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Title: Graham's Magazine Vol XX No. 1 January 1842

Date of first publication: 1842

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

Date first posted: May 4, 2021

Date last updated: May 4, 2021

Faded Page eBook #20210508

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


Vol. XX.      January, 1842      No. 1.


Fiction, Literature and Articles
The Shepherd’s Love
Highland Beauty
The Snow-Storm
Dreams of the Land and Sea
The False Ladye
Harry Cavendish
Cousin Agatha
An Appendix of Autographs
The Two Dukes
The Daughters of Dr. Byles
Review of New Books.
Poetry, Music and Fashion
The Goblet of Life
To a Land Bird at Sea
Agathè.—A Necromaunt
The Queen of May
A Song
To Helen in Heaven
The Zephyr
The Eyes of Night
Thy Name Was Once a Magic Spell
Fahion Plate

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




























Autographs, an appendix of, by Edgar A. Poe,44
Affair at Tattletown, the, by Epes Sargeant,221
Blue Velvet Mantilla, the, by Mrs. A. M. F. Annan,102
Brainard, a few words about, by Edgar A. Poe,119
Bachelor’s Experiment, the, by Mrs. Emma C. Embury,226
Bride, the, (illustrated,) by J. H. Dana,253
Cousin Agatha, by Mrs. Emma C. Embury,38
Centre Harbor, (illustrated,)256
Chevalier Gluck, the, (from the German,) by W. W. Story,270
Dreams of the Land and Sea, by Dr. Reynell Coates,17, 88, 163, 210
Daughters of Dr. Byles, by Miss Leslie,61, 114
Dickens, original letter from83
Duello, the, by H. W. Herbert,85
Doom of the Traitress, the, by H. W. Herbert,150
Dash at a Convoy,178
Duel, the, by E. S. Gould,233
Exile of Connecticut, by Dr. Reynell Coates,17
Escape, the,74
Edith Pemberton, by Mrs. Emma C. Embury,277
Euroclydon, by Charles Lanman,287
Expedition, the,288
Ellen Neville,307
False Ladye, the, by H. W. Herbert,27
First Step, the, by Mrs. Emma C. Embury,154
German Writers, by H. W. Longfellow,134
Highland Beauty, (illustrated,) by Oliver Oldfellow,6
Harry Cavendish, by the Author of “Cruising in the Last War,” the “Reefer of ’76,” &c. &c.,31, 74, 178, 237, 288, 307
Harper’s Ferry, (illustrated,)73
Heinrich Heine, by H. W. Longfellow,134
Imagination, by Park Benjamin,174
Kissing, the Science of, (illustrated,) by Jeremy Short, Esq.,302
Lady’s Choice, the, by Emma C. Embury,96
Lady and the Page, the, by Mary Spencer Pease,167
Lowell’s Poems,195
Life in Death, by Edgar A. Poe,200
Love and Pique, by Mrs. Emma C. Embury,334
May Evelyn, by Frances S. Osgood,145
Miner’s Fate, the,202
Music, Thoughts on, by Henry Cood Watson,285
Norton, Mrs., by Park Benjamin,91
Night Scene at Sea, by Dr. Reynell Coates,210
Powhatan, the Crowning of, (illustrated,)133
Pirate, the, 237  
Procrastination, by Mrs. M. H. Parsons,260
Review of New Books,69, 124, 186, 248, 298, 354
Red Death, the Mask of the, by Edgar A. Poe,257
Russian Revenge, by Esther Wetherald,322
Shepherd’s Love, the, (illustrated,) by J. H. Dana,1
Snow-Storm, the, by Jeremy Short, Esq.10
Shakspeare, by Theodore S. Fay,58
Sunday at Sea, by Dr. Reynell Coates,88
St. Agnes’ Eve, by Jeremy Short, Esq.218
Two Dukes, by Mrs. Ann S. Stephens,50, 78, 149, 242, 341
Take me Home, by Dr. Reynell Coates,163
Thompson, Miss, by Mrs. A. F. S. Annan,313
Wreck, the,31
Wife, the, (illustrated,) by Agnes Piersol,193
West Point, Recollections of, by Miss Leslie,205, 290
Wilkie, the late Sir David, by L. F. Tasistro,275
Wire Suspension Bridge, the, (illustrated,)301
Ware’s Poems, Mrs., by Park Benjamin,330
Apostrophe, by Albert Pike,12
Agathè, by L. F. Tasistro,13, 111, 160, 213
Amie, to, by L. J. Cist,276
Antique Vase, to an, by N. C. Brooks,284
Alice, by R. W. Griswold,340
Absent Wife, the, by Robert Morris,353
Bonnie Steed, my, (illustrated,)82
Birth of Freedom, by W. Wallace,204
Dorchester, by W. Gilmore Simms,49
Dream of the Dead, a, by G. Hill,121
Departed, to one, by Edgar A. Poe,137
Eyes of Night, the, by Mary Spencer,65
Elegy on the fate of Jane M’Crea, by T. G. Spear,236
Freshet, the, by Alfred B. Street,138
Fanny, an Epistle to, by Park Benjamin,149
Fancies about a Rosebud, by James Russell Lowell,173
Fragment, by Albert Pike,209
Florence, to, by Park Benjamin,241
Farewell, by James Russell Lowell,305
Goblet of Life, the, by H. W. Longfellow,5
Helen in Heaven, to, by Alex. A. Irvine,43
Hawking, Return from, (illustrated,)245
Heavenly Vision, the, by T. H. Chivers, M. D.329
Isa in Heaven, to, by T. H. Chivers, M. D.144
Lines, by Mrs. Amelia B. Welby,9
Land Bird at Sea, to a, by L. H. Sigourney,9
L’Envoy to E——, by G. Hill,295
May, the Queen of, by G. P. Morris,16
Marches for the Dead, by W. Wallace,139
Michael Angelo, by W. W. Story,241
My Bark is out upon the Sea, by George P. Morris,274
Old Man returned Home, the, by G. G. Foster,225
Old World, the, by George Lunt,284
Olden Deities,321
Perditi, by Wm. Wallace,265, 326
Pewee, the, by Dill A. Smith,306
Rosaline, by James Russell Lowell,89
Raffaello, by W. W. Story,241
Return Home, the, by Geo. P. Morris,312
Sonnet, by Thomas Noon Talfourd,5
Sonnet, by Edmund J. Porter,26
Sonnets, by Park Benjamin,30
Song, a, by James Russell Lowell,37
Song of Nydia, by G. G. Foster,84
Sonnet, by James Russell Lowell,90
Sonnet, by B. H. Benjamin,118
Stranger’s Funeral, the, by N. C. Brooks,153
Spirit, to a, by James Aldrich,217
Stanzas, by Mrs. R. S. Nichols,225
Sweethearts and Wives, by Pliny Earle, M. D.232
Sonnets, by W. W. Story,241
Spring’s Advent, by Park Benjamin,259
Song, by Alex. A. Irvine,353
Veiled Altar, the, by Mrs. R. S. Nichols,95
Venus and the Modern Belle, by Frances S. Osgood,274
Western Hospitality, by Geo. P. Morris,166
Young Widow, the, (illustrated,) by Alex. A. Irvine,137
Zephyr, the, by Miss Juliet H. Lewis,56
The Shepherd’s Love.
Highland Beauty.
Lace Work, with colored Birds.
Fashions, three figures, colored.
My Bonnie Steed.
Harper’s Ferry.
Fashions, three figures, colored.
The Young Widow.
The Crowning of Powhatan.
Fashions, four figures, colored.
Return from Hawking.
The Wife.
Lace Pattern, with Embossed View.
The Bride.
Centre Harbor.
Fashions, colored, with a Lace pattern border.
The Proffered Kiss.
The Wire Suspension Bridge.
Fashions, four figures.
Thy name was once a magic spell,66
The Dream is past,122
A lady heard a minstrel sing,184
There’s no land like Scotland,246
The Orphan Ballad Singers,296

lace work with colored birds in center

A man and dog watch a lady approaching

Painted by Alex.r Johnston.         Engraved by J. Sartain.

The Shepherd’s Love


Vol. XX.    PHILADELPHIA: JANUARY, 1842.    No. 1.






It was a golden morning in early summer, and a thousand birds were warbling on the landscape, while the balmy wind murmured low and musical among the leaves, when a young girl, attired in a rustic dress, might have been seen tripping over the lea. Her golden tresses, as she walked, floated on the wind, and the exercise had called even a richer carnation than usual to her cheek. Her form was one of rare beauty, and her gait was grace itself. As she glided on, more like a sylph than a mortal being, she carolled one of her country’s simple lays; and what with her liquid tones, her sweet countenance, and her bewitching motion, she formed a picture of loveliness such only as a poet could have imagined.

At length she approached a ruined wall, half hidden by one or two overshadowing trees. The enclosure partially concealed from view the figure of a young shepherd, who, leaning on his hand, gazed admiringly on her approaching figure. Unconscious, however, of the vicinity of an observer, the maiden tripped on, until she had almost reached the enclosure, when the shepherd’s dog suddenly sprung from his master’s side, and barking violently, would have leaped on the intruder, had not the youth checked him. The maiden started and turned pale; but when she perceived the shepherd her cheeks flushed with crimson, and she stood before the youth in a beautiful embarrassment.

“Down, down, Wallace, mon,” said the young shepherd, “ken ye not Jeanie yet—the flower o’ Ettrick? Ah! Jeanie, Jeanie,” he added—and his tone and manner at once betrayed the footing on which he stood with the maiden—“little did ye ken, when ye were tripping sae gaily o’er the lea, with a heart as light as a lavrock and a song as sweet as the waving of the broom at noonday, that one who lo’es ye sae dearly, was lookin’ at ye frae behind this tree.”

The maiden blushed again, and stealing a timid glance at her lover, her eyes sought the ground. The shepherd took her hand, which was not withdrawn from his grasp, and said,

“Ye ken weel, Jeanie dear, what ye were singing,” and his voice assumed a sudden seriousness as he spoke, which caused the maiden again to look up, although the allusion he made to the subject of her song, had dyed her cheeks with new blushes, “and I hae come hither this morning, for I ken ye passed here—to see ye if only for a moment. Ye ken, Jeanie, that we were to hae been one next Michaelmas, and that I was to get the Ellsey farm—a canny croft it is, dearie, and happy, happy would we hae been there”—the maiden looked inquiringly in his face at these words, and her lover continued mournfully—“ye guess the worst, I see, by that look. In one word, a richer man has outbid me, and so, for the third time, hae I been disappointed.” And as he said these words with a husky voice, betokening the depth of his emotion, the speaker paused, and drew the back of his hand across his eyes. His affianced bride showed the true delicacy of her mind in this juncture. Instead of saying aught to comfort him, she drew closer to his side, and laying her hand on his arm, gazed up into his face with a look so full of sympathy and love, that its mute, yet all-powerful eloquence, went to the shepherd’s heart. He drew her tenderly to his bosom, kissed her unresisting brow, and gazed for some moments in silent rapture on her face. At length he spoke.

“Jeanie,” he said, and his voice grew low and tremulous as he spoke, “can ye hear bad news? I canna bide here longer,” he added, after a pause, and with an obvious effort. The maiden started; but having introduced the subject, her lover proceeded firmly—“I canna bide here, year after year, as I hae done for the last twelvemonth, and be put off, month by month, wi’ promises that are never to be fulfilled. I will go away and seek my fortune in other lands. They say money is to be had amaist for the asking in the Indies, and ye ken we may never marry while I remain as now, with na roof to lay my ain head under, to say naething of yours, Jeanie, which I hold dearer than ten thousand thousand sic as mine. So I hae engaged to go out to the Indies, and the ship sails to-morrow. Do not greet, my flower o’ the brae,” said he, as the maiden burst into tears, “for ye ken it is only sufferin’ a lighter evil to put off a greater one. If I stay here we maun make up our minds never to be one, for not a farm is to be had for a puir man like me, from Ettrick to Inverness. In two years, at maist, I will return,” and his voice brightened with hope, as he proceeded, “and then, Jeanie dear, naething shall keep us asunder, and you shall be the richest, and I hope the happiest bride in all the border.”

The manly pathos of his words, his visible attempt to stifle his feelings, and the grief she felt at the contemplated absence of her lover, all conjoined to heighten the emotion of the maiden, and flinging herself on her lover’s bosom, she wept long and uncontrollably. Her companion gazed on in silence, with an almost bursting heart; but he knew that he could not recede from his promise, and that the hour of anguish must be endured sooner or later. Then why not now? At length the sobs of Jeanie grew less violent and frequent—the first burst of her emotion was passing away. Gently then did her lover soothe her feelings, pointing out to her the advantages to result from his determination, and cheering her with the assurance, that in two years, at farthest, he would return.

“I hae no fears, Jeanie, that ye will not prove true to me, and for the rest we are in God’s gude hands. Our lives are as safe in his protection awa on the seas as by our ain ingle-side. And now farewell, for the present, dearie—I maun do many things before we sail to-morrow. God bless you!” and with these words, dashing a tear from his eye, he tore himself from the maiden, and walked rapidly across the lea, as if to dissipate his emotion by the swiftness of his pace. When he reached the brow of the hill, however, he turned to take a last look at the spot where he had parted with Jeanie. She was still standing where he left her, looking after his receding form. He waved his hand, gazed a moment on her, and then whistled to his dog, and dashed over the brow of the hill.

Poor Jeanie had watched him with tearful eyes until he paused at the top of the hill, and her heart beat quick when she saw him turn for a last look. She made an effort to wave her hand in reply; and when she saw him disappear beyond the hill, sank against the wall. Directly a flood of tears came to her relief. It was hours before she was sufficiently composed to return home.

All through that day, and until late at night, Jeanie comforted herself with the hope of again beholding her lover; but he came not. Long after nightfall, a ragged urchin from the village put into her hands a letter. She broke it open tremblingly, for she knew the hand-writing at a glance. It was from her lover. It was kindly written, and the hand had been tremulous that penned it; but it told her that he had felt himself unequal to another parting scene. Before she received this—it continued—he would be far on his way to the place of embarkation. It contained many a sweet message that filled the heart of Jeanie with sunshine, even while the tears fell thick and fast on the paper. It bid her remember him to her only surviving parent, and then it contained a few more words of hope, and ended with “God bless you!—think often in your prayers of Willie.”

That night Jeanie’s pillow was wet with tears, but, even amid her sobs, her prayers might have been heard ascending for her absent lover.



The family of Jeanie was poor but virtuous, like thousands of others scattered all over the hills and vales of Scotland. Her father had once seen better days, having been indeed a farmer in a small way; but his crops failing, and his stock dying by disease, he had been reduced at length to extreme poverty. Yet he bore his misfortunes without repining. He had still his daughter to comfort him, and though he lived in a mud-built cottage, he was happy—happy at least, so far as one in his dependent condition could be; for his principal support was derived from the labor of his daughter, added to what little he managed to earn by doing small jobs occasionally for his neighbors. Yet he was universally respected. If you could have seen him on a sunny Sabbath morning, leaning on his daughter’s arm, walking to the humble village kirk: if you could have beheld the respect with which his juniors lifted their bonnets to him, while his own gray locks waved on the wind as he returned their salutations, you would have felt that even utter poverty, if respectable, and cheered by a daughter’s love, was not without its joy.

The love betwixt Jeanie and the young shepherd was not one of a day. It had already been of years standing, and dated far back, almost into the childhood of each. By sunny braes, in green meadows, alongside of whimplin brooks, they had been used to meet, seemingly by chance, until such meetings grew necessary to their very existence, and their love—pure and holy as that between the angelic choristers—became intermixed with all their thoughts and feelings, and colored all their views of life. And all this time Jeanie was growing more beautiful daily, until she became the flower of the valley. Her voice was like that of the cushat in its sweetest cadence—her eye was as blue and sunny as the summer ether—and the smiles that wreathed her mouth came and went like the northern lights on a clear December eve. Thus beautiful, she had not been without many suitors; but to all she turned a deaf ear. Many of them were far above her station in life, but this altered not her determination. Nor did her father, though perhaps, like many of his neighbors, he attached more importance to such offers than Jeanie, attempt to influence her. He only stipulated that her lover should obtain a farm before his marriage. We have seen how his repeated failures in this, and his hopelessness of attaining his object, unless at a very distant period, had at length driven him to seek his fortune elsewhere.

We are telling no romantic tale, but one of real life; and in real life years often seem as hours, and hours as years. We shall make no excuse, therefore, for passing over an interval of more than two years.

It was the gloamin hour when Jeanie and her father sat at their humble threshold. The face of the maiden was sad almost to tears; while that of the father wore a sad and anxious expression. They had been convening, and now the old man resumed their discourse.

“Indeed, Jeanie,” he said, “God knows I would na urge ye do that which is wrong; but we hae suffered and suffered much sin’ Willie left us. Twa years and a half, amaist a third, hae past sin’ that day. Do not greet, my dochter, an’ your auld father may na speak that which is heavy on his mind,” and he ceased, and folded the now weeping girl tenderly to his bosom.

“No, no, father, go on,” sobbed Jeanie, endeavoring to compose herself, an effort in which she finally succeeded. Her father resumed.

“I am growing auld, Jeanie, aulder and aulder every day; my shadow already fills up half my grave—and the time canna be far awa, when I shall be called to leave you alone in the warld.”

“Oh! say not so,” sobbed Jeanie, “you will yet live many a year.”

“Na, na,” he answered, shaking his head, “though it pains my heart to say so, yet it is best you should know the truth. It will na be long before the snows shall lie aboon me. But I see it makes you greet. I will pass on, Jeanie, to what lies heavy on my heart, and that is, when I am awa, there will be no one to protect you. Could I hae seen ye comfortably settled, wi’ some one to shield ye from the cauld world, I could hae gone to my grave in peace. But it maun na be, it maun na be.”

Poor Jeanie had listened to her father’s words with emotions we will not attempt to pourtray. Long after every one else had given over her lover for lost—and besides a rumor, now of two years standing, that he had been drowned at sea, there was the fact of his not returning at the appointed time, to silence all skepticism—she had clung to the hope of his being alive, even when her reason forbid the expression of that hope. She had long read her father’s thoughts, nor could she indeed blame them. Their poverty was daily growing more extreme, so that while her parent’s health was declining, he was compelled to deny himself even the few comforts which he had hitherto possessed. These things cut Jeanie to the heart, and yet she saw no remedy for them, except in what seemed to her more terrible than death. Her affection for her lover was only strengthened and purified by his loss. Try as she would, she could not tear his image from her heart. Loving him thus, living or dead, how could she wed another?—how could she take on herself vows her heart refused to fulfil? Day after day, week after week, and month after month, had this struggle been going on in her bosom, betwixt duty to her father and love for him to whom she had plighted her virgin vows. This evening her parent had spoken to her, mildly but seriously on the death of her lover, and Jeanie’s heart was more than ever melted by the self-devotedness with which her gray-haired father had alluded to her want of protection in case of his death, not even saying a word of the want of the common comforts of life which his growing infirmities rendered more necessary than ever, but of which her conduct—oh! how selfish in that moment it seemed to her—deprived him. It was some moments before Jeanie could speak, during which time she lay weeping on her parent’s bosom. At length she murmured,

“Do wi’ me as ye wish, father, I maun resist no longer, sin’ it were wicked. But oh! gie me a little while to prepare, for the heart is rebellious and hard to overcome. I know you do it all for the best—but I maun hae some delay to tear the last thoughts o’ Willie, thoughts which soon wi’ be sinfu’, from my heart”—and overcome by the intensity of her emotions she burst into a new flood of tears. Her father pressed her to his bosom, and murmured,

“Oh! Jeanie, Jeanie, could ye know how this pains my auld heart! But the thought that when I die ye will be left unprotected in the world, is sair within me. Time ye shall hae, darlint—perhaps,” he added after a moment’s pause, “it were better to gie up the scheme altogether. Aye! Jeanie, I will na cross your wishes even in this; but trust in a gude God to protect you when I am gone. Say no more, say no more about it, dear one; but do just as ye will.”

“No, father,” said Jeanie, looking firmly up, while the tears shone through her long eye-lashes like dew on the morning grass, “no, I will be selfish no longer. Your wish shall be fulfilled. Do not oppose me, for indeed, indeed, I act now as I feel right. Gie me only the little delay for which I ask, and then I will do as you say, and—and”—and her voice trembled as she spoke—“then you will no longer be without those little comforts, dear father, which not even all my love has been able to procure for you. Now kiss me, for I maun go in to be by myself for awhile.”

“God bless you, my dochter, and may he ever hae you in his keeping,” murmured that gray-haired sire, laying his hands on his child’s head—his dim eyes suffusing with tears as he spoke, “God bless ye forever and ever!”

When that father and daughter rejoined each other, an hour later in the evening, a holy calm pervaded the countenance of each; and the looks which they gave each other were full of confidence, gratitude and overflowing affection. And when the daughter drew forth the old worn Bible, and read a chapter in her silvery voice, while the father followed in a prayer that was at times choked by his emotion, there was not, in all broad Scotland, a sweeter or more soul-subduing sight than that lowly cot presented.


Chapter III.

Although Jeanie was a girl of strong mind, the sacrifice which she contemplated was not to be effected without many inward struggles. But having made up her mind to what she considered her duty, she allowed no personal feelings to swerve her from the strict line she had laid down for herself wherein to walk. Daily did she seek in prayer for aid; and never did she allow her parent to hear a murmur from her lips. Yet, let her strive as she would, the memory of her lover would constantly recur to her mind. At the gloamin hour, in the still watches of the night—by the ingle-side, abroad in the fields, or in the kirk of God—on Sabbath or week day—when listening to her aged sire’s voice, or sitting all alone in her little chamber, the image of him she had loved would rise up before her, diffusing a gentle melancholy over her heart, and seeming, for the moment, to raise an impassable barrier betwixt her and the fulfilment of her new vows—for those vows had already been taken, and the evening which was to make her another’s, was only postponed until the intended bridegroom—a staid farmer of the border—could make the necessary preparations in his homestead, necessary to fit it for a new mistress, and she the sweetest flower of the district.

We are telling no romantic tale, drawn from the extravagant fancy of a novelist, but a sober reality. There are hundreds, all over this broad realm, who are even now sacrificing themselves like Jeanie. Aye! in many a lowly cottage, unrecked of and uncared for by the world, wither away in secret sorrow, beings who, had their lot been cast in happier places, would have been the brightest and most joyous of creatures. How many has want driven, unwilling brides, to the nuptial altar! Who can tell the sacrifice woman will not make to affection, although that sacrifice may tear her heart’s fibres asunder? And thus Jeanie acted. Although she received the attentions of her future husband with a smile, there was a strange unnatural meaning in its cold moonlight expression. Even while he talked to her, her thoughts would wander away, and she would only be awakened from her reverie by some sudden ejaculation of his at perceiving her want of attention. He knew her history, but he had been one of her earliest lovers, and he flattered himself that she had long since forgotten the absent; and, although at times her demeanor would, for a moment, make him suspect the truth, yet a conviction so little in unison with his wishes, led him instantly to discard it. And Jeanie, meanwhile, continued struggling with her old attachment, until her health began to give way beneath the conflict. She scarcely seemed to decline—at least to eyes that saw her daily—but yet her neighbors marked the change. In the beautiful words of the ballad,

                  “her cheek it grew pale,

And she drooped like a lily broke down by the hail.”

The morning of her wedding-day saw her as beautiful as ever, but with how touching, how sweet an expression of countenance! As she proceeded to the kirk, her exquisite loveliness attracted every eye, and her air of chastened sadness drew tears from more than one spectator acquainted with her history. The bridegroom stood smiling to receive his lovely prize, the minister had already begun the service, and Jeanie’s heart beat faster and faster as the moment approached which was forever after to make all thoughts of Willie sinful, when suddenly the rattling of rapid wheels was heard without, and instantaneously a chaise stopped at the kirk door, and a tall form leaping from the vehicle strode rapidly up the aisle at the very moment that the minister asked the solemn question, if any one knew aught why the ceremony should not be finished.

“Ay,” answered the voice of the intruder, and, as he spoke, he threw off the military cloak he wore and disclosed to the astonished eyes of the spectators the features—scarred and sun burnt, but still the features—of the absent shepherd, “Ay! I stand here, by God’s good aid, to claim the maiden by right of a prior betrothal. I am William Sandford.”

Had a thunderbolt fallen from heaven, or a spirit risen from the dead, the audience would not have been more astonished than by this dénouement. All eagerly crowded around the intruder, gazing on his face, as the Jews of old looked on the risen Lazarus. Doubt, wonder, conviction, enthusiasm followed each other in quick succession through the minds of the spectators. But the long absent lover, pushing aside the friends who thronged around him, strode up to Jeanie’s side, and, clasping her in his arms, asked, in a voice no longer firm, but husky with emotion,

“Oh! Jeanie, Jeanie, hae ye too forgotten me?”

The bride had fainted on his bosom; but a score of eager tongues answered for her, and in hurried words told him the truth.

What have we more to say? Nothing—except that the returned lover took the place of the bridegroom, who was fain to resign his claim, and that the minister united the now re-animated Jeanie and her long-remembered lover, while the congregation looked on with tears of joy.

The returned Shepherd—for we shall still call him so—at length found time to tell his tale. He had been shipwrecked as rumoured, but, instead of being drowned, had escaped and reached India. There he entered the service and was sent into the interior, where he rose rapidly in rank, but was unavoidably detained beyond the appointed two years, while the communications with Calcutta being difficult and uncertain, the letters written home apprizing Jeanie of these facts had miscarried. At length, he had succeeded in resigning his commission, full of honors and wealth. He hastened to Scotland. He reached Jeanie’s home, learned that she was even then becoming the bride of another, hurried wildly to the church, and—our readers know the rest.





How often have I fixed a stranger’s gaze

On yonder turrets clad in light as fair

As this soft sunset lends—pleas’d to drink air

Of learning that from calm of ancient days

Breathes ’round them ever:—now to me they wear

The tinge of dearer thought; the radiant haze

That crowns them thickens as, with fonder care,

And by its flickering sparkles, sense conveys

Of youth’s first triumphs:—for amid their seats

One little student’s heart impatient beats

With blood of mine. O God, vouchsafe him power

When I am dust to stand on this sweet place

And, through the vista of long years, embrace

Without a blush this first Etonian hour!

It is with high gratification that we present our readers, this month, with this elegant original poem from the pen of Sergeant Noon Talfourd, of England, the author of “Ion,” and, perhaps, the first living poet of his age. In the letter accompanying the verses he speaks of them as “my last effusion on an occasion very dear to me—composed in view of Eton college after leaving my eldest son there for the first time.”





Filled is Life’s goblet to the brim;—

And though my eyes with tears are dim,

I see its sparkling bubbles swim,

And chaunt this melancholy hymn,

    With solemn voice and slow.

No purple flowers—no garlands green

Conceal the goblet’s shade or sheen,

Nor maddening draughts of Hippocrene,

Like gleams of sunshine, flash between

    The leaves of mistletoe.


This goblet, wrought with curious art,

Is filled with waters that upstart,

When the deep fountains of the heart,

By strong convulsion rent apart,

    Are running all to waste;

And, as it mantling passes round,

With fennel is it wreathed and crowned,

Whose seed and foliage sun-imbrowned,

Are in its waters steeped and drowned,

    And give a bitter taste.


Above the humbler plants it towers,

The fennel, with its yellow flowers;

And in an earlier age than ours

Was gifted with the wondrous powers

    Lost vision to restore:

It gave new strength and fearless mood,

And gladiators fierce and rude

Mingled it in their daily food;

And he who battled and subdued

    A wreath of fennel wore.


Then in Life’s goblet freely press

The leaves that give it bitterness,

Nor prize the colored waters less,

For in thy darkness and distress

    New light and strength they give.

For he who has not learned to know

How false its sparkling bubbles show,

How bitter are the drops of woe

With which its brim may overflow,

    He has not learned to live!


The prayer of Ajax was for light!

Through all the dark and desperate fight,

The blackness of that noon-day night,

He asked but the return of sight

    To know his foeman’s face.

Let our unceasing, earnest prayer

Be, too, for light:—and strength to bear

Our portion of the weight of care,

That crushes into dumb despair

    One half the human race.


O suffering, sad humanity!

O ye afflicted ones, who lie

Steeped to the lips in misery,

Longing, and yet afraid to die,

    Ye have been sorely tried!

I pledge you in your cup of grief

Where floats the fennel’s bitter leaf!

The battle of our life is brief,—

The alarm,—the struggle,—the relief,—

    Then sleep we side by side.

two young ladies indoors and by a large window

E. T. Parris.        Rawdon, Wright, Hatch & Smillie.

Highland Beauty.

Engraved expressly for Graham’s Magazine






The fact is, Jeremy, I never liked the idea of writing love stories in the presence of a pretty girl, as there is always something contagious in love,—and do what I might—I have been a hard student that way—some how or other I was always apt to leave off writing, and go to the business of love-making in downright earnest,—studying from nature, you see. It somehow puts a fellow’s hand out for writing, and inclines him more to the use of his tongue, except when, by way of variation, he cooly slips his arm around the dear, blushing, unwilling creature, and drawing her gently to his bosom, as a mother would her child, smothers the ‘bliss of talking,’ as Miss Landon called it, by a cousinly introduction of lips. But,—by the prettiest houri that ever made Mussulman’s heaven!—how do you think the thing is to be managed with two of the prettiest Scotch lassies that ever inspired the song of a Burns, or the valor of a Wallace, looking you right in the eye, and one of them with the most inviting lips, too, that ever set lover’s heart on fire, and each with a pair of eyes that would send the blood tingling through the veins of the veriest woman hater that ever breathed.”

“None of your nonsense, Oliver, but for once give over the lore of talking of yourself, and let us have the story within three pages, if you expect to be out before Christmas with the Magazine! There are a host of better looking fellows than yourself have had their eyes upon the girls, and—to tell you the honest truth,—the game is above your reach.”

“By my faith in woman! Jeremy, you are as sharp this morning as a nor’-wester—I expect you have had your comb cut with one of them. Talking of cutting combs, reminds me of a story. When I was in the army!—”

“Ha! ha! ha! When you were in the army! By George! I like that part of the story amazingly—if the rest is only as good I may feel inclined to allow you half a page more!”

“Come, Jerry, none of that; I’ve known fellows talk about the army who never even heard a gun, and chaps spin out most eternal sea-yarns, that never smelt salt water, as any old tar would tell you before he had listened five minutes to the story; but I am none of your green-horns—I know what I am about when I mention war or beauty,—having seen some service in my day. I therefore commence properly—as every story should have a beginning, even if it has no end.”

“When I was in the army, you see, I became acquainted with a very sentimental fellow, about your size,—though he had rather a better looking whisker for a soldier,—who was always full of romance, and all that sort of thing,—and I do believe the chap had an idea or two of the right kind in his head, but they were so mixed up with the wrong kind, that, like the funds of a good many bankers now-a-days, they were not always ‘available.’ He had got it into his cranium, and there it would stick, that he had a little better blood in him than any body else, so that he was confoundedly careful not to have any of it spilt, and nothing but the daughter of a lord came any way near the mark to which he aspired. He used to tell a good many stories about himself, and he would tell them pretty well too, but they somehow or other had a smack of the marvellous. His stories about the doings among the gentry—the fellow, you see, had been educated by a lord, or something of that sort, and had seen a little of high life above stairs as well as below—took amazingly in the camp, especially his sentimental ones, for he had the knack of making a fool of himself—”

“But, for goodness sake, Oliver! the story!—the story!”

“The fact is, Jerry, I am pretty much in the predicament of the knife-grinder!—Story of my own—I have none to tell. But here is one of——confound the fellow’s name,—no matter.”

“Emily Melville—the only daughter of the proud Lord Melville, who was well known in the time of the wars—as the representative of the long line of illustrious Scottish nobles of that name, was the pride of the Lowland nobility, and the belle of every assembly. She was as fair as a white fawn, and scarcely less wild. Her mother being dead, few restraints were placed upon the young beauty by the old house-keeper, who, in the main, filled the place. Emily, therefore, held in proud disdain the restraints which would have been imposed by the prudes of her sex, and thought that the great art of living was to be happy. Laughter was always on her lips, and sunlight forever on her brow. She was beautiful, and you knew it, yet you could not tell the secret of it, nor, for their restlessness and brilliancy, whether her eyes were blue or gray, yet you knew that they were pretty, and felt that they were bright. Her voice was like the warble of a bird in spring, its notes were so full of joyousness; and her motion was like that of a fairy, so light and graceful, that, had you seen her tripping over the smoothly shaved lawn in front of the mansion—her auburn hair drooping in long ringlets over her snowy and finely rounded shoulders—and heard her gay glad voice, swelling out in song and happiness, you would have fancied her an angel from the upper sphere.”

“I doubt that last part, my good fellow”—interrupted a bluff old soldier—“until I had tried an arm around her, to see if she wasn’t flesh and blood, I wouldn’t a’ trusted fancy.”

“An interruption, gentlemen. You see if the story is told right, a man must feel what he says, and you’ll find out before it’s done, that I”—

“What, young man! You didn’t begin to make love to her did you?”

“Gentlemen, I must persist”—

“Well, was she in love—tell us that.”

“Love!—She laughed at it—and said, ‘she loved nothing but her pet fawn—her canary—the flowers, both wild and tame—the blue sky—the sunshine—the heather—the forest—the mountains—and it might be—she did not know—she might love her cousin Harry Hardwick, if he was as pleasant as he was when her playmate a few years ago—but he was now at his father’s castle on the mountain, and perhaps had grown coarse, boorish, or ill-mannered. She did not know therefore whether she should love him or not—rather thought she should not—but then she had her father, and enough around her to love and cherish, and why should she trouble herself about the matter.’

“You will not wonder, gentlemen, that such a creature should inspire me with love—a deep, devoted, heart-absorbing, deathless passion. I loved her as man never loved woman before. Every pulsation, every energy of my being seemed for her”—

“Of course, you’d love her!—never heard you tell of a pretty girl that you didn’t love—but give us the pith and marrow of the matter; did she return the compliment?”

“All in good time!—You see the thing might have been very handsomely managed, if it had not been for one or two impediments”—

“What in the plague does the fellow mean by impediment?”

“Hush, can’t you! He means he didn’t get her, of course.”

“Well, you see, gentlemen, there was a shocking looking young fellow of a lord, who lived upon the next estate, who got it into his head that he must take a hand in the game. To give him his due, he was accomplished, witty, had a title, and a splendid whisker, and from beginning to call every few days to inquire after Lord Melville’s health—the old chap had the best health in the world—about three times a-week, he soon managed to call the other four days on his own account, so that I found the prize in a fair way to be snatched from my grasp, and I resolved to bring matters to a close pretty soon. So one morning, when Lord Melville was out looking into parliamentary matters, inquiring into the affairs of the nations, or his own, I thought I would open the question genteely. Emily had sung for me most sweetly, without any apology or affectation, and we were now sitting chatting very pleasantly together. How easy, then, to turn the conversation in the proper channel. To discourse of green fields—of murmuring brooks—of the delights of solitude with one of congenial tastes—of the birds, the fawn, and the attachment they showed their mistress. Then, of course, she would wonder whether they really loved her, whether they knew what love was, or only felt joy at her presence, because they knew her as their feeder. Then I would say, of course they loved her, how could they do otherwise,—were not all things that approached her fated to love her. Then she blushes, gets up, and goes to the window opening on the garden—to look at the flowers maybe—I must see them too, of course, for they are her flowers. I always loved flowers, and particularly love these. Things, gentlemen, were thus progressing pretty smoothly, you will see, considering that the lady was the daughter of a lord, and of course heiress to his whole estate, when lo!—my unlucky genius as usual—the housekeeper must poke in her head, and ask if ‘anybody called.’ No! certainly not! What young lady ever called a housekeeper at such a time! Pshaw! The thing was shocking to think of! How stupid in her! The old thing had an eye in her head like a hawk, however, and saw pretty clearly how matters stood, and whether she thought that there was no chance for me in that quarter, or had some private preference of her own, she maintained her ground until I deemed it prudent to withdraw.

“Days passed away, and no opportunity was afforded me of renewing my suit. Whether the old housekeeper took the matter in hand or not, of course I cannot say; but when days began to grow into weeks, I began to feel the wretchedness of first love. Who has not felt its fears, its doubts, the torture, whether you are beloved by the object of your affection, and the uncertainty, even in your own mind, whether you are worthy of that love?—who has not felt the dread of rivalry, the fears of the effects of a moment’s absence, and the thousand untold pangs, which none but a lover’s imagination can inflict—and he a lover for the first time? It is strange, gentlemen, that I should, after this sweet interview, which seemed destined to be the last that I should have with the most angelic of beings, place myself upon the rack, and delight in the torture, with the devotion to wretchedness of a heart inspired with ‘the gentle madness,’ for the first time, of passionate, deathless love—”

“Hold up, comrade! and do give us the pith of the matter, without all this flummery. I’ve known chaps talk all day in that strain, who never had any story to tell, but would go on yarning it until roll-call, just to hear themselves talk. Now, if you got the gal, say so—if you didn’t, tell us why—and none of your rigmarole.”

“Of course, gentlemen, I did not get her, and that is the reason I am here to tell the story. Misfortunes, you know, travel close upon each other’s heels, and sure enough, in the midst of my misery, the carriage of Lord Hardwick was announced, and who should it contain but Emily’s cousin ‘Harry,’—her old playmate, and his sister. I heard the announcement, but I heard no more, until an hour or two afterwards, when, out of sheer melancholy, I had taken to the garden for contemplation and meditation, I accidentally overheard Harry Hardwick’s declaration and his acceptance, and, after half an hour of silence, a laugh by both parties at my expense.

“I had enough of the soldier’s blood in me, gentlemen, even then, to take no notice of this downright incivility and want of breeding, though I do not of course suppose that the parties dreamed that they had a listener, so I cast her off as unworthy of my love; and thus ended my first love.”

“Very sensibly done, too, my boy! I applaud your spirit. It was worthy of a soldier.”

“But, gentlemen, this was but the opening of difficulties, for I was no sooner out of this scrape than my sensitive heart must betray me into another. How all the dreams of even Emily’s beauty melted away as the mist from the hills—perhaps assisted by the knowledge she was the prize of another—when next morning my eyes beheld Arabella Hardwick. She was leaning over the back of the sofa, at the very window from which the day before I had praised the flowers with Emily. Passing beautiful was she as she stood in her virgin loveliness before me, with her highland-cap and its white plume over curls of jet, that seemed in mere wantonness to fall from beneath, over her fine neck and swelling bosom, whose treasures were scarcely concealed by the highland-mantle which so well became her. Her brow was slightly shaded with curls, while from beneath, her eyes, darker than heaven’s own blue, seemed to be melting before your gaze. Her smile was sweetness itself, and came from lips of which heaven and earth seemed to dispute ownership. Emily was seated at her side, in the act of fixing a hawk’s feather in a highland-cap for her own fair brow, yet in her eye mischief and cunning strove for mastery, and her whole face was so full of meaning that I knew that I must have been the subject of previous conversation, and I felt my face crimson before the highland beauties. I verily believe that I made an impression, gentlemen, which, had it been properly followed up, might have been the making of me; I have always fancied somehow or other that the highland beauty was rather smitten with me, for there was such a coaxing expression in her whole face, and particularly in her lips—which seemed to be begging a kiss—that I do believe that if it had not been for the presence of my old flame, ‘my first love,’ gentlemen, I should have carried the fortress by storm! but you see, as it was, I stood blushing and looking simple until, for very amusement sake, both commenced laughing, and Emily broke the ice by asking me if I had lost my tongue.

“ ‘On this hint I spoke.’—It is not necessary, gentlemen, to repeat all the fine things I said—for fine things in a sentimental way, are not relished in camp—but suffice it to say that the ground was so well marked out in my first interview, that I deemed it expedient to pop the question, ‘striking while the iron’s hot,’ you know—somewhat musty, but very expressive—yet you will scarcely believe me, gentlemen—she rejected me flat—‘because I had no whiskers.’ ”

“You don’t say that was the main objection?”

