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Title: Graham's Magazine Vol XIX No. 5 November 1841

Date of first publication: 1841

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

Date first posted: Feb. 28, 2021

Date last updated: Feb. 28, 2021

Faded Page eBook #20210289

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


Vol. XIX.      November, 1841.      No. 5.


Fiction, Literature and Articles
The Ghost of Chew’s Wall
The Rowsevillers.—No. II
The Reefer of ’76
The Interesting Stranger
Shakspeare.—No. III
The Moonlight Flitting
A Chapter on Autography
The King’s Bride
Indian Traditions.—No. II
Sports and Pastimes.—The Fowling-Piece
Review of New Books
Poetry, Music and Fashion
The Pet Lamb
Flight of the Birds
Il Serenado di Venice
With Thee
I Never Have Been False to Thee
Merry England
Never Shall My Heart Forget Thee!
Latest Fashions, November 1841

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

A young lady sits under a tree and holds a lamb

Eng. by H. S. Sadd, N.Y.

The Pet Lamb

Engraved expressly for Graham’s Magazine

a watercolor painting of a tree on a hillside


Vol. XIX.    PHILADELPHIA: NOVEMBER, 1841.    No. 5.





I saw her in her artlessness

  All innocent and free,

And playfully a favored lamb

  She fondled on her knee—

She seemed a vision of a dream,

  A glory passing bright,

A being clothed in loveliness

  As angels are in light!


Her tresses sported round about

  Her snowy brow divine,

As flowers of the daffodil

  Embrace a virgin shrine,—

Such purity was nestled there,

  A Sybil’s it might be,

Forever beaming placidly

  As starlight down at sea!


Her smile it had a witchery

  To mortal ones unknown,

A language in its mirthfulness

  Beyond a seraph’s tone:

It was as if the soul had come

  From out its deep recess

And chose a dwelling in her eyes,

  So pure their loveliness!


And softly on her pearly cheek

  The dewy lashes lay;

Her lips were parted temptingly

  To woo the breeze to stay;

Her snowy neck all droopingly

  Defied the lily’s grace;

Her dimpled mouth—I dreamt of heav’n

  In gazing on that face!


She fondled artlessly her pet;

  She raised his tiny feet;

And toyed the garland on his neck;

  And soothed him, when he bleat,

So sweetly that I might not hear

  Unmoved that silver tone,

But longed to leave my hiding place

  And woo her for my own.


A shot re-echoed through the wood,

  I saw the smoky wreath—

The lamb was bleeding in her lap

  The glancing ball beneath—

I sprang and raised the sufferer

  And staunched the ebbing tide,

And carefully I bound the wound,

  And sat me by her side.


I quieted her quick alarm,

  I gently soothed her fears,

And o’er the dying favorite

  We mingled tears with tears:

I shared her grief, and calmed her woe,

  And blamed the sportsman rude—

She raised her swimming eyes to mine

  And smiled her gratitude.


She faintly smiled and dropped her gaze,

  Her passive hand I took,

No word was spoke, we only heard

  The murmur of the brook;

Her gaze was on the murdered lamb,

  Her heart was strangely moved—

She sighed, and oh! the loss she felt,

  The void where once she loved.


Again I soothed her maiden grief,

  And sighed whene’er she sighed,

And with such winning sympathy

  Her starting tears I dried,—

And when she ceased I sighed myself,

  And she besought to know

All artlessly and innocent

  The secret of my woe.


I told her it was all herself,

  That I had paused to gaze,

And that her witching loveliness

  Would sadden all my days;

And then I sighed, and looked away,

  And told her how I grieved,

Not for myself, but for the pang

  Her gentle heart received.


I asked her but to pity me,

  And told my grief to part—

Her fingers trembled, and I heard

  The beating of her heart,

And all dissolved in sympathy

  She yielded to my side—

Was ever virgin love as thine?

  My Rosalie, my bride!






When a man becomes so far lost to a sense of self-importance, as not only to tell, but actually to write stories,—thus recording his turpitude in black and white—it is not to be presumed that slight consequences will deter him from his purpose. Indeed, it is rather to be supposed that he has made up his mind to despise public opinion, and to brave all indignation. His hand is sure to follow as his pen may lead, and whatever he may resolve, when the story is written, it is, somehow or other, sure to find its way into print. The best motives of a writer may therefore be mistaken, or his strongest resolves puffed to the winds by a single breath, so that it may well be supposed in what a predicament we were, when we found our best intentions frustrated, and had to encounter the wrath and tobacco smoke of our German neighbors, and were obliged to write this apologetic introduction, and all through a villanous blunder of our greedy devil.

The facts are these. We sat down, a few evenings since, after enjoying a comfortable cup of pure Java,—which we still continue to enjoy, notwithstanding the anathemas of a fellow with a villanous name, of “bran bread” repute,—to commit to paper a few notes of a conversation which we had with a relative long since. Having unluckily fallen into a doze, our devil, who had been going about for more than an hour roaring for copy, took a peep into the sanctum, and, seeing how matters stood, slipt off the following article, “in the crack o’ a thumb,” by way of filling up an odd form, which, in an unlucky fit of liberality, we had resolved to squeeze into the present number. It may well be supposed that, before we had fairly rubbed our eyes open, the matter was blown to the world, and a whole avalanche of country cousins, who hail from Germantown, were down upon us. Of course we said at once that the article was not ours, as no man can be expected to acknowledge his guilt until it is proved upon him. This, however, did not satisfy them, although they professed to have no difficulty in believing it, for they continued to smoke their pipes with such fury, and swore so stoutly in real jaw-breaking Dutch—for every mother’s son is German, even to the cut of his pantaloons—that we were glad to get off upon the condition of making a handsome apology, which we think we have now fully done.

Among the many delightful villages in Pennsylvania, which owe their origin to German settlers, and maintain, amid surrounding improvements, the unchanged marks of ancestry, there is none more prominent than Germantown. It is but half an hour’s drive from Philadelphia, extending along the main road for more than two miles, with, for the most part, old-fashioned stone houses, which date prior to the revolution, sprinkled plenteously on both sides of the road, forming a village of most unconscionable length, but—like the pockets of most dandies of the present day—with no depth or body to support its extensive pretensions. It is famous in history, as being the ground of a battle during the struggle for independence, in which victory, though for a time doubtful, declared for the enemy, in consequence of the incompetency of an American officer. The present inhabitants are mostly the descendants of German families—true sprigs of the old branches, imitating most of the virtues of their forefathers, indulging in no luxuries, pursuing a rigid economy, and clinging with an unyielding regard to the money bequeathed them. Nor is this regard in any degree weakened by the devices of those who have recently settled in the village, and who vainly hope by improving their houses, fitting up their grounds, and clipping and beautifying their shrubbery, to induce an imitation of their example. The old-roof tree stands, as it stood half a century ago, and the very stones of the building, from between which the mortar has in many cases long since dropped, grin defiance on the passer by, who dares to harbor a thought of improvement or repair. The owner is content to live as his ancestors lived, but would like to die a little richer. The patrimony, amassed by the hand of unceasing toil, is religiously bequeathed from sire to son, together with the peculiar habits of thought and the superstitious sentiments of an age gone by. In many cases no education has been suffered to weaken or invade, and in others has been so slight as only to harmonize the mind with the general character of the place, which at best seems to belong more to a past generation than to the present. From these causes, things which better tutored minds scout with scorn, in the one case, are held as true as matters of religious belief, and in the other are only doubted, not disbelieved. In fact so thoroughly does superstition, and the gross follies which an intercourse with the world and education always dispel, prevail, that many of the inhabitants can tell you to a nicety when there will be a change of weather, by the belligerent attitude in which the moon turns up her horns when she grows restive, and that there will be company when the cat licks her paws, when a fork sticks up in the floor, or when the old cock brushes up his feathers and crows in the door-way. There are others who go still deeper into mysteries of this sort, and can predict to you a birth, a marriage, or a death, by the kinks in a cow’s tail; but as they are entirely beyond our depth, and seem to have this knowledge all to themselves, it may be well not to disturb them in their profound wisdom. Nevertheless, let no young man, who values the affections of any fair Dutch damsel in Germantown, venture to present her with a pair of scissors, unless he wishes to cut the sentimental cord that binds her to him. Thus much we feel in duty bound to record as a warning to young gentlemen, as many a man has lost the confidence and affections of his lady love in consequence of less matters than a pair of scissors.

It might be expected that a village so contiguous to a great city, would soon lose these distinctive marks of character, and that the extravagance, follies and vices of the metropolis would be generally imitated. Not so, however. With very little exception, the place is as entirely distinct as if it were miles in the interior. The moral mantle of Germanism seems to hang like a cloud over the place, and, blended with the superstition of the portion of inhabitants spoken of, there is a high-toned morality so imbedded in the hearts of the people, that honesty and a strict regard to truth, next to making money and keeping it, may be considered the great texts by which they live.

It will easily be understood that among a people thus constituted, a ghost has but to be seen by one of their number, and his appearance announced, to be generally dreaded. If he has been seen, there is an end of all doubting, and the only thing thereafter to be done, is to keep out of his way. There will be no use, in such a case, to multiply arguments about him, but every man must take care of himself. And, what may seem a little singular, a good sound-minded, rational apparition will, in all cases, most delight to visit a people who pay him so much deference; taking especial care to show himself off frequently, and in all manner of ways, that there may be no doubt that he does exist in one shape or another, and having established the matter to his own satisfaction, that it is better to range the upper world, where he can be seen, than to dwell below in the dark, damp ground of the tomb, where he cannot be seen, where his very existence may be doubted, and where, at the best, the quarters are most uncomfortably chilly,—we say a sane ghost, under such circumstances, would naturally grow familiar—or rather attempt to—and having sought out and established himself in comfortable quarters, and having enjoyed an oblivious nap during the day, would seek to regale himself in the evening, after his own will and pleasure, by little trips by moonlight, over the fields, around the old barns, and especially on the tops of the stone fences—if any there be—of the neighborhood. A ghost certainly has the right, if any body has, of doing pretty much as he pleases, and of keeping out of the dust and gravel of a country side-walk, and of cutting up his antics, by way of recreation, on the top of a stone wall. At least these were the sentiments entertained by the ghost in question, and he took the liberty—unlike most politicians—of acting them out without regard to consequences.

One morning, early in November, 18—, the inhabitants of the goodly village of Germantown were thrown into great consternation and dismay, by the important intelligence that a ghost had been seen the previous evening, perched upon Chew’s wall, dressed in white, and rattling a heavy chain, which some maintained he had been hung in, in consequence of some great crime. Some said that it was only a log-chain, which he intended to use, after his own fashion, on the first man he got in his clutches, while others, with a great show of reason, maintained that the chain was fastened around his own ankle, and that he was no less a personage than the ghost of the dead soldier who had deserted from the British during the revolution, and was accidentally shot during the battle of Germantown, while a prisoner in a baggage-wagon, as had been said, but who, it was very likely, had been murdered during the heat of the fray, by some enemy in his own ranks—a rival in love, perhaps, or an heir to some estate, who wished him out of the way. Be all this as it may, the ghost had been seen upon the wall, and he had a chain about him in some way, and some unheard of atrocity might confidently be looked for. The greatest mystery of the affair was that as soon as the rumor got on the wind, the man who had seen him was no where to be found, nor could any body tell who he was. Somebody had seen him, however, and that was enough, and any inhabitant of Germantown would as soon have doubted the existence of sour-krout—a belief of which substantial proof was given daily—as to have felt the least incredulity in regard to the ghost.

Of course all the inhabitants put on the gravest looks possible, and kept a sharp look-out, but still nearly a week passed and no tidings of a renewal of the visit of his ghostship occurred. Sunday morning came, and the matter was duly canvassed before the church door, prior to the arrival of the minister. A great many solemn shakes of the head and knowing winks were given on the subject. It was formally resolved that fires had better be kept burning in all the ovens for a fortnight, though it was pretty generally agreed that the ghost had been taken unawares, and that, whatever his business to that place might be, by keeping off the wall for a week, it was a pretty good sign that he did not want to show himself, and therefore he would be more cautious in future.

The ghost, notwithstanding all these sage conclusions, resolved to have his own way in the matter, and accordingly made his appearance that very evening—not in white, nor in the form of a man, but in black, and running on all fours, like a hyena, on the top of the wall, and even proceeded so far as to throttle a very inoffensive person, and one who never could have had any thing to do with the murder—if indeed the apparition was the ghost of the murdered soldier. The facts of this encounter are these.

Christopher Burger (such was the name of the person throttled) or “Stoffel Burger,” as his German friends delighted to dub him in abbreviation, was a stout, square-built young fellow, of about twenty-two, who could do his day’s work, and dance the whole night through in the bargain, without thinking of fatigue. He had fallen in love, at a quilting party, with Miss Susan Hanz, a blooming Dutch damsel of seventeen summers; and, like a straight-forward business-like German, as he was, he resolved to make her his wife. She was, in fact, just the girl to inspire Christopher with the sentimental. Short, thick, and as elegantly shaped as a churn, with a full, round, saucy face, lighted up with a pair of brilliant black eyes, and with a foot, which, if it was not one of the smallest, could go through “a straight four,” or, for that matter, if occasion required it, a regular “hoe down,” with a grace that actually made Christopher’s heart leap, as if it was going to jump out of his mouth. Nor were these her only claims to regard. The fair Susan was an only child, and her father had the reputation of possessing more than one stocking full of the real currency, carefully stowed away in the large walnut chest under the bed. Two or three broad farms also claimed ’Squire Hanz as owner, and spread themselves out very temptingly before the eager eyes of “Stoffel.” And then, what a hand at baking hot cakes!—his mouth actually watered at the thought. Added to all this, he well knew that if he succeeded in winning the heart of the fair Susan, no obstacle would be placed in the way of his happiness by the ’Squire. In this matter the ’Squire was exceedingly liberal; he imposed but one condition upon his daughter in relation to the man of her choice, and that was, that “he must be of a good German family.” To “Stoffel” there could be no objection on this score. His very name carried the recommendation with it. Moreover, the ’Squire had never had brother or sister, and therefore there were no rascally cousins to be mining the fortress in his absence. Had there been any, with stout purses in their fists, the matter would not have been quite so positive; for, as an arrangement of convenience, and to keep the money from the hands of grasping strangers, every man in the village of which we write made it a point to marry his cousin—if he could get her—and, if the truth must be told, the strong voice of parental command was seldom wanting to strengthen his suit.

Let it not be supposed, however, that a lady with such substantial claims had never been besieged with lovers. Such had been the case. But “Stoffel” having so far outstripped his rivals as to attain the honor of smoking a pipe alone with the ’Squire a few Sunday evenings previous to the time of which we write, the business was looked on as settled, and the whole bevy of Dutch beaux were off in the twinkling of an eye, like a flock of partridges when they have been shot at.

Christopher, thus having “a fair field and all the favor,” was not the man to neglect the advantage; so that, on the Sunday night in question, if an inquisitive eye had been placed at the key-hole of the ’Squire’s parlor door, he might have been seen, or heard, actually (we hope the ladies will skip this passage)—we say he might have been seen kissing Susan in the dark. Atrocious as this conduct was, however, on the part of “Stoffel,” we are bound, in recording a true narrative, to say that the lady was not to be frightened at trifles; so, instead of screaming out, and thus rousing the ’Squire and his blunderbuss, she took the matter coolly, and, resolving not to be outdone in civilities, gave him as good as he sent, and, throwing her arms around his neck, kissed him!! These, of course, are little attentions, on the part of lovers, which should not be wantonly, and without purpose, revealed to “the cold and heartless world,” and we only mention them to show that Christopher was a fellow with a pretty stout heart, and thus prepare our readers for the horrible outrage upon a brave man we are about to record. And considering, too, that all our lady readers have skipped the last passage, and are waiting breathlessly, we proceed.

It was now past twelve o’clock—we are ashamed to record it—for Christopher, whatever wrong he committed in going to the ’Squire’s every Sunday evening, when he returned, his conscience, on that score, was generally clear enough, as it was Sabbath no longer. We say it was past twelve, and Christopher set out for home. He had feasted on the best the ’Squire’s cellar afforded, and had made way with more than one mug of his best cider. The parting scene, on the part of Christopher, had been unusually tender. He was naturally an ardent lover, and the cider by no means decreased the strength of his attachment. He had used every argument to bring Susan to the point of acceptance—still she was coy. Yet Christopher was a man of discernment, and thought that a lady who would throw her arms around his neck and kiss him in the dark, (bless us! what will the ladies say to this?) could have no serious objection to him at bottom, and so, on the whole, he was in a very pleasant mood with himself, and with all mankind and womankind in the bargain, as gentlemen usually are when the lady has been kind, and the parting kiss has been freely given. He felt unusually happy, and could not restrain the kind feelings which bubbled up to his very lips and found vent in snatches of songs. He was rapidly approaching the wall—still he thought nothing of ghosts or hob-goblins, but was ruminating very intently upon the charms of the substantial little Dutch beauty, and was going over in his mind, very pleasantly, her qualifications to make him a happy man. He might be said to be in that state, when a man is walking yet dreaming. He was picturing a neat stone house, with every useful article of furniture bought and paid for, and with a horse and cow that he could call his own. Milk punch, too, naturally enough popped into his head, and then out again, to make room for thoughts of hot cakes swimming in butter. His song, however, still went on, as the music was not so difficult of execution as to require much thought in its performance—when the conclusion of a stanza seemed suddenly to have been frozen on his lips, and he started back with the ejaculation—

“Mine Got! vat ish dat? der spooke—der divel!”

The cause of his alarm the reader will understand, and so did “Stoffel.” He had heard it rumored that a ghost in white had been seen airing himself upon Chew’s wall, and he was not the man to scoff at rumor, and, even if he had been, there was the identical thing before him, slightly changed in appearance, it is true, not in white, nor sitting erect, but in black, running along the wall towards him, like a hyena or a bear; and, sure enough, as if to establish his character beyond the possibility of a doubt, rattling his chain with a clangor truly appalling.

In any other situation Christopher, perhaps, would have run, but in the present instance his limbs refused to do their work, his knees knocked together, his teeth set to chattering, and he seemed rooted to the spot. Nor can it be supposed that he was a coward, as we think the contrary has been clearly demonstrated in his valiant exploits in courting. The ghost, however, as if to settle the difficulty, to clear all doubt in the mind of Christopher, and to prevent any more profane exclamations, coolly descended from the wall, and before he knew where he was, knocked him down “with one blow of his tail,” as was afterwards affirmed.

“So,” said the ghost, “your time has come to die!”

“Mine Got, nay—I be’s—so young—and pin—tink—to git—marry,” chattered the horror-stricken Dutchman.

“You are going to get married; ha! who do you think will have you?”

“ ’Squire—Hanz—Sus, me tinks.”

“When you marry her you will be a dead man,” said the ghost in a hollow, sepulchral voice, “and unless you stay away from ’Squire Hanz’s two months from this time, remember I have warned you! you are a dead man! Beware!” and having released his throat from a loving squeeze, vanished, as Christopher asserted, “in de ground.”

When he arose, his brain whirled, and his memory was confused; the sun was just peeping over the hills, and a group of astonished neighbours were around him. Christopher told his story, and related the adventure exactly as it had occurred, excepting what related to Susan, that he kept close in his own bosom—why? we cannot say. Some believed him, but others, of the most knowing, shook their heads—guessed he had drank too freely of the ’Squire’s cider, and wondered how he knew “the ghost vanished in the ground when he was lying on his face in the dirt.”

Christopher asserted, and swore Dutch to substantiate it, that he “had been choked on the back of his neck until he saw stars,” and that after that the ghost disappeared, and he knew nothing more of the matter until he found the mob around him.

This was conclusive! And as the contagion spread, it was ascertained that the ghost had been exceedingly obliging, and had appeared in a variety of forms and costumes “to suit customers.” A stout troop of good wives roundly asserted that he had crossed the road in the form of a white calf, as they were proceeding to meeting, and that when they screamed out he disappeared. One had seen him in the habit of an old woman, dangling a great bunch of keys at her girdle, but it was plain he was no old woman at all from the whisker on one side of his face, which proved him to be the dead soldier. Moreover, he kept rattling the keys with tremendous fury, and held up his forefinger significantly; as much as to say “if you disturb me I’ll knock you down.”

Another averred that as she was walking along, she heard a terrible flapping of wings, and looking up she saw, what at first appeared to be a flock of wild-geese, but they quickly changed into boys, and in an instant all vanished but one, and he was a man with a long white flowing robe, with which he took good care to cover his head, so that she could not see whether he had whiskers or no, and therefore could not say whether it was the dead soldier or not. In short, nearly all the old women had seen him, or had a ghost story to tell, which answered the same purpose, so that the good Dutchmen shook their heads to no purpose, for the more they shook them the more confused they became.

The consequence was, that after the existence of the ghost was thus substantiated, he resolved to confirm the testimony by taking up his quarters for the winter at once. This he did by establishing himself in a neat two story brick house, which was formerly located at the place now called “The Seven Oaks.” Thus having made himself perfectly at home, and we presume feeling himself so, for no body pretended to disturb him in his selected quarters, he took his recreations in various ways. Sometimes he would appear with a winding sheet around him, and a flame of fire coming out of his mouth, then he would walk inhabited like a bear, or he might be seen in the form of a dragon with a huge tail. To vary the entertainments, he would appear with horrible horns on his head, and a tail like a fish, and would go sweeping over the ground as if he were gliding in water. He appeared, too, at various places, though his favorite resort was the top of the stone wall, which he would often bestride, as if it were a full-blooded charger, and would go whistling down the wind,—stone wall and all. What rendered this last feat the more surprising was, that when morning came the wall looked as unmoved as if nothing had happened, but the ghost was nowhere to be found.

It could not be supposed that things should continue in this state forever. Accordingly a number of the more aged inhabitants having put their heads together, it was thought advisable to devise some energetic measures to relieve themselves of his ghostship. Whereupon every man stuck his pipe in his mouth, and set to smoking and thinking with great energy and decision. After due reflection, various measures were proposed, but none so feasible as that proposed by ’Squire Hany, who having a pipe about a foot longer than any of the others, came to the sagest conclusion.

His proposal was in substance, that a meeting be called on the next evening, and that a committee should be appointed to watch the ghost, and if possible, to shoot through him with silver bullets; when, it was affirmed, he would dissolve into thin air at once. And lest the ghost should be aroused to commit some deed of dire interest, as soon as the news of these hostile proceedings reached his ears, it was thought advisable that all the inhabitants should close their doors at sundown, nail horse shoes over them, and, to save candles if not their necks, they should go to bed at dark.

A large meeting of the indignant inhabitants, in accordance with this decision, assembled at “The Green Tree,” when, after calling “Stoffel Burger” to the chair, the following resolutions, which had been drawn up with great care and precision for the occasion, were unanimously adopted:—

[1]Resolved, That a committee of eight be appointed to shoot the ghost.”

Resolved, That Stoffel Burger be chairman of the committee to point him out, so that the silver bullets be not thrown away, and also, to save powder, that nobody shall shoot the ghost till they see him.”

To the first branch of this resolution Stoffel felt inclined to demur, and said that as he had already been choked by the ghost, he would rather not get in his clutches again. The meeting, however, had made up their minds—as most town meetings generally do—before hand, and would hear of no excuse. It was therefore further

Resolved, That the meeting defray the expenses of the committee, provided they follow instructions, and that all the inhabitants be commanded to nail horse shoes over their doors, so that the ghost may be shot down without mercy.”

We said the resolutions were unanimously adopted, but there was one young gentleman who, in the outset, stoutly opposed them, but who, nevertheless, afterwards gave them his hearty support. He was a good looking fellow, about five feet ten in height, with a piercing black eye, a most intelligent face, and a whisker trimmed with such exquisite taste that every girl of the village would take a peep out of the corner of her eye and admire them while passing. His tongue, too, was as slippery as an eel, and he could say the softest and most honied words in a way that actually put the stout Dutch phrases completely out of tune. Nevertheless, he spoke German like a book, and no man could exceed him in driving a bargain, so that, having come from a German settlement in the east, he went by the name of “The Dutch Yankee.” He never obtruded his advice in any case, and only suggested in this, “whether these hostile proceedings might not inflame the anger of the ghost, and lead to hot work.”

The valor of the meeting, however, was too highly inflamed to listen for a moment to prudential hints, when they had the iron argument of horse shoes ready in case of danger, so that after selecting the committee and charging them to “be true to their country in this sudden and trying emergency, and to meet promptly the next evening and perform their duty,” the meeting adjourned.

On the following evening the committee accordingly met at “The Green Tree,” armed to the teeth, each man having, in addition to his musket charged with the fatal bullet, a long butcher knife to be ready for extremities. The host of “The Green Tree” was in excellent spirits, and the committee resolved at once to be so too if it could be done by dint of good liquor. So in order to be prepared for the fierce encounter, and to strengthen his nerves, each man knocked off his half-pint at the outset. And as the generous inhabitants had agreed to pay expenses, there could be no harm, so thought both the committee and the host, in drinking another, and as each felt braver the more he drank, the experiment was repeated in homœopathic doses until the hour of twelve, when, we will venture to assert, a stouter hearted set of men never set out on a perilous expedition.

It is strange, however, how soon the cold wind of a winter night will unstring the nerves and set the teeth to chattering, for no sooner were the valiant committee within sight of Chew’s wall, and had been a little chilled through with the night breeze, than each man was seized with a tremendous shivering of cold, and each feeling weaker than the other, it was with great difficulty that they could get on, for want of a leader. It was stoutly maintained that “Stoffel” should go before, as he was commissioned by the meeting to point out the ghost. To this Stoffel agreed, but maintained that he could not show him to the committee, unless they were with him. It was finally settled that no man should have the honor of going alone, but that they should all march up abreast, and at the signal given fire a platoon into him. So they set up at once a terrible yelling, in order that the ghost might see that they were in earnest and prepare for the consequences.

Whether it was that the ghost heartily despised their bullying mode of procedure, and determined to show that there was no flinching on his part, by meeting them more than half way, or that the heads of the committee were rather giddy with having been confined in the close air of a bar-room for so many hours, and had thus caused them to miscalculate distances; certain it was, that before they were aware of their position, Stoffel espied the ghost and pointed him out at not more than thirty yards distance. Every man instantly cocked his musket, and affirmed that it was moving, and that owing to the dreadful proximity of the ghost, every thing else was dancing around them. Accordingly they instantly poured a dreadful volley into the offender and took to their heels.

Whether the ghost was hit or not, it was clearly ascertained the next morning that the committee had succeeded in putting two silver balls into a great, ugly old post, which had long been a serious annoyance, and had split the rails of a contiguous fence most shockingly. There were not wanting those who were severe and uncharitable enough to say that the committee had got a little drunk, and had fired at the post. This, however, was deemed a gross slander, and it was unanimously agreed that if the ghost had stood where the post was, he would have had a ball through him to a certainty.

As for “Stoffel,” having done this daring deed, nobody caught him passing the wall for some weeks after, and he gave people pretty clearly to understand that he did not intend to for some weeks to come. What tended to confirm the inhabitants in the opinion that the vigilant committee had extirpated the dreaded visitant, and that there was nothing like silver bullets and horse shoes to quiet ghosts, whether in doors or out was, he did not appear on the wall—when, unluckily for our friend “Stoffel” and his milk punch and hot cakes, “The Dutch Yankee,” who possessed the true blood, succeeded in winning the heart of the fair Susan, and actually eloped with the bouncing little Dutch beauty, much to the amazement of the ’Squire, and the horror of the astounded “Stoffel,” and actually carried the enormity so far, as to write “Stoffel” an invitation to the “home-bringing,” a month or so afterward; coupling the request with a promise that the ghost should not be allowed to disturb him either in passing or repassing Chew’s wall without due revenge. “Stoffel” did not like the tone of the invitation, or considered that his valor in courting and shooting ghosts was established, so he declined.

That the ghost still held his quarters privately somewhere in the neighborhood, and enjoyed many a pleasant little trip by moonlight for his own private gratification after that, was not doubted by the good people of the village, although he only condescended to show himself to particular favorites, by occasional glimpses when passing the wall. Lately, however, he has been more chary of his visits, and it is supposed that the rail road rather interfered with his calculations, and that the eternal whizzing of steam and the ringing of bells, rendered his quarters uncomfortable—particularly since his house has rudely been pulled down over his head, and a new one erected on the same site, without regard to his convenience.

There were not wanting people who pretended to laugh at the whole affair after the elopement and marriage of the fair Susan, and it was maintained that the Yankee was often seen to twist his face and laugh to himself, when he was ploughing up the old ’Squire’s ground. Yet nobody in Germantown, who had heard the clanking of the chain, ever ventured to doubt the existence of the ghost, and if any of our readers are inclined to disbelieve the story, the horse shoes can yet be seen nailed over some of the doors, and the bullet holes can yet be shown in the posts by the road side,—some of the inhabitants having dug the bullets out with the characteristic reflection, “that it was a pity that good silver should be thrown away, even after ghosts.”


Note. This, of course, all occurred before the Germantown Telegraph was started, or we should refer to the files of that valuable paper for a full report of the proceedings, and thus save ourselves a vast deal of trouble in copying a vile, old, dusty, Dutch manuscript.





Speed on! speed on, to your Southern home,

Ye who ’mid the fleecy clouds may roam!

The hoarse voice of Winter comes fast on the breeze—

Its roaring is heard in the tops of the trees,

And swift as your flight, is the march of Time—

Away, away, to a milder clime!


Ye’re wearied with seeking in vain for food,

’Mid the leafless boughs of your native wood;

And here will ye carol your songs no more,

Till the reign of the winter-king is o’er;

Till Spring, in new beauty, comes dancing on,

And ascends flower-crowned to her vernal throne.


But your voices shall gladden the fairy bowers

Of the genial South, through these winter hours,

Where your golden wings may unfettered rove

Through the flowery dell, and the orange grove;

Or bathe in the spray of those crystal streams,

Which forever glide free in the sun’s glad beams.


Then away! ere hastens cold winter’s night;

He who watcheth the sparrow, directs your flight:

We envy your freedom, ye songsters fair!

And fain would fly, too, from this piercing air;

But the Power divine, which doth bid you roam,

Binds us, and our joys, to a Northern home.


But, thanks to that Power! from the frosts of Grief—

From the Winter that blighteth Affection’s leaf;

From the chilling blast of Misfortune’s breath,

The ransomed spirit may flee at death,

To a clime where perpetual Summer reigns

O’er the fadeless flowers of celestial plains.



The cloth had just been removed, at my second dinner with the club, when the President called on a Mr. Rowley for a story. He tossed off a tumbler of Port—to clear the cobwebs, as he said, from his throat—and began.

“You all know I am a lawyer, and that men who would be witty have a way of quizzing our profession by saying that we cannot tell a story without dragging in our craft. I have no objection to the notion of these smart gentlemen, and shall not even trouble myself to refute them, but go on with my story.

“When I was a student, just after the close of the late war, I used to pay occasional visits to Mount Holly, which was even then a passable county town, and remarkable for its pretty girls, its gay winters, and the quantity of wine drunk by its bar. There wasn’t a lawyer in the place who couldn’t carry his two bottles, and as for wit, these barristers were famed for it from Cape May to Hackensack. But it is not so much with the Mount Holly bar as with Captain Slashbey, one of the clients of the wittiest member there, that my story has to do.

“I first met the gallant captain on a hunting excursion into the pines. He was a portly little gentleman, with a rubicund face, a constant flow of humor, and an opinion of his own good looks rather singular, I must say, at forty-five. He had very short legs and a very round person, and altogether reminded you of a fat pigeon walking upright. He had been in the service during the war, and at the reduction of the army, finding himself pretty well in debt, and without a sous in his pockets, had settled at Squankum, a place in the very heart of the cedar swamps. And very convenient it was for Slashbey, for, like Galway, in Ireland, a sheriff’s writ hadn’t been seen there in the memory of man. It was once attempted to execute a capias there, but the forgemen and squatters rose in a mass, and though the light horse were ordered out, the arrest had to be given up. Now the captain was a popular man in Squankum, and therefore was as safe as in a sanctuary. He thirsted now and then, it is true, for the good things of civilized life afar off, and would often make a dash into Mount Holly, like a guerilla, taking care, however, to retreat before his creditors had wind of his approach. But at length he grew tired of this life,—I’ll thank you for the bottle—and determined to extricate himself from it by marrying an heiress; for the captain was a gallant man, you must know, and, like Will Honeycombe, had a high notion of his own powers.

