity from the reference to one person which pervaded them all. He named the book “Ianthe;” and sent it into the world. Its reception was brilliant, for the verses bore the stamp of rare and vigorous genius; but the sensitiveness of real talent made the author fear that fatal faults would be discovered in them, and he repented of his rashness. Most of all was he afraid that Miss Percival would meet with the volume, and that it would excite her ridicule or disgust. He knew that she would be aware who was the subject of the verses, and he dreaded lest she might suspect the author. Like an evil deed which haunted his conscience, he hastened to forget the book; and in truth, ere a fortnight had elapsed, it had wholly passed from his thoughts. This effort exhausted, for a time, the teeming fertility of fancy, and he returned with greater comfort to the scenes of worldly pleasure, from which he had been for a time withdrawn. But the spell of their attraction was broken; their zest was gone. It was a spiritless and weary monotony of faded joys.

The season was over. The gay world was preparing to scatter itself abroad and seek the relaxation and refreshment needed for a renewal of the same exhausting scenes in the following winter.—In the heart of Merivale, the returning richness of the spring renewed the budding softness of affection, and prepared a bright after-birth of passion. His thoughts returned to Miss Percival; his hopes again centered around her. He meditated as a final resolution whether he should give himself up to the life which he had led, and tread again the tiresome round of hacknied pleasure, or breaking from that circle throw himself on the pursuit of higher and nobler sentiments, and seek that fruition of pure feeling, which was to be found in the society of Miss Percival. It was in this struggle of his counsels that the conversation recorded in the beginning of this narration took place. The conclusion he arrived at is there recorded. It was, to seek out Miss Percival, and risk his last hope of happiness upon the effort to win her love.

Merivale accordingly set out for Newton. It was a pleasant village on the sea-coast, and the abode of several families of opulence and eminence. The first interview which he had with Miss Percival convinced him that her affections were preoccupied. No direct allusions to the subject were made, but her manner, countenance and conversation wore those nice peculiarities which to a discerning eye mark one who is not “fancy-free.” Merivale saw her frequently, and at every meeting the ardor of his admiration and interest were increased. He exerted all his powers to please, but he saw plainly that upon her feelings he produced no impression. A very cordial friendship and a complete confidence were established; but beyond that liking on her part, she seemed incapable of going. Who the person was to whom she was attached, provided such were the case, seemed something of a mystery. She never spoke of a special friend, and her family never did. They appeared to consider her as a very romantic person, whose powers and whose tastes, alike, rendered her something of an exception to the rest of the world. Merivale consulted one of her most intimate companions, respecting Miss Percival’s position. Her opinion had long been that her friend was attached to some one; but who it was she never knew.—There was so much romance and passion in her nature that a poetical connexion of this sort was not improbable.

Merivale’s situation was a painful one. He felt himself becoming daily more possessed by Miss Percival’s influence, and knew that by remaining within its action he risked fearfully the future happiness of his life. At the same time he became daily more assured that his suit was hopeless. He resolved to put an end to so dangerous a connexion, and only debated whether to leave Miss Percival without unfolding his sentiments, or to receive his fate decisively from her lips. The wish to know who was his successful rival chiefly prompted him to the latter.

Adjoining Mr. Percival’s residence was a very extensive garden and park bounded by sea. On the brink of this element he stood one evening with her on whom all the homage of his soul was fixed. Girt with an unwonted splendor, the sun was sinking beneath the waves. A broad crimson effulgence surrounded the orb; and above, three or four different curtains of cloud hung down their golden fringes over the water. The scene was shut in by hills rising abruptly from the banks above and below, which, while they rendered the spot secluded, gave it sublimity. Dark overhanging trees surrounded a circular spot, on which stood a summer-house, and in front of it an open space of grass, looking westward over the sea.

“How intense! how pure! how solemn!” exclaimed Miss Percival, as she looked upon the departing sun.

“Like my love for thee!” said Merivale, after a pause. “Dearest Miss Percival, I cannot part from you without having told the profound and ardent passion with which you have inspired me: though it may be vain, for I have heard that I have a rival.”

Miss Percival was silent for a moment, “I will deal frankly with you, Mr. Merivale. I have met with no man whom I admire and esteem more than you, and none in whom I confide more thoroughly. But I cannot bring to you that high and poetic love which alone would make you happy, however fitted you may be to inspire it in another. If my affections are not engaged, my fancy, at least, is captivated by another, and if I give you my heart the offering would be incomplete.”

“May I not know who is this more favored wooer?”

“You will think me absurd and foolish, I fear: yet I hope you will understand and pardon that romantic extravagance of feeling which possesses hearts of a certain order. To you who are a man of honor, and incapable of betraying confidence, I confide a secret which to no other has been told. Musing daily since my earliest childhood in this poetic spot, I have nurtured sentiments which I fear are little fitted for that common path of common life which we all must tread. Two years ago there fell into my hands a volume of poetry, by an unknown author, which fascinated me more than any thing which I have ever read or known. It seemed to be the image of a nature the counterpart of my own. I sympathised with every thought and emotion of his heart and mind. My spirit loved his. Though to me but the shadow of a name, I gave him, in the ardor of tameless feeling, all my young affection. I said, ‘with this man I could be happy even to the wildness of visionary bliss.’ Lately I have met with another volume which gave me the impression that the author, whom I never could discover, knew and loved me. I may be wrong. He may not value me. I may never meet him. But though I may not know him, I can never love another.

“These are the books,” said she, as she brought from the summer-house two volumes, and placed them in Merivale’s hands.

He glanced at their titles and was silent for a moment.

“If this author,” said he, “were in general demerit not inferior to myself, and were to throw himself at your feet, you would not reject him?”

“I could not.”

“Splendid, enchanting woman!” he exclaimed, as he kneeled and pressed her hand to his lip; “I claim your promise. The author of those volumes is before you. You are the glorious ‘Ianthe’ for whom my spirit passioned.”

“You!” exclaimed the astonished girl, as she started back, and Merivale rose to gaze upon her beautiful embarrassment.

Her face was covered by a burning blush, succeeding blush, and a hundred following smiles of graceful confusion. She presently ran toward him and buried her head in his bosom.

The sea and the gorgeous sky were before him, and his passionate bride within his arms. He printed a kiss upon her snow-white neck, and pressing her to his heart, gazed up toward the heavens with a breast full of ecstacy. In the brightness of that celestial scene he read the prophecy of his future life.

November, 1840.





I call thee sweet spirit to gladden once more

  With thy musical breathings my wild swelling heart,

To scatter fresh rose leaves my bright pathway o’er,

  While the sunlight of joy from its slumbers shall start.


The shadows that gather’d in darkness, and gloom,

  Could lure thee at times with a magical spell,

Then smile on the flower that’s bursting to bloom,

  Bedew’d from the fountain where sweet visions dwell.


My harp is neglected—and tuneless its strings,

  And silent the spirit that guarded it long;

Hie hither, hie hither, thy swift flashing wings,

  Thou light of my dreaming—sweet spirit of song.


I sigh for thy voice, as the deer for the stream,

  As the stag for the greenwood, the bee for the flower,

As the bud for the dew, or the earth for the beam

  Of the bright gracious sun, in its first early hour.


Long—long, o’er the gloom of my youth hast thou shed

  Thy soft silver ray, from a heavenly sphere,

Till my calm’d heart was hush’d to the peace of the dead,

  For the voice of thy music fell low on mine ear.


The tempest was drear, and the mad winds were loud,

  And the sad wail of sorrow the wild breezes bore,

But the tempest, and storm, to thine influence bowed,

  And the tear, and the sigh, rent the bosom no more.


Sweet soother I call thee to pour on thy shrine,

  The passionate feelings I cannot restrain,

To give thee this long-hoarded treasure of mine,

  This fullness that’s bursting each close clasping chain.


Once more let me soar to thy regions away,

  Once more let bright fancies my glad bosom throng,

Like a child lull’d to slumber, this wild heart shall lay,

  At the voice of thy music—sweet spirit of song.

Philadelphia, November, 1840.


Oh! here you are at last,” said Lucy, smiling archly, as she continued, “I declare you’ve kept me wondering, for an hour, how long it keeps a city gentleman to dress for a ride.”

“Pshaw! Lucy—you know I’ve not been an hour gone, nor was it my attire that engaged my attention.”

“Oh! very well, Harry—you’ve always an excuse—but now for a canter,” and she waved her riding whip playfully at me, and then bounded out of the door.

“Do you ever trot in town?” said the beautiful girl, teasingly, as she prepared to put her horse to his speed.

“Sometimes,” said I, “but—”

“Oh! follow me then,” answered my tormentor, breaking in upon my sentence, and dashing forward as she spoke, on a rapid trot. I followed her, determined to shew her, that at least, that part of my education had not been neglected.

I loved Lucy. There is no use in denying it. We had known each other years ago in early childhood, but having since been separated, I had come to look upon her as almost a stranger, though, I may honestly confess, there was even before I met her again, a queer feeling at my heart, whenever I thought of my old playmate. She was very pretty then, and I would wonder if she had the same sunny eyes and merry laugh now.

At length we met. Lucy had been in Europe for several years, and, after her return, I gladly accepted an invitation from her father, to spend a few weeks of the summer, at his mansion in the country. There was quite a gay party there, and a merry time we had of it. To-day a fishing party was got up—a sailing match was projected for to-morrow. One morning was spent in trotting around the country, another one in archery upon the lawn. There was not a lady of the set who was not beautiful, but Lucy was the star of all to me. She had the same sparkling eye—the same merry laugh—the same delicious music in her voice as ever; and I had not been with her an hour after our re-union before I was in love.

Lucy was the veriest torment that ever breathed; at least she took delight in teasing me, though she was so beautiful, and so playful withal, that one could not find it in them to get angry. She had the longest eye-lashes in the world, and as pretty a foot as ever decked a satin slipper, or trod the greensward. Her figure was rather petite, but as graceful as a fairy’s; and a more exquisitely rounded arm, or more beautiful taper fingers, I had never seen. And then she had such a wit! For the life of me, bashful as I then was, I could not come up to her in it, though when she was not by they used to call me the Sheridan of the set. She was as wicked a piece of mischief as ever plagued the life out of a timid lover. She would not praise me for doing any thing, but always used to laugh incredulously at what they called my smart sayings, for she had never, she said, heard a single witty thing from my lips. But with all this Lucy would read my books, and pat my dog, and somehow or other it always happened that we rode together. True she would still tease me, but then it was all done with such pretty archness. For the honor of me I could not please her. If I was silent she laughed at me for being bashful—if I talked she vowed I said nothing but silly things—and if I looked into her face, which somehow or other I could not help doing, she turned away, and put her horse into a gallop; and then after leading me a race of a mile or more she would suddenly pull up, and either laugh at my bad horsemanship, or declare I rode like an express. I would have given worlds that Lucy should have praised my horsemanship, for every one else did, and I thought her too critical. But then she was such a skilful rider herself, that it might be Lucy was right, and all the rest of the world wrong.

All this made me only love Lucy the more. I would have given my whole fortune to have known whether she returned my affection, for she was a puzzle that might put less bashful ones than myself at fault. Now I would fancy that she loved me, and then again how could she do so, and speak so slightingly of me? Yet did she not do a thousand things for me she never did for others?—and once—I remember it well—I praised an exotic in a lady’s hair, and Lucy appeared in a day or two with a flower of the same kind. But if I flattered myself from such conduct into dreaming that she loved me, two to one but she said something before an hour which dashed all my hopes. It was in one of these happy intervals that I once determined to offer her my hand, but when I came to the point, my throat was so choked, and my voice became so husky and tremulous, while all the time my heart kept going like a sledge hammer, that I could sooner have raised the dead than said a single word. She must have noticed my embarrassment, for she teased me most unmercifully about my blushes. It was the only time she ever hurt my feelings too; for much as she plagued one, there was such an archness about it all, that you knew she did not dream of offending you. It only piqued one. But this time, she worried me so with her raillery, that I would gladly have seen the floor open to swallow me. I shewed that I was hurt, perhaps, for Lucy stopped at length, and I half thought her low tone of voice, during the rest of the evening, when conversing with me, was meant to express her sorrow for her momentary rudeness. Yet for a whole week since I had been afraid to attempt making the offer again. And Lucy, I verily believe, teased me twice as much as ever.

We had been dashing on, for several minutes, side by side, at a most tremendous pace, making the sparks fly from beneath our horses’ hoofs, at every stride, while the trees, houses, and fields appeared spinning away behind us as if they, instead of us, were riding a steeple-chase. Never had I seen Lucy ride so before. The beast she sat on was a powerful animal, all bone and muscle, and when once aroused, had a pace the most tremendous I ever saw, excepting that of my own Thunderbolt; and his mettle may be told at once when I inform the reader that he had won the cup twice at the —— races. He was now neck and neck with Lucy’s animal, but pulled on the rein so frightfully, that nothing but the rudeness of the act prevented me from shooting past his competitor like an arrow.

We had been thrashing on at this rate, for several miles, along a road almost as level as a trotting course, but now the ground was beginning to be more broken, and just ahead of us lay a stream of water, the bridge over which had been carried away in a freshet about a week before, and had not since been replaced. As we approached it Lucy drew in her steed, gradually slackening his pace, so as wholly to have checked him, before we should reach the stream. Stung, however, by her raillery about my horsemanship I kept on, increasing if any thing, the speed of Thunderbolt, determined to clear the bed of the river at a flying leap or perish in the attempt. It was a fearful venture, but my blood was up. The gap must have been twenty feet at the least, and to add to the danger the banks were rugged and abrupt, and the road in the immediate neighborhood of where the bridge had been was frightfully uneven. Yet I kept on, sitting firmly in my saddle, and feeling as cool and determined as despair could make me.

“Stop—Harry—draw in,” I heard Lucy exclaim, as I dashed ahead of her. But I only grasped the reins tighter in my hand, and fixing my eye on the gulf before me, sped on like an arrow, putting my horse, as I shot away, to his topmost speed.

It was but a moment before we reached the edge of the abyss, but over the thunder of my progress, I thought I heard the voice of Lucy, now tremulous with alarm, beseeching me to pause. I would not have drawn in my rein, with my then feelings, even if a gulf, wider than that into which Curtius leaped, had yawned before me; and seating myself firmly for the crisis, which had now come, I buried my spurs into the flanks of my beast, and, as a shriek rung out on the air behind me, went flying over the abyss. But the leap was too great, even for Thunderbolt. He cleared it indeed beautifully far the first half, but instead of alighting fairly on the opposite bank, his fore-foot struck on the loose soil at the very edge of the gap, and the gravel giving way beneath us, we fell backward into the abyss, that yawned for more than forty feet below.

My sensations in that extremity I cannot describe. I was not, however, for a moment bewildered by my danger, but on the contrary reasoned as coolly as I ever had done before. I saw that death was before me, but I felt no relenting. I had been stung to a madness I never felt before by the raillery of Lucy against my horsemanship. I had made a desperate effort to prove my daring, and if the trial had failed, it had at least been one at which even Lucy had shewn alarm. If I perished she would think of one part of my character with admiration. A load was taken from my heart. All this flashed through my mind quicker than lightning. But I did not forget my situation. I saw a bush growing out of the side of the precipice and with a sudden movement I grasped it and dropped the reins. My poor Thunderbolt fell crashing downward, gave a struggle or two, and was lifeless. My own turn came next. The bush gave way beneath my weight, and after slowly descending for a space, it finally tore itself out by the roots, and I followed my noble beast.

When I recovered my senses, there was an aching sensation in my head, and my body felt wofully bruised. I lifted myself painfully and gazed around. My poor beast lay dead beneath me, and perhaps it was by falling on him I had saved my life. My neck-cloth was off and my brow was wet with water. How came it so? I thought at the instant, I heard a movement behind me, and turning quickly, though painfully around, I saw Lucy standing there, her face, buried under her taper fingers, dyed with blushes. The truth flashed upon me. She had descended into the bed of the river on foot, when she saw me fall, and had been my ministering angel. I rose, for my pain was forgotten, and, as she shrunk from my presence, a sudden boldness came across me. I ventured to take her around the waist. She burst into tears, and as I drew her instinctively toward me, she buried her face on my shoulder and sobbed long and wildly. There was something so holy in this burst of emotion that for a while I could not interrupt her. At length I whispered.

“Lucy, God bless you.”

“Oh! Henry,” she sobbed, without looking up, “what must you think of me?”

“Think of you, dearest,” I exclaimed rapturously, “that you have saved my life, and that you can confer only one favor on me as great, and that is by becoming mine. Say, will you, Lucy?” and I drew her closer to my throbbing bosom.

There was a gentle pressure of my hand and a long deep drawn sigh for answer; but that was all. Yet that answer was enough.

Lucy never teased me more. It was my turn now. But after the wedding the sweet little vixen told me, with a thousand blushes, that she had loved me all the while, and taken to teazing me, lest I should find out the truth.





Ce grand malheur, de ne pouvoir etre seul.

La Bruyers.

It was well said of a certain German book that “er lasst sich nicht lesen”—it does not permit itself to be read. There are some secrets which do not permit themselves to be told. Men die nightly in their beds, wringing the hands of ghostly confessors, and looking them piteously in the eyes—die with despair of heart and convulsion of throat, on account of the hideousness of mysteries which will not suffer themselves to be revealed. Now and then, alas, the conscience of man takes up a burthen so heavy in horror that it can be thrown down only into the grave. And thus the essence of all crime is undivulged.

Not long ago, about the closing in of an evening in autumn, I sat at the large bow window of the D—— Coffee-House in London. For some months I had been ill in health, but was now convalescent, and, with returning strength, found myself in one of those happy moods which are so precisely the converse of ennui—moods of the keenest appetency, when the film from the mental vision departs—the αχλυς ος πζιν εππεν—and the intellect, electrified, surpasses as greatly its every-day condition, as does the vivid, yet candid reason of Combe, the mad and flimsy rhetoric of Gorgias. Merely to breathe was enjoyment; and I derived positive pleasure even from many of the legitimate sources of pain. I felt a calm but inquisitive interest in every thing. With a cigar in my mouth and a newspaper in my lap, I had been amusing myself for the greater part of the afternoon, now in poring over advertisements, now in observing the promiscuous company in the room, and now in peering through the smoky panes into the street.

This latter is one of the principal thoroughfares of the city, and had been very much crowded during the whole day. But, as the darkness came on, the throng momently increased; and by the time the lamps were well litten two dense and continuous tides of population were rushing past the door. At this particular period of the evening I had never before been in a similar situation, and the tumultuous sea of human heads filled me, therefore, with a delicious novelty of emotion. I gave up at length all care of things within the hotel, and became absorbed in contemplation of the scene without. At first my observations took an abstract and generalizing turn. I looked at the passengers in masses, and thought of them in their aggregate relations. Soon, however, I descended to details, and regarded with minute interest the innumerable varieties of figure, dress, air, gait, visage, and expression of countenance.

By far the greater number of those who went by had a satisfied business-like demeanor, and seemed to be thinking only of making their way through the press. Their brows were knit, and their eyes rolled quickly, when pushed against by fellow-wayfarers they evinced no symptom of impatience, but adjusted their clothes and hurried on. Others, still a numerous class, were restless in their movements, had flushed faces, and talked and gesticulated to themselves, as if feeling in solitude on account of the very denseness of the company around. When impeded in their progress these people suddenly ceased muttering, but redoubled their gesticulations, and awaited, with an absent and overdone smile upon the lips, the course of the persons impeding them. If jostled, they bowed profusely to the jostlers, and appeared overwhelmed with confusion.—There was nothing very distinctive about these two large classes beyond what I have noted. Their habiliments belonged to that order which is pointedly termed the decent. They were undoubtedly noblemen, merchants, attorneys, tradesmen, stock-jobbers—the Eupatrids and the common-places of society—men of leisure and men actively engaged in affairs of their own—conducting business upon their own responsibility. They did not greatly excite my attention.

