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Title: Graham's Magazine Vol XIX No. 1 July 1841

Date of first publication: 1841

Author: George Rex Graham (1813-1894), Editor

Date first posted: Dec. 23, 2020

Date last updated: Dec. 23, 2020

Faded Page eBook #20201258

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


Vol. XIX.      July, 1841.      No. 1.


Fiction, Literature and Articles
The Fiery Death
Lovers’ Quarrels
The Mistaken Choice
A Dream of the Lonely Isle
The Head and the Heart
The Reefer of ’76 continued
A Few Words on Secret Writing
Sports and Pastimes—Angling
Review of New Books
Poetry, Music and Fashion
Latest Fashions, July 1841
The Gleaners
Hope On
Woman’s Dower
The Precipice
To the Mocking-Bird
The Dervish
Extract from an Unpublished Poem
Sybil and Maiden
“Away, Then, to the Mountains”

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


William Owen.       Rawdon, Wright, Hatch & Smillie.

Cottage Life

Engraved expressly for Graham’s Magazine.


































Assault, the, by J. H. Dana,56
Auzella, by Mrs. E. Van Horn Ellis,65
Autography, a Chapter on, by Edgar A. Poe,224, 273
Achilles, the Marriage of, by H. W. Herbert,269
Brother and Sister, by Jeremy Short, Esq. (illustrated,)145
Cottage Life, by Jeremy Short, Esq. (illustrated,)1
Colloquy of Monos and Una, the, by Edgar A. Poe,54
Clark, Willis Gaylord,85
Cottage Fireside, the, (illustrated,)97
Cottage Piety, by Jeremy Short, Esq. (illustrated,)140
Captain’s Courtship, the, by H. Printzhoff, (illustrated,)200
Fiery Death, the, by J. H. Dana,6
Flirtation, by Emma C. Embury,109
Fort Point, by D. M. Elwood,240
Ghost of Chew’s Wall, the, by Oliver Oldfellow, Esq.194
Hawkers, the (illustrated,)253
Head and the Heart, the, by W. Landor,19
Ideal, the, by G. G. Foster,293
Interesting Stranger, the, by Emma C. Embury,205
Indian Traditions, by D. M. Elwood,161, 240
Jugurtha, by H. W. Herbert,3
Kate Beverly, by Percie H. Selton,146
King’s Bride, the, by J. H. Dana,235
Lover’s Quarrels, by Percie H. Selton,10
Lame for Life, or Leslie Pierpoint, by Professor J. H. Ingraham,128, 149
Leaves from a Lawyer’s Port-Folio,134
Mistaken Choice, the, by Emma C. Embury,13
Misfortunes of a Timid Gentleman, by J. Ross Browne,120, 289
Moonlight Flitting, by Eliza Van Horn Ellis,221
Neglected Wife, the, by Robert Morris,58
Niagara, a Day at, by Mrs. E. C. Stedman,82
Never Bet Your Head, by Edgar A. Poe,123
O’Donnell’s Prize, by H. Printzhoff,157
Penitent Son, the, (illustrated,)49
Puritan Son, the, by H. W. Herbert,61
Reefer of ’76, the, by the Author of “Cruizing in the Last War,”28, 76, 104, 179, 203, 257
Rowsevillers, the, by Herman Printzhoff,157, 205
Roman Bride, the, by H. W. Herbert,172
Review of New Books,45, 90, 142, 188, 246, 300
Rescue at the Eleventh Hour, the, by J. Milton Sanders,299
Sports and Pastimes,40, 141, 186, 246
Schoolboy Recollections, by F. W. Thomas,67
Shakspeare, by T. S. Fay,99, 168, 210, 261
Saxon’s Bridal, the, by H. W. Herbert,115
Step Mother, the,134
Stolen Miniature, the, by Mrs. R. S. Nichols,265
Vagrant, the, by L. F. Tasistro,176
Wawhillowa, by D. M. Elwood,161
Wiccónsat, by Mary W. Ford,214
A Dream of the Lonely Isle, by Mrs. M. St. Leon Loud,18
A Belle at a Ball, by F. W. Thomas,119
A Forest Scene, by Mrs. R. S. Nichols,160
Ballad, by J. R. Lowell,171
Baptism of Pocahontas, by the Author of “The Dream of the Delaware,”178
Christian’s Dream of the Future, by Robert Morris,156
Choice of Hearts, the, by Thos. G. Spear,303
Dervish, the, by W. Falconer,32
Dying Poet, the, by Robert Morris,85
Death, by C. H. W. Esling,114
Ephemera, by C. W. Thomson,213
Fragment, by Park Benjamin,98
First Kiss of Love, the, by G. A. Raybold,127
Flight of the Birds, by Mrs. E. C. Stedman,199
Gleaners, the, by A. A. Irvine,2
Glad Retreat, the, by E. G. Squires,260
Hope On, by Mrs. C. H. W. Esling,5
Helen, to, by Edgar A. Poe,123
He Woo’d me at the Fountain, by A. M‘Makin,264
I know that Thou wilt Sorrow, by Mrs. R. S. Nichols,57
Israfel, by Edgar A. Poe,183
Il Serenado di Venice,209
I never have been False to Thee, by G. P. Morris,223
Lines, by D. Maxwell,18
Lines, by J. Tomlin,292
Lyre Bird, the, by N. C. Brooks,292
Lines, by J. E. Dow,297
Mocking Bird, to the27
Meeting of the Lovers, the, by F. W. Thomas,38
My Mother’s Bible, by G. P. Morris,51
Major Dade’s Command,84
Merry England, by J. R. Lowell,238
Marriage, by Rufus Dawes,239
Niagara, by Grenville Mellen,175
O, say, do I na’ lo’e ye, Lassie,64
Oh! a Merry Life does a Hunter lead, by G. P. Morris,108
Precipice, by H. J. Vernon,12
Pet Lamb, the, by A. A. Irvine,193
Portrait, Lines to a, by A. C. Ainsworth,297
Reproof of a Bird, by J. E. Snodgrass,103
Stanzas, by Mrs. E. C. Stedman,27
Sybil and Maiden, by G. G. Foster,39
Sonnet, by Park Benjamin,53
Sonnets, by H. B. Hirst,220
Sweet South Wind, the, by Mrs. L. J. Pierson,286
Thoughts in Spring, by H. B. Hirst,67
Woman’s Dower, by Mrs. L. J. Pierson,9
Withered Rose, the, by A. A. Irvine,78
Widow, the, by Mrs. M. S. B. Dana,84
Wildwood Home, the, by Mrs. L. J. Pierson,103
Widow’s Wealth, the, by Mrs. E. C. Stedman,108
Why should I love thee? by J. S. Du Solle,119
With Thee, by Mrs. C. H. W. Esling,213
Cottage Life.
The Gleaners.
Fashions for July, (four figures,) colored.
The Penitent Son.
Fashions for August, (four figures,) colored.
Lace Work and Flowers, colored.
The Cottage Fireside.
Cottage Piety.
Fashions for September, (four figures,) colored.
Brother and Sister.
The Valley of Wyoming.
Lace Work and Flowers, colored.
Fashions for October, (four figures,) colored.
The Pet Lamb.
Embossed View of Boston.
Fashions for November, (four figures,) colored.
Lace Work and Flowers, colored.
Fashions for December, (four figures,) colored.
Away, then, to the Mountains,42
Farewell! if ever Fondest Prayer,88
My bonnie blue-eyed Lassie, O!138
Bye-gone Hours,184
Never shall my Heart forget Thee,244


Vol. XIX.     PHILADELPHIA: JULY, 1841.     No. 1.


The summer is here!—here with its fragrant mornings and its noonday heats, its mellow twilights and its moonlight evenings, its days of glory and its nights of starry beauty. It is summer. Let us go out into the country, away from the stifling air and dull brick walls of the town, into the far, pure, breezy, unsurpassable country. There we shall breathe the fresh air of Heaven. We will lie down on some shady knoll; or stretch ourselves beside the cooling stream; or wander off among the breezy woods; or perchance sit in some quiet arbor of the garden, listening to the low humming of the bees, or the far-off tinkle of the brooklet on the stones. Ay! we will go out into the country. We will gaze on the green grass, the growing flowers, the cloudless azure of the skies. But we will do more. We will gaze on our fellow man such as God made him, and not on the too often mean, grovelling and short-sighted denizens of the town. We will go out into the country. We will go into its stately palaces, secluded among sombre trees; into the airy, fantastic dwellings of retired citizens; into sunny old farm-houses, with their wide porches inviting us to enter; and—oftener than all—into the smiling cottages, which, peeping out from amid overspreading honeysuckles, dozing under willow trees by the brook-side, or nestling beneath the shadow of a green and fragrant hill, are scattered all over the land, in hill and in dell, studding it, as it were, with loveliness. And wherever we go we shall still find beauty. God hath left his impress on the green fields and running brooks, and every leaf that quivers in the breeze, and every bird that carols on the air, speak out His praise.

We are in the country; and yonder is a cottage nestled close under the hill-side, like a dove in the bosom of a young and innocent girl. Hear you not the brook, low pattering before its door; that brook which at eve and morning, ay! in the still watches of the night, may be heard murmuring mysteriously, as if it were angels’ voices conversing on the quiet air? Let us go into that cottage. There are flowers before the house and honeysuckles around the door, and everything, even to the garden flags, is white-washed. There are roses under the window—how fragrant! And yet the owner of that little tenement has a hand horny with labor, and not a day passes, summer or winter, but that he is up before dawn, toiling for his richer neighbor. How does he live? Would you know what cottage life is? Come with us, then, into the fields, and let us sit together by this brawling brook, while we recount the history of a cottage life.

All over this land there are spots like this, of bewildering beauty; where toil and rest, and wo and happiness, have struggled together for years. There are thousands, ay! tens of thousands, of humble cottages, the lives of whose inmates have never won a thought from the rich and proud, and yet in those cottages beat as true hearts as in the most gorgeous mansions of the realm. The rich are born, and great is the rejoicing thereat; they live, and crowds shout triumphs wherever they go; they die, and they are laid by obsequious hands in proud mausoleums; but the poor come and go like the leaves of the forest, and no man careth for their fate. Their childhood of early toil; their youth of premature sorrow; their lives of hard, unyielding, grinding poverty, what does the world care for these? Yet the poor are not without comfort. They have within their own circle as kindly bosoms as the rich; they have dear ones, loved with a fervor wealth can rarely win, to cheer them in distress; they have a fireside, humble, indeed, but still a fireside around which to gather with their prattlers, and smile and be merry after the toils of the day are done.

With early dawn the cottager is up and afield. If he labors at the soil, you will find him with the plough in hand, keeping his monotonous track to and fro, regardless, apparently, of the stifled air, or the sultry rays of noon-day. He may pause an hour or so at dinner, but he is soon at his labor again. The cattle may be dozing under the trees, the birds may be carolling gaily around, the woods, and streams, and all nature may be full of merry play, but still he must keep up his weary toil, until twilight at length releases him, and he hurries home to spend a few hours of fleeting happiness among his little ones, to sleep, and again to resume his toil.

But there is a bright side to the picture. The Cottager was not always a man, he was once a happy child, and in gazing on the frolicks of his little ones, his own youth appears to be renewed. And where do the domestic affections exist with more purity than in our cottages? From the love of a child for its little brother or its sister, up to the love of a mother for her first-born, there is nothing purer, deeper, or more enduring than the affections of those who inhabit our cottages.

We see now two beings at that cottage door, a mother and her boy. The child hath fallen asleep upon her lap, and he reposes with a grace so careless, and there is such an innocent joy upon his face, that one cannot but feel that he is supremely happy. How he nestles on that mother’s knee. The vine that gaily winds around the gentle sapling, or hangs so airily over the little group, is not more beautiful than he. And she!—is not the book held to shade his countenance, and the holy, contemplative emotions which light up her face as with the divinity of an angel, beyond comparison, ay! almost beyond imagination. God be thanked that there are thousands all over this broad land as happy as they!

Sunday is the time for cottage life. Then the new coat is taken out, carefully brushed, and put on—the little ones are clad in their tidy, well-kept Sabbath clothes—and the good house-wife attires herself in her best, adding, often, some little piece of finery, which a month’s savings have tempted her to buy. Directly the bell is heard calling them to church. Away at the signal they go, with a quiet decorum even in the children; and soon they meet others trooping over the hills to the white-steepled meeting house in the glen. And when the sermon is over, and they pass out of the house of God, there are greetings among neighbors, inquiries after old friends, and perchance here and there long conversations betwixt good house-wives, which seem like the fairy’s dream, never to come to an end. And in the afternoon some one is sure to drop in, when the best tea-cups are brought out from the corner cupboard, and the best hot cakes, and such tempting coffee are prepared by the good dame, that your mouth fairly waters until you have tasted thereof. And how merry all are—not with a boisterous mirth, but with a calm happiness, reminding you continually of the day. And all this time the children are playing on the lawn, or gathering buttercups to hold under each others chins, or laughing in their own innocent way so joyously, that their mothers will pause awhile, and look on them and smile. And by and by night will come, and the company will depart, and so, after reading a chapter of the bible, the cottagers will go to bed. Though the stars, on a Sabbath night, look down on many a quiet, happy home, they smile on none where there is more happiness than there. And such is Cottage Life.

J. S.

The Gleaners
Engraved by Eldridge expressly for Graham’s Magazine.





It is the noon of summer time—

  How breathless are the trees!

No more the sea of yellow corn

  Is rippling in the breeze;

The kine are gasping in the stream,

  Nor earth nor sky has breath,

And sickly waves the sultry air—

  How like, yet unlike death!


The reapers long have ceased their toil,

  And idly in the shade

They dream away the drowsy noon,

  Beside each silent blade,—

While now and then a snatch of song

  Some sleeper low will croon,

As in his dreams he joins the dance

  Beneath the harvest moon.


The sun is at his highest point,

  Yet on that burning field

Two youthful gleaners humbly toil,

  God be to them a shield!

Their aged parent bed-rid lies,

  And want is at their door,—

Ah! well young martyrs may you strive—

  No rest is for the poor.


Their store is gleaned—they homeward hie—

  How smilingly they go!

We little know how light a thing

  May dry the tears of woe.

The pittance slight, the one kind word

  With which we all can part,

May take the sting from poverty,

  Or save a broken heart.


To view those gleaners on their way

  It were a pleasant thing—

They’re talking of their mother’s joy

  To see the store they bring.

How gracefully the sister moves,

  As if she stepped to song;

And gaily at her statelier side

  The glad boy trips along.


Smile on! smile on, ye happy pair,

  God’s blessing on your way!

It fills my breast with joy to know

  That ye can be so gay.

Smile on, for soon ye’ll hear her voice,

  And know her welcome bright,—

And happy hearts shall beat I ween

  Beneath your roof to-night.






It was a glorious day in Rome; the unclouded sun was blazing in the clear azure of a deep Italian sky, filling the universal air with life and lustre; the summer winds were all abroad, crisping the bosom of the yellow Tiber into ten thousand tiny rivulets, tossing ten thousand dewy odors from their wings, and bearing with them, far and near, the myriad harmonies of nature. It was a day of revelry, of loud exulting mirth, of gratified ambition to the one, of haughty triumph to the million.

It was in truth a day of triumph. Marius, the people’s idol, the great plebeian conqueror, had brought the army home—the army, long foiled and often beaten on the parched sands of the Zahara, or by the scanty streams of the Bagradas and Mulucha—had brought the army home, scar-seamed and wearied and war-worn, but glorious and elated and triumphant; for with them came a chained, indignant captive, the bravest, fiercest, wisest of all the kings who yet had dared to strive against the unconquered majesty of the Republic: the murderer, the fratricide Jugurtha; he who had mocked the justice, and with success defied the brazen legions and the superb commanders of Rome’s resistless warfare; he who had driven out from his Numidian confines, whether by force or fraud, two several consular armies, sent one, degraded and debased forever, beneath the ignominious yoke, and for long years possessed his blood-bought throne in spite of all the efforts of his tremendous rival.

Now, therefore, was the day of retribution, and all the fiery passions of the Italian heart were at work hotly in the crowd that thronged the thoroughfares of the great city on that auspicious morning. Well might they throng the streets, for never, from that day to this, has aught of pomp or pageant been invented that could sustain comparison one moment with the unequalled splendors of a Roman triumph. The whole line of proud streets, up from the field of Mars to the Capitoline, was strewn with carpets of the rich Tyrian crimson; cartloads of flowers—rose, violet, narcissus, hyacinth—were scattered everywhere, to send their perfumes forth beneath the trampling feet of the triumphant legions. The walls of every house and palace were hung with glowing tapestries, with waving flags, and laurel-woven garlands. From every shrine and chapel, hundreds of which were there sacred to one or other of Rome’s hundred deities, sang forth the melody of sacrificial hymns, and streamed the breath of incense. The sun had reached the summit of his ascending course, when from the distant campus arose at once the din, piercing the ears and thrilling as it were to the very soul, of the great sacred trumpets, and the earth-shaking shout of Rome’s vast population; then on they came—a long and dazzling line of splendor—three hundred snow-white steers, unblemished and majestic, the far-famed breed of the Clitunnus, led the van, with gilded horns, and fluttering fillets of bright hues about their ample fronts, led by as many youths in sacrificial tunics of pure white; then came the bands of music, trumpet and horn and clarion, and the quick clashing cymbal blent with the deep bass of the Phrygian drum; and then the Flamens of the gods, in the appropriate and gorgeous dresses; the great Dialis, with his red tuft and snow-white robes; the Salian priests of Mars, with brazen helms and corselets and flowery tunics girded up, and on their arms the sacred shields of Numa; the vestals, stoled and veiled and silent, and the mad ministers of Cybele, with their strange instruments of music, leaping and dancing with strange gestures, and waking all the echoes with their barbaric hymnings. After these stately and revered, and almost divine personages, trooped on—strange contrast—a band of mimics and jesters, buffoons with scurrilous songs and obscene gestures, calling forth from the mob of Rome many a plaudit by their licentious wit. Then, with perfumes and steaming censers, scattering bunches of the choicest flowers, all in their purple bordered tunics, with golden balls about their necks, barefooted and bareheaded, the sons of the Patricians passed, the prime of Rome’s young aristocracy. Other musicians followed, and then, caparisoned for war, with castles on their backs and gorgeous housings on their unwieldy carcasses, each driven by a coal-black Ethiopian astride on his huge neck, the captured elephants—an hundred mighty monsters, the like of which had never before gladdened the eyes of the amazed and wonder-stricken populace. Next rolled the wains, slow dragged by snow-white oxen, groaning beneath the weight of the rich spoils of the Numidian empire—armor of gold and silver, weapons thick set with emeralds and diamonds, statues and jars and vases of pure gold—dazzling the eyes and bewildering the senses with their unequalled splendor.

Hark! what a roar, a thunder of applause! It is—it is—Io triumphe, Io pæan, it is the mighty Marius! Aloft he stood—aloft in more than regal pomp, in more than mortal glory. The car was ivory and gold, embossed and carved with rare device, drawn by six steeds abreast, white as the driven snow, with manes and tails that literally swept the ground, housed with rich crimson trappings, harnessed and reined with gold. But what were ivory or gold, or what the choicest specimens of mere brute beauty, to the sublime and glorious figure of the triumphant general? Tall, powerful, broad shouldered and strong limbed, as he stood there clad in the tunic and toga of fine crimson, all woven over with palm branches of gold, wearing the laurel crown upon his coal-black locks, and holding in his right hand the ivory sceptre, and in his left a branch of green triumphal bay, he looked the emblem, the very incarnation and ideal of Rome’s undaunted energy. His hair, black as the raven’s wing, was curled in short crisp locks close to his finely formed head and expansive temples; his nose was high, keen, aquiline; his eyes bright as the eagle’s, and, like his, formed as it were to gaze into the very focus of the sun’s beams, and pierce the dunnest war clouds with all-pervading vision; his lips were thin, firm and compressed, with that set iron curve which gives the strongest token of indomitable resolution. Swarthy almost to negro blackness, gloomy and lowering was his brow, and furrowed by deep lines of care and passion—yet was there naught that savored in the least of cruelty or even of suspicion in the bold, daring features—pride there was evident in every glance, in every gesture, and fiery courage, and stern constancy; but nothing jealous or tyrannical, much less bloodthirsty or vindictive. Yet this was he who in after years let slip the dogs of Hell against the sons of his own mother Rome, who deluged her fair streets with oceans of Patrician gore, and made her shrines and palaces, her stateliest temples and her lowliest dwellings, one mighty human shambles. But now he was all gratified ambition, proud courtesy and high anticipation; yet he bowed not nor smiled at the reiterated clamors of the mighty concourse, nor waved his laurelled sceptre to and fro, but held his proud head high and heavenward, and kept his dark eye fixed on vacancy, as though he would pierce onward—onward—through space and time, far off into the secrets of futurity, with consulships and censorships and triumphs, provinces, armies, honors, Fame, thronging before his footsteps, and still beckoning him forward. Behind him stood a slave, such was the order, the immemorial order, of the triumphal rite, who ever and anon, as louder pealed the acclamations of the mob, and wilder waxed the din of gratulation, leaned forward, whispering in his ear, “Remember, Marius, remember that thou art a man!” for so sublime, so godlike, was that station deemed, that the stern fathers of the young Republic had judged such warning needful to curb the vaultings of that pride which might believe itself immortal.

Behind the chariot wheels stalked one, alas! how far removed from the haught victor, the royal Moor, Rome’s deadliest foe, Jugurtha. He, as his conqueror, was tall, and of a bearing that had been soldierly at once and royal—yet he was not, though vigorously strong and very active, of a frame nearly so superb or massive as the great Roman—lithe, sinewy and muscular, he showed all the distinctive marks characteristic of his race; his face was handsome—the features at least eminently so—of a clear, sunny olive hue, through which the blood would gleam at times, when passion drove its currents, boiling like molten lava, through every vein and artery: but now it was as cold and pallid as though he had already passed the portals of the grave. His eyes, like those of Marius, glared forward into the vacant air; but not like his was his mind bent forward. Back! back!—long years of retrospection—to the bright, happy days of youth, when he and his two murdered cousins sported together, before the fell and fiendish lust of empire had turned their blood to gall; to the young promise of his glorious manhood, when, side by side with Scipio, he strove before the bulwarks of Numantia: when he was praised and honored of that great commander in the full presence of a Roman host; and, later still, to his proud aspirations after thrones, to his triumphant usurpation, his undoubted sway over the glowing hearts and tameless energies of the free, wild Numidians; and, later yet, to fields of furious warfare, to midnight marches over the lone sands of the desert, dark ambuscades near to some long sought river, skirmishes, onslaughts, victories—aye! victories won from the Roman. His scarlet turban, decked with the tall tiara peculiar to the royal race, still gleamed as if in mockery above his ashy brow; his caftan, gleaming with fringes and embroideries of gold, girded with costly shawls, from which still hung his gold sheathed and gold hilted scimetar; his wide and flowing robe of fine white woollen stuff, so fine and gauze-like in its texture that all the gorgeous hues of his under-dress were visible, though mellowed in their tints, beneath it; his necklace of the richest gems, armlets and bracelets, and long pendants in his ears of the most precious rubies, all spoke the Prince—the King! But lo! beside the bracelets upon those swarthy arms, the galling manacles of steel, and on the sinewy ancles, clasping the jewelled sandals with their stern circles, the fetters of the captive—of the slave! They clanked—they clanked at every stride, those fearful emblems, and still, as every ringing clash announced the fallen state of their late dreaded foe, the savage mob sent forth loud yells of mirth, mingled with groans of execration! But he felt not the fetters, nor marked the clanging din that harbingered his footsteps, nor heard the hootings of the rabble; he knew not that his sons, his two beloved ones, were beside him, fettered and manacled as he, their guilty sire; he saw not the procession nor the pomp, nor knew that they but marshalled him to death.

Behind this lamentable group stalked, two and two, with their dread implements (the rod-bound axes,) ready and glittering coldly in the sun, the lictors; and behind these, on foot, and in his toga all unadorned and simple, the consul colleague of the triumphant chief; and after him the senate, renowned, grave and wise—stately, sublime assemblage! Then, with the din of martial music, and the loud clash of brazen armor, their helmets all enwreathed with branches of the bay tree, their banners and their eagles entwined and over-canopied with laurel, on swept the conquering army; each legion, with its horse, its skirmishers, its engines, its legate and his tribunes on their proud chargers, and its centurions marching at the head each of his manipule, rolled on—row after row of brass, solid, compact, immovable—a vast machine of men, with but one voice, one stride, one motion for ten thousand human beings. “Io Triumphe! Io Pæan! Ho! for the godlike General! Ho! for the conquering army!” Such was the pomp of Marius, but so closed not the line of the procession, for every soul of Rome’s vast population swelled it for miles in length; old tottering grandsires, men in the prime of manhood, youths in the flush of spring-time, boys, children, infants at the breast, matrons and brides and maidens—all ranks, all classes, all conditions—the proud, luxurious patrician, the turbulent democracy, mechanics from the suburbs and farmers from the colonies, and slaves and freedmen, all thronged exultingly the via Sacra, all swelled the shout for Marius.

And now they reached the capitol, and the great leader slowly descended from his car, and, led by pontifex and priest, mounted the hundred steps of brass, and stood before the temple of Jupiter Capitoline, the guardian god of the great city. Then louder pealed the trumpets and the hymns, and incense smoked up to the skies, veiling the very temple, in its dense wreaths of snow, from those who gazed up thither from the Forum. The prayers were prayed, the offerings tendered to the god, the victims slaughtered, the supplication and thanksgiving ended. Then, in the temple of the god, the Senate and the Consuls feasted, and the lord of that high feast was Caius Marius. Wine flowed and golden goblets clanged, and there was merriment and revelry and joy.

And where was he—Jugurtha?

“There is a place,”—we quote the words of his historian—“there is a place in the prison which is called the Tullianum, when you have ascended a little way to the left hand, sunk about twelve feet under ground. Walls surrounded it on every side, and a vaulted roof above, compact with stone groinings; but from its filth, its darkness, and its fœtid smell, its appearance is alike terrible and loathsome.” Such is the plain and unadorned description of a cell yet existing; they call it now San Pietro in Carcere. Thither the lictors bore Jugurtha; he spoke not at all, nor seemed to understand or to see anything. They stripped him of his gorgeous robes and rich trappings with fierce, indecent haste; they snatched the chains from round about his neck, the bracelets from his arms; they tore the pendants from his ears, and—for they might not spare the time to loose the clasps—tore the tips of his ears away also! They stripped him to the skin, yet he resisted not, nor strove, nor struggled; they lowered him with ropes—him, in his fetters—into that foul and ghastly cell, and then a horrid smile flitted across his features—“This bath of yours,” he said, “methinks is very chilly!” He shuddered, was let down, alone—and died there, as his crimes had merited!