“There was a merry little vixen at the county town—a gay witty black-eyed rogue as ever lived—who was, in the captain’s opinion, the very pattern for a wife. She would have made an anchorite forswear his creed, and was besides an heiress to a very pretty fortune. Undaunted by the crowds of suitors for her hand, Slashbey determined to enter the lists, nothing doubting, on the faith of certain smiles with which she always welcomed him, that he would carry off the prize. He began his preparations like a Napoleon. He bought a new pair of buff cassimeres, endued a shining blue coat with metal buttons, and ordered a wig from the most fashionable perruquier in Philadelphia, for unluckily the captain was as bald as a cannon ball. Thus accoutred, he laid regular siege to his charmer, dancing her and sleighing her whenever he could venture out of his cedar swamps without being chased by a bailiff. The heiress smiled on the captain, her suitors cursed the lucky rival, and Slashbey spent his time betwixt studying his glass and singing ‘none but the brave deserve the fair.’

“It was just when he thought he was on the point of success that a grand ball was given at ——, and the captain, determining to carry his charmer by assault, forgot his usual prudence and escorted the heiress in his gig. Never did the little fellow look more gallant. I was at the ball, and faith! could scarcely keep my eyes off him. His wig was curled irresistibly, his new coat shone with resplendent lustre, his cassimeres fit him as a mould does a bullet, and he sported his new buff gloves with more vanity than a rider does his colors at a race. But, alas! his glory was destined soon to wane. One of his rivals, whose nose the captain had valorously pulled, determining on revenge, had informed the sheriff of Slashbey’s whereabouts, and just as he was leading his charmer triumphantly to the dance, the myrmidons of justice pounced on him, and after a desperate struggle he was secured, on the charge of an assault and battery. But this was not the worst. Before the court opened the next day, a dozen writs in civil suits had been lodged against his body. The captain was beside himself. He trembled at the exposé of his affairs—he trembled for his heiress.

“ ‘We could laugh this battery out of court,’ he said; ‘but what the devil can I do with these creditors? I’m a ruined man. And to come just now, the infernal rascals! Oh, Anna Matilda!’ he exclaimed with a love-lorn look of his crow-feet eyes, ‘it’s all up with you and your fortune now. What would the fellows of the tenth say if they heard of it?’

“ ‘Cheer up,’ said his attorney laughingly; ‘your case will come up among the first, and we may yet find a way to get you off. It’s all the result of envy. These young boys can’t endure that Mars and Apollo should meet together in your person,’ and the barrister winked wickedly to me, as Slashbey, marshalled by the sheriff, preceded us into the hall of justice.

“It was with a rueful countenance that he took his seat in the court. The room was densely filled with the usual motley assemblage at a county sessions. Loafers half in rags, and shopmen in the latest cut, portly farmers with huge mud-stained boots, and drovers carrying heavy loaded whips, here a sober Quaker with a broad-rimmed beaver, and there a gay young lawyer with more wit than briefs, long men and short men, fat ones and lean ones, some with merry round faces, and others with countenances as sour as crab-apples, officers and loungers, attorneys and clients, filled up every vacant space outside the bar, whiling away the time until the appearance of the judge, by speculating on the prospects of a crop, or discussing the points of a case set down for trial at the term. At length his honor made his appearance, and, bustling and bowing through the crowd, assumed the bench, wiped the perspiration from his rubicund face, coughed with judicial gravity, and ordered the crier to open the court. That high functionary accordingly started to his feet, and in a nasal twang mumbled over a formula which no one could hear distinctly, but which appeared to be a recapitulation of the iniquities of those in authority generally, and of his honor in particular, as it ended with a hope that God would save the commonwealth and the honorable court. After the crier sat down, a very lean man, with a very sharp nose, and a very squeaking voice, called out ‘John Smith,’ whereupon a little fat man jumped up and said ‘here;’ but the clerk, without seeming to notice him, went on and called Joseph Thomson, Zerubabel Thomson, Joab Johnson, and the Lord knows how many more Thomsons and Johnsons, all of whom severally jumped up and said ‘here.’ Then, the jury being empannelled, the case came on, and the attorneys got into towering passions, and seemed as if they could have eaten each other up, while the jury smiled and nodded, and their foreman—the little fat man—stroked his chin and looked extremely wise. After this was gone through with, there was a general buzz through the room, when suddenly the judge cried ‘order,’ and then the sheriff cried ‘order,’ and the sleepy constables and tipstaves opened their eyes and echoed ‘order’ more lustily than either; whereupon his honor turned over one or two big books bound in white calf,—ah! this is prime Port—consulted his notes for a moment, and then proceeded to sum up the evidence and charge the jury.

“The next case was that of Slashbey—and the same formality was gone through with until about half of the jury had been sworn, when the attorney-general rose to acquaint the court that the panel was exhausted and that therefore he prayed a tales from the lookers on. These few and simple words of the attorney-general acted on the spectators like the upsetting of a crowded bee-hive. Instantly there was a great rush towards the door. Drovers and farmers, shopmen and gentlemen, staid Quakers and burly topers, all started in the race at once, tumbling and scrambling over each other in their haste to reach the entrance, while the tipstaves shouted ‘order’ until they were hoarse, and the sheriff and his deputies sprang to the door in order to close it before the egress of their prey. It was a moment of general confusion, and Slashbey was forgotten in the mêlée. Even the judge had eyes only for the scrambling fugitives.

“ ‘Now,’ said I, nudging Slashbey, who sat by me not far from the casement; ‘now’s your time—clear the window at a leap—my horse Thunderer is fastened not twenty yards off—ride like the devil, and don’t draw rein till you get to Squankum.’

“Slashbey understood my plan as readily and rapidly as I had conceived it, and, just waiting to see that the coast was clear, he placed his hands on the sill, and, portly as he was, shot through the open window like a bomb, unseen by all except his honor, who caught sight of the fugitive’s coat tails as they disappeared outside.

“ ‘An escape!’ shouted the judge, starting to his feet; ‘sheriff, your prisoner. The captain’s off.’

“On the instant the talesmen were forgotten, and sheriff, deputies, tipstaves and freeholders turned around, with open mouths and curious eyes. It was a minute or more before the matter could be explained, and by that time I saw that Slashbey had got mounted. I shouted ‘stop thief’ at this, and sprang out of the window, as if in pursuit, followed by the sheriff and his constables, tumbling helter-skelter over each other after me. The officers no sooner caught sight of the fugitive than they roared lustily to stop him, while the sheriff bawled for the ‘posse comitatus’ like a bull of Bashan. It was no time to respect property, so I followed the example of the officers, and sprang on the first steed I came across, eager to see the fun.

“The court house stood nearly at the opposite end of the village, from that out of which led the road to Squankum, and when I mounted my horse, Slashbey was scouring down the main street some hundred yards ahead. Before a minute, however, the sheriff and his pack were in full cry at the fugitive’s heels, while as many of the spectators as could find horses and vehicles started off, a few to aid the law, but most to enjoy the sport. And, by my faith! what a sight it was! Foremost in the chase gallopped the sheriff, his hat off and his queue flying behind, bawling himself red in the face by cries of ‘stop thief,’ ‘head him off,’ ‘maintain the laws,’ amid the laughter of some and the shouts of others of the crowd. At every few leaps Slashbey would turn his face ruefully around to see whether his pursuers gained on him or not—reminding one of Tam O’Shanter, of blissful memory, when he saw the witches yelling after him. The captain would never have won the prize at Astley’s for horsemanship, and now, what betwixt his hurry and affright, he rode like a frightened monkey at a circus. Gilpin did not create more excitement in his famous race. The shopmen left their counters, the blacksmith hurried from his forge, the school children followed the pedagogue to the window, and the very chanticleers, unwilling to let the hubbub go by without they partook in it, flapped their wings on the garden fences and crowed lustily. But with your leave, I’ll pause to fill my glass, for a man telling a story is like a steam-engine—he can’t get on without he keeps the fire blazing.

“The race was now at its height. The uproar was tremendous. Up flew the windows, and out popped the heads. The women shrieked, the pigs squealed, the men laughed, the boys cheered, and a dozen curs hurried yelping and snapping at Thunderer’s heels, who, alarmed at the hue and cry around him, pricked up his ears, snorted, and fairly taking the bit in his teeth, went off at a frantic pace. You would have died with laughter had you seen Slashbey then. Holding on to the rein with one hand, he grasped the mane desperately with the other, and, sticking his feet up to the heels in the stirrup, he leaned forward until he lay almost prostrate on the horse’s neck, while the tails of his coat flying up behind disclosed the fair rotundity beneath, over which his shining new buff cassimeres were stretched as tight as a drum-head. At every leap he bounced three feet from the saddle. The shouts of the posse in his rear increased, while the captain’s rueful looks behind became more frequent. Some cried ‘murder,’ others bawled ‘stop thief.’ The perspiration poured down the captain’s cheeks. He gasped for breath. And, to crown all, as he got opposite his charmer’s dwelling, a puff of wind swept off his wig—for his hat had been left in the court house in his hurry—and the envied locks sailing away to the rear amid convulsive shouts of laughter on the part of the crowd, betrayed the bald pate of Slashbey glistening like burnished silver in the sun.

“ ‘Go it, fat ’un, and never mind the scratch,’ roared a ragged spectator, who was fairly dancing with delight.

“ ‘Hip—ho—heave ahead there,’ shouted another, shieing a missile at the fugitive.

“ ‘Whow—whow—whoa,’ halloed others, running out in front of Thunderer and waving their arms and hats before his eyes, but scampering hither and thither as soon as the frightened steed drew near.

A man clings to a horse's back while galloping wildly down a crowded street

“The captain felt his heart sink within him at this accumulation of disasters, and he could scarcely summon courage to look up, but he made a desperate effort, and—oh! shades of the gallant tenth—there was his mistress at the window pointing to his glossy pate, and laughing until the tears ran out of her eyes.

“The captain felt that his last hope was gone, and in a moment of despair would have reined in his horse, but Thunderer took the matter in his own hands and kept on at a thrashing pace, amid the shouts and pelting of the crowd. He dashed down the cross-street, clattered over the bridge, and in a few minutes crossed the brow of the neighboring hill in a cloud of dust. The motley group in pursuit kept on, but when Thunderer’s mettle was up there wasn’t his match in the whole county, so that before long, one after another of the posse drew in, leaving only the sheriff and his deputies in pursuit. These, too, gave out before they reached the vicinity of the enchanted land, in other words, the cedar swamps this side of Squankum.

“The joke clove to the captain’s name closer than a brother. The little vixen of an heiress had all along been coquetting with “the gallant warrior,” and now she was the loudest among the laughers at her wigless beau. She filled up Slashbey’s cup of sorrow by marrying, shortly after, the gallant whose nose the captain had pulled.

“What branch of the service,” asked a spooney lieutenant from the bottom of the table, after the laughter had somewhat subsided, “did you say your friend belonged to?”

“I didn’t particularize,” coolly said the narrator, “but I believe it was the flying artillery.”






The arrival of our battered fleet in the Texal, was the signal for a diplomatic war betwixt the ministers of England, Holland and France. The result of this encounter of wits, was the secret transfer of the captured ships to the latter power, and an order from the Prince of Orange to quit his dominions. Accordingly, Paul Jones, having superseded Landais in command of the Alliance, put to sea on the 27th of December, 1779, and, after running the gauntlet of the channel fleet, and approaching near enough to the Downs to examine its force, reached the roads of Groix on the 10th of February, 1780, in safety. As these things are matters of history, I briefly pass them over, the more readily because I did not myself accompany the commodore; for having found a letter from my captain, lying for me at Holland, requiring my return to Paris, I seized the first opportunity and started for France within a fortnight after the capture of the Serapis.

Our run through the straits was pleasant, and we had every prospect of a speedy voyage until our second day out, when the wind freshened into a gale, and before night it was blowing, as the old tars had it, “great guns and marlinspikes.” Every thing, however, was made fast and clean, and toward midnight I sought my hammock, and in a few moments, with a sailor’s carelessness, had forgotten our danger in sleep. How long I slept I cannot tell, but I was suddenly aroused from my slumbers by the heeling of the ship, and as I started up in my berth, I heard the salt water dashing through the cabin, and roaring in the hold as if the bulk-heads were giving way. The lights were out, and I could see nothing, but I knew by the sound that the water was pouring in a cataract down the companion way, and that all escape therefore by that path was cut off. Could the ship be sinking?—had she broached to?—where were the crew? were the questions that rushed through my mind at that awful moment. I listened a second to hear, if I could, any sign of my fellow passengers in the cabin; but the place appeared to be deserted. Knowing that no time was to be lost, I sprang to the window in the stern, but—Good God! the dead lights were in, and all escape by that way was closed on me. Louder and louder roared the waters into the cabin, already they were dashing their cold spray around me, and in a few seconds they would submerge my berth. Death stared me in the face—death, too, in its most horrid guise. My brain whirled, my knees shook, my skin felt cold as the grave, and my usually buoyant heart sank within me. But these feelings triumphed only for a moment. My native resolution came speedily to my aid, and I determined to die, since die I must, like the old philosopher who wrapped his garments around him and lay down as if to a pleasant sleep. At this instant I suddenly remembered that the cabin had an outlet overhead, and groping my way along, half buried in water the while, I caught hold of the frame work of the binnacle, and dashing the glass out with my hand, raised myself up, and, the next minute, crawled on deck. For an instant—so terrific was the violence of the gale which swept past me—I could neither see, hear, nor stand. The rain and hail beating fiercely against me, pinned me down to the spot which I had first gained, while the thunder of the hurricane that went whistling and roaring by, seemed to forebode the approach of the final day itself. Oceans of water deluged the deck, hissing past me like the scornful laughter of fiends. At length I managed to raise my head and cast a glance at the scene around me. The darkness was almost impenetrable, but sufficient light existed to convince me that the decks were deserted, and that the ship was lying on her beam-ends, with cataracts of water rolling momently over her windward side. Oh! God, what a ruin! Officer and man, passengers and crew, all, all had been swept away by the devouring surge, and I alone was left, preserved almost by a miracle. I gazed to leeward, but only a waste of driving foam met my eye—I looked astern, nothing but the green monsters of the deep, rolling mountain high, were seen. At this instant another deluge of foam whistled past, blinding my eyes with spray, and jerking me with a giant’s power from my hold. Buried in brine, bruised, despairing, and almost stunned, I thought my hour had come, and breathing a momentary prayer to heaven for mercy, I resigned myself to death. Suddenly my hand struck against something, which, with an instinctive love for life, I grasped. My progress was instantaneously checked, and, although the resistance almost snapped my arms from their sockets, I still clung to the object I had caught. When the billow had whirled past, and the spray had ceased to blind my eyes, I saw that I had seized one of the posts of the bulwarks. Taking advantage of a momentary lull, I crept to a place of greater security, and sat down to ponder over my chances of escape.

All through that awful night I clung to my frail support, expecting momently to be swept from it into eternity. Language cannot describe my feelings. No pen can paint the horrors of those long and dreary hours. The air grew intensely cold: the rain became hail. The sky, if possible, lowered more gloomily, and the billows rolled higher and higher around me, while the deep tones of the tempest mingled with the chafing of the surges, rose up over all like the wild choral symphony which we dream of as forever rising from the world of ruin and despair. Borne aloft on the waves, or hurried down into the abyss, drenched, bruised, and bewildered, I saw no gleam of hope. Beneath me was the boiling deep—above me the sky seemed settling bodily down. Now the gale whistled shrilly past, or now wailed moaningly away to leeward. Darkness and terror were all around me.

At length the morning dawned, but slowly and despairingly. The gale somewhat subsided, too; but its violence was still terrific. In the eastern firmament there was a dull, misty light, hanging like a belt along the seaboard, but the sun itself was completely obscured. By the faint glimmer thus thrown around the scene, I hoped to distinguish some approaching sail. It was in vain. Nothing met my vision, save the wild waste tossing to and fro in agony. Again and again I looked,—but again and again in vain. At length I caught sight of what would have seemed to a landsman to be the foam on the crest of a far off wave, but which I knew to be a sail. How my heart throbbed as I watched the course of the approaching craft! I soon made her out to be a ship driving before the gale under a close reefed main-course, and as she approached nearer, I saw that she was an English man-of-war. Captivity was better than death, and I did not, therefore, hesitate. I shouted aloud. But I might as well have lifted up my voice against the thunder. I waved my arm aloft. It was in vain. I clambered up on the weather-quarter, and once more waving my arm, shouted with superhuman strength. The head of the frigate came gallantly around, and with a cry of joy, I saw the man-of-war make towards me. Big tears of gratitude rushed into my eyes, and my throat parched with emotion. On came the noble stranger, swinging her tall masts gracefully, and in a few minutes she was close on to me. I could see the look-outs gazing towards me. In a little space I should be rescued. At this moment a billow broke over me again, but, undaunted by the drenching, when I rose to the surface, I turned gaily in the direction of the frigate. God of my fathers!—she was not to be seen! I gazed with a throbbing heart to windward, and there was the man-of-war, edging away from me as if unconscious of my presence. I gazed speechlessly on her. The truth broke agonizingly on me. The frigate had approached the wreck, and not seeing me, had thought all on board lost, and resumed her course. In vain I shouted, and in vain I waved my arm frantically on high. I felt from the first there was no hope, and at length, giving over every effort, I crouched down once more in that state of complete exhaustion, both mentally and physically, which ensues, when the excitement of hope is followed by the certainty of despair.

The day wore on. The tempest slowly abated. Yet no welcome sail met my vision, unless a few far off crafts which crossed the seaboard, hull down, and which brought no hope, could be called welcome. As hour after hour wore away, my hold on life grew weaker and weaker. My physical powers, I felt, could not much longer endure this exposure to tempest and cold. Already the blood seemed at a stand in my extremities, and I fancied I felt the cold chill shuddering up to my heart. A drowsiness came over me. But rallying myself, I beat my hands and stamped my feet to invigorate, if possible, the vital current. At length I paused from pure exhaustion. Still no aid appeared. My spirits at length flagged. I felt that utter prostration which, by taking away the spring of hope, deprives us of all motive for exertion, and is the sure forerunner of a death of despair. I lost all longing for life. The sensation of cold subsided. I felt no pain. A dreamy bliss crept soothingly over my soul—the sea, the sky, the air, the wreck swam around before me—visions such as no mortal eye hath seen or imagined, thronged on my brain—an exstacy I cannot describe, but which makes my hand even now tremble with rapture, possessed me,—and then all is blank.

Again, and I dreamed. I seemed to be in the centre of a vast void, a universe of darkness and obscurity. Yet all was not gloom. For amid the shadowy firmament appeared a fair bright face beaming upon me like an angel’s from the clouds—a face whose features were written on my inmost heart, so soft and seraphic was their expression! I knew it—it was that of Beatrice. The mild blue eye, the hair of wavy gold, the brow that rivalled a Madonna’s, and more than all, the smile which now appeared all glorified, told me that face was hers. And it gazed on me with pity and love. And then I heard a voice—like and yet unlike hers, for the tone was that of Beatrice, but even sweeter, and, oh! how heavenly! The very air seemed music. Was she, indeed, a beatified spirit sent to waft me onward to a brighter world?

But once more all was dark—a voiceless void! I had but one feeling, and that was of being. I knew not, heard not, saw not. I could not think. But my soul was, as it were, agony itself.

At length a light broke in on that void. My brain swam and I faintly opened my eyes. Was I yet an inhabitant of earth? The bed, the curtains, the room beyond convinced me at length that I lived. I feebly raised myself up and gazed around. A footstep approached. Overcome with faintness I sank down. A hand put aside the curtains, a cry of joy broke from the intruder, a hot tear-drop fell on my face. I looked up, and there was Beatrice!

“My own—” I faintly articulated.

“Hush!—not a word yet,” she said archly, placing her fingers to her lips with a smile.






On a hot sultry afternoon, in the August of 18—, a tall, pale, melancholy-looking gentleman alighted from the stage-coach at the door of the Eagle Tavern, in Buffalo, and, after a few minutes’ conversation with the bar-keeper, was ushered into a handsome private parlor, while his baggage was carried to one of the finest bed-rooms in the house. Perhaps, had the stranger mingled carelessly with the loungers on the piazza, after his arrival, he would have attracted little more attention than the companions of his wearisome journey, for, excepting a slight moustache on his upper lip, there was nothing to distinguish him in external appearance. But his quiet, grave deportment, and the desire for seclusion which he exhibited, excited the curiosity of the news-mongers, and a thousand conjectures concerning him were immediately set afloat. The stranger, however, seemed little disposed to satisfy the spirit of inquiry which prevails so extensively in American hotels; for, after taking possession of his apartments, he appeared no more that evening, and the waiter, who carried to him his supper, could only say that “he was a real gentleman, for he had given him a hard dollar—that he wore a flowered silk dressing-gown and embroidered slippers, and that he was going to stay in Buffalo a month.” The next morning the interest which he had excited extended itself to the no less curious gossips of the gentler sex; and, when the bell rang for dinner, many an eye was turned to the closed door of Room No. 2, in the hope of seeing its inmate emerge from his retirement. They were not doomed to disappointment. After all were seated at table, the stranger glided quietly into the dining-hall, and took his seat at the foot of the well-filled board, apparently unconscious of the piercing glances which were directed towards him. Notwithstanding the profusion of dainties which were officiously offered him by the waiter, whose heart had been won by the “hard dollar” on the previous night, he merely tasted a single dish, and refusing all the luxuries of the dessert, finished his frugal meal with a bit of dry bread and a glass of iced water. His abstemiousness and abstraction of manner excited the attention of every one, and when he silently rose to leave the table, many a glance followed his slowly-receding form. The ladies had not failed to observe his stately figure, his fine aquiline nose, the melancholy softness of his dark eyes, and the beauty of his hands, which were small, white and tapering, as, according to Napoleon and Byron, all aristocratic hands should be. They at once decided that he was a person of some distinction; perhaps an English nobleman incognito, or at least a rich and well-born Southerner. But a week had elapsed before he chose to give any other idea of his rank and station than might be derived from the register of the hotel, where he had inscribed, in a very elegant hand, the name of “Charles Stuart Montague, New Orleans.” Polite, courteous and gentlemanly to every one whom he chanced to encounter, particularly to females, he soon won the suffrages of all by his civilities, while he excited general sympathy by his uniform sadness of deportment.

Among the inmates of the house was the Hon. Mr. Windlespin, an extensive land-holder and an ex-member of Congress, who, with his two daughters, had recently returned from a visit to France, and now occupied elegantly-furnished apartments in the hotel. The saloon appropriated to this family was directly opposite to that occupied by Mr. Montague, and the ladies were dying with curiosity to learn something about their handsome neighbor. The heat of the weather compelled both to leave open the doors of their respective apartments, and the many furtive looks which the two Misses Windlespin cast into the tempting room had enabled them to catch a glimpse of a richly-enchased writing-case upon the centre table, and a guitar leaning against the chimney-piece, while they had several times enjoyed the opportunity of watching the solemn step of the melancholy stranger, as, attired in the said silk dressing-gown, he paced the limits of his apartment. They reflected much upon the singular mystery which seemed to involve him. What could make him so unhappy? He was evidently rich, handsome, and, as they were willing to believe, accomplished—for the mournful strains of a flute were sometimes heard at the dim twilight, and occasionally a few chords on the guitar, struck as if with a trembling hand, resounded through his lonely room. What could be the cause of such deep despondency?

But Mr. Montague had not been quite insensible to the vicinity of the elegant Misses Windlespin. A graceful bow had frequently marked his consciousness of their presence as he passed the open door of the parlor; and, more than once, he had paused at the entrance of the dining-hall, while they swept by to take their places at table, acknowledging his politeness by a profound courtesy à la mode de Paris. In the course of the changes which daily occur at a public table, Mr. Montague had gradually moved up, until, as one of the oldest boarders in the house, he occupied a seat next to the Windlespin family. A fine opportunity was now offered for those civilities which cost so little and are often productive of so many pleasant results. By degrees the abstraction of the melancholy gentleman was beguiled by the charms of his fair neighbors, and the ladies noticed, with no small degree of satisfaction, that they could induce him, not only to prolong his stay at table, but also to exchange his frugal fare for the dainties which they so much enjoyed. In short, an acquaintance between them had fairly commenced, and they mutually congratulated each other when the “interesting stranger” actually accepted an invitation to pass an evening with them.

Miss Grace Windlespin was a sentimentalist, while her sister Catharine affected vivacity and brilliancy. The elder was all poetry—the younger all fun and frolic. Grace spoke in a gentle voice, and raised her blue eyes sweetly and languidly to the face of those whom she addressed; while Kate (for so, in imitation of Shakspeare’s heroine, she affected to be styled) turned the full light of her bold laughing glances on every one worth looking at. The one delighted in the soft pleasures of sensibility—the other in the ready repartee and saucy jest. In short, the sisters were alike in nothing except their excessive affectation. Neither of them exhibited her natural character; all was assumed for effect, and each had studied the part best suited to her style of beauty. The slightly-bending figure, pale complexion and long chestnut ringlets of Grace were admirably suited to her very poetic manner; while the blonde hair, rosy cheeks and somewhat dumpy person of her merry sister were equally well suited to the devil-may-care character which she chose to assume.

Their father was one of those kind of persons who are constantly engaged in visionary schemes of wealth. Nobody better understood how to puff up a bubble—nobody was better skilled in “mapping out” landed estates—nobody possessed in such perfection the gift of “fortune-telling” as the Hon. Mr. Windlespin. Originally a country shop-keeper in Jersey, his first start in life had been rather an odd one. Taking advantage of the mania for “real estate speculations,” which pervaded the whole country, he, in company with several others, projected a new city, to be located upon their extensive and somewhat barren farms. Accordingly a large hotel was built, a meeting-house erected, a school-house raised, and some half dozen dwelling-houses were ranged along what was meant to be the main street. In an incredibly short time all was completed, and every thing was ready except the people who were required to occupy the infant city. These were still to be found, and the company began to discover that it would be exceedingly inconvenient to pay “interest monies” without some assistance. At this juncture the genius of Mr. Windlespin devised an expedient for bringing their new settlement into notice. He advertised in all the papers that a purse of fifty dollars would be “danced for” by twelve Communipaw negroes—the dancers to be selected from as many as chose to try their skill previous to the grand effort. The scene of these new Athletæ was to be the extensive plain which fronted the hotel at “Scipio-Africanus”—for such was the sounding title which Mr. Windlespin, after a careful search into an old copy of Lemprière’s dictionary, had chosen for the incipient city. The idle, the dissolute, and the shiftless—the people who are most easily led to change their habitations, like wandering Arabs, are the very men who were most likely to be attracted by such a queer and novel amusement. Accordingly Mr. Windlespin’s plan succeeded admirably. On the day appointed for the selection of the sable candidates for saltatory honors, several hundred people were assembled in and about the hotel, while a still greater number of the dark race were gathered to exhibit their skill. Certain rules were laid down for the governance of the assembly—a place was cleared for the exhibition—the negroes came forward by tens, and he who could tire down all his companions was set aside as worthy to compete for the prize. The first day was consumed in this important investigation; thirty first-rate professors of the double-shuffle and heel-and-toe exercise had been chosen, and the following day was to be devoted to the selection of the appointed twelve, from this reduced number of candidates. The hotel was filled to overflowing—the dwelling houses were no longer empty shells; but, furnished with camp beds, offered shelter and repose to the wearied spectators, and even the meeting-house was appropriated to their accommodation. The second day was similarly spent, except that the concourse of visiters had increased, and the excitement of the scene had produced sundry brawls and broken heads. The third and last day was appropriated to the performance of the selected twelve, and the final adjudication of the purse. Never had there been such gyrations, such circumflexions, such saltations as were then witnessed. Never had a victory been purchased at such a sudoriferous expense. One after another, the dancers withdrew exhausted, until only three were left, who seemed to bid defiance to fatigue. Hour after hour they continued their exertions, until they seemed to be converted into mere machines, and with staring eyes, stiffened limbs, and shining faces, appeared like monstrous images, moved by some mechanical force. At last the spectators became completely tired with this exhibition of perpetual motion. They insisted that the prize should be equally divided between the three indefatigable dancers, and thus the singular entertainment closed.

But Windlespin had not been idle during those three days. His brandy was very excellent—he made “glorious” rum punch—his cigars were real “Habanas,” and his customers had fully enjoyed the manifold creature comforts which he offered them. When they prepared to return home, most of them carried in their pockets the deed of a building-lot in the town of Scipio-Africanus, for which they had paid ten per cent. of the purchase-money, and given a bond and mortgage for the remainder; while a few, being persuaded that the neighborhood of such a hotel was a most desirable addition to the comforts of a family, concluded to take immediate possession of the houses already erected. Thus did the incipient city receive its earliest inhabitants, and though it has never yet been obliged to enlarge its borders in consequence of over-populousness, it still drags on a sickly existence, having, however, exchanged its original euphonious title for the more simple but no less expressive one of “Niggertown.”

Mr. Windlespin’s grand stroke of policy remained yet to be shown. As treasurer of the company, as well as officiating master of the hotel, all monies derived from the custom at the bar, as well as from the sale of building-lots, had passed through his hands. After the affair was over, he called a meeting of the company, exhibited a statement of expenses and receipts, and after deducting the former, paid over the latter to the various members, reserving to himself a handsome commission for his trouble. He did not think it necessary to inform his confederates of the fact that every thing had been purchased on credit, and that, so far from paying the expenses, he had, by using their names, rendered them liable for the debt which had been incurred, but quietly pocketing the lion’s share of the spoils, he bade adieu to the limits of “Niggertown,” in order to try his luck in a new field.

Such was Mr. Windlespin’s first essay in fortune-hunting, and several affairs of a similar nature had so increased his means, that he found himself quite a respected resident in one of our northern cities, almost before he was aware of his elevated position in society. He was finally chosen a member of congress for the district, and though, owing to some dubious transaction, his seat was disputed, and he magnanimously resigned what he knew he could not keep, yet he never relinquished the prefix of Honorable, to which the choice of his constituents entitled him. Shortly before the appearance of Mr. Charles Stuart Montague upon the scene, Mr. Windlespin had taken his daughters to Paris, where they received the benefit of foreign polish for six weeks, and then returned as highly accomplished as a modern boarding-school, a journey in a French diligence and a taste of French cookery could make them. They meant to marry, and to marry rich, and therefore each had chosen a part which, while it offered a wide field, was likely, as they supposed, to occasion no rivalry.

Mr. Windlespin was too wily to be long in doubt as to Mr. Montague’s circumstances. He managed to discover that he was a widower, sorrowing over the recent loss of a beloved wife, and that he had come to the north with the double motive of dissipating his grief, and purchasing a certain description of merchandise, which he designed to send to the city of Galveston, where a branch of his widely-extended commercial house was established. This news was of course communicated to the young ladies, and while Grace became doubly sentimental, Kate, the amiable romp, determined to wile him from his vain regrets by the charms of gayety. Leaving his daughters to pursue their matrimonial plans, Mr. Windlespin determined to make the most of his present opportunities, and, if possible, to gain some percentage on account of the interesting stranger. He accordingly sounded a friend, a careful old Scotchman, who dealt largely in the kind of goods required by Mr. Montague, and endeavored to secure a handsome commission from him, in case he brought him so profitable a customer. But the crafty old fellow was not to be caught with fair promises; he required proof of Mr. Montague’s ability to become a cash customer, and accepted an invitation to meet him at Mr. Windlespin’s apartments. But the scene which met his eyes when he entered the parlor at early twilight, was not calculated to give him a very exalted opinion of his anticipated dealer. The elegant Mr. Montague, attired in pantaloons of spotless white, with gaiters of the same snowy hue, extending within an inch of the toe of his shining boot—a blue silk fancy jacket, fastened to his waist by a sash of crimson net—an embroidered collar, turned back from his throat, and embroidered ruffles dangling over his delicate hands, seemed to the rough old borderer like the very personification of effeminacy and folly. But when he only half rose from his graceful attitude, and extended the tip of his finger to the visiter, while he directly turned from him to continue his flirtation with the sisters, Mr. MacDonald lost all patience with himself for having been foolish enough to expect any benefit from such a “popinjay.” But even Mr. MacDonald could not read the character of the “interesting stranger.” Early on the following morning, he had scarcely reached the counting-room, when he was surprised by a visit from Mr. Montague, and the old man could scarcely identify the hero of the past evening’s manœuvres in the keen and practised man of business who now addressed him.