The tribe of clerks was an obvious one, and here I discerned two remarkable divisions. There were the junior clerks of flash houses—young gentlemen with tight coats, bright boots, well-oiled hair, and supercilious lips. Setting aside a certain dapperness of carriage which may be termed deskism for want of a better word, the manner of these persons seemed to me an exact fac-simile of what had been the perfection of bon ton about twelve or eighteen months before. They wore the cast-off graces of the gentry—and this, I believe, involves the best definition of the class.

The division of the upper clerks of staunch firms, or of the “steady old fellows,” it was not possible to mistake. These were known by their coats and pantaloons of black or brown, made to sit comfortably, with white cravats and waistcoats, broad solid-looking shoes, and thick hose, or gaiters.—They had all slightly bald heads, from which the right ears, long used to pen-holding, had an odd habit of standing off on end. I observed that they always removed or settled their hats with both hands, and wore watches, with short, gold chains of a substantial and ancient pattern. Theirs was the affectation of respectability—if indeed there be an affectation so honorable.

There were many individuals of dashing appearance, whom I easily set down as belonging to the race of swell pick-pockets, with which all great cities are infested. I watched these gentry with much inquisitiveness, and found it difficult to imagine how they should ever be mistaken for gentlemen by gentlemen themselves. Their voluminousness of wristband, with an air of excessive frankness, should betray them at once.

The gamblers, of whom I descried not a few, were still more easily recognisable. They wore every variety of dress, from that of the desperate thimble-rig bully, with velvet waistcoat, fancy neckerchief, gilt chains, and filigreed buttons, to that of the scrupulously inornate clergyman, than which nothing could be less liable to suspicion. Still all were distinguished by a certain sodden swarthiness of complexion, a filmy dimness of eye, and pallor and compression of lip. There were two other traits, moreover, by which I could always detect them—a guarded lowness of tone in conversation, and a more than ordinary extension of the thumb in a direction at right angles with the fingers.—Very often in company with these sharpers I observed an order of men somewhat different in habits, but still birds of kindred feather. They may be defined as the gentlemen who live by their wits. They seem to prey upon the public in two battalions—that of the dandies and that of the military men. Of the first grade the leading features are long locks and smiles; of the second frogged coats and frowns.

Descending in the scale of what is termed gentility, I found darker and deeper themes for speculation. I saw Jew pedlars, with hawk eyes flashing from countenances whose every other feature wore only an expression of abject humility; sturdy professional street beggars scowling upon mendicants of a better stamp, whom despair alone had driven forth into the night for charity; feeble and ghastly invalids, upon whom death had placed a sure hand, and who sidled and tottered through the mob looking every one beseechingly in the face, as if in search of some chance consolation, some lost hope; modest young girls returning from long and late labor to a cheerless home, and shrinking more tearfully than indignantly from the glances of ruffians, whose direct contact even could not be avoided; women of the town of all kinds and of all ages—the unequivocal beauty in the prime of her womanhood, putting one in mind of the statue of Lucian, with the surface of Parian marble, and the interior filled with filth—the loathsome and utterly lost leper in rags—the wrinkled, bejewelled and paint-begrimed beldame, making a last effort at youth—the mere child of immature form, yet, from long association, an adept in the dreadful coquetries of her trade, and burning with a rabid ambition to be ranked the equal of her elders in vice; drunkards innumerable and indescribable—some in shreds and patches, reeling, inarticulate, with bruised visage and lack-lustre eyes—some in whole although filthy garments, with a slightly unsteady swagger, thick sensual lips, and hearty-looking rubicund faces—others clothed in materials which had once been good, and which even now were scrupulously well-brushed—men who walked with a more than naturally firm and springy step, but whose countenances were fearfully pale, whose eyes hideously wild and red, and who clutched with quivering fingers, as they strode through the crowd, at every object which came within their reach; beside these, pie-men, porters, coal-heavers, sweeps; organ-grinders, monkey-exhibiters and ballad mongers, those who vended with those who sang; ragged artizans and exhausted laborers of every description, and still all full of a noisy and inordinate vivacity which jarred discordantly upon the ear, and gave an aching sensation to the eye.

As the night deepened, so deepened to me the interest of the scene; for not only did the general character of the crowd materially alter (its gentler features retiring in the gradual withdrawal of the more orderly portion of the people, and its harsher ones coming out into bolder relief as the late hour brought forth every species of infamy from its den,) but the rays of the gas-lamps, feeble at first in their struggle with the dying day, had now at length gained ascendency, and threw over every thing a fitful and garish lustre. All was dark yet splendid—as that ebony to which has been likened the style of Tertullian. The wild effects of the light enchained me to an examination of individual faces; and although the rapidity with which the world of life flitted before the window prevented me from casting more than a glance upon each visage, still it seemed that, in my then peculiar mental state, I could frequently read, even in that brief interval of a glance, the history of long years. With my brow to the glass, I was thus occupied in scrutinising the mob, when suddenly there came into view a countenance (that of a decrepit old man, some sixty-five or seventy years of age,) a countenance which at once arrested and absorbed my whole attention, on account of the absolute idiosyncrasy of its expression. Any thing even remotely resembling that expression I had never seen before. I well remember that my first thought, upon beholding it, was that Retzch, had he viewed it, would have greatly preferred it to his own pictural incarnations of the fiend. As I endeavored, during the brief minute of my original survey, to form some analysis of the meaning conveyed, there arose confusedly and paradoxically within my mind the ideas of vast mental power, of caution, of penuriousness, of avarice, of coolness, of malice, of blood-thirstiness, of triumph, of merriment, of excessive terror, of intense, of supreme despair. I felt singularly aroused, startled, fascinated. “How wild a history,” I said to myself, “is written within that bosom!” Then came a craving desire to keep the man in view—to know more of him. Hurriedly putting on an overcoat, and seizing my hat and cane, I made my way into the street, and pushed through the crowd in the direction which I had seen him take; for he had already disappeared. With some little difficulty I at length came within sight of him, approached, and followed him closely, yet cautiously, so as not to attract his attention.

I had now a good opportunity of examining his person. He was short in stature, very thin, and apparently very feeble. His clothes, generally, were filthy and ragged; but as he came, now and then, within the strong glare of a lamp, I perceived that his linen, although dirty, was of beautiful texture; and my vision deceived me, or, through a rent in a closely-buttoned, and evidently second-handed roquelaire which enveloped him, I caught a glimpse either of a diamond, or of a dagger. These observations heightened my curiosity, and I resolved to follow the stranger whithersoever he should go.

It was now fully night-fall, and a thick humid fog hung over the city, threatening to end in a settled and heavy rain. This change of weather had an odd effect upon the crowd, the whole of which was at once put into new commotion, and overshadowed by a world of umbrellas. The waver, the jostle, and the hum increased in a tenfold degree. For my own part I did not much regard the rain—the lurking of an old fever in my system rendering the moisture somewhat too dangerously pleasant. Tying a handkerchief about my mouth I kept on. For half an hour the old man held his way with difficulty along the great thoroughfare; and I here walked close at his elbow through fear of losing sight of him. Never once turning his head to look back, he did not observe me. By and bye he passed into a cross street, which, although densely filled with people, was not quite so much thronged as the main one he had quitted. Here a change in his demeanor became evident. He walked more slowly and with less object than before—more hesitatingly. He crossed and re-crossed the street way repeatedly without apparent aim; and the press was still so thick that at every such movement I was obliged to follow him closely. The street was a narrow and long one, and his course lay within it for nearly an hour, during which the passengers had gradually diminished to about that number which is ordinarily seen at noon in Broadway near the Park—so vast a difference is there between a London populace and that of the most frequented American city. A second turn brought us into a square, brilliantly litten, and overflowing with life. The old manner of the stranger re-appeared. His chin fell upon his breast, while his eyes rolled wildly from under his knit brows in every direction upon those who hemmed him in. He urged his way steadily and perseveringly. I was surprised, however, to find, upon his having made the circuit of the square, that he turned and retraced his steps.—Still more was I astonished to see him repeat the same walk several times—once nearly detecting me as he came round with a sudden movement.

In this exercise he spent about an hour, at the end of which we met with far less interruption from passengers than at first. The rain fell fast the air grew cool; and the people were retiring to their homes. With a gesture of what seemed to be petulant impatience, the wanderer passed into a bye-street comparatively deserted. Down this, some quarter of a mile long, he rushed with an activity I could not have dreamed of seeing in one so aged, and which put me to much trouble in pursuit. A few minutes brought us to a large and busy bazaar, with the localities of which the stranger appeared well acquainted, and where his original demeanor again became apparent, as he forced his way to and fro, without aim, among the host of buyers and sellers.

During the hour and a half, or thereabouts, which we passed in this place, it required much caution on my part to keep him within reach without attracting his observation. Luckily I wore a pair of gum over-shoes, and could move about in perfect silence. At no moment did he see that I watched him. He entered shop after shop, priced nothing, spoke no word, and looked at all objects with a wild and vacant stare. I was now utterly amazed at his behavior, and firmly resolved that we should not part until I had satisfied myself in some measure respecting him.

A loud-toned clock struck eleven, and the company were fast deserting the bazaar. A shop-keeper, in putting up a shutter, jostled the old man, and at the instant I saw a strong shudder come over his frame. He hurried into the street, looked anxiously around him for an instant, and then ran with incredible swiftness through many crooked and people-less lanes, until we emerged once more upon the great thoroughfare whence we had started—the street of the D—— Hotel. It no longer wore, however, the same aspect. It was still brilliant with gas; but the rain fell fiercely, and there were few persons to be seen. The stranger grew deadly pale. He walked moodily some paces up the once populous avenue, then, with a heavy sigh, turned in the direction of the river, and, plunging through a great variety of devious ways, came out at length in view of one of the principal theatres. It was about being closed, and the audience were thronging from the doors. I saw the old man gasp as if for breath while he threw himself amid the crowd; but I thought that the intense agony of his countenance had, in some measure, abated. His head again fell upon his breast; he appeared as I had seen him at first. I observed that he now took the course in which had gone the greater number of the audience—but, upon the whole, I was at a loss to comprehend the waywardness of his actions.

As he proceeded, the company grew more scattered, and his old uneasiness and vacillation were resumed. For some time he followed closely a party of some ten or twelve roisterers; but from this number one by one dropped off, until three only remained together in a narrow and gloomy lane little frequented. The stranger paused, and, for a moment, seemed lost in thought; then, with every mark of agitation, pursued rapidly a route which brought us to the verge of the city, amid regions very different from those we had hitherto traversed. It was the most noisome quarter of London, where every thing wore the worst impress of the most deplorable poverty, and of the most desperate crime. By the dim light of an accidental lamp, tall, antique, worm-eaten, wooden tenements were seen tottering to their fall in directions so many and capricious that scarce the semblance of a passage was discernible between them. The paving-stones lay at random, displaced from their beds by the rankly-growing grass. Horrible filth festered in the dammed-up gutters. The whole atmosphere teemed with desolation. Yet, as we proceeded, the sounds of human life revived by sure degrees, and at length large bands of the most abandoned of a London populace were seen reeling to and fro. The spirits of the old man again flickered up, as a lamp which is near its death-hour.—Once more he strode onward with elastic tread. Suddenly a corner was turned, a blaze of light burst upon our sight, and we stood before one of the huge sub-urban temples of Intemperance—one of the palaces of the fiend, Gin.

It was now nearly day-break; but a number of wretched inebriates still pressed in and out of the flaunting entrance. With a half shriek of joy the old man forced a passage within, resumed at once his original bearing, and stalked backward and forward, without apparent object, among the throng. He had not been thus long occupied, however, before a rush to the doors gave token that the host was closing them for the night. It was something even more intense than despair that I then observed upon the countenance of the singular being whom I had watched so pertinaciously. Yet he did not hesitate in his career, but with a mad energy retraced his steps at once, to the heart of the mighty London. Long and swiftly he fled, while I followed him in the wildest amazement, resolute not to abandon a scrutiny in which I now felt an interest all-absorbing. The sun arose while we proceeded, and, when we had once again reached that most thronged mart of the populous town, the street of the D—— Hotel, it presented an appearance of human bustle and activity scarcely inferior to what I had seen on the evening before. And here, long, amid the momently increasing confusion, did I persist in my pursuit of the stranger. But, as usual, he walked to and fro, and during the day did not pass from out the turmoil of that street. And, as the shades of the second evening came on, I grew wearied unto death, and, stopping fully in front of the wanderer, gazed at him steadfastly in the face. He noticed me not, but resumed his solemn walk, while I, ceasing to follow, remained absorbed in contemplation. “This old man,” I said at length, “is the type and the genius of deep crime. He refuses to be alone. He is the man of the crowd. It will be in vain to follow; for I shall learn no more of him, nor of his deeds. The worst heart of the world is a grosser book than the ‘Hortulus Animæ,’ and perhaps it is but one of the great mercies of God that ‘er lasst sich nicht lesen.’ ”

November, 1840.





The moaning night wind solemnly

  Sighs thro’ the church-yard drear,

And the long, dank grass, and the cypress tree,

  Breathe their mournful dirges here.

The cold moon looks more coldly down,

  Where these green mounds are piled,

And it hath not a beam to cheer the heart

  Of the lonely Orphan Child.


Sleep mother, sleep—the long, long sigh

  That leaves my aching breast,

Cannot break the slumbers that hold thee there,

  In that dark, and dreamless rest;

The thick tears gush to these sad eyes,

  On which thine own hast smiled,

And the heart that joyed like a bird for thee,

  Now breaks with thine Orphan Child.


Oh! best beloved—I roam the earth,

  Its thickly peopled ways,

But their stranger voices do not sound

  Like the ones of other days;

I meet the light of their bright eyes,

  Their gaze is sweet, and mild,

But in all that crowd, no fond mother’s face,

  Looks love on thine Orphan Child.


Oh! never more shall that dear face,

  My buried mother come

To my midnight couch—or the cheerless hearth

  Of our once bright, happy home.

’Twill never come to me again,

  And my sad heart grows wild,

But I’ll meet it, mother, in Paradise,

  When God calls thine Orphan Child.

Philadelphia, November, 1840.



“Once more upon the waters! yet once more!

And the waves bound beneath me as a steed

That knows his rider. Welcome to their roar!”

Childe Harold.


                  “Last scene of all

That ends this strange, eventful history.”

As You Like It.

There is nothing in this world, more soothing to the mind, than when returning homewards after having been tossed about the world for years, you first catch sight of your childhood’s home, smiling amid its well known trees, and seeming just the same, though smaller, as when you left it in life’s first morning. There is, at such moments, a calm repose stealing over the mind; feelings, we are conscious of, but cannot analyse, take possession of us; a dreamy, undefinable, yet delicious happiness steals over us, lapping every sense into elysium,—and though we may have faced the front of battle, or borne unmoved the severest bodily anguish, we can scarcely keep the tears, at such a time, from springing to our eyes, so deep, and melting, and resistless are the feelings that gush in our bosom.

The emotions that filled my heart, on awaking the first morning in Malta, and knowing that I was in the same hotel with Isabel, and that the struggle I had had with destiny, was now over, were nearly akin to those delicious, yet softening feelings which came across me when I returned to my early home after my first long absence. But the sentiments that now moved me were not, as then, destined to be turned into misery. Then I returned to my father’s house only to find my sole parent a corpse, and myself left a penniless orphan, to the cold friendship of a selfish world. Then I returned to feel how utterly desolate life was thenceforth to be—to learn that the friends who had swarmed around me in prosperity would desert me in indigence, and to discover that the reputed heir of an ample estate, and the beardless midshipman with no fortune but his sword, had far different trials to endure from the oppression of superiors, the coldness of equals, and the bitter neglect of inferiors. It was a hard lesson I had learned—but I had at last conquered it. I had been the buffet of misery long enough, and now the haven was at hand. Instead of repining at my evil destiny, I had early learnt to fit myself to my change of circumstances, and with a fund of natural spirits that never lost their sanguine hue, I had weathered all the difficulties of my earlier years, and had risen, after a long apprenticeship, to the rank I now held. I was the architect of my own fortunes, and I felt prouder when I thought of it, than I would had I enjoyed my father’s hereditary wealth. But more than all I was possessed of the love of Isabel,—and that alone was worth setting against a world’s ransom. I, the poor, the friendless, the unprotected—the gay hearted midshipman who had been tossed about on every sea with none to care for his return—had gained the affections of one for whom the proudest aristocracy of her own land would not have disdained to sue. But I am digressing.

The days that now ensued were among the brightest of my eventful existence. Mr. Thornton had received me as the accepted suitor of his daughter, telling me, that in doing so, he only paid back, if that were possible, the debt of gratitude, he owed me for saving the life of Isabel. He ended, by assuring me, that, aside from this, he was satisfied, from personal inquiries, of my high worth, and more, far more that it would not be becoming in me to relate, and which I could scarcely suffer myself to listen to.

From the father I hurried to the daughter. I found her sitting in her boudoir, with her back toward the door, seemingly lost in thought—and as I entered with a light and noiseless step she did not become aware of my presence for sometime. Wishing to surprise her I stole silently up to her, and stood, for a moment, looking over her shoulder. Her head was leaning on her hand, and the rich hair falling in massy tresses down her cheek, and across her snowy arm, gave her the appearance of one of those divine Madonnas with which Raphael has filled the galleries of Italy. On a table before her lay a card on which she had been writing, and just as I entered she scrawled, as if unconsciously, a name. It was my own. How my heart leaped at this new proof of her love, for her thoughts then were upon me all the while, and I, I only was the cause of her pensiveness. Sweet angel, I murmured to myself. I could scarcely refrain from discovering myself, so quick and hard came my breathing under the excitement of the moment; but when I saw her, with the same unconscious air, write her own name Isabel, adding Danforth instead of Thornton to it, beneath mine on the card, I could contain myself no longer, but stooped down and kissed her cheek. She sprang up with a suppressed scream, as if frightened, but on discovering who it was, the terror fled from her countenance, and was followed by a suffusion of the deepest crimson over brow and neck and bosom. Regarding me half reproachfully for a moment, she buried her face in her hands, and with instinctive modesty turned shrinkingly away. But putting my arm delicately around her slender waist, I sat down on the sofa, and drawing her toward me, I whispered her name. What more could I say? What more would have been fitting, when both our hearts were full, too full for words, and when we knew each other’s feelings the better for our silence? But though no words were said, our hearts beat not the less wildly. Burying her face upon my shoulder, with her bosom throbbing against my own, Isabel seemed to have lost all consciousness of aught except how unmaidenly she had been in thus betraying herself, while I, with that dear bosom beating against my own, could only soothe her in silence, and press her still closer to my heart. It was an hour such as we have but once in our life, and that is when we learn not only by words, but by a language deeper than words, how wholly, how ardently we are beloved. Minutes after minutes flew by in this dreamy extacy. At length I stooped down, and kissing the pure brow resting on my shoulder, I said softly,


“How could you do it—dear Henry?” she murmured half inaudibly, as her eyes stole timidly up to mine an instant, and then, veiled as quickly beneath the long lashes, dropped to the ground, as she nestled her head once more upon my bosom.