“I say that was the only objection, and to prove its validity, she married five months after, Lord Gordon, Emily’s former suitor—whose only advantage was a fine pair of whiskers—with the addition of an estate and a title.”

“But perhaps the latter had some weight.”

“None, I assure you, as I pressed the matter, and she averred, that love in a cottage with a whisker, was in every way more congenial to her taste, than the finest mansion in the land without that appendage. So you see I took to cultivating whiskers with great assiduity; but for a long time, the rascals defied all attempts to train them; the shoots were tolerably advanced in less than six months; but they were too late—for the lady was married.”

“Well, you are a cool sort of a fellow to talk of transferring your love from one high-born lady to another, with the same ease as a soldier does a feather from his cap. I suppose you finally courted the old housekeeper out of sheer revenge.”

“None of that, I assure you, for she revenged my want of attention that way, by giving Lord Melville a history of the whole matter—with trimmings.—So the old codger said I was as crazy as a bed-bug, and clapped me in the army, as a kind of lunatic asylum to recover my wits. So that’s the end of the story.”

“There, Jerry, put that in your pipe, or your Magazine, just as you like, for no story do I write for a fellow who comes to me with a piece of tape to measure the length, as if a man spun like a spider, and if it don’t fill your three pages—add a paragraph about the children.—What do ye say?”

“It’s rather so-soish at best, Oliver!—But what regiment did you say you were in?”

“Regiment—did I say anything about regiment? You must be mistaken, Jerry! these confounded soldier terms are all mouldering in my brain, these peaceable times.”

“Well, where was the army encamped?”

“At a—a place with a confounded French name—I never had any command of the cursed language, and was glad enough when we got out of the place, never to bother my brain with its name.”

“Well, the war!—In what war was it?—Let us have something to go upon.”

“As for dates and names, Jerry, I never for the soul of me, could make any headway with them. A phrenologist once told me, that for names and dates I had no development, and whenever I begin to try to think of my exploits in battle, I think the fellow was right—as I am always out for the want of names and dates. So I think it best first to tell the facts, and let people fix dates to suit themselves. So, Jerry, hand over the port—this is confounded dry business.”

“To tell you the truth, Oliver, the whole story has rather a squint, and I have half a notion that for the most of it, we are indebted to the good looks of the two bonnie Scotch lassies, and rather a marvellous imagination.”






Hail pictured image! thine immortal art

Hath snatch’d a hero from the arms of death,

In whose broad bosom beat the noblest heart

That ever drew on earth a balmy breath;

For while amid the sons of men he trod,

That true nobility to him was given

Whose seal is stamp’d by an approving God,

Whose ever-blooming title comes from heaven.


The fire of genius glistened in his glance,

’Twas written on his calm majestic brow,

That men might look upon its clear expanse

And read that God and Nature made him so;

Yet that pale temple could not always keep

The soul imprisoned in its earthly bars,

Born for the skies, his god-like soul doth sweep

The boundless circle of the radiant stars.


How soft the placid smiles that seemed to bask

Round those pale features once the spirit’s shrine

And hover round those lips that only ask

A second impress from the hand divine!

And look upon that brow! a living light

Plays like a sun-beam o’er his silver hair,

As if the happy spirit in its flight

Had left a saint-like glory trembling there.


Yet tho’ some skilful hand may softly paint

The noble form and features we adore,

Such deeds as thine are left, Oh happy Saint!

Are left alone for Memory to restore.

And still thy virtues like a soft perfume

That rises from a bed of fading flowers,

Immortal as thyself, shall bud and bloom

Deep in these hearts, these grateful hearts of ours.


Sons of Columbia! ye whose spirits soar

Elate with joyous hopes and youthful fires,

Go, imitate the hero you deplore,

For this is all that God or man requires.

Oh! while you bend the pensive brow of grief,

Muse on the bright examples he has given,

And strive to follow your ascended chief

Whose radiant foot-prints lead to fame and heaven.


Oh guard his grave! it is a solemn trust,

Nor let a single foeman press the sod

Beneath whose verdure sleeps the sacred dust

Once hallowed by the quick’ning breath of God.

Thus in his lonely grandeur let him lie

Wrapt in his grave on fair Ohio’s shore,

His deeds, his virtues, all that could not die,

Remain with us, and shall for evermore.





Bird of the land! what dost thou here?

  Lone wanderer o’er a trackless bound,—

With nought but frowning skies above,

  And cold, unfathom’d seas around;


Among the shrouds, with heaving breast

  And drooping head, I see thee stand,

And pleased the coarsest sailor climbs,

  To grasp thee in his roughen’d hand.


And didst thou follow, league on league,

  Our pointed mast, thine only guide,

When but a floating speck it seemed

  On the broad bosom of the tide?


On far Newfoundland’s misty bank,

  Hadst thou a nest, and nurslings fair?

Or ’mid New England’s forests hoar?

  Speak! speak! what tidings dost thou bear?


What news from native shore and home,

  Swift courier o’er the threatening tide?—

Hast thou no folded scroll of love

  Prest closely to thy panting side?


A bird of genius art thou? say!

  With impulse high thy spirit stirred—

Some region unexplored to gain,

  And soar above the common herd?


Burns in thy breast some kindling spark

  Like that which fired the glowing mind

Of the adventurous Genoese,

  An undiscovered world to find?


Whate’er thou wert, how sad thy fate

  With wasted strength the goal to spy,

Cling feebly to the flapping sail,

  And at a stranger’s feet to die.


Yet, from thy thin and bloodless beak,

  Methinks a warning sigh doth creep—

To those who leave their sheltering home,

  And lightly dare the dangerous deep.





It is almost twilight. How swiftly have the moments glided by since we sat ourselves by this window—let us see—some two hours since, and during all that time not a word have we spoken, although our soul has been gushing over with its exceeding fulness. It is snowing. Look out and you will see the downy flakes—there, there, and there—one chasing another, millions on millions falling without intermission, coming down noiselessly and mysteriously, as a dream of childhood, on the earth, and covering field, and forest, and house-top, hill and vale, river, glade, and meadow, with a robe that is whiter than an angel’s mantle. How ceaseless the descent! What countless myriads—more countless than even the stars of heaven—have fallen since we have been watching here! God only could have ordered the falling of that flake which has just now sunk to the earth like an infant on its young mother’s milk-white bosom. Did you not see it? There—follow this one which has just emerged from the skies—but at what spot even we cannot detect—see its slow, easy, tremulous motion as it floats downwards; now how rapidly it intermingles with the others, so that you can scarcely keep it in your eye; and there! there! it shoots to the ground with a joyous leap—and, even as we speak, another and another, aye! ten thousand thousand of them have flitted past, like the gleaming of cherubic wings, such as we used to see in our childhood’s dreams, glancing to and fro before a throne of surpassing glory, far, far away, high up in the skies.

It is snowing. Faster, faster, faster come down the feathery flakes. See how they disport themselves—giddy young creatures as they are—whirling around; now up, and now down; dancing, leaping, flying; you can almost hear their sportive laughter as they skim away across the landscape. Almost, we say, for in truth there is not a sound to be heard in earth, air, or sky. The ground, all robed in white, is hushed in silence—the river sweeps its current along no longer with a hoarse chafing sound, but flows onward with a dull, clogged, almost noiseless motion—not a bird whistles in the wood, nor a beast lows from the barn-yard—while the trees, lifting their bleached branches to the skies, shiver in the keen air, and cower uncomplainingly beneath the falling flakes. But hark! there is a voice beside us—’tis that of the beloved of our soul—repeating Thomson’s Winter—Thomson! majestic at all times, but oh! how much more so when gushing in silver music from the lips of the white-armed one beside us. Hear her!

“The keener tempests rise: and fuming dun

From all the livid east, or piercing north,

Thick clouds ascend; in whose capacious womb

A vapory deluge lies, to snow congeal’d.

Heavy they roll their fleecy world along;

And the sky saddens with the gather’d storm.

Through the hush’d air the whitening shower descends,

At first thin wavering; till at last the flakes

Fall broad, and wide, and fast, dimming the day,

With a continual flow. The cherished fields

Put on their winter-robe of purest white.

’Tis brightness all; save where the new snow melts

Along the mazy current. Low the woods

Bow their hoar head; and ere the languid sun

Faint from the west emits his evening ray

Earth’s universal face, deep hid, and chill,

Is one wild dazzling waste, that buries wide

The works of man. Drooping, the laborer ox

Stands covered o’er with snow——”

But let us away to the mountains! Far up in a gorge of the Alleghanies we will stand, with the clouds whirling wildly around and beneath, and the wind whistling shrilly far down in some ravine, which we may not see; for all around us is, as it were, a shoreless ocean, buried in a ghastly mist, from which the tall cliffs jut up like islands—and ever, ever comes to our ears from this boiling vortex a sound as of many waves chafing against the shore, like that which the priest of Apollo listened to as he walked all disconsolate, bereft of his fair-haired daughter, back from the tents of the stern Hellenes to the towers of Ilium. The air is full of snow-flakes, driving hither and thither—thick, thick, thicker they descend—you cannot see a fathom before you. Take care how you tread, for a false step may plunge you into an abyss a thousand feet plumb down. Not far from here is the very spot where an unwary traveller, on a night like this, but a bare twelve-month since, slipped from the edge of the precipice, and was never heard of again, until the warm sunny breath of April, melting the snows from beneath the shadows of the hills, disclosed him lying unburied, with his face turned up, as if in mockery, to the bright heavens on which his eye might never look again. In vain had loved ones watched for his coming until their eyes grew weary, and their hearts turned to fountains of tears within them—in vain had a wife or mother kindled the cheery fire, or smoothed for him the bed of down, to welcome him after his absence—for

“——his sheets are more white,

  And his canopy grander,

And sounder he sleeps

  Where the hill-foxes wander.”

We are in the mountains, in the midst of a snow-storm, and, as we look around, we feel that Jehovah, as when Moses heard the noise of a mighty wind, is passing by. There is a vague emotion of mingled wonder, fear and awe, overshadowing our soul as we stand here alone in the tempest. See how the drift is spinning in the whirlwind; and now it streams out like a pennant on the night. Hark! to the deep organ peal of the hurricane as it thunders among the peaks high up above us—listen to the wild shrieks rising, we know not whither, as if the spirits of the mountain were writhing on beds of torture, as the olden legends say, all unpardoned by their Creator. And now—louder and wilder than the rest—sounding upwards from the gulf below, a voice of agony and might—sublime even in its tribulation, awful in its expression of gigantic suffering—like that of him whom the seer of the Apocalypse beheld bound hand and foot and cast into the bottomless pit, despite an unyielding conflict of twice ten thousand years. Ruin!—ruin!—all is ruin around us. We see not the burying of hamlets, we hear not the descent of avalanches, but the sky is lit up with a wan glare, the whole air is full of mysterious sounds, and we feel, with a strange all-pervading fear, that destruction will glut herself ere morning. God help the traveller who is abroad to-night!

And now, with a sheer descent, full fifty fathoms down, let us plunge like the eagle when he shoots before the burning thunderbolt. We are on the wide ocean, and what a sight! Sea and air are commingled into one. You seem buried alive in a whirling tempest of snow-flakes, and though, as on the mountain, you hear on every side sounds of utter agony, yet, as there, the keenest eye cannot penetrate the wan, dim prospect around; but here, unlike on the hills, there is one voice superior to all the rest—the deep, awful bass of the rolling surges. And then the hurricane! How it whistles, roars and bellows through the rigging, now piping shrill and clear, and now groaning awfully as if in its last extremity. The snow is blocking up the decks, wet, spongy and bitterly cold. There! how she thumped against that wave, quivering under it in every timber, while the spray was dimly seen flying wild and high over the fore-top. “Shall we—oh! shall we live till morning?” asks a weeping girl. “We know not, sweet one, but we are in the Almighty’s hand, and his fatherly care will be over us as well here as on the land.” There; see—“hold on all,” thunders the Stentor voice of the skipper, sounding now however fainter than the feeblest infant’s cry; and as he speaks, the craft shivers with a convulsive throe, and a gigantic billow, seething, hissing, flashing, whirls in over the bow, deluges the deck, and roars away into the blackness of darkness astern. Was that a cry of a man overboard? God in his infinite mercy, pardon the poor wretch’s sins; for, alas! it were madness to attempt his rescue. Already he is far astern. Another and another wave! Oh! for the light of morning. Yes! young Jessie, thou would’st give worlds now for the breezes of the far-off land—the hum of bees, the songs of birds, the scent of flowers in the summer sunshine—the sight of thy home smiling amidst its murmuring trees, with the clear brook hard by laughing over the stones, and the voices of thy young sisters sounding gaily in thy ears. But ere morning we may all be with our brother who has but just gone from our midst. Ora pro nobis!

We were but dreaming when we thought ourselves among the mountains and on the sea, and we were awoke by thy soft voice—oh! loved one of our soul—and looking into thy blue eyes—moist, not with tears, but with thine all-sensitive soul—we feel a calm come down upon us soothing, how gently and sweetly, our agitated thoughts. Many and many a tale could we tell thee of sorrow and peril on the seas, and our heart is even now full of one which would bring the tears into other eyes than thine—but no! you tell us we are all too agitated by our dream, and that another time will do—well, well! Sing us, then, one of thine own sweet songs—Melanie!—for is not thy voice like the warbler of our woods, he of the hundred notes, the silvery, the melting, the unrivalled? That was sweetly done—ever could we sit and listen to thee thus.

  “Thy voice is like a fountain

Leaping up in sunshine bright,

  And we never weary counting

Its clear droppings, lone and single,

Or when in one full gush they mingle,

  Shooting in melodious light!”

That is Lowell’s—a noble soul is his, and all on fire with poetry. We tender to him, though we have never met in the flesh, our good right hand, joining his herewith in cordial fellowship, the hearts of both being in our eyes the while:—we tender him our hand—he far away in his student’s room at Boston and we here in old Philadelphia—and we tell sneering worldlings and critics who are born only to be damned, that, for one so young, Lowell has written grandly; that he is full, even to overflowing, of purity, enthusiasm, imagination, and love for all God’s creatures; and being this, why should not we—aye! and all honest men beside—grasp him cheerily by the hand, and if need be, stand to our arms in his defence?

But the clock has struck six, and we will walk to the door to see if the tempest still rages. What a glorious night! The moon is out, sailing high up in heaven, with a calm mystic majesty that fills the soul with untold peace. Far away on the horizon floats a misty veil—while here and there, in the sky, a cloud still lingers, its dark body seeming like velvet on an azure ground, and its edges turned up with silver. There are a thousand stars on the frosty snow; for every tiny crystal that shoots out into the moonshine glistens all diamond-like; and, as you walk, ten thousand new crystals open to the light, until the whole landscape seems alive with millions of gems. Hark! how the hard crust crackles under the tread. If you put your ear to the ground you will hear a multitude of almost inarticulate sounds as if the sharp moon-beams were splintering the snow—but it is only the shooting of myriads of crystals. There have been icicles forming all day from yonder twig, and now as we shake the tree, you may hear them tinkling, one by one, to the ground, with a clear silvery tone, like the ringing of a bell miles off among the hills. Early in the afternoon, the snow melted on the river, but towards nightfall the stream became clogged, and now the frost is “breathing a blue film” from shore to shore—and to-morrow the whole surface will be smooth as glass, and the steel of the skater will be ringing sharp along the ice. How keen was that gust!—you may hear its dying cadence moaning away in the distance, like the wail of a lost child in a forest. Hush! was that a whistle down in the wood?

And now again all is still. Let us pause a moment and look around. The well-known landmarks of the scene have disappeared, giving place to an unbroken prospect of the purest white. We seem to have entered into a new world, and to have lost by the transition all our old and more selfish feelings, so that now, every emotion of our heart is softened down to a gentle calm, in unison with the beauty and repose around us. There is a dreaminess in the landscape, thus half seen by the light of the moon, giving full play to the imagination. The spirit spurns this mortal tenement of clay, and soars upwards to a brighter world, holding fancied communion with the myriads of beatified spirits, which it would fain believe, hover in the air and whisper unseen into our souls. Glorious thought, that God hath appointed such guardian watchers over a lost and sinful race! We would not surrender this belief—wild and visionary as it may seem to some—for all that sectarians have asserted or atheists denied. We love, in the still watches of the night, to think that the “loved and lost” are communing with our hearts—that though dead they yet live, and watch, as of old, over our erring path—that they soothe us in sorrow, hover around our beds of sickness, are the first to bear the parted soul upwards to the gates of Paradise—and that the angelic sounds we hear upon the midnight air, coming we know not whither, but seeming to pervade the whole firmament as with a celestial harmony, are but their songs of praise. Or may not these heavenly strains be the cadences which faintly float, far down from the battlements of heaven?

                        “Oft in bands

While they keep watch, or nightly rounding walk,

With heavenly touch of instrumental sounds

In full harmonic numbers joined, their songs

Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to Heaven.”

The dream grows dim, the illusion is fading, our rhapsody dies upon our lips. We hear again thy voice—Hebe of our heart!—and we may not longer tarry in the night air. And so farewell!





  Oh Liberty! thou child of many hopes,

    Nursed in the cradle of the human heart!

  While Europe in her glimmering darkness gropes,

    Do not from us, thy chosen ones, depart!

    Still be to us, as thou hast been, and art,

  The Spirit which we breathe! Oh, teach us still

    Thy arrowy truths unquailingly to dart,

  Until the Tyrant and Oppressor reel,

And Despotism trembles at thy thunder-peal.


  Methinks thy sun-rise now is lighting up

    The far horizon of yon hemisphere

  With golden lightning. O’er the hoary top

    Of the blue mountain see I not appear

    Thy lovely dawn; while Pain, and crouching Fear,

  And Slavery perish under tottering thrones?

    How long, oh Liberty! until we hear

  Instead of an insulted people’s moans,

The crushed and writhing tyrants uttering their groans?


  Is not thy Spirit living still in France?

    Will it not waken soon in storm and fire?

  Will Earthquake not ’mid thrones and cities dance,

    And Freedom’s altar be the funeral pyre

    Of Tyranny and all his offspring dire?

  In England, Germany, Italia, Spain,

    And Switzerland thy Spirit doth inspire

  The multitude—and though too long, in vain,

They struggle in deep gloom, yet Slavery’s night shall wane!


  And shall we sleep while all the earth awakes?

    Shall we turn slaves while on the Alpine cones

  And vine-clad hills of Europe brightly breaks

    The morning light of liberty?—What thrones

    Can equal those which on our fathers’ bones

  The demagogue would build? What chains so gall

    As those the self-made Helot scarcely owns

  Till they eat deeply—till the live pains crawl

Into his soul who caused himself to fall!


  Men’s freedom may be wrested from their hands,

    And they may mourn; but not like those who throw

  Their heritage away—who clasp the bands

    On their own limbs, and crawl and blindly go

    Like timorous fawns to their own overthrow.

  Shall we thus fall? Is it so difficult

    To think that we are free, yet be not so—

  To shatter down by one brief hour of guilt

The holy fane of Freedom that our fathers built.






         Chimera I.


An anthem of a sister choristry!

And like a windward murmur of the sea

O’er silver shells, so solemnly it falls!

A dying music, shrouded in deep walls,

That bury its wild breathings! And the moon,

Of glow-worm hue, like virgin in sad swoon,

Lies coldly on the bosom of a cloud,

Until the elf-winds, that are wailing loud,

Do minister unto her sickly trance,

Fanning the life into her countenance.

And there are pale stars sparkling, far and few,

In the deep chasms of everlasting blue,

Unmarshall’d and ungather’d, one and one,

Like outposts of the lunar garrison.


A train of holy fathers windeth by

The arches of an aged sanctuary,

With cowl, and scapular, and rosary,

On to the sainted oriel, where stood,

By the rich altar, a fair sisterhood—

A weeping group of virgins!—one or two

Bent forward to a bier of solemn hue,

Whereon a bright and stately coffin lay,

With its black pall flung over:—Agathè

Was on the lid—a name. And who? No more!

’Twas only Agathè.


                  ’Tis o’er, ’tis o’er—

Her burial!—and, under the arcades,

Torch after torch into the moonlight fades,

And there is heard the music, a brief while,

Over the roofings of the imaged aisle,

From the deep organ, panting out its last,

Like the slow dying of an autumn blast.


A lonely monk is loitering within

The dusky area, at the altar seen,

Like a pale spirit, kneeling in the light

Of the cold moon, that looketh wan and white

Through the deviced oriel; and he lays

His hands upon his bosom, with a gaze

To the chill earth. He had the youthful look

Which heartfelt woe had wasted, and he shook

At every gust of the unholy breeze

That entered through the time-worn crevices.


A score of summers only o’er his brow

Had passed—and it was summer, even now

The one-and-twentieth—from a birth of tears,

Over a waste of melancholy years!

And that brow was as wan as if it were

Of snowy marble, and the raven hair,

That would have clustered over, was all shorn,

And his fine features stricken pale as morn.


He kiss’d a golden crucifix, that hung

Around his neck, and, in a transport, flung

Himself upon the earth, and said, and said

Wild, raving words, about the blessed dead;

And then he rose, and in the moon-shade stood,

Gazing upon its light in solitude,

And smote his brow, at some idea wild

That came across; then, weeping like a child,

He faltered out the name of Agathè,

And look’d unto the heaven inquiringly,

And the pure stars.


               “Oh, shame! that ye are met

To mock me, like old memories, that yet

Break in upon the golden dream I knew

While she—she lived; and I have said adieu

To that fair one, and to her sister, Peace,

That lieth in her grave. When wilt thou cease

To feed upon my quiet, thou Despair,

That art the mad usurper, and the heir

Of this heart’s heritage? Go, go—return,

And bring me back oblivion and an urn!

And ye, pale stars, may look, and only find

The wreck of a proud tree, that lets the wind

Count o’er its blighted boughs: for such was he

That loved, and loves, the silent Agathè.”

And he hath left the sanctuary, like one

That knew not his own purpose—the red sun

Rose early over incense of bright mist,

That girded a pure sky of amethyst.


And who was he? A monk. And those who knew,

Yclept him Julio; but they were few.

And others named him as a nameless one,—

A dark, sad-hearted being, who had none

But bitter feelings, and a cast of sadness,

That fed the wildest of all curses—madness!


But he was, what none knew, of lordly line,

That fought in the far land of Palestine,

Where, under banners of the Cross, they fell,

Smote by the armies of the infidel.

And Julio was the last; alone, alone,

A sad, unfriended orphan, that had gone

Into the world to murmur and to die,

Like the cold breezes that are passing by!


And few they were that bade him to their board;

His fortunes now were over, and the sword

Of his proud ancestry dishonor’d—left

To moulder in its sheath—a hated gift!

Ay! it was so; and Julio would fain

Have been a warrior; but his very brain

Grew fever’d at the sickly thought of death.

And to be stricken with a want of breath!—

To be the food of worms—inanimate,

And cold as winter—and as desolate!

And then to waste away, and be no more

Than the dark dust!—the thought was like a sore

That gather’d in his heart; and he would say,

“A curse be on their laurels,” and decay

Came over them; the deeds that they had done

Had fallen with their fortunes; and anon

Was Julio forgotten, and his line—

No wonder for this frenzied tale of mine!


Oh! he was wearied of this passing scene!

But loved not death; his purpose was between

Life and the grave; and it would vibrate there

Like a wild bird, that floated far and fair

Betwixt the sun and sea.


                        He went, and came—

And thought, and slept, and still awoke the same—

A strange, strange youth; and he would look all night

Upon the moon and stars, and count the flight

Of the sea waves, and let the evening wind

Play with his raven tresses, or would bind

Grottos of birch, wherein to sit and sing;

And peasant girls would find him sauntering,

To gaze upon their features, as they met,

In laughter, under some green arboret.


At last he became a monk, and, on his knees,

Said holy prayers, and with wild penances

Made sad atonement; and the solemn whim

That, like a shadow, loiter’d over him,

Wore off, even like a shadow. He was cursed

With none of the mad thoughts that were at first

The poison of his quiet; but he grew

To love the world and its wild laughter too,

As he had known before: and wish’d again

To join the very mirth he hated then.


He durst not break the vow—he durst not be

The one he would—and his heart’s harmony

Became a tide of sorrow. Even so,

He felt hope die—in madness and in wo!


But there came one—and a most lovely one

As ever to the warm light of the sun

Threw back her tresses—a fair sister girl,

With a brow changing between snow and pearl;

And the blue eyes of sadness, filled with dew

Of tears—like Heaven’s own melancholy blue—

So beautiful, so tender; and her form

Was graceful as a rainbow in a storm:

Scattering gladness on the face of sorrow—

Oh! I had fancied of the hues that borrow

Their brightness from the sun; but she was bright

In her own self—a mystery of light!

With feelings tender as a star’s own hue,

Pure as the morning star! as true, as true:

For it will glitter in each early sky,

And her first love be love that lasteth aye!


And this was Agathè—young Agathè—

A motherless, fair girl: and many a day

She wept for her lost parent. It was sad

To see her infant sorrow; how she bade

The flow of her wild spirits fall away

To grief, like bright clouds in a summer day

Melting into a shower; and it was sad

Almost to think she might again be glad—

Her beauty was so chaste, amid the fall

Of her bright tears. Yet in her father’s hall

She had lived almost sorrowless her days;

But he felt no affection for the gaze

Of his fair girl; and when she fondly smiled,

He bade no father’s welcome to the child,

But even told his wish, and will’d it done,

For her to be sad-hearted—and a nun!


And so it was. She took the dreary veil,

A hopeless girl! and the bright flush grew pale

Upon her cheek; she felt, as summer feels

The winds of autumn, and the winter chills

That darken his fair suns—it was away,

Feeding on dreams, the heart of Agathè!


The vesper prayers were said, and the last hymn

Sung to the Holy Virgin. In the dim,

Gray aisle, was heard a solitary tread,

As of one musing sadly on the dead—

’Twas Julio. It was his wont to be

Often alone within the sanctuary;

But now, not so—another: it was she!

Kneeling in all her beauty, like a saint

Before a crucifix; but sad and faint

The tone of her devotion, as the trill

Of a moss-burden’d melancholy rill.

And Julio stood before her;—’twas as yet

The hour of the pale twilight—and they met

Each other’s gaze, till either seem’d the hue

Of deepest crimson; but the ladye threw

Her veil above her features, and stole by

Like a bright cloud, with sadness and a sigh!


Yet Julio still stood gazing and alone,

A dreamer!——“is the sister ladye gone?”

He started at the silence of the air

That slumber’d over him—she is not there.


And either slept not through the live-long night,

Or slept in fitful trances, with a bright,

Fair dream upon their eyelids: but they rose

In sorrow from the pallet of repose:

For the dark thought of their sad destiny

Came o’er them, like a chasm of the deep sea,

That was to rend their fortunes; and at eve

They met again, but, silent, took their leave,

As they did yesterday: another night,

And neither spoke awhile—a pure delight,

Had chasten’d love’s first blushes: silently

Gazed Julio on the gentle Agathè—

At length, “Fair Nun!” she started, and held fast

Her bright hand on her lips—“the past, the past,

And the pale future! there be some that lie

Under those marble urns—I know not why,

But I were better in that holy calm,

Than be as I have been, perhaps, and am.

The past!—ay! it hath perish’d; never, never,

Would I recall it to be blest for ever;

The future it must come—I have a vow”—

And his cold hand rose trembling to his brow,

“True, true, I have a vow; is not the moon

Abroad, fair nun?”—“indeed! so very soon?”

Said Agathè, and “I must then away.”

“Stay, love! ’tis early yet; stay, angel, stay!”


But she was gone:—yet they met many a time

In the lone chapel, after vesper chime—

They met in love and fear.


                            One weary day,

And Julio saw not his loved Agathè;

She was not in the choir of sisterhood

That sang the evening anthem; and he stood

Like one that listen’d breathlessly awhile;

But stranger voices chanted through the aisle.

She was not there; and after all were gone,

He linger’d: the stars came—he linger’d on,

Like a dark fun’ral image on the tomb

Of a lost hope. He felt a world of gloom

Upon his heart—a solitude—a chill.

The pale moon rose, and still he linger’d still.

And the next vesper toll’d; nor yet, nor yet—

“Can Agathè be faithless and forget?”


It was the third sad eve, he heard it said,

“Poor Julio! thy Agathè is dead;”

And started. He had loiter’d in the train

That bore her to the grave: he saw her lain

In the cold earth, and heard a requiem

Sung over her. To him it was a dream:

A marble stone stood by the sepulchre;

He look’d, and saw, and started—she was there!

And Agathè had died: she that was bright—

She that was in her beauty! a cold blight

Fell over the young blossom of her brow,

And the life’s blood grew chill—she is not now.


She died like Zephyr falling amid flowers!

Like to a star within the twilight hours

Of morning—and she was not! Some have thought

The Lady Abbess gave her a mad draught

That stole into her heart, and sadly rent

The fine chords of that holy instrument,

Until its music falter’d fast away,

And she—she died—the lovely Agathè!


Again, and through the arras of the gloom

Are the pale breezes moaning: by her tomb

Bends Julio, like a phantom, and his eye

Is fallen, as the moon-borne tides, that lie

At ebb within the sea. Oh! he is wan,

As winter skies are wan, like ages gone,

And stars unseen for paleness; it is cast,

As foliage in the raving of the blast,

All his fair bloom of thoughts. Is the moon chill,

That in the dark clouds she is mantled still?

And over its proud arch hath Heaven flung

A scarf of darkness. Agathè was young!

And there should be the virgin silver there,

The snow-white fringes delicately fair!


He wields a heavy mattock in his hands,

And over him a lonely lanthorn stands

On a near niche, shedding a sickly fall

Of light upon a marble pedestal,

Whereon is chisel’d rudely, the essay

Of untaught tool, “Hic jacet Agathè,”

And Julio hath bent him down in speed,

like one that doeth an unholy deed.


There is a flagstone lieth heavily

Over the ladye’s grave; I wist of three

That bore it of a blessed verity!

But he hath lifted it in his pure madness

As it were lightsome as a summer gladness,

And from the carved niche hath ta’en the lamp

And hung it by the marble flagstone damp.


And he is flinging the dark, chilly mould

Over the gorgeous pavement: ’tis a cold,

Sad grave; and there is many a relic there

Of chalky bones, which, in the wasting air,

Fell mouldering away: and he would dash

His mattock through them with a cursed clash

That made the lone aisle echo. But anon

He fell upon a skull—a haggard one,

With its teeth set, and the great orbless eye

Revolving darkness, like eternity.

And in his hand he held it till it grew

To have the fleshy features and the hue

Of life. He gazed, and gazed, and it became

Like to his Agathè—all, all the same!

He drew it nearer,—the cold, bony thing!—

To kiss the worm-wet lips. “Aye! let me cling—

Cling to thee now forever!”—but a breath

Of rank corruption, from its jaws of death,

Went to his nostrils, and he madly laugh’d,

And dash’d it over on the altar shaft,

Which the new-risen moon, in her gray light,

Had fondly flooded, beautifully bright!


                        Again he went

To his world work beside the monument.

“Ha! leave, thou moon! where thy footfall hath been

In sorrow amid heaven! there is sin

Under thy shadow, lying like a dew;

So come thou, from thy awful arch of blue,

Where thou art ever as a silver throne

For some pale spectre-king! come thou alone,

Or bring a solitary orphan star

Under thy wings! afar, afar, afar,

To gaze upon this girl of radiancy,

In her deep slumbers—wake thee, Agathè!”


And Julio hath stolen the dark chest

Where the fair nun lay coffin’d, in the rest

That wakes not up at morning; she is there

An image of cold calm! One tress of hair

Lingereth lonely on her snowy brow;

But the bright eyes are closed in darkness now;

And their long lashes delicately rest

On the pale cheek, like sun-rays in the west,

That fall upon a colorless sad cloud.

Humility lies rudely on the proud,

But she was never proud; and there she is,

A yet unwither’d flower the autumn breeze

Hath blown from its green stem! ’Tis pale, ’Tis pale,

But still unfaded, like the twilight veil

That falleth after sunset; like a stream

That bears the burden of a silver gleam

Upon its waters; and is even so,—

Chill, melancholy, lustreless, and low!


Beauty in death! a tenderness upon

The rude and silent relics, where alone

Sat the destroyer! Beauty on the dead!

The look of being where the breath is fled!

The unwarming sun still joyous in its light!

A time—a time without a day or night!

Death cradled upon beauty, like a bee

Upon a flower, that looketh lovingly!

Like a wild serpent, coiling in its madness,

Under a wreath of blossom and of gladness!


And there she is; and Julio bends o’er

The sleeping girl—a willow on the shore

Of a Dead Sea! that steepeth its fair bough

Into the bitter waters,—even now

Taking a foretaste of the awful trance

That was to pass on his own countenance!


Yes! yes! and he is holding his pale lips

Over her brow; the shade of an eclipse

Is passing to his heart, and to his eye

That is not tearful; but the light will die

Leaving it like a moon within a mist,—

The vision of a spell-bound visionist!


  He breathed a cold kiss on her ashy cheek,

That left no trace—no flush—no crimson streak

But was as bloodless as a marble stone,

Susceptible of silent waste alone.

And on her brow a crucifix he laid,—

A jewel’d crucifix, the virgin maid

Had given him before she died,—the moon

Shed light upon her visage—clouded soon,

Then briefly breaking from its airy veil,

Like warrior lifting up his aventayle.


But Julio gazed on, and never lifted

Himself to see the broken clouds, that drifted

One after one, like infant elves at play,

Amid the night winds, in their lonely way—

Some whistling and some moaning, some asleep,

And dreaming dismal dreams, and sighing deep

Over their couches of green moss and flowers,

And solitary fern, and heather bowers.

The heavy bell toll’d two, and, as it toll’d,

Julio started, and the fresh-turn’d mould

He flung into the empty chasm with speed,

And o’er it dropt the flagstone.—One could read

That Agathè lay there; but still the girl

Lay by him, like a precious and pale pearl,

That from the deep sea-waters had been rent—

Like a star fallen from the firmament!


He hides the grave-tools in an aged porch,

To westward of the solitary church:

And he hath clasp’d around the melting waist,

The beautiful, dead girl: his cheek is pressed

To hers—life warming the cold chill of death!

And over his pale palsy breathing breath

His eye is sunk upon her—“Thou must leave

The worm to waste for love of thee, and grieve

Without thee, as I may not.—Thou must go,

My sweet betrothed, with me—but not below,

Where there is darkness, dream, and solitude,

But where is light, and life, and one to brood

Above thee till thou wakest.—Ha? I fear

Thou wilt not wake for ever, sleeping here,

Where there are none but winds to visit thee,

And convent fathers, and a choristry

Of sisters, saying, ‘Hush!’—But I will sing

Rare songs to thy pure spirit, wandering

Down on the dews to heaven: I will tune

The instrument of the ethereal noon,

And all the choir of stars, to rise and fall

In harmony and beauty musical.”


He is away—and still the sickly lamp

Is burning next the altar; there’s a damp,

Thin mould upon the pavement, and, at morn,

The monks do cross them in their blessed scorn,

And mutter deep anathemas, because

Of the unholy sacrilege, that was

Within the sainted chapel,—for they guess’d,

By many a vestige sad, how the dark rest

Of Agathè was broken,—and anon

They sought for Julio. The summer sun

Arose and set, with his imperial disc

Toward the ocean-waters, heaving brisk

Before the winds,—but Julio came never:

He that was frantic as a foaming river—

Mad as the fall of leaves upon the tide

Of a great tempest, that hath fought and died

Along the forest ramparts, and doth still

In its death-struggle desperately reel

Round with the fallen foliage—he was gone,

And none knew whither—still were chanted on

Sad masses, by pale sisters, many a day,

And holy requiem sung for Agathè!

(End of the first Chimera.)





Like flights of singing-birds went by

  The rosy hours of girlhood’s day;

        When in my native bowers,

        Of simple buds and flowers,

  They wove a crown and hailed me Queen of May!


Like airy nymphs the lasses came

  Spring’s offerings at my feet to lay;

        The crystal from the fountains,

        The green boughs from the mountains,

  They brought to cheer and shade the Queen of May!


Around the May-pole on the green,

  A fairy ring, they tript away!—

        All merriment and pleasure,

        To chords of tuneful measure,

  They bounded by the happy Queen of May!


Though years have past, and time has strewn

  My raven locks with flakes of gray,

        Fond memory brings the hours

        Of birds and blossom-showers,

  When in girlhood I was crowned the Queen of May!






“ ’Tis all but a dream at the best!”


Dreams of the Land and Sea! Why should I style them dreams? They are pictures of actual scenes, though some of them relate to events removed far back in the dimness of years, and the touches of the brush have felt the mellowing influence of time.

While striving to avoid whatever is irrelevant or out of keeping, I have not endeavored to confine myself, in these sketches, within the limits of simple narrative, but have ventured occasionally to mingle facts with speculations on their causes, or to follow their consequences to probable results: nor have I totally discarded the imagination—although the scenes are invariably drawn from nature, and the principal personages are real characters—the accessory actors only are sometimes creatures of the brain. In many of the descriptions, the reader will perceive the evidences of a desire to place in prominent relief the works of nature and her God, while art, and all its vanities, is made to play a subordinate part; for nothing can be more impertinently obtrusive than the pigmy efforts of the ambitious, struggling for distinction by attempting either to mar or to perfect the plans of the Great Architect of Creation, or carve a name upon the columns of his temple.

Yet such is the social disposition of man, that no scene, however grand or beautiful, can awaken pleasurable emotion unless it is linked directly with humanity. There is deep oppression in the sense of total loneliness,—and few can bear the burden calmly, even for an hour! A solitary foot-print in the desert,—a broken oar upon the shelterless beach,—the tinkling of a cow-bell in the depth of the forest,—the crowing of the cock heard far off in the valley as we sink exhausted on the mountain side when the gloom of night settles heavily down upon our path-way,—who that has been a wanderer has not felt the heart-cheering effect of accidents like these! They tell us that, though our solitude be profound, there is sympathy near us, or there has been recently.

In deference, then, to this universal feeling, I have selected for these articles such sketches only as are interwoven with enough of human life to awaken social interest, even while grappling with the tempest—riding the ocean wave, or watching the moon-beams as they struggle through the foliage of scarce trodden forests, and fall half quenched, upon the withered leaves below.

But why should I style them dreams? There are many valid reasons. To the writer, the past is all a dream! But of this the world knows nothing, nor would it care to know. The scenes described are distant, and distance itself is dreamy! What can be more like the color of a dream than yon long range of mountains fading into the sky behind its veil of mist!

Let us ascend this lofty peak! ’Tis sunset! Cast your glance westward, where

“——Parting day

Dies like the Dolphin——.”

The sun slowly retires behind the far off hills. Inch after inch, the shadows climb the summit where you stand. He is gone!—yet you are not in darkness! His beams, which reach you not, still gild the motionless clouds, and these emblems of obscurity reflect on you the memory of his glory:—and, oh! how exquisitely pencilled in the clear obscure stands forth yon range, clad with towering trees, where each particular branch, and almost every leaf, seems separately portrayed against the paling sky,—miraculously near!

This is a vision of the past. Its strength is owing to the depth of shade,—not to the intensity of light:—for, when the sun at noon-day, poured its full tide of rays upon the scene, the sky was brighter, and rock and river glinted back the flashing beams until the eye was pained:—but where were then those lines of beauty? The details were distinct. Then you might gaze on the forest in its reality, and could almost penetrate its secret paths, despite their dark green canopy!—but where were the broad effect, the bold, sweeping outlines that now give unity and grandeur to the fading scene? The soul of creation is before you—more palpable than its mere corporeal elements are hid from sight. It resembles the master-piece of some great artist whose pencil portrays, in simple light and shade, a noble picture. All there is life! Those countenances!—those various attitudes are speaking! The shrubbery waves in the wind, and over the tremulous waters of that lovely lake, the very song of yonder mountain maid seems floating upon the canvass. Do you not hear the music? ’Tis but a dream of boyhood! Approach the painting! There is no real outline there! The brush has been rudely dashed athwart the piece surcharged with heavy colors. Masses of many hues roughen the surface, and all is meaningless confusion.