“I never talk on business in the presence of ladies, sir,” said the elegant gentleman, “and this, I hope, will account for my silence on the subject last evening; if I am rightly informed, however, you are the very person to whom I was advised to apply by my friend Mr. Tickler, of New Orleans.”

“Ah, Mr. Tickler, cashier of the Sugarcane Bank, you mean; an old friend of mine,” answered Mr. MacDonald, “did he give you letters to me?”

“No, sir,” answered Mr. Montague; “when I left New Orleans, I was not certain whether I should visit Buffalo, or limit my journey to New York, and therefore I brought no letters to any one in this city. However, you probably know your friend’s hand-writing, and, if so, these papers will answer our purpose better than a mere empty introduction.” With these words he drew from his pocket-book sundry certificates of deposit in the Sugarcane Bank, which bore the signature of the cashier.

“That is his hand, sure enough, and a crabbed fist he writes too,” said Mr. MacDonald, after a close scrutiny of the proffered papers. While examining the signatures, the careful old man had not forgotten to glance at the amounts, and he thus learned that the sum of thirty thousand dollars was at that moment lying in the Sugarcane Bank to the credit of Mr. Charles Stuart Montague.

“I am desirous of purchasing some twenty or thirty thousand dollars worth of goods,” said the gentleman, carelessly, “and if I can get them sufficiently cheap here to pay the cost of transportation to New York, I would rather buy in Buffalo than hunt among the Pearl street jobbers in that Babel of a city. I mean to pay cash, and shall ship the goods immediately to Galveston.”

“What an immense business those southern merchants must do,” mentally exclaimed Mr. MacDonald; “he speaks of dollars as if they were pebbles.”

Mr. Montague continued: “If you are disposed to let me have the specified articles at fair prices, with a liberal discount for cash, I will immediately make arrangements to have them sent on. However,” he added, noticing the cautious Scotchman’s hesitation, “perhaps you had better take till to-morrow to think about it, and, in the mean time, I will look round the market, and may possibly be able to find better bargains than you can afford me.”

“Hang the fellow’s boldness,” thought Mr. MacDonald; “if he were a rogue he would not be so indifferent about the matter.” He determined, however, to consult Mr. Windlespin before he made his decision, and therefore fixed upon the following day to settle the affair. Mr. Windlespin took the opportunity offered by Mr. Montague’s daily visit to his daughters, and in the course of a private interview with the merchant, entered into a negotiation with him by which he, Mr. Windlespin, bound himself to take half the risk, on condition of receiving half the profits of the sales made to Mr. Montague. Mr. MacDonald preferred this method to the original proposition of a certain percentage, as it gave him the opportunity of gaining an advantage over both the parties. Accordingly Mr. Montague was waited upon by Mr. MacDonald, and a close and hair-splitting negotiation was carried on for some time, which resulted in the purchase of goods to the value of twenty thousand dollars, which were to be delivered to Mr. Montague’s agent in New York free of all expenses. In return, Mr. Montague handed to Mr. MacDonald certificates of deposit to the amount of twenty-five thousand dollars, which were easily negotiable in New York at three per cent. discount; and as some time would be required to complete the transaction, the stranger agreed to prolong his stay in Buffalo until the delivery of the goods in New York.

In the meanwhile, the elegant widower was managing equally well in his love affairs. He listened to Kate’s wild sallies with a languid smile, and patted her round cheek or clasped her luxuriant waist in a most brother-like or rather cousin-like fashion. To Grace he was all courtliness and gentleness; if he took her hand it was with an air of timid respect, which would have done honour to a “Paladin chivalresque,” and if he ventured to hang over her, as she sat in one of her sentimental attitudes, it was with a look of tender melancholy which melted her very heart. Each believed herself the favorite. Kate could draw him from his trance of grief, and Grace was allowed to sympathise with him. He talked to one of the gayeties of New Orleans—to the other, of the domestic happiness he had enjoyed there; and when, at length, he was induced to exercise his musical talents in their behalf, he played fandangos on the guitar for the lovely Kate, while he poured forth the mournful voice of the wailing flute for her sentimental sister. But, notwithstanding all her exquisite sensibility, Grace Windlespin beheld with secret satisfaction the returning cheerfulness of the bereaved widower. He talked less of departed joys, and seemed less despairing of future peace. The miniature of his lost wife was no longer pressed to his lips with all the fondness of passionate love whenever his feelings were overpowered by tender recollections, and, though he still wore it about his neck, it was suspended upon a hair chain, the gift of the gentle Grace, and presumed to be a tress from her own chestnut locks, though in reality derived from the store of a fashionable barber in the neighborhood. His watch-guard was braided by the hands of the lovely hoyden who had laughingly promised him her garter for the purpose; and, in short, each had reason to suppose herself the true magnet of attraction.

But matters were now drawing to a crisis. The goods were now sent on to New York, and Mr. Montague received tidings that they had been duly received by his agent. The certificates of deposit were negotiated by two of the Wall street brokers, and Mr. MacDonald, after paying himself, handed to the young southerner the balance. It became necessary, therefore, for Mr. Montague to repair to New York, in order to superintend the shipment of his merchandise, and he felt himself obliged to settle his “affaire du cœur” before his departure.

“How happy could I be with either,

   Were t’other dear charmer away,”

sung the “interesting stranger,” as he reflected upon his position between the rival beauties. But he managed with his usual adroitness. The gentle Grace contrived to secure an uninterrupted interview with him, and received a proffer of his heart and hand, both of which gifts she lovingly accepted, together with a delicate locket, containing some of her adorer’s raven hair, set in a circlet of aqua-marine gems—“emblems,” as he said, “of her transparent guilelessness of character.” A merry game of romps with Kate afforded him a chance of whispering a declaration in her ear also, and an elegant diamond ring, “only less brilliant than her own bright eyes”—to use his elegant phrase—was received by her as a pledge of betrothment to Mr. Charles Stuart Montague. Having arranged these little matters to his satisfaction, he departed, leaving his flute, his guitar, and his writing-case, in charge of the ladies until his return. Meanwhile the sisters—each imagining she had outwitted the other—kept their own secret, and patiently awaited the moment when the lover should return to claim his bride.

Scarcely a month had elapsed, however, when intelligence of a most startling nature was received. The certificates of deposit, which had been forwarded by the New York brokers to their agents in New Orleans, when presented to the bank for payment, were pronounced to be forgeries! An inquiry was immediately instituted respecting Mr. Charles Stuart Montague, and the result of the investigation was, that no such person was known to the cashier of the Sugarcane Bank, and that the signatures to the certificates, though admirably well executed, were only excellent imitations of the rugged characters in which Mr. Tickler usually traced his name. But the length of time which was required to ascertain that fact, had afforded the gentleman full time to complete his plans. The goods which he had purchased in Buffalo, had been sold at auction by his confederate, as soon as they reached New York. Mr. Montague arrived there in time to divide the spoils; and, instead of shipping the merchandise, they concluded to ship themselves for Texas; while Mr. Windlespin and Mr. MacDonald, who had endorsed the certificates, were left to reimburse the brokers, and to pocket their own loss.

The ladies were filled with amazement and grief, and, in the first overwhelming burst of anguish, revealed to each other the alarming fact that Mr. Montague was actually engaged to marry both! His writing-case was opened, and found to contain some rose-tinted note paper—a stick of pink sealing-wax, and an agate seal, with the impressive motto, “toujours fidèle.” But, upon further examination, a private drawer was discovered, containing the following letters:

Dear Jack,

“Why the deuce don’t you get on faster with your Buffalo scheme? It will cost as much as it is worth if you stay much longer. I believe you like the trade of gentleman, for whenever you take it up you let every thing else hang by the eyelids till you get into some scrape which drives you ahead. What do you expect to gain by courting those two girls when you can’t marry either of them if they were as rich as Jews? For my part I don’t see the use of playing the devil when there is nothing to be gained by it. By the way, I promised to send the enclosed letter as the only means of preventing Mistress Molly from advertising you, as she does not know where you are. I hope you will be duly grateful to

“Your friend,

“T. M.”

The enclosure was still more curious:

“U are a big Scamp and a Blackhearted villin. If u hav no Kumpashum fur me u mite Hav sum for ure own Flesh and blude—here I am a Washin and goin out to dase work to Feed ure seven starvin childer wile u are a travellin About jist like a jintleman—u ought to Bee ashamed so u ought and if u dont cum home and luke after us I will Advertis u in all The papers. Any Boddy would no u by ure discrepshun u most insinivatin man—oh wen I think Of ure butiful Long hare and ure Hansume face I culde forgiv u every thing only cum back and i will forgiv u and i will werk fur u agin jist Like i alwase did so as to Save ure Little wite Hands so no more at present from ure

“afecshunate Mary Mugson.”

About two years after the events just recorded, Miss Grace Windlespin (who had long since discovered that her aqua-marine locket, like her sister’s diamond, was as false as the lover’s heart) was led to the hymeneal altar, as the phrase is, by a very respectable tailor; while Miss Kate had tamed down her wild spirit so far as to marry a country school-master—an elderly widower, with several children. The truth was that Mr. Windlespin’s land speculations had ended in total ruin, and the ladies had no time to pick and choose among their admirers, when they daily feared the exposure of their actual circumstances. They were married with great parade, however, and immediately after the ceremony the happy couples set off on a bridal tour—the two husbands having no doubt that the father’s wedding gift would pay all such little extra expenses. Among the places of note which they visited was the famous Auburn prison. The time chosen was the hour when the inmates are usually led out to dinner, and the ladies stood quietly regarding the gangs of men, who, with folded arms and locked step, moved forward, as if with a single impulse, like some complicated machine. Suddenly Grace uttered a loud shriek, and threw herself tenderly on her husband’s bosom. One of the prisoners had dared to look at her as he passed, and, unobserved by his keeper, had even given her a knowing wink. Kate kept her own counsel about it, and did not appear to notice the insolent look of the handsome felon; but, notwithstanding his shaven head and prison garb, she, as well as Grace, had recognised the features of “the interesting stranger”—the elegant Mr. Charles Stuart Montague—alias—Jack Mugson, the swindler!

Brooklyn, L. I.


The sunlight has faded away from the sky,

Bright day has departed, the night draweth nigh;

Then come to the lattice, love, hither and see,

Where waits the gondola, swift-gliding and free.


The moon is uprising in glorious light,

Her beams on the waters are trembling and bright;

Then haste to thy lattice, love, hither and see,

Where waits the gondola, swift-gliding and free.


Not a cloud is above, nor a wave here below,

All is quiet and still, save the river’s soft flow;

Oh! come to thy lattice, love, hither and see,

Where waits the gondola, swift-gliding and free.


Then, away! then, away! let us pass the calm hours,

With the sweet words of love, and with Fancy’s fair flowers

Ere the rose-fingered morn shall appear and renew

The songs of the birds and the pearls of the dew.







Shakspeare should be read at least once a year. This is to the mind what an excursion in the country is to the body—a strengthening, health-producing process. Each perusal will not be a repetition of the preceding. On the contrary, no two perusals will ever be alike. Read him as a boy, you will be dazzled and delighted: read him year by year after, and you will, with each year, behold beauties, sealed to you before, from your own comparative narrowness of mind and want of experience. Each event of your life will render you fitter to study him. Each new acquaintance you form—each history you read—each science you study—each country you travel into—each step you advance in life—each friend you lose by treachery or death, will prepare you still further. Could you go on adding to your experience much more than has ever (except in Shakspeare’s own case) been added to that of mortal man, each new progress would still enlarge your capacity for appreciating him. All men comprehend him differently. The king reads him as he would listen to the princely counsels of a royal father. The beggar may find in him something applicable to himself, and something likely to make him happier and wiser, which he himself had before never thought of—or of which he had only formed a vague idea. The statesman—the general—the prince royal—the husband—the father—the wife—the lover—the unfortunate—the happy—may all come here, and carry away, from the boundless reservoir, something apparently intended for themselves. He seems to have described or alluded to every thing. He seems to have taken in the whole range of human nature.

Poor old general Montholon, who was with Napoleon at St. Helena—one of the most faithful of the friends who have adhered to the fallen family—is the companion of the Prince Louis Napoleon, in his late invasion of France. Nearly all were very young men. This white-headed old soldier appeared among them strangely. Had they succeeded, it was doubtless their hope to give respectability to their cause by his presence.

The same thing is proposed in Julius Cæsar, by the conspirators, respecting Cicero.

Cassius. But what of Cicero? shall we send him?

  I think he will stand very strong with us.

Casca. Let us not have him out.

Cinna. No, by no means.

Metellus. O, let us have him; for his silver hairs

  Will purchase us a good opinion,

  And buy men’s voices to commend our deeds:

  It shall be said his judgment ruled our hands;

  Our youths and wildness shall no whit appear,

  But all be buried in his gravity.”

I am not going to reprint the beauties of Shakspeare. Instances like the above—a case—an event—a feature of human nature—are so common that they need not be pointed out. Thousands of years hence, as the numberless crowd of unexpected events come on, it will be found that this poet has already described them.

These thoughts occurred to me the other evening after taking up casually a volume of Macbeth—perhaps one of the most tremendous portraitures of human nature that ever came from the pen of man. The play opened by chance to the scene where the remorse-haunted queen walks in her sleep. Surely no human writer ever set down, in the same number of words, a more terrific picture. It has upon me almost the effect ascribed to Medusa’s head. It nearly turns me to stone. We know that but few of the great Greek tragedies have descended to the modern reader, but neither in them, nor in any of the ancient or modern writers, is there a scene more highly conceived, more perfectly executed, or acting with more power upon the heart and the imagination. I have not read any comments or commentators, German or English, respecting it, and therefore very probably may omit some of its peculiarities. I think it the scene of Macbeth, the climax and moral of the tragedy, and perhaps the finest and most extraordinary piece of writing in the whole of the author’s works. No where in the range of literature is there to be seen such a frightful fragment of human nature. I can never read it without feeling the blood grow cold in my veins, and receiving a most painful heart-sick impression of the evils which hang over the mortal state, when not protected by moral and religious principle; and I can perfectly understand an anecdote related of Mrs. Siddons, who, on attempting to study the part alone in her room at night, became so frightened that she called her maid as a companion. Perhaps the Shaksperian theorist, who has discovered that the purpose of our poet’s works was to make an illustration of the truth of Christianity, by putting within every man’s, every boy’s reach the whole compass of experience to be derived from a hundred eventful lives, had an eye upon this scene among others. It certainly has to me a profound metaphysical and religious meaning, and is best explained by supposing it, like Othello, a gigantic enigma, of which Christianity is the solution. To represent human nature thus, without offering any remedial or softening consideration, was not characteristic of the sweet, gentle and sunshiny imagination of the poet. His whole works, taken together, do not leave any such shadow on the imagination. He is no misanthrope—no infidel. He points with his wand to human nature as she is, unguided, unsustained, unprotected by the Supreme Power. He draws the blood-stained yet heart-crushed queen, not to appal us with a danger to which we are subject, but to point out one which we can avoid.

The scene is very short, and I will give it, that the reader may the more readily understand me.

Act V. Scene I.

Enter a Doctor of Physic, and a Waiting Gentlewoman.

Doct. I have two nights watch’d with you, but can perceive no truth in your report. When was it she last walk’d?

Gent. Since his majesty went into the field, I have seen her rise from her bed, throw her night-gown upon her, unlock her closet, take forth paper, fold it, write upon it, read it, afterwards seal it, and again return to bed; yet all this while in a most fast sleep.

Doct. A great perturbation in nature! to receive at once the benefit of sleep, and do the effects of watching. In this slumbry agitation, besides her walking, and other actual performances, what, at any time, have you heard her say?

Gent. That, sir, which I will not report after her.

Doct. You may, to me; and ’tis most meet you should.

Gent. Neither to you, nor any one; having no witness to confirm my speech.

Enter Lady Macbeth, with a Taper.

Lo you, here she comes! This is her very guise; and, upon my life, fast asleep. Observe her; stand close.

Doct. How came she by that light?

Gent. Why, it stood by her; she has light by her continually; ’tis her command.

Doct. You see, her eyes are open.

Gent. Ay, but their sense is shut.

Doct. What is it she does now? Look, how she rubs her hands.

Gent. It is an accustom’d action with her, to seem thus washing her hands; I have known her continue in this a quarter of an hour.

Lady. Yet here’s a spot.

Doct. Hark, she speaks: I will set down what comes from her, to satisfy my remembrance the more strongly.

Lady. Out, damned spot! out, I say!—One; two; why, then ’tis time to do ’t; Hell is murky!—Fie, my lord, fie! a soldier, and afraid? what need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account?—Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?

Doct. Do you mark that?

Lady. The thane of Fife had a wife; where is she now? What, will these hands ne’er be clean?—No more o’ that, my lord, no more o’ that: you mar all with this starting.

Doct. Go to, go to; you have known what you should not.

Gent. She has spoke, what she should not, I am sure of that: heaven knows what she has known.

Lady. Here’s the smell of the blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh! oh! oh!

Doct. What a sight is there? The heart is sorely charg’d!

Gent. I would not have such a heart in my bosom, for the dignity of the whole body.

Doct. Well, well, well,—

Gent. Pray God, it be, sir.

Doct. This disease is beyond my practice: Yet I have known those which have walked in their sleep, who have died holily in their beds.

Lady. Wash your hands, put on your night-gown; look not so pale.—I tell you yet again, Banquo’s buried; he cannot come out of his grave.

Doct. Even so?

Lady. To bed, to bed; there’s knocking at the gate.—Come, come, come, come, give me your hand; what’s done cannot be undone: To bed, to bed, to bed. (Exit Lady.

Doct. Will she go now to bed?

Gent. Directly.

   Doct. Foul whisperings are abroad: unnatural deeds

Do breed unnatural troubles: infected minds

To their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets.

More needs she the divine, than the physician.—

God, God, forgive us all! Look after her;

Remove from her the means of all annoyance,

And still keep eyes upon her:—So, good-night:

My mind she has mated, and amaz’d my sight:

I think, but dare not speak.


   Gent. Good-night, good doctor.     (Exeunt.

There is not a single word of this scene which can be spared—not one which is not impregnated with blood and horror. You feel the very silence of the sick, midnight apartment. Ye see the pale ashy countenance of the terror-stricken gentlewoman, and sympathize with her in having her lot cast in such an abode of guilt and danger. You see that she has called up all her energy and presence of mind, as in a great crisis, to enable her to conduct herself wisely, and to escape with safety from this den of royal murderers. You can see her cautious step—as if she started even at the creaking of her own shoe—the rustling of her own robe, or the sighing of the wind around the distant turrets of the castle. You have here a most admirable character, and, except that she is but so short a time on the stage, almost as worthy the genius of Mrs. Siddons as that of Lady Macbeth herself. Were I a young actress, desirous of making my appearance before the public, I should choose to study thoroughly and represent well this character first,—a very great effect might be given to it.

The doctor is also done to the life. He is, in all respects, not only the medical man, but the medical man of coolness and experience. The few words he utters are full of curiosity, but not of the unbridled horror of his companion. He has doubtless, before, witnessed scenes enough of pain and anguish, and he is at first disposed to consider the gentlewoman as an exaggerator of the mysteries she professes to have beheld, and to treat the whole thing physically as a disease, till the truth becomes too apparent, and even his cool mind is convinced.

Lady Macbeth herself is the very ne plus ultra of the tragic. She has more terror in her step and eye, than a mere mortal ever had before. Waking remorse would not have been, by any means, so appalling. The fact of her being asleep is a great accessory. That pale face—those fixed, staring, dead eyes—the countenance emaciated by disease, and the long consuming fire of conscience—the step, solemn, slow, measured and unearthly—and the dark, dim and shifting imagery of the past, which floats to and fro through her imagination, form altogether a spectacle shocking and almost insupportable.

Let us take this extraordinary scene to pieces, and examine a little into its mechanism. One of the wonders of it is that there is no resort to style—no description—no bursts of eloquence—no lava-like eruption of passions. There are indeed but very few words said at all. The sick lady has, at first, no terrors for the doctor, and the gentlewoman has often beheld the same thing before. There is no stage effect—no management—no melo-dramatic cunning. The doctor even shows his coolness and incredulity, and makes a careless general remark. The transcendant genius of the poet felt, intuitively, that the situation of his characters here was so complete as to absorb the reader, and render unnecessary any but the simplest language. The whole scene is quiet, hushed and professional. Even the blank verse of the rest of the tragedy is laid aside, and the characters speak in common-place perfectly natural prose. Let us see what this almost supernatural terror consists in.

The doctor first says, we may suppose with a certain half unintentional degree of disappointment, that he has been already watching two nights to see something which the waiting-woman has reported to him respecting the queen, and yet he has seen nothing.

“I have two nights watched with you, but can perceive no truth in your report.”

A little impatient, a little incredulous, perhaps, he adds:

“When was it she last walked?”

This is a stroke of nature and probability at the very outset. It takes from the scene the air of a fiction. It sends the mind of the spectator back to the two past long nights, when the doctor, tolerably tired out, has been watching in vain. This is just as things happen in life. We have to watch and watch for every thing—even for the most true—before it appears. We feel also, even with the first apparently unimportant word spoken, a certain tremor at the intimation given of the domestic gloom which must reign in the royal household—an attack immediately expected from a powerful and inexorable foe—the queen sick—mysterious things, we know not what, hinted with pale face and trembling lips—and the guilty being, who had sold her eternal soul for her present position,—we see her in that position, all the promised triumphs and pleasures neutralized by disease and remorse, and she herself watched by her servants, night after night, when she little dreams herself the subject of such a combined inquisition.

The gentlewoman relates more particularly what she has seen, though with a guarded care, which not every gentlewoman in real life, under such exciting circumstances, would have the prudence to observe; but Shakspeare’s people are not only living but very sensible persons. To the question:

“When was it she last walked?”

she replies:

“Since his majesty went into the field.”

Here at once is another stroke. It tells the occupation of the king; called to a fearful contest and absorbed in it, the deadly secret is transpiring unopposed, undreamed of by him, behind his back, in the centre of his household, and from the lips of the very being who has so often taunted his weakness, and urged him with haughty scorn onward in his guilty and blood-tracked career. So little power has man over destiny! Thus is guilt beset. These are the nameless, unimaginable dangers it runs, when, bold and self-confident, it thinks itself equal to a contest with the Deity, who, seated in the clouds, strikes it with its own arm, and baffles its plans with the toils it has woven for others.

“Since his majesty went into the field, I have seen her rise from her bed, throw her night-gown upon her, unlock her closet, take forth paper, fold it, write upon it, read it, afterwards seal it, and again return to bed; yet all this while in a most fast sleep.”

There is nothing more appalling to me than a person walking in his sleep. It is such an image of death aroused from the grave—such a type of the spiritual world—such a contrast to the same being when awake, that I could never look upon my most intimate friend in such a state without a thrill of fear, as if I were gazing upon his spectre—without perfectly comprehending Hamlet’s account of his own feelings in looking upon a ghost.

——“and we fools of nature

So horribly to shake our disposition

With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls.”

This statement of the waiting-woman, so simple, natural and true, is enough to arouse in a moment the curiosity of the most indifferent stranger, and to inspire him with an inexpressible anxiety to know what it means, and to what it will lead.

The doctor, however, is a man of the world, and is not so easily worked on. He replies with a mere generality:

“A great perturbation in nature! to receive at once the benefit of sleep and do the effects of watching. In this slumbry agitation, besides her walking, and other actual performances, what at any time have you heard her say?”

Here there is a peeping out of curiosity on the part of the honest physician, who is eager to learn all that may be acquired of what has the appearance of an interesting secret. But his companion does not mean to go further than prudence and self-security require. She replies at once in a way which, while it balks curiosity, sharpens its appetite.

“That, sir, which I will not report after her.”

What would any doctor say in such a case?

“You may to me; and ’tis most meet you should.”

He is aroused. He wishes—he is determined to know this mystery, and therefore pleads the privilege and necessity, as well as the prudence of his profession. “You may tell any thing to me. Of course I shall never reveal. I am the depositary of a thousand family secrets. Besides, if I am to treat the patient, I must know what is the matter with her.”

But the waiting-woman is not going to be driven from her determination. She has obviously received a deep-seated fright. Her whole self-possession is called up for her defence and guidance. She is a single woman, in a lonely castle, and in a really awful position, accidentally the holder of a secret involving the reputation, if not the life and death of those in power, and the fate perhaps of nations. Were she to hint her suspicion that her royal mistress was a murderess—that the fierce king, now desperate with the danger impending over his kingdom, had gained the throne by a foul assassination—how can she be sure that the doctor will not go to the king and betray her, to ingratiate himself into the favor of his royal master? Courts are not the places for too light confidences—particularly of such secrets. In such case the truth or falsehood of the statement would be little inquired into, and she would be probably hurled from the battlements or immured to starve in some dark dungeon. She is—you feel she is, quite in earnest, and quite right to reply:

“Neither to you nor any one; having no witness to confirm my speech.”





Well might weep the sentimental Persian,

  Looking o’er his host of armed men,

When on Greece he made his wild incursion,

  Whence so few might e’er return again.


Well might he weep o’er those countless millions,

  Dreaming of the future and the past,

As he gazed, amid the gold pavilions

  Round his throne, upon that crowd so vast.


Musing, with subdued and solemn feelings,

  On the awful thoughts that filled his soul—

One of those most terrible revealings

  That will sometimes o’er the spirit roll.


Thoughts, that of that multitude before him

  Panting high for fame—athirst to strive—

Ere old Time had sped a century o’er him,

  Not, perhaps, would one be left alive.


That those hearts, now bounding in the glory

  Of existence, would be hushed and cold;

Not their very names preserved in story,

  Nor upon fame’s chronicle enrolled.


All to earth, their proper home, departed;

  Light heart, strong hand, all gone to kindred clay;

And, in their vacant room, a new race started,

  Careless of the millions past away.


Well might weep he—well might we, in weeping,

  Make our offering at sorrow’s call—

When we ponder how our days are creeping,

  Like the shadow on the wall.


When we think how soon the sun-beam, setting,

  Will depart, and leave it all in shade—

And our very friends will be forgetting

  That the daylight o’er it ever played.


Life, upon a swallow’s wing is flying,

  O’er the earth it sparkles and is gone;

All our days are but a lengthened dying—

  One dark hour before the eternal dawn.


Riches, glory, honor, fame, ambition—

  All as swiftly fly, as soon are fled;

Or, if gathered, mend they our condition?

  What delight can these afford the dead?


Chase no more the phantom of the dreaming—

  Weary is the hunt, the capture vain;

When thy arms embrace the golden seeming,

  It will vanish from thy grasp again.


Trouble not thy heart with anxious carings—

  Thou art but a shadow—so are they;

Let the things of Heaven deserve thy darings,

  They alone will never pass away.





With thee, at dewy morn where e’er I wander,

  Are my fond thoughts—still close to thee they cling;

O’er each departed hour they love to ponder,

  That, pass’d with thee, seem’d like the hours of spring.


Yes—every vanish’d joy is like a treasure

  Glean’d from the mighty casket of the past,

Dearer than low-breathed music’s echoed measure,

  When its soft spell around our souls is cast.


With thee at noon, when summer winds are stealing

  Thro’ the green leaves in harp-tones rich and sweet,

On the bright sward in lowly homage kneeling,

  With thee my prayers—my prayers of fondness meet.


What tho’ mine eye thro’ dreary distance faileth

  In its deep search to hail thy welcome form?

What tho’ my cheek thro’ long, long watching fadeth,

  And my sad heart leaps not so freshly warm?


Still unto thee no eyes beam brighter lustre,

  No vermeil cheeks thy early love’s outshine;

Around no heart do richer feelings cluster,

  Than swell in that which is so wholly thine.


Why do I mourn that mountain billows sever?

  Vain may they strive our spirits to divide,

For am I not, mine own one, with thee ever?

  E’en as thou art forever at my side.






On the eastern bank of a small river, which enters the Potomac a few miles above its confluence with the waters of the Chesapeake Bay, are still to be seen vestiges of the earliest settlement in Maryland; once the village of Youcómaco, but quietly yielded by the natives to the white colonists, who there built a town, calling it St. Mary’s. Subsequent events led to its desertion for a more advantageous location, and the ravages of time have left little to tell of its former state. It has faded away, unnoticed and unsung, yet its name is still seen on the older maps of our country. The river, which once bore the appellation of St. George’s, is now called St. Mary’s, but whether in memory of the deserted town, or not, is uncertain.

Ruins are happily so scarce in our young and thriving republic, that the simple legend which gives a name to my story, may awaken some interest among those, to whose imaginations the solitary remains of the past seem to speak in the breathings of the winds that sweep over their ruins. The circumstances which led to its narration, by one who had heard it in the mother country, and in whose family its memory had been handed down, were as follows:—

Many years ago, as the last lingering sunbeams were fading from the sky, giving place to the mellow twilight; and a ruddy tinge was on the bosom of the waters, where the little river of St. Mary’s mingled its tributary stream with the waves of the broad Potomac; a small vessel had just anchored within the mouth of the former river, on which is established a port of entry. The craft seemed awaiting the boarding officer, who, at a point further up the river, was just entering his boat. He appeared very young, and, from the open gaiety of his fine countenance, seemed to enjoy corresponding lightness of heart. He raised a small telescope to his eye, and exclaimed to the two colored men who were loosening the boat—

“It must be a Yankee schooner; be quick Basil! Luke!”

“Aye, aye, Massa Frank,” replied Luke, “all ready—that’s an eastern craft, sure.”

The light barge was soon on the waves, and the youth took the helm, while the strong arm of his companions were engaged with the oars.

The visitors approached the vessel’s side almost unperceived; and when the young officer ascended to its deck, he found the captain anxiously absorbed in examining an old map, which was spread out before him. The expression of his weather-beaten face, as he raised it to return the salutation of his visitor, showed evident signs of being puzzled.

“Where are you from?” inquired the landsman.

“From Plymouth.”

“What cargo?”

“Why, a good many notions, of which you will know presently.”

“And whither bound?”

“Why that’s what I’m looking for on this old map, for I see nothing like it on shore; aye, here it is, St. Mary’s, the town of St. Mary’s, sir.”[2]

“There is no such town in the state, sir,” replied the youth, “this river and the county bear that name; there is some mistake.”

“Massa captain clear out for de county,” said Basil, grinning.

“De boss lose his reckoning dis time,” rejoined Luke.

“Be more respectful, and return to the boat,” said the young officer, checking their glee; then turning to the captain, he continued, “This map is an old one; there was formerly a town named St. Mary on this river—it was the first settlement in the state, and built in the time of the Calverts, but it has passed away and been forgotten for a century.”

The disappointed face of the mariner was not the only one agitated by the news. The sailors belonging to the vessel had joined the group, and their rough appearance was strongly contrasted with the tall and elegant figure of a passenger, who had been drawn by the conversation from the cabin, and now stood leaning against the companion way.

The young Marylander, who had not before perceived the stranger, thought, as he returned his salutation, that he had seldom looked on a countenance so interesting. It was youthful, but there was a shade of melancholy on the fine features, which, however, served only to confine, not hide the flashes of an enthusiastic spirit, which glanced from his full dark eye.