Hope on—the clouds that gather thick before thee

  Hide the glad light that led thy steps afar,

But beams there not, on night’s dark Heaven o’er thee,

  Purely and brightly, gentle star on star?


Then let thy gaze pierce those sad clouds around thee—

  See thro’ the opening, dimly tho’ at first,

Breaking the chains that to despair had bound thee:

  Light out of darkness gloriously burst.


Hope on—tho’ shadows shut out present gladness,

  Not far beyond, the sunlight lingers still—

Dim looks the valley, in its misty sadness,

  Ere the bright day hath climbed the eastern hill.


There is a light, tho’ secretly ’tis playing

  Round the dark edges of those clouds we fear:

Some mission’d spirit, in our footsteps straying,

  Whispering the words of comfort and of cheer.


Wilt thou not take the counsel kindly given?

  Wilt thou not turn thy gaze from present gloom?

Dost thou not see, the power, in yonder Heaven,

  That sends the blight, may likewise send the bloom?


Hope on, I pray thee—Hope on in thy sorrow—

  Brush from thine eye the fastly falling tear;

Thou know’st the night, tho’ dark, must have a morrow,

  And, after storms, the rainbow will appear.





To the stake with her! Away with the sorceress! God’s curse be on her for her evil doings!” shouted the mob.

It was early morning, yet even at that hour the judgment hall of the little town of Bourdonnois was thronged with the populace. Men, women and children, old and young, the noble and the burgher, priests, soldiers and common people, crowded the spacious hall, and glared fiercely on the prisoner, while ever and anon they muttered imprecations on her, and cried madly for her blood.

The evening before, a female, closely veiled, and attended by two servants, whose dark countenances bespoke them sons of Ethiopia, had arrived at Bourdonnois, and put up at one of the principal hostelries of the place. Strange rumors soon arose respecting her. Her garb, her mien, her language and her complexion were said to be those of a Saracen, against which accursed race the chivalry of Europe and the church itself warred in vain. These rumors gained additional strength when the landlord of the inn where she had stopped was heard to say that he had seen her practising sorcery, a charge easily credited in that age, and one which few, especially in a case like this, had the hardihood to disbelieve. In less than an hour the whole population of the town was afloat, surrounding the hostelry, and crying out for vengeance against the sorceress. Such commotions were both frequent and sanguinary in that superstitious age.

The soldiery, however, interfered by arresting the unsuspecting victim of these rumors, and at this early hour the prisoner had been brought into the judgment hall to await a mockery of trial.

“Answer me, daughter of Belial!” said the judge, as soon as the murmurs of the mob allowed him to be heard. “Will you confess your crime? Speak, or you die! Know you that the rack, aye! fire itself, awaits you if your obstinacy continues?”

The prisoner was a slight girlish creature, sitting with her face buried in her hands, directly opposite to the judge. She was apparently young, and her figure, so far as it could be seen through the thick veil which shrouded her form, was light and agile as that of a sylph. To the judge’s question she made no answer. She only shook her head despondingly, and those nigh her fancied they heard her sob.

“To the stake with the heathen sorceress! She deals with the evil one!” shouted the mob. “What need we further than this silence? Away with her—away!”

At these fearful words, repeated now for the second time, and growled forth with an ominous fierceness, appalling even to the hearer, the prisoner was observed to tremble, whether with fear or otherwise we know not, and lifting her veil up with a sudden effort, she rose to her feet, turned hastily around to the mob, and disclosed a countenance of such surpassing loveliness to their gaze, that even those who had cried out most unrelentingly for her blood now shrank abashed into silence, while others, who had been less eager for her condemnation, audibly murmured in her favor.

“What would ye have of me?” she said, addressing the judge, and for the first time standing unveiled before him. “As there is a God in whom we both believe, I have told you only the truth. I am a stranger, a foreigner, a defenceless woman, but not the less the affianced bride of one of your proudest nobles, the Count de Garonne.”

The tone in which she spoke was firm, but oh! how touchingly sweet; and her words were uttered in broken French, with a perceptible Oriental accent. Loud murmurs arose in her favor as she ceased speaking. The tide was turning. But the judge now spoke:

“Out on thee, woman of hell! Out on thee for a base slanderer of a noble of France, and a holy crusader! Thou the betrothed bride of Garonne! As soon would the eagle mate with the vulture. I tell thee, woman, that thy story of having been shipwrecked when coming to France, and of all thy train having been lost except thy two Ethiopian myrmidons, is a foul lie, and I am almost minded to wring the truth from thee on the rack.”

“I have said it,” said the prisoner, in a firm voice, for she felt her life depended on her calmness, “and if you will give but one week, only one little week, I will prove it before man as well as God. I came from Syria in the same fleet with my lord, but under charge of his mother’s confessor—now a saint in Heaven!—but being separated by a storm, in which our galley was shipwrecked, I was thrown unprotected on your shores. I am a stranger here. My servants even have deserted me. I do no one harm. I plot no treason. All I ask is to pass on my way. Oh!” she continued, with a burst of emotion, “if you have a daughter, think what would be your feelings if she was to be thus set upon in a strange land,” and she burst into tears. Again the crowd murmured in her favor.

“Woman!” sternly interposed the judge, unmoved by her emotion, “look at the victim of your sorcery, and seek no longer to deceive us by your lies. Stand forth, Philip the Deformed!”

At the words of the judge, an official bearing a white wand stepped into a side room, and in a moment reappeared with a cripple hideously deformed, whom the populace recognised as the landlord of the hostelry. When confronted with the prisoner, he glared on her with a look of demoniac hatred.

“Know you this woman?” asked the judge.

“Ay! to my cost,” answered the cripple. “It is through her incantations that I am the being I am. It was but yesterday she came to my inn, attended by two heathenish Ethiopians, whom I have heard palmers from the holy land say are kept by the Paynims—God’s ban be theirs! I no sooner beheld her than I recognised her to be the sorceress who, three years ago, brought on me the disease by which I am crippled. I could tell her among a thousand. The curse of God light on her for a child of the evil one,” and the witness ground his teeth together, and glared fiercely at the prisoner. A low murmur of approval, at first faint and whispered, but gradually swelling into a confused shout, rose on the ear as he ceased.

“He is a perjured wretch,” exclaimed the prisoner, with energy, “whom my servants detected in an attempt to rob my poor effects; hence his malice and this charge.”

“Silence, woman!” sternly interposed the judge, “or else confess. Will you, a child of Belial, malign a Christian man?”

The testimony of the publican had worked a complete change in the fluctuating feelings of the mob towards the prisoner, and the words of the judge were answered back by a shout of approval. The prisoner was seen to turn deathly pale. She did not reply, however, to the question, but shook her head despondingly, as if conscious that all hope was over.

“Lead her away,” hoarsely growled the mob, while the dense mass of people swayed to and fro in the excitement, as if they would have rushed on the defenceless victim.

“Again I ask thee, woman, wilt thou confess?”

She shook her head despondingly, buried her face in her hands, and murmured something; perhaps it was a prayer. The mob burst once more into commotion.

“Where are the servants of this woman?—let them be put on the rack,” said the judge.

“They have escaped,” answered an official.

“Escaped!” said the judge, “ha! were they living men, or the servants of the foul fiend? Know you aught?”

“I do know,” said the maiden, suddenly rising to her feet, and speaking with the energy of a queen, while her eye flashed and her bosom heaved with excitement, “and thank God that they are free, although they have left me defenceless. Yes! they are free from your tortures. Me, you may murder with your accursed laws, but—mark me—I shall be fearfully avenged. My story has been truly told—so help me God”—and she raised her eyes to Heaven in adjuration, “and if I die, I die innocent. I tell ye I am the betrothed bride of a noble. I am more; I am the daughter of a prince. And now do your worst. I shall die worthy of my race.”

She sat down. Not a murmur was heard for the space of a minute after she had ceased. Her daring energy awe-struck all. But what could even bravery like hers effect against a brutal, bigot populace? As soon as the hearers could recover from their momentary consternation, they broke into a whirlwind of shouts and imprecations, and rushed on to the defenceless girl; and had not the soldiery, who immediately guarded her, interposed, she would have fallen an instant victim to the rage of the populace. To be torn in pieces by a mob was a death too horrible! She turned imploringly to the judge, but there was no hope in his iron face. She closed her eyes, but the howling mob still swam before her vision; and when she buried her face in her robe, and strove to shut out their imprecations, their fierce, wild cries still rung in her ears. At each moment the tumult deepened, until the excitement of the populace became uncontrollable.

“Away with her—she is sold to the fiend—away—away!”

“Vengeance for the sufferers by her incantations!” hoarsely growled a voice from the mob.

The judge no longer hesitated, but yielding to the popular current as well as his own prejudices, sentenced her to be burned at high noon of that very day. A wild shout of exultation rose from the frenzied mob as the sentence was pronounced, but over all the din swelled the fearful cry, “To the stake with her—away with the sorceress.” Such was justice in that age.

It was a few hours earlier in the same day when a noble knight sat in a hostelry of the little seaport town of ——. He was of a singularly imposing cast of countenance. His features were of the true Norman outline, with a lofty intellectual brow, shaded by locks of the richest chesnut hue. His cheek was embrowned by a Syrian sun until it was of the darkest olive color, but the clear white of his forehead, which had been protected from exposure by his helmet, betrayed the original purity of his complexion. He had an eye whose glance can only be likened to that of an eagle. His form was tall and commanding. He sat apparently absorbed in thought, but was aroused from his reverie by the entrance of a retainer.

“Are the horses ready?”

“Yes, my lord,” said the man.

“We will mount into the saddle at once then; how far did they say it was to Bourdonnois?”

“Six leagues.”

“We shall reach it before nightfall; lead on.”

The party which set forth from the inn was a gallant sight to behold. Knights, squires, men-at-arms and other retainers swelled the escort of the young Count to the number of nearly four-score, while the pennons waving on the air, and the occasional sound of a trumpet, gave a liveliness to the escort which attracted the attention of the passer by, of every rank and sex, and drew many a sigh of envy from them. But who might pretend to be the equal of the renowned Count Garonne, a crusader of untarnished fame, a gallant still in the flower of his youth, and the lord of half a score of castles scattered over the wide domain of France?

At the head of the proud array rode the Count himself, conversing gaily with a knight at his side, whom he familiarly called cousin.

“Ay, by St. Denis!” said the Count, “she is a divinity such as even our sunny Provence doth not afford. Such eyes, such hair, and then, by my faith, such a voice! It pained my heart to part from my sweet Zillah—but she would have it so—and so she comes in company with father Ambrose and a score of my best knights. Her maidenly modesty dictated this, and I was forced to submit. We were separated, however, by that heathenish storm, and I suppose her galley put into Genoa. You know she will be given away by none but the Holy Father himself,” and the glad lover reined his horse, while the animal, as if partaking of its master’s joy, curvetted gaily.

“I long to see your princess, nor do I wonder at your love, since she freed you from a Moslem prison; when shall I greet my future cousin?”

“We shall reach Bourdonnois to-night, and to-morrow—let me see—to-morrow we shall keep on to Trouchet; in another day we shall arrive at Genoa, and there we will await her, if her galley is not already arrived.”

“I am all impatience to behold her—but look at the knave coming over yonder hill. He rides like the fiend himself.”

“Ay! and by St. Denis he is a blackamoor, a scarcer thing here than in Syria. Holy Father, how he dashes on!”

Even while they spoke the horseman rapidly approached, and, before many minutes, drew in the rein of his foaming steed at the side of the Count, whom he appeared to know. The recognition was mutual. The man instantly spoke in a strange tongue, and with violent gestures, while, with an agitated voice, the Count appeared to question him. But a few minutes had elapsed, however, before the Count turned around to his cousin, and exclaimed, in a voice trembling with emotion, but with an attempt at composure,

“Zillah has been wrecked, and only she and two of her train, with a few common sailors, have escaped. Her strange companions, her foreign tongue, but, more than all, the accursed perjuries of a thieving innkeeper, have brought on her the charge of sorcery, a tumult has been raised, she has been arrested, and—God of my fathers!—may even now be suffering on the rack or at the stake. Oh! why did I ever submit to leave her? But, by the mother of God! if a hair of her head is harmed, I will hang every knave of Bourdonnois.”

“Let us on at once, then; we may yet arrive in time.”

“Pass the word down the line,” exclaimed the Count. “On, knights and gentlemen; we must not draw rein until we reach Bourdonnois.”

After a few minutes of hurried consultation with the servant, who stated that he and his fellow had escaped in the height of the tumult, and each, by different roads, sought the port where they supposed the Count to be, the gallant array set forward at a rapid pace, and in a few moments nothing but a cloud of dust in the valley and on the hill-side was left to tell of their late presence.

It was already high noon in Bourdonnois. A little out of the town, in a gentle valley, was the place chosen for the infliction of the horrid sentence. For more than an hour—indeed ever since the condemnation of the accused—the populace had been pouring thither in crowds, until now a vast multitude, comprising nearly the whole population of the town, surrounded the place of execution, and covered the encircling hills, like spectators in an amphitheatre.

At length the procession came in sight. First marched a body of soldiery; then followed the magistrates of the town; directly after appeared several monks; and then, clad in white, with her pale face bent on the ground, and her hands tightly pressed together, came the victim. She made no answer, it was observed, to the words of the monks on either hand, but ever and anon she would kiss a crucifix which she carried, and raise her swimming eyes to Heaven. In that hour of bitterest agony, what must have been her emotions? She, the daughter of an Emir, and the affianced bride of one of the proudest nobles of France, to be hissed at by a mob, and end her life in unheard-of torments at the stake! Oh! if her lover, she thought, only knew of her peril! But alas! he was far away. Well might she raise her streaming eyes to Heaven as to her only hope, and well might she turn away from the ministers of religion who sanctioned her sacrifice, and trust only in that cross which was her lover’s gift, and the emblem of the sufferings of one whom that lover had taught her was the only true God.

“Oh!” she murmured to herself, “if Henri only knew my peril, he would yet rescue me. But there is no hope; and I must not forget that I am the daughter of a warrior. Henri shall hear that I died as became his affianced bride;” and her figure seemed to dilate and her walk to grow more majestic as she thought.

At length they reached the fatal stake. But if Zillah shuddered at its sight, the feeling was checked before it could be seen by the populace. Calm and collected, though pale as the driven snow, she stood proudly up while the fatal chain was affixed around her slender waist, and, with eyes upraised to Heaven, appeared to be only an indifferent spectator, instead of the chief person in the fatal tragedy. Not a repining word broke from her lips. The first agony of death had passed away, and she had steeled her heart to her fate.

At length all was prepared. Over the vast assembly gazing on her, hung the silence of the dead. Men’s breaths came quick, and their hearts fluttered when they felt that in another minute the awful tragedy would be begun. Every eye was bent intently on the fatal stake as the executioner approached with the fiery brand. For the last time, Zillah opened her eyes to take a final look on that earth to which she was soon to bid farewell forever. But what sent that sudden flush to her cheek? Why that cry of thrilling joy, the first audible sound which had left her lips since her sentence? She sees a troop of fiery horsemen, covered with dust and foam, thundering over the brow of the hill in front of her, and in the very van of the array she recognizes the pennon of the Count of Garonne, waving in the noonday sun.

Onward came the rescuers. Horse on horse, knight after knight, retainer following retainer, they swept like a whirlwind down the hill, shouting their war-cry, “Garonne—a St. Denis and Garonne!” the panic-struck crowd opening to the right and to the left before them. In vain the soldiery who guarded the victim attempted to resist the rush of the assailants. They might as well have withstood the ocean surges in their might. The shock of the horsemen was irresistible. Foremost among them, cleaving his way like a giant, rode the Count himself, his tall figure and powerful charger rendering him conspicuous over all. Nothing could resist him. He seemed like an avenging spirit come to the aid of the suffering victim, nor were those wanting who saw in the sudden appearance of the rescuers, and their indomitable courage, proofs of supernatural agency. A universal panic seized on the crowd. Soldiers as well as populace broke and fled. In a few minutes the Count had gained the stake, when, springing from his steed, he rushed forward, and, with one blow of his huge sword, had severed the chain which bound the victim to the stake.

“Oh! Henri!” hysterically said the rescued girl, as she sprang forward and fell fainting into her lover’s arms.

“Zillah! God be praised that you are safe. Curses on the villains. She faints. Ho, there! water, you knaves, or I cleave you to the chine.”

But the maiden had only fainted from excess of joy, and when restoratives were applied, she speedily recovered.

Our story is done. The terror of the populace; the humble apologies of the magistracy; the merited punishment of the perjured publican; and the speedy union of the Count and the converted princess—are they not all written in the chronicles of the noble house of Garonne?





She sat, oppress’d with cruel care,

And bow’d with agonizing pain,

And the cold sceptre of despair

Lay where her dearest hopes had lain;

And bitter drops, from Marah’s spring,

Bedew’d the pale rose on her cheek,

And fierce disease was torturing

Her vitals with a vulture’s beak:

And taunting words were in her ears—

“Thou first in sin! Frail cause of all

The cares and toils that waste our years,

The pangs that change our joys to gall;

Thou gav’st the sceptre unto Death!

Thy hand unbarr’d the insatiate tomb,

And wak’d and arm’d the fiery wrath

That deals the sinner’s final doom!”

She rais’d her meek wet eyes to Heaven,

And all her pray’r was one long sigh;

It told how deep her heart was riven,

And won an angel from on high.

“Daughter! thy lot is hard to bear,”

The spirit said, with healing tone,

“Submission, agony, and care,

Endur’d in silence and alone:

These are thy lot, and Mercy’s power

May not reverse the just decree;

Yet have I brought a priceless dower,

A gem from God’s own crown, to thee.

Hide the rich jewel in thy breast,

Deep in thy bosom’s holiest bow’r:

Its warmth and light shall make thee blest,

E’en in thy darkest, loneliest hour.

Its light shall throw around thy form

An atmosphere of joy and peace,

And fill thy home with radiance warm—

A glowing flood of magic bliss.

When thy young heart to man is given,

And the white bride-rose wreathes thy brow,

This live coal from the fires of Heaven

Shall with ecstatic rapture glow;

And when thy new-born infant lies

In helpless beauty on thy breast,

Thy heart shall thrill with ecstacies

Sweet as the transports of the blest.

This living beam of perfect love—

Pure love, that lives without return:

This sparkle from the bliss above—

Forever in thy soul shall burn.

Not all the fiends of earth shall wrench

This treasure from thy heart away,

Nor all the waves of sorrow quench,

Within thy soul, the deathless ray.

Life’s dearest tie may prove a chain,

And gall thy heart through weary years;

Thy hopes maternal may prove vain,

And sink beneath a flood of tears;

And haggard cares may round thee crowd—

Yet this rich gift shall light thy gloom,

And throw a rainbow on the cloud

That darkens o’er thy dear one’s tomb.”

Yes, perfect love is woman’s dower,

Her brightest charm, her richest gem,

Her shield from every cruel power,

Her sceptre, and her diadem.

Let her beware, lest earth-born fires

Touch the pure altar where it glows:

Dim the pure light with low desires,

And sink her soul in torturing woes.






Mary!” said the low voice of Henry Ashton. The maiden looked up.

“Mary! I have much to tell you—will you listen to me awhile, only for a moment!” and he spoke fast and eagerly.

“A moment only, you say—well, I suppose I must,—but what a beautiful butterfly is that. Oh! the dear, sweet, tiny thing; do, pray, try and catch it for me.”

Ashton was stung to the heart. He had been on the point of declaring his long-cherished passion for Mary Derwentwater, and he felt that she knew, not only the depth of his affection, but that the words trembling on his lips were an avowal of his love. Her light-heartedness at once changed the whole current of his feelings. Often had he heard others say that his beautiful cousin was a coquette, and more than once had she trifled with his own feelings. He had hoped that her conduct was the result only of a momentary whim, but this last act displayed a confirmed heartlessness of which an hour before he would not have deemed her capable. He sighed, and was silent.

“Oh! dear, how ungallant you are,” continued his cousin, “the beautiful creature will really escape, and I do so love butterflies.”

“It is gone.”

“So it is. I shall never forgive you. Don’t ask me to,” said Mary affectedly.

“Then we must part without it,” said Henry carelessly. “I leave here to-morrow, and shall visit Europe before I return. It may be years—it may be forever that I shall be absent.”

“Why—Harry—you jest,” said his companion, struggling to appear composed, although she felt how cold and pale her cheek had grown. “I never heard of this before. You are not in earnest,” and she laid her soft white hand—that hand, whose touch made every nerve of Ashton thrill—on her lover’s arm, looking up into his face with her dark, and now melting eye. But the chord had been stretched until it had snapped, and her influence over Ashton was gone. He half averted his head, as he answered coldly,—

“I do not jest, especially with a friend.”

The tone, the emphasis, the manner, all stung the pride of Mary. She felt that his censure was just, and yet she spurned it. Her hand fell from his arm, and emulating his own coldness, she said,—

“Then I will not ask you to stay. But as it is late, and you will have your preparations to make, I will not intrude on your time,” and curtesying, she withdrew.

“And this is the being in whom I had garnered up all my heart’s best affections,” exclaimed Ashton, when he found himself alone. “This the divinity I have adored with a fervor no mortal bosom ever yet felt, and she could talk, heartlessly talk of the merest trifle, when she saw that my whole heart was bound up in her. Oh! would we had never met. But my delusion is over. I will fly. Mary! Mary! little did I dream that my love would meet with such a return.”

Mary hurried to her chamber, and locking the door, she flung herself upon the bed, and burst into a flood of tears. How bitterly she reproached herself that her momentary coquetry had lost her the love of the only being for whom she cared. She did not disguise from herself her affection; she could scarcely tell why she had yielded to the impulse of that fatal moment; but she felt that she had lost irretrievably the esteem and the affections of her cousin. She would have given worlds to have recalled the last hour. Even now she might, by seeking him, and throwing herself at his feet, perhaps, regain his love. She rose to do so. But when her hand was on the lock she thought that he might spurn her. She hesitated. In another moment her pride had regained the mastery.

“No—I cannot—I dare not. He will turn away from me. He will despise me. Oh! that I had never, never said those idle words,” and flinging herself again on the bed, she wept long and bitterly.

Mary appeared that evening at the supper table, but in the cold and averted looks of Ashton, she saw only new causes for pride. The evening passed off heavily. As the time came for retiring, Henry approached her to bid her farewell. She thought her heart would burst her boddice, but commanding her emotion by a violent effort, she returned his adieu as calmly as it was given.

And they parted, both in seeming carelessness, but one at least in agony.

Henry Ashton had known his lovely cousin scarcely two years, but during that time, she had been to him a divinity. Never, in his wildest dreams, had he imagined a countenance more surpassingly beautiful than hers, and to her, accordingly, he had given his heart, with a devotion which had become a part of his nature. But much as he adored his cousin, he was not wholly blind to her faults. He saw that she loved admiration, and he feared she was too much of a flirt. Yet his love had gone on increasing, and, he fancied, not without a return. Led on by his hopes, he had, during a temporary visit at her father’s house, seized an opportunity to declare his passion, but how the half breathed avowal was checked, we will not recapitulate. Need we wonder at his sudden resolution to fly from her presence, and, by placing the ocean between them, to eradicate a passion for one whom he now felt to be unworthy of him? Few men could be more energetic than Ashton. In less than a week, he had sailed for Europe.

Oh! how Mary wept his departure! A thousand times she was on the point of writing to recall him, but her pride as often prevented the act. She hoped he might yet return. Surely—she said—he who had once loved her so deeply, and who must have known that his affection was returned, would not leave her forever. Hour after hour she would sit watching the gate for his return, and hour after hour she experienced all the bitterness of disappointment. When, at length, she read in the newspaper that he had really sailed, she gave one long, loud shriek, and fell senseless to the floor. A fever, that ensued, brought her to the very brink of the grave.

Ashton went forth upon the world an altered, almost a misanthropic man. His hopes were withered: his first dream of love had vanished: he felt as if there was nothing for him to live for in this world. His mind became almost diseased. He loathed society, then he veered to the other extreme, and craved after excitement. He sought relief in travel. He crossed the steppes of Tartary—he traversed the deserts of Arabia—he lived among the weird and ruined monuments of Egypt,—and for years he wandered, a stranger to civilization, seeking only one thing—to forget. He never inquired after America. His family were all dead, and he wished never to think of Mary. Like the fabled victim, in the olden legend, he spent years in the vain search after that Lethe whose waters are reserved for death alone. He found it not.

And Mary, too, was changed. She rose from that bed of sickness an altered being. Never had she known the full depth of her affection until the moment when she found herself deserted. The shock almost destroyed her; and though she recovered after a long and weary sickness, it was to discard all her old habits, and to assume a quieter—yet, oh! how far more beautiful demeanor than in her days of unmitigated joy. She felt that Henry was lost to her forever, yet she derived a melancholy pleasure in living as if the eye of her absent lover was upon her. She directed her whole conduct so as to meet his approbation. Alas! he was far away: she had not heard from him for years; perhaps, too, he might be no more; then why this constant reference of all she did to his standard of excellence? It was her deep abiding love which did it all.

Four years had passed when Ashton found himself again in America, and sitting, after dinner, with one of his most intimate friends, at the table of the —— hotel. For some time the bottle passed in silence. At length his companion spoke.

“You have not seen Mary Derwentwater yet—have you, Harry?”

Ashton answered calmly, with a forced effort, in the negative.

“You must not positively delay it. Do you know how beautiful she has grown?—far more beautiful than when you went away, although then you thought her surpassingly lovely.” He paused.

“I have not heard from the family for years,” said Ashton at length, feeling that his companion expected some reply.

“Then you know nothing of her?—push us some of the almonds—why, my dear fellow, she is irresistible. But she is different from what she used to be; her beauty is softer, though not so showy, and whereas she once would flirt a little—mind, only a little, for she is a great favorite of mine—she now goes by the name of the cold beauty. A married man, like myself, can speak thus warmly, you know, without fear of having his heart called in as the bribe of his head. And do you know that my wife suspects you of having worked the reformation?”—Ashton started, and was almost thrown off his guard—“for it began immediately after a long illness, that happened a few weeks after you sailed.”