Stand back a-pace! Again the cottage, lake and mountain start from the surface, truer than truth itself.

Panting with sighs and toil, man reaches by painful steps, the mid-land height of life, as we have climbed this summit, and when fainting by the way, it has been his resource, as ours, to cast himself upon the bosom of his “mother,” earth[2]—look back and dream! We have no other mother now! But when you nestled to a parent’s breast, and felt the present impress of her love, knew you its breadth and depth as this vision shows it?

Memory is like the painter or the sun-set—its images appear more real than the substantial things they picture, and glow the richer as the gloom of oblivion gathers around them.

Turn your eyes eastward! Night sits upon the landscape. No ray of the past illuminates it. The very elevation on which you stand increases the darkness with its shadow, while it widens your distance from every object vaguely and fearfully looming through the evening mist.

This is a vision of the future. That height of land which seems to reach the clouds, upon whose dusky flank the overawed imagination figures cave and precipice, torrent and cataract, is but a gentle slope, with just enough of rudeness to render still more beautiful by contrast, the village spire, the moss-roofed mill, the waving grain that crowns its very top. Such it is seen by day.

Thus, when, in middle life, man peers into the future, what frightful shadows haunt him. Coming events magnified to giants by the obscurity around, stalk menacingly forward. Danger threatens him at every step, and there is naught beyond but that black back-ground—Death! The heavens shed no light upon the future. He is descending the hill of life, and their glories are fading behind him. He strives to borrow from the past a gleam to guide him onward, but in vain! Too often his own ambition has prompted him to choose the lofty path that now condemns him to redoubled darkness. Yet, although these spectres of the gloom are most frequently mere creatures of the brain, which day-light would dispel, they govern his career and cover him with dread. The dream is truth to him—and it is only truth itself that he esteems a dream! Why can he not wait for sun-rise! Then should he see even the grave overhung with the verdure of spring, and death arrayed in all the glory of a morn of promise!

There is reality in dreams!—Come, then, and let us dream together!—our visions may be dark sometimes, but we will not forget that the sun will rise on the morrow.

When the celebrated Indian Chief, Tecumseh entered a Council Chamber of the whites, where the officers, already seated, thoughtlessly allowed him to remain standing, his countenance in gathering gloom, betrayed the consciousness of the slight, which savage courtesy would not have suffered to occur. The look aroused attention, and a chair was handed him—but his proud lip curled. He threw himself upon the ground, exclaiming—“Tecumseh will repose on the bosom of his mother!”


“But come thy ways!—we’ll go along together;

And ere we have thy youthful wages spent,

We’ll light upon some settled, low content.”

As You Like It.

Every subject of observation presents itself under a variety of aspects, regulated, not only by the situation of the observer, but by his moral peculiarities also. The little animal whose name dignifies the caption of this article, though it may be better known to many of my readers by the title of ground-hog, or wood-chuck, is usually regarded as a terror, or a pest, to the farmer. Contributing in no appreciable degree to the comfort or advantage of man, and seemingly created solely for the purpose of digging unsightly holes in the ground, eating corn, and diffusing an odour by no means agreeable; it is commonly hated or despised, according to the profession of those who honor it with notice. But nothing that springs from creative wisdom is a proper subject for contempt, and good may be derived, in many instances, from the most unpromising sources, by those who devote themselves to the study of nature. Among the tribes of animals that seem to have least connection with man and his interests, there are many whose habits may teach us more effective lessons than we often derive from the homilies of more pretending instructors.

The individual wood-chuck, here introduced to the reader, was more fortunate than most of his species, for he had succeeded in winning the affections of a worthy agriculturalist, in whose family he was regularly domiciliated during the months of his activity, (for the Marmot is a hybernating animal,) and he reciprocated the attachment of his human protectors with a gratitude apparently as warm as that of any other quadruped familiar of the kitchen.

The late distinguished philanthropist, Mr. Anthony Benezette, extended his benevolence to every thing possessing life that came within the sphere of his influence, and he regularly fed the rats in his cellar, until he attracted a colony of these predatory vermin, by no means agreeable to the taste or interest of his next-door neighbor. When the latter at last endeavored to eradicate the nuisance by regularly shooting every adventurous member of the murine fraternity that ventured upon his premises, Mr. B., with tears in his eyes, protested against this murderous proceeding. “Don’t shoot the poor innocent creatures!” he said. “If thou wilt only feed them regularly every day, as I do, they’ll never do thee any harm.” Whether a similar policy had been the origin of the kindness shown our little friend, the Marmot, I know not, but he had the felicity to be born in a land where corn is cheap, and society difficult of access, and he probably owed his protection to a masculine edition of the feeling that so frequently promotes the happiness of a poodle or a parrot.

His guardian moved in a humble sphere, and most travellers might have passed the brute and his human associates alike unnoticed: but I propose to employ him as a hook, on which to hang the observations and reflections of a day in the woods, and a night in the log-cabin. It is a slender theme at best, and if discretion be the test of wisdom, I know not but our Marmot displays as high a grade of intellectual endowment as any of the other actors in the tale.

One of these was an eastern merchant, who had purchased some thousands of acres of land—wild, lonely, and far removed from practicable roads or navigable streams.—He had purchased it in utter ignorance of its resources, and was then upon his way to give it an inspection.

The next was the narrator—recently appointed to a chair in a Collegiate Institution, almost embosomed in the wilderness. He had accepted the station in a moment of depression, all uninformed of the condition of the country where it flourished, and had just arrived to blush beneath the honors of the professional gown in halls that rejoiced in a faculty—lucus a non lucendo!—of three persons, and wanted but a library, an apparatus, influence, and a class, to render it an honor to the state that chartered it!

The third was a thriving specimen of the sturdy woodsman and pains-taking farmer of the border—the intermediate step between the adventurous pioneer and the established settler. He had emigrated from the beautiful valley of the Connecticut—a valley where nature has done so much and man so little! to seek a more promising asylum west of the Alleghany Mountains, and he carried all his fortune with him. A young and lovely wife followed his footsteps from town to town—from wilderness to wilderness.—An axe was on his shoulder, two hundred dollars in his pocket, and he possessed much of that shrewdness which ordinarily passes current for talent.

He was moderate in his desires, and only took up three hundred acres to begin with; choosing a location where a rude and cellarless hut of logs graced one angle of the plot of ground,—its site selected because a spring and streamlet there supplied the most important necessary of life—good water.

Four acres of unfenced clearing marked the progress of his less prosperous predecessor in taming the primeval forest. Alas! The want of capital!—Two years of bootless labor on the part of that predecessor, left the ground encumbered still with girdled timber. The long and naked limbs of many a stately tree—all sapless now—stood pale and inflexible in the summer gale—a monument of desolation. Some rough, irregular furrows,—ploughed with borrowed oxen, and ornamented with the vine of an occasional refuse potato creeping through the starting briars and brush-wood,—alone gave evidence of human industry; for the wilderness was rapidly reclaiming its own.

There was a half-burnt brand on the deserted hearth within the hovel; but the blasts that entered freely through the intervals between the logs,—from which, mass by mass, the clay was falling;—had scattered the ashes widely over the room. A rusty tin basin on the floor, and a broken axe-helve lying athwart the doorless lintel, completed the household inventory. The ground had reverted to the noble and wealthy company from whom it was originally purchased—their funds enriched by the payment of the first instalment, and the value of the improvements added to their property.—But where is the former owner? Probably renewing the same improvident game in the wilds of Michigan or Wisconsin.

Such was the home to which our adventurous representative of the land of steady habits had introduced his amiable and delicate wife, four years before the time of our journey.

The station enjoyed many advantages. Civilization was slowly tending thitherward, and every year enhanced the nominal, if not the real value of the land. Moreover, there were many neighbors to break the tedium of life in the wilds. Nine miles to the westward—that being the direction of the older settlements,—there lived a veteran of two wars, whose pension made him rich in a country where a dollar is a rarity, and trade is carried on exclusively by barter. He was the most important man within the circuit of twenty miles; for he owned the only forge. Not even the influence of Squire Tomkins, whose aristocratical residence, five miles deeper in the forest, was furnished with the luxury of weather-boarding, and flanked by a regular barn and stables, could outweigh, in public opinion, the claims of one whose labors contributed so essentially to the every-day comfort of life, if not to its preservation, in the rude contest between the settler and nature. Public opinion did I say?—Why! besides these three high personages and their families, a migratory trapper and bee-hunter on the one hand, and a half-cast Indian basket-maker on the other, there was no public; yet here was found not only public opinion, but party feeling also—politics and sectarianism!—And where did ever society exist without them? But it is time to commence our journey.

One morning, during the autumn of 1828, I strolled into the principal store of the beautiful little village of ——, in Western Pennsylvania, to exchange the latest paper from the American Athens, for another daily sheet from the Commercial Emporium. An old friend, Mr. W——, of Philadelphia, entered at about the same time, with a map of the surrounding counties, to enquire the road to certain tracts of land but recently conveyed to him. A tall man, who had seen some forty summers, but whose keen dark eye, such as you can only find in the wilderness, seemed to have gathered a smouldering fire, beneath the shadow of the forest leaves, which few would wish to wake, stept forward to give the required information. Rude shoes, unstockinged feet, coarse woolen pantaloons, and a hunting shirt, composed his whole attire:—A rifle, with a richly chased silver breeching, swinging athwart his back, raised him above the ordinary hunter in the curious scale of conventional rank that men acknowledge in obedience to their nature, even in the heart of unfrequented woods; but the cart-whip in his right hand, and a basket of eggs hanging upon the left arm seemed irrelevant to his other accoutrements. A finely chiselled nose, verging on the Roman character, and a strong habitual compression of the jaws, marked great decision, firmness, and desperate daring—while his manly tread, in which the foot seemed to cling for a moment to the surface and as instantly rose upon the toe with a slow, but elastic and graceful motion, seemed better fitted to follow the mountain-side, or the torrent’s track, than the dull routine of the furrow. His traits and carriage, thus mingled and contrasted, would have proved a puzzle to the keenest judges of human nature,—the bar-keeper of a hotel, or the agent of a rail-road—but his origin was still distinctly marked, notwithstanding his change of residence and habits, in the somewhat sharpened expression of the face, the narrowness of the external angle of the eye, the covert curl of the lip, and the faintest perceptible elevation of the corresponding corner of the mouth. He was the Connecticut farmer of our story, on whose original stock of character four years of close communion with bears and deer, had engrafted a twig of that which graces the western hunter.

A few adroitly managed questions placed him immediately in possession of the residence, the destination, views and purposes of my friend, the merchant; and, in terms of courtesy, conveyed in phrase more polished than one would anticipate from his attire, he tendered his services as a guide, and the best his house afforded by the way, as host,—extending the invitation most politely to myself.

Having long been anxious to observe what charm in domestic life upon the borders, could so fascinate mankind as to impel such crowds of restless adventurers annually to plunge into the gloomy forest, there to remain socially buried for years, until the growth of settled population again environs them; I immediately ordered horse, and mounting with my Athenian friend, followed, or accompanied the light wagon of the settler, as the road or path permitted.

We had made but ten miles of progress, when the farms by the way-side began to appear few and far between. Around us, gathered, deep and more deeply still, the shadows of tall trees, which interlocked their arms above us, until mysterious twilight was substituted for the bright sunshine that made its existence known at intervals through openings in the foliage. These were met with only where some giant of the wilderness had laid him down in his last repose, when the slowly gnawing tooth of time had sapped his moss-grown trunk. Occasionally, the wagon jolted heavily over fallen trees, where the lightning had riven or the gale uprooted them. It seemed a sacrilege to disturb the dread repose of nature with our idle voices; and for miles we rode in total silence.—How startling, then, and how incongruous to our ears was the lively voice of our guide, exclaiming, as we passed a blaze, “we shall soon be home now!” Home! and here!—I gazed around on every hand. Over the tops of the low shrubbery the eye was carried along interminable aisles of stately trees! Interminable arches rested on their summits! An awful unity of gloom engulphed us!

“High mountains are with me a feeling,”

And no man has rioted more wildly in scenes of solitude and desolation. My shoulder is familiar with the rifle, my feet with cliff and precipice, and my arms with the torrent and breaker.—Nay! more than this! I have stood alone in cities! The limitless current of life has whirled and eddied by, and I have felt no fellowship!—have felt the sternest check of all that linked me with my kind, and buried myself in egoism! “There runs not a drop of the blood of Logan in the veins of any living creature.”

But never yet came over me the thought of home with such a thrilling shudder as when the word was spoken in those close and soul-oppressing woods! There was no resonance from the leafy ground—no echo from those long drawn gothic passages! The sound fell flat upon the ear, and its very cheerfulness of tone, deadened by the dark and inelastic leaves, resembled the convulsive laugh of terror or of pain!

Man is moulded for the contest. There is rapture in the strife, be it with physical or moral evils—a glory in the conquest, that repays the suffering! If vanquished,—he may fly and bide his time! If crushed,—he falls back upon his self-esteem, enfolds his robe around him, and dies, like Cæsar—bravely! Abroad—in calm or storm, in sun-shine or in tempest—man feels himself the ruler, and his pride supports him in the worst of woes; but at home—he is dependent! There woman rules the emotions!—Who ever knew a joy beside a gloomy hearth! Or when the wearing cares of life, or the oppression of habitual solitude has furrowed the fore-head, and fixed the features of the wife, what husband ever smiled again as once he smiled!

But away! Our path is onward!—soon we passed along the margin of a precipitate descent, and the day burst in upon us, presenting a momentary view of a long range of hills, over which the fire had swept in the preceding year. Brown furze and blackened masses of charcoal covered the slope for miles, with here and there a waving line of foliage climbing the ascent, wherever some highland rivulet had checked the progress of the flames, and preserved the grass. I had thought that Nature furnished no more spectral object than a girdled tree in a barren clearing; but the tall gnarled trunks, with charred and stunted limbs, that sentineled that ruined hill-side were more spectral still!

Descending the hill, the forest again closed around us: but presently we entered the track of a tornado—a wind-fall. It had traversed a forest of pines—and, for about two hundred yards in width, had made a passage through the woods, as straight and regular as art could have rendered it. On either hand—far as the eye could reach—arose the unbroken wall of verdure, a hundred feet in height, while in the midst, the vision stretched away over an almost level carpet of scrub-oak and whortleberries, forming a vista of unparalleled beauty; one which would have graced the palace-grounds of an emperor. Not a stump, a root, or tree was visible in all the range of sight. “God made this clearing,” I remarked. The charm of silence was broken by the comment, and the conversation immediately became general.

We had ridden about three miles farther, when the road, if road it could be called, forked suddenly; and, turning to the left, we found ourselves in front of the cottage of our host. It deserved this title richly; for never, in my many journeys beyond the margin of a regular American forest, have I seen more neatness and propriety, than was here displayed in all the accidents of a residence of logs. True! there were none of those vines and graceful shrubs that beautify the grounds around a thrifty cottage in New England; but, even here, a garden was attempted. The building, two stories in height, stood near the summit of an acclivity which formed a sort of irregular lawn, and was actually shaded by two stately trees!—the only instance of such preservation I have witnessed in the wilds of Pennsylvania.

On the right, at a decent distance from the house, were a stable with a loft, and several stacks of hay; and on the left, a natural meadow, of some ten or fifteen acres, had been cleared of brush and sedge, and furnished ample pasturage for four handsome cows. This, with twelve acres of upland, formed the extent of the clearing. Several sugar maples were scattered about the lawn, and a few young fruit trees ornamented the arable land behind the house.

Here, then, was comfort—almost the aristocracy of the woods! We drove rapidly to the door, but the sound of wheels had already drawn the family without the house. The wife, a pale and delicate woman, about twenty-eight or thirty years of age, held in one hand, a bare-foot boy of three; while a little girl, still younger, folded herself in the skirt of her mother’s woollen frock—her snow-white head, and light-blue eye peeping out fearfully from her concealment, as we dismounted. A stout lad, employed by the farmer, took charge of our horses, and we were presented to our hostess.

“We have but poor accommodations to offer the gentlemen, John! but they are welcome to what we have, such as they are. You are the first strangers from the old settlements I have seen since we came to this clearing! Were you ever in Connecticut?” Anxiety and hope were most plainly depicted in the care-worn face of the speaker. I could not bear to reply in the negative, and evaded the question by noticing the children as we entered the house. Here, my companion was surprised at the progress that had been made in four short years by the labor of a settler of such slender means. Six decent chairs and a cherry-wood table ornamented the apartment—a well-made dough-trough, with a wide and smoothly planed top, served the purpose of a side-board—a large cup-board, with curious, home-made wooden locks and hinges, occupied one corner, and a rude settee contained, beneath the seat, a tool-chest and a receptacle for table-linen. The ample fire-place, with its wooden chimney, was festooned with strings of venison, hung up to smoke in pieces, and the roughly plastered wall was ornamented with two rude engravings, in domestic frames—Adam and Eve driven from Paradise, and the victory of Lake Erie. To these was added a printed copy of the Declaration of Independence. A Bible stood open upon the table when we entered, and a prayer-book, Young’s Night Thoughts, The Lady of the Lake, and a few torn old numbers of a monthly magazine, adorned a shelf above the fire. We missed the usual utensils of the cuisine, but these we afterwards discovered in a more fitting place. The universal ticking of the wooden clock was heard; but whence it came, we knew not, until the hour for retiring. It stood upon the stairway.

Hanging his rifle and powder-flask on the wooden hooks, depending, according to custom, from a beam, our host remarked that we were dusty with travel.

“Tin is scarce with us here, gentlemen! and crockery is brittle,” said he; “so if you wish to wash your hands and faces, and will pardon our wild ways, follow me to the cellar, and you shall be accommodated!”

Taking a coarse but clean towel from the chest in the settee, he opened a door beneath the stairs, and descended; leading the way on this singular excursion. A cellar is a luxury in the simple cabin; but here we were provided with an apartment more complete, in its conveniencies, than those of older countries, the floor being well levelled, and the walls faced with stones of ample size. The settler had formed, in one corner, a large cavity about three feet deep. This was lined with mortar, and paved with smooth, round pebbles from the brook. A tunnel, with a wooden trunk and sliding flood-gate, about four inches square, led from the bottom of this basin, through the foundations of the wall, to the bed of a rivulet at some distance on the lawn. The greater part of the waters of a spring, which rose very near the house and fed this runnel, being diverted from their original course, were conveyed through hollow logs, cleaned out and smoothed by burning, through the wall of the cellar, about four feet above the floor, and fell in a beautiful cascade into the basin below. But our host was far too fertile in resources to permit the whole of the current to take this direction. A well made milk-trough, constructed of timbers, some of which betrayed more intimate acquaintance with the axe than the plane, occupied nearly the whole remaining portion of that side of the cellar which corresponded with the earthen basin. It was supplied with water by means of a small canal composed of pieces of bark suspended from the beams above, and capable of being projected into the cascade, so as to receive any desirable portion of the falling fluid. Another tunnel, communicating with the first, carried off the surplus. As we viewed these curious results of Yankee ingenuity and perseverance, several fine speckled trout were seen disporting among pans or crocks of the richest milk and cream, into which, we were informed, they sometimes leaped, to the no small discomforture of the tidy house-wife, when in their hide-and-whoop gambols, their daring over-acted their discretion. Here, then, we found, combined by the most simple means, the luxury of the washing-room, the drain, the bath, and the milk-house. Nor was this all! The waters of a spring, when flowing pleno rivo, never freeze. They carry with them, for a time, the heat which is the expression of the mean temperature of the earth, and share it with surrounding objects. The very stream, that thus contributed to his domestic comforts, and, as we afterwards discovered, rendered, in its excess, services equally important to his cattle in the farm-yard, preserved his stock of necessaries from the effects of frost, and contributed to lessen the exertions required to procure fuel for the long and dreary winter. These arrangements rendered our host still more an object of curiosity and interest—for seldom had we seen such striking evidences of philosophical deduction in house-hold affairs:—and we could not avoid the hope, that the permanent enjoyment and gradual increase of the comforts created by his genius, might be his ultimate reward. But, alas! the prevalent disposition of his tribe, when once removed from home, is—roving! Never contented with the status quo—or satisfied with possession; they leave the enjoyment of ease for the hope of wealth, and are ever ready to sacrifice reality for a dream. Yet, it was not for us to censure our host severely, should he ultimately pursue the course so admirably described in one short technicality of the American woods-man—“Flitting!” Had we not both been flitting ourselves!—the one for honor, and the other for gold! My gown and my friend’s land were of equal value, and both had been purchased at the expense of solid sacrifices; but little does it concern us now, that the progress of population has thrown the former over shoulders well clad in broad-cloth, bought with the surplus of a decent salary, or that the other is studded with profitable farms! In many parts of America, twelve years form an age in human affairs, and, in western Pennsylvania, we are of the last!

Our ablutions completed, we returned to the sitting-room. The tea-table was spread with a tidy cloth, and a smoking pot of Liverpool ware made its appearance, replete with a beverage, by the name of tea; though, by the test of the olfactories, it might have been supposed some compound discovered among the ruins of the last Piquot village, in the days when the venerable Mr. Hooker first raised the standard of his faith among the ancestors of her whose hand distilled it.—Peace be with the spirit of the good old man! Long since our journey, I have gazed, as a stranger on his venerable tomb-stone in the central church-yard of Hartford, and felt at the moment,—it may be with some bitterness—that the descendants of his flock had lost but little in frankness and hospitality, by being transplanted to the Wilds of the west! But revennons ou nos moutons.[3]

The table was soon amply furnished with preserves, in nameless variety, formed from the wild fruits of the neighbouring woods, by the aid of maple sugar. The unvarying hard-crusted pie, sweet, well-baked corn-bread, and the constant attendant of the lighter meals in New England, the fried potato, completed the repast. We were seated, and—after a well-spoken grace—a service which the really respectable exile of Connecticut rarely neglects in any of the changing scenes of life—we did it ample justice.

Economy of light is a matter of serious importance in the log-cabin; and after tea, we gathered round the blazing hearth, (for the autumnal nights were beginning to be cool,) adding, occasionally, a pine knot from a group collected in the corner of the fire-place, by way of illuminating an idea or a face, whenever the subject-matter of the discourse became peculiarly interesting.

Quick and puzzling were the questions with which our hostess plied us, on all things relating to the “old settlements,” as she already styled the sea-board;—for the language and habits of the “far west,” are still strangely preserved in these mid-land wildernesses, over which the genius of civilization has bounded, to wave his omnipotent wand over the regions of the setting sun, like the last of the mammoths when he disappeared from the banded hunters of the olden time.

For a while, something like the liveliness of earlier days, stole over the features of the querist, which were fast settling into the habitual gloom, that gives character to the physiognomy of the recluse and the blind. But whatever direction might be given to the discourse, in a few moments it was sure to centre in Connecticut; until, evasion proving impracticable, we were compelled, reluctantly, to confess that our travels had never extended northward or eastward of the Housatonic—the American Tweed.—A deep sigh succeeded this announcement, and our hostess drew back her chair within the shadow of—what shall I call it?—jams, properly so styled, the fire-place had none! Its sides were formed of short, projecting logs, about three feet in length, piled, one above another, interlocking, by deep notches, with those which formed the walls of the building, at one end, and at the other, secured by short cross-sections of a smaller tree, similarly notched, set thwartwise between their projecting extremities, and bolted with strong wooden pips. This structure supported the ample chimney, which was constructed in like manner, and shared with it the usual protection against fire, a thick internal coat of clay, admixed with a very little lime. These chimney sides formed deep recesses on either hand, in one of which, the cup-board was accommodated, while the other was graced by the dining-table.

Near to one of these shaded recesses, our hostess drew her chair, and left the conversation, for a long time, to her husband.

He inquired, with an interest, seemingly as intense as a statesman, into the politics of the East, with the tenor of which he had contrived to keep pace astonishingly, when his isolated position is considered. I was curious to know how he managed to obtain such accurate information as to men and measures at the seat of government, in the midst of so many obstacles and such untiring agricultural efforts as his rapid improvements must have demanded. His reply furnished a melancholy proof of the natural disputatiousness of our species, while it illustrated the pertinacity with which a mind, once awakened to party feelings, will cling to its old friendships and antipathies when all interests in the result have ceased.

“Why,” said he, “for a while it was easy enough; for the Post rides through here once a week, and leaves a New York paper to Squire Tomkins—so the winter I first came to these clearings, I used to walk over to read the paper every other Saturday afternoon, except when the snow was too deep, and came back on Sunday after dinner—so I learned what was going on pretty well. And sometimes one or other of the old blacksmith’s boys—that’s his grand-children!—for his two sons have gone off to Illinois—would come over of odd Saturdays, a horse-back—for the old soldier kept a horse—he’s been many years in these parts, and has cleared and sold three farms, before he fixed where he is—and he’d take up Mary behind him, and ride over to the squire’s—for one of us had to stay and tend the cow and feed the pigs; so we could not both go together—and bring her back again the next day.—And a great treat it was to Mary!—for sometimes she would see something in the paper about Connecticut.—She used to teach school in Connecticut for a while.—Poor Mary! she had a better education than I had—though mine wasn’t a bad one, for a common school, the way the world goes; and I used to be able to say my say with any body; but somehow these woods are so lonely, that I’m out of practice.

“Poor Mary! her heart’s in Connecticut still, though she never tells me so,—but she looks it sometimes—except may-be about Thanks-giving day,—and then she can’t help saying it too! I’m sometimes a’most sorry she ever married such a wild and wandering fellow as me.”

“Why, John!”—in a tone of the tenderest expostulation, sounded from the corner. Almost unconsciously, I threw a pine knot on the fire, and the sudden flame lighted up a countenance, which would have reassured the most desponding husband. All traces of the inanity of solitude were gone; and over the cloud of sorrow, in which early recollections had veiled the features,—even while the tears of memory were starting from the eye,—the moon-beam of unalterable love poured its silvery light, and the pride of the wife spoke plainly in the curve of a lip already raised and trembling with affectionate reproach. The moisture lingered threateningly upon the lids, but did not fall!—It paused a moment, as in doubt, what emotion called it there, and then retreated to its source.

The husband’s face was wreathed in smiles; his voice became firmer; his language lost its parenthetic confusion on the instant, and he resumed his discourse.

“Well! well! It’s all my fault, if fault there be. She never had a fault! and she’s a blessing that would pay for twenty thousand faults of mine! There, Mary! Put the little ones to bed in the loft, and hear them say their prayers.” He dismissed them with a parting kiss, and when his wife retired—continued his narrative.

“The squire and I were friends, all through the winter and spring. He and his two sons, with the blacksmith’s boys, and three men from the furnace ten miles down the stream, assisted me to build my house; and I borrowed a horse from the smith and a wagon in town, to bring my lime for the plastering; so, when my new house was finished, we turned the old one, that I told you of as we came along, into a right good stable. I had laid up a full supply of provisions in the old house, the fall before,—bought me a plough and some tools,—felled a good deal of valuable pine timber, and put the four acres of clearing into winter grain. With the first spring-floods, I floated the pines, by the help of the squire’s oxen, and carried enough down to the saw-mill, (it’s only twelve miles,) to bring me a good round sum; and then I had money enough to pay my first instalment, buy me another cow and a pair of oxen, and pay my way till harvest, without draining all the savings I brought out with me. In the winter, I had also got three acres girdled, and the meadow half cleared; for it wanted but little attention; so, as my potatoes turned out uncommon well, and every thing prospered—I bought me a horse and wagon in the fall, and saved just enough to pay the second instalment;—trusting to Providence and the stores for the little we should want to buy next season.

“But this is not what I was talking of—I had like to have forgot the squire!—We got along very well till June or July—when we were mowing the meadow.—Yes! it was in July.—And the squire was a churchman and a democrat, but I was a federalist and a congregationalist—I did not much mind his jokes about the pilgrim fathers, though he said the Piquots were better men than those that planted the state; and laughed at them for hanging the Quakers in Boston. For the squire was a well read man before he came to the west—and he hated Connecticut, because he came from Lancaster county, and his father was killed in a quarrel with the settlers in Wyoming, long after the troubles were over. But when he said that Jefferson was a better man than General Washington, I could not stand it, and we quarrelled. I said what no Christian should say, and what I wont repeat;—so the squire and I have never spoken since, except when poor Mary was taken down! and then I had to speak; for there was no other woman within ten miles, and no doctor but a quack, within twenty-five. But Mrs. Tomkins is a nurse and a doctor both—God bless her!

“I’m getting to be very comfortable now, for I’ve got every thing around me that a man can desire in the woods, except money; and I’ve little use for that except to pay the last instalment; but I can’t bear to keep that woman so lonely and sad for want of company! The old soldier’s daughter comes over to see us once a month; but that is little for one who used to have a dozen young friends always around her in Connecticut, even if she was poor. To tell the truth, though the woods are full of venison and wild turkies, and quails and squirrels to be had for the shooting, and though Tom can catch a mess of trout in the milk trough at any time,—for he lets his line run into the tunnel and there seems to be no end to them—yet I can’t help thinking that if I had laid out my three hundred dollars of hers and my savings in old Connecticut—if I had worked half as hard there as I have done here, and she had gone on teaching school, we should both have been happier and richer than we are now. So I think I shall soon pull up stakes, sell out, and go to the prairies, where God makes the clearings, as you said, on the road—and it’s real hard work for a man, I can tell you!”

This last remark threw me into a revery of no pleasing nature; and I, in turn, retreated into the shade, as the light of the pine-knot subsided and the wife reëntered. I was dreaming of the future, when, the buoyancy of early manhood being over, stubborn habit would compel our really worthy host after all rational motive for change should have flown!—“Thou art one of a genus,” I mentally ejaculated. “The mark of the wanderer is on thy brow—

“For thus I read thy destiny,

And cannot be mistaken.”

There was much conversation afterwards; and at intervals I gleaned the strong points of his history, and that of her whose fate he now controlled. But I was busy with my dream! Peering into the far off future, I saw him in the last of his flittings!—deserted by those who should be the props of his age, but whose youthful fire would not permit them to remain inactive in the wilderness, after pictures of eastern wealth and luxury, clad in all the glorious hues of memory, had been rendered familiar as nursery tales by their suicidal parents. I saw him in the evening of his days—and where?—seated by his feeble and exhausted, though still affectionate partner, at the door of an ill-provided cabin, far in the north-west—Far beyond the present range of the pioneer! The gloom of night was slowly dropping its curtain around them, though the phosphorescent snow gave dim illumination to the broad and trackless expanse of the prairie—trackless then, even by the exterminated Buffalo. There were none even of the few conveniences of his present woodland home; for the genius and the skill which had once enabled him to bend the stubborn gifts of nature to his will, were chilled by the frosts of age.

I could even hear the voices of future years stealing on the autumnal night breeze, as it moaned through the rough and ill-joined casement where we sat.

“Why, John, this is Thanks-giving night! Where can our oldest boy be wandering now? He was just thirty yesterday, and we have not heard from him these six years!—Not since you made your last flitting, John! He was always a good boy, and I’m sure he has written to us! John! you may depend upon it, there must be a letter in the office at St. Louis—St. Louis, was it? or was it Chicago? My memory begins to fail me so! He sent us fifty dollars the last time, when we lived in Wisconsin, away down in the States. It must have been in Chicago; for it was there he wrote before!”

“Ah! Mary! Mary! boys forget their mothers and their fathers too, when they are old and feeble! He is getting rich somewhere far over yonder, and little he thinks of us! But there’s little Mary, where can she be? Her husband was just gone to New Orleans with a load of furs when the hunters went down to the bluffs in the fall, and they sent our letter after them—but may-be she never got it!”

“Yes, it’s Thanks-giving night, Mary! and if I had loved the graves of my parents as I ought, we should not be here, where our children that are away will never find our own. Well, well! I’m too old to hunt, and if the trapping turns out no better than it did last year, we’ll have our next Thanks-giving, Mary, where there will be no end to it! and sure you have earned the right to be at rest, by your faithfulness, however it may go with me!”

While this picture was floating through my mind, I had learned from occasional sentences, that our host was the son of parents of respectability; but his father had foolishly left the agricultural life, which he understood and was pursuing prosperously, for cities and merchandize, for which he had no talent. He died a bankrupt, leaving one son at the age of eight years and a daughter of eighteen. The latter had been affianced, during her father’s prosperity, to the son of a man of wealth; but that wealth had been the result of the closest selfishness in early life. As usual, the native vulgarity of feeling and heartlessness of character which had caused his unwonted and undeserved pecuniary success, remained unchanged in the days of his spurious social elevation. He forbade the further visits of his son the moment the disaster of the parent of his intended wife was known. He forbade it suddenly and without a warning. The consequences were such as are almost too frequent to attract attention. A lovely woman pined a few years over the ill-requited needle, and died “in a decline.”

“A young man about town” looked sad for a few months, and then married an heiress to extend the curse of hereditary meanness.

In the little village where our host was reared, by a near relative in the original occupation of his father, he formed his attachment to his present companion: She was then a teacher, starving upon the liberal salary that rewards the principal of a female common school in “the State where education is universal.” To marry at home would have required sacrifices of conventional rank on the part of his intended, to which his pride would not suffer him to reduce her; for how could he ask her to share the fortunes of a laborer in the field? To wait until their united efforts would enable them to secure a farm, was more than his impatience could endure. In evil hour a bright dream of the west had thrown him into the wilderness, and rendered him dependent upon the accidents of sun and rain for protection against the tender mercies of a Land Company—which calculated upon the profits of indiscretion and extended credit willingly, while accepting actual payment with regret. His energies might probably bear him through his trials, could he be contented to avoid expansion until the flood-tide of civilization might have time to reach his retreat, but already he was restless, and his eyes were directed to the fatal west—and it appeared painfully probable that a few short years would find him again dependent on his axe, or a prey to larger speculations in a deeper wilderness.

We soon retired to our comfortable cat-tail beds, by the light of a domestic candle, regretting that our kind entertainers refused us the extempore lodging on the floor to which, in true woodland courtesy, they condemned themselves.

It was long before sleep relieved the unpleasant thoughts awakened by the conversation of the evening. My mind wandered over many a tale of the woods, in which blighted hopes and ruined prospects constituted the prominent features. True, I had seen much of happiness in similar situations,—for Providence has constructed some one of the human family peculiarly fitted to occupy each niche in the great temple of society,—but how frequently the abuse of the inestimable privilege of free will renders it a curse instead of a blessing. I sometimes think that the exceptions constitute the rule, and that a small minority only ever accomplish the destiny for which they were created. Jarring, confusion, and disorder mark every page of nature,—every paragraph of history! Here was a man of spirit, enterprise, energy, and talent, who had fled from the only field where happiness was proffered at a slight expense of pride, to waste his powers upon a wilderness for the benefit, in all probability, of certain merchants and capitalists in Holland. He dragged down with him an amiable being who was fitted by her moral excellencies, and even by her education, humble as it may have been, for a far wider sphere of usefulness; and why? Because he could not bear to ask a fond and loving woman to descend to a station which she would have gloried to share with him!

How little men know of the true character of the self-sacrificing sex, until the frosts of old age begin to crown their venerable fronts, and they find their knowledge useless!

It is said that there is but one step from the sublime to the ridiculous; but, although legend upon legend crowded on my memory, the pathetic had still the ascendancy, and I entertained my companion with stories, not all of which were colored in rain-bow hues, until the moon-light deserted the casement, and the fatigue of nearly forty miles of travel enabled us to sink into repose. As one of these recollections is pertinent to the occasion, and illustrative of life in the woods, it may not be amiss to offer it to the reader. It furnishes an instance of indiscretion which, could the effect have been foreseen, would be esteemed an act of cruelty worthy of the worst days of the inquisition. And yet it was perpetrated by a female—by one who should have known the peculiarities of her sex!

“Our highly intelligent friend, Mc——,” said I, “has resided for some years in the town of ——, and has become familiar with the independent life of a western village. She owns a considerable tract of wild land on the New York border, and, as her husband’s eccentricities (for he is an American Old Mortality) are equal with his fame and classical acquirements, she thought it best to proceed by herself, on horse-back, to visit the property and examine its resources. After journeying for several days by every stages and frequented routes, she took an appropriate path and plunged into the forest.”

After much difficulty and fatigue, she arrived at the cabin of a squatter, which she knew to have been located for many years on or near her line. The visit of the owner was not unsafe, for the man was a bee-hunter, trapper, and timber thief of the most gentle manners, and utterly despised all efforts at clearing beyond the acre. His pigs—his only stock—ran wild in the woods, and he cared nothing for real estate so long as there were trees left for a deer-cover, timber to be stolen, bees to be limed, and a bounty for wolves. He looked upon a new settlement as only another market and prowling ground, incommoding him in nothing, and likely to increase the dainties of his larder by an occasional chicken and eggs. He lived for the present—dreamed neither of the past nor the future—and nothing but habitual laziness prevented him from being perpetually peripatetic. He was absent from home when Mrs. —— arrived, and she was received with back-woods hospitality by his wife;—for even this creature, whose only beverage was “Le vin ordinaire de ce pays ci—un liqueur abominable qu’on appelle Ouiskey!” actually had a wife, and an affectionate one, who had resided on or near the spot since the days of Jefferson! After a comfortable night of repose upon a bundle of dried leaves, in her riding suit, Mrs. —— arose, and made preparations for viewing the property. No lady neglects the toilet, even in the most distressing circumstances. I have several times heard death preferred to the loss of a fine head of hair, in the wards of a hospital, and it is not to be supposed that Mrs. R. was unprovided with a looking-glass. She proceeded to withdraw the several appurtenances of the dressing-room from her well-stored portmanteau, narrowly and wonderingly watched by her kind hostess. But the instant the mirror appeared, the lonely denizen of the wilds exclaimed, with startling energy—

“Oh! dear Mrs. R.! That’s a looking-glass! Do let me look in it! I have not seen my face plainly for thirty years! I go down to the spring sometimes and try to see myself; but the water is so rough that it don’t look at all like me! Do let me look at it! Do now!”

The glass was handed to the delighted woman. She cast but one glance upon it. The mirror fell in fragments on the floor, the unfortunate creature fainted and fell back on the rude bench behind her, and Mrs. R. visited her ample domain, that day, with a head half combed.

The very early breakfast the next morning was a cheerful one. When it was completed, we rode over by the squire’s, with our host for a guide, and after proceeding about three miles into the woods, tied our horses at the termination of all signs of road, and advanced on foot. We soon separated, the merchant and the farmer to estimate the chances of water-power, iron beds, timber, and lime-quarries, and I, with my host’s rifle, a paper of pins, a botanical box, and a pocket insect net, to my favorite pursuits. We agreed to rendezvous at the place of parting when the hour of three arrived; and, being all familiar with the art of navigating the forest, there was no danger of a failure in meeting the engagement. When we returned from our excursions, and I observed the disappointed look of my Athenian friend, I felt myself the richer, notwithstanding he styled himself possessor of five thousand acres, and I bore upon my shield the footless birds of a younger son; for my hat was serried with glittering insects, impaled upon its crown and sides; my box was stored with rarities, and, on a hickory pole across my shoulder, hung a great horned owl, a hawk, twelve headless black squirrels, and a Canada porcupine!

We stopped at the squire’s for a dinner; and, strange to say, succeeded in inducing our host to bear us company, despite his political aversions; so that we have reason to believe that our visit was successful in settling a feud which had seriously curtailed the comforts of both parties for nearly three long years. As we were rambling over the ground, while our meal was in preparation, our attention was called to a tamed marmot or ground hog, that had been a favorite of the family during several years. He had just commenced burrowing a residence for his long months of hybernation—for the coolness of the nights forewarned him that the period of activity was nearly over. By the orchard fence, upon a little mound commanding a broad view of the squire’s improvements, he sat upright on the grass, by the side of the yellow circle of dust which his labors already rendered sufficiently conspicuous. The sun obliquely shed a milder and more contemplative light over a scene softened by the autumnal haze. The foliage wore the serious depth of green which precedes the change of the leaf, and, on the higher ground, small patches of yellow, red and brown began to vary the uniformity of the forest. He sat with his fore-paws gently crossed upon his bosom, like an old man reposing at evening by the door of his cottage, calmly and peacefully reflecting that the labors of life were drawing to a close. The autumn wind soughed by, with a premonitory moan, and our philosophic friend threw up one ear to drink the ominous sound, shook his head, as it died away, with an obvious shudder, as though some chilly dream of winter disturbed his repose, and turning slowly round, commenced digging deliberately at his burrow. In a few minutes he reappeared and seemed again buried in contemplating the beauty of the scenery. Ere long another and a stronger blast swept through the trees, with a more threatening voice—bearing upon its wings a few withered leaves.

