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Title: Graham's Magazine Vol. XXI No. 1 July 1842

Date of first publication: 1842

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

Date first posted: Feb. 21, 2022

Date last updated: Feb. 21, 2022

Faded Page eBook #20220258

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


Vol. XXI.      July, 1842      No. 1.


Fiction, Literature and Articles
The Polish Mother
The Fancy-Fair
Harry Cavendish
The Bridal
The Lightning of the Waters
The Sisters
Boston Ramblings
The Brother and Sister
Tropical Birds
The Girdle of Fire
Review of New Books
Poetry, Music and Fashion
“Thou Hast Loved.”
Morning Prayer
Le Faineant
The Dying Minstrel to His Muse
The Daughter of Herodias
A Dirge
Sonnet to My Mother
To An Infant in the Cradle
Will Nobody Marry Me?
To ——
The Stage
“To Win the Love of Thee.”
Latest Fashions

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
































An Appeal in behalf of an International Copyright. By Cornelius Mathews,14
Bridal, The. By Robert Morris,13
Boston Ramblings. By Miss Leslie,33
Brother and Sister, The. By Emma C. Embury,38
Bud and Blossom, The. By Mrs. Seba Smith. (Illustrated.),61
Bryant, Wm. C., his Writings,102
Ben Blower’s Story. By Charles Fenno Hoffman,132
Bogart, Alexander H.,155
Bainbridge, Memoir of. By J. Fenimore Cooper,240
Barrett, Elizabeth B.,303
Characterless Women. By Mrs. Seba Smith,199
Clam Bake, The. By Jeremy Short,215
Charles VIII. of France, Segur’s Life of,286
De Pontis, a Tale of Richelieu. By the Author of “Henri Quatre,”65, 135, 172, 235
Dawes, Rufus, The Poetry of. By Edgar A. Poe,205
Dale, Richard, Memoir of. By J. Fenimore Cooper,289
Error, A Tale. By Emma C. Embury,83
Editor’s Table,106, 155, 221, 286, 343
Fancy Fair, The. By Mrs. A. M. F. Annan,4
Fitch, John, Notice of. By Noah Webster,108
Girdle of Fire, The. By Percie H. Selton,50
Harry Cavendish. By the “Author of Cruising in the last War,”9, 69, 117, 201, 281, 330
Hester Ormesby. By Mrs. Emma C. Embury,269
Hasty Marriage, The. By Robert Morris,336
Johnsons, The. By Mrs. Ann S. Stephens,96
Lightning of the Waters. By Reynell Coates, M. D.,16
Malina Gray. By Mrs. Ann S. Stephens,210, 273, 304
Minstrelsy of the Revolution,221
Niagara Falls, Letter from. By Horace Greeley,107
Night at Haddon Hall, A. By the Author of “Letters from Ancient Castles,”194
Polish Mother, The. (Illustrated.),1
Persecutor’s Daughter. By C. J. Peterson,320
Reviews of New Books,56, 102, 152, 218, 286, 339
Reprimand, The. By Epes Sargent. (Illustrated.),216
Race for a Sweetheart, A. By Seba Smith,326
Sisters, The, A Tale of the Sixteenth Century. By Henry W. Herbert,21, 73, 125
Shakspeare. By Theodore S. Fay,142, 192
Somers, Richard, Memoir of. By J. Fenimore Cooper,157
Sketch of a Case, or a Physician Extraordinary. By “Mary Clavers,”187
Scott’s Critical Writings,218
Speculation, or Dyspepsia Cured. By H. T. Tuckerman,279
Tropical Birds. By Park Benjamin,44
Tennyson’s Poems,152
Talfourd’s Miscellaneous Writings,218
Truth, A Tale. By Mrs. Frances Sargent Osgood,316
Waste Paper, A Tale. By Mrs. Frances Sargent Osgood,146
Young Wife, The. By the Author of “A Marriage of Convenience,”257
Autumn. By Albert Pike,37
Autumn, Approach of. By Wm. Falconer,124
Alice, The Lady. (Illustrated.) By Park Benjamin,145
Autumn, A Reverie in. By Wm. Falconer,209
Affection, True. (Illustrated.),319
Callore. By Alexander A. Irvine,20
Daughter of Herodius, The. By Mrs. Frances Sargent Osgood,14
Dirge. By James Russell Lowell,31
Elizabeth. By J. T. S. Sullivan,68
Faineant, Le. By Charles F. Hoffman,8
Farewell, The Exile’s. By W. H. Racey,68
Farewell to a Fashionable Acquaintance. By S. G. Goodrich,95
Fame, The Student’s Dream of. By Robert Morris,101
First and Last Parting. By C. F. Hoffman,191
Farewell, The,329
“Hath not thy Rose a Canker?” By Lois B. Adams,82
Heart, The Haunted. By Mary L. Lawson,141
Hymn for the Funeral of a Child. By James Aldrich,172
Holy Nights, The. By Henry Morford,332
“I Saw Her Once,” A Song. By Richard H. Dana,256
Life, The Future. By William Cullen Bryant,104
“Love’s Time is Now.” By Park Benjamin,200
L’Amour Sans Ailes. By C. F. Hoffman,272
Morning Prayer. (Illustrated.),3
Minstrel, The Dying, to his Muse. By Wm. Falconer,8
Maiden’s Sorrow, The. By Wm. C. Bryant,64
Madoc, The Song of. By G. Forester Barstow,120
My Mother. A Dream. By Mrs. Balmanno,239
Pets, The Playful. (Illustrated.),204
Prayer, The Child’s. By Robert Morris,234
Pastor’s Visit. (Illustrated.),336
Return of Youth. By Wm. C. Bryant,185
Religion, The Power of. By Miss A. C. Pratt. (Illustrated.),198
Sonnet. To my Mother. By T. H. Chivers,32
Stage, The. By William Wallace,53
Song. By Charles F. Hoffman,64
Sonnet. By W. W. Story,79
Song. By Hon. Mrs. Norton,95
Student, The Spanish. By Henry W. Longfellow,109, 196, 229
Storm, The Sunset. By Rufus W. Griswold,145
Sonnet. “Bear On,”175
Sonnet. The Smile,180
Sonnet. “Rejoice!”214
Sonnet. The Unattained. By Mrs. Seba Smith,256
Sonnet. The Serenade,279
Shepherd, The, and the Brook. By William Falconer,280
Sonnet. By Mrs. Seba Smith,303
Sonnets, Four. By Elizabeth B. Barrett,303
“Thou Hast Loved.” By Mrs. Seba Smith,3
To an Infant in the Cradle. By George B. Cheever,44
To ——. By George Lunt,53
To My Sisters. By Anna Cora Mowatt,72
To a Swallow. By Wm. Falconer,82
To Fanny H. By Mrs. Seba Smith,131
To a Lady Singing. By George Hill,191
To a Belle who is not a Blue Belle. By Mrs. Ellet,200
To Almeida in New England. By James T. Fields,204
To the Earth. By James Aldrich,204
To the Night Wind in Autumn. By George H. Colton,336
Uncas, The Last Leap of. By Park Benjamin,79
Viola. By James Aldrich,3
Voyage, The Life. By Mrs. F. S. Osgood,265
Watchers, The. (Illustrated.),64
Walk, The Forest, and Picnic. By Alfred B. Street,130
Will Nobody Marry Me? By Geo. P. Morris,44
Wintemoyeh: A Legend of Mackinaw. By George H. Colton,170
“You Call Us Inconstant.” By H. T. Tuckerman,134
Morning Prayer, engraved by Sadd.
The Polish Mother, engraved by Dunnell.
The Bud and Blossom, by Welch & Walter.
The Watchers, engraved by Sartain.
The Proposal, engraved by A. Jones.
The Lady Alice, engraved by Dick.
The Blessing, engraved by Dunnell.
The Playful Pets, engraved by Sartain.
The Pet Rabbit, engraved by Sadd.
The Reprimand, engraved by Gimbrede.
True Affection, by Rawdon, Wright & Hatch.
Awaiting the Husband’s Return, engraved by Sadd.
The Pastor’s Visit, engraved by Dick.
“To Win the Love of Thee,” A Ballad,54
The Zanoni Gallop,102
The September Waltz,151
The Summer Night,217
“Write to Me, Love,”285

image of two people with an infant

E. T. Parris.           E. G. Dunnel.

The Polish Mother.

Engraved expressly for Graham’s Magazine.


Vol. XXI.    PHILADELPHIA: JULY, 1842.    No. 1.


It was a gorgeous bridal. The old hall of the palace was lit up with a thousand lights, and crowded with all the wealth, beauty and rank of Poland. The apartment blazed with the jewels of its occupants. Princes with their proud dames, high officers of state, nobles whose domains vied in extent with kingdoms, and lordly beauties beneath whose gaze all bent in adoration, had gathered at that magnificent festival to do honor to the bridal of the fair daughter of their host. And loveliest among the lovely was the bride. Tall and majestic in every movement, with a queenly brow, and a face such as might have been that of the mother of the gods, she moved through the splendid apartment the theme of every admiring tongue. Nor less remarkable was her husband. Warsaw beheld no noble tread her palaces more lordly in his bearing than the Count Restchifky. The fire of a hundred warrior ancestors burned in his eye. The fame of his high lineage, of his extended possessions, of his feats in arms, followed his footsteps wherever he went. In manly beauty the court of Poland had no rival to the count, in majestic loveliness the realm furnished no equal to his bride. And now, as they stood together in that proud old hall, surrounded by all that was noble and beautiful in the land, the peerless beauty of the countess and the princely bearing of her husband shone pre-eminent.

Never had Warsaw seen such a festival. All that the most boundless wealth and all that a taste the most fastidious could do to add to the splendor of the occasion had been done, and the guests, one and all, bore testimony to the success of the princely entertainer. The air was laden with incense, flowers bloomed around, unseen music filled the hall with harmony, and statues and carvings of rare device met the eye at every turn. If Aladdin had been there he would not have asked that his enchanted palace should excel in magnificence the one before him. No visionary, in his wildest dream, could imagine aught more beautiful. And through this unrivalled ball the count and his bride moved, conscious that all this splendor was evoked for their honor, feeling that not a heart in all the vast assembly but envied their exalted lot. At every step congratulations met them until they turned away sick with adulation. What wonder that the rose grew still deeper on the cheek of the bride, that her eyes flashed with brighter brilliancy, or that her step became more queenly? Could aught mortal wholly resist the intoxication of that hour?

 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Years had elapsed. That fair young bride had become a mother; but time had passed over her without destroying one lineament of her majestic beauty. But the scene had changed from that through which she moved on her bridal night. There were no longer around her wealth and splendor and beauty, the flattery of the proud, the envy of the fair. She sat alone—alone with her two children, one a lovely girl of sixteen, and the other a smiling boy whose birth three years before had thrilled her husband’s heart with ecstasy, filled a province with rejoicings. But now that husband was away from her side, that province lay smoking around her. Her own proud home, where since her marriage she had spent the happiest hours of her life, had been sacked and given to the flames, and she now sat leaning against a shattered parapet, with her face buried in her hands, and the bitter tear of a mother’s anguish rolling down her cheeks. At her feet, leaning on her for succor, and clasping her hand, sat her daughter; while her boy, too young as yet to be conscious of the misery around him, smiled as he played with the jewelled cross depending from his mother’s neck. A broken sword, a dismounted cannon, the shattered staff of a lance, at the feet of the group, betokened that the vassals of the count had not yielded up her house to rapine without a deadly struggle; and indeed, of the hundreds of hearts which beat there, but the day before, only those of the mother and her two children had escaped captivity or death. Part of the palace was yet in flames, while, on the plain beyond, a village threw its lurid conflagration across the sky. Desolation and despair sat enthroned around. Who that had seen that mother on her bridal night, could have foretold that her after life would reveal a scene like this?

The Polish war for independence had broken out. Among the foremost of the patriotic band which perilled all for their country, was the Count Restchifky. His sword had been unsheathed at the outbreak of the conflict, his fortune had been poured the first into the coffers of the state. From his own estates he had raised and equipped as gallant a band as ever followed lord to the tented field. And for a short space the war seemed to prosper. But then came the reverse. From every quarter the haughty Catharine poured her countless legions, headed by the fierce Suwarrow, into Poland, and smoking fields and slaughtered armies soon told that the day of hope for that ill-fated land was over. Yet a few noble spirits, among whom the count was foremost, still held out for their country, fighting every foot of ground, and though retreating before the overwhelming forces of the foe, compelling him to purchase every rood of land he gained by the lives of hundreds of his venal followers. It was at this period, and while the count was far from his home, that his palace had been attacked, and given to the flames. Afar from succor, unconscious whether or not her husband yet lived, and trembling for the lives of her offspring amid the desolation which surrounded them, what wonder that even the proud heart of the countess gave way, and that she wept in utter agony over her ruined country and her dismantled home!

“Oh! mother,” said the daughter, “if we only knew where father was, or if he yet lived, we might still be happy. Wealth is nothing to us, for will we not still love each other? Dry your tears, dear mother, for something tells me that father lives and will yet rejoin us.”

At these words of comfort, more soothing because coming from a quarter so unexpected, the mother looked up, and, drawing her daughter to her bosom, kissed her, saying,

“You are right, my child. We will hope for the best. And if your father has indeed fallen, and we are alone in the world, I will remember that I have you to comfort me, and strive—to—be happy,” and, in despite of her effort to be calm, the tears gushed into her eyes at the bare thought of the possible loss of her husband.

“But see, mother,” suddenly exclaimed the daughter, “see the cloud of dust across the plain—can it betoken the return of the foe?” and she drew close to her mother’s side.

The mother gazed with eager eyes across the plain, and her cheek paled as she thought she distinguished the banner of Russia borne in the advance.

“It is, it is as I feared,” said the daughter, “they come to carry us into captivity. Oh! let us hide from their sight—there are secret recesses in the ruins yet where we might defy scrutiny.”

“No,” said the mother, all the spirit of her race rising in her at this crisis, “no, my daughter, it would not become us, like base-born churls, thus to fly from a foe. The wife and children of Count Restchifky will meet his enemies on his own hearth-stone, all dismantled though it be.”

With these words she clasped her babe closer to her bosom, and sat down again behind the parapet to await, as the daughter of a hundred princes should await, the approach of her murderers; and although perhaps her cheek was a hue paler, the lofty glance of her eye quailed not. Her daughter sank to her feet and buried her face in her mother’s robe. But after a few minutes she regained courage, and looked timidly out across the plain. At the first glance she started and said eagerly,

“But see, mother, can they really be enemies? They wave their banners as if to us—they increase their speed—surely, surely that gallant horseman in the advance is my own dear father.”

A moment the mother gazed eagerly on the approaching horseman, but a moment only. The eye of the wife saw that her husband was indeed there, and, with a glad cry, she clasped her children in her arms and burst into a flood of joyful tears. She was still weeping when the count, dismounting from his charger, rushed forward and clasped her in his arms.

“Thank God!” he ejaculated, “you at least are left to me. I had feared to find you no more. May the lightning of heaven blast the cravens who could thus desolate the home of a woman.”

“My husband, oh! my husband!” was all that the wife could say.

“Father, dear father, you are safe—oh! we shall yet be happy,” said the daughter as she clung to her restored parent.

The father kissed and re-kissed them all, and for once his stern nature was moved to tears, but they were tears of joy.

His story was soon told. Finding that all hope of saving his country was over, and eager to learn the fate of those he had left at home, he had cut his way through the enemy with a few gallant followers. As he drew near the vicinity of his palace, he had heard strange rumors of the sacking of his home, and on every side his own eyes beheld the ravages of the foe. Torn with a thousand fears respecting the fate of those he loved better than life, he had pressed madly on, and when the blackened and smoking walls of his palace had risen before him in the distance he had almost given way to despair. But, at length, his eager eye caught sight of a group amid the ruins, and his heart told him that those he loved remained yet to cheer his ruined fortunes.

No pen can do justice to the feelings of gratitude which throbbed in the bosom of that father as he pressed his wife and children successively to his heart. His plans were soon laid. He had, by remittances to England on the outbreak of the war, provided his family against want, and thither they now bent their steps. Over his ruined country he shed many a tear, but, at such times, the smiles of his wife and children were ever ready to cheer his despondency; and as he gazed on his lovely family he felt that there was much yet in this world to bid him be happy.





Dearest, in thine eye’s deep light

  Is a look to tears allied⁠—

Sorrow struggling with delight,

  Each the other seeks to hide;

Thou, the freighted ark of life

  Lonely floating on the sea,

With thy being’s treasure rife⁠—

  Thou hast wearied thus to be.


Thou hast sent thy dove from thee⁠—

  Forth hast launched thy dove of peace,

And the branch, though green it be,

  Can it bid thy doubtings cease?

Though it speak of hope the while,

  Verdant spots and sunny bowers,

Can it bring thee back the smile

  That beguiled thy vacant hours?


Take thy dove and fold its wing⁠—

  Fold its ruffled wing to rest;

Deluge airs around it ring:

  Let it nestle on thy breast.

Dearest, all thy care is vain⁠—

  Mark its trembling, weary wings;

But it comes to thee again,

  And an olive branch it brings.


Take it, bind it unto thee,

  Though the leaves are dim with tears;

Such thy woman lot must be⁠—

  Love and sorrow, hopes and fears.

Bind the branch of promise ever

  To thy heart, with fear oppressed,

Let the leaves of hope, oh! never,

  Withered, leave their place of rest.





This simple chain of sunny hair,

  Thus braided by thy gentle hand,

Anear my heart I ever wear,

  Since thou art gone to shadow-land.


Whene’er upon the little gift

  Of thy sweet love my eye is cast,

Will welcome memory come and lift

  The curtains of the silent Past!


Ah! my fond heart, as well it may,

  Feels then, in all its depth anew,

That which, when thou wait called away,

  Ennobled and immortal grew!


Lost one! to thee I’ll constant prove,

  Long as I walk this mortal strand,

So may I claim thy perfect love

  When we shall meet in shadow-land.

two ladies and a man kneeling around a small table


Morning Prayer.

Engraved Expressly for Graham’s Magazine.



      He is not here!

  We meet around the altar yet once more,

  Where we our prayers have blent so oft before,

      And drop a tear

  Upon the holy book from which he read

Who sleeps, at length, in peace, among the silent dead.


      Yet from on high

  He looketh on us—widow, daughter, son⁠—

  Pointing the course by which he glory won.

      He still is nigh,

  On angel’s wings, to comfort us and guide,⁠—

Unseen, but not unfelt, forever by our side.


      Father in heaven!

  Who hast called home the leader of our band,

  And the bright glories of the better land

      Unto him given,

  O, be with us, and keep us in the way

That leads, through this dark night, to an unending day!


      Strengthen our hearts

  To bear, with fortitude, the ills of time;

  Preserve them ever from the winter’s rime,

      So let our parts

  Be acted, that again the prayer and song

We may together blend, and through all time prolong!





“With her personage, her tall personage,

Her height, forsooth, she hath prevailed with him.”


“Good morning, Saybrooke,” said a gentleman named Creswell, meeting a friend; “I have just ascertained to whom Collins is married—a lady of your city—Laura Sands.”

“Amazing!” exclaimed Saybrooke, striking down his cane with such energy that the other started; “why, she is six feet high!”

“Not quite,” returned Creswell, laughing; “and, though somewhat large, she is one of the most queenly looking women—”

“Pshaw! Victoria has put that word out of fashion, or at least changed its signification.”

“I beg pardon—I had forgotten your horror of large women, or, rather, I did not regard it, supposing it was your affectation—everybody has at least one.”

“Affectation! take care, or I’ll raise my stick at you!”

“Well, it is unaccountable that a man of your inches should have such notions. Now, for a little fellow, like myself, it would be bad taste to be following women who might look as if they could flog him, but with your six feet two, and abundant proportions, the case is different. On the contrary, I can’t imagine anything more comical than a little wife hanging on your arm; she would look like a reticule—not straining a pun.”

“In saying I detest large women, I make no committal by preferring very small ones; but, seriously, I would no more expect to find a woman’s soul in all its sweetness, delicacy and purity hidden in a coarse, capacious body, than I could think of loving a woman for the recommendation—‘Sexu fæmina, ingenio vir.’ ”

“There it is with you men of fortune! You become so finical from having all sorts of attractions paraded before you, that you stand still waiting for perfection, till at last, in despair, you tie up your eyes, and, like a child at blind man’s buff, spring forward and secure the first against whom you stumble. Now, we poor, hard-working dogs—but I’ll get out of heart if I talk about my own grievances. I have a lady selected for you, beautiful, accomplished, with a thousand excellencies, and of station in society and all that, just to suit, but this last freak has chilled my good intentions. So good bye, till I get into a better humor!”

In the evening the two gentlemen met again, as Saybrooke was coming out of an exchange office, in the act of securing his pocket book.

“Have you been filling or emptying that article, which?” asked Creswell.

“The more agreeable alternative,” replied his friend.

“Then you are the very fellow I wished to see. I have an appointment for you to-night—to take you to a ladies’ fair.”

“The mischief! when you know that fancy-fairs are my aversion, and not from caprice but from real principle. I don’t know anything more disgusting than to see a room full of Misses, taking advantage of some either really or nominally worthy purpose, to exhibit themselves to the public, and to gratify a petty and an indelicate vanity, by flirting over their pincushions and doll-babies with any fellow who can afford an admittance shilling for the honor.”

“Come, come, that’s really too severe, but just now I have not time to take the other side of the question. This, however, is no ordinary occasion. It is an impromptu affair, undertaken by a number of charming, whole-hearted girls, to raise a fund in aid of the sufferers by a recent public disaster, and more taste, enthusiasm, and liberality, I have never seen exhibited. If you wish to see the élite of our beauty and fashion, under the most favorable circumstances, you had better avail yourself of my invitation.”

“If that is the case, I have no scruples. I intended to appropriate a part of this very supply to a charity so unquestionable, and it may as well pass through the medium you have selected as any other. So I’m at your service.”

At the appointed time they reached the —— Saloon, in which the fair was held, and Creswell, who from previous visits was posted as to all concerning it, led his friend, for a cursory inspection, around the room. Its arrangements were novel and tasteful, its decorations of the most rich and appropriate character, and the fair projectors were fulfilling their duties with a dignity, grace, and decorum that surprised as well as gratified the fastidious stranger.

“Now, if you are satisfied,” said Creswell, “I’ll give myself the trouble to advise you in the disposal of that spare cash of yours—come to this table,” and bowing to its fair attendant, he took up a large and magnificently bound quarto volume, and turned over its pages; “I have heard you express a fondness, Saybrooke,” he continued, “for what you call the only ladies’ science—Botany; did you ever see any thing to equal this?” It was a collection of dried flowers, of such as best preserve their color, pressed with great niceness and skill, and pasted on the smooth, white pages so carefully, some singly and some in groups, that it required close examination to distinguish them from delicate water-color drawings. Beneath them were written, in an exquisite hand, clear, full, and accurate technical descriptions, and on intermediate pages quotations appropriate to their symbolical characters, or fanciful and elegant passages, evidently original.

“This must have been the work of a lady, judging from its ingenuity and beauty,” said Saybrooke.

“It was done by Miss Martha Grainger, was it not?” asked Creswell, turning to the title page, which was a graceful vignette, executed, even to the lettering, in leaves and flowers, but it contained no name.

“Of course,” returned the pretty vender; “no other of us could have had the taste, patience, and knowledge for such a work, to say nothing of the talent the literary illustrations display. I really think it was a piece of heroism in her to give up a possession so beautiful, and one that must have cost her a world of labor and care.”

“If it is not already sold, I shall be happy to become its purchaser,” said Saybrooke; and paying for his acquisition with much satisfaction, they walked on. The next thing that struck their notice was a large vase encrusted with shells, and filled with fragrant and splendid flowers. It was white, and transparent as alabaster, and of an antique form, as rare as beautiful. Saybrooke examined it carefully. “How superior,” said he, “to the unshapely, crockery-looking ware commonly seen as shell-work—nothing could be more perfectly elegant and classical than it is.”

“Is it of your workmanship, Miss Ellen?” asked Creswell.

“I am sorry to say, very far from it. It is a donation from Martha Grainger; she had just finished it for herself, but, with her usual generous benevolence, gave it up in hope that it might be turned to the benefit of the unfortunate. The flowers, which you seem to admire so much, Mr. Creswell, are also of her culture. Her windows, you know, were the rivals of the green-houses, but she robbed them all to fill it. Suppose you take it for your office? There is no one who will value it more.”

“Ah, if I could afford to have all I value! but I would not desecrate anything so pure and sweet, by stowing it away among the rough book-cases, and dust, and cobwebs of a poor lawyer’s office. Now, my friend here could give it a place not unworthy. If it were placed within your curtains, Saybrooke, I’d engage that you would have more bright eyes peeping through your windows than you ever had before.”

“The temptation is too strong to be resisted,” answered Saybrooke, smiling, and he placed his card in a handle of the vase, as its purchaser. “I am glad to find that the botanical lady has a real love of flowers,” he continued, as he walked away with a China rose, which he had selected, in his hand; “it is not always the case; a proficiency in the science argues a clear and discriminating mind; the other seems to belong to a naturally refined taste.”

“Pray, Mr. Creswell, can’t you find us a purchaser for this?” asked a lady, pointing to a glass case, which contained a set of elaborately carved ivory chess-men.

“An exquisite set,” said Saybrooke, “they look like fairy work.”

“I think this is not the first time I have seen them, madam; can you remind me where they came from?” said Creswell.

“They were added to our stock by Miss Grainger, an effort of self-denial that I fear I never could have attained. They were sent to her as a present by an uncle in India, but she is so conscientious that she offered them for our undertaking, saying that she could not be satisfied to keep them for mere amusement, when a set for ten dollars would answer as well. Of course we cannot expect to get their real value, as, very properly, there are few persons who would offer a couple of hundred dollars for a thing of the kind, but we are in hopes that some one willing to aid the cause will take them at a price which, at least, will not be unworthy of the generosity of the donor.”

“As it is not very likely, from present appearances,” said Saybrooke, “that the artists of the Celestial Empire will have the courage and leisure to execute toys so singularly elaborate and ingenious for some time to come, I may as well avail myself of the opportunity, and take possession of these. Will this be sufficient for them, madam?”

“Thank you, sir, for your liberality,—it is more than we expected;” said the lady, looking after the stranger with much curiosity.

“That Miss Grainger must be a remarkable person to be possessed of so much talent and industry, and so much open-handed generosity. But what have you there?” Creswell was looking at a pair of small paintings which ornamented one of the stalls, and Saybrooke continued, after joining him, “these are really beautiful little things, and from their apparent reference to the late calamity, they must have been furnished expressly for this occasion. They are evidently by the same hand, yet it must have been difficult for one person to do them in so short a time. There is much feeling, as well as originality, in the designs, and not less spirit than grace in their execution. May I ask, Miss, from whom these were obtained?”

“They are from the pencil of a lady, sir,—the all-accomplished Miss Grainger.”

“Miss Grainger again!” said Saybrooke smiling; “they are marked for sale, I believe?”

“They are, sir, though we would prefer letting them remain here till the sale is over.”

“Certainly; but you will let me secure them in time?” and having completed the purchase, he followed Creswell; “there now,” said he, “I think I have done my part, so I shall tie up my purse-strings; but pray who is this Miss Grainger?”

“What do you imagine her to be?”

“An active, bustling, fussy old maid, such a person who is always to be found in the like enterprises; but in addition she must have an enlarged mind, which, having freed her from the selfishness peculiar to her relative position, still furnishes her with resources to devote to general benevolence.”

“You never were more mistaken in your life,—but what do you think of that oriental kiosk which the ladies have fitted up as the post-office?”

“I was just going to remark that it is particularly tasteful and beautiful.”

“The plan is another of the labors of Miss Grainger,—but we must ask for letters to finish our business.”

“Certainly, but where is your fair virtuoso? you must point her out to me.”

“Very well, come along, and I’ll introduce you, but of one thing I must apprise you beforehand,—with all her admirable qualities she is, unfortunately, quite—a large woman—the largest, I should think, in the room.”

“That is unfortunate,” said Saybrooke, looking disturbed; “but as I wish merely to have my curiosity gratified, and to pay a tribute of respect to an intellectual and a useful woman, I shall put up with that.”

Creswell paused to speak with an acquaintance, and Saybrooke walked forward. Suddenly a lady swept by, almost jostling him, and of a size that over-shadowed all around her. She was beflounced and befurred, had a tall feather waving above her hat, a decided shade on her upper lip, and a step like a grenadier.

“See here, Creswell, you needn’t mind taking me to see Miss Grainger,—I don’t want to be introduced to her,” said Saybrooke.

“You have changed your mind very suddenly,” returned Creswell.

“You told me she was the largest woman in the room, and by accident I have just met her. I recognized her, of course, and my curiosity is amply gratified.”

Creswell followed his eye, and burst into an irrepressible fit of laughter. “Oh, very well,” said he, “if you are satisfied, so am I. But here is the post-office. Anything here, ladies, for Stanley Saybrooke, Esq.?—just excuse me, while you are waiting for your letter.”

The postmistress was one of the youngest of the association, and whilst she was searching, with much archness and significancy, among the letters, the eyes of Saybrooke fell upon a lady farther back in the alcove, from whom a single look acted like magic on him. The features were of a form and symmetry the most faultlessly classical, and were radiant with an expression of sweetness and intelligence. Her eyes were large and of a soft blue, her complexion was of the purest white and red, and her hair, of a rich brown, fell in a single large curl, smooth and glossy, down either side of her face. She wore a small black velvet bonnet, which contrasted strikingly with the pearliness of her skin, and which, excepting in a little bordering of blond around the face, was entirely without ornament. Vexatiously, as our hero thought it, there was nothing of her figure to be seen; she sat wrapped in a large shawl, on an ottoman behind a table, and appeared quite unconscious of attracting attention, or, at least, indifferent to it.

“Here is a letter, sir;” said the officious little postmistress, with a mischievous smile, but Saybrooke stood unheeding; “there is nothing else, sir;” she added, and recollecting himself, he walked reluctantly away. The letter was a little poetical bagatelle, to which he paid no attention, and reconnoitering the kiosk, he placed himself where, by keeping among the folds of a curtain, he might retain a view of the face which had so much fascinated him. Though, at his distance, he could not overhear a word, he watched her quiet, yet neither cold nor languid manner, to the many who approached and addressed her. “What a lovely—lovely creature she is!” thought he, “if I had not so long dropped my school-boy notions of love at first-sight, I really would believe myself captivated!—how calm she is!—how unembarrassed and dignified, and yet how gracious!”

Creswell returned, but Saybrooke, ashamed to ask a single question lest it might betray him, pleaded fatigue, and declined walking farther, and his friend, who had been watching him, to his secret amusement, left him to the indulgence of his observations.

By this time the story of his liberality, exaggerated, of course, had made its way over the room, and many were the efforts of the fair promenaders to catch the attention of a stranger so fashionable in appearance, so handsome, and reportedly so rich; but if he noticed the attractions of any, it was only to remark how inferior they were to those he was so intently contemplating. At length, to his extreme delight, he observed that she had picked up the rose which he had dropped on the table in his first bewilderment. “What a dolt I have been,” said he to himself; “after coming here to lay out money in charity, to take and retain an equivalent for it!” and to ease his conscience, he decided to get rid of the vase. So calling a servant who was attending on the tables, he directed him where to find it, and to present it to the designated lady in the post-office, with the compliments of a gentleman. He watched as the commission was executed. There was no flutter in the manner of the fair incognito, no wonder nor exultation. She merely asked the man a question or two, and dismissed him without a message. Her bearing suited him to a charm. It was that of a sultana receiving tribute.

“What a hand—what an incomparable hand!” was his next thought. One of his very few coxcomberies was a passion for beautiful hands, and it had its full gratification in the one which lay beside his vase, with whose whiteness it did not suffer in comparison. It was not small, but was exquisitely shaped, full, smooth and tapering, with not an irregular protuberance to detract from its graceful outlines. It set his fancy at a new picture. He imagined himself at his little mosaic chess-table—which was so small that any two at it were in very sociable proximity—and that snowy hand at the other side. Then he looked at her forehead, which was large and nobly developed—he was something of a phrenologist—and he decided that she had a genius for chess, consequently, that his recent purchase of chess-men might thus be suitably transferred. Accordingly, he hurried off to send it, but after he had done so, he found, on returning, his place occupied by a crowd.

The room had filled, and disappointed and abstracted he wandered about for an hour before he found an opportunity to speak to Creswell. The latter at length approached him, saying,

“I have a message for you from a lady.”

“What lady?” asked Saybrooke, eagerly, hoping it was the lady—the only one he cared about at the moment.

“The one to whom you sent your vase and chess-men; she says that if you don’t take them back she will offer them for sale anew.”

“I hope she did not think me impertinent in sending them?” said Saybrooke, looking alarmed, “how did she discover that it was I?”

“It was easy to ascertain by whom they were purchased, and she judged accordingly.”

“Then you know her?”


“Pray introduce me, won’t you?—immediately, if you please, my dear Creswell.”

“I would rather not. You won’t like her—for a very material reason.”

“I will—positively—I do like her—I’m half in love already.”

“With her face, you mean—that’s a pretty scrape for a man of twenty-six to get into! however, I may have an opportunity after a while, so be patient. There’s a fine figure,” he continued, looking through a glass he had picked up from a table, and then handing it to Saybrooke—“there in that recess—the lady with her back towards us.”