Ashton was completely bewildered. He had now for the first time heard of Mary’s sickness. His eye wandered from that of his companion, and he felt his cheek flushing in despite of himself. He covered his embarrassment, however, by rising. His companion continued,

“And now, Harry, let us stroll down Broadway, for, to tell the truth, I promised my wife to bring you home with me. Besides, Mary is there, and I’ve no doubt,” he continued, jocularly, “you are dying to meet her.”

Ashton could not answer; but he followed his friend into the street, conscious that Mary and he must meet, and feeling that the sooner it was done the better. His companion, during their walk, ran on in his usual gay style, but Harry scarcely heard a word that was said. His thoughts were full of his cousin. Had she indeed become cold to all other men from love to himself? Strange and yet delicious thoughts whirled through his mind, and he woke only from his abstraction on finding himself in Seacourt’s drawing-room, and in the presence of his cousin.

Mary was on a visit to Mrs. Seacourt, and did not know of Ashton’s intended coming until a few minutes before he made his appearance. Devotedly as she loved her cousin, she would have given worlds to escape the interview; but retreat was impossible, without exposing the long treasured secret of her heart. She nerved herself, accordingly, for the meeting, and succeeded in assuming a sufficiently composed demeanor to greet her cousin without betraying her agitation. He exchanged the common compliments of the occasion with her, and then took a seat by Mrs. Seacourt, who had been one of his old friends. Mary felt the neglect; she saw he did not love her. That night she wept bitter tears of anguish.

“And yet I cannot blame him. Oh, no!” she exclaimed, “it is all my own fault. He once loved me, and I heartlessly flung that affection from me which I would give worlds now to win. But I must dry these tears; I must not betray myself. We shall meet daily, for he cannot help coming here, and to shorten my visit would lead to suspicions. I must therefore school myself to disguise the secret of my heart.”

And Ashton did come daily, and although his conversation was chiefly devoted to Mrs. Seacourt, he neither seemed to seek nor to avoid his cousin. Now and then he found himself deep in a conversation with her, and he thought of old times. But the memory of their last interview came across him at such moments like a blight.

“How wonderfully Ashton has improved since his travels,” said Mrs. Seacourt one morning, as she and Mary sat tête-à-tête, sewing; “and do you know,” continued she, looking archly at her companion, “that I deem myself indebted to you for his charming visits.”

Mary felt the blood mounting to her brow, and she stooped to pick out a stitch.

“Oh! you are always jesting, Anne; you know it is not so.”

“We shall see. I prophesy that this afternoon, when we go to the exhibition, he will escort you, and leave Miss Thornbury to Seacourt’s nephew.”

Mary’s heart beat so she could scarcely answer, but she managed to reply,

“Don’t, my dear Mrs. Seacourt, don’t tease one this way. You know, indeed you know, Ashton cares nothing for me,” and she felt how great a relief would have been a flood of tears, could she have indulged in them.

Mrs. Seacourt smiled archly, and said no more.

The afternoon came. The little company were assembled in the drawing-room. Ashton entered just as the last moment had come, and when the ladies were rising to go. Mary was almost hidden in one corner, so fearful was she of attracting the raillery of Mrs. Seacourt, by placing herself near the entrance, and in Ashton’s way. Her very sensitiveness produced the effect she wished to avoid. The gentlemen naturally sought partners nearest them, and for a moment she was left almost alone. She thought she would have fainted when she saw her cousin cross the room and offer to be her escort.

They proceeded to the exhibition. For the first time for years, Ashton’s arm upheld that of Mary. At first both were embarrassed; but each made an effort, and they soon glided into conversation on indifferent subjects. What a relief it was to Mary that night, to think she had been alone, as it were, with her cousin without being treated with neglect.

From that day the visits of Ashton to Mrs. Seacourt’s increased in frequency, yet there was nothing marked in his attentions to Mary. Indeed, he still continued to converse chiefly with his friend’s wife, though he did not openly avoid her guest. Mary grew more and more tremblingly alive to his presence, and at times, when she would detect his eye bent on her, half sadly, half abstractedly, her heart would flutter wildly, and a delicious hope would momently shoot across her mind; but soon to fade as quickly.

One morning, Ashton entered the drawing-room, and found her alone. She was untangling a skein of silk. She arose, and said, with some embarrassment,

“Mrs. Seacourt is up stairs; I will ring for her.”

“Not for the world, if she is in any way engaged. I can await her pleasure.”

There was a silence of some minutes. Mary could scarcely breathe: she knew not what to say. Her fingers refused to perform their duty, and her skein of silk became more and more entangled.

“Shall I help you?” said Ashton, approaching her. “My patience used to be a proverb with you.”

Mary could not trust herself to answer, for her fingers were actually trembling with agitation. She felt she could have sunk into the floor. She proffered the silk without looking up. Ashton took hold of one end while she retained the other. Neither spoke; but Mary’s bosom heaved tumultuously, while Ashton felt his heart in his throat. At length, in mutually untangling the skein, their hands met. The touch thrilled them like lightning. Ashton almost unconsciously retained the hand of his cousin in his own. She trembled violently.

“Mary!” he said.

She looked half doubtingly, half timidly up.

“Mary, we love each other—do we not?”

There was no answer, but as he pressed the fingers lying passively in his grasp, the pressure was gently returned, and, bursting into tears, his cousin fell upon his bosom.

And Ashton and Mary have been wedded for years, but their honey-moon still continues, for they have not yet quarrelled.


There is a rock whose craggy brow

Hangs beetling o’er the wave below,

Adown whose sheer descent the eye,

When twilight’s gloom is gath’ring nigh,

Will gaze, but vainly, to descry

The sullen waves that wash beneath,

As endless and as dark as death.

You see no tide—you scarcely hear—

You only feel a nameless fear;

The night-bird, sailing slowly by,

Dares not his melancholy cry:

Dares scarcely flap his lazy wing:

Dares not behold this fearful thing—

But far beneath, will upward soar,

To cross the dread abyss no more.

                       H. J. V.






“So you are really going to be married, Charles?”

“Yes, uncle; and I hope you will agree with me in thinking that I have made a very prudent choice.”

“That remains to be seen yet,” said Mr. Waterton. “In the first place, who is the lady?”

“Miss Laura Tarleton.”

“I know her name well enough, for you have scarcely uttered any other one these six weeks,” was the crusty reply; “but I want to know something of her family.”

“Her father was a southern merchant, and died four or five years since, leaving only two daughters to inherit his large estate; one of these daughters married about two years since, and is now in Europe; the other I hope to introduce to your affections as my wife.”

“Has she no mother?”

“Her mother died while she was yet very young.”

“Where was she educated?”

“At the fashionable boarding-school of Madame Finesse, and I can assure you no expense has been spared in her education.”

“I dare say not: these new-fangled establishments for the manufacture of man-traps, don’t usually spare expense. How old is your intended wife?”

“Just nineteen.”

“Where has she lived since she left school, for I suppose she was ‘finished,’ as they style it, some years since?”

“She has resided lately at the Astor House, under the protection of a relative who boards there.”

“Then she cannot know much about housekeeping.”

“I dare say not,” replied Charles, with a slight feeling of vexation, “but all that knowledge comes by practice, uncle.”

“If her time has been divided between a boarding school and a hotel, where is she to learn any thing about it?”

“Oh, women seem to have an intuitive knowledge of such things.”

“You are mistaken, boy,” said the old man, “if a girl has been brought up in a good home, and sees a regular system of housekeeping constantly pursued, she will become unconsciously familiar with its details, even though she may not then put such knowledge in practice; the consequence will be that when she is the mistress of a house, her memory will assist her judgment—a quality, by the way, not too common in girls of nineteen. But how is a poor thing who has seen nothing but the skimble-skamble of a school-household or the clockwork regularity of a great hotel, to know any of the machinery by which the comfort of a home is obtained and secured?”

“Oh I am not afraid to trust to Laura,” replied Charles with animation, “she is young, good-tempered, and, I believe, loves me; so I have every security for the future. When there’s a will there’s always a way.”

“True, true, Charles, and I only hope your wife may have the will to find the right way; what is her fortune?”

“Reports vary respecting the amount—some say eighty, others, one hundred thousand dollars.”

“Don’t you know any thing about it?”

“I know that her fortune is very considerable, especially for a poor devil like me, who can barely clear two thousand a year by business,” answered Charles, with some irritation.

“When your father married, Charles, he was master of only three hundred dollars in the world.”

“That may be, and the consequence was that my father’s son has been obliged to work like a dog all his life.”

“The very best thing that could have happened to you, my dear boy.”

“How do you make that out? For my part, I see nothing very desirable in poverty.”

“Nor do I, Charles; poverty is certainly an evil, but it is an evil to which you have never been exposed; competence was the reward of your father’s industry and he was thus enabled to bestow a good education and good habits upon his son. The limited range of your own experience will convince you of the danger of great riches. Who are the persons in our great city most notorious for vice and folly? Who are the horse-jockies, the gamblers, the rowdies, and the fools of high life? Why, they are the sons of our rich men, and how can we expect better things from those who from their very childhood are pampered in idleness and luxury. I know you will tell me there are exceptions to this sweeping censure, and this I am willing to allow, for there are some minds which even the influence of wealth cannot injure; but how few are they, compared with the number of those who are ruined in their very infancy by the possession of riches. Depend upon it, Charles, that learning, industry, and virtue form the best inheritance which any man can derive from his ancestors.”

“It is a pity the world would not think so, uncle.”

“So it is, boy; but the fact is such as I have stated, whatever the majority of people may think. You have not now to learn that the wise and good are always in the minority in this world. But tell me one thing, my dear boy; if Miss Tarleton was poor and friendless, instead of being rich and fashionable, would you have fallen in love with her?”

“Why yes—certainly—I don’t know—” stammered Charles, confusedly, “but that is supposing so improbable a case that I cannot determine.”

“Suppose she were suddenly to be deprived of her fortune,” said the persevering old man, “would you still be so desirous of wedding her?”

“Why, to tell you the honest truth, uncle, I do not think I should, and for an excellent reason. Laura has been brought up as a rich man’s daughter, and therefore can scarcely be expected to have had proper training for a poor man’s wife. If I were compelled to support a family on my paltry business, it would be necessary to have a more prudent and economical companion than Laura is likely to prove; but, thank heaven, that is not the case.”

“All are liable to reverses of fortune, Charles, and should such befal you in future, you might chance to find that a prudent wife without money is a better companion in misfortune than an extravagant one who brought a rich dowry.”

“My dear uncle, do not imagine all kinds of unpleasant contingencies; the idea of what you call a prudent woman is shocking to my notions of feminine character; it always conjures up in my mind an image of a sharp-voiced, keen-eyed creature, scolding at servants, fretting at children, and clattering slip-shod about the house to look after candle-ends and cheese-parings. Before a woman can become parsimonious she must in a measure unsex herself, since the foible most natural to the sex is extravagance—the excess of a liberal spirit.”

“You are mistaken, Charles; that there are such women as you describe, bustling, notable housewives, who pride themselves on their ability to manage, as they term it, and who practise cunning because unable to use force, I acknowledge; but they are chiefly to be found among those who have been placed in an unnatural position in society,—women, who having neither father, brother nor husband to protect them, have been obliged to struggle with the world, and have learned to jostle lest they should be jostled in the race of life. But bachelor as I am, I have had many opportunities of studying the sex, and I can assure you that economy, frugality and industry are by no means incompatible with feminine delicacy, refinement of thought, and elegant accomplishments.”

“Well it may be all true, uncle,” replied Charles, utterly wearied of the old man’s lecture, “but it is too late to reflect upon the matter now, even if I were so disposed. I am to be married next week, and I hope when you see Laura, you will think, with me, and give me credit for more prudence than you seem to believe I possess.”

Charles Wharton possessed good feelings, and, as he believed, good principles; yet, seduced by the ambition of equalling his richer neighbors, he had persuaded himself into choosing a wife, less from affection than from motives of interest. Had Laura Tarleton been poor, he certainly would never have thought of her, since, pretty as she was, she lacked the brilliancy of character which he had always admired. But there was a sin upon his conscience, known only to himself and one other, which often clouded his brow, even in the midst of his anticipated triumph. There was a young, fair, and gifted girl, whom he had loved with all the fervor of sincere attachment, and he knew that she loved him, although no word on the subject had been uttered by either. He knew that his looks, and tones, and actions had been to her those of a lover, and he had little reason to doubt the feeling with which he had been met. He had looked forward to the time when he should be quietly settled amid the comforts of a peaceful home, and the image of that fair girl was always the prominent object in his pictures for the future. But a change came over the spirit of the whole nation. Wealth poured into the country—or at least what was then considered wealth—and with it came luxury and sloth. The golden stream came to some like a mountain torrent, and others began to repine at receiving it only as the tiny rivulet. People “made haste to be rich,” and Charles Waterton was infected with the same thirst after wealth. He met with Laura Tarleton, learned that she was an orphan heiress, and instantly determined to secure the glittering prize. Ambition conquered the tenderness of his nature; he forsook the lady of his love, and after an acquaintance of six weeks succeeded in becoming the husband of the wealthy votary of fashion.

Not long after his marriage, he discovered one slight error in his calculations, and found that his wife’s hundred thousand dollars had in reality dwindled down to thirty thousand. But even this was not to be despised, and Charles, conscious that he had nothing but talents and industry when he commenced life, felt that he had drawn a prize in the lottery. Grateful to his wife for her preference of him, and conscious that he had not bestowed on her his full affection, he determined to make all the amends in his power, by lavishing every kindness upon her, and submitting implicitly to her wishes. Having intimated to him that she should prefer boarding during the first year of their married life, he accordingly engaged a suite of apartments at the Astor House, where they lived in a style of splendor and ease exceedingly agreeable to the taste of both. Mrs. Waterton was extremely pretty, with an innocent, child-like face, and a graceful figure, and Charles felt so much pride in the admiration which she received in society, that he forgot to notice her mental deficiency. Their time was passed in a perpetual round of excitement and gayety. During the hours when the counting room claimed the husband’s attention, the young wife lounged on a sofa, read the last new novel, dawdled through a morning’s shopping, or paid fashionable visits. The afternoon was spent over the dinner table, while the evening soon passed in the midst of a brilliant party, or amid the pleasures of some public amusement. But living in the bustle of a hotel, with a large circle of acquaintances always ready to drink Mr. Waterton’s wine and flirt with his pretty wife, they were rarely left to each other’s society, and at the termination of the first twelvemonth, they knew little more of each other’s tempers and feelings than when they pledged their vows at the altar. Charles had learned that his placid Laura was somewhat pertinacious and very fond of dress, while she had been deeply mortified by the discovery that Charles’s deceased mother had, during her widowhood, kept a thread and needle store; but this was all that they had ascertained of each other. There had been no studying of each other’s character—no opportunity of practising that adaptation so necessary to the comfort of married life. They had lived only in a crowd, and were as yet in the position of partners in a quadrille, associated rather for a season of gayety than for the changeful scenes of actual life.

The commencement of the second year found the young couple busily engaged in preparing for house-keeping. A stately house, newly built and situated in a fashionable part of the city, was selected by Mrs. Waterton, and purchased by her obsequious husband in obedience to her wishes, though he did not think it necessary to inform her that two thirds of the purchase money was to remain on mortgage. They now only awaited the arrival of the rich furniture which Mrs. Waterton had directed her sister to select in Paris. This came at length, and with all the glee of a child she beheld her house fitted with carpets of such turf-like softness that the foot was almost buried in their bright flowers; mirrors that might have served for walls to the palace of truth; couches, divans and fauteuils, inlaid with gold and covered with velvet most exquisitely painted; curtains, whose costly texture had been quadrupled in value by the skill of the embroideress; tables of the finest mosaic; lustres and girandoles of every variety, glittering with their wealth of gold and chrystal; and all the thousand expensive toys which serve to minister to the frivolous tastes of fashion. The arrangement of the sleeping apartments was on a scale of equal magnificence. French dressing tables, with all their paraphernalia of Sevres china and chrystal; Psyche glasses, in frames of ivory and gold; beds of rosewood, inlaid with ivory, and canopied with gold and silver, were among the decorations. But should the reader seek to ascend still higher—the upper rooms—the servants’ apartments, uncarpeted, unfurnished, destitute of all the comforts which are as necessary to domestics as to their superiors, would have been found to afford a striking contrast to the splendors of those parts of the mansion which were intended for display.

With all his good sense, Charles Waterton was yet weak enough to indulge a feeling of exultation as he looked round his magnificent house, and felt himself “master of all he surveyed.” His thoughts went back to the time when the death of his father had plunged the family almost into destitution—when his mother had been aided to open a little shop, of which he was chief clerk, until the kindness of his old uncle had procured for him a situation in a wholesale store, which had finally enabled him to reach his present eminence. He remembered how often he had stood behind a little counter to sell a penny ball of thread or a piece of tape—how often he had been snubbed and scolded at when subject to the authority of a purse-proud employer—and, in spite of his better reason, Charles felt proud and triumphant. His self-satisfaction was somewhat diminished, however, by the sight of a bill drawn upon him by his brother-in-law in Paris, for the sums due on this great display of elegance. Ten thousand dollars—one third of his wife’s fortune—just sufficed to furnish their new house. Thus seven hundred dollars was cut off from their annual income, to be consumed in the wear and tear of their costly gew-gaws; another thousand was devoted to the payment of interest on the mortgage which remained on his house; so that, at the very outset of his career, Charles found himself, notwithstanding his wife’s estate, reduced to the “paltry two thousand a year,” which he derived from his business. But he had too much false pride to confess the truth to his wife, and at once to alter their style of living. Each had been deceived in their estimate of the other’s wealth. Laura’s income had been large enough, while she remained single, to allow her indulgence in every whim, and Charles, ambitious of the reputation of a man of fashion, after slaving all the morning in his office, had been in the habit of driving fast trotting horses, or sporting a tilbury and tiger in Broadway, every afternoon, spending every cent of his income, and giving rise to the belief among the young men that he was very rich, while the old merchants only looked upon him as very imprudent. They were now to learn that their combined fortunes would not support the extravagancies of a household, but Laura, accustomed to the command of money from childhood, knew not its value, because she had never known its want, and her husband shrunk from the duty of enlightening her on the subject, by informing her of their real situation.

By the time the arrangements of their house were completed, and had been admired, envied and sneered at by her “dear five thousand friends,” the season arrived for Mrs. Waterton’s usual visit to Saratoga. Her husband of course accompanied her, though with rather a heavy heart, for he knew that only by close attention to business he could hope to provide the necessary funds for all such expenditures, although he had not sufficient moral courage to confess that he was so closely chained to the galley of commerce. The usual round of gayety was traversed—the summer was spent in lounging at different watering places—and the autumn found them returning, heartily wearied, to their splendid home. With the assistance of some kind suggestors, Mrs. Waterton now planned a series of entertainments for the coming winter, and Charles listened with ill-dissembled anxiety to the schemes for balls, parties, soirees, musical festivals and suppers. There was but one way to support all this. Charles determined to extend his business, and instead of confining himself to a regular cash trade, he resolved to follow the example of his neighbors, and engage in speculation. Accordingly, he sold his wife’s stock in several moneyed institutions, and, investing the proceeds in merchandise, commenced making money on a grander scale. This was in the beginning of the year ’36, and every one knows the excitement of that momentous season; a season not soon to be forgotten by the bankrupt merchants, the distressed wives and the beggared children who can date their misfortunes from the temporary inflation of the credit system, by which that fatal year was characterized. Mr. Waterton’s books soon showed an immense increase of business, and, upon the most moderate calculation, his profits could scarcely be less than from eight to ten thousand dollars within six months. This was doing pretty well for a man who had formerly been content with a “paltry two thousand a year,” but as avarice, like jealousy, “grows by what it feeds on,” Charles began to think he might as well make money in more ways than one. He therefore began to buy real estate, and pine lands in Maine, wild tracts in Indiana, town lots in Illinois, together with the thousand schemes which then filled the heads of the sanguine and the pockets of the cunning, claimed his attention and obtained his money; while, at the same time, the fashionable society of New York were in raptures with Mrs. Waterton’s splendid parties, her costly equipage, and her magnificent style of dress.

“Have you counted the cost of all these things, Charles?” said his old uncle, as he entered the house one morning, and beheld the disarray consequent upon a large party the previous night.

“Yes, uncle, I think I have,” said Charles, smiling, as he sipped his coffee, at the old man’s simplicity. “The fellows who manage these affairs soon compel us to count the cost, for when I came down this morning, I found on the breakfast table this bill for nine hundred and fifty-four dollars.”

“Nine hundred dollars, Charles! You don’t mean to say that your party last night cost that sum?”

“I do, my dear sir, and considering that the bill includes every thing but the wines, I do not consider it an exorbitant one; however, the elegant colored gentleman who takes all this trouble for me does not charge me quite so much as he would if I employed him less frequently.”

The old man looked round and sighed. The apartments were in sad disorder, for the servants, overcome by the fatigues of the previous day, had followed the example of their master, and stolen from the morning the sleep they had been denied at night. A bottle lay shivered in one corner of the supper room, the champaigne with which it had been filled soaking into the rich carpet—a piece of plum-cake had been crushed by some heedless foot into the snow-white rug which lay before the drawing-room fire—the sweeping draperies of one of the curtains was still dripping with something which bore a marvellous resemblance to melted ice cream, and the whole suite of apartments wore that air of desolation which usually characterizes a “banquet hall deserted.”

“Do you calculate the destruction of furniture in counting the cost of your parties, Charles?” asked Mr. Waterton.

“Oh no—that of course is expected; furniture, you know, becomes old-fashioned and requires to be renewed about every three years, and therefore one may as well have the use of it while it is new.”

“You must have a vast addition to your fortune if you expect to pay for all these things.”

“My dear sir,” replied the nephew, with a most benignant smile at his uncle’s superlative ignorance of his affairs, “my dear sir, you do not seem to know that, in the course of about three years, I shall be one of the richest men in New York.”

“Do you sell on credit?” asked the old man, significantly.

“Certainly; everybody does so now.”

“Well, then, my boy, take an old man’s advice, and don’t count your chickens before they are hatched; don’t live on ten thousand a year when that sum exists only in your ledger. Call in your debts, and when your customers have paid, then tell me how much you have gained.”

“My dear uncle, you are quite obsolete in your notions. I wish I could induce you to enter with me into a new scheme; it would make your fortune.”

“I am content with my present condition, Charles; my salary of eight hundred a year is quite sufficient for the wants of a bachelor, and leaves me a little for the wants of others; nor would I sacrifice my peace of mind and quiet of conscience for all the fortunes that will ever be made by speculation.”

“It is not necessary to sacrifice either peace or principle in making a fortune, uncle.”

“You have not seen the end yet, my dear boy; I have lived long enough to behold several kinds of speculative mania, and all terminated in a similarly unfortunate manner. It is a spirit of gambling which is abroad, and I am old-fashioned enough to believe that money thus obtained never does good to any one. It is like the price of a soul: the devil is sure to cheat the unhappy bargainer.”

“How I hate to hear people talk about business,” lisped Mrs. Waterton, as she sat listlessly in her loose wrapping-gown at the breakfast table; “I think no one ought to mention the word before ladies.”

The old man looked at her with ill-disguised contempt.

“It will be well for you, young lady,” said he, “if you never have to learn the necessity of a knowledge of business.”

Laura put up her pretty lip, but was silent, for she was much too indolent, and rather too well bred, to get angry.

Charles Waterton had given his uncle what he believed to be an accurate view of his circumstances. Excited beyond the bounds of sober sense by his seeming success, he was as sanguine a dupe as ever bled beneath the leech-craft of speculation. His real estate, which he very moderately estimated at quintuple its cost, formed, at such prices, an immense fortune. His book debts were enormous, for his money was scattered east, west, north and south, and in consequence of giving long credits, he was enabled to obtain exorbitant profits. But the Eldorado whose boundaries seemed so accurately defined on paper, became exceedingly indistinct as he fancied himself about to approach its shores. The following year began to afford tokens of coming trouble. Credit was still good, but money had entirely disappeared from the community, and men who had learned to make notes in order to acquire fortunes, were now obliged to continue their manufacture in order to avoid ruin. Rumors of approaching distress arose in the money market; men began to look with distrust upon their fellows, and as unlimited confidence in each other had been the foundation of the towering edifice of unstable prosperity, the moment that was shaken, the whole structure fell crumbling to the earth. As soon as doubt arose, destruction was at hand, and at length one wild crash of almost universal bankruptcy startled the dreamers from their golden visions.

One fine morning in the spring of 1838, the doors of one of the most stately houses in —— street, were thrown open to the public, and the auctioneer’s flag waving from the window gave a general invitation to every passer by. That ominous red flag! no less significant of evil than the black banner of the rover of the seas; for it is ever the signal of the disruption of household ties. That ominous red flag! sometimes betokening the instability of fortune—sometimes the work of death—sometimes telling of blighted fortunes—sometimes of broken hearts, but always of discomfort and disquiet. And yet few things will so readily collect a concourse of people as that scarlet harbinger of destruction. There may be found the regular auction-haunters, men of idleness, bachelors, perhaps, glad to find an hour or two killed beneath the auctioneer’s hammer—single ladies of small fortunes, who have nothing to do for themselves, and have not yet learned the luxury of doing something for their neighbors—notable housewives, actuated by a sense of duty and a love of economy, who waste nothing but time in their hunt after bargains—young ladies who come to see how such persons furnished their houses—and perhaps some would-be connoisseur in search of old pictures, which, if they have only hung long enough over a smoky fire-place, may be classed with the works of the old masters. On the morning in question, however, unusual attractions were offered to the visiters of such places, for it was the abode of wealth, and luxury, and taste which was thus desecrated—the mansion of the Watertons! The rich carpets were disfigured by many a dirty footstep,—the velvet couches bore the impress of many a soiling touch, and many a rude hand was laid upon the delicate and costly toys which had once been the admiration of the fashionable visitants of the family. Among the crowd were two of that numerous tribe found in the very midst of fashionable life, who have learned the trick of combining meanness and extravagance—women who will spend hundreds upon a shawl, and at the same time beat down the wages of a poor sempstress until she is almost compelled to purchase with life itself the bread which ought to sustain life. Such were the two who now seated themselves in the drawing-room of the ruined family, in order to be in the right place when certain articles were put up for sale.

“I want nothing here,” said one, with a half scornful air, “except those mosaic tables; the carpets and curtains are ruined by carelessness, and no wonder, for Mrs. Waterton was a wretched house-keeper.”

“And I only mean to buy that workbox,” said the other; “Mrs. Waterton told me it cost a thousand francs in Paris, and I am sure it will not sell for one fourth its cost.”

“By the way, have you seen her since her husband’s failure?”