The morning flew away while we were still sitting side by side on the sofa, and every moment opening our hearts to each other more confidingly than before. Oh! there is nothing equalling hours like these. To sit alone beside the one you love and hear her low voice murmuring vows you have long sought to win, and which, though often whispered, never tire you, but seem the sweeter at every repetition, is bliss such as no pen can describe; and then, when that loved one, feeling that her maidenly reserve would now be useless, throws her whole soul confidingly upon you, and tells in half audible, half incoherent sentences, how long, and perhaps as she thought, hopelessly she has loved, your joy becomes almost too extatic for reality. Never is a woman more lovely than in such moments. If ever her voice has a divine music—if ever her eyes look more than beautiful—if ever her countenance has in reality and truth, the expression of an angel, it is when, purified and exalted by such emotions, she trusts all her soul unreservedly to you, and breathes forth, in return for your vows, the history of her love. But such hours are too sacred to be dwelt upon. Let us draw a veil over them. Suffice it to say it was arranged that very morning that our union should take place in less than a month at La Valette, after which time I should have to proceed to ——, to transact the business of my mission. Thither Isabel and her father could then accompany me.

Meantime my days were spent in a constant succession of amusements. In the morning I was with Isabel, visiting the old churches and renowned fortifications of the town, or riding together out into the surrounding country to enjoy the free air and sunny prospect around us. In the evening there was generally a ball given by some of the numerous men-of-war in port, or a concert held in the houses of the wealthier inhabitants, to visit. My time was spent almost constantly with Isabel. Still, however, I found many an interval to keep up my intimacy with the mess, and if our voyage to Malta was a hilarious one our stay there certainly exceeded it in joviality.

The members of the mess, though in every respect ornaments to their profession, partook largely of the feeling of hostility toward the English, pervading our army at the close of the war—a feeling, which to do them equal justice, was returned by the British officers and men without any abatement. I have already alluded to the existence of the sentiment at Gibraltar—, but there it was successfully kept under by the exertions of the respective commanders. At Malta, however, it broke forth with renewed violence. Scarcely a day passed without the peace of La Valette being disturbed by a fray between our sailors and those of the British vessels in port. The officers, too, with the single exception of our commodore and a few of the English captains were equally headstrong, and already one or two duels had come off between the rival nations to avenge the insults offered or fancied to have been offered to either flag. In these controversies I had, however, never joined, but circumstances made me, at length, a witness, if not a partaker, in a rencontre, which by its disastrous termination, finally put an end to them.

I had been dining one day at the —— hotel, with a party of our officers, and as the wine had circulated with unusual freedom, a proposal was made after nightfall that we should sally forth into the streets for the benefit of the air. The movement accordingly was made, and arm in arm, we set out on our jaunt. As a matter of course the wine had not been without its influence upon the brains of a set of hot-headed young men, and when we began to traverse the peculiar streets of La Valette, we found ourselves rather merrier than comported exactly with steady habits. Some of our party were, in fact, what a Scotchman would call “fou;” and as for valor they really boiled over with the article. An English officer happening to pass us on our way, the sight of his uniform, as if by magic, set our indignation afloat, and made the majority of the company perfectly unmanageable. A riot which had occurred but a day or two before between our crew and that of an English frigate, and in which the British tars had outnumbered and overpowered our own was, in an instant, the theme of every tongue, and many a wish was expressed that some good cause of quarrel existed by which the English officers ashore might be, to use the Virginian’s expression, “handsomely trounced.”

“Ship ahoy!” he sung out in continuation, as he rolled along like a ship on an uneasy swell, calling to the first lieutenant, who was standing off and on a short distance ahead, “ship ahoy there, M——, heave to, you crank, narrow-waisted, skipper-built craft—heave to, I say, and give us your notions how to get up this little difficulty with these cursed insolent British, in the handsomest possible manner.”

The first lieutenant, by this time, had stopped, and leaning against the wall, stood looking half-stupidly at his fellow officer; but comprehending at length what was proposed by his inferior, he winked with drunken gravity at us, and stuttered, hiccuping between every sentence or two.

“Eh! I guess I’ll give ’em their fixens, my lads—it aint every day they can cross the hawse of a rale Vermonter, and when they do (hic-hic-hiccup) they’ll find their match I calculate,” and then he winked very knowingly again, while such of us, as continued sober, laughed till the tears ran out of our eyes.

“I’d like to know what the d—l you’re laughing at, (hiccup)” said the lieutenant staring around with Quixotic gravity, “it’s not agin’ the articles, I guess, for a man off duty to get drunk, (hiccup) especially when its the or-di-na-tion of Providence that his only failing should be liking grog, and hating the women—eh! who’s got a word to say now?”

“Nobody, faith, M——, but what’s the use of palavering here about these matters, when we’re all wishing for a row with the English. Come, come, you’re the cutest of our set; and can’t you hit upon a way of getting up a quarrel and yet making the British the aggressors? I am dying for a shot at those fellows—but alas,” he continued with a mournfulness, inexpressibly ludicrous, “I’m afraid there’s no chance of that to-night.”

“Ain’t there?” said the first lieutenant, with a knowing whistle, winking all round the group—“what’ll you bet of that?”

“Bet!—a supper for the set, with as much Burgundy and Champaigne as they like.”

“I calculate it’s lost any how,” drawled out the lieutenant, with a provincial accent.

“Is it done?”

“I’ll be darned if it ain’t.”

“Hurrah then,” said the mercurial little Virginian, in an extacy, “we’re sure of the supper and perhaps of a fight—but now for deciding the bet.”

“But first,” said the soberest of the mess, interposing, “let us in to this café and get some coffee, for since we’re likely to have a duel or two to-night, for heaven’s sake, let us go into them sober.”

The coffee was soon despatched, and as the first lieutenant had, by this time, recovered his sobriety, we all endeavored to discover the plan by which he hoped to make the aggression come from the side of the British. Not a word, however, of satisfaction would he give us. All he answered was, that to carry out his scheme, it was necessary the whole set should adjourn en masse, to a neighboring hotel, or rather coffee-house, which was the usual rendezvous of the naval officers in port, but especially of the Americans and British.

Accordingly we once more sallied forth, and there is such a social feeling on such occasions betwixt members of the same party, that however indisposed some of us might have been, in our cooler hours, to this wanton plot, we all, in the excitement of the moment, joined heartily with the Virginian and the first lieutenant. In such a mood we entered the coffee-room, which happened to be crowded to excess. As the two lieutenants approached the door arm in arm, M—— flung it open with an air of careless haste, remarking in a voice of apparent excitement, as if continuing a conversation, and in a tone, which, without being louder than would have been natural, was heard distinctly throughout the apartment,

“Who did you say it was, Harry, that said Lord C——,” meaning the English Admiral, “was not a scoundrel, for whoever he was I say the fellow is a liar?”

The effect of such a speech, upon the inflammatory audience, no one can imagine, who is ignorant of the jealous hatred existing between our service, and that of England at the time. Every officer of the British navy present sprang at once to his feet—chairs were thrown down and tables overturned in their haste to reach us—and more than one sword leaped from its scabbard and was crossed upon the opposing one of the enemy, in less time than I take to write this paragraph. Meantime the oaths, and execrations mutually interchanged between the two parties, defied all description. The English stormed, raved, swore, and fought by turns, seeming to have become perfectly insane with passion, at what they looked upon as the most outrageous of insults—while our party, to do them justice, from their knowledge of the real circumstances, were as cool as could be imagined, and some of them, I can answer for, were far more disposed to laugh at, than join in the rage of the other faction. Indeed I could scarcely believe seriously, that the words of M—— had caused the hurly-burly. It reminded me of the falling of a bomb-shell into a magazine. Meantime the enemy had made a rush at the offender, and our party having, at the movement, rallied around him, there was every appearance of a bloody fray, when one of us stepped forward and sheathing his sword, raised his voice above the din, and proposed a cessation of a few minutes in order to settle the difficulty, if possible, in a more fitting way.

“By ——, sir,” said a burly English officer in reply, “there is but one way to settle it—and that is by blood.”

Cries of “shame—shame!—blood only—run him through—down with the British,” almost deafened us for a moment, threatening to plunge us once more into a general fray, but through the exertions of the more considerate of the two factions, this new excitement was at length allayed. The American who had spoken and an English lieutenant were allowed to take upon themselves the office of mediators. They accordingly withdrew a short distance, leaving the two parties mutually regarding each other with looks of defiance—the Virginian on the one side, and the burly Englishman on the other scarcely able to restrain themselves. M——, the cause of the whole affray was coolly engaged in lighting a new cigar.

“There is no chance of settling this affair peaceably, you see,” said the Englishman, decidedly to his fellow negotiator.

“None—but still less is it to be expected that we should cut each other’s throats pell mell like our crews beat each other with stretchers—”

“Why, sir,” interrupted the Englishman with an oath, “hasn’t our flag, in the person of our admiral, been insulted by your party?”

The American felt his face burn at this hot-headed remark, but he remembered his situation, and only replied,

“About the insult, as a matter of course, I have nothing to say—but men of honor have a way of adjusting these difficulties, and that ought to be the course here—choose a man from your party, and you will find us as willing to settle the business as yourselves.”

“But we shall insist on your first lieutenant being the man on your side.”

“Very well.”

“We shall choose by lot.”

“It is settled then,” and with these words they parted, and rejoined their respective groups.

The lot fell upon the burly English officer; the preliminaries were soon arranged; and the two parties set forth at once to the ground, selected for the duel, a spot just without the town, which had often been the scene of such conflicts before.—When we arrived there the moon was sailing cloudlessly on high, flooding the whole landscape with a light almost as vivid as that of day. Every object was distinctly seen. There was no difficulty, therefore, in arranging the combat. The Virginian acted as M——’s second, and the Englishman was aided by a young nobleman. The combatants were placed. The opposite party gave the word. They fired. But neither were even wounded.

“Missed him by Jove!” exclaimed the Virginian, thrusting his hands into his pockets, and walking rapidly to and fro, seemingly in a state of the greatest excitement.

The parties were once more placed, and during the moment of delay before the signal was given, the Virginian resumed his walk, increasing it almost to a run in his excitement, and stopping suddenly, as he heard the signal, to see the result.

“By the soil of Virginia, the lubber’s missed again—what the deuce is the matter with you, M——?” he exclaimed, “if I’d only your chance,” he continued, slapping his hands on his thigh, “I’d wing him at a shot.”

“Are you ready, gentlemen?” asked the nobleman.

“Ay, ay, sir!” answered the excited little Virginian, placing the pistol in the hands of his principal, and resuming his run, pausing again at the word, and bending eagerly forward, with both hands stuck in his pockets as before, to watch the effect of the fire.

“By St. Dennis, what a bungler!” muttered the little Virginian, in a state of uncontrollable excitement, as he beheld both combatants standing as yet unhurt, and raising his voice, and going forward he added, “you see, gentlemen, there’s no use of the business going on this way—it’s tiresome waiting, and I propose that, as these gentlemen have had three shots, two others take their places. I’ll fight any man, to begin with, you set up.”

Despite the serious nature of the affair, a burst of laughter followed this strange proposal; but all agreed to its fairness, with the exception of the two combatants. The burly Englishman insisted on having it out, as he called it; and, for a while, M—— was equally intractable.

“Now do give up your chance, M——, that’s a dear fellow,” said his second coaxingly, “consider you were to get us into a row, and deuce a bit of one have I had yet—come, now make way only this once.”

His principal shook his head.

“Faith, now, not a word more—give us the pistol, and on my honor you shall have the next chance—consider you’re not doing the fair thing, for you’re so thin that a bullet splits on you.—Now I’m more of a match for your burly bully yonder.”

“Let the little fellow fight,” said the Englishman, at this instant, “or by St. George we’ll never get through.”

The two parties, by this time had grown utterly careless how the duel went on, so that it was brought to a speedy termination, and as the proposal of M——’s second chimed in with the recklessness with which the whole affair had been conducted by our party, we almost forced M—— from his position. It was well he happened to be the first combatant, for no one could question his courage in retiring. The Virginian took his place. His fidgetty character had now entirely disappeared. He stood like a rock, calmly awaiting the signal. From the first moment of his assuming his position I had augured a decisive termination to the contest, and I now watched the result with a breathless anxiety, for which I could scarcely account.

“Whoever fires before I give the word, gentlemen, will be a murderer,” said the nobleman, “remember—one—two—three—and then the word—all ready?”

“All ready,” answered M——.

The nobleman drew off a few paces, and then rapidly turning on his heel and facing the combatants, gave the signal. Both pistols went off simultaneously, and true to the very instant. I had kept my eye on the Virginian. He stood unmoved, with his pistol hanging by his side, the smoke still wreathing from its muzzle. I turned to the Englishman. The ball had entered his brain, and leaping like a deer high into the air, he fell, just as I looked toward him, prostrate on the ground. I rushed up to him. They turned his countenance upward as I reached his side, and the pale moonlight, streaming across it, disclosed a small, blue hole, just by the eye, through which the blood was oozing slowly. Not a muscle of the face was distorted; every feature remained just as it had been the moment before; but all traces of THE SOUL, that link of our diviner being, had passed forvever from his countenance. There he lay, his form rigid and motionless, with his face turned up toward the sky, as if in mockery of its cloudless beauty. Never—never more should he behold that azure firmament again, or listen to the low voice of the night-wind sighing across it. His ear was stilled, his eye was blind henceforth to all of this earth.

The affair created much noise, and had nearly become a serious matter. It resulted, however, in checking all further disturbances, and during our stay at Malta we never were engaged again in a dispute with any of our sister nation. As the matter had been conducted through all its stages with the consent of all, not even excepting the fallen man, no imputation was ever laid upon the second lieutenant, or on any engaged in it. But, in my cooler moments since, I have often looked back to that night with regret.

It was about ten o’clock when I reached the street in which my hotel was situated, and almost the first object I saw, after separating from my companions, was the valet of Mr. Thornton. He had no sooner perceived me than he rushed forward, and looking me full in the face, as if to assure himself of my identity, clasped his hands exclaiming,

“Thank God!”

“Why, John,” I asked in some surprise, “what is the matter—has any thing happened?”

“No, no—not since your honor’s safe—but there’s been a report here that our officers and the Yankees—I beg pardon sir—had got into a fight, and that you were in the thickest of it.—And sure enough when Squire Thornton sent up to the hotel, where it all took place, to learn the truth of it, they sent back word that you’d all gone out to fight a duel, and that you was the head man of them. God be praised that you are still alive.”

“But Isabel—Miss Thornton—”

“Oh! sir, they all alike think you dead, especially when they heard that you had challenged Lieutenant O’Laughnessy, the best swordsman in the navy, and that he’d sworn a great oath by the Pope—the sinner of a Catholic—that he’d have your honor’s heart-blood—”

But I did not wait to hear more of the valet’s story. The vision of Isabel, filled with fears for my safety, and tortured by the many exaggerated reports I saw were in circulation, rose up before me, and without listening for the conclusion of the sentence I darted away, ran up the street, dashed through the doorway of the hotel, and knocking down a servant with a tray in my way, hurried up, heedless of ceremony to the private parlor of Mr. Thornton. No one was there. Isabel’s boudoir lay immediately beyond, and thither I sped as fast as my footsteps could carry me. Swinging the door open with a single jerk, I ran my eyes hastily around the apartment to see if her I sought was there. I beheld no one, but I fancied I heard a sob, as if somebody was weeping. At that instant a figure, which had been hidden in the drapery of the window overlooking the street, emerged into the light, and turning around hastily I beheld Isabel. With a cry of joy she sprang forward and fell fainting into my arms.

The emotions of that moment were worth an age of misery. I held in my arms the form of her for whom I would have laid down my own existence, and I saw, with an extacy I cannot describe, that the tears, shed over my fancied danger, were still warm upon her cheeks. Oh! in this world of sorrow and disappointment what is so delicious as these silent proofs, that however dark may be our lot, there is one heart at least, that beats in unison with our own, smiling when we smile, and weeping in our absence for our return. A torrent of wild, joyous, indescribable feelings rushed through me as I gazed down upon that Madonna-like countenance, and felt that the inanimate form reposing in my arms, had been rendered so, by excess of joy at my safety. That moment crowded out of my memory the long years of hardship I had undergone. It is as fresh, to-day, in my recollection as the hour when it happened.

But these emotions, sweet as they were, did not prevent me from remembering Isabel’s situation; and hastily depositing her on a sofa under the window, I seized a flower-rose standing by, and flung the water over her pale countenance. In a few moments she revived, and faintly opening her eyes, looked up with an unsettled gaze; but as she recognised me hanging over her, a sweet smile stole over her face, and she extended her hand. I seized it, covering it with kisses.

“Are you better Isabel—dear, dear Isabel—mine own?”

“And it was not a dream—you are safe, thank my heavenly father!” and clasping her hands, she raised her eyes to heaven, and for a moment seemed lost in thanksgivings. I bowed beside her—my heart was full—my cup of joy was running over—my own Isabel was pouring out her gratitude to that pure being whom I had so often slighted, that I was yet alive. Never had my heart been softened as it was in that hour. The tears fell fast from my eyes. I turned away to hide them.

“Henry—oh! where have you been?—but I will not chide you—I did not think a few minutes ago that I should ever again see you. Oh! how I have watched from the window for the last hour for your coming, and how crushing was the disappointment of each successive moment, until at last I could see no longer for the tears, that coming thick and fast, blinded my sight. You know all now, dear Henry, and perhaps I am wrong in telling you this; but I am so glad that you are safe that I scarcely know indeed what I say—but you were in danger, were you not?—you—you have been in a duel—”

“No, Isabel, dearest,” said I, pushing the curls back from her brow, and kissing her snowy forehead, “you have been causelessly alarmed—but here comes Mr. Thornton, and now you shall hear the whole.”

The joy of the parent was only second to that of the daughter at seeing me in safety, and after the hearty congratulations of my intended father-in-law were over, I found an opportunity to detail the adventure of the evening. I confess that as the eyes of Isabel looked up into my own, with all the purity and tenderness of her unreserved affection, I would willingly have drawn a veil over much that had transpired during the evening. But I frankly told the whole, for I could not find it in me, especially after witnessing what I had but just seen, to disguise the truth in the least. I thought there was a shade of sadness flitting over the brow of Isabel as I proceeded, but it passed away when she learned my successful efforts to prevent a general melee. She shuddered when I came to the death of the English officer. But when I closed, she once more clasped her hands, and raised her eyes to heaven a moment in silence.

“A sad business—a sad, very sad affair,” said Mr. Thornton, “but I am glad, my dear boy, that it is no worse, as it might have been, but for you. We heard of it an hour or two ago, through the carelessness of my valet, who mentioned it in Isabel’s presence thoughtlessly. I sent instantly to the reputed scene of the disturbance to learn the truth, when the stupid messenger brought back an exaggerated story of I know not how many duels, in half of which you were to be principal. I suspected that part, at least, to be untrue, and sent out messengers to ascertain the real facts. Not content with this, I left about an hour since to seek you, if possible, wherever you could be found, for this frightened little girl here had magnified every thing a thousand fold—ah! you needn’t kiss me into silence—so that I could no longer remain quiet at home. Wasn’t it so, my love?”

But Isabel had hid her face on her father’s bosom, and did not answer. She could acknowledge to none but me, not even to her father, how she had felt during those torturing moments.

We did not part that night until long after the hour of twelve had sounded from a neighboring church-tower. The calm light of the moon stole in through the casement, and watched over our little circle; while the fragrance of the orange-blossoms, borne on the gentle breeze, and the voice of the sea washing monotonously in the harbor, came soothingly across the silence. I retired at length, but not to sleep. The excitement of the evening kept me awake until the morning light began to redden the east, when I fell, at length, into a heavy slumber.

The days that yet remained to the long wished for one, which should give me Isabel, passed meanwhile away, during which the health of my intended bride was placed beyond all danger. From the first day of our meeting at Gibraltar, her father said, she had been recovering, until, on the morning of her bridal, except a certain languor which only added to her loveliness, she never looked, he declared, so beautiful. The mingled blushes and smiles, accompanied by a timid, yet unaffected modesty, with which she then greeted me, I can never forget; while a calm seriousness of expression, through which her happiness struggled in the sweetest smiles, gave to her countenance a purity that made it, if possible, angelic.