“We are out of soundings, Mr. Egerton,” said the captain, “I might as well have cleared out for a port in the moon.”

“The fault was mine, sir,” replied the person called Egerton, “and I regret having thus led you astray;” then, turning to the young American, he continued, “The disappointment is also great to me, sir, for the haven we sought was the home of my forefathers. I am a stranger in this country, having lately arrived from England. On landing at Plymouth I found this schooner loading for a southern port—and, wishing to visit Maryland immediately, I induced this worthy but too obliging man to bring the cargo hither. The silence of history has left the annals of Maryland so much in the shadow, that a foreigner feels doubtful whether a literal construction should be put on the desertion of a town, particularly when your port of entry also bears the name of St. Mary’s.”

“Well,” interrupted the captain, smiling, “don’t feel uneasy about me, for the cargo is of that accommodating nature which will suit another town as well.”

The customary business was soon despatched, and the officer was leaving the vessel, but his eye lingered on the interesting stranger. There was something in his appearance that won his heart, and, after a moment’s hesitation he thus spoke.

“This seems to have been your place of destination, Mr. Egerton. Will you excuse the blunt freedom of an American, if I ask you to accompany me to the shore? My uncle’s dwelling is in sight. I act as his deputy in official business, but with much more pleasure I use another privilege, and tender you the hospitalities of his roof. Although the town, the principal object of your visit, is no more, yet if you can content yourself a few days with us, you can explore the ruins. Oakford is the name of my uncle. I bear the same, with the simple addition of Frank.”

The stranger caught his offered hand.

“I feel grateful for your kindness,—the ruins! did you say? It would indeed be a gratification to view them—I will, with pleasure, avail myself of your polite invitation; the ruins! are they extensive?”

“Oh, no,” replied young Oakford, smiling, “there are but few relics left by time and weather—some remains of walls and foundations—but the most interesting are the ruins of an ancient church—among whose dilapidated pews a respectable audience of weeds have accumulated.”

“Weeds, growing in the holy temple of my fathers! what a sublime yet sad subject for reflection! I must see them!”

The young American again smiled at his companion’s enthusiasm; and, as the shadows of evening were fast closing around them, he hurried his new friend in his preparations to leave the vessel. The good-natured captain declined an invitation to accompany them, as he had made arrangements to continue his voyage farther—and, cordially shaking the hand of his departing passenger, refused to receive any extra compensation for the trouble occasioned. The rough, but kind-hearted sailors also refused, but the generous feelings of the young man were not to be checked thus, and he forced into their unwilling hands the expression of his thanks, as he took a kind leave of them.

Darkness had veiled the landscape when the boat reached the shore, and the warm-hearted Marylander, drawing the arm of the young stranger within his, hurried him up the long avenue leading to the mansion, assuring him that his uncle would be as much gratified as himself by this acquisition to their society. “So, feel perfectly at ease, for we southerners use very little ceremony.”

The event proved it so, for Col. Oakford, a fine looking man, just past the meridian of life, received him with that easy politeness and frank cordiality of manner which relieved him from all embarrassment. He soon discovered that his guest possessed high literary attainments—and, enjoying those advantages himself, the conversation became interesting, and they parted at the hour of rest, mutually pleased with each other.

The next morning arose in clouds and rain. “No ruins to-day,” said the young Briton, as they met in the breakfast room. But, although the weather prevented any outward excursion, a well filled library offered a pleasing substitute.

Young hearts soon assimilate, and friendships in early life are quickly formed—hence, when the sun at last broke through the clouds, on the evening of the third day, the two youths felt on terms of intimacy and attachment. On the fourth morning, the lively Frank aroused his friend before sunrise, to view, what he imagined must be to him, a novel and imposing sight. They descended to the open piazza, and young Egerton looked around in vain to discover the woods, the hill, the river; all was enveloped in a thick fog, and had the appearance of a surrounding lake. At this moment the sun rose, and the vapor broke on the bosom of the stream.

“See,” said Frank, “the river is throwing off his night robes—observe how gracefully he rolls and folds them.”

Huge white sheets of vapor were indeed majestically receding down the current; others floated like snow wreaths on the hills of the opposite shore—the green sides of which, were at intervals visible through the breaking mist, and seemed struggling beneath its might. In gradual succession the forests and dwellings of men appeared, and in a few minutes this atmospheric envelope was lost in the increasing warmth of the sun’s beams.

“How singular and beautiful,” said the stranger. “Is it often thus?”

“Very frequently; at some seasons each morning renews the scene; but you are not very robust, and must be content to view it seldom, for this recreation is far from healthy. The poets of your native isle may sing of ‘walks at early dawn, through dewy meads,’ but such strolls would make a short life here.”

On entering the parlor they met the Colonel.

“What think you of the night bath which these lowlands take?” said he, smiling.

“That the morning effect is beautiful,” replied Egerton, “but the whole must be injurious to health.”

“You are right, it is ever so to strangers, but we, who are sons of the mist, fear no harm from our native atmosphere. Yet do not think this characteristic of our general climate. On the contrary, the northern states, with their rock-bound sea coasts, have a clear bracing atmosphere; the middle states, also, with their varied surface of mountain and valley, and most parts of the southern, are equally healthy. Our own upper counties, and the neighboring inlands, or forest places, as we term them, are not sickly. It is only where the land is low, and as bountifully supplied with bays, inlets and streams as here, that this effect takes place; but see, ‘aunt Nora’ waits with the breakfast.”

The aged colored housekeeper, called by this familiar appellation, had been the faithful nurse of the Colonel’s infancy, and, in return, was treated by him with great kindness. She was busied at a little table, in a corner of the room, from which she despatched, by the younger hands of her grandson, Luke, to a larger table in the centre of the apartment, the fine coffee, and more solid comforts of a Maryland breakfast, of which the young friends hastily partook, and then made arrangements for their visit to the ruins.

The boat was soon in readiness, and they set out, accompanied by Basil and Luke. As the light bark glided along the shore, Frank pointed out several places endeared by the recollections of his childhood. Through an opening in the trees peeped the unobtrusive walls dedicated to country learning, with its play ground, so often the scene of his boyish gambols, and its clear spring under the shade of a sycamore near the river, where a solitary cow was now stooping to drink.

“See, Frank,” cried his friend, “she is profaning your Helicon fount!”

“Nay, let her drink, Egerton,” he replied, “for, as she is not likely to draw more romantic inspiration than I did from its waters, the spring will lose none of its power from her draught.”

“But you have gained what is worth more, sentiments pure and disinterested, with a mind happy and free. ’Tis true, you seldom make reminiscences—but, if you were like me, an orphan, and a native of a clime where, at every step, you meet some relic of the past, you would feel differently. Your country has but a short path to retrace, and is too young to boast of olden days.”

“And yet,” replied Frank, archly smiling, “there were times to which we might refer, as equal to any that shed glory on ancient chivalry.”

“Granted, and the treasure they left you may well render you careless of other relics.”

“Many thanks for your liberality, my dear friend,” said Frank, “and now for the ruins.” As he spoke, the direction of the boat was changed, and they swiftly crossed the river. Egerton sprang first on land, and was soon deeply engaged in examination, but found Frank’s words too true. Time and weather had indeed been ruthless ravagers; besides, it appeared that many materials had been removed, perhaps to repair the cottages of the neighboring poor. But some remains of what seemed to have been the walls of a large store house, part of an embankment where once had stood a fort, pits filled with rubbish, which had been cellars, and crumbled walls, with here and there a fallen chimney, gave melancholy testimony to the change. Nor had the church met a better fate. The broken in roof still clung to the shattered wall on one side only, and hung like a dark banner, half suspended over the desolation below; the decayed floor had descended into the mournful cemetery beneath, leaving some of the baseless seats clinging to the side wall. Weeds, too, were there, whose flowers seemed to bloom in mockery. In the sad home of the buried dead all was confusion, broken tombs, and heaps of rubbish. The young Briton sat down on a fragment of the ruined wall, and Frank shared in the melancholy of his friend, as they viewed the desolate scene. Egerton at length broke silence. “You have, no doubt, wondered at the deep interest I feel with regard to these ruins. Many circumstances have led to it, particularly a little tale related to me by a maiden aunt, to which I listened with great delight in childhood; and when, in after years, I was deprived of my beloved parents, I would sometimes beguile my sorrows by a recurrence to its sad remembrance. Thus it became more interesting to me, and I soon felt a desire to visit the location of scenes so connected with my family, and with the fate of an Indian chief of the Youcómaco tribe, called Wiccónsat, the principal subject of the legend. If it will give you any pleasure, I will relate it while we rest on these sad ruins.”

“Really, my dear friend,” replied Frank, “I feel almost as sentimental as yourself.”

“Then I will take advantage of your serious mood and commence my simple tale.”

“Among the early settlers at St. Mary’s, were the parents of Rosalie Egerton. She was an only daughter and beautiful. An accomplished mother had taught her many things of which few other females of the colony could boast. She accompanied her harp with the songs of distant lands, and with her needle embroidered scenes from the old world. Yet she loved to wander amidst the wild grandeur of her native forests, accompanied only by her little brother, for the neighboring Indians were harmless and friendly.

“Wiccónsat was the son of an aged chief of the Youcómacoes. He was tall and elegantly formed, and straight as an arrow from his quiver. Mild and contemplative, he became a favorite among the settlers, from whom he learned not only to read and write, but many of their useful arts. But he had listened to the breathings of Rosalie’s harp, as he lingered near her dwelling, and had gazed after her fair form, as she wandered in the forest, until the Indian’s life had lost all charms for him. The smile of happy youth had fled, and when he sought his father’s wigwam, his eye was sad and restless. The old chief saw with sorrow the change.

“ ‘A spell hath come o’er thee, Wiccónsat,’ he kindly said; ‘my son is no longer the same. When in childhood I first saw thy little hands bend the bow, I fondly thought thou would’st rival the hunting fame of thy father, and, when age had weakened my strength, should danger threaten our tribe, thou would’st head the chiefs in combat. The locks of Orrouiska are now gray, and his hand feeble. The supplies of his wigwam are scanty, for his son lingers among the better habitations of strangers. But I know thy secret. Thy hopeless love is placed on the fairest of the white fawns, one as far above thy reach as was the rainbow of yesterday. For though the son of a once powerful chief, the poorest of the pale faces would reject thy alliance. Then arouse thee, Wiccónsat, and despise their pride. The Great Spirit made us all equal, and the brightest of our Indian maidens would be proud of thy love. If thou dost prefer the plough of the white man to the bow of the hunter, ’tis well, but turn the furrow in thy own fields.’

“The youth answered not, but with a deep sigh, taking his quiver full of arrows, went out to the chase. He wandered on through the forest, forgetful of his first intention, until he found himself near the river’s bank, and by the dwelling of Rosalie, and soon beheld the maiden, with her little brother, in a small boat, which they had contrived to move out a few yards into the deep water. As she arose to reach some blossoms from the overhanging trees, her balance was lost, and she fell into the stream. In a moment the young Indian had plunged in to her relief, and bore her in safety to the bank. The cries of her brother had alarmed the family, who hurried to the river, and Wiccónsat, yielding his lovely burthen to her parents’ arms, hastened to escape from their grateful acknowledgments, to enjoy in solitude the delightful feelings that crowded his heart. It seemed a new era in his existence, and fairy dreams floated in his imagination. With buoyant and unwearied footsteps he pursued the chase, and returned to his father’s cabin loaded with the choicest game, the reward of his toil.

“ ‘Come, dear Oskwena,’ said he to his young sister, who ran to welcome him, ‘prepare a feast for our father, while I dress these skins, to make a softer couch for his aged limbs.’

“ ‘Gladly, brother,’ she replied, ‘but hast thou brought me any beads or ornaments from the colony?’

“ ‘No, thou art too good and comely to need these trifles. Thy lover will prize thee more without them.’

“ ‘Thou art mistaken, brother, for Potawissa loves to see my dark hair braided with beads, and their bright strings encircling my neck. Thy talk will do for the white fawns, with their cheeks like the wild rose and foreheads like the mountain snow; but the darker hue of Indian maids wants other ornaments.’

“ ‘Thou hast well described the white fawns, sister,’ answered the young chief, ‘and shalt indeed have a gay necklace; but thou hast never heard the song of her who is brightest among them. Why the blest sounds on the air, which are said to call our fathers to the spirit-land on high, are not sweeter.’

“ ‘Hush, hush,’ cried Oskwena, ‘how canst thou talk thus? I would not hear her strain, for it hath sadly altered thee.’

“The bright visions of Wiccónsat were soon dispelled, for, with the next vessel from England, arrived a young relative of Rosalie’s family, who brought news of their having succeeded to an estate in their native country, to take possession of which they now made preparations to leave America. The charms of the maiden made an immediate impression on the heart of the young and accomplished Briton. His amiable qualities soon won her love, and, with the approval of her parents, it was arranged that their marriage should take place on their arrival in England.

“The sad intelligence soon reached Wiccónsat, to whom the grateful family had shown many marks of attachment, little suspecting the sorrows they were preparing for the youthful chief. They knew not the secret homage of his heart, for its trembling hopes had never been breathed to the beautiful object of his love. In the innocence of grateful friendship, she presented him with an embroidered belt worked by her own hands, and assured him that she would never forget her generous preserver.—But when the day of their departure had arrived, and sorrowful friends crowded the vessel’s deck to take their last farewell, Wiccónsat was not there. Rosalie and her parents shed tears of regret, as the sails were spreading to waft them from their happy American home, and as their eyes sought its peaceful roof, they discovered near it, on a point of the river’s shore, the solitary figure of the young chief. It was at this spot he had rescued the maiden from a watery grave. She eagerly waved her white handkerchief in token of farewell, and the next moment saw the belt she had given him, floating on the air in a returning adieu. In a few minutes the vessel parted from the shore.

“Many years after this, an interesting youth, accompanied by his tutor, arrived at St. Mary’s, from England. I know not in what state they found the town, but the youth’s first inquiries were for an Indian chief, called Wiccónsat, who had in early years saved the life of his mother. He was shown a lonely wigwam, on a point near the river. James Egerton, for it was my great grandfather, took an early opportunity of visiting it, but first inquired into the present character of its inmate. ‘He is mild and peaceful,’ said his informant, ‘and is sometimes called the Indian Hermit, for he seldom appears abroad except when hunting or fishing. He has lived thus for many years, is always melancholy, and dislikes the visits of the curious: ’Tis thought some misfortune in his youth has led him to prefer solitude.’—Thus informed, the young James proceeded to the river’s side. From description, he knew where had stood the home of his mother’s children, but sighed to perceive it in ruins, and leaning on a fragment of the broken wall, plucked a leaf from the vine that still clung to it, then, with lingering footsteps, sought the point. Seated on a rustic bench at the door of the cabin was a figure which he knew must be the chief, for he raised his tall, majestic form, and advanced to meet him, but paused suddenly, and gazed earnestly and inquiringly on his face.

“The youth felt abashed, but with some effort addressed him: ‘Excuse this intrusion, good chief; I am the son of her, whose life you once saved.’

“The recluse caught his offered hand.

“ ‘And art thou indeed her child? oh! yes, that eye, that smile had awoke my memory before you spoke. Welcome art thou to the desolate Wiccónsat.’ After some conversation, the youth drew from his bosom two small books, richly bound, and presented them as tokens of remembrance from his mother. The chief pressed them to his lips. ‘These will beguile many lonely hours, but, oh! hadst thou but brought me one lock of her hair. It was the colour of thine,’ he added, as he passed his hand over the rich brown curls of the son of Rosalie. ‘Alas! good chief,’ he replied, ‘sorrow, rather than time, has robbed those locks of their beauty. Death has bereaved my beloved mother of her parents and of several children. I alone survive.’ ‘And can sorrow reach one so good? Then why should I repine?—From this point, dear boy, I saw thy mother and her parents depart, and here I raised my lonely habitation. For years, I indulged the vain hope of their return, and whenever I saw a large vessel enter the river, I silently mingled with the crowd on the shore. But wearied hope has long since fled, memory alone remains.’

“ ‘And yet you may again behold my parents, for it is their intention to visit Maryland in a short time.’ Surprise and joy beamed in the countenance of the Indian, and from that hour he continued cheerful, but his greatest present enjoyment arose from the frequent visits of his young friend, to whom he daily became more attached. ’Tis true, the tutor of James disapproved of his spending so much time with one whom he considered an untutored savage, but the warm-hearted boy knew his Indian favorite to be possessed of pure and lofty principles, with noble and generous feelings.

“Wiccónsat now mingled once more with the white inhabitants, and pointed out to the inquiring youth whatever was interesting. The remains of the Indian village were still visible, and the few chiefs that visited the town still fondly called it Youcómico. But their tribe had removed to a greater distance, and there was now little communication between them and the colonists.

“Several months elapsed and the time drew near when the young Briton expected once more to embrace his parents. They had informed him, by letter, of their intention to embark on board the Huntress, which would sail in two weeks, and nearly a month had passed since the reception of this letter. It was probable then, that they were near the American coast.”

Here the narrator paused.

“Why do you not proceed?” asked Frank.

“Because I think it will be better to finish the story as we return. It grows late, and I wish to gather some little remembrance.”

From various parts of the ruins he now selected something to carry with him, and was loading Basil and Luke with similar trophies, who appeared to place little value on them, as they dropped some at every step. At length they returned to the boat, in which they deposited the cumbrous relics, and left the shore. But a new object excited the curiosity of Egerton, and, with a look of entreaty, he turned to his friend.

“You have been very patient and kind, dear Frank, and now we are in the boat, let us go a little further up the river! That point above must be the spot on which stood the wigwam of Wiccónsat.”

“You will find it a difficult matter to prove that,” returned Frank, “however, we will go.”

“It’s a good place for fishing,” said Basil, “and we have a line.”

The first object that struck their view on landing at the point, was a collection of half decayed boards.

“See here! conviction strong!” cried the delighted Egerton.

“Nonsense,” said Frank, “they are the remains of some old fishing hut or flat boat. Indian wigwams are not made of boards.”

“How incredulous you are,” returned his friend. “Surely the melancholy chief had been long enough among white men to adopt their materials.”

“Very well, shall we load the boat with them as relics?”

“You are jesting; but I should really like to rebuild it, if we had time. Where are Basil and Luke?”

“More profitably employed—fishing; but we will return in a day or two, and try whether a wigwam can be made of it.” The young Briton had seated himself on one of the boards, and seemed lost in contemplation, while Frank quietly withdrew to see the luck of the fishers—who, in the meantime, had not forgotten the two youths, but, in their simple phrase, were discussing the point at issue:

“Why, Old Nora could tell him plenty about the Ingens,” said Basil, “for her grandmother told her, and she saw a power of ’em in her time—but he only seems to care about one—and I can’t say I ever heard Nora go over such a strange name as that.”

“They were smart, them chiefs, in their time,” observed Luke, “for they say our folks learned to make the canoes from ’em, and I’d put ’em against any boat that swims.”

“But they won’t hold much of a crew, Luke, let alone passengers, and as there’s four of us, and a heavy load of Massa Egerton’s nelics, as he calls them; besides, it’s lucky we’ve got something bigger to float home in.”

Their angling had not been very successful in the short time they had engaged in it, and at Frank’s request, the boat was again put in readiness for their departure.

Once more on the water, Frank reminded his friend of the promised conclusion of his story.

“I thought you had forgotten it,” replied Egerton, smiling, “but I will with pleasure gratify you. I believe we left my ancestor expecting the early arrival of his parents at St. Mary’s, and I will now proceed to give you the other portion of the legend.

“One evening, after his usual visit to the wigwam, James was slowly returning to his lodgings. Lost in thought, he did not at first perceive that heavy clouds were gathering in the sky, but the sudden darkness made him quicken his pace.

“ ‘You are late this evening, Master James,’ said his tutor, as he met him at the door, ‘you waste a great deal of time with that wild Indian, and I am glad your parents are coming to take charge of you.’ ‘I am glad too,’ thought his pupil, but he did not say so, and soon after retired to rest.

“The sleep of innocent youth is ever sound, and a severe storm which arose had been raging some time before it broke his deep slumber.

“He started from his pillow, and his first thoughts were fears for his parents’ safety. The wind roared fearfully, and the rain beat in torrents against his chamber window. He looked out on the thick darkness that obscured every object, and his heart sunk within him at the dreary view. Overcome with the distress of his feelings, he leaned against the casement, and gave vent to the friendly tears that often relieve the sadness of boyhood. Suddenly a faint and distant flash of light broke through the gloom. It was gone, but a sound followed which, even amid the howling of the storm, could not be mistaken. It struck on the ear of the weeping boy, with startling certainty.

“ ‘It is, oh! yes, it is a signal gun of distress, oh! my mother! my father!’ and sinking on his knees, he breathed an agonized prayer for their safety, then starting to his feet, he hastily threw on his clothes, and hurried down stairs without knowing his object. The house stood near the river, and on opening the door he saw some person moving along the bank. He approached; it was the chief. ‘Is it you, Wiccónsat? oh! what a night!’ The Indian pressed his hand in gloomy silence, and stood in a listening attitude, with his face turned towards that part of the horizon from whence the flash had appeared. Another gleamed across the dismal night, and the sullen peal that followed, fell, like the bolt of death, on their hearts.

“ ‘It is a call for aid,’ exclaimed the chief, ‘and perhaps thy mother’s life is in danger.’ ‘And my father’s too,’ added the shuddering boy. ‘Alas! Wiccónsat, what can we do?’ ‘I follow that light,’ he answered, as the flash of another minute gun shone.

“ ‘Oh! take me then with you, good chief, leave me not here in suspense!’

“ ‘Alas! my boy, this stormy night ill suits thy tender frame. Wait thou till morning breaks, then thou canst follow with some of the townsmen. The light seems near the mouth of the Potomac.’

“ ‘Who speaks below,’ said the tutor’s voice from the window; ‘surely, Master James, you are not out on such a night?’ ‘Indeed I am,’ replied the youth, ‘there is a vessel in distress, it may be the Huntress, in which my parents are expected; surely I cannot sleep now.’

“ ‘Well, well, if that’s the case, it’s bad enough, but I think it’s not probable; however, I’ll be down directly.’ By this time several of the neighbours had joined them, and they determined to proceed in the supposed direction of the vessel. By the first dawn of light they found themselves on the shore of the Potomac river, near its entrance into the Chesapeake Bay. The rain had ceased, and daylight, as it broke from the clouded east, shewed to their anxious gaze, a dismasted vessel, which appeared in a wrecked and sinking state. Two boats, crowded with the crew and passengers, were seen contending with the raging waves, endeavouring to reach the land. Some water casks which had been washed on shore, were eagerly examined by the distressed James, to discover the name of the vessel. It met his eye, and with a cry of terror he threw himself into the arms of the Indian.

“ ‘It is the Huntress! oh! Wiccónsat! my parents will be lost!’

“ ‘Hast thou no confidence in the Great Being thy mother worships?’ he softly said, as he pressed him to his breast, but his eye was fairly fixed on one of the boats, in which he thought he could distinguish the garments of a female. The foaming waters seemed to threaten instant destruction to the frail barques, as they tost from wave to wave, sometimes half hid in the surf that broke over them. At this moment a mingled cry reached the shore, and but one boat was seen, the other was ’whelmed beneath the waters. Wiccónsat broke from the clinging arms of the youth, and plunged into the waves. For some time he was lost to their view, but his strong and sinewy arms forced a passage to the scene of distress, and in a short time he was seen returning, supporting, with one arm, the form of a female. The young James, who had been forcibly withheld from following, now rushed to meet him, and Rosalie (for it was she) opened her eyes to be clasped to the bosom of her son. She lived, she breathed, and the first word that trembled on her lips was the name of her husband. Scarcely had she spoken, ere the generous chief had again thrown himself into the waves. But his strength was exhausted by previous exertion, and when, with difficulty, he had nearly reached the overturned boat to which the husband of Rosalie, with others, now clung, a floating piece of the ship’s mast struck him on the temple. In the mean time, the other boat had safely landed its crew, and was despatched to the aid of the sufferers, who were all, with the exception of two, saved.

“Rosalie had been conveyed to the nearest house, and restoratives were applied, which soon brought her to a state of recollection. She recognized with joy, the form of her husband, as he knelt by the side of her couch, and pressed, with a mother’s fondness, the hand of her affectionate son. But her eyes wandered around the room as if in search of another object. ‘It was a dream then,’ she murmured, ‘it was not his, but thy dear arm that drew thy mother from the waves.’

“ ‘Alas! no, it was he, the generous and the good,’ replied her son.

“ ‘Wiccónsat! brave chief! but why those looks of anguish; is this, my son, a time for sorrow, when Heaven has been so kind? And my preserver, where lingers he?’

“ ‘Where his bright virtues will be best rewarded,’ replied her husband, solemnly.

“ ‘What mean you? Surely he is safe.’

“ ‘He perished in an attempt to save my life.’ She heard no more, for she had fainted in the arms of her son, and it was long ere she revived, to mingle with theirs her tears of unavailing regret.

“In the afternoon the body of the generous Indian was washed on shore. With every mark of respect it was conveyed to the town, and preparations made for its interment on the following day at the point, in a spot once pointed out, by the chief, to young Egerton. The grief of this affectionate boy burst without restraint, as he leaned over the body of his departed friend, and his tears flowed afresh, when he was shown a folded paper, which had been found in his bosom. It was wet through, and contained the faded belt, the treasured gift of Rosalie.

“Intelligence of the sad event was conveyed to the sister of the chief, and the next day, accompanied by her husband and sons, and several warriors of the Youcómaco tribe, Oskwena arrived, just as the funeral procession was moving to the grave. Time had altered this once beautiful daughter of the forest; there was a mildness in her look of grief, as she left the canoe, and led by her two sons, approached the open grave, where, seating herself by its side, she silently awaited the mournful train that bore her brother to his last home. She uttered a faint cry as her eye rested on the coffin, and her whole frame shook with agitation, when it was lowered from her sight.

“The chiefs arranged themselves in gloomy silence around the grave of him, who, in early youth, had been the boast of their tribe, and heard, rather than listened, to the funeral service. It was scarcely ended, when the hitherto restrained grief of Oskwena burst forth. She tore from her dishevelled locks the rude ornaments of her tribe, scattering them on the ground, but a necklace of beads she retained in her hand, and wept bitterly as she looked on it.

“ ‘It was thy gift, Wiccónsat,’ said the mourner, ‘thy face glowed with youth and hope on the happy day thou gavest it. Our aged father blessed his children, for he had not then passed to the spirit-land above. The beads are bright yet, but thou art faded and gone. I can gaze on them no more, they shall be hid with thee,’ and she dropped them into the grave. The spectators looked on her with pity and disturbed her not, as in a low voice she chaunted a wild funeral melody. When she ceased, several young maidens of St. Mary’s, arrayed in white, approached, and scattered flowers around the grave. The oldest son of Oskwena stood, with his father, among the chiefs. To him the beauty of the white maidens was new, for he had never before been allowed to visit the town.

“ ‘Who are they?’ he asked, eagerly leaning forward, but then the stern Potawissa drew him back, as he replied in a low voice, ‘It matters not, it is enough that they cannot be aught to thee. Look not on their fatal beauty, but let that lonely grave warn thee of danger. It was hopeless love for a pale face like theirs, that induced thy mother’s brother to forsake the tribe that idolized him; to lead a life of solitude, and at last to perish for her sake. And now he sleeps not with the bones of his fathers, and the talk of the white man is heard by his grave, instead of the bold death song of our chiefs. Nay, thou art gazing still; turn from them boy,’ and suddenly drawing him round, he held him firmly until the fair group had retired. A faint shriek from Oskwena drew his attention. He saw the attendants were filling up the grave, and hastened to remove her sinking form. In a few minutes the crowd had dispersed, the chiefs again entered their boats, and young Egerton, with his father, alone remained on the silent shore.

“The family remained but a short time in Maryland, for the health of Rosalie had sustained a shock from which it never recovered. She faded before the agonized view of her husband and son, and died shortly after their return to England. As one of their descendants, I have long wished to visit the scene of their sorrows, and in doing so, I have formed a friendship which, believe me, dear Frank, will always be cherished in my heart. The kind hospitality of your good uncle made me forget I was a stranger, and though we must part in a few days, time or distance will never erase the remembrance of my American friends.”

A fact.







There is a sweet expression in thy face,

  My gentle one! leading the thoughts away

  From earthliness, and this vile orb of clay,—

Bidding my spirit in its yearnings trace

Something immortal in the beauties there!

  I do not worship loveliness—but look

  On woman’s face, as on a speaking book,

Where God hath stamped his image clear and fair!

And thine is one so radiant of him,

  So calm and pure, one cannot fail to see

  Such purity of soul portrayed in thee,

That other faces by thy side grow dim,

  And, bowing down unto thy brighter worth,

  I deem thee one too fair and chaste for earth!



High thoughts are chiseled on that lofty brow!

  Proud consciousness of virtue in thy smile!

  Thy cheeks, the blush of, speaks thee free from guile;

Thine eyes have in their spiritual flow,

A dignity and grandeur, and a glow

  Which lift the gazer’s spirit up on high,

  As soars the eagle to the sun-lit sky!

Thou art a thing to worship! and I throw

My soaring spirit conquered at thy feet,—

  But not to beauty, tho’ ’tis unsurpassed,

  But to the wealth of intellect ’tis cast;

Deeming the earth beneath the proudest seat,

Where I would sit, and on perfection gaze,

Sunning my soul beneath thine eyes’ soft rays!







The moon shone serenely clear over hill and dale, her silver rays playing on the dull gray earth with sportive fancy, while not a zephyr seemed upon the wing, and all nature slumbered in the stillness of a warm summer evening, when, from one of the neat white cottages of the village of ——, issued two figures, completely enveloped in cloaks, notwithstanding the thermometer stood at nearly ninety. Not a word was spoken, but with stealthy steps they chased their shadows along the silent streets for a good half mile; although twice or thrice one of the figures paused and heaved convulsively, whether from lack of breath or agitation seemed doubtful. At length they stopped before a cottage, whose proximity to the church bespoke the parsonage; a light twinkled through the casement; the muffled fugitives rapt gently at the door; it was opened, and they entered.

The old moss-grown church clock had just proclaimed, in solemn tones, the hour of nine, on the next morning, when two ladies, whose looks bespoke them far upon the road of time—clad in black silk bonnets and mitts—came slowly down the streets, shaded by the spreading elms. These good gossips appeared deeply engaged in conversation, looking so intently into each other’s face, that sundry fowls, young pigs, and small dogs miraculously escaped a sudden and violent death.

“Can you believe it yet, Mrs. Potts?” cried the lesser of the two ladies; “such a reflection upon our quiet village—good gracious and powers! preserve us from such assurance.” Thus saying, she rolled up the balls of her eyes, and clasped her hands together with pious fervor.

“Not only that, my dear Miss Clapper, but such an example to the daughters of the place!” and Mrs. Potts sighed, as she thought of her six damsels, who still remained in single blessedness, notwithstanding the many little innocent manœuvres to which mammas will sometimes have recourse.

“Yes, indeed, it behoves you, Mrs. Potts, to keep a sharp look-out. Will you visit her—the good-for-naught?”

“W-e-ll, what do you think about it? If we cut her all the village will. What say you?”

“To be sure, to be sure, that’s true; her place in society depends upon us, my dear. She gives such pleasant parties, such excellent soft waffles, and then one meets sometimes such agreeable people from the city there, which gives the girls a chance, you know, (winking knowingly,) that it would be a pity to throw her off.”

“I agree with you, my dear Miss Clapper—and—after all, she’s honestly married, although she stole away, like a thief in the night.”

“Suppose we just stop and ask Katy a few questions. May be they wish to keep it a secret. Here we are by the house—shall we stop?”

“I have no objections, my dear; but you’ll get nothing out of that piece of sour-crout.”

“I’ll pump her; leave me alone for that.”

Accordingly the two loving, neighborly gossips rapt at the door of the white cottage from whence had stolen forth the fugitives the night previous.