One of these fell close to the person of the marmot. The intimation was not to be mistaken. He gently descended to the horizontal attitude, crawled towards the unwelcome courier of decay, applied his nose to it for a moment, then, wheeling rapidly round, plunged suddenly into his hole and sent the dirt flying into the air by the rapid action of his fore-paws. I turned to the Exile of Connecticut, who had also watched this interesting scene, and remarked: “You propose to go to the prairies! It is summer with you yet, but I see that the leaves are beginning to turn: there are a few grey hairs gathering about your brow. Is it not time to choose your last resting place? to dig your last burrow?”

He felt the force of the query, and remained in thought for several minutes.

“If it were not for the next instalment, I think I should stay where I am till the neighborhood could grow up around us, and Mary could go to church and little John to school. But—I don’t know!—I think I shall have to sell out and flit in the spring, if I could find a purchaser! I’m young yet; and that little beast did not throw the dirt so high in the spring.”

Poor fellow! I hear that the ground reverted to the company two years afterwards; but whether he sold out and flitted with a full purse, or started on foot with his Mary and the children, and an axe on his shoulder, I have never heard.

It were ungrateful in the writer, not to acknowledge the marked courtesy and kindness received from several friends during a short residence at Hartford, and if tempted to speak a little severely of the manners of the place, there is much more pleasure in the thought, that a town, honored by the residence of Mrs. Sigourney, Mr. Wordsworth, the liberal patron of the fine arts, and the model of fine feeling, and Rev. Mr. Gualladet, the devoted philanthropist, can endure some censure upon its general hospitality. On a more suitable occasion, I should be most happy to extend this list, partly, because it would be no more than just to do so,

“And partly that bright names will hallow song!”


Still he is absent though the buds of Spring

  Bursting, have flung their freshness o’er the earth,

  And all its brightest flowers have waked to birth

The perfume in their petals slumbering;—

The bright green leaves of Summer’s garnishing

  Have blanched away;—the wild bird’s song of mirth

Is hushed into an echo, and his wing

  Chill’d by the breath the north wind scatters forth:—

And yet the loved one is not with us, yet

  He lingers in some foreign beauty’s bower,

While we the lonely, we in vain regret

  The distant rapture of the greeting hour,

Till hope seems, poised upon its wavering wings,

Departing like the fair earth’s loveliest things.

E. J. P.





There were merriment and music in the Chateau des Tournelles—at that time the abode of France’s Royalty!—Music and merriment, even from the break of day! That was a singular age—an age of great transitions. The splendid spirit-stirring soul of chivalry was alive yet among the nations—yet! although fast declining, and destined soon to meet its death blow in the spear thrust that hurled the noble Henry, last victim of its wondrous system, at once from saddle and from throne!—In every art, in every usage, new science had effected even then mighty changes; yet it was the old world still! Gunpowder, and the use of musquetry and ordnance, had introduced new topics; yet still knights spurred their barbed chargers to the shock, still rode in complete steel—and tilts and tournaments still mustered all the knightly and the noble; and banquets at high noon, and balls in the broad day-light, assembled to the board or to the dance, the young, the beautiful, and happy.

There were merriment and music in the court—the hall—the stair-case—the saloons of state! All that France held of beautiful, and bright, and brave, and wise, and noble, were gathered to the presence of their King.—And there were many there, well known and honored in those olden days; well known and honored ever after!—The first, in person as in place, was the great King!—the proud and chivalrous and princely!—becoming his high station at all times and in every place—wearing his state right gracefully and freely—the second Henry!—and at his side young Francis, the King-Dauphin; with her, the cynosure of every heart, the star of that fair company—Scotland’s unrivalled Mary hanging upon his manly arm, and gazing up with those soft, dove-like eyes, fraught with unutterable soul, into her husband’s face—into her husband’s spirit.—Brissac was there, and Joyeuse, and Nevers; and Jarnac, the renowned for skill in fence, and Vielleville; and the Cardinal Lorraine, and all the glorious Guises,—and Montmorenci, soon to be famous as the slayer of his King, and every peer of France, and every peerless lady.

Loud pealed the exulting symphonies; loud sang the chosen minstrelsy—and as the gorgeous sun-beams rushed in a flood of tinted lustre through the rich many-colored panes of the tall windows, glancing on soft voluptuous forms and eyes that might out-dazzle their own radiance, arrayed in all the pomp and pride of that magnificent and stately period—a more resplendent scene could scarcely be imagined. That was a day of rich and graceful costumes, when men and warriors thought it no shame to be adorned in silks and velvets, with chains of goldsmith’s work about their necks, and jewels in their ears, and on their hatbands, buttons, and buckles, and sword-hilts; and if such were the sumptuous attire of the sterner and more solid sex, what must have been the ornature of the court ladies, under the gentle sway of such a being as Diane de Poitiers, the lovely mistress of the monarch, and arbitress of the soft follies of the Court?

The palace halls were decked with every fanciful variety, some in the pomp of blazoned tapestries with banners rustling from the cornices above the jocund dancers, some filled with fresh green branches, wrought into silver arbors, sweet garlands perfuming the air, and the light half excluded or tempered into a mild and emerald radiance by the dense foliage of the rare exotics. Pages and ushers tripped it to and fro, clad in the royal liveries, embroidered with the cognizance of Henry, the fuigist salamander, bearing the choicest wines, the rarest cates, in every interval of the resounding dance.—It would be tedious to dwell longer on the scene; to multiply more instances of the strange mixture, which might be witnessed everywhere, of artificial luxury with semibarbarous rudeness—to specify the graces of the company, the beauty of the demoiselles and dames, the stately bearing of the warrior nobles, as they swept back and forth in the quaint mazes of some antiquated measure, were a task to be undertaken only by some old chronicler, with style as curious and as quaint as the manners he portrays in living colors.—Enough for us to catch a fleeting glimpse of the grand pageantry! to sketch with a dashy pencil the groups which he would designate with absolute and accurate minuteness!

But there was one among that gay assemblage, who must not be passed over with so slight a regard, since she attracted on that festive day, as much of wondering admiration for her unequalled beauties as she excited grief, and sympathy, and fear, in after days, for her sad fortunes,—but there was now no cloud upon her radiant beauty, no dimness prophetic of approaching tears in her large laughing eyes, no touch of melancholy thought upon one glorious feature—Marguerite de Vaudreuil, the heiress of a ducal fortune, the heiress of charms so surpassing, that rank and fortune were forgotten by all who gazed upon her pure high brow, her dazzling glances, her seductive smile, the perfect symmetry of her whole shape and person! Her hair, of the darkest auburn shade, fell in a thousand ringlets, glittering out like threads of virgin gold when a stray sunbeam touched them, fell down her snowy neck over the shapely shoulders and so much of a soft heaving bosom—veined by unnumbered azure channels, wherein the pure blood coursed so joyously—as was displayed by the falling laces which decked her velvet boddice—her eyes, so quick and dazzling was their light, almost defied description, possessing at one time the depth and brilliance of the black, melting into the softer languor of the blue—yet they were of the latter hue, and suited truly to the whole style and character of her voluptuous beauty. Her form, as has been noticed, was symmetry itself; and every movement, every step, was fraught with natural and unstudied grace.—In sooth, she seemed almost too beautiful for mere mortality—and so thought many an one who gazed upon her, half drunk with that divine delirium which steeps the souls of men who dwell too steadfastly upon such wondrous charms, as she bounded through the labyrinth of the dance, lighter and springier than the world-famed gazelle, or rested from the exciting toil in panting abandonment upon some cushioned settle! and many inquired of themselves, could it be possible that an exterior so divine should be the tenement of a harsh worldly spirit—that a demeanor and an air so frank, so cordial, and so warm, should be but the deceptive veil that hid a selfish, cold, bad heart. Aye! many asked themselves that question on that day, but not one answered his own question candidly or truly—no! not one man!—for in her presence he had been more or less than mortal, who could pronounce his sentence unmoved by the attractions of her outward seeming.

For Marguerite de Vaudreuil had been but three short months before affianced as the bride of the young Baron de La-Hirè—the bravest and best of Henry’s youthful nobles. It had been a love treaty—no matter of shrewd bartering of hearts—no cold and worldly convenance—but the outpouring, as it seemed, of two young spirits, each warm and worthy of the other!—and men had envied him, and ladies had held her more fortunate in her high conquest, than in her rank, her riches, or her beauties; and the world had forgotten to calumniate, or to sneer, in admiration of the young glorious pair, that seemed so fitly mated. Three little months had passed—three more, and they had been made one!—but, in the interval, Charles de La-Hirè, obedient to his King’s behest, had buckled on his sword, and led the followers of his house to the Italian wars. With him, scarcely less brave, and, as some thought, yet handsomer than he, forth rode upon his first campaign, Armand de Laguy, his own orphaned cousin, bred like a brother on his father’s hearth; and, as Charles well believed, a brother in affection. Three little months had passed, and in a temporary truce, Armand de Laguy had returned alone, leading the relics of his cousin’s force, and laden with the doleful tidings of that cousin’s fall upon the field of honor. None else had seen him die, none else had pierced so deeply into the hostile ranks; but Armand had rushed madly on to save his noble kinsman, and failing in the desperate attempt, had borne off his reward in many a perilous wound. Another month, and it was whispered far and near, that Marguerite had dried her tears already; and that Armand de Laguy had, by his cousin’s death, succeeded, not to lands and to lordships only, but to the winning of that dead cousin’s bride.—It had been whispered far and near—and now the whisper was proved true. For, on this festive day, young Armand, still pale from the effects of his exhausting wounds, and languid from loss of the blood, appeared in public for the first time, not in the sable weeds of decent and accustomed wo, but in the gayest garb of a successful bridegroom—his pourpoint of rose-colored velvet strewn thickly with seed pearl and broideries of silver, his hose of rich white silk, all slashed and lined with cloth of silver, his injured arm suspended in a rare scarf of the lady’s colors, and, above all, the air of quiet confident success with which he offered, and that lovely girl received, his intimate attentions, showed that for once, at least, the tongue of rumor had told truth.

Therefore men gazed in wonder—and marvelled as they gazed, and half condemned!—yet they who had been loudest in their censure when the first whisper reached their ears of so disloyal love, of so bold-fronted an inconstancy, now found themselves devising many an excuse within their secret hearts for this sad lapse of one so exquisitely fair. Henry himself had frowned, when Armand de Laguy led forth the fair betrothed, radiant in festive garb and decked with joyous smiles—but the stern brow of the offended prince had smoothed itself into a softer aspect, and the rebuff which he had determined—but a second’s space before—to give to the untimely lovers, was frittered down into a jest before it left the lips of the repentant speaker.

The day was well-nigh spent—the evening banquet had been spread, and had been honored, duly—and now the lamps were lit in hall, and corridor, and bower; and merrier waxed the mirth, and faster wheeled the dance. The company were scattered to and fro, some wandering in the royal gardens, which overspread at that day, most of the Isle de Paris; some played with cards or dice; some drank and revelled in the halls; some danced unwearied in the grand saloons; some whispered love in ladies’ ears in dark sequestered bowers—and of these last were Marguerite and Armand—a long alcove of thick green boughs, with orange trees between, flowering in marble vases, and myrtles, and a thousand odorous trees mingling their perfumed shadows, led to a lonely bower—and there alone in the dim star-light—alone indeed! for they might now be deemed as one, sat the two lovers. One fair hand of the frail lady was clasped in the bold suitor’s right—while his left arm, unconscious of its wound, was twined about her slender waist; her head reclined upon his shoulder, with all its rich redundancy of ringlets floating about his neck and bosom, and her eyes, languid and suffused, fondly turned up to meet his passionate glances. “And can it be”—he said, in the thick broken tones that tell of vehement passion—“And can it be that you indeed love Armand?—I fear, I fear, sweet beauty, that I, like Charles, should be forgotten, were I, like Charles, removed—for him thou didst love dearly—while on me never didst thou waste thought or word.”

“Him—never, Armand, never!—by the bright stars above us—by the great gods that hear us—I never—never did love Charles de La-Hirè—never did love man, save thee, my noble Armand.—False girlish vanity and pique led me to toy with him at first; now to my sorrow I confess it—and when thou didst look coldly upon me, and seem’dst to woo dark Adeline de Courcy, a woman’s vengeance stirred up my very soul, and therefore to punish thee, whom only did I love, I well nigh yielded up myself to torture by wedding one whom I esteemed indeed and honored—but never thought of for one moment with affection—wilt thou believe me, Armand?”

“Sweet Angel, Marguerite!” and he clasped her to his hot heaving breast, and her white arms were flung about his neck, and their lips met in a long fiery kiss.

Just in that point of time—in that soft melting moment—a heavy hand was laid quietly on Armand’s shoulder—he started, as the fiend sprang up, revealed before the temper of Ithuriel’s angel weapon—he started like a guilty thing from that forbidden kiss.

A tall form stood beside him, shrouded from head to heel in a dark riding cloak of the Italian fashion; but there was no hat on the stately head, nor any covering to the cold stern impassive features. The high broad forehead as pale as sculptured marble, with the dark chestnut curls falling off parted evenly upon the crown—the full, fixed, steady eye, which he could no more meet than he could gaze unscathed on the meridian sun, the noble features, sharpened by want and suffering and wo—were all! all those of his good cousin.

For a moment’s space the three stood there in silence!—Charles de La-Hirè reaping rich vengeance from the unconquerable consternation of the traitor! Armand de Laguy bent almost to the earth with shame and conscious terror! and Marguerite half dead with fear, and scarcely certain if indeed he who stood before her were the man in his living presence, whom she had vowed to love for ever; or if it were but the visioned form of an indignant friend returned from the dark grave to thunderstrike the false disturbers of his eternal rest.

“I am in time”—he said at length, in accents slow and unfaltering, as his whole air was cold and tranquil—“in time to break off this monstrous union!—Thy perjuries have been in vain, weak man; thy lies are open to the day.—He whom thou didst betray to the Italian’s dungeon—to the Italian’s dagger—as thou didst then believe and hope—stands bodily before thee.”

A long heart-piercing shriek burst from the lips of Marguerite, as the dread import of his speech fell on her sharpened ears—the man whom she had loved—first loved!—for all her previous words were false and fickle—stood at her side in all his power and glory—and she affianced to a liar, a base traitor—a foul murderer in his heart!—a scorn and by-word to her own sex—an object of contempt and hatred to every noble spirit!

But at that instant Armand de Laguy’s pride awoke—for he was proud, and brave, and daring!—and he gave back the lie, and hurled defiance in his accuser’s teeth.

“Death to thy soul!” he cried—“ ’tis thou that lieth!—Charles!—did I not see thee stretched on the bloody plain? did I not sink beside thee, hewed down and trampled under foot, in striving to preserve thee?—and when my vassals found me, wert thou not beside me—with thy face scarred, indeed, and mangled beyond recognition, but with the surcoat and the arms upon the lifeless corpse, and the sword in the cold hand?—’Tis thou that liest, man!—’tis thou that, for some base end, didst conceal thy life; and now wouldst charge thy felonies on me—but ’twill not do—fair cousin.—The King shall judge between us!—Come lady”—and he would have taken her by the hand, but she sprang back as though a viper would have stung her.

“Back traitor!—” she exclaimed, in tones of the deepest loathing.—“I hate thee, spit on thee! defy thee!—Base have I been myself, and frail, and fickle—but, as I live, Charles de La-Hirè—but as I live now, and will die right shortly—I knew not of this villany! I did believe thee dead, as that false murtherer swore—and—God be good to me!—I did betray thee dead; and now have lost thee living! But for thee, Armand de Laguy, dog! traitor! villain! knave!—dare not to look upon me any more; dare not address me with one accent of thy serpent tongue! for Marguerite de Vaudreuil, fallen although she be, and lost for ever, is not so all abandoned as, knowing thee for what thou art, to bear with thee one second longer—no! not though that second could redeem all the past—and wipe out all the sin!—”

“Fine words! Fine words, fair mistress!—but on with me thou shalt!” and he stretched out his arm to seize her, when, with a perfect majesty, Charles de La-Hirè stepped in and grasped him by the wrist, and held him for a moment there, gazing into his eye as though he would have read his soul; then threw him off with force, that made him stagger back ten paces before he could regain his footing!—then! then! with all the fury of the fiend depicted on his working lineaments, Armand unsheathed his rapier and made a full lunge, bounding forwards as he did so, right at his cousin’s heart! but he was foiled again, for with a single, and, as it seemed, slight motion of the sheathed broadsword, which he held under his cloak, Charles de La-Hirè struck up the weapon, and sent it whirling through the air to twenty paces distance.

Just then there came a shout “the King! the King!”—and, with the words, a glare of many torches, and, with his courtiers and his guard about him, the Monarch stood forth in offended majesty.

“Ha!—what means this insolent broil?—What men be these who dare draw swords within the palace precincts?”

My sword is sheathed, sire,” answered De La-Hirè, kneeling before the King and laying the good weapon at his feet—“nor has been ever drawn, save at your highness’ bidding, against your highness’ foes!—But I beseech you, sire, as you love honesty and honor, and hate deceit and treason, grant me your royal license to prove Armand de Laguy, recreant, base, and traitorous, a liar and a felon, and a murtherer, hand to hand, in the presence of the ladies of your court, according to the law of arms and honor!”

“Something of this we have heard already”—replied the King, “Baron de La-Hirè!—But say out now, of what accuse you Armand de Laguy?—shew but good cause, and thy request is granted; for I have not forgot your good deeds in my cause against our rebel Savoyards and our Italian foemen—of what accuse you Armand de Laguy?”

“That he betrayed me wounded into the hands of the Duke of Parma! that he dealt with Italian bravoes to compass my assassination! that by foul lies and treacherous devices, he has trained from me my affianced bride: and last, not least, deprived her of fair name and honor.—This will I prove upon his body, so help me God and my good sword.”

“Stand forth and answer to his charge De Laguy—speak out! what sayest thou?”

“I say,” answered Armand boldly—“I say that he lies!—that he did feign his own death for some evil ends!—and did deceive me, who would have died to succor him!—That I, believing him dead, have won from him the love of this fair lady, I admit.—But I assert that I did win it fairly, and of good right!—And for the rest, I say he lies doubly, when he asserts that she has lost fair name, or honor—this is my answer, sire; and I beseech you grant his prayer, and let us prove our words, as gentlemen of France and soldiers, forthwith, by singular battle!”

“Amen!” replied the King—“the third day hence at noon, in the tilt yard, before our court, we do adjudge the combat—and this fair lady be the prize of the victor!—”

“No! sire,” interposed Charles de La-Hirè, again kneeling—but before he had the time to add a second word, Marguerite de Vaudreuil, who had stood all the while with her hands clasped and her eyes rivetted upon the ground, sprung forth with a great cry—

“No! no! for God-sake! no! no! sire—great King—good gentleman—brave knight! doom me not to a fate so dreadful.—Charles de La-Hirè is all that man can be, of good, or great, or noble! but I betrayed him, whom I deemed dead; and he can never trust me living!—Moreover, if he would take me to his arms, base as I am and most false hearted, he should not—for God forbid that my dishonor should blight his noble fame.—As for the slave De Laguy—the traitor and low liar, doom me, great monarch, to the convent or the block—but curse me not with such contamination!—For, by the heavens I swear! and by the God that rules them! that I will die by my own hand, before I wed that serpent!”

“Be it so, fair one,” answered the King very coldly—“be it so! we permit thy choice—a convent or the victor’s bridal bed shall be thy doom, at thine own option!—Meanwhile your swords, sirs; until the hour of battle ye are both under our arrest. Jarnac be thou Godfather to Charles de La-Hirè!—Nevers, do thou like office for de Laguy.”

“By God! not I, sire;” answered the proud duke. “I hold this man’s offence so rank, his guilt so palpable, that, on my conscience! I think your royal hangman were his best Godfather!”

“Nevertheless, De Nevers—it shall be, as I say!—this bold protest of thine is all sufficient for thine honor—and it is but a form!—no words, duke! it must be as I have said!—Joyeuse, escort this lady to thy duchess—pray her accept of her as the King’s guest, until this matter be decided. The third day hence at noon, on foot, with sword and dagger—with no arms of defence or vantage—the principals to fight alone, until one die or yield—and so God shield the right!”







In robes of crimson glory sinks the Day;

    The Earth in slumber closes her great eye

    Like to a dying god’s; from hills, that lie

Like altars kindled by the sunset ray,

The smoke in graceful volumes soars away;

    From every wood a chorus soundeth nigh;

    Those veils of day, the shadows, floating high

Around the tree-tops, fall upon the gay

And gem-like flowers that bloom beneath; the West

    Its burnished gold throws back in softened lines

    Upon the East, and, as it sweetly shines

    On lapsing river and reposing dell,

Tinges with rosy light the hovering breast

  Of the small, tremulous lark—boon Nature’s evening bell.





Oh, man is higher than his dwelling-place;

    Upward he looks, and his soul’s wings unfold,

    And, when like minutes sixty years have rolled,

He rises, kindling, into boundless space.

Then backward to the Earth, his native place,

    The ashes of his feathers lightly fall,

    And his free soul, unveiled, disrobed of all

That cumbered it, begins its heavenly race,

Pure as a tone and brilliant as a star.

    Even through the shadows on life’s desert lawn

Hills of the future world he sees afar

In morning rays that beam not here below.

Thus doth the dweller in the realm of snow

    Through his long night perceive the distant dawn.





“And I have loved thee, ocean! and my joy

Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be

Borne, like thy bubbles, onward: from a boy

I wantoned with thy breakers.”

Childe Harold.


I was sitting the other afternoon before my library fire, listening to the fitful breeze without that swayed the trees to and fro before the house and moaned down in the neighbouring woods, when I suddenly recollected that the last sheets of “The Reefer” had gone to press a fortnight before, and that, consequently, my career of authorship was closed. The idea, I confess, gave me pleasure, for I am by nature an indolent man, and would at any time rather dream by a cheery fire, with my slippered feet reposing on my tiger-skin rug, than tie myself down to a writing-table, even though it be to record my own or my friends’ adventures, and “go about the world from hand to hand.” I am not ambitious. I prefer ease to reputation, quiet to turmoil, the epicurean to all other philosophy. To read my favorite authors; to indulge in reveries at the twilight hour; to gaze on fine pictures, choice statues, and tasteful rooms; to listen to the melting airs of Burns, or the glorious hallelujahs of Handel; to sport on my own grounds on a clear, bracing morning; to gallop over the wild hills and through the romantic valleys which surround my residence;—these are the enjoyments in which I delight, and which I prefer to all the reputation either the pen or the sword can give. Others may choose a more bustling life; but I have had my share of that! Give me a quiet, happy home, for there only is true happiness to be found.

Musing thus, I was unconscious of the entrance of an intruder, until I heard a slight cough beside me, and looking up, I saw my faithful servant John standing over my chair. He laid on my lap, at the instant, a copy of Graham’s Magazine for December. As John did so, he heaved a sigh, and then, as if something was on his mind, busied himself in arranging various articles in the room. I knew by these tokens that he was desirous of attracting my attention. The woe-begone expression which he wore during all this time, amused me, for I fancied I could guess what was passing through his mind. As I quietly cut the pages of the book, I indulged him by opening the conversation.

“Well, John,” I said, “it is finished. ‘The Reefer’ has followed my own adventures, and you will have no more trouble in acting as proof-reader for me. Our days,” and here, at the use of the plural, the old fellow grinned from ear to ear, “our days of authorship are over. I think we had better retire while our laurels are green. Are you not glad?”

“Glad! What for Massa Danforth think that? No, no,” and he shook his grey head mournfully, “John not glad.”

“And why not, John? We shall have more time to ourselves. I’m afraid,” I said, looking towards the window, and endeavoring to peer through the twilight without, “I am afraid our planting is sadly behind hand—the clump of trees out yonder wants thinning—and then the water-fall is getting out of order—and Mrs. Danforth has been pleading for an addition to her garden—all this requires overseeing—and besides these, there are a thousand other things which will require our attention.”

I could see that the old fellow had, with difficulty, restrained himself until I had finished; for he kept moving his body unceasingly, and once or twice had opened his mouth to speak. He now broke out—

“Nebber do, Massa Danforth, nebber do to give up authorship, take old John word for dat. You now great man—talk of in all de papers—it Massa Danforth here and Massa Danforth dare—ebbery few month you get extra puff in de prospective of de Magazine—and think you discontinue if you give ober writing? Gor amighty nebber! Ebbery body can do planting,—dere Massa Jones, Massa Tyson, Massa Smit, and de oder blockheads in de county—but you be only one hereabout been to sea, or can drive a pen ober paper like a four-in-hand, polishing skrimanges for a hundred thousand readers—for dat many Massa Graham say thumb his book ebbery month. It plain text, plain sermon. Who so big as Massa Danforth de author?—who so little, beg pardon for say it, as Massa Danforth de farmer? De public like our sleepy boy Joe in de kitchen, he nebber know any one alive, unless dey keep bawling, bawling in his ear all de time.”

“But what am I to do?” said I, smiling at his earnestness, and peculiar style of illustration. “Even if I wished to continue an author, I could not. My own adventures are published; so are those of the Reefer,—if I go on, I must—to say nothing of the trouble—draw on my fancy, and that, you know, wouldn’t do. I always bear in mind what honest Sancho Panza says—‘Let every one take heed how they talk or write of people, and not set down at random the first thing that comes into their imagination.’ ”

“Massa Sanka Pancer had better keep his advice to himself, dat my mind—I nebber saw him here, or read his name in de papers, and he derefore no great shakes—but I no see dat dere be an accessory for any fiction about it. Ah! I hab him—I hab him. I think of a new feature.”

“A new feature! Well—let’s hear it.”

“But first, dere be accessory for a story. Once Massa know I be a poor scoundrel in newspaper office—hard life dat, where kicks plenty and dinners scarce—and ebbery now and den when editor pushed to de wall for cash, he say in his paper dat de next day he come out wid a new feature. Well, ebbery body, besure, be on tip-toe. Office run down next mornin for paper. Massa editor fill his pockets for once anyhow—no trouble, little cost, all wit do it. How? He put in new head to his paper, and call dat ‘new feature.’ Now, suppose Massa Danforth get a new head to ‘Cruising in de Last War,’ and so be author, and dat widout trouble, for anoder year. Ah! ha! dat grand stroke.”

I laughed heartily at the proposal, but replied—

“That would never do, John—but I must tell Graham of your idea.”

“Eh! what?—put old John in print. Gor amighty dat make him grand as de minister—not dat he care much for it—he not vain—but, but, what Massa gwine to say?”

“You’ll know in good time—but at present see who knocks at the library door.”

“Package forgot at post-office,” said John, returning from his errand, and giving me a huge bundle of manuscript.

“Ah! what have we here? A letter from Graham, I declare. What says he?—‘a valuable private history of the revolutionary times,’—‘only wants a little pruning’—‘thrilling adventures’—‘a run unsurpassed for years’—‘unequalled’—‘edit it as a great favor’—and so forth. Well, let us see what it is.”

“Eh! yes—see what he is. Massa Graham one obi man, he know de quandary we in, and send dis to settle de argument. No escape now, Massa Danforth—it little trouble—thank God! you be great man still—and de people still say as we drive out togedder, ‘dare go de celebrated Massa Danforth, and his man John!’ ”

And now, reader, having acquainted you with the manner in which the following history came into my hands, and given you a hint as to the reasons which have induced me to appear again in print, I will take leave of you without further parley, and let the autobiographer speak for himself.


The parting word had been said, the last look had been taken, and my traps had all been snugly stowed away in the narrow room which, for some years, was to be my home. I stood by the starboard railing gazing back on the dear city I was leaving, and, despite the stoicism I had affected when bidding farewell to my friends, I could not now prevent a starting tear. Nor did my mess-mates seem in a more sportive mood; for they could be seen, some in the rigging and some leaning over the ship’s side, looking back on the well known landmarks of the town with a seriousness in the aspect which betokened the thoughts passing through the heart. Yes! we were about leaving the scenes of our boyhood, to enter on a new and untried life—and who knew if any of us would ever return again to our homes? The chances of war are at all times dreadful, but in our case they were terribly increased by the flag under which we sailed. Who could tell whether the officers of the revolted colonies might not be considered as traitors as well as rebels? Who knew but that the very first enemy we should meet would either sink us or hang us at the yard arm? And yet, firm in the righteousness of our cause, and confiding in the God of battles, there was not one of our number who, having put his hand to the plough, wished to turn back. Sink or swim—live or die—we were resigned to either destiny.

Evening was closing fast around the scene, and, even as I gazed, the town melted into gloom, Copp’s Hill alone standing up in solemn majesty over the shadowy city. The distant hum of the town died fainter and fainter on the darkness, the evening breeze came up fresher across the waters, the song of the fisherman and the dip of passing oars ceased, and, one by one, the white sails of the ships around us faded away, at first seeming like faint clouds, but finally losing themselves altogether in the darkness. All around was still. The low monotonous ground swell heaving under our counter, and rippling faintly as it went, alone broke the witching silence. Not a breath of air was stirring. The boatswain’s whistle was hushed, the whisper had died away, no footfall rose upon the stillness, but over shore and sea, earth and sky, man and inanimate creation, the same deep silence hung.

Gradually, however, the scene changed. Lights began to flash along the town and from the ships in port, and, in a few moments, the harbor was alive with a long line of effulgence. A half subdued halo now hung over the city. The effect produced was like that of magic. Here a ship lay almost buried in gloom—there one was thrown out in bold relief by the lights—now a tall warehouse rose shadowy into the sky, and now one might be seen almost as distinctly as at noon day. The lights streaming from the cabin windows and dancing along the bay, the swell tinged on its crest with silver, but dark as night below, and the far off sails gleaming like shadowy spectres, through the uncertain light, added double effect to the picture. And when the stars came out, one by one, blinking high up in the firmament, and the wind began to sigh across the bay and wail sadly through our rigging, the weird-like character of the prospect grew beyond description. Hour after hour passed away and we still continued gazing on the scene as if under the influence of some magician’s spell; but, at length, exhausted nature gave way, and one after another went below, leaving only those on deck whose duty required their presence. For myself, though I sought my hammock, a succession of wild indistinct dreams haunted me throughout the livelong night.

A pleasant breeze was singing through the rigging as I mounted the gangway at dawn, and the tide having already made, I knew no time would be lost in getting under weigh. Directly the captain made his appearance, and, after a few whispered words, the pilot issued his orders. In an instant all was bustle. The boatswain’s whistle, calling all hands to their duty, was heard shrieking through the ship, and then came the quick hurried tread of many feet, as the men swarmed to their stations. The anchor was soon hove short; the sails were loosed; the topsails, top-gallant sails and royals were sheeted home and hoisted,—the head yards were braced aback and the after yards filled away; a sheer was made with the helm; the anchor was tripped; the gib was hoisted; and as she paid beautifully off, the foretop sail was filled merrily away, and the spanker hauled out. Then the yards were trimmed, the anchor catted, and with a light breeze urging us on, we stood gallantly down the bay. As we increased our distance from the town, the wind gradually freshened. One after another of the green islands around us faded astern; the heights of Nahant opened ahead, glanced by and frowned in our wake; and before the sun had been many hours on his course, we were rolling our yard arms in a stiff breeze, leagues to sea. Before sun-down the distant coast had vanished from sight.

My mess mates had already gathered around the table in the long narrow room which was appropriated to the midshipmen, when I dove down the hatchway after the watch had been set. They were as jovial a set as I had ever seen, and, although our acquaintance was but of twenty-four hours standing, we all felt perfectly at home with each other; and as the salt beef was pushed from hand to hand, and the jug passed merrily around, the mutual laugh and jest bore token of our “right good fellowship.”

“A pretty craft, my lads,” said a tall fine-looking fellow, obviously the senior of the group, and whom I had been introduced to as a Mr. O’Hara; “a pretty craft and a bold captain we have, or I’m no judge. I’ve been at sea before, but never in as gallant a ship as this. Here’s success to The Arrow—no heel-taps.”

The toast was drunk with a huzza, and O’Hara continued the conversation, as if, under the circumstances, he felt that he was the only proper person to play the host.

“You’re most of you green-horns, my boys—excuse the word, but ‘tell the truth,’ you know—and will not be good for much if this swell continues. One or two of you are getting pale already, and, if I’m not mistaken, Cavendish and I are the only two of the set that have smelt salt water before. Now, take a word of advice. Cut into the beef like the deuce, never mind if it does make you worse, cut away still, and bye and bye, when you get all your long shore swash out of you, you’ll find that you feel better than ever. We’re for a long voyage, and many a hard rub you’ll get before it’s over, but never flinch from duty or danger—even if Davy Jones himself stares you in the face. Kick care to the wall, and be merry while you may. But always have an eye to what is due to your superiors. The captain’s a gentleman. God bless him! The first lieutenant, I’ve a notion, is a sour sinner—never let him catch you tripping,—but you needn’t mind him further, for he looks as if he ought to be tarred and feathered as the Boston boys served the exciseman. And now, lads, here’s to a prosperous voyage, and let’s turn in, one and all, for I’ve got the morning watch, and I’ve a notion this breeze will have settled down into a regular hurricane, and be blowing great guns and marlin-spikes before then.”

The air of easy good-humor with which O’Hara spoke, attracted me to him at once. He was evidently my senior, and had seen some service; but it was equally as evident that he affected no superiority which was not his of right. I determined to know him better.

It was still dark when I was aroused from sleep by the calling of the watch, and, hastily springing up, I soon stood upon the deck. The first glance around me proved that O’Hara’s anticipations were fulfilled, for the tempest was thundering through the rigging with an almost stunning voice, driving the fine spray wildly along, and blowing with an intensity that threatened to sweep one overboard. The men, bent before the blast, and wrapped in their thick overcoats, stood like statues half seen through the mist. The night was bitterly cold—the fine spray cut to the marrow. As far as the eye could see, on every hand around us, the sea, flattened until it was nearly as level as a table, was a mass of driving foam. The binnacle lamp burned faint and dim, with a sickly halo, through the fog. Above, however, all was clear, except a few white fleecy clouds, driven wildly across the frosty stars that twinkled in the heavens. As I ran my eye along the tall taper masts, now bending like rushes in the hurricane, I saw that nearly all the canvass had been taken in, and that we were scudding before the tempest with nothing spread but a close-reefed maintopsail, a reefed fore-course, and the foretopmast staysail,—and even these, as they strained in the gale, threatened momently to blow out into ribbons before the resistless fury of the wind. Under this comparative press of canvass, The Arrow was skimming along, seeming to outvie even the spray in velocity. And well was it that she sped onward with such hot haste!—for, on looking astern, I saw the billows howling after us, urging on their white crests in fearful proximity, and threatening at every surge to roll in over our taffrail. Wilder and wilder, more and even more fiercely they raced each other in the pursuit, like a pack of famished wolves pitching and yelling after their prey.

“Keep her so,” said the first lieutenant, as he left the deck in charge of his successor, “for you see it is neck and neck with those yelling monsters astern. If the sails are blown from the bolt ropes they must go—but as the canvass is new I think they will stand.”

“Ship ahoy!” shouted a look-out at this moment, startling us as though a thunderbolt had fallen at our feet, “a sail athwart hawse.”

“Where, where?” exclaimed both the officers incredulously.

“Close under our fore-foot—a brig, sir.”

“My God, we shall run her down,” was the exclamation of the second lieutenant.

All eyes were instantly turned in the direction of the approaching danger, and there, sure enough, directly athwart our hawse, a small trim-looking brig was seen lying-to—the wild hurricane of flying spray, which covered the surface of the deck in places with an almost impervious fog, having hitherto concealed her from our sight. It was evident that the inmates of the brig had but just discovered us, for her helm was rapidly shifted and a few hurried orders, whose import we could not make out, were given on board of her. All, indeed, seemed confusion on the decks of the unhappy craft. Her crew were hurrying to and fro; the officer of the vessel was shouting in his hoarsest tone; two or three forms, as if those of passengers, rushed up the companion way; and to crown all, the sheets were let fly, and with a wild lurch she rolled over, and lay the next moment wallowing in the sea broadside on. I could almost have jumped on her decks. All this had passed with the rapidity of thought. Never shall I forget the shriek of horror which burst simultaneously from both vessels at this fearful crisis. Already were we close on to the brig, driving with the speed of a sea-gull with the gale, and we knew that before another moment should elapse, aye! almost before another breath could be drawn, the collision must lake place. But the lightning is not quicker than was the officer of the deck.

“Port—a-port—ha-a-rd, hard,” he thundered, grinding the words between his teeth in his excitement, and waving his hands to larboard, and the helmsman, taking his cue more from the gesture than from the words—for in the uproar of the tempest he could not hear a dozen yards to windward—whirled around the wheel, and our gallant craft, obedient to the impulse like a steed beneath the spur, swept around to starboard. For a second the ill-fated brig could be seen dancing under our stem, and then, rolling heavily around, she seemed as if she would escape, though narrowly, from her frightful position. A cry of joy was already rising to my lips; but, at that instant, I heard a crash, followed by a dull grinding noise, and simultaneously I beheld the brig come into collision with us just abaft the cathead, and, while all our timbers quivered with the shock, she whirled away astern, rolling and rubbing frightfully, and half buried in the brine. A shriek rent the air, on the instant, whose thrilling tones haunted me for days and nights, and seems even now to ring in my ears.

“God of my fathers!” I exclaimed, “every soul will be lost!”

“Heave her to,” thundered the officer of the deck. “For life or death, my lads! Up with the foresail—down with your helm—brace up the after yards—set the mizzen stay sail there.”

It is a libel on sailors to say they never feel. No men are more ready to aid the unfortunate. On the present occasion the crew seemed inspired with an energy equal to that of their officer, and springing to their duty performed the rapid orders of the lieutenant in an almost incredible space of time. Happily a momentary lull aided the manœuvre, and our proud craft obeying her helm came gallantly to.

“Meet her there, quarter-master,” continued the officer of the deck; “set the main stay-sail—brace up the fore-yards—merrily, merrily—there she has it—” and, as these concluding words left his mouth, the manœuvre was finished, and we rode against the wind, rising and falling on the swell, and flinging the spray to our fore-yard arm as we thumped against the seas.

My first thought was of the brig. As soon, therefore, as our craft had been hove-to, I cast a hurried glance over the starboard bow to search for the unfortunate vessel. I detected her at once lying a short distance on our weather bow,—and it was evident that the injury she had sustained was of the most serious character, for even through the mist we fancied we could see that she was settling deeper in the water. Her officers were endeavoring to heave her to again; while rising over their orders, and swelling above all the uproar of the hurricane, we could hear the despairing wail of her passengers. At length she lay-to a few fathoms on our starboard bow, drifting, however, at every surge bodily to leeward. Confusion still reigned on her decks. We could see that the crew were at the pumps; but they appeared to work moodily and with little heart; and we caught now and then the sound of voices as if of the officers in expostulation with the men. A group of female figures also was discernible on the quarter-deck, and a manly form was visible in the midst, as if exhorting them to courage. At the sight a thrill of anguish ran through our breasts. We would have laid down our lives to save them from what appeared to be their inevitable doom, and yet what could we do in the face of such a tempest, and when any attempt to rescue them would only entail ruin on the adventurers, without aiding those we would preserve? As I thought of the impossibility of rendering succor to those shrinking females, as I dwelt on the lingering agonies they would have to endure, as I pictured to myself the brig sinking before our eyes, and we all powerless to prevent it, a thrill of horror shivered through every nerve of my system, my blood ran cold, my brain reeled around, and I could with difficulty prevent myself from falling, so great was my emotion. But rallying my spirits, I tried to persuade myself it was all a dream. I strained my eyes through the mist to see whether I might not be mistaken—to discover if possible some hope for the forlorn beings on board the brig. But, alas! it was in vain. There were the white dresses blowing about in the gale as the two females knelt on the deck and clung to the knees of their protector—there was the crew mustered at the pumps, while jets of brine were pouring from the scuppers—and there were the crushed and splintered bulwarks betokening that the efforts of the men were dictated by no idle fears. I groaned again in agony. Had it been my own fate to perish thus, I could have borne my doom without a murmur; but to see fellow creatures perishing before my sight, without my having the power to succor them, was more than I could endure. I closed my eyes on the dreadful scene. Nor were my emotions confined to myself. Not a heart of our vast crew that did not beat with sympathy for our unhappy victims. Old and young, officers and men, hardy veterans and eager volunteers, all alike owned the impulses of humanity, and stood gazing, silent, spell-bound and horror-struck, on the ill-fated brig and her despairing passengers. At this instant a gray-haired man, whom we knew at once to be her skipper, sprung into the main-rigging of the wreck, and placing his hands to his mouth, while his long silvery locks blew out dishevelled on the gale, shouted,

“We—are—sink-ing!” and, as he ceased, a shiver ran through our crew.