We were married. Need I say more. My tale is told.

Of the characters who have appeared at various times in the progress of my story, but who have rather flitted past as shadows than been firmly drawn, I will only say, that justice to themselves required me not to paint them in as bold a relief as I might have done, lest the prying eye of curiosity should have detected them even under fictitious names. Some of them are yet living, high in their country’s confidence—but many, too many of them have passed away and are forgot. No—not forgot by all. One lies on the coast of Syria—one found a grave in the Pacific—and he whom I have called old Taffrail, is buried in the church-yard which I now see from my window. He died in the house of him to whom he had often been more than a father.

Mr. Thornton returned to England after the termination of my mission; and thither we accompanied him, my engagements not requiring my return to America. We remained with him for a year and more, and then left him for the United States. There he soon followed us on a visit, from which he never cared to return. The only tears that Isabel had shed since her marriage, were shed at his death some years ago, when, in a green, old age, like a shock of corn fully ripe, he was gathered to his fathers.

Isabel is somewhat older now, but, to my eyes, she is as beautiful as ever. There is a little Isabel, too, and I hear her, even now, with her older brother, knocking at the door of my study for admission. I am happy. How else could I be?

And now, Reader, farewell! Our voyage together has been long; it remains with you to say whether it has been pleasant. This hurried autobiography was first undertaken at the solicitation of others, and has been continued from time to time, often with carelessness, but always without reserve. Those who mingle more in the world than I now do, or have done for years, tell me that these sketches have not been without some little popularity; while I do not fail to remember, that this information, thus retailed out by myself, may seem like boasting, or at least as a challenge to the critics. If any man should think so I cannot better answer him than in the words of the worthy Squire Sancho Panza, “but let them say what they will, I neither lose nor win; and so my name be but in print, and go about the world from hand to hand, I care not a fig, let people say of me whatever they list.”

Harry Danforth.

November, 1840.





At the close of a summer’s day, in 1836, I entered the Estrella, or new church of Lisbon.

I had been walking in the English cemetery for several hours, and had passed, in returning to the street, the dust of Fielding, the father of English novelists, on the one hand, and the narrow tomb of Doddridge, the author of “The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul,” on the other. From the lowly tenements of the mouldering dead, I was irresistibly led to the temple of the living God. As I entered the majestic Cathedral, in which a Convent was kept by the order of the Queen of Portugal, the hour of Vespers arrived, and the bishop and his train knelt at the foot of the altar. There were but three or four persons present beside those who officiated at the altar—and the organ and choir—two requisites in a Catholic Church—were no where to be seen. Above the altar a large Roman window reached to the height of thirty feet, and extended eight feet along the sill. Before this window, which was grated with iron, wrought into beautiful shapes, a long, thin, white curtain hung and waved in the summer breeze that stole in through the open doors. The bishop now began the service, and his voice was scarcely heard, so large was the Cathedral,—presently, however, an hundred female voices swelled forth in scarcely equalled harmony, the evening Hymn to the Virgin. I started—never had I heard such music—and so unexpectedly did it come upon me, that I fancied an angelic host had descended to bear up that old bishop’s prayer to the king of kings; while they chaunted their heavenly numbers, and struck the chords of their harps of gold. As I gazed upon the white curtain, I perceived shadowy forms bending behind it, and became satisfied that the nuns of Saint Jeronymo were the chaunters of Vespers at the altar of the Estrella. Not understanding a word that they said, my imagination conceived the following lines to be the substance of their chaunt:






Evening closes—evening closes

  Over Cintra’s mountain dim.

Sweet the breeze from Jura’s roses

  Whispers Nature’s Vesper hymn.

Holy Mother! Blessed Virgin!

  As we bow before thy shrine,

Call our thoughts from thee diverging,

  Mother keep us—we are thine.


Now the ocean’s hollow voices

  Die away on Belem’s shore.

Every lab’ror’s heart rejoices,

  Days perplexing toils are o’er;

By the cork trees on the mountain,

  Lo the maiden chaunts to thee!

While the doomed, their beads are counting

  On the tempest-driven sea.


We have left the scenes of childhood,

  We have left the lordly dome,

River, glen, and waving wild wood,

  Friends that sweetly whispered home!

Then while darkness scowls above us,

  And our hearts are closed to sin,

Holy Mother! thou wilt love us,

  While we chaunt the Vesper hymn?


Holy Mother! bless thy daughters

  With thy never-ceasing smile.

Bless them o’er the silver waters,

  Bless them in the lonely isle.

Bless, oh bless our earthly mother,

  Bless the prattler at her shrine,

Bless each sister, and each brother,

  Holy Mother! they are thine.


Night around us waves her banners,

  And the day star gilds the west,

Oh, receive our loud Hozannas,

  Holy Mother of the blest!

Hear us thro’ our Intercessor—

  Who hast triumphed over sin—

Save in mercy the transgressor,

  While we chaunt the Vesper Hymn!


As the last notes died away in the frescoed arches of the Cathedral, a monk, with his hood thrown back, looked down upon me from a little pigeon hole far up the arched ceiling. A silver bell now rang in the convent cloisters—the bishop and his train glided swiftly through a side door.—One by one the nuns arose from their kneeling postures, and with folded arms and solemn step moved away. All now was silent as the grave, not a voice echoed amid the solitary aisles—the Vespers were over: and it was night at Lisbon.

Washington, October 24th, 1840.


“I will throw my glove to death himself,

That there’s no maculation in thy heart.”


My heart will be blown up by the root!


“Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.”


It was the year 1692, a memorable one, and as sad as memorable in the history of the British colonies in North America. How many spirits were hurried, ere God had called them, to their dread account, during its brief progress! Superstition ruled the land in, perhaps, the most singular garb it has ever worn, and scores and hundreds were its victims. Agnes Danvers sat alone in the dwelling of her only parent with her head bowed upon her hand in the bitterness of early sorrow. She had wept beside the grave of her mother, and seen three brave and kind-hearted brothers laid to rest in the dawn of manhood, but they all had died smitten by the hand of their Creator, and passed from earth in peace and hope. She had watched beside their beds and gathered lessons of faith and virtue from their parting hour for her future life. Time had healed the wounds their death had given, and though she cherished their memories still in undimmed brightness, the smile had returned to her lip, the sunshine to her pathway. Her father yet survived, and him she loved and reverenced only less than God. But on the evening on which we would introduce her to the reader, that father had been arrested on the charge of sorcery and committed to a gloomy prison, there to await a trial whose issue was scarcely doubtful, for many quite as innocent as he had been condemned and executed. Agnes had clung to him in terror and distraction, entreating to be taken in his stead, and then petitioning to accompany him, but her appeals were vain, and she sat in her desolate home, believing herself abandoned by every earthly friend, for such was the horror and panic which pervaded all classes of that little community, relative to the prevalence of witchcraft, that the dwelling whence one poor victim was taken was a proscribed place. Those who doubted the guilt of the accused, yet feared to implicate themselves, by manifesting particular sympathy with the sufferers. Perchance the unfortunate situation of Mr. Danvers resulted principally from his exemption from such apprehensions. With a mind more enlightened to detect error than was often found at that infatuated period, he had as a christian minister seduously endeavored to rend the veil from the understandings of his parishioners, and expose the absurdity of the popular opinions. His efforts, alas! had proved fatal even while they partially succeeded. Many of his hearers were convinced, but their conviction and its consequent effects attracted suspicion toward themselves, and numbers were imprisoned, and not a few put to death. The sympathy of Mr. Danvers was not withdrawn in their hour of need, and fearless of the consequences to himself, he discharged the duties of his office faithfully, until public excitement reached such a height that he became its most persecuted victim. His daughter had naturally imbibed his sentiments, and possessed sufficient strength of character to have avowed them, had not her father’s love for her induced him in this one instance to yield to prudential motives, and contrary to the general openness of his temper, he bade her be silent on the subject and make no effort to influence the belief of her associates, lest she should attract attention to herself. In a society so inflammable as that whose proceedings we are now recording, “trifles light as air” were sufficient to produce moral ignition, and the father’s attempts to shield his child from danger were construed into “confirmations strong” of his guilt. After his arrest many could recollect hours passed in converse on the strange effects of witchcraft, in which Agnes Danvers, though present, took no part. One could remember that she looked sorrowful, another that she was indignant, some that the color on her cheek frequently varied, and that she would begin to speak, and check herself, ere she uttered a sentence.

“Every thing proves,” thought they, “that the poor girl knew her father practiced those black arts, and loving him as she did, it was natural she should desire to conceal the truth.”

“You seem much interested,—all talking at once. May I know the subject of your discourse?” asked a young man of handsome figure, and frank and noble countenance stepping suddenly into the midst of a group of those declaimers on the misfortunes of Agnes Danvers, composed of some of her most intimate female acquaintances. So occupied had they been in the interchange of their several conjectures that he had entered the room unobserved.

“Oh! Mr. Dudley, are you here? It is so dark, I heard you had gone on a visit to your uncle,” exclaimed Sarah Darrell, in whose father’s house the conclave had met.

“So I had, Miss Darrell, and I have but just returned. A rumor of a very extraordinary character has reached me within the last half hour, and I came hither to learn its truth or falsehood, as, I believed you to be more intimate with Miss Danvers than any other person.” There was a slight degree of significance, it might be of sarcasm in the tone of the speaker.

“It is true, I have always liked Agnes very much, Mr. Dudley. I have known her a long time, and though I have always thought her odd, still she has many good qualities, I have often said to myself. It is not reasonable to suppose that I should suspect the iniquity of her father, else of course I should have given her up long ago.”

“You do not mean to give her up now, Miss Darrell, in her hour of adversity?” he asked earnestly.

“Really, Mr. Dudley, I don’t know. It is a difficult task to renounce an early friend, but the circumstances—indeed I am distressed what to do. Will you advise me?”

“I advise you! Does not your own woman’s heart prompt you to the course you should pursue? Go to her immediately, weep with her if you cannot comfort; let her see she has one friend left, for doubtless she thinks herself totally deserted. And if you can, prevail with her to return home with you, and remain until after her father’s trial.”

“Sarah’s parents will not consent to such a thing,” exclaimed Hannah Goodwin, “and I wonder any body that has a regard for her could propose it.”

“Parents not consent to countenance and protect a helpless and innocent girl whose mother is dead, whose father is unjustly charged with a preposterous crime! Let them take care then, else their day of wo will come,” cried the indignant young man; “are you going, Miss Darrell?” he asked almost fiercely.

“Really, Mr. Dudley, your manner is enough to frighten one. I can not go alone.”

“I will attend you,” he said more gently.

“Oh! well I will get my bonnet. I would risk much to please you,” she said in a low and hesitating tone, as she passed him.

“Thank you,” he replied, but coldly and instantly added, following her from the room, “if I had had a sister I should not have troubled you: and I thought you sincere in your professions of friendship for Miss Danvers.”

“I am sincere.”

Although it was not particularly flattering to be addressed in a tone so measured and indifferent, by a young man whose fortune and whose character made him considered by the ladies as the best match in Salem, still it was something to be preferred to all others for an office he would have assigned to a sister. Besides, he was to be her companion in her friendly embassy, and it was better that she should proffer aid to Agnes, than that he should. She knew that he admired the minister’s daughter; she heard him say so more than once. It was to be her care that admiration should not become love. That would never do, for Miss Darrell aspired to be Mrs. Dudley, herself.

Few words were exchanged as they passed on to the house of Mr. Danvers. Sarah, indeed, attempted some pathetic remarks on the sad fate of her dear friend, and the impossibility that she could ever hold up her head again after having a father tried and condemned for sorcery:—Mr. Dudley, however, neither condoled with, nor encouraged her sympathy, but seemed chiefly anxious to hurry on.

“I am actually out of breath,” she said almost pettishly as they reached the door of the parsonage.

“You will have time to rest now,” her companion said, absently. Agnes started from her bowed position, as the servant announced her visiters, and springing forward with an exclamation of gratitude, grasped the hands of her friend.

“I have been very wicked,” she sobbed, “I imagined myself deserted by the whole world, and God has sent you to me, dearest Sarah. I thought you might fear to come now, but you are here; and you will speak to your father for me, and get him to use his influence. Is he with you?” she whispered, for the room was almost wholly dark; the poor girl had been too miserable to think of ordering candles. The attendant was more thoughtful, and now entered with them.

“Mr. Dudley accompanied me. You have seen him, I believe.” Seen him! Had he not attended her beloved father’s ministry for the last six months, and often come in the evening to learn precepts of morality and piety from his converse? Had he not gathered flowers for herself, and brought volumes of poetry for her perusal from his father’s library? True there were no Floral Dictionaries then, and Moore and Byron had not written; but had those sweet blossoms, skillfully selected and arranged, no meaning? Could the old English poets wake no chord of the heart by their melodies? Was the language of true feeling less understood then, than now? We wot not.

Miss Darrell said what she could think of to allay her friend’s anguish, but perhaps, the proof afforded by her visit at such a time, that her attachment was not to be changed by circumstances, was the most soothing cordial she proffered. Dudley would not for worlds have undeceived her then, and was even content to have his coming interpreted as merely accidental. His words, however, were calculated to encourage and console the afflicted Agnes, and in her gratitude to both, she involuntarily so linked his real eloquence with the commonplace condolence of Sarah, that the former threw a grace and character around the latter, and in her reflections on that evening, her friend acquired a value in her eyes, all her early partiality had hitherto, never been able to bestow upon her. She could not, however, be persuaded to leave her desolate, but still dear home. “I shall be less unhappy here, than at any other place,” she replied to Sarah’s entreaties. The latter glanced almost fearfully around.

“Indeed, Agnes, you ought not to stay here. It would kill me.”

“To be alone perhaps,” added Dudley, “but with you for a companion——”

“Me!” she interrupted him in unfeigned terror, then added confusedly, “I would do much for Agnes, risk much, but indeed I cannot stay here. You should not ask that, Mr. Dudley.”

To one more suspicious of her friendship than Agnes, her words might have betrayed his influence over her actions on this evening, but the latter only saw those apprehensions which were common to that period, and replied with tenderness.

“I would not have you stay, dear Sarah. I am better alone.”

“Better alone, Agnes,” said Sarah, whose curiosity was almost equal to her fears, “It is strange you are so courageous. Is it not, Mr. Dudley?”

“Strange! yes, certainly; very uncommon, at least,” he returned, feeling that he could have laughed heartily at the terrified Sarah, but for the unhappy situation of Agnes.

“I shall visit your father very early to-morrow, Miss Danvers. Have you any message to him?” said Dudley, as they rose to take leave.

“Oh! that I could see him, Mr. Dudley—could remain with him.”

“It would be dangerous to ask it, Agnes,” cried Sarah, “you would be suspected naturally of being——” she paused.

“A witch—yes, Miss Danvers looks like one,” said Dudley scarcely able to suppress a smile, “but I think it very natural that she should desire to see her father,” he added, “and you must exert your influence with yours, Miss Darrell, to have her wish gratified. He has some control in the decisions of our rulers.”

Agnes Danvers knelt in prayer that night for many hours, and retired to rest, with trust in God, and gratitude toward Sarah and Dudley.

“You will go to Miss Danvers again to-morrow, will you not, Miss Darrell?” said Dudley, as he bade his companion good night at her father’s door.

“Perhaps so,” she evasively replied.

“I shall find you there then, I hope.” Those words decided her. She went and spent the morning with her friend. Dudley came according to promise, bringing a message of love from her father.

“He is very anxious about you, Miss Danvers, and I have promised to be your physician,” said Dudley with gentle kindness, “I prescribe fresh air, and a walk to Mr. Darrell’s. That pale face would alarm your father.”

“I cannot go, indeed, Mr. Dudley. The only walk I desire is to his prison,” and her tears fell fast. That indulgence Dudley could not procure for her, and Mr. Danvers seemed unwilling that he should. “Natural as is her desire to see me,” he said to Dudley, “in the present state of blindness and excitement, it might be construed into a participation in my supposed crime. Do not assign my reason for objecting, but tell her, if you please, Mr. Dudley, that it is my request, my command, that she should make no effort to see me.” During the long and weary days which intervened before the trial of Mr. Danvers, Dudley continued to visit him as often as he was permitted, and bear affectionate messages from him to his unhappy child. Sarah Darrell generally met him at the parsonage, and two or three of the members of the church did not wholly neglect the pastor’s daughter in her wo. But many households were clad in sorrow from the same cause, and feared to bring farther affliction to themselves, by particular notice of the lonely Agnes. The day of doom came, and Mr. Danvers was condemned to die.

“Oh! why did you come here to-day, Mr. Dudley? and yet I felt that you would not stay away,” exclaimed Agnes, as the young man entered the room where she sat, pale and sad, and looking so thin and miserable that his heart ached at the sight.

“And why am I so unwelcome a guest?” he asked gently, but a little reproachfully.

“You can never be otherwise than welcome to me,” she replied bursting into tears, “for you are almost my only friend. But Hannah Goodwin and Charlotte Blake have just left me, and they tell me, that Sarah Darrell’s devotion to me has rendered her an object of suspicion, and her parents very prudently have forbidden her to come again.”

“And is not the desertion of Sarah Darrell a reason why I, your only remaining friend, should cling more closely to you?” he asked earnestly. “Did you suppose that I could forsake you, like those lukewarm flutterers about the prosperous, whose regard should never have been dignified with the name of friendship?”

“I think Sarah loves me, and means well, Mr. Dudley. She has been very kind to me, very. Indeed I wish you would follow her example, and leave me alone now to my fate. If harm should befall you, I should be wholly and completely wretched.”

“Would you?” he replied, taking her hand tenderly but respectfully, “Oh! Miss Danvers, you know not how willingly I could suffer to awaken such sweet interest! But I am not so selfish as to desire your wretchedness,” he added, “and believe me you have no cause for apprehension on my account. I come to conduct you to your father, by his request.”

The interview between the minister and his unhappy daughter, we will not attempt to describe.

“Take her away, Dudley,” said the trembling parent as she fainted on receiving his parting embrace, “I give her to you. I did wish to have united you to each other even in this fearful prison, according to your request, but she would not consent. It is not that she does not appreciate you as you merit, but she fears to bring evil on you. When her father is no more, and this dread infatuation has passed away, claim her as your bride. Take her hence now, Dudley, treat her tenderly—honorably. Be a brother to her. Poor child! she will have need of kindness.” A carriage with an aged servant of Mr. Danvers waited without, and the wretched Agnes was conveyed home.

“Oh! Miss Agnes, what terrible news,” cried her attendant running into the chamber of the afflicted girl two days after, “our only friend, Mr. Dudley is charged with bewitching Mrs. Darrell. She fell sick the day Miss Sarah refused to visit you, and they all say, he is the cause, for they heard him denounce wo against them if they did not prove friends to you. Only think of it.”

But Agnes could not think. With a wild scream she sank insensible on the bed from which she had partly risen. But she was too acutely miserable to remain long unconscious. As soon as recollection came back again, she rose and dressed herself, determined, weak as she was, to go to Mr. Darrell’s and use all the eloquence of which she was mistress to convince the family of the falsity and absurdity of their charge. They heard her with apparent concern, and Mrs. Darrell assured her it was not her desire that any harm should befall the young man. Hannah Goodwin was there, and clearly intimated that she saw no possible means of escape for him, since suspicion had been excited in the minds of many by his own words respecting Sarah’s parents, unless Sarah would accept him and become his wife. Then, she added, people would naturally suppose the accusation was erroneous. Sarah wept, and expressed her fears lest she should prove the next victim to popular prejudice, since she had been seen so frequently with Dudley, and visited Agnes so openly. Poor Agnes returned home half distracted, having gained but one source of comfort from her errand. She learnt that Dudley was not yet apprehended, though the civil powers were in pursuit of him; he was supposed to have absconded. Great was the surprise and delight of our heroine when he himself greeted her as she entered her own little parlor. He supported her tottering steps to a chair, and eagerly and earnestly thanked her for her efforts in his behalf, which he learnt from the attendant.