The loud knock announced the aristocracy of the village; the door opened, and the sharp bluish features of Katy filled up the aperture. Her small gravy eyes blinked for a moment when she beheld the visitors; the next Katy stood the personification of gravity.

“Well, Katy,” cried Miss Clapper, in her most dulcet tones, “how do you do this fine morn? all well, I hope,” making an effort to open wider the door.

“Why, yes, Miss; a very fine morning, and we are all well, thanks be to goodness,” answered Katy, holding the door still closer, and protruding her nose still farther, so that the sudden slam of the door would have deprived that venerable spinster of that most conspicuous of all features, a red nose. “Sorry I can’t ask you both in—but nobody’s home.”

“Ah! so, then, it’s true, what we heard this morning,” said Mrs. Potts.

“Can’t say, indeed, Marm, as I don’t know what you might have heard.”

“Oh! only that your mistress ran off last night and was married, and went away this morning in the village hack,” almost screamed Miss Clapper.

“And so my mistress is married, and I know some that would like to be in her shoes, if they could but get the chance.”

“Well, well, Katy, no offence is meant,” cried Mrs. Potts; “when will the bride be home?”

“She bade me tell you, Marm, and Miss Clapper, (and she wants you to tell the village) that on Thursday evening the doors will be thrown open and the candles lighted, and you will see her and plenty of wedding cake and good wine.” Thus saying, she gently closed the door.

“So! it’s no secret after all,” cried Mrs. Potts; “Katy made no bones at confession.”

“No! the old she devil! how I hate that creature—she always Miss-es one so—never calls me any thing but Miss!—Miss!—She shan’t read it on my tomb-stone, if I can help it,” muttered Miss Clapper.

Faithfully did these village circulars perform their agreeable task. Before the sun sank to rest, every individual, from the lady of the member of the legislature to the shoe-black in the inn, had heard the news, and had formed dreams of the coming event. The bride and bride-cake—beaux and belles, had been reviewed in the mind’s eye o’er and o’er again.



When a young man, Mr. Hopkins arrived upon the spot where now stands the village of ——, with his bundle upon his stick, his sole fortune. He became what may be termed a squatter. It was then a dreary waste of girdled trees, and patches covered with black stumps. But his untiring perseverance and systematic industry were rewarded in time by beholding, from his cottage door, the fields of waving corn and the golden wheat, where once lurked the savage and prowled the ravenous beast.

In course of time, the place became settled; the present village sprang into existence; Mr. Hopkins “grew with its growth, and strengthened with its strength;” in short, Mr. Hopkins became a rich man, and consequently a man of consequence.

Mrs. Hopkins (poor good soul) died ere she could enjoy the wealth that her patient labors had assisted her husband in accumulating. She left one daughter, christened Dinah, and two sons. Upon the death of the “old man,” the sons moved to a strange land, (that is, about a hundred miles from their native vale.) Miss Dinah, or rather Diana, as she chose to be called, after the immortal Die Vernon, remained upon the “old place,” to uphold, as she properly said, the dignity of the Hopkinses.

Thus years wore away. Miss Die became the tyrant of fashion in her own village. She read Shakspeare, doated on Byron, and was subdued by Sir Walter Scott’s works. She languished and quoted poetry for nearly forty years. In youth, she scorned the rustic beaux that kneeled at her shrine; and, as years sped onward, none “bowed nor told their tale of love,” until, at length, Miss Die began seriously to think of a visit to her brothers, when the kind fates brought Mr. Micalf to the village, and there left him to the mercy of Cupid.

The major (as he was familiarly called) was rather short of stature, with an alderman’s corpulency,—famous for his good-nature, intolerable indolence, and devotion to whiskey-punch and the noxious weed. Being asthmatic, he seldom had recourse to any exertion—a long walk would cause him to puff and blow at least for a minute, ere he could catch breath to utter a word. Still Mr. Micalf found breath enough to become a successful wooer—and Miss Die persuaded her swain to elope with her by moonlight, as she could never survive the stare of the plebeians by the light of “gaudy day.”

It ever remained a doubt in the village, what was the exact age of the major. Many were of an opinion that sixty winters had frosted his brow. Others again asserted that he did not number, by a score, as many years as his bride. These latter, however, were the ladies.

Thursday arrived—and, after a weary watching from many a beaming eye, the sun at length disappeared behind the distant mountains, and twilight gently threw over the glowing sky its mantle of sombre gray. Lights flitted to and fro through the houses; an unusual bustle hummed through the quiet streets; the horses, disturbed after a day of labor, to be brought forth and harnessed to whatever vehicle their masters could boast of possessing, hung down their weary heads, with slow and measured steps patiently submitting to the yoke of bondage.

The sudden glare of lights, that streamed through the casements of the white cottage over the gravel walks, announced that preparations had ceased, and that visitors were momentarily expected.

There was the bride, her tall gaunt figure arrayed in white, flitting from room to room, not knowing where to station herself to make the best impression, and inwardly chafing at the perfume of tobacco that met her olfactory nerves, and the loss of her reticule, wherein were the keys of sundry closets and so forth, when the door opened and Mr., Mrs., and the four Misses Potts, with Miss Clapper, beheld the bride upon knees and hands, looking under an immense old-fashioned settee for her lost treasure.

Mrs. Micalf looked up, sprang to her feet, uttered a faint scream, and for a moment hid her face—then yielded her cheek to the salutations of the six ladies, and with much coyness permitted Mr. Potts to touch the tip of her ear.

“Well, I declare, I think you served us a pretty trick, Mrs. Micalf—a lady of your years to make a moonlight flitting—oh, fie!” cried Miss Clapper, in a querulous voice.

“Oh, spare me, dear friends; I feel the full force of the imprudence of the step. But be this my excuse, ‘I’ve scanned the actions of his daily life,’ and flatter myself I have secured happiness.”

“And Mr. Micalf to steal away so—he who hates walking so. Why, I thought it would almost have killed him to walk so far.”

“You are right, old lady,” cried the groom, who had entered unperceived, and slapping Miss Clapper upon the shoulder; “I can’t believe it yet; I haven’t drawn a long breath since—wheugh!—But Die would not be married any other way, though I told her we were making a couple of old fools of ourselves—wheugh—u—u—Never mind, Die, don’t be cast down at being called old—we all know you were young once! ha, ha! wheugh—u! Come, Potts, let’s go and drink good luck to midnight walks.”

“Mr. Micalf is so boisterous when he is in good spirits, and he does so love to plague me!” cried the bride, the quivering of her nostrils and upper lip expressing the workings of the inward passions.

Knock succeeded knock, and the influx of visitors, with the oft-repeated “wish you joy, wish you joy,” soon restored harmony to the spirits of the bride, who was in extacies at the crowd that had gathered around her. She quoted poetry, right and left; forgot, for the moment, that tobacco and punch existed; and some assert that even the major was forgotten! That was but scandal, however. Nevertheless, the major enjoyed seven pipes and five tumblers of punch, without once hearing the sound of Die’s voice; a luxury which, in the warmth of his feelings he solemnly whispered to Potts, had not been permitted him since his moonlight trip.

The hours sped onward—the merry laugh that rang so loud and clear from the midst of a group of young folks who were playing “hunt the slipper,” “my lady’s toilette,” &c. caused the heads of the matrons to turn from each other in high displeasure at the interruption of some tale of scandal!

The happiest moments, still the fleetest!—the hour arrived—the guests departed, and the mistress of the fairy scene began to wonder what had become of her lord. Looking through the empty rooms, peering in every corner by the aid of a feeble night-lamp, and almost suffocated with the vapor of candle-snuff, she was startled by the sonorous notes from her husband’s nasal organ. “I do believe the ass has gone to bed,” she mentally ejaculated. Rushing into her room, she beheld the head of the major, with his blue and white night-cap snugly resting upon her fine linen day pillow-cases. Jerking the pillows from under the offending head, she screamed:

“Major! why, Micalf, you are sleeping upon my beautiful cases with real thread-lace borders!”

“Bless me, what is the matter? Is the house on fire? O Lord, I smell smoke—fire!—fire!”

“Do be quiet now, and don’t make a fool of yourself; it’s only the pillow I wanted.”

“Oh, Die! is that you? You have frightened the very life out of me. Give me something to put under my head; my neck is almost broke.”

“There, my dear, is the night pillow. Now, never presume to go to bed again, until the cover is turned down and the day cases removed, and—bless me, how you have tossed the bed! Why, major, major, are you asleep already?”

“What is it, for heaven’s sake? Am I never to know what rest is again?”

“But, my dear—major, I say, shall I tuck you up snugly?”

“No! the devil! I don’t want to be reminded of my coffin every night by being tucked up,” and away went the clothes from the foot and side. “Oh, how I wish——” groaned the major, as Mrs. Micalf again patiently smoothed them down. The wish died upon his tongue, but it was embodied in his dreams:—Once more he was the quiet possessor of the snug little room, and no less snug little bed, at the “Full Moon,” the atmosphere dense with tobacco-smoke and the vapor of whiskey-punch regaling his nose—when the shrill, sharp voice of his help-meet, at dawn of day, dispelled the illusion, and, with the sun, he arose with the comfortable thought that he was not the only being that had sold peace and happiness for gold. And, ere the honey-moon had expired, Mr. and Mrs. Micalf began to perceive that they had made a great mistake in their moonlight flitting.






I never have been false to thee!

  The heart I gave thee still is thine;

Though thou hast been untrue to me,

  And I no more may call thee mine!

I’ve loved, as woman ever loves,

  With constant soul in good or ill:—

Thou’st proved, as man too often proves,

  A rover—but I love thee still!


Yet think not that my spirit stoops

  To bind thee captive in my train!—

Love’s not a flower, at sunset droops,

  But smiles when comes her god again!

Thy words, which fall unheeded now,

  Could once my heart-strings madly thrill!

Love’s golden chain and burning vow

  Are broken—but I love thee still!


Once what a heaven of bliss was ours,

  When love dispelled the clouds of care,

And time went by with birds and flowers,

  While song and incense filled the air!—

The past is mine—the present thine—

  Should thoughts of me thy future fill,

Think what a destiny is mine,

  To lose—but love thee, false one, still!



Signature of Edgar A. Poe

Under this head, some years ago, there appeared, in the Southern Literary Messenger, an article which attracted very general attention, not less from the nature of its subject than from the peculiar manner in which it was handled. The editor introduces his readers to a certain Mr. Joseph Miller, who, it is hinted, is not merely a descendant of the illustrious Joe, of Jest-Book notoriety, but that identical individual in proper person. Upon this point, however, an air of uncertainty is thrown by means of an equivoque, maintained throughout the paper, in respect to Mr. Miller’s middle name. This equivoque is put into the mouth of Mr. M. himself. He gives his name, in the first instance, as Joseph A. Miller; but, in the course of conversation, shifts it to Joseph B., then to Joseph C., and so on through the whole alphabet, until he concludes by desiring a copy of the Magazine to be sent to his address as Joseph Z. Miller, Esquire.

The object of his visit to the editor is to place in his hands the autographs of certain distinguished American literati. To these persons he had written rigmarole letters on various topics, and in all cases had been successful in eliciting a reply. The replies only (which it is scarcely necessary to say are all fictitious) are given in the Magazine, with a genuine autograph fac-simile appended, and are either burlesques of the supposed writer’s usual style, or rendered otherwise absurd by reference to the nonsensical questions imagined to have been propounded by Mr. Miller. The autographs thus given are twenty-six in all—corresponding to the twenty-six variations in the initial letter of the hoaxer’s middle name.

With the public this article took amazingly well, and many of our principal papers were at the expense of re-printing it with the wood-cut autographs. Even those whose names had been introduced, and whose style had been burlesqued, took the joke, generally speaking, in good part. Some of them were at a loss what to make of the matter. Dr. W. E. Channing, of Boston, was at some trouble, it is said, in calling to mind whether he had or had not actually written to some Mr. Joseph Miller the letter attributed to him in the article. This letter was nothing more than what follows:—

Boston, ——.

Dear Sir,

No such person as Philip Philpot has ever been in my employ as a coachman, or otherwise. The name is an odd one, and not likely to be forgotten. The man must have reference to some other Doctor Channing. It would be as well to question him closely.

Respectfully yours,


To Joseph X. Miller, Esq.

The precise and brief sententiousness of the divine is here, it will be seen, very truly adopted, or “hit off.”

In one instance only was the jeu-d’esprit taken in serious dudgeon. Colonel Stone and the Messenger had not been upon the best of terms. Some one of the Colonel’s little brochures had been severely treated by that journal, which declared that the work would have been far more properly published among the quack advertisements in a spare corner of the Commercial. The colonel had retaliated by wholesale vituperation of the Messenger. This being the state of affairs, it was not to be wondered at that the following epistle was not quietly received on the part of him to whom it was attributed:—

New York, ——.

Dear Sir,

I am exceedingly and excessively sorry that it is out of my power to comply with your rational and reasonable request. The subject you mention is one with which I am utterly unacquainted. Moreover it is one about which I know very little.



Joseph V. Miller, Esq.

These tautologies and anti-climaces were too much for the colonel, and we are ashamed to say that he committed himself by publishing in the Commercial an indignant denial of ever having indited such an epistle.

The principal feature of this autograph article, although perhaps the least interesting, was that of the editorial comment upon the supposed MSS., regarding them as indicative of character. In these comments the design was never more than semi-serious. At times, too, the writer was evidently led into error or injustice through the desire of being pungent—not unfrequently sacrificing truth for the sake of a bon-mot. In this manner qualities were often attributed to individuals, which were not so much indicated by their hand-writing, as suggested by the spleen of the commentator. But that a strong analogy does generally and naturally exist between every man’s chirography and character, will be denied by none but the unreflecting. It is not our purpose, however, to enter into the philosophy of this subject, either in this portion of the present paper, or in the abstract. What we may have to say will be introduced elsewhere, and in connection with particular MSS. The practical application of the theory will thus go hand in hand with the theory itself.

Our design is three-fold:—In the first place, seriously to illustrate our position that the mental features are indicated (with certain exceptions) by the hand-writing; secondly, to indulge in a little literary gossip; and, thirdly, to furnish our readers with a more accurate and at the same time a more general collection of the autographs of our literati than is to be found elsewhere. Of the first portion of this design we have already spoken. The second speaks for itself. Of the third it is only necessary to say that we are confident of its interest for all lovers of literature. Next to the person of a distinguished man-of-letters, we desire to see his portrait—next to his portrait, his autograph. In the latter, especially, there is something which seems to bring him before us in his true idiosyncrasy—in his character of scribe. The feeling which prompts to the collection of autographs is a natural and rational one. But complete, or even extensive collections, are beyond the reach of those who themselves do not dabble in the waters of literature. The writer of this article has had opportunities, in this way, enjoyed by few. The MSS. now lying before him are a motley mass indeed. Here are letters, or other compositions, from every individual in America who has the slightest pretension to literary celebrity. From these we propose to select the most eminent names—as to give all would be a work of supererogation. Unquestionably, among those whose claims we are forced to postpone, are several whose high merit might justly demand a different treatment; but the rule applicable in a case like this seems to be that of celebrity, rather than that of true worth. It will be understood that, in the necessity of selection which circumstances impose upon us, we confine ourselves to the most noted among the living literati of the country. The article above alluded to, embraced, as we have already stated, only twenty-six names, and was not occupied exclusively either with living persons, or, properly speaking, with literary ones. In fact the whole paper seemed to acknowledge no law beyond that of whim. Our present essay will be found to include one hundred autographs. We have thought it unnecessary to preserve any particular order in their arrangement.

Signature of Chas (Charles) Anthon

Professor Charles Anthon, of Columbia College, New York, is well known as the most erudite of our classical scholars; and, although still a young man, there are few, if any, even in Europe, who surpass him in his peculiar path of knowledge. In England his supremacy has been tacitly acknowledged by the immediate re-publication of his editions of Cæsar, Sallust, and Cicero, with other works, and their adoption as text-books at Oxford and Cambridge. His amplification of Lemprière did him high honor, but, of late, has been entirely superseded by a Classical Dictionary of his own—a work most remarkable for the extent and comprehensiveness of its details, as well as for its historical, chronological, mythological, and philological accuracy. It has at once completely overshadowed every thing of its kind. It follows, as a matter of course, that Mr. Anthon has many little enemies, among the inditers of merely big books. He has not been unassailed, yet has assuredly remained uninjured in the estimation of all those whose opinion he would be likely to value. We do not mean to say that he is altogether without faults, but a certain antique Johnsonism of style is perhaps one of his worst. He was mainly instrumental (with Professor Henry and Dr. Hawks) in setting on foot the New York Review, a journal of which he is the most efficient literary support, and whose most erudite papers have always been furnished by his pen.

The chirography of Professor Anthon is the most regularly beautiful of any in our collection. We see the most scrupulous precision, finish, and neatness about every portion of it—in the formation of individual letters, as well as in the tout-ensemble. The perfect symmetry of the MS. gives it, to a casual glance, the appearance of Italic print. The lines are quite straight, and at exactly equal distances, yet are written without black rules, or other artificial aid. There is not the slightest superfluity, in the way of flourish or otherwise, with the exception of the twirl in the C of the signature. Yet the whole is rather neat and graceful than forcible. Of four letters now lying before us, one is written on pink, one on a faint blue, one on green, and one on yellow paper—all of the finest quality. The seal is of green wax, with an impression of the head of Cæsar.

It is in the chirography of such men as Professor Anthon that we look with certainty for indication of character. The life of a scholar is mostly undisturbed by those adventitious events which distort the natural disposition of the man of the world, preventing his real nature from manifesting itself in his MS. The lawyer, who, pressed for time, is often forced to embody a world of heterogeneous memoranda, on scraps of paper, with the stumps of all varieties of pen, will soon find the fair characters of his boyhood degenerate into hieroglyphics which would puzzle Doctor Wallis or Champollion; and from chirography so disturbed it is nearly impossible to decide any thing. In a similar manner, men who pass through many striking vicissitudes of life, acquire in each change of circumstance a temporary inflection of the hand-writing; the whole resulting, after many years, in an unformed or variable MS., scarcely to be recognised by themselves from one day to the other. In the case of literary men generally, we may expect some decisive token of the mental influence upon the MS., and in the instance of the classical devotee we may look with especial certainty for such token. We see, accordingly, in Professor Anthon’s autography, each and all of the known idiosyncrasies of his taste and intellect. We recognise at once the scrupulous precision and finish of his scholarship and of his style—the love of elegance which prompts him to surround himself, in his private study, with gems of sculptural art, and beautifully bound volumes, all arranged with elaborate attention to form, and in the very pedantry of neatness. We perceive, too, the disdain of superfluous embellishment which distinguishes his compilations, and which gives to their exterior appearance so marked an air of Quakerism. We must not forget to observe that the “want of force” is a want as perceptible in the whole character of the man, as in that of the MS.

Signature of Washington Irving

The MS. of Mr. Irving has little about it indicative of his genius. Certainly, no one could suspect from it any nice finish in the writer’s compositions; nor is this nice finish to be found. The letters now before us vary remarkably in appearance; and those of late date are not nearly so well written as the more antique. Mr. Irving has travelled much, has seen many vicissitudes, and has been so thoroughly satiated with fame as to grow slovenly in the performance of his literary tasks. This slovenliness has affected his hand-writing. But even from his earlier MSS. there is little to be gleaned, except the ideas of simplicity and precision. It must be admitted, however, that this fact, in itself, is characteristic of the literary manner, which, however excellent, has no prominent or very remarkable features.

Signature of Park Benjamin

For the last six or seven years, few men have occupied a more desirable position among us than Mr. Benjamin. As the editor of the American Monthly Magazine, of the New Yorker, and more lately of the Signal, and New World, he has exerted an influence scarcely second to that of any editor in the country. This influence Mr. B. owes to no single cause, but to his combined ability, activity, causticity, fearlessness, and independence. We use the latter term, however, with some mental reservation. The editor of the World is independent so far as the word implies unshaken resolution to follow the bent of one’s own will, let the consequences be what they may. He is no respecter of persons, and his vituperation as often assails the powerful as the powerless—indeed the latter fall rarely under his censure. But we cannot call his independence, at all times, that of principle. We can never be sure that he will defend a cause merely because it is the cause of truth—or even because he regards it as such. He is too frequently biassed by personal feelings—feelings now of friendship, and again of vindictiveness. He is a warm friend, and a bitter, but not implacable enemy. His judgment in literary matters should not be questioned, but there is some difficulty in getting at his real opinion. As a prose writer, his style is lucid, terse, and pungent. He is often witty, often cuttingly sarcastic, but seldom humorous. He frequently injures the force of his fiercest attacks by an indulgence in merely vituperative epithets. As a poet, he is entitled to far higher consideration than that in which he is ordinarily held. He is skilful and passionate, as well as imaginative. His sonnets have not been surpassed. In short, it is as a poet that his better genius is evinced—it is in poetry that his noble spirit breaks forth, showing what the man is, and what, but for unhappy circumstances, he would invariably appear.

Mr. Benjamin’s MS. is not very dissimilar to Mr. Irving’s, and, like his, it has no doubt been greatly modified by the excitements of life, and by the necessity of writing much and hastily; so that we can predicate but little respecting it. It speaks of his exquisite sensibility and passion. These betray themselves in the nervous variation of the MS. as the subject is diversified. When the theme is an ordinary one, the writing is legible and has force; but when it verges upon any thing which may be supposed to excite, we see the characters falter as they proceed. In the MSS. of some of his best poems this peculiarity is very remarkable. The signature conveys the idea of his usual chirography.

Signature of John P. Kennedy

Mr. Kennedy is well known as the author of “Swallow Barn,” “Horse-Shoe Robinson,” and “Rob of the Bowl,” three works whose features are strongly and decidedly marked. These features are boldness and force of thought, (disdaining ordinary embellishment, and depending for its effect upon masses rather than upon details) with a predominant sense of the picturesque pervading and giving color to the whole. His “Swallow Barn,” in especial (and it is by the first effort of an author that we form the truest idea of his mental bias), is but a rich succession of picturesque still-life pieces. Mr. Kennedy is well to do in the world, and has always taken the world easily. We may therefore expect to find in his chirography, if ever in any, a full indication of the chief feature of his literary style—especially as this chief feature is so remarkably prominent. A glance at his signature will convince any one that the indication is to be found. A painter called upon to designate the main peculiarity of this MS. would speak at once of the picturesque. This character is given it by the absence of hair-strokes, and by the abrupt termination of every letter without tapering; also in great measure by varying the size and slope of the letters. Great uniformity is preserved in the whole air of the MS., with great variety in the constituent parts. Every character has the clearness, boldness and precision of a wood-cut. The long letters do not rise or fall in an undue degree above the others. Upon the whole, this is a hand which pleases us much, although its bizarrerie is rather too piquant for the general taste. Should its writer devote himself more exclusively to light letters, we predict his future eminence. The paper on which our epistles are written is very fine, clear, and white, with gilt edges. The seal is neat, and just sufficient wax has been used for the impression. All this betokens a love of the elegant without effeminacy.

Signature of G: Mellen

The hand-writing of Grenville Mellen is somewhat peculiar, and partakes largely of the character of his signature as seen above. The whole is highly indicative of the poet’s flighty, hyper-fanciful character, with his unsettled and often erroneous ideas of the beautiful. His straining after effect is well paralleled in the formation of the preposterous G in the signature, with the two dots by its side. Mr. Mellen has genius unquestionably, but there is something in his temperament which obscures it.[3]

Since this article was prepared for the press, we have been grieved to hear of the death of Mr. Mellen.

Signature of J K Paulding

No correct notion of Mr. Paulding’s literary peculiarities can be obtained from an inspection of his MS., which, no doubt, has been strongly modified by adventitious circumstances. His small as, ts, and cs are all alike, and the style of the characters generally is French, although the entire MS. has much the appearance of Greek text. The paper which he ordinarily uses is of a very fine glossy texture, and of a blue tint, with gilt edges. His signature is a good specimen of his general hand.

Signature of L. H. Sigourney

Mrs. Sigourney seems to take much pains with her MSS. Apparently she employs black lines. Every t is crossed, and every i dotted, with precision, while the punctuation is faultless. Yet the whole has nothing of effeminacy or formality. The individual characters are large, well and freely formed, and preserve a perfect uniformity throughout. Something in her hand-writing puts us in mind of Mr. Paulding’s. In both MSS. perfect regularity exists, and in both the style is formed or decided. Both are beautiful; yet Mrs. Sigourney’s is the most legible, and Mr. Paulding’s nearly the most illegible in the world. From that of Mrs. S. we might easily form a true estimate of her compositions. Freedom, dignity, precision, and grace, without originality, may be properly attributed to her. She has fine taste, without genius. Her paper is usually good—the seal small, of green and gold wax, and without impression.

Signature of Robert Walsh

Mr. Walsh’s MS. is peculiar, from its large, sprawling and irregular appearance—rather rotund than angular. It always seems to have been hurriedly written. The ts are crossed with a sweeping scratch of the pen, which gives to his epistles a somewhat droll appearance. A dictatorial air pervades the whole. His paper is of ordinary quality. His seal is commonly of brown wax mingled with gold, and bears a Latin motto, of which only the words trans and mortuus are legible.

Mr. Walsh cannot be denied talent; but his reputation, which has been bolstered into being by a clique, is not a thing to live. A blustering self-conceit betrays itself in his chirography, which upon the whole, is not very dissimilar to that of Mr. E. Everett, of whom we shall speak hereafter.

Signature of J H Ingraham

Mr. Ingraham, or Ingrahame, (for he writes his name sometimes with, and sometimes without the e,) is one of our most popular novelists, if not one of our best. He appeals always to the taste of the ultra-romanticists, (as a matter, we believe, rather of pecuniary policy than of choice) and thus is obnoxious to the charge of a certain cut-and-thrust, blue-fire, melodramaticism. Still, he is capable of better things. His chirography is very unequal; at times, sufficiently clear and flowing, at others, shockingly scratchy and uncouth. From it nothing whatever can be predicated, except an uneasy vacillation of temper and of purpose.

Signature of W C Bryant

Mr. Bryant’s MS. puts us entirely at fault. It is one of the most common-place clerk’s hands which we ever encountered, and has no character about it beyond that of the day-book and ledger. He writes, in short, what mercantile men and professional pen-men call a fair hand, but what artists would term an abominable one. Among its regular up and down strokes, waving lines and hair-lines, systematic taperings and flourishes, we look in vain for the force, polish, and decision of the poet. The picturesque, to be sure, is equally deficient in his chirography and in his poetical productions.

Signature of Fitz-Greene Halleck

Mr. Halleck’s hand is strikingly indicative of his genius. We see in it some force, more grace, and little of the picturesque. There is a great deal of freedom about it, and his MSS. seem to be written currente calamo, but without hurry. His flourishes, which are not many, look as if thoughtfully planned, and deliberately, yet firmly executed. His paper is very good, and of a blueish tint—his seal of red wax.

Signature of N. P. Willis.

Mr. Willis, when writing carefully, would write a hand nearly resembling that of Mr. Halleck; although no similarity is perceptible in the signatures. His usual chirography is dashing, free, and not ungraceful, but is sadly deficient in force and picturesqueness.

It has been the fate of this gentleman to be alternately condemned ad infinitum, and lauded ad nauseam—a fact which speaks much in his praise. We know of no American writer who has evinced greater versatility of talent; that is to say, of high talent, often amounting to genius; and we know of none who has more narrowly missed placing himself at the head of our letters.

The paper of Mr. Willis’ epistles is always fine, and glossy. At present, he employs a somewhat large seal, with a dove, or carrier-pigeon, at the top, the word “Glenmary” at bottom, and the initials “N. P. W.” in the middle.

Signature of Rufus Dawes

Mr. Dawes has been long known as a poet; but his claims are scarcely yet settled—his friends giving him rank with Bryant and Halleck, while his opponents treat his pretensions with contempt. The truth is, that the author of “Geraldine” and “Athenia of Damascus” has written occasional verses very well—so well, that some of his minor pieces may be considered equal to any of the minor pieces of either of the two gentlemen above-mentioned. His longer poems, however, will not bear examination. “Athenia of Damascus” is pompous nonsense, and “Geraldine” a most ridiculous imitation of Don Juan, in which the beauties of the original have been as sedulously avoided, as the blemishes have been blunderingly culled. In style, he is, perhaps, the most inflated, involved, and falsely-figurative, of any of our more noted poets. This defect, of course, is only fully appreciable in what are termed his “sustained efforts,” and thus his shorter pieces are often exceedingly good. His apparent erudition is mere verbiage, and, were it real, would be lamentably out of place where we see it. He seems to have been infected with a blind admiration of Coleridge—especially of his mysticism and cant.

Signature of Henry W. Longfellow

H. W. Longfellow, (Professor of Moral Philosophy at Harvard,) is entitled to the first place among the poets of America—certainly to the first place among those who have put themselves prominently forth as poets. His good qualities are all of the highest order, while his sins are chiefly those of affectation and imitation—an imitation sometimes verging upon downright theft.

His MS. is remarkably good, and is fairly exemplified in the signature. We see here plain indications of the force, vigor, and glowing richness of his literary style; the deliberate and steady finish of his compositions. The man who writes thus may not accomplish much, but what he does, will always be thoroughly done. The main beauty, or at least one great beauty of his poetry, is that of proportion; another, is a freedom from extraneous embellishment. He oftener runs into affectation through his endeavors at simplicity, than through any other cause. Now this rigid simplicity and proportion are easily perceptible in the MS., which, altogether, is a very excellent one.

Signature of J. Pierpont

The Rev. J. Pierpont, who, of late, has attracted so much of the public attention, is one of the most accomplished poets in America. His “Airs of Palestine” is distinguished by the sweetness and vigor of its versification, and by the grace of its sentiments. Some of his shorter pieces are exceedingly terse and forcible, and none of our readers can have forgotten his Lines on Napoleon. His rhythm is at least equal in strength and modulation to that of any poet in America. Here he resembles Milman and Croly.

His chirography, nevertheless, indicates nothing beyond the common-place. It is an ordinary clerk’s hand—one which is met with more frequently than any other. It is decidedly formed; and we have no doubt that he never writes otherwise than thus. The MS. of his school-days has probably been persisted in to the last. If so, the fact is in full consonance with the steady precision of his style. The flourish at the end of the signature is but a part of the writer’s general enthusiasm.

Signature of W. Gilmore Simms

Mr. Simms is the author of “Martin Faber,” “Atalantis,” “Guy Rivers,” “The Partisan,” “Mellichampe,” “The Yemassee,” “The Damsel of Darien,” “The Black Riders of the Congaree,” and one or two other productions, among which we must not forget to mention several fine poems. As a poet, indeed, we like him far better than as a novelist. His qualities in this latter respect resemble those of Mr. Kennedy, although he equals him in no particular, except in his appreciation of the graceful. In his sense of beauty he is Mr. K.’s superior, but falls behind him in force, and the other attributes of the author of Swallow Barn. These differences and resemblances are well shown in the MSS. That of Mr. S. has more slope, and more uniformity in detail, with less in the mass—while it has also less of the picturesque, although still much. The middle name is Gilmore; in the cut it looks like Gilmere.

Signature of O. A. Brownson

The Rev. Orestes A. Brownson is chiefly known to the literary world as the editor of the “Boston Quarterly Review,” a work to which he contributes, each quarter, at least two-thirds of the matter. He has published little in book form—his principal works being “Charles Elwood,” and “New Views.” Of these, the former production is, in many respects, one of the highest merit. In logical accuracy, in comprehensiveness of thought, and in the evident frankness and desire for truth in which it is composed, we know of few theological treatises which can be compared with it. Its conclusion, however, bears about it a species of hesitation and inconsequence, which betray the fact that the writer has not altogether succeeded in convincing himself of those important truths which he is so anxious to impress upon his readers. We must bear in mind, however, that this is the fault of Mr. Brownson’s subject, and not of Mr. Brownson. However well a man may reason on the great topics of God and immortality, he will be forced to admit tacitly in the end, that God and immortality are things to be felt, rather than demonstrated.