“Oh no, I shouldn’t think of calling upon her when in so much distress; besides, I am told she has refused to see any one. Did you hear how she behaved when she heard of Mr. Waterton’s reverses?”

“No, I know nothing about her since she gave her last grand party, which was followed in a few days by his bankruptcy.”

“Why I was told she raved like a mad woman, reproached her husband in the vilest terms for thus reducing her to poverty, taunted him with his low origin, and accused him of the basest deception.”

“I can easily believe it, for these mild, placid milk-and-water women have got the temper of demons when once aroused.”

“I have not told you all yet; she refused to give up her jewels, which were known to be of great value, and having secretly employed a person to dispose of them for her, she took passage for France, and actually set sail a few days since; merely informing her husband by letter that such was her purpose. This letter she placed in such hands that she knew he would not receive it until the vessel was underweigh, and he thus learned that she had deserted him forever. She pretends to have gone to join her sister; but there is a whisper of a certain black-whiskered foreigner who is the companion of her voyage. At any rate, whether he goes with her or not, he is a fellow passenger.”

“Where is Mr. Waterton?”

“At the house of his old uncle, who will probably be obliged to transfer him to a lunatic asylum before long; but hush, the auctioneer is coming.”

I have told you the dénouement as related by the heartless women of the world, but like most of their species, they were only half right. Mrs. Waterton did go with the intention of seeking her sister’s protection, but ere she arrived there, she was persuaded to travel farther under the protection of her fascinating friend. Mr. Waterton did not enter a lunatic asylum, but recovered his senses so fully that he obtained a divorce from his wife, and is now a fellow-clerk with his uncle; enjoying as much tranquility as a remembrance of his former follies, his imprudent choice, and his three years of wedded life will allow.

Brooklyn, N. Y.





There is an isle in the far south sea,

Sunny and bright as an isle can be;

Sweet is the sound of the ocean wave,

As its sparkling waters the green shores lave;

And from the shell that upon the strand

Lies half buried in golden sand—

A thrilling tone through the still air rings,

Like music trembling on fairy strings.

Flowers like those which the Peris find

In the bowers of their paradise, and bind

In the flowing tresses, are blooming there,

And gay birds glance through the scented air.

Gems and pearls are strew’d on the earth

Untouch’d—there are none to know their worth;

And that fair island death comes not nigh:

Why should he come?—there are none to die.


My heart had grown, like the Misanthrope’s,

Cold and dead to all human hopes;

Fame and fortune alike had proved

Baseless dreams, and the friends I loved

Vanish’d away, like the flowers that fade

In the deadly blight of the Upas shade.

I long’d upon that green isle to be,

Far away o’er the sounding sea;

Where no human voice, with its words of pain,

Could ever fall on my ear again.

Life seem’d a desert waste to me,

And I sought in slumber from care to flee.


Away, away, o’er the waters blue,

Light as a sea-bird the vessel flew.

Deep ocean furrows her timbers plow,

As the waves are parted before her prow;

And the foaming billows close o’er her path,

Hissing and roaring, as if in wrath.

But swiftly onward, through foam and spray,

To the lonely island she steers her way.

The heavens above wore their brightest smile,

As the bark was moor’d by that fairy isle;

The sails were furl’d, the voyage was o’er:

I should buffet the waves of the world no more.

I look’d to the ocean—the bark was gone,

And I stood on that beautiful isle, alone.


My wish was granted, and I was blest;

My spirit revell’d in perfect rest,—

A Dead Sea calm,—even thought repos’d

Like a weary dove with its pinions closed.

Beauty was round me: bright roses hung

Their blushing wreaths o’er my head, and flung

Fragrance abroad on the gale, to me

Sweeter than odors of Araby;

Wealth was mine, for the yellow gold

Lay before me in heaps untold.

Death to that island knew not the way,

But life was mine for ever and aye,

Till Love again made my heart its throne,

And I ceased to dwell on the isle, alone.


Long did my footsteps delighted range

My peaceful home, but there came a change;

My heart grew sad, and I looked with pain

On all I had barter’d life’s ties to gain.

A chilling weight on my spirits fell,

As the low, soft wail of the ocean shell—

Or the bee’s faint hum in the flowery wood,

Was all that broke on my solitude.

Oh! then I felt, in my loneliness,

That earth had no power the heart to bless,

Unwarm’d by affection’s holy ray;

And hope was withered, as day by day

I watch’d for the bark, but in vain, in vain;

She never sought that green isle again.


I stretch’d my arms o’er the heaving sea,

And pray’d aloud, in my agony,

That Love’s pure spirit might with me dwell—

Then rose the waves with a murmuring swell,

Higher and higher, till nought was seen

Where slept in beauty that islet green.

The waters pass’d o’er me,—the spell was broke;

From the dream of the lonely isle I woke,

With a heart redeem’d from its selfish stain,

To mingle in scenes of the world again

With cheerful spirit—and rather share

The pains and sorrows which mortals bear,

Than dwell where no shade on my path is thrown,

’Mid fadeless flowers and bright gems, alone.



Why do we live? Is it to fade

  From glory to the tomb,

Wrapt in its melancholy shade,

  Inheritors of gloom?

Struck like the stars from Heav’n we die:

  Quench’d is the spirit’s light;

Youth’s cheer and Hope’s sweet melody

  Are hush’d in sorrow’s night.


Why are we here! but to depart?

  ’Tis anguish thus to fade.

Shall grief oppress a single heart

  When we are lowly laid?

Thank God! th’ immortal soul no blight

  Of earth can e’er decay;

On high, to realms of endless light

  It flashes far away.





This is certainly the most charming opera that was ever produced,” said Mrs. Althorp, as the curtain fell after the first act of Sonnambula, and she turned round to entertain the company in her box; “yet, after all, what an absurdity it is! However, I must remember that I am growing old.”

“Pardon me,” said Mr. Hartford, who sat behind her, “elegance and beauty have no age.”

“Surely elegance has its Age, and it is that in which Mr. Hartford lives.”

“Mrs. Althorp’s fiat has, indeed, such potency that it can make even me, in fact at least, the model of elegance.”

“My stamp,” she replied, “like that of the mint, only ascertains the value of the metal.”

“But, in the mint of fashion which you administer, there is such a seignorage as makes the coin far more valuable than the bullion.”

“Mr. Hartford, you talk operas,” said Mrs. Althorp, who knew she could never beat him in the charming absurdities of compliment, and was willing to retire from the contest.

“What do you think of the Prima Donna to-night?” said Miss Stanhope.

“I think she has miscarried in nothing but her singing, her acting and her speaking,” replied Mr. Hartford.

“She certainly does not sing as well as she did. She has sung too much; her voice is worn out.”

“You were speaking of the absurdity of the opera, Mrs. Althorp,” said Hartford. “The matter has certainly not been improved since the time when the Earl of Chesterfield settled it, that when you go to the opera, you must take leave of your understanding and your senses with your half guinea at the door, and give yourself up to the dominion of the ears and eyes; in other words, you must live by sight, and not by faith. But the repugnancy to reason is increased by the manner of performing them in this country, where part of the dialogue is spoken. The illusion of the opera is by that means destroyed. You may in time become accustomed to a race of beings whose natural dialect is poetry, and whose common cadences are music; but a set of people who let us see from time to time that they can talk like ourselves, and who yet, whenever they are excited, break out into modulated strains of song—who speak their common-places, and warble their exclamations—such people shock our credulity.”

“Yet it would seem that at Athens, where they knew something about these things,” said Mr. Temple, “the same confusion of the natural and the impossible prevailed on the stage. The chorus usually chanted its part, and was accompanied by music; and as we find that the persons of the drama, in conversing with them, frequently adopt the measure of verse which they sung, we must suppose that the former at such times sang. The chorus also often employs the rhythm which was used in speaking, and thus seems to have used the double dialect of recitation and singing. Nay, the chorus, as it circled the altar, employed a gliding step which resembled dancing; so that the Greek drama partook of the threefold nature of our tragedy, opera and ballet.”

“I have lost all my respect for the taste of the Greeks,” said Mrs. Althorpe, “since I heard that they painted their temples.”

“It was savage, indeed, to paint their temples,” said Mr. Hartford; “the more refined moderns only paint their cheeks.”

“The French are the modern Athenians,” said Miss Stanhope. “De Bourrienne says that the soldiers who were with Napoleon in Egypt complained bitterly of their privations, and longed especially for the opera.”

“Do you know who that person is that is talking to the leader of the orchestra?” said Miss Stanhope, directing the attention of Mrs. Althorpe to a young man of very striking appearance, who stood just within the door of the orchestra, and who seemed to be giving some directions that were listened to with great attention.

“Oh! that is Mr. Nivernois,” said Mrs. Althorpe; “a very odd person, by the by; I intended to have sent for him to sup with us to-night.”

After a few moments, the door of the box opened, and Mr. Nivernois came in. There was something very remarkable in his appearance: regular, well-chiselled features, of an Italian cast; pale complexion; large, black, vivid eyes, and long, straight black hair; in his countenance was an aspect of force and fire, keen intellectual action, and the power of deep passion. He was negligently dressed, and was very careless in his manner.

“This opera does not seem to be very popular to-night,” said Mrs. Althorpe to him. “And yet it is a fine one.”

“Nay,” he replied, “if you were to set Austerlitz or the Angel Gabriel to music, people would still complain.”

He turned round to Mr. Hartford, and began to put to him a variety of questions about music, with such rapidity as gave him no time to answer one of them. Hartford was ambitious to display his knowledge, and would have been glad to confound his interrogator by his superior taste. But the answer which he had begun to one question was cut off by another, and before that could be attended to, a third had succeeded. When the string was ended, he was so perplexed as to what he should reply to, and so stunned by the fiery fervor of the questioning, that he remained silent.

Nivernois fixed his keen eyes upon him, and waited an instant for the reply, which came not. He then turned aside.

“Humph!” said he; “for my part, I know nothing of music; not I. I thought I did, until I played three months every morning with Paganini. I would not give up the struggle sooner. At the end of that time I broke my fiddle, and abandoned fiddling forever. It was necessary to do that, or throttle the old hair-scraper. I should strangle with anguish in my chair, if I knew that there was a man living who could excel me in any thing I undertook. But what can one do? We have but one life to live. We are like felons, fumbling with a bunch of keys at the outer door of the sanctuary of immortality, while the police of death are hurrying after us round the corner; and who knows whether he has got the right key? No lasting fame can be founded on music. No melody is immortal but that of the drum and the cannon. That alone is eternally re-produced. How the Corsican knew to touch that instrument!—the Handel of the iron flute! What brave tunes they played off at Borodino and at Eylau! What a concert was given under the pyramids—the companies in squares, the musicians at the angles, and the shod feet of the Mameluke cavalry marking time upon the crusted sand! For the rest, what composer is there whom you recognise as great—whose name rushes on the breathless soul, and echoes through the spirit with a sound like thunder, or the voice of Milton? Fashions vary; tastes change. Who plays Purcell?—who sings Arne? The musician cannot throw himself upon that broad, unchanging instinct of popular judgment which, after the subtleties of criticism are exhausted and the disputes of the schools are at an end, must decide upon questions of taste, and to which literary creators may directly appeal. The people cannot get at music to judge of it. Overtures cannot play themselves; and the professors, whose taste is corrupted by the over-refinements of science, take good care that the world at large shall not hear that great, universal music of a past age which would sweep away their conspiracies against taste. Lightning itself would go out of fashion, and thunder be pronounced exploded, if you could prevent the people from hearing them; if the learned had the playing of them, they would swear to us that steam-guns and rockets were more sublime. Still it is better to compose good choruses than to write bad poetry, like the great Frederic, or read worse, like Napoleon. We must multiply and spin out the offices of life. We must cram full the charge of life, if we would have a loud report. We must coin sleep into immortality, and mould the waste of leisure into stars of glory. We have but one life to live.”

The curtain rose, but Mr. Nivernois still went on with his harangue. There presently occurred in the opera a passage of extraordinary beauty, and Mrs. Althorpe began to be annoyed by the unceasing voice behind her. Her impatience presently got the better of her courtesy.

“Tell Mr. Thingembob there to hush,” said she to Mr. Temple.

But the discourse still continued, and above the rapid din of words could be occasionally heard, “Napoleon,” “genius,” and “We have but one life to live.”

Mrs. Althorpe turned round.

“Mr. Nivernois, hush!”

Mr. Nivernois was silent. Mrs. Althorpe relented of her severity, and began to fear that the unfortunate man might pine away in despair under the infliction of her rebuke. She turned round again with one of her most gracious smiles, and begged the favor of his company at supper after the opera.

The passage in the play struck most of the company in the box as new; they did not remember to have heard it at the previous representations of the opera. The house seemed to agree with them as to its beauty. It was called for a second and even a third time, and the applause was loud and long.

“What do you think of that?” said Mrs. Althorpe to Nivernois.

“Read the prophecies of Isaiah to this people,” he replied; “if they applaud that fittingly, I should think their praise of this worth something.”

In a few moments, he left the box. Presently the leader of the orchestra came in, between the acts.

“I thought I saw Mr. Nivernois here.”

“He has just gone. But where did you get that magnificent passage you just played? It surely does not belong to the play.”

“You are indebted to Mr. Nivernois for it. He gave me, the other day, a mass of musical manuscripts of his own composition. I picked this out of them, not as being by any means the best, but the most suited for insertion in this play. He has more genius than all the men I have ever seen put together; but he has abandoned composition, because he says it is impossible to beat Bellini. The violin that I played with to-night was presented to him by Paganini, as a mark of his admiration; he gave it to me.”

“I wonder that he would part with such a gift,” said Miss Stanhope.

“I believe that he gave it to me,” said the other, “lest he should seem to himself to value the tribute of any man.”

“What a singular person he must be!” said Miss Stanhope, who had been much struck with his appearance, and greatly interested by the oddness and novelty of his character.

The company which had formed Mrs. Althorpe’s cortège at the opera, together with two or three other invited guests, were seated around her small but elegant supper-table. A double circle of wax candles in an or-molu chandelier, which hung over the centre of it, cast their pure white light upon the numerous silver dishes and richly cut glass which covered it. After a little while, Mr. Nivernois strode into the room. He was a small man, and the strides which he made were as long as himself. He took his place in a vacant seat which had been reserved for him, opposite to Miss Stanhope. They were talking about Napoleon. He listened in silence, till a pause occurred.

“When nature had finished making the devils,” said he, pouring out for himself a capacious goblet of Chambertin, “it threw together all the rubbish that remained, and out of it formed Napoleon.”

Miss Stanhope laughed. “Do you mean that for praise or censure, Mr. Nivernois?”

“Napoleon’s soul,” he replied, “was something larger than to be enkernelled in the shell of any definition. Put together all the moral epithets the lexicons furnish, of wisdom and of folly, of greatness and of littleness, of magnanimity and meanness, force and feebleness, and every thing else, and fling the whole mass, in a lump, at his character, and you may have some chance of hitting the mark. It would be difficult to say anything of him that would be wholly false; impossible to say anything altogether true. When you have circumnavigated him, you have sailed round the whole world. His character was somewhat like the poet’s vision of the temple of Fame. On one side you behold the severe and classic beauty of a Doric front, with images of antique strength and grace: on another, the grandeur and the gloom of a Gothic structure: on a third, the pride and splendor and magnificent exaggeration of Eastern pomp: on the fourth, the dull, impenetrable mystery of Egypt. His spirit was as various as the morning sky, and his chamberlain, on two successive days, never woke up the same man. The truth is, his life was an acted drama; not of the Æschylus kind, with some unity in it, but a Nat Lee drama of five-and-twenty acts. If we take it that he displayed his sincere character, and was that which he appeared to be, we must conclude that he was a glorious fool, among greater fools; a madman, whose frenzy was, however, the fatality of Europe. So viewed, he was born for bombast, as a trout for rising; his sentences have not a grain of sense to five quarts of syllables; a fortunate adventurer, who appeared at such a conjuncture of politics that his daring served him for talent, his selfishness for sagacity, his passion for power. But I suppose that Bonaparte always wore the buskin; that the historical Napoleon was but a character which the real one put on to dazzle and delude the fancies of men, and fire their passions, till, drunk as with wine, they might be bound and led by him. In his own more actual being, he was a cold, calculating, shrewd and wholly interested schemer. His performances were always for the author’s benefit. This Garrick sometimes blundered in the assumed characters in which he spent his life. He too frequently mistook ferocity for majesty; imagined he was royal when he was only brutal, and thought he was playing the hero when he was only playing the fool. He assumed the madman, generally, when he dealt with men, and only put on the blackguard when he talked to women. He knew the truth of Bacon’s saying that there is in human nature more of the fool than of the wise, and that that which addresses itself to the foolish part of men’s minds will prevail over that which speaks to the wiser. He built a great temple of delusion, in which he, the priest, should continually shout “Glory,” and all the people answer “Amen.” His breast was a natural mirror and antitype of all the passions and follies of the fools called Frenchmen. By studying his own foolishness, he knew what ropes to pull to make their fool’s bells jingle. He is, therefore, of the weaknesses and worser powers of men, the ablest metaphysician that has appeared. One of his remarks opens the mind, as snuff opens the head. He was a poet in practice. Sydney’s rule, “Fool! look into thy heart and write,” he obeyed; and wrote empires. Of course, an adventitious power like this cannot be measured; in fact, when supplied by so seething a fancy and so combining an intellect as he had, it is altogether illimitable; he had only to conceive a new idea to possess a new power. He therefore belongs to that class of men of whom Du Quesnay has said that one and one make a hundred and eleven. When you can define the genius of Shakspeare, you will be able to describe the character of Napoleon; the two things are cognate. As we see him, he was not an entity, but a mere crystallization of ideas, which were continually depositing around him like the successive layers of an oyster shell. A philosophical Haüy might split off crystal after crystal of ideas, and he would find the ultimate crystal still an idea. Every thing of him was visionary, and not substance. Squeeze him in your hand, and he crushes like a dandy’s locks. Try that process on such a man as Wellington, and you soon feel the bone. In sooth, the Duke is all bone.”

“But you would not think of comparing Wellington and Napoleon,” said Mr. Temple.

“No more than I would compare the frothy forms of the rock with the granite substance of the Alps. There are some sentiments,” said he, with a fervent, suppressed tone, “which lie so deep within us that they seem to be a part of our souls; in me, veneration of Wellington is such. Since the Duke of Marlborough was buried, there has not lived, nor lives there, a man to whom I bow with an entire reverence, excepting Wellington. When I stood face to face with him, I felt how truly Scott had said that he was the only man in whose presence he felt himself nothing.”

“But do you think that he has Bonaparte’s genius?”

“Perhaps not; but where you see a man who is great without genius, you see the greatest kind of man the world knows any thing of; and where you see a poet who prevails without passion, you see an order of poetry high and enduring; such, on the one hand, is Wellington; on the other, Pope. All that such men do is done by force of intellect and might of character, and the results are true and permanent.”

“No doubt the Duke is a great man.”

“A greater there never lived. It is the misfortune of this age that it has no guides or leaders; no profound, thinking men, who, knowing the past and caring for the future, can judge rightly of the present, and give laws to the opinions of the time. Now, the multitude decide on every thing for themselves; and every thing is despised which is beyond the taste of the vulgar. Napoleon was essentially a hero for the vulgar; fools, who have no idea of power but in tumult, or of strength but in struggle, cannot comprehend the calm, unapproachable grandeur of Wellington—a grandeur too high for sympathy. I have studied him in his despatches; I have talked with him—I have seen him all round—there is in that man more of innate, imperturbable greatness than in all the world beside. When Napoleon was about to strike a blow, he raised up around him a cloud, a very tempest, of passions and fancies, through which every thing was magnified and mistaken. Wellington goes to work plainly, indifferently, frigidly, and it is only by the result that you recognise in scena Roscium. In the deep perturbation which came over the spirit of Napoleon when he essayed any vast work: in the mighty effort, the tremendous strain—inevitably successful though it may have been—you see one whose undertakings are above his nature; who must lash his energies to make them efficient enough. In the cool, common-place, regular, business-like proceedings of Wellington—never erring or unprosperous—we behold one whose native, unalterable strength is so high that the loftiest enterprise is to him not exciting; who, in conquering glory, is doing his ordinary work. His trade was to be always successful, and he was perfect master of it. There is the same difference between the two that there is between the youth and manhood of genius: in the former, more fervor and greater consciousness of power; in the latter, far more real might. The distinction may be marked by the names of the two demons who, in Æschylus, bind Prometheus to the rock; one was Force, the other Strength. There is the same diversity which exists between the calm, grey light of the sun, and the lurid, flashing, noisy brilliance of fire-works. Wellington is the representative of the genius of England, which, from the beginning of history, bearing aloft the standard of integrity, good sense and solid freedom, has stood like a rock in the sea of human passions and powers: one while baffling the frantic tyranny of the Papacy, and at another stamping under its iron heel the struggling fiend of Jacobinism. Napoleon is the type of France—a nation which has no power save of paroxysms, and cannot cease to be frivolous but by becoming ferocious. Wellington rides through life like a Tartar horseman, with one perpetual posture, that of the lance in rest; with one fixed gaze, that on the object of his attack. Napoleon scoured through his existence like a monkey on a circus horse, brandishing a flag, stooping over his nag’s head or under his body, jumping down to jump up again, and all to gain the wonder and applause of the spectators; going round and round, and ending where he began. I must finish the parallel by saying that his course was marked out for him by the whip of a base necessity. Napoleon was the slave and courtier of opinion, which he at length flattered into the belief that it was a master. Wellington despised and neglected opinion, till it has come fawning about his feet. Vanity had grasped Napoleon by the throat, and he was her garlanded victim. You never see in Wellington that sycophancy to circumstances, that obsequiousness to fortune. He seized Destiny by the collar, and fairly swung her round. Consider the wonderful, sublime achievement of Assaye; study the political skill which he displayed in the Peninsula, the miraculous combination of ingenuity, temper, firmness and authority by which he threw order into a chaos of difficulties, and, himself alone, sustained a world of jarring interests; contemplate the glorious action of the Arapeiles, of which Austerlitz was a dull and broken reflection; ponder the campaign of Torres Vedras, the master-piece of art, the wonder of history—a conception as felicitous as the brightest of Newton’s, and executed with a perfection which delights the observer even to mirthfulness—a model of beauty in war, by which victory was reduced to certainty, and war became one of the exact sciences: review these, and tell me by what proofs of intellectual power in Napoleon’s history they are exceeded. Remember, too, that of all Wellington’s doings we have unvarnished and exact accounts; while of Napoleon’s actions we have in many cases only the statements of himself, the most enormous liar that ever breathed the upper air. Wellington was a great man; Napoleon was a child, who, by the despair of an infinite and hopeless ambition, had strengthened himself into a giant.”

“There is this remarkable consideration in Wellington’s case, that the whole of his wide and free career was wholly run within the limits of duty. In that respect, no man in history may be compared with him, except Belisarius. What such men do is done without the inspiration of the passions.”

“Yes: when a man flings himself free from all human ties, and is self-hurled into the infinite abandonment of the lusts of the mind, his soul becomes charged with the might and the magnificence of all the fires of Hell. The infernal saints all minister their power to his spirit:—Vanity, with its craving eyes—Pride, with its vaulting restlessness—the steel-tipped thongs of Ambition, the fiendish vigor of Despair. It was a dangerous thing to conquer Napoleon; he recoiled from defeat with the spring of a demon. When you remember that Wellington had neither this power, which was possessed by Alexander and Gustavus and Napoleon, nor yet the religious enthusiasm of Cromwell, but did all by the natural and native strength of his ordinary intellect, you must yield him a respect which the others cannot share. He has considered that, in politics as in geometry, the shortest line is the straightest. Napoleon was made up of artifice, of which Mirabeau has said that it may indicate intellect, but it never exists in intellect of a superior order, unless accompanied with meanness of heart; it is a lie in action, and it springs from fear and personal interest, and consequently from meanness.”

“To be sure, the moral eminence of the men will bear no comparing.”

“Persons of great souls and lofty meditations recognise the dignity of nature even in the degradation of fate. They are conscious of its great origin, its mournful condition, its high destiny; henceforth there is for them no scorn, but a sympathising tolerance, a respectful compassion. Napoleon’s moral power was the power of ferocious contempt; it was based upon a disdainful hatred of his species. Depend upon it, that no thinking man can cherish an habitual disgust who has himself a soul, or abhor his fellows who has any self-respect. You find in Wellington none of these wild, these savage sentiments, these extremenesses of counsel or of motive. He is always sane, practical, right-hearted and right-minded. His actions illustrate that useful wisdom which the affairs of life demand, and I know no writer from whom so valuable precepts may be learned. In or out of Oxford, he has been the hardest student of his times; for the saddle is, after all, the true chair of thought. As for Napoleon being great, it seems to me that the idea is an absurdity. Alfred, William the Conqueror, Charlemagne, these were great men; and such men build up all that is built, and the history of a nation from their time till you come to another great man, is only the record of pulling down what they built up. But Napoleon pulled down everything, and built up nothing. He built, to be sure, ideally or in opinion; that is, he made systems and structures and constitutions, on paper, notionally, and by name, but not in things, in substance, of the elements of real existence; else by a word, or a reversed look, they could not have been destroyed. What the hand creates, only the thousand hands of Time can destroy; what the breath makes, a breath obliterates, for the thing made was no more than a breath. Draw a line around certain states on the map, and call it the confederation of the Rhine; give geographical nicknames to a quantity of soldiers, and call it an aristocracy: behold the creations of Napoleon! Alfred established tithings, hundred courts and county courts; that principle of self-government—for the administration of law is the most important part of government—that little flame, shrined in those humble vestal temples, and there kept safe against the blasts of ages of tyranny’s turbulence, blazed up eight centuries later, and wrapt the throne of Charles in combustion. Plantaganet kings might call their system an absolute monarchy; the Tudors and Stuarts might diffuse the idea of divine right; but Alfred, by establishing juries and the common law, had made the thing republic, and that was sure to beat down the name, monarchy. Call you a man great whose life-work is swept away in half an hour, without any principle of re-action or re-establishment showing itself? Nay, his works always carried with them the germ of their own destruction. The light that shone around his system was the phosphorescence of decay.”

“This much,” said Mr. Temple, “may be said for Napoleon, that he raised himself to absoluteism without degrading others to slavery.”

