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Title: Graham's Magazine Vol XIX No. 2 August 1841

Date of first publication: 1841

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

Date first posted: Jan. 14, 2021

Date last updated: Jan. 14, 2021

Faded Page eBook #20210128

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


Vol. XIX.      August, 1841.      No. 2.


Fiction, Literature and Articles
The Penitent Son
The Colloquy of Monos and Una
The Assault
The Neglected Wife
The Puritan Son
School-Boy Recollections
The Reefer of ’76
A Day at Niagara
Willis Gaylord Clark
Sports and Pastimes—Angling
Review of New Books
Secret Writing
Poetry, Music and Fashion
My Mother’s Bible
“I Know That Thou Wilt Sorrow!”
O, Say, Do I Na’ Lo’e Ye Lassie
Thoughts In Spring
The Withered Rose
Major Dade’s Command
The Widow
Farewell! If Ever Fondest Prayer
Latest Fashions, August 1941

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

Painted by Prentis       Engraved by J. Sartain.

The Penitent Son.

Engraved Expressly for Graham’s Magazine



Vol. XIX.    PHILADELPHIA: AUGUST, 1841.    No. 2.


“Father, only look at him—do but hear him!” said the soft, entreating voice of the daughter, as she looked up imploringly into her parent’s face, while the sobs of the penitent son shook his frame with agony.

James Vernon was the only son of two doating parents, and the heir of a splendid fortune. Gratified in his every wish, and left almost without restraint, he had grown up that most fatal of all things, a spoiled child; and had it not been for a naturally frank and generous disposition, he would have been ruined by indulgence even in his boyhood. When, however, at fifteen, he left home for college, he still possessed the elements of a noble character, and had he then been entrusted to a careful tutor, he might have been saved years of folly and subsequent misery. But, thrown among the hundreds of youth of his own age who thronged the institution whither he was sent, with no one to guide him aright, and habits of wilfulness, contracted at home, to urge him on wherever whim might lead him, he soon fell into the temptations incident to a large college, and, without intending evil so much as seeking for amusement, became notorious for his frolics, idleness, and even dissipation. He had not been at the university a year before his name was regarded as that of the worst member of his class. His progress in study was deficient, and his expenses great. His doating father at first overlooked his son’s irregularities, thinking they would soon wear off; but when term after term elapsed, and there was no appearance of reformation, he expostulated strongly, almost sternly, with his child. For a time James was moved, and almost shook off his unworthy companions. But the effort to cut loose from them altogether required more energy than he was capable of, and as no reformation can be lasting when only half complete, he soon relapsed into his old habits, and, before the term was up, was as notorious as ever for being the leader in every mischievous or even disreputable action. This could not last. More than once he had been warned by the faculty, and weekly—almost daily—did his friends, by letter, expostulate with him. Frank, generous and good-intentioned, he constantly determined to amend his conduct; but his very open-heartedness, by rendering him incapable of resisting temptation, prevented every lasting effort at reformation. Each failure likewise placed him more and more in the power of his gay companions. The result is easily told. In his second year, he was detected in a flagrant violation of the college rules, and, as expostulation had been used again and again in vain, he was expelled from the university. The blow fell like a thunderbolt on his parents. His father was a rigidly correct, and withal a proud man, and, in proportion to the affection with which he regarded his son, was the conviction of the disgrace thus brought upon his name. In the first emotions of his anger, he almost vowed never to look on the face of his son again. But the prayers of the fond mother at length prevailed; he relented, and James was once more received under the paternal roof.

It must not be supposed that the youth was callous to his disgrace. He felt it acutely, and the more acutely because, as every good principle was not yet eradicated from his heart, he was conscious that he deserved his degradation. He saw, too, how deeply injured were the feelings of his parents; and he determined to thoroughly reform. He kept his word. For the year that he remained under the paternal roof, he seemed another being. But, in a fatal hour, his father yielded to his solicitations to allow him to study a profession, and he was accordingly sent to Philadelphia, to commence a course of lectures at the celebrated university of that city. Who might not have foretold the result? Almost imperceptibly, and, to a disposition like his, unavoidably, he was seduced back into his old courses, and, before the winter was over, he became once more celebrated as one of the most idle and dissipated students of his class. The arrival of a few of his old companions in college, to begin their studies for a profession, completed his ruin. He plunged into every extravagance. His allowance, liberal as it was, fell far short of his expenses. His bills soon accumulated to a fearful amount. Dreading to acquaint his parent with their extent, and in order to relieve himself from their load, he did what hitherto he had shunned—he resorted to the gaming table. For a while he was successful, for he had always been accounted a skilful player, and believing he now had a resource for every emergency, he plunged still deeper into extravagance of every character. But suddenly his luck failed him. He lost. Again he essayed to retrieve his fortune—again he was unsuccessful. His bills had meantime accumulated to a fearful amount; and knowing that he had no hope for succor from his parent, he made a desperate attempt to retrieve his losses. It was in vain. Not only did he fail to retrieve his luck, but he went forth a ruined man, having involved himself even still deeper. For a while he was frantic with despair. As a last resort, he determined on applying to his mother, well knowing that she would look with more leniency on him than his sterner father would. He waited breathlessly for an answer. It came, directed in his father’s handwriting. He opened the epistle with a trembling hand, and beating heart, and read as follows:


   Your letter found your mother on a sick bed, unable to receive any intelligence, and, as we knew from whom the packet came, I opened it. Its contents will account for the style of this epistle. You are no longer a son of mine. Two years ago, when you brought the disgrace on your name of having been expelled ignominiously from college, I almost vowed never to acknowledge you as a son of mine. I relented, however, and took you again into favor. I see now how useless it was. Again you have brought shame on my gray hairs; and I now make the determination to disown you wholly. Enclosed is a thousand dollars, for I will not send you penniless on the world. Let me never again hear from you. Change your name, since you will dishonor the one I bear, and remember that your own folly has cut loose every tie betwixt you and

George L. Vernon.”

The letter fell from the hands of the young man as he ceased reading, and for some moments, without uttering a word, he gazed on it as it lay on the floor at his feet. In that minute how his whole past life rushed through his memory! He thought of his infancy; his early childhood; the rooms where he played; his little sister; his mother; the servants; every old familiar place and thing, all now shut out to him forever. Had he deserved to be treated with such harshness? His passion blinded him as he said:

“No! I have not deserved it. I will be under no obligations to one who can thus heartlessly cast me off. He disowns me—does he? Let it be. Never will I sue for a favor again at any of their hands. From this day forth they shall be to me as the dead.”

Shall we follow him through his career of subsequent desperation and eventual profligacy, or shall we at once draw to a close?

More than a year had passed since Vernon had been disowned by his parent, and he was now an outcast, and almost penniless. In all that time he had heard nothing of home. He had seen, in the interval, every variety of life. The gaming table had been his principal resort, for after having, with the remittance made to him by his father, discharged his debts of honor, he had so little left that he saw no other resource from starvation. The vicissitudes of a gambler’s life are well known; the inevitable result—poverty—is ever the same. By the time a twelvemonth had elapsed, Vernon was almost penniless.

With only a few dollars in his pocket, he one night entered a low gaming house, and for some time betted without either loss or gain. At length, however, he lost. He threw down another stake, and that too was swept up by the banker. His last dollar was in his hand, ready to be put up, when he paused, and the question flashed across his mind, what if he should lose again? Never before had he been so near to utter poverty. He had even no place where he might lodge that night, and, save that dollar, he owned nothing in the wide world but the garments he wore. He paused, and turned away.

“The cards pass,” said the banker. “You do not bet this time, sir?—another chance, and you retrieve your loss.”

Still the young man hesitated. The banker lost.

“The cards pass,” said the banker again; “you see you would have won, sir. How much do you put up now?”

The young man glanced fiercely at the speaker, hesitated an instant, and half turned away again; but the temptation to try his luck once more was too great, and hastily throwing down his dollar, he grasped the cards convulsively.

“Twenty!” said the banker, flinging his cards with a smile on the table. “Sir, you have lost.”

The young man stared wildly at the hoary villain, and then grinding his teeth together fiercely, with ill-concealed despair, he pushed the piece towards his tempter, cast a stern defying glance around the room at the curious spectators of the scene, and strode from the apartment.

“Humph!” said the banker, “I’ll bet it’s his last dollar—who takes me up? No one, eh! Then, gentlemen, proceed.”

No sooner had the young man reached the street than he paused, and looking up at the gay windows of the room he had left, he shook his clenched hand fiercely at them, and exclaimed—

“Curses on ye for the ruin ye have brought upon me!—ay! ten thousand curses on ye and your hoary owners!” and then the recollection of his poverty seeming to cross his mind in another guise, he added, less passionately, “My God! not a cent have they left me, even to buy a night’s shelter. Oh! that I had never left my father’s house!”

For hours he wandered up and down the streets, now inflamed to madness by his despair, now melting at the recollection of the happy days he had once enjoyed under his father’s roof. Morning still found him a wanderer. Pale, dejected and spirit-broken, he entered, at early dawn, an obscure coffee-house, just as the sleepy menials were opening the shutters, and sitting moodily down, picked up the morning paper. The first paragraph that his eye lit upon was as follows:

“Died, on the 5th inst., after a lingering illness, which she bore with Christian meekness and fortitude, Elizabeth, wife of George L. Vernon.”

The paper dropped from his grasp. For an instant all power of speech left him. Then rushed across his mind the recollection of a thousand things which that mother had done for her erring boy. And she had died—died without forgiving him! Oh! at that moment, he would have given worlds to have recalled her to life, in order that he might kneel at her feet and solicit her pardon.

“I will arise,” at length he said, in the language of scripture, “and go unto my father. I will sue for permission to behold her face in death; surely that they will not deny me.”

And he arose. Completely changed in spirit, that erring son, after nearly a day’s travel, arrived at his native village. He had parted with every available thing to obtain funds for the journey, and reached his father’s house just before night, penniless. He knocked hastily at the door, not giving himself time to notice that the house bore no signs of mourning. The old housekeeper, who happened to be crossing the hall at the time the servant admitted him, could scarcely repress a scream of surprise at seeing her young master.

“For God’s sake,” gasped the penitent, “Mrs. Irwin, lead me to my mother; let me see her before the grave closes over her forever.”

The almost incoherent words and eager, impassioned gestures of the penitent for a moment bewildered the good woman.

“Your mother! Mr. James—she is not dead; but you have seen the newspapers’ mistake, then?”

“Not dead!” exclaimed he, falling on his knees; “then I thank thee, oh! my Creator, that I can yet sue for her forgiveness.”

“Come, then, my dear boy,” said the old housekeeper, bursting into tears, “and let me take you in to your parents. Oh! I have prayed for this hour night and day, and I knew that it would come;” and while the tears fell thick and fast down her aged cheeks, she led the now passive penitent across the hall, opened the door of the drawing-room, and ushered in the returning prodigal.

One glance around that well-remembered room was sufficient for the young man. His mother sat in her easy chair, wrapped in a large shawl, and bearing evident traces of a late illness; his sister was at her piano, playing one of the old airs which he had heard a thousand times from her; and his silver-haired father sat betwixt the mother and daughter, engaged in his usual occupation of reading. Yet, oh! how care-worn were the faces of all! And this was the work of that prodigal son. As he saw it all, a gush of old feelings swept across the penitent’s soul, and falling on his knees, he buried his face in his hands, and sobbed aloud in his remorse.

“My boy!—come to my arms,” said the mother, almost hysterically, awarding her forgiveness almost before it was solicited.

Not so the father. Rising with a frown from his chair, he was about to advance on the intruder, when the daughter, rushing towards him, lifted her beseeching eyes to her parent’s, and said,

“Father, only look at him—do but hear him!”

For a moment the conflict in that father’s bosom almost shook his frame with emotion. At first he turned away, refusing to see his boy; but in every line of his agitated face might be seen the struggle betwixt affection for his son and his sense of injury. Nature at length triumphed; he suffered himself to be led towards the penitent, and the next moment the members of the re-united family were sobbing alternately in each other’s arms.






This book is all that’s left me now!—

  Tears will unbidden start—

With faltering lip and throbbing brow,

  I press it to my heart.

For many generations passed,

  Here is our family tree;

My mother’s hands this Bible clasped—

  She, dying, gave it me.


Ah! well do I remember those

  Whose names these records bear:

Who round the hearth-stone used to close,

  After the evening prayer,

And speak of what these pages said,

  In terms my heart would thrill!—

Though they are with the silent dead,

  Here are they living still!


My father read this holy book

  To brothers, sisters dear—

How calm was my poor mother’s look,

  Who leaned God’s word to hear!

Her angel face—I see it yet!

  What thronging memories come!

Again that little group is met

  Within the halls of home!


Thou truest friend man ever knew,

  Thy constancy I’ve tried;

When all were false, I found thee true,

  My counsellor and guide.

The mines of earth no treasures give

  That could this volume buy;

In teaching me the way to live,

  It taught me how to die.





Una. “Born again?”

Monos. Yes, fairest and best beloved Una, “born again.” These were the words upon whose mystical meaning I had so long pondered, rejecting the explanations of the priesthood, until Death himself resolved for me the secret.

Una. Death!

Monos. How strangely, sweet Una, you echo my words! I observe, too, a vacillation in your step—a joyous inquietude in your eyes. You are confused and oppressed by the majestic novelty of the Life Eternal. Yes, it was of Death I spoke. And here how singularly sounds that word which of old was wont to bring terror to all hearts—throwing a mildew upon all pleasures!

Una. Ah, Death, the spectre which sate at all feasts! How often, Monos, did we lose ourselves in speculations upon its nature! How mysteriously did it act as a check to human bliss—saying unto it “thus far, and no farther!” That earnest mutual love, my own Monos, which burned within our bosoms—how vainly did we flatter ourselves, feeling happy in its first upspringing, that our happiness would strengthen with its strength! Alas! as it grew, so grew in our hearts the dread of that evil hour which was hurrying to separate us forever! Thus, in time, it became painful to love. Hate would have been mercy then.

Monos. Speak not here of these griefs, dear Una—mine, mine forever now!

Una. But the memory of past sorrow—is it not present joy? I have much to say yet of the things which have been. Above all, I burn to know the incidents of your own passage through the dark Valley and Shadow.

Monos. And when did the radiant Una ask anything of her Monos in vain? I will be minute in relating all—but at what point shall the weird narrative begin?

Una. At what point?

Monos. You have said.

Una. Monos, I comprehend you. In Death we have both learned the propensity of man to define the indefinable. I will not say, then, commence with the moment of life’s cessation—but commence with that sad, sad instant when, the fever having abandoned you, you sank into a breathless and motionless torpor, and I pressed down your pallid eyelids with the passionate fingers of love.

Monos. One word first, my Una, in regard to man’s general condition at this epoch. You will remember that one or two of the wise among our forefathers—wise in fact, although not in the world’s esteem—had ventured to doubt the propriety of the term “improvement,” as applied to the progress of our civilization. There were periods in each of the five or six centuries immediately preceding our dissolution, when arose some vigorous intellect, boldly contending for those principles whose truth appears now, to our disenfranchised reason, so utterly obvious—principles which should have taught our race to submit to the guidance of the natural laws, rather than attempt their control. At long intervals some master-minds appeared, looking upon each advance in practical science as a retro-gradation in the true utility. Occasionally the poetic intellect—that intellect which we now feel to have been the most exalted of all—since those truths which to us were of the most enduring importance could only be reached by that analogy which speaks in proof-tones to the imagination alone, and to the unaided reason bears no weight—occasionally did this poetic intellect proceed a step farther in the evolving of the vague idea of the philosophic, and find in the mystic parable that tells of the tree of knowledge, and of its forbidden fruit, death-producing, a distinct intimation that knowledge was not meet for man in the infant condition of his soul. And these men—the poets—living and perishing amid the scorn of the “utilitarians”—of rough pedants, who arrogated to themselves a title which could have been properly applied only to the scorned—these men, the poets, pondered piningly, yet not unwisely, upon the ancient days when our wants were not more simple than our enjoyments were keen—days when mirth was a word unknown, so solemnly deep-toned was happiness—holy, august and blissful days, when blue rivers ran undammed, between hills unhewn, into far forest solitudes, primæval, odorous, and unexplored.

Yet these noble exceptions from the general misrule served but to strengthen it by opposition. Alas! we had fallen upon the most evil of all our evil days. The great “movement”—that was the cant term—went on:—a diseased commotion, moral and physical. Art—the Arts—arose supreme, and, once enthroned, cast chains upon the intellect which had elevated them to power. Man, because he could not but acknowledge the majesty of Nature, fell into childish exultation at his acquired and still-increasing dominion over her elements. Even while he stalked a god in his own fancy, an infantine imbecility came over him. As might be supposed from the origin of his disorder, he grew infected with system, and with abstraction. He enwrapped himself in generalities. Among other odd ideas, those of universal equality gained ground; and in the face of analogy and of God—in despite of the loud warning voice of the laws of gradation so visibly pervading all things in Earth and Heaven—wild attempts at an omni-prevalent Democracy were made. Yet this evil sprang necessarily from the leading evil, Knowledge. Man could not both know and succumb. Meantime huge smoking cities arose, innumerable. Green leaves shrank before the hot breath of furnaces. The fair face of Nature was deformed as with the ravages of some loathsome disease. And methinks, sweet Una, even our slumbering sense of the forced and of the far-fetched might have arrested us here. But now it appears that we had worked out our own destruction in the perversion of our taste, or rather in the blind neglect of its culture in the schools. For, in truth, it was at this crisis that taste alone—that faculty which, holding a middle position between the pure intellect and the moral sense, could never safely have been disregarded—it was now that taste alone could have led us gently back to Beauty, to Nature, and to Life. But alas for the pure contemplative spirit and majestic intuition of Plato! Alas for the μουσικη which he justly regarded as an all-sufficient education for the soul! Alas for him and for it!—since both were most desperately needed when both were most entirely forgotten or despised.[1]

Pascal, a philosopher whom we both love, has said, how truly!—“que tout notre raisonnement se rèduit à céder au sentiment;” and it is not impossible that the sentiment of the natural, had time permitted it, would have regained its old ascendancy over the harsh mathematical reason of the schools. But this thing was not to be. Prematurely induced by intemperance of knowledge, the old age of the world drew on. This the mass of mankind saw not, or, living lustily although unhappily, affected not to see. But, for myself, the Earth’s records had taught me to look for widest ruin as the price of highest civilization. I had imbibed a prescience of our Fate from comparison of China the simple and enduring, with Assyria the architect, with Egypt the astrologer, with Nubia, more crafty than either, the turbulent mother of all Arts. In history[2] of these regions I met with a ray from the Future. The individual artificialities of the three latter were local diseases of the Earth, and in their individual overthrows we had seen local remedies applied; but for the infected world at large I could anticipate no regeneration save in death. That man, as a race, should not become extinct, I saw that he must be “born again.”

And now it was, fairest and dearest, that we busied our souls, daily, in dreams. Now it was that, in twilight, we discoursed of the days to come, when the Art-scarred surface of the Earth, having undergone that purification[3] which alone could efface its rectangular obscenities, should clothe itself anew in the verdure and the mountain-slopes and the smiling waters of Paradise, and be rendered at length a fit dwelling-place for man:—for man the Death-purged—for man to whose now exalted intellect there should be poison in knowledge no more—for the redeemed, regenerated, blissful, and now immortal, but still for the material, man.

Una. Well do I remember these conversations, dear Monos; but the epoch of the fiery overthrow was not so near at hand as we believed, and as the corruption you indicate did surely warrant us in believing. Men lived; and died individually. You yourself sickened, and passed into the grave; and thither your constant Una speedily followed you. And though the century which has since elapsed, and whose conclusion brings us thus together once more, tortured our slumbering senses with no impatience of duration, yet, my Monos, it was a century still.

Monos. Say, rather, a point in the vague infinity. Unquestionably, it was in the Earth’s dotage that I died. Wearied at heart with anxieties which had their origin in the general turmoil and decay, I succumbed to the fierce fever. After some few days of pain, and many of dreamy delirium replete with ecstasy, the manifestations of which you mistook for pain, while I longed but was impotent to undeceive you—after some days there came upon me, as you have said, a breathless and motionless torpor; and this was termed Death by those who stood around me. Words are vague things. My condition did not deprive me of sentience. It appeared to me not greatly dissimilar to the extreme quiescence of him who, having slumbered long and profoundly, lying motionless and fully prostrate in a midsummer noon, begins to steal slowly back into consciousness, through the mere sufficiency of his sleep, and without being awakened by external disturbances. I breathed no longer. The pulses were still. The heart had ceased to beat. Volition had not departed but was powerless. The senses were unusually active, although eccentrically so—assuming often each other’s functions at random. The taste and the smell were inextricably confounded, and became one sentiment, abnormal and intense. The rose-water with which your tenderness had moistened my lips to the last, affected me with sweet fancies of flowers—fantastic flowers, far more lovely than any of the old Earth, but whose prototypes we have here blooming around us. The eyelids, transparent and bloodless, offered no complete impediment to vision. As volition was in abeyance, the balls could not roll in their sockets—but all objects within the range of the visual hemisphere were seen with more or less distinctness; the rays which fell upon the external retina, or into the corner of the eye, producing a more vivid effect than those which struck the front or interior surface. Yet, in the former instance, this effect was so far anomalous that I appreciated it only as sound—sound sweet or discordant as the matters presenting themselves at my side were light or dark in shade—curved or angular in outline. The hearing, at the same time, although excited in degree, was not irregular in action—estimating real sounds with an extravagance of precision, not less than of sensibility. Touch had undergone a modification more peculiar. Its impressions were tardily received, but pertinaciously retained, and resulted always in the highest physical pleasure. Thus the pressure of your sweet fingers upon my eyelids, at first only recognised through vision, at length, long after their removal, filled my whole being with a sensual delight immeasurable. I say with a sensual delight. All my perceptions were purely sensual. The materials furnished the passive brain by the senses were not in the least degree wrought into shape by the deceased understanding. Of pain there was some little; of pleasure there was much; but of moral pain or pleasure none at all. Thus your wild sobs floated into my ear with all their mournful cadences, and were appreciated in their every variation of sad tone; but they were soft musical sounds and no more; they conveyed to the extinct reason no intimation of the sorrows which gave them birth; while the large and constant tears which fell upon my face, telling the bystanders of a heart which broke, thrilled every fibre of my frame with ecstasy alone. And this was in truth the Death of which these bystanders spoke reverently, in low whispers—you, sweet Una, gaspingly, with loud cries.

They attired me for the coffin—three or four dark figures which flitted busily to and fro. As these crossed the direct line of my vision they affected me as forms; but upon passing to my side their images impressed me with the idea of shrieks, groans, and other dismal expressions of terror, of horror, or of wo. You alone, habited in a white robe, passed in all directions musically about me.

The day waned; and, as its light faded away, I became possessed by a vague uneasiness—an anxiety such as the sleeper feels when sad real sounds fall continuously within his ear—low distant bell-tones, solemn, at long but equal intervals, and commingling with melancholy dreams. Night arrived; and with its shadows a heavy discomfort. It oppressed my limbs with the oppression of some dull weight, and was palpable. There was also a moaning sound, not unlike the distant reverberation of surf, but more continuous, which, beginning with the first twilight, had grown in strength with the darkness. Suddenly lights were brought into the room, and this reverberation became forthwith interrupted into frequent unequal bursts of the same sound, but less dreary and less distinct. The ponderous oppression was in a great measure relieved; and, issuing from the flame of each lamp, (for there were many,) there flowed unbrokenly into my ears a strain of melodious monotone. And when now, dear Una, approaching the bed upon which I lay outstretched, you sat gently by my side, breathing odor from your sweet lips, and pressing them upon my brow, there arose tremulously within my bosom, and mingling with the merely physical sensations which circumstances had called forth, a something akin to sentiment itself—a feeling that, half appreciating, half responded to your earnest love and sorrow; but this feeling took no root in the pulseless heart, and seemed indeed rather a shadow than a reality, and faded quickly away, first into extreme quiescence, and then into a purely sensual pleasure as before.

And now, from the wreck and the chaos of the usual senses, there appeared to have arisen within me a sixth, all perfect. In its exercise I found a wild delight—yet a delight still physical, inasmuch as the understanding had in it no part. Motion in the animal frame had fully ceased. No muscle quivered; no nerve thrilled; no artery throbbed. But there seemed to have sprung up in the brain, that of which no words could convey to the merely human intelligence even an indistinct definition. Let me term it a mental pendulous pulsation. It was the moral embodiment of man’s abstract idea of Time. By the absolute equalization of this movement—or of such as this—had the cycles of the firmamental orbs themselves, been adjusted. By its aid I measured the irregularities of the clock upon the mantel, and of the watches of the attendants. Their tickings came sonorously to my ears. The slightest deviations from the true proportion—and these deviations were omni-prævalent—affected me just as violations of abstract truth were wont, on earth, to affect the moral sense. Although no two of the time-pieces in the chamber struck the individual seconds accurately together, yet I had no difficulty in holding steadily in mind the tones, and the respective momentary errors of each. And this—this keen, perfect, self-existing sentiment of duration—this sentiment existing (as man could not possibly have conceived it to exist) independently of any succession of events—this idea—this sixth sense, upspringing from the ashes of the rest, was the first obvious and certain step of the intemporal soul upon the threshold of the temporal Eternity.

It was midnight; and you still sat by my side. All others had departed from the chamber of Death. They had deposited me in the coffin. The lamps burned flickeringly; for this I knew by the tremulousness of the monotonous strains. But, suddenly these strains diminished in distinctness and in volume. Finally they ceased. The perfume in my nostrils died away. Forms affected my vision no longer. The oppression of the Darkness uplifted itself from my bosom. A dull shock like that of electricity pervaded my frame, and was followed by total loss of the idea of contact. All of what man has termed sense was merged in the sole consciousness of entity, and in the one abiding sentiment of duration. The mortal body had been at length stricken with the hand of the deadly Decay.

Yet had not all of sentience departed; for the consciousness and the sentiment remaining supplied some of its functions by a lethargic intuition. I appreciated the direful change now in operation upon the flesh, and, as the dreamer is sometimes aware of the bodily presence of one who leans over him, so, sweet Una, I still dully felt that you sat by my side. So, too, when the noon of the second day came, I was not unconscious of those movements which displaced you from my side, which confined me within the coffin, which deposited me within the hearse, which bore me to the grave, which lowered me within it, which heaped heavily the mould upon me, and thus left me in blackness and corruption to my sad slumbers with the worm.

And here, in the prison-house, which has few secrets to disclose, there rolled away days and weeks and solemn months, and the soul watched narrowly each second as it flew, and, without effort, took record of its flight—without effort and without object. Meantime the worm, with its convulsive motion, writhed untorturing and unheeded about me.

A year passed. The consciousness of being had grown hourly more indistinct, and that of mere locality had, in great measure, usurped its position. The idea of entity was becoming merged in that of place. The narrow space immediately surrounding what had been the body, was now growing to be the body itself. At length, as often happens to the sleeper (by sleep and its world alone is Death imaged)—at length, as sometimes happened on Earth to the deep slumberer, when some flitting light half startled him into awaking, yet left him half enveloped in dreams—so to me, in the strict embrace of the Shadow, came that light which alone might have had power to startle—the light of enduring Love. Men toiled at the grave in which I lay darkling. They upthrew the damp earth. Upon my mouldering bones there descended the coffin of Una.

And now again all was void. That nebulous light had been extinguished. That feeble thrill had vibrated itself into quiescence. Many lustra had supervened. Dust had returned to dust. The worm had food no more. The sense of being had at length utterly departed, and there reigned in its stead—instead of all things—dominant and perpetual—the autocrats Place and Time. For that which was not—for that which had no form—for that which had no thought—for that which had no sentience—for that which was soulless, yet of which matter formed no portion—for all this nothingness, yet for all this immortality, the grave was still a home, and the corrosive hours, co-mates.