On subjects less indefinite, Mr. B. reasons with the calm and convincing force of a Combe. He is, in every respect, an extraordinary man, and with the more extensive resources which would have been afforded him by early education, could not have failed to bring about important results.

His MS. indicates, in the most striking manner, the unpretending simplicity, directness, and especially, the indefatigability of his mental character. His signature is more petite than his general chirography.

Signature of B. Tucker

Judge Beverly Tucker, of the College of William and Mary, Virginia, is the author of one of the best novels ever published in America—“George Balcombe”—although, for some reason, the book was never a popular favorite. It was, perhaps, somewhat too didactic for the general taste.

He has written a great deal, also, for the “Southern Literary Messenger” at different times; and, at one period, acted in part, if not altogether, as editor of that Magazine, which is indebted to him for some very racy articles, in the way of criticism especially. He is apt, however, to be led away by personal feelings, and is more given to vituperation for the mere sake of point or pungency, than is altogether consonant with his character as judge. Some five years ago there appeared in the “Messenger,” under the editorial head, an article on the subject of the “Pickwick Papers” and some other productions of Mr. Dickens. This article, which abounded in well-written but extravagant denunciation of everything composed by the author of “The Curiosity Shop,” and which prophesied his immediate downfall, we have reason to believe was from the pen of Judge Beverly Tucker. We take this opportunity of mentioning the subject, because the odium of the paper in question fell altogether upon our shoulders, and it is a burthen we are not disposed and never intended to bear. The review appeared in March, we think, and we had retired from the Messenger in the January preceding. About eighteen months previously, and when Mr. Dickens was scarcely known to the public at all, except as the author of some brief tales and essays, the writer of this article took occasion to predict, in the Messenger, and in the most emphatic manner, that high and just distinction which the author in question has attained. Judge Tucker’s MS. is diminutive, but neat and legible, and has much force and precision, with little of the picturesque. The care which he bestows upon his literary compositions makes itself manifest also in his chirography. The signature is more florid than general hand.

Signature of John Sanderson

Mr. Sanderson, Professor of the Greek and Latin languages in the High School of Philadelphia, is well known as the author of a series of letters, entitled “The American in Paris.” These are distinguished by ease and vivacity of style, with occasional profundity of observation, and, above all, by the frequency of their illustrative anecdotes, and figures. In all these particulars, Professor Sanderson is the precise counterpart of Judge Beverly Tucker, author of “George Balcombe.” The MSS. of the two gentlemen are nearly identical. Both are neat, clear and legible. Mr. Sanderson’s is somewhat the more crowded.

Signature of H. F. Gould.

About Miss Gould’s MS. there is great neatness, picturesqueness, and finish, without over-effeminacy. The literary style of one who writes thus will always be remarkable for sententiousness and epigrammatism; and these are the leading features of Miss Gould’s poetry.

Signature of C. S. Henry

Prof. Henry, of Bristol College, is chiefly known by his contributions to our Quarterlies, and as one of the originators of the New-York Review, in conjunction with Dr. Hawks and Professor Anthon. His chirography is now neat and picturesque, (much resembling that of Judge Tucker,) and now excessively scratchy, clerky, and slovenly—so that it is nearly impossible to say anything respecting it, except that it indicates a vacillating disposition, with unsettled ideas of the beautiful. None of his epistles, in regard to their chirography, end as well as they begin. This trait denotes fatigability. His signature, which is bold and decided, conveys not the faintest idea of the general MS.

Signature of Emma C. Embury

Mrs. Embury is chiefly known by her contributions to the Periodicals of the country. She is one of the most nervous of our female writers, and is not destitute of originality—that rarest of all qualities in a woman, and especially in an American woman.

Her MS. evinces a strong disposition to fly off at a tangent from the old formulæ of the Boarding Academies. Both in it, and in her literary style, it would be well that she should no longer hesitate to discard the absurdities of mere fashion.

Signature of Wm. Landor.

Mr. Landor acquired much reputation as the author of “Stanley,” a work which was warmly commended by the press throughout the country. He has also written many excellent papers for the Magazines. His chirography is usually petite, without hair-lines, close, and somewhat stiff. Many words are carefully erased. His epistles have always a rigorous formality about them. The whole is strongly indicative of his literary qualities. He is an elaborately careful, stiff, and pedantic writer, with much affectation and great talent. Should he devote himself ultimately to letters, he cannot fail of high success.

Signature of Eliza Leslie

Miss Leslie is celebrated for the homely naturalness of her stories and for the broad satire of her comic style. She has written much for the Magazines. Her chirography is distinguished for neatness and finish, without over-effeminacy. It is rotund, and somewhat diminutive; the letters being separate, and the words always finished with an inward twirl. She is never particular about the quality of her paper or the other externals of epistolary correspondence. From her MSS. in general, we might suppose her solicitous rather about the effect of her compositions as a whole, than about the polishing of the constituent parts. There is much of the picturesque both in her chirography and in her literary style.

Signature of Joseph C. Neal

Mr. Neal has acquired a very extensive reputation through his “Charcoal Sketches,” a series of papers originally written for the “Saturday News,” of this city, and afterwards published in book form, with illustrations by Johnston. The whole design of the “Charcoal Sketches” may be stated as the depicting of the wharf and street loafer; but this design has been executed altogether in caricature. The extreme of burlesque runs throughout the work, which is, also, chargeable with a tedious repetition of slang and incident. The loafer always declaims the same nonsense, in the same style, gets drunk in the same way, and is taken to the watch-house after the same fashion. Reading one chapter of the book, we read all. Any single description would have been an original idea well executed, but the dose is repeated ad nauseam, and betrays a woful poverty of invention. The manner in which Mr. Neal’s book was belauded by his personal friends of the Philadelphia press, speaks little for their independence, or less for their taste. To dub the author of these “Charcoal Sketches” (which are really very excellent police-reports) with the title of “the American Boz,” is either outrageous nonsense, or malevolent irony.

In other respects, Mr. N. has evinced talents which cannot be questioned. He has conducted the “Pennsylvanian” with credit, and, as a political writer, he stands deservedly high. His MS. is simple and legible, with much space between the words. It has force, but little grace. Altogether, his chirography is good; but as he belongs to the editorial corps, it would not be just to suppose that any deductions, in respect to character, could be gleaned from it. His signature conveys the general MS. with accuracy.

Signature of Seba Smith

Mr. Seba Smith has become somewhat widely celebrated as the author, in part, of the “Letters of Major Jack Downing.” These were very clever productions; coarse, but full of fun, wit, sarcasm and sense. Their manner rendered them exceedingly popular, until their success tempted into the field a host of brainless imitators. Mr. S. is also the author of several poems; among others, of “Powhatan, a Metrical Romance,” which we do not very particularly admire. His MS. is legible, and has much simplicity about it. At times it vacillates, and appears unformed. Upon the whole, it is much such a MS. as David Crockett wrote, and precisely such a one as we might imagine would be written by a veritable Jack Downing; by Jack Downing himself, had this creature of Mr. Smith’s fancy been endowed with a real entity. The fact is, that “The Major” is not all a creation; at least one half of his character actually exists in the bosom of his originator. It was the Jack Downing half that composed “Powhatan.”

Signature of Jos. Hopkinson

Judge Hopkinson’s hand is forcible, neat, legible, and devoid of superfluity. The characters have much slope, and whole words are frequently run together. The lines are at equal distances, and a broad margin is at the left of the page, as is the case with the MSS. of Judge Marshall, and other jurists. The whole is too uniform to be picturesque. The writing is always as good at the conclusion, as at the commencement of the epistles—a rare quality in MSS., evincing indefatigability in the writer.

Signature of Alexander Slidell

Lieutenant Slidell, some years ago, took the additional name of Mackenzie. His reputation, at one period, was extravagantly high—a circumstance owing, in some measure, to the esprit de corps of the navy, of which he is a member, and to his private influence, through his family, with the Review-cliques. Yet his fame was not altogether undeserved; although it cannot be denied that his first book, “A Year in Spain,” was in some danger of being overlooked by his countrymen, until a benignant star directed the attention of the London bookseller, Murray, to its merits. Cockney octavos prevailed; and the clever young writer who was cut dead in his Yankee habiliments, met with bows innumerable in the gala dress of an English imprimatur. The work now ran through several editions, and prepared the public for the kind reception of “The American in England,” which exalted his reputation to its highest pinnacle. Both these books abound in racy description; but are chiefly remarkable for their gross deficiencies in grammatical construction.

Lieut. Slidell’s MS. is peculiarly neat and even—quite legible, but altogether too petite and effeminate. Few tokens of his literary character are to be found, beyond the petiteness, which is exactly analogous with the minute detail of his descriptions.

Signature of Francis Lieber

Francis Lieber is Professor of History and Political Economy in the College of South Carolina, and has published many works distinguished by acumen and erudition. Among these we may notice a “Journal of a Residence in Greece,” written at the instigation of the historian Niebuhr; “The Stranger in America,” a piquant book abounding in various information relative to the United States; a treatise on “Education;” “Reminiscences of an intercourse with Niebuhr;” and an “Essay on International Copy-Right”—this last a valuable work.

Professor Lieber’s personal character is that of the frankest and most unpretending bonhommie, while his erudition is rather massive than minute. We may therefore expect his MS. to differ widely from that of his brother scholar, Professor Anthon; and so in truth it does. His chirography is careless, heavy, black, and forcible, without the slightest attempt at ornament—very similar, upon the whole to the well-known chirography of Chief Justice Marshall. His letters have the peculiarity of a wide margin left at the top of each page.

Signature of Sarah J. Hale

Mrs. Hale is well known for her masculine style of thought. This is clearly expressed in her chirography, which is far larger, heavier, and altogether bolder than that of her sex generally. It resembles in a great degree that of Professor Lieber, and is not easily deciphered.

Signature of Edward Everett

Mr. Everett’s MS. is a noble one. It has about it an air of deliberate precision emblematic of the statesman, and a mingled grace and solidity betokening the scholar. Nothing can be more legible, and nothing need be more uniform. The man who writes thus will never grossly err in judgment, or otherwise; but we may also venture to say that he will never attain the loftiest pinnacle of renown. The letters before us have a seal of red wax, with an oval device bearing the initials E. E. and surrounded with a scroll, inscribed with some Latin words which are illegible.

Signature of Robert M. Bird

Dr. Bird is well known as the author of “The Gladiator,” “Calavar,” “The Infidel,” “Nick of the Woods,” and some other works—Calavar being, we think, by far the best of them, and beyond doubt one of the best of American novels.

His chirography resembles that of Mr. Benjamin very closely; the chief difference being in a curl of the final letters in Dr. B.’s. The characters, too, have the air of not being able to keep pace with the thought, and an uneasy want of finish seems to have been the consequence. A vivid imagination might easily be deduced from such a MS.

Signature of John Neal

Mr. John Neal’s MS. is exceedingly illegible and careless. Many of his epistles are perfect enigmas, and we doubt whether he could read them himself in half an hour after they are penned. Sometimes four or five words are run together. Any one, from Mr. Neal’s penmanship, might suppose his mind to be what it really is—excessively flighty and irregular, but active and energetic.

Signature of C M Sedgwick

The penmanship of Miss Sedgwick is excellent. The characters are well sized, distinct, elegantly but not ostentatiously formed, and with perfect freedom of manner, are still sufficiently feminine. The hair-strokes differ little from the downward ones, and the MSS. have thus a uniformity they might not otherwise have. The paper she generally uses is good, blue, and machine-ruled. Miss Sedgwick’s hand-writing points unequivocally to the traits of her literary style—which are strong common sense, and a masculine disdain of mere ornament. The signature conveys the general chirography.

Signature of J. Fenimore Cooper

Mr. Cooper’s MS. is very bad—unformed, with little of distinctive character about it, and varying greatly in different epistles. In most of those before us a steel pen has been employed, the lines are crooked, and the whole chirography has a constrained and school-boyish air. The paper is fine, and of a bluish tint. A wafer is always used. Without appearing ill-natured, we could scarcely draw any inferences from such a MS. Mr. Cooper has seen many vicissitudes, and it is probable that he has not always written thus. Whatever are his faults, his genius cannot be doubted.

Signature of J. L. Hawks

Dr. Hawks is one of the originators of the “New York Review,” to which journal he has furnished many articles. He is also known as the author of the “History of the Episcopal Church of Virginia,” and one or two minor works. He now edits the “Church Record.” His style, both as a writer and as a preacher, is characterized rather by a perfect fluency than by any more lofty quality, and this trait is strikingly indicated in his chirography, of which the signature is a fair specimen.

Signature of Henry W<sup>m</sup> Herbert

This gentleman is the author of “Cromwell,” “The Brothers,” “Ringwood the Rover,” and some other minor productions. He at one time edited the “American Monthly Magazine,” in connection with Mr. Hoffman. In his compositions for the Magazines, Mr. Herbert is in the habit of doing both them and himself gross injustice, by neglect and hurry. His longer works evince much ability, although he is rarely entitled to be called original. His MS. is exceedingly neat, clear, and forcible; the signature affording a just idea of it. It resembles that of Mr. Kennedy very nearly; but has more slope and uniformity, with, of course, less spirit, and less of the picturesque. He who writes as Mr. Herbert, will be found always to depend chiefly upon his merits of style for a literary reputation, and will not be unapt to fall into a pompous grandiloquence. The author of “Cromwell” is sometimes wofully turgid.

Signature of C. H. Waterman

Mrs. Esling, formerly Miss Waterman, has attracted much attention, of late years, by the tenderness and melody of her short poems. She deserves nearly all the commendation which she has received. Her MS. would generally be considered beautiful; but formed, like that of most of her sex, upon a regular school-model, it is, of course, not in the slightest degree indicative of character.

Signature of E. F. Ellet

Mrs. E. F. Ellet has published one or two books, exclusively of a volume of poems, but is chiefly known to the literary world by her numerous contributions to the Magazines. As a translator from the Italian, she has acquired an enviable reputation. Her hand, of which the signature above scarcely conveys a full idea, is clear, neat, forcible and legible; just such a hand as one would desire for copying MSS. of importance. We have observed that the writers of such epistles as those before us, are often known as translators, but seldom evince high originality or very eminent talent of any kind.

Signature of M M Noah

Judge Noah has written several plays which took very well in their time, and also several essays and other works, giving evidence of no ordinary learning and penetration on certain topics—chiefly connected with Israelitish history. He is better known, however, from the wit and universal bonhommie of his editorial paragraphs. His peculiar traits of character may be traced in his writing, which has about it a free, rolling, and open air. His lines are never straight, and the letters taper too much to please the eye of an artist, and have now and then a twirl, like the tail of a pig, which gives to the whole MS. an indescribably quizzical appearance, and one altogether in consonance with the general notion respecting the quondam Major, and present Judge, than whom no man has more friends or fewer enemies.

Signature of J. G. Palfrey

Professor Palfrey is known to the public principally through his editorship of the “North American Review.” He has a reputation for scholarship; and many of the articles which are attributed to his pen evince that this reputation is well based, so far as the common notion of scholarship extends. For the rest, he seems to dwell altogether within the narrow world of his own conceptions; imprisoning them by the very barrier which he has erected against the conceptions of others.

His MS. shows a total deficiency in the sense of the beautiful. It has great pretension—great straining after effect; but is altogether one of the most miserable MSS. in the world—forceless, graceless, tawdry, vacillating and unpicturesque. The signature conveys but a faint idea of its extravagance. However much we may admire the mere knowledge of the man who writes thus, it will not do to place any dependence upon his wisdom or upon his taste.

This article will be concluded in our next number, and will embrace the autograph of every writer of note in America.





There is no scenery in England more beautiful than that to be found in portions of the New Forest. Huge gray old oaks, gnarled, and twisted, and aspiring to heaven; deep glens, overshadowed by canopies of leaves, through which the light but faintly struggles; vast arcades, stretching far away in the distance, and buried in religious gloom; wild wood roads, that wind hither and thither among the giant trees in fanciful contortions; and open, sunny glades, intersected by sparkling streamlets, waving with verdant grass, and now and then disclosing a fairy cottage nestled in the edge of the forest, are to this day, the characteristics of this favorite hunting ground of the conqueror and his immediate successors. There is a solitude about this old labyrinthine chace, which is perfectly bewitching. You may travel for miles, in the more secluded parts of the forest, without meeting a human being, or seeing the smoke of a single cottage curling among the foliage; but on every hand you will behold trees growing in the wildest luxuriance, and tread on a sward as soft and thick as the richest velvet. You will, for a space, hear nothing but the sound of a nut rattling to the ground, or the song of some wood bird down in a brake; and then you will rouse the deer from their retreat, a rustle will be heard down in the under-growth, and you will catch a sight of the noble herd, perchance, as they go trotting away into the darker recesses of the forest.

Such is the New Forest now, and such it was eight centuries ago, on a bright sunny morning, towards the end of summer. The hour was still early, for the dew yet sparkled in the grass, or pattered down from the foliage as the wind stirred among the forest branches. The scene was one of the loveliest the chace afforded—a bright glade embosomed in the most silent depths of the forest. The whole of this open space was carpeted with the thickest and greenest grass, varying in hue, at every breath of the balmy wind over the undulated surface. On one side, the glade was bounded by a gentle elevation, covered with stately oaks, whose giant branches, spreading out far and wide, buried their trunks in the obscurity of a constant twilight—and on the other three sides the ground either extended itself in a plain, or sloped so gently off, that the descent was nearly imperceptible. Thousands of wild flowers spangled the surface of the glade, some flaunting proudly on the air, and some modestly hiding under the long grass, yet all sending forth the most delicious perfume—while innumerable birds, of every variety of plumage, hopped from twig to twig, or skimmed across the glade, filling the air with untold harmonies,—and high in the heaven, a solitary lark, lingering there long after his fellows had departed, poured forth his lay with such sweet, such liquid harmony, that a stranger, unaccustomed to his song, and unable to distinguish his tiny form far up in the sunny ether, might well have fancied those unrivalled notes the breathings of an unseen cherubim.

Such was the scene on which there now gazed two beings, both beautiful, but one surpassingly so. The elder of the two might have been one and thirty, and both his face and figure were moulded in the noblest style of manly beauty. His broad brow, chiselled features, and commanding port, bespoke him one born to rule, although the simple and somewhat mean garb he wore argued that he was not rich in this world’s goods. The attire of his companion was richer, but less gay, and she wore the veil of a novice. Her face, however, made up in loveliness for whatever absence of ornament there was in her dress, and indeed she might well have challenged the world to produce her rival. The fair delicate skin through which the blue veins could be seen meandering, the snowy brow that seemed made for the temple of the loveliest and purest thoughts, the golden hair that lay in wreathes upon the forehead, and the blue eye whose azure depths seemed to conceal mysteries as pure and rapturing as those of heaven, made up a countenance of overpowering beauty, even without that expression, so high and seraphic, which beamed with her every word, and threw over each lineament of her face a loveliness almost divine. Her figure was like that of a sylph, yet full and rounded in every limb; and beneath her dress peeped forth one of the most delicate feet that ever trod green sward. She was perhaps eighteen, though she might have been younger. She sat now on a low bank, at the very edge of the forest, while her companion reclined at her feet, holding one of her tiny hands in his broad palm, and gazing up into her eyes with a look of the deepest, yet most respectful passion. Nor were the maiden’s orbs averted from his gaze, for ever and anon she would twine her fingers playfully yet half sadly in his locks, and return his look with all a woman’s tenderness.

“Yes, sweet one,” said the hunter, as if continuing a conversation, “I have sometimes, during our separation for the last six long months, almost desponded, especially when I heard how urgent my brother was that you should wed his favorite Warren, and when I reflected that your aunt, the good abbess Christiana, was so hostile to my suit. But I did you injustice, dear one, and thus,” and he kissed the hands of his companion again and again, “I sue for pardon. God only knows,” he added in a sadder tone, “whether I shall ever have my rights. They sneer at me now as a landless prince, and that purse-proud Surrey hath no better name for me than Deer’s-foot, because I am not always able to follow the hunt with a steed. But so long as thou art true to me, sweet Maud, all these will be as nothing; and the time may come when we shall yet be happy.”

“Fear not, Beauclerk,” said the princess—for it was Matilda of Scotland who spoke, and he whom she addressed was the younger son of the conqueror, the penniless dependent of him whom men called the Red King, “fear not—all, as you say, will be well. I feel it, I know it. Do you believe in presentiments, dear Henry?” and pushing aside her lover’s thick locks, she held her hand on his forehead, and looked with her sunny orbs full into his eyes, as if she would playfully read his very soul.

“Presentiments trouble me not much, despite what the books say thereof,” answered the frank hunter, “I trust rather to my sword and my good right arm, though forsooth, they availed me little when I was cooped up in St. Michael’s Mount by my two kingly and loving brothers. Aye! presentiments and prophesies, and such things, trouble me but little, or I would e’en have consolation now, in all my troubles, in calling to mind the words of my father—the saints assoilzie his memory!—since dying, he said, ‘that I should be inheritor of all his honors, and should excel both Robert and William in riches and power.’ By St. George, the riches had best come soon, for I gave my last mark away this morning. No, kind Maud, I place little faith in presentiments. But you sigh. If it pains you that I credit them not, why, then I am the most devout believer in all England,” and again he pressed that fair hand to his lips, “why do you ask the question?”

“Because,” said the princess, blushing at his eagerness, “I have had a presentiment that we should yet be happy, and that full soon. I know not how it is to happen; but of this I am assured, we shall live for brighter days. The abbess threatens me with the veil if I do not wed Surrey, and even now forces me, in her presence, to wear a tissue of horse-hair; but though I can as yet see no escape from the alternative, I am not the less certain that it will never be mine to choose. So now, despond no more, dear Beauclerk.”

“Thanks, thanks, for your cheering homily,” said the young prince laughing, for her sanguine words had affected him with an unusual gaiety. “I can hunt now with some spirit. Little does Surrey think, while he is getting ready for the chase and perhaps sneering at me as a laggard for not being up to set out with the rest, that I have stolen out into the forest to meet her for whom he would give the whole of his broad lands.”

What answer the princess might have made to this somewhat vain-glorious speech, we know not, but at this instant a party appeared on the scene in the guise of a knight, somewhat advanced in years, and as he approached hastily, he said:

“You must forgive me, my dear lady, if I urge you to take horse. The abbess knows your journey will have consumed but a day, and that you should have reached Wilton last night, and I shall have a hard task to excuse your protracted stay without betraying you. The men-at-arms are drawn up but a little space off, and, though they are all my servitors, it is best that they should know nothing to reveal. The prince here will understand me.”

“Assuredly, Sir John; and if he they call Beauclerk ever attains power, he will not forget those who befriended the landless prince. I will bring up Maud in an instant.”

The knight bowed, and retreated into the wood. A few parting words were exchanged betwixt the lovers, a few tears were shed by Maud, which were kissed off by the prince, and then, with one long, last embrace, they tore themselves asunder, and in a few minutes the princess had rejoined her train. Prince Henry stood looking vacantly in the direction where she had disappeared, until the sound of her beast’s tramp had died in the distance, when, slowly mounting his steed, who had awaited its master in a neighboring copse, he entered one of the forest roads, and proceeded leisurely onwards. He had journeyed thus about half an hour when he heard a hunting horn sound close by him, and directly he beheld approaching the gallant array of his brother.

“Ha! my good cousin Deer’s-foot, well met,” said the Earl of Surrey; “we have been looking for you. I told your friend here, who swore you were yet abed, that we should meet you afoot in the forest before the day was over—and thereon we have laid a wager. I trow we have neither won. It would be but fair to give you the bet, would it not?” said the gay Earl with a half concealed sneer, as he glanced from his own rich suit to the prince’s garb.

“You may both want yet, fair sirs, all you can spare,” answered the prince; “but let us see who will be first in at the death. You were always apt at that, my lord,” and he turned to the royal treasurer.

“Ay, and shall maintain my reputation, your highness,” said Breteuil, recollecting he addressed almost a beggar; “and, if I may judge by your steed, even against yourself.”

“We shall see—we shall see,” said the prince. “I lay you a new steed, my lord, I distance you to-day.”

“Done,” said the treasurer, laughing; “you have thrown away your horse. But here is the king, and lo!” and as he spoke the horn announced that a stag had been roused, “the game is afoot.”

At the word the eager sportsmen gave spur to their steeds, and the cavalcade swept gaily off in the chase.

Never had a more gallant array than that which now followed the royal stag, woke up the echoes of the forest. Knights and squires, priests and pages, warriors and ecclesiastics, princes of the blood royal and high officers of state, pressed forward in the chase, now scouring along the level plain, now dashing away through the arcades of the forest, and now plunging recklessly through brake and dell, as the hounds dogged the flight of the noble animal into his once secure retreat. Yet it was well worthy of note how compactly the hunters kept around the king, none venturing to outstrip him, and only a few of the oldest maintaining an even rein with him.

Often during the chase the prince and Breteuil passed and repassed each other, and at every recognition Henry would gaily remind the treasurer of his wager. At length, however, the pursuit became more hot, the king gave rein to his steed and pressed on, and in passing some broken ground the royal party became separated, and those who were younger or better mounted than the rest swept on ahead. Among these was Prince Henry, who, though his steed was none of the best, kept up a not ignoble pace, until at length his arbalast caught against a tree, and he was nearly thrown from his horse. He checked his steed at once, and recovered his cross-bow, but the string was broken, rendering the weapon useless.

“Ha! My gallant prince,” said the treasurer, as he swept by; “you can scarcely hit your game now, even if you keep on. I trow your steed is mine.”

“A malison on the string,” said the prince bitterly; “there is nothing left for me except to sneak back to Winchester. But, no! I bethink me now there is a forester’s hut somewhere nigh here. Ah! yonder is its smoke curling over the tree-tops. I will hie me there, and get a new string. If the stag turns at the dell below, he will head up this way, and I may yet win my wager, for, the saints know, I can ill afford to lose my only steed.”

With these words the prince again gave spurs to his horse, and was soon before the forester’s hut.

“Ho! there, within,” he exclaimed; “a string for the prince. Marry, old mistress, have they never a keeper here better than you?”

These words were addressed to an old woman who met him at the threshold of the hut as he dismounted, and who appeared to be the only human being inhabiting the cabin. And she was one who might well occasion the prince’s exclamation of surprise. Her skin was like that of a corpse; her eyes were sunk deep into her head; her hair was grizzled and gray; her long bony fingers might have been those of a skeleton, and when she spoke, her hollow sepulchral tones made even the courageous prince shudder. She seemed to pay no regard to her visitor’s inquiry for a string, but fastening her basilisk-like eyes upon him, she said or rather chaunted, in Norman French, a rude lay, of which the following verses are a translation:

“Hasty news to thee I bring,

Henry, thou art now a king;

Mark the words, and heed them well,

Which to thee in sooth I tell,

And recall them in the hour

Of thy royal state and power.”

For the space of almost a minute after she had ceased, the prince gazed speechlessly on this novel being, awed alike by her strange demeanor, and her sepulchral eye. Nor were the words she chaunted without effect on her hearer. It was a superstitious age, and though few men of his day were less influenced by the supernatural than Henry, there was something in the sybil’s look which chilled his heart with a strange feeling, half fear, half awe. He had not recovered from his surprise, when a horseman rushed wildly up to the hut, and the prince had scarcely recognized one of his warmest friends, Beaumont, when that gentleman breathlessly exclaimed:

“The king is slain!—Tyrell’s arrow glanced from a bow and struck your royal brother to his heart!”

The words of Beaumont acted on the prince like the charm which dissipates a spell. He started, as if aroused from some strange dream, looked a moment in wild surprise at his companion, and gradually comprehending the strange and sudden transition in his fortunes, he sprung with a bound into his saddle, and plunging his rowels up to the heel in his horse’s side, exclaimed:

“Then this is no place for me—follow to Winchester, Beaumont,—and now for a crown and Maud!”

The next instant his horse’s hoofs were thundering across the stones, as he galloped furiously to the capital.

History relates how he reached Winchester, with his steed bathed in foam, and, without slackening his pace, dashed up to the door of the royal treasury, a few minutes in advance of Breteuil. History also tells how the energy of the young prince broke through the meshes of the wily traitor, and secured for Beauclerk the crown; but it does not add that, after the unwilling treasurer had surrendered the keys of the regalia, his new master said, half laughingly and half ironically, to the haughty peer who had so often neglected him when only a prince—

“Ah, my lord! did I not say I would win the race? I trow your steed is mine!”

The discomfited Breteuil bit his lip and was silent, but that night his best charger was sent to the royal stables; while the rest of the hunters, who were now fast pouring in from the chase, with the populace which at the first news of the Red King’s death had begun to shout “King Henry,” gathered around their young monarch and filled the air with their acclamations.

“Maud is right,” said the king to himself, as he beheld the enthusiasm displayed by his people, “to say nothing of the old sybil. Ah! what will my sweet one think when she hears this?”

Three months later and all the chivalry of the realm was gathered in the church at Westminster, while the populace without thronged every avenue to that princely cathedral. Never indeed had a prouder assemblage met at any royal ceremonial. The church blazed with jewels. Nobles in their robes of state; bishops and archbishops with mitre and crozier; countesses whose beauty out-dazzled their diamonds; knights and squires and pages of every rank; burghers with their chains of gold; men-at-arms encased in steel; halberdiers and archers; yeomen with quarter staffs, and foresters with arbalasts; men of every situation of life, and bright ladies, whose loveliness was beyond compare, were gathered in the gorgeously ornamented church, amid the waving of banners, the sound of music, the rustling of costly robes, and the smoke of ascending incense, to gaze on the marriage of their monarch to his fair and blushing bride. And there she stood before the altar in all her virgin beauty, her fair blue eyes suffused with tears of joy; while her manly lover stood at her side, the proudest cavalier in all that bright array. And when the archbishop ascended the pulpit, and demanded if any one there objected to the union, the whole audience shouted aloud “that the matter was rightly settled;” then again pealed forth the anthem, and again the incense rose in clouds to the fretted roof. The music ceased, the words were said, the crown was placed on the brow of the princess, and the hunter of the forest, amid the acclamations of his people, pressed to his heart the King’s Bride.

“Do you believe in presentiments now?” said the young queen, half laughing, to her royal husband when they reached the palace.

“I am a convert to your faith whatever it may be, sweet one. Nay! you shall preach no sermon over my retraction, for thus I forbid the homily,” and the king drew the blushing Maud towards him and fondly kissed her.

Many an iron monarch has, since then, sat on the English throne, and many a fair princess has been led by her lover to the altar, but never has a happier or more beautiful pair wore the regal crown in the realm of our ancestors.





Hurrah for merry England,

  Queen of the land and sea,

The champion of truth and right,

  The bulwark of the free!

Hurrah for merry England!

  Upon thy seagirt isle

Thou sittest, clothed in righteousness,

  Secure of Heaven’s smile!


When ruled the fairhaired Saxon,

  Yes, thou wert merry then;

And, as they girt their bucklers on,

  Thy meanest serfs were men;

And merry was the castle-hall

  With jest and song and tale,

When bearded lips with mead were white

  And rang the loud Washael!


And, when grim Denmark’s black-browed prows

  Tore through thine Emerald sea,

And many a wild blue eye was turned

  In savage lust on thee,—

When, in the greenest of thy vales,

  The gusts of summer air

Blew out in long and shaggy locks

  The sea-king’s yellow hair,—


Yet Alfred was in England,

  And merry yet again

Thy white-armèd Saxon maidens were

  When, on the drunken Dane,

The sudden thunders of thy war

  With arrowy hail did pour,

And grim jaws dropt that quivered yet

  With savage hymns to Thor.


Thy merry brow was fair and free,

  Thine eye gleamed like a lance,

When thy good ash and yew did crush

  The gilded knights of France;

When Paris shook within her walls

  And trembled as she saw

Her snow-white lilies trampled down

  Beneath thy lion’s paw.


Queen Bess’s days were merry days,

  Renowned in song and tale,

Stout days that saw the last brown bead

  Of many a tun of ale;

Queen Bess’s days were golden days

  And thou full proudly then

Did’st suckle at thy healthy breasts

  The best of Englishmen.