“God help us,” said the captain, for that officer had now reached the deck, “we can do nothing for them. And to see them sink before our eyes! But yet I will not despair,” and raising his voice, he shouted, “can’t you hold on until morning, or until the gale subsides a little?”

The skipper of the brig saw by our captain’s gestures, that he had hailed, but the old man could not hear the words in the uproar of the gale, and he shook his head despondingly.

“We are sinking!” he shouted again; “there is a foot of water in the hold, and the sea is pouring in like a cataract. We have been stove.”

Never shall I forget that moment, for, to our excited imaginations, it seemed as if the brig was visibly going down as the skipper ceased speaking. His words sounded in our ears like the knell of hope. A pause of several seconds ensued—a deep, solemn, awe-inspiring pause—during which every eye was fixed on the battered vessel. Each man held his breath, and looked in the direction of the brig, as she rose and fell on the surges, fearful lest the next billow would submerge her forever. We all saw that it was useless to attempt holding any communication with her, for no human voice, even though speaking in a voice of thunder, could be heard against the gale. The two vessels were, moreover, rapidly increasing the space betwixt them,—and, although objects on the deck of the brig had been at first clearly perceptible in the starlight, they had gradually grown dimmer as she receded from us until now, they could scarcely be seen. There was no alternative, therefore, but to abandon her to her fate. The skipper of the brig seemed to have become sensible of this, for, after having remained in the main rigging watching us for several moments longer, he finally descended to the deck, waving his hand mournfully in adieu.

Meantime the aspect of the heavens had materially changed. When I first came on deck, the stars, I have said, were out bright on high, with only a few scud clouds now and then chasing each other over the firmament. Even then, however, I had noticed a small black cloud extending across the western horizon, and giving an ominous aspect to the whole of that quarter of the sky. But during the last half hour my attention had been so engrossed by the events I have just related that I lost all consciousness of this circumstance. Now, however, the increasing darkness recalled it to my mind. I looked up. Already dark and ragged clouds, precursors of the vast body of vapors following behind, were dimming the stars overhead, now wrapping the decks in almost total darkness, and now flitting by and leaving us once more in a dim and shadowy light, through which the men loomed out like gigantic spectres. The wind had perceptibly decreased, while the sea had risen in proportion. The spray no longer flew by in showers, but the white caps of the billows, as they rolled up in the uncertain light, had a ghastliness that thrilled the heart with a strange emotion, almost amounting to superstitious dread. The ship strained and creaked as she rose heavily on the billows, or sunk wallowing far down in the abyss; while ever and anon the sea would strike on her bows like a forge-hammer, breaking in showers of spray high over the forecastle, and often sending its foam as far back as the main hatchway.

The huge mass of vapors meanwhile had attained the zenith, and was rolling darkly onward towards the opposite horizon. Directly the wind died nearly altogether away, while a total darkness shrouded us in its folds. Even then, however, a few stars could be seen low in the eastern seaboard, twinkling sharp and serene, just under the edge of that ominous cloud, but casting only a faint and dreamy radiance around them, and in vain attempting to penetrate the gloom higher up in the sky. The brig was last seen to the north-west, where the darkness had become most intense. She was still doubtless in that quarter, but no trace of her could be discerned.

“It’s as black up yonder as the eye of death,” said the captain, “and I can see nothing there but a dense, impenetrable shadow—your sight is better, Mr. Duval,” he continued, addressing the first lieutenant, “can you make out any thing?” The officer shook his head. “Well, we will hail, at any rate. I would not have run afoul of them for my commission!”

The hail rung out startlingly on the night, and every ear listened for the response. No answer came.

“Again!” said the captain.


A second of breathless suspense followed, and then another, when we were about giving up all hope; but at that instant a faint cry,—it might have been a wail or it might not, God knows!—came floating across the waste of waters. It fell on our listening ears like a lamentation for the dead.

“Heaven preserve us!” solemnly said the captain, “I’m afraid all is over with them.”

“Amen!” ejaculated the lieutenant, and for an instant there was a breathless silence, as if each was too awe-struck to speak. Suddenly the huge sails flapped against the mast, bellied out again, and then whipped backward with a noise like thunder. The effect was electric. The captain started and spoke.

“The wind is shifting,” he ejaculated, holding up his hand, after having first wet it slightly; “ha! the breeze is coming from the north. It will strike by the mainmast. Let her stretch away at first, but we’ll heave-to as soon as possible. I wouldn’t for the world desert this neighborhood: God grant we may find some vestige of the brig when morning dawns!”

The hurried orders of the officer of the deck to prepare for the coming hurricane had scarcely been given and executed, before it seemed to us as if we could see, even amid the blackness of darkness to the north, the whirling motion of gigantic clouds, and, almost simultaneously, with a roar as of ten thousand batteries, this new tempest was upon us. Its first fury was beyond description—surpassing imagination—defying belief. It howled, shrieked, and bellowed through the rigging in such awful and varied tones, that the oldest hearts were chilled with fear. It was as if the last convulsive throe of a world was at hand. It was as if the whole fury of the elements had been collected for one last effort—as if tortured nature, made frantic by agony, had broke loose from her tormentors—as if the mighty deep itself, in horror-struck penitence, was thundering its awful “de profundis” on the eve of final dissolution. I could scarcely breathe, much less stand. I could only grasp a rope, fling myself almost prostrate, and await either the subsidence of the storm, or the foundering of our ship,—for, during several minutes, it appeared to me as if every second was to be our last. Torrents of water, meanwhile, swept in sheets from the crests of the billows, were whirling like smoke-wreathes along the decks,—while the ravening surges, faintly seen like shadows through the gloom, chased each other in wild and rapid succession along our sides. All was darkness, doubt and terror.

But happily the duration of the squall was proportioned to its intensity, and, in less than five minutes, the hurricane began to decrease in violence. After the lapse of a short period more the gale rapidly subsided, although its power was still considerable. Before half an hour, however, we were lying-to as near to our old position as we could attain,—having suffered no loss except that of our maintopsail, which was blown from the bolt ropes in the first moment of the squall, but with a noise which was lost in the louder uproar of the wind.

“They have never survived this,” said the captain in a melancholy tone, when we were once more snugly hove-to: “how many souls are in eternity the All-Seeing Eye only knows! Keep her here,” he added after a pause, turning to descend to his cabin, and addressing the officer of the deck, “and with the first streak of light, if the gale shall have abated, as I suspect it will, cruize up to our old position, maintaining a sharp look-out in every direction. But I shall be on deck myself by that time,” and with the words, taking a last but fruitless look towards the west, he went below. In half an hour the crowded decks were deserted by all except the silent watch; and no sound broke the whistle of the winds, except the tread of the men, or the cry of “all’s well” passing from look-out to look-out along the decks.

With the first appearance of morning I was on deck. The gale had nearly gone down; the clouds had broken away; and the stars were out again, clear and bright, in the firmament. Yet the waves still rolled mountain high around us, now heaving their snowy crests above us in the sky, and now rolling their dark bosoms far away under our stern. Morning slowly dawned. Gradually, one by one, the stars paled on high, and a faint shadowy streak of light began to spread along the eastern seaboard. Over the boundless expanse of waters around us no living object met the eye, so that, in that dim mysterious light, the sense of loneliness was overpowering. But I had no thought then for aught except the ill-fated brig. I felt an unaccountable interest in her. It seemed as if some unknown sympathy existed betwixt me and those on board of her, as if my destiny in some mysterious manner was connected with theirs. I could not rest on deck, but ascending to the cross-trees I took my station there, and gazed out anxiously over the waste of waters. Our ship had, by this time, been put about, and we were now, as near as I could judge, in the vicinity of the spot where the collision occurred. The moment came which was either to realize or confirm my fears. A strange emotion took possession of me. My heart beat nervously, my breath came heavily, I trembled in every fibre of my system. I strained my eyes in every direction around, and, once or twice, as a billow rolled its white crest upwards, I fancied I saw a sail,—but, alas! my agitation had deceived me, and all was a blank watery waste around. For more than an hour we cruized to and fro, but in vain. As time passed and hope died away, the officers and men, one by one, left the rigging, until finally even the captain gave up the search, and issued a reluctant order to put the ship away on her course. At that instant I saw, far down on the seaboard, what seemed to me a tiny sail; but as we sank in the trough of the sea the object faded from my sight. With eager eyes, I watched for it as we rose on the swell, and—God of my fathers!—it was the long looked for boat.

“A sail!” I shouted almost in a phrenzy—“they are in sight!”

“Where away?” demanded the officer of the deck, while every eye swept the horizon in eager curiosity.

“On the lee-beam!”

“What do you make it out?”

“A ship’s launch—crowded with human beings!”

“God be praised!—it is the brig’s crew,” ejaculated the captain. “Up with your helm, quarter-master—around with her all—there she dances,” and as he spoke the gallant ship wheeled around and in a few minutes the brig’s launch was rocking under our bows.

The discipline of a man-of-war could scarcely suppress the loudest demonstrations of emotion on the part of the crew, when the freight of that tempest-tost launch reached our decks. The sailors of the brig were instantly seized by our tars, and borne forward in triumph,—while our superior grasped the hand of the rescued skipper with visible emotion. But when the two females, with their protector, an elderly, gentlemanly looking man, were safely landed on the quarter-deck, every eye was at once attracted to the interesting group. Both the females were young and beautiful, but one was surpassingly lovely. As I gazed on her, it seemed as if some long forgotten dream had come back to me; but in vain were my attempts to give it reality. At this instant their protector spoke in reply to a question from the captain.

“It is indeed a miracle that we are saved. The brig went down in that fearful squall, and though we had taken to the launch, as a last hope, we did not believe we should live a minute in such a hurricane. But an Omnipotent Power preserved us for some wise ends. All night long we were tossed at the mercy of the waves. We saw you long before you saw us, and thought that you had given up the search, when suddenly your head was brought around in our direction—and here we stand on your decks. To whom are we indebted for our discovery? We owe him our eternal gratitude.”

All eyes were instantly turned towards me, and the captain taking me by the hand, said,

“Mr. Cavendish has that enviable honor,” at the same time presenting me.

“Cavendish!” exclaimed a silvery female voice in delighted surprise.

At the mention of that name I looked up with eager curiosity, and saw the eyes of the lovely speaker fixed upon me, as if in recognition. She crimsoned to the brow at my eager glance, and as she did so, the crowd of dim recollections in my mind assumed a definite shape, and I recognized in that sweet smile, in that delicately tinted cheek, in those now tearful eyes, in that lustrous brow, the features of my old playmate Annette!

“Cavendish—what, little Henry Cavendish?” exclaimed the gentleman, eagerly seizing my hand, “yes! it is even so, although the years that have passed since you used to visit Pomfret Hall have almost eradicated your features from my memory. God bless you, my gallant young friend! We owe you our lives—our all.”

The scene that ensued I will not attempt to describe. Suffice it to say I retired that night with a whirl of strange emotions at my heart. Was it Love?





  Violet! sweet violet!

  Thine eyes are full of tears;

        Are they wet

        Even yet

With the thought of other years,

Or with gladness are they full,

For the night so beautiful,

And longing for those far-off spheres?


  Loved one of my youth thou wast,

  Of my merry youth,

        And I see,


All the fair and sunny past,

All its openness and truth,

Ever fresh and green in thee

As the moss is in the sea.


  Thy little heart, that hath with love

  Grown colored like the sky above,

  On which thou lookest ever,

        Can it know

        All the woe

Of hope for what returneth never,

All the sorrow and the longing

To these hearts of ours belonging?


  Out on it! no foolish pining

        For the sky

        Dims thine eye,

Or for the stars so calmly shining;

Like thee let this soul of mine

Take hue from that wherefor I long,

Self-stayed and high, serene and strong,

Not satisfied with hoping—but divine.


  Violet! dear violet!

  Thy blue eyes are only wet

With joy and love of him who sent thee,

And for the fulfilling sense

Of that glad obedience

Which made thee all which Nature meant thee!





“O what a goodly outside falsehood hath.”—Shakspeare.

I have been thinking, Henry, that I should like to invite cousin Agatha to spend the winter with us: what do you say to my plan?”

“Really, Alice, I can say nothing about it, since I know nothing of the lady.”

“Oh, I had forgotten that you had never seen her; she is only distantly related to us, but being left an orphan at an early age, she became an inmate of our family and continued to reside with us until she married. Agatha is several years my senior, and entered society while I was yet in the school-room; she married rather in opposition to the wishes of my parents, as they approved neither of the profession nor the character of her husband, who was an officer in the army, and known to be a man of dissolute habits. Poor thing! she has fully paid the penalty of her folly during seven years of poverty and discomfort. Her husband has been sent from one frontier station to another, until the health of both was destroyed, and at the time of his death they were both at Sackett’s Harbor.”

“Then she is a widow?”

“Yes, her vile husband died about a year since, and cousin Agatha is released from bondage, but reduced to actual penury. I received a letter from her yesterday, the first she has written since my marriage, and she alludes most touchingly to her desolate condition as contrasted with my happiness.”

“And that letter, I suppose, induced you to think of inviting her to spend the winter with us?”

“It did, Harry; for I felt as if it was almost selfish in me to be so happy when my early friend was pining in loneliness and poverty.”

“I love the kindliness of feeling which prompts you to such acts, dear Alice, but, to confess the truth, I would rather relieve your cousin’s distresses in any other way.”

“But there is no other way of doing so, Henry—she would not accept pecuniary aid from us: why do you object to her visit?”

“Because we are so happy that I dread any interruption to the calm current of our life.”

“Thank you, dear Harry, I cannot find it in my heart to scold you for your selfishness,” said the young wife, as she laid her hand on her husband’s arm; “but really,” she continued, “Cousin Agatha would be the last person in the world to disturb our tranquillity. She is full of gentleness and sentiment; a creature of warm and affectionate impulses, and she would delight in adding to our enjoyments. You know my health will confine me to the house this winter, and you may find the long evenings hang heavy upon your hands.”

“Not in your society, Alice.”

“I am glad you think so, Harry; but when I am languid and dispirited from indisposition, you would find cousin Agatha a charming companion; besides, she would relieve me from some of the cares of house-keeping.”

“Well, my dear, you offer so many good reasons in favor of her coming, that I can find no argument against it, but I have a sort of a presentiment that she will not be agreeable.”

“Oh, Harry, how can you think so? if you could see her you would change your opinions very soon, for her picturesque appearance would charm your artistical taste.”

“Is she very beautiful?”

“No, but she is just the person to please a painter, for there is so beautiful a combination of light and shade in her face. She has those grey eyes which, when fringed with long, dark lashes, are so full of varied expression, and her hair, black as the raven’s wing, falls in heavy natural ringlets that put to shame the skill of a coiffeur.”

“May she not be altered since you saw her, Alice?”

“True, I had forgotten that more than five years have passed since we last met; but, even if her person has changed, her heart, I am sure, has not, and when you know her you will thank me for my pertinacity in thus wringing your reluctant consent to her visit.”

“If you think it will add to your enjoyments, Alice, invite her by all means.”

Alice Wentworth had been a wife scarcely two years, and her married life had been a scene of uninterrupted happiness. Nothing would have induced her to risk the disturbance of her tranquillity, but remembering the companion of her early years as one who had been the confidant of all her childish joys and sorrows, she looked upon her presence as the completion of her plans of enjoyment. Her husband’s scruples she naturally attributed to unfounded prejudice which an acquaintance with her cousin could not fail to overcome, and, therefore, following the dictates of kindly feeling, she determined to cheer the bereaved widow by an affectionate letter of invitation.

Some three weeks after she had despatched her missive, at an early hour, on a cold autumnal morning, a carriage drove up to the door, and a loud ring announced the expected guest. Alice had not yet finished her morning toilet, and Mr. Wentworth hastened down to receive the lady; but scarcely had he got through the awkwardness of a self-introduction when his wife entered, full of impatience to embrace her early friend. During the mutual raptures of their meeting, he had leisure to scrutinize the new inmate of his family, and certainly his impressions were any thing but favorable. Cousin Agatha had taken a violent cold, her countenance was disfigured by a swollen cheek, and her eyes were bleared and inflamed by a severe attack of influenza, while the effect of steamboat slumbers and a steamboat toilet did not tend to the improvement of her appearance. Indeed Harry Wentworth could scarcely refrain from laughter when he contrasted his wife’s enthusiastic description with the reality before him. But Alice, with ready hospitality, conducted her cousin to her apartment, and to that room the wearied traveller, overcome with illness and fatigue, was confined during the several succeeding days.

“When will your friend be presentable, Alice?” asked Mr. Wentworth one evening as he threw himself upon a sofa, after tea, “since she has been here you have not sat with me a half hour, for your whole time seems devoted to nursing.”

“I hope she will be well enough to meet you at dinner to-morrow, Harry; the swelling has left her face and she begins to look like herself. What amuses you so much?” she asked, as her husband burst into a loud laugh.

“I was thinking of the force of contrast, Alice; you are an excellent painter, dear, but you draw your tints too exclusively from fancy; who could have recognized your picturesque beauty with soft grey eyes and raven curls in the dowdyish looking woman with red nose and redder eyes whom I welcomed as cousin Agatha?”

“For shame, Harry, you ought not to judge of her by her appearance at that time.”

“Perhaps not; but first impressions are the most durable, and I shall never see any beauty in your cousin, for even if she should hereafter appear to advantage when dressed for display, I shall never forget how she looked in her travelling dishabille; one thing you may be sure of, Alley, you will never have cause to be jealous of your picturesque cousin.”

“I don’t mean to be jealous of any one, Harry, but I shall be much mistaken if you do not learn to admire cousin Agatha.”

“Then you may prepare yourself for a disappointment, Alice; I do not think I should feel perfectly satisfied with any one who had thus broken in upon our tranquil happiness, and even if I were disposed to like your cousin elsewhere she would not please me in our quiet home. Besides, I was disappointed in my idea of her personal beauty, and her manners appeared to me abrupt and inelegant.”

“Harry, you never were more mistaken in your life.”

“Well, well—it will be difficult to convince me of my error.” A slight rustle at the door was heard as Mr. Wentworth finished his ungallant speech, and the next moment cousin Agatha entered.

“I thought I would endeavor to make my way to the drawing-room instead of depriving you any longer of the society of your husband, dear Alice,” said she as she languidly sank into the softly-cushioned chair which Mr. Wentworth drew forward for her accommodation. Of course the usual congratulations followed, and as the invalid dropped the heavy shawl from her shoulders, Alice glanced towards her husband in the hope that he would not fail to observe the symmetry of her petite figure. He was too great an admirer of beauty to fail in such notice, yet still he could see little to claim admiration in her face. Her complexion was not clear; her mouth, though well formed and adorned with superb teeth, was large, and her eyes were dim from recent illness, while her curls were hidden beneath one of those fairy fabrics of gossamer and ribbon which often display the taste of the wearer at the expense of a crowning beauty. But, ere the evening had expired, Mr. Wentworth was forced to acknowledge that he had formed too hasty an opinion of her manners, for, whatever brusquerie he might have observed on the morning of her arrival, he was certainly struck now by the easy elegance and graceful dignity of her deportment.

From this time cousin Agatha laid aside the character of an invalid, and, quietly taking her place at the table and fireside, seemed to have no other wish than to make herself useful. Devoted in her attentions to Alice, she took little notice of Mr. Wentworth except to receive his courteous civility with profound gratitude. He was nothing more to her than the husband of her friend, and while she exhibited the deepest interest in the development of Alice’s mind and feelings, she seemed scarcely to observe the fine taste, the elegant scholarship, and the nobleness of sentiment which characterized Mr. Wentworth. Alice suffered no small degree of mortification from this evident coldness between those whom she was so anxious to behold friends. She could not bear to find Agatha so totally blind to the perfections of her beloved Henry, and she was almost as much annoyed at her husband’s indifference to the graces of her cousin.

“You are pained because I do not sufficiently admire your husband, Alice,” said Agatha, one day, when they were alone, “but surely you would not have me estimate him as highly as you do?”

“I would not have you love him quite as well, but I would have you appreciate his exalted qualities.”

“My dear coz,” said Agatha, with a slightly sarcastic smile, “do not, I pray you, make it one of the conditions of our friendship that I should see through your eyes. Mr. Wentworth is a fine scholar, a tolerable amateur painter, and a most ardent lover of his pretty wife; is that not sufficient praise?”

Alice felt uncomfortable, though she could scarcely tell why, at this and similar remarks from cousin Agatha. She had been accustomed to consider her husband a being of superior worth and endowments, but there was something in her cousin’s manner of uttering commendation of him, which seemed to imply contempt even while it expressed praise. In the innocence of her heart, Alice several times repeated cousin Agatha’s sayings to her husband, and they were not without their effect upon him. The self-love which exists, more or less, in every heart, was by no means a negative quantity in the character of Mr. Wentworth. He knew his wife overrated his talents, but he loved her the better for her affectionate flattery, and cousin Agatha’s apparent ignorance of his character mortified and vexed him. He began to think that his prejudices had prevented him from showing himself in a proper light, and his wounded vanity led him to redouble his attentions to his guest. Heretofore he had never thought of her except when in her company; but now, the certainty that she was as yet blind to his merits, made her an object of interest. He was not a very vain man, but his wife’s idolatry had gratified even while he was fully aware of its extravagance, and he was proportionably annoyed by the perfect coldness with which cousin Agatha regarded him. She seemed to think him a very good sort of a man, but not at all superior to the common herd, and he was determined to convince her of her mistake. Agatha had succeeded in her first design:—she had aroused him from the torpor of indifference.

Cousin Agatha was a most invaluable assistant to a young housekeeper, for she had a quick hand, a ready invention, and exquisite taste, so that whether a pudding was to be concocted, a dress trimmed, or a party given, she was equally useful. Alice had learned the duties of housekeeping theoretically and was now only beginning to put them in practice, as every young wife must do, for whatever she may know in the home of her childhood, she still finds much to be learned in organizing and arranging a new household. Cousin Agatha, on the contrary, had been trained from her childhood to do all these things, for the dependent orphan had early learned to earn her bread by her own usefulness. In the course of her married life she had been compelled to practice the thousand expedients which pride and poverty teach to a quick-witted woman, and it is not surprising, therefore, that her skill should far surpass that of the gentle and self-distrusting Alice. Doubting her own knowledge only because Agatha was near to advise, the young wife applied to her on all occasions, until at length the regulation of domestic affairs was entirely in her hands, and Alice was left only to assist in the execution of Agatha’s plans. Cousin Agatha was always busied in some pretty feminine employment. She had very beautiful hands, and her long taper fingers were always engaged in some delicate needle-work or an elegant piece of tapestry. Did it ever occur to you, my fair reader, that a pretty hand never appears to such advantage as when busied with the needle? The piano extends the fingers until the hand sometimes resembles a bird’s claw;—the pencil or the pen contracts it until half its beauty is concealed; but needle-work, with the various turnings and windings necessary to its accomplishment, displays both hands in perfectly natural positions and in every variety of grace. This fact was not unknown to cousin Agatha; she had no accomplishments, but she was rarely seen without the tiniest of gold thimbles upon her slender finger.

Slowly and by scarcely perceptible degrees, Agatha seemed to learn the full value of the prize which her friend had drawn in the lottery of life. His fine talents seemed to dawn upon her with daily increasing vividness, his amateur sketches became more and more characterized by genius, his musical taste developed itself surprisingly, and, ere many weeks had elapsed, Alice had the satisfaction of repeating to her husband many a heart-warm compliment breathed into the ear of the happy wife by cousin Agatha in her hours of confidential communing with her friend. Nor was Mr. Wentworth slower in discovering the latent charms of his guest. Restored to her former health, and associating as the guest of Mrs. Wentworth, in a pleasant circle of society, cousin Agatha threw aside the weeds of widowhood, and appeared in all the attractive coquetry of tasteful and becoming dress. Her luxuriant tresses were once more allowed to shadow her low feminine brow, and fall upon her graceful neck, or, if bound up in conformity with fashion, the very restraint was studiously arranged in such a manner as to display their rich redundancy. Her grey eyes sometimes seemed actually flashing with light, and again were filled with the soft liquid lustre of intense sensibility; and then her smile, displaying her brilliant teeth and lighting up her whole face, had the effect of a sudden sunbeam upon a darkened landscape. The charm of Agatha’s face was its vivid and varied expression; the grace of her person was the effect of long and carefully studied art. Not a look, not a gesture, not even a movement of her fringed eyelids, but was the result of frequent practice. There was a perfection of grace in her attitudes that seemed like Nature’s self. Her head always assumed a pretty position, her curls always seemed to drop in their proper place, her drapery always fell in becoming folds, and no one observed that she was particular in avoiding cross lights, especially careful not to face a broad glare of sunshine, and remarkably fond of placing herself at the arm of a sofa, so as to obtain a fine back ground for the exhibition of her attitudes. Harry Wentworth wondered how he could ever have thought her ugly. And then her manners:—what could be more gentle, more feminine, more fascinating than the tenderness of her tones and the sweetness of her deportment? She seemed to look upon gentlemen as if she felt all a woman’s helplessness, and was willing to consider man as a “chevalier sans peur et sans reproche,” born to be her natural protector. There was something so pleading in the soft eyes which she lifted to the face of the sterner sex, that few could resist their charm, and actually Harry Wentworth was not one of those few.

Long before the time fixed for the termination of Agatha’s visit, Alice had urged her to prolong her stay, and, when Mr. Wentworth added his earnest entreaties, she was induced to promise that she would set no other limit to its duration than such as circumstances might create. But as week after week fleeted by, Alice began to doubt whether she had acted wisely in making this request. She was ashamed to acknowledge even to herself the feeling, but, somehow or other, she was not quite as happy as she had been before cousin Agatha’s coming. She attributed it to the nervous irritability from which she was now suffering, and endeavored to think that when she should once more recover her health, she would find her former enjoyment in Agatha’s society. But Agatha sometimes made such singular remarks;—they were uttered with the utmost simplicity and naïveté, her smile was full of sweetness, her tones like the summer breeze when she spoke, and yet the import of her words was excessively cutting and sarcastic. There was often an implied censure in her manner of replying to Alice—not in the words themselves, but rather in their application, which the young wife, sick and dispirited, felt perhaps too keenly. Alice was uncomfortable and yet she scarcely could tell why. A shadow was resting upon her path, and she felt, although she saw it not, that there was a cloud in her sunny sky. The idea that she was no longer absolutely essential to her husband’s comfort sometimes crossed her mind. During the many hours which she was obliged to spend in her own apartment, she found that Henry was fully occupied with his game of chess, or his favorite book in company with cousin Agatha, and though it seemed only a realization of her own wishes, yet she was not prepared to find herself so entirely thrown into the back-ground of the family picture.

At length Alice became a mother, and in the new emotions awakened in her bosom, she forgot her vague feelings of discomfort. Mr. Wentworth was too proud and happy to think of anything but his boy, and when Alice beheld him bending over their cradled treasure with a feeling almost of awe as well as love, she wondered how she could ever have felt unhappy for a moment. Cousin Agatha seemed to share in all their joy, and in the presence of the father she fondled and caressed the child as gracefully as possible.

“Do you not think, Alice,” said she one day, as she sat with the babe lying on her lap, while Wentworth bent fondly over it, “do you not think your sweet little Harry resembles poor Charles Wilson?”

“No, indeed I do not,” exclaimed Alice, quickly, while the blood mounted to her pallid cheek and brow.

“Well, I certainly see a strong likeness; there is the same peculiar dimple in the chin, which neither you nor Mr. Wentworth have, and even the color of his eyes reminds me of Charles,” said cousin Agatha.

“His eyes are like his father’s,” said Alice, “and nothing is more common than to see in the face of a child a dimple which entirely disappears in later life.”

“Well, Alice, dear, I did not mean to awaken any painful reminiscence by my remark; I did not know you were so sensitive on the subject.” These words were uttered in the blandest tones, and the sweet smile which accompanied them was as beautiful as a sunbeam on a troubled sea; but Alice felt both pained and vexed. Agatha had recurred to the only unpleasant recollections of her whole life, and she could not determine whether it had been done by design, or was merely the result of thoughtlessness. The remark had not been without its effect upon Mr. Wentworth. He saw with surprise the evident vexation of his wife at the mention of Charles Wilson’s name, and while he feared to ask an explanation from her in her present feeble state of health, he determined to satisfy his curiosity by appealing to cousin Agatha.

“Did you never hear of Charles Wilson?” exclaimed Agatha, in great apparent surprise, when, a few hours afterwards, he asked the question.

“Never until I heard you mention him,” was the reply.

“Then I ought not to tell you anything about him, because I cannot betray the confidence of a friend.”

“But as a friend I entreat you to tell me.”

“It is impossible, Mr. Wentworth:—what Alice has thought best to conceal I certainly will not disclose: strange that she should not have told you; there certainly ought to be the most perfect confidence between husband and wife.”

“Agatha, you have excited such a painful interest in the secret, whatever it is, that I must know it.”

“You will not betray me to Alice if I tell you?”

“Certainly not, if secrecy be the only condition on which I can learn the truth.”

“And you promise not to think harshly of poor Alice?”

“It would be strange if I should think other than well of one whose purity of heart is so well known to me.”

“Well, then,” replied the insidious woman, with a slight, a very slight sneer on her lip, “since you have such undoubting faith in your wife there can be no harm in telling you. But really we are making a great affair of a very trifling occurrence. Charles Wilson was a clerk to Alice’s father, and while she was yet at school, he made love to her in the hope of enticing her into a clandestine marriage. Alice was only about fifteen, and like all girls of her age was delighted with a first lover. He lived in the house with, us, and of course enjoyed many opportunities of meeting her, so that before we knew anything about it, an elopement was actually planned. I happened to discover it, and as my duty required, I made it known to her parents. The consequence was that Wilson was dismissed and Alice sent to boarding-school; I dare say she has thanked me for it since, though then she could not forgive me. You look pained, Mr. Wentworth. I hope my foolish frankness has not made you unhappy. I really thought it such a childish affair that I felt no hesitation in alluding to it to-day, supposing that Alice had lost all sensitiveness about it, and I was never more surprised than by her evident agitation. However, I confess I was wrong; I ought to have known that an early disappointment is not easily forgotten even in the midst of happiness.”

“How long since this happened?” asked Mr. Wentworth.

“Just before I was married—I suppose about eight years ago; I wonder Alice did not tell you the whole story, but she is such a timid creature that I suppose she could not summon courage enough to be perfectly frank with you.”

Wentworth made no reply, but the poisoned arrow had reached its mark. His confidence in his wife was shaken; he had not been the first love of her young heart,—she had loved and been beloved,—she had plighted her faith even in her girlhood, and the creature whom he believed to be as pure in heart as an infant, had narrowly escaped the degradation of a clandestine marriage with an inferior. He was shocked and almost disgusted; he felt heartsick, and even the sight of his child, connected as it now was with the similitude of the early lover, was painful to him. He recalled a thousand trifling circumstances which would pass by unheeded but for cousin Agatha’s kind attempts to explain Alice’s meaning, and all now corroborated his suspicions of his wife’s perfect sincerity. The more he discussed the matter with Agatha, the more dissatisfied did he become with Alice; and in proportion as she fell in his estimation the frank and noble character of Agatha arose. There was a high-toned sentiment about her, a sense of honor and an intensity of feeling which added new charms to her expressive countenance and graceful manners. Wentworth was not in love with Agatha, but he was a little out of love with his wife, and the constant presence of such a fascinating woman, at such a moment, was certainly somewhat dangerous. More than once he caught himself regretting that Alice was not more like her cousin, and long before Alice was well enough to leave her apartment, he had become quite reconciled to her absence from the drawing-room. Alice felt his increasing neglect, but she dared not allow herself to attribute it to its true cause. Cousin Agatha was so kind, so attentive to her, and studied so much the comfort of Mr. Wentworth, that she almost hated herself for the growing dislike which she was conscious of feeling towards her.

One day, about two months after the birth of her babe, Alice, who had been suffering from a slow fever, felt so much better that she determined to surprise her husband by joining him at dinner. Wrapping a shawl about her, she slowly proceeded down stairs, and finding the drawing-room door partly open, entered so silently as not to disturb the occupants of the apartment. Mr. Wentworth was lying on a sofa, while cousin Agatha sat on a low ottoman beside him, with one hand threading the mazes of his bright hair, while the other was clasped in his. The face of Agatha was hidden from her, but the wretched wife beheld the eyes of her husband upturned towards it with the most vivid expression of fondness and passion. Her very soul grew sick as she gazed; she turned to glide from the room and fell senseless on the threshold. Weeks had elapsed ere she recovered her consciousness. The sudden shock which her weakened nerves had sustained, produced inflammation of the brain, and for many an anxious day her husband watched beside her sick bed, dreading lest every hour should be her last. She lay in a state of stupor, and her first signs of returning consciousness was the shiver that ran through her frame when the voice of cousin Agatha struck upon her ear.

Mr. Wentworth was conscience-stricken when, aroused by the sound of her fall, he had beheld Alice lying lifeless on the floor. He uttered not a word of enquiry, but he readily divined the cause of her condition, and, as he bore her to her apartment, he almost hated himself for the brief delirium in which his senses had been plunged. He could not be said to love Agatha, but her fascinations had not been without their effect upon his ardent nature. He did not attempt to analyse his feelings, but yielding to the spell which enthralled him, abandoned himself to the enjoyment of her blandishments. Hour after hour had he spent in listening to the false sentiment which fell from her lips in the most honied accents,—evening after evening had he consumed in attending her to parties of pleasure,—day after day had been bestowed on the completion of her portrait, while Alice was left to the solitude of her sick room. But now, when he beheld her stricken down at his very feet, the scales seemed to fall from his eyes, and his infidelity of heart appeared to him in all its true wickedness. The toils which the insidious Agatha had woven about him were broken as if by magic, and his wife, his long-suffering, wronged Alice was dearer to him than all the world beside. He watched by her with all the kindness of early affection, and well did he understand her abhorrent shudder at the presence of Agatha. His devoted attention and the adieus of cousin Agatha, who now found it necessary to terminate her visit, had no small share in restoring Alice to convalescence.

Alice was slowly regaining health and strength; the faint tint of the wild-rose was once more visible on her thin cheek, and her feeble step had again borne her to the room so fraught with painful remembrances. But far different were the feelings with which she now revisited that neglected apartment. Cousin Agatha was gone,—she was once more alone with her husband, and with true womanly affection she willingly forgot his past errors in his present tenderness. But there were some things yet to be explained before perfect confidence could exist between them. The serpent had been driven from their Paradise, but its trail had been left on many a flower;—the shadow of distrust still lay dark upon the pleasant paths of domestic peace, and yet both shrunk from uttering the mystic word which might chase its gloom forever. But the moment of explanation came. A letter from cousin Agatha was placed in the hands of Alice, and repressing the shudder with which she looked upon it, she proceeded to peruse it; but scarcely had she read three lines, when, with an exclamation of surprise, she handed it to her husband, and telling him it interested him no less than herself, begged him to read it aloud. It was as follows:

My sweet Cousin,

“I write to repeat my thanks for the exceeding kindness and hospitality which I received while an inmate of your family. I feel especially bound to do this, because, as I am on the point of embarking for France, I may be unable for several years to offer my acknowledgments in person. You are doubtless surprised, but you will perhaps be still more so when I tell you that I am going to join my husband. Our marriage took place more than a year since, but we thought it prudent to conceal it both on account of my then recent widowhood, and because my husband was not then of age. His guardian was opposed to his union with your penniless cousin, and he was sent off on a European tour to avoid me; but we were secretly married before his departure, and as he has now attained his majority, he has written to me to meet him in Paris, where I hope to find that domestic felicity which I failed to derive from my former unhappy connection. By the way, my dear Alice, I fancied, when I was at your house, that there was some little coldness existing between you and your husband. I sincerely hope that I was mistaken, and that it was my love for you which rendered me too observant of the little differences which frequently occur in married life. I think Mr. Wentworth was piqued about your early engagement with Charles Wilson; you had better explain the matter to him and he will probably find as little cause for his jealousy as, I assure you, there was for yours. Don’t pout, dear Alice, you certainly were a little jealous of me, but I only flirted harmlessly with your husband pour passer le temps; and perhaps a little out of revenge. I wanted to try whether a ‘little dowdyish red-nosed woman’ could have any attractions for him.”

“By Jupiter! she must have been listening at the door when I was discussing the subject of her ill-looks just after her arrival,” exclaimed Mr. Wentworth.

“Yes, and mortified vanity will account for her well-practised seductions, Harry,” said Alice; “but let us hear the end of this precious epistle.” Mr. Wentworth resumed:

“I hope he has fallen into his old habits again and is as fond and lover-like as I found him on my arrival. One piece of advice I must give you, my sweet Alice; do not trust him too much with those who have greater powers of fascination than his little wife, for believe me, he possesses a very susceptible nature. Do not be such a good spouse as to show him my letter. Remember I write to you with my usual impudent frankness. Kiss little Harry for me and remember me most kindly to your amiable husband.

“Ever your devoted friend and cousin,


“P.S. Can I send you any nicknackery from Paris? I shall be delighted to be of service to you.”

“Well, that is as characteristic a letter as I ever read,” exclaimed Wentworth as he flung it on the table; “how adroitly she mingles her poison with her sweetmeats; and how well she has managed to affix a sting at the last: I wonder whom she has duped into a marriage.”

“Some foolish boy, doubtless, for she speaks of him as being just of age, while she will never again see her thirtieth summer,” said Alice; “but what does she mean Harry about my early engagement with Charles Wilson? He was a clerk to my father.”

“She told me a long story Alice about a proposed elopement between you and this said Charles Wilson which had been prevented by her interference.”

“Good Heavens! Harry how she must have misrepresented the affair. Wilson was in papa’s employ and probably fancied it would be a good speculation if he could marry his employer’s daughter. He became exceedingly troublesome to me by his civilities, and finally made love to me in plain terms, when I communicated the whole affair to cousin Agatha, and begged her to tell papa of it, because I was such a child that I was ashamed to tell him myself. She did so, and Wilson was dismissed; but I was then only a school girl.”

“You seemed so agitated when she recurred to the subject that I readily believed her story.”

“I was vexed, Harry, because she insinuated that there was a likeness between our dear boy and that vulgar fellow.”

“How I have been deceived by a fiend in the form of an angel,” exclaimed Wentworth; “we should have been saved much suffering if she had never entered our doors.”

“Indeed we should, Harry, and I shall never cease to reproach myself for my folly in introducing such a serpent into our Elysium.”

“Your motives were kind and good, Alice; and though it has been to you a severe lesson in the deceitfulness of the world, and to me a still more painful one in the deceitfulness of my own heart, yet, I trust, that to both of us it may not be without its salutary influences.”


I think of thee by night, love,

  In visions of the skies,

When glories meet the sight, love,

  That dazzle mortal eyes—

I think a waving cloud, love,

  A golden cloud I see,

A half transparent shroud, love,

  That moveth like to thee!