“Very fine, but the glass contracts too much; at full size I dare say the proportions would scarcely appear so perfect. Who is she?”

“A particular favorite of mine, the owner of this shawl, which I am carrying to her. Come along, and you shall have a nearer view.”

The lady was at the farther end of the saloon, and with some difficulty they threaded their way towards her. She was talking, and still had her back towards them. “A fine figure, indeed,” said Saybrooke, as they advanced, “but, she seems—isn’t she rather large?—why, upon my word—Creswell—she must be full five feet nine, if not ten!” and, putting his arm through his friend’s, he was drawing him in another direction.

“Stop! don’t jerk me off my feet, my dear fellow!” said Creswell; “I must go on to deliver the shawl; allow me, Miss Grainger,” he continued, “to present my friend, Mr. Saybrooke—” and as the lady turned round to curtsey, Saybrooke recognized the brilliant face of the post-office.

Never was there a more instantaneous revolution. “I’ll call you out for this night’s work!” whispered Saybrooke, while the lady was replying to the parting compliments of her former companions. Creswell pretended to look very much surprised, and after a little while, when he made a move to proceed, Saybrooke gave him a deprecatory shake of the head, at which they parted for the night.

The next morning Creswell called at the lodgings of his friend. “I am glad,” said he, “that you were not disappointed in Miss Grainger.”

“Disappointed!—she is the most fascinating woman I ever met with—full of sweetness, feeling, and intellect! I do not remember to have enjoyed a conversation more in my life than the one we had as I escorted her home last night”

“Why, Saybrooke! you certainly did not do that? she is unquestionably large enough to take care of herself!”

“You are an impudent dog, Creswell,” returned Saybrooke, laughing.

“But, seriously, Saybrooke, it is a great pity that Miss Grainger is so large; to a man of your sentiments, who never could see a woman over the medium height without thinking of an ogress, it must very much neutralize the effect of her unrivalled face, her winning manners, and her delightfully spirituelle conversation.”

“If you’ll oblige me by remaining civilly quiet, for a few minutes, I’ll tell you how I argued that point. I stated to myself that the larger women I had seen were as small ones examined through a magnifying glass, every defect being thus rendered more apparent. Now, I continued, here is a woman of the magnified size, without a single defect, and she is of course entitled to a magnified portion of admiration.”

“Very good.”

“And then I recollected that I was not the first who had come to such a conclusion. That Juno would not have looked the queen of Olympus had she been other than a large woman—that had the rib of Menelaus been but a small bone of contention, Troy might have been standing to this day.”

“Pshaw!” said Creswell.

“And that a man must have a very contracted imagination to fancy a little Venus De Medicis, a little Cleopatra or a little Mary Stuart.”

About six months after this, a gentleman and lady passing, bowed to Creswell through his office window while an acquaintance was sitting with him.

“A magnificent looking couple—who are they?” said the latter.

“The new bride and groom, Stanley Saybrooke, and Martha Grainger, that was. By the by, I made that match.”

“Indeed! how did you accomplish it?”

“Just by persuading the lady to sit still for a few hours. He had a most absurd aversion to large women, and as I knew that Martha, who, in fact, is a sort of cousin of mine, would suit him exactly in other respects, I laid a plan to get him in love with her before he found out her size, so I took him to a fancy-fair, where he saw a great number of her productions, and heard a great deal of her character, and then I contrived to give him a sight of her beautiful face, having, as I said, apprised her that she would oblige me very much by keeping her seat until I gave her notice. That finished the business. He stared till he was conquered, and then the three or four extra inches became very small matters indeed.”

“But now, since they are married, won’t the defects shoot up again?”

“Not at all. I never saw a fellow so proud of a wife. He says that a small casket could not contain so lofty an intellect and so noble a heart!”





“Now arouse thee, Sir Knight, from thine indolent ease,

Fling boldly thy banner abroad in the breeze,

Strike home for thy lady—strive hard for the prize,

And thy guerdon shall beam from her love-lighted eyes!”


“I shrink not the trial,” that bluff knight replied⁠—

“But I battle—not I—for an unwilling bride;

Where the boldest may venture to do and to dare,

My pennon shall flutter—my bugle peal there!


“I quail not at aught in the struggle of life,

I’m not all unproved even now in the strife,

But the wreath that I win, all unaided—alone,

Round a faltering brow it shall never be thrown!”


“Now fie on thy manhood, to deem it a sin

That she loveth the glory thy falchion might win,

Let them doubt of thy prowess and fortune no more,

Up! Sir Knight, for thy lady—and do thy devoir!”


“She hath shrunk from my side, she hath failed in her trust,

Not relied on my blade, but remembered its rust;

It shall brighten once more in the field of its fame,

But it is not for her I would now win a name.”


The knight rode away, and the lady she sigh’d,

When he featly as ever his steed would bestride,

While the mould from the banner he shook to the wind

Seemed to fall on the breast he left aching behind.


But the rust on his glaive and the rust in his heart

Had corroded too long and too deep to depart,

And the brand only brightened in honor once more,

When the heart ceased to beat on the fray-trampled shore.





Farewell, gentle Muse! fare thee well, and for ever!

  No more in the greenwood with thee must I stray:

Thy flowers which I cherished have bloomed but to wither,

  Like youth’s vernal wreath, they all faded away:

Yet sweet was the morn, timid Muse, when I sought thee,

  In the green ruined tower by the wild Scottish rill;

A heart framed for joy like the wine-cup I brought thee,

  With Fancy’s rich draught thou the chalice didst fill.


O soft was thy dawning, thou mental Aurora,

  It shed on my morning-dream heaven’s young ray,

With the seraph-wing’d bird through the cloudlets of glory

  My soul soared exulting through life’s early day;

Then love’s vernal flush filled my bosom with gladness,

  And she whom I loved shared its passion with thee;

She left me to pine in the chill shade of sadness,

  Then crossed I in anguish the wide-spreading sea.


But thou wert more faithful, for rocked on the ocean

  ’Twas thou who mad’st lovely the dreams of my rest,

My spirit went forth on the wings of emotion

  To sport with the bird o’er the blue waters’ breast.

Now in my pent bosom life’s last pulses tremble

  Like sear fluttering leaves on yon wind-beaten tree,

With spring-loving birds on its boughs that assemble

  My soul to the Land of the Spirit shall flee.


Then come, O my wild lyre, my sole earthly treasure,

  ’Neath Death’s downy pinions come slumber in peace;

Leave the world to the rosy-crown’d vot’ries of Pleasure,

  Its garlands must wither—its Bacchanals cease!

Dear Enchantress, farewell! but that friend of my bosom

  Revisit once more, o’er the waves’ deafening swell,

Inspire him that one fleeting flowret may blossom

  To the memory of him who hath loved him so well!

    Paris, France.






I remained but a short time in the Arrow after we sailed finally from the port of ——; for happening to fall in with and capture a rakish little schooner, Captain Smyth resolved to arm and send her forth to cruise against the enemy on her own account. A long Tom was accordingly mounted on a pivot amidships, a complement of men placed in her, and the command given to our second lieutenant, with myself for subordinate. Thus equipped, we parted company from our consort, who bore away for the north, while we were to cruise in the Windward Passage.

For several days we met with no adventure. The weather was intensely sultry. He who has never witnessed a noontide calm on a tropical sea can have no idea of the stifling heat of such a situation. The sea is like molten brass; no breath of air is stirring; the atmosphere is dry and parched in the mouth, and the heavens hang over all their canopy of lurid fire, in the very centre of which burns with intense fierceness the meridian sun. The decks, the cabin, and the tops are alike stifling. The awnings may indeed afford a partial shelter from the vertical rays of the sun, but no breeze can be wooed down the eager windsail; while, wherever a stray beam steals to the deck through an opening in the canvass, the turpentine oozes out and boils in the heat, and the planks become as intolerable to the tread as if a furnace was beneath them.

It was on one of the hottest days of the season, and about a fortnight after we parted from the Arrow, that we lay thus becalmed. The hour was high noon. I stood panting for breath by the weather railing, dressed in a thin jacket and without a cravat, feverishly looking out across the ocean to discern, if possible, a mist or cloud or other evidence of an approaching breeze. My watch was in vain. There was no ripple on the deep, but a long monotonous undulation heaved the surface of the water, which glittered far and near like a mirror in which the sun is reflected vertically, paining and almost blinding the gaze. The schooner lay motionless on the ocean, the shadow of her boom shivering in the wave, as the swell undulated along. Silence reigned on the decks. To a spectator at a distance, who could have beheld our motionless shadow in the water, we would have seemed an enchanted ship, hanging midway betwixt the sea and sky.

Noon passed, and the afternoon drew heavily along, yet still no breeze arose to gladden our listless spirits. Two bells struck and then three, but the same monotony continued. Wearied out at length I was about turning from the weather quarter to go below, when I fancied I saw a sail far down on the horizon. I paused and looked intently in the direction where the welcome sight had been visible. For a moment the glare of the sun and the water prevented me from distinguishing with any accuracy whether what I saw was really a sail or not, but at length my doubts were removed by the cry of the look-out on the fore-castle, and before half an hour it became evident that the vessel to windward was a square-rigged craft, but of what size or character it was impossible to determine.

“They must have had a puff of wind up yonder,” remarked the second lieutenant to me, “or else they could not have come within sight so rapidly.”

“But the breeze has left them ere this,” I said, “for they have not moved for the last quarter of an hour.”

“We shall probably know nothing more of them until nightfall, for the wind will scarcely make before sunset, even if it does then. He has the weather gauge. Until I know something more of him I would rather change positions.”

“He is some fat merchantman,” I replied, “we will lighten his plethoric pocket before morning.”

During the afternoon the calm continued, our craft and the stray sail occupying their relative positions. Meantime, innumerable were the conjectures which we hazarded as to the character of our neighbor; and again and again were our glasses put in requisition to see if any thing could be discovered to decide our conflicting opinions. But the royals of a ship, when nothing else of her is visible, give scarcely any clue as to her character; and accordingly hour after hour passed away, and we were still altogether ignorant respecting the flag and strength of our neighbor. Toward sunset, however, signs of a coming breeze began to appear on the seaboard, and when the luminary wheeled his disc down the western line of the horizon, the sea to windward was perceptibly ruffled by the wind.

“Ah! there it comes at last—” said the second lieutenant, “and, by my halidome, the stranger is standing for us. Now, if he will only keep in his present mind until we can get within range of him, I am no officer of the United Colonies if I do not give him some hot work. By St. George, the men have had so little to do of late, and they long so eagerly to whet their palates, that I would venture to attack almost twice our force—eh! Cavendish! You have had such a dare-devil brush with the buccaneers lately that I suppose you think no common enemy is worth a thought.”

“Not altogether,” said I, “but I think we shall have our wish gratified. Yonder chap is certainly twice our size, and he carries his topsails as jauntily as a man-of-war.”

“Faith! and you’re right, Harry,” said my old messmate, as he shut the glass with a jerk, after having, in consequence of my last remark, taken a long look at the strange sail, “that’s no sleepy merchantman to windward. But we’ll swagger up to him, nevertheless; one doesn’t like to run away from the first ship he meets.”

I could not help smiling when I thought of the excuses with which the lieutenant was endeavoring to justify to himself his contemplated attack on a craft that was not only more than twice our size, but apparently an armed cruizer, for I knew the case would have been the same if this had been the hundredth, instead of the first vessel he had met after assuming a separate command, as no man in the corvette had been more notorious for the recklessness with which he invited danger. Perhaps this was the fault of his character. I really believe that he would, if dared to it, have run into Portsmouth itself, and fired the British fleet at anchor. In our former days, when we had been fellow officers on board the Arrow, we had often differed on this trait in his character, and perhaps now he felt called on, from a consciousness of my opinion, to make some excuse to me for his disregard of prudence in approaching the stranger; for, as soon as the breeze had made, he had close-hauled the schooner, and, during the conversation I have recorded, we were dashing rapidly up towards the approaching ship.

As we drew nearer to the stranger, my worst suspicions became realized. Her courses loomed up large and ominous, and directly her hammock nettings appeared, and then her ports opened to our view, six on a side; while, almost instantaneously with our discovery of her force, a roll of bunting shot up to her gaff, and, unrolling, disclosed the cross of St. George. There was now no escape. The enemy had the weather gauge, and was almost within closing distance. However prudent a more wary approach might have been hitherto, there was no longer any reason for the exercise of caution. It would be impossible for us now to avoid a combat, or get to windward by any manœuvre; and to have attempted to escape by going off before the wind would have been madness, since of all points of sailing that was the worst for our little craft. Gloomy, therefore, as the prospect appeared for us, there was no hesitation, but each man, as the drum called us to quarters, hurried to his post with as much alacrity as if we were about to engage an inferior force, instead of one so overwhelmingly our superior.

The moon had by this time risen and was calmly sailing on, far up in the blue ether, silvering the deep with her gentle radiance, and showering a flood of sparkles on every billowy crest that rolled up and shivered in her light. Everywhere objects were discernible with as much distinctness as under the noon-day sun. The breeze sang through our rigging with a joyous sound, singularly pleasing after the silence and monotony of the day; and the waves that parted beneath our cut-water rolled glittering astern along our sides, while ever and anon some billow, larger than its fellows, broke over the bow, sending its foam crackling back to the foremast. Around the deck our men were gathered, each one beside his allotted gun, silently awaiting the moment of attack. The cutlasses had been served out; the boarding pikes and muskets were placed convenient for use; the balls had already been brought on deck; and we only waited for some demonstration on the part of the foe to open our magazine and commence the combat in earnest. At length, when we were rapidly closing with him, the enemy yawed, and directly a shot whistled high over us.

“Too lofty by far, old jackanapes,” said the captain of our long Tom, “we’ll pepper you after a different fashion when it comes to our turn to serve out the iron potatoes. Ah! the skipper’s tired of being silent,” he continued, as Mr. Vinton ordered the old veteran to discharge his favorite piece, “we’ll soon see who can play at chuck-farthing the best, my hearty. Bowse away, boys, with that rammer—now we have her in a line—a little lower, just a trifle more—that’s it—there she goes;” and as he applied the match, the flame streamed from the mouth of the gun, a sharp, quick report followed, and the smoke, clinging a moment around the piece in a white mass, broke into fragments and eddied away to leeward on the gale; while the old veteran, stepping hastily aside, placed his hand over his eyes, and gazed after the shot, with an expression of intense curiosity stamped on every feature of his face. Directly an exulting smile broke over his countenance, as the fore-top-sail of the ship fell—the ball having hit the yard.

“By the holy and thrue cross,” said a mercurial Irishman of the old veteran’s crew, “but he has it there—hurrah! Give it to him nately again—it’s the early thrush that catches the early worm.”

“Home with the ball there, my hearties,” sung out the elated veteran, “she is yawing to let drive at us—there it comes. Give her as good as she sends.”

The enemy was still, however, at too great a distance to render her fire dangerous, and after a third shot had been exchanged betwixt us—for the stranger appeared to have, like ourselves, but a single long gun of any weight—this distant and uncertain firing ceased, and both craft drew steadily towards each other, determined to fight the combat, as a gallant combat should be fought, yard arm to yard arm.

The wind had now freshened considerably, and we made our way through the water at the rate of six knots an hour. This soon brought us on the bows of the foe. Our guns, meanwhile, had been hastily shifted from the starboard to the larboard side, so that our whole armament could be brought to bear at once on the ship. As we drew up towards the enemy a profound silence reigned on our deck—each man, as he stood at his gun, watching her with curious interest. We could see that her decks were well filled with defenders, and that marksmen had been posted in the tops to pick off our crew. But no eye quailed, no nerve flinched, as we looked on this formidable array. We felt that there was nothing left for us but to fight, since flight was alike dishonorable and impossible.

At length we were within pistol shot of the foe, and drawing close on to his bows. The critical moment had come. That indefinable feeling which even a brave man will feel when about engaging in a mortal combat, shot through our frames as we saw that our bowsprit was overlapping that of the enemy, and knew that in another minute some of us would perhaps be in another world. But there was little time for such reflections now. The two vessels, each going on a different tack, rapidly shot by each other, and, in less time than I have taken to describe it, we lay broadside to broadside, with our bows on the stern of the foe, and our tafferel opposite his foremast. Until now not a word had been spoken on board either ship; but the moment the command to fire was passed from gun to gun, a sheet of flame instantaneously rolled along our sides, making our light craft quiver in every timber. The rending of timbers, the crash of spars, and the shrieks of the wounded, heard over even the roar of battle, told us that the iron missiles had sped home, bearing destruction with them. A momentary pause ensued, as if the crew of the enemy had been thrown into a temporary disorder—but the delay was only that of a second or two—and then came in return the broadside of the foe. But this momentary disorder had injured the aim of the Englishman, and most of his balls passed overhead, doing considerable injury however to the rigging. Our men had lain flat on the deck after our discharge, since our low bulwarks afforded scarcely any protection against the fire of the enemy, and when, therefore, his broadside came hurtling upon us, the number of our wounded was far less than under other circumstances would have been possible.

“Thank God! the first broadside is over,” I involuntarily exclaimed, “and we have the best of it.”

“Huzza! we’ll whip him yet, my hearties,” shouted the captain of our long Tom; “give it to him with a will now—pepper his supper well for him. Old Marblehead, after all, against the world!”

With the word our men sprang up from the decks, and waving their arms on high, gave vent to an enthusiastic shout ere they commenced re-loading their guns. The enemy replied with a cheer, but it was less hearty than that of our own men. Little time, however, was lost on either side in these bravados; for all were alike conscious that victory hung, as yet, trembling in the scales.

“Out with her—aye! there she has it,” shouted a grim veteran in my division, “down with the rascally Britisher.”

“Huzza for St. George,” came hoarsely back in reply, as the roar of the gun died on the air, and, at the words, a ball whizzed over my shoulders, and striking a poor fellow behind me on the neck, cut the head off at the shoulders, and while it bore the skull with it in its flight, left the headless trunk spouting its blood, as if from the jet of an engine, over the decks. I turned away sickened from the sight. The messmates of the murdered man saw the horrid sight, but they said nothing, although the terrible energy with which they jerked out the gun, told the fierceness of their revengeful feelings. Well did their ball do its mission; for as the smoke eddied momentarily away from the decks of the enemy, I saw the missile dismount the gun which had fired the last deadly shot, scattering the fragments wildly about, while the appalling shrieks which followed the accident told that more than one of the foe had suffered by that fatal ball.

“We’ve revenged poor Jack, my lads,” said the captain of the gun,—“away with her again. A few more such shots and the day’s our own.”

The combat was now at its height. Each man of our crew worked as if conscious that victory hung on his own arm, nor did the enemy appear to be less determined to win the day. The guns on either side were plied with fearful rapidity and precision. Our craft was beginning to be dreadfully cut up, we had received a shot in the foremast that threatened momentarily to bring it down, and at every discharge of the enemy’s guns one or more of our little crew fell wounded at his post. But if we suffered so severely it was evident that we had our revenge on the foe. Already his mizzen-mast had gone by the board, and two of his guns were dismounted. I fancied once or twice that his fire slackened, but the dense canopy of smoke that shrouded his decks and hung on the face of the water prevented me from observing, with any certainty, the full extent of the damage we had done to the enemy.

For some minutes longer the conflict continued with unabated vigor on the part of our crew; but at the end of that period, the fire of the Englishman sensibly slackened. I could scarcely believe that our success had been so decisive, but, in a few minutes longer, the guns of the enemy were altogether silenced, and directly afterwards a voice hailed from him, saying that he had surrendered. The announcement was met by a loud cheer from our brave tars, and, as the two vessels had now fallen a considerable distance apart, the second lieutenant determined to send a boat on board and take possession. Accordingly, with a crew of about a dozen men, I pushed off from the sides of our battered craft.

As we drew out of the smoke of the battle we began to see the real extent of the damage we had done. The ship of the enemy lay an almost perfect wreck on the water, her foremast and mizzen-mast having both fallen over her side; while her hull was pierced in a continuous line, just above water mark, with our balls. Here and there her bulwarks had been driven in, and her whole appearance betokened the accuracy of our aim. I turned to look at the schooner. She was scarcely in a better condition, for the foremast had by this time given way, and her whole larboard side was riddled with the enemy’s shot. A dark red stream was pouring out from her scuppers, just abaft the mainmast. Alas! I well knew how terrible had been the slaughter in that particular spot. I turned my eyes from the melancholy spectacle, and looked upwards to the calm moon sailing in the clear azure sky far overhead. The placid countenance of the planet seemed to speak a reproof on the angry passions of man. A moment afterward we reached the captured ship.

As I stepped on deck I noticed that not one solitary individual was to be seen; but in the shattered gun-carriage, and the dark stains of blood on the deck, I beheld the evidences of the late combat. The whole crew had apparently retreated below. At this instant, however, a head appeared above the hatchway and instantly vanished. I was not long in doubt as to the meaning of this strange conduct, for, almost immediately a score of armed men rushed up the hatchway, and advancing toward us demanded our surrender. I saw at once the dishonorable stratagem. Stung to madness by the perfidy of the enemy, I sprang back a few steps to my men, and rallying them around me, bid the foe come on. They rushed instantly upon us, and in a moment we were engaged in as desperate a mêlée as ever I had seen.

“Stand fast, my brave lads,” I cried, “give not an inch to the cowardly and perfidious villains.”

“Cut him down, and sweep them from the decks,” cried the leader of the men, stung to the quick by the taunt of cowardice. “St. George against the rebels.”

A brawny desperado at the words made a blow at me with his cutlass, but hastily warding it off I snatched a pistol from my belt, and fired at my antagonist, who fell dead to the deck. The next instant the combat became general. Man to man, and foot to foot, we fought, desperately contesting every inch of deck, each party being conscious that the struggle was one of life or death. The clashing of cutlasses, the crack of fire-arms, the oaths, the shouts, the bravado, the shrieks of the wounded, and the dull heavy fall of the dead on the deck, were the only sounds of which we were conscious during that terrible mêlée, and these came to our ears not in their usual distinctness, but mingled into one fearful and indescribable uproar. For myself, I scarcely heard the tumult. My whole being was occupied in defending myself against a Herculean ruffian who seemed to have singled me out from my crew, and whom it required all my skill at my weapon to keep at bay. I saw nothing but the ferocious eye of my adversary; I heard only the quick rattle of our blades. I have said once before that my proficiency at my weapon had passed into a proverb with my messmates, and had I not been such a master of my art, I should, on the present occasion, have fallen a victim to my antagonist. As it was, I received a sharp wound in the arm, and was so hotly pressed by my vigorous foe that I was forced to give way. But this temporary triumph proved the destruction of my antagonist. Flushed with success, he forgot his wariness, and made a lunge at me which left him unprotected. I moved quickly aside, and, seizing my advantage, had buried my steel in his heart before his own sword had lost the impetus given to it by his arm. As I drew out the reeking blade, I became aware, for the first time, of the wild tumult of sounds around me. A hasty glance assured me that we barely maintained our ground, while several of my brave fellows lay on the deck wounded or dying; but before I could see whether the ranks of the foe had been equally thinned, and while yet scarcely an instant had passed since the fall of my antagonist, a loud, clear huzza, swelling over the din of the conflict, rose at my side, and, turning quickly around, I saw to my joy that the shout proceeded from a dozen of our tars who had reached us at that moment in a boat from the schooner. In an instant they were on deck.

“Down with the traitors—no quarter—hew them to the deck,” shouted our indignant messmates as they dashed on the assailants. But the enemy did not wait to try the issue of the combat. Seized with a sudden panic, they fled in all directions, a few jumping overboard, but most of them tumbling headlong down the hatchways.

We were now masters of the deck. As I instantly guessed, the report of the fire-arms had been heard on board the schooner, when, suspecting foul play, a boat had instantly pushed off to our rescue.

“A narrow escape, by Jove!” said my messmate who had come to my aid, “these traitorous cowards had well nigh overpowered you, and if they could have cut your little party off they would, I suppose, have made another attempt on the schooner—God confound the rascals!”

“Your arrival was most opportune,” said I, “a few minutes later and it would have been of no avail.” And then, as I ran my eye over our comparatively gigantic foe, I could not restrain the remark, “It is a wonder to me how we conquered.”

“Faith, and you may well say that,” laughingly rejoined my messmate; “it will be something to talk of hereafter. But the schooner hasn’t come off,” he added, glancing at our craft, “without the marks of this fellow’s teeth. But I had forgot to ask who or what the rascal is.”

The prize proved to be a privateer. She had received so many shot in her hull, and was already leaking so fast, that we concluded to remove the prisoners and blow her up. Her crew were accordingly ordered one by one on deck, handcuffed, and transferred to the schooner. Then I laid a train, lighted it and put off from the prize. Before I reached our craft—which by this time had been removed to some distance—the ship blew up.

We rigged a jury mast, and by its aid reached Charleston, where we refitted. Our capture gave us no little reputation, and while we remained in port we were lionized to our hearts’ content.

Eager, however, to continue the career so gloriously begun, we staid at Charleston no longer than was absolutely necessary to repair our damages. In less than a fortnight we left the harbor, and made sail again for the south.






The scene was one of mirth, and joy, and loveliness, and beauty. Two spacious parlors had been thrown open in one of the largest houses in Arch street. Lights had glittered in the various chambers since early sundown—carriages by dozens had driven up to the door, each freighted with friends or relatives, so that the world without found little difficulty in arriving at the conclusion that some extraordinary scene of festivity was in progress within the walls of that spacious mansion.

It was about nine o’clock when we entered. The two large parlors, brilliantly illuminated by gas, and glittering with a rich collection of young and beautiful females, each dressed in the most tasteful or gorgeous manner, presented a scene truly magnificent. For a moment the eye seemed to quail before the general flash, while the mind also grew dizzy; but these feelings lasted but for the instant, as friends were to be met on all sides, and we soon found ourselves mingling in the giddy and trifling conversation that too many of our fair countrywomen seem to delight in on such occasions. Still, as the first flash passed by, we paused to contemplate the scene in a calmer and more meditative spirit.

The party was a “Bridal” one, and the bride was the daughter of one of our most respectable merchants, a worthy, good-hearted man, who had devoted himself to his business, and paid no attention whatever to the frivolities of fashionable life. The bride seemed very young—not more than sixteen or seventeen. She could not be regarded as beautiful in the general appreciation of the word, and yet she had one of the sweetest faces that we ever saw. She had soft blue eyes, brown hair which fell over her shoulders in ringlets, a pretty and expressive mouth, with teeth that appeared to us faultless. Her complexion was clear, but her face looked rather pale, although at times it became flushed and ruddy as the rose. Her dress was of the richest white satin, and the ornaments of her hair and neck and wrists consisted almost exclusively of pearls. Her frame was slight and full of symmetry, and her voice was remarkable for the gentleness and amiability of its tone. We gazed upon her calmly for many minutes, and the thought passed through our mind—“So young, so fair, so delicate, so happy, and yet so willing to enter upon the severe responsibilities of the wife and the mother.” “Who,” we inquired of ourselves, “may read that young creature’s destiny? Doubtless she loves the object of her choice with a woman’s virgin and devoted love—doubtless she believes that the next sixteen years of her life will prove radiant with happiness, even more so than the girlish and sunny period which has but just gone by—and doubtless the youth who has won that gentle heart believes that he possesses the necessary requisites of mind and disposition to render her happy. And yet how often has the bright cup of joy been dashed from the lips of woman when about to quaff it! How often does man prove recreant and false! How often is he won from his home and his young wife, whose heart gives way slowly, but fatally and steadily, under the influence of such indifference and neglect!” But we paused and dismissed these gloomy reflections. The nuptial ceremony was pronounced—for a moment all was breathless silence—and then the busy hum broke forth as audibly as ever. The wedding was a brilliant one in all respects. It was followed up by party after party, so that nearly a month rolled away before the giddy round was over. The only one who did not appear to mingle fully in the general feeling, was the mother of the bride. She loved her daughter so tenderly that it seemed impossible for her to consign her to other hands. She was one of those women who devote themselves wholly to their children, and who have no world without them. On the night of the wedding, a tear would occasionally roll down her cheek as she gazed upon her chaste child, and as a tide of maternal recollections melted all her soul!

The world rolled on. We frequently saw the young bride in the streets, and her cousin, who was our immediate neighbor, spoke of her prospects as cheering and happy. But one evening, just after sundown, and less than a year since we had seen each other at the wedding, he called, and with rather a grave aspect invited us to accompany him for a few minutes to the house of his aunt—the same house that had glittered with so much light, and re-echoed with so much laughter on the night of the Bridal. We proceeded along calmly, for although somewhat struck by the sedate aspect of our friend, it did not excite much surprise. On arriving at the house, the first objects that attracted attention were the closed and craped windows, and the awful silence that seemed to “breathe and sadden all around.” Our friend still refrained from speaking, but led on to the Chamber of Death! Our worst apprehensions were realized. The fair young creature, who less than a year before had stood before us radiant with loveliness and hope, was now still, pale, and cold in the icy embrace of death. Her last agonies were dreadful, but the sweet, soft smile, that told of a gentle heart, still lingered on her features. Her infant survived,—but the sudden decease of that cherished one shed a gloom over that home and its happy household, which is not yet totally dispelled. The windows of the dwelling are still bowed, and the afflicted mother, although a sincere Christian, and anxious to yield in a Christian spirit to the decrees of Divine Providence, frequently finds herself melting in tears, and her whole soul convulsed with grief at the memory of her dear Clara.

And such are human hopes and expectations!






Serene in the moonlight the pure flowers lay;

All was still save the plash of the fountain’s soft play;

And white as its foam gleamed the walls of the palace;

But within were hot lips quaffing fire from the chalice;

For Herod, the Tetrarch, was feasting that night

The lords of Machærus, and brave was the sight!

Yet mournful the contrast, without and within,

Here were purity, peace,—there were riot and sin!

The vast and magnificent banquetting room

Was of marble, Egyptian, in form and in gloom;

And around, wild and dark as a demon’s dread thought,

Strange shapes, full of terror, yet beauty, were wrought.

Th’ ineffable sorrow, that dwells in the face

Of the Sphynx, wore a soft and mysterious grace,

Dim, even amid the full flood of light poured

From a thousand high clustering lamps on the board;

Those lamps,—each a serpent of jewels and gold,⁠—

That seemed to hiss forth the fierce flame as it rolled.

Back flashed to that ray the rich vessels that lay

Profuse on the tables in brilliant array;

And clear thro’ the crystal the glowing wine gleamed,

And dazzling the robes of the revellers seemed,

While Herod, the eagle-eyed, ruled o’er the scene,

A lion in spirit, a monarch in mien.


  The goblet was foaming, the revel rose high.

There were pride and fierce joy in the haughty king’s eye,

For his chiefs and his captains bowed low at his word,

And the feast was right royal that burden’d the board.


  Lo! light as a star thro’ a gathered cloud stealing,

What spirit glanced in ’mid the guard at the door?

Their stern bands divide, a fair figure revealing;

She bounds, in her beauty, the dim threshold o’er.


Her dark eyes are lovely with tenderest truth;

The bloom on her cheek is the blossom of youth;

And the smile, that steals thro’ it, is rich with the ray

Of a heart full of love and of innocent play.


Soft fall her fair tresses her light form around;

Soft fall her fair tresses, nor braided nor bound;

And her white robe is loose, and her dimpled arms bare;

For she is but a child, without trouble or care;


Now round the glad vision wild music is heard,⁠—

Is she gifted with winglets of fairy or bird;

For, lo! as if borne on the waves of that sound,

With white arms upwreathing, she floats from the ground.


Still glistens the goblet,—’tis heeded no more!

And the jest and the song of the banquet are o’er;

For the revellers, spell-bound by beauty and grace,

Have forgotten all earth, save that form and that face.


It is done!—for one moment, mute, motionless, fair,

The phantom of light pauses playfully there;

The next, blushing richly, once more it takes wing,

And she kneels at the footstool of Herod the King.


Her young head is drooping, her eyes are bent low,

Her hands meekly crossed on her bosom of snow,

And, veiling her figure, her shining hair flows,

While Herod, flushed high with the revel, arose.


Outspake the rash monarch,—“Now, maiden, impart,

Ere thou leave us, the loftiest hope of thy heart!

By the God of my fathers! what e’er it may be,⁠—

To the half of my kingdom,—’tis granted to thee!”


The girl, half-bewildered, uplifted her eyes,

Dilated with timid delight and surprise,

And a swift, glowing smile o’er her happy face stole,

As if some sunny wish had just woke in her soul.


Will she tell it? Ah, no! She has caught the wild gleam

Of a soldier’s dark eye, and she starts from her dream;

Falters forth her sweet gratitude,—veils her fair frame,⁠—

And glides from the presence, all glowing with shame.


Of costly cedar, rarely carved, the royal chambers ceiling,

The columned walls, of marble rich, its brightest hues revealing;

Around the room a starry smile the lamp of crystal shed,

But warmest lay its lustre on a noble lady’s head;

Her dark hair, bound with burning gems, whose fitful lightning glow,

Is tame beside the wild, black eyes that proudly flash below:

The Jewish rose and olive blend their beauty in her face;

She bears her in her high estate with an imperial grace;

All gorgeous glows with orient gold the broidery of her vest;

With precious stones its purple fold is clasped upon her breast;

She gazes from her lattice forth. What sees the lady there?

A strange, wild beauty crowns the scene,—but she has other care!