Thou hast been merry, England,

  But art thou merry now,

With sweat of agonizing years

 Upon thy harlot brow,

Grimed with the smoke of furnaces

  That forge with damned art

The bars of darkness that shut in

  The poor man’s starving heart?


Oh free and Christian England!

  The Hindu wife no more

Shall burn herself in that broad realm

  Saint George’s cross waves o’er;

Thou art the champion of the right,

  The friend of the opprest,

And none but freemen now shall tread

  Thine Indies of the West.


But thou canst ship thy poison,

  Wrung from lean Hindu slaves,

To fill all China with dead souls

  That rot in living graves;

And, that thy faith may not be seen

  Barren of goodly works,

At Saint Jean D’Acre thou sent’st up

  To Heaven three thousand Turks.


Fling high your greasy caps in air,

  Slaves of the forge and loom,

If on the soil ye’re pent and starved

  Yet underneath there’s room;

Fling high your caps, for, God be praised,

  Your epitaph shall be,

“Who sets his foot on English soil

  Thenceforward he is free!”


Shout too for merry England

  Ye factory-children thin,

Upon whose little hearts the sun

  Hath never once looked in;

For, when your hollow eyes shall close

  The poor-house hell to balk,

(Thank God for liberty of speech)

  The parliament will talk.


Thank God, lean sons of Erin,

  Who reverence the Pope

In England consciences are free

  And ye are free—to hope;

And if the Church of England priest

  Distrain—why, what of that?

Their consciences are freer still

  Who wear the shovel-hat.


The poet loves the silent past,

  And, in his fruitful rhyme,

He sets the fairest flowers o’er

  The grave of buried time;

But, from the graves of thy dark years,

  The night-shade’s ugly blue

And spotted henbane shall grow up

  To poison Heaven’s dew.


Woe to thee, fallen England,

  Who hast betrayed the word,

And knelt before a Church when thou

  Shouldst kneel before the Lord!

And, for that scarlet woman

  Who sits in places high,

There cometh vengeance swift to quench

  The lewdness in her eye.


Woe to thee, fallen England,

  Who, in thy night-mare sleep,

O’er a volcano’s heart dost toss

  Whence sudden wrath shall leap

Of that forgotten Titan

  Who now is trodden down

That one weak Guelphic girl may wear

  Her plaything of a crown!


That Titan’s heart is heaving now,

  And, with its huge uprise,

On their sand basements lean and crack

  The old moss-covered lies;

For freedom through long centuries

  Lives in eternal youth,

And nothing can for ever part

  The human soul and truth.





The inmost region of the mind, where dwells

The essences of unborn thought,—those ends

In which Effects, through Causes, dwell in power,

Opened. ’Twas in vision, and I saw

A palace of vast size—such as the eye,

The natural eye of man, never beheld.

Its massy walls of unhewn agate towered,

Girt by a colonnade of crysolite;

And there were ninety columns of huge bulk,

Sustaining an entablature of gold,

Diamond and ruby, glittering like the sun.


The windows were each one a double plate

Of spacious crystal, sliding from the touch

Each side in golden frames. The portico

Hung o’er a flight of alabaster steps,

Extending to a lawn of delicate moss,

Where browsed a flock of innocent, white lambs,

That little children garlanded with flowers.

Around the palace, orchard-trees were seen,

Laden with fruit celestial, that hung down

Like gems among the gold and silver leaves.

Majestic vines, heavy with clustering grapes,

In large festoons swung gorgeously between

The opulent boughs that dropped with nectarines.


’Twas on a mountain’s summit, high and broad,

Commanding a magnificent expanse,

Where Art, in its essential excellence,

Glowed in potential forms, where Nature, too,

Un-ultimated in terrestrial things,

Bloomed in angelic beauty. To the east

A river, brinked luxuriantly with flowers,

Lapsed silently. The deep-enameled dome,

Whose measureless horizon knew no bounds,

Was draped with clouds that broke celestial rays,

Shining down shadowless. Turning, I saw

A pair of Consorts, whose exalted home

Was in this paradise. No forms of earth,

No mortal lineaments—no reach of thought

Poetic, when imagination wings

Homeward to Heaven, could in the least compare

With their angelic radiance;—they were

Beauty itself in form,—two, and yet one,—

One angel male and female—a true Man.

He was her Understanding, she his Will;

Thence, but one mind in heavenly marriage formed.

Her love was cradled in his thought, that loved

Her love and nursed it—as the tender drops

Clasp the warm sunbeams, while the smile of Heaven

Breaks in the rainbow. Such is genuine love.

He in his form more radiantly shone

Than that sublime achievement of fine art,

That shows the power of luminous Truth to kill

Sinuous Error;—she, than Guido’s gem

More beautiful, more human, and more true.


I saw, and lo! two dromedaries, each

Bearing a golden basket, one of bread,

The other of ripe fruit; they came and knelt.

Each took and gave the other,—he the bread,

She the ripe fruit. The dromedaries then

Rose and departed. I beheld them kneeling

Beside the river, and when they had drunk

I saw them rise again and kiss each other,

And then depart. I looked again, and lo!

The consorts had withdrawn. They were the first

Of the new birth of Marriage here on earth—

A promise for the future, when a Time,

And Times, and half a Time shall be fulfilled.






“His spirit wraps the misty mountain,

His memory sparkles o’er the fountain;

The meanest rill—the mightiest river—

Rolls mingling with his name forever.”


The beautiful towns and villages of Connecticut, bordering on Long Island sound, are not surpassed in quiet loveliness by any others in New England. The loveliest, perhaps, of them all, is Norwalk, situated in the western part of the State, on a river of the same name, which flows sweetly along through the centre of the town. The title, we confess, is neither euphonious nor romantic: but we would not have it changed even for the sweetest word that ever passed human lips. It was given it by the Aborigines on the day when the territory was first purchased from them, and refers, if we mistake not, to its extent northward from the sound, called by the Indians the North walk. It is, indeed, one of the most lovely spots in Nature. Its quiet harbor is studded with verdant islands of every size and form, while across the green waters Long Island is seen, its dim outline scarcely distinguishable from the blue expanse beyond. The sound through its whole length is spotted with sheets of snowy canvass spread to catch the breeze, and anon the majestic steamer, like some huge leviathan, comes laboring on her way, proudly dashing aside the foaming waters from her prow, and leaving far behind a whitened, widening track. But when the Storm King is abroad, the crested waves pursue each other in continual chase, and the long, swelling billows break upon the shore, sending forth their rich music in the deep organ tones of nature.

On the eastern side of the river, and directly opposite the present steamboat landing, is a large circular mound, some twenty feet high, and covering a surface of about an acre. It is perfectly level on the top, and bordered with large, tall cedars. It is now commonly known by the inhabitants in the vicinity as Old Fort Point.

There is a tradition respecting the object and the erection of this mound, which I have with difficulty procured, and which maybe interesting to many who have visited the place, if not to strangers. For its truth, in all particulars, I will not vouch, but give it substantially as it has come down to us.

About two centuries ago, there lived, on the level country about what is now Fort Point, but what was then called Naumkeag, one of those large tribes of native Indians, which, at the time when this land was first visited by Europeans, were scattered over the country from the shores of the Atlantic to the great valley of the west. The Indians had not then been degraded by their intercourse with the whites. The peculiarities of their nature had not been modified by the influence of civilization. Their tastes had not been pampered, nor their appetites excited by the fatal “fire water” introduced by their destroyers, nor their bodily strength wasted by diseases, loathsome and deadly, and till then unknown among them.

From the feathered flocks of the forest and the finny tribes of the sea, they derived an ample subsistence; the shores, too, abounded in shell fish, and the forests with game, so that want and famine were never dreamt of by the happy and proud inhabitants of Naumkeag.

Many years before the time of this sketch a large colony separated from the principal tribe and moved northward, settling themselves in the mountainous regions of Massachusetts. This colony embraced about a quarter of the whole tribe at Naumkeag—and being composed mostly of young men and their wives, they soon became nearly as powerful as the people whom they had left.

Although many miles lay between them, these two tribes long kept up a friendly intercourse with each other, and forgot not that they had sprung from the same common stock. Miles were passed over almost as easily by those hardy foresters as they are by us at the present day, even with the help of iron roads and steam carriages. Great power of endurance was natural to their constitution, and especially was the fatigue of a long and rapid journey borne without inconvenience.

There was one of the Wannamoisetts, as those who had removed from Naumeag now called themselves, who was more frequent by far in his visits to the sea shore than any other of his tribe. Every second moon found him treading the forest with his face toward the south. His journey usually occupied from two to three days. Occasionally he remained at Naumkeag for a week at a time, though for the most part, his visits were less protracted.

Mononchee had of course some object or incentive for being thus frequent and regular in his attendance at the home of his ancestors. His very distant relationship to the tribe would hardly demand such an excess of filial affection. The truth was, there was a magnet of attraction in the person of a young maiden of Naumkeag, the sister-in-law of the chief, Wappaconet; and a powerful magnet it was too,—for there was not another in the whole village that possessed a brighter eye or a more perfect form. Her step almost realized the description of the poet,

        “————and fell,

Trembling and soft, like moon-light on the earth.”

Noalwa was not insensible to the attentions of her constant swain; on the contrary, his wooings were quite successful. His bravery and his manly strength—his tall and well formed person, and flashing eye, were well calculated to win the admiration, and, in due course, the affections of the gentle being upon whom his own desires centered; and the many soft things that he whispered in her ear, (for even an Indian in love can utter the sweetest phrases with a honied mouth,) found a deep lodgment in her heart. And it was noticed that when the period of his visits was near at hand, her step was still lighter than usual, and her eye danced with a new, but soft fire, though at such times she spoke less, and seemed thoughtful but not sad.

One evening—it was in the beginning of June, that season so favorable to young lovers—Mononchee surprised Noalwa sitting under a large tree close upon the shore. The hour and the place seemed as if under the influence of enchantment. The scene was like a fairy land. The broad sound was spread out before her, upon whose surface the clear moon shed her softened rays, which, as from a mirror, were reflected back on every side, giving to all things around an unnatural and unearthly brightness. There seemed a spell upon the air. It stirred not—but hung over the earth and the sea as if to heal every imperfection on the face of nature by its bland and genial influence.

Noalwa had not been long there. An unwelcome intruder had invaded the hour which she had set apart for solitude and for communion in spirit and in fancy with her absent but adored lover. The intruder had hardly left her sight ere he was banished from her thoughts, and as it was about a week earlier than the customary time of Mononchee’s coming, she was thinking how long the days would be till she saw him, when she felt a warm kiss upon her cheek. She screamed not—spoke not—for a deep-seated feeling at her heart told her that those were no forbidden lips that could kindle such raptures in her soul.

She gazed up at the face and form that was bending over her with all the fondness of a first love, and the young Indian placed himself by her side and gently drew her to his bosom. Then followed a conversation in low, deep, earnest tones, that both came from, and reached the heart.

“The Wannamoisett is good—very good, to come so soon and gladden the heart of Noalwa,” murmured the girl as he pressed her to his breast.

“Who would not come early and often if Noalwa loved him?” replied he. “Her beauty is brighter than the sun! Her eye is clearer and softer than the moon which leaves a broad trail of light upon the water. She sings more sweetly than the Tichanet,[4] and when she laughs the whole air is full of pleasant sounds.”

“Did the Wannamoisett see any of my people as he came hither?” asked she.

“None—for I came down by the shore. Ah! yes, I did see one—Annawon, the Namasket.”

Noalwa hung her head.

“Where did Mononchee meet him?” said she.

“I saw him here!” vehemently replied the warrior, “here—standing on this very spot. I saw his hand grasp yours; nay, kneeling at your feet. I saw his eager look whilst you poured into his ear words which should have been kept for Mononchee!”

“Be it so then,” cried the maiden, her lips quivering with insulted pride, and her heart torn with the agony which the unjust but perhaps reasonable suspicion of her lover caused, “be it so! for I told him to go—ere he told me a tale of love—to his tent and behold the wasted form and the sunken eye of Tituba, his wife, once loved and cherished—now neglected. I told him that I could never be his, and that any one who suspected Noalwa would so dishonor herself as to break her faith with another, could not be worthy of her love. Mononchee suspects her, and to him let her words be applied.”

“But why suffer the Namasket to hold your hand? Why play with the serpent just ready to strike deep his fangs?”

“Mononchee is a keen-eyed warrior,” said the maid in irony, “he saw the hawk, but not the wren that drove him from her nest. He saw Annawon at the feet and holding the hand of Noalwa, but did not observe with what scorn she looked upon him—did not mark how she spurned and drove him from her.”

“I was deceived,” answered the repentant lover; “Noalwa has a pure heart, and never again will I distrust her. Seest thou that moon hanging yonder over the clear water? When it is again round and full, as it is to-night, Mononchee will come to take Noalwa for his wife. Will she be ready to go with him then to dwell where the hills are high and the deer are plenty?”

“I am yours—yours only,” and her blushing face was hid in his bosom.

After sitting for about an hour, the young man arose. “I must return,” said he, “to my people. Remember the full moon, Noalwa,” and he strode rapidly away.

A few days after the above occurrence the Namaskets were invited by the Wannamoisetts to partake of a grand feast of deer and bears’ flesh at their village in the mountains. Accordingly a large party of the active men of the tribe started one morning, and the evening of the next day found them with their friends at Cohammock. The Wannamoisetts had made their preparations on a grand, and, for them, magnificent scale. Piles of plump deer and still richer bears’ meat lay around, while kettles of dried sweet corn and beans, of the last year’s growth, were already simmering over the small fires, that the hard kernels might become well softened and ready for use on the morrow.

With the gray dawn of morning, all was bustle and activity in the village of Cohammock. The Indian matrons were early bestirring themselves that nothing might be left undone to mar the festivities of the occasion. Innumerable fires were kindled—the wooden spit and the seething pot, the two indispensable and almost the only culinary implements in use among them, were put in requisition. Whilst the preparations were going slowly on, the men of the tribe as well as their guests were idling listlessly about, their appetites every moment rendered sharper by the odor of the smoking viands that were soon to form their savory meal.

And truly the banquet was not unworthy the occasion. Just as the sun had reached the “middle point in the heavens,” piles upon piles of boiled and roasted flesh were spread under the shade of the tall sycamores that grew undisturbed in all parts of the village. A large bowl of the finest succotash was placed before each guest, and if the quantity eaten be the standard of quality, never was there served up a better dinner than was that day disposed of in the rude village of Cohammock.

At length the repast was finished. Both guests and entertainers, with a prudence truly commendable, ate as if expecting a famine for a month, at least, to come, and nothing remained but to indulge in that supreme of Indian luxuries, tobacco. Pipes were brought, but alas! there was not a particle of the weed to be found. Some miscreant, a fair representative of that variety of our race at the present day—ever ready to engender strife, had stolen and destroyed all that was to be found in the village.

This was a deficiency that could be supplied by no other article. Venison or succotash or any other part of the edible entertainment could have been dispensed with, but the burning propensities of an Indian must be indulged. The Wannamoisetts were as much mortified as their guests were offended at this unfortunate occurrence, but it was with difficulty the Namaskets could be persuaded that it was not an intentional insult; so jealous were the natives of their own honor! Contrary to their previous intention, they left their kinsmen in the early part of the same afternoon, not caring to remain till morning with those who had, in their view, been so parsimonious in their hospitality.

Let us return again to the sea shore at Naumkeag. A month after the feast of Cohammock, a party of the Wannamoisett warriors were present at a grand collation, prepared by Wappacowat, the Namasket chief. Much were they gratified by this expression of his friendship, for they had always regretted the affair at their own village, and feared that an open rupture would be the consequence. They dreaded this, still cherishing some little spark of fraternal affection for those whom they had unmeaningly offended.

During the banquet, so busily were the Wannamoisetts engaged in despatching the shell and other fish which their friends had made ready, that they did not observe that Wappacowat and his followers partook but sparingly, so that by the time they had eaten almost to suffocation, and were illy prepared for the least exertion, the Namaskets had taken only what was just sufficient to stimulate them for any enterprise.

At length Wappacowat gave the signal to his followers to bring the calumet, and as he did so, a close observer might have discovered a gleam of gratified animosity shoot across his iron features and glisten in his snaky eye. Quickly moved his warriors, and the devoted guests half stupified by the vast quantities of food they had taken, saw the pipes well filled with the luxurious plant, but did not discover the tomahawk and the knife which they had concealed under their deer skin robes. They sat not smoking long, for suddenly the Namaskets rose and each one buried his tomahawk into the brain of the Wannamoisett next him. All—all were slain. So well had the treacherous, fratricidal plan been matured, that not a single one was left to carry to the desolate village of Cohammock the tale of blood and guilt. Ah! yes, there was one—Mononchee—the betrothed of Noalwa, who having neglected the feast that he might spend the time apart with the fair one, came into the village just as the last reeking scalp had been torn from the cloven skull. Looking an instant on the appalling spectacle, he uttered a furious yell and sprang like a deer towards the river. A dozen tomahawks flew after him, and as many dark warriors started in pursuit, but in vain, for with a few powerful strokes the brave youth gained the opposite bank, and bounding into the woods, effected his escape.

They were buried on the spot where they fell. Perhaps no shade of remorse passed over the minds of the murderers, but they could not leave the victims there for their flesh to rot and their bones to whiten in the sun. They were buried several feet below the surface, and the gloomy shades of night fell thick around before the last mangled body was hidden from the sight. And as the rising wind swept through the thick-topped pines and tall buttonwoods around, it wailed and sighed mournfully, as if singing a melancholy dirge over the graves of the gallant dead. And by the midnight hour it blew in hoarse and awful tones, and the death shouts and groans of the dead were heard commingling with the blast; and when the night was darkest, and all save the growling of the wind and these unnatural noises, was still, a lurid flame sprang up from the centre of the spot where the feast had been, and cast a sickening light on all things, and the earth opened around, and the bodies of the Wannamoisett warriors, bloody and mangled as they were, arose and danced around it, singing their war songs in unearthly tones, together with their wild requiem for the dead. Ghastly and horrible they looked, and as they danced, the blood flowed from their opening wounds, till it reached the strange fire, which instantly shot up in one lurid column of flame till it attained the blackened clouds, when it disappeared as suddenly as it had burst forth; the spectral revellers sank back again into their fresh graves, and all was dark and silent as before.

But when the morning broke the Namaskets beheld a spectacle scarcely less hideous than that of the preceding night. Their victims had been buried, as their custom was, in a sitting posture, and during the night they had all risen, so that their heads were fully visible above the surface of the ground. The bloody mark of the tomahawk was still there, and every scalp was torn off—and the eyeballs, projecting far from the sockets, were fixed and glassy, but of a burning red,—glowing like living fire. And from them rays of dingy red streamed all over the village,—and wherever one of the murderers went, those rays followed him, and pierced him, and seemed as if they were burning out his heart.

Reckless with fear and rage the murderers tore the bodies up from the ground and dug the graves still deeper and again they placed them in. But at midnight the red flame burst forth and the tempest howled fearfully. The phantom forms sprung up as before, and this time their flesh, from their shoulders downward, dropped off and was consumed by the fire, and a dense smoke arose, and a red cloud slowly gathered in the air, and hovered round and hung over the spot like a minister of vengeance. And in the morning their gory heads and glaring eyes had again struggled up above the surface. And when the fratricides saw them, a deadly terror crept over them and the demon of remorse began to prey upon their souls.

On the third night the scene was changed. The moon did not set at her accustomed hour, but hung just above the horizon, red as a sea of blood. And in the midst of the fire that shot forth from the earth at midnight, a form was seen like that of Wappacowat, the chief. But the ghostly images were there again, and they gathered round the form in the centre, and with their skeleton fingers tore off its flesh as fast as it was seared in the fire, and ground it in their teeth with ravenous appetite. When in the morning the dismayed villagers sought their chief they found him not, but tied to a stake where the midnight revel had been held was a skeleton, the bones all picked clean except the head, which had been cloven with a tomahawk, and from it the scalp was also torn, and in its features, distorted as if they had stiffened under the keenest tortures, they recognized the countenance of their king.

Dismay sat upon every guilty face, and a sullen gloom enshrouded every heart. The tribe finding it useless to bury deeper the bodies of their slain kinsmen now began to build over them—but every night one of their number disappeared, and in the morning his fleshless bones were found tied to the fatal stake; and still the heads rose, but every day there was one less than before. Then the dreadful truth flashed upon them that one of their own number must die in that fearful manner, for every one of the Wannamoisetts they had slain. As the number of their dead increased, which it did by one for every midnight hour, so did the number of spectre heads diminish. One murdered spirit was every night appeased, and appeared no more.

Still they kept on building that huge pile, and the dreadful occupation to which they clung as affording the only ray of hope that they might be delivered before their turn should come round, so wrought upon the guilty ones that they soon became almost as ghostly as the phantoms of the night which tortured them. But they faltered not in their task. Every day the heads were covered and every morning they were found in sight. And on the seventieth morning that mound was far higher than it now stands. There was then but one head remaining, for just seventy of the Wannamoisetts had been slain and just seventy were the murderers. At midnight of that day the strange revel was, for the last time, visible, for when the skeleton of Mononton, the last and most bloody of the fratricides was found, the last head had disappeared forever.

The remainder of the tribe left soon after in search of a more auspicious residence. Since the treacherous act of their brethren, famine had weakened them and the terrible plague laid many of their forest children low. But wherever they wandered, the curse of the Great Spirit followed them, and they dwindled away until finally there was no place left for them on the earth.

One fair evening in the next summer, two forms sat upon the very mound which forms the principal subject of this tale. One was a female of fairy proportions, and she looked abroad over the landscape with the eye of one to whom its beauties were familiar. Her companion’s face was buried in his hands, and his whole frame shook as if the recollection of some terrible scene were passing over his memory. And as the eye of Noalwa rested on him she, too, divining his thoughts, shuddered, saying,

“Mononchee! let us go hence, never again to return! I cannot bear to look upon these scenes where my people lived and where yours so sadly perished. These trees that we have planted around the mound which covers them will bear witness that their memory is still dear to us. Let us go, Mononchee!”

They went to dwell with those that were left of his people. Many and bright were their days. Plenty surrounded them. The tribe grew again and Mononchee became their chief. The trees which he planted around “Fort Point” sprang forth and flourished luxuriantly, and the large junipers that still remain are doubtless descended from that parent stock. But scarcely any other green thing will grow there; it seems a devoted place. Devoted let it be; sacred forever to the shades of those who are sleeping in its bosom.

A wild forest bird.

Unionville, Mass.







Philadelphia: John F. Nunns, 184 Chesnut Street.


musical score

Never shall my heart forget thee,

Come what may of joy or ill;

Love, the hour when first I met thee,

Lives in mem’ry still.

Beauty’s hallowed light was o’er thee!

musical score

Music’s spell was on thy tongue,

Oh, to see was to adore thee,

Maid of Avinlonge,

Oh! to see was to adore thee,

Maid of Avinlonge.


Maid, the shades of night are falling,

  The blest hour of love draws nigh;

Like the voice of beauty calling,

  Floats the bird-song by.

Tho’ our fond hearts fate should sever,

  Darkly doomed to pine alone;

Still as first they loved, forever

  Should our souls love on.


Though from dreams of hope awaking.

  I can scorn Fate’s ire to me,

Smile, tho’ my own heart be breaking,

  If Fate wounds not thee!

Never shall my lips deceive thee,

  My devotion ne’er decline,

Dearest, until life shall leave me,

  My whole heart is thine.

Sports and Pastimes.—THE FOWLING-PIECE.


The flint and steel lock, like the matchlock, has had its day; and the one is as likely as the other to supersede the detonator. There were some sportsmen who long retained the flint in preference to the copper-cap. Their partiality for the old system arose from their inability to depart from the manner of taking aim to which they had been accustomed—they fired too forward! It was said, too, that a barrel fired by a detonating lock, did not throw shot so efficiently as the other. That objection is now obviated by making barrels perfectly cylindrical throughout the whole length of the tube. We prefer the copper-cap lock for its simplicity, to any other system of firing by percussion.

A bad lock, in these march-of-improvement days, is rarely fixed to a gun. Since the use of detonators has become general, the quality of the lock is not of so much consequence to the sportsman as it was previously. The quickness of firing with the old flint and steel locks depended so much on the workmanship of the lock, that a properly-tempered and well-filed one was invaluable. The introduction of detonators has by no means improved the quality of the workmanship of the lock—it has rather deteriorated it. The fact is, the master gunmakers, finding the lock not so much looked at as formerly, are become indifferent to obtaining the assistance, or unwilling to incur the expense of first-rate workmen. The hardening and filing of a lock in an artist-like manner, requires no common skill. The best locks ever turned out were those made on the flint and steel principle, at the time when detonators first came into vogue; the smartness with which the percussion locks fired, obliged the makers of the flint and steel locks to bestow double diligence and labor on their work, conscious that a rival was in the field with whom it required no ordinary pains to compete. Flint locks, whether as applied to the fowling-piece or the musket, will soon be forgotten, or remembered only to give a romantic interest to some tale of other times, as the arbalast and long-bow serve only to remind us of our Norman and Saxon ancestors! It requires some mechanical knowledge and some experience, to decide on the merit of a lock. The vulgar method of trying one is this:—The operator draws back the hammer with his thumb, not touching the trigger with his finger, and if the works in the interior catch and snap smartly at the half-way, and when the hammer is drawn back, he may rely on the main-spring being sufficiently strong and free to fire the caps: then, with his thumb still on the hammer, he draws the trigger and lets the hammer glide slowly down upon the pivot. With a little practice he will be able, in some degree, to discriminate between a good lock and a bad one. To prove the difference in quality, he should take up a well-finished lock; that is, one of hard material, well filed, and having springs of a suitable and corresponding strength, and compare it with an inferior lock; by a nice touch he will perceive the difference: the hammer of the former slides backwards and forwards with a smooth, even force; whilst that of the latter runs rough and gritty, as if clogged with sand. If this somewhat uncertain mode of trial serve no other purpose, it will enable the shooter, when he takes up a gun that has been used since being cleaned, to discover whether the lock is sufficiently free from rust and dirt as to be fit for the day’s service; for most assuredly, if the lock be clogged, when thus worked backwards and forwards, it will not snap, or in sporting phrase talk; and in that case it would be unsafe to use it. A detonating lock that will bear this trial, and will invariably fire the cap, may be pronounced quite good enough for any sporting purpose.

The triggers should be what are technically termed box-triggers, and should be taken from the stock and cleaned at least once during the season, and oftener if very much exposed to dust, rain, or a damp atmosphere. They should be adjusted with scrupulous nicety, so as to require only a slight touch to draw them: they should not, indeed, fire as easily as the hair-triggers of duelling pistols, but should be fixed so firmly as that the sportsman should not be liable to discharge his piece, while bringing it up to his shoulder cocked, with his finger upon one of the triggers. The triggers may sometimes be regulated by filing, hardening, or softening the scear spring, or filing the wedge-like part of the scear which falls into the notches of the tumbler: and sometimes it is necessary to file that part of the trigger which comes in contact with the scear, but this operation requires to be carefully performed. A valuable lock should not be placed in the hands of an unskilful workman for the apparently trifling purpose of regulating the triggers, nor yet for any other purpose.

The wadding we should recommend is that made of felt, and anointed with some chemical preparation. We are not sure that this is the very best description of wadding, but we know of none better. New waddings are constantly invented. The metallic wadding, concave wadding, punched cards, or punched hat wadding, are any of them good, as regards shooting. The chief reason why we bestow a preference on the anointed wadding is, because the barrel is kept less foul, and may be fired so many times oftener without requiring cleaning, than when any other description of wadding with which we are acquainted is used. We are not partial to a tight wadding, but it should fit so that when the barrel is clean and smooth within, the charge will not stir. There is little fear of the charge stirring after a barrel has been fired a few times, as the place where the leading or foulness accumulates in greatest quantity is just above where the charge of shot lies.

Considerable improvement has been made in copper-caps since they were first introduced. The composition in all of them is now good; that which possesses the anti-corrosive principle is perhaps best. There is much difference in the copper of which they are made, but that is of little consequence when good locks with concave or well shielded hammers are used, otherwise those made of bad copper are said to be dangerous. We never heard of an accident from them. The shooter should be particular in procuring copper-caps of a proper size; for if they do not fit the pivots, considerable inconvenience will be experienced. When too small, they will not explode; and when too large, the cap on the second pivot is apt to fly off when the first barrel is fired. The shooter will find it convenient to carry a quantity of caps loose in his waistcoat pocket, with a reserve in a box (a metal box water-tight is best) to have recourse to should those in his pocket become wet. He should take care that there be nothing in his pocket to choke the caps; and by way of precaution, he should, before putting a cap on the pivot, see that there be no dirt in the cap, and that it be perfect.

The best powder does not soil the gun so much as inferior powder. After using good powder, a redness will be observed round the orifice of the pivot. After using coarse powder, a white or black appearance will present itself. The purer the powder is, the oftener may a barrel be fired without requiring to be cleaned.

When the measure on the flask is regulated as it ought to be, it will hold the requisite charge for a clean barrel on a warm dry day. It behoves the shooter, then, when the atmosphere is moist and the wind boisterous, to increase the charge of powder in each barrel in a trifling degree. However stormy the day may be, the shooter may prevent the particles of powder from being blown away while he is charging; but he cannot prevent them adhering to the damp leaded interior of the barrels. Indeed, if the barrels be damp, as they cannot fail to be if the air be so, and there be no wind at all, they cannot be held quite perpendicular, so that the whole charge of powder shall find its way to the breech. One-fifth of the charge will sometimes adhere. Doubtless, when tight wadding is used, the whole, or nearly the whole, of the charge finds its way to the bottom: but in what state? A portion of it is wet!—and the result is, that, when the piece is discharged, only four-fifths ignite!

The fowling-piece should be put by clean, oiled, and the barrels corked or stopped, and with the hammers upon the pivots. It should be kept in a cloth or woolen case, in a dry room, and, when not in constant use, occasionally rubbed with linen dipped in olive oil. The inside of the barrel should be frequently oiled, the oil being immediately wiped out with a dry cloth wrapped round the cleaning rod. Neat’s-foot oil is best for the lock, and linseed oil is recommended for the stocks, but it is so offensive that we prefer olive oil.

Large-grained powder is generally stronger than small-grained. It is well to be cautious that the grain is not so large as not to fill the nipple freely, or misfires will be the consequence. Powder which suits one gun may not suit another; the larger the bore of the gun, the larger should be the grain of the powder. An instrument for trying the strength of powder should not be trusted to: the best trial is with the gun in which the powder is intended to be used, and there can be no better target for trying the comparative strength of different powders, than an unbound book fixed firmly against something solid.

The heavier and harder the metal of which shot is made the better.[5]

As shot is numbered differently by different manufacturers, we give the number to the ounce of the sizes to which we have referred:

A. A.about40 
B. B.60 



It is not usual to charge the gun until arriving at the shooting ground. When there, however advisable on the score of caution it may be, flashing off a quantity of powder to clear out, dry, and warm the gun before loading, has certainly a cockney appearance; the more sportsman-like practice is,—the party having reliance on the person who cleans his gun,—merely to permit the ramrod to fall lightly to the bottom of each barrel. The barrels are then held as perpendicularly as possible while the powder is poured in, so that nearly the whole charge may reach home, and not adhere in its descent. The barrel is then tapped with the ramrod, or the gun slightly shook against the foot, that powder may find its way into the pivots,—that is the more necessary when coarse-grained powder is used. A wadding is then gently pressed down. The shot is next poured in, and a slight shake of the gun in an upward direction causes it to lie evenly;—a wadding is pressed upon it. The shooter next removes the remains of the caps, and looks whether the powder has found its way to the orifice of the pivots, and if it has, he places fresh caps on; if powder is not visible at the orifice of the pivots, he removes any obstacle with a pricker, and contrives to push down a few grains of powder. It is very material to attend to this point, to prevent miss-fires.