I hear a voice of singing,

  A sound of rushing wings,

A joyous anthem ringing

  As if from silver strings,

A chorus loudly swelling,

  A low sweet voice alone—

And I know thou hast thy dwelling

  Beneath the eternal throne.

                    A. A. J.





In our November and December numbers we gave fac-simile signatures of no less than one hundred and nine of the most distinguished American literati. Our design was to furnish the readers of the Magazine with a complete series of Autographs, embracing a specimen of the MS. of each of the most noted among our living male and female writers. For obvious reasons, we made no attempt at classification or arrangement—either in reference to reputation or our own private opinion of merit. Our second article will be found to contain as many of the Dii majorum gentium as our first; and this, our third and last, as many as either—although fewer names, upon the whole, than the preceding papers. The impossibility of procuring the signatures now given, at a period sufficiently early for the immense edition of December, has obliged us to introduce this Appendix.

It is with great pleasure that we have found our anticipations fulfilled, in respect to the popularity of these chapters—our individual claim to merit is so trivial that we may be permitted to say so much—but we confess it was with no less surprise than pleasure that we observed so little discrepancy of opinion manifested in relation to the hasty critical, or rather gossiping observations which accompanied the signatures. Where the subject was so wide and so necessarily personal—where the claims of more than one hundred literati, summarily disposed of, were turned over for re-adjudication to a press so intricately bound up in their interest as is ours—it is really surprising how little of dissent was mingled with so much of general comment. The fact, however, speaks loudly to one point:—to the unity of truth. It assures us that the differences which exist among us, are differences not of real, but of affected opinion, and that the voice of him who maintains fearlessly what he believes honestly, is pretty sure to find an echo (if the speaker be not mad) in the vast heart of the world at large.

Signature of Chas. Sprague

The “Writings of Charles Sprague” were first collected and published about nine months ago, by Mr. Charles S. Francis, of New-York. At the time of the issue of the book, we expressed our opinion frankly, in respect to the general merits of the author—an opinion with which one or two members of the Boston press did not see fit to agree—but which, as yet, we have found no reason for modifying. What we say now is, in spirit, merely a repetition of what we said then. Mr. Sprague is an accomplished belles-lettres scholar, so far as the usual ideas of scholarship extend. He is a very correct rhetorician of the old school. His versification has not been equalled by that of any American—has been surpassed by no one, living or dead. In this regard there are to be found finer passages in his poems than any elsewhere. These are his chief merits. In the essentials of poetry he is excelled by twenty of our countrymen whom we could name. Except in a very few instances he gives no evidence of the loftier ideality. His “Winged Worshippers” and “Lines on the Death of M. S. C.” are beautiful poems—but he has written nothing else which should be called so. His “Shakspeare Ode,” upon which his high reputation mainly depended, is quite a second-hand affair—with no merit whatever beyond that of a polished and vigorous versification. Its imitation of “Collins’ Ode to the Passions” is obvious. Its allegorical conduct is mawkish, passé, and absurd. The poem, upon the whole, is just such a one as would have obtained its author an Etonian prize some forty or fifty years ago. It is an exquisite specimen of mannerism without meaning and without merit—of an artificial, but most inartistical style of composition, of which conventionality is the soul,—taste, nature and reason the antipodes. A man may be a clever financier without being a genius.

It requires but little effort to see in Mr. Sprague’s MS. all the idiosyncrasy of his intellect. Here are distinctness, precision, and vigor—but vigor employed upon grace rather than upon its legitimate functions. The signature fully indicates the general hand—in which the spirit of elegant imitation and conservatism may be seen reflected as in a mirror.

Signature of Cornelius Mathews

Mr. Cornelius Mathews is one of the editors of “Arcturus,” a monthly journal which has attained much reputation during the brief period of its existence. He is the author of “Puffer Hopkins,” a clever satirical tale somewhat given to excess in caricature, and also of the well-written retrospective criticisms which appear in his Magazine. He is better known, however, by “The Motley Book,” published some years ago—a work which we had no opportunity of reading. He is a gentleman of taste and judgment, unquestionably.

His MS. is much to our liking—bold, distinct and picturesque—such a hand as no one destitute of talent indites. The signature conveys the hand.

Signature of Charles Hoffman

Mr. Charles Fenno Hoffman is the author of “A Winter in the West,” “Greyslaer,” and other productions of merit. At one time he edited, with much ability, the “American Monthly Magazine” in conjunction with Mr. Benjamin, and, subsequently, with Dr. Bird. He is a gentleman of talent.

His chirography is not unlike that of Mr. Matthews. It has the same boldness, strength, and picturesqueness, but is more diffuse, more ornamented and less legible. Our fac-simile is from a somewhat hurried signature, which fails in giving a correct idea of the general hand.

Signature of Horace Greely

Mr. Horace Greely, present editor of “The Tribune,” and formerly of the “New-Yorker,” has for many years been remarked as one of the most able and honest of American editors. He has written much and invariably well. His political knowledge is equal to that of any of his contemporaries—his general information extensive. As a belles-lettres critic he is entitled to high respect.

His MS. is a remarkable one—having about it a peculiarity which we know not how better to designate than as a converse of the picturesque. His characters are scratchy and irregular, ending with an abrupt taper—if we may be allowed this contradiction in terms, where we have the fac-simile to prove that there is no contradiction in fact. All abrupt MSS., save this, have square or concise terminations of the letters. The whole chirography puts us in mind of a jig. We can fancy the writer jerking up his hand from the paper at the end of each word, and, indeed, of each letter. What mental idiosyncrasy lies perdu beneath all this, is more than we can say, but we will venture to assert that Mr. Greely (whom we do not know personally) is, personally, a very remarkable man.

Signature of Prosper M. Wetmore

The name of Mr. Prosper M. Wetmore is familiar to all readers of American light literature. He has written a great deal, at various periods, both in prose and poetry, (but principally in the latter) for our Papers, Magazines and Annuals. Of late days we have seen but little, comparatively speaking, from his pen.

His MS. is not unlike that of Fitz-Greene Halleck, but is by no means so good. Its clerky flourishes indicate a love of the beautiful with an undue straining for effect—qualities which are distinctly traceable in his poetic efforts. As many as five or six words are occasionally run together; and no man who writes thus will be noted for finish of style. Mr. Wetmore is sometimes very slovenly in his best compositions.

Signature of Henry W.

Professor Ware, of Harvard, has written some very excellent poetry, but is chiefly known by his “Life of the Saviour,” “Hints on Extemporaneous Preaching,” and other religious works.

His MS. is fully shown in the signature. It evinces the direct, unpretending strength and simplicity which characterize the man, not less than his general compositions.

Signature of William B. O. Peabody

The name of William B. O. Peabody, like that of Mr. Wetmore, is known chiefly to the readers of our light literature, and much more familiarly to Northern than to Southern readers. He is a resident of Springfield, Mass. His occasional poems have been much admired.

His chirography is what would be called beautiful by the ladies universally, and, perhaps, by a large majority of the bolder sex. Individually, we think it a miserable one—too careful, undecided, tapering, and effeminate. It is not unlike Mr. Paulding’s, but is more regular and more legible, with less force. We hold it as undeniable that no man of genius ever wrote such a hand.

Signature of Epes Sargent

Epes Sargent, Esq., has acquired high reputation as the author of “Velasco,” a tragedy full of beauty as a poem, but not adapted—perhaps not intended—for representation. He has written, besides, many very excellent poems—“The Missing Ship,” for example, published in the “Knickerbocker”—the “Night Storm at Sea”—and, especially, a fine production entitled “Shells and Sea-Weeds.” One or two Theatrical Addresses from his pen are very creditable in their way—but the way itself is, as we have before said, execrable. As an editor, Mr. Sargent has also distinguished himself. He is a gentleman of taste and high talent.

His MS. is too much in the usual clerk style to be either vigorous, graceful, or easily read. It resembles Mr. Wetmore’s but has somewhat more force. The signature is better than the general hand, but conveys its idea very well.

Signature of W. Allston

The name of Washington Allston, the poet and painter, is one that has been long before the public. Of his paintings we have here nothing to say—except briefly, that the most noted of them are not to our taste. His poems are not all of a high order of merit; and, in truth, the faults of his pencil and of his pen are identical. Yet every reader will remember his “Spanish Maid” with pleasure, and the “Address to Great Britain,” first published in Coleridge’s “Sybilline Leaves,” and attributed to an English author, is a production of which Mr. Allston may be proud.

His MS. notwithstanding an exceedingly simple and even boyish air, is one which we particularly admire. It is forcible, picturesque and legible, without ornament of any description. Each letter is formed with a thorough distinctness and individuality. Such a MS. indicates caution and precision, most unquestionably—but we say of it as we say of Mr. Peabody’s, (a very different MS.) that no man of original genius ever did or could habitually indite it under any circumstances whatever. The signature conveys the general hand with accuracy.

Signature of Alfred B Street

Mr. Alfred B. Street has been long before the public as a poet. At as early an age as fifteen, some of his pieces were published by Mr. Bryant in the “Evening Post”—among these was one of much merit, entitled a “Winter Scene.” In the “New-York Book” and in the collections of American poetry by Messieurs Keese and Bryant, will be found many excellent specimens of his maturer powers. “The Willewemoc,” “The Forest Tree,” “The Indian’s Vigil,” “The Lost Hunter” and “White Lake” we prefer to any of his other productions which have met our eye. Mr. Street has fine taste, and a keen sense of the beautiful. He writes carefully, elaborately, and correctly. He has made Mr. Bryant his model, and in all Mr. Bryant’s good points would be nearly his equal, were it not for the sad and too perceptible stain of the imitation. That he has imitated at all—or rather that, in mature age, he has persevered in his imitations—is sufficient warrantry for placing him among the men of talent rather than among the men of genius.

His MS. is full corroboration of this warrantry. It is a very pretty chirography, graceful, legible and neat. By most persons it would be called beautiful. The fact is, it is without fault—but its merits, like those of his poems, are chiefly negative.

Signature of R Penn Smith

Mr. Richard Penn Smith, although, perhaps, better known in Philadelphia than elsewhere, has acquired much literary reputation. His chief works are “The Forsaken,” a novel; a pseudo-auto-biography called “Colonel Crocket’s Tour in Texas;” the tragedy of “Caius Marius,” and two domestic dramas entitled “The Disowned,” and “The Deformed.” He has also published two volumes of miscellanies under the title of “The Actress of Padua and other Tales,” besides occasional poetry. We are not sufficiently cognizant of any of these works to speak with decision respecting their merits. In a biography of Mr. Smith, however, very well written by his friend Mr. McMichael of this city, we are informed of “The Forsaken,” that “a large edition of it was speedily exhausted”—of “The Actress of Padua,” that it “had an extensive sale and was much commended”—of the “Tour in Texas,” that “few books attained an equal popularity”—of “Caius Marius,” that “it has great capabilities for an acting play,”—of “The Disowned” and “The Deformed,” that they “were performed at the London theatres, where they both made a favorable impression”—and of his poetry in general, “that it will be found superior to the average quality of that commodity.” “It is by his dramatic efforts,” says the biographer, “that his merits as a poet must be determined, and judged by these he will be assigned a place in the foremost rank of American writers.” We have only to add that we have the highest respect for the judgment of Mr. McMichael.

Mr. Smith’s MS. is clear, graceful and legible, and would generally be called a fine hand, but is somewhat too clerky for our taste.

Signature of O. W. Holmes

Dr. Oliver Wendel Holmes, of Boston, late Professor of Anatomy and Physiology at Dartmouth College, has written many productions of merit, and has been pronounced, by a very high authority, the best of the humorous poets of the day.

His chirography is remarkably fine, and a quick fancy might easily detect, in its graceful yet picturesque quaintness, an analogy with the vivid drollery of his style. The signature is a fair specimen of the general MS.

Signature of G. W. Doane

Bishop Doane, of New Jersey, is somewhat more extensively known in his clerical than in a literary capacity, but has accomplished much more than sufficient in the world of books to entitle him to a place among the most noted of our living men of letters. The compositions by which he is best known were published, we believe, during his professorship of Rhetoric and Belles Lettres in Washington College, Hartford.

His MS. has some resemblance to that of Mr. Greely of “The Tribune.” The signature is far bolder and altogether better than the general hand.

Signature of Albert Pike

We believe that Mr. Albert Pike has never published his poems in book form; nor has he written anything since 1834. His “Hymns to the Gods,” and “Ode to the Mocking Bird,” being printed in Blackwood, are the chief basis of his reputation. His lines “To Spring” are, however, much better in every respect, and a little poem from his pen, entitled “Ariel,” and originally published in the “Boston Pearl,” is one of the finest of American compositions. Mr. Pike has unquestionably merit, and that of a high order. His ideality is rich and well-disciplined. He is the most classic of our poets in the best sense of the term, and of course his classicism is very different from that of Mr. Sprague—to whom, nevertheless, he bears much resemblance in other respects. Upon the whole, there are few of our native writers to whom we consider him inferior.

His MS. shows clearly the spirit of his intellect. We observe in it a keen sense not only of the beautiful and graceful but of the picturesque—neatness, precision and general finish, verging upon effeminacy. In force it is deficient. The signature fails to convey the entire MS. which depends upon masses for its peculiar character.

Signature of James McHenry

Dr. James McHenry, of Philadelphia, is well known to the literary world as the writer of numerous articles in our Reviews and lighter journals, but, more especially, as the author of “The Antediluvians,” an epic poem which has been the victim of a most shameful cabal in this country, and the subject of a very disgraceful pasquinade on the part of Professor Wilson. Whatever may be the demerits, in some regard, of this poem, there can be no question of the utter want of fairness and even of common decency which distinguished the Phillipic in question. The writer of a just review of the “Antediluvians”—the only tolerable American epic—would render an important service to the literature of his country.

Dr. McHenry’s MS. is distinct, bold and simple, without ornament or superfluity. The signature well conveys the idea of the general hand.

Signature of R. S Nichols

Mrs. R. S. Nichols has acquired much reputation of late years, by frequent and excellent contributions to the Magazines and Annuals. Many of her compositions will be found in our pages.

Her MS. is fair, neat and legible, but formed somewhat too much upon the ordinary boarding-school model to afford any indication of character. The signature is a good specimen of the hand.

Signature of Richd A Locke

Mr. Richard Adams Locke is one among the few men of unquestionable genius whom the country possesses. Of the “Moon Hoax” it is supererogatory to say one word—not to know that argues one’s self unknown. Its rich imagination will long dwell in the memory of every one who read it, and surely if

            the worth of any thing

Is just so much as it will bring—

if, in short, we are to judge of the value of a literary composition in any degree by its effect—then was the “Hoax” most precious.

But Mr. Locke is also a poet of high order. We have seen—nay more—we have heard him read—verses of his own which would make the fortune of two-thirds of our poetasters; and he is yet so modest as never to have published a volume of poems. As an editor—as a political writer—as a writer in general—we think that he has scarcely a superior in America. There is no man among us to whose sleeve we would rather pin—not our faith (of that we say nothing)—but our judgment.

His MS. is clear, bold and forcible—somewhat modified, no doubt, by the circumstances of his editorial position—but still sufficiently indicative of his fine intellect.

Signature of RW Emerson.

Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson belongs to a class of gentlemen with whom we have no patience whatever—the mystics for mysticism’s sake. Quintilian mentions a pedant who taught obscurity, and who once said to a pupil “this is excellent, for I do not understand it myself.” How the good man would have chuckled over Mr. E! His present rôle seems to be the out-Carlyling Carlyle. Lycophron Tenebrosus is a fool to him. The best answer to his twaddle is cui bono?—a very little Latin phrase very generally mistranslated and misunderstood—cui bono?—to whom is it a benefit? If not to Mr. Emerson individually, then surely to no man living.

His love of the obscure does not prevent him, nevertheless, from the composition of occasional poems in which beauty is apparent by flashes. Several of his effusions appeared in the “Western Messenger”—more in the “Dial,” of which he is the soul—or the sun—or the shadow. We remember the “Sphynx,” the “Problem,” the “Snow Storm,” and some fine old-fashioned verses entitled “Oh fair and stately maid whose eye.”

His MS. is bad, sprawling, illegible and irregular—although sufficiently bold. This latter trait may be, and no doubt is, only a portion of his general affectation.

Signature of G C Verplanck

The name of Gulian C. Verplanck has long been familiar to all American readers, and it is scarcely necessary to say more than that we coincide in the general view of his merits. His orations, reviews, and other compositions all evince the cultivated belles-lettres scholar, and man of intellect and taste. To high genius he has about the same claim as Mr. Sprague, whom in many respects he closely resembles.

His chirography is unusually rambling and school-boyish—but has vigor and precision. It has no doubt been greatly modified by adventitious circumstances, so that it would be impossible to predicate anything respecting it.





[“Dorchester” was a beautiful little country town on the banks of the river Keawah, now Ashley, about twenty miles from the city of Charleston, in South Carolina. It was chiefly settled by New Englanders. For a time it flourished and became a market town of some importance. The planters of the neighborhood were generally persons of substance, who lived in considerable state, and exercised the virtues of hospitality in an eminent degree; but with the war of the Revolution, in which it suffered greatly, it began to decline, and its only remains now are the ruins of its church and the open walls of the old British fort. From a memorandum which I made during a visit to the spot in 1833, I take the following:—“The fort made of tapis—works still in considerable preservation—the wood-work alone decayed—the magazine in ruins—and the area overgrown with plum trees. The church still standing—the steeple shattered by lightning, and the wooden interior torn out—the roof beginning to decay at the ends of the rafters. It will probably fall in before very long.” This prediction was not permitted to be verified. The fabric, I learn, has since been utterly destroyed by an incendiary. Dorchester was distinguished by several actions of partisan warfare during the Revolution. It was, by turns, a military depot of the Carolinians and the British. These particulars will explain the little poem which follows.]

Not with irreverential thought and feeling I resign

The tree that was a chronicle in other days than mine;

Its mossy branches crown’d the grove, when, hastily array’d,

Came down the gallant partisan to battle in the shade;

It saw his fearless eye grow dark, it heard his trumpet cry,

When, at its roots, the combat o’er, he laid him down to die;

The warm blood gushing from his heart hath stain’d the sod below —

That tree shall be my chronicle, for it hath seen it flow!


Sweet glide thy waters, Ashley, and pleasant on thy banks

The mossy oak and mossy pine stand forth in solemn ranks;

They crown thee in a fitting guise, since, with a gentle play,

Through bending groves and circling dells thou tak’st thy lonely way:

Thine is the Summer’s loveliness—thy Winter too hath charms,

Thus sheltered in thy mazy course beneath their Druid arms;

And thine the recollection old, which honors thy decline,

When happy thousands saw thee rove, and Dorchester was thine.


But Dorchester is thine no more, its gallant pulse is still,

The wild cat prowls among its graves and screams the whippoorwill,

A mournful spell is on its homes, where solitude, supreme,

Still, coaching in her tangled woods, dreams one unbroken dream:

The cotter seeks a foreign home,—the cottage roof is down,

The ivy clambers all uncheck’d above the steeple’s crown;

And doubly gray, with grief and years, the old church tott’ring stands,

Ah! how unlike that holy home not built with human hands!


These ruins have their story, and, with a reverent fear,

I glide beneath the broken arch and through the passage drear;

The hillock at my feet grows warm—beneath it beats a heart

Whose pulses wake to utterance, whose accents make me start;

That heart hath beat in battle, when the thunder-cloud was high,

And death, in every form of fate, careering through the sky;

Beside it now, another heart, in peace but lately known,

Beats with a kindred pulse, but hath a story of its own.


Ah! sad the fate of maiden whose lover falls in fight,

Condemned to bear, in widowhood, the lonely length of light; —

The days that come without a sun, the nights that bring no sleep;

The long, long watch, the weariness, the same, sad toil—to weep!

Methinks, the call is happiness, when sudden sounds the strain

That summons back the exiled heart of love to heaven again; —

No trumpet-tone of battle, but a soft note sweetly clear,

Like that which even now is heard when doves are wooing near.





One church and three dwelling houses, occupied by bishops, had already been torn down to supply material for the magnificent palace which the Duke of Somerset was erecting for himself in the Strand,—a sacrilege which the populace were beginning to feel and resent, in a manner which threatened some disturbance to the public peace. A rumor went abroad that the Duke’s workmen had received his commands to repair to Westminster on a certain day, in order to pull down the Church of St. Margaret’s, and add its materials to those already so boldly wrested from their sacred purposes.

The gray of a summer’s morning was yet hanging over the city, when a large number of workmen, each wearing the Lord Protector’s badge, gathered in detached parties about the Abbey. These men had been employed in the destruction of St. Mary’s Church but a few days before, and their coarse vestments were torn and covered with the lime and dust which they had brought from the ruin, a mark of their late sacrilegious employment, which brought upon them many a bitter taunt and frowning look from the wayfarers, even before they entered the parish of Westminster. So great was the manifestation of public resentment, that each band of workmen, as it went along, drew close together, and exhibited the pickaxes, crowbars, and other heavy tools of iron with which they were armed, like soldiers compelled on an irksome duty, but resolute to perform it. These men gathered slowly around the Abbey, and waited for a larger body of working-men, who were expected to leave their employment in the Strand and come to their assistance in a force and number that might awe the people into quiet submission to the injustice of their lord.

The morning wore on, but they still lingered about the church, trifling with their heavy tools and talking together with some degree of anxiety, for the expected aid had not yet arrived, and each instant the streets and angles about the Abbey became more and more thronged with sullen and discontented men, all with lowering brows and flashing eyes, bent menacingly upon them.

Still the crowd increased. Men hurried to and fro eagerly and with cloudy looks. The workmen gradually gathered in a close phalanx about the little church, whispered anxiously together, and brandished their tools with a faint show of defiance, yet seemed afraid or reluctant to level them against the sacred pile which stood among that mass of eager human beings in the cool morning light, quiet and tranquil as the spirit of holiness that brooded over its altar.

Though the persons gathered about St. Margaret’s were considerable in numbers, they were not yet condensed into a form that could justly be termed a mob. The streets were alive, but not yet blocked up with people. Men, and even women, might pass to and fro on ordinary business without much fear of injury or interruption, but with a certainty of being jostled and pushed about by the scattered stream of human life that flowed toward the cathedral.

While the neighborhood of St. Margaret’s was in this unusual state, two females, followed by more than an equal number of serving-men, each with the Lord Protector’s badge upon his sleeve, came suddenly round a corner, and, before they seemed aware of it, were encompassed by the crowd, through which it seemed each instant more difficult to make a free passage. The two females were muffled in their mantles, with the hoods drawn so closely that it was difficult to distinguish their features, or gather an idea of their station, save by a certain air of dignity and refinement which hung about the shorter of the two, and which no vestments could entirely conceal. Both this lady and her companion seemed bewildered and terrified by the rush of human beings with which they had become so strangely mingled. At first they attempted to retrace their steps, but the street through which they had come was now blocked up by a company of more than two hundred working-men, who were coming up from their employment on the Strand, to assist in the destruction of St. Margaret’s. When thus convinced that all hopes of retreat were cut off, the female who had seemed most anxious to escape the crowd, put forth a white and trembling hand from beneath her mantle and drew the hood still more closely over her face, while the other in her fright allowed the drapery to fall back from her head and exposed the features of an elderly woman slightly wrinkled, and at the moment pale as a corpse with apprehension. Her sharp black eyes were keen with terror, and her wrinkled hands shook in a way that rendered the effort to draw her hood forward one of considerable difficulty. The servitors who followed these bewildered persons were but little annoyed by the position which seemed so painful to them, but one, a tall insolent man, held up his arm that all might see the Lord Protector’s badge, and ordered those immediately around him to make way for a noble lady of the Duke’s household to pass. He spoke loud and arrogantly, but the muffled female grasped his arm, and while her words came gaspingly from excess of fear, muttered—

“Dost thou not see how these men lower and frown upon us already? Hearest thou not my noble father’s name bandied from lip to lip, and each time with a curse coupled with it? Take down thy arm, good Richard—muffle the sleeve within thy cloak and let us struggle forward as we are best able.”

The serving-man hastened to obey this direction, and wrapped his arm in the short cloak which had been allowed to float back from his shoulder. This act was performed the more promptly as a score of burning eyes had flashed back a stern admonition of danger when challenged by the Somerset badge thus ostentatiously uplifted in their midst. Even as it was, the man’s temerity might have been followed by violent consequences, but that a deeper and more general object of resentment presented itself in the body of workmen that had made its way up from the Strand through the cross street which our little party had left but a moment before, and now flung itself impetuously into the excited crowd. The moment these men were seen pushing their way towards their brethren gathered about St. Margaret’s, shouting defiance and pushing the citizens about with their heavy iron-tools, the spirit of discord broke loose like a wild beast from his cage. A hoarse shout thundered through the air. The hitherto stern and silent multitude swayed round and plunged forward, a mass of enraged, reckless, human life, eager to trample down the body of men who came among them armed to do sacrilege on the holy temple of their worship. When the first fierce cry of their onset swept over the females whose movements we have recorded, the one whose features were yet concealed grasped her companion’s arm, and, shrieking with affright, sprang wildly on one side, forcing a passage to the steps of a dwelling-house, where she sunk at the foot of a granite pillar, panting like a wounded fawn beneath the drapery which still concealed her person. Her attendants strove to follow her but were swept away by the rushing multitude, and, spite of their struggles, forced into the mêlée raging between the citizens and the Somerset workmen. These men fought their way valiantly. Keeping in a compact body they resolutely cleared a path through the unarmed mob with their heavy crowbars and pickaxes, which proved most effective weapons of defence. The people goaded to fury by opposition rushed madly upon them, strove to wrest away their weapons by brute force, and when that failed tore up the pavement and hurled the massive stones furiously into their midst. Many were wounded, more than one dropped down dead, crushed beneath the deadly missiles which filled the air. The sweet breath of morning was made terrible by the groans and cries and harsh sounds of hot-blooded men, goaded to fury and fierce with a thirst for strife, which threatened to deluge the torn pavements with blood and carnage.

The band of workmen which had already reached St. Margaret’s at first essayed to aid their companions but it was impossible even to penetrate the mob of citizens which separated the two parties, and they returned to their station before the church, which the mob, in its blind eagerness to attack the larger and more obnoxious party, had left almost entirely at their mercy. Still their numbers were small, and the enraged people so near at hand that but the lifting of an implement of destruction would have placed them in imminent peril. So they remained inactive, contenting themselves with a hope that Somerset, the Lord Protector, would hear of the riot and come to his people’s rescue. Still the fight raged on, the workmen were driven back, step by step, to a cross street whence they had emerged, and which their numbers choked up, forming a solid front, narrow and compact, which the assailants found impossible to break and difficult to contend against, as few had the hardihood to come within the sweep of those heavy iron bars which were never wielded but they crushed some human being to the earth. While the workmen maintained this position the assailants were compelled to abate the fury of their attack. The scene of strife too had been considerably removed from the first place of encounter.

The young female, who is the especial object of our interest, crouched at the base of the granite pillar where she had sought refuge, shuddering and sick with fear, amid this tumult of strife and terrible passions raging about her. She heard the shrieks and howling cries of the multitude as they struggled together, heard them tear up the pavement with curses, and felt the air tortured into unnatural currents as the heavy stones whirled fiercely over her head. Still she neither shrieked nor moved a limb, but clung with a shuddering clasp to the pillar, helpless and almost stupefied with terror. While the fight raged fiercest about her she remained unnoticed, for even there, amid that throng of men tugging at each other’s throats and wrangling like wild animals together, females were to be seen fighting and eager for strife—the most relentless among the throng. In this terrible mingling of sexes and strife of angry passions, a helpless and prostrate female, shrinking from a scene too horrible even for her imagination, might well have been overlooked. All were too fiercely occupied to offer her protection or insult. But as the scene of strife became more distant the dense crowd around her was scattered, and more than one of the rude persons who hang about the skirts of a riotous mob from idle curiosity or in hopes of plunder, observed the deathly stillness of her position. There was a delicacy in the small white hand and rounded arm which clung to the pillar, exposed by the falling drapery and flung out in beautiful relief upon the stone as if a limb of exquisite sculpture had been chiselled there. But the persons who gazed were too rude for thoughts of beauty though so strangely betrayed. A cluster of brilliants that blazed on one of the fingers, and the rich drapery that lay in a picturesque heap over her whole person, conveyed hopes of rich plunder, and many a covetous eye twinkled with expectation that when the crowd were drawn to a distance she might be left helpless and exposed to their rapacity. At last an artisan or mechanic of the lowest order ascended the steps where she had sought refuge, and, apparently heedless of her presence, sat down on the opposite side of the pillar, so near that his dusty leathern jerkin almost touched the arm still wound immovably around it. He now uncovered his head and wiped the perspiration from a low and disagreeable forehead with the sleeve of his jerkin, pushed back a mass of coarse hair that had fallen over his eyes, and was about replacing his cap, when a flash of sunshine fell upon the cluster of brilliants which gemmed one of the fingers just in a range with his eye. A look of coarse delight came to his repulsive features, a cunning avaricious joy disagreeable beyond description. He cast an eager look upon the throng, which was still great, and toyed with his cap, waving it up and down with both hands carelessly as if to cool his face when any person seemed especially regarding him. At last, when the general attention was drawn another way by a party of horsemen coming at a hard gallop down the street, he, as if by accident, held his cap so as to conceal his face from the multitude, and drew back slowly till the pillar half concealed him, then, softly removing the hand from its clasp on the stone, he drew the ring away quick as lightning, and grasping it in his rough palm allowed the little hand to fall down cold and lifeless upon the step.

“Plunder from the dead is free to the first comer,” he muttered, replacing his cap, “a woman completely killed or in a swoon is the same thing, and one or the other state belongs to this dainty lady, I take it.”

As he muttered these words, the plunderer sauntered with a heavy idle swagger down the steps, and would have mingled with the crowd, but at that moment an elderly man, evidently the servitor of some noble family, paused by the steps, glanced at the recumbent figure, and hastily inquired who the person was, and why no assistance had been rendered. The artisan, to whom he addressed himself as the nearest person, was suddenly taken with a decided and absorbing interest in the struggle that still raged farther down the street, and, when the question had been thrice repeated, only withdrew his attention long enough to declare that he was quite ignorant regarding the lady so strangely situated, and, in truth, had observed her for the first time when pointed out by the worshipful questioner.

The new comer ran hastily up the steps, flung back the mantle which had fallen over her face, and revealed the features of a young girl, pale as death, and lying cold and lifeless close to the pillar. A flood of rich chestnut-brown hair had broken loose, and the string of rough emeralds that had confined it lay broken and scattered among the folds of her dress. The man seemed to recognize those sweet features, for he turned pale, and an exclamation, almost of terror, broke from his lips. “She is dead!” he cried in a voice of keen emotion—“her hands are cold as ice. What shall I say to my poor lord—who will dare tell him?”

“Then she has taken leave within a short space of time,” muttered the artisan, who stood with his back toward the pillar, gazing intently afar off, as if he had some heavy stake which the contest would decide. “I can swear that her hand trembled as I pulled off the ring.”

“For the love of heaven, is there no one here who will call assistance!” exclaimed the new comer, kneeling down and raising the senseless lady with his arm.

“Can I do anything?” inquired the artisan, gruffly, as if aroused to a consciousness that the fainting lady required some attention.

“Thank you, good friend, yes—run, I beseech you for the nearest leech, or rather look out my Lord Dudley, who has just ridden by; say to him that a lady whose welfare is dear to him, has swooned in the street, and is in danger from the mob. Go, good man, go at once, or I fear me our blithesome lady will never smile again!”

“Nay,” said the artisan, who had fixed a greedy eye on the emeralds scattered over the lady’s dress. “As I may not know the Lord Dudley when he is found, had you not better leave the poor lady to me while you seek him out yourself; the more especially as you may see that her mouth is red again, and there is a tear breaking through the thick eye-lashes that were so black and still when you first uncovered her face. The air has done her good. Leave her to me, and by the time you come back with the gentleman you wot of she will be well again. Truly, my jerkin is none of the cleanest,” he added in reply to a glance which the other had cast on his mean raiment, “nor my face much to your liking, I see; but I shall not run off with your dainty trouble there, not being fool enough to cumber myself with anything of womankind, be she gentle or simple, so you can trust me.”

There was something in the artisan’s manner more than in his appearance—and that was suspicious enough, that rendered the person he addressed reluctant to trust a being so helpless to his charge. He hesitated and was deliberating how to act, when the multitude came rushing back to their old station near the church, shouting fiercely and uttering terrible imprecations on the Duke of Somerset, who had sent a large body of armed men up the Thames, who had landed at the foot of Westminster Bridge, resolute to support his artisans in the destruction of St. Margaret’s. It was the first charge of this party, as it joined the body of workmen, which still defended the passage up St. Margaret’s street, that sent the crowd rushing back upon the church. The small band of horsemen which had just passed, wheeled suddenly round and came back almost by compulsion, for their way was entirely blocked up by the populace, and behind were the Somerset men, urged to fierce resentment, and goading them on to madness.

The leader of this equestrian band—for it evidently belonged to neither of the contending parties—was a young and remarkably handsome man, who seemed entangled with the crowd by accident, and only desirous of continuing his morning ride in tranquillity. The magnificent trappings of his black charger—the jewelled buckle which fastened the plumes on his cap, leaving a fine open forehead and a mass of light curling hair exposed to view. The short cloak of dark green velvet bordered with gold—the slashed and pointed doublet and hose underneath, betrayed him as one of the brightest and most noble ornaments of the young King Edward’s court, and were all in striking contrast with the rude mob from which he was deliberately striving to extricate himself. He was followed by a number of retainers well mounted, and all wearing his family badge; yet it was not till they were forced to retrace their way and made some slight commotion in the crowd in wheeling their horses, that the tumultuous populace seemed to recognize them. But when the leader was known, those men not actively engaged in the fight, pressed back to give him way, and greeted him with uncovered heads—a few flung their caps in the air, calling out for those in advance to make room for the Lord Dudley; others took up the cry, and then went up a loud eager shout of—

“A Warwick! a Warwick! room, room for a Warwick!” Thus sounding a defiance to the Somerset battle-cry, that rang so fiercely up from the distance.

This recognition by the mob seemed to annoy the object of their clamor beyond measure. He lifted his hand with an imperative motion, in a vain effort to silence their noisy greeting; but when he saw that this was mistaken for encouragement, and that his family name rang louder and with more joyous acclamation above all the tumult, he bent his noble head to the multitude with forced resignation, and strove more resolutely to retreat from a scene, which from many causes, filled him with anxiety and regret. More than once his high spirit was so chafed by the notice which he had unwillingly obtained, that nothing but compassion for the multitude seemed to prevent him giving a free rein to the noble beast which shook his head, champed angrily his tightened bit, and curveted with impatience among the mass of human beings that scarcely gave his hoofs free play upon the pavement.

The two men whom we left near the young female, who was just returning to animation, were interrupted in their discussion by these two sources of renewed commotion which we have just related, and when the cry of “a Warwick, a Warwick,” swept by, the last comer, who was still supporting the lady, started to his feet, placed a hand over his eyes to shade them from the sun, and looked earnestly over the sea of human heads rising and falling and flowing by, like the motion of a forest when the wind sweeps over it. All at once he uttered an exclamation of pleasure, and rushing down the steps, forced his way to the young horseman who was now almost opposite the place he had occupied. Pushing eagerly through the crowd which surrounded the struggling charger, he seized him by the bit, as the only means of attracting the rider’s attention in a scene where his voice was exerted in vain; but so great was the tumult that even this method proved ineffectual, and it was not till he had flung the beast almost upon his haunches that he was recognized by the anxious nobleman. The young man bent his head, for the eager face of his retainer startled him, though the words he would have uttered were swept away by the thousand fierce sounds that filled the air. At last, by the aid of gesture and such broken words as reached his master’s ear, the man made himself understood. The horseman started upright in his stirrups, cast a keen look toward the spot pointed out by his attendant, and, heedless of all former caution, plunged his spurs into the restless charger, which reared and plunged with a violence that sent the people back upon each other, and cleared a space of some yards about him. Regardless of consequences, the nobleman scarcely gave his horse time to recover himself, but urged him through the frightened crowd with an impetuosity that sent a shower of sparks about his hoofs when they struck upon the lower-most of the stone flags where the lady had taken shelter.

The young man sprang from his saddle, and pushing aside the artisan who still hung about her, took the now partially recovered lady in his arms, and in a voice of hurried and anxious affection inquired it she were hurt, and multiplied questions one upon another, mingling them with broken expressions of tenderness, which she could only answer by sobs and the profuse tears that rushed over her burning cheeks. She seemed entirely overcome with joy at his presence, and the intense shame arising from her extraordinary situation. All his questions only served to make her weep the more bitterly; but she clung nervously to his hand, trembling between the pleasure of his protection and the fear that he might condemn her, and besought him, in broken tones, to take her home, to forgive her, but, above all things, to help her away from the mob of coarse rough faces that were gazing upon her humiliation.

“Nay, compose yourself,” said Dudley, in those low and persuasive tones best calculated to allay her nervous excitement, “are you not safe with me? you are too feeble to move yet. In a little time I trust that we may pass in safety, but—”

“Forgive me, my lord,” interrupted the man who had informed his master of the lady’s plight. “If her ladyship can find strength to walk, had we not better remove her at once to a place of safety? It is yet possible to make our way round the corner, and so into the Park.”

The Lord Dudley looked upon the crowd and shook his head.

“See, my lord,” said the man still more earnestly, “the people are becoming more turbulent than ever—in less than five minutes the space between this and the church will be crowded full again.”

“I fear she is too weak for the attempt,” replied Dudley, looking down with tender anxiety into the sweet troubled face lifted with an expression of timid confidence to his.

“Oh, no, I am quite strong now; I can walk very well if you are with me,” said the young girl; but her pale and trembling lips belied the words as she turned her back to the people and strove with unsteady hands to gather the scattered masses of her hair beneath the hood, which scarcely served to conceal its rich beauty, dishevelled and loose as it was. “See, I am quite ready,” she added, wrapping the mantle about her, and gathering courage beneath the concealment of its folds, and clinging to the young nobleman’s arm she stood terrified, it is true, but willing to submit herself to his guidance.

“My poor bird, how it pants and trembles beneath my arm,” murmured Dudley. And amid all the annoyance of his position, his heart thrilled with a sense of the protection which it gave to the object of his love; but the feeling gave way to one of keen anxiety; for the populace were by this time assailed so fiercely by the Somerset men that it was giving way before them, and rapidly condensing itself around the Abbey, which threatened soon to become the scene of contention.

“What can be done? which way shall we go?” said Dudley, appealing to his attendant.

The man looked around and gravely shook his head. “I see no plan of escape unless we struggle through the crowd,” he replied despondingly, “and yet there is but your lordship and my humble self to protect the Lady Jane, and the press threatens to be great.”

The artisan who had made a show of holding Dudley’s horse, while he concealed the ring and as many of the jewels which had dropped from the lady’s hair as he could purloin during the short time that she had been left alone with him, in the sleeve of his jerkin—now slipped the bridle over his arm, and came up the steps so far as its length would permit.

“If I might advise, fair sir,” he said, doffing his cap, and concealing a large emerald that had before escaped him, with his foot, as he spoke. “If I might make bold to give an opinion, three stout men are enough to cover the retreat of one woman any day. Your gallant self and my worshipful friend here, to say nothing of the man before you, who lacks not both tough bone and sinew in a fair fight, and the noble horse, which I take it, is worth at least two men, having a fine knack, as I but now witnessed, of scattering a crowd with his hoofs. Well now, fair sir, supposing you mount this noble nag and push a way through the crowd, while my worshipful friend and humble self follow at his heels with the lady between us. Oh, this does not jump with the lady’s humor, I see,” continued the man without breaking the thread of his speech, as the Lady Jane drew closer to her companion and murmured in an affrighted voice, “no, no Dudley—keep you with me or I shall die with terror else.”

Dudley answered by a gentle pressure of the arm clinging to his, and the man went on, as we have said, regardless of the interruption.