“I do not need any favors from the Darrells,” he said, when in broken accents she enabled him to divine rather than communicated the only chance of safety, they had hinted as possible, “I am in no danger, dearest Agnes, and if I were, their suggestion could never be received. I know them all better than you do, and understand the manoeuvre. But could you, knowing my devotion, wish me to become the husband of Sarah?” he asked reproachfully.

“Any thing, any thing to save you. Oh! Dudley think of my dear father’s fate!” and she wept bitterly.

“Your father yet lives, dear Agnes, and who knows what may be done for him? His child’s fervent prayer may yet be heard. Trust in God, Agnes. I have learnt a lesson of faith from your father and his daughter, which I hope never to forget. I have not seen you for two days, but I have not thought of you the less. Agnes, are you prepared to hear something very pleasant?” he added hesitatingly, fearing the effect of abruptness on her delicate frame.

She looked up eagerly, anxiously, and grasped his arm.

“You would not deceive me with false hope?”

“No. My own hazard became the means of advantage to us all. You know, we have wealth—influence—power, which Mr. Danvers had not. They have been used successfully. The excitement is abating, and——your father is reprieved!” Our readers may imagine the conclusion of our tale.

From this period, as President Dwight remarks, “the cloud which had so long hung over the colony like the darkness of Egypt, slowly retired, and was succeeded by serenity and sunshine.”

L. S.

November, 1840.


I remember—I remember—

  The day that first we met.

Yes! could I live forever,

  I never should forget.

I gazed upon her lovely face,

  And on her fairy form,

And I never dream’d of guile within

  That heaving bosom warm.


I remember—I remember—

  When I asked her to be mine,

She, blushing, fondly whispered

  “Thine! thine!—I’m only thine!”

I pressed her to my bosom,

  And I deemed that I was loved:

But, ah! the bitter, bitter truth

  That after years have proved!


She left me for another!—

  Oh, God! I cannot speak!

My brain, it whirls—my eyes grow dim—

  My heart is faint and weak.

Yes, yes, she coldly spoke the words,

  She said that we must part:

A spell came o’er me; but it passed—

  And left a breaking heart!


Philadelphia, November, 1840





In the latter part of November, 1817, I was on the road between Valenciennes and Cambray. The day was gloomy and cheerless; the clouds had long been gathering, and every minute the sky became more overcast. The wind was damp and piercing, and the wretched vehicle in which I was riding was altogether open to the air. The roads were heavy from previous rain, and it was in vain that the postillion alternately coaxed and swore at his horses, they could not be induced to quicken their pace beyond a walk. Comfortless as was my condition, I found I had not yet experienced all the pleasures of winter travelling upon the frontiers of France. Just as we had reached a small hamlet stretching along the road-side, the axle-tree of the carriage broke, and it was impossible to proceed any farther until it was repaired. Directed by the postillion, I picked my way among the mud and pools of the road to a little aubèrge, at a short distance. The landlord a spare, but strong-built man, of a grave, and rather severe aspect, with his wife, whose good-humored countenance, smart dress, and snow-white stockings, augured well for the neatness of her dwelling, received me at the door. I was soon domiciled in a snug little room, to which a scanty wood fire imparted an air of some cheerfulness. I soon learned that there was no hope of proceeding any farther on that day.—The smith was not at home, and nothing could be done until his return. In my own country such an accident would not have given rise to any great delay; the driver himself could have repaired the axle so as to make it serve for a few miles, but here nothing would serve except patience, so I made up my mind to spend the evening at the aubèrge. The prospect from the single window of my little room was cheerless enough. It looked upon the court attached to the house, and was terminated by a kind of barn more useful doubtless than elegant. A number of domestic fowls, drenched by the rain which began to fall in torrents, were searching for their food among the litter which strewed the court-yard, while two or three lean, long-limbed swine were crowded under a projecting shed to seek shelter from the storm. No one but a Dutch painter could have extracted amusement from this view, so I soon gave it up. I went in search of the landlord and found him together with his wife in the common room of the inn. “Had he any books?”—There were several prayer-books, a volume of songs, and some stray numbers of the “Moniteur,” left there doubtless by some traveller like myself. “No others?”

“Perhaps, Monsieur,” said our hostess, “would like to read the paper left by the poor young man who was shot here in ’93? I know not whether he will be interested in it, but for my part I cried heartily when I first heard it read.”

“That was because you were a fool, Marguerite,” interrupted her husband, “from the papers one would think that the young man must have been crazy. But poor fellow,” continued he, in a softer tone, “I cried myself when I saw him die. He did not seem more than twenty years of age, yet he walked to his death as calmly as if he were going to his breakfast. It was when Robespierre was at the head of affairs,” pursued the landlord, addressing himself to me, “and they made short work with any one who was accused then.”

“He was as beautiful as an angel, sir,” interrupted the landlady, “and he did nothing except refuse to serve any longer in the army. He asked for pen and paper on the morning that he died, and we afterward found the writings in the room.”

The manuscript served to while away a part of the evening, and when I had finished perusing it, having nothing better to do, I made the following translation: —


I was born in the small town of L——. My parents were not rich, but they had seen better times, and from them I received a refinement in my sentiments and expressions which could have been only expected in better society. My boyhood was spent in the ordinary routine of the schools, but I took no delight in the sports of my companions, and I frequently stole from their noisy merriment to dream in solitude. My dreams were those of a child. Glorious and fantastic visions of honor, and of happiness, floated before me. I now was the lord of thousands, dispensing with a liberal hand the wealth of which I was master, and now contented with a more humble but happier condition, I would while away my life in some solitary spot, exiled from the world, and living for myself alone. As I grew older my reveries did not forsake me. Uninterested in the realities around me, I lived almost wholly in a world of my own creation. Often have I wept over scenes of distress I have created but to relieve; often have the salt tears coursed each other down my cheeks as I have read of the sufferings of the great and good who have been before me, while my heart swelled with rage and indignation against the oppressors. Glorious dreams of my youth! why should I despair or blush for ye? Was I not then good? was I not great? How willingly would I have laid down my life if it would have saved that of another,—how willingly, yes, how joyfully would I have suffered all that hatred could inflict, if my sufferings could have added, though but in a small degree, to the happiness of my race! Why should I attempt to conceal it? My boyhood was not like that of those around me, nor in my manhood have I changed. With a heart formed for sympathy and communion I have never known a friend—with feelings overflowing with kindness for all mankind, alas! I fear I have but little benefited them. Yet it is not strange, I was unlike others, yet I longed for sympathy in all my thoughts and feelings, friendship too is to be sought in the active scenes of life, and I delighted but in solitude. In the midst of woods, on the summits of mountains I held communion with nature and her God. I mused upon the world and its creation—I saw myself an insignificant speck in the midst of the universe. My mind was filled with unutterable awe, yet I thought upon my Creator, and I felt the essence of immortality burn brightly within me.—Sublime and holy emotions! Emotions in which my youth was passed, emotions with which I am even now filled and pervaded! What has this earth in its possession that can compare with you? No! though I have suffered much, and the little that remains of my frail existence is marked out for endurance, yet I would not change my condition for the most fortunate of humanity.

Such was the manner in which my youth passed away, but a change was soon to take place in my existence, and it is not without reluctance that I approach it. I had always been susceptible to the influence of beauty. Rarely did I see a fair face or a fine form but I associated it with my views of the future; but I saw not the face again, or a nearer interview dissipated its charms,—and though my imagination was excited, my heart remained untouched. At last I was to feel the influence of a more enduring passion. Well do I recollect the scene where I first saw the object of my adoration. Even now it is vividly, sensibly, before me. A narrow but rapid stream flowed through the spot. On one side the bank was abrupt and thickly wooded, the other was flat and bordered by an extensive meadow ground. A spot on the bolder side was my favorite place of resort. There the bank rose perpendicularly from the water to the height of two hundred feet. The trunk of a decayed tree had fallen across a level platform at the top. On it I would sit poring over my books or gazing on the landscape around me. And how beautiful it looked as a passing cloud placed me in the shade, whilst the distant meadow was illumined by all the brightness of the sunbeams! Through the intervals of the foliage I could see the sunny grass and the herds rendered small by the distance; whilst the stream making a sudden bend appeared afar off, with its wooded bank, now of the lightest and now of the deepest verdure. Sometimes, too, I would draw near the edge of the precipice, and giddy with looking into the depth below, I could scarce resist an impulse to throw myself headlong into it. Who has not felt that fearful desire to pry into futurity? A step—the motion of a limb—of a finger will resolve us of all our doubts,—will remove for us the bounds between time and eternity—will place us in the presence of our Creator. The blood seems to stand still in our veins, we are filled with an intense and awful desire at once to know the mystery of our being, nor await the slow experience which time brings with it; but even in the very act, the mind recoils with terror from its own temerity, and fearful of ourselves we hurry from the danger.

But I must not thus digress. The little time I have left me is fast ebbing away, and I must hasten to continue my story. It was on a beautiful afternoon in August, I was sitting on the tree I have mentioned. I had been reading, but I had lain down my book, and indulged in the feelings excited by the season and the prospect. The air was calm and pure; not a cloud ruffled the serenity of the sky; the rustic songs of some of the inhabitants of the village were faintly heard, and the lowing of the cattle, harmonising with the scene, was rendered musical by the distance. I imagined not,—I thought not,—but a soft and dreamy delight pervaded my mind—I could have gazed forever. Suddenly I heard a rustling among the branches. A girl, with a light basket upon her arm, was tripping along a path which led down the bank at a short distance from me. Her face was turned from me, but her emotions were graceful and dignified. She approached the edge of the precipice. On a sudden the earth gave way beneath her feet and she fell into the water. Instantly I flew to her assistance; a steep and dangerous path led me to the shore. I reached it, and plunging in, caught her as she was a second time sinking. I was breathless from the rapidity of my descent. The stream was deep and rapid, but I was a strong and dexterous swimmer, and though not without difficulty I reached the opposite shore. We were alone upon the banks, my arm prevented her from falling. Her head rested upon my shoulder; her auburn tresses clustering round her high, fair brow. Her features were beautifully modelled, there was a tenderness and spirituality about them which was indefinable. The heaving of her bosom announced that life had not yet departed. She opened her eyes, they were blue, and were suffused with tears. At that moment I could have died for her. With what rapture the moments flew away as I accompanied her to her dwelling. She leaned upon my arm, her thanks were not many, but her looks were eloquently grateful. Her station in life was superior to my own—her father was rich and noble, but I had saved the life of his daughter, and I was cordially invited to renew my visit.

From that moment I bade adieu to my former occupations. My books no longer afforded me their wonted delight,—my walks were no longer attended with their customary pleasure. A joy, troubled and imperfect, had taken possession of my mind, and the beauties of external nature served but to confirm its dominion over me.

I had seen but little of society. I had met no one whose feelings were similar to my own; my fellows but called me away from my solitary reflections or dreamy reveries, to mingle with their causeless mirth, or become the object of their ridicule. I shunned then their society,—they soon ceased to seek after mine, and my acquaintance was confined to the inmates of my father’s dwelling. It was then an undertaking of no small moment to overcome the difficulties which seclusion had created. Yet I could not rest until I had overcome them. I saw her and alone,—and I left her more deeply enamoured than ever. That heart must indeed have been cold, which could have looked, unmoved, upon that pure and lovely being. In the first spring of youth, joy beamed upon her countenance, and an atmosphere of light and happiness seemed to float around her. She was tender, susceptible, confiding. Knowledge of the world had not taught her suspicion—nor had contact with mankind communicated any of their baseness. What wonder is it that I loved her?

From that time our meetings were frequent and undisturbed by the presence of a third person. I know not how it was, yet I could seldom bear to see her in the presence of another. If I discovered that she was not alone when about entering the house, I stole silently away. If any one entered while we were together, I remained mute or took an early opportunity of departing. But it was seldom that the house was the scene of our interviews. The sunny fields, the hill, the bank of the stream, the place of our earliest meeting, were traversed together. The merry music of the birds, the ceaseless humming of the insects, the freshening breeze, redolent with perfume, filled our minds with gratitude to the Creator and benevolence to his creatures. Our hearts ran over with the love of nature and her God, and their overflowings were spent upon each other. I have read that love is a selfish passion,—it is not, it cannot be so; mine never was, I could have died for Julia, for her sake I could have borne, and willingly, the severest torments. To have rendered her happy I could have sacrificed my strongest inclinations, and torn myself from her sight. In her presence every thing wore a more joyous and beautiful aspect. The breeze was fresher; the perfume of the wild flowers was sweeter; and the rippling waves danced more brightly in the sunbeams. Whilst away from her, nature lost part of her charms, and a yearning and unsatisfied desire took possession of my heart.

The autumn had stolen away, the winter too had passed, and the balmy spring had again returned, infusing life and action into every thing around us. I again accompanied Julia to my old place of resort. The tree, the platform, the wooded hills and the sunny fields were the same as we had seen them before, but never had they assumed so lovely an aspect. The trees had just put forth their young and tender foliage; the birds had begun their parental labors, and were gaily cheering each other in their work of love; and the breeze was fraught with all the freshness and buoyancy of spring. I listened to the varied calls that were sounding around me,—I looked upon the dazzling sunbeams as they came dancing over the waters,—I heard the breezy rustling of the tree-tops as they were swayed by the wind,—all nature breathed peace and happiness, and a serene contentment stole over my mind. But suddenly a change came over my feelings, and I turned from all that was beautiful around me, to the fair and lovely being by my side. My heart throbbed audibly in my bosom, a choaking and suffocating emotion passed over me, while with flushed face and sparkling eyes, I poured forth all my passion. I painted my young and fervent love—I told her of all I suffered in her absence; and I spoke to her of the unsympathising world of which we knew so little, and of the freshness and purity of our own youthful hearts. Her emotion was equal to my own,—her fair bosom rose and fell, and the red blood mantled to her temples—but at last I heard my own name murmured in those beautiful accents whose breathings were far sweeter to me than would have been the voice of angels.—We again bent our footsteps homeward—we felt all the influence of the season, but our talk was on different and dearer topics. A few short moments had removed the veil which custom has interposed between the sexes. We poured our full hearts into each other. The joyous future rose before us with not a cloud to dim its brightness, but we spoke most of ourselves and the present, and of our young and endearing love.

How different were my sensations that day on my leaving her, from those which usually accompanied her absence. Confidence had taken the place of doubt, my longing and uneasy desires were satisfied. I was beloved by her. The void in my heart was filled; I was no longer a lone and solitary being, without an object in the busy world around me. One link connected me with my fellows. One heart beat more rapidly on my approach, and if I should go down fameless and unknown to the silent grave, at least one being would weep over my loss, one bosom would preserve my memory from oblivion. My frame seemed lighter, and the air seemed more elastic. In the wildness of my joy I could have shouted,—I scarcely seemed to touch the earth. The buoyancy of my spirits carried me far from my ordinary path, and the exuberance of my joy dissipated itself in motion. The shadows of evening gathered around me. The sky before serene, became dark and overcast, heavy masses of clouds lowered about the horizon. The wind grew chill and piercing. I was alone in the midst of an extensive common, through which I scarcely knew my way. Every thing around me was dark and dreary. I looked up to the sky. A few stars shone dimly out, while at intervals the moonbeams struggled athwart the dense and heavy clouds, which were continually intercepting them. A revulsion took place in my feelings,—from the height of joy, gloom and despondency came over me. I knew not what to dread—my terror was causeless, strange and indefinable,—was it a presentiment of what afterward befel me?

From that time our meetings became more frequent. We lived for each other and in each other, and we were seldom separated. I would sometimes gaze silently for hours on her pure, beautiful countenance. I would watch the rich blood mantling to her brow, and the eyes beaming love and tenderness,—and I would think that they were all my own—and my heart would overflow with happiness. My emotions were too deep for speech, and words would have broken the charm which held me entranced in her presence; but more frequently we would pour our full souls into each other. There were no secrets between us, and we would speak our emotions as they arose in our hearts. We looked forward to our union with confidence and with joy. The existence of the father was bound up in that of the child, and when he saw that her happiness was interested, he consented to our marriage. Kind-hearted old man! Often would we sit in the balcony in front of his dwelling. His chair would be wheeled out—and he would walk slowly, supported between us; and his daughter would arrange his seat and smooth his cushion, and we would sit down together beside him. The beams of the setting sun would steal faintly through the trellised and embowering leaves with which the balcony was surrounded, and the fresh breeze would breathe gently upon us. We were entranced in the presence of each other, and he was happy because he saw that we were so. Benevolent, venerated being! I know not that I shall have another opportunity of recording thy fate or of praising thy virtue. Thou wouldst not have inflicted pain upon an insect, yet thou sufferedst the loss of every thing thou heldst most dear. But thy sufferings were not of long duration. A few days saw thee carried to the cold and silent tomb. For a short time ere it set, thy sun was overshadowed, was it not to rise in brighter glory?

The time for our union had been somewhat deferred, but it was now rapidly approaching,—and I looked forward with eagerness for that day which was to put us beyond the chance of a separation.—But as the winter drew nigh the health of Julia became more delicate. She was no longer allowed to roam at will over the country, and even the garden was at last forbidden. My studies had led me to some knowledge of medicine,—and it was with inexpressible anxiety that I beheld the alteration in her health; yet what I feared was so dreadful, that I resolutely closed my mind against suspicion; and when I sat by her side, and looked up into her pure and beautiful countenance, could, could indeed the canker of disease be preying upon it? But we cannot always deceive ourselves, and in my own despite, the truth at last forced itself upon me. I heard the slight and suppressed cough, and I looked upon the wasted form—and I saw the red spot burn brightly upon her cheek, and O God! O God! I knew she was in a consumption. It is a hard and a bitter task to sit by the side of a lovely and a beloved being,—to see the thin and wasted form,—to hear the faint groans which anguish will sometimes wring out in despite of the resolute spirit,—daily to behold the frame becoming slighter, and the suffering more intolerable—and worst of all, to know that there is no remedy—no hope—that despite all our efforts death will come, and that the grave is already yawning to swallow up its victim. That horrid idea follows us like a phantom, and allows us no pause—does a gleam of hope illumine the countenance, it is obscured for ever?—Does a smile of cheerfulness appear?—death seems to present his grinning and fleshless skull in very mockery of our laughter.

In the presence of Julia I could restrain my emotion, and there was even a mournful pleasure in looking upon her beautiful countenance, and in listening to her clear and silvery tones as she spoke of renewed health, and of returning happiness. But it was still more touchingly beautiful when, as the consciousness that she was to die, would come over her, she would smile mournfully as she looked upon her wasted form,—and would converse of a better and a brighter world, where we would all meet again in happiness—we would talk together of the scheme of the universe, and of the goodness and omnipotence of the Creator. We felt that we were immortal, and for her the grave lost its terrors, and even my grief became less agonising. Often since have those conversations arisen in my mind—high and solemn as they were, they seemed to raise me to their own level, and earthly griefs would fade before them,—and despair has been checked, and faith has been confirmed and supported by their recollection. But it was when alone, when her high and holy cheerfulness no longer supported me, that I felt the full sense of all I was to lose. Then her heavenly resignation served but to render my grief the more poignant. I felt that she was to die, and in that feeling all others were absorbed. I could not weep, the source of my tears seemed dried up by the intenseness of my agony, but I was possessed with an anguish so hopeless as to allow me no rest. Every thing around me seemed to pass as in a dream, nothing was real except my utter wretchedness.