The wire-cartridge was invented, in 1828, by Mr. Jenour. It consists of a cylindrical case or network of wire, the meshes of which are somewhat more than an eighth of an inch square; at the lower end the wire partially closes; the wire case is then enveloped in fine paper, and at the upper end a cork wadding, cut so as to fit the gauge of the gun, is affixed, the case is then filled with shot and bone dust. The first cartridges made, though ingenious in construction, were defective in operation. It was a matter of no ordinary difficulty to fabricate them in such a manner that the shot should leave the case at the precise distance required. This at first could not be done so that they might be trusted in every instance; every alternate cartridge might fire well, but the rest would fire irregularly, being liable to ball,—that is, the shot would not leave the case until fifty or sixty yards from the gun, and such cartridges were, of course, not only useless but dangerous. They have been from time to time improved, and almost every difficulty has been overcome. The sporting cartridges now made never ball, they act with a considerable degree of precision and certainty, and that they may be safely trusted may be inferred from the fact that they are often preferred by persons engaged in pigeon matches. Various materials were used experimentally to fill up the interstices between the pellets, but nothing seems to answer so well as the material now used. Another difficulty in their construction presented itself. It was requisite to accommodate them to the various methods of boring used by different gunmakers, and the unequal length of barrels, the object in view being to produce a cartridge that would suit all barrels of the same gauge, and this has been in a great measure, if not wholly, accomplished. The liability to ball, notwithstanding various improvements made in them, was not effectually obviated for many years, during which they were tried, and in many instances prematurely condemned, either from real defects, or from the parties not knowing how to use them. They were not brought to perfection until the year 1837.

The wire-cartridges possess two principal advantages over loose shot; they are propelled with greater velocity, and thrown more evenly. A loose charge is always thrown in patches; the shots of a cartridge, as seen on a target, are comparatively equi-distant from each other.


Guy Fawkes; or The Gunpowder Treason. An Historical Romance. By William Harrison Ainsworth, Author of “The Tower of London,” “Jack Sheppard,” &c. Philadelphia. Lea and Blanchard.

What Mr. William Harrison Ainsworth had been doing before he wrote “Rookwood” is uncertain; but it seems to us that he made his literary début with that work. It was generally commended; but we found no opportunity of perusing it. “Crichton” followed, and this we read; for our curiosity was much excited in regard to it by certain discrepancies of critical opinion. In one or two instances it was unequivocally condemned as “flat, stale and unprofitable,” although, to be sure, the critics, in these one or two instances, were men of little note. The more prevalent idea appeared to be that the book was a miracle of wit and wisdom, and that Ainsworth who wrote “Crichton,” was in fact Crichton redivivus. We have now before us a number of a Philadelphia Magazine for the month of April, 1840, in which the learned editor thus speaks of the work in question—“Mr. Ainsworth is a powerful writer; his ‘Crichton’ stands at the head of the long list of English novels—unapproachable and alone. . . . This great glory is fairly Mr. Ainsworth’s due, and in our humble opinion, the fact is incontrovertible.” Upon a perusal of the novel so belauded, we found it a somewhat ingenious admixture of pedantry, bombast, and rigmarole. No man ever read “Crichton” through twice. From beginning to end it is one continued abortive effort at effect. The writer keeps us in a perpetual state of preparation for something magnificent; but the something magnificent never arrives. He is always saying to the reader, directly or indirectly, “now, in a very brief time, you shall see what you shall see!” The reader turns over the page in expectation, and meets with nothing beyond the same everlasting assurance:—another page and the same result—another and still the same—and so on to the end of the performance. One cannot help fancying the novelist in some perplexing dream—one of those frequently recurring visions, half night-mare half asphyxia, in which the sufferer, although making the most strenuous efforts to run, finds a walk or a crawl the ne plus ultra of his success in locomotion.

The plot is monstrously improbable, and yet not so much improbable as inconsequential. A German critic would say that the whole is excessively ill-motivert. No one action follows necessarily upon any one other. There is, at all times, the greatest parade of measures, but measures that have no comprehensible result. The author works busily for a chapter or two with a view of bringing matters in train for a certain end; and then suffers this end to be either omitted—unaccomplished—or brought to pass by accidental and irrelevant circumstances. The reader of taste very soon perceives this defect in the conduct of the story, and, ceasing to feel any interest in marches and countermarches that promise no furtherance of any object, abandons himself to the investigation of the page only which is immediately before him. Despairing of all amusement from the construction of the book, he falls back upon its immediate descriptions. But, alas, what is there here to excite any emotion in the bosom of a well-read man, beyond that of contempt? If an occasional interest is aroused, he feels it due, not to the novelist, but to the historical reminiscences which even that novelist’s inanity cannot render altogether insipid. The turgid pretension of the style annoys, and the elaborately-interwoven pedantry irritates, insults, and disgusts. He must be blind, indeed, who cannot understand the great pains taken by Mr. Ainsworth to interlard the book in question with second-hand hits of classical and miscellaneous erudition; and he must be equally blind who cannot perceive that this is the chicanery which has so impressed the judgment, and dazzled the imagination of such critics as he of the aforesaid Magazine. We know nothing at all of Mr. Ainsworth’s scholarship. There are some very equivocal blunders in “Crichton,” to be sure; but Ainsworth is a classical name, and we must make very great allowances for the usual errors of press. We say, however, that, from all that appears in the novel in question, he may be as really ignorant as a bear. True erudition—by which term we here mean only to imply much diversified reading—is certainly discoverable—is positively indicated only in its ultimate and total results. We have observed elsewhere, that the mere grouping together of fine things from the greatest multiplicity of the rarest works, or even the apparently natural inweaving into any composition of the sentiments and manner of these works, is an attainment within the reach of every moderately-informed, ingenious, and not indolent man, having access to any ordinary collection of good books. Of all vanities the vanity of the unlettered pedant is the most sickening, and the most transparent.

Mr. Ainsworth having thus earned for himself the kind of renown which “Crichton” could establish with the rabble, made his next appearance before that rabble with “Jack Sheppard.” Seeing what we have just seen, we should by no means think it wonderful that this romance threw into the greatest astonishment the little critics who so belauded the one preceding. They could not understand it at all. They would not believe that the same author had written both. Thus they condemned it in loud terms. The Magazine before alluded to, styles it, in round terms, “the most corrupt, flat, and vulgar fabrication in the English language . . . a disgrace to the literature of the day.” Corrupt and vulgar it undoubtedly is, but it is by no means so flat (if we understand the critic’s idea of the term) as the “Crichton” to which it is considered so terribly inferior. By “flat” we presume “uninteresting” is intended. To us, at least, no novel was less interesting than “Crichton,” and the only interest which it could have had for any reader must have arisen from admiration excited by the apparently miraculous learning of the plagiarist, and from the air of owlish profundity which he contrives to throw over the work. The interest, if any, must have had regard to the author and not to his book. Viewed as a work of art, and without reference to any supposed moral or immoral tendencies, (things with which the critic has nothing to do) “Jack Sheppard” is by no means the very wretched composition which some gentlemen would have us believe. Its condemnation has been brought about by the revulsion consequent upon the exaggerated estimate of “Crichton.” It is altogether a much better book than “Crichton.” Although its incidents are improbable—(the frequent miraculous escapes of the hero, for instance, without competent means) still they are not, as in “Crichton,” at the same time inconsequential. Admitting the facts, these facts hang together sufficiently well. Nor is there any bombast of style; this negative merit, to be sure, being no merit of the author’s, but an enforced one resulting from the subject. The chief defect of the work is a radical one, the nature and effect of which we were at some pains to point out in a late notice of Captain Marryatt’s “Poacher.” The story being, no doubt, written to order, for Magazine purposes, and in a violent hurry, has been scrambled through by means of incident solely. It is totally wanting in the autorial comment. The writer never pauses to speak, in his own person, of what is going on. It is possible to have too much of this comment; but it is far easier to have too little. The most tedious books, ceteris paribus, are those which have none at all. “Sir Charles Grandison,” “Clarissa Harlowe,” and the “Ernest Maltravers” of Bulwer embody instances of its superabundance. The genius of the author of “Pelham” is in nothing more evident than in the interest which he has infused into some of his late works in spite of their ultra-didacticism. The “Poacher” just mentioned, and “The Arabian Nights” are examples of deficiency in the commenting principle, and are both intolerably tedious in spite of their rich variety of incident. The juste milieu was never more admirably attained than in De Foe’s “Robinson Crusoe” and in the “Caleb Williams” of Godwin. This latter work, from the character of its incidents, affords a fine opportunity of contrast with “Jack Sheppard.” In both novels the hero escapes repeatedly from prison. In the work of Ainsworth the escapes are merely narrated. In that of Godwin they are discussed. With the latter we become at once absorbed in those details which so manifestly absorb his own soul. We read with the most breathless attention. We close the book with a real regret. The former puts us out of all patience. His marvels have a nakedness which repels. Nothing he relates seems either probable or possible, or of the slightest interest, whether the one or the other. His hero impresses us as a mere chimæra with whom we have no earthly concern, and when he makes his final escape and comes to the gallows, we would feel a very sensible relief, but for the impracticability of hanging up Mr. Ainsworth in his stead. But if “Jack Sheppard” is a miserably inartistical book, still it is by no means so utterly contemptible and silly as the tawdry stuff which has been pronounced “the best of English novels, standing at the head of the long list unapproachable and alone!

Of “The Tower of London” we have read only some detached passages—enough to assure us, however, that the “work,” like Yankee razors, has been manufactured merely “to sell.” “Guy Fawkes,” the book now lying before us, and the last completed production of its author, is positively beneath criticism and beneath contempt. The design of Mr. Ainsworth has been to fill, for a certain sum of money, a stipulated number of pages. There existed a necessity of engaging the readers whom especially he now addresses—that is to say the lowest order of the lettered mob—a necessity of enticing them into the commencement of a perusal. For this end the title “Guy Fawkes or The Gunpowder Plot” was all sufficient, at least within the regions of Cockaigne. As for fulfilling any reasonable expectations, derived either from the ad captandum title, or from his own notoriety (we dare not say reputation) as a novelist—as for exerting himself for the permanent or continuous amusement of the poor flies whom he had inveigled into his trap—all this, with him, has been a consideration of no moment. He had a task to perform, and not a duty. What were his readers to Mr. Ainsworth?—“What Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba?” The result of such a state of affairs is self-evident. With his best exertions, in his earliest efforts, with all the goadings of a sickening vanity which stood him well instead of nobler ambition—with all this, he could do—he has done—but little; and without them he has now accomplished exactly nothing at all. If ever, indeed, a novel were less than nothing, then that novel is “Guy Fawkes.” To say a word about it in the way of serious criticism, would be to prove ourselves as great a blockhead as its author. Macte virtute, my dear sir—proceed and flourish. In the meantime we bid you a final farewell. Your next volume, which will have some such appellation as “The Ghost of Cock-Lane,” we shall take the liberty of throwing unopened out of the window. Our pigs are not all of the description called learned, but they will have more leisure for its examination than we.

The Gift: A Christmas and New-Year’s Present for 1842. Carey and Hart: Philadelphia.

This volume of “The Gift” is superior to any yet published. Mrs. Embury has an entertaining story, and Miss Leslie’s account of a “Family that Didn’t take Boarders” is also quite amusing. Mr. Simms has a well narrated tale—Mr. Seba Smith has another—Professor Frost another—Mrs. Ellet, also, and the author of “A New Home.” We ourselves have one which is not ended so well as it might be—a good subject spoiled by hurry in the handling. The poetry, in general, is insipid. Mrs. Sigourney has not done herself justice. Lieut. G. W. Patten, U. S. A. has three effusions, neither of which do credit to the Annual. This gentleman, who writes frequently, and should therefore write well, is singularly remiss in his metaphors, and often grievously deficient in his grammar. What does he mean, at page 309, by

As sleep the brave so thou should sleep (?)

or, at page 165, by

The storm is on the sea—I hear its wings

In thunder fretting o’er the lifted wave (?)

This is surely a most singular instance of metaphor run mad! Here are three conflicting images at one time in the brain of the poet. By the word “wings” the reader is made to understand the prosopopeia of the storm as a bird; by “thunder” (a natural accompaniment of tempests) he is brought back to the impersonified storm; by “fretting” he is left in no doubt that the writer’s ideas are running upon a horse—and all this in the compass of one line and a half!

The “Stanzas” by Park Benjamin have a rich simplicity which of all literary qualities is the most difficult of attainment, and of all merits the most uncertain of appreciation; but we are sorry to say that they are the only good verses in the volume.

The engravings are very fine. We will speak of them briefly one by one.

The “Country Girl,” by Cheney from Sully, is a truthful picture. The design is perfect. The only fault of the execution lies in the undue breadth of the face; this defect would be remedied by deepening the shade beneath the left ear. The work of the engraver is well done.

“Vignette Head,” by Cheney from Sully—one of the latter’s favorite heads—the face that of a pouting hoyden. The hair is beautifully massed. The vignetting is carried too low as regards the bosom, from which half an inch should be taken off at bottom, or otherwise some lines of shading introduced to relieve it of its blank appearance. The arm is execrable—the hand worse—both are too massive and sinewy.

“Dulcinea,” by Cheney from Leslie. No fault can be found with this picture, which is admirable in every respect. The right arm, in especial, is exquisitely rounded and foreshortened.

“The Tough Story” by J. J. Pease, from W. S. Mount. Mr. Mount’s merits are those of acute observation and fidelity. These merits, although not of the highest order, have the advantage of being universally appreciable. This is an advantage which he secures—clinches—by dealing only in homely subjects. If he has ideality (a question which as yet we have had no means of deciding) and would employ his peculiar talents upon loftier themes, he might attain a very desirable eminence indeed.

Nothing could be more true to nature than the picture before us; but the painter has sacrificed to this truth (at some points) artistical effects of superior value. What can be more displeasing, for example, than the unrelieved nakedness of the wall in the back ground, or the situation of the group precisely in the centre of the design, or, especially, than the tall regular stove pipe, running up parallel with the back of the standing figure, and dividing the apartment exactly in two?

“The Gipsy,” by Cheney from Sully, is altogether out of drawing as regards the face, which is, again, too broad to the left. This is a very usual error in side faces. The fingers are badly engraved, particularly those of the right hand, which look as if covered with a net or pic-nic glove. The foliage in this picture is not very well executed.

“The Sled” by W. E. Tucker, from Chapman, is a most effective design, evincing the well-educated artist. The idea of rapid motion is skilfully embodied in the countenance of the boy, in the peculiar falling curve of the hill, and exquisitely corroborated in the whirl of the clouds. This is the true artistical keeping. The limbs of the boy are too small for his head and body, and the left hand appears to have been cut from a turnip. This latter defect is chargeable to the engraver.

“The Raffle” by A. Lawson from Mount. This is another of Mr. Mount’s idiosyncrasies, and is absolute perfection in its way. The defects of the work (considered as a mere picture) which we pointed out in the “Tough Story,” are not observable here. The grouping of the figures and the arrangement of the design generally, are as admirable as the varied expression of the Yankee faces. The light, however, is too equally disposed about the room, and, in especial, upon the three middle personages. It is difficult, moreover, to imagine these three persons so illumined, and the back of the foreground figure at the same time so fully in shade. These are petty objections—but it is right they should be made.

“Portia,” by Forrest from Sully, is an engraving in which the mere mechanism is excellent; and, in fact, the work is, upon the whole, highly creditable to Mr. Forrest. The hands, however, are badly done; the left especially. Some knowledge of drawing is absolutely essential in one who copies. This knowledge cannot be supplied by even Chinese fidelity in depicting dot for dot and line for line. The picture, altogether, we prefer to any in the book. Were we in the habit of purchasing paintings this “Portia” by Sully is the only one here which we would purchase.

The paper of “The Gift” for 1842 does not seem to us sufficiently good. The binding is certainly magnificent, but would have been vastly improved by the use of a thicker board.

Amenities of Literature, consisting of Sketches and Characters of English Literature. By J. D’Israeli, D.C.L. F. S. A. 2 vols. I. & H. G. Langley: New York.

The reputation of the elder D’Israeli as scholar and philosopher is at least as well founded as that of any man of his age. He has given to the world a series of peculiar books—books in which the richest variety of recherché detail and anecdote about literary affairs, is made subservient to the most comprehensive survey and analysis of letters themselves, considered in respect to their important spiritual uses. He is the only savant upon record who has busied himself, without pedantry, among the minutiæ of classical lore. His works will last as long as the language in which they are written. The “Curiosities of Literature,” the “Literary Character,” the “Miscellanies of Literature,” the “Calamities of Authors,” and all but the present “Amenities of Literature” are, however, but incidental labors arising from a more extensive design—a “History of English Literature”—of which he thus speaks. “It was my intention not to furnish an arid narrative of books and of authors, but, following the steps of the human mind through the wide track of time, to trace from their beginnings the progress and the decline of public opinions, and to illustrate, as the objects presented themselves, the great incidents in our national annals.” In this magnificent project the philosopher was arrested by blindness. The “Amenities of Literature” is a portion and in fact the beginning of the great scheme which can now never be completed. We need say no more to recommend it to the reader. The two volumes before us are issued in the customary careful and tasteful style of the Langleys.

The Critical and Miscellaneous Writings of Sir Edward Lytton Bulwer, author of “Pelham,” &c. 2 vols. Lea and Blanchard: Philadelphia.

We have read these volumes with the highest pleasure. They embrace all of the known minor writings of Bulwer, with the exception of his shorter fictions; and we recognize in the collection several very excellent articles which had arrested our attention and excited our curiosity while their authorship was undivulged.

Mr. Bulwer is never lucid, and seldom profound. His intellect seems to be rather well balanced than lofty—rather comprehensive than penetrative. His taste is exquisite. His style, in its involution and obscurity, partakes of the involution of his thoughts. Apart from his mere intellect, however,—or rather as a portion of that intellect—we recognize in his every written word the keenest appreciation of the right, the beautiful, and the true. Thus he is a man worthy of all reverence, and we do not hesitate to say that we look upon the charges of immoral tendency which have been so pertinaciously adduced against his fictions, as absurdly little and untenable, in the mass.

The volumes now before us are plain evidence of the noble spirit which has constantly actuated him. The papers here published were written at various epochs of his life. We look through them in vain for anything false, as a whole, or unchivalrous, or impure, or weak, or tasteless, or ignoble. Were we addicted jurare in verba magistri, there lives no man upon whose faith we would more confidently rely than upon that of Bulwer—no man whose opinion upon any point involving a question of truth, or justice, or taste, we would be more willing to adopt unexamined.

We have been especially pleased with an article (in the volumes now before us) entitled “Literature Considered as a Profession,” and with another “Upon the Spirit of True Criticism.” Some remarks in the latter paper are quite as applicable to our own country as to Great Britain.

“ ‘To say this is good and that is bad,’ says La Bruyère, ‘is not morality.’ Very true, neither is it criticism. There is no criticism in this country—considering that word as the name of a science. A book comes out—it is capital, says one—it is detestable, says another. Its characters are unnatural—its characters are nature itself. On both sides there is affirmation, on neither proof. In fact no science requires such elaborate study as criticism. It is the most analytical of our mental operations—to pause—to examine—to say why that passage is a sin against nature, or that plot a violation of art—to bring deep knowledge of life in all its guises—of the heart in all its mysteries to bear upon a sentence of approval or disapprobation—to have cultivated the feeling of beauty until its sense of harmony has grown as fine as the ear of a musician—equally sensitive to discord—or alive to new combinations:—these are no light qualities, and these are not qualities, it may be answered, to be lightly lavished away. Every new book, it may be said, does not deserve that we should so honor it. We need not invoke the Past, and summon all Nature to hear us praise a butterfly, or crush a bug. We may on slight works arrogate the censor—yes, but we must first have been chosen the censor, by the acumen we have testified on great ones. Now, when an author who has risen into eminence, who begins to produce an effect upon his age, whose faults it becomes necessary to indicate as a warning, whose beauties we should illustrate as an example—when such a man produces a new work, what is the cant cry of the critics? ‘The peculiar merits and failings of Mr. So and So are too well known for us at this time of day to repeat them. The present work has all the characteristics of the last—if it does not increase, it will not diminish the well-earned reputation of the author.’ Then come the extracts, and a word or two at the end as precise and lucid as those at the beginning, and——there’s THE CRITICISM!

“For my part, I please myself sometimes with drawing the ideal picture of a good critic, as Bolingbroke drew that of a patriot king. What a crowd of accomplishments, not easily seen by the superficial, belong to that character! Literature and morality are so entwined that you rarely find the real critic unless he is also the moralist. The union is almost necessary. In Quinctilian how beautifully the deduction closes the dogma! and even in Johnson the habit of moralizing gives dignity to his criticisms. In both sciences the study of mankind, of the metaphysical nature within us, alone insures a sound judgment: in both, without a delicate yet profound perception of the harmonious, the beautiful, the august, no commanding excellency is obtained. The goodness of a man and the goodness of a book are not such different qualities as people suppose. A person, however, may be, though he is not often, a good moralist without being a good man: to preach and practice are faculties not inseparable. But I doubt if a man can be a great critic who has not, at least, the elementary qualities of a good man. I consider that he must keep the intellectual sight clear from envy, and malice, and personal dislikes. He must examine the work above and remote from all the petty considerations that attach to the man. He must be on the alert for genius, ready to encourage even a rival to himself. Where this largeness of mind is not visible, there is always something petty and crippled in the mind of the professional critic. He may make one great criticism, but he cannot criticise with greatness habitually. Perhaps he reviews some dead author—for the dead interfere not with the living; or he wastes a world of generosity, like Southey, in praising some rhymester of the pantry, who is little enough while he attracts honor to the praiser to plunge into forgetfulness the praise. The good critic—that rare ideal, must have in him courage to blame boldly, magnanimity to eschew envy, benevolence to search for obscure merit. He must have genius to appreciate, and learning to compare: he must have an eye for beauty, an ear for music, a heart for feeling, a mind for reason. ‘We are conscious of excellency,’ says some author, ‘in proportion to the excellence within ourselves.’ ”

We wish also to call attention to a very excellent article on the subject of “International Copyright.” The only paper in the collection which we could have wished omitted is one entitled “A Letter to the Quarterly Review,”—an attempt at vindictive retaliation upon Lockhart. We admire this gentleman quite as little as Mr. Bulwer can possibly do, but we grieve to see an attack which has neither vigor nor wit, and which proves nothing beyond the writer’s wrath and utter incapacity for satire.

The Pic Nic Papers. By various Hands. Edited by Charles Dickens, Esq. author of “The Pickwick Papers,” &c. 2 vols. Lea and Blanchard: Philadelphia.

The “Introduction” to this work gives us its history. “The premature death of a young publisher (Mr. Macrone) inspired some of those who had known him personally, or had been connected with him in business, with an earnest desire to render some assistance to his widow and orphans. They produced among themselves this work.” In the English edition there were three volumes; the third consisting of the “Charcoal Sketches” of Mr. Joseph C. Neal, of Philadelphia. This edition we have not seen; but have been astonished to hear that the London publisher has been so discourteous as to print Mr. Neal’s compositions, and the engravings which accompanied them, without the name of the writer, or any farther acknowledgment than a few words speaking of the whole as “from an American source.” Comment upon such meanness seems altogether a work of supererogation; but, in truth, we are in the habit of setting our brethren across the water very bad examples in matters of a somewhat similar kind. That Mr. Dickens had any thing to do with the wrong now perpetrated, we will not, however, believe for a moment.

The contributors to the two volumes reprinted in Philadelphia are among the most celebrated literati of England. We have, for example, articles from Dickens, from Leigh Ritchie, Allan Cunningham, Thomas Moore, W. H. Ainsworth, G. P. R. James, Agnes Strickland and several others. It might be supposed, of course, that the collection would be one of high interest: but we are forced to say that it is not. In a case like this, authors (who for the most part are unburthened with pecuniary means) are called upon to furnish gratuitous papers. It is not surprising that, under such circumstances, they content themselves with bestowing whatever MS. they may have at hand, of least value. Scraps from memorandum-books; effusions of early years kept only as mementos and never destined for publication; fragments of tales or essays definitely abandoned by the author, who has become dissatisfied with his subject or the mode in which it was progressing—matters such as these form invariably the staple of compilations such as this. There is, moreover, another important consideration—one involving a very remarkable truth. The refuse labor of a man of genius is usually inferior, and greatly so, to that of the man of common-place talent:—very much as the dregs of the Côtes du Rhone are more viscid than those of Sherry or De Grâve. It is only necessary to suggest this idea to have it at once fully appreciated and understood. The man of talent pursues “the even tenor of his way.” He is at all times himself. With the all-prevalent law of action and reaction he has nothing to do. Never excited into wild enthusiasm, he never experiences its consequent and inevitable depression. Never boldly soaring, he never sadly sinks. To write well, the man of genius must write in obedience to his impulses. When forced to disobey them—when constrained, by the fetters of a methodical duty, to compose at all hours—it is but a portion of his nature—it is but a condition of his intellect—that he should occasionally grovel in platitudes of the most pitiable description. And this fact will go farther than any one hitherto adduced, to explain the character of a fatality which has so constantly attended genius as to have become a sure index of its existence:—we mean the fatality of alternate high eulogium and virulent invective. Few men are conversant with the whole works of an author. Now, in the case of two critics of equal ability, it may happen (and we know it does frequently so happen) that the opinion of one may be based solely upon the author’s best efforts, while that of the other is deduced from some mere task-work labored out in hours of the most utter inappetency and exhaustion. The dissent of the latter (a dissent just if we regard only the means of judgment) will, of course, be extravagant in denunciation, precisely in the ratio of his astonishment and indignation at what he supposes the corrupt panegyric of the former.

Therefore, it should not be a matter for surprise that these “Pic Nic Papers” are very great trash, although written by very clever men. Their general merit, in our opinion, is below that of the mere make-weight of our commonest newspapers and magazines. One or two of the articles are not very bad:—Leigh Ritchie’s “Marcus Bell,” for example; a tale entitled “Aunt Honor;” and “The Lamplighter’s Story,” by Mr. Dickens. This last, however, is only tolerable through the manner in which it is told. There is not a single paper of real value; and more consummate nonsense than the greater portion of the collection we never encountered in any respectable-looking book.

We cannot conclude our notice without a protest against the title-page. To call this paltry publication the “Pic Nic Papers,” and affirm it to be edited by Mr. Dickens—thus inducing ideas of the popular Pickwick, is a piece of chicanery which not even the end in view can sanction. No body of men are justified in making capital of the public’s gullibility for purposes of charity, public or private—for any purposes under the sun. We do not hesitate to state the present case plainly. The title affixed to this work has been designedly so affixed, that purchasers, hastily glancing at it, may suppose it a book upon the same plan as the “Pickwick Papers,” and written, as they were, by Mr. Dickens. No one who reflects an instant can suppose the intention to have been anything else. Now what is this but the worst species of forgery?

History of the War in the Peninsula, and in the South of France, from the year 1807 to the year 1814. By W. F. Napier, C. B., Colonel, &c. From the Fourth Edition. Complete in Four Volumes. With Numerous Engravings. Carey and Hart: Philadelphia.

Colonel Napier’s “History of the Peninsula War” is a work whose general features are sufficiently well understood. In the thoroughness of its survey and in the minute and exact particularity of its details, if not in more important and comprehensive regards, it is equalled certainly by no other book on the subject discussed, and perhaps by few histories of any kind. The author’s extensive political acquaintance with the events agitating all Europe at the period investigated, and especially the part he bore in some of these events, with his obvious enthusiasm for military affairs, rendered him as fitting for the task which he has undertaken as any individual of his age. It may be said, indeed, and not altogether paradoxically, that he was somewhat too well qualified for this task. The agitating incidents quorum pars magna fuit have so forcibly impressed his imagination as to mislead his understanding in respect to the relative importance of these incidents. He discourses of the “Peninsular Campaign” (pretty much, by the way, as all Englishmen discourse of it) as if it alone were the proper subject of all human deliberation. No one will be willing to deny the interest which appertains to it, nor the magnitude of the results to which it led. We mean to say, however, that, except to Colonel Napier and the Duke of Wellington, it is not the only important topic in the universe.

Hitherto the American reader of history has been able to procure this work only from our public libraries, and the enterprize of Messieurs Carey and Hart in placing it within reach, is worthy of all commendation. They must have been at unusual expense in this undertaking. The volumes are thick octavos, and are illustrated by no less than fifty-five lithographed plans, (which, by the way, are not very well executed.) At the same time these publishers can scarcely expect remuneration from a very extensive sale. By public institutions and military men the work will be valued and purchased. But beyond these, with few exceptions, the public will content itself with the means already in its power of referring to the history in our libraries. The gentlemen in question are, of course, the best judges of their own affairs; but it does seem to us that they have erred in permitting the foreign value and reputation of the work to influence them in making an American reprint.

Ten Thousand a Year. By the Author of The Diary of a London Physician. Carey and Hart: Philadelphia.

There are several circumstances connected with this book which render it an important topic for the critic. We mean its unusual length—the previous reputation of its author—the peculiarity of its subject—the apparent under-current of design which has been attributed to it—the wide difference of opinion existing in regard to its merit—and, especially, the fact of its being, if not precisely the first, yet certainly the chief of the class of periodical novels—the peculiar advantages and disadvantages of which it will afford a good opportunity for discussing. We much regret, therefore, that we have left ourselves no room, in the present number of the Magazine, for an extended analysis of the work. This we may possibly undertake in December; contenting ourselves, in the meantime, with a few observations at random.

It appears to us that a main source of the interest which this book possesses for the mass, is to be referred to the pecuniary nature of its theme. From beginning to end it is an affair of pounds, shillings, and pence—a topic which comes home at least as immediately to the bosoms and business of mankind, as any which could be selected. The same character in the choice of subject was displayed by Doctor Warren in his “Passages from the Diary of a London Physician.” The bodily health is a point of absolutely universal interest, and was made the basis of all the excitement in that very popular but shamefully ill-written publication.

“Ten Thousand a Year” is also “shamefully ill-written.” Its mere English is disgraceful to an L.L.D.—would be disgraceful to the simplest tyro in rhetoric. At every page we meet with sentences thus involved—“In order, however, to do this effectually I must go back to an earlier period in history than has yet been called to his attention. If it [what?—attention?—history?] shall have been unfortunate enough to attract the hasty eye of the superficial and impatient novel-reader, I make no doubt that by such a one certain portions of what has gone before, and which [which what?] could not fail of attracting the attention of long-headed people as being not thrown in for nothing (and therefore to be borne in mind with a view to subsequent explanation) have been entirely overlooked or forgotten.” The book is full too of the grossest misusages of language—the most offensive vulgarities of speech and violations of grammar. The whole tone is in the last degree mawkish and inflated. What can be more ridiculous that the frequent apostrophising after this fashion—“My glorious Kate, how my heart goes forth towards you! And thou, her brother! who art of kindred spirit, who art supported by philosophy and exalted by religion, so that thy constancy cannot be shaken or overthrown by the black and ominous swell of trouble which is increasing around thee—I know that thou wilt outlive the storm—and yet it rocks thee! What indeed is to become of you all? Whither will you go? And your suffering mother, should she survive so long, is her precious form to be borne away from Yatton?” &c. &c.

There is no attempt at plot—but some of the incidents are wofully ill adapted and improbable. The moralising, throughout, is tedious in the extreme. Two-thirds of the whole novel might have been omitted with advantage. The character of Aubrey is a ridiculous piece of overdone sentimentality—and in character generally the writer fails. One of the worst features of the whole is the transparent puerile attempt to throw ridicule upon the ministerial party by dubbing them with silly names, supposed to be indicative of peculiarities of person or character. While the oppositionists, for example, rejoice in the euphonious appellations of Aubrey, Delamere, and the like, their foes are called Quirk, Gammon, Snap, Bloodsuck, Rotgut, Silly-Punctilio, and other more stupid and beastly indecencies.

Latest Fashions, November 1841. For Graham’s Magazine.

Transcriber’s Notes:

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


[The end of Graham's Magazine Vol XIX No. 5 November 1841 edited by George Rex Graham]