“Why, ’tis a monkey’s trick to mount up on people’s heads. Richelieu got there, as a man does; not by walking up men’s backs, but by making them stoop for him to get on. In effect, the true and bright view of Napoleon’s empire is, to consider it a democracy. Viewed as a monarch, rising and reigning in a constitution fashioned after the old forms, he was a mountebank and an impostor; considered as the controlling spirit in a democracy of powerful spirits, the head-idea in a nation—tumult of ideas—the odd man who is pushed up in a crowd of men—he becomes a spectacle of wonder, a riddle of infinite wisdom. The last of the old system, he is nothing; the first of a new one, everything. Regarded as the type of that democratic system which will overrun the world, his empire is a splendid, infinitely-crowded rehearsal of the coming drama of ages. He who would understand the whole nature, power and philosophy of democracy, must study that empire. Many thoughts belong to that subject. But I have harangued too long. Pitt was the man who said with absolute truth, that Napoleon was “the child and champion of democracy.” The spectacle of the force of old monarchy in the person of the stern, iron duke, slowly advancing and destroying this young system, is the picture of the gloomy Saturn relentlessly devouring his joyous giant-boys. The Jupiter of that old deity nestles yet a babe near his bosom; his begetting was in Pitt’s time, his birth at the Reform Bill.”

“Napoleon must certainly be tried by new principles of judgment. The maxims upon which the fame of Turenne and Marlboro’ has been settled, will not give him his true position.”

“Napoleon made glory according to a receipt of his own. But the misfortune is, that he not only imposed this false stuff upon us, but he revolutionized the chemistry by which its spuriousness should be detected. He depraved the opinions, and bent backwards the consciences of people. But upon the whole, I think we may say, that in life, the most beautiful of the fine arts, his taste was anything but classical. He belonged to the David school, and painted on the canvass of Time, such pictures as that man hung up in the Louvre—bombast conceptions, executed in the daub. But after all he was a splendid creature; he made a glorious pastime in Europe; he showed the world a magnificent sport; he filled the pages of history with matter which possessed an endless interest. Strike out his career, and what blankness remains! The truth is, this life of ours is enveloped in endless coverings, coats, over-coats and blankets of common-place—an atmosphere of common-place, dull, dense, unbreathable—a waking, inlaid with sleep—life overlaid with death. Walled in, and under-buried in a mass of tedium, one cannot get one’s breath. Sometimes, the world becomes intensely conscious of this imprisonment, and goes mad in trying to get free from itself. What wonder, if suffocated by being wrapped in a dun, drowsy, over-growing thraldom of common-place—its eye sick with sameness, its ear vexed with a cracked monotony, its soul should grow convulsive, become volcanic, and throwing off the whole disgusting encumbrance of the social system, it should rush forth to the free wilderness where it may once more see the fresh, eternal stars, and breathe a living air. And we must thank Napoleon for his battles; for war is the glory of our disgraced existence. Struggle is the parent of all the greatness of our being. It is only when minds wrestle in the energy of desperation with other minds, or with things, as in war, that the last degrees of intellectual and moral power are seen. The literary man goes half to sleep, and keeps awake only enough to purr his satisfaction at his demi-unconsciousness. In this world we must fight even to keep ourselves alive. The politicians of this piping time doze away their days as if they had a hundred existences to enjoy: as if life were a chair to loll in, a corridor to walk, or a hall to dance in, and not a general battle-field on which to fight for everything.”

There was that in the appearance and manner of Mr. Nivernois—his eye, his glowing countenance, the intense life which there was about him, rendered amiable by an entire simplicity of spirit—which was admirably adapted to captivate the heart and fancy of a woman, especially an enthusiastic one. What effect had been produced upon the imaginative temperament of Miss Stanhope, we cannot say. As she was going away, Mrs. Althorpe said to her,

“This Mr. Nivernois is certainly a man of genius, but he is mad, stark mad—like Mazeppa’s steed—

Wild as the wild deer, and untaught,

With spur and bridle undefiled.

But he has blood and fortune. I sincerely wish you would take him in hand and tame him: he is worthy of your attention, and if properly brought under, would make a great addition to good society.”

The next day Nivernois was walking in the street and had his attention attracted by a sign-board, which gave notice of a gallery of pictures. Having nothing better to do, he went into it. The collection was a good one, and he spent some time in looking at different productions of the old masters. The feeling which chiefly occupied his mind was regret that genius so exalted as many of these artists possessed should have left no monument more durable than a perishing canvass, which would one day cause all that marvellous skill to be nothing but a name. His eye was presently drawn to a portrait of a young lady of singular beauty. The picture was a fresh one, and he thought that he had seen the features before, but where or when, he could not remember. The side of the figure was presented, with the face turned round over the shoulder towards the spectator. Her dress was blue; a laced veil was on her head, and in her hand a bouquet of flowers, around which was a band on which was the word “Love.”

“Beautiful creature!” said he aloud, as he gazed upon the portrait, “and whom do you love?”

“Thee,” faintly said a soft voice above him. He started and looked up. There was a gallery above, and upon it a door covered by a curtain. He saw the curtain move as if some one retreated rapidly through it, and he thought that he had caught a glimpse of a blue dress. He ran rapidly up to the gallery and through the curtained door, in hopes of discovering the speaker, perhaps the original of the portrait. He searched every apartment of the building, but in vain: no one was to be found. He returned to the picture and sat down before it.

“Love!” said he, “what is that? I never thought of it before.” The portrait hung near to an open door, through which the soft air of spring was bearing the enchanting odour of a bed of violets which grew in the garden: above was the rich softness of the blue sky. As he sat amid influences so soothing, and gazed upon the overpowering beauty of those splendid features, on which a hazy sunlight coming through a window in the roof, threw a more peculiar lustre there arose within the stern, constrained, and wholly intellectual being of this earnest, scheming man, the slow but strong movement of a passion which he never before had known. The rigid stress of mind, so long kept up—the high-wound force of feeling, so necessary, yet so painful—softened and melted away in the delicious mildness of sentiment that flowed in upon his nature. It wrestled, did that sentiment, with the cold hardness of that logical frame of being, as the still growing wind with the outer barriers of a thick forest, and gradually burst in and wandered where it pleased. The disdainful solitude of soul in which he had fortified himself against a hostile world, was changing into a spirit which fraternized with all the universe. It was the birth of sympathy within a bosom before entirely and fiercely personal.

“Where has it kept so long?—this soft, this delicate emotion?” said he. As the blue zephyr, born amidst the depths of the sky, raises and opens out the dried, mast-bound sail of some long-locked bark, and floats away the vessel into seas of unknown loveliness, so did this delicious sentiment expand and quicken that spirituality which had before lain senseless and collapsed. It diffused a joy and beauty like that of the golden sunshine gleaming into a clouded forest, flowing and flashing with an ever brightening splendor, rolling a yellow flowerage over the mind, vesting the trees in airy robes of silver, and spreading through the teeming woods a mysterious troop of shadows, the dusky-haired daughters of light. Like the refreshing rain upon the fevered earth, there fell upon his spirit a fragrant shower of soft hopes and immortal dreams. The rough and hardened bough was become a branch of leaves and fruits. He who had dwelt ever in the outwardness of thought, first entered the portals of the inner world of feeling: he who had been ever passionate only to DO, recognized a state in which to BE was bliss, to move was ecstacy.

Such is the passionate constitution of genius that its mental nature, “like a cloud, moves all together, if it move at all;” the moral being of men of that stamp, intense and entire, never conceives an idea of character or life, but it straightway throws forth all its energy to realize that idea in its imaginary completeness: impelled towards evil, they dash downwards with a frenzied force and reach a depth of degradation at which colder sinners are astounded: when but one aspiration dawns in their bosom, they spring up from the shores of that gulph, and soaring above the clouds, wave in the sparkling sun their fresh-plumed wings with not one feather moulted: they can mould all their thinkings in the form and pressure of pure logic; and again their feelings will be expanding in all the chastened feelings of luxurious sentiments. These changes make genius a puzzle to its companions, but delicious to itself.

It is not wonderful then if this man rose from that seat another being. But the picture was still the centre and object of his thoughts. Rare indeed, and transcendant was the beauty of that countenance: a depth of passion, and an elevation of thought were characterized upon it, which fired the imagination of the youth who gazed. He thought that he had seen those features before; but where, and how? He had a faint impression that Miss Stanhope might be the person. But in fact, so little had he been interested in woman before, that he had scarce paid any attention to her appearance—had no distinct remembrance of her face. Supposing that the voice which he had heard had proceeded from the original of the picture, and that it indicated that he was loved by her, he was deeply anxious to discover who it was.

He pulled a bell which he discovered near the door, and there issued forth in reply from a small door, an old gray-haired man, very tall, and bent like a crozier.

“What picture is this?” said Nivernois.

“Why, it’s a portrait,” said the old man, with a look of great contempt at the simplicity of the question.

From the tone in which he shouted, it seemed that he added deafness to his other virtues.

“Of whom?”

“A lady,” roared the other, with increased scorn.

“True; but of what lady is it the portrait?”

“Oh, I don’t know;” and he began to hobble back to his cage.

“Is it for sale?”

“No: none of them are for sale; none of them; not one of them:” and he closed the door behind him.

Nivernois walked up to the picture, took it down from the nail, unscrewed the board behind it, and rolling up the canvass, put it under his arm and marched out of the room.

When he reached the street he saw a woman dressed in blue passing round the corner. From a glimpse which he had of her features he thought it was the picture-lady. He darted forward, but the street which she had turned into was vacant. There stood a large double house at the corner, and beyond it there was a garden wall of some length; he concluded that she must have gone into that house. He rushed in, and turning into the first door he came to, found himself in an elegant drawing-room in which there were a dozen persons paying morning visits.

“Humph! humph!” said he, as he scrutinized the face of every woman in the circle, and found that the object of his search was not among them. He took up a volume that lay on the table, it was lettered “Love.” He walked towards a grand piano which stood open, with a piece of music on the frame. The music was entitled “Love.”

“Love!” said he; “Love! wherever I go this morning, it is still love. I will give you my ideas of love.” He took off his hat, and laying down his roll in it, seated himself before the instrument.

He began with some sad and heavy strains which might express the joylessness of a breast which was a stranger to sympathy. The music was cheerless, monotonous, and full of startling discords. Presently there struck into this painful turbulence a light strain of delicious melody, like a sunbeam bursting into the primal chaos. It extended and gathered strength, and the disorder of the rest gradually subsided, and melted away to give place to it. Then there arose the most brilliant and enchanting notes that that instrument had ever given forth; a flood of varied rapture flowed out. It was the picture of a world of bliss; a world whose turf was of the choicest flowers,—whose breezes were airs from paradise,—whose sky knew not the color of a cloud.

The performer turned his head round and got a glimpse through the window of some one passing along the street.

“There she goes!” he exclaimed, and seizing his hat and roll, rushed out with the same vehemence that he had entered, leaving the company not a little astonished at the oddity of his behaviour.

When he got into the street, nothing was to be seen; “I must discover that woman,” said he; “what is life to me, if I cannot find her? All my happiness is garnered in her being; to enjoy my own soul, I must possess her: to live, I must live with her. By the bye, I must have done rather an absurd thing in going into that house and playing on the piano, without knowing any body. By Jove, I’ll go back and apologize. Ah! ha! there is Mrs. Althorpe going in; she will present me.”

When they got into the room, the company which had been there had gone, and the lady of the house was sitting alone. Mrs. Althorpe called her Mrs. Stanhope.

“Madam,” said Mr. Nivernois, “I just met an eccentric friend of mine going out of the door, who I imagine must have made a most unauthorized entry into your house, in a fit of absence, and behaved in a very ridiculous manner, when in it. In fact, he requested me to offer on his behalf the fullest apology for his maniacal conduct, and to beg from your courtesy an act of oblivion. He is a harmless madman,—one of that numerous class who are suffered by their friends to go abroad without strait-jackets.”

“Any friend of yours,” said Mrs. Stanhope, “is extremely welcome to come into my house at all times; and even had the eccentricities of this gentleman been at all objectionable, we should have been more than compensated by the admirable display which he made upon the piano. As a pupil of Calebrenner’s, I consider myself something of a judge; and I never heard so rich a strain of harmony.”

“Why, as for that, I do not know that he differs materially from any one else. Everybody carries a Marengo, a Childe Harold, and a Sonnambula in his blood; the only difficulty is to get them out.”

“Pray, Mr. Nivernois,” said Mrs. Althorpe, with a certain look of a high bred woman, not unmixed with something of comic, “What is it you have under your arm.”

“Portable bliss,—the potentiality of a happiness beyond the dreams of one who is not a lover,—ecstasy in a roll,—perfect delight on canvass;” and he opened the picture and held it up.

Mrs. Althorpe made a sign to Mrs. Stanhope to be silent.

“Do you know whose portrait it is?” said Mrs. Althorpe.

“I cannot for my life discover.”

“Do you then so much wish to find the original?”

“A question, truly! I do.”

“Is it not beautiful?”

“Is not what beautiful?”

“The painting.”

“I cannot speak of these matters now. For the moment I am at war with virtû. It may be divine—perhaps it is so. One thing I feel—the impotence of the artist. What he has succeeded in en-canvassing speaks only to my soul of a more radiant loveliness—that of motion, of thought, of heart—for which the pencil has no outline, the pallet no dye.”

“You are an enigma, and my query is unanswered. I will put it in another form. Is she not beautiful?”

“She is.”

“How did you become possessed of the picture?”

“I saw it in the exhibition, and as they refused to sell it to me, I cut it out and brought it away.”

Mrs. Althorpe fell back into her chair, overpowered by irresistible laughter at the oddness of the incident, and the solemn gravity with which Nivernois stood eyeing the picture. An idea occurred to her by which she might give this matter a turn to her mind.

“I cannot imagine, of course,” said she, “whose portrait it is. But if you will come to my house to-night, I shall have some young ladies there, and it is possible that the fair original may be among them. We shall have tableaux vivants, and I think you will find it pleasant.”

“I will come with the utmost pleasure, even if the lady be not there.”

“And when I say that the party will be pleasant, I imply thereby an invitation to Mrs. Stanhope, who of course can make it so. But, Mr. Nivernois, are you not afraid that the officers of justice will be after you for abstracting that picture?”

“Oh! I am only taking it to be copied; after that I shall take it back.”

“Well! put up your roll then, and we will go.”

When they had walked some distance, Mrs. Althorpe took leave of him, and bent her steps again towards Mrs. Stanhope’s.

In the evening, Mr. Nivernois went to Mrs. Althorpe’s. The tableaux were exhibited in the hall: the company stood at one end, and a curtain was drawn at the other, behind which was the frame. They went off with great effect. The first was the Magdalen of Corregio, a recumbent figure, “with loose hair and lifted eye,” the light thrown strongly upon a volume open before her. The second and third were scenes from the Corsair. While the fourth was preparing, Mr. Nivernois got engaged in explaining to a person near him a new method by which tableaux might be presented in a much more striking manner, and he did not take notice of the rising of the curtain, until he heard several of the company exclaiming, “Beautiful!”—“how beautiful!” He turned and beheld the very picture which he had that day been contemplating: the glorious features, the blue dress, the veil falling over the back, the head turned round over the shoulder. He stepped a little forward, and his keen eye caught the glance of the performer; there was a momentary wavering, a blush, the face was turned aside, and the curtain fell. Nivernois passed into a room at the side, and hastened towards the place where the pictures were shown. He found three or four persons there engaged in arranging the next performance. A door stood open in the rear leading into a large and very elegant garden. He looked out, and through the bright moonlight saw among the bushes a female figure. He rushed forth; the lady fled, but soon stopped by the limits of the ground, turned her head round, and again presented the living portrait of the morning. It was Miss Stanhope. He seized her hand in both of his.

“Oh! glorious being!” he exclaimed, “accept the homage of my soul. Take all the worship of my being. I love you beyond the expression of all words.”

She timidly extended towards him the bouquet which she had.

“Give me the motto with the flowers,” said he, “and you make me the happiest of mankind.”

There was a soft consenting in her form and gestures, though she spoke not. He pressed her to his bosom, and kissed her glowing cheek, I do not know how often. He took her hand and they sat down upon a bench; a bed of violets beneath their feet, the bright young foliage around them, and above, the glittering moon smiling a pearly lustre on the floating clouds.

“Thou art, within my soul, a birth of happiness and peace. I have been, of all men, the most ambitious: not as valuing the opinions of the world, for I am not yet sunk so low; but that I might in the interest of action and creation find some comfort to my spirit. I have had some applause; as much as satisfied the most craving vanity of many around me. It wearied and fretted me unutterably, and as praise increased, I feared to go mad with the anguish of disappointment. In this distress of an intellect always seeking but incapable of finding, thy gentle beauty beamed upon my heart. It awoke therein life and a fountain of light. Yet was it not its own light, but the reflection of thy glorious lustre; as in the blank waters on a starry night we recognise the impassioned splendor of the heavens. I have placed thee within my heart; and henceforth shall I find thee, forever, a source of joy and a spring of inspiration.”





“My harp also is turned to mourning.—Where is God my Maker, who giveth songs in the night?”

The flush of young Hope, and the smile have departed,

  That tinted my cheek—that enlivened my brow;

In sackcloth I sit, with the desolate-hearted,

  And hushed is the song of my mirthfulness now.

All Nature rejoiceth to welcome gay Summer:

  The out-going morn “walks in beauty” more bright;

And the streamlet replenished, forgetting its murmur,

  Is dancing along in the gush of delight.


All, all save my heart, beats responsive to Nature!

  In vain do I hear the sweet warbling of birds,

In vain the rejoicing of each living creature—

  The bleat of the lambs, or the low of the herds;

My spirit returneth no echo of gladness;

  “The harp of the heart,” by affliction unstrung,

Can only reply in the numbers of sadness,

  Or, silent with grief, on the willows is hung.


Great Parent of Nature! if to the bleak mountains,

  The light of thy smile bringeth verdure again;

Doth gladden the desert with palm trees and fountains,

  And scatter new beauties o’er valley and plain;

If the wealth of thy bounty, in showers descending,

  Can make “the waste-places” bloom fresh as the rose;

And thy rainbow of promise, in loveliness bending

  Upon the dark cloud, hush the storms to repose;


Oh! cannot the light of thy favor awaken

  The well-springs of joy in a desolate heart,

And clothe with new verdure the bosom forsaken

  Of all that could pleasure or solace impart?

And hast thou not showers for the spirit’s refreshing,

  And songs in the night-time of sorrow to give?

Then open thy windows and pour down a blessing—

  O smile! and this wilderness heart shall revive.

Cedar Brook, Plainfield, N. J.


  Arch imitator! ’mid thy varied tone,

  That revels so acquisitively sweet,

  Rivalling e’en Nature’s self, when doth thine own

  Wild native air my rapt delusion greet?

  Hast thou a voice to echo every note

  Of liquid melody that erst hath dwelt

  ’Mid the greenwood, or where soft zephyrs float:

Yet of thine own hath not, in ecstacy to melt?


  What modulation, what inflected grace,

  Breathes through the volume of that warbling spell!

  An intonation clear, that doth embrace

  The woven minstrelsy from rock to dell.

  The spring-tide melody, the summer lay,

  The plaintiveness of darkly shadow’d night—

  Who hath her choral charms, as beaming day—

These in their change are thine, to ’wilder and delight.


  That rich, full swell of sweetness and of force,

  That seem’d to wrap thy life-stream with the song,

  In its wild strength—as struggling springs their source,

  Break, and are borne in murm’ring sounds along:

  Say, was it thine?—thy Parent-giving strain,

  The innate warbling of thy purer soul,

  That gush’d, as if it would to bowers attain

Where flowers unwith’ring bloom, and strains divine e’er roll?


  But ah! again to earth that half-fled sprite

  Sinks, in the beauty of some well-known air,

  Less free and joyous, in its raptur’d flight,

  Than the wild touching thrill that spoke thee there.

  Kindred of thine own vocalizing race,

  Yet of surpassing skill and strength of flow—

  Illimitably varied—where we trace

The wondrous spell of mystery, we seek to know.


  Gay, spry deceiver, from thy covert nigh,

  Methinks I hear the myriad of thy clime

  Pouring sweet incense through the southern sky,

  In the free rapture of each gift divine;

  Yet all successive—one continuous swell

  Of silvery softness from the fount of love;

  The mellow wood-notes, or the screaming yell,

Attest thy perfect art—thy imitations prove.


  Oh, spirit-bird! to man thou hast been sent,

  To teach Omnipotence by gush of song,

  Bringing bright thoughts of goodness, that is blent

  In all that gladdens—all that glides along—

  And if, perchance, this teaching be not vain,

  To win him upward, where he may rejoice

  ’Mid holy love, pure scenes, and sacred strain

Of heavenly praise, such as I hear from thee, thou voice!


                                       A. F. H.






I was standing one sultry afternoon, by the weather railing, gazing listlessly over the schooner’s side, and indulging in such reveries as crowd upon the mind in our moments of idleness, when my attention was called to the cry of the look-out that a sail was hovering to windward; and gazing out in that direction I was soon enabled to detect a white speck far up on the seaboard in that quarter, bearing as much resemblance, in the eye of an unpractised observer, to the wing of a sea-gull, as to what we knew it really to be—the royal of a man-of-war. In an instant all was bustle on our decks. The men below poured up the gangway: the skulkers came out from under the sides of the guns; the officers gathered eagerly in a knot abaft the mainmast; spy-glasses were put in requisition, shrewd guesses were made respecting the flag of the stranger, and all the curiosity which the sight of an unknown sail produces on board a man-of-war, was displayed in its full force amongst us.

“I think she carries herself like a Frenchman,” said the first lieutenant.

“Pardon me,” said the skipper, “but she lifts as if she were an Englishman.”

“I could swear her to be a Hollander,” said a lieutenant, who had served a while in the navy of the States.

“And were you not all so sure,” interposed a weather-beaten quarter-master, whose boast it was that he had been at sea for more than forty years, “I should say yon saucy braggart was a real Spaniard, such as Kid would have given ten years of his life to be alongside of, for a matter of a bell or so;” and having delivered himself of these remarks, the old fellow coolly turned his quid, and squirted a stream of tobacco juice like the jet of a force-pump, over the schooner’s side.

“At any rate, gentlemen,” said the captain, “the stranger doesn’t seem to bring down much of a breeze with him, so that we shall have plenty of time to form our conclusions before it becomes necessary to act. If he should even prove to be an enemy, night may be here before he gets within range, and under cover of the darkness we can easily escape him. The little Fire-Fly has done too much mischief, and been too lucky heretofore, to be lost now.”

The day had been unusually sultry. A light breeze had ruffled the ocean in the morning, but about two bells in the afternoon watch the wind had died away, and an almost dead calm had succeeded. The sea became as flat as a mirror, its polished surface only heaving in long gentle undulations, like the bosom of some sleeping monster. Not a ripple broke upon its whole extent. The sky was cloudless: the rays of the sun, pouring almost vertically downwards, and penetrating even through the awning overhead, heated the deck till it became like a furnace beneath the feet. The air was close, stifling, noisome. The men cowered under the shade of the bulwarks, or hung panting over the schooner’s side. The sea glowed like molten silver. Occasionally a slight gurgling sound under the cutwater would remind us that the deep was not wholly motionless; but excepting this, and now and then the feeble creaking of a block, no sound broke the oppressive silence around.

At length, however, a slight breeze was seen ruffling the sea upon the seaboard; and when the wind came up toward us, curling the ocean here and there into mimic breakers, and when especially it swept with refreshing coolness across our decks, we experienced sensations of the most exquisite delight, and such as no one can imagine, who has not felt, after a sultry calm, the first kiss of the long-wished-for breeze. A new life was imparted into our men. The sails were set, and we once more began to hear the sound of the wind in the hamper, and of the waves rushing along our sides. It was, however, only a two-knot breeze. Such, with but little variation, it had continued to be up to the discovery of the stranger.

For half an hour and more after our look-outs had detected the sail to windward, we managed to keep away sufficiently to maintain the distance we had first possessed. But gradually the wind freshened; the billows began to roll their white crests over in the sun-light; the sails strained under the press of the breeze; and the waters, rippling loud and fast under our bows, went plashing along our sides with a gurgling noise, and then hissed by the rudder as they were whirled away astern.

“What a provoking breeze!” said Westbrook. “Here we are at a convenient distance, as O’Shaughnessy would say, from yonder chap, having besides the whole night before us to plan an escape from his clutches, and lo! a breeze springs up just when it ought to be calm, leaving us at the mercy of our huge friend up here, with a prospect of dangling from a yard-arm if he turns out to be an Englishman.”

“Shure an we’ll blow ourselves out of water,” said O’Shaughnessy himself, happening to overhear the conclusion of Westbrook’s remark, “rayther than do that same.”

“And into it also, eh!” said Westbrook.

O’Shaughnessy made no reply, but shrugging his shoulders, the conversation dropped.

The strange sail had by this time been made out to be a three-decker, and so rapidly did he gain on us that we now counted upwards of forty guns on a side. As the breeze freshened, moreover, his velocity increased. Throwing out fold after fold of canvass, until a pyramid of snowy duck rose towering above his decks, and the water rolled in cataracts of foam beneath his gigantic bows, he seemed determined to overtake us before the breeze which he brought with him could by any possibility subside.

Meanwhile we made every effort to escape; but without success. The very freshness of the breeze, owing to our comparatively light canvass, was in favor of our adversary. In vain we threw out every sail; in vain the ropes were hauled as taut as they could be drawn; in vain as a last resort, our sails were wet down even to the trucks—every endeavor to increase our speed only appeared to weary out our crew, without altering the relative velocity of the two ships.

“By my faith! but yonder fellow sails well,” said the skipper, “I little thought anything that carried canvass could come up in this style, hand over hand, to the saucy Fire-Fly. What think you, Mr. Stevens?”

The lieutenant shook his head, and answered,

“I fear, sir, we shall have to choose betwixt a surrender or a hopeless fight.”

“Ay, ay—that’s true,” said the skipper, abstractedly, “but he’s not overhauled us yet, and there’s many a slip betwixt the cup and the lip, you know.”

“Pray God it may be so now!”

By this time the man-of-war had come up within long cannon-shot of the schooner, and just as the lieutenant finished his ejaculation, the stranger luffed beautifully up a point or two, and the next minute a sheet of flame streamed out from one of her bow-guns, and a shot whistling past us aloft, plunged headlong into the sea to leeward. At the same moment a roll of bunting shot up to the gaff of the stranger, and slowly unrolling blew out upon the air.

“The English cross—by all that’s holy!” ejaculated the skipper.

There was a dead silence of more than a minute. Each one looked into his neighbor’s face. The captain, with a compressed lip and a disturbed brow, gazed, without speaking, on the man-of-war; while the discipline of the service, as well as the sudden knowledge of our peril, were sufficient to restrain the officers from conversation. Directly, however, the Englishman luffed again; another sheet of fire blazed from her bows; and a ball, sent this time with more certainty of aim, went through our fore topsail just above the foot.