Far off fair Moab’s emerald slopes, and Jordan’s lovely vale;

And nearer,—heights where fleetest foot of wild gazelle would fail;

While crowning every verdant ridge, like drifts of moonlit snow,

Rich palaces and temples rise, around, above, below,

Gleaming thro’ groves of terebinth, of palm, and sycamore,

Where the swift torrents dashing free, their mountain music pour;

And arched o’er all, the Eastern heaven lights up with glory rare

The landscape’s wild magnificence;—but she has other care!

Why flings she thus, with gesture fierce, her silent lute aside?

Some deep emotion chafes her soul with more than wonted pride;

But, hark! a sound has reached her heart, inaudible elsewhere,

And hushed, to melting tenderness, the storm of passion there!

The far-off fall of fairy feet, that fly in eager glee,

A voice, that warbles wildly sweet, some Jewish melody!

She comes! her own Salomé comes! her pure and blooming child!

She comes, and anger yields to love, and sorrow is beguiled:

Her singing bird! low nestling now upon the parent breast,

She murmurs of the monarch’s vow with girlish laugh and jest:⁠—


      “Now choose me a gift and well!

        There are so many joys I covet!

      Shall I ask for a young gazelle?

          ’Twould be more than the world to me;

      Fleet and wild as the wind,

        Oh! how I would cherish and love it!

      With flowers its neck I’d bind,

    And joy in its graceful glee.


      “Shall I ask for a gem of light,

        To braid in my flowing ringlets?

      Like a star thro’ the veil of night,

          Would glisten its glorious hue;

      Or a radiant bird, to close

        Its beautiful, waving winglets

      On my bosom in soft repose,

          And share my love with you!”


She paused,—bewildered, terror-struck; for, in her mother’s soul,

Roused by the promise of the king, beyond her weak control,

The exulting tempest of Revenge and Pride raged wild and high,

And sent its storm-cloud to her brow, its lightning to her eye!

Her haughty lip was quivering with anger and disdain,

Her beauteous, jewelled hands were clenched, as if from sudden pain.


“Forgive,” Salomé faltering cried, “Forgive my childish glee!

’Twas selfish, vain,—oh! look not thus! but let me ask for thee!”

Then smiled,—it was a deadly smile,—that lady on her child,

And “Swear thou’ll do my bidding, now!” she cried, in accents wild:

“Ah! when, from earliest childhood’s hour, did I thine anger dare!

Yet, since an oath thy wish must seal,—by Judah’s hopes, I swear!”

Herodias stooped,—one whisper brief!—was it a serpent’s hiss,

That thus the maiden starts and shrinks beneath the woman’s kiss?

A moment’s pause of doubt and dread!—then wild the victim knelt,⁠—

“Take, take my worthless life instead! Oh! if thou e’er hast felt

A mother’s love,—thou canst not doom—no, no! ’twas but a jest!

Speak!—speak! and let me fly once more, confiding, to thy breast!”

A hollow and sepulchral tone was hers who made reply:

“The oath! the oath!—remember, girl! ’tis registered on high!”

Salomé rose,—mute, moveless stood as marble, save in breath,

Half senseless in her cold despair, her young cheek blanched like death!

But an hour since, so joyous, fond, without a grief or care,

Now struck with wo unspeakable,—how dread a change was there!

“It shall be done!” was that the voice that rang so gaily sweet,

When, innocent and blest she came, but now, with flying feet?

“It shall be done!” she turns to go, but, ere she gains the door,

One look of wordless, deep reproach she backward casts,—no more!

But late she sprang the threshold o’er, a light and blooming child,

Now, reckless, in her grief she goes a woman stern and wild.


With pallid check, dishevelled hair, and wildly gleaming eyes,

Once more before the banquetters, a fearful phantom flies!

Once more at Herod’s feet it falls, and cold with nameless dread

The wondering monarch bends to hear. A voice, as from the dead,

From those pale lips, shrieks madly forth,—“Thy promise, king, I claim,

And if the grant be foulest guilt,—not mine,—not mine the blame!

Quick, quick recall that reckless vow, or strike thy dagger here,

Ere yet this voice demand a gift that chills my soul with fear!

Heaven’s curse upon the fatal grace that idly charmed thine eyes!

Oh! better had I ne’er been born than be the sacrifice!

The word I speak will blanch thy cheek, if human heart be thine,

It was a fiend in human form that murmured it to mine.

To die for me! a thoughtless child! for me must blood be shed!

Bend low,—lest angels hear me ask!—oh! God!—the Baptist’s head!”





There are few phenomena observable on the ocean, more striking than the phosphorescence of the water, when seen in high perfection. It has forcibly attracted the attention of poets and philosophers in all ages, and many and curious have been the speculations of those who have endeavored to explain the brilliant apparition. In later times, however, the progress of natural science has dissipated the mystery to a considerable extent, destroying a portion of its romantic interest, without, thereby, diminishing its exquisite beauty.

We are well informed, at present, that all the brilliant pyrotechny of Neptune is the effect of animal secretion, not differing essentially in cause from that which ornaments our groves and meadows, when the glow-worms of Europe, the fire-flies of North America, or the fulgoure of the Indies are lighting their fairy love-lanterns beneath the cool, green leaves, or filling the air with their mimic meteors.

To those who are not familiar with microscopic researches, it may seem almost impossible that animal life can be multiplied to such excess in the transparent waters, where not a mote is visible by daylight, as to give rise to the broad and bright illumination of the sea, so frequently observed within the lower latitudes; and many, for this reason, have attributed these night-fires of the deep to the impurity and occasional fermentation of the ocean,—a cause which they esteem more nearly commensurate with the magnificence of the result. Such theorists regard this phosphorescence as similar to that so constantly produced by putrifying fish and decaying wood.

These ideas, as I have stated, are no longer tenable, and the real origin of the phenomenon is better understood. But even now, the few who have witnessed it in full extent, variety, and grandeur—a privilege rarely enjoyed, except by those who have made long voyages, and have become familiar with many seas—are lost in wonder; and, unless professionally devoted to the study of natural history, they find it difficult to credit the assertion, that all these vast displays are mere results of living action.

It may prove interesting, then, to those who are fond of such investigations, to offer some remarks on the multitudinous character of those tribes of simple and transparent beings, which swarm about the surface of the ocean, and may be found continually changing in race and habits, with almost every degree of latitude we traverse.

If you will take the trouble, on some suitable occasion during the month of November or December, to descend into a fashionable oyster cellar, and ask admission to the pile of freshly opened shells stowed in the usual receptacle, which is in some dark vault or closet about the premises, you may chance to witness, on a diminutive scale, the far-famed phosphorescence of the sea, without enduring the heavy immigration tax levied, with unrelenting severity, by the old trident-bearer upon all novices, except, perhaps, a few fortunate favorites.

Take up the shovel that leans against the wall, order the light removed and the door closed, and then proceed to disturb the shells. If they have been taken from the water, where it is purely salt,—and still more certainly if gathered from the beds of blue marine mud that are the favorite resort of the finest oysters—the moment you throw a shovelful upon the top of the pile, the whole mass, jarred by the blow, will become spangled with hundreds of brilliant stars—not in this case pale and silvery, but of the richest golden-green or blue. None of these stars may equal in size the head of the finest pin; but so intense is the light emitted by them, that a single, and scarcely visible point will sometimes illuminate an inch of the surrounding surface, even casting shadows from the little spears of sea-grass growing in its neighborhood.

Choose one of the most conspicuous of these diminutive tapers, and, without removing it from the shell, carry it towards the gas-lamp. As you approach, the brilliancy of the star declines; and when the full flood of light is thrown upon the shell, it nearly, or entirely disappears. If you press your finger rudely upon the spot, you will again perceive the luminous matter diffused, like a fluid, over the surrounding surface, and shining, for an instant, more brightly than ever, even under the immediate glare of the gas. Then all is over. You have crushed one of the glow-worms of the deep—an animal, once probably as vain of his golden flame as you of any of your brilliant endowments—perhaps some sentinel there stationed to alarm his sleeping brethren of the approach of danger—perhaps an animalcular Hero trimming her solitary lamp to guide her chosen one, through more than Leander’s dangers, along the briny path to her rocky bower, beset by all the microscopic monsters of the corallines! At all events, despise it as you may, this little being was possessed of life, susceptible of happiness, and endowed with power to outshine, with inborn lustre, the richest gem in Europe’s proudest diadem!

The sea is filled in many regions, and at various seasons, with incalculable multitudes of living creatures, in structure much resembling this little parasite, but often vastly more imposing in dimensions. The smallest tribes that are able to call attention to their individual existence generally wander, like erratic stars, beneath the waves. They may be seen by thousands shooting past the vessel, on evenings when the moon is absent or obscured, suddenly lighting their torches when the motion of the bow produces a few curling swells and breakers on either hand, and whirling from eddy to eddy, as they sweep along the side and are lost in the wake. From time to time the vessel, in her progress, disturbs some large being of similar powers, who instantly ejects a trail of luminous fluid which, twining, and waving about among contending currents, assumes the semblance of a silver snake. But the most surprising of all proofs of the infinity of life is furnished by those inconceivably numerous bands of shining animalcules, too small for human vision, which in their aggregate effect perform, perhaps, the grandest part in beautifying the night scene on the ocean.

The crest of every wave emits a pale and milky light and every ripple that, urged onward too rapidly before the breeze, expires in spreading its little patch of foam upon the water, increases the mysterious brightness. On a starless evening the novice may find it very difficult to account for the distinctness with which even the distant billows may be traced by their whitened summits, while every other object is thrown into the deepest shade. The gentle radiation from within the foam deceives the eye:—it seems a mere reflection from the surface; and he turns again and again towards the heavens, with the constantly renewed impression, that the moon has found some transient opening in the cloudy canopy through which descends a thin pencil of rays to be glinted back from the edges of the waves.

Though certain portions of the ocean, generally, present but slender proofs of phosphorescence,—such being peculiarly the case within the gloomy limits of the Gulf Stream, for reasons not to be appropriately mentioned here—yet no observing person can have passed a week upon the ocean, or rowed his skiff by night on any of our principal harbors, without becoming familiar with most of the appearances to which allusion has been made. A mere voyage to Europe frequently presents much grander examples; but he who would enjoy the view of the phenomenon in its fullest glory, must “cross earth’s central line” “and brave the stormy spirit of the Cape.”

Let me transport you for a few moments into the midst of the Indian Ocean! The sultry sun of February has been basking all day upon the heated waters from a brassy sky without a cloud—the vapors of the upper regions resembling a thin veil of dust, fiery and glowing, as if recently ejected from the mouth of some vast furnace! But the tyrant has gone to his repose, and we enjoy some respite from his scorching influence. It is not cool, but the temperature is tolerable, and this is much! Leave the observation of the barometer to the captain! You cannot prevent a hurricane, should it be impending. Then trust such cares to those in whom is vested the responsibility, and come on deck with me.

There is no moon—but the “sentinel stars” are all at their post. Observe those broad flashes reflected upward from beneath the bows, and playing brightly upon the jib! At every plunge of the vessel, as she sinks into the trough of the sea, you might read a volume fluently by that mild radiance; and beautiful indeed is the view from the fore stay-sail nettings, looking down upon the curling wreaths on either side of the cut-water, and the long lines of foam thrown off by the swell as the vessel gracefully breasts the coming wave, all glowing like molten silver intermingled with a thousand diamonds!

But I will not lead you thitherward—a noble sight awaits us in our wake. Step to the stern and lean with me over the taffrail. What a glorious vision! For miles abaft, our course presents one long and wide canal of living light—the clear, blue ocean, transparent as air, filling it to repletion; while the darker waters around appear like some dense medium through which superior spirits have constructed this magic path-way for us and us alone, so nicely are its breadth and depth adjusted to the form of our gallant bark. Has not the galaxy been torn from heaven, and whelmed beneath the waves to form that burning road? No! no! Though thousands of bright orbs are set in that nether firmament to strengthen the delusion, yet it cannot be. Night’s stormy cincture never gleamed like this, nor bore such dazzling gems. There it still glimmers with its myriad sparks, athwart the dark blue vault, paled by the radiance of its sea-born rival, while huge globes of fire roll from beneath the keel, and blaze along the silvery track like showers of wandering meteors, but all too gentle in their aspect to be deemed of evil-augury.

Those stars are literally living stars,—that ocean galaxy is formed of living beings only,—and even those meteors, invisible by day, except when they approach unusually near to the surface, are active in pursuit of prey. Observe one closely, and you perceive its motions. Formed like a great umbrella of transparent jelly, with fibres, yards in length, trailing from its margin, and the handle carved into a beautiful group of leaves, it flaps its way regularly through the water with a stately march, and wo to the unfortunate creature that becomes involved in the meshes of its stinging tendrils.

This is no exaggerated picture, for such are the beautiful phenomena occasionally witnessed in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The animals upon whose agency they are dependent, generally become invisible by daylight in consequence of their transparency; but there are certain tribes among them whose peculiar structure renders them conspicuous: and of these one of the most remarkable is known to naturalists by the title of Salpa.

There are many species of the salpæ, but they bear a closer likeness to each other than do most of these simple tribes of being. In form they all resemble diminutive purses, composed of highly transparent jelly, with wide mouths like the ordinary clasp—and strengthened by a net-work of ribbons interwoven with the general texture of the purse. These are designed to supply the place of muscles. The salpæ move through the water by contracting the net-work, so as to render the cavity smaller and expel the water from it with some force; then, relaxing the fibres, they allow their natural elasticity to expand them to their original form; thus drawing in a fresh supply of fluid with which to renew the effort. In this manner they are driven onward, always retreating from the principal orifice of the sac. But I will not detain you with a detailed description of their singular organization. It is enough for our present purpose to state that near the bottom of the purse, within the thickness of its walls, there is a golden spot, as if a solitary coin was there deposited. This spot alone enables us to see the animal distinctly when floating in the water.

When young, these little creatures adhere together in strings or cords arranged like the leaflets of a pinnated leaf, in consecutive pairs, to the number of twenty or more. At that period, the most common species in the South Atlantic rarely exceed one half an inch in length, and the yellow spot hardly equals in size an ordinary grain of sand; yet, in certain regions of the ocean these salpæ swarm in such inconceivable multitudes that the sea assumes the appearance of a sandy shoal for miles in length and breadth. To the depth of many fathoms their delicate bodies are closely huddled together, until the constant repetition of the diminutive colored spots renders the water perfectly opaque, and so increases its consistence that the lighter ripple of the surface breaks upon the edge of the animated bank, while the heavier billows roll on smoothly, with the regular and more majestic motion of the ground swell. In passing through such tracts the speed of the vessel is sometimes sensibly checked by the increased resistance of the medium in which she moves; and when a bucket full of brine is lifted from the sea, it may contain a larger portion of living matter than of the fluid in which it floats.

There can be no reasonable doubt that most of those false shoals which disfigure the older charts—their existence proved upon authorities of known veracity and denied by others no less credible—have really been laid down by navigators who have met with beds of salpæ, and were ignorant of their true nature.

I have never seen these animals emitting light, but it is well known that many phosphorescent animalcules shine only in certain stages of the weather or at certain seasons of the year: and as several distinguished travellers have spoken of their luminous properties, it is at least probable that they or their congeners act an important part in dramas similar to that which has been just described. At all events, their history clearly shows the vastness of the scale of animal existence in the superficial waters of the ocean. But for the little yellow spot within their bodies, they would be totally invisible at the distance of a few feet in their native fluid, and could not interfere appreciably with the progress of the rays of light.

If further proof were necessary to show the incalculable increase of many oceanic tribes, it might be found in the history of living beings much more familiar to the mariner. Most persons have met with notices of the Portuguese man-of-war, called, by naturalists physalia, a living air sac of jelly provided with a sail, armed with a multitude of dependant bottle shaped stomachs, all capable of seizing prey, and colored more beautifully than the rainbow. This splendid creature pursues its way over the waves with all the skill of an accomplished pilot, and furnishes, when caught, one of the most astonishing examples of the adaptation of animal structure to the peculiar wants, and theatre of action of living beings, one of the most striking evidences of Omniscient Wisdom which nature offers to the moralist. The physalia rarely sails in squadrons, but wanders solitary and self-dependent over the tropical seas, a terror even to man, by the power which it possesses of stinging and inflicting pain upon whatever comes in contact with its long, trailing cables.

But there is another little sailor called the velella; unprovided with offensive weapons, though formed in most respects upon a model somewhat similar to that of the physalia, unguarded as the peaceful trader against the piratical attacks of a thousand enemies, its very race would soon become extinct, were it not for its unlimited increase.

Provided with a flat, transparent, oval scale of cartilage, for the support of a gelatinous body, it floats by specific levity, alone, for it has no air vessel—and employs its hundreds of stomachs for ballast. Another scale arising at right angles with the first and covered with thin membrane, supplies it with a sail. This unprotected creature serves as food for many predatory tribes, and of these, the most voracious is the barnacle. The flesh devoured, the scales still float for many days, mere wrecks of these gay vessels.

The velellæ are usually found in fleets, and to convey some idea of their numbers, I may state that on one occasion, when sailing before the western winds, beyond the southern latitude of the Cape of Good Hope, our ship encountered a group of globular masses of a pale yellow color swimming upon the surface and surrounded by fringes of an unknown substance. Each mass resembled the eggs of some great sea-bird, reposing on a nest of buoyant feathers. Taking them with a dip net, from the chains, we found the yellow masses to be globular cryptogamous plants, to every one of which adhered a group of barnacles, far larger than the largest I had ever seen before.[1] Many of these last were so intent upon demolishing their prey, that, even in leaving their native element, to fall into the hands of tyrants more dangerous than themselves, it was not always relinquished. Grasping in their horny arms the unfortunate velellæ, they continued grinding the soft jelly from the tougher cartilage, with an avidity and determination that reminded me strongly of the scene in Byron’s Siege of Corinth, where Alp, the renegade,


“Saw the lean dogs beneath the wall

Hold, o’er the dead, their carnival,

Gorging and growling o’er carcass and limb;

They were too busy to bark at him!”


This drew our attention to the source from which such plentiful supplies of food were obtained, and on examination, the ocean was found literally covered with the scales of the murdered velellæ, faintly distinguishable by their glistening in the sunshine, and interspersed with a few living specimens waiting their turn in the general massacre. We scooped them up by thousands; and for three long days the ship swept onward “dead before the wind” with the steady and scarcely paralleled speed of more than ten knots an hour, thus accomplishing a change of more than seven hundred miles in longitude, before the last remnant of this unhappy fleet was passed.

Though it is not pretended that these little sea-boats possess the phosphorescent quality, their numbers and the wide extent of their flotilla will suffice to render far less wonderful the vastness of those beautiful results of animal secretion which have furnished the subject of this sketch.

But there are other similar and more remarkable phenomena attendant on these brilliant night scenes, that can only be explained, either by supposing that myriads of these aquatic beings are endowed with a community of instinct, or, that the changes of the weather influenced them in such a way as to awaken all their luminous powers upon the instant, without the intervention of any mechanical disturbing cause, in the mere frolic mood of nature.

Those who have visited the Chinese islands, or either of several other well known regions in the Pacific, have been occasionally surprised, on a calm moon-light night, when scarce a swell, and not a ripple is perceptible, to see the ocean suddenly converted into one wide pool of milk! As described by a few observers who have been so fortunate as to witness this rare and strange appearance, the color is so equally diffused over the whole field of view, that all resemblance to the ordinary hue is lost, and yet no wandering stars,—no scattered torches can be seen—not even beneath the bows—so feeble is the intensity of the light emitted, that several have denied the agency of phosphorescence in producing this remarkable effect, and were convinced there was a real change in the nature of the fluid; but others, less enamored of the supernatural, have clearly proved that even this phenomenon is due to the activity of an infinity of animalcules.

The very rarity of such occurrences distinctly shows that the microscopic beings which produce it do not emit their light at all times, and there must exist some cause for this wide-spread and consentaneous action. To community of instinct it can hardly be attributed.

We may understand the fact, wonderful as it may be, that an army of emmets should cross a public road or open space, from field to field, or from forest to forest, fashioning themselves, as they are sometimes known to do, into the form of a snake, by crawling over each other’s backs, by dozens, from the tail to the head of the figure; thus shortening it at one extremity, while they lengthen it at the other, and cause it to advance slowly towards their desired retreat! We may understand this evidence of untaught wisdom, for we see its purpose and its usefulness. Such means enable these defenceless beings to elude the vigilance of their feathery enemies, whose beaks, but for the terror of the mimic reptile, would soon annihilate the weak community.

We may even comprehend that more magnificent display of providential guidance witnessed in the habits of the coral animals, where nations of separate beings, outnumbering a thousand times the living population of the earth and air, enjoy one common life, and build up islands, for the use of man, on models definitely fixed. For here, also, there is purpose, and were it not that every individual of the host performs his proper duty—constructing, here a buttress, there an alcove,—the dash of the billows and the fury of the storm would soon disintegrate the growing structure. The reef that lies athwart the mariner’s path, and strews itself with wrecks, would never rise above the surface, to gather the seeds of vegetation, attract the cool, fresh moisture from the air, and lay foundations for the future happiness and wealth of man.

But how shall we explain an instinct by which myriads of creatures, totally distinct and unconnected, are induced, without apparent end or object, to act in concert over leagues of sea, as it would seem merely to fright the passing voyager! It may be that the action of these animalcules, by which the milky glimmering is occasioned, is involuntary. It may be the result of atmospheric or electric influence upon the living frame, to serve some hidden purpose in their unknown economy; for many things, even in our own organic history, surpass our powers of comprehension; we know neither their nature nor their use. But analogy would lead us to infer the exercise of will in all the various phenomena of phosphorescence, however impenetrable the purpose of its exercise may be. Like the insect songs of a summer night, or the love-light of the glow-worm and the fire-fly, they probably control or guide the motions of the individual or of whole communities.

This idea receives some countenance from the history of a more remarkable example of this sub-marine meteor, witnessed in the southern summer of 1823-4, near the island of Tristan d’Acunha, under circumstances never to be forgotten—and with one short notice of its character I will leave the reader to his reflections upon these wonders of the deep.

The night was dark and damp—the western breeze too light to steady the vessel, and she rolled heavily over the wide swell of the South Atlantic, making it difficult for a landsman to maintain his footing on the deck. A fog-bank, which hung around the northern horizon at sunset, now came sweeping slowly down upon us in the twilight. The captain ordered the light sails furled in expectation of a squall, and we stood leaning together over the bulwarks, watching the mist, which approached more and more rapidly, till it resembled, in the increasing darkness, an immense and toppling wall extending from the water to the clouds, and seemed threatening to crush us beneath it. There was something peculiarly awful in its impenetrable obscurity; and even the crew relinquished their several occupations to gaze on the unusual aspect of the fog. It reached us;—but just at this moment, a flash, like a broad sheet of summer lightning, spread itself over the ocean as far as the eye could reach, but deep below the waves. Five or six times, at intervals, of a few seconds, the flash was repeated, and then the vessel was enveloped in the mist. The breeze immediately quickened; the sailors sprang to their stations, and, for a few minutes, the bustle of preparation for a change of wind attracted the exclusive attention of every one. In this short interval, the narrow belt of vapor had passed off to leeward, and left us bounding merrily along at the rate of ten knots an hour, with a spanking norther full upon our beam, over waves sparkling and dancing in the clear, bright moon-light. But, the lightning of the waters was gone!

The Anatifa Vitrea.





Thou art ever fair to me⁠—

  Fairer than the Autumn moon,

Or a fountain, in its glee,

  Singing through the woods of June⁠—

Fairer than a streamlet bright

Flowing on in shimmered light,

Darkling under grassy sedge

Fringing all the river’s edge,

Rippling by the breezes fann’d,

Sliding over silver sand,

Through the meadow gayly ranging

With an aspect ever changing,

Yet with quiet depths below,

And an even, constant flow,

Pensive, musical and slow⁠—

Ever such thou art to me,

Laughing, blue-eyed Callore!


Oh! the stars have sybil tones!

Singing by their golden thrones,

Singing as they watching stand

In their weird and silent land!

But thy voice is sweeter far

Than the music of the star!

Melting on the air at even,

  With a mystic sound

  Flowing, flowing all around,

’Till the soul is raised to heaven

Oh! at moments such as these

I could kneel on bended knees,

Ever kneel and hear thee sing,

Silent, rapt and worshipping.


As a bark upon the tide

  Moving on to symphony,

With its dipping oars beside

   Keeping time melodiously,

So thou movest on thy way,

Ever graceful, ever gay.

Or, perchance, in sportive band,

With thy sisters hand in hand,

Swinging all in mystic round⁠—

Thou wilt dance with gentle sound,

A sound as that of fairy feet,

Soft, harmonious and sweet,

As woodland waterfalls at night

Tinkling in the still starlight.


How thine eyes with tears o’erflow

At the troubled tale of wo⁠—

In those eyes I love to look,

They to me are as a book.

There I read without disguise,

  And a joy beyond control,

  All that in thine inner soul

As upon an altar lies⁠—

Gazing thus, I feel as when

Buried from the haunts of men,

In some quiet shady nook,

Looking downwards in the brook⁠—

I have heard the forest breeze

Wake mysterious melodies,

Bringing sounds of childish play

From the solitudes away,

Singing as a gleesome boy,

Ravishing the soul with joy,

Lifting it on pinions free⁠—

Silver-tonguéd Callore!


Ever, ever thou art meek,

  With a mirthful soberness;

None have ever heard thee speak

  Of thy passing loveliness⁠—

Thou dost joy to be away

From the garish light of day;

Brooding o’er each holy feeling

Soft across thy bosom stealing;

With thine eyelids downward bent,

Musing in a meek content,

Like a saint upon a shrine

Wrapt in dreams of bliss divine!

Surely, thou art not of earth⁠—

With the angels is thy birth⁠—

Thou hast come awhile, to be

My guide to heaven, Callore!







In one of those sweet glens, half pastoral half sylvan, which may be found in hundreds channelling the steep sides of the moorland hills, and sending down the tribute of their pure limestone springs to the broad rapid rivers which fertilize no less than they adorn the lovely vales of Western Yorkshire, there may be seen to this day the ruins of an old dwelling-house, situate on a spot so picturesque, so wild, and yet so soft in its romantic features, that they would well repay the traveller for a brief halt, who, but too often, hurries onward in search of more remote yet certainly not greater beauties. The gorge, within the mouth of which the venerable pile is seated, opens into the broader valley from the north-eastern side, enjoying the full light and warmth of the southern sunshine; and, although very narrow at its origin, where its small crystal rivulet springs up from the lonely well-head, fringed by a few low shrubs of birch and alder, expands here, at its mouth, into a pretty amphitheatre or basin of a few acres circuit. A wild and feathery coppice of oak, and birch, and hazel, with here and there a mountain ash, showing its bright red berries through the rich foliage, clothes all the lower part of the surrounding slopes; while, far above, the seamed and shattered faces of the gray, slaty limestone rise up like artificial walls, their summits crowned with the fair purple heather, and every nook and cranny in their sides crowded with odorous wild flowers. Within the circuit of these natural limits, sheltering it from every wind of heaven, except the gentle south, the turf lies smooth and even as if it were a cultured lawn; while a few rare exotic shrubs, now all run out of shape, and bare, and straggling, indicate even yet the time when it was a fair shrubbery, tended by gentle hands, and visited by young and lovely beings, now cold in their untimely sepulchres. The streamlet, which comes gushing down the glen with its clear, copious flow, boiling and murmuring about the large gray boulders which everywhere obstruct its channels, making a thousand mimic cataracts, and wakening ever a wild, mirthful music, sweeps here quite close to the foot of the eastern cliff, the feathery branches of the oakwood dipping their foliage in its eddies, and then, just as it issues forth into the open champaine, wheels round in a half circle, completely fanning the little amphitheatre above, except at one point hard beneath the opposite hill face, where a small winding horse track, engrossing the whole space between the streamlet and the limestone rock, gives access to the lone demesne. A small green hillock, sloping down gently to the southward, fills the embracing arms of the bright brook, around the northern base of which is scattered a little grove of the most magnificent and noblest sycamores that I have ever seen; but on the other side, which yet retains its pristine character of a smooth open lawn, there are no obstacles to the view over the wide valley, except three old gnarled thorn bushes, uncommon from their size and the dense luxuriance of their matted greenery. It was upon the summit of this little knoll that the old homestead stood, whose massive ruins of red freestone, all overgrown with briers, and tall rank grass and dock leaves, deface the spot which they adorned of old; and, when it was erect in all its fair proportions, the scene which it overlooked, and its own natural attractions, rendered it one of the loveliest residences in all the north of England—the wide, rich, gentle valley, all meadow land or pasture, without one brown ploughed field to mar its velvet green; the tall, thick hawthorn hedges, with their long lines of hedgerow timber, oak, ash and elm, waving above the smooth enclosures; the broad, clear, tranquil river flashing out like a silver mirror through the green foliage; the scattered farm-houses, each nestled as it were among its sheltering orchards; the village spire shooting up from the clump of giant elms which over-shadow the old grave-yard; the steep, long slope on the other side of the vale, or strath, as it would be called in Scotland, all mapped out to the eye, with its green fences and wide hanging woods; and, far beyond, the rounded summits of the huge moorland hills, ridge above ridge, purple, and grand, and massive, but less and less distinct as they recede from the eye, and melt away at last into the far blue distance—such was the picture which its windows overlooked of old, and which still laughs as gaily in the sunshine around its mouldering walls and lonely hearth-stone.

But if it is fair now, and lovely, what was it as it showed in the good old days of King Charles, before the iron hand of civil war had pressed so heavily on England? The grove of sycamores stood there, as they stand now, in the prime and luxuriance of their sylvan manhood; for they are waxing now aged and somewhat gray and stag-horned; and the thorn bushes sheltered, as they do now, whole choirs of thrushes and blackbirds, but all the turf beneath the scattered trees and on the sunny slope was shorn, and rolled, and watered, that it was smooth and even, and far softer than the most costly carpet that ever wooed the step of Persian beauty. The Hall was a square building, not very large, of the old Elizabethan style, with two irregular additions, wings, as they might be called, of the same architecture, though of a later period, and its deep-embayed oriel windows, with their fantastic mullions of carved freestone, its tall quaint chimneys, and its low porch, with overhanging canopy and clustered columns, rendered it an object singularly picturesque and striking. The little green within the gorge of the upper glen, which is so wildly beautiful in its present situation, left as it is to the unaided hand of nature, was then a perfect paradise; for an exquisite taste had superintended its conversion into a sort of untrained garden; an eye well used to note effects had marked its natural capabilities, and, adding artificial beauties, had never trenched upon the character of the spot by anything incongruous or startling. Rare plants, rich-flowering shrubs, and scented herbs were indeed scattered with a lavish hand about its precincts, but were so scattered that they seemed the genuine productions of the soil; the Spanish cistus had been taught to carpet the wild crags in conjunction with the native thyme and heather; the arbutus and laurestinus had been brought from afar to vie with the mountain ash and holly; the clematis and the sweet scented vine blended their tendrils with the rich English honeysuckle and the luxuriant ivy; rare lotuses might be seen floating with their azure colored cups and broad green leaves upon the glassy basins, into which the mountain streamlet had been taught to expand, among the white wild water lilies and the bright yellow clusters of the marsh marigold; roses of every hue and scent, from the dark crimson of Damascus to the pale blush of soft Provence, grew side by side with the wild wood-brier and the eglantine, and many a rustic seat, of mossy stone or roots and unbarked branches, invited the loitering visiter in every shadowy angle.

There was no spot in all the north of England whereon the winter frowned so lightly as on those sheltered precincts—there was no spot whereon spring smiled so early, and with so bright an aspect—wherein the summer so long lingered, pouring her gorgeous flowers, rich with her spicy breath, into the very lap of autumn. It was, indeed, a sweet spot, and as happy as it was sweet and beautiful, before the curse of civil war was poured upon the groaning land, with its dread train of foul and fiendish ministers; and yet it was not war, nor any of its direct consequences, that turned that happy home into a ruin and a desolation. It was not war—except the struggles of the human heart—the conflict of the fierce and turbulent passions—the strife of principles, of motives, of desires, within the secret soul, maybe called war, as, indeed, they might, and that with no figurative tongue, for they are surely the hottest, the most devastating, the most fatal of all that bear that ominous and cruel appellation.

Such was the aspect then of Ingleborough Hall, at the period when it was perhaps the most beautiful; and when, as is but too often the case, its beauties were on the very point of being brought to a close forever. The family which owned the manor, for the possessions attached to the old homestead were large, and the authority attached to them extended over a large part of Upper Wharfdale, was one of those old English races which, though not noble in the literal sense of the word, are yet so ancient, and so indissolubly connected with the soil, that they may justly be comprised among the aristocracy of the land. The name was Saxon, and it was generally believed—and probably with truth—that the date of the name, and of its connection with that estate, was at the least coeval with the conquest. To what circumstances it was owing that the Hawkwoods, for such was the time-honored appellation of the race, had retained possession of their fair demesne when all the land was allotted out to feudal barons and fat priests, can never now be ascertained; nor does it indeed signify; yet that it was to some honorable cause, some service rendered, or some high exploit, may be fairly presumed from the fact that the mitred potentate of Bolton Abbey, who levied his tythes far and near throughout those fertile valleys, had no claims on the fruits of Ingleborough. During the ages that had passed since the advent of the Norman William, the Hawkwoods had never lacked male representatives to sustain the dignity of their race; and gallantly had they sustained it; for in full many a lay and legend, aye! and in grave, cold history itself, the name of Hawkwood might be found side by side with the more sonorous appellations of the Norman feudatories, the Ardens, and Maulevers, and Vavasours, which fill the chronicles of border warfare. At the period of which we write, however, the family had no male scion—the last male heir, Ralph Hawkwood, had died some years before, full of years and of domestic honors—a zealous sportsman, a loyal subject, a kind landlord, a good friend—his lot had fallen in quiet times and pleasant places, and he lived happily, and died in the arms of his family, at peace with all men. His wife, a calm and placid dame, who had, in her young days, been the beauty of the shire, survived him, and spent her whole time, as she devoted her whole mind and spirit, in educating the two daughters, joint heiresses of the old manor-houses, who were left by their father’s death, two bright-eyed fair-haired prattlers, dependent for protection on the strong love but frail support of their widowed mother.