“Well, if she does not fancy the cut of my face, perhaps the black charger there will have better taste. Shall I mount and clear a path for you? It is not often that I sit on a crimson saddle with housings of velvet and gold—but there is an old saying or a new one, it matters not which, that if you ‘put a beggar on horseback he will ride’—I must not say exactly where in the presence of this lady, but to such a journey a passage through this crowd of hooting scoundrels would be child’s play—shall I mount, fair sir? you see the fight is getting nearer and there will be hot work anon.”

As the man finished speaking, he dropped his sheepskin cap quite by accident, and displayed considerable awkwardness in picking it up again. For a person rather shabbily dressed he certainly was somewhat fastidious in replacing it jauntily on one side of his head; but in the process a large emerald was sent, with a dexterous movement of the fingers, flashing down the sleeve of his jerkin, which probably had some connection with this elaborate display of taste.

At any other time Dudley would have rebuked the fellow’s boldness, but he was too anxious for thoughts of station or dignity, and turning from the rude speaker to his attendant, he demanded earnestly if his plan were practicable. Before the person addressed could reply, an immense paving stone was hurled by his temple, and, tearing off the artisan’s cap in its progress, was dashed to pieces against the granite pillar which had so long sheltered the Lady Jane Saymore. A shriek burst from her pale lips, and every face in that little group turned white as death. After a moment the artisan took up his cap, and thrusting his hand through a hole cut in it by the stone, tried to convince himself and those about him, by a broad laugh, that he was a man of decided courage and not to be daunted by trifles that could drive the blood from a nobleman’s cheek; but his voice died in the miserable attempt, and he slunk down to the horse’s head again, for the moment subdued into silence.

“For the love of heaven, let us be gone,” said Lord Dudley, terrified by the danger which threatened the object of his love. “Mount, fellow; and if you clear a way for this lady, you shall have gold”—

Before he could finish the sentence, the artisan sprang to a seat on the gorgeous saddle, and striking his mutilated cap down upon his head with one hand, drew up the bridle, and shouting, “Make room for the noble Dudley—a Warwick, a Warwick,” plunged into the crowd.

Dudley threw his arm firmly round the Lady Jane, and directing his attendant to keep close on the other side, followed his strange conductor, who proved an excellent guide; for in his appeal now to the people in behalf of their favorite noble, now to the Somerset men as one of their number, he succeeded in forcing a passage for the party till they had almost reached the front of St. Margaret’s; but here their position became more dangerous than ever, for a detachment of the Somerset men, after a desperate struggle to force a passage through the body of people, had found the way across a corner of the park and along Prince’s street, almost within a stone’s throw of the church, before their movement was discovered by those resolute on its defence. It was in vain the artisan pleaded for a passage now, his voice was overwhelmed by the roar. He was raised considerably above the crowd, and was among the first to discover this new difficulty. He arose in the saddle, cast a crest-fallen look over the sea of human heads that surrounded him, then bending backwards, he addressed the young lord and his companion in a voice that was less steady than he would gladly have rendered it—

“To the church, my lord—to the church at once! The street is choked, as far as I can see—is choked up with Somerset men; but they are mistaken if they hope to reach St. Margaret’s; here are stout angry fellows enough to keep them at bay till Michaelmas. Seek shelter for the lady, fair Sir, before they all see as much as I do, for there will be bloody work there, or I am no reader of men’s faces.”

There was no time for parley or delay, the pale craven face of the artisan bore witness to the truth of what he said. Lord Dudley clasped his companion more firmly, and forced his way with almost supernatural strength toward the church. The artisan would gladly have sought the shelter which he had so wisely recommended to his noble companion; but the horse had become restive under a strange guidance, and before his head could be turned toward St. Margaret’s, the mob had discovered the Somerset workmen, and closed round him with a violence that rendered a change of direction impossible. It was in vain that he waved his cap, shouted Lord Dudley’s name, and craved a free passage. His voice was overwhelmed in the roar and rush of a conflict more dreadful than had been witnessed that day. The people saw the spoilers almost upon their consecrated ground, and they fought like lions to protect the sacred rest of their dead and the altar of their worship. It was a just cause, but the strife a terrible one indeed. So great was the press, that our artisan found the motion of his horse cramped and almost prevented. His limbs were crushed against the noble animal till the pain became almost insupportable. He would gladly have dismounted and have taken his chance with the throng, but so dense was the sea of human beings crowding upon him, that there was not an inch of space through which he might hope to reach the ground. So horse and rider were violently borne forward at the mercy of the crowd, and exposed to the shower of missiles that now darkened the air.

Meantime Dudley and his companions had reached the door of St. Margaret’s; but it was closed, and a company of armed men stood resolutely before it. The little band of workmen, which had kept its station there till within the last hour, had at length deserted their post, terrified by this guard of armed men added to the mob which they had so long braved. Despairing of escape they had clambered, each as he best might, up the gothic windows and rough stone work of the little church, and were now crouching in groups on the roof, and striving to conceal themselves behind the small turrets or steeples that surmounted its four corners, afraid of being detected by the populace, who were each moment becoming more and more exasperated by their brethren.

“In the name of heaven, good friends, allow me to find shelter for this lady within the church,” exclaimed Lord Dudley, as pale and fearfully agitated he turned in despair from the bolted door which he had reached in spite of the pikes presented by the self-constituted guard, “I am a friend to the people, and this lady”—

“Is his sister,” interrupted the attendant hastily, well knowing that her true title would harden the men’s hearts against her, though she was almost lifeless, and only kept from sinking at their feet by the strong arm of her noble protector.

“But, even our church may soon be no place of safety,” said one of the men, “a few minutes and this building where our parents worshipped—where our children were baptised—may be a heap of ruins like those of St. Mary. Our holy altar stones may be made into door steps for the Duke of Somerset’s fine palace—yes, our chancels sacked to yield stones to flag his wine-cellars, while the bones and sacred dust of our fathers are cast into the street, and scattered to the four winds of heaven.”

Dudley felt the gentle being, who clung to him for safety, tremble and shrink, as if this angry speech had been levelled at her alone.

“I know that the people have suffered some wrong,” he said, in a mild but unsteady voice, for he was painfully agitated, both by his late struggle with the crowd, and the torture which the man’s impetuous speech was inflicting on his gentle charge. “But let me beseech you, unclose the door, my—my poor sister is well nigh sinking to the earth with fatigue and terror.”

Still the men remained obstinate, not only refusing to open the door, but guarding it with a close row of levelled pikes. The sound of fierce strife, which now arose with appalling violence, within a few roods of the church, seemed to fill them with cold and stubborn bitterness. At last, when a loud and terrible cry swept over them—a cry of triumph from the Somerset men, mingled with a yell of defiance from the mob, in which Somerset, the Lord Protector’s name, was winged by shouts and curses through the dense air, the man who had spoken before turned almost menacingly on the young nobleman.

“Did I not tell you,” he exclaimed, “this is no place for a lady? If we cannot guard our dead, how can your charge be safe? Hear that shout—the Duke of Somerset is himself coming up from the river to reinforce his band of pillagers. A curse light upon his sacrilegious head for this day’s work—a curse on him and his!”

“Oh no, no; do not curse him!” exclaimed the Lady Jane, starting from Dudley’s arm, and flinging the hood back from her pale face with a wild impulse—“he does not know—he has not thought how dreadful all this is: you do not dream how kind he is. In pity—for sweet mercy’s sake, do not curse my father!”

“Her father,” exclaimed the men almost simultaneously, and with menacing looks; “her father!”

Lord Dudley drew the young girl back to his side, pulled the mantle almost roughly over her face, and turned sternly upon the men.

“Behold,” he said, with a flashing eye, “behold the effect of your cruel delay; my poor sister is driven stark mad at last.”

The speech, and the pale steadfast features of the young man, had the desired effect. The guard did not open the door, it is true, but their manner was more subdued, and they consulted in a low voice together.

“And if we unlock the church, what warrant have we that you are not a partisan of the Duke’s?” said the leader, glancing suspiciously at the young nobleman’s rich vestments; “you may be of his household, nay, his son, for aught we know.”

“You have the word of a Warwick, and this proof that the pledge is not given without right,” said the young man, flinging aside his velvet cloak, and displaying the family crest, set in brilliants, on his sword-hilt. “Now, sirs, let me pass! I have no share in this broil, and would gladly have escaped from it unknown.”

“Pass in, and heaven’s blessing go with you!” said the man, almost angrily striking up the line of weapons which his band still kept levelled.

He unlocked the heavy door, and while the dense mob shouted around him, eager to know why he acted thus for a stranger, he stood, with uncovered head, till the young nobleman had entered the church; then, he closed the door again with a half repeated blessing upon the lips that had been almost blistered with imprecations a few moments before. The solemn stillness and cool atmosphere, which pervaded that little church, fell like a breath from heaven on the three persons who entered it, weary and faint from the turmoil that raged without.

The blended hues of purple and gold and crimson, shed from the stained and diamond-shaped glass that filled the gothic windows, flooded the building with a dim mellow light, and slept, in a rich haze, among the funereal urns of snowy marble placed in the various niches, once occupied by images of Catholic worship. A shadowy light, such as beams from a mild sunset, lay upon the altar-stone, which gleamed out white and pure above the purple velvet that carpeted its steps. A baptismal fount of marble stood on the right hand filled with clear water; but in that rich light it seemed almost brimming with wine. Two censers of massive silver stood above the altar, but only as remnants of a discarded faith, for no incense had been kindled in their hearts since the divorce of the late Henry and Catherine of Arragon.

The whole church was pervaded with a beautiful quiet, such as might reign in the shadowy dwellings of paradise. Dudley yielded to its influence, and drew a deep breath, half in awe, half in thankfulness, as he gently placed the Lady Jane upon one of the steps of the altar, and sprinkled her pale face with the water which he dipped with his hand from the baptismal fount. He took off the mantle which she still unconsciously held tightly about her person, and gathering up the rich tresses of her hair as they fell upon the marble, made an awkward attempt to bind them round her head. The poor lady was conscious of his kindness, but so exhausted that she had no power to thank him. The very effort to unclose her eyes was an exertion too much for her languid state, and the soft light which fell over her like a rich sunset seemed lending beauty to a marble statue, so pale and deathlike were her features. When Dudley inquired with anxious tenderness after her welfare, from time to time, she answered him with a faint clasp of the hand which he took in his, and grateful tears gushed in bright drops through her closed lashes, and fell, one after another, like jewels upon the purple velvet beneath her cheek. At last she opened her eyes, a sweet and tender expression of pleasure came to her face, and one of the familiar smiles which Dudley loved so well sprang like sunlight to her reddening lips. She was yet bewildered and dreamy, but tranquillized by the one dear presence, and the holy quiet which brooded over the place of her rest. For a time she was unconscious of the tumult which still raged without, for the sounds came but faintly to that holy place, and seemed more like the heaving beat of a far off ocean than a strife of angry men, heated and drunken with bad passions.

All at once a shout so long, loud and fierce, that it filled that tranquil building like the howl of a demon, fell upon her ear. She started up with a full consciousness of all that had happened to her during the morning, and again sinking upon the steps of the altar buried her face between her hands, and held her breath with a feeling of terror such as she had never known before.

At that moment Dudley’s attendant, who had remained near the church door, came hurriedly toward his master with information that the Duke of Somerset had joined his men in person, and was now within a few paces of the church.

(To be continued.)





I sat by the casement; before me there

Lay a treasured thing, a long tress of hair,

And it moved my heart with a touching power—

’Twas the cherished gift of a parting hour.

The sun-shine lay ’mid its nut-brown fold

With a loving smile, as it did of old.

When the curl waved free in its careless grace,

Like a cloud in the sky, o’er the smiling face

Of the gentle girl that I loved so well—

A dimming tear on the bright lock fell

As thoughts of the loved one far away,

And the teeming past, on my sad heart lay.


A Zephyr, that all this time had play’d,

Like a laughing child, ’mid the rose tree’s shade,

Flew up, like a bird, to the casement there,

And bore off in triumph the lock of hair.

’Twas a cruel theft! and harsh words of blame,

Like a mountain stream, from my full heart came,

For the reckless deeds of the careless thing,

Ever hovering near on mischievous wing.

But the day before, he had entered my bower,

And scattered the leaves of its loveliest flower,

And bore off a letter that lay unread,

’Neath the scented buds, on a mossy bed,

To the brook hard by, who, with dimpled cheek

And a smothered laugh at the Zephyr’s freak,

Received the gift, and bounded on

As wild, and free, as a forest fawn,

To its hiding spots ’neath the greenwood shade,

Glancing back, through the leaves, where the young wind play’d.

“Now! Spirit of Air,” I cried, “gay breeze—

Are all thine acts as unkind as these?

Thy wings are unfettered—thy path is free—

Yet mine is the power to follow thee.”

Then thought sprang up on her weariless wing,

And tracked the wind, in imagining.

He stole the white plume from the thistle’s crest,

Which was light as down on the swan’s pure breast,

And with waving wing bore the prize away

To a happy group ’mid the flowers at play,

And fanning the cheek of each laughing boy,

With his cooling wing, waved the downy toy

Their bright heads above, and the careless band,

With eager eye, and with outstretched hand,

Ran away, in chase of the silvery thing

That the Zephyr bore on exulting wing.

Now slowly it floated their hands beneath—

Now upward it sprang on a stronger breath—

Now wafted afar—’twas a merry race

The Zephyr to lead, and the children in chase!

He left them behind, but bore along

Their glee-toned voices, in joyous song,

And each lone mother looked up and smiled,

As she caught the tones of her darling child,

And paused awhile from her toil, to bless

The heart, o’erflowing with happiness.


  Then he went his way and on manhood’s brow

His cooling fingers are busy now,

He parts the dark hair from its resting place,

And prints a kiss on the anxious face,

And woos him to leave the dust and glare

Of the crowded town, for a spot more fair,

Where trees in blossom, and birds on wing,

Lead the rapt heart from each worldly thing.

But man heeds not, for his rest is sold,

And his heart bows down to the god of gold;

For the tempting Zephyr he “cares not a groat,”

He is eagerly reaching a “ten pound note,”

That ragged, and soiled on the counter doth lay,

But the Zephyr indignantly bears it away.

He toss’d it, he pull’d it, he twirled it around,

Now high in the air, and now low on the ground,

He moaned in derision, he whistled with glee,

Ah! never was Zephyr as merry as he,

Till at length, in his frolic, he entered a shed

Where a widow was praying for daily bread,

In the voice of faith, low, subdued and mild,

She prayed for food for her starving child:

Then the wind bowed down with its burden there,

And Heaven thus answered the widow’s prayer.

Then he entered the halls, where many a scene

Of joyous pleasure, and mirth had been—

He softly sighed o’er the festal board,

Where the jest had passed, and the red wine poured,

He swept the harp with his quivering wing,

And woke the tones of each mournful string,

While his murmuring voice, with its gentle chime,

Seemed singing a song of the olden time,

Or breathing a dirge o’er the gay hearts fled

To their silent homes ’mid the lowly dead.

He sighed through the banners that hung on high—

(Dimmed was their gorgeous blazonry,)

But they waved aloft, as they waved of old,

When the shout and song shook each heavy fold,

While the dust fell down in a darkening cloud—

And the moth was rocked in her silken shroud—

And the bat sprang forth from his loathsome nest,

’Mid the pennons there, an unseemly guest!


  Then he went to the violet’s lonely bowers,

And gathered their breath, though he left the flowers,

And hastened on with the rich perfume

And a gladsome song, to the invalid’s room.

He hushed his voice as he entered there,

For holy and sad rose the sound of prayer,

With his wealth from the woods he wafted on,

And rushing memories of bright things gone

To the dying bore, while a low-breathed sigh,

Told of the Zephyr’s sympathy.

One tender act that he did that day,

Was a moment to pause where a stranger lay,

In an unknown land, with no loved one near

To breathe a sigh o’er his lowly bier,

Or moisten his grave with the tear-drops shed

From the mourning heart, o’er the loved and the dead.

Then mounting upward, on breezy wing,

To the white haw tree richly blossoming,

And, gathering its sweets with a gentle wave,

He spread them like snow o’er the stranger’s grave.

Green leaf, and bud, and starry flower,

Filled the rich air, like a lovely shower

Of bright things, sent from a fairy land,

And lay on the grave as though some kind hand

Had scattered, that silent heart above,

The sweets that in life it had learned to love.


  But ’twere vain to tell of his wanderings free

O’er leafy land, and o’er foaming sea—

How he swept round the palace, and played through the cot—

Passed “the highest, the lowest, the loneliest spot;”

How he wafted the purple of lordly pride,

And fluttered the rags of the beggar aside,

How he made of a spray-capped wave his steed,

And rode o’er the ocean with Jehu speed,

(’Till his charger tossed its snowy mane,

And sank to its native depths again,)

How he hastened the ship on her homeward way,

And scattered her track with the ocean’s spray.

’Twere vain to number the acts like these,

That were done that day, by the joyous Breeze—

While I could but mark that, what first seemed rude,

Was gentle, and tender, and kind, and good.

I followed him far on his wayward track,

And when, from wandering, I turned me back,

He whispered at parting, these words, methought,

To my hasty heart,—“Judge not! judge not!





It is the fashion to consider Macbeth a spotless and noble soul, ensnared by the toils of the fiends, and pulled down from heaven to hell by the chance meeting of the weird sisters on the heath. There is a serious objection to this view. It makes machines of men. It takes from us the most obvious and sublime attribute of an immortal being, viz: free agency. If a high-minded and God-revering mortal is unprotected against the attacks of supernatural beings—if foul witches may watch for him in unguarded moments, and weave around his enchanted feet the fatal snares of crime and death, then are we truly a wretched race. But this is not Shakspeare’s creed. This is not the character of the tragedy. Macbeth was a villain. He had deliberately adopted vice as his god long before the fiends were permitted to patter with him. They come as a consequence not as a cause of wickedness. The withered and wild sisters on the blasted heath were conjured up by his own cherished weaknesses and secret deeds.[4] They were the haggard and hellish impersonations of his own hidden thoughts and passions. He was not the pure, generous, heaven-adoring person he is represented. The germs of his guilt he had received into his heart by himself years before, and they lay shooting there in silence, only waiting the quickening beam of opportunity—waiting the first, feeblest temptation to start forth in all their force. He was one of those fair-seeming men who pass for honest and noble. The world contains now, as then, many such. Many a man with an uplifted brow and a clear name, waits only occasion to prove himself a scoundrel. It is such specious hypocrites that gather around them (as the smell of carrion does the hawk and vulture) the plotting witches who watch for power over the children of men. They had never tempted the pure good old King Duncan. He might have passed the blasted heath every day of his life, and these hags would never have dreamed of appearing to him. His soul was not prepared for their wiles. But that of Macbeth—as well as that of his stern wife—was corrupted by the whole tenor of their previous life.

Had there been left no evidence of this, I should still have asserted it. The innocent—the pure in heart—they who daily commune with their Maker—who acknowledge their weakness and danger when left to themselves—and implore humbly at his feet his all-sufficient aid—never fall victims to the accursed fiends, whether they appear in the deformity of Paddock and Graymalkin, or disguised under the fair temptations of life.

But Shakspeare has left proof enough in his tragedy. He meant to show, not (as is frequently asserted) the downfall of noble grandeur and unsuspecting innocence, but the destruction of a fair-showing, unsuspected villain—the wreck of a ship whose outward semblance was tall and imposing, but which was unseaworthy and destined to go down before the first gale.

In the first place, why does not Banquo suffer from the fiends? He is with Macbeth when they appear. He even boldly addresses them, and at once—with the frank fearlessness of a noble and virtuous mind, conscious of its honesty, commands them, if they can read the future, to speak to him also.

“Speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear your favors, nor your hate.”

Here is at once a man not to be tampered with. They promise him also as well as Macbeth a dazzling future good—a posterity of kings—but it in no way changes his plans of life, or raises the least idea in his mind of crime or intrigue. Even when, according to the prediction of the witches, Macbeth instantly receives intelligence, of his being thane of Cawdor, Banquo’s clear-seeing sense of right, his innocence of nature takes the true and virtuous view of the affair, looks, at a glance, through all the complicated web of the sisters’ plots, and keeps himself unsoiled, unendangered by them.

   Banquo.   “But ’tis strange;

And often-times, to win us to our harm,

The instruments of darkness tell us truths;

Win us with honest trifles, to betray us

In deepest consequence.”

And while he is making this just reflection, the obvious impulse of a mind not warped from the erectness of a moral and religious integrity and reverence, Macbeth soliloquizes with a kind of inexpressible anticipatory triumph.

  “Two truths are told

As happy prologues to the swelling act

Of the imperial theme.”

And he then goes on, like a ready made, long-matured rascal as he is—like one whose mind had no habit of virtuous or religious contemplation, but which has always had a familiarity with evil and a tendency downward:

——“Why do I yield to that suggestion

Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair,” etc.

The very moment his attention is directed to the subject of his becoming king, he conceives the idea of murdering the actual occupant of the throne, notwithstanding the fact that there are two sons living.

An innocent man, were he told he would become king of England, would not instantly set about murdering the queen. He would (supposing him to have faith in the prediction) say to himself, as indeed Macbeth does at one time:

“If chance will have me king, why chance may crown me, without my stir.”

The very first page of the tragedy marks Macbeth for a villain even before he has made his appearance.

1. Witch. When shall we three meet again

   In thunder, lightning, or in rain?


2. Witch. When the hurly-burly’s done,

   When the battle’s lost and won;


3. Witch. That will be ere set of sun.


1. Witch. Where the place?


2. Witch. Upon the heath.


3. Witch. Then to meet with Macbeth.

Why have these fiendish women selected the gallant soldier as their victim? What gathers them about the “battle” that is raging near? What but the scent of a sinful heart?

But there are other proofs of an extrinsic nature, which settle the previous character of Lady Macbeth at the same time, and shows how ripe they both were for the fiends.

If a man’s true nature may be supposed to be known to any one it is to his wife. He may put on a smooth face before his best friend; he may write or speak virtuous sentiments to the public; he may give charitable donations, and follow the career of a flaming patriot or a meek saint, but the lady upon whom he has conferred with his name, the right of being with him continually, will be pretty able to tell how matters really are. I do not say that, because a wife abuses her husband and calls him names, he must necessarily be a rascal; but, as a general rule, the partner of his woes and joys has better opportunities of knowing the man than almost any one else—at least, if she be a person of Lady Macbeth’s discrimination. Well then, see what his lady says of him, to herself, on receiving his letter recounting the prediction of the weird sisters.

  “Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be

What thou art promis’d:—yet I do fear thy nature;

It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness,

To catch the nearest way.”

That she should suppose him too full of the milk of human kindness to do cruel actions is a skilful stroke in the delineation both of his nature and hers. However well she knew him, as he had been till then, an unprincipled man—even she had never fathomed those depths of character, (for good or for evil common to all men, and equally unfathomed probably by himself,) which the subsequent events disclosed. Shakspeare somewhere else says, “It is not a year or so that shows us a man”—and it is an important truth, that we are not thoroughly known by our best friends, and do not know ourselves till late in life. This same person, so full of the milk of human kindness that she feared his “softer nature” could never be brought to the necessary resolution, no sooner finds himself once fairly compromised than his atrocities throw the cruelties of ordinary oppressors quite into the shade.

              “Thou would’st be great;

Art not without ambition; but without

The illness should attend it. What thou would’st highly

Thou would’st holily; would’st not play false,

And yet would’st wrongly win,” etc. etc.

This passage has been often misunderstood. “Without the illness” that should attend ambition—“what thou would’st highly thou would’st holily,” does not mean, thou art without the vices which should attend ambition, and, what thou would’st highly—thou would’st in a holy spirit. It means, he is without the courage to bear the risk and odium necessary to the successful carrying out of ambitious plans, although he is willing enough to be guilty if he may not appear to be so. “What he would highly,” he would also with an appearance of holiness. He loves the mask of virtue, but he loves also the sweets of sin. He has thus far enjoyed the good opinion of the world. He cannot bear to throw aside the wreath which he has worn and which flatters his weakness and vanity. It is the world which alone he thinks of. This is his only god. Of the Supreme Being, there is not a word; but of his inclination to assume the moral responsibility there is a distinct acknowledgment:

        “Would’st not play false

And yet would’st wrongly win. ‘Thou’d’st have, great Glamis,’

That which cries, ‘Thus thou must do if thou have it!

And that which thou dost rather fear to do,

Than wishest should be undone.”

Here we have Macbeth’s character. Here we have the secret of his goodness. It is fear and love of the world.

Shakspeare meant to draw a very—very common character, only he has made it colossal. How many men in the common life of this day are irreproachable from the same considerations—fear and love of the world, joined to a certain dislike of the trouble, exertion and risk of wrong. (“If we should fail!”) That these are the moving springs of this seemingly noble and generous but really remorseless and impious character we see again from a remark of his own. After contemplating the murder for some time, he concludes to abandon the plan. Why? Because he will not incur the moral guilt? Because he has thoughts of his God, whose eye is on him, and who cannot but punish a crime? Because the commandment has been written, “Thou shalt do no murder?” Because the Deity himself has decreed “blood for blood?”

No. For reasons much more suited to his irreligious, infidel, worldly mind:

  “We will proceed no further in this business!

He hath honored me of late; and I have bought

Golden opinions from all sorts of people,

Which should be worn now in their newest gloss,

Not cast aside so soon.”

These are his reasons for not wishing to proceed. Not a thought of his Maker—not an allusion to a future world. He expressly says, in another passage, if he could but be secure against detection in this world, he does not feel any apprehension respecting the other. He’ll “jump the world to come.”

No man, not corrupt by long previous backslidings either of thought or deed, would act as Macbeth acts. He grasps at the first idea of murder with the true zest of an assassin. All his struggles are only those of fear. The first time he meets the king, his generous, grateful, and gracious master, he seems already to have arranged the murder in his mind, and his hypocrisy and cruelty do not waver an instant. He discovers the self-possession and plausible villany of a practised criminal, and this too before he sees his wife upon the subject. It almost seems as if they had spoken on this point before. When Duncan heaps him with thanks and rewards, he answers:

   Mac. “The service and the loyalty I owe,

In doing it, pays itself. Your Highness’ part

Is to receive our duties: and our duties

Are, to your throne and state, children and servants;

Which do but what they should, by doing every thing

Safe toward your love and honor.”

When the King says, as if in dark conformity to the witches’ prediction:

              “from hence to Inverness,

And bind us further to you,”

Macbeth, like a hungry leopard trembling with joy at seeing his victim take refuge in his very den, says, with an affectation of grateful submission:

   Mac. “The rest is labor which is not used for you:

I’ll be myself the harbinger, and make joyful

The hearing of my wife with your approach.”

And then already, to himself:

   Mac. “The Prince of Cumberland! That is a step

On which I must fall down, or else overleap;

For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires!

Let not light see my black and deep desires,

The eye wink at the hand, yet let that be

Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see.”

His famous soliloquy, “Out, out, brief candle,” is in itself a superb piece of earthly philosophy, but it becomes resplendently significant when regarded as the creed of infidelity which has brought him where he is; for he is an atheist, and therefore he is a murderer.

“Life’s but a walking shadow; a poor player,

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,

And then is heard no more: it is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.”

These are not the thoughts of the gentle, happy-hearted Shakspeare. These are the blasphemous outbreakings of a blood-drenched, disbelieving soul, vainly striving to make head against God’s vengeance by denying his existence. No. Life’s not a walking shadow. It is more than a poor player—than a tale signifying nothing. It signifies much not to be known by the “ignorant present,” as they find, unhappy lost ones, who mistake such wicked blasphemies for truth.

The pertinacity with which his selfish soul is wedded to the world is again betrayed in one of his last soliloquies, where, in running a kind of balance in his accounts between the gains and losses of his murderous ambition, he complains:

“And that which should accompany old age,

As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends,

I must not look to have; but, in their stead,

Curses, not loud, but deep, mouth-honor, breath,

Which the poor heart would fain deny, and dare not.”

Always the world bounds his hopes and his fears.

The original viciousness of his nature is also betrayed by the readiness with which, once embarked in the career of crime, he plunges in headlong. The very morning of the murder of the king, he stabs in their sleep the two grooms of the chamber, then Banquo and Fleance (which latter escapes by chance.) He rushes on from murder to murder with the rabid fury of a hound maddened with the taste of blood. He adopts the direst principles of action,

   Mac. “From this moment

The very firstlings of my heart shall be

The firstlings of my hand.”

Surprises the castle of Macduff, and massacres his wife, his babes,

“And all the unfortunate souls

That trace him in his line.”

That Shakspeare meant to draw, in this remarkable portraiture, a worldly character unsupported by religion, is evident from the tone of piety which runs through the other characters. The gentlewoman’s “Heaven knows what she has known,” and her “pray God it be well.” The doctor’s “God, God forgive us all!” Macduff’s

        “Did Heaven look on

And would not take their part? Sinful Macduff,

They were all struck for thee! Naught that I am,

Not for their own demerits, but for mine,

Fell slaughter on their souls: Heaven rest them now.”

This is the oft repeated apprehension of a pious heart which fears still its own weakness, and finds, in the inscrutable and most awful visitatings of God a merited blow—a chastener of its still corrupt desires—a lesson to unlink it yet more from its grasp on mortality.

Immediately again Macduff prays to heaven—and in the same page Malcolm says:


Is ripe for shaking, and the powers above

Put on their instruments.”

Another instance of the pure christian piety with which the poet invests his good characters, and of which he deprives his bad ones, telling strongly for Dr. Ulrici’s theory, occurs in the third scene of the fourth act, where Malcolm, the heir to the throne, in order to try Macduff, represents himself as being full of vices. Macduff replies,

            “Thy Royal Father

Was a most sainted King; the Queen, that bore thee,—

Oftener upon her knees than on her feet.”

In his answer, Malcolm uses the expression, full of pious reverence:

      “But God above

Deal between thee and me,” &c.

And still another, the morning after the murder, when Macduff says:

“In the great hand of God I stand,” &c.

Vide a future ¶.






On my first visit to Boston, about nine years since, I was offered, by a lady of that kind and hospitable city, (the paradise of strangers,) an introduction to the two daughters of the celebrated Mather Byles: and I gladly availed myself of this opportunity of becoming acquainted with these singular women, whom, I had been told, were classed among the curiosities of the place.

Their father, a native Bostonian, (born in 1706, during the reign of Queen Anne,) was connected with the family of Cotton Mather. His education was completed in England, where he studied theology at Cambridge, and was afterwards ordained a minister of the gospel according to the Episcopal faith. On his return to Boston, Mather Byles was inducted into the first pastor-ship of Hollis street church, then a newly-erected edifice, constructed entirely of wood, as were most American churches of that period. He became proprietor of a house and a small piece of ground near the junction of Tremont and Nassau streets. In this house all his children were born, and here the two that survived were still living. His wife was a daughter of Governor Taylor.

The position of Dr. Byles as a clergyman, his literary acquirements, his shrewd sense, and his ready wit, caused him to be highly popular at home, and brought him into personal acquaintance or epistolary correspondence with many of the principal men of his time, on both sides of the Atlantic. He frequently exchanged letters with Pope and with Dr. Watts: and among the visiters at his “modest mansion” might be enumerated some of the most distinguished persons of his native province—while strangers of note eagerly sought his acquaintance.

All went smoothly with Dr. Byles till America became impatient of her dependence on the crown of Britain; and, unfortunately for him, his sympathies were on the side of the mother country. He could not be persuaded that her children of the new world had sufficient cause for abrogating the authority of the nation from whence they had sprung; and he considered their alleged grievances as mere pretexts for throwing off a chain which, in his opinion, had pressed but lightly on them; and that, in short, as Falstaff said of the Percy and Mortimer insurrection,—“Rebellion lay in their way, and they found it.” His congregation had warmly and almost unanimously espoused the popular cause, and, consequently, were much irritated at the ultra royalist feelings and opinions of their pastor, whose difficulties with his flock seeming daily to increase, Dr. Byles eventually thought it best to resign his situation as minister of Hollis street church.

The war broke out; the battle of Bunker Hill was fought, and Boston was subsequently occupied by the British army, and besieged by the Americans, who established themselves in hostile array upon the heights that commanded the town,—and, with a view of dislodging the enemy, they vigilantly exerted themselves in stopping all supplies of fuel and provisions. After holding out against the patriots during a leaguer of more than eight months, the British finally withdrew their forces, and embarked them to carry the war into another section of the country. Now, that something like order was again restored in the town of Boston and its vicinity, it was thought time to punish those who had rendered themselves obnoxious by aiding and abetting the cause of the enemy. Some of the most noted royalists were expelled from the province and took refuge in Nova Scotia, others went into voluntary exile and repaired to England, where they preferred a claim of indemnification for the losses they had sustained by adhering to the cause of monarchy. Among others, Dr. Mather Byles was denounced at a town-meeting, for his unconcealed toryism: for having persisted in praying for the king; and for interchanging visits with the British officers, most of whom were received familiarly at his house. Upon these charges he was tried before a special court, and at first sentenced to have his property confiscated, and himself and family transported to England. But the board of war, out of respect to his private character, commuted his punishment to a short imprisonment in his own house, under the guard of sentinels, and allowed him to retain his possessions.

The rebellion eventuated in a successful revolution; and honor, fame, and the gratitude of their country rewarded those who had assisted in the glorious contest for independence; while all who had held back, and all who had sided with the enemy, were contumeliously cast into the shade, regarded with contempt by their former associates, or compelled to wear out their lives in exile from the land of their birth. Most of the connections of the Byles family quitted the States. But the doctor remained, and finding that he could not regain his former place among his townsmen, he lived in retirement during the residue of his life, and died at his own house in Boston, in 1788, in the 82d year of his age. He was interred beneath the pavement of the chancel in Trinity church, having worshipped there with his family after quitting that of Hollis street.

In the old family house his two surviving daughters had ever since continued to reside, steadily refusing to sell either the building or the lot of ground attached to it, though liberal offers for its purchase had repeatedly been made to them. So deep-rooted was their attachment to this spot, where they had been born, and where they had always lived, that they considered it impossible for them to exist in any other place, continually asserting that a removal from it would certainly kill them. They had a trifling source of income which brought them two hundred dollars annually, and they contrived to save nearly the whole of this little sum. Also, they possessed a tolerable quantity of old-fashioned plate, which they had put away in a chest up stairs, never to be used or sold while they lived. In the mean time their wants were chiefly supplied, (and, indeed, many little luxuries were furnished them,) by the benevolence of certain ladies of Boston, who, in the goodness of their hearts, overlooked the anomaly of two women who had the means of a comfortable independence within their reach, submitting to receive assistance from eleemosynary bounty rather than relinquish the indulgence of what, in those matter-of-fact times, would, by most persons, be regarded as a mere morbid fancy. But on this point of feeling they believed their happiness to depend; and their tolerant benefactresses kindly enabled them to be happy in their own way.

The Miss Byleses kept no domestic; but a man came every morning to attend to the wood and water part of their ménage, and to go their errands—and a woman was employed every week to do up the Saturday work. A newspaper was sent to them gratuitously—books were lent to them, for the youngest was something of a reader, and also wrote verses; and they frequently received little presents of cakes, sweetmeats, and other delicacies. They rarely went out, except to Trinity church. Then they put on their everlasting suits of the same Sunday clothes: their faces being, on these occasions, shaded with deep black veils suspended from their bonnets, not so much for concealment as for gentility.

The lady who volunteered to introduce me to the daughters of Dr. Byles, was, as I afterwards understood, one of those who assisted in affording them some of the comforts which they denied to themselves. We set out on our visit on one of the loveliest mornings of a Boston summer, the warmth of the season being delightfully tempered by a cool breeze from the sea. After passing the beautiful Common, (why has it not a better name?) my companion pointed out to me, at what seemed the termination of the long vista of Tremont street, an old black-looking frame-house, which, at the distance from whence I saw it, seemed to block up the way by standing directly across it. It was the ancient residence of Mather Byles, and the present dwelling of his aged daughters; one of whom was in her eighty-first and the other in her seventy-ninth year. This part of Tremont street, which is on the south-eastern declivity of a hill, carried us far from all vicinity to the aristocratic section of Boston.

At length we arrived at the domain of the two antique maidens. It was surrounded by a board fence, which had once been a very close one, but time and those universal depredators, “the boys,” had made numerous cracks and chinks in it. The house (which stood with the gable end to the street) looked as if it had never been painted in its life. Its exposure to the sun and rain, to the heats of a hundred summers and the snows of a hundred winters, had darkened its whole outside nearly to the blackness of iron. Also, it had, even in its best days, been evidently one of the plainest and most unbeautified structures in the town of Boston, where many of the old frame-houses can boast of a redolence of quaint ornament about the doors, and windows, and porches, and balconies. Still, there was something not unpleasant in its aspect, or rather in its situation. It stood at the upper end of a green lot, whose long thick grass was enamelled with field flowers. It was shaded with noble horse-chestnut trees relieved against the clear blue sky, and whose close and graceful clusters of long jagged leaves, fanned by the light summer breeze, threw their chequered and quivering shadows on the grass beneath, and on the mossy roof of the venerable mansion.

We entered the enclosure by a board gate, whose only fastening was a wooden latch with a leather string; like that which secured the wicket of Little Red Ridinghood’s grand-mother. There was a glimpse of female figures hastily flitting away from a front window. We approached the house by a narrow pathway, worn by frequent feet, in the grass, and a few paces brought us to the front door with its decayed and tottering wooden steps. My companion knocked, and the door was immediately opened by a rather broad-framed and very smiling old lady, habited in a black worsted petticoat and a white short-gown, into the neck of which was tucked a book-muslin kerchief. Her silver hair was smoothly arranged over a wrinkled but well-formed forehead, beneath which twinkled two small blue eyes. Her head was covered with a close full-bordered white linen cap, that looked equally convenient for night or for day. She welcomed us with much apparent pleasure, and my companion introduced her to me as Miss Mary Byles. She was the eldest of the two sisters.

Miss Mary ushered us into the parlor, which was without a carpet, and its scanty furniture seemed at least a century old. Beneath a surprisingly high mantel-piece was a very low fire-place, from whence the andirons having been removed for the summer, its only accoutrement was a marvellous thick cast-iron back-plate, of a pattern antique even to rudeness. There were a few straight tall-backed chairs, some with bottoms of flag-rush, and others with bottoms of listing; and there was one fauteuil, to be described hereafter. My attention was attracted by the oldest-looking table I had ever seen, and of so dark a hue that it was difficult to tell whether it was mahogany or walnut. When opened out it must have been circular; but, now that the leaves were let down, it exhibited a top so strangely narrow (not more than half a foot in width) that it was impossible to divine the object in making it so; unless, indeed, it was the fashionable table of the time. And fashion, at all periods, has been considered reason sufficient for anything, however inconvenient, ugly or absurd. To support the narrow top and the wide leaves, this table seemed to be endowed with a hundred legs and a proportionate number of bars crossing among them, in every direction, all being of very elaborate turned work. I opine that this must have been a great table in its day.

My companion inquired after the health of Miss Catherine Byles, the youngest of the ladies. Miss Mary replied that sister Catherine was quite unwell, having passed a bad night with the rheumatism. Regret was expressed at our losing the pleasure of seeing her. But Miss Mary politely assured us that her sister would exert herself to appear, rather than forego an opportunity of paying her respects to the ladies; and we as politely hoped that, on our account, she would not put herself to the smallest inconvenience. While compliments were thus flying, the door of the next room opened, and Miss Catherine Byles made her entrance, in a manner which showed us that she went much by gracefulness.

Miss Catherine was unlike her elder sister, both in figure and face; her features being much sharper, (in fact, excessively sharp,) and her whole person extremely thin. She also was arrayed in a black bombasin petticoat, a short-gown, and a close lined cap, with a deep border that seemed almost to bury her narrow visage. She greeted us with much cordiality, and complained of her rheumatism with a smiling countenance.

My eyes were soon rivetted on a fine portrait of Dr. Mather Byles, from the wonderful pencil of Copley—wonderful in its excellence at a period when the divine art was scarcely known in the provinces, and when a good picture rarely found its way to our side of the ocean. And yet, under these disadvantages, and before he sought improvement in the schools of Europe, did Copley achieve those extraordinary fac-similes of the human face, that might justly entitle him to the appellation of the Reynolds of America, and are scarcely excelled by those of his cotemporary, the Reynolds of England.