“Show him the bunting,” growled the captain through his clenched teeth, “and get ready the long gun.”

We looked at each other in mute astonishment. I thought of Paul Jones in a like emergency. But no one dreamed of expostulation, even if such a thing had been allowable from inferiors. The flag was brought.

“Send the bunting aloft.”

“Ay, ay, sir!”

The huge ensign, at the word, fluttered to the gaff, and whipping out on the breeze, disclosed the cognizance of the commonwealth, emblazoned on its surface. No sooner did it unclose its folds than the man-of-war luffed rapidly, and several points more than at either the preceding times; while simultaneously a sheet of continuous fire rolled along his side, and a shower of balls, ploughing up the sea betwixt the two vessels, fell like hail around the schooner. At the same moment I heard a noise like rattling thunder at my side, and looking up I saw the mainsail coming down by the run. Quicker than thought it lay a wreck across the schooner.

“We are sinking,” shouted a voice. It was that of the purser. The terror of the speaker betrayed itself in every tone. “God have mercy on us, for we are going down.”

“Silence, fool!” sternly said the skipper, and then raising his voice he thundered, “what have they hurt?”

“They’ve cut away the throat halyards, and the peak has parted with the strain,” answered the first lieutenant, who, with Westbrook and myself had sprung at once to ascertain the real cause of the alarm.

“Let new ropes be reeved—all hands to your duty—let drive with the long gun.”

The old gunner had been calmly waiting until the momentary confusion should subside; and now, with his usual flourish, he applied the match.

“Hit him, by the Lord Harry—and cut down his topsail,” ejaculated the old sea-dog in high glee, as the stranger’s fore-topsail fell from the cap.

This daring bravado appeared to inflame the haughty Englishman beyond all endurance, for, after the momentary vacillation in his course occasioned by the loss of so important a sail, he put his helm down again, and without losing headway to fire any more unimportant shot, rapidly approached us. Our fate was now, to all appearance, sealed. We gave ourselves up for lost. Dismal recollections of all we had heard respecting the prison-ships of our enemy, or of the more summary punishment of death sometimes inflicted on our countrymen, came crowding on our minds. We looked into each other’s faces in silence, but, though no word was spoken, on every countenance we read the determination of a brave man, to die sooner than to submit. Such a resolution may seem strange to others, but we were like men to whom defeat is worse than death. We could not submit. To us the horrors of a prison-ship were more appalling than those of a grave. We were resolved, if we could not effect an escape, to die at bay.

“I would give a year’s pay,” at length ejaculated the skipper, but in a low tone so as not to be heard by the crew, “if this breeze would but die away here. We should then have a chance, however slight. But to be cooped up like a rat in a hole—it is too bad!”

The sentence had scarcely been concluded, when, as if in answer to the skipper’s aspiration, the breeze blew out in a sudden gust, and then died rapidly away, until it had almost subsided.

“Ah!” said the captain, “my wish has had a magical effect. I’ faith, we’re dropping the Englishman already. Oh! for two hours of calm.”

“And we shall have it soon, though not for long,” said the old quarter-master, for the first time for nearly an hour taking a complete survey of the sky, and shaking his head knowingly, but with something of an ominous gesture. As he concluded his scrutiny, he said, “there’s something brewing off here to leeward which will make us before many hours reel like a drunken man, or my name isn’t Jack Martingale.”

“What mean you?” said the lieutenant.

“You’ve mayhap never sailed in these latitudes, or you would have seen a hurricane afore now,” said the quarter-master. “Well, yonder tiny cloud, down there on the sea-board in a line with that second ratlin, holds in itself such a capful of wind as will drive the stoutest ship like a feather before it—ay! or send Noah’s ark itself, which the parson says was bigger than a fleet of ninety-fours, skimming away swifter than a sea-gull over the seas.”

We all turned in the direction to which the old fellow pointed us, and sure enough, about five or six degrees above the horizon, might be seen a small dark insignificant looking cloud, hanging like a speck upon the azure surface of the sky. Had we not known the quarter-master’s superior experience, the younger portion of our group might have discredited his prophecy. As it was, we were almost incredulous. Yet as we gazed on the little cloud, we noticed that it slowly but steadily increased in size. Our attention, however, was at this moment recalled from the signs to leeward by the renewed demonstrations of an attack on the part of the ninety-four.

The wind, during our short colloquy, I have said, had blown fiercer than ever, and then nearly died away. This partial calm, however, had been of short duration. In a few minutes the breeze was seen ruffling the sea again, from a quarter of the horizon, however, several points to the leeward of its old position. After blowing freshly for a few minutes this gust too ceased. Meantime the enemy had gained little, if anything, upon us, and no doubt fancying he perceived the signs of unsettled weather in the sky, and therefore wishing to bring the chase to a speedy termination, he luffed up once more, and opened a fire on us with his bow guns. It now become a struggle of the most exciting character. Our mainsail had by this time been repaired, and the time lost to the foe in luffing nearly counterbalancing his superior sailing, we were enabled to keep just within long cannon shot of the Englishman, and, by maintaining this distance, to protract our surrender until a chance ball should happen to disable us, or night should set in to favor our escape.

“He gains nothing on us now, I think,” said the skipper, “but his guns are well served. That was truly sent,” he suddenly added, as a ball whistled by within a few feet of his head, and then plunged into the sea some fathoms off.

“And there comes the breeze again,” said the lieutenant, “how the Englishman walks up toward us!”

It was even as he said. The breeze which, during the last five minutes, had been chopping about the horizon, now blowing in fitful gusts, and now dying away into an almost perfect calm, came out, as the lieutenant spoke, from its old quarter, and heeling the tall ninety-four over until his coppers glanced in the sunlight, sent him like an arrow from the string across the deep. We could see the breeze ruffling the sea ahead of the enemy, and keeping provokingly but a few cables’ length in his advance for many minutes before it reached ourselves, and when at length it bellied out our canvass, and we began to forge along, the man-of-war had lessened by one-third the distance that had intervened betwixt us. As if re-inspired by his advantage, the Englishman began to fire on us with rapid and murderous velocity. Ball after ball came whizzing after us, some tearing up the bulwark, some madly splintering the hull, and more than one cutting its terrific passage along our decks. In vain we made the most desperate exertions to increase our speed. The strength of the breeze was a disadvantage against which our comparatively light canvass could not contend. Every moment, we saw, lessened the distance between us and the foe. It seemed madness to contend further. Already the ninety-four was in dreadful proximity. The schooner was becoming terribly cut up in her hull, and it seemed a miracle that her spars had hitherto escaped. If we should be crippled, and we knew not but the next shot might do it, how could we expect any mercy from our foe? Rebels already in the eye of our pursuers we had nothing to hope for if captured. Every one felt this. No one therefore dreamed of a surrender. As the wounded men were carried below, their departing looks were directed frowningly on the enemy,—and the last words of the dying were to conjure their messmates never to give up.

“Never flinch, my hearties,” ejaculated the gunner, as one of his crew was struck by a splinter; and had to be carried below. “Give it to ’em, for villains and tyrants as they are. Hah! I have him in a line there. Stand by all now,” and giving a last squint along his piece, he applied the match, and gazing after the shot as it went whistling away, exclaimed, “hit him on the quarter. I wonder who’s hurt,” he added, as a sudden commotion was seen on the enemy’s deck; “somebody of more note than a mere topman, I guess, or they wouldn’t be in such a flurry about it.”

“And that’s the answer,” said Westbrook, as a ball struck us forward, scattering the bulwark about the deck, and killing a man outright at the gunner’s side.

“Swab her out there,” said the imperturbable old sea-dog, without flinching in the least, “and we’ll revenge poor Harry Ratline. By the Lord above, I’ll make them pay for this. Work faster, you lubberly scoundrel,” he continued, cuffing the powder-boy. “There, that will do. And now let’s see what damage you’ll do, old red-mouth!” and patting his piece familiarly, he applied the match, and stooping on his knees after the recoil, glanced along the gun to mark the path of his ball. It struck the ninety-four just by the fore-chains, entering the first port aft. It needed nothing to tell the deadly revenge of the shot. Even amid the roar of the contest we could almost fancy we heard the shrieks of the wounded and dying from that fatal discharge.

So intensely occupied had been every thought, during these last few minutes, that I had not noticed the gradual subsidence in the wind; but my attention was at this moment aroused to it by an exclamation of O’Shaughnessy at my side, and turning my gaze to leeward, I saw at once the cause of his wonder.

How long had elapsed since we had noticed the speck on the horizon to which the old quarter-master had called our attention I have no means of determining; but, owing perhaps to the rapidity with which all the subsequent events had transpired, it seemed to be scarcely five minutes. In that interval a radical change had come over the heavens. The whole of the larboard horizon was covered with a dense black cloud, extending to the very zenith, and spreading with incredible velocity around the seaboard and over the vault of heaven. Even as I gazed, the rising clouds began to encroach on the western firmament, until only a narrow speck of sky, through which the declining sun shone out with a ghastly lustre was seen in that quarter of the horizon. In a moment more the massy curtain of cloud obscured even this opening, and nothing was seen above or around us but the wild and ominous darkness, which, reflected from the unruffled surface of the deep, and struggling with the few faint gleams of light that yet remained, wrapt everything in its own sepulchral gloom. Never shall I forget the expression of my companions’ faces in that death-like obscurity.

The wind, meanwhile, had for the twentieth time within the last hour died away, and we now lay moving unquietly on the troubled surface of the deep. The man-of-war was to be seen in his old position, and as he rose and fell sluggishly in the distant gloom, his white canvass gleaming out with sepulchral effect through the darkness, one might almost have fancied that the shadowy foe was some gigantic spirit ship, hanging like an evil genius upon our quarter. As if awed by the sudden change which had come over the firmament, both vessels had simultaneously ceased firing. The pause on the part of the Englishman, however, was only momentary. The outlines of his shadowy form were soon illuminated by the red glare of his guns, bringing his tall masts out in bold relief against the gloomy back-ground, and shedding a sulphurous hue on everything around. The sullen booming of the guns; the ghastly light flung over the deep; the low unquiet murmurs of the sea; and the darkness gathering more and more terrific over the firmament and reflected back from the sea until it seemed as colorless as ink, made up a scene whose sublimity and horror no pen can describe. The men looked like ghosts, as they flitted to and fro across the decks; and on every countenance was impressed the feelings of the awestruck owner.

“Cannot yonder fellow see the doom that awaits him, unless he gives over firing, and prepares for the squall?” said the old quarter-master.

Even as he spoke a low hollow murmur was heard as if coming out of the deep, which struck a nameless terror into our hearts. It was the sure presage of the coming hurricane. The men were already aloft getting in the sails, but as that murmured sound struck on the skipper’s ear, he shouted,

“Loose and let run—in with every thing—lose not a second—cut with and cut all.”

He had hardly commenced speaking when the dark canopy of clouds on the starboard seaboard lifted up, as if by magic, several degrees from the horizon, displaying a long lurid, yet sickly streak of light, against which the surges rose and fell in bold relief. At the same instant that low wild sound was heard again rising out of the deep; then a hoarse murmur, the like of which I had never listened to before, issued from the lurid seaboard; then an ominous pause of a moment, and only a moment, succeeded; and, while we gazed in mute wonder on each other at these extraordinary phenomena, a deep, smothered rumbling sound was heard, growing rapidly nigher and nigher, and increasing in loudness as it approached; the sea on the starboard horizon became a mass of foam; and, with a rushing noise, the tempest swept down upon us, hissing, roaring, and screaming through our rigging, as if a thousand unearthly beings were riding by upon the blast. The men had scarcely time to see the approaching danger, and hear the captain’s cry,

“Down, for your lives, down—cut all, and slide by the backstays,” before we were lying almost on our beam ends, while the sea flew over us in a dense shower of spray, almost blinding our sight.

“Hard up!” thundered the skipper.

“Ay, ay, sir!”

It was a period of fearful peril. For several moments, during the first force of the squall, we knew not whether our little craft would right again. The mingled roar of the wind and water meanwhile was terrific, and sufficient of themselves to paralyze the stoutest heart. As far as the eye could see, on every hand, the sea was as flat as a table, and covered with foam. The pressure of the hurricane even on our bare poles was tremendous. Every one was forced to grasp a rope, to keep himself from being blown bodily overboard. At length, however, with a painful effort, our gallant craft slowly righted, staggered a moment uncertainly beneath the squall, and then catching the hurricane well aft, went off like a thunderbolt before the gale.

“Thank God!” ejaculated the skipper, drawing a long breath.

“Amen!” was my silent response.

During these few last moments of thrilling suspense, I had forgotten the Englishman altogether, but he now recurred to my thoughts, and I looked eagerly ahead for him. The driving spray, however, shut out everything, except in our immediate vicinity, from our sight. At length, however, my attention was arrested by seeing a tall spar rising over the mist on our lee-bow, and, rushing on to it with inconceivable velocity, we were soon on the weather quarter of the foe. Never shall I forget that sight. The huge ship was lying on his beam-ends, and his mizen-mast had already been cut away in an unsuccessful attempt to right him. The sea rolled over him, as we approached, in cataracts. For an instant we gave ourselves up for lost, as we were driving right on to the unhappy stranger. At that moment, however, we saw his mainmast go over his side. He righted slowly. We were now so near that I could have pitched a biscuit on board.

“Hard up—ha-a-rd!” thundered the Englishman.

“Luff—luff!” roared the skipper, as we drove on to the quarter of the foe.

It was a thrilling moment. For the space of a second we seemed dashing right into the foe, and a stifled shriek burst from every lip; but just as we gave up all for lost, the two vessels shot apart, grazed each other in passing, and then rushed like maddened coursers each on his own course. In less than a quarter of an hour, the foe had vanished in the mists upon our larboard quarter.






The following little tale was related to me by a Catholic Missionary, (who had resided thirty years at Pondicherry,) on board the Panurge, during a voyage to Mauritius. It is curious to remark how the early traditions of all lands have certain points of resemblance, as this is exactly in the Rip Van Winkle vein, and is an Indian legend as old as the mountain.


The Sultan revelled in the gay kiosque,

  Where Ganges’ waters to the morning rolled,

  Quaffing the snow-cool wine from cups of gold;

A humble Dervish prayed in the lone mosque—

“Prophet of God!” with fervor deep, he cried,

  “Grant me a token that my prayer is heard!”

  He raised his eye, and lo! a lovely bird

Upon a pillar’s marble crown he spied;

No fairer warbler, from the Swerga-bowers,

E’er bathed in dews of paler earthly flowers,

  The light of Aden on its green wings bringing;

Still, as he gazed, its colors richer grew—

At length, through morn’s fresh glades, away it flew,

  Leaving the lone mosque with its music ringing.


The Dervish followed over mount and plain,

  The spirit-bird still flitting on before him,

  Th’ hour-numbering sun unheeded speeding o’er him—

He was all ear to drink its gushing strain.

A vain pursuit!—scarce on the bough alighted,

  On, on it glanced, to be afresh pursued,

  The pilgrim’s courage glowing unsubdued,

His soul on fire—his panting heart delighted!

But where the sunset’s heav’n-unfolding flood

Streams through the columns of the Banian wood,

  Alas! ’tis melting from his eager eye,

Fading away with the quick fading beams—

A lovely phantom from the Land of Dreams—

  Gone, as it came, to bowers beyond the sky.


’Neath dreamy twilight’s twinkling, dew-fed lamp,

  He stretched his weary limbs along the moss

  Under the Banian’s shade, and mourned the loss

Of the sweet-vision on his night-couch damp,

Yet slept at length, nor waked till dewy morn

  Closed the full stars and oped the infant buds,

  ’Rousing the warblers of the Indian woods:

But his bright bird was gone, and he is lorn!

Yet prays, and in a fountain’s cooling waves,

With large ablutions, his hot brow he laves,

  Resumes his staff, and seeks his humble home—

A weary journey—days and months speed by

Ere he hath reached that mountain summit high,

  The emerald pillar of the sapphire dome


Amid whose rocks his little chapel stood:

  But lo! what vision bursts upon his gaze!

  Domes, spires and churches, ’neath the sunset rays,

Gleaming ’mid many a green and palmy wood.

The wayward Genii, he remembered, loved

  To weave such cities of the filmy light.

  Begun and finished in a single night;

But still his wonder grew, as lost he roved

Through streets and squares built of substantial stone,

Where late the camel-herds were browsing lone,

  And gleamed the crescent from the minaret.

Was he awake?—the crowd around him spoke

A strange, rough tongue—new wonders on him broke,

  And wonder filled the eyes of all he met.


A Fakir passed. Of him he wildly asks

  Who, what, and where he is? With wondering smile,

  Answers the Moslem, “From a northern isle,

Whose iron-coast a frozen girdle clasps,

Came Islam’s foes, and this rich city grand

  Is the creation of the Infidel—

The haughty lords of radiant Indian land—

  A tale most sad for Moslem lips to tell!”

A hundred years had fled since he had chased

The spirit-bird, swift as a dream effaced;

  And that sweet warbler was a sainted sprite,

Sent from its rest, to lead so good a man

To Christian light—for so the legend ran

  Which cheered my vigil on the ocean bright.





As we can scarcely imagine a time when there did not exist a necessity, or at least a desire, of transmitting information from one individual to another, in such manner as to elude general comprehension; so we may well suppose the practice of writing in cipher to be of great antiquity. De La Guilletiere, therefore, who, in his “Lacedæmon Ancient and Modern,” maintains that the Spartans were the inventors of Cryptography, is obviously in error. He speaks of the scytala as being the origin of the art; but he should only have cited it as one of its earliest instances, so far as our records extend. The scytala were two wooden cylinders, precisely similar in all respects. The general of an army, in going upon any expedition, received from the ephori one of these cylinders, while the other remained in their possession. If either party had occasion to communicate with the other, a narrow strip of parchment was so wrapped around the scytala that the edges of the skin fitted accurately each to each. The writing was then inscribed longitudinally, and the epistle unrolled and dispatched. If, by mischance, the messenger was intercepted, the letter proved unintelligible to his captors. If he reached his destination safely, however, the party addressed had only to involve the second cylinder in the strip to decipher the inscription. The transmission to our own times of this obvious mode of cryptography is due, probably, to the historical uses of the scytala, rather than to anything else. Similar means of secret intercommunication must have existed almost contemporaneously with the invention of letters.

It may be as well to remark, in passing, that in none of the treatises on the subject of this paper which have fallen under our cognizance, have we observed any suggestion of a method—other than those which apply alike to all ciphers—for the solution of the cipher by scytala. We read of instances, indeed, in which the intercepted parchments were deciphered; but we are not informed that this was ever done except accidentally. Yet a solution might be obtained with absolute certainty in this manner. The strip of skin being intercepted, let there be prepared a cone of great length comparatively—say six feet long—and whose circumference at base shall at least equal the length of the strip. Let this latter be rolled upon the cone near the base, edge to edge, as above described; then, still keeping edge to edge, and maintaining the parchment close upon the cone, let it be gradually slipped towards the apex. In this process, some of those words, syllables, or letters, whose connection is intended, will be sure to come together at that point of the cone where its diameter equals that of the scytala upon which the cipher was written. And as, in passing up the cone to its apex, all possible diameters are passed over, there is no chance of a failure. The circumference of the scytala being thus ascertained, a similar one can be made, and the cipher applied to it.

Few persons can be made to believe that it is not quite an easy thing to invent a method of secret writing which shall baffle investigation. Yet it may be roundly asserted that human ingenuity cannot concoct a cipher which human ingenuity cannot resolve. In the facility with which such writing is deciphered, however, there exist very remarkable differences in different intellects. Often, in the case of two individuals of acknowledged equality as regards ordinary mental efforts, it will be found that, while one cannot unriddle the commonest cipher, the other will scarcely be puzzled by the most abstruse. It may be observed, generally, that in such investigations the analytic ability is very forcibly called into action; and, for this reason, cryptographical solutions might with great propriety be introduced into academies, as the means of giving tone to the most important of the powers of mind.

Were two individuals, totally unpractised in cryptography, desirous of holding by letter a correspondence which should be unintelligible to all but themselves, it is most probable that they would at once think of a peculiar alphabet, to which each should have a key. At first it would, perhaps, be arranged that a should stand for z, b for y, c for x, d for w, &c. &c.; that is to say, the order of the letters would be reversed. Upon second thoughts, this arrangement appearing too obvious, a more complex mode would be adopted. The first thirteen letters might be written beneath the last thirteen, thus:


and, so placed, a might stand for n and n for a, o for b and b for o, &c. &c. This, again, having an air of regularity which might be fathomed, the key alphabet might be constructed absolutely at random.

Thus,a might stand for p
b might stand for x
c might stand for u
d might stand for o,&c.

The correspondents, unless convinced of their error by the solution of their cipher, would no doubt be willing to rest in this latter arrangement, as affording full security. But if not, they would be likely to hit upon the plan of arbitrary marks used in place of the usual characters. For example,

(might be employed fora
.might be employed forb
:might be employed forc
;might be employed ford
)might be employed fore,&c.

A letter composed of such characters would have an intricate appearance unquestionably. If, still, however, it did not give full satisfaction, the idea of a perpetually shifting alphabet might be conceived, and thus effected. Let two circular pieces of pasteboard be prepared, one about half an inch in diameter less than the other. Let the centre of the smaller be placed upon the centre of the larger, and secured for a moment from slipping; while radii are drawn from the common centre to the circumference of the smaller circle, and thus extended to the circumference of the greater. Let there be twenty-six of these radii, forming on each pasteboard twenty-six spaces. In each of these spaces on the under circle write one of the letters of the alphabet, so that the whole alphabet be written—if at random so much the better. Do the same with the upper circle. Now run a pin through the common centre, and let the upper circle revolve, while the under one is held fast. Now stop the revolution of the upper circle, and, while both lie still, write the epistle required; using for a that letter in the smaller circle which tallies with a in the larger, for b that letter in the smaller circle which tallies with b in the larger, &c. &c. In order that an epistle thus written may be read by the person for whom it is intended, it is only necessary that he should have in his possession circles constructed as those just described, and that he should know any two of the characters (one in the under and one in the upper circle) which were in juxta-position when his correspondent wrote the cipher. Upon this latter point he is informed by looking at the two initial letters of the document, which serve as a key. Thus, if he sees a m at the beginning, he concludes that, by turning his circles so as to put these characters in conjunction, he will arrive at the alphabet employed.

At a cursory glance, these various modes of constructing a cipher seem to have about them an air of inscrutable secresy. It appears almost an impossibility to unriddle what has been put together by so complex a method. And to some persons the difficulty might be great; but to others—to those skilled in deciphering—such enigmas are very simple indeed. The reader should bear in mind that the basis of the whole art of solution, as far as regards these matters, is found in the general principles of the formation of language itself, and thus is altogether independent of the particular laws which govern any cipher, or the construction of its key. The difficulty of reading a cryptographical puzzle is by no means always in accordance with the labor or ingenuity with which it has been constructed. The sole use of the key, indeed, is for those au fait to the cipher; in its perusal by a third party, no reference is had to it at all. The lock of the secret is picked. In the different methods of cryptography specified above, it will be observed that there is a gradually increasing complexity. But this complexity is only in shadow. It has no substance whatever. It appertains merely to the formation, and has no bearing upon the solution, of the cipher. The last mode mentioned is not in the least degree more difficult to be deciphered than the first—whatever may be the difficulty of either.

In the discussion of an analogous subject, in one of the weekly papers of this city, about eighteen months ago, the writer of this article had occasion to speak of the application of a rigorous method in all forms of thought—of its advantages—of the extension of its use even to what is considered the operation of pure fancy—and thus, subsequently, of the solution of cipher. He even ventured to assert that no cipher, of the character above specified, could be sent to the address of the paper, which he would not be able to resolve. This challenge excited, most unexpectedly, a very lively interest among the numerous readers of the journal. Letters were poured in upon the editor from all parts of the country; and many of the writers of these epistles were so convinced of the impenetrability of their mysteries, as to be at great pains to draw him into wagers on the subject. At the same time, they were not always scrupulous about sticking to the point. The cryptographs were, in numerous instances, altogether beyond the limits defined in the beginning. Foreign languages were employed. Words and sentences were run together without interval. Several alphabets were used in the same cipher. One gentleman, but moderately endowed with conscientiousness, inditing us a puzzle composed of pot-hooks and hangers to which the wildest typography of the office could afford nothing similar, went even so far as to jumble together no less than seven distinct alphabets, without intervals between the letters, or between the lines. Many of the cryptographs were dated in Philadelphia, and several of those which urged the subject of a bet were written by gentlemen of this city. Out of, perhaps, one hundred ciphers altogether received, there was only one which we did not immediately succeed in resolving. This one we demonstrated to be an imposition—that is to say, we fully proved it a jargon of random characters, having no meaning whatever. In respect to the epistle of the seven alphabets, we had the pleasure of completely nonplus-ing its inditer by a prompt and satisfactory translation.

The weekly paper mentioned, was, for a period of some months, greatly occupied with the hieroglyphic and cabalistic-looking solutions of the cryptographs sent us from all quarters. Yet with the exception of the writers of the ciphers, we do not believe that any individuals could have been found, among the readers of the journal, who regarded the matter in any other light than in that of a desperate humbug. We mean to say that no one really believed in the authenticity of the answers. One party averred that the mysterious figures were only inserted to give a queer air to the paper, for the purpose of attracting attention. Another thought it more probable that we not only solved the ciphers, but put them together ourselves for solution. This having been the state of affairs at the period when it was thought expedient to decline farther dealings in necromancy, the writer of this article avails himself of the present opportunity to maintain the truth of the journal in question—to repel the charges of rigmarole by which it was assailed—and to declare, in his own name, that the ciphers were all written in good faith, and solved in the same spirit.

A very common, and somewhat too obvious mode of secret correspondence, is the following. A card is interspersed, at irregular intervals, with oblong spaces, about the length of ordinary words of three syllables in a bourgeois type. Another card is made exactly coinciding. One is in possession of each party. When a letter is to be written, the key-card is placed upon the paper, and words conveying the true meaning inscribed in the spaces. The card is then removed and the blanks filled up, so as to make out a signification different from the real one. When the person addressed receives the cipher, he has merely to apply to it his own card, when the superfluous words are concealed, and the significant ones alone appear. The chief objection to this cryptograph is the difficulty of so filling the blanks as not to give a forced appearance to the sentences. Differences, also, in the handwriting, between the words written in the spaces, and those inscribed upon removal of the card, will always be detected by a close observer.