The winter again passed away, and we hoped that Julia’s health would become improved as the weather grew warmer,—and so indeed it happened. With the first breezes of spring she seemed to revive,—and our hopes became more sanguine as her strength evidently increased. Her form became fuller, and she was again able to move about the house. Happiness once more dawned upon me, and hope threw a thousand brilliant colors over the future. As the season became more advanced, and the weather more equable, Julia again was permitted to leave her dwelling, and I supported her slight and tottering form as she traversed the garden—never did I love her more ardently than at that moment, when she leaned upon my arm and feebly clung to me for support. There is something beautiful even in disease; all little asperities are softened down,—every thing assumes a more touching and solemn aspect, and the heart clings more closely to the beloved object as we are on the point of losing it forever!

The fresh and buoyant spring was melting away into the still summer, and the health of Julia was yet improving. On the last day of May we were again sitting in the balcony. She seemed better than usual, a glow almost like health had over-spread her countenance. The gorgeous sunset was fading into the sober twilight, and we warned Julia to return into the house, and not expose herself to the damp breeze of the evening, but she begged to remain yet a little longer, and softened by her entreaties, and deceived by the seeming healthfulness of her appearance her father consented. One by one the beautiful and solemn stars stole forth, and the rising moon shed her calm light upon the objects around us. There is something peculiarly striking in the silence and repose of evening. By day we cannot look up to the heavens, and a thousand different sights and sounds distract the attention, but in the hush of night, the moon sheds its flood of softened radiance over the earth, which lies stretched in calmness and beauty around us; the skies above are glittering with innumerable worlds; and the silence steals over our heart and fills it with love and reverence. Such were my emotions, and such must have been those of Julia. She rose and placed herself against a pillar, and the light breeze played with her clustering locks as she looked forth upon the night. I placed myself by her side, but her looks were bent upon the heavens as she murmured, “How beautiful are the stars!—they look down upon us as if they took an interest in mankind, yet they have done so for ages, and we die and moulder away while they shine on unchanged and unchangeable. I too soon may become dust, but may not my spirit wander among them drinking ever new knowledge from their varied sources?”

I placed my arm about her waist and drew her toward me, and gently reproached her for the melancholy of her thoughts, and I spoke to her of our love and of long years of happiness in this world. She looked up into my face but answered not, and I clasped her to my bosom. I heard a faint groan and a shuddering came over her form. I looked up—a vessel had burst within her lungs, and her life-blood was dabbling her lips and gushing in torrents from her nostrils.

What passed after that dreadful moment I know not. There was a long blank in my existence, and when reason and recollection again returned, I was in my own chamber. I gazed around as if I had just awakened from a long and painful dream. My father was in the room and his looks were intent upon me, and my mother!—She was leaning over my bed-side and she seemed paler and thinner than when I last beheld her,—and I knew that I had been ill. I knew that it was on my account that she had suffered, and my heart smote me for my unkindness. She murmured “my child.” “Mother, dear mother!” and I threw my arms around her neck and burst into a flood of tears!

From that time I grew better and ere long I could again leave my abode; but a few short weeks had wrought a mighty change in my character. My enthusiasm was quenched, my day dreams had left me; what had the future now to offer me? The buoyancy and elasticity of my spirits had deserted me, and my cheek was paler and my brow more thoughtful than formerly. I took pleasure in visiting the scenes of my former happiness, they appeared not so bright as they once had been, but memory lent them a softer and more melancholy aspect. I was not unhappy. I would sometimes find myself in tears as I thought of the past,—but even tears were a relief and I took pleasure in them. My heart was subdued, almost broken—but it was rendered insensible to other ills—fortune had done her worst—and I could remain calm under whatever ills she might henceforth inflict upon me. I was resigned, for sickness does the work of time and performs in a few short weeks, what would, otherwise, have taken years to accomplish. The wild beatings of my heart were stilled, my blood moved in a calmer and more equable current. I had suffered much, and my weak and exhausted body reduced my mind to its own level. I visited the abode of Julia. The fate of her father I have already mentioned and the wild flowers were already blooming over his grave.

An old servant admitted me into the house. Every thing was the same as I had seen it so often before, but ah! how different! I was overcome by a sense of utter desolation and gave free vent to tears.

Many have wondered that the body suffers so much with the mind—but I find cause for astonishment that it suffers so little. Grief overpowers us. We are pursued by misfortunes, we would not wish to live. Let the body retain its activity and when cause for exertion arrives, we are surprised to find ourselves so capable of it. My health was now re-established. My step, to be sure, was not so elastic, nor my spirits so buoyant as formerly—but my frame had lost but little of its vigor. I had soon occasion to exert it. Distracted by civil commotions—invaded by foreign enemies,—my country had need of all her citizens. The effects of war had penetrated even into our own remote and secluded district, and I had become a conscript. I submitted to my fate without regret. It would cost me a pang to part from my parents. It was hard to leave the beloved and familiar scenes of my childhood, and youth, but I was wasting away my life with but little benefit either to myself or to others, and elsewhere I might have become somewhat more useful. A short time before, ideas of fame and of glory would have occupied my mind, but to me the future was now a blank and I no longer filled it with visions. I looked upon it with apathy. My parents were old and I was departing to battle and we felt that it was not likely that we should meet again. We took leave of each other in sorrow and in tears. My mother wept bitterly, and I felt a tear-drop fall upon my face as my father gave me his blessing,—but I tore myself away from their embrace and joined my regiment. The noisy merriment and vulgar ribaldry of an army was new to me, it formerly would have shocked and disgusted me, but I was no longer affected by such petty annoyances, and I only kept aloof as much as possible from my companions. Some time passed, before we were brought into the presence of an enemy. We marched and we countermarched, and we were instructed in those deadly arts and intricate manoeuverings which man has invented for the destruction of his fellow beings. At last we were ordered to the scene of warfare, and we soon came within sight of our opponents. Callous as I had thought myself to all new emotions, even my pulse beat quicker and my mind became more excited on the eve of battle. In the morning we were drawn out, but I recollect little of the scene. Our regiment was the most exposed in the line; the artillery of the enemy caused dreadful havoc among us, and a charge of their cavalry completed our ruin. I remember reeling as from the effects of a blow, and I have a faint recollection of a feeling as if some sharp instrument had entered my arm, and I fell senseless upon the ground.

It was night ere I recovered. I had lain insensible for several hours. The conflict had long been over; our troops had beaten the enemy and in the hurry of the pursuit, part of the dead and of the wounded had been neglected. A pistol shot had struck my head but had glanced over the bone without cutting the brain, and I had received a sabre wound in my arm. My mind was confused and I felt faint and feverish. I attempted to rise; my hand rested on some cold and yielding object; it was the body of my late commander. His teeth were still set and there was a frown upon his brow. He was naked, the richness of his dress had tempted the cupidity of the camp followers—they had stripped him and he lay stark and cold in the calm moonlight. Other marks of the conflict were around me. The earth was beaten and trampled down, there were blood stains upon it; here and there were scattered different descriptions of arms, broken helmets and fragments of clothing, whilst within a short distance of me lay the carcass of a horse which had been killed in the conflict. The moon, almost at her full, shone clear and brightly over the scene; the air, though cool, was still; the silence of the place of late so full of the noise and bustle of the conflict was almost startling. I arose and staggered forward, but I had not gone far, ere I stumbled and fell. The brightness of the moonbeams enabled me to discover the object which impeded my progress. In haste and confusion a grave had been dug for the dead and they had been thrown promiscuously into it—but the pit was too shallow, and the extremities had been left sticking above the ground, and it was over them I had fallen! I again went forward and after some time and with difficulty, made my way to a cottage at a short distance from the field of battle. Here too the miseries of war were evident. The cattle had been driven off, and the crops had been destroyed, and the father saw nothing before him but wretchedness and want for himself and his family: yet they received me kindly and shared with me willingly the little that was left them.

I had lost much blood from the cut in my arm, but a short time sufficed to recruit my strength, and in a few days I was enabled to take my leave of the kind people who had sheltered me. I had seen enough of war and its horrors, and I determined to run every risk rather than again join the army. I know not whether I was capable of forming a just opinion of the justice of warfare, I only know that I was unfitted for a soldier. It was then to my father’s house that I directed my course, and I felt happy in the idea that I would soon be again beneath its humble and peaceable roof. I had already made considerable progress, when on the second day I fell in with a portion of the army. I was carried immediately to the quarters of the commanding officer. He interrogated me concerning myself and my designs—I answered freely and without concealment—I told him of my having formerly belonged to the army, and of my reasons for leaving it. Others recognised me as a soldier. What need of many words? I was tried as a deserter. The simple truth was all I offered in my defence—and I was condemned to be shot.

I am now alone in the midst of my prison—a few hours will terminate my life, and I hear the heavy tread of the very men who will probably be my executioners. It is hard to die in the spring of youth, but for me death has lost its terrors, and I look forward with confidence to join her in another world whose presence alone would be happiness. I have tried to follow the dictates of virtue, in as far as I have been acquainted with them. I have committed faults, for who is without error? but for my faults have I not suffered? O God! thou knowest my heart, thou knowest the motives which have influenced my conduct, and to thy judgment humbly, yet with confidence, I commit myself.

New York, 1840.


Sisters! a star from our circle is gone—

  The brightest, the purest of all our fair ring;

Say shall we weep for the wandering one,

  Or speed it with blessings, wherever it wing?

Yes—Benedicite, peace be its way,

  Tho’ far from the cradle that nursed its young sphere;

Our lustre is dimmed by the loss of its ray,

  But cloud not its going by one dewy tear!


                  Peace to the star.


Sisters! a rose from our garden is flown,

  The freshest—the dearest of all our parterre,

But should we sorrow to find it is gone,

  To breathe out its sighs on a dearer loved air?

No, Benedicite, peace to the flower,

  Tho’ far from her sisters of childhood she roam;

Perhaps she may sometimes re-visit their bower,

  And bring back at moments fresh sweets to their home.


                  Peace to the rose.

J. H.





Isn’t it a stout man that Fergus Leary was? As broad across the shouldthers as a bull, he was six feet high in his stockins,—not a stockin’ he had though with his legs and arms that done his counthry honor. Fergus Leary fished for the livin’ as many a fine fellow did before him, but he didn’t fish for an office like a politician, nor for a fortune like a speculator. He worked hard for golden opinions, but silver ones in the shape of testhers didn’t come amiss to him. I’ve heard somewhere from some authority, that Fergus would demane himself by takin’ copper. I can’t say whether it’s thrue or not; though I think it’s rather apocryphal. Any how Fergus worked hard night and mornin’, every day in the week except one. As that was spachilly reserved for rest, he made it a day of frolic. And why not?

It happened one day that as Fergus was sittin’ in his boat, which was drawn up on the shingle, a mendin’ his nets, that he looked up. A dispute has arisen among historians as to the why and wherefore of his lookin’ up at that time of all times in the world. My friend the great O’Fiddlesticks, has demonstrated to a fraction that it was occasioned by a freak of fancy; while on the other side, the acute and learned Dr. Mac Thorompogue has proved syllogystically, and by a process of rasoning unaqualled in the annals of philosophy, that he was fatagued with lookin’ down. Betwane two such authorities I won’t pretend to decide at all, at all, but merely record the fact that he did look up.—That it is a fact is undeniable. If we had not his own testimony, which we have, we would have the best of circumstantial evidence, which is better than the positive. For if he hadn’t looked up, he couldn’t have seen what he did see, which was a cask a floatin’ on the broad say. Thinks he to himself that may be a cask of brandy, and why shouldn’t I have it? So he launched his boat without much difficulty, for the beach was steep, and sculled toward it. Och! it took Fergus Leary to send a boat through the wather. But the fasther his boat went, the fasther went the cask, and so layin’ down his scull, he sazed the oar, and pulled for dear life. After workin’ hard as a Turk, he turned his head, and there was the provokin’ cask as far off as ever.

“Bad luck to ye an’ the man that made ye!” said Fergus, “divil a hate yer worth any how, an’ ye may float to forin’ parts for all Forgy Leary cares about ye,” and so he turned his boat around. To his uther astonishment he found he was out of sight of the shore, and he didn’t know exactly whether he was goin’ to it or comin’ from it while he was pullin’. He worked till his arms ached, and then he stopped. In the meanwhile the wind began to whistle, like a country boy on a fair mornin’, and the clouds began to blacken to the color o’ your hat. Forgy got frightened, and who wouldn’t, I’d like to know. He thought of his wife and his child, the darlint! and he imagined he saw the eyes of the gossoon a winkin’ at him. Fergus was a stout man, as I said before, and he was a brave man, too, divil a braver, but the tears chased each other down his cheeks, catchin’ one another’s tails, like a nest o’ young kittens. No shame to him, for they were the offerin’ of honest affection on the althar of domestic love.

Lookin’ around him in utther desperation, he spied a black lookin’ thing a bearin’ down on him, and he knew it was a vessel. On she came, drivin’ the foam before her black body, like some monsther, and when she was near, round she went. They’d spied Forgy in his boat, and so they hove to, and he was stowed aboord.

Upon puttin’ the necessary questions, Fergus found himself twinty miles from the coast, and the vessel he was aboord of, bound to the South Seas a whallin’. The skipper was a little man, with one eye, and a belly as big as a kettle dhrum. Says he to Fergus, “you’d better enter, my man! I’m a man short!”

“Couldn’t you put me on shore?” insinuated Fergus.

“Divil a bit of it,” says the captain, “I couldn’t put back if you was a king.”

“Well, then,” says Fergus, “I’ll be a seamen, but its sorely against the grain. Betwane us now, I’d rather be a fishing.” And so Fergus Leary was entered on board of the Thunderbolt, Captain O’Bangwhang, of Derry.

The voyage passed off as dacintly as possible, till they got into southern latitudes. They’d been in high spirits for some time, and on a Friday, brimstone take that day say I, they made preparations for a dance aboord. The day commenced with light breezes and pleasant weather, and all drawin’ sail was set. So one of the men got his fiddle ready, and, afther he’d rosin’d up, to it they went like so many Welsh goats on the mountains.

Of coorse a pleasant day they had of it, and its likely it would have continued, if the weather would have been asy and not playin’ its pranks. But about eight o’clock in the evenin’ it come on squally.—The captain ordered them to take in the to’gan’t sail jib, and not satisfied with that made them double reef the main-sail, and take in a reef in the fore-top-sail. But the dirty tempest wasn’t satisfied. The thunder and lightnin’ began to roll and to flash, and the squall came sharper and sharper, till every thing had to be tuck except the fore-top-sail.

Och! then came the war of the elements. Every stitch of canvass was furled, and bound close to the spars, while the monsthrous vessel heaved and pitched like a Galway carman on a saints’ day at twelve o’clock at night. Every body began to git alarmed, and Fergus among the rest. All at once the carpenter rushed up and announced five feet water in the hold.

Whoop! The pumps were forgotten, and every body went to work gettin’ out the boats. What water and provisions could be got at were placed in them, and then just as the ould ship began to heave and totther, they embarked and left her. As they were about two hundred yards from her, down she went suckin’ and bubblin’ and makin’ more noise than one of the whales she came to catch—poor thing!

Here they all were on the desolate ocean, with nothin’ to guide them,—a miserable set of crathurs. Our friend Fergy was in the jolly boat with five more, but the storm continuin’ they soon lost sight of the rest, and the little fleet was dispersed fully. Still Fergus and his companions kept a good heart for they had plenty of bread and wather, and it might last them till they’d get some relief. That didn’t seem very nigh though.

It has been laid down by philosophers and among the rest by the learned professors of mathematics in Trinity, that all things exceptin’ eternity and a woman’s caprice have an end. Such bein’ the case it wasn’t to be wondered at that the storm should break and the winds put on their night-cap and turn in to a snooze. As misfortunes of all kinds must end at sometime, it’ll furthermore not be wondered at, that they should be in sight of land when mornin’ broke.

And such land, och! it was the beauty. Covered with trees and shrubs and flowers, and long grass on the meadows, as far as the eye could reach, while the sands on the shore were as white as the neck of a Balnagarry beauty. The shipwrecked sailors landed and after drawin’ their boat up on the beach, strolled up into the country. Fergus was rather ahead of the rest, when as he turned round a shady lane made by some palm trees he met half a dozen of the natives.

“Good mornin’,” said he, “this bates Banagher for a fine day.” Those he addressed stared at him with eyes and mouth wide open. “It’s poor shipwrecked sailors we are, and as gentlemen and Christians Heaven protect us! we want a little help! what the devil’s the matther with ye, that ye stand starin’ like stuck pigs? Can’t you spake, ye dumb bastes?” A prolonged stare was all the reply that Fergy got, and so he turned to his companions who had now come up to him, and said—“we’re in bad quarters here I find, bad luck to the vagabonds! Divil a word they’ll say.” His comrades here tould him that they couldn’t speak English.

“They can’t, can’t they,” says Fergy. “How their education has been neglected. The ignorant savages! I’ll tell them we’ve got money. Sure that’s language that every one knows.”

Before this could be performed, however, the natives let a yell out of them like a mad bull, and started for a run, leaving the sailors to themselves.

“Whew!” said Fergy, after a long breath, “that is the quarest entirely. Cut yourselves sticks my boys, and let us give chase to them!”

The whole party followed his bidding, and after providin’ themselves with stout shillalees, commenced pursuit. They didn’t come up with the first party, but they did with a second, who immediately followed the example of their illustrious predecessors. There was one exception, however, in the shape of a faymale. What a beauty she was! She was stupified by fear and had to surrender at discretion.

Some of the party seized her, and were handling her rather rudely when Fergus interfered.

“Git out, ye spalpeens! isn’t she a faymale? Would ye be after makin’ fools of yourselves. A botheration and bluranouns. Yee needn’t look so black I can tell yee. Let go your hoult, or’ll surround the whole o’ you. Let go I say,” and he accompanied his command with a gentle tap on the arm of the most prominent offender. A fight now ensued, one only of the party siding with our hero, but the two were two too many for the four, and bate them clear out intirely. The young girl stood watching the issue of the combat without attempting to move, seeming as if spell-bound, but when it was over she made a clane run for it. Fergy give chase and his companions thought it wasn’t wise to follow.

Fergy Leary was said to be a pretty powerful runner, but he had work to keep up with the girl, however, he ran and she ran till they came to a kind of a town, and as she plumped bang into the best house in it, our Fergy plumped right in after her.

What a beautiful place it was too. There was gold and diamonds and other little trifles, and a great throne, and a top of it sat a huge gentleman savage, and around him a lot of as tight dark skinned boys as Fergus’ four eyes ever were laid on. They appeared mightily astonished at his entrance, but the girl said something in her language to the ould man on the throne, and then they all surrounded him and pulled him up.

“Mister Fergus Leary!” said the king.

“Hallo,” said Fergy, “that’s me. And how did you know it?”

“That’s by a way I have,” said the king, “you see the law of our land is that a stranger who saves one of our daughters from insult may marry her if he likes. So you may be son-in-law to a king, Fergus Leary. Will you marry?”

“Sure I would plase your majesty’s reverence in a minute, but I’ve got a wife at home, and a wee gossoon.”

“You can be divorced, Mr. Leary,” said the king.

“I can, can I?” said Fergus. “And to marry this darlint. Look at the eyes o’ the crathur. Whillelu! I’m a lost man! Send for the priest. I’d always be willin’ to be divorced from Norah if I can marry such an angel born as this!”