Years passed away, and with their flight the two fair children were matured into two sweet and lovely women; yet the same fleeting suns which brought to them complete and perfect youth were fraught to others with decay, and all the carking cares, and querulous ailments of old age. The mother, who had watched with keen solicitude over their budding infancy, over the promise of their lovely childhood, lived indeed, but lived not to see or understand the full accomplishment of that bright promise. Even before the elder girl had reached the dawn of womanhood, palsy had shaken the enfeebled limbs, and its accustomed follower—mental debility—had, in no small degree, impaired the intellect of her surviving parent; but long before her sister had reached her own maturity, the limbs were helplessly immovable, the mind was wholly clouded and estranged. It was not now the wandering and uncertain darkness that flits across the veiled horizon of the mind alternately with vivid gleams, flashes of memory and intellect, brighter perhaps than ever visited the spirit until its partial aberrations had jarred its vital principle—it was that deep and utter torpor, blanker than sleep and duller, for no dreams seem to mingle with its day-long lethargy—that absolute paralysis of all the faculties of soul and body, which is so beautifully painted by the great Roman satirist, as the


Membrorum damno major dementia, quæ nec

Homina servorum, nec vultum agnoscit amici

Cum quo præterita cænavit nocti, nec illos

Quos genuit, quos eduxit”—

that still, sad, patient, silent suffering, which sits from day to day in the one usual chair, unconscious of itself and almost so of all around it; easily pleased by trifles, which it forgets as soon, deriving its sole real and tangible enjoyment from the doze in the summer sunshine, or by the sparkling hearth of winter. Such was the mother now; so utterly, so hopelessly dependent on the cares and gratitude of those bright beings whose infancy she had nursed so devotedly—and well was that devotedness now compensated; for day and night, winter and summer, did those sweet girls by turn watch over the frail, querulous sexagenarian—never both leaving her at once, one sleeping while the other watched, attentive ever to her importunate and ceaseless cravings, patient and mild to meet her angry and uncalled for lamentations.

You would have thought that a seclusion so entire, from all society of their equals, must have prevented their acquiring those usual accomplishments, those necessary arts, which every English gentlewoman is presumed to possess as things of course—that they must have grown up mere ignorant, unpolished country lasses, without a taste or aspiration beyond the small routine of their dull daily duties—that long confinement must have broken the higher and more spiritual parts of their fine natural minds—that they must have become mere moping household drudges—and so to think would be so very natural, that it is by no means easy to conceive how it was brought to pass, that the very opposite of this should have been the result. The very opposite it was, however—for as there were not in the whole West Riding two girls more beautiful than Annabel and Marian Hawkwood, so were there surely none so highly educated, so happy in themselves, so eminently calculated to render others happy. Accomplished as musicians both, though Annabel especially excelled in instrumental music, while her young sister was unrivalled in voice and execution as a songstress; both skilled in painting; and if not poetesses in so much as to be stringers of words and rhymes, certainly such, and that too of no mean order, in the wider and far higher acceptation of the word; for their whole souls were attuned to the very highest key of spiritual sensibility—romantic, not in the weak and ordinary meaning of the term, but as admirers of all things high, and pure, and noble—worshippers of the beautiful, whether it were embodied in the wild scenery of their native glens, in the rock, the stream, the forest, the sunshine that clothed all of them in a rich garb of glory, or the dread storm that veiled them all in gloom and terror—or in the master-pieces of the schools of painting and of sculpture—or in the pages of the great, the glorious of all ages—or in the deeds of men, perils encountered hardily, sufferings constantly endured, sorrows assuaged by charitable generosity. Such were they in the strain and tenor of their minds; gentle, moreover, as the gentlest of created things; humble to their inferiors, but with a proud, and self-respecting, and considerate humility; open, and free, and frank toward their equals; but proud, although not wanting in loyalty and proper reverence for the great, and almost haughty of demeanor to their superiors, when they encountered any such, which was, indeed, of rare and singular occurrence. It was a strange thing, indeed, that these lone girls should have possessed such characters, so strongly marked, so powerful and striking; should have acquired accomplishments, so many and so various in their nature. It will appear, perhaps, even stranger to merely superficial thinkers, that the formation of those powerful characters had been, for the most part, brought about by the very circumstances which would at first have appeared most unpropitious—their solitary habits namely, and their seclusion, almost absolute seclusion, from the gay world of fashion and of folly. The large and opulent county, in which their patrimony lay, was indeed then, as now, studded with the estates, the manors, and the parks of the richest and the noblest of England’s aristocracy, yet the deep glens and lofty moorlands among which Ingleborough Hall was situate, are even to this day a lonely and sequestered region; no great post-road winds through their devious passes; and, although in the close vicinity of large and populous towns, they are, even in the nineteenth century, but little visited, and are occupied by a population singularly primitive and pastoral in all its thoughts and feelings. Much more then in those days, when carriages were seen but rarely beyond the streets of the metropolis, when roads were wild and rugged, and intercourse between the nearest places, unless of more than ordinary magnitude, difficult and uncertain, was that wild district to be deemed secluded. So much so, indeed, was this the case, at the time of which I write, that there were not within a circle of some twenty miles two families of equal rank, or filling the same station in society, with the Hawkwoods. This, had the family been in such circumstances of domestic health and happiness as would have permitted the girls to mingle in the gaieties of the neighborhood, would have been a serious and severe misfortune; as they must, from continual intercourse with their inferiors, have contracted, in a greater or less degree, a grossness both of mind and manners; and would, most probably, have fallen into that most destructive habit—destructive to the mind, I mean, and to all chance of progress or advancement—the love of queening it in low society. It was, therefore, under their circumstances, including the loss of one parent and the entire bereavement of the other, fortunate in no small degree that they were compelled to seek their pleasures and their occupations, no less than their duties, within the sphere of the domestic circle.

The mother, who was now so feeble and so helpless, though never a person of much intellectual energy, or indeed of much force of any kind, was yet in the highest sense of the word a lady; she had seen in her youth something of the great world, apart from the rural glens which witnessed her decline; had mingled with the gay and noble even at the court of England, and, being possessed of more than ordinary beauty, had been a favorite and in some degree a belle. From her, then, had her daughters naturally and unconsciously imbibed that easy, graceful finish which, more than all beside, is the true stamp of gentle birth and bearing. Long before children can be brought to comprehend general principles or rules of convention, they can and do acquire habits, by that strange tact of imitation and observance which certainly commences at a stage so early of their young, frail existences, that we cannot, by any effort, mark its first dawning—habits which, thus acquired, can hardly be effaced at all—which will endure unaltered and invariable when tastes, and practices, and modes of thought and action, contracted long, long afterward, have faded quite away and been forgotten. Thus was it, then, with these young creatures; while they were yet mere girls, with all the pure, right impulses of childhood bursting out fresh and fair, they had been trained up in the midst of high, and honorable, and correct associations—naught low, or mean, or little; naught selfish, or dishonest, or corrupt had ever come near to them—in the sight of virtue and in the practice of politeness they had shot up into maturity; and their maturity, of consequence, was virtuous and polished. In after years, devoted as they were to that sick mother, they had no chance of unlearning anything; and thus, from day to day, they went on gaining fresh graces, as it were, by deduction from their foregone teachings, and from the purity of their young natures—for purity and nature, when united, must of necessity be graceful—until the proudest courts of Europe could have shown nothing, even in their most difficult circles, that could surpass, even it could vie with, the easy, artless frankness, the soft and finished courtesy, the unabashed yet modest grace of those two mountain maidens.

At the period when my sad tale commences—for it is no less sad than true—the sisters had just reached the young yet perfect bloom of mature womanhood, the elder, Annabel, having attained her twentieth summer, her sister Marian being exactly one year younger; and certainly two sweeter or more lovely girls could not be pictured or imagined—not in the brightest moments of the painter’s or the poet’s inspiration. They were both tall and beautifully formed—both had sweet low-toned voices—that excellent thing in woman!—but here all personal resemblance ended; for Annabel, the elder, had a complexion pure and transparent as the snow of the untrodden glacier before the sun has kissed it into roseate blushes, and quite as colorless; her features were of the finest classic outline; the smooth, fair brow, the perfect Grecian nose, the short curve of the upper lip, the exquisite arch of the small mouth, the chiselled lines of the soft rounded chin, might have served for a model to a sculptor, whereby to mould a mountain nymph or Naiad; her rich luxuriant hair was of a light and sunny brown, her eyes of a clear, lustrous blue, with a soft, languid, and half melancholy tenderness for their more usual expression, which united well with the calm, placid air which was almost habitual to her beautiful features. To this no contrast more complete could have been offered than by the widely different style of Marian’s loveliness. Though younger than her sister, her figure was more full and rounded—so much so, that it reached the very point where symmetry is combined with voluptuousness—yet was there nothing in the least degree voluptuous in the expression of her bright artless face. Her forehead, higher than Annabel’s, and broader, was as smooth and as white as polished marble; her brows were well-defined and black as ebony, as were the long, long lashes that fringed her laughing eyes—eyes of the brightest, lightest azure that ever glanced with merriment, or melted into love—her nose was small and delicate, but turned a little upwards, so as to add, however, rather than detract from the tout ensemble of her arch, roguish beauty—her mouth was not very small, but exquisitely formed, with lips redder than anything in nature, to which lips can be well compared, and filled with teeth, regular, white and beautifully even—fair as her sister’s, and, like hers, showing every where the tiny veins of azure meandering below the milky skin, Marian’s complexion was yet as bright as morning—faint rosy tints and red, warm blushes succeeding one another, or vanishing away and leaving the cheek pearly white, as one emotion followed and effaced another in her pure, innocent mind. Her hair, profuse in its luxuriant flow, was of a deep dark brown, that might have been almost called black, but for a thousand glancing golden lights and warm rich shadows that varied its smooth surface with the varying sunshine, and was worn in a thick, massive plait low down in the neck behind, while on either side the brow it was trained off and taught to cluster in front of either tiny ear in an abundant maze of interwoven curls, close and mysteriously enlaced as are the tendrils of the wild vine, which, fluttering on each warm and blushing cheek, fell down the swan-like neck in heavy natural ringlets. But to describe her features is to give no idea, in the least, of Marian’s real beauty—there was a radiant, dazzling lustre that leaped out of her every feature, lightning from her quick, speaking eyes, and playing in the dimples of her bewitching smile, that so intoxicated the beholder that he would dwell upon her face entranced, and know that it was lovely, and feel that it was far more lovely, far more enthralling than any he had ever looked upon before; yet, when without the sphere of that enchantment, he should be all unable to say wherein consisted its unmatched attraction.

Between the natural disposition and temperaments of the two sisters there was perhaps even a wider difference than between the characteristics of their personal beauty; for Annabel was calm, and mild, and singularly placid, not in her manners only, but in the whole tenor of her thoughts, and words, and actions; there was a sort of gentle melancholy, that was not altogether melancholy either, pervading her every tone of voice, her every change of feature. She was not exactly grave, nor pensive, nor subdued, for she could smile very joyously at times, could act upon emergencies with readiness, and quickness, and decision, and was at all times prompt in the expression of her confirmed sentiments; but there was a very remarkable tranquillity in her mode of doing every thing she did, betokening fully the presence of a decided principle directing her at every step, so that she was but rarely agitated, even by accidents of the most sudden and alarming character, and never actuated by any rapid impulse. The very opposite of this was Marian Hawkwood; for, although quite as upright and pure minded as her sister, and, what is more, of a temper quite as amiable and sweet, yet was her mood as changeful as an April day; although it was more used to mirth and joyous laughter than to frowns or tears either, yet had she tears as ready at any tale of sorrow as are the fountains of the spring shower in the cloud, and eloquent frowns and eyes that lightened their quick indignation at any outrage, or oppression, or high-handed violence; her cheek would crimson with the tell-tale blood, her flesh would seem to thrill upon her bones, her voice would choke, and her eyes swim with sympathetic drops whenever she read, or spoke, or heard of any noble deed, whether of gallant daring, or of heroic self-denial. Her tongue was prompt always, as the sword of the knight errant, to shelter the defenceless, to shield the innocent, to right the wronged, and sometimes to avenge the absent. Artless herself, and innocent in every thought and feeling, she set no guard on either; but as she felt and thought so she spoke out and acted, fearless even as she was unconscious of any wrong, defying misconstruction, and half inclined to doubt the possibility of evil in the minds of others, so foreign did it seem, and so impossible to her own natural and, as it were, instinctive sense of right.

Yet although such in all respects as I have striven to depict them, the one all quick and flashing impulse, the other all reflective and considerate principle, it was most wonderful how seldom there was any clashing of opinion and diversity of judgment as to what was to be done, what left undone, between the lovely sisters. Marian would, it is true, often jump at once to conclusions, and act as rapidly upon them, at which the more reflective Annabel would arrive only after some consideration—but it did not occur more often that the one had reason to repent of her precipitation than the other of her over caution—neither, indeed, had much cause for remorse of this kind at all, for all the impulses of the one, all the thoughts and principles of the other, were alike pure and kindly. With words, however, it was not quite so; for it must be admitted that Marian oftentimes said things, how unfrequently soever she did aught, which she would willingly have recalled afterwards; not, indeed, that she ever said anything unkind or wrong in itself, and rarely anything that could give pain to another, unless that pain were richly merited indeed—but that she gradually came to learn, long before she learned to restrain her impulses, that it may be very often unwise to speak what in itself is wise—and very often, if not wrong, yet certainly imprudent and of evil consequences to give loud utterance even to right opinions.

Such were the persons, such the dispositions of the fair heiresses of Ingleborough, at the time when they had attained the ages I have specified, and certainly, although their sphere of usefulness would have appeared at first sight circumscribed, and the range of their enjoyments very narrow, there rarely have been seen two happier or more useful beings than Annabel and Marian Hawkwood, in this wide world of sin and sorrow.

The care of their bereaved and hapless parent occupied, it is true, the greater portion of their time, yet they found many leisure hours to devote to visiting the poor, aiding the wants of the needy, consoling the sorrows of those who mourned, and sympathizing with the pleasures of the happy among their humble neighbors. To them this might be truly termed a work of love and pleasure, for it is questionable whether from any other source the lovely girls derived a higher or more satisfactory enjoyment, than from their tours of charity among their village pensioners. Next in the scale of happiness stood, doubtless, the society of the old vicar of that pastoral parish, a man who had been their father’s friend and counsellor in those young days of college friendship, when the fresh heart is uppermost in all, and selfishness a dormant passion; a man old enough almost to have been their grandsire, but with a heart as young and cheery as a boy’s—an intellect accomplished in the deepest lore of the schools, both classical and scientific, and skilled thoroughly in all the niceties and graces of French, and Spanish, and Italian literature. A man who had known courts, and camps too, for a short space in his youth; who had seen much, and suffered much, and yet enjoyed not a little, in his acquaintance with the world; and who, from sights, and sufferings, and enjoyments, had learned that if there is much evil, there is yet more of good even in this world—had learned, while rigid to his own, to be most lenient to his neighbor’s failings—had learned that charity should be the fruit of wisdom!—and had learned all this only to practise it in all his daily walks, to inculcate it in all his weekly lessons. This aged man, and his scarce less aged wife, living scarcely a stone’s throw from the Hall, had grown almost to think themselves a portion of the family; and surely no blood kindred could have created stronger ties of kindness than had the familiarity of long acquaintance, the confidence of old hereditary love. Lower yet in the round of their enjoyments, but still a constant source of blameless satisfaction, were their books, their music, their drawings, the management of their household, the cultivation of their lovely garden, the ministering to the wants of their loved birds and flowers. Thus, all sequestered and secluded from the world, placed in the midst of onerous duties and solicitudes almost innumerable, though they had never danced at a ball, nor blushed at the praises of their own beauty flowing from eloquent lips, nor listened to a lover’s suit, queens might have envied the felicity, the calm, pure, peaceful happiness of Annabel and Marian.

They were, indeed, too happy! I do not mean too happy to be virtuous, too happy to be mindful of, and grateful to, the Giver of all joy—but, as the common phrase runs, too happy for their happiness to be enduring. That is a strange belief—a wondrous superstition!—and yet it has been common to all ages. The Greeks, those wild poetic dreamers, imagined that their vain gods, made up of mortal attributes, envied the bliss of men, fearing that wretched earthlings should vie in happiness with the possessors of Olympus. They sang in their dark mystic choruses,


“That perfect bliss of men not childless dies,

But, ended, leaves a progeny behind

Of woes, that spring from fairest fortune blind⁠—”


and, though their other doctrines of that insuperable destiny, that absolute necessity, to resist which is needless labor; and of ancestral guilt, still reproducing guilt through countless generations, would seem to militate against it, there was no more established faith, and no more prevalent opinion, than that unwonted fortunes were necessarily followed by most unusual wo—hence, perhaps, the stern self-mortification of the middle ages—hence, certainly, the vulgar terror, prevalent more or less among all classes, and in every time and country, that children are too beautiful, too prematurely wise, too good, to be long-lived—that happiness is too great to be lasting—that mornings are too fine to augur stormless days! And we—aye! we ourselves—we of a better and purer dispensation—we half believe all this, and more than half tremble at it, although in truth there is no cause for fear in the belief—since, if there be aught of truth in the mysterious creed, which facts do in a certain sense seem to bear out, we can but think, we cannot but perceive, that this is but a varied form of care and mercy vouchsafed by the Great All-perfect, towards his frail creatures—that this is but a merciful provision to hinder us from laying up for ourselves “treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal”—a provision to restrain us from forgetting, in the small temporary bliss of the present, the boundless and incomparable beatitude of the future—to warn us against bartering, like Esau, our birthright for a mess of pottage.

But I am not now called to follow out this train of thought, suggested by the change in the fortunes of those to whom I am performing the part of historian—by the change I say in their fortunes—a change arising, too, from the very circumstances, as is so frequently the case, which seemed to promise the most fairly for their improvement and their permanence—oh, how blind guides are we—even the most far-sighted of us all—how weak and senseless judges, even the most sagacious—how false and erring prophets, even the wisest and the best!⁠—

But I must not anticipate, nor overrun my scent, meriting, like a babbling hound, the harsh thong of the huntsman critic. It was, as I have said already, somewhere in the summer wherefrom Annabel reckoned her twentieth, and Marian her nineteenth year—very late in the last month of summer, an hour or two before the sunset of as beautiful an evening as ever smiled upon the face of the green earth; the sky was nearly cloudless, though a thin gauze-like haze had floated up from the horizon, and so far veiled the orb of the great sun, that the eye could gaze undazzled on his glories; and the whole air was full of a rich golden light which flooded all the level meadows with its lustre,—except where they were checkered by the long cool blue shadows, projected from the massive clumps of noble forest trees, which singly or in groups diversified the lovely vale—and gilded the tall slender steeple of the old village church, and glanced in living fire from the broad oriel windows of the Hall. Such was the evening, and so beautiful the prospect, with every sound and sight in perfect harmony—the sharp squeak of the rapid swifts wheeling their airy circles around the distant spire, the full and liquid melodies of thrush and blackbird from out the thorn bushes upon the lawn, the lowing of the cows returning from their pasture to pay the evening tribute, the very cawing of the homeward rooks blended by distance into a continuous and soothing murmur, the rippling music of the stream, the low sigh of the west wind in the foliage of the sycamores, the far shout of the children happy at their release from school, the carol of a solitary milkmaid, combining to make up music as sweet as can be heard or dreamed of. That lovely picture was surveyed, and that delicious melody was listened to by eyes and ears well fitted to appreciate their loveliness—for at an open casement of a neat parlor in the Hall, with furniture all covered with those elegant appliances of female industry—well-filled drawings, and books, and instruments of music, and work baskets, and frames for embroidery—which show so pleasantly that the apartment is one, not of show, but of calm home enjoyment, sat Annabel, alone—for the presence of the frail paralytic being, who dozed in her arm-chair at the farther end of the room, cannot be held to constitute society. Marian, for the first time in her life, was absent from her home on a visit, which had already endured nearly six weeks, to the only near relative of the family who was yet living—a younger sister of her mother—who had married many years ago a clergyman, whose piety and talents had raised him to a stall in the cathedral church of York, where he resided with his wife—a childless couple. This worthy pair had passed a portion of the summer at the Hall, and, when returning to the metropolis of the county, had prevailed on their younger niece, not altogether without difficulty, to go with them for a few weeks, and see a little of society on a scale something more extended than that which her native vales could offer. It was the first time in their lives that the sisters ever had been parted for more than a few days, and now the hours were beginning to appear very long to Annabel, as weeks were running into months, and the gorgeous suns of summer were fast preparing to give place to the cold dews and frosty winds of autumn. The evening meal was over, and a solitary thing was that meal now, which used to be the most delightful of the day, and hastily did the lonely sister hurry it over, thinking all the while what might be Marian’s occupation at the moment, and whether she too was engaged in thoughts concerning her far friends and the fair home of her childhood. It was then in a mood half melancholy, and half listless, that Annabel was gazing from her window down the broad valley to the eastward, marvelling at the beauty of the scenery, though she had noted every changing hue that flitted over the far purple hills a thousand times before; and listening to every sweet familiar sound, and yet at the same time pondering, as if she were quite unconscious of all that met her senses, about things which, she fancied, might be happening at York, when on a sudden her attention was aroused by a dense cloud of dust rising beyond the river, upon the line of the highroad, and sweeping up the valley with a progress so unusually rapid as indicated that the objects, which it veiled from view, must be in more than commonly quick motion. For a few moments she watched this little marvel narrowly, but without any apprehension or even any solicitude, until, as it drew nearer, she could perceive at times bright flashes as if of polished metal gleaming out through the murky wreaths, and feathers waving in the air. The year was that in which the hapless Charles, all hopes of reconciliation with the parliament being decidedly frustrated, displayed the banner of civil war, and drew the sword against his subjects. The rumors of the coming strife had circulated, like the dread sub-terraneous rumblings which harbinger the earth-quake, through all the country far and near, sad omens of approaching evil; and more distinctly were they bruited throughout Yorkshire, in consequence of the attempt which had been made by the royal party to secure Hull with all its magazines and shipping—frustrated by the energy and spirit of the Hothams—so that, as soon as she perceived that the dust was, beyond all doubt, stirred up by a small party of well appointed horse, Annabel entertained no doubts as to the meaning, but many serious apprehensions as to the cause, of the present visitation. The road by which the cavaliers were proceeding, though well made and passable at all times, was no considerable thoroughfare; no large or important towns lay on its route, nay, no large villages were situated on its margins; it was a devious, winding way, leading to many a homely farm-house, many a small sequestered hamlet, and affording to the good rustics a means of carrying their wheat, and eggs, and butter, or driving their fat cattle and black-faced moorland sheep to market, but it was not the direct line between any two points or places worthy of even a passing notice. It is true, that some twelve or fifteen miles down the valley, there was a house or two tenanted by gentry—one that might, by a liberal courtesy, have been designated as a castle—but above Ingleborough Hall, to the northwestward, there was no manor-house or dwelling of the aristocracy at all, until the road left the ghylls, as those wild glens are designated, and joined the line of the great northern turnpike. It was extremely singular then, to say the least, that a gay troop of riders should appear suddenly in that wild spot, so far from anything that would be likely to attract them; and Annabel sat some time longer by the window, wondering, and at the same time fearing, although, in truth, she scarce knew what, until, at about a mile’s distance, she saw them halt, and, after a few moments’ conversation with a farming man on the wayside, as if to inquire their route, turn suddenly down a narrow by-road leading to the high narrow bridge of many arches which crossed the noble river, and gave the only access to the secluded site of Ingleborough. When she saw this, however, her perturbation became very great; for she well knew that there lay nothing in that direction, except one little market-town, far distant, and a few scattered farm-houses on the verge of the moors, so that there could be little doubt that Ingleborough was indeed their destination. The very moment that she arrived at this conclusion, Annabel called a serving-man and bade him run quick to the vicarage, and pray good Doctor Summers to come up to her instantly, as she was in great strait, and fain would speak with him; and, at the same time, with an energy of character that hardly could have been expected from one so young and delicate, ordered the men of the household, including in those days the fowler and the falconer, and half a dozen sturdy grooms, and many a supernumerary more, whom we in these degenerate times have long discarded as incumbrances, to have their arms in readiness—for every manor-house then had its regular armory—and to prepare the great bell of the Hall to summon all the tenants, on the instant such proceeding might be needful.

In a few moments the good gray-haired vicar came, almost breathless from the haste with which he had crossed the little space between the vicarage and the manor; and a little while after his wife followed him, anxious to learn, as soon as possible, what could have so disturbed the quiet tenor of a mind so regulated by high principles, and garrisoned by holy thoughts, as Annabel’s. Their humble dwelling, though scarce a stone’s throw from the Hall, was screened by a projecting knoll, feathered with dense and shadowy coppice, which hid from it entirely the road by which the horsemen were advancing; so that the worthy couple had not perceived or suspected anything to justify the fears of Annabel, until they were both standing in her presence—then, while the worthy doctor was proffering his poor assistance, and his good wife inquiring eagerly what was amiss, the sight of that gay company of cavaliers, with feathers waving and scarfs fluttering in the wind, and gold embroideries glancing to the sun, as, having left the dusty road, they wheeled through the green meadows, flashed suddenly upon them.

“Who can they be? What possibly can bring them hither?” exclaimed Annabel, pointing with evident trepidation towards the rapidly approaching horsemen; “I fear, oh, I greatly fear some heavy ill is coming—but I have ordered all the men to take their arms, and the great bell will bring us twenty of the tenants in half as many minutes. What can it be, good doctor?”

“In truth I know not, Annabel,” replied the good man, smiling cheerfully as he spoke; “in truth I know not, nor can at all conjecture; but be quite sure of this, dear girl, that they will do, to us at least, no evil—they are King Charles’ men beyond doubt, churchmen and cavaliers, all of them—any one can see that; and though I know not that we have much to fear from either party, from them at least we have no earthly cause for apprehension. I will go forth, however, to meet them, and to learn their errand—meantime, fear nothing.”

“Oh! you mistake me,” she answered at once; “oh! you mistake me very much, for I did not, even for a moment, fear personally anything; it was for my poor mother I was first alarmed, and all our good, kind neighbors, and, indeed, all the country around, that shows so beautiful and happy this fair evening—oh! but this civil war is a dread thing, and dread, I fear, will be the reckoning of those who wake it⁠—”

“Who wake it without cause, my daughter! A dreadful thing it is at all times, but it may be a necessary, aye! and a holy thing—when freedom or religion are at stake—but we will speak of this again; for see, they have already reached the farther gate, and I must speak with them before they enter here, let them be who they may;” and with the words, pressing her hand with fatherly affection, “Farewell,” he said, “be of good cheer, I purpose to return forthwith,” then left the room, and hurrying down the steps of the porch, walked far more rapidly than seemed to suit his advanced years and sedentary habits across the park to meet the gallant company.

A gallant company, indeed, it was, and such as was but rarely seen in that wild region, being the train of a young gentleman of some eight or nine and twenty years, splendidly mounted, and dressed in the magnificent fashion of those days, in a half military costume, for his buff coat was lined throughout with rich white satin, and fringed and looped with silver, a falling collar of rich Flanders lace flowing down over his steel gorget, and a broad scarf of blue silk supporting his long silver-hilted rapier—by his side rode another person, not certainly a menial servant, and yet clearly not a gentleman of birth and lineage; and after these a dozen or more of armed attendants, all wearing the blue scarf and black feathers of the royalists, all nobly mounted and accoutred, like regular troopers, with sword and dagger, pistols and musquetoons, although they wore no breastplates, nor any sort of defensive armor. A brace of jet-black greyhounds, without a speck of white upon their sleek and glistening hides, ran bounding merrily beside their master’s stirrup, and a magnificent gosshawk sat hooded on his wrist, with silver bells and richly decorated jesses. So much had the ladies observed, even before the old man reached the party; but when he did so, pausing for a moment to address the leader, that gentleman at once leaped down from his horse, giving the rein to a servant, and accompanied him, engaged apparently in eager conversation, toward the entrance of the Hall. This went far on the instant to restore confidence to Annabel; but when they came so near that their faces could be seen distinctly from the windows, and she could mark a well-pleased smile upon the venerable features of her friend, she was completely reassured. A single glance, moreover, at the face of the stranger showed her that the most timid maiden need hardly feel a moment’s apprehension, even if he were her country’s or her faction’s foe; for it was not merely handsome, striking, and distinguished, but such as indicates, or is supposed to indicate, the presence of a kindly disposition and good heart. Annabel had not much time, indeed, for making observations at that moment, for it was scarce a minute before they had ascended the short flight of steps, which led to the stone porch, and entered the door of the vestibule—a moment longer, and they came into the parlor, the worthy vicar leading the young man by the hand, as if he were a friend of ten years’ standing.

“Annabel,” he exclaimed, in a joyous voice, as he crossed the threshold of the room, “this is the young Lord Vaux, son of your honored father’s warmest and oldest friend; and in years long gone by, but unforgotten, my kindest patron. He has come hither, bearing letters from his father—knowing not until now that you, my child, were so long since bereaved—letters of commendation, praying the hospitality of Ingleborough, and the best influence of the name of Hawkwood, to levy men to serve King Charles in the approaching war. I have already told him⁠—”

“How glad, how welcome, doubtless, would have been his coming,” answered Annabel, advancing easily to meet the youthful nobleman, although a deep blush covered all her pale features as she performed her unaccustomed duty, “had my dear father been alive, or my poor mother”—casting a rapid glance towards the invalid—“been in health to greet him. As it is,” she continued, “the Lord Vaux, I doubt not, in the least, will pardon any imperfections in our hospitality, believing that if in aught we err, it will be error, not of friendliness or of feeling, but of experience only, seeing I am but a young mistress of a household. You, my kind friend, and Mistress Summers, will doubtless tarry with us while my Lord Vaux gives us the favor of his presence.”

“Loath should I be, indeed, dear lady, thus to intrude upon your sorrows, could I at all avoid it,” replied the cavalier; “and charming as it must needs be to enjoy the hospitalities tendered by such an one as you, I do assure you, were I myself concerned alone, I would remount my horse at once, and ride away, rather than force myself upon your courtesy. But, when I tell you that my father’s strong opinion holds it a matter of importance—importance almost vital to the king, and to the cause of Church and State in England—that I should levy some force here of cavaliers, where there be so few heads of noble houses living, to act in union with Sir Philip Musgrave, in the north, and with Sir Marmaduke Langdale, I both trust and believe that you will overlook the trouble and intrusion, in fair consideration of the motives which impel me.”

“Pray—” said she, smiling gaily—“pray, my Lord Vaux, let us leave, now, apology and compliment—most unaffectedly and truly I am glad to receive you, both as the son of my father’s valued friend, and as a faithful servant of our most gracious king—we will do our best, too, to entertain you; and Doctor Summers will aid you with his counsel and experience in furthering your military levies. How left you the good earl, your father? I have heard mine speak of him many times, and ever in the highest terms of praise, when I was but a little girl—and my poor mother much more recently, before this sad calamity affected her so fearfully.”