A pack of cards is sometimes made the vehicle of a cipher, in this manner. The parties determine, in the first place, upon certain arrangements of the pack. For example: it is agreed that, when a writing is to be commenced, a natural sequence of the spots shall be made; with spades at top, hearts next, diamonds next, and clubs last. This order being obtained, the writer proceeds to inscribe upon the top card the first letter of his epistle, upon the next the second, upon the next the third, and so on until the pack is exhausted, when, of course, he will have written fifty-two letters. He now shuffles the pack according to a preconcerted plan. For example: he takes three cards from the bottom and places them at top, then one from top, placing it at bottom, and so on, for a given number of times. This done, he again inscribes fifty-two characters as before, proceeding thus until his epistle is written. The pack being received by the correspondent, he has only to place the cards in the order agreed upon for commencement, to read, letter by letter, the first fifty-two characters as intended. He has then only to shuffle in the manner pre-arranged for the second perusal, to decipher the series of the next fifty-two letters—and so on to the end. The objection to this cryptograph lies in the nature of the missive. A pack of cards, sent from one party to another, would scarcely fail to excite suspicion; and it cannot be doubted that it is far better to secure ciphers from being considered as such, than to waste time in attempts at rendering them scrutiny-proof, when intercepted. Experience shows that the most cunningly constructed cryptograph, if suspected, can and will be unriddled.

An unusually secure mode of secret intercommunication might be thus devised. Let the parties each furnish themselves with a copy of the same edition of a book—the rarer the edition the better—as also the rarer the book. In the cryptograph, numbers are used altogether, and these numbers refer to the locality of letters in the volume. For example—a cipher is received commencing, 121-6-8. The party addressed refers to page 121, and looks at the sixth letter from the left of the page in the eighth line from the top. Whatever letter he there finds is the initial letter of the epistle—and so on. This method is very secure; yet it is possible to decipher any cryptograph written by its means—and it is greatly objectionable otherwise, on account of the time necessarily required for its solution, even with the key-volume.

It is not to be supposed that Cryptography, as a serious thing, as the means of imparting important information, has gone out of use at the present day. It is still commonly practised in diplomacy; and there are individuals, even now, holding office in the eye of various foreign governments, whose real business is that of deciphering. We have already said that a peculiar mental action is called into play in the solution of cryptographical problems, at least in those of the higher order. Good cryptographists are rare indeed; and thus their services, although seldom required, are necessarily well requited.

An instance of the modern employment of writing in cipher is mentioned in a work lately published by Messieurs Lea & Blanchard, of this city—“Sketches of Conspicuous Living Characters of France.” In a notice of Berryer, it is said that a letter being addressed by the Duchess de Berri to the legitimists of Paris, to inform them of her arrival, it was accompanied by a long note in cipher, the key of which she had forgotten to give. “The penetrating mind of Berryer,” says the biographer, “soon discovered it. It was this phrase substituted for the twenty-four letters of the alphabet—Le gouvernement provisoire.”

The assertion that Berryer “soon discovered the key-phrase,” merely proves that the writer of these memoirs is entirely innocent of cryptographical knowledge. Monsieur B. no doubt ascertained the key-phrase; but it was merely to satisfy his curiosity, after the riddle had been read. He made no use of the key in deciphering. The lock was picked.

In our notice of the book in question (published in the April number of this Magazine) we alluded to this subject thus—

“The phrase ‘Le gouvernement provisoire’ is French, and the note in cipher was addressed to Frenchmen. The difficulty of deciphering may well be supposed much greater, had the key been in a foreign tongue; yet any one who will take the trouble may address us a note, in the same manner as here proposed; and the key-phrase may be either in French, Italian, Spanish, German, Latin, or Greek, (or in any of the dialects of these languages,) and we pledge ourselves for the solution of the riddle.”

This challenge has elicited but a single response, which is embraced in the following letter. The only quarrel we have with the epistle, is that its writer has declined giving us his name in full. We beg that he will take an early opportunity of doing this, and thus relieve us of the chance of that suspicion which was attached to the cryptography of the weekly journal above-mentioned—the suspicion of inditing ciphers to ourselves. The postmark of the letter is Stonington, Conn.

S——, Ct., April 21, 1841.

To the Editor of Graham’s Magazine.

Sir:—In the April number of your magazine, while reviewing the translation by Mr. Walsh of “Sketches of Conspicuous Living Characters of France,” you invite your readers to address you a note in cipher, “the key phrase to which may be either in French, Italian, Spanish, German, Latin or Greek,” and pledge yourself for its solution. My attention being called, by your remarks, to this species of cipher-writing, I composed for my own amusement the following exercises, in the first part of which the key-phrase is in English—in the second in Latin. As I did not see, (by the number for May,) that any of your correspondents had availed himself of your offer, I take the liberty to send the enclosed, on which, if you should think it worth your while, you can exercise your ingenuity.

I am yours, respectfully,

S. D. L.

No. 1.

Cauhiif aud frd sdftirf ithot tacd wdde rdchfdr tiu fuacfshff heo fdoudf hetmsafhie tuis ied herhchriai fi aeiftdu wn sdaef it iuhf heo hiidohwid wn aen deodsf ths tiu itis hf iaf iuhoheaiin rdffhedr; aer ftd auf it ftif fdoudfin oissiehoafheo hefdiihodeod taf wdde odeduaiin fdusdr ounsfiouastn. Saen fsdohdf it fdoudf ihufheo idud weiie fi ftd aeohdaff; fisdfhsdf, A fiacdf tdar ief ftacdr aer ftd ouiie iuhff de isie ihft fisd herd hwid oiiiuheo tiihr, atfdu ithot tahu wdheo sdushffdr fi ouii aoahe, hetiusafhie oiiir wd fuaefshffdr ihft ihffid raeoeu ft af rhfoicdun iiiir hefid iefhi ftd aswiiafiun dshffid fatdin udaotdr hff rdffheafhil. Ounsfiouastn tiidcdu siud suisduin dswuaodf ftifd sirdf it iuhfheo ithot aud uderdudr idohwid iein wn sdaef it fisd desiaefiun wdn ithot sawdf weiie ftd udai fhoehthoafhie it ftd onstduf dssiindr fi hff siffdffiu.

No. 2.

Ofoiioiiaso ortsiii sov eodisoioe afduiostifoi ft iftvi si tri oistoiv oiniafetsorit ifeov rsri inotiiiiv ridiiot, irio rivvio covit atrotfetsoria aioriti iitri tf oitovin tri aetifei ioreitit sov usttoi oioittstifo dfti afdooitior trso ifeov tri dfit otftfeov softriedi ft oistoiv oriofiforiti suitteii viireiiitifoi ft tri iarfoisiti, iiti trir uet otiiiotiv uitfti rid io tri eoviieciiiv rfasueostr tf rii dftrit tfoeei.

In the solution of the first of these ciphers we had little more than ordinary trouble. The second proved to be exceedingly difficult, and it was only by calling every faculty into play that we could read it at all. The first runs thus.

“Various are the methods which have been devised for transmitting secret information from one individual to another, by means of writing, illegible to any except him for whom it was originally designed; and the art of thus secretly communicating intelligence has been generally termed cryptography. Many species of secret writing were known to the ancients. Sometimes a slave’s head was shaved, and the crown written upon with some indelible coloring fluid; after which the hair being permitted to grow again, information could be transmitted with little danger that discovery would ensue until the ambulatory epistle safely reached its destination. Cryptography, however, pure, properly embraces those modes of writing which are rendered legible only by means of some explanatory key which makes known the real signification of the ciphers employed to its possessor.”

The key-phrase of this cryptograph is—“A word to the wise is sufficient.”

The second is thus translated—

“Nonsensical phrases and unmeaning combinations of words, as the learned lexicographer would have confessed himself, when hidden under cryptographic ciphers, serve to perpdex the curious enquirer, and baffle penetration more completely than would the most profound apothems of learned philosophers. Abstruse disquisitions of the scholiasts, were they but presented before him in the undisguised vocabulary of his mother tongue——”

The last sentence here (as will be seen) is broken off short. The spelling we have strictly adhered to. D, by mistake, has been put for l in perplex.

The key-phrase is—“Suaviter in modo, fortiter in re.”

In the ordinary cryptograph, as will be seen in reference to most of those we have specified above, the artificial alphabet agreed upon by the correspondents, is employed, letter for letter, in place of the usual or natural one. For example:—two parties wish to communicate secretly. It is arranged before parting that

)shall standfora
?—————i or j
£—————u or v

Transcriber’s note: In the original publication of the magazine, the character used was a small right pointing hand, which is visible in the illustration of the crytograph below. Although a modern html version of this character exists, it will not display in many modern devices, depending on the capabilities of the device itself and the fonts available for use in the device. It has therefore been replaced in this list with #.

Transcriber’s note: In the original publication of the magazine, the character used was a small left pointing hand. No suitable html character was found and even if available, the limitations of some modern devices and fonts prevents its use in this ebook. It has therefore been replaced in this list with %.


Now the following note is to be communicated—

“We must see you immediately upon a matter of great importance. Plots have been discovered, and the conspirators are in our hands. Hasten!”

These words would be written thus—

This certainly has an intricate appearance, and would prove a most difficult cipher to any one not conversant with cryptography. But it will be observed that a, for example, is never represented by any other character than ), b never by any other character than (, and so on. Thus by the discovery, accidental or otherwise, of any one letter, the party intercepting the epistle would gain a permanent and decided advantage; and could apply his knowledge to all the instances in which the character in question was employed throughout the cipher.

In the cryptographs, on the other hand, which have been sent us by our correspondent at Stonington, and which are identical in conformation with the cipher resolved by Berryer, no such permanent advantage is to be obtained.

Let us refer to the second of these puzzles. Its key-phrase runs thus:

Suaviter in modo, fortiter in re.

Let us now place the alphabet beneath this phrase, letter beneath letter—





We here see that

astands for————— c
dstands for————— m
estands forg, n and z
fstands for————— o
istands fore, i, s and w
mstands for————— k
nstands forj and x
ostands forl, n and p
rstands forh, q, v and y
sstands for————— a
tstands forf, r and t
ustands for————— b
vstands for————— d

In this manner n stands for two letters, and e, o, and t for three each, while i and r represent each as many as four. Thirteen characters are made to perform the operations of the whole alphabet. The result of such a key-phrase upon the cipher, is to give it the appearance of a mere medley of the letters e, o, t, r and i—the latter character greatly predominating, through the accident of being employed for letters which, themselves, are inordinately prevalent in most languages—we mean e and i.

A letter thus written being intercepted, and the key-phrase unknown, the individual who should attempt to decipher it may be imagined guessing, or otherwise attempting to convince himself, that a certain character (i, for example,) represented the letter e. Looking throughout the cryptograph for confirmation of this idea, he would meet with nothing but a negation of it. He would see the character in situations where it could not possibly represent e. He might, for instance, be puzzled by four i’s forming of themselves a single word, without the intervention of any other character; in which case, of course, they could not be all e’s. It will be seen that the word wise might be thus constructed. We say this may be seen now, by us, in possession of the key-phrase; but the question will, no doubt, occur, how, without the key-phrase, and without cognizance of any single letter in the cipher, it would be possible for the interceptor of such a cryptograph to make any thing of such a word as iiii?

But again. A key-phrase might easily be constructed, in which one character would represent seven, eight, or ten letters. Let us then imagine the word iiiiiiiiii presenting itself in a cryptograph to an individual without the proper key-phrase; or, if this be a supposition somewhat too perplexing, let us suppose it occurring to the person for whom the cipher is designed, and who has the key-phrase. What is he to do with such a word as iiiiiiiiii? In any of the ordinary books upon Algebra will be found a very concise formula (we have not the necessary type for its insertion here) for ascertaining the number of arrangements in which m letters may be placed, taken n at a time. But no doubt there are none of our readers ignorant of the innumerable combinations which may be made from these ten i’s. Yet, unless it occur otherwise by accident, the correspondent receiving the cipher would have to write down all these combinations before attaining the word intended; and even when he had written them, he would be inexpressibly perplexed in selecting the word designed from the vast number of other words arising in the course of the permutation.

To obviate, therefore, the exceeding difficulty of deciphering this species of cryptograph, on the part of the possessors of the key-phrase, and to confine the deep intricacy of the puzzle to those for whom the cipher was not designed, it becomes necessary that some order should be agreed upon by the parties corresponding—some order in reference to which those characters are to be read which represent more than one letter—and this order must be held in view by the writer of the cryptograph. It may be agreed, for example, that the first time an i occurs in the cipher, it is to be understood as representing that character which stands against the first i in the key-phrase; that the second time an i occurs it must be supposed to represent that letter which stands opposed to the second i in the key-phrase, &c. &c. Thus the location of each cipherical letter must be considered in connexion with the character itself, in order to determine its exact signification.

We say that some pre-concerted order of this kind is necessary, lest the cipher prove too intricate a lock to yield even to its true key. But it will be evident, upon inspection, that our correspondent at Stonington has inflicted upon us a cryptograph in which no order has been preserved; in which many characters, respectively, stand, at absolute random, for many others. If, therefore, in regard to the gauntlet we threw down in April, he should be half inclined to accuse us of braggadocio, he will yet admit that we have more than acted up to our boast. If what we then said was not said suaviter in modo, what we now do is at least done fortiter in re.

In these cursory observations we have by no means attempted to exhaust the subject of Cryptography. With such object in view, a folio might be required. We have indeed mentioned only a few of the ordinary modes of cipher. Even two thousand years ago, Æneas Tacticus detailed twenty distinct methods; and modern ingenuity has added much to the science. Our design has been chiefly suggestive; and perhaps we have already bored the readers of the Magazine. To those who desire farther information upon this topic, we may say that there are extant treatises by Trithemius, Cap. Porta, Vignere, and P. Niceron. The works of the two latter may be found, we believe, in the library of the Harvard University. If, however, there should be sought in these disquisitions—or in any—rules for the solution of cipher, the seeker will be disappointed. Beyond some hints in regard to the general structure of language, and some minute exercises in their practical application, he will find nothing upon record which he does not in his own intellect possess.







Twas on the outskirts of a wood—

  A wood of tall and aged trees,

That gave a charm to solitude,

  A murmur to the breeze;

’Twas when frequent falls the leaf,

And we begin to say that brief

  And briefer grows the day;

When, far away, the evening sky

Looks sad and sober to the eye;

  When darker grows the rivulet,

Where, in some tiny eddy’s play,

  The fallen leaves so fitful fret,

  Like Hope, when we would hold it yet,

And it would fain be far away.


How beautiful the beechen tree!

  A beechen tree of giant mould,

  Whose roots did many a rock unfold.

Entwining them, as you might see:

For, branching from the parent stem,

A velvet moss just covered them;

They sought the nurture of the brook

That from its shade a deep green took,

  And murmur’d like the lullaby

Of cradle-watchers, when they look

  Upon the infant’s closing eye.


Forth stepping like the timid deer,

And hearing her own step with fear,

  On came a gentle maid;

She crosses o’er the rivulet:

Her silken slipper is not wet—

  Why should she be afraid?

She seems spell-bound, and yet seems not;

If fearful thus, why seek the spot?

  Why stops she by the tree?

We have volition where to go,

And we may wander to and fro,

  Yet, we may not be free—

For Love, though all unseen his chain,

Will draw us over land and main;

And though we meet as far between

As winter wild from summer green,

Yet Love, like Heaven, will be above

The hearts that truly vow to love.


With step, e’en as the maiden’s, light,

But not a step that e’er knew fright,

  Comes one with love-lit look;

He clasps her with his arms around,

As is yon water lily bound

  By the encircling brook,

And as it palely droops to hear

  The music of the whispering water,

She listens with a charmed fear,

  Bound by the spell which there has brought her

The while her fair brow bends and beams

Like that pale flower that loves the streams.


How to his heart he holds the flower!

“O! ever blessed be the hour

  Which brings thee, Helen, to my side.

Our friends would frown, I know, my bird

If but our slightest word were heard;

  But, oh! thou yet wilt be my bride—

For though we meet here but to part,

’Tis not with a divided heart;

Thou wert the soonest here to-day,

But no neglect kept me away;

I know this hour—I know no more—

The rest are but to tell it o’er.”


“I came the sooner, love,” said she,

With maidenly simplicity—

“Because, before the sun goes down,

Stern darkness in the woods will frown;

And though I reach my home while yet

  The red clouds linger in the west,

Methinks dark forms the woods beset;

  They trouble me with sad unrest;

How, yester-eve, the big trees moaned!

Methought for me they sighed and groaned:

The screech-owl screeched above my path—

It seemed to haunt me with its wrath:

And all the gentler birds have flown—

The loneliness is all my own!”


“Love, this is autumn now, you know;

To other lands the wild birds go—

They only rest in summer bower,

And only stay while lasts the flower;

But, Helen, not thus let it be

  With all this love that binds us now;

In winter, bare will be the tree,

  No bird will sing upon the bough—

But see where I have taught the beech,

  If either here should roam alone,

  Long after this blest hour has flown,

The vows of both to tell to each:

Our names I’ve circled with a heart,

  As thus I hold thee to my own,

And thus, though we afar may part

  As ever yet did fond ones sever,

  The love that binds us holds forever.”


This beech tree was their trysting-place!

  There, oft in summer’s fragrant eve,

  Just when the red sun took his leave—

When the coy moon, with half hid face,

Peeped o’er the eastern hills afar,

With here and there a radiant star;

When twilight came, with sober mien,

And silence brooded o’er the scene—

Thither the maid would often stray,

Humming, may be, a laughing lay,

That told true love was all untrue,

And made of nothing great ado;

She’d have them think, if she were heard,

  She scorned the very love she sought,

And that she sung like careless bird—

  A maiden who was free in thought:

Who roamed, and, roaming, trolled a glee,

Because she wanted company.


Upon this eve they met to part

  Till spring again should clothe the vine;

They pledged their faith with beating heart,

  And made the beechen tree their shrine;

He watched her white dress, glimmering bright

Thro’ the dark woods: “Good night! good night!”







Why art thou sad? Why droops the willowy lid

O’er the deep fountain of that passionate eye?

What monster in thy bosom’s depths is playing,

And heaving thus those delicate billows, which

The wind of thy sweet breath but dares to swell,

Most daintily, and sighs to fly away?




I nothing know, but that in a dream

A spirit of light on the pale moonbeam

Flew into my chamber—and it did seem

Nought but a brighter and purer beam

That had dropped from the beautiful sky,

’Till I wakened—and lo! a lovely mouth,

Whose breath was sweet as winds of the south,

And an eye flashing soft with love and desire,

Which thrilled all my frame with quivering fire,

Peered out, as a cloud swept by;

And a soft voice whispered a thrilling tale,

And my eye grew dim and my red cheek pale.




Thy guest, fair maid, was Love! Nay, do not start,

And turn thy modest eyes upon the moon—

The god within thee but betrays himself

In every graceful motion. Thou dost pant

To learn the mysteries of thy new found worship.

The secret torrent rushing through thy veins

Makes eloquent music to thy listening heart,

Which beats unconsciously the measure out.

I know thy malady—so come with me:

I’ll cure thee with indulgence.


The maiden bent her white and stately neck,

And sounds of joy flew from her parted lips,

Like birds from roses—and the sorceress flung

A dainty chain of gold and gossamer

About her, and with sound of wings and breath

Of fragrance, vanished.


      Maiden, look up! behold!

A dark-haired youth, with eyes of burning light,

Kneels gracefully before her; and his words,

Scarce heard for sighs, thrill to the inmost heart

Of that fair listener. He takes her hand—

His arm is round her—kisses warm and sweet

Rain on her lips and eyes—she gasps with joy,

And melts into his arms.

St. Louis, April, 1841.


The natural history of Fishes may be greatly promoted by anglers, and some knowledge of that history assuredly adds interest to the pursuits of the sportsman. He ought, therefore, to be able to skin and prepare his specimens, to observe and describe them with precision, and to dissect them with sufficient skill to take cognizance both of their external parts and their internal structure. Every naturalist, on the other hand, should be an angler, and that for more reasons than one. In the remoter and less peopled districts of the country, which so frequently present the most interesting fields for observation, he has no means of inspecting the finny tribes, except by capturing them propriâ manû, and his doing so will greatly contribute, not only to his scientific knowledge, but his social comfort—trouts when newly angled and nicely fried, being worthy of admiration, as choice productions of nature adorned by the skill of art. But this latter branch of our subject comes so home to the “business and bosoms” of all men, that we need not here dilate upon it.

In the hope, however, that some useful knowledge may be conveyed to the minds of our readers through the medium of the present work, we intend to devote a portion of our space to a brief introduction regarding the organic structure and physiology of fishes. We know, from experience, that time may hang heavy even on the hands of anglers, who are seldom either feeble or faint-hearted men. We know that spring (all genial though it be in poet’s fancy) has yet its frequent flaky snows on mead and mountain, its spiky ice along the crystal stream;—that summer in its sunlit splendor suffers its long-enduring droughts, its sudden speats, and fearful overflows;—that melancholy autumn, in spite of all its mild effulgence, is not seldom violent, and perturbed

“By lightning, by fierce winds, by trampling waves;”

—and that each of these conditions of time and space is adverse to the angler’s art. Even with every sweet advantage yielded by cheerful spring, by glorious summer, by refulgent autumn (we now seek to soothe the seasons by more endearing terms), daylight does not last for ever, and so the angler cannot always ply his trade. Of night-fishing we seldom think—except in murmuring dreams of rheumatism and water-rats—and eye-sight often fails,

“When comes still evening on, and twilight grey

Has in her sober livery all things clad.”

Moreover, it is chiefly the home-hunting angler, he whose “lines have fallen in pleasant places,” who dwells habitually by river side, or sees “beneath the opening eyelids of morn” some broad lake gladdening his daily gaze—in moonlight sparkling with bright columnar fire within its cincturing trees, or greener margins—he, or some happy friend who shares his dwelling, alone can cast his angles in the night. No man, who “long in populous city pent,” wanders for a time in lonesome gladness by the side of glittering waters, can wait with patience for a summer night, however beautiful may be the countless stars—

“That sparkle in the firmament of June.”

Whether he will or no, he must wend his way to grassy bank, or pebbly shore, or alder-skirted brink, and if there he fishes all the live-long day, he cannot fish at night, at least he ought not so to do. He who spareth not the rod hateth himself, and produces a degree of fatigue and satiety which ought never to mingle with his healthful toil.

Suppose, then, that the gentle reader does not fish at night, that he dines heartily (sero sed serio), imbibes moderately, takes tea sedately, and has still an hour to spare before a light supper—let him read this article, and we promise to be as little prolix as we can.


This gregarious fish is angled for with a worm or minnow. It is a bold biter during the warm months of the year, though very abstemious in the winter season. When a shoal is met with, great sport is frequently obtained. A small cork float is used, and the bait is hung at various depths, according to circumstances, a knowledge of which can only be obtained by practice. In angling near the bottom, the bait should be frequently raised nearly to the surface, and then allowed gently to sink again. When the weather is cool and cloudy, with a ruffling breeze from the south, perch will bite during the whole day. The best hours towards the end of spring are from seven to eleven in the morning, and from two to six in the afternoon. In warm and bright summer weather, excellent times are from sunrise till six or seven in the morning, and from six in the evening till sunset.

The Perch is one of the most beautiful of the fresh water fishes, but is too familiarly known to need description. It inhabits both lakes and rivers, but shuns salt water. Pallas, however, is said to have stated in his Zoographia Russo-Asiatica (a work still unpublished), that about spawning time both Pike and Perch are found in a gulf of the Caspian Sea, about thirty verstes from the mouth of the Terek. The female deposits her eggs, united together by a viscid matter, in lengthened strings—a peculiarity noticed by Aristotle. Spawning takes place in April and May, and the number of eggs sometimes amounts to near a million. The Perch occurs all over Europe, and in most of the northern districts of Asia. It is easily tamed, and if kept moist will live for a long time out of water. It sometimes attains to a great size, but the majority are smallish fishes. Pennant alludes to one said to have been taken in the Serpentine River, Hyde Park, which weighed nine pounds. But even one half of that weight would be anywhere regarded as extraordinary, and a Perch of a pound is looked upon as a fine fish. The flesh of this species as an article of food is wholesome, though neither rich nor high flavoured. The months of April, May, and June, are those during which it is least esteemed.

The Basse, or Sea Perch, (Perca labrax, Linn. Labrax lupus, Cuv. and Val.) is a fish of a chaste and pleasing aspect, though destitute of the strongly contrasted coloring of the preceding, from which it is also distinguished by an abundance of small teeth upon the tongue. It is abundant in the Mediterranean. It is a very voracious fish, remarkable for the size of its stomach, and was known to the ancients by the appropriate name of lupus. It takes a bait freely (onisci, broken shell-fish, etc.) when angled for during flood-tide, with strong tackle, from projecting rock or pier. The ordinary size ranges from 12 to 18 inches, although Willoughby has stated that it sometimes attains the weight of 15 pounds. Its flesh is excellent.


To aid the Angler in his scientific researches, as well as to add to the interest of the ordinary observer, we now proceed to a brief exposition of the principal characteristics of the class of fishes, and shall, at an after period, expatiate upon the more peculiar attributes of each particular kind, when we come to treat of the species in their order.

We need scarcely say to the student of nature, that the form and functions of fishes are as admirably adapted for easy movement through the water, as are those of birds for that aërial motion called flight. Suspended in a liquid element of almost equal specific gravity with themselves, external organs resembling those of birds in size, would have been disproportionate and unnecessary; but the air-bladder (the functions of which, by no means entirely understood, have never been satisfactorily explained in all their bearings) is known to possess the power of contraction and dilatation, the exercise of which is followed by a corresponding descent or ascent of the animal’s body. Thus a small central and inconspicuous organ effects, in the easiest and most simple manner, the same object which even the soaring eagle or giant condor can only accomplish by great exertion of the wings, and after laborious and frequently repeated gyrations. We shall ere long, however, have occasion to remark in more detail, that the air-bladder, although essential to the economy of such species as possess it, is by no means indispensable as a general attribute of the class, as in many tribes it is entirely wanting. It is not even a generic characteristic, as it does not exist in the red mullets of the British seas, though possessed by the corresponding species of Asia and America—while of our two kinds of mackerel, the so called Spanish species (Scomber colias) is distinguished by a swimming bladder, and the common mackerel (Sc. scomber) does not possess that organ.