“You would, would you!” exclaimed a shrill voice, like that of his wife, at his elbow. “I’ll learn you to think of other ladies, you dirty spalpeen!” and a sound blow in the face wak’ning Fergus convinced him that all his happiness was a dream—and that his voyage had been made within the bounds of his own boat, where he had slumbered over his torn nets.

November, 1840.





Lonely wild rose! sweetly springing

  By the meadow’s margin green,

On the breeze thine odours flinging,

  From a cool and leafy screen,

Here array’d in modest splendor,

  Hidden from the trodden way,

On the thorn-bush frail and slender,

  Pleas’d thy beauties I survey.


Blooming lone in floral wildness,

  Beauty’s emblematic flower,

Lingering summer’s friendly mildness,

  Guards thee through the fragrant hour;

And beneath the shade I seat me,

  Listening to the water glide,

’Midst the rustling leaves to greet thee,

  Peerless and devoid of pride.


Here the turtle plungeth lightly

  In the ever-babbling run,

And the squirrel leaping sprightly,

  Crops and banquets in the sun.

Here the fawn from covert straying,

  Softly treads the shady ground,

Drinks, and, by the stream delaying,

  Starts at every idle sound.


Here the fluttering warbler poureth,

  Lonesomely its woodland hymn,

Then on wayward pinion soareth

  From the hawthorn’s bending limb.

Here the bee from out thy blossom,

  Softly steals the honey dew

That within thy fragrant bosom,

  Nurtur’d every blushing hue.


Here the traveller, worn and weary,

  Turns to taste the crystal pool,

Where the foliage danceth cheery,

  And the waters ripple cool;

Here, while sun and shadow woo thee

  And the winds salute thy bloom,

As a monitor I view thee,

  In thy glory and perfume.


Yes, sweet solitary teacher!

  Thou hast lessons for the heart—

Simple nature’s sylvan preacher,

  Eloquent and void of art;

And thou tellest, ’tis not Fashion

  Wins for Beauty lasting sway,

Nor the soul’s adoring passion,

  Holds beyond a troubled day,


But in quiet scenes and homely,

  All unnotic’d and alone,

Virtue dwells content and comely,

  And erects her stablest throne—

That the beauty most endearing,

  Is without pretension found,

Still the hearts that trust it cheering,

  Ever blessing all around.


Lovely wild flower! lone I leave thee,

  In the solitude to bloom,

Till the hardy frosts shall weave thee

  Into chaplets for the tomb—

Then, like some enchanting spirit,

  When its beauteous temple’s gone,

Death shall all thy hues inherit,

  While the essence still lives on.

November, 1840.



Continued from Page 233.



A few days after Mr. Bringuesingue gave a grand dinner, to which our hero was invited. There were present several financiers, gamblers, diners out by profession,—artists, military men; but no tradesmen. The retired mustard seller could not abide them. The lady of the house had a very short dress, and horribly tight shoes, but she was in hopes of dancing in the evening. Clodora held herself up straight, in hopes of looking taller, and her father never took his eyes off Comtois. He looked round with pride on his rooms, furnished like the deceased count’s, and said, “There is nothing here to remind one of the mustard shop.”

At every ring at the bell he would set off to run to the door; but Comtois would hold him by the coat, and say—“You must wait to receive your company in your drawing-room.”

“Very well—I will not stir. But when we go to dinner—what must I do?”

“You must take a lady in first.”

“Very well—must I sit down first at table?”

“No—you must place on your right hand the lady you led in. You must then place another on your left.”

“Must not we write the names of the guests on paper, and put it in their plates?”

“No, sir, that is very vulgar. You must let them sit wherever they choose. However, if you think any one wishes to sit next to any particular person you may arrange it so.”

“I understand. Besides I will keep my eyes on your nose. If I do any thing wrong, you will give me warning.”

“Oh yes, sir.”

The company arrived, Mr. B—— bowed and received them as he had been instructed. His wife made a face as every one entered, because her shoes hurt her so when she rose, but it was generally taken for a smile. Miss Clodora held herself like a Cossack officer; and every one said the usual civil things which were all untrue.

Edmund Guerval came, because the evening before Mr. Pause had proposed to him to copy the manuscripts of an author, and he was cross in consequence, so that he wanted some amusement to divert his thoughts. At table, he was placed by accident or design, next to Miss Clodora. The first course passed off very well. The guests were all agreeable, the dinner well served, and Mr. B—— enchanted, because Comtois had not once scratched his nose.

At the second course, however, feeling himself in spirits, he wanted to touch his neighbor’s glass with his own as he was drinking his wife’s health; but at that moment he saw Comtois with his hand raised to his nose. The poor mustard seller remained motionless with his arm stretched out and faltered—“I proposed to touch glasses; but I forgot it is not the fashion now.”

“Not the fashion!” interrupted Edmund, “and why should not we renew this custom, which was practised by our good ancestors? The fashions of the middle ages are all the rage now for dress—why not introduce them at the table? You should be proud, Mr. De Bringuesingue, to set the fashion—come, gentlemen, let us touch glasses—it is quite chivalrous.”

Mr. Bringuesingue was enchanted with Edmund, for having given such a turn to his mistake.—Thus, what would have been ridiculous became good taste, because a conceited young man had applauded it, instead of laughing at it.

At the dessert the host, who felt in the highest spirits, proposed a song, and was just beginning the first verse when he saw Comtois scratching his nose! The poor man sat with his mouth wide open, while every one waited for him to begin—“I beg your pardon,” said he, “I proposed a song, but I remember that no one ever sings now at table, I do not know any songs.”

“What, Mr. De Bringuesingue!” cried Edmund, “more scruples! you really think too much of etiquette. The custom of singing at table belongs to the good old times—it is constantly introduced in plays and novels, why should not we try it in real life? We have touched glasses—let us sing now—shall I begin?—I will sing ‘Bonne Esperance,’ a new song by Frederic Berat, the author of ‘Ma Normandie’—and so many other beautiful songs—I am sure you will like it.”

Edmund sang, and was much applauded; another young man followed his example; then a lady favored the company; after her another lady. In fact, every one sang, and Mr. Bringuesingue was enchanted with Edmund, who turned all his vulgarities into bright ideas. After the singing the company adjourned to the drawing-room. The card tables were set out; but Mr. Bringuesingue did not like cards. It was too early yet to begin dancing, as the evening company had not arrived, and the lady of the house, though in torture with her tight shoes, had vainly attempted several times to get up a cotillion. Mr. B—— proposed a game of hot cockles, and had already knelt down and held out his hand, when he saw his valet scratching his nose as he was placing candles on a table and arranging the chairs. After a second look at Comtois, he rose, saying,—“No, we must not play such a vulgar game. We must leave such nonsense to the inhabitants of the Rue St. Dennis; but in the Chaussée d’Antin.”

Edmund, who had his own reasons for not wishing to play cards, interrupted the host again, saying,—“Very well, and even in the Chaussée d’Antin, can’t we do what we choose? These innocent games are much better than cards—we laugh a great deal more and lose none of our money—besides all our great men have been fond of such recreations. Cardinal Richelieu used to hop about his garden—Cato danced—Antiochus performed plays with Cleopatra, and our good Henry IV. used to creep round his rooms, on all fours, with his children on his back.”

“Well, if Henry IV. crept on all fours, I cannot see why Comtois should object to my kneeling down—come, let us play hot cockles.”

Edmund set the example, and knelt down, holding out behind him his hand, which every one struck—as usual the laughter was immoderate.—Clodora, and her father, in particular, enjoyed the game, which was kept up a long time. Madame Bringuesingue, however, who had not forgotten the dancing, and was determined not to have suffered the tortures of tight shoes so long for nothing, found means of organising a cotillion, as soon as more guests arrived, and requested Edmund to take his place at the piano. He complied at once, and played for some time. Madame Bringuesingue was in her element. As soon as one dance was over, she was on the look out for another partner. As there were not many gentlemen willing to dance, Mr. Bringuesingue engaged his wife for one set—a thing which he had not done for some time. Unluckily he blundered very often in the figures; and once during a forward two, he mistook the tune for one to which he had often danced, and running up to the opposite lady, actually attempted to embrace her.

The lady, quite alarmed, ran away, and Mr. Bringuesingue pursued, till he saw Comtois standing at the door, and scratching his nose so violently that it bled.

The poor man stood with one leg in the air, and one arm raised as if thunderstruck. At last he put his foot down, and cried,—“I really do not know what I was thinking of. I thought we were dancing la petite laitière, but I forgot—it is out of fashion.”

“Excuse me, sir,” said Edmund from the piano, “we ought to bring it into fashion again, since old music is in favor now. Yours is a very happy idea—I will play la petite laitière for you.”

And he did so; thus obliging all the dancers to go through the figure which the host had begun.

“Certainly this young man has much more knowledge of the world than Comtois,” thought Mr. Bringuesingue, as he was dancing. “Comtois does nothing but scratch his nose at every thing, while the other arranges every thing so well, that every thing I do is right. And then he calls me De Bringuesingue, every one who hears him will do the same, and, at last, I shall have no other name. Ah! if I could only keep him with me always, how well I should appear in company.”



When the company had retired, there was but one opinion in the Bringuesingue family concerning Edmund. Every one was enchanted with him, and it was settled that he was to be invited very often. Mr. Bringuesingue, however, could not always have Edmund at hand when he went into company, and in consequence he often found himself very much embarrassed. At last one day after a grand dinner, where Comtois had scratched his nose till it was as red as a cherry, the poor mustard seller quarrelled with his servant, and discharged him.—Since he had seen Edmund approve what Comtois forbade, the latter had sunk in his opinion. But who now would show him what was proper—if he could only have Edmund always with him?

A lucky thought struck him—he invited Edmund to breakfast, and offered him his daughter in marriage—Edmund was silent for an instant; then he recollected his cousin and said,—“Sir, I am grateful for your offer, but I cannot accept it.”

“Not accept it? Are you married already?”

“No, sir.”

“Then what can prevent you? Think of it—Miss Clodora Bringuesingue! It is a splendid match.”

“Yes, sir, and it is exactly for that reason.”

“Ah, I understand—you have scruples of delicacy—you don’t wish to owe every thing to your wife—but that is nonsensical—we shall never think of that—fashion is what I value—come, you will think better of it.”

This offer in fact became the constant subject of Edmund’s thoughts.



In the mean time Constance, who had sacrificed her fortune for her cousin, was still living with Pelagie, who was as great a torment as ever to Mr. Ginguet.

Constance observed a great change in her cousin, his visits were shorter and less frequent, and he was silent, cold and gloomy—she wept sometimes but it was only at night when no one heard her sobs.

One evening Mr. Ginguet said to the girls, “I know now why Mr. Edmund is always so deep in thought—I have just had a long talk with him—he is a great deal with the Bringuesingue’s—very rich people—they have one daughter—a little girl who walks rather lame.”

“Come to the point Mr. Ginguet.”

“Well, Miss—Mr. Bringuesingue has offered this young lady in marriage to Mr. Guerval.”

“To Edmund?” cried Constance, changing color.

“You are not telling the truth, Mr. Ginguet,” said Pelagie, “he never told you so.”

“I assure you, Miss, it is true; but don’t be alarmed, Mr. Edmund went on to say, of course, my dear Ginguet, I refused. Although I am poor and Miss Clodora is rich, I would never think of it—I am bound to Constance by duty—friendship—my honor is pledged—I consider myself as her husband—what is the matter, Miss Constance?”

Constance had fallen back in her chair as if fainting—Pelagie brought salts and scolded Ginguet for what he had done—as soon as she opened her eyes, he said, “I assure you, Miss, your cousin said—if a countess, a duchess, were offered to me, I would never accept her—I cannot break my word. It is pledged to my cousin—are you not pleased to hear it?”

“Certainly, I am glad to know it.”

Constance spoke no more the rest of the evening—though Pelagie did all she could to amuse her—and Mr. Ginguet said, from time to time, in spite of her warning pushes, “what a fine fellow he is—he would refuse a woman with a mine of gold—he considers himself bound to his cousin.”

When Constance was alone in her room she gave way to her grief—she saw that Edmund was no longer bound to her by inclination. She resolved to release him from his engagement—but how to do so was the difficulty; she must make him think that she no longer loved him, or he would never consent to it. At last toward morning, she thought of an expedient—she wrote a letter—went out as soon as it was light—had it copied by a public letter-writer, and put it in the post-office herself—how her hand trembled, she felt that she was sacrificing the happiness of her life, at twenty-one. It requires a great deal of courage to make such a sacrifice, she sat down on a bench to rest herself. It was the same on which she had rested the evening when accompanied by Mr. Ginguet, she had sought Edmund every where. Was it for this she had sacrificed her fortune? She rose and returned home before any one had observed her absence.

In the course of the day Edmund received a letter, in an unknown hand. He read as follows:

“You believe yourself loved by your cousin Constance—you are mistaken—her heart belongs to another. If you doubt it, go this evening between seven and eight to the Boulevard St. Martin, near the Château d’Eau, you will there see your faithless cousin and your happy rival. Farewell.”

One who is interested in your welfare.

“Constance love another!” said Edmund, as he crushed the letter in his hand—“What a horrid calumny! the author is a rascal—Constance! a model of virtue—she who has given me such proofs of her affection—Constance deceive me! her affianced husband. But an anonymous letter, no one but a rascal would write one—a friend who wished to serve me would not fear to be known.”

In spite of all this, Edmund felt very uneasy, even the most absurd calumny may disturb our peace of mind. And what shows the singular effect of self-love in the heart of man—Edmund who hitherto had felt very coldly about his union with his cousin—who, although he knew he was loved by her, thought little of returning her affection, felt jealous and passionately attached to her, now that he feared she loved another. He walked up and down his room, reading the letter which he had at first thrown on the floor, and repeating all he had said of the absurdity of the accusation, and yet exclaiming at intervals.

“And yet—why should any one write me such a thing?—Constance for a long time has not mentioned our union; it is true that I never speak of it to her. I have lost my fortune, she may have changed her mind. And yet she loved me so much—no, it is impossible—a meeting in the evening, near the Château d’Eau! She never walks in that direction. It is a falsehood—I may satisfy myself with my own eyes, he says—ah, it would be an insult to Constance—it is all a hoax, no, I shall certainly not go.”

Nevertheless, Edmund looked at his watch constantly, anxious for the arrival of the hour mentioned. He could eat no dinner—and at seven o’clock he was on the boulevard near the Château d’Eau—although he was constantly repeating to himself that he was wrong to go there.

A quarter of an hour passed—no one had appeared who resembled Constance. He breathed more freely, as he said to himself—“How can any one believe anonymous letters?—those who write them deserve all the epithets with which they load others.”

Suddenly he perceived a form like Constance.—He stopt—a dreadful weight seemed placed on his heart. It was nearly night—the young woman approached with trembling footsteps, looking behind her, as if she feared pursuit—she passed near Edmund, and although her bonnet hid her face, he recognised his cousin.

“ ’Tis she,” he cried, “I was not deceived—but I cannot believe it. I must hear her voice.”

He ran after her and seized her arm—she turned her head—it was Constance, pale and trembling, she murmured “Edmund, is it you!” and hid her face with her handkerchief.

“Yes, it is I,” cried Edmund, furiously—“I whom you have deceived, whom you love no longer. Be candid, at least, tell me why you are here, alone, at this hour; you are silent—you have nothing to say, it is then true—you love another, and you hope to meet him here.”

“I will not attempt to deny it,” answered she, faintly—“yes, you know the truth. I love you no longer—I have long wished to tell you, but I dared not—forgive me—forget me—farewell—it is useless for us to meet again.”

She left him as she said this—she could say no more—her voice was interrupted by sobs—and if Edmund had not been blinded by jealousy he would have thought it strange that his cousin wept as she took leave of him. It is not so, that a woman generally announces that she loves no longer. We weep with those we love—but we laugh with those we have ceased to love.

Edmund had but one idea—that his cousin had long wished to confess to him that she loved him no longer. He was deeply grieved, he had believed himself sure of her affection, and it was probably this assurance of an attachment from childhood which had cooled his feelings for his cousin. We sleep when we are sure of happiness—but we wake when we are uncertain as to its possession.

Stunned by this blow—he remained standing without attempting to detain Constance—“why should I stop her?” thought he, mournfully—“she said that it would be useless for us to meet again.”

A thousand reflections rushed upon his mind; he thought of all his past conduct; he remembered his coldness, his indifference; the successive delay of their marriage—when it only depended upon him to be her husband—his plans of making a fortune, and his ruin—which would not have taken place if he had been contented with the happiness within his reach. “It is my fault,” said he, with a sigh, “that I have lost her heart—I have behaved very badly, and yet, if she had loved me as much as I thought she did, she would have overlooked all that!”

Then giving way to jealousy and spite, he exclaimed—“I am a great fool to give way to regret—I will forget her.”

“A brilliant offer has been made to me—nothing now hinders my accepting it—in the enjoyment of the pleasures that wealth will procure I will forget my ungrateful cousin.”

He called her ungrateful, who had sacrificed all she possessed for him—jealousy always extinguishes gratitude, although indeed there are a great many people who do not require to be made jealous, to forget the benefits they have received.

Edmund went to Mr. Bringuesingue, and exclaimed without any preface, “I have changed my plans, sir, I shall be happy to accept the hand of your daughter, whenever you choose, I will be your son-in-law.”

“I am delighted to hear it, my dear fellow, I was sure you would think better of it. You could not seriously refuse Clodora, who has had such an excellent education, and who will have 25,000 livres a year. You deserve to be scolded for your hesitation—but I will say no more about it. It would be like mustard after dinner—oh! I beg pardon—I did not mean to quote such a vulgar proverb. I don’t know what I could have been thinking of—embrace me, my dear son-in-law, and come embrace your mother-in-law, and your bride.”

Edmund allowed himself to be led to Miss Clodora, but even as he saluted her he sighed deeply, and thought of his cousin. The idea of her followed him every where, in vain he attempted to forget her—she was always before him—so beautiful, so good, so affectionate, he remembered the moment when her mother united them, and said—“Behold your bride!”—he remembered the moment she threw herself at his feet, and arrested his hand when about to destroy himself in his despair—“Oh, God! what a treasure I have lost,” cried he, “and I scarcely thought of it while I possessed it.”

Nevertheless, in spite of all these reflections, at the end of a fortnight Miss Clodora Bringuesingue became the wife of Edmund Guerval.



Pelagie and her uncle could not imagine why Edmund no longer came to see them—whenever Pelagie blamed him, Constance always took his part. Although much changed since the evening when she had met him near the Château d’Eau, she concealed her sorrows—and never mentioned his name. Whenever Pelagie accused him, as she did regularly every evening, when nine o’clock came, and no Edmund arrived, Constance would reply calmly, “If my cousin does not come here, he is probably busy, or amusing himself somewhere. Why do you wish him to come here and stupify himself when so many pleasures call him elsewhere?”

“Stupify himself with you to whom he owes every thing! his honor, his existence! with you who are so good to him, who is to be his wife! Indeed, Constance, I cannot understand the tranquillity with which you bear his neglect; if I were in your place I would write to him. Sir, you are a monster!—you are a rascal—you are a wretch.”

“Ah, Pelagie—would you hope by such means to regain his heart?”

“Now,” said Mr. Ginguet, as he turned over the leaves of a book—“It would be a very bad plan to write that——”

“Mr. Ginguet, I did not ask your advice, I repeat that Edmund is an ungrateful wretch.”

“Perhaps you are accusing him wrongfully, Pelagie, you do not, you cannot know his motives. He is free—because I was able to save him once—I do not wish him to consider himself bound to me. Our parents wished us to marry, but they are dead, and so many things have happened since, all these plans seem to me like a dream, and no doubt Edmund thinks so too.”