“It will be hard to discover a better [method of education] than that which the experience of so many ages has already discovered; and this may be summed up as consisting in gymnastics for the body, and music for the soul.”—Repub. lib. 2. “For this reason is a musical education most essential; since it causes Rhythm and Harmony to penetrate most intimately into the soul, taking the strongest hold upon it, filling it with beauty and making the man beautiful-minded. . . . . . He will praise and admire the beautiful; will receive it with joy into his soul, will feed upon it, and assimilate his own condition with it.”—Ibid, lib. 3. Music (μουσικη) had, however, among the Athenians, a far more comprehensive signification than with us. It included not only the harmonies of time and of tune, but the poetic diction, sentiment and creation, each in its widest sense. The study of music was with them, in fact, the general cultivation of the taste—of that which recognizes the beautiful—in contra-distinction from reason, which deals only with the true.

“History” from ιστορειν, to contemplate.

The word “purification” seems here to be used with reference to its root in the Greek πυρ, fire.





I know that thou wilt sorrow, when first I pass from earth,

And at thy pale and quivering lip shall gleam no sign of mirth,

For grief shall sit upon thy brow, in sad, unseemly guise,

And tears, e’en though thou art a man, shall well up to thine eyes.


For each young plant, each speaking flower, and old familiar place

Will seem to gaze with sadness, up to thine averted face;

And when, perchance, another hand my own sweet chords shall sweep,

Thou’lt list to those remembered tones, and turn aside and weep!


And when another’s thoughtless voice, shall breathe to thee my name,

And whisper that the sound was linked with an undying fame,

No pride shall mantle o’er thy cheek, nor darkle in thine eye,

For idle words breathed of the dead, should pass as idly by.


Thou’lt miss my step at even, when thou drawest near thy home,

When gleam the ever-sleepless stars, from yon eternal dome;

And thou wilt sit and gaze at them, nor shall thou gaze unmoved,

For, oh! thou’lt think, that I too well their startling beauty loved!


Thou’lt miss me, and will seek to claim the tempest of thy soul,

For passions all untamed as those, shall bend to thy control;

And grief, that erst sat on thy brow, thou’lt spurn from out thy heart,

And with each old remembrancer most willingly will part.


When my dim-remembered features shall pass from memory,

When the music of my name, shall wake no answering melody,

Thou wilt turn thee to another, and she will be to thee,

E’en all that I have ever been,—all I could hope to be!





It was the last morning of the assault. The sun had risen heavily across the eastern highlands, flinging his slant beams upon the embattled armies of the cross, and disclosing, as the mists rolled upwards from the valley, mangonel, and tower, and battering-ram, and serried troops of warriors, drawn up in array before Jerusalem,—and now as the shout “to the Holy City,” swelled out upon the air, and the priests, in sacerdotal robes, lifted up their chaunt again, the whole vast mass, as if by a simultaneous impulse, moved forward from their stations, and with lance, and shield, and banner, and shouts of triumph, and clashing of arms, marched on to the assault. All Europe was up. Prince and subject; noble and serf; layman and monk; the rich and the poor; the proud and the humble; old, young, and middle aged; stalwart men and feeble women; the knight in his armor, and the boor in his capote,—the bishop with his crozier, and the friar in his cowl; the halt, the deaf, the blind; all ranks and conditions of life swelled the gigantic host, which, gathering new accessions to its numbers in every land it traversed, had rolled on with threatening aspect over Palestine, carrying terror and desolation to the Saracens, until at length the mighty army was now arrayed before Jerusalem, burning to achieve the redemption of the sepulchre. Yes! Europe was there in arms, moved as one man, by one spirit. From hill and dale; from city and hamlet; from the castle of the noble and the cottage of the boor; from cloister, and forge, and plough, the sons of the church had gathered at her summons, fired with a lofty determination to avenge an insulted faith, and scourge back to the fastnesses from whence they came the sacrilegious followers of the crescent. There was the bluff Englishman, the fair-haired German, the tall gaunt Scot, the gay cavalier from Provence, the dark eyed son of Italy, and the wild and uncouth child of that green “Erin,” of the ocean, lying on the utmost verge of civilization, and known only by vague rumor as the habitation of man. Ay! all these were there—there, with spear, and sword, and cross-bow—there, in glittering casque, and homely jerkin—there, on proudly caparisoned steeds, or marching with soiled buskin humbly on foot. Soldiers of every garb, tongue, and nation; men who had been enemies but were now friends; warriors, who had hitherto lived only for rapine, joined in that wild shout, and with an enthusiasm they had never felt before, swept on the second time to the assault—and ever as they marched, in solid phalanx or open column, Frank, or Saxon, or Italian, they swelled out the cry, “Ho! soldiers of the cross—on to the Holy City!”

And now the battle was joined. Foremost of all, in his lofty tower, stood Godfrey of Bouillon, cheering on the attack, and directing his unerring shafts against every one who appeared upon the walls;—while beneath and around him, plying mangonel and battering-ram, or showering arrows on the foe, pressed on the humbler soldiers of the cross—ay! pressed on, although the missiles of the Saracens poured down like rain, and melted lead, and scalding water, and fire itself, fell thick and fast upon the hosts of the assailants. And still on they pressed, and though the ground was strewed with the dying, and every moment some new assailant fell, the gallant line of the Crusaders never swerved, but as fast as one went down another filled his place; and as the long hours of the morning passed away, and the Saracens maintained their walls, fighting with the desperation of men who were contending for their homes, the fearless assailers kept pressing on to the attack, determined to succeed in the assault or leave their bones to bleach before the walls. One universal enthusiasm pervaded the whole host. Old and young; peaceful monks and timid women; the sick, the halt, the dumb, came forth from the camp, bringing weapons for those who had spent their missiles, carrying water for the parched combatants, or cheering the dying in their last moments of mortal agony. And higher and higher mounted the sun, and sultry and more sultry grew the air, yet still the Saracens made good their walls, and when the exhausted soldiers were almost fainting from the fatigues of the day, the beseiged made one more desperate rally, and, collecting all their strength for a last effort, they bore down upon the soldiers of the cross, and drove them, with terrific slaughter, from the walls. Back—back—back they fled, in wild dismay. In vain their leaders attempted to rally the worn-out soldiers; they themselves could scarcely support their frames, exhausted by their heavy armor and the stifling heat of noonday. Further effort was hopeless. The despair was general. A wild shout of exultation rung out from the walls, as the Saracens seized the image of a cross, spat upon it, and cast it, with insulting gestures, into the ditch. The taunt stung the assailants to the heart. At that instant a shining horseman, clad in armor brighter than the day, and waving on high a sword that shone with the brilliancy of the sun seven times brightened, was seen upon the Mount of Olives, beckoning to the discomposed assailants, and pointing onwards to the Holy Sepulchre; and as one after another of the wearied crusaders beheld the blessed vision, sighs, groans, and tears burst from the assembled thousands, and clashing their arms deliriously aloft, and waving their banners wildly to and fro upon the air, they cried out, “Ho! soldiers of the cross—on to the Holy City!”

And on they swept. Horse and foot; archer and man-at-arms; wounded and unhurt; noble and retainer; Frank, Gaul, and German; the Saxon, and Tuscan; the old, the young, the middle aged; leader and follower; proud and humble; free and bond;—on—on—on they pressed, as if a whirlwind had sent them reeling upon the foe, bearing every thing down before them, plying cross-bow and mangonel, hurling huge stones that crushed the foe like glass, and heaving battering-rams that shook the walls as if an earthquake was rolling by. Ay! on they pressed, for did not the archangel wave them to the onset? The foe shrank back amazed. Outwork, and door-post, and palisade could offer no resistance to the enthusiasm of the Christians. Vain were the wildest efforts of the infidels to stay the progress of the assailing hosts; vain were their adjurations to the prophet, their impious prayers for help, their insulting prostrations before high heaven. The hurricane that levels cities was not more desolating than the onslaught of the Christians. They dashed across the plain, they drove in the outposts, they crossed the ditch itself; and now the tower of Godfrey reached the walls—the bridge was let down—a rush was made, and a knight sprang on the battlements. Another and another followed—the Saracens stood palsied—Godfrey, Baldwin, Bouillon rushed in—down went the sacrilegious infidels who opposed them—a wild conflict, beyond what the battle had yet seen, took place around the standard of the crescent; and lo! with a shout that men shall remember till the day of judgment, the impious ensign is hurled from the battlements, and the cross—the cross of Christ—floats wild and free above the towers of Jerusalem. Then rose up the acclamations of thousands—then pealed the triumphal chaunts of priests—then quailed the Saracen with fear in the remotest dens of that vast city. The day was won. The cross was avenged. Tancred and Robert of Normandy heard the triumphal shout, and burst open the furthermost gates with sudden energy; while Raimond of Toulouse scaled the walls upon the other side at the outcry, and shook the cross to the wind beyond the Holy Sepulchre. Down went the Saracens in street and lane, and open field, or wherever these unholy revilers of the church attempted to make their stand. From house to house, and street to street, the indignant conquerors pursued the foe, until the thoroughfares were filled with blood, and the infidels lay slaughtered in heaps on every hand; and wherever the Christians followed up the flying wretches, in mansion or in mosque, they kept in memory the insult to the cross which they had witnessed but the hour before, and keeping it in memory, their arms never tired, nor their weapons slackened. It was a day over which for ages the Saracen women wept. The mosque of Omar floated with gore; the streets were slippery with blood; not a nook or corner gave safety to one of that accursed race; and when, at length, the Saracens rushed in wild despair to the temple of Soliman, even there the avenging Christians sought them out, and a thousand, ay! ten times a thousand impious revilers slaked the earth with their gore. And when the work was done, and that fearful insult was avenged; when the conquering army had time to think of the mighty deed they had achieved; when they remembered that within the walls where they now were the Savior had been buried, a gush of holy tenderness swept over their souls,—old and young, noble and peasant, men, women, and children,—and with tears in their eyes, they cast aside their weapons, took off their sandals, and, rushing to the Holy Sepulchre, kissed the consecrated pavement, and washed the altar with their tears. And when twilight darkened over the city, the vespers of holy men went up to heaven, for the first time after the lapse of centuries, instead of the accursed Mezzuin’s call. Night came down at length, and silence hung over the walls. The shrieks of the wounded; the groans of the dying; the crackling of burning habitations, and the impious revilings of the infidels had ceased: while not a sound broke the profound hush of midnight, except the faint gurgling of the brook of Kedron, and the low whispers of the night wind among the palaces of Jerusalem. And a thousand stars looked brilliantly down from the calm blue sky, as if the angels, whose thrones they are, were shouting hallelujahs that the last day of the Saracen had passed.





Loved of my soul! I seek in vain for thee.

  Why from my sight art thou, sweet star, away?

  Heaven is not fair without thy tender ray,

And all things robed in shadow seem to be.

The evening wind has lost its melody:

  Hushed are the chords on every bending bough;

  The waters have no voice of music now,

And silence, dove-like, broods upon the sea.

Is there no light, indeed—no joyous sound

  When Beauty dwelt with Song, and Nature cast

Treasures of Summer happiness around?

Oh, yes! unchanged the verdant prospect lies—

  The present is as lovely as the past—

It only lacks the lustre of thine eyes.





          “Oh! there were hours

When I could hang forever on his eye,

And Time, who stole with silent swiftness by,

Strew’d, as he hurried on, his path with flowers.”


The relations of life abound with solemn warnings and touching incidents. Scarcely a community exists, however small, the history of which is not replete with scenes that, if delineated by the pen of a master spirit, and embellished with a few of the golden rays of fancy, would not seem fraught with romance. Nay, there is scarcely a family of any extent that has not stories in its private chronicles, “lights and shadows,” joys and sorrows, full of interest, and calculated, when suitably embellished and elaborated, to “point a moral or adorn a tale.” We “live, move and breathe” in a world of mystery. The shadows which veil a single year—nay, a single day—from the eye of poor mortality, may to some be charged with death and desolation, while to others they may serve to shut out the glorious light of hope and happiness and prosperity. The incident which to-day gladdens the heart and kindles the expectation, may to-morrow prove but as the lightning’s flash, that foreruns the bolt of the destroyer. Thus we know not what is best for us, and while seeking to deserve the due of virtue and integrity, we should check our own hearts when envying the apparent success of another, and murmuring at what, to our imperfect vision, may appear an unequal distribution of the blessings of Providence.

Such was the tone of reflection in which I indulged a few evenings since, on returning from a visit to a friend—a friend whose career of honor and ambition had, but a year or two before, excited a feeling in the mind somewhat akin to envy. But let me not anticipate.

Laura Milnor, at the age of sixteen, was one of the loveliest of her sex. Her beauty was girlish and buoyant, and made up of such elements as youth and hope and innocence and joy. Her laugh thrilled upon the ear like the clear voice of a glad child; her step was elastic and aerial, and although as mirthful and happy as one who had never known a thought of grief or a dream of sorrow, she was one of the most susceptible of her sex, and was melted to tears almost as readily as she was excited to mirth. Blue eyes, auburn hair, and a voice full of music—she was too sensitive for the heartlessness of this world, and thus it was the fear of those who knew her character thoroughly, and were well acquainted with human nature in the aggregate, that she would be won too readily, and possibly waste the sweetness of her pure and guileless heart upon an unworthy object. Not so, however. At seventeen, she was the “bright, particular star” of her immediate circle, with groups of admirers, of various grades of merit and pretension, but with an avowed, preferred and envied suitor. He had a rival, it is true, and a formidable one; because, to a considerable fortune he added a sincerity of devotion and an assiduity of attention that seldom fail to make an impression upon the heart of woman, however obdurate. But the preferred suitor, Morton Markley, was a cousin, and had been preferred, to a slight degree, from earliest boyhood. His opportunities for pressing his suit, moreover, were of the best kind; he was a favorite with the family generally, and these influences were potent in determining Laura as to a choice. Nay, the avowal of preference was scarcely determined upon by her. It was rather made by the household circle, and regarded as a thing of course, than elicited from the artless girl in some quiet and impassioned moment of mutual confidence. At times, too, she felt something like a doubt—a doubt as to the reality of her attachment to her cousin. She knew—she felt that she esteemed him. He possessed many noble qualities. His habits were of the kind that her mother approved in an especial manner. He was not only strictly moral, but temperate from his earliest youth—a zealot in the cause, indeed—and withal thoroughly devoted to business. True, he was somewhat stiff and formal in his manners, possessed little or no imagination, had no taste for poetry or pathos, and was somewhat cold in his general character. In most of these particulars he afforded a broad contrast to his rival, George St. Clair, a free, dashing, thoughtless creature, all impulse and enthusiasm, with a flashing genius and a heart of fire. But all these qualities were moderated and subdued in the presence of Laura Milnor. She had achieved a conquest over his heart, and he yielded to her every wish, and even often anticipated her thoughts. But he saw her seldom, comparatively speaking, and although the impression he made at such times was decided, it was but momentary. Laura would occasionally hesitate, especially when she found the image of St. Clair rising up in her memory, and she discovered herself analysing his traits of disposition and manner, and contrasting them with those of her cousin. But she blushed when she detected the current of her thoughts, and turned away from the subject as from one that she ought not to contemplate. St. Clair, moreover, was a ripe scholar for his years, perfectly familiar with the poetry of the classics, and with modern literature. His practice was to mark the exquisite passages in his favorite authors, and thus, while indicating his own sentiments and tone of mind, to appeal, as it were, to the calm and reflecting spirit of Laura. How often did she find herself unconsciously meditating upon these gems of thought—these eloquent and impassioned pourings out of the souls of the gifted! How frequently did the brief but expressive notes touch a chord in her own breast, and speak in a still, but deep voice to her own spirit! It was on such occasions that she trembled lest she had mistaken the feeling that animated her with regard to her cousin. But then he was so good, so calm, so attentive! They had grown up side by side! Her mother, her brother, her elder sister, all respected him so much—he was so amiable, and his prospect in life was so excellent! No—it was impossible. There could not be any mistake as to the nature of her feelings, and she would consent and name the day.

The day was named, and the bridal took place. The party was large, gay, delightful. I shall never forget that wedding night. It was one of the happiest of my existence—a joyous epoch in memory’s waste, which shines with no common glory as the mind wanders back and lingers above the regretted past. Laura, so charming before, seemed to excel all her former brightness and beauty. Sweet seventeen—the loveliest of the lovely, glittering in gems and satin, with her blue eyes brightened with a double lustre by the excitement of the moment, her auburn hair waving like a flood of moonbeams upon her white shoulders: approving relations and friends around! That indeed seemed a happy moment—the happiest of her life. But was it so? Her affianced also looked remarkably well. He had thrown off his gravity of manner, his dignity of deportment, and joined the jest and laugh as if the world to him also had assumed its sunniest smile. But I need not describe the etceteras of the wedding. At twelve o’clock, Mr. and Mrs. Markley were taken in charge by the usual number of select and officiating friends, and driven to their own home, a neat but elegantly furnished establishment, No. 47 —— Row.

I was absent from the city two years. On my return, one of my first visits was to the house of my old friend Markley. It was a delightful evening in the month of May, 1836. The weather for the preceding week had been wet and disagreeable, so that the change and a bright moon had won hundreds from their dwellings to enjoy the cool evening breeze, and gaze once more into the windows of the stores. I inquired for Mr. Markley. He was not in. For Mrs. Markley. Her parlor door was thrown open, and Laura stood before me—but how changed! She was paler, thinner, and, to my eye, lovelier than ever. The delicate cast of thought had given an intellectual aspect to her features. The ruddy glow, the buoyant, springy motion of girlhood, were no longer there; but, in the one case, the ripeness of the peach had been succeeded by the soft tints of the rose, and in the other, the gazelle-like bound had mellowed and melted into the more graceful and majestic movement of the perfect woman. Her reception was frank and cordial. My visit seemed a relief to her. She had “been alone for more than an hour, and had wanted so much to take a stroll. Her spirits had been checked for the week past by the gloomy weather, and now, when they seemed anxious to spring away, as if on new-born wings, she was compelled, like a bird in a cage, to remain within doors. Oh, these abominable meetings! This dreadful political excitement! These detestable societies! Would you believe it, Mr. Markley has not been home a single evening for these two weeks! He has become a violent politician, and is a member of several literary and philanthropic societies. These occupy four-fifths of his time, and although he is one of the very best husbands in the world, kind, gentle and affectionate when here, I do not see him except at meal times, three hours in a fortnight. And here I sit, ‘moping’ away my young hours, thinking all sorts of melancholy things, indulging sometimes in the wildest of fancies, and not unfrequently—although I am almost ashamed to confess it—killing the time and giving vent to my moody temper in a fit of crying! It is of no use to complain to Morton. He is perfectly mad upon the subject of politics, and fancies, dear soul, that he is building up for himself an enviable reputation.”


“Yes, indeed! Until the death of my first-born I bore it very well, for the little innocent engaged my attention in a thousand ways, and the time passed smoothly enough. But since that painful event—nearly a year ago—the time has hung heavily indeed. I don’t know what I should do but for our old friend St. Clair. He calls frequently, and serves no little to chase away the gloom of these lonely hours. You remember St. Clair!”

“Certainly. I have not met him since the night of your wedding, and then, poor fellow, he endeavored to look and act his best, but he made a sorry failure of it. Has he married yet?”

“Oh, no! He tells me he will never marry, but of course the hour of temptation and trial is yet to come. He has changed very little within the last three years, and although not so gay and reckless as formerly, his spirits are still excellent. Mr. Markley prizes him very highly, and frequently consigns me to his care for a stroll, while he hurries off to some political club or abominable meeting. Can you furnish me with any remedy for the sort of infatuation I have described in the case of Morton? I am really provoked at him at times, and have ventured to remonstrate more than once, but never with a good effect either upon his temper or his conduct. Oh! how frequently have the lines of the poet risen to my memory during the tedious hours of waiting and of watching!

      ——‘May slighted woman turn,

And, as a vine the oak hath shaken off,

Bend lightly to her tendencies again?

Oh, no! by all her loveliness, by all

That makes life poetry and beauty, no!

Make her a slave; steal from her rosy cheek

By needless jealousies; let the last star

Leave her a watcher by your couch of pain;

Wrong her by petulance, suspicion, all

That makes her cup a bitterness—yet give

One evidence of love, and earth has not

An emblem of devotedness like hers.

But, oh! estrange her once, it boots now how,

By wrong or silence, anything that tells

A change has come upon your tenderness—

And there is not a high thing out of heaven

Her pride o’ermastereth not.’

I ridiculed them when they were first pointed out to me by St. Clair, but sad experience has taught me better.”

Such, in brief, was the nature of the conversation of the night. I remained until a late hour, exceedingly anxious to see my old friend, but the clock struck eleven, and he had not returned. Wandering homeward, a crowd of strange thoughts pressed upon my brain. Can he love this gentle being? I asked. And then his whole course through life came to my recollection, and I dismissed every doubt. He does love her to the extent of his ability. Then why neglect her? Why permit melancholy to prey upon her gentle spirit? Why subject her to the fascinations of such a man as St. Clair?—temptations at which both would shrink with horror at first, but which, sooner or later, with such a being, such hearts, such sympathy of soul and of taste, must establish a bond very like that of love! The subject was a painful one, and I dismissed it, unwilling to probe it to the bottom.

I visited Laura repeatedly during the subsequent six months. I became deeply interested in her position, and more than once ventured to hint, jestingly, to her husband the duty of watching with a vigilant eye over so precious and delicate a flower. He appeared perfectly insensible to all insinuations upon the subject, and with unbounded confidence in, and as much attachment for Laura as his nature was capable of feeling, he became more and more wedded to his dream of political ambition and popular applause. He was a member of most of the societies that were in any degree connected with philanthropy, and of all on the political side to which he was attached; and thus, night after night, week after week, and month after month, he absented himself from the society of his wife.

But why prolong the story? Hour after hour, the conviction grew stronger in the mind of Laura that she had mistaken the sentiments of her husband. He had, she now believed, never loved her. He had either deceived her or been himself deceived. It was clear that he shunned her society, and although kind and obliging, this course was attributed rather to his tone of mind and moral principle than to a warmer and fonder emotion of his heart. She too had been mistaken. At least she thought so. The feeling that had induced her to become his wife was not love; not that deep and absorbing passion, that flame and fire of the soul, that she now could feel and appreciate. He was her cousin; she had known him long; he had ever been kind to her; her parents had urged her marriage, and she had been misled! But, alas! how had he deserted her! How had she been neglected! How cold had he become! How indifferent! What a contrast to St. Clair!—St. Clair, who even now would lay down his life for her; who even now sought her society, and was never so happy as when basking in her smile! Her heart thrilled, her brain throbbed, and her mind almost maddened as these wild thoughts forced themselves upon her. I say forced themselves, for she repelled them again and again, as fiends that would destroy her quiet, sap her principles, and render her an object of scorn even to herself. But night after night, and her husband was still abroad. At first she saw him depart with pride upon her lip and anguish in her heart. Then sullenness followed, and indifference came after. Then a feeling of pleasure tingled in her breast as the door closed behind him, and a still stronger sensation was experienced as the well known step of St. Clair was heard upon the pavement below her window. But why trace the progress of the weak, the erring human heart? Why linger over the guilt-ward progress of that neglected wife? Why harrow the soul with her struggles between duty on the one hand and infatuation on the other? Why point to her fall, as, step by step, she was hurried to the brink of ruin? Why detail the subtle sophistry of a gifted spirit—one, too, who had persuaded himself that he really loved with a pure and undying flame? Why recount his many appeals to fly to some other land, some distant shore, where the scorn of the heartless world could not point at and exult over another victim? Why picture the secret and agonizing thoughts of the wretched beauty; the sorrow that at moments fastened upon her soul, when some heart-touching expression fell from the lips of her husband, and she was recalled by a look or a phrase to her early dream of home and love and happiness?

It was late in the month of September, that, rambling down Spruce street, my attention was attracted by an unusual stir and confusion in the front parlor of my friend Markley’s dwelling. Lights were passing to and fro with great rapidity, and ever and anon a shriek, as of one in mortal agony, broke upon the night. I hurried forward, rapidly ascended the stairs, and what a scene of horror was before me! The slight, yet beautiful form of Laura Markley lay upon the sofa, her hair dishevelled, her clothes in disorder, and her features pale and cold in the solemn aspect of death! It was almost midnight; her husband had been sent for, but had not yet arrived. Miserable being! Blind and misguided fool! He came in a few minutes after, and for weeks and weeks was little better than a maniac. The following brief note, the last ever penned by Laura, told the dreadful story:

“Forgive me, Charles! forgive me, if I have wronged you! I can endure it no longer. Night after night have you neglected me for the last two years, until my mind, maddened by doubt, despair, and a thousand fiendish phantoms, has ventured to pause and contemplate a deed of guilt! There is, I verily believe, another being on the face of the earth who loves me, and I—I—my hand trembles and my brain reels—I am yet yours, and in honor. But I fear I could not live, be neglected, and continue so. Forgive me, heaven!—forgive me, my husband, and pray for me.”

She had taken poison!





In the West Riding of Yorkshire, not many miles removed from the line of the great North Road, singularly and somewhat romantically situated on a vast rocky hill, projecting sternly and abruptly into the lovely valley of the Nid, stands the old borough town of Knaresborough. As you approach it from the south, the aspect it presents is singularly wild and picturesque. A long line of steep limestone crags, running from east to west, limits the view in front; the river, deep, black and sullen, wheeling along below their base in many a turbid ripple, until it skirts their western cape, a huge and perpendicular crag of shaley limestone, crowned by the massy relics of an old Norman keep, rifted and gray, and overrun with immemorial ivy, but still majestic in their hoary grandeur. Beneath the shelter of this formidable keep—which, in its day, before the levelling force of gunpowder had reduced warfare to a mere matter of scientific calculation, had been deemed quite impregnable—the straggling country town climbs the hill-side from the stream’s level, where the road is carried over a narrow, high-backed bridge of stone, in one long zigzag street, so perilously slippery and steep that the most daring riders dismount from their surest horses, whether ascending or descending, until, the summit gained, it expands into a neat borough, with market-place, and hostelries, and banks, and churches, all overlooked, however, and commanded by the old castle; and, in its turn, overlooking and commanding the wide range of hilly country of which it occupies the extreme and highest promontory.

Such is the picture it presents to the traveller of the present day, and singularly beautiful is that picture! The huge gray ruins and the stained limestone precipices, relieved and set off by the deep emerald verdure of the wide pastures in the valley, and the dark foliage of the hanging woods which skirt the margin of the river; the stream itself here dark and deep and silent, and there flashing like silver in the sunlight, and brawling noisily about the base of the great castle-rock; and, more than all, the life and animated bustle of the modern town, contrasted with the dim memories and solemn silence of those old towers, which frown upon the noisy thoroughfares of men, most like a grim and ghastly skeleton, glaring down from the gothic niche of some cathedral church upon the merry sports of thoughtless childhood. Far different was the scene which Knaresborough presented toward the middle of the seventeenth century, Some few weeks later than the fatal field of Marston, whereon, untimely sacrificed and vainly, by the mad rashness of Prince Rupert, the flower of England’s loyal chivalry lay weltering in their gore, for one who neither prized their faith nor sorrowed at their fall.

Those ruins, shapeless now, and undistinguished from the gray crags around them, were then a proud and lordly castle; that huge and rifted pile, that frowns above the lesser fragments, was the square dungeon keep, with battlemented turrets at each aerial angle, and bartizans for shot of arquebuss and musquetoon, and embrasures for heaviest ordnance; while round it swept the massy flankers, with thirteen strong round towers, well garnished with the lighter cannon of the day, sakers and culverins and falcons; and without these, still in concentric circles, half moon and counterscarp and ravelin, glacis and rock-hewn moat—a mighty fortress for the king, whose banner, hoisted there by the fugitives from that disastrous field, still waved defiance to his foemen.