Fishes being without a neck, and the portion called the tail being usually equal at its origin to the part of the body from which it springs, the prevailing shape is somewhat uniform and continuous, diminishing gradually towards either extremity. Of this, the most elegant and characteristic form of fishes, the salmon and mackerel exhibit familiar examples. Yet a vast variety of shape, as well as of size and colour, is naturally presented by a class which now contains some seven or eight thousand known species; and no further illustration of the subject will be deemed necessary by him who has seen and remembers the difference between an eel and a skate.

The mouth of fishes either opens from beneath, as in the rays, or at the extremity of the muzzle, as in the great majority of species, or from the upper surface, as in a small foreign group called Uranoscopus, or moon-gazer—an odd name for species, some of which have been alleged to bury themselves to the depth of twenty feet in sand—a bed not easily obtained, and in no way fitted for astronomical observation. It also varies much in its relative dimensions, from the minute perforation of the genus Centriscus, to the vast expanded gape of the ugly angler-fish. We mean nothing personal in the last allusion.

The teeth of fishes are frequently very numerous, and are sometimes spread over all the bony parts of the interior cavity of the mouth and pharynx, that is, on the maxillary, inter-maxillary and palatal bones, on the vomer, tongue, branchial arches, and pharyngeal bones. In certain genera they exist on all those parts; while in others they are wanting on some, or are even entirely absent on all. The denominations of the teeth are derived from their position, that is from the bones to which they are attached, and are consequently as numerous as the varieties of their situation. In the upper portion of the mouth of a trout, for example, there are five rows of teeth. The single middle-row is placed upon the central bone of the mouth called the vomer; a row on each side of it is fixed on the right and left palatal bones, while the outer-rows or those of the upper-jaw, properly so called, are situate on the maxillary bones. In the under portion of the mouth there are four rows, that is, one on each side of the tongue, and another external to these on each side of the lower-jaw. As to the form of teeth in fishes, the majority are hooked and conical, and more or less acute.

In the majority of osseous fishes, besides the lips, which, even when fleshy, having no peculiar muscles, can exert but little strength in retaining the aliments, there is generally in the inside of each jaw, behind the anterior teeth, a kind of membranous fold or valvule, formed by a replication of the interior skin, and directed backwards, of which the effect is to hinder the alimentary substances, and especially the water gulped during respiration, from escaping again by the mouth. This structure does not, as formerly supposed, constitute a character restricted to the genus Zeus, but exists in an infinity of fishes.

The food seized by the teeth of the maxillæ, and detained by the valve just mentioned, is carried still further backwards by the teeth of the palate and tongue, when these exist, and is at the same time prevented by the dentations of the branchial arches from penetrating between the intervals of the branchiæ, where it might injure those delicate organs of respiration. The movements of the maxillæ and tongue can thus send the food only in the direction of the pharynx, where it undergoes additional action on the part of the teeth of the pharyngeal bones, which triturate or carry it backwards into the œsophagus. The last-named portion is clothed by a layer of strong, close set, muscular fibres, sometimes forming various bundles, the contractions of which push the alimentary matter into the stomach—thus completing the act of deglutition.









Philadelphia: John F. Nunns’ Copyright, 184 Chesnut Street.


Away then to the mountains,

While the morning sun is shining;

The mist has left the fountain,

And the herds in shade are reclining.


Up the rocks we’ll climb,

To the top sublime,

And we’ll

The hunter dreads no danger,

While along steep locks wending;

From youth a mountain ranger,

With the wind and snow contending.


From the peak he looks

On the valley brooks,

While his

watch the light deer bounding;

While the Sun wades through the Sea of blue,

And the Alpine horn is sounding.


Away then to the mountains,

While the morning sun is shining;

The mist has left the fountains,

And the herds in shade are reclining.

heart for home is bounding;

And he marks the maid

On the valley glade,

Who lists to his wild horn sounding.


Away then to the &c. &c.


A Grammar of the English Language, in a series of Letters, addressed to every American Youth. By Hugh A. Pue. Philadelphia: Published by the Author.

This is the title of a queer little book, which its author regards as “not only necessary, but urgently called for,” because not only “the mass of the people are ignorant of English Grammar, but because those who profess great knowledge of it, and even those who make the teaching of it their business, will be found, upon examination, to be very far from understanding its principles.”

Whether Mr. P. proceeds upon the safe old plan of Probe meliora; deteriora sequer—whether he is one of “the mass,” and means to include himself among the ignoramuses—or whether he is only a desperate quiz—we shall not take it upon ourselves to say; but the fact is clear that, in a Preface of less than two small duodecimo pages (the leading object of which seems to be an eulogy upon one William Cobbett), he has given us some half dozen distinct instances of bad Grammar.

“For these purposes,” says he—that is to say—the purposes of instructing mankind and enlightening “every American youth” without exception—“for these purposes, I have written my lessons in a series of letters. A mode that affords more opportunity for plainness, familiarity, instruction, and entertainment, than any other. A mode that was adopted by Chesterfield, in his celebrated instructions on politeness. A mode that was adopted by Smollett, in many of his novels, which, even at this day, hold a distinguished place in the world of fiction. A mode that was adopted by William Cobbett, not only in his admirable treatise on English Grammar, but in nearly every work that he wrote.” “To Mr. Cobbett,” adds the instructor of every American youth—“to Mr. Cobbett I acknowledge myself indebted for the greater part of the grammatical knowledge which I possess.” Of the fact stated there can be no question. Nobody but Cobbett could have been the grammatical Mentor of Mr. Pue, whose book (which is all Cobbett) speaks plainly upon the point—nothing but the ghost of William Cobbett, looking over the shoulder of Hugh A. Pue, could have inspired the latter gentleman with the bright idea of stringing together four consecutive sentences, in each of which the leading nominative noun is destitute of a verb.

Mr. Pue may attempt to justify his phraseology here, by saying that the several sentences, quoted above, commencing with the words, “A mode,” are merely continuations of the one beginning “For these purposes;” but this is no justification at all. By the use of the period, he has rendered each sentence distinct, and each must be examined as such, in respect to its grammar. We are only taking the liberty of condemning Mr. P. by the words of his own mouth. Turning to page 72, where he treats of punctuation, we read as follows:—“The full point is used at the end of every complete sentence; and a complete sentence is a collection of words making a complete sense, without being dependent upon another collection of words to convey the full meaning intended.” Now, what kind of a meaning can we give to such a sentence as “A mode that was adopted by Chesterfield in his celebrated instructions on politeness,” if we are to have “no dependence upon” the sentences that precede it? But, even in the supposition that these five sentences had been run into one, as they should have been, they would still be ungrammatical. For example—“For these purposes I have written my lessons in a series of letters—a mode that affords more opportunity for plainness, familiarity, instruction, and entertainment than any other—a mode, etc.” This would have been the proper method of punctuation. “A mode” is placed in apposition with “a series of letters.” But it is evident that it is not the “series of letters” which is the “mode.” It is the writing the lessons in a series which is so. Yet, in order that the noun “mode” can be properly placed in apposition with what precedes it, this latter must be either a noun, or a sentence, which, taken collectively, can serve as one. Thus, in any shape, all that we have quoted is bad grammar.

We say “bad grammar,” and say it through sheer obstinacy, because Mr. Pue says we should not. “Why, what is grammar?” asks he indignantly. “Nearly all grammarians tell us that grammar is the writing and speaking of the English language correctly. What then is bad grammar? Why bad grammar must be the bad writing and speaking of the English language correctly!!” We give the two admiration notes and all.

In the first place, if grammar be only the writing and speaking the English language correctly, then the French, or the Dutch, or the Kickapoos are miserable, ungrammatical races of people, and have no hopes of being anything else, unless Mr. Pue proceeds to their assistance:—but, let us say nothing of this for the present. What we wish to assert is, that the usual definition of grammar, as “the writing and speaking correctly,” is an error which should have been long ago exploded. Grammar is the analysis of language, and this analysis will be good or bad, just as the capacity employed upon it be weak or strong—just as the grammarian be a Horne Tooke or a Hugh A. Pue.

But perhaps, after all, we are treating this gentleman discourteously. His book may be merely intended as a good joke. By the bye, he says in his Preface, that “while he informs the student, he shall take particular care to entertain him.” Now, the truth is, we have been exceedingly entertained. In such passages as the following, however, which we find upon the second page of the Introduction, we are really at a loss to determine whether it is the utile or the dulce which prevails. We give the italics of Mr. Pue; without which, indeed, the singular force and beauty of the paragraph cannot be duly appreciated.

“The proper study of English grammar, so far from being dry, is one of the most rational enjoyments known to us; one that is highly calculated to rouse the dormant energies of the student; it requiring continual mental effort; unceasing exercise of mind. It is, in fact, the spreading of a thought-producing plaster of paris upon the extensive grounds of intellect! It is the parent of idea, and great causation of reflection; the mighty instigator of insurrection in the interior; and, above all, the unflinching champion of internal improvement!”

We know nothing about plaster of Paris; but the analogy which subsists between ipecac and grammar—at least between ipecac and the grammar of Mr. Pue—never, certainly, struck us in so clear a point of view, as it does now.

But, after all, whether Mr. P.’s queer little book shall or shall not meet the views of “Every American Youth,” will depend pretty much upon another question of high moment—whether “Every American Youth” be or be not as great a nincompoop as Mr. Pue.

Powhatan; a Metrical Romance, in Seven Cantos. By Seba Smith. New York: Harper and Brothers.

What few notices we have seen of this poem, speak of it as the production of Mrs. Seba Smith. To be sure, gentlemen may be behind the scenes, and know more about the matter than we do. They may have some private reason for understanding that black is white—some reason into which we, personally, are not initiated. But, to ordinary perception, “Powhatan” is the composition of Seba Smith, Esquire, of Jack Downing memory, and not of his wife. Seba Smith is the name upon the title-page; and the personal pronoun which supplies the place of this well-known prænomen and cognomen in the preface, is, we are constrained to say, of the masculine gender. “The author of Powhatan,”—thus, for example, runs a portion of the prolegomena—“does not presume to claim for his production the merit of good and genuine poetry, nor does he pretend to assign it a place in the classes or forms into which poetry is divided”—in all which, by the way, he is decidedly right. But can it be that no gentleman has read even so far as the Preface of the book? Can it be that the critics have had no curiosity to creep into the adyta—into the inner mysteries of this temple? If so, they are decidedly right too.

“Powhatan” is handsomely bound. Its printing is clear beyond comparison. Its paper is magnificent, and we undertake to say (for we have read it through with the greatest attention) that there is not a single typographical error in it, from one end to the other. Further than this, in the way of commendation, no man with both brains and conscience should proceed. In truth, a more absurdly flat affair—for flat is the only epithet which applies in this case—was never before paraded to the world, with so grotesque an air of bombast and assumption.

To give some idea of the tout ensemble of the book—we have first a Dedication to the “Young People of the United States,” in which Mr. Jack Downing lives, in “the hope that he may do some good in his day and generation, by adding something to the sources of rational enjoyment and mental culture.” Next, we have a Preface, occupying four pages, in which, quoting his publishers, the author tells us that poetry is a “very great bore, and won’t sell”—a thing which cannot be denied in certain cases, but which Mr. Downing denies in his own. “It may be true,” he says, “of endless masses of words, that are poured forth from the press, under the name of poetry”—but it is not true “of genuine poetry—of that which is worthy of the name”—in short, we presume he means to say it is not in the least little bit true of “Powhatan;” with regard to whose merits he wishes to be tried, not by the critics (we fear, in fact, that here it is the critics who will be tried), “but by the common taste of common readers”—all which ideas are common enough, to say no more.

We have next, a “Sketch of the Character of Powhatan,” which is exceedingly interesting and commendable, and which is taken from Burk’s “History of Virginia:”—four pages more. Then comes a Poem—four pages more—forty-eight lines—twelve lines to a page—in which all that we can understand, is something about the name of “Powhatan”

“Descending to a distant age,

Embodied forth on the deathless page”

of the author—that is to say, of Jack Downing, Esquire. We have now, one after the other, Cantos one, two, three, four, five, six, and seven—each subdivided into Parts, by means of Roman numerals—some of these Parts comprehending as many as six lines—upon the principle, we presume, of packing up precious commodities in small bundles. The volume then winds up with Notes, in proportion of three to one, as regards the amount of text, and taken, the most of them, from Burk’s Virginia, as before.

It is very difficult to keep one’s countenance when reviewing such a work as this; but we will do our best, for the truth’s sake, and put on as serious a face as the case will admit.

The leading fault of “Powhatan,” then, is precisely what its author supposes to be its principal merit. “It would be difficult,” he says, in that pitiable preface, in which he has so exposed himself, “to find a poem that embodies more truly the spirit of history, or indeed that follows out more faithfully many of its details.” It would, indeed; and we are very sorry to say it. The truth is, Mr. Downing has never dreamed of any artistic arrangement of his facts. He has gone straight forward, like a blind horse, and turned neither to the one side nor to the other, for fear of stumbling. But he gets them all in—every one of them—the facts we mean. Powhatan never did anything in his life, we are sure, that Mr. Downing has not got in his poem. He begins at the beginning, and goes on steadily to the end—painting away at his story, just as a sign-painter at a sign; beginning at the left hand side of his board, and plastering through to the right. But he has omitted one very ingenious trick of the sign-painter. He has forgotten to write under his portrait—“this is a pig,” and thus there is some danger of mistaking it for an opossum.

But we are growing scurrilous, in spite of our promise, and must put on a sober visage once more. It is a hard thing, however, when we have to read and write about such doggerel as this:

“But bravely to the river’s brink

I led my warrior train,

And face to face, each glance they sent,

We sent it back again.

Their werowance looked stern at me,

And I looked stern at him,

And all my warriors clasped their bows,

And nerved each heart and limb.

I raised my heavy war-club high,

And swung it fiercely round,

And shook it towards the shallop’s side,

Then laid it on the ground.

And then the lighted calumet

I offered to their view,

And thrice I drew the sacred smoke,

And toward the shallop blew.

And as the curling vapour rose

Soft as a spirit prayer,

I saw the pale-face leader wave

A white flag in the air.

Then launching out their painted skiff

They boldly came to land,

And spoke us many a kindly word,

And took us by the hand.

Presenting rich and shining gifts,

Of copper, brass, and beads,

To show that they were men like us,

And prone to generous deeds.

We held a long and friendly talk,

Inquiring whence they came,

And who the leader of their band,

And what their country’s name.

And how their mighty shallop moved

Across the boundless sea,

And why they touched our great king’s land

Without his liberty.”


It won’t do. We cannot sing to this tune any longer. We greatly prefer,

“John Gilpin was a gentleman

Of credit and renown,

A train-band captain eke was he

Of famous London town.”


“Old Grimes is dead, that good old man,

We ne’er shall see him more,

He used to wear an over-coat

All buttoned down before”—

or lines to that effect—we wish we could remember the words. The part, however, about

“Their werowance look’d stern at me,

And I looked stern at him”—

is not quite original with Mr. Downing—is it? We merely ask for information. Have we not heard something about

“An old crow sitting on a hickory limb,

Who winked at me, and I winked at him.”

The simple truth is, that Mr. Downing never committed a greater mistake in his life than when he fancied himself a poet, even in the ninty-ninth degree. We doubt whether he could distinctly state the difference between an epic and an epigram. And it will not do for him to appeal from the critic to common readers—because we assure him his book is a very uncommon book. We never saw any one so uncommonly bad—nor one about whose parturition so uncommon a fuss has been made, so little to the satisfaction of common sense. Your poem is a curiosity, Mr. Jack Downing; your “Metrical Romance” is not worth a single half sheet of the paste-board upon which it is printed. This is our humble and honest opinion; and, although honest opinions are not very plentiful just now, you can have ours at what it is worth. But we wish, before parting, to ask you one question. What do you mean by that motto from sir Philip Sidney, upon the title-page? “He cometh to you with a tale that holdeth children from play, and old men from the chimney-corner.” What do you mean by it, we say. Either you cannot intend to apply it to the “tale” of Powhatan, or else all the “old men” in your particular neighbourhood must be very old men; and all the “little children” a set of dunder-headed little ignoramuses.

Miscellanies of Literature. By the Author of Curiosities of Literature. 3 vols. J. & H. Langley, New York: 1841.

These volumes remind us of Coke upon Lyttleton, with which whilom we were wont to be delighted; for they are full of the same odd conceits, and present the same crude mass of undigested learning. Facts which no one else would ever have hunted up from the shelves of dusty libraries; theories which hitherto no man thought of substantiating by a reference to biography or history; ideas, which are oddities in themselves, and which are presented in the quaintest style; and illustrations of notions that no one else would ever have thought of, or which, if thought of, would not have been dressed up in so outlandish a manner, are all marshalled together here in disorderly array, pushing, jostling, and crowding each other until they remind one of Falstaff’s valorous regiment, or a militia training in a midland county.

Seriously, however, these miscellanies embody a vast amount of out-of-the-way intelligence, interesting to the general, but absolutely necessary to the literary reader. No man but D’Israeli would ever have had the patience to compile such a work. His ideas on the literary character; his observations on men of genius; and his sketch of King James the first, embody a vast body of undigested facts that must have consumed years merely in their collection. Industry, however, is the only merit of these volumes: in arranging this vast mass of truths, D’Israeli has shown anything but a comprehensive mind.

The work is got up in fine style, as what work is not, when issued by the Langleys?

Carleton, A Tale of Seventeen Hundred and Seventy-Six. Two volumes. Philadelphia: Lea & Blanchard.

We have heard this novel attributed to a gentleman of Philadelphia, and also to a citizen of New York. The question appears to be a moot one still, but, like many other moot points, is one of amazingly little importance. The book seems to be the composition of a young man, well educated in consonance with some of those Pharisaical literary creeds which are all-potent in deadening the higher powers in favor of the common-place. He has been taught propriety as the chief of the cardinal virtues, and instructed to regard originality as the sum total of the cardinal sins. His peculiar intellect, at the same time, has been a soil precisely adapted for the seed sown. In regard to “Carleton,” we may say in its behalf that its style is strikingly correct, and that its incidents and its reflections never, even by accident, startle us into unpleasant excitement. With this peace-offering upon the shrine of the decorous, we now take the liberty of throwing the book out of the window.

Lives of the Queens of England, from the Norman Conquest; With Anecdotes of their Courts; Now first Published from Official Records and Other Authentic Documents, Private as well as Public. From the Second London Edition, with Corrections and Additions. By Agnes Strickland. Vols. 1 and 2. Lea & Blanchard. Philadelphia.

This book has been well received in England, and justly so. Its design is obviously good, and its execution does honor to the fair author—for in this instance it is scarcely right to call her a compiler. The work is quite as original as any similar work can be. The task of composing it has been an arduous one indeed; and there are few women who could have accomplished it, as we see it accomplished. The ground upon which Mrs. Strickland has so boldly yet judiciously ventured is one hitherto unbroken, and, although she has trodden among flowers, she has not escaped the delving drudgery of the pioneer. In short, a deep research has been demanded for this labor, in quarters far out of the reach of the ordinary investigator.

The title, although comprehensive, does not fully indicate the book. We have not only the Lives of the Queens from the Norman Conquest, but, in the Introduction, notices of the ancient British and Saxon ones. The Empress Matilda is included among the former; although she has never been so ranked by any previous historian. In this our author is fully justified, however; for Matilda, who herself claimed no title beyond that of “Domina of England,” was queen de jure, and, in a historical view, a monarch of high importance, as the mother of the Plantagenets, and the uniting link of the Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman dynasties. The materials of which her memoir is composed are derived chiefly from Norman and Latin chronicles, never before translated.

These volumes are sufficiently well done in a mechanical point of view. The lithograph portrait of Matilda, however, is greasy and ineffective, and typographical blunders obscure the meaning of many important passages. In the very first paragraph of the Introduction, for instance, we have Solent fæminrum ductu bellare; a sentence which we are quite sure was never put together by Tacitus, from whose Life of Agricola it is taken.

The book, upon the whole, is one of rich interest and value, and must find a place in every historical library.

The History of a Flirt. 2 vols. Lea & Blanchard, Philadelphia: 1841.

This novel displays considerable ability, wasted on very common-place incidents. If the author will undertake a subject worthy of her talents—are we wrong in fancying the writer a lady?—we may yet hail her as a novelist of no slight pretensions.

Outlines of Geography and History, presenting a Concise View of the World. By Frederick Emerson, author of the North American Arithmetic. Hogan & Thompson: Philadelphia.

The Preface of this little work greatly interested us in its favor, and a careful examination of its contents did not lessen the interest. In its arrangement, Geography and History are combined—the former being the leading topic, and the latter the concomitant. The author’s observations, in respect to this junction, are just. The two subjects are so intimately connected in their own nature, that, however they may be separated in books, they can never be disconnected in the mind. The simultaneous study of both, properly connected, secures the learner from imbibing false notions of either.

The book is concise, but accurate, and well adapted either for a prefatory text-book, or for those whose limited school-time will not allow them to go through with a more diffuse system. It is very neatly and substantially gotten up.

The Works of Lord Bolingbroke, with a Life, prepared expressly for this Edition, containing additional information relative to his Personal and Private Character: 4 vols. Carey and Hart: Philadelphia. 1841.

An American edition of the works of Lord Bolingbroke has long been a desideratum to the scholar, and it is with no little pride we record that to Philadelphia we are indebted for so elegant an edition of them, as now lies before us. The typography of these volumes would do credit to the famous London press. With the exception of a few costly works published from time to time in our country, this edition of Lord Bolingbroke is unrivalled as a work of art.

The volumes before us contain the various political and philosophical writings of Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke. Of these, the political tracts are the most valuable: in a measure, for their matter, but chiefly for their style. Among these, the “Dissertation on Parties,” the “Letter to Sir Wm. Wyndham,” the “Idea of a Patriot King,” and the letters “on the study of History,” are the most celebrated. The philosophical essays, occupying two of the volumes on our table, are comparatively valueless, and inferior, both in style and matter, to the political tracts. They are deeply imbued with the sceptical opinions of the author, and we should have willingly seen them omitted in this edition, if it were possible to get up a complete one, with nearly one half of the author’s works left out. Little, therefore, as we value the philosophical works of Bolingbroke, we commend the publishers for not expunging them as too many others would have done.

The style of Bolingbroke is unrivalled. No library is perfect without his works, and they should be studied by the public speaker, or the author, night and day. We boldly aver that there does not exist a writer in the language, the reading of whose works, so far as diction is concerned, would be more beneficial to young men. Bolingbroke’s choice of words is singularly fine. Nothing can be clearer, stronger, or more copious than his language. Terse, nervous, epigrammatic; diffuse in general, but condensed when necessary; at times racy, at times vehement, at times compact as iron; rhetorical, yet easy; elegant, yet convincing; bold, rapid and declamatory, his writings carry one away like a spoken harangue, without betraying the carelessness of the extemporaneous style. The very absence of method, which, in others, would be faulty, is, in Bolingbroke, from the air of frankness it gives to his cause, and its consistency with his essentially oratorical style, a merit: at least not a defect. In grace he has no equal. The euphony of his sentences is like the liquid flow of a river. No writer in the English tongue so much resembles Cicero—to our mind—as Bolingbroke. Burke has been called his rival here; but Burke wanted the ease, the elegance, the chastened imagery of Tully, and in all of these St. John rivalled the friend of Atticus. Deeply imbued with the Latin literature, Bolingbroke has caught, as it were, the spirit of the Augustan age; and we feel, in perusing his pages, the same chastened delight which we enjoy over no modern, and only over Tully among the ancients.

We repeat it: no library is complete without these volumes. Hitherto, the difficulty of obtaining a set of Bolingbroke’s Works, and the high price at which the English editions were sold, have confined the study of his writings comparatively to a few.

The life of Bolingbroke, affixed to these volumes, is altogether a mongrel affair, being made up of shreds and patches, like an old grandam’s best bed-quilt. The text is Goldsmith, interpolated with Brougham, Cooke, and the Encyclopædia. It is true, the preface states this at large, but it also conveys the impression that the memoir has been re-written, and that only the materials have been used. Now, if so, a more unequal, ragged, piebald piece of composition was never perpetrated than this same memoir, and the author—if any one but a pair of scissors there be—ought to be condemned to the now obsolete, but not less effective punishment, of the cutty-stool. If ever a man deserved a horse-pond, it is the inditer of this biography.

A Memoir of the Very Reverend Theobald Mathew. With an Account of the Rise and Progress of Temperance in Ireland. By the Reverend James Bermingham, of Borisokane. Edited by P. H. Morris, M. D., and by whom is added the Evil Effects of Drunkenness Physiologically Explained. Alexander V. Blake: New York.

It is scarcely too much to say that the Temperance Reformation is the most important which the world ever knew. Yet its great feature has never yet been made a subject of comment. We mean that of adding to man’s happiness (the ultimate object of all reform), not by the difficult and equivocal process of multiplying his pleasures, in their external regard, but by the simple and most effectual one of exalting his capacity for enjoyment. The temperate man carries within his own bosom, under all circumstances, the true, the only elements of bliss.

The book before us will essentially aid the good cause. The memoir of Mathew is deeply interesting; but, excellent as it is, we prefer the essay of Dr. Morris on “the Effects of Drunkenness Physiologically considered.” Through the influence of the physical, rather than of the moral suggestions against alcohol, the permanency of the temperance reform will be made good. Convince the world that spirituous liquors are poison to the body, and it will be scarcely necessary to add that they are ruin to the soul.

The Life and Land of Burns: 1 vol. J. & H. Langley: New York. 1841.

This is an excellent work, got up in a style of exceeding beauty. The Langleys, indeed, are becoming celebrated for the beauty of their publications.

An essay by Carlyle, written in his usual barbarous style, but sparkling with brilliant thoughts, like diamonds in a mine, forms one of the chief features of the contents.

Transcriber’s Notes:

Table of Contents has been added for reader convenience. Archaic spellings and hyphenation have been retained. Obvious punctuation and typesetting errors have been corrected without note. A cover has been created for this ebook and is placed in the public domain.


In E.A. Poe’s article A FEW WORDS ON SECRET WRITING, a page image of a cryptograph has been used for the ebook formats other than plain text, rather than a transcription, due to limitations of modern fonts and devices. It is interesting to use that illustration image as indicator of the problems which could occur with old physical typesetting methods. Looking at the image of the cryptograph we can see the first 6 characters of the first line are $0.£][ which according to the list of characters above the cryptograph would be "wm eust" but were meant to represent the words "we must". Unfortunately the typesetter made an error and transposed the e (.) and m (0) so the first characters should have been printed as $.0£][ to be a correct representation of the paragraph.


[The end of Graham's Magazine Vol XIX No. 1 July 1841 edited by George Rex Graham]