Her answer, as it was intended, had the effect at once of putting an end to all formality, and setting the young nobleman completely at his ease; the conversation took a general tone, and was maintained on all sides with sufficient spirit, until, when Annabel retired for a little space to conduct her mother to her chamber, De Vaux found himself wondering how a mere country girl, who had lived a life so secluded and domestic, should have acquired graces both of mind and manner, such as he never had discovered in court ladies; while she was struck even in a greater degree by the frank, unaffected bearing, the gay wit, and sparkling anecdote, blended with many a touch of deeper feeling, which characterized the youthful nobleman. After a little while she reappeared, and with her was announced the evening meal, the pleasant sociable old-fashioned supper, and as he sat beside her, while she presided, full of calm modest self-possession, at the head of her hospitable board, with no one to encourage her, or lend her countenance, except the good old vicar and his homely helpmate, he could not but draw fresh comparisons, all in her favor too, betwixt the quiet graceful confidence of the ingenuous girl before him, and the minauderies and meretricious airs of the court dames, who had been hitherto the objects of his passing admiration. Cheerfully, then, and pleasantly the evening passed away; and when upon her little couch, hard by the invalid’s sick bed, Annabel thought over the events of the past day, she felt concerning young De Vaux, rather as if he had been an old familiar friend, with whom she had renewed an intercourse long interrupted, than as of a mere acquaintance whom that day first had introduced, and whom the next might possibly remove forever. Something there was, when they met next, at breakfast on the following morning, of blushing bashfulness in Annabel which he had not observed, nor she before experienced; but it passed rapidly away, and left her self-possessed and tranquil—while surely in the sparkling eye, the eager haste with which he broke away from his conversation with Dr. Summers, as she entered, in his hand half extended, and then half awkwardly, half timidly, withdrawn, there was much indication of excited feeling, widely at variance with the stiff and even formal mannerism inculcated and practised in the court of the unhappy Charles. It needs not now, however, to dwell on passing conversations, to narrate every trifling incident—the morning meal once finished, De Vaux mounted his horse, and rode forth in accordance with the directions of the loyal clergyman, to visit such among the neighboring farmers as were most likely to be able to assist him in the levying a horse regiment. A few hours passed, and he returned full of high spirits and hot confidence—he had met everywhere assurances of good will to the royal cause, had succeeded in enlisting some ten or more of stout and hardy youths, and had no doubt of finally accomplishing the object, which he had in view, to the full height of his aspirations. After dinner, which in those primitive days was served at noon, he was engaged for a time in making up despatches for his father, which having been sent off by a messenger of his own trusty servants to the castle in Northumberland, he went out and joined his lovely hostess in the sheltered garden, which I have described above; and there they lingered until the sun was sinking in the west behind the huge and purple headed hills, which covered the horizon in that direction—the evening circle and the social meal succeeded, and when they parted for the night, if Annabel and young De Vaux could not be said to be enamored, as indeed they could not yet, they had at least made so much progress to that end, that each esteemed the other the most agreeable and charming person it had been hitherto their fortune to encounter; and, although this was decidedly the farthest point to which the thoughts of Annabel extended, when he had laid down on his bed, with the sweet rays of the harvest moon flooding his room with quiet lustre, and the voice of the murmuring rivulet and the low flutter of the west wind in the giant sycamores blending themselves into a soft and soothing melody, the young lord found himself considering how gracefully that fair pale girl would fill the place, which had been long left vacant by his mother, in the grand Hall of Gilsland Castle. Another, and another day succeeded—a week slipped away—a second and third followed it, and still the ranks of the royal regiment, though they were filling rapidly, had many vacancies, and arms had yet to be provided, and standards, and musicians—passengers went and came continually between the castle and the manor; and all was bustle and confusion in the lone glens of Wharfdale. Meantime a change was wrought in Annabel’s demeanor, that all who saw remarked—there was a brighter glow than ever had been seen before in her transparent cheeks; her eyes sparkled almost as brilliantly as Marian’s; her lips were frequently arrayed in bright and beaming smiles; her step was light and springy as a young fawn’s upon the mountain—Annabel was in love, and had discovered that it was so—Annabel was beloved, and knew it—the young lord’s declaration and the old earl’s consent had come together, and the sweet maiden’s heart was given, and her hand promised, almost before the asking. Joy! joy! was there not joy in Ingleborough? The good old vicar’s tranquil air of satisfaction, the loud and eloquent mirth of his kind-hearted housewife—the merry gay congratulations of wild Marian, who wrote from York, half crazy with excitement and delight—the evident and lovely happiness of the young promised bride—what pen of man may even aspire to describe them. All was decided—all arranged—the marriage was, so far at least, to be held private, that no festivities nor public merriment should bruit it to the world, until the civil strife should be decided, and the king’s power established; which all men fancied at that day it would by a single battle—and which, had Rupert wheeled upon the flank of Essex at Edge-Hill, instead of chasing the discomfited and flying horse of the Roundheads miles from the field of battle, would probably have been the case. The old earl had sent the wedding gifts to his son’s chosen bride, had promised to be present at the nuptials, the day of which was fixed already; but it had been decided, that when De Vaux should be forced to join the royal armies, his young wife should continue to reside at Ingleborough, with her bereaved mother and fond sister, until the wished-for peace should unite England once again in bonds of general amity, and the bridegroom find honorable leisure to lead his wife in state to his paternal mansions. Days sped away! how fast they seemed to fly to those young happy lovers! How was the very hour of their first interview noted, and marked with the white in the deep tablets of their minds—how did they, shyly half, half fondly, recount each to the other the first impressions of their growing fondness—how did they bless the cause that brought them thus together—Proh! cæca mens mortalium!—oh! the short-sighted scope of mortal vision!—alas! for one—for both!⁠—

The wedding day was fixed, and now was fast approaching; and hourly was Marian with the good uncle and his dame expected at the Hall, and wished for, and discoursed of by the lovers—“and oh!—” would Annabel say, half sportively and half in earnest—“well was it for my happiness, De Vaux, that she was absent when you first came hither, for had you seen her first, her far superior beauty, her bright wild radiant face, her rare arch naïveté, her flashing wit, and beautiful enthusiasm, would—must have captivated you all at once—and what had then become of your poor Annabel?”

And then would the young lord vow—and vow in all sincerity and truth as he believed, that had he met her first in the most glorious courts of Europe, with all the gorgeous beauties of the world to rival her, she would alone have been the choice of his soul—his soul first touched by her of women!—And then he would ask in lowered tones, and with a sly simplicity of manner, whether if he had loved another, she could have still loved him; to which with all the frank and fearless purity, which was so beautiful a trait in Annabel—“Oh! yes—” she would reply, and gaze with calm reliance, as she did so, into her lover’s eyes—“oh yes, dear Ernest—and then how miserably wretched must I have been, through my whole life thereafter. Oh! yes, I loved you—though then I knew it not, nor indeed thought at all about it until you spoke to me—I loved you dearly—tenderly!—and I believe it would have almost killed me, to look upon you afterward as the wife of another.”

The wedding day was but a fortnight distant, and strange to say, it was the very day two months gone, which had seen their meeting. Wains had arrived from Gilsland, loaded with arms and uniforms, standards and ammunition—two of the brothers of De Vaux, young gallant cavaliers, had come partly to officer the men, partly to do fit honor to their brother’s nuptials. The day, although the season had now advanced far into brown October, was sunny, mild and beautiful; the regiment had that day, for the first time, mustered in arms in Ingleborough park, and a gay show they made with glittering casques and corslets, fresh from the armorer’s anvil, and fluttering scarfs and dancing plumes, and bright emblazoned banners.

The sun was in the act of setting—De Vaux and Annabel were watching his decline from the same window in the Hall, whence she had first discovered his unexpected coming; when, as on that all eventful evening, a little dust was seen arising on the high road beyond the river, and in a moment a small mounted party, among which might be readily descried the fluttering of female garments!

“It is my sister—” exclaimed Annabel, jumping up on the instant, and clasping her hands eagerly—“it is my dear, dear sister—come, Ernest, come; let us go meet dear Marian.” No time was lost; but arm in arm they sallied forth, the lovers; and met the little train just this side the park gates.

Marian sprang from her horse, light as a spirit of the air, and rushed into her sister’s arms and clung there with a long and lingering embrace, and as she raised her head a bright tear glittered on either silky eyelash. De Vaux advanced to greet her, but as he did so, earnestly perusing the lineaments of his fair sister, he was most obviously embarrassed, his manner was confused and even agitated, his words faltered—and she whose face had been, a second before, beaming with the bright crimson of excitement, whose eye had looked round eagerly and gladly to mark the chosen of her sister—she turned as pale as ashes—brow, cheeks, and lips—pale, almost livid!—and her eye fell abashed, and did not rise again till he had finished speaking. None noticed it, but Annabel; for all the party were engaged in gay congratulations, and, they recovering themselves immediately, nothing more passed that could create surmise—but she did note it, and her heart sank for a moment; and all that evening she was unusually grave and silent; and had not her usual demeanor been so exceedingly calm and subdued, her strange dejection must have been seen and wondered at by her assembled kinsfolk.





Poet! lonely is thy bed,

And the turf is overhead—

  Cold earth is thy cover;

But thy heart hath found release,

And it slumbers full of peace

’Neath the rustle of green trees

And the warm hum of the bees,

  ’Mid the drowsy clover;

Through thy chamber, still as death,

A smooth gurgle wandereth,

As the blue stream murmureth

  To the blue sky over.


Three paces from the silver strand,

Gently in the fine, white sand,

With a lily in thy hand,

  Pale as snow, they laid thee;

In no coarse earth wast thou hid,

And no gloomy coffin-lid

  Darkly overweighed thee.

Silently as snow-flakes drift,

The smooth sand did sift and sift

  O’er the bed they made thee;

All sweet birds did come and sing

At thy sunny burying—

  Choristers unbidden,

And, beloved of sun and dew.

Meek forget-me-nots upgrew

Where thine eyes so large and blue

  ’Neath the turf were hidden.


Where thy stainless clay doth lie,

Blue and open is the sky,

And the white clouds wander by,

Dreams of summer silently

  Darkening the river;

Thou hearest the clear water run,

And the ripples every one,

Scattering the golden sun,

  Through thy silence quiver;

Vines trail down upon the stream,

Into its smooth and glassy dream

  A green stillness spreading,

And the shiner, perch and bream

Through the shadowed waters gleam

  ’Gainst the current heading.


White as snow, thy winding sheet

Shelters thee from head to feet,

  Save thy pale face only;

Thy face is turned toward the skies,

The lids lie meekly o’er thine eyes,

And the low-voiced pine-tree sighs

  O’er thy bed so lonely.

All thy life thou lov’dst its shade:

Underneath it thou art laid,

  In an endless shelter;

Thou hearest it forever sigh

As the wind’s vague longings die

In its branches dim and high—

Thou hear’st the waters gliding by

  Slumberously welter.


Thou wast full of love and truth,

Of forgivingness and ruth—

Thy great heart with hope and youth

  Tided to o’erflowing.

Thou didst dwell in mysteries,

And there lingered on thine eyes

Shadows of serener skies,

Awfully wild memories,

  That were like foreknowing;

Through the earth thou would’st have gone,

Lighted from within alone,

Seeds from flowers in Heaven grown

  With a free hand sowing.


Thou didst remember well and long

Some fragments of thine angel-song,

And strive, through want and wo and wrong

  To win the world unto it;

Thy sin it was to see and hear

Beyond To-day’s dim hemisphere⁠—

Beyond all mists of hope and fear,

Into a life more true and clear,

  And dearly thou didst rue it;

Light of the new world thou hadst won,

O’er flooded by a purer sun—

Slowly Fate’s ship came drifting on,

And through the dark, save thou, not one

  Caught of the land a token.

Thou stood’st upon the farthest prow,

Something within thy soul said “Now!”

And leaping forth with eager brow,

  Thou fell’st on shore heart-broken.


Long time thy brethren stood in fear;

Only the breakers far and near,

White with their anger, they could hear;

The sounds of land, which thy quick ear

  Caught long ago, they heard not.

And, when at last they reached the strand,

They found thee lying on the sand

With some wild flowers in thy hand,

  But thy cold bosom stirred not;

They listened, but they heard no sound

Save from the glad life all around

  A low, contented murmur.

The long grass flowed adown the hill,

A hum rose from a hidden rill,

But thy glad heart, that knew no ill

But too much love, lay dead and still⁠—

The only thing that sent a chill

  Into the heart of summer.


Thou didst not seek the poet’s wreath

  But too soon didst win it;

Without ’twas green, but underneath

Were scorn and loneliness and death,

Gnawing the brain with burning teeth,

  And making mock within it.

Thou, who wast full of nobleness,

Whose very life-blood ’twas to bless,

  Whose soul’s one law was giving,

Must bandy words with wickedness,

Haggle with hunger and distress,

To win that death which worldliness

  Calls bitterly a living.


“Thou sow’st no gold, and shall not reap!”

Muttered earth, turning in her sleep;

“Come home to the Eternal Deep!”

Murmured a voice, and a wide sweep

Of wings through thy soul’s hush did creep,

  As of thy doom o’erflying;

It seem’d that thy strong heart would leap

Out of thy breast, and thou didst weep,

  But not with fear of dying;

Men could not fathom thy deep fears,

They could not understand thy tears,

The hoarded agony of years

  Of bitter self-denying.

So once, when high above the spheres

Thy spirit sought its starry peers,

It came not back to face the jeers

  Of brothers who denied it;

Star-crowned, thou dost possess the deeps

Of God, and thy white body sleeps

Where the lone pine forever keeps

  Patient watch beside it.


Poet! underneath the turf,

  Soft thou sleepest, free from morrow,

Thou hast struggled through the surf

  Of wild thoughts and want and sorrow.

Now, beneath the moaning pine,

  Full of rest, thy body lieth,

While far up in clear sunshine,

Underneath a sky divine,

  Her loosed wings thy spirit trieth;

Oft she strove to spread them here,

But they were too white and clear

For our dingy atmosphere.


Thy body findeth ample room

In its still and grassy tomb

  By the silent river;

But thy spirit found the earth

Narrow for the mighty birth

  Which it dreamed of ever;

Thou wast guilty of a rhyme

Learned in a benigner clime,

And of that more grievous crime,

An ideal too sublime

For the low-hung sky of Time.


The calm spot where thy body lies

Gladdens thy soul in Paradise,

  It is so still and holy;

Thy body sleeps serenely there,

And well for it thy soul may care,

It was so beautiful and fair,

  Lily white so wholly.


From so pure and sweet a frame

Thy spirit parted as it came,

  Gentle as a maiden;

Now it lieth full of rest—

Sods are lighter on its breast

Than the great, prophetic guest

  Wherewith it was laden.





Before mine eyes had seen the light of day,

Or that my soul had come from Heaven’s great King⁠—

A harmless, tiny, helpless little thing⁠—

You loved me!—While my tender being lay

In the soft rose-leaves of your heart at rest,

Like some lone bird within its downy nest,

Beneath the concave of its mother’s wing,

Unborn—your soul came in my heart to dwell,

Like perfume in the flower, each part to bring,

As warmth unto the young bird in its shell,

And built me up to what I was to be,

A semblance of thyself. Thus, being cast

In thy heart’s mould, I grew up like to thee,

And lost in thee my first friend with my last!






Perhaps there is no place in America where the people continued to cling so long, and so fondly, to the relics and traditions of the olden time, as in Boston—their first era being that of the early settlers, their second that of the revolution. At the commencement of my acquaintance with Boston and Bostonians, I was particularly struck with the prevalence of this feeling, having found so little of it in my native city, Philadelphia. Yet I was sorry to hear from my eastern friends, that comparatively it was fast subsiding, and that a fancy for modern improvements (blended with the powerful incentive of pecuniary interest) was rapidly superseding that veneration so long cherished for the places and things connected with the history of their “ancient and honorable town,” and the founders of their country’s freedom. On my second visit to Boston I missed much that on my first I had found still undesecrated. On my third, but few vestiges remained of the poetry, the romance, and the quaintness that, with regard to external objects, had so interested and amused me in the year 1832. I looked in vain for the “old familiar faces” of certain antiquated and, perhaps, unsightly structures that I had delighted to contemplate as the time-honored habitations of men with undying names. They were gone, and new and more profitable buildings erected on their site. In many of these instances “I could have better spared a better house.”

Fortunately the charter of the city specifies that Faneuil Hall is never to be sold, nor can the ground on which it stands be appropriated to any other purpose. Except that the market-place in the lower story is now occupied by shops, the whole edifice still remains nearly as it was when the walls of its chief apartment resounded with the acclamations of the people who discussed, at their town meetings, those principles that led to their self-emancipation from the sway of Britain. Acclamations elicited by the bold and overpowering eloquence of James Otis, the enthusiastic outbreakings of the impetuous spirit of Warren, the pure and self-sacrificing patriotism of Quincy, and the calm but energetic plain sense of Samuel Adams, backed by the generous liberality of that wealthy and noble-minded merchant whose name, as president of the first Congress, leads on the glorious array of signatures appended to the Declaration of Independence. Did no one think of preserving the pen with which those names were written?—the sacred quill


“That wing’d the arrow, sure as fate,

  Which ascertain’d the rights of man.”


The full-length portrait of Peter Faneuil stands at the upper end of the hall, looking like its guardian spirit. It is a fine copy of a small original that was painted in his lifetime. In regarding the likeness of a person of note (provided always that the painter is a good artist) you can generally judge of its verisimilitude, by its representing the features of the mind in conjunction with those of the face. If a well painted portrait has no particular expression, you may safely conclude that the sitter had no particular character. When, at the first glance of a picture, you are struck with the conviction that the original must have looked exactly so, it is because you at once perceive his mind in his face. Who that has ever seen it, while it hung so long in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, does not recollect Berthon’s admirable and life-like portrait of Buonaparte in the first year of that consulate. Every beholder was struck with an irresistible conviction of its perfect and unimpeachable fidelity of character. There, in his gold embroidered blue coat, his tri-colored sash, and his buff-leather gauntlets, was the pale, thin, almost cadaverous young soldier, just returned from the unwholesome regions of the Nile; with his dark, uncared-for hair shading his thoughtful brow, and his deep-set, intense eyes, that looked as if they could search into the soul of every man they saw. So self-evident was the truth of this picture, that it was unnecessary to be aware of its exact accordance with all the descriptions given at that time of the republican general, who had just made himself the chief magistrate of the French people, and was called only Buonaparte. A few years afterward, when “the hero had sunk into the king,” and was termed Napoleon, and when, in becoming more handsome, his face lost much of its original expression, this picture was equally valuable, as showing how he had looked in the early part of his wondrous career.

Another picture which we feel at once to be a most faithful representation, is Greuze’s portrait of Franklin. It was painted by that excellent artist when the venerable printer, philosopher, author, statesman (what shall we call him) was living in Paris. The dress is a coat and waistcoat of dark reddish silk, trimmed with brown fur. The head is very bald at the top, and he wears his gray locks plain and unpowdered. He has that noble expanse of forehead which is almost always found in persons of extraordinary intellect. His eye is indicative of strong sense and benevolence, enlivened with a keen relish for humor. His whole countenance exhibits that union of genius and common sense, shrewdness and kindness, which formed his character. My father had once in his possession (but lost it by lending) a fine French engraving taken from this very portrait, and printed in colors. He had known Dr. Franklin intimately, and he considered it the most admirable likeness he had ever seen—in fact the very man.

To return to Mr. Faneuil—his portrait also is highly characteristic. No one can look at this picture of a tall, dignified gentleman, in a suit of crimson velvet and gold, a long lace cravat, and a powdered wig, according to the patrician costume of his time, and can view his fine open countenance, without believing the whole to be a correct portraiture of the opulent and public spirited merchant who, while he was yet living, gave its first market-place, with a hall for the accommodation of public meetings, to the town that had afforded an asylum to his Huguenot ancestor. The remains of Peter Faneuil, who died suddenly in 1743, are interred amid the green shades of the Granary Burying Ground, so called from the town granary having been in its immediate vicinity. This cemetery is close to the Tremont Hotel, and in view of another “ancient place of graves,” belonging to the King’s Chapel, which was founded in 1688, and, in early times, numbered among its congregation the largest portion of the Boston aristocracy; and many of their descendants still worship there. It is built of light brown stone, and is frequently called the Stone Chapel.

The length, thickness, and luxuriance of the grass, (which appears to require perpetual mowing,) and the closeness of the burial mounds, which seem almost piled upon each other, make it somewhat difficult to explore the monumental memorials of the old Boston families, whose first progenitors are slumbering beneath. A large number of these tombs are sculptured with armorial bearings, as an evidence that their mouldering occupants belonged, in their fatherland, to “gentle blood.” Of the tomb-stones dated after the revolution, I saw few that bore any indications of “the boast of heraldry, the pomp of power.” The founder of Boston, John Winthrop, is interred in the northwest corner of this cemetery, with his daughter, Grace Sears, (from whom the present Sears family is descended,) and his son, Waitstill Winthrop. The mansion of Governor Winthrop was a large two-story frame house, surrounded by a garden, and shaded with aboriginal trees that had been left standing for the purpose. Its location was near the old South Church, just below School street. Its site is now covered with stores; the block of buildings being termed South Row. I have seen an old portrait of this chief of the Boston colonists. It represents him as a tall, thin, dark-complexioned man, with an oval face, regular features, and a very serious countenance. He is habited in “a sad colored suit,” with a white lawn ruff round his neck, and a black cap on his head. In this burial ground Cooper has placed the vault of the Lechmere family, at the entrance of which the mother of Job Pray was found dead; and from the gallery of the stone chapel the half maniac father of Lionel Lincoln interrupted the marriage of his son with Cecil Dynevor, as they stood at the altar. Though reason may reject the interesting associations that emanate from fiction, feeling and fancy always unconsciously adopt them. It is this which conducts so many travellers to the shores of Loch Katrine, and sends them in a boat to the island of Ellen Douglas, though well aware that the damsel of the lake never in reality existed. I knew a gentleman who traversed the wilds of Connaught to visit the sea-beaten castle of Inismore, because it had been the fancied abode of Glorvina, the Wild Irish Girl, another charming creation of genius. And few will wonder at his doing so, who are familiar with the work that caused the flood-tide of Miss Owenson’s fortune, and who have, of course, read and re-read that beautiful letter in which Horatio describes his first acquaintance with the castle and its inmates.

I was yet a stranger in Boston, when a few days after my arrival I accompanied a lady and gentleman who were residents in that city, (and excellent ciceroni) on an exploring walk into what is called the North End. This is a very old part of the town, extending northerly from Court street to Lynn street, and bounded on its eastern side by the waters of the harbor, and on the west by those of the estuary denominated Charles River. Its extreme point is immediately opposite to Bunker Hill. As it did not modernize as fast as the other sections of Boston, and as its old buildings were longer in getting demolished or furbished up, the habitans of the North End lay under the imputation of being an old fashioned people, sadly deficient in the organ of go-a-headness, and pitifully submitting to creep on all fours, while the rest of the community were making unto themselves wings. There was even a scandalous story circulated of one of their pastors, (a good old gentleman, whose nasal elocution had not improved by age,) uttering in his prayer the words, “Have mercy upon us miserable offenders,” in a manner that sounded very much like, “Have mercy upon us miserable North-enders.”

To give me an idea of the habitations of the early Bostonians, I was purposely taken through some of the oldest and crookedest streets; several of which had pavements so narrow that we had to break rank and to proceed Indian file; for when we attempted to walk abreast and the wall was politely ceded to me, the other lady took the curb-stone, and the gentleman the gutter. Be it known, however, that a Boston gutter is merely a minor ravine, edged with wild flowers; and not a reservoir of liquid mud or a conduit for dirty water; all the conduits in that city being sub-terraneous, and entirely out of sight.

We saw very old houses, some of time-discolored brick, and some of wood in many instances unpainted, and therefore nearly black; in a few, the second story projected far over the first. Many of the ancient frame habitations were very large, and must have been built by people “that were well to do in the world.” In some, the clap-boards were ornamentally scolloped; and in many, the window frames instead of being inserted in the wall, were put on outside, and looked as if ready to burst forth upon us. There were primitive porches with seats in them, sheltered by moss-grown pent-houses, some of which would have furnished a tolerable crop of that roof-loving plant the house-leek. There were wooden balconies, with close heavy balustrades, of the pattern that looks like a range of innumerable narrow jugs. In some houses, the balconies were gone, but the door-windows belonging to them, were still there all the same; and as they now opened upon nothing, they looked most dangerous, especially for children or somnambulists to walk out at. There were street-doors cut horizontally in half, with steps descending inside instead of ascending outside. Many of the houses that stood alone had no front entrance, but ingress and egress were obtained through a small unpretending door in the side. This seemed to be a good plan, when the front was facing the chill blasts of the northeast. It is very disagreeable to have your street door blown open by the violence of the wind.

In an early stage of “our winding way,” we came to the junction of Union and Marshall streets, and there I saw a large square block of dark brown stone, on one side of which was painted in white letters the words “Boston Stone.” Supposing it to be one of the landmarks of the city, and something memorable, I seated myself for a few moments upon it. I was told by one of my companions, that this stone had been an object of great controversy among certain antiquaries of the city. In newspapers a century old there were advertisements of shopkeepers and mechanics, who, in giving their locations, made assurance doubly sure, by stating that they lived near the Boston Stone. Houses were announced for sale or hire in the neighborhood of the Boston Stone. Street-fights and dreadful accidents happened not far from the Boston Stone. What then was the Boston Stone? How came it there, and for what purpose? There was no mention of it in history. Patriotic picturesque people thought it was the foundation-stone of a flag staff or a beacon-mast; and it is certain that the top or upper surface of the block exhibited a slight circular cavity, evidently made on purpose for something: though practical people contended that the hollow was not deep enough to hold anything. I cherished for two or three months the persuasion that the Boston Stone was either a remarkable relic connected with great events, or else that it had been placed there when the peninsula was first laid out for a town, as a mark to designate where some place left off, and another place began; or perhaps to denote the very centre of the settlement. But “the shadows, clouds and darkness” that rested upon all my conjectures, were very prosaically dispelled just before my departure from Boston, by a most unexciting account obtained through the medium of a grandson of “the oldest inhabitant” of that neighborhood. The real solution of the mystery was so very natural, that none but very commonplace people would believe it. It simply implied that a certain apothecary of the olden time being in want of a very large mortar, and unable to obtain one ready made, procured this block of stone and set his boys to hollowing it out for the purpose. They made a beginning, but soon found that the stone was too hard and the labor too great; and having taken a spite at the obdurate block, they shoved it out of doors and left it on the pavement in front of the shop. From hence no one took the trouble to remove it, and finding that the neighbors began to date from its vicinity, the apothecary’s boys made it more distingué by inscribing it with the title of the Boston Stone—How a plain tale will put us down.

Shortly after quitting the Boston Stone, we came to a house at the corner of Union and Hanover streets, which was shown to me as the one in which Dr. Franklin was born. It is of two stories, and built partly of brick and partly of wood. The lower part was now occupied by a little shop, with a blue bell as a sign. Adjoining it in Hanover street was a dark low grocery store into which you descended by a step. It looked exactly as if it had been the soap and candle shop of Josiah Franklin. It was easy to imagine poor Ben. serving customers behind the old counter; cutting candle-wicks into lengths; and snatching, at intervals, a few minutes to read a little in hidden books when nobody saw him. An aged and excellent woman, who had passed her life in this part of the town, told me at a subsequent period, that she well remembered, when a little girl, seeing the old corner house (the dwelling part of the establishment,) pulled down, and the present one erected in its stead. The original corner house had always been regarded as one of the habitations of the Franklin family, and the adjoining old one-story shop (now the grocery) as theirs. It seems to me highly probable that the elder Franklin did live in Milk street (as is generally believed) at the time his son Benjamin was born, and that the infant was wrapped in a blanket and carried over the way to the old South Church to be christened. His baptism is noted in the register of the church, and the date is the same as that of his birth. This speedy performance of the rite of baptism was in accordance with the custom of the times. The Milk street house was a small two-story frame building, and was accidentally burnt in 1810. On the spot has since been erected a three-story furniture warehouse. It is but a few steps from the corner of Washington street, opposite to the Old South. There was an old printing office just back of it; and it is said that Josiah Franklin relinquished the Milk street house to his son James the printer, and removed with his wife and the younger children to Hanover street, and there carried on the soap and candle business, in the dark low one-story shop that is still there: living in the adjoining house at the corner. That the parents of Franklin were residents of the North End at the time of their death there can be no doubt, as they were interred in the North Burying Ground on Copp’s Hill. Many years ago their remains were exhumed, and transferred to the Granary burial place in Tremont street, at the expense of several gentlemen of Boston. A neat monument of granite has been erected upon the mound that covers their ashes; and in the front of the little obelisk is inserted a slab of slate, a part of the original grave stone on Copp’s Hill. This humble medallion bears the names of Josiah Franklin and Abiah his wife, with the date of their deaths. I regarded this monument with much interest, as reflecting back upon his lowly but respectable parents a portion of the honor so universally accorded to the great man their son.

Having diverged from Hanover street to the North Square, we soon found ourselves in front of two very old and remarkable houses; one of which had been the residence of Governor Hutchinson, and the other of William Clarke, a wealthy merchant of the early part of the last century. Both were large old-fashioned buildings, their sides and chimneys overgrown with the scarlet-flowering creeper-vine. Above the front-door of the Hutchinson House, was the wooden balcony from which “Stingy Tommy,” as he was disrespectfully called by the populace, sometimes addressed the restive and stiffnecked people whom it was his hard lot to govern; and by whom he was so much disliked, that whether he did well or ill they were resolved not to be pleased. Perhaps the primary cause of his unpopularity may be traced to his parsimonious habits, or at least to the stories circulated of them. No man that is noted for a mean and avaricious disposition ever was or ever can be liked, either in private life or in a public capacity. However he may attempt to disguise it by an occasional act of liberality, the sordid spirit that is in him will be always creeping out, and exciting disgust and contempt. Yet (as is often the case with such persons) Governor Hutchinson spent much upon show and finery. At the time his house was sacked by the mob (when he narrowly escaped with his life) from this balcony were thrown the splendid brocade gowns and petticoats of his wife, with her laced caps, and numerous ornamental articles of dress and furniture. A bonfire was made of them in the street before the door.

The gentleman who piloted us on this walk through the North End was acquainted with the occupants of the Clarke House, (much the most curious of the two,) therefore we stopped in, and were courteously shown its principal apartments. It was built by Mr. Clarke, in the time of Queen Anne, and was after him occupied by Sir Henry Frankland, and called, for awhile, the Frankland House. It had a large, wide entrance hall, with a parlor on each side. All the ceilings were much too low for the taste of the present times; and a low ceiling always causes a room to look smaller than it really is. The walls of the left hand parlor had been covered with rich tapestry, over which a modern wall-paper was now pasted. A small portion of the papering being peeled off, we saw part of the tapestry beneath. But the other parlor had been evidently the room of state. The floor required no carpet, for it was parqueté all over with small square pieces of American wood, comprising, as we were told, fifty different sorts or specimens; the light-colored pieces forming the ground-work, and the dark ones the figure or pattern. At the first glance it resembled an oil-cloth, or rather (to adopt a very homely comparison) it was not unlike the block-work bed quilts that our grandmothers took such pains in making. On this floor there was a border all round: and in the centre the marquetry represented a large swan with a crown on its head, and a chain round its breast. This was the cognizance of the Clarke family. Those conversant with heraldry know that there is always a reason, either historical, traditionary, or allegorical, for the introduction of certain strange symbols into a coat of arms. We were told that this tesselated floor had cost fifteen hundred dollars. The walls of the room were divided into compartments, edged with rich gilded mouldings; each containing an oil painting, tolerably good, but very vividly colored. The subjects were beyond our comprehension. We did not know whether they were what the drawing-masters call figure-pieces, or whether they were landscapes with figures in them.

In the room over this parlor the chimney-piece was of marble, decorated with a rich and admirably executed carving of flowers, fruit, and Indian corn, beautifully arranged, and descending down the sides as far as the hearth. Above the mantle-piece was a very mediocre picture, in a narrow gilt frame, inserted in the wall. This painting represented a boy and girl, evidently brother and sister. The boy is presenting something that is either a peach or an apple to the girl, who is dressed in a ruffled night-gown and sitting on the side of a couch. The young gentleman is standing upright, habited in a rich suit of blue and gold, ornamented at the wrist with deep cuffs of white lace. On his legs are white silk stockings, ascending above his knees, and buskins laced with gold cord. Neither of the children are looking towards each other, but both are staring out of the picture, and fixing their very large eyes on the spectator.

We were told that Cooper had visited this house previous to commencing Lionel Lincoln. Changing its location to Tremont street, he has described it as the mansion of Mrs. Lechmere.

Few of our American cities have retained their old family domiciles as long as the town of Boston, and they attest the opulence of many of its early inhabitants. However, they are fast disappearing; the large portions of ground that they occupy, surrounded with their gardens and lofty trees, having become too valuable to escape being converted to more profitable purposes. When I first knew Boston, the spacious domain of Gardiner Green extended along Pemberton Hill, far back of Somerset street, including garden, shrubbery, and pasture ground, from whence I was sometimes disturbed at night by the tinkling of a cow-bell, which seemed to me strange in the very heart of a large city. Near it, on Tremont street, stood, with its pilasters and tall windows, the mansion of Jonathan Philips, looking like the residence of an old English nobleman. It had a smooth green lawn in front, and an elevated terrace, which was ascended by a lofty flight of stone steps, bordered with vases of exotics; and among its fine shade trees was the beautiful mountain ash, with its clusters of light scarlet berries. It was built, and originally occupied, by Mr. Faneuil, uncle to the gentleman who bestowed the town-hall on Boston.

Next to the house of Governor Philips stood the residence of the talented and unfortunate Sir Harry Vane, who had come over with the early settlers, and afterwards been appointed governor of the province of Massachusetts. He returned to England during the protectorate of Cromwell; and after the restoration, was committed to the Tower for the republican principles he persisted in advocating. Charles the Second had him tried on a charge of high treason, and he was beheaded on Tower Hill—behaving on the scaffold with the utmost composure and dignity. He attempted to address the people, but the drums and trumpets were sounded to drown his voice. This house of Sir Harry Vane was near two centuries old. It was a large brick building, with a garden at the side. The antique back casements still retained the small diamond-shaped panes set in lead; but, when I saw the house, its front windows looked as if they had been modernized about a century ago.

On my last visit to Boston, about two years since, I found that all the above-mentioned old mansions had been demolished, and their places filled with rows of modern structures suited to the utilitarian spirit of the times. The old Coolidge house, in Bowdoin Square, was still standing in 1840. It also is a large brick building, the bricks much darkened and discolored with time and damp. The house is almost hidden by enormous old trees, which cast their impervious branches so close to the windows that I wondered how its inhabitants could possibly see to do anything, unless they burned lamps or candles all day long. The dense gloominess of shade that environed this mansion, reminded me of the commencement of one of Moore’s earliest poems.