It was a bright October morning with which we have to do; the sun was pouring a broad flood of light over the fertile vale, with its green meadowland, its hanging woods, its ruddy cornfields, and its bright river; over the town and castle, crowded, this with fierce steel-clad veterans, mustered beneath the royal standard, that with the yeomanry and burghers, like their more regular comrades, in arms for church and king against the leaguering hosts of Cromwell; over the camp, the lines, the outposts of the Puritans, which hemmed the destined town about with, as it were, a wall of iron. Upon the heights, just to the eastward of the town, the fierce, enthusiastic Lilburne had fixed his quarters, and hoisted the broad red cross of the parliament, and thence, on every side, had drawn his lines about the borough; the bridge and the high road, on the south side, were kept by a brigade of pikes and two strong bands of horse arquebusiers; the meadows and the vale were swept by four full regiments of the far-famed invincibles, the ironsides of Cromwell; the woods were filled with sharp-shooters, the roads blocked up with mounds and trenches, and all the north side of the town exposed to a tremendous fire from fifty wide-mouthed cannon, which, covered from the castle guns by a projecting hillock, battered the dwellings of the hapless burghers without remorse or respite. Nor were the besieged passive in the mean time, or fearful. Bright sheets of flame would leap out, ever and anon, from the dark castle embrasures, and clouds of snow-white smoke would swathe the giant keep in their dense vapory shroud, and with a roar that told the awful tale of civil warfare even to the distant walls of York, the heavy shot would plunge into the serried columns of the leaguers, thinning their ranks indeed, and shaking for a moment their array, but daunting not their fiery courage, nor damping their enthusiastic zeal. And now, with the long roll of drums and the soul-stirring flourish of the horn and bugle, from this point or from that of the beleaguered town, the cavaliers would sally out on their besiegers. Now by some ford of the swift river, neglected because thought impassable, a little troop of gentlemen, superbly mounted on high blooded chargers, fluttering with lace and waving with tall plumes and blue embroidered scarfs, would dash upon some picquet of the Puritans, and drive them back, scattered and broken and cut down, to the main body; and then, forced to retreat in turn, would fall back foot by foot, firing their petronels and musquetoons from every hedge and coppice, and charging again and again on their pursuers from every spot of vantage, till they had gained the river; then they would wheel, throw in one shattering volley, swim through the eddying waters, and raise their gallant cheer, “God for King Charles!” in safety. Now it would be a steadier and sterner effort; a heavy column would rush out, pikemen and musqueteers and horse in one dense body, bearing the outposts in at the pike’s point, carrying some redoubt, and then deploying in its front, until their pioneers and axemen should spike its guns, fill up its ditches, and level its defences to the ground. Incessant were alarms and panics, sallies and feints and false attacks on the one hand; and, on the other, strict watches, stout resistance, guarded and sure approaches, for Lilburne knew right well the quality of his own troops—the nature of the force opposed to him. He had experienced often in the field the fiery and resistless charges of the impetuous cavaliers; he knew that in the stoutest veterans of the Parliament, none could be found who, for a single dash, could cope with the high-born and chivalrous adherents of the King; but he knew also that undisciplined and fiery gentlemen, how gallant and how desperate soever, would not endure the tedium of protracted operations, the dull monotony of a long siege, where passive opposition only can be offered, the lack of wine and the appliances of mirth, the scarcity of food, the daily sufferings, the daily waste, the daily growing anguish. He knew, and acted on this knowledge. Vastly superior in his numbers, he cared not for the loss of a picquet; he shook not at the defeat of an outpost, the destruction of a redoubt, or the success of a sally. If evening saw the line of his circumvallation broken, the morning sun beheld his working parties on the ground repairing the defences, protected by so powerful masses that any sally must be fruitless to annoy them, and evening found the lines again complete, but stronger, nearer, closer than before. Nor was this all. With his strong cavalry, he kept the country round in constant terror and excitement; he cut off every convoy, before it well had left the place from which it started; he surprised every stronghold of the cavaliers, at miles away from his scene of operations; he took and garrisoned the loyal house of Ripley; he battered Spofforth Castle, the old, time-honored dwelling of the Percies; he quelled the risings of the Langdales, the Vavasours, the Slingsbys and the Stourtons. He indeed bridled the bold valor of the West Riding, as he had boasted that he would—bridled it with a curb of iron!

Yet Knaresborough still held out!—castle and town held out, though worn and wasted with fatigue and famine. Hastily had the brave defenders thrown themselves into that stronghold, scantily victualled as it was, expecting succors from without, as it were, every hour, and prepared desperately to endure the utmost before submission to their hated foes. Hastily, rashly had they suffered themselves to be hemmed in, without a hope except to die, and desperately had they borne up against the tortures which had rewarded that hot rashness. And now the moment had arrived. For three whole days, the castle and the town had had no food at all! All stores had, many days since, been exhausted; the very grass that grew upon the ramparts had been all gathered, all consumed! The beasts of burthen, the domestic animals, the very vermin, had been sought eagerly for food—had been devoured greedily—till no more could be found at all in that most miserable town. There was not one house but had lost some of its inmates, by that most lingering, most terrible of deaths, mere famine!—and it was on the youngest, the fairest, the loveliest, the most beloved, that the dread doom fell first. The streets were heaped with carcasses, for now the living lacked the strength, the energy, to bury their own dead! Thrice had the burghers risen against the castle, to force its commandant, by surrendering to the Puritans, to free them from that lamentable durance; and thrice had the gray-headed cavalier, who held that last stronghold for an unthankful monarch—while the tears streamed hot and heavy down his emaciated cheeks, and his heart throbbed as if it would burst his bosom, for very pity—ordered the castle guns to play with grape upon the famished wretches, whose despair would have forced him from his duty. Three times, repulsed from the castle by their friends, had that most hapless populace rushed out to the besieger’s camp, throwing themselves upon the mercy of their foes, and hoping so to force their way into the open country, and three times, at pike’s point, had they been driven back into that town of sepulchres and charnel houses.

It was the third day that no particle of food, except some scraps of leather, roasted or sodden into soup, had passed the lips of any of the garrison, on which a sad deputation of the townsmen waited for the fourth time upon the captain of the castle. They came not now in turbulence, hoping to force submission, but tearfully and on their bended knees, to beg that stern old veteran, as they deemed him, that for the love of God, by all his hopes of Heaven, he would have mercy not on them, they said, “for we are men, and can endure the utmost, but for our wives, our perishing wives and children!”

“My friends,” he answered, “I feel for you—God is my judge I do!—and here, here is my witness that none hath heavier cause to feel than I have,” and as he spoke, he opened the door of an inner chamber, and showed to those worn deputies the corpse of a fair, light-haired youth, stretched on a pallet bed, emaciated beyond all conception—yea! literally wasted to the bones! “Look there!” he said, “look there! Six little days ago that famished, cold, dead carcass was the most fair, the sprightliest, the bravest, the best, the noblest boy in all wide England! You see him, as he lies there—my boy, my glorious boy!—oh, God! last pledge of my lost angel, who, dying, left him to my paternal care, which here is proved forever! Gentlemen, ye are answered; when my King’s orders reach me to yield up this hold, then will I yield it up—’till then, please God, I shall maintain it; and so long as my trusty fellows have boots, and sword belts, and buff jerkins, we shall not lack a meal. So, my friends, fare ye well.”

To this there was no answer; from this lay no appeal. They went away, as they had come, despairing; they betook themselves to their inhospitable homes, to their wan, starving families, and sat them down beside their fireless hearths, to pray for resignation, and for death to put an end to tortures which were fast becoming too terrible to bear. So the bright hours of daylight rolled over them unheeded, and the dark night came on—that season of repose and quiet, season of respite from all cares, relief from every wo—yet brought it no repose, no respite to the mourners of that city! The groans of manly agony, blent with the wailings of expiring infancy, and the faint sobs of women, suppressing their own agonies lest they should rend the hearts of others, went up that livelong night to Heaven; and there were humble prayers breathed out from penitent Christian bosoms; and there were wild, impatient, fierce ejaculations, which those who uttered them called prayer; and there were desperate blasphemies and curses, such as fiends howl out against the throne of grace, too fearful to be written!

In a low chamber of a lonely dwelling, close to the outposts of the enemy—looking down, indeed, upon the glacis and the dry moat of the town—there sat an aged man, shivering above the last expiring embers of his last brand—it was the last small fragment of the door, that dying brand! All else, the floor, the furniture, the casements, had been consumed already. Upon the hearth, beside the embers, there stood a mug of water, and a large dish, covered with thrice gnawed bones, part of a horse’s ribs, clean picked and broken, so as to reach the marrow. He was a tall and stately figure, was that aged man, and he had been strong, sinewy and vigorous even in his old age; but now his form was bent and all his limbs contracted; the skin, yellow as parchment, was drawn tight across his withered brow; his nose was terribly, unnaturally sharpened, like the nose of a corpse; his eye was dim and lustreless; his ashy lips were glued together with a thin frothy slaver. Yet he had fought that morning in a fierce skirmish, which had well-nigh brought in a drove of cattle, and had been only driven back by a charge of the ironsides, a troop of which, commanded, too, by his own son, had fallen upon their flank, and borne them back into the town when confident of victory and full of high anticipation.

His corslet and buff coat were not yet laid aside; his plumed hat was cast listlessly beside him on the ground, but his blue baldric still sustained his rapier, spotted with many blood gouts, and, in the buff belt round his waist, his pistols, with the hammers down and the pans black with smoke, showed that he had not removed them since he had thrust them back into his girdle, just fired in the heat of action. There he sat, with his hands clenched and his teeth hard set, silent, yet cursing in his heart that recreant son, whom he had never forgiven—no! never for one moment’s space!—that he had joined the Parliament against the King, and on whose head he now invoked the direst of calamities, that, by his too successful charge, he had cut off the last relief from that sad starving city.

Suddenly a faint sound fell on his ear, as of one clambering up the glacis. The old man listened, acutely, breathlessly, as though life were dependant on his sense of hearing!—again it came, clearer and louder, nearer than before. Sword in hand, on the instant the veteran sprang to the narrow casement which overlooked the moat and glacis, and there, scarce three feet from the window, in the steel cap and corslet, the scarlet cassock and unshapely boots of Cromwell’s Ironsides, stood a tall, slender figure. The moon, which was dimly wading through the uncertain clouds, feebly defined the outlines of his form, and half revealed, as the old man fancied, the shapes and weapons of a score or two of his fanatical companions in the dark hollow of the moat below him.

“Treason—to arms—ho! treason!”—shouted the wretched father, at the utmost pitch of his querulous attenuated voice; but ere he had well syllabled the words, a faint and well-remembered sound responded to his high pitched clamor.

“Hist!—Father,”—it said—“Father—it is I—I have brought hither food and wine, at great risk of my life—approach, quick! quick! and take them; I will return to-morrow and crave thy blessing!”

“Out on thee! Dog and traitor—die in thy treason, and thy gifts perish with thee!—Ho! treason! to arms! treason!”

And now the cry reached wakeful ears, and was again repeated and again—“Ho! treason! to arms! treason!”—and lights were seen flashing along the ramparts, and trumpets were blown through the streets, and sentinels were heard continually challenging, and hasty footsteps, and the clash of arms, drew nearer every moment; and still that aged man, implacable, and steeled against his son by bitter hate, shouted, “to arms! to arms!” and called the hue and cry that way with frantic energy.

“I will not be so balked—thou wilt repent this, father,” said the young man, advancing nearer.

“Pray God I live to see thee hanged; I will repent this never!—approach me not, or I will rob the hangman of his due, and with mine own hand slay thee!”

“Thou wilt not, father,” replied the other, as he laid his hand on the casement, and reaching into the chamber, set down upon the floor a small rush basket, and a tall flask of wine,—“thou wilt not, father—seeing that I have risked my life to bring thee meat and wine. I knew not, till to-day, that thou wert in this lamentable town!”

At first the old man listened, and seemed even somewhat mollified, but as his son alluded to the situation of the town, all his old rage returned, and with the words, “die dog!” he lunged full at his heart with his drawn rapier—the blow took effect, full on the polished corslet, and glanced off, inflicting a deep wound on his left arm, and hurling him to the ground.

“Ha! have I slain thee?—Ha! so perish all the enemies of good king Charles!”

“Praised be God,” replied the Puritan, “praised be God, that sin is spared to thee—farewell!”

“Ho! guard—this way,” shouted the veteran, now more incensed than ever, “ho! guard—this way!”

And with their arquebusses lowered, and their slow-matches lighted, a party of the night-watch rushed in from the street—the ruthless father pointed them to the figure of his flying son, and a quick volley followed—another—and another!—and all along the ramparts, from every battlement and crenelle, the sharp, clear flashes of the random musquetry streamed out into the midnight darkness—and the loud rattle of the shots startled the sentinels of Lilburne on their posts, and set the outposts and picquets on the alert throughout the whole of the beleaguering hosts.

Escaping from the random volleys, the young man hurried to his quarters; but ere he reached them, he was met by the grand rounds, interrogated, seized, dragged to head-quarters, tried for communicating with the enemy by a drum-head court-martial, and sentenced to be hanged upon the morrow, between the glacis and the lines—before two hours had passed. Meantime the old man fedcoolly fed on the meat, and quaffed the wine his child—his betrayed child—had brought to him—then mocked the throne of mercy with a prayer, and lay down, and slept soundly—while that same child, watched in a military dungeon, and prayed for mercy to his soul, which must be with its God, to-morrow.

The morrow dawned, and the accursed gallows stood there erect between the glacis and the lines—and the death-drums were beating through the camp—and the Parliamentarians mustered to punishment parade, with their war weapons trailed, and their grim visages suffused with more than their accustomed gloom.

The fearful tale was known—at once, almost instinctively it was revealed—all means were taken, and all methods tried to preserve the victim son—threats of retaliation—proffers of terms—entreaties—ransom—bribes—but all were tried in vain.

In the full blaze of noon, before the besieged town, before the besieging army, before men, angels, God—the son died on the gallows tree, victim of filial piety—martyr to military discipline—and the old ruthless man, who had consigned his own child to that fearful doom, looked on, and strove to smile, and would have braved it out even to the end—but the offended majesty of nature stood forth in its dread might!—the fierce revulsion of conflicting passions conquered the wretched clay!—with the sneer on his lip, and the bold evil words upon his tongue—he staggered—fell!—they lifted him, but he was dead.

That night, a courier with a white flag paused at the outposts of the Roundheads. It was a messenger from Charles, licensing his commander to surrender his good and faithful town of Knaresborough—and the next day the garrison marched out with colors flying and drums beating, and all the honors of war granted them,—and filed in their superb array beneath the gibbet and the corpse of him who died a felon’s death, for succoring a father at his need!—Ho! the morality of warfare! The glory of the victor!


O, say, do I na’ lo’e ye, lassie?

  O, say, do I na’ lo’e ye well?

Aye! mair than tongue can utter, lassie,

  Or mair than tender looks can tell.

Ye’re i’ my dreams by night, my lassie,

  An’ ye are i’ my thoughts by day,

An’ ye’re the beacon star, my lassie.

  That guides me through life’s troubled way.


I lo’e ye for those tresses, lassie,

  That i’ bright jetty masses flow;

I lo’e ye for that bosom, lassie,

  As white an’ fair as driven snow;

I lo’e ye for those cheeks, my lassie,

  O’ sweetest tinge o’ rosy hue;

An’ O, I lo’e ye, dearest lassie,

  For those twa cannie e’en o’ blue.


I lo’e ye for that form, my lassie,

  Like to the deer’s, sae fit’ o’ grace;

I lo’e ye for that smile, my lassie,

  That plays across thy charming face.

But what I lo’e still more, my lassie,

  Is that which is worth mair to gain:

It is the bonnie min’, my lassie,

  Which i’ gude truth ye ca’ your ain.





“Absolution, father, for breath is fleeting fast,” cried the dying man, in a scarce audible voice. As the monk approached the bed, the sick man started from his pillow, and, with clenched hands and straining eyes, uttered, in a low, sepulchral tone, “Avaunt! avaunt, thou damning fiend! thine hour is not yet come. Oh, mercy! mercy!” His bosom heaved convulsively, the dew of agony gathered thick upon his brow, and, with a beseeching look, he pointed to the crucifix on the wall.

“Confession alone can save you, my son. While there is yet time, relieve your bosom of its load of sin, and seek for pardon.”

Too late! oh, lost forever! The hour approaches; come near.” Drawing from under his pillow a parchment, he placed it in the hands of the monk. “My confession, father; now, now, sign me with the cross.” Uttering a wild cry of anguish, the dying man, with desperate energy, flung himself towards the monk, and attempted to grasp the symbol of salvation. . . . . . A vivid, lurid gleam, followed by an astounding crash, mingled with horrid yells and piercing screams! When the monk was found by a lay brother, he still breathed, but unconscious of external objects, from which state he never recovered; the bed was empty, and the bedclothes lay in wild disorder, as if torn by a mighty struggle. In the hand of the prostrate monk was found a manuscript:


Upon the confines of the Hartz Mountains, in a lowly hut, I first saw the light. My mother yielded up her life in giving me birth, and the nourishment of a pet goat sustained the feeble spark of infancy. My remaining parent proved, though rough and uncultivated, a kind nurse. The hours of childhood were passed in assisting my father in collecting dried wood for burning charcoal, and oft, as I penetrated through the tangled forest, would I stand and gaze upon the clear blue flame that night after night arose from one of the highest peaks, and though an ague would creep over me at the recollection of some of the tales of horror that clothed those mountains in such fearful dread, still an unconquerable desire to witness their midnight orgies grew with my growth and strengthened with my strength.

About two hundred feet from the base of the loftiest of that extended chain of mountains, jutted out a perpendicular rock. Upon the summit stood the castle of Rudolfo, whose weather-beaten battlements had for ages frowned defiance upon the plain below. Dark hints and mysterious whispers surrounded that isolated spot with gloom and fear; no footsteps ever approached its portals after sundown, and an Ave Maria was silently, though fervently breathed, when the benighted hunter or weary traveller caught a glimpse of the solitary light that was ever seen in one of the casements of the castle.

Count Rudolph was a man of valor; his arm was held invincible in the battle field; but of a temperament morose and savage, his vassals quailed beneath the glance of his bright gray eye, and trembled when the sound of his loud clear voice rang through the vaulted halls. Among the dependants that sat at his board below the salt, or rallied around his banner, were hearts that thirsted to bury their daggers in his blood; but the mantle of superstitious mystery so completely enveloped him, that the hand, however daring, shrunk from the murderous deed.

The iron-bound features of Count Rudolph never relaxed, save when his looks rested upon his daughter. Then would the contracted brow expand, and those eyes so formidable emit a ray of feeling. He seldom smiled, but the effect was startling; a meteor, dazzling by its brightness, to render the darkness more visible. And that daughter was a glorious creature! The tall, graceful form, the dark hazel eyes, commanded the allegiance of all that looked upon her. To her father her features bore a strong resemblance, but moulded in the most perfect female softness.

The lady Auzella was seldom seen beyond the boundaries of the castle, but the report of her wondrous beauty had spread far over Germany, and many a valiant knight had sued in vain for her fair hand, notwithstanding the vague and strange reports that were ever afloat about Count Rudolph and his unhallowed deeds.

It was my twentieth birthday. The hours of labor were exchanged for hunting, a pastime of which I was most fond. So intent was I in chasing the chamois and hungry wolves that infest those regions, I thought not of the departure of day, until warned by the declining sun shedding its golden rays through the “forest’s thickening gloom.” An unconquerable feeling of dread at being thus benighted, caused me to hasten my footsteps towards my humble cot. With a steady eye and nervous limbs, I bounded over the impetuous stream that rolls down the mountain side, and springing from crag to crag, I emerged from the dense shadow of trees, and stood upon a platform of rock overgrown with moss and stunted oak.

Involuntarily I lingered to gaze upon the scene before me. The whole country glowed with the effulgence of the setting sun, whilst the amphitheatre of hills that bounded the horizon was clothed in gorgeous purple. On the right stood the castle, its turrets and towers catching the lingering sunbeams, bringing them out in bold relief from the mass of frowning mountains that formed the back ground. The only sound that broke upon the ear was the incessant roar of the cataract. Whilst thus I stood entranced, a strain of music suddenly burst through the air, so wild, so melodious, that it seemed an echo from the spheres. Amazed, I listened breathlessly; again the same sweet notes were borne upon the gentle gales. I turned, when lo! beside the rushing torrent sat a female; her long tresses were floating upon the breeze, and revealed the features of the Lady Auzella! Ere the melting strains were ended that had held bound my soul, shrieking, affrighted, she fled towards me. With horror I beheld a huge bear spring from the overhanging crag, and stand within a foot of his prey. In one moment I took a sure and deadly aim—fired—the monster rolled head-long down the rapid stream; the next instant the fainting form of Auzella reposed within my arms! My fate was sealed; the past, the future, all, all were forgotten. We met again and again; I loved, ardently, madly, and was beloved! Yes! the high-born, haughty damsel loved the humble youth.

We lived in the spring-time of love; the cold, bleak winds of autumn had not yet chilled our hearts, when, with the impassioned fervor of affection, I besought the gentle Auzella to fly with me to other lands, where with my sword I would carve for myself a name worthy for her to share. Silently she listened, then raising her head from my bosom, fixed her expressive eyes upon me, and whispered, as soft as a zephyr’s sigh—

“Hast thou dear Carl, resolution to win fame and wealth, and, with my father’s consent, this hand?”

“Try me, beloved, and thou wilt find no braggart in thy lover.”

“Then, by thy vows of love, ere ‘yon moon fills her horn,’ pluck from the mountain’s blazing pile a firebrand; bear it with all speed to my father’s feet, and by that token fearlessly claim the hand of Auzella!”

She ceased, and fled from me. In that brief space a new existence burst upon my senses. The voice of love had pointed out the way to the possession of gold and the hand of her whom I adored; but how? To league myself with devils! A cold shudder crept over me; within my breast raged a fearful struggle. It passed away, and, with the purpose of my soul determined, I awoke from the dream of life to the reality of existence.

Strange, that man should shrink in after years from lifting the veil that has shadowed crimes recklessly committed in youth. Does he scorn and bid defiance to the eyes of Omnipotence, and tremble at the opinions of his fellow worms? How incongruous, but alas! how true!

Although years have rolled past—and time, as it has flown onward, has hurried with them into the vast abyss of eternity, pleasures, sins and sorrows—the events of that fearful night, that fatal hour, are concentrated in one burning spot within my brain.

Like king Midas, the cravings of discontent proved my destruction. Destruction! aye, one endless chain of wretchedness, perpetuated through life, with no oblivion in the grave.

With desperate energy I braved the lightning’s lurid gleam, and heeded not the tempest that raged around me. As I bent my footsteps towards the ever-burning flame, sounds, as if from the abyss of Hades, burst upon my ear. I stood palsied with horror, and as a bright flash burst through the gloom, shrieks and wild laughter rang through the air, and revealed my presence! “Ah! standest thou there to mock me, thou fiend, thou devil? Hurl not reason yet from its tottering throne! Begone!”

The hour was past, the trophy gained, my bride won; but an oath was taken that is engraved upon my heart with a firebrand, and ever thrills my frame with anguish—with never-ceasing torture!

How shall I unravel the tangled thread of my after life? Shall I dwell upon the hour that called Auzella mine?—the joy I felt as I clasped my beautiful, my adored wife to my heart, notwithstanding the dark flash from Count Rudolph’s eyes? A brief state of happiness was mine—an oasis in the wilderness of life.

I now had gold unbounded. We left the frowning castle for the gay metropolis. The mountain boy was no longer the shy boor, but the wealthy noble and the crafty man.

Once launched upon the ocean of dissipation, I trimmed my sails to catch the breeze of pleasure, and thought not of the whirlpools that surrounded me; when, one night, in the midst of a gay revel, whilst the sparkling cup and the merry jest passed freely round the festive board, a touch of fire, a whisper which penetrated my very soul, reminded me of my oath—that fearful oath! Then fled the scene of enchantment, the faces of beauty, the chrystal lights, and the music, breathing its soft strains through the fragrant air; and, in the mind’s eye, the burning mountain, the horrid yells of demoniacal laughter, were beheld with frightful distinctness.

Murder my friend!—the companion of my midnight revels, the sharer of my pleasures—never! But thine oath! Ah! then did I feel the serpent’s sting; his envenomed coil compressed every fibre of my defenceless body; no escape from his toils. I had voluntarily sold myself to the demon of the burning mountain!

Out upon it! why quakes this feeble frame as the hour approaches when I shall “throw off this mortal coil?” Can tortures be greater than what I do and ever will suffer? Why not snap asunder the cord at once?

But the deed was done, and then deeper did I plunge into the vortex of vice, for the slight barrier of conscience was broken down, and I moved through the gazing crowd an envied man. Ah, ah, envied! How little dreamed the gaping fools of the livid spot within. But, amidst the volcano that was consuming me, burned one pure flame—the shrine on which it was kindled was still unpolluted—my love for Auzella. She was my day-star, my dream of all that was pure. Her smile would chase the demon from my breast, and lull me into forgetfulness.

But the cup of misery that I had tasted was not yet drained. Jealousy mingled with its bitter dregs, and poisoned my blood and shot through every vein.

Suddenly there appeared among us a youth of striking mien and of great beauty, though of a wild and singular aspect. He was ever with Auzella! I chased from my breast the dark thoughts that would sometimes enter. With the madness of despair, I bore her to the gloomy castle where dwelt her father. She murmured not at thus being torn from scenes of festive mirth to hours of dreary sadness; her eyes still sparkled with their wonted fire. We visited the spot where first I dared breathe my aspiring hopes, and as I folded her to my breast again, I told her how dear she still was to me.

Count Rudolph had become more morose, and seldom went beyond the castle walls. He seemed to take no pleasure in the presence of his child, and when I encountered the glance of his eye fixed upon me, a strange, undefinable sensation would creep over me: a vague recollection of scenes gone by. Thus passed four long, weary weeks. For me were no dreams of the future, no surveying of the past; all, all was a chaos of guilt and dread.

Twice, in the still hour of midnight, did I miss Auzella from my side. At first I heeded it not, but as thought pressed upon thought, my brain became maddened; horrible suspicions crept over me. Grasping my pistols, I fled from the castle, and, without one definite object, I strode hastily towards that fatal spot. The same wild yells met my ear, and, by the clear blue flame, I beheld a scene of sickening horror!—while I think upon it, my brain becomes frenzied—but I must relieve the tortures of this breast by tracing my sum of misery.

Aye! I beheld a motley group sitting around the fire, who, with shouts of laughter and demoniacal gestures, were tearing asunder a human frame, a fresh victim! There was a pause, when a voice arose upon the stillness that sent my blood curdling to my heart; I looked, and saw my wife, and by her side that stranger youth! Slowly I moved my hand towards my pistol, and, setting my teeth, grasped it firmly. Another voice rang through the air, and there sat Count Rudolph, the demon of the burning mountain; well did I remember, by that light, those unhallowed eyes and that smile. The glance was but momentary, for revenge was heaving my bosom almost to bursting. There sat the only object on earth that was dear to me; for her I had bartered my soul, and there she was, in seeming fellowship with devils. Ages of misery were crowded in that moment. She turned, and smiled upon the beardless boy. Nature could endure no longer—I fired! Loud yells and horrid imprecations mingled with the thunder’s roar; one fierce scream was borne upon the blast, and, from the spot where sat Auzella, up rose a vulture! For a moment she hovered near me; I saw the crimson blood stream from its breast, and casting a look upon me, (which, by day and night, haunts the deepest spot in memory’s waste,) flapped her broad wings, and was soon lost in the impenetrable gloom.

Darkness fell upon me; reason was lost amid the breakers of despair. A wreck, deserted by Hope, within my heart is the torch of anguish, kindled at the funeral pile of Vice.