“Very well then, if you think that your cousin is right to neglect you, and not to inquire if you are alive or dead; that is another thing—I have nothing more to say.”

And she said nothing more, but her anger increased, and she was persuaded that Constance attempted to conceal her grief, as she saw how silent and thoughtful she had become, and how pale and thin were her formerly round and blooming cheeks. She had several times secretly desired Mr. Ginguet to discover what had become of Edmund; he obeyed her, but could only ascertain that he had left his former lodgings.

One evening as the young girls were working near Mr. Pause, who was kept at home by a slight attack of gout, Mr. Ginguet arrived with his eyes almost staring out of his head. His emotion was so apparent that Mr. Pause who was not generally very observing—asked,

“My dear friend—have you too been seized with the gout?”

“No—sir—no. I wish it was the gout.”

“Have you lost your place then?” said Constance.

“Oh no, Miss—on the contrary I hope to be promoted—to have it raised to 1200 francs.”

“Then what is the matter?” said Pelagie, without observing the signals Mr. Ginguet made when Constance was not looking.

“Oh! I have heard something so dreadful—after what he told me so often—I never would have believed it—but Miss Constance ought to know it.”

“I!” said Constance, raising her eyes, while Pelagie who began to guess what it was, made a sign to him to be silent. But he was so excited that he could not be stopped; he walked round the room—striking the furniture violently, and repeating,

“Oh! it is dreadful—it is disgraceful behavior for a gentleman—a man ought to keep his engagements. Love should not be trifled with—there is nothing more respectable in the world—they say I am a fool, but I had rather be a fool and have proper feelings.”

“My dear friend,” said Mr. Pause, “that is very true but what is the matter?—Constance wishes to know.”

“Well, sir,—I have heard that her cousin is married to Miss Clodora Bringuesingue.”

“Married!” exclaimed the uncle and niece.—Constance said nothing.

“It cannot be,” said Pelagie—“you have been misinformed, sir—some one has been hoaxing you.”

“No Miss it is no hoax—I have made enquiries at the house where he lives now—with his father-in-law—he has been married a month.”

“Shameful,” cried Pelagie, “Constance, my poor Constance, to forsake you. Well, do you say nothing, do you not curse him? Oh you are too good, a hundred times too good, these men, to love them! No matter I will never forsake you. I will never marry—I will never separate from you.”

As she said this she embraced Constance and wept as she clasped her in her arms. Constance who long restrained her tears leaned her head on her friend’s shoulder and wept freely. Although she had thought herself prepared for this news, she could not hear without emotion that her cousin was entirely lost to her.

Mr. Pause said nothing—but he was deeply affected and had quite forgotten his gout. Mr. Ginguet wept, and said as he wiped his eyes, “Because one man behaves badly, it is not fair to dislike them all, and then, resolve never to marry. Fine hope for me!”

Constance was obliged to console all the others; she repressed her feelings and said—“Why should I complain? I assure you I expected this long ago. I only hope that he will be happy; perhaps with me he would not have been contented. I had no fortune to offer him, ought I to blame him for preferring wealth? Oh no—I assure you that I do not blame him. I am not unhappy, I have no ambition and have true friends. But I beg one favor—let us speak of him no more—perhaps we shall never see him again. I will try to forget him.”

Every one promised her what she asked—they admired her courage and resignation, but they could not sympathise with her in her partiality for Edmund—whose conduct they could not excuse. Good Mr. Pause blamed him. Mr. Ginguet despised him and Pelagie execrated him.

In the mean time, Edmund was married and living with the Bringuesingue family. In his first astonishment at what had happened—at the new ties he had contracted, he had paid little attention to the characters of those by whom he was surrounded;—but when his emotion subsided he began to reflect and make observations. It was natural to begin with his wife. Clodora was not ugly, but she had a face devoid of all expression. Her conversation showed no traces of her boasted education. During the first week of their union Edmund attributed to timidity her silence or her simple answers. But at the end of six weeks, he naturally expected that she should talk to her husband.

One day when he was alone with her—he attempted to consult her as to the best investment of her fortune. “My dear,” said he, “your father has placed at my disposal your dowry of 250,000 francs; do you think that we ought to be satisfied with the interest of it, or would you prefer that I should establish myself in business and try to increase it?” Clodora opened her eyes very wide, and stared at her husband, then looking down said—“Gracious! I—don’t—know.”

“But I want your advice—it is your property—I wish to consult you—are you ambitious?”

“Ambitious—I don’t know—I never thought about it.”

“Are you contented with what we have; would you wish me to be a banker—a notary?”

“I don’t care any thing about it.”

Edmund stamped with impatience, and bit his lips. His wife started, saying, “What is the matter? Why do you make such a face?”

“Nothing—nothing at all, Madam,” and he left her, exclaiming—“She’s a downright fool.”

Mrs. Bringuesingue was charmed that Edmund had married her daughter; because he played cotillions so well and, you know, dancing was her passion—and she hoped now he would play whenever she wished it. Scarcely had he entered the parlor in the morning when she would say—“Oh! my dear son-in-law—a little cotillion—Clodora and I will dance opposite to each other.” He did not like to refuse, although, as he thought the request rather singular, he played only a short time. Whenever visiters came, she would run after Edmund, drag him to the piano and say, “My dear, let us have a little cotillion, there are four of us. My daughter and I have partners, any tune you choose, it will be delightful.”

It was impossible to refuse, and he generally complied with a very bad grace, saying to himself—“Mrs. Bringuesingue married me to her daughter in order that she might constantly have an orchestra at her command; but if she thinks I have nothing to do but to play for her to dance, she will find herself very much mistaken.”

As to Mr. Bringuesingue, he could not do without Edmund, a single day. If he went into society, to a dinner or a ball, he took Edmund with him; when he received company at home, he must always have him near at hand, in order to feel at ease. He was then able to advance his own opinions in conversation, as he felt sure that Edmund would assist him to say exactly what was proper. The young man found it very inconvenient to be followed every where by his father-in-law. Since his marriage he had not enjoyed a single instant of liberty. At home, his mother-in-law and his wife, were always teasing him to play cotillions, and if he wished to go out his father-in-law never failed to accompany him.

“It is my bad luck,” thought he, “which has placed me in this family. Oh Constance, if I had married you, I should have been so happy. You have beauty, gentleness and intelligence, three qualities so rarely united. But you love me no longer, another possesses your heart. It is true indeed, that if I had married you long ago this would not have happened.”

A year passed—in the family of Mr. Pause every thing went on quietly as usual. Working, reading and conversation filled up the time. Constance was sad, but resigned, and her pale lips attempted sometimes to smile. Edmund was never mentioned, at least in her presence, and she tried to appear to have forgotten him. Mr. Pause only thought of his violincello, and Mr. Ginguet of Pelagie, who still tormented the young clerk, whose salary was now raised to 1200 francs.

The Bringuesingue family were very far from enjoying such tranquillity. Clodora complained of her husband’s temper; her mother was disappointed that he had several times refused to play for her, and the old gentleman was dissatisfied because Edmund had allowed him several times in society to say or do things which had been ridiculed, without convincing every one that they were proofs of genius.

Edmund had never loved his wife, and he now hated the whole family. To amuse himself and forget the discomforts of his home, he resolved to speculate, not in stocks, but by buying goods at a low price hoping to sell them at an advance. Unfortunately he did not understand this sort of business. He bought for ready money and sold on credit—he was enchanted when he thought he had made a profitable sale, but unluckily the notes he held were never paid. He was, as may be supposed, not very amiable at such times to his mother-in-law if she asked him to play for her or his father-in-law, if he asked him to accompany him to a party. Instead of relinquishing an undertaking in which he did not succeed, he persisted with an obstinacy which is very common. His pride was roused. In attempting to recover what he had lost, he risked greater sums, and lost all his wife’s fortune—like a gamester who continues to play till he has entirely emptied his pockets.

One day, in one of his walks, which he always extended as much as possible in order to avoid the society of his wife and her parents, he met Mr. Ginguet, who was coming out of his office. The clerk turned away to avoid speaking to him; but Edmund ran and seized his arm.

“Oh!” cried he, “how long is it since I have seen you! How many things have happened since—I am both glad and sorry to see you—but why do you avoid me?”

“Indeed sir—since you are married—since you have deserted your cousin who loved you so much, I am no longer desirous of your acquaintance.”

“Deserted her—you judge from appearances. Did I not tell you I would not accept the alliance that was offered to me—that I considered myself engaged to her?”

“Certainly you said so, but your actions say the contrary.”

“And suppose she had released me from the engagements. Suppose she had said, you are freed—I love you no longer. She did say so, but I would not have believed it, if other circumstances had not occurred to convince me that she had deceived me. I discovered her, one evening at a rendezvous.”

“Miss Constance!”

“Yes, Constance! she was so confused at seeing me that she feigned no longer. This is the whole truth. I married out of spite, and now I repent it bitterly. You see I am not to blame. Adieu, you are happier than I—you see her often, and although she has wronged me—I still feel that it would be happiness to see her. She can talk at least—she does not always answer—‘I don’t know’—or ‘I don’t care.’ But there is no use in thinking of it, we are parted for ever.”

Edmund uttered these last words almost with tears in his eyes. Ashamed of his emotion he pressed Ginguet’s hand and left him. The young clerk was stupified with astonishment and as his face always betrayed what he felt, Pelagie saw that evening that something had happened. He was silent before Constance; he made signs to Pelagie which she could not understand and which increased her curiosity. Constance remarked some of them; she herself was moved by the evident emotion of Ginguet. To give him a chance of explaining himself she pretended to want a pattern of embroidery which was in her room. Pelagie, as soon as she was alone with Ginguet, asked him the cause of his signals.

“What is the matter?” said she, raising her eyes.

“Ah! Miss, something—I have not yet recovered my astonishment. Who would have suspected it—such a well educated young lady!”

“For mercy’s sake, explain yourself.”

After looking vacantly around, and striking his hands together, he related his conversation with Edmund. Pelagie could scarcely restrain her feelings. She listened so as not to lose a word; but the redness of her cheeks—the fire of her eyes and her quickened respiration betrayed her indignation.

“What an infamous slander!” exclaimed she—“it is then not sufficient to forsake her who has sacrificed all for him; he must disgrace her in the eyes of the world. Constance, my good, my gentle Constance—the model of all the virtues—whose heart only knows the most generous sentiments—and you sir, you listened to all this calmly—you did not defend my friend—you did not prove that all he said was false.”

Ginguet had never seen her so much excited; he trembled, and hesitated. “Mademoiselle,” said he, “I could not—I did not know.”

“You could not defend Constance; my dearest friend. You are a man—and you allow a woman to be insulted. Listen to me—I have only one thing to say to you; you say you love me—you wish to be my husband.”

“Ah! Mademoiselle it would be the height of felicity.”

“Well, go to Edmund—make him confess in writing that all he said of her was false—or else make him fight you and kill him—to punish him for his base falsehoods. You understand. Come back with his recantation, or come back when you have killed him in a duel, and I will offer you my hand.”

“What you wish.”

“I wish that you should fight him. If you do not—you will never be my husband; it is useless to pay your addresses longer. Will you hesitate?”

“No, I do not hesitate. I will challenge him—although I don’t understand fighting. But, if I am killed—”

“Then, Edmund will be still more despicable, and you who have fallen in so noble a cause, for the sake of my friend, you will be remembered and regretted by me. I will visit your grave every day, I will weep over it and strew it with flowers.”

“Yes. I understand—you will love me when I am dead. Well, that is a consolation. I am resolved—to-morrow I will fight him.”

“Hush! not a word before Constance.”

“I will not speak of it, Mademoiselle.”

At this moment Constance entered; she had suspected that Edmund was the subject of their conversation, and unable to restrain her curiosity—had listened to the whole; she affected, however, perfect tranquility and appeared to have heard nothing. Pelagie could not restrain gestures of anger and impatience, and Mr. Ginguet sighed frequently as he thought of the business of the next day.

When they parted, Constance pressed his hand cordially. Pelagie by her looks, tried to keep up his courage; he took leave of them as if he expected never to return.

The next morning early, he prepared himself to go to Edmund; he talked to himself to keep up his spirits and whenever he thought of Pelagie he felt that his love inspired him with courage. All strong emotions are auxiliaries of each other. As he was leaving the house, holding in his hand a case of pistols he had borrowed from a friend, the porter handed him a letter. He read as follows:

“I heard yesterday your conversation with Pelagie—you need not fight for me, Mr. Ginguet,—Edmund did not slander me; he spoke the truth. Farewell! Tell Pelagie and her uncle that I will always love them—but I leave them, because, now, when they know all, they will not think me worthy to live with them.


As he finished reading, the pistol case fell from his hand; he read the letter a second time—returned the pistols to his friend and hurried to Pelagie whom he found with her uncle,—he asked for Constance.

“She went out early,” said Mr. Pause, “perhaps to take back some work—she has not yet returned.”

On reading the letter, Pelagie wept violently and told her uncle all that had happened. He blamed her impetuosity but could not believe that Constance was guilty.

“No, no, she is not,” cried Pelagie, “her letter proves it—she feared for her cousin’s life—she loves him still, she has never ceased to love him—I am sure of it. But where is she? What will become of her without friends? Mr. Ginguet, you must find her—I will not marry you till you bring her back.”

“But is it my fault that she is gone?”

“That is no matter. I cannot be happy unless she is near me, and I wish not to be married until I am happy.”

The poor man went away tearing his hair and exclaiming—“I shall have a great deal of trouble before I am her husband.” He began his researches at once. All the time he could spare from his business he passed in searching all parts of the city, but he never discovered her; and went back to be scolded by Pelagie.

In the mean time several things had happened in the Bringuesingue family. The old gentleman persisted in carrying Edmund into company with him. One day he committed several improprieties which Edmund was the first to remark. A violent quarrel was the consequence.

“I gave you my daughter, in order that you might always instruct me in the forms of society,” said he. “I sent away Comtois who, at least, always scratched his nose to warn me, and you laugh at me and direct attention to my mistakes. I will not allow it.”

“You will never play when I wish to dance,” said Mrs. Bringuesingue—“or else you play so fast that I cannot keep time. That is not proper behavior to your mother-in-law.”

“You never will go walking with me,” said Clodora, “and I am so fond of walking.”

“My dear father-in-law,” said Edmund—“you ought to have warned me when you offered your daughter—that you expected me to be your instructor. It is too late to reform your education. Take my advice, don’t ape great people—it only makes you ridiculous. My dear mother-in-law, you are very right to like dancing; but I cannot play for you all day. As for you, Madam, I do not take you walking because you always yawn when I talk to you, and I concluded that my conversation and my company are both disagreeable to you.” This answer did not diminish their displeasure, and it was much worse when it was discovered that his wife’s dowry was all spent. Clodora wept—her mother-in-law fainted; and her father wished to put him in prison, but as that was impossible, he contented himself with ordering him out of the house. He might, by law, have taken his wife with him but he preferred leaving her with her parents. He left their house only regretting that he was not a bachelor; and hired a small garret. He painted pictures for his subsistence and scarcely ever went out. He was astonished to find how happy he was, when constantly occupied. “Alas,” thought he, “if I had not refused the offers of Mr. Pause I might have been happy with Constance; my exertions would have kept us from poverty. Pride has ruined me. I rejected happiness which was within my reach and passed my life in folly because I thought I knew better than any one else. I spent my own fortune, my cousin’s and my wife’s, because I fancied myself a poet, a musician, a speculator. And all from the same feeling which made me say, when a boy at school, to my class mates, ‘If I chose, I could do that better than you.’ ”

These reflections came rather late, but better late than never.

He had been living thus about a year, when he received a letter from his father-in-law, announcing the death of his wife—who in her last moments had entreated that her parents would make Edmund their heir. They had promised to do so, on condition he would ask nothing during their life. He answered the letter begging them to dispose of their fortune as they thought best. He began now to improve in his art and was able to hire a more convenient apartment and a painting room.

He had lived three months in great retirement in his new lodgings, when, one evening, an old woman, who had occupied the story above him, but with whom he was not acquainted, came to him in tears—“For pity’s sake, sir,” said she, “come and help me to take care of a young woman who is very ill—she has a room near me—she lives very retired, and works all day, and seemed to know no one but me, to whom she always rendered all the little services in her power; the day before yesterday she fell ill; she has a violent fever; she is delirious, and I am at a loss what to do; I am afraid to leave her to go for a doctor.”

Edmund followed her at once into a room, simply, but neatly arranged. He felt affected as he approached the invalid. Judge of his surprise when he recognised his cousin. “Constance!” he exclaimed.

“Do you know the young lady, sir?”

“Know her? She is my cousin; she was to have been my wife, she was long my dearest friend, Constance! poor Constance! she cannot hear me, she does not understand me. Run at once for a doctor—I will remain here till she is out of danger.”

The old woman went, Edmund was left with his cousin, who in her delirium, pronounced his name frequently. He listened attentively and distinguished these words.

“He thought me guilty; he thought I loved another, but it was that he might be free. The letter, I dictated it, I have the original in a pocket-book he gave me; it was the only thing I ever received from him, and I placed in it what I had done to make him happy.” As she said this she pointed to a little box; a suspicion of the truth struck Edmund; he opened the box, and found in the pocket-book the original of the anonymous letter he had received. He understood at once her generosity; he threw himself at her feet, and implored for pardon, and cursed himself for destroying her happiness.—But she could not hear him—she was still delirious, and her condition only aggravated his distress.

The old woman returned with a physician, who pronounced the case to be very doubtful, and withdrew after writing a prescription.

Constance passed a terrible night. Edmund watched her through the whole of it; but the old woman fell fast asleep, and he saw she would not be of much assistance to him. Early in the morning he hurried to Mr. Pause, related every thing—all the noble conduct of Constance, and had scarcely finished when Pelagie, hurrying on her hat and shawl, exclaimed—“Take me to her, I was sure she was innocent.”

On the ninth day the disease had a favorable crisis—Constance woke from a deep sleep, and smiled as if she had forgotten her sufferings. Imagine her surprise on seeing Pelagie, Mr. Pause, Edmund, and even Mr. Ginguet,—“Is it a dream?” said she, shutting her eyes again.

“No,” answered Edmund, pressing her hand—“only the past is a dream. Forget it, dearest, you were always generous, you will be so still, I know your devotion—Heaven has made me free that I may repair your wrongs. Yes, dearest Constance, the past is a dream, ’tis your lover who is near you, as he was the day when our mothers united our hands and our destinies.”

She could not reply; she shed tears of joy, and though physicians generally forbid all strong emotions to their patients, the state of her feelings certainly hastened her recovery.

Edmund married his cousin, and Mr. Ginguet said to Pelagie, “It is not my fault that I did not find her out; I assure you I walked two or three leagues every day in search of her.”

Pelagie answered by giving him her hand, which indeed he well deserved.

I will not say that Mrs. Ginguet always conformed to her husband’s will; but I assure you that he had never had any will but his wife’s.

Philadelphia, November, 1840.

Transcriber’s Notes:

This was the very first issue of Graham’s Magazine titled as such. George R. Graham purchased both Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine and Atkinson’s The Casket in 1840 and combined the subscriber lists creating his own Graham’s Magazine. This issue was published in December 1840 and took the place of the final issue of what had been Volume VII of Burton’s and Volume XVII of The Casket.

Table of Contents has been added for reader convenience. Archaic spellings and hyphenation have been retained. Obvious typesetting 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 273, all round group ==> all round the group

page 288, Betwane too such ==> Betwane two such

page 292, Your’s is a very ==> Yours is a very


[The end of Graham's Magazine, Vol. VII, No. 6 (December 1840) edited by George R. Graham]