“The darkness that hung upon Willemberg’s walls

  Has long been remember’d with grief and dismay,

For years not a sunbeam had play’d in its halls,

  And it seem’d as shut out from the regions of day.”






  It is the evening of a pleasant day

    In these old woods. The sun profusely flings

  His flood of light through every narrow way

    That winds around the trees. His spirit clings,

    In orange mist, around the snowy wings

  Of many a patient cloud, that now, since noon,

    Over the western mountains idly swings,

  Waiting when night shall come—alas! too soon!

To veil the timid blushes of the virgin moon.


  The trees with crimson robes are garmented:

    Clad with frail brilliants by the Autumn frost,

  For the young leaves, that Spring with beauty fed,

    Their greenness and luxuriance have lost,

    Gaining new beauty at too dear a cost:

  Unnatural beauty, that precedes decay.

    Too soon, upon the harsh winds wildly toss’d,

  Leaving the naked trees ghost-like and gray,

These leaf-flocks, like vain hopes, will vanish all away.


  How does your sad, yet calm and cheerful guise,

    Ye melancholy Autumn solitudes,

  With my own feelings softly harmonize!

    For though I love the hoar and solemn woods,

    In all their manifold and changing moods⁠—

  In gloom and sunshine, storm and quietness,

    By day, or when the dim night on them broods;

  Their lightsome glades, their darker mysteries⁠—

Yet the sad heart loves a still, calm scene like this.


  Soon will the year like this sweet day have fled,

    With swift feet speeding noiselessly and fast,

  As a ghost speeds, to join its kindred dead,

    In the dark realms of that mysterious vast,

    The shadow-peopled and eternal past.

  Life’s current deathward flows—a rapid stream,

    With clouds and shadows often overcast,

  Yet lighted often by a sunny beam

Of happiness, like sweet thoughts in a gloomy dream.


  Like the brown leaves, our lov’d ones drop away,

    One after one, into the dark abyss

  Of Sleep and Death. The frosts of Trouble lay

    Their withering touch upon our happiness,

    Even as the hoar frosts of the Autumn kiss

  The green lip from the unoffending leaves;

    And Love and Hope and Youth’s warm cheerfulness

  Flit from the heart—Age lonely sits and grieves,

Or sadly smiles, while Youth fondly his day-dream weaves.


  Day draweth to its close—night cometh on⁠—

    Death standeth dimly on Life’s western verge,

  Casting his shadow o’er the startled sun⁠—

    A deeper gloom, that seemeth to emerge

    From gloomy night—and bending forth, to urge

  His eyeless steeds, fleet as the tempest’s blast:

    And hear we not eternity’s dim surge

  Thundering anear? At the dread sound aghast,

Time hurries headlong, pale with frantic terror, past.





In the days of my early childhood, the little village of ——, separated by green hills and broad fields from the busy city, formed one of the pleasantest summer resorts of the wealthy inhabitants of New York. Many a stately villa was reared upon the banks of the Hudson, many a neat country-house sheltered itself within the winding lanes which traversed the village, for its vicinity to the great mart offered irresistible temptations to those whose hands were chained to the galley of commerce, while their hearts were still wedded to nature. One of the fairest pictures in the “chambers of mine imagery” is that of a large old-fashioned mansion, seated in the midst of a garden “too trim for nature, and too rude for art,” where a long avenue of cherry trees threw a pleasant shade across the lawn, while a rude swing, suspended between two of these sturdy old denizens of the soil, afforded a cool and delightful lounge to the studious and imaginative child. My earliest days were passed in that pleasant home, and my earliest lessons of wisdom learned in the school of that pretty village; therefore it is that my thoughts love to linger around those scenes, and therefore it is that I have fancied others might find something of interest in one of my reminiscences.

My shortest road to school led through a narrow green lane, rarely traversed by the gay vehicles which dashed along the main avenues of the village, and I was delighted to find such a quiet and shady path, where the turf was always so soft, and the air so fragrant with the breath of flowers. But I was soon induced to take a wide circuit rather than pass the solitary cottage which stood within that secluded lane. It was a low one-story building, with a broad projecting roof, throwing the narrow windows far into shade; and, as if to add to its sombre appearance, some former occupant had painted the house a dull lead color, which, by the frequent washings of the rain, and powderings of wayside dust, had assumed the grayish tint that gave to the cottage its distinctive appellation. Every village has its haunted house, and an evil name had early fallen on the “gray cottage.” Behind it, and so near that three paces from the little porch would lead a person to its very brink, was a deep and rocky ravine, forming a basin for the waters of a rapid brook, which, after flowing in sunshine and music through half the village, fell with sullen plash into the gloom of this wild dell. Some dark and half forgotten tale of guilt had added the horrors of superstition to the natural melancholy of the place, and few of the humbler inhabitants of the neighborhood would have been willing to stand after sunset on the brink of the Robbers’ Glen. It was said that the house, in former times, had been the abode of wicked and desperate men. The earth of the cellar beneath it was heaved up with hillocks like graves, and supernatural sounds had been heard to issue from these mysterious mounds. For many years it had stood untenanted, and the boys of the village often amused themselves by pelting it, at a cautious distance, with stones.

But a “haunted house” had great attractions for the mind of one who revelled in fancies of the wild and wonderful. I was exceedingly anxious to behold the interior of the lonely cottage, which had now become invested with so much dignity in my eyes, and finding a few companions of like spirit, we determined to visit it. We accordingly fixed upon a certain Saturday afternoon, and determined to find some means of ingress into the barred and bolted cottage. A gay and light-hearted troop were we, as we scrambled over rail fences, gathered our aprons full of wild flowers, or chased the bright butterflies which mocked our glad pursuit. But as we entered the lane our merry shouts of laughter ceased, each looked earnestly in the face of the other, as if, for the first time, sensible of the mysterious importance of our undertaking, and, but for shame, several would have retraced their steps. I believe not one of us was insensible to the gloom which seemed suddenly to fall upon us, and as we looked towards the cottage, standing in the deep shadow of a spreading elm, while all else within the lane was glistening in the slant beams of the declining sun, we almost feared to approach the darkened spot. Cautiously advancing, however, and peeping through the rusted keyhole, we found our curiosity entirely baffled by the total darkness of the interior. It was proposed that we should climb the fence and attempt an entrance from the rear of the building, where we should be less likely to be interrupted or discovered by wayfarers, and after a brief consultation, held in hurried whispers, we resolved upon the daring feat. Silently treading the margin of the Robbers’ Glen, we reached the back porch of the little cottage, and beheld one of the window shutters open. We looked into the apartment but saw nothing save the naked walls of the dilapidated room, and as one of our party turned the latch of the door, to our great astonishment, it yielded to the touch and allowed us free entrance. Half frightened at our own success, we stood huddled together in the narrow passage, hesitating to advance, when suddenly a tall woman, clad in the deepest black, and displaying a countenance as white and (as it seemed to our excited fancies) as ghostly and rigid as a sheeted corpse, stood in the midst of us. How we ever got out of the house I cannot tell. I remember our desperate speed, the wild and headlong haste with which we threw ourselves over the low fence, and the total exhaustion we felt when once fairly escaped from that frightful place. As we lay on the grass, to rest before returning home, each one told her own story of that terrible apparition. None had heard a footstep when that fearful woman came among us; none had seen her approach, and though the sound of our own buzzing voices, and the fixed attention with which we were just then regarding the door of the apartment, which we wished yet dreaded to enter, might easily account for both these circumstances, yet we all came to the conclusion that we had seen a ghost, or, at the least, a witch.

On the following Sunday we were scarcely less alarmed, for, just as the services were commencing, the same tall figure, arrayed in deep mourning and veiled to her very feet, slowly proceeded up the aisle and took her seat on the step of the altar. My blood ran cold as I looked upon her, and when I afterwards heard that she had recently become the occupant of the gray cottage, my dread of her supernatural powers gave place to a belief that she was in some way or other mysteriously connected with the guilty deeds of which that cottage had been the scene. I did not trouble myself to remember that the events which had flung such horror around the Robbers’ Glen must have occurred at least half a century previous, and therefore could have little to do with a woman yet in the prime of life. The curiosity which her presence excited was not confined to the children of the village. Her tall stature, her sombre garb, her veiled face, and her singular choice of a place of abode excited the conjectures of many an older and wiser head. But whatever interest her appearance had awakened, it was not destined to be satisfied. Those who, led by curiosity or real kindness, sought to visit her, were repulsed from the threshold; no one was allowed to enter her house; all prying inquiries were silenced, either by stern reserve or bitter vituperations; even the village pastor was refused admittance to her solitude; and, after months and even years, as little was known of her as on the day she first appeared. She lived entirely alone; once in each week she was seen walking towards the city, and on Sunday she was regularly to be found at the foot of the pulpit—but beyond this nothing was to be discovered. Few, very few, had ever distinctly seen the face whose paleness gleamed out from the folds of her thick veil, and, after some time, the people found other objects of interest, while the children carefully avoided all approach to the haunted cottage, and could scarcely repress a shudder of horror as they heard the low rustle of her dusky garments on each returning Sunday.

Years passed on; circumstances occurred to remove me from the village, and the various changes which the heart experiences between the period of joyous childhood and earnest womanhood, had almost effaced from my mind all recollection of the “black witch,” when I was unexpectedly and rather strangely made acquainted with her true history. It was a tale of ordinary trials and sorrows, such as might have befallen many others, and yet there are peculiarities in the sufferings of every individual as strongly marked as are the traits of character. There was no supernatural interest in her story, but it invested her in my mind with the dignity of unmerited sorrow, and it enables me to open for your perusal, gentle reader, another of the many strange written pages of human nature.

For more than twelve years Madeline Graham had been an only child, the darling of her invalid mother, and the pride of her doting father, when the birth of a brother opened a new channel for the affections of all the family. During the earliest period of his infancy the child seemed feebly struggling for existence, but he gradually acquired strength to resist the frequent attacks of disease, and though he gave no promise of robust health, his constitution seemed sufficiently invigorated to warrant a hope of prolonged life. The most unwearied exertions, however, were necessary, and his guidance over the very threshold of being was a task of more difficulty than the lifelong care of a hardy and healthy child. Yet the anxiety which his precarious state awakened, and the constant attention which he required, seemed to endear him the more closely to the little family. He became their idol, the object of their incessant solicitude, and comfort, happiness, even life itself was sacrificed to his welfare. Ere he had attained his third year, Mrs. Graham, who had long been in declining health, sank beneath the fatigue and anxiety she had endured, while, with her dying breath, she enjoined upon Madeline the most devoted attention to her darling boy. Madeline scarcely needed such admonition, for, from his very birth, her brother had been the object of her passionate love; but such a charge, given at such a solemn moment, sank deep into the heart of the young and sensitive girl. Falling on her knees beside her mother, she uttered a solemn vow that no earthly affection and no other duty should ever induce her to place her brother’s interests secondary to her own. A smile of grateful tenderness lit up the face of the dying woman, and her last glance thanked Madeline for the self-sacrifice to which she had thus unconsciously pledged herself.

From that hour the young Alfred became his sister’s especial charge. Young as she was, her father knew that he could trust her latent strength of character, and when she took her brother, even as a child, to her bosom, he felt assured that his boy would never need a mother’s care.

Madeline Graham was no common character. Though she had scarcely counted her fifteenth summer, she had grown up tall and stately, with a face almost severe in its fixed and classical beauty, while her manners, calm almost to coldness, were scarcely such as are usually found connected with youthful feeling and girlish simplicity. Educated solely by her parents, Madeline had acquired some of the characteristic traits of both. To her mother’s morbid sensibility and enthusiasm she united her father’s reserve and fixedness of purpose. She possessed strong passions, but an innate power of repressing them seemed born with them. Her love for truth was unbounded; even the common courtesies of society seemed to her but as so many fetters on the limbs of the goddess of her idolatry, and, therefore, even in her girlhood, her manners had become characterized by a sincerity almost amounting to brusquerie. Her talents were of the highest order, and her habits of reflection, which were singularly developed in one so young, enabled her to reap a rich harvest of knowledge from her father’s careful culture. She was one to be admired, and praised, and wondered at, but she was scarcely calculated to awaken affection. The spontaneous gush of feeling, the guileless frankness of a heart that knows no evil and dreads no danger, the warm sympathy of a youthful nature, the sweet susceptibility which, though dangerous to its possessor, is yet so winning a trait of girlish character—all these attributes, which seem to belong to the spring-time of life, even as the buds and blossoms are inseparably connected with the renewed youth of the visible creation, were wanting to Madeline.

But it was from the religious opinions of her parents that the deepest tint of coloring was imparted to the mind of Madeline. Mrs. Graham, a lineal descendant of one of the sternest and most intolerant of the puritans, had early united herself to one of the strictest of strict sects, and had been accustomed to practise a system of self-denial as rigid, if not quite as visible, as the penances of cloistered austerity. The impulses of innocent gaiety, the promptings of harmless vanity, the wanderings of youthful fancy were regarded by her only as evidences of a sinful nature, which ought to awaken remorse as keen as that which visits the penitent bosom of deep-dyed guilt. In the enthusiasm of her early zeal she seemed lifted above the weaknesses of humanity, and even the gray-headed members of the Christian community looked upon her as a chosen servant of the truth. But her excitement had been too great; the hour of reaction came, and it was when lukewarmness and weariness had taken full possession of her feelings for a season, that she first met with her future husband. Ever in extremes, an earthly passion now absorbed the heart which had consumed its energies in zeal without knowledge, and she married Mr. Graham without allowing herself to look upon the broad line of separation which lay between them. Had she ever made religion a question she would have learned the fact; for if good taste forbade him to obtrude his opinions upon others, yet love of truth prevented him from seeking to conceal them. Mr. Graham was a skeptic. The great truths of revealed religion were to him but as fables to amuse the multitude; and while in the works of creation he recognised the hand of a Deity, he read not in the hearts of men the necessity of a Redeemer. Mrs. Graham was horror-stricken when she discovered that her husband was not a Christian, and in proportion as the ardor of youthful passion faded into the tender light of conjugal affection, the terrible abyss which yawned between them became more painfully visible to her sight. The attempt to change his opinions again awakened her slumbering zeal, and with all the penitence of one who was conscious of having fallen from a state of elevated piety, she endeavored to make amends for her temporary alienation by renewed devotion. But her system of ascetic severity was little calculated to make religion attractive to her husband. The “beauty of holiness” was hidden beneath the sackcloth and ashes with which her mistaken judgment endued it, and Mr. Graham learned to look upon her piety as the one defect, rather than the crowning grace, in his wife’s character. Her sincere affection, and a desire to preserve domestic harmony, at length compelled her to give up all attempts to change her husband’s opinions, and she was therefore doomed to cherish a secret sorrow which wasted her very life away. The ascetic devotion which seemed so unlovely to the husband, produced a very different effect upon the imagination of Madeline. Accustomed to regard her mother as the best of human beings, she early learned to reverence and imitate her fervent zeal. Her reserve of character induced her to conceal her impressions even from the mother who labored to deepen them, and no one suspected the severe self-discipline which, even in childhood, she practised in imitation of her parent’s example. Her father, who, while despising Christianity, yet paid it the involuntary homage of considering it a very proper safeguard for women and children, did not attempt to interfere in her religious education. He contented himself with cultivating the field of mind, and left her mother to sow her moral nature with the tares of prejudice along with the seed of true piety.

Madeline had scarcely attained her twentieth year when a sudden and violent illness deprived her of her father, and left her the sole guardian of her young brother. Upon looking into Mr. Graham’s affairs, it was found that his profession had only procured for him a comfortable subsistence, and, as his income died with him, the orphans were almost penniless. The small house which they had long occupied, together with its furniture and a library of some value, were all that remained. To convert these into money was Madeline’s first care, and her next step was to invest the amount thus obtained in the name of her brother, as a fund for his education and future subsistence. For herself she seemed to have no anxieties, and with a degree of disinterestedness, as rare as it was praiseworthy, she determined to derive her own maintenance from the labor of her hands. With characteristic energy she made all her arrangements without consulting any one, or asking the advice of her father’s best friends. The bold self-reliance which formed her most striking and least amiable trait was now fully developed, and she felt no need of other aid than that of her own strong mind. She had a deep design to work out in future—a darling scheme to mature—a hope, which in her stern nature assumed the form of a determination to compass, and all sacrifices seemed light which could aid her to a successful issue. Need I add, that her brother was the object of all her future aspirations.

Alfred Graham had already given evidence of precocious genius which seemed fully to justify Madeline’s ambition. Nature in his case had displayed her usual compensating kindness, and since she had bestowed on him a dwarfed and diminutive form, a delicate and fragile body, made amends by giving him a countenance of almost feminine beauty, and a mind filled with the most exquisite perceptions. He was born a poet. His fervid feelings, his nervous temperament, his delicate sense of beauty in the moral and physical world—even the very fragility of constitution which shut him out from the rude conflicts of real life, and confined him within the limits of the fairyland of reverie—all seemed to point out his future vocation. Too young to frame in numbers the fancies of his childish hours, he yet breathed into his sister’s ear the eloquent words of pure and passionless enthusiasm, and Madeline’s heart thrilled with high hopes of his future glory. But she did not suffer nature to direct his course. Long ere the child had seriously commenced the work of education, she had destined him to become an apostle of Christianity to the benighted world of paganism. Imaginative, high minded, stern, and self-sacrificing, Madeline was just such a woman as in the olden time might have embroidered the cross upon the mantle of her best beloved one, and sent him forth to fight the battles of the holy church. But the missionary of modern days has a far more difficult and therefore far nobler office to perform. Amid belted knights and men-at-arms to do battle with myriads of the Paynim foe is a lighter task than that which falls upon him, who goes forth alone and single handed to face the more insidious foes of ignorance and sin amid the blinded and perverse heathen. Yet such was the high and holy duty to which Madeline destined her brother, while her own ambition was limited to the hope of being the companion of his toils and his labors. She looked forward to the time when they should go forth hand in hand into the howling wilderness of superstition, with the gospel as a light to their feet and a lamp to their path, while they scattered the blessings of truth among the benighted idolaters of distant lands.

As Alfred advanced in life he learned the full extent of his sister’s sacrifices for his welfare. He saw her relinquishing all the intellectual pleasures she had once enjoyed, and devoting herself day and night to the humble labors of the needle. He noticed her attention to his most trifling wishes, and he did not fail to observe that while his dress was of the neatest and finest texture, and his food of the delicate kind which best suited the capricious appetite of an invalid, Madeline practised the strictest economy in all that affected only her own individual comfort. Yet Alfred did not love Madeline with the entire affection which could alone repay her devotedness. There was too much awe, too much fear blended with his feelings towards her. Her strong mind and stern integrity seemed ever ready to rebuke the vacillating temper and morbid sensibility of the youth. Superior to temptations which had no power over herself, she had little charity for the failings of another; and the boyish errors, often but the earliest trial of principles which the world will hereafter put to a far more severe test—were regarded by her as heavy sins. Educated in the seclusion of home, she could not imagine the dangers which beset a boy from his first entrance into the miniature world of a large school. Instead of rewarding with her approbation the first struggles of principle with passion in the youthful heart, she seemed only shocked and mortified that any conflict should have been necessary, and was more keenly sensible to the weakness which had required defence, than to the strength which had offered resistance. Such mistaken views of character soon checked the flow of confidence between them. Alfred could not open his whole heart to one who was incapable of comprehending all his feelings, and though he never needed a mother’s care, he early learned the want of a mother’s sympathy.

Madeline had seen sufficient proofs of Alfred’s facile temper and instability of purpose to dread his introduction into scenes of greater temptation, and, vainly fancying that he would be safer any where than in the busy city, she preferred that he should enter a distant college. At the age of seventeen he was removed from his sister’s influence to enter upon his new course of studies, and although at first truly unhappy at this separation from his only relative, it was not long before the absence of her keen eye and stern rebuke became a positive relief to him. Hitherto his life had passed amid the sombre shades of domestic life, and with all Madeline’s noble traits of character, she lacked the tact, so truly feminine, which enables a woman to throw sunshine around the humblest home. The cheerful song, the pleasant jest, the merry voice, the bright smile, the buoyant step—all the lighter graces without which a woman’s character, however elevated and noble, is but as a Corinthian column without its capital, or as a rose without its perfume—were wanting to the unbending nature of Madeline. The world was to her a scene of probation and preparation, and to waste a thought upon enlivening its grave duties seemed to her as idle as planting flowers around a sepulchre. When therefore Alfred found himself amid a throng of young men from every part of the country—some ambitious of renown, some fond of study for its own sake, some utterly careless of present duties, some slothful and indifferent to honor, but all equally alive to pleasurable excitement and equally eager in the pursuit of amusement, he felt as if he had suddenly been transported to a world of which he had never dreamed. His susceptible temper rendered him an easy prey to the lures of gay society. Intellectual enjoyments mingled their pure odors with the fumes of the wine cup, and the refinements of elegant taste served to veil the native deformity of vice, until, long before he had learned the danger of his position, he was bound in the strong toils of sensual indulgence. Full of intellect, and wonderfully acute in his perceptions, he soon became distinguished for his genius, and the heart of his sister was often gladdened by tidings of his success. But she knew not that he was drinking from more turbid waters than those which flow from the fountain of wisdom—she dreamed not that the offering which she hoped to bring pure and unpolluted to the altar of Heaven was already blemished and unworthy to be presented.

Alfred Graham was not designed by nature to be a votary of evil. Temptation had found him weak to resist, but conscience was still true to her charge, and the youth was as free from habitual vice as he was destitute of unsullied virtue. When the vacations brought him to his quiet home, the better feelings of his nature were ever aroused; he respected the virtue of his sister’s character, and when surrounded by that pure atmosphere which envelopes real goodness, he forgot even to harbor a sinful thought. But day by day the profession to which he was destined became more repugnant to his feelings, and after deferring as long as possible the announcement of his wishes, he at length summoned courage to reveal the truth to his sister. The blow fell upon Madeline with almost stunning violence. He had just left college crowned with honors and flushed with success, and Madeline was exulting in the hope of his future usefulness, when he revealed to her his change of purpose. The first intimation of his unwillingness to devote himself to the church, almost drove her to frenzy. All the violence of her secret nature broke forth in the fearful threats of temporal and eternal punishment which she predicted for such apostacy, and Alfred’s feeble temper was actually crushed beneath the weight of her indignation. He trembled at the storm which he had raised, and when, after days of entreaty and expostulation, Madeline, the stern, proud Madeline, even knelt at his feet, and implored the child of her affections to listen to the voice of God, speaking by the lips of her who had ever been as a mother to his heart, the weak youth yielded to her prayers and promised what he well knew he could not conscientiously perform. His was not the free-will offering of talents and time and health and strength in the service of the Redeemer. He entered the sanctuary as one driven onward by irresistible force, not as one drawn by the cords of love and piety.

Time passed on and taught Alfred a lesson of deep hypocrisy. His timid and feeble nature could neither resist the influence of evil nor brave its consequences, and therefore it was that the fair face of the youth became more and more characterized by sanctity in proportion as his heart became less susceptible of its influences. Happy is it for mankind that the eye rarely pierces beneath the veil which conceals the hideous depravity of the heart. Who but would have shrunk from the delicate beauty of Alfred’s gentle countenance—who but would have shuddered at the contemplation of those clear blue eyes, that feminine complexion, the delicate rose tint of his thin cheek, and the exceeding loveliness of his chiselled and flexible lips, if the dark mass of evil thoughts which lay beneath that fair seeming, could have been discerned. Yet Alfred was far from being happy. Unstable as water, he had no power over his own impulses, and remorse preyed upon him, even while he sought to drown his senses in indulgence. Conscience was his perpetual tormentor, and yet a constant course of sinning and repenting left him neither time nor will to struggle effectually with his errors.

But a still darker change came upon his character. His health, which had several times required a suspension of his studies, began again to fail, a short time before the period fixed upon for his ordination, and he eagerly seized the opportunity of deferring the dreaded ordeal. The physicians ordered perfect relaxation from all mental labors, and unfortunately for his future peace, the listlessness of unwonted idleness led him to examine a chest of old papers, the accumulated records of many years, where he accidentally met with a catalogue of his father’s library. Alfred was so young at the time of his father’s death that he retained little recollection of him, and Madeline had carefully kept him in ignorance of those skeptical opinions which had so grieved both mother and daughter. It was with no little surprise, therefore, that Alfred found the names of so great a number of infidel works among his father’s books. He pondered long upon the subject, and at length conjectured the truth. This excited his interest, and a vague curiosity, awakened rather by a belief in his sister’s desire to conceal from him his father’s opinions, led him secretly to procure the prohibited volumes. Upon the feeble mind of one who was “blown about by every wind of doctrine,” and who yearned after worldly pleasures while he shrunk with unutterable disgust from religious duties, the subtleties of the skeptics had a most fatal effect. He had never been well grounded in the faith, and the doubts now suggested to his mind were exactly such things as in his present state of feeling he would gladly have adopted as truths. These six months of respite from theological studies were spent in the careful perusal of all skeptical writings, and when Alfred resumed his former pursuits the plague spot of infidelity had already given evidence of the fatal disease which was spreading over his moral nature.

If my tale were designed only for the eye of the student of human nature, I might dwell long upon the strange incongruity of feeling and action, the wonderful contrariety between principle and practice, and all the complicated workings of a wayward heart, which characterized the deceptive course of the young student. With his usual timid hypocrisy he concealed every real feeling, every genuine impulse. His conduct was apparently irreproachable, his principles seemed unimpeachable, and he even schooled himself to come forward and enrol himself beneath the banner of the cross, when he was but too conscious that he had already trampled the holy emblem beneath his feet. Why did he carry his deceit to such an awful extent? Alas! who can tell just where the waves of sin may stay their whelming force? He feared the world’s dread laugh at his apostacy, he shrunk from the scorn of all good men, and, above all, his mind absolutely cowered at the thought of his sister’s bitter wrath. So he buried his secret within his own bosom, and trusting to some future chance to rescue him from the irksome duties of his profession, prepared himself for the ceremony of ordination. But he was not yet sensible of the terrible power of Conscience.

The day came, and, as usual, crowds were assembled to witness the dedication of the youthful candidates. The two young men—for Alfred had a companion, a pious, humble-minded, meek-hearted youth—stood before the altar to offer their vows. Madeline, the weeping but happy Madeline—who had sacrificed her youth and health and beauty, aye and the hopes ever dearest to a woman’s heart, to this one darling hope—was there too, and as she looked on her brother bending before the altar, while his bright curls just caught one straggling sunbeam which shed a glory around his youthful brow, she was heard to murmur “Lo, here am I, Lord, and the child which thou hast given me.”

The services commenced—the prayers of the congregation had arisen to Heaven, the incense of praise had floated upward on the solemn melody of the organ, the exhortation to the candidates had been affectionately uttered by an aged pastor, and the moment came when the presentation of the two was made to the Bishop by the officiating clergyman. The solemn appeal was then uttered⁠—

Brethren, if there be any of you who knoweth any impediment or any notable crime on either of these persons for the which he ought not to be admitted to the holy office, let him come forth in the name of God and show what the crime or impediment is.

At these words a sudden terror seemed to seize upon Alfred Graham. His frame shook with suppressed emotion, his countenance became livid, and his fine features were strangely contorted as if some sudden pang had convulsed him. The next instant he uttered a faint cry and fell prostrate to the ground, while his very life-blood was poured at the foot of the altar which he had dared to touch with polluted hands.

He was borne to his home in utter insensibility. The sting of conscience had finished the work which disease had long since begun, and the rupture of a blood-vessel in the lungs had been the consequence of his unnatural excitement and self-command. All that medical skill could effect was tried, but without success, and ere the lapse of another day it was known that Alfred Graham was sinking into the arms of death. There was no time for repentance—no time to combat prejudices and awaken better impulses. He lay as if in the deep torpor of insensibility, until aroused by some cordial administered by his physician, when his strength seemed to rally, and raising himself on his pillow, he addressed his sister in words which fell like molten lead upon her heart. With all the eloquence of passion he poured forth a wild confession of his errors and his doubts, and then, in language equally fervid but far more bitter, he reproached her—her who had devoted her whole life to his welfare—as the cause of all his guilt. He accused her of having crushed his timid spirit by sternness and unbending rigor—of having taught him hypocrisy by her fierce contempt for his weaknesses—of having killed him by forcing him to a profession which he hated and contemned.

“I am not mad, Madeline,” he exclaimed, in a hoarse voice, broken by his difficult and long-drawn breath, “I am not mad, but so surely as I am now stretched upon the bed of death, so surely has your ambition and your mistaken zeal laid me here to die. I seek not to excuse myself, and may God forgive me my many secret sins; but never, never would my soul have been so deeply stained had it not been for your unrelenting indignation at my boyish follies, and your determined will in the choice of my future destiny. I forgive you, Madeline, but you will not forgive yourself.”

The exertion of uttering these terrible words was too great, and ere the sounds yet died upon the ear of the horror-stricken sister, the spirit of the misguided youth had gone to its dread account.

From that hour Madeline was utterly and entirely changed. Whatever were her feelings she shared them with none, but shrunk alike from question and sympathy. Those dying reproaches, unjust as she felt them to be, were yet engraven in ineffacable characters upon her heart, and with a feeling akin to the mistaken austerity which punishes the body for the sins of the soul, she resolved to make her future life a penance for her involuntary error. Lonely and desolate, she took up her abode in a place well suited to her embittered and almost misanthropic feelings. For more than ten years the gray cottage was her abode, and the labors of the seamstress furnished her scanty subsistence. During all that period not a creature was ever admitted beyond the threshold of her door, and all curiosity about her had quite subsided long before the termination of her lonely career. At length she was missed from her usual lowly seat in church. A second Sabbath came, and still the black and veiled form of the recluse was not seen. Common humanity demanded some inquiry into her fate, and after several vain attempts to procure admission into the cottage, the door was forced. Upon a truss of straw, in one corner of the desolate chamber, lay the emaciated form of the unfortunate Madeline, stiff, and cold, and ghastly, as if days had passed since the spirit had escaped from its clay tenement. She died as she had lived, lonely, and unknown, for it was not until years had elapsed that I heard the story of the brother and the sister from the lips of one who had known them in early days; while other incidental circumstances enabled me to identify Madeline Graham with the tall “weird woman” who had so terrified my childish fancy.

The erring brother sleeps beneath the shadow of the sanctuary, in ground still consecrated by holy usage, but all trace of the hapless sister has vanished from the earth. The village graveyard is now a populous highway, bordered by tall houses and traversed by busy feet, while the green hillock which once marked the burial place of Madeline Graham has long since been crushed beneath the weight of pavements, echoing to the noisy tread of many a thoughtless wayfarer.

Alas, for human love! and, alas, for human error! How dreary and desolate would seem many a scene of unmerited suffering did we not know that there is a brighter world, where all tears shall be wiped from all eyes, and where there shall be no sorrow nor sighing through an eternity of happiness!





Thou lovely miniature of Nature’s painting!

  Thy beauty mingles care with my delight.

These colors are to grow: not like the fainting,

  Soft, dying hues, that mark the eve’s twilight⁠—

But evermore renewed, as if the dawn,

  With its deep rosy tinge, instead of fading,

Ran hand in hand with the bright dewy morn,

  The sky by sunlight with all colors shading.


These colors are to grow, from where, an infant,

  Thou sleepest cradled by thy mother’s side,

On through thy childhood’s beauty, every instant,

  To maiden loveliness—thy mother’s pride.

And she will guide the pencil, hers the art

  To deepen Nature’s lineaments, or alter:

To image Heaven or Earth upon the heart⁠—

  What if her love should err, her pencil falter!


O! ’tis a sacred, sweet and fearful duty

  To train these earth-born spirits for the skies!

To keep this household flower green in its beauty,

  Till it in Paradise transplanted rise.

May He, who took the nurslings in his arms,

  Keep thee and thine, his richest grace revealing,

Hid, as his Pilgrims, from the world’s alarms,

  Where quiet brooks in pastures green are stealing!






Heigh-ho! for a husband!—heigh-ho!

  There’s danger in longer delay⁠!—

Shall I never again have a beau?

  Will nobody marry me, pray?

I begin to feel strange, I declare!

  With beauty my prospects will fade!⁠—

I’d give myself up to despair

  If I thought I should die an old maid!


I once cut the beaux in a huff!⁠—

  I thought it a sin and a shame

That no one had spirit enough

  To ask me to alter my name!

So I turned up my nose at the short,

  And rolled up my eyes at the tall;

But then I just did it in sport,

  And now I’ve no lover at all!


These men are the plague of my life!⁠—

  ’Tis hard from so many to choose!⁠—

Should one of them wish for a wife,

  Could I have the heart to refuse?

I don’t know—for none have proposed!

  Oh, dear me!—I’m frightened, I vow!

Good gracious!—whoever supposed

  That I should be single till now?





Beautiful are the Birds of the Tropics. Bright, clear, sparkling, brilliant is their plumage. It is steeped in “all the hues that gild the rainbow.” I seek in vain for epithets by which to convey a thought of their surpassing beauty. Had I, dear reader, the pencil of Audubon, I might show you what they are in repose; but repose does not display their loveliness in its perfection. They are most charming to behold when in motion—when their many vivid colors contrast with the deep green of the forests, in which they live and hold their jocund revels.