It is the spring time. Varied flowers are sending

  Their new-born odors on the sighing breeze,

The sun its brightness from the sky is lending,

  Flinging its kisses to the budding trees,

And Nature, lovely Nature fair doth seem,

As the creation of a poet’s dream.


The robin’s mellow strain in wild notes gushes

  From the snow blossoms of the apple tree;

The cat-bird’s scolding from the leafy bushes,

  The wren’s low music thrilling comes to me,

Seeming the hymns of Nature freely given,

As stainless offerings of its praise to Heaven.


Earth is a sea of verdure. Blossoms springing

  All gem-like dewy from the velvet sod,

Like whispered melody their perfume flinging,

  Earth’s altar’d incense rising up to God,—

Whose word I read in there as in his book,

When e’er their beauties meet my eager look.


Thro’ laughing verdure silvery is straying,

  Reflecting, mirror-like, the pure calm sky,

A babbling stream, o’er rock and lichen playing,

  Sweet as the softness of a loved one’s sigh—

Floating along with harmony as rife

As pass the hours in some bright day of life.


The river far away is calmly stealing,

  Thro’ its green banks all glittering with light,

Like beaming fancies in the poet’s feeling,

  Who worships ever all that’s fair and bright;

Creating images that living start

Warm from the gushings of his burning heart.


Yes! this is spring time, mild and glorious spring,

  When earth is like a paradise, and gay

With birds, and buds, and flowers, and everything,

  Whose beauties serve to gild awhile life’s clay.

Bidding hearts revel in enjoyment wild,

Making one happy even as a child.






I was born in New Orleans. I had very bad health there in my early childhood, and “My Aunt Betsey,” of whom I have before spoken, took a voyage by sea from Baltimore to the “crescent city,” for the purpose of returning with me to a climate which the physicians had said would strengthen my constitution.

She brought me up with the greatest kindness, or rather, I should say she kept me comparatively feeble by her over-care of my health. When I was about fourteen years of age, my father brought my mother and my little sister Virginia on from New Orleans to see me. My meeting with my kind mother I shall never forget. She held me at arms’ length for an instant, to see if she could recognise, in the chubby, healthy boy before her, the puny, sickly child with whom she had parted with such fond regret on board the Carolina, but a few years before; and when, in memory and in heart, she recognized each lineament, she clasped me to her bosom with a wild hysteric joy which compensated her, more than compensated her, she said, for all the agony which our separation had caused her. I loved my mother devotedly, yet I wondered at the emotion which she exhibited at our meeting, and, child though I was, a sense of unworthiness came over me, possibly because my affections could not sound the depths of hers.

My father’s recognition was kinder than I had expected, from what I remembered of our parting in New Orleans. He felt prouder of me than at our parting, I presume, from my improved health and looks, and this made him feel that my being tied to the apron strings of my good old aunt would not improve my manliness. A gentleman whom he had met at a dinner party, who was the principal of an academy, a kind of miniature college, some thirty miles from Baltimore, had impressed my father, by his disquisitions, with a profound respect for such a mode of education.

“William,” said my father, in speaking on the subject to Mr. Stetson, “will be better there than here among the women; he’ll be a baby forever here. No, I must make a man of him. I shall take him next week with me, and leave him in the charge of Mr. Sears.” My mother insisted upon it that I should stay awhile longer, that she might enjoy my society, and that my sister and myself might become attached to each other ere they returned to New Orleans. But my father said, “No, my dear; you know it was always agreed between us that you should bring up Virginia as you pleased, and that I would bring up William as I pleased.”

“Let us take him, then, back to New Orleans,” exclaimed my mother; “he is healthy enough now.”

“But he would not be healthy long there, my dear. No, I have made inquiry: Mr. Sears is an admirable man, and under his care, which I am satisfied will be paternal, William will improve in mind, and learn to be a man—will you not, William?”

I could only cling to my mother without reply.

“There,” exclaimed my father, exultingly, “you see the effect of his education thus far.”

“The effect of his education thus far!” retorted my aunt Betsey, who did not relish my father’s remark; “he has been taught to say his prayers, and to love his parents and tell the truth. You see the effects in him now,” and she pointed to me, seated on a stool by my mother.

All this made no impression upon my father. He was resolved that I should go to Belle Air, the county town, situated twenty-five miles from Baltimore, where the school was, the next week, and he so expressed himself decidedly.

The condemned criminal, who counts the hours that speed to his execution, scarcely feels more horror at the rush of time than did I. One appalling now seemed to possess me. I was deeply sensitive, and the dread of my loneliness away from all I loved, and the fear of the ridicule and tyranny of the oldsters, haunted me so that I could not sleep, and I have lain awake all night, picturing to myself what would be the misery of my situation at Belle Air. In fact, when the day arrived, I bade my mother, aunt Betsey and my little sister Virginia farewell with scarcely a consciousness, and was placed in the gig by my father as the stunned criminal is assisted into the fatal cart.

This over-sensitiveness—what a curse it is! I lay no claims to genius, and yet I have often thought it hard that I should have the quality which makes the “fatal gift” so dangerous, and not the gift. My little sister Virginia, who had been my playmate for weeks, cried bitterly when I left her. I dwelt upon her swimming eye with mine, tearless and stony as death. The waters of bitterness had gathered around my heart, but had not yet found an outlet from their icy thrall, ’neath which they flowed dark and deep.

Belle Air, at the time I write of, was a little village of some twenty-five or more houses, six of which were taverns. It was and is a county town, and court was regularly held there, to which the Baltimore lawyers used to flock in crowds; and many mad pranks have I known them play there for their own amusement, if not for the edification of the pupils of Mr. Sears.

My father drew up at Mr. Kenny’s tavern, and as it was about twelve when we arrived, and the pupils were dismissed to dinner, he sent his card to the principal, who in a few minutes made his appearance. Talk of a lover watching the movements and having impressed upon his memory the image of her whom he loveth!—the schoolboy has a much more vivid recollection of his teacher. Mr. Sears was a tall, stout man, with broad stooping shoulders, he carried a large cane, and his step was as decided as ever was Doctor Busby’s, who would not take his hat off when the king visited his school, for the reason, as he told his majesty afterwards, that if his scholars thought that there was a greater man in the kingdom than himself, he never could control them. The face of Mr. Sears resembled much the likeness of Alexander Hamilton, though his features were more contracted, and his forehead had nothing like the expansion of the great statesman; yet it projected very similarly at the brows. He welcomed my father to the village with great courtesy, and me to his pupilage with greater dignity. He dined with my father, with me by his side, and every now and then he would pat me on the head and ask me a question. I stammered out monosyllabic answers, when the gentleman would address himself again to his plate with renewed gusto.

Mr. Sears recommended my father to board me at the house of a Mr. Hall, who had formerly been the sheriff of the county, and whose wife and daughters, he said, were very fine women. He repented, he said, when he first took charge of the academy, that there was not some general place attached to it where the pupils could board in common, but after reflection had taught him that to board them about among the towns-people would be as well. He remarked that I was one of his smallest pupils, but that he could look on me in loco parentis, and doubted not that he could make a man of me.

After dinner he escorted my father, leading me by the hand, down to the academy, which was on the outskirts of the town, at the other end of it from Mr. Kenny’s. The buzz, which the usher had not the power to control in the absence of Mr. Sears, hushed instantly in his presence, and as he entered with my father, the pupils all arose, and remained standing until he ordered them to be seated. Giving my father a seat, and placing me in the one which he designed for me in the school, Mr. Sears called several of his most proficient scholars in the different classes, from Homer down to the elements of English, and examined them. When a boy blundered, he darted at him a look which made him shake in his shoes, and when another boy gave a correct answer and took his fellow’s place, and glanced up for Mr. Sears’ smile, it was a picture which my friend Beard, of Cincinnati, would delight to draw. The blunderer looked like one caught in the act of sheep-stealing, while the successful pupil took his place with an air that would have marked one of Napoleon’s doubtful soldiers, when the Emperor had witnessed an act of daring on his part. As for Mr. Sears, he thought Napoleon a common creature to himself. To kill men, he used to say, was much more easy than to instruct them, he felt himself to be like one of the philosophers of old in his academy; and he considered Doctor Parr and Doctor Busby, who boasted that they had whipped every distinguished man in the country, much greater than he of Pharsalia or he of Austerlitz.

When the rehearsal of several classes had given my father a due impression of Mr. Sears’ great gifts as an instructor, and of his scholars’ proficiency, he took my father to Mr. Hall’s, to introduce us to my future host.

We found the family seated in the long room in which their boarders dined. To Mr. Sears they paid the most profound respect. Well they might, for without his recommendation they would have been without boarders. Hall was a tall, good humored, careless man. His wife was older than himself, tall too, but full of energy. He had two daughters, Harriet and Jane. Harriet was a quick, active, lively girl, and withal pretty, while Jane was lolling and lazy in her motions, and without either good looks or prettiness. The matter of my boarding was soon arranged, and it had become time for my father to depart. All this while the variety and excitement of the scene had somewhat relieved my feelings, but when my father bade me be a good boy and drove off, I felt as if the “last link” was indeed broken, and though I made every effort, from a sense of shame, to repress my tears, it was in vain, and they broke forth the wilder from their previous restraint. Harriet Hall came up instantly to comfort me. She took a seat beside me at the open window at which I was looking out after my father, and with a sweet voice, whose tones are in my memory yet, she told me not to grieve because I was from my friends; that I should soon see them again, and that she would think I feared they would not be kind to me if I showed so much sorrow. This last remark touched me, and while I was drying my eyes, one of the larger boys, a youth of eighteen or twenty, came up to the window—for the academy by this time had been dismissed for the evening—and said,

“Ah, Miss Harriet, is this another baby who is crying for home?”

In an instant my eyes were dried. I cast one glance at the speaker—he was a tall, slim, reckless looking fellow, named Prettyman—and from that day to this I have neither forgotten it, nor, I fear, forgiven him.

In the night, when we retired to our rooms, I found that my bed was in a room with two others, Prettyman and a country bumpkin, by the name of Muzzy. As usual on going to bed, I kneeled down to say my prayers, putting my hands up in the attitude of supplication. I had scarcely uttered to myself the first words, “Our Father,” but to the ear that heareth all things, when Prettyman exclaimed—

“He’s praying! ‘By the Apostle Paul!’ as Richard the Third says, that’s against rules. Suppose we cob him, Muzzy?” Muzzy laughed, and got into bed; and I am ashamed to say that I arose with the prayer dying away from my thoughts, and indignation and shame usurping them, and sneaked into bed, where I said my prayers in silence, and wept myself in silence to sleep. In the morning, with a heavy heart, and none but the kind Harriet to comfort me, I betook myself to the academy.

Parents little know what a sensitive child suffers at a public school. I verily believe that these schools engender often more treachery, falsehood and cruelty than exists in West India slavery; I was about saying even in the brains of an abolitionist. Most tenderly nurtured, under the care of an affectionate old aunt, who was always fixing my clothes to keep me warm, coddling up something nice to pamper me with, watching all my outgoings and incomings, and seeing that everything around me conduced to my convenience and comfort, the contrast was indeed great when I appeared at the Belle Air academy, one of the smallest boys there, and subjected to the taunts and buffetings of every larger boy than myself in the institution. My father little knew what agony it cost me to be made a man of.

I am not certain that the good produced by such academies is equal to their evils. I remember well for two or three nights after Prettyman laughed at me, that I crept into bed to say my prayers, and, at last, under his ridicule—for he practised his gift on me every night—I not only neglected to say them, but began to feel angry towards my aunt that she had ever learned them to me, as they brought so much contempt upon me. Yet, such is the power of conscience, at that tender age, that, when I awoke in the morning of the first night that I had not prayed, I felt myself guilty and unworthy, and went into the garden and wept aloud, tears of sincere contrition.

Too often, in public schools, the first thing a youth learns from his elders, is to laugh at parental authority, and to exhibit to the ridicule of his fellows the letter of advice which his parent or guardian feels it his duty to write to him, taking care, with a jest upon them, to pocket the money they send, with an air of incipient profligacy which, any one may see, will soon not only be rank but prurient—such a moral contagion should be avoided, and, I therefore am inclined to think that the Catholic mode of tuition, where some one of the teachers is with the scholars, not only by day but by night, is preferable. And, in fact, any one who has witnessed the respectful familiarity they teach their pupils to feel and act towards them, and the kindness with which they return it, cannot but be impressed with the truth of my remark.

There were nearly one hundred pupils at Belle Air, at the period of which I write, and the only assistant Mr. Sears had, was a gaunt fellow named Dogberry. Like his illustrious namesake in Shakspeare, from whom I believe he was a legitimate descendant, he might truly have been “written down an ass.”

The boys invented all sorts of annoyances to torture Dogberry withal. A favorite one was, when Mr. Sears was in the city, which was at periods not unfrequent, for them to assemble in the school before Dogberry came, and setting one by the door to give notice when the usher was within a few feet of it, to begin as soon as he appeared in sight, to shout, as with one voice—first Dog, and then, after a pause, by way of a chorus, berry.

As soon as notice was given by the watcher, he leaped to his seat, and every tongue was silent, and every eye upon the book before it. The rage of Dogberry knew no bounds on these occasions. He did not like to tell the principal, for the circumstance would have proved not only his want of authority over the boys, but the contempt in which they held him.

A trick which Prettyman played him, nearly caused his death, and, luckily for the delinquent, he was never discovered. Dogberry was very penurious, and he saved two-thirds of his salary; as it was not large, he had, of course, to live humbly. He dined at Halls and took breakfast and supper in his lodgings, if he ever took them, and the quality of the dinner of which he made himself the receptacle, caused it to be doubted. His lodgings were the dormant story of a log cabin, to which he had entrance by a rough flight of stairs without the house and against its side. Under the stairs there was a large mud-hole, and Prettyman contrived one gusty night to pull them down, with the intention of calling the usher in the tone of Mr. Sears, for he was a good mimic, and causing him to fall in the mud. Unluckily, the usher heard the racket without, and not dreaming it was the fall of the stairs, he leaped from his bed, and hurried out to see what it was. He fell on them, and though no bones were broken, he was laid up for several weeks. The wind always had the credit of the affair, and Prettyman won great applause for his speedy assistance and sympathy with Dogberry, whom he visited constantly during his confinement.

The night of the adjournment of court, the lawyers, and even the judges, had what they called a regular frolic. Mr. Sears was in Baltimore, and the scholars were easily induced to join in it—in fact they wanted no inducement. About twelve o’clock at night we were aroused from our beds by a most awful yelling for the ex-sheriff. “Hall, Hall,” was the cry—soon the door was opened, and the trampling of feet was heard—in a minute the frolickers ascended the stairs, and one of the judges, with a blanket wrapped round him, like an Indian, with his face painted, and a red handkerchief tied round his head, and with red slippers on, entered our room, with a candle in one hand and a bottle in the other; and, after making us drink all round, bade us get up. We were nothing loath. On descending into the dining-room, lo! there were the whole bar, dressed off in the most fantastic style, and some of them scarcely dressed at all. They were mad with fun and wine. The ex-sheriff brought forth his liquors, and was placed on his own table as a culprit, and tried and found guilty of not having been, as in duty bound, one of the originators of the frolic. He was, therefore, fined glasses round for the company, and ordered by the judges to pay it at Richardson’s bar. To Richardson’s the order was given to repair. Accordingly, without they formed a line, Indian file. Two large black women carried a light in each hand beside the first judge, and two smaller black women carried a light in the right hand beside the next one. The lawyers followed, each with a light in his hand, and the procession closed with the scholars, who each also bore a light. I, being smallest, brought up the rear. There was neither man nor boy who was not more or less inebriated, and the wildest pranks were played.

When we reached Dogberry’s domicile, one of the boys proposed to have him out with us. The question was put by one of the judges and carried by acclamation unanimously. It was further resolved, that a deputation of three, each bearing a bottle of different liquor, should be appointed to wait on him, with the request that he would visit the Pawnee tribe, from the far west, drink some fire-water with them, and smoke the pipe of peace.

Prettyman, whose recklessness knew no bounds, and who, as I suppose, wished to involve me in difficulty, moved that the smallest and tallest person in the council be of that deputation. There happened to be a quantity of logs, which had been gathered there for the purpose of building a log house. Mr. Patterson (I use here a fictitious name) was at this time the great lawyer of Maryland. He was dressed in a splendid Indian costume, which a western client had given him, and he had painted himself with care and taste. He was a fine looking man, and stretching out his hand, he exclaimed:

“Brothers, be seated; but not on the prostrate forms of the forest, which the ruthless white man has felled to make unto himself a habitation. Like the big warrior Tecumseh, in council with the great white chief Harrison, we will sit upon the lap of our mother the earth—upon her breast we will sleep—the Pawnee has no roof but the blue sky, where dwelleth the Great Spirit—and he looks up to the shining stars, and they look down upon him—and they count the leaves of the forest and know the might of the Pawnees.”

Every one, by this time, had taken a seat upon the ground, and all were silent. As the lights flashed o’er the group, they formed as grotesque a scene as I have ever witnessed.

“Brothers,” he continued, “those eyes of the Great Spirit,” pointing upwards to the stars, “behold the rushing river, and they say to our fathers, who are in the happy hunting grounds of the blest, that, like it, is the might of the Pawnee when he rushes to battle. The white men are dogs—their carcasses drift in the tide—they are cast out on the shore, and the prairie-wolf fattens on them.

“Brothers—the eyes of the Great Spirit behold the prairies and the forest, where the breath of the wintry wind bears the red fire through them—where the prairie-wolf flies, and the fire flies faster. Brothers, the white man is the prairie-wolf, and the Pawnee is the fire.

“Brothers—when the forked fire from the right arm of the Great Spirit smites the mountain’s brow, the eagle soars upwards to his home in the clouds, but the snake crawls over the bare rock in the blast, and hides in the clefts and in the hollows and holes. Behold! the forked fire strikes the rock and scatters it as the big warrior would throw pebbles from his hand, and the soaring eagle darts from the clouds and the death-rattle of the snake is heard, and he hisses no more.

“Brothers—the Pawnee is the eagle, the bird of the Great Spirit, and the white man is the crawling snake that the Great Spirit hates.

“Brothers—the shining eyes of the Great Spirit sees all these things, and tells them to our fathers, who are in the happy hunting ground of the blest, and they say that some day, wrapped in the clouds, they will come and see us, for our land is like theirs.”

This was said with so much eloquence, by the distinguished lawyer, that there was the silence of nearly a minute when he concluded. In the company was a lawyer named Short, who, strange to say, was just six feet three inches and a half high, and he had a client—which is stranger still—named Long, who was but five feet high.

“Who has precedence, Judge Willard?” called out somebody in the crowd, breaking in upon the business of the occasion, as upon such occasions business always will be broken in upon—“who has precedence, Long or Short?”

“Long,” exclaimed the judge, “of course. It is a settled rule in law, that you must take as much land as is called for in the deed—therefore Long takes precedence of Short. May be, Short has a remedy in equity; but this court has nothing to do with that—so you have the long and the short of the matter.”

“Judge,” cried out the ex-sheriff, “we must go to Richardson’s—you know it is my treat.”

“The Pawnee—the eagle of his race,”—exclaimed Patterson, “the prophet of his tribe; he who is more than warrior—whose tongue is clothed with the Great Spirit’s thunder—who can speak with the eloquence of the spring air when it whispers amidst the leaves and makes the flowers open and give forth their sweets—he, the Charming Serpent, that hath a tongue forked with persuasion—he, even he, will go in to the white man, and invite him to come forth and taste the fire-water, and smoke the pipe of peace with the Pawnee. Then, if he comes not forth when the charming serpent takes him by the hand, and bids him, the Pawnees shall smoke him out like a fox, and his blazing habitation shall make night pale, and there shall be no resting place for his foot, and children and squaws shall whip him into the forest, and set the dogs upon his trail, and he shall be hunted from hill to hill, from river to river, from prairie to prairie, from forest to forest, till, like the frightened deer, he rushes, panting, into the great lakes, and the waters rise over him, and cover him from the Pawnees’ scorn.”

This was received with acclamation. Mr. Patterson played the Indian so well, that he drew me one of the closest to him, in the charmed circle that surrounded him. His eye flashed, his lips quivered with fiery ardor, though at the mimic scene. I was so lost in admiration of him, that I placed myself beside him without knowing it. He saw the effect he had produced upon me, and was evidently gratified. Taking me by the hand, he said:

“Warriors and braves, give unto me the brand, that the Charming Serpent may light the steps of the boy to the hiding-place of the pale-face. He shall listen to the eloquence of the Charming Serpent when he takes the white man by the hand—he shall learn how to move alike the heart of the pale-face and the red man.

“Brothers—the Charming Serpent to-night,” said he, handing me the candle, and placing himself in an oratorial attitude, while every man lifted up his candle so that it shone full upon him,—“Brothers, the Charming Serpent to-night could speak unto the four winds that are now howling in the desolate Pawnee paths of the wilderness, and make them sink into a low moan, and sigh themselves to silence, were he to tell them of the many of his tribe who are now lying mangled, unburied, and cold, beneath the shadow of the rocky mountains—victims of the white man’s vengeance.

“Brothers: O! that the Great Spirit would give the Charming Serpent his voice of thunder—then would he stand upon the highest peak of the Alleghanies, with the forked lightning in his red right hand, and tell a listening and heart-struck world the wrong of his race. And, when all of every tribe of every people had come crouching in the valleys, and had filled up the gorges of the hills, then would the Charming Serpent hurl vengeance on the oppressor. But come,” said he, taking the candle in one hand, and myself by the other, “the Pawnee talks like a squaw. The Charming Serpent will speak with the pale-face, and lead him forth from his wigwam to the great council fire.”

Accordingly, the Charming Serpent took me by the hand, and led me up the stairs. His steps were steady, and it was evident that his libations had excited his brain, and, instead of weakening him, given him strength.

“What’s your name?” said he to me kindly.

“William Russel, sir.”

“Do you know me, my little fellow?”

“Yes, sir, you’re Mr. Patterson, the great lawyer.”

“Ah, ah! they call me a great lawyer, do they! What else do they say?”

“That you’re the greatest orator in the country,” I replied—for what I had drank made me bold too.

“They do—I know they do, my little fellow—I believe, in fact, that I could have stood up in the Areopagus of old, in favor of human rights, and faced the best of them. Yes, sir, I too could have ‘fulmined over Greece.’ But we are not Grecians now—we are Pawnees.”

“Stop, stop, Mr. Pawnee,” called out some one from the crowd, “Short was to go, he is the tallest man.”

“The tallest man,” re-echoed Mr. Patterson, speaking in his natural tone. “The judge, sir, has already decided that by just legal construction, Short is short, no matter how long he is; and, if he claims to be long, sir, I can just inform him that Lord Bacon says ‘that tall men are like tall houses, the upper story is the worst furnished.’ ” Here, every eye was turned on Short, and there was a shout of laughter.

“If,” continued Mr. Patterson—and it was evident his potations were doing their work—“if it be true—I’ll just say this to you, sirs. Doctor Watts was a very small man; and, I repeat it for the benefit of all small men—

‘Had I the height to reach the pole

  Or meet the ocean with my span,

I would be measured by my soul—

  The mind’s the standard of the man.’

“There, gentlemen of the jury; if that be true, I opine that the tallest man in the crowd is now addressing you. But, I forget. I am a Pawnee.

“Brothers: The tall grass of the prairies is swept by the fire, while the flint endureth the hot flames of the stake. The loftiest trees of the forest snap like a reed in the whirlwind, and the bird that builds there leaves her eggs unhatched. The highest peak of the mountain is always the bleakest and barest—in the valley are the sweet waters and the pleasant. Damn it,” said he, speaking in his proper person, for he began to forget his personation, “why do we value the gem—

‘Ask why God made the gem so small,

  And why so huge the granite?

Because he meant mankind should set

  The higher value on it.’

“That’s Burns—an illustrious name, gentlemen. When I was minister abroad, I stood beside the peasant poet’s grave, and thanked God that he had given me the faculties to appreciate him. Suppose that he had been born in this land of ours, sirs; all we who think ourselves lights in law and statesmanship, would have seen our stars paled—paled, sirs, as the fire of the prairie grows dim, when the eye of the Great Spirit looks forth from the eastern gates—damn it, that’s Ossian and not Pawnee—upon it in its fierceness.

‘Thou, the bright eye of the universe,

  That openest over all, and unto all

  Art a delight—thou shinest not on my soul.’

“That’s Byron—I knew him well—handsome fellow. ‘Thou shinest not on my soul’—no, but thou shinest on the prairie.”

“The usher—Dogberry—let’s have Dogberry,” called out several of the students.

“Ha!” exclaimed Mr. Patterson; “Dogberry, ha! He’s Goldsmith’s village teacher, that caused the wonder

‘That one small head could carry all he knew.’

Dogberry—Dogberry—but that sounds Shakspearian. ‘Reading and writing comes by Nature.’ That’s certainly not his sentiments; were they, he should throw away the usher’s rod and betake himself to something else; for if these things come by nature, then is Dogberry’s occupation gone. Yes, he had better betake himself to the constableship. Come, my little friend—come, son of the Pawnee, and we will arouse the pale face.”

Stepping by the side of Mr. Patterson, we ascended to the little platform in front of Dogberry’s door, at which we rapped three times distinctly. “Who’s there?” cried out a voice from within. Dogberry must of course have been awake for at least half an hour.

“Pale face,” said the Pawnee chief, “thou hast not followed the example of the great chief of the pale faces; the string of thy latch is pulled in. Upon my word, this is certainly the attic story,” he continued in a low voice.

“I am not very well to-night, gentlemen, unless your business is pressing.”

“Pressing! Pale face, the Pawnees have lit their council fire, and invite thee to drink with them the fire-water and smoke the pipe of peace.”

“Thank you, gentlemen, I never drink,” responded Dogberry, in an impatient tone.

“Never drink! Pale face, thou liest! Who made the fire-water, and gave it to my people, but thee and thine? Lo! before it, though they once covered the land, they have melted away like snow beneath the sun.”

“I belong to the temperance society,” cried out Dogberry from within.

“Dogberry,” exclaimed Patterson—whose patience, like that of the crowd below, who were calling for the usher as if they were at a town meeting, and expected him to speak, was becoming exhausted—“Dogberry, compel me not, as your great namesake would say, to commit either ‘perjury’ or ‘burglary,’ and break your door open. You remember in Marmion, Dogberry, that the chief, speaking of the insult which had been put upon him, said,

‘I’ll right such wrongs where’er they’re given,

Though in the very court of Heaven.’

Now I will not say that I would make you drink wherever the old chief would ‘right his wrongs,’ but this I will say, that wherever I, Burbage Patterson, get drunk, I think you can come forth and take a stirrup cup with him; he leaves for the Supreme Court to-morrow.”

“Mr. Patterson,” said Dogberry, coming towards the door, “your character can stand it—it can stand anything—mine can’t.”

“There’s truth in that,” said Mr. Patterson aside to me. “Gentlemen, let us leave the pedagogue to his reflections; and now it occurs to me that we had better not uncage him, for, boys, he would be a witness against you; more, witness, judge, jury and executioner—by the by, clear against law. Were I in your place, I would appeal, and for every stripe he gives you, should the judgment be reversed, do you give him two.”

Here a sprightly fellow, one of the scholars, named Morris, from Long Green, ran up the steps and said to Mr. Patterson,

“Do, sir, have him out, for if we get him into the frolic too, we are as safe, sir, as if we were all in our beds. He has seen us all through some infernal crack or other.”

“Ah,” exclaimed Mr. Patterson, in a low tone to Morris, “he has been playing Cowper, has he—looking from the loopholes of retreat, seeing the Babel and not feeling the stir?”

“Yes sir, but he’ll make a stir about it to-morrow.”

“He shall come forth, then,” said Mr. Patterson; “Dogberry, open the door; they speak of removing Sears, and why don’t you come forth and greet your friends? We have an idea of getting the appointment for you.”