The moment I looked at this picture I knew that it must be a likeness; for I saw in its lineaments the whole character of Dr. Byles, particularly the covert humor of the eye. The face was pale, the features well-formed, and the aspect pleasantly acute. He was represented in his ecclesiastical habiliments, with a curled and powdered wig. On his finger was a signet-ring containing a very fine red cornelian. While I was contemplating the admirably-depicted countenance, his daughters were both very voluble in directing my attention to the cornelian ring, which they evidently considered the best part of the picture; declaring it to be an exact likeness of that very ring, and just as natural as life.

Before I had looked half enough at Copley’s picture, the two old ladies directed my attention to another portrait which they seemed to prize still more highly. This, they informed me, was that of their nephew, “poor boy,” whom they had not seen for forty years. It was painted by himself.—His name was Mather Brown, and he was the only son of their deceased elder sister. He had removed to London, where, as they informed me, he had taken the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York—“and, therefore,” said one of the aunts—“he is painter to the royal family.” They both expressed much regret that they had not been able to prevail on their father, after the revolution, to give up America entirely, and remove with his family to England. “In that case,” said Miss Mary, “we should all have been introduced at court; and the king and queen would have spoken to us; and I dare say would have thanked us kindly for our loyalty.”

The truth was, as I afterwards found, that a much longer period than forty years had elapsed since their nephew left America; but they always continued to give that date to his departure. He had painted himself with his hair reared up perpendicularly from his forehead, powdered well, and tied behind,—and, in a wide blue coat with yellow buttons, and a very stiff hard-plaited shirt-frill with hand-ruffles to match. In his hand he held an open letter, which, both his aunts informed me, contained the very words of an epistle sent by one of them to him, and, therefore, was an exact likeness of that very letter. To gratify them, I read aloud the pictured missive, thereby proving that it really contained legible words.

Having looked at the pictures, I was invited by Miss Mary Byles to take my seat in the large arm-chair, which she assured me was a great curiosity, being more than a hundred years old, having been sent over from England by “government,” as a present to their maternal grandfather, Governor Taylor. The chair was of oak, nearly black with age, and curiously and elaborately carved. The back was very tall and straight, and the carving on its top terminated in a crown. This chair was furnished with an old velvet cushion, which was always (by way of preservation) kept upside down, the underside being of dark calico. Miss Mary, however, did me the honor, as a visiter, to turn the right side up, that I might sit upon velvet; and as soon as I had placed myself on it, she enquired if I found it an easy seat? On my replying in the affirmative, “I am surprised at that”—said she, with a smile—“I wonder how a republican can sit easy under the crown.”—Beginning to understand my cue, I, of course, was properly diverted with this piece of wit.

Miss Catherine then directed my attention to the antique round table, and assured me that at this very table Dr. Franklin had drank tea on his last visit to Boston. Miss Mary then produced, from a closet by the chimney-side, an ancient machine of timber and iron in the form of a bellows, which she informed me was two hundred years old. It looked as if it might have been two thousand, and must have been constructed in the very infancy of bellows-making, about the time when people first began to grow tired of blowing their fires with their mouths. It would have afforded a strange contrast, and a striking illustration of the march of intellect, if placed by the side of one of those light and beautiful, painted, gilt and varnished fire-improvers which abound in certain shops in Washington street. This bellows of other days was so heavy that it seemed to require a strong man to work it. The handles and sides were carved all over with remarkably cumbrous devices; and the nozzle or spout was about the size and shape of a very large parsnep with the point cut off.

Miss Mary now asked her sister if she had no curiosities to show the ladies? Miss Catherine modestly replied that she feared she had nothing the ladies would care to look at. Miss Mary assured us that sister Catherine had a box of extraordinary things, such as were not to be seen every day, and that they were universally considered as very great curiosities. Miss Catherine still seemed meekly inclined to undervalue them. My companion, who had seen the things repeatedly, begged that their Philadelphia visiter might be indulged with a view of these rarities—and, finally, after a little more coquetry, a sort of square band-box was produced, and Miss Catherine did the honors of her little museum.

She showed us the envelope of a letter addressed to her father by no less a person than Alexander Pope, and directed in the poet’s own hand. The writing was clear and handsome, and had evidently been executed with a new pen, and with a desire that the superscription should look well. Next, were exhibited four commissions, each bearing the signature of a different British sovereign. The names of the royal personages were placed at the top of the document and not at the bottom. This, the old ladies told us was to show that royalty ought to go before every thing else. The first signature was that of Queen Anne, and headed the appointment of their grandfather to the government of the province of Massachusetts. I have never in my life seen any autograph so bad as that of “great Anne whom three realms obeyed”—if this was to be considered a fair specimen. It looked as if nobody had ever taught her to write, and had the appearance of being scratched on the paper, not with a pen but with a pin dipped in ink. I believe it is related of the Emperor Charlemagne (who pressed the seals of his missives with the hilt of his dagger) that he effected his signature by plunging his thumb into the ink, and making with it a large black spot or blot on the parchment. No doubt, being a man of sense, he took care that his dab or smear should always be of exactly the same shape and dimension, and so unique in its look as to preclude the possibility of counterfeits.

The next document shown us by Miss Catherine, was honored with the name of the First George—that sapient Elector of Hanover, whose powers of comprehension were so obtuse that he never could be made exactly to understand by what means he succeeded to the throne of England, and often said “he was afraid he was keeping some honest man out of his place.” His majesty’s pen-maker was palpably unworthy of holding that office, for, in this autograph, both up strokes and down were so thick that they looked as if done with the feather of the quill instead of its point.

Afterwards was displayed a commission signed by George the Second. Here the royal caligraphy seemed on the mend. The signature was well written, and his majesty’s pen-provider was evidently fit for his station.

Last, was a paper bearing the name of George the Third, written in a fair and easy hand, but rather inferior to that of his predecessor, notwithstanding that the second of the Hanoverian monarchs had “never liked bainting or boetry in all his life, and did not know what good there was in either.”

It is a most fallacious and illiberal hypothesis that the hand-writing is characteristic of the mind. And those who profess that theory frequently employ it as a vehicle for the conveyance of impertinent and unjust remarks.

We were next shown a small portion of moss gathered from the time-honored roof of Bradgate Hall, the mansion in which the unfortunate Lady Jane Grey first saw the light.

These relics of the departed great were followed by the exhibition of some little articles, only remarkable as specimens of mechanical ingenuity. Among them was a large deep-red mulberry, looking surprisingly like a real one.

“And now,” said Miss Catherine, “I will show you the greatest curiosity of all.” She then took out an inner pasteboard box that had been placed within the larger one, and setting it on the floor, produced, from a round hole in the lid, an artificial snake, that looked something like a very long, very close string of button-molds. By giving it some mysterious impulse, she set the reptile in motion, and caused it to run about in the neighborhood of our feet. We thought it best to be a little startled and a little frightened, and very greatly surprised at the ingenuity of the thing. After we had sufficiently enjoyed the sight, Miss Catherine attempted to replace her snake in the box, telling him it was time to go home. But he seemed rather refractory, and quite unwilling to re-enter his prison. “What”—said she—chastising him with two or three smart taps—“won’t you go in.—Are you a rebel too!”—The serpent stood rebuked; and then obediently hurried back into his hole. And we laughed as in duty bound—also with some admiration at the old lady’s slight of hand in managing the reptile.

Miss Catherine, having completed the exhibition of her snake, now addressed Miss Mary, and proposed that her sister should show us an extraordinary trick, “which always astonished the ladies.” To this Miss Mary made some objection, lest we should have her taken up and hanged for a witch. On our promising not to do so, she took a scrap of white paper which she tore into four little bits, and then laid them in a row on the table. Having done this, she left the room, shutting the door closely after her, so as to convince us, that while remaining outside it was impossible for her to see or hear anything that was done in her absence. Miss Catherine now desired me to touch, with my finger, one of the bits of paper—any one I pleased. I touched the second—and Miss Mary was then called in by her sister, who said to her, as she entered,—“Be quick.”—Miss Mary immediately advanced to the table, and unhesitatingly designated the second paper as that which I touched while she was out of the room. Being unacquainted with the trick, I was really surprised; and wondered how she could have guessed so correctly. The trick was several times repeated, and every time with perfect success.

After I had been thoroughly astonished, and declared my utter inability to fathom the mystery, the sisters explained to me its very simple process. The four bits of paper, arranged on the table in a row, denoted the four first letters of the alphabet.—When I touched the second, (which signified B,) Miss Catherine directed her sister to it by saying, as she returned to the room—“Be quick.”—When I touched the third—D—Miss Mary, on her entrance, was saluted by her sister with the words—“Do you think you can tell?”—After I had touched the first paper, A, Miss Mary was asked—“Are you sure you can guess?”—and when I touched C, Miss Catherine said to Miss Mary, “Come and try once more.” And thus, by commencing each sentence with the letter that had just been touched, she unfailingly pointed out to her sister the exact paper. To succeed in this little trick, there must, of course, be an understanding between the two persons that exhibit it: and to most of the uninitiated it appears very surprising. By adopting a similar plan of collusion, some of the professors of Mesmerism have contrived to obtain from their magnetized sleepers, replies which, to the audience, seemed truly astonishing.

We now arose to take our leave; and our attention was then directed to a square pine table standing by one of the windows, and covered with particularly uninviting specimens of pincushions, needle-books, emery-bags, &c. The old ladies informed us that this was a charity table, which they kept for the benefit of “the poor.” I had thought that the Miss Byleses were their own poor. However, we gratified them by adding a trifling sum to their means of doing good: and I became the proprietor of the ugliest needle-book I had ever seen. But I magnanimously left the less ugly things to tempt the choice of those persons who really make an object of their purchases at charity tables.—“Dear good little me.”

The Miss Byleses were very urgent in inviting me to repeat my visit, saying, that any time of the day after nine o’clock, they were always ready to see company, and would be happy to receive me and such friends as I might wish to bring with me. And they enumerated among their visiters, from other parts of the Union, some highly eminent personages.

While we were listening to the “more last words” of Miss Catherine, her sister slipped out into the very short passage that led to the house door, and then slipped back again. We, at last, paid our parting compliments, and Miss Mary escorted us to the front door, but seemed to find it locked, and seemed to find it impossible to unlock. This gave her occasion to say wittily—“The ladies will have to send home for their night-caps; as they are likely to be kept here all night.” Luckily, however, this necessity was obviated, by the key yielding as soon as it was turned the right way: and finally Miss Mary Byles curtsied and smiled us out.

(To be concluded.)





Night has eyes—sparkling eyes!

  Some soft, some bright;

The flashing fire ne’er dies

  From eyes of night.


Night has many wooers

  To watch her eyes,

To love her silent hours

  And mellow skies.


Night has a witching spell

  To bind the heart;

Its silent glances quell

  And awe impart.


A perfumed breath has Night:

  It wafts the sighs

Of flowers young and bright

  Around the skies.


Night has a breathing tone

  Like distant swell

Of softest music, thrown

  From fairy’s knell.


Oh! how I love the Night!

  Its sparkling eyes—

Its softened shadowy light—

  Its melodies.







Philadelphia: John F. Nunns, 184 Chesnut Street.


Thy name was once the magic spell

  By which my heart was bound,

And burning dreams of light and love,

  Were waken’d by that


My heart beat quick, when stranger tongues

  With idle praise or blame,

Awoke its deepest thrill of life,

  To tremble at thy name.


Long years, long years have pass’d away,

  And alter’d is thy brow,

And we who met so fondly once,

  Must meet as strangers now;

The friends of yore come round me still,

  But talk no more of thee;

’Tis idle e’en to wish it now—

  For what art thou to me?


Yet still thy name, thy blessed name,

  My lonely bosom fills,

Like an echo that hath lost itself,

  Among the distant hills,

Which still with melancholy note,

  Keeps faintly lingering on,

When the joyous sound that woke it first,

  Is gone, for ever gone.


In commencing, with the New Year, a New Volume, we shall be permitted to say a very few words by way of exordium to our usual chapter of Reviews, or, as we should prefer calling them, of Critical Notices. Yet we speak not for the sake of the exordium, but because we have really something to say, and know not when or where better to say it.

That the public attention, in America, has, of late days, been more than usually directed to the matter of literary criticism, is plainly apparent. Our periodicals are beginning to acknowledge the importance of the science (shall we so term it?) and to disdain the flippant opinion which so long has been made its substitute.

Time was when we imported our critical decisions from the mother country. For many years we enacted a perfect farce of subserviency to the dicta of Great Britain. At last a revulsion of feeling, with self-disgust, necessarily ensued. Urged by these, we plunged into the opposite extreme. In throwing totally off that “authority,” whose voice had so long been so sacred, we even surpassed, and by much, our original folly. But the watchword now was, “a national literature!”—as if any true literature could be “national”—as if the world at large were not the only proper stage for the literary histrio. We became, suddenly, the merest and maddest partizans in letters. Our papers spoke of “tariffs” and “protection.” Our Magazines had habitual passages about that “truly native novelist, Mr. Cooper,” or that “staunch American genius, Mr. Paulding.” Unmindful of the spirit of the axioms that “a prophet has no honor in his own land” and that “a hero is never a hero to his valet-de-chambre”—axioms founded in reason and in truth—our reviews urged the propriety—our booksellers the necessity, of strictly “American” themes. A foreign subject, at this epoch, was a weight more than enough to drag down into the very depths of critical damnation the finest writer owning nativity in the States; while, on the reverse, we found ourselves daily in the paradoxical dilemma of liking, or pretending to like, a stupid book the better because (sure enough) its stupidity was of our own growth, and discussed our own affairs.

It is, in fact, but very lately that this anomalous state of feeling has shown any signs of subsidence. Still it is subsiding. Our views of literature in general having expanded, we begin to demand the use—to inquire into the offices and provinces of criticism—to regard it more as an art based immoveably in nature, less as a mere system of fluctuating and conventional dogmas. And, with the prevalence of these ideas, has arrived a distaste even to the home-dictation of the bookseller-coteries. If our editors are not as yet all independent of the will of a publisher, a majority of them scruple, at least, to confess a subservience, and enter into no positive combinations against the minority who despise and discard it. And this is a very great improvement of exceedingly late date.

Escaping these quicksands, our criticism is nevertheless in some danger—some very little danger—of falling into the pit of a most detestable species of cant—the cant of generality. This tendency has been given it, in the first instance, by the onward and tumultuous spirit of the age. With the increase of the thinking-material comes the desire, if not the necessity, of abandoning particulars for masses. Yet in our individual case, as a nation, we seem merely to have adopted this bias from the British Quarterly Reviews, upon which our own Quarterlies have been slavishly and pertinaciously modelled. In the foreign journal, the review or criticism properly so termed, has gradually yet steadily degenerated into what we see it at present—that is to say into anything but criticism. Originally a “review,” was not so called as lucus a non lucendo. Its name conveyed a just idea of its design. It reviewed, or surveyed the book whose title formed its text, and, giving an analysis of its contents, passed judgment upon its merits or defects. But, through the system of anonymous contribution, this natural process lost ground from day to day. The name of a writer being known only to a few, it became to him an object not so much to write well, as to write fluently, at so many guineas per sheet. The analysis of a book is a matter of time and of mental exertion. For many classes of composition there is required a deliberate perusal, with notes, and subsequent generalization. An easy substitute for this labor was found in a digest or compendium of the work noticed, with copious extracts—or a still easier, in random comments upon such passages as accidentally met the eye of the critic, with the passages themselves copied at full length. The mode of reviewing most in favor, however, because carrying with it the greatest semblance of care, was that of diffuse essay upon the subject matter of the publication, the reviewer (?) using the facts alone which the publication supplied, and using them as material for some theory, the sole concern, bearing, and intention of which, was mere difference of opinion with the author. These came at length to be understood and habitually practised as the customary or conventional fashions of review; and although the nobler order of intellects did not fall into the full heresy of these fashions—we may still assert that even Macaulay’s nearest approach to criticism in its legitimate sense, is to be found in his article upon Ranke’s “History of the Popes”—an article in which the whole strength of the reviewer is put forth to account for a single fact—the progress of Romanism—which the book under discussion has established.

Now, while we do not mean to deny that a good essay is a good thing, we yet assert that these papers on general topics have nothing whatever to do with that criticism which their evil example has nevertheless infected in se. Because these dogmatising pamphlets, which were once “Reviews,” have lapsed from their original faith, it does not follow that the faith itself is extinct—that “there shall be no more cakes and ale”—that criticism, in its old acceptation, does not exist. But we complain of a growing inclination on the part of our lighter journals to believe, on such grounds, that such is the fact—that because the British Quarterlies, through supineness, and our own, through a degrading imitation, have come to merge all varieties of vague generalization in the one title of “Review,” it therefore results that criticism, being everything in the universe, is, consequently, nothing whatever in fact. For to this end, and to none other conceivable, is the tendency of such propositions, for example, as we find in a late number of that very clever monthly magazine, Arcturus.

“But now” (the emphasis on the now is our own)—“But now,” says Mr. Mathews, in the preface to the first volume of his journal, “criticism has a wider scope and a universal interest. It dismisses errors of grammar, and hands over an imperfect rhyme or a false quantity to the proof-reader; it looks now to the heart of the subject and the author’s design. It is a test of opinion. Its acuteness is not pedantic, but philosophical; it unravels the web of the author’s mystery to interpret his meaning to others; it detects his sophistry, because sophistry is injurious to the heart and life; it promulgates his beauties with liberal, generous praise, because this is its true duty as the servant of truth. Good criticism may be well asked for, since it is the type of the literature of the day. It gives method to the universal inquisitiveness on every topic relating to life or action. A criticism, now, includes every form of literature, except perhaps the imaginative and the strictly dramatic. It is an essay, a sermon, an oration, a chapter in history, a philosophical speculation, a prose-poem, an art-novel, a dialogue; it admits of humor, pathos, the personal feelings of auto-biography, the broadest views of statesmanship. As the ballad and the epic were the productions of the days of Homer, the review is the native characteristic growth of the nineteenth century.”

We respect the talents of Mr. Mathews, but must dissent from nearly all that he here says. The species of “review” which he designates as the “characteristic growth of the nineteenth century” is only the growth of the last twenty or thirty years in Great Britain. The French Reviews, for example, which are not anonymous, are very different things, and preserve the unique spirit of true criticism. And what need we say of the Germans?—what of Winkelmann, of Novalis, of Schelling, of Göethe, of Augustus William, and of Frederick Schlegel?—that their magnificent critiques raisonnées differ from those of Kaimes, of Johnson, and of Blair, in principle not at all, (for the principles of these artists will not fail until Nature herself expires,) but solely in their more careful elaboration, their greater thoroughness, their more profound analysis and application of the principles themselves. That a criticism “now” should be different in spirit, as Mr. Mathews supposes, from a criticism at any previous period, is to insinuate a charge of variability in laws that cannot vary—the laws of man’s heart and intellect—for these are the sole basis upon which the true critical art is established. And this art “now” no more than in the days of the “Dunciad,” can, without neglect of its duty, “dismiss errors of grammar,” or “hand over an imperfect rhyme or a false quantity to the proof-reader.” What is meant by a “test of opinion” in the connexion here given the words by Mr. M., we do not comprehend as clearly as we could desire. By this phrase we are as completely enveloped in doubt as was Mirabeau in the castle of If. To our imperfect appreciation it seems to form a portion of that general vagueness which is the tone of the whole philosophy at this point:—but all that which our journalist describes a criticism to be, is all that which we sturdily maintain it is not. Criticism is not, we think, an essay, nor a sermon, nor an oration, nor a chapter in history, nor a philosophical speculation, nor a prose-poem, nor an art novel, nor a dialogue. In fact, it can be nothing in the world but—a criticism. But if it were all that Arcturus imagines, it is not very clear why it might not be equally “imaginative” or “dramatic”—a romance or a melo-drama, or both. That it would be a farce cannot be doubted.

It is against this frantic spirit of generalization that we protest. We have a word, “criticism,” whose import is sufficiently distinct, through long usage, at least; and we have an art of high importance and clearly-ascertained limit, which this word is quite well enough understood to represent. Of that conglomerate science to which Mr. Mathews so eloquently alludes, and of which we are instructed that it is anything and everything at once—of this science we know nothing, and really wish to know less; but we object to our contemporary’s appropriation in its behalf, of a term to which we, in common with a large majority of mankind, have been accustomed to attach a certain and very definitive idea. Is there no word but “criticism” which may be made to serve the purposes of “Arcturus?” Has it any objection to Orphicism, or Dialism, or Emersonism, or any other pregnant compound indicative of confusion worse confounded?

Still, we must not pretend a total misapprehension of the idea of Mr. Mathews, and we should be sorry that he misunderstood us. It may be granted that we differ only in terms—although the difference will yet be found not unimportant in effect. Following the highest authority, we would wish, in a word, to limit literary criticism to comment upon Art. A book is written—and it is only as the book that we subject it to review. With the opinions of the work, considered otherwise than in their relation to the work itself, the critic has really nothing to do. It is his part simply to decide upon the mode in which these opinions are brought to bear. Criticism is thus no “test of opinion.” For this test, the work, divested of its pretensions as an art-product, is turned over for discussion to the world at large—and first, to that class which it especially addresses—if a history, to the historian—if a metaphysical treatise, to the moralist. In this, the only true and intelligible sense, it will be seen that criticism, the test or analysis of Art, (not of opinion,) is only properly employed upon productions which have their basis in art itself, and although the journalist (whose duties and objects are multiform) may turn aside, at pleasure, from the mode or vehicle of opinion to discussion of the opinion conveyed—it is still clear that he is “critical” only in so much as he deviates from his true province not at all.

And of the critic himself what shall we say?—for as yet we have spoken only the proem to the true epopea. What can we better say of him than, with Bulwer, that “he must have courage to blame boldly, magnanimity to eschew envy, genius to appreciate, learning to compare, an eye for beauty, an ear for music, and a heart for feeling.” Let us add, a talent for analysis and a solemn indifference to abuse.

Stanley Thorn. By Henry Cockton, Esq., Author of “Valentine Vox, the Ventriloquist,” etc., with Numerous Illustrations, designed by Cruikshank, Leech, etc., and engraved by Yeager. Lea and Blanchard: Philadelphia.

“Charles O’Malley,” “Harry Lorrequer,” “Valentine Vox,” “Stanley Thorn,” and some other effusions now “in course of publication,” are novels depending for effect upon what gave popularity to “Peregrine Pickle”—we mean practiced joke. To men whose animal spirits are high, whatever may be their mental ability, such works are always acceptable. To the uneducated, to those who read little, to the obtuse in intellect (and these three classes constitute the mass) these books are not only acceptable, but are the only ones which can be called so. We here make two divisions—that of the men who can think but who dislike thinking; and that of the men who either have not been presented with the materials for thought, or who have no brains with which to “work up” the material. With these classes of people “Stanley Thorn” is a favorite. It not only demands no reflection, but repels it, or dissipates it—much as a silver rattle the wrath of a child. It is not in the least degree suggestive. Its readers arise from its perusal with the identical ideas in possession at sitting down. Yet, during perusal, there has been a tingling physico-mental exhilaration, somewhat like that induced by a cold bath, or a flesh-brush, or a gallop on horseback—a very delightful and very healthful matter in its way. But these things are not letters. “Valentine Vox” and “Charles O’Malley” are no more “literature” than cat-gut is music. The visible and tangible tricks of a baboon belong not less to the belles-lettres than does “Harry Lorrequer.” When this gentleman adorns his countenance with lamp-black, knocks over an apple-woman, or brings about a rent in his pantaloons, we laugh at him when bound up in a volume, just as we would laugh at his adventures if happening before our eyes in the street. But mere incidents, whether serious or comic, whether occurring or described—mere incidents are not books. Neither are they the basis of books—of which the idiosyncrasy is thought in contradistinction from deed. A book without action cannot be; but a book is only such, to the extent of its thought, independently of its deed. Thus of Algebra; which is, or should be, defined as “a mode of computing with symbols by means of signs.” With numbers, as Algebra, it has nothing to do; and although no algebraic computation can proceed without numbers, yet Algebra is only such to the extent of its analysis, independently of its Arithmetic.

We do not mean to find fault with the class of performances of which “Stanley Thorn” is one. Whatever tends to the amusement of man tends to his benefit. Aristotle, with singular assurance, has declared poetry the most philosophical of all writing, (spoudiotaton kai philosophikotaton genos) defending it principally upon that score. He seems to think,—and many following him, have thought—that the end of all literature should be instruction—a favorite dogma of the school of Wordsworth. But it is a truism that the end of our existence is happiness. If so, the end of every separate aim of our existence—of every thing connected with our existence, should be still—happiness. Therefore, the end of instruction should be happiness—and happiness, what is it but the extent or duration of pleasure?—therefore, the end of instruction should be pleasure. But the cant of the Lakists would establish the exact converse, and make the end of all pleasure instruction. In fact, ceteris paribus, he who pleases is of more importance to his fellow man than he who instructs, since the dulce is alone the utile, and pleasure is the end already attained, which instruction is merely the means of attaining. It will be said that Wordsworth, with Aristotle, has reference to instruction with eternity in view; but either such cannot be the tendency of his argument, or he is laboring at a sad disadvantage; for his works—or at least those of his school—are professedly to be understood by the few, and it is the many who stand in need of salvation. Thus the moralist’s parade of measures would be as completely thrown away as are those of the devil in “Melmoth,” who plots and counterplots through three octavo volumes for the entrapment of one or two souls, while any common devil would have demolished one or two thousand.

When, therefore, we assert that these practical-joke publications are not “literature,” because not “thoughtful” in any degree, we must not be understood as objecting to the thing in itself, but to its claim upon our attention as critic. Dr.—what is his name?—strings together a number of facts or fancies which, when printed, answer the laudable purpose of amusing a very large, if not a very respectable number of people. To this proceeding upon the part of the Doctor—or on the part of his imitator, Mr. Jeremy Stockton, the author of “Valentine Vox,” we can have no objection whatever. His books do not please us. We will not read them. Still less shall we speak of them seriously as books. Being in no respect works of art, they neither deserve, nor are amenable to criticism.

“Stanley Thorn” may be described, in brief, as a collection, rather than as a series, of practical haps and mishaps, befalling a young man very badly brought up by his mother. He flogs his father with a codfish, and does other similar things. We have no fault to find with him whatever except that, in the end, he does not come to the gallows.

We have no great fault to find with him, but with Mr. Bockton, his father, much. He is a consummate plagiarist; and, in our opinion, nothing more despicable exists. There is not a good incident in his book (?) of which we cannot point out the paternity with at least a sufficient precision. The opening adventures are all in the style of “Cyril Thornton.” Bob, following Amelia in disguise, is borrowed from one of the Smollet or Fielding novels—there are many of our readers who will be able to say which. The cab driven over the Crescent trottoir, is from Pierce Egan. The swindling tricks of Colonel Somebody, at the commencement of the novel, and of Captain Filcher afterwards, are from “Pickwick Abroad.” The doings at Madame Pompour’s (or some such name) with the description of Isabelle, are from “Ecarté, or the Salons of Paris”—a rich book. The Sons-of-Glory scene (or its wraith) we have seen—somewhere; while (not to be tedious) the whole account of Stanley’s election, from his first conception of the design, through the entire canvass, the purchasing of the “Independents,” the row at the hustings, the chairing, the feast, and the petition, is so obviously stolen from “Ten Thousand a-Year” as to be disgusting. Bob and the “old venerable”—what are they but feeble reflections of young and old Weller? The tone of the narration throughout is an absurd echo of Boz. For example—“ ‘We’ve come agin about them there little accounts of ourn—question is do you mean to settle ’em or don’t you?’ His colleagues, by whom he was backed, highly approved of this question, and winked and nodded with the view of intimating to each other that in their judgment that was the point.” Who so dull as to give Mr. Bogton any more credit for these things than we give the buffoon for the rôle which he has committed to memory?

That the work will prove amusing to many readers, we do not pretend to deny. The claims of Mr. Frogton, and not of his narrative, are what we especially discuss.

The edition before us is clearly printed on good paper. The designs are by Cruikshank and Leech; and it is observable that those of the latter are more effective in every respect than those of the former and far more celebrated artist.

The Vicar of Wakefield, A Tale. By Oliver Goldsmith, M. B. Illustrated with Numerous Engravings. With an Account of the Author’s Life and Writings. By J. Aikin, M. D., Author of Select Works of the British Poets. D. Appleton and Co: New York.

This publication is one of a class which it behoves every editor in the country to encourage, at all times, by every good word in his power—the class, we mean of well printed and, especially, of well illustrated works from among the standard fictions of England. We place particular emphasis upon the mechanical style of these reprints. The criticism which affects to despise these adventitious aids to the enjoyment of a work of art is at best but étourderie. The illustration, to be sure, is not always in accordance with our own understanding of the text; and this fact, although we never hear it urged, is, perhaps, the most reasonable objection which can be urged against pictorial embellishment—for the unity of conception is disturbed; but this disturbance takes place only in very slight measure (provided the work be worth illustration at all) and its disadvantages are far more than counterbalanced by the pleasure (to most minds a very acute one) of comparing our comprehension of the author’s ideas with that of the artist. If our imagination is feeble, the design will probably be in advance of our conception, and thus each picture will stimulate, support, and guide the fancy. If, on the contrary, the thought of the artist is inferior, there is the stimulus of contrast with the excitement of triumph. Thus, in the contemplation of a statue, or of an individual painting of merit, the pleasure derivable from the comments of a bystander is easily and keenly appreciable, while these comments interfere, in no perceptible degree, with the force or the unity of our own comprehension. We never knew a man of genius who did not confess an interest in even the worst illustrations of a good book—although we have known many men of genius (who should have known better) make the confession with reluctance, as if one which implied something of imbecility or disgrace.

The present edition of one of the most admirable fictions in the language, is, in every respect, very beautiful. The type and paper are magnificent. The designs are very nearly what they should be. They are sketchy, spirited cuts, depending for effect upon the higher merits rather than upon the minor morals of art—upon skilful grouping of figures, vivacity, naïveté and originality of fancy, and good drawing in the mass—rather than upon finish in details, or too cautious adherence to the text. Some of the scraps at the commencement are too diminutive to be distinct in the style of workmanship employed, and thus have a blurred appearance; but this is nearly all the fault we can find. In general, these apparent trifles are superb; and a great number of them are of a nature to elicit enthusiastic praise from every true artist.

The Memoir by Dr. Aikin is highly interesting, and embodies in a pleasing narrative, (with little intermixture of criticism upon what no longer requires it,) all that is, or need be known of Oliver Goldsmith. In the opening page of this Memoir is an error (perhaps typographical) which, as it is upon the opening page, has an awkward appearance, and should be corrected. We allude to the word “protégée,” which, in the sense, or rather with the reference intended, should be printed protégé. This is a very usual mistake.

Tales and Souvenirs of a Residence in Europe. By a Lady of Virginia. Lea and Blanchard: Philadelphia.

Barring some trifling affectation, (apparent, for example, in heading a plain English chapter with the French Pensées,) this volume is very creditable to Mrs. Rives—for it seems to be well understood that the fair author, in this case, is the wife of the well-known Senator from Virginia.

The work is modestly prefaced, and disclaims all pretension. It is a mere re-gathering of sketches, written originally for the amusement of friends. A lady-like taste and delicacy (without high merit of any kind) pervade the whole. The style is somewhat disfigured by pleonasms—or rather, overburdened with epithets: a common fault with enthusiastic writers who want experience in the world of letters. For example:

“There is an inexpressible pleasure in gliding rapidly in a little car, over the neat but narrow turnpike roads, bordered by hawthorn hedges, looking out upon bright fields, clothed with the richest and most exquisite verdure, occasionally catching a glimpse of some sequestered cottage, with its miniature gravel walks, and innumerable flowers, which, at this season, in the distant land of the traveller, may have bloomed and passed away, but which here offer their brilliant tints, and rich perfume; while on the other hand some proud castle rises in bold relief against the dappled sky.”

Of mere errors of grammar there are more than sufficient; and we are constrained to say that the very first sentence of the book conveys a gross instance of faulty construction.

“The gratification of friends must once more serve as an apology for permitting the following souvenirs to see the light.”

Has the gratification of friends ever before served as an apology for permitting the following souvenirs to see the light?

The Poetical Works of Reginald Heber, Late Bishop of Calcutta. Lea and Blanchard: Philadelphia.

It was only a year ago that the poems of Heber were first given to the public in a collection, from which the present edition is a re-print; but, individually, the pieces here presented have been long and favorably known—with the exception of two or three lighter effusions, now first published.

The qualities of Heber are well understood. His poetry is of a high order. He is imaginative, glowing, and vigorous, with a skill in the management of his means unsurpassed by that of any writer of his time, but without any high degree of originality. Can there be anything in the nature of a “classical” life at war with novelty per se? At all events, few fine scholars, such as Heber truly was, are original.

The volume before us is a study for the poet in the depth and breadth of its execution. Few nobler poems were, upon the whole, ever penned than are “Europe,” “The Passage of the Dead Sea,” and the “Morte D’Arthur.” The minor pieces generally are very naïve and beautiful. The Latin “Carmen Seculare” would not have disgraced Horace himself. Its versification is perfect. A sketch of the author’s life would have well prefaced the edition, and we are sorry to miss it.

The Poetical Works of Lord Byron. Complete in one volume. J. B. Lippincott and Co: Philadelphia.

This is a duodecimo of six hundred and eight pages, including all the poetic works of Lord Byron. The type is, of course, small—a fine nonpareil—but very clear and beautiful; while the paper is of excellent quality, and the press-work carefully done. There is a good plate engraved by Pease from Saunders’ painting of the poet at nineteen, and another (by the same engraver) of a design of Hucknall Church by Westall. The binding is neat and substantial; and the edition, on the whole, is one we can recommend. The type is somewhat too diminutive for weak eyes—but for readers who have no deficiency in this regard—or as a work of reference—nothing could be better.

As a literary performance it is scarcely necessary to speak of this compilation. We make objection, however, and pointedly, to the omission of the biographer’s name. A sketch of the nature here inserted is worth nothing when anonymous. Nine-tenths of the value attached to a certain very rambling collection of Lives, depends upon our cognizance of their having been indited by Plutarch.

Critical and Miscellaneous Essays. By Christopher North, (Professor Wilson.) In Three Volumes. Carey and Hart: Philadelphia.

This publication is well-timed—if, at least, there be any truth in the report, that Professor Wilson is about to visit this country. The reception of the man will thus be made a part of the perusal of his works. And very glorious works they are. No man of his age has shown greater versatility of talent, and few, of any age, richer powers of imagination. His literary influence has far exceeded that of any Englishman who ever existed. His scholarship, if not profound, is excursive; his criticism, if not always honest, is analytical, enthusiastic, and original in manner. His wit is vigorous, his humor great, his sarcasm bitter. His high animal spirits give a dashing, free, hearty and devil-may-care tone to all his compositions—a tone which has done more towards establishing his literary popularity and dominion than any single quality for which he is remarkable. The faults of Professor Wilson, as might be supposed from the traits of his merits, are many and great. He is frequently led into gross injustice through personal feeling—this is his chief sin. His tone is often flippant. His scholarship is questionable as regards extent and accuracy. His style is apt to degenerate, or rather rush, into a species of bombastic periphrasis and apostrophe, of which our own Mr. John Neal has given the best American specimens. His analysis, although true in principle (as is always the case with the idealist) and often profound, is nevertheless deficient in that calm breadth and massive deliberateness which are the features of such intellects as that of Verülam. In short, the opinions of Professor Wilson can never be safely adopted without examination.

The three beautiful volumes now published, will be followed by another, embracing the more elaborate criticisms of the author,—the celebrated critiques upon Homer, &c., which it has not been thought expedient to include in this collection.

Pocahontas, and Other Poems. By Mrs. L. H. Sigourney. Harper and Brothers: New York.

Some years ago we had occasion to speak of “Zinzendorf, and Other Poems,” by Mrs. Sigourney, and at that period we found, or fancied that we found many points, in her general manner, which called for critical animadversion. At no period, however, have we been so rash as to dispute her claim to high rank among the poets of the land. In the volume now published by the Messieurs Harper, we are proud to discover not one of those more important blemishes which were a stain upon her earlier style. We had accused her of imitation of Mrs. Hemans—but this imitation is no longer apparent.

The author of “Pocahontas” (an unusually fine poem of which we may take occasion to speak fully hereafter) has also abandoned a very foolish mannerism with which she was erewhile infected—the mannerism of heading her pieces with paragraphs, or quotations, by way of text, from which the poem itself ensued as a sermon. This was an exceedingly inartistical practice, and one now well discarded.

The lesser pieces in the volume before us have, for the most part, already met our eye as fugitive effusions. In general, they deserve all commendation.

“Pocahontas” is a far finer poem than a late one on the same subject by Mr. Seba Smith. Mrs. Sigourney, however, has the wrong accentuation of Powhatan. In the second stanza of the poem, too, “harassed” is in false quantity. We speak of these trifles merely en passant.

Hereafter we may speak in full.

The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford: Including Numerous Letters now first published from the Original Manuscripts. In Four Volumes. Lea and Blanchard: Philadelphia.

Horace Walpole has been well termed “the prince of epistolary writers,” and his Letters, which in this edition are given chronologically, form a very complete and certainly a very piquant commentary on the events of his age, as well as a record, in great part, of the most important historical transactions from 1735 to 1797.

Prefixed to the collection are the author’s “Reminiscences of the Courts of George the First and Second”—Reminiscences which have been styled “the very perfection of anecdote writing.” There is, also, the “Life,” by Lord Dover. The volumes are magnificent octavos of nearly 600 pages each, beautifully printed on excellent paper, and handsomely bound. It is really superfluous to recommend these books. Every man who pretends to a library will purchase them of course.

The Early English Church. By Edward Churton, M. D., Rector of Crayke, Durham. With a Preface by the Rt. Rev. L. Silliman Ives, M. D., Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of N. Carolina. From the second London edition. D. Appleton and Co.: New York.

The title of this volume does not fully explain its character. The aim of the writer, to use his own words, has been “by searching the earliest records of English history, to lay before the English reader a faithful picture of the life and manners of his Christian forefathers.” This design, as far as we have been able to judge in a very cursory examination, is well executed.

The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. By Daniel De Foe, with a Memoir of the Author, and an Essay on his Writings. With Illustrations by Grandville. D. Appleton and Co.: New York.

A magnificent edition—to our taste the most magnificent edition—of Robinson Crusoe. The designs by Grandville are in a very superb style of art—bold, striking, and original—the drawing capital.

Somerville Hall, or Hints to those who would make Home Happy. By Mrs. Ellis, author of “Women of England,” “Poetry of Life,” etc. etc. D. Appleton and Co.: New York.

This interesting volume is one of a series to be entitled “Tales for the People and their Children.” To this series Miss Martineau and Mary Howitt will contribute.

Wild Western Scenes. Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4. By J. Beauchamp Jones. Philadelphia: Drew and Scammell.

Mr. Jones is a man of talent, and these descriptions of Wild Western Life evince it. We read each successive number with additional zest.

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. Other errors have been corrected as noted below. For the text only version of this eBook, in the article “An Appendix of Autographs”, the various signatures which were given in other eBook formats as an illustration, are represented in the text version as text with variable spacing and punctuation representing the way in which the particular signature is handwritten.


An interesting note on the poem “Agathè.—A Necromaunt. In Three Chimeras” which begins in this issue of Graham’s, is that it was plagiarized by Mr. Tasistro. It was previously published as a stand alone publication in 1831, titled “Death-Wake, or Lunacy, A Necromaunt. In Three Chimeras.” by Thomas T. Stoddart. Copies of Mr. Stoddart’s poem can be found online for those interested in comparing the two.


page 64, Miss Mary, having completed ==> Miss Catherine, having completed

page 64, Miss Catherine made some objection ==> Miss Mary made some objection



[The end of Graham's Magazine Vol XX No. 1 January 1842 edited by George Rex Graham]