Not many years ago, I passed a winter—or, I might better say, the first months of the year—in the Northern part of South America, where these birds abound. There, was I often delighted by these “exquisite, gay creatures of the element.” They seemed to me like so many winged jewels, as they glanced about in the rays of a dazzling sun. But let me not indulge too much in fanciful allusions, lest I should reluctantly enter upon the real purpose I have in view in preparing this article: which is to offer some account of Tropical Birds, so that the reader may be attracted to the study of their Natural History. It appears to me that our American periodicals have too much of the dulce and too little of the utile. It is well, sometimes, to mingle the useful with the agreeable even in works of taste: I may fail in my attempt to do so in this place, but I shall at least deserve the credit of having made the attempt.

Doubtless many of my readers have in their possession certain glass cases in which specimens of birds with variegated plumage, having undergone the art of the taxidermist, are arranged on artificial trees or bushes as ornaments for the drawing room. There are many persons in Guiana, who make it their business to kill and prepare these birds, so that they may adorn the halls of Natural History Societies or private cabinets. Some birds, which fly about the houses or plantations, are easily obtained; but those, upon which most value is set, live in distant wilds and woods, and are procured with great difficulty and only by individuals long practised in the art. Great caution must be observed in approaching, and greater skill in shooting them; for they must be slain so skilfully that their feathers shall not be torn nor their color spoiled by an effusion of blood from the wound. When one, who is unskilful, tears or disfigures his birds, he makes up one specimen out of two or more individuals of the same species. Thus, upon a close examination, you may often detect the wings of one bird joined to the body of another, or, perhaps, an old head upon young shoulders. But the worst piece of trickery, and one which renders the specimen wholly valueless to an ornithologist, is the altering of the natural color of the bird by fire. I have seen many a brilliant specimen exceedingly admired, which obtained a false lustre in this manner.

There seems to be no limit to the wonderful varieties of these birds. Every day brings to view some new species, which outvies its compeers in the grace of its form and the brilliancy of its plumage. The adventurous bird-seeker will penetrate deeper and deeper into the solitudes of those vast forests, which, in primitive grandeur, lift up their leafy columns and form umbrageous temples in the heart of the Southern continent. Those lovely and still unexplored domains are the probable haunts of thousands and thousands of birds of dazzling beauty. The clear beams of the sun, glinting through the leaves of mighty trees, play among colors, as various and as shifting as those of gems. No human eye, save that of some Indian hunter who may have lost his homeward way, has gazed upon these strange, bright creatures; and the most fantastic imagination may vainly endeavor to paint those tribes of the air which have lived in their safe retreats, undisturbed save by one another and the war of the elements, since light first dawned upon creation.

Among the various little birds, black, yellow and red, which may be observed in the midst of the sugar canes and in the many trees of orange, mango and lemon, there is a tribe, called Tyrants, which is very extensive. Great numbers are constantly seen. They are about the size of our robin. One species is called “the butcher bird,” and most appropriately, since it pounces upon and slaughters its prey with tyrannical cruelty. It is said to be of service to the planter in destroying grubs and insects, upon which it seizes in the manner of a hawk. It first strikes its prey with its bill (like a dun) and then grasps it in its claws so instantaneously afterward, that the most acute observation alone can enable one to decide on the priority of the action. Its bill is of moderate length (unlike a tailor’s) compressed and sharp. Its head is black and all its body is white, save the outer feathers of the wings and tail, which are black. This family of “Tyrants,” of which the butcher bird is an influential member, has very extensive connections; but as they are distinguished neither for beauty nor behavior (“handsome is that handsome does”) and can be very easily “got round,” no great consequence is attached to their possession.

The next most numerous tribe is one whose habits and characteristics are widely dissimilar—the Parrots. These exhibit plumage of the most diversified hues; but the predominating is bright green. This is often set off and contrasted by black, lilac, pink, orange, violet and blue. It is impossible to tell how many species have been discovered; for our traveller refers the specimen which he has obtained to some former description, and then points out the differences. “This,” says one, “is the blue parrot; our specimens, however, are bright lilac, with red spots on the back, between the wings”—a remark which, were it made by a native of the Emerald Isle, would be called a bull; but the fact, nevertheless, may be as true as the somewhat notorious one that “black-berries are red when they are green.”

The parrots are of all sizes from the macaw or ava, down to the smallest paroket. The common green parrot, which is known in the United States, and taught to speak, is of the medium size. The best and clearest whistle is uttered by the homely brown parrot, which is brought from Africa. It is likewise the most docile. These birds resemble humanity in other respects besides the faculty of speech; some are hopelessly stupid, while others take to learning very kindly. Curious stories are told of their powers of articulation. The smallest kind, which cannot live in our climate, are sometimes very successfully educated. The manager of a plantation, which I visited, owned a little parrot, which used to reside in a cage at the door of his house. As I rode up, I was agreeably astonished by hearing the polite bird very considerately sing out, “Boy, take the gentleman’s horse—boy, why the deuse don’t you take the horse!”

The largest kind is the macaw. It is a huge, clumsy thing, with a head out of all proportion to its body, (“great head, little wit;”) its plumage is for the most part red, interspersed with green and blue. The noise which it makes is most horribly discordant; and its loudest yell is very like an Indian war-whoop, (one of Mr. Cooper’s;) yet is this monster a great favorite in the West Indies, and, as you pass the residences of the inhabitants, you often see three or four of these ugly wretches clambering awkwardly up the piazzas, and uttering their hoarse, scolding cries, ten times more grating to the ear than the objurgations of a Xantippe, heard above the shrieks of her castigated offspring. The hardihood of these birds is surprising. There was one of them on board of a small vessel, in which it was my ill fortune to voyage from the mainland to the island of Barbadoes. Mr. Macaw, like a militia major in red and blue uniform, would strut about on the lower rigging, and, as soon as he could get near enough to the ear of a sailor, would utter one of his shrillest and most appalling yells. Jack Tar, in his summary method of dealing vengeance, would fetch him a blow with a handspike, that would send him flapping to the quarter-deck; perhaps, with an utter disregard of decorum and discipline, into the very face and eyes of the surly old captain, who, in his rage, would beat him soundly; yet would the valiant and stalwart feathered marine regard those lusty strokes no more than would a pet goldfinch the taps of his lady’s fan.

Some species of parrots exist in almost every region; the smallest and most beautiful, however, are found only in tropical countries. They are seldom seen near thickly populated places, but can be procured with facility in the woods adjacent, where they live in tolerable fellowship with their mischievous neighbors, the monkeys.

Another numerous tribe of tropical birds is known by the name of Chatterers. I do not know what they are called by the ornithologists; but thus are they designated by the inhabitants, from the peculiar sounds which they utter, (being not unlike those of a congress of spinsters, sitting in committee of the whole on some grand question of scandal.) They are distinguished by the epithets—red-breasted, purple-throated, firebirds, pumpadore, red-headed, gold-headed, white-throated, white-capped, purple-shouldered, and Mahometan. The first five migrate; the last five stay at home. Of the former, the firebird is so named from the fact that, in stuffed specimens, the color is sometimes changed by the application of fire. Its natural hue is a dark crimson, but it is susceptible of being changed, by the application of heat, into a rich vermilion. Of the latter, the purple-shouldered is the most rare and the most beautiful. The upper parts of its wings or shoulders are the deepest purple; the remainder of the wings is interspersed with blue, and they end in black. Its back is blue mingled with black; its breast is a delicate blue, and the lower part of its neck is a dark crimson. I describe the male bird only; for (unlike bipeds without feathers) it monopolises the beauty of the species. The female is very plain, though there seems to be a certain winning modesty about her, for all her homely looks. The sumptuously attired male, (“Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these,”) if his choice of a partner were left to himself—which I doubt—must have been guided by a taste as unsophisticated as that of the praiseworthy Cock-Robin, when he courted Jenny Wren, who

“Always wore her old brown gown,

And never dressed so fine!”

While on the subject of homeliness, I may as well conclude it by alluding to a bird, which, on account of its hideousness, the negroes call “Old Witch.” What a very mortifying circumstance it must be to be so ugly, when every body else is so bewitchingly fair! Don’t you think so, Miss Smith? (I do not mean the Miss Smith, who is reading this article, but another.)

Before passing to an account of the third and last family, which I shall try to describe—being by far the most numerous, the strangest, and the most charming of all the tropical birds—I will detain the reader for a moment with an account of two rare species of water birds. They are in general so classed, because, like rails, they frequent reedy ponds and marshes and the borders of streams. I select these two species, because the one is very curious and the other is of a kind with which classical associations are connected, and because they admirably serve to show how wide and fertile a field of interesting investigation lies before the student in this particular realm of Natural History.

The curious species is the Jacana. It is doubtful whether it should be classed with land or water birds; it resembles the latter in its nature, its habits, the form of its body, the shape of its bill, and the diminutiveness of its head; it differs essentially, however, from all others of the class, in the curious spurs which protrude from its wings; its claws are very long and slender, and its nails very pointed and sharp—hence has been derived its name, “The Surgeon.” It is exceedingly wild and can be caught only by stratagem. These birds are of various colors: some dark, tinged with violet; some green; some black; some dusky red. Their flight is very rapid, and their cry sharp and shrill. They travel in pairs, frequenting the borders of rivers and deep marshes. That which is particularly singular about the Jacana is the manner in which it is armed; when it strikes with its wings, it must do considerable execution; it does not seem to be happily called the Surgeon, for its instruments are rather intended to kill than cure.

The classical species is called by moderns, “the Sultana Hen.” It is the smallest of that genus, which was named by the ancients Porphyry—in Greek, Πορφυριωι—in Latin, Porphyrio. Aristotle describes it as a fissiped bird, with long feet, a blue plumage, with a very strongly set, purple-colored bill, and of about the size of a domestic cock. Some old writers, in describing this bird, have said that one of its feet was furnished with membranes, and made to swim like a water-bird’s, and that the other was fissiped, so that it might run like a land-bird. This is not only untrue, but contrary to nature, and signifies no more than that the porphyry or pelican is a bird of the shore, living on the confines of land and water. It was easily tamed, and was very pleasing on account of its noble carriage, its fine form, its plumage brilliant and rich in colors of mingled blue and purple and aquamarine, its docile nature, and its happy facility of agreeing with any companions among whom its lot might be cast. It was held in the highest esteem by both Greeks and Romans; they never suffered it to be eaten; they sent to Lybia for it; always treated it with kindness, and placed it in their palaces and temples, as worthy to dwell there on account of the nobleness of its port, the sweetness of its temper, and the beauty of its plumage. The largest of the species, now known as “the sultana hen,” is precisely the same as the ancient porphyrio. The smallest is called “the little sultana hen.” Her petite majesty is very queenly, but is, no doubt, as well satisfied with the modern name by which she is dignified, as she would be with that which the Greeks gave to the tall highnesses of her very old and royal family. Her robe of state is a brilliant changeable blue and green; and it has never gone out of fashion.

Having thus given an unsystemized and rather imperfect account of a few species of tropical birds, I pass on to treat of the most marvellous and most beautiful tribe of plumed creatures that float in the invisible atmosphere. There have been more than a hundred species already discovered, and every naturalist, who visits the equatorial regions of this Western World, adds a new name to the splendid schedule of HUMMING-BIRDS.[2] From their delicate structure, these tiny birds cannot endure the rigors of our climate, where there are very few of those gorgeous plants, upon which they banquet in tropical latitudes. There, when the warm sun calls into life myriads of flowers, vast numbers of humming-birds visit the fields and gardens every morning, and mingle their golden-green tints in gleaming contrast with the white and rose-colored blossoms, that cluster on the vines above the traveller’s head, or spring luxuriantly at his feet. They seem, as they dart rapidly around, humming their faintly heard tunes, to be the very Pucks and Ariels of the light, and each night take up the burden of the fairy song, sung at the feast of Titania,

Over hill, over dale,

  Through bush, through brier,

Over park, over pale,

  Through flood, through fire,

I do wander every where,

Swifter than the moon’s sphere.

For, at one moment, you behold “the fine apparition” before the cup of a flower, and at the next he is gone

“To drink the air before him and return

Or ere your pulse twice beat.”

The bright little beings must own the very best secret of the fairies; for none, so well as they,

“Know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows,

Where oxslips and the nodding violet grows,

Quite over canopied with luscious woodbine,

With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.”

But alas! however elfin-like and ethereal their forms appear, they share the fate of mortals. They are easily caught by nets thrown over them, or killed by very fine shot or sand. I have seen some very splendid collections. I remember one, comprising seventy-two species—from the king of the humming-birds, as he is called, with his topaz and emerald crown, to one so small that, when on the wing, it could scarcely be visible. When the glass case, in which they were arranged in too studied an order, was held in the sunshine, their myriad colors would gleam and flash with a brilliancy as perfect as that of the many gems, after which they are prettily named. An enumeration of some of their names will convey an idea of their appearance—sapphire-throated, ruby-throated, sapphire and emerald, amethystine, topaz-throated; then there are the purple, tri-colored, violet-tufted, violet-crowned, blue-fronted, the superb, the magnificent, the sabre-winged. And there is one which must have been bestowed by some ornithological phrenologist, who had great skill in interpreting “the natural language” of birds—the supercilious humming-bird. The largest species yet discovered is that which is called the gigantic, and the smallest, as I believe, is one that Sir William Jardine describes as Gould’s humming-bird.

The gigantic is in remarkable contrast to the rest of his tribe, both in size and in the color of his plumage. He is not only the largest but the homeliest, while the smallest is the most beautiful. The gigantic (the monster!) is nearly eight inches in length; the crown, the back, the under and lesser wing-coverts, brownish green, with reflections of green tint; the under parts, light reddish mingled with a deeper tint and shaded off with green; the feathers are generally darker at the base, and the paler tips give a slightly waved appearance to the breast. On the throat, the feathers, though without lustre, retain the scaly form and texture of the more brilliant species. The wings slightly exceed the tail in length, bend up at the tips, and exhibit the form of the most correctly framed organ of flight; they are of a uniform brownish violet. The tail is composed of ten feathers, of a brownish color, and with golden-green reflections; they gradually decrease in length. This is a very rare species.

Gould’s is the smallest species and of the most dazzling beauty. It is scarcely over two inches in length; its forehead, throat and upper part of its breast are of a most brilliant green—the feathers of a scaly form. From the crown springs a crest of bright, chestnut feathers, of a lengthened form and capable of being raised at pleasure. The back is a golden-green, crossed with a whitish band; the wings and tail are brownish purple, the latter having the centre feathers tinged with green; the lower parts are dark brownish green. The neck tufts are of the most splendid kind, and have a chaste but brilliant effect; they are composed of narrow feathers of a snowy whiteness—the tips of each having a round, serrated spot of bright emerald green, surrounded with a dark border; the largest are at the upper part of the tuft, and they decrease in length, assuming the shape of a butterfly’s wing; shorter feathers again spring from the base, and their green tips are relieved on the white of the longer ones behind them.

The most common species, and that which abounds in all parts of the West Indies, is the ruby-crested. Though seen every day about the gardens, near the honeysuckle and other flowering vines, it presents some of the most splendid coloring of the family. (Those which I have mentioned are of that sub-genus, which Linnæus calls trochilus.) The upper parts of the head and throat are clothed entirely with those scaly formed feathers, which always produce the parts producing the changeable hues. On the hind head, the feathers are elongated and form a short, rounded crest. In one position this part appears of a deep, sombre, reddish brown; when viewed transversely it assumes a bright, coppery lustre, and when looked upon directly with a side stream of light, it becomes of the richest and most brilliant ruby. The scaly part of the throat and breast again, when wanting the lustre, is of an equally sombre, greenish brown; and, when turned to diverse lights, changes from a clear golden-green to the most brilliant topaz. It is impossible to convey by words—especially as it is necessary to repeat the same again and again—an idea of these tints. The most that can be done is to name those substances, which they most nearly resemble, then rely upon the imagination of the reader.

The birds, thus attempted to be described, are a few of that multitudinous tribe which excites the liveliest wonder, and fills the mind with admiration of that creative power, which clothes the eagle with strength to resist the fury of the mountain storm, and so fashions the delicate plumage of the humming-bird that the softest air from heaven seems to visit it too roughly. The vine-clad forests and rose-covered gardens of Guiana literally swarm with these fairy-birds. The Indian word, by which they are distinguished, signifies beams or locks of the sun; that such a designation is not less appropriate than poetical, may be concluded by all who have seen them darting with the rapidity as well as the splendor of light from flower to flower. Compared to the humming-bird, the bee is a mere loiterer. He poises himself on wing, while he thrusts his long, slender tube into the flower-cups in search of food. But he subsists not simply on honey-dew and the nectar that dwells in the lips of roses. He may often be observed darting at the minute insects that float in the air.

Mr. Audubon thus beautifully describes the humming-bird in quest of food: “carefully visiting every opening flower-cup, and, like a curious florist, removing from each those injurious insects, that otherwise would ere long cause their beauteous petals to droop and decay. Poised in the air, it is observed peeping cautiously and with sparkling eye into their innermost recesses, whilst the ethereal motions of its pinions, so rapid and so light, appear to fan and cool the flower, without injuring its fragile texture, and produce a delightful, murmuring sound, well adapted for lulling the insects to repose. Then is the moment for the humming-bird to secure them. Its long delicate bill enters the cup of a flower, and the protruded, double-tubed tongue, delicately sensible, and imbued with a glutinous saliva, touches each insect in succession, and draws it from its lurking place to be instantly swallowed. All this is done in a moment, and the bird, as it leaves the flower, sips so small a portion of its liquid honey, that the theft, we may suppose, is looked upon with a grateful feeling by the flower which is thus kindly relieved from the attacks of her destroyers.”

Their favorite places of resort were those woods, in which the superb bignonia abounds, and when the huge trees are garlanded with parasites; but since the cultivation of the country they frequent gardens and seem to delight in society, becoming familiar and destitute of fear, hovering over one side of a shrub while the fruit or flower is plucked from that opposite. They do not alight on the ground, but easily settle on twigs and branches, when they move sidewise in prettily measured steps, frequently opening and closing their wings, shaking and arranging the whole of their apparel with neatness and activity. They are particularly fond of spreading one wing at a time, and passing each of their quill-feathers through their bills in its whole length, when, if the sun is shining, the wing thus plumed is very transparent and light. The humming noise proceeds entirely from the surprising velocity with which they perform that motion by which they will keep their bodies in the air, apparently motionless, for hours together. When flying to any long distance, the manner of their flight is very different from that shown in speeding among flowers, for they sweep gracefully through the air in long undulations, raise themselves for some distance and then fall in a curve.

Strange as it may seem, one of the chief characteristics of this tiny creature, is its bravery. It will unhesitatingly attack the mocking-bird, or the king-bird, or any other by whom it imagines its territories invaded; it directs its sharp, needle-like bill, immediately at the eyes of its enemy, and when so employed this must be a truly formidable weapon. These birds are also extremely pugnacious among themselves—two males seldom meeting, without a battle. The combatants ascend in the air, chirping, darting and circling round each other till the eye is no longer able to follow them. They are particularly susceptible of jealousy, and, under the influence of this failing, they run tilts at each other till the less doughty champion falls exhausted to the ground.

The nests of these little creatures are very curious; they are built with great delicacy, but at the same time with much compactness and warmth. Wilson says that the nest of the ruby-throated humming-bird is generally fixed on the upper side of a horizontal branch, not among the twigs. It is sometimes, however, attached to an old moss-grown trunk, and sometimes fastened on a strong stalk or weed in the garden. It seldom builds more than ten feet from the ground. The nest is about an inch in diameter and as much in depth. The outward coat is formed of small pieces of a species of bluish-gray lichen, that vegetates on old trees and fences, thickly glued with the saliva of the bird, giving firmness and consistency to the whole as well as keeping out moisture. Within this are thick, matted layers of the fine wings of certain flying seeds, closely laid together; and, lastly, the downy substance from the great mullein, and from the stalks of the common fern, lines the whole. The base of the nest is continued round the stem of the branch to which it closely adheres, and, when viewed from below, appears a mere mossy knot or accidental protuberance. The nest of one species in Guiana is principally composed of a spongy cellular substance, apparently similar to that of a fungus, of which some kinds of wasps build large habitations, suspended from the branches of trees, and an account is given of a nest of another species composed entirely of the down of some thistle; the seed is attached and is placed outwards, giving a jagged and prickly appearance to the outside. Latham describes the nest of the black humming-bird as made of cotton, entwined around the thorns and twigs of the citron-tree, and of so firm a texture as not to be easily broken by winds. The nest of the topaz-crested is about seven eighths of an inch in diameter, also made of cotton, stuck over with lichens on the outside and firmly fixed in the hanging cleft of some strong creeper by threads of a cottony substance, and very slender roots or tendrils, the whole lower part as if cemented by a thin coat of glue. It is probable that the greater number build their nests nearly in the same manner. Descriptions, however, are given of those built in different forms—one is suspended with the entrance downwards; another is of a lengthened form, composed of dry grass and slender roots and moss, and is not made so compactly. A person, who saw a bird building her nest, describes her manner of construction as very ingenious. “Bringing a pile of small grass, she commenced upon a little twig about a quarter of an inch in diameter, immediately below a large leaf, which entirely covered and concealed the nest from above, the height from the ground being about three feet. After the nest had received two or three of these grasses, she set herself in the centre, and putting her long slender beak over the outer edge, seemed to use it and her throat much in the same way as a mason does his trowel, for the purpose of smoothing, rubbing it to and fro and sweeping quite around. Each visit to the nest seemed to occupy only a couple of seconds, and her absence from it not more than as many minutes.”

The extraordinary beauty of these strange beings has induced many attempts to tame and keep them in cages, but they have not been successful. When placed in cages and fed daintily on honey and water, and supplied every morning with fresh cups of flowers, they have been known to live for a long time in their native country, and in warm weather; but no artificial warmth has as yet kept them alive for many weeks, when transported to a less genial climate. It is conjectured, however, that with very great care and a strict regard to diet, as the doctors say, they will, by and by, be kept alive and happy in our conservatories. There was once a nest of them successfully carried to England from Jamaica. It was presented to a lady, from whose lips the little loves would deign to accept honey. One died, probably from excess of happiness; but the other, being more hardy, survived for two months. Could a lady succeed in so taming one of these winged jewels so perfectly that it would accompany her to a ball, curiously perched upon her bouquet, or hovering around the flowers which composed it, at her gentle bidding, so original an ornament would doubtless be more highly prized than

“Whole necklaces and stomachers of gems.”

The ancient Mexicans are said to have woven their plumage into gorgeous robes.

If the extraordinary beauty of these birds, their mode of existence, their nature, then habits, excite our admiration, how must we also wonder at their structure!—the perfect adaptation of their forms to that life which it is theirs to enjoy, and to the variations of that glowing climate where they abound. “On presenting a humming-bird to a common observer,” says an eminent naturalist, “the first exclamation generally is, ‘what a beautiful little creature!’—the second, ‘but what large wings he has!’ Such, indeed, is the case, and, in most instances, the size of the wings and strength of the quills are entirely out of proportion to our ideas of symmetry in a creature clothed with feathers; but, upon comparing them with its necessities and the other parts of its frame, their utility and design become obvious.” The principal reason for their possessing organs of such power is, doubtless, to enable them to pass in safety through the migrations and the long flights which are necessary for their preservation, and, during which, they have to withstand passing gales and showers. The delicious climes which they inhabit are at seasons subject to tremendous rains, which drench and almost inundate their abodes, or to hurricanes that, in a few minutes, leave but a wreck of all that was before so splendid and luxuriant. By means of these organs, before the dangerous season comes, which the unerring instinct of nature warns them to avoid, they fly to districts of country where the reparation of some previous wreck is proceeding with all the rapidity of tropical vegetation.

I cannot more pleasingly conclude these notices of the most wonderful tribe of birds, than by quoting the melodious verses of a poet, who is a native of that glowing clime which they so exquisitely adorn.

“Still sparkles here the glory of the West,

Shows his crowned head and bares his jewell’d breast,

In whose bright plumes the richest colors live,

whose dazzling lines no mimic art can give.

The purple amethyst, the emerald’s green

Contrasted, mingle with the ruby’s sheen,

While over all a tissue is put on,

Of golden gauze by fairy fingers spun.

Small as a beetle, as an eagle brave,

In purest ether he delights to lave;

The sweetest flowers alone descends to woo,

Rifles their sweets and lives on honey-dew,

So light his kisses not a leaf is stirred

By the bold, happy, amorous humming-bird.

No disarray, no petal rudely moved,

Betrays the flower the callibree has loved.”[3]

I have thus given partial descriptions of four of the principal tribes of Tropical Birds. I hope the reader has not been so wearied that he will not kindly suffer me to draw this article to a close by a brief notice of those two birds most remarkable for their peculiar notes. The one pours forth a stream of rich melody, which surpasses the far-famed song of the nightingale, and is, likewise, celebrated for its peculiar power of imitating the tones of almost every fellow-songster. The other utters only one sound, but so strange and solemn as to inspire the mind of the hearer with a religious awe. The natural music of the one is as gay, cheerful and enlivening as that of the other is mournful and soul-subduing.

The first to which I allude is the Matthews of the woods, THE MOCKING-BIRD. This species abound in all parts of the Western Indies; they are found in great numbers near the sea-shore. From the trees which grow on the beaches float their rich songs, more melodious than strains of flute, or bugle, or any “cunningly devised instrument;” and, in mellowness, in modulation and gradation, in extent of compass and rapidity and brilliancy of execution, outrivalling the most magnificent bravuras of a Sontag or a Malibran. When confined in cages and brought to our cold climate, for the amusement of man, the bird loses, in the loneliness of its captivity, half the richness of its voice. Though it delights to mimic other plumed minstrels, this astonishing faculty is feeble, in its most miraculous exhibition, when compared with its own delicious song; but he who would listen to it in its perfection, must go to those regions where the great magnolia shoots up its majestic trunk, covered with evergreen leaves, and decorated with a thousand flowers, where the forests and fields are buried in blossoms of every hue, and where the golden orange decorates the gardens and the groves.

The bird whose note is so melancholy is called by the Indians campanero; by the Spaniards arapongo or guirapongo, and by the English the bell-bird. It is extremely rare. I was so fortunate as to see a single specimen. It is of about the size of a Barbary dove, but more gracefully shaped, with a larger head. It is of a snowy whiteness. From the forehead there rises a spiral tube of about a bodkin’s length. This tube, it is said, is raised and depressed at pleasure; it is black, dotted with white feathers, and, as it is hollow, and communicates with the palate, it is probably elevated when filled with air, and becomes pendulous when empty. That strange sound, for which it is remarkable, is probably produced by the raising and depressing of this tube. It resembles the tolling of a bell, and is very loud and distinct. It is heard morning and evening in the woods, and one might fancy its toll to proceed from some hidden convent, calling to matins and vespers.

The bell-bird is seldom found in forests inhabited by other birds; it selects lonely and desolate haunts. A recent traveller, in describing his journey through a South American forest, writes—“Nothing can be more still and solitary than everything around; the silence is appalling and the desolation is awful; neither are disturbed by the sight or voice of living thing, save one—which only adds to the impression. It is like the clinking of metals, as if two lumps of brass were struck together; and it sometimes resembles the distant and solemn tolling of a church-bell, struck at long intervals. This extraordinary sound proceeds from a bird called arapongo or guirapongo. It is about the size of a small pigeon, white, with a circle of red round the eyes. It sits on the tops of the highest trees, and in the deepest forests, and, though constantly heard in the most desert places, is very rarely seen. It is impossible to conceive any thing of a more solitary character than the profound silence of the woods, broken only by the metallic and almost preternatural sounds of this invisible bird, coming from the air, and seeming to follow you wherever you go. I have watched with greet perseverance, when the sound seemed quite close to me, and never but once caught a glance of the cause. It passed suddenly over the top of a very high tree, like a large flake of snow, and immediately disappeared.”

In the United States two species only have been made known, the Ruby-throated, charmingly described both by Wilson and Audubon, and the Northern. I am told, however, that Audubon has recently discovered still another.

From a poem entitled “Barbadoes,” by Dr. Chapman, a man of a fine genius, who may be known to my readers as the author of some very fine translations of the Greek Anthology, which have appeared in Blackwood’s Magazine. Callibree is the Indian name of the bird.





The lower counties of New Jersey are proverbially barren, being covered with immense forests of pine, interspersed with cedar swamps. During the dry summer months these latter become parched to an extent that is incredible, and the accidental contagion of a fire-brand often wraps immense tracts of country in flames. The rapidity with which the conflagration, when once kindled, spreads through these swamps can scarcely be credited except by those who know how thoroughly the moss and twigs are dried up by the heat of an August sun. Indeed scarcely a spot can be pointed out in West Jersey, which has not, at one time or another, been ravaged by conflagration. It was but a few years since that an immense tract of these pine barrens was on fire, and the citizens of Philadelphia can recollect the lurid appearance of the sky at night, seen at the distance of thirty or even forty miles from the scene of the conflagration. The legendary history of these wild counties is full of daring deeds and hair-breadth escapes which have been witnessed during such times of peril. One of these traditionary stories it is our purpose to relate. The period of our tale dates far back into the early history of the sister state, when the country was even more thinly settled than at present.

 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

It was a sunny morning in midsummer, when a gay party was assembled at the door of a neat house in one of the lower counties of New Jersey. Foremost in the group stood a tall manly youth, whose frank countenance at once attracted the eye. By his side was a bright young creature, apparently about eighteen years of age, whose golden tresses were a fit type of the sunny beauty of her countenance. But now her soft blue eyes were dim with tears, and she leaned on the shoulder of her mother, who was apparently equally affected. The dress of the daughter, and her attitude of leave-taking, told that she was a bride, going forth from the home of her childhood, to enter on a new and untried sphere of life. The other members of the group were composed of her father, her brothers and sisters, and the bridemen and bridemaids.

“God bless you, my daughter, and have you in his holy keeping,” said the father as he gave her his last embrace, “and now farewell!”

The last kiss was given, the last parting word was said, the last long look had been taken, and now the bridal party was being whirled through the forest on one of the sweetest mornings of the sweet month of July.

It was indeed a lovely day. Their way lay through an old road which was so rarely travelled that it had became overgrown with grass, among which the thick dew-drops, glittering in the morning sun, were scattered like jewels on a monarch’s mantle. The birds sang merrily in the trees, or skipped gaily from branch to branch, while the gentle sighing of the wind, and the occasional murmur of a brook crossing the road, added to the exhilirating influences of the hour. The travellers were all young and happy, and so they gradually forgot the sadness of the parting hour, and ere they had traversed many miles the green arcades of that lovely old forest were ringing with merry laughter. Suddenly, however, the bride paused in her innocent mirth, and while a shade of paleness overspread her cheek, called the attention of her husband to a dark black cloud, far off on the horizon, and yet gloomier and denser than the darkest thunder cloud.

“The forest is on fire!” was his instant ejaculation, “think you not so, Charnley?” and he turned to his groomsman.

“Yes! but the wind is not towards us, and the fire must be miles from our course. There is no need for alarm, Ellen,” said he, turning to the bride, his sister.

“But our road lies altogether through the forest,” she timidly rejoined, “and you know there isn’t a house or cleared space for miles.”

“Yes! but my dear sis, so long as the fire keeps its distance, it matters not whether our road is through the forest or the fields. We will drive on briskly and before noon you will laugh at your fears. Your parting from home has weakened your nerves.”

No more was said, and for some time the carriage proceeded in silence. Meantime the conflagration was evidently spreading with great rapidity. The dark, dense clouds of smoke, which had at first been seen hanging only in one spot, had now extended in a line along the horizon, gradually edging around so as to head off the travellers. But this was done so imperceptibly that, for a long time, the travellers were not aware of it, and they had journeyed at least half an hour before they saw their danger. At length the bride spoke again.

“Surely, dear Edward,” she said, addressing her husband, “the fire is sweeping around ahead of us: I have been watching it by yonder blasted pine, and can see it slowly creeping across the trunk.”

Every eye was instantly turned in the direction in which she pointed, and her brother, who was driving, involuntarily checked the horses. A look of dismay was on each countenance as they saw the words of the bride verified. There could be no doubt that the fire had materially changed its bearing since they last spoke, and now threatened to cut off their escape altogether.

“I wish, Ellen, we had listened to your fears and turned back half an hour ago:” said the brother, “we had better do it at once.”

“God help us—that is impossible,” said the husband, looking backwards, “the fire has cut off our retreat.”

It was as he said. The flames, which at first had started at a point several miles distant and at right angles to the road the party was travelling, had spread out in every direction, and finding the swamp in the rear of the travellers parched almost to tinder by the draught, had extended with inconceivable velocity in that quarter, so that a dense cloud of smoke, beneath which a dark lurid veil of fire surged and rolled, completely cut off any retrograde movement on the part of the travellers. This volume of flame, moreover, was evidently moving rapidly in pursuit. The cheeks, even of the male members of the bridal party, turned ashy pale at the sight.

“There is nothing to do but to push on,” said the brother, “we will yet clear the road before the fire reaches it.”

“And if I remember,” said the husband, “there is a road branching off to the right, scarce half a mile ahead: we can gain that easily, when we shall be safe. Cheer up, Ellen, there is no danger. This is our wedding morn, let me not see you sad.”