This flattery took instant effect, for we heard Dogberry bustling to the door, and in a moment it was opened about half way, and the usher put his head out, and said, but with the evident wish that his invitation would be refused, “Will you come in sir? Why, William Russell!” to me, in surprise.

“Pale face, this is a youthful brave, whom I want the pale face to teach the arts of his race. Behold! I am the Charming Serpent. Come forth and taste of the fire-water.”

As Mr. Patterson spoke, he took Dogberry by the hand, and pulled him on to the platform. The usher was greeted with loud acclamations and laughter by the crowd. He, however, did not relish it, and was frightened out of his wits. He really looked the personification of a caricature. His head was covered with an old flannel nightcap, notwithstanding it was warm weather, and his trousers were held up by his hips, while his suspenders dangled about his knees. On his right leg he had an old boot, and on his left foot an old shoe, and was without coat or vest. As Mr. Patterson held up the light, so that the crowd below could see him, there was such a yelling as had not been heard on the spot since those whose characters the crowd were assuming had left it.

Dogberry hastily withdrew into his room, but followed by Mr. Patterson and myself, each bearing a light. When we entered, the crowd rushed up the steps.

“For God’s sake, sir, for the sake of my character and situation, don’t let them come in here.”

“They shall not, if you will promise to drink with me. Pale face, speak, will you drink with the Pawnee?”

“Yes sir,” said Dogberry, faintly.

The Charming Serpent here went to the door, and said,

“Brothers, the Charming Serpent would hold a private talk with the chief of the pale faces. Ere long, he will be with you. Let the Big Bull (one of the lawyers was named Bull, and he was very humorous,) pass round the fire-water and the calumet, and by that time the Charming Serpent will come forth. Brothers, give unto the Charming Serpent some of the fire-water, that he may work his spells.”

A dozen handed up bottles of different wines and liquors. The Charming Serpent gave Dogberry the candles to hold, took a bottle of Champaigne, and handed me another. Then shutting the door, he said,

“This is the fire-water that hath no evil in it. It courses through the veins like a silvery lake through the prairie, where the wild grass waves green and placid, and it makes the heart merry like the merriment of birds in the spring-time, and not with the fierce fires of the dark lake, like the strong fire-water, that glows red as the living coal. Brothers, we will drink.”

Dogberry’s apartment was indeed an humble one. Only in the centre of it could you stand upright. Over our heads were the rafters and bare shingles, formed exactly in the shape of the capital letter A inverted, or rather V. Opposite the door was a little window of four panes of glass, and under it, or rather beside it, in the corner, was a little bedstead, with a straw mattrass upon it. A small table, with a tumbler and broken pitcher, and candle in a tin candlestick on it, stood opposite the bed. A board, nailed across from rafter to rafter, held a few books, and beside it, on nails, were several articles of clothing. There were besides in the apartment two chairs, and a wooden chest in the corner, by the door.

“Come, drink, my old boy,” exclaimed Patterson.

“Thank you, Mr. Patterson, your character can stand it, I tell you, but mine can’t.”

“Friend of my soul, this goblet sip,” reiterated Patterson, offering Dogberry the glass.

“Thank you, Mr. Patterson, I would not choose any,” said he.

“You can’t but choose, Dogberry; there is no alternative. Do you remember what the poet beautifully says of the Roman daughter, who sustained her imprisoned father from her own breast?—

‘Drink, drink and live, old man; Heaven’s realm holds no such tide.’

Do you remember it? I bid you drink, then, and I say to you, Hebe nor Ganymede ever offered to the immortals purer wine than that. Drink! here’s to you, Dogberry, and to your speedy promotion,” and Mr. Patterson swallowed every drop in the glass, and re-filling it, handed it to the usher.

Without much hesitation, he drank it. He now filled me up a glass nearly full, and I followed the example of my preceptor, he the while looking at me with astonishment.

“How do you like the letter, Mr. Dogberry?” asked Mr. Patterson of the pedagogue.

“What letter, sir? Mr. Patterson, I must say this is a strange proceeding. I don’t know, sir, to what you allude.”

“Don’t know to what I allude! Why, the letter wishing to know if you would take the academy at the same price at which Sears now holds it.”

“Sir, I have received no such letter. I certainly, sir, would, if it was thought that I was—”

“Was competent. Merit is always modest; you’re the most competent of the two, sir—take some.”

So saying, Mr. Patterson filled up the tumbler, and Dogberry swallowed the compliment and the wine together, and fixed his eye on the rafters with an exulting look. While he was so gazing, the lawyer filled his glass, and observed, “Come, drink, and let me open this other bottle; I want a glass myself.” Down went the wine, and, with a smack of his lips, Dogberry handed the glass to Mr. Patterson.

“Capital, ain’t it, eh?”

“Capital,” re-echoed Dogberry. The wine and his supposed honors had aroused the brain of the pedagogue in a manner which seemed to awake him to a new existence. While Mr. Patterson was striking the top from the other bottle, Dogberry handed me the candle which he held—the other he had put in his candlestick, taking out his own when he first drank—and lifting the tumbler, he stood ready.

Again he quaffed a bumper. The effect of his potations on him was electrical. He had a long face, with a snipe-like nose, which was subjected to a nervous twitching whenever its owner was excited. It now danced about, seemingly, all over his face, while his naturally cadaverous countenance, under the excitement, turned to a glowing red, and his small ferret eyes looked both dignified and dancing, merry and important. “So,” exclaimed he, “I am to be principal of the academy; ha, ha, ha! oh, Lord! William Russell, I would reprove you on the spot, but that you are in such distinguished company.”

Whether Dogberry meant only Mr. Patterson, or included himself, I do not know, but as he spoke he arose, and paced his humble apartment with a proud tread, forgetting what a figure he cut, with his suspenders dangling about his knees and his nightcap on, and forgetting also that his attic was not high enough to admit his head to be carried at its present altitude. The consequence was that he struck it against one of the rafters, with a violence that threatened injury to the rafter, if not to the head. He stooped down to rub the affected part, when Mr. Patterson said to him,

“ ‘Pro-di-gi-ous,’ as Dominie Sampson, one of you, said, ain’t it? Come, we’ll finish this bottle, and then go forth. The scholars are all rejoiced at your promotion, and are all assembled without to do you honor. They have made complete saturnalia of it. They marvel now why you treat them with so much reserve.”

“Gad, I’ll do it,” exclaimed Dogberry, taking the tumbler and swallowing the contents.

“Just put your blanket around you,” said Patterson to him. “Let your nightcap remain; it becomes you.”

“No, it don’t indeed, though, eh?”

“It does, ’pon honor. That’s it. Now, pale face, come forth; the eloquence of the Charming Serpent has prevailed.”

So speaking, Mr. Patterson opened the door, and we stepped on to the platform.

The scene without was grotesque in the extreme. In front of us, I suppose to the number of an hundred persons, were the frolickers, composed of lawyers, students and town’s-people, all seated in a circle, while Mr. Patterson’s client from the West, dressed in costume, was giving the Pawnee war dance. This client was a rough uneducated man, but full of originality and whim. Mr. Patterson had gained a suit for him, in which the title to an estate in the neighborhood was involved, worth upwards of sixty thousand dollars. The whole bar had believed that the suit could not be sustained by Patterson, but his luminous mind had detected the clue through the labyrinths of litigation, where they saw nothing but confusion and defeat. His client was overjoyed at the result, as every one had croaked defeat to him. He gave Mr. Patterson fifteen thousand dollars, five more than he had promised, and besides had made him a present of the splendid Indian dress in which, as a bit of fun, before the frolic commenced, he had decked himself, under the supervision of his client, who acted as his costumer, and afterwards dressed himself in the same way. The client had a great many Indian dresses with him, which he had collected with great care, and on this occasion he threw open his trunks, and supplied nearly the whole bar.

The name of Mr. Patterson’s client was Blackwood, and the admiration which he excited seemed to give him no little pleasure. Most of the lawyers in the circle had something Indian on them, while the boys, who could not appear in costume, and were determined to appear wild, had turned their jackets wrong side out, and swapped with each other, the big ones with the little, so that one wore his neighbor’s jacket, the waist of which came up under his arms, and exhibited the back of his vest, while the other wore a coat the hip buttons of which were at his knees.

On the outskirts of this motley assembly could be seen, here and there, a negro, who might be said at once to contribute to the darkness that surrounded the scene and to reflect light upon it, for their black skins were as ebon as night, while their broad grins certainly had something luminous about them, as their white teeth shone forth.

We stood about a minute admiring the dance, when it was concluded, and some one espied us, and pointed us out to the rest. We, or rather I should say Dogberry, was greeted with three times three. I have never seen, for the size of the assembly, such an uproarious outbreak of bacchanalian merriment. After the cheers were given, many of the boys threw themselves on the grass and rolled over and over, shouting as they rolled. Others jerked their fellows’ hats off, and hurled them in air. Prettyman stood with his arms folded, as if he did not know what to make of it, and then deliberately spreading his blanket on the ground, as deliberately took a seat in the centre of it, as if determined to maintain the full possession of his faculties, and, like an amateur at a play, enjoy the scene. Morris held his sides, stooped down his head, and glanced sideways cunningly at Dogberry, throwing his head back every now and then with a sudden jerk, while loud explosive bursts of laughter, from his very heart, echoed through the village above every other sound.

“A speech from Dogberry!” exclaimed Prettyman.

“Ay, a speech!” shouted Morris, “a speech!”

“No, gentlemen, not now,” exclaimed Richardson, the proprietor of one of the hotels; “I sent down to my house an hour ago, and have had a collation served. Mr. Patterson, and gentlemen and students all, I invite you to partake with me.”

“Silence!” called out Mr. Patterson. All were silent. “Students of the Belle Air Academy and citizens generally, I have the honor to announce to you that my friend, Mr. Dogberry, is about to supersede Mr. Sears. We must form a procession and place him in our midst, the post of honor, and then to mine host’s.” So speaking, Mr. Patterson descended, followed by Dogberry and myself. The students gave their candles to the negroes to hold, joined their hands, and danced round Dogberry with the wildest glee, while he received it all in drunken dignity.

When I have seen since, in Chapman’s floating theatre, or in a barn or shed, some lubberly, drunken son of the sock and buskin enact Macbeth, with the witches about him, I have recalled this scene, and thought that the boys looked like the witches and Dogberry like the Thane, when the witches greet him:

‘All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!’

The procession was at length formed. Surrounded by the boys, who rent the air with shouts, with his nightcap on his head and his blanket around him, with one boot and one shoe, Dogberry, following immediately after the judges, proceeded with them to Richardson’s hotel. Whenever there was the silence of a minute or two, some boy or other would ask Dogberry not to remember on the morrow that he saw them out that night.

“No, boys, no, certainly not; this thing, I understand, is done in honor of me. I shan’t take Sears in even as an assistant. Boys, he has not used me well.”

We arrived at Richardson’s as well as we could, having business on both sides of the street. His dining-room was a very large one, and he had a very fine collation set out, with plenty of wines and other liquors. Judge Willard took the head of the table and Judge Nolan the foot. Dogberry was to the right of Judge Willard and Mr. Patterson to the left. He made me sit beside him. The eating was soon despatched, and it silenced us all a little, while it laid the groundwork for standing another supply of wine, which was soon sparkling in our glasses, and we were now all more excited than ever. It was amusing to see the merry faces of my schoolmates twinkling about among the crowd, trying to catch and comprehend whatever was said by the lawyers, particularly those that were distinguished.

Songs were sung, sentiments given, and Indian talks held by the quantity. Dogberry looked the while first at the boys and then at the lawyers and then at himself, not knowing whether or not the scene before him was a reality or a dream. The great respect which the boys showed him, and Patterson’s making an occasional remark to him, seemed at last not only fully to impress him with the reality, but also with a full, if not a sober conviction of his own importance.

“A song!—a song!” was shouted by a dozen of the larger students; “a song from Morris. Give us ‘Down with the pedagogue Sears.’ Hurrah for old Dogberry—Dogberry forever.”

“No,” cried out others, “a speech from Mr. Patterson—no, from the Pawnee. You’re fineable for not speaking in character.”

Here Prettyman took Mr. Patterson courteously by the hand, and said something to him in a whisper.

“Ah ha!” exclaimed Mr. Patterson, “so shall it be; I like Morris. Come, my good fellow, sing us the song you wrote; come, Dogberry’s star is now in the ascendant. ‘Down with the pedagogue Sears’—let’s have it.”

Nothing loth, Morris was placed on the table, while the students gathered round him, ready to join the chorus. Taking a preparatory glass of wine, while Mr. Patterson rapped on the table by way of commanding silence, Morris placed himself in an attitude and sang the following song, which he had written on some rebellious occasion or other:



You may talk of the study of imperial power,

And tell how their subjects must fawn, cringe and cower,

      And offer the incense of tears;

But I tell you at once, that there’s none can compare

With the tyrant that rules o’er the lads of Belle Air,

      So down with the pedagogue Sears.

(Chorus,)           Down, down,

            Down with the pedagogue Sears.


The serf has his Sunday—the negroes tell o’er

Their Christmas, the Fourth, aye, and many days more,

      When they feel themselves any man’s peers;

But we’re tasked night and day by the line and the rule,

And Sunday’s no Sunday, for there’s Sunday school,

      So down with the pedagogue Sears.

(Chorus,)           Down, down, &c.


So here’s to the lad who can talk to his lass,

And here’s to the lad who can take down his glass,

      And is only a lad in his years:

Who can stand up and act a bold part like a man,

And do just whatever another man can,

      So down with the pedagogue Sears.

(Chorus,)           Down, down,

            Down with the pedagogue Sears—

“Hip, hip, hurrah—once more,” shouted Morris. “Now then”—

                         Down, down,

            So down with the pedagogue Sears.

While the whole room was in uproarious chorusing, who should enter but Sears himself. He looked round with stern dignity and surprise, at first uncertain on whom to fix his indignation, when his eye lit on Dogberry, who, the most elated and inebriated of all, was flourishing his nightcap over his head, and shouting, at the top of his voice,

“Down with the pedagogue Sears.”

As soon as Sears caught a view of Dogberry, he advanced towards him, as if determined to inflict personal chastisement on the usher. At first Dogberry prepared again to vociferate the chorus, but when he caught the eye of Sears, his voice failed him, and he moved hastily towards Mr. Patterson, who slapped him on the shoulder, and cried out,

“Dogberry, be true to yourself.”

“I am true to myself. Yes, my old boy, old Sears, you’re no longer head devil at Belle Air Academy. You’re no devil at all, or if you are, old boy, you’re a poor devil, and be d—d to you.”

“You’re a drunken outcast, sir,” exclaimed Sears. “Never let me see your face again; I dismiss you from my service,” and so speaking, he took a note book from his pocket, and began hastily to take down the names of the students. The Big Bull saw this, and caught it from his hand.

“Sir, sir,” exclaimed Sears, enraged, “my vocation, and not any respect I bear you, prevents my infliction of personal chastisement upon you. Boys, young gentlemen, leave instantly for your respective boarding houses.”

During this, Patterson was clapping Dogberry on the shoulder, evidently endeavoring to inspire him with courage.

“Tell him yourself,” I overheard Dogberry say.

“No, no,” replied Patterson, “it is your place.”

“Well, then, I’ll tell you at once, Sears, you’re no longer principal of this academy; you’re dished. Mr. Patterson, sir, will tell you so.”

“Mr. Patterson!” exclaimed Sears, now for the first time recognizing, in the semblance of the Indian chief, the distinguished lawyer and statesman. “Sir, I am more than astonished.”

“Sir,” rejoined Patterson, drawing himself up with dignity, “I am a Pawnee brave; more, a red man eloquent or a pale face eloquent, as it pleases me; but, sir, under all circumstances, I respect your craft and calling. What more dignified than such? A poor, unfriended boy, I was taken by the hand by an humble teacher of a country school, and here I stand, let me say sir, high in the councils of a great people. Peace to old Playfair’s ashes. The old philosopher, like Porson, loved his cups, and, like Parr, loved his pipe; but, sir, he was a ripe scholar and a noble spirit, and I have so said, sir, in the humble monument which I am proud, sir, I was enabled, through the education he gave me, to build over him.

‘After life’s fitful fever, he sleeps well.’

Yes, as some one says, he was ‘my friend before I had flatterers.’ How proud he was of me! I remember well catching his eye in making my first speech, and the approving nod he gave me had more gratification to me than the approbation of bench, bar and audience. Glorious old Playfair! Mr. Sears, you were his pupil too. Many a time have I heard him speak of you; he said, of all his pupils, you were the one to wear his mantle. And, sir, that was the highest compliment he could pay you—the highest, Mr. Speaker, for he esteemed himself of the class of the philosophers, the teachers of youth. Sir, Mr. Sears, I propose to you that in testimony of our life-long respect for him, we drink to his memory.”

This was said so eloquently, and withal so naturally, that Sears, forgetful of his whereabouts, took the glass which Mr. Patterson offered him, and drank its contents reverently to the memory of his old teacher.

“Sir,” resumed Patterson, “how glorious is your vocation! But tell me, do you subscribe to the sentiment of Don Juan?—

‘Oh ye! who teach the ingenuous youth of nations,

  Holland, France, England, Germany or Spain,

I pray ye flog them upon all occasions—

  It mends their morals—never mind the pain.’ ”

The appropriate quotation caused a thrill to run through the assembled students, while they cast ominous looks at each other. For the life of him, Sears could not resist a smile.

At this Mr. Patterson glanced at us with a quiet meaning, and turning to Mr. Sears, he continued: “The elder Adams taught school—he whose eloquence Jefferson has so loudly lauded—the man who was for liberty or death, and so expressed himself in that beautiful letter to his wife. Do you not remember that passage, sir, where he speaks of the Fourth being greeted thereafter with bonfires and illuminations? His son, Johnny Q., taught school. My dark-eyed friend Webster, who is now figuring so gloriously in the halls of Congress and in the Supreme Court, taught school. Judge Rowan, of Kentucky, a master spirit too, taught school. Who was that

‘Who passed the flaming bounds of time and space,

The living throne, the sapphire blaze,

Where angels tremble as they gaze:

Who saw, but, blasted with excess of light,

Closed his eyes in endless night’—

Who was he? Milton, the glorious, the sublime—who, in his aspirations for human liberty, prayed to that great spirit who, as he himself says, “sends forth the fire from his altar to touch and purify the lips of whom he pleaseth”—Milton, the schoolmaster.

‘If fallen in evil days on evil tongues,

  Milton appealed to the avenger, Time:

If Time, the avenger, execrates his wrongs,

  And if the word ‘Miltonic’ mean ‘sublime,’

He deigned not to belie his soul in songs,

  Nor turn his very talent to a crime;

He did not loathe the sire to laud the son,

But closed the tyrant-hater he begun.


‘Thinkest thou, could he—the blind old man—arise,

  Like Samuel, from the grave, to freeze once more

The blood of monarchs with his prophecies,

  Or be alive again—again, all hoar

With time and trials, and those helpless eyes

And heartless daughters, worn, and pale, and poor—’

Would he not be proud of his vocation, when he reflected how many great spirits had followed his example? The schoolmaster is indeed abroad. Mr. Sears, let us drink the health of the blind old man eloquent.”

“Thank you, thank you, Mr. Patterson, but before my scholars, under the circumstances, it would be setting a bad example, when existing circumstances prove they need a good one. Sir, it was thought that I should not return from Baltimore until to-morrow, and this advantage has been taken of my absence. But, Mr. Patterson, when such distinguished gentlemen as yourself set the example, I know not what to say.”

“Forgive them, sir, forgive them,” said Patterson, in his blandest tone.

“Let them repair to their homes, then, instantly. Mr. Patterson, your eloquent conversation had made me forget myself; I don’t wonder they should have forgotten themselves. Let them depart.”

“There, boys,” exclaimed Mr. Patterson, “I have a greater opinion of my oratorical powers than ever. Be ye all dismissed until I again appear as a Pawnee brave, which I fear will be a long time, for ’tis not every day that such men as my western client are picked up. But, Mr. Sears, what do you say about Dogberry? He must be where he was; to-morrow must but type yesterday. Dogberry, how is Verges?”

“I don’t know him,” said Dogberry, doggedly.

“Why, sir, he is the associate of your namesake in Shakspeare’s immortal page. Let this play to-night, Mr. Sears, be like that in which Dogberry’s namesake appeared—let it be ‘Much Ado About Nothing.’ ”

Sears smiled, and nodded his head approvingly.

“Then be the court adjourned,” exclaimed Mr. Patterson. “Dogberry, you and my friend Sears are still together, and you must remember in the premises what your namesake said to Verges, ‘An’ two men ride of a horse, one man must ride behind.’ ”

Giving three cheers for Mr. Patterson, we boys departed, and the next day found us betimes in the academy, where mum was the word between all parties.





Thou pale withered flower, oh! once thou wert fair,

  But now ev’ry leaf has been nipped by a blight—

Dost thou pine for the bosom, its fragrance to share,

  Whence I won thee, sweet nestler, at parting one night?


How beauteous thy head, as it modestly stoop’d

  Its blushes to hide in her bosom of snow—

How sweetly above thee her fair tresses droop’d—

  How pure was the heart beating stilly below!


Oh! sweet was her smile as the first blush of Eve,

  And soft was her voice as the low summer wind,

When she gave thee away, half reluctant to leave,

  Like an angel from heaven sent down to mankind.


I have cherished thee since as if never to part,

  Thou remindest me so of that fair girl away;—

But, ah! can I banish the blight from thy heart,

  Or save thee from withering day after day?


And thus, oh! how often, the ones we love best,

  Drop away from our sides like the roses in June—

But why should we weep? since they pass to their rest,

  And if parted awhile, we shall follow them soon.






We had now been several months at sea, and, although our stores had been more than once replenished from the prizes we had taken, our provisions began to grow scarce. The skipper accordingly announced his intention of going into port. We bore up, therefore, for Charleston, that being the most convenient harbor.

My emotions on approaching the place where Beatrice resided, I shall not attempt to describe. A full year had passed since we had parted, and in all that time I had heard of her but once. Might she not now be married to another? The proverbial fickleness of her sex; the known opposition of her family to my suit; her uncertainty whether I still continued to care for her, or whether even I was yet alive; and a thousand other reasons why she might be unfaithful to me, rose up before me to torture me with doubts. But most of all, I reflected on our different situations in society. She was rich, courted, allied to rank—I was poor, unknown, and a rebel officer. Many a night as I lay in my solitary hammock, or trod my silent watch on deck, the fear that I might find Beatrice the wife of another, filled my soul with agony. And yet could I doubt her faith?

At length we entered Charleston harbor, and with a gentle breeze floated up towards the town. It was a moonless night, but the sky above was spangled with a thousand stars, and the low outline of the city before us glittered with myriads of lamps. The wind just ruffled the glassy surface of the bay, fanning us, as it swept by, with a delicious coolness. Here and there, on either shore, a light from a solitary house flickered through the darkness, while occasionally a sheet of summer lightning would play along the western firmament, where a low belt of clouds skirted the horizon, and hung like a veil above the city. Everything reminded me of the night when I had sailed up this same harbor with Beatrice. What had I not witnessed since then! The shipwreck, the battle, the hurricane, fire and sword, danger in every shape, almost death itself—I had endured them all. During that period where had been Beatrice? A few hours would determine.

With a beating heart, the next morning I sought the residence of Beatrice’s uncle. How my brain swam and my knees tottered when I came in sight of the mansion which contained the form of her whom I loved! I had understood that the family, except one or two of the ladies of it, was out of town, and I burned with impatience to ascertain whether Beatrice was among the absentees. Yet my heart failed me when I came in sight of the residence of her uncle. I recollected the terms on which I had parted with Mr. Rochester, and I scarcely thought myself allowable in intruding on his hospitality in any shape. But, then, how else could I obtain an interview with Beatrice? Again and again I approached the door, and again and again I changed my mind and retired; but at length remembering that my conduct was attracting attention, and unable longer to endure my suspense, I advanced boldly to the portal, and knocked at the hall door. It was answered by a strange porter. With a fluttering heart I inquired for Miss Derwent. I felt relieved from a load of fear when informed that she was in town, and hastily thrusting my card into the man’s hand, I followed him eagerly into the drawing-room. He disappeared, and I was alone.

Who can forget his emotions, when, after a long separation from the object of his love, he finds himself under the same roof with his mistress, awaiting her appearance? How he pictures to himself the joy with which the announcement of his arrival, especially if unexpected, will be received! He fancies every look that will be exchanged and every word that will be said at the moment of meeting. As the moments elapse, he imagines, however short the time may be, that the appearance of his mistress is unavoidably delayed, and a hundred fears arise, vague, unfounded, and but half believed, that perhaps her affection has grown lukewarm. Each successive instant of suspense increases his doubts until they amount almost to agony; and as a light footfall—oh! how well remembered!—breaks upon his ear, he almost dreads to meet her whom but an hour before he would have given worlds to behold. So was it now with myself. As minute after minute elapsed, and still Beatrice did not appear, my fears amounted almost to madness; and when at length I heard her light tread approaching, my heart began to beat so violently that I thought I should have fainted. Anxious to resolve my doubts, by observing her demeanor before I should be seen myself, I sprang into the recess of a window. As I did so, the door opened and Beatrice entered hurriedly, looking, if possible, more beautiful than ever. Her cheek was flushed, her step was quick and eager, and her eyes shone with a joy that could not be affected. She advanced several steps into the room, when, perceiving no one, she gazed inquiringly around, with a look, I thought, of disappointment. I moved from the recess. She turned quickly around at the noise, blushed over brow, neck and bosom, and, with a faint cry of joy, sprang forward, and was locked the next instant in my arms.

“Beatrice—my own, my beautiful!”

“Harry—dear Harry!” were our mutual exclamations, and then, locked in each other’s embrace, for a moment we forgot in our rapture to speak.

At length we awoke from this trance of delight, and found leisure for rational conversation. Sitting side by side on the sofa, with our hands locked together, and our eyes looking as it were into each other’s souls, we recounted our mutual histories since our separation. With mine the reader is already acquainted. That of Beatrice was naturally less chequered, but yet it was not without interest.

I have said that an alliance had been projected between Beatrice and her cousin, and that Mr. Rochester had placed his whole soul on the consummation of this project. The consciousness of my interest in the heart of Beatrice had induced their conduct towards myself, under the hope that if once separated from her, I would be eventually forgotten by Miss Derwent. Time, however, proved how false had been this hope. Instead of prospering in his suit from my absence, every day only seemed to make the success of her cousin more problematical. In vain her uncle persuaded; in vain he expostulated; in vain he lavished all his scorn on me as a beggar and a rebel—Beatrice continued unmoved; now defending me from every imputation, and now with tears giving up the contest, although unconvinced. The letter she received from me, by acquainting her with my projected cruise, prepared her for the long silence on my part which had ensued; and although reports, no doubt originating with her persecutors, were circulated respecting my arrival in port, and the disreputable life I was said to lead, she remained faithful to me amid it all. Oh! what is like woman’s love? Amid sorrow and joy; in sunshine or storm; whether distant or near; in every varied circumstance of life, it is the solace of our existence, the green spot amid the arid deserts of the world. Nothing can change it—nothing can dim its brightness. Even injury fails to break down the love of woman. You may neglect, you may abuse her, if you will; but still, with a devotion not of this earth, she clings to you, cheering you in distress, smiling on you in joy, and amply repaid if she only win in return one kind word, one look of approval. Thank God! that, fallen as we are, there is left to us that link of our diviner nature—the pure, deep, unchanging love of woman.

With what joy did I hear that Beatrice was still mine, wholly mine, and how ardently did I press her to my bosom, invoking her again and again to repeat the blessed words which assured me of her love! Hours passed away as if they had been minutes. And when at length I rose to depart, and, imprinting another kiss on her but half averted lips, took my leave with a promise to return again the ensuing morning, my astonishment passed all bounds to learn that noon had long since passed, and that the evening was almost at hand.

During the short time that we remained in port, I was daily with Beatrice, and when we parted she pledged herself to be mine at the end of another year, come what might. My heart, I will admit, reproached me afterwards for winning this promise from her, and inducing her to give up wealth and luxury for the bare comforts an officer’s pay could afford; and yet her love was such a priceless gem, and she looked up to me with such unreserved devotedness, that I could not regret a vow which ensured me the right to protect her from the cold tempests of the world. Besides, we were both young and full of hope, and I trusted some fortunate event might occur which would yet allow us to be united with the concurrence of her friends.

“Uncle is suspected and watched by the colonial authorities,” said Beatrice, as we parted, “and I fear me that he is linked in with some of those who have designs against the state. I tremble to think what might be his fate if detected in any conspiracy to restore the king’s authority.”

“Fear not, dearest,” I replied, “I will interest Col. Moultrie in his favor, and besides, your uncle must see the danger of any such attempt at present.”

“And yet I have fearful forebodings.”

“Cheer up, sweet one, he has nothing to dread. But now I must go. God bless you, Beatrice!” and I kissed her fervently.

She murmured something half inaudibly, returned my parting embrace with a sigh, and, while a tear stood in her eye, waved a final adieu with her kerchief. In an hour the schooner had sailed.

We had been at sea but a few days, having run down the Bahamas in that time, when we spoke a French merchantman, and obtained from him the intelligence that an English ship, with a valuable cargo and a large amount of specie, was then lying at the port of ——, in one of the smaller islands. She was well armed, however, and carried the crew of a letter of marque. But the skipper instantly determined on attempting her capture. Accordingly, we bore up for the island within an hour after we had spoken the merchantman, and having a favorable breeze to second our wishes, we made the low headlands of the place of our destination just as the sun sank behind them into the western ocean. Not wishing to be detected, we hauled off until evening, spending the intervening time in preparing for the adventure.

The night was fortunately dark. There was no moon, and a thick veil of vapors overhead effectually shrouded the stars from sight. The seaboard was lined with dusky clouds; the ocean heaved in gentle undulations; and a light breeze murmured by, with a low soft music in its tone, like the whisper of a young girl to her lover. As the twilight deepened, the shadowy outlines of the distant land became more and more indistinct, until at length they were merged in the obscurity of the whole western firmament. No sound was heard over the vast expanse as we resumed our course, and silently stretched up towards the island.

It was nearly midnight when we reached the mouth of the harbor. All within was still. The town lay along the edge of the water, distinguishable by its long line of flickering lamps; while a dark mass on the left of the harbor betrayed the position of the battery guarding the port. One or two small coasting vessels were moored at the quay, and, a few cables’ length out in the harbor, rode at anchor the merchantman. He was in part protected by the guns of the fort; but other means of defence had not been forgotten, for his nettings were triced up, and he swung at his anchor as if springs were on his cables. A solitary lantern hung at his mast-head, throwing a faint radiance around the otherwise shadowy ship. Not a sound arose from his decks. Occasionally a low murmur would float down from the far-off town, or the cry of a sentry at the fort would rise solemnly on the still night air; but except these faint sounds, at long intervals apart, a deep, unbroken silence buried the whole landscape in repose.

“Pipe away the boats’ crews,” said the skipper, when, everything having been planned, we had steered our craft under the shadow of the huge cape, and now lay to in our quiet nook, hidden from observation.

The boatswain issued his summons almost in a whisper, and the men answered with unusual promptness. In a few minutes the boats were manned, and we were waiting with muffled oars for the signal. We lingered only a moment to receive the last orders of the captain, when, with a whispered “give way,” the gallant fellows bent to the oars, and we shot from the schooner’s side. In a few moments she was lost in the gloom. I watched her through the gathering night, as spar after spar faded into the obscurity, until at length nothing could be seen of her exquisite proportions but a dark and shapeless mass of shadow; and at length, when I turned my eyes in her direction again, after having had my attention for a moment called away, even the slight outline of her form had disappeared, and nothing but the gloomy seaboard met my eye.

The night was now so dark that we could scarcely see a fathom before us; but, guided by an old salt who had been brought up on the island, and knew the harbor as accurately as a scholar knows his horn book, we boldly kept on our course. As we swept around the headland, we perceived that the town, so lately alive with lights, was now buried in a profound darkness. The solitary lantern, however, still burned at the fore-peak of the Englishman, like a star hanging alone in the firmament, to guide us on our way. Every eye was fixed on it as we rapidly but noiselessly swept up towards the merchantman. The fort was buried in gloom. The other vessels in the harbor lay hidden in the palpable obscurity ahead. No sound was heard, no object was seen, as we moved on in our noiseless course. At length the huge hull of the merchantman began to be indistinctly visible upon our starboard bow, and, lying on our oars for a moment, we held a short, eager consultation on our future course. It was soon, however, terminated. As yet we had remained undiscovered, and as the slightest accident might betray us, not a moment was to be lost if we would surprise the foe. It had been arranged that I should dash into the larboard side of the Englishman, while the two other boats should attack him simultaneously on his starboard bow and quarter; and accordingly, as my companions sheered off, I gave a whispered order to my men to pull their best, and the next instant we were shooting with the rapidity of an arrow right on to the foe.

The instant preceding the attack is always a thrilling one. You know not but that in a few minutes you may be in eternity, and as yet you are not carried away with that reckless enthusiasm which, in the heat of the contest, makes you insensible to every thing but the struggle. On the present occasion I felt as I had never felt before. The odds against us were fearful, for the ship was admirably defended, and we had every reason to believe that her crew outnumbered our own. As I looked around on my men, I saw more than one hardy veteran cast an uneasy glance at the foe. But it was no time now to pause. We had scarcely pulled a dozen strokes, and were yet some distance from the ship, when the sentry from her quarter cried out, “Boat ahoy!” and then perceiving that we still advanced, he fired his piece and gave the alarm. I saw the moment for action had come. Disguise was now useless. Instantaneously I forgot the feelings which had just been passing through my mind, and, like a war-horse starting at a trumpet, I sprang up in the stern sheets, and waving my sword aloft, shouted,

“Give way, my lads—give way, and lay us aboard the rascals—with a will, boys—pull!”

As if fired with an enthusiasm which nothing might resist, my gallant fellows sprang to their oars with renewed vigor at my words, until the oaken blades almost snapped beneath their brawny arms; and we were already within a few fathoms of the ship’s quarter when a volley from the merchantman hit the stroke-oarsman in front of me, and he fell dead across the thwart. The boat staggered in her course. I could hear our companions surging but a short distance behind, and I burned to be the first to mount the enemy’s deck.

“On—on!” I shouted; “pull for your lives, my lads—pull, pull!”

A thundering cheer burst from the brave veterans, as they bent with even redoubled power to their task, and with a few gigantic strokes sent us shooting upon the quarters of the foe. Waving my sword above my head, I sprang at once up the ship’s side, calling on my crew to follow me. They needed not the invocation. The boat had scarcely touched the vessel before every man, cutlass in hand, was clambering over the side of the foe; and in an instant, with one simultaneous spring, old and young, officer and men, we tumbled in upon the enemy. And like men they met us. It was no child’s play—that conflict! Fearfully outnumbering us, apprised of and ready for our onset, fighting on their own decks too, and knowing that succor was at hand from the fort even in case of defeat, the crew of the Englishman met our attack with an unbroken front, giving back blow for blow and shout for shout. Short, wild and terrific was the conflict. Conscious of the vicinity of the other boats, the enemy wished to overcome us before we could be succored; while we struggled as desperately to maintain our footing until aid should arrive. But our efforts were in vain. Pressing on to us in dense, overpowering numbers, and hemming us in on every quarter but that by which we had boarded the ship, they seemed determined to drive us into the ocean pell-mell, or slaughter us outright. No quarter was asked or given. Man after man fell around me in the vain attempt to maintain our footing. Already I had received two cutlass wounds myself. Our ranks were fearfully thinned. Yet still I cheered on my men, determined rather to die at bay than surrender or retreat. But all seemed in vain. Several men had already fallen before my arm, and the deck was slippery with the blood of friend and foe; yet the enemy did not appear to lessen in numbers. As fast as one man fell, another filled his place. Despair took possession of us. I saw nothing before us but a glorious death, and I determined that it should be one long after to be talked of by my countrymen. All this, however, had passed almost in a minute. Suddenly I heard a cheer on the starboard bow of the enemy, and as it rose clear and shrill over all the din of the conflict, I recognised the Fireflies clambering over the ship’s side in that direction.

“Huzza! the day’s our own!” I shouted, in the revulsion of feeling. “Come on, my lads, and let us hew the scoundrels to the chine!” and, with another wild huzza, I dashed like a madman upon the cutlasses of the foe. My men followed me with the fury of a whirlwind. Wild, terrible, overpowering was that charge; fierce, desperate and relentless was the resistance. The scene that ensued eternity will not eradicate from my memory. Hand to hand and foot to foot we fought, each man striving with his opponent, conscious that life or death depended on the issue: while swords clashed, pistols exploded, shouts rent the air, and blood flowed on every hand as if it had been water. Now the foe yielded, and now we retired in turn. Swaying to and fro, striking around pell-mell, thrusting, parrying, hewing, wrestling in the death-grip, or hurling the fallen from our path, now clearing our way by main force, and now breaking the enemy’s front by a deceptive retreat, we succeeded at length in driving the foe back in a broken mass on their assailants from the bow. Then they rallied, and, with the fury of tigers at bay, returned to the charge. If ever men fought like demons, they did. As they grew more and more desperate, they fairly howled with rage. Their curses were terrific. God help me from ever witnessing such a sight again! I saw that it only needed another vigorous charge to complete their defeat, and rallying my little band around me once more, though every man of them was wounded, we dashed on to the foe, determined to cut our way through to our friends, or drive the enemy down the hatchway.

“Once more, my boys, once more—huzza for liberty!—on!”

“Come on, ye rebel knaves!” growled the leader of the British, and striking at me with his cutlass, to challenge me to single combat, he roared, “Take that, ye hell-hound.” One of my men sprang to my aid.

“Back—back!” I shouted, “leave him to me.”

“Ay, God’s curse be on you—” but his words were lost in the clash of the conflict. For a moment I thought he was more than my match, but his very rage overreached itself, and failing to guard himself sufficiently, he exposed his person, and the next instant my sword passed through his body. He fell backwards without a groan. His men saw him fall, and a score of weapons were pointed at me.

“Down with him—hew him to the ground,” roared the British.

“Hurrah for Parker!—beat back the villains!” thundered my own men, and the contest, which had paused during the combat between the fallen chief and myself, now raged with redoubled frenzy, the whole fury of the enemy being directed against myself. I remember shouts, curses, and groans, the clash of cutlasses and the roar of fire-arms, and then comes a faint memory of a sharp pain in my side, succeeded by a reeling in my brain, and a sensation of staggering, as if about to fall. After that all is blank.

When I recovered my senses, I was lying on the quarter deck, while the cool night breeze swept deliciously over my fevered brow, and my ears were soothed with the gentle ripple of the waters as the ship moved on her course. A solitary star, struggling through a rent in the clouds overhead, shone calmly down on me. I turned uneasily around.

“How are you, Parker?” said the voice of the lieutenant, approaching me. “We are nearing the schooner rapidly, when you’ll have your wound attended to—I bandaged it as well as I could.”

“Thank you,” I said, faintly. “But have you really brought off the prize?”

“Ay, ay,” said he, laughing, “we got off, although they hailed cannon balls around us like sugar-plums at a carnival in Rome. Never before did I run such a gauntlet. But the sleepy fellows did not get properly awake until we had made sail—had they opened their fire at once, they might have sent us to Davy Jones’ locker in a trice.”

“And the enemy’s crew?”

“All snug below hatches, every mother’s son of them. They fought like devils, and came within an ace of beating us. But, faith, yonder is the old schooner. Ship, ahoy!”

We were soon aboard. My wound proved a serious, though not a dangerous one, and for several weeks I was confined to my hammock.





“Well, here’s an evil of rail-road travelling that I never thought of before!” screamed a bright girl, with pouting, rosy lips and a dimpled chin, at the risque of spoiling as sweet a voice as ever warbled “Away with Melancholy,” on a May morning; addressing her words to our good cousin, who had taken upon himself the responsible charge of escorting a party of ladies, (among whom were the fair speaker, his sister, and my fortunate self,) to see the great ‘lion’ of this western world.

“You say that we are within five miles of Niagara, yet I cannot hear its voice for the eternal gabble, gabble of this locomotive. Why, all my dreams have been associated with the geographic recollections of childhood, which invariably said, ‘The roar of the cataract may be heard distinctly at the distance of fifteen or twenty miles.’ ”

“You forget,” replied her brother, “that it is when those wise assurances were written, which make the eyes of the school-girl stand out ‘as visibly as letters on a sign,’ that this rapid, noisy mode of travelling was unthought of: wait a little, my sweet sis., till we reach the point of our destination, and Niagara’s thundering bass will sound all the mightier, for bursting suddenly upon your ear.”

While these remarks were passing, we were nearing the end of our journey; and on reaching the depot, our party was among the foremost to leave the puffing, snorting, “black poney” behind, as we turned our faces towards the hotel. But neither my fair cousin nor myself seemed astounded at the noise of the cataract; much to the surprise of her brother. The truth was, that in this particular of sound our “loud expectations” exceeded the reality; though it may as well be remembered here as elsewhere, that before leaving Niagara, our ears were “filled with hearing,” no less than were our “eyes satisfied with seeing.” The sun was first hiding his face behind the golden curtain of a July evening, and tea already sending its grateful fragrance from the ample board, as we reached “The Cataract House;” so it was agreed that we should refresh ourselves with a dish of the green beverage, before sallying out for a peep at the Falls:—furthermore, that until then, no one of our party should approach a certain window which commanded a view of the rapids, upon the penalty of our good-natured cousin’s displeasure; and as we had one and all promised obedience to his wishes, each poised herself on the tip-toe of curiosity, long enough to swallow a boiling draught, at the expense of sore, though not disabled tongues, for some days thereafter. We were, however, too unmerciful to allow our gallant the comforts of his cigar after tea; but by sundry hints, in the form of bonnets and shawls, compelled his politeness to yield to our impatience for the evening ramble. Our footsteps were first directed to the bridge which extends over the boiling, angry rapids, to Goat Island. Even here, it would seem that as much of the awful, the sublime, and the beautiful, had met together, as human eyes could endure to look upon! As we leaned over the railing of the bridge, (holding on instinctively with convulsive grasp,) and surveyed the yawning whirlpools beneath, encompassed by the ever-restless foam, I, for one, thought I had never seen any thing terrific before! But from the imperfect view of the falls, which the gathering shades of twilight and the American side gave us that evening, my “first impressions” were those of bitter disappointment. “And is this the end of all my vast imaginings?” said I, in haste to myself, but breathed it not aloud; for, indeed, even then and there, the scene was grand and imposing: so I held my peace, resolving to await the morning beams, for its rainbow crown, and retire to my pillow opinionless, touching the glories of the grand cataract.

The sun looked down upon us the next morning without the shadow of a cloud between, and preparations commenced at an early hour, for a day at Niagara. Much to our delight, we found a familiar party of ladies and gentlemen, at a sister hotel, who had arrived during the night, and would join us in the pleasures of the day. As it happened that the gentlemen of said party outnumbered the ladies, the fair responsibilities of our obliging cousin (who had performed the part of “beau-general” much to the credit of his gallantry) were fairly divided with the other beaux, and all things being arranged, each lady could boast of her own protector. I know of nothing that quickens the pleasing excitement of these excursions more than an unexpected recruit of acquaintances and friends. Never was there a gayer or happier little company than left the “Cataract House” that shadowless summer morning, to cross the green waters of Niagara river for the Canada side. Oh! how those bright faces come up before me now, as if among the vivid recollections of yesterday! There was the brilliant Mrs. —— with her raven curls, matchless form, and “dangerous eyes of jet,” ever and anon returning a dazzling smile for the involuntary gaze of admiration. And what coquette by nature ever learned, until she had been the happy wife and mother more than two years, to confine her favorable glances to one beloved object. Albeit the beautiful Mrs. —— is “a jewel of a wife,” though I heard her adoring husband confess that very day, that she “caught” him “with her eyes!” There, too, in striking contrast, was the gentle wife of our happy cousin, with her hazel “eyes, like shaded water;” the carnation of modesty on her cheeks, and “the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit” beaming on her brow. And then the fair Miss ——, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. ——, from New York, who were exposing, for the first time, their fragile flower of sixteen summers, whose delicate complexion, and lily hands, needed none to affirm that “the winds of heaven never visited her too roughly;” but whose chief attraction seemed in some way connected with the appellation of “heiress!” So no doubt thought a whiskered “fortune-hunter,” who, by dint of bows and smiles, had contrived to insinuate himself into the good graces of our party, and played the devoted to Miss ——, after the most approved fashion. To say nothing of the pretty sister of our cousin, with her tiny feet—“the lightest and gentlest that ever from the heath-flower brushed the dew!” Nor of the radiant and fascinating belle of ——, who had already commenced a flirtation with the rich southerner, who was her chosen knight for the day. Nor of other laughing eyes and mirth-stirring spirits that made up the party. But, alas! the shadow of death falls ever upon life’s retrospect picture. Of one individual, whose gallantry, good sense and extraordinary musical powers, rendered him a favorite of the fair, on that occasion, may it now be said, “the places that knew him shall know him no more.” In early manhood, and in a stranger’s grave, sleeps he whose active step, whose buoyant spirits, whose melody of song and sparkling wit concealed from us the insatiate disease, whose slow, sure worm had even then fastened upon his vitals. Consumption sent him to the balmy south, there to find a resting place ’mid orange groves and perpetual-blooming flowers. Peace be with the ashes of the early, the gifted dead.

No sooner was our little barge on the centre of the rapid tide, and the eye glanced upward and round about, than a scene of magnificence and glory burst upon us, which it had “never entered into the heart to conceive!” Many have attempted to describe it; but if the ablest pen of the most ready writer hath failed to embrace half its wondrous beauties, let not this humble pen dare to desecrate what for sublimity and loveliness is verily indescribable! To us it seemed that “the fountains of the deep were again broken up”—as if old Ocean was pouring forth his deep green floods into that awful abyss, so wide, so vast, so terrible was their rush to the brink—so mighty and resistless their plunge into the boiling chasm! There hung the rainbow, with God’s promise in its hues of beauty—

“That arch, where angel-forms might lean,

And view the wonders of the mighty scene!”

On reaching the Canada side, our first “post of observation” was Table Rock. The picture it presents—who shall paint it? The most striking feature of the whole is the vast quantity of water which pours unceasing and unspent, and its consequent deeply emerald hue as it passes the rocks, before breaking in its fall to the pure, amber-shaded foam, which sends up an eternal incense of spray to Heaven. Another feature of beauty which arrested our attention was the meeting of the floods at the termination of the “Horse-shoe Fall,” where an angle of the rocks causes a continual embrace of the waters. The eye could scarce weary in viewing this one beauty of the scene; but before the mighty whole, awe-struck, the heart could only bow in silent adoration to that Great Being who made it all, for “the spirit of God moved on the face of the waters!” We next ascended the craggy steep to a wide-extended plain above, where are placed the barracks of the “Forty-third regiment of Her Majesty’s troops.” Fortunately for us, the day was one of regular review, and the whole regiment was out on duty. As we reached the brow of the hill, where, on the one side, was Niagara in all its glory, and on the other an extensive military display of red coats and arms of steel flashing in the sunlight, I thought that Nature and Art needed no embellishment from the pen of Fancy—“ ’Twas like enchantment all!” While in the full enjoyment of this glorious scene, her Majesty’s well-disciplined band played the familiar air of “God save the Queen!” as to us it was never played before, and my heart vibrated with as much joy as it ever felt at the sound of our national air, “Hail Columbia!”

Our party returned to the hotel at sunset, all uniting in the opinion that it is impossible to anticipate too much of enjoyment at Niagara, so far as it respects the marvellous and beautiful in nature, and only regretting that we could not pass a month, instead of a day, with its scenes around us. A few hours, previous to our departure the following morning, were spent in exploring Goat Island, so far as our limited time would allow. ’Tis in sooth a “fairy isle,” lashed day and night by the untiring rapids, and affording various and beautiful views of the great cataract it divides. The luxuriant foliage of its majestic trees shelters the admirer of the scenes around from the noonday heat, and the odors from its garden of flowers regale his senses the while.

We bade a reluctant adieu to Niagara, calling to mind all the imaginations that the heart had devised—all the descriptions we had heard from others’ lips—but with the words of “the Queen of the East” on our own, “The half was not told me.”

By way of concluding this imperfect sketch, we add some few lines, which were written in despite of a resolution most religiously made against such a presumptive measure; for, somehow or other, the humblest, as well as the loftiest pen, will attempt in numbers to express the unnumbered thoughts and “strange, which crowd into the brain” at Niagara. And while this prince of cataracts flows on, its terrific beauties will be still the oft-told but unspent theme of the “spirit-stirring muse.”



“How dreadful is this place!” for God is here!

His name is graven on th’ eternal rocks,

As with an iron pen and diamond’s point:

While their unceasing floods his voice proclaim,

Oft as their thunder shakes the distant hills.

O! if the forest-trees, which have grown old

In viewing all the wonders of this scene,

Do tremble still, and cast to earth their leaves—

Familiar as they are with things sublime—

Shall not the timid stranger here unloose

His sandals, ere he treads on “holy ground,”

And bow in humble worship to his God?


For unto such as do approach with awe

This bright creation of th’ Immortal Mind,

Methinks there comes, amid the deafening roar

Of “many waters,” yet “a still, small voice,”

Which saith, “Ye children of the dust, fear not—

Know that this God, this awful God, is yours!”

Yes, here have wrath and peace together met—

Justice and Mercy sweetly have embraced;

For, o’er the terrors of the angry floods,

The bow of promise and of beauty hangs:

When in the sunbeams, with its matchless hues,

Or as a silver arch on evening’s brow,

Saying, “God’s works are marvellous and great,

But ah! when understood, his name is Love.”

Cedar Brook, Plainfield, N. J.


A requiem for the gallant dead?

  A dirge for those who died,

With banner streaming overhead,

  Unsoiled, unterrified!

A gallant but devoted band,

They fell, unyielding, sword in hand.


They hear not now the Indian yell,

  Nor cannon’s angry roar;

The clash of arms, or ’larum bell,

  Shall startle them no more!

Unlike and severed were their homes—

One sepulchre contains their bones.


The spangled banner that has led

  So oft to victory,

Its stars undimmed, above their bed,

  Unfolded to the sky,

When in the unconquered hearts below,

The tide of life had ceased to flow.


No sculptured imagery on high,

  Reveals their lonely grave.

No epitaph can passer spy,

  To tell where rest the brave!

Such may become the gilded tomb,

But not the stern old forest’s gloom.


Like streamers, to the passing breeze,

  The unshorn grass waves here;

As silent mourners, blighted trees,

  Or monuments appear;

The glad, wild birds their requiem sing,

And flowers around their incense fling.


The smile that struggles in the eye,

  When withered is the heart,

Reminding us of hopes gone by,

  No joy, but gloom impart;

So nature loses all its bloom,

And beauty round the loved one’s tomb.


Though wild and distant is the spot,

  Where their bleached bones are laid,

More hallowed ground is honored not

  By widow, sire, or maid:

And fame shall shield from vulgar tread,

The ashes of the valiant dead.


And though around their lowly tomb,

  No kin or friends are found,

Who weep the blight of manhood’s bloom

  On valor’s sacred ground;

Yet loving hearts are chill with woe,

And eyes are dim with sorrow’s flow.


As to some venerated shrine,

  Whose lights have ceased to hum,

Shall pilgrims here, in after time,

  Their wand’ring footsteps turn,

And view in Fancy’s magic glass,

The scene of death before them pass.


Perchance, upon the spot they fell,

  Some monument may then

Its lofty column rear to tell

  The gratitude of men;

The noble dead! they need it not;

Their valor consecrates the spot.




There sits a mourner, solitary now

With downcast eyes, and pale dejected brow.

Cold is the pillow where she laid her head,

When last they sat beneath their favorite shade—

Hushed is the voice, which ever to her own

Answered in tones of tenderness alone.


Stilled are the merry notes of childish glee,

And she is left—of all that family!

She looks abroad—and sees no welcome smile,

No cheerful sounds her weary hours beguile,

She looks within—and all is mute despair,

She looks to Heaven—oh! joy! her all is there.


                               M. S. B. D.


Since our last number went to press, we have been called upon to mourn the death of Willis Gaylord Clark, one of the contributors to this Magazine, and a poet of unusual sweetness, elegance, melody and pathos. He died, in his thirty-second year, of pulmonary consumption. He had more than once been almost prostrated by this fell disease, but his constitution had rallied against its attacks, and he, as well as his friends, entertained hopes of his recovery; but about two months before his death, the disease apparently returned with renewed violence, and, after sinking gradually beneath its power, Mr. Clark’s life terminated on Sunday, the 13th of June, 1841.

As a man, Mr. Clark was universally esteemed. His warm heart, frank nature, and social qualities endeared him to all his friends, and he has left a blank in the little circle which he was wont to grace. To the last he enjoyed the society of his friends. He breathed to them the wish that no venomous tongue should be suffered to insult his fame when he was dead, and thus rob his orphan boy of his father’s only heritage—his name. God knows, the heart that could entertain aught evil towards the departed deserves not the companionship or sympathy of mankind. The dying moments of Mr. Clark were filled with the memory of his lost wife—to whom he has written some of the sweetest verses in the language—and his parting request was that he should be buried by her side, at the same hour of the day at which she was interred. Need we say his request was religiously fulfilled?

The closing days of the poet are finely drawn in the following lines, for which we are indebted to Robert Morris, Esq., another of our valued contributors, and one of the circle of Mr. Clark’s friends. They need no eulogy at our hands. They will commend themselves to all who loved the departed, or admire true poetry.


Come hither, friend! My voice grows thin and weak—

My limbs are feeble, and I feel that Death

Will soon achieve his conquest. Look not sad!

The being best beloved has gone before—

Why should I tarry here? An angel form

Beckons me on. Amid my morning dreams,

I hear her voice and see her starry eyes!

That voice so full of woman tenderness;

Those eyes that mirrored an unsullied soul!

Then look not sad! My peace is made with God,

And in the hope, which is the dawn of Heaven—

The Christian’s hope—I will a little hence

On my mysterious journey. Soon—how soon!—

The truth will break upon me! The dim stars,

Which now, this mellow night, like sands of gold,

Glitter amid the distance—it may be

That I may pass their confines on my course;

That peopled worlds may greet my spirit’s gaze!

Look, gentle friend, how brightly do they shine!

How like to living things! How beautiful!

How more than wonderful the mighty hand

That placed them there, all radiant with light!

  Oh, God! in whose high presence soon my soul

  Will stand uncovered, what a worm am I

  Amid thy wonders vast and infinite!

  And yet I feel th’ immortal burns within—

  The quenchless light of an eternal soul!

  Yes! as the frame decays; as this frail dust

  Sinks to its native earth, the spirit’s wings

  Unfold, and all within seems eager for the flight!

My voice is almost lost. Friend!—faithful friend,

Long tried and well beloved—before I leave

This summer scene of earth, yon fields and flowers—

Alas! like youth and life, they soon will fade—

I have a boon to crave. My boy, my only boy,

Will soon be fatherless! Forgive this tear;

It is among the last.

                      Hither, my child!

There lives his mother’s image—her soft eyes,

So large and full and dove-like; her brown hair,

So rich and silken, and her cheek of rose!

Oh! what a fate was hers! But yesterday,

All youth and hope and beauty; and to-day,

A banquet for the cold and creeping worm!

But far above the grave her spirit dwells,

Among the white-robed circles of the blest:

In that bright clime where Faith and Fancy soar,

And Love and Hope and Joy walk hand in hand.

But to the boon.

                  I would not, when my dust

Lies still and cold, leave bitter memories.

I would not leave a wound in any breast,

But fain with all the world would die in peace,

Forgiving all, and asking all forgiveness.

The only legacy that I may leave

My idol boy, is a weak dream of fame:

A phantom that has cheated me of life,

And fails me now, I fear, before the grave.

And yet, how that wild dream, tempting and bright,

Has spanned my youthful life, as does the bow

The summer storm! And now, e’en while I gaze.

And feel the mortal passing slowly off,

How dust still clings to dust, and a desire

Burns at my breast, that justice may be done

My memory!—that he, in after time—

(Poor child, how little recks he of this scene!—)

May speak his father’s name with love and pride.

     *    *    *    *    *     *     *    *     *     *

A hand—a friendly hand!—mine eyes grow dim—

  His pale lip quivered, and the hectic tinge

  Passed from his hollow cheeks. And see, he sleeps!

  Alas! ’tis Death’s unchangeable repose—

  The spirit of the poet soars to God!


Mr. Clark possessed poetic talents of no ordinary merit. He belonged to the school of Goldsmith and Pope, rather than to that of Byron or Coleridge. He was more remarkable for sweetness than passion, for melody than force, for fancy than imagination. The rank to which he belonged was not the highest, but in that rank he occupied one of the foremost stations. He was distinguished for his grace and euphony. Few men have written so elegantly as Mr. Clark; no man has excelled him in the melody of numbers. He obviously devoted the greatest attention to the composition of poetry, and no piece left his hand until it had received its utmost polish. There was a deep abiding sense of religion in his compositions which commend them to every heart. He was indeed almost the first poet to render the poetry of religion attractive; for Young, Cowper, Wordsworth, and even Milton, too often fail in this. But Mr. Clark was always successful, breathing, as he did, aspirations after a higher and better state of being, and emulating, if that were possible, the rapt enthusiasm of the Hebrew poet, when dreaming of the “better land”—that land to which he has now followed his long-wept wife. Yes! he has gone—

“Gone to his Heavenly Father’s rest!

  The flowers of Eden round him blowing,

And on his ear the murmur blest

  Of Siloa’s waters softly flowing!—

Beneath that Tree of Life which gives

  To all the earth its healing leaves!

In the white robe of angels clad,

  And wandering by that sacred river,

Whose streams of loveliness make glad

  The city of our God forever!”

Why should we mourn his loss? This is no home for the weary spirit. Earth has nothing to satisfy the immortal mind; but, with a reach after higher and holier things, it struggles to be away, satisfied only when roaming free through the wide expanse of Eternity.





Philadelphia: John F. Nunns, 184 Chesnut Street.

Farewell if ever fondest prayer for others’ weal availed on high,

Mine will not all be lost in air,

But waft, but waft thy name beyond the sky.

’Twere vain to speak, to weep, to sigh,

Oh more than

tears of blood can tell,

When wrung from guilt’s expiring eye,

Are in that word farewell.

Are in that word farewell, farewell,

When wrung from guilt’s expiring eye,

Are in that word, are in that word farewell.


These lips are mute, these eyes are dry,

  But in my breast and in my brain,

Awake the pangs that pass not by,

  The thought, the thought that ne’er shall sleep again.

My soul nor deigns nor dares complain,

  Though grief and passion there rebel,

I only know we lov’d in vain.

  I only feel farewell,

I only feel farewell, farewell,

  I only know I loved in vain,

I only feel, I only feel farewell.

Sports and Pastimes.


The prevailing attributes and domestic economy of fishes may be described as exactly the reverse of those of birds. These gay and airy creatures possess the power of surveying distinctly, at a glance, an immeasurable extent of horizon; their acute perception of sound appreciates all intonations, and their glad voices are exquisitely skilled in their production. Though their bills are hard, and their bodies closely covered by down and feathers, they are by no means deficient in the sense of touch. They enjoy all the delights of conjugal and parental affection, and perform their incumbent duties with devotedness and courage. They cherish and defend their offspring, and will sometimes even die in their defence; and of all the wonderful labors of instinctive art, none is so beautiful as the formation of their mossy dwellings. With what deep and continuous affection does the female brood over her cherished treasures!—how unwearied is the gallant male in his tender assiduities, and with what melodious love does he outpour that rich and varied song by which he seeks to soothe her sedentary task!

“Over his own sweet voice the stock-dove broods!”

But close at hand, on that umbrageous bough, sits the fond partner of his joys and sorrows, so that it is in no spirit of selfish solitary musing that he ever murmurs, by woodland stream and shadow-haunted brook, “a music sweeter than their own.” The slender winged and glossy plumaged swallow, which skims the verdure of the new-mown meadow, or dimples the surface of the breezeless lake—the ponderous but giant-pinioned eagle, winging his way from distant isles, o’er waters glittering with redundant life—the proud, far-sighted falcon, which, launching from some hoar cliff or lightning-scathed peak,

“Doth dally with the wind, and scorn the sun,”—

the wild and fearful lapwing, with graceful crest and dark dilated eye, are each and all enslaved for many a long-enduring season by this love of offspring, and toil in its support from dewy morning until latest eve.

But it is far otherwise with our voiceless dwellers in the deep, who exhibit but few attachments, are conversant with no interchanging language, and cherish no warm affections. Constructing no dwellings, they merely shelter themselves from danger among the cavernous rocks of the ocean, in the silent depths of lakes, or beneath the murky shade of the overhanging banks of rivers; and the cravings of hunger alone seem to exercise a frequent or influential action over their monotonous movements. We must not, however, conceive that the life of fishes is not one of enjoyment, for we know that the Great Creator “careth for all his creatures;” and it ought perhaps rather to be said that we cannot appreciate the nature of their feelings, than that they are in any way fore-doomed to a negation of pleasure. Assuredly, however, the hand of nature has been most prodigal in bestowing on their external aspect every variety of adornment. Their special forms are infinite, their proportions often most elegant, their colors lively and diversified—and nothing seems wanting, either in their shape or structure, to excite the unfeigned admiration of mankind. Indeed, it almost appears as if this prodigality of beauty was intended solely for such an end. The brightness of metallic splendor, the sparkling brilliancy of precious gems, the milder effulgence of the hues of flowers, all combine to signalize fishes as among the most beautiful objects of creation. When newly withdrawn from their native element, or still gliding submerged amid its liquid coolness, their colors, fixed or iridescent, are seen mingling in spots, or bands, or broader flashes—always elegant and symmetrical, sometimes richly contrasted, sometimes gradually softened into each other, and in all cases harmonizing with a chaste fulness of effect which Titian and Rubens might envy, but could never equal. For what reason, then, it has been asked, has all this adornment been bestowed on creatures which can scarcely perceive each other amid the dim perpetual twilight of the deep? Shakspeare has already said that there are “more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy;” and we fear it is no answer to the foregoing question to add, that the same observation applies with even greater truth to the “waters beneath the earth.”


The nutritive functions of fishes follow the same order of progression as those of the other classes of the vertebrated kingdom. They seize, and in some measure divide, their food with their teeth; they digest it in the stomach, from whence it passes into the intestinal canal, where it receives a supply of bile from the liver, and frequently a liquid similar to that of the pancreas; the nutritive juices, absorbed by vessels analogous to lacteals, and probably taken up in part also directly by the veins, are mingled with the venous blood which is flowing towards the heart, from whence it is pushed to the branchiæ, in which, coming in contact with the water, it is converted into arterial blood, and then proceeds to the nourishment of the whole body.

Fishes are in general extremely voracious, and the rule of “eat or be eaten,” applies to them with unusual force. They are almost constantly engaged either in the active pursuit or patient waiting for their prey—their degree of power in its capture depending, of course, on the dimensions of the mouth and throat, and the strength of the teeth and jaws. If the teeth are sharp and curved, they are capable of seizing and securing either a large and fleshy bait, or the slenderest and most agile animal; if these parts are broad and strong, they are able to bruise the hardest aliment; if they are feeble or almost wanting, they are only serviceable in procuring some inert or unresisting prey. Fishes indeed, in most instances, show but little choice in the selection of their food, and their digestive powers are so strong and rapid as speedily to dissolve all animal substances. They greedily swallow other fishes, notwithstanding the sharp spines or bony ridges with which they may be armed; they attack and devour crabs and shell-fish, gulping them entire, without the least regard to the feelings of their families; they do not object occasionally to swallow the young even of their own species, and the more powerful kinds carry their warfare into other kingdoms of nature, and revel on rats, reptiles and young ducklings, to say nothing, gentle reader, of the ferocious shark, which not seldom makes a meal even of the lord of the creation. A particular friend of ours has his right leg in the West Indies, in consequence of an act of aggression alike unpleasant and uncalled for, and which a Christian-minded pedestrian finds it easier to forgive than forget. The species which live chiefly on vegetables are few in number, almost all fishes preferring pork to green peas.

The growth of these creatures depends greatly on the nature and amount of food, different individuals of the same species exhibiting a large disparity in their dimensions. They grow less rapidly in small ponds or shallow streams, than in large lakes and deep rivers. We once kept a minnow, little more than half an inch long, in a small glass vessel for a period of two years, during which time there was no perceptible increase in its dimensions. Had it continued in its native stream, subjected to the fattening influence of a continuous flow of water, and a consequent increase in the quantity and variety of its natural food, its cubic dimensions would probably have been twenty times greater; yet it must have attained, long prior to the lapse of a couple of years, to the usual period of the adult state. The growth itself seems to continue, under favorable circumstances, for a length of time, and we can scarcely set bounds to, certainly we know not with precision, the utmost range of the specific size of fishes. Salmon sometimes attain a weight of eighty pounds and upwards, and the giant pike of Kaiserslautern is alleged to have measured nineteen feet, and to have weighed 350 pounds. No doubt, an incorrect allegation does not in any way increase the actual size of fishes, and few people now-a-days can take exact cognizance of what was done at Mannheim in the year 1497; but, even in these degenerate days, amid our own translucent waters, and among species in no way remarkable for their ordinary dimensions, we ever and anon meet with ancient individuals which vastly exceed the usual weight and measure of their kind. But, in spite of this, let no angler, whether in the bloom of early youth, the power of matured manhood, or with the silver locks of “hoar antiquity” above his wrinkled brow, ever induce within himself, or express to others, the belief that, at all times and places, he is perpetually catching enormous trouts in vast numbers, because we happen to know that this is not the case. We don’t insist upon any one weighing every fish he captures, but we insist that no one, after jerking out a few pair, will maintain next morning, or even that very night, that he has had a most toilsome but very glorious day, and has killed five dozen and four of the finest trouts the human eye ever gazed upon. “All men are liars”—and several anglers—is a proposition the exact import of which depends much on the mode of construction.


The vertebral column, composed of numerous articulations, united by cartilages which permit of certain movements, curves with great facility from side to side; but the vertical motion is much more restricted, chiefly in consequence of the projection of the upper and under spiny processes of the vertebræ. The great organ of movement in all fishes is the tail. The muscles, by which it is brought into play, extend in lengthened masses on either side of the vertebral column. The body, being supported chiefly by the swimming bladder, (which, however, is absent in several species), is propelled forward by the rapid flexure of the extremity acting laterally upon the resistance offered by the water. Generally speaking, neither the pectoral nor the ventral fins are of any material use during swift progressive motion; they rather serve to balance the body, or to aid its gentler movements while in a state of comparative repose. In flying fishes, as they are called, the pectoral fins are of such great length and expansion as to support these creatures in the air; and the strength of muscular action might probably suffice even for a longer flight, but for the necessity of constant moisture for the purposes of respiration. The drying of the gills in an individual of this class is attended by results analogous to those produced in the case of a land animal; and a flying fish is obliged to descend to respire, in like manner as a swimming quadruped, or disguised mammiferous animal, as we may term a whale, is under the necessity of ascending for the same purpose.

The heads of fishes exercise but a slight movement independent of the rest of the body, but the jaws, opercular bones, branchial arches, and other parts, are very free in their motions. The muscles, like those of other vertebrated animals, are composed of fleshy fibres more or less colored, and of tendonous fibres of a white or silvery aspect. With the exception, however, of certain spinal muscles, which are sometimes of a deep red, the flesh of fishes is much paler than that of quadrupeds, and still more so than that of birds. In several species it is even entirely white.


As fishes respire through the intervention of water alone, that is, as they can scarcely avail themselves, in rendering their blood arterial, of anything more than the small portion of oxygen contained in the air which is suspended in the water, their blood is necessarily cold, and the general energy and activity of their senses are by no means so great as those of quadrupeds and birds. Their brain also, though of similar composition, is proportionally much smaller, whether as compared with the total size of the body, with the mass of nerves which proceed from it, or with the cavity of the cranium in which it is contained. In the turbot (Gadus lota) for example, the weight of the brain to that of the spinal marrow is ascertained to be as 8 to 12, and to that of the whole body as 1 to 720; and it has been ascertained that the brain of a pike, weighed in proportion to the whole body, is as 1 to 1305. Now, in many small birds, the brain, viewed in relation to the rest of the body, is equal to a twentieth part. In the generality of fishes, the spinal cord extends along the whole of the caudal vertebræ, and it is thus that it preponderates over the brain; but the fishing frog, or sea devil (Lophius piscatorius), the moon fish (Lampris guttatus), and a few others, form exceptions to this rule, the spinal marrow disappearing before it reaches the eighth vertebra. The brain of fishes by no means fills up the cavity of the cranium; and the interval between the pia mater, which envelopes the brain itself, and the dura mater, which lines the interior of the skull, is occupied only by a loose cellulosity, frequently impregnated by an oil, or sometimes, as in the sturgeon and thunny, by a more compact fatty matter. It has also been remarked that this void between the cranium and the brain is much less in young subjects than in adults; from which it may be inferred that the brain does not increase in an equal proportion with the rest of the body. Cuvier, in fact, has found its dimensions nearly the same in different individuals—of the same species—of which the general size of one was double that of the other.

Although we should be sorry to lower the subjects of our present observation in the estimation of society, we think it undeniable that, of all vertebrated animals, fishes exhibit the smallest apparent symptoms of refined sensibility. Having no elastic air to act upon, they are necessarily mute, or nearly so, and all the sweet sensations which the delightful faculty of voice has called into being among the higher tribes, are to them unknown. Their glazed, immovable eyes, their fixed and bony faces, admit of no playful range in their physiognomical expression, of no variation connected with emotion. Their ears, surrounded on every side by the bones of the cranium, destitute of external conch, without any internal cochlea, and composed merely of certain sacks and membranous canals, scarcely suffice for the perception of the loudest sounds. Yet they will sink affrighted into the darksome depths of lakes, beneath the banks of rivers, or in oceans blue profound, when the “sky lowers and mutters thunder,” and with elemental fierceness the sheeted lightning flashes broad and bright above their liquid dwellings.


The Quacks of Helicon: A Satire. By L. A. Wilmer. Philadelphia: Printed by J. W. Macclefield.

A satire, professedly such, at the present day, and especially by an American writer, is a welcome novelty, indeed. We have really done very little in the line upon this side of the Atlantic—nothing, certainly, of importance—Trumbull’s clumsy poem and Halleck’s “Croakers” to the contrary notwithstanding. Some things we have produced, to be sure, which were excellent in the way of burlesque, without intending a syllable that was not utterly solemn and serious. Odes, ballads, songs, sonnets, epics, and epigrams, possessed of this unintentional excellence, we could have no difficulty in designating by the dozen; but, in the matter of directly-meant and genuine satire, it cannot be denied that we are sadly deficient. Although, as a literary people, however, we are not exactly Archilocuses—although we have no pretensions to the ηχεηντες ιαμβοι—although, in short, we are no satirists ourselves, there can be no question that we answer sufficiently well as subjects for satire.

We repeat, that we are glad to see this book of Mr. Wilmer’s; first, because it is something new under the sun; secondly, because, in many respects, it is well executed; and, thirdly, because, in the universal corruption and rigmarole amid which we gasp for breath, it is really a pleasant thing to get even one accidental whiff of the unadulterated air of truth.

The “Quacks of Helicon,” as a poem and otherwise, has many defects, and these we shall have no scruple in pointing out—although Mr. Wilmer is a personal friend of our own;[4] and we are happy and proud to say so—but it has also many remarkable merits—merits which it will be quite useless for those aggrieved by the satire—quite useless for any clique, or set of cliques, to attempt to frown down, or to affect not to see, or to feel, or to understand.

Of Mr. Poe’s.

Its prevalent blemishes are referrible chiefly to the leading sin of imitation. Had the work been composed professedly in paraphrase of the whole manner of the sarcastic epistles of the times of Dryden and Pope, we should have pronounced it the most ingenious and truthful thing of the kind upon record. So close is the copy, that it extends to the most trivial points—for example to the old forms of punctuation. The turns of phraseology, the tricks of rhythm, the arrangement of the paragraphs, the general conduct of the satire—everything—all—are Dryden’s. We cannot deny, it is true, that the satiric model of the days in question is insusceptible of improvement, and that the modern author who deviates therefrom, must necessarily sacrifice something of merit at the shrine of originality. Neither can we shut our eyes to the fact, that the imitation, in the present case, has conveyed, in full spirit, the higher qualities, as well as, in rigid letter, the minor elegances and general peculiarities of the author of “Absalom and Achitophel.” We have here the bold, vigorous, and sonorous verse, the biting sarcasm, the pungent epigrammatism, the unscrupulous directness, as of old. Yet it will not do to forget that Mr. Wilmer has been shown how to accomplish these things. He is thus only entitled to the praise of a close observer, and of a thoughtful and skilful copyist. The images are, to be sure, his own. They are neither Pope’s, nor Dryden’s, nor Rochester’s, nor Churchill’s—but they are moulded in the identical mould used by these satirists.

This servility of imitation has seduced our author into errors which his better sense should have avoided. He sometimes mistakes intention; at other times he copies faults, confounding them with beauties. In the opening of the poem, for example, we find the lines—

Against usurpers, Olney, I declare

A righteous, just, and patriotic war.

The rhymes war and declare are here adopted from Pope, who employs them frequently; but it should have been remembered that the modern relative pronunciation of the two words differs materially from the relative pronunciation of the era of the “Dunciad.”

We are also sure that the gross obscenity, the filth—we can use no gentler name—which disgraces the “Quacks of Helicon,” cannot be the result of innate impurity in the mind of the writer. It is but a part of the slavish and indiscriminating imitation of the Swift and Rochester school. It has done the book an irreparable injury, both in a moral and pecuniary view, without effecting anything whatever on the score of sarcasm, vigor or wit. “Let what is to be said, be said plainly.” True; but let nothing vulgar be ever said, or conceived.

In asserting that this satire, even in its mannerism, has imbued itself with the full spirit of the polish and of the pungency of Dryden, we have already awarded it high praise. But there remains to be mentioned the far loftier merit of speaking fearlessly the truth, at an epoch when truth is out of fashion, and under circumstances of social position which would have deterred almost any man in our community from a similar Quixotism. For the publication of the “Quacks of Helicon,”—a poem which brings under review, by name, most of our prominent literati, and treats them, generally, as they deserve (what treatment could be more bitter?)—for the publication of this attack, Mr. Wilmer, whose subsistence lies in his pen, has little to look for—apart from the silent respect of those at once honest and timid—but the most malignant open or covert persecution. For this reason, and because it is the truth which he has spoken, do we say to him from the bottom of our hearts, “God speed!”

We repeat it:—it is the truth which he has spoken, and who shall contradict us? He has said unscrupulously what every reasonable man among us has long known to be “as true as the Pentateuch”—that, as a literary people, we are one vast perambulating humbug. He has asserted that we are clique-ridden, and who does not smile at the obvious truism of that assertion? He maintains that chicanery is, with us, a far surer road than talent to distinction in letters. Who gainsays this? The corrupt nature of our ordinary criticism has become notorious. Its powers have been prostrated by its own arm. The intercourse between critic and publisher, as it now almost universally stands, is comprised either in the paying and pocketing of black mail, as the price of a simple forbearance, or in a direct system of petty and contemptible bribery, properly so called—a system even more injurious than the former to the true interests of the public, and more degrading to the buyers and sellers of good opinion, on account of the more positive character of the service here rendered for the consideration received. We laugh at the idea of any denial of our assertions upon this topic; they are infamously true. In the charge of general corruption there are undoubtedly many noble exceptions to be made. There are, indeed, some very few editors, who, maintaining an entire independence, will receive no books from publishers at all, or who receive them with a perfect understanding, on the part of these latter, that an unbiassed critique will be given. But these cases are insufficient to have much effect on the popular mistrust: a mistrust heightened by late exposure of the machinations of coteries in New York—coteries which, at the bidding of leading booksellers, manufacture, as required from time to time, a pseudo-public opinion by wholesale, for the benefit of any little hanger on of the party, or pettifogging protector of the firm.

We speak of these things in the bitterness of scorn. It is unnecessary to cite instances, where one is found in almost every issue of a book. It is needless to call to mind the desperate case of Fay—a case where the pertinacity of the effort to gull—where the obviousness of the attempt at forestalling a judgment—where the wofully over-done be-Mirrorment of that man-of-straw, together with the pitiable platitude of his production, proved a dose somewhat too potent for even the well-prepared stomach of the mob. We say it is supererogatory to dwell upon “Norman Leslie,” or other by-gone follies, when we have, before our eyes, hourly instances of the machinations in question. To so great an extent of methodical assurance has the system of puffery arrived, that publishers, of late, have made no scruple of keeping on hand an assortment of commendatory notices, prepared by their men of all work, and of sending these notices around to the multitudinous papers within their influence, done up within the fly-leaves of the book. The grossness of these base attempts, however, has not escaped indignant rebuke from the more honorable portion of the press; and we hail these symptoms of restiveness under the yoke of unprincipled ignorance and quackery (strong only in combination) as the harbinger of a better era for the interests of real merit, and of the national literature as a whole.

It has become, indeed the plain duty of each individual connected with our periodicals, heartily to give whatever influence he possesses, to the good cause of integrity and the truth. The results thus attainable will be found worthy his closest attention and best efforts. We shall thus frown down all conspiracies to foist inanity upon the public consideration at the obvious expense of every man of talent who is not a member of a clique in power. We may even arrive, in time, at that desirable point from which a distinct view of our men of letters may be obtained, and their respective pretensions adjusted, by the standard of a rigorous and self-sustaining criticism alone. That their several positions are as yet properly settled; that the posts which a vast number of them now hold are maintained by any better tenure than that of the chicanery upon which we have commented, will be asserted by none but the ignorant, or the parties who have best right to feel an interest in the “good old condition of things.” No two matters can be more radically different than the reputation of some of our prominent litterateurs, as gathered from the mouths of the people, (who glean it from the paragraphs of the papers,) and the same reputation as deduced from the private estimate of intelligent and educated men. We do not advance this fact as a new discovery. Its truth, on the contrary, is the subject, and has long been so, of every-day witticism and mirth.

Why not? Surely there can be few things more ridiculous than the general character and assumptions of the ordinary critical notices of new books! An editor, sometimes without the shadow of the commonest attainment—often without brains, always without time—does not scruple to give the world to understand that he is in the daily habit of critically reading and deciding upon a flood of publications one tenth of whose title-pages he may possibly have turned over, three fourths of whose contents would be Hebrew to his most desperate efforts at comprehension, and whose entire mass and amount, as might be mathematically demonstrated, would be sufficient to occupy, in the most cursory perusal, the attention of some ten or twenty readers for a month! What he wants in plausibility, however, he makes up in obsequiousness; what he lacks in time he supplies in temper. He is the most easily pleased man in the world. He admires everything, from the big Dictionary of Noah Webster to the last diamond edition of Tom Thumb. Indeed his sole difficulty is in finding tongue to express his delight. Every pamphlet is a miracle—every book in boards is an epoch in letters. His phrases, therefore, get bigger and bigger every day, and, if it were not for talking Cockney, we might call him a “regular swell.”

Yet in the attempt at getting definite information in regard to any one portion of our literature, the merely general reader, or the foreigner, will turn in vain from the lighter to the heavier journals. But it is not our intention here to dwell upon the radical, antique, and systematized rigmarole of our Quarterlies. The articles here are anonymous. Who writes?—who causes to be written? Who but an ass will put faith in tirades which may be the result of personal hostility, or in panegyrics which nine times out of ten may be laid, directly or indirectly, to the charge of the author himself? It is in the favor of these saturnine pamphlets that they contain, now and then, a good essay de omnibus rebus et quibusdam aliis, which may be looked into, without decided somnolent consequences, at any period not immediately subsequent to dinner. But it is useless to expect criticism from periodicals called “Reviews” from never reviewing. Besides, all men know, or should know, that these books are sadly given to verbiage. It is a part of their nature, a condition of their being, a point of their faith. A veteran reviewer loves the safety of generalities, and is therefore rarely particular. “Words, words, words” are the secret of his strength. He has one or two ideas of his own, and is both wary and fussy in giving them out. His wit lies with his truth, in a well, and there is always a world of trouble in getting it up. He is a sworn enemy to all things simple and direct. He gives no ear to the advice of the giant Moulineau—“Belier, mon ami, commencez au commencement.” He either jumps at once into the middle of his subject, or breaks in at a back door, or sidles up to it with the gait of a crab. No other mode of approach has an air of sufficient profundity. When fairly into it, however, he becomes dazzled with the scintillations of his own wisdom, and is seldom able to see his way out. Tired of laughing at his antics, or frightened at seeing him flounder, the reader at length shuts him up, with the book. “What song the Syrens sang,” says Sir Thomas Browne, “or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women, though puzzling questions, are not beyond all conjecture”—but it would puzzle Sir Thomas, backed by Achilles and all the Syrens in Heathendom, to say, in nine cases out of ten, what is the object of a thorough-going Quarterly Reviewer.

Should the opinions promulgated by our press at large be taken, in their wonderful aggregate, as an evidence of what American literature absolutely is, (and it may be said that, in general, they are really so taken,) we shall find ourselves the most enviable set of people upon the face of the earth. Our fine writers are legion. Our very atmosphere is redolent of genius; and we, the nation, are a huge, well-contented chameleon, grown pursy by inhaling it. We are teretes et rotundi—enwrapped in excellence. All our poets are Miltons, neither mute nor inglorious; all our poetesses are “American Hemanses;” nor will it do to deny that all our novelists are great Knowns or great Unknowns, and that every body who writes, in every possible and impossible department, is the admirable Crichton, or at least the admirable Crichton’s ghost. We are thus in a glorious condition, and will remain so until forced to disgorge our ethereal honors. In truth, there is some danger that the jealousy of the Old World will interfere. It cannot long submit to that outrageous monopoly of “all the decency and all the talent” in which the gentlemen of the press give such undoubted assurance of our being so busily engaged.

But we feel angry with ourselves for the jesting tone of our observations upon this topic. The prevalence of the spirit of puffery is a subject far less for merriment than for disgust. Its truckling, yet dogmatical character—its bold, unsustained, yet self-sufficient and wholesale laudation—is becoming, more and more, an insult to the common sense of the community. Trivial as it essentially is, it has yet been made the instrument of the grossest abuse in the elevation of imbecility, to the manifest injury, to the utter ruin, of true merit. Is there any man of good feeling and of ordinary understanding—is there one single individual among all our readers—who does not feel a thrill of bitter indignation, apart from any sentiment of mirth, as he calls to mind instance after instance of the purest, of the most unadulterated quackery in letters, which has risen to a high post in the apparent popular estimation, and which still maintains it, by the sole means of a blustering arrogance, or of a busy wriggling conceit, or of the most barefaced plagiarism, or even through the simple immensity of its assumptions—assumptions not only unopposed by the press at large, but absolutely supported in proportion to the vociferous clamor with which they are made—in exact accordance with their utter baselessness and untenability? We should have no trouble in pointing out, to-day, some twenty or thirty so-called literary personages, who, if not idiots, as we half think them, or if not hardened to all sense of shame by a long course of disingenuousness, will now blush, in the perusal of these words, through consciousness of the shadowy nature of that purchased pedestal upon which they stand—will now tremble in thinking of the feebleness of the breath which will be adequate to the blowing it from beneath their feet. With the help of a hearty good will, even we may yet tumble them down.

So firm, through a long endurance, has been the hold taken upon the popular mind (at least so far as we may consider the popular mind reflected in ephemeral letters) by the laudatory system which we have deprecated, that what is, in its own essence, a vice, has become endowed with the appearance, and met with the reception of a virtue. Antiquity, as usual, has lent a certain degree of speciousness even to the absurd. So continuously have we puffed, that we have at length come to think puffing the duty, and plain speaking the dereliction. What we began in gross error, we persist in through habit. Having adopted, in the earlier days of our literature, the untenable idea that this literature, as a whole, could be advanced by an indiscriminate approbation bestowed on its every effort—having adopted this idea, we say, without attention to the obvious fact that praise of all was bitter although negative censure to the few alone deserving, and that the only result of the system, in the fostering way, would be the fostering of folly—we now continue our vile practices through the supineness of custom, even while, in our national self-conceit, we repudiate that necessity for patronage and protection in which originated our conduct. In a word, the press throughout the country has not been ashamed to make head against the very few bold attempts at independence which have, from time to time, been made in the face of the reigning order of things. And if, in one, or perhaps two, insulated cases, the spirit of severe truth, sustained by an unconquerable will, was not to be so put down, then, forthwith, were private chicaneries set in motion; then was had resort, on the part of those who considered themselves injured by the severity of criticism, (and who were so, if the just contempt of every ingenuous man is injury,) resort to arts of the most virulent indignity, to untraceable slanders, to ruthless assassination in the dark. We say these things were done, while the press in general looked on, and, with a full understanding of the wrong perpetrated, spoke not against the wrong. The idea had absolutely gone abroad—had grown up little by little into toleration—that attacks however just, upon a literary reputation however obtained, however untenable, were well retaliated by the basest and most unfounded traduction of personal fame. But is this an age—is this a day—in which it can be necessary even to advert to such considerations as that the book of the author is the property of the public, and that the issue of the book is the throwing down of the gauntlet to the reviewer—to the reviewer whose duty is the plainest; the duty not even of approbation, or of censure, or of silence, at his own will, but at the sway of those sentiments and of those opinions which are derived from the author himself, through the medium of his written and published words? True criticism is the reflection of the thing criticised upon the spirit of the critic.

But à nos moutons—to the “Quacks of Helicon.” This satire has many faults besides those upon which we have commented. The tide, for example, is not sufficiently distinctive, although otherwise good. It does not confine the subject to American quacks, while the work does. The two concluding lines enfeeble instead of strengthening the finale, which would have been exceedingly pungent without them. The individual portions of the thesis are strung together too much at random—a natural sequence is not always preserved—so that although the lights of the picture are often forcible, the whole has what, in artistical parlance, is termed an accidental and spotty appearance. In truth, the parts of the poem have evidently been composed each by each, as separate themes, and afterwards fitted into the general satire, in the best manner possible.

But a more reprehensible sin than any or than all of these is yet to be mentioned—the sin of indiscriminate censure. Even here Mr. Wilmer has erred through imitation. He has held in view the sweeping denunciations of the Dunciad, and of the later (abortive) satire of Byron. No one in his senses can deny the justice of the general charges of corruption in regard to which we have just spoken from the text of our author. But are there no exceptions? We should indeed blush if there were not. And is there no hope? Time will show. We cannot do everything in a day—Non se gano Zamora en un ora. Again, it cannot be gainsaid that the greater number of those who hold high places in our poetical literature are absolute nincompoops—fellows alike innocent of reason and of rhyme. But neither are we all brainless, nor is the devil himself so black as he is painted. Mr. Wilmer must read the chapter in Rabelais’ Gargantua, “de ce qu’ est signifié par les couleurs blanc et bleu”—for there is some difference after all. It will not do in a civilized land to run a-muck like a Malay. Mr. Morris has written good songs. Mr. Bryant is not all a fool. Mr. Willis is not quite an ass. Mr. Longfellow will steal, but perhaps he cannot help it, (for we have heard of such things,) and then it must not be denied that nil tetigit quod non ornavit.

The fact is that our author, in the rank exuberance of his zeal, seems to think as little of discrimination as the Bishop of Autun[5] did of the Bible. Poetical “things in general” are the windmills at which he spurs his rozinante. He as often tilts at what is true as at what is false; and thus his lines are like the mirrors of the temples of Smirna, which represent the fairest images as deformed. But the talent, the fearlessness, and especially the design of this book, will suffice to save it even from that dreadful damnation of “silent contempt” to which editors throughout the country, if we are not very much mistaken, will endeavor, one and all, to consign it.


Biography and Poetical Remains of the late Margaret Miller Davidson. By Washington Irving. Philadelphia: Lea and Blanchard.

The name of Lucretia Davidson is familiar to all readers of Poetry. Dying at the early age of seventeen, she has been rendered famous not less, and certainly not more, by her own precocious genius than by three memorable biographies—one by President Morse, of the American Society of Arts, another by Miss Sedgwick, and a third by Robert Southey. Mr. Irving had formed an acquaintance with some of her relatives, and thus, while, in Europe, took great interest in all that was said or written of his young countrywoman. Upon his return to America, he called upon Mrs. Davidson, and then, in 1833, first saw the subject of the memoir now before us—a fairy-like child of eleven. Three years afterwards he met with her again, and then found her in delicate health. Three years having again elapsed, the MSS. which form the basis of the present volume, were placed in his hands by Mrs. Davidson, as all that remained of her daughter.

Few books have interested us more profoundly. Yet the interest does not appertain solely to Margaret. “In fact the narrative,” says Mr. Irving, “will be found almost as illustrative of the character of the mother as of the child; they were singularly identified in taste, feeling, and pursuits; tenderly entwined together by maternal and filial affection, they reflected an inexpressibly touching grace and interest upon each other by this holy relationship, and, to my mind it would be marring one of the most beautiful and affecting groups in modern literature, to sunder them.” In these words the biographer conveys no more than a just idea of the exquisite loveliness of the picture here presented to view.

The MSS. handed Mr. Irving, have been suffered, in great measure, to tell their own thrilling tale. There has been no injudicious attempt at mere authorship. The compiler has confined himself to chronological arrangement of his memoranda, and to such simple and natural comments as serve to bind rather than to illustrate where no illustration was needed. These memoranda consist of relations by Mrs. Davidson of the infantine peculiarities of her daughter, and of her habits and general thoughts in more matured life, intermingled with letters from the young poetess to intimate friends. There is also a letter from the bereaved mother to Miss Sedgwick, detailing the last moments of the child—a letter so full of all potent nature, so full of minute beauty and truth and pathos, that to read it without tears would be to prove one’s self less than human.

The “Poetical Remains” of this young creature, who perished (of consumption) in her sixteenth year, occupy about two hundred pages of a somewhat closely printed octavo. The longest poem is called “Lenore,” and consists of some two thousand lines, varying in metre from the ordinary octo-syllabic, to the four-footed, or twelve-syllabled iambic. The story, which is a romantic love-tale, not ill-conceived in its incidents, is told with a skill which might put more practised bards to the blush, and with occasional bursts of the truest poetic fire. But although as indicative of her future power, it is the most important, as it is the longest of her productions, yet as a whole it is not equal to some of her shorter compositions. It was written not long before her death, at the age of fifteen, and (as we glean from the biography) after patient reflection, with much care, and with a high resolve to do something for fame. As the work of so mere a child, it is unquestionably wonderful. Its length, viewed in connection with its keeping, its unity, its adaptation, and completeness, will impress the metaphysician most forcibly, when surveying the capacities of its author. Powers are here brought into play which are the last to be matured. For fancy we might have looked, and for the lower evidences of skill in a perfect versification and the like, but hardly for what we see in Lenore.

Yet remarkable as this production is, from the pen of a girl of fifteen, it is by no means so incomprehensible as are some of the shorter pieces. We have known instances—rarely, to be sure—but still we have known instances when finer poems in every respect than Lenore have been written by children of as immature age—but we look around us in vain for anything composed at eight years, which can bear comparison with the lines subjoined—

        “TO MAMMA.


“Farewell, dear mother, for a while

I must resign thy plaintive smile;

May angels watch thy couch of wo,

And joys unceasing round thee flow.


“May the almighty Father spread

His sheltering wings above thy head.

It is not long that we must part,

Then cheer thy downcast drooping heart.


“Remember, oh! remember me,

Unceasing is my love for thee!

When death shall sever earthly ties,

When thy loved form all senseless lies,


“Oh! that my form with thine could flee,

And roam through wide eternity;

Could tread with thee the courts of heaven,

And count the brilliant stars of even.”

Nor are these stanzas, written at ten, in any degree less remarkable—



“Thy verdant banks, thy lucid stream,

Lit by the sun’s resplendent beam,

Reflect each bending tree so light

Upon thy bounding bosom bright.

Could I but see thee once again,

My own, my beautiful Champlain!


“The little isles that deck thy breast,

And calmly on thy bosom rest,

How often, in my childish glee,

I’ve sported round them, bright and free!

Could I but see thee once again,

My own, my beautiful Champlain!


“How oft I’ve watch’d the fresh’ning shower

Bending the summer tree and flower,

And felt my little heart beat high

As the bright rainbow graced the sky.

Could I but see thee once again,

My own, my beautiful Champlain!


“And shall I never see thee more,

My native lake, my much-loved shore

And must I bid a long adieu,

My dear, my infant home, to you?

Shall I not see thee once again,

My own, my beautiful Champlain?”

In the way of criticism upon these extraordinary compositions, Mr. Irving has attempted little, and, in general, he seems more affected by the loveliness and the purity of the child than even by the genius she has evinced—however highly he may have estimated this latter. In respect, however, to a poem entitled “My Sister Lucretia,”—he thus speaks—“We have said that the example of her sister Lucretia was incessantly before her, and no better proof can be given of it than in the following lines, which breathe the heavenly aspirations of her pure young spirit, in strains to us quite unearthly. We may have read poetry more artificially perfect in its structure, but never any more truly divine in its inspiration.” The nature of inspiration is disputable—and we will not pretend to assert that Mr. Irving is in the wrong. His words, however, in their hyperbole, do wrong to his subject, and would be hyperbole still, if applied to the most exalted poets of all time.

Incidents of Travel in Central America, etc. By John L. Stephens. Two Volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers.

Mr. Stephens’ former book, “Incidents of Travel in Egypt, Arabia Petrea, and Palestine,” was everywhere well received, and gained him high reputation—reputation not altogether well deserved. No one can deny his personal merits as a traveller, his enthusiasm, boldness, acuteness, courage in danger, and perseverance under difficulty. His manner of narration is also exceedingly pleasing; frank, unembarrassed and direct, without pretension or attempt at effect. But neither were his reflections characterised by profundity, nor had he that degree of education which would have enabled him to travel, with benefit to himself or to others, through regions involving so much of historical importance as Egypt, and especially as Arabia Petrea. Through a deficiency of previous information in regard to the moot points of this classical ground, he suffered many things to pass unexamined, whose examination would have thrown light upon history, and lustre upon his own name. Our remarks here apply more particularly to the southern regions of Arabia. In regard to Arabia Petrea, he committed some errors of magnitude. Before entering upon his travels, he had been much interested in Keith’s book upon the literal fulfilment of the Biblical Prophecies. In this work the predictions of Isaiah, respecting the ancient Idumea, are especially insisted upon, and the sentence, “None shall pass through thee forever and ever,” quoted as a remarkable instance of literal fulfilment. Dr. Keith states roundly that all attempts at passing through Idumea have actually failed, and expresses his belief that such will always be the case. Mr. Stephens resolved to test this point, and congratulates himself and his readers upon the success of his attempt at traversing the disputed region from one end to the other. The truth is, however, that Arabia Petrea, through which he unquestionably did pass, is not at all the Idumea alluded to in the prophecies, this latter lying much farther to the eastward. The traveller had contented himself with the usual understanding upon this subject. In the matter of the prophecy, both he and Dr. Keith might have spared themselves much trouble by an examination of the Biblical text in the original, before founding a question upon it. In an article on this head, which appeared in the New York Review, we pointed out an obvious mistranslation in the Hebrew words of the prediction—a mistranslation which proves Mr. Stephens to have thrown away his courage and labor. The passage in Isaiah 34, 10, which is rendered in our bibles by the sentence, “And none shall pass through thee forever and ever,” runs in the original Hebrew thus—

Lenetsach metsachim ein over bah.

Literally—Lenetsach, for an eternity; metsachim, of eternities; ein, not; over, moving about; bah, in it. For an eternity of eternities (there shall) not (be any one) moving about in it. The literal meaning of bah is “in it,” and not “through it.” The participle over, refers to one moving to and fro, or up and down, and is the same phrase which is rendered “current,” as an epithet applied to money, in Genesis, 23, 16. The prophet only intends to say that there shall be no marks of life in the land, no living being there, no one moving up and down in it. A similar mistranslation exists in regard to the prophecy in Ezekiel, 35, 7, where death is threatened (according to the usual construction) to any traveller who shall pass through. The words are

Venathati eth har Seir leshimmamah ushemmamah, vehichrati mimmennu over vasal

Literally, “And I will give the mountain Seir for a desolation and a desolation, and I will cut off from it him that goeth and him that returneth.” By “him that goeth and him that returneth,” reference is had to the passers to and fro, to the inhabitants. The prophet speaks only of the general abandonment and desolation of the land.

We are not prepared to say that misunderstandings of this character will be found in the present “Incidents of Travel.” Of Central America, and her antiquities, Mr. Stephens may know, and no doubt does know, as much as the most learned antiquarian. Here all is darkness. We have not yet received from the Messieurs Harper a copy of the book, and can only speak of its merits from general report, and from the cursory perusal which has been afforded us by the politeness of a friend. The work is certainly a magnificent one—perhaps the most interesting book of travel ever published. An idea has gone abroad that the narrative is confined to descriptions and drawings of Palenque; but this is very far from the case. Mr. S. explored no less than six ruined cities. The “incidents,” moreover, are numerous, and highly amusing. The traveller visited these regions at a momentous time; during the civil war, in which Carrera and Morazan were participants. He encountered many dangers, and his hair-breadth escapes are particularly exciting.

The Marrying Man. A Novel. By the Author ofCousin Geoffrey.” Two Volumes. Philadelphia: Lea and Blanchard.

This novel is inscribed to Theodore Hook, who, we are given to understand in the preface, was the chaperon of “Cousin Geoffrey,” and “The Old Bachelor,”—two books of which we indistinctly remember to have heard. The “Marrying Man” is not badly written, and will answer sufficiently well for the ordinary patrons of the circulating library. Better books might have been re-published, no doubt; but this, we presume, will sell, and thus serve its purpose.

The Poems and Prose Writings of Sumner Lincoln Fairfield. Two Volumes. Vol. the First. Philadelphia. Printed for the Proprietor.

This is a large octavo, embracing, we believe, the principal poems of Mr. Fairfield, if not all of them, and to be followed by a collection of his prose writings. His prose, so far as we have had an opportunity of judging, is scarcely worth reading. His poems have, in many respects, merit—in some respects, merit of a high order. His themes are often well selected, lofty, and giving evidence of the true spirit. But their execution is always disfigured by a miserable verbiage—words meaning nothing, although sounding like sense, like the nonsense verses of Du Bartas.

The Moneyed Man. By Horace Smith. Two Volumes. Philadelphia: Lea and Blanchard.

This is a good book, and well worth the re-publication. The story is skilfully constructed, and conveys an excellent moral. Horace Smith is one of the authors of the “Rejected Addresses.” He is, perhaps, the most erudite of all the English novelists, and unquestionably one of the best in every respect. His style is peculiarly good.

The Science of Government. Founded on Natural Law. By Clinton Roosevelt. New York: Dean and Trevett. Philadelphia: Drew and Scammel.

Will any one be kind enough to tell us who is Mr. Clinton Roosevelt? We wish to know, of course. Mr. Roosevelt has published a little book. It consists of a hundred little pages. Ten of these pages would make one of our own. But a clever man may do a great thing in a small way, and Mr. Roosevelt is unquestionably a clever man. For this we have his own word, and who should know all about it better than he? Hear him!—

“Learned men have long contended that it was impossible for any human intellect to grasp what has been here attempted;—that a Cyclopædia only could embrace in one view all the arts and sciences which minister to man’s necessity and happiness—and that they give but little credit for, as a Cyclopædia is a mere arbitary [we follow Mr. R.’s spelling as in duty bound] alphabetical arrangement. We [Mr. Roosevelt is a we] would not say we have done even what we have without much toil and sacrifice. It has cost the best ten years of the writer’s life to settle its great principles, and give it form and substance. The great interests of man were in a state of chaos, and this science [Mr. Roosevelt’s] is to harmonise them, and run side by side with true religion so far as that is meant ‘to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and make on earth peace and good will to man.’ ”

Ah!—we begin to breathe freely once more. We had thought that the world and all in it (this hot weather) were going to the dogs,—“proceeding to the canines,” as Bilberry has it—but here is Mr. Roosevelt, and we feel more assured. We entrench ourselves in security behind his little book. “A larger work,” says he, “would have been more imposing in appearance, but the truth is, large works and long speeches are rarely made by men of powerful thought.” Never was anything more true. “As to boasting,” he continues, very continuously, “the writer is well aware that it is the worst policy imaginable.” In this opinion we do not so entirely acquiesce. “The little man”—says he—the reader will perceive that we are so rapt in admiration of Mr. Roosevelt that we quote him at random—“The little man may say this book was not done secundum artem—not nicely or critically.” He must be a very little man indeed, who would say so. We think he has done it quite nicely. “My tone”—we here go on with Mr. Roosevelt—“may seem not strictly according to bien science.” Oh, yes is it, Mr. Roosevelt; don’t distress yourself now—it is, we assure you, very strictly according to bien science, (good heavens!) and to every thing else.

“These remarks,” he observes, “are made that none may lightly damn the work.” Of course; any one who should damn it lightly should be damned himself. “But liberal criticism [ah! that is the thing,] will be accepted as a favor, [the smallest favors thankfully accepted] and writers who may undertake the task will confer an obligation by directing a copy of their articles to the author, at New York, from England, France or Germany, or any part of our own country where this work may reach.” Certainly; no critic could do less—no liberal critic. We shall send Mr. Roosevelt a copy of our criticism from Philadelphia, and we would do the same thing if we were living at Timbuctoo.

Life and Literary Remains of L. E. L. By Laman Blanchard. 2 vols. Lea and Blanchard.

This work contains the most authentic biography of the lamented L. E. L. yet issued from the press, together with a collection of her posthumous pieces, and several lighter effusions already published. The volumes possess uncommon interest. The detail of her every-day life, the picture of her gaiety and sweetness, and the criticisms on her genius, will commend it to all who have loved, in other days, the poetry of this sweet writer. Nor will the details of her melancholy death prove of less interest. After fully examining all the evidence relating to this tragedy, the author arrives at the conclusion that her death was natural, and instigated neither by her own sorrows nor by the jealousy of others. The conduct of her husband seems, in every respect, to have been without censure.

Of the genius of Miss Landon it is almost unnecessary to speak. Without the elegance of Mrs. Hemans, she had considerable grace; with a fine ear, she was often careless in her rhythm; possessing a fancy exuberant and glowing, she showered her metaphors too indiscriminately around her. But few equalled her—if we may so speak—in the passionate purity of her verse. Affection breathed through every line she wrote. Perhaps there was a mannerism, certainly an affectation, in her constant reference to love, and blighted love especially; but even this error was made seductive by the never-ceasing variety which she contrived to throw around her theme, and the sweetness, richness, and enthusiasm of her song. Her great faults were a want of method, and a careless, rapid habit of composition. From first to last, she was emphatically an “improvisatrice.” She wrote from whim rather than from plan, and consequently was often trite, and always careless. These observations will apply, we think, equally to her prose. Her “Ethell Churchill” may be taken as a specimen, and the best specimen, of her style in romance writing. It would be almost invidious to name any one of her long poems as the finest. In her shorter pieces she is often more successful than in more extended flights; and some of her most carelessly written stanzas glitter most with the dew of Castaly. Without fear of contradiction, we may say that she has left no living female poet to compete with her in fame, unless Mrs. Norton may be said to be her rival; and even with Mrs. Norton, so different are the two writers, no parallel can be drawn. Let us be contented with placing Hemans, Landon and Norton together in one glorious trio—the sweetest, brightest, loftiest of the female poets of the present generation.

Lectures on the Sphere and Character of Woman, and Other Subjects. By George W. Burnap, Pastor of the First Independent Church of Baltimore. Philadelphia: Kay and Co.

These lectures are designed as a pendant to a course delivered to the Young Men of Baltimore, last winter, by Mr. Burnap. From the “Sphere and Duties” of Woman the author has excluded all allusion to her physical education and her political rights—regarding the first as a topic for the physician, the last for the jurist. Perhaps this subdivision is injudicious. At all events, from what we here know of Mr. Burnap, we should have been pleased to have his subject extended to Woman in all her relations.

The volume appears to us not only well written, but forcibly original in many of its views and illustrations. A passage, at page 50, in which the lecturer suggests the idea of an instinctive reverence in which each sex holds the other, is not only new, but embodies a truth of important result. Mr. B. justly styles the feeling a human religion. Its moral effects are unquestionably great. The deterioration of every community which isolates the sexes, or prevents their free intercommunication, is here traced to a distinct and sufficient cause.

These lectures are handsomely printed and bound, and would form an appropriate present to any lady.

The Lady of Refinement in Manners, Morals and Religion. By Mrs. Sandford, Author of “Woman in her Social and Domestic Character.” James Loring: Boston.

Mrs. Sandford is the wife of an English clergyman, and has given frequent evidences of her capacity. Her former work, “Woman in her Social and Domestic Character,” was well received in her own country. Whether it has been re-published here we cannot say. “The Lady of Refinement” is well written, and appears to be carefully matured in its opinions.


Our remarks on this head, in the July number, have excited much interest. The subject is unquestionably one of importance, when we regard cryptography as an exercise for the analytical faculties. In this view, men of the finest abilities have given it much of their attention; and the invention of a perfect cipher was a point to which Lord Chancellor Bacon devoted many months;—devoted them in vain, for the cryptograph which he has thought worthy a place in his De Augmentis, is one which can be solved.

Just as we were going to press with the last sheet of this number, we received the following letter from F. W. Thomas, Esq., (of Washington,) the well-known author of “Clinton Bradshawe,” “Howard Pinckney,” &c. &c.

My Dear Sir:—The enclosed cryptograph is from a friend of mine (Dr. Frailey,) who thinks he can puzzle you. If you decipher it, then are you a magician, for he has used, as I think, the greatest art in making it.

Your friend,

F. W. Thomas.

This cipher is printed precisely as we received it, with the exception that we have substituted, for convenience sake, in some instances, characters that we have in the office, for others that we have not. Of course, as these characters are substituted throughout, the cryptograph is not affected.

By return of mail we sent the solution to Mr. Thomas; but as the cipher is an exceedingly ingenious one, we forbear publishing its translation here, and prefer testing the ability of our readers to solve it. We will give a year’s subscription to the Magazine, and also a year’s subscription to the Saturday Evening Post, to any person, or rather to the first person who shall read us this riddle. We have no expectation that it will be read; and, therefore, should the month pass without an answer forthcoming, we will furnish the key to the cipher, and again offer a year’s subscription to the Magazine, to any person who shall solve it with the key.

Lest the tenor of our observations on Cryptography should be misunderstood, and especially lest the nature of our challenge should be misconceived, we take occasion to refer to our Review of Mr. Walsh’s “Sketches of Conspicuous Living Characters of France,” published in the April number of the Magazine. M. Berryer, the French Minister, is there said to have displayed the highest ingenuity in the solution of a cipher addressed by the Duchess of Berri to the legitimists of Paris, but of which she had neglected to furnish the key. Berryer discovered this to be the phrase “Le gouvernement provisoire.” Beneath this sentence the alphabet had been placed, letter for letter; and thus when a was intended l was written, when b was meant e was substituted, and so on throughout. This species of cryptograph is justly considered very difficult. We remarked, however, that we would engage to read any one of the kind; and to this limit our correspondents must confine themselves. To be sure, we said, in our last number, that “human ingenuity could not construct a cipher which human ingenuity could not resolve”—but then we do not propose, just now, to make ourselves individually the test of “human ingenuity” in general. We do not propose to solve all ciphers. Whether we can or cannot do this is a question for another day—a day when we have more leisure than at present we have any hope of enjoying. The most simple cryptograph requires, in its solution, labor, patience, and much time. We therefore abide by the limits of our cartel. It is true that in attempting the perusal of Dr. Frailey’s we have exceeded these limits by very much; but we were seduced into the endeavor to read it by the decided manner in which an opinion was expressed that we could not.

E. St. J. will observe that his cipher includes every letter of the natural alphabet. Then (admitting it to be a cipher of the kind proposed) his key-phrase must contain every letter of the natural alphabet. In such case no letter of the phrase can stand for more than one of the alphabet, and the whole would be nothing more than a simple cipher, where the natural characters are represented, invariably and respectively, by arbitrary ones. But in this supposition there could be no such words as ll, &c.—words seen in the cryptograph. Therefore, his cipher is not within the limits prescribed—Q. E. D. We do not say that we cannot solve it, but that we will not make the attempt. This for the obvious reasons above assigned.

P. S. We have just received the annexed letter from Mr. Thomas, enclosing one from Dr. Frailey:

Washington, July 6th, 1841.

My Dear Sir,

This morning I received yours of yesterday, deciphering the “cryptograph” which I sent you last week, from my friend, Doctor Frailey. You request that I would obtain the Doctor’s acknowledgment of your solution. I have just received the enclosed from him.

Doctor Frailey had heard me speak of your having deciphered a letter which our mutual friend, Dow, wrote upon a challenge from you last year, at my lodgings in your city, when Aaron Burr’s correspondence in cipher was the subject of our conversation. You laughed at what you termed Burr’s shallow artifice, and said you could decipher any such cryptography easily. To test you on the spot, Dow withdrew to the corner of the room, and wrote a letter in cipher, which you solved in a much shorter time than it took him to indite it.

As Doctor Frailey seemed to doubt your skill to the extent of my belief in it, when your article on “Secret Writing” appeared in the last number of your Magazine, I showed it to him. After reading it, he remarked that he thought he could puzzle you, and the next day he handed me the cryptograph which I transmitted to you. He did not tell me the key. The uncommon nature of his article, of which I gave you not the slightest hint, made me express to you my strong doubts of your ability to make the solution. I confess that your solution, so speedily and correctly made, surprised me. I congratulate myself that I do not live in an age when the black art is believed in, for, innocent as I am of all knowledge of cryptography, I should be arrested as an accessory before the fact, and, though I escaped, it is certain that you would have to die the death, and, alas! I fear upon my testimony.

Your friend,

F. W. Thomas.

Edgar A. Poe, Esq.

Washington, July 6th, 1841.

Dear Sir,

It gives me pleasure to state that the reading, by Mr. Poe, of the cryptograph which I gave you a few days since for transmission to him, is correct. I am the more astonished at this since—— [We omit the remainder of the letter, since it enters into details which would give our readers some clue to the cipher.]

As ever, yours, &c.,

Chas. S. Frailey.

F. W. Thomas, Esq.


Transcriber’s Notes:

Table of Contents has been added for reader convenience. Archaic spellings and inconsistencies in hyphenation have been retained. Obvious punctuation and typesetting errors have been corrected without note.


[The end of Graham's Magazine Vol XIX No. 2 August 1841 edited by George Rex Graham]