The horses were now urged forward at a brisk pace, and in a few minutes the bridal party reached the cross road. Their progress was now directly from the fire; all peril seemed at an end; and the spirits of the group rose in proportion to their late depression. Once more the merry laugh was heard, and the song rose up gaily on the morning air. The conflagration still raged behind, but at a distance that placed all fear at defiance, while in front the fire, although edging down towards them, approached at a pace so slow that they knew it would not reach the road until perhaps hours after they had attained their journey’s end. At length the party subsided again into silence, occupying themselves in gazing on the magnificent spectacle presented by the lurid flames, as, rolling their huge volumes of smoke above them, they roared down towards the travellers.

“The forest is as dry as powder,” said the husband, “I never saw a conflagration travel so rapidly. The fire cannot have been kindled many hours, and it has already spread for miles. Little did you think, Ellen,” he said, turning fondly to his bride, “when we started this morning, that you should so narrowly escape such a peril.”

“And, as I live, the peril is not yet over,” suddenly exclaimed the brother, “see—see—a fire has broke out on our right, and is coming down on to us like a whirlwind. God have mercy on us!”

He spoke with an energy that would have startled his hearers without the fearful words he uttered. But when they followed the direction of his quivering finger, a shriek burst from the two females, while the usually collected husband turned ashy pale, not for himself, but for her who was dearer to him than his own life. A fire, during the last few minutes, had started to life in the forest to their right, and, as the wind was from that quarter, the flames were seen ahead shooting down towards the road which the bridal party was traversing, roaring, hissing, and thundering as they drew near.

“Drive faster—for heaven’s sake—on the gallop!” exclaimed the husband, as he comprehended the imminency of their danger.

The brother made no answer, for he well knew their fearful situation, but whipped the horses into a run. The chaise flew along the narrow forest road with a rapidity that neither of the party had ever before witnessed; for even the animals themselves seemed aware of their peril, and strained every sinew to escape from the fiery death which threatened them.

Their situation was indeed terrible, and momentarily becoming more precarious. The fire, when first seen, was, at least, a mile off, but nearly equidistant from a point in the road the bridal party was traversing; and, as the conflagration swept down towards the road with a velocity equal to that of the travellers, it soon became evident that they would have barely time to pass the fire ere it swept across the road, thus cutting off all escape. Each saw this; but the females were now paralized with fear. Only the husband spoke.

“Faster, for God’s sake, faster,” he hoarsely cried, “see you not that the fire is making for yonder tall pine—we shall not be able to reach the tree first unless we go faster.”

“I will do my best,” said the brother, lashing still more furiously the foaming horses. “Oh! God, that I had turned back when Ellen wished me.”

On came the roaring fire—on in one mass of flame—on with a velocity that seemed only equalled by that of the flying hurricane. Now the flames caught the lower limbs of a tall tree and in an instant had hissed to its top—now they shot out their forky tongues from one huge pine to another far across the intermediate space—and now the whirling fire, whistled along the dry grass and moss of the swamp with a rapidity which the eye could scarcely follow. Already the fierce heat of the conflagration began to be felt by the travellers, while the horses, feeling the increase of warmth, grew restive and terrified. The peril momentarily increased. Hope grew fainter. Behind and on either side the conflagration roared in pursuit, while the advancing flame in front was cutting off their only avenue of escape. They were girdled by fire. Faster and quicker roared the flames towards the devoted party, until at length despair seized on the hearts of the travellers. Pale, paralized, silent, inanimate as statues, sat the females; while the husband and brother, leaning forward in the carriage and urging the horses to their utmost speed, gazed speechlessly on the approaching flames. Already the fire was within a hundred yards of the road ahead, and it seemed beyond human probability that the travellers could pass it in time. The husband gave one last agonizing glance at his inanimate wife. When again he looked at the approaching flames, he saw that during that momentary glimpse they had lessened their distance one half. He could already feel the hot breath of the fire on his cheek. The wind, too, suddenly whirled down with fiercer fury, and in an instant the forky tongues of the advancing conflagration had shot across the road, and entwined themselves around the tall pine which had been the goal of the travellers’ hopes. He sank back with a groan. But the brother’s eye gleamed wildly at the sight, and gathering the reins tighter around his hand, he made one last desperate effort to force the horses onward; and with one mad leap, they lifted the carriage from the ground as if it had been a plaything, plunged into the fiery furnace, and the next instant had shot through the pass.

Charnley gave one look backwards, as if to assure himself that they had indeed escaped—he saw the lurid mass of fire roaring and whirling across the spot through which they had darted but a moment before; and overcome with mingled gratitude and awe, he lowered his head on his breast and poured out an overflowing soul in thanksgivings to the Power which had saved them from the most dreadful of deaths. And long afterwards, men, who travelled through that charred and blackened forest, pointed to the memorable scene where these events occurred, and rehearsed the thrilling feelings of those who had been encompassed by the Girdle of Fire.

TO ——.




I call upon the waves and they reply,

  But not the voice I fain would hear replied,

Vainly I seek it in the wind’s deep sigh,

  Earth, air, the sky’s blue depths and ocean’s tide.


These have their various voices, soft or stern,

  Moulding our feelings to the varied hour,

And the wrung heart will hear them and return

 To claim on Nature’s breast a mother’s power.


The dewy freshness of earth’s vernal prime,

  Her budding promise lapp’d in fragrant showers,

The sacred sweetness of her summer time,

 And her bright bosom cover’d o’er with flowers;


The viewless music of the breathing air,

  The rushing wind that sweeps across the plain,

The breeze that dallies with the brow of care

  And stirs the languid pulse to life again;


Heaven’s glorious arch, when morning through the skies

  Skirts all its blue with gold, or sweeter far

At the dim twilight, or when softly rise

  The new-born moon and glittering star on star;


And the dark-rolling voiceful sea, whose moan,

  On the wide waste or by the storm-beat shore,

Asks the soul’s answer like a spirit tone,

  And the deep soul speaks inly to its roar;


These have their language, mirthful, sad, or wild,

  Like changing passion in the human breast;

We call them to us, as a wilder’d child

  His home’s companions, and they give us rest;


Yet though they speak, I cannot hear—no more

  Comes the sweet music of the one loved tone,

And standing lonely by the lone sea-shore

  Sad as my heart falls its perpetual moan.





Oh! I could weep when I perceive the cloud

  Of dark impurities around our Stage,

Where those creations, gay, or sad, or proud⁠—

  Hamlet’s strange wo, or wronged Othello’s rage

  Hallowed fair Albion’s selectest age:

Yet would I not, like certain ones, behold

  Theatric pomp proscribed in liberal land,

While pale Contempt (as once in ages old)

 Kills with a single look the buskin band.

A beauty sparkles yet around the Place⁠—

A mystic charm—a fairy-beaming grace⁠—

  Appealing loudly to the coldest heart:

These boards once held the glory of our race,

  And still they reverence a Shakspeare’s Art.




BY J. G. E.


John F. Nunns, 184 Chesnut Street: Philadelphia.


To win the love of thee,

  I would the wealth of worlds resign,

For life has nought for me,

  But one sole wish to call thee mine.

All other joys of life no more,

  For me a thought shall claim,

Thou art the Idol I adore,

  My happiness and fame.

To win the love of thee,

  I would the wealth of worlds resign,

For life has nought for me,

  But one sole wish to call thee mine.


Strive not with ornament to hide

  Thy beauty’s op’ning flower;

Simplicity should be thy bride.

  For therein lies thy power.

Of Constancy the model I

  To wand’ring eyes should prove,

For I should only wish to die

  If e’er I lose thy love.

                  To win the love of thee, &c.


Notes of a Tour through Turkey, Greece, Egypt, Arabia Petræa, to the Holy Land; including a Visit to Athens, Sparta, Delhi, Cairo, Thebes, Mount Sinai, Petræa, &c. By E. Joy Morris. Two vols. 12 mo. pp. 550. Philadelphia, Carey & Hart: 1842.

Were we disposed to be hypercritical, we should begin by finding some fault with the title of these volumes. It is quite too long, besides being tautological. Why speak of a tour through Egypt, and a visit to Thebes! Or of a tour through Greece and a visit to Athens? It would be as proper to announce a journey through England, including a visit to London. He who travels over a country of course visits its capital. If he supposes the readers of his journal do not know what city enjoys that distinction, it is even then better to let them acquire this geographical information by degrees. Too great and sudden developments may defeat his object; a man’s vision is sometimes obscured by excess of light.

Of the improbabilities which are scattered throughout the work we have space only to notice one or two. Mr. Morris informs us that the harem of the Governor of Smyrna, which he encountered on board a steamer, “consisted of some half-dozen ladies, (wives,) and, with attendants, amounted to near thirty persons.” Rather too many wives for the simple Aga of Smyrna, and more than the Koran allows. The holy book of the Mahommedan permits no one, save the Grand Sultan—the representative of the prophet—to have more than two; and that highest of dignitaries, and hereditary favorite of the immortals, has but four. The Governor of Smyrna, we are assured by a competent authority, has but one wife, and she is of Turkish descent, and not, as our author avers, a Circassian. Had she been of Circassia she would have been a concubine, not a wife, or, as the author blunderingly calls her, a Sultana. That title belongs only to the favorite wife of the Sultan. Our traveller tells us that he offered to this lady some sweet-meats, although her husband and the keeper of his harem were both present! An averment which we would be as chary of believing as if it were that the “light” of the Grand Seigneur’s palace had accepted an invitation to swim with him in the Bosphorus!

Mr. Morris tells us that he found in the slave market of Constantinople two beautiful Georgian girls, “destined for the harems of the rich,” in cages, but that he was “only indulged with a glance at them through the bars!” Now a cage, or such a place as he intended to describe by that word, even for the ugliest Numidian, would not be tolerated in Constantinople for an hour; nor has there been for many years a Georgian girl publicly exhibited in the markets of that city. When a writer, sensible of the dulness of his performance, seeks to impart to it some interest by weaving into its chapters romantic fictions, he should be careful to give them an air of probability. We have not time nor inclination to point out other “attractions” in these volumes of a similar description.

While writing of Athens and Constantinople, Mr. Morris doubtless had by his side Mr. Colton’s “Visit” to those places; and in his notices of Arabia Petræa and Egypt he has availed himself of the information acquired by Mr. Stevens and Professor Robinson. He has made what, in the language of the trade, is called a readable book; but it possesses neither originality, vigor, nor freshness; and his delineations, besides lacking these qualities, are often tediously long and needlessly particular. He does not pretend to give any new topographical information, and his work contains none. It was probably written out from slight notes taken during his tour, and the more elaborate descriptions of other travellers. It evinces some taste and judgment in the selection of themes, and is now and then graced by a classical allusion or quotation, gleaned, perhaps, from the guide-books, which make authorship so easy to the tourist.

Punishment by Death: Its Authority and Expediency. By Rev. George B. Chester. One vol. 12mo. pp. 156. New York: M. W. Dodd.

Several able sermons on this important subject have issued from the press. This is a more extended and elaborate effort. It displays learning, research, and philosophical acumen, and is worthy of general and serious attention. We know of no treatise in our language, on this subject, so well calculated for circulation among the people at large. It is brief, clear, comprehensive, written in an interesting style, and often rising to a strain of vivid and stirring eloquence.

About half the volume is devoted to the argument from Scripture; in which the original Noahic ordinance is taken as the ground-work, commented upon in the Mosaic statutes, and confirmed in the New Testament. The writings and experience of Paul are examined, and the course of the Divine Providence is shown to be consentaneous with this argument. The state of legislation and society in the antediluvian world, as well as afterwards, are investigated, with the origin of government, and the nature of its sanction in the Scriptures.

The remainder of the book is taken up with the argument from Expediency. The question is examined, What constitutes the perfection of criminal jurisprudence! The efficacy of punishment by death in restraining crime is argued, and also that the abrogation of this punishment would prove a premium on the crime of murder, through the desire of concealing other crimes. The law of nature is examined, with the powerful convictions of conscience on this subject, as sustaining the Divine legislation, and demanding support also in human law. Various objections are considered and answered, with the occasion of the prejudice against Capital Punishment. The book concludes with a chapter on the power and solemnity of the argument from analogy, in reference to the sanctions of the Divine Government.

A Popular Treatise on Agricultural Chemistry: intended for the use of the Practical Farmer. By Chas. Squarey, Chemist. One vol. Lea & Blanchard: Philadelphia.

An excellent work, in which most of what is really valuable in the treatises of Liebig, Davy, Johnson and Daubeny, has been condensed for the practical reader.

Tecumseh, or the West Thirty Years Since: A Poem: By George H. Colton. 12mo. pp. 412. New York: Wiley & Putnam, 1842.

We alluded to this work very briefly in a former number, and now recur to it mainly for the purpose of presenting some specimens of the author’s versification, by which the reader may be enabled to judge of its general execution. “Tecumseh” is a narrative, founded on the history of that great chief whose name is chosen for its title, and whose efforts to unite the various divisions of the red race into one grand confederacy, to regain their lost inheritance, though unsuccessful, should secure to him a fame as lasting as is awarded to the most celebrated heroes and patriots of the world.

The measure of the main part of the poem—extending to nine long cantos—is octo-syllabic. It is free, and generally correct, though in some cases marred by inexcusable carelessness, and phraseology more tame and meaningless than, had he kept his manuscript for a few years, the author would have permitted to go before the critics. The hero, with the wily prophet, Els-kwa-ta-wa, who was his evil genius through life, is introduced in the second canto. Distinguished


“By his broad brow of care and thought,

  By his most regal mien and tread,

By robes with richest wampum wrought,

  And eagle’s plume upon his head,”


he emerges with his companion from a forest;


“Nor e’er did eye a form behold

At once more finished, firm and bold.

Of larger mould and loftier mien

Than oft in hall or bower is seen,

And with a browner hue than seems

To pale maid fair, or lights her dreams,

He yet revealed a symmetry

Had charmed the Grecian sculptor’s eye,

A massive brow, a kindled face,

Limbs chiselled to a faultless grace,

Beauty and strength in every feature,

  While in his eyes there lived the light

  Of a great soul’s transcendant might⁠—

Hereditary lord by nature!

As stood he there, the stern, unmoved,

Except his eagle glance that roved,

And darkly limned against the sky

Upon that mound so lone and high,

He looked the sculptured God of Wars,

Great Odin, or Egyptian Mars,

By crafty hand, from dusky stone,

Immortal wrought in ages gone,

And on some silent desert cast,

Memorial of the mighty Past!

And yet, though firm, though proud his glance,

There was upon his countenance

That settled shade, which oft in life

Mounts upward from the spirit’s strife

As if upon his soul there lay

Some grief which would not pass away.


“The other’s lineaments and air

  Revealed him plainly brother born

Of him, who on that summit bare

  So sad, yet proudly met the morn:

But, lighter built, his slender frame

Far less of grace, as strength, could claim;

And, with an eye that, sharp and fierce,

Would seem the gazer’s breast to pierce,

And low’ring visage, aye the while

Inwrought of subtlety and guile,

Whose every glance, that darkly stole,

Bespoke the crafty, cruel soul.

There was from all his presence shed

A power, a chill mysterious dread,

Which made him of those beings seem,

That shake us in the midnight dream.

Yet were his features, too, o’ercast

With mournfulness, as if the past

Had been one vigil, painful, deep and long

Of hushed Revenge still brooding over wrong.

No word was said: but long they stood,

And side by side, in thoughtful mood,

Watched the great curtains of the mist

  Up from the mighty landscape move;

’Twas surely spirit-hands, they wist,

  Did lift them from above.

And when, unveiled, to them alone

The solitary world was shown,

And dew from all the mound’s green sod

Rose, like an incense, up to God,

Reclined, yet silent still, they bent

Their eyes on Heaven’s deep firmament⁠—

As if were open to their view

The stars’ sun-flooded homes of blue⁠—

Or gazed, with mournful sternness, o’er

The rolling prairie stretched before;

While round them, fluttering on the breeze,

The sere leaves fell from faded trees.”


At the close of a conference which ensues, Tecumseh expresses his determination to


                          “go forth

Through the great waters of the North,

Round the far South, and o’er the West

By the lone streams, nor ever rest,

Till all the tribes united stand

In battle for their native land.”


There are scattered through the poem many passages of minute and skilful description of external nature, and interwoven with the main history is a story of love, resulting, in the end, like most tales of the kind, in the perfect felicity of the parties. Some episodes, by which the narrative is broken, are well-wrought, and the entire poem possesses a deep and sustained interest. The rapid action of the narrative is illustrated by the following passive, descriptive of the last conflict, in which Tecumseh fell:


“Forth at the peal each charger sped,

The hard earth shook beneath their tread,

The dim woods, all around them spread,

  Shone with their armor’s light:

Yet in those stern, still lines assailed

No eye-ball shrunk, no bosom quailed,

  No foot was turned for flight;

But, thundering as their foemen came,

Each rifle flashed its deadly flame.

A moment, then recoil and rout,

With reeling horse and struggling shout,

  Confused that onset fair;

But, rallying each dark steed once more,

Like billows borne the low reefs o’er

  With foamy crest in air,

Right on and over them they bore,

With gun and bayonet thrust before,

  And swift swords brandish’d bare.

Then madly was the conflict waged,

Then terribly red Slaughter raged!


“How still is yet yon dense morass

  The bloody sun below!

Where’er yon chosen horsemen pass,

There stirs no bough nor blade of grass,

  There moves no secret foe!

Yet on, quick eye and cautious tread,

His bold ranks Johnson darkling led.

Sudden from tree and thicket green,

From trunk, and mound, and bushy screen,

Sharp lightning flashed with instant sheen,

  A thousand death-bolts sung!

Like ripened fruit before the blast,

Rider and horse to earth were cast,

  Its miry roots among;

Then wild, as if that earth were riven,

And, pour’d beneath the cope of heaven,

All hell to upper air were given,

  One fearful whoop was rung,

And, bounding each from covert forth,

Burst on their front the demon birth.

‘Off! off! each horseman to the ground!

  On foot we’ll quell the foe!’

And instant, with impetuous bound,

  They hurl’d them down below.


“Then loud the crash of arms arose,

As when two forest whirlwinds close;

Then filled all heaven their shout and yell,

As if the forests on them fell!

I see, where swells the thickest fight,

With sword and hatchet brandish’d bright

And rifles flashing sulphurous light

  Through green leaves gleaming red⁠—

I see a plume, now near, now far,

Now high, now low, like falling star,

Wide waving o’er the tide of war,

  Where’er the onslaught’s led;

I see, beneath, a bare arm swing,

  As tempest whirls the oak,

Bosom and high crest shivering

  The war-club’s deadly stroke;

The eager infantry rush in,

Before their ranks, with wilder din,

  The wav’ring strife is driven⁠—

Above the struggling storm I hear

A lofty voice the war bands cheer,

Still, as they quail with doubt or fear,

  Yet loud and louder given;

And, rallying to the clarion cry,

With club and red axe raging high,

  And sharp knives sheathing low,

Fast back again confusedly

  They drive the staggering foe.”


We conclude our extracts with a graphic description of a forest scene, from the last canto.


“Within a wood extending wide

By Thames’s steeply winding side,

There sat upon a fallen tree,

Grown green through ages silently,

An Indian girl. The gradual change

Making all things most sweetly strange,

Had come again. The autumn sun,

Half up his morning journey, shone

With conscious lustre, calm and still;

By dell, and plain, and sloping hill

Stood mute the faded trees, in grief,

As various as their clouded leaf.

With all the hues of sunset skies

Were stamp’d the maple’s mourning dies;

In meeker sorrow in the vale

The gentle ash was drooping pale;

Brown-seared the walnut raised its head,

The oak displayed a lifeless red;

And grouping bass and white-wood hoar

Sadly their yellow honors bore;

And silvered birch and poplar rose

With foliage gray and weeping boughs;

But elm and stubborn beech retained

Some verdant lines, though crossed and stained,

And by the river’s side were seen

Hazel and willow palely green,

While in the woods, by bank and stream

And hollows shut from daylight gleam,

Where tall trees wept their freshening dews,

Each shrub preserved its summer hues.

Nor this alone. From branch and trunk

The withered wild-vines coldly shrunk,

The woodland fruits hung ripe or dry,

The leaf-strown brook flowed voiceless by;

And all throughout, nor dim nor bright.

There lived a rare and wondrous light

Wherein the colored leaves around

Fell noiselessly; nor any sound,

Save chattering squirrels on the trees,

Or dropping nuts, when stirred the breeze,

Might there be heard; and, floating high,

Were light clouds borne along the sky.

And, scarcely seen, in heaven’s deep blue

One solitary eagle flew.”


From these passages the general character of the work may be inferred. It is too long: it would be unwise to extend a poem on any theme to nine cantos, of near fourteen thousand lines; and besides its diffuseness, in parts, it has other faults, to which we have already alluded. It is the first production, however, of an author just freed from the University; not yet, apparently, twenty-two years old; and, so regarded, the severest critic must deem it remarkably free from errors in design and execution.

Some half dozen elaborate metrical tales, founded on Indian histories or traditions, have before appeared in this country, of which but one—the “Yamoyden” of Sands and Eastburn—is comparable to this; and that is inferior to it in unity, and, indeed, in almost all its essential features. The admirable proem to “Yamoyden,” in which Sands laments in such touching strains the early death of his associate and friend, is not rightly considered a part of the poem to which it is prefixed. To this Mr. Colton has produced nothing equal; nor is he worthy yet to be ranked with Sands as a poet. But “Tecumseh,” until some nobler work is written, must be considered the best poem of its class written by an American.

Memoir of India and Avghanistoun, with Observations on The Present State and Future Prospects of those Countries. By J. Harlan, late Counsellor of State, Aid-de-Camp, and General of the Staff, to Dost Mahomed, Ameer of Cabul. One vol. 12mo. Philadelphia: J. Dobson, 1842.

General Harlan resided in India and Avghanistoun eighteen years, and his official stations during that period were such as he would have chosen had his principal object been to form a correct judgment in regard to the social and political conditions of those countries. The facts and opinions contained in this work must therefore command regard, especially since the recent military operations in that quarter have drawn so much attention to the British East Indian Empire. The volume comprises remarks on the late massacre of the British Army in Cabul, and the British policy in India; a reply to the Count Björstjerna’s work on that country; the Russian influence in central Asia; the foreign relations of the Indo-British government; the moral, religious and political character and condition of the Indians and Avghans; and the results of missionary exertions and prospects of Christianity among them; together with an interesting sketch of the history and personal character of Dost Mahomed, one of the most remarkable individuals that have appeared in the oriental nations during this century. In an appendix, the author indulges in some speculations on a passage in the Book of Daniel, which he supposes has reference to the present condition of the Mahommedan countries, and indicates the speedy extinction of the Ottoman empire. The book is illustrated with maps and a portrait of the Ex-Ameer of Cabul.

We shall look with some anxiety for General Harlan’s “Personal Narrative of Eighteen Years’ Residence in Asia,” which we believe is now in press.

History of the Expedition under the command of Captains Lewis and Clarke, to the sources of the Missouri, thence across the Rocky Mountains, and down the river Columbia to the Pacific Ocean: Performed during the years 1804, 1805, 1806, by order of the Government of the United States. Two vols. Harper & Brothers: New York.

The expedition of Lewis and Clarke was the first ever made through the Oregon Territory to the Columbia River. An account of their tour was published soon after their return; but as that work has since gone out of print, and as the Oregon Territory is now a subject of much interest, the Messrs. Harpers have issued the present volumes, in which unimportant details in the former edition have been omitted, and explanatory notes have been added, by Archibald M’Vickar, Esq. The volumes form Nos. 154 and 155 of the Family Library. Perkins & Purvis: Philadelphia.

The Life of Wilbur Fisk, S. T. D. first President of the Wesleyan University. By Joseph Holdich. One vol. 8vo. Pp. 455. New York: Harper & Brothers.

Wilbur Fisk was one of the purest and most useful men of our time. With a temperament remarkably sanguine and ardent, all his qualities were so subdued and harmonized by religion, as to form one of the finest models of elevated Christian character that has been presented to the world. He was a native of Brattleborough, Vermont, where he was born in 1792. In his early years he enjoyed no advantages that are not within the reach of almost every young man of New England. When about twenty-two years of age he began to study the law, but soon after turned his attention to the ministry, and in the spring of 1818 was licensed to preach by a Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1823 he was made a ruling elder, and in 1825, principal of the Methodist Seminary of Wilbraham. In 1829, he received the degree of Doctor in Divinity, from Augusta College, and from Brown University, and the following year was elected to the presidency of the Wesleyan University at Middletown. In the autumn of 1835, he visited Europe, and passed about a year on the continent and in Great Britain. The record of his travels, published soon after his return, has been one of the most popular works of its kind written by an American. He died at Middletown, after a long and painful illness, borne with singular fortitude and resignation, on the twenty-second of February, 1840. The Memoirs before us, by his friend Professor Holdich, are written with ability and candor; but the most interesting portions of the work are Dr. Fisk’s admirable private letters, distinguished alike for a beauty of style, simplicity, earnestness, and affection, that indicates, better than any labored delineation by another hand, his high character and endowments. Philadelphia: H. Perkins.

A Narrative of Voyages and Commercial Enterprises. By Richard J. Cleveland. Two vols. 12mo. Cambridge: John Owen, 1842.

This is one of the many narratives of adventures at sea given to the public in consequence of the success of Mr. Dana’s “Two Years before the Mast.” The author, who retired from the merchant service more than twenty years ago, presents some interesting reminiscences of voyages to India, South America, and other parts of the world, written in a style of simple elegance rather unusual for a veteran sailor. The industry and enterprise of the New Englanders is in nothing more conspicuous than in their mercantile marine, and we infer from his pleasant work, that Mr. Cleveland has done his part to gain for them their enviable reputation.

Athanasion, and other Poems. By the Author of “Christian Ballads.” New York: Wiley & Putnam.

The author of “Christian Ballads” is the Rev. Arthur Cleveland Coxe, Rector of St. Anna’s Chapel, Morrisania, near New York: a young poet who has won an enviable reputation by numerous contributions to the periodical literature of the day, and by some more elaborate writings. “Athanasion” is, perhaps, his best metrical composition. It has, with many excellencies, some defects, which we lack space and inclination to point out in this number of our Magazine. The volume before us is printed in a style equal to that of the best English impressions.

Fathers and Sons: a Novel. By Theodore E. Hook, Esq. Two vols. 12mo. Philadelphia: Lea & Blanchard, 1842.

Theodore Edward Hook was one of the most popular of the authors who died in the last year. His table wit, it is said, in freshness and exuberance, was never equalled in England; and the humor that pervades his writings will keep them in favor probably for centuries. The novel before us was his last. It appeared originally by separate chapters in the New Monthly Magazine, of which he was editor; and he was engaged in its revision when seized by the disease which terminated his career. His first work—excepting some plays written in his boyhood—was “Sayings and Doings,” published in 1824. It was followed by a second and third series of the same work; by “Maxwell,” “The Parson’s Daughter,” “Jack Brag,” “Births, Deaths, and Marriages,” “Gilbert Gurney,” “Gurney Married,” “Precepts and Practice,” several volumes of biography, and “Fathers and Sons.” He died on the twenty-second day of September, 1841, in the fifty-third year of his age.

His last work has all his peculiarities; the most felicitous humor; graphic delineations of character; and incidents interesting and ingeniously diversified. We have not space for an analysis of its plot; and one is the less necessary, as, notwithstanding the “hardness of the times,” very few will permit the last legacy of Theodore Hook to go unread.

Sermons and Sketches of Sermons, by the Rev John Summerfield, M. A. With an Introduction, by the Rev. Thomas E. Bond, M. D. One vol. 8vo. Pp. 437. Harper & Brothers: New York.

John Summerfield was one of those remarkable men who have appeared from time to time to electrify the religious world, by eloquence the most persuasive, and lives which served as samples by which those who would might guide their course to heaven. He began to preach in Ireland, when but twenty years of age, and soon after came to the United States, where he continued to labor as an evangelist until his death, which occurred sixteen years ago. Most of the sermons and sketches of sermons included in the volume before us were written down after their public delivery. They possess a deep interest, especially to those who remember the sainted author, more worthy of canonization than were ninety-nine hundredths of those whose names are included in the calendar. Henry Perkins: Philadelphia.

Practical Geology and Mineralogy; with Instructions for the qualitative analysis of Minerals. By Joshua Trimmer, F. G. S.—Itum est in viscera terræ. One vol. Lea & Blanchard: Philadelphia.

A valuable elementary treatise on Geology. For the convenience of those who have not access to cabinets of minerals, the author has collected various chemical and mineralogical details, to enable any person easily to recognise the different minerals when discovered in the fields. In the purely geological part of the work, Mr. Trimmer has confined himself to facts and classifications and a few universally admitted inferences, avoiding all questions affecting the higher generalizations, since they are still and must long continue to be matters of controversy. The work is illustrated with wood-cuts. We commend it to students in geology.

Italy and the Italian Islands, from the earliest ages to the present time. By William Spalding, Esq. With engravings and illustrative maps and plans. Three vols. Harper & Brothers: New York.

This is an able and comprehensive work, and may be consulted with confidence by persons who wish to inquire concerning the history, scenery, antiquities, topography, and present condition of Italy. The author is, perhaps, less profound than he would have been if he had contemplated a more voluminous treatise. For all purposes, however, of general reference, or as a guide to more detailed inquiries, his volumes may be consulted with advantage. The account of the social, religious and political revolutions of the ancient and modern Italians, and the history of the rise and progress of the arts and literature in Italy, constitute two of its most valuable divisions.

These volumes form Nos. 151, 152 and 153 of the Family Library, and are published in the usual style of that excellent series. Carey & Hart: Philadelphia.

A Discourse on Matters pertaining to Religion; by Theodore Parker, Minister of the Second Church in Roxburgh, Massachusetts. Pp. 505, 8vo. Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown. 1842.

This is a bold and eloquent attack on the doctrines of the Bible, by one who avows himself to be a Christian minister, and is ordained and settled over a religious congregation. Some of the readers of Mr. Parker’s “Discourse” who are unacquainted with the writings of the German rationalists, may fancy that he is a man of deep research and profound scholarship; but there is little danger that an intelligent student in theology will be so deceived. The work embraces the substance of five lectures, delivered in Boston during the last autumn. The author denies the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, the divinity of Jesus Christ, and most of the other ideas of what he terms the “popular theology.” We leave him and his labors to the critics of the Christian churches.

Masterman Ready, or, the Wreck of the Pacific. Written for Young People. By Captain Marryat, R. N. Second Series. One vol., 18mo. New York: D. Appleton & Co.

This is a sequel to the entertaining volume published under the same title last year. Though “Masterman Ready” is an entertaining story, it is far from being equal in any respect, save its freedom from the coarser kind of jests, to “Peter Simple,” “Jacob Faithful,” or the other early works of the author.

Means and Ends, or Self-training. By the author of Redwood, Hope Leslie, Home, Poor Rich Man, &c., &c. Second edition. One vol. Harper & Brothers: New York.

One of the best of Miss Sedgwick’s smaller works. It is written in a light, rambling style, enforcing truths by anecdotes or short stories. It has been deservedly popular, and we predict that it will pass to a third and even fourth and fifth edition.

What’s to be Done? or, the Will and the Way. By the author of “Wealth and Worth,” &c. One vol. 12mo. Pp. 232. New York: Harper & Brothers.

The pleasant little volume entitled “Wealth and Worth,” which we commended to our readers a month or two since, has been succeeded by another work from the same pen, which we think even superior to its predecessor. It is a story of American life, conveying, as its piquant title indicates, a useful and impressive moral. The style is animated and pure, and the sketches of character are graphic, forcible, and various; while the plot preserves a deep and natural interest. “Wealth and Worth” has gone through five large editions in the course of as many months—a remarkable instance of rapidly attained popularity. A success equally decided must attend the spirited little tale of “What’s to be Done?”

The Divine Rule of Faith and Practice, or a Defence of the Catholic Doctrine, that Holy Scripture has been since the Times of the Apostles the Sole Divine Rule of Faith and Practice to the Church, against the dangerous Errors of the Authors of the Tracts for the Times and the Romanists, as, particularly, that the Rule of Faith is “made up of Scripture and Tradition together,” &c: In which also the Doctrines of the Apostolical Succession, the Eucharistic Sacrifice, &c., are fully discussed. By William Goode, M. A., of Trinity College, Cambridge. Two vols. 8vo. Philadelphia: Herman Hooker.

This is probably the most learned and able theological work that has been published in England or America during the year. Those who have read the “Tracts for the Times,” and all who feel any interest in the religious controversies of the age, will thank us for directing to it their attention.

Diary and Letters cf Madame D’Arblay: Edited by her Niece. Parts I. and II. Philadelphia, Carey & Hart.

Miss Burney, afterward Madame D’Arblay, is best known to the literary world as the authoress of “Evelina,” one of the most admirable and popular novels in the English language. She died early in the year 1841, at the advanced age of ninety, and two volumes of her autobiographical remains have since been published in London, both of which are included in these “parts” of the American edition. She was intimately acquainted with Johnson, Sheridan, Burke, Boswell, and other eminent persons of their time; and her diary, including a great number of interesting anecdotes and reminiscences of her early career, is one of the most entertaining works of the day.

Rufus Winter Griswold, a gentleman of fine taste and well known literary abilities, has become associated with us as one of the editors of this Magazine. The extensive literary knowledge of Mr. G. renders him a most valuable coadjutor.

The connection of E. A. Poe, Esq., with this work ceased with the May Number. Mr. P. bears with him our warmest wishes for success in whatever he may undertake.

three ladies and a gentleman dressed in latest fashion

Fashion’s Latest Style for Graham’s Magazine

Transcriber’s Notes